Reading with Isla & Baby Lit

If you follow us on Instagram you’ll have noticed one of Isla’s favourite activities is reading, but our little madam is rather particular about her reading material… Enter BabyLit. They make an adorable range books that can introduce classic literature to your baby in a fun & stylish way!

“At BabyLit, we believe in the power of reading. Why? Because books take us places. Good places. And when we read with a child, we go places together. It’s more than just reading. It’s learning. It’s experiencing. It’s growing.”

Sounds good to me!

When I told Isla we were going to be reading during our photoshoot today she got just a little excited…

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That is her face whenever I get one of the BabyLit books out… Absolutely hilarious.

Things get serious pretty quickly though…

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This week I bought Isla two new books from BabyLit, Romeo & Juliet – to join in with all the celebrations for Shakespeare 400 & Moby-Dick!

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Before you start worrying that Isla might be slightly traumatised by the ending of Romeo & Juliet all the books don’t really tell the story as such… They introduce key characters and themes with beautiful pictures and usually all while counting to 10! (1 town, 2 lovers… etc etc!)

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I think it’s so important to encourage reading from an early age & you really can’t start too soon! If you want to buy your little one some of BabyLit’s amazing books you can shop direct or find them at a local supplier. We’ve got our eye on Midsummer Night’s DreamThe Wizard of Oz next!

They also make play sets, puzzles, dolls, notebooks and totes so you can really bring their favourite characters off the page!

Follow us on Instagram for more & you can find BabyLit here too!

Oh and just one more thing… I couldn’t resist sharing a few behind the scenes shots from our little photoshoot…

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Isla’s personal wardrobe mistress/assistant/dribble wiper for the day was my brilliant Mum, which she thought was just hilarious!

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So much love for Nanny!!

This is the first time I’ve convinced my mum to step in front of the camera, and I’m going to treasure these photographs forever. I juggle being Mummy, blogging and running my own photography business as well as the rest of life & I couldn’t do it without the amazing support my Mum gives me! And as you can see Isla is also a huge fan! 🙂

Top Maternity picks for a Summer Wedding!

The summer is on it’s way and that means Wedding season!! I loved dressing my bump & so I thought I’d pick my favourites for you from ASOS maternity. I pretty much only dressed in their clothes & love how easy it is to shop their website! Take a peek & let me know which are your favourites…

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Last summer was unbearably hot at times as I was in my third trimester it was all about dressing for comfort! This beautiful floaty dress from ASOS would be ideal for dancing the night away & not over heating! £50 available here.

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I love this sexy floral number from ASOS maternity! Gorgeous for a spring or summer party – but maybe not too much dancing, just wiggling in this one! £65 available here.

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If you are looking for a great dress that you can wear again & again this would be perfect! Simple, pretty and elegant from Maya at ASOS. You could dress it up or down while staying comfortable! £90 available here.

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I was a big fan of sleeves when I was pregnant so if you are like me this floaty number will leave you feeling confident & pretty! £75 available here.

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I always found dressing for black tie events the most difficult so this elegant number would be perfect! Don’t forget to get it taken up if you are short like me & as clumsy as I was by the end of my pregnancy!  £85 available here.

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Another beautiful dress for a more formal Wedding or party! It has a slit in the leg so you’ll be feeling sexy and kept cool at the same time! Just make sure you get a size that fits well or you will be drowned by all this material. £75 available here.

 

Which will you be wearing this Wedding season? Tweet me @Poppy_Carter or head over to my Facebook to join in the conversation!

Five Star Babies – Too Posh to Push?

The BBC have gone behind the scenes at the Portland Hospital – where woman pay £40k+ to give birth in luxury hotel surroundings. The synopsis states…

“The first episode reveals how the Portland Hospital’s army of consultants, midwives, chefs and cleaners serve some of the UK’s most pampered parents. We meet high-society it girl Hui, who isn’t ashamed to admit she is too scared to give birth naturally.

No-nonsense Scottish nurse Pat is adamant she is not star struck but baby struck as she looks after the newborns of celebrities and royalty while they enjoy afternoon tea.

And the Countess of Bradford reveals how her career as a consultant delivering newborns has a disastrous effect on her social life. “

Oh where do I begin? I just feel sad, baffled and confused after watching this programme. And I really didn’t expect to. I thought it would be light entertainment to have on in the background for my half-asleep standard new parent attempt to stay up past 9pm! But no, after watching through my fingers as the new mums declared just hours after giving birth that they must now start to worry whether or not their husbands will be cheating on them if they don’t get back into perfect shape right away… Is this the real world? I thought that was just a line that Hello & The Daily Mail fed you & we all ignored knowing it is COMPLETE NONSENSE! YOU JUST CREATED A HUMAN WITH YOUR BODY!!

Next we see 9 screaming babies in a nursery, as the Mum’s sleep through the night, eat their 3 course restaurant quality food & apply their perfect makeup and yet can’t even pick their own baby up… Why have a baby if you don’t want to be a mother? I’m all for Mothers getting the support they need, but where is Dad? Surely that’s who should be offering support, not flying in for a few hours to film the birth on his gold plated iPhone? The only thing your baby needs in the first few weeks is you. It’s that simple.

The consultants try valiantly to keep repeating their beautifully polished ‘PR friendly’ lines so they don’t get sued but you start to see the real frustrations as the midwives are more honest than their seniors and even recount tales of Mothers’ asking them to pass them a glass on the table next to them… Is this what money does to you? You literally can’t lift a finger. It’s as if they’ve been promised they won’t have to endure any pain or discomfort at all if they just throw all this money at it. Am I going to have to be the one that breaks it to them…? That’s not how it works.

Am I too old fashioned? Am I being naive…? Possibly. But it makes me sad for these babies that will grow up as a fashion accessory for the most part. To me, being a mother is about being completely selfless, whether you end up with stretch marks or an extra 15 lbs those things don’t matter when you get to watch this beautiful baby grow into a wonderful little person! Life is about so much more than you and being a mother is the quickest way to teach you that lesson.

Right at the end of the programme you see one mother who actually wants to deliver her baby naturally and wants to keep her baby by her side through the night. This should be seen as completely standard and yet after 50 minutes of bafflingly casual remarks about how they would ‘just die!’ if they had to look after their baby by themselves this becomes a great moment of relief. Thank goodness!! Someone showing some maternal instinct!!

What did you think of Five Star Babies? Would you consider having your baby privately after watching it? Tweet me @Poppy_Carter or join the conversation over on Facebook!

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Medela – The Big Review!

I can’t express…see what I did there… just how much I love my Medela Freestyle Pump. When you get it out of the box it might feel overwhelming with how many pieces there are but it’s amazingly easy to use, clean and put together! It’s so fast, quiet and comfortable. I was expressing every 3 hours to keep my supply up and try to keep up with Isla’s needs and the Freestyle made that so much easier for me!

 

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It comes with a shoulder bag & cool bag with freezer pack so you can express on the go!

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The Freestyle breast pump is the world’s smallest high-performance electric breast pump. It’s ideal for daily and frequent use with a single or double pumping option. The pump itself is small enough to hold in your hand – has a timer on the front so you can see how long you’ve been pumping & you can adjust how strong you want it to pump easily too.

Medela uses 2-Phase Expression as standard. The 2-Phase Expression is the only research based breast pump technology to mimic a baby’s natural nursing rhythm. It combines both rapid stimulation and slower expression so pumping is gentle, comfortable, and efficient.

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It’s so easy to clip together & take apart for cleaning – you’ll be doing it with your eyes closed in no time!

I was going to do my own pictures for this post, but these just amuse me so much for some reason… They demonstrate perfectly how the freestyle aspect of it works – but I’m sorry… I have never and will never look as glamorous as this woman while doing it.

You can buy the Freestyle Bustier separately & it’s great so you can crack on with something else – I even used it most days in the car to keep them in place safely & discreetly (only as a passenger!) .

Medela very kindly sent me their pump & save bags to try – which are so convenient! They pop straight onto the pump so you can pump your milk directly into the bags and put it straight into the freezer without having to risk losing one precious drop!

 

They also sent me the quick clean bags which we used loads when we went on holiday or were away from home. They’re perfect for cleaning bottles, teats, and much more. Each bag can be used up to 20 times, and will clean and disinfect in 3 minutes.

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Medela make a huge range of breast pumps to suit every need & they sent me the Harmony to try too. It’s a manual pump but still uses their 2-phase expression like the Freestyle. I found it worked just as well as the freestyle – but after a while I got tired of doing it and became less efficient. Also – having to pump one boob at a time wasn’t great for me. But if you are planning on breast feeding & expressing the other breast at the same time this would be perfect – as it’s silent and won’t disturb your little one. I used it mostly at night if Isla didn’t wake up for a feed just for some relief from engorgement.

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Both pumps express into the bottles that work with the amazing Calma teats that I have talked about before – but incase you missed it…

Calma is the only scientific based feeding device that helps to support the similar sucking behaviour of the baby at the breast. Calma is the unique teat for babies who are being breastfed with breastmilk, as it allows them to suck, swallow and breathe, as learned on the breast.

Calma requires a similar sucking behaviour to breastfeeding using the tongue to create a vacuum making it easier for babies to switch between breast and Calma. It’s the first and only teat to be introduced during breastfeeding to support the similar sucking behaviour of the baby at the breast.

Please note: Breastfeeding needs to be well established before introducing Calma. Calma is recommended for breastfed babies and not those who are currently bottle fed as they may find it difficult to feed.

A few other favourites that I’ve mentioned before are their disposable nursing pads. They are super soft & SUPER absorbent. They have two little sticky pads to stick directly onto the inside of your nursing bra & I never had a problem with them moving – even in the night! They are more expensive than some others on the market – but you get what you pay for & that really counts when the alternative leaves you with a drenched top mid-conversation with a stranger/postman/distant relative! I also loved the purlan 100 nipple cream – easy to use and does what it says it will! You can never use enough of this stuff! Plus the Hydrogel Pads were good for cooling relief  from cracked, sore nipples – they work amazingly well when put on top of the purelan 100!

 

I thought I’d include two of my favourite photos from my time expressing… This is Barney feeding Isla (in a hotel lobby!) the first time I managed to express enough to use the bigger bottle! A huge achievement!!

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And this is Isla first thing in the morning while I was using the Freestyle Pump – exactly what you need your hands free for – lots of cuddles!!

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So that’s it! I couldn’t love Medela more – from their incredible pumps to the amazing support they provide Mum’s on their journey – they are a wonderful company that I’m so thrilled to be working with!

Medela Mum Badge 2016

 

6 Months

Isla turns 6 months old today & I can’t believe we are here already… Sitting up, rolling over and now giving crawling a really good go! I just want to freeze time & enjoy my tiny baby for a bit longer. She brings so much love & light to everyone she meets – chatting & laughing to anyone who will pay her even the slightest bit of attention. Most nights she does ‘Twinkle Twinkle Stars’ fingers and then applauds herself in her cot before going to sleep… I can’t even. We’ve been exploring art and music a lot this month – she has even ‘painted’ her first masterpieces for her Nanny & Grandma. She loves watching videos of child prodigies playing the cello!

Our photoshoot this month was taken in the kitchen after breakfast this morning! I want to remember her how I saw her every day, just hanging out in her PJ vest, as well as all dressed up for fun.

Happy 6 Months my crazy Beanie Bear!

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Cybex Aton Q Car Seat Review

Choosing the right car seat is one of the most important things you can do to keep your little one safe – but it really is a minefield for new parents! After staring cluelessly at a wall of plastic & material with a startling price range (You can get a car seat from £20 in certain supermarkets… surely that can’t be safe!?) I’d never heard of ‘ISOFIX’ let alone what the current government safety standards were… So my research began…  I was kindly helped by an incredibly knowledgeable sales assistant at Mama’s & Papa’s & we were on our way!

So here are the top things you should know…

  1. You MUST have a car seat for your baby, even if you don’t own a car – if you are planning on bringing baby home from the hospital.
  2. Choosing the right car seat for your baby’s age & weight is crucial.
  3. Be careful about borrowing/buying a second hand car seat – you must make sure it’s never been in a crash before & that you have the manual so you can install it properly.
  4. Check the weight range on the car seat you are buying. Group 0 is from Birth to 22lbs. Or Group 0+ is from Birth to 29lbs. (It’s worth noting that a new standard called ‘i-Size’ is being introduced in the UK. Car seats using this standard will be classified by height rather than weight. Which will eventually replace the old weight-based classification, but not until at least 2018.)
  5. Your baby should stay rear-facing for as long as possible as it’s 80% safer.
  6. Check your car has ISOFIX points – if it was made compulsory for all cars made after 2006. (Metal bars that secure the chair directly to the car with no need for a seatbelt).
  7. You will need to purchase the ISOFIX base separately so remember to budget for that too!
  8. Never leave your new baby in the car seat for more than 2 hours at a time. Once they can sit up un-aided this does not apply.

Anyway… After all that… We found our car seat… PHEW…

The Cybex Aton Q Car Seat.

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Oooh… Aaah! I hear you cry!

I love how it looks – especially with the shell sun canopy cover up. Also it’s still looking pretty perfect, after 6 months of use!

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Isla’s taking all this VERY seriously.

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The Aton Q is group 0+, suitable from Birth to 13kgs/29lbs. It has:

– Safer sides – superior side impact protection.
– Telescopic shock absorbers – retractable side impact rods help the energy absorbing shell soak up the force of a side on collision.
– Easy up and down – seat height adjusts automatically.
– Adjustable headrest – 8 comfy positions plus an integrated harness guide.
– Energy-absorbing shell – cushions the impact in case of a crash.
– Super comfy straps – extra wide Y-harness straps with soft belt and crotch pad.
– Ready-made shade – integrated XXL foldaway sun canopy in matching colours.
– Sun safe – all fabrics are UPF 50+.
– Removable covers – easily slipped off and safe to wash at 30 degrees.

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When I put Isla in, I put the straps tucked up into the headrest so they don’t get in the way & I can easily grab them to secure her with no fuss!

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We got a baby mirror so we can always check on her & now she’s obsessed with laughing at that funny baby in the mirror… until we reach 30mph & she’s out like a light!

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It is also travel system compatible with our Urbo 2 Pushchair which is great if we are just popping into a shop quickly & don’t want to disturb nap time!

The only downside is, it is heavy. I really struggle to carry it very far with Isla in – but as it clips right onto the pram – this is rarely an issue.

Cybex do a full range of beautiful & incredibly safe car seats for every age group! You can see them here. We are already looking at the next stage up for Isla but we have quite a few months of life left in our Aton Q before we will need to make our next big decision!

 

Mrs. Henderson Presents – Opening Night

The opening night of Mrs. Henderson presents was on Tuesday & seeing as it was Barney’s first time as Musical Director of a West End show (SO FREAKIN’ COOL!) we thought we’d celebrate properly!

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We decided to book a hotel & asked my lovely mum look after Isla so Barney could enjoy his big night without having to leave the party early to catch a train. Booking a hotel in London is always an interesting experience – you can pay hundreds for a tiny box or find a hidden gem (still hundreds!) and get a whole penthouse!

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I’ve walked past LIB-RARY so many times & thought, ‘That looks so cool,  I wonder whats in there!?’… seeing as it’s a private members club, I’d never managed to satisfy my curiosity. But we just couldn’t resist booking it when it sits perfectly between the theatre & the after party! And as you can see… we were not disappointed! Room4Room

Complete with it’s own balcony over looking St. Martins Lane – it had the ‘wow’ factor at every turn!

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#blessed

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With all my pregnancy hip problems I’ve had to ease myself very gently back into exercise and also be a lot more realistic with my goals – so when I had to find an outfit for an industry party I knew the thing I needed the most would be shapewear!! The wonderful people at BellyBandit kindly sent me their Mother Tucker Corset to try & I fell in love instantly!!

This wardrobe essential is comfortable enough to wear all day (no, seriously!) and thin enough to hide under your clothes. Created with 2 layers of SecureStretch™ material for double compression, this smart corset slims your waist and tummy while concealing bothersome back bulge. The soft boning ensures the corset will stay in place without rolling or digging, and the lightweight and breathable fabric provides maximum comfort. The 6-hook design allows for greater adjustability and compression.

Once I’d found a dress all I needed were some killer heels & I was ready to go!
These beauties are by Sophia Webster – they have been sitting in the box waiting to be worn since I bought them two days before I found out I was pregnant!

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The view from the balcony was beautiful & perfect for truly appreciating the glory of the Coliseum!

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I haven’t been out in such a long time, I actually forgot what I needed & didn’t bring anything to do my hair – so a pony tail would have to do!! Into my dressMother Tucker® Corset, & Marc Jacobs jacket (similar here) & ready to go!

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It was amazing to spend some time just being a double act again – even if I did cry on FaceTime to Isla… twice!!

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The show was as incredible as I’d remembered from it’s time playing the Theatre Royal in Bath & finished the night with a much deserved four tier standing ovation. I was bursting with pride for my wonderful best friend/partner in crime/fiance!

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Barney’s jacket is Ted Baker & my hand bag is a Boy Bag from Chanel.

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After a few glasses of champagne with some wonderful friends, we were well & truly partied out & stumbled the mere few steps from the National Gallery back to our penthouse to finish the night eating a cupcake with boobs on at 2am…

See the show & you’ll get it…

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Of course, I barely slept – thinking about Isla – seeing as it was my first time away from her that was to be expected! Even though I knew she would be having the best time being spoilt by her nanny with kisses and silly games!

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We had a quick breakfast on our balcony before I headed back to be reunited with our sweet girl!

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It was great to just be me for a few hours and not ‘mummy’ – but my goodness I missed her every second I was away!

 

 

 

Bath Time Essentials

Bath time is fast becoming Isla’s favourite part of the day. We are finally into a great routine & it’s made bedtime easy & enjoyable for everyone. I thought I’d recommend a few of our favourite products for you to try too…

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First up, is Sudocrem’s new Care & Protect. I was kindly sent this to try on Isla after it won Best Nappy Cream of 2015 & we instantly fell in love with it. It’s kept her skin happy & it’s the perfect size for the baby bag!

Sudocrem Care & Protect is a nappy rash ointment – designed specifically for babies – that offers triple protection against nappy rash at every nappy change:

1. Creating a protective barrier that seals in the skin’s natural moisture and protects even the most delicate skin against external irritants.

2. Conditioning the skin – Vitamin E and Pro Vitamin B5 helps to protect the skin and keep it soft, healthy and moisturised.

3. Guarding against infection – As well as sealing in the good stuff, Sudocrem Care & Protect acts as a barrier to protect delicate skin from the bad stuff, like the chemicals in urine and poo, and from chafing and rubbing.

 Because Sudocrem Care & Protect is just for your baby, it is hypoallergenic and has been dermatologically tested. It is also free from artificial colours and preservatives. 

£6.99 for 100g.

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We use Earth Friendly Baby‘s Calming lavender Shampoo & Body wash every night in the bath – all their products are ethical, natural and organic as well as kind to sensitive skin. It smells great and leaves Isla relaxed & ready for bed.

£4.00 for 250ml.

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I love all of Cowshed’s products & this relaxing room spray is no different. A few sprays in her room before story time & we are ready to relax into an easy bedtime. They have so many beautiful products – especially for new mums and mums to be that make great gifts so make sure to check out their full range.

£18 for 100ml.

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Burt’s Bees Original Lotion contains Buttermilk, Shea Butter and Sunflower Seed Oil to deeply moisturise baby’s skin, making it smooth and super soft. Original lotion now provides scientifically-proven moisture for up to 24 hours to keep your baby’s skin soft. This buttermilk lotion is also free of synthetic fragrances, just like the entire Baby Bee line, for your peace of mind. It’s quick absorbing too which makes getting into PJ’s right after easy… well as easy as it can be when being ‘nakey’ is the best thing ever to happen to a baby!

£10.99 for 170g.

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Some nights if Isla won’t settle we try a calming baby massage. We went to a class to learn how to safely & gently massage & always use Neal’s Yard Baby Massage Oil. It’s suitable form 3 months (they have another unscented one suitable from birth) 100% organic, with calming essential oils of rose otto and Roman chamomile, perfect for a wonderfully soothing, bonding massage.

£7.50 for 50ml.

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If you’ve been following the blog or our Instagram, you’ll know how much I love everything Aden + Anais make… Muslins, Clothes & now wash cloths and hooded towels. You can get a hooded towel & wash cloth set which only gets softer the more you wash it & extra 100% Cotton Muslin wash cloths sold separately. We have draws full of them!

Hooded Towel & Wash Cloth set – £29.95.

Wash Cloth Sets – £16.95 for 3.

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And that’s it, for now! If we find anything else that we love we’ll be sure to share it with you! (Oh and the Elephant pictured is Eric P. Fuddlewuddle… from JellyCat’s Fuddlewuddle range!)

Do you have any bath time favourites that you swear by? Leave a comment here on my facebook or tweet me @Poppy_Carter

3 Months

Another month down & Isla is growing beautifully! She seems to be learning something new every day & is really practising her chatting now with lots of ‘Goos & Gah’s’ – especially to Nanny & Grumps! We get smiles all day long & even squeals of excitement so I think we aren’t too far away from her first giggle now! We took her swimming for the first time this month & she loved splashing about with Daddy & Grandma.

1-ad.jpgOur tree, lights and most of the decorations are from John Lewis, with additional decorations from The White Company & Selfridges. Stockings from The White Company.

Christmas is coming and we are all ready to go – with far too many presents for a little person who won’t even know whats going on!

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Such a cheeky girl! (Bauble from Selfridges & outfit from H&M.)

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Baby’s first candy cane… Luckily her motor skills aren’t good enough to successfully find her mouth! 🙂

My Breastfeeding Journey with Medela

One of the things that I had the most sleepless nights over before Isla was born was if I was going to be able to successfully breastfeed. At every appointment you go to it seems the midwife asks, ‘Are you going to breastfeed?’ and if you even slightly hesitate with your answer you get a 10 minute lecture on how ‘Breast is best’… And yes, I know that. And yes, I very much hope to be the perfect milk machine that you want me to be. But it isn’t so easy, all that pressure we put on ourselves really can’t help.

So I decided to take the pressure off and just tell myself that as long as my baby was fed – even if I have to express my milk all day & night, then I would succeed. I think the attitude you have about things can make all the difference in the world – and the support that you have, of course! So I’ve partnered with the wonderful Medela! For more than 50 years, Medela has developed from a small family owned company in Switzerland to a global producer of technologically advanced breastpumps and Medical Vacuum Technology, supporting Mum’s on their breast feeding journey.

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Getting advice can be wonderful – but the most important thing is to get it from an expert and ignore everyone else…Except me… don’t ignore me! 😉

Medela’s in-house lactation consultant, Sioned, has kindly offered some brilliant advice in response to my questions after my first few weeks breast feeding…

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1. The biggest problem we have when breastfeeding is that Isla won’t stop squirming and fidgeting – how can I calm her down when at the breast? If I try to hold her to the breast she gets angry & upset. Could my milk supply be coming out too fast for her?

When you first put baby on the breast there is minimal milk flow whilst she is stimulating your milk let-down reflex with lots of fast shallow sucks. When you trigger this the milk spurts and this can be occasionally overwhelming and baby will come off and fuss. This is perfectly normal, pop them back on and carry on. If it is affecting feeding try a different feeding position such as the laid back biological nursing position so that the nipple is positioned at the correct place in baby’s mouth and gravity helps her to manage the milk flow , a slightly elevated up right position can also assist here.

If baby keeps on slipping off look at a few different positions too and check latch.

As they mature through those early weeks to months they become more aware of their surroundings and want to engage with everything so that they fidget and turn and the least noise, stimulation, voice etc. Try a quietened room, minimise distractions and to keep focus you could wear a play bead necklace such as breastfeeding beads so that she has a focus, also try singing or reciting a story.

It is unlikely to help using swaddling as a containment method as it is important that baby is in a correct position to feed and need their hands to stimulate the breast.

Around 3-4 months their teeth buds are also moving under the gums so the gums may be a little tender.

There are other reasons why babies fidget whilst feeding – to trigger an additional let-down reflex as the milk flow slows as well as if they are under the weather and have congested noses they come off and mouth breathe.

2. Isla keeps falling asleep at the breast, but if I move her wakes up and cries, what should I do so I don’t end up feeding for hours at a time?

Falling asleep at the breast is what all mammals do. It is only humans that have evolved to think that this is wrong or habit forming. She feels safe and secure with you, is warm and is reassured with your smell and body sounds. She doesn’t get angry but scared, she is dependent on you and this is a primeval instinct to keep her safe and near you.

Some things to try is to wear an item of clothing such as a muslin square next to your skin and chest and when you place her in her crib place this with her, placing a bra pad with you milk essence is also useful as she can smell you near her. She may find that the crib is scary because there are no boundaries – one of the techniques used with premature infants supporting safe sleeping is to roll a small hand towel / tea towel up like a sausage and make a U place baby in the U with legs over the bottom edge bottom tucked in an the upper parts supporting the torso – baby feels secure and safe and cannot roll or be smothered. Your baby will resist moving but if you know she has fed well try placing her in her pram or bassinet and keep on the move by rocking or walking it will soon adapt. It’s not habit forming just nurturing.

3. I’ve found it very difficult to find any information for Mum’s that wish to exclusively pump their breastmilk & bottle feed it to their baby – Is there any reason I shouldn’t exclusively pump? Does it affect my milk supply?

It is your decision entirely how you choose to feed your baby. Getting all the information provides you with the ability of making an informed choice.

Breastfeeding is the easiest and best option but you can also breastmilk feed and both you and your baby benefit from the health, developmental and immunological factors that are the same as breastfeeding.

For some mothers they have no choice but to exclusively pump and this can be because of prematurity of the baby, baby cannot breastfeed because of feeding challenges such as sucking difficulties, cleft palate, medical difficulties and sometimes it can be because mum has inverted nipples, previous trauma that can be psychological / or abuse or nipple pain.

It is a balancing act as you have to mimic how your baby would feed and would be pump dependant as well as still feeding your baby and caring. This means that you would need to express exclusively day and night 8-12 with no longer than 4-5 hours between night sessions.

There is no reason why you cannot exclusively express if this is your decision – getting a good double pump and correct shield size is key for long term expressing with good milk drainage and frequent pumping sessions. Supporting this routine with lots of skin to skin time with your baby can support you and maximise your milk supply.

The plus side of breastfeeding is that physical contact that enhances the oxytocin surge, mental well-being but you can still get this through skin to skin cuddles, and the time spent feed, cuddle, reassure , put your feet up and feed whilst with expressing you can delegate the feed to others but you still need to commit to pumping, sterilising, storing and warming the milk.

A massive thank you to Medela & Sioned for their wonderful support & advice. My breastfeeding journey is off to a great start!

What have been the biggest challenges for you? And how did you over come them? Leave me a comment below or on my Facebook or tweet me @Poppy_Carter