Monday, 30 November 2015

Baby's First Injections

Now we've been to 2 out of the 3 appointments for Brooke's first lot of injections I feel like I can share our experience and hopefully be of some use to anybody who has their baby's first injections coming up soon.

As a new mum I was vaguely aware that small babies have to have vaccinations but that's about it. I was pretty clueless about when they happened and what exactly they were for.

So far Brooke has had her 8 week vaccinations and her 12 week vaccinations - the 16 week ones (which will be the last until she is 1) are coming up just before Christmas.

I was absolutely dreading the first appointment, like really really dreading it. I know vaccinations are done for such good reasons and of course 2 seconds of pain is so much better than a serious illness, plus Brooke obviously won't remember these AT all, but there is still nothing more heartbreaking than your babies little face looking at you, screaming out in pain, wondering why mummy - the one person who is meant to protect them from anything bad - is letting somebody hurt them! :(

At the 8 week appointment Brooke had three injections, two in one thigh and one in the other, and one oral medication to vaccinate against rotavirus.
The injection that I was particularly anxious about was the one for Meningitis C. It is a very new vaccination that had only been offered for around 6 weeks by the time Brooke had it so I had no friends to ask for advice about it.
NHS advice with baby vaccinations in general is to have calpol on hand in case baby develops a fever later on that evening but with the new Men C injection it's not IF baby gets a fever, it's WHEN baby gets a fever because it is almost a certainty that baby will react badly to that one in particular. You are advised when you book to actually bring the calpol with you to the appointment and to give some straight away after they have the injection, plus twice more through the night.

We have been very lucky and thankfully Beooke has coped incredibly well with her vaccinations so far and hasn't had any major side effects.
After the 8 week jabs we gave her calpol at the doctors as advised, she was a little sleepier than normal but was absolutely fine. She amazingly didn't develop any sort of fever and slept as normal that night. We only felt the need to give the calpol that day and by the next morning she was her usual happy self. She did actually come out in a bit of a cold a few days after which I've mentioned in a previous post, so I expected that was a delayed effect of the injections.

At the 12 week appointment 2 injections are given (no nasty Men C this time - Yay!) and one oral medication. Again Brooke reacted well, had a slight temperature later in the evening and flushed rosy cheeks so we gave her one dose of calpol but was good as new after that!

I'm a bit worried because her 16 week injections are the week before Christmas so I'm hoping she doesn't have a nasty reaction to them that will ruin Christmas for her, so fingers crossed! Plus we have to have the nasty Men C one again next time!

Obviously the actual moment when the injection is carried out and Brooke screams her head off completely breaks my heart! BUT we definitely feel it is for the greater good and will continue to get her vaccinated as per the NHS recommendations. Luckily we have a super brave little girl and she has only cried for 30 seconds max and cuddles from mummy and daddy really seem to help.

Have you had your little ones vaccinated? I'd love to hear about your experience? What do you think of the new Men C injection?
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Friday, 27 November 2015

5 Things Friday: Newborn must haves

Thinking about doing some new bits on the blog I thought it'd be fun to start a 5 thing Friday theme. Each Friday I'll be writing about 5 things...sometimes a shopping list, sometimes a wishlist, sometimes some advice, sometimes things we recommend and sometimes just some thoughts.

So this we we have...
5 Newborn must haves

Now Brooke is 13 weeks old she's no longer classed as a "newborn" and is now an INFANT! (which is crazy!) so I thought it would be useful to pass on our recommendations for the top 5 products that we could not have lived without in those early days.

1. Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine

For anybody that has been living under a rock and somehow hasn't heard of the perfect prep machine it basically makes perfect body temperature bottles for baby in under two minutes so there's no phaffing around waiting for boiling bottles to cool or cold bottles to heat.
You put an empty sterilised bottle under the tap push the button and a burst of boiling water comes out, it then beeps to let you know that part is done, you remove the bottle and add your scoops of formula and give it a shake/swirl so all the powder mixes with the boiling water, then you put the bottle back under the tap again press the button again and it is topped up with cool water to make the perfect temperature and amount in each feed.
The dial at the top of the machine can be adjusted to make feeds between 4-11oz. The only bad thing I have found is that the smallest bottles you can make are 4oz because when you bring your newborn home from the hospital you will probably be starting on 2-3oz but to be honest they move onto bigger feeds so quickly it really wasn't a problem. We simply made bottles the old fashioned way with boiled water from the kettle for a few days & then moved onto using the machine & wasting a teeny bit of milk each time.
The perfect prep machine does divide opinion, with a lot of people deeming it a waste of money but honest to god this thing is an actual life saver! I know it's not too difficult to wait 10mins for milk to cool down but at 3am having warm milk on tap is amazing when even 2 minutes of baby screaming feels like a lifetime. 
It is a little pricey at around £120 but you can usually find it for around £70 in the Asda Baby Event or on Amazon or like me you might be able to pick one up secondhand. We only paid £35 - possibly the best £35 I've ever spent!

2. Baby sleeping bags

Each to their own obviously but we always knew we wanted to put Brooke in baby sleeping bags to go to sleep. Originally I planned on using cellular blankets for the first couple weeks until she was a bit bigger and filled out her sleeping bag a bit but the first two nights when we got home from the hospital Brooke didn't want to sleep... At all! 
She'd sleep anywhere else during the day, on us, in her bouncy chair, her swing, a cushion but just hated her swinging crib for bedtime. It was like she found it too big and open after being in my belly all that time. So much so that I was this close to rushing out and buying a Moses basket for her so she could have a smaller sleeping space!
On night 3 we put her in a baby sleeping bag for the first time and haven't looked back since. Ever since then she only woke up once each night and seemed so much more content and snug. We have 4 at the moment so there's always one clean & dry even when I'm behind on the washing!
NB baby sleeping bags are recommended for baby's 8lb and over. Luckily Brooke was 8lb 9oz when she was born so this was never something we had to worry about.

3. Ewan the Dream Sheep

Speaking of sleep, this little guy quickly became one of our best friends!
I didn't initially buy a Ewan before Brooke was born. Even though they are so highly recommended I thought he was abit expensive for what it does and thought free white noise apps on my phone would do the job just as well - which to be honest they would, but Ewan's cute, cuddly & can strap onto the cot bars so when I saw him on a secondhand selling site for £10 we thought we'd give him a try.
Ewan plays soothing harp, womb, hoover & heartbeat noises on a 20 min cycle and had a red glow. Ever since we started using him Brooke definitely falls asleep quicker. She's always self soothed herself to sleep quite well, before we had Ewan she'd chat to herself for at least 30 mins before falling asleep but now she's easily asleep in 5.

4. Nursing pillow

Even though we didn't chose to breastfeed we found a nursing pillow to be a godsend in the early days.
It was perfect for putting baby down before she could hold her own head up. We could wrap her up and position her on her side and it still felt like she was being cuddled so she'd stay asleep.
I loved being able to lay Brooke in this to feed her just so you have a free hand!
Nursing pillows are great for tummy time and now Brooke's older we still use it on abit more of an angle to support her in more of a sitting up position.

5. A foam bath insert
We quickly discovered that one of these would be really useful. Whether you start bathing your baby in a little baby bath or the big bath I think it really really helps to be able to lay the baby in something so you have a hand free to be able to wash them.
We didn't give Brooke a bath until she was a week old and then the first couple of times I had G to help me but I was really nervous to start bathing her on my own once he went back to work and this was a god send!
We bought this cute fish shaped one from Boots, it came with two little fish sponges and was £6.99. Brooke has only just stopped using it recently, now she goes in a seat in the big bath.

So there has it, the 5 items we found most useful in the early day - obviously not included things like nappies/wipes/pram/clothes etc... The unexpected must haves let's say!

What were your newborn must have products? Did you use any of these?

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Thursday, 26 November 2015

3 month baby update

Currently snoozing away on me, our baby girl will be 3 months old in the morning (probably by the time this goes live) and I can't quite believe what a little person she has become. Our squishy newborn is long long gone!

You're still sleeping absolutely perfectly and we still can't quite believe it! I'm constantly pinching myself and expecting to wake up to the sleepless nights that everybody warns you about because *touch wood* we still have no idea what they are like. I honestly know how lucky we are and I'm totally expecting you to be a nightmare teething and as a toddler but for the time being it's amazing!
You tend to either go 7pm to around 7am or sometimes you haven't been settling as well in the evening, will stay up with us until we go to bed and will go 10/11pm to 8/9am which is a lovely lie in.
When you wake up in the morning you'll only be awake for an hour or so before you're first nap of the day. This is always the longest, sometimes 3 or 4 hours!

At the moment you're drinking 7oz bottles, very occasionally you might finish an 8oz but usually if we try that you leave some. Depending on your naps - and sometimes not waking up in time for a feed - you usually go about 3 or 4 hours between feeds so have 4 - 5 a day.

We actually went to baby clinic to be weighed this morning because I'm keen to keep up with the stats in your baby book :) and you're 13lb 2oz BUT you've dropped down a centile from the 75th since you were born to the 50th so you're bang on average for your age.

You change so much every single day! At the moment you love to chat and smile all the time. As soon as anybody pays you any attention you won't stop smiling and squeal with delight. You're generally a really really chilled out baby and rarely cry unless you're in pain with wind which luckily doesn't happen too often.
You have giggled a couple of times but I don't think it's because you found anything in particular funny it's just one of the noises you've discovered you can make and did it randomly. I can't wait until you laugh properly!
Literally the last couple of days you're constantly trying to pull yourself upright into a sitting position, you don't like lying down at all! It's so funny, it looks like you're trying to do little sit-ups.
We've also started swimming lessons, we've only been to two so far but you seem to be enjoying it which is so sweet.
We've also put you in the big girl bit of your pram which you love because you can look around at everyone and be nosy. We don't use your carrycot on the pram at all anymore, only for the occasional nap during the day in the living room.

You're definitely in 0-3month clothes now, all the newborn stuff is well and truly packed away :( in fact a few 0-3 bits are pretty snug already but some are equally massive. I think it must depend on the shops sizing like adult clothes do. I'm worrying all your Christmas outfits won't fit because I got them in 0-3, it going to be one of those awkward stages where you're in between sizes.
Still in size 2 nappies with lots of room to spare and size 2-3 swim nappies with even more room to spare!!


Sunday, 8 November 2015

Baby's First Cold

For the last week or so our poor baby girl has been suffering with her first cold and it's breaking my heart.
Subsequently I've discovered that before 8 weeks old there really isn't anything you can give a baby to make them feel better, something that I never gave my thought to until I had Brooke.
I think as an adult we just take for granted that we can grab some cough medicine or vapour rub, pop a paracetamol or even blow our nose but poor little B has definitely not had such an easy time.

Luckily it hasn't been anything too serious. To begin with she had a horrible snotty nose and temperature so I was able to give her some calpol which seemed to help. The worst thing was definitely that she couldn't breathe through her nose. She would have to spit her dummy out in the night so she could breathe and then she'd cry because she wanted her dummy again - it was so sad! That along with a nasty cough was ensuring poor little B was up most of the night which is unheard of for our sleepy bear.

After a few days suffering I ventured up to Boots to find out if there was anything we could give her. Annoyingly vapor rub, plug ins, olbus oil, cough medicine is all from 3 months plus. At this point Brooke was 9 weeks so I asked if it really makes that much difference? Personally I can't understand it? Surely a product is either suitable for tiny baby's or it isn't? What difference is a 2 month old baby to a 3 month old baby? ....but anyway off we went with our recommended saline spray to try to decongest B's little nose so she would feel more comfortable.
Luckily this did seem to do the job and after a day or two Brooke was feeling much better. That along with the amount of Vicks that G and me were smothering ourselves in must have had some secondary effect on her.

Unfortunately we're just left with a little cough now that keeps waking her up in the night but fingers crossed that'll be gone soon, it seems to be getting better everyday.

Did your little ones get poorly at an early age? What did you do? I'd love to hear about it

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Mummy and Me - October 2015

18.10.15 (7 weeks old)

06.10.15 (5 weeks old)
Mummy and B hiding from the rain.
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Nicola... Life Through My Eyes

Optimalprint Birth Announcement Cards - Review

Before B was born we decided we'd like to get some birth announcement cards printed. A friend of mine did something similar when her little boy was born last year and I thought they were brilliant.

I actually came across the company Optimalprint on Facebook originally during the early stage of my pregnancy. I bookmarked the page & forgot all about it until after Brooke was born and we were looking for a way to tell all our friends and family that our little madam was finally here.
I know these days everybody texts or uses Facebook to announce their baby being born, which don't get me wrong we did as well, but I think birth announcement cards just add a special touch. They're a lovely keepsake and I know older members of family, like my grandparents for example really cherish their card and don't use Facebook or anything like that.

We actually combined a birth announcement and thank you card in one as we were lucky enough to receive lots and lots of amazing presents for Brooke so thought this would kill two birds with one stone.
We left the back of the card blank so we could write our own personal message to everyone but you had the option to have anything you liked printed on any side of the.card.

I am over the moon with how the cards turned out. We got 20 printed for around £27 which I don't think is too bad at all. The quality was amazing, the photo just can't do them justice. The cards were printed on thick, high quality card and were lovely & gloss. The photos we chose to include came out beautifully and they were only iPhone snaps.
Postage was incredibly quick, I think our cards arrived the day after next once I ordered them - and I ordered at about 11pm!
Optimalprint had tonnes of different templates and styles of birth announcement cards to chose from along with plenty of other types of card - Christmas cards, birthday invitations, wedding invitations, thank you cards , party invitations. 

We would highly highly recommend Optimalprint for any personalised cards you may need. We will definitely be using them for Brooke's christening and first birthday invitations next year.

How did you announce your baby's birth?