Friday, 27 February 2015

What Little L wore- Toffee Moon

I am very excited to present you the brand which we absolutely in love with.

Toffee Moon, a luxury designer baby wear clothing brand catering for boys and girls, from newborn up to four years.
Toffee Moon has been created by Helen Flowers and Elaine Smyth. Bot Helen and Elaine have a combined experience of over 20 years of designing and sourcing newborn and childrens wear on behalf of some of the major High Street and online retail brands.

Girls Matinee Cardigan (£28, 3-6 months)
Cotton ivory cardigan with pink/raspberry hem. The front has gentle gathers and fastens with one button.
I can vouch for it's great quality after being used on a daily basis and after all the washings it doesn't have any fluffs. 

Baby Girls Lottie Dress (£28, 6-9 months)                                                
A baby girl's velvet touch cotton dress in pale pink print. The dress has gently ruched long sleeves and deep frill at bottom hem.
Due to it' "elastication" at a neckline and sleeves it can look great on any baby.
L tried it on just once so far and it looked great with white tights. As at almost 8 months L is still a small baby I'm sure she will wear it for a long time.

Baby Girls Lottie Sleepsuit (£28, 3-6 months)
Incredibly cute and soft cotton sleepsuit in pale pink. It has long puff sleeves, long legs and feet. The front has small non functioning raspberry buttons and concealed poppers to allow easy changing without compromising the styling.
This sleepsuit is perfect for mums like me, who want their babies to look trendy in a playsuit when they are home or out.
The vintage style and poppers hidden under the cute buttons make the outfit unique! 

Baby Girls Heart and Spot Romper (£16 on sale, 6-9 months)                    
A lovely baby girl's cream romper with pink heart and blackberry spot print. The sleepsuit has long sleeves with gathers at the wrist, neckline and ankles. The chest is pleated with a wide waistband with bow detail.

This is a similar design to a lottie sleepsuit with less frills though, but nonetheless it is a cute and comfortable outfit. The sleepsuit is a little bit too big for L at the moment, actually as the rest of her 6-9 months sleepsuits.
All 4 items are practical as you can wear them at home, when out and about, soft and comfy. All the colours are very gentle and girly. It is definitely a range of luxury clothing that can be combined effortlessly to bridge the gap between comfortable sleepwear and day wear.There is also plenty of room allowed for baby to wriggle and grow.

Until 6 March Toffee Moon have an exciting offer buy 2 items get 20% off, buy 3 or more items and get 30% off.

Disclaimer: I was sent the above items for the purpose of this review. All thought and opinions are my own.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Baby groups and why I'm not so keen on going

The very first mother and baby group we attended was a local breastfeeding bistro. We had to see a breastfeeding specialist due to several issues me and L had at that time.

I didn't want to take L to any groups at such an early age but we didn't have a choice. 

Older kids were running around with toys, music playing, to my surprise L was sleeping as if it's the quietest place in the world! All mums were set in a half circle and were offered a free cake whilst waiting and "socialising". I was set next to a lady who had a little baby girl. It was nice to have a chat but it was a little bit awkward, I think she thought exactly what I did- we would never see each other again so on her way out she never said good bye!  

Few weeks later we attended our second group-baby massage. I was very eager to go and try it with L. 
The group was not in my local children centre which was a bit of a problem for me as I didn't want to expose L to the world of public transport for few reasons- germs, L constantly crying and constant feeding.
Thankfully the representative from the council sorted a mini bus. I didn't mind the group at all, until I noticed that the massage lady was chatting to one of the mums for ages isolating others, some mums didn't talk much at all, 2 foreign mums were chatting amongst themselves and a lady who had different parenting style to mine. We didn't argue it's just everything she liked to do with her daughter I wouldn't do with mine just yesterday I found out that my husband dated her at school (how lovely!). 

It was very obvious that we are there for babies not to make friends, at least no one made friends.

The third and the last one for now was Rhythm time, it's a musical class where babies are introduced to music and different instruments.
We went to a taste session where all babies were much older, L was 10 weeks and other babies were 10 months! Later I found out that most of them either know each other because it's a small town or because they go to these classes since their babies were L's age. 
I wanted to try something different so I booked us in for the next 5 weeks (you have to pay upfront and if you miss a session you either lose money or book yourself to a different session) but to a group where babies were similar age.
First week all new mums met each other, some were more talkative, others didn't want to talk to each other, but closer to the end of the class I've noticed that all mums had a friend to talk to, where as my partner to the right didn't want to talk at all. It fine, I thought, it doesn't matter I have L and surely can have fun with her. Cutting long story short I made 3 weeks out of 2, as it seemed repetitive and I had no motivation to go. 

I'm not saying I'm scared of meeting other people (secretly we all do, right?!), I'm scared to be "odd man out", I don't want to purposely wake up L from her nap to take her to the group, I don't want to base my day around the groups which start at a ridiculous times (at least for us it's inconvenient) and most importantly I don't want to use public transport because of the germs :-)

But I will have to force myself to go because L needs socialising and getting used more kids, more people than just seeing me all day long.

Do you force yourself or do you enjoy baby groups?

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

L eats- Cow & Gate Friends range

Introducing veggies to children can be tricky! But now thanks to Cow & Gate's newest range Friends, parents can breathe a sigh of relief. 
Babies are often more receptive to the sweet tastes of fruit rather than bitter tasting vegetables. But, the earlier and more frequently babies are exposed to a variety of vegetable flavours during weaning, the more likely they will learn to accept them.

Friends begins with the starter pack, including four single vegetable varieties allowing parents to introduce a variety of distinct vegetable tastes in the early stages of weaning:
A surprisingly good flavoured pouch.. good taste and L was uncertain to begin with but the flavour seemed to grow on her. A major cauliflower taste to it (obviously), but a quite surprising pure taste to it.. definitely a second best behind the broccoli pouch.

Now I am not a big fan of peas (I am sure a lot of you can relate to that) and I do not think L is either.. she clearly did not like the flavour as a lot of it did not end up in her tummy, but instead on her hands, bib and clothes. However as with all of my flavour reviews, this is a personal preference and your baby maybe love the flavour.. in simple terms, after a quick taste the answer was 'not for me or L'.

I personally have never been a big fan of boiled carrots and therefore did not expect too much from the flavour (other than the overpowering flavour of carrot). But the flavour was ok (carroty – if that is even a word).. but other than my thoughts on the vegetable, the puree was rather watery and did not lack the kind of consistency you get from a carrot or even a carrot soup, perhaps a more thicker puree would be better.

A lovely puree in general, L loved it and seemed to enjoy the flavour. It was a little bit watery but similar to all the puree's, I tried it and really did enjoy it. Nice broccoli taste and does exactly what it says on the pouch, no complains about this flavour. One of the best flavours so far..

As baby begins to enjoy and recognise the single vegetable tastes, the Friends range expands to vegetable varieties with flavour combinations including cheese, pasta and chicken. 

This puree had a good consistency and L was able to eat it. It took her a little while to get used to the puree. I have tasted it myself (as I am self confessed baby puree lover) and I must say I couldn't taste much apart from the cauliflower.

Now I will not lie, I was particularly looking forward to this flavour as L has not had a taste of meat yet, so the chicken aspect I was interested in. L took to it quite well, the ingredients were purified well without any massive chunks, which helped as L seems to be gagging on large pieces at the moment. As with a previous pouch I couldn't taste chicken or potato as the broccoli was way too overpowering.

This pouch wasn't L's favourite due to it having a carroty taste, but I hope we will improve it at some point.

Positive points regarding general appearance:
  • All of purees are purified which means them easier for L to eat
  • The Cow & Gate branding stands out and the vegetable character idea is excellent, especially the phone app interaction. The packaging is also very good with an easy to squeeze re-sealable pouch and a cap to cover for later
  • There are a good variety of flavours, and made with no added salt, sugar, additives or preservatives
  • Size of purees are good. I received two sizes, small sachets for starter feeds and larger for developed eaters
  • It would be more ideal if you could refrigerate for more than 24 hours
  • Not available yet from major supermarkets

Available in Starter Pack (My First Spoon) inclusive of all flavours, RRP £2.79 at Ocado:

o Carrot

o Broccoli

o Peas

o Cauliflower

Single pouches available for 'discover' stage, single pouch RRP £0.95 available at Ocado:

o Carrot, beef, potato

o Broccoli, chicken, potato

o Peas, sweetcorn, potato

o Cauliflower, cheese, potato

Single pouches available for 'explorer' stage, single pouch RRP £1.29 available at Ocado:

o Carrot, beef, tomato, pasta

o Broccoli, chicken, rice

o Peas, fish, potato

o Cauliflower, pasta, cheese

Single pouches available for 'friends forever' stage, single pouch RRP £1.79 available at Ocado:

o Carrot, lentil, ham

o Broccoli, cheese, pasta

o Peas, potato, sole fish

o Cauliflower, potato, beef

Now for the very cool bit, meet the vegetable characters (as mentioned above):
Claire Carrot, Chris Cauliflower, Bella Broccoli and Peter Pea

Disclaimer: I was sent the above items for the purpose of this review. All thought and opinions are my own.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Tiny Tickers- let's raise awareness of early heart defects detection

Couple of weeks a go I was contacted by the Tiny Tickers charity representative who asked me to help spread the word about them.

As a person who had mitral valve prolapse I understand how important it is to be aware and treat the illness at the right time. 

"The condition I had is deemed to be the most common heart valve abnormality having said that as many as 1 in every 125 babies in the UK has a congenital heart defect. Only one third of major heart defects are spotted during pregnancy, and another third are picked up in standard newborn hospital tests.

Terrifyingly, that means around 1,000 newborns are sent home from hospital every year in the UK with no one realising they are suffering a life-threatening condition.

Tiny Tickers is a small national charity that aims to improve the detection, care and treatment of congenital heart disease (CHD) in babies. 
Tiny Tickers provides specialist training to health professionals and sonographers so they are better equipped to identify a heart defect during a pregnancy scan. We support parents and families dealing with a diagnosis, and we raise awareness of heart defects in babies so that parents know what signs to look out for.

When CHD is detected during pregnancy, babies get treatment from the first possible moment – and early detection is shown to greatly improve their chance of survival and long-term quality of life, and lowers the risk of side-effects of heart failure such as brain damage.

Here is how you can help
To get your free Big Tick info card, order here!

Read about Robbie's story here".

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

#Babysleep skype session with Jo Tantum and Pampers

Couple of weeks ago I have mentioned that I had a very inspiring and exciting chat with Jo Tantum- UK's No1 baby sleep expert and a Pampers representative Cathy (I'm sorry if I got it wrong).

The very first time I've heard about Jo was at the NEC Baby Show 2014 when my husband and I were strolling around trying to find bargains. I remember the announcement that the UK leading sleeping expert Jo Tantum will be answering questions soon but I didn't pay attention as I assumed that we won't have any problems with sleep (shows my lack of experience with babies, again!).

Almost 9 months later I was offered an opportunity to "meet" Jo, couldn't miss it this time so I jump at the chance!

Prior to the chat I was a little bit worried/nervous as saw that L is getting tired which meant that she could start crying at any point or would be a grumpy little madam.

In total we had around 15 minutes, during the first part Jo answered some of my questions and suggested how we should change the routine during the day and night. After the chat I was a little bit upset that no one ever suggested to me or said similar things, was upset because I felt as if I'm letting myself and L down. Eventually I pulled myself together and started acting.

Here are Jo's pearls of wisdom:
  1. Babies like routine 
  2. A baby similar age should be awake 12 hours and asleep for 12 hours a day, meaning if a baby wakes up at 8:30am s/he needs to go to sleep at 8:30pm
  3. The best routine 7am/7pm, unfortunately it doens't suit our household as my husband leaves for work at 8 and I prefer to sleep so we adjusted the routine with waking up at 8:30 ish
  4. Baby should sleep only in the cot, no toys, no cushions, no entertainment in the cot. Sleeping in different places confuses baby. (As L slept on me during the day or in the carry cot by my side and it took me 2 hours to call L down as she was in a playful mood in the evening)
  5. During the day L should have naps every 2 hours
  6. To breastfeed L when awake after night, at 11am, between 2pm and 3pm, before bed time (1 hour before giving solids)
  7. To feed every 4 hours
  8. Prior to nap time close all the curtains in the room, ideally to have blackout curtains, put a sleeping bag on, soothe baby with patting and say "Shhh" and eventually baby will fall asleep
  9. Keep nap time calm and quiet 
  10. Be consistent, if baby doesn't want to settle stay with a baby for few days and then move away gradually
  11. No feeding to sleep
  12. No breastfeeding at night and it will stop so many night wakings
  13. If baby wakes up grumpy try to soothe first to see if they can nod off again rather than pick up straight away
  14. Always attend a baby if crying
During the second part of the chat Pampers representative demonstrated how other nappy brands differ from Pampers baby-dry.
Pampers Baby-Dry contain a unique combination of elements that work together to offer up to 12 hours of dryness. An Embossed Top Layer pulls liquid away quickly to keep your baby’s bottom dry, whilst the Extra Sleep Layer acts as a barrier to stop the liquid coming back to your baby’s skin. 
And Pampers special Micro Pearls™ absorb up to 30 times their weight, locking in liquid better than ordinary nappies. 
Pampers Baby-Dry nappies contain extra absorbent Micro Pearls™, so you can be reassured that a wet nappy won’t be the cause of a disturbed night’s sleep. 

We have been following Jo's advice these few weeks and our day nap massively improved since L sleeps only in the cot. I'm working on improving night sleep, but I do not mind that L stays with me as it guarantees that I won't need to fully wake up and can instantly soothe L when needed. I have recently dropped breastfeeding at night but as we are at the teething stage at the moment it is not going well. The only positive is that a wet nappy won’t be the cause of a disturbed night sleep for L.

Disclamer: I was provided with a pack of Pampers baby-dry and a skype-chat with Jo Tantum and Pampers for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions are honest and my own.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

MAM tableware set review

The MAM Complete Tableware Set ( £19.99 at BabiesRUs) offers a superb set of items for every step of your baby’s development.

The set comprises of:

MAM Starter cup 150ml
Featuring a soft spout ideal for the transition from breast or bottle to training cup. The starter cup is easy to use, with anti-slip on the inside for little hands. The lightweight and curved waist design with removable handles makes it especially easy to hold. Spill-free (with valve) or free-flow without valve.

MAM Learn To Drink Cup 270ml
MAM designers have developed an innovative Learn To Drink Cup from which babies can learn to drink on their own. With soft spout for an easy switch from bottle or breast to a Learn To Drink Cup a Spill-free (with valve) or free-flow without valve, it's easy to hold with a stylish design.
MAM Dipper Set
The Mam Dipper Set is an ideal introduction to cutlery for your baby. Perfect for baby's first stages of self-feeding the handles are just the right size for tiny hands with a velvety surface for a perfect grip. The special safety shield prevents them from going too far into baby's mouth.

MAM Feeding Spoons and Cover
The Mam Feeding Spoons and Cover Set includes 2 spoons in different sizes. The long spoon easily reaches the bottom of deeper jars, and allows you to hold the spoon together. The short, broad spoon is designed for baby's small hands and is ideal to use on their own. Includes compact and space saving cover with two compartments to keep the spoons clean, and hygienically separated.

MAM Cutlery Set
Fully functional Mam Cutlery Set for baby. Includes knife with safe edge, fork with gently pointed prongs, and spoon. Functional non-slip textured design.

MAM Feeding Bowl and Lid
The Mam Feeding Bowl features two separate compartments, ideal for storing or feeding different foods. The practical handle makes the feeding bowl easy and comfortable for parents to hold, even with just one hand. The tight fitting lid is great for storing and travelling.

Mam Feeding Bowl and Plate
The Mam Feeding Bowl and Plate makes learning to eat much easier for babies. Step 1 - Use the plate as a non-slip base for the bowl. The deeper bowl makes scooping easier. Step 2 - The plate can now be used on it's own as a non-slip dish.

Mam Storage Pots
3 storage pots perfect for storing or freezing homemade foods or breastmilk in convenient portions.

At present we have only used the spoons, starter cup for drinking, storage pots and feeding bowl. The other products I plan on testing when L is older/more developed. I am particularly interested to see how L handles the larger bottle and knife/folk, should be messy!

I must admit that the items are very good quality! Being in use every single day they not only wash well but look like new!

I particularly like the storage pots (set of 3, holds 4oz each), they are incredibly useful as I tend to do vegetable/fruit purees myself and if I have some leftovers I can store them in a pot or even use them on the go. Having 3 pots in a set makes the tableware set pretty much ideal. I have used all 3 and never needed to purchase more.
  • screw-on lid
  • can be sterilised and microwavable
  • allows writing contents on a pot
We didn't have much success with a training bottle as L just didn't like it at all so we are using a different brand at the moment. 

Feeding bowl and spoons are constantly in use by myself (feeding) or L (playing). 
L likes bright colours and I like:
- the softness of the spoons as it allows to scoop purees or mash the food and clean L's face 
- they do not slip due to its non-slip surface
- spoons come with a cover which means you can use them on the go
the bowl is deep enough which makes scooping easier

A minor negative is, the set I received was in green. Which perhaps is me being picky, but I have a little girl and she is into her pink at the moment. Now I have been online recently and noticed that MAM do a pink version of the set, so in an ideal world pink would have been my requested colour, but needless to say the colour is merely trivial compared to how well the product performs.

Disclaimer: I was sent the above items for the purpose of this review. All thought and opinions are my own.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Roberts Bakery Soft & Fluffy Valentines Sandwich

Valentine's Day is fast approaching and this year Roberts Bakery has teamed up with a  nutritionist Dr Carina Norris to create a special romantic themed sandwich recipe.

Dr Carina Norris says: "Black pepper and strawberries may sound strange, but give it a try - it works.
I wanted to make a ‘fruity’ sandwich, and I’d seen a dessert using fresh strawberries with a dash of black pepper. I thought this would transfer well to a sandwich, but needed something creamy to set off the sweet and sharp flavours - cottage cheese worked perfectly for this".
I have received a special hamper packed full of goodies (a loaf of the newly branded Roberts Soft & Fluffy White Bread, a heart shaped sandwich cutter and a recipe card).
I wasn't sure if I can make the same sandwich as I didn't have all the ingredients, so I decided to improvise. 

I used:
- Roberts Bakery thick soft & fluffy white loaf of bread
- Salad leaves
- Cheese spread
- Ground pepper
- Strawberries in a tin
Voila! Délicieux!

One of them was a little bit too cheesy for my liking, but it's quite an interesting mix of flavours!

Show your loved ones how much they mean to you with this sweet strawberry sandwich treat.

Disclamer: I was provided with the bread, a recipe card and a heart-shaped sandwich cutter to make sure I've got everything I need to get loved up for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions are honest and my own.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Dettol Baby Blanket Donation- the last call

Dettol is pleased to announce the extension of contributions for the Baby Blanket Donation Campaign. The campaign is ending on 13th February 2015. 
The donation appeal, fronted by celebrity mum of two Rachel Stevens, aims to raise awareness of the dangers of bacteria on baby blankets, particularly during the cold & flu season, whilst highlighting the shortage of baby blankets available to infants born to families in need.
Rachel said: “I've got all my mummy friends donating their blankets and I’m trying to get as many people involved as possible. Now I'm a mum I am even more aware of how much more washing there is to do. With Dettol Anti-Bacterial Laundry Cleanser I get to do loads of quick washes at low temperatures and know that things will be hygienically clean and germ free.”

Laboratory tests commissioned by Dettol - on washed blankets donated by volunteer mums - show that baby ‘blankies’ carry a variety of bacteria even after a 40°C wash, with a third of the washed blankets harbouring coliforms – a group of bacteria linked to faeces.

Once collected, the baby blankets will be hygienically washed with Dettol Anti-bacterial Laundry Cleanser - an additive that kills 99.9% of bacteria even in temperatures as low as 15°C - before being re-distributed by Dettol to families in need. 

Dettol has also pledged to donate £1 for every blanket collected to children’s medical research charity, Sparks to raise much needed funds for UK families with children who are affected by serious illness or disability.
As a leading children’s medical research charity, Sparks is dedicated to funding and championing pioneering research into a range of conditions affecting babies, children and 
pregnant women. 

"Our research crosses a wide spectrum of medical conditions including birth asphyxiation, childhood cancers, cerebral palsy, premature birth and spina bifida".

I am absolutely obsessed with sterilising and cleaning everything L is given or gifted. I have a fear that L could catch the bacteria these things carry but to avoid a conflict or misunderstanding from people who gift these things I shy away. 

I think it is a brilliant cause to send your much loved but not needed baby blankets to those in need.

For full details on how to donate please visit Dettol alternatively

Blankets can be donated via Freepost (no stamp required) to:

Dettol Baby Blanket Donation
The Hay Loft
Balcombe Place Stables
RH17 6AZ

£1 donated by Dettol to Sparks for every blanket received up to 5,000 blankets.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Little L is 7 months

I must be saying it every time but I can't believe that L is 7 months! 
She can sit up unaided, but can't pull herself upright from lying position, she can stand mainly on us. L also attempts to move backwards and not really keen on crawling which made me think that she won't crawl just like mummy didn't.

L likes touching different surfaces, tags, buttons, bags, pull mummy's hair, daddy's zip on a hoodie and pull his glasses.
I am obsessed with L and feel so uncomfortable when have to leave her with someone else, thankfully we do it only once a week when go shopping at no more than for an hour.

This month L tried her first fromage frais and looks like she doesn't mind it, L also tried her first snacks- biscuits and rice cakes. She eats solids but hates lumpy food and will gag which makes me a little bit nervous. L is not very adventurous with solids and tasting new things but I don't mind I'm sure when she is ready she will eat for England.

And most importantly- my little darling daughter said "mamama", so cute!

#Babysleep experiment day 7

I have finally came round to Jo's suggestion that I should stop breastfeeding at night. It feels like L is waking up at night way too much for my liking and wakes up half and hour or an hour earlier because of that but if I decided to give it a go I need to persevere. 

Day 7 (Tuesday):
8:00- woke up
8:10- breastfeeding
9:30- feeding
10:00- walk\asleep
10:30- awake 
12:05- breastfeeding
12:25- asleep
13:50- woke up screaming, but soothed back to sleep
15:00- awake
15:20- feeding, didn't have too much/breastfeeding
17:35- walk/sleep
18:39- awake
19:30- feeding
20:50- breastfeeding
21:10- asleep
00:00- woke up crying/screaming/co-slept whilst wearing Pampers baby-dry

L naps much better than before just need to tackle night sleep and feeding times as it seems when I offer her solids just doesn't want food.

Any idea how to improve feeding?

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

#Babysleep experiment day 6

Yesterday wasn't too bad, apart form L not sleeping when we went for a walk, I think it might be due to sleeping for such a long time before.

At night L was screaming/crying as for the past few days but I'm so used to it now.

Day 6 (Monday):
9:05- woke up
09:10- breastfeeding
10:10- feeding
11:00- asleep
11:35- awake
13:00- feeding
13:25- breastfeeding
13:30- attempting sleep
13:45- sleeping
16:05- awake
16:20- breastfeeding
16:45- woke up
17:00- feeding/wasn't feeding well
18:10- walk/didn't sleep
20:50- breastfeeding
21:00- asleep
23:40- woke up crying/screaming/co-slept whilst wearing Pampers baby-dry

I'm a little bit confused when I should feed and breastfeed L, when I attempt to feed she doesn't want it for some reason.

Peanut Hottie- peanut butter & chocolate flavoured hot drink review

After reviewing the original Peanut Hottie's instant hot drink, I was extremely excited to try the new chocolate addition.
The drink is described as "Peanut butter and chocolate flavour instant hot beverage made with real peanuts". 
To make the perfect drink, the setup remains the same, use 4 teaspoons (or more depending on your preference) and mix with hot water to produce a smooth peanut butter hot drink.
I opted for 3 spoonfulls as it retained the wonderful peanut flavour and saved an extra spoonful, for when the drink powder is running low (clever, right?)!
The drink was thicker than the original Peanut Hottie and stronger in flavour than the original Peanut Hottie drink.

There was a hint of chocolate flavour to the drink, but due to the strong peanut flavour it was slightly more overpowering. This does not take anything away from the wonderful peanut butter flavour and there is a subtle difference between the original flavour and the chocolate addition.

I love the cheeky idea that you can have several mugs of the wonderful drink knowing you are only indulging in 83 calories worth of your daily amount. For all the health conscious souls out there, this is a super drink which very much rivals the traditional hot chocolate drink, if not surpasses the old school pre-bed drink.

Are we looking at a replacement drink for the traditional hot chocolate, tea and coffee? That is for you to decide, but from my perspective this drink is no.1 for hot drinks.

If you would like to try Peanut Hottie, it is available in Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Tesco- the store finder tool on the website will let you find your local supermarket to save a wasted trip.

Disclamer: I was provided with Peanut Hottie tub for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions are honest and my own.

Monday, 9 February 2015

#WeLoveBeebies Ambassador Search Application

The first part of my journey to become Beebies Baby Store Brand Ambassador began when I came across the brand on Twitter (in 2014). The wonderful items stood out as being very colourful and exciting (such as the beautiful dolls house or teepee). I have since visited the website and taken a look at the products on offer..

From a personal perspective I have seen certain items I would be willing to try on my Little L, she would look so cute in the 'Duck Baby Grow' (especially as my husband loves ducks).

The Cosatto prams/pushchairs are wonderfully designed and I like the quirky patterns.

As an ambassador, I would continue to spread the word about Beebies products and ensure that my followers/readers visit your website. I am also looking to connect with like minded ambassadors to help Beebies brand grow further and I hope with the help of Beebies that the opportunity comes my way.

I admire Ami and the way she has built the company from the ground up. It is something I aspire to do and I can genuinely say that I would be honoured to work alongside a talented young business owner.

Now at this stage your are most likely reading this application and thinking, good review but it is lacking the creative element.... think again.
After thinking long and hard about creativity and Beebies, then working out what would work. I decided to take a different approach, whilst I acknowledge the world of Youtube and me sitting in front of a camera talking, here is my alternative..

A poem about Beebies Baby Store:

Amongst the world of online stores
You shine brightly like the sun upon the shores
Products so clean and fresh
Do they make your store the best?
In my opinion there is lots to admire
From kitchens and toys to My Little L's attire
Should you make me a Beebies Ambassador
In one simple word ... 'sure'!

It is safe to say I have a knack for poetry :)

#Babysleep experiment day 5

Sunday was the best day so far! L slept over an hour during each nap, I couldn't believe how much spare time we had! Nights though are always the same she sleeps with me. I know that health visitors are not supporting co-sleeping but I prefer to put L next to me knowing that I can always soothe her by offering my breast rather than to sit for hours rocking her.

Day 5 (Sunday):
8:25- woke up
8:35- breastfeeding
10:00- feeling tired/grumpy
10:20- asleep
12:16- awake
12:30- breastfeeding
13:30- feeding
14:35- asleep
16:05- awake
16:20- breastfeeding
16:45- woke up
17:30- feeding
18:11- walk/sleeping
19:25- awake
21:00- breastfeeding
21:30- asleep
23:40- woke up crying/screaming/co-slept whilst wearing Pampers baby-dry

Day routine seems to be so much better than night, how to improve night routine?

Sunday, 8 February 2015

#Babysleep experiment day 4

Every Saturday we leave L with grandparents for couple of hours so that we can do our weekly shopping. Plus side is that our relatives can spend time with her,negative- I do not trust anyone else with L. But I will try my best to follow the advice of Jo Tantum- Pampers sleep expert.

Day 4 (Saturday):
8:52- woke up
9:10- breastfeeding
10:50- feeding
11:30- sleeping
12:30- woke up
14:00- feeding,breastfeeding
14:40- attempting to sleep
15:10- asleep
15:44- cried/soothed to sleep
16:45- woke up
18:00- feeding
19:00- walk/sleeping
20:00- breastfeeding
21:50- breastfeeding
22:00- attempting sleep
22:39- asleep
23:40- woke up crying/screaming/co-slept

As you can see routine went out of the window, I'm not very comfortable when L has to sleep in a different place, my trust issues are not helping either as I keep thinking that they didn't do what I asked etc. 

On a positive note, during the day I took L upstairs to sleep, and whilst she played with a cot bumper and was babbling to herself I decide to leave the room, but made sure she won't see me. Few minutes later she was snoozing! It's a little progress!

Any advice on how to relax and trust grandparents with L?

Saturday, 7 February 2015

#Babysleep experiment day 3

We had a late morning on Friday, which confused me a little bit, half of the morning I was calculating what will work for us 3 hour feeds or 4 hour feeds. It is just day 3 and I'm not expecting miracles, but I'm feeling very positive! Thanks for your support, Jo (Pampers sleep expert) and my lovely readers! 

Day 3 (Friday):
9:15- woke up
9:30- breastfeeding
10:50- L was a little bit tired so I took her upstairs earlier
11:25- after lots of screaming l finally fell asleep
12:20- woke up
12:35- feeding
12:50- breastfeeding
14:25- breastfeeding
14:40- asleep
15:28- awake
16:30- feeding, didn't want much food
17:40- walk/sleeping
19:30- feeding
20:50- breastfeeding
21:00- attempting sleep
21:35- fell asleep
22:29- woke up
22:40- fell asleep
00:00- lots of crying, co-slept

Lots of crying last night again, L could only relax on my breast, so was on and off all night.

Friday, 6 February 2015

#Babysleep experiment day 2

Who knew that having a log of our routine will make me think and find what I needs to be changed. Second day was completely different to day 1 and made me realised that regardless of all the changes L dictates what is going to happen in the end.
Every nap time I carry L upstairs, change her into the sleeping bag, put Pampers baby-dry, close the curtains and sit with her until she falls asleep. By saying sleeping I mean L cries a lot, screams or just turns on tummy and plays with cot bar.
I have also noticed that if L wakes up at 9am feeding every 4 hours doesn't work.
The more I think about it the more I realise that maybe it's not right, or not for us. She can't fall asleep without my help, she wakes up and cries/screams, it seems that if I stay with her this will not teach her how to fall asleep on her own, how to wake up without mummy. At the same time we have tried controlled crying and L will scream the house down, sometimes will scream and won't fall asleep or will give up and fall asleep. So what is best for us?

Day 2 (Thursday):
8:28- woke up
8:30- breastfeeding
10:10- relaxing in the cot/soothing to sleep
10:20- sleeping
11:00- woke up
12:40- feeding
13:15- relaxing in the cot/soothing to sleep
13:20- sleep
14:40- woke up
16:30 feeding
16:50- breastfeeding
17:30- sleeping whilst walking
18:30- woke up
20:00- feeding
21:49- sleeping
23:40- woke up crying/ decided to co-sleep

Yesterday L was screaming at night which is very rear and unlike her.

What would you change in our routine? 

Thursday, 5 February 2015

#Babysleep experiment day 1

Tuesday was a little bit more special than any other day, I had a skype session with Jo Tantum- UK's No1 baby sleep expert and Pampers sleep expert! I am planing to write a separate post about this, but in short it was exciting and inspiring!

The whole day I was doubting myself- if I can pull it off, if I can do exactly what Jo suggested.  I felt so confused at the same time, my mother-in-law was saying one thing about L's sleeping, my friends, cousin, mum were saying completely different. 
I know sometimes you should do what is best for you and your baby, but being a first-time parent is not so easy especially when it comes to sleeping.

Previously to changing our sleep time routine L used to wake up between 8:30am and 10am. I didn't mind it at all, actually I think it's the best time for us allowing me to sleep as well. 
During her first morning nap L used to sleep on me, yes I couldn't do much if she was on me but I didn't mind it as I was watching my favourite TV show.
Then up until recently she used to fall asleep hour later after waking up as felt tired, then feeding, then hour later sleeping, then waking up, feeding, hour playing, sleeping and the same thing over and over again. Around a week ago or so L wanted to nap about an hour later after she woke up and then at 1pm and and 3 pm. 
During the day I used to put her into her carry cot from a travel system by my side as it allowed me to do things on my laptop whilst I'm helping her to nod off. And next sleep would be whilst we go for a walk around 5:30pm or 6pm.

Whilst writing the post I realised that L wakes up and cries and can't calm herself down without me.

Jo adjusted our routine slightly recommending to feed every 4 hours, which to be honest with you made me a little bit nervous, with not enough breast milk I thought that 4 hour gap might be too much for L, so the first day of my new #babysleep routine I started with feeding L every 3 hours.

I must say that the day went not according to plan and we ended up co- sleeping again, I'm yet to work out if it's good or bad, but I did it for the sake of having a good night sleep- mine and L's.

Day 1 (Wednesday):
9:30- woke up
11:15- relaxing in the cot/soothing to sleep
11:30- fell asleep
12:04- woke up
12:10- feeding
12:30- breastfeeding
14:00- relaxing in the cot/soothing to sleep
14:20- breastfeeding/falling asleep on a breast
14:30- sleep
15:13- woke up
15:30 feeding
16:50- breastfeeding
17:30- sleeping whilst walking
18:35- woke up
18:40- feeding
20:30- relaxing in the cot/soothing to sleep
20:40- breastfeeding
21:15- sleeping
22:15- woke up crying/ I was rubbing tummy, saying "shhh", putting back dummy over and over again
22:38- picker L up to calm down
22:48- fell asleep
22:50- crying again/I was rubbing tummy, saying "shhh", putting back dummy over and over again
23:02- fell asleep
23:14- crying again/ decided to co-sleep

What would you change in our routine? 

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Grobag Candy Cloud sleeping bag review

I have had the privilege of reviewing the Grobag Baby Sleeping Bag £19 on sale (Candy cloud 6-18 months). The sleeping bag is a beautiful pink striped design in 100% cotton, designed to keep my little one nice and warm.
I selected the 2.5 tog due to the current/approaching cold winter weather. I must say that my little girl seems to be more than happy in the snug warmth (whilst the parents battle the cold temperatures).

The idea behind the Grobag, is promoting safe sleeping, which is endorsed by the Lullaby Trust. The ease at which it takes to secure my daughter within, demonstrates this safety concept.

I will also like to state that the Grobag has certainly assisted with what used to be an exhausting evening. The fact that the Grobag keeps my baby snug and limited in movements, means less kicking and fidgeting, and more time sleeping.

When I received the Grobag, the first thing that sprung to mind was the lovely packaging. The cardboard packaging that the Grobag comes inside, is superb and there is a nice touch, with a small card showing how the sleeping bag design looks like.
You can also find information about choosing the correct tog, size, safety.

I am particularly impressed by the enclosed thermometer, which we use in our living room, to check the temperature.

Design features:
- double popper for extra security
 - under arm poppers to be used for babies between 8.8- 10lb 
- Zip-click cover stops adventurous little ones from opening their zips

Due to L being a little bit small for it, even though she is 7 months old I have some feedback which would help improve an already excellent product. They are as follows:

  • more broad/specific sizes required, such as 0-6, 6-12 etc.
  • buttons/option to fold lower half of Grobag to make it less long
  • perhaps a plain/budget option would appeal to those unable to afford a Grobag.
Despite the minor disadvantages, the Grobag is a lovely sleeping bag product for my baby and I would definitely recommend to my friends & family.Disclaimer: I was sent the above item for the purpose of this review. All thought and opinions are my own.