How to remember your breastfeeding journey…

20 months and counting! A beautiful whirlwind journey of sleepless nights and comfort sucking and we’re still going strong. I have absolutley no idea when we’ll stop, when we’ll finally end this special bond that only we will ever share but at the moment I’m in no rush, also I have absolutely no idea how to get the little milk monster off me.

A lot of women like myself look for ways to remember their nursing journey, all the trials and tribulations, every precious moment they’ve shared with their child and nowadays we’re lucky enough to be able to have something created that will always symbolise and remind us of that special relationship. The wonderful, fairly new fashion of breast milk jewllery.

Breast Milk Jewellery

When I’ve told people about the process and the jewellery many have been confused. Simply put, your milk is mixed into the material used to create the pieces and you’re left with a beautiful reminder of the first few months or years that you shared with your baby.

There are many options, necklaces, rings, beads, pendants, bracelets; but the important thing is that you find a company that truly cares about preserving your experience and works with you to create something beautiful.

Eternally Cherished UK

I was lucky enough to be sent a beautifully designed necklace and ring which were uniquely designed for me by UK based company Eternally Cherished. When browsing the website I was extremely happy to find that the products were very reasonably priced and all absolutely stunning. The owner is a breast feeding mummy, just like me, and made it clear from the start that she understood how special this was to me.

The process was all very easy and very quick. I was sent a vial to fill with milk and send back so that they could quickly get to work on my set. Each piece is uniquely designed for the buyer and it’s clear that a lot of thought and effort went into creating the pieces.

I am so happy with the final products and never take them off, even Noa loves playing with the pendant as she sits there feeding and man handling my boobs. If you’re looking for a special reminder of your breastfeeding journey with your little one, I cannot recommend Eternally Cherished enough.

www.eternallycherished.co.uk

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The real reason I probably won’t have more children- Anxiety sucks!

When are you having another baby? The typical question every mum is faced with in the first year of parenthood. This isn’t necessarily a bad question or an insulting one, it’s a little shocking when your baby is 2 months old and your stitches are still healing but nontetheless, a fair enough question.

The problem isn’t really the question but the fact that many people are always surprised by my answer… I don’t know if I’ll have another one. I’ve never fully explained my reasoning (except for the fact that I can barely keep up with one Noa, let alone two) but If I’m being honest, that’s not the whole truth.

I have spent the past 16 months barely sleeping, having anxiety attacks, terrified my daughter was going to die of herpes, scared something would fall on her from a balcony, fighting the urge to quit my job and not be able to pay the mortgage because I can’t cope with leaving her with anyone else as well as every other possible fear you could have. The truth is, I don’t think I could deal with this level of anxiety again, and worse, twice over. Even before Noa was born I had the most wonderful, special and absolutely terrifying 9 months of my life; constantly worried my unborn child would die, crying myself to sleep at times because I was scared something would happen to her.

Keeping a baby safe, and then a child safe and then a teenager safe is so hard. When Noa was 3 months old I was awoken by her crying because a pillow had fallen on her face and I still can’t stop thinking about the fact that she could have died that night. I honest to god don’t think I could cope with this incredible yet terrifying journey again. It’s been beautiful and I’m sure it’s the reason I was put on this plantet but once is enough. This level of stress and fear again may kill me.

Second to all that, my anxiety constantly reminds me of the fact that pregnancy and childbirth isn’t safe. What if something goes wrong? What if the baby dies? What if I die? I can’t leave Noa, I need to be here for her. That innate fear, that terrifying notion that giving birth to another child could take me away from my beautiful baby is enough to stop me from ever getting pregnant again. I need to be here, to watch her grow, to hold her hand and take her to school on her first day, to cuddle her after that first break up, to walk her down the aisle at her wedding and to be here for every other beautiful or turbulent moment of her life. I can’t take the risk, I just can’t.

Ive honestly always struggled with the idea of death. As a child I would cry myself to sleep because I was scared of my mum dying, a fear I still hold and will never get rid of. Now with Noa, my beautiful Noa, a child that I can’t possibly deserve, I just cant risk not being here because if I do get pregnant and have another baby,  the stress and anxiety of having to keep 2 children away from people’s mouths, germs, balconies, scaffoldings, ladders and anything pointy will sure enough kill me.

Having said all that, if Noa asks for a brother or sister we may well have to think about trying. Hopefully she’ll just ask for a puppy.

Lauren x

 

 

 

BLW- Using an Open Cup

One thing that comes hand in hand with Baby Led Weaning (Or general weaning) is your little ones ability to drink from a beaker or cup alone. The best thing is to try and get a baby off a bottle as soon as possible as drinking from a beaker and especially an open cup is much better for their teeth. 

Most teats and bottle use isn’t great for babies developing teeth (although many today are designed in a more tooth friendly way and in association with orthodontic organisations), the sooner you can get your bubba using a beaker or cup the better.

Baby Cup Hello! (4m+)

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We were lucky enough to be able to try these amazing little cups that are perfect for little hands! Noa was good with beakers from about 6 months but couldn’t really grasp using an open cup.

These little BPA free cups are the size of shot glasses (so handy for a girl’s night in too LOL) and excellent for teaching your little one how to use a cup. At first it can be a little messy, I had to change my trousers countless times and mop the floor constantly the first few days, but after a while Noa got the hang of it and learnt to control her over energetic hands. 

The best thing is, separate to the fact that they don’t affect the development of Noa’s teeth, is that she feels like a little grown up when she uses them. She looks so accomplished and demands applause every time she takes a sip.

Honestly this is a wonderfully designed product that goes hand in hand with teaching your little one to feed themselves; I couldn’t recommend it more (along with a spare pair of trousers).

 

How to transition from a bottle.

Like all things the best way to get your little one comfy with a cup is to let them learn at their own speed. Offer it to them every day, little by little, and never force them to use it if they’re uncomfortable. It’s a gradual process just like all stages of weaning and can be achieved just by simply leaving the cup with a bit of water on their table, letting them pick it up and cover themselves in water while you gently show them what it’s for will eventually work.

It’s likely that your baby has seen you drink from a cup and will already have some ideas on how to use it and it won’t take much doing for them to try and drink from it. If not, as I said, little by little, with a lot of patience and with the understanding that you’re going to get a little wet.

Happy Weaning

Lauren and Noa x

Bath Time Sensory Play with Zimplikids

Sensory Play

From when your little bubby is in your tummy their senses are working overtime. Being an English teacher and talking almost non stop for 4 hours a day I’m pretty sure Noa was excited to get a break from my voice when she finally popped out. Having said that the sound of my voice and the feel of my skin drew her to me from the moment they placed her in my arms, the smell of my milk helped her understand who I was and helped us to bond over the next 16 months.

The five senses are the way that our babies understand the world around them; bright coloured toys, tummy time, sticking things in their mouths to understand texture, the sound of a good crinkly book all help our little ones develop. There are great things you can do and make at home that aren’t costly and that your little one will love like bottles filled with colourful liquids, rice, beans or nuts. You can make jelly and let them play with it and have fun with the texture. You can literally make use of every day objects in the most wonderful ways to let your baby experience the world in a different way.

Bath time sensory play with slime!

We were kindly sent some amazing products from Zimplikids that have made bath time in our house a whole new experience. The product turns your bath water into slime or jelly (depending on which one you choose to use).

As the slime (SlimeBaff) can be slippery and Noa is still a little diddy I put it into a baby bath that we had in storage and she went mad! She loved the feel of the slime and sat there for ages discovering the new texture. Eventually she got so excited I had to stick her in the tub and she loved the feel of the slime on her skin. You can make the Slime up in a sink, pan or any other container and let your little one go mad.

The GelliBaff was even better! I put her in the bathtub immersed in bright pink Jelly and she sat there for a good hour. I hid her bath toys and cups under the Jelly and she had so much fun sticking her hands in and searching around for her toys (her dad had a lot of fun too).

Honestly these products are wonderful sensory tools for your little one as long as you supervise them at all times. The bright colours and textures help stimulate touch and sight and they’re just full of fun.

Even if you don’t have a little one and just want to occupy your other half for hours so you can relax in front of the TV, I highly recomment this prodcut. It’s fun for all the family with great developmental benefits for little ones.

Next stop… Zimplikids Snowballs!!!

Get yours here: www.amazon.co.uk/ZIMPLI-KIDS-LIMITED-Slime-Green-150g/dp/B012BP34TU

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Baby Skin Care

So the winter months are upon us which means cold fingers, red noses and worst of all: dry skin. I have so many skin problems myself that I’m so crazy over the top about the products I use on Noa being sensitive and free of all things unnatural. Ironically my skin care routine has gone out the window and psoriasis has taken over as I have little time to slather myself in creams (considering I wash my hair bent over the bath tub whilst holding a wriggly 15 month old with the other hand) and breast feeding means no topical ointments. Noa on the other hand has a very regulated skin care routine which could put the Kardashians to shame. 

Harry and Rose products

We were lucky enough to be sent some lush moisturiser from Harry and Rose which has now become one of our go to products. I love it so much I’m planning on getting it sent over to Spain in bulk. 

The cream smells beautiful and fresh (coming from the gorgeous mix of coconut, calendula, chamomile, aloe ver and coconut seed), is hypoallergenic and most importantly safe for sensitive skin. Noa doesn’t actually have sensitive skin but I would much rather use a product which is kind to sensitive babies as you can be sure it has nothing irritating in it. 

H and R products are free from all things naughty and are just full of goodness; my favourite thing being that they leave the skin soft and smooth instead of greasy.

We were also sent the NAPPY SPRAY and as weird as it sounds, I love it so much it excites me! #mumlife! The smell completely masks any yucky bum bum odours that 50 wet wipes can’t erase and the funniest thing is when Noa asks to have her bum sprayed after a nappy change. We’ve had no problems with irritation since using it and are extremely happy with Noa’s lovely soft, flowery smelling bum. 

Moisturiseee!

Every morning and every night (including after bath times) I massage Noa with body cream from top to toe. I make sure to move all her limbs and stretch her body to keep her joints supple and her movement as flexible as possible. As we grow older our mobility and flexibility decreases so it’s extremely important at this point in time to keep a baby as nimble as you can by massaging In small circular motions and flexing the joints. 

I massage the lotion into her feet and hands as well, which she then proceeds to lick off in 0.2 seconds flat in what seems to have become some kind of fun game. I also apply a baby face cream from BABE as I have this thing about using body cream on the face, cannn’t do it!

After spraying Noa’s teeny behind with Nappy spray and dressing her she then rolls around on my wooden flooring working extremely hard to cover as much of the floor as possible with her newly applied cream. You would have thought this would have stopped when she learnt to walk and stopped crawling… you would be wrong.

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Tips

.Do not bathe a baby daily as it dries out their skin and really, how dirty can they get in 24 hours

. Cut nails after a bath because this is when they’re softest and easiest to cut

. Always dry well after a bath, in all those chunky folds and between toes – damp causes rashes 

. Powder is BAD and does more damage than good

. Rashes are part and parcel of baby life but look out for rashes or skin irritation that could be signs of infection or underlying skin problems. 

Baby skin care is extremely important. Use good creams for sensitive skin and take the time to apply them well and on a daily basis to keep skin supple and joints flexible. (And maybe invest in some carpeting, and if not, a really good mop)

Lauren xx

Baby wearing : what you want to know

From the moment my child was born she’s hated sleeping alone, lying in a pram or being away from me, so the first few months of motherhood left me with anxiety just trying to leave the house. Honestly I would have to spend an hour rocking Noa to sleep just to lay her down in the pram and for her to wake up screaming as I left my front door. I literally was about to give up on life and seeing the outside world until I decided to try a sling. Noa was tiny at birth and was too small for a normal carrier so I decided to give the Cuddle Bug sling a go and it literally saved me from Insanity.

Slings- Cuddle Bug

The Cuddle Bug comes in a range of colours and comes with a little booklet that teaches you how to tie it in different ways. At first you tie the sling so the newborn has their little legs tucked in and are basically snuggled up against you like a teeny tiny bug. As they get bigger you tie it so that their legs hang in an M shape as they would with a normal carrier.

The sling was amazing. I loved using it and feeling Noa snuggled up to me in the cold winter months. I used the cuddle bug for travelling (as you may have seen in my previous post) as well as daily outings. I cannot recommend this sling enough. It’s comfortable and easy to use as well as the fact that it has the cutest name on the market.

One of the things I loved most about the sling was how easy it was to Breastfeed with it on. I would, for lack of a better phrase, pop my boob out, whack it in Noa’s mouth and continue my daily shop whilst breast feeding handsfree and well covered.

Carriers- Ergo baby

Recently I’ve started baby wearing again because of the fact that we’re in Basque Country monsoon season. It rains here non stop and I’ve found myself loving having Noa close to me again cuddled up under an Umbrella (it also makes it a lot easier to walk a very excitable Labrador). We’re now using the Ergo baby carrier again and even Noa gets excited when she sees it because she knows it’s time for an adventure. 

The carrier itself is beautiful and also comes in a range of designs! It’s easy to put on, warm and the way it fits around your back minimises any aches and pains that you’d normally get from carrying a little gremlin around. 

I was told by my midwife to stay clear of any carriers that face outward until the baby has full neck control because as you can probably imagine, if they don’t they’re going to end up with whiplash. Even now at 15 months I don’t really like the idea of forward facing because it’s not great for the neck or spine. You can find out all about the safest ways to baby wear both front facing and inward facing on the ergo baby Instagram and website but I would highly recommend the one we have which is the adapt (it does not allow for forward facing)

We’ve tried a few carriers with Noa but this one honestly is the best. The Ergo baby adapt which allows you to carry your bubba in different positions including on your back. It has a little cover that you can pull out to protect little heads and faces from the elements and is easily adjustable to the weight and height of a growing baby. I use this carrier on a daily basis now to venture out with my very active 15 month old who never sits still and she ends up half asleep cuddled up to me as we go out into the world to see the ducks and collect leaves together.

 

Safety Tips

Baby wearing is great but it is very important that you read ALL safety instructions before doing so. 

The most important thing is that the shape of your baby’s legs must be in an ‘M’ shape or they are at risk of hip dysplasia. The sling must be tied properly or if using a carrier it must be adjusted properly so that this position is achieved. 

In addition, please make sure that your baby is of the right weight and height for the way you tie the sling (newborns with feet tucked in) or for the adjustment of your carrier (they must be of a minimum weight).

It is really important that you don’t bend over when using a sling or carrier for obvious reasons. I remember reading that you basically shouldn’t do anything in a carrier or sling that you wouldn’t have done when you were pregnant. So keep that in mind when snuggled up to your bubba. 

Baby wearing is beautiful. It allows us to feel the warmth of our children and enjoy their babyhood in a way that a pram doesn’t let us. I have recently found a love for baby wearing again just as we were about to say goodbye to the sling and am so glad that I have because it’s once again allowing Noa and I to bond in a really special way.

I really hope you enjoy the closeness and warmth that baby wearing brings you the way I do and that you and your little one enjoy your adventures together as much as Noa and I do. 

Happy trails 

Lauren and Noa x

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An open letter to Grace Millane…

Dear Grace,

We are sorry. We are sorry that as a world we didn’t fight harder to keep you safe. 

I am sorry. I am sorry that as a woman I didn’t fight harder to keep you safe. 

You deserved to be able to go and find yourself and discover who you are and who you were meant to be. You did not deserve to be the victim of the brute strength and disgusting twisted mind of one man. It breaks my heart that your mum and dad are now sitting at home wishing that they hadn’t dropped you off at the airport, feeling regret for things that were not their fault, missing you and contemplating how to live a life without their beautiful daughter. 

I’m lying here next to my baby girl praying that I am able to keep her safe from the depravity of this world. Right now I don’t ever want to let her go. I don’t know how you felt in your last moments, what went through your head, what you saw and what the last thoughts that filled your head were but I know this, it was not your fault. 

If you chose to meet that boy, if you decided to get in a car with him because you thought he was cute or if you were just walking alone at night, it was not your fault. People are questioning why you were alone, a young girl travelling the world, and all I can say to them is that the only question they should be asking themselves is what is wrong with this world that a young, beautiful and intelligent girl can’t be free; free to live her life the way a man would.

Beautiful Grace, we are sorry. We will change. We are stronger now. We are strong mothers with strong daughters and we will fight. We are strong mothers with strong sons that we will teach. We will not let this keep happening because we understand now. They will not fight for our children and they will not fight for this world, so we must. We will show people that being a woman does not mean we don’t have the right to be free.

I am sorry 

Lauren x

Travelling with Tiny Tots

 NB- Babies under 7 days old can’t fly

So as my family are in the UK and we live in Spain I can safely say that Noa has flown more than some adults I know. Between travelling backwards and forwards from England and our holiday this summer she’s been in an airport and on a plane about 16 times. 

Once when she was about 10 weeks old she slept soundly from our home in Spain until we got to passport control at Gatwick sleeping in a sling or on my lap. Obviously now she’s older and constantly on red bull that doesn’t happen but she’s still a great flyer and I thought I’d share some tips about travelling to help out any first time baby flyers. 

Slings and Baby Carriers

(Great option for younger babies)

All I can say is INVEST! If your little one is happy to cuddle up to you in a sling or carrier then use it to your advantage. I was gifted the CUDDLE BUG sling and also bought the ERGO baby carrier and loved them both. I definitely preferred a sling for travelling though as it was light and snuggly, especially when she was a teeny newborn. 

Remember that push chairs and strollers are not given back to you when you get off the plane and are instead left at baggage claim. If you’re flying alone a carrier is great for helping you get around the airport and to baggage claim whilst holding hand luggage.  (DO NOT USE IT WHEN IN THE AIR)…

(Photo below was just before I had to somehow get Noa out of the sling whilst seated and get her strapped in before take off without waking her)

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 Get a lightweight stroller 

The hardcore buggies that we spend extortionate amounts of money on when pregnant and excited do not go well with travelling. They’re heavy and most of the time not easy to handle with one hand.

We invested in the Silvercross Pop which I’ve actually started using on a daily basis because I love it so much. You can control it with one hand easily whilst drinking a Starbucks, scoffing a sandwich and rolling your hand luggage through duty free (DISCLAIMER- THIS IS AN EXAGGERATION! PLEASE DON’T PUSH YOUR BABY AROUND THE AIRPORT WITH HOT COFFEE ABOVE THEIR HEAD- THIS IS NOT A GOOD IDEA) 

The best thing about the Silver Cross Pop is that it goes from directly upright all the way to a fully reclined position for napping. It’s the only stroller/ push chair Noa has slept in well. 

Travel Light

Do not pack things you don’t need. I always pack the minimum for myself and then make sure I’ve got everything for Noa  (lots of spare vests, pyjamas and clothes) because carrying hand luggage and suitcases whilst dealing with a baby can be hard. 

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PACK EXTRA CLOTHES IN YOUR HAND LUGGAGE IN CASE OF POO EXPLOSION EMERGENCIES- This is high on the list of most disgusting things that have ever happened to me as a mother (along with when Noa projectile pooed all over my bare chest in the middle of the night). Yes your baby may not normally need changing, yes they’re normally quite easy to clean; but believe me… you don’t want to be stuck in the air with a baby covered in poo and nothing to change them in to. THERE IS NO PLACE TO HIDE THAT LEVEL OF STINK WHEN YOU’RE THOUSANDS OF FEET IN THE AIR!

Have everything ready the day before!

Maybe when you were young and carefree and plane hopping to Ibiza, packing last minute whilst hungover and still smelling of the night before was pretty much the norm. 

Now it is essential to have everything done the night before because as you know, babies are temperamental and sometimes getting a passport into your handbag is a day’s work. Don’t leave things to the last minute (this includes planning bottles and baby food that you need to take) – KEEP THESE IN A SEPARATE BAG WITH LIQUIDS SO IT’S EASY TO GET THEM OUT AT SECURITY.

Feed whilst taking off (boob or bottle)

This is sound advice because the sucking helps to prevent your little ones ears from popping. Having said that Noa is fine taking off without anything and many babies are. But just in case, especially for younger babies, feeding whilst taking off is a good idea. 

Bring entertainment

Whatever toys, games or books your baby is currently obsessed with need to go in your hand luggage. If you’re one of those parents (like me) that lets your baby watch tv so you can have a coffee then download some Hey Duggee on the tablet and get ready to whack that out for half the flight… bored babies are angry babies, angry babies cause irate passengers and irate passengers cause mummy and Daddy Bears to get defensive; this then unfortunately turns into an ugly situation resembling something out of the purge. 

What to do if your baby is sick on the flight…

I’ve been very lucky until now that Noa has never had any problems but I was on a flight once where a very small baby was very ill from motion sickness. The poor little bubba was so sick that he was choking and the mum was very worried.

If this happens call for help straight away and hopefully it’ll be at a point where you can stand up and go to the front of the plane. Stay calm, hold your baby upright on your lap and do not lie them down. The only thing you can do is try and make them feel better and inform the cabin crew of what’s happening so they can help you with anything you need 

Extra Tips:

. Inform the airline of any allergies the child might have so they can also inform passengers 

. Take throw away changing mats because you know… airplane toilets…

. Always have any medications ready and packed in your hand luggage in case of emergency 

. Don’t listen to the people at check in when they say they’ll take your hand luggage for free as the flight is packed and there may not be space. YOU BOARD FIRST! YOU CAN LITERALLY PUT YOUR SUITCASE ANYWHERE YOU FREAKING WANT! Airlines have a tendency of losing luggage 

. Get ready to be shocked at the audacity and rudeness of other passengers. Many people won’t wait for you to get off at the end of the flight and they don’t want to let you through to the front of the queue at boarding. Get ready to ram some legs with a stroller and spend a good few hours with resting bitch face on as you slowly lose faith in humanity… 

All in all it’s a very pleasant experience! Just be prepared and don’t let your baby play on the baggage belt.

Happy flying! 

Love

Lauren and Noa xxx

A day in the life of a working mum!

The first 4 months with Noa were a beautiful blur of sitting on the sofa constantly breastfeeding while loading up on carbs and basically doing nothing but being a mum. It was wonderful, difficult at times but overall beautiful. Suddenly January arrived and everything changed. I had to go back to work and somehow make sure Noa was napping properly in the day, feeding well, sleeping at night and then working in the afternoon, not forgetting pumping quickly in a freezing toilet at work while students sat in class doing exercises. With all that running around I was back at my birth weight in a month or so after consistently piling on the pounds from sitting around watching Game of Thrones and netflixing and chilling a little too much. I honestly thought I was going to die and had no idea how I was going to survive.

Now that I’ve got a near 15 month old I look back at my January self with envy and laugh. Having a walking, babbling child that now actually requires food instead of just my ruined boobs and who no longer naps in the morning means I now resemble something out of the walking dead thats popped about 15 caffeine tablets. So, here it is, a day in the life of a working mum.

Don’t eat, Don’t sleep and repeat!

Noa is a boobazoid! She has no dummy, she does not self settle and she wakes throughout the night for a little suck and if she’s teething I lose all concept of time and sleep as she basically spends the night attached to my nipple. My nights are broken even though it only takes 2 minutes to get her back down. She’s also thankfully as lazy as her mother and normally wakes up at 10:30 but as I’m sure you know, the broken nights take their toll nonethless.

when we finally do drag ourselves out of bed in the morning it takes a good hour to get her to eat half a banana as she dances in front of the TV to Baby Shark or, I’m quite proud to say, the Spice Girls. It then takes another 45 minutes to dress my screaming loon of  a child who now apparently hates clothes and only likes shoes if she’s sticking them in her mouth and if I’m lucky we’ll make it out of the door before 1 to take our furbaby for a walk.

If you follow us on Instagram I’m sure you know that now it’s time for Bread! We go to the shop, get some bread and go for a little walk in the park. By far this is my favourite part of the day with both my girls. This is then cut short by once again trying to get my now MUDDY screaming LOON OF A CHILD into her pram which you would think would be easy but it’s not, it’s just not. So I sit there trying to not have a mental breakdown in the middle of the park in the rain whilst holding a muddy child that’s started planking like a boss so I can’t get her in her pushchair while my dog starts rolling around in mud. Mumming like a pro!

When I finally get home it’s lunch time and I somehow have to cook lunch for the Gremlin whilst trying to stop her from sticking her head in the oven, climb in the washing machine and pull out every single pan in the cupboard. Lunch is finally cooked which of course she refuses to eat until I finally put on the tv and bribe her. That’s right! I bribe my child… WITH TELEVISION! Every time she wants to change the channel she now knows that she has to take a bite of food and an hour later lunch is finally finished, I eat the remains from a very cold plate of food, play for half an hour, get ready for work and off I go, leaving behind a screaming child who’s about to have a wonderful nap while I go and teach more kids.

When do I shower? I DON’T! I stick my hair over the bathtub while holding Noa with one hand or climb in the bath and body rinse while Noa sits there pointing at my chest shouting ‘boobs’. Screw going to a spa, this is relaxation right here, just slap on a bit of Johnsons bubble bath and it’s like a freaking jacuzzi.

Back home from work, cook dinner, repeat the lunch episode, get Noa in to bed, get a good night kiss and finally lie down for the day with a baby attached to my nipple once again until she FINALLY falls asleep an hour later by 11:30.

HERE’S THE GOOD BIT…

Every night I make the same mistake; I do not go to sleep at 11:30. I often find myself up at 3am once again overdoing the netflix and chill or trolling Insta and wondering how I’m going to get through the next day. But, even while I know it’s a mistake, I need it. I need that time to be me, to be Lauren, not mum, not a teacher and not a wife, just to be me again like when I was 18 and had no one to think about but myself. It´s a bad habit and an unbreakable cycle but that’s how we survive.

I’m sitting here writing this on minimal sleep, minimal food and I probably smell a bit but you know, that’s mum life… and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Lauren xx

P.S- I’d given up on the pumping by April

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A bit about BLW

It’s difficult to put everything there is to know about baby led weaning into one post. If you’re like me, the thought of beginning to wean your baby onto solids from 6 months is something that maybe scares you a little. Doctors tell us today that BLW is the way to go but there’s always that fear of choking and that belief that a baby with no teeth can’t chew. I had that fear at first but now I have a 14 month old that pulls food off my plate and aimlessly walks around the house munching on giant sweet red peppers with her 6 teeth. 

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I’m here to tell you that Baby led is the way to go! It’s going to be a messy, long and hilarious journey for you and your little one to take together and you’ll come out the other side simply amazed at what your toothless little chunk can do. 

This post is split into sections:

. Choking hazards

. Great first foods 

. Foods to avoid 

. Fave BLW products 

. What a 1 year old eats 

Choking Hazards

Ok so this was my biggest fear and it is a logical and perfectly acceptable one to have. Noa’s grandparents thought I was mad to give her chunks of bananas and pieces of chicken to munch on at 6 months old instead of the widely accepted purées.

Choking is a real hazard but studies have shown that there is no greater risk of choking in BLW than in normal weaning processes. Noa has choked a few times while eating but it normally pops out or she manages to cough it up. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND CHECKING OUT CPR FOR BABIES VIDEOS ON YOUTUBE or heading over to the St Johns ambulance page and getting yourself clued up before starting your weaning journey (http://www.sja.org.uk/sja/first-aid-advice/first-aid-for-parents.aspx ) 

Choking is scary but honestly, the worst time Noa has ever choked and nearly died was on a leaf in the park and that definitely was not part of the BLW experience. Just be vigilant, be careful and be prepared but most importantly, be calm. 

Great first foods

 There are so many things to choose from and many years ago doctors recommended starting with FRUIT and VEG. Things are changing a bit now and modern doctors say that it’s better to start kids with a variety of things including meats.

One thing I hated was that here in spain doctors put so much importance on baby cereal. Baby cereal is a waste of calories in my and many other’s opinion. Noa hated cereal anyway and I felt no need to push it on her. If you choose to give your baby cereal that’s absolutely fine but for those of you that don’t want to, you can be sure that you can get any nutrients those cereals have into your baby with fresh foods.

Veggies:

Broccoli

Red Peppers

Pumpkin

Courgette

Sweet potato

Carrot 

Sprouts (8 months)

Fruit:

Apples 

Pears 

Banana 

Avocado 

Watermelon 

Meat and Fish:

Chicken (thigh is best as it’s full of iron or a chicken leg on the bone to munch on like a caveman)

Red meat (as home made meatballs or burger pattys or just in a nice messy bolognese)

Turkey 

Tuna 

Salmon 

Grains and Pasta:

Quinoa (packed with protein and iron and can be made into balls or pattys)

Pasta shapes or spaghetti

Brown rice 

Cous cous 

Other products:

Tofu from 8 months 

Turmeric is a great spice with lots of health benefits 

Cheese (such as cheddar) 

Coconut milk in cooking 

Eggs (white from 6 months and yolk apparently from 8 because of allergies but things have changed again with this. Now some believe that you can give the whole egg from 6 months as I did)

Check out ANABEL KARMEL’S blw recipe book. It has some lovely ideas which I still use today for Noa and myself.

Foods to avoid:

Honey (May have a bacteria that causes botulism) 

Whole Nuts (for obvious reasons) 

Juice 

Pork (this is just me, I find pork to be an extremely dirty meat) 

Deli meats and hams 

Certain Soft and unpasteurised cheeses 

Salt

Sugar

Fave BLW products

Bamboo Bamboo 

BLW is going to be messy! Just know that from the start! Your walls will be covered in tomato sauce and your clothes with banana. These lovely little babies also have a real love of throwing their plates off the table. My child  nearly took my head off a few times and fearing for my life i decided to try out the amazing products from the award winning Bamboo Bamboo.

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Bamboo Bamboo is the brain child of Joel Remy, a father of 4 with a love for the environment and my head staying on my shoulders. His amazing environmentally friendly and of course non BPA suction plates have saved my kitchen and my life countless times. They come in 3 gorgeous shapes (rabbit, racoon and fox) and are completely organic and, that’s right, made from plastic! Obviously joking! All products are 100 percent bamboo, protecting our kids, our kitchen and the environment.

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Check out Bamboo Bamboo’s full range of products including their gorgeous bowls and spoons and their full story over at https://www.bamboobamboo.co/pages/about-us where you can also find great BLW recipes. You can also check out their Instagram at Bamboo_bamboo.uk. This is one company that I highly recommend and can truly say have thought about and responded to their customers needs. 

Food Products:

Ella’s Kitchen and Babease

both have a great range of lovely textured foods that I find unpatronising to baby palettes. I have always found baby foods to be boring and bland but can safely say I’ve enjoyed a few of these packets. If you’re tired, don’t have time or just simply want to choose some baby food these two were Noa’s faves and allowed her to transition well from milk to food.

Organix

I’ve literally had to stuff my suitcase full of organix packets and bring them over to Spain because Noa loves them so much. These little snack packs are great for babies to munch on and use as part of a healthy and balanced diet.

What a one year old eats…

EVERYTHING! They eat freaking everything. At this point nothing is off limits except for a vindaloo and a box of Ferrero rocher. I now cook for myself and Noa together (not adding salt to hers) and we enjoy eating together (with me normally having to chase her around the house waving broccoli at her).

BLW allows babies to develop mentally and to enjoy their food journey. I’m not going to lie, Noa has enjoyed some biscuits, chocolate and a bit of popcorn in the past few months and nothing gives me greater joy than her happy face. Everything in moderation is key! 

I really hope that this post has helped and that you enjoy every moment of the messy lunch times and your filthy kitchen as much as I have. Do not feel like a bad parent if you end up distracting your baby with toys or tv to get them to sit still long enough to eat when nothing else works. There will be days when it’s all you can do to feed your child and that is good enough. Some days they’ll eat like a champ, some days they’ll pick like a bird but just remember that’s what babies do, fill our lives with joy and drive us past the point of insanity.

All my love

Lauren