The baby with 400 teeth

We’re all guilty of it. Making excuses if our babies aren’t themselves, my go to is ‘she’s teething’ I find myself explaining with an apologetic face. Truth is, if she was teething every time I used that excuse – Jasmine would have over 400 teeth by now!

This weekend was a tough one – as a parent or just for someone who needs sleep to stay alive.

It all started with ‘teething.’

Jasmine hadn’t been herself last week which I found myself blaming on the elusive teething. When it continued, I had to trust my instinct that this wasn’t teething and stop hiding behind my favourite excuse. After being soaked in her sick like a 90s foam party, we endured a LOT of washing, some more washing and cleaning! After two doctors visits my instincts were confirmed, of course it wasn’t teething – it was gastroenteritis.

Jasmine was so poorly she was just falling asleep anywhere and she slept most of the time – very unlike her! Then she was waking up with awful tummy pains and I’ve never heard screaming like it. I wanted to cry myself. I didn’t go to bed Thursday night, instead I carried her around rocking her, singing to her and trying to comfort her. Come Friday night she was still very sick, my back was in agony now. She screamed if I put her down or if anyone else held her, so I continued to carry around my extra 10kg of weight. Facing another night of not even sitting down let alone sleeping I wasn’t sure if I would collapse with exhaustion, faint or just cry.

Once I mentioned that Jasmine was unwell I had such a huge response from other mums saying their little ones were also unwell. Being a mum is so tough at times anyway, but once they get sick it’s even harder. No breaks, no sleep, no awareness. Not knowing when they’ll be better. The thankless task. Mums are amazing, never putting themselves first, just giving them unconditional love – there’s no alternative.

Jasmine is thankfully much better but I learnt a lesson – to always trust my instincts, they’re more powerful than any medical professional. Oh and I must not blame everything on teething!

Have you ever trusted your instinct and been right? I’d love to hear from you.

Snufflebabe – cold treatments for babies

With the weather getting colder, more of our babies are picking up coughs or colds. When the temperature took a sudden drop a couple of weeks back, I noticed Jasmine was much more fussy, lost her appetite and started sneezing a lot. Sure enough she had a cold. Frustrating for her, struggling to breathe and frustrating for us as we can’t explain to her she has a cold or help her blow her nose. With most cold products on the market being too strong for a 9 month old baby, Snufflebabe kindly sent me some products to try.

My favourite product was the vapour drops, Jasmine has a humidifier in her bedroom – which is great product I never would have thought to buy pre Jasmine. I simply add the drops to water in the humidifier which steams while she sleeps. I could see that this really made a difference to her breathing and it definitely helped free up her airways.

I had not used a Nasal Aspirator before, despite hearing great things about them I find them a little daunting looking at them. Once I used it though – it couldn’t be simpler and is completely hygienic to use.

Firstly, if your babies nose is blocked and dry, use a little of the Snufflebabe nasal drops (saline that is suitable from birth). Then put the nozzle at the entrance of the babies nostril (but not inside) right next to any visible mucus. Then suck through the mouthpiece. It’s not possible to over suck – never blow though. I was a little worried I would get it in my mouth BUT it’s not possible, all mucus collects hygienically in a sealed chamber.

So it easy, hygienic and most importantly I noticed an instant improvement in Jasmines breathing. It also helps to prevent further complications such as ear infections, coughs and stomach upsets. I’d definitely recommend the Snufflebabe range for little ones.

It’s all reasonably priced and it’s good to be stocked up as you never know when you may need it! It’s available from a range of pharmacy’s or you can pick it up at Boots, Tesco’s and Sainsbury’s. You can also visit the Snufflebabe website and check out their range of great products.

* Disclaimer- I was sent Snuffle babe products in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

The things they don’t tell you about breastfeeding…

This post is not a debate about formula/breastfeeding. This is a post about my journey and as it happens my journey has been a breastfeeding one which is why I am writing about what I know. I simply want those choosing to breastfeed to know some of the things I didn’t. Not to put them off, The opposite in fact, to make them aware of the challenges so you know you’re not alone and the challenges will pass.

Firstly – it’s hard!! Loose any images you may have of sitting on a lily pad with your hair gently blowing in the wind as you nurse your babe. These days I’m covered in milk while Jasmine feeds and tries to pull clumps of my hair or gauge my eyes out at the same time.

Let’s start with my story….My midwife asked if I was planning to breastfeed and I remember my line was ‘If I can, but if I can’t I’m not going to beat myself up about it’. Not long after Jasmine was born ‘the golden hour’ a midwife tried to help me feed, Jasmine wouldn’t latch and I thought ‘well I tried’. I remember a midwife sat up with me all night by my side helping me feed her, she was having such issues latching there was talk she had tongue tie.

Eventually she latched a little bit would loose it almost straight away. It was a battle and a frustrating one. If someone had given me a bottle of formula to give her there and then I probably would have, but the midwives were so dedicated to helping me, I felt I owed it to them to persevere.

Some babies can’t latch due to medical reasons but I’m sure this was because it was all brand new to us both. This went on for a few days and finally she started latching….and….ouchhhhhhhhh – cue the toe curling pain. I’ve listed some facts/myths things I wish I knew 10 months ago, I’ve also enlisted the help of other new mums to get their thoughts on breastfeeding in particular things they wish they knew before, not that it would change their preferred feeding method, just to have more knowledge to avoid the ‘I’m failing’ feeling…

The pain

If you start breastfeeding and you’re in pain – that’s normal, mine felt like every feed was agony but nipple shields and creams will help you! Not to mention the pain when your milk comes in, it’s how I imagine Lara Croft feels all the time – they’re rock hard. Warm showers, cabbage leaves and feed, feed, feeeeeeed.

All you can eat buffet

And let’s talk about cluster feeding. Newborns feed ALL the time. They are regulating your supply and will be thriving (providing they are not drastically loosing weight.) The mistake some breastfeeding mums make is when their baby cluster feeds they think they’re not getting enough, so top them up with formula, they then sleep longer but mums supply will drop so baby feeds more….it’s a vicious circle. Trust your body and your baby they will be getting enough. Mums are often misadvised that they shouldn’t be feeding as much or baby isn’t getting enough. I perfectly normal for them to be attached to you, get comfy!

Mastitis

Inflammation of the breast tissue often caused by clogged milk ducts, it can also come with fever and it hurts! But there is relief – icepacks, supplements (vitamin c, echinacea, bee propolis, garlic) feed, feed, feed, massage, paracetamol for fever, drink lots of water. It’s one of the top reasons why women stop breastfeeding so it’s important to have knowledge about it and how to help.

Stock up on breast-pads

They sell reusable breast-pads so cheap now it’s worth getting some and washing them as trust me you’ll need a lot!

Pour the wine

Unlike pregnancy, It’s a myth that you can’t drink alcohol whilst breastfeeding a glass of wine is the equivalent of a shot of alcohol in the ocean to the baby so they are quite safe. I’ve researched a lot and medical professionals agree it won’t affect the baby. Personally I’d never have more than a couple as I’d always want to feel in control, it’s also advised not to co sleep in the same bed as baby after any alcohol.

Dairy free Doctors orders

Jasmine went through some digestive issues which resulted in me going dairy free for a few weeks, for Jasmine it turned out she wasn’t dairy intolerant but it’s normally the first thing doctors advise you to cut out. Eventually she grew out of it.

Freeze it

I found this concept pretty weird before Jasmine but it’s great to have a stash of expressed milk in the freezer and it can last up to 6 months.

Thirsty work

To this day as soon as she starts feeding my mouth feels drier than the Sahara desert – totally normal just keep water close!

Express and bottle feed

I always had some bottles in, if I’m honest I always had pre made formula in (just in case). It’s nice to have someone’s else feed them.

She’s hungry

It’s hard when she’s so tiny and every time she fussed Dave or who ever was holding her would say ‘she’s hungry’ whilst passing her back to me, I would struggle knowing I was the only one feeding her. It felt like a lot or pressure and I also started to feel like a cow. This certainly gets easier though and it’s actually quite a nice feeling after a while knowing I’m providing for her.

Find your feeding spots

I’m still not confident feeding in public (to be honest now Jasmine gets too distracted). The city is full of baby change/feeding places I would use them as my safe zone when I was out and about.

These are by no means to put people off but to encourage those planning to breastfeed. Each of these reasons were reasons I almost finished by breastfeeding journey and I wish I was aware of them at the time instead of feeling like I was failing. Most people experience these.

Make sure you talk about it if you do and it’s always best to be prepared. For me, I’m glad I pushed through as it’s so much easier now and I feel proud of my 9 months of breastfeeding.

Children on the internet – a parents choice.

When you become a parent you face lots of tough decisions. Whilst pregnant I decided I wasn’t going to post any pictures of Jasmine on any of my social media platforms, fast forward to her being born and I was unable to stop myself. I was so proud and wanted to show my friends and family (most of who live away) how wonderful she was.

I completely respect those who choose not to put their children’s pictures online or who cover their faces. There are some strange people online parents have every right to be cautious. I went back and forth with my decision and decided I wanted to post Jasmines picture… do I want her to be safe? – absolutely! Are there dangerous people online? Yes. But the really sad truth is that there are dangerous people everywhere… in the supermarket, on the train, in the park…. they will ultimately see Jasmine, unless I shield her from the whole world, I can’t stop her from being seen in society no matter how much I want to protect her and I want to protect her so much, but as a parent you can only do your best teach them, protect them and love them. I have rules with posts I never put any bath time shots on or anything that could be misconstrued.

Sadly we can’t control those around us, we really can’t but we can look after our babies in this crazy world we live in. Teaching them about the good and the bad people in the world from a young age. Maybe I’ll get to a point where it no longer feels right to post her pictures but for now I’m just a proud mother with a new camera. What ever you choose to do to safe guard your children – your choice is right. As long as you’re keeping them safe then the decision is the right one, because it’s your decision.

Messy me – Clutch bag review

It often takes ages to leave the house with the nappy bag crammed full of ‘just in case’ items – 95% of which I won’t use. I’ve been saying for a while that I need a much smaller bag to fit just wipes and nappies in. I stumbled across ‘Messy me’ they sell lots of beautiful products and they kindly sent me a ‘clutch bag’ to try out.

Made of oil cloth it’s easy to clean and the perfect size. It fits travel wipes, a couple of nappies and there’s still space for a dummy, nappy cream or my current favourite – teething gel!

I love that it’s so neat and compact, now that Jasmine is 9 months old we brought a stroller it’s it’s much easier for nipping out to the shops or holidays away as it folds so small, the new stroller has a much smaller compartment underneath, so my regular nappy bag won’t fit – so the nappy clutch is perfect!

It also has a matching changing mat because, let’s face it, public changing tables aren’t the most hygienic. They come in various patterns. I chose ‘wild rose’ as I thought it was classic, pretty and matched the buggy. I love that it has a velcro fastener as I can open and close it with one hand whilst sorting Jasmine with the other.

I’d really recommend getting a nappy clutch for all of these reasons it a perfect little gem I’d never have thought to purchase before I had Jasmine but post Jasmine it makes my day a little bit easier!

To check out the gorgeous oil cloth clutch bags and the full range of Messy me product Click here and see how they can make those messy moments easier whilst still looking fantastic.

* Disclaimer- I was given a Messy Me clutch bag in exchange for an honest review – all opinions are my own.

Fifi & Friends – product review.

With so many products on the market, it’s often hard to know where to start when choosing the right skincare products for your little one. I was kindly sent some products for Jasmine from ‘Fifi & Friends’ which we couldn’t wait to try.

Firstly the products are larger than the average bottles which mean they last longer, which is great. The travel wipes are the perfect size to pop in to a small clutch bag to save space when going out or keeping in the car, I’ve got an upcoming trip away with Jasmine, so these will be perfect.

All the ‘Fifi & Friends‘ products smell incredibly clean, they are formulated by their dedicated team of skincare experts. They have aloe vera in them which is really kind to the skin but they’re not loaded with perfumes, which keep them refreshingly simple and great for sensitive skin.

When I used the body wash on Jasmine it foamed up nicely and washed off easily (perfect when you have a wriggly 9 month old). After drying her down she smelt so fresh I put some of the body lotion on her afterwards too. The body lotion spreads very easily which makes it great to use if like me, you do a little baby massage before bed to help calm your baby down. Like the body wash it was simple, clean and fresh.

I have a confession, on a couple of occasions I was in a rush and I popped a bit of my face as a day cream! I’m sure other mums can relate to being so busy they neglect their own beauty routine, but I’m pleased to say it felt amazing and light on my skin too! My favourite product was without doubt the nappy cream. Jasmine has been teething and had a little nappy rash the day the products arrived, I put some of the nappy cream on before she went to bed and by the next morning the rash had completely gone, I was so pleased.

It’s nice and thick but feels less clinical than some creams on the market. It still cares for the skin as well as targeting the rash. I also love the pot it comes in (geeky mum moment) but as nappy changes with Jasmine can be a bit of an Olympic sport, keeping her in one position now she’s crawling, the pot is not a fiddly screw cap, it flicks up and clips down – all of which I can do with one hand whilst wrestling Jasmine with the other! I love the fact they have thought about mums here and what works well for everyday life.

I’d definitely recommend the products from Fifi & Friends, they keep it simple, fresh and leave your little ones feeling clean whilst protecting their skin.

*Disclaimer* I was given the products in exchange for an honest review – all thoughts are my own.

Babease – food for babies, not baby food.

Most of the time Jasmine will eat what we do, but that’s not always possible so I like to have a little stash of pouches for if we are on the move or if we decide to have a takeaway – which I don’t want Jasmine to have. As we are doing ‘baby led weaning’ Jasmine demands to feed herself which is fine, messy, but fine!

I always taste her food before she does, someone was once horrified when I tasted one of her pouches before I gave it to her, but I’d never be prepared to give her something I wasn’t prepared to eat myself. Babease kindly sent us some of their pouches to try and they are real recipes with real, organic ingredients. At Babease they believe in introducing amazing tastes and textures at an early age as it’s the best way to raise healthy and adventurous eaters.

As always, I gave them a taste myself and it was really nice, all the ingredients complemented each other and there were herbs and spices added to make them taste extra special. Jasmine enjoyed trying all the flavours, her favourite was Thai green curry.

I love the smaller pouches which are ‘full of veg’ I sometime will give her some if she hasn’t had any vegetables in her meal. Babease pouches are also gluten and dairy free so safe for little ones who have intolerances. For those times in modern life when you need a quick, healthy meal for your baby without the guilt.

Tips for managing on statutory maternity pay.

Often we get so excited about the upcoming time off work we have, that we forget about the financial implications or the small factor of having to actually birth a tiny human. I’m not sure what’s more painful – the birth or living on statutory maternity pay? Here are some tips which may be useful….

Pyramid selling schemes – beware

We all get them ‘do you want to work from home and make an extra £2000 a month..?’ messages from people who sell products, whether that be a diet product, skin products – they all have their own targets to recruit people so will try to persuade you by huge tempting offers.

I have over 30 generic messages in my inbox telling me how they love my profile and I’ll be great for their fitness brand. My Instagram pictures are mainly of my baby girl Jasmine, food and wine, so I’m probably not so ‘great for your brand’. My advice would be – if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. No one would make thousands a month simply by sitting on their phones, I’m sure people do make big bucks somewhere up the pyramid but more often than not you may end up paying for products if you don’t hit targets.

If it’s a product you are genuinely passionate about – go for it! You won’t have a problem selling something you truly believe is amazing. If however you don’t love the product, chances are you won’t be able to convince others to buy it. Just be aware that they are looking for people who are drawn in by money and the opportunity to work from home – mums!

Do a weekly food shop online

I received a voucher for £18.00 off my first online shop so check on their websites if they do that. When in the supermarket, I’m drawn in by any kind of fancy packaging stacked on the end aisle – plus if it’s got any form of offer on it’s in my basket. Plan meals, make a list, go online and order it. Delivery is as cheap as £1.00. Plus the supermarket normally show you ‘offers’ online so don’t worry about missing out.

Also, never shop hungry, I’ve made this mistake many times, before I know it I’m up to my eyeballs in tapas for 15 people that’s goes out of date by the next day, plus baby bells, fancy crisps, normal crisps, baked crisps, vegetable crisps, crisps that don’t look like crisps, I think you get the idea.

Remember to use KidStart too, you can shop with Sainsbury’s and earn savings for your little one on every order.

Loose change in a pot

Not just 1ps and 2ps (although if that’s all you can afford to put in then do!) ANY change you have, put in a pot at the end of every day. You’ll forget about it. My other half and I paid for a trip to Disneyland Paris with the loose change we saved over a year. It can be done and you’ll be surprised.

Also look in old bags, coats, purses and pop all that change in it!

Sell stuff

There are lots of online sites you can sell stuff on now – clothes, toys, baby stuff, and furniture – clean it up and sell it. Alternatively you could do a car boot or get the kids to run a garage sale. There are also fabric banks now which take all your old clothes and give you money based on weight. But be warned, this won’t be your windfall, I wanted to get rid of a bunch of clothes I no longer wore so took it to a lady who gave me £7.00 for about three bags! We didn’t go to Paris that year.

Back away from the internet!

Yes, it’s so tempting when you have a small human to buy them lots of things they don’t really need. I’ve googled ‘baby sailor outfit’ at 3am. I’ve ended up with a fish costume from the little mermaid, a little hair turban and yes, all the guests to Jasmines impending christening will receive a pack of love hearts with her face on it.

Here’s the tip – put all the items you want in your basket, go back in 12 hours and remove all those you don’t need. The bonus here is that when you leave items in a basket you often get an email after a while to offer you discount if you buy the order. You’re welcome.

Speaking of discounts…

Google ‘discount code for *company name*’ more often than not you’ll find 15% off here and there or other offers that you can apply at the checkout. Worth the extra 2 minutes.

Child savings account

If you can get a children’s savings plan, I have an ISA for Jasmine – These can be opened with just £1. Instead of being consumed with gifts for birthdays and Christmases ask for money for their savings – they’ll thank you one day. The interest rate on children’s savings accounts are usually much higher especially if they can’t be withdrawn for x amount of years or once a year. This can also be topped up by any money you earn them through Kidstart when shopping online.

Finally, check your direct debits going out

Could you get cheaper? If you can – then switch. Check your TV package, insurance, phone? I called up my phone provider once and said I thought I was paying too much, they took off £10 a month. Same phone, contract just took it off the monthly cost, always worth a try!

Equally change your bank account for extra money, it’s so easy and hassle free as they sort all your standing orders for you.

My little mermaid – Jasmine starts swimming lessons.

Last week, at the grand old age of 8 months, Jasmine started swimming lessons. After looking around at various classes we decided that group classes were not for us and decided to opt for one to one lessons with Jumping Jack Splash based in Norwich, Norfolk.

Not only do I think it’s important that Jasmine can swim growing up, I also think that swimming lessons can encourage all kinds of other life skills. For example – confidence both in and out of the water, listening skills, motor skills and it also helps to build those muscles, especially at the age she is where she wants to be on the move – it definitely helps build her strength.

She really enjoys new environments and activities, learning her surrounding and working on her social skills with her new teacher Jack – a fully qualified swimming instructor.

What I like about one to one sessions is that they go at her pace. If she’s full of energy one session that can be used to enhance the class. Equally, if she’s not feeling it and a bit crabby that day it can be adapted to her.

Jasmine loves being sung to (having musical parents I think has something to do with that) so she enjoys the swimming exercises to different nursery rhymes. The classes are very fun for babies and children. Splashing Daddy is definitely her favourite thing to do! Now we just need to get swimming lessons for him!

Baby sleeping bag from aden + anais

It’s been a seriously hot summer and a lot of babies have struggled to sleep, some only sleep in a sleeping bag but the regular 2.5 togs are far to hot!

It’s rare to find anything thinner in the high street. When I saw aden + anais made sleeping bags (so thin – it’s like a muslin cloth material) I thought these were perfect for hot summers nights or once the heating is on at home. aden + anais believe in the comforting assurance of the muslin and that really shows through their brand. The sleeping bags are light, airy but still have the feeling that the baby is snug in their sleeping bag, with plenty of room to kick about.

Choosing a pattern was not easy as they are all so gorgeous, but went for the ‘Disney baby’ range – as we are big Disney fans. We picked a gorgeous pink aristocats one with little detailed ‘Marie’s’ printed on. Jasmine loved it as it was really comfortable, high quality and still knew it was bedtime once she was in it.

I’d really recommend getting one as I’ve not seen any this thin or nice before! A great gift for any mummy’s to be too – To get yours visit aden + anais By clicking here while you’re there check out all their other gorgeous products.

*Disclaimer – I was gifted a baby sleeping bag in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own.