Christmas Beauty Gift Guide.

So Christmas is fast approaching, it's by far my favourite time of year. Just like last year, I've started early and already done lots of shopping, I've told myself it's far too early to wrap yet though. Now that most stores have got the Christmas stock in and ready, I've had a good look around and these are my top picks that I like for beauty gifts.

1. Chanel Chance - A classic fragrance that has been around for years, it's sophisticated and elegant. This fragrance lasts all day and after having a sample of it, I'm definitely lusting after the full size. The bottle is so timeless too.

2. Magnitone Lucid Facial Cleansing Brush - Look at the colour of this! Avaliable in lots of vibrant, you really can't go wrong. For me, this is a purse friendly version of the Clarisonic, at almost a third of the price, it's perfect for any beauty obsessed lady.

3. Urban Decay Naked Palette - Anyone who even has a slight interest in beauty knows about these beautifully pigmented palettes. The first palette often gets overlooked I feel, but it's definitely my favourite, and again something I've had my eye on for years. (You can find it here)

4. Alpha H Liquid Gold - This has had so much hype around the blogging world, for giving a flawless complexion in a matter of days, that I'm beyond intrigued to try this. It must have something to back up the rave reviews, this is something I'm sure most ladies would love to try out. (Available here)

5. GHD Creative Curve - So GHD have FINALLY created curling wands, something that's been so highly coveted by pretty much every lady in existence. And I can't wait to try one, as GHD's are my absolute must have hair straightener since the age of 13. (that's ten bloody years) I must get my hands on the creative wand, as it gives just the effect I'm after.

6. YSL Shocking Mascara - I'm currently on the hunt for a new one, a lot of the vloggers around at the moment seem to have this as a staple, which definitely means I need it too. It's not a plastic wand which is something many of us dislike, so I'd definitely be pleased to see this under my tree this year.

Noah You're 10 Months!

I feel like I repeat myself every time, but how on earth do I almost have a one year old baby on my hands? It really seems a couple of weeks ago I was changing those god awful newborn nappies in the hospital. Wow. Noah you're really shaping out to be such a kind, gentle boy and so many people are completely besotted with you.



Routine: Your routine hasn't changed much since you've been around 6/7 months old. You're trying new things now, such a muesli for breakfast, smoothies every so often and you love everything. You are very happy in your routine and we're happy that you are.

Sleeping: Sleeping is 7-6 now, so you've knocked an hour off what you used to sleep. But that's fine, as we're up at that time for work, it means we get to give you breakfast before we pass you to Nana. You wake occasionally but go down with a quick cuddle. You're beginning to nap more and it's probably because you're moving a lot more now!

Weight:  After you're health visit last week, we discovered you weigh 23.5lb, which is perfect and you're still on the same percentile you always have been. We couldn't get you measured as you hate to be put down and left with someone or somewhere you don't know, as you don't cry often, mummy didn't want you to get upset so we passed on that. 

Milestones: You've cracked crawling with ease a couple of months ago. You're sofa surfing and will walk around any table or side, as long as you're gripping on. We're just starting to get you putting your feet flatter on the floor, then you'll be walking! I'm desperate to get your first shoes from Clarkes, but I've been warned to wait for your first steps. You now have six teeth! SIX! For a 10 month old baby, that is quite a few. I think teething might leave you alone for a little while (we hope) as you deserve a little rest.

A Month In Pictures



Bottom to Top (l-r)
A bubble beard and a sink bath, Noah absolutely adores his bath time, he loves the water

Zara haul, I just can't help myself. I love their leggings and these are some I picked up, along with some cute polo neck tops - perfect for A/W.

Pumpkin! Of course this was halloween, how much will he hate me for this in 10 years?

Road tripping up to my sisters in Manchester for her Halloween party, Noah had an amazing night and she throws a good party.

A rough morning requires a lot of coffee. I owe a lot to Nescafe.

Halloween at work, or rather 'Cat & pumpkin day'. The contacts lasted till around 12 before they itched my eyeballs off.

What have you all been up to this October?

I'm back at work.

Possibly the thing most mothers dread from the moment they enter maternity leave, is it ending. I even remember having dreams in April where I'd gone back to work and woke up feeling so much relief that I was still at home. But you know what? It's not that bad. Honestly. I've been back at work now for 10 weeks and it has gone so incredibly fast. I work 8-6 Monday through till Friday, when I usually work 9-1. It works so well for us because it means I still get to spend an afternoon with Noah, so I don't feel like I'm missing out on so much. It's definitely hard, when I'm getting home at 6:30 and Noah's off to bed in 30 minutes, that's the aspect I find toughest. But it just makes me appreciate our time together so much more. Some people are incredibly fortunate enough not to need to return to work, which is amazing but that's just not where we are at. If I'm honest, I do enjoy my job (I'm a nursery nurse) and it means I get a little bit more adult conversation as well as feeling like I'm actually doing something again. I'm also aware it's incredibly tough for some people to find childcare, as someone who works in that industry, I know how unbelievably expensive it is as well as how hard it can be to leave your children with someone you don't know so personally.

Noah spends his days with my mum, which is great for us as she sends me little snapshots of what he's up to, it means we can have the routine we want for him and it also means he's with someone he's very familiar with. However two mornings a week, I do put Noah into nursery, not only to give my Mum time to do the lists of chores she has to do, but for Noah to experience new things. Something we can't provide at home, is interaction with other children, but nursery can. He plays with new toys, has new activities every day and makes friends. It's nice for him because it's learning him to be a little bit more independent. It also helps for my own comfort, that I'm only a few classrooms down so if there ever was a problem, they know where I am.

All in all, I am very happy back at work, and it really wasn't anything like I expected it to be. I know where Noah is and I know everyone around him has his best interests at heart, I might be more tired than before, or miss spending every waking moment with him. But I feel it's definitely more beneficial to us all, with me back at work.



Any other mummies returning to work soon?

Pacapod Jura Review*

Well, well, well, where to start with the Pacapod Jura? I'm a slight changing bag hoarder and this is by far the most multi-functional, easy to use & stylish one I've owned. I almost feel as though I've wasted hours of my life searching in bags for bits and bobs when if I had of had this bag, all of that could of been avoided.



The Pacapod prides itself on their Pods, and the Jura comes with two, one for feeding and one for changing. I personally found this so handy when out for dinner, I didn't have to lug a bag to the changing rooms, I'd just simply grab the Changing Pod and off we'd go. With an ever growing 8 month old baby, being able to just carry a super lightweight bag with me to the toilets made it much easier. The same goes for the Feeding Pod, as most Mothers out there know, when your baby wants their milk, they want it now. I didn't find myself rummaging around for his bib or muslin, as the Feeding Pod provides perfect little pouches so everything is easily accessible. I was very impressed.

With most changing bags I've used, I've found once I have all my sons changing and feeding bits in, it's rather full. Not with the Pacapod Jura, you've still got two huge compartments on the front for everything else. I feel like this bag is made for us Mummies who like to over pack, I used one zip compartment for spare clothes for Noah, something that came in handy when sending him off to Nana's for a day. And there was still another whole compartment left for either my stuff, toys for Noah or both! (Yes it is that spacious). I couldn't believe how easy this bag has made things for us. It's definitely played to my organisation needs, as everything has it's own slot or pouch, even the changing mat, which may I add is so soft and spongy, providing extra comfort for your little ones changes when you are out and about.

I already know we'll be purchasing another for my other half, the Pacapod Jura is so versatile and can easily be used by Mummy or Daddy. It's wipe clean which is extremely handy because you don't have to worry about any sticky messes ruining your gorgeous bag. In the first few days I wore it out I was asked twice where the bag was from, it's eye-catching with its bold and beautiful pattern and really has made a world of difference to days out for me and Noah.

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Heading Back To Work

The dreaded subject and the time that seemed years away, has finally come, I'm due to go back to work in two weeks (three with one weeks holiday) but contrary to a lot of people, I am nervously excited.



Of course, it goes without saying I will miss Noah so much, I'll wish I was home with him and the novelty of heading back to work will wear thin within a week, but after a while maternity leave can become a little bit tedious. Maternity pay is no big money, and when babies are so small (see previous post) there isn't too many places you can take them to interact, so from time to time it can all become a little same-y. I'm definitely looking forward to some adult interaction that isn't with someone I live with. I'm looking forward to earning my own money again, It'll be nice to gush to someone who probably isn't sick of me talking about him yet, but most of all I will be looking forward to coming home to my cuddly little boy and snuggling up to him. I'm lucky enough to work literally 3 minute drive from our house, so I can pop home at lunch, my hours are what I wanted and I do enjoy working at my job, so I can't complain. I also know, Noah will be safe at home with my mum taking very good care of him, we're fortunate that she is able to do that as I'm sure heading back to work for me would be much more difficult if I knew he was going into the hands of someone I didn't know.

Any other Mummies out there heading back to work soon? How you do feel about it?

Noah You're 8 Months


My oh my! I cannot believe when I look back at your last update, you were half the age you are now. So much has changed since then, you are like a different baby & have gained so many new skills. But one thing that hasn't changed, is your lovely temperament, you become sweeter and develop into your own little character more and more.

Routine: Our routine is very consistent now, and it works incredibly well for you. We wake up around 7, have a little snuggle, we sing the wake up song (well Mummy does) and then have your breakfast. You play for a short while before a mid morning nap & some more playing. It's soon dinner time and then we either head outside, have extra play or just relax together before your longer afternoon nap. Before we know it it's tea time, Daddy is home & you're off to bed, but not before a bath, snuggle and a bottle. Everything is working super well in that department.

Sleeping: We've just arrived back from two weeks in Tunisia, and you slept a dream whilst we were there (I think it was a mixture of fresh air & heat) since the day we arrived home you have been unsettled in your sleeping. And cheeky you will not allow Daddy to settle you, but touch wood the past two nights you've worked yourself out and we're back to sleeping through 7-7. Which we're more than happy with.

Weight: You'll not be getting weighed until the clinic is on next Wednesday, but I have noticed you have got much heavier. You're 'solid' as your old nana says, like a bag of cement. Probably because you will eat everything & anything and nobody can sit down to eat without you wanting some of their food. Size 6-9 month clothing in some shops are coming up a bit tight now, (in particular around your chubby legs and tum) so I think you're around the 24-25lb mark. We shall have to see next week!

Milestones: I can't even number how many you've achieved since 4 months. We're onto lumpier food, you're teeth are cutting through this week so now you have one, and you're beginning to try to crawl. You are desperate to be on the move, as soon as you're in your walker you are off, chasing us, the doggies & even trying to open the cupboards, you rascal. Today you again astounded us with some clapping along to a song Nana sings, and even clap when we ask you too. You are growing and developing so much every single day and it's amazing to watch alongside you.


Taking A Baby All Inclusive

So we've just returned from two weeks in Tunisia, it was beyond lovely and the weather was a dream. We are truly lucky that we have such a well behaved baby, he didn't make any fuss on any journey and I can't even recall a cry from him the whole holiday. However we did know taking a baby to an all inclusive resort, is a totally different ball game to a villa or self catering, mainly because the only appliance you have in most all inclusive hotels, is a kettle, this can definitely prove difficult depending on how young your baby is, so here are some of my tips and tricks I learned along the way.

  • Sterilising was my main worry, without a microwave or a steriliser I was so worried how we'd keep Noahs' bottles sterile. But with Milton tablets, we just filled the bathroom sink (or a bucket it you prefer) with boiling hot kettle water, popped in part of a Milton tablet and let his bottles sterilise for 30 minutes. It was so easy, and then they were good to go.
  • Definitely over pack, for most package holidays these days, you do only get a 15/20kg luggage allowance, (10 for babies) I'd advise paying the little bit more for an extra 5kg, we did and it eased our minds so much. We knew we didn't have to worry, we had everything we need and wouldn't be charged a fortune at check in for being over the limit.
  • Bring the essentials. A lot of places in Europe you probably can get standard baby brands. But as we were travelling to North Africa I didn't dare not to bring familiar brands from home. For example his Nappies, Milk & Swim nappies. I am beyond glad I did this as although you could find nappies, I didn't recognise the brand (Lilas?) and he may have reacted to them. Also baby milk was a non existent over there, I'm guessing most ladies there will Breast Feed as they often don't have disposable money for things like that. So definitely bring more than you think you would need, and the same goes for swim nappies, they were absolutely no where to be seen, again I doubt they find them necessary like we do.
  • Weaning I would 110% recommend before you go away somewhere like this. Noah is on to what I'd say is lumpy food. He can eat chopped pasta, shredded meat & fish etc. So we found it relatively easy to get him food, he ate pretty much what we did just cut into small pieces. There was also bits and pieces like mash, soups etc. But it could prove difficult if your baby is only onto purées, I'd probably bring some pouches if that is the case. All inclusive are more often than not, buffet style main restaurants, so you will always find something.
  • Team work is such a huge part of holidaying. We were so lucky to have our parents there too, sometimes when you both want to relax together for 30 minutes, it's handy to have someone along side to help out. I'm also fortunate John isn't much of a tanning kind of guy, he would happily sit in the shade and it worked well as obviously we didn't want Noah in the sun too much. 
  • Don't fret about the plane ride. I was beyond worried how Noah would react, flying at 6am meant we left our house at 2am. He was so tired on the plane outbound, but we do have a very nosey baby so he didn't sleep till the final 20 minutes. We took plenty of pre made bottles (remember for your return journey too) and took spares of everything. He was an angel on the way back too, and slept for about half of the three hour return flight. 
I know First Choice & Thomson do sell 'baby packs', something I didn't realise until a couple of weeks before we were due to fly, they include steriliser, bottle warmer & a pram a believe? They may be worth a look if you are travelling with them. Travelling to an All Inclusive with a baby definitely requires a lot of thinking, and lists not to forget (soo many lists haha) but we loved every minute of it and I'm already looking up for next years. Please let me know how you got on away with a baby, and if you'd like a post on what we took for Noah.


               

Clinique Superbalanced Foundation Review

Clinique have always been one of my favourite brands since I was around 15, recommended to me by my own mother. I think one of their huge benefits is that they don't use any harsh chemicals, thus making it very unlikely to break you out or cause any adverse reactions. Their Superbalanced foundation is so dreamy on my skin, I absolutely love it, I've tried so many different foundations and don't think I've ever bought the same bottle more than twice, with this being the exception. It has quite a dewy finish leaving that perfect, no make-up, made up look which is what most of us girls want to achieve. Clinique have such a vast range of shades and this foundation does come in different skin types, for example dry / combination / oily. I really cannot rave about it enough. It's a little pricey at £21.50 but you get so much product in this lovely glass jar, and a
little goes a very, very long way. However the glass jar could be the only possible negative as it may be prone to breakage, although I've never had that problem myself and I have carted this across many oceans and borders. If you're looking for a new foundation, try this, I promise you won't regret it.


What Maternity Leave Is Really Like

First of all, the best piece of advice you can ever give a pregnant lady, is invest in numerous pairs of really comfy and cute pyjamas. Because let me tell you, you wont be getting dressed for a good couple of weeks, and even months in you'll still spend 90% of your days in your pyjamas. I'd advise a few pairs because when the baby is sick on them (every day) you've got a fresh pair on hand, it also comes in handy for when guests come round and you're not in the same pair they saw you in last time. Pyjamas become wearable anywhere. Picking up the other half from work? Pyjamas will do. Nipping to the shop for emergency nappies? Pyjamas will do?

I couldn't wait to have Noah, get ourselves suited and booted in the car and head off to the Zoo, the Aquarium, the Beach, oh the possibilities were endless. Oh how naive. It sounds harsh, but babies don't care for any of that. They can't appreciate the colourful fish, enjoy the sunshine on the beach or even be fascinated by the animals at the Zoo, no matter how much we want them to, they just really aren't bothered. They're more likely to be extremely irritated that you're confining them to their pushchair for so long and would prefer to eat their toes. And at the age where they can start to appreciate it, is the time when you have to head back to work.

3pm is a perfectly acceptable time to venture out for the first time that day. It's usually because you started getting ready at 11am, you've had a poo explosion, a sick, a whole outfit change and then as you're above to put them in their car seat, they're fast asleep and you dare not wake them because you've had about 18 minutes peace in the last month so you're going to savour that moment. Taking a baby out takes planning, team work and lots of preparation.

At least one day out of the week you will be waiting for daddy and almost rugby ball pass your baby to him as he walks through the door. We all have those days, and they're bloody hard work!

Even the same week you've popped your baby out you will be asked on average 8.493 times, if you're 'Going back to work?'. I'm not really sure why it's anyone's business but be prepared with an answer because they'll be expecting one outright.

Money, money, money. Maternity pay is no great fortune let me tell you that. And the further into maternity pay you get, the less and less it amounts too. It's such a hard choice, go back to work early and have more money? Or stay at home longer and have a lot less. It's shit, but we all face that dilemma at some point.


                                                 (Noah looking how I've felt on a few days)




Noahs Holiday Essentials


So to anybody that follows me on Twitter it is no secret we're heading on holiday in July, and I'm pretty sure I've been ready for it since January. I've bought everything Noah needs bar a holiday pushchair / buggy, so if anyone has any recommendations, please let me know. As I was due in November last year, our holiday was pre-booked for October so we had to cancel just in case, it's now been too long since I've felt the sun, sea and sand. I have read so many blog posts on what I'll need and wont for Noah, and after travelling with my younger brother, I've picked up a few ideas of what is essential and isn't.

1. First is a float seat. After seeing this on Hannah Maggs video with the gorgeous baby Grayson, I knew we just had to have one. It's perfect for being hands free in the water, and I think Noah will feel more secure in one, it makes him slightly more independent, it's taken all my will power not to whip this out for the swimming baths. I can't wait to see him in it.

2. A waterproof hat. I have so many hats for Noah with the flap at the back, they're the best for keeping the hot sun off the back of his neck, but I needed some waterproof ones. These are perfect for in the pool because if they get wet, they dry as quick as a swimming costume would. I wouldn't want to be putting a wet cotton hat back on his head as he'd catch a cold. I picked this up from Boots Miniclub.

3. Sun cream. Pretty obvious I know. But we'll be using factor 50+ on Noah to protect his delicate baby skin. I particularly like the Nivea Childrens one as it has no harsh chemicals and is green so you can see exactly where it's going. It's also not as sticky as some others I've used. Because have you ever tried to dress a wriggly baby after applying sticky suncream? Very difficult I tell you.

4. Calpol Sachets. These are perfect for on the plane, they wont exceed the fluid limit and they're a lot more lightweight & nifty so they can squeeze into any little space. I'll be only taking one pack as Noah isn't often ill, but these will come in super handy if he is feeling slightly under the weather.

5. Mosquito Bands. I stand by these 100%, these are so much easier than Mosquito spray, and every holiday I've been on, including Brazil which was rife with all sorts of insects due to the Amazon nearby, I rarely get bitten more than once. These are extra handy for Noah as I don't feel too comfortable spraying the Mosquito spray onto him, it does smell like very strong hairspray and often takes your breath away so I don't really want that for him.

6. Lastly, a Hawaiian Shirt. Because well, what guy hasn't owned a Hawaiian shirt in his life? It's also super lightweight and soft so will be nice and cooling on him in the evenings.


Have I missed anything you would recommend to bring?












A new healthy lifestyle

As most ladies with a summer holiday booked, a baby recently born and a body that definitely doesn't look how it used to, I knew it was time for a change. Time has been ticking away to our holiday in July & I've finally bitten the bullet, got off my backside and started making some changes.

Firstly, I've completely cut out fizzy pop. It was often filling me during meals, making me not finish food & then snack on cr*p once the fizzy bloating had subsided. Obviously it's completely terrible for you, and just empty calories really, so a very obvious first choice to cut out, I don't particularly enjoy it so it's not been a struggle at all. I've just bought bottled water and fresh juices in instead. 

Second, is snacking. This was to be more difficult, as I do enjoy a little snack whilst watching a movie or to be honest, if I'm bored. I knew to just give up snacks would be pretty hard, because I do get peckish, so I've not cut it out, I've changed it. Firstly if I'm hungry I'll have a drink, and if I'm still hungry 10 minutes after, I'll have a healthy snack. I bought in some peppered cracker bread and snack on that. I've even bought some wheat & gluten free Naked chocolate bars which are perfect as they're way healthier than say a milky bar? (Mmm milky bar)
And lastly, exercise, something that is incredibly hard to find time for as a mummy. When we get a break, we have chores to do, errands to run and sometimes, we just want to sit down and relax. But I'm pretty fortunate, my parents actually have a gym at home. Running machines. Cross trainers, bikes, weight machines, sauna, the lot. It works really well because if I want to go in the gym, my mum is more than happy to look after Noah for an hour which is perfect, I couldn't ask for a better arrangement. 

I'm hoping to lose two stone in total, because I'd like to lose a fair bit more than I've put on. I know I need to do it now, because I want to feel good on holiday, and when I go back to work in October I really will struggle to find the time. Now is my chance and I'm relishing it. 

Any other mummies out their on a diet? Please tell me your tips? 

The Dummy Debate

Something that often causes quite a stir, is should your child have a dummy or not? Now before I had Noah, I thought there was no way on earth I would give him one. It was unnecessary and if he never had one, he couldn't miss what he didn't have. Very naive of me.


When Noah was very young, and up until about 10 weeks he really, really wasn't fussed about having one. I did find myself offering him them when he sometimes seemed inconsolable, but he only got frustrated as he thought it was a bottle. I quickly had decided that if he would take one he could have one, anything that would soothe him or help him out, was completely fine by me. Now Noah does take a dummy, but not all the time, he only has it for maybe 1 hour a day? Which we give him to fall asleep, he doesn't cry for one or anything like that, which is the perfect position to be in for us. He even drops it out once he's fallen asleep and it's no issue for him.

I know people do think a dummy is bad for a baby, and of course, if he's hooked on a dummy at 2 or 3, I'll be starting to worry about the development of his teeth and gums. But at the moment, it's really not an issue. We will wean him off it at 1, but I don't think it will be a problem as he isn't all that reliant on it. I do feel like there is a stigma attached to dummys these days, like often getting funny looks from people when he has one in. I even had a women in Tesco once ask me if he took a dummy, I'm really not sure what relevance it is to anyone? Whatever makes my child happy, makes us happy. And if it isn't harming him, then I don't see any problem.

What do you think about children having a dummy?

A Month In Photos

This month we've not done anything too exciting. We took a trip to Lincoln one weekend, we took a walk around the lake & just relaxed. We also took a road trip down to Manchester, to visit my sister & her fiance in their new house, which was Noahs' first night away from home. This weekend Noah will get to meet his Grandma (Johns mum) for the first time as she is over visiting from Spain.




 


Noah 4 Month Update

I've been a bit naughty lately and kind of absconded from blogging. I have been super busy and to be honest, haven't had the energy. When I've had spare time I've just wanted to relax or do chores that have mounted up. But I vow to be back on track now.



Noah is almost 5 months! Where has that time gone? I know it's cliche, but it's really gone by so fast. He's grown up so quickly and really has developed his own little personality, it's so amazing to see him grow and change every single day.

Routine: I feel we've fully developed a routine for Noah now. He has begun weaning so we give him some porridge / fruity porridge around dinner time, and then we've started incorporating something more substantial for tea time, like Mediterranean vegetables and rice, which he loves. As soon as Noah reaches 5 months, I will move off the powders and start making my own purées & giving him some of our food, which I'm extremely excited for.

Sleeping: Noah did go through a very bad sleeping phase from around 15 weeks and it lasted about 2-3 weeks, I felt like I was going mad. But he seems to have worked it out himself and is back to normal again now. He goes to sleep after a bath, bottle & some cuddles at 7 and he's fast asleep by 8. We were very keen to keep it at this time, and may even make it 30 minutes later as when we go on holiday, I don't want him wanting to sleep before we've even had tea. But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. He does sleep till around 5/6, when I usually bring him in with me and he falls straight back to sleep with cuddles. We then wake around 9 and get on with our day.

Milestones: So Noah has fully mastered the roll, from front to back, it's like a little game for him now. We try to give him tummy time, and he has other ideas and flips onto his back. The cheeky boy! He's a confident grabber now, and when he reaches for things he gets them first time, for example if he has a dummy in, he enjoys pulling it out, putting it back in. He's even managed to grasp hold of his juice cup!!

I really think 4-7 months are the months of the most changes within a baby, and I cannot wait to see how much Noah develops over these crucial weeks.

The Benefits Of Bottle Feeding.

When I was pregnant, in every waiting room, every hospital corridor, every antenatal class, breastfeeding was rammed down my throat. It was slightly ridiculous, and you're almost made to feel bad if you don't want to breastfeed. They even went round the group in an antenatal class and asked everyone what they were planning on doing, now I honestly don't see any need for that, except to make you feel bad and then sit there and listen to all of these wonderful stories of how much of a better mother you shall be if you breastfeed. Not once, ever in my pregnancy or since having Noah, have I heard anyone discuss the benefits of bottle feeding. (When I say bottle feeding, I do mean formula) So here i am.

First of all, the main benefit for us has been joint feeding. It allows me to have a break occasionally and John to feed, which is nice because I usually have a million and one other things I need to do that John simply cannot fathom (washing, drying, ironing, cooking etc) It gives me a little time on my hands. On weekends then, when John is off work, he can help out with night feeds, which is amazing because it does mean again, I get a little bit more relaxing and sleep (ah yes, remember sleep?) The final benefit of joint feeding, is that Noah and John bond together. Feeding is such a delicate and peaceful time, Noah really studies our faces when he's having his milk and it would be such a shame for John to ever miss out on that. It stops him feeling left out.

You really can feed anywhere. Now I know with breastfeeding you also can, but some ladies really don't feel comfortable feeding in public, which is a problem you'll never have with bottle feeding. There is no shyness, you don't have to sneak off to a private room if at a friends house, and you can do it absolutely anywhere. Just pop a bottle ready in your bag, I often warm it before we leave (as it takes a good hour to become a reasonable temp) and then it's good to take. That way, if Noah is due a feed when we're out, it doesn't limit us to how long we can stay out for. 

Sleeping longer, people might dispute this but I am certain that babies who are bottle fed do tend to sleep for longer periods. I believe formula is slightly bulkier than breast milk, thus filling their little tummies for longer. Because if a breast fed baby is giving a formula feed before bed, you often hear their mummies saying how much more sleep they got. Noah sleeps roughly for 5 hours between a feed during the night, and that's a minimum. It's very, very, unlike him to wake any earlier between feeds than that, often going longer. 

When you're little one is getting older, you'll have absolutely no issues with weaning them onto a bottle. Because they'll have already gotten used to it. There isn't any latching issues like sometimes there can be with newborns, and you really don't feel all of that added stress of if they're getting enough because you can see EXACTLY how much they're getting at each feed, and adjust it appropriately if needed.

Some people might not like the idea of this post, because I do believe in some ways it is almost seen as failing if you bottle feed. Something I think is a load of c**p. The midwives at one antenatal class I went to told us that breastfeeding mothers are 'just more in tune with there babies', again something I see as complete rubbish. We adore Noah, and just because we chose to bottle feed, doesn't mean we feel any differently towards him than mothers do who breast feed their children. We've done what we think is best for our child and us, and so far, it's working absolutely wonderfully.


What's In My Changing Tables Top Drawer


I'm pretty nosey, and loved to see posts on 'what's in my hospital bag / changing bag/ handbag' etc. I thought this was along the lines of those, and I always find it interesting to see what products everyone is using so I decided to post my own, about what's in Noahs' top drawer of his baby changer.
We have two little white baskets, which I purchased from TK Maxx I believe, they were very good value at only about £6 each, they're wood with a white linen lining. In the middle of the two baskets, we have Noahs' bibs and dribble bibs. Which I tend to pop on him for 30 minutes or so after a feed, just in case we have a little sick up, or a dribble, then his clothes aren't ruined for the day.


In the first basket, I have some Sudocrem, which I think is pretty much a staple for most Mummys. We use it every time we change Noah, just to be on the safe side. We also have Metanium which is another form of nappy rash / barrier cream. From working in a Nursery I know this is the best out there for even the most severe of nappy rashes, so I keep some just in case. Luckily, I've yet to use it. Pampers wipes are our wipes of choice, sensitive ones for Noahs' newborn skin. He's never had any issues with these and I find them to be the best for him, they're not very wet or very dry, so they're the perfect medium and work well for us. I keep some cotton buds just to clean his outer ear from time to time, they also come in handy for getting little bits of sleep under his eyes, so I'm not poking my huge fingers near his eyes. The cotton wool pads are also for little mop ups, or for wiping Noahs' bottom, as I know John sometimes prefers to use cotton wool & water. Lastly I keep a comb, brush & some scissors. The comb and brush for obvious reasons, to keep our little man looking on point. And the scissors to cut off labels. He has lots of clothes that are new, so when I'm getting him dressed I don't have to wander around searching for scissors to chop off labels & tags.

In the left basket we have some extra cotton wool pads, which are Little Angels from ASDA, we usually just pick any up from anywhere when we're running low. And nappies, lots and lots of nappies, Noah is in newborn size 3, we use Pampers because they've always worked well for us. We did have a bit of an issue a while ago with leakages, but I think it's because we needed to pop him up a size, and now we have, there is no issues. Also something I forgot to photograph above, is scented nappy sacks. We have them too and pop his nappies in one of those every time, it just reduces the smell in the bin & is a whole lot tidier.
So there you have it, that's what is in Noahs' changing table drawer.

What's in yours?

John Lewis Baby Bath Support Review

I would recommend this product to anyone. This was our game changer for bath times with Noah. We purchased it a few days after Christmas, so Noah was around three weeks old. And up until that point, he'd absolutely hated baths. Perhaps he could sense we felt a bit anxious holding him over his baby bath? Or maybe he generally just didn't like being held in the water, we'll never know. But what I do know now he is absolutely LOVES bath time, and I can safely say it's down to this seat / support.

We use it like this:

We purchased it from John Lewis at around £10, you can get that here. It can clip rest over the edge of a baby bath like above, or you can pop it laying down in your normal adult bath. It makes it so much easier, especially if I'm bathing Noah alone, because I have both my hands free, although I like to keep one on him anyway (just in case) It's made of cloth which I particularly like and find different to most baby supports / seats, because that way I can pop it in the water first, so it's nice and warm on his back. It also means he isn't sliding around on it, or is it sticking to his back, like plastic would. Plus, it's then machine washable, which is a huge bonus. Noah could sit in the bath for hours I'm sure if we let him, he sits so contently on his seat, looking around, smiling, and it's made washing him very easy as he's not screaming his little lungs out and fidgeting around. Bath time is now a delight in our household & we look forward to it every evening, as I'm sure Noah does too!



Noah You're Two Months Old!

So it's been a full two months since you were born, it's cliché but I really don't know where the time has gone. You really are starting to look like a proper little boy now, you're getting so so big.

Feeding
Once again we've upped your ounces of your milk, you were draining a full 7oz and we were often beggining to give you a bottle every 3 hours instead of the normal 4, so we upped it to 8oz and now you're very content. I hope it stays this way for a while, because our Tommee Tippee bottles only go up to 9oz. Then I'm unsure what we'd do. You've struggled with wind a few times this week, so I've given you Infacol which has sorted you out straight away.

Routine
You're finally starting to go to sleep a bit earlier, which is lovely. You often drop off now around 10/11 (not too early I know, but a marked improvement) and then after your midnight feed, you sleep right through until 6am, sometimes even longer. Apart from that your little routine hasn't changed much, you're still a very, very happy boy in the mornings, I often bring you onto my bed and chat to you, you babble back and smile. We've even had a couple of giggles as I'm chatting away. You still absolutely adore bath time and I wish I could keep you in all day because it makes you so happy. We play away with the sponges and you sit, smile and stare at us in awe. I'm pretty happy with your routine now, and very soon we're going to start popping your moses basket into your cot! How exciting.


Milestones
You are such a smiley baby, it's unbelievable. You love being spoken to, you smile at me when I come into your view and you always love me making a 'brrrrrring brrrrring' noise. As said above, I've even had a few little giggles from you, I cannot wait till you're giggling more, they are the most adorable sounds I've ever heard. You had your jabs as you turned eight weeks, you cried for no more than 10 seconds and was totally fine. I think I was more worried about them than you. In the evening you got pretty clingy and the littlest things really upset you into a crying state, so we used Calpol for the first time. We've not had to use it since because you really are just a super happy contented baby. We love you Noah!

How I get through night feeds.

Night feeds are one of the most exhausting things about being a parent. I am a lady who unashamedly loves her sleep, and nothing feels worse than when you've spent hours settling your little one late at night, to realise now they're finally asleep but will be up in a couple of hours for a feed. Of course I would do anything for my son, without a doubt, but it's hard, it's an exhaustion that no amount of book reading, can prepare you for. Here are a few of my little ways that help me get through.

1. Recording programmes. I'm often so busy in the day, I don't really get time to sit down and watch my favourite programmes on TV, so thank The Lord for Sky+. During the daytime I set many different programmes to record, and then it makes it slightly easier getting up, knowing I have a good documentary to watch whilst I'm feeding and settling Noah back to sleep. It makes the time fly and takes my mind off how tired I feel.

2. Prepare my mind in advance. If I tell myself he's going to be awake for an hour and a half, then if he drops off any sooner it's a total bonus for me in the extra sleep department. The nights where I'm convinced he'll drop off straight after his bottle, are often the nights he ends up being awake for a good couple of hours. A bit of fooling myself always work. If I tell myself he's not going to settle quickly, it's a lovely surprise when he does, and if he doesn't, I was expecting it anyway.

3. Appreciation. Night time feeds won't last forever, and although tiring, I'll miss sitting on the sofa, looking down at my peaceful, content little boy, who's usually staring straight back at my, studying my face so carefully. It's a special bonding time and in those precious minutes, nothing can compare.

4. At least I'm not John. Slightly mean, but I do like it after Noah's 5am feed, when I'm settling him back to sleep and the other half is getting up for work. Yeah I might be tired, and still trying to get him to sleep in another half an hour, but, I get to return to that nice cosy bed. Something which John won't see again till the evening. I can slob around all day in my pjs if I want, and who cares if I don't venture outside into the freezing cold? Unfortunately the other half doesn't have such luxuries. (Ha ha) 

Noah's two months yesterday and already he sometimes sleeps through his night feed, so I know they will go completely shortly. I won't be as tired and it'll make the daytime easier, but for now I'm happy to spend some peaceful one on one bonding time with my little pudding, in the deep hours of the night. 

The Mummy Tag

Thank you Emma (over at emmasandalfiesworld.blogspot.co.uk) for tagging me.


                                  
   

1. Are you a Stay at Home Mum, or a Working Mum?
I am a working mother, I'm a nursery nurse at a private nursery.

2. Would you have it any other way?
Of course I'd love to spend all day everyday with Noah, but what when he goes to school? Plus if I work, I have more money to spend on him.

3. Do you co-sleep?
Once or twice a week yes, but never all night. It's usually around 5/6am, if he wakes when he isn't due a feed, I bring him in with us till he's due one.

4. What is your one must-have item for your baby?
Every baby is different. But ours for Noah is the birthing ball, bouncing on it with him relaxes him to sleep so easily.

5. How many kids do you plan on having?
I'd love two, so Noah is never alone when we're gone. But for now, I'm happy with Noah.

6. Date nights? How often do you have them? 
My parents look after Noah usually once/ twice a month, but we often stay in and just relax. Although we are going out for valentines.

7. Your child's favourite show?
He's a little too young for TV shows yet. Although my big brother showed him some old school Fireman Sam & Pingu, Noah was mesmerised.

8. Name one thing you brought before you had the baby and never ended up using?
Bibs. We always use muslins, as bibs are just too impractical for a baby, some of their socks end up being projectile and a bib would catch it all. Maybe when he's older.

9. Your child's favourite food?
Milk, milk, milk.

10. How many cars does your family have?
Only 1, I got a new one at Christmas, the other half is currently learning to drive, then he'll get one.

11. Weight gain, before pregnancy, during, after and now?
I didn't put much on while pregnant, but since having Noah I have ate quite bad. Oops.

12. Dream holiday with your kids?
I've been privelidged enough by my parents to travel all over the world to some amazingly exotic places and I would love to be able to give Noah the same expierence. Our first holiday is in July!

13. Dream holiday without your kids?
My holiday wouldn't be a dream if Noah was at home. I'd miss him so, so much.

14. How has your life changed since having kids?
You can't pee/ shower / do anything without worrying if he's ok!

15. Finish the sentence "It makes heart melt when..."
I wake Noah and he's in the sleepiest state, it's completely adorable.

16. Where do you shop for your kids?
Next, John Lewis, Tk Maxx, Boots miniclub, anywhere we go we look at the kids section and if we see something we like, we get it

17. Favourite make-up and skincare products?
Benefit high beam has been my favourite at the minute, just because it makes me look awake and glowing. Even though inside I'm shattered & dull!

18. Huggies or Pampers?
Pampers! They're our favorite and from working in a nursery, I knew beforehand they were the best and most reliable. Although at work I always likes Asdas little angels, but we've never used them. Pampers work for us, so don't fix what isn't broken.

19. Have you always wanted kids?
I didn't really expect to have them this early, but of course I'd always loved to have children.

20. Best part of being a mum?
Having a new best friend, seeing him grow and do something new every single day, he makes me so proud!

I would like to tag the following mummies-

Retained Placenta After Labour.

I decided to write about this, to help anyone who may be worried about postpartum clots or bleeding and unsure what to do, as I know I definitely was and I had no idea something like this could even happen. So it was six days since I gave birth to Noah and I went to the toilet that Saturday morning. I felt something slightly hanging out (yes, tmi, but be prepared this is FULL of them) although I’d not really had any until now, I assumed it was a clot and I’d pass it so I left it, I was in no pain so it didn’t bother me. That night around 10pm I went to the toilet and it was further out now, so after some difficult manoeuvring with a mirror, I decided to try and pull it out, it didn’t hurt in the slightest but it did take quite a bit of pulling. My first thoughts when I managed to get this huge 15cm long ‘thing?!’ out, was ‘Oh my god, is that part of the cord?’. I was alarmed so I called John into the bathroom, who was equally as worried, especially as my now previous pinky-brown bleeding, was very, very heavy and bright red. We decided to call my Mum down who advised me it was probably just a clot and to wait until the morning, if I was still bleeding, we’d call the midwives. However, after a couple of hours of very heavy bleeding, I decided to call them and they advised me to make my way in.

I was pretty upset to be leaving Noah & John, I decided it best rather than drag him out in the freezing cold at 12am. My mum drove me to the hospital and the midwife examined me, she took a look at the clot which I did bring in, in a sandwich bag (had to be done) and told us how she thought it was membranes. Then the doctor came after being in surgery, she immediately knew it was retained placenta. She then tried to see if she could get more out with a few medical instruments, she did get some more straggly bits out but as she discovered that the neck of my womb was still very much open, it indicated there was much more left behind. I was given a bed (granted, in my own room again with my own bathroom) on the labour ward and told the consultant would see me in the morning for a scan to see if there was any more left behind, if there was, I would need a dilation and curettage (D&C) which is basically, vacuuming your womb. Morning came and so did quite a rude consultant, she seemed far more bothered about the way my notes were not filed correctly, than the fact I was going through this because their midwives had failed to check over my placenta correctly. She explained how she was going to go ahead with surgery and not bother with the scan as it was very likely there was retained placenta.
 A very happy lady when Noah came for a visit! :D

A couple of hours later I was sat on the side of the theatre table, waiting for the anaesthetist to give me an epidural, something which I was very upset about having. I’d managed to push out a 9lb 13oz baby without one, I really didn’t want one now. But I had no choice. I was given one, which in fairness really wasn’t bad at all. Then the procedure began, I couldn’t feel anything, but could see my tummy moving up and down where the vacuum was underneath. It was all over within around 20 minutes, and I was wheeled back to my room to wait for around 6 hours till the epidural had worn off. As soon as it has, I pestered at the midwives to give my medication and final checks so I could get home to my baby.

All in all I felt pretty traumatised. I was 12 days overdue with Noah, your placenta does start to go bad and break up, the midwife should have examined it properly to see it wasn’t all there when I pushed it out. The D&C procedure can have such lasting and damaging effects, the vacuum can tear a hole in your womb and leave you completely unable to have children. I probably won’t know the full effects that has had, until I do come to have children again or become pregnant. I felt extremely vulnerable and that the hospital really didn’t explain anything to me before it happened, it did all happen so quickly. Luckily, because I had a 3rd degree tear giving birth to Noah, I’d been on antibiotics, had I not been, I would of developed a womb infection from the left over placenta rotting away inside of me. I do hope this helps anyone who goes through the same, as I tried to research desperately that morning in hospital, but found nothing on it. 


Noah You're Six Weeks Old.

So with each Sunday passing, making you a whole week older, this week means you're now six weeks old. Time is going so fast, and you're little personality is developing more and more with each coming day.
                                   


Feeding
Your feeding hasn't changed much since your month update. You still take a whole 7oz of Cow & Gate, hungrier baby milk which you love. You finish your bottles almost every time and you know instantly when we pop your muslin under your chin, that it's time for your bottle. Your little eyes are always fixed straight on us as we're feeding you & you study our faces very carefully. I've tried a little bit of Infacol before your feeds this week, as I think you're struggling to get your wind up sometimes, but that seems to have gone now so you're off it again.

                                                                                              Routine
We're almost in the ideal routine I'd like to keep you in. You wake around 9:30am and I bring you into bed with me for 30 minutes, you either fall back asleep or I just babble away to you whilst you coo back and smile. We then get up, I change your nappy & get you dressed for the day. After your late morning feed, you play happily on your playmat until I am ready and then we venture off out together, sometimes to the shops, sometimes for a walk around the village or out with Nanny. When Daddy comes home, he likes to play with you until bath and feeding time before we try to get you down for the night. The only thing I'd like to change is to try to get you to sleep earlier in the evenings. You don't like to go to sleep after your 10pm feed, and often stay up until around 1am. However you have a couple of times this week, slept all the way through from your 2am until 8/9am! What a good boy you are.

Milestones
You're smiling!! Not just spontaneous smiles, but full responsive smiles. You especially adore me telling you 'I love you Noah' and do the biggest smiles at me. You like it when your Uncle Egg tickles your tummy and we've even managed to catch some of these big smiling sessions on video. This week your personality has really come through and you really are such a happy and smiley baby. You've even begun to smile away at your musical toys on your playmat in the mornings, which melts my heart every single time.


Noah is a month old!


         
So it's been a whole month since I gave birth to little Noah pants. It really has gone so quickly, and I can suddenly feel my maternity leave slowly slipping away. This first month has been a complete emotional blur of sleepless nights, sick stained tops & most things being my other halves fault. But it's also been the best month of my life, because we have our beautiful little boy. I thought I'd give a little update on how things have been in our first month, especially as everything changes so quickly week by week.

Feeding
Noah has always been a good feeder since he was born, being a big boy at 9lb 13, I knew he would take a lot. He took 4oz for the first week, then 5oz in his second and 6oz in his third, so now we're on 7oz of Cow & Gates hungrier baby formula and he is very content on that. He's usually fed every 4 hours, however sometimes he can go 5 hours and he usually does that in the night, which is quite nice. We often 'dream-feed' Noah, so after his 10 o'clock bottle, we tend to try and give him another (he usually only takes half) at around midnight when we're heading to bed, that way, he often sleeps till around 6am.

Routine
I think the first two weeks are the hardest because you have no real routine. But around his third week we've started to get into one, which has made things a lot easier on ourselves. Now Johns paternity leave is up, he's at work so it's just me and Noah. We often wake around 9 or 10 after his 6am feed, I get Noah dressed into a daytime outfit & we head downstairs, he has his feed and then we usually play ; either on his playmat or me just talking to him, as I get ready around him. After his early afternoon feed, I then take him out, usually to the shops or to run errands and if I have nothing to do, we simply go for a walk. It usually sends him fast asleep so when we're home I'll then tidy up / make bottles etc and if I can take a little nap. When daddy comes home, he does Noah's evening feed and then before his late night feed (around 10) we bath Noah and put his sleepsuit on, just so he knows it's time for bed. I've also stopped putting Noah in his Moses Basket in the daytime, if he sleeps it's in his slumber swing, that way he understands his basket is for night time.

Milestones
Since about three weeks old, we've wondered if Noah has been smiling, not wanting to make something out of nothing we put it down to wind. However we are now one hundred percent sure he smiles, he loves his musical playmat and often smiles away on that in the mornings as I get dressed. He really loves musical & light up toys and turns his head to look toward the direction they're in. Noah is now fully in his 0-3 month clothes, he weighed 11lb 5 at his last weigh in when he was three weeks old, so he's still a little hunky chunky. He's certainly getting to understand how his feeds are, because as soon as we pop the muslin down on his chest he goes all quiet and starts rooting for his bottle, the clever little pudding.

As for myself I feel so much better now we're getting into a little routine, we do still have our days however where it all goes out of the window, but we're getting there. I think the biggest contribution to making me feel more human is getting out of the house. It does take up a bit of time, the whole getting him ready & fed before I leave, then in the car etc. But then it makes the day much quicker and he's always much better for us if he's been out in the day. I think fresh air does us all good. Nothing can prepare you for motherhood at all, you just learn what works for you and each day Noah will do something new and make us fall further in love with him, which makes the exhaustion completely worth while. 
                                     

Moses Basket Drama & Resolve.

So this past week we've had a bit of trouble getting Noah to rest down in his Moses Basket. To be honest, he'd been like that since he was born, but we'd persevered, until about a week ago when it got pretty difficult and we knew we needed a solution. Noah would often wake after around 5/10 minutes of being put down, and then we'd have to go through the whole settling him routing and putting him down again. It would often happen between 2-4 times before we'd actually manage to get him down and stay down. Now firstly I must say this was not my idea at all, and all credit goes to the Blissful Baby Expert (@blissfulbabyexp on twitter) her complete genius has saved us lots of sleep already. And I'd recommend buying her book when it comes out in Feb, I know I will be.

So it basically consists of getting a couple of towels (or one huge one as we have done) and rolling it up, you then place it in a horseshoe shape around the bottom of your babies Moses Basket. Ensure that it leaves a space at the top which is towel free for your babies head and shoulders. Then as you would normally, wrap your baby in their blanket, and place them on their side in the middle of the horseshoe. This lures your baby into an almost false sense that they're still in your arms, therefore helping them sleep with that thought in their mind.


This is our Moses Basket above, (It's from Mamas & Papas if anyone is interested) do excuse the blue sheet, Noah has been sick on his last white one and they're all in the wash, oh motherhood. Anyway, it really has worked complete wonders for me and John with Noah. No more holding him in our arms in the basket, no more tiptoeing round him once we'd put him down and more importantly, no more waking up after five minutes of him being put down. Once again full credit to Blissful Baby Expert & her wonderful, sleep saving idea.