What’s in your pouch?

With Gigi I would pack a HUGE change bag even to pop to the supermarket! This time around I’m a little more relaxed and still want to get to use my handbag collection (!), so I’ve been more and more opting for the nappy pouch (clutch, whatever you want to call it). 

I was gifted the gorgeous Anya Hindmarch one which is great with its different pockets and wipe clean material but at £125 it’s not the cheapest option! And to be honest it can still be a little bulky! Hence we we’ve made our own and have these canvas pouches which can be fully personalised available in the gigilovesblake shop. At £15 they are an absolute style steal!


But what do you put in it? Well in mine I have all the basics:

  • 2 or 3 Nappies
  • Wipes 
  • Disposal change mat 
  • Hand sanitiser 
  • Sudocrem Care and Protect
  • A toy/dummy/teething chew
  • Spare babygrow 
  • And a few random bits for Gigi and I (hair tie, lip gloss, plasters, box of raisins)

I’ve found that getting travel versions of the hand gel, and even small packs of wipes means that I can fit everything I need into this pouch for most outings. It’s only when we are going on a day trip I tend to take the full change bag now! And even when I do take the change bag I still find myself putting in the pouch because I know it’s got all the essentials in! 

The star of my pouch has to be the Sudocrem care and protect though, I was recently sent a sample and I love it! The product itself (easily absorbed and moisturising) is great but for me the compact size, and flip lid make this the best choice for ‘on the go’ nappy cream! 

Joey X 

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Instagram saved me, well a little bit, maybe…

Social media gets bad press for making users feel bad about themselves, putting pressure on people to achieve this ‘picture perfect’ life, but for me its been quite a different experience.

Following on from my previous blog post about tackling my PND, I feel that social media has actually aided my recovery. I was a bit of a late-comer to Instagram, but from the very beginning I’ve been hooked.

There is such a ‘community’ for mothers, whether you are working, single, stay-at-home, or anything and everything in between. I’ve always felt a bit ‘different’ to a lot of mums; I didn’t breastfeed, I didn’t even try to have an ‘all natural’ delivery but I do want to be the one who puts the kids to bed every night, and try to get them eating healthy food. On Instagram I found other people like me, that weren’t ‘supermums’ but they were trying their best, they had some contradictions in their parenting philosophes and also saw the humor in some of the hideous situations you find yourself in as a Mother. Having beautiful photos is one thing but it’s the story behind the picture that really matters (don’t get me wrong, I do love good lighting and perfectly composed images) and that’s what helped me.

From the blatant (hilarious) reality of @mother_pukka, to the comedy of @mother_of_daughters (and @father_of_daughters), the inspiration of @selfishmother, and all of those others out there making the rest of us feel ‘ok’ and like we are not the only ones who are a complete mess! On a more serious note there are also really good resources out there on Instagram, such as @pandas_uk which is a perinatal mental illness charity providing information, support and encouragement to mums and families.

For me Instagram has helped me laugh at situations I find myself in (thanks @mother_pukka, @mother_of_daughters, etc), provided me with useful information (thanks @pandas_uk) and inspired me to get on and focus my creativity (thanks @selfishmother). As well as my posts about my #instafamily I have also started a #gigilovesblake store selling clothes and accessories for the whole family based on well known and used hashtags (e.g #instamum, #dadlife, #instakids etc) and also cutomised orders (e.g. #gigisays). When this is fully up and running its my intention to donate some of my profits to PND charities….first one being @pandas_uk….but I would be interested in your ideas for others???

Joey x

For Baby & ME!

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Last night I fell through the door at almost 1am (after a fab evening at my bestie’s hen do!). After negotiating the stairs I made my way to the bathroom. No matter what state I’m in or what time it is, I ALWAYS TAKE MY MAKE UP OFF! I’m not one of those ‘lucky’ ones with perfectly clear skin so washing my face before bed is so important to me. I’m currently having a ‘break out’…. and last night for whatever drunk reason I decided to put Sudocrem all over my face…maybe because it was just sitting there next to the sink looking at me!

This morning when I woke up, I was expecting have a face full of pesky spots, but I have to say they looked MUCH better! I did a google search along the lines of ‘sudocrem spot treatment’, and its everywhere, people using Sudocrem to achieve clear skin. To be fair it does also say on the pot that it can be used to treat acne, but I had never noticed/registered this. So then I got to thinking, what other baby products can be usefully to Mums, and these are some of my favourites:

  • Sudocrem – spot treatment and after sun.
  • Baby Powder – dry shampoo (!) and primer for eyeshadow and lipstick (apparently makes it last for hours).
  • Baby Oil – eye makeup remover, dry heel treatment, and removing any bits of leftover wax after a trip the salon.
  • Baby Balm – cuticle softener.

Now I just need a cure for my hangover!

What do you use your kiddies/babies products for (other than there intended purpose!)???

 

Postpartum Essentials

This isn’t a list of what you’ll need to be able to sit down without wincing or to help your milk come in…its so much better than that!

When I was pregnant with Gigi the preparation was all about the nursery, putting the Bugaboo together (thank god for YouTube!), washing all the baby clothes…but there was one thing I neglected – ME!

So this time around (we mostly had all the things Blake would need, and we were relying on lovely friends to gift us boys clothes) I made myself a little postpartum goodie bag for when I arrived home from the hospital. I’m so glad I did this, it was such a nice treat!

My goodie bag included;

Since doing it for myself, I have been thinking it would also make a great gift for any new mum, you can put anything you like in a gift bag to help her through those hideous first few weeks!

 

 

 

Crying over spilt (lactose) milk

Poor little Gigi, as well as the reflux she was, and still is lactose intolerant – this is my husband’s fault (!), he has been since he was born. I’ve heard the stories of 20+ poo nappies a day from my MIL a dozen times but bizarrely this isn’t how it presented itself in Gigi.

For Gigi it was the other way, the lactose makes her VERY constipated…so you can imagine the joy (NOT) of a screaming acid reflux baby plus now constipation. Again, as with all these things it took months to get properly diagnosed, despite it being in the family. GPs seem to assume everyone ‘thinks’ their offspring have allergies and intolerances, which maybe they do….but shock horror some of us actually do and they do need proper advice and treatment.

So as not to make this into a thousand word post, I will cut to the chase…we saw a paediatrician (finally when she was one), who was great and got some advice on how to deal with it. He suggested keeping her on formula as it had less lactose than cows milk and confirmed that giving her a little lactose would help her in the long run. It certainly did and now, like my husband, she can take a little lactose (maybe a scoop of ice-cream at a party, the odd Babybel etc), but on a day to day basis we give her Arla Lactofree products (Milk, cheese etc) and it seems to work for her!

So with Blake I was really aware that this might be a problem again and after a lot of research, talking to the midwife and other mums I decided to give him goat’s milk formula. The brand I chose was Kabrita (available at boots.com and Ocado). Goats milk is more easily digested and as far as I understand contains less lactose that cows milk, but still has some.

He started off well with this, but after a couple of weeks he was getting some tummy ache so I added into the formula some Colief drops (they turn lactose in the milk into glucose) which seemed to stop his discomfort. I’ve just this week weaned him off these (14 weeks) and he seems fine….so fingers crossed this more gentle introduction to lactose may have stopped him developing such an intolerance.

 

 

 

Sleep in Style

Its a slow morning…a late family dinner last night means Gigi is happily watching movies on the sofa and Mr Blake is napping, so I thought its the perfect time for another post. Having recently finished renovating our house we’ve been putting the finishing touches to the kiddies bedrooms.

I’m a big monochrome, minimalist fan…however that doesn’t always translate well into children’s bedrooms, they do need some colour and to be surrounded by things that make them feel happy and comfortable, but also create a calm sleeping environment. So we’ve kept a neutral base (walls, floors etc) and used colour in accessories and included toys in the decorations. This makes it easier to change as they grow up.

We hope you like having a sneak peek into their rooms.

Gigi’s Room

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Blake’s Room

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Bottle Warming

If I am entirely honest I never bothered with this for Gigi, I was a cooled boiled water and powder dispenser mixing kinda gal…..however our maternity nurse for Blake told me this was a big no-no….! Whoops!

Apparently the formula powder needs to hit the water at a min. 70 Degrees Celsius…to kill any nasties. So we used the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep machine to make up bottles for the day and store them in the fridge. However when it came to going out, or the dreaded night feeds I began to look for a way to warm the milk quickly.

Most places you go will give you boiling water etc to heat the bottle, however sometime its just not practical and during the night it just takes way too long (as do electric bottle warmers)! My Google search led me to Yoomi. These special warming units in the teat of the cute bottles heat the milk as it flows through and gets to temperature within 60 seconds!

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The bottles themselves are very stylish but I would say they are not as good as the wonderful Dr Brown’s, but I imagine for breastfed babies they would be great due to the shape and softness of the teat. For me though, its all about the amazing technology to warm the milk so quickly with just the click of a button.

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The sterilising and charging is a bit annoying (I chose to wash and then boil for 30mins which sterilises and charges at the same time), but to give you a warm bottle so quickly in the middle of the night, it helped hugely with Blake’s sleep training and I can’t recommend it enough!

(Note: I have not been paid for this review and I purchased the item myself)

 

 

Reflux

Just seeing that word gives my goosebumps…Now I’m not pretending to be a medical expert, just a mummy who has experienced this first hand.

It seemed like Gigi was born with this, pretty much from the day we arrived home she screamed at every feed, smelt like she’d been guzzling acid and just needed to be comforted 24/7. However is took about three weeks to get a diagnosis… it was a night nanny (that we had called in sheer desperation for sleep) that picked it up and told me to get straight down to the GP. She also told me they’d try and fob me off with baby Gaviscon – which they did(!) However after about 3 doctors appointments and me taking in a blanket full of acid sick they finally listened to me and prescribed Ranitidine.

This was a game changer! Combined with Aptamil Reflux and Regurgitation, she ate without screaming and SLEPT!

Along our silent acid reflux journey we also found a number of other things which helped us:

  1. Wedgehog – keeps the bed on a slight incline to help keep things down
  2. Dr Browns Bottles – stops so much air so less bubbles to cause regurgitation
  3. Baby seat – any cheap one does the trick, just helps to keep baby upright after feeds and gives you free hands to get on with other things!

Lighting

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Having worked in interior design I know the importance of good lighting, and with babies and toddlers rooms its vital…firstly in the baby stage at night you want to keep it dim and calm, but light enough to see what you are doing, and then toddlers need to start getting some independence over their own lighting choices.

This is why we use the Philips myBuddy. For toddlers is great as you can set a timer for the ‘sun’ to come up on its tummy to tell them its time to wake up. The ‘moon’ can be left on all night to give a soft nightlight, and if they need extra light they can just press its hat to give a brighter light. This gets Gigi to stay in her room until 7:15am despite being awake from 6:30am most days!!

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I decided to buy a blue one for Blake’s room ready for when he was older. However I’ve realised it works very well as a nursery light, either the sun or moon give a soft light, enough for the ‘dream feed’, but not too bright to disturb precious sleep!

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(Note: I have not been paid for this review and I purchased the item myself)

Maybe the best invention ever…

I am talking about the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep formula making machine. We have it in black (obvs!), but it also comes in white.

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The Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep machine makes a fresh bottle at just the right serving temperature in less than 2 minutes…this means no more boiling kettles, waiting for it to cool, getting formula stuck all of the scoop from the steam, trying to see the measurements on the bottles when they are full on condensation.

I was literally dreading the bottle making and sterilising when I was pregnant with Blake. One of my friends said she had seen this devise and was thinking about getting it, well she did and then I did, and its quiet honestly changed my life! It makes bottle prep so much quicker, easier and more precise!

It works with any brand and type of bottle (we use Dr Brown’s)…I personally wouldn’t recommend Tommee Tippee, they let the baby gulp too much air and are generally crap, but this machine is amazeballs (its the only word for it!).

Have a look at the YouTube video for a demo, and look out for deals at John Lewis (we pikced ours up for £70 there).

(Note: I have not been paid for this review and I purchased the item myself)