Current Favourites.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017
  
Current favourites.

If you read my post last week, Confessions Of A Sleep Deprived Mum, you will know that Teddy has recently gone back to sleeping like a new born. Having a three hour stretch from 8:30, then up every hour. (the past couple of nights have been a lot better, so I am hoping we are over the worse!)
I spent the days in a zombie-like state, struggling to find any motivation and praying for Teddy to have a decent nap so I could try & get some sleep with him. It never quite works out like that though does it?!

I soon found myself getting used to the lack of sleep and the days didn't seem so hard. I put that partly down to the fact that I would pass out at 8:30 as soon as he did, and also down to finding products, food or TV to get me through the day and help me feel a little more normal! I haven't done a wrap up on my favourite products in so long so I thought I would share with you, what I have been loving recently.

Botanics Radiant Youth Microdermabrasion Polish

I picked this up for £2 in my local Boots at the end of July. It was reduced due to the Botanics range having a rebranding! It's the exact same product with all the same ingredients, just a less fancy packaging. My skin has been somewhat neglected since Teddy arrived and become really dry and lack-lustre. I picked this product up on a whim, mainly due to it being reduced and with its promises of boosting your complexion & removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin, it sounded exactly like that I was looking for! I use this once a week in the shower, and I've noticed a huge difference in my skin. After using, my skin feels really plump and refreshed. The main exfoliator in this is pumice, which is from a volcano and used mainly on your feet. It is a natural substance and does not contain any parabens, which is great news for people with sensitive skin. The grains are really gritty and if you massage into the skin too harshly, it can make the skin quite sore. I apply a pea sized amount which is the perfect size to cover your whole face and mix with a tiny amount of warm water before very gently massaging into the skin, focusing on very dry area such as my forehead and around my nose.
 

Nivea Stress Protect 48hr Antiperspirant Deodorant;

Those of you who have had a baby will know the absolute JOY that is hot sweats, especially in the early days! The nights were the worse, but even during the day I would be hot all the time and literally living in vest tops & shorts and even then sometimes I was too bloody warm. No matter how many showers I had I still never quite felt clean or fully refreshed. This deodorant literally saved my life. It smells so good and fresh! Obviously now Teddy is three months old and the sweats have disappeared but I still use this religiously everyday. With a new baby the days of leisurely, daily showers are over so this tides me over until Aaron is home from work and I can take a quick five minute shower.

M&S American Style Triple Belgian Chocolate Giant Cookies;

These cookies are by far the greatest cookies I have ever eaten! They have gotten me through MANY a night feed. They are so soft and chewy, which is exactly what I like in a cookie. You get four in a packet which, if you ask me, just isn't enough! I can't even tell you the amount of times I've eaten all four in one sitting. I have no shame. Breastfeeding is bloody hungry work and also, knowing you have a huge delicious cookie waiting for you, during the night feeds makes them a little more enjoyable.

Netflix/Amazon Prime;

I have a new found love for streaming TV & films! Especially, yet again, during those first couple of weeks when you are too scared to leave the house! It also helped me a lot through the night feeds in the beginning, as Teddy would be feeding for HOURS. Literally. Sure, some of the films are cheesy as fuck and nothing to shout home about, but sometimes that's exactly what you need. A mind numbing, cheesy rom-com.
   

The Wonder Weeks App/Book;

This book is a must for new parents! I didn't realise that babies go through developmental leaps, where they are learning new things and discovering more about the world around them. I know exactly when Teddy is approaching a leap, without even checking the app. His behaviour changes so much; he won't be put down, cries more often and just really cranky. You can set the app so it sends you a notification when a 'stormy period' is due! The app is brilliant to check on the go and for simple bullet points for each leap, but if you want more detailed information about why they go through each leap and what they are possibly learning, then you should definitely invest in the book version! I have the e-book so can read it in the night on my phone.

Wet Brush;

This brush is one of the best inventions! After my five minute shower, I no longer have time to sit and blow dry my hair so as soon as I am dry, I literally shove it in a top knot where it stays for a few days until I have time to wash it again! As my hair is so thick and curly, this results in it drying in a knotted mess! The wet brush has literally made it so much easier for me to brush the knots out and gain some sort of control over my hair. The brush stimulates circulation at the follicle due to its unique bristles which gently massage the scalp and distributes natural oils through the hair.

Primark Nail Varnish;

90p for a bloody nail varnish!! 90p! You'd expect them to be pretty crap for that price but they are surprisingly really good! I painted my nails last week and they've only just started noticeably chipping. I obviously apply two coats and a special formulated top coat polish so that probably helps but for 90p, you really can't complain! They have a whole host of colours ranging from bright pinks to moss greens!

What have you been loving recently? Is there anything in particular that has stood out to you this month?
    
   

Lessons I Have Learnt Since Becoming A Parent | Guest Blogger Series | Dadtastic Voyage

Monday, August 28, 2017
   


"I’m Carl, a thirty-something, happily married guy, who blogs as The Dadtastic Voyage. Living in West Yorkshire with the missus (Rachel), two daughters (Olivia and Robyn) and two Zuchon puppies (Joey and Phoebe). I started this blog to share my experiences, learnings, failings and random thoughts about being a Dad. This is partly to document our lives, partly to give a Dad’s perspective on being a parent but mainly to keep me out of trouble…
The Dadtastic Voyage blog chronicles my experiences as a Dad to my two awesome daughters. It all started in 2015 when the missus went back to work and my life as a stay-at-home Dad in a very mummy-focused world of parenting began.

Lessons I Have Learnt Since Becoming A Daddy

  • Parenting isn't something you can prepare for! No amount of self-help books and classes can ready you for the real deal.
  • It's okay to be without your kids. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
  • Cbeebies is a revelation! So you can get something done without a toddler hanging off your ankles.
  • Baby wipes are life! Never leave the house without them, no matter what. Just don't do it!
  • I really need coffee.

    Is Parenting Different Than You Imagined?

I never thought I could love anything as much as I love my girls. When parents used to say they’d do anything for their children, I used to take it with a pinch of salt. But now that I have my own, I completely understand what they meant. All the things I thought would be good and exciting about being a parent are a million times better than I could have imagined. However, I never really understood how 24/7 parenting was, and how about one millionth of that time I would actually spend having a decent solid sleep. Sleep was definitely the thing I took for granted when I wasn’t a parent
and I’m slowly but surely ticking off the years until I can sleep for as long and deeply as I want again…at least 10 more to go! If I could do it all again, I would try to appreciate my time a little bit more. I’d try to have more patience. I’d try to let Olivia try things, even if they she makes a mess, just as long as she’s safe and happy.



Social Media Links;

Finding The Balance.

Sunday, August 27, 2017
 

Trying To Find The Balance


Before being a mother, I thought I had my shit together. I worked full-time, took care of my mental, physical and emotional health, had a active social life and looked after our home. My blog had taken a back seat but that was through personal choice. I was fine. I had everything under control.

Then I became a mother.

My whole life was flipped upside down and completely on its head. Like it had taken a seat on the teacups at the theme park, and you'd forgotten to fasten yourself in before the ride started.

This small person suddenly arrives in the world and as much as you think you have everything ready and you've prepared yourself for this whole new life, nothing can actually prepare you for what is about to happen and how much everything is about to change.

The struggles of motherhood are suddenly thrown into everything else you're trying to keep a grip of. We'll wake up and start our day, and before I know it it's bedtime and I haven't even found the time to get changed out of my pyjamas. You are stuck in this loop of looking after a baby-making sure the cats are alive and well- tidying the house. It's so exhausting and some days the pressure is all too much and you struggle to take a breath.

It all becomes a bit too much and you crumble. I've lost count of how many times I've had some sort of meltdown or stressed at Aaron because i'm losing a grip of everything I am. Everything I was before I became a mum.

There are so many pressures coming from all aspects of your life; a career, keeping on top of house work, running a blog and constantly comparing yourself to others. Then all of a sudden throw motherhood into that! I didn't realise the amount of scrutiny that would come with being a mum.

"Her child sleeps more than mine, am I doing something wrong?"
"My baby won't self-soothe and won't be put down, but theirs will."
"Am I spending enough time helping my baby to grow and develop?"
"She always has her hair and makeup done on Instagram and I still haven't eaten, never-mind looked in the mirror?"

Teddy is only three months old and as quickly as that has gone & how much he has grown, we are still in the really early days and I know eventually we'll find our feet and i'll finally get some me time back again. Even if it is only 20 minutes to paint my nails or read a book. Something that makes me feel more like myself.

There are days where I love my life, the night feeds aren't so tough and Teddy could scream for hours on end, and I'll just take it in my stride. Aaron will finish work and i'll enjoy a nice fifteen minute shower, apply a face mask and feel like a new woman.

Those days are few and far between. I need to realise that as much as I am a mother (and I do love it more than anything else in the world), I am just as much 'Me' as I was before. Both are equally important. I can't give Teddy 100%, if I don't take care of me first.

It's just remembering that, that is okay. It doesn't make me a bad person or any less of a brilliant mum. It just means trying to find the balance.

I am writing this post as a reminder to myself that I am enough. Whether I have left Teddy on his play mat for five minutes too long- just so I can have a drink and take a breath. Whether a blog post that I need to write, sits forgotten about for a few days because I wanted to sit and watch crap reality TV instead. I am doing the best I can. It's not a bad thing to take a step back and just be.


  

Three Top Tips For Tummy Time Success: Guest Post by Ami Elizabeth

Friday, August 25, 2017
   

Hiya! I'm Ami and I am a lifestyle & family blogger over at Ami Elizabeth. My daughter Florence was born in May of this year and I am loving every moment of motherhood. I am so excited to be blog swapping with Rachael today and hope that you enjoy my top tips for tummy time. 

If you're anything like me, now that you're a mama there are three questions people ask about your baby wherever you go. Be it by a midwife, doctor or health visitor or even a fellow new Mama, I'm always asked 'Does she sleep well?', 'How's she feeding?' and 'How is Tummy Time going?' The latter used to fill me with dread. I will be honest, in those first hazy baby days tummy time was the last thing on my mind. I was too busy concentrating on how many ounces Florence was taking, what colour her poo was and basically just staring at the tiny little miracle cuddled in my arms. After the first few weeks though, once the new Mama fog had lifted I started to look at ways to introduce Tummy Time regularly into our day to day. Until recently, Florence wasn't at all keen on being belly down, and let's not go into the tantrums she had when we tried doing it on a flat surface! 

You're probably doing Tummy Time without even realising:

This is one of the only helpful things my Health Visitor actually told me - Every time you place your baby over your shoulder or lap to wind her, she is encouraged to use those important neck and core muscles. On Florence's second day as we were waiting to come home from the hospital she was moving her head back and forth (while being supported of course!) and pushing off of my chest while I was cuddling her. So much so that she reminded me of a little mini headbanger! Likewise, baby wearing also counts at tummy time, so any time you're heading out with your baby in her carrier or sling you're getting a good healthy spot of Tummy Time. Both are gentle introductions to Tummy Time that you don't really even have to think about!  


Timing is key:

Like most things with babies, you have to pick your moments when it comes to Tummy Time practice! Choose a time in the day when your baby is at her happiest and most awake to get in some all important belly down play. This way she'll be less likely to get worn out quickly or get grizzly after only a few seconds. Another thing to think about is how long you're doing it for -  short and sharp bursts are all your baby needs to get started with tummy time and as time goes on and baby gets happier on her belly you can increase the time more and more. 

Make it a part of your day to day:

Now I know not everyone has a routine with their baby early on, but there are plenty of times throughout the day where we incorporate Tummy  Time into our day to day. For example, Florence loves to look at herself in the mirror while I'm doing my make up so I pop a pillow in front of the mirror and prop her up on her belly so she can chat away to herself. I'm just next to her so I can keep an eye and yet I can still get on with what I need to do too! 


I've shared three more top tips for tummy time success here and if you'd like to see more baby play ideas you can follow my series here. 

  

Confessions Of A Sleep Deprived Mum.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017
   confessions of a sleep deprived mum

Sleep Deprivation:

Bringing up a baby is tiring. There's no two ways about it, I don't think I've ever been so tired. Teddy is currently in the midst of his fourth developmental leap and my god, don't we know it. From about 4pm, he is really unsettled and just whinges for no apparent reason, until his bath time. He'll then fall asleep fine, before waking up not even two hours later for his first feed and then he's awake every hour after that.

If you follow me on Twitter (Rchi_B) or Instagram (fromrachael_claire), you'll be able to witness my middle of the night meltdowns and ramblings, wondering you can actually die from lack of sleep. Dramatic I know, but when you've been awake for three hours with a crying baby who will only sleep on your chest whilst you're walking around your pitch-black bedroom, it does cross your mind.

It's so hard not to feel frustrated and wondering what the fuck is wrong with your child. He's had his bum changed, he's been fed & winded. I swear, you can never go wrong when offering your child the boob, so when even that fails. You honestly don't know what to do next. Boob always works, WHY ISN'T THE BOOB WORKING?! As you look at your baby like they have six heads.

Aaron was working the late last night and I did the bedtime routine alone, which I've done many a time before and usually we are fine. However last night, Teddy was completely on one! He wouldn't feed at all, screaming whenever I tried to latch him on but trying to latch himself on at the same time!

At one point, I honestly thought about packing a bag and walking out. Leaving a note for Aaron, stuck to Teddy's baby-grow saying "cya in a bit bitches, Mama is off to get some sleep!!"
There is this internal rage you feel as a mother, it's like nothing else you've felt. You've done everything you can to soothe them, so when they are still crying right down your ear-hole. You find yourself whispering about what an absolute twat they are, in a sweet voice that is saved just for your baby. All the whilst rubbing their back gently with tears in your eyes.

Of course we all love our children and we'd do anything for them. But there is this huge pressure with being a mother to make out like everything is perfect. Your child is perfect, you have your shit together 100% of the time and your house looks like something out of Ideal Home magazine. Who is to blame for that? Society? Social media? Yourself?

I think they all play a part! Books tell you how your child should be sleeping by a certain age, there is that perfect mother on Instagram whose child sleeps all night and never cries...

I need to stop comparing myself to all the other people out there and what THEIR babies are doing. It's so easy to fall into the trap of believing everything you see on social media. People post pictures of their seemingly perfect lives with their babies that sleep through for 10 hours at night and never cry. However they never let you in on the 'behind-the-scenes'. They never tell you about that one 'off' night their baby had where they cried for hours and wouldn't settle.

The lesson there is remembering..don't believe everything you see online! Side note: Also don't go browsing through Instagram in the middle of the night when you are feeling at your lowest, because you will contemplate throwing yourself out the window, reading about perfect routines and sleep patterns.

I am learning to enjoy this time. Soon he won't be snuggling into my chest in the night, seeing his little milk drunk smiles and hearing his giggle at 3am. Before I know it he will be a boy who loves his independence and won't need his mummy to help him sleep...

To all the mamas whose babies aren't sleeping and are powering through..I salute you. We have to remember that this will not last forever. I mean, it can't possibly..right?

To all the mamas whose babies could sleep through a hurricane..screw you. 

Lessons We Have Learnt Since Becoming Parents | Guest Blogger Series | 2 Nerds & A Baby.

Monday, August 21, 2017
    

We are Adam and Eileen, young parents from Ireland, with a 6 month old baby boy named Oscar. We run 2 Nerds and a baby as a couple, across Instagram (@2nerdsandababy), twitter (@2nerdsandababy) and our blog (2nerdsandababy.com)

I feel like many parents portray an image of having their shit together all the time but being a parent is fucking hard, you don’t always know what to do, it’s not always fun, some things will drive you crazy or piss you off or break your heart or start world war three between you and your significant other. 
We didn’t exactly plan on becoming parents at 22 but we spent every second from the moment we found out I was pregnant until Oscar was born trying to prepare, oh how naive we were! If we could go back in time we wouldn’t put so much pressure on ourselves to be ready. It’s hard, it tests your strength as individuals and as a couple. It’s tough to work as a team when the baby wakes up screaming for no apparent reason at 4am, it’s hard not to say “You haven’t done (whatever baby related task) in ages” just because you’re exhausted. Seeing the person you love be a great parent to the person you adore is amazing though!

    


10 Lessons Learnt Since Becoming Parents

  1. You can’t prepare to be a parent read all the books you want you’ll still be like what the fuck is going on at some stage!
  2. Patience, patience, patience (with each other especially) still haven’t mastered this part completely, especially when one of us is noisy when Oscars sleeping…
  3. You will argue in a baby voice – “Did mammy put your nappy on too loose?” “Is daddy so slow?”
  4. It doesn’t all come naturally it’s all a learning experience, but trust yourself!
  5. Cutting a baby’s fingernails is fucking terrifying, there is no room for error.
  6. Date night is important – refresh and return a better parent, take a break from the screaming and take time to be more than parents
  7. Never run out of baby wipes seriously, always have at least 10 packs around the house
  8. You will ask a screaming baby why they are screaming they won’t answer you but you’ll feel less crazy than internally screaming 
  9. Babies are not just babies they are mini people they have huge personalities from the get go
  10. Even when the baby sleeps through the night you still don’t get sleep you’ll wake just to check they’re still breathing or to see them.
Bonus thing we’ve learned – single parents are superheroes!

  



If you have a baby you know these things too and even if you haven’t had a baby and are planning/expecting I promise there will be things you had no idea about too. It’s the most challenging job in the world but the small things feel like the biggest rewards. 



Teddy's Three Month Update.

Friday, August 18, 2017
    
Baby Three Month Update


I can't believe I have a three month old! I honestly can't get over how quickly time goes when you have a baby. I am so glad I take pictures everyday because blink, and you miss something. I always find myself spending five or ten minutes every night looking back through all his pictures and forgetting he was ever as small as he was, when he was born.

My Daily Routine With A Three Month Old.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017
   
my daily routine with a three month old.

When you are pregnant, people tell you that you won't ever have a minute to yourself and your whole day will revolve around your baby. Naively I thought, HOW?! They are tiny and don't they sleep all the time? Little did I know that when they say babies sleep all the time, it means ON YOU, attached to either your boob or your lap! I have to save my two minute showers for when Aaron is home, I have to read my books during the night feed on my kindle and you have to learn to eat with one hand at the speed of a rabid dog.

Teddy is now thirteen weeks old and I feel like, finally, we have found our feet and got ourselves into the swing of things. Our day-to-day life depends on whether we have any plans or not & whether Aaron is off work. I thought we would share our daily routine if we are just having a Mummy & Teddy day. We don't have a strict routine with Teddy and I don't believe you should force your baby into one, if it doesn't happen naturally! Babies know exactly what they want and when so just roll with it!

We usually wake up around 8/8:30a.m *woohoo*, that is after being up two/three times in the night, so we deserve a little lie in. We have a snuggle & feed in bed and a little chat about what we'll be doing that day, or reading a book. I then put him on his changing mat and strip him right down, giving him 10 minutes of nappy free time. My kid loves being bollock naked! I use this time to get myself dressed and ready, by dressed I mean in clean comfy clothes! I have ten minutes people, time is of the essence.

I then usually give Teddy a quick wipe over and get him dressed for the day, usually in a lovely, snuggly baby grow, before we head downstairs. When we get downstairs I will usually put him in his rocker and put children's tv on, I know bad mum alert but it's the only chance I get to eat my breakfast and give the kitchen & living room a quick clean. Needs must and all that. We'll then usually have some time on his play mat, playing with his toys or having tummy time. He actually hates tummy time when we do it on the floor, he prefers to do it when we are holding him, or he is lay on us!

   

Around 11:30/12 he is ready for another feed and a nap! It is anyone's guess how long the nap will last though, it depends what mood he is in. It can last anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. I usually spend this time trying to grab some quick snacks and a drink before he wakes up.

Once he is awake and we've changed his bum, we will sometimes head out for a walk to meet Aaron after work, who usually finishes work around 2o'clock. It's so important to get out and get some fresh air! In the first few weeks I never left the house alone because I was absolutely terrified that something would go wrong. Almost 13 weeks in and I've finally got the hang of it, it still takes about an hour to actually leave the house, but we manage to get out eventually!

Once we are all home, Aaron will usually entertain Teddy whilst I try and write some blog posts or have a shower before we all snuggle up and watch TV or play with Teddy on his mat. After our tea, which is more often than not eaten one handed, passing him between us trying to eat as quickly as we can, we will head upstairs ready to give Teddy his bath. This usually happens at 8pm as he has his last feed at 9pm, ready for bed. We like to both go upstairs and give him a bath before enjoying some baby massage. Teddy absolutely LOVES bath time, he is such a water baby. Again, I think it's because he loves being naked! Such a lad...

   

We get into bed for 9 at the latest, where Teddy has his last feed and I will either read on my kindle or catch up on some blogs & youtube videos. 9 times out of 10 he is usually out for the count at 10pm and i'll put him into his crib where he'll sleep soundly for around 4/5 hour, before waking for his next feed.

When I am in bed ready to go to sleep and I am looking back on the day, I feel like I've hardly done anything and worry that i'm not doing enough for Teddy. The feeling of mum guilt is so real and some days it can really overwhelm me.

I remember the days leading up to when Aaron had to go back to work after his paternity and I felt physically sick. I felt like I wouldn't be able to cope on my own and counted down the hours until Aaron came home. Luckily after 4 or 5 weeks, that feeling passed and it was nice to spend time just me & Teddy. Whether it was chilling at home, or going out for the day shopping. As much as I struggled in the first few weeks, I am already dreading the day when I have to go back to work and leave Teddy with somebody else. I am trying to make the most of everyday as you'll never get this time back again. Time is so precious with your baby, I feel like it was only two minutes ago that he was born and now he's three months old!


Lessons I Have Learnt Since Becoming A Mummy | Guest Blogger Series | Me, Him, The Dog & A Baby.

Monday, August 14, 2017
  

lessons I have learnt since becoming a mummy


   I’m Lyndsey, I’m 31 and I live in Middle of Nowhere, Norfolk! I live with my husband John and daughter Erin. John works for our local council where he has been for the past 16 years and I have just gone self-employed!
From being pregnant to Erin's birth and then to being a parent, this is not what I imaged it to be at all! I didn't enjoy pregnancy whatsoever and Erin's arrival was not at all what I expected. I ended up being induced and she was born early at 36+4 and on New Year's Day! There is so much that I have learned since becoming a parent, here are 5 of them!

  


Things I Have Learnt Since Becoming A Mummy


Breastfeeding isn't everything- Erin's birth was extremely traumatic. I was induced and ended up with an emergency section which resulted in Erin getting stuck. After putting me back together I got sepsis and e-coli. Recovery was long and I was in hospital for 2 weeks because I had to have surgery again after 7 days.

Being as ill as I was, breastfeeding didn't go to plan. I tried and tried for days and got myself so stressed and upset because I couldn't do it. I felt like a failure. My husband was so supportive and encouraged me to swap to bottle feeding to help us all. I learned it's okay not to breastfeed, for whatever reason.

It's okay to have questions-
For some reason, I sort of felt like as soon as Erin was born I was supposed to know what to do about everything. I must have spent so long on Google for so many different things.

Accidents happen- I dropped Erin was she was only a few weeks old. It was only from a short height after getting out of the bath but I was still recovering from surgery and I slipped. Erin was totally fine and got over it really quickly.

At the beginning of the year Erin tripped in the living room and cut her head open on the fireplace. I felt so much guilt because I was with her when it happened. We had to go in an ambulance and have her head glued together. I was so much more upset than she was!

The thing is, you can't wrap your children in cotton wool. I've come to terms with the fact that Erin will get bumps and bruises and I can't stop that!

Parenting is not natural- I don't think parenting has ever really felt completely natural to me. You know when you tell people you're pregnant and they give you the 'Oh, you'll be a natural' reply? Well, I think they all lie.

Being a non parent is not even close to being the same as being a parent. Your whole life changes and you have to think about everything differently. What part of that is natural?

My child is awesome-
Okay, so I know everyone will say this about their children and it is, of course, true! I guess with this I have learned to let emotions in that I wasn't prepared for. Before I became a parent I wasn't prepared to feel the joy, love and be as proud of my girl as I am. I have learned to see how amazing the little things are, like her learning how to howl at the sky like a wolf. I have learned that in my eyes, everything Erin does is amazing and I am so proud of every single thing she does.

  


Is Being A Parent Different Than How You Imagined?

Since becoming a parent, my whole life has changed and that's exactly how it should be. However, parenting has not been an easy transition for me. Nothing has ever really felt natural for me and I struggled with this. I struggled so much that, along with other reasons, I suffer from PND. Erin and I have had a rough journey together so far but I actually wouldn't change that for the world. I think that the things I have learned so far, and the experiences we have had, have made me who I am today. I am stronger because of all of this now.

I have learned so much in 19 months and I will only continue to learn more.

You can find Lyndsey Here-

How We Stopped Co-Sleeping | Purflo Breathable Nest.

Friday, August 11, 2017
    
Purflo Breathable Nest


Before Teddy arrived I naively thought that babies slept wherever they were put. Moses baskets, cots, cribs..I just presumed that with the whole 'all babies do is sleep' statement, that meant that they would sleep anywhere. Oh how wrong was I! From not sleeping at all unless in my arms, to co-sleeping next to me, to FINALLY settling in his crib. All thanks to the Purflo Breathable Nest.

The two nights we spent in the hospital, he slept happily in his little rocking crib they provide, swaddled up nice & cosy. Easy, I thought, when we get home he'll sleep in his moses basket downstairs and his crib upstairs, in our room. Silly Mummy. I tried every night for two weeks to get him to sleep in his crib or moses basket at night and he was just not having it. He would fall asleep on me after feeding, but as soon as we tried putting him down he would throw himself awake and scream bloody murder. He fed & cried constantly until around 4 or 5 in the morning, where he would pass out in our bed for a few hours. We walked around the house, swaddled him, played white noise.. you name it, we tried it. Some nights I would go downstairs with him and watch telly in the dark whilst trying not to nod off, just so at least Aaron could get some sleep. I didn't see the point in us both being exhausted and since I was (and still am) exclusively breastfeeding it was pretty much all down to me.

  



We ended up doing the one thing I never thought I would, and that is co-sleeping. It was literally the only way any of us could get any sleep. It worked an absolute dream! I could lie us both down and feed him whilst we slept. I know they don't recommend co-sleeping, but I honestly believe if you make sure you do it as safely as possible, then it is whatever works best for you and baby. Teddy was perfectly happy and so was I. However I knew I couldn't carry on forever and was looking for any solutions I could find to get him to sleep in his crib! I was tempted to buy the sleepyhead that everyone raves about but after reading some reviews online and seeing lots of comments about how quickly they outgrow them considering how damn expensive they are, I just couldn't warrant paying all that money for something that would last two minutes. 

I saw someone on Twitter talking about the Purflo Breathable Nest being a cheaper alternative to the Sleepyhead and it instantly caught my attention. I headed to google and spotted it available on Superdrug for £49.99 and thought it was a bargain compared to the Sleepyhead so instantly picked it up. It is also available at Mothercare & on Amazon, although Superdrug is the cheapest place I have found it so far. The Purflo is designed to have Amicor Pure filling it its bumper as it is naturally breathable and also anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and reduces the risk of dust mites, all of which are known to aggravate infant allergies, such as childhood asthma and eczema.

I didn't want to do too much too quick at night time so I started by placing him in his nest, inside his crib for 5-10 minutes during the day whilst I was getting ready, brushing my teeth ect and he seemed really happy! One night he fell asleep downstairs (which rarely happens just before bedtime) so we placed him sleeping, in his crib with his nest and he slept for an hour! It may not sound like a lot, but it was definite progress. Baby steps people.

The next night he had his usual big night-time feed 9 until 10, and I placed him in his crib asleep & he lasted three hours before waking up for his first feed! I could have cried I was so happy. Once he had his feed, he wouldn't go back in his crib so I put him in bed with us, still feeling like we had accomplished something by him doing that first stretch in his nest. The next night we put him in again after his feed and he went from 10pm until 3:30! I kept waking up making sure he was still breathing! After his feed, I waited half an hour to make sure he was in a deep sleep and put him back in his crib where slept until 6am. It's been that way ever since!! He does two stretches in his crib and then comes in bed with us for a couple of hours. We will start putting him back in for the third stretch & persevere so he does even longer in his crib. I feel like we've made some amazing progress though!



I was really worried that we had 'made a rod for our own back', as people kept telling me *eye roll*, but we've managed to crack it ourselves and we still got to enjoy 6 or 7 weeks of co-sleeping, which some nights I do really miss! I'm so glad we opted for the Purflo rather than the Sleepyhead as it's more breathable and I feel a lot happier knowing that if he ever DID roll onto his tummy when he gets bigger, he can still breathe through the small anti-bacterial 3D mesh. I absolutely loved co-sleeping and can see us doing it with our next baby as well, it made those first few weeks so much easier.

I honestly can't recommend these enough! I still think we'd be co-sleeping all night if we hadn't picked up the Purflo. When Teddy is bigger and goes in his own room with his cot-bed, we will transfer his nest into there, so he has something similar and feels really snug and secure. I dread the day he outgrows it and I really hope that the people at Purflo bring out a larger option!

Did you co-sleep with your baby? What do you use to help your baby get a better nights sleep?

My Perfume Collection.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017
   
2017 perfume collection

    

When it comes to perfume, I am a bit of a scent slut. Slutty in the sense that I don't like one particular type of fragrance. I like lots of different ones, depending on my mood. I like fruity, citrus, floral, sweet and slightly harsher perfumes, it really is just a case of what I fancy at the time.

My go to and all time favourite scent is definitely Alien by Mugler! It is such a signature scent that I know instantly as soon as I smell it. It's also the one that I get the most compliments on when I am wearing it. It is definitely a acquired taste I would say as it is quite strong and I know it can give some people (aka my sister) a slight headache. It was the first higher end perfume I was bought and I think that is why it has such a special place in my fragrance collection. It is definitely one that I will purchase again & again. The bottle is also absolutely beautiful and so different to anything else on the scene. When you first apply it you definitely get the smell of the jasmine and it comes through quite strong, but it soon settles down and blends well with the amber. I always feel really kick ass and good about myself when I wear this.

   
mugler alien perfume review

Next paradise perfume review

Next do the most gorgeous perfumes and they are such a bargain. Paradise is a really light, fruity scent that is perfect for summer. How gorgeous is the bottle?! So bright and tropical. This 100ml perfume only cost me a mere £12, and the 200ml bottle is only £20. You'll be able to treat yourself to a beautiful scent without spending a fortune. If you love the Coco Chanel Mademoiselle perfume then Next's Eau Nude is the perfume for you, it is a perfect dupe for a fraction of the price! I really wanted to by the Chanel but just couldn't warrant spending that much on a perfume without selling an organ. So when I researched alternatives, Eau Nude instantly came up as a firm favourite.

Zoella beauty jelly and gelato body mist
Another high end perfume I love is Jimmy Choo Eau De Toilette. I picked this up in Duty Free last year just before my Sister's wedding in Cyprus so it's a really special perfume that reminds me of an amazing holiday with my family. It's the perfect mix of femininity and floral scents with a fruity centre. It smells really fresh and light, the only downfall is that the scent doesn't last long when wearing it and needs to be reapplied if you want it to last throughout the day or night. I've heard some people say that it lasted all day for them, just on one application so it might totally depend on each individual. 

The most recent addition to my collection is the Zoella Beauty Gelat'eau body mist. I have to admit it was the packaging that suckered me into this purchase! The glass bottle and the pastel coloured design was just too much for me to ignore and I instantly picked up a bottle upon release. I have to admit, it's a strange scent that I really don't think will be for everyone. it is ridiculously sweet, which I think is the idea with it being a jelly & gelato based range, but it's actually quite sickly. One thing I do really like (other than the packaging) is the fact that it isn't anything I have ever smelt before and once you get past the initial sickly, sweet notes. It is actually a really nice fragrance that has really good lasting power! It is definitely a summer scent.


Honourable mentions go to Victor&Rolf FlowerBomb Eau De Parfum and Marc Jacobs Daisy & Daisy Dream!

I'd love to know your favourite perfumes! Which fragrance do you always reach for? Do you have any of the ones I've listed above?

Lessons I Have Learnt Since Becoming A Mummy | Guest Blogger Series | Jenni Of Wonderland

Monday, August 07, 2017
  



Hey everyone, I'm Jenni from the blog Jenni Of Wonderland and I'm mummy to Zachary who is now just over 3 months old! We are from Bedfordshire.


10 Things I've Learnt Since Becoming A Mummy

Feeling out of your depth is normal
Your emotions will be all over the place and your hormones will be too and it's completely normal. Remember you've just given birth, it can be the most traumatic moment of your life. I felt like this in the first month of Zach being born. Nevertheless, the feeling of everything is out of my depth will soon pass. And if it doesn't pass then talk to your GP for advice and support.

Embrace your body
After having Zach via c section I felt really self conscious about my body. I instantly hated it, I had that horrible pouchy apron thing going on and i would glare at myself in the mirror every day despising it all. None of my clothes fit me including my maternity wear and I felt fustrated. My hubby had to remind me every time he caught me hating myself in the mirror that I have just had a baby. It took me a good two months, to stop my self hatred and to embrace myself. Your body has done something spectacular, it has looked after your baby for nine months! So my motto for all mums with saggy tums is this; nine months up, nine months down.  

You will be so organised
I never was before Zach. I now love my diary, and I even make lists. Everything is scheduled to make things a lot easier and to get out the house on time or do anything really. But most of all so I don't forget. This helps with getting the baby changing bag ready the night before with bottles for feeding. Seeing what appointments for Zach he has each week. It also helps me with getting up in the morning and getting ready. Way before Zach wakes up. 

Not dressed before Midday?
Don't sweat. Its ok to spend the morning in your pjs with messy hair and smelling of sick and poo. Millions of mummy's are right there with you.

Breastfeeding is hard work
Whether you are able to breastfeed or not and depending on your breastfeeding journey, at some point it was or is bloody hard work. Not only are you learning yourself on how to do it, so is your baby. They can have trouble latching on and once they do latch it an be for hours! Breastfeeding isn't easy, it takes time, effort and dedication and that's if you're lucky to do so anyway. 

Be kind to yourself
Don't put too much pressure on yourself to be the 'perfect' mamma. There isn't such a thing and it took me a while to accept that. There's so much pressure to be a super mum in todays society. The house has to be clean, you have to be well presented and immaculate and make sure baby is this and that before they can even walk etc. Just stop, put down that hoover or makeup brush and look after baby with a messy bun that hasn't been washed for days. It can all wait.

Beware the poonami
It can happen at any time and any place. It will go everywhere, even on you! Don't forget to pack a couple of spare outfits for baby and nappy bags to put dirty clothes in.

Mummy's lie
It's the truth and it's ok. This can be on anything. Every mum gets asked "So does your baby let you sleep?" It's annoying. But I say no all the time. My son sleeps through the night and has done since one and half months. Do I tell other mummy's this? Until now, no I haven't. Because I'm very lucky to have the luxury of nine hours uninterrupted sleep every night. Also it would make other mums who are up all night, feel like shit and question themselves and their babies. 

No one knows what they are doing
Absolutely no one. Every new mum is in the same boat and every baby is different. You will question everything! That's fine, that's how it should be because that's how we learn. Believe it or not our baby's will guide us and they are the ones who are teaching us in knowing what they want. Just remember, you are doing an amazing job.


  




Is parenthood different to how you imagined?

Of course. When I was a little girl I was given a baby newborn doll for my birthday and that was when my desire of becoming a mummy began. Everywhere you look, parenting is made to look easy and fun all the time. I truly had no idea of what I was getting myself into, I thought it would be a walk in the park. How wrong was I? 

Parenting is the hardest job in the world and you're constantly learning. No one talks about the nitty gritty part of parenting and I wish people did. I've had more down days then up since Zach was born. The first month I felt like a feeding station, every half hour of every day I breastfed and I thought it was normal, because that's what babies do. Zach had at least ten pooey nappies a day and I thought that's what babies do also. I hardly slept or showered. All this made me appreciate my mum a hell of a lot more then I have done and respect mothers before me. It isn't easy.

At 24 days old Zach was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis and I thought my world had ended. Not only was I just getting the knack of looking after a newborn, then this was dumped in my lap and it made my job as a new mummy a little be harder as I had to learn everything about CF and how much medication he needs every day. However, it explained why he was constantly pooing and feeding. Now, things are a lot better and I feel like I can take on the world.

Yes, parenting is hard and can be very challenging at times and I wouldn't change a bit of the experience I've had so far. I will leave you all with this; It doesn't get easy, you just get better. 

Love Jenni x

You can find Jenni here:

My Breastfeeding Journey | World Breastfeeding Week.

Friday, August 04, 2017
  
my breastfeeding journey

From the 1st-7th August it is World Breastfeeding Week, and 2017 is actually the 25th year of celebrating the wonder that is breastfeeding! It still blows my mind that my body alone can produce all that my baby needs to grow and develop. Breastmilk boosts your baby's immune system, helping your baby fight viral, bacterial and parasitic infections. Once you get over the Pamela Anderson-esque boobs that decide to leak everywhere at 3 in the morning, it's actually amazing!

I have absolutely nothing against people who formula feed and I do in no way think that I am any better than them, but i'm also not going to shy away and act like i'm not fucking proud of myself for sticking with it for the past 11 weeks. I thought as a way to help celebrate I would share my breastfeeding experience, along with some other mamas!

My Breastfeeding Journey


After Teddy's long and not-so straightforward birth (that you can read about my labour and delivery story here) lasting 55 hours and ending up in theatre with a forceps delivery, I was excited to get things going and try breastfeeding him. Once I had been stitched up (yummy..) and wheeled through to recovery, the midwife helped me to try and get him to latch on, almost an hour later and we were still there... I tried every position, switching boobs..he just wasn't having it at all. He was so tired and just wanted to sleep. That went on for around 24 hours!

  

Our first night in hospital was spent with a midwife coming in every three hours to try and get him to feed, he just point blank refused. It ended up where I had to hand express and the midwife had to syringe the colostrum up and then syringe it into Teddy's mouth. I was so upset and disappointed that it wasn't going as straight forward as everyone had made out it could be..'oh my baby latched straight away.' Well that isn't always the case, however I was determined not to give up and 24 hours later he suddenly latched on like he had been doing it all along, and he's been there ever since....or at least that is what it feels like! He is such a milk monster and a little chunk.

The first two weeks were probably the hardest two weeks of my life! I know people warn you about the cluster feeding, but my god, he was literally attached to my boob all day and all night. He would feed all night, only falling asleep at around 4/5am. I remember the feeling of complete dread when it came to bedtime and I felt physically sick at the idea of feeding him. I was so worried that people would judge me for that but I am so lucky to have an amazingly supportive partner, family and mummy club who reminded me everyday that it was completely normal and it would get better. I can promise you now that it does! When you are in the midst of a night feed, crying over your baby with your milk crusted pj's on, it won't feel like it will ever get better. 11 weeks on and it's all a distant memory that a small part of me misses.

  

I selfishly love that I am the only person who can provide for him when he's hungry, or if he is really upset and the only thing that will soothe him is mummy's milk. I love our little chats in the middle of the night when nobody else is awake and we have a sleepy snuggle. I love the way he snorts for my boob when it's no longer within his reach because he fell asleep. I love his milk drunk face, when he can't open his eyes properly and he does a cheeky little grin. As hard as it is, and it is fucking hard, I wouldn't change it for the world.

I have asked some other mums to share their experiences, good & bad, as a way to show that not everyone's breastfeeding journey is the same, but that doesn't make it any less special!

Mummy Stories

"I didn’t stop to think that maybe I couldn’t breastfeed or that I wouldn’t enjoy breastfeeding. I didn’t consider the enormity of being the only one to provide food and nourishment, or the pressure that comes with that privelidge. I didn’t think about the possibility of low supply or no supply at all. Once again I was suckered in by false advertising. Damn you peaceful-looking breastfeeding women on the billboards and TV ads. I admit it. Prior to becoming a mother I was ridiculously naive. I’d throw statements around with confidence on a subject I didn’t even really understand. Even now, two weeks into exclusively breastfeeding, I have a lot to learn and couldn’t have gotten this far without the reassurance of my online mama friends and wife. I thought breastfeeding was just about whipping a boob out for a hungry babe every few hours and that it would be as easy as it was cheap and convenient."-- Terri @ Ohh Hey Mamma (love you & Benjamin Button xx!)

"Approximately five minutes after my little girl, Poppy, was born she started rooting around, so I attempted to breastfeed for the first time. Trying so hard to remember everything I had learnt during NCT classes first time around I lined up her nose with my nipple, waited for her to open her mouth and pushed her on. It took a few tries and then Poppy started to feed...and didn't stop all night. For the first few nights she literally didn't stop for the whole night, as exhausting as it was I think it was a blessing in disguise. At a birth weight of 8lbs 13ozs she wasn't exactly small, so when my milk came in only two days after giving birth it meant she was able to really fill herself up compared to just having colostrum."-- Helen @ Treasure Every Moment 

"The first thing I have to stress is the importance of SUPPORT! You have to have the support around you if you are planning on breastfeeding. I was so lucky to have both my mum and my other half support my decision to breastfeed. The night feeds were the worst for me in the first two weeks, because I was so tired and still recovering from my C section the latching pain seemed worse at night. I think its because everything seems worse to me when I’m tired. Either way I struggled with the night feeds to begin with. Now 14 weeks down the line I absolutely love the night feeds it feels like my special ‘in our own little bubble’ time."-- Kassy from Mummas Mayhem.

"I loved breastfeeding my three boys, but it’s not as easy as some might have you believe. For me, it hurt to begin with, and was very much a case of trial and error. I smothered myself in lanolin cream in the early days in some vague attempt to remain comfortable, and certain positions suited better than the often mentioned ‘cradle hold’. Each of my babies fed differently: one was determined to feed no matter which position he was in and latched on really well; one was massively distracted and the slightest noise would make him twist around, sometimes still attached, sometimes flinging himself off with a spray of milk following him; one nuzzled in so close he virtually smothered himself with my breast and I had to hold it out of his way with my thumb. All of them fed though and, surely, that’s what is most important."-- Jo @ Cup Of Toast.

"I was lucky. Dougie needed absolutely no instruction, and within minutes of being born, he was feeding away. I remember his first night, we stayed in hospital and no-one told me what I was supposed to be doing, I didn’t know if I was feeding him properly, I didn’t know how often I was meant to feed him, I kind of just trusted my instinct and tried to feed him every time he cried. At the beginning it was incredibly painful, and considering how much my body hurt after giving birth, it was a struggle."-- Helen @ The Hels Project.

"I lost count of the times I had to ask a midwife to help me get her to latch and most of them ended up just offering me bottles of formula. Every time she managed to latch she would feed for hours on end and there were many a time where I felt like giving up. I hated my body for not doing what it was supposed to do, I hated myself for coping badly and I was worrying Eloise wasn't getting enough milk. I remember one night in particular where she had been feeding all day every days for weeks and I was exhausted and just thought "f**k this" and went to get the carton of formula I bought "just in case". These days became frequent. I was a single, teenage mum with this beautiful, tiny human who depended entirely on me. It was f**king hard. I wouldn't change it for anything though."-- Gee @ Gee Gardener.

"I’m a mum of two, one 4 years old and one nearly 7 months old. My two breastfeeding experiences couldn’t be any different. First time round it all went horribly wrong. I wanted to do it because it is best for baby and I know all the benefits. I wanted to be a good parent. I was devastated that it didn’t go well but had to accept that it just wasn’t working. Mastitis, incredibly sore, bleeding nipples, petrified of feeding in public and tears every feeding time (from me) put a stop to it.  
In my post pregnancy haze, post emergency cesarean and post breastfeeding nightmare I felt like a failure, I couldn’t get anything right. Time went on and my little baby girl is growing up a beautiful healthy little girl. I now see that motherhood is filled with trials and experiences, highs and lows and gaining perspective on these early days takes time and a clear head."-- Helen @ Talking Mums.

"For me I couldn't wait to breastfeed my daughter. Our experience started off great with her latching right after I came out of the operating theatre. We established feeding well and I felt really confident and relaxed around it. What I didn't bank on was that my daughter has FPIES, a rare allergy syndrome that meant she began to react to my breastmilk at 10 days old. This was a trying time and for her own health she had to switch to a hydrolysed amino acid formula at 6 weeks old. I was sad our journey ended so soon but so proud I'd managed to feed her myself in the first place! "-- Katy @ Katy Kicker.

"After having Rosie and not being able to breastfeed, I was determined to feed Miyah. I did all the research my head could handle and got all the facts remembered. I started to express some colostrum in case the worst happened and I froze it ready and took it with me to hospital. After I had Miyah, and taking my time to take in I had actually just given birth we cuddled up and she latched straight away. Her latch was perfect and I cried. I was so happy and from there we had it great. She fed like crazy but I didn’t care. A couple weeks after coming home, the first starting pain didn’t exactly go away and I was dreading feeding. I went to the doctors and discovered I had mastitis. I was scared to say the least; I did not want to give up at all so I fed through and took my pills. Unfortunately at 3 months Miyah started teething. This was agony and there was nothing I could do to make it stop. I started getting very sore and I decided it was time that I started to think about bottle feeding her. I made the awful decision at 5 months old and we are now full time bottle feeding as she has completely forgotten how to latch to me. Although I am extremely sad that my time finished before I would have liked I am so proud of how far I have come."-- Becca @ My Girls & Me.

"With my son I felt pressured into breastfeeding by health professionals but it soon became apparent that it just wasn’t for me, I preserved for a couple of weeks until I switched to formula and I never looked back, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted. I didn’t enjoy breastfeeding or feel any extra connection with my son nor was I confident enough to feed in public. I did not rule breastfeeding my daughter out and I knew I wanted to try to do the first couple of days so she got the ‘good stuff’ she was a very fidgety baby and didn’t feed well so I made the decision to switch again. I don’t feel guilty for stopping or wish I could of continued, I totally admire breastfeeding mamas but its just not for me. I am expecting my third baby in November and again I will attempt breastfeeding until I feel it isn’t working for us anymore."-- Amy @ Mama Mighalls.

I'd love to hear your breastfeeding stories and experiences. Did you find it hard to begin with or did it just come naturally?