Archive | May, 2012

Baby’s first holiday

30 May

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So, finally summer is here! We are going on holiday for the first time in 2 years and we can’t wait to go away as a family, but with the excitement brings up a lot of other questions. What do I pack? How will baby be on the flight? Will we be able to relax?

I thought I’d give you some tips on how I did it.

We were travelling to Mallorca for a friend’s wedding, it was only for a long weekend so we decided to just take hand luggage, at first we thought it couldn’t be done, especially with a baby but after careful planning and clever packing we proved that, Yes it can!

You really don’t need to take as much stuff as you think. Here is our packing list for 4 days away.

Baby

20 nappies
6 swim nappies
2 swimming costumes
1 pack of baby wipes
1 pot Sudo cream
Factor 50 sun screen (100 ml)
4 plain vests
1 pair of shorts
2 skirts
1 sun dress
1 smart dress
1 pair sandals
2 pairs of shoes
1 cardigan
1 small tub to take snacks in
2 sun hats
4 headbands
2 small toys
1 blanket
1 thin growbag
Dummies
4 bibs
small bottle of calpol

You

1 beach bag (that u can flatten in to your hang luggage)
2 bikini
2 plain short dresses
1 maxi dress
1 pair of wedges
1 pair of heals
1 pair sandals
2 pairs shorts
Few pairs of thongs/knickers
2 skirts
1 cardigan
1 scarf for the plane
2 sheer button short sleeve shirts
Jewellery (to accessorise for night time)
Hair straighteners
Plug adaptor
Phone charger

Husband/partner

2 pairs casual shorts
2 vests
2 pairs swim shorts
2 pairs of shoes
1 pair of flip flops
2 shirts
1 pair of trousers
1 smart jacket
Underpants

Toiletries

Shampoo
Conditioner
Toothpaste
Tooth brush
Hair brush
Shower gel
Sun screen
wash on/off tan

All liquids must be 100 ml max if carrying in hand luggage

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On our way.

We managed to pack all this into 2 small travel suitcases.
Top Tips

* Know your outfits before you travel so you don’t pack things that you don’t end up wearing.
* Take a scarf to keep warm on the plane it can also be used as a blanket or if you need to breast feed discretely
* Travel strollers are great! Light weight and easy to collapse and you don’t need to pay for them as luggage

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Travel stroller and hire car seat were great for on the move. Stroller was only £19.98 from Tesco.

* arrange a lift to and from the airport so you do have to take the car seat with you on the flight (we hired a car at the other end and payed for car seat hire)
* take a small toy or snacks in a tub for the flight so baby can be distracted during take off and landing.
* you can hand wash bibs and vests when u get to your destination and they will dry quickly so don’t worry too much about spare clothing.

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Eivissa loved the beach

Going on holiday with our little girl was so much fun! We enjoyed the beach together, she ate a ton of sand and we loved seeing her play in the water. We took turns walking her along the beach while the other caught some rays. In the evening we went to some lovely restaurants and let Eivissa try the food, most places have high chairs and if they didn’t, she sat on our knee.
After dinner she would fall asleep in the stroller and we went for ice cream or just soaked up the night life. The best way to be is relaxed, let baby see and enjoy what your enjoying,that way everyone can have a good time.
The best way to be is relaxed, let baby see and enjoy what your enjoying, that way everyone can have a good time. Remember it’s your holiday too!

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Fun with daddy

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Cuddles with mummy

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At the wedding. It was a beautiful day and So great to see our friends begin their journey into marriage

We managed to pack in as much as we could over the 4 days and found we had everything we needed. We had fun and felt we relaxed, can’t wait to go on more holidays as a family.

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Baby led weaning

21 May

Just when you think you’ve got feeding down to a tee you will probably receive a knock on the door from the health visitors explaining about weaning your baby on to solids!

I got straight onto researching how I wanted to do it. I knew I was really enjoying breast feeding and she was thriving from it so by the time 6 months came around I didn’t feel ready to stop, I felt that we created a real bond via breast feeding but the sadness of easing her away from breast milk and onto solids suddenly sounded exciting as I came across a concept called ‘baby led weaning’. This is a method of gradually weaning a baby from a milk diet onto solid foods. It allows a baby to control his solid food intake by self-feeding from the very beginning of the weaning process.

The more I read, the more I loved the sound of it, It was great way for baby to learn about ‘real’ food as well as understanding taste and textures.

I thought you might be interested to know how my weaning experience went and hopefully it might help you have clearer idea of how you would like to wean your baby.

On her 6 month birthday we gave Eivissa her first taste of food, my husband and I were so excited to see her little face react. We decided banana would be her first food after reading that they were easy to hold.

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The first rule of baby led weaning was do not put the food in baby’s mouth, rather, let her do it herself, this way she is in control of swallowing and means there should be no danger of choking which as a parent is the biggest fear. its not a hands off approach, by no means you should never leave baby alone while eating.

Before I started this concept I had a few questions myself, I wanted to make sure that this way of weaning was going to suit baby and me.
These were my questions and the answers I found.

What is baby led weaning?

Baby led weaning is forgetting purées and weaning spoons and simply allowing baby to feed them selves

What are the advantages of baby led weaning as a posed to the traditional spoon fed method?

The advantages of weaning baby this way allows them to learn about real food, it involves them in your meal times and can help fight against ‘picky eaters’.

Advantages for me?

you can do away with the blender and the storage tubs, baby eats when you do. You can Simply separate off any age appropriate food you are cooking, let it cool, (making sure there is no salt added)and let baby enjoy eating with you. It’s messy but so fun to watch!

What are the best foods to start with?

The best food to give is things that can be cut into the shape of a chip or that is easy to pick up. As at this point your baby may not have developed to pincer grip yet.

Great first food

Banana
Broccoli
Avocado
Sweet potato
Cauliflower
Potato
Strawberry
Pear
Cooked and peeled apple

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A fresh food feeder is great when on the go or if you are afraid of pips in fruit or veg

Later on I gave her food like

Chicken
Ham
Baby pasta
Rusk
bread
White fish
Cubes of cheese

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Are there any foods to avoid?

Before 8 months if you are concerned about allergies they say it is best to avoid;
Yoghurt
Cheese
Wheat
Eggs
Peanut

Before 12 months it is best to avoid;
Honey
Cows milk
Goats milk

Do your own research on these foods and make your own mind up on if they are safe for your baby.

Are herbs and spices safe or does the food have to be bland?

Food doesn’t have to be bland, let baby enjoy new flavours! Spices and herbs can have its advantages spices such as cummin supports digestion. So don’t be afraid to add a little cinnamon to apple or sweet potato.

What time of day should I give baby solids for the first time?

It’s best to give solids for the first time when baby is at their happiest. Don’t wait till they are hungry as baby will be just be frustrated and will just want milk. You don’t want food time to be seen as a traumatic experience

What are the dangers of choking?

By allowing baby to control their intake of food also helps keep them in control of swallowing. It’s also very important that baby is able to sit upright by themselves.

When should you let food replace a milk feed?

For the first year, food is seen as fun and a way of learning taste and textures, it’s an extension of the milk intake that baby is already used too so the milk should be the main source of nutrition until the baby is fully weaned.

Do you think baby led weaning helps baby have a better relationship with food?

Studies have shown that allowing babies to explore real food has helped towards the child not to becoming a fussy eater and several mums have found they have had less food battles with their babies by giving them a wide range of food.

How do you know baby is getting enough nutrition?

Baby led weaning is a relaxed approach to moving onto solids and is an addition to the milk you already giving your baby. Your milk will still be baby’s primary source of nutrition, this helps you relax about how much food your baby is actually taking in.

Hope you have found these questions and answers informative, we have now been doing the baby led weaning process for 2 months, at first, my main concern was whether she is getting enough food as she just seemed to be playing with it, I knew that perseverance was key and after talking to another mother who had done the same thing, she assured me that this was completely normal and to stick with it as baby is just getting used to this new thing as much as I am.

Fast forward to today and I am happy to report that Eivissa is loving her food, she will literally eat anything we put in front of her and her relationship with food is fantastic.

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We have found the whole experience rewarding and we have enjoyed the benefits of a non stressful approach to weaning, I would definitely recommend it to any parent.

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To help us on our baby weaning journey, we were kindly sent a great high chair from mamas and papas, this was AMAZING and made meal time fun for all the family, we think it’s really important to eat together as a Family and create memories of all the messy moments that we get to capture throughout eivissas learning process, interaction is vital and making her feel part of our meal time will help her develop and learn about foods as well as being social.

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When you are considering buying your high hair,I highly recommend the one pictured below, easy to clean,stylish, a great buy and will last for ages. Thank you Mamas & Papas

Click on the link below to order yours online or to look at the rest of their weaning products

mamas
& papas pixi high chair-raspberry

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Am I a good father?

8 May

As you all know, I am Eivissas father and this is a title I don’t take lightly.

The second I found out I was going to be a dad, my attitude and feelings have taken a huge shift, the weight of responsibility and protection not only for my wife but my unborn child was so strong, I felt as though my role as the man in the family had just become even more important and that the destiny and future of my new family was the new agenda in my mind.

January 2011 was when we found out we were expecting, I’ll never forget the moment it happened, Heather didn’t ‘feel’ right and deep down I think she knew, but me being me choose to ignore the symptoms and rely on the pregnancy test, I waited outside the toilet at work, nervous and if I’m honest sick to the stomach, my mind was racing and my heart was pounding, desperate for Heath to reappear with the news.

As she exited the toilet, I knew instantly, I burst into tears, something I have never been ashamed of, the news that I’m to become a father was one of the fondest moments of last year, the tears I shed were filled with joy and happiness.

I don’t know if anyone else has felt this but after the elation I had just encountered there came a huge low, I suddenly felt scared, fearful, anxious and nervous, I put this down to the fact that I was entering the unknown, stepping into a realm that I don’t know the first thing about, I thought more about this and came to this conclusion, throughout my life I have always felt that I can control my environment by the choices that ‘I’ make, I’m in charge of my actions and thoughts and these are solely my responsibility, these changed as no longer am I in control of our new circumstance, don’t get me wrong, I will do everything in my power to support, protect and provide for my family but this is the first instance in my whole life that I felt as though I couldn’t really do anything, after all it was Heather that was going to be carrying our baby for 9 months and all the things that come with pregnancy were left for Heather to deal with.
The only thing I could do was support and love on my wife each and every step of the way, this was my way of helping and I think any man should do the same, especially in a womens most vulnerable time of life, when they can be feeling all these emotions and feelings that they are not familiar with, they need us there to love them and hold their hand throughout.

Traditionally, fathers act in a protective, supportive and responsible way towards their children. Involved fathers offer developmentally specific provisions to their sons and daughters throughout the life cycle and are impacted themselves by their doing so. Active father figures may play a role in reducing behavior and psychological problems in young men and women. An increased amount of father–child involvement may help increase a child’s social stability, educational achievement, and their potential to have a solid marriage as an adult.

‘Wow’, the above is some interesting stuff, all of which we need to take serious, if I’ve ever done anything in life, ive always commited to give it my all and be the best I can be at it, I believe that we need to tap into the best version of ourselves and don’t settle for anything less, this will make for a great marriage, great children and a great life!
The importance of a father is so significant to a child’s life and I, like Heather have questioned my own abilities in this role, I’m new to this whole thing and most of the time I find myself making things up as I go along, that’s the joy of fatherhood and I love learning and adapting to become the best father I can be.

I feel like the last hurdle in fatherhood has now been completed, I’ve mastered the art of nappy changing, conquered the feeding duties, been able to settle her and now I can tick another one off the list.

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Last weekend I had sole responsibility of looking after Eivissa for the whole weekend by myself, I’m not going to lie, I was slightly nervous but also excited that our weekend was going to be action packed. Heather left to go on her friends hen weekend and left me to take over the responsibility of parenting.

So I dressed her, packed her bags and off we went on a shopping trip to Birmingham along with uncle jack.

We arrived and took advantage of the mother and baby parking and headed straight to the shops, now, I’m not sure other dads think this, but pushing a pushchair is pretty cool, so cool that jack and I often fought over who should push Eivissa, I think we both thought it would make us look cooler.

We returned home later that night and found out the heating had broke in our house, my attempt at fixing it was scuppered by Eivissa and I gave in to the fact that we were going to have a cold night, off to bed we went armed with extra blankets and a very large selection of snacks for eivissa.

The next day Heather returned to a happy baby and a grateful husband! I enjoyed every second of my time alone with my little girl but I was so thankful for Heathers return, it really made me think how challenging parenting can be and it placed even more value on my wife for the amazing job she does.

To conclude this blog and to answer the question ‘am I a good father? My conclusion is this, I put the needs and wants of my wife and child above my own agenda, they come first in everything I do and I would give anything to make sure that they are happy and healthy, this is my role as husband and father to steer this family ship on our journey of life and hopefully that is good enough!

Video

Fashion tips for pregnancy (basics 1 & 2)

3 May

In this video I show you how to dress your pregnant tummy by accessorising a basic stretch dress and tights.


This video shows how to wear casual seperates using basic black leggings

These clips show there is no need to spend alot of money on maternity wear. You can still look faboublous and blooming buy using items you may already have in your wardrobe.