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I don't know if I've just been lucky or if it was down to any of the following techniques which we used, but my little boy started to sleep through the night after he was 6 weeks old. If any of the following suggestions can help anyone from having more sleepless nights than necessary then I'll be a happy girl.
1: Get blackout blinds - as soon as the sun started to rise my little one would wake up - fool them into thinking it's night time
2: After two weeks we put my little boy into his own bedroom with a baby monitor. I know this goes against many recommendations, however I do feel this played a huge part in helping him to sleep. In his own room my little boy had total peace and quiet, and wasn't disturbed by my husband snoring or coughing.
3: Don't let you baby nap in their cot where they sleep at night. Our little boy napped in his moses basket in our living room for the first few months. He slept in complete day light, with noise and activity around him. By doing this he learned the difference between bedtime and naps in the day.
4: Baby rice - again another controversial choice, but I started adding a small amount of baby rice to my baby's bottle to keep him full through the night and to stop him waking up hungry
5: If your baby wakes during the night, leave them few a few minutes, they may just be having a fidget and could go back off to sleep. Don't automatically assume they will need help getting back to sleep.
If you are having trouble with sleepless nights, I hope the above can be of some help. Please know that this doesn't last forever and one day you will get a full and lovely nights sleep.
Wow what a cool thing to review, my top 10
No 1: My boys, family and friends
Namely my 16 month old little boy and my husband (my other grown up kid!). They are my world and make bad days seem better, and good days become great (cheesey I know - but it's true!). Within this is my Mum and the endless support she provides, regardless of how grumpy or stroppy I am with her, she's always there.
No 2: A friday night after 7pm
My little boy goes to bed at 7pm, and from 7pm to 9pm (need to go to bed early as he's an early riser!), is my time to chill out, watch the telly, enjoy a nice dinner and look forward to the weekend. My absolute favourite two hours of the week.
No 3: My job (how sad!)
When I was pregnant I could not wait for my maternity leave to have loads of time away from work. However a few months into my leave and I was crawling the walls. It was an excellent eye opener, as I learned how much I need to work and be around like minded adults. Yes I have stressful and horrible days, but ultimately my job keeps me sane.
No 4: Maltesters
I love love love maltesters and am embarrassed to admit I can eat a whole box in one go.
No 5: My house
When we bought our house it was in desperate need of some TLC. Slowly, slowly we are modernising it and saving the money to buy nice new things. This is a project that is going to take many more years, but I'm loving seeing the transformation.
No 6: Sky Plus
How did I survive all these years without being able to rewind live shows and put a series link on for Eastenders and Corrie?
No 7: My car
As a new mum I've had to buy what I would consider a more practical, family car (Citreon C3) and for me, at this time in my life, this car is perfect. I've included my car in my top 10 because my life does get very close to falling apart if it's out of action - I am so reliant on my car it's embarrassing.
No 8: My bed
It may not be the biggest bed in the world, or the most expensive, but it's mine and on a Saturday morning I could stay there forever!
No 9: Rose Wine
I'm currently 13 weeks pregnant, so now that wine is off limits, its all of a sudden become all the more appealling!! I'm usually on a diet, so my usual choice is the Weight Watchers Rose.
No 10: Central Heating
I'm always freezing cold, even in the summer. My life would not be worth living without my central heating!
They may be some strange choices but they are all mine!
Whilst pregnant, I fell in love with this swing and really did feel that it would be the perfect item for getting my baby off to sleep, as well as providing him with entertainment while awake. At £90 this was a very expensive buy but at the time I thought would be worth the investment. However once my baby was born and I started to use the swing I quickly realised that it was more gimicky than anything, and it soon got religated to my attic. The swing does not have a true lye flat position, so it's not great for a newborn's back. The bar across the front with hanging toys is really difficult to unclick, as well as the straps being a total nightmare to clip in your baby. The swing can be put onto a timer, but it only lasts 15 mins on the highest setting, for the few weeks we used the swing I would constantly have to run back and forward to restart the swing. Any mum will know that the minute you stop rocking your baby they wake up! The lights canopy is a great idea however this only really works properly in the dark and gets in the way when getting your baby in and out of the swing. The option to plug in an MP3 player is lovely but I didn't find it of any benefit to my baby, as he needed complete silence to sleep. What should have been a fabulous product in reality is far to gimicky, don't waste your money!
When looking to buy a highchair I was all set to get a cheap £30 one from mothercare, after all, a chair is a chair, why pay more than you need to! However when we left Mothercare we'd bought the Chicco Polly Highchair for £80.00! After having a demonstration, nothing else could live up to this chair. This chair is great for young babies who are still struggling to hold up their heads as the chair can be reclined and has plenty of padding. The recline also proves useful, as in the early days of weaning my baby would often fall asleep while eating. Several times I simply reclined him and left him to have his nap! The other great part of this chair is that you can adjust the height. When the chair is in my kitchen I have the chair up high, but when feeding my little one in the living room our sofas are quite low, so I can bring him down to my level. The other great feature is that the tray can be completely removed from the chair. So many high chairs have a tray that just flips up but remains attached. You then have to struggle to drop your baby down into the seat while avoiding crushing their legs against the tray. With this high chair you simply sit them in the chair and slot on the tray afterwards. This feature is also really useful when cleaning the tray as it can be taken off the chair and put into the sink. The only down side of this chair is that it is pretty heavy. When moving it around the house this can be a pain. The chair does fold up, but not really enough to save much space when storing. However I would never be without this high chair and nothing else really compares!
My mum bought the Vtech Moosical Beads cow for my little boy when he was born. Knowing the good reputation of Vtech toys we had no doubts about buying this toy. When my little one was around 3 months old he started holding and pressing the buttons (beads) on the cow. The flashing lights were great in the evening and the different textures were great for my little boy to feel. The cow is a really good size as it's easy to put into your bag and take out with you when visiting. I've lost track of the amount of people that have struggled to work out how to turn on the cow (there is a button on it;s chest marked with a red heart), which is actually quite good because if you want to turn off the music, you can do so without your little one immediately knowing how to turn it back on!! The music does get on your nerves afer a while, but my little loved it, so I learned to put up with it! The only down side was the stickers on the spinning bead in the middle, once my little one cut his teeth he started to bite off the paper. Other than this, I would definitely recommend this toy!
My mum bought my little boy this ball popper for his first birthday. He loves balls (footballs, tennis balls etc) so we thought this would be a winner. However he is very sensitive to strange sounds and becomes quite upset (he hates the hoover), so when we turned on this toy he immediately started crying and screaming, as the blower is quite loud. We then left him to play with the toy without the batteries and he just enjoyed dropping the balls down the shoot and watching them fall down the tube. After a few months he grew out of his noise phobia and we started turning on the ball popper. However the popper is a bit too powerful and rather than the balls coming up out of the shoot and rolling down the tunnel they just fly across the room (where mum and dad have to chase after them, to my little boys amusement!). Additionally my little boy finds it great fun to drop his bricks down the shoot, which have since become jammed and we can no longer use this toy. The idea behind this popper is great, however it didn't really suit my little boy.
Having read up about baby sleeping bags while pregnant, I already knew they were an ingenious idea. After reseaching I found that the 'Grobag' brand was top of the range, and I was only going to buy the best for my baby. Over the last year I've bought several grobag sleeping bags and they have all been brilliant. They are expensive, however when you consider that they are used every night you do get your money's worth out of them. There are several types, but my favourite were the ones that zipped around the side and had poppers on the top, this meant that I could place my baby on top of an open bag and literally zip him in. However my little boy is now 16 months and once he started trying to stand up we had to stop using them as he would try to walk around his cot and would end up tripping over, making them quite dangerous. My only complaint would be that their arms aren't covered, so on cold nights you need to make sure they sleep in a long sleeve t-shirt. I don't see why sleeves can't be built into the design, perhaps this is something they can work on for the future. I would definitely recommend these bags, and am sad that I can't use them now as my little one is constantly kicking off his blankets.
After doing extensive research on the internet for a baby gym, the fisher price rainforest gym seemed to be the most popular and the most awarded. However I was a little shocked that it was around £50 in most shops but this was actually only slightly more than other baby gyms (they are all over priced in my opinion). However from the moment my baby was born to when he was around 4 months old this gym was a god send. Initially I used to put my baby on the gym and play the music while letting me watch the flashing lights above him. I thought this was brilliant as lots of other baby gyms, don't really have any features, they just have arches with hanging toys. So from day one my little one was able to engage this with gym. As he got older, he loved kicking the different toys and feeling the different textures of the toys. There are plastic ones, soft ones, silky ones etc. The option to make the gym play music when your baby kicks a toy is great as they learn about 'cause and effect'. To be honest the gym started to get on my nerves after a while, because it would be constantly playing the jungle music, however my little one absolutely loved this gym (so I learned to deal with the annoying music!). I would definitely recommend spending a little extra money to have so many extra features. I'm currently pregnant and will definitely be bringing this gym out for baby number two!
I recently bought this buggy driver for my son. I paid £20.00 for this from mothercare. I'm a little disspointed with the price, as I know lots of people who managed to get this toy when it was on special offer. However my little boy gets very bored very quickly in his pushchair and I have bought no end of toys to hang on his pushchair which he gets fed up with in a few minutes. This toy has been great for keeping my little on entertained whilst I do errands around town. However I have a quinny buzz and I really struggled to get the toy to clamp onto the pushchair. However once I got it on, it kept falling down when my little boy was playing with it. To sort this out I did the clamp up as tight as possible, but this unfortunately made the clamp crack and I can no longer use this toy on his pushchair. My little boy still plays with this around the house like a normal toy but I'm dissapointed that it wasn't more sturdy. However despite this I would recommend it, as I may have been a bit heavy handed.
I recently bought this mascara as I'm a huge fan of rimmel mascaras. I paid £6.00 from Asda for the extreme black version. I've spent no end of money on expensive brands and they've always ended up clumping. I was drawn to this mascara because of the new style comb. It literally is the shape of a comb, no brushes. When I tried this mascara I found that my lashes really didn't get coated. I usually only put on one coat of mascara but I found that I needed two, if not three, for my lashes to look coated. However because there was such a thin coating my lashes didn't get clumpy and had a really natural look. I did get a bit of the mascara on my eyelids and was really pleased that this wiped off pretty easily without leaving a huge black smudge mark! I love the modern black and pink packaging, but am sadly disspointed that this didn't come up to the usual rimmel standards.
Like all mums, I was desperate for my baby to sleep for as well and as long as possible. For a while I was giving my baby a bottle of milk with a spoonful of baby rice to keep him full during the night. However when he reached 6 months old I decided to try the Cow and Gate Good Night Milk, thinking that this would be a better option. The milk claims to be much thicker than normal milk and to have a creamy consistency. When you mix up the formula you are recommended to shake the bottle for at least 20 seconds because the formula is so thick and needs mixing thoroughly. You are also recommended to use a bottle with a large teat hole. I did all of this and gave my baby the formula. He drank it down like his normal formula and slept through the night. The leaflet in the tin does warn that there will be a residue around the bottle, and yes there was. I'm not convinced that this formula is any better or worse than normal formula. I've since started giving my baby his normal formula if he wakes up in the night and he goes back off to sleep just the same. I do think that this product is a bit of gimick and is tapping into the fraught/desperate market of mothers who will do anything for a nights sleep. I really wouldn't bother.
I'm always on the look out for different snacks for my little boy and worry that he'll get bored having the same things all the time. However this range of biscuits was a huge hit for a while. They come in various flavours, chocolate, apple, plain etc. One little tip when buying them in the supermarket is to make sure they're not broken. They really don't have the same effect when they're smashed into pieces. These biscuits are just the right size for a baby's hand and fit their mouth lovely. If you look at an adult finger they are similar in size. When I personally tried these biscuits I found them very dry and thought they were awful, however my little boy loved them so we stuck with them. When he was younger and hadn't quite mastered biting he tended to suck these biscuits until they turned to mush, which he thought was great, but left an awful mess around his mouth and on his hands. Now he's older he will crunch on these biscuits and things are much better. These biscuits can be quite expensive and it would be nice to have them available in a multipack but then I guess as a treat babies shouldn't be eating too many. I still buy these biscuits every so often, but because my little one had them so often I think he's grown bored of them.
When I was pregnant loads of people recommended SMA gold. I guess that this is a product that has been around a long time and has been used by mothers for years (perhaps before other brands of baby formula were available). So not knowing any better I bought a tin of SMA gold for my baby as a back up (I had intended to breast feed but this didn't come off). I found the texture of the formula lovely and soft and began feeding it to my new born. However very quickly we had problems with him being sick. I had read that you shouldn't change baby formula in the first few weeks of a babies life - you should pick one and stick to it. So for a few weeks I continued to use SMA gold. However enough was enough and I changed formula not knowing what else to do to stop the sickness and wind. We switched to Aptimal and never looked back. Not only was this easier for my baby to digest, but the actual design of the tin was great. It features a handy little bar that you can use to level off each scoop, where as the SMA container is literally just a tin and you have to use a knife for each scoop - not a major problem but it all adds to the washing up. I'm now pregnant again and will not be using SMA second time around.
When my little one was ready for solid food I bought various brands of baby food and HiPP was one of these. I was nervous about making my own baby foods to start with and wasn't sure what would make the best combinations. I didn't want to risk making what I thought would be nice and my little one absoluately hating it and being put off solid food. I love the fact that Hipp is organic and it gave me confidence that I was giving my baby good quality good. My little one loved the Hipp range and as he got older I moved onto the larger jars with lumps. When you buy the jars you can see the age range they are aimed at, as a result I was able to copy the texture when making my own baby food as a good guideline. The only time I was unhappy with Hipp products was when I bought their baby biscuits. I guess they are the Hipp version of rusks. I tried one and could not get over how sugary they tasted. No wonder my little one gobbled them down! So I would definitely recommend the jars just not the snacks.
We bought this truck for my son's first birthday and was really pleased with the cheap price. However once the truck is assembled it's simple to see why it's so cheap. The truck is very lightweight and quite flimsy. Although this isn't such a bad thing, as my little boy has taken to carrying it around the living room and bashing it into the walls, as a result he can't do too much damage. The handle on the back makes this a walker as well. However because the truck is so light, the minute he puts a little bit of weight onto the handle the truck tips up. When he was first learning to walk this turned out to be quite dangerous and made myself and my partner a nervous wreck. However when my little one sits on the truck and whizzs around the floor he loves it. He loves pressing the horn and leaning over the steering wheel to push around the hands on the clock (another thing that makes me a nervous wreck!). So as much as I'm not too keen on this truck, my little on loves it!