Thursday, 27 June 2013
Wednesday, 26 June 2013
Another bonus of this travel cot is because it has a roof it also acts as a portable sunshade during the day. You can put it next to you in the garden or by the pool, drape a muslin over the top and hey presto, an instant little cave where your baby can sit and play or lie and nap.
We took our Ergobaby carrier and left the buggy at home. I don't use my carrier every day at home but use it enough that I knew both Doof and I would be happy only using that for 2 weeks. I'm so glad we made that decision as not having to lug a buggy around was great and we also therefore avoided the constant fear that the buggy would be damaged when being loaded on/off the airplane. I don't think I'd put anything else costing £700 in the hold, so why do that to my buggy? It also meant when we exploring towns etc we never had to worry about whether places were step-free or buggy-friendly or not.
I LOVE giant muslins. They are so useful. For swaddling, for being a sunshade, for covering you whilst breastfeeding, for moping up messes... The list is endless. They are one if my essential must-haves.
If your baby is weaning/weaned these are great. We bought the inflatable insert from Ikea - best £5 ever spent! It slots inside the frame of any highchair (but particularly useful in the wooden ones that all restaurants seem to use) and instantly your 4/5 month old who was all slouched and slipping out of the too-big-chair is sitting upright and well-supported.
We love swimming (Doof started when he was 7 weeks old) and as we were going somewhere hot we found these items really useful:
If travelling with a you g baby you do still need to sterilise but there is no guarantee your hotel room will have either a microwave, kettle or hob. For this reason, and for how easy it is, I love using Milton sterilising tablets. I have the Kiddicare mini microwave/cold steriliser box which is the perfect size to fit several spoons, a cup and dummy in (so it doubles as a storage container when travelling) then on arrival at the hotel is full it with water (up to a pre-measured line I marked on the side) and add quarter of a milton tablet. Within 15 minutes everything is sterilised and ready to use, no need for rinsing and anything you leave in the water stays sterile for 24 hours. Perfect.
This probably depends in the age of your child. When we went to the US Doof was 4 months and not yet properly rolling. We found the playmat brilliant as we could take it down to the poolside with us, have it in the room, on the balcony etc and it gave him somewhere safe to lie and play (and that was also slightly padded). Our one (below) fitted in our suitcase so there was nothing extra to carry.
It's a spoon and a bowl - pretty useful. The reason I like this one more than other travel sets I've seen is because:
The only place we didn't use him was on the plane as that was noisy enough already! Otherwise I think it definitely helped Doof to instantly feel that any hotel bedroom was actually his bedroom.
Is there anything else you've found invaluable or just helpful when travelling?
Friday, 21 June 2013
I'm not naturally adventurous in the kitchen but this post is dedicated to The Alpha Parent whose post (see here
)gave me a mental kick up the backside to stop using baby jars/pouches - thank you!
This week we've experimented with a new breakfast, three main courses and various finger foods. For anyone wondering - Doof doesn't have any teeth yet. And all the main courses can be frozen (Doof doesn't eat enough yet for me to want to cook single portions of anything!).
I was surprised when I realised just how much sugar is in the "baby" cereals specifically targeted to our children. For example total carbohydrate in 100g (and amount sugaring):
- Organix wholegrain porridge: 66g (17g)
- Heinz baby porridge: 64.2g (23.5g)
- Cornflakes: 84g (8g)
- Oatbix: 30.9g (1.5g)
3 tablespoons of milk
1 small carton of yoghurt (I used plum organic from age frais)
2 tablespoons of fruit purée (I used a pot of Hipp Organic apple/pear puree but you could equally just mash up a banana or pear)
Then add the yoghurt and fruit purée.
Serve within the next hour.
Half sweet potato
1 pot Hipp Organic apple/peach/mango fruit purée
Make up the stock cube as per instructions.
Add the stock to the chicken and purée to desired consistency. Doof is "stage 2" now so I'm not puréeing to smooth paste but having a few lumps in there. Using 250ml stock gave it the right consistency for us - depending on how smooth you want the end result you could add more or less stock.
Scoop the flesh out of the cooked sweet potato and mash in a bowl.
Add the fruit pot and mashed sweet potato to the purée.
1 tin chopped tomatoes
Handful of grated cheddar cheese
Knob of butter
Then add the cheese and stir for a short time until cheese melted.
Remove from heat.
Once cool, purée to desired consistency.
Half sweet potato
1/4 red pepper
500ml chicken stock (see above recipe)
Cut the carrot, pepper and leek into small pieces and add to stock.
Simmer for around 20 minutes until veg are soft, then add the chicken pieces.
After 5 minutes remove from the heat.
Meanwhile scoop the flesh out of the cooked sweet potato and mash in a bowl.
Once cool purée the chicken mixture as required and then add in the sweet potato mash.
Monday, 17 June 2013
As a tiny baby Doof would sleep for an hour, wake to feed and then sleep again (I think – those early days have disappeared into a fog of forgetfulness). The first 8 weeks were complicated by severe tongue tie which was unrecognised and so poor Doof slowly starved, dropping from the 50th to 2nd centile before anything was done. So feeding dominated our whole lives as he was never satisfied and so wanted to feed constantly. As a result during the day he would nap on my lap if we were at home, then feed for a bit, then nap for a bit etc etc. Occasionally I would put him down in his moses basket or reclining chair but only when he was asleep so he was only used to going to sleep being cuddled.
- No more feeding to sleep – this involved a bit of crying and a lot of ssshh-patting but within about 2 days he had it cracked. He still has a long way to go before I would describe him as able to self-settle but it’s a start…
- No more 3am feed – I was all prepared to reduce the length of time he spent feeding etc over a few days before dropping it but the night I was planning to start was one of the ones when he slept 12-6 and so he never woke for it. That helped me realise he didn’t actually need the feed at all and was just using it as a crutch to get back to sleep and so since then I haven’t had to feed him after his dreamfeed and even though he wakes up a lot he never actually looks for food (believe me – when he wants food it is very very obvious as he is very adept at pulling my top out of the way!)
- All day sleeps in his cot – yay! Helped by number 5
- Long(ish) nap after lunch – bit of a double-edged sword. Some days he will sleep for 90 minutes straight through (never ever more) but usually he will wake up after 45 minutes and need resettling (takes anything between 2-20 minutes) before going down for another 45
- Have established a good wind-down routine which we use before day naps and evening bed, with lullaby CD, dim lights, story, cuddle, night-night phrase and Ewan the dreamsheep
Update - almost as if Doof knew I was writing this... he upped the ante last night by waking up at least once an hour. Bring on the cocktail sticks to prop my eyelids open today!
Sunday, 16 June 2013
- if visiting a sunny country then have something in place to provide shade. Nothing annoys a baby more than the sun shining in their eyes. You don't need to buy a special window cover - we just used a muslin. By hooking a centimetre or so through the open window, and then closing it, we had an instant "blind" which was the perfect size to cover the window but which could be easily lifted out of the way or removed if needed (just visible in top left of photo above)