Battle of the bottle – Doidy Cup Review 

One of the biggest battles we have had  since having Arlo is getting him to drink anything from something other than a breast!! I’m sure I am not alone in trying to get my baby to take milk/ water from a cup or bottle. Problem is I really need him to do this so that someone else can care for him while I go out to…..well….. anywhere. Don’t get me wrong I love being with Arlo and breastfeeding him is a lovely time to bond and have cuddles (well saying that breastfeeding has become enjoyable now– it was pretty tricky to begin with but thats another story). But there are times when I need to go out without him for example to an exercise class, out with friends (a few hen dos coming up) and to work. Wherever I go I won’t be able to concentrate and enjoy myself as I will be panicking that he will spend the whole time screaming and the poor person looking after him will be desperately trying to comfort him/ feed him. I’m sure my husband/mum/mother-in-law are more than capable of dealing with it but its not nice for then or for Arlo to be upset.

It’s frustrating as I tried really hard to do all the right things with feeding right from the beginning. Once breatfeeding was established at around 6 weeks we started to introduce the occasional bottle to get him used to it. We also made sure different people had a go at giving him the bottle in hope that he would not relate it to just one person. To start with he would take the bottle with fairly little fuss which was great. In fact Nana first babysat when he was 10 weeks old and he took a bottle & a half off her! But since then it has gone downhill and although he will sporadically take a few ounces here and there in general he will scream every time you get a bottle near him !

Trying to give him water is an even bigger battle! Breastmilk is his favourite thing so although he doesn’t like a teet as much as a boob at least the taste is familiar and like I said SOMETIMES he will take a few slurps. But then there’s water… plain boring water… water which he NEEDS if we want to get anywhere with this weaning! Weaning started off OK (as you may have read in one of my previous posts) but since starting solid food it seems Arlo’s gut has gone on strike and whatever goes in is NOT coming out … It’s not fair, just as the solids were sort of helping the reflux, along came constipation to ruin any progress we were making!

So we have been trying some different methods of getting water into him including different bottles, sippy cups, a syringe and a Doidy cup. The idea of a baby using cup without a lid seemed like a bad one but I thought it was worth a try as a few people had recommended it.

We bought ours from Amazon for £3.59 in a sparkly green colour. We have had a go at using it a few times now and so far Arlo is still working out what to do with it. He sort of laps the water at the edge but ends up dribbling most of it down his front. The slanted shape is good as he can see the liquid inside where as with his Tommy Tipee cup you have to learn to tilt and suck at the same time. Apparently when babies drink from a Doidy cup they use the same jaw movements as when they suck from a mothers breast so I guess it is more familiar to them. Arlo still needs some practice with this but we will persevere as its good training to use a proper cup. Also he seems calmer when I offer water in the Doidy cup. Even though most of it gets spilt at least he does not get as upset as when I put water in a bottle or syringe. 

I have also offered Arlo some expressed breastmilk in the Doidy cup. He responded it a similar way to the water (not much actually got drunk) but I think it might just take time and practise. I have also been struggling to express milk lately as my supply has slowed to match Arlo’s needs in the last month or so. If I want anything above what he normally takes it can be a struggle to produce it. This is so different to what it was like previously. I had an over supply and I had to pump before most feeds in order to not choke and gag my son!! I try to do a little bit of expressing here and there and i am slowing building up a stash in the freezer.

It would be brilliant if he took to the Doidy cup….or just any cup. It would definitely make things much easier. I will keep you posted on how it goes.

Has anyone else had a battle with bottles? Perhaps you have a tip of what worked for your little one? I would love any advice!

Thanks for reading.

peace2

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Our Adventure at Centre Parcs 

This past week we have been enjoying our first family holiday at Center Parcs.  It was so lovely to spend time just the three of us and get away from it all.

If you are thinking of taking your brood along on a Center Parcs break I would definitely recommend it for young families. The facilities are really great and its so much fun no matter what your age. I would know as Ive been there as a kid, as a teen, just after I got engaged, when I was pregnant and with a baby so it really is suitable for everyone! All the accomodation is nice and spacious (which is handy with the amount of stuff you have with a baby :S) and they have a cot and high chair available in every lodge. Outside of the accomodation there’s also baby change facilities dotted around the site but what I really like is that they have feeding rooms available which are decorated with pretty images on the walls and are kitted out with comfy rocking chairs and story books (incase you have other little ones in tow).

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As I said before I have visited Center Parcs a few times and each time I remember the joy I get from riding a bike. It is really catered for cycling so you can casually cruise around the beautiful site and soak in the peaceful woodland setting. You can hire bikes and bike trailers once you are there but we took our own bikes and bought a trailer before we went. We purchased a Infantastic bike trailer/jogger through Amazon. At £79.99 is was a bargain as trailers can be very pricey, especially brands such as Burley which are the trailers available for hire at Center Parcs. However, I must say we were very impressed with our trailer and can hardly fault it. It was simple to put together and can be folded down fairly easily for storage and was very spacious with room for 2 toddlers and lots of storage space in the back for bags etc. We also love that it can be transformed into a jogger/stroller which will come in handy when we attend festivals in the Summer and we can easily trudge through the fields and grassy/muddy terrains! As Arlo is still little and not quite sitting up independently we inserted his car seat into the trailer which we secured with the harness and a ratchet strap. He loved being pulled along behind Antony’s bike and looked very cosy in there. The only downside with this trailer is that the zips on the mesh cover are rather taut and you have to slowly and gently zip it up each time to avoid a tear. Put for that price this is a problem we can deal with! If your not keen on cycling you can walk or they have a land train which runs fairly regularly and I noticed lots of buggy parks in different locations including by the swimming pool so you can leave your buggy/pram as you get on with different activites.

Another highlight of the holiday was definitely the swimming pool. The temperature is perfect for Arlo- nice and warm as he can get grumpy if it’s too chilly. There is a baby/toddler pool and ofcourse the slides, rapids, wave machine & jacuzzi are so much fun for adults and older children. We made use of the on site crèche so that we could enjoy the rapids and slides together (rather than just going one at a time while the other holds the baby). I was a bit nervous leaving Arlo with people he didn’t know at the crèche (I’ve only left him twice with Nana so far) and it did take him a while to settle (ok, ok it took us both a while) but he did eventually and the nursery nurses were very sweet with him and kept him happy with painting, playing and cuddles. I only left him for 2 hours but the session was for 3 hours at £22 which is not too badly priced. You can even get the staff at the pool to ring up and check how your little one is getting on which was reassuring for me!

There are lots of places to eat on site including the amazing Pancake House which offers sweet and savoury pancakes and waffles. We went for a sweet and savoury pancake…..each (obviously)! All the restaurants are spacious so lots of room for prams/buggies and they all have have bottle/food warming facilities and offer free baby food!

There are so many activities you can do book but we have done most of them before (pre-baby) and we were just happy to enjoy all the freebies such as cycling, swimming & playing in the play park.

The main thing we did splurge on was the food and a day out at Longleat Safari Park which was cheaper to book through Center Parcs (we got our tickets for the same price as a childs ticket). There is so much to do there it is definitely worth a visit if you haven’t been. Arlo had a stimulation overload as there was so much for him to look at. He was amazed by the meerkats but his favourite animals were the Penguins! It is a good time of year to go actually as although some of the animals were not out it was really quiet and we could leisurely make our way around without having to queue or feel crowded.

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All in all it was a brilliant first family holiday. We never tire of the place and will definitely be back again I’m sure. Where did you go on your first family holiday with your little ones? Or perhaps you have a trip planned?

I hope you all had a great week and if you are a mother I hope you were spoilt rotten yesterday! I had a great day. I got pressies and went out for lunch it was the perfect end to a lovely week.

peace2

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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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