It's my life, but not as I knew it!

Archive for the ‘sleep’ Category

Trendy Tot Thursday (11/09/2014)

Yawn snore snooze As it’s a late night post for me, I thought that I would take inspiration from what the twins are currently wearing.

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These are some old school Mothercare pyjamas that, I think, came in a handy pack of two (perfect for a pack of two babies)! I got them ages ago when I saw them on offer in store and thought “oh they’ll grow into them one day”. The best thing about having twins in this situation is that I don’t have to pick whether they’ll wear the “my heart belongs to mummy” or the “daddy you are my hero” top as they both get worn!!

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They are very comfortable and are generous sizes. These are 18-24mths and even my big boy, Cracker, fits into them beautifully. The thick waistband is strong but not tight and the envelope neckline makes the tops easy to get on and off.

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We chop and change who wears which top and which trousers depending on who asks for which animal (giraffe or elephant)! I love pyjamas for myself, I would quite happily love in my ones and I love buying pyjamas for them. In fact, I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to do a Trendy Tot Thursday about them (and maybe more to come in the future, they have some fantastic night wear in their wardrobe to grow into). I make sure they are the softest material that I can, with a comfy waist and that are not too tight around the wrist or ankle.

IMG_1633.JPG I admit that this photo is a bit of a cheat as it was from a couple of weeks ago when we were spending one night at my brother and sister-in-law’s house before going on holiday, but I couldn’t resist showing you how sweetly they snuggled up to each other that night!!
I hope you enjoy reading our sleepy Trendy Tot Thursday as much as I enjoyed writing it! Check out The Mother Geek and Clearly Bex for more!
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!

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Silent Sunday (20/07/2014)

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More Silent Sunday can be found at Cosmic Girlie.

It’s Too Darn Hot

Please bear in mind that even in deepest winter, when there’s snow on the ground etc, our flat is roasting. We never turn the heating on and very rarely close the windows. Now fast forward to this lovely heat wave that we’re experiencing now and you may be able to tell how hot it is here!

Bringing up two toddlers in this flat means we have to think of ways to keep us all cool on hot days, because there is nothing worse than little ones getting over-heated and stroppy.

We have fans in both bedrooms and are fortunate enough to have an air con unit in the living room. Even with the fan in the twins’ bedroom, it can reach 29/30oc in there. We ensure that they wear as little as comfortable to bed and they don’t have a blanket or sleeping bag. It is important that you dress your little one(s) appropriately for the temperature of their room. Our BT baby monitor tells us the temperature and my mum and dad have a Gro Egg in the twins’ room at their house.

20140719-204618-74778509.jpg When it’s even too hot for a vest!

We also try to think of ways to keep them cool during the day. As with all children, they love ice cream and lollies and we have started making our own frozen treats. Tiger had a fantastic product in store when I last went in that meant you can make your own callipo-style lollies in reusable packs. I also used my silicone bake wear to freeze some yummy Greek-style honey yoghurt into fun shapes for the twins, and I added fruit to it to make is even better for them.

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Can you spot our homemade Callipos in the freezer drawer too?

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Yummy

We try to incorporate water play as much as we can, be that in a cool, relaxing bath, with spray bottles or with a water table. Without a garden we have to be ingenious (oh how we dream of a paddling pool) and keep coming up with other ways of keeping them cool and stimulating their development.

I also went against all my best instincts and cut my gorgeous Cracker’s hair quite short! From previous photos you’ve seen of him (like:

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If you have any hints or tips for how to keep twin toddlers cool, please let me know!

I am off to try and cool off a little before bed! Night!

The Baby Show 6: Health Visitor 4 U

Every once in a while you’re doing something very normal, like visiting a baby show and you meet someone very special who becomes an important part of your life.

We visited The Baby and Toddler Show at Bluewater when the twinnies were very small. It was a big outing for us from Central London, but we thought that we might find something useful there so off we trekked.

One thing we were interested in was having a chat with a sleep expert, having never had any experience with twins we thought we’d see what she’s have to say. Unfortunately, the expert that the show had organised didn’t use up to date research, particularly when telling me that I should take their dummies off them at six weeks old:

FSID [now the Lullaby Trust] now recommends that a dummy be offered when settling the baby to sleep from one month to 6 months of age. If it falls out when the baby goes to sleep it should not be replaced, and if the dummy is refused it should not be forced on the infant. The dummy should never be coated with something sweet. Two studies have suggested that if an infant who is accustomed to dummy use is not given one on a particular occasion, the degree of protection may be less than during sleep periods when a dummy is given, so if a baby uses a dummy as part of his or her general routine it should be given for every sleep period.

This set my back up against her and I didn’t want to listen to her anymore. However, two stalls down from her was Health Visitor 4 U and the wonderful Penny, the vision behind it. Health Visitor 4 U provides a complete range of private health visiting and childrens’ sleep consultancy services from the very earliest stages of pregnancy to child care up to 7 years of age and Penny is so knowledgeable with decades of experience of working with children and families as a nurse, midwife and health visitor. We hadn’t even stopped to chat to her about anything in particular, she was just complementing us on the gorgeous twinkles and we got to talking.

Going to baby and toddler shows not only shows you products to buy, it introduces you to companies that offer services that you might not have known about until you walk past one of their stalls. The concept of Health Visitor 4U seems like such an obvious one when you think about it, it just required someone with the background and career that Penny has in order to give their clients the best possible service for their money. The bonus is Penny herself!

She helped me through some tough times and experiences, just by being there and someone to talk to. I couldn’t recommend her highly enough.

I didn’t receive any products or money to review Penny’s services, I just want to spread the word about her!

The Baby Show 2; The Bunk Cot Company

On my very first show, back when Biscuit and Cracker were in my tummy, I saw a product that appealed massively to me as a soon-to-be mama of twins. But please don’t let that out you off, this product is also perfect for people that have a toddler and a baby, or two different age toddlers, or a little one and another little one who isn’t yours but you look after a lot… It is a useful product. This company also has such an amazing show discount that after coming home from Excel and discussing it lots with Rob, I travelled up to the Birmingham show just to see them again and purchase it!

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The Bunk Cot does exactly what it says on the tin… It is a bunk bed, made of cots! It also converts into toddler bunk beds to last them until they’re six or seven, so this is a highly useful item of furniture that will see you through until they’re old enough for normal bunk beds when they are bigger and less likely to topple out.
As I said, for a mum of twins in a two bedroom flat, I thought this was perfect. It is the size of a toddler bed, much easier to squeeze into your home than two cots with enough space in between them that you can get to them. The top cot is the perfect height for post-section mums who can’t bend over far to put their little ones down (Biscuit and Cracker slept together in the top cot until they were about eight months old). It is a solid, well-made piece of furniture that comes in beech or white (you get the cot sides and the valance fronts and ladder for converting it, plus the mattresses) that will go with the rest of your nursery furniture.
Now, something to bear in mind… The bottom cot is right on the floor (they will just have wooden slats and the mattress between them and the carpet):
*If you have a very bad back or other mobility issues it might be difficult for you to put a little one down there, but if you have a toddler then they will be able to get in and out of bed easily and safely with the valance side on.
*If you, like me, have children the same age going to sleep in the cots, then the one on the bottom will be able to escape pretty easily (even with the cot sides on). We didn’t stress about this too much, just put a stair gate on the bedroom door and let him get on with it. He’s now either bored of that game, or actually a little too big to easily climb out so Cracker now stays in the bottom cot until we come in.
* If you have a very drafty property, then be aware at how low down your little one will be. Our flat is very warm with no drafts so it works fine for us.
Everyone I have mentioned or shown the Bunk Cot to is amazed by it. It appeals to many families and seems such a simple idea that no-one can believe it wasn’t thought of a long time ago! The twins love it, they now peek over and up/down at each other. Biscuit has also found a very effective method of getting more sleep- if Cracker is being too noisy then she throws her dummy down to him to shut him up, we often find him in the morning with both of their dummies!!
When they were little sharing the top cot:

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A more recent snap of sleepy twinkles:

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I would never have found this product if we hadn’t gone to the Baby Show.

I have not received any products or money for telling you about the Bunk Cot. I have written this review so that more people can learn about this fabulous product.

Are you feeling sleepy…?!

Sleep. We all love it. All parents want to know whose getting it, whose not getting it, how much they’re getting and how can we get more. We have all known someone or read a comment on an internet page from someone whose child has been sleeping through the night since they were three weeks old. What is their secret?! How do they do it?! What is wrong with me and mine that means that hasn’t happened?
In the grand nature vs nurture debate having twins means I have been able to see how very different two children can be. Biscuit and Cracker were born a minute apart, have been raised virtually identically, had the same food, been on the same routine and yet have totally different sleep habits. Biscuit has been sleeping through the night from the time she was about four or five months old. Now she’s 16 months old she would quite happily sleep for 13-14 hours a night but she is not a fan of naps and often has just an hour before lunch. Cracker, however, woke up for milk in the night until he was a year old. Even now he wakes two or three times a night and cries for us (if you’ve never had twins sharing a room you don’t know the terror of the possibility of one twin waking the other one up with their shouting) but he would happily have a couple of naps a day. We compromised on the nap front between Biscuit wanting none and Cracker wanting two to giving them one in the middle of the day but if we’re out and about Cracker will often have a cheeky snooze in the buggy or the sling. Cracker is an early riser and Biscuit has sometimes had to be woken so that we can all have breakfast.
As well as their different sleeping patterns, Biscuit has suffered from night terrors since she was three months and nightmares since she was about 4months. The terrors mean that although she’s got her eyes open and is screaming, she does not seem aware during them and we just have to wait for it to pass (there’s nothing you can do apart from be there and be calm and reassuring and not wake her up) and then she’s straight back to sleep. Night terrors appear to be worse for the observer than the sufferer. The nightmares are when she is woken from a bad dream, is awake and alert and scared. It takes a while to calm her down and settle her whilst trying to show her that there is nothing to be frightened of. This is hard when she’s so young, but again being there is what she needs. We have seen our GP and a specialist (as she started having the terrors much younger than research has shown they normally start) but they can’t find any reason for these sleep disturbances and as she is developing well (and at the same rate as her unaffected brother) they are not worried. It is something that we’re hoping she’ll grow out of, but we are open to all suggestions and help that may be offered! Cracker has never had such sleep disturbances. Perhaps it’s an inherited thing- Rob sleeps from the time his head hits the pillow but I have always had very vivid dreams and nightmares and wake a lot from these?
I wish I had an answer to sleep problems, not only would I be a very wealthy lady but I wouldn’t be quite so exhausted! I wish I knew what would make Cracker sleep through the night and learn to self-soothe if he did wake. I wish I could stop Biscuit’s sleep disturbances and help her not be scared. I wish I could find out who made up the saying “sleeping like a baby” and ask what on earth was he on about? Surely the expression “sleeping like a teenager/someone without small children” would more appropriate?

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