Author: Zoe Waite

Help your baby’s Grandparents benefit from childcare

We are all aware of formal childcare fees becoming more and more expensive and the best cost effective decision for us can be to let the Grandparents care for your…

We are all aware of formal childcare fees becoming more and more expensive and the best cost effective decision for us can be to let the Grandparents care for your child/children whilst you have to work. They have been a vital role in many of us being able to even return back to work.

grandparent caring for grandchild

Many working grandparents have even give up their jobs in order to care for the grandchildren.

Unfortunately, this can mean losing out on their state pension rights.

So how can grandparents benefit?

Grandparents that care for children under 12 can qualify for National Insurance Credits that can top up their pension in retirement.

Grandparent Facts and Figures

  • Half of the UK’s 7 million, working age, grandparents in Britain have a grandchild under the age of 16.
  • 63% of all grandparents with grandchildren under 16 help out with the childcare. Surely yours must be one of them?
  • 1 in 5 grandmothers provide at least 10 hours a week of childcare
  • 1 in 4 working families and 1 in 3 working mothers use grandparents for childcare
  • The childcare they provide is worth £7.3 billion a year, mainly from school holiday care.

It is clear to see that the decision for grandparents to provide the care whilst parents can return to work is growing in popularity.

How the system works

Working parents can transfer their Child Benefit credits they receive and donate them to their child’s grandparents for the previous tax year.

Both parents and grandparents must apply for the credits to be transferred first. Hopefully by transferring National Insurance credits will stop grandparents missing out on building up a full state pension.

So, if the grandparents care for grandchildren under 12 years old, they can qualify for class 3 national insurance credits. The credits will count towards the grandparents qualifying years for a full state pension.grandparent caring for grandchild

The NIC details

Retirees need to have accumulated 35 years’ worth of National Insurance Contributions (NICs) – These are the credits built up for each year they’re in work.

But, not all grandparents that are retired worked for the full 35 years.

Instead, if they are looking after a child below the age of 12, the childcare credits can top them up.

This means the grandparent can continue to build up their National Insurance Contributions as they look after their grandchild.

How to claim

To claim download this form here.

You can not claim if you have claimed for any other NIC’s that year. The back date for claiming is 2011.

 

 

 

 

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Your 5 Golden Rules | Fitness after having a baby

Getting into shape after having a baby can be one of the most daunting tasks. Many of us can start off with all the right motivation and will power but…

Getting into shape after having a baby can be one of the most daunting tasks. Many of us can start off with all the right motivation and will power but then fall off track. Sadly, we find ourselves back at square one, eating a tub of ice cream whilst watching Netflix when the baby is asleep.fitness after a baby

People who have been successful with their health and fitness have these two things in common:

First, they identify what exactly is needed to form the grounds of their healthy lifestyle.

Second, they put 100% into executing their finds.

One with out the other is not setting you up for success.

But, you’re probably wondering:

“What are the simple grounds to making a healthy lifestyle that actually works?”

1. Time

One of the biggest excuses for not sticking to a fitness regime is not having the time. This have been one of my excuses too, especially after having a baby. It is so important that before you start you really commit yourself and give the time needed. Unfortunately, this may also mean sacrificing time away from other activities you are use to doing. This can be hard as you already don’t get as much me time anymore, now that you have a little one. Personally, I train 5 nights a week, giving me the weekend off and I will only train

once Mole is in bed fast asleep. That way, I also don’t feel guilty about not being with her when she is awake. Is it harder to train at night after a busy day? Yes, but, Mole is my main priority.

Making this commitment will form the grounds to your new healthier lifestyle and the rest will flow from there.

“First and foremost, prioritise the habit of exercising regularly,” says personal trainer, life coach and author Mike Campbell.

 

2. Plan

fitness after a baby

Have a plan. Do not go to the gym with no plan. Do not go into your diet with no plan. You will waste time and end up having nothing to focus on.

 

A workout plan for me helps me walk into the gym focused. I know exactly what machine I need to use and a back up plan

if it is taken. I waste no time thinking “erm I’m going to do that one now or should I train my arms instead?”

 

Having a food plan will keep you focused on what it is you have been eating. It is very easy to sneak in extra calories and forget about it. Like when you go into the kitchen and start nibbling on cheese in the fridge or a biscuit out of the cupboard whilst waiting for your dinner to cook. I like to plan my food so I have my more exciting meals towards the end of the week giving me something to look forward too.

post partum fitness

After having a baby, I find I prefer my workouts to be more fast paced so I can get home quicker even if she is asleep. So I will tailor my plan around this.

3. You do you

Be realistic in your goals. When I first started my fitness journey my goal was to compete in women figure bodybuilding. I had no muscle tone and quite a bit of body fat. (Thanks to my part time job at McDonalds) It was not going to happen. You will just set yourself up for failure as you will not reach what you want in the time frame. After having Mole, I gave myself 9 months to reach my pre-baby weight. If you want to return to the gym after giving birth, consult your doctor first and make sure your body is ready and not just your mind.

Choose a goal that truly works for you and start small. It could be as simple as, in two weeks you want to be able to run for an extra 10 minutes on the treadmill.

Now:

The sooner you can understand the patience required to achieve fat loss and muscle building, the sooner you can apply yourself to consistently getting it done. Take into consideration that you have had a baby. There will be times where you can’t make the gym or you have an off day with your diet because their needs come firsts. Do not let this put you off your goal, simply extend your time frame.

4. Where to start?

Investing time learning the correct form for exercises will really benefit you. You can research different exercises that target specific muscle groups. Knowledge is power in fitness, you will reach your goal faster by educating yourself first.

A personal trainer can help you. They will be able to show you the correct form for different exercises and what exercises will work for your body and goal. Some gyms offer this as a free service.

baby fitness

There is nothing more daunting than walking into a gym and having no clue what to do. Even if you have been to that gym plenty of times, you can still ask a trainer for help. Too nervous to ask directly? Check out the gyms bulletin board for their email.

Here’s the downside:

Feeling intimidated is a real thing.

You will feel like the only one who feels intimidated when you walk into the gym, but trust me, you are not! There looks to be 100 men and women owning the floor and you will feel like they are all watching you. They are not. They are focused on their own journey and you should be too. Try going to the gym at off peak times to practice and get your confidence up.

You could even start off by completing some home workouts. I have seen some great videos where you can get your baby involved too. The whole process should be fun for you. A happy mummy will equal a happy baby.

5. Society

Here is the strange part:

When I wanted to return to the gym after having a baby I got so many negative comments from people. Even though my doctors had cleared me to go and train, people thought that they had the right to put me off my fitness goals with comments like “you should be spending time with your baby not the gym” or “your body needs to heal don’t snap back too soon.”

The truth is:

I felt miserable not doing something about getting back to my old self.

Social media has started to become a place where women are congratulated for sharing images of their post-partum bodies. Do I think this is good? Yes. It is amazing women can have the self love they deserve. But, what I don’t like is how a woman who wants to work hard for their healthy body can also feel ashamed for getting back into shape too soon. Who’s to decide what is too soon? Doctors of course, but not opinionated others.

Do not feel like you have to conform with society. Focus on your own personal goals and do not let opinions of others stop you from reaching your full fitness potential.

Doctors recommend waiting until your postnatal check up – around six to eight weeks – before you start dieting. If you’re worried about your weight in the meantime, try switching to low-fat options and stay away from foods with a high sugar content.

 

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When will my baby sleep through the night?

When will my baby sleep through the night? That is a question us parents have all had in common at some point in our baby’s life. Mole suffered terribly with…

When will my baby sleep through the night? That is a question us parents have all had in common at some point in our baby’s life.

Mole suffered terribly with silent reflux and colic as a newborn. There were nights where I would see every hour go by on the clock, the sun would rise and the birds would sing.  We were far from sleeping through the night. I remember feeling so envious of parents boasting how their newborn was a fantastic sleeper and I wanted to know their secret.

Mole is 9 months now and sleeping through like a dream! I am feeling more confident as a mum and I know that there are things in Mole’s routine that I could have established earlier which would have helped her to sleep through.vertbaudet sleeping bag

Routine

Routines play a huge part in making your life easier as a parent. I should have known really, as a secondary school teacher at a challenging school, everything is routinised. The students do the exact same routine at the start of every single lesson. If any of this is out of place on my behalf. They go haywire. Kids love structure and routine.

I started Mole with a very simple bed time routine around 3/4 months. By simple I mean very simple. Bath, bottle and bed.  Did it work? Not quite.

Mole’s bed time routine has become a little more detailed now and it is working for us!

Food

Weaning Mole has helped her to sleep through, but, when she first started weaning I would say it did not make the slightest difference.

I focus through out the day on what kind of foods she is eating, making sure she is full and satisfied. e.g. porridge over yoghurt. She can sometimes be so busy crawling around and exploring she will forget she is hungry until she is in bed. I give her water during the day and try to focus most of her bottles of milk towards the afternoon/evening again leaving her full for night time.

Mole has her last bottle before we go up to bed at around 11:30pm. Sometimes, if she is in a very hungry mood, I will leave her a bottle in her cot and she helps herself to it at around 6:00am.

Energy

Mole sleeps better if I am active with her during the day. She has so much energy that she needs to burn off. I take her to soft play in the afternoon, swimming lessons or we have crawling races around the house.

It is easier when they can crawl to tire them out. My next baby I will take them out in their pram to get a good dose of fresh air before bed or practice tummy time or play shaking a rattle. The smallest activities can make a difference. vertbaudet sleeping bag

Bedtime Story

We do the bedtime story before she has a bath, this may change as she gets older. She loves books, especially the touchy feely ones.

Bath

Mole has a bath for bed at the same time every single night 6:00pm. It use to be later. I bought the time forward and we didn’t hit that over tired phase and she was better behaved. Lot’s of splashing and fun in the bath (tired her out even more).

After the bath, I like to give her a gentle massage if she is in the mood and dry her off. I have taken more notice in her pyjamas too. I look for quality now and focus on how soft and comfortable the material is. Sometimes In buy a size bigger so they aren’t too tight on her feet.

Sleeping Bag

Mole always has a better night sleep when she is in a sleeping bag. The best I have been able to find at an affordable price is this one I was gifted from Vertbaudet at £21.00: Microfibre Sleeping Bag

The best I have been able to find at an affordable price is this one from Vertbaudet

baby sleeping bag

The quality is beautiful. It has lasted being washed over and over again too where as others from Supermarkets I have purchased have been ruined. detachable sleeves sleeping bag

The size of the sleeping bag is perfect for her legs to have enough room.

There is the option to have sleeves on the sleeping bag or detach them depending on the temperature.

baby sleeping bag

The sleeping bag is also versatile for prams as there is a double zip option to separate the legs!

Since using a sleeping bag she no longer has an issue with the blanket coming off and getting cold through out the night and I sleep better as the sleeping bag is safer.

 

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Weaning Advice With Little Tummy

Introducing Solids With Sophie,  in-house paediatrician and Co-Founder at Little Tummy’s. I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to ask and gain advice on weaning. I feel that there…

Introducing Solids With Sophie,  in-house paediatrician and Co-Founder at Little Tummy’s.

Sophie Little Tummy

I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to ask and gain advice on weaning. I feel that there is so much contradicting advice out there, it can be really difficult to know what is right, when in fact you can do a lot right, and not that much can be wrong.

You may be in the same position as me where it was nice to feel reassured in everything that you have been doing right so far.

Here are my questions to Sophie and her responses!

My baby makes a scrunched up expression on her face like she is not enjoying her food?

It can take up to 10 to 15 times before a baby can like certain tastes. Especially vegetables. Vegetables are bitter unlike fruit and your baby’s sweet tasting milk. This unusual taste will be ever so strong for them when they first try it. Scrunching up their face does not necessarily mean that your baby has taken a dislike to the taste, it could just be like us when we try sour food. The taste can be strong or unusual to them and that is their reaction.

How can I get my baby to try more finger foods?

finger food baby

Start off by mashing up your own family meals first. This will allow them to try different textures and help them become use to chewing first if they struggle to consume solid finger foods.

How much sugar should my baby be consuming?

Your baby should have 5g/100g of sugar and no additive sugar. Since watching Moles sugar intake, she has been sleeping through the night much better.

Fruit purees will be higher in sugar content. When the fruit is boiled, it sets the fruit sugar free.

Focus on looking at the carbohydrate, complex carbs and fibre intake for your baby to have sufficient energy levels. Foods such as:

  • Weetabix
  • Wholegrain
  • Porridge
  • Dark green vegetables (kale, spinach)
  • Beans
  • Lentils

You can make tasty lentil burgers for your baby to try. Then can be sweet and savoury, easy to chew and contain a high amount of protein and iron.

My baby does not seem too hungry during the day?

When your baby goes through a development spurt or a mental leap, they can forget to eat. By this I mean, your baby is far too fascinated with everything new, playing with their toys, learning to crawl and explore and even trying to climb. The last thing your baby will think is how hungry they are or when they are being fed, you may find they become bored quickly and want to be out of their high chair exploring. pink mole

Mole would have very little appetite during the day and then be up through out the night screaming for night feeds. I changed her eating routine to make sure she had 3 meals a day and 2 snacks. I switched her breakfast to fruity, wholegrain porridge rather than natural yoghurt so she was full. Again with her dinner, I give her cottage pie and for her tea she will have something like beef strew with a dessert. Meals that will really fill her up. Her favourite snacks are Ellas melty puffs or a natural yoghurt.

How much protein should my baby have?

Your baby should have 3 to 4 portions of protein a week. This can be from:

  • Dairy (make sure it is whole fat milk)
  • Meat
  • Lentils.

How much fat should my baby have?

3 times per week. Excellent fat sources are:

  • Fish (tuna and salmon as they are high in omega 3)
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Olive oil

Is my baby getting enough vitamins?

If your baby is on less than 500ml of formula then they need Vitamin D. The UK recommendation is that children up until the age of 4 years old need to take Vitamin D. The reason? In the UK we are not exposed to enough sun. Foods that are high in Vitamin D are salmon and eggs. Although you will need to eat 10 eggs.

You can read mine and Mole’s Vitamin routine here.

My baby is starting nursery, any tips on staying healthy?

With nursery comes viruses and infections. It unfortunately is something that your baby has to go through but will help strengthen their immune system.

pink mole weaning

Winter will be worse as they are inside, the air from the heating will be dry and the babies will be touching each other.

Make sure you and your baby are getting enough sleep, Vitamin D, iron and zinc. Again this can be found in fish, lentils and beans.

How can I get my baby to drink water from a sippy cup?

Some babies prefer to use a straw with their cup. The main tip is to be persistent and keep offering the sippy cup. If you supervise your baby, offer them a plastic or glass cup and see if they prefer that method instead.

I hope you have learnt something from my questions, I sure did! Remember…there is so much that you will already be doing right!

A massive thank you to Sophie at Little Tummy!

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xxx

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My guide to silky legs with Friction Free Shaving

I am going to share my secret in achieving silky legs with Friction Free Shaving. I wear fake tan. I’m constantly in a battle with dry patches on my skin…

I am going to share my secret in achieving silky legs with Friction Free Shaving.

Friction free shaving

I wear fake tan. I’m constantly in a battle with dry patches on my skin where my fake tan clings to it and leaves speckled brown dots on my legs.

Previously, I always used one bladed Bic razors. They are cheap and easy to pick up from the high street shops. But, every time it came to shaving I would dread it! I would be left with multiple shaving cuts and my skin would still be rough.

I teamed up with Friction Free Shaving and thought well I might as well give it a go and see if it really is Friction Free.

Women’s razor

Easier than the high street?

Friction Free Shaving offer a subscription service from around £9 so you can get your fresh blades delivered straight to your door! What could be easier? They work out far cheaper than your high street diamond cut blades too.

Gift Box

Lady razor gift box

They have now developed a beautiful gift box containing:

  • 4 diamond cut blades, one for every month!
  • A stunning rose gold razor which can be engraved for an extra personal touch.
  • A travel pouch
  • A razor holder for in the shower.
  • Blade protector
  • Pre shave scrub
  • Shaving cream
  • After shave balm
  • A guide on how to use the products

The price for all of this is just £30 and with the link below you can purchase this and get a free pair of rose gold tweezers to tame those unruly brows!

Buy here and get a free pair of tweezers!

My easy 3 step guide!

Step 1

The pre shave scrub gets to work on your legs removing all of the dead skin cells. This step is essential if you want to avoid patchy fake tan. The pre shave scrub also helps to prevent any ingrown hairs.

I buff the scrub all over my legs as soon as I get into the shower.

Step 2

Then there is the shave cream. Paired with the Friction Free razor, this glides over your skin so effortlessly and silky. The cream feels extremely hydrating almost like your skin is having a drink.

I cover my legs in the shaving cream after I have washed off the scrub. Whilst my legs are coated in the shaving cream I then shave them and rinse.

Step 3

The after shave balm is a thick nourishing treatment for your legs especially if you are prone to shaving rashes. There is no stinging sensation just a cooling feel from the relaxing balm. The balm smells beautiful and feels so buttery but non greasy on the skin.

I apply the balm after my skin have been dried.

Ladies razor

Gifting

This box is the perfect gift for every girl.

It’s even more perfect to treat yourself. One thing us girls forget to do!

Try yours and see for yourself how beautiful it is!

Shaving gift box and free tweezers

Razor review

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Myths About Mum Bloggers

Becoming a blogger has been one of the best decisions I have made. I love having a way to express my main passion in life. Parenting. I have noticed a…

Becoming a blogger has been one of the best decisions I have made. I love having a way to express my main passion in life. Parenting.

I have noticed a few regular perceptions of mum bloggers where I have admittedly, had a little chuckle to myself.

Mum blogger myths

“Mum bloggers spend no time with their kids”

Believe it or not, blogging has made me spend more time with Mole!

I love having my free time to play and admire her. I love watching her grow and being able to share our journey with the world.

I do my blogging as soon as she goes down for a nap or in the evening after she has gone to bed. Obviously if she is busy playing by herself I will check Instagram but what parent doesn’t nowadays?

If I wasn’t blogging I would most likely be back at work as I would have been desperate for something to keep my mind active.

Mum blogger uk

“You’re only doing that so you can blog about it”

There has been times I’ll admit where I have done things so I can capture a photo. For example dressing Mole up in an outfit. But I think I would do that anyway even if I didn’t have a blog?Uk mummy blogger

I also feel like I get out more and do more with her. I love sharing what we get up to online. I would still take her to as many activity days as I can so she can look back on her childhood and be happy.

Products have been a big one where sometimes I have been influenced. When I can see everyone talking about a product and I have got one too and felt the need to also talk about it. (Only if it was good of course.)

“You get everything for free”

I wish haha. I am kindly gifted products in return for a review. Reviews take a lot of work. You can easily spend hours making sure your content is up to scratch to impress the brand.

Some companies offer discounts for their products too which is handy.

The majority of the time I have paid full price for a product and I will be talking about it because I love it so much and want everyone to try it!

Mum blog baby blog uk

“You think you are the perfect mum”

No. I think I am talking on behalf of the majority of mum bloggers here. We do not think we are the perfect mum but we definitely try our hardest to be the best mum possible.

My life can look very put together through pictures. House will be spotless, makeup flawless and no baby snot on my clothes but that is probably for less than 5 minutes I can assure you.

I mainly spend my days in my pjs with a standard mum bun, tripping up over Moles toys left all over the floor.

I will also blog about my experience so far with Mole and any advice I can give I will do. This is to help as many people as I can, not to show off that I think I am a mother know it all haha.

Baby blogger uk

What myths have you heard? I would love to know!

Please comment, like and share 🤩 !

Thank-you so much

Zoe

Xxx

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5 Baby Led Weaning Mistakes

I’m going to confess to 5 mistakes I made when moving on to baby led weaning with Mole. Background I began weaning Mole at 4 months old after thinking we…

I’m going to confess to 5 mistakes I made when moving on to baby led weaning with Mole.

Baby led weaning

Background

I began weaning Mole at 4 months old after thinking we were both ready, turns out we was not quite ready yet so waited another month.

Mole began of smooth puréed foods and loved it!

I could feed Mole any flavour and she would eat the whole lot.

As mole reached 7 months I began to change up her eating routine to gain techniques with different textures.

However, this is when I made some silly and avoidable mistakes.

Baby led weaning mistakes

  • Eating hard foods straight away.
  • Giving up on foods my baby does not like.
  • Not judging the length of time correctly it takes my baby to eat their food.
  • Cutting the food into the wrong shapes.
  • Over facing my baby with too much food.Baby led weaning help

Baby led weaning mistakes explained

Eating hard foods

I never took a minute to think that Mole had mainly smooth purée. Moving on to hard food such as cucumber just did not work for her. She had no teeth and found it hard to break down. Mole would just gum the cucumber making no progress or just spit it out and gag.

After practicing with soft foods like croquettes and strawberries, Mole felt confident to have a go on harder foods. I also felt like she was enjoying eating and not getting as frustrated.

Giving up on foods my baby does not like

This one is my main mistake. Each time Mole would display signs of not enjoying a food I would give in and never feed her that food again. This also goes for pouches. However, I have now noticed that she changes her mind like the wind. One day she could love a food and the next day she will hate it. I just have to count my luck with her. Knowing this mistake has helped a lot with our baby led weaning journey.

I began giving her vegetables as this is the most healthy type of food for her. Mole did not like eating a piece of broccoli compared to eating broccoli purée. I switched it up to giving her fruits knowing that she will eat fruit. And she did. I tried again with her veg and suddenly she was eating it with no issues.

I do think that her mood and time of day has a big role to play too.

Baby led weaning advice

Not judging the length of time correctly it takes my baby to eat their food

A mistake I made was trying baby led weaning with her right before we had to either go out or be out in a restaurant.

I am sure some babies take to this okay but mine did not.

If we were out there was always far too much going on for her to even have any interest in picking up her food and eating it.

Compared to feeding Mole a purée, baby led weaning takes so much longer. Not my best idea if I had plans afterwards. Obviously you can not rush them to eat so you have to be patient. This was a little frustrating for me when all she would do is throw food on the floor or spit every little bit out.

I made sure that when we were doing baby led weaning, we had all the time in the world to eat. It was also nice as I could get a hot cup of coffee whilst she was still eating.

Cutting the food into the wrong shapes

I Googled what shapes to cut the food into when I first started baby led weaning. I did this because I was terrified of her choking. Every website I read said cutting into halves or finger sized slices.

I think this is one mistake that maybe more unique to Mole. She preferred her food in small bits. Mole seems to hold the food better and put it into her mouth better compared to finger sized foods.

Now she is getting more confident I am giving her food in bigger pieces.

Over facing my baby with too much food

Looking on Instagram for inspiration I would see beautiful plates full of colourful food.

I basically copied not taking into account that Mole had gone from a smooth purée straight to a plate of food would be too much.

She would not eat any of the food and try to throw the plate on the floor. I gave up quickly and I became discouraged after seeing so many other babies eat plate fulls of food online.

I still display all her food nicely on a plate for photo purposes but when it comes to giving her the food I just take a little bit off the plate and let her eat that. Once she has finished I give her more. I could not believe how much progress she made doing it this way.

Baby led weaning tips

  • Start off with their ultimate favourite foods such as fruit
  • Use kitchen roll to get rid of any excess juice which will discourage their grip
  • Use a knife with a serrated edge to help their grip
  • Start off with Ella’s melty puffs to build your confidence with them not choking
  • If your baby is still struggling then they might not be ready. Feed your baby textured purée instead for a bit longer.
  • Try again tomorrow. Don’t give up
  • Choose soft foods to begin
  • Feed them in your baby’s usual eating environment
  • Turn off any distractions such as the TV
  • Get a dog to help clean up the mess haha.

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How do I get my baby into a nap routine?

Most new mums burning question: “How do I get my baby into a nap routine?” As soon as Mole hit three months I began working on her nap routine. I…

Most new mums burning question:

“How do I get my baby into a nap routine?”

As soon as Mole hit three months I began working on her nap routine. I felt like it was important for the both of us. I could get my me time back and Mole would be less grouchy in the evenings.

Baby nap time routine

Most three-to six-month-olds will sleep for around 15 hours a day, including regular naps throughout.

According to parenting experts your baby ideally needs three sleeps totalling no more than five hours.

Working on a nap routine

To get Mole to have three naps a day was well out of our reach. It was hard enough getting her to go down for one let alone three.

I focussed on her first nap and what ever else happened was an added bonus.

The key to her napping was to notice the signs of when she is tired. At around 9:45am I place her on her play mat if she is not already there and study her.

Baby nap time routine

Signs my baby is tired

  • Rubbing their eyes
  • Cycling their legs
  • Clasp their hands
  • Rubbing their face
  • Begin to be vocal
  • Moan and groan
  • Shout
  • Cry
  • Loss of interest in toys

Morning nap

When Mole displays these signs I take her straight up to her cot. It’s a good idea to have a warm bottle prepared too (I usually make this at 9:40am).

Baby nap time routine

The key is to take her up as she is displaying the start of these signs e.g. moaning not shouting. As you get use to what you need to look out for the whole process is easier. I can tell within three seconds of looking at her if she needs a nap now.

If you wait till they are shouting then you run the risk of them being over tired and getting them to nap in a cot becomes a nightmare.

Ensuring their room is dark is a signal to your baby that sleep is needed. I will give Mole her bottle and blanket. The majority of the time she falls straight to sleep after her bottle.

Afternoon nap

Mole’s afternoon nap is a different story. It is much harder to get her down for this nap compared to the morning nap.

She does not display the window of tiredness signs as she does in the morning so what I did was work out a time that is best for both of us.

2:00pm. I know that she has had her dinner, nappy change and playtime after dinner. I also know that she is probably ready for her next bottle. I take her to her room and place her in the cot and feed her the bottle. This time she rarely falls asleep on the bottle so I have to give her a kiss and leave the room.

50% of the time she will talk herself to sleep and I love listening through the door at her cute conversation.

Feeling like you are failing

The other 50% of the time she will cry and scream. I have learnt that if she has had all of her bottle I can leave her for 5-10 minutes and then I go back and check on her. Usually I have to go and distract myself and put the washing in or let the dog outside as hearing her cry upsets me and I give into myself and bring her down stairs. Luckily she ends up falling asleep. I have the lollipop baby camera so I can check up on her on my phone without going in and disturbing her.

Nap time

If Mole is still awake and not settled then I will check her nappy, offer her more bottle and try again.

I never put pressure of myself to make the routine perfect. If the second nap fails I simply take her back down for more playtime and make sure she is in bed for the night at an earlier time.

Failing baby nap time

What are good nap times?

Good nap times are around the “window of tiredness”. This tends to be 90 minutes after first waking in the morning, 30 minutes to 60 after the lunchtime feed and at 4-5pm in the afternoon.

You will work out what times work for you both.

Nap time tips

  • Look out for your baby rubbing their eyes
  • Have a warm bottle prepared
  • Make sure the room is dark
  • Lavender sleep spray can help them associate it is time to sleep
  • Consistency! I stayed in for 2 weeks putting her in her cot at the same time every day.
  • Do not give in straight away. Try to distract yourself whilst they cry and learn to self settle for the first 5 minutes.
  • Fresh nappy
  • You don’t have to change them back into their pjs.
  • Make the house as quiet as possible whilst they are trying to sleep.
  • Invest in a baby monitor Baby nap time tips

I hope you enjoyed reading! Comment below your nap time tips 😊.

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10 things no one tells you about childbirth

When I was pregnant I would spend my time researching everything to do with childbirth. I wanted to be sure that I knew everything. Nothing was going to surprise me…

When I was pregnant I would spend my time researching everything to do with childbirth. I wanted to be sure that I knew everything. Nothing was going to surprise me when the time would come to go to the hospital. I would even spend nights watching One Born Every Minute so I was clued up on different scenarios.

But, from my experience there was 10 things no one told me about childbirth. I wonder if you agree with them too!

1.You do not rush to the hospital

From the first moment I experienced my first contraction I expected that my baby was about to come within 5 minutes. The race to the hospital was on! Wrong. You have to time your contractions until they are the correct lengths and time apart. This can take hours! I waited all day and when I turned up barely being able to walk, the hospital still wanted to send me back home.

2. Waters don’t always gush

In films whenever a lady’s water breaks there is the biggest gush of water leaving a pool on the floor. Not always the case. Some women only experience a little trickle of their water breaking. That’s usually down to the break being at the top of the sac. My waters didn’t even break on their own. The midwife popped them during the final stages of my labour. Other than my baby’s head crowning, it was one of the most painful experiences of my life! The pressure felt like I was going to burst open!

3. It feels like you need to go for a number 2

Is this TMI? I don’t know? But it’s true! No one told me this! When your contractions start it can feel like you need to go to the toilet. I kept going to the toilet but nothing was happening because that’s just how going into labour felt. I was also really embarrassed at the time thinking I had an off stomach that had come completely at the wrong time!

4. The waiting game

Labour can last for ages and ages. I was in labour for 12 hours. Whilst you are there on the hospital bed in absolute agony, whoever is by your side will be watching TV, eating crisps and just chilling. The time for you passes by and you are so focused on breathing techniques. But your birthing partner will feel the process is lasting a lifetime.

5. Placenta delivery

I knew after delivering a baby you have to then deliver your placenta. What I didn’t know what how painful this is. I also didn’t know that this can lead to more complications. Even after having a natural birth, you could still go to theatre to deliver the placenta.

6. Stitches

Ouch. I don’t have to tell you how much this hurts because I’m sure you can imagine. I had no idea that I was going to be lay down with my legs open for a good 40 minutes whilst the midwife figured out how to stitch up my complicated tear.

7. Blood

I was not prepared for the amount of blood loss. Even after birth. You will go through mummy pads as much as your newborn will go through nappies.

8. Birth plan goes out the window

You have no control and there is no point getting your hopes up. You have to go with the flow and trust your midwife. If you can get a say then brilliant. But do not be disheartened when things do not go exactly how you want.

9. Feeding your baby after birth

As a first time mum, I was unaware of how often to feed and how long for. During antenatal classes I learnt how to breastfeed. Daft right? I didn’t even have a baby to practice with. I assumed as soon as I had given birth I would begin to breastfeed. Little did I know that me and my baby would both need practice. And well, even after practice we both couldn’t get it. That’s okay! Other methods of feeding your baby are available with NO judgement. Just do what works best for YOU.

10. Pure emotion

People talk about how it is the best feeling in the world to give birth to your baby and that is so true. But I couldn’t believe the range of emotions felt. You can go from being scared to happy pretty quickly. Even after you have given birth you still feel overwhelmed with emotions.

Let me know what people didn’t tell you about childbirth!

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Baby Bath Time Essentials

When I use to think of a bath, the word relaxing came to mind. But as a first time mum, when I first bathed Mole she was a slippery fish…

When I use to think of a bath, the word relaxing came to mind. But as a first time mum, when I first bathed Mole she was a slippery fish and it was more nerve-wracking than relaxing.

Now we are a few months down the line with plenty of bath times under our belt, I feel I have found the right items to have by my side at bath time.

Bath time is a fun bonding routine and has definitely helped with establishing a strong bed time routine.

Baby Bath Time Checklist

Here are my bath time baby essentials to keep your baby safe and comfy whilst you get your them squeaky clean.

  • Baby bath tub or seat
  • Soft sponge
  • Soft hooded towel
  • Baby shampoo
  • Baby wash
  • Baby bubblebath
  • Thermometer
  • Bath toys
  • Rinsing Cup

My Bath Time Favourite Products For Mole

Angelcare soft touch bath support

baby bath seat

I love this one by Angelcare. Mole has used this every bath time since she was a newborn baby. I feel so safe bathing her in this and she has the freedom to splash her legs and have fun.

Baby Bath Soft Sponge

baby sponge

This sponge is super soft on her delicate skin. I also use the sponge to rinse off her shampoo too as I find using a rinsing cup always gets too much water down her face and shampoo into her eyes.

Baby Bath Hooded Towel

I have tried lot’s of cheap hooded towels from B&M and Aldi but they do not stay soft after a wash. My favourite is this one from Marks and Spencer. Its sooooooo soft.

Baby Wash, Shampoo and Bubblebath

If you have read one of my previous blog posts on Mole’s sensitive skin you will already know one of my favourite bath time products.

I love Childs Farm and for bubbles, wash and shampoo. They are a brilliant all rounder and have done wonders to her sensitive skin. They have a range of different scents but the strawberry mint has to be our fave.

Recently I was very hesitant to try Mole with another brand after knowing Childs Farm works so well. I picked up some products from Love Boo. OH MY WORD, they are gorgeous. Mole has used the bubble bath, body wash and massage oil and they smell incredible. Just like a baby scent. Her skin has not flared up once which is the biggest bonus. So if you fancy a bath time was for your baby that has a stronger scent that I definitely recommend Love Boo.

love boo baby body wash

Baby Bath Thermometer 

baby bath thermometer

This has been a life saver. Our hot tap always runs near to boiling. I feel at ease knowing I have the correct temperature for Mole’s bath by using the thermometer rather than doing an elbow or wrist check. The thermometer is digital and states what the temperate range needs to be if you ever forget.

Baby Bath Toys

baby bath toys

Mole loves to play with rubber ducks. The rubber ducks work as great teething toys too. She even has to hold onto one whilst I get her ready into her pyjamas. Simple and cheap.

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