Saturday, 30 June 2012

Breastfeeding Education In School

Being educated in school on breastfeeding is what I think is needed in today's society to help teach youngsters today that boobs are not just sexual objects. I mentioned that the other day in my breastfeeding certainly didn't come naturally to me post. I said about before becoming pregnant with my first child Oli, that I didn't really know much about babies and what came with. I guess I only knew about breastfeeding because I had seen people feeding their children this way when I was out and about. I don't think my own mother bought up this subject when it came to talks about the birds & the bees.

What sparked me to talk about this is the breastfeeding haters, sadly they exist and for some reason are blind to this natural process. But looking around and actually seeing who is so negative towards it, especially using twitter seems to be young people and men. I'm guessing for the males it's the whole 'boobs are sexual objects' which turns them against it, I'm hoping they will see sense when they settle down and have children for themselves. And for the young people, this is where I think being educated in breastfeeding at school comes into play.

I personally think that breasts as a instrument to feed children should be taught at exactly the same time as receiving sex education on those body parts and how they are used to make babies. At the same time they should slip in how these boobs can be used to feed these babies milk and how that process goes about. Why is it as a mother in her 20s that I had to go and hunt out how milk is made, shouldn't that of been something I had learnt when being taught the ways of the world in school? We learnt about our periods as young girls, something that effect us all as females so why were we not taught about the fact we will produce milk once we become with child? That effects us all as females, even those who choose to formula feed.

Maybe times have changed since I went to school, maybe it is now being talked about. I guess I wont know until my boys hit school age but even then would they learn about the concept of breastfeeding seeing as they are boys? Breastfeeding has become such a big part in my life now, maybe because of the role it plays in feeding my child or maybe it's because of that special bonding it allows us to have. I just don't like seeing something I love being dissed simply because of a lack of educating about it.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Mine & Dylan's Breastfeeding Journey

So I spoke yesterday about my unsuccessful breastfeeding experience with Oli. well today I thought I would post about the successful breastfeeding experience I had and have been having with Dylan. It didn't start off very successful, like I said yesterday - it didn't come naturally. We first tried him after having that skin to skin contact after he was born, we got settled on the sofa (we had a homebirth) and I offered him my boob but he didn't want to know. He was crying and just didn't stop, he was also bubbling at the mouth. I didn't talk about it in his birth story but did mention it in the first post I wrote about his infection, about how he was grunting and the midwives decided to send him to hospital.

We tried to get him to take to the boob not long after arriving hospital, I tried again after he got back from NICU. He just didn't want to know that day but I managed to get colostrum a couple of times out of my boob that for him and gave it to him via syringe. The first time, a nursery nurse came and helped me with it. She showed me how to hand express and how to squeeze to get this colostrum to come out. The second time I was able to do this whilst a midwife collected the colostrum in a syringe for us. This was sore and unconformable but I desperately wanted to breastfeed this time and was determined not to give up, every time he seemed hungry I offered him the boob.

Success came that night when it was just me and him, I offered him my boob and he latched on and sucked. I actually could of cried, instead I sent photos to the man and shared my excitement and how pleased I was. Though I had finally got him on this wasn't the end of our breastfeeding problems. I like the fact my notes read on the next time when a midwife came in to watch, she wrote that baby had latched well, and that rhythmic sucking and good positioning was observed. I think it took that nursery nurse and her nice way of approaching it all with me to give that support which built me to that moment.

The next day each time I fed Dylan my uterus was contracting and this was agony. I was on painkillers every 4 hours but there was times where even these wouldn't take the edge off this contracting pain, it was like being in labour again at some points as it was so painful. He was on the boob lots that night and this seemed to continue, he was constantly on it. Come Tuesday, my poor nipples were killing me - they were so cracked and so very sore. Dylan was feeding constantly, he wasn't off the boob and I still hadn't slept. I couldn't when Dylan just wanted to feed 24/7 and when every time he would sleep, I was disturbed by someone. Sleep for me was just not possible whilst in hospital.

I told the midwife I needed the man to stay, I needed his support that night. She had a chat with the head matron who came in all her officialness and said that he could stay with me but he wasn't to leave the room. It was so nice to not be alone that night, it made time not go as slow as it had previous nights. I wasn't clock watching which just makes things worse. Though there wasn't much the man could do as after all, Dylan wanted my boobs not his. I really did need some sleep and rest, between us both we decided to try some formula so that he could take over to give me that much needed rest. I was in hysterics with tears as I approached the midwives desk and tried to explain to the midwife what we had decided to do. She was lovely about it all and totally understood, she went and grabbed me a box of tissues and told me to go back to my room, have some cuddles with the man and that she'll be in with some. She also explained how she wanted to come and see me earlier on that night but the 'do not disturb' sign was still up so she stayed away as she knew I had the man there with me. I really cannot thank that midwife enough for how kind she was to me that night and how she made me feel that little bit less guilty. I really did want to do nothing but breastfeed but that night I really did need that help.

Thankfully I managed to get some sleep whilst Dylan took to having some formula off Daddy. The best thing was that next morning he happily came back to my boob again and that day the midwife bought in a pump for me to use where I managed to get a couple of ounces out, just in case we needed to give Dylan that. By this day my boobs had become like coconuts where my milk was coming in, the midwife talked to me about what to do when they become full other then feed. I was to use something warm like a flannel to pop out them, we had no flannel so she filled up a glove full of warm water and I massaged this over my boobs, that really did help soothe them. She said about hand expressing some milk out, I did this into a little cup which I then used to feed Dylan my milk.

I had a breastfeeding support councilor come in and go through the positions, check my latch and answer any questions. It was also around these days that a midwife mentioned that it looked like he had a tongue tie, I had noticed this myself. Nothing more was said about this and she didn't write it down anywhere. I bought it back up when midwife weighed Dylan and said he had lost more weight then they would of liked him too, I bought up the fact it look like he had a tongue tie and she said this is why he's probably feeding lots and not put on as much weight as they would of liked him too. Interestingly it was up to another breastfeeding consultant to come and have a look at it and see if having something done about it would make a difference. She said it could be of benefit for him to have it snipped and we were booked in that Friday, the day we were going home.

It was explained to us that it was a simple procedure that was done whilst he was awake and all it was going to take was a little snip under his tongue. I was still a little nervous though and couldn't stop thinking about how he would react to having this done to him. It really was a quick in and out though that surprised us, one little snip and it was all done. He didn't even cry, though was unsettled on the way back to our ward. Upon going back to our room and being offered the boob, he was perfectly ok. It didn't even effect his feeding straight after having his tongue tie cut. But what it did do was make breastfeeding so much easier, he opened his mouth so much more then before and even the man noticed a difference when it came to Dylan opening his mouth and sticking his tongue out. I noticed such a difference after that, I was able to say goodbye to sore nipples and hello to our breastfeeding journey.

The next day after finally leaving hospital I took to do my first public breastfeed, ok it may of been hidden away in a Marks & Spencers cafe and I may have been wearing my cover but I still couldn't help but do a tiny dance in my head. I didn't think I would be able to breastfeed after the struggle I had first time around, let alone sit and breastfeed my child for the whole world to see. Part of me wanted to whip the cover away, stand on the table and show the world that I was feeding my son. I didn't, I sat and lapped up the fact I was able to feed my son whilst using my spare hand to consume a cookie have a drink myself.

Things have been going great, I'm enjoying breastfeeding him more then I ever thought I would. It's bought us so much closer and really has allowed for some special me and him bonding time. I have so much more I want to say about breastfeeding and about my experience but I'll leave you with this post about our start in our breastfeeding journey.

Toddlerisms #18

Walking hand in hand with his Cousin, on the way to Soft Play.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Breastfeeding certainly didn't come naturally to me

When I was pregnant the second time around I remember watching One Born Every Minute and watching women go into labour and then soon after breastfeeding their child, they made it look easy. It looked like it came naturally to them. This always hit a nerve with me and made me jealous why couldn't it come that naturally to me the first time around? I watched and prayed that I would have it come that naturally to me the second time around.

I remember back when I was pregnant for the first time with Oli exploring my feeding options and deciding that I wanted to go down the route of breastfeeding. I was only 19 at the time and let's just say never gave babies and all that came with it a thought until he came along. I didn't do much research into it, I always assumed that it was a case of here's the boob, there's babies mouth - jobs a good 'un. That wasn't the case as I found out when he was born.

I was never talked too about it, like the second time around where nothing but breastfeeding was talked about. Midwives never entered into conversation about breastfeeding with me during pregnancy, that was 3/4 years ago. I never bought any bottles or formula as I was so content on breastfeeding my son. Come the day of his birth, I was in shock. It's not everyday you experience labour for the first time, I didn't get that skin to skin contact instantly. I was too shocked to hold him and I always wondered if this is why we struggled with breastfeeding. It was only when we were transferred on to the ward afterwards that I tried breastfeeding for the first time, nothing happened. By nothing I mean, he wouldn't latch on to my boob and I wasn't really sure what I was doing.

Midwives seemed to of came and go as quickly as this weather seems to be changing at the moment. They all had different things to say, some of them made me feel like I was in the wrong for the fact breastfeeding didn't come naturally to us. I remember being told 'well if you cant breastfeed, you're just going to have to give him formula' those words still haunt me now. I knew I had to give him formula, nothing was happening with the breastfeeding, Oli just didn't want to know my boob so he needed some kind of milk. I was discharged the next day with several bottles of formula as it was Easter Sunday and I had nothing at home.

I got more support when I had arrived home and the next day when the midwife came out, together we managed to get some of the colostrum out and into a syringe for him. Everyday for a few days she would come out and try to help me to get Oli to latch on to my boob. We had no success, I was constantly trying but nothing. He didn't want to know and I couldn't get any milk out. I couldn't take anymore after a week of trying both physically and mentally, I was in ruins about not being able to give my son this milk that I wanted to give him so badly. I didn't even know if I had any milk. I knew nothing when I think back to those days now. A week later and we were formula feeding.

During this time I never knew anything about breastfeeding consultants, never had any groups, books, dvds or advice lines given to me. Part of me wonders if I had been a regular tweeter and blogger there and then if I would of got the wonderful advice I know I have access to now. I'm in position now where I know if I need breastfeeding help, all I have to do is tweet or use facebook to talks to friends/people who know there stuff. I wish I had known that breastfeeding doesn't always come naturally like I had thought it did, I wish I was more clued up on it from the moment I decided to breastfeed. Scrub that, I wish I had known from the moment my boobs had started to grow. I wish I had known that they were not just sexual objects to be hidden away in bras. I wish I had known what great things they really were capable of.

I'll be posting about my breastfeeding journey with Dylan tomorrow, that didn't come naturally to me either but we managed to get through that and to this day are successfully breastfeeding together.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012


With breastfeeding comes various products that can help make your breastfeeding journey that little bit easier. Now I'm already a big fan of and already use Lansinoh products so couldn't say no when they asked if I would like to receive some of their products to try out. Anything to save pennies and help build awareness of helpful products.
Lansinoh HPA® Lanolin is an ultra purified grade of lanolin, refined using a unique process to make it the world’s safest, purest lanolin. Lansinoh HPA® Lanolin has been specially developed to help soothe and protect sore, cracked nipples in breastfeeding mothers.
Sore nipples can often be a result of uncomfortable positioning of your baby at the breast. It is therefore important to address the cause (with the help of a health professional if necessary) – and in the meantime Lansinoh HPA® Lanolin can help to soothe and protect your nipples.
Lansinoh HPA® Lanolin is the safest, purest nipple cream and completely hypoallergenic. Lansinoh HPA® Lanolin is the only lanolin product to have received the British Allergy Foundation Seal of Approval.

I first heard of Lansinoh Lanolin not long after I had Oli and my nipples were incredibly sore thanks to the endless attempts at breastfeeding him. Someone suggested to me trying out this nipple cream called Lansinoh, now I have to admit at first I was little 'eek' at the price. Yeah that was of course before I tried it. It was easy to apply and didn't create any stinging pain, just helped to soothe them. That soothing feeling is so fresh in my head as again this time around with my successful breastfeeding journey I used Lansinoh Lanolin for that soreness, I got sore this time around because Dylan wasn't feeding right thanks to his tongue tie. I am incredibly thankful to my tube of Lanolin for helping me get through that.

Was unsure at first as I didn't want to use it at the same time as feeding him but both the packet and a midwife reassured me that the Lanolin is non toxic and is perfectly safe because of it's purity. It has so many more uses other then being used as a nipple cream, I had so much leftover the first time around that I was going to give it away to a friend still breastfeeding but then she told me it makes a great lipbalm and she was right, making it my new essential handbag item. It can also soothe itchy stretch marks which I discovered for myself and dry skin in general as well as using it on babies nappy rash.

Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads have an ultra-thin but super-absorbent contour for a natural fit that won't show under clothing. The soft, stay-dry lining draws milk away from the skin and into the core of the pad where it is absorbed by a special polymer to prevent leakage. Featuring two non-slip adhesive tapes so that the pad stays in place, this is the only polymer style pad that keeps its shape when wet. The pads are hygienically wrapped for cleanliness and convenience - perfect to slip into your bag when out and about.

Product Features:

  • Discreet, naturally contoured shape
  • Individually wrapped and disposable for hygiene
  • Fits all breast sizes
  • One-way moisture technology ensures that you stay dry day or night
  • 2 non-slip adhesive tapes keep each pad in place
  • Breathable waterproof outer layer keeps your clothing dry
  • Soft and breathable inner layer for maximum comfort
  • Super-absorbent polymer and stay-dry lining draws and locks milk into the core of the pad

If there's one breastfeeding product that I couldn't live without then it would be my Lansinoh nursing pads! I say that because they have been the best thing at sorting out those embarrassing leaks. I remember my first leak was not long before Dylan was born and I woke up because I could feel this leakage, I've never ripped open a box as quickly as I open my box of pads. I'm glad these were the brand I choose to buy when I was pregnant in preparation as I've not had a single issues with them since day 1. They are comfortable and rather secure at staying in place, they don't scrunch up and stay in the original condition that they come in. I feel like I can be a judge when it comes to nursing pads as I've tried a few different brands now, it seems that my boots are always out of stock - they must be popular.

I've actually got a different brand on now and I would give my right arm to be wearing some Lansinoh pads. These have both scrunched up on me and the stickiness which is rubbish normally has decided to come off the pad and stick to my boob. Yeah, lucky I noticed as I would of had a baby stuck to my boob. Not nice for him or me. After reading my friends Emma's Whatever Breasts post yesterday, the Lansinoh Nursing Pads definitely seem to be the best ones around.

Lansinoh products are available to buy online (just search google!) and in pretty much any stores which sell baby stuff, like Mothercare, and Boots. You can find Lansinoh both online and on .

Tweeting the Truth about Breastfeeding!

Breastfeeding specialists Medela were delighted to discover that 90% of mums have breastfed in public! In a recent survey the brand engaged with mums through Twitter and to find out what mums really thought about breastfeeding outdoors just in time for summer 2012!

Whilst they were pleased to hear the majority of mums had fed whilst out and about, the survey also showed that 63% of these mums had felt uncomfortable doing so. Over the coming weeks families will be spending more time outside and with this in mind Medela want to make sure that every breastfeeding mum gets the support they need in order to feed confidently this Summer.

The survey highlighted that more than 40% of mums felt uncomfortable because people gave them ‘funny looks’ whilst they were feeding. One mum commented ‘I found public feeding was stressful, people can’t help but look...’ Worryingly 26% of the mums we asked were concerned that if they were feeding inside a café or restaurant that they would be asked to leave, one mum even commented: 'I was once sent to a single cubicle toilet and expected to feed my baby sat on the loo!’

To help mums boost their confidence, Sioned Hilton, Medela’s lactation consultant has put together some top tips for mums who want to breastfeed whilst out and about. She suggests that finding a quiet place or just practising at home can really help mums. More than a quarter of mums said they felt uncomfortable because they couldn’t cover up properly, but as Sioned advises wearing a good nursing bra or a breastfeeding vest can make this much easier.

It is not all about the mum though - the public have an important role to play too, if they can recognise that breastfeeding is completely natural, mums won’t have to worry about funny looks or comments. Interestingly 21% had never received any negative feedback whilst feeding outdoors, proving that slowly but surely people are becoming more accepting.

Breastfeeding friendly cities are springing up across the country and many cafes and restaurants now display a badge welcoming new mums, so with a little more awareness and expert advice, Medela hope breastfeeding in public can be a peaceful experience.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Freedom Babe

I knew from the moment I saw Vic from Glowstars a couple of years ago using a Freedom Babe cover when breastfeeding her littlest Mr A, that I would want one when I had another child and if I managed to breastfeed. Happily I've had both a child and managed to successfully breastfeed this time. Of course the first thing on my breastfeeding shopping list was a feeding apron from Freedom Babe.

Now I know aprons/covers/covering up isn't for everyone who breastfeeds, many mothers are comfortable doing it without these and so they should. Breastfeeding is nothing to be ashamed of and no one should ever need/be told to or even feel like they have to cover up.

For me though, I feel much more comfortable when in public using it, I guess it comes off my shyness. The first time I used it (top photo) I was at my in laws, I took it out of its storage bag and popped it over my head whilst Dylan was on my lap. It has a flexible neck feature which rests against your body giving you a gap to look down at baby so you can see what is going on, I like using this to maintain eye contact with him whilst feeding. We've even used it the feeding apron whilst on a fairground ride.

I have come to the stage now after several weeks of breastfeeding where I'm starting to be confident about feeding in public without the cover, the cover has helped me with building this confidence whilst both me and Dylan have got to grips with latching on and the positions we feed in.

Unlike feeding cloths/blankets which I've seen mothers drape across babies, the freedom babe is 100% cotton and has that space where you can see baby. I've been warned that older babies when breastfeeding can get distracted so I'm hoping this will also be a great tool to keep him concentrating on feeding.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Tops for Breastfeeding

Trying to find breastfeeding tops that wouldn't break my budget has been a nightmare for me. I've not been willing to part with too much money for them as I'd rather save the ££ for when I'm free to wear whatever I like. It's been kinda strange for me getting used too wearing tops where I need to be able to whip my boobs out when they're needed, I was always a tight t-shirt kinda girl and didn't like to wear anything floaty or with buttons all over it.

I had my first experience of nursing tops when I was pregnant and won a competition over on twitter for a £50 voucher to spend at Funmum Maternity. I choose the pack of 2 maternity nursing tops. The tops were perfect for the rest of my bump days, I even wore one of them when I was in labour. Have been using them ever since Dylan arrived and we started breastfeeding, they are fab at allowing me to get to the boob easily and the fabric is soft and comfortable for us both.

But now I'm getting a little bored of them, I have been wearing them since I was pregnant and pretty much living in them ever since. So I took to town to check out what I could find at high street price and still remain some style at the same time. Now I only have a little town with the likes of New Look, Dorothy Perkins & Pilot, anything decent then I have to travel to other towns. At least this way I'm guaranteed to only spend a small fortune. What I love about these shops is that I'm always greet a with a sale rack, LOVE sale clothes. I'm not one for keeping up with the latest style so don't mind last seasons clothes. Great thing about being pregnant and making crimes to fashion is that in that time a fashion seemed to of sprouted which involved lots of tops with buttons down the front. See the following for prime examples.

Some of the choice from New Look...

Some of the choice from Dororthy Perkins...

Some of the choice from Pilot...

At the end of the day it's finding something which is comfortable for you and what works best for you and baby. I've found that I can still wear some of my original t-shirts and those tight tees that I like wearing if I stick a vest (bought for a few quid from primark!) underneath them.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

The Febreze Breathe Happy Challenge

I have to admit I was a little afraid when accepting the Febreze Breathe Happy Blogger Challenge and was told that I was going to be sent something, I feared that I was going to receive something rather pongy - I've obviously watched the Febreze advert way too much. Was even more fearful when a big square box arrived! What was going to be in it? Smelly socks? A dirty nappy? Contents of a rubbish bin? Actually it was none of those items but instead some rather lovely surprises.

Febreze recently did some research and found that the nation’s top 5 smells in the home that are most likely to bring a smile to our faces are:

1) Baking a cake
2) Bacon sandwich
3) Fresh pot of coffee
4) Fragrant candle
5) A bunch of fresh flowers

So in case you cant see from the photos I was sent a cake recipe book to bake a cake, a toaster for that ultimate bacon sarnie, a coffee decanter and some coffee, a voucher to treat myself to some flowers and a Febreze candle to light. The challenge was to use these items and let them know how the various different scents made me and my family smile.

Nothing can beat the smell of baking a cake, this to me is as equally good as eating the finished product. This smell actually makes me feel like I'm walking on air! Any cake lover knows what I'm on about. The man loves cake full-stop and seems to be able to distinguish what kind of cake I'm making by the smell. And when it comes to the toddler, he smells it and then doesn't stop shouting CAKE at the top of his voice. Winner all around when it comes to the smell of cake.

Best smell to wake up to is bacon, I love how it fills up the whole house and lasts until lunchtime. I think it's the only thing that gets either me or the man out of bed in the mornings other then the children.

I think the smell of coffee is enough to awake you let alone drinking it to wake you up. I love how the smell hits your taste buds before the actual coffee does. To me it's a comforting smell, to the man it's a pick me up and he likes it alongside his bacon.

I didn't even need to take the Febreze candle out of the box to get a good whiff of it. I only lit it for the picture and immediately blew it out so I could savior it for a while. I'm one of those weirdos that like to keep nice smelling soaps and candles for as long as possible.

The scent of flowers is one I adore. I love how every different flower has a different scent, my favorite is Lily's. The toddler knows that flowers have smells because as soon as he sees them his instant reaction is to smell it. The man isn't a fan of flowers but you cant blame him as he has hay fever.

No wonder they are the nations top 5 favourite smells, each of them would certainly top my own list for favourite smells. Thank you Febreze for providing me with these smells and bringing a smile to my face.

7 Weeks

I cannot believe that today Dylan hits the 7 week mark, he's no longer in that newborn stage. We've already got our first box of clothes that no longer fit. He's in his Nana's arms as I type and looking at him, he really has got huge. He seems to of followed in his big brothers footsteps and have legs that never end. Every part of him seems to of filled out, his cheeks are filling as well as those legs of his. It;s funny when people who just don't get breastfeeding say to me, well how do you know he's getting any milk? My response of course is to just simply look at him and then you can tell.

Breastfeeding is going so well, I'm surprised with how well. I really do keep meaning to write posts about it but then I've still got half drafted pregnancy posts waiting to be finished. I'll probably finish them in time for the next pregnancy. One thing I find goes even quicker now that I've doubled my amount of children, seems to be time. By the time I've finished feeding and changing one child and then playing with the other, bedtime comes around and of course then it's my bedtime.

Things have been a little wild around these parts, as well as organizing and getting married we've been sorting out the house, I guess several months after moving in we really should get some of those boxes moved out.
Though we are moving again at the end of the year so maybe I really should just leave some boxes packed. Doesn't help that I cant seem to get rid of things easy, the man says I'm a hoarder and that's why we've got a garage.

It seems at the same time of getting married I gave myself a shed load of stuff to do, the next week involves nothing but phone calls and filling out forms. We even have our delayed wedding reception to sort out for next month. Anyway, enough about me and my ramblings - how's your week been?

Great Garden Moments

It's only been in the last year or so where I've actually started taking a interest in the garden, I think it's because Oli's hit the age where he's truly starting to appreciate the wonders of the outdoors and for him the garden is his favorite place to be. I have to admit that I am not green fingered at all and neither is the man, when it comes to cutting the lawn we have to play rock, paper & scissors to see who does it. I successfully managed to grow my first cucumber last year but unsuccessfully forgot about it and it was lost to the garden. Funnily the same has happened this year to everything else I tried growing, though my strawberries seem to withstanding both my mistreatment and the weather and are thriving.

Furniture Village invited us to share what we love most about our gardens in their great garden moments competition. Now I know I said I'm not a big fan of gardening but when it comes to owning a garden, it's a must for me and my family. We've moved a couple of times in the last couple of years and each time the first thing I've been interested in, is the garden. I actually picked the house we're currently in because of the size of the garden, so I've ended up with a house I'm not a big fan of but a garden I adore. Just wish we had some nice weather so we can appreciate it more - my BBQ and swimming pool is itching to come out to play.

Here's a glimpse of some of my great garden moments from the last year, from watching Oli play in the pool, growing our cucumber to exploring our new gardens. Here's a video of Oli exploring our current garden that I posted a couple of months ago. I love watching Oli run around and playing in our garden, only yesterday I was watching him and his daddy play football together. This fills me with so many smiles and I'm thankful our garden allows them to spend that time together bonding over a ball.

Though this has to be my favorite garden moment, the first time Oli picked up a watering can and took to watering the flowers. Me & his daddy may not be green fingered but it seems our son has developed his at a early age.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

John Crane Tildo Blue Balance Bike

John Crane sent Oli one of the Tidlo first balance bikes to try out and review. I have to admit I hadn't discovered one of these bikes before they mentioned it to me. Poor Oli's at the age where he's almost ready for a bike but not quite, his cousin who's several months older already has a bike and I know Oli feels slightly left out when his cousin is riding his. This is where I find the balance bike to be a good balance between stages. Putting the bike together was rather simple, it came in 5 pieces which was easy to assembly following the instructions that were included.

It's teaching Oli how to balance before he does go up to the next stage of owning a bike with pedels. Our next stage is to adjust the seat for him as it's adjustable and can grow with him, the bike is suggested from the age of 3 onwards. Great for Oli who only turned 3 last April.

What I abadoultely adore about wooden toys is the sturdyness of them, they can withstand toddlers and whatever toddler tantrum they may throw at it. The handlebars have easy grip bars which are great for his little hands. I know Oli's favourite feature about the bike is the bell which comes included with the bike. The bike is pleasing to the eye, the blue isn't too strong and looks great against its wooden colours.

It has a handle built into its structure which is handy when it comes to carry it around if your child gets too tired/fed up like they do and you need to carry it. For me it's great just to pick up and store in the garage over night until the next day and Oli shouts for his bike to come out. Just a shame the weather hasn't been nice enough for us to play on it as often he would like too. Here's him riding it around our garden.

To buy a John Crane Tildo balance bike head over to the John Crane website where if you insert your postcode, will tell you where your nearest stockist is.

You can find John Crane Blogging and on both and .

Friday, 22 June 2012

Appearances are deceiving

What I learnt today is that appearances are deceiving, what we thought was going to be a rather cool looking leisure park and shipping center actually turned out not to be. The website made it look much more exciting then it was, oh well. We did come away with some cheap washing detergent though and saw a rather angry peacock shaking her feathers.

I won a Father's Day competition over at Urbanvox which gave the man £25 worth of Pub Vouchers thanks to Drop Gifts. The man kindly decided not to spend all of it on pints and use it for a meal for us all, so using the website to find our nearest restaurant that accepted them. We ended up at a hungry horse pub - LOVE hungry horse menus as they always seem to have some of the best meaty pub dishes. You would of never of thought that I had the following plate whilst the man settled with sausages & mash.

Seeing as the weather was still rather rubbish, we headed back to the resort where we were staying for some toddler disco dancing and for some BINNGGGOOOOOO. Where we had that whole 1 number away from winning experience.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Dinosaur World

The boy was rather disappointed that he didn't get to see dinosaurs yesterday at the Zoo, poor kid. I hadn't the heart to try and explain that dinosaurs were dead and that it was rather unlikely that we would ever see one. On the way out from the zoo, a leaflet covered in dinosaurs caught my eye. Apparently Torquay (if you've not guessed, we're holidaying in Devon!) has a dinosaur world. That sorted out today's rainy day out.

I could of just got away with letting the boy stand outside and pet the model dinosaurs on display, but the prices were fair when you pretend your 3 year is 2 add two adults together. We were given a quiz sheet to do, as Oli is still a little young - Daddy did it on his behalf. I think Oli pretty much had fun by going around shouting dinosaurs at every dinosaur he saw and by digging for fossils in the sand. Pleased to say Daddy got all the questions on the quiz sheet right, earning Oli a certificate and a badge.

After our dinosaur tour we took a rather rainy walk around Torquay, we mostly took shelter in burger king the amuzements arcades. It's amazing how much we can get away with, with Oli at the moment. He's not got to the stage where he's pleading for money to go into the rides, though he is slowly cottoning on. We did think about going bowling that afternoon but found this little bowling alley in a arcade which we played on for just £1. Kerching. You know despite the horrid weather and the rain, we really did have a good day.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Paignton Zoo

Answers to common baby sleeping problems

Let your baby sleep when she wants to, or teach them a routine? You may start out with plans to do one or the other, but end up discovering that having your toddler sleep through the night is worth the inconvenience of waking them up if they doze off mid afternoon. Or perhaps your baby is fiercely resisting any routine you try to introduce. There's plenty of baby sleep help available from baby sleep consultants, your healthcare provider and from mums and dads online, but here are some the common answers:

How much sleep is normal?

Every baby varies, but typically a newborn needs seven or so hours during the day, and eight at night. At three months, he'll need five hours during the day and ten at night, while by twelve months your child will only need a two and a half hour nap in the afternoon, and eleven hours at night. After this, you can start weaning them off the afternoon nap altogether and expecting them to sleep through the night; most toddlers tend to stay awake quite late if you let them sleep during the afternoon, which isn't ideal if you need some time to yourself. Remember too that the earlier you put them to bed at night, the earlier they're likely to get up in the morning.

Regular waking

Of course, the "eleven hours at night" scenario is idealised, and not all babies will sleep through the night, especially in the early months when they still require regular breastfeeding. Your baby is unlikely to stay asleep for more than three hours at a time for the first six months. If you're feeding on demand, this might mean that your patterns are a little unpredictable for a while, but it is possible to introduce a routine fairly early on - in fact, this can help your child sleep better.


Even as adults, routine can help us sleep better. Some people refer to it as "sleep hygeine" - a bath before bedtime, putting on pyjamas, having a warm drink and doing something relaxing like reading a story with the lights down low (bright lights wake us up, which is why using the computer, smartphone, or watching TV before bed is likely to keep us awake) will all help to encourage regular sleep.

Doing this routine at the same time every night is even more effective. Even when your baby is very small and still sleeping a lot during the day, you might like to introduce a "proper bedtime" that marks the boundary between day and night. You can then just stick to this as you wean your child off daytime sleeping later on. Further differentiation between day and night - for example, lively, colourful, noisy activities restricted to the daytime, whilst keeping things peaceful, low key and fairly dark at night - will also encourage better sleeping patterns.


Keep the TV quiet once your child is in bed and try not to make too much noise yourselves - not only might this wake her up, but it can also make her feel interested in what's going on, and more likely to come and investigate. For this reason, it's also useful to keep your child's bed in the quietest corner of the house if at all possible.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Future Billy Elliot

Monday, 18 June 2012

Husband & Wife

So me & the man got married...

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Father's Day with ALDI

We got asked by the guys at ALDI if I would like to cook the daddy of all breakfasts for the man this Father's Day. Of course I'm not one to turn down the chance to try out some new bacon so happily accepted. The man was pleased when he heard he was receiving a fry up for Father's Day, even more pleased that he didn't have to cook it. Though it did mean I had to make myself familiar with the frying pan.

Opening the hamper we received, it had everything we needed to cook a full fry up - from the sausages to the orange juice. Now instead of me babbling about what we received, why not watch this video which tells you exactly what we received in our hamper and what we cooked.

We both really enjoyed the breakfasts, everything was good for value and for around £1 for each item that's not a bad a price to pay out. Means you're only paying like £2.50 each for a breakfast which you could make a few of if you were to spread the ingredients out.

Friday, 15 June 2012

5 Reasons Why You Should Love Cake

Looking for easy (and yummy) ways to keep calm and enjoy your days at home a little more? Here are our
5 reasons why you should love cake and treat yourself to a piece regularly:

  1. Cakes are a great excuse for a break. Busy parents are often too preoccupied with their errands and everyday duties they forget to take time out to relax, keep calm and breathe deeply. It doesn’t have to be a weekend at the spa; if you concentrate on tuning out peace pollutants five minutes is just enough for a date with yourself and a piece of delicious cake. Pretend you are away from the noise and the clatter and recharge your batteries for the rest of the day.
  2. Cakes are perfect presents. Be it Father’s Day, your kid’s birthday or just a ‘get well’ occasion – there is a personalised gift cake you can order online to brighten up that event and put a smile on the face of the people you love. These days you can imprint cakes with photos and special messages, add a joke or a poem composed by yourself so the gift becomes more personal and thoughtful. The best companies offer discreet delivery as well as party packages featuring balloons, hats and horns to get that celebration started in style.
  3. Cakes contain chocolate and chocolate is good for you. The benefits of dark chocolate are becoming better known with every new research study. For example, chocolate was found to contain flavonoids rich in antioxidant properties that may fight stroke, especially in women. There is also some evidence that eating chocolate regularly prevents blood clots, therefore reducing the risk of heart attacks. Binging on chocolate during exams is linked to better academic performance (in one study participants did much better at counting backwards after drinking a cup of hot chocolate than those who counted without cocoa). Another amazing fact is that chocolate increases insulin sensitivity, in turn reducing the risk of diabetes. Chocolate may also be good for your skin, reduce the risk of cancer and help you live longer. Of course the benefits of chocolate can be best experienced if you choose the best quality dark chocolate and consume it regularly but in moderate amounts.
  4. Cakes bring friends together and are a perfect occasion for having tea in the comfort of your kitchen. Having a chat with friends is not just a chance to catch up on what’s going on but also an opportunity to strengthen your support system and feel secure in knowing you having loving people to rely on.
  5. Cakes are beloved kids’ treats. By making healthy cakes you can trick your kids into eating foods they aren’t generally that happy about. Jelly cakes which you can adorn with fruits such as peaches, fresh berries, raisins and bananas are a great option. Carrot cakes and pineapple upside-down cakes are all kid favourites while being really healthy.

So what are you waiting for? Pass the plate around!


Cocoon Collection

Are you like me and hunting around the Internet last minute today to try and find a present for the man in your life this Father's Day? Especially one which will deliver for tomorrow in time for Sunday? Well look no further then Cocoon Collection. They have a wide range of Father's Day gifts on sale ranging from Tasty Treat Hampers to a Basket Of Beer.

We got sent a little box of beers so that we could see for ourselves just what the products are like. Now I don't even need for the man to crack open any of the three real ales as I know he likes them, along with the nobby nuts (I may of accidentally consumed these myself!) and the kettle chips. I thought the gift box is came in was rather gorgeous, the beers were packed well inside of the box and the blue bow to finish it off really made it look quite special. (I may of kept the box and the bow so that I can re-use it someday!)

I asked the man if this is the kind of thing him and other men like to receive for a special occasion (not just Father's Day) and of course he asked if I was stupid said yes. What man doesn't like to receive a box of beers and snacks. Of course if the man in your life isn't into the alcohol kind of of gift then you could always just get him one of those tasty hampers or box of sweets or even name a star after him, why not go and see for yourself what choice they have. You can find them as well over on and .

So quick! Go and order something before 2pm, so it will arrive tomorrow!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Weekend of firsts

So not only did Dylan attend his first festival at the weekend and experience his first fairground ride he also have up his first smiles on the day he hit 5 weeks. It was Daddy who got given them first, we were quick to grab the camera to try and catch them. They totally remind me of Oli's first smiles.

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