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Category: Baby

Red Elephant Baby Boxes – Review

Red Elephant Baby Boxes – Review

When I had our first daughter, the weeks afterwards were a total blur of sleepless nights and dirty nappies. There’s so much to think about, but all you want to do is catch up on lost kip! As well as being some of the toughest, the first months of our baby’s lives are some of the best we’ll ever have. They can be made even better though! This week I was asked to try out a baby subscription box from Red Elephant and I found that they’re the perfect subscription box for new mums and babies!

Red Elephant is a company that provides unique subscription baby boxes. They’re delivered monthly and are for babies from 0 – 12 months of age. Red Elephant aim to fill their boxes with items that meet the educational, fashionable and developmental needs of our littles, depending on their age and gender. What I love about this particular company is that they often include something for mums. It’s a great way to make them feel loved too, when all eyes are on the new addition!

 

 

There are different subscription boxes available, depending on the needs of the new family in question. Prices range from £25/month for a standard box containing 4-6 items, to £34/month for a premium box containing 7-9 items. The boxes have a retail value of over £70! You choose the box and length of subscription and Red Elephant even offer other super cute baby items, that you can add to your box or order separately.

 

Red Elephant, We Love You!

Having never had any kind of subscription box before, I wasn’t sure what our first would be like. When our order from Red Elephant arrived I loved what I saw immediately. You can tell by the packaging that the products inside are going to be of great quality, Attention to detail is so important and this company get top marks for their efforts. On opening the box I was surprised at how many products we’d received. Our favourite was the character dressing gown, it’s a task to get my littlest baby to take it off. The little shoes were incredibly cute too, so cute that they almost made me think having another baby was a good idea!

 

 

Whether you order a Red Elephant subscription box for yourself, or as a gift for someone else you will not be disappointed. As the worst gift buyer in the world, they’ll be at the top of my list when I need gifts for my mum friends. Red Elephant really do cover all bases with their boxes, if only I could get that dressing gown in my size!

 

The guys over at Red Elephant would like to offer my readers the chance to win a premium subscription box. All you have to do is enter using the form below…good luck!

 

Win A Red Elephant Baby Subscription Box

 

*This is a collaborative post.

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Tips for Taking a Baby Outside on a Windy Day

Tips for Taking a Baby Outside on a Windy Day

Autumn is only just around the corner now, meaning that the temperatures are going to drop soon and we are likely to encounter some very blustery days. When it comes to taking your newborn baby outside in these conditions, it’s important that you dress them up right so that they are comfortable for the entire trip. Here’s some aspects to consider:

Don’t believe that the wind causes ear infections

Let’s first get a common myth out of the way — having a baby out in the wind will not result in them getting an ear infection.

This is because the location of an ear infection is found behind the ear drum and way back in the inner ear. Therefore, external exposure like wind or even water will not affect this area.

Instead, the risk factors to bear in mind is their age (ear infections are prominent in children aged between six months and two years old), family history, exposure to smoke and to a small effect, the use of a dummy.

Remember that if you’re cold, your baby will be colder

Now that we have that myth out of the way, it’s time to cover some facts. First of all, it’s totally fine to head outside with your baby right away if you’d like to. However, many paediatricians advise that you keep newborns away from crowded places due to germs being prevalent in such locations. It’s best to delay that trip to a shopping centre, supermarket or a restaurant with your baby by a few months then!

Furthermore, Ed Glasser, M.D., F.A.A.P., clinical associate professor of paediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver, has pointed out to Fit Pregnancy And Baby: “Infants lose about 50 per cent of their heat from their heads.”

Add to this the fact that babies will cool down a lot quicker than adults, as well as the point that it is more difficult for them to generate heat once they have lost it, and the need to protect them when it’s cold outside becomes very important.

Some general rules of thumb to bear in mind is to dress your baby in one more layer than you’re going to be wearing when venturing outside, ensure they are wearing both thermal and waterproof layers to protect them from the weather elements, and checking that their fingers, toes, ears, nose and chin are all covered but that they can still breathe easily.

It’s best to only plan on being outside for short periods of time with your baby when it’s cold and windy, as well as heading inside as soon as your newborn looks uncomfortable and you’re unable to shield them from the blustery conditions.

The effects of windy weather on a baby’s skin

Cold and dry air can cause issues to your baby’s tender skin, as the conditions run the risk of sapping precious moisture and leaving their rosy cheeks feeling leathery and wind-burned.

Hands and feet are particularly prime target areas when there’s a chill in the air, so protect their fingers with a snug pair of mittens and ensure their feet are nice and snug by enhancing your buggy, pram or pushchair with some Cosytoes.

A couple of top tips to consider is to change your infant’s mittens or socks if they get wet, with a fresh pair to avoid skin becoming irritated and applying some baby moisturising cream as soon as you spot any of your baby’s skin which looks or feels dry.

 

*This is a collaborative post.

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Preparing Your Home For Baby’s Arrival

Preparing Your Home For Baby’s Arrival

The thing about having your first baby is that there is absolutely no walk through. You’re totally new to the whole thing and no matter how much information you get (which can feel a lot like walking through mud most of the time) every experience is different. What’s more, there are a million and forty-four things to prepare for and get done before the baby gets here.

As new to this as you are and for all the pointless anecdotes and advice you get, preparing your house for the new arrival is totally universal. Read on for our top preparation tips and tricks!

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Choosing Baby’s Room

Those first months will see you constantly getting up and out of bed throughout the night. That’s just how it goes. So keep that in mind when choosing the baby’s bedroom. This doesn’t make it an easy choice, though. Baby’s room could be close so that it is convenient for night time feeds, it could be as far away as possible so that one of you can be on the ball in the morning.

Get Your Decorating On

This is one of the most exciting times in any new parent’s life because decorating their nursery is totally magical. Of course, decisions and compromises need to be made. First, there are probably things in this room because it previously used to be the spare room. So, decide whether you want to store anything with canningvalestorageunits.com.au or give it away to charity. Safety is another must-have consideration, as is convenience. So only start with the basics of a cot, change table, dresser and a comfy chair and then add to it after the arrival.

Baby Proofing Everything

This is one of those tasks that will never end because, as they grow the protection needs to adapt. When it comes to newborn versus toddler, you’ll see how your home becomes more hazardous. As overwhelming as this may seem, the earlier you start the better. So, ask your husband to get on his hands and knees and have him start protecting any hazards he can see from his new viewpoint; these will be hazards to the baby when they are crawling and toddling.

Baby Monitor

This is for your peace of mind as much as anything, especially in those first few weeks when you haven’t quite got the motherhood swag down perfectly. This is natural by the way, so embrace it. Luckily, there are so many amazing baby monitors on the market that allow you to almost be all places at all times, which a mummy skill you pick up pretty quickly. Some just let you hear when they are crying, other’s play music and some let you see their faces while they are sleeping. So go with what you are happy with.

Your Bedroom

It is inevitable that your bedroom will be taken over and dragged into being a new suburb of Babyland. Try not to let this happen, but don’t stress over it too much. In fact, have a few essential things to help you through the first stages of mummyhood, such as a rocking chair in the corner somewhere and a trunk where you can just throw the baby stuff that litters your floor so it is at least out of sight. Voila. Your home is basically ready!

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Body Beautiful After Having a Baby – Post Natal Care Tips

Body Beautiful After Having a Baby – Post Natal Care Tips

Having a baby is one of the most incredible things you will do in your life, but it’s no walk in the park. Pregnancy is hard on the body, and parenthood can be full of all kinds of challenges. To fully prepare yourself and set yourself up for success, taking care of your mental and physical health is important. As they say, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Now that you have a little person relying on you, you really do need to be on top form. Here are some things to consider.

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Rest as Much as You Can

With a screaming new born, getting any rest might seem like an impossible task. And while you certainly won’t get the same luxury weekend lie-ins and peaceful starts as you once did, every now and again try to sleep uninterrupted. Maybe you and your partner could take ‘shifts’ looking after the baby in the early days. It allows one of you to be awake and alert while the other completely catches up on their sleep. If family and friends offer to help, take them up on it. Life with a new baby is difficult; if anyone is prepared to help you whether it’s doing a load of laundry or fetching some groceries, don’t be afraid to take them up on their offer.

Start a Postpartum Exercise Regime

Once you have fully healed and regained your strength, you can start looking into post partum exercise regimes. With a new baby, fitting in workouts can be a struggle, but they’re so worth doing if you can. You will feel more confident and energized, spring back to your pre-pregnancy body more easily and generally be fitter and healthier. If you don’t know where to start, consider speaking to a fitness trainer. They will give you a tailored routine that works for you, and can help you get back to being ‘you’ after having your baby.

Nourish Your Body and Stay Hydrated

After pregnancy, you will need to promote healing and eat foods which give you energy. Fill up on plenty of healthy produce, making sure you get enough macro and micro nutrients to allow you to repair and thrive. Since the early days of parenthood are so busy, before your baby arrives you could batch cook some meals and freeze them. That way you have healthy home cooked food on hand, and aren’t relying on expensive and unhealthy takeaway and ready meals. It can take a number of months to lose any weight you have gained during pregnancy, don’t rush it or try crash dieting. Sticking to a healthy lifestyle plan is your best bet. If you’re breastfeeding, you will need to drink lots of water to stay hydrated too. Drink enough to quench your thirst, plus a little extra too.

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Hyperemesis Gravidarum – What You Need to Know

Hyperemesis Gravidarum – What You Need to Know

Hyperemesis Gravidarum is the name given to severe vomiting during pregnancy.  So severe in fact,  that it can cause women to become dehydrated and lose weight.

I suffered from HG during both of my pregnancies, each time not believing that I would be able to get through it.  It’s hard to admit, but there were also times when I regretted my situation as this illness can be so debilitating.

When you have HG it is almost as if time stands still, you cant go back but you don’t know how to move forward – knowing how to get out of bed would be a start.

Drawing from my own personal experiences with the condition, here are a few things you need to know:

  • Hyperemesis Gravidarum is not just morning sickness.  HG is far worse.  Not only are you feeling sick but you are constantly being sick.  Hanging your head over the toilet for the thirtieth time in less than twenty four hours, feeling faint and dizzy, being in a constant state of exhaustion and feeling like your head is going to explode is extreme.  Don’t get me wrong, sickness of any kind is not pleasant and I feel for anyone with morning sickness. HG however, is on another level and it is not to be taken lightly.
  • Dry crackers are not going to cut it.  You can eat crackers until your mouth feels like the bottom of a bird cage, you will still feel sick and be sick.  I lost count of the amount of times crackers were pushed under my nose, only to be thrown back no more than thirty seconds later.  My advice is eat what you can when you can.  Even if that happens to be a couple of chocolate biscuits, or a double cheese burger.  You’re probably going to throw it back up anyway, so you may as well enjoy the bits you do get to eat!  A few calories are better than none so it’s always worth a shot.
  • ‘Stick your ginger where the sun doesn’t shine’ (shamefully, these are my words!).   This one does again relate to food, but it deserves its own point!  I used to love ginger – cake, biscuits, gingerbread men – you name it.  In my early days of HG before I was medicated my friends, family and even my GP told me ginger would do the trick.  It did NOTHING! Now I can’t stand the stuff, I am nearly six months post-partum and the thought of ginger still makes me feel nauseous.  I know you’re trying to be helpful, really I do – but f**k off with your ginger!
  • Don’t let anyone tell you ‘you just have to get through it’.  Seven weeks into my first pregnancy I literally could not stop being sick.  Water, food and sips of energy drink all came back up to say ‘Hi’.  Medical professionals hadn’t taken my condition seriously enough.  One particular consultant said ‘I don’t care about sickness, everyone gets that’.  Funnily enough this was a MALE consultant.  Therefore it wasn’t long until I was admitted into hospital,  suffering from dehydration.  I spent a night on IV fluids and anti-emetics, surrounded by people who understood that I was ill.  I left hospital the next day with a package of medication, that would see me through the next few months.  To this day I cannot thank these people enough – they made my first pregnancy less traumatic and more bearable than I could ever have imagined.
  • It’s OK to medicate.  I know that medication during pregnancy is a very personal choice, it’s certainly not for everyone.  If this is something you are open to though and you are advised only by your Doctor, it is OK.  It can mean a less traumatic pregnancy, you will most probably be able to eat bits and function day to day.  I’m not saying they are miracle drugs, you’re still going to feel like s**t – but being able to get out of bed makes HG life a bit more bearable.
  • Accept help.  This is not always easy, but accepting help takes the pressure off.  If the house wants cleaning or the children need looking after call in some favours, lean on those around you.  It won’t be forever but HG is a serious condition, there is no shame in accepting help whilst you are not at your best.
  • You will get through it.  It doesn’t seem like it now but it will pass.  By the end of this horrific journey you will have a squidgy little munchkin, and it will all have been worth it.  You won’t look back on those days fondly.  There are people out there to guide you if you need help coming to terms with your experience.  Just know that one day it will be over, you are strong enough to get there.  Just take each minute as it comes!

 

It turns out that HG doesn’t discriminate, here are a few celebrity sufferers :

    • The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton had HG during both of her pregnancies.
    • The Saturdays singer, Frankie Bridge suffered during her second pregnancy.
    • Property guru Kirstie Allsopp has been a sufferer.
    • Nineteenth century English novelist Charlotte Bronte.  Charlotte Bronte was thought to have died from the condition, around four months into her first pregnancy.
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Mummy Friends – United We Stand

Mummy Friends – United We Stand

This week Little E has had the most unsettled week she has had since she was born.  We have had a week of all day grumpiness, tears and bedtime screaming!  Babies cry though right?  I would normally agree, but in comparison to my first-born Little E has been a dream.  I love you Baby J but you were such a screamer!

So when Monday came and Little E’s temperament had changed almost over night, we were worried, very worried!  As Hubs has been working long shifts this week, the majority of the childcare has been left in my capable hands!  Unsettledness during the day, teamed with two hours worth of bedtime screaming has been tiring to say the least.  With no husband on hand to whinge to, who do we call?  Mummy friends!

There was a time before children when Mummy friends did not exist in my life.  When your out on the town until the early hours.   Drinking too much and calling for the kebab you know your going to regret eating in the morning, the last thing your thinking about is children.  Fast forward two years to a time when you just aren’t cool enough to be out on the town, or just too damn knackered, you realise that Mummy friends are where it’s at.  Then you start to wonder what you ever did without them!

This week I have been spurred on by the mutual understanding of parental shittiness, by a fellow Mummy who feels my pain.  Being able to pick up the phone at 3am, knowing you’re going to get a reply almost straight away because they are up too is extremely cathartic!  We have laughed, smiled, whined and moaned, reminisced and then moaned some more!

Now that we are approaching the end of the week Little E seems to be getting back to her usual quiet and contented self.  Her cries have been replaced by smiles and she’s back to sleeping at night!  Hooray!

With this in mind, for this weeks Thankful Thursday…I want to give a HUGE shout out to all the Mummy friends out there.  Especially my own, who have gotten me through another one of those damn phases!  So thankyou guys, for listening to the moans and cheering me on.  I am so thankful to be on this crazy parenting ride with you, you’re the best!

 

What are you thankful for this week?

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

 

Mummuddlingthrough
A Cornish Mum
The Pramshed
My Petit Canard
Rhyming with Wine
My Random Musings
Best of Worst
Cuddle Fairy
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Positivity Breeds Positivity…

Positivity Breeds Positivity…

Life passes us by in a flash.  We are always so busy, there are little people to keep alive, work needs to be done, homes need to be run and that’s just the start of it.  A lot of the time our lives are planned to the very last detail, in an attempt to make it run as smoothly as possible.  Especially on those days that just don’t have enough hours.

Mostly we get on with this just fine, we fly from one day to the next keeping our heads just nicely above water, but sometimes we can get stuck in a rut.  Sometimes the days start to pass in a blur, and we wonder where our direction has disappeared to.  These are the days that negativity can take over, and you know what they say – ‘negativity breeds negativity’.

After the birth of my second child my days quickly turned into constant blur, living from hour to hour, just getting by.  Life seemed to lose all significant meaning, tiredness took over and the daily grind felt almost impossible.  Three months in I found myself striving for change, I felt the need to lose the negativity that clouded my life, to become positive and continue to be positive whatever the weather.

Here are some tips on how to bring more positivity into your life, apply them and watch it grow!

  • Choose to see the good in life – lets face it life throws crap our way.  Some days it feels like we have more than our fair share of crap thrown at us, and its so easy to get bogged down in the rubbish.   Eventually we can end up feeling like nothing good ever happens.  This is not true.  Every day something good happens, even if it’s only a small thing – the sun shining, an extra ten minutes in bed (yeah right!), a simple ‘I love you’ from those we care about.  Focus on the good, even if its tiny, focus on it!

 

  • Eat right- now don’t get me wrong we all deserve a treat once in a while, but a healthy and balanced diet makes us feel better on the inside.  When our bodies feel good it’s easier for our minds to feel good!

 

  • Be thankful- look closely, see what you have.  Someone else may be richer, they may have a nicer car or a bigger house.  Who cares?  Look around you and take stock of your life, what you have is priceless, be thankful for it.

 

  • Know your triggers and take care of them- we all have triggers: actions, songs, situations, people.  Triggers affect how we think and feel and they can change our mind set before we’ve even realised its happened.  Know what your triggers are, learn how to take care of them and manage them.  If that song comes on, turn it off – you get the idea.

 

  • See the bigger picture- when bad things happen it’s frustrating and upsetting.  Often right in that moment it can feel impossible to deal with.  Take a step back and look at the bigger picture, does it really matter?  Will you care about this after a few days have passed?  Will it continue to affect you or is it momentary? The chances are by tomorrow you will be completely over it, save yourself  from being drawn into a negative cycle.  Step back and let it go.

 

  • Act positively- even if you aren’t feeling all that positive, act it anyway.  The more you act positive the more you will feel it and eventually that mind set will be your default.  Keep at it!

 

  • Smile- just smile.  Smiling instantly makes us happier, even if it’s just for a split second.  Keep smiling, seconds add up!

So there we have it, these simple but effective tips can help us shift those negative feelings that are harbouring in the crevices of our minds.  Let’s stop with the negativity and let positivity breed positivity!

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