I haven’t taken part in Sunday Photo for a while, in fact I haven’t put a post out for a while either. Life has just got in the way. I have a baby on me 24 hours a day. He eats on me. Naps on me. Sleeps on me. You get the picture. It’s hard to type when I don’t have free hands! So yesterday I got the chance to take my eldest to a birthday party. He doesn’t get invited to a lot of parties as he hasn’t got a particular friendship group. He just mixes well with everyone. The party was at the local climbing walls and he loved it! I was so proud of how hard he tried and how much fun he had in doing so!
Travelling with children can be daunting for parents, especially for those embarking on a flight with kids for the first time. The average flight time if you’re flying with Flybe is just 53 minutes. But these minutes still need filling!
Little hands and heads get bored very quickly!
To keep little ones occupied during the flight, Flybe have created a list of 53 activities, ranging from some timeless classics like ‘I Spy’ and the alphabet game, to drawing games such as hangman and colouring in, to downloading their favourite programmes on electronic devices – don’t forget to pack headphones as this will avoid the whole cabin having to listen to Peppa Pig.
Snacks are also a great way to fill the time, pre-prepare a fun picnic with a selection of healthy snacks and don’t forget to pick up a bottle of water in the departure lounge or order one during the flight
Being organised in advance will help any journey run smoothly, so for little ones don’t forget to pack their favourite teddy in the cabin bag as they may even have a nap.
Here’s how to keep your little adventurers happy from take-off to landing.
- Noughts and crosses
- Paper and pencils – try drawing the plane
- Travel board games
- Memory games – “I went on a holiday and took……”
- Fun picnic
- Guess who?
- Would you rather?
- Puzzle books
- Card games
- Naptime – with travel pillow
- Consequences game
- Word search
- Finger puppets
- Finger knitting (don’t forget your wool)
- Telling stories
- Travel puzzles
- Practise pulling funny faces
- Learn a phrase in another language
- Use an old CD case as a mini white board
- Tin foil sculptures
- Spelling games
- Draw the pilot!
- Cloud spotting
- Pack a surprise goodie bag for them to unpack (£1 shop toys are the key!).
- Make jewellery with beads
- Snack necklace with dental floss and cereal hoops
- Make paper planes
- Fuzzy felt
- Close-up magic
- How many? (“How many animals can you name that hatch from eggs?” etc).
- Rhyming tennis
- Two truths and one lie
- Stickmen comics
- Draw and guess
- Makeover game (bring wipes)
- Play with their favourite app (make sure your phone’s charged)
- Playing hairdresser
- Drawing funny faces on magazine pictures
- The alphabet game (e.g. Apple, Banana, Carrot)
- If all else fails: “Let’s see who can stay quiet the longest!”
- Electronic devices (when permitted by cabin crew)
- I Spy
- Colouring in
- Story books
For child-friendly destination inspiration from airports throughout the UK why not visit Flybe.com.
I love breastfeeding my baby. I’ve written about it lots of times on my blog. It’s not always been easy. However when it’s going well it’s amazing. Breastfeeding obviously requires me to be around baby all the time. In order for me to get a break from baby I need to express some milk for other people to feed him.
The best time to express is after feeding has been established. So I waited until baby is eight weeks old knowing that my supply has now properly established. For expressing milk I use a mixture of an electric breast pump and a small one piece manual one.
For the first two boys I had an electric steam steriliser. It took up a lot of room on our kitchen counter and constantly needed descaling. I also needed to be organised and make sure everything fit inside properly and I’d allowed enough time to get it sterilised.
With this baby I haven’t bought a steriliser. I’d already decided this time to try Milton tablets, because I’ve been using them to clean and sterilise the boys school water bottles on the weekend in the sink. So when Milton approached me a couple of weeks ago I was happy to give their new products a whirl with the aim of being able to go to the cinema with my mum.
Milton kindly sent me a Combi steriliser and a mini portable soother steriliser to test out and this week was the perfect time.
The Combi works with both cold water sterilisation which takes 15 minutes and is super easy. Also microwave sterilisation which takes just two minutes.
If you’re not familiar with Milton cold water sterilising it works by dissolving a Milton tablet in water then submerging the already clean items you want to sterilise in the water. After 15 minutes the process is complete. The combo steriliser can hold 5 bottles of any make at a time. When it’s done there no need to rinse just drain and go.
As I am using breast milk I also want to make sure the pump is lovely and sterile too so I popped it into the combo with no problem at all.
As baby hasn’t had a bottle at all yet I’m starting with just the very cheapest ones I can find. No point in paying lots of money when I don’t know if he’ll even take a bottle yet!
Milton Portable Soother Steriliser
When he was born both wrists had skin peeling off where he had been sucking his curled up fists whilst inside my uterus. I should have known this was a sign that he was a sucky baby. This means thought that he likes to settle himself by sucking on something. Usually this means breastfeeding but if I’m not around or I’m somewhere I can’t feed then I carry a dummy to try to settle him. Neither of my other two boys had a dummy, not through lack of trying but they just wouldn’t take one they wanted the real thing! Roo will only take one now if he’s super tired and it’s useful to try to calm him down. So carrying dummies out and about is totally new to me with this baby.
Milton’s portable soother steraliser is just the thing for dummies on the go. It’s a simple concept but works really well.
Inside the screw together ball shape are two sponges. When you first open them they are very hard and dry. They just need to be soaked for a little while so that they are ready for use. The portable soother steriliser uses tiny Milton tablets that you can buy separately (although it comes with some ready to use). Once its ready to use and the sponges have been dampened then you add the Milton tablet and a little more water. Inset the soother and wait 15 minutes and its sterile.
Out and About
However as a busy mum you’re more likely to want to take it out and about with you. That’s the thing I really love about it. It comes with an attachment for out and about. I’ve had it clipped onto the buggy and also the changing bag.
If the soother has been used whilst out and about you can pop it back in the steriliser. As long as its clean. It will be sterile again in just 15 minutes.
Thanks to Milton for sending the items for me to test out and write about. As always I only review items I would buy myself and all my opinions are my own.
Homebirth – Planning Ahead
If you’re pregnant you may have been asked by the midwife or friends if you’ve done your birth plan. If you haven’t got a clue what that is or what to write then you’ve come to the right place.
A birth plan is written down plan of your wishes when it comes to giving birth to your baby. It’s a guide for anyone looking after you during labour. Of course every birth is different and birth plans can’t always be followed to the letter due to circumstances. It is however a good starting point.
Some women don’t want to write a birth plan and just go with the flow and that’s ok too.
It is though good advice to think about what you might like to happen at each stage if things go as you hope. I’ve had birth plans for all three boys. I’m also lucky to have been able to access the services of One to One midwives with two of the boys.
Thankfully my wishes were followed for those two births as my midwifes were familiar with my wishes and birth plan before the boys were born. At my most recent birth there was also a student midwife present who read my birth plan upon arrival.
If you want to watch my birth it’s on youtube and I’ll leave the link at the bottom of the post.
I thought it might help other parents to be if I published my birth plan. Please do remember that this plan is individual to me and my circumstances so feel free to pick and mix bits that you want. This plan is for a home birth and I have blanked out an personal information.
My Birth Plan
I plan to have a home birth as discussed with my One2one midwife
My one2one midwife D****** (07***********) is aware of all my wishes with regards to the way I wish to be treated during labour.
I wish to have a gentle labour, I prefer not to be spoken to while having contractions and I know from previous experience that I don’t like other people to be talking around me. I’m happy to speak in between contractions.
I prefer not to be offered pain relief and will ask for it if I wish to utilise any.
I will not consent to vaginal examinations during labour routinely but may ask to be examined, please do not offer.
I wish to try for a water birth.
I wish to be the first person to touch and hold the baby, when he is born I will pick him up from the water or his place of birth.
If I need to transfer into hospital I wish to go to ****** hospital not ******* hospital
In the event of a transfer to hospital before birth:
I do not give consent for anyone to cut the umbilical cord other than myself or my husband N***** once the baby is born
I plan to have the placenta encapsulated so please do not discard it, please label and refrigerate the placenta as soon as possible after separation from the baby until my husband is able to take it home.
In the event of a caesarean section needing to be performed either under a local or a general anaesthetic I ask that the placenta and umbilical cord stay attached to the baby (Lotus birth) and that I be given the baby for immediate skin to skin contact. In the event that I am unable to give skin to skin, please give the baby to my husband N***** so that he can give immediate skin to skin contact with the baby.
In the event of a transfer to hospital after birth:
If I am to have a manual removal of the placenta please be aware that I plan to have the placenta encapsulated so please do not discard it, please label and refrigerate as soon as possible after removal until my husband is able to take it home.
If the baby needs to go to a special care unit then please do not give any artificial feeds, I will be breastfeeding the baby exclusively.
I or my husband will discuss all eventualities as they arise. Please share any concerns with us as soon as they arise. It will help us to know the answers to these questions:
1. What is wrong?
2. What do you suggest and why?
3. What would be the possible outcomes with and without this intervention?
4. How much time do we have to make a decision?
5. Are there any other courses of action open to us.
We will be guided by balanced, informative advice. We want a healthy baby and mother and will take all necessary steps to achieve this.
Dehumidifier by Maplin
The week we’ve been testing out a Maplin dehumidifier.
We are lucky enough to have a playroom in our house, which is the conservatory.
The problem we have though is that it gets cold and damp in winter and hot in summer. Until we can afford to have a real roof put on to it we’ll have to find temporary solutions.
One such solution is a dehumidifier in there to make it less damp and to dry out the air.
They kindly sent us the Peltier mini dehumidifier which is a mini dehumidifier with a 2.2 litre capacity water holder.
It’s designed for smaller spaces so could be used within a closet or utility room if you wanted to. It’s also recommended for use in a caravan or outdoor workshop over the winter months when you wouldn’t necessarily be using the space. It helps to keep smaller areas damp free. It’s mains powered but only uses 72w of power so doesn’t cost much to run. ITs also quiet and only produces 43db. This to me sounds like a quiet fan gently whirring away.
I’ve had it running in the conservatory now for 3 days and I’m amazed at how much moisture it’s already managed to collect.
Even though its a mini dehumidifier it still has an automatic cut off when the tank is full. So you can leave it safely running without constantly checking the tank isn’t over flowing.
If you using it near to a water disposal area you also have the option of using the included hose. This helps by continually emptying the water from the dehumidifier tank.
How it works
Dehumidifiers work by cooling the air so that it turns to moisture and the moisture then drains away to a tank (or in this case a hose)
With the aid of a small electric radiator we’ve been able to heat the playroom too and make it a much more pleasant environment to play in.
Previously the boys would avoid staying in very long due to how cold and damp it was. Instead choosing to drag the toys into the house, defeating the object of having a beautiful play space.
If your looking for a small space dehumidifier then I’d say this one is just the job. If it’s a larger space you need to dry out then Maplin also have a great selection of dehumidifiers that would be perfect.
This week I’ve written a post about breastfeeding number 3 and how different it is.
Well here’s part of the reason….this chin! It’s super cute to look at all puckered in (no he’s not sucking it in, it rests like this!)
But it’s causing his latch to be pretty horrible. I will preserve on though. We’ve made it to 7 weeks exclusive feeding and I’m not stopping now!
I’ve written about breastfeeding before on my blog. If you want to go back and read them then the link for the posts are here:
I’ve breastfed my other two boys and am proud I managed to feed for so long. Believe me I couldn’t have done it without help from lots of people.
My second babies first feed.
If theres one piece of advice I’d give it’s know where to access support when you need it. Because believe me if you need it, you’ll need it there and then and not have to wait.
In the UK we are lucky to have lots of lovely charities and helplines.
Theres National Breastfeeding Helpline as well as NCT who offer support. In terms of local support you can always ask your midwife or health visitor for a list of local groups. Groups are not just there if you have problems, they are a place to meet other mums and socialise. You never know you might learn something there too you didn’t know. Groups usually have mix of different aged babies so it can be a good source of information about changes that happen with breastfeeding and make you feel normal about the lack of sleep!
I used to volunteer with the Breastfeeding Network in my areas as I wanted to give back and offer the support that was given to me after my first baby was born. I truly couldn’t have done it without the help I had.
Breastfeeding the Third Time
So this is breastfeeding baby number 3 for me. The other two boys had tongue ties so the first thing I asked the midwife to check when he was born was his tongue. It was obvious to me just from looking at his heart shaped tongue that he had a tie. She immediately agreed and sent of a referral the day after he was born.
Thankfully I was able to get it cut at 6 days old. Yet despite the tongue tie being cut he still doesn’t have a great latch and can make me quite sore. I’ve seen a lactation consultant and she agrees that theres no much I can do to reposition him except keep trying to get as much of the breast as possible in his mouth so that he’s not hanging on the end and making it worse.
It just goes to prove that every baby is different. You’d think by baby number 3 I’d find breastfeeding easy. But it’s not just about me. It’s about baby too. We are both still learning. I won’t be giving up. From experience I know that breastfeeding is far easier for me. I don’t have to think about bottles and formula and boiling water all the time. I don’t have to think about how long I’m going to be out or how many night feeds I might need to make up. Breastmilk is just there, on demand whenever I need it (once you’ve established a good supply) and at the perfect temperature. Breastfeeding will continue, hopefully as he grows his mouth will get bigger and we can hopefully get a better position too.
This week I’ve chosen a photo that makes my heart happy.
At 5 and a half weeks old we’re getting smiles. What’s more I actually managed to capture the end of one on camera, with his oldest brother just in the background.
His brothers love him very much and are always wanting to kiss and hug him, no matter what he’s doing. Which is lovely, but when I’m trying to feed him it can get a bit difficult. His latch isn’t the greatest any way and so having them all over him can sometimes really hurt me!
Slimming World – – Week 2 Results
Well Tuesday rolled around rather quickly and it was time for slimming world again!
Have I been on plan all week? Not exactly. I’m trying to follow the basic principles. Trying to fill up on speed and free foods when I can. It’s a little harder when I haven’t been to the supermarket to get the right foods in. Husband has been doing mini shops here and there so I’ve been trying to add things to the list.
Things I love like the free yogurts to have with my oats and fruit in the morning.
I’ve been making a conscious effort to drink lots of water too which isn’t hard given I’m a thirsty breastfeeding mum at the moment. My main let down is being out of the house and not having water. I need to remember to take some with me.
I’ve done a little exercise but not a lot. It’s hard with 3 children and especially with one being so little still, I can’t really leave him with anyone as he needs me very often. I have however been on a few walks and I’ve done housework whilst I’ve been baby wearing him so I suppose that counts.
I really need to concentrate more this week. Knuckle down a bit and focus on what I’m doing. I find that if I don’t write things down I loose sight of whats going into my mouth so I will try and use the new book I’ve been given to make sure things get written down.
The thing I love most about Slimming World is that you can eat the free foods whenever you want. I can literally go to the fridge and pick whatever I want from the free food category (if its in there!) and just eat when I’m hungry.
So I’ve done another short vlog this week about my progress and how things are going. Also my results for this week are in there.
You can find week one by clicking here.
My Sunday Photo – January 7th 2017
This week I looked for a while for a photo, but the same one kept jumping out. I was torn though. Not many people want to see a photo of my family. It’s much more interesting to look at something else. But then I realised that these little guys are my world. As this is my blog and I write it for the boys, I realised it’s ok to have a photo of my world on it.
This photo isn’t the best, it’s grainy and taken in bad light. But it captures the moment. The moment in time we were all together. My whole world (minus the hubby) in one photo.
I love it! I love them more than they will ever know.