Tuesday, 30 December 2014

REVIEW | The Gro-light by The Gro-Company

The Gro-light was something I was really interested in. I don't have enough space in Logan's room for a bedside lampso anytime we need to use a light in his room it has to be the big light, which I hate. I hate the ugly light and I hate the harshness of it but I didn't really have another option, until The Gro-company got in touch and asked if I would like to try out their Gro-light.

'The Gro–light fits easily to your normal overhead light or bedside lamp and fills your baby’s room with a soft glow when you flick the light switch once. Use it as a nightlight, or simply to check on your baby without waking them. Flick the switch twice and you've got your usual full light back'

I loved that this would fit into our existing light and I didn't need to worry about more wire's in Logan's room or finding space to sit a light. It wasn't so much the night-light aspect that I wanted. It was a small light that I could use to check on him and a light that I could put on in the morning when first going into his room that wasn't harsh and didn't blind him when he had just woken up.

The light is really easy to fit. It has a bayonet fitting and just fits in above your own bulb. To fit it you just take out your bulb, fit this into the light fitting then pop your bulb into the Gro-light. Goodness knows the mechanics behind it but if you flick your light switch once the night light comes on and if you switch it off and back on again it comes on as the normal light. The light from the Gro-light is really gentle and adds a lovely soft glow to the room. It's ideal to flick on when you first enter the room and let your little one's eyes adjust to a little bit of light before sticking the full light on.

It does take a bit of getting used to. There were a few times I thought the bulb had blown because I'd flicked the switch and hadn't got the same level of light I was used to. If you flick the switch twice, for the big light, too quickly it won't register and will still only give you the night light which can get a bit annoying when you're in a rush, but we've had it in for a few weeks now and I'm getting used to it.

I would say this addition to your light is ideal for anyone who doesn't have a lot of extra space for a bedside light or for a little one who likes a night-light when they sleep.

Have you used the Gro-light? What do you think?

Sunday, 28 December 2014

REVIEW | Baby's Big Box of Little Books by Allan & Janet Ahlberg

When I think back to my childhood and Christmas traditions some of my earliest memories are of evenings spent wrapped up in duvets on my mum & dad's bed with my brother reading The Jolly Christmas Postman by Allan & Janet Ahlberg. It was a story book filled with fairytale characters, games, jigsaws and much more. We read this book probably every day in December for years until the envelopes were ripped, pages were ruined and jigsaw pieces were missing. It was a much loved book in our household and a book that holds a lot of lovely memories for my family so I wasn't surprised when my mum told me she had bought it for Logan's Christmas. I hope he gets as much joy from it as I did.

I was surprised however, when Puffin got in touch and asked if I would like to review the latest children's book from Allan & Janet Ahlberg. Baby's Big Box of Little Books is a box of 9 little books aimed at baby's from 0-2 years. These board books are split up into categories and include everything your baby loves from Family to Toys and Games to Animals. Each page is dedicated to the everyday things that your baby will come across and are accompanied by Janet's iconic illustrations. They are perfect for little minds as they explore and learn details and recognise patterns. Although they are great books for your baby's development. I also think they are a great gift or keepsake. The come in a little box and they would a great present for any new family or for a little ones first birthday. Check them out on Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/Babys-Big-Box-Little-Books

Friday, 26 December 2014

Baby's First Christmas & BOOTD

Thought I would share a few snaps of Logan's first Christmas Day. As I write this he is currently napping before we do it all over again with Gavin's parents. We spent the day with my family at my Uncle's, unfortunately my baby is still recovering from a really severe cold which meant he spent a lot of the day sleeping, but we didn't let that dampen the mood and when he was awake he was a delight!

 His outfit was one of the things I was most looking excited about. His shirt was from Zara (they don't have the exact same shirt online anymore). However my favourite part was this adorable bow tie. I love accessories but its hard to find a great range of for little boys. For little girls you can easily buy all sorts of headbands and bow's etc but I find it really hard to find cute little things for boys. Until I came across this Bow Tie from Cute Cute Boutique on Etsy. I'm the sort of mother that loves dressing her little boy up to look like an old man so I think this is just adorable! The bow tie is hand made and made to a really high quality. I worried a bit because it was fixed on by an elasticated band that went round the neck but it is actually the perfect size for Logan, it's not too tight but its not lose so it sits in the perfect place. Check out their website www.cutecute.co.uk because not only do they have these cute bow ties but they have a great range of accessories for girls, clothing and even lovely plaques for nurseries.

I hope you all had a wonderful and enjoyable Christmas with your friends and families.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

8 Month Update

It's scary how much Logan has changed in the last month. Slowly but surely he is chilling out and becoming a much easier little chap.

The biggest change from last month is: we finally have teeth. His two front bottom teeth are through and they came without much hassle. The day the first tooth actually cut through the gum he was a bit grumpy.A walk had to be thwarted not long after we left the house because he wouldn't stop crying, but after a dose of Calpol and teething gel he calmed down and the second one popped up a few days later. The top two on the other hand are a totally different kettle of fish. I can feel both of them right above the gum just fighting to get out and Logan has been the grumpiest little boy ever for the past 3 days. Typically both Gavin and my mum are working so I'm stuck in with a baby that only wants cuddled all day or else he lets you know that anything else is totally unacceptable.

He is showing a lot more affection. When he gets upset he always looks for me and sometimes, much to daddy's hatred, only in my arms will he calm down. Though sometimes its the other way around and I hate it!

He has juts started wearing his 9-12 month clothing. As always he goes up a size a month early.I bought him a few bits and pieces from Zara and Matalan but with Christmas just around the corner i didn't go too crazy because I know my mum and my brother have bought him some clothing. So once Christmas is over and done with I'll take another look at his wardrobe and see if there is anything else he needs.

Sleep has seen a bit of a change. Check out my separate post on our experience with the Controlled Timed Crying Technique here where I go into greater detail on his change in sleeping.

His routine is now pretty consistent and pretty similar to last month but with more naps and less breastfeeding! He wakes at 6 am and has a boob feed, we then come through to the living room and I set some of his toys out around him and he amuses himself while I make and then have my own breakfast. I'll then get his ready and he'll have that around 8. He'll then go in his Jumperoo while I go for a shower. Once I'm ready, I'll get Logan dressed for the day then he'll have a bottle of formula usually having anywhere between 4 & 6oz. He'll then go down for his morning nap at 10 usually sleeping for an hour. Once he is up we'll get on with whatever we are doing that day. On a Monday we have Rhyme Time at the library and Tuesday is our Toddler group but these are the only 'groups' we go to each week. He'll have his lunch around 12 and another bottle at 2, again taking anywhere between 4 & 6oz. He goes down for his afternoon nap after this bottle and usually sleeps for another hour though his record is 2 hours and 40 minutes though that was a particularly bad teething day so I think he just wanted to sleep off the pain. He then gets his dinner around 4, another bottle at 6 of 6oz then I give him another boob feed at 7 then he's off to bed. He gets a bath every other night which happens between dinner and last bottle feed. Obviously this changes from day to day, he's been in a bad habit of waking at 5/5:30am the past 2 weeks but then one of his naps usually lasts longer or starts earlier so it naturally throws everything back on schedule.

This month seems to be the month of milestones, he's falling asleep himself, napping well, he has teeth and he can crawl! Its an army man crawl but it does him just fine. I thought he would learn to crawl the conventional way because last month he was getting himself on to his hands and knee's but this never developed into a crawl, he's still doing it but he's now going onto his hands and his feet and sticking his bum in the air. He can quite quite quickly get everywhere just by crawling around on his tummy using his feet to push him forward and his arms to pull him along. This freedom to move now means he is in at EVERYTHING. Wires are his favourite, PlayStations, XBoxs, Laptops, Lights, Christmas Tree Lights, you name it, he wants it. Most of these things are hidden away behind cushions but he still finds them. His new favourite thing is sneaking into the kitchen behind me and sticking his fists into the cats food, luckily he's only managed to get to it once, but he's attempted it far too many times. My next purchase will be a baby gate for the kitchen!

Monday, 15 December 2014

Controlled Timed Crying Technique | Our Experience

Sleeping has been a bit of a touchy subject for Logan through his first few months. He's always been a good sleeper, once he was asleep. Once he was out of the newborn stage, for the first 6 months of his life he would not nap. We tried a lot of different things, changing the time of his naps, changing his routine and even controlled crying (to an extent, but at the time it wasn't the right thing for us, and by that I mean I hated it!) Eventually we found a routine that worked for us, he now naps around 9am for an hour or two so we thought we had cracked it, until suddenly he started fighting his sleep at night.

As I've said before, I have always fed Logan to sleep, its a routine we got into and its one that we couldn't get out of because we had no reason to. Up until now it worked for us, so although we knew it was silly we kept going with it. However, for no obvious reason, Logan decided falling asleep was not fun and he would stay awake through his whole feed and not go to sleep. So after a few nights of being up until 00:30 and 1AM feeding and rocking and feeding and rocking him to sleep we decided enough was enough and now was the time to teach him to fall asleep. 

When trying to get him to nap in the past we had tried to let him 'Cry It Out' but I just couldn't do it. I could not bear to let him cry and cry and cry until he was red in the face with a sore throat. So this time I thought we would try something different. When looking for other methods of controlled crying I came across Jo Frost's CTCT, Controlled Timed Crying Technique. You follow your usual bed-time routine and put your baby into his cot, tired but awake. When your baby starts crying you do not go to them for 2 minutes, after the 2 minutes, go into their room, lay a hand on their stomach and shush them but don't pick them up. If they have moved around in their cot place them back in the right place and leave the room. When they continue to cry double your time and go in after 4 minutes and repeat the process, doubling your time each time and you keep going until your child has settled themselves to sleep.

Night One: Was not easy. If it hadn't been for Gavin I would have given up after 4 minutes. My natural instinct to comfort my child when he started crying was very hard to ignore. Which is completely normal. But the long run benefits much out-weigh the few nights of crying. After an overall 40 minutes and going in to sooth him just 4 times, he eventually fell asleep.

Night Two: Was very similar after 35 minutes and 4 trips in to soothe him he fell asleep.

Night Three: Less than 6 minutes. I thought it must have been a fluke!

Night Four: Clearly no fluke because he went into his cot, we said goodnight, he rolled over and went straight off to sleep and that's the way its been for most nights since.

Not only can Logan fall asleep himself now but the quality of his sleep is better too. He is getting a minimum of 11 hours sleep a night and only once in the past 2 weeks has he woken up during the night (10pm so hardly during the night) and when he did wake up, we applied CTCT and he fell back asleep himself after 20 minutes of whimpering.

Napping has since taken a nose dive though. In the past 2 days we have attempted Controlled Timed Crying to help him nap during the day and although he has fallen asleep fairly quickly he only slept for 30 minutes yesterday then 4 minutes today. Still a bit of work to do on the napping but we will get there.

Have you tried a similar technique? Have you seen the same benefits or have you seen no changes at all? I'd love to hear of your experiences.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Guest Post | Christmas Reads by Erin's Choice

Who doesn't love a good festive book to get you in the mood for Christmas. I though I would enlist the help of my best friend and fellow blogger, Erin from Erin's Choice to tell us about her favourite Christmas reads:

I started blogging last year and before that I hadn't really thought much about Christmas specific books. Then my eyes were opened! Suddenly I was planning Christmas in October and reading Christmas centric novels set smack bang in the middle of the festive period! Here are some of my Christmas reading recommendations.

2) Last Christmas by Talli Roland

3) I heart Christmas by Lindsey Kelk

4) Christmas Carol by Michele Gorman

5) A Christmas to Remember by Jenny Hale

6) Tinseltown by Victoria Fox

7) Mistletoe in Manhattan by Talli Roland

8) One Perfect Christmas by Paige Toon

9) From Scotland with Love by Katie Fforde

10) Maybe This Christmas by Sarah Morgan
(link will be live on the 14th of December)

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Baby's First Christmas on Etsy

I just love Etsy. It is full of hidden gems and little independent companies that make some gorgeous stuff. I didn't buy much before I had Logan, but now I love going on and searching through all the gorgeous handmade stuff. Etsy make it really easy for favourite the stuff you love so right now my Etsy favourites are looking rather Christmassy so I thought I would show you some of the items and shops that I'm loving!

Christmas Personalised Baby Blanket Snowman Flannel Print with Red Dot Minky Back | babyboos
Babyboos are based in California and do some super adorable blankets. They have a fabulous Christmas range from Blankets to Stockings. These blankets come in loads of different sizes from comforters to cot blankets. They can be customised with baby's name. The designs are lovely but this one is definitely my favourite, I think it will be an essential Christmas purchase for Logan's cot. Sometimes I think blankets like this can be quite expensive but these are really affordable at £22.97.

Baby's First Christmas Personalised Print | Blingprints
As I've said before I love prints like this and this Christmas one from Blingprints is no exception. these can be customised to include baby's name, date of birth, birth weight, and any other words or phrases that you want to include. You can buy the print on its own for £18 or you can buy it framed for £28 which I think is slightly on the pricey side but then I wouldn't have the patience to try it myself so maybe its worth it

Baby's First Christmas Ornament | Mooseberry Paper Co
I have never been as obsessed with Christmas Tree Ornaments as I am now that it's Logan's first Christmas. I already have a gorgeous red, sparkly one with his name on it that I got at our local garden centre but I love this one. I love the simplicity of it, I love the wooden effect and I love the fawn, what more could you want in a tree ornament.

Merry Christmas Baby Vest | OakTees
OK the biggest thing I love about OakTees is the Harry Potter vests they have but in the spirit of Christmas I didn't think that would fit in with the theme. So its lucky that they have some adorable Christmas inspired clothing. They have quite a few different pieces but this vest is my favourite. They have 5 colours to chose from but I'm partial to a bit of grey. Simple but christmassy!

Red Snowflake Deer Leggings | PiratesandPeonies
Little leggings are my ultimate favourite so I was overjoyed when I found these ones. PiratesandPeonies have a fantastic range of children's leggings and a great range of Christmas ones. They have loads of really nice Christmas designs ad they look super comfy. I could be tempted to buy 5 different pairs and dress Logan in only Christmas leggings for the whole of December

Are you going all out for your baby's first Christmas?

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

REVIEW | Sudocrem Care & Protect

When I was asked if we wanted to try Sudocrem Care & Protect I said yes (because, lets be honest,  who doesn't like free stuff?) but I was a bit dubious as to how much we'd use it. In nearly 8 months I could count in one hand the amount of we have used the normal cream because Logan has never really been bothered with nappy rash. However I thought we would take it and give it ago and I must say I am so glad I did.

Although I feel like Logan has been teething for what feels like forever it's only really came to a head in the past week or two (on that note WE FINALLY HAVE A TOOTH!!!) and one of the side effects of teething can be a sore bum and I am so glad I had Care & Protect to help us out.

I am not the biggest fan of normal Sudocrem. Although I own 2 tubs of it, I dislike the smell and I really dislike the consistency and texture. So I was really pleased when I first used it and the consistency is totally different. Its in a squeazy tube and is a lot runnier than the normal stuff. Well considering the normal stuff isn't runny in the slightest it wasn't hard. I always felt the original Sudocrem is really hard to rub in. No matter how much I rub it in it still seems to stay this white paste, I was really pleased when this one works pretty much like a moisturising cream. It has the same smell as the original but its not as strong.
You may wonder why I ever had the original Sudocrem when I hate it so much, I had it because it works and I'm glad to say that one works even better.

The day before Mr Tooth popped through Logan woke up with an awfully red bum, so I thought I would give the Care & Protect a go. By that evening the red bum had pretty much vanished. I applied a layer of the cream at every nappy change and it quickly cleared right up.

For any little ones that are plagued by nappy rash or anyone with teething babies I would definitely recommend you try Sudocrem's Care & Protect.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

REVIEW | Bizi & Bea Cushion and Rabbit

Bizi & Bea is an independent shop on Etsy that make beautiful handmade Quilts and Bears from special items of clothing and fabric.

I'm a sentimental little chap and its gotten worse since Logan was born. I hate giving away his old clothes and I wish I could keep them all. There were a few of his first babygrows that I just couldn't bring myself to give away so I kept them in a drawer in his room for a 'special occasion' and that special occasion came in the form of the super talented Lucia at Bizi & Bea.

When I asked if she could make me something special she was more than happy to help. I sent her 8 (well 16 actually but we'll not dwell on that, stupid postal service!) items of Logan's old stuff and she has transformed them into the most gorgeous cushion and bunny.

I am in awe of Lucia's talent, I can't sew a button so it astounds me that someone can take a heap of old clothes and make them so beautiful. The quality is exactly what you would expect from a skilled professional. The cushion is sewn together extremely well and it's really plump (I hate cushions with barely any stuffing) Lucia was originally only going to make a cushion but since she had enough material left she made a little bunny too and I absolutely adore it. I love everything from the floppy ears to the 'random' placement of the different fabrics and the little bow on the bum!

Bizi & Bea produce all sorts of great items. From King Size covers to Cot Bed blankets. I think it is a fantastic way to utilise your little ones clothes and you can turn them into a beautiful piece that you can keep forever. The pricing is very competitive. Before I received the items I thought it might be a bit expensive but when you see the quality of the items and the work that must have gone into it the price is completely justified. The cushion is currently £25 and the bear is £55. The rabbit Lucia made me is a new design which will feature on the website shortly and will be slightly cheaper than the bears. Even though my rabbit is smaller than the bears, I wouldn't grudge paying £55 for it, it really is that great!

Check out her website for a wonderful gallery and a full price list: www.Biziand Bea.com
Or have a look at her facebook page www.facebook.com/biziandbea and it won't hurt to give her a like!

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Nextmas Wishlist

If you've been reading my blog for a while my blog for a while you'll know I love lists. I love knowing (if I had the money) exactly what I would buy. So I thought I would show you my current Next Wishlist.

When we first moved into our flat we had a huge mix-up with sofa's, after waiting 6 weeks for our sofa to be made then being told it would take another 4 weeks I gave up hope, cancelled our order and needed a sofa right away. Instead of just waiting the extra 4 week I cancelled the order and headed straight to Ikea to get a sofa immediately. Unfortunately it wasn't the greatest quality at the time and after 2 years the cushions have flattened to nothing and the cat has clawed the life out of it. Although Next might not be at the front of your mind when you think of buying a sofa they have a fantastic high quality range of sofa's and living room furniture. I love the corner sofas and the range of fabrics they have. I would love this Stamford Corner Sofa and I would chose a few of these Grey and Red Knitted Cushions to go with it.

I love Next for staple pieces and I would love to add these Black Thigh Boots to my shoe collection. I tend to wear the same pair of shoes over and over again till the fall apart them move on to another pair. I would love these boots to add a bit of variety. I also love the Knitwear section, they always have loads of lovely jumpers, great quality at decent prices. This Aztec Lace Sleeve Sweater is just one of my favourites.

I couldn't have a Wishlist without adding in a few pieces for Logan. I love the fabrics and colours Next use in some of their baby ranges. These Navy Stars and Stripes Sleepsuits are really gorgeous and would be ideal for Logan, he's just about to go into the next size clothes, aaaagggghhh 9-12 Months :((( and these are definitely on my list. I just think this jumper is adorable. I'm not a huge fan of slogans and pictures on baby clothes, I like Logan's stuff quite plain, its just a personal preference, but I do love this Grey Bear Jumper. The vast majority of Logan's wardrobe is Grey and Navy so this jumper would fit right in.

Just a little selection of some the stuff I am loving from Next at the moment. Is it a store you shop in a lot? What's your favourite piece?

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

When Your Baby Can't

At times being a mother can be the most frustrating job in the world. Everyone has a vision of how they want their child to behave and what they want their child to achieve and sometimes when that doesn't quite happen it can become frustrating.

Something I have noticed in some new, first time mums is the level of competition. I have experienced it within my family and within my friends, mothers who want to show off what their child has achieved and other mothers who can get quite disheartened when their darling baby hasn't achieved something as quickly as another.

I am not a big fan of competition. I fully understand that babies achieve their milestones at different times. So I'm not really interested in boasting about when my baby does and doesn't do things (unless it's to my mum or my best friend, because I know they're almost as proud of Logan as I am) but when you come to realise that your baby can't do something that ,what seems like, every baby his age and even younger can do it can get quite upsetting.

Logan took a while to learn to sit up. For a long time he just didn't seem that interested. It wasn't until he was 2 weeks off turning 7 months that he started to express an interest in sitting up. Even now at 32 weeks he still isn't the steadiest. He can sit up unaided for 5 or 6 minutes then he would rather just lie down. However when I was reading other blogs and seeing pictures on Instagram of other babies who were sitting up at 4 months I started to get really frustrated, not at Logan for not being able to do it but at myself for being so bothered by it. Only once your baby reaches 9 months and hasn't mastered sitting up should you mention it to your health visitor or GP and even then they might not be overly concerned if your baby is reaching all their other milestones.

If I was the same as every other woman my age I'd find myself really boring so why do we continually compare our babies and hope they achieve everything at the same time. I think it has a lot to do with the society we live in and our inherent need to be the best, the skinniest, the fastest or the cleverest (yes, I know that will never be me!) and we try and belittle anyone that isn't all of these things. I would hate my child to be brought up thinking he had to compare himself to anyone and be held to any other standards than his own. From now on I will stop being frustrated by the most mundane, trivial things and appreciate the uniqueness of my baby.