30 September 2014

Review | Tesco Loves Baby Nappies*

The battle of the brands when it comes to baby products is by far the biggest out there, each claiming to be the best for your little one... So which to chose?

When the lovely people at Tesco asked if I would like to review some bits from their Tesco Loves Baby range, I jumped at the chance! I've heard a lot of good things about this range, so I was really excited when they sent over a pack of their nappies and baby wipes (the things that get us mums all giddy, ey!)

 

Tesco Loves Baby Ultra Dry Nappies
  • The Design
The pattern on these are super pretty. However, having a design on the front and back did get me a little muddled at first... Silly mummy ended up putting the first nappy on backwards! But after a quick switch we were good to go. 

Compared to the nappies we were using previously, these actually feel a lot softer! They aren't as bulky under Aria's clothes too, so they make moving around a lot easier for her. 

  • The Lasting Power
I was slightly worried that Aria would need changed a lot more frequently on these, but I was pleasantly surprised! The nappy absorbed the wetness really well without feeling heavy or bulky... That goes for any 'bigger business' too!

For a night-time, they last just as well as any other brand. There were no leakages and they don't feel bulky in the slightest. 
 

Overall, I would happily purchase the Tesco Loves Baby nappies, they are just as good as any larger brand out there and a fraction of the price!
 
I have tried out several other items from the Tesco Loves Baby range and can highly recommend the range to anyone looking for a slightly cheaper brand, without having to compromise on quality.


Have you tried out any of the Tesco Loves Baby range?


Thanks for reading!

Nicola x
 

 
*Tesco Loves Baby kindly sent us these nappies to review, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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28 September 2014

Aria's Three Month Update

Three months?! I say it every month, where does the time go?

I feel like the three month mark is a big time for babies, as they are finally embracing the world around them and love having so much to explore. Aria has certainly been taking full advantage of all the new skills she has learned!


Firstly, as usual, a little update on mummy....

Every week I feel like my confidence is growing. Aria and I have our little routine in place, which makes the day run so much smoother. The interrupted sleep isn't an issue anymore (apart from during growth spurts... argh!) and I'm no longer feeling so exhausted.

I have had a bit of a 'low' mood the last couple of weeks, which is pretty much down to needing a bit of a mummy-revamp. I've been and got my hair done (finally!) and treated myself to a couple of new outfits, which work better with my lifestyle now that I'm a mummy. I did a little post on this last week, which you can see here.


And now onto this little beaut!



Weight
We had Aria weighed a couple of weeks ago (she gets weighed the first Wednesday of each month) and was a lovely 11lb 11oz! She's gaining weight at a lovely pace and she's getting those gorgeous little chunky baby thighs I absolutely love :)

Routine
Having a routine makes a world of difference! It makes trips out the house so much easier, and we can plan and organise our day without too many hiccups.

Aria usually wakes arounf 6:30/7:00 and will have her first bottle about half an hour after she wakes up. She will feed every 3/4 hours until bedtime, which is usually 7:30 after she's had her bath.

Sleeping
We've been practicing putting Aria down when she is tired, but not asleep, rather than us rocking her to sleep. After a couple of weeks we've now perfected this, and she goes down with hardly any crying! We do have to pop the dummy in a couple of times before she drifts off, but at least she is learning to get herself to sleep.

This has meant less waking during the night, and she will usually sleep 7/8 hours before wanting a feed - sometimes she even goes right through the night!

Feeding
Aria will take 5/6 bottles a day, and usually has 5oz for her first and last feed, and one around lunchtime. Any feeds in between she will take 4oz. I'm hoping to get her onto 6oz by next month, which I don't think will be an issue as there are times where she is looking for more after her bottle is finished!

She's really into holding her bottle while she is feeding now, which is super cute! I don't think it will be long before she is wanting to do it all by herself.

Size
We are now into Aria's 3-6 month clothes and my gosh, she's got more outfits than I think I can get her into!

Milestones
The biggest milestone happened just yesterday, one day before Aria turned three months old... she rolled over!! I couldn't have been prouder of her, she did it with no help at all and my gosh, was she pleased with herself after!

We didn't catch the very first one on camera, but we managed to get her to do it again and luckily I had the camera out ready to capture such a huge milestone! Take a look at my Instagram to see the video!
 
Aria is still obsessed with her hands. If they are not being shoved into her mouth, they are grabbing hold of any toy she can find! She loves to hold her own hands too, and plays with them in total amazement.

 

I'm already excited to write next month's update, as we have a lot going on! We've got a family trip to Centre Parcs, as well as a night away at Rockcliffe Hall, and not to mention it's Halloween! I can't wait to show you Aria's costume, she's gonna look adorable!


Thanks for reading

Nicola xx
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24 September 2014

An Afternoon with Daddy

'They'll be fine, it's only for a few hours'... 

Leaving Aria at any time is always stressful for me, even when it's with her daddy .However, I was off to get my hair done for a well deserved pamper, while she and daddy had some bonding time.

It's not that I think he can't handle it, he's an incredible daddy and Aria simply adores him, but I'm a very organised person where he is more laid back, and this stresses me!

So before I left for town, I wrote down Aria's routine, along with what to do when she cries at certain times. I wasn't being patronising in any way, it was more of a 'cheats guide' of how and what to do if she starts to get a bit grizzly. Thankfully, he was so grateful for this! And with me feeling reassured, off I went...

It didn't take long for me to relax, and while I sat with my rare hot cup of coffee, magazine in hand and treatment in my hair, I resisted calling to see how they were.

An hour and a half later I was out the salon feeling like a new woman! I felt calm, relaxed, and as if I spent a whole weekend being pampered. So I decided to call Tom, just to make sure everything was OK and to let him know I was on my way home. There was no answer... My calm and collected mood shifted back into stressed mummy mode...

After rushing around the shops picking up the bits I needed, I headed home in a slight state of panic.

I walked in to find the house not only in one piece, but actually tidier than when I left! Aria was sound asleep and had been as good as gold :).  

Maybe I should go out more often :)

And as for the hair - check out my Instagram for a picture!

Thanks for reading

Nicola xx
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21 September 2014

Time for a Change

 

I always knew the time would come when I became a mum, I would undergo some sort of identity crisis.
 
That has been me this week. I've slightly fallen out of love with myself, and feel like I need to make some changes in my life.
 
I feel like these are more physical than mental. I've adjusted so well to becoming a mum, and my outlook on life has definitely changed since having Aria. However, I feel like my physical appearance doesn't match who I am now.
 
My hips are a little bigger... my tummy is a little wobblier... that's fine. But my style is definitely in a little bit of limbo. I no longer have the time to style my hair how I would usually, meaning it's always thrown into a messy bun, and I don't feel like I can wear 'fashionable' clothes unless they prove somewhat practical and can easily disguise any signs of baby sick or drool.
 
So what to do? Well, I've had a full clear out of my wardrobe, to remove anything that no longer feels like 'me'. I've also decided to treat myself to some nice new underwear (just because I'm a mum doesn't mean I can't add a little oomph to my undies!!) as well as some practical 'about the house' clothes that don't make me ashamed to open the door to the postman! ...If Kim K can look fabulous in loungewear, why can't I?! Haha.
 
I've also booked to have my hair done this week, hopefully for a new style that will bring back my confidence. My hairdresser kindly gave me a voucher to his salon as a 'mummy' present when Aria was born, so I'm finally taking advantage of a good pamper!
 
 
Did you go through this kind of change when becoming a new mum?
 
Nicola x

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15 September 2014

Tesco Baby & Toddler Event 9 - 22nd September*

I'm so excited that the Tesco Baby & Toddler Event is back!



Any parent will tell that babies do not come cheap! Those little bambino's can certainly put a dent in your purse, so when I heard the Tesco Baby & Toddler Event was back I jumped at the chance to stock up on some essentials. 

The Tesco Baby & Toddler Event is on 9th - 22nd September in store and online, with great offers on a wide range of essentials, including Buy One Get One Free on Pampers Essential Nappy Packs. As well as amazing savings on nappies, wipes, food and toiletries, parents can also save money on healthcare products, car seats, travel cots and more. 

But that's not all that is on offer! Tesco Baby Club is also offering one lucky family the chance to drive away a new Peugeot 2008 Crossover in their exclusive prize draw, courtesy of Peugeot - the ideal family car for getting to and from all your adventures like nursery, your weekly shop or a family day out... How exciting?!

For more information on the Tesco Baby & Toddler Event, and to find out more about Tesco’s fantastic competition, please visit www.tesco.com/babyclub and follow @TescoBabyClub on Twitter.



*PR collaboration
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11 September 2014

Review | Mamas & Papas Urbo2 Pram


Choosing a pram is certainly no easy task! We are completely spoiled for choice and each claim to be 'the best'. Hopefully this review will make that big decision a little bit easier for you...

Our first pram was unfortunately a poor choice for us. Aria quickly grew out of the bassinet and the pushchair was front facing - something I don't think is suitable for a baby under a year old (that's just my opinion!). There were several other factors that lead to our hatred of said pram, so we went on a detailed and thorough search for something that would last us a lot longer than three months. 

We finally settled on the Mamas & Papas Urbo2, and by gosh, what a little gem this thing is! 

First of all, it's stunning. It comes in a variation of colours - we chose Camel, which has a camel hood, charcoal base and brown leather handles... Gorgeous I know! We also chose the camel and navy cold weather plus footmuff to go with it.

One of the main factors that made the Urbo2 the pram for us, is that the seat can face either direction, and can be changed at the slightest of ease. The seat is height adjustable, so can lie completely flat, sit at a slight angle or completely upright.



The pram itself is as light as a feather. It feels completely weightless and it's so easy to manoeuvre. There's a wrist strap attached to the handles which makes steering one handed a doddle. Perfect if like me, you love to go on a stroll with a coffee to go! Not as easy as it sounds with a pram, but the Urbo2 makes multitasking a piece of cake. The suspension is fantastic too, which means that I don't have to lift the pram when mounting a kerb, it simply glides over with minimal disruption if Aria is asleep. 

The hood lifts so that it completely covers your little one, which is ideal on a wet or windy day (it also comes with a rain cover). There's a flap at the top which acts as a little peep hole, should you want to check on them when covered over. It also has a zip at the back to let in air on a hot day if just using as a shade.

Another great feature of the Urbo2is that in the adjustable foot of the seat, there's a hidden pocket which has a mesh net that pulls right over the pram to act as a barrier from any pesky little insects! Perfect if taking on your travels. 

Speaking of travels, the pram collapses in a way I never knew possible! The seat completely detaches and the frame folds completely flat - ideal for a small car or if lacking storage space.


If you can't tell already, I am absolutely in love with the Urbo2! I can't find anything to fault, which says a lot. We didn't purchase them, but there's also a bassinet that fits the frame, as well as adaptors for multiple car seats - perfect if just nipping in and out of the car and don't want to go through the trouble or transferring your baby from the car seat to the pram. 


I hope this review has been useful if you have been considering the Mamas & Papas Urbo2. I cannot recommend it enough! 

Thanks for reading

Nicola xx

Baby Brain Memoirs
We purchased the Mamas & Papas Urbo2 with our own money, and all thoughts and opinions are my own. 
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4 September 2014

My Breastfeeding Story: Making a Hard Decision

Not long after I wrote my last breastfeeding update, Tom and I had a good chat about whether I should continue to breastfeed or not.

After the Health Visitor weighed Aria at 7 1/2 weeks, she wasn't gaining weight at the same pace she had been previously. We think this was due to me producing less milk for her through the day, as she was taking a bottle at night.

We were advised to alternate feeds, as well as upping my calorie intake to make sure I was producing as much as possible. After trying this for a few days, Aria still seemed quite unsettled after a feed, and would only go about 1 1/2 to 2 hours before wanting fed again. This cycle lead to the decision for me to give up breastfeeding, and soley bottle feed Aria. 

This felt like a really difficult decision, as I didn't really want to give up breastfeeding just yet, but I will obviously do whatever is best for Aria.



Three weeks on and Aria is thriving. She was weighed again today and is now 11lb 11oz! So since her last check she has gained almost 1lb - result!

She isn't taking as much formula as a baby that was bottle fed from the start, but she is doing really well and on the odd occasion has taken 5oz! Each day gets better and she is starting to take at least 3.5oz at a time. 

We've a long way to go still, but switching to bottle feeding has been a great decision for us as a family. Tom gets to help so much more with the feeds, and even Gran got to feed her for the first time! A very special moment for them. 



If you switched from breast to bottle feeding, how did you find the transition?

Thanks for reading 

Nicola x

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"I Don't Make Any Rules, I Go With The Flow"

Quoting the ever appropriately titled movie, Basic Instinct. I'm applying the quote to my basic instincts as a mother.

Aria is pretty much in a routine of her own now, and isn't far off the guide given in the highly rated baby books - I won't name names, for the reasons that follow. 

I have loved reading these books, as they provide a plan of what a 'structured' day should look like. However, I refuse to take the advice that the routine should be followed 'to the letter', as they constantly reiterate. 

Aria went down for her morning nap at 8:00 (an hour earlier than the suggested time). It's now 9:30 and I can feel the author hissing and cracking out her whip, as she should be down no longer than 45 minutes... She's clearly tired and needs a longer sleep today, so why wake her up?! All I'll get is a cranky baby, and who wants that?

My view on these books is that they are to be taken however you like. They are not to be followed 'to the letter', and you should take hints and tips where you feel they will fit into your baby's own routine. 

I've found them great for helping to settle Aria at night, telling me how her screams are actually her 'crying down' and I should leave her to try settle herself. This has been a life saver, and saved us a good hour pacing the floor with her to settle her for the night. There is tonnes of advice that I've been able to apply to our routine, rather than changing it to fit theirs. 

The point in this post is not to follow the rules, go with the flow. Your baby will let you know when he/she is tired, hungry, or just wants a cuddle. You'll fall into a pattern that works for you. Don't worry what the book baby is doing, the baby next door, or the babies in your favourite blogs. They each write their own book, so don't worry about following the one on the shelf. 

Thanks for reading. 

Nicola x

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