Friday, 24 April 2015

Cornwall Part 2

The Beach
Little Miss had her first experience with sand while we were away and (to my surprise) she seemed to really enjoy the feel of it on her toes. We didn't brave the sea though as I think that would have been too cold for me, let alone her!

Coastal Walks
Little Miss recently outgrew out Baby Bjorn, so we picked up the Lillebaby Complete (after seeing some great reviews on other blogs) before we went. It was brilliant for all the long walks we went on, and was comfy for me even when I was climbing over stiles or walking up steep hills! I'm quite short and I found the backpack style baby carriers a bit too big so the Lillebaby has been a great alternative. We also made use of the 'all seasons' vent whenever we were out of the wind.

On Easter Sunday we went to Trelissick house and gardens and had a great time exploring, this time in the pram. When I stopped to feed Little Miss, we let her have a good crawl about on the grass. She has only just started to crawl, so I really wanted to get a video of her doing it with such a beautiful backdrop, but she foiled our plans by attempting to eat something from the grass every ten seconds (she only succeeded once, so I don't think we did too badly!) The videos were a bust, but I did manage to get some lovely photos (complete with silly sunhat!).

Eating out
Little Miss is usually pretty great in restaurants. We normally order an extra side of veg and then give her some of our food too. She was a bit of a pickle in The Old Ale House, due to teething pain (luckily it was a weekday lunchtime, so there wasn't too many other customers in there for her to disturb!). And she completely slept through our meal in Falmouth, but she was great everywhere else.

Melinsey Mill
I love cream teas! They are one of my favourite parts about going to Cornwall but somehow I only managed to have one this holiday. It was so yummy though I really don't mind. At the bottom of a steep, single track hill, Melinsey Mill is a quaint, quirky stop off with a pond walk complete with teapot walkway (take a look at the website for pictures) The scones were homemade and delicious, and they were very generous with the jam and clotted cream. They were also one of the surprising few places we visited with a proper baby change unit. Why do so many restaurants/pubs have tonnes of highchairs but no where to change your baby other than the counter next to the sink in the ladies? It doesn't really make sense and it's so frustrating!

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Cornwall Part 1

Over Easter we took Little Miss on her very first family holiday. We haven't braved international travel yet (or airplanes) but instead went to a holiday cottage in Cornwall from the company Cornish Gems. The cottage was a converted cowshed near Portscatho, on the Roseland peninsula. We had an amazing time and were really disappointed when we had to come home (although it has been nice getting Little Miss back into her usual routine).

Although we didn't tackle flying, the six hour drive came with its own challenges and we were quite apprehensive beforehand. We got REALLY lucky and Little Miss was amazing, sleeping most of the way and playing with her Freddie the Firefly (or her socks for some strange reason…) whenever she woke up. We had plenty of stops along the way so that she could move about a bit and have a break from the car, but the whole journey was a far cry from the nightmarish twenty minute journeys we used to have in her old car seat, where she would SCREAM at the top of her lungs for the whole journey, even though she wasn't hungry/sleepy/cold/hot/in need of changing etc. We credit the amazing difference in our car trips with her new car seat (we went with the AxissFix in the end. It's worth every penny just to have her happy in the car).

The cottage we stayed in was gorgeous. Cornish Gems specialises in luxury holiday homes, however, they have a range which they advertise as 'baby friendly' as they come with features like cots, stair gates, sterilisers and even baby monitors. This made travelling with Little Miss so much easier and also gave us the chance to road test a video baby monitor for the week, which we now think we might buy. They had a Maclaren stroller at the property, but we worried Little Miss might be a bit too small for it, so we still took our normal pram, as well as our brilliant new baby carrier, which was ideal for coastal walks. Although the Cowshed had a lot of baby friendly features, it wasn't 100% childproof. Most of the property was on one level, but there were some tiled stairs down into the kitchen which didn't have a stair gate and we had to block them off with the shoe basket for the week. It also wasn't ideal for a baby who decided that she was going to learn to crawl properly and start pulling herself up on everything in sight while we were away and we had to keep a very close eye on her at all times to make sure she didn't hurt herself on sharp corners!

Although Little Miss has never been a great sleeper, we had managed to get her down to only one or two wake ups a night before we went away. Unfortunately this was not the case in Cornwall. She clearly didn't like being in a new place and woke up and cried inconsolably every few hours. It probably also didn't help that she was learning to crawl and pull herself up, and her top teeth were starting to cut through - the odds were very much NOT in our favour. As a result, she ended up sleeping in our bed most of the time, which we panicked would give us even more problems when we got home, but she seems really happy to be back in her own room and is sleeping better than ever (until I post this, of course, at which point I can probably expect hourly wake ups…)

Portscatho is lovely, if out of the way. We were about half an hour from Truro but a nice walk from some lovely beaches. We also had a stunning view out across to St Mawes from our cottage. It was a fantastic backdrop to Sunday's Poldark (unfortunately no tin mines in sight though!)

Little Miss seemed to really love her first holiday, encountering lots more 'firsts' while we were there. I can't wait to take her somewhere else, although we are just starting the process of moving house, so it might be quite some time until our next trip away! I'm conscious that this post is getting quite long, so I'm going to write another one soon on some of the things we got up to while we were away. 

Friday, 17 April 2015

Swimming Lessons

Little Miss and I have been going swimming each week for about two months now. We started going with our NCT group but had to change days so we are taking Nana with us at the moment to watch from the sidelines. Little Miss absolutely loves it, she has such fun in the water and seems to enjoy bath time even more as a result. Here are our swimming top tips:

  • Most local pools offer baby swimming lessons for a similar cost to a session on your own in the pool. You don't have to pay hundreds for fancy programs.
  • The pools near me also all seem to offer lessons everyday, so unlike most baby classes you can pick the session which will work best for you.
  • Despite the name, they aren't really lessons and I definitely don't expect Little Miss to start swimming any time soon! Instead, our half hour class is all about having fun in the water, chasing toy ducks and singing songs. It's much more entertaining than taking her in the water by myself, but has given me plenty of ideas for when I do.
  • It's a work out! From crouching in the baby pool (think half an hour of squats!) to getting both of you changed, taking your baby swimming is a lot of exercise!
  • The pool will probably be cooler than your baby will be used to. Little Miss cried during her first few swimming lessons, but since I bought her a baby wet suit from Two Bare Feet we've had no more tears! Lots of her friends are fine in normal swimsuits, so I think it's just Little Miss being sensitive, but it's worth bearing in mind if your own little one seems unhappy in the pool.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Day-By-Day Wonder Bébé

Over the past eight months I have read four very different parenting books. Some have been full of fantastic advice, some have made me laugh out loud and others just weren't for me. Here are my thoughts on each:

Bringing Up Bébé
One French Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting.
This book is AMAZING. I wish I had read it sooner. It's part memoir, part parenting handbook, so it's easy and fun to read, with some great anecdotes about Druckerman's life in Paris. I have found lots of the advice really useful and am trying to implement many of the tips. I just wish I had read the sleep advice before Little Miss made it past six months.  

Discover the wonder weeks. Why a baby is fussy at set time and how you can help him to make the most out of it.
A useful guide to what is going on in your baby's head. Its main job is to stop you blaming everything on teething and get you thinking about the impact developmental leaps may be having on your baby's moods and emotions. There is also an app (which is great if you don't have time to read the book, but disappointing if you already have it) and a diary. I like reading Wonder Weeks a leap at a time, so I always know what should be coming up next. It has actually proven to be quite accurate when predicting 'sunny' and 'stormy' weeks. 

The Day-by-Day Baby Book
In-depth, daily advice on your baby's growth, care and development in the first year. 
A different tip, idea or suggestion for every day of your baby's first year. I like catching up with this each week. It has some good ideas for games and general advice on feeding, illnesses and milestones etc. I also really enjoyed reading the pregnancy version before Little Miss was born. It's also a great way of keeping track of how many weeks old Little Miss is. 

Beyond the Sling
A real-life guide to raising confident, loving children the attachment parenting way. 
I bought this because I'm a Big Bang Theory fan and thought it was worth a try, but I was really disappointed with it. The highlight was reading about elimination communication, which was interesting, even if I would never want to try it. It does having some interesting anecdotes from Bialik's life and I liked the fact that it wasn't pushy - Bialik was just explaining what had worked for her family and friends, not trying to tell you that you had to parent in a certain way. Beyond the Sling just wasn't advocating a parenting style that was right for me.

I don't usually read non-fiction, but I've enjoyed the parenting books I have read so far. I'm also quite interested in reading Michel Cohen's 'The New Basics' (which is recommended in Bringing up Bébé) and Michael Rosen's 'Good Ideas' as both sound really good. Do you have any other recommendations? 

Tuesday, 7 April 2015


As well as her first tiny taste of chocolate, Little Miss received some lovely gifts for Easter.

She got some lovely, Easter-themed, story books, a Fisher-Price Roller Blocks Play Wall and Musical Book, and a Baby Einstein Discover and Play Piano and Octoplush.

She really has been spoiled by her grandparents and auntie and she is enjoying playing with all her new things on our first family holiday. 

Happy Easter everyone! 


{photos from Bubble Photography}

Sunday, 5 April 2015

8 Months Old

She loves...
Following me around the room
Playing with her cousin
Going to Baby Sensory
Watching the washing machine and tumble drier!
Our new Lillebaby carrier
Her ball pit

She can...
Feed herself quite successfully with a rudimentary pincer grip
Escape in one hundred different ways when having her nappy changed
Climb in and out of her ball pit when she has had enough

She has...
Two teeth and another one on the way
Started drinking one bottle of formula a day
Outgrown her Sleepyhead, so nighttime has been interesting for a few weeks...
Started to give kisses
Finally moved into 6-9 month clothing