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Baby, Elowen's Updates

Elowen’s 8 month update

I’m a few (OK, five) days late with this update but there was no way I could let the last month pass by without mention because unlike last month, there has been lots of milestones for my little lady. We’ll start with those…

Milestones:

She can sit up independently…

This happened a day or so after I wrote E’s last update. It goes to show how remarkable babies are. One day she couldn’t sit up for more than a few seconds before falling over, and the next she could sit up with ease, like it ain’t no thing!

She can crawl… in her own special way…

OK, it’s more of a dragging method than a out and out crawl. But let’s not nitpick, the girl can get around and pretty speedily too. Watch out, Jasmine – you’re toys aren’t safe anymore! Or anything else for that matter.

She has more teeth…

Not 1, or 2 but 4 more teeth popped through in the last week or so making that a grand total of 6 toothypegs! We had a couple of rough nights of teething leading up to the new teeth making an appearance but she’s been relatively unbothered by them other than that. (Spell check tells me that ‘unbothered’ isn’t a word but I’m using it anyway!)

She’s moved into her big girl cot! Waaah.

With the ability to sit up and new found mobility it was time to say farewell to the Chicco Next to Me crib (I put it in the loft before Stephen made me sell it – I’m so not ready for that!) E now sleeps in a bigger cot, but still in our room with us. I plan to keep her in with us until she’s at least a year old.

Weekends away…

As I’m still exclusively breastfeeding E, if I go away for the weekend, she has to come with me so she’s been away to Wales and Cornwall in the last month. She was a complete joy to travel with and she did so well with the car journeys.

Feeding:

Not much to say on feeding really other than she’s still very much enjoying new foods. We’ve introduced more meat to her diet over the last couple of weeks instead of just fruit and vegetables. Cottage pie and Moroccan chicken are faves!

Sleeping:

E seems to have settled into a bit more of a routine this month.

Our usual day goes as follows:

6am: Woken up by Jasmine

8/9am: Breakfast – cereal, porridge or puree

10am: Breastfeed followed by the longest and sometimes only nap of the day!

12/1pm: Lunch followed by another breastfeed – sometimes another short nap (especially if she’s in the pushchair when I pick Jasmine up from nursery)

3pm: Breastfeed

4/5pm: Dinner

6pm: Breastfeed and bed

9pm: Wakes up for a ‘top up’ feed – it’s spooky how often she’ll wake at 9 on the dot!

10/11pm: I’ll dream feed her when I get into bed and then put her back into the cot

3am: feed (ugh!)

5am: Sometimes another feed, other times she won’t wake up again until Jasmine comes into our room at 6ish.

Likes: Eating grass, crawling, watching her sister, paper, tickles and kisses, going on the swings.

Dislikes: Being put in her carseat – she’s usually fine once she’s in it but always grumbles when we first strap her in.

 

Jenna xxx

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Baby, Breastfeeding, Elowen's Updates

Elowen’s 7 month update

Happy 7 months, my baby girl.

Here’s what’s new this month…

Milestones:

It’s been a quieter month in terms of milestones (although I’m sure there’s plenty I’m forgetting).

E is definitely more mobile and whilst she’s not crawling (yet!) she can move across a room very quickly when she wants to, using a combination of rolling, planking and stretching. She’s like a wee wiggly worm!

She spends a lot of time lifting her body up onto all fours and ‘planking’. She rocks side to side and back and forth and she is oh so close to crawling. I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s crawling before the end of the month.

She still can’t sit up independently (for more than 10 seconds without falling over)! I think she’ll be crawling before she’s sitting! It doesn’t seem to be a problem though. She has very strong neck muscles and head control so she’s happy enough when she’s sitting in her snug, highchair and pushchair. (Which reminds me, we ditched the carrycot this month).

There hasn’t been anymore teeth so she still just has her bottom two.

Feeding:

Weaning is going really well and she’s now been enjoying solid food for a month. We’re still taking it pretty relaxed. She generally joins in with us for two meals a day with some snacks in between. In an ideal world I’d love to full on BLW but I don’t always have time to clear up the mess during the day, especially if we’re heading out to a toddler group.  This means E has a mixture of purees and finger food. She’s very easy-going when it comes to food and happy either way. :)

Her fave foods so far have been: broccoli, mushed banana on toast, strawberries, loaded potato skins and cucumber slices!

I’m still breastfeeding on demand – almost constantly at the moment (Thank you, heatwave!)

Sleep:

E does not like going to sleep, ever. I’ve spent many an evening lately pushing her around the block in her pushchair (sometimes for well over an hour) to get her to sleep! She naps during the day – maybe 2 or 3 times – but again, she usually has to be in the pushchair. She get very overtired and screams a lot. This girl has some serious FOMO issues!

Moving on…

Size and weight: 

I still haven’t had her weighed. Not enough hours in the day! But she’s definitely getting chunkier.

She’s in size 3 nappies and 6-9 month clothes.

Likes: Playing with her feet, cuddles and kisses from her big sister, Moosey, shouting, food, baths, belly tickles.

Dislikes: going to sleep, having her nappy changed.

I’m right in the middle of packing for a weekend away in Wales with my friends (a belated 30th birthday trip) and as E is still being breastfed she’s tagging along with us. Her first weekend away with the girls! :D I’ll let you know how it goes in her next update.

Jenna xxx

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Baby, Elowen's Updates

Elowen’s 5 & 6 month update

Eek, I feel terrible – I haven’t blogged for two whole months. Two months?! I think that’s the longest time I’ve gone without blogging since I started 3 years ago. We moved back to Bristol last month and things have been kinda crazy since then (the good kind of crazy, I hasten to add). I keep meaning to write a ‘Life Lately’ post to catch up on everything but finding the time is a struggle right now.

But forget all that, because today, today my baby is 6. months. old. HALF A YEAR, people!! How the flip did that happen? I missed her 5 month update (Sorry, E!) so I’ll do a bit of a combined update about the last two months.

Milestones:  

We have toothy pegs –

A week before E turned 5 months old, her bottom two peggies both appeared within the space of about 48 hours! She’s dribbling and gnawing like crazy at the moment so I wouldn’t be surprised if a couple more make an appearance very soon!

They see her rollin’… –

E started to roll at around 5 months (from her back to front) – but now she can roll back to front or front to back. In fact, she can travel quite an impressive distance by doing so! One minute she’s laying on her playmat, the next she’s grinding up against the wall at the far side of the room. She’s desperate to move forward but any attempt at crawling results in a skydiving impression at the moment. No crawling for a while, please!

Ommm…. –

We’ve recently started going to mummy and me yoga classes and it’s lovely. I haven’t really bothered with baby groups this time as our days revolve around a certain big sister. BUT now that Jasmine’s at pre-school two mornings a week, I thought it would be nice for us to do something a bit more mummy and baby focused. It’s mostly an opportunity for me to have a good stretch (and do some much needed pelvic floor exercises, heh) whilst E makes eyes at a gorgeous baby boy called Tobias.

Making a splash –

Last week we took E swimming for the first time. She looked SO cute in her little polkadot swimming costume. She took to the pool really well (it helped that it was a lovely warm pool) and we were in there for a good half an hour or so! I can’t wait to go again soon.

Grub’s up… –

We’ve started our baby-led-weaning journey this week and so far (aside from the mess) it’s been really good fun. E has been staring daggers at us every meal time for the last month or so. She’s very happy to finally be joining in with the family meal times and it’s fair to say she is LOVING solid foods. So far she’s tried, amongst other things, banana pancakes, shreddies, broccoli, kale and cheese muffins and various berries. I can confirm that she has even digested some of that, too. Ahem….

I’ve dug out my cookbooks and I’m planning to batch cook lots of yummy baby bites over the weekend.

Weight:

No idea. I haven’t managed to find out where the baby weigh-in clinics are yet. E is still in size 3 nappies. She has also outgrown most of her 3-6 month clothes. This week I dug out all of J’s old 6-9 month clothes and washed them ready for E to use. It’s still surreal to see her in Jasmine’s old babygrows.

Feeding:

As I already mentioned we’re now weaning onto solids. As far as milk goes, I’m still breastfeeding on demand. She doesn’t really have much of a schedule but I guess she feeds every 4 hours or so during the day. She will have 1-2 feeds during the night.

Sleeping: 

E will nap 3 or 4 times throughout the day, again, there’s no real routine as yet. If we’re out and about then she tends to fall asleep in the puschair, if we’re at home she may just stay awake (due to the very loud 3-year-old). She tends to fall asleep around 7/7.30pm, having a real fussy period before doing so and fighting sleep. She’ll then wake around 10pm for a feed and go back to sleep until 3am for a feed. Then it’s back to sleep until the morning, when I get rudely awoken around 6.30/7am by either being batted around the head or having my hair pulled. Such a cheeky monkey.

Likes: Being tickled, her big sister’s singing, walks in the buggy, food, swimming, pulling mama’s hair,tummy time, baby yoga!

Dislikes: teething, missing out on food and going to sleep.

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Baby, Breastfeeding, Elowen's Updates

Elowen’s 4 month update

General:

My little Smoosh is a pretty happy and content little thing most of the time. Despite the fact she is currently going through the dreaded 4th leap *gulp*, aside from a few fussy evenings, she’s been pretty chilled out.

She always falls asleep if she’s in the pram and it’s the best way to get her to nap if she’s fighting sleep. If she’s not snoozing when out for our walks, she looks up at me from the carrycot and gives me beaming smiles.

She’s fascinated by her big sister and stares at Jasmine intently whenever she’s in the room.

She’s also ‘found her voice’ this month. Holy moly, that girl can shriek.

As well as finding her voice, she’s also found her thumb – she’s a thumb-sucker!

She had her third set of jabs this morning – they are never much fun and I hate hearing her cry. Luckily, I was able to get a smile out of her a few minutes afterwards. At least that’s them done and dusted for a while!

Weight: 

I last took Elowen to be weighed on the 8th March (15 weeks +3 days old) and she weighed 13lbs 13oz. The health worker pointed out that E had dropped percentiles on her chart. I came home feeling really negative and a bit like I was failing her. I did a bit of research online and found out that those charts are based on formula fed babies. The Health worker didn’t even bother to ask me how I was feeding Elowen! Anyway, I’m less bothered about it now – E is healthy, gaining weight and outgrowing her clothes. I think she’s doing just fine. (Here’s one of the articles I read about the difference in weight gain in BF and FF babies.)

E is in size 3 nappies and 3-6 month clothes.

Milestones: 

I said in Elowen’s 3 month update that she had giggled… once! Well, it took a couple more weeks since that happened but now she giggles lots. Especially if I tickle her or kiss her neck. She has the cheekiest little laugh ever. I am in love with it!

I also mentioned that I thought her bottom teeth were coming through. They haven’t yet but they’re certainly making progress. She’s had some awful teething episodes over the last few weeks. As she was still so young I was limited as to what I could give her. My friend Daisy suggested trying some breast milk ice lollies to help take away the teething pain and they were a massive hit.

Elowen can now grasp at her toys and quite enjoys short periods of time laying on her playmat. She will grab the toys that hang down over her and will either shake them or try to put them in her mouth.

Feeding: 

Despite my ‘wobble’ last month, I’m still exclusively breastfeeding Elowen. I’ve pretty much decided that I’m not going to introduce a bottle or formula for the time being. I could be cutting off my nose in spite of my face but I just cannot be bothered with expressing and sterilising bottles. I’m not even sure if E would take to a bottle now anyway, I suspect probably not.

Sleeping:

Sleep? What even is that? I’m not sure if Elowen is having a growth spurt or sleep regression but it feels like she is up every couple of hours for a feed at the moment. It is slaying me! I’ve been going to bed about 9pm most nights just so I’m not a complete zombie the next day. She will have several naps throughout the day, her longest one seems to be in the late morning.

She still ends up in our bed most nights but that’s usually because I end up falling asleep whilst feeding her more than a conscious decision to have her in bed with us.

I wrote a post earlier this month comparing the differences between Jasmine and Elowen’s bedtime routines – it’s here if you fancy a read.

Likes: Booby milk ice lollies, Lamaze Mortimer Moose (a Jasmine hand-me-down), mummy blowing raspberries, bathtime, watching her big sister.

Dislikes: teething pain and immunisation jabs!

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Bedtime Routines: The First Baby Vs. The Second Baby
Baby, Breastfeeding, Parenting

Bedtime Routines: The First Baby Vs. The Second Baby

I was recently chatting to some of my mummy friends about the bedtime routines we have in place for our babies. This particular group of friends (mostly) consists of first-time-mamas. There was talk of nightly baths and baby massages and it was then that I had a sudden pang of guilt. I realised that I don’t put half as much effort into E’s bedtime routine as I did with J’s when she was the same age. I thought it would be interesting to compare the two different bedtime routines that I had/have for my first and second child (at around the same age) and to see if they slept any differently because of them. Read on to find out…

The first baby’s bedtime routine:

Jasmine was doing 5-6 hour long stints of sleeping at night by 9 weeks old and it was around this time that I decided I would implement a ‘proper bedtime routine‘ which went as follows…

Bath:

Every. Single. Day.

Heaven forbid we missed her evening bath.

Baby Massage:

After her bath, Jasmine was then treated to a full body massage – she’d be smothered head to toe in baby oil whilst I used the techniques I’d learned at our baby massage classes.

Bottle:

Her massage was followed by a feed. Jasmine was fully formula fed from around 6 weeks old. At 9 weeks old she’d have 4-5oz of milk at each feed.

Bed:

Jasmine would often fall asleep whilst having her last bottle before bed. I’d then gently slip her into her bedside crib. If she was still awake at the end of the feed, I’d pop her into the Bednest and turn on her ‘Freddie the frog’ Slumber Buddy (she still uses this now sometimes). She’d then eventually settle down to sleep.

4am: Jasmine wakes for a feed. She guzzles down her milk and then falls back to sleep.

6.30am: Jasmine wake ups and is ready to start the day!

Bedtime Routines: The First Baby Vs. The Second Baby

I blogged a 7-day diary when I introduced this bedtime routine – if you want to read it, you can find it here.

The Second Baby’s Bedtime Routine (or lack thereof):

Bath? (Ha!)

I give Elowen a bath about once a fortnight with ‘top and tail’ washes in between to keep her fresh.

Baby Massage? (Double ha!)

Sorry, baby girl – but I’ve spent the best part of the evening fighting with your sister to get her PJs on and brush her damn teeth. She’s finally down for the night so I just wanna chill. Is that cool with you? Cool.

The Dinner Time Feed: Elowen will demand a feed as soon as my dinner is ready (around 6.30/7.00pm). I stick her on the boob and watch my dinner go cold. I then pop E into her NUNA Leaf chair and crank that bad boy up to maximum sway. She might fight sleep for a little while but then gradually drifts off (usually whilst sucking her thumb). That’s her out for the count until I go to bed myself. I veg out in front of the telly or catch up with some blogging.

Bedtime: 

I tend to go to bed anywhere between 10pm and 11.30pm. I grab Elowen out of her chair and take her up to bed with me. This usually wakes her up so I take the opportunity to put a fresh nappy on her and change her clothes ready for bed. I boob her back to sleep again and then pop her in the Chicco Next-to-me crib. She’s still using her Purflo Nest but has almost outgrown it – this saddens me greatly.

Bedtime Routines: The First Baby Vs. The Second Baby

4am: Night feed. I usually end up latching her on and falling back to sleep.

6/6.30am: I wake up (usually by my toddler alarm clock) with Elowen still cuddled up in my arms from the 4am feed.

Time to get up!

Conclusion:

It wasn’t until I read this post back that I realised how similar Elowen’s sleep pattern is to what Jasmine’s was at around the same age. And that’s despite Elowen forgoing nightly baths and baby massages (poor, poor second child). I’ve definitely been more relaxed about bed-sharing this time around (although, I still follow the safety guidelines). I would have Jasmine sleep in bed with us during the fourth trimester when she was still adjusting to being ‘earthside’. And to be honest, it scared me, but sometimes it was the only way we got any sleep. Elowen on the other hand, is almost 4 months old, and I’m happy to bring her into our bed. I’m breastfeeding this time around so I find I can get a bit more extra sleep whilst she feeds.

You can tell from reading these bedtime routines that we very much dedicated our evenings to Jasmine’s bedtime routine. It’s clearly true (in our case at least) that the second baby has to fit around us as a family, and not the other way around. So yeah, the littlest lady of the family might miss out on nightly baths (she has majorly dry skin anyways) and doesn’t get those full body massages (I feel a bit guilty about that) but ultimately, it’s made no difference. They sleep exactly the same!

Our favourite baby bedtime products*:

If you fancy reading more posts about baby sleep routines and co-sleeping, check out these posts by some of my fellow mama blogger friends: Lucie // Kirsty // Georgina // Rachel // Rebecca

I’d love to know how bedtime works in your house if you have more than one child?
Or if you just have the one, what does their bedtime routine involve?
How do you feel about co-sleeping?

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*Contains affiliate links.

 

Breastfeeding success second time around and what I did differently
Baby, Breastfeeding, Homebirth

Breastfeeding success second time around
(and what I did differently)

My breastfeeding experience with Jasmine was short lived. We got off to a bad start and when she lost a lot weight my anxiety got too much to handle. I switched to combination feeding her expressed breast milk and formula for 6 weeks before switching to formula completely.

As soon as I fell pregnant with Elowen, aside from my fears of suffering yet another miscarriage, I was also fraught with anxiety at the prospect trying to breastfeed another baby, to the point I was having dreams about it every night. I went back and forth throughout my pregnancy on whether or not I even wanted to try again. In the end, I decided to give breastfeeding another shot. Jasmine had thrived on formula milk, if breastfeeding didn’t work out second time around, I knew that I’d be OK with switching to formula with baby #2. I had nothing to lose by giving it another go.

I’m really pleased to say that Elowen is now 3 months old and I am still exclusively breastfeeding her. Trust me when I say that nobody is more surprised about that than I am. It just goes to show that every baby is different. And I do think that has a lot to do with it. As mums we often blame ourselves when breastfeeding doesn’t work out but breastfeeding is a two-way thing. Jasmine wasn’t interested in feeding from me and was such a sleepy little thing. Elowen, on the other hand, was alert from the get-go and took to breastfeeding fantastically.

That said, there were quite a few things I did differently this time around which I’m sure helped us along the way on our breastfeeding journey.

They are as follows:

Having a physiological third stage of labour (delivering the placenta naturally)

When I originally wrote my birth plan I said that I wanted drugs administered to help speed up the delivery of my placenta. Partly because that’s what I did last time and partly because I was having a home birth and I was worried that the placenta might not come out, meaning I’d have to be transferred to hospital. However, a few days before I went into labour with E, I came across this article about a study that found a link between the drug used to speed up placenta delivery and breastfeeding problems. The news article is a few years old (2014) and was based on a relatively small study but it was enough to convince me to at least try for a natural placenta delivery. It took a little while (probably longer than it did to push E out!) but it did come out of it’s own accord eventually. I’ve no idea if it helped me have a more successful breastfeeding experience or not, but I think it did, even if only psychologically.

I had skin-to-skin contact and breastfed E when she was minutes old

I went an entire night before attempting to breastfeed Jasmine for the first time after she was born. Which, when I think about it now, is pretty shocking. I was too scared to attempt the first feed without the guidance of a midwife. Unfortunately, once I’d been stitched up the midwives all disappeared until the morning. Jasmine was fast asleep and I was exhausted so I took the opportunity to rest.  When I did get help the next morning, a midwife literally shoved Jasmine at my boob. I gasped when she latched on because of how painful it felt and the midwife grunted “Oh it’ll hurt until your nipples toughen up.” Great.

Elowen’s first feed could not have been more different. She was minutes old. The midwife who attended my home birth told me to go ahead and feed her how I felt I should, but assured me she’d be right there to assist should I need it. E latched right away and began to suckle, I don’t remember it being painful at all. (The pain came later on!)

I used nipple shields when the pain got too much

I was under the impression, after having Jasmine, that nipple shields were the epitome of all evil. At least that’s how certain midwives portrayed them, as well as most of the Internet. ‘They’ll confuse baby!” was the overwhelming opinion on them and because of that I steered well clear.

Between then and becoming a mum for a second time I’d read numerous blog posts from fellow mummy bloggers who said they’d never have been able to continue breastfeeding had they not used nipple shields. (Hannah from Budding Smiles springs to mind, as an example.) So I bought nipple shields before I’d even given birth and I’d already decided that if I felt I needed to use them, then I would. And to Hell with any midwife or health visitor who cared to argue with me about that.

In the end, it was a midwife who suggested I try the nipple shields to feed Elowen. It was only my second day post-partum but my nipples were in agony. I told the midwife over the phone how sore I was and she said if I hadn’t tried using nipple shields yet, to give them a go. I found them quite fiddly to use but they were worth the hassle as it meant I could give my poor nipples a break. I genuinely don’t think I would’ve carried on feeding E had it not been for the shields. I will always encourage other breastfeeding mamas to try them if they’re struggling with nipple pain/damage.

By the end of week four I’d ditched the nipple shields completely.

I had formula on standby

When I was pregnant with Jasmine, I was very determined to breastfeed her. Being a first time mum, and the first in my friendship circle to have a baby, I took a lot of ‘advice’ from people on forums. I’d read, several times, that if I were to really give breastfeeding my best shot then I should avoid having formula in the house as it would be ‘too tempting’ to switch to using it on a bad day. The night I broke down and decided I could no longer keep trying to breastfeed Jasmine, Stephen had to drive out to find the nearest 24hr supermarket to buy formula and bottles. I sobbed the whole time whilst watching Jasmine scream in hunger. Never, ever would I go through that again.

Second time around, I stocked up on ready-made pre-sterlised formula bottles (even packing some in my ‘just in case’ hospital bags). It took the pressure off me knowing that I always had a back up to hand which, ultimately, helped me to establish breastfeeding.

I knew where to seek professional help… and then got it.

There was a real lack of breastfeeding support available to me when I had Jasmine. It’s something I’m still quite bitter about. Because of this, I did my homework whilst pregnant with E. I found out where all of the local breastfeeding support groups were, I joined Facebook groups and I had a name and number for a local lactation consultant. I felt armed with information on people who could help me with any problems I may come up against. Elowen had a really shallow latch, which was what was causing my nipple pain. I decided I would go and see a lactation consultant about it. She spent a good 45 minutes observing E feeding, giving me advice, reassuring me that using nipple shields was absolutely fine and that the supposed ‘nipple confusion’ they caused was a load of BS.

I had a better support network in place

I had discussed my fears about breastfeeding with a lot of my friends (mummy friends, non-mummy friends, blogging pals, Instagram chums… whoever cared to listen) and because of that they went above and beyond to support me in those early days. They’d send me messages to tell me how well I was doing, giving me a little boost when my morale was low. Those who had been through this before gave me hints, tips and gentle encouragement. It all made such a big difference and for that I will be forever grateful.

I was more relaxed about breastfeeding

Like most aspects of parenthood, second time around I felt more relaxed, particularly in my approach to breastfeeding. If it worked out, great – if it didn’t, I’d formula feed Elowen and that would be that. Either way, the world would keep on spinning.

I took each day as it came…

I didn’t have a specific target in mind – I had no goal to ‘breastfeed exclusively for 6 months’… or a year or two! I decided to take each day as it came. Again, it took the pressure off.

3 months on and I’m very much still in that mindset. I’m enjoying feeding Elowen but whether it ends tomorrow or in a year’s time – that’s fine. Today I’m feeding her and that’s all I’m going to concentrate on right now.

Breastfeeding success second time around

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This post has ended up being a bit ‘wordy’ but I really hope it might help someone. Breastfeeding is bloody hard work and as I said at the start of this post, every baby is different. Whatever happens, whether you breastfeed or bottle feed, please enjoy your baby and soak up those newborn snuggles. I spent far too long feeling guilty and miserable because I couldn’t breastfeed Jasmine. I will never get those early days back to just enjoy my brand new baby girl without the all consuming guilt and sadness.

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Theraline Mamma Pads Review
Baby, Breastfeeding, Reviews

Theraline Mamma Pads {Review}

Theraline Mamma Pads Review:

There were a few things that took me by surprise when it came to breastfeeding. In particular, just how messy it could be. My boobs have leaked milk since I was about 22 weeks pregnant and now that I’m a little over 3 months into our breastfeeding journey, it’s still something I have to deal with daily.

In the early days, before my milk supply had regulated (I’m talking the first 8-9 weeks or so postpartum), I would often wake up in a puddle of my own breast milk. I wore a bra and breast pads at night but they’d quickly become saturated and soggy. If I’m honest, after a while it started to get me down. I often thought ‘there must be another way’. I couldn’t believe, in this day and age, this should still be a problem for breastfeeding mamas. As it turns out, there is indeed, another way…

I recently heard about Theraline’s Mamma Pads – ‘smart’ nursing pads that don’t collect leaking breast milk, but instead stop the leakage from happening in the first place. Hallelujah! The slim and discrete silicone pads temporarily shut off your milk ducts by gently pressing in the nipples.

Once the pads are removed the milk ducts open again and your milk can flow normally for the next feed. Mamma Pads will adapt to every breast shape.

These clever little pads sounded far too good to be true so I was very pleased when Theraline kindly offered to send me a pair to review. Here’s what I thought:

What I loved about the Theraline Mamma Pads:

I think it’s great that these pads don’t collect leaking milk, but instead stop your breasts from leaking in the first place. It’s so, so clever. It means I feel cleaner and there’s no milky wet patches on my clothes (which I personally find quite embarrassing when out in public).

They are so easy to put on and once they’re on I didn’t notice them. They don’t crease up or fall out of your bra like regular breast pads do. (You would not believe the amount of times I’ve had to scoop up my regular breast pads off the floor of a coffee shop!)

They’re more discrete than regular breast pads. (This means on those rare occasions that you get to go ‘out, out’ you won’t be limited as to what you can wear!)

Theraline Mamma Pads Review

I don’t have to wear a bra to use them. (Great if, like me, you prefer to sleep without a bra on.)

They’re easy to clean – just rinse them with soapy water and leave to dry.

… And that leads me on to my next point – they’re reusable (for around 150+ uses) so they’re cost efficient and better for the environment. :)

What I wasn’t so keen on:

The fact that they are ‘virtually invisible’ is both a blessing an a curse. After removing one of the pads during the night to feed Elowen, I’d end up losing it somewhere in the bed covers. Being half asleep at 3am and in the dark made it impossible to find it again until the morning. (I had the same problem with nipple shields in the early weeks of breastfeeding.)

The ‘sticky’ adhesive side of the pad often ends up collecting hair and fluff which, whilst it doesn’t affect their use, is quite annoying.

The pads (and ultimately my boobs) end up a little smelly if I’ve worn them all day.

You have to leave them to air dry after washing (by using a towel or similar to dry them you’d end up wiping off the thin layer of adhesive). This means that during that drying time you’d either have to go sans pads (risky), use regular nursing pads or invest in a second set of Mamma Pads. To be fair. at around £15 a set, they’re very good value. I’m planning to buy a second set for myself.

Final thoughts:

These are such clever, little pads and I only wish I had known about them sooner. Whilst they’re not perfect, I certainly prefer them to conventional breast pads for the reasons I’ve listed above. If you’re a pregnant or breastfeeding/expressing mama then I certainly recommend giving these pads a try. Best of all, if you’re not completely happy with them, Theraline will give you a full refund. You’ve nothing to lose! :)

You can buy them here*:

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Baby, Home, Motherhood

5 Ways to give up the old baby clothes
(even if you really don’t want to!)

When Jasmine was just 4 months old I wrote this post about how I was finding it hard to get rid of her outgrown baby clothes. As we had always planned to have two children I was able to justify hanging on to them for our next baby. Well, now our ‘next’ (and last) baby is here and is growing out of those clothes just as rapidly as Jasmine did. Despite the girls being born in different seasons (damn it) we’ve still managed to re-use lots of vests and sleepsuits for Elowen. Trouble with that is, now it’s doubly hard for this sentimental mama to get rid of them! We’re done having babies so I can’t use that excuse to keep them anymore.

In the next few months we’re going to be moving to our new home and with that in mind I’ve slowly been working my way through the house to declutter each room. I don’t want to take all of our old junk with us to our new house so I’m binning stuff, recycling it or giving it away to charity and so far I’m doing really well. But those teeny, tiny baby clothes? Well they’ve been a little harder to ditch.

That said, I am still getting rid of the old baby clothes (even though I really don’t want to).

Here’s 5 ways you can do it too…

1) Choose just one item as a momento.

Babies grow quickly and before you know it they’ll be at school, college, moving out, getting married… having babies of their own. It will be hard to believe they were ever tiny enough to hold in your my arms. So, let’s allow ourselves one little keepsake, yes? I’ve picked one item of clothing for each of the girls (the sleepsuits they first wore when they were born) and I’ve put them into their keepsake boxes. That way I can still get them out every now and again, when I’m feeling sentimental, and marvel at how small my girls once were. Keeping a couple items of clothing made it much easier for me to get rid of the rest.

2) Turn them into something useful

If you can’t pick just one item of clothing to keep then why not turn that bundle of old baby clothing into something useful? A quilt, for example. Don’t worry if you don’t have a crafty bone in your body (although, props to ya if you can make one yourself) there’s lots of talented people out there who can make a quilt for you and it won’t cost you as much as you might think.

3) Give the clothes to those who need them more.

I always find it’s easier to give things away that I have a sentimental attachment to if they’re going to people who really need them. It’s hard to justify keeping bags full of unused baby clothes in the loft when they could be passed onto families who have nothing. Perhaps you could find out if your local Women’s Refuge are accepting donations of children’s clothes. Or give them to a charity shop which supports a cause close to your heart. Either way, giving your beloved baby clothes to those who need them will give you that feel-good factor. Hopefully it will dampen any sadness you have about getting rid of them in the first place.

4) Sell them… and then put the money towards making memories with your babies.

Part of the reason I find it hard to get rid of the girls’ clothes is because of the memories attached to them. But what about using them to help you make more memories? I’ve sold some of the ‘fancier’ items of clothing using my local Facebook selling page. With the money I’ve got from that I started a ‘holiday fund’. OK so we’re not going to be jetting off to Disney World any time soon but it’ll be spending money we can use on our holiday to Butlins later this year. So yeah, that few quid for an old dress might not seem like much but it’ll pay for us to have fish and chips on the beach or a couple of goes on a fairground ride.

5) Swap them!

As I mentioned earlier, my girls were born in two very different seasons so a lot of Jasmine’s old clothes aren’t appropriate for us to reuse for Elowen. But there’s gonna be plenty of mamas out there who kept their firstborn’s clothes for baby no.2 and also had their second baby in a different season. So scout them out! Ask around your baby groups or your local Facebook selling pages and find yourself a mama to swap baby clothes with. You might even be able to swap them for other items such as age appropriate toys for your little ones. Everyone’s a winner. :)

I really hope you’ve found this post useful. 

If there’s another way of parting with my little ladies’ threads that I haven’t thought of, I’d love to hear it? 

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You Baby Me Mummy
Baby, Breastfeeding, Elowen's Updates

Elowen’s 3 month update

It’s really hard not to open these update posts with a line about how fast the time is going but it really is flying by. My little Smoosh is 3 months old and she’s growing like a weed. I want her to stay tiny forever, damn it!

General: 

OK, first up, I think she has teeth coming through. ACTUAL BLUMMIN’ TEETHY PEGS! If she’s awake then she’s usually gnawing on her fists and dribbling lots. She’s been doing that for a good week or so. Today I noticed, what looks like, her bottom two teeth coming through. She’s been struggling with the pain and this evening she cried for a solid hour whilst biting her hands. I feel so sad for her. As much as I’m not ready for my 3 month old to have teeth, I do hope they cut through soon and give her some relief.

E still has mild cradle cap and I still haven’t done anything about it, partly because I think I’ll just end up making it worse.

In the last update I mentioned that I was trying to introduce a dummy. That lasted all of two days before I gave up on that idea. Elowen wasn’t interested at all and just ended up spitting them out. Ho hum. One less thing I have to get rid of later on I suppose.

We had her second set of immunisations yesterday. She was majorly peeved that the nurse she had been giving her best smiles to suddenly jabbed her in the leg with a needle. The cheek of it! She screamed bloody murder but settled after a few minutes and slept all the way home.

This photo cracks me up every time.

Weight: 

I haven’t had Elowen weighed since last month (bad mama). She’s now into her 3-6 month clothes and still in size 2 nappies.

Milestones:

Giggle! We’ve had a giggle. One solitary giggle. I was changing her nappy at the library last Friday (17th Feb) when she randomly started giggling. It was the sweetest sound EVER. Hasn’t done it since though!

Feeding:

I’m still exclusively breastfeeding Elowen and I’m really chuffed about that. I have had a bit of a wobble this week as I’ve been finding it hard not having any freedom and being solely responsible for feeding her. The most time I’ve had to myself out of the house since E was born was a 20 minute walk with the dog. My best friends are all planning weekend trips for birthdays (we all turn 30 this year) and I’m gutted that I may miss out because I’m breastfeeding. On the other hand, I know that this won’t be forever and I will probably miss it when E decides to wean off the breast.

Sleeping: 

We’re all getting a bit more sleep (most nights anyway) than we were last month. Elowen tends to wake up twice a night, sometimes three times, for a feed. The longest she’s slept in one solid chunk is 6 hours. Boy, were my boobs big that morning! She sleeps well in her next-to-me crib but is outgrowing her purflo nest, I don’t think it’ll before long before I have to take it out. :(

That’s it for this month – I’m hoping to report more giggles in my next Elowen Update! C’mon girl, quit holding out on me!

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I’m linking this post up to Real Mum Review’s #LittleLeaps Linky. :)

Baby, Lifestyle, shopping

My eBay Wishlist #2

I really enjoyed putting together my eBay wishlist last month… so I’m back with another one! Again, it’s relatively baby-focused, although now that I’m starting to think about decorating the girls’ bedrooms in our new house, there’s a few lovely decor pieces in there too.

I hope you like my February eBay picks… 

1) A set of 4 baby bandana bibs – £3.90 incl. P&P

2) Sass & Belle embroidered message flag “Go your own way” – £6.85 incl. P&P

3) Sleepy Eyes wall decal (various sizes and colours available) – from £3.00

4) ‘Powered By Milk’ Baby Romper – £3.84 incl P&P

5) Cloud shelf – £19.41 and free shipping (from China)

6) Handmade dinosaur pinafore dress (age 2-3)  – £20.oo plus £2.50 P&P

Have you snapped up any eBay bargains recently?
If so I’d love to know what you bought.

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