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Why we loved the Sleepyhead Deluxe

As we offer Newborn Boxes as starter packs for parents-to-be, I started thinking about what other baby items I would consider newborn essentials, so I could compile a list of ‘what to buy’ for a blog post coming up in a few weeks.  One of the most valuable things we bought was the Sleepyhead Deluxe and I knew this needed a blog of its own.

I’d read a lot about it when I was pregnant (pros and cons), and saw loads of posts about it on Instagram – I really felt it would work for us so we took the plunge and bought one, and it really didn’t disappoint.  We used it from day 1, right up until Indy was 8 months old and in his big cot, and he loved it as much as we did. Here’s why:

It’s cocoon shape

Indy hated being swaddled, his arms instantly escaped as he wanted freedom, so rather than him getting lost in a moses basket or crib when he was tiny, the Sleepyhead made him feel safe and cocooned, yet he had freedom to move his arms and legs.  He took to the Sleepyhead instantly, both at nap times and at night, so it became an integral part of his sleep routine straightaway,

It can be moved ANYWHERE

I never really fancied a moses basket, so we bought the Tutti Bambini Cozee Bedside Crib to have in our bedroom, but this meant Indy didn’t have a place to sleep downstairs for sleeps in the day, as I definitely wasn’t lugging the crib down the stairs every morning!  The Sleepyhead can be moved anywhere for naps as it is so light! Indy often slept in it on the sofa when he was very little, and then when he got bigger I could just move it into the crib without waking him. It easily fit into the bedside crib, so he always slept in it at night time too.  

You can take it away with you

The Sleepyhead came everywhere with us – to my parents house, to Wales, and to Ibiza.  It comes with a sturdy bag so is easy to pack and carry, and it made sleeping away from home so much more comfortable for Indy.  Even though he would be in a different cot, he was still in the Sleepyhead so his immediate surrounding was familiar.

It’s easy to wash

The cover an be taken off and washed, and put back on fairly easily with practise (there is a bit of a nak to it!)  You can buy spare covers but I didn’t, and found washing and drying in the same day doable.

It can be used for play and development

The curved part of the bumper can be used for tummy time! You can also buy activity arches for it, but the arch on our play mat fit perfectly so we just used this. One of our favourite things to use it for, was to place it on our kitchen work surface, and turn the music, disco lights and bubble machine on to make the kitchen into a sensory room with Indy lying in his Sleepyhead and taking everything in!

It made an easy transition from crib to cot

As with taking the it away with you, the Sleepyhead made it easy to transition Indy from his crib into his big cot.  I started putting the Sleepyhead in his big cot for daytime naps initially, and then for night time, and his sleep was never disturbed.  He moved into his own room at 4 months old after we had got back from holiday. As he had already been sleeping in the Sleepyhead in the travel cot for 2 weeks, we didn’t want him to settle back into his crib in our bedroom, so made the move into his big cot straightaway, and the Sleepyhead kept everything familiar for him so it was an easy transition for us to make.

The bumper can still be used in the main cot

Indy outgrew the Sleepyhead at around 6 months old and I didn’t want to commit to buying the bigger one.  Rather than go cold turkey, I took the foam bumper out of the cover, and placed this underneath his cot sheet, so he still had a form of cocoon cushion in his cot, which worked so well!  We used the bumper in his cot until he was rolling over and then took it away completely, and literally, no fuss was made!

These are the reasons why we loved our Sleepyhead, and why it worked for us and I hope you have found it useful – it really did make our lives easier in those first few months. I’d love to hear if you used one and what you thought of it too! xxx

My First Year As A Mum

So Indy is now 1 year old…  I know EVERYONE says this, but I cannot believe how quickly the year has gone.  Pregnancy dragged for me, but the first year of motherhood couldn’t have gone any quicker!  As cliche as it sounds, it’s been the best year of my life, and the most life changing in more ways than one.  

I think I prepared for giving birth and bringing up a baby quite thoroughly – I did antenatal classes, joined an NCT group, read countless books on hypnobirthing and raising a baby, and while these gave me an idea of what to do, in reality the whole thing was unpredictable and we just had to take each day as it came. Looking back, I remember the first few weeks as being a bit dazed – I loved being in our little newborn family bubble getting to know our new baby, but also adapting to having a newborn depending on us,  managing our time and learning every day… oh, and recovering from giving birth!

Holly Willoughby’s Truly Happy Baby book was the best I read in terms of setting out a ‘routine’ – it was really easy to read and was set out in clear chapters with timetables and plans that didn’t over face me.  Although we couldn’t follow these religiously, it gave me an idea of where to start in terms of feeds and sleep times, so I referred to this ALOT over the first 9 months as a guide. Ultimately though, we worked to how Indy adapted in those early weeks and developed a ‘routine’ that worked for all of us.  We were quite lucky with sleep from 12 weeks, and our routine was pretty much settled by then too – for an organisation freak like me, this made me much more relaxed.

As i’ve said before, the best thing that helped get me into the swing of being on maternity leave and being alone with my baby was getting out to classes – it gave me a routine to my weeks and gave me something to get out of the house for.  I’ve met some good friends out of going to them, but most of all, Indy’s learnt to socialise and interact with children, had incredible creative play sessions, and learnt new skills which i’m so proud of.

As a parent I quickly learnt that it is crucial to never put pressure on ourselves – every baby is different.  Going to baby classes and NCT meetups meant there was always baby conversation, and it is so easy to compare. Whether it is which baby is sleeping through the longest, who’s is sitting up first or who’s started weaning yet?!  Even now there is always conversation about whos baby is walking or making animal noises yet… While all milestones are amazing, there is always a little voice saying ‘why isn’t Indy doing that’, but really I know that he will get there in his own time, and at this point, he is focusing on learning other things.  Lots of other mums always referred to ‘Wonder Weeks’ for milestones and leaps – I found this quite regimented as it was never that accurate for Indy… the book was also quite intense as there was a lot of words to read!

My only regret as a new parent is that I didn’t take enough pictures when Indy was a tiny baby – I think at that moment we were so overawed with our new addition, and didn’t appreciate how quickly he would grow! I’ve made up for it though, and now make sure we capture every moment, however small.  Even though it makes me a bit emotional, I love looking back on what we’ve done together and how he’s grown into his own little personality.

The last year has been a massive journey for me – don’t get me wrong, some nights have been long and hard, but overall it’s been so rewarding for me personally and as a family.  Some days I still feel daunted and ask myself if i’m doing it right, and some days I feel guilty that i’m not giving him enough simulation if i’m working or have errands to run… but if I ever feel like that I always try and make up for it.   

I’m so proud of the little boy we have, and can’t wait for what’s to come!

 

 

Starting Nursery

Indy has been going to nursery for 2 weeks now, and I’m really pleased and surprised at how easy the transition has been.  At the moment he goes for one full day a week to give me some time to work, but we will increase as and when we need to.

There are a lot of nurseries around where we live so we are lucky with the amount of choice, but we only had to look at 2 before we found the one my husband and I loved. It is on the way to our local tram stop, so is easy for both of us to do drop offs and pickups, and has such a lovely homely and family feel to it that we just knew it was THE ONE!  Rather than having a large baby class, or toddler class, the children are split up into smaller groups which I really loved. This way they get moved classes more often as they develop, but they can learn from other children more closely. The outside garden space was really large too, which will be great in summer!

As much as we were really happy with the nursery we chose, we reserved Indy’s place when he was 4 months old, so we’ve had a long time to wait from that initial viewing to now.  The two settling in sessions we were offered were amazing for all of us – the first one my husband and I stayed with Indy for an hour, and the second we left him for 2 hours. Even though they were very short sessions in comparison to a full day, it enabled Indy to explore, and enabled my husband and I to take everything in and to ask what felt like a million questions!  I did feel a bit neurotic with how I was ever going to drop him off and ultimately leave him with strangers, but in the end I decided to go with the flow… Indy is not the first baby they have had, and all other children we’ve seen there were having a great time!

When it came to dropping Indy off for his first full day, he went straight to one of the teachers for a cuddle and off we went.  No tears, and it was quick and painless for me to leave him as I knew at that moment, he was happy. I rang a couple of hours later to check, and again in the afternoon, and both times he was absolutely fine and having fun playing music and making crafts.  The only negative we found that day is that he hardly slept, so picking him up as soon as he saw us he got upset as he was visibly exhausted. I just put this down to a completely new place, intense stimulation and a different routine. He slept for over an hour on his second day, so was much happier when we picked him up – we even spied on him for a minute or so at the door to see him happily eating raisins with all of his new friends!

The nursery routine is very different to the one we found ourselves in at home, so I need to try my best to convert Indy to that full time where I can.  Lunch and dinner are much earlier at 11am / 4pm respectively, with a long nap at 11.45am, which will take some adjustment for him. I did try to start doing this before he started, but that is easier said than done with classes already booked and full days out!  

So far i’m so relieved at how he’s adapted to this new milestone, and we as parents are so proud of him – I will keep the blog updated with how he gets on over the next few months.  One of the most rewarding things from nursery is knowing he is doing different things that I can’t always do at home with him… and that he comes home with painted Christmas trees and cards for mummy and daddy!

Introducing our baby to the doggies

For my husband and I, Indy is the fifth member of our family – first came Rocco, and then Rudy; our beloved King Charles Spaniels!  We got Rocco 7 years ago, so we have many happy memories and honestly couldn’t be without them. When it came to expanding our family further with a baby, the dogs were our only worry – we didn’t want them to feel left out or for their quality of life to change.

When Indy was born, I was kept in hospital for a couple of days due to a few minor complications, so the dogs knew something funny was going on – I wasn’t there and my husband was coming and going at odd times of the day.  When it was time for us to come home from hospital, there they were, waiting at the front window as if they knew! We’d made a plan for coming home that I would go into the house first on my own, and my husband would come in a couple of minutes after with the baby.  So this is what we did and it worked perfectly. I was having lots of cuddles with the dogs and when the baby came in, they weren’t bothered at all, a few gentle sniffs around the car seat, and that was it, introductions done!

Nine months in and the dogs have adapted well to life with a baby – Rocco is so gentle when Indy tries to take his toys away from him, and Rudy is the crib and cot protector who loves coming into the nursery when we are playing or getting dressed!  We have been conscious so as to not leave them out, and if the dogs take cover during the day when it gets hectic with a crawling baby in the house, we give them extra cuddles in the evenings.

The hardest thing I think i’ve found is trying to walk 2 dogs on leads with a pram!  We all get tangled up so now we all jump in the car and head to a local country park where the dogs get a good run off the lead and I get some good core exercise with Indy in the carrier!  This has worked well for us all, and I always take time out in the day to give them a good walk; it gives Indy and I some good fresh air too.

Rocco and Rudy are still just as big a part of the family now as they were before Indy was born – I even think they enjoy it more now they both have a little friend!  Now we just need to teach Indy to learn to throw balls so he can play fetch with them!