Things I am grateful for #2

This fortnight I am grateful for many things but here are my top 6.

1. Calorific food! We have enjoyed lots of naughty but nice treats in the past two weeks including bacon, halloumi, pulled pork and chocolate. Of course it has also been pancake day which meant lots of tasty toppings. I don’t feel too bad as the health visitor has actually prescribed a high calorie diet in order to keep up my milk supply for my growing boy and help cope with the sleep deprivation by keeping my energy levels up!

2. Swimming. Arlo has been attending ‘water babes’ swimming lessons for a few weeks now. It started off really well but he then began getting very upset each time we went in the water. We have since started at a new pool with a much more calming instructor and he is beginning to enjoy it more. I have also found keeping him warm helps so we got him this star print wetsuit off Amazon. Its easy to get on and off as it has Velcro fastenings and was a bargain at £8. I’m looking into getting one with sleeves too for extra warmth! The Splashabout Baby Snug looks good.

3. Halfterm catch ups. Many of my friends are teachers as we met when we were studying education at uni. My sister-in-law is a deputy head and my mum is a preschool teacher plus I know lots of lovely teachers and TAs from work. So Arlo and I have had plenty of company this week catching up over tea and lunches with lots of gossip and cuddles!

4. A more content baby. Arlo’s reflux doesn’t look like it is shifting any time soon but as his body develops he appears to be able to cope with it better. I think feeding ‘little and often’ helps and trying to keep him as still as possible after feeds (which can prove to be tricky!) Over the last fortnight we have had more good days than bad where he appears to be more comfortable and has been able to get on with being his lovely, cute, smiley self!

5. Sunshine! We have had some glorious bursts of sunshine over the past couple of weeks and it’s been lovely. We went to Urban Reef cafe/bar on Boscombe seafront two Sunday’s ago and the weather was beautiful. We were sat outside in the sun and had to take our coats off, it was so warm. Scummy burgers too! We also currently only have one car now as the other is bust which has meant more walks with the pram for Arlo and I. But when the weather is so bright and cheerful its a pleasure to walk.

6.  Me time. I have managed (with the help of my husband) to sneak in some time for myself to achieve some simple pleasures such as doing my nails and enjoying bubble baths.

I hope you have had a great fortnight and have lots to be grateful for.

peace2

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Feeling the love

Sorry that this is belated but I hope you all had a lovely Valentine’s Day with your special people. We had a wonderful weekend. On Saturday we enjoyed a lazy morning with a surprise breakfast cooked by my gorgeous husband. It was accompanied by a freshly made smoothie, Areopress coffee and a homemade card <3. I was even treated to a magazine and a bubble bath!

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Arlo and I made a Valentines gift for Antony too. We made a personalised print on canvas which was simple to achieve but quite effective actually. We used Arlo’s footprints to form the ‘v’ in the word love. Valentines has been and gone but this could make a good Mother’s Day present too!

Our Saturday continued with a walk along Mudeford quay followed by hot chocolate and Dorset Apple cake at the cafe. We took our digital SLR camera along to capture some family shots. We often forget to take the camera when we are out but it was a treat to take some proper pictures rather than just using our phones!

 

I really got into the spirit of Valentines and dressed myself and Arlo in shades of red. I also used my UV lamp to set some red gel polish and red glitter on my nails. I use Bluesky gel polish as its more affordable than other shellac brands. The UV lamp is affordable too I received it as a gift but you can get them for as little as £25. It is brilliant as shellac treatments can cost £20+ each time which is not realistic on maternity pay!

Arlo seemed pretty content this weekend. Perhaps he was feeling the love too!

Can’t help but cover him in kisses!

Hope your weekend was full of love and laughter too!

peace2

Which nappy makes me happy? Nappy review – part one

IMG_0853Before Arlo was born the main thing that everyone said we would need was nappies, lots and lots of nappies. And they weren’t lying! As a newborn Arlo went through 10-12 nappies a day, it was ridiculous! It seemed as soon as you had put a new one on another poop was on the way. He has calmed down a bit now (thank goodness) but we are constantly on a quest to find the best disposable nappy that ticks all the boxes. I figure if the nappy can survive Arlo’s explosive bottom then it could probably suit many other babies too! We have had many disasters with leakages, rashes and rips. There is enough to contend with as a new mum without having to worry about these things so I’m on a mission to find the most reliable nappy out there!

Here are the nappies I have tried & tested so far. The prices are based on size 3 / midi. Arlo models most nappies but didn’t manage to photograph him wearing them all:

IMG_08901. Boots Baby Super Dry pack of 34 – £4.99
Rating: 3.5/5

These nappies have a very sweet giraffe design which I loved. They appeared to fit Arlo quite well and the texture was not too rough but could have been a bit softer as his skin is rather senitive. Arlo was able to wear this nappy for a few hours and it absorbed liquids quite well and seemed to keep Arlo dry. The price is fairly average. There are cheaper brands out there but perhaps not as good quality. On the downside you cannot pick these up on your supermarket shop and would have to travel to your local Boots which I would only do if I needed a few more items specific to that shop.
2. Cooperative Loved By Us pack of 29 (largest pack size) – £4
Rating: 3/5

We have used these nappies in newborn and midi size. I was pleasantly surprised by these nappies. Firstly they are not badly priced which is important considering how many we use! The midi size has a cute tortoise print and they fit really well. They also felt quite soft so were gentle on Arlo’s skin and they were thin so not bulky under his clothes. On the down side they only come in smaller packs in my local Cooperative and I don’t often shop there. I also couldn’t trust the nappy to last ‘the night shift’ and would have to change Arlo a few times to avoid leakages.

IMG_08853. Lidl toujours pack of 56 – £4.69
Rating: 2/5

The best thing about these nappies is the price, you get quite a lot of nappies for your money. However, the texture is more like plastic rather than cotton and they did leave Arlo with slight red marks where the nappy rubbed on his skin. We also experienced quite a few explosions out of the top of the nappy where the fit wasn’t quite right. I think their range for bigger children are more reliable as they can cope with holding more “solid stuff” and less sensitive skin!

tesco_nappies24. Tesco loves baby pack of 56 – £4.50
Rating: 2/5

These nappies seemed similar to the Lidl’s brand. They are not quite soft enough on the skin or tough enough to withhold one of Arlo’s explosions. However, again they are a good price.

 

 

IMG_08655. Sainsburys Little Ones Eco pack of 36 (largest pack size) – £4.90
Rating: 3/5

I was excited to find that Sainsburys did a range of eco baby products. Wherever I can, I like to go green and be a bit kinder to our planet. This can sometimes mean a greater cost but these eco nappies are not badly priced at all. However being made from wood pulp means they are slightly stiff and therefore not very flexible for a wriggly baby. I found I have to manipulate the nappy by pulling and stretching it before I put it on Arlo. Saying that, once the nappy is on it appears to fit quite well and I have found them fairly absorbent and have not suffered to many leakages.

IMG_08836. Pampers new baby & Baby dry pack of 29 – £4 or 2 for £6 (bought at Tesco)
Rating: 4.5/5

I must say that so far Pampers seem to be the winners for us. They appear to handle those runny breastfed poos with ease and are very kind and gentle on Arlo’s skin. The ‘new baby’ range are the ones we normally go for as they are soft like cotton and have a handy wetness indicator. Their ‘baby dry’ nappies appear to be the most absorbant nappies we have found and we can trust them to see Arlo through the night with just one or no changes (depending on how much he feeds). I would have scored them 5/5, but they are one of the more expensive brands we have tried. However, you can get them through deals (Tescos often have deals on these) and spending a little bit extra is worth it in the long run if it saves you doing more clothes washing and means less nappy changes!

There are many other brands out there these are just the ones I’ve tested so far. I aim to try out a few other brands which I will review on here at a later date. In particular, I am interested in Naty by Nature as this is another eco brand meaning the nappies are 70% biodegradable which is fantastic. Being green is always a bonus for me plus I like the look of the design and they look high quality and come with biodegradable nappy bags too.

How have your experiences been with nappies, what has become your go to nappy or can you recommend brand you have found reliable and good value for money? Let me know in the comments.
peace2

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Teething Breast Milk Cubes – Mum Hack

IMG_0846IMG_0847IMG_0848Since becoming a mother I have recieved a lot of tips, tricks and advice from other mums on how to care for my little one. Some of them work for us and some don’t. I would like to share some of the best “mum hacks” that I have tried and tested on this blog in hope that another mum may find them useful.

My first hack may help you if, like me, you have a baby that is teething especially if they are teething early. Well, we only assume that he is teething from the behaviour he is showing- dribble, chewing, rosy cheeks, bouts of crying ect. So it’s worth giving anything a shot in an attempt to keep him happy!

Obviously cold objects are soothing on babies sore gums so I thought ice cubes… Breast milk ice cubes. Obviously giving a baby an ice cube to hold could be uncomfortable for them and rather messy so I bought a Nuby Nibbler. This is a product designed for use in the weaning process and is basically a net which holds fruit or other food that the baby can chew on without the hazard of choking. Instead of fruit I just pop a cube of frozen breastmilk in so that Arlo can chew and suck on it and soothe his gums.

I’m not certain you could freeze formula milk but if your baby is on formula and already eating solids you could pop in some frozen fruit or just a regular ice cube.

I hope this helps some of your babas. More hacks will be coming your way.

peace2

Things I am grateful for

Life can be challenging and becoming a mother means a lot more challenges have been thrown my way! When you are stressed you find yourself concentrating on all the negative things which means you can miss out on some of life’s joys. Therefore, it was my New Years resolution to become a calmer, more positive person who (attempts to) look for the good in different situations and let go of everything else. This is definitely easier said than done (especially when sleep deprived). One thing I am trying is to think of at least three things I am grateful for each day. I was surprised to find that even on a bad day I could manage to find something. Even it was something small, if it made me feel happy, I was grateful for it. Gratitude is a wonderful thing as I believe part of being happy is being content with what we do have rather than what we don’t. I have kept a log of gratefulness in a diary but would like to share some of it on my blog in hope that it may inspire others to think about what they are grateful for. I don’t want to overload you therefore to begin with I will share just six things I am grateful for each fortnight.

This fortnight I am grateful for (in order of photos – left to right):

1. Naps with Arlo. Arlo has never been a great sleeper (as you might of read on my first post). Therefore I spend most of my time walking around like a zombie trying to function like a normal person. Usually he naps when I am out and about and he sleeps in the car seat or pram but a few times  over the past two weeks I have managed to snuggle with him on our bed and catch a few z’s. Just enough to make me feel human… for a short while anyway!

2. Lovely scenic walks. We are lucky enough to live in a beautiful place near the New Forest and beaches. I have tried to get use out of our slings (baby wearing- another new year resolution) and get Arlo out in the fresh air. Sometimes with friends and family and sometimes just the two of us.

3. Snow! It was only a sprinkling but I am so glad Arlo got to experience snow for the first time.

4. New toys. Arlo can be a bit of a fussy baby due to his wind / colic / reflux / possible teething and wants to be held most of the time for comfort and because he is more comfortable when upright. Aside from using slings I have been purchasing anything that he can sit up in/ stand in. So we have bought a Bumbo and a Fisher Price Jumperoo. The Bumbo is great for getting him to hold himself but I think he feels a bit restricted so won’t stay in there long. However, the Jumperoo he absolutely loves and can entertain him for a while. So at least I can grab some lunch or have a cuppa! It’s so funny watching his face as he bounces. He’s not quite got the hang of it yet but he’ll get there.

5. Yoga. This is my new yoga teacher – David. I have started a course with him for absolute beginners and I’m pretty excited about it. It’s a bit of time each week just for me and I’m hoping it will help with my aches and pains developed through pregnancy and carrying Arlo around!

6. My lovely husband. To be honest I could write this down every day in my gratefulness diary (sorry for the cheesiness, ha). Since Arlo was born he has been a shoulder to cry on, the calm in my storm and he has supported every parenting decision I have made, not questioning me when things go wrong or if they don’t make sense. He has been amazing at comforting Arlo at night too even though he usually has work the next day! This week in particular he managed to get Arlo to take a bottle (he’s normally a boob guy and has been refusing bottles) and get him to sleep when I attended my yoga class. It was lovely to have the baby in bed and the dinner made when I got home. Although it didn’t last long as Arlo was up plenty that night!

So much to be grateful for, I am very blessed. What or who are you grateful for?  I’d love to hear about it.

peace2

A little more about us…

So my first post was about sleep as that’s pretty much my obsession at the moment! I mean I’m actually embarrassed for my pre-mama self. Eight or more hours I used to have most nights and I even had the cheek the say I was tired when waking at 6.30am for work. Ha! I didn’t know the true meaning of tired then! Honestly I feel I should’ve have been a more productive person with a whole nights rest behind me and no baba to care for 24/7! Seems a waste really… Anyway I thought I’d take the opportunity to give a bit more background about our family before I dive into more posts about life with our babe.

Antony and I met at school and have been together since. We got married two years ago in a beautiful chapel followed by a reception in some awesome tepees overlooking a lake. Pure magic. We enjoyed a year of married life but we always knew our dream was to start a family. We wanted to be young parents with the energy to keep up with our child. We basically weren’t trying to fall pregnant but we weren’t preventing it either! And so, after just a few short days off the pill – BOOM there was a baby. My husband thought there would be a lot more fun with trying but of course we were so happy and excited (and a bit nervous).


To summarise my pregnancy; beginning – BLEURGH! Middle – aah how lovely, end – WOAH! Arlo was on his own schedule and came 10 days before his due date. It was a relief as I was absolutely huge and I knew he was going to be a big boy. My 5″3 frame could no longer take the weight. I developed SPD and had major swelling. It was definitely time.


At 4.47pm on 30th September 2014, Arlo came kicking and screaming into the world weighing 9lb7. It was the most wonderful moment of my life to date. I wish I could bottle up that feeling so I could experience it again and again. Pride. Joy. Love.

Since then we have been bumbling our way through parenthood. I swear we could give Sherlock Holmes a run for his money as most of our time we act like detectives trying to figure out why he’s crying, what do these symptoms mean, how can we make that better, why did no one warn us about this???? We have battled severe nappy rash, tongue tie, colds, reflux, teething and more, all in four short months. But I can’t imagine it any other way. We feel so lucky to have this little person in our lives, I sometimes think I might just burst I love him so much. Like I said before; I didn’t know the true meaning of tired but I didn’t know the true meaning of life either-until I met Arlo. He can be very tricky and so frustrating, but he is also absolutely perfect.

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Please feel free to share your pregnancy or birth stories. I’d love to hear from any readers.

peace2

 

Co-sleep, no-sleep

Sleep. Oh how I miss thee! I would have to say since having a baby the biggest challenge I have faced is coping on such little sleep!

Sleepy

The early days with our bundle of joy were a blur and we were in a constant state of sleep, nurse, sleep, nurse, cuddle… It was wonderful and I had some beautiful moments where I felt positively overwhelmed with happiness as I had created this beautiful human being who was mine, all mine.

As a newborn Arlo had a Moses basket but spent most of the night in our bed, on one of our chests or in our arms. It was tiring but also magical to share those nights being close and gently nursing. As he got older we felt he needed to spend more time in a bed of his own so from about 6/7 weeks we put in place a basic bedtime routine. It took him a while to go to sleep but he would go down eventually for about 2 hours in his own bed. Then it would be back and forth from our room to his cot to feed/ comfort him. It became tedious so we brought him to our room and and as he no longer fit in his Moses basket it was back to our bed.

We then tried having the travel cot in our room but he had become accustomed to sleeping with us so would not stay in there long! Trouble is as he has got older he takes up more room in our bed and is a lot more fidgety! He also thinks it very convenient having me so close for a snack every now and then. However the more he feeds the more fussy he becomes with wind and reflux. He has always been a hungry boy but struggles as his digestive system matures. Needless to say, our nights have become very disturbed!

As he has approached 4 months we are attempting a stricter routine and will try our best to train Arlo to sleep longer. We feel this is necessary as sleep deprivation is beginning to take its toll and he has got to an age where is capable of going longer with less feeds. At 16lb 11 I think he’s doing well!

I will keep you updated on how we are doing and strategies we are trying. Please share your stories of sleep with your little ones and any advice will be very appreciated!

peace2

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