Travelling with a toddler… How bad can it be?

When I’m out in the car with my daughter for a bit longer than she has the patience for being stuck in a car seat for, then I’ll get the high pitched screaming alarm or a frustrated hissy fit. She doesn’t hold on to her toys in the car for longer than five seconds before hurling them somewhere. With that in mind, she does pretty well to keep herself entertained most of the time on our car journeys, but it doesn’t stop me feeling a little anxious if I’m stuck out for longer than I intended, especially after I had a particularly bad car drive on the motorway… I will admit I haven’t really ventured away too far from home with Imogen and I do try to stick to some sort of daily routine. So when we decided to go abroad, I was left thinking how on earth we would cope with a toddler on a plane trip.

It seems silly now in hindsight of our holiday that I was a bit worried, but it’s because toddlers are so unpredictable, as you all know!

Perhaps you’re waiting to go away somewhere or you’re unsure of how you would cope… Please don’t let it put you off!

Think of when you need to leave for the airport and then add extra time! You just know that with kids, that something is going to happen… a last minute stinky nappy or a refusal to get ready. I never get out of the door on time anymore anyway, so despite feeling super prepared we didn’t leave home until later than our plan to.

On the motorway we were diverted off course due to road works and the sat nav took us through town after town. Watching the time ticking by, I’m not going to lie, I thought we weren’t going to be leaving the country at all, but in an attempt to keep my partner calm I kept saying just drive safe, it will be fine. At the end of the day, it’s not worth putting our lives at risk to catch a flight. Imogen slept the whole car journey and I’m glad we picked an early flight for this reason. At least she wasn’t adding to our stress.

Once we got to the airport there was no time to shop, we were racing through the airport and got to the boarding gate with 20 minutes to spare before it shut! We could finally sit and relax we thought. Imogen had other plans though, she wanted to run around. She most definitely did not want to sit nicely Mummy! So we had squealing and tantrums. At this point I noticed some panic stricken faces from people knowing that they were about to share a flight with a screaming toddler. This was one of the things I was a bit worried about but I thought ah yes, I’ll get her bottle ready for the flight. The milk will make everything better…

… Then it dawned on me that I hadn’t picked up the cartons of milk from the bag check. Eeek!

We were keeping Imogen as entertained and calm as possible, with my partner’s brilliant idea to download some Peppa Pig from Netflix onto his phone before we left home. This helped while the flight was delayed for almost an hour on the runway before take off.

Imogen was a bit squawky by this point on the flight and wanted to get off my lap to run around but the whole experience for her was new, exciting and strange! There was very little we could do, other than try to keep her occupied with the toys we’d packed for the flight, (one of them being a new toy that we thought she would be excited about), and once we could, we bought some snacks from the on flight drinks trolley. There were other babies and toddlers on the flight and they all did really well. Yes there was a bit of noise but if other people have a problem with that then I’m sure it’s nothing that a pair of earphones wouldn’t help with. Don’t let this worry you. Kids have as much right to travel as anyone else!

We found out once we reached our holiday destination that our relatives with a small child had to wait hours for a delayed flight the day before. I suddenly felt that our experience could have been a lot worse!

We had a lovely week with family and we were all feeling pretty sombre about the holiday ending.

When we were headed back to the airport we were stuck in traffic and I think the constant stopping and starting was what caused Imogen to be very sick all over herself. I was cleaning her up and once we got to the airport I was able to change her into fresh clothes. So I think in future I will remember to keep a spare change in our cabin bag.

We then had a forgotten Toot Toot dog set off the scanner for our hand luggage, which caused us a bit of delay but at least it gave the staff a few giggles! We again got to the boarding gate with very little time to spare… 10 minutes this time! But the strange thing is, we were so much more relaxed. When we were queueing to board the plane we were told our cabin bags would have to go into the hold! So on the flight back we didn’t have all the toys and entertainment that we had on the trip there. This time though we had the trusty milk and Imogen fell asleep for the whole flight home.

When we returned to the car, thinking all had gone pretty well and feeling eager to get home, we found our car had a flat tyre in the airport car park! We wouldn’t be home for another 5 hours! Instead of worrying though, we took it in our stride and managed to get it sorted, despite having no phone, (the battery died) and being somewhere unknown.

What I learned from our trip was that we coped. We could have spent ages planning for the trip and things still wouldn’t have gone to plan. What happened though wasn’t really so bad! I’m so glad we went abroad with Imogen and now I know I won’t worry so much about travelling again. Perhaps we’ll go further away next time. Maybe I will try doing longer car journeys or a train trip on my own? I feel far more confident for next time.

ENDED:#RNW2018 – Reusable Nappy Giveaway!

***WINNER ANNOUNCED IN THE COMPETITION WIDGET***


Reusable Nappy Week happens every year and is a great time to get into cloth – not just because the warmer weather means quicker drying times. The popularity of reusable nappies is soaring (yay!) and during RNW each year there are special discounts with so many retailers and competitions for prizes of all sizes. If you’ve been thinking about trying cloth now is the time to give it a go!

We have teamed up with Ashford Cloth Nappy Library this Reusable Nappy Week to bring you the opportunity to win a large (9-12kg) Bambino Miosoft cloth nappy cover and two prefold nappies to use inside it. Please note, this competition is for UK entrants only.

 
#RNW2018 Prize - White hook and loop fastening Nappy Cover

If you want to try cloth and don’t know where to start, find your nearest nappy library here.

 
We would love for you to share but it is not a requirement to enter the competition. 

ENTRIES FROM OUTSIDE THE UK WILL NOT BE COUNTED.
Winner to be announced on Tuesday 1st May 2018.

#RNW2018 GIVEAWAY!https://js.gleam.io/e.js

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My D.I.Y fun toddler game part 2- smiley sorting faces game!

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Who doesn’t love smiley faces?!

I’ve dabbled with trying to show Imogen the names of different colours. We’ve got books with them in and she’s got coloured shape sorting toys but I realised that colours isn’t something we have really looked at through play. Imogen really loves sorting things and putting them in to boxes, so I had a little think, and a little look on Pinterest for some ideas. I started dyeing some dry pasta and cereal and thought, now what?! Just getting my daughter to sort them into coloured pots, I thought, could be made more fun. So this is when I came up with this simple idea, which took next to no time at all to set up. The only thing that takes a bit of time is waiting for the food colouring to dry. Some of the colours are a bit  more stubborn than others to dry though!

I hope you and your little ones enjoy this and you can make this game from items you have around your home.
What you need:
4 handfuls of dry pasta or cereal, (whatever you have in your cupboard and is a suitable size for your child),
Different food colouring, (you can use paint but if your child is still putting things in their mouth then food colouring might be the better option),
4 plastic bowls, (they don’t need to be coloured but mine were red, green, blue and yellow, which I just so happened to have),
Paper,
Coloured pens or pencils,
Sticky tape,
Scissors,
A bigger bowl to draw around,
A container to mix the food dye in,
A spoon,
Some kitchen towel.
Make the game in 4 easy steps:

1) Add some drops of food dye into the container with one handful of dry pasta/cereal and mix thoroughly with the spoon. Lay it on the kitchen towel to dry overnight. Continue this with the other colours, so that the rest of the pasta is different colours. I used red, blue, green and yellow dyes.

2) Turn the bigger bowl upside down on your paper and draw around it to make the circles for each of your smiley faces. Then cut them out.

 
3) Draw your smiley face’s eyes onto your circle with your coloured pens. Next you need to cut the mouths out. If you fold the circles in half, so the eyes are both on one side, this makes it easier to cut. I then coloured around the mouths. Repeat for all four circles.

4) Tape the smiley faces to the tops of each of your bowls, corresponding to the colours of your bowls.

Then it’s time to play!

Mix your coloured pasta and cereal together. The game is for your little one to try to match the colour of the pasta with the right smiley face’s mouth. It’s as simple as that! I did think about adding more to the game, but I think for toddlers and pre-schoolers it is okay for the game to be this simple. You could add new colours to the game and different items. You could even introduce tweezers to pick up the pasta or cereal, to help your child with their hand-eye coordination. If the faces get ripped, then it is easy to replace them.

Imogen didn’t want to stop playing this game and I was so pleased to watch her get the hang of it. We started her off with just two colours to begin with. We did find the Cheerios were starting to disappear, so I was relieved I used the food colouring instead of the paint!

Let us know if you tried it!

A letter to my husband…

Dear Jamie,

As you know, you’re currently enjoying your all-inclusive 5* holiday in Kabul, and our daughter and I are stuck at home, trying somehow to cope without you around.

Of course, I’m joking. You would never leave us for a 4 month holiday, you’re actually at work (perks of the army, eh?) but from what you’ve told me about your camp it sounds a lot like a holiday!

Don’t be annoyed, but I thought this would be more difficult than it has been so far. Today marks the two week point, and honestly I’ve been so busy that I just haven’t had time to think about you being away. We get to speak quite often on the phone too, so that makes it a lot easier. But it is still a big adjustment. It is now, and it will be when you return.

I can imagine you’ll find it so much harder to come back, assuming I do have Olivia in some kind of routine by then (I won’t hold my breath on that one), and Olivia, especially, will have changed so much from the baby you left 2 weeks ago. She’ll be talking even more than she is now, potty trained (I hope), she’ll have had her 2nd birthday and she will have grown both physically and developmentally. She’s not far off your intelligence now, so I’m sure when you come back she’ll have far surpassed you on that scale! 😉

I’m kidding, of course…

However, right now, I’m having to deal with a much naughtier little toddler, who is probably testing even more boundaries because she’s stuck with Mummy all of the time. I wonder what goes through her head, and whether she knows when she asks for you that you’re at work. She seems to be coping quite well, it’s more my sanity that’s at risk while you’re away!

Right now she’s upstairs with Amy showing her the “naughty” scribbles she did on her wall, huffing and puffing and chattering away. See? This is pretty normal for her. She’s okay. We both are, really. We just miss you, that’s all.

People keep telling me that this time will go by so quickly, but what I’m really worried about is when I finish my course in June. Having so much free time, I’m sure, will make the time pass much more slowly. I won’t have any more milestone points to take my mind off it. At the moment, all I’m thinking is that I have 3 exams, 1 a week for 3 weeks, and then 3 weeks of teaching, 2 more exams and then that’s it, beginning of June, course done. That really doesn’t seem that far away, and that’s the half way point of you being gone. After that, the only thing I have to look forward to is you coming back! I might need to plan my own little holiday or something with the baby… Not that it will be much of a break, but it will at least fragment the time up a bit.

Olivia’s pestering me to have a go on the keyboard so I’m going to let her touch my Mac (I know right, see? My sanity is obviously gone) and write to you too…

saAS`A` GYTCxzxzxxccvcxzxczzxdsddxxdwdedcwggghgvghgvsmnhgghjkljkljnknn, ngfhghqzfsxbv de HGfcvdfdfdddgfdfsdd 

Translation: love you Daddy, see you soon, stay safe, love from Olivia xxxxx

Right, that’s enough for now and the brat smells so I have to execute a quick nappy change before attempting to get out of the house for messy play – god help us all.

We miss you so much – you’re the piece of our family that holds it all together.

Lots of love,

the Mrs
xxx

ethannevelyn.comMonday Stumble LinkyKeep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Why can’t we just all play nicely together?

I was out for a walk with my toddler daughter in her pushchair. It was a fairly warm and sunny day. We checked the roads were clear of cars to cross when we spotted a play park. I was so amazed I hadn’t realised it was there before, having lived in the area for almost a year, we wandered down the road adjacent to ours, drawn in by its bright colours. When we reached the park it had a low fence and hedges surrounding it. It was so much more accessible than the other park in the area, (which is in the middle of a very big and uneven field), not very easy terrain for a pushchair or a small toddler to walk. This was also far closer, only being round the corner from our house. I found the gate… It was locked. I checked I wasn’t going crazy and yes, locked, by a big black contraption. I was puzzled. Maybe it was the time of year, maybe it hadn’t been opened again for Spring? It seemed odd to me, why would they need to lock it with this fancy locking system? I wandered around to the next gate and it too was locked. Then I noticed the sign… ‘This park is privately funded by ‘whatever the name was’ estate.’ This was the middle of the day, during the half term and there was not one single child in sight. I had to turn around and walk away with my toddler, who was wondering why she had just been teased with the prospect of playing in the park. I felt like an awful mum.

These are my problems with these types of parks.

Play parks are to encourage children to go outside and play with other children, to socialise.

There were no children in this particular park. The sole purpose of a park is for it to be played in, for there to be laughter  resonating from it’s vicinity and instead, there we were looking over the fence at this empty park which looked more like an art installation.

One day I will have to explain to my daughter why she can’t play in the park that is just round the corner. “It’s because only the children who live in the bigger houses on that road are allowed to play in there.” “Why?”

This causes an ‘us and them’ effect and it took me back to my childhood, to an experience that really shook my confidence and self-esteem.

My friend stayed with relatives on a council estate close to where I grew up. I used to go down the alleyway to see her after school, to play and we would often go to the local park. I was aged 8 I think. One day, as usual, we were playing when other children started telling me I wasn’t welcome in the park or the area and I had to leave. When I told them I wouldn’t, because I was with my friend, they began throwing quite big rocks at me, (which bruised my legs), pushing me and one of the children put her hands round my throat and squeezed very hard. We didn’t understand why. Confused and very upset, I managed to get away and ran back up the alley home. My Mum was very angry and had a word with some adults from the estate and then told me I couldn’t play there anymore. The children on the estate had decided that because I was not local enough, I was different, to the point where they were attacking me. It made me notice a difference that I never before would have seen between us at such a young age. That they were from a council estate and I wasn’t. This is not what I feel should be encouraged. I don’t want my daughter to think that she is not good enough, or not an equal. This is what I feel these private parks do.

I can understand that the houses have put funding towards the park, and that they want it to be looked after. The lock could be put on after 5pm to make sure louts don’t go in there and vandalise it. The children in the area have access to a park opposite their homes which is amazing! They can play in there anytime they like and it’s all thanks to the generosity of those who funded it. I just can’t get behind the idea that it’s only there for those particular children and not the ones who live around the corner who would be as equally delighted to pay that park visits.

I don’t want my daughter to experience going out to play with friends in that road, only to be shunned when they go to the park. In this day and age we should be encouraging children to get outside to play, rather than staying in. Supporting them to socialise with children no matter where they live or what their background is. Teaching them to be kind and supportive of one another.

Top 5 hairstyles for my frizzy haired daughter!

5 frizzy hairstyles

Up until very recently, Evie always hated people touching her hair. It was a major struggle to get her to let me brush it or even wash it without a meltdown. So when she finally decided that she wanted pretty hair for nursery, I was stuck to say the least. She has the awkward in-between hair that isn’t curly or straight, thick or fine… It’s usually just a matted frizzy mess begging for a brush. But with a bit of help from Social Media mummies and a lot of Pinterest searching, I have finally found hairstyles that are not only easy to do but tame her frizzy hair and make it easier to manage on a daily basis. So I give to you, my top 5 go to hairstyles for my frizzy haired daughter.

1.This one is the easiest of them all! All you need is 2 small hair bands or elastics and a comb! Always try and start off with damp hair, it makes it so much easier to manage and helps it stay in place when styling! Separate the hair into 2 sections and tie them into bunches. DONE! If your daughter’s hair is shorter like mine, use the top section if her hair and then separate that into 2 sections. You can add clips or bows etc. to make it look prettier or just leave it as it is.

2.For this one you will need 4 small hair bands or elastics and a comb. Take the front section of hair and split it into 2 sections and tie them into bunches. Then take the middle section of hair and do the same but as you comb them into bunches, add the bunch from the top section into it.

 

3.This one is very similar to the previous one but instead of passing the top bunch down, pass it diagonal and then tie it into a bunch.

4.For this one you will need 2 small hair bands or elastics and a bit more patience. Separate the hair into 2 sections (as you can see, the sections don’t need to be even). Clip one section to the side whilst you work on the other side. Take the front section of hair and start twisting it back gathering up sections of hair as you go along, until you get to the back and then tie it off with a band and then repeat with the other side. Once you’ve reached the back with second twist, tie them both together and add a bow or flower etc.

5.For this one, grab 6 small hair bands or elastics and a comb. Split the hair into two sections and clip one side. Take the bottom section and tie it into a bunch, then take the middle section and do the same but take the bottom bunch into it before tying it off and repeat again with the top section. Then repeat on the other side. Depending on the length of your daughter’s hair, you can either leave the top as bunches or make them into buns.

And there you have it! My top 5 hairstyles for my frizzy haired daughter! Hopefully these work for you and if they do, we would love to see them! Or if you have your own go to hairstyles, feel free to share them below, I’m always in need of new ones!

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Mental Health Monday – Self Care Days.

Today was a really difficult day Mental Health wise.

I’ve been a bit weepy and for once – I didn’t hide it from Florence. Instead, I actively involved her in a self care day.

I told her that I had a difficult phone call and that I was a little bit sad, so we were going to be spending the day doing things to make us feel good about ourselves.

We had a lovely bath with a Lush bath bomb, it reminded us of the sea and we played with boats. We had a splash war. We used my special Lush shampoo, conditioner and posh body wash. We brushed each others hair and dried it with the hair dryer. We put on some perfume. We read stories and looked at photos of people and things that make us happy (dogs, cats, trains, Grandma, Grandpa, dogs, ‘Ick’, dogs, cats and trains..) . We wore our pjs all day and changed into a snuggly fresh set after our bath. We made smoothies and had some naughty chocolate coins. We cuddled, we played, we watched the choo choo trains on YouTube and we laughed.

I want to raise a mentally resilient little girl. I will always be open about my Mental Health – even if I’m going to have to come up with the occasional euphemism to make what I’m feeling more age appropriate. There will be no Mental Health stigma in our household and she will always know that it’s okay to take some time to feel like you again.

Thank you for being my everything – Florence. You always get me, back to me.

This post was written as part of our Raising Healthy Minds campaign

6 tips to help your toddler through a cold

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Winter is here and it brought my son the gift of a snotty nose and a sore throat. Toddlers end up suffering colds so badly because they don’t understand what is happening and they can’t dose up on cold and flu medicine.

1. Honey and lemon

This classic cold remedy is brilliant once your little one is over a year old.  If they are under one year old this is isn’t suitable because honey contains Clostridium Botulinum. Paired with their immature guts, there is a (very low) risk of them developing botulism.
The honey is good for sore throats because of its antibacterial and potentially antiviral properties and the lemon packs a nice punch of Vitamin C.

I struggled for ages to make it the right temperature quickly without making it taste gross. The answer? Frozen lemon. Buy a few lemons, quarter them and freeze them. Pop one or two slices into a hot water and honey mixture and wait a couple of minutes. Give them a little squeeze and voila! Perfect toddler temperature honey and lemon. We pop ours in a sippy cup with a lid so the lemon can stay in the drink without getting in the way.

2. Vapour rub

Maybe it’s obvious, but vapour rub is brilliant. Don’t just buy the normal strength one though, make sure you get the kids one; the adult one can be a little bit too potent. Most baby ones are fine from six months, but always check the label.

3. Vapour Oil

There are child strength ones available but they are just diluted versions of the normal one. We use Olbas oil  which has instructions for use with children from six months, they also make a children’s one which has a different ‘dosage’. As long as you follow the instructions either is fine.  When my son was still in his cot it we were able to put Olbas in his room in a bowl of boiling water but now he is in a bed we can’t do that. My solution is to put a drop or two on a little square of cotton or a tissue and put it under his mattress so he can’t get to it. It’s strong stuff so it will definitely work through that many layers. Please contact a qualified aromatherapist for advice if you have pets in the home as some essential oils can be harmful to animals.

4. Paracetamol

I try to avoid turning to infant paracetamol regularly, but I always have it on hand for those times it’s unavoidable. If his colds get really awful I know his sinuses are going to be hurting, easing one symptom can really help manage the others.

5. Muslins or Handkerchiefs

Tissues are a huge waste of time, resources and money just to make your nose sting when you blow it. We all know how sore your nose can get with a cold, now imagine if you had super delicate baby skin? Ouch. We opt for the muslins my son had as a baby – now he doesn’t spit up they may as well get some use. They are soft, gentle and reusable. We’re totally cool about germs, we’ve all been exposed to them if someone in the house has a cold but if it concerns you, a 15 minute soak in sterilising fluid or a 60 degree wash will kill any lurking nasties. If it’s a bug rather than a cold you’ll likely be doing some hot washes anyway.

6. Patience

This one can be so difficult, especially if you have a cold as well.

It’s 2am and your toddler is just crying at you, completely inconsolable and not listening to a word you say. They won’t calm down and it’s making them cough and rasp and you can see the more they cry the more upset they become. You’re freezing because you heard a cry, went straight to them without grabbing a dressing gown and you’re tired because…well it’s 2am (and they did this last night as well). It is so easy to get frustrated but I just think about how much I would panic if I woke up not able to breathe. They don’t understand and they don’t realise you’re trying to comfort them. The best thing I’ve found is to try and distract my son. If I can get him to laugh we are half way there. We already know we’ll be exhausted in the morning – that’s inevitable now, so we might as well have a giggle.

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10 Amazing Benefits of Babywearing

I thought I would be a good time to talk about the amazing benefits I’ve experienced as a babywearing parent. If you like the sound of any of this then you need to get yourself to your nearest sling library and take a look at the options available. Please ALWAYS make sure you follow the T.I.C.K.S guidelines shown at the bottom of the post. 

As International Babywearing Week draws to a close I thought I would be a good time to talk about the amazing benefits I’ve experienced as a babywearing parent. If you like the sound of any of this then you need to get yourself to your nearest sling library and take a look at the options available. Please ALWAYS make sure you follow the T.I.C.K.S guidelines shown at the bottom of the post. 

 

 

1. Settle that fussy baba

Week 1 of my son’s life was spent in hospital. Week 2 was a hellish nightmare of constant screaming. Week 3 my babywearing journey began after a friend leant me her Close Caboo sling and I was able to settle my little guy and keep hold of him without getting dead arms.  Newborns need a huge amount of closeness; they aren’t designed to go long without human contact so popping them into a sling is a great way of keeping them close and content. I’d highly recommend a stretchy wrap for a newborn because it’s soft, warm and ergonomic for their scrunched up little bodies.

2. Hands-free cuddles 

Once your baby has settled you can do crazy things like attend to basic human functions or even stretch to a bit of housework. For several weeks the only way I could feed myself, use the loo or do any washing up was by having little man in the sling. 

3. No more pram-induced invisibility 

There is a crazy phenomena that turns parents and their children invisible as soon as they touch a pushchair or pram. People just do not see you (I can’t be the only one who has experienced this?). The number of people who walk into me or straight towards my son’s pushchair is insane, I’m literally taking up twice the amount of space that other people take up, why can’t you see me? With a sling you can dodge in and out of crowds pretty well without people constantly sideswiping your pushchair. It’s really convenient in busy places.
 

4. Go off road!

Go for a walk in the woods. Climb steps. Paddle at the beach. The possibilities are endless because you can go anywhere your feet will take you without lugging a massive bit of kit around, just a little baby wrapped close to your body. Perfect. 

5. Sleepydust 

‘Sleepydust’ is a word that gets batted around the babywearing community a lot. It’s the magic that a sling has that just makes your kiddo fall asleep quickly and peacefully. Most slings have it and any child who is remotely tired will just conk out once they’re up. 
 

6. Get snuggly 

Babywearing is warm and comfy and most importantly it is an excellent way of bonding with your little one. That level of closeness helps keep you in tune with each other and is a great mood booster because cuddles = oxytocin.

7. No strollers allowed…

It’s not often this happens but there are some places that don’t let you take pushchairs or prams in with you. One place my family loves to visit is Sissinghurst Castle and Gardens (if you’re ever in Kent during the warmer months you have to go there!). They don’t let pushchairs in for conservation reasons and although they provide carriers at the ticket
office they are not the most ergonomic and the ones for toddlers are framed and bulky. Having our own soft structured carrier there makes our trips so much easier. 

 8. Work it mama!

Okay, we need to talk about the obvious benefit of carrying around the extra weight of a baby… think of all those calories burnt! If you’re looking to get a little leaner then this will help you along the way and if not just think about all the chocolate cake you can eat after a day out wearing your baby.

9. Sneaky bit of boob

If you’re breastfeeding then with a sling you can feed easily on the go and if you’re worried about discretion then you’ll love this – no one can see a thing! It’s great, I lost count of the number of times I’ve browsed shops with baby happily attached to the boob.

Please note, this is not a safe carrying position, I was just about to feed him.

10. Community Spirit

Something I was not expecting when I got my first sling was the amazing community that comes along with it – much like the cloth nappy community – the sling community is friendly, supportive and a great source of knowledge and experience. Join a Facebook group and get chatting to some likeminded parents.


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A Reflection and Hopes for the Future

s my daughter’s 2nd birthday approaches, I’ve found myself reflecting on the last 2 years as a mother. Things I could have done better, times when my daughter made me so proud and times when I felt like giving up.

As my daughter’s 2nd birthday approaches, I’ve found myself reflecting on the last 2 years as a mother. Things I could have done better, times when my daughter made me so proud and times when I felt like giving up.
In the 2 years Evie has been here, she has grown so much and made me the proudest I have ever been. Sure, she has her days but I wouldn’t change her for the world.

Things I wish I had done better:
• I wish I had taken more pictures with her. I have thousands of pictures of Evie but very few with me and her, and the ones I do have are unexpected selfies with her looking very bewildered.
• I wish I had done more with her. We spent a lot of time at home or at grandparents houses, so going out and doing more things with her would have been lovely!
• I wish I had more patience with her. I found myself getting frustrated if she wouldn’t feed, if she was misbehaving or just generally having a bad day. She was probably not even that bad but at times, it felt like a disaster if she wouldn’t do something.

Proud moments:
• When Evie started crawling, I cried my eyes out. My little girl was gaining independence and growing up that little bit more. But I also cried because I was immensely proud of how much determination she had to get it done.
• Knowing that, at 2 years old, she knows around 200 words, can form some sentences and use them appropriately makes me feel so proud. She’s learning new words everyday and it’s always exciting to see what she will say next.
• Watching her with her cousins , especially her baby cousin. She will ‘look after’ her and knows when she is sad and tries to help make her happy again (usually involves screaming ‘MILK!’ at her auntie.

Hopes for the next 2 years:
• That Evie grows up to be independent and follows what she believes in, not what everybody else believes in.
• To take more pictures and urge Daddy to take more as well!
• Take Evie to experience more things. Only so much can be experienced at home and being outdoors is one of Evie’s favourite things to do.

I can’t wait to see what the next 2 years will bring and I cant believe I’m about to be a mother of a 2 year old.  I know that Evie will continue to make me as proud as she has done her whole life and I cant wait to see her learn and grow!

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