Tuesday, 22 April 2014

losing the baby weight...

When I was pregnant with Oliver I put on a whopping... 5 stone. oops, craving those kit kats every day might have helped - ok definitely helped towards that. It took me years to lose the weight and actually I'd only just lost it when I got pregnant with Isabelle! So I find myself post baby for the second (and final) time, ready to start losing the baby weight all over again.
While pregnant with Isabelle though, I put on just under 2 stone which is obviously alot better - considering my borbon biscuits didn't get ditched, it's pretty good really! So I'm guessing losing the extra weight will be easier when I can eventually do more. Although it's been 5 weeks since my emergency c-section, I still have a sore tummy and don't feel up to doing certain things.


I believe that baby weight takes 9 months to go on so it doesnt matter if it takes 9 months to come off and that's what I'm going to aim for to be back to my pre-Isabelle size when she's 9 months (but if I get there and I'm still a little over, who cares? I made a human!). I've no intention of rushing to lose weight, I'd rather spend time with my family than fuss over weight and I'm breastfeeding, so if I'm hungry I'm eating!

So every month from now on I'm going to blog about my weight. 

This photo is 5 weeks after having Isabelle.
I'm not going to ask how long it took you to lose baby weight but I am going to ask you, how long did it take you to feel happy with your body again?

Mary-Kate, x

Nursing clothing by Love Milk


As you know I am breastfeeding Isabelle - 5 weeks so far and I'm still doing it :) I'm very proud of that considering I struggled so much with Oliver, I was very determined this time. One thing I haven't got the hang of though is breastfeeding in public but to be honest I haven't really had the chance to get used to it yet however I have had people round/been to family members houses and I think one of the essential things for my breastfeeding success when people are around is nursing clothing! I don't like the idea of anyone being able to see my boobs and I don't want to lift my top or dress, to have my belly on show. 

So nursing clothing is very important to me, however high street stores offer nothing nursing that's actually pretty and fashionable, why should new mums not feel beautiful? That's why I've been looking for breastfeeding clothing brands and I have found a fantastic one to share with you... Love Milk. 

Love Milk nursing clothing was founded in 2010 by Helena Henning in Sweden and you can find out more about why she created 'Love Milk' - here.
 

"Love Milk focuses on sustainable, easy and colourful living. But, most importantly, we want to help making nursing easier and let all mothers feel beautiful."  Helena Henning, founder of Love Milk

Amber Nursing Dress
I was sent 3 gorgeous Love Milk items to review and I've been wearing them for a few weeks now so that I can give you my honest opinion on them.

Firstly I was sent this lovely black Amber nursing dress which is made from bamboo and therefore super soft on your skin. It has a narrow panel of broderie anglaise on the shoulders with a v-shaped neckline it gathers across the bust which means you can't even tell it's a nursing dress! I love that you just need to pull it to the side to feed baby and I have a feeling it would be suitable for feeding twins as well. I have worn it to the shops and around the house as well as to see family but you could just as easily dress this up for an evening out. I've washed it and it keeps it shape really well the one thing I wish is that it was able to go in the tumble dryer but having said that it does dry fairly quickly if you hang it up! So, it's not a massive deal and it's too nice to ruin in the tumble dryer. This dress costs £69, originally I would of thought that was too expensive but having worn the dress now I understand the price tag. I'm usually very careful with how much I spend on clothing for myself but I genuinely think this dress is worth the price tag. Whenever it's clean and ready to wear, this is the item I will wear. It's super comfortable and ideal for new mums who want to look and feel pretty while not having something super tight on, especially if like me you've had a c-section. I've worn this dress with tights and over the top of leggings with flip flops or boots but I can't wait for warmer weather to wear it just as a dress.

Molly Nursing Top
Second item I was sent is this Molly nursing top in black, I love that the design of it is fitted at the same time suitable for my new mum tum! Again this is made from stretchy bamboo jersey and is very soft. I love the lace detail at the front, it would suit being dressed down with jeans or dressed up, while still being able to feed baby with the cleverly hidden nursing access.This top costs £39 which I think is very reasonable considering its easily dressed up and down meaning you can wear this one top for several different occasions.

And last but not least this gorgeous maxi dress which I absolutely cannot wait to wear (when we get suitable weather.. or Michael takes me somewhere!). It's called Shelley in ultramarine colourway and at first I didn't think it would suit me because of my 'mum tum' I thought it would really make it look terrible but the gorgeous bamboo jersey flows nicely over my curves. Theres a floral embroidery around the bust/waist area which draws attention to that area. The material over the boobs is gathered meaning yet again, Love Milk have managed to make discreet nursing access! I haven't worn this item out yet but I have tried it on alot and I can't wait to wear it out, it will look lovely with some pretty sandals in the summer. This dress retails for £89. I think if you're looking for a dress to wear as a wedding guest for example this would be great because you can dress it up while at the same time being able to wear it on holiday or on days out in the summer meaning you get more for your money! I think if I was going to a summer wedding I'd wear this, I hate the idea of 'wasting' money on clothes you'll wear once considering you wont be breastfeeding forever but as you can get multiple use out of this dress it's much more appealing.
Shelley Nursing Dress
What do you think of the items?
Make sure you have a look at Love Milk and let me know whats your favorite!


Mary-Kate, x

Please note that Love Milk sent me these items for review but all of the views are my own.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Pampers!

I used pampers when Oliver was a baby so I knew this time that was the brand I wanted to use and I was delighted when some Pampers sent me a few packets of New Baby Size 1 to see what I thought of them... I'm impressed, they've improved since Oliver was a baby. 

'Unique Absorb-Away Layer' - Quickly draws both wetness and runny poo away from newborn skin for dryness and protection. What I think? Well I don't know if such a thing exists as 'Unique Absorb-Away Layer' but to be honest I have actully noticed that Isabelle's poo isnt on her skin, it's on the nappy, now I'm not sure if that is due to this layer or if its just because shes still tiny and thats just what her poo does... I should test her in a different brands nappy and see what happens. 

'Wetness Indicator' - I LOVE this feature, theres a yellow line down the nappy and it turns blue when the baby pees, letting you know a nappy change is needed! 

'New navel Friendly Shape' - Curved designed provides a soft and comfortable fit around babies delicate belly button area.
 
We love these Pampers New Baby nappies, they're super-absorbent and very soft against babies new skin. My favourite thing about them is the wetness indicator which saves you changing babies nappy when they havent actually done any wee! Pampers is the brand I'd suggest to any parents to be. 
 
Mary-Kate, x

Please note Pampers sent me a few packets to try out but all of the opinions in this review are my own - I think they're great!
 
 
 

Friday, 18 April 2014

Isabelle bedtime routine

Although Isabelle is only 1 month old we are already trying to get her into a little bedtime routine... 

She starts bedtime by having a bath in her Shnuggle Cosy Bath  and sometimes big brother Oliver gets to help too.

Then after her bath its time to get dry using a rather lovely towel from Pixie & Jack - it's massive and keeps her very warm. You can see more about the towel here. 
Isabelle has very dry skin and on her face she has 'baby acne' which I'm sure looks very like eczema. So I've started using diprobase cream on her face - like the doctor said to and on her body I'm using a lovely Mum & Me cream, we've also got Mum & Me bath products, we love them. Oliver's got some great items by cussons Mum & Me too. 
Then she gets dressed for bed - usually in a Next sleepsuit, Next sell some really lovely baby items. And in she gets in her Puckababy for the night (well until the night feed that is...) Sometimes she pulls this face.. I call it the GIVE ME MILK NOW face. 
Then I get to sit in my rather lovely Tutti Bambini nursing chair, which Michael brought for me after the health visitor who visited us upset me. Isn't he lovely? I couldnt get comfortable feeding her anywhere and this chair is fantastic, paired with a feeding cushion from Thrupenny Bits it's the perfect feeding chair. Usually I read her a little book or tell her a little story, mainly because to begin with she was a very sleepy lazy lady and I had to keep her away but now it's because I think it's great to start reading books to your little ones and it's never 'too early'. Oliver also loves telling her about his stories.
Then it's time to get into her lovely Shnuggle Basket which you can read about here. But only for 4 hours, I've been told not to let her sleep longer as need to get her gaining more weight. 

Does your little one have a routine ?

 
 

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Shnuggle - Bath time!


Isabelle is a lucky little lady isn't she? Not only has she been sleeping like a princess in the Shnuggle Basket - you can read my review here, but she's also been having baths in the Shnuggle Cosy Baby Bath which again, like the basket is a very modern take on a baby product and we absolutely love it! 

So we had a normal baby bath and she just screamed her head off, to be honest with you I probably would too if I was sat in it! It was slippery and I personally wouldnt of felt very safe in it either (even though we were obviously holding on to her). 

This cleverly designed baby bath helps to make bath time fun and much safer. It's made from baby safe foam - yes foam! it keeps the water warmer for longer due to its insulating properties and if little one is warm they are going to enjoy bath time much more, no one likes being cold do they? 

It's ideal for babies up to 6 months and comes in 5 colours which you can see here. They retail for £30 which if you compare to other baby baths is a very reasonable price especially considering baby will love bath time with this bath.
One last thing to tell you about the Shnuggle Cosy Baby Bath and I've saved it until last because its my absolute fav feature of it... 'Bum Bump!' the idea is brilliant and it works, Isabelle loves it and she at 1 month old sits in the bath without me holding onto her (don't get me wrong I am very very close by with my hand sometimes holding hers if she wants to), she really loves laying back without being held, pushing her legs out. So the 'bum bump' is designed to allow your baby to be reclined and at the same time supported. It helps stop your little one slipping under the water meaning your hands are free to enjoy bath time, I personally agree that bath time is a bonding experience and something that you should, if you can, make time to do with your little ones - they aren't little forever are they? I also love that due to the design of this bath and feeling safe with Isabelle inside it, I feel more confident letting Oliver help me bath his baby sister. He loves that and it's great to not have to tell him no, so if you've got a little helper of your own then I think you should invest in one of these clever little baby baths. 

You can have a look at the Shnuggle Cosy Baby Bath on YouTube by clicking here.
Isabelle Rose
So why do we prefer the Shnuggle Cosy Baby Bath? 
  • The design is perfect for little people allowing them to sit up and look around while having a little splash in the water, Isabelle loves being sat up looking around (nosey like her mummy?). 
  • The water actually feels as if it stays warmer for longer and thats great because when she looks happy and is quiet in there, I don't want to have to rush her I'd much prefer to let her relax and enjoy the bath time. 
  • It's a pretty colour and I personally think it looks really nice. 
  • It's not slippery unlike other baths. 
  • Easy to carry
  • The design limits water waste.  
  • Allows older sibling(s) to help.
Mary-Kate, x
*Please note that this Shnuggle bath was sent to us for the purpose of this review but all of the opinions are mine.

Shnuggle Basket - Modern moses basket !

Isabelle Rose has a new bed and we all love it! It's the Shnuggle Basket, a very clever modern moses basket... if you're pregnant and looking for a moses basket stop! because I've found the perfect one for any newborn baby.

You can find out more about Shnuggle here.

So basically we brought Isabelle's moses basket back in October at the baby show, from Babies R Us for £54.99 and although it's gorgeous with little flower vintage print all over... after trying this Shnuggle Basket I've decided it's 100 times better that a normal moses basket and now the Shnuggle is where little miss Isabelle sleeps. 


Traditional meets modern, this basket looks like the traditional moses basket but it's so much better and let me tell you why... 

Firstly it's made from strong and hypoallergenic material thats easy to clean so it's far safer for your baby (not to mention fantastic if you plan to have more babies in the future, you can easily store this away and not have to worry about it being ruined and dirty unable to clean it. I never thought about it with the normal moses baskets but how do you really clean that wicker?).
Normal moses baskets made a noise when babies move about, I'll be completely honest - it doesnt always make the noise but when it does you think 'ohh please don't wake up!' what's great about this Shnuggle basket is it's almost silent so along with 100% pure cotton fabrics, its a warm, comfortable and safe place for your baby to sleep. One of my favourite things about this basket? The hood. Yes the hood. I can't tell you how many times in just 4 weeks I've put the hood on the babies r us moses basket back up or tried to make it tighter so it would stop falling back down. I remember having the same problem with Oliver's normal moses basket too when he was a baby so I guess they all do it. Not this Shnuggle basket though, it's got a clever locking system which means the hood really does stay up! I love that.


The basket is easy to set up and theres even a youtube video to show you how -

Shnuggle basket set up video 

The padding is tight to fit but thats good because then its safer. It can also be washed in the machine at 30 or 40 and dried slowly! 

So heres Isabelle sleeping in her moses basket from Babies R Us (she's 4 weeks old but look how much space she has! Not to mention how the material always needs to be pulled back on and the hood, well I've given up with that! Oh and the handles, always in the way.) 

Now this is Isabelle, on the same day in the Shnuggle basket - see how much bigger it is? It looks cleaner although they're both basically new and it actually padded, the material isnt able to slip off like the normal one. Oh and the handles arent in the way! Definitely better.
One last thing I love about the Shnuggle is the rocking stand, it rocks length way instead of sideway - the other one rocks sideways and she with it rocks side to side as if shes going to fall to the side. Not to mention, she hated that rocking stand but the Shnuggle she loves and it sends her back to sleep, when she moves it gently rocks.

Price compare

Babies R Us moses basket - £54.99 
Babies R Us rocking stand - £29.99 (although I did keep this from when Oliver was a baby)

Shnuggle Basket - £75.00 
Shnuggle Rocking stand - £25.00 

Plus Shnuggle offer free delivery on orders over £75.
Considering how much better the Shnuggle basket is I really think it's worth that little extra. It's available in a range of colours - I went for the Ivory Cream as I think it looks really smart and unisex, great if you want to keep the basket for next time (Dont panic Michael - theres not a next time!! 2 is enough). But they also have other gorgeous colours which you can view here  

I'd like to Thank Shnuggle for creating such a lovely little first bed for babies, really is traditional meets modern! 

Mary-Kate & Isabelle x 

*Please note that this Shnuggle Basket was sent to me for the purpose of reviewing but all of the opinions are my own.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Snoob

Breastfeeding is something I struggled with first time around but this time I've coped much better and that's because I was more prepared - thats with information about breastfeeding thanks to 'google', Mummy and Little Me retreat and past experience, material things to make it easier (such as the snoob and gorgeous breastfeeding pillow - review coming soon) and the understanding that although it is natural, it is difficult sometimes and takes time to perfect! It's been over 3 weeks now and I haven't given up, YAY! *pat's own head*

So, although I haven't been asked to tell you about Snoob, I just couldn't resist telling you very quickly! I've always been a bit nervous about breastfeeding while out and muslins are great to cover you while feeding however, what about when you need to move? or it slips by iself (Does happen!!), you find yourself stiff unable to move incase someone see's something so that's whats great about this breastfeeding scarf, it can't move! meaning you're able to relax and concentrate on feeding your baby. And whats more is it's stylish so no one will even know its for breastfeeding and it's perfect for covering baby - I actually started wearing them while still pregnant. I can sort it out around her one handed which is great. I think they're fantastic and hope that my collection will keep growing. I have a grey one and a cream one so far but I've recently fallen in love with their new Orchid colour!

You can view Snoob by clicking here! They retail for £25. 


 Mary-Kate, x