C's First Teeth

After teething for what feels like years, C cut his first tooth on 19th of June. Then, 6 days later, his second one came through!

I thought the initial teething was hard. The constant drooling, wanting to chew anything and everything going and crying because it was hurting him. Nothing prepared me for that week or so when they were literally about to cut.

We lay in bed (we co-sleep) and suddenly he woke up screaming at around 2am. This was a proper scream. I'd never heard anything like it. I panicked in case he was hurt and tried everything I could to settle him. Even speaking to him and trying to act normally and make him laugh did nothing. I ran downstairs and got his Calpol and after swallowing it, he drifted off to sleep. This happened a few times over the next week (obviously, at the time I didn't know he was going to cut his teeth, I just thought it was an overhang from the fever that he'd recently had) and I noticed one day that I could feel a sharpness on his gum - a tooth!

He was fine for a couple of days then the screaming started again. This time I was prepared for another tooth. He hasn't bit me yet and hasn't bit himself. It took me ages to get a photograph as he's constantly covering them with his tongue (what's all that about!?)

It makes me happy and sad at the same time. Sad because he's not my little gummy baby anymore and happy because I'm so proud of how far he's come along and his development.






Our Week in Photos (23/06/2013 - 30/06/2013)




Competition to Win a Right Royal Baby Prize with Plum Baby

Royal baby fever is hotting up with some media sources speculating that Kate Middleton could in fact be due a week earlier than announced. Plum, who make delicious organic baby food fit for a prince or princess, is running a fun competition to guess the gender, name and arrival date of the new addition, with a right royal prize up for grabs for the person who gets the most right answers.

All you need to do is fill in your answers on the following survey. Good luck everyone!


https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/R5F52TD

@Plum

Finger Food Friday - 28/06/2013

Today's finger food was grapefruit.Now, I'm not a grapefruit fan myself. It's just something about the taste. 



It was cut into chunks so C could hold them. As they were so juicy, he sucked the juice from them and was left with the skin in his mouth (which he gagged on a few times!)



The juice also ran down his arms and dripped all over the floor (he was in his walker) so it was like a swimming pool!




I've never seen him so happy eating something. He ran around the room, shouting for more and wouldn't stop smiling and laughing.




Grapefruit = success!
Mum of a Premature Baby



Little Bird Told Me "Baby on Board" Sign Review



Little Bird Told Me are home to a beautiful range of traditional baby toys, playgyms and nursery accessories.


They very kindly sent me one of their "Baby on Board" signs to review. Now, I'm usually not a fan of these signs. I really dislike the square plastic ones with "Baby on Board" printed on it or the ones that try to be funny (eg. "Shoe-a-holic on Board"). This one was different though.

I received their Softly Snail sign. 




Upon opening, I thought that it was very cute and most importantly, different! I love how colourful it is and it's extremely soft. C actually thought it was a toy for him to play with.



The quality is absolutely fantastic and, this may sound silly, but I really love how you can't see any stitching - apart from the embroidered "Baby on Board" which is great compared to just printed text.


It is a great size at 20 x 19 x 4cm and the suction cup worked really well - we had no problems with it falling off!

This has definitely changed my views when it comes to these signs. It doesn't mean I'd ever use a square plastic one, but I do love these soft colourful ones! You can buy your own Softly Snail sign here for an amazing price of £6!!

You can also find Little Bird Told Me on Facebook and Twitter. I've already got a list of toys from them that I plan on getting C for Christmas.

Happy shopping!

(Disclaimer: I received this item free of charge in exchange for an open and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Silentnight Beds Scotland Sleep Aids Review

I was recently contacted by Silentnight Beds Scotland and asked "Did you sleep well last night?" I'd never given it much thought but no, I didn't. I hadn't had a good night's sleep since before I was pregnant! I find it hard to shut my brain off and I'm left thinking about the most stupid things. I'm also a pretty anxious person so I'm always waking up to check if C is okay in his cot.

Last year Silentnight conducted research and found that only 1/4 of parents are getting a good night's sleep. They then wanted to find out if sleep aids could help. Do their claims have any truth in them? I filled in an online questionnaire on my sleeping habits and received sleep aids in the post.

They sent me two boxes of Twinings tea bags; Sleep and Awake.

The Sleep tea is a herbal infusion including camomile, lavender and vanilla. It is naturally caffeine-free so perfect before bed.
The Awake tea is a
 herbal infusion including rooibos, ginger and ginseng. It is also naturally caffeine-free and claims to make you feel bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

To be completely honest, I didn't expect much. In my eyes, tea bags are tea bags and I didn't believe that they could make you feel a certain way.

I used them for a week. I drank my Sleep tea about half an hour before going upstairs to bed. Obviously, they don't just suddenly make you drowsy then you doze off. I would usually play about on my phone while lying in bed until I feel tired but as soon as I lay down, I just couldn't keep my eyes open. I was just so relaxed and fell asleep almost instantly. I had come upstairs literally ten minutes before my partner and I didn't even hear him come up and more importantly, I didn't wake during the night. I didn't put it down to the tea. Maybe I was just super tired because C is so energetic, but this continued throughout the week.

In the mornings, I would get up and give C his bottle straight away (through yawns) then I had my Awake tea. I would normally spend most of the day yawning away as, like I mentioned before, I wouldn't get a good night's sleep and C is so wriggly and always on the move. With the Awake tea, I didn't feel as tired throughout the day but I can't specifically put my finger on that moment that I switched from being tired to wide awake.

I stayed at my dad's on Saturday evening and forgot to bring a tea bag for that night and the following morning and I really did see a huge difference in that one night. I don't usually say this, but these will definitely be in my weekly shop. I'm so surprised at how well they worked and was totally prepared to write "They didn't help at all". How wrong was I?

(Disclaimer: I received these items free of charge in exchange for an open and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own).



Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt


Yesterday, 23rd June, marked the first day of the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt. Many of you will know that I am not breastfeeding. I'd like to share my story.

When I was pregnant, I was determined to breastfeed. Bottle feeding was not an option. I didn't even buy any baby bottles as I was that sure that I would breastfeed. I was really looking forward to the bond and closeness with my baby and stereotypically, young mothers are seen as too lazy to breastfeed so I wanted to show that that's not true.

I went in and had C, you can read my birth story here, and because he was taken straight to the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit and I didn't get to see him for the first two days of his life, I was encouraged to express milk. He was only taking around 1ml at a time so I got my colostrum and then a very small amount of milk and continued. It upped slightly and I did find it extremely difficult. 



I had a 10 day hospital stay following the birth and I got Chris to bring me a breast pump, manual, as I had to share the hospital's electric one. I couldn't get more than 20ml per breast at each time. I tried looking at photographs of C and expressing every 3 hours, even through the night when milk supply is at its highest, but I was still unable to get large amounts. I felt embarrassed bringing my tiny bottles of expressed milk to the NICU. One night, I cried my eyes out to the staff. He was needing more milk so was being topped up with formula. He was still in his incubator and being fed through a tube. She told me that it's perfectly fine and it's hard for some people and that C was happy and thriving. She said "at least he's had some of your milk and especially the colostrum" but I still didn't give up. I still brought up those tiny amounts every few hours. He needed it.

I was discharged from hospital and C was brought to the Special Care Unit and into a cot so I could lift him. It was always very awkward visiting C. I felt like I was just there to see him and the nurses were looking after him. I was only offered the opportunity to try to get him to latch on once - and he wasn't able to get anything. In hindsight, I should have pushed it. I should have asked to do it more. They kept telling me that he was happy on formula. As a 20 year old first-time mum to a premature baby who didn't have a clue about anything, I listened to them. I stopped expressing and let them put him on formula. Even writing this post, nine months on, brings tears to my eyes. I let him down. I didn't push.

With any future babies that I may have, I will try my best and push more. But let's just say I am successful. I'll feel so guilty (well, even more so than I already am) for C. That I could breastfeed one of my children and not the other.


Speedo's Parade to the Pool Campaign with Gabby Logan

On Tuesday, 4th June Speedo Sculpture’s ‘Parade to the Pool’ took place through the streets of central London.  The celebratory parade of dozens of women in their swimsuits, led by Sculpture ambassador Gabby Logan, aims to encourage women to stop negative talk about their bodies and tackle the ‘terror’ of getting into swimwear.    


Speedo Sculpture and Gabby are on a mission to get more women to ‘take the plunge’ after new research shows that consistent ‘fat talk’ is denting women’s confidence and stopping them getting into the water, with 55% admitting they won’t go swimming due to the fear of getting into a swimming costume. 84% of women admit to putting their bodies down through negative talk with a third (31%) saying they only ever think or say bad things about themselves, 28% admit to doing it daily.


Gabby, the face and body of the new season’s collection of Sculpture swimwear, comments, “Women in the public eye and on TV are often scrutinized for how they look so I know how easy it would be to fall into the trap of taking on board this negativity.  The healthiest way for me to deal with it is by being fit and healthy through activities like swimming, which helps me focus on what my body can do rather than what it looks like.”

Four members of the public have been recruited to take part in the ‘Parade to the Pool’, which transforms the dreaded walk from the changing room to the pool into a celebratory parade of confidence.  The women will receive personal coaching from a psychologist to tackle their body anxieties before they undertake the ultimate form of ‘exposure therapy’. They will wear Speedo Sculpture swimsuits, which help to sculpt and shape the body.

The swimwear parade will begin at the Speedo store in Covent Garden and go through the streets of London to a local swimming pool and be complete with a marching band, ticker tape and full fanfare.

Top psychologist Anjula Mutanda comments, “Negative talk amongst women about our bodies and looks is so common and well practiced it seems to happen almost without thinking. It can be contagious and its easy to spread and reinforce negative messages amongst ourselves; resulting in avoidance behavior around exposing our bodies. The good news is that we can take control and shift our mindset from negative to positive thinking. When you change how you think it will change the way you feel, and the way you behave.”

Sally Polak, Marketing Manager, Speedo comments, “Getting women to take the plunge is our mission and at Speedo we use our 80 plus years of swimwear experience and heritage to create suits that not only provide support and body sculpting but are genuinely designed with swimming in mind. Speedo Sculpture suits are functional and look great and are the perfect choice for the 37% of women that say better fitting swimwear would help them feel better about their bodies.”

Ben Rogers, Sports Buyer, John Lewis comments; "The timing of Parade to the Pool is perfect as we typically see a peak in sales of swimsuits during the first weekend in June. We're delighted to stock Speedo Sculpture as the May bank holiday traditionally inspires British women to get into holiday mode with the official start of summer."

Of the women surveyed that said they try and talk positively about their bodies, nearly 90% agreed that it has a positive effect on their wellbeing, self-confidence and self-esteem.

Tips to fight ‘fat talk’ and get you parading to the pool include:
·   Stay fit with exercise like swimming.  You’ll stop seeing your body as purely aesthetic and more about performance and movement
·   Don’t overthink things! When you overthink you’re more likely to stop yourself doing something. Throw off your towel and parade to the pool instead!
·   Fake it until you make it. Focus on confident body language; keep your shoulders back, make eye contact, that’s what people will remember
·   Surround yourself with positive friends and people with good self-image. Make each other feel good
·   Enhance what’s great about you. Stop looking at what you hate and start focusing on what you like
·   Don’t see your body as separate from you, it’s part of you and not your enemy
·   Manage your expectations of being judged. Most people aren’t looking anyway!
·   Build self-esteem around what you’re good at, rather than what you look like
·   Talk positively about your body in front of your children. Just as they can learn your positive habits they can learn your bad habits if you don’t
·   Keep a diary as a way to spot your negative talk

Help and advice from Anjula Mutanda to stop ‘fat talk’ and be more positive about body image will be available through the Speedo YouTube and Facebook channels.
You can purchase the Sculpture swimwear here.


IKEA Trip

I love IKEA. It's a bit out of the way for us but I love to have a nosy around. We went in with the intentions of buying C a white toy box and storage for all C's DVDs.



We came out with:



We also got other bits & bobs for ourselves - a toilet brush, drill, screws, lint roller & refills, duvet covers, a pillow & cutlery tray.

Surprisingly we only managed to spend £60.50! I could have bought everything though!

We popped into Mothercare/ELC and picked up a foam playmat for C too.



Bargain at £15 and it's a great size too. I wanted something like this as we have a wooden floor and I worry about C falling and banging his head.


Have you made any IKEA or Mothercare/ELC purchases recently?


Finger Food Friday - 21/06/2013

Today's Finger Food Friday is a bit different! Usually, I introduce one food to C and tell you his reactions to it. This week I've been out and about every day so I haven't really had time to plan this weeks.

Today we visited IKEA (I'll post about that trip tomorrow!) and had lunch in the café. I decided to get C a kids' meal - chicken strips, chips and peas 
(shock horror!).


He started off with the chicken strips but he was only able to eat the breading and found it hard to chew the meat. I then had to cut it into chunks and feed it to him which helped.




I was a bit worried about giving him chips, they're not the healthiest food in the world but because he was struggling with the chicken, I didn't want him to be hungry. They were a lot easier for him as they were softer and he was able to suck the potato out.

Obviously, when it came to the peas I spoon-fed them but they were garden peas which made them hard to chew but once they were squished down, they were chewable but he didn't like them at all!

Next week, we'll be back to the traditional Finger Food Friday - don't worry!

Mum of a Premature Baby



Funky Monkeys

Yesterday (19/06/2013), we took C to Funky Monkeys for the first time. Funky Monkeys is a soft play café. I joined a birth board/forum back when I was pregnant and people would always talk about the horrors of soft play but I figured that C would enjoy it so I bit the bullet and brought him. 


As he's under 12 months old, it was only £1 for him to play. Chris and myself were a bit awkward at first as we didn't really know what to do as C isn't crawling yet. The place was pretty quiet with no babies in the toddler area. We soon got a feel for it and we took our shoes off and got in with him! He absolutely loved it. There was a little see-saw rocker and we sat him in it and pushed him. The joy in his eyes was amazing and he let out proper belly laughs. He also was able to sit in front of a full length mirror - for the first time. He placed his hands on it and gave himself kisses. Adorable!

He had a bottle then we brought him back to the play area. He was sitting at the mirror again and at this point, another child came in. She threw a toy towards us (C wasn't phased) then she climbed down behind him, smiled at me then licked my arm and went off to play. Very strange!

It hasn't put us off though. He really loved it and we're planning on bringing him back next week. We're going to make a day of it - getting ourselves lunch etc while we're out.

While we were there, I noticed that C has cut his first tooth! It's only slightly popping through, but it's there!

C also got a little spoiled as we called into ASDA to buy nappies and Chris couldn't resist going to the kids clothing section and we ended up buying him some cute outfits!



Have you been to soft play? How have your experiences been?


Noroclear Hygiene Pack Giveaway!

A couple of weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to review the fab Noroclear Hygiene Pack (if you missed it you can read my review here).

Now, one of YOU will be able to get your hands on one of these fantastic packs just by entering the Rafflecopter widget below.




Each pack contains hand foam, surface wipes and skin wipes and they come in a handy bag which is the perfect size for your changing bag!




This competition will be run for one month, ending on 18th of July. UK entrants only! Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

ThePrizeFinder - UK Competitions

Alphabet Blogging

Super Busy Mum did this alphabet blogging so I decided to do it too so my readers can learn a little more about me!


A: Attached or single? Attached, and very happily so (to the beautiful man in the photo below - the 2 of us together pre-baby!)


B: Best friend? Jessica. We'll never fall out - she knows way too much about me!


C: Cake or pie? This is like Sophie's Choice. Can I have banoffee pie and chocolate fudge cake?

D: Day of choice? Wednesday or Thursday. They're the only two days that Chris is off work and we can spend time as a family.

E: Essential item? My iPhone. I went to Chris's mums for an hour last week and left it at home. I didn't know what to do with myself! I felt like a part of me was missing.

F: Favourite colour? Green!

G: Gummy bears or worms? Worms. I find them chewier than the bears.

H: Home town? Belfast.

I: Indulgence? Chocolate. Preferably Reese's Cups. Mmmm peanut butter.

J: January or July? January. It's usually still frosty and I love snuggling up at night with a hot chocolate and a movie or going for an evening walk.

K: Kids? A beautiful son. C who is 9 months.



L: Life isn't complete without? Family.

M: Marriage date? Not married. 

N: Number of brothers/sisters? A younger sister. She's 11. 

O: Oranges or apples? Oranges! Yum yum. 

P: Phobias? Death. Falling from a height. Large bodies of water.

Q: Quotes? I have five. All from Chuck Palaniuk books (if you haven't read any of his stuff - what the heck are you waiting for!?)

"It's pathetic how we can't live with the stuff we can't understand. How we need everything labelled and explained and deconstructed."

"The unreal is more powerful than the real. Because nothing is as perfect as you can imagine it. Because it's only intangibles, ideas, concepts, beliefs, fantasies that last. Stone crumbles, wood rots. People, well, they die."

"We live and die and anything else is just delusion."

"Just keep asking yourself, what would Jesus not do?"

"You can only hold a smile for so long, after that it's just teeth."

R: Reasons to smile? I have my health, a roof over my head and a wonderful family.

S: Season of choice? Autumn. The leaves, the temperature, the colours.

T: Tag 5 people I won't tag but if you want to do it, feel free & let me know. I'd love to have a nosy!

U: Unknown fact about me: I had a Polo mint addiction. When I was 14 years old, every single day I bought between 2 and 4 packets of original Polo mints a day a chewed on them like there was no tomorrow. This resulted in my perfect teeth needing two fillings and continued for six years until I fell pregnant and my morning sickness completely put me off them. I haven't touched a packet since.

V: Vegetable? Broccoli. Without a second thought.

W: Worst habit? Not hanging my clothes up at the end of the day. They get thrown on the bedroom floor - agh I still haven't grown out of being a teen!

X: X-ray or ultrasound? Strange question - I'd have to say that I'd prefer to get an ultrasound over an x-ray.

Y: Your favourite food? Smoked salmon. I could eat it straight from the packet.

Z: Zodiac sign? Pisces.
© Mum of a Premature Baby

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