Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Christmas Crafts for Babies.

I've been starting to be a little more creative with activities we can do at home and thankfully browsing Pinterest has paid off. I popped to my local Wilko and picked up a few different paints and some multicoloured markers and Violet and I got very messy!

A few tips for hand and foot prints with a baby:

1. Stripe them too their nappy and pop them on their change mat or something easily to wipe clean. 

2. Make sure you get washable paints. You will get paint on your clothes, if not the carpet. 

3. No matter how much you try to protect your furniture, you inevitably find paint somewhere you didn't plan on getting it. 

4. Make sure your baby is in a good mood (or ideally asleep). Luckily Violet loves being naked so as soon as she was stripped to her nappy she was pretty happy. I found keeping her laid down and "painting" her foot with my fingers worked best. 

5. You'll need a lot of card - I can't even could how many sheets we went through to get some decent prints. It's a good idea to create a conveyer belt of card ready so you can just keep printing. 

6. Probably the most vital, have wipes ready. As we picked up washable paint, it was pretty easy to just wipe Violet clean before I could get her in the bath. But I must admit her toenails had a green tinge for a few days!

We had a lot of fun making these prints and I've managed to make a whole bunch to give to people at Christmas. The activity also doubles up as sensory time and could definitely be extended into a whole craft afternoon with older children. I'm thinking next year we may crack out the glitter!

Katie xx


Friday, 25 November 2016

Mamas & Papas Gift Finder.

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I'm more than excited for Violet's first Christmas. And although I swore I wouldn't buy her too much, her present pile just keeps getting that little bit bigger. 

I've recently been trying Mamas & Papas gift finder which is a super easy way to search for the perfect gift for little ones. You simply fill out info about baby or bump and your search results arrive in seconds. The great thing about the gift finder, is it's not exclusive to Christmas presents and can be used to help pick birthday presents or gifts for other occasions throughout the year! I've managed to find a few things we love and will certainly be making their way into Violet's Christmas list. 

I'm dying to get her a few Christmassy outfits, as it's her first Christmas I'd like to get her something to keep. The little "Christmas is coming" jumper is just the sweetest thing and I think it would be a perfect fit for any little girl or boy. New pjs for Christmas Eve are a must too and the checked bottoms could certainly be worn right through the winter. 

We have a few Christmas parties and plans to attend over the festive period. I'm dying to pick up some gorgeous party dresses like this one, which would just look adorable with some thick cream tights and a little cardigan. 

Violet absolutely does not need any more toys but I simply can't resist. She loves anything with eyes and I think this little bug toy would be fab for distracting her from the dreaded car seat. And how could I do a Christmas wish list without including Sophie the Giraffe? We do already have a Sophie that is chewed and sucked on no end. I think every baby needs one of these in their stocking. 

So, if you need a helping hand buying for your little ones or someone else's this Christmas,give the gift finder a go!

Katie xx

*In association with Mamas & Papas


Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Violet's Four Month Update.

So Violet has officially hit the 4 month mark, I figured it was time for another baby update.

It's incredible how much babies can change even in a couple of days. At the moment it feels like Violet is making a new expression or sound almost daily, which is crazy. I particularly enjoy this strange panting she does when she knows her bottle is coming, she even pouts her lips ready to get drinking. Violet also seems to have found her voice and chats away to herself regularly and has started "shouting" a bit more when she has to get dressed on a morning. I swear this child would be constantly naked if I let her.

Violet is not far from sitting up, which I can't quite believe. She's been holding her head really steady for the past month or so and her sitting balance is getting really good. And because of this, she's been enjoying time in her Bumbo seat and being propped up on the sofa. She's also found her hands and stuffs them in her mouth at any given occasion, along with anything else she may have got hold of.

V is definitely engaging more with play and other people. I'm assuming all tiny babies go through a phase of only really responding to parents or people they are around all of the time. Violet now smiles back at strangers or if someone starts talking to her at baby sessions. It's lovely to see her interacting with other people, but it's also lovely that she keeps and eye on me to ensure I've not gone anywhere! Violet is learning to grab and pick up toys, particularly Sophie the giraffe and guides them to her mouth to be chewed.

Something I've found a little more difficult is the reduction in naps. Violet will tend to have two, maybe three shorter naps throughout the day, which has certainly reduced down from a month or so ago. I've now learnt to get as much done in the house as possible in a lot shorter space of time. Thankfully Violet is quite happy to lie of the floor with her toys for ten minutes so I can manage to wolf some food down every now and again. The reduction of naps also means that when she is tired, she's really tired and tries so hard to fight her sleep. At times she gets upset and frustrated because she's so nosey and wants to know everything that's happening, but desperately needs to go to sleep at the same time. However she does have a few "sleepy cues" so as soon as I spot a sign, I get her down for a nap asap.

Ad I think that's about it for now. We've managed to establish somewhat of a weekly routine and have made some lovely mummy and baby friends, which makes being on maternity leave much nicer. I can't wait to see what the next few months have in store and to spend Violet's first Christmas in our own home.

Katie xx


Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Baby Sleep Hacks.

Getting a good nights sleep is every mama's dream. For the first few months of Violet's life, I became somewhat of a walking zombie, completely exhausted but somehow still going. It's amazing how much the adrenaline keeps you going and you do come of the other side, being so much more thankful for a good few hours of shut eye!

Touch wood, I'm one of those lucky mamas and my little one tends to sleep through the night, and has done since she was 10 weeks-ish. Yes, sometimes she does wake up because she's lost her dummy or has shuffled into an uncomfortable position, but all in all, she's a pretty amazing sleeper. So I thought I'd share a few of our baby and mamas sleep hacks. 

1. Be flexible with your routine - We all know routine is super important for tiny babies. But also for your sanity, you need to be a little flexible! Some nights Violet and I don't get in until just before her bed time, which means she might be up half an hour later or could be ready to sleep earlier than usual too. We just work with this and as long as she's fed and tucked in her sleeping bag, we're all happy. 

2. Find what works for you and your baby - Before Violet was born, so many people swore by the "bath and bed" routine. However we quickly found that that certainly doesn't work for us. Violet is a water baby and adores splashing about, which means she becomes very excited at bath time - not the ideal thing when we're trying to wind down for bed. So we've swapped bath or shower time for a morning!

Violet hated the dark when she was first born. We slept with the landing light on for at least the first two months. Gradually we've managed to get rid of the "big light" and we now sleep with a night light, in the form of the Gro-egg. Not only does it give off the perfect amount of light, it also tells us if it's too cold or too warm for Violet. 

3. Make your bedroom comfortable - As Violet is currently still with us in our room, we have tried to get the room as baby friendly as possible. Violet is in her Next2Me crib, which is absolutely brilliant for us. Not only does she sleep well because she can see me during the night, but it works well as a travel cot too. Plus we can pop it on a slight slant to help with V's reflux. 

The hubby and I have had a little help with sleep from the Brighter Mattress Company* with an incredible memory foam mattress. I really could have done with this while I was pregnant because it's literally like sleeping on a cloud. If you're in the market for a new mattress, I would definitely recommend looking into these ones!

Have you got any tips for getting more sleep with a baby?

Katie xx


Thursday, 10 November 2016

What's In My Changing Bag.

I'm so nosey and I love these types of posts, so today I thought I would show you a sneak peak into our changing bag. These are my absolute essentials for when we're or and about, keeping up with Violet's very busy social calendar. 

I obviously pack the usual items, like bottles, nappies and milk. Our bottle of choice is the MAM anti-colic bottles, which are the only ones Violet will take. Thankfully they're pretty reasonably priced and certainly prevent too much wind. We also take the ready made milk out with us. It does work out more pricey, but for convenience it's much easier, especially when Violet goes from fine to starving in 0.6 seconds! 

Of course we pack our trusty reuseable nappies. This is one of our budget ones from Little Bloom, despite being less than £5, it's brilliant and no leaks yet! We always take out a wet bag for dirty nappies too, this unicorn one is my fave. 

Baby wipes are a must, especially for any crazy newborn poops. We've been using the Waterwipes* which are 99.9% water and 0.1% fruit extract. They're super delicate on baby's skin and Violet hasn't suffered with any nappy rash since using these along with a natural cream. They're super wet too, unlike other mainstream brands we've tried, meaning you don't have to use as many - they certainly have the thumbs up from us.

I always, always have a spare outfit for
Violet and really I should take one for me too! Violet has pretty bad reflux so we go through outfits and bibs like there's no tomorrow. My poor washing machine is permanently on the go. 

Lastly I sometimes pop in a little toy for Violet, especially if we're out for a while or she's going to be in her pram. My little one isn't the biggest fan of being in a pushchair, so sometimes a teddy is just the perfect distraction. 

So that's our basic changing bag. I'm currently using a cheap back pack but I'm dying to find a bag I really love. Hopefully I will pick something up in the next few weeks. But if you're planning on baby wearing, I would definitely recommend picking up a back pack style bag over the traditional nappy bag. 

What's in your changing bag?

Katie xx

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

What Can't You Live Without?

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I was recently asked by Flogas what I would miss if I was to move to a remote location. To be honest I'm a huge city girl at heart and although the idea of the tranquil countryside is appealing, I desperately need to be close to a town. So this really got me thinking about the things I take for grated, living in the suburbs of Greater Manchester. 

First things first, my super fast internet connection. Remember 10 years ago, when the internet didn't really matter for anything other than MSN messenger? Suddenly it's become some what of a lifeline to the outside world for me. I've made so many friends from blogging and social media, I seriously can't imagine my life without it. 

Another huge part of my life is spent on public transport. I'm lucky to live by two train stations and a pretty good bus service. Without them, I would be completely trapped. Myself and my hubby share a car, so unless I drop him at work, Violet and I rely on getting about by bus or train. And to be honest, it suits us pretty well. Violet hates the car but loves the bus and train as she can look out of the window. Not being by a good transport link, would be a huge deal for me. 

I think I certainly take our 24 hour supermarket for granted. It's so handy to know you're only 5 minutes away from being able to pick up some tea. There have been too many times that it's got to 8pm and I've realised Violet's milk is running out and I will need more asap. Thankfully I'm pretty close to at least 4 supermarkets, which have literally been life saving at times!

I think all in all, the biggest thing I would struggle to live without is just general human contact. I'm a pretty sociable person and can't stand being trapped in the house. Violet currently has a busier social life than I've ever had, but it's so good for her and for me. I've managed to meet lots of new mums in my area and we usually have something planned for every day of the week, even if it's just a walk to the shop. Baby dates are fab and brilliant for getting Violet to have a good nap! Spending time around people is something I really need and would find impossible to live without. 

What would you struggle to live without?

Katie xx

*This post is in association with Flogas

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Our First Family Holiday.

My little family and I headed off on our first family holiday last week and it was just perfect. I think we could have quite easily stayed in our lodge permanently, it couldn't have been more cosy for our first trip away. 

We headed down to a place just outside of Pershore, near Worcester, on a gorgeous site surrounded by six lakes. Our lodge was incredible and had the most beautiful views from our lounge windows. Booking a self catering lodge was ideal for us, especially with having a young baby. We had a washing machine, dishwasher, fridge/freezer and it didn't matter how much noise Violet made because we didn't have any direct neighbours. Having access to a proper kitchen made life so much easier and meant Violet could still have a night time routine, similar to at home. 

If you have children, you'll know they come with a lot of paraphernalia. Thankfully we managed to squeeze everything in the car quite easily and opted for leaving the push chair at home and just took along the sling for the week. The freedom of just taking the sling was amazing, I always appreciate how easy it is when it comes to getting on and off public transport and on and out of the car. And anyone with a Next 2 Me crib thinking about travelling, it's super easy and meant we didn't need to buy an additional cot. 

We managed to explore a lot of the area and headed into the Cotswolds too. We both fell in love with Oxford and spent hours wandering the streets and taking in the history. I'm gutted that our holiday is over but I've managed to persuade the hubby to book up again, so we'll be heading back in April next year! And I already can't wait. 

Katie xx


Thursday, 3 November 2016

Cheeky Chompers Neckerchew.

Violet has been a very sicky baby from day one. Unfortunately she has reflux so we've had to contend with a few different types of milk and medication to find out the best thing for her. That also means we have a lot of outfit changes, so now she permanently has a bib around her neck, to save me a little washing! 

Thankfully bibs a little more stylish than when I was a baby and I think the little bandana style look super cute and actually add a little something to a baby outfit. Our lovely friends over at Cheeky Chompers* have sent us this gorgeous number to try and it's swiftly becoming one of my faves. 

The bib is made from cotton so is super soft and soaks up anything quickly and easily, without the need for a muslin cloth to wipe up the excess. And the beauty of these bibs is the added teether, which gives them their Neckerchew name. There is no way baby can drop the teether because it's firmly attached. Violet is just starting the teething process and as well as dribbling constantly, she does have a tendency to chew her dummy and bottle teats rather than suck. I'm sure this bib will come in really handy over the next few months. 

I will certainly be picking up a few more of these bibs to add to V's wardrobe. You can pick them up for yourself at for £11.99 each. 

Have you tried these bibs?

Katie xx

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