First-Time Mum – A Letter To Myself #VicksBabyRub

I wrote a letter to myself as a first-time mum as part of the Britmums #VicksBabyRub Challenge. looking back to those days really did get me thinking about what I would tell myself. There are so many things I wish someone had told me. I was sent a gorgeous notebook & pen to help me jot down all those tips, tricks & simple pieces of advice a first-time mum deserves.

First-Time Mum #VicksBabyRub

 

To A First-Time Mum

Ember,

Being a first-time mum is both terrifying and exciting. Everything is about to change but you CAN do this! Pregnancy is exhausting and being a first-time mum is just as exhausting yet so rewarding. I have a few tips to help make the first year much easier for you. Everyone tells you to sleep when the baby sleeps but what if baby doesn’t sleep?

When Baby Isn’t Sleeping

Babies are well known to be terrible when it comes to sleeping but there usually is a reason. As a first-time mum, it can be so overwhelming when your baby is crying, here’s a few reasons your baby may cry & products to help soothe them.

Vicks Baby Rub – Perfect for soothing your little one, this moisturising and soothing rub is designed to comfort babies. A combination of mum/dads touch along with mild fragrances of Rosemary, Lavender & Aloe Vera can help soothe and calm your little one. Vicks Baby Rub is a cosmetic, non-medicated product which can be used at any time to help wind down & settle your baby.

Infacol – Colic is so stressful for baby and parents but Infacol is an absolute life-saver! With a handy pipette built into the lid, Infacol is easy to give to your little one and helps relieve Colic.

Dentinox/Bonjela/Ashton & Parsons Powders – Teething is possibly the worst part of parenting, knowing your little one is in pain is hard to bear. These fab products are designed to help ease the pain and soothe your little one.

Sudocream/Bepanthen – Nappy rash is a nightmare, it looks awful and causes little ones to cry out in pain. Creams like Sudocream and Bepanthen are specially designed to help heal and soothe babies skin.

Calpol/Nurofen – If all else fails and your little one is clearly in a lot of discomfort, or has a slight temperature, painkillers can help. Always read the labels & correct dosage instructions. Remember smalle/premature babies will need a smaller dose. Talk to your GP if you are unsure.

Helpful Notes

Money Saving

It can sometimes feel like we have to buy certain brands & products with little ones but the truth is there are some less-known brands that are just as good. Take Mamis Nappies & Wipes, for instance, these cost a lot less than most brands and just as good, if not better in my own opinion.

Bulk-buy products you know you will need such as nappies, wipes, washing powder, fabric softener & dishwasher tablets. Buying items like these in bulk can save you quite a bit of money which can be better spent elsewhere.

It’s OK!

It’s OK to make mistakes, everyone does as a first-time mum don’t let them get you down. You won’t always know what is wrong with your baby or what to do. Do what comes naturally, you’ll be fine! It’s so easy to blame yourself and feel guilty because you forgot to bin that nappy or wash up bottles. It happens, you’ve just spent 9 months growing a tiny human which is draining enough. Add in an exhausting delivery & a baby who sleeps very little. It’s hardly surprising little things will be forgotten when we are sleep deprived. Ask for help if you feel too tired and need help catching up on chores.

First-Time Mum Letter to myself

Believe In Yourself

It is so easy to feel like you have no clue what you are doing. Trust your instincts though, they will often be right on point! Don’t blame yourself if you can’t breastfeed, it happens, as long as your baby is fed and happy it’s OK. You are doing your best!

If you feel something is wrong, act on it. If you think something isn’t right with your little one contact your HV or 111 for advice. As a first-time mum, it can feel like nobody trusts your judgement but you know your baby best.

Enjoy The Early Days

Make sure you enjoy the early days as a first-time mum. The washing up can wait, the tidying doesn’t need to be done right now. Focus on your baby and you and getting through each day, getting to know each other and enjoying those baby days. We often get caught up in trying to look like we have it all together. The truth is none of us really do, we all lose track and forget things at times. Just remember you are doing the best you can and that’s what matters most. Your baby won’t remember how tidy the house but they will feel the bond growing between you as you spend time together just enjoying those early days.

Remember, you CAN do this!

This post is an entry for BritMums #VicksBabyRub Challenge, sponsored by Vicks BabyRub. Specially designed for babies aged 6 months and over, Vicks BabyRub is available at Boots, Superdrug, Tesco, Asda, Waitrose and all good pharmacy chains. RRP £3.99.

 

 

 

The Great Oreo Cookie Quest – Can You Spot Them All?

For the Great Oreo Cookie Quest, we were sent 2 packs* to enjoy during family moments. Oreos are a delicious & fun snack for all the family! Oreo is celebrating #OreoCookieQuest with fun ways to win great prizes. With the new on-pack promotion you can win a once-in-a-lifetime wonder-filled trip to California and the Googleplex!! We’ve hidden 10 Oreos in this post for fun, can you spot them all?

The Great Oreo Cookie Quest

#OreoCookieQuest

Watching A Film

2 Oreos with a glass of milk is a perfect treat for anyone at anytime. The Great Oreo Cookie Quest seemed like a great way to spend more mother-daughter time with Eva across the weekend. Eva loves Oreos and enjoyed having them as a treat when we snuggled up to watch a film together!

The Great Oreo Cookie Quest

Crocheting

I’ve been teaching Eva to crochet lately, and whilst we had a small hiccup after discovering she crochets left-handed, she is learning. When she gets frustrated we take a quick break and an Oreo quickly puts a smile back on her face. We’ve been practising chaining which she can do with finger knitting so she is picking up confidence bit by bit. We found some fab tutorials online for lefties (I am left handed but crochet right handed!) so I’m sure she will get the hang of it soon!

Oreos & Crochet

Creative Homework

It’s been a slow process with lots going on recently but we have been working on a 3D model of Mount Merapi for Eva’s creative homework. She has been reading The Firework Makers Daughter at school and couldn’t wait to make the model. After several layers of papier mache, it is finally dry and ready to paint! Hopefully, we can hand it in this week!

Oreo-cano

Reading

As I mentioned in a few recent posts, Eva is becoming a big reader like I was at her age, she speeds through books in a day or 2. I try to encourage her to read to herself and out loud to us, she loves reading out loud. Whilst we were spending some one on one time comfortably reading on the bed we treated ourselves to an Oreo.

Reading with Oreos

Eva really enjoyed reading about the human body in this interesting pop-up book. She loved finding out how our bodies work and can name so many body parts and their functions. I love the detail in the book and listening to Eva reading with confidence.

Oreo challenge

Did you find all 10 Oreos in our photo’s? Do you love Oreos too?

*This post is an entry for Britmums #OreoCookieQuest, sponsored by Oreo.

 

DIY Daddy

Turning #TearsIntoSmiles With Elastoplast

We’ve been turning #tearsintosmiles with Elastoplast this week! Eva can be rather clumsy at times and quite often hurts herself in some way. It has become a family joke that Eva could win an award for the most medical forms sent home from school! We joined the Britmums & Elastoplast #TearsIntoSmiles challenge and were sent some awesome Frozen and Star Wars Plasters to join in with.

Elastoplast

We headed out to the park at the weekend, the girls really enjoyed running around and playing on this awesome ship! Whilst playing outdoors is important in child development falls and scrapes can happen often. Eva loves to climb but she managed to lose grip fall off the climbing frame and hurt her arm. We dusted her off and she seemed ok, just a small scratch. We gave her a quick cuddle and tried to distract her with pirate jokes.

#TearsIntoSmiles with Elastoplast

Playing in the park

When a cuddle doesn’t help usually distractions work best. Usually joking helps but when she has a cut it can be quite difficult to calm her down. Luckily I had the Frozen plasters we were sent in my bag at the ready. We quickly cleaned the scratch and popped a plaster on it which instantly turned her #TearsIntoSmiles. We headed home for a cuddle on the sofa & watched a film and Eva soon forgot all about her cut.

All kids react differently when they hurt themselves but when they do get upset a cuddle and distraction seems to work for us. Izzy rarely cuts herself and is one to get straight back up and dust herself off like nothing ever happened. Occasionally she will ask for a cuddle but cheers up fairly easily and carries on playing.

 

How do you #TurnTearsIntoSmiles? Do your little ones love character plasters too?

Check out Elastoplast’s #TearsIntoSmiles video below! What do you think?

*This post is an entry for the BritMums #TearsintoSmiles Challenge, sponsored by Elastoplast.

 

 

 

#VicksTricks & Our Tips To Help Beat Colds

#vickstricksThis post is an entry for the #VicksTricks campaign. I was sent a lovely package to help us out including Vicks First Defence. Very comforting to have on standby in this cold weather!

 

My girls are regularly coming down with some nasty cold or bug especially with Eva at school, it’s completely unavoidable! We’ve all felt a bit rough over the last week so our #VicksTricks package couldn’t have come at a better time. We usually know they are coming down with something when they get a temperature, something 60% of parents agree on according to research carried out by Vicks.  We use infant Paracetamol to help bring down a temperature. When the girls are ill we spend a lot of time snuggled up on the sofa having cuddles.

50% of parents agree irritability & tantrums are another one of the first signs their children are coming down with a cold. My girls do get irritable and rather emotional, it can be difficult to soothe them with just cuddles and other distractions are needed.

Here’s a few ways we keep them amused:

  1. Read books – My girls love being read to when they are poorly and occasionally fall asleep.
  2. Watch films – New or old favourites keep them occupied for an hour or so at a time. (If you’re lucky they’ll fall asleep haha!)
  3. Colouring in – I tend to find their favourite colouring book.

Almost half of parents agree another sign their little one is coming down with something is loss of appetite. It is most definitely a tell-tale sign with my girls as they LOVE food! It can be difficult to get them to eat but we do have a few tricks.

We offer these

  1. A small snack buffet – Kids are even fussier when ill so we keep it small and simple cucumber, cheese, breadsticks/crackers & fruit.
  2. Yoghurt! – No matter how ill my girls are they never turn down a yoghurt.
  3. Fruit smoothies – Tasty and filling!
  4. Warm Chocolate milk – Helps soothe them off to sleep.

We use Vicks vapour rub to help the girls breathe easier and to clear up any nasty coughs. We find tying a muslin square with Vicks on to the bed post helps them sleep much easier too! Did you know it’s great for kids aged two years and older, but it’s proven to work just as well for adults too.

The Mr cooks up his delicious magic soup in the slow cooker for dinner with meat, potatoes, stock, pearl barley, lots of onion & garlic and any other veg we fancy throwing in! It is a magically warming soup which has helped us get through soo many colds over the years. It can be kept over a few days too, it just needs to be warmed by the bowl.

Talking of magic, have you seen this magic #VicksTricks video?

What tips & tricks do you use?

Spreading The Joy Of Reading This Christmas

I have always loved to read and reading was my favourite thing to do as a child so I love the idea of spreading the joy of reading this Christmas by giving 3 amazing Penguin Random House Children’s Books (teamed up with Britmums) I received to Izzy as Christmas presents.

Izzy is really enjoying reading books with all of us and as we did with Eva, we intend to encourage her love of reading. We sometimes go to baby rhyme time at the local library and always come back with a stack of books which we read over and over at home. The girls have an ever growing book shelf too & these books will make a lovely addition!

Max & Bird

Max & bird looks like quite a funny book about a kitty who wants to be friends with Bird. He also wants to chase and him as a tasty snack . But that’s not what friendship is all about… is it? I can’t wait to read this to Izzy, I know she will love the illustrations as she loves cats!

 

The Little Elephant Who Wants To Fall Asleep

 

The Little Elephant who want to fall asleep is a the latest book from the author of The Rabbit who wants to fall asleep which is a global best seller! It’s aimed at helping children fall asleep.  Following Ellen the elephant on a journey through a magical forest that leads to sleep! This sounds like a brilliant book and I’ll definitely be trying it out on those nights the girls just can’t sleep.

 

The Dinosaur That Pooped Christmas

 

I can’t wait to read the dinosaur that pooped Christmas! We’ve read the dinosaur that pooped the world which the girls absolutely loved. This time Danny’s new dinosaur eats Christmas!! I wonder what happens next!?

 

 

They all sound like brilliant books, I can’t wait to read them to Izzy!

I loved books growing up and The Secret Garden was always my favourite as a young child! I have saved a copy for the girls to read. Hopefully one day it becomes a favourite for them, getting lost in the beautiful secret garden and storyline.

What was your favourite book as a child? Do you read it or plan to read it to your child/ren?

Are you giving books as gifts this year? Which ones?

*I’ve been sent these books by Britmums and Penguin Random House as part of their children’s books Christmas present challenge.

Surprisingly Good Luck

I’m one of those people I’d class as unlucky & always feel quite suspicious when things begin to go my way but I’ve had surprisingly good luck lately &  for now I’m going to attempt to enjoy it!

My streak of luck started last week with a £5 win on a purple scratch card that the Mr got me. It’s something we only do occasionally so I was quite pleased with winning. We did our usual thing of buying 1 more each out of the winnings and keep the rest. I won £1 again on my one too.. Another Relentless.. Cheers!

I then found out I had one a pack of Posca Pens from a giveaway on MeYou&Magoo’s  #Craftingismytherapy Linky too! If you’re a crafter please do pop over & link up any craft related posts, the linky is quite small and could do with some more love 🙂 

I also won a box full of baby bits this week but unfortunately everything was for 0-6months so no good for Izzy. I ran a poll on Twitter to see if people thought I should run a give-away or donate the box to charity. After I had filled it up with more items of course! The overall vote was to donate it to a Charity. If you have any suggestions I’d love to hear them!

To top it all I found out I’m a winner of the Britmums Linky entry for the #Mamiadaysout challenge.. How awesome is that!? I was pleased when the Hamper arrived & again once it was empty! I filled it with wool to neaten up my craft stash, now I’m absolutely over the moon! (If you had a hamper what did you use yours for?)

Have you had any luck lately? Any wins or good luck in general? Let me know in the comments 🙂


Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Making Packed Lunches Easy With #FloraLunchbox

A packed lunch is somewhat dreaded by most parents. With children’s fussiness & guidelines to follow it can be difficult putting together a healthy nutritious packed lunch that your child will actually eat. With #FloraLunchbox packed lunches have never been easier!

Flora Distributed 631,000 Lunchboxes and healthy meal planners throughout the UK in light of recent research.

Did you Know only 1.6% of packed lunchboxes in primary schools across England are actually meeting food based standards for school meals!? I know.. it shocked me too! Children’s Lunchboxes have only improved by 0.5% in the last 10 years and only 1 in 5 lunchboxes (17%) contain ANY vegetables or salad.

Those are some pretty sad statistics and clearly this needs to change, Flora understands Parents don’t need telling off & just need a little help, especially with fussy eaters so with the Flora website full of tips & recipes anyone can put together a healthy and nutritious lunchbox for their child.

Eva is VERY fussy when it comes to food and putting together a packed lunch for her can sometimes be quite a difficult task but with the Flora Planner & Recipes on-line it has never been easier!

FloraProactiv-lunchbox-buider-960x839

The Lunchbox Builder makes it easier to put together a healthy lunch for your child as it gives you healthy options containing easy-to-make plant-based recipes alongside Flora spread, giving you Mains, Snacks and Fruit & Veg ideas to choose from and of course a selection of Flora Spreads you can use.

Every Flora tub contains plant oils, such as sunflower, rapeseed and linseed oils. Flora is lower in saturated fats than butter* and provides a source of healthy Omega 3 and 6. These essential fats contribute to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels and are also needed for normal growth and to support the development of children. Flora also recently launched Flora Freedom. This is a 100% dairy free product, which is free of preservatives, artificial colours and flavours, and like the rest of the Flora range is approved by The Vegetarian Society.


Eva loved pointing out things she likes & things she’d like to try (Mini pretzels!) on the Lunch Builder but came up with her own idea’s based on the builder where she is very fussy. She went for a Grilled chicken & Cucumber Flat bread using Flora original as her main, Raspberry Rice cakes & a Fruit Jelly for her Snack along with a choice of Banana, Apple or raisins. (I give her a few choices as she WILL change her mind several times across the school day & this prevents a meltdown).

Eva’s usual packed lunch isn’t much different from this but we tend to give her a variety of breads such as bagels, crusty rolls, pitta’s, sandwich thins etc.. Occasionally mixing it up with different pasta & noodle dishes with lots of hidden veg in. 😉

Bread sticks with dips & rice cakes are a big favourite lately along with crackers & crisp breads. Eva absolutely loves fruit so we always give her a variety, she loves apples, grapes, bananas, blueberries and melon. What’s your child’s favourite packed lunch?

If your struggling for idea’s don’t forget to head over to the Flora website to see some yummy nutritious dishes even for the fussiest of children! Florasaurus is full of fun facts & tips & recipes.

This post is an entry for the #FloraLunchbox Linky Challenge, sponsored by Flora. Check out their lunch planner and recipe ideas here 

Izzy’s Firsts

We all love keeping track of our little one’s firsts and I’m definitely no exception so I couldn’t wait to join in with the Brit mum’s #PetitFilousfirsts challenge!

My toddler Izzy (22mo) had a few firsts lately. She has been asking for the potty every now and then and surprised us this afternoon by asking to use it and having a poo for the first time!

I finally got to take Izzy to feed the ducks for the first time too! It’s something we have been meaning to do but just haven’t gotten around to so I took her to Gloucester park in Basildon and she absolutely loved it!

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We were lucky enough to be sent out some Vouchers to try the delicious Petit Filous fromage frais so on our way home we stopped off to pick up a pack of My First Petit Filous but unfortunately we couldn’t find any (we shall try again!) but Izzy was more than happy to find the family pack!

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She couldn’t wait to have one when she got home as she loves fromage frais and quickly demolished the entire pot herself. Funnily enough it was the first time she has managed to entirely empty a pot before without any help too! Apricot or ‘cot-cot’ is definitely her favourite flavour (and mine too) but they are all delicious and such a great healthy treat.

Firsts

My First Petits Filous is a low sugar, vanilla-flavour weaning fromage frais, designed to introduce children to fromage frais from 6 months. The main ingredient is milk and all ingredients are 100% naturally sourced, so parents can rest assured there are no artificial colours, flavours, sweeteners or added preservatives. Not only is My First Petits Filous delicious, it has calcium and protein to help children develop strong bones from an early age and the low sugar content reassures parents that their child will maintain a balanced diet during weaning.

*This post is an entry for Brit Mums #PetitsFilousFirsts Linky Challenge, sponsored by Petit Filous.