baby · mum · mummy · parent

Express Yourself! – Daddy Duties & Difficulties

I’ve finally gone back to expressing breast milk again now that Fletcher has got the hang of the booby latch again. He was going through a stage where he was being diffult when latching because I introduced the bottle too early alongside, but now that he’s nailed it I have brought the bottle back! This is now where Daddy comes in – wahoo!

I have started to basically express every night so that I have a bottle for Scott to do the night feed. I decided to do this so that Fletcher would get used to his daddy settling him down for the night. This then would mean that if, for any reason, I was out for the night (which I highly doubt I ever would be, as I’m basically a hermit) or if I wanted a break, then Fletcher would settle for Scott. It actually just gives me a chance to clean my teeth properly and get ready for bed – and sometimes I never even got out of bed-mode from the morning anyway, so this doesn’t involve much to be honest. This is working very well so far! Fletcher isn’t bothered how he gets the milk so long as he gets it when he wants it! The boy doesn’t wait 2 minutes until he’s acting desperate for it, so it can be painful waiting for the milk to warm up. We’re getting better at warming it up before we expect he will want it, so we’re not having to pacify him for a little while. I have got to be worlds most annoying mum though as I can’t help but pick and moan whilst Scott is trying to feed him. Telling him that’s he’s holding him wrong, or needs to stop and wind him or whatever. It’s awful – I can’t just keep quiet while I sit and watch Scott hold him like he’s a plank of wood. He probably wants to punch me in the face!

It’s been a bit difficult at times for Scott. I’m not sure if it’s because of breastfeeding or if it’s just generally the way babies are, but Fletcher is very much so a mummies boy. So sometimes Scott can be trying to settle Fletcher after winding him for me (one of the many daddy duties) and he will just keep crying (Fletcher…not Scott). Most of the time he’s in need of a little more milk but sometimes he just wants to be cuddled closer and rocked to sleep. Having a newborn is a mega guessing game, as you eliminate all the possible options that they could be crying for. Nappy? Winding? Feed? Or just a cuddle? As a mother, I can usually tell just by the sound of his cry or the way he moves as to what he’s crying for. If he’s wobbling his head about, mouth open and sometimes sucking on his hand then it’s usually because he’s still hungry. Scott sometimes just sees him crying and just goes straight into the assumption that he’s hungry and wants more of the boob. However, I can sometimes look at Fletcher’s face and tell that he’s got sleepy eyes and so he just wants a good snuggle with his dummy. That’s when I’ll usually take him myself a rock him to sleep pretty quickly. This is what then upsets Scott sometimes as it makes him feel like he was unable to settle him. Like Fletcher dislikes him or something… But that’s not the case. I can just instinctively tell what my baby wants and so I can generally calm him down quicker. This is why I’m a nightmare at getting involved, because I so badly want to help Scott without taking Fletcher off of him, so I’ll just sort of be a back seat driver. Guiding him from the sidelines. “He wants you to rock him Scott” “He needs to be held closer to your chest Scott” “He doesn’t like you staring at him Scott, make some shh sounds”. (When Fletcher is crying, Scott can sometimes go into panic mode and just silently stare at him like…waiting for him to stop – this just simply won’t help) I’m a bloody control freak, but I know what he needs, I can’t help it! I naturally want to calm my baby down as soon as possible, rather than painfully watch in silence. Scott told me off…so I’m learning to keep my mouth shut a little. Sort of.

— UPDATE: I have had this blog as a draft for a while and so just wanted to add in here that Scott no longer struggles to settle Fletcher. He’s totally got the nack now and it’s so lovely to watch because it’s now not just me that knows what our baby needs. Relief! Scott will also now do a day feed on weekends to give me a proper break, where I can just do something for myself or simply sit and not do a thing! —

Scott has a few important daddy duties which help him to bond with Fletch. Usually he will wind him for me after I’ve fed. He will also do the nappy changing during the evenings after he’s been at work. He also, as I said, does the night feed before bed. These small things all help them to bond, as if it was purely me doing all of it then it would definitely be difficult for Scott to settle him. It also does help Scott to learn what Fletcher wants. I think it’s good for us really. Once I’ve fed him then I can just hand him over to Scott and crack on with some house work, cooking tea, or eating the food or drinking my tea that’s gone cold on the edge of the sofa. Lush!

On a less naggy note, Scott is amazing with Fletcher to be honest. Despite the odd panic mode, he will 99% of the time know what he needs just like me. They have a lush bond, Fletch will settle well for him and knows the sound of his dad’s voice – in fact he finds daddy’s face particularly funny. Whether that’s because Scott did speak to my bump, I don’t know. They did skin to skin in the hospital which they say is really important to the bonding process. Generally Scott spent a lot of time with Fletcher in the first few weeks while he was off work and I’m so glad we had minimal visitors because this helped. I imagine as Fletch grows older he will idolize his dad. Scott now has no excuses when it comes to exercising with him due to his cystic fibrosis. We have to make sure our son gets into a sport… So I’m going to make that another duty for Daddy to be responsible for, considering I am the least sporty human being and there’s no chance you’ll catch me kicking a football about! I’ll do the mum duties of taking him swimming or watching him on a trampoline for hours on end, or just watch him play football from the sidelines – I’ll be his number one fan, it’s fine! So long as I got a flask of tea to keep me going!

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