Tag: family holiday

5 Toddler Summer Holiday Essentials

It is that fantastic time of year again when we are all excited as we probably have a summer holiday planned. Whether you are having a staycation or flying abroad,…

It is that fantastic time of year again when we are all excited as we probably have a summer holiday planned. Whether you are having a staycation or flying abroad, I’m going to share with you my top 5 toddler summer holiday essentials for a stress free holiday.

Toddler Summer Essentials

Toddler Summer Essentials

Cool Soft Baby Blanket

Instantly cooling to the touch, this blanket has been our number one summer holiday must have. It has been so versatile, from lying it in the pram to using it as a beach mat. One of my biggest concerns with going abroad with a toddler was “will the heat be too much?” Mole struggled badly with the UK heat last year as a newborn, so when I laid eyes on this product as a baby show, I had to have it. The cooling mat must have been so refreshing to lie on in the heat. She never showed signs of being too hot once. (It’s also super light weight for your luggage too.

Snooze Shade

Toddler Summer Essentials

This stroller cover was perfect for naps. The shade cover blocks 99% of UV rays and makes the inside of the stroller nice and dark making outdoor naps a whole lot easier. The shade cover has a universal fit for most strollers and prams and only takes a few seconds to apply to the stroller.

Mamas and Papas Stroller

We purchased the: Mamas & Papas Armadillo City² Lightweight Compact Pushchair.

The stroller has a light weight frame making it easy for travelling. When travelling the amount of times you have to fold up and down the stroller is crazy.

My experience from visiting European holiday destinations has been that not all destinations are pram friendly, with having lot’s of steps to access places. Taking our usual heavy two piece pram was not convenient.Toddler Summer Essentials This stroller folds up or down in just a click, you can even do it one handed. 

There is an adjustable seat which was great for naps times as she could lie back and be comfortable and the huge UV protective hood accompanied with the Snooze Shade blocked the sun.

Toddler Travel Plate

If you’re anything like me on holiday, a big part of that time will be spent dining at restaurants. We usually order Mole’s food from the children’s menu, but to keep costs down we also like to share the food myself and Jay orders with her. This super handy travel plate rolled up in her lunch bag and came with us to every restaurant. I didn’t have to worry about her trying to throw it off the table as its made of silicone and has a good grip against the table. We had the rubber duck design of course.Toddler Summer Essentials

Banana Boat SPF

I am extremely fussy when it comes to choosing a good suncream. I can say that I have tried and tested various creams and this one is by far my all time favourite for babies and toddlers.

What I love about this suncream is, the consistency is thick so I feel at ease when I am applying it, like I am really giving her skin protection. I can feel and see exactly where I put it on her body. The cream is non greasy has the sand does not stick to it so I can have the cream fully applied in no time. Mole has very sensitive skin too, this cream has been the only one out of the many we have tried that does not make her break out into rashes.

For her hair, I used the Malibu SPF 50 Scalp Protector. (I also used this on my head too!) its very easy to use, with it being clear, you can directly spray it onto your head and hair for full protection. Toddler Summer Essentials

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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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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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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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10 things about Mole

Get to know Mole! I thought I’d share with you 10 different things about my lovely, little Mole so you can get to know her a little bit more 😀…

Get to know Mole!

I thought I’d share with you 10 different things about my lovely, little Mole so you can get to know her a little bit more 😀

  1. Her favourite food is Cauliflower Cheese Puree. Its the one food I can always guarantee she will eat even on her fussy days.
  2. She’s a nosey parker. Whenever we are in restaurants or cafes, she always has to swivel her head and watch what everybody else is doing.
  3. Mole has a webbed toe. It is her little toe and i’m not sure what to do about it really. We have had the option for it to be separated but at the moment its not bothering her so I have left it be.
  4. Mole is obsessed with my iPhone which has resulted in her getting a pretend VTech mobile off her Grandma
  5. Her favourite song is Charlie and the Numbers from BabyTV. Even if I just sing the first number she smiles.
  6. Her first word was Mama ❤️ and her second word was Dada.
  7. When we went to Chester Zoo her favourite animal was the giraffe. She was mesmerised by how big they were.
  8. Mole has visited 2 other countries. France when she was 6 weeks old and Majorca when she was 4 months old. Very lucky baby.
  9. Mole hates peas. HATES them.
  10. When Mole use to go in the sunlight she would always squint her eyes like a little Mole and her nickname stuck even more.
  11. Ok, I know I said 10 things but I couldn’t miss this one off… Jay and I rarely call her Molly. If it’s not Mole, Moley or Mole rat then it’s Suzie because we think she looks like a Suzie.

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No more tears: Tips For Travelling on a Plane with a Baby

Get your holiday off to a stress free start when travelling on a plane with a baby!   You have to first admit to yourself that travelling with a baby…

Get your holiday off to a stress free start when travelling on a plane with a baby!

 

You have to first admit to yourself that travelling with a baby is going to be harder than travelling solo. You can not predict or control everything that is going to happen.

What you can do is make what you can control easier on yourself by being prepared. Preparation is key.

Timing

The one time it is not okay to be fashionably late. Especially with a baby I can tell you from experience arriving at the very last minute adds more stress than you thought possible to the whole process.

I was frantically running from check in then to specialist luggage to drop the car seat off and then to security whilst holding a bottle feeding my baby and pushing the pram. Give yourself plenty of time. You will be able to change your babies nappy, grab a drink and walk casually to your gate rather than sprinting like its the finish line.

 

Milk

Make sure you have all of your baby’s milk to hand. If you are not breastfeeding you can prepare your bottles before you board the flight. I got ready made formula bottles ready as soon as we hit the airport. You can order  your formula at the airport from Boots so you can avoid taking up more space in your luggage. You don’t need to worry if you can take your baby’s bottles through security. Anything for a baby can be allowed through, from my experience.

Soothers

Take any soothers your baby loves with you in your hand luggage so you can grab them straight away. A dummy is great for when the air pressure changes on the plane and can make your baby cry. It is like us chewing gum 🙂 .

Mole loves her favourite pink blanket. As soon as the fabric touches her cheeks she settles straight away. You could try their favourite blanket or teddy if your baby doesn’t take to a dummy.

Toys

This one goes with out saying, long plane journeys are boring for us so obviously a baby will become bored and need entertaining. Pack their favourite toy in your hand luggage to keep them occupied.

You could even try wrapping up toys and your baby has to unwrap them. We know how much babies like to play with paper right? The extra time a baby takes to unwrap their toy, will buy you some quiet time 🙂

Travel Pillow

Planes are very uncomfortable. It is hard to make your baby comfortable in such a small space. I took a travel pillow on board with the intentions of myself using it however, I soon ended up placing Mole on it so she had somewhere comfortable to lay down.

Book your seats

Booking your seats will ensure that whoever you are travelling with can sit together. This makes it ten times easier to keep your baby and even you settled as you can take turns in holding your baby giving you a little break too. It helps when you want to reach for something in your bag or order food or a drink.

Take your pram on board

I check my car seat in at the specials luggage check in so I do not have to carry it around. Then I keep the pram with me right up until we board the plane. This is fantastic as you probably have your own luggage to carry around and it will make it ten times harder to do that whilst holding your baby, unless you prefer a sling.

Pack extra nappies and a cosy outfit

You want your baby when travelling on a plane to be comfortable. Make sure before you board the plane you have changed their nappy so they feel fresh. I always put Mole in a cosy sleep suit so she is very warm on the air conditioned plane.

Dressing your baby in a sleep suit helps to save time when you are changing their nappy as you do not have a complicated outfit to undress and then put back on them.

 

Don’t be afraid to walk up and down the plane

Walking up and down with your baby on a plane when they are unsettled will help to give them a change of scenery and distract them. Walking will give you a chance to stretch your legs a bit too.

Preparation is Key

If you prepare and have everything to have in your hand luggage your journey will be easier. Remember that if you do have a really bad journey, they are only babies and you won’t have to come across the people on your flight ever again 🙂

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