40 articles Tag baby

Your Baby is an Amorphous Lump (and Other Reasons to Stop Getting Offended)

genderless-babyIf there’s one thing which really boils my piss it’s the whole ‘blue is for boys, pink is for girls’ thing. I’m sure there’s some sort of societal explanation for why it’s so ingrained in our minds, but it’s something which seems more prevalent than ever – I spend a fair amount of time browsing Facebook groups and the amount of times I see people asking if anyone is selling a “baby walker for a girl” or whether it’s acceptable to put a girl in a red pushchair or a boy in a purple pushchair just drives me mental.

We were in Waitrose yesterday buying glue for my cousin who was doing an art project for college and my girls noticed that there were glues which were ‘pink for girls and blue for boys’. I was pretty proud when Sausage scoffed at the idea of gendered glue, and I’ll tell you what I told them: Unless you need a penis or a vagina in order to operate something, it’s NOT exclusively for one gender. If you want blue glue, having a foof DOESN’T preclude you from buying said glue.

All of this brings me to something else I saw today in another Facebook group (STOP JUDGING ME). A lady mentioned that her and her Husband were talking about what their baby son would look like in a dress, so they bought him one in the Tesco sale for a bit of a giggle and then posted the pictures for us to see. I had to giggle at the comments below – people seemed genuinely surprised that this lovely little boy looked…LIKE A GIRL. Yep. Dressing a baby in a dress made him look like a girl. Shock. I think the woman and her Husband are pretty awesome and it made a point so succinctly.

Let me let you in on a little secret: your baby is an amorphous lump. Generally speaking, unless you know what it is, it doesn’t often look like a boy OR a girl. This is why it is absolutely ridiculous when people are offended by people mis-gendering their child. Yes, I get that dressing them in blue or pink is a handy way to indicate what they are but A) why does it matter how people interpret your baby’s gender and B) WHY DO YOU CARE IF THEY GET IT WRONG?!

Sausage was our first baby and as such was bought a whole ton of girly stuff by both us and well meaning relatives. I remember finding it infuriating that I’d have her dressed head to toe in pink but old people would still refer to her as “he” and I’d be thinking “BUT SHE LOOKS LIKE A GIRL!”. But did she? Did she REALLY? Defining features are absolutely unapparent on MOST babies and I guarantee if we’d have dressed her head to toe in boys clothes, people could just have easily identified her as a boy.

With BB, we were far less strident about plastering her in pink. BB is a really different creature to her big sister and has always been super physical, and the sad fact is that a lot of baby clothes from the girls sections just aren’t geared towards girls who run around and dig in the mud, whereas boys clothes are a lot more forgiving. Equally, last summer when we wanted to get her some shorts for running around in, the only ones we could find which weren’t pretty, lace-edged impractical things were a pair of grey jersey shorts from the boys range in H&M. She’s been called a he a fair few times and I don’t even correct people now because it simply doesn’t matter.

All I’m saying is, while you may look at your little darling and think they’re the most handsome/prettiest creature ever born, a random onlooker very likely just sees BABY. Not Baby Boy or Baby Girl. JUST BABY. Don’t be offended when they get it wrong, it’s a waste of your energy and if you think about it, it’s really not all that offensive anyway. Use your energy more wisely…like, spending it looking for clothes which are green, purple, yellow, red or white…all colours which I suspect are yet to have been pigeonholed!

Baby Food Giveaway

When it comes to feeding, Sausage and Burrito Baby were pretty different. With Sausage, she was our first and we truly lived in a Sausage-centric bubble. This meant that I spoon-fed her with organic purees of fruit and veg, or home-made and bulk frozen meals that I’d made myself, for probably longer than was absolutely reasonable. I was just about as overbearing as any good Helicopter Parent can be and whether it was a good thing or not I’ve yet to decide.

Food for Babies

With BB, things were different. Not only was I six years older and wiser, having already raised one kid past babyhood, our lives were very different. No more lazy mornings spent in our PJs watching Cbeebies, BB was thrust onto the school run with us within a week of being born! This meant that by this time, I was opting for easier options such as pre-made food for babies and a healthy smattering of Baby Led Weaning by the time that she was old enough. I may be been a little more ‘low-effort’ with BB, but if anything it’s made her more independent and also more capable with a spoon or fork than Sausage was by the same age.

One advantage to spoon feeding was that I always knew exactly how much Sausage was eating when she was little, whereas with BB is was more of a guessing game; adding up what was left on the plate with what was smeared on the floor/in her hair and working out how much food had actually made it into her tummy! Still, she’s got a massive appetite and likes to graze all day long, so snack foods are definitely her choice, above full meals.

baby-led-weaning

We’ve teamed up with a great company to offer our American readers a $50 gift card – all you have to do is leave me a comment below telling me what you fed your baby when they were little, whether you went for pre-made food or Baby Led Weaning (or any other approach that I may not even have heard of!) The winner will be chosen at random on 15th October 2016. Don’t forget to share this post with your friends so that they can be in with a chance of winning, too!

Kids Autumn/Winter with Petit Bateau

Something that I love about shopping online is that I can source things which are a little bit different to what you’d normally find on the High Street. This is especially great for finding clothes for Sausage and Burrito Baby as I do love dressing them to accentuate their unique personalities, which is why I was happy when Petit Bateau asked me to put together an outfit for each of them from their new Autumn/Winter range.

Sausage is pushing boundaries with her fashion choices at the moment. She loves to be a little bit different (hence the pink hair during the holidays!) and relishes bucking against what girls in her class would be wearing. BB likes to wear things that look “pweety” (yep, that’s how she says it!) but which also allow her to charge around and don’t impede her running/climbing/dog riding. Here’s what I chose for them:

 

Petit Bateau

 

Petit Bateau by jayne-crammond on Polyvore

Grey is one of my favourite colours for clothing at the moment and I think the grey jeans make such a nice alternative to blue or black, which is what you see on most people. Sausage and BB both look amazing in most colours, but Sausage looks especially fantastic in autumn/winter palates because of her wild red hair, while BB looks great in more neautral shades because of her blond locks and pink cheeks.

I actually wnjoy shopping for the girls SO much more than shopping for myself, so spending an afternoon scouring a site and choosing things for them is a real treat! Have you shopped with Petit Bateau before? Do you enjoy shopping for your kids? What would you choose from the Petit Bateau ranges? Leave me a comment below!

Simple Fun with Aldi Mamia #MamiaDaysOut

Aldi mamia picnic I have to be honest with you, dear readers – I am one of those Mums…the ones who go into mourning when their kids go back to school. Yeah, the girls bickered almost constantly for six weeks, but I feel lost when Sausage isn’t here, and Burrito Baby really misses her big sis. The only good thing is that I get to spend some quality time with the littlest one. Throughout the six weeks holidays, we tend to pack in as much as we can for Sausage before school starts again so between her birthday in early August, weekly pony club, visits here there and everywhere, the holidays are very Sausage-centric and BB largely just gets dragged along for the ride!

When the guys at BritMums got in touch and asked if we’d like to take a look at the Mamia range from Aldi, I knew that BB and I could have a lovely afternoon of simple fun, just the two of us, which would be the perfect antidote to a crazy summer and three weeks of missing Sausage all day. We’re lucky enough to live in a beautiful little hamlet tucked away in a rural corner of the South East which means we’re literally spoilt for places to have a picnic, so BB and I packed up our basket (and our hiking poles!) with our Mamia goodies and headed out.

Walking the path round to our picnic spot, BB and I sang nursery rhymes (Miss Polly Had a Dolly is her absolute fave at the moment) while we walked and soon found a secluded little spot next to the river with some cover provided by the trees. The farmer was out doing some ploughing, so we watched him making his way, back and forth across the field, with his legion of seagulls following for the seeds and worms which get turned out of the earth as he goes.

BB is learning her colours at the moment so while we ate we enjoyed a game of “where can you see…” where I ask her to point out things of a certain colour. The colourful blanket we took along with us really helped, as did the bright packaging for the Mamia goodies, such as fruity rice cakes and pouches of fruit puree (absolutely PERFECT for a picnic as no spoon is needed!).

Even before we were asked to try out these Mamia goodies, we’ve long been devotees of the Mamia nappy range. BB is currently potty training herself (she’s made it perfectly clear that she’s doing it all HERSELF and that she doesn’t need to be taught by anyone else!) and the Mamia Easy Pants are absolutely perfect for us. They enable BB to pull them down herself when she feels the need to use the loo but they’re really absorbent too, which means I don’t have to worry about leaks if she falls asleep or forgets to use a potty. Whenever I see a new mum asking which nappies to use, I ALWAYS recommend Aldi ones – we pay £1.85 for 18 which is significantly cheaper than the leading brands and I genuinely believe them to be of a far superior quality, even at such a low price. aldi-mamia-rice-cakes

I think the thing that I love about Aldi, and especially the baby range, is that the prices just seem to be far more reasonable than anywhere else but without a compromise in quality. I find that, in ‘cut price’ shops you can get a bargain but the food will be really unhealthy or stuffed full of unpleasant ingredients, but Aldi gives me peace of mind that I can save money without having to worry. Most of their juices and flavoured waters are low or zero sugar, their meat is all well-sourced and the fruit pouches I mentioned above are 100% organic and contain no thickeners, no added sugar and no preservatives – just one example fo their dedication to quality.

Once BB has finished her snacks, she decided it’s time to get wandering again. She’s a little obsessed with blackberries at the moment; I think she’s amazed that we can pick something off of a bush and eat it, and we’ve got an absolute ton growing near us right now so we’re foraging on a regular basis. We stop to asses our crop on the way home and decided they need a couple more days until we come back to pick another load.

blackberries

I love nothing more than spending time with both of my girls but getting an opportunity for some one-on-one time with BB was great and I think we’ll have to make a picnic part of our weekly ritual while the weather allows. Thanks to Aldi for sending us such a lovely treat for our afternoon of fun!

(As an afterthought, it’s also worth remembering that Aldi is having its next Baby Event starting on Thursday 22nd September and I guarantee you’ll be able to pick up some really impressive bargains!)

(This post is an entry for BritMums #MamiaDaysOut Linky Challenge, sponsored by Aldi Mamia.)

Common First Time Parent Stresses And How To Fix Them

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All new parents worry. It goes with the territory. All of sudden you have a new life to take care of, nurture and keep alive. You have no prior training, and sometimes it’s really hard. It may help a little to know that you’re not alone with these concerns. In fact, it’s all part of the process.

  1. Crying

All babies cry. We know this, of course. But before you have a child of your own, you don’t realise just how much. It can be extremely concerning but, in most cases, it’s completely natural. A crying baby doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent. Babies cry for many reasons. They may be hungry, tired, need changing or under or over stimulated.

If you child can’t be comforted and continues to cry, you should speak to your doctor. They may be suffering from colic, which can be soothed and managed.

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  1. Fitting It All In

When a new baby arrives, he or she takes over your life in a way you never thought possible. All of your time is spent taking care of their needs. Many parents worry about fitting everything in and getting things done. This might include shopping, taking care of other members of the family, and just have some time to yourself to do nothing. The last point is not selfish. When your every waking moment is spent taking care of another human being, you need a little time to relax and just be yourself for a while. It’s about putting your own oxygen mask on first. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of others.

Find shortcuts wherever possible. Accept things won’t be perfect for a while. ‘Good enough’ is fine for now. Get help wherever you can. Enlist family and friends to help out and get the shopping delivered. We live in a digital world there are services available you may not even be aware of. For example, what do you do if you’re feeling unwell but you just don’t have time to go to see your GP? An Online Doctor App may be the answer. You can book an appointment with a doctor to take place over the phone, even out of hours. You can also arrange to pick up any resulting prescriptions from your local chemist.

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  1. Bonding With Your Baby

Many parents are led to believe that as soon as your baby is born, you will bond immediately. This isn’t always the case. After a long delivery, it’s likely you’re feeling more exhausted than anything else. Bonding is something that will happen naturally over time. The process is different for everyone. Try to tune out unhelpful voices that tell you how their bonding was instantaneous. 

  1. Keeping In Touch

Many parents worry about keeping in touch with friends and family once their baby arrives. They may vow never to lose contact and to keep to regular social events. In reality, this may not be practical. As you celebrate your new arrival, you will realise that things have changed forever. Things won’t be the same again, and you wouldn’t want them to be. But this doesn’t mean that you need to lose touch with people. You just have to readjust your thinking, plan ahead, and organise a little.

There are many things that new parents worry about. As well as being a magical time in your lives, it can also be stressful. But there is always a solution and a way around things.

Welcome Your Gorgeous Baby Into Your Home With These Amazing Nursery Ideas

After nine months of nurturing the tiny infant inside you, you’re about to meet him for the first time. When you bring your new bundle of joy home, you will want to make sure that you have a gorgeous nursery room that he can be comfortable in. There are tons of great ideas for decorating and furnishing your nursery. As this is often the smallest room in the house, it’s important that you also make sure it is functional.

Once the room is empty and cleaned, you can start to prepare the walls for paint and wallpaper. Many parents prefer to choose a sunny yellow colour, whether they know the gender of their baby or not. It is a bright colour that reflects light well. And it’s ideal for a newborn’s sensitive, developing eyes too. You might choose an accent wall and paper it with cute animal characters. This gives baby something to start focussing on when his eyes are ready.

A lamp shade is ideal if you have a ceiling light. Wall lights may be preferred, though, as the baby is often on his back staring up. Keep a lower watt light bulb in there. You can always use a nightlight to make checks on your baby in the dark. Blackout blinds and cute animal curtains will ensure naptimes are not interrupted by intrusive light. They can help to keep the room a little cooler in the summer too.

Nursery-Rocker and Changing Table

Photo at Flickr.com

Many wifi baby monitors include a temperature monitor so you can check on the heat. Ideally, the room should be around eighteen to twenty-one degrees Celsius. This isn’t always practical, so add or remove blankets to keep your little one comfortable. You can find lots of options for baby bedding online that will ensure you have the right ones for each season. Choose plain designs or something your little one can enjoy looking at.

No baby’s cot is complete without a hanging mobile. Many also make music and turn. They’re great for helping your little one focus on new things. It will also encourage them to reach up and kick out. Eventually, in just a few months, they will be the inspiration for trying to sit up. It’s at this point that you might want to consider a baby nest to help support their back in the sitting position.

Your baby shower probably provided you with dozens of soft toys for your baby. They can be a source of comfort for tiny tots, as well as something to explore and enjoy. Your nursery may be full of soft toys that he or she can practice conversations with. Be careful not to allow too many in the cot as they can become hazardous without proper supervision.

If you have a large changing table or cabinet, you might consider popping a few extra toys inside. These hidden items can then come out at changing time to distract your little one while you get on with your job. Perhaps you wave these toys while you are feeding your baby? What’s the best thing you’ve bought for your nursery?

 

We’re VTech Toot Toot Friends Ambassadors!

A few weeks back, Burrito Baby and I received the awesome news that we’d been chosen to be VTech Toot Toot Friends Ambassadors and would be receiving all of the new range to play with and review. As you can see, BB was over the moon! The smaller characters retail for around £8.99 each, while the Trot and Go Pony is £15.99. The Hospital playset is a very affordable £29.99 and even the Discovery Sounds House, which is the bigger of the two playsets, is only £44.99.

VTech Toot Toot Friends

What we discovered, being Toot-Toot Friends noobs, is that all of the playsets can link together, forming a big town, and each character can be used in all of the different areas. Want to take your horse to the hospital? Go right ahead! These areas are called ‘Magic Points’ and allows kids to use the individual  characters to interact with the play sets. There are also points within the Busy Sounds Discovery Home where characters can sing to one another, something that BB seemed to regard as being akin to magic!

BB has really good gross and fine motor skills for her age (I mean, the kid is NEVER still, even when she’s sleeping!) but all of the elements of the characters and the playsets were solid and easy to hold, even for the tiniest hands. It also feels like it would stand up to a whole lot of toddler punishment, too; BB has developed a habit of throwing things when she’s in a mood but I can’t see even the biggest toddler tantrum being able to do damage to the Toot-Toot Friends! That’s why when buying toys parents should always look at the sturdy toys. Durable gifts for 2 year olds that can endure hits and tantrums is important. Less money wasted, and more time for fun.

I really like the fact that these feel like “next level” toys in more ways than one; in terms of BB’s development, they feel more in-depth than all the other ‘flashing lights, ABC, 123’ toys that she has and they also feel like they incorporate all of the things that babies of this age love with the technological expertise the VTech is famous for. They’re interactive, educational and intuitive, all things which I think are important for development through play.

If I had ONE minor complaint, it’s that the stickers are a little bit fiddly to apply when you’re assembling everything, especially as some of them are located behind or inside certain parts. If you’ve got a steady hand, you’ll be fine, but the best advice I can give you is to assemble everything when you don’t have an excited, slightly tyrannical toddler climbing all over you.

I also think that selling all of the characters and sets separately is a great thing. It means that you can still buy Toot-Toots friends toys even on varying budgets, and if a birthday or Christmas comes around, the playsets can be bought as a main present, while the smaller components can be bought by friends or relatives to build a full and comprehensive collection.

BB and I feel like we’re off to a great start as ambassadors for VTech Toot-Toot Friends – we already love the toys and can seem them being a great source of fun and education for BB in the months to come.

Making Space for a New Baby

Before Burrito Baby came along, Husband, Sausage and I were living in a little 2-bed bungalow. We knew that finding space for a new baby would be tricky but we wanted to wait a little while before moving, so we made do for just over a year, which meant finding space for a whole new human being in our tiny house and utilising every nook and cranny possible!

The infographic below has got some great tips on how to maximise your space when baby comes along and we thought we’d share it with you in case you’re ever in the same predicament as us!
The Best Ways to Make Room for a New Baby

Provided by Alligator Storage

Have you got any top tops for finding space? Share them with us below.

Funky Giraffe Bibs Review

About 400 years ago (okay, it was about six months, but you know how time flies when you’re trying to go for a wee without a baby climbing up your leg having fun) , we were asked if we’d like to review Funky Giraffe Bibs, a brand which creates bandanna bibs in super funky prints. I’ve been absolutely rubbish at getting blog posts written lately, but I thought it was about time that I shared our opinions of the bibs we chose.

The real difficulty was narrowing down which bibs we wanted to try from the enormous selection of designs – there are just SO many choices, each more appealing than the next and I genuinely laboured for hours to make my mind up! In the end, we opted for a ‘Little Sister’ design in pink, a lovely yellow bib with a large cherry print and a lively cartoon bird print, as well as a pretty pear motif on a bright blue background. Funky Giraffe Bandana Bibs

The great thing about Funky Giraffe bibs is that behind the vibrant designs is a very soft, fleecy material; BB has really sensitive skin, just like her big sister and even the slightest bit of friction can leave her skin red and irritated, but she’s able to wear the bandana bibs without any bother. They also come with two sets of poppers which mean that the bibs grow with your baby and will last for pretty much the entire time they need a bib.

BB is a terrible dribbler when she’s teething and ordinary bibs just aren’t sufficient to soak up her spit AND keep her skin dry at the same time, but the Funky Giraffe bibs did an admirable job of wicking away the moisture while keeping it well away from her skin, which I guess is the beauty of the double thickness of the bandanas.

Obviously, if you’re anything like me then the real million-dollar question is ‘How do they wash up?’. There’s little more frustrating than buying a gorgeous baby item made from highly patterned material, only for it to go dull and discoloured, or stained, after being washed. Never fear though; the Funky Giraffe bibs actually seem to get better after a few washes because they soften and become even more comfortable for baby. They also seem to repel stains (possibly due to the printed fabric), which means that they wash up brilliantly, even if you use them during messy mealtimes.

There are some excellent deals to be had on the Funky Giraffe site. Bibs actually get cheaper, the greater quantity that you buy and there are special offers available which mean that you can get your hands on a bundle of bibs which work out at just £1.50 each – bargain! Amazingly enough, Funky Giraffe bibs are also available in Australia, so if you’re one of our lovely antipodean readers, head over to the Funky Giraffe Australia site for some beautiful prints and excellent bargains.

Are you a fan of Funky Giraffe bibs? Are you tempted to try them after reading this? Leave me a comment below.

And Onto Moo-Milk We Go…

Photo Credit: momjunction.comPhoto Credit: momjunction.com

You may have read posts in the past detailing Burrito Baby’s issues with milk and how her doctors came to the conclusion that she had a Cows Milk Protein Allergy (CMPA) because of digestive discomfort and behavioral issues. We’ve dutifully fed her on the vile, raw-potato smelling formula milk, made mostly of gluscose syrup, that she was prescribed and tackled the minefield that is dairy-free weaning, but there’s been a spanner in the works. You see, BB isn’t gaining weight.

Length-wise, she’s in between the 75th and 91st percentile, making her quite long for her age, especially as she’s still being corrected for those 4 weeks that she was early by. However, for weight, she’s hovering somewhere around the 25th percentile, which means that she’s very definitely underweight. I mean, you’ve only got to look at her to see that she’s tiny and when you hold her, you can feel her spine sticking out. I’m not used to skinny babies; Sausage was very well covered, always in the 91st percentile for length and weight and the worry with her was that she was too big, so this is all a new thing for us.

We were all so terribly ill over Christmas and when BB’s 12 month check with the Health Visitor came around just one day after her birthday, we were shocked to learn that she’d actually lost weight in the period since her last weigh-in during December. We put it down to her having been so poorly and off of her food, but a couple of weeks later when I took her to clinic to be weighed, she’d barely gained a few ounces. I took her along to see our GP, who didn’t seem overly worried about her, but when I mention the fact that she urinated frequently, gets very cross at times and eats like a horse, despite gaining no weight, it was decided that a few tests were in order.

After a couple of disastrous attempts to catch her wee in one of those bags that you stick on under their nappy, the GP ordered bloods to be taken instead, to test mainly for diabetes, an over active thyroid or anaemia. The test isn’t until 8th April and the waiting is horrid, but in the meantime, our GP advised us to tentatively try BB on some full-on dairy produce to see if her tummy was still intolerant to it all.

The first thing we attempted was cereal with milk – BB is absolutely crazy about crunchy nut cornflakes and up until this point, I’d had to give them to her dry, making me feel not entirely unlike Ebeneezer Scrooge but knowing that it was for her own good. Watching her wolf down a whole bowl, milk and all, was both beautiful and terrifying; seeing her enjoy milk so much after being deprived for all these months brought a tear to my eye, but I also spent the next few hours searching her face for any signs of tummy ache or other pain. Fortunately, the milk seemed to have no effect on her, so next gold-top milk and a chocolate cookie, then cheese on toast the following lunchtime – good grief, this girl LOVES cheese!

Over the last week, she’s had full fat milk, cheese, yogurt, ice-cream, butter and milkshake and not once has so shown any adverse effects. She’s been happier in herself and sleeping really well (she’s always slept well at night, but has never been much of a napper; this week she’s been napped twice a day for a total of about 3 hours!), and although we’re not having her weighed until tomorrow, Husband and I are convinced she’s gained – our little Skinny Minnie looks plumper in the face already!

It’s quite a bittersweet time for Husband and I, with worrying about the potential for her having a life-changing condition such as diabetes, as well as the transition to dairy. Was she really CMPA all this time or could she have been having dairy all along, and avoided the horrible replacement milk? Could the lack of dairy be the cause of her weight issues? I guess we’ll probably never know, but we’re both staying positive and hoping that the numbers on the scales will make us happy tomorrow. Watch this space for an update!