Days Out – The Baby Show – Kensington Olympia, London. 

Last weekend the wife and I went to our first baby show as a family. I was pregnant the last time we went and the time before that we were trying, so it was really nice to visit from the perspective of parents.

Going as parents this time meant that we knew what we needed and likewise, what would be good for the future. There have been several occasions previously, when we were trying or whilst I was pregnant, where we saw something and thought; “that’ll be good!” but here we are today and that particular item is still in it’s packaging!

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Our day started particularly early as usual, however this came in handy as we needed to be out the door by 7am to arrive by 10am to grab any freebies deals. So instead of putting T back to sleep after his 5:30am feed, we got him dressed and in the car where he then slept the way there. Perfect!

As we arrived, I got incredibly excited. I love Baby shows. I love the shopping experience, the new gadgets and gizmos that aren’t in the shops yet, the discounts! It really is a world of its own. I also love chatting to the companies and hearing how their product came to be and how enthusiastic they are about their product, especially now since we’ve worked with a few of the brands that attend the show. It’s like talking to someone we know.

The actual day itself was no different to previous times – apart from new stalls, and the fact we got to meet Laura and Amy from We Forgot The Sperm and Al from TheDadNetwork! So this time, I thought I’d share some tips to help make your experience easier if you decide to go.

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1) Get there in good time. A lot of the offers (freebies or my) go quite quickly so if you’re a sucker for a deal like me you have to get there in the morning.

2) As usual, we planned a route. It’s really easy for something to catch your eye when you’re walking around, especially with exhibitors calling you over or handing you something. If you’re strict with your route you’ll see everything in your own time and at your own pace!

3) Likewise to the above, mark down who you want to see or the things you need to buy. It’s really easy to forget (or spend the money you saved for bibs!)

4) We started at the back. This meant that we got a bit more room to browse whilst everyone else was at the front, and by the time we reached the front everyone was at the back!

5) We took a packed lunch. Although the food there is lovely and with tons of choice available, it was always so busy; meaning you couldn’t always find a seat within that cafe’s seating area. Taking a packed lunch meant we could plonk ourselves down anywhere (maybe not as easily if you’re heavily pregnant), saving our lunch money for more goodies!

6) Don’t make decisions straight away. If you’re not sure about something, make a separate pile of leaflets to talk about over at lunch. There are also several exhibitors selling similar items, so don’t just go with the first one you see.

Although in general the show was no different to the previous times (which is good!), we really noticed this time how good the facilities are around the show for babies. Whether it was comfy rocking chairs in the feeding area, the availablity to go to a private feeding area if you wished, or the fact that the changing area offered free nappies and wipes on top of a decent changing table with nappy bin. Everything really had been thought of.

As usual, I’d highly recommend paying the baby show a visit if you’re expecting or even with a young baby. There really is something for everyone, however I can’t promise that everyone will be as keen as you.

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You can visit our favourite stalls here.

K

Our First Family Holiday 

We’ve been going to Cornwall every year since the wife and I got together. It was our place to escape. To relax. We’ve been to other parts of the West Country but Cornwall is and will always be our favourite. So naturally, when it came to having our first family holiday, we wanted to go to Cornwall.

It was a sudden booking as we’d already booked a holiday to Wales, but with S having a stressful time at work and not really having a proper family “break” since her paternity leave (if you can count it as a break), we needed to get away before our break to Wales.

After packing everything bar the kitchen sink we were ready to go. We left at 8am by the time T woke and had breakfast on the way. For a 6 hour journey we planned 2-3 stops depending on how T was, this seemed pretty reasonable as T is guaranteed to sleep whenever he’s in the car.

Our first two stops went according to plan – T had slept from home and between both stops. As we arrived at Exeter this is where it went a bit downhill. As we drove to our final destination, only a mere 90 minutes to go, T was getting fed up of being in the car seat. We were so close and yet so far. This then lead to lots of tears (from both parties), singing, and desperate attempts to keep T happy, but we finally arrived.

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We stayed in your typical holiday park caravan (as it tells us we’re definitely on holiday!) which we promptly made our own, and did something every day. We visited Lands End, Penzance, Paradise Park, St. Ives, and Cyder Farms. We gorged on cream teas, fudge, ice cream, and pasties. We also went swimming on site a few times. We had such a great time.

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The journey back was unfortunately hellish as we left a bit late which meant that we were still driving by the time T’s bedtime rolled round. This lead to us unpacking and repacking the car somewhere near Southampton so that S could keep T company in the back which worked.

We’ll certainly think about distance next time we go on holiday but nevertheless, we still had a great time and really didn’t want to go home!

K

We received no compensation for using the links in this post, we just think they’re great places to visit!

4 Month Update. 

T is now 122 days old. 4 months!

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I say this every month, but I really don’t know where the time is going. What’s most upsetting is that I’m soon going to be reaching the half way point of my maternity leave! T being two weeks late really cut into a huge chunk of my leave so I go back before he’s one year (but we don’t discuss this much in fear of me blubbing)!

Since last month, T has come in leaps and bounds. This, by far, has been my favourite month so far.

His voice is well and truly established (often being the loudest in the room), and so is his coordination. Although he still gets frustrated when he wants something in front of him and can’t quite grasp it, he now has no trouble giving it a good go. He has no interest in rolling, but where he lacks in rolling he makes up for with interaction and teeth!

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He’s really interactive and we’re getting full blown giggles from him that melt me to the core. He seems to laugh harder with S which makes it all more special. I love how he looks at S, you can tell he absolutely adores her. His smiles are definitely the biggest when she comes home of an evening, even if he has been in pain through teething.

Teething wise, his bottom teeth are through and coming up rapidly. He now looks extra cute when he smiles.  His top two teeth have also broken through the gums – I can’t imagine what pain he’s going through right now. Thankfully, I haven’t felt the pain of teeth – I’ve had a few accidental nips towards the end of a feed but I’ve managed to take him off after a stern “no”. I think (hope) he’s learning that teeth equals no food.

Like me, he’s a stickler for routine. If we’re out even by 10/20 minutes, especially at bedtime, he grumbles. We have several routines but they’re routines to say the least. For example, some mornings he’s up at 6am, the next he’s up at 7:30am. I know that if he’s up at 6am, he’ll feed and go back to sleep until 8am. If he’s up at 7:30am, he’ll feed but stay awake until 9am where he’ll have another feed and then nap. I’m quite thankful he has these routines – it makes the day easier to manage!

Speaking of sleep, T is still sleeping through the night from 8:30; although I’ve had several warnings about the 4 month sleep regression! I’m not looking forward to that, especially as I’ve just started sleeping through!

It’s currently the school summer holidays here so I’ve been having trouble finding things to do with T. If he doesn’t do something different each day he can get quite cranky. So far, we do a lot of (cheap) soft play and walks with the dog whilst I wear him. Now that he’s more interactive he’s really enjoying the different view whilst being worn. Although he still often falls asleep, he usually spends a lot of time gawking at the sights he can clearly see before him. It really is a magical time.

K

Finding His Voice

I’m pretty safe to say that T has definitely found his voice.

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Every morning, it’s no longer frustrated noises or cries that come from his moses basket but coo’s and chitter chatter. Throughout the day, I no longer hear silence but baby rambles being directed at the nearest toy.

When I watch him chat I can see his lips moving into different shapes, trying to pronounce something. His eyebrows moving with emotion.

Whenever I engage in conversation with him, hoping I’m getting the language right and not calling him names, I wonder what his first words will be, what his first question will be, and what he’ll answer when I ask him questions such as; what his favourite colour is, what his favourite meal is, or where his favourite place is.

We’re clearly a long way off from question time, but I can’t wait to have a proper conversation with him. Even if it is about why he can’t have profiteroles for breakfast like his Mumma.

K

In The Garden With Nana

My mum was made to be a nan. She was always telling my sister and I that she “couldn’t wait” to be a nan but very quickly told us she obviously could (we were teenage girls after all).

So when my nephew came along one November, out came the knitting needles. There were jumpers, toys, hats. You name it. It was the same for when T came along.

When our nephew turned two, he was a spitfire and never sat down or stopped running around. So when T came along shortly after, my mum thought it’d be time to start creating her garden haven for the grandkids.

Her first creation was a home made chalk board.


Made with a board of MDF, a can of blackboard paint, and some string. It can be taken off the wall and put on the ground. Our nephew loves drawing on this and keeps him from drawing on nana’s newly paved garden!

Nana’s next creation was her “water wall”:

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Made from an old shelving unit (pallets would also work) and recycled bottles and plastics from around the house and garden, my mum created a fun (and cooling) toy. By attaching the bottles to the shelves using cable ties means that they can be removed or moved around to create something new every few weeks.

The following week came a home made sand box:

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Made from a cheap, plastic box usually found in pound shops, it beats forking out for sand tables from chain stores. The length means it can be easily shared and the lid means it can be left outside.

On top of those creations, there’s a large tub containing soil for digger play, and large, foam jigsaw pieces to sit underneath the slide she got, to create a soft mat. Not to mention the usual garden toys.


There’s no question that my mum enjoys doing this, and if this is what’s created for a two year old; I can’t imagine what will be around by the time T is old enough to play!

K

Mamavsteacher

The Breastfeeding Chronicles – Lana Care Breastpads – Review

My war with breastpads pretty much started a month before T was born. I leaked. A lot. So it was vital to wear something comfortable and discreet, but putting those two words together with normal, disposable breastpads didn’t compute. It really didn’t, as explained here.

So when the guys from Lana Care were offering free samples of their organic, reusable breastpads as part of national breastfeeding week I couldn’t resist. I’d been recommended to buy reusables anyway but I never knew which ones to get – or which size. Plus, I had so many donated boxes of breastpads I wanted to use them first.

A few days after chatting with Lana Care, I received my sample breastpads and sample nipple cream:

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When they arrived I was immediately taken back by how soft the pads were. Made from organic wool, they don’t feel like cotton wool – they’re softer, but still quite absorbent. They feel like soft blanket wool – almost fleece-like, but not that fluffy where you would expect loose fibres.

Upon wearing them; it felt like I didn’t have a pad in! I also couldn’t hear the pad rustling, nor did it look like I had a pad in despite it’s thickness. It shaped neatly around my boob and, if anything, kept it warm – something that I imagine will deter mastitis. My nipple sat cushioned into the pad as apposed to it being crushed/bent, and the pad stayed put.

After a few feeds I saw that the pad had kept it’s shape and didn’t clump together in places like regular pads do after a few up and down motions of a bra – it felt like the pad was a part of my bra.

I haven’t had the opportunity to wash them yet but the advice is to gently wash them in lanolin soap in luke warm water and to leave to dry on a radiator. Simple.

I really like these pads and actually can’t think of a bad thing to say about them. The pads I received were the perfect size for me, but I’d probably still like to try different sizes. Lana Care provide pads that can come in six different sizes ranging from mini to large, there’s also an oval shaped one.

I’ve only used a tiny bit of the sample cream, just to see what it was like, and so far I’m impressed. It smelt nice and you don’t have to remove it before a feed.

These pads have nicely introduced me to the world of reusable ones. I was reluctant at first as I was concerned about the extra washing but these ones certainly don’t require any extra effort – it’ll be no different to me having to soak a stained vest and if anything, it’ll be a lot less painful!

K

These pads were offered to anyone who applied for the free sample via Facebook, and not for the purpose of this review.