Isabelle’s 16 month update

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Weight

I last had Belle weighed at the beginning of November 2015.  At that time she weighed 8.45kg which is just over 18.5lbs.

Milestones

Isabelle is a proper little toddler now! She started walking when she was 14 months, and there has been no stopping her since.  We got her first pair of shoes from Clarks; we had to get her a pair of cruisers as her feet were too small for proper soled walking shoes (2.5F).  We picked her a lovely little pair of red leather ones.

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Clarks – Little Boo

Belle will wave ‘bye-bye’ to people and try to say it too!  She says ‘quack quack’ for ducks (and most other animals too!) as well.  She will nod or shake her head for ‘yes’ or ‘no’.  If I ask her to get something, for example, a book or a specific toy animal she will usually do so, she does understands a lot!

Food

Food is a little hit and miss, which sometimes stresses me out, even though I try not to let it.  She certainly has her favourites; toast, porridge, scones, crumpets, bananas, pasta (she could eat this all day), chips, fish fingers, baked beans, avocado and raisins.  Hmmm looking back on this list, it does not seem the most healthy! I do try her with new things as much as possible, but I am quite often met with a shake of the head.  That being said, apparently she eats everything from cheese and potato pie to pilchards on toast at nursery!  I need to find out their secret!

Sleep

Unless Isabelle is feeling under the weather she is typically a great little sleeper, sleeping from about 7:00pm to 7:00am.  Naps are a different matter, they vary a lot! At home she tends to still have two naps a day, whereas she only ever has one at nursery.  I know the time will soon come when she only has one nap at home too, so I am trying to make the most of it whilst it lasts!

Favourite things

Favourite things at the moment are cuddly toys, Mummy and Daddy, Caddy (our cat), penguins, ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ and ‘Peppa Pig’.

Social

Isabelle started nursery at the beginning of October 2015.  As I had expected the first few times I left her, she was not a happy bunny.  However that soon passed and she now loves toddling into nursery!  It makes me very proud.  She goes for two full days a week which seems like a nice balance, as she then has one full day a week with James’ mum, two with me during the week and then of course both days of the weekend with me and James.

Funny things

Isabelle is turning into a cheeky, funny little girl.  At the moment, she thinks that it is really funny to pretend to be asleep.  When I go into her room after a nap, she will go from standing up to pretending to be asleep within milliseconds!  She also likes to pretend to be asleep when I mention a nappy change!

 

Things to buy [baby# 2]

Baby#2 will be arriving less than two years after Isabelle was born, so as you can imagine we already have a lot of things that we need.  We are also team yellow so I cannot even go out and buy lots of pink or blue clothes!  There are a few things that I have my eye on however, as it would be nice for baby#2 (and me) to have a few new things 🙂

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  1. Snuzpod 2 – this just looks amazing and I was won over by the review from The Uphill.  It is a co-sleeping crib which enables you to sleep with your baby next to you, but not in the bed with you as it has a removable side.  I had the Chicco ‘Next to me’ crib with Isabelle, and whilst I liked the concept of a co-sleeper crib I did not like the build quality of the Chicco offering.
  2. ABC Zoom double pram – Even though Isabelle is walking now, there is no way we could get away without a double pram – it would take me an age to walk to Tesco with her, and what about when she is tired?!  We looked at all the popular doubles (iCandy, Bugaboo and Uppababy) but none of them stood out to us.  We really like the look of the ABC Zoom as even though it is a tandem, the babies are more or less at the same level – with a lot of other tandems, one baby is stuffed under the other which I do not like the idea of!
  3. Sleepyhead – I am umming and ahhhing about this one.  It is massively expensive for what it is, but check out those reviews!!  This is definitely one that I would have to persuade James to think about, as essentially we would be paying nearly £100 for a cushion!

Does anyone have any experience with any of the goodies I have my eye one?  I would really value your experiences!

24 weeks pregnant [baby #2]

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How far along: 24 weeks

Gender: We didn’t find out the gender at our anomaly scan, and do not have another opportunity to, so we are team yellow!  Obviously it is personal preference, but I think there is something magical about not knowing the sex of your baby until it is born, it is the truest surprise in the world!

Maternity clothes: Yes for bottoms, not so much for tops.  I am living in about 3 pairs of maternity jeans, floaty/baggy tops and a couple of maternity tops from my first pregnancy – I really wish I could treat myself to some new maternity bits but I just cannot justify the cost at the moment, especially when they are used for such a short pace of time.

Sleep: Sleep is good!  I just cannot get enough though.  Last night I slept from 9pm-6am and I am still tired.

Best moment this week: Feeling quite a lot of movement, and continuing to think about names.

Movement: Baby seems to be establishing some sort of movement pattern.  I do worry about movements a lot though.  During my first pregnancy I visited hospital a few times due to worrying about reduced movement.  This triggered an extra scan at about 35 weeks, which showed that my babies growth had tailed off.  She was born at 41 weeks and only weighed 5lb 14oz, so her growth definitely did appear to stop.  This is a worry for me during this pregnancy, what if it happens again but it makes baby ill? What if my placenta doesn’t function correctly?  I am not due to have another midwife appointment until I am 28 weeks, but I have requested an additional one before that so that I can discuss these concerns.

Looking forward to: I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend with lots of naps!

If you are pregnant how are you feeling?  Did you find out the sex of your baby?

 

My tips for mums to be/new mums

I am not going to pretend that I am a parenting expert, I am far from it.  I still have days when I wonder how the hell we have managed to keep an actual human alive for over a year.  However there are a few things I remember from the haze that is the first months of Isabelle’s life that I thought may be useful for any Mums to be or new Mums out there.

Allow yourself time to recover

It is really easy to think that as soon as you have given birth, whether it be by c-section or a natural birth, that the hard bit is done and you should bounce back to ‘normal’  This is not the case.  However you have given birth the fact is that your body has been through an enormous trauma and you need to remember this before you start running around looking after visitors, let them look after you!

Don’t be in rush to loose weight

I know, I know, this is easier said than done. Unless you have amazing genes you will probably feel exactly how did after giving birth – like you have been left with a deflated balloon instead of a tummy.  As long as you eat healthily (despite the fact that you will probably want to live off sugar and caffeine to stay awake!), and take it easy you will be fine.  You will never get these first weeks and months back of your newborns life, my view is that this time should not be spent worrying about a little extra weight.

Enjoy your newborn snuggles

The likelihood is that your tiny newborn will want snuggling – a lot. Enjoy these snuggles is my advice.  Isabelle is 16 months now, and the only time I get a decent snuggle is when she is feeling a little poorly (is it wrong that I enjoy these snuggles?!).  I know that it is easy to fall into the trap of worrying that your little one will not settle without being cuddled, but try not to fret, the time will come when they are happy to be placed in their cot for a snooze without any help from Mummy!

Don’t buy lots of clothes

I did quite well with this before Isabelle  was born actually, but then we were team yellow, so I didn’t want to go too overboard with neutral things.  It really is true what they say though, you will get bought/given a LOT of stuff when baby arrives.  I received things from people I never would have expected to!

Try not to worry about how you decide to feed your baby

This is a tough one.  I received little to no help from the hospital in getting breastfeeding established and I ended up leaving the hospital bottle feeding just to get out of there.  Luckily a fabulous midwife visited me the day after and gave me all the help I needed.  It was all go with breastfeeding from then on.  I had my heart set on breastfeeding from an early stage in my pregnancy so I persevered, but that is not to say that there is anything wrong with bottle feeding – it is your personal choice.  Please do not let anyone make you feel like your choice is the ‘wrong one’.  There is no ‘wrong one’ when it comes to feeding your baby – my moto is “happy mummy, happy baby!”

Accept help

I was really bad with this after Isabelle was born.  Isabelle was a much longed for baby, and once she was born I irrationally felt that I had to do everything for her as she was ‘my’ baby.  I should have asked for, and accepted, more help from people, I know I will be when baby #2 arrives!

Do you have any advice for new mums?

 

Where has the time gone?!

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Life took over! I haven’t written a post for about 8 months, I was busy being a Mummy, returning to work aaaaaand getting pregnant again!! Yep, Baby #2 is due in May 2016 and we couldn’t be more excited to add to our little family.

Isabelle is now 16 months and the absolute LOVE OF MY LIFE! I am absolutely obsessed with her and her cute little ways.  I will do a separate post on her 16th month update shortly.  I think I will also start to do some pregnancy update posts as it would be nice to have a record of this amazing time in my life.

I have been back to work since mid November and I am quite enjoying it.  It is nice to have some time to myself, being me, and not a Mummy (not to say that I don’t miss Isabelle, of course I do).  All being well I should be back on maternity leave in a couple of months, preparing for baby #2’s arrival.  We opted not to find out the sex of this baby (same as with Belle) which, I think, makes it all the more exciting!!

 

Baby weaning: our journey so far

Getting Started

We started weaning Isabelle onto food as soon as she hit the six month mark.  I was adamant that we were going to give baby led weaning (BLW) a go as after doing lots of research I felt like it was the next logical step following breastfeeding on demand.  However, as all mums will know, what we want doesn’t really come into play once you have a child; their wants and needs take president!  To start out with, I was really excited about the prospect of us sitting down to eat meals as a family, this had always been my vision, but the reality is that I have found the weaning process hard, emotional and draining!

A change of plan

My belief is that whilst some babies will take to BLW like a duck to water, others take a little longer to get a grasp the concept of eating.  Isabelle is definitely in the ‘take a little longer’ camp.  After weeks of Isabelle not eating anything, and throwing my lovingly prepared food onto the floor, I cracked one day and decided to try spoon feeding her some fruit puree.  The guilt I felt for straying from pure BLW was immense, which I realise is ridiculous looking back now, but I want to be honest, and that is how I felt! Isabelle loved the fruit puree (which added to my guilt: I had deprived her of something she liked for so long!), but she was not so keen on me feeding her savoury foods.  And when I say not keen I mean she didn’t let me.  This made me feel uneasy as I didn’t want her to only be eating fruit, I want her to have a balanced diet.  Back to pure BLW we went, with added loaded spoons for fruit and yoghurt (this girl has crazy good hand eye co-ordination!).

Fast forward a few weeks and Isabelle started actually ingesting some of the food placed in front of her. The pride I felt was incredible! I started to relax a little bit about weaning as I could see that progress was being made.  So when we went to stay with my parents for a few days, and I knew our evening meals would be after Isabelle’s bed time, I decided to take some jars to try spoon feeding Belle her dinner.  She started off only eating a few spoonfuls, but this was better than nothing, and soon increased in volume.

Current situation

We are currently doing what I believe would be termed as ‘traditional weaning’.  Isabelle gets a mixture of both spoon fed meals, and finger foods.  This seems to be working for us at the moment, and it gives us flexibility; if I know we are going to be eating out at lunch time then I take a sandwich for Isabelle, or give her some of what we have (if it is suitable), whereas if I know our dinner is going to be after Isabelle’s bed time I give her an Ella’s Kitchen pouch or a HIPP Organic jar (these two brands are my favourite as the ingredients are great).

My top picks for weaning

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  1. Stokke Tripp Trapp – I wanted the Tripp Trapp ever since I saw the Saccone-Joly’s using it for Emilia. I love the fact that Isabelle is sitting at the table with us, and we can (for the most part) eat as a family. We initially used the newborn set when Isabelle was unable to sit unaided.  This literally changed my life.  No longer was Isabelle sat in her swing seat at our feet moaning as she could not see what we were doing at the table, she was now at the same height as us, and able to nosey on what Mummy and Daddy were doing.  Now that Isabelle can sit unaided we are using the baby set with the cushion.  When we ordered the chair, we got a complimentary table top.  I initially didn’t think we would need the table top, but actually it is really useful and I am really glad that we have it.
  2. Brother Max catch and fold bibs – these are pretty self explanatory.  The pack I purchased contained a single plastic catch section for the bib along with three fabric bibs.  I like the fact that if you are using these whilst out and about you can stuff the fabric section of the bib and any food debris (ewww) into the plastic section of the bib, use the poppers to secure it and pop it all into your bag to deal with at home (WARNING: it is not advisable to forget that said bib, full of bits of pitta bread and cucumber, is in your change bag, only to find it a week later when pulling a pack of baby wipes out of your bag).
  3. Doidy cup – there is no denying that these look a little strange but the angle of the cup really does make it easy for babies to drink from it.  We use this alongside the traditional sippy cup, as I think it is important for Isabelle to know how to drink from a variety of drinking apparatus for when she attends nursery.
  4. Tommee Tippee Explora Feeding Spoons – these spoons have relatively short handles compared to a lot of weaning spoons.  This makes them perfect for loaded spoons for baby, as there is less spoon for them to navigate towards their mouth…or eye, or nose.

If you have children, how did you find the weaning experience?

Isabelle’s 9 month update

front_and_backBow: Amazon | T-shirt: Next | Shorts: Primark | Socks: H&M

I know everyone says it, but I literally cannot believe how fast time has gone since Isabelle was born.  The last 9 months have undoubtedly been the hardest and most rewarding of my life.  I always knew that having a baby would change my life, but absolutely nothing can prepare you for just how much!  Isabelle is changing so much now, and is learning new skills everyday.  She really is a joy to be around.

Weight

I am a naughty Mummy and I have not had Belle weighed for a fair few weeks!  The last time I had her weighed she was 15lbs 11oz and following her curve on the growth chart perfectly (between the 9th and the 25th percentile)

Milestones

Isabelle can sit unaided, and is showing signs of really wanting to crawl. Her desire to chase after the cat has a lot to do with this I suspect. Belle will stand up against the sofa and hold on for a short time before falling back onto her bottom.  She is a little chatterbox, I am so impressed with the range of noises she makes. She uses her tongue a lot and makes noises such as ‘golly golly golly’ as well as the more usual ‘da da da’ and ‘ga ga ga’. I wish I had recorded the exact phonetics I have heard her use, I will start to do that from this point forward.

Food

After a very slow start, Belle is really starting to enjoy her food now which pleases me no end! For breakfast she will have something like an Ella’s Kitchen breakfast pouch, toast, drop scones, fruit or yoghurt. Lunch is normally a sandwich, rice cakes, salad bits or either an Ella’s Kitchen pouch or a HIPP Organic jar.  I will normally give her a yoghurt after lunch.  We eat together as a family in the evening, so Isabelle will have a little of what we have, some of her current favourites are sausages, potato wedges, sweet potato, chicken, broccoli, ratatouille and pasta.  I tend to give her some puréed fruit after dinner along with her liquid vitamins.  Isabelle loves water and drinks quite a lot throughout the day.

Sleep

We are going through what I suspect is the 9 month sleep regression at the moment, coupled with some seperation anxiety issues (I have Googled this a lot). Isabelle was going to sleep on her own any time between 6:30pm and 7:30pm and sleeping through until 6:30am.  At the moment Isabelle will not go to sleep unless either me or James are sat next to her cot, she is occasionally waking during the night, before waking at any time between 5:30am and 6:30am.  I am not complaining about this, I know that her sleeping is excellent compared to some babies of her age.

I should add that I night weaned Isabelle when she was approximately 7 months old, using techniques set out by Andrea Grace.

Day time naps are totally random.  Some days she will take a longer nap in the morning, and a shorter one in the afternoon, some days it is the reverse.  Some days she takes three smaller naps, some days two small naps.  I think her naps have got even more random since I have been trying more activities with her , but my belief is that day time naps should not rule your day and stop you from taking park in activities with your baby, unless of course, lack of sleep is causing your baby discomfort.

Favourite things

Mummy and Daddy! Seriously, Isabelle is really clingy at the moment.  We have to tag team looking after her when one of use needs the toilet!

Isabelle loves books and being read to.  I often come into the room to find her playing with her books, turning the pages and chatting away to herself. Her favourite TV programmes are ‘In the Night Garden’, ‘Sooty’, and ‘Thomas and Friends’.  Is it bad that she has ‘favourite TV programmes’ at only 9 months old?!  She only watches them for 30 minutes or so before bed so I do not feel too guilty about this!

Belle is obsessed with both mobile phones and TV remote controls.  This does make me feel a little guilty as I am presuming that she likes playing with them as she see’s me using them a fair bit!  I am going to make a concious effort not to use my phone too much in front of her from now on.

Fashion Friday #1 [Isabelle]

My daughter has a better wardrobe than me and she is only 9 months old…how depressing is that?!  In fact I do not really even have a wardrobe, more like an array of different coloured well worn sacks that I choose from each morning.

I have my Mum to thank for most of Isabelle’s clothes, she really does spoil her!  This is one of her latest purchases, and I LOVE it, it is perfect for Summer.  We were promised high temperatures today so I broke it out for the first time.

The romper suit is from John Lewis, and the cardigan was from F&F at Tesco a while ago but you can find a similar design here.  I always worry about romper legs being too tight, but this one has a lot of elasticity so is perfect.  I am obsessed with Isabelle’s arms and legs, they are just so cute, so I know I am going to be dressing her in this at every opportunity!