Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Being Kinder To Our Little One's Skin | A Neutral Approach

Neutral Skin Sensitive Babies Is Johnsons Bad For Babies
Disclaimer; this post was produced in collaboration with Neutral and the products were sent to me in return for a review, however as always all opinions are entirely my own.

At 5 months old, Harrison has been relatively unaffected when it comes to sensitive skin. We've had the full choice of baby skincare: we've been able to take advantage of the sweet smell of the Johnsons' products, save some money on the Aldi baby-wipes and we've never really had to look at labels, I liked to think we were in the clear.  Little did I know that one in all three children are at risk of developing skin allergies. Just because we've been lucky until now, doesn't mean we will continue to be. Although we have a child who at the moment appears to be allergy free, that doesn't mean we are not conscious of trying to minimize the risk. We've recently started weaning Harrison, and what should be in theory a nice calm meal time can often turn into what can only be described an explosion of prunes and avocado, so bath time is now more crucial than ever. That tiny little human can get his food everywhere right now, so on a particularly messy day, at times it makes more sense to dunk him in the sink than it ever would to exhaust a packet of baby wipes. This does mean that at times he can be in and out twice a day, and I'm very conscious of making sure I am as kind to his skin as possible with this additional exposure to products.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

How To Buy A House Quickly, Updating Our Space and A Lack Of Patience | A £50 Posterlounge GIVEAWAY

The house buying process can be a long winded and dragged out one, and 3 months in,  I'm not surprised I'm already considering trying to redecorate our current house in the meantime.  Our offer was accepted in January, and while we look to get the keys next Friday, my impatience has gotten the best of me. Wouldn't it be great if buying a house was like shopping in Tesco: 3 bedrooms, a garden and seemingly respectable neighbors? In the basket, and we could unload the rest of our shopping at our new home. If only. It may be long winded, but from my experience there are 5 simple steps we can all  take to ensure both the mortgage and the legal steps following go through without a hitch.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Is It Normal To Feel Like This? | Post-Partum Low Self Esteem

Post Partum Low Self Esteem
 Last weekend I had a tantrum. More than a tantrum: let’s just say it lay somewhere on the spectrum between a tantrum and a breakdown. My reasoning? I had nothing to wear. Something as simple as going out for a family dinner had me reeling, I had not one possible option in my wardrobe that would work, and if I had been given the option to I’d have missed the occasion altogether. Recently, this has been happening more often than not. I don’t get the chance to go out for dinner, or drinks, or girls nights nearly as much as I used to, but when I do it’s now almost always tainted with the pressure of finding something to wear. It may sound odd - it probably would have if I was reading this myself prior to falling pregnant - because something as immaterial as clothes shouldn’t be able to have that much of a bearing on your outlook. But postpartum, it makes all the difference. It's been almost five months since I have birth, and whilst my general baby blues has dissipated completely, I've been left with the lowest self-esteem I've ever had.


Monday, 13 March 2017

Did We Move Him Out To Soon? | Awareness in Safer Sleep Week

Life With Boys The Essential One Safer Sleep Week Move baby to cot at 4 months
A survey released for Safer Sleep Week 2017 found that 55% of parents were not aware of the fundamental steps to reduce the risk of infant cot death; I am aware of the recommendations, but in the last few months we've not been following them - we are still sleeping safely, albeit not entirely in line with the guidelines provided by The Lullaby Trust. Awareness of how to achieve the safest sleep possible is essential for new parents, but in some cases, awareness of your childs' needs need to be weighed up. My baby needed sleep - and because of that, we took some steps that are not always recommended. My baby does not sleep through the night. He barely naps. But we have had progress - slowly but surely, we are making progress. Sleep has been hard to come across in the last few months, it has by no means been easy, and the combination of my own sleep deprivation and an over-tired baby has made daytime difficult. I've complained a lot, more often than I probably should have and this very blog turned into a dumping ground for my thoughts - majority being negative ones, but I was tired. Sad, but true. Lately, sleep has been easier to come across; we're getting there, we have some very good nights, and a bad one sporadically in between. We have daytime naps here and there and overall a much happier baby. I'm not as tired anymore. My baby isn't as tired anymore, and everything is just easier. This week marks the start of Safer Sleep Week and I feel like I can now finally update on our sleep situation without breaking down in tears. We are getting there - one night at a time.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Should We Be Swaddling At 5 Months Old? | An ErgoCocoon Winter Swaddle Review

The ergoCocoon are swaddles perfect for older babies; a simple zip up design that can keep your baby snug and securely swaddled without the need for complicated wrapping. And yet, it was a product I did not think I would ever have to use. We have swaddled from birth; with a strong startle reflex, Harrison would last mere seconds before waking himself up with his flailing arms in the early days, and even now, he is still a very 'jumpy' baby. Back in January, we had reviewed the Geo Company GroSnug, a product we had loved and that had helped us immensely, but a product that we had sadly grown out of. At 4 months old, Harrison was big for his age, and regardless, babies shouldn't still be swaddled then anyway, should they?


Thursday, 9 March 2017

Today Was A Difficult Day | Is Blogging Even Worth It?

Some days I love blogging, others, I wonder if it's worth the hassle. Set the scene.
I'm sat on the floor in my childs room, surrounded by three days worth of abandoned clothes. There is unopened boxes in one corner, filled to the brim with baby bits I probably don't need and may not ever use. Empty boxes are discarded in another, not yet thrown out. Harrison is propped between my legs, sitting unaided and completely unaware that I am entirely distracted. He's happy enough playing with his singing pot, but I'm not really there. I'm distracted from him, thinking about the blog I started because of him. I've got four posts to write at some point that day, and I'm trying to work out how I'll manage three outfit changes on a four moth old, managed miraculously around the nap time we both desperately need. My son may be close to me today, but I am not 100% there. This is not what my blog was supposed to do, and not how my maternity leave was supposed to be spent.

Monday, 6 March 2017

I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant | Skipping The First Two Trimesters

I Didn't Know I was Pregnant finding out at 6 months 27 weeks
Do you think you'd notice if you were 6 months pregnant? I didn't. I'll never forget the moment. I was sitting in a lecture for work, in the far right hand corner of the room, blocked in by the cold of the stone wall on one side and a line of colleagues on the other. The lecture was on Dealing With Death as a Police Officer, not that I took anything from it. I was pre-occupied with a feeling in my stomach - I can acutely remember spending the three hours arguing with myself in my head as to what medical phenomenon it could be, appendicitis was what I settled on. There was no pain at all, but my stomach jaunting. Every so often it felt like my entire abdomen was shifting to the left, a dull slight movement, but it was enough to have me claiming an illness. At no point though, did I ever consider I could be pregnant. How many times have you read these 'I Didn't Know I was Pregnant' stories before? An unbeknown pregnancy, contractions mistaken for cramp and a crowning baby in the shopping centre toilet. Whilst my experience is not quite as extreme, I managed to spend the first 6 months of my pregnancy completely unaware, leaving myself less than 15 weeks to prepare for the baby I'd never even been trying for. Prior to my own experience, whenever I read these stories I couldn't help but think these girls were just ignoring the obvious, the signs staring them right in the face, I mean, how could you not know you were pregnant? Surely you would notice growing another human inside of you... Truth be told, looking back now, there were signs, but when your not looking for them, and with big changes in my life happening alongside, I attributed none to a pregnancy. I had an excuse for everything, and not for one minute did I think they'd add up to what they did.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Abandoning A Rigid Bedtime Routine With A Baby | Having Fun With Munchkin

4 Month Old Baby Routine Munchkin Bath Before Bed
 In the first year or so with a baby, consistency is key: at night time especially, being rigid with the schedule and having a consistent routine allows a baby to hone in on their internal clock and to set biological rhythms. It's important, and no one was more aware of that than I was. How rigid you are with the routine is completely dependent on the personality of your own baby and how easily they sleep, however, the personality of my baby, and my own style of winding down simply didn't mesh well.  I've fallen into the trap of becoming too rigid and too tense when it comes to our bedtime routine, and in short, our hasn't worked, not for a while. In my quest for any sort of sleeping pattern, I've zapped all of the fun out of our night-time routine, and with it being a raring flop, I'm ready to put at least some of the fun back in.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Are We Becoming Over-Reliant On Online Friends?

Making friends is hard enough when your not the most outgoing person, making friends as a mum, that's a new ball game all together. After falling victim to anxiety and taking a big knock in confidence after having my son, putting myself out there and making new friends has been difficult, or rather, it just hasn't happened. When I fell pregnant, I imagined maternity leave spent at Baby Sensory, on play dates or out for coffee: needless to say, I hadn't taken into account that this can be fairly difficult if you don't have the friends to do it with. My antenatal classes were fully booked when I discovered my pregnancy late on, and I'm yet to buck up the courage to walk into a Mothers and Toddlers class. Instead, I've relied heavily on the friends I've met online. My online friends.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Ready, Steady, WEAN! | Starting Our Journey With Babease

Babease Weaning Review Baby Food Starting Weaning At 4 Months
Weaning a child before they reach six months will always be debated, in the same way that the method of feeding, swaddling, co-sleeping, baby wearing, dummies, will be. Everything that could be possibly detrimental to a babies development or well-being is quite rightly a talking point, but unfortunately we seem to have reached the stage where everything is now detrimental. I'll be the first to preach that you know your own child best, and as we neared the four month mark, everything was telling me that Harrison was ready for a little more than milk. We're easing ourselves in, but so far, everything is going to plan. Whilst we've been using homemade purees for the most part, for convenience, I've not been shy to pick up one of the Babease Baby Pouches. If I'm honest, prior to being in a position where I may have to use one, I was extremely snobby about the prospect of pre-made baby food. In my naive pre-baby state, I claimed I'd never use one. 4 months on, suffering badly with sleep deprivation and with less time to myself than I could ever have imagined, sometimes a pouch is necessary. Although pouches will never retain the full nutritional value that fresh cooked purees do, they come close enough, many babies are weaned purely on them, and do just fine.
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