Showing posts with label breastfeeding. Show all posts
Showing posts with label breastfeeding. Show all posts

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Breastfeeding Friendly Fashion from JD Williams

My wardrobe has been in desperate need of updating recently and Cora is still breastfeeding during the day with no signs of slowing down, so I have been limited to clothing with easy boob access.  I don't want to live in just the traditional nursing clothes though so I chose a few items from the JD Williams site and the skirt below is definitely my favourite.  

I paired it with a crop top but the fit of the skirt meant my tummy was still covered.  I love how flexible this skirt is as it would look great with t-shirts, vests or jumpers as the seasons change.  It has pockets too which is always great!  I found the sizing a little generous so if you are in between sizes then I would suggest sizing down. 

There are a great selection of skirts on the JD Williams website so I have picked some of my favourites below

I like how these can all be dressed up with a pretty top or paired with a t-shirt for a more casual daytime look.  Most of these styles are available in sizes from 10 to 32 so there is something to suit all different shapes.

I have picked some of my favourite nursing friendly tops from the website too.

Wrap tops are perfect with a vest underneath and the off the shoulder tops slide down easily to feed.  I quite fancy the first top to pair with the denim skirt.

As well as the skirt, I also chose this lovely tunic top.  The zip comes down far enough to feed easily and the tunic is super soft and easy to wear.  The sleeves can be rolled up for the warmer weather and it looks great with leggings.  

There is a great selection of breastfeeding friendly clothes on the JD Williams site and it feels great to have some new bits just for me rather than the children!

Collaborative Post

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Tuesday, 30 August 2016

5 Reasons I am Looking Forward to Breastfeeding Again

This is a Sponsored Post by SMA® Nutrition

In the lead up to Cora's arrival I was feeling a mixture of nervous and excited. I knew that things were about to get very busy, that life with a newborn is exhausting and draining in every sense and that I will truly understand the term 'hands full' as I tackle life with four aged four and under. I also knew how amazing it was going to be, how the adrenaline makes you feel on top of the world, how precious those early days are and how perfect newborn cuddles are.

I breastfed all three of the boys for varying lengths of time and I am breastfeeding this little lady as well. In fact, it is one of the things I was really looking forward to, for many reasons.

1) Everyone wants newborn cuddles to touch their tiny toes, sniff their little heads and marvel at how small they are. I know family and friends will want to take the baby off me to hold, but once she starts crying, it will be straight back to Mama. Breastfeeding means it is only me that can feed her and settle her, that it is me that gets to enjoy those moments of calm, watch her fall asleep milk drunk and hold her close.

2) Breastfeeding is easy - not always at first, but once those early struggles have passed and things fall into a routine, it becomes so easy. There is nothing extra to pack in an already bulging changing bag, no problems if you decide to stay out later and the knowledge that you have everything you need somewhere that you really can't lose!

3) The knowledge that I am providing my baby with the very best start in life. The first 1000 days (pregnancy through to her 2nd birthday) are so important and my breastmilk adapts to my baby's needs providing her with the right amount of essential proteins she needs to grow and stay healthy. Protein in breastmilk is vital for growth and development and is the foundation for their cells, muscles, brain and other tissues I still find it amazing that my body makes all of this on demand! The World Health Organisation recommends exclusively breastfeeding for the first six months as breast milk has been proven to support an appropriate rate of growth as the level of protein in breast milk changes as your babies grow. When babies grow at an appropriate rate it can reduce their chances of becoming overweight and obese later in life.

This video from SMA Nutrition shows the importance of protein in breastmilk

4) The extra calories having a newborn is exhausting and cake is one of the best ways to get through it. Breastfeeding mamas get an extra 500 calories a day which makes me feel so much better about all those extra biscuits I will be eating! It also means that the inevitable 'mum tum' shrinks a little faster, although I know with four pregnancies under my belt it is just a part of me now.

5) Savouring those moments, knowing that it won't be long before she is running around and not needing me so much. Knowing that whilst I am feeding my baby there is nowhere else I would rather be, that I am doing the most important thing I can be. Being able to stroke a tiny cheek, watch little fingers curl, little toes wriggle, a little body warm against mine. Being forced to slow down and appreciate the moment, exactly as we are, savouring the baby days.

I know that things may not stay easy, but it is something worth fighting for and I am enjoying every moment of breastfeeding my baby girl.
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Friday, 12 August 2016

My Breastfeeding Essentials

Cora is the fourth baby I have breastfed.  I fed her brothers for different lengths of time and I have no clear idea of how long I intend to feed her for yet.  I know that at the moment it is working for both of us and I hope that we have many more months left.  I love everything about breastfeeding, how easy it is once you get past the initial hurdles, how cheap it is, how lazy I can be, how much less I have to carry in my changing bag.  I love the bond it gives me with my babies and the fact that as soon as they start crying they come straight back to me.

I really believe that the only things you need to breastfeed are you and your baby, but that doesn't mean that there aren't products that make things easier and comfier along the way.  These are my breastfeeding essentials:

1) LanaCare breastpads - These are so comfortable and made from wool which contains natural Lanolin.  They are huge and cover the entire breast as well as helping to protect from mastitus and blocked ducts (which I have been lucky enough to have never suffered from) and they are low maintenance.  I have never leaked through them or had any issues.

2) Lanolin cream - Babies can take time to get a good latch - after all they are learning too, and evenings spent cluster feeding can leave your nipples feeling rather sore.  Lanolin cream is by far the best I have tried and you can leave it on to feed unlike some alternatives that need to be washed off first.

3) A nursing dress - this may not make everyone's essential list but I love wearing dresses and made sure I bought a few that were feeding friendly so that I didn't feel so restricted in what I wear.  Check out Frugi, JoJo Maman Bebe and Tiny Vikings

4) Plain Vests - I have a huge drawer full of plain vests which I now wear under everything.  I cover them with a nice top and when I need to feed I use the 'one up one down' approach.  The top comes up and the vest pulls down so that I can feed baby without getting a cold tummy.  I love the H&M longer ones and they are only around £4 each

5) Food and Drink - It is so easy to forget to eat properly with a newborn and I seem to be constantly thirsty when I am breastfeeding.  I have a whole stash of water bottles in the fridge so that I can always have one with me and I don't have to worry about spilling it (or the boys spilling it!).  Having snack bars makes life so much easier too and you can get ones that are specifically designed for breastfeeding mamas like Nutrimum and Freida's Pantry which are packed full of vitamins.

Breastfeeding essentials, breastfeeding mama

Whilst you can feed a baby without any of these things, these are my essentials for making life easier and more comfortable.  What are your breastfeeding must-haves?

breastfeeding essentials, breastfeeding

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Monday, 13 June 2016

A Homebirth Basket

I am 37 weeks and all set for my first home birth.  I have birthed once in the hospital, twice in the midwife led unit and for this fourth baby, staying at home feels like the natural thing to do.  I know that things can still be unpredictable though, that sometimes there is a need to transfer and even if we stay at home, it is helpful to have everything in one place, so I have prepared a home birth basket as opposed to a hospital bag.

I will have a holdall ready so that if anything changes the contents of my basket can be tipped in as we leave, but I want to think positive and feel prepared to birth this baby in the comfort of my own home.

The basket is layered so that the things I need for labour are at the top and the bits for after baby has arrived are nearer the bottom - hopefully this means we don't have to go rooting through when I need something!

homebirth, honebirth bag, homebirth basket, planning a homebirth

For the labour I have: 

-Waterproof sheets
I am planning on taping these to the floor to protect the carpet and having one spare to use either on the sofa or the bed if that is where I want to birth.

-Blankets for comfort
I want to make a cosy nest in case I decide to stay out the water so I will use blankets on top of the sheets and bring in my birthing ball when labour starts

I am hoping to use a pool for pain relief and birthing in

-Birth preferences
I understand the unpredictable nature of labour, but I feel happier having my preferences written down for the midwifes in case I am not in a position to communicate.  Things like immediate skin to skin, delayed cord clamping until the cord turns white, no offering of pain relief - waiting for me to request it.

-My notes
Obviously my maternity notes are pretty vital!

Labour can be sweaty, hairbands are pretty important

-Cord tie
I am planning on using a cord tie rather than a plastic clamp - it looks more comfortable than a big chunk of plastic on their belly and can help it to heal faster too. (I bought this one from Heartstrings on facebook)

homebirth, cord tie, homemade cord tie

-Cooling spray
I got given this in a baby show goody bag and think it might come in quite useful

-Bottle of water
I always get really thirsty in labour and it is important to keep hydrated.  This will actually be living in the fridge until things kick off though,

For wrapping myself and the baby in when we get out the pool/when she is born.

For after I have:

-Baby vests
I have a couple, one in newborn just in case she is smaller than expected and one in up to 1 month size

-Baby sleepsuits
Again I have both newborn and up to 1 month size

-Baby hat
I can't resist a little white baby hat!

-Nursing bra
I have a few ready, but this Emma Jane one looks super easy and perfect for sleep too.

-Breast pads
I have reusable breastpads as I find them more comfortable and cost efficient as well as less wasteful.  I won these Mama Design ones in a competition recently and they feel so soft

-Blanket for the baby

-Comfy pjs
I have some nursing friendly pyjamas that I got when I had Dylan and whilst it is tempting to buy new ones, I find my old worn in ones so comfy that those are what I really want.

Muslins are my essential baby item, our house is full of them, although they aren't all as pretty as these Frugi ones. (I purchased these from the Natal Family)

We are planning on using cloth nappies from birth again and I have mostly Totsbots teenyfits alongside a couple of other brands.

-Mama pants

-Post partum pads
I am going to be using reusable pads this time - after doing some research on the chemicals in disposables I feel this is the best choice for me and my body.

I know the advice is to use cotton wool, but waterwipes are so much more convenient so I will have both ready.  I have a pack to use for me too for keeping clean and fresh.

-Cotton wool
I have bought some fresh cotton wool for cleaning baby too

-Phone and camera battery charger
Because of course I will be taking far too many photos!

At the moment my basket is safely packed and stored in my bedroom and when labour begins I will take it to whichever area I plan on using - most likely the living room.  Did you have a birthing essential?  I only did this all 15 months ago but I still had to google what I would need!

Everything you need to pack for a homebirth,

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Wednesday, 8 July 2015

My Top Five Products for a Feeding Mum

I have been the mum that would try breastfeeding with no pressure. I have been the mum hiding in a toilet, worried about breastfeeding in public.  I have been the mum that weaned onto bottles.  I have been the mum who knew she would breastfeed before her baby was even born.  I have been the mum proudly breastfeeding.  I have been the mum who breastfed a toddler.  I have been the mum that cup fed.  I have been the mum that bottlefeeds.  I have been the mum that does her very best for her babies, and makes sure they are fed, happy and growing.

I have breastfed, cup fed and bottle fed, and whilst there are some products brilliantly designed for a certain way of feeding, there are also a lot of products that are just fantastic for those mums that regularly feed their children.  Here are my top 5


Muslins are genius things, so simple, so underated until you have a baby to feed, and then you realise their worth.  I used them as a light cover when I felt nervous feeding in public, I have used them as a burping cloth, and as a makeshift bib for a baby with reflux.  However I feed my baby, I make sure I have a muslin close at hand.

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Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Our Feeding Journey

It is fair to say that Finn's first three months have been rocky.  After being born with a virus, he has undergone all sorts of tests and procedures, and we have found a second home in the hospital. We seem to finally be coming out the other side of the newborn blur though, and I have discovered that we are going to have to do things Finn's way rather than mine.

I knew way before Finn was born that I wanted to breastfeed.  I had fed both of his brothers, for 9 months and 16 months and it was what felt natural to me.  I had enjoyed it, both my children were born already seeming to know how and it was certainly easy, especially once you got past those first few weeks.  Finn latched on well after birth, and we had 48 hours of breastfeeding on demand.

After his admission to special care, the testing started, and to rule out a rare disease called galactosaemia, we were told Finn must stop breastfeeding, and instead have a soya based formula until we had the all clear.  I was so determined that we should do everything we could to establish breastfeeding, that the nurses and I decided he would be cup fed, to avoid the nipple confusion of a bottle, and I was set up with an electric pump and a space in the freezer.  The results took far longer to come back than we expected and it wasn't until 8 days later that I was finally allowed to breastfeed again.  Finn was 10 days old, the freezer was so full after 8 days of expressing every 3 hours and I didn't realise how hard it would be to teach a baby to breastfeed again.

We struggled, and he was topped up via his nasogastric tube when he didn't seem to be taking enough, but after 12 hours a lovely nurse told me he could come into my room, and we would stop topping him up for 24 hours to give him a chance to really 'get it'.  He seemed to get back into feeding, and I prioritised getting milk into him over anything else.  I ended up very sore, but after 3 days and lots of work his latch started to right itself and he was putting on weight.

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Thursday, 23 April 2015

Frugi Breastfeeding Dress Review

Frugi have a gorgeous new range of clothing designed for breastfeeding mamas and they sent me one of their Spring dresses to try out.

Whilst Finn is the third baby I have breastfed and I have a bit more confidence feeding in public than I did the first time around, I still like to be discreet, and this dress is perfectly designed to feed comfortably and without having having much skin on show.  

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Thursday, 12 March 2015

One 4 All for Mother's Day

With Mother's Day falling less than three weeks after the arrival of our third baby, things are all up in the air.  As he is still in hospital being looked after in special care, we are all a bit disorganised, and I doubt the bloke will be out taking the biggest two shopping this week!

One 4 all sent me a gift card to treat myself this mother's day and it is a perfect gift.  My maternity clothes no longer fit now my bump is a baby and my pre-pregnancy clothes are not all that flattering as I lose the remainder of the tummy that carried three babies.  The gift cards can be used in so many ways, from days out, to family meals to treats for you, and mine is being spent on some nice clothes to help me transition between what fits.  Not only do I want nice and baggy in the right places, but things should be easy access as I am breastfeeding a newborn too.

I love that the card can be personalised with any image, and this one is special as it was our last family photo as a family of four!

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Tuesday, 10 June 2014

The End of Something

It has been over three and a half years since my body felt truly my own, and it is strange to have it back.  After two pregnancies and two stints of breastfeeding, it doesn't come naturally to put on a pretty bra and a fitted dress.  Last week I breastfed Archie for the last time, without having a clue that it was to be the end and I suddenly find myself not 'needed' in the same way I have been for so long.

I knew I was going to miss one feed as I wouldn't be around at bedtime, but Archie chose the night before and after to sleep through the night, meaning I missed three feeds in a row and when he didn't seem bothered on the second night it felt right to bring things to an end.  It had been on the cards for a few weeks but I had no idea on that warm spring evening as we curled up together in the rocking chair that it would be our last breastfeed.

Our journey was relatively smooth and enjoyable.  I wanted to breastfeed for at least eight months but was sure I would finish by a year.  By eleven months we were only feeding at home but neither of us was ready to stop so we continued with no plan or goal in mind.  Archie is now fifteen months and an active, energetic toddler.  He is walking, talking, causing mischief wherever he goes and operating any machinery he can get close to.  He has had the best start in life that I could give him and I feel happy that we had what we had.

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Saturday, 26 April 2014

14 Months Old

This last month I have been thinking a lot about how I would describe Archie.  In so many ways he is still a baby and being so much smaller than his big brother this is emphasised even more.  A friend said recently that all the while you count their age in months they are a baby and in that case he definitely still is.  On the other hand, Archie is now walking, making an effort to speak and learning new skills all the time.  He is starting to show definite toddler traits from the way he shakes his head to let you know that he knows what he is doing is wrong (but he is going to do it anyway), to his determination to do everything his big brother can and more.

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Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Still Breastfeeding at One Year

This is not a post I expected to be writing, yet here I am, still nursing Archie at one year old.  When I was pregnant with Dylan, I knew that I wanted to breastfeed, and thought six weeks seemed a good length of time.  I didn't really know anyone that had fed past a couple of months and that seemed to be the natural point to swap to formula and bottles.

The six week mark came and went.  We had established our routine, my milk had come in and settled and things were going smoothly.  The idea of sterilising, buying powder every week and carrying more around in my already bulging nappy bag was not appealing, and I decided that I may even feed my son until six months.  By then he would be sitting up, eating solids and not needing to nurse any more, or so I thought. I started going to the local breastfeeding support group, mostly because it followed on from baby massage, but I started to see people feeding children from babies up to one year olds, and the idea of feeding a little longer was a lot less strange.

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Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Milk and Mummy

During summer, I tended to stick to the vest under a T-shirt rule and when Archie needed to feed, one went up and the other down, keeping my tummy covered. Now it is a bit chillier, I am not so keen on leaving my poor tummy so exposed to the elements and so I have started wearing more breastfeeding clothes.

Archie is nearly 10 months but still feeds in the day and I prefer to be discreet for my own sake.  I was sent a beautiful nursing top from Milk and Mummy to try out and it is perfect for winter.

The fitted top comes apart to expose just enough breast to feed with, and the top hangs in a flattering way to cover that post baby bulge which just does not want to shift.  This is a top I will wear once I have finished nursing as you can't notice the hidden access at all.

The material is soft and stretchy and this goes with almost anything.  Milk and Mummy also have some gorgeous breastfeeding dresses, perfect for winter as most dresses are off limits when you are breastfeeding.  If you are looking for something to last and to feed discretely with then I would recommend checking them out.

Thursday 19th is the last day to order if you want something gorgeous to wear on Christmas day so order quickly!  You can even get 10& off until the end of the month as well with the code MUMMY10
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Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Boob Breastfeeding Bras

I exceeded my expectations by several months when I breastfed Dylan, and I knew that when my little baby squish was born, I would feed him too.  When Archie entered the world, he latched on to feed like it was something he had always done, and I was lucky enough not to have any issues with breastfeeding.

I knew that I wanted to feed Archie for at least as long as I fed his brother, 9 months and so this time round, rather than surviving on cheap bras as I wasn't sure how long I would continue for, I was more than happy to spend money on well fitted, comfortable and good looking underwear as I knew that I would be in it for quite some time. 

Boob contacted me about reviewing their Boob nursing bras, and I was more than happy to oblige and see if this was a product that would work well for us.  Their nursing bras look great and are much more fun than many of the high street alternatives.  

Nursing Bra Fast Food - Dotted

This may well be one of the most comfortable bras I have ever worn and I have slept in it more times that I can recount.  The back is well padded, the cups are stretchy enough to accommodate growth in the early days and between feeds and the material is lovely and soft.

One thing I found particularly great, especially in the summer months is that when you unclip the bra to feed, your whole boob is not exposed as with some nursing bras.  This is great when I am just in a vest or strappy dress as I can feed much more discreetly without having to cover my baby's head.

I did find that despite the bra giving me a seamless silhouette, I do prefer a bit more shape to my underwear and it didn't give me quite the same boost as some.  This isn't to say that it was not incredibly supportive, but I have found that I use the bra more for sleeping in (as it is so comfortable) than I do under clothes in the day.

The Boob nursing bra is priced at £45 which I do find quite steep for a nursing bra, yet after a few months of use, it still looks and feels like new, and it is hard to put a price on comfort in those first few months.  The bra is incredibly practical, looks great and feels so comfortable.  For me personally, its main use is as a night bra but you can check out some other reviews here:

Archie is now 7.5 months and I know that I won't be stopping breastfeeding in the near future.  For a bra that will be worn so much for so long, I think it is really important to invest in one that you find comfortable.

Disclaimer:  I was sent this product free of charge for the purpose of this review 
but all thoughts and opinions are completely my own.
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Saturday, 28 September 2013

Troublesome Teething

At 7 months old, my littlest man still has that adorably gummy little smile.  His first tooth is yet to poke through and I am quite happy with things that way for now.  Despite the lack of a little toothy-peg, teething is well and truly under-way and we have the dribble, rosy cheeks and constant urge to chew everything.

It is hard to put the sleepless nights and grumps down to teething when he is still too young to communicate but I don't doubt that it is playing a rather large part.  I thought I would share what is helping us through the tough teething times though.

neckerchew, teething bib, bandana bib with teether

Dribble Bibs

With winter on its way, I need to make sure Archie does not have a soaking wet patch on his clothes and we are using bibs to soak up the inevitable dribble.  I am a huge fan of the bandana style and there are so many out there, that you can get ones to match every outfit.  I find the bibs that are backed with fleece are best for keeping Archie dry and we now have quite a selection.  We were sent a Neckerchew for Archie which is a bandana bib with a teether built in the end of it and now that his motor skills have developed, he is loving it.  The fact that the teether is built in means no dropping it out the buggy in a dirty carpark, or losing it in the car, and it is fully machine washable.  It did take Archie until 6/7 months to have the co-ordination to use it properly but we find it great for travelling with.  The bib is not quite as absorbent as some of the others we have used but it is well worth investing in one for convenience, and you can always stick another bib underneath if your child is super dribbly.  They are all reversible and so go with loads of outfits.

teething list, chewing bib, cheeky chompers, neckerchew


Bonjela is great, but babies teeth come through in different orders and I used to find myself applying it to Dylan's entire mouth.  With Teetha powder, I just tip it in Archie's mouth and it instantly calms him.  He seems to like the taste of it and it is really easy to carry in the nappy bag, my handbag and even my purse (I like to be prepared!).  We keep the Calpol for the really bad days, but Teetha is our go-to solution for everyday teething woes.

Sophie Le Giraffe

This toy has been around for years, but I was dubious when Dylan was small and I didn't believe the hype.  I decided to splash out the £10.99 this time though and see whether Archie would get on with it, and it is now a handbag essential.  Despite both my boys preferring to chew a finger over a refrigerated ring, Sophie is a hit and Archie finds her easy to hold and chew.  No matter how they hold it, something will fit in their mouths and as soon as I started squeaking it, his little arms start going in excitement.  I am well and truly a convert to Sophie and it was definitely an investment I would make again.

sophie le giraffe, teething troubles


When Dylan was a couple of months old, I bought him an amber teething necklace.  At 25 months, it still sits round his neck and has become a part of him.  I honestly can't say whether it works or not, but we have never had a sleepless night from Dylan's teeth and despite copious amounts of dribble, the whole process of teething was rather easy.  We have been sent a Baltic amber anklet for Archie from Amber Anklets and I don't think we will be taking it off in a hurry.  It has fallen off a couple of times, I am not sure whether his ankles are a little skinny or whether his desire to chew his own toes means he pulls it, but we are being more careful now and it seems to be staying put.  Each bead is individually tied on, which means that even if it does break, there are no little pieces rolling around to be eaten.  Dylan has been wearing his necklace for nearly 2 years though and it is still completely intact.

Breast Milk

If all else fails, breast feeding provides such a comfort to my little man that it is more than just sustenance, and the milk contains properties that help relieve the discomfort.  Archie is still fed on demand and I know that on a difficult day he may feed a little more but it is worth it to give him some relief from the teething horrors.

So that is my teething survival kit, is there anything you would add?

Disclaimer:  I was sent an amber teething anklet and a neckerchew free of charge but all other items mentioned have been purchased by myself.  All views and opinions are completely my own.
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Sunday, 8 September 2013

Babes With Babies

One of my favourite things about summer is the beautiful dresses.  I love the bright colours and feeling girly and despite shorts generally being the more practical option with two littles, I still adore a pretty dress.

Babes with Babies do both maternity and nursing clothes and they sent me a beautiful outfit to wear to Britmums Live.  The white dress is perfect for nursing mums as it is long enough to be practical with a pushchair and young child, discreet enough to breastfeed in and is still completely wearable once all the babies are weaned.

I chose this white summer dress as I love how fresh and bright it looked, (and it makes me look more tanned).  It came beautifully packaged and I instantly loved it.  From looking at it, you cannot tell that it is designed as a nursing dress as the catches are discreetly hidden, but the top of the dress comes down and a hidden second layer comes up, meaning everything is very covered when feeding out and about.

This is very important to me as I prefer to keep feeding private and in this weather it feels cruel to try and cover baby's head.  If I wore a non-nursing dress, I would have to pull the whole thing down and feel very exposed, but this dress is perfect for me.

The rest of the dress is floaty and light and perfect for covering that post baby bulge that I just can't shift.  The dress may be white which is not the obvious choice with two small children, but it washes up well and still looks  like new after 2 months of wear!

babes with babies, tiggy day dress, white nursing dress, discreet nursing dress

This is my favourite summer dress, perfect for breastfeeding and beyond and so easy to style!  At £79.99 I think this Tiggy day dress is more than I would usually spend on a nursing dress but I will definitely be wearing this for summers to come as it is comfortable and the nursing clips are completely hidden

Disclaimer:  I was sent this dress free of charge to wear to Britmums Live, 
all thoughts and opinions are completely my own.
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Monday, 26 August 2013

6 Months In

Half a year has passed since Archie entered the world and things have certainly changed.  Whilst I still have a lot to learn, I feel like I have the 'mother of two' thing pretty sorted (for now at least).

This month has been full of change and Archie seems to have grown up almost overnight.  As well as competently rolling all over the place (and quite often across the room), the little man is now sitting unaided.  He loves to play on his tummy but since he found his balance, he is happiest on his bottom and I tend to put a V cushion behind him to soften any falls.  He loves his new view point and watching the world go by.

We have also started weaning, and after an uninterested start, Archie is now incredibly interested in food and desperate to get at anything we are eating.  We started with a mixed approach but are finding that he much prefers the baby led style.  He has moved quickly and this week we are introducing the third meal.  His favourite food is breadsticks and he seems to prefer vegetables to fruit so far

Archie has moved out of the crib next to my bed and is now comfortably settled in his very own room.  He is out of the moses basket and so has his day time naps up there as well if we are in.  He seems quite happy in his cot and as much as I miss him being right there next to me, it is also lovely to reclaim our bedroom and not spend my evening creeping around by phone-torch light.

Generally Archie is a pretty happy little chap.  He loves having his nappy off and is the most smiley when he is naked.  He is definitely teething now and we don't leave the house without our trusty companion Sophie le Giraffe.  He is still comfortably fitting in his 6-9 month clothes but I don't think it will be too long before we are reaching for the next size up.  He is still such a mummy's boy and happiest in my arms. 

Despite the introduction of solids, he still wants to breastfeed often and nights usually include a 3am and 5am feed, with him generally coming into our bed for the second as he won't settle back in his cot.  Sometimes he still adds in a 12pm feed too but not as often anymore.

This month has been the most difficult with both the boys and Dylan seems to be struggling with the concept of gentle.  Sometimes I think he is just over excited, but other times I think he lashes out for attention.  Most of the time he just wants to talk or play with 'Bubba' and he loves blowing raspberrys on his tummy to make him laugh.  I remember very clearly what it was like to have a younger brother, and I am not expecting it to be plain sailing but I am hoping this is just a little phase.

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Monday, 1 July 2013

4 Months In

We are now 4 months in to our new adventure as a family of four and life without the littlest member seems a lifetime ago.

4 month old baby boy, 4 months old, baby dinosaur

Archie turned 4 months and we hit the classic 4 month sleep regression hard.  Our nights went from one wake up, to hourly feeds from 7 until 6 am and I started to doubt my supply.
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Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Breastfeeding Support

When I was pregnant with Dylan, I knew that I wanted to breastfeed. I can't tell you why or what contributed to the decision but my goal was always 6 weeks of exclusive breastfeeding.  I was incredibly lucky that it seemed to come naturally to both of us and six weeks into our journey I could see no reason on earth why I would want to stop.

It was at this six week mark where the novelty of a new baby was starting to wear off for family and friends and I was ready to get into our own little routine and meet some other mamas.  I nervously turned up to the local children's centre for the Breastfeeding support group one Tuesday morning in the hope of finding some new friendships and I am so glad I did..  (Looking back, it seems silly to have waited the six weeks - getting support right from the beginning is so important and I didn't wait so long with baby number two).

I met mothers of all ages and backgrounds, feeding newborns, feeding babies and feeding toddlers.  They were friendly, accepting and encouraging and are the friends I still drink coffee with every week, nearly two years later.  At the group I learnt it was OK to breastfeed for 6 days, 6 weeks, 6 months or even 6 years if it is the right thing for you and your family, and that having the right information and support makes the world of difference.

I had support in the early days, through the growth spurts, through weaning and even when I decided that my breastfeeding journey was over.  The women I met stopped me questioning myself and helped me realise what a wonderful thing I was doing for my baby.  I believe that every mother should have the right to feed her baby however she would like to, and if that is with breast milk then she should have the support to make sure she can.

Since having my second son I have continued to attend the same group and have seen mothers come and go, some dropping in just for advice and some making life long friends like I have.  I am not a peer supporter but I can tell my story and my children are there as great examples of how happy, healthy (and chunky) breastfed babies can be.

The support I got helped me breastfeed far longer than the 6 weeks I had originally envisaged and Dylan was nearly 9 months when I decided that it was the right time for us to stop.  Archie is now 4 months old and we are still going strong.  I have the support and the knowledge now to continue for as long as it is right for both of us and I don't see an end any time soon.

I am firmly pro-choice when it comes to parenting, but the benefits of breastfeeding are undeniable for both mother and baby.  This week is Britain's National Breastfeeding Week and hopefully it will be providing the support for mums who need it.  There are lots of bloggers writing about their breastfeeding journeys and I recommend you check out the lovely Faded Seaside Mama , Circus Queen, Pobbing Along, The Brick Castle and Mum2BabyInsomniac.  I have another post coming up later this week where you can win a fantastic nursing bra set from Mumba on top of this fantastic giveaway of thousands of pounds worth of breastfeeding goodies.

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Wednesday, 22 May 2013

3 Months In

3 months does not sound long, but it is already a quarter of a year and compared to the squishy little newborn we brought home from the hospital, my beautiful son is growing so fast.

3 months old, 3 month old baby boy, newborn baby boy, 3 months in

Archie is awake for most of the day, having a few 30 minute cat-naps to see him through, although he does sleep better if we are out in the pushchair or sling.  He will still only settle on his tummy, even in the pram and as the weather has been warming up and the pram apron coming off he does get some funny looks as he passes with his little bum in the air.  Archie still likes to sleep like a newborn and curls his arms and legs underneath him and tucks his head in.  He really loves to feel secure and is happiest in a sling where he can indulge his nosey side whilst staying wrapped up tight with mummy.

Matching vests, firetruck vests, brothers matching

Dylan and Archie are still getting on so well and I love watching Dylan lie down next to 'Bubba' to hold his hand and give him kisses.  He loves to help wash his little brother when they share a bath and helps out during nappy changes too.  Dylan isn't always gentle with Archie but it is more through excitement than anything else and Archie watches on without making a fuss.  It is lovely to see them together and I can already see that Archie is desperate to join in with play and be on the move like his big brother.

baby boys, brothers holding hands

Archie is growing so fast and his height is constantly commented on.  He is nearly out of his 3-6 month clothes because of his length although I am desperately hanging on.. 

Our nights this month have been all over the place, with a week of Archie sleeping 7-4 without waking, followed by a week of him waking at 2am and refusing to go back to sleep until 6am (incredibly tiring!).  This last week has seen him sleep from 7 until around 12:30 and then be up multiple times before ending up in bed with me from around 4am, as the only way to keep him asleep is to have him constantly latched on.  It is at 3 months that Dylan found his thumb and his sleep started to improve so I am keeping my fingers crossed that Archie will discover that magic digit soon.

brothers, two under two, brotherly love

Archie has really worked out how to use his hands now and loves to sit in his bouncer and play with the toys.  He can play the music and loves to grab and push the animals. He still loves to look at my face more than anything else and loves to have a chat with me.  He cooes away with a big smile on his face when we get a bit of quiet time alone and it is lovely watching him learn to interact.  I think I am going to have another chatterbox on my hands!

3 months in to life as a family of four and having two under two is certainly getting easier as we have all adjusted to the changes. 

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Friday, 3 May 2013

10 Reasons I Love being a Mummy

Being a parent is one of the hardest, yet possibly the most rewarding jobs in the world and I could spend all day coming up with reasons why I love it.  Here are my top ten reasons that I love being a Mum:

Morning Smiles
Somehow, all the tired tantrums of the day before and the constant night feeds are forgotten and forgiven when I see those cheeky little grins in the morning. I can't think of a better way to start the day.

Newborn Snuggles
A newborn baby curled up asleep on your tummy is one of the best feelings in the world.  Falling asleep with them cuddled up is priceless and now that I know how fast these early days go, I am enjoying my snuggles with Archie even more

newborn snuggles, mummy and son, mother and son asleep, newborn baby, the essential ones

Some people hate it, some people do it purely for the health benefits and some just love it.  I am in the latter category and I love the closeness, the cuddles and the fact that only I can fulfil this need for my baby boy.  Breastfeeding also burns 500 calories per day which is a giant bonus!

The Excuse to be a Big Kid
Suddenly it is completely acceptable to splash in puddles, roll down a hill and spend the day building sandcastles.  There is an inner child in me that has never grown up and I love being able to be silly, sporadic and  get messy with the boys.

toddler football

The Pride
No matter where we are going, I feel myself standing taller when I push my gorgeous children around.  I am so proud of the beautiful babies that I made and I love to show the world.

Watching the Bloke
Not only do I get to be a mummy to two beautiful boys, I get to share the journey with my best friend and watch him become a father.  I get to witness the bond between him and his sons and see them learning about each other every day.

three generations, father and son, grandfather and son, seaside walk

Now I know this isn't for everyone, but I appear to have a bit of a buggy obsession, and I love checking out the gorgeous new designs.  Even if you are not a fan of pushchair shopping, you can't help but admit it is lovely not to have to carry shopping bags anymore!

Seeing the World in a New Way
Dylan's excited squeals of 'WOWEE' at everything from an ant on the floor to a biscuit helps me see the wonders of the world through fresh eyes.  This morning we stopped walking to watch and giggle at the leaves blowing down the street in the wind  - something I never would have noticed had it not been for the toddler by my side.  Seeing the world through fresh eyes is invigorating.

babasling, babywearing,

A Purpose
Before having Dylan I hadn't quite worked out who I was, what I wanted to do and where I was going. I found out I was pregnant and suddenly I had a purpose.  A direction.  Suddenly my life had a meaning that it didn't have before and I have so many more reasons to follow my dreams.

I get to give my parents two beautiful grandsons and hopefully one day my boys will give me some grandchildren too.

grandmother and grandchild, grandparent

So those are my ten, what would you add to the list?

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