Sunday, 21 December 2014

My Baby Awards! 10 products that we have found to be better than all the rest

All the products that i have mentioned is in comparison to other brands that I have tried and tested. Some things that I love won't be included as I've not tried anything else so I don't have anything to compare it to.

Here are the products that I have found to be the best of the best in my own opinion:

1. Boots Soft Cloth Baby Wipes, these are just amazing! They are fragrance free and so soft and gentle and just work really well. My main positive is that there is no dragging on the skin at all. Just soft and gentle. I have found Pampers, Huggies, Sainsburys and Johnsons to all drag on the skin but not these. Also they are cheaper than all of the above.
2. Next clothing especially babygrows the quality of these just blow the other brands out of the water. They last well and stay soft not to mention they have the cutest designs going! I could be biased as we have about 6 with cats on <3 but the quality is just A1. They are a little more pricey than other brands but I guess you get what you pay for with these. I feel like I owe a special mention to Tu Sainsburys as these are also amazing quality and have cute designs.
3. Pampers Baby Dry Nappies I didn't want to be a Pampers snob but I now totally am oops. The baby dry are so soft, thin and comfortable looking compared to other bulky ones out there and these hold much more and as they say keep my baby dry. I can be confident that I can put one on before bed and she will be dry in the morning even after having at least 2 wees. I have tried other stores own brands and been disappointed and also I'm disappointed with the others from the Pampers range such as the New Baby as these leak and won't hold much wee. You just need to make sure not to go up a size too soon as I made that mistake with the baby dry and woke up in a puddle, so that was my fault. These are so nice and slim and have cute designs compared to Sainsburys Little Ones and Asda Angels which don't keep her dry.
4. Asda Little Angels Baby Powder this is great quality and I prefer it to Johnsons which is fragranced urgh.
5. Anbesol liquid, for teething. You put it on her gum and it numbs it for a little while giving short term relief. Cons, it is pricey compared to others and you can only use it every 3 hours but I would recommend it over other.
6. Calpol is the best for pain, fever and general unwellness. I find she takes it off the spoon well. Special mention to Nurofen for babies this is more or less the same but has quite a wide pipette so is not as easy to give her.
7. Simple Baby All in One Wash I really like this and feel that I can use it if we share a bath. The fragrance is really gentle and it bubbles up well. Special mention to Asda Angels which she likes and is gentle on her skin.
8. Nuby teething toys are great for her to chew on and light for her to hold. They are pretty cheap as well so that's a plus. Special mention to Lamaze toys which she also loves but they aren't as easy to get the certain ones that you want and they cost more.
9. Snufflebabe have the best products for when she has had a cold with their chest run and saline nose drops.
10. Bepanthem nappy cream does what it needs to do and I find it easier to apply than the thicker Sudocrem and also more hygienic because it's in a tube not a tub.

Other Special mentions:
- Big Bugs Band TV show
- Pink Lining Yummy Mummy Changing Bag
- Cosatto Easi Peasi Changer and Bath

Tip of the day: don't get a pram that has inner tubes in the tyres. I work in a bike shop and see people coming in all the time with punctures. The shop doesn't always have time to fix it there and then. If so it can be costly and it may mean waking your baby to get it out of the pram whilst it's done. Overall it's a complete nightmare so don't do it!

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Co-Sleeping, my story. The reality behind the controversy

Co-sleeping was something briefly mentioned at parenting class which was frowned upon and has lots of controversy surrounding it. I sat there and thought oh I'll never do that! 

Fast forward to a 2 week old baby who will only fall asleep in my arms. As soon as I gently transfer her to her moses basket and tip toe into bed BOOM she is awake. It was so cruel on my sanity, she would be asleep and I would stand there for 5 minutes staring over her thinking can I actually sleep? And just when you let yourself believe that you might get some sleep and settle into bed. It feels good and pull the duvet up she would wake up. It would be so depressing, I felt desperate. I spent the first couple of weeks breastfeeding her on the couch and holding her in my arms whilst she slept I unfortunately didn't.
She would fall asleep in her electric swing but no where else and you are not allowed to leave them to sleep in swings or car seats as it is bad for their posture.

When my husband went to work after 2 weeks I found myself resided to the couch when she woke so it didn't wake him up, as before I would sit up in bed and feed her but I felt like I couldn't. I was exhausted and found myself nodding off with her in my arms on the couch which is very dangerous and often how babies get suffocated. One night my husband suggested bringing her to bed. I think he meant for me to get her to sleep in bed and then put her in her basket next to the bed but I knew she when she did fall asleep so did I. The midwife at the hospital showed me the correct position for feeding my her whilst lied down in bed. On your side with your baby under your arm and one leg over the other so you physically cannot roll over onto your baby. My arm around her protects her from my husband if he came too close or if one of my cats jumped on the bed.
This night I slept and it was wonderful! The first night in a long time where I got a decent amount of uninterrupted sleep. I felt like a new person and it was definitely a turning point!

Yes me and my husband were scared that we would hurt her in some way but I am a light sleeper and would wake up at any sudden movement from my husband or cats. I made sure that the bed cover was only up to her chest which meant that the majority of my upper body was without cover and I am cold so I wait for her to finish feeding and then try to carefully lower myself under the cover.
Part of this is my fault and I was warned by my health visitor as she uses me as comfort. She doesn't have a dummy (and would spit it out when we tried) she doesn't always feed from me but suckles for comfort which is how she always falls asleep. At first I didn't mind as anything for peace and happiness, but now she is approaching 6 months old and we want to get her into her cot in her own room I will pay the price.
Co-Sleeping is so convenient as she can feed whenever she wants and we never get up in the night anymore. Also due to this she never wakes up as much as if I would put the light on and get up etc as that would make her wide awake and take a long time to settle. So now she might feed or suckle in the dark and more or less goes back to sleep straight away with no fuss.

I'm the news it is classed as dangerous but when you look at the figures the babies who sadly were smothered by parents it was due to them not following the correct guidelines and procedures they had drank alcohol, smoked or took medication before bed which is a no no. Co-Sleeping can be done safely but it was a last resort for me and my sanity as I did try her in her moses basket. I never wanted to cosleep. 

Co-sleeping does have positives and negatives like everything, here are my main ones:
*No husband cuddles
*I get a dead arm and mostly have to lie in a uncomfortable position.
* my sleep quality isn't very good as I'm so cautious.
* I've had a very bad back since having her and I blame this partly as it's uncomfortable and my back is cold.
* Now that she is bigger she takes up all the room as she likes to lie on her back with her arms spread out. She always loved this and would wake up in her basket as she touched the sides. Also she didn't like being swaddled and would wriggle her arms free.

* I actually get some sleep even if it's not the best quality it is sleep!
* It's so easy to feed her and I don't have to get up in the night.
* I feel secure with her next to me as I know that she is settled, happy and safe. I love to gaze at her and listen to her breathing (sometimes snoring hehe).
* She settles quicker as babies are used to mums smell, warmth, heartbeat and breathing noises when they are growing inside you and she gets this comfort when she is cuddled next to me.
* If she does wake we both go back to sleep fairly quickly due to the hormones in breastfeeding.

If you look at other mammals they all sleep with their young, there is only us who doesn't so like breastfeeding it is the most natural thing to do.

If we do have another child I would not want to do it again but I would if I had to. You can buy a Co-Sleeping pod bed things which I would look into. It is a crib that adjusts in height that fixes to the side of my bed. It is very safe and the baby can feel like it's Co-sleeping and I would have the feeding convenience and them hopefully put them in there little bed pod, yet still have my own bed room. It's a great idea but they are expensive.

So Co-Sleeping goes hand in hand with breastfeeding and if you are thinking about it I would read the NICE guidelines. It is not for everyone but it can be done safely and happily.

Jodie x

Friday, 19 December 2014

Breastfeeding, my story

So breastfeeding isn't for everyone for lots of reasons but I especially thought that it wouldn't be for me. I've always had sensitive nipples and I didn't like them being touched, so I thought that I would hate it. I promised myself and my husband then when the time came that I would try.
My daughter Sophia was born in July this year and within the first few hours they want to get your baby to feed. To be honest I can't remember this due to all the drugs that I had but I do remember that night the nurse waking me up every 2-3 hours to wake Sophia up to feed her! It sounds crazy but yes I had to wake her up to feed. This is only in the beginning as your baby literally has to feed from your boobs 24/7 to make your milk 'come in'. In this time you have colostrum milk so you don't have nothing but most breastfed babies are expected to lose up to 10% of their bodyweight waiting for your mature milk. It can take up to 5 days to come in but I was lucky and it came in on day 2. Sophia had put weight on before we came home from the hospital which was great news as they expect a loss.
Anyway at first breastfeeding hurts! It really does it feels like hell. My nipples were all raw, sore and blistered and each time she fed it was excruciating. At first babies don't know how to latch on and as I was in hospital for 5 days I would press my buzzer each time and a nurse would have to latch her on for me as I couldn't do it. Eventually she grasped it but I feel like if I would have left hospital earlier like most mums do say on day 2 I probably would have given up. So your nipples hurt and your baby needs to feed constantly and your tired from sleeping in 2 hour intervals if your lucky and you are hating this. Hang in there momma because it will get better I promise! I got relief with Lansinoh Lanolin cream this stuff is my holy grail and a must buy! I still use it now. It is a cream that you put on your nipple and it helps it to heal quicker and keeps it moisturised and soft, your baby can feed with it on so you don't have to wash it off.
There are lots of positives for breastfeeding here are my favourites:
* Weight loss! My tummy was gone after 2 weeks and I did no exercise.
* It's free!
* Convenience, when babies are crying and you think they might be hungry you can just pop your boob in its mouth and have a instant answer! but with formula you'd have to make a bottle and let it cool all whilst your baby is screaming. Urgh. Also no sterilising.
* Close bond. I feel like I have a closer bond with my daughter as I get special looks from her that no one else sees when she is eating and milky drunk (cutest face ever). She also does other cute stuff like hold on to my top or finger with her free hand or massages my boob like a kneeding kitten.
* Bigger boobs. It's true I've gone up at least a couple of cup sizes.
Your breaking point will come
Mine came when I was about 2 weeks in. I was tired and my nipples hurt alot and I felt like I was in it alone. Even though my husband was here only me got up in the night with her as only me could feed her. I was exhausted and snapped. At this night feed I felt like I could go no further and I gave her formula. She drank it but I felt terribly guilty and cried. At this moment I thought I would never breastfeed ever again. The next day as I'd not breastfed her my boobs were huge, hard, sore and leaky it wasn't good. My husband and mother in law took care of her for a couple of hours whilst I had a bath and a couple of hours sleep. The first bit of time that I had to myself since having her. As my boobs were sore from not feeding her now I just popped her on to relieve some of the pressure and surprisingly it didn't hurt as much! My nipples had had a well deserved rest! It still hurt but I was over the worst. I continued my Lansinoh cream and it gradually got better. At this point I thought that we would combo feed her both as my husband could help more but I felt like it didn't settle as well on her stomach. It made her more sick so after 2/3 weeks we went back to exclusively breastfeeding.
Having the support was very important in breastfeeding as there were breastfeeding support workers at the hospital and one continued to visit me at home. This support was vital as I could ask any questions I had 24/7 as they give you their mobile number. They also told me about a local breastfeeding group in my area which I attended. At first with her feeding so much I was a recluse but this felt good to go out and have a reason to get dressed once a week. It was great to meet other mums going through the same thing. Also support from family was vital as at my age (27) no one was breastfed in either of our families as formula was pushed back then. They needed to understand why I was doing this and not hogging the baby so no one else could feed her. Breastfeeding is so good for both mother and baby. As well as help to protect the mum from cancers it has everything your baby needs. A breastfed baby will not need water or anything just your milk until 6 months when you start to wean but then your baby will get the majority of its nutrition from your milk.
I know that you can pump your milk into a bottle so I tried this with a manual pump. It hurts even though her feeding no longer does. It works different from her mouth. I tried it and she wouldn't drink my milk out of a bottle something which are working to overcome so that she can start to be minded by Grandparents every once in a while.
Things that I found that help apart from the Lanolin cream are:
* Nursing bras, these have a little clip at the top so it pulls down easily.
* Nursing tops especially these from Blooming Marvellous. It looks like there is a vest underneath but there isn't. You just pull the material to the side and unclip your bra and your away.
* Reusable bamboo breast pads, I was spending £8 per month on disposables but these are approx £8 for 6. They are more comfortable, environmentally friendly and reusable.
* Breastvest, this is a vest but doesn't cover your boobs so you can wear your own top over it and lift that and your baby can feed without everyone seeing your skin. Nice and discrete. This is something that I wish I'd discovered sooner as I've been wearing the same 3 tops urgh. I have yet to try this (soon) but I imagine that it is amazing!
Fun nuggets of info
* she has a favourite boob.
* when she is feeding from one boob the other leaks and it can squirt very far like a fountain. So be prepared.
* I feel like breastfeeding helped her get great head control very early on as she had to reach for my nipple herself rather than being lied back and bottle fed.
So there you go I love breastfeeding. I understand that it is not for everyone as some mothers cannot do it for lots of reasons or they just don't want to which is fine as well.
I've had a great time with Sophia but if we have another in the future i understand that it may not be the same and I might not be able to do it again. Also it requires alot of time. At first I literally stuck on the couch feeding her all day, I would have to have my food brought to me and eat it with one hand and I've even had to take her to the loo not ideal but anything for a happy baby. When you have another young child you might not have all day to sit with a baby attached to your boob.
I hope to continue to breastfeed her until she is about 1.5 years old but we will have to see. I get alit of satisfaction seeing her develop knowing that all her nutrition is from me.
Jodie x

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Rimmel Kate 107, does it live up to all the hype?

So after seeing the all famous Rimmel Kate Moss matte lipstick in the shade 107 all over every blog these past few months, I decided to see what all the hype was about.
I've always been a peachy/coral or pillar box red lip kind of girl but as Autumn approached I decided that finally it was time to buy a darker seasonal lip shade. I have never liked the bright fushia pinks and purples of lipsticks so I knew that I didn't want a dark purpley berry shade so I decided that a vampy dark red was going to the one. I didn't want to spend too much money on it incase I didn't like it so I decided on the Rimmel Kate lipstick. I already have the shade 111 Kiss of Life from this range which i do like.
As it is such a hyped up colourway it is quite hard to get hold of chances are that it will be sold out in stores. I added it onto one of my recent Amazon orders for baby teethers (I'm allowed to treat myself once in a while right?).
At first I tried it at home but it was dark by 3pm so I felt that i didn't get a accurate view of the colour without natural daylight. A few days later and I was off to town and decided that it was time to try it out for the day.
These lipsticks do have their own strong sweet scent which isn't for everyone but it doesn't bother me that much. It is high maintenance to apply such a dark colour precisely to the lips and I would usually use a lip brush but I was in a rush so I didn't. I do like the formula of these as they apply smooth but it really didn't wear long I would say 2 hours max and then you need to reapply as it looks a mess and patchy. I felt that it didn't really set and would very easily smudge or transfer. I felt that I had to constantly re apply something which I don't like so I probably won't wear this much. I felt that I get longer wear from the shade 111? Maybe that is dryer?
Overall I am not overwhelmed by this and I didn't find the shade dark and vampy at all. It is just a darkish red and not what I hoped for. I do not believe that it is worth all the hype that it gets and that is just my opinion.

Friday, 5 December 2014

My 2015 diary/planner of choice: Busy B busy life diary and matching sticky notes

I'm not usually a diary/planner person but I am a crazy list maker who loves to be organised. I usually use apps (Google Keep) so that my lists are in one place and easy accessible but now that I'm a mum it isn't enough.
I have found a amazing diary/planner by Busy B that is compact enough to carry around and each week is laid out to fit 2 schedules out nicely. It also has numerous pockets to keep bits and bobs in. Pages for reminders, notes, contacts etc.
I plan to use the 2 schedule planner as one for me and my husband and the other for our daughter mainly to fill out what meals are for each day. As we are due to wean her soon and this way I will be able to keep tabs of what she eats each day.
I couldn't resist but I have also purchased the matching sticky notes for this and I can imagine my diary getting full of these very quickly.
This brand do a family diary which is larger that I was torn between but I'm glad that I got this as I can carry it around. It is a bit smaller than A5 and has room for a pen.

You can buy it separately or along with the sticky notes for £10.98 here