70 articles Articles posted in Baby

Things They Don’t Tell You About Your Post-Baby Body

When I fell pregnant with Sausage, there’s no denying the fact that I wasn’t in the best shape I could have been in; two years of marriage and the “comfort” had set in, with lots of lovely evenings spent together, eating takeaway and watching movies, and it had exactly the effect you#d imagine on my figure. I’d always planned to get in shape before we even considered having another baby, but fast-forward five and a half years and I fell pregnant a LOT quicker than I thought I would after having my implant removed. All of this neglect aside, there are things which happen to your body, post-baby, that a lot of people don’t talk about. Here’s just a few of the things that I’ve had to deal with:

Hair Loss

I’m pretty lucky that I have fairly thick hair to begin with, but after both of my babies the hair loss was shocking. I always lose it from around my hairline which is probably the most annoyingly noticeable place to lose it from, especially as I wear my hair in a ponytail and it can really mess with your confidence. I’m lucky that I didn’t lose enough to have needed to resort to an FUE hair transplant, but it’s something which affects a lot of new mums. 

Incontinence

This one is pretty much a universal truth for anyone who’s had a baby – you WILL pee yourself at some point in the future. I know women who’ve done every Kegel exercise imaginable who still break out in a cold sweat at the thought of going on a trampoline or getting a bad cough, and it’s not something we should be ashamed about, it’s just a fact of biology.

Stretch Marks

Because of things like Instagram and women’s magazines, it would be really easy to think that only us mere mortals get stretchmarks and that they’re something to be ashamed of. The fact of the matter is, some people get them, some people don’t. Celebs have the benefit of photo retouching and professional make-up people to make them look perfect but it’s very rarely a reality.

The Pouch

Obviously, not everyone who has a baby ends up with a pouch (you know , that flap of skin on your belly which just WILL NOT SHIFT not matter how much weight you lose) but it’s incredibly common and a lot of women say that their bodies never look the same again after having a baby, which can be hard to deal with, mentally. It’s taken me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I’ll never have my 22-year old body again, HOWEVER, I’m working hard to improve my new normal.

Scars

For ages after having Sausage, I found it really hard to look at my c-section scar because it represented a traumatic time in my life. It was jagged and red and made me feel like a failure for not having given birth naturally. Then Husband told me how grateful he was to that scar, how it represented the fact that a doctor was able to remove Sausage from my body safely while she was being starved of oxygen and save her life. As soon as I started to view my scar differently, it changed my whole view and I now love it.

3 Simple Tips for Moving House With Babies & Toddlers

Proudly brought to you by Brisbane’s #1Removalist Platinum Furniture Removals

Months of sleepless nights, tantrums that leave you questioning how such a creature came from your own body, finding inexplicably sticky objects everywhere you go – if you’ve got kids under five, there’s no doubt that these things have made you fairly accustomed to dealing with a certain level of stress.

Now, take those day-to-day dramas and add moving house to the equation – an event that’s been rated more stressful than death and divorce. Feel your cortisol rising yet?

Relocating your home with little kids in tow can be tough, but there are three simple steps you can take to mitigate the stress your family experiences.

1. Maintain Sleeping & Eating Schedules

While your normal schedule might be up in the air from house hunting, packing and time taken off work, it’s important that your kids’ routines stay the same.

Make sure that your kids are sticking to their regular schedule of meals, naps and bedtimes as much as possible before, during and after the big move.

And, while it’s a good idea to get them out of the house on moving day, don’t forget to give your kids an opportunity to say goodbye to their old room before they go. A sudden relocation without any warning can cause a huge sense of loss in young children.

2. Don’t Redecorate Rooms Straight Away
It’s tempting to take a two-birds-one-stone approach to redecorating and moving. After all, why not avoid double handling and just swap out old stuff you no longer want with new items for your new home on the same day?

Kids crave normalcy and having familiar furniture and objects around while they learn the layout of your new home is crucial to reducing their stress.

Young children have a genuine fear of being alone, and this can be heightened if you’re moving into a larger house where it’s more difficult for them to find you when you’re in another room.

If you find your kids getting particularly clingy during the first few weeks at the new house, don’t admonish them. Their anxiety is natural, and it will pass as they get more and more used to their surroundings.

3. Take Care of Yourself
No matter how much you try to hide it, when you’re feeling stressed out your children are bound to pick up on it!

Practicing self-care is particularly vital while moving house. A few pointers for keeping yourself (and your children) emotionally balanced during this time include:

Rely on routine and planning: Help yourself relax by budgeting for your move early (with a financial buffer for unanticipated expenses), making checklists with realistic deadlines and having a backup plan in case things don’t go as expected.

Get support: Seek help from family, friends and even organisations early and often. Whether it’s financial, physical or emotional support you’re after, find out who you can count on to be there for you before you start to feel like you need help.

Be kind to yourself: Remind yourself that you are doing your best. Stop the cycle of continually feeling like you can be doing more by planning out your days in advance and talking about your worries with friends and family.

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http://www.platinumfurnitureremovalistsbrisbane.com.au/removals-blog/

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When Your Last Baby is No Longer a Baby

Burrito Baby is growing up. For many people, January is a time of new beginnings, however I always feel like September is that time for me. Summer is over and we move into a new school year and a new season of cooling weather and falling leaves. I always start September feeling inspired to do more, and my creativity seems to rekindle itself in Autumn for some reason. This September has been no different, and a lot has been happening in our house. Husband and I have both had new projects at work, Sausage went into Year 5 and 11+ prep, but perhaps the biggest change is BB starting nursery.

I’ve been adamant for months that nursery was the right thing for BB as she has some shyness that she needs to get over as well as some attachment issues, but it’s been a lot tougher than I anticipated. She was fine for the first two days of her settling-in week, then had tears on the Friday. The next week was hard too, with tears on Monday, culminating in almost-hysterics on the Wednesday which led to me taking her home early. The following week, she got tonsillitis so missed a whole week of sessions, and she even said to us that she was glad she felt ill because it meant she didn’t have to go to nursery. To say it was breaking my heart is an understatement.

For us, it’s a really fine line between getting her used to being away from us in preparation for school and traumatising her when she’s barely ever been away from us. Helping her confidence to flourish is a big part of the growing process. However, I also don’t want to give her the idea that she can have a tantrum and get out of ever doing anything outside of her comfort zone, and the point about her getting prepared for school still very much stands.

When Sausage started nursery, she was always quite happy to go, so leaving her was a lot easier;  it was only by the time she got to Reception that she started to hate it, and by then it was compulsory, so I didn’t have the option to just take her home again. Nursery isn’t compulsory, and I can’t shake the feeling that I’m losing out on precious time with BB which I won’t have the option to have back once she’s at school next year.

I think the fact that she’s my last baby is having an impact on my mindset. Husband and I agree that two kids are enough for us and that we like the dynamic of our family the way it is, and besides, having the health conditions I have mean it wouldn’t be a good idea for me to have another pregnancy anyway. However, it means that I’m having to deal with the fact that this is the last time I’ll do nursery drop offs, the last time I’ll have a three-and-a-half year old, the last time I’ll do any of this. Our family is growing up and while I love that in many ways, it doesn’t mean I don’t feel slightly sad about it, too.

BB is pretty advanced in a lot of ways and having a big sister means she’s probably growing up a bit faster than Sausage did, so coming to terms with the fact that our last baby isn’t a baby anymore is tougher than I expected. She still loves a snuggle and still holds onto my ear when she’s tired. She still asks for help eating her porridge and putting her shoes on, and still wants company while she’s on the loo. But she also refuses to watch Paw Patrol anymore, because it’s “for babies”, and wants to be a “big girl” all the time. It’s an inbetweeny stage for all of us and she’s charging towards school-age a lot quicker than I ever expected her to.

She went to nursery again today after her week off ill and went in with minimal fuss – I waited around the corner and spied on her after five minutes and she was all smiles. She came out full of beans, having baked a cupcake and made a new friend, so we’re hopeful that this positive experience will help going forward. I guess I need to just enjoy the little remnants of her baby-hood while they last, because I don’t think they’ll be sticking around for too much longer.

From Schools to Car Seats – Making the Best Choices for your Kids

One of the most daunting things about becoming a parent is the constant second-guessing when it comes to making the right decisions for your kids. When you’re young and single, your decisions largely only impact yourself but once you throw another human into the equation, it becomes all that much scarier! Today, I thought I’d take a look at some of the decisions that we found most overwhelming and what we did to help.

Safety

One of the main things that’s at the forefront of a new parents mind is safety, be that at home, in the car or anywhere else. Husband and I probably wrapped Sausage up in cotton wool to an extent and are definitely more relaxed with BB, but the best advice I can give you when it comes to things like travel is to read a whole bunch of car seat reviews before making your choice. You’ll benefit from the experience of others and ensure a bit of peace of mind for yourself.

Money

When Sausage was born, each kid got a grant from the government to start a savings fund but by the time BB came along this was no longer a thing, but we still wanted to start a savings account for her. Looking online a sites which offer bank account comparisons really helped us to find the right account to give us the most for our money.

Schools

This one was a biggie for us and will be again next year when we have to start thinking about secondary schools for Sausage. In our experience, schools can have great Ofsted reports but this doesn’t always equate to the best school for your child. Speak to parents who have kids at the schools you’re looking at who will be able to give you much fairer insight into what the actual society within the school is like.

Medical Issues

In this day and age, information is so easily accessible online that it’s really easy to think you can diagnose medical problems after reading a couple of webpages. However, this doesn’t take into account years of medical training needed to have ALL the clinical knowledge and context, so Dr. Google should always be avoided! The 111 service is really useful and they can give you an idea over the phone of whether your child needs to see a doctor. Pharmacists can also offer a lot of useful info.

Food

When you become a parent, you’ll realise that pretty much everyone will have an opinion on how you SHOULD be feeding your kids, even if they don’t have kids of their own. The fact is, as long as both Mum and Baby are happy and healthy, it doesn’t matter if milk comes from a boob or a bottle. There will ALWAYS be friends/relatives/health professionals who want to impress their ideas upon you but frankly, their opinions don’t matter!

 

What Are the REAL Essentials for Babies?

essentialsBurrito Baby is almost three and a half and will be starting nursery in September, so our baby days are well and truly over. Husband and I have made the decision that two kids is enough for us, so newborns aren’t something which will feature in our future, however I was recently speaking to a pregnant friend about how much simpler parenthood was the second time around because you don’t feel as pressured by all the STUFF. With Sausage, we had so much information and advice about what we NEEDED and MUST HAVE, but the reality of it was that we probably could have done without most of it. Here’s a list of things which, for us, were the true essentials the second time around:

Muslin Cloths

My two babies were very different in terms of feeding; one did so with no issues (although was initially tube fed in the NICU) and the other had reflux and a cow’s milk protein allergy, but the one thing which was the same for both of them is that they’d always posset at least a bit after a bottle. Muslins were used for everything from mopping up sick and protecting shoulders whilst burping, through to using the massive ones to swaddle. We’d have been royally stuck without them and I’d recommend them to ANY new parent.

Lansinoh

I wasn’t able to breastfeed either of my girls but I know from the exerience of friends that nipple soreness was one of the main problems in the early days. Lansinoh HPA Lanolin is the UK’s number one nipple cream and is soon to be released in a new travel-friendly 10ml size online and in selected Boots stores – a perfect hand-luggage holiday essential for breastfeeding mums (according to results as many as 95% of breastfeeding women experience nipple soreness)!!

Some Sort of Baby Chair/Cushion/Mat

I’m not going to be specific here because everyone’s preference and budget is different, but having somewhere that you can actually put baby down for a few minutes is essential for your own mental health. BB was quite a clingy baby (probably because of her reflux) but we had a swinging chair which vibrated and it allowed me to have two minutes here and there, without screaming, to brush my teeth or do something for myself.

Baby Sling

Our sling was so, so useful in the early days for both babies as I was able to strap them on and get on with things! I’m quite a hands-on Mum and have one baby wearing and co-sleeping and although it’s not for everyone it’s something that I’d really recommend you try. Baby gets a lot of comfort from being close to a parent and you have both hands free, which is a huge luxury with a newborn!
A V-Pillow
Because I bottle fed my two, having somewhere comfortable to sit to feed them was really important. Both times, we invested in a v-shaped pillow which I would put across my lap and then put the baby on top. It gives your arms a bit of a break if you need it and allows you both to sit comfortably while baby’s back is properly supported.
Do you have anything to add to the list?

Baby Safety: Top Tips for Nervous New Mothers and Fathers

Your baby is precious and fragile. As soon as she is born, all you want to do is keep her safe from harm both in the home and in the car. Protecting your child from all the potential dangers of daily life can seem overwhelming. Here are some safety tips for moms to keep in mind.

Home Safety

When it comes to baby-proofing your home, there are many things you can do, including installing safety gadgets, to make every room safe for your growing infant.

In the bathroom:

Test the water: Always test the temperature of the water with your elbow before bathing baby. You can also install an anti-scald device at the end of the bath faucet.

Get a grip: Place non-slip mats for when baby begins to toddle.

Lock the toilet: Install a toilet lock to prevent tiny fingers from getting crushed by the toilet lid and to prevent accidental drowning.

Get spongy: Cover the bath taps in case she slips and hurts her head.

In The Nursery

Crib safety: Your crib’s slats should be 2 3/8 inches apart or less.

No extras: remove bumpers, extra blankets, soft toys and anything that could suffocate a baby from the crib.

Seal outlets: All electrical outlets should have plastic covers.

In The Kitchen

Secure pet food: Pet kibble is a choking hazard and should never be left unattended.

Cover stove knobs: Little fingers like to twiddle knobs. Use knob covers and put a lock on the oven door.

Fire safety: Always keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen. Make sure it’s out of your child’s reach.

Splatter proof: Use a stove guard so your baby won’t get splashed with hot liquids when you’re cooking.

Lock cabinets: The cabinet beneath the kitchen sink is usually where cleaning products are stored. Keep a lock on this door to prevent your child reaching hazardous chemicals.

In The Living Room

Go cordless: Keep blinds safe with cord cleats or install cordless shades.

Cushion edges: Protect your child from sharp corners and edges with bumpers.

Hide breakables: Put all breakable ornaments, picture frames and vases where little fingers can’t reach them.

Secure bookshelves: toddlers like to climb, so secure bookshelves to the wall to prevent them toppling over.

Be guarded: Put a lockable guard door over the fireplace. Use baby gates if you have stairs.

Car Safety

Cars like the Chrysler Pacifica are designed with family safety in mind, but when you’re travelling with your baby, you want to take extra measures to keep her perfectly safe, which is why choosing the right car seat is important. Data reveals that up to 80 percent of baby car carriers are not installed correctly: a daunting thought, but baby carriers have become high tech these days, with many extra features including self-installation, crash protection, auto-balance, and remote controlled recliner adjustment.

You don’t have to be nervous about becoming a new mother and father. Use these simple tips and your baby will always be safe.

Living in The Baby Bubble

If you’ve got a newborn baby, you know all too well what it’s like to live in that lovely bubble of baby wonderfulness. They may not be sleeping at night but in the early days it’s all about finding your groove and if it’s your first baby, it’s so tempting to stay at home in your little baby-centric haze for as long as possible. There are, however things that you’ll need to do in those forst few weeks, so we thought we’d give you a little list to remind you of the essentials.

Register Baby

Registering your baby is a legal requirement as it basically informs the Government that there’s a new human in the world! You have six weeks from the baby’s day of birth (although this can be different if baby is in a special care unit, and some hospitals have a registrar on site for these very occasions), but you must do it as soon as you’re able.

Apply for Benefits

Once you’ve registered baby and got their birth certificate, you can apply for any benefits to which you might be entitled, such as Child Benefit and Child Tax. If you need help working out what to apply for, head over to http://www.govukbenefits.com/ for more information and links on how to apply.

Weighing

For the first little while, you’ll probably have midwives and health visitors coming to your home to keep an eye on you and baby, and ensuring baby is gaining weight nicely. Once these visits stop, you’ll need to find a local clinic (usually in a childrens’ centre or doctors surgery) to keep having your newborn weighed and having their “Red Book” filled in.

Keep In Touch Days

If you’re on Maternity Leave from work and are planning to go back at some point, then some places of work have Keep In Touch days to enable you to go back for a few hours to refresh yourself on your work duties. It can often make you feel less out-of-touch with your career and is an excellent excuse to show off all of your adorable baby photos!

Health Check

Obviously, most of your focus in the early days will be on baby but you also need to ensure that YOU are being looked after too. Regular checks with your midwife or doctor will ensure than any c-section or episiotomy wounds are healing properly and it’s also good to have a mental health check to ensure that you aren’t suffering with PND or PTSD after a traumatic birth. If you don’t look after yourself properly, you won’t be able to look after your new precious bundle properly, and that’s the most important thing in the world for you right now.

 

Sure-Fire Ways Parents Can Ensure Their Child Has A Prosperous Future

Once you have a child, it makes you more aware of your spending. After all, one day your money will go to your kids. And you want them to have a secure future so that they can buy a house and build a career without any worries. However, a lot of parents are unsure what they can do for their kids. Therefore, here are some sure-fire ways parents can ensure their child has a prosperous future.

Create a savings account when they are born

When you are expecting, a lot of people will want to give you a present for the baby. And as much as that tenth baby grow is thoughtful, there is something a lot better for your newborn. You should set up a savings account in their name which you can put money in. Of course, they won’t be able to touch it until they are at least 16 or 18. But it’s building them up some money for their future. So before your relatives and friends buy stuff for the new baby, you should mention about the savings account. Even if they just pay a tenner, some money in there is a good start for your child. And then you should aim to put something in there every month for your little one. That way, they have a fund to use once they are old enough towards their first car or home.

   Public Domain Pictures

Make good investments now

Investments are essential for your kids future. After all, they are an excellent way to build up the bucks for your little one. A lot of people don’t know where to start with investment. For one thing, you could consider investing in stocks. Just make sure you read up about the return. Or a lot of people are opting to get a second property which they can then rent out. As this article says, you just need to let house price inflation occur and then you will have a valuable asset for your kid’s future. And you can read more about investing online on sites like The Fortunate Investor.

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Set up a will sooner rather than later  

So many people leave setting up a will until it’s too late. But you need to make sure your kids are protected for their future. You don’t want them to end up with nothing as you didn’t state clearly what they were entitled to. Therefore, arrange to set up a will as soon as you have your child. You can find information online about how to set up one to protect your family.

Create a university fund

As well as making real investments, you need to be investing in your kid’s education. Ensuring they go to the best school possible and are achieving excellent grades is the best thing you can do as parents. After all, they will then go on to have a great career in the future. To ensure they can go to the best university possible, you need to create a fund for them. Try and put money in the college fund and then you can put it towards the fees when the time comes.

Image Source

And make sure you teach your child about money management. Even if it’s just making them clean their bedroom for a quid, it’s helping them to understand about money.

The Great Childcare Debate

childcareSomething which is on a lot of people’s minds at the moment is the issue of childcare, after the Government introduced free funding for 2 year olds from underprivileged families to receive 15 hours of nursery a week. The idea was to get parents back into work without having the expense of nursery hanging over them, but it’s a scheme which has been a bit of a sticking point for a lot of families. Until the age of three, working parents are expected to pay the full price for childcare and the prevailing attitude is that it seems unfair that familes who don’t appear to need free childcare are more entitled to it.

Let’s look at the brass tacks of it:

At the moment, Husband and I both work from home, which works for us and means we don’t need childcare. Now, let’s assume that I wanted to go back to work, full time, as a copywriter which is what I currently do from home. Let’s completely ignore Husband’s salary and assume that this is still going on things like rent and our bills, as it does at the moment.

The average salary for a copywriter is £23,047 per year before tax and National Insurance, so my take-home pay would be approximately £18,840, or £1570 per month. I’d probably have to travel to London to find this kind of work so I’d have to factor in £355.60 per month in season ticket fares. The nursery attached to Sausage’s school charges £4.50 per hour, plus £1.75 for a hot lunch, which would make my monthly nursery fees (assuming I’d need to drop her off at 7.30 am to get the train and not collect her again until 6.30pm) £1110.42. Of course, this also doesn’t factor in needing before and after school care for Sausage.

In travel fees and nursery fees alone, my monthly expenses JUST FOR GOING TO WORK would be £1466.02, leaving me approximately £103 which, as far as I’m concerned would make it absolutely POINTLESS going back to work.

I know that there are flexi options, sometimes family can help with childcare, or companies which allow a homeworking element during the week, but these figures are the exact reason that so many people are up in arms about the government’s scheme. Being a copywriter isn’t the loftiest career in the whole world but it sure as hell pays more than retail work or other minimum wage jobs, which means that even people with hopes of getting a mid-level job will struggle.

Obviously, this is all part of a MUCH bigger problem. The cost of living is too damn high in the UK, whilst wages are depressingly low. Family-friendly working is more-or-less non-existent and women are usually expected to bear the burden of this. I know that there’s a prevailing attitude that women SHOULD be the ones to bear the burden because they’re the ones who CHOOSE to have the babies (obviously the men have zero say in this and we’re all just sperm-harvesting lunatics…*sarcasm*) but this is a hugely outdated notion and many men also feel penalised because of their inability to contribute towards the childcare duties.

I don’t begrudge families who are on a low income the opportunity to have free childcare, I really don’t, but I also don’t think it’s a solution. It’s a really romantic notion, hoping to help people back into work, but let me ask you this: 1. how are they supposed to afford that childcare once the funding runs out and they’re on a low wage and 2. WHERE ARE ALL OF THESE JOBS THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO BE FILLING?!

I think we can all agree that the Government has well and truly got its head up its arse on this issue and that more help needs to be given to ALL parents who want to go back to work, not least of all because we’ve probably got a massive pool if untapped talent in this country, desperate to get back into the workplace but unable to afford it. It’s all very well for the hate-mongers in the right wing press to be content with demonising benefit claimants but the Government has basically created this viscous loop of never being able to AFFORD to come off of benefits, for so many people, who are essentially tied to living in permanent poverty.

I’d really love to hear your thoughts on this. Are you a Mum who’d love to go back to work but simply cannot afford to? Would you have a career if the childcare was cheaper or more affordable? Are you in receipt of two-year-old funding but still unable to find a job? Please leave me a comment below.

Protecting Yourself: Which Type Of Contraception Should I Choose?

gender-1674893_640Picture from: Pixaby

There are many different types of contraception on the market. Not every style of contraception is suitable for each person, so there is a range of types and brands on offer. The best person to talk about what contraception is right for you is your nurse. This is because a medical family history will need to be taken before you go on a pill or have an injection. But just so you aren’t going in blind, today we are going to look at some of the most popular methods of contraception that may suit your lifestyle.

The Pill

The contraceptive pill is one of the most popular methods of protection. There are two types of pill. There is the mini pill and the combined pill. The combined pill contains artificial oestrogen and progesterone. These prevent your ovaries from releasing an egg, which is what is known as ovulating. If you are not ovulating, you should not get pregnant. When the pill is taken correctly, it is over 99% effective in stopping pregnancy. But pleased do remember that it offers no protection against STDs. If you are concerned about STD’s, always get tested. And if you are sleeping with a new partner, always make sure he uses a condom. The pill can also help with heavy periods and muscle cramps. And sometimes it is prescribed for these things.

The Mini Pill

The combined pill is taken for 21 days and then has a break of seven days before resuming again. However, the mini pill is taken continuously. Its main difference to the combined pill is that it only contains one female hormone, and that is progesterone.  Sometimes is it referred to as POP or progesterone only pill. The mini pill is often given to women who have just had a baby or those who have risk factors from the combined pill. Please talk to your nurse or doctor to see which one is better for you.

Contraceptive Implant

If you don’t mind a very small thin tube inserted under the skin in your upper arm, then the contraceptive implant may be for you. This method of contraception stops the release of your eggs, and it lasts for three years. However, it can be taken out whenever you want it to be. Again, this method is over 99% effective, and it means you do not have to worry about taking a pill at the same time every day. Using the implant can make your periods stop after the first year of implantation. Or they may just become lighter. If you have any side effects, the implant can be removed.

Diaphragm

Possibly the one that scares men the most! The contraceptive diaphragm is known as a barrier method of contraception. It is a large looking cap that you put into your vagina before having sex. You must then leave it there for at least six hours after having sex. It works by covering the cervix so that the sperm can’t get in. But you also need to remember to use a spermicide with it as this kills sperm. This type of contraception is around 92-96% effective. However, it is a good form of contraception if you are concerned about the health risks of taking the pill.