Thursday, 2 July 2015

Dr Brown's Natural Flow Starter Kit Giveaway

A few weeks ago Joseph tried out Dr Brown's bottles which I then reviewed here. As a mum of 3 and someone who has used a lot of different bottles over these years, I found them to be ideal for babies who have colic or reflux problems as they have a patented internal vent which is designed to create no vacuum in the bottle and reduce air bubbles in formula which helps to reduce colic, burping and wind.

Also, because no vacuum is created this stops the teat from collapsing inwards, actually cutting down feeding time in the process as babies can get more milk and no bubbles. I personally saw a huge difference in how Joseph was after his bottle, he would still get wind, but it wouldn't be trapped and causing him discomfort and is now rarely sick after a bottle which is a big plus.

And so, to celebrate the fact that these bottles are so good, I am delighted to offer my readers a lovely giveaway today to win a Dr Brown's Natural Flow Starter Kit. 

The Dr Brown's Natural Flow starter kit  includes:

2 x 120 ml Wide Neck Bottle
1 x 240 ml Wide Neck Bottle
3  x Level One Silicone Teats
2 x Level Two Teats
2 x Level Three Teats
3 x Two-piece patented internal vents
1 x cleaning brush

Everything you will need to start off with and even teats that will grow with your baby too. So for your chance to win this fab prize, enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

Please remember to check our full T&C's here. This giveaway is open to the UK only and any entries left that do not follow the required entries will be disqualified. After any mandatory entries, others will open up to give you extra entries. You do not have to enter by all methods but these will give you extra entries into the competition if you do. 

And please, if you are commenting on the blog as 'anonymous' can you please write your name in the comment otherwise I cannot count your entry.

Ends midnight 26th July 2015

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Cuddledry Gingham Edge Baby Towel

When it comes to routines, I find that bath time is the worst part to sort out. We have every other aspect down to a tee, but even after 3 kids, it is hard work trying to organise baths, especially with a baby with all their lotions and potions, trying to keep them away from harsh chemicals in my own products but still thoroughly clean them top to bottom. Then there is the removing from the bath part...

Have you ever tried lifting a baby out of the bath whilst simultaneously holding a towel with your chin to wrap around said baby? It's hard isn't it, and most of the time it doesn't work, you'll just be stood there trying to grip and slippery baby whilst the towel flops to the floor. Yes, I have done this many times. 

That's where Cuddledry comes in...

Cuddledry towels are unique hooded apron towels that makes bath time safe for your baby. No more having to juggle to get your baby out of the bath with one hand on the towel as Cuddledry towels are here to save the day!

You may have noticed that I have a lovely new badge over there on the right hand side, that's because I am lucky to have been appointed as a Cuddledry Super Blogger and over the next few months will be sharing latest news and offers from Cuddledry as well as trying out some of their new and most loved products.

The Cuddledry baby towel attaches to the parent like an apron leaving both hands free. This makes lifting your baby out of the bath easy to simply picking them up and lovingly snuggling them into your arms whilst drying them. The towel still has a hooded corner to keep baby's head covered too. 

I was sent the beautiful gingham edge organic cotton Cuddledry to test out with Joseph and to give our opinions on. This super soft baby towel is made with the finest unbleached cotton and natural bamboo fibre, edged with a stylish gingham trim to make it a stand out product. 

The towel itself is silky smooth to the touch and has a unique double-layer system which draws water away from your baby's hair and skin, it is super absorbent and very fast drying to make sure that your baby's skin is left soft and nestled in a comfy cocoon of luxury.

I found the towel so easy to use, two poppers fasten it around your neck like an apron and at the other side of the towel is the hood where your baby will be placed when getting them out of the bath. Just simply fasten the towel onto yourself, scoop up your baby out of the bath placing their head into the hooded part and then snuggle them towards your body, keeping them wrapped up warm and you dry from any wayward splashes.

With natural antibacterial properties the towel perfect for sensitive baby skin as it doesn't rub baby's skin up the wrong way, it just cuddles to them, drawing our any water. 

For Joseph, who has eczema I had found it a struggle to wrap and dry him without annoying his skin before I used the Cuddledry towel but now it's simple as it doesn't irritate his skin at all. I think this is more due to the fact that I now don't need to rub the towel around to dry him, the Cuddledry towel simply absorbs the water quickly without having to move it around. 

Now, after his bath, Joseph loves having a play and wiggle around in his super comfy towel whilst I know that it is soft on his skin and will dry him super quick without affecting his eczema. The biggest plus for me? No longer having to hold a towel with my chin whilst trying to get a wet, slippery and wriggly baby out of the bath!

Your can find more information about the Gingham edge Cuddledry towel and see other products in the range on the Cuddledry website.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Why Are We Putting Up With The Impacts Of Urinary Incontinence? #WorldContinenceWeek

This week is World Continence Week (22nd - 28th June 2015) which is aiming to raise awareness about the taboo subject of bladder weakness issues and to mark to occasion, Femifree have surveyed 2000 women about this which reveals the true impact of Urinary Incontinence. 

Just under a third said they have suffered from bladder weakness for the last five years with 48% of them saying that they believed that pregnancy and child birth was the reason why they had bladder weakness. 35% said they are embarrassed by it yet  68% of those surveyed have never consulted their GP regarding their bladder weakness, just getting on and putting up with it. 

We all know that after having a child you need to exercise your pelvic floor muscles. Some of us (me!) were a bit blasé about this when I was told and didn't even really try when I first had Thomas 6 years ago but then paid the price when it came to having more children. 

You see because of where your pelvic floor muscles are (The pelvic floor is a group of muscles that help to keep your bladder, vagina, uterus and bowel in place, they also help you control bladder and bowel movements), it means that when pregnant, the baby basically sits on them for 9 whole months and pushes them down, stretching them and making them weak which can cause loss of bladder control. 

It isn't just pregnancy that causes this though, the pelvic floor muscles are like any other muscles in the body, if you don't exercise them they can lose tone and strength causing symptoms of urinary incontinence. The most common type, Stress Incontinence, is when the pelvic floor muscles are weakened so pressure on the bladder results in leakage which can happen when you cough, laugh, sneeze, stretching, exercise and even have sex.

Two in five women say they are unaware of methods that can help them treat their UI/weak bladder, 46% have tried pelvic floor exercises/kegels but 32% find that this don't help with their bladder weakness and that they don’t feel like they make any difference.

Femifree is an innovative solution that treats the underlying cause of the problem which is clinically proven to gently strengthen the pelvic floor muscle for the effective treatment of urinary incontinence.

Other stimulation devices have to be used internally which puts off a lot of women but Femifree is placed around the upper thigh and buttock area and electrodes then stimulate the area to cause the pelvic floor muscle to contract, effectively exercising it.

It is recommended that you use the garment 30 minutes each day, 5 days per week for 12 weeks for full results but users will start to notice a real difference after around 4 weeks.

You can see how Femifree works by watching this video:

Using this treatment could give women such a better quality of life as the shocking stats that Femifree have revealed from their survey shows just how many women are affected by this on a daily basis.

According to the Femifree Lifestyle Report, 50% of the people surveyed worry about laughing in public because of this exact reason, they have no bladder control. I actually feel sad about this. I am such an advocate of talking out about your problems and speaking as much as possible to end the taboo around them. I try to write about these hard to talk about subjects as much as possible to help other women who feel embarrassed and maybe give them a little help and encouragement to do something about it.

It's not just about being afraid to laugh like I have mentioned above. Many women, 43% in fact, say it has affected the clothes they choose to wear with a fifth saying that they wear dark clothing to hide any leakage and worry that their work colleagues may notice how often they take toilet breaks.

Check out this Infographic from Femifree to see some of the stats that they collated together:

So if you are one of these people that have been suffering with urinary incontinence in silence, please seek help, there are many ways that you can strengthen your pelvic floor muscle and it's not uncommon so shouldn't be something that you embarrassed to talk about.

It's more common than you think and us women need to unite to make sure others don't feel uncomfortable about talking about this or talking about anything that affects them so badly. Get talking!

Friday, 19 June 2015

How Your Last Child Changes Everything

Last night, Joseph woke up shortly after I'd fed him his night-time feed. He was upset and disturbed so I slowly picked him up and placed him in to bed with me. Holding him in my arms, I stared at him as he drifted off back to sleep. Just mesmerised in his love as he reached out and grasped my hand with his tiny little fingers, studying his face so that I could remember it forever. 

Knowing that today was coming and what that signified, made me just want to hold him even tighter for that little bit longer.

Today is a big day for us. Today is the day that my husband goes for a vasectomy. Even though this day has been coming for a while now, it hasn't stopped me feeling emotional today. My mindset has changed with this baby. As I watch him grow and bond with his brothers, learn to walk, talk, his first tooth, all of his firsts are the lasts for me. 

You see, I love children. I love having a baby and, would have loads if I could but realistically, we had to think about us and our family, about how we could cope, and in conclusion, financially we can't afford any more children, emotionally we can't and due to health reasons, this was the last nail in the coffin when it came to making this decision. 

Pregnancy makes me ill, ridiculously ill, to the point where I cannot work or even eat and this means that I am no good to my kids whilst going through it. I let them down and cannot do anything that we have planned. So we made this decision together, based on everything, that 3 children was our limit. 

Since Joseph was born, I have been different, motherhood seems different. I'm no longer impatient in wanting him to grow up quick. waiting for the milestones to show how he's developing, and instead I'm desperately wanting to slow down time so that I can focus more and be in these moments for just that little bit longer. 

Worrying that one day, he'll be older and wont want to cuddle mummy quite as much, so take every opportunity to have him snuggled in my arms. Letting him drift off to sleep on me and just gripping to these moments so I don't lose them. With my first child, I followed all the advice, not holding him for too long, not picking him up straight away when he cried, parenting the ways the books told me to, afraid that letting him be any different would be spoiling him. But you know what, doing what you think is right as a mother is not spoiling them.

I've become such much more aware of the time and how fast it goes. Not wanting to admit that I no longer have a newborn baby, I still have all his clothing, waiting for me to be ready to send them off to be made in to his own little plush toy made from his very own newborn clothing. But how, how can he be nearly 3 month old. It seems like time is passing even faster than before and so I am now taking every moment I can to slow down and just be there, in that moment. 

And you know that stuff, those things that you would usually want to get done straight away, those things can wait. The dishes in the sink can wait, it doesn't matter if they stay there over night, having fun and spending time with my children is the most important thing and from now on, I will be making sure I try my damnedest to slow down the time and just take in each moment, knowing that this is the last time that any of these firsts will happen for me.

- This post was previously published on the 1st May

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