Tag Archives: sleep

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

 

Safe, Snuggly Nap Times

28 Sep

Hi folks,

A few weeks ago I received the most gorgeous Baby Box from British Baby Box.

Since the late 1930’s, all expectant parents in Finland have been given a Baby Box by the state in preparation for the arrival of their new bundle of joy. The idea was, that all babies should get the best possible start in life. The box’s were kind of like a starter kit full of newborn essentials & in a sturdy box that can serve as babies first bed. Such a fantastic idea.

From this beautiful Finnish tradition… British Baby Box was born from two Mother’s who wanted to bring this lovely concept to the UK. The British Baby Box is all about giving your little one a great start & a safe place to sleep that is comfortable & also portable. You can even use the lid as a changing mat! I just love something that’s useful!

There’s a variety of packages that have been put together to suit all budgets. See here for the British Baby Box Collection. Each box comes with 1 fitted mattress complete with fitted waterproof mattress protector. You will also receive a 100% organic cotton fitted sheet. All box’s are delivered fully assembled too. Such a perfect baby shower gift. The box’s can be bought filled with lots of lovely items, or you could opt for the Adorable Box & fill it up yourself. The boxes are made in Britain & all items are sourced in Britain too.

You can keep up to date with British Baby Box across social media… Instagram, Facebook & Twitter. The British Baby Box is also being stocked in John Lewis… so you can pop along & go to see one in the flesh. Then you can see just how beautifully made they are in person. With a stunning, simple design, they would match any nursery decor.

We will be using our Baby Box for nap times downstairs when Little T arrives next month. I just cant wait to see him all snuggly in it. Once he has outgrown his box, this will be the perfect box to keep all of his baby keepsakes in.

With the box being light & fully portable… it’d be great for on the go… if you have a weekend away or a little holiday. You could easily take this with you & use as a travel cot. Or, you can buy one to keep at the grand parents house for when they’re on baby sitting duty.

So if you’re looking for the perfect gift or that all important newborn essential purchase… look no further that British Baby Box.

Thanks so much as always for reading!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

 

 

Sleeping Soundly with Sanggol

18 Mar

Hi folks,

We all love our sleep, but during pregnancy we seem to need it even more. But come nighttime it’s so difficult to get comfy… especially when you’re a tummy sleeper like me!

Even though I’m still in the early stages of pregnancy, I’m having a bit of a ‘Princess & the Pea’ type of scenario going on at night. Laying flat on my stomach is so tender & uncomfortable. During my last pregnancy I was able to tummy sleep to almost 20wks. This time round I feel as though I have a hard rock under my stomach. So as you can imagine… nighttime hasn’t been comfy at all. Well, that was until I discovered the most perfect XL Pregnancy Pillow from Sanggol.

This pillow is a full body support pillow… it’s literally like sleeping in a big warm hug. Honestly… that’s the only way I can describe it.

First of all, I’d like to start by saying – this pillow isn’t just for pregnancy. I say that because I have a bit of a back problem & I’ve had 3 surgeries in the past. I suffer on a daily basis with pain & nighttime always seems to be the worst. This pillow has helped me so much. I got this pillow to help during pregnancy, but it actually turns out I have a pillow for life! This pillow would have been fantastic during my recovery from the surgeries, I really wish I’d discovered them years ago.

As most of you know, I’ve also had my right leg rebuilt with the aid of an external fixator. Again, this pillow would’ve been amazing for supporting my leg & hips during the recovery process.

I’ve actually already become so attached to this pillow over the last few weeks I really feel as though it needs a name lol… so any name ideas… do let me know!

Actually, the hubby also added that he feels more confident in bed as he knows he can’t just roll over & potentially knock me or hurt me. Especially as my bump grows. So it’s like a protective hug too!

Anyway… back to pregnancy.

There’s my ‘hug’ above.

So, you can see this is a full body U-shaped pillow. I don’t use any other pillows in bed. I just lay in between the pillow & the top part acts as your usual head pillow providing support for your neck & shoulders. By wrapping my leg over the pillow when laying on my side I feel I’m getting more support for my hips. Also, as your bump grows you can rest your bump on the pillow. I have a very delicate tummy at the moment as I’m throwing up quite a lot. So this has helped that aspect too.

This pillow just seems to be supporting all aspects of my achiness really. I really cannot fault it. We go on holiday at the end of May & I will most definitely be taking my pillow with me.

The pillow is made from hollow fibre, so it scrunches down to make you comfy, but then bounces & springs back. But don’t worry… I shall keep you all updated via this blog during my pregnancy to let you all know how my pillow is doing so I can prove just how hard wearing it really is. Another good thing – it comes with a complimentary pillow case! So you can easily remove it to wash it. Which is always good, especially if like me you sometimes don’t remove your make up before bed. Panda eye transfer… it’s never a good look for any pillow!

Knowing I need to have a planned c-section – this pillow is going to come in so handy. It’ll be great for recovery. I wish I’d had last time. I can also see how this is going to be great for nursing too. I wonder if I can squeeze it in to my Hospital bag?

Sanggol offer free delivery & a full refund if you’re not 100% satisfied. But to be honest… I really can’t see that happening. I fell in love with it from my first cosy full nights sleep! I couldn’t be without it now.

You can follow Sanggol on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram to keep up to date on news & offers.

I’m planning on doing a YouTube video soon to give you another in depth looksie at this fab pillow.

Thank so much as usual for reading 🙂

I hope you’ve found this review useful!

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx

Panda Life 

4 Jul

Hi folks

Over the last few weeks Seth has been testing out his new Panda Life Kids Pillow. 


As soon as it arrived… Seth was super excited as you can see. It’s like he instantly knew it was for him. Before receiving this pillow we’d not given Seth a pillow for bed. Seth is now 15 month old. This pillow is suitable from 12 month+ 

The thing that’s been worrying me about giving Seth a pillow for bed, is if the pillow is breathable. Seth moves around a lot in bed, so I don’t want a bulky pillow getting in the way, I also don’t want anything that will hurt his neck. So, we’d decided to stay away from pillows at bedtime for now. However… the Panda Life Pillow is just perfect & exactly what we’d been looking for!

The Panda Life Kids Pillow has been designed perfectly to fit the needs of your little one. The pillow case is breathable & has a small hidden zip along the bottom. The positioning of the zip means there’ll be no worries of the zip catching or scratching your little one. Also, having a zip it means there are no openings posing any dangers. The pillow is nice & thin too.

The Panda Life Kids Bamboo Memory Foam Pillow is made up of a single cut of the finest odourless third generation memory foam. Using memory foam allows the Panda Kids Pillow to correctly align the neck and shoulder area. This is almost impossible with generic stuffed pillows. The contour curve design in the centre of the memory foam pillow, is proven to help to fight against flat head syndrome.

The pillowcase washes lovely too… now this is always something as a Mammy we need to consider. 

So… Why Bamboo? 

  • Bamboo fabric is twice as soft as cotton with a feel like silky cashmere.
  • It’s hypoallergenic. Bamboo is naturally antibacterial which helps to protect against skin irritation and allergies, making it suitable for those who suffer from eczema, sensitive skin or hay fever caused by dust mites.
  • Highly Breathable – Bamboo viscose is extremely breathable while its structure and absorption properties act as a natural insulator to aid coolness in the summer and warmth in the winter.
  • Due to the absorbent properties of bamboo, the fabric wicks moisture and odour from our body keeping us dry and comfortable.
  • Easy Care – Bamboo requires less frequent washing, needs no more than a 30 degree wash, dries in half the time of cotton and resists wrinkling.
  • Environmentally Friendly – Bamboo is a sustainable resource (one of the world’s fastest and densely growing plants giving an excellent yield per acre compared to cotton and requires 1/3 the amount of water to grow).
  • Bamboo is naturally temperature reactive and therefore feels warm in winter and cold in summer.

Right now the Kids Panda Life Pillow is on offer for just £24.95. Usual retail price is £34.99. 

Seth loves this pillow. He snuggles down with it when going to bed. During the night if he wiggles around a lot, it’s so light & thin that it doesn’t get in the way. This pillow has deffinitely been a winner in our house 🙂 

Beautiful design & beautifully perfect to fit Seth’s sleepytime needs. 

I hope you’ve found this review useful. 

Love & Huggles,

Hayley xxx