Monday, 14 April 2014

Your Baby Week By Week: Book Review

I’m acutely aware that reading is a luxury that most new mums are unlikely to be afforded, however, I highly recommend this book to any new mum or mum-to-be.

I didn’t come across this until Franky was about 10 weeks old and I WISH I’d found it sooner!

Your Baby Week By Week does exactly what it says!

The book basically takes you through the first 6 months of your babys life, week by week and lets you know what to expect at each point.

Each week is broken down into super useful topics;

A General overview






Development & Playing

When to see a Doctor

What’s Happening to Mum

Planning Ahead

I could really have done with this book in the first few weeks, when you have no idea what your doing and more than anything, are just looking for a bit of reassurance and guidance.

Its brilliant for helping to explain your babys behaviour and patterns, reassuring you that you’re doing just fine and that your baby is as ‘normal’ as any baby is!

It’s easy to read and follow and each chapter/week follows the same format.

I got my book from Amazon for £9.09 and I’m finding its worth its weight in gold.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Bibs & Bobs Bibs

Let’s face it mums, bibs are a necessity when you have a baby.

Well, that is unless you enjoy changing them umpteen times a day when they dribble or vomit their feed down themselves!


Well, just because they are a practical necessity, doesn't mean they can’t be really cute.

Bibs and Bobs have turned this boring product into a super cute fashion accessory with their range of gorgeous bibs!

You can protect your baby’s clothes from the dreaded drool with their wide range of soft, absorbent fleece backed bibs.

Each bib is fitted with 2 sets of poppers, meaning it can grow with your baby and be used from birth until 3 years of age.

There is definitely a bib for every baby with collections designed for boys and girls, a neutral range and there’s even a range for Easter!

Each bib costs £4.50 or you can grab a bargain and buy 5 for £20, which I recommend you do as with so many different fabrics and patterns to choose from, your spoilt for choice.

My favourite boys bib is the Blue Pirate one. 

I love putting Franky in it and am often inclined to leave it on after a feed as he looks like a little Pirate himself, sporting his bandana bib!

You can check out and purchase your Bibs and Bobs bib at their website Here.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Medela Swing Electric Breast Pump: Review

From the day I found out I was pregnant, I’d always known that I wanted to breastfeed my baby. That was providing I was actually able to, and thankfully, from day 1 I was.

I had looked into buying a breast pump while pregnant but didn’t want to get ahead of myself or jinx anything by buying one, so I waited until breast feeding had been established before looking into it again.

I knew that I wanted to get an electric pump (I’m really impatient and can’t be done with manual labour! Ha!) so started doing my research.

I did initially find a pump and started using it. It was bulky, extremely loud and would take me forever to express any milk, often only  1oz in 20 minutes, which was laborious and painful!

I didn’t want to give up though and knew there had to be a better pump out there.

Pretty quickly it became obvious that the most popular pump on the market which repeatedly got fab reviews was the Medela Swing.

Everywhere I looked this pump was given glowing reviews so I decided this was the one I needed to try.

The Medela Swing combines a multi-award-winning design with the latest technology, resulting in a pump which is quiet but extremely effective.

When a baby latches on to your breast  to feed, it does so in two phases.     

1.       Initially they suckle fast and light: To stimulate the milk ejection reflex (MER) and to start the milk flowing
2.       Once the breast has been officially stimulated, they switch to a slower and deeper suck for the actual feeding phase: To get as much milk as possible. 

The Medela Swing replicates this with its 2 phase expression, which allows you to express more milk, quicker!

To begin with, the pump has a fast pumping rhythm to stimulate the milk let down reflex.

Next, a slower pumping rhythm gently expresses the milk quickly and efficiently.

Firstly, this is a really compact little pump! It’s small, stylish and dare I say it, even pretty! Its size makes it easily portable which is great if you need to express on the go. You can use it attached to the mains if you’re at home but it also takes batteries so you can take it out and about too.

Its super easy to use too- I was slightly daunted when it arrived and I saw all the parts, but it’s extremely easy to assemble and clean and the pumping unit is easy to understand and use, in part thanks to the instructions which come with photos you can refer to to ensure you’re definitely using it correctly.

Now, they say this pump is quiet, but boy were they right! Compared to the other pump I used this was practically silent, which is perfect and means I can still watch the TV AND hear it while pumping, which is always useful! It also means that you’d feel less self conscious if expressing in a less private place as you don’t have a really obvious and loud whirring going on!

It is a really gentle pump that won’t aggravate or damage already sore nips. The pump comes with its regular sized breast shield but if it doesn’t fit properly (It fitted perfectly for me) you can order another individually adjustable PersonalFit Breastshield.

For comfort and productivity, the pump is designed so you can increase or decrease the strength of the expressing phase of the pumping to ensure it is comfortable for you and allowing you to express effectively but gently too.

All these features are great but the proof is in the pudding, or the milk I should say, and The Medela Swing didn't disappoint!

The first time I used it I managed to express 1oz in less than 10 minutes as opposed to the usual 20 mins!

The more I used it, the more I found I was able to express! I now regularly express 3oz in less than 10 minutes, which has made such a huge difference to my daily life. Before, I’d be spending every spare minute I had when Franky wasn’t feeding or crying, expressing. 

Now, I can fit it into a short 10 minute period, meaning I have far more free time to myself now and as I’m able to express more in 1 go, I don’t have to keep trying again and again throughout the day.

On top of all this, the Medela Swing comes with a unique feeding system called Calma. It is essentially the top of the bottle, with teat that you can attach to the bottle that has collected your milk to feed your baby, but Calma is different from any other bottle you’ll feed your baby from.

Calma is an innovative solution which supports your baby switching from breast, to bottle and back again. With a conventional teat, your baby doesn’t have to suck very hard to get the milk, rather, it just flows freely and instead your baby has to stop the flow of milk in order to pause and breathe, totally different to when they feed from your breast.

With Calma, your baby can feed, pause and breathe regularly. The milk won’t flow unless a vacuum is created and the milk flow stops when your baby relaxes to pause and breathe.

This is hugely reassuring as one of my main worries was that Franky would get used to drinking the expressed milk quickly and easily from a bottle, then wouldn’t want to go back on the breast as the bottle was easier.

I’m thrilled to say that this hasn’t been the case at all and he has no trouble switching from breast to bottle and I’m convinced that this is down to Calma. I’d have been mortified if he hadn’t wanted to go back on the breast and insisted on being fed from a bottle all the time.

Medela have clearly thought of everything!

So, as you can see, I literally don’t have a bad thing to say about this pump and only wish I’d had it from the word go and not wasted my time with any other one.

I am now able to express enough milk to allow my husband to give him a bottle of an evening and share in the feeding experience, as well as giving me and my boobs a break from a feed!

The Medela Swing Electric Breast Pump is available from various Online retailers such as John Lewis, Mothercare, Amazon, Boots and has an RRP of £134.99, though John Lewis has it on sale for £96.73.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

My First Mothers Day

Sunday 30th march will be my first Mother's Day as a mummy!

Motherhood is unquestionably wonderful and amazing, but it's only now, as mother that I can truly appreciate just how hard it can be too and I totally understand why we have a day dedicated to spoiling rotten all the Mothers and Fathers out there!

I realise that Mother's Day isn't about being lavished with lots of gifts, but as it's my first one, I thought it would be lovely to have a little something special to mark the occasion.

Something I can keep and remind me of this time and the perfect little boy who has helped me transition from being a woman to becoming a mother.

I found this special something in the form of an Argento charm bracelet.

 Argento have a wide range of beautiful charms which can be used with their delicate, Stirling silver charm bracelet.

For Mother's Day, I wanted to find a charm for my bracelet that would remind me of my son and make me smile every time I looked at it.

I found it.

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you'll know that me and my hubby affectionately call our little boy Franky, Giggle Bear, so what could be more appropriate than a teddy bear charm.

  This gorgeous silver, bear charm is small but perfectly formed, with cute red paws and ears!

Anyone that sees it dangling from my bracelet would simply see a sweet teddy bear. 

I see my gorgeous little boy.

My bear that smiles at me first thing in the morning, cooes and giggles when I sing (badly!) to him, splashes around happily in the bath and snoozes so warmly and soundly in my arms every evening.

This charm represents the most important thing in my life, my son, and is something I will keep and treasure forever.

You can see Argento's wide range of charms on their website Here.

Monday, 17 March 2014

The Hardest Job In the World

Franky is 9 weeks old and my god how time has flown by, I have no idea where the last 2 months have gone. I’m so in love with my little man, but having a baby is without a doubt the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I’m not just talking about Labour!

It is exhausting, relentless, frustrating and challenging but rewarding and amazing all at the same time.

The first few weeks of Franky’s life were one huge blur of hormones and exhaustion. I cried several times every single day. Sometimes I knew why, sometimes I didn’t, but either way the tears came.

I think I was totally unprepared for just how difficult being a first time mum to a newborn was going to be.

‘’Having a baby will be the hardest job you ever do’’ they all said. Yeah, but it can’t be THAT hard otherwise people would never do it, or at least never do it more than once would they, I mused.

I could laugh at my naive thinking now.

In the early days, we would be up every hour throughout the night, changing, feeding and soothing him. No sooner had we gone through all this and he’d fallen asleep, he’d wake up hungry and we’d have to start all over again.

It wasn’t any better during the day either as he wanted to be attached to my boob ALL THE TIME.

I was in pain from labour, sore from feeding this little person relentlessly 24 hours a day and shattered from having no sleep.

‘’Sleep while baby sleeps’’ everyone told me. Easier said than done when you need to eat, drink, clean or go out during the short periods of time when they’re asleep and peaceful. I don’t know about you, but I find it impossible to sleep on demand!

Then he got colic and would scream from 5pm-10pm relentless every night. Feeding, winding him and giving him cuddles did nothing to help and I often felt like I was losing my mind. 

The only thing that every soothed him was a car ride, so every night at 11pm I'd get into the car in my PJ's and we'd drive around aimlessly until he fell asleep.

I'd then carry him upstairs in his pram suit and place him gingerly into his moses basket, still in his pram suit and just pray he wouldn't wake up. 

BUT, it has got easier.

To begin with, I didn’t feel like I knew this person, despite him being in my belly for 9 months. I didn’t know who he was, what he liked and what he didn’t.

Now, I feel like I know him.

I know that he loves cuddles, looking out of the window of the car from his car seat when we go out, bouncing in his rocker,  being sung to, having a bath and totally adores having long massages after!

I can now tell the difference between his cries, something at the start I never thought I’d be able to do, but he really does have a hungry cry, an ‘I’m just grumpy  cry’ and a ‘I’m tired’ cry, which really helps me to figure out what I need to do to make him happy again. 

I also know when he’s happy, as he kind of pants and coo’s at me, which melts my heart every time.

A couple of weeks ago I was giving him a cuddle and I caught a glimpse of a smile. 

Not a windy smile, but a proper smile. He smiled not just with his mouth but with his eyes. I knew I hadn’t imagined it and within a few days, he was smiling regularly. 

This tiny little gesture fills my heart with a joy I never knew could exist and made, and continues to make all the hard parts so worth it.

He can now go 3-4 hours between feeds during the day and is fairly content to entertain himself in his moses basket or rocker, just staring at the world in wonder, giving me time to shower, eat, tidy and do bits and pieces, such as write this post! Rewind several weeks and I never thought I’d get this time to myself!

In fact, last night, Franky had his last feed at 10pm and didn’t wake up until 6:15am! My first night of unbroken sleep in 9 weeks AND when I got him out of his moses basket, I got a huge smile too.

Being a mum is the best thing in the world and the hardest, but I feel so lucky to be Franky’s mum and am excited to grow and learn with him and watch him become his own little person.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

WaterWipes Review

One of my purchases from the Baby Show last October were some baby wipes called WaterWipes.

Suitable from birth, all you’ll find in these wipes is 99.9% purified water and Citrus Grandis seed extract, aka grapefruit seed extract.

I wasn’t THAT impressed, I mean, how excited can you really get about baby wipes, but that was until I was shown the list of ingredients included in all other wipes, even sensitive ones.

Chemicals such as;

Parabens:  chemically manufactured preservative

Lanolin: grease from animal fur

Phtalates; Chemicals used to make plastics more flexible and harder to break

Benzoates:  Chemically made preservatives

Tricolsan: A cancer causing  antimicrobial agent



And many, many more chemicals.

Given that you are recommended to use only cooled boiled water and cotton wool to cleanse your newborn baby’s skin, I was horrified to find out that baby wipes, something you would use on your baby’s skin with every nappy change, contain such horrible chemicals and irritants!

I wouldn’t want these chemicals on my skin, let alone my delicate newborns!

Needless to say I ordered a huge batch there and then, and I haven’t looked back.

I’ve used  WaterWipes on Franky from day 1 and he’s never had so much as a hint of pink on his bum. No soreness or irritation, nothing. In fact, they’re so good, maternity wards and Neonatal Intensive Care Units in the UK and Ireland have started using WaterWipes and recommending them to parents!

You don’t get a much better endorsement than that!

The natural baby wipes are scentless,gentle and soft to touch and I would recommend these to every new mum.

They work just as well and are just as effective as other leading brand wipes but without all the horrible chemicals.

Using these multi award winning wipes is a no brainer as far as I’m concerned!

You can buy WaterWipes from Boots or Amazon and cost approximately £2.49 for a pack of 60.

Monday, 10 March 2014

The Shnuggle Moses Basket

One of the most important and necessary item’s you’ll need to buy for your baby is a Moses basket.
Most Moses baskets are generally made of wicker or palm leaves and it’s easy to think that just any basket will do as they’re ‘all the same’.
Well my friends, that’s just not the case.
Yes the traditional Moses baskets have been around for forever and to be fair, have stood the test of time, but it’s worth knowing that sometimes, they’re just not all that great.
They can creak and make noises when baby moves, they can sometimes feel a bit flimsy, the hood rarely ever stays up and they are a nightmare to clean. No, make that nigh on impossible to clean!

Then there’s the Shnuggle Moses basket.
This beautiful basket is made from a strong but flexible, hypoallergenic and easy to clean material that is far safer for your baby and has a ventilated base to ensure a constant flow of fresh air.
It's practically silent when your baby moves around and has a great locking system which means that the hood actually stays up, helping your baby to stay asleep. (Which lets face it, is REALLY important!) It’s also 10% bigger than other baskets which means baby can fit in it for longer.

Made with 100% pure cotton fabrics and available in a range of different colours, it's a warm, cosy and stylish place for your baby to sleep.
It’s a really beautiful looking basket with a base available in 6 shades; Ivory Cream, Pure White, Pebble Grey, Sage Green, Sky Blue and Blossom Pink.

Each basket alone costs £75 or you can opt to buy a basket with a folding stand for £95 or a rocking stand (which I have) for £100.
There is also the option to buy a the basket as part of a really handy starter pack, where you’ll get the basket, stand of your choice and also get 2 fitted sheets and a cellular blanket for £101 or £106, which is actually really reasonable!

I had the Shnuggle starter pack in Sky Blue and with the rocking stand, which by the way has been a god send and I highly recommend!
I place his Shnuggle and stand on our laminate wood flooring and can just gently tap the base of the stand with my foot to make it rock gently, helping Franky off to sleep!
The  Shnuggle rocking stand

While I know that aesthetics are not what you should base a purchase as important as your baby’s first bed on, but the Shnuggle is a really gorgeous basket which I get complimented on all the time.
 Its sleek shape and pretty colours make it an attractive addition to a room rather than a necessary eye sore.
Franky, age approx 1 week enjoying his Shnuggle!

For me, it ticks every box.
It’s a safe, sturdy, hypoallergenic and easy to clean basket with 100% pure cotton fabrics to keep him warm and safe.
The ventilated base allows me to rest easy knowing that he is surrounded by a constant flow of air so he doesn’t overheat.
The hood actually stays up and in place when I decide to use it to shield him from the sun in the day, saving me from constantly having to pull it back in place!
The basket is 10% bigger than other baskets so I’ll get more use out of it.
The helpful sets that Shnuggle offer allow you to purchase everything you’ll need for your baby’s first bed, for a great price, all at once.
It is available in 6 gorgeous colours.
It is a really chic, gorgeous basket unlike the majority of those on the market!

It gets Franky aged approx 8 weeks seal of approval!

So, if you hadn’t yet gathered, It’s safe to say that I’m really thrilled with my Shnuggle.
You can get your Shnuggle from their website now.