We ❤️ Ella’s Kitchen

Now that Amelia’s started having 2 ‘meals’ a day we have started introducing more variety. The docotors said that when Amelia was three months the old the best thing for her reflux was heavier milk and baby porridge. She has every flavour baby porridge available; plain, banana, apricot, summer fruits, orange. She also loves yoghurts.

As her coordination has got better and now that she’s a bit older she also has some foods that she can eat herself. Amelia loves Farleys Rusks – what baby doesn’t? – and like with her nappies I discover Ella’s kitchen thanks to another mum blogger.

Ella’s kitchen is a brand of baby food that uses all natural ingredients. They contain low amounts of sugar and fat and have a range of crisps that are perfect finger foods. Amelia loves the carrot and sweetcorn puffs.

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We also found these new flavours to try

Where has my tiny baby gone?

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My Birthday Weekend: Part 1

So what did I actually do for my 21st birthday?

Well as you can imagine I wanted to spend it with my little princess. My birthday was Sunday 15th, but we started celebrating a few days before.

We started off by going shopping with my mum on the Friday, Amelia and I, a girls day out to lakeside shopping centre. Mum wanted to treat me for my birthday so she bought me some new clothes and a few other bits that I picked out.

Lakesides biggest draw by far is the huge Primark. It’s spread over three floors and stocks so many different items it’s impossible to know where to start looking. The lingerie section alone is the size of one floor in my more local Primark. Despite going shopping for clothes for me we obviously ended up in the baby section first and didn’t return empty handed. Amelia ended up with an entire outfit courtesy of her nanny, a Minnie Mouse tracksuit and matching shoes.

When we finally made it to the women’s section I was spoilt for choice. I know Primark is not everyone’s shop of choice but with a reflux baby I refuse to let anyone buy me expensive clothes; they all look the same with baby sick on regardless of cost. (That said I am very fussy with my jeans and always go to Topshops petite section) We ended up with three big bags full of clothes and jewellery – I’m terrible for loosing earrings so primark is the perfect place to stock up – and had to make a trip back to the car to unload before getting lunch.

Lunch had to be Pizza Hut for mum and I. Amelia had a little packed lunch consisting of her milk, a yoghurt, a Farleys rusk, banana and a giant carrot and sweet corn puff from Ella’s Kitchen.

 

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Below are just a few of the bits mum got me: pyjamas, a bralet and matching bottoms, rainbow highlighter, frilly socks, a pretty belly bar and nail varnish. If you’re looking to restock your wardrobe Lakeside shopping centre is definitely the place to go.

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Halloween Prep

I know everyone’s now planning for Christmas but for our little family with our perfect titchy princess there is another event at the end of the month…
We’ve never been big on celebrating Halloween in my family but once you have a baby everything is more exciting.
Amelia’s five months old now and I love an excuse to spoil her. I made her up a little Halloween bag. It contains:

1- a Halloween bib from Sainsbury’s
2 – a pumpkin vest from pep and co
3 – a little book I found in our local charity shop

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(Amelia’s daddy also has a Halloween goody bag but we can’t write about it yet as he is probably going to read this)

As much as I like the look of all the fancy costumes, Amelia just doesn’t need them. She will look adorable in her little orange pumpkin vest and it will be a lovely keepsake. When she’s old enough to go trick or treating, then we will go all out with a full costume.

For a little Halloween treat for older babies and adults too I found these fun limited edition muller corner yoghurts, strawberry flavour with chocolate biscuit skulls

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What are you doing to celebrate Halloween this year?

The Pressure of Breastfeeding

There is a pressure among mums to breastfeed. I have yet to encounter a mums group that doesn’t support it vehemently. I have seen many times when a mother who has chosen to stop has been made to feel guilty, has been insulted or has been made to feel as if she is somehow neglecting her child.

I am going to outline the disadvantages I personally found. And yes I am fully aware that this opinion is probably going to be very unpopular.

Before I begin I am in no way ‘anti’ breastfeeding. I exclusively breast fed my daughter until she was six weeks and mix fed her until she was 16 weeks. However for me, there were a number of problems I found with it.

Since introducing formula Amelia’s weight gain has improved. Yes, she was gaining weight but as she was very ill and lost a lot of weight in her first two weeks of life what little weight she was gaining wasn’t as much as I would have liked. Now she is formula fed her weight gain is more notable and on her curve in her red book she is just above the bottom line, where previously she was below it.

Her relationship with her daddy has improved. Instead of relying on my breasts for comfort she is now happy to be consoled by her dads cuddles too.

She sleeps for longer as formula keeps them full for longer and she doesn’t need to feed as often to maintain my milk supply.

If we get stuck in traffic and there’s another person in the car they can sit in the back and give her a bottle. For obvious reasons breast feeding would never have worked here. You may think this isn’t a problem. Within a couple of minutes of real crying Amelia goes bright red and starts being sick. Having her upset because we had to wait to get home to breast feed did neither of us any favours.

Another advantage is less clean up. Amelia’s reflux means there’s always a lot of sick after a feed. With breastfeeding she would easily cover both of us and necessitate a change of clothes for me and her. Not exactly ideal when you’ve gone shopping or for a meal.

Breastfeeding in public made me extremely anxious. Finding somewhere to sit and feed her was never easy and then there was the vommitting to consider. My nerves over taking her out have greatly reduced now that I know I have a bottle I can give her immediately, regardless of whether we are on a bus, in a car or in the queue waiting to pay for shopping.

The more the pro breastfeeding the adviser was the more of the following advice I seemed to receive:
Don’t give a dummy it will cause nipple confusions – she had one from the beginning and it didn’t and it’s also known to reduce SIDS risk
Don’t express it will cause nipple confusion – when she was hospitalised the doctors told me to so that we could measure exactly how much of her milk she was drinking. Again it did not cause nipple confusion
Don’t use nipples shields it will cause confusion – again this did not happen. In fact had I not used them I would have stopped breast feeding very early due to pain

Yes all research tells us that breast milk is best nutritionally. But just as much research tells us that mothers well being is more detrimental to the baby than feeding method. Unhappy mum means unhappy baby, regardless of the physical benefits of breastfeeding.

Whether or not to breast feed is a very personal choice. The only person that can make the decision is the mum. Do what works best for you. If you can be happy breast feeding that’s wonderful. If you can only be happy formula feeding then that’s wonderful too. If you are happiest mix feeding/ combination feeding then do so.  Fed is best. Happy mum is best.

5 Things in Amelia’s Changing Bag

1) Nappies and lots of them! We normally end up changing Amelia every hour. At the moment she has kit and kin nappies which are so cute

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2) Metanium nappy ointment – after having a horrible reaction to a new nappy cream this one has been a life saver         3) Two changes of clothes – her reflux means we never make it through a trip out without at least one outfit change
4) Milks. As if this even needs to be on the list. Amelia would be extremely unhappy without her milks.
5) Teddy – Amelia loves something to hold onto now she’s moving about a lot more

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Amelia’s Wardrobe

IMG_2717Amelia’s clothes are more practical than princess. Thanks to her reflux she is sick at least ten times a day resulting in 3 or more outfit changes, 4 or more bibs and at least 3 muslin cloths. If she’s laying down at the time of projectile vommitting she usually gives herself a horrible hair wash. It is not unusual for her to need three or four baths a day.

Her reflux means she needs a lot of clothes. Forget the quantities of vests that mother care and cow and gate recommend on their websites. 12 vests would never be enough unless I want to be doing a few loads of washing a day.

Most of her clothes come from h and m, primark, Tesco or mothercare. She’s also got a lot of clothes passed on from friends and family.

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As much as I see the appeal to the gorgeous designer clothes and intricately made Spanish dresses, for us they just aren’t practical. They aren’t designed to be sicked all over and the few pretty dresses she does have end up being taken off after her first bottle. Princess dresses just don’t look the same with a bib.

If she has a particularly cute outfit on I try and get a picture before I put her bib on, hoping I manage it before she sicks – and no this doesn’t always work.

The photo below is more accurate – bib and muslin and a blanket just incase the muslin doesn’t catch everything.

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(The shirt and baby jeggings are Primark, the love floral tracksuit is from Morrisons and the Gap outfit is a set I found on facebay.)