Tuesday, 4 August 2015

#Weaning Week - What do I need? (equipment)

Following on from my last post you should now know if your baby is ready for weaning, this is the all round fun part and its a really exciting milestone and change in a babies life. Before you get started make sure you have all the right equipment, sometimes it can be over whelming seeing all the different brands on the high street and on the Internet and knowing what you actually need so here is my guide to the "Essentials" and then what is nice if you want some added extras.


  • Highchair - Your baby will need somewhere safe to sit where they are positioned upright - Don't think you need to buy the most expensive they all do the same thing and you wont be grateful of it when your baby is wiping food all over it, also if you feel when you first put them in it they are slipping and sliding down sit them on your knee or in the pushchair until they have a bit more sitting balance just always make sure they are upright.
  • Bibs - It seems an obvious choice of equipment. To save your babies clothes I have found the ones that are wipe clean are easier, make sure you always put them in one no one warns you once you get puree carrot or spaghetti on an outfit the stains are really hard to lift out.
  • Bowls - plastic bowls are the best especially if you are going to let you baby feed themselves a bit at least if they are going to drop it its not going to break, having said that also available to buy are baby bowls with a suction cup on the bottom so your not going to have that worry.
  • Weaning spoons - There are lots available to buy if you are feeding them I like the ones with the longer handles as then you save your back and don't need to lean so far over and if baby is feeding themselves, I would recommend the chunky handled spoons as they are easier for baby to grip

Added Extras

  • Splash mat - if you haven't got a table or you have but you have a lovely carpet you want to protect a splash mat is great for just that.
  • Juice cup - once your baby is six months you can wean them onto a juice cup so they can have a bit with there dinner or tea not only that it will protect there teeth.
  • Freezer trays - If you want to make your own baby food these are great for storage and saving food, they don't have to be anything special you could use large ice cube trays or even the ice lolly trays.
  • Blender - if you want to make your own puree remember though you wont be needing it that long as babies from six moths will quite quickly move on to lumpy food.
  • Lidded storage containers - I love these they are so useful to have for freezing keeping fruit fresh or just for taking babies food out and about with yourself.

Remember you only need to sterilise baby equipment if you start weaning before six months. Keep following my Weaning Week feature to see some reviews of the equipment and more tips and advice on weaning.  

Monday, 3 August 2015

Happy 2nd Birthday - Two monsters and me

Well its tomorrow my blog actually turns two, and it has moved on such a lot since that very first blog post that I have written, I didn't realise at the time where my blog would be right now and two years later a couple of mega upgrades and I am proud to say it is still here and I am enjoying writing more than ever.

Blogging isn't easy, it takes a lot of time and thought to bring you knew ideas everyday but it has helped me to learn a lot about myself it has taught me to keep going when things get tough and it has taught me not to miss a moment of my boys lives its so important to capture every moment.

With that little speech and feel excited about what the next two years will bring, I want to celebrate with you my readers I cant give you any cake but I am giving you the chance to win a £25 Tesco voucher which you can use for whatever you would like I think if was to win it would be a great time to invest in school uniforms!

So for your chance to win yourself a £25 Tesco voucher just enter via the rafflecopter below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and conditions:

(Please note that all entries will be checked against comments for validation).

The first entry on the rafflecopter form to leave a comment on the post is mandatory

All other steps on the rafflecopter form are optional

Only one entry form per person is allowed (however, you can tweet with the bonus click entry daily or use the free entry to increase your chances).

This giveaway is for UK residents only.

Once the Rafflecopter picks a winner, I will check if the winner has done what was requested and I will contact them, if they do not reply within 28 days, the prize will be allocated to another person.

The giveaway will begin on the 4/08/15 and will close on 25/08/15 at midnight.

#Weaning Week - How do I know my baby is ready for food?

This week - for the whole week I have a special feature all about baby weaning as Jack is now weaning onto food, I have some top tips for weaning, some great products to show you and accompany you on your feeding journey. I hope you will all find it useful, and you find the weaning journey as exciting as I do with your little ones.

Guidelines recommend that you don't feed your baby before six months of age - now of course it is up to each individual and some babies are ready before others, this recommendation is made because there digestive system just isn't ready for food and in a lot of babies there digestive system isn't developed properly, waiting until there older, also reduces there chances of developing allergies or picking up an infection, but still you need to bare in mind that all babies do develop at different paces.

I made the choice with all three of my children not to wean them until at least six months, partly because of guidelines that were in place, and the other part because I wanted them all to stay babies for as long as possible, I do remember feeling really excited when Liam got to four months and thinking about feeding as it was something new to do with my baby, but I did managed to hold off until six months, not only that it is far easier to take a bottle out with you than to carry all the bits that go with you when you start to wean.

Knowing your baby is ready,

Once you baby hits there six month milestone, they should now be able to hold there head up by them selves, they loose the reflex that makes them just stick there tongue out, are able to control this themselves. meaning they are probably ready to now take more than just milk, you might also notice that they are watching you as you eat, eyeing up your dinner or reaching to grab food off you.

  • Co-Ordination - Babies should be able to pick food up and put it towards there mouth and get it in.
  • Gained double there birth weight - most babies once they have done this are ready to start eating, most babies will have done this before there six month milestone or just a bit after.
  • Can hold there head up - babies need to be able to hold a steady upright position to have there first foods
  • Sits well - Can your baby sit well when supported? some times high chairs can be a bit slippery when a baby starts to wean you find them slipping down, so it might be easier to sit them on your knee or even in the pushchair, if it is one that has a good upright position.
  • Makes chewing movements - You may notice your baby is mimicking your chewing actions when your eating. they should also be able to push food to the back of there mouths with there tongue, as your baby learns this you might notice them dribbling less.
  • Pays attention -  does you baby watch you move your food from your plate to your mouth are they reaching over like they want to grab it - this is another good sign they are ready to be weaned.

Babies also do things that can sometimes be mistaken for being ready for food when they're actually not, chewing their fists, waking in the night when they have previously slept through, or wanting an extra bottles/feeds, these are all things that lots of babies do, but it doesn't necessarily mean they are ready to be weaned, it could be that they are growing or teething and also babies explore through putting things in there mouths.

If you do want to wean before six months or are unsure as to whether you baby is ready to be weaned or where to start contact your health visitor as they are always there to help and support you. 

ComoTomo baby bottle #Review

If you haven't heard of ComoTomo they are an American baby brand that are just launching here in the UK. Now available in the UK are their baby bottles and teething range. In the states sales have soared for them as company selling the unique baby bottle that mimics breast feeding like no other. American parents swear by the bottle and they are now available to buy here in Britain.

The Comotomo bottle, has been designed to provide the closest thing to breastfeeding in a bottle. The teat of the bottle is a 3-inch wide mould naturally shaped for an easy to latch on approach it also helps to prevent "nipple confusion" when switching between the breast and bottle.

The bottle has a very unique feature it is made from medical-grade silicone which is soft and is squeezy, it is smooth to touch a bit like soft skin its 100% hygienic.

The bottle also has two anti-colic vents to completely eliminate unnecessary air intake, giving peace of mind for feeding times.

I tried out this bottle with Jack, we have always used the same brand so in was interesting to see how different this would be. The first thing i noticed before getting it out of the box is that it was heavier than Jacks usual bottles. The bottom silicone bit of the bottle is really squishy and soft I filled the bottle with boiling water and Jack's milk powder, I was a bit frightened when I was putting the lid on as the bottle hasn't got a top rim on and it could be easy to spill whilst screwing on the teat.

Once the lid was on, I shuck the bottle to mix the milk in, i noticed the bottle did not drip at all, I also noticed that the silicon doesn't get as hot as a plastic bottle does when you put hot water in it, which is good that you can actually hold it whilst it is hot and not be burning your hand on it!

I did wonder how Jack would get on with the bottle as he has had the same ones since he was born, I didn't know if he would like it or cry, but when I gave it to Jack he took to the bottle straight the way the milk seemed to flow easily and with some of the other bottles I have used in the past from experience, with a lot of them with soft teats, the teats suck inwards but on this bottle it didn't at all.

Jack is also usually a bit sicky with his regular bottles when he is being fed but with this one he wasn't at all. He seemed to enjoy it and because the bottle is thicker and more round that his usual bottles he even had a little try at holding it himself for a while, which I thought was really good.

The baby approved ComoTomo bottle range is dishwasher, microwave, boiling water and steriliser safe the bottles are priced at £14.99 from Amazon which is slightly above your average range already available on the shelves - but I actually loved the bottle and I think it is worth the money the only thing I would change would be that I would make the bottom part of the bottle slightly longer but apart from that an all round great product myself and Jack both loved.

Disclaimer - We were sent two ComoTomo baby bottles for the purpose of this review all opinions remain honest and my own.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Ben & Holly's Little Kingdom - Elf Tree Playset #Review

Ben & Holly's Kingdom, has been quite Popular in our house for some time so when we were asked to review the new set from there toy range the boys - well Adam in particular wanted to, they have not had any toys in this character range before.

The Elf tree set, has a lot on interactive parts such as doors that open a woodpecker that moves back and forward and also a rotating toy duck machine , you can also remove the bed and the desk. The set comes with a character figure as well.

The Elf Tree Playset has three floors to it, at the top is where the woodpecker has pecked its whole, for any child that has seen the episodes they will know the elves don't like Woodpeckers! this is also where Ben's bedroom is! The middle floor is where the desk is placed and there is also the trap door- to the toy factory.
The bottom floor has the rotating toy duck machine where all the magical toy making takes place.

The Elf Tree Play set encourages children to use there imaginations and rein-act the scenes from the actual program, The Elf Tree PlaySet is aimed at 3+ but older children will play with it as well, Liam doesn't Like Ben and Holly, but happily played with the set with Adam for quite a long time so regardless of if your child is a fan of Ben & Holly most children will enjoy the toy.

The set is Priced at an RRP £29.99 which I thought was a little expensive, but as with all character themed toys you always pay extra for the name. I did ask Adam if he liked the set and "Ben Elf"  And he sharply informed me, that was not Ben elf it was Barnaby. Its a bit disappointing that the set at its price doesn't come with the key characters Ben or Holly - however the boys enjoyed the set all the same and it wasn't long before they had added in cars and other characters to play with along side it. You can collect lots of other play sets in the range and they all connect together the other sets do have all the other characters such as Ben Elf, Princess Holly, Nanny Plum and the Wise old Elf. which will be going on Adams list for Christmas!

Overall the boys really enjoyed the Play set and we will be adding to this range of character toys.

 disclosure - We were sent the fabulous Ben & Holly's Elf Tree set, for the purpose of this review all opinions remain honest and my own

Monday, 27 July 2015

Meningitis in children

I wrote about my experience in the hospital with Jack and probably most frightening time I have experienced with my children, I know that there is lots of information about, regarding meningitis but as this lays close to my heart, I thought I would write a reminder of the facts for us to remember to be vigilant with our children.

There are two Common types of meningitis, Bacterial meningitis and Viral Meningitis 

Viral Meningitis - is mainly seen in children up to five years old, However that does not mean you cant get it when you are above this age, the outcome of this virus is usually better and viral meningitis can resolve on its own.

Bacterial Meningitis - is contagious, and is life threatening up to 40% of children with this will die and half of adults who get this will die - this is still the case even with the correct treatment - scary stuff

Symptoms in different ages will vary but looking at symptoms in babies and young children this is what too look out for.

  • A Tense or bulging soft spot (this is in young babies located on there heads)
  • High temperature (However in young children under three months this could be low)
  • They could be very sleepy have a staring expression or be too sleepy to wake up
  • Breathing - this could be fast or seem like it is difficult 
  • They could have extreme shivering
  • Rash - this could be small pin prick or purple bruising (this could be anywhere on there body)
  • They may get diarrhoea 
  • they may make unusual grunting sounds
  • they might be vomiting or refusing to feed
  • your child could be irritable when picked up, with a high pitched, moaning or odd cry
  • blotchy skin, becoming pale and or turning blue
  • Cold hands and feet (but still have a high temperature)
  • A stiff body with jerky type movements or on the other scale be still and lifeless
  • pain when moving muscles, joints or limbs.

A lot of the symptoms can be mistaken for other things, and there is no sequence in which way the symptoms will appear, only your child will become quite ill in a short space of time. Also watch out for the rash, tiny red or brown pin prick marks that can change into purple blotches or blisters, the rash can be much harder to be seen on darker skin and also check everywhere, like the palms of there hands, soles of there feet, inside the eyelids and the roof of the mouth.

Carry Out the "Glass Test" this is rolling the glass over the area where the rash is, through the glass any marks they have should disappear, and reappear once the glass is lifted off if you can still see the rash through the glass and it is not disappearing, you should seek medical attention straight the way. always remember if your child is very ill they need medical attention don't wait to see if a rash forms take them to be seen by a medical professional.

A few decades ago the outlook for bacterial meningitis was not great at all, and almost everyone would die - however now days most deaths are caused by Septicaemia which is blood poisoning and this is what causes the rash. A quarter of people may suffer complications such as hearing loss or loss of limbs.

As a parent its important to stay vigilant remember a lot of the symptoms above can be caused by lots of different illnesses, but if you are worried or suspect it could be meningitis, you need to get that person in question to a doctor straight the way, if you are a mum trust your instincts as parents we don't usually get it wrong to find out more information on Meningitis you can visit Meningitis Now Or The Meningitis research foundation.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Keep calm and colour in! #Win Zen Art Therapy for adults

Colouring books have become increasingly popular over recent years, they are relaxing can help keep stress levels minimal and if it is someone elderly it can help to regain the use of their fine motor skills - colouring is becoming an upcoming craze amongst adults.

Children have known for years that settling down to tackle a nice bit of colouring-in is a relaxing way to unwind and it looks like us grown-ups have finally caught on! Cool, Calm, Create is pre-school specialists, Redan Publishing’s first magazine to target adults and will hit the newsstands on 30th July, providing a monthly shot of art therapy to frazzled parents up and down the country.

The new magazine offers 68 pages of intricate colouring and doodling spreads designed to help focus the mind and aid relaxation. Using a bespoke blend of patterns, mandalas and tangles, issue one has a marine and ocean theme and comes with a free cover-mounted gift of 5 colouring pencils, making it the perfect gift to pick up and go and an ideal travel companion for summer holidays.

Calm, Colour, Create Magazine will retail at £4.99 and is aimed at anyone with an interest in colouring. It will be available on selected newsstands from 30th July, 2015.

I have three copies to give away. To win yourself a copy of the lovely book simply enter via the rafflecopter below. Good Luck

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and conditions:

(Please note that all entries will be checked against comments for validation).

all steps on the rafflecopter form are optional however you must complete at least one to be entered . Only one entry form per person is allowed (however, you can tweet with the bonus click entry daily as well to increase your chances).

This giveaway is for UK residents only.

Once the Rafflecopter picks a winner, I will check if the winner has done what was requested and I will contact them, if they do not reply within 28 days, the prize will be allocated to another person.

The giveaway will close on 4th August 2015 at midnight.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Jack had Viral Meningitis - I never thought it would happen to us

A week ago Wednesday we had, had a great day, I had took the boys to playgroup, then my sister had popped over and we had took all the boys over to the wacky warehouse down the road, Jack seemed to be fine at playgroup and once in the pub had become a bit irritated didn't really want his bottles he was a bit whiny, and unsettled but I put it down to his teeth, he was teething and I knew was not unusual for babies to behave the way he was, eventually I managed to get him to settle down for a nap.

At around 7pm he still hadn't woken up, so I decided to wake him as the other two boys had gone to bed and he needed his last bottle and his pyjamas on, as soon as I lifted him out of his pushchair, he started to cry, well he was screaming hysterically, I could feel he was really hot too touch, I picked up the thermometer and checked his temperature it was 38.9 which is really high for a baby - I gave him some calpol but an hour later he was still crying and his temperature hadn't budged.

I rang Jacks dad and we took him straight down to the walk in centre, the doctors were really concerned about his noisy breathing and the fact his temperature was so high, they sent us up to the children's admission unit, where they gave him more calpol, and ibuprofen, after a couple of hours his temperature had subsided and they told us, the reason for his temperature was most likely due to a viral infection and to take him home.

I wasn't really happy as he still wasn't well, but I was relieved they didn't think it was anything more serious we took him home it was the early hours of the morning, I was still really worried about him - I didn't sleep very well I got up a few times, to check on him by 6am he was awake and crying again, his temperature was high, so I did what the hospital had told me I gave him calpol and ibuprofen which settled him for a while.

He still just wasn't right, at around 10am it was time for his next bottle he was really warm again, I started trying to give him his bottle, to be honest he didn't really want it, he was messing about, as he pulled his neck back I noticed a dark mark under his chin, it was difficult to see as Jack is quite a chubby baby. On closer inspection it looked like a little purple bruise, I pressed it remembering all the information I have seen around it didn't disappear, I must have repeated this about four times, I put his bottle down and stripped his vest off him he was covered in a rash - it wasn't all the same, some of it was pin prick rash with raised red bumps, that did disappear under a glass then in between that rash, there were little bruise type spots that didn't disappear.

This is when I started to panic, I asked my neighbour to look after Liam and Adam, my dad had come over so he took us straight down to the hospital, and to be honest thank god I did, the doctors were not happy with him and as they were examining him, there were more of the rash and purple type bruises appearing, his temperature was high and he was really unsettled, it was heart breaking seeing him so poorly and not being able to do anything for him - the doctors decided there and then they were going to put a cannula in, take bloods and give him some big doses of antibiotics and fluids through a drip, as they suspected meningitus.

He would have to stay in hospital to determine, for definite what was wrong with him, he was really poorly those first 24 hours Jack was really ill, as a mum it was heart breaking, his temperature remained the same he was sick and had diarrhoea as well it was horrible, and really frightening, I don't think any of us had slept much for a few days it was physically and emotionally draining for us all.

By the time a few days had passed his temperature had subsided and remained the same, he was beginning to feel a bit better and he looked a bit better, although the rash - the pin prick one had spread all over it was on the bottoms of his feet to his hair on his head but the purple bruise type ones had started to fade.

By Monday morning he had been free from his temperature for over 24 hours he was crying less and was smiling more they diagnosed him with viral meningitis - the doctor just said how lucky he was, I am not really sure he was lucky I am just glad he is still here to tell the tale, although he is like a different little boy he is very clingy and cries a lot more now - but its too be expected when he had been so ill. I still don't think he is 100% well, but he is getting there - I never thought meningitis would happen to us I thought it was something that happened to "other people" I am glad I went with my instincts, I am glad I took him back to the hospital, sometimes as a mum you don't want to be a nuisance, sometimes I think I am worrying for nothing but the best advice I can give any mum is if you think something is wrong with your child take them somewhere to be seen, its always, always better to be safe than sorry.


A Cornish Mum

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