Ditching the high chair

Erin was born premature which meant that a regular high chair was far too big for her when we started weaning. I spent ages and ages looking at other options and I finally decided on the Chicco Polly Magic High Chair. This was amazing for Erin when she was still so small but over the last four or five months maybe, she’s really grown to hate it. I have no idea why. The minute you put her in it she got annoyed, cried and sometimes even screamed. It has made meal times quite hard at times. Sometimes she would flat out refuse to eat and cry until she made herself sick.

high chair

We bought the Mamas and Papas Baby Bud a while back when Erin had a bad time with the high chair and it solved it for a while. She has sort of happy to go back in the high chair for a while but once again, meal times have been incredibly hard. Erin has gotten a lot worse when it comes to what she will and will not eat. Since we started weaning she has been amazing with trying and eating new things. The high chair seems to stop this. Originally, we thought it was down to teething or being ill but when I thought about it more and more, it seemed to only be the high chair.

high chair

We made the decision a couple of weeks ago to stop using the high chair for a while to see if Erin changed at meal times. I cannot believe the change in her! She has eaten whole meals with barely any meltdowns at all. She has eaten most of whatever we’ve fed her and seemed quite happy about it. high chair

high chair

Another thing is that Erin seems to get bored when she’s eating. She quite often needs a spoon for herself which is fantastic because she tried to scoop up the food herself. Sometimes though she needs a toy. I would love the Babyplay Universal Highchair Activity Tray which goes with the Baby Pud to give Erin a bit more to keep her occupied at times, even if it was so we could finish our own meals in peace!

I’m glad Erin seems to enjoy meal times more now she gets to sit up at the big table.

Do you have any tips for making meal times easier for a baby who doesn’t like a high chair?

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Erin 14 month update!

Wow. Where did February go? I can’t believe it’s March already and Erin is 14 months old already. Here’s how she’s been doing over the last month.

14 months

Movement

Last month Erin really learned how to walk/ Since then, she hasn’t stopped. She runs around like a little maniac now. She’s very independent and is quite happy to run around the house on her own and doesn’t like it if you hover over her.

Not only is Erin running around but she’s climbing as well. The other week I went for a wee (our toilet is under the stairs) and left Erin running around in the hallway. She’s been quite happy doing this in the past. However, that time she decided she wanted to learn how to climb. I came out and she was 3 steps up. Oh dear. Before this she had shown no interest in climbing whatsoever!

14 months

health visitor

Erin FINALLY had her 12 month check with the health visitor. I was not happy about having to wait 2 months and also having a new health visitor!

Anyway, it was a bit of a mixed visit really. Erin is in the 25th centile for weight, 75th for length and apparently 98th for head circumference! It must be all those brains she has in there. The HV wasn’t too bothered about Erin’s weight as she’s followed the 25th line since she was born. I really thought she’d have moved up a bit though as all she seems to do is eat!

I did get quite a stern talking to about co-sleeping too because apparently that isn’t allowed. We were supposed to see a sleep specialist because Erin wasn’t sleeping through but she seems to be okay for the time being.

sleep

It turns out that Erin does actually know how to sleep through the night. We recently bought her a new pillow and duvet to go with her new bed when she finally moves into it. The night that we put her pillow and duvet in her cot was the first night of her sleeping through. She’s done so most nights since then. I can’t believe something simple helped. I really miss our cuddles in the middle of the night but it’s also nice to have our bed back!

14 months

Erin really seems to be learning a lot of new things very quickly at the moment. I can’t wait to see what she learns next.

Kids’ Prints Tree & Owl Wall Sticker

Something John and I have been working on this month is finally getting Erin’s bedroom completely finished. We’re not there yet but furniture has been ordered and a handyman has been booked to do a few bits. The walls not taken up by furniture were looking quite bare though and seeing as the room is already very neutral, I felt like it needed something that stood out. Luckily, Kids’ Prints were there to help us out!

Erin’s bedroom has a woodland theme so I had to pick the Abstract Tree with 3 Owls.

This wall sticker comes in three different sizes; small, medium and large. Each size has a different design and is priced accordingly. I chose the medium design which cost £78. The wall sticker measures approximately 150cm by 170cm. I measured up the space where I wanted the sticker to go and it seemed like it would be perfect.

The sticker arrived in a well packaged box with the sticker rolled up inside. The sticker actually comes on a large sheet with separate pieces. There are no set instructions apart from how to apply the sticker. The design can be done however you want although there is an example picture that you can sort of follow if you want to.

kids' prints

kids' prints

Before applying the sticker you need to make sure the area is clean and dry. Then, you’re ready! The different sticker pieces should be carefully peeled from the sheet and slowly applied to the wall. The sticker should be smoothed down from one end to make sure there are no air bubbles then rubbed over with a dry cloth.

The whole process was extremely simple. I managed to get the whole sticker on how I wanted it in 20 minutes. Each sticker came off the sheet easily and applied to the wall easily as well. After putting some on I changed my mind about where I wanted them but they were really simple to move and reapply.

kids' prints

kids' printsI love that this sticker is so customisable. I was able to put the branches where ever I wanted and in any direction. I could put the owls where I wanted too although I chose to put them in the same sort of place as on the sample picture as they looked so good there.

kids' prints

kids' prints

kids' prints

The wall sticker looks absolutely amazing and I think it really makes Erin’s room now. The size is perfect for where I wanted it and it looks so good. I’m glad I didn’t go for the large size though as it really would have been massive, however, extremely good value for money. Initially, I did think £78 was quite a lot for a wall sticker but now seeing how good this one looks, I would happily get another from Kids’ Prints. I cannot recommend them enough!

Disclaimer: We were sent this product for the purpose of this review. All opinions are our own.

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Nuby SureGrip Miracle Mat & Section Plate

As a Nuby UK brand rep we love trying out different and new products. Sometimes we get one product in particular that we absolutely love. Just recently we’ve been trying something new with Erin at meal times and we’ve been using the Nuby SureGrip Miracle Mat.

Nuby SureGrip Miracle Mat

We have had a different suction mat in the past but it’s really big and takes up a lot of space. This one has a much better design because it’s compact and easy to take anywhere with you. The size of the Nuby SureGrip Miracle Mat is perfect as it means we can take it away with us but it’s also perfect for normal meal times.

As a suction mat, this aspect is one of the most important to me. Erin loves to try to move anything that is put in front of her and we’ve had many meals flung across the room because they were in a normal bowl or on a normal plate. This suction mat does wok really well and it does stay put. However, I have found that we have to press down around the edges really hard to make sure it sticks. This may be due to the table we use it on though.

Something else I love about the mat is the size of the two different compartments. They make portion sizes much easier to sort out and they’re also great for separating different kinds of food. Erin finds feeding herself much easier when we’re using this mat. The sides of each compartment means that she can scoop the food up with her fingers if she needs to or she can use cutlery which she is starting to do.

The Nuby SureGrip Miracle Mat is both dishwasher and microwave safe and also oven safe as well! You can actually use this one in a fan assisted oven for up to 30 minutes (180 degrees max).

The Nuby SureGrip Miracle Mat costs £7.99.

Disclaimer: We were sent this product as part of our role as a Nuby UK Brand Rep. All opinions are our own.

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Baby proofing nightmare

When you get pregnant and people tell you that you’re going to need to do some baby proofing the house, I don’t think you’re ever really prepared for what that means. We were lucky I think and we were able to go months and months without really making any major changes around the house. Erin has never really crawled so we didn’t have to worry about that. Instead, she went straight to pulling herself up onto the couch and walking around like that. Now though, she’s nearly 14 months old and she’s running around like a crazy thing. No where is safe.

baby proofing

Now that Erin is very mobile, it has made me realise just how unfriendly our house is to babies.

Just before Christmas we had a library in the living room. That is now mostly in the loft. Although Erin wasn’t quite able to get there then, she is now and the bookcases were not attached to the wall. They were always supposed to be temporary until we got built in shelves. I sold two of the bookcases, have moved one and now I’m trying to figure out what to do with the stuff on the other two so I can get rid of them as well.

Our coffee table got moved from the floor in the living room to the alcove where the television lives. It now doubles as our television stand. However, the more I look at it the more I realise that the drawers are pretty much in the perfect place for Erin. She loves to open things so I desperately need to get some baby locks on there!

We have a stone fireplace. There is no getting rid of that unfortunately but if she falls and hits her head, that’s going to hurt like hell!

Jackson has his food and water bowl in the kitchen. Erin has a bit of an obsession at the minute with his water bowl though. If the gate is open she would happily go in there, tip the bowl over a million times and soak herself! One day we had 4 changes of clothes because she did it over and over again. I know I could keep the gate locked so she can’t get to the bowl but then poor Jackson couldn’t get to his water. I guess at least I know she’ll like a paddling pool in the summer.

I haven’t even thought about upstairs too much yet but I know I need to. We need to figure out where we want everything in Erin’s room and get the furniture attached to the wall. We also definitely need a gate for her room and for the top of the stairs.

Do you have any tips for baby proofing? As a first time parent I feel like there could be loads of things I wouldn’t even think about! 

Tommee Tippee Essentials

Just before Christmas we were sent a fantastic selection of products by Tommee Tippee. January was a very busy month and it took us a little while to try some of these out. Here’s what we thought:

Tommee Tippee

 

first cutlery set

I was a bit apprehensive about letting Erin use this set. Even though she has been trying to feed herself with normal weaning spoons for quite a while she has never had a proper set of cutlery and these have a really different feel to them, and they’re heavier than she’s used to. However, she’s taken to them a lot  better than I thought she would. She isn’t able to really use them properly yet but she knows what she’s supposed to do!

easy scoop bowls

Since we started weaning at 4 months we have been using the same bowls. They were great to start with but they do only hold quite small portions. Erin is a bit of a gannet at times and needs a bowl that holds more. The Tommee Tippee easy scoop bowls are really well designed and come in bright colours, which I love.

Tommee Tippee

Snack n Go Pot

So Erin doesn’t do very well if something isn’t either nailed down or stuck down. If we give her a bag of anything, they end up all over the floor in 2 seconds flat. She is a monster. The Snack n Go Pot is amazing! The pot has a silicone lid with slits cut into it, meaning you can put your hand in and get whatever is inside. However, if you shake the pot around nothing will come out. Perfect for little children like Erin who shake and throw things as much as they can.

We have been big fans of Tommee Tippee since we started bottle feeding Erin. We have never been let down by the quality of the products and that is no exception for those mentioned here. We haven’t managed to try the cup yet because Erin is a very picky little girl and will only use a straw cup at the moment. I do love that it came with filters though as we only give Erin filtered water anyway.

We received these products for the purpose of this review. All opinions are our own. 

When to take the dummy away

Erin is 13 months old now and has probably had a dummy from being about a month old. I really don’t remember when we first gave it to her anymore. All I remember is her having really bad reflux and the dummy was the only thing that stopped her crying long enough to go to sleep. I’d always said that Erin would never have a dummy but I soon realised what a life saver it could be.

dummy

Now that Erin is over a year old I’ve been thinking about when we should attempt to take away the dummy. It’s not that I’m planning on doing it right away but I’m certainly thinking about how to go about it or when to do it.

I’m really not that bothered that Erin has her dummy while she’s asleep. I’m more than happy for her to keep it as a comfort thing for quite a bit longer. If it means she sleeps then I’m okay with that. I’m more worried about her relying on it sometimes during the day. She doesn’t have it all the time right now but she does use it for comfort and for when she’s teething.

dummy

The problem I’m worried about it getting her to give it up during the day when she really doesn’t understand what no means or why she won’t be able to have it anymore. I wouldn’t even know where to begin with trying to stop her having it. I know a lot of places recommend for children not to have them anymore after a year because of something to do with their teeth.

I’d love some advice about getting your child to give up their dummy. What age did your children stop having one and how did you go about stopping them having it?! 

Erin’s 13 month update!

I have no idea where January went but it zoomed by and that means we now have a 13 month old on our hands. I haven’t really done an update on Erin for such a long time so I figured it was about time. I’m hoping to make this a monthly thing from now on though. It’s on the calendar and everything!

health

Erin has been quite poorly for most of the last month. If it hasn’t been one thing it has been another. She’s had a really bad cold and a cough. Then there has a been a lot of teething going on. At first I thought she had one tooth coming through, then I noticed a second. I then noticed the third a week later. A couple of days after that I noticed tooth number four! Being ill on its own is bad enough but add in horrendous teething too and it is pure hell!

Poorly, snotty toddler!

eating

This is not going well at all. Due to the collection of teeth Erin has coming through eating has been a bit of a challenge at times. Sometimes all she wants is much from a pouch. Sometimes all she wants is toast. I never really know. All I do know is that she’s really gone off homemade food at the minute but I have no idea why. However, we have been trying some Ella’s Kitchen snacks and the new For Aisha range (reviews coming soon).

update

You want some parsnip?!

sleeping

This is a bit of a strange one at the minute. We’ve gone months and months with Erin getting up at the crack of dawn. Just recently though she has changed completely. She will go to sleep in her cot at night but never stay there. She wakes up sometimes at midnight just before we go to bed (I swear she knows) and sometimes it is 4:00/4:30. Whenever it is, she screams and screams and screams. However, the minute she lays down in our bed and snuggles up to one of us, she’s fast asleep again. I know co-sleeping isn’t for everyone but John and I love it, mostly! John gets some extra Erin cuddles and I’m getting to sleep in until roughly 8am. It’s been lovely!

I think we’re probably looking at getting Erin her own bed pretty soon!

mobility

Erin started taking steps on her own just before Christmas. Up until earlier on in the week, Erin was still quite unsteady and would only take a couple of steps on her own. She relied on the furniture to help her get around the house. Then, on Friday she decided out of nowhere that she could walk across the whole dining room on her own. A day later, she could walk the length of the living room as well! No, there’s no stopping her. She has cheekily learned how to run away from me a bit as well.

Erin also has her first pair of walking shoes now too. I’m so bad though because I keep forgetting to put them on her while we’re in the house. I definitely need to do this more this month so she gets used to them.

What are these things?!

personality

Erin has really changed over the last month. I have no idea why! When my sister was here for Erin’s 1st birthday party Erin quite happily sat with her and had a cuddle while reading. She had never done that before! Now, Erin loves nothing more than a cuddle on the couch while reading or watching a cartoon in the morning. She’d never really been that into cartoons either. I hate to say it but that damned pig has been allowed on our screens!

Erin has also learned how to play certain games on her own. She loves to play hide and seek with me, either using the curtain or a cloth. She also spends hours with her cookie jar putting the blocks in and getting them out again. However, she knows that it is easier to put the blocks in the top after taking the lid off rather than using the holes in the side!

I really love seeing Erin learn new things and grow every day! I’m so proud of how far she’s come. 

 

The girl who doesn’t sleep

The past couple of weeks have been quite rough and it doesn’t look like it’s getting better any time soon! Out of no where really Erin decided to stop sleeping. She was doing so well after finally sleeping through again and then BAM, it all went wrong.

She went through this really annoying phase of standing up in her cot and crying. It’s really hard to get her back to sleep and after ages of trying, we ended up with her back in our bed. It wasn’t long before that I said I missed co-sleeping. Really, I missed it when she wasn’t mobile and didn’t kick the hell out of my stomach. Now, she’s a pain in the arse to have in bed with us.

More recently Erin has been getting up at 4am and if she isn’t back in bed with us, that’s it, she’s wide awake. Initially I thought it was because she decided she didn’t like her cot anymore, what with the banging on the sides and everything. Turns out, that was not the case at all.

sleep

Turns out, it was teething that has been causing the problems. I had suspicions that one was coming through but there was no real signs of it. Not like before anyway.

On Friday afternoon while Erin was screaming away for what I thought was nothing, I saw the little white tooth poking through. It’s one of the big ones on the top right hand side. No wonder she’s been grizzly as hell and not sleeping. The poor girl must be in quite a bit of pain. She’s even gone off her food which is really not like her.

As the tooth hasn’t come through properly yet I feel like we’re in for quite a few more sleepness nights. Knowing Erin, as soon as she starts sleeping again she’ll get another tooth!

Does anyone want to tell me when this will end? Never? Damn! 

Matchstick Monkey Review

Erin recently turned one and that means we are still quite far away from being over the hell that is teething. The past couple of weeks haven’t been too bad but I have sensed that Erin has another tooth coming through, making her miserable and grouchy.

We have a drawer full of different kinds of teethers but nothing seems to be working well enough for back and side teeth. We were recently sent a new teether on the market, a Matchstick Monkey, to test and I am so thankful for it!

The Matchstick Monkey is designed to reach the source of pain and also makes it possible to get pain relief into the right places. No other teether that I know of can do this. This adorable monkey has a bumpy bit at the back of his head which means you can put, say, teething gel on it, and apply to the back of the mouth easily without getting your finger bitten off! These bumps also massage the gums.

Something I really love about the Matchstick Monkey is his tail. Erin loves playing with this and again, is able to uncurl it so she can reach the back of her mouth. The design of this teether is perfect. You can definitely tell that it has been designed by someone who has children themselves and knows what teething is like.

The Matchstick Monkey is available in quite a lot of different colours so there’s something for everyone. We have the orange monkey and I love it. He’s so bright and colourful and this means I can always find him, no matter where he’s been thrown by Erin.

matchstick monkey

The design of this teether means that you’re able to attach a dummy clip to it if you want to. I LOVE this! I can attach this to Erin’s pushchair when we’re out and about so if she is in a bit of pain, she has something she can get on her own without me having to dig through her bag for it.

All in all, this is by far my favourite teether for Erin. She really seems to get pain relief just from having a chomp on it. She even just likes carrying it around with her even when she doesn’t need it. I honestly cannot recommend this enough. Go out and get one!

We were sent this item for the purpose of this review. All opinions are our own.