Teething torture…

I didn’t think I’d be buying teething jewellery just yet but doesn’t time just fly when you’re having fun! Adam is five months old now and I can’t believe it!

I remember being in the newborn stage and really struggling with the lack of sleep and constant feeding and I wished for time to speed up and for him to grow up. Now I’d give anything for those precious moments and for time to just stop! I don’t want him to grow up, I don’t want him to hit that 6 month mark, or start eating solids, or crawl or walk! I want him to remain this little tiny baby that falls asleep in my arms, who can be screaming his little head off  but will always smile when he sees me, and who now gives me cuddles and dribbles on my face!

Sadly though that ain’t gonna happen! So as my little tiny baby grows into a not so tiny baby anymore, it’s up to me to help him along the way.  I’d popped a few teething toys and bits into my Amazon basket but didn’t think I’d be needing them just yet, little did I know Adam would start literally chomping down on my nipples during feeding and soak his clothes in dribble if he didn’t have a bib on! I’m not sure if he’s just being a dribbly, chewy baby or if he’s actually started the teething process but I wanted to give him something that would give him the relief he wanted.  His Lamaze soft toys just aren’t chewy enough!

I found this  Domire jewellery on Amazon and it’s been a life saver, literally!!  It’s 100% silicone so free from BPA’s and all other nasties and also aids development as it provides a distraction for him whilst he’s feeding.  They’re easy to wash in soap and warm water and every now and then I just sit them in a bowl of boiling water for 5 minutes just to make sure they’re extra clean.

The Hungry Caterpillar teething ring isn’t sterilizer safe and shouldn’t be subjected to extreme heat or cold so I just wash this in warm soapy water and leave it in the fridge and the cooling sensation provides relief for his gums and my nipples!

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Baby sensory toys…

If you’ve read my posts from the very beginning you will know that we left it until very late on in my pregnancy to actually start buying things for Adam, and then when he was born a little on the smaller side we did quite a bit of panic buying but one thing I never thought about buying was toys.  We’d been gifted a few little teddies and musical light up toys but other than that we had nothing.

I’d known about Lamaze Toys from having younger nieces and friends with babies but I didn’t actually start buying things until Adam was about two months old and I saw that all the other mummies in our local breastfeeding group had toys hanging from their baby’s car seats and prams and that’s when I started looking into baby sensory toys and how they would benefit his development.  I was under the impression that my baby wouldn’t need any toys until he was sitting up and holding things but as soon as I put his Lamaze Jacques the peacock on the handle of his car seat and he was instantly mesmerized by the colours and shapes.  Now that he’s a little bit older he loves grabbing at all the different textures and sucking on the beak.

His Hungry Caterpillar and Playgro donkey usually hang from his play mat where he loves reaching for them and kicking the rattles.  Although Adam is starting to grab and hold things he hasn’t fully grasped the concept of holding and picking up things so the fact I can easily hang these toys from his car seat, pram or play mat mean he can keep himself busy while I get stuff done.  I have to say though, his favourite toy of all is his Squeaky dog toy from Aldi, he loves the noise it makes when it squeaks and can easily grab onto the hands.  These toys are great for helping little ones with their fine motor development and hand eye coordination and provide hours of entertainment for little hands.

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Products I’d recommend…4 month update

Now that Adam has hit the 4 month mark I’m in a bit of a better position to give my opinion on what products we actually couldn’t have lived without and what we probably could probably have saved on.

Feeding

I’ve recently published a post about the MAM bottles and Breastfeeding starter set so if you’d like to know more about what bottles we’ve used and then I’d recommend giving that post a read but in a nutshell, Mam bottles are self sterilising so we’ve literally bunged them in his changing bag and had them sterilized in restaurants and cafes when out shopping, anywhere that has a microwave and you’re sorted.  Their anti-colic technology has worked wonders for Adam and the silk teat has meant we’ve easily transitioned from bottle to breast and back again with absolutely no issues.  When you’re a first time parent its hard to decipher what will be useful and what will work for your baby and we’d never heard of Mam before so we took a chance but it has majorly paid off for us and I will continue using Mam products for any future babies we may have too.  I’d just like to put it out there that we are in no way sponsored or endorsed by Mam, we just really love what they do.

Another product I couldn’t have survived breastfeeding without is the Medela Symphony I rented from the Medela website.  I’ve tried a fair few breast pumps (Mam manual pump, Tommee Tippee Electric pump, Ardo Calypso, Medela Swing and Medela Symphony) and this has to be by far the best pump I’ve used.  It helped when I was having major breastfeeding issues in keeping up my supply and filling up my freezer with milk.  The symphony was the easiest and quickest and it was so quiet I could express in the middle of the night while Adam slept and it didn’t disturb him at all.  If I could do it all again I wouldn’t have bothered buying any of the other pumps but hindsight is a wonderful thing!

Baby Clothing

When I first found I was pregnant I didn’t buy any clothes for Adam, although it physically pained me I restrained myself until I was about 28-30 weeks gone and then I picked up everything I liked in ages 3-6 months.  We were also lucky enough to recieve lots of clothes from family and friends and I didn’t really need to buy much anyway.  When he was born he was so tiny that none of his clothes fit him, even the newborn and first size bits were literally hanging off him and in true first time mummy fashion I went out and picked up lots of tiny baby clothes.  They lasted him about a week before he grew out of them and he hadn’t really needed them in the end.  My favourite clothes on him are the Next sleepsuits, they just look and feel so comfortable and have the nicest designs but I found they just didn’t wash as well as the Mamas and Papas ones.  He got the most use out of his Mamas and Papas vests and sleepsuits as he literally wore them from birth until just a week or two ago when they eventually grew too small.  I’d definitely recommend them as they seem to get slightly looser with every wash hence why they still fit him for so long whereas I’ve found the Next sleepsuits tend to get a little bit smaller with every wash and he’s grown out of them much quicker.

Maternity and Nursing clothes

If you’re anything like me and had been dreaming of being pregnant for as long as you could remember you probably got just as excited about maternity clothes as I did!  I remember finding out I was pregnant when I was just 5 weeks gone and my bump was non existent but I spent hours in Topshop maternity picking up a whole new wardrobe…I bought new jeans, tops, bump bands from Asda, fancy nursing clothes and in reality I didn’t put on enough weight throughout my pregnancy to fit into 95% of everything I bought.  If I could go back now I’d say wait it out and stretch it out as much as you can.  Maternity clothes are extortionate because companies know that women will spend the extra bit of money for fancy maternity clothes.  At the very end of my pregnancy I just bought regular clothes is a size or two bigger and I still wear them to this day as the loose fit makes nursing much easier.

The only thing I would advise picking up is some nursing tops and bras if you’re planning on breastfeeding and lots of cheap leggings, you’ll spend most of your pregnancy in them!  I’ve tried nursing bras from Asda, M&S and H&M and I’ve found the H&M ones to be the softest and most comfortable and have the most room for movement when you’re a little bit fuller before a feed.  Also I found they were a good size during the day and had enough stretch after a night of no feeding with room to grow.  All the others always become too tight and I wake up ready to burst, LITERALLY!

Sleeping

Adam has always been a snuggly sleeper.  When he was very small his sleep was always much better when he was swaddled but when he got too big for a regular blanket swaddle he’d break free in the night, his bastard moro startle reflex would kick in and he’d be awake screaming.  So I did a bit of research and found a product called a woombie.  I literally want to kiss the person who invented this because the second he went into it he started sleeping through the night without even waking for a feed until early morning (hence the need for stretchy bras!).  I ordered my woombie from JoJo Maman BeBe as it seems to be the cheapest place to sell them and although we joke that it looks like a straight jacket for babies, it saved us hours of night time rocking back to sleep.  The material is stretchy so Adam always had room to stretch but he couldn’t break out of it and if he did startle in the night he’d immediately fall back asleep and the vented section at the front meant he didn’t overheat while asleep.  This works best for newborns and now that Adam can roll onto his side I’ve transitioned him into a normal sleeping bag which he sleeps in just as well.  This just happens to be the one I picked up from Marks and Spencer but there are hundreds out there, just be sure you dress your little one appropriately for the tog rating of your bag.

 

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Baby bath time…

When I was pregnant I envisioned what bath time would be like with a newborn.  I pictured holding my tiny little human all wrapped up in a big fluffy towel and gently trickling water over him while he peacefully stared into my eyes…Boy was I in for a shocker! As soon as his clothes and nappy came off he screamed, when I picked him up he screamed, as soon as the water touched him he screamed, he pee’d all over me and basically didn’t stop screaming until he was out of the water, dried and fully clothed again.

Since that day I dreaded bath time with Adam and put it off as much as I could.  I really wanted him to enjoy splashing around in the bath but he hated it.  Once he was past the two month mark I made it my mission to bath him everyday as part of getting him into a bedtime routine and he now actually seems to enjoy splashing around in the water.  I try and make it as fun as possible, stick some music on and go over the top with lots of dramatic praise while he just lies there bemused.  As a newborn I didn’t feel comfortable using anything on Adam’s delicate skin but after a few weeks I began using Child’s Farm bubble bath in the water and the hair and body wash on his hair and thankfully his skin has loved the products as much as I have.  After his bath we use a bit of the nappy cream on his bottom and the sensitive lotion everywhere else.  He started getting dry flaky patches on his face and head so I’ve even used these on those and it’s cleared up almost instantly.

Originally it was the eye catching packaging, the words organic, sensitive and the fact they were suitable from birth that attracted me to the range as I’d never heard of them before but a little bit of googling bought me to Joanna Jensen’s story and how she came to develop the range and that is when I knew I’d be using these products on my baby.

Being a new mum is hard enough without having to deal with worrying about what products are safe and what aren’t skincare wise and Child’s Farm have just taken the stress out of it completely.  I know I can trust that any mother who has developed something specifically for their own child will only be using the best ingredients and safest ethos which is why I will be continuing with Child’s farm for the foreseeable future.

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Mam….Product review

I’d never heard of Mam until I got pregnant.  When we began baby shopping I was fully prepared to buy bottles.  Not because I didn’t want to breastfeed but because I had already planned to express some milk and share the responsibility of feeding with my husband.  I also didn’t realise I’d become so obsessed and emotional about breastfeeding when everything that could go wrong did go wrong. I am also of the belief that as beautiful as it is for a mother and baby to bond over breastfeeding, fathers should be able to get in on some of that bonding time too and I know hubby has enjoyed doing some of the feeds too.

So because I was fully prepared to express and bottle feed we went in search of a feeding set that contained a pump, steriliser and bottles and from previous research I’d found a Tommee Tippee set that we’d decided we were going to buy however when we got to Babies’R’Us the sales assistance steered us in the direction of the Mam Breastfeeding starter set and told us it was actually much more popular, half the price and had rave reviews.  We’d never heard of Mam and were a bit sceptical at first but we were swayed and picked it up.  I never expected that we’d get so much use out of the bottles in the beginning but if you’ve read my breastfeeding journey post you’ll know we did have a few teething issues and I don’t know where we would have been without them.  I even, in my sleep deprived and emotional state microwaved the handle of the breast pump which clearly isn’t microwave safe and ended up with a melted, totally unusable pump meaning hubby had to make a quick dash for Argos to pick up another set which also included milk storage pots and more bottles.

The picture above is just for reference but our set contained:

  • 5 ounce bottles
  • 9 ounce bottles
  • Manual breast pump
  • Microwave steriliser
  • Bottle cleaning brush
  • Size 1 and 2 teats
  • 2 dummies
  • 2 nipple shields and a steriliser box for them.

Although we’ve now packed away the steriliser and bottles as he’s such a good feeder now, I still use the pump now and then when Adam decides to the sleep through the night and the I become so engorged I can’t sleep anyway.  The nipple shields also came in very handy in the beginning when breastfeeding was pure agony and although Adam still refuses to take a dummy (pacifier), it’s been useful having them for occasions when he just wont settle or when we’re out and it’s not possible to put him directly on the breast quick enough.

I couldn’t recommend Mam products enough, the bottles can be self sterilised so when you just need one bottle you can just put it in the microwave for 3 minutes with a bit of water and it’s clean and ready for use.  This also came in very handy when we were out as I could pop into any restaurant or cafe and have a clean bottle ready for Adam anytime.  I still keep a bottle and carton of formula in his changing bag for emergencies but can happily say I’ve not need them for quite some time, but I know that when we eventually start weaning I’ll happily take my beloved mam bottles out of storage and use them again.

I also ordered some of these milk powder storage pots but managed to wean Adam off the formula before I even got a chance to use them but I know that once he’s weaning and eating solids I can even use these for packing snacks when we’re out and about.

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