28 December 2014

Aria's Six Month Update

Happy half birthday to my little Poppins!
This has been such an exciting month and looking back at Aria's five month update, I definitely feel like the struggles we had have dramatically improved!

  • We celebrated Aria's first Christmas! (separate magical blog post here!)
  • Aria has almost mastered sitting up.
  • She can now pull herself to stand up in her rocker/walker.
  • She is definitely trying to crawl, but a lot more coordination is required!
I am so happy to say that Aria is sleeping soooo much better now! It may be a mixture of being in her own room, or not being dependent on the dummy anymore, but whatever it is, it's working! She will go down around 6:45/7:00 and is asleep within around 15 minutes. We will feed her between 10:00 and 11:00 when she usually stirs, and then that is her until the morning! There have been the odd night where she is up at 3:00 grunting away (we think just teething) but giving her a dummy usually just soothes her back to sleep until the morning, which is anywhere between 6:30 and 7:30.
We are well into weaning now and it is going great! Aria is definitely like her mummy and daddy, and is going to be a right foodie! So far, there hasn't been anything she doesn't like! ...this even includes a slice of lemon we gave her today, haha.

She has three meals a day and still has 4/5 bottles, although her interest in milk has definitely decreased. I'm not too worried about this, but it is something I will mention when see my Health Visitor in the New Year.
Aria has dropped down to three naps a day as she is staying awake much longer now. She will have a nap around 9:00, 1:00 and 4:00 and usually only for 30 minutes. Our bedtime routine hasn't changed other than it being a lot easier - something we are very grateful for!
We got Aria weighed a few weeks ago and was 14lb 14oz! She's dropped ever so slightly under the 50th percentile, but we were told it's nothing to be concerned about as it's just due to her having a new diet, and that the amount of weight babies gain slows down around 5/6 months.

We are in the middle of sorting Aria's 6-9 month clothes and packing away what 3-6 doesn't fit anymore. She's got that much for Christmas, I doubt I'm going to need to go shopping for clothes anytime soon! Although I can bet there'll be a few sneaky purchases in the Christmas sales.... can you blame me?!
And that is it for our six month update! It's scary to think how quickly the next six months will go... our baby will be 1 before we know it!

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26 December 2014

Aria's First Christmas

Merry Christmas Everyone!

We could not have asked for a more magical day celebrating Aria's first Christmas. She was absolutely spoiled rotten not only by Santa, but our wonderful friends and family.
Santa was very good to me too! :)

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

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22 December 2014

Counting Down to Christmas with Mamas & Papas

Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without some kind of countdown. Whether it be an advent calendar, an advent candle (does anyone else still get these?!) or a decoration, we all love the excitement and build-up as Christmas becomes one sleep closer...
The Mamas & Papas countdown chalkboard is a great addition to any home over the festive period. They have such a great Christmas range in store at the moment that it's hard not to go a little crazy! But the chalkboard has to be my favourite.

It is made of such lovely quality, and its a great size to hang anywhere!

It's Aria's first Christmas so we want to make it a little tradition that when she is big enough, she can write on how many sleeps it is until the big man arrives. But until then, she can just sit pretty and pose with it!

Do you have any Christmas traditions you love to do with your kids?

*We were very kindly sent this Mamas & Papas Christmas decoration to review. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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18 December 2014

Review | Nonabox November

Another Nonabox, another happy mummy!

This is the second box I've received (read last months review here) and yet again I have absolutely loved what is inside. As well as some wonderful things for Aria, there have been a few treats for me too.
 If you haven't heard of Nonabox before, they offer a monthly subscription for mums to-be, and mothers and their babies up to the age of two years. Each box is tailored to you and your baby, using the best-loved brands out there.
What's inside?
Gumigem teething necklace
Ella's kitchen pouch
Lindt chocolates
Mumkind nutrition bar
Sleepytot baby comforter
Yoomi 5oz bottle

The Lindt chocolates are definitely one of my favorite things we received this month, for obvious reasons! But another thing I've really loved is the teething necklace. Aria is well into the 'grabbing everything possible' stage, especially at my hair and jewellery, so having something that I can wear around my neck that she can happily chew away on is great, and it actually looks really good on too! it doesn't just look like a teething ring stuck around your neck.

We are big fans of Ella's kitchen, so receiving one of their pouches just added to our growing cupboard fully. They are great if you are on the go or don't have time to whip up a meal, so I would highly recommend these if you haven't already tried them.

As with last month, we have really loved the content of this box. It has been lovely to receive a couple of bits for me as well as Aria, and I can't wait to see what we get next month!
To get your hands on one of these lovely subscription boxes, click here!

Thanks for reading

Nicola x


17 December 2014

The Perfect Mince Pie

One of my favourite things about Christmas has to be mince pies, and there is one man that takes them to a complete new level, and that is Jamie Oliver!
The mix of filo and puff pastry add such a lovely, light twist to the traditional mince pie, and go perfect with a hearty dollop of brandy cream.

They go down an absolute treat in our house at Christmas time, and are so easy to make. I'm going to pop a link to his website here if you fancy making these beauties!


13 December 2014

Weaning Made Easy with Spuni

Have you ever looked at your baby mid-feed and thought 'how much of that was actually eaten rather than smeared all over their face?'. It's a debate I have daily...

I found that when I started weaning Aria, although she loved trying new foods, that I was scraping it off the spoon into her mouth rather than her taking it off the spoon herself.

That was until we tried using the Spuni. In case you haven't heard of this little gem, the Spuni is an adaptation of the every day spoon we know and love, designed to improve the feeding experience for babies as they move onto the world of solids.
The idea is that with the patented tulip design, your baby learns to suck and swallow the food from the spoon, almost by latching on to it. By doing so, your baby learns to take the food from the spoon with ease, which means less mess!

From the moment we started using the Spuni, our weaning journey has become incredibly easy. Aria was never one for taking anything with texture, and would let the food literally fall out of her mouth if she didn't like the feel of it on her tongue. Now, she will happily try anything and everything with delight, and lights up with excitement when she sees the spoon heading her way!
The amount of food that used to end up not only all over her clothes, but on her nose, forehead and hair has dramatically changed. Because she can suck the food off the spoon, she's barely wasting a drop! She even likes to try feed herself now - such an independent little miss already...
The Spuni makes meal times so much more enjoyable for both of us, and I think should be a staple in every parents kitchen!

The Spuni is available to purchase from www.shnuggle.co.uk.

Thanks for reading


*The Spuni was kindly sent to us to review, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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10 December 2014

My Top 5 First-Stage Weaning Recipes

As we are getting further into our weaning journey, I am becoming more adventurous with the purées I give Aria, and thought I would share with you my top 5 purées, tried and tested by little miss Aria herself! 

Peach and Banana. 
Super easy and super sweet, your little one is guaranteed to love the blend of smooth peach and textured banana. 

Place a peach into a pan of boiling water for around 10 minutes, until the skin naturally starts to peel away. Then, plunge into a bowl of cool water and remove any remaining skin. Remove from the water and the flesh should easily pull away from the stone, where you can then purée until smooth. Mix this with half a mashed banana and it is ready to go. Makes 2 portions. 
Red Pepper and Apple. 
Another sweet treat, full of strong flavours.

Remove the seeds fro one red pepper, quarter and place under the grill skin facing upward, to blacken. Once taken out of the grill place the peppers in a plastic bag to cool, and then remove the blackened skin. Remove the skin and chop one apple and place in boiling water for approximately 10 minutes. Purée the two together using some of the water from boiling the apple. Makes 4 portions.
Broccoli and Courgette. 
Not as exciting of a purée, but the broccoli gives your little one a feel for some different textures, and mixed with the slightest bit of cheese it makes for a great introduction to those dreaded greens!

Chop the head of one small broccoli, avoiding the stalk and place boil for 20 minutes. Chop the courgette and add to the pan 10 minutes later. The skin of a courgette is soft, so there is no need to peel. Once the veg is cooked, remove from the pan and purée using some of the cooking water. Makes 6 portions. 

Avocado and Banana. 
A simple, smooth blend that can be made and served in less than 5 minutes. 

Simply remove the flesh from half an avocado and mash with half a banana. This should be eaten soon after it is made as it will soon turn brown. Makes 1 portion. 
Sweet Potato, Broccoli and Cauliflower. 
The sweet potato adds a little sweetness to what can be a bit of a bland mixture for babies. 

Peel and chop a medium sized sweet potato and boil for five minutes. In a separate pan, boil the flourettes of one broccoli and cauliflower for 10 minutes, or until tender. Purée all three together with some cooking water. Makes 4 portions. 

And there you have it! I hope these gave you a little inspiration for some first tastes for your baby. Let me know if you try any of these out, or if you have a favourite recipe you want to share! 

Nicola x


4 December 2014

Review | CYBEX Aton Q Car Seat

There is a very good reason why the CYBEX Aton Q is the choice for celebrities such as Simon Cowell and Gisele!
Taken from their website... 'CYBEX offers car seats, baby carriers and strollers that are not only safe but perfectly adapt to urban lifestyles.'

Their products are both stylish and safety conscious, and the Aton Q is a great example of both.

The Look
Aside from the unique design and safety features, it comes in a huge selection of different colours. From the adventurous Autumn Gold and Hot & Spicy to the sleek Black Beauty, there is a design and look to suit everyone's tastes.

The Design & Comfort
Using a new function, developed from a vast amount of research from medical specialists and midwives, the Aton Q has an adaptable headrest, which enables the flattest lying angle between head, neck and chest, which is ideal for both newborns and premature babies.

The headrest can be lifted gradually as the baby grows, offering more room and more comfort. With the 8-position headrest, the harness automatically adjusts, preventing the difficult and awkward threading of the straps as your baby grows.

The large sun canopy provides UVP sun protection of 50+ and is so large that it completely covers your baby, providing complete shade from those harmful rays.

Weighing 4.6kg, the car seat is a little on the heavy side. It isn't ideal for carrying around for long periods of time, but it does show how sturdy the car seat is, and the high quality of the materials used.

The Safety Features
As well as the adaptable headrest and sun protecting canopy, one of the most incredible safety features of the Aton Q is the Telescopic LSP (Linear Side Protection) System. The extended side protectors are easily adjusted, and are designed to absorb the force of an impact and channel it away from the baby.

My Opinions!
Having used this car seat for a couple of months now, I would absolutely recommend this to anyone!

I love how the car seat is adaptable to the pram frame (we have the Mamas & Papas Urbo2, which I did a rave review on here!). There is a list of compatible prams on their website.

Putting Aria in it for the first time, I could see just how comfortable she looked. The headrest was so snug around her, without being restricting, and the extra wide harness straps snuggled her in and looked so comfortably placed on her. It makes traveling an absolute dream!

Thanks for reading

Nicola x

CYBEX stocklist details: cybex-online.com and available in major nursery retailers.
Autumn Gold Aton Q (with Isofix Base) £229

*we were sent the CYBEX Aton Q to review, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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