‘Get all the sleep you can before baby arrives,’ you will undoubtedly hear whilst pregnant. And that is the only advice I believe is worth listening to, except you most certainly can’t sleep at all in those last weeks of pregnancy.

When you were younger, it was a badge of honour to say that you stayed out late and had a few hours sleep last night. Now, as a parent, you deserve a medal if you manage a few hours.

Sleep deprivation is real. At first, you think you’ll be alright, that you’ll survive, that you’ll get used to it. You probably will, but during a sleep regression you probably don’t feel like you will.

It goes a bit like this:

1 week old – Okay, let’s do this!

3 weeks old – Feeling quite tired, but it’s okay.

6 weeks old – Really feeling it now.

3 months old- Wow, I think I’m used to this.

4 months old – What is going on?!

Yep, the 4 month sleep regression. You’ve probably read about it- the mystical sleep regression- a developmental phase that occurs at certain points in your baby’s life, but you hope that it will magically miss your baby out… then BAM! It arrives out of nowhere.

In some babies, it’s probably hardly noticeable, but in most, you can’t help but notice the sudden change in pattern and wonder where on earth your baby has gone, whether it affects their daytime naps or sleep at night.

So expect to spend a while walking around like a ‘mombie’- you go through the daily motions but are not actually experiencing the day. That’s the only way I can describe sleep deprivation.

However, there’s lots of ‘advice’ out there that will try to make you feel like you’re doing something wrong if your baby doesn’t sleep. (How else would they make us feel guilty?!) I’m sure all parents have gone through it, without the help of a ‘sleep consultant’- I mean, what kind of job is that? Someone gets paid to tell us that we are doing something wrong and our baby needs ‘fixing’ so they sleep ‘through the night’. I’m sure our parents didn’t have these ‘experts’ to tell them what to do!

The ‘sleep consultants’ and ‘expert’ advice out there will probably tell you to:

  • Put baby down in their cot drowsy
  • Don’t let them get used to being held / rocked
  • Don’t feed them every time they wake
  • Pat and shush, then give them time to settle themselves.

They will probably charge you quite a bit of dosh for this ‘specialist’ advice too.

Looks good on paper, but are these ‘experts’ going through it right now? Probably not. And believe me, you will do anything for them to go back to their normal sleep pattern because you will inevitably end up putting washing in the bin, or milk in the cupboard. Expect to become pure evil when your baby hits a sleep regression. I most certainly am Jekyll and Hyde.

So my ‘advice’ is swaddle, shush, sway… if it helps and don’t you dare put them down until they are fast asleep! Just get through it however you can… and don’t waste your money on ‘expert’ advice.


Unsocial Media

Blame hormones, sleep deprivation or whatever, but some things on social media annoy me… particularly myself. Yep, I annoy myself. Mainly because I promised myself that I would never be one of these people that posts endless photos of their child, expecting others to feel the same way about them. But then I became a parent myself and posted more photos than I thought I would. Not endless ones, but probably enough baby spam to annoy someone out there. Oh well, there’s worse things on social media!

Also, when did social media become so unsocial? Perhaps hypocritically, I am a little unsocial on social media and picky when it comes to what I post. I do have a personal Facebook and Instagram account (as well as Mamasaurus87 on Twitter and Instagram), but I am careful when it comes to sharing photos of my family.

Social media: the good, the bad and the downright mad

Yep, it’s good to share photos with family and friends, share lighthearted stories and humorous anecdotes, etc, but not all parents are careful enough when it comes to security and child protection issues.

Just look at all the parenting bloggers out there sharing images of their family and details of their lives to thousands of strangers. You can’t be too careful!

However, my other argument is that people have free will and are entitled to share what they want. Some people do take this too far though! My theory is if I don’t want my child to see it in the future (for example, unnecessary pictures of poonamis) then I won’t post it. Plus, I only post personal photos on my personal accounts, where only people I know will see them.

Having said that, I have also come across quite a few ‘types’ on social media. Which one are you?

  • The ‘Tell Me I’m Pretty’ Mom:

Here’s an image of my super-flat (and filtered to death) stomach and here is a caption stating how ‘real’ my body is after having a baby and that I really should workout/eat healthily. Also, I literally just threw on ‘this old thing’ and haven’t washed my hair in weeks, but look how amazing I look.

  • The ‘Housewife Award’ Mom:

I have had so much time to bake these perfect cookies and here is a photo of my spotless living room, where my photoshopped child is reading, whilst enjoying my perfect cookies. By the way, there’s avocado and beetroot in them. And they’re gluten-free, even though I don’t even suffer from coeliac disease.

  • The ‘F*** This S***’ Mom:

Gah, I woke up late and shoved the kids in the car to take them to school… late. Now I’m sat at home watching Jeremy Kyle, enjoying this bottle of gin, but I need to do the ironing. I’m such a self-deprecating, ‘terrible’ mom, but you’re all going to tell me that it’s normal and that I’m doing a great job. Truth is, I only make it look like I’m this bad for the likes.

Ok, so maybe they are slightly exaggerated, but truth be told, there’s probably a little bit of them in all of us.

Despite the weirdos out there, social media can actually be a very positive thing if used carefully. For a start, Mamasaurus87 and other parenting bloggers/pages wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for social media; it really is lovely to see cute baby photos and ideas for activities and days out. It provides a platform for parents to interact, share advice (in a non-alpha mom way!) and perhaps is the only outlet some people have.

However, there is one type of social media mom I missed out. One that we can all relate to…

  • The ‘Proud’ Mom:

Sometimes I share too many photos of my kids, but it’s only because I love them. I may not be Insta-perfect, but I am perfect for my kids and they are perfect for me.

…Come on, you can’t argue with that one!

Sleeping Beauty

They say that when you leave the house with a baby it’s a ‘military operation’, but with all the equipment out there, I would say that bedtime is!

From swaddles to sleeping bags, thermometers to talking teddies (or a very famous sheep), there’s a crap load of stuff to buy for bedtime, but do you really need it all? The best thing we ever bought for bedtime was a 2-in-1 Grosnug (0-3 months), so our newborn could be swaddled and the right temperature, but then that was outgrown, so we bought a Grobag (0-6 months). We then discovered that they still needed to be swaddled to get a good night’s sleep, so we ended up buying a Swaddly arm swaddle as well! It really is a mine-field out there, with loads of companies claiming that their product can help your baby sleep, but these products, along with a Gro-egg (because the owl shell couldn’t be resisted) were the best things we bought. But don’t get me started on that bloody sheep.

It’s a fact of life that some babies sleep well and some don’t. Many mothers will queue up to ask you when your baby has ‘slept through the night’ and then go on to claim that theirs ‘slept through at 6 weeks old’. I have never heard such rubbish in my life (mainly because the baby must be starving!) By ‘sleep through’, do they literally mean their newborn baby (who is fed every 2-3 hours) slept from 7pm-7am? I doubt it! Do they actually mean one stretch of 5 or 7 hours? Or 20 minutes even?! So if anyone tells you this nonsense, just nod along… if a baby does sleep for a 7 hour stretch, there’s no guarantee they will the next night anyway!

First of all, when your baby is a newborn, you can forget ‘bedtime’ as they will pretty much fall asleep anytime, anywhere (except in the Moses basket at night, of course!) As the months go by, you can then begin to establish a bedtime routine. And this is when you find out that your calling in life is to become a ninja spy for MI6.

The reality is that there will be nights when baby is ready to go to bed at 5pm and falls asleep before you even get to the bedtime story! Other nights may include half an hour of rocking and shushing, until baby is fast asleep, but wide awake as soon as their head touches the mattress. And then there’s every single night, when you do ninja moves across the creaky floorboards, as if you are a contestant on The Crystal Maze… and end up brushing your teeth in the kitchen sink.

Whatever your baby does at bedtime, when they are (finally) lying there asleep, it’s certainly a moment to cherish.



I don’t like parenting blogs. There, I said it. Well, I certainly don’t like the ones that offer you advice or tips on how to be a parent. There’s more than enough out there and it’s certainly not doing any favours by reading them. They feed on our insecurities as a parent (because we all have them) and helps to breed the alpha-mom culture.

These are the people who will announce their weight loss / healthy recipe / how big their house is publicly and feel the need to tell you that Little Timmy has sat up today, or pooed up his own back. But does anyone actually need to know?

As I said in my very first blog post, I am definitely not qualified to tell people how to feed their baby, how to lose weight, how to exercise, how to keep the house clean, etc, etc. This is certainly not a ‘how to…’ blog. I just want to share some anecdotes and maybe reassure others that what they are doing is perfectly normal and that they don’t need to let strangers on the internet tell them what to do. The main reason this blog is anonymous is because it’s honest.

So today, I thought I’d share some thoughts on books and apps that I actually used during pregnancy and after, because some of the people who write them are more qualified than me, plus you can be assured that they aren’t written by alpha-moms.

Mamasaurus’ Top 5 Books / Apps:

5. What to Expect: The First Year (Heidi Murkoff)

I’ll be honest- I found this patronising at times and biased towards breastfeeding, but this book was quite useful in the early days as you can take a quick glance at the relevant parts. It’s broken down into sections which you can follow as baby grows. From newborn until age 1, it has practically everything in there, from development milestones to ideas for bonding with baby.

4. Pregnancy +

I loved this app when I was pregnant as it went through week-by-week of baby’s development (Ooh look, they’re a cantaloupe this week!) and there’s really useful articles that don’t patronise, from surviving morning sickness to what to expect at the first scan. However, the ‘follow-on’ Baby + app is a bit rubbish in comparison, unless you have time to track every feed and nappy change (not likely!). Also the articles on the Baby + app are a bit biased towards breastfeeding again, which is fine- just a bit presumptuous.

3. Bounty

Obviously it’s the ones all the midwives tell you to download and you get all the free stuff, but at times the articles make you feel like there is something wrong with you or your baby by almost giving you too much information! It’s got to be the most comprehensive guide for pregnancy and after I have ever seen! At times, I found it to be useful (more so during pregnancy) and I’m not going to say no to free stuff, even if I already have enough blimmin’ breast pads.

2. Commando Dad (Neil Sinclair)

Aimed at dads, but I loved this too! This was perfect for someone like me, who had never held a baby or changed a nappy in their life. It’s written by an ex-military dad, who likens having a baby to being in the army, but let’s face it, it is a military operation that requires preparation, organisation and a team effort! Absolutely brilliant.

1. How To Grow a Baby and Push it Out (Clemmie Hooper)

Written by a midwife and mother of four daughters, this was by far the best book I read during pregnancy. I like the no-nonsense approach, the step-by-step weeks and real birth anecdotes and it’s full of advice I actually wanted. Perfect for first-time mothers (and fathers) who want to know exactly what the title says!

So before you google ‘is this normal…?’ check out these books / apps that may answer your question and will save you scrolling through endless crap that will inevitably make you feel worse about life. Parenting is hard enough, without ‘Little Miss Tiny Waist’ telling you you’re doing it wrong. It’s okay to ask for help… if you ask the right people.

Baby’s Day Out


No, I’m not talking about the classic 90’s movie, starring Joe Mantegna, whereby a baby eludes his kidnappers after reading a book about a zoo, by crawling through a window and ending up in a gorilla’s cage at the zoo. (I mean, how unrealistic. These days, the baby would just call an Uber). I’m actually referring to the first day you are brave enough to take your brand new baby into the big, wide (and scary) world.

You may have spent months deliberating over a pushchair / pram and now you can’t wait to use it. So how on earth do you choose the right one, especially if you’re buying it before the baby arrives? Well, after ages pouring over fancy travel systems, ones with free car seats, ones with free cup holders and ones that fold up to the size of a handbag, we ended up buying any one that fitted into the car boot.

Travel systems: they look good on paper; you get a car seat that can just clip on and off, you can have it facing forwards or backwards and it is quite handy if you use the car a lot. However, I wanted to go for a walk, not a workout! Also, there was no way a travel system would fit in my Nissan Micra and I wasn’t prepared to buy a new car for the sake of a pushchair.

Being 5″ 1 and barely able to push a trolley around a supermarket, I wanted something I could see over the top of and something that would fit through narrow spaces. So in the end, we opted for a lightweight, easy-to-fold pushchair, rather than a futuristic, extravagant travel system. That way, it would last for years – it is suitable for a newborn baby and then converts into one suitable for a toddler. We didn’t get a free car seat, but I bought a car seat that will also last for years, through the different stages. Bonus – it actually fits into my car (if I take the wheels off), which is kind of the point.

Then the day arrived where it was time to venture into the big, wide world with our newborn. I was so nervous. She looked so tiny in the pushchair and the foot-muff was far too big. But in the end, we took little steps. The first step was learning how to unfold the pushchair (which is really easy to do now, but not at the time). The second step was to get out the front door.

Once out the door, thoughts ran a little like this: Oh my god, how much traffic is there?! That lorry is SO loud. That van got a bit close then. Why are there so many cracks in the pavement? I can’t believe how bumpy the footpaths are. What if it starts raining? Is she warm enough? Is the sun in her eyes? I never realised how steep this road was. Etc. Etc.

And while we felt like we were climbing Mount Everest, we took a peek at our newborn in the pushchair… and she’d slept through the whole thing.

So start small, then work your way up to longer walks. Three months on and we have been shopping many times, to restaurants, cafes, art galleries and friend’s houses. We even braved public transport. But I’m not planning a trip to the zoo any time soon.

The Baby Fog


Home sweet home. You have no idea what you’re doing now, but you made it! They don’t call it the ‘baby fog’ for no reason. The first 100 days after giving birth, a.k.a the ‘fourth trimester’ are a whirlwind of hormones and a sea of nappies. For me, it was all about learning to be a mom, whilst your baby gets to grips with the outside world.

Also, those first few weeks really are precious and here are a few things I wish I had known in advance:

  • Visitors – there are lots

Firstly, I wish someone had told me that people (family and friends- not just people off the street) will literally be queueing up to see your new baby. I knew there would be visitors, but the sheer volume was ridiculous and to be perfectly honest, I wish I’d have told them all to wait a few weeks! By the end of my husband’s paternity leave, I realised that we’d probably spent one day alone as a family. Surely Aunt Barbara and Uncle Stan, twice removed, can wait a few weeks to give you yet another pair of baby booties?

  • Midwives – some aren’t very good

I know that there are some visitors that can’t be avoided, such as midwives. I was told the midwife would visit the next day after coming out of hospital. Little did I know that the midwife would be (ahem) a little on the ‘large’ side. So much so, that she actually broke our bed when she asked to sit down. The other midwives that followed were quite memorable, including two that screamed the place down at the sight of my pet cat and one that thought my baby was a boy, despite the absolutely massive pink balloon floating around the room, with ‘baby girl’ strewn across it.

  • You as a mother – look after yourself

In those first few weeks, despite the endless stream of visitors and getting to grips with feeding and nappy changing, make sure you are looking after yourself as much as your baby. If there has to be visitors, get them to bring you a meal, or wash up! It’s only now when I look back that I realise how precious those first few weeks were. It was time we had together as a little family.

As time goes on, things change and thoughts may include:

  • I can’t remember the last time I slept.
  • I can’t remember the last time I showered.
  • I can’t remember the last time I ate.
  • When did I last see my husband?
  • When did I last see anyone?

OK, so maybe it was nice to have some visitors after all. Spend the ‘fourth trimester’ staring into your baby’s eyes and sniffing their head. Cherish every moment. They will soon be slamming doors, hiding in their room and screaming ‘I hate you!’ (maybe).

To bag or not to bag?

In a similar way to the birth itself, you can be really prepared with your hospital bag, but then none of it actually matters on the big day. Being the over-organised person I am, I had my hospital bags packed weeks in advance, about three copies of the birth plan printed and the car seat fitted, but half the stuff came home unused. (And I really don’t think spending a fortune in Asda helped… I don’t even like Lucozade and I still have cereal bars left.)

Nine hours after giving birth, I was still trapped in the delivery suite (although time went quickly). Then out of nowhere, Madge from ITV’s Benidorm (or it might have just been someone that looked very similar to her) turned up at the door and declared in a voice of someone who smokes 40-a-day (great for a maternity unit) that there was finally a bed for me in the post-natal ward. However, we thought we were going home, so this was a bit of a shock to say the least. Then ironically she wheeled me down to the ward (which was actually quite fun after 2 days of labour). My husband had to go and unpack the car again and bring the bags to the ward- there was a look of horror on ‘Madge’s’ face when he brought the bags up… as if I had everything but the kitchen sink.

So what was I meant to take? Lots of websites claim to have a good idea of what to pack in your hospital bag. I did follow one of these checklists and ended up having, not one, but three bags; one for each of us… and that wasn’t including the bag of drinks and snacks (which mostly ended up being untouched, as I was a little bit busy).

So here is one of those ‘hospital bag checklists’ I found (but I’ve edited it slightly!):

  • Birth plan and maternity notes – They obviously didn’t read the previous blog post! Of course, take a birth plan (or if like me, three copies) if it helps, but I doubt they will look at it! You definitely need your notes though.
  • Dressing gown- Despite ending up naked at the end, this was quite useful at the start of labour, I guess.
  • Old nightdress or T-shirt- I made a mistake with this. I bought a brand new, posh nightdress from Mothercare and it ended up getting ripped off when the straps got tangled in wires. I recommend something easy to take on and off! Also, I doubt that Lesley the midwife would think, ‘Ooh that’s a lovely matching nightdress and gown!” when she’s trying to get a baby out of you!
  • Massage oil or lotion – Haha!*
  • Birth ball – Hmm, I don’t recommend walking in with a big inflatable ball. You might be lucky enough to have one already at the hospital (if needed). The one I was blessed with was equivalent to a deflated football, so not very useful when you can’t get up off the floor. They clearly didn’t think that a pregnant women might want to use it.
  • Things to help you relax or pass the time, such as books, magazines, or a tablet computer – Err, I don’t think you are thinking about ‘passing the time’ – there are more important things you are doing! Also, for some reason, I didn’t fancy logging onto Facebook or e-mails!**

*I only laugh because I certainly didn’t have a day at the spa.

** You may get chance to do this – every birth is different!

Here’s my own (made-up) essentials list:

  • Maternity pads – You seriously can never have enough (depends on the type of birth, of course).
  • Baby milk and nappies– Whether you are planning to breastfeed or bottle-feed, definitely take baby milk in case things don’t go to plan. A perfect solution was the pre-sterilised, ready-made bottles – we got the C&G ‘Starter pack’ and the bottles were great for night-feeds in the early days when your newborn has little and often.
  • Camera – I had nine hours with my family, before transferring to the post-natal ward (alone – may I add – with newborn), so I captured as many moments as I could.
  • Chocolate – Just because it will be needed at some point.

Everyone is different and will want different things with them on the big day. So really, if you just pack everything, you won’t regret not taking it. Who cares what Madge thinks?! Plus, you can use it as an excuse to go shopping! (Just remember you are not going on a two-week cruise around the Caribbean… or Benidorm).