ParentOn

Parenting is hard.

Parenting is complicated.

Parenting is challenging.

Parenting is exhausting.

Parenting is rewarding.

Parenting is fun.

Parenting is exciting.

Parenting is never ending.

There are hundreds and hundreds of different ways to define being a parent. Being a parent is conditional and relative to circumstance**.

 At some point, every parent has a wobble. You consider whether or not you need to start saving up to pay for therapy for your kid when they become an adult. You worry about whether or not you’re doing the right thing. You worry whether or not they eat enough fruit and vegetables, or if they’re eating too much (yeah, some kids eat their fruit and vegetables and ask for more! GASP!)

Parent Guilt is a real thing; mom feels guilty because she didn’t breastfeed for long enough, or she didn’t use cloth diapers, or one day she lost her cool and shouted. Dad feels guilty because he doesn’t spend enough time at home and is always at work, or doesn’t do enough night feeds or bum changes, or one day dad loses his cool and shouts. 

Do I read enough to my kids, do we do enough imaginative play, do I allow too much screen time, and so on. Parenting is hard. There is no right or wrong way (within reason) and at some point every parent thinks they aren’t doing a good job, or needs to improve in some way or another; and then there are days when parents think “YES! I got this. I am a parenting wonder today!” Its all relative.

As a parent, you go through a range of emotions. You’re proud, and you’re happy, and you’re worried. You get angry, and stressed. You give praise but you also feel awful for telling off. You laugh, you cry, you hide in the garden shed for 5 minutes at a time, despite the spiders, simply so you don’t have to share your bar of dairy milk. Going to the bathroom is a grand affair, its like an audience with a miniature royal, who watches you poop and then demands to see your poop and congratulates you on said poop and the fact that you flushed the toilet. God forbid you ever crap in private again. Then there’s sleep, or rather, lack of it.

As a parent you ask a lot of advice from your peers. There are conversations and debates (HA) and everyone has an opinion. You second guess yourself, you trust your gut instinct; and everything in between.

So when I got a surprise package from Tommee Tippee, I didn’t quite know what to expect. A blue box containing the “Complete Parenting Survival Kit”; containing everything I need for bringing up babies. What? What was in this little box? I was completely and utterly perplexed; especially as I wasn’t expecting anything in the mail. 

 

 When I opened it, I was blown away.

It was a mirror.

Tommee Tippee, reminding parents that all you need to survive as a parent, is YOU.

There was also a small USB key, a handheld mirror, a little flag and a leaflet.

There is no instruction manual for raising children. You don’t need to be a genius. Trust yourself; trust yourself that you’re doing a good job. Parents, You GOT THIS.

I was pleased as punch with my surprise, especially as it was PERSONALISED.

 
Tommee Tippee is one of the UKs leading baby brands, and has been going for 50 years now. Loved by babies and recommended by parents, and a household name in the UK; we’ve been a proud user (and blogger) of Tommee Tippee products. My parents used Tommee Tippee products too; and no doubt, when the time comes, generations after us, will continue to use Tommee Tippee as well. 

 So Parents, continue what you’re doing, follow your instincts, trust yourselves. You’ve got this. You know you have. Parent On.

 

** it took me a LONG time to compose this sentence, because my brain went dead (probably on account of lack of sleep) so massive, MASSIVE props to some of the lovely members of the SANP group who helped me out when I thought I was going mad trying to find a word that I have probably made up.

Oilatum Junior

products sent (not shown – towel & candle)

Emma hasn’t had amazing skin since she was little. She’s got a mild form of eczema, which doesn’t really present a problem, but we were given some cream for her to use after her baths. 

So when I was asked if I wanted to review Oilatum Juniors new range for kids, of course I said yes! We’d already been sent a bottle of the lotion, which we found was much better for Emmas skin than the generic emollient cream we were prescribed. It was less greasy and tacky for a start.

Included in the gift basket we got were some very cool things to make bathtime more fun! (Or funner…should I say)

A lovely soft white hooded towel from The White Company, bath toys and a lovely bath thermometer. Not to mention a lovely smelling candle for me to use once bathtime was over and I needed to recuperate! Bathtime is exhausting with a toddler!

In 2012 a survey was taken by 280 parents (16-64) with children between the ages of newborn and 16. 44% of these parents claimed that their child/ren have had a dry skin condition. Oilatum launched a new range (see above!) to help parents care for their children’s skin. The Oilatum Junior range contains ultra mild products that have been expertly formulated with dermatologists to gently and effectively clean the skin of little people (and bigger people!) without the worry of skin becoming aggravated and to help combat an prevent dry skin.

The Oilatum Junior Cleansers Range contains these items; (see photo above)

~a shampoo, which is soap free and also contains a gentle conditioner to help with tangles

~a head to toe daily wash

~a foaming bubble bath

~a moisturise lotion

Oilatum Junior very nicely sent us all 4 products and we love them. They clean really well, and Emmas skin is noticeably less dry. We wash her hair twice a week (unless she some how managed to get something disgusting in it) and the shampoo leaves her hair clean, soft and smelling really nice. I could sit and smell her for hours (she doesn’t sit still though!) The moisturiser isn’t greasy or sticky and absorbs really well, and doesn’t stain your clothes either. 

Definitely products that we will continue to buy and use as well as recommend to others.

You can buy the range of products at all leading grocery stores and chemists.

Much thanks to Jen and the team at Oilatum Junior!

The views and opinions posted are my own, however products were gifted to me by Oilatum Junior for review. 

Dettol with E45 – Review

Just before we were due to move, I received a new product from Dettol and E45 to review. THANKS!

Hand-wash.

I am constantly washing my hands, due to nappy changes, messy toddler clean ups, food preparation, general cleaning, and well, you know, using the bathroom myself!  Constant washing of hands, means constant moisturising of hands, which I often forget to do.

So getting a hand-wash that contains a well known moisturiser was a tad exciting (don’t judge me!)

Thanks to the lovely staff at Spink PR, I got a 250ml Dettol with E45 hand-wash with Lotus Flower in my mailbox.

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Firstly?

It smells DIVINE. There is nothing better than using a product that smells nice and makes your hands smell nice and clean.

 

Secondly?

It was like washing my hands with, well, I want to say silk, but I’m not sure it’s the right word I’m looking for… the feeling was silky, even after rinsing all the suds off. My hands felt soft and very hydrated.

 

Thirdly?  I LOVE IT.

 
Needless to say the hand-wash is pretty much done because I used it so often, although there were times when I had to use a different hand-wash, like when out and about or at work, and it’s probably a little OTT to carry your hand-wash of preference around with you in your handbag… or is it?

Will I buy it? YEP! In fact, normally this hand-wash is £2.50 RRP and you can purchase it at most well known supermarkets and places like Boots and Superdrug. HOWEVER, it has just come on special offer at Tesco.  It’s currently on sale at £1.25 until the 11th August 2014. Guess who’s due an online Tesco shop?  ME!

The product I received was with Lotus Flower, however you can also get it with Honey or Camomile.  I haven’t tried the other two products, but I’ll most certainly be picking up a few of them when I do my online shop.

I’d say overall that we (I say we, I mean I, because The Husband is all “its hand-wash…”) LOVE it.  I’d take it everywhere with me.

The only thing that I’m not happy about is that other places don’t have this as their first choice of hand-wash, but that can’t be helped, or likely changed! Come on everyone, swap your hand-wash!

Thank you to Spink PR and to Dettol for giving me the opportunity to *review this product.

Because I love this product so much (and I’m about to go and buy a lot of them) I am going to give away 3 bottles of Dettol with E45 hand-wash (did you see that there are 3 different ones! exciting!) to 3 lucky readers. All you need to do is share this post on any (or all) of your social media platforms, and comment here. Competition closes 1 week from today at 5pm GMT on Wednesday July 30th 2014. Open to UK and NI residents only. Winners will be selected by random.org

* I was sent this product free of charge to review and provide an honest post. The giveaway I am running is not endorsed by Spink or Dettol and is of my own doing. 

Fabulous Tantruming

I wasn’t expecting tantrums to start this early.
Emma is only just one, but for the last 2 months, we have at least one tantrum a day.

I thought you didn’t get tantrums until kids hit the “terrible twos”, but I guess 1 is the new 2?

At only 1, Emma doesn’t understand how to express herself, nor does she understand why we won’t allow her to do certain things. So she reacts the only way she knows how.
Unfortunately for us, it can be challenging and a little stressful after the 6th tantrum in an hour. It can also be funny.

I know you’re not meant to laugh, but sometimes I just can’t help it. The situation and the style of tantrum is just sometimes very amusing!

There are 6 prominent tantrum styles that my darling daughter has.

The Disney Princess Style
This involves toddling as fast as her little feet will carry her, across the room, and the throwing herself face down, arms over her head on to the sofa to cry.

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The Are You Watching Me Style
This one involves mainly lying on the floor, face down and every so often stopping and looking up to ensure we are watching her, if we are, then she carries on. If we aren’t, she shouts at us to get our attention and then when she has it, she carries on.

The Floor Has Become A Trampoline Style
This one is usually when we remove her from a situation that could be dangerous, and as we try to pick her up and remove her, she suddenly starts bouncing her legs as though she is on a trampoline.

The Swimming Style
The is the most common of the tantrum styles. Usually involves laying on the floor and kicking arms and legs in various directions.

The OH MY GOD I GIVE UP Style
This is again, another common one. Kiddo usually throws her arms up in the air as if to say “oh my god, I give up!” And then crumples to the floor and gives up.

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The Petrificus Totalus Style
This one, is perhaps the hardest to manage. Kiddo simply goes as stiff as a board. She won’t stand up, lay down, sit down. She simply just locks up completely, and it’s difficult to pick her up and calm her down.

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I get it kiddo, I do, life is hard, especially when you don’t understand and can’t explain or express yourself. I am sorry that sometimes I chuckle, but you throw your tantrums with such flair and style, and well, sometimes mama finds it hard to express herself, but I do get it kiddo.

We can learn together and I’ll try not to laugh, but I might slip up, so sorry, but I still love you to the moon and back a million times.

The Baby Show

Thanks to Inspire Me Media, I got chance to visit The Baby Show at the Excel Exhibition Centre in London’s Docklands.

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When I was pregnant with Emma, I kept telling The Husband that we had to go, but we never did. So when I got a press pass for a PR event that included a ticket to The Baby Show, I jumped at the chance. The Husband on the other hand was like “do not spend loads of money, maybe I should hold on to your credit card”. He was probably right!

There was a LOT of baby stuff and loads of big brands, Mothercare, Cosatto, Tommee Tippee, Joie, Asda, Milton, Britax, Chicco, iCandy, plus loads of cute independent retailers. It was a parent and baby dream. I could have spent thousands if not more.

The layout was a little confusing and I found myself walking around in circles and often walking past the same area several times whilst consulting my map and trying to find where I was. Give me google maps and I’m good. Anything else, forget it.

I saw a lot of things that I really wanted to buy, but lack of need and space, and most importantly money to spend frivolously meant that I couldn’t.

Like this Claw Foot Baby Bath Tub

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Super cool, but at £200, it’s definitely a frivolous spend.
Wouldn’t it be totally awesome to have not only a cool Montessori baby nursery with a walk in closet and separate bathroom for your wee babe? Sadly I’m not made of money! Wishful thinking eh?

Then there was these.

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SUPER-AWESOME! Not a new thing to me, as apparently they’re quite common in nurseries and day cares, but still. COT BUNK BEDS! Again a frivolous spend, seeing as I only have the one child and by the time I have a second, the first should be in a toddler bed!

There were a lot of prams/pushchairs/buggies/contraptions you push kids around in.

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There were even a few sling and carrier companies there. As well as retailers that specialise in Babywearing, like Slumber-Roo.
I was a little disappointed in the selection of companies in general. I wanted to buy a ring sling, but I only saw one by ByKay at the Cheeky Rascals stand.
That’s where I met Emily who runs the South London Sling Library.
I finally settled on a Beco Soleil from Slumber-Roo to add to my collection.
That said I still want a ring sling!

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I could buy all the wraps and carriers. The Husband has said no however!

The Baby Show also piqued my interest in Cloth Nappies. Definitely a consideration for my next baby.

There were lots of nursery ideas.

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There were also lots and lots of stalls with hand made baby gifts and trinkets.

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I also got to meet David from Snugglebundl (if you’ve seen Dragons Den then you’ll know who I mean)!
He was absolutely lovely, and the product itself is genius! Definitely a fore-runner in the ideas for a gift for my sisters baby that’s due this September.

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Overall I had a great time.

The Baby Show is next at the NEC Birmingham on May 16th-18th and then at Kensington Olympia on October 24th-26th.

You can buy advance tickets online from £10.50

If you’re a soon to be parent, a parent of babies/toddlers, an aunt/uncle/grandparent, then I recommend a visit!

Thank you Inspire Me Media for the press pass.

*I was gifted a press pass as part of a PR launch.

Hello?

For Christmas, Emma got a vTech walker. Not a sit-in one, but a push around one, with lots of buttons and keys and lights and sounds, and a telephone.
When you pick the telephone up, the walker makes a ringing noise. We thought it was incredibly cute when Emma picked up the phone and held it to her ear. These babies they learn quickly!!

Then, whenever she saw any phone she picked it up and put it to her ear and then she babbled at it.

Except now it’s not just phones. It’s her hand, the remote, any toys.

Usually she will just put her hand to her ear, say “Daddy” and then babble away.

We thought that as she would babble away, she may talk into the phone during an actual phone call.

Nope.

Instead she listens, looks at the phone and smiles or waves her hand. Unless it’s my mum.

My mum is the ONLY person she will “talk” to on the phone. It’s super cute.

I discovered today that I can get one handset to “find” the other and ring it. So we played with the phones today. An additional activity for a rainy day!

Almost A Year

When I found out I was pregnant with Emma, I joined an online pregnancy support group, and I met some wonderful women.
I’ve met a handful of them, however there are three of them who have become my closest friends.
We talk every day, we laugh, we’ve cried, we’ve text, spoken on the phone, visited each other, sent gifts and cards and we’ve all been there for each other.

We made a plan to meet every 6 months at least with all of our babies, and well if some of us could meet up more often then great.

We first all met up on the 22nd of July 2013, when our babies were 4/5 months old.

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We met up again today, 6 months later.

We ate, we laughed, we played and it was great.

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Zzzzzzzz

Recently I’ve had a hard time getting Emma to nap. She refuses to nap even though she is clearly tired and then I have 1-3 hours of screaming and whining because she is so tired.

Normally I can tell when she’s having a growth spurt as she naps like a dream. I can put her down with a bottle of milk and within 15 minutes she is fast asleep and will sleep for between an hour and a half to two hours. Twice a day!

But recently? Nope!

I’m lucky if she has 1 half hour nap a day. It’s exhausting.

Especially as if we go out (in the hopes she falls asleep whilst we are out) she usually does fall asleep. About 5-10 minutes just before we get home. It’s not like I can even just leave her in her pushchair as we live on the 2nd floor and there is no elevator!

Which is exactly what happened yesterday.
At 4pm. 3 and 1/2 hours before her bedtime.
I managed to get her upstairs and into her cot, and then just before 5pm I decided to wake her.

I’ve always been told you never ever wake a sleeping baby.

Why? Because kids who are tired, are grumpy and whiny little buggers!!

Bedtime Antics

We seem to be *mostly* through this stage of sleep regression. (Fingers crossed!) We are back to one or two wake ups a night. I think it will be a long while before we are back to sleeping through the night.

Every night, we do dinner, followed by some chill out time, followed by a bath, and then cuddles and a song before bedtime.

However Emma often has other ideas, and instead of trying to hold her down to dry, moisturise and dress her, we go with her flow, which is, mainly, jumping and screeching.

Trying to hold her down and dry and dress her just results in crying, screaming and her getting hot and red and sweaty. Doing this her way, she’s happy, she smiles and doesn’t get hot and sweaty or stressed, and it makes going to sleep much easier.

The jumping about is hilarious. For everyone involved.

Baaaalloooooo Birthday!

Emma’s first birthday is 9 weeks away.
I don’t know where the time has gone, it seems like only yesterday I was cuddling my sweet newborn baby. How is she almost a year old?!

I’ve never had to plan a child’s party before. Although I have been to loads of them, most of them have been in people’s homes. For us that’s not an option. Our home is a small one bedroom apartment, just enough room for the three of us. The idea of having all my friends and family (almost 70 people) trying to squeeze in to our home at the same time gives me a headache.

Finding an appropriate venue for a child’s first birthday that doesn’t cost a ridiculous amount of money was hard.
Some places wanted to charge £75 an hour, plus £15 per person for food with a minimum of 25 people! Ummmm, no.

So when I found that a local daycare nursery hires out for birthday parties, I was all YAY!!! For £150 we get the staff, the entire daycare nursery, the kitchen, all the toys etc. All we’d need to do is a small child friendly buffet.
Simples and inexpensive (ish)

We picked a theme (Waybuloo) as it’s Emma’s favourite tv show.

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So we have some Waybuloo invites, some party bags, and well, apparently Waybuloo party ware is discontinued…. because that’s all we could get. So I’m having to be very creative with the rest.

So I decided to pick coloured plates to match the Piplings, and coloured napkins and cups too. Pink ones, blue ones, orange ones and lilac ones.

The only other themed item is the cake. Which is being specially designed by Lily-Belles Bakery based in Twickenham.

All we have to do is write and post the invitations, fill the party bags and make the food and have a party!

In 9 weeks time, I’ll have a one year old and will have pulled off our first birthday party.

I may be a tad excited about this.