Mothers Day - A tribute to all the Mamas in my life


On this Mothers day I want to look at and celebrate all of the Mums in my life. Since becoming a Mother myself I am in awe of the mothers before me. 

My Nanny Page had 6 kids and raised them alone after my Grandad died when my Dad was only a young teen. She is no longer with us but many of my family comment on how I have got her no nonsense approach to life and my want for family closeness also comes from her. 


My Mums mum who I have called Nannie Treasure my whole life (but that is another story) is the woman who puts on the big family gatherings so we can all get together and the main reason why my cousins on my mums side are all so close. We have shared holidays, a million celebrations together and whenever I come down she always has all the family over to see us. She is the most amazing cook and can never do enough for her family. When we get our forever home I would love to hold family get togethers just like my Nannie does so well. 

I don't know how I would have gotten through the early days of Motherhood without my soon to be mother in law helping out in any and every way she could do. She very often came round to hold Layla-Rose while I showered or took her on a walk to give me and my OH a chance to rest. Not having family of my own nearby I relied so heavily on her in the early days (and still do now) and I truly don't know what we would do without her. 




My Mum is truly the most amazing woman and since becoming a mother myself I have a new respect for her. My mum wasn't a young mum (35 when she had me) after desperately wanting a baby for so many years I finally came along before my brother almost 5 years later. She was a stay at home Mum until we were both at school and then went back to work to help my Dad make sure we had everything we could want. She wears her heart on her sleeve and I know it hurts her not being able to see me and Layla-Rose whenever she likes but she is always there on the other end of the phone and has, when I needed her, dropped everything to come up and help. If I am half the mother she was to me I know Layla-Rose will be lucky. 

As well as Mamas from our families since having Layla-Rose I have some new found Mum friends who have helped me navigate the first year of motherhood. While we were all on maternity leave we kept each other sane by trips out and constant whats app messages asking all sorts of questions from poop to sleep. These ladies are now truly friends for life and I find each and every one of them so inspiring and its a pleasure count them amongst my friendship group. 



Before I became a Mum I only ever had one friend who had already had a baby and thank god she is one of the most honest people I have come across as she didn't sugar coat anything! As soon as I found out I was pregnant she was there by my side sometimes literally holding my hand through everything. I must have asked her a million and one questions before Layla-Rose was born and probably a million more since she has been born. She is always able to make me feel like I am a good mother and puts any mum fail moment into perspective which instantly makes me feel better. 

Since being a Mum, two of my best friends have had or are about to have a baby of their own. They are both already amazing Mamas one running her own charity while raising a baby after her husband survived cancer and another who has the attitude that I wished I had while pregnant so relaxed. 

So to all Mamas and mothers to be this mothers day YOU are amazing, YOU are a bad ass and YOU can do this!

Happy Mothers Day! 






Top Teething Tips






'Just wait till she's teething.' They said. 'You won't know what hit you.'
By the time Layla was ready to start teething I had heard all of the horror stories of sleepless nights and inconsolable babies. However, as we already had a baby like that, I wasn't sure it could get that much worse for us! But like any new parent I wanted to be ultra prepared so I thought I would share some things we bought, some things we wish we had and others we needn't have bothered with.

Nurofen - After shoving calpol down Layla's neck for a few weeks to help with the pain of teething I was told by a fellow Mum that nurofen is better as it stops swelling and targets the pain better. We made the switch and I have to admit we noticed a big difference.

Bonjela - I would coat this on here mouth guard (see below) and she would happily suck it off while chewing. Not sure how much it helped but it kept her quiet for 10 minutes!

Anbesol - I think this had a more reliving effect than the bonjela when rubbed on her gums and we even put some on her dummy on occasion to help ease the pain.

Powders - Lots of Mums swear by these but I don't think we used them enough for me to be able to comment on them as I could never remember to keep with the dosage (every 2 hours) so we didn't get much use out of these.

Teething toys - Some of these are still in our freezer! She didn't like teething rings from the fridge or freezer as I think she found these to tough and cold on her teeth. She'd much prefer biting everything she shouldn't such as my phone!

Mouth guard and other chews - Yes she looked like a boxer and we got some funny stories but she loved these! Especially with a coating of bongela over them that she could suck off.


Foods - Another great teething soother we found was food. She seemed to love the cooling effect foods like cucumber had on her gums.

Do you have any more top teething tips?

Next to me cot review

Layla hated her Moses basket. She also hated sleeping at night. We spent the first 8 weeks trying everything and anything to get her to sleep (see blog post here). In a sleep deprived haze, I went to mothercare in desperation to look at the next to me cot in the hopes it would solve all of our problems. The woman was so helpful but before I bought it I practically begged her to reassure me it would get my baby to sleep. I took it home and I was skeptical. We were surprised by its easy set up and hoped this was the answer we had been waiting for.
It wasn’t an overnight success. It took Layla time to get used to her next to me cot but I can honestly say I don’t think I have better spent £150. The cot is huge plenty of room for Layla to grow (she is 8 months old and still sleeps in it) and spread out if she needs to while sleeping. The cot fits next to our bed and we have been able to put it on a slope to help with Layla’s reflux.
The best things about the next to me cot is the fact that it joins onto your bed and you can pull down a side to easily access your child. This was amazing as I spent the first few days hanging in the cot so Layla would have an easier transition from our bed into her own.
It’s also great for travelling. It founds into a bag and we have taken it to numerous visits to family and friends houses with no great difficulty.

The only problem we have to the next to me cot is that Layla loves it so much we are finding it hard to get her out of it!



What Layla loves - 0-6 months

Now that Layla is 8 months (where did the time go?) I thought I would share our must haves and Layla's favourites for the first 6 months:

·         Play gym - Santa brought Layla a playgym for Christmas and she has been playing with it everyday ever since. We got a basic one with dangly animals but we found that the toys were too high up for Layla to use so we attached her some pram toys that also jingle which were much easier for her to grab and therefore the play gym kept her attention for a longer period of time. However, the mother in law bought a play gym for her house that had a keyboard at the end so when she kicks her feet it activates the keyboard. needless to say we wish we had that one at our house as she loves it and it seems to hold her attention for longer than the one we have here. 

·         Toy bar for the car seatThis was bought for me by a friend and I feel that this was probably the best present we were given. Initially this went on her car seat and all she would do was stare at it but now she adores playing with it! She has learnt that if she pushes the heart the tune plays, that the other objects spin and if she angles it right she can see herself in the mirror. 

·         Next to me cotI have written a separate blog post here about sleep but I cannot speak highly enough of the next to me cot it literally saved our sanity. I have also written a blog post about the next to me cot as we love it so much! 

·         Sleepsuits with mittens - a godsend! When Layla was a newborn we could never keep mittens on her for more than 5 minutes and as soon as she had managed to wriggle out of them a scratch would appear on her face so the sleepsuits with the integrated mittens were amazing. Not everywhere does them though and you will need to double check the packs for them. I think however that you can only get built in mittens up to the 0-3 stage in sleepsuits. 



  Toothbrush - After a conversation with a fellow Mummy we introduced a toothbush into our morning routine so while I  get ready in the bathroom Layla has the toothbrush to play with and chew. This has stood us in good sted as now she has teeth she will happily let us brush them with the toothbrush.

·         Sling - It took us a long time and a few wasted buys before we found a sling that worked for us. We attended our local sling library and were able to rent out a sling to road test it before we bought one of our own. This is a fantastic service where I was able to talk to some very knowledgeable ladies about sling recommendations specifically for our reflux baby.  

·         Dribble bibs - To begin with I wondered what the need for these triangle bibs were for us but soon after her reflux diagnosis I found that the dribble bibs were a life saver not only as sick catchers but also they look alot cuter than the circle food bibs when paired with an outfit. We now have at least 20 of them in an array of colours so I can coordinate outfits. Who said reflux couldn't be cute. 

·         Aldi – nappies and wipes - Before we had Layla my other half and I had a massive argument about what nappies to use he said we should use pampers because they are the best brand and we should only use the best on our baby. My argument was that aldi are not only the cheapest brand out there but they are also the nappy that has won the most awards. Who won the argument? I'll leave your common sense to decide. 

·         Dummy - Thank god for dummies! (You can read my post about dummies here) these have really helped soothe our unsettled little one. God help us when we have to wean her off them. 


·         Bumbo - Having a small baby has meant that when the time for weaning came she was still too small for any of the highchairs we had seen on the market so instead we used a bumbo. We now use it everyday and as it is so lightweight it is easily transportable to grandparents and friends houses when Layla will be eating elsewhere. 

Any other must haves that you would include for 0-6 months?

pouches - do you use them?





Does anyone else feel guilty about giving their baby pouches instead of making their own stuff? When we began weaning I swore that I would make all of my own stuff excited about blending and making my own purees and eventually meals but between life running away with me and having limited space in the freezer I begun toying with the idea of using pouches but with so many different brands out there and with the warnings of sugar and salt I felt lost as to what to try and felt I was not doing the best for my baby. I bit the bullet though and tried a pouch and do you know what so LOVED it! She had the entire pouch in one sitting!

I am still a little wary about feeding Layla pouches, not that I judge anyone who uses them. To me for some reason it makes me feel as if I’m failing as a mum because I don’t home cook all of her meals but I know I’m being silly. The main focus is that they are quick, easy, able to carry around and most importantly Layla really enjoys them.


How do you feed your baby? Homemade or store bought?  





September goals

Wow we are in September already and here are my new set of goals but before I begin with them I have my August ones to look back on:
  1. Post on my instagram everyday - I am already quite consistent but would like to keep this up in the hope if reaching my next goal. I think I only missed this once so I am pleased about being able to keep consistent and hope to continue this next month.  
  2. Having 600 followers on instagram - I'm nearly there please follow me if you don't already (https://www.instagram.com/livingwithlaylarose/) Still not quite there but I am linking in some new goals for this month which will hopefully help with this. 
  3. Post a blog once a week - With the fear of not being able to write each week when I am back at work I am using my summer to build up my blog content as to ensure that I can keep my blog going while teaching full time and being a mummy. I have written a lot of blog posts to ensure I have got enough content to last me until October half term. I did so much that I even posted twice a week over the summer holidays! I kept consistent on the days (Monday and Thursday) but I think I will be heading back to posting once a week once back at work. 
  4. Commenting on other blogs - As blog comments are every bloggers dream I am planning to spread the commenting love. I don't know why I didn't do this before but anyone who comments on my blog, I will ensure I take the time to visit their blog and comment also as well as commenting on blogs I read on my twitter feed. 
  5. Do more linkys- linked to my above goal I am going to link up with lots of linkys to not only find new blogs to read but also to hopefully gain some comments of my own. Although I am doing more linkys I still don't seem to be getting the coverage and readership I am hoping for but I will persevere. 
And now to my September goals:

  1. After reading @amumtrackmind's blog post on growing your instagram account ( find it here) I have downloaded an app for my phone that informs you on followers as well as trying to hone my own instagram style. This month I will be focusing on building my followers by following like accounts and I'm hoping to hit my 600 followers this month. 
  2. I am hoping to direct more traffic to my blog by promoting, visiting other blogs and doing more linkys. Some of my posts have as many as 200 reads whereas others have as little as 20 so I would like to get some consistency with readership.
  3. My third and final goal this month is to try and maintain my blog whilst working full time. 
Do you set monthly goals? Do you find that these help focus you?



Diary of an imperfect mum




Weaning

Health vistors now advise for you to wait 6 months to wean and to follow 'baby led weaning' but as all babies are not the same and because for some, the idea of handing your baby solid food is quite daunting, I thought I would share our weaning experience so far.



As Layla has reflux my OH thought weaning could solve all of our problems so was keen to begin the weaning using puree at 4 months. I wasn't. After lots of reading and talking to health visitors and other mums I really wanted to exclusively do baby led weaning especially after the option to breast feed was taken out of my hands. I didn't want to not give my child the 'best' option again. We went back and forth on this and I asked for opinion after opinion but nobody could give me an answer as to whether or not the weaning was going to help her reflux so at 5 1/2 months I threw in the towel and made up my first batch of homemade puree.




She wasn't a lover of food at first and it took her a while to actually swallow any food but we got there. She was having a puree 'meal' a day and I went down the full traditional weaning route and did 3 days of each new food getting her used to the flavours.



6 months came and I was so excited to try her with her first lot of finger food. Layla however was not impressed and proceeded to throw it all on the floor much preferring the puree food that I could spoon feed her.



I persevered though and now at 8 months she eats a great combination of puree and finger foods so much so she has completely gone off her milk feeds in the day!




Now that she is eating the new question is what should we feed her everyday?
Breakfast is usually porridge with fruit and the occasional crumpet or slice of toast, lunch a sandwich or wrap but tea time for me is always the trickiest. It's not just what to feed her for tea but also when as we still want her to be hungry for her bedtime bottle. I have taken to doing a combination of pouches or giving her our last nights tea depending on the time/night in question.




It's still a working progress and I think it will take us a long while to get it fully working for us but I can honestly say I look forward to meal times with Layla however messy it may be.


Guest blogs/features

The butterfly mother guest post- Why breast isn't always best

DISCLAIMER