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Archive for the ‘babywearing’ Category

One Lovely Blog Award Nomination

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So I woke up this morning to a lovely surprise fromA Mum on a Journey as she had nominated me for a “One Lovely Blog Award”. It’s so nice to hear that people are reading, and more importantly liking, this blog and I thank A Mum on a Journey for recognising me!!

Recipients of this award are asked to
1. Thank and link with the person who nominated them.
2. List the rules and display the award.
3. Share seven facts about him/herself.
4. Nominate 15 or so other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
5. Optional: Display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you.

Seven Facts About Me
1. I am 30 years old (gulp, when did that happen).
2. I am 9 months into a years degree at university (ah, the end is almost visible).
3. I have 2 year old boy/girl twins, my inspiration and my motivation.
4. I am married to a lovely Italian man, and my next ‘project’ (after my degree) will be to finally learn to speak Italian.
5. I have a gorgeous kitty cat, I, who is part Maine Coon and beautifully furry!
6. I am an events and fundraising team member for the amazing charity Saying Goodbye (a division of the Mariposa Trust).
7. I love reading and (when I get the chance) I devour books.

Other Blogs I Read/Follow/Enjoy
1. Clearly Bex
2. The Mother Geek
3. Edspire
4. Whiskey For Aftershave
5. Mummy’s Blog
6. Tween Teen Toddler
7. Me The Man and The Baby
8. Geek Chic Diary
9. What Elsa Wears
10. More Than Just A Mummy
11. Flying With A Baby
12. Twinderelmo
13. London With Children
14. Twin Mummy and Daddy
15. Crazy With Twins

Thank you once again for the nomination, I hope I can keep entertaining you with my posts!

Thanks for reading!!!!

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Trendy Tot Thursday (04/09/2014)

Welcome to the first #TT_Thursday of September, I am amazed at how quickly this year is flying by. My uni course is hotting up with ten tons of work due in the next month or so, hence why I’m slightly late with my post (again). Thanks to The Mother Geek and Clearly Bex for being patient hosts of this linky!

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These are important photos to us as the twins have never been in supermarket trolley before!! Living in Central London means we use baskets or online shopping. Grateful that this supermarket had a trolley with two seats next to each other, not sure how we’d have sorted this shop out otherwise!

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Miss Biscuit is wearing a really funky Primark ‘rock star’ dress. It is a nice length, has sleeves for chillier days but is light enough that she can run around and not get uncomfortable in it. I have, obviously, teamed them with Slugs and Snails tights. She is so comfortable in them, I genuinely can’t sing their praises enough (and can’t wait for my mummy-size ones to be delivered). As you can see from my pictures, I also had her in a back carry in our beloved Manduca sling. Having tights on means that she has no gaps for cold drafts to get in and no bare legs to get rubbed. I wouldn’t normally pair this outfit with white Clarks shoes, but we are getting the last wear out of them and I don’t mind if they get slightly messed-up!

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Mr Cracker is wearing some super comfortable tracky bottoms from Primark that he can run around in and fall over in (!!) and that are long enough to wear in the Manduca sling. He is also wearing out his Clarks shoes by jumping in every puddle within a 10 foot radius! The bit I love about his outfit is his rain jacket. This is a fantastic Boots MiniClub jacket that is waterproof, warm enough to keep the wind out but light enough to be suitable for Autumn or Spring. You may be thinking “so what, most jackets do that” but the great thing about these is that they fold down into little bags.

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This photo shows Cracker’s jacket open and as a bag, and shows the style of Biscuit’s coat too. I loved them so much that I bought more than one size of them. As a MoM (Mama Of Multiples) I am always on the look out for things that make my life easier- these coats fold down really small, they have Velcro ties to strap on to bags, buggy or, even, for the twinks to carry themselves. They will go over a t-shirt for summer showers or layered with jumpers for colder days. Why are all toddler coats not made like this?!?!
I hope you enjoy reading our slightly delayed Trendy Tot Thursday as much as I enjoyed writing it!
Hope to see you again next week for another Trendy Tot Thursday, and please feel free to stop by and say ‘hi’ whenever you have time!

What’s In My Twin Changing Bag?

I love reading other Mummy blogs, it is always good to hear that it is not just you suffering through late night feeds, snotty/sickie babies or the total lack of social life. Today I have been inspired by the lovely Geek Chic Diary and her post What’s In My Changing Bag to empty my changing bag out and share with you all just what’s in there.

I know we’d all love the opportunity to have a quick look through other people’s handbags, from when I was tiny my mum’s and my gran’s were the objects of utter fascination for me. As we have our own little ones our beautiful handbags get swapped for changing bags more often than not and instead of having the luxury of colour co-ordination or making sure you pack just the right lip-gloss it’s about how many nappies can fit and where you can put their spare clothes.

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The Changing Bag
If you think about how much stuff is needed for a single baby, can you imagine how much stuff we tote around for the twinnies (or just what size of suitcase would be required for triplets or more)?! For the job of our changing bag, we knew we needed something large enough to carry things for both Biscuit and Cracker. On Twins UK we found our bag, the Almora PacaPod. The beauty of this bag is that it contains ‘pods’- zipped bags for either changing or feeding that can be removed separately from the bag, meaning that you don’t have to take the whole bag with you when you just need certain things.

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The Feeding Pod
When the twins were little we could fit two bottles of my milk in here: the feeding pod works to keep cool things cool. We used Mam anti-colic bottles for them as I liked how easy they were to clean and sterilise and the twins got on really well with their teats. Now they’re a lot bigger and off the milk we can fit in two sippy cups, plus bibs, cutlery and snacks for our outing. It helps that it is wipe-clean inside too!

The Changing Pod
It’s been a long time since the twins wore the same size nappy as each other- Cracker has always been the bigger of the two- and this has meant that we need to take enough nappies for each of them separately, this is normally about 3/4 each! Plus we have wipes, nappy bags, bum cream, hand sanitiser and a Spilly Spoon Ouch Pouch containing Calpol, plasters etc. The changing pod also comes with a little draw string bag to put dirty clothes in, not big enough for whole outfits, but handy for vests.

The Rest of the Bag
For a spare change of clothes, we use a Bambino Mio Nappy Bag. This is waterproof and easily squashes into the area between the two pods, if we didn’t require so many nappies it would definitely fit into the changing pod. We always take a spare outfit for each of the twins, you never know what might happen when you’re out and about.
The PacaPod comes with a little changing mat. Even when we’re somewhere with a baby changing station I use this changing mat to keep the twins as clean as possible. It folds up small to fit into the pocket in the front of the changing bag.
We can’t go anywhere without dummies and dummy wipes. My two are big fans of the dummy and generally have theirs attached to them when they’re in the sling or buggy. Having dummy wipes (found and bought at Superdrug, I think) meant it’s easy to clean on the go.
We always carry at least one muslin around with us. When they were tiny this was used for small vomits and dribble, now it can be anything from a towel, to a runny nose wipe, to covering a head of a sleeping baby in the sling.
A variety of small toys (like cars) and/or books. A bored, screaming child on any form of public transport or in any restaurant is sure to attract evil stares so being able to keep them entertained with the simplest of toy is so useful (nb this trick will only last for five minutes, maximum)!
I love Vaseline and we have a little tin of it in our bag whenever we go out. Mama can use it on her lips when they get dry from kissing the top of the bubba’s heads, it can also be used on bottoms, grazed knees and dry skin anywhere. Fantastic stuff!
All parents know how useful tissues are and I have a packet in our changing bag at all times.
You may laugh at the next item but, trust me, it’s so handy to have. We have two waterproof ponchos in the changing bag (the kind you see tourists wearing around London as soon as it starts spitting). If you are out and about and it starts tipping it down, the babies will keep nice and dry in the buggy with their rain covers on whilst you get absolutely soaked or you will all get soaked if they are in the sling. Get yourself a couple of the extra large ponchos and you will not only keep yourself dry while you push them home but it will be able to cover both of you if you are babywearing. I do tend to have my waterproof ‘mummy coat’ with me, but it doesn’t fold up anywhere near as small as a poncho does so if it’s a previously beautiful day then I might have left the coat at home but never the poncho!!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little delve through my changing bag. I’ve shown you mine, what’s in yours?!

Babywearing Alert: for your information

As a huge babywearing advocate, I will tell everyone and anyone to get themselves a sling and start wearing their baby as soon as they can. It is also important that people wear their baby as safely as possible too.

A recent babywearing tragedy has been reported to the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) by Dr Brierley, a consultant intensivist at Great Ormond Street Hospital. A baby was smothered whilst being carried in a ‘soft fabric bag-style baby sling’ around London by his mum (read the alert here).

The poor mum thought that she was doing her best at keeping her baby safe, and yet every parent’s worst nightmare happened to her. Of course, accidents happen each and every day. That is why we do our very best to try and prevent them happening. We secure our TVs to the wall, put stair guards on our doors and cover the sharp corners of all our furniture. If you, like me, still want to babywear then make sure you follow simple rules to make that as safe as you can.

Safety advice

The simple safety advice for wearing your baby in a sling is to make sure that it is tight, the adult can always see their baby’s face by simply glancing down, the adult can kiss their baby’s head by tipping their head forward and the baby should never be curled up so their chin is forced onto their chest, as this can restrict their breathing.

A very good rule of thumb for parents who use carriers is the TICKS mnemonic:

Tight
In view at all times
Close enough to kiss
Keep chin off the chest
Supported back

Remember there are many different types of sling available for you to use, we have used ring slings, Mai tais, buckle slings and woven wrap slings. If you are still worried, or feel you need extra help or advice then I strongly recommend you go to your local sling library and have a talk with one of their extremely qualified and experienced babywearing consultants who will be able to give you all the safety advice you need to feel comfortable.

The Baby Show 5: Cheeky Rascals and The South London Sling Library

When I go to the Baby Show I am obviously drawn to those stalls with products of the babywearing variety. Some of them are not so great: promoting slings of the outward facing, crotch-dangling variety, despite all the research out there highlighting the dangers of them. Some of them offer good slings that will maintain the correct frog-like position of the legs but do not have the time, or the expertise, to properly assess what sling is the best for you and your family.
Then there’s Cheeky Rascals, a company offering a wide variety of baby, toddler and child related products. We met them when we were looking for our buckle slings and went on to buy our much loved Manducas. They talked to us for ages about what we wanted a sling for and allowed us to try them out with the twinnies.
Now they have gone a step further, not only do they also stock mai tais and ring slings (which I am absolutely desperate to get, just having to buy two of them for twins means more budgeting is required) but they also now contract the very lovely, knowledgable and experienced sling and babywearing consultant Emily, from South London Sling Library. This means that not only can you go along to their stall to try out the products that they have, but you can also get to have a chat with someone who really knows their stuff and can answer all your sling and babywearing questions.
The Cheeky Rascals’ stall is always a busy and popular one thanks not only to their fantastic products, but also their fabulous staff and customer service. It is definitely worth coming along to their stall if you find yourself at a baby show and I promise you will not be disappointed if you stop to have a chat with Emily if you have even the tiniest interest in babywearing. In fact, if you live anywhere near South London, then I would recommend going along to one of her sessions and trying out her slings and really seeing what would suit you and your needs best.

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Again, I have not received products or money in return for this review of Cheeky Rascals or South London Sling Library. Just little old me recommending good people, products and customer service.

The Baby Show 3: Morrck

Every now and then you go somewhere like the baby show with a specific idea of what you want but no idea if anyone even makes it! A situation like this is what led me to the fab people of Morrck and their brilliant products.
I have made no secret on this blog about my love of babywearing and how useful babywearing-related products can be. When the twins were really little we could babywear them with a normal jacket or zip-up hoodie and it would do up over their backs, as they started getting bigger this started to be impossible but we struggled through. Then came a very blustery and chilly day in London and we decided to babywear and walk along South Bank. Rob had a baggy enough jumper on that Biscuit was zipped up nice and warm, but there was absolutely no way that my jacket would do up over Cracker. So I did what any parent would do and sacrificed my lovely warm jacket to him. I took it off and wrapped it round him, leaving my arms exposed and blue! That’s when I knew I wanted a babywearing jacket.
At the next show we went to, thankfully quite soon after that happened, I discovered that Morrck do a fantastic ‘Maternity and Beyond’ coat. This is a reversible blue/red waterproof coat that fits like a normal coat, but has removable zip-in panels that you can add and use either when you are pregnant or when you are babywearing. This means that it will last you from the moment you find out you’re pregnant with your first to when you stop babywearing your last (and beyond, I’m guessing it will come in useful at numerous sporting events etc), with no need to go back and get another coat for when you’re slim between babies or when you’re not wearing them. I wear mine ALL the time, whether I’m wearing one of them, pushing them in the buggy or popping out by myself. It is long enough to cover their toes (also to cover your bottom), has a hood for those particularly miserable days and adjustable elastics to make it more fitted when you are baby free! It is something that always gets admiring comments and is a very asked about product when I’m out and about.

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From the shows, we also found out all the other lovely products that Morrck make, from their car seat/buggy wraps to the beautiful toddler ‘Wrapture’ coats which I may have purchased yesterday in blue for Cracker and red for Biscuit!
Another bonus of the shows is being able to connect with the people you’re purchasing from, something lost when you buy online. We have visited Morrck over a number of shows now and they are some of the loveliest people. We always stop and chat and see what might be new on their stall or in development. We have been chatting lots recently to them about a babywearing coat for Dads to wear (as Rob normally has one or the other of them in his sling when we go) so watch this space…..
Oh, before I forget to mention to the twin mamas and daddas in the audience- this is a very twin friendly company. Isobel has twins of her own and offers a TAMBA member discount. They also have TAMBA as their chosen charity.

We have not received any money or products for writing this review. We met them at the Baby Show and love their products and amazing customer service and I wanted other families to get to know them too!

The Baby Show, part 1!

Firstly, sorry for the lack of radio contact recently. Biscuit and Cracker has started with the childminder in true toddler fashion- by catching every bug going and getting very poorly with bacterial tonsillitis needing antibiotics. Fingers crossed we are on the road to recover, and a stronger immune system!

Now, down to the real business of this post- The Baby Show. I would urge all parents-to-be and parents of babies and toddlers to go to these shows. I started off going to one with a friend when we were both pregnant and, yesterday, I went to my 8th (I think)!
I didn’t realise how useful they would be to me as a parent until that friend and I waddled off the DLR at Excel and saw the massive variety of products and companies around and available.
Of course, they are baby and toddler friendly. There are nappy changing areas (with free nappies and wipes available), closed Breastfeeding areas and feeding areas with access to highchairs and microwaves. They also have a free crèche available for either pre-booking or first come first serve, run by Tinies.
For all your baby shopping needs, you get big stores, like Mamas and Papas and Mothercare offering show discounts on a large number of their products, brands like Mam, Vital Baby and many others showing you what products they offer and selling you them at highly reduced prices and many other stalls for other things like cord blood banking, infant resuscitation with St John’s Ambulance (a very worthwhile skill to know) and family friendly holidays.
There are also lots, and lots, and lots of stalls showing a huge variety of buggies, pushchairs, travel systems and prams for you to browse, try out, take apart and put back together, and get advice and information on from the companies that make and sell them.
The big draw, for me, to these shows are the innovative products that you might not have seen or heard about from anywhere else. My mummy friends are always commenting that we have all these cool things that they didn’t even know existed, and how do I know about them? Well now you know my secret! I will have seen them at a show, often spent time having a chat with the owner/inventor and then getting them to use at home. Lots of mums/dads/grandparents etc are seeing a need when they look after their own little ones and creating products that will work in real life.
My next few blog posts will be about these very companies and products. Things that we have purchased because of baby shows and now couldn’t/wouldn’t live without and people that we have met every time and now are part of our baby community. I will introduce you to The Bunk Cot, Morrck, Cheeky Wipes, Cheeky Rascals, Emily from South London Sling Library and Penny from Health Visitor 4U to name a few.
So please come back and see us soon for these introductions!