Friday, 27 February 2015

Teething Advice Needed!

Little Arthur is now six months, and teething fast! No sooner had one little gnasher broken through the gums, and there's another one hot on its heels. He's gumming hard on anything he can find, including my arm, his own hand {leaving little marks - ouch!}, and various teething toys. But the nights have been a nightmare. He can't self-settle any more, and he fights me every time I try to give him Calpol. Do any of you have any advice to help ease the pain? I'm not sure how many more nights  of pacing backwards and forwards I can take! Here are Arthur's favourite teething toys so far.

{I want this!} 1. Nuby Ice Biter Keys, £3.27 | 2. Munchkin Squirtin Sea Buddies, £6.99 {also great for the bath!} | 3. Sophie The Giraffe, £13.99, | 4. Woodie Wiggle Worm, £3.99

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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Five Toy Kitchens for Every Budget

We bought Ivo a second hand Little Tikes toy kitchen for his Christmas present, and he loves it! The previous owner was a bit surprised we were giving it to a boy, but considering his love for hoovers and brooms, we figured we should stick with the household theme. It's a bit of a tacky plastic one, but he loves pretending to heat things up in the microwave, and I've bought him tonnes of plastic food. Ikea sells great accessories too - from plastic crockery, to miniature versions of their adult pots and pans and utensils. *Be warned - the metal pots aren't really suitable for under-3's, because they bash them against the furniture and leave marks!* If you fancy buying the same one, I've found it on Amazon, but here are a few more tasteful toy kitchens for your toddler.

Monday, 23 February 2015

What To Do When Your Baby has a Cold

Both my babies have got colds at the moment, and I've come down with it as well. It's good in a way, because it means I can guess how they're feeling.....pretty dreadful! It's so hard with babies, because they can't blow their nose, and they end up waking up all the time with blocked noses and coughs from the snot running down the back of their throats. My first port of call is always the NHS website, and I'm never embarrassed to call my GP. Often I don't actually go in, but they'll call me back and calm me down. Now that we're in Dubai, we have to get permission from our insurance company to go to the doctor, and it's all much more of a palaver. I reckon I've read every article on the internet about what you can do when your baby has a cold, and although you can't make it go away, there are a few tips that can help with the symptoms. 

1. Steam really helps with unblocking stuffy noses. So take their baby bouncer into the bathroom with you, get them comfortable, and turn on the shower. You'll get more steam from a shower than running the bath. In reality this is a real hassle, but it definitely works. I've also bought this vaporiser, which I leave on in their rooms overnight. It's really effective, and makes a comforting bubbly noise.

2. Put a little bit of Vicks VapoRub on the soles of their feet. Or a dab of Olbas Oil for Children on a muslin near their cot {making sure they can't reach it and suck it!}. You can also get Vicks Vapopads for the vaporiser. This can help clear their nose.

3. Raise one end of the cot up using bricks or books. We've recently had a night nurse, who is a paediatric nurse, and she put the cot up really high! Like at least five inches. She also recommended that we encourage Arthur to lie on his front, so that all the snot runs out of his nose onto the bed, rather than down his throat {which often makes them cough, and wakes them up}. Now this is against NHS guidelines for preventing SIDS {cot death}, but I felt happy for him to go to sleep this way, because he knows how to roll backwards and forwards. 

4. Use wet wipes rather than tissues to wipe their noses. I find even the softest tissues can make their nose go red. Also, don't worry about wiping all the time. I know it doesn't look attractive, but a runny nose doesn't bother a baby, and you can always put a bandana bib on to soak it up. I love the range from Funky Giraffe, and they come in useful for soaking up teething drool as well.

5. Once I've put my babies down to sleep, I'm a bit obsessive about trying to soothe them in bed rather than picking them up all the time. But when they're unwell, all of that goes out the window, and I tend to pick them up and soothe them as soon as they start crying. If you're like me, don't worry, you're not necessarily creating bad habits - I've found once they're better, they go back to their old routines pretty quickly. Ivo's now nearly two, and a few night's ago I ended up sleeping on the floor next to his cot because he had a bad temperature. I was worried he'd get used to it, but last night he slept through no problems.

6. And lastly, remember it can't go on forever! They will get better, and you will start getting some sleep.

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Thursday, 19 February 2015

Five Great C-Section Buys

My second baby was born by emergency c-section. I was two weeks late, and I finally let them induce me. For hours nothing really happened, and then all of a sudden I was having back-to-back contractions, and they lost Arthur's heartbeat. Within minutes I was in the operating theatre, being asked whether I had any loose teeth, because they were going have to knock me out! Luckily, they managed to get a spinal tap in, and I was conscious throughout the operation. As I hadn't planned for a c-section, I didn't really know what to expect from my recovery. And with a toddler at home, and a move to Dubai planned in five weeks time, it definitely wasn't the best-case scenario. What surprised me most is how little it hurt, and how quickly I recovered bar the occasional twinge. For the first six weeks, you should just rest and leave the wound alone, but after that, here are the products that helped me on the road to recovery. Note: BIG PANTS are an essential - there's nothing worse than knicker elastic rubbing against your scar.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Toddler's Favourite Toy: Ivo at 16 months

We moved to Dubai when Ivo was 16 months and Arthur 5 weeks old. It was one of the craziest things we've done, and if I had my time again I definitely wouldn't do it. Not that we're not happy out here, but looking after a newborn is pretty knackering at the best of times, let alone when you're packing up your life. We shipped most of our possessions, including Ivo's toys, but we had choose a small selection to come with us in the suitcase, while the ship chugged all the way to Dubai. It was really difficult to make a decision, but top of the list was Ivo's Brio train set. He's absolutely obsessed with it, and despite the recommended age being 3 and over, he's already building tracks, and watching the train go round and round. Brio is incredibly well made, and incredibly expensive, so we've added a good few sets of Ikea track. They don't fit quite as well, but they're easily half the price. If you want to buy Brio, then do check out eBay - there's plenty of second-hand sets for sale.

Best Buys {clockwise} - 1. Starter train set from Ikea, £8  | 2. BRIO Deluxe Railway Set, £155 from Amazon 3. Ten Pack of Track, £5 from Ikea 4. Bridge & Tunnel Set, from Ikea, £8 5. BRIO Country Railway Set, £51 from Amazon |  6. BRIO Big Green Locomotive Train, £16.80 from Amazon

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Tuesday, 17 February 2015

The Best New Baby Present

All my friends are having babies this month. We've had four already, and there's another two on the way. Something certainly got people feeling frisky in April / May last year! With all these exciting births to celebrate, I've been having a brilliant time doing lots of baby shopping, and I reckon I've figured out the best presents. Essentially if you want your gift to be used regularly, and actually become an indispensable part of their lives, but still be something lovely to receive, then give them a......

Monday, 16 February 2015

Introducing First Take Baby

Do you print your photographs? I definitely don't do it enough, but I'm determined to get more of my boys' pictures on the walls over the next month. I keep reminding myself that they don't all need to be in perfect frames - just a fun collage in an Ikea frame would look fab in their bedrooms. But what about all the mini-videos shot on my iPhone? I've always meant to get round to editing them together, but needless to say, with two under two, it's never going to happen. So I was thrilled when a good friend of mine started their own company called First Take Baby. The idea is that they take all your photographs and videos {unedited}, and they put it all together into a 5-10 minute montage, set to music. You can choose your favourite shots and music, or they can do it all for you - it's a completely personalised service. My friends came up with the idea when they created their own montage for their son's first party birthday and christening. It was wonderful watching him grow up on screen, and as Angus is a trained TV editor, they decided to offer it as a professional service to other families. It would be the most amazing first birthday or christening present, or you could even give it to a close friend to celebrate the birth of their first child - that way, they'll have it in mind all year! For more details on costs, and the process, check out First Take Baby, but in the meantime here's a taster of their son, Indigo's first year!

Indigo's First Year from Angus Pigott on Vimeo.

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Friday, 13 February 2015

Fun Shark Hoodie from a Boutique Seller

I'm basically obsessed with Mini-Boden. But I don't let myself shop there - it's just too expensive for children's clothes. And the downside is that because I know the range off-by-heart, it no longer looks original when I see a child wearing one of their t-shirts. I know instantly where its from. That's why I love finding creative boutique sellers on the shopping website Etsy. Here's my latest find - a brilliant and hilarious shark hoodie, for less than the equivalent on Mini-Boden. LOVE!

{I want this!} Shark Hoodie, £30 By Mumma 190

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