Tag Archives: baby

Does that mean I have a normal baby?


I took the little ones to play group today and handed the baby’s red book in to the health visitors for weighing. She was weighed last week, but I’ve been on a bit of a detox (or, not eating lots of rubbish all the time) and I wanted to check that it wasn’t affecting her weight gain. It would be so fantastic awful to have to revert back to a diet filled with whatever I like.
Anyway, we were last in the queue but once I had waited that long I sure as hell wasn’t going to give up. And anyway, it was soon our turn! Yes, everyone else had left but the toddler loves an empty room to run around and I can be stubborn at times.
So the baby is now 10 lb 8! I am astounded. I had just fed her, bit still… that’s 11 ounces in 8 days!
Of course, I panic.
“she seems to be putting weight on really quickly,” I say, hoping I don’t sound too panicky. “its about half a pound a week on average!”
“thats absolutely fine!” The health visitor responds.
She looks curious so I explain that my eldest daughter never really fed much, slept through at 5 weeks and was still only 10 at 6 months. Then my son… he wasn’t thriving at all so by 4 months our consultant had him in formula and baby rice. I think the confusion I’d subconciously come to was:
” I always assumed my breast milk wasn’t all that good…”
“your breast milk is good stuff!” She laughed. “half a pound a week is exactlybwhat we want. It’s.completely normal.”
Um, ok. I’ve got a normal baby then? What does one do with one of those then? I’m used to the extreme. Average is alien to me! From one baby who slept so well, potty trained so early and easily and has never had a tantrum… to one who still doesn’t sleep, regularly has dirty protests and is currently on his 7th tantrum of the day… to now have one that does things by the book?
Goodness, what pressure!

Baba and Boo and me

These days, I am a true cloth nappy convert and slowly starting to make my way through several different types and brands of nappies. Everyone has been so helpful in helping me to get to grips with it all and I have to say that I am a firm fan of fluffy bums!

One of the nappy brands that really caught my eye early on is Baba and Boo. The nappies that these guys make are just gorgeous and definitely up there in the style stakes. The lovely Louise sent me a Baba and Boo nappy to try way back in December and has patiently waited ever since for my feed back. The reason I have been so long in my response is because the nappies themselves are only suitable once a baby is of a decent weight. I think officially, that weight is around 8lb but it really depends on your baby. Isobel has really skinny legs so the nappies have only just started to fit her properly. Incidentally, this means that the bigger sizes of Baba and Boo nappies allows for them to be used on much older babies- the toddler has been rocking an animal print himself lately.

Here is Isobel in her giraffe print nappy

How gorgeous is that?

Each Baba and Boo nappy comes with an insert and a booster, which is fantastic if the baby is ready for a long sleep as I know it will hold everything in without leaks. And so far, we’ve had no leaks. The nappies also have poppers which adjust to suit your baby. At the moment we are on the smallest setting so there’s plenty of wear in them yet!

Baba and Boo have some simply beautiful designs over on their site, with some new colours recently added for spring. I love this Blue Bubbles design and the Sweet Candy  is perfect for Isobel. I’ve invested in a few Baba and Boo nappies so far. Along with the giraffe print, we also have the tiger print and I have to say that these are amongst our favourites of all. They’re made from a super soft minky fabric and are just so luxurious- it’s a shame to put clothes over the top! Once Isobel is crawling, I’m going to invest in some babylegs  so that I can show her nappies off!

Overall, Baba and Boo are a fantastic nappy. I would definitely recommend these to anyone wanting to give real nappies a try because they are reasonably priced, beautifully designed and very reliable. Plus, who wouldn’t want a leopard print nappy anyway?

Did you know it is Real Nappy week? For more information, visit http://www.goreal.org.uk/real-nappy-week

* I received one Baba and Boo nappy for review purposes only, and no monetary payment. The rest of the nappies mentioned in this review have been purchased by myself and these views are entirely my own!

My baby is nine weeks old

How time flies and how little you notice its effects. Until someone points them out to you, that is.

The baby was weighed this week during her 8 week check. She is now a whopping 9lb13! She surprises me. She was the smallest of all three at birth and yet she has gained weight quicker than either of them. Going from 5lb13 at 3 days old, to 6lb8 at ten days is no mean feat! To then go from that to 8lb at 1 month…

Actually, when I think about it, I’m not all that surprised, really. The baby is still feeding on average every 2-3 hours during the day and every 2 hours at night. God bless co-sleeping! Luckily, she settles really well after each feed so I can’t really complain.

It’s amazing how quickly other things become apparent after having a baby too. Like, how rubbish is statutory maternity pay? Yes, I am lucky to get anything at all but seriously- we are scraping the barrel here. I took the option of just statutory as the future of my job is uncertain and I didn’t want to be faced with a huge bill if I was unable to return to work. This way, if I do go back I get a lump sum so it’s something at least.

Which leads me on to another wonderful thing. Friends. And hand me down clothes. We have not bought a single thing for the baby since the going home outfits (which still fit by the way!) because people have been so kind. I’ve done my bit too, I’ve donated clothes to other friends who’ve also recently had babies. But the generosity of others has really astounded me lately- and its not just the baby who has been kitted out, either. The big one and the toddler have also received some amazing items too.

So how do you make the pennies stretch whilst on maternity leave? I’d love some ideas please!

Other highlights at this age for the baby include the fact that she is now really looking at faces and smiling voluntarily. I totally forgot how awesome it feels when your baby smiles at you.

Graco Symbio b: Is your pram special to you?

This isn’t another review post. I’ve had a post brewing in my head for a while and I wanted to get it written before the end of the testing period. It’s about sentimentality- do you have any?- and the emotional journey of motherhood.

When my eldest was born, we saved various bits and bobs for her ‘memory box’. We added things like her hospital bracelet;  the CD single of the song at number one the day she was born; a newspaper from the same day; her first cinema ticket; her first tooth and other important-to-us artefacts. She loves this box and always asks to see it. We have a smaller one for her brother and an even smaller one for her sister. It’s about keeping real, solid things for her to lay a claim to. They don’t make her her but they build a picture of her life. They give her things to think about, questions to ask and memories to dream of.

Our memory boxes aren’t unique. Parents all over the world collect and save precious things to help them keep their memories close. And they don’t have to be real, solid artefacts either. For me, scents, feelings and colours are just as important. I remember events based on what clothes I was wearing that day (that’s why this post was so special to me, because clothes help me to remember certain, special days) and the people who were with me. I think remembering special events is so important- in the end it doesn’t matter if you remember something because people keep telling you about it, or because you actually have it in your memory bank.

I remember the first time I ever pushed a pram with my baby inside. It was October. It was warm enough to wear just a t-shirt and jeans. I remember the feel of the pram under my fingertips and the weight of her tiny body inside the carrycot. I remember walking through the dried leaves that had fallen to the floor and I remember that feeling of pride, elation and  joy that came with pushing a pram.

Sound silly? It’s not supposed to be. I can’t fit a pram inside a memory box, but the memories are there all the same. I remember the pram I had for the toddler and how difficult it was to get up the kerb after my horrific c-section and other injuries. I remember the feeling of desolation that swept over me as I realised I would have to sell this pram. This pram that I had spent so long choosing and had spent so long gazing over before he was born. This pram that I had trusted to carry my baby. It was an emotional time, believe it or not.

I remember the day I learned I was to be one of five lucky Graco Symbio b testers. My daughter was less than two hours old. I was lying in a hospital bed with her beside me. Her beautiful, warm body was close to mine and we were watching her in awe. We were overwhelmed at how easy her birth had been and how precious the memory of her birth was going to be. I was thinking at last I know what it is like to think of the birth of my child and smile.

I remember the day we took the Symbio b out for the first time. I wasn’t allowed to push it but we took a photo of me with my hands on the handle anyway. I remember marvelling at how small my baby looked inside the carrycot- and yes, I remember what I was wearing.

Someone once told me to make the most of the time I have with my kids and to make sure that I make memories with them each and every day. That’s what I’m doing. So when I ask you if your pram is special to you, what will you say? The Graco Symbio b is special to me- it’s my baby’s first pram. It came on a special day. It was chosen for me and it has- so far- been one of the best prams I’ve owned. But it’s actually a lot more than that too. It’s a place where I can lay my baby and I know she will be comfortable and I know she will be safe. It’s a way of ensuring I can leave the house every day for a bit of me time too. It’s a way of making memories.

No longer a newborn

Yesterday I decided to make the most of the wintery spring weather and I set to organising. It broke my heart.

All those tiny little suits with tiny little labels and super tiny little arm holes. All those beautiful sleep suits which once housed my tiny girl. As tiny as doll’s clothes… no use to us now.

How did this happen so quickly? How can even newborn sized clothes be perilously close to a cull? How can my baby girl be seven weeks old already?

In the end, it wasn’t really about the clothes. It wasn’t about the hat that doesn’t fit and the dress that’s too short. It wasn’t about the carefully selected going home outfit that was once too big and is now too small. It wasn’t about any of that. It was about saying goodbye to the newborn baby.

Each day that passes, it is amazing to see the new facial expressions and to feel a deeper understanding of who my daughter is. But that doesn’t mean I don’t miss her being tiny, being new.

Why didn’t I take footprints when she was so tiny? How could I have forgotten the way she only opened one eye for her first three days on earth? How could I have moved on from the tiny, tiny syringe feed she enjoyed in the hospital- how that tiny amount of milk had satisfied her… Had I really forgotten these things? Of course not. Each memory we’ve made so far has been etched deep inside. Not gone. Not forgotten.

And so we move on. The baby is no longer a newborn. Her clothes are redundant and ready to pass on. Is it ok if I shed a small tear as I wave them goodbye? I promise I will then look to the future. 0-3 months here we come.

Hunnybums and the fluffy bum adventure

It’s all her fault. That lovely Lucy at Hunnybums. I met her on Baby Huddle where I am part of their Elite Bloggers program. I asked a question and before I knew it she had sent me on a spiralling course towards addiction. I mean, who wouldn’t be taken in by all of this fluffy bum gorgeousness? Maybe I should explain.

I decided whilst pregnant that I wanted to use cloth nappies, but I had no whatsoever where to begin. I knew I wanted to save on the expense and do my bit for the disgusting amount of nappies currently residing in landfill, but… it just seemed so complicated. But then I realised just how passionate and informed those in the know really are. My first port of call was Louise who works with Eve at Babba and Boo. There’s going to be a post dedicated to those guys coming up soon.

Anyway, Louise set the ball in motion and I started to collect samples to try out once the baby arrived. Now, I knew she was going to be small but I never actually realised she would be too small for the nappies! I was really disappointed to have to buy disposables for the baby. And that’s where Lucy at Hunnybums came in.

She recommended Lollipop nappies, which are suitable for smaller newborns and even directed me towards some that were on sale so that I didn’t spend a fortune before I had really got started. I know some mums start with cloth nappies then decide to switch to disposables. I didn’t want to spend a fortune and not actually carry on using them so this made sense.

Lucy also sent me an absolutely beautiful Pop n Gro nappy to review. And yes, I did say beautiful. It really is. And yes, it does inevitably end up covered in poo, but it is still lovely. So this is how we’ve been getting on.

The baby has a big bum. The lollipop nappies we’re using along with the Pop n Gro require a waterproof wrap to make sure everything is kept inside. This means that my 5lb something baby suddenly went from slim to voluptuous. I love it! There’s more padding for when she starts to toddle around- it isn’t a problem. Using them is also no problem at all. Each nappy has an insert and this is placed inside the nappy. Then you put  a paper liner inside and pop the nappy on. I’ve been stuffing the nappies as they come out of the wash so that there’s no faffing at changing time. I was initially suspicious that the thin paper liner would be able to contain the baby’s poo to be honest, but so far so good. You just flush the liner away and job done. As she’s breastfed, the poo is fairly runny so often I need to get a whole new nappy but I can re-use the wrap after a quick wipe. Adjusting the size of the nappies is easy too as there are velcro tabs that can be held together as tightly as you need.

So I’m finding cloth nappies easy to use. So easy, I’ve decided to ditch the disposables for the toddler too. He absolutely loves the giraffe nappy that Babba and Boo sent us, but as I’ve just placed an order with them for more, I thought I would review their nappies separately. You can buy Babba and Boo on Hunnybums too.

The toddler has a different type of poo. Yes, he’s two years old, but due to his lactose intolerance his poo is also always runny. This still hasn’t put me off. Pop n Gro luckily come in two sizes, with the larger size big enough for the toddler so I’m looking to invest in a few for him that the baby can then grow into.

And that’s the beauty of cloth nappies. Yes, they cost more than disposables in the short term but eventually you start to reap what you have sown. You’re reducing the eight million dirty nappies which are thrown away in the UK every day; you are keeping chemicals away from your baby’s skin as they snuggle against soft fabrics instead; you’re saving around £400 a year and you’re turning your baby into the cutest fluffy bum in town!

Lucy very kindly advised me on the accessories I needed to get started and pointed me towards which nappies would be suitable for my needs and why. She also directed me towards the most cost effective way of using cloth nappies and for that I will always be grateful. I’m sure if you want to make the plunge into cloth, she would be more than happy to help! As well as being a nappy advisor and running her own business, Lucy is a qualified nutritional therapist and breastfeeding advisor. Read more here. Thanks Lucy!

The Graco Symbio b: what do you look for in a new pram?

I’ve been busy testing the Graco Symbio b pram since the baby arrived and I have to say that I am most impressed. I’ve posted about using it following a c-section, how we got on in a shopping centre, and how the toddler rates the stroller once converted from newborn mode. I’ve also filmed a couple of short videos showing how easy the pram is to push with one hand and how easy it is to change the direction of travel. I’m going to be filming some more later this weekend.

But I’m not the only one who is testing the Symbio b and so I thought it would be a good idea to ask the other testers to give their opinion and rating on the things I find important when looking for a new pram. That way, you get to read more than just my take on things. After all, when you’re deciding on which pram to buy, its a big investment and one which you are going to want to think long and hard about. I’ve been caught out before with prams and have found myself taking selling them on after a short while.

So here is my list of essential check points to consider when choosing a new pram. I would love to hear about the things you find are important too- leave me a comment and I will make sure they are included in the link up post.

  • Price. Having a new baby is an expensive time and the pram is often the most pricey item on your shopping list. I don’t have enough of a budget to spend ridiculous amounts on a pram. I also couldn’t justify spending as much as you would on a car…
  • Ease of use. No point having an all-singing, all-dancing pram if you can’t fold it. Even less so if grandparents can’t fold it either. Think of all the missed baby-sitting opportunities, not to mention school run rage when you can’t get your pram back in the car!
  • Looks. Ok, it may be slightly shallow, but I like a pram to look good. There are so many lovely, stylish prams out there on the market that I feel this point is not too much to ask for, don’t you?
  • Practicality. Bit like the ease of use one, but more about how practical it really is. Is the seat big enough? Is it going to last until your baby no longer needs to be pushed around? Can you fit your shopping in the basket and will it cope on all terrains? Will it fit in the car boot?
  • Customer service. What if something goes wrong? Can you get in touch with the manufacturers easily? Do they have a user- friendly website? Is the instruction manual easy to follow? These are all important points. Again, I hark back to my early parenting days: I had a pram which insisted on losing a wheel each time we went for a walk and getting it repaired/ exchanged was a nightmare. 

So those are my five check points when looking for a pram. If you have any more to add, please let me know! Hopefully I can persuade the other testers to write their own post based on the same check points and link them up here so that you can get a wider picture of the Symbio b.

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Graco Symbio b: the toddler’s review

We’re half-way into the Symbio b testing and so far its a huge hit with the baby and I. I must add that other mums at school have also been admiring our wheels and one mum-to-be has just ordered one for herself, which just goes to prove how valuable personal recommendations really are.  Anyway, I decided it was time to convert the Symbio b and let the toddler have a turn…

symbio b toddler seat

Before I start, I have to point out that I am terrible at following instruction guides. I find the diagrams tricky to interpret and I have to read the written instructions several times before I can actually do the task. I am a kinaesthetic/ visual learner so I need to see something being done, whilst at the same time actually doing it myself. I think this is why it took me 20 minutes to convert the Symbio from newborn to toddler mode. Subsequent practises have been much faster and once you have the process under your belt its really quite easy.

The best thing about the fitting of the seat is that it is all secured with poppers. This means that it is all snug and secure and that there is little chance of getting things in the wrong place. Yes, first time you do it will take  a little longer than normal, but once its converted, the majority of us won’t need to do it again.

The baby nest is removed quite easily and the zips need to be done up again. Then its just a case of following the instructions to construct the seat. The seat cover is well padded and soft and as it is easily removed with the poppers, it can be easily washed if needed. This is a huge bonus for me as my last pram seat fabric was fitted to the seat unit and never really got clean again once the toddler had been let loose with a sausage roll!

symbio b toddler hood

There are three different height options for the harness so the seat really grows with your child and will last right up until they are ready to walk more. Another great point is the hood- its massive! The toddler doesn’t like having the hood up at all but if he was to fall asleep, I would be happy that the hood would provide more than ample shade for him- great in the summer, and it eliminates the need for an extra sun shade or parasol.

The seat can be reclined easily by pulling the handle at the back of the seat and again, you can swap the direction of travel with one easy motion.

Another important point- looks. As a buggy, the Symbio b is just as lovely to look at as it is in pram mode. It’s stylish and compact and moving it is just as easy. The only drawback, once more, is the size of the basket. It’s easier to access with the seat unit in toddler mode, but its still rather small, especially once the raincover is in the basket. Also, the foot rest at the bottom of the toddler seat seems to be a little short. The toddler’s feet already reach the end but I suppose he can always rest his feet over it when his legs get longer.

symbio b toddler side view

I can’t wait to use the Symbio b in toddler mode. Once the baby is 6 months, she is ready for the conversion, but until then we are perfectly happy using the newborn mode. Which brings me nicely to my last point. Converting the Symbio b from toddler back to newborn is so easy. Simply lie the seat unit flat, un-popper the seat fabric, unzip the zips at the back and insert the baby nest. You also need to re-attach the hood. That’s it!

And the toddler’s review? He told me that he likes his ‘fire engine’ pram (its bright red, like an engine) but on this particular day he was more interested in digging up the soil from my Yucca plant in the hallway- hence the grumpy face!


Graco Symbio b: the shopping centre challenge

Last week, I took the baby to register her birth. It was about time we made her all official. It was also about time the Symbio b took part in another challenge- the shopping centre challenge.

You all know this one. Can the pram make it through the door ways? Can the pram manoeuvre between cars parked close together when all the parent and baby spaces are taken? Can the pram take the pace? This is what happened…

Getting ready for the shopping challenge

Firstly, no we didn’t get a parent and child parking space. I like to think they were all taken by parents and children but I am a dreamer. Secondly, yes the pram did manage to manoeuvre between the sardine-like cars. Not a problem. Score 1.

Into the shopping centre and into the lift. We fit perfectly in with two other buggies and two other adults. Again, score 1 for the Symbio as it is a fairly compact pram so I didn’t feel we were taking too much of the allocated lift space.

Time for the doorway challenge. I bumped a couple to be honest. They were wide enough, but perhaps I am out of practise? I did  accidentally knock the pram a couple of times trying to get the wheels to swivel in the direction I wanted. This has never happened before so I think it was more human error than anything else. Score half a point here.

The floor: my old pram used to slide on shopping centre floors. What I mean is, the wheels didn’t turn, it was more of a skating motion if you see what I mean. To rectify it, I had to lock the wheels inside shopping centres and supermarkets. The Symbio coped fine. Score 1 more point.

The shopping basket. This is really the only thing I would, so far, change on the Symbio. No pram can be perfect, eh? After registering the baby, I nipped to Boots and stocked up on supplies for her and the toddler. I ended up with a huge bag which just would not fit in the basket underneath, despite the rain cover being on the pram rather than inside the basket. Luckily, I have a buggy clip which works really well and distributes the weight of the bag evenly so that there is no chance of it tipping up. BUT it would be nice to have a larger basket as sometimes you want to put more than the raincover inside.

That brings me to the raincover. I’ve had prams that have been a nightmare during shopping trips. You’re outside in the rain one minute, then inside in the artificial warm the next. How to make sure the raincover doesn’t become a chore? Practise, practise, practise! The Symbio’s raincover has clear indications as to which way round it goes and it fits over quickly and snugly, fastening with velcro at the sides. It can also be folded back onto the hood when you go inside, ready to pop back over when needed. Score 1 point.

Back to the car: Ok, so I have a big car with a big boot. I can only be fair and give a half point here. But I will say that the pram folds very compactly and the carry cot can be placed on its side so there is still room for shopping.

Overall points for the shopping challenge: 5/7

Fast asleep- she is in there, honest!

I’m going to be sneaky and add an extra point for the fact that the baby slept soundly the whole time- she clearly likes her Graco Symbio b!

Cosatto You2 twin stroller: a review

Before the baby was born, I was extremely lucky enough to be sent a Cosatto You2 twin stroller to review. I even got to choose the design and since we didn’t know the gender of the baby, I went for the scrumptious Owl and Pussycat model:

It truly is a gorgeous looking pram. But I wasn’t totally convinced that the side-by-side design was the right one for me . The fantastic Emma at Cosatto had a few things to say about this and so I shall quote directly from her if I may:

I must admit I was one of those parents wanting to cut corners and convince myself I didn’t need a double side-by-side pushchair! However 4 months of baby in a sling breaking my back and then having to disturb baby and take out of the sling when got home convinced me a double buggy was indeed a necessity. Aswell as having a toddler that still enjoyed an afternoon nap, a twin side by side seemed a ‘no brainer.’  I am a huge fan of babies being stimulated by the environment and seeing the world, and the relationship building between an older sibling is second to none when they are’ journeying’ side by side… Side-by-side strollers are essential and ‘oh-so’ convenient… us mums need convenience!”

She puts across a very good argument,doesn’t she? I’d been thinking on a purely selfish level about this type of stroller. I didn’t want to have to bash granny ankles in the supermarket with a wide vehicle, when actually I should’ve been thinking about the benefits for the children instead.

On our first outing, it did take some getting used to as the stroller is inevitably wider than any pram I have used before. BUT- and this is a massive but- the toddler really enjoyed seeing his sister in the seat next to him and decided that he was going to look after her. And just as Emma promised, he took great pleasure in pointing out cars, trees and mack-macks (ducks, to you and I). He also became a little concerned when the baby slept through it all and actually complained that she wasn’t talking to him!

SO yes, the You2 twin stroller is fantastic for encouraging siblings to converse and certainly helps with the bonding between todders and newborns. This was the best thing about the stroller and something you just don’t get with the tandem designs.

The toddler also loved the owl and pussycat designs and I think the cosy-toes etc are just beautiful- fun, bright and really cosy. The only problem I had with the stroller over all was the cosy-toes themselves, despite them being so gorgeous. We found that the toddler was unable to sit with his legs straight when the zips were fully closed. Luckily, the weather is warming up so cosy-toes aren’t a necessity, but it is a shame because they are so lovely.

In conclusion, this is a gorgeous stroller and it has some really lovely details- the cosy-toes, the seat belt covers and the bottles bags, for example. The shopping basket is of ample size and the stroller itself is really lightweight and easy to push. It also folds like an umbrella so would fit into most boots easily. I think that the stroller is fairly wide but it isn’t bulky with it, which is another good point. The only fact I feel should be noted is the size of the seats if you are thinking of buying this stroller for a toddler and a newborn. In my opinion, it is better suited to twins so that you can get the full use of the cosy-toes.

Since recieving the Cosatto You2 twin stroller, I am definitely a side-by-side stroller convert! It really is lovely to see the two little ones sitting next to each other and I think our pram walks will help them to bond as siblings- that can only be a good thing!




*I received a You2 twin stroller for review; no other payment was received and these are all my own views!

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