Saturday, 8 March 2014

Bedtime routine

I've talked briefly before about our bedtime routine and Ophelia's night time habits but this time i'm linking up to Kerry's share it Sundays about bedtime.  
 Let me begin by saying that I always knew I would need to return to work, so I knew how important it would be to get Ophelia into a routine so that I would have some chance of functioning! My job is fairly stressful/dangerous so the more sleep the better!  You can imagine how much of a mountain I had to climb then when, after 24 hours of labour and 36 hours of no sleep we brought our daughter home and she did not want to sleep.  I kept hearing "ohhh I love it at that stage because all they do is sleep", oh no no no no no, not this little lady and especially not at night time! After a while, this did pass but not without some extreme routine building! 

 We stayed quite strict with the routine and I think if we had just gone with the flow, I would still be going to work now with no sleep! At first she slept in a carry cot type thing and we used to roll a towel into a U shape, popped it in the cot and snuggled her body into the shape before tucking a muslin over the top.  This worked really well (she hated being swaddled) at making her feel secure and sending her off to sleep and we transferred this same technique to the cot when she moved into that.  At first when she was teeny tiny, she really didn't like gro bags, but we tried again when she was a few months old and we have been using them every night ever since. 

The routine we used remains the same even to this day, although the only difference is that she goes down much quicker now so her bedtime has got slightly earlier (generally!):

6ish: Start getting everything ready e.g. bottles out of the fridge, hot water, run bath, boil kettle etc. Wind down by reading a book.
         Give bath/wash down and put sleepsuit on.
6:30ish: Give bottle
7-7:30ish: Put to bed and always give her a kiss goodnight.

Ophelia never used to be able to settle herself to bed and it was quite the laborious exercise so I can see why some parents decide to feed to sleep/rock to sleep/co sleep etc because it ain't pretty! But always at the back of my mind was that I was going back to work and all those things would simply make my life more difficult further down the line- obviously if you're not going back to work relying on those techniques probably isn't an issue and is probably quite nice!  I also never liked to co sleep for a massive safety issue-on a nightly basis I kick/talk/shout/move in my sleep and so I wouldn't trust myself to not do any of those things to her by mistake.  

Like anything with children, i'm sure this will all change as time goes on and even when she was ill last week it completely set her off kilter and regressed.  I in fact ended up letting her sleep on my chest all night, so then sleeping in her cot was evidently unappealing! But we persevered (I survived at work by having 5 strong coffees a day!) and she now seems to be back into her normal routine (touch wood).  The length of time she sleeps still varies a little bit; sometimes she stirs quite a lot but gets herself back to sleep but other times she wakes up at 3ish or mornings like today when I was awake before she was (7:30am!).

So that's our bedtime routine story! It works for us and for her, although it isn't neccesarily what I imagined I would do prior to having her!

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Cosatto supa stroller pixelate review


Brightonmumma cosatto supa stroller review

We were lucky enough to receive our first buggy Quinny Buzz 3 secondhand barely used, from friends at a really really generously reduced price.  It has served us very well but Ophelia no longer appears comfortable in it and lugging it up and down the flat stairs has grown rather tiresome (it's rather damn heavy and in two parts!).  I started looking around for a stroller a few weeks ago and decided a cosatto was the answer.  I ordered it from Kiddicare on Thursday and it came on Friday between 9:30 and 10:30am; I think Kiddicare are great for their ordering service.  Not only was it free, speedy delivery but I received a text to tell me it would come between 9:30-10:30am, so none of this waiting around all day malarky!

 Putting it up/taking it down:
When it arrived, my Mum and Callum went about getting it out of the packaging so I hadn't even had a look at the instructions when it came around to using the pram the next day.  I muddled through and whilst I found it a bit tricky at first, considering I hadn't had a demonstration or read the instructions, I think it was quite easy! Putting it up, there is a handle on the side of the pram (seen in picture below) which you flip out in order to release the front section of the pram and it folds down with ease-no exursion needed, hurrah! There is a circular handle on the back of the pram which you push down and this widens the pram out to the usual width ready for baby to sit in. 

Brightonmumma cosatto supa stroller review
I love everything about the design of this stroller, the colours and pattern on a very superficial level; how can you possibley feel sad with this bright beauty? I love the fact everything is so simple but helpful for parents; the brake system is really effective (separate for both front and back for a nice click for when they're on), everything slots on and off very quickly (the hood has velcro and clips), and the coffee cup holder clicks on and off.  Oh yes, did I mention it has a cup holder?! Perfect for our Sunday strolls for coffee!   The handles are a great height and pull up an extra inch or two if needed, they are also the perfect distance and design to put bags on without them trailing by the wheels. 

Part of the selling point of this stroller for me was the fact it packs up into an umbrella packaway, however a big negative for me is that you seem to have to take the hood off and everything out (including waterproof cover) of the underneath storage. EDIT: Thanks to the lovely people at Cosatto I now know that you CAN put it down with the hood attached (wooo!). 

Brightonmumma cosatto supa stroller review Brightonmumma cosatto supa stroller review     

The storage on this stroller is much better than on the Quinny buzz; it is more spacious for a start and has taller sides to avoid things falling out.  It also has a pocket on the back of the hood which has a speaker to attach to a tablet, as well as a good amount of space for other bits and bobs; I find this perfect to shove "easy to reach" items in like my phone, keys etc.

It isn't as light as I thought it might be, but it has been much easier to get up and down the stairs leading to the flat.  What I like most is the fact that we can put Ophelia in it before bumping it down the stairs, whereas with the Quinny Buzz we had to do two trips to get out each time. 

 I think Ophelia quite likes it:


Tuesday, 4 March 2014

World book day baby costume ideas

I love World book day and can't wait until Ophelia is old to appreciate and enjoy it fully.  Both of us are so keen for her to have a passion for books, she actually gets really excited about books already especially if you do different voices! I have all these crazy ideas floating around my head already for a few years time, having a book theme for the day and having fancy dress, crafts and baking all centred around that book.  In the meantime I leave you with some costume ideas for the baby in your life:

Available from Party delights

A tribute to a classic range of books, Ladybird books, this costume is an avent garde take on the dressing up vein.  Ophelia would hate it if I put her in here though; I think she'd get too frustrated by having her legs tucked away!

Available from Party delights
This one is so sweet I crack up every time I look at it! One of my favourite books as a child was The Owl who was afraid of the dark so this costume would be perfect! I can just imagine Ophelia's face in this one!

I love dinosaurs and think this one is perfect for Ophelia's age; room to crawl/sit etc without feeling restricted.  I'd heard a bit about this book by the McFly boys and will probably get it at some point just out of curiosity! 

Have you got any costume ideas for World Book day? It's this Thursday 6th March :)