Friday, 29 August 2014

Baby essentials #1

There aren't that many things that you really need at the beginning for your baby. There's the basics like nappies, cotton wool and clothes.

The first major purchase would be a travel system. We purchased the Zoom from Mamas and Papas along with the Cybex Aton carseat. So far it has been brilliant. It's a 3 wheeler with the front wheel being able to be set straight (good for going over stones, cobbles etc.) as well as being able to move round. It has a big underneath compartment for your shopping. It also comes with a carrycot. And you can pay extra for a foot muff and adaptors so the car seat can fit on the chassis.

Next I would say is some kind of seat. We decided on the Fisher Price Discover and Grow Newborn to Toddler Rocker (links not to exact model - but current version of the product), but there are many different one's available. This is great for him to sit in whilst I need to do something, like shower (I sit him in the bathroom with me) or eat my lunch. When he was younger he would look at and then later on grab hold of the lion and penguin. He also learnt to kick his legs to rock it himself. Also great to put him in for naps, when you want your baby with you. You can also turn it on to make it vibrate, which younger babies love. We chose this option because it is suitable for use up until the toddler age. He doesn't sit in it so much any more, mostly just when I shower or for the odd nap.

A playgym is brilliant for baby to play with toys & also to do their tummy time. This is suitable from birth, but I'd say 4 weeks old is probably more realistic. As they don't pay much attention to the colours as their eyes aren't developed enough for the first few weeks. In the beginning we just used it for his tummy time as we didn't want to put him straight down on the floor. We chose the Fisher Price Rainforest Gym. It has many different animals that he could grab hold of & is bright and colourful. This one also plays music and rainforest noises and has flashing lights.

Now, some people may not think you need a changing table. But this one has a bath underneath the changing mat & really helps with not hurting your back. We didn't have this right at the beginning (we didn't have space in our flat), and I really could have done without bending over or sitting on the floor to change Ben after just giving birth. Plus the bath underneath saves you from buying a separate one, and the storage compartments underneath are handy as well. We kept this in the bathroom whilst Ben was using this as his bath. and then moved it into his bedroom once he was able to sit up by himself and use the proper bath.

I found my breast pump very important. Sometimes I found it a chore to pump, as you can't do much else whilst doing so. But if you can pump and breast feed at the same time, not only will you hopefully get more milk pumped, but then you save time. Doing this also helps train your breast to the pump. I needed the pump as I still wanted Ben to have my breast milk whilst I wasn't with him - I'm very proud of the fact that he has NEVER had any formula. I attend football games every week or every other week, I also attended a couple of weddings and also went back to work. I chose the Avent breast pump, mainly because there was a great package deal in Mothercare one day, and this was actually the first baby product we bought.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Holiday Series Intro

As we're off to France on holiday soon, I thought I'd do a little holiday series on here, mostly on what we're taking with us, but also how I prepare for going on holiday, especially now it's harder and there's more to organise and take when you have a child or children. We learnt quite a lot from going away last year, so this time around it I'm more prepared for what it will be like.

So look out for the posts in the next few weeks.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Current Everyday Make-up

As it's Summer (and it's actually been a pretty good one for us in England) I like to start off with a light base. Currently I'm using Maybelline's Dream Fresh BB Cream in Light I just use my fingers to apply this. As this is really sheer I then use Collection's Lasting Perfection Concealer in Light (I am aware they have changed the colour names since I purchased - but don't knot what colour I would be now) to cover up any blemishes and scars that I have. I dab this one using the dophur applicator and then pat it in with my fingers. To set my base I use Rimmel's Clear Complexion Powder in Transparent, as it helps to keep me matte as well as keep my base from coming off. I apply this with a Real Techniques Powder Brush. I like to add a bit of colour to my cheeks using Natural Collection's blush in Pink Cloud. My current go to mascara is Maybelline's Volum' Express The Rocket in Black Waterproof. I find none waterproof mascara tends to melt off in the heat, plus you never know when it's going to rain, even if it is a hot day.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Zara Baby Haul

I popped into Zara on my weekly walk this week, and picked up a few new items of clothes for Ben in the next size up. We won't be going up in sizes for a while yet, but I think it's good to buy things gradually, and store them away for later.

'Never Too Old To Need My Mum' top - £4.99
Grey top with pocket - £4.99
'Tres Cool' top - £6.00
Paw print leggings - £8.99

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Ben's 16 month update

I can't believe it's time for Bens 16 month update, these come round so fast!

Sleeps still going great, Ben even managed to sleep through a couple of thunderstorms, that managed to wake me up. He mostly sleeps on his tummy, and still spends a few minutes playing in his cot before falling asleep.

Pretty good, had a little while when he wouldn't eat chicken though, but I know it's normal for toddlers to like foods one week and not the next. And he went and ate a chicken roast on Sunday. His favourite foods are sausages, Ready Brek and Petit Filous.

Still the same as what is was last month, naps are getting more regular though. But if he does something new this seems to unsettle him and it's harder for him to take a nap. Now I normally give him his lunch when he's showing he's hungry, then take him up stairs straight after read him a couple of stories and put him down in his cot to nap. Sometimes he sits and plays for an hour, but very rarely cries.

Still no new teeth, he's been teething a little bit though. Otherwise he's been perfectly fine.

Still in mostly 12-18 month clothes. But he's still fitting in 9-12 month trousers.

Throwing toys around, pulling CDs/DVDs/books off shelves, going in his kitchen cupboard, baths, his sleeping bag, eating, flash cards, walking, playing with stones, The Very Hungry Caterpillar book

Being told off, and not being allowed to do what he wants, being put back in his buggy when we're out after walking

He's saying new words - ga (grass), te (tree), bin, gone, all gone, shoe, cot, more.

I got out Ben's pad of paper and wax crayons this week, the first thing he did was bit the top off a crayon! Still hasn't quite caught on with the drawing yet, will just keep trying.

He does love his flashcards that I bought for him though, so far we've done the alphabet and shapes. I've also bought him a couple of books, one of the alphabet and one of numbers to take out with us. He seems to like this a lot too, but we haven't looked at them too much.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Ben's First Time in a Paddling Pool

Whilst we were setting up for Mum and Dads surprise party Ben got to go in his new paddling pool (my sister bought it from Asda for £3), supervised by his Daddy. It didn't take very long for him to sit down (probably because it was really hot that day). He had great fun splashing around and got soaked!

His swimming costume and his matching jelly shoes are from Boots Mini Club.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Storing bottles & breast pump

As I plan on using the same bottles and breast pump when we have baby number 2, I wanted to make sure I store them correctly. But after a quick search on google I couldn't really find anything to help.

So this is how I'm doing it. I soaked all the bottles and parts and all the breast pump parts and milk storage containers in water and washing up liquid.

I air dried all the parts before sterilising  them. I then left them to dry whilst in the steriliser before putting them all in seal-able plastic bags and then back into the original box that I first bought them all in.

I have also kept the bottle teats, I know it is advised not to, but as Ben wasn't totally bottle fed, I plan to check them before we use them on the next baby. Will also be checking that all the bottles, parts and pump are okay to use again when we get them out ready to use, whenever that may be.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Mummy and Toddler July Favourites

I thought I'd try to do monthly favourite posts, although if things have changed much from month to month I won't bother doing them, so we'll see how it goes.

The first favourite of mine is actually blogging, I find it really enjoyable planning posts, writing them and taking photos, gives me something else to do whilst at home when Ben's napping.

Another of my favourites is watching Sport - moat recently the Commonwealth Games, even Ben enjoyed watching the gymnastics the other day!

I've been getting back into reading, starting with this book, The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, which I have borrowed from my sister. I am trying something new, and saying no Internet after 10PM on Sun - Wed and not taking my tablet up to bed with me like I used to, and spending that time reading instead. Although it is hard when Steve is in bed watching TV and doesn't like me having the light on.

Ben's favourite thing to do right now is take the CD's off the shelf! Something which is very annoying to Mummy.

He also loves to open his own cupboard in the kitchen and take his things out, mainly his bowls.

His favourite toy is still his stacking cups, and he also loves his Vtech Toot Toot Drivers vehicles. Although they have been taken away until we go on holiday.

Another favourite of mine over the past month was seeing family members that I hadn't seen for ages at Mum and Dad's surprise party.

Beauty favourites wise I love Essence nail varnish in 106 Free Hugs and Maybellines BB cream for a light base, along with Maybellines The Rocket mascara in waterproof, as it stays put in this heat.

Friday, 1 August 2014

How I weaned Ben off Breast Feeding

I had always aimed to breast feed Ben for a whole year, I'm glad I achieved this. I had decided in advance to put Ben straight on to whole cows milk, and not bother with any formula. After all I'd been using whole cows milk with Ben's cereals and in his homemade purees, so I knew he wasn't allergic to it.

I decided to cut down one breast feed at a time, and give him the whole cows milk instead. He was still on numerous feeds a day, and still feeding at night too. So the first feed I cut out was his 4PM feed, I introduced him to an afternoon snack with a drink of cows milk as well. He wouldn't take much milk to begin with, and would still ask for my breast - which I refused. In fact every time I cut out a feed he would ask for it, and even go as far as to pull down my top and try and get it out. He would only take an ounce or two of the cows milk. This didn't bother me, as it was a new taste to him, and I wasn't mixing it with any of my milk either. And I knew he would probably just drink more of my milk at the next feed. I then cut out feeding in between dinner and his bedtime feed. This one actually went more smoothly, because I don't think he was taking as much at this feed as the 4PM one. I left it a week after dropping the first feed, before I dropped the second.

I didn't drop another feed for a couple of weeks. It actually takes a while for your breasts to adjust to a new schedule, so I wanted to do it slowly, so I wasn't really engorged. The following I feed I cut out was his 2pm nap time feed. This was definitely the worst one to cut out. as he'd nearly always fallen asleep whilst still on my breast, so I took to just holding him in my arms to get him to take a nap. He didn't seem interested in having much cows milk at this point, so I knew he just wanted my breast for comfort, and slowly cut out having any milk at this time.

I then made the choice to not cut down any more feeds until I had a weeks holiday from work. As now I was left with a feed at 10am, which I also pumped during 5 days a week, a feed at bedtime and I also nursed him if he woke up at night.

The 10am feed I cut out the Saturday before my week off, he's gone the past 2 Sundays without any of my milk whilst was at work anyway, and I only really kept this feed for so long so I could pump at the same time and get more milk. This was an easy feed to drop, as when I dropped this I started giving Ben cows milk with every meal and at snack time. So he'd already has a lot of milk at breakfast. And we do our food shopping on a Saturday morning, so were out anyway.

Next up was his bedtime feed. This is where I needed Steve (my partner) as I knew Ben would just ask for my breast. So I relied on Steve to read Ben his books and then get him to fall asleep before putting him down in his cot. He would sleep until 2/3AM and then wake up. I would go get him and nurse him to sleep in our bed.

I finally cut out his night time feeds properly when we did sleep training (I will be doing a post on this also) and he started sleeping through the night. I did have to get him to relieve me a couple of times, as I was so engorged. But I didn't let him take enough for my body to think it needed to produce more milk.

I think Ben was just under 14 months when he had his last feed. And now around 2 months later I'm still producing milk (which is normal) so I have the odd time when I'll leak but it's not enough to show if I'm wearing a bra.