Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Baby Led Weaning & Eating Out.

Before we began BLW earlier in the year, I had lots of reservations and concerns, mainly centring around eating out. My hubby and I like to eat out on a weekend, no where posh or exciting but it's just something we have always done. Eating out with a little one is difficult as it is, but throwing the fact that they need feeding too, is a whole new ball game. Having said that, we seem to have coped the last few weeks and have actually started enjoying eating out with Violet. 

While we're on eating out, can we all just take a moment to praise the IKEA highchair? It's the one we have at home and I'm always thankful to see it in cafes and restaurants. It's the perfect fit for Violet and she will sit happily munching away without any problems. In fact, IKEA is just brilliant for families all round. The cafe is so accessible and super cheap and it's actually where we took these photos. 

Don't get me wrong, I don't buy meals for V when we're out. Violet is definitely not at that stage yet, but if I have something appropriate for her to nibble on then I will happily share that with her (Pizza Hut salad bar, I'm looking at you!). Or otherwise I tend to take a packed lunch of something we made earlier, which works really well for us. But we are still eating off the table and throwing a lot on the floor, so Michelin star dining probably isn't a great idea. 

I've found a few things really help when we're out and about and planning on stopping for food. One being the IKEA highchair blow-up insert. We bought two, one for at home and one to take out with us. It's really handy to pop in the nappy bag and inflated or folded down within a few minutes. It fits inside all highchairs and makes a huge difference when cafes have those huge wooden chairs. 

Another great find is the Bibetta Placemat* for popping down on the table and letting V go to town on her lunch. Not only is it machine washable and waterproof but it also stops me having to wipe down every surface before Violet starts eating. The placemat has a really handy pocket too, so catches any food that would otherwise end up in V's lap then ultimately onto the floor. It's certainly made my life a little easier when we're eating out.

Lastly, choosing family friendly restaurants and cafes is definitely the way forward. The likes of Harvester, Pizza Hut, pubs with play areas, etc. are easily the best place to be with a little one. No body cares if your little one drops some food or decides to have a meltdown mid-snack, the mess and noise are all part of the experience of family dining. 

I'm so excited than we can now enjoy meals out as a family of three without having to entertain Violet and wolf down our meals. V is getting so confident with eating and loves to have meal times with us both and I think eating out has probably helped that. I can't wait to continue our BLW journey as Violet explores even more with food. 

Katie xx

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Super Easy Baby Sensory at Home.

I'm forever trying to come up with easy rainy-day activities to do with Violet. Although we spend a lot of the week out and about, there are some days when we need a little something to keep us occupied for an hour or so. Recently we've found a lovely new messy play session at a children's centre which Violet loves, but it also provides me with lots of ideas and inspiration for trying new things at home. 

So this week I've gone all out and plonked Violet is a spare storage tub and popped in some edible sensory play for her to explore. We went with shredded wheat and dried oats this week, but I'm pretty sure you could go with anything you had lying around in the kitchen cupboards that is baby-safe obviously. V enjoyed playing with the different textures and picking up the oats and of course sticking them straight into her mouth! I also popped in her stacking cups, which worked really well for filling and pouring and just general play. 

Violet sat in here for a good half an hour interacting with the different textures and just having a good time. We explored a little with her feet too which she seemed to enjoy. I found the easiest way to play was to strip her down and to her vest and nappy and let her go for it. And I also popped the tub on a disposable table cloth I had to hand, to save any extra hoovering up! 

This is such an easy sensory activity to try at home and can be made with little or no cost at all. I'm really looking forward to experimenting with some more sensory tastes and textures - you'll find me browsing Pinterest. 

Do you know of any sensory activities we should try?

Katie xx

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Tickle Tots Cloth Nappy.

We've been exclusively using cloth nappies since Violet was around 6 weeks old. If you've followed my blog for a while, you might have seen a couple of cloth nappy related posts previously - here & here. We've learnt a lot about the reusable nappy world and with some trial and errors, we have definitely found what works for us.

Recently we've been given a chance to try out a brand of nappies that's completely new to us - Tickle Tots*. We were kindly sent one of the 'all-in-two' nappies to try out and see how well they worked for us. And so far we're really enjoying experiencing a new style of nappy. The all-in-two nappy features an waterproof outer shell, then an set of two boosters; a smaller sized booster and a larger one. The boosters can be used singularly or together for added absorption, and so far that's what we've opted for. We have one nappy in our stash that is similar to this style, and we find that leaving both boosters in can give us a good 5-6 hours with no leaks and no need to change (other than if V has pooped!). 

In comparison to the usual all-in-ones that we use, this one from Tickle Tots has come in super handy when Violet is in her sling. If you've used AIOs in the past, you'll know if there is any added pressure to the nappy, after a while it will 'squeeze' the nappy and result in some leaking. With the Tickle Tots AI2, this doesn't occur as the boosters 'pop-in' to the outer shell rather than being all as one. If the nappy does have any pressure applied from tight clothing or sling, there is no leaking on to V's clothes, which definietly prevents any extra outfit changes when we're out and about!

This nappy is a birth to potty style, which is absolutely the way to go if you're wanting to exclusively use cloth. As long as the nappy is well looked after, it should last right up until Violet is ready to be potty trained. As you can see on the photos, the poppers allow the nappy to be made smaller depending on the size your baby requires. Violet is currently on the smallest size in all her nappies and this one fits like a glove. The Velcro fastening means I can get a good fit around her bum and waist to ensure we have no leaks around her tummy or legs. Again, the Velcro means it's easily adjustable and can be tailored to exactly the size your baby needs. 

And of course, this would be no review if I didn't mention how cute the design of this nappy is. The pattern is described as Perfect Puddles online and that pretty much sums up this nappy. It's just the ultimate nappy to wear during those blustery spring days, when the only thing to do is pop the heating on and sit in your PJs all day!

Katie xx