NHS use your breastfeeding scheme on more help not shopping

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Want to help breastfeeding numbers? Give the help to those who want it!

The NHS is to bribe thousands of new mums with £200 to breastfeed following a scheme that was started last year. Brilliant you may think. More babies will be breastfed, the health of babies will improve, yadda yadda. But what about the mums, like me, who wanted to breastfeed but got little to no support to help this happen?

I can not claim to getting nothing. I was helped once a day for 10 minutes at the hospital, but once we got home we had to wait weeks until we could get an appointment with the breastfeeding support worker. In that time I was encouraged, and in some cases forced, to feed my daughter with a bottle. Whilst in the hospital the midwives there didn’t have time to help so they made up bottle feed. I was told I wouldn’t get home if I didn’t use a bottle. I asked to use a cup or syringe but those were not options to us. We even got told if we didn’t bottlefeed it would be done for us. We bottlefed.

I failed. It still upsets me

Once the breastfeeding support worker came the first thing she said was that she didn’t think she could help me. So that was that. I couldn’t force my baby to feed. She wasn’t interested and by now it was too late. I failed. It still upsets me.

Apparently the scheme, which was trialled in some of the poorest areas of the country, has seen some success. A two-thirds of participants claimed £120 of shopping vouchers for breastfeeding for six weeks. Sounds good – I wish I could have breastfed for six weeks. I wouldn’t have wanted an financial incentive to do it, just some help. For those who fed for six months they got the extra £80.

Now how do they actually tell if a baby is breastfed or whether people are claiming they are? I presume there is a test? What about people like me who expressed for a couple of months and fed all the breast milk we could to our babies?

Take your £200 scheme, put it in the bank, and help everyone who needs it

I hope things are different next time time round and that I will be able to breastfeed. Will I be expecting £200 to do so? No! Would I like at least £200 to be spend to give some extra help for people, like me, to get the help they so desperately want and need? Yes. What about using that money to better educate people?

I am so angry with this. Gutted. I thought I had accepted having to bottle feed and at times I am happy enough but there is still that huge part of baby years I missed out on (and labour, and natural birth, aaaaah).

So NHS I say take your £200 scheme and put it into the bank and look at and help those people who want it but are out with the criteria of your begging scheme!

Gumigem teething jewellery makes teething look and feel good

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Teething is easier with Gumigem (and mummy gets to look good too)

Since I had Molly I found that wearing a necklace was a choking hazard – for me and not her. That was until I heard about Gumigem.

I was a bit sceptical about Molly using these as teethers. She tends to love to chew in mobile phones, remote controls, socks, but  teething toy? Don’t be silly and when I first got them I was right, she just didn’t take to them.

That was then and this is now…

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After a bit of research I bought three items from Gumigem – two necklaces and a bangle – and Molly loves two out of three of them and I absolutely love all three so we have a win win situation.

Mollys favourite on is the bangle. So much so that she sometimes launches herself onto my wrist if she spies it and I haven’t removed it fast enough. She will roll around the house with it in her hand and can often be found with it on her arm. It was the first of the three items that she really chewed on. It is a lovely pearly burgundy red colour (they call it Firefly). You can find the Bubba Bangle on their store for £8.95 and can be ordered in a number of different colours.

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The necklace she likes to chew on is the Gumigem disc pendant. I can’t see it in their website now but they have a similar Button Pendant which retails at £12.95. It has seems to be an easy shape for Molly to hold well and ends up going straight into her mouth. I think I prefer this one for her to chew on as she can hold it well and it only has one pendant so she doesn’t try strangling me by getting a hold of any other beads on it. The cord has a plastic snap fastener at the back so if she was too pull to hard it would snap open.

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The third necklace is the Gumigem Gumidrops necklace which retails at £15.95. This is probably my favourite for wearing just as a necklace. Molly is not interested in it other than to yank at. She does try to get it in her mouth but will pull gems that are not in reach and then she gets annoyed. She will chew on them if I take the necklace off and have supervised play with her. You should never leave the child unattended when playing with the necklace.

The thing I like the most about these, other than getting to wear jewellery, is that I can wear them and forget about them. I don’t have to think about packing a teething toy as I have them on me at all times. They also look like they should just be jewellery. I have had many people commenting on how I let Molly chew my necklace and being stunned when I tell them it is a teething aid. People have to have a feel of it to see that it is made of silicon.

The silicone used is lead, latex, BPA, PVC & phtalate free so are non toxic. The cords are also non toxic so it is safe of your little one to gnaw on.

I bought these necklaces after doing my own research and all opinions are mine and mine alone. I have not been sponsored to write this post. 

Mami 2 Five

 

Nappy rash?… Totsbots to the rescue (a review)

Creams are not needed to clear nappy rash

My heart stopped when I changed a nappy a few weeks ago and spotted blood on it. I quickly saw what the problem was – Molly had a severe case of nappy rash. I need not have worried though as Totsbots came to my rescue.

The nappy rash had come from nowhere. There had been no rash that we noticed when we changed her previously but this time her skin raw. I felt so guilty. What if I had missed the signs? She had had some redness but that seemed to be only slight and had started to clear but this time her skin was open and there was slight bleeding.

The biggest problem with finding out your baby has nappy rash, is finding the nappy rash at night, when Molly was about to go to bed and we had no ointments (and no idea what to use).

I had read in the past that cloth nappies can help with nappy rash. We had some Totsbots Bamboozles in the house so I decided to put her in one of those that night and get nappy rash cream in the morning.

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The next morning her nappy rash had almost cleared up! I have since been putting her in her Totsbots a lot more and have not had any recurrences of nappy rash or redness unless we had her in disposable nappies. No need for cream, no need to go to the doctor.

I will confess that I have a stash of cloth nappies and I don’t use them as much as I should have but this has converted me and  have been putting her in them all the time now. I did have a while when all I was getting was leaks but I asked in Twitter for help and a couple of tweeters and the Totsbots team got back and told me to try boosting the nappies and this did the trick. I also don’t think I had been putting them on right which wouldn’t have helped.

I am glad I asked for help and didn’t just give up because the designs of the nappies are amazing! We have an assortment of Totsbots, including Incy Wincy Spider, that we were lucky enough to win in a competition held by Totsbots.

The only problem I have with the nappies, which is just a general issue with cloth rather than an issue with Totsbots, is that it is hard to get babygrows or leggings to fit as well over them. I will admit that this has been the biggest issue I have had that has prevented me from using them on a regular basis. Plus it is sad that I have to cover the beautiful designs. Can it not be summer all the time so we can show her nappies off all the time? I love bedtime because Molly loves to have some clothe free time and she gets to roll about in her nappy.

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The velcro tabs allow you to put the nappy on just as you would a disposable. You can adjust the length if the nappy by using the poppers to ensure the best fit then put on as you would usually. It means the nappies can fit all ages and stages of your babies growth.  We normally use the fleece liners which really keep Molly dry although we have used the flushable liners too. Our go to liner would be the fleece.

We can keep these on for three to four hours between changes with no leaks now which is great. As these can be used from birth until potty trained it means I have a long time yet to use these an a lot of time to save money on nappies in the future.

Now as Molly is getting older (almost 10 months) I can see that cloth nappies have a huge advantage over normal nappies – they are padded and Molly is about to learn how to walk. They will provide a bit of padding on her skinny bum when she falls. Oh and she looks so darn cute in them.

We have had a few other cheaper brands of cloth nappies (Littlebloom and Cannymums) which were OK but you certainly see the difference in quality with the Totsbots. They look and feel so much better.

What surprised me is how well they washed. Even on a quick wash there were no stains or smells and that is using Fairy Bio. They dry quick enough, although the Bamboozles do seem to take an age to dry.

If this prevents any future cases of nappy rash then I am happy.

I have purchased all the nappies I used for this review other than the one I won in a competition. I decided to write the post with no input from Totsbots.

Christmas crafts – card making with footprints

I am a great fan of Pintrest and have hundreds of projects that I need to get going with some of them. As it is almost December I have decided that I will get going with some Christmas crafts.

The first thing I am doing is making Christmas cards using Molly’s footprints.

As this is Molly’s first Christmas I thought that footprints would be perfect as they are cute and will be a permanent reminder of how small her feet were in years to come.

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So I have started to make this. It took seconds to do, although Molly wasn’t overly co-operative with the matter so I only got a few footprints this time round.

I used normal poster paints for her feet. This dried in seconds. For the star, baubles and tinsel I used Sharpies permanent markers.

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This was such a simple card to make. I will cut round the feet and put that only some green card along with a “Merry Christmas” greeting.

I have also planned to do some “Mistletoes” cards but will need to have more attempts of footprints.

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Gender toys – I don’t see the problem

Stop making gender toys and issue

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This may be an unpopular post but I don’t see the problem with toys being advertised as girl or boy toys. Pink toys or blue toys, does it really make any odds what colour the box is? Let there be pink toys. Let there be blue toys.

Play is important to a child’s development and children need a variety of toys to help them grow.

Toy stores and manufactures may divide toys into girl or boy sections but they don’t stipulate that you have to be a boy or girl to buy something from that sections. That decision is ultimately up to the person paying for the goods.

When looking for Christmas presents for my daughter and my nephews and nieces we looked through boy and girl toys depending on their gender. With two nephews and two nieces aged 3, 4, 5 and 6 we have never had any complaints about not buying a boy a “boy” toy or the girls a “girl” toy.

I have watched my nephews and nieces grow up and they have generally chosen what type of toy they want to play with. One niece is a member of a family who love more male things – lego, rugby, formula one – but she loves pink, princesses and dollies. We didn’t think she would but she did and this just seemed to come naturally for her. Both nieces were brought up by parents who did not agree with putting them in pink clothing and who even asked we didn’t buy pink things. Now they both opt to wear pink as much as possible.

One niece loves playing with Lego but she asks and wants the girl Lego. She decided this as her parents thought she would like to play with her brothers Lego all the time. Now she asks for all the princess Lego sets.

Children do not need to miss out in any toy just because its is advertised as part of a section of gender toys. Construction toys may be more aimed at boys but why does that stop you buying it for a girl if that is what you want? Molly will get many a construction toy, whether she chooses girly or boy construction sets I am uncertain. At the moment she has unisex mega blocks but we are looking at buying her a princess Duplo set for her birthday.

For Christmas she is getting lots of little things, some unisex but she is getting a girly play set.

I dress my girl in girly clothing – dresses, pinks etc – so why should I not find a toy that is in the girl section and buy that? If I saw something I thought she would enjoy in the boys section I wouldn’t stop buying it just because it said boy on the aisle, or it was in a blue box.

I grew up with dolls, craft sets and tea sets and I am anything but a girly girl. I also played with my brothers micro machines, Lego and Meccano. They played with my dolls. When it came down to it I always got girl toys and my brothers got boy toys. Has this caused us any harm? I certainly don’t think so.

Kinder Eggs have blue and pink eggs depicting what is inside the eggs – cars in blue or dolls in pink for example – and this caused outrage online. People complained that they were boy and girl eggs. No they weren’t, they were meerly depicting the type of toy  that was inside the egg. If a boy wanted a pink egg why stop him? If a girl wanted a blue egg let her. The people making it an issue was the adults.

If you do want to buy a toy it is almost certainly available in a gender-neutral style, be this a dolls house, construction set, or doll. That said you could just pick up a toy from the boy’s aisle and give it to a girl and vice versa?

 

Book Week Scotland 2014 – our top 10 books

We love reading books

I am a great lover of reading and can regularly be found reading into the early hours of the morning when really I should be sleeping so it is obvious that I would encourage all children to read, an not just because it is Book Week Scotland 2014.

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Since Molly was hours old I have read to her. In the hospital she was read information leaflets, emergency procedures and magazine articles. Once home she would enjoy edited excerpts from the novels I was reading or some of her books. Now she loves books.

Sometimes she loved to just turn the pages, the story is a secondary concern, and other times she giggles along as I act out the books. She is currently enjoying picture books with lift up flaps.

On our first day home from the hospital, aged four days, Molly was taken to our local library to sign up for her library card and a selection of books were borrowed. Now we go to the library every week taking out the maximum number of books that we are allowed (12) which will all be read in the first day.

At almost 10 months old, um how?, we have found that Molly has a few books she loves, so here are our top ten books

Top ten books for our first year

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1 – The Gruffalo and the Gruffalo in Scots by Julia Donaldson

We love this book. Molly loves the rhymes in it and gets so excited when we read this. It is also one that will last for years to come. We also love that we can sit down with her cousins and read this together. Her cousins know it off by heart as they love it that much. The Scots book is good as it helps Molly become familiar with many different Scottish words, some her mummy and daddy have learnt too.

2 – Hairy Maclary (all books) by Lynley Dodd

These are great books that are full of wonderful rhymes and great pictures. Molly loves the rhythm of this book and I can see them becoming ones that she will memorise the story of.

3 – Room on the Broom and Room on the Broom in Scots by Julia Donaldson

Much like The Gruffalo Room on the Broom is a great story, with great rhymes to it, that can be enjoyed for years to come. It has a film too, as does the Gruffalo, so we can sit and watch that with Molly as she grows up. It will definitely be a family favourite.

4 – Slinky Malinki (all books) by Lynley Dodd

Slinky Malinki is a mischievous cat which again has a great story using rhyming passages. Very similar to Hairy Maclary.

5 – That’s Not My Monkey by Fiona Watt

There are a series of That’s Not My books and this just so happens to be the one that Molly has. She loves to turn the pages and is starting to feel the different textures that are throughout the book. The great thing about this is there are different textures with each different monkey, unlike some other touch books that only have one or two different pages to feel.

6 – Santa is coming to Angus

There are different Santa is coming to books but this one includes the town that we live in. We enjoyed reading through it as we know the other towns that are features and the pictures are of buildings and towns on the area. This is going to become out tradition on Christmas Eve as it will just excite Molly about Santa coming!

7 – Over in the Meadow by Jane Cabrera

This is a lovely book that you can sing along to. For now it is just a fun book but as Molly gets older she will learn counting through the story. Making learning fun is essential.

8- Guess what? Animal Opposites by Jeannette Rowe

This a great flap book that Molly instantly took too. The flaps are really big which is great for her little hands to get a hold of easily. You have to lift the flaps up or pull them down. Molly didn’t even need to be shown what to do. Some flap books have tiny flaps that are more suited to older children. The picture are bold and fun. Such a great book, we just can’t turn the pages fast enough for Molly’s exploring hands.

9 – Who’s in The Loo by Jeanne Willis

This is a funny books and as Molly gets older and realises what is is about I am sure she will love it. I was introduced to this book a few years ago when my nephew was younger and he loved it and used to recite it all day.

10 – I love my Daddy by Giles Andreae

I just love this book because Molly does love her daddy and so reading this story to her just makes me smile. The book has humour in it and I just love the bond that Molly has with her daddy that contained in this book.

What are your favourite books for your baby?

We are always on the lookout for more books to add to our favourites. What are your baby or toddler’s favourite books?

Mums' Days