26 February 2018

Capturing Motherhood with Truprint

One of the things that has surprised me most about motherhood is how fast it goes. I feel like I blink and the girls have changed and we are reaching milestones before I even realise it. I look at the girl's little faces, their smiles and the sparkle in their eyes and wish so very often that I had a pause button, that I could freeze the moment to enjoy that little bit longer. Photos are the nearest thing I'll ever get to a pause button and I know that one day I'll treasure the pictures I take even more than I do now.

I love looking back over our photo collection so far, it tells our very own unique story and makes me smile from ear to ear each time I come across an old picture I'd forgotten about. One of the things I remember from my childhood is a chest of drawers on my parents' landing filled with photo albums, and packets and packets of loose printed photos. We loved rummaging through them and still do.

One of my favourite photos of the girls printed on canvas
One of my favourite photos of the girls printed on a canvas 
In our very digital world it's all too easy to forget to print photos, to house them on your computer or phone or 'cloud'. The digital world also means there are so many easy and wonderful ways to print and enjoy your memories from photo books, to canvasses to gallery walls and they also make really personal and thoughtful gifts. Truprint have a fantastic range of products to choose from which are perfect for special occasions. I've recently printed some 4 x 4 photos of the girls to add to our gallery wall and am so pleased with how they turned out. I also created a beautiful canvas for Oli for Valentines day and it was so easy to do using the Truprint App. Seeing the photos I've printed around my home allows me to enjoy them every single day and also reminds me that my babies will not be little for ever so to drink every bit of them in.

I love these four photos of the girls printed and framed for our gallery wall
I love these four photos of the girls printed and framed for our gallery wall

Capturing little moments of motherhood that I want to remember forever has become rather addictive. I love documenting the girl's childhood's and hope that one day they will love rummaging through all the photos I've taken. Some of them are perfectly ordinary moments, others serve to record special moments like first smiles, first steps and first snowfall and then there are the birthdays, Christmas's, holidays and often without realising it the 'last times'. Because I am the photographer the moments have been captured through my eyes, not only capturing the girls in them but my experience of motherhood too making them all the more special to me. There are also the moments captured by the girls who seem to have inherited my love for freezing moments in time with photography!

My little budding photographers - Phoebe and Lottie taking photos
My little budding photographers - Phoebe and Lottie taking photos
There are so many memories and emotions attached to the photographs I've taken and printed, they are truly one of the most precious things I have. I have a 40% off and free delivery code to use with Truprint so you can print out some of your own memories or create a personalised gift for Mothers Day. Simply click here to order and enter LOVEMUM18 at check out.

Me x

* This is a collaborative post
All thoughts and opinions are my own*

18 February 2018

5 Tips For Hassle Free Potty Training

If you're reading this then you are probably considering, or about to start, potty training. I am by no means an expert but having just potty trained our third daughter I thought I'd share some of my top tips for hassle free potty training. All three of our girls were potty trained successfully in this way in less than a week and were dry at night very shortly after - pretty much all on their own accord with a little guidance from us.

1. Introduce the concept

We have always introduced the concept of potty training a few months before the girls have tackled it by talking about wee and poo, reading books (we like Princess Polly's Potty) and having a potty around in the bathroom for them to see and get used to, which they often sat on on their own accord just before their bath. Then we simply reiterated that when they were ready to wear pants to let us know.

2. Wait until they are ready

This is something I strongly believe in and if the timing is right it really works, there is no rush. Waiting until your child is ready is so important and putting them in control of their body will give them so much more confidence. All three of our girls initiated potty training themselves telling us they didn't want to wear nappies anymore and simply declared 'I'm wearing pants today', we went with it and enabled them to try.

3. Set aside some time and keep it simple

Once the girls decided they wanted to potty train we kept out days simple, staying at home with just a pair of pants and t-shirt on and gentle, regular reminders asking them if they needed to go. We were then able to just focus on helping them figure it all out, from identifying when they need to go, to learning to pull their pants up and down and sit on the potty/toilet, to the hygiene of drying themselves and washing their hands.

4. Have patience and give lots of encouragement

There may be the odd accident particularly on the first few days, I think we had about a 50-60% success rate on day one and two. Being patient really pays with zero fuss and lots of reassurance that it doesn't matter and a reminder that 'next time we'll try and make it to the potty'. When the girls went on the potty we always celebrated with a big cheer and a big clap, seeing the pride on their faces was always so lovely.  Siblings are really handy for potty training and I found it far easier the second and third time round as they had seen their big sister using the toilet and knew what to do and wanted to copy her.

All three girls found poos a little trickier and took a little longer to master than wees, probably because they require a bit of time sitting and waiting and the sensation feels so different to when they were in nappies. They were noticeably worried and nervous about it and needed lots of encouragement and reassurance. We sat reading a book or two to relax and distract slightly which seemed to work.  If they went in their pants I just popped it in the potty for them to get used to seeing in there and to normalise it.

5. Be prepared

You don't need much to potty train, but lots of pants are handy. The girls have always been really enthusiastic about choosing their own pants, so we always make a special trip together to do that. I find the supermarket multipacks good value.

A potty is obviously an essential and a child's toilet seat to put on the toilet when they are ready to make the transition from potty to toilet.  We have a 'Pourty', it's really easy to tip the waste into the toilet and to clean. Our 'Pourty' always comes with us in a carrier bag for the first week or so as I find that when they are first starting out they will tell you they need to go and they generally mean NOW! Once you ditch the potty make sure you familiarise yourself with where the nearest toilets are when you are out and about.

Pack a little bag with everything you'll need for when you're away from home - a few changes of pants and clothes, a potty, a carrier bag for any wet things and some wipes. Leggings and jogging bottoms are great potty training clothes as they are easy to pull up and down without a struggle. A tea towel for the car seat is also a good idea as if you have ever had to take a car seat cover off and wash it you'll know it's not exactly a speedy process!

I was really daunted by potty training but by tackling it in a child led way with lots of encouragement it was actually really straight forward. I hope this helps and good luck!

Me x

9 February 2018

Parenting my way with the Baby Bjorn Carrier One

I honestly don't know how I would have managed three children under four without babywearing. It gave me my hands back and happy babies snuggled close to their mama, allowed me to potty train toddlers, cook dinner and most importantly leave the house! The very first carrier I bought was from Baby Bjorn when Ellie was just a few weeks old. There were no siblings to juggle at this point but I knew I wanted to hold her close when we were out and about and she was always far happier there than in her pram. I could talk to her, point things out as we walked and she felt safe amongst busy crowds. It was also really practical for off road walks and to access shops in our town with steps that were really tricky to manage with a pram. Most of all I loved the bonding experience it gave us with our daughter.

Out for a walk with the Baby Carrier One Air

When Phoebe arrived I invested in three more slings and carriers and my love of baby wearing grew. It allowed me to confidently take two children out on my own, with the baby safely snuggled in the sling and Ellie in the pushchair. It also meant I could run round after Ellie at the park and at toddler groups without having to abandon the baby in the pram when really all she wanted to do is be held anyway. Phoebe was a cluster feeder, a little snacker and so I even learnt to breastfeed her in the sling meaning she was able to eat on the go and I wasn't tied to the sofa. It was a life saver when they were grouchy or teething as being cuddled close to mummy was all they really needed and the movement of me walking around with them seemed to comfort them.

Lottie napping in the Baby Bjorn Baby Carrier One Air

Lottie pretty much spent the first six months of her life in a sling, firstly because I didn't dare put her down because of her very inquisitive 18 month and 3.5 year old sisters who liked to try and pick her up or give her a loving prod as soon as I put her down, but also because she was a very tactile baby and wanted to be held ALL the time. More than ever I needed my hands free in order to be able to look after her siblings and run around after them. Baby wearing very much gave me the confidence to parent my own way and often to survive the day. It also meant I could snuggle my babies, kiss their little heads, drink them all in which I have to say is my favourite part of baby wearing.

We love baby wearing! Lottie fast asleep in the Baby Bjorn Carrier One Air

Baby Bjorn have recently launched their 'Love Manifesto' to celebrate the arrival of the new Baby Bjorn Carrier One/Baby Carrier One Air which is all about empowering parents to trust their instincts and take the pressure off themselves - a campaign I can really get behind. We've been testing out the new Baby Carrier One Air which is suitable from newborn to three and absolutely love it. Now aged two and a bit Lottie insists on walking everywhere trying to keep up with her sisters but still really loves to be carried, particularly when her little legs get tired. I also really like to put her in the carrier when we're amongst the crowds as with three children I just don't have enough hands and then I know exactly where she is, it's perfect for things like fireworks night, the farmers market and visits to London navigating the tube steps and bustle of the city. She also weighs over 12kg now so with her buckled in and my wellies on I can get some exercise with a good walk over the fields while she naps which as she now refuses to nap in her cot is an absolute winner!

The Baby Bjorn Baby Carrier One Air is super supportive and comfortable to wear

Here are some of the things we love about the Baby Bjorn Carrier One/Baby Carrier One Air:
  • It's super comfortable to wear for you and your child, made from soft, breathable fabric with padded straps which offer even weight distribution and great support.
  • The Baby Carrier one has been developed in close consultation with paediatricians and provides the correct support for your child's head, back and hips. The International Hip Displasia Institute has tested it and acknowledges it as a 'hip healthy carrier'.
  • It's really easy to put on, adjust and put your child in. I really love how easy the buckles are to fasten and how secure it feels once on.
  • You can carry your baby inward or outward facing and wear them on your front and also back once they are a year old.
  • It has great head support which is great for smaller babies and napping toddlers!
  • It grows with your baby and is suitable from newborn to approx three years old (minimum 3.5kg and maximum 15kg) allowing you to carry them that little bit longer! 
  • It comes in several gorgeous colour ways, we have the Baby Carrier One Air in Frost Green Mesh

You can find our more about the Baby Carrier One and Baby Carrier One Air HERE. We also have a 10% online discount code for you to use which is valid until 26th February 2018, simply enter LOVE2018 at checkout.

Me x

* This is a collaborative post, we were kindly send a Baby Bjorn Carrier One Air for review. 
All thoughts and opinions are my own.*