My Newborn Survival Tips

The Boy is just over 2 weeks old now and we have survived the first phase of life as a family of 4. Hubby is now back at work (today is his first day) so its only me at home with the children now.

These are a few tips that have helped me with the first few weeks…

The Boy newborn

  • Accept Help When Its Offered. This doesn’t come naturally to me, but this time around I’ve decided that I need to accept help. My mum and my Mother in Law have both been great at helping out around the house, whether its running the hoover around, folding laundry or cooking meals. Its been a big help.
  • Involve Older Siblings. The Girl is almost 4, and so excited to be a big sister. I’ve been taking advantage of this to get her to help out with things. She is great at nappy change time. She passes me the wipes, finds a clean nappy, and talks to The Boy when he cries. She loves this and it is a great help to me too.
  • Rest Rest Rest I know everyone says that you should sleep when the baby sleeps, but that’s not necessarily practical, especially with an older child. I hate napping in the day – I always feel worse when I wake up than I did before the sleep. But there is definitely a case for resting through the day. Settle down on the sofa and watch a film, read a book or catch up on the soaps. Just take the weight off your feet and rest. It will help you cope with the sleep deprivation.
  • Set Up Changing Stations. I have 2 changing stations one upstairs, one downstairs. Each has a change mat (I just use this straight on the floor – I don’t use a change table), and a box or basket full of nappies, wipes, bags, nappy rash cream and a change of clothes. This means wherever I am, everything I need is easily accessible. I also make sure that every room I use, has somewhere to put The Boy down. There is a swing in the kitchen, a play mat in the lounge, and of course the crib upstairs. I keep a blanket with each of them so if I need to put baby down, perhaps to deal with The Girl, I can easily.
  • Always Wash Your Hair. Ok bear with me on this one. But I have discovered that a hairdryer is a great way of calming a baby. I pop The Boy in his crib and sit down to dry my hair each morning, and he enjoys either 20 minutes of peaceful awake time, or sometimes the noise even sends him to sleep. I had forgotten that we used a white noise track with The Girl when she was a baby so this is the same idea. It also means I feel relatively human each day and look fairly presentable. The same is true for the hoover if you feel like it….

Do you have any top tips for surviving the early weeks with a newborn? Feel free to share them in the comments 🙂

Sew Lomax Baby Range Review

It’s now just over 4 weeks until baby is scheduled to make his entrance into the world, and my thoughts are turning to the practical items that make life with a new baby easier and more enjoyable. As a second time mum the top of my list was muslins. Before L came along I didn’t really think they would be high on my list of useful items, but pretty quickly I came to realise that they had a multitude of uses, from mopping faces, lining cold change mats, comforters to sun shades and light blankets!

SewLomax-Logo_www.picandmiximages.co.uk

I was offered a pack of Sew Lomax Large Muslins to review and jumped at the chance. Each muslin is a whopping 100cm x 100cm and made from soft 100% cotton. They come in three colour choices, pink, blue and green and all feature some gorgeous Sew Lomax designs.

SEWLOMAX_Muslins_www.picandmixmages.co.uk

Each pack contains one safety pin print, one dummy print and one plain white with an embroidered safety pin in the corner.  The set was beautifully boxed and would make a very welcome practical gift for a new mum. I chose to receive the green as I am trying to avoid having everything blue! Its a gorgeous colour and would be perfect for anyone who is expecting a surprise. The large set retails at £26 which I think is a fair price for the quality and size of these muslins. I can’t wait to use them on baby, and think they will make lovely comforters and swaddles for him. A small set of muslins is also available for £12.50 which has three 50cm square muslins in the same design.

SEWLOMAX_Lifestyle-8_www.picandmixmages.co.u

The new range of baby essentials from Sew Lomax also includes dribble bibs and towel and flannel sets, all of which feature the same cute designs.

Emma Lomax has been taking the fashion and beauty world by storm for the last two years with her ethically produced collection of stylish wash bags & accessories and this Summer she introduced her highly anticipated baby range! Her debut collection of must-have essentials consists of beautifully designed and ethically produced muslins, dribble bibs and now baby bath time towel and flannel sets.

You can view the full debut baby collection at www.sewlomax.com

SEWLOMAX_Pink-Dribble-Bib-Set_www.picandmixmages.co.uk

Disclosure: I was sent a pack of large muslins for the purposes of this review. All opinions are my own

Infacol Colic Support Centre

When you first have a baby there is a huge steep learning curve. You have to develop a whole new vocabulary. Words such as weaning, winding and colic are all suddenly thrown about and you feel like you need a dictionary! When your newborn is crying inconsolably its very hard as a first time mum especially to know whether its perfectly normal or a possible sign of colic. I remember being told about Infacol, and advised that it may be something to try.

Colic affects one in four babies and is often associated with crying fits lasting for three hours or more, often during late afternoon or evening. Its a very distressing condition for mum and baby, especially because any attempts to soothe and comfort the baby may not work.

Colic is listed in the top three concerns of new mums according to a Bounty Research Poll so Infacol, Britain’s number one selling colic remedy, have launched the Virtual Colic Clinic app to help. It offers 24/7 support  with video answers to questions about colic and can be accessed through smartphones, tablets and desktops. The information can be found at www.ColicHelp.co.uk.

Infacol’s Expert Midwife Nikki Khan says ‘Infacol want to give new mums and dads someone to turn to when in need of this extra support and guidance, at any time of day or night’. The Virtual Colic Clinic app follows the success of the ‘Is It Colic?’ web app which helps to identify whether a baby has colic through 10 simple yes/no questions.

As I prepare for the arrival of my second baby later in the year I’ll be bookmarking www.colichelp.co.uk for help if I suspect colic.

I was sent a goody bag by Infacol in return for sharing this information with you. 

Pregnancy Update – 22 weeks

Pregnancy Update

Week 22

How can I be over half way through this pregnancy already?? Its crazy how quickly time is flying, and its a stark contrast to my first which seemed to move so slowly. I guess that’s the difference between sitting at a desk all day thinking about the pregnancy and chasing around after a 3 year old! There isn’t really much time to think about it 🙂

I’ve not had much time to take things easy this time around. In addition to being SAHM to Little Lady (3.5) we have recently moved house, and area, 200 miles from Devon to Derbyshire. When I told my midwife she rolled her eyes and said pregnant women are advised to avoid stress, err I don’t think I’ve managed that! Things have settled down though and life is fairly calm at the moment!

We had our 20 week scan last Friday, a little later than planned as we moved right when it was due. I did find out which team we are on this time, but will keep that a secret a little while longer as there are a few people in the real world who I haven’t told yet! Everything was good, and baby was moving around and showing its moves for us 🙂

Physically, I have a bit more energy now than I have for a while (am sure this is related to the move being over too!) and I’m not feeling too bad. I have started waking each night though, as I’m feeling uncomfortable. I’ve tried using a pillow for some support and this is helping a bit but I may need to look at maternity pillows which are designed for the job as I remember that this only gets worse as I get bigger. I also need to do some shopping for maternity nightwear and underwear, as my normal things are no longer comfortable. I expect this will help with the sleep thing too. I can’t really remember where I bought this sort of stuff from last time so need to shop around and see what I can find!

Little Lady is starting to understand a bit more now as well. She came to the scan and we’ve been talking about that a bit which has helped. She is looking forward to being a big sister, and is taking an interest in babies when we are out and about which is nice. She doesn’t believe that we know the gender though, and keeps telling us we have to wait and see when its born. I’m hoping to get her potty trained at night soon so that is well out of the way before baby arrives.

I’m feeling lots of movement now which is lovely and very reassuring. Its mainly when I sit quietly in the evenings or at the computer but sometimes I’ve felt a flutter while I’m out. I can’t wait until the movements get a bit stronger and more regular. I think it will be lovely when they can be felt from outside and Little Lady can feel them too!

Almondella Review – Monthly Box for Pregnancy and Baby

Ever since I found out I was pregnant again, I’ve been lusting over some fabulous baby products. A combination of not knowing whether a second baby was a possibility for us, and a house move/relocation had led me to selling lots of our baby bits on eBay, Facebook selling sites and through Nearly New sales. I figured that if I was lucky enough to find myself pregnant again I would have fun buying things again. And it would give me an excuse to try some different things this time! 

When I heard about Almondella gift boxes I was excited to try one, as I knew it would give me a chance to receive some unusual and gorgeous products. Almondella were kind enough to send me a box to review.

Launched 2 years ago Almondella is already a huge success across most of Europe and has now arrived here is the UK!  This exciting gifting concept is set to change the way new parents go about discovering inspirational new brands for themselves and their baby.

Whether you are a new mum yourself or looking for the perfect gift for an expectant loved one, trying to find that special something isn’t always easy. With so much choice and new brands coming along all the time it can be very overwhelming to know which brands to trust and which products to choose from. That’s where Almondella comes in. Almondella have done all the hard work for you, scouring the whole of Europe to seek out the most stylish and practical products from all the best designers before carefully hand-picking the most thoughtful gifts tailored to your baby’s age and delivering them direct to your door each month in a beautifully wrapped box.

 

So what was in my box?

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The box I was sent was a Grooming and Bathing themed box. As I don’t know the sex of the baby it was unisex. Contained inside were 5 products designed to make grooming and bathing baby easier and more stylish!

The contents were a hooded towel (excellent quality, thick and soft, and a gorgeous aqua colour), baby nail scissors with a rounded tip, natural hair brush (lovely feel and great for baby’s cradle cap prone scalps), a pot of Organic Baby Salve (perfect for soothing dry skin and from a lovely Cornwall based company) and a sweet pair of leggings (loved the raven design, and the cute cuff detail on the ankles).

Almondella have created 36 baby boxes with the most beautiful selection of care products, toys & clothing each of which has been thoughtfully put together to take you through all your baby’s developmental milestones.

Each box contains up to 5 products and has a retail saving of up to 50%

Almondella boxes make the perfect gift for yourself or a loved one, especially if they are living abroad. The boxes can be delivered anywhere in Europe completely free of charge.

You simply need to pick a subscription of 1, 3 or 6 months, tell Almondella the baby’s gender and age, or mother’s due date, and then sit back and wait for your Almondella box to be delivered.

Subscriptions start from £37 a month. You can even do a trial box for just £12.

I was delighted with the selection of products I received. An Almondella box would make a great gift for a mum to be or new mum, or a lovely treat for yourself and baby.

I made a quick video of me unboxing my Almondella box if you want to see the products in more detail.

Bump Watch – the first 12 weeks

I suspected I was pregnant towards the end of January, when I was just 4/5 weeks but waited another 10 days before I took the test. I was certain that it would be +ve though, as I had all the symptoms I’d had previously. Sore breasts, a queasy feeling, tiredness and a funny metallic taste in my mouth (not really sure what that one is about but I’ve had it for all previous pregnancies!).

I called my GP surgery to request an appointment with the midwife, and to get a call back from my GP. After previous investigations into my recurrent miscarriages, he had told me he would refer me for an early ‘reassurance scan’ for my next pregnancy. He agreed to make the referral and 48 hours later I got a phone call with an appointment for when I was 8+5 (by dates).

When the day came, I was feeling very nervous. It wasn’t possible for hubby to come with me for the scan – he had to stay home with the 3 year old, so I went alone. I had tried to prepare myself for bad news but was feeling hopeful. As soon as I went in for the ultrasound I felt terrified but it only took seconds to find the baby and a strong heartbeat. I was so relieved. Although things could still go wrong this was a very good sign. The baby measured a couple of days ahead of my dates and was strong.

The next few weeks passed quickly as we are also busy planning a house move and there was lots going on. Before we knew it, Tuesday was here and it was scan day! Again the nerves hit. The scan was great and immediately we could see a very active, strong baby. What a relief! Our due date was brought forward 4 days to 24th September which meant I was 12+6 at the scan.

I plan to blog a bump watch every week or two through this pregnancy so that I have a record to look back on when the little one arrives 🙂

The Reason For My Silence…

I think of my blog as a place to share nice things. Days out, cute photos, fun activities we have tried and adventures of everyday life. So when life gets tricky, the urge to write stops. That has been the case on and off over the last 18 months, life got tricky and I didn’t feel I wanted to share the details. The truth is, that we were trying for a second child – and nature was fighting against us. We suffered from what my GP described as Recurrent Miscarriage. I may talk about it in more detail soon, but not today.

Because today we are celebrating. This week we went for a 12 week scan and are delighted to announce that we are expecting a baby in September!

So 2014 is shaping up to be a pretty big year, with a new baby and The Big Move. And I’m looking forward to blogging my way through it all!

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Getting the Hang of Motherhood, Research by Munchkin

It’s hard to believe that Pumpkin will be 2 in just 5 weeks time. Yes I know it’s a cliche but the time has flown! That means I’ve been a Mummy for almost 2 years. So shouldn’t I be pretty good at it by now?

When I was pregnant, I went to NCT antenatal classes, read countless books and magazines on pregnancy and parenting. I tried to prepare myself for the arrival of my little bundle and thought that I knew what being a Mummy would be about.

But then she arrived. And she didn’t play by the rules! I rapidly learnt that I couldn’t rely on books and magazines to tell me how to raise her. I felt alone and overwhelmed by the responsibility I had for this little person. It was a steep learning curve, and one I’m still climbing!

I question my decisions as a mum every day. So I wasn’t surprised to hear the results of a new survey from Munchkin which found that it takes up to two years
to get the hang of motherhood. Here is what they say;

Feeling overwhelmed, nervous and scared are the overriding emotions today’s parents feel when they’ve had a baby. In a new survey of 2,000 UK parents by Munchkin to celebrate the launch of the new Click Lock™ range of cups, the international baby brand polled parents and confirmed it can take them up to two years s to get to grips with parenthood, with 58% of mothers fearing they would never get to grips with it. It’s not just mum worrying about herself either, with two thirds stating it takes dad a long time to adjust to their new role.

Even before the birth over half of respondents said they felt scared and just under half felt nervous about the impending arrival showing that this worry for parents starts long before baby is born.

The report showed that nearly two thirds of mums said that they didn’t feel they could confide in anyone if they didn’t feel it had all clicked into place with the most popular response stating that they thought it was something that everyone felt and they didn’t want to make a big deal out of it. If mums did turn to someone it was more than likely their own mum, with 5% asking their mother-in-law.

Top Ten things that mums felt had to be mastered before things clicked in to place
Being in a good routine
Knowing what to do when baby is crying
Not worried about dealing with baby in public
Not panicking when baby is poorly
Leaving the house with a spare change of clothes
Being able to change a nappy quickly
Having baby sleeping through the night
Leaving the house with milk/food and snacks
Always having a toy to entertain baby with
Being able to leave the house on time

But many parents admitted that their worry was a regret and that they should have enjoyed the experience more. Two thirds admitted they wished they has been more calm and relaxed and less worried.

Claire Rayner, Munchkin spokeswoman says “It’s expected that all new parents will feel emotional and overwhelmed after the birth of their child but it’s surprising that it takes up to 2 years for mums to feel that everything had clicked into place.

“It seems that mums feel that they need to have a number of tools in place before they feel fully confident in their role as a parent.”

“At Munchkin we develop products to make life easier for parents and our new range of Click Lock™ cups have a clear audible click when the cup is sealed so that on top of everything else mums have to worry about, spillages and leakage from our cups isn’t one of them.”

Sometimes things in life just click and this is never more true than with the brand new Click Lock™ Cup range from Munchkin! With over 20 years experience, Munchkin, the award-winning international baby brand , is thrilled to launch the brand new Click Lock™ cup range, one of the most innovative and exciting range of cups parents will find on the market today.

The Click Lock™ range features ‘ click’ to lock technology providing a leak proof guarantee, , so drop, throw or tip upside down, no liquid will come out. The cups could not be simpler to use, simply turn the lid until it ‘clicks’ in to place providing parents with an auditory reassurance that the cup is completely sealed. What’s more, the range, just like all Munchkin products, is fun, vibrant and practical, making parents lives that little bit easier .The Click Lock™ cup range starts at £3.99 and for more information log on to www.munchkin.eu.com.

Parents worldwide are choosing Munchkin products because they really do excite and delight, making life easier for today’s busy parents, and having sold over 55 million cups worldwide to date Munchkin know what makes a good cup!

Each item from Munchkin has been designed to excite and delight children whilst making parents lives easier and more enjoyable. The full collection includes a range of colourful and clever bathing, feeding and hygiene products. To see more of the fantastic range and for full stockist details log on to: www.munchkin.eu.com

To Keep or Not to Keep?

What do you do with your children’s clothes when they don’t fit any more?

I’ve been puzzling for some time with what to do with Pumpkin’s clothes as she grows out of them. I’m a recovering hoarder (well sort of recovering!) and have been trying to be strict with how much stuff we keep, only holding onto things that will definitely be used. But I can’t get my head around what to do with the baby clothes.

On one hand, it makes sense to keep them for another (fingers crossed) baby one day. Then I would have tonnes of clothes for them and could almost get by without buying anything else. If I sold them now, would I end up re-buying them later on, and losing out financially?

On the other hand, if we do have another child, it might not be another girl. It might be born in a different season, it might have a different shape and colouring. All those bright pink snow suits in newborn sizes might not prove very useful for a baby boy born in July!

This was the logic that lead me to spend 2 hours photographing newborn baby clothes last week, with the intention of listing them on a local Facebook Selling page. But as I sat thinking about pricing them, I found that I couldn’t quite bring myself to do it! So for now, I’m lugging huge laundry bags full of tiny girlie clothing up to the loft to hold onto for a couple of years.

The thing is, will I be able to bring myself to get rid when the excuse ‘I might need them again’ is gone?

Visit The Baby Show Earls Court this October

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to be invited to The Baby Show and had such a great time that I knew I wanted to make the journey up to London again this October for the Earls Court Show. This one promises to be a great show as The Baby Show celebrates its 10th Birthday!

Running from Frirday 26th – Sunday 28th October 2012, the show is a must visit for mums to be and new mums, but don’t be put off if your children are a little older. There is lots to see and do for parents of toddlers (like me!). Pumpkin is almost 2 (eek!) but I know there  will be lots of toddler friendly products on display!

So what will you find at The Baby Show? Well first off is the shopping! I love getting the chance to see and try so many different brands, from the big names to some much smaller companies. There will be over 300 brands present at the show – thats a lot of shopping!

Also available are free changing facilities courtesy of nappy recycling experts Nappies2Go, a free Fisher-Price crèche (bookable in advance), Vtech Smart Play Zone packed with innovative toys to help development through play, a shopping drop off and collect by car service, so that you don’t have to lug your shopping around with you and for the first time you can take the stress out of shopping completely by booking a personal shopping experience with Baby Concierge! Now that sounds fun!

With leading brands such as Britax, Fisher Price, Mamas & Papas, Mothercare, M&S, Stokke, Superdrug, The Gro Company & Trunki in attendance, you really could tick off your whole shopping list in one day!

A who’s who of parenting experts including Professor Robert Winston (Child of our time), Annabel Karmel MBE (The Baby & Toddler Mealplanner), Claire Byam-Cook (celebrity breastfeeding expert) and Dr Julie Coultas (baby development expert). will be on hand to offer their knowledge with events taking place on the stage all weekend.

You can also expect daily fashion shows, The Face of the Baby Show competition, giveaways and of course, lots and lots of opportunity to shop.

The Baby Show, Earls Court 26th – 28th October 2012. Advance tickets cost £13.50 each (Friday) and £14.50 each (Saturday & Sunday) or £20 on the door. http://www.thebabyshow.co.uk/earlscourt

Hope to see you there!

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