10 things I love and hate!

What do I love and hate?

I was tagged by new mummy Hannah over at hibabyblog who shared her 10 loves and hates, asking for me to share mine. Well of course, I thought, how hard could it be?

Well it turns out it is actually quite hard but I got there.
10 Things I love

PicMonkey Collage

  1. Family 🙂 (I feel this may the top option for many!)
  2. Making things (knitting, crocheting etc)
  3. Irn-Bru (diet, from a bottle not a can)
  4. Animals (I have a cat, two dogs and two guinea pigs)
  5. Cloth nappies (they save a fortune and there are so many different designs)
  6. Traveling around the world
  7. Finding a bargain on pre-loved sites (have saved ourselves a fortune when buying toys or baby items for M)
  8. Bright colours (loathe dark and dismal things)
  9. Spending time outdoors, especially now M can walk and is happy to explore her surroundings.
  10. Watching M sleep. That peaceful innocence. Love it.

10 Things I hate

  1. Baby/child comparisons (they all develop differently and no child is more special than the next).
  2. Competitive parenting (why? Let us all just enjoy what we are doing without being made to feel we are doing it wrong).
  3. The dentist.
  4. People who are just too loud and boisterous, wanting to be the centre of attention at all costs. No. Just no.
  5. Know it alls. Need a say more?
  6. Creepy crawlies.
  7. Feeling tired all the time.
  8. Sweet and sour chicken.
  9. The breast vs bottle feeding debate.
  10. Cleaning – You clean and it just gets dirty again.

I tag:

 

 

Rebecca Adlington’s top tips for taking your baby swimming

Take your baby swimming early

You don’t need to be an Olympic swimmer to take your baby swimming – all you need a swimming costume, swimming nappy for your baby and some water.

Despite popular belief you do not even have to wait until you baby has had their immunisations – it is thought that this advice is from when polio was common but there have been no reported cases of polio since 1984.

We took M swimming from the age of 6 weeks and she has loved swimming so much. Just seeing the swimming pool excites her and she loves getting her face wet, putting her head under the water and having a general splash about. Even in colder waters she enjoys her time in the pool and I put this down to taking her swimming when she was so young.

 

You can take your baby swimming at any age, both before and after they have been vaccinated. It doesn’t matter if they haven’t yet completed their course of vaccinations.

 

NHS Choices

But if you were an Olympic swimmer then you would surely have some great hints and tips to share with others and this is exactly what Olympic swimming gold medalist and new mum Rebecca Adlington has done with her five top tips to make swimming fun and enjoyable for even the littlest water baby:
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Rebecca explains:

1: I loved being in the water from a young age and my sisters and I were fortunate to have parents who took us swimming every Saturday. It was the most fun we had as kids and created lots of wonderful memories. And it doesn’t cost a fortune!

2: Swimming is a life skill everyone should have – it could save your life one day as well as being great for your health and wellbeing. I’d love Summer to follow in my footsteps but whatever she decides to do, I’ll be happy as long as she’s a confident swimmer. Just like my parents, Harry and I plan to take her swimming every week.

3: Getting back in the water is empowering for new mums as well as being a great confidence booster. It’s easier said than done, but women should try not to worry about their post-pregnancy figure and instead embrace spending time with their new arrivals. It’s also worthwhile remembering that swimming is a fantastic all over body exercise which can help tone your body. You actually burn 300 calories for every 30 minutes of swimming, which is why it is one of the most effective forms of cardiovascular exercise.

4: Swimming is one of the few activities you and your little one can actually participate in and enjoy together – it provides that real special bonding time for parents and children.

5: Once you’ve been swimming with your baby a few times you’ll realise that it’s a huge amount of fun and really not much hassle. Preparation is key of course and a well-packed swim bag can make it even more enjoyable. I never leave home without Huggies® Little Swimmers, which won’t expand or leak in the water, a change mat and oversized towels to wrap up in when we come out of the pool.

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For practical advice, support videos and a step-by-step guide to baby swimming, visit www.littleswimmers.co.uk.

Breastfeeding anxieties – so confused what to do!

Can I cope with failure again?

With only 8 weeks to go until our due date I have started to worry about breastfeeding again.

Last time I was adamant that I would breastfeed and, at the time, was anti formula feeding. I understood the benefits of breastfeeding, health benefits and financial benefits, so I was absolutely gutted to find that M had no interest in breastfeeding (or bottle feeding for that matter but at least you can stick a bottle in her mouth to get her going). She would not latch on at all, even with a bottle she would not open her mouth for it but for the first month and a half I tried my best to get M to have as much breastmilk as possible.

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When we were in the hospital we did get some help from breastfeeding support workers but they seemed as stumped as we did about how to get M to latch. The midwifes didn’t have the time to help and forced us to bottle feed, telling us we would not get home if M wasn’t bottle fed. During this time one midwife did give us a breast-pump to use and we did but we were greeted with laughter when only 1ml was expressed after 30 minutes.

We went home having fed with a bottle and even then M was just taking 5-10mls a time. She just wasn’t a hungry baby.

When home we spoke to the midwife about breastfeeding and she said my milk would be delayed because I had had a c-section and because I was so unwell. Why had no-one at the hospital told me this? She did not help with breastfeeding but did book me an appointment with the breastfeeding support worker who was on holiday at the time.

In the week we were at home I tried where I could to breastfeed but I felt useless. How do you hold a baby on your boob? How do you get them to open their mouth? How do you get them to stop crying when you try? How do you stop crying when your baby refuses to latch on? It was just awful.

Then the support worker came and just said to me that I had two options: 1, I could keep trying but she did not think M would ever take to the breast and I could fall into depression and resent feeding or, 2, I could give a bottle and enjoy the time I have with my baby when she is small. This was the turning point for me. When an expert tells you that you should bottle feed and enjoy life. I am so glad she came even if she couldn’t help me.

I did express milk from a borrowed hospital grade breast pump for a month or so but even this became to much for me to cope with.

Fast forward another pregnancy and this time I just don’t know what to do. Of course I want the best start for my baby but can I hand the rejection of another baby who maybe won’t want to latch on? Can I cope with the feeling of devastation if I fail at breastfeeding once again?

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I want to try again with breastfeeding again but I think I am more anxious and worried about what will happen this time. I feel more awkward about how to position a baby on my breast. I am worried because I know just how upset I would get about breastfeeding when I tried, and failed, with M. I am also confused because this time around I know that formula feeding is not the evil that I had thought it was last time.

Treasure Hunt – Around the Town

A unique book that just looks so fantastic!

9780312517977Treasure Hunt: Around the Town – Priddy Books

M and I feel in love with this book the minute we opened the first page as it is not your bog standard turn a page book. Oh no. This is a open the book and see it expand before your eyes book which makes it an incredibly eye catching and mesmerising book for any little one (and I will admit that I enjoyed playing with it too).

This fold-out book is all about interaction, with each fold out page featuring a number of items for your toddler to find.

Each treasure hunt helps your child to recognise items, learn to count and just generally point at items in the book. It means you can have great fun talking with your child whilst they have fun learning about different things.

treasurehuntEach fold out page has loads of things to discuss on it. Can you see the pink dinosaur? Where is the red apple? Can you find five raspberries? What items can you find that matched this shape?

As with every Priddy Books publication this book uses lots of bold, vibrant colours that really catch the eye of a youngster. The images of the items needing to be found on each page are really clear photographs which just stand out from the page so much.

This is a brilliant book for parents and children to own and we will be seeking out other books from the same range.


We were lucky enough to be sent these books for free but all opinion within this review is mine and mine alone!


 

Summer is here, so get out and enjoy the water- even in Scotland

When better to take your little ones swimming than now?

swimmingpool

As you know as a family we love swimming. M took her first dip aged 6 weeks and has never looked back. We go swimming most weeks, sometimes two or three times a week, and now that the weather is turning nice and we have just bought a few water play toys we will be using them a lot in the next few months when we are playing outside.

Although we live in Scotland it is predicted that we will be getting some hot weather and so we plan to take a few trips out to local locations to enjoy some fun in the sun whilst keeping cool in the water and to do that we will be packing some HUGGIES® Little Swimmers® – the UK’s number one swimming nappy – we even took a stash with us when we went on our summer holiday last year to Greece.

We bought a water table at the weekend and although we did not have too long to test it out I can see it will be a big hit with M and can see us stripping her to her swim nappy quite a lot over the coming months. Please sun, come out and play with us!

Of course we will be leaving our house to enjoy the sun too. So where can you go in the north-east of Scotland? Here are some ideas for you:

Sandy Sensation – Carnoustie

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We haven’t been to this park yet but I have seen pictures from it and heard people talk about it and think it looks fantastic. If the sun comes out this week this is where we will be headed as I just can’t wait to take M here. She will love it!

Sandy Sensations also includes an impressive play area with climbing walls, zip wire and rope bridges leading to a castle like structure offering fun for both toddlers and older children.

Seaside Splash – Montrose

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We have visited this park a few times but the weather has been too cold for us to enjoy the water part of the park so hopefully we will get to play in the water in the coming weeks. M has been very keen to get stuck into the water but since we were wearing hats and warm coats we have’t been across to that part with her yet. I will admit that me and hubby have had a play in the water area before, long before M was on the go! Certainly worth a visit, especially if the weather it nice!

As well as water play there are plenty of climbing frames, swings and sand toys to keep your child entertained.

Stonehaven Open Air Swimming Pool – Stonehaven

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This has to be one of my favourite places I remember going when I was young. The Stonehaven outdoor pool is filled with heated salt water and is a great place to take youngster to get a real good swim in the water, whist staying safe. There is a water slide in the deep end and there can be special inflatable events.

Avoiding leaks when swimming

Of course having fun when in the water is great but having a swim nappy that contains any little accidents, helping prevent embarrassing mishaps, is an essential part of the swimming kit.  We wear ours under a swimming costume but the nappies have bright designs on them and so can quite easily be worn on their own.

Getting the on and off are a breeze – they pull on like a pair of pants and you can rip the sides of them to take them off. It really is easy and we have had no problems getting them on or off at any point since M was a wee dot and swimming.

 

For practical advice, support videos and a step-by-step guide to baby swimming, visit www.littleswimmers.co.uk

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We were sent a packet of swimming nappies but all opinions are our own


 

 

26 weeks pregnant

26 weeks and the size of an aubergine

aubergine

On Wednesday we reached another week of pregnancy meaning we have now reached 26 weeks, our last week of the second trimester! This time next week I will be seven months pregnant and in the third trimester. Can not believe just how quickly this pregnancy is going and that at 26 weeks I still have my rings on!

What vegetable are you?

At 26 weeks Button has now grown to be the size of an aubergine around 36 cm in length and 1.75lb in weight!

Swelling?

Still none! I think this is the thing I am most happy about at the moment as last time I had so much selling it was unreal. My rings stopped fitting very early on and I had to buy new shoes as nothing fit!

Symptoms?

Nothing new has occurred since my previous post – boobs hurt, heartburn, faintness, tiredness etc.

My ribs have been sorer than they have been but this is just a tiredness things rather than rib flare like last pregnancy which is a relief.

Baby update

At 26 weeks Button’s lungs and brain are developing well and Button can now detect changes in light as well as hearing far more than it has been. His or her eyes are able to open and it is able to move about so much more than previously (oh how true this is).

 

Cloth nappies have made me eco friendlier #recyclingweek

Cloth nappies have helped make me eco-friendlier

A few days ago if you had asked if I was eco friendly I would have answered no without pausing but when speaking to cloth nappy users and reading information about #RecycleWeek I have come to realise that I am far more eco-friendly than I first imagined.

The thing that got me thinking was when someone asked what we thought if cloth nappies in terms in being eco friendly. Well I immediately thought to myself that I had not considered this as an option to be honest. I chose cloth nappies, mainly, because they have such amazing designs and that we would save money. It took us months to really use them all the time with M but as soon as we thought about having baby number two we realised just how much money we could save if we used cloth on a more full time basis (although we do use disposables from time to time). Instantly we noticed that we never had to think about buying a box of nappies when we were out shopping. In fact months go by before we think about buying another small packet.

Before our council changed our bins, to encourage recycling, we only had a small box to put our recycling into and shamefully months could go buy without us putting anything into the box. Everything just went into the waste bin. Then our waste bin was shrunk and our recycling bin made into a big wheelie bin and so we actively started recycling. Strangely I realised that I enjoy the idea of putting things out to recycle. There are now times that we have so much recycling to put out every other week that we have had to borrow our neighbours bin.

At the same time as noticing how much more we could do with recycling I also realised that one of the few items that got thrown in our waste bin was M’s disposable nappies. Once we stopped putting her in these every day we went from struggling to fit everything in the bin on bin day to having a half empty bin every two weeks!

Now when we do put M into a disposable, which we do at night if we have run out of night nappies, I get so annoyed if she does a poo in a new nappy. What a waste. A waste of money, a waste of rubbish! Had that been a cloth nappy it would simply have been out into the wash or of it was still dry and clean once the liner was removed then a new liner and back on. This has been one of the biggest turning points for me.

I would say that most of my change of opinion on recycling has been due to using cloth nappies. I have even sat down and made my own liners out of old fleece clothing, or we often buy from Facebook groups to reuse nappies. I have no idea of how many nappies we have saved going into landfill but I can happily put my hands up and say I am helping the environment!

Taking cloth nappies out of the equation and just having a child makes you reuse things. Whether that is clothing, toys, furniture or even using toilet rolls for craft activities or planning shopping trips to avoid food waste. All in all it doesn’t actually take much to become eco friendly and it is achievable to all.

I was looking in M’s toy box and realised that many of the toys in the box as eco-friendly in the sense that we bought them at a local second hand market. Even Button has a few items which we saw for sale online saving us so much money and keeping an item away from the waste tip.

I also like crafting and when I have clothes that are no longer fit for purpose I can hear cogs in my head whirring at what I could make M to wear, or what toy I could make Button!

I guess what made me think I was not eco-friendly was, rather narrow-minded of me to think, that I am not a “hippy”. What an awful thing to think but I will admit that when people mention eco-friendly to me this is the first image I have. Dreadlocks, flowers, flares etc.