Sunday, 25 January 2015

Ditching the Dummies - AGAIN!

I blogged almost a year ago about our plan to let the dummy fairy take Ds dummies, she did really well for the first night or so but it was short lived and she found trying to sleep without them so distressing we (I know I know) decided to postpone and try again later in the year. 

Watching her sobbing at night both when getting off to sleep and when she woke in the night was just too heart breaking. She obviously wasn't ready and needed the comfort so at just 2 it seemed crazy to put her through the upset. She only had the dummies at sleeps anyway so we vowed to try again at Christmas and left it at that. 

I admit I felt a bit of a failure as a parent for still allowing her to have them back (it's such a controversial subject and some people are super opinionated about whether babies should have them, when they should go etc) but it dawned on me when we first tried to get rid of them, I have never let D cry to sleep, never failed to attend to her when she was upset and have in every other way followed her lead developmentally (dropping milk feeds, blw, potty training etc) with all of these she moved on and got the hang of things without batting an eyelid so I stopped listening to people telling me she shouldn't have a dummy anymore and went back to following my instincts and responding to my little girl's needs. I was also pregnant with F at the time and knew she had a lot of changes ahead of her so just didn't feel taking away the comfort she loved at night was actually that big a deal. 

Christmas came and went and we set 1st Jan as D day. Unlike last time we didn't make a big fuss of it, we talked about it leading up so she knew it was coming and she just popped them into her stocking for Santa to collect. He kindly left her a torch in return as she's wanted one for ages and we thought it could be a distraction in bed at night. 

Unlike the first time round I didn't want to blog any big success as I knew this may be a longer process but we've done nearly a month now and I know we won't be going back this time, I can tell D is more than capable of dealing with this change even though it's clear she was still sad to say goodbye to her beloved 'nummies'. In fact this time she was really positive about the change, talking about how now she's 3 she's a big girl and doesn't need a dummy, even seeing F have one hasn't changed things and believe me I was fully expected to spot her having a sneaky suck every now and then! 

I actually feel quite sad writing this. Perhaps if I'm honest a little bereaved for my baby. It's funny but I think I also found letting go of the dummies hard, she's excelled in terms of ditching bottles, eating, talking, getting out of nappies etc so this is the last bit of her being a baby. She's done brilliantly and I'm so proud of her - she's sleeping much better as she's not scrambling around for lost dummies (or worse calling for us to find them) and although she's dropped her naps as a result I'm enjoying the change in routine and having my big girl with me for a full day with a nice straightforward bedtime. 

If you're reading this and thinking you need to ditch the dummies my advice would be to follow your child's needs, if it's not affecting their development (talking,eating etc) they'll tell you when they're ready and believe me it's a whole lot less heart breaking for all involved that way! 

Saturday, 17 January 2015

New Years Cliche

Freya is 4 months old now so there really is no excuse for sneaking on the old maternity jeans when I'm having a fat day. I'm not saying the weight fell off with D as it most certainly didn't but boy oh boy has it been harder with F. My stomach wobbles like it never has before and even my bum and legs are much bigger despite not putting that much weight on with F. 

So January seems like the perfect time to jump on the must lose weight band wagon and try to do something about it. 

Before the girls came along I went to the gym 3 times a week but alas I can't afford the time or gym membership now so I'm stripping it back and attempting to start running. I've downloaded the C25K app and so far I'm not doing too badly - whether I can actually keep this up and indeed whether I actually lose any of this weight is yet to be seen but considering this is currently the only time I get without a toddler clinging to my leg or a baby in my arms I reckon I've got a pretty good incentive to keep going. 

I will no doubt be blogging my success should it happen so if all goes quiet on the fitness blogs you know I've given up and I'm sat on the sofa dipping chocolate into baileys! 

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Our year in photos

Our year in pictures

2014 has been pretty bloody awesome.....

Jan - In true Robinson style we saw the new year in with Pizza!

Jan - Daisy made the move into her big girl bed, and loved it! 

Feb - We discovered we were expecting Robinson baby no 2!

June - we enjoyed the amazing hot summer and our first holiday to St Ives.

Sept - My beautiful big girl started pre school

Sept - Freya born on the 26th September at 8.18pm. Simply the proudest moment of my life when these two met. 

November - I can't believe my biggest girl is 3! 

Dec - Our first Christmas together (and a rare glimpse of Mr R!)

Here's to 2015!

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Medela Calma Feeding Solution Review

As those who read my blog will know, we've had a rocky start to feeding our youngest daughter and following having tongue tie snipped at about 2 weeks was advised by a lactation specialist to top up Fs feeds as she was getting so tired feeding she was falling asleep before getting enough. This wasn't something I was keen on doing but if we were going to use bottles we wanted to find one which worked well with combi feeding, cue my search for the perfect bottle. 

We tried lots of the popular branded bottles with varied success so when we were offered one of the Medela Calma feeding solution bottles to try we certainly had nothing to lose as we hadn't yet found 'the one' 

The Medela Calma bottle isn't like I've anything I've seen or used before, the teat is very long and unlike regular bottles only released milk when baby is physically sucking, the idea is that it mimics the breast and allows baby to be in control of the bottle the way they are the breast, stopping and starting as desired. This therefore enables a switch between breast and bottle far more easily and reduces the risk of nipple confusion. 

At this stage F is now having bottles of formula as well as expressed breast milk and therefore we did find this was a bit of a problem with the bottle as the formula tended to clog up the teat but expressed breast milk was fine. I can see that the shape and sucking action would be great for combining breast and bottle feeding especially if using breast milk. I can imagine baby switching between both without issues of nipple confusion and the fact that they have to work as hard with the bottle as they do the breast means there's little chance of baby getting lazy and preferring the bottle - a common issue with combination feeding. 

If I'm honest F didn't really seem to know what to do with the bottle to start with so I had to put some milk on the teat to encourage her to suck. The long teat, which is apparently the length of the nipple when baby is feeding seemed to be a bit much to start with but perhaps this is because she has been using a regular bottle teat and had got used to that, However I can't see this being a problem if you started combination feeding with the Medela Calma. 

On the whole I really liked the bottle, it somehow feels like an addition to breastfeeding g rather than an alternative. Cleaning wise the bottle comes apart easily without any particularly fiddly bits but I did find the lid a little loose although due to the nature of the calma bottle I wouldn't expect it to leak 

For our stage of feeding as F is now having more formula than breast unfortunately it feels a bit late to use a bottle like the calma but I would really recommend it for breastfeeding mums looking to introduce a bottle

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Milton Steriliser Review

If you read my blog you'll remember I posted a few weeks ago about my new found love for cold water sterilising. After reading the post Milton asked if I would like to review some of their new products which of course I agreed to, after all I'm officially a Milton convert these days! Milton sent me their new Combi Steriliser and their portable Travel Steriliser and here's what I thought of them both...

The Combi and Travel sterilisers are unique in that they can be used as both a traditional cold water steriliser or in the microwave. What I love about this is the flexibility it gives you, although I personally prefer the cold water method it's great to know I can revert to the microwave method if I needed something sterilised really quickly or didn't have any sterilising tablets. 

We went away for the weekend just after receiving the travel steriliser so this was the perfect chance to try it out. The Steriliser was perfect, it takes a full bottle and only needs a quarter of a tablet. Like the larger sterilisers the bottle stays sterile for up to 24 hours in the solution and the solution can be used as many times as you like in 24 hours sterilising in just 15 minutes. To use the microwave method you simply fill with the required amount of water and microwave. This was perfect for a weekend or for camping, long car journeys but got a longer holiday I would probably take the full size steriliser just for the convenience of having more than 1 bottle at a time. 

The Combi steriliser is exactly the same but takes 5 Bottles of any brand. As with all microwavable sterilisers the bottles are hot when they are first sterilised but this comes with tongs to avoid too much discomfort if you need to use the bottles really quickly. The steriliser is a good size but would easily fit into the smaller microwaves you tend to get now. 

I would really recommend the Combi, especially to a new mum who might not know which method they want to use for sterilising yet. The combo Steriliser retails at £24.99 and the Travel Steriliser at £10.99 and more information on both as well as other Milton Products can be found on their website 

We were sent both the Combi and Travel steriliser for the purposes of this review but all words and opinions are my own. 

Monday, 15 December 2014

Mega Bloks First Builders Build a Bakery Set - A Review

There are certain toys that no child should be without and for me building blocks are definitely one of them so when we were asked to review the Mega Bloks First Builders Build a Bakery set I knew instantly that D would love them.

The set includes not only the standard building bloks but also cake pieces so that she can make cakes and build a bakery. When we first opened the set D loved making me cakes, asking me what combinations I wanted - she's really into pretend play at the moment so loved playing shop. 

After a while I noticed she had built a castle with the bloks for one of her princess dolls so the game had changed again. That's what I love about building blocks like these, they really encourage a kid's imagination - every time they come out you know they'll be a new game. There are so many high tech gadgets (I sound like my dad!) for kids these days it's great to see D playing with a good old traditional toy using her imagination and creating her own game. 

This particular set is clearly aimed at girls with pink and purple coloured blocks and pink packaging, and if I'm honest this is my only gripe. It's a fantastic set and I know it'll provide lots of hours play but the pink packaging is likely to put off boys and who's to say a boy shouldn't want to play with a bakery as well. I've always felt where possible toys like bloks can be gender neutral. 

If you're on the hunt for Christmas Presents Mega Bloks first builders are a great choice the Build a Bakery set RRPs at £19.99 and is available at Argos

We were sent the Mega Bloks first builders for the purposes of this review but all words and opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Gro Hush Baby Calmer Review

Freya is nearly 8 weeks old now and already been through the mill a bit with a tongue tie and reflux. The pain from her Reflux and trapped wind has unfortunately made it really difficult for her to settle at times and as with most newborns we've found it's particularly bad during the evening. So when I came across a discussion on twitter about the Gro Hush, a new product from The Gro Company I couldn't resist finding out what it was all about with the view to seeing if it could be helpful for settling Freya. Gro very kindly sent us a Gro Hush which we have used a number of times now and so far I have a feeling me and this little fella are going to be firm friends. 

I'm already a huge fan of The Gro Company products, the Gro blackout blind has been a lifesaver for the last 3 years and we've recently started to use the Gro clock with my older daughter with great success so with that in mind I had high hopes for the Gro Hush and thankfully wasn't disappointed. 

The Gro hush is Gro Company's latest big product, it's a hand held soother which you gently rest against your child's ear while holding and cuddling them as normal. It has 3 different white noise sounds (heartbeat, rain drops and waves) and automatically turns off after 10 mins. Although not the products prime intention I also felt the sounds are really relaxing for the person holding baby and could help them relax especially if baby is exceptionally upset and the caregiver is feeling stressed by the situation

When I mentioned I would be reviewing the product I had a few people comment that if the baby is bring held by mum what more comfort can you give? I completely get this and even agreed before trying the Gro Hush but I have to say it does give a little extra, many babies respond well to white noise and this is where the geo hush compliments the comfort given by the parent or caregiver. As you have to hold the Gro Hush it's not there to replace a parent and this is something that us especially important to me as I emphatically feel that a young baby needs touch and contact.

We first tried the gro hush during one of those evenings when it feels you've entered a twilight zone and baby just can't settle. F was about 6 weeks old and it was clearly growth spurt time! She was fed and clean so we settled down for a cuddle with the gro hush - F was asleep within a few minutes, result! We've used the gro hush a few times since when again F needed that extra but of help and it's always been a success, It's no miracle product and I'm in have no doubt it won't always work it's magic but it is a really useful tool to turn to when you're running out of ideas and need that extra bit of help. For me it's another great product from Gro. The gro hush retails at £34.99 and can be purchased from The Gro Company website as well as the usual baby stores.

We were sent a Gro hush baby calmer for the purposes of this review but all words and opinions are my own.