Monday, 5 December 2016

Our Bedtime Routine.

Despite being in the midst of the dreaded four month sleep regression, Violet is generally a good sleeper. She has been from day one really, and as a newborn was pretty predictable for her three hourly feeds. And now she does manage to go the full night every now and again. I'm not sure if we're just "lucky" or it's down to putting a bed time routine into place early on. So I thought I'd share our little routine that has been tweaked through the last few months, but I think we've just about found what works for us. 

Lights out at 7pm - We have been pretty strict with this rule from day one. So many people said to keep your days light and loud and the nights dark and quiet. This was especially important when I had a summer baby and the days were longer than ever. Investing in a good black out blind, is certainly a good idea. 

Bottle, book and bed - I tend to give Violet her bottle downstairs and then take her up for a book and to get into bed. I've tried to disassociate bottle and sleep so that Violet doesn't need milk before going to sleep all of the time. I recently found this amazing sensory light in B&M, which is lovely to put on in our room while I read Violet a story. Violet will go into her bed whilst she's awake and has learnt to sooth herself to sleep without being rocked in my arms. Of course, I'm in the room and she can see me, but it's a big help that she settles herself and drifts off without being on me. 

Tilting the Next2me cot - This was one of the biggest helps for us for Violet sleeping. I'm sure I've mentioned Violet has reflux, which initially resulted in sick covered sleep suits and a very unsettled baby. Violet is still a very sicky baby during the day (despite how upright she's kept) but during the night the tilt on her cot seems to do the trick and she manages to keep that last feed down. Adjustable beds are so handy, I'm hoping we can continue to keep her in a tilted position, as she moves into her own room.

Tweaking your routine - We did try the bath time before bed, but Violet is a water baby and bath time makes her far too exciting. I also tried dream feeding at 10pm to see if that helped, but to be honest V would hardly take any milk and it was just disturbing her sleep. So now we stick to what we know and more often than not, it works for us. 

Getting out of the house - It's very rare that I will have a full day at home with Violet. In fact, unless either of us were unwell, I don't think I could handle a full day inside. We tend to go to local baby groups and meet up with other mamas or even just walk to the shop so we've at least been out. I find if Violet has done an activity that day, like swimming or sensory, she will sleep so much better during the night. Plus there is only so much entertaining a 4 month old, you can do. 

That's my few little tips of getting a sleep routine established. The key is definitely finding out what works for you and your baby. And if it's not working, try something new!

Katie xx

*In association with Adjustable Beds

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Christmas Crafts for Babies.

I've been starting to be a little more creative with activities we can do at home and thankfully browsing Pinterest has paid off. I popped to my local Wilko and picked up a few different paints and some multicoloured markers and Violet and I got very messy!

A few tips for hand and foot prints with a baby:

1. Stripe them too their nappy and pop them on their change mat or something easily to wipe clean. 

2. Make sure you get washable paints. You will get paint on your clothes, if not the carpet. 

3. No matter how much you try to protect your furniture, you inevitably find paint somewhere you didn't plan on getting it. 

4. Make sure your baby is in a good mood (or ideally asleep). Luckily Violet loves being naked so as soon as she was stripped to her nappy she was pretty happy. I found keeping her laid down and "painting" her foot with my fingers worked best. 

5. You'll need a lot of card - I can't even could how many sheets we went through to get some decent prints. It's a good idea to create a conveyer belt of card ready so you can just keep printing. 

6. Probably the most vital, have wipes ready. As we picked up washable paint, it was pretty easy to just wipe Violet clean before I could get her in the bath. But I must admit her toenails had a green tinge for a few days!

We had a lot of fun making these prints and I've managed to make a whole bunch to give to people at Christmas. The activity also doubles up as sensory time and could definitely be extended into a whole craft afternoon with older children. I'm thinking next year we may crack out the glitter!

Katie xx

Friday, 25 November 2016

Mamas & Papas Gift Finder.

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I'm more than excited for Violet's first Christmas. And although I swore I wouldn't buy her too much, her present pile just keeps getting that little bit bigger. 

I've recently been trying Mamas & Papas gift finder which is a super easy way to search for the perfect gift for little ones. You simply fill out info about baby or bump and your search results arrive in seconds. The great thing about the gift finder, is it's not exclusive to Christmas presents and can be used to help pick birthday presents or gifts for other occasions throughout the year! I've managed to find a few things we love and will certainly be making their way into Violet's Christmas list. 

I'm dying to get her a few Christmassy outfits, as it's her first Christmas I'd like to get her something to keep. The little "Christmas is coming" jumper is just the sweetest thing and I think it would be a perfect fit for any little girl or boy. New pjs for Christmas Eve are a must too and the checked bottoms could certainly be worn right through the winter. 

We have a few Christmas parties and plans to attend over the festive period. I'm dying to pick up some gorgeous party dresses like this one, which would just look adorable with some thick cream tights and a little cardigan. 

Violet absolutely does not need any more toys but I simply can't resist. She loves anything with eyes and I think this little bug toy would be fab for distracting her from the dreaded car seat. And how could I do a Christmas wish list without including Sophie the Giraffe? We do already have a Sophie that is chewed and sucked on no end. I think every baby needs one of these in their stocking. 

So, if you need a helping hand buying for your little ones or someone else's this Christmas,give the gift finder a go!

Katie xx

*In association with Mamas & Papas