Monday, 31 October 2016

review: mam anti-colic bottles

I've been breastfeeding our baby boy for four months (tomorrow!) - I didn't actually think I'd get this far when I first started, as I found it so uncomfortable in those early days. One of the things that really got me through the early days of breastfeeding was the thought of being able to express and share the feeding load with my husband.

I blogged before about the MAM breast pump and it's the MAM bottles that have helped our baby boy to switch between breast and bottle with ease.

MAM boast: "Babies love the smart Silk Teat® because it feels soft and familiar – like Mummy's skin. This makes the switch between breastfeeding and bottle particularly easy." This has definitely been the case for us. Not only do they feel different, they are also shaped very differently to any other teats I've seen and I think this helps a breastfed baby to take to them.

The MAM bottles also boast an innovative design that allow them to be sterilised in the microwave with nothing more than a bit of water. Really great if you're out and about.

Also, check out how pretty the bottles are. They come in a range of colours (we have mini cream ones, medium green ones and big blue ones) and they have lovely little motifs all the way up the measures on the side.

I was sent two MAM bottles to try out but, as always, all views are my own.

Friday, 28 October 2016

review: cupcake re-useable nursing pads

For the past month or so I've been trying out these Cupcake re-useable nursing pads. I feel bad about the amount I'm throwing away with disposable nappies and breast pads and thought I'd give them ago.

I also found the disposable pads really hot and a bit gross, particularly in the warmer weather.

There's also the option to add liners to increase the absorbency of the pads if you are particularly engorged. You can either wear the pads alone, or add one or two extra liners which makes them quite unique.

These reusable pads are thin and lightly contoured for discretion under clothing however I didn't find them quite as discreet as the ultra slim disposable breast pads from Boots which I had been using.

They are very soft and comfortable. I tend to be most engorged overnight/early morning, when the baby boy misses a feed sometimes, so these work really well then as I don't mind them being a little bulkier than the disposable pads I had been using.

Monday, 17 October 2016

review: cath kidston x specsavers collection

I've been wearing glasses for about five years now - for driving, watching TV and anything else at a distance. I love having a few pairs of glasses to go with different outfits. So when Specsavers got in touch to ask me to check out the new Cath Kidston collection, I jumped at the chance.

Specsavers have had some great collaborations in recent years, including Cheap Monday. This new collaboration with Cath Kidston is everything you'd expect from the brand: there are florals and spots and lovely bright colours. I've picked a few of my favourite styles below:

cath kinston x specsavers

I chose the navy frames with floral arms. I really like the fact that they have a bit of the traditional Cath Kidston floral pattern without being too overtly girly. I already have a pair of black frames and thought that the navy frames would be less of a heavy look. The frames are also really lovely and light to wear - they have become my everyday glasses.

Top tip: If you've got a smaller face, the teen collection is gorgeous too (the middle two pairs, above left) - and are a bit cheaper too.

Monday, 10 October 2016

five truths about having a new born

My baby boy is three and a half months old. Apparently this means that he is no longer a newborn. This makes me sad. But also makes me want to do a mini fist pump - I survived the fourth trimester!!

The passing of time got me thinking about a few things that I know to be true about having a newborn:

five truths about having a new born

  1. A new born (and an older baby) knows when you're about to eat and are suddenly hungry too.
  2. The doorbell will always ring just as you get the baby to sleep.
  3. They will be happy and content until you step into the shower or sit on the toilet and then suddenly they become a crying and screaming mess.
  4. Yellow poo gets everywhere. Up the back. Up the front. All over you. Just as you're sitting with your bubba, both of you chilling out, you suddenly feel a rumbling and look down and see yellow poo all over them and you!
  5. And on that note, you'll become obsessed with poo. You'll talk about poo to anyone who listens - the colour, the consistency, the regularity. You'll share photos of your baby's poo with your partner. You'll worry about how often your baby has a poo, what it looks like - everything. In essence, your life will become all about your baby's poo!

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

more reasons why maternity leave is NOT a vacation

When I read this post about Why my maternity leave isn't a freaking vacation, it completely struck a chord. As the writer says:
If you have just grown an entire human being inside of your body and then it rudely exits and begins to cry for three months, you should not be further insulted by someone calling that three months of trying to keep that crying newborn alive, again, with your body, a freaking vacation.
I thought I'd add a few more reasons why maternity leave is NOT a vacation:

1. Money

Vacation = I would save up and have more money than usual so I can spend my days eating and drinking whatever and wherever I please

NOT a vacation = No money and living on beans on toast. Plus, on vacation I'm still being paid (on annual leave), on maternity leave I'm working 24/7 for next to no pay.

2. Shopping

Vacation = For me, a holiday often involves some retail therapy and buying new clothes. Checking out local market for local wares.

NOT a vacation = Spending what little money I have on nappies and baby wipes.

3. Accessories

Vacation = Wearing all the big hoops and dangly earrings I've saved for warm sunny days.

NOT a vacation = Having any hoop or dangly earrings ripped from my ears by tiny hands.

4. Iced drinks

Vacation = Lots of cooling iced drinks to combat the heat. Probably also accompanied by a mini umbrella!

NOT a vacation = A succession of cold teas and coffees that were made but never drunk due to a nappy needing a change or someone else wanting a feed!

5. Beauty routine

Vacation = Less make up due to holiday heat and tan. Less hair styling due to constant tips in the pool to cool off and then leaving it to tousle in a sexy manner.

NOT a vacation = Dark circles under my eyes and no make up due to the baby's constant need to be held and my lack of one handed make up application skills! As well as five day old hair that is now more dry shampoo than hair!

Don't misunderstand me, I am absolutely loving my maternity leave but, as the author of the original post says, it is definitely not a vacation.

Monday, 3 October 2016

why i was wrong when i said i didn't need mum friends

When I was pregnant I insisted that I didn't need any more friends.

My husband suggested we sign up for NCT classes to meet other expectant mums and dads. I wasn't keen. I already had enough friends and many of them were mums anyway. I didn't need any more friends.

My husband was persuaded not to sign up for NCT by the prices! I'd won. We weren't going to make any new friends. And I didn't need any more friends.

Or so I thought.

Then my baby arrived and I suddenly realised that I really really did need mum friends.

When you're a new mum, everything is scary and confusing. Having friends who are going through the same thing is such a relief. Having friends with whom you can share stories of explosive nappies and advice over cures for first colds helps make it all a little less daunting.

When you're a new mum to a tiny new human who needs feeding at all hours of the night, it feels like you're the only person in the world awake while everyone else is sleeping. Having friends who you can message at 3am and actually get a reply from, is comforting.

When you're a new mum, on maternity leave and at home all day on your own with a new baby, it is lonely. Having friends who you can call on for a coffee and a moan makes it all the more manageable.

Making new friends is scary at any age but when you're already in the throes of new motherhood, it can feel even more daunting.

Fast forward three months and I have a lovely circle of new (and old) mum friends.

You can read the rest of my post and how my mum friends have helped me during the past three months over at Selfish Mother.