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Dear Daisy, It is your first day at school...

Daisy's weaning journal #1

We have started weaning Daisy. Yes it could be seen as a little early but like I've said before I think she's ready to try things and get used to different textures, tastes and actually using something like a spoon to feed herself/ or me (her servant!) to feed her. 

I've been trying baby porridge, Heinz baby rusk (mixed with breast milk) and baby rice for a few weeks now. Porridge is a no no and after trying it I can't blame her, the variety we tried was very artificial tasting so I'm not into that really, crossed off the list and wanged into the bin! Just like her mum her favorite is rusk, who doesn't love a biscuit? I'm trying not to use baby rice really as it's very bland and smooth and other than to fill her tiny tummy it's not teaching her much other than how to he fed with a spoon, it's not exactly interesting. 

The first real food we've tried is butternut squash, and I've managed to freeze a few mini portions for the next few weeks so we can try it every few days. It seems to be a success! But then I guess it's pretty sweet and I blended it nice and smooth so what's not to like? Except the flipping stains on her lovely pretty bibs :(

Another issue I have is if she comes across a little lump (and I mean miniscule!) she makes herself sick, does this pass with time?!?! It's far too messy to happen every time! (Bleurghh!)

So to start weaning properly I made a few purchases from Tesco to start us off:

Tommee Tippee storage pots in holder. These can be frozen and microwaved as well as put through the dishwasher- perfect. They are a little on the large side for us at the moment but I figured at least they will last for a fair while on our little food adventure! 

Munchkin spoons. I chose these mainly because of the good value, by far cheaper than any other decent looking spoons on the shelf and I'm a sucker for the bright colours. I must say it's not a brand I know much about though or heard of before this trip. 

Tommee Tippee sippy cup. If you read my blog then you'll know that I'm having a few problems getting Daisy to take milk from a bottle, which could be a problem when it comes to me having to work. I was suggested to try a cup like this and my sister who I was shopping with picked up and recommended this particular model, apparently the non spill actually works and is light enough for baby to hold easy enough. 

I have some other recipes (can you call the puréed squash a recipe?! Haha) up my sleeve to try and make this week and try her with as well as some lovely things I've got in my Nonabox and from Organix to try. Will keep you posted!!! 

Lots of love,
Hayley and Daisy xxx

This post is not sponsored in any way, all opinions are my own and I bought all products

Holidaying decisions with baby

Ben had booked the last week of September off so we could have a week away somewhere. Choosing where to go with a baby who was just almost five months old was difficult!

More so because there are so many things to consider like is it safe? How far away is it? What are the flight times like? Etc etc etc... And yes I'm a bit of a worrier. 

We almost clicked confirm on a cheap week in Corfu but both just couldn't press it, even after all our details were entered into the form. When it was just the two of us we wouldn't even have paused or had a second thought!! It wasn't so much the holiday with Daisy that worried me but the thought it would cost so much money, Daisy would be none the wiser as to where we would be and was it really worth that extra stress of travelling with a baby?

We decided to look closer to home, although how expensive is it to holiday in the UK??!! Centre Parcs for example was more expensive than the trip to Corfu!!! We found a few holidays by Haven that were a good price but then luckily were offered the use of a cottage in Cornwall for the week by a family member for a great price, especially as a cottage meant it had good space to walk around and entertain a baby. It's much more like a home from home, if that makes any sense? 

Cornwall still meant quite a lot of travelling, with it being just under 5 hours from our house it meant we had to time set off just right. We left just after Daisy had her morning feed so we knew she would be content for at least a few hours. And we will do the same on the way home but maybe her bed time feed. I'll bath her, put her in her Jamas and off we will go home I expect. Usually when we do this before bed she will sleep until her feed at around 4/5 am so you would think we could make it home without a stop if we chose to. But who knows with babies! 

Other things we needed to consider was what luggage we would need to take, what we would feed her, how we would transport her, where would she sleep etc.

Some tips or great helps we found were:

-Breastfeeding- not as simple to just pick up for a holiday I know, but it meant no sterilising gear, no bottles being made, less preparation for days out and journeys and when she was upset or hungry it was quick and easy to sort her out. We are starting to slowly wean her though so did take a few bits like custard pots by Heinz, no added sugar rusks (to start getting her to coordinate hand to mouth!) and her sippy cup for water. 

- Baby wearing- her baby carrier was brilliant. She loves it! She loves being upright and being nosey and sometimes the beaches etc weren't easy access for a pram and so the carrier came in super handy! We were using a Mothercare version that was leant to us and it did the job just fine.

- Bedding- I took Daisy's bedding with us and made her a little camp bed next to us. We don't have a travel cot and to be honest there wouldn't have been much room here anyway unless I put her in another room and even then it would have been tight. One of those little pop up style ones would have done the job but in this case cushions, her quilt and get sleeping bag did the job perfectly. She looked cosy and slept like a dream. I took all of out bedding so she recognised it and felt at home! 

I won't bore you all too much but I will do some posts on our holiday and some things we got upto in Cornwall including lots of photos soon!

Lots of love,
Hayley xxx

This post is not sponsored in any way, all opinions are my own

Getting started with weaning and top buys (Guest post from Polly @ Polly's Little World)

Me and Daisy are currently off in Cornwall on our first little family holiday. If you follow us on here or on twitter you will know we are starting to look at weaning and are about to start a weaning series on the blog. in our absence the lovely Polly and Archie have written this post on how to get started for us.. Find the rest of Polly's blog here.

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We began weaning Archie a little before the recommended six months and we started off with purée, when he turned six months we then used the baby-led-weaning strategy. Both worked well but he liked to self feed and so we favoured the baby-led approach. 

Along the way we have gathered all the tools for weaning and here is our essentials. 

Food processor- A must have when making puréed baby food and the true test of a good processor is pureeing a roast dinner!! I was lucky enough to be given one as a present but you can pick them up quite cheap nowadays. 

Steamer- Steaming the vegetables and fruit locks in more of the nutrients than boiling it. However I don't agree that you need an expensive steamer, we've got on fine with an average saucepan stacked one.

 Bowls & Spoons- There's nothing fancy about bowls and spoons but even when baby-led-weaning you still need a cheap set of bowls and spoons to transport from kitchen to highchair.

 Beaker- Archie is eleven months old now and only drinks two bottles of milk a day. A good beaker is a must have to keep him hydrated through the day, I also look out for a non drip one when he's chucking it around the place! 

Freezer Pots or Ice Cube Trays- Depending on which stage your at and how much your baby will eat a set of freezer pots are a great buy. Even now I freeze little pots of homemade tomato pasta sauce then simply de-frost and cook the pasta, a great time saver too. 

Wipeable bibs- When we first started I brought these cute fabric bibs and I was a little gutted when they were stained after one mealtime- I also had a huge mound of washing. The pound shop stock wipe clean plastic bibs with a food catcher and they are fantastic. 

A Highchair- First we used a Bumbo but unfortunately Archie hated being sat in it and was always trying to push backwards! We decided to just buy a highchair as it defiantly wouldn't go to waste. It was true, it didn't go to waste as he sits in it a lot. If I'm doing something in the kitchen and I don't want him crawling round my feet I pop it next to me and he watches on. We decided to go for the Cosatto Noodle as its foldable, light and the attached tray is perfect for finger foods.

 Wipeable Floor Mat- Even if your high chair will be on a tiled floor a wipeable mat is so easy. Once we've finished meal time I pick up the corners, shake off all the bits outside and wipe it down with a cloth. Trust me, it gets messy quickly!! 

The Occasional Pre- packed Food- Archie became quite fussy about eating shop brought baby food at one stage because he had only ever eaten homemade. Before we went on holiday (and didn't have the facilities to always cook him lunches/dinner) I weaned him with a few Ella's Kitchen pouches. These seemed the best on the market and soon he was enjoying them as much as the homemade purée. 

You do need to take weaning with a pinch of salt, there are days where I end up chucking all the homemade dinner in the bin as he won't eat it and trust me I've had some disasters. Don't let it effect you though, babies aren't programmed to "like" everything at once and their little tastebuds take time to get used to different tastes.

 If all fails beans, scrambled eggs on toast or an Ella's Kitchen pouch is always a good back up plan. 


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Daisy's 5 months update

We are still away at the moment and this post is scheduled for you, fingers crossed it works!!! 

5 months... Seriously slow down time, this is going way too fast for my liking. 

This has been another big month for Daisy, she is changing so much. First up we had the nasty four month sleep regression and a major growth spurt, which caused a bit of fussiness. Luckily short lived and I got my dream baby girl back before I knew it. 

So some changes and developments:

- Daisy is now comfortably in 3-6 months clothes and the others are all packed away :( she was wearing a few bits of 0-3 up until last week, but I couldn't kid myself any more and they had to go! 

- Teething is in full swing and the dribble has gone up a notch, it's quite common for me to have to change her twice a day purely for the dribble purposes. I do pop on a dribble bib however I find she gets infuriated by them when they flap up into her face, or the monkey just yanks it off! Her cheeks are very rosey and I can just about see the white starting to come through, bizarrely at the top first! Nelsons Teetha granules are my saviour at the moment

- She almost has sitting up cracked and can often sit there for a few minutes when distracted by something, only to then fold herself in two or tumble a few minutes later! 

- A big change for Daisy this month is weaning. Yes she isn't six months yet (hides from health visitor!!) but I am off to work before we know it and I need her ready to be handed to her dad and nursery after that. When I say weaning I mean little spoonfuls of porridge, to get her used to the spoon to start with. I think I'll do a mixture of spoon and baby led weaning. 

- Refusing her bottle was a big frustration this month, I got a bit lazy with expressing for a couple of weeks and bang she then refuses a bottle, whilst screaming the house down! I'm trying to persevere with this. I am also trying out a sippy type cup to see if we can make it more fun for her. 

- I thought she giggled before but nothing like she does now!!! A real proper giggle, she's so funny! 

- As mentioned in previous posts we've started more classes including rhythm time and massage. all about stimulating Daisy and she is loving it!  

- We had her naming/ welcome day this month, it was a lovely day and she was truly spoilt by everyone around us. She is a very lucky girl. If you missed that post find it here

- She is on her first little holiday! We went up to Yorkshire to see friends last month but this is our first time away as a family. We ummed about going to Corfu or somewhere similar but in the end decided on Cornwall. I was a little apprehensive about the travelling with her although its not really what put us off. We thought we would save the pennies! Although how expensive is it to holiday in some places in this country? For example so many people recommended Centre Parcs to us, but my goodness we could have gone abroad twice for the price! 

It doesn't seem much in writing but again she has really changed this past few weeks. People always tell you how fast the time goes, but it really does. 

lots of love, 
Hayley xxx

Getting sociable with Daisy and her pals (Baby massage and rhythm time)

There are lots of classes, meets ups etc available for mums (and dads of course) and their babies. I went to a Sure Start group when I was heavily pregnant called bumps and babies and always felt a little awkward. Although it was called BUMPS and babies I was the only bump there. The only one without my little baby! I went along with my sister though who had a teeny baby back then, so it was good for baby to meet other babies and potentially some other mums for me and my sister. 

It didn't quite work out like that, it wasn't really our cup of tea to put it bluntly. It put me off groups a little and I just thought I am happy meeting up with friends who have had babies and of course my sister and her children. 

Half way into my maternity it dawned on me a little that maybe i should be fulfilling my leave a little more and exposing Daisy to more social activities that will aid her development. One of my friends invited us to rhythm time for a free trial. i did a bit of googling and asking on twitter to my mummy friends and it looked a tad cringey - lots of singing and dancing obviously for the mummy's as babies cant exactly do it just yet can they! But its for Daisy... So off I went! 

It was brilliant, yes cringey but great. And Daisy squealed all the way through with excitement, so I think that meant she loved it! So that was it, I had to sign up until Remembered for her. It wasn't too bad, just over £50 for the term. Its good for their sensory development with instruments to play, materials to touch, songs to listen to and music to dance to! And of course lots of other babies to look at and chatter to. As well as Daisy loving it I really enjoyed it too, meeting so many other mums was lovely. A lot of them knew each other from breastfeeding classes that they went to when pregnant (I didn't go! naughty!) so know each other already, they then go for coffee and cake afterwards in town. i was so touched when they asked me to join them! I couldn't make it the first week but the 2nd week i went along. it was lovely, really nice to sit and chat to others in the same position as I am. all the babies are similar kind of age, most are first time mums and a lot (probably due to the classes) are or have been breastfeeding. So actually not only is it good for Daisy to socialise with littleys and develop her senses in class but its good for me too to get out and meet with others similar to myself. 

It just so happens that the week Rhythm time started a baby massage class started run by Sure start in our village. I went along to it too and well it was a different experience. I wasn't too sure to be honest. Firstly Daisy fed and slept for the whole hour so I didn't even put the oil on my hands. Secondly I found it all a little... odd. not only the class itself but also maybe the group was so  mixed with different families that I just couldn't see myself mixing with there. Except for 2 lovely ladies I already knew who I could see without going to this odd class. The atmosphere was just strange, really awkward. its really difficult to explain! 

So this week i was fifty fifty on if I would go or not. Even when we got to the carpark I was unsure if i was going to go in or not. My friend wasn't able to go and I think I was just using that as an excuse not to go, I had a bit of a word with myself and thought one more try, for Daisy. This week there was just 3 of us, all girls I could actually talk to and have something in common with. We had a good class, Daisy actually participated for 3/4 of the class until her thumb went it and she went to sleep and then at the end we had a good chat about mummy things like weaning, routine etc. It was really nice, I actually enjoyed it! So will be going next week (If we aren't on holiday!)

So all in all we are filling our time nicely at the moment and enjoying it! 

What classes or groups do you go to?

lots of love,
Hayley xxx

Shabby pocket organiser (Pinterest project)

I've talked before about Pinterest and my love for pinning pretty things on my boards! But I don't get round to trying them out, except for Daisy's party obviously- see link here

So... I thought I need to get out my sewing machine, which has never been used. I don't feel too guilty about this because it was free from freecycle! Can you believe it? 

I had to watch a few YouTube videos on how to set it up and had a quick lesson from my mum and I was off. Kinda! I'm really heavy footed and not very steady but maybe that will come with practice. 

I decided to start with a pocket organiser, seeing one in a shop made me think it may be pretty easy??

It wasn't so bad! 

You need a big piece of material for how ever big you'll want organiser and then some scraps of material to make the pockets. As an idea if you have cute baby clothes you want to upcycle you could use them for this? 

First I hemmed the main piece and hemmed the top so big that a cane could slide through and some string. That will be the top of your organiser. 

Next up cut out the pockets from your scraps or material of choice, then as simple as sew them on with an opening on the top. I used a zig zag stitch so that if my stitching wasn't all that straight or even then it would just add to the effect. Or that's what I convinced myself anyway!! 

Pull some string through the top and a stick or cane, just so it stays flat when hung and you are complete!!!

Easy! Ish! 

Lots of love,
Hayley xxx

An update post with no title

I didn't really know what to call this post, I thought about it for ages but the words wouldn't come out or go together in the way that I wanted them to. It's not that I don't want to talk about these things but I just can't seem to find a few words to fit into that title box that make any sense or mean anything?

So I haven't really talked about Daisy's hand since this post here. The post where I talked openly about how Daisy was born with what the professionals call a transverse limb, to some and to us it's her little hand. I thought I'd write a little update on it, because I know people are genuinely interested, because I am proud of her development already and the more I talk about it the more accepting it feels and also importantly for awareness. 

Daisy is at a point in her development now where coordination comes into play, grabbing at things, playing, wanting to hold her bottle herself (when she isn't refusing it!!!), pushing herself up at tummy time etc. And I'm happy to say nothing is of concern at the moment. She is able to use both hands to hold her toys, she gives little cuddles with both, she has a good right hook and is able to push off it when on her tummy no problem so I honestly can't see crawling for example being a problem. 

Also the bigger she gets the more movement you notice she has in it too, she's able to freely move it like a wrist and so I'm hoping she will be able to use it more and more as she gets bigger. 

I am always ensuring I try to stimulate her to use both when playing and interacting, which I think can only help. She obviously has no clue that she has any kind of disability at this age and so shows no frustration or anything. 

I don't really notice it much anymore as I guess it's just her to us, we've accepted it. As hard as it is at times, it is what it is and we have to for her sake, but that doesn't mean I don't stop and think on the odd occasion. Times like this usually come after someone has asked about her, more often than not it's just children asking little questions. 

Children are so, so accepting. Very enquisitive but so accepting of the answer it's the way Daisy grew, she's got a special little hand and is exactly the same as you. They just seem to get back to business of playing. One little girl this week (her mummy will know who I'm talking about!) was so in love that she now says her dolly has no fingers because she's so special, just shows how accepting they are. This is why nursery and socialising with other babies and children is so beneficial for Daisy, so she grows up with these little friends that know her as no different. 

But at least children ask! Adults don't seem to ask. It's our culture I think, we don't like to talk about difficult things, we don't like conflict and we just don't face things head on. People aren't rude they just don't know what to say, over polite perhaps, I'm not sure!! Of course I could read Into things far too much because I'm over sensitive and protective. I always expect people to ask or to mention her when we are out for example at rhythm time or baby massage but nope this week we've had no one. 

I've read several blogs lately, including Born just right (find it here- www.bornjustright.com) which is a real eye opener to the little world of limb deficiencies and the way it affects peoples lives but also how it doesn't affect them as severely as you may think. We have to remember though there are different disabilities, circumstances and situations leading to them though so no two are the same. But it does help reading others experiences. Well it helps me anyway.

If you know of any other blogs etc for me to have a look at please do drop me a note with the details. 

Lots of love,
Hayley xxx

4 month sleep regression - truth or myth?

During this recent leap (if you haven't read my recent post find it here) Daisy's sleeping has been all over the place.

I mentioned previously she was a great sleeper, more often than not sleeping all through the night with no wake up. Then we had a few days of taking over an hour to get her to sleep, and now she's going down lovely again but waking every 3 hours, which she didn't even do as a newborn!! 

She's hungry when she wakes so part of me just thinks it's part of her growth spurt. But then I read about the four month sleep regression, read here. 

Basically a way in which a baby sleeps changes, they no longer just have a deep slumber sleep but it starts to get more of a pattern like us, a deep sleep and active sleep. When you enter active sleep there is a startle reflex which wakes baby up, they need to learn to be able to get back off to sleep. The trouble being baby doesn't know how to cope with this and the new cycle and so will keep waking! 

Everything I've read just recommends lots of cuddles and snuggles to help them through it, and that's it's temporary. It should only last around six weeks!!

What are your experiences of it?

True or myth??

Lots of love,
Hayley xxxx

Coping with development leaps and The Wonder Weeks

Well... I don't actually know how to cope with them. I thought I would ask you lovely lot to help me out!! 

I'll start from the top. Daisy is generally a very content, happy little baby and always has been. She sleeps well, feeds well and gives lots of big smiles all day. However there are certain weeks where this is all turned on it's head, and it all turns into a little bit of chaos. 

I asked some fellow mummy bloggers and mummy friends why it could be and they suggested I check out The wonder Weeks app. Go get it if you don't! I haven't looked back. 

It's basically a timeline from when your baby was due (not born!) and what stages of their development they may be going  through at certain times. I can picture a few of you rolling your eyes now, being all sceptical and thinking babies are babies it's just what they do. However so far Daisy has followed the pattern they suggest and when a leap is suggested you can be sure she is difficult. 

The Wonder Weeks is based on years and years of research by Dr Frans Plooij. He basicay says babies don't only have growth spurts but these development leaps also which are a sign of progress in their mental development.  Although babies are all unique and will show different levels of intensity the pattern in which they follow is the same. It's all very interesting and worth a read anyway, even if you are sceptical. 

At the minute she's going through leap four, and do we know it!!! She tends to cry a lot, for no apparent reason and is very sleepy. Getting her to sleep is difficult and she's just generally quite unpredictable! All completely out of character for little miss Daisy. 

As you can read we have 22 days left of this leap, 3 weeks????!!! Shoot me now! Although in past leaps she has only be a trouble for a week or so and we are already a week in- fingers crossed. 

As I write this I can hear her giggling in her cot, happy chappy! How is that possible yet it gets to around 4pm and all hell will break loose just before Ben gets home! Last night I was walking around the block at 7pm just to chill her out and hopefully relax her into going bed, thankfully it worked nicely. But I'm not sure if I should be doing that every night?? 

I think the leaps get more difficult each time and this time there seems to be so much for her to get her little head around, I feel it's leaving her a little over whelmed and incredibly knackered! The week before she started all this screaming in an evening and napping more she seemed vacant, she would just stare into space- exactly like the signs of this leap. Another sign she is showing is her thunderbird impression- she is very wobbly again and needs to be supported at times. In fact every single one of those signs Daisy is displaying at the moment. 

All very interesting, and frustrating at times! But all part of being a baby!

Lots of love,
Hayley xxx

A trying week

We all have trying weeks. Weeks where everything feels much more difficult than usual. Weeks where you annoy yourself never mind what everyone else does to you. Weeks where nothing seems to go right at all. Weeks where all it does is rain.

That was my week! It started off being the most miserable week weather wise and so being car less for half of it meant we were a little stuck at home, although it does do us some good at times. 

Then I end up with sickness, I thought it may have been a dodgy yogurt that sat on Bens desk for a weekend but I think actually it may have been a bit of a bug. Now, I've found a huge downfall to breast feeding! Who wants to have to feed a baby when you need your head down the loo every five minutes? Horrendous! I sat there praying she would decide to have a miraculous 20 hour sleep rather than the usual 12!! 

I just had to shut my eyes and let her crack on, putting her down a few times to do a runner! Poor little monkey had no idea. However she then did sleep most of the day next to me, maybe she knew? 

It took a few days to get over it, yuk. If there's one thing I hate it's being sick. All the memories of my pregnancy sickness came flooding back, how did I cope with this for so long?

Then I am almost over it, just very tired and drained and Daisy gets unwell, of course. She came out in what the doctor said was a viral rash and some symptoms assosicated with her teething such as bigger spots on her face and a funny tummy. Now this was a trying time. 

I've been so lucky with Daisy and her sleeping routine, she only ever wakes once for a feed, if at all. She's always been like this, I'm not bragging! However this turned on it's head and she just wouldn't sleep. She wanted to be attactced to me (literally) and in a specific position, if I dared move she screamed the house down. I had zero sleep. I don't function well without sleep at all, but if she felt anything like I had done the day it so before I'm not surprised she was hard work. 

Luckily they soon bounce back and now all I have is a baby who won't go to bed, once she's asleep she is well away but it's a bit of a wrestle to get her there. I do think part of it is her teeth and the other part her testing me! Bossy like her mother already. Last night I did try letting her have a sit in her chair after her bath for half an hour before feeding and bed and it wasn't so bad. But she gets so wound up at night time because she is so so tired. Anyone have tips??

A moaning post but a post to show that even when you think you've cracked something that things can change at the drop of a hat sometimes. Here's hoping to getting back to "normality" soon! 

Lots of love,
Hayley xxx