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The Magic of Christmas

1 Dec

Hi folks,

I’ve got that festive feeling. I know this year has been… bumpy shall we say. I also know it’s not going to be the Christmas we’re used too. I mean… for the last 8yrs we’ve gone to Center Parcs for Winter Wonderland & this year we can’t. Our holiday has been cancelled. Normally in December we visit Santa each weekend. Normally in the first week of December, Santa rides passed our house in his sleigh playing Christmas music. Normally in December we spend time with family. Normally on Christmas Eve we have breakfast with Santa & then have a Christmas Disco. Unfortunately… 2020 is not going to be the Christmas we ‘normally’ have. But you know what? For all it’s really sad… it’s just an opportunity to make new ‘normals’ or ‘traditions’ at Christmas.

We started the festive period wth a lovely delivery from Santa. Seth received the most gorgeous letter, certificate & activity book from The Lapland Mailroom.

Seth couldn’t believe it when the letter dropped through the door for him. He was super excited!!! He was even more excited when he seen the certificate!

The letter itself was utterly gorgeous. When choosing your letter online, you can add little personal touches such as your home town & best friend etc… Seth was utterly gobsmacked that his best friend Holly was mentioned in the letter.

In the pack, Seth also received the activity pack, which included a window sticker. Such amazing value for money. The letters & certificates are lovely quality & delivery was really quick. What a lovely keepsake. This will definitely being going into our memory box.

While we can’t got about our ‘normal’ lives… it’s time to make new amazing memories during a crazy year. I love that this letter is dated Christmas 2020… it most definitely is a year we will not forget. However… my babies will remember what an amazing Christmas they had & little touches like these gorgeous letters are just the icing on the cake.

If you’d like order, I have a discount code for 25% off!!! just enter code: BLITZEN at checkout.

Thanks so much as always for reading!

Stay Safe,

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post – I have received gifting &/or compensation for featuring some of these items, but all opinions are my own.

Why Pay More?

19 Oct

Hi folks,

Hair… we all spend so much time on our hair. Washing it… drying it… styling it…. etc… And wow, do some brands exploit our love for our locks. Some of the prices right now on the market are crazy. Brands charging the earth for a styler or dryer. But why are people paying such huge prices? Sometimes I think that people are scared to try a new brand or simply because they feel brand loyal.

Imagine being able to get a better quality styler with amazing results for almost half the price? Well, you can. I am a HUGE fan of SHE Hair. I’ve been using SHE Hair styling tools for around 6 or 7 years now. Back in the day I was a massive GHD fan, until my straighteners broke. So I went to the shops to purchase a new GHD Iron. They were well over £100 & they pulled & snagged my hair so badly. I felt literally stuck… where did I go from here? I have such long thick hair – I need a hair straightener I can rely on.

I’d seen online & heard good things about the SHE Hair Straighteners... so I bite the bullet & I purchased a pair. I’ve never looked back. I’ve been brand loyal to SHE Hair ever since.

These last few weeks I’ve been trying the New Ice White Styler which is a reincarnation of the original 3.1b straightener. I’m in love.

First of all… they’re gorgeous to look at & come in a lovely box & very well packaged. I’d also like to add that delivery is free too. I always like to mention the packaging, because it’s the first thing you see. Good packaging always makes a big difference.

I love that you can choose the temperature best suited to your hair type. After trying them… I’ve decided 180 best suits my hair.

Being able to set the temperature yourself is great for anyone with very fine hair or extensions.

The floating ceramic plates are perfect for minimising any type of dragging or snagging. That is a huge deciding feature for me. Any snagging or dragging & it’s an instant no no from me. But this styler is perfect. It glides so smoothly through my hair.

It took hardly no time at all to get my hair perfectly smooth & straight. The ultra-smooth ceramic plates with far-infrared heat are loaded with more negative Ions, this repairs over charged positive Ion damaged hair, reducing frizz and providing better, longer lasting results. It all sounds very technical doesn’t it. But when you use a styler/straightener every day, you want to feel confident with it. The dual hinge also allows for movement on both the styling arms, which again helps to avoid dragging.

Now… here’s the exciting bit… They’re priced at just £89.99 with free delivery. So whether you’re treating yourself or someone else for Christmas… it doesn’t have to break the bank.

Also… SHE Hair have a fab range of accessories too.

If you want to find out more about this fab company, you can read here.

Thank you as always for reading & hope you’ve enjoyed tis review.

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Life isn’t perfect… but your hair can be.

3 Aug

Hi folks,

I hope you’re all doing well. Things are still feeling very surreal right now aren’t they? During this whole time I’ve not set foot in a hair salon. But it’s not been as traumatic as it could’ve been since I have the BEST ceramic hairdryer!!!

I’m a big fan of going to the hairdressers to get my hair washed & dried straight. Obviously that’s not been an option up until recently. But it’s okay, because I have the new Blue & Gold SHE Hair Dryer.

So… what’s in the box?

Okay, along with the stunning lightweight ceramic dryer you get 3 attachments;

  • Diffuser: Perfect to help prevent frizz – when done correctly. It doesn’t disturb your natural curl pattern. It speeds up drying time without adding frizz & it is less damaging than direct heat from a blow dryer.
  • 2 Nozzles: The nozzles work to concentrate the airflow from the dryer,
    meaning that it is easier and quicker to dry your hair or to create a number of
    different styles.  With 2 nozzles to choose from you can choose the one best suited to you & the style you’re wanting to achieve.

The features of this stunning dryer are that its a salon professional hair dyer, there are 3 heat settings, temperature control, powerful ac motor 1800-2000w, ergonomically balanced, quiet performance & comes with a 3m swivel cord.

On the box it sounds great! But what is it actually like to use & what are the results like? 

I washed my hair with my usual Tresemme Shampoo followed by Conditioner. I didn’t put any serum in my hair as I wanted to see what the dryer was like on completely naked hair.

To dry, I literally blasted it dry with the dryer whilst brushing my hair occasionally with my tangle teezer. I deliberately didn’t use an attachment while pulling it straight as I wanted to see what effect the dryer would have when used quickly. Because lets face it… we don’t always have the time to sit & spend hours on our hair do we?

I made a cup of tea & sat down to dry my hair the quickest way possible.

My hair is super thick & super curly & would normally take almost 30mins with a regular dryer to get fully dry.

This dryer got my hair dry in under 10mins!!!!! And… it totally tamed my frizz!

Normally my hair would be a massive mane of fluffy, flyaway frizz… but this is definitely more controlled. It also didn’t feel hot or frazzled. The hairdryer ‘dries’ but doesn’t get hot if that makes sense. It’s comfortable to hold too & is very lightweight. There’s nothing worse than a heavy, clunky hairdryer.

After drying I finished off my hair with the She Platinum Wide Styler. 

I love this styler. The wide plates are perfect on long hair & they take less time to straighten. I think the fact my hair was less frizzy made a huge difference too. I managed to get all of my hair sleek & straight in 20mins.

I used no finishing serum, yet my hair was still glossy & shiny. It didn’t feel hot or scorched. It had a lovely healthy feel & glow. I LOVE these styling tools. You really don’t need to pay for a professional shampoo & blow dry when you have your own professional hair care/styling tools at home.

You can find all of the SHE Hair products on their website. They’re also launching a Black Pearl Range very soon & they look amazing!

Thank you so much as always for reading & hope you’ve found this review useful! For further reading & purchasing – click on the highlighted text.

Love & huggles,

Hayley xxx

Lockdown Learning

20 Jul

Hi folks,

I can’t believe that the academic year has come to an end & we’re now into the Summer Holidays. I feel so sad that Seth didn’t get to say a proper goodbye to his Pre-School Teachers & Class Mates. We found out last week who his new Reception Class Teacher would be & which of his friends would be in his class. Seth is so excited to get back to school in September. He just loves to learn.

We’ve been doing lots of fun learning activities over lockdown & I think we’ll be carrying them on into the Summer Holidays too. Learning is much easier when its fun!

We had another lovely delivery of goodies from Best Learning.

My Learning Board iPoster  is utterly fantastic! It’s perfect for helping with Spelling, Writing & Counting. It’s interactive with touch technology & you can also use the wipeable pen too. There is 12 separate learning activities already built in. It’s perfect for fun learning games together. Lots of fun sounds & songs will keep your little ones entertained for hours. We’ve had so much fun with this lovely interactive toy. You can also hang it on a wall, perfect for a play room, study area or kids bedroom. The integrated calculator is great too… Seth thinks it’s magic.

Inno Pad: Smart Fun Lessons. This is such an amazing compact toy. It comes with 16 separate learning pages that slide into the Inno Pad for different learning experiences. The pages themselves are made from durable plastic… meaning they’re sturdy but also can be wiped clean. Skills that can be learned include alphabet, numbers, time, colours, fruits, shapes, animals, the weather, emotions, professions, music, various transportation & problem solving. The learning levels range from basic to advanced. This is toy is great for travel… it’s really lightweight & slimline. It’ll be great for travelling when we go to visit family etc…

Seth loves problem solving & having quizzes, so he’s had so much fun playing with it. It’s great for a childs development, as well as promoting creativity. We’ve had fun playing this together, but Seth also like independent play & learning. He can off & play with this & figure it all out for himself.

Magic Puzzle Globe. This lovely little globe comes in 26 pieces with a little stand. We did have to help Seth with putting this together. It’s been great though for helping Seth with basic geography. Seth is only 4 years old, but he’s utterly obsessed with asking where each country is in relation to the United Kingdom. So this has been such a great learning aid.

Our magic Puzzle Globe lives in Seth’s room, because he loves to go over to it & find all of his favourite countries. I just love the wonder & amazement on his little face when he looks & then finds different places.

“Play is the highest form of research” – Albert Einstein.

If you would like to read a little more about the toys we’ve reviewed – please click the highlight text.

Thanks so much for reading.

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

“Beauty is Power; a Smile is it’s Sword”.

15 Jul

Hi folks,

“Beauty is Power; a Smile is it’s Sword’ – John Ray. What an amazing quote & so true. Smiles are universal… when you smile you feel good & it also has a positive affect on the person receiving the smile. Smiling is a great way to start when trying to make our world a kinder place.

Feeling like I’m making the best of myself always has such a positive effect on my whole personality & confidence. I love my beauty regime I go through each morning. But it’s not just about the skincare & the make up… it’s about have a great smile too.

Each morning before I do my hair & make up… I’ll start with my smile. Having a healthy, sparkling smile… doesn’t have to be expensive. I love Colgate products… they’re so accessible & inexpensive. I can literally pick up a new toothbrush while out doing my shopping at my local supermarket. I can have quite sensitive gums at times, so a harsh toothbrush just wouldn’t do. I love the softness of the Colgate 360 Sensitive Pro, no one wants to start the day with bleeding gums.

The brush itself is a great shape for getting all areas in your mouth with an ergonomic handle & features a soft tongue & cheek cleaner on the back of the head of the brush.

I have 2 little boys & teaching them about good oral hygiene is so important. Seth is 4 yrs old & likes to brush his teeth with us each morning & night. Ted is a year old, so doesn’t have all of his teeth yet, but he’s already a keen teeth cleaner. I have to say that the Hey Duggee Tooth brushing badge Song is a firm favourite in our house while we’re brushing. It’s also a good way of ensuring we brush for 2mins too which is the recommended time… 2mins on a morning & 2 mins on an evening. My dentist always likes to give us that reminder at our regular check ups.

A healthy, minty fresh smile goes a long way… I mean… it’s the universal sign of happiness. And it’ll set off your favourite lipstick too.

So… in a world where you can be anything you want to be… lets be kind & SMILE! Make your smile so dazzling & infectious that folk cannot help but pass it on!

I hope you’ve found this review useful, I’ve embedded the product link in the bold text if you’d like to read further.

Thank you so much as always for reading!

Love & huggles,

Hayley xxx

“This product was gifted by Colgate, but all views are my own”

 

“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” – Walt Disney

29 Jun

Hi folks,

I hope you’re all safe & well. Hopefully we are beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel during this strange time. Pandemic parenting sure is a mine field. Homeschooling, trying to keep the little ones entertained & all the while, trying to shield them from all of the scariness.

Seth is now 4 yrs old & he’s currently at pre-school… well, not at the moment. He’s not been to school since lockdown began. So all of his recent learning has been here at home. A few weeks ago, we were sent the amazing Chameleon Reader.

I have been utterly blown away by this product. Seth calls it ‘The Magic Book Wand’. Seth has always loved books & has his own little book corner for reading in his bedroom with his own little corner sofa. We love reading together, but he’s at an age where he wants to be independent sometimes with his reading, but he hasn’t the reading ability yet to sit & fully read on his own. So this ‘magic book wand’ is perfect!

So… first of all… Whats in the Box?

  • Chameleon Reader Pen (batteries included)
  • 5,000+ Audio Stickers
  • 7 Audio Controls Book Mark
  • My Library Card
  • My Music Card
  • Card Album
  • USB Cable
  • User Guide

https://www.flickr.com/photos/156200586@N06/50049764163/in/dateposted-public/

First of all, I’d like to start by saying that this is so easy to use. This will work with ANY book & turn it into an audio book. So I can literally read books for Seth & record it for him. You simply choose a book… place a little chameleon on each page & record the audio of each page with a little tap.  Then, when your little one taps the sticker with their pen, the page will be read out…it really is MAGIC!

We started with The Gruffalo.

Seth’s reaction when he realises it’s me reading the story is just magical!

This clever little gadget will record up to 4 audio tracks per page. So 4 separate languages can be spoken which is ideal for bilingual children. The possibilities are endless.

The Chameleon Reader is great for getting the kids away from screens & is great for keeping them entertained while travelling. We’ve loved using it over lockdown, it’s been such a great learning aid.

Right now, Amazon have a great deal on, you can buy the whole starter pack for £89.99 with free one day delivery on Prime.

This would make such an amazing gift. I’m thinking of getting family members to record themselves reading books, as we don’t live near family. I think it’ll be lovely for Seth to be able to hear his favourite stories read out by his grandparents.

I hope you you’ve enjoyed this review. Click the bold text to be linked to websites for further reading & where to purchase.

Thank you as always for reading!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Play, Learn, Grow!

18 May

Hi folks,

I hope everyone is staying safe & staying positive. We’re all fine here… plodding on as best we can. I think one of the hardest aspects is keeping the kids occupied. Going out for a morning walk is great for burning off energy & then playing in the garden is also a massive help. But when the rain comes… it’s a whole different story.

We were sent some lovely toys from Best Learning who you can find on Amazon here.

Seth is 4 years old now. He’s really missing nursery right now. He’s missing all aspects of it… the structure… the learning & most of all; his friends. I’m not homeschooling as such, like I’m not setting out a full structured school day… but I am integrating learning into play. Seth loves to learn. The recent VE Day Celebrations have really piqued his interest in our little island & learning more about the UK as a whole. This i-Poster of the United Kingdom really did arrive just at the right time.

The i Poster has over 300 facts & questions about the UK. There’s also all sorts of different fun questions to test your knowledge in the quiz mode. There’s also a fantastic feature that will sing the national anthem too! As you can see from the photo above, we have ours hung up. Its in the front room as a permanent feature now. It really is a beautiful toy/ learning aid. Seth loves choosing an area of the UK & pressing it to find out facts.

We have a weekly phone call from Seth’s teacher & he has told her all about his talking map. The material is great – it wipes down easily if grubby fingers have touched it. It’s also super easy to use, simply touch the area you want to learn about & the map will come to life just like magic. Seth really thinks its magical.

Ted was sent the My Spin & Learn Steering Wheel. It’s the cutest little toy. Ted instantly took to this toy & its a one he will consistently choose to play with everyday. My favourite thing about this toy is the ’emotions’ feature. I’ve not come across many baby/toddler toys that touch on emotion. This is so lovely with a light up button referring to each emotion. It also incorporates light, shapes, sound, music & it also spins. Great for hand eye coordination. There’s so many elements to this toy that makes it different to other interactive toddler toys.

The wheel itself is the perfect size for little hands to hold & carry. It’s great for developing dexterity & motor function.

If you’re looking for some fun & educational toys to keep the little ones entertained – then Best Learning are a great place to start.

I hope you’ve all found this review helpful. Don’t forget to stay safe & stay positive!

Thank you as always for reading!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Staycation Isolation

1 Apr

Hi folks,

I hope you’re all doing okay. So much has changed & happened since my last blog post!!! How crazy is everything at the moment?

We’re very lucky, as both me & the hubster & the kids are all home safely together. Oh & we can’t forget Coco too. The hubs is now working from, so we’ve been self isolating for quite a while now. Seth has no idea about the virus really, I mean, he’s only 4 yr old, so we decided it was better to keep it from him. We didn’t want him feeling scared or worried. Our families don’t live close by, so it isn’t like he see’s family everyday. So in that respect… he’s not noticed any difference. He did ask about nursery… but we just said we are having extended holidays from school for Easter. He hasn’t even questioned it. And Ted, well, he’s only 17 month old… so he’s none the wiser too.

I’ve been focussing on keeping the boys entertained. It was easier last week, as the weather was so lovely! So we could get out in to the garden.

 

We’ve chalked our walk, we’ve played in the mud kitchen, picnicked in the garden etc… while the weather has been nice… we’ve been out breathing as much fresh air as possible.

To make this time as fun as possible, we’ve decorated the house for Easter, early. I just wanted to inject some fun & some colour around he place. We’ve also added rainbow colours to our windows too.

We’ve had so much fun crafting & making decorations. With Seth only being in preschool for half a day each day, I’ve decided not to make a home schooling timetable. I’m still encouraging learning & I’m constantly asking little maths questions etc… while we play, but I wanted to focus this time on fun & making memories rather than it more about school. It’s such a scary & uncertain time, so our focus is being fun, carefree & present. I’m making a photobook for the boys of this time… so in years to come they can revisit this time & see that even though things were scary… we tried our best to make it fun. Like a colourful, cheerful, Staycation.

We’ve had PizzaParty picnics, we’ve camped in the front room, we’ve excavated dinosaur eggs, we’ve had wildlife in our front room, we’ve painted etc… Seth keeps telling me this is the most fun holiday he’s ever had. I think he loves that his Daddy is home all the time & working in our office at home & isn’t going out to work. I think he’s loving the novelty of it all. The weirdest part is that he hasn’t asked to go out at all. He’ll ask to go in the garden, but he’s not asked for days out. I really thought he would have. But it’s like he’s so happy & content at home. This whole thing has made me realise though, just how much I actually go out. I’ve always gone out a lot & joined groups etc… with the boys. But since passing my test in December & buying a 2nd car, I’m out even more.

I’ve been trying each day to find a positive in this whole saga. So far… I’ve come up with so many. It’s also opened up my eyes to how much stuff I take for granted too. I have a new found respect for food. I mean, I waste very little food anyway, but now, I’m literally making sure that each thing is used & nothing is wasted.  Today I got an amazing Fruit & Veg delivery from a local market stall… everything is so colourful & looks & smells amazing. I’ve never been so excited to eat a salad for tea!

I’ve had some amazing video calls with family  friends too. The amount of giggles I’ve had is fab – considering the circumstances. I do feel that it’s brought people together.

I’m planning each week on Sunday & making a menu for things to make for tea.

Keeping organised is really helping me to get through this bizarre saga. I love meal planning & prepping… I find it really therapeutic. I’m in the process of making some strawberry yogurt… I can’t wait. The boys love fruit yogurt – so I’m on to a winner!

I do hope you’re all keeping safe, well & positive. I cannot wait for the massive celebrations to be had once this is all over!

Love, huggles, & much love,

Hayley xxx

Feeling Spicy

4 Mar

Hi folks,

Can not believe we are into March already. It’s been such a quick year already. My days seem to just fly over so fast, life moves so fast. Sometimes it feels a struggle to fit in family life, work & not to mention trying to cook from scratch every day.

I love homemade healthy food & when it’s quick & simple… even better! I don’t like plan food either… I like something with a little spice!

This week I’ve been creating some lovely, quick & easy meals, using my new fave ingredient!

On Monday I made a gorgeous Chilli in the Slow Cooker. The crushed chillies add just enough spice. Its the perfect staple to keep in your spices cupboard.

To make, I threw the following into the crock pot:
250g Lean Beef Mince
Chopped Celery
Diced Garlic
Diced Onion
Sliced Mixed Peppers
Chopped Mini Corns
Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
Tin of Kidney Beans
A good helping of Schwartz Chilli Flakes.

I left it to cook all day. I thickened with a little tomato purée before serving.

This Chilli was super yummy. Plus, it’s totally healthy as i didn’t use any added salts or oils. Perfect!

On Tuesday I made a delicious Moroccan inspired Lamb Stew.

I’ve thrown the following into the crock pot:
300g Diced Lamb
Diced Celery
Diced Onion
Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
Handful of Dried Apricots
Fresh Coriander
Mixed Peppers Sliced
1 Tin Chick Peas
Crushed Garlic
A good Sprinkle of Schwartz Crushed Chillies

Both meals were utterly delicious, healthy & so simply to make. Making your won sauces tastes so much fresher than using a premed jar of sauce. This little jar of spices has gone so far & i still have loads left! Well worth the money!
Tonight I’ve used the chillies as a seasoning. I sprinkled on a pork loin & grilled, then served alongside a baked potato & salad.
This little jar of spices is so versatile & a total must have for any ingredients cupboard.
It’s amazing how eating healthy really lifts your mood & makes you feel so much more positive. I’ve loved how easy these meals were to make.
I can’t to try more recipes!
Thanks so much as aways for reading & I hope you’ve found my review useful.
Love & Huggles,
Hayley xxx
Schwartz have sent me Crushed Chillies for review, but all views are my own

Everything is Easier With Sleep!

30 Jan

Hi Folks,

Happy New Year! Sorry its been a wee while since my last blog post. It’s been a very busy few months! I wanted my first blog post of 2020 to be more like my older blog posts… back to basics. More info, tips, advice & general rants about surviving day to day as a stay at home – work from home Mama.

I’ve been joking for a long time now that I’ll one day write a book on the bedtime routine I use for the boys, as they both sleep. I’m constantly being asked what my secret is. But to be honest… I have no idea lol. So… I thought I’d share with you all, what we do each evening. I don’t do anything magical, but, you mind find something you’ve not tried. Or, I might be just doing the same as everyone else.

I love reading blogs & I get a lot of my fave tips from other parenting blogs. So hopefully… I can pass some on to you too.

Firstly, I’d just like to say that I’m no guru or medical professional. This is only what we have personally implemented in our own home for our bedtime routine. 

Okay, so lets start right at the very beginning. Seth was born at 38wks via c-section. I was determined from day 1 to be this amazingly successful breast feeding Mama. That just didn’t go to plan. Within the first 6 days, Seth had lost over 14% of his body weight dropping from 8lbs to 6lbs 13oz. We were rushed into hospital – literally the worst day of my life. The guilt I felt was immense. That first week quite literally was sleep deprivation at it’s finest. I had Seth constantly on my boob & when he wasn’t attached to me – an electric breast pump was. I was emotional, recovering from major surgery, I felt guilt that I wasn’t providing for my baby & I felt let down by my breast feeding support nurse. Whilst in hospital Seth began to combination feed. With amazing support from my Husband, GP, Midwife, Health Visitor, Consultant & Paediatrician, I made the decision to stop breast feeding… I had zero milk. Still to this day – I struggle with the feelings of guilt & like I let Seth down in that first week of his life.

Once we were discharged from hospital, Seth gained weight steadily on formula. But, he struggled with extreme colic. It was horrendous. No matter what we did, he’d scream & scream. Even with the help of Infacol & a special milk, he’d struggle. We had a SnüzPod at the side of our bed as I just don’t like co-sleeping ( personal choice). But I’d say for a good 8 weeks, Seth slept upright on my chest or Grahams. It’d be the only way he’d settle. So it’d be hours upon hours of just sitting awake on a night in bed, so Seth could sleep & get relief from the colic. I remember on a morning, retching & throwing up from sheer exhaustion & my Mam telling me over the phone that she’d not heard of anyone dying from sleepless nights. Ah yes, just to add… both my family & Graham’s live quite a distance away from us. So we have no regular childcare or family just popping in to help.

After around 8 weeks, the colic settled, from then on, Seth would sleep 6hrs: Midnight to 6am. We used to class that as sleeping through the night. When you go from zero sleep to 6hrs right through, you feel like you’ve had a week at a spa retreat lol. Seth slept in his SnüzPod beside me until he was 5 & a half month old. He began to outgrow it at that point. So, he went into his own room in a full size cotbed. He looked so tiny. But he slept great & started to sleep from around 9pm to 6am, which was just amazing. At around 7 months old though, Seth started with partial awakening which lasted around 2-3 month. He would literally wake every 45mins screaming. All we could put it down to was teething. That was so hard. Functioning on such little sleep is tough. But, as a parent, you just want to comfort your baby. The only way they can communicate they’re hurting or they’re upset – is through crying. Thankfully, the partial awakening stopped as quick as it had started.

With Seth being our first, we had no experience of a sleep routine. Graham has always gotten home around 6pm/6:30pm, unless he has assessments to mark etc… then it could be much later. On occasion he does have nights away with work or through freelance work. But I’m always here with being able to work from home. We’d both agreed that we didn’t want bedtime to be negative or a battle ground. So, we have never ever used bed as a punishment. Neither of us agree with the cry it out method or self soothing method. I’ve also never let Seth nap in his room. When napping during the day, I’ve always let him nap downstairs. I just always wanted to keep the bedroom for bedtime to make a clear distinction between bed & nap. I’ve also been careful of danger naps… napping after 5pm has always been a no no, unless they’re poorly.

Seth’s routine from being 6 month has been:

  • No napping beyond 5pm… so I’d wake him gently from a nap if he was napping late afternoon or, I’d keep him awake by playing etc…
  • Teatime has always been around 4:30pm/5pm for the kids.
  • Bathtime 6pm – we don’t do bath time every night as Seth has always had baby eczema. Again, this is just a personal choice. I’ve always found, that a bath later than 6:30pm is too stimulating & tends to keep them awake.
  • CBeebies bedtime hour is always on in our house… PJs on, Milk & chill time. So we have no running around or loud toys from bedtime hour starting. Once bedtime hour is over – no more Kids TV. That has always been our rule. Kids TV is too stimulating, so nothing after 7pm. No tablets either & especially not in the bedroom. Again – that’s just personal choice.

Seth is now 3 years old & has gone to bed for 7pm since he was around 20 month old. We take him to bed, he has a wee, we read a story & that’s it. He goes to sleep. Obviously, as a baby, it wasn’t as simple as that. So, after the partial awakening had ended. We always gave Seth his bottle upstairs on our bed around 7:30pm. Then, we’d let him fall asleep in our arms & we’d carry him to bed. If he woke in the night, we’d give him a bottle in our room but with no lights on, no TV. Just keep it super boring. No talking etc… So he’d have the bottle & go back to bed.

One night, Graham was away in London & I took Seth up for his bottle. I lay with him on our bed & he was just looking at me, as if he was saying “well I ain’t sleeping here”… so I carried him to his room & put him in his cot. I took the monitor downstairs & I sat just watching him. I half expected him to cry as he was still awake… but he didn’t. He just lay there stroking his quilt & fell asleep! From that moment, we would give him a bottle & then put him in bed awake for him to nod off.

Still to this day, Seth has his little ambient blue night light plugged in so it’s not super dark. He loves his room & his bed. He’s now graduated to a big bunk bed – he sleeps on the bottom bunk as he’s only 3, we do have blackout blinds & black out curtains in his room – mainly for when it’s Summer. But he still likes his blue light on.

When Ted was born, we already had a good bedtime routine in place, so Ted just kind of fell in line with that.

At this point – I just want to point a few things out that we do:

  • Both boys were bottle fed. Ted from day one as I didn’t want to try breast feeding in case I let down my baby all over again.
  • Both boys have used soothers. Ted always goes to bed with a soother.
  • I have always kept the cot free & empty of toys, bumpers etc… I never used a sleep/grow bag purely as both Seth or Ted would settle in them. So I always used cellular blankets & a tight fitted sheet on the mattress. Seth now takes his quillow to bed & Cub (his little Ikea Bear)
  • Both boys have slept in a full size cotbed – so they’ve lots of space to stretch out. Seth had the sides off his cotbed from 23 month old & then he went into a full size single/bunk bed from age 3.
  • During nap times, both boys have always napped downstairs.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/156200586@N06/44167779470/in/dateposted-public/

Nap times downstairs were a little bit of a mine field when Ted was first born. By this time Seth had outgrown day time naps & began going up to bed at 7pm. But Ted needed somewhere safe to nap. With a 2 & a half year old running round, I was always scared that a moses basket or a lounger would get knocked over. So, we went with a large playpen that had a firm memory foam & sprung mattress from iSafe. It was a life saver. It’s spacious & safe for Ted to nap in. We still have it now. Ted is 15 month old & loves his naps in there. I do allow soft toys in his play pen – purely as I can see him at all times. He doesn’t have toys in his cot bed upstairs. That’s totally free of clutter.

Ted follows the same routine as Seth with regard to when he gets his PJs on, bath time & tea times etc… From 8 weeks old, Ted has pretty much slept from 11pm right through. From around a year old he’s started to go to bed around 8pm, but recently, he’s started asking for bed once Seth has gone up. So, we put Seth to bed, then around 7:30pm, Ted will have a bottle in our room & then goes straight into his room to bed. We put Ted in his cot awake & falls asleep with no problems. We have video monitors on both boys in case they need us in the night. Ted sometimes will wake in the night for a bottle. But it’s literally a quick bottle & straight back to bed.

Ted was in a SnüzPod from birth to 5 month. He outgrew it from 5 month so he transferred to the Joie Kubbie Sleep which is also a side sleeper. He slept in that until he was 10 month old. The he went into his own room into a full size cot bed.

It’s lovely being able to have evenings free. But, being poorly or teething throws the sleeping lark out the window. But that’s just parenting, you have to expect sleepless nights at times.

When we go on holiday, we still follow our bedtime routine. That may sound strict, but Seth still only being 3yrs old, he doesn’t really appreciate a late night as a treat. By 7pm he’s asking for bed as he’s so tired. He’s so active, so he’s ready for his bed. Keeping the routine is constant. We’ve just always kept it up & over time it’s paid off. We’ve taken the boys out at night for meals etc…

I think in the beginning, it can be a bit of a shock to the system at just how much your life does change when you become a parent, but they’re only little for such a short time. Me & Graham met at University & we were together 7 year before we got married. Then we had 5 years together after we got married just us… so we have done the late nights out etc… I think we’re happy being home all snuggly now lol. I’m sure once the boys are packed off to University, we can become party animals again lol.

So there you have it… that’s our bedtime routine. See… I have no hidden secret. It’s just been keeping a good routine in place day in & day out. I hope you’ve found this useful?

Thank you so much reading 🙂

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx