My little lady is now 5 months old and starting to get a bit frustrated due to not being able to crawl yet. She sees me get up and move and wants to come with me (yes, she is very nosey). So, along with always wanting to be carried (which is secretly love) she also likes to cuddled lots and lots. All i can say is GOD BLESS the Connecta! So, i used to try and carry her with the Baby Bjorn, but since learning more about hips and how they should ‘sit’ when being carried, i sold the Bjorn and brought a beautiful Connecta. With the help of the Ipswich Sling Library, i borrowed one (for just £5 for a month) and then brought my own.

So, what is the Connecta?

conserva2-300x300Suitable from 3.5kg up to toddlerhood, it is simple to wear and ‘connect’ together when baby is put in it. It also features an integrated sleeping hood which means Fluffy can be tucked away nicely inside when she is asleep, it also stops rain and wind affecting her and is great if you eat a sandwich (catches all the bits that fall out!). The wide base supports anatomically correct position for baby and optimum comfort for me. The buckles make them quick and easy to use on either the front or the back. I picked the beautiful Conservatory fabric and from ordering to delivery, it was really quick and pain free! Just 2 days later my lovely carrier arrived and we have used it nearly every day since. At just £62 too, its a complete bargain. 

I love baby carrying and love the closeness it brings. It allows me to feel ‘connected’ to her (get it….connected by the Connecta) and ensures i can have cuddles all the time with her being comfortable (and often she just falls asleep). Want to have a look at the other designs? Head on over to www.connectababycarrier.com/shop

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surcareWe were very lucky to be picked to review a big box of goodies from Surcare Sensitive. Their range of sensitive washing detergents are not only safe for little people’s skin, they contain no dyes, enzymes or acids, so great for sensitive skin. My family (all of us) suffer from dry skin and my husband with sensitive skin, so this was a great chance for us to see if special products could make any difference!

We were sent the following for Jasper, and these were his notes that he wanted to get across:-

  • Organic Soft Dressing Gown – this was beautifully soft and delicate on his skin and he also liked the fact it made him look like a polar bear. He enjoyed putting it on and making ‘roar’ noises just as his little sister was going to sleep. He also noted this was ‘cuddly’ and ‘bootiful.’
  • Organic Babies Wash and Dry Skin Lotion – the wash was lovely, frothed up really easily and only a little was needed to clean his hair and body. Jasper enjoyed the bubbles and proceeded to make a bubble beard and hat for himself. The dry skin lotion he enjoyed on his arms and feet – asking again for a foot rub and ‘more lotion’ for his bob the builder toy on the bed.
  • Octopus Rattle – this beautiful 100% cotton rattle was lovely. Really bright and Jasper decided his little sister didn’t need it, and proceeded to cuddle it and take it everywhere with him including the bathroom

I then reviewed the Sensitive Liquid, Bio Gel, Capsules and Fabric Condition – I really loved this range. Completely fragrance free, demagogically tested and approved and only a little bit was needed to clean the huge washing loads. I was eager to use these because with Fleur being so young I was wary of using traditional conditioners on her skin. Due to containing no dyes, enzymes or acids, they are designed to be delicate. Leaving the washing soft, clean and smelling fresh I was suspecting them to be on the higher price range than standard washing items – but on sale for only £3.00 RRP in Sainsbury’s or Waitrose, I was actually shocked at the price!

I really enjoyed the pack of items we received, Jasper loved his first joint review with me and the our clothes we left soft, clean and smelling beautiful. Just what I needed with a busy life and a newborn. More information on Surcare can be found here:- www.surcare.co.uk

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My little lady is now 3 weeks old and it has been an interesting 3 weeks to say the least. I remember all of this being much easier, but then again, we were younger, had more energy and didn’t have a 3 year old running around full of beans and excitement!

To say breast feeding is coming naturally to me is an understatement, and admitting that makes me feel like a failure. I am struggling daily with breast feeding, and the constant demand on me, every 15 minutes some days is really making me resent doing it. After getting through the engorgement and the pain, I am finding it hard that the freedom I had with Jasper (as I didn’t produce any milk with him due to the traumatic birth) is non existent with Fleur. I cannot seem to move without her needing a feed, I can’t even do a wee and wash my face in the morning without her needing to be near me, on me, smell me, feed from me.

I am currently typing this with her in my arms (so I might be able to keep blogging!) and am just exhausted. I have a fantastic friend (one of my best) who is a breast feeding queen and has told me even she cried through these times (this has helped, showing me even she struggled!). I love my gang, and love my little flower, but this is really hard – harder than I ever thought. It would be so easy to give up now and switch to full time bottles, but I know for her, I need to keep going.

Wish me luck, I feel totally overwhelmed and useless, so kisses and cuddles most appreciated.

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Dear Midwives, Doctors, Cleaners and anyone else who is going to be reading this. If it was like my last birth, I met everyone and their wife due to Jasper being a naughty boy and deciding it was nicer to stay inside mummy than it was to come out.

When thinking about my birth plan for baby number 2, we have decided we would ideally like the baby out nice and quickly, with mummy being left as much in tact as possible. Whilst being cut front to back doesn’t sound that appealing, if it is needed, do what you need to do. But please, tell me. Please do not ‘not’ tell me so when the epidural wears off I think I have been in a fight with a group of surgeons and severely lost. Also, if you are going to use a catheter at any point, can you let me know please. Last time I forgot, and whilst you all looked at me like a mad woman, I genuinely didn’t know how I was lasting 2 days without needing a wee wee and then had to train myself for the next 2 weeks to ‘need’ a wee again.

I would love to be able to hold baby straight away, gunk and all, and tell her that I am her mummy (the one who has been singing to her for the last 9 months) and that I will love her every second of every day. I would like delayed cord clamping after reading about its benefits and how it can help reduce jaundice. Again, I am going to have to trust you read this, however, don’t think I wont notice – I am not completely as blonde as I look.

The next stage of my birth plan is peace please. No, I do not wish for 100 doctors, nurses, trainer nurses, midwives and the local cleaner to come in and have a look. This was massively distracting last time and to be honest I didn’t really want to have to smile and care about who was looking at my incredibly hairy legs & unwaxed nether regions. The argument I had with the gentleman pulling a face and asking if this was ‘normal’ really didn’t help with the whole situation. I would like peace please and a cup of tea. Yes, throughout my whole birth last time you put me ‘nil by mouth’ this time, I would like a cup of tea, some music and even a little quiet space where I can focus.

I understand you do what is needed for me & our baby, but I must stress that this time I am in control. I have had the amazing support from a group of twitter users whom I would be lost without. I know what can and can’t happen and that actually I have choices that I am allowed to exercise. I want a healthy happy baby and I also deserve to be treated with respect. This is my body, and not up for ‘grabs’ by every surgeon, nurse, midwife on the ward. I am in control this time and I will listen to what it says and act accordingly.

Once baby is out, I would appreciate some privacy too. Please don’t force breast feeding on me. I do wish to breastfeed, but 3-4 of you coming round every 20 minutes makes me want to throw whatever I have at you. Together myself, my husband and my baby will get the hang of it. Leave us in peace to learn together how to become a family, in calmness and in love.

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Mental Health Image

When I had my lovely little bundle of love (Jazzy) I already was aware I might suffer from depression. In fact most of my teenage years involved hospitals, psychologists and psychotherapists, but i wasn’t prepared for the fear that I experienced when having Jasper. The fear that someone was going to snatch him. I was convinced someone would steal him and that even came down to believing my lovely hubby would do this too. Leaving him alone at any point was not an option, and people trying to touch him made this worse. It’s been 2 years, 11 months and whilst I am about 80% better, my fear of him being snatched has never gone away.

I still get anxious leaving him, and hate a change in routine. Knowing what’s happening every day calms me and who he is with. Changing a routine, moving days and anyone coming into contact with him that I didn’t know about sends me into a fury of rage vs protection. I hate strangers talking to him & would spend every day, every weekend locked in a house if I could (yes I know I can’t). But on the outside would you know this? Probably not. Learning to cope has to be an option and I guess will always be apart of my life.

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My familySo, im a mummy and every mummy will be nodding her head now (well, hopefully anyway) and that means never having any, yes any ‘you’ time. I would settle for a wee in peace, or even alone (Jazzy likes to come in and sit watching me, always handy). But i love being a mum and never realised suddenly i would loose my identity. I feel like my hubby has remained the same (maybe as he was a dad already?) but i am totally  ’mum.’

I have a fab bunch of friends, those that i really and truly trust, and always make time for me as ‘Rachael’ when Jasper is with us (im never without him) but i wonder what i would have been doing the last 2 years if Jazzy hadnt come along? I still like to sing, dance and music in general, and i love being out in the sunshine and the wild world; i love travelling and meeting new people and working all the hours god sends…but now, i work, clean, cook, provide, kiss, cuddle and look after! Some times i dont recognise the ‘mum’ in the mirror anymore?

Sorry for the drissly note, just wondered how mums retain a little bit of them? How do mums still have a secret slice of them inside? xxx

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