Thursday, 23 January 2014

Baby on the cheap

So the news today is that the cost of raising a child to 21 is over £227000! Eek! But it got me thinking of how much stuff we buy for the tiniest of babies these days, and what do they really need. So here is my guide to baby's first year.
Food - breast milk exclusively until 6 months, then they can join in with family meals, and don't eat a lot before one anyway so shouldn't have a great impact on your pocket
Nappies - get reusable! I've spent less than £100 on nappies, wipes, nappy bin and wet bags. It's just an extra couple of washes a week.
Sleep - my youngest baby has shared my bed from newborn. I didn't plan it this way but with a feisty toddler to entertain in the day it was either co sleep or no sleep! I imagine he will be in with us until at least one so no need for a cot yet, even though he has his big brother's waiting for him.
Transport - car seat wise, I feel this is a necessary expense. Get the best you can afford and never buy second hand. But there's no need for a fancy pram/pushchair/travel system. Get a sling! Start with a stretchy wrap for your teeny newborn, then move on to a woven, ring sling or SSC as baby grows. My youngest has barely looked at the pushchair! Though, slings can be an expensive hobby so it's debatable whether it will save you money. But you can get more slings to the pound than pushchairs, and they're prettier!
Bathing - no need for plastic baby baths, babies don't need a daily bath anyway, and when they do it's much lovelier to just climb in with them, easier on the back too! Do invest in a snuggly soft towel though, I can recommend Cuddledry.
Clothing and toys - yes babies need clothes, but avoid tiny outfits. Much comfier for baby to live in a onesie in those early months, and they grow so quick. Buy a few simple vests and onesies, everyone will buy outfits and toys as gifts anyway, and most babies prefer a good old box and a wooden spoon to expensive toys!
I wish I'd thought more about this first time round, but the excitement just catches up with you and you want everything! And the benefit of hindsight is a great thing. Have I missed anything?

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Sling meet sadness

A lovely mama took this pic of me at my last sling meet yesterday. 


Feeling a bit sad. I'm due to return to work in Feb, only a few hours, but most of them are on sling meet day. 

I attended my first sling meet back in February last year when heavily pregnant with my second son. I had used a babasling with my eldest, but was thinking I'd like something better so I could avoid a double pushchair! I asked for advice on my local Breastfeeding support group and was pointed in the direction of South Cheshire Baby Wearers. I remember my first meet in our local baby friendly cafe where I was totally clueless, but went home and ordered a Moby wrap from eBay - and the rest is history! 

Liam's first go in the Moby at around 10 days old.

I love my group, I've made some lovely friends and it's led to me being even more of a natural parent than I was. 

Looking around the hall yesterday, we had seasoned baby wearers trying out other people's wraps, newbies with teeny squishes being welcomed into our world, big kids happily playing together and, at least in my toddler's case - stealing all the cake and biscuits! I will miss being a part of it every month, but hope I can continue to spread the baby wearing love, join my group on our slingy socials, and maybe one day I'll be back on another maternity leave! ��

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Resolutions

Happy New Year! 

So I think for the first time I have resolutions I actually intend to stick to, so here they are:

1. Do more craft activities with my toddler. And baby once he's old enough. 
2. Work on my patience. Most of the time we really do have all day so there's no point stressing about how slow my babies can be at doing things.
3. Encourage independence. Linked in with the above, I need to stop stepping in and rushing my toddler and just let him do things himself sometimes - we are starting with potty training!
4. Be a better housewife. By staying on top of cleaning and budgeting and cooking proper meals more regularly.
5. Be more frugal. In the hope of saving some money so we can enjoy doing some exciting family trips.
6. Take some time to become 'me' again. Instead of being only wife and mummy. Plans include joining the WI and learning to knit!
7. Keep up with this blog! 

So join me here in 2014 on my journey to be a better person all round! 

Friday, 20 December 2013

Two's trouble!

Soooo...it's been a while! Last time I posted I was about 6 weeks pregnant with our second beautiful boy, Liam, who arrived with a bit of a bang on April Fool's Day 2013!
Since then I have been adjusting to having 2 under 2 (though not any more as my biggest baby turned 2 in September) and generally living a bit of a hectic lifestyle.
Things have been a bit different this time around, I feel more confident with babies and have become a bit of a hippy! We co-sleep, cloth nappy, baby wear. I am lucky that I had an easier time breast feeding this one too. I did feed Ryan til he was one but it was rough at the start whereas Liam has just been a pro.
So that's a bit of an update, and I will endeavor to get back on the blogging, mostly working around nap and bedtimes! ��

Friday, 3 August 2012

Lunch Date

At almost 11 months my little monkey is a complete chatterbox and now crawling he never sits still! He's completely exhausting but I am loving every minute. Yesterday we took ourselves out to Bridgemere Garden World. 

It's much more than a garden centre, with other shops attached such as Lakeland and Hobbycraft (two of my favourites!) and lots of lovely gardens to stroll round and check out. They also have a lovely little cafe with a soft play area for the little ones.

Ryan's really good at eating out (he's such an angel that nothing fazes him) and did his best flirting with all the old ladies who stopped to say hello as they passed. I enjoyed a lovely tuna melt toastie and a glass of homemade lemonade, which was delicious, and then we lost our shoes and got into the play area.

It was great to just let him roam around without the worry of him crashing into anything hard, and he loved watching all the other children. Later we strolled around the gardens and he was nice and tired out by the time we got home, all ready for a nap.

I'd definitely recommend Bridgemere for a day out. I'm especially looking forward to their spectacular Christmas event, now that Ryan will understand what's going on this year!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Time off!

The cake I decorated for my folks
Eeeeek! Can't believe I've not blogged for 13 days! Been busy busy busy. Had some amazing news (watch this space) and spent nearly a week down in very sunny Somerset with my family.

My amazing parents celebrated their Ruby Wedding Anniversary (40 years!) at the weekend so we all got together for that. It's lovely to spend time with my family, especially my niece and nephews who I don't get to see as often as I'd like, and Ryan loves seeing them too, and is the complete centre of attention at all times! His only gripe was the constant suncream I had to apply as it's been hot hot hot.

I'm in a glorious mood thanks to the weather and my news, and promise to catch up with some posts soon!

Friday, 13 July 2012

Safety in the sun

So we recently took Ryan on his first holiday, much needed after the dire British summer we've been having! Off we popped to Spain to stay in a lovely villa belonging to the in-laws. At 9 months old we were quite easily able to keep him in one place, so although he was suncreamed up whenever we went for a walk with the pushchair, or in the pool, the rest of the time he was safely tucked away in the shade with his toys.

Next year however, I am envisioning having a nightmare time where he races around in the sun while I fight trying to get cream on him! Luckily I will have a bit of help from good old Cuddledry, as I fully intend to purchase one of these fab Sun Protection Ponchos, as modelled here by Timmy the sheep off Timmy Time!

Obviously I will still have to win the war of the suncream, but this award winning poncho towel will give me that extra reassurance that my little man is as protected as he can be from the sun's harmful rays. This is because the towel cleverly deflects UVA and UVB rays and has an SPF of 50+, which is not depleted by washing or use! Plus with every purchase you get 2-4-1 entry into UK Sea Life Centres, and we love a good day out!