the first 1000 days of a babies life are the most important and when they require a lot of protein

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The first one thousand days of your baby’s life, right through from conception to toddlerhood, are not only the craziest, and often toughest days, but also the most important days for both baby and parents. During these days you will form bonds, discover new roles, and also set up your child’s nutritional foundation for life.

The first one thousand days are also the hardest days, the days when it is near enough impossible to think about getting through until the end of the day, let alone worry about health and nutrition. Thankfully these clever bodies of ours do all the hard work for us.

Fellow sleep deprived mama, do not fear, your breast milk is enough, your breast milk is packed full of good quality protein and will see your little baby flourish, as they’ll get the right amount at the right time.

In fact, breastfeeding has been proven to support an appropriate rate of growth* in infancy (*UK-WHO growth charts based on the growth of breastfed infants, and World Health Organisation/Department of Health advice to exclusively breastfeed for 6 months). The protein level in breast milk changes and decreases as babies grow, meaning it contains the right quality and quantity of protein to help them grow at a steady rate.

Over the past 90 years, SMA® Nutrition has invested in early life nutrition research, and is committed to supporting good nutrition for babies during the first 1000 days which is why they have created this fab little infographic showing just how amazing protein in breast milk is.

blog post about the importance of protein in the first 1000 days of a babies life

ZTC1722a/04/17 SMA® Nutrition UK

The reality of working from home with a toddler - review of hairy bikers bread machine

I had so many plans for when I became a work from home mam. I would cook from scratch daily, bake regularly and make my own bread. Aria and I would spend a lot of time crafting, and also go out on play dates at least once a week. My house would be spotless and the washing baskets would never overflow again. Who was I trying to kid!?!

The reality has been somewhat different. In fact, the only one of those things that happens on a regular basis is the bread making, and, to be completely honest, The Hairy Biker bread maker from Ideal World* makes it so easy that there is no reason I couldn’t have made my own bread back when I was working and blogging, so there is definitely no excuse not to do it now.

Review of the Hairy Bikers bread machine from Ideal World

It’s a  winner though, and I am glad that this is one of the few things that I actually do. Aria loves the bread maker, she sits on the worktop watching it, giggling when it kneads the bread and mimicking the whirring noises as the machine does it’s thing. I’ve yet to get her to eat the actual bread but getting her to eat most things is a challenge, except stock cubes of course (see facebook for more on this particular subject!). Spencer and I on the other hand absolutely love the beautiful, thick doorstop bread fresh from the machine. Getting used to it has taken a while, the paddle got stuck in the bread on the first few attempts but a good coating of oil on it seems to have solved that problem now.

As with most things in life I love to cut corners which is what makes the Hairy Biker’s bread maker perfect for me. I’ve decided to ignore the booklet full of recipes that comes with the machine and just buy ready made bread mixes. I simply measure out the required amount of water and pour it into the machine followed by the bread mix, close the lid and press go. As simple as that. Around three hours later I have a delicious loaf of super fresh and tasty bread. Winning.

blog review of the hairy bikers bread maker from ideal world

As for the crafts, well I was a bit clever there, I know that I always put crafts off so I signed up to become a Bostik Blogger which means that I HAVE to do crafts with Aria at least once a month. It is usually a last minute panic a few days before (or on the day of!) the deadline but she loves it all the same. My crafts are made with a lot of help from Aria so they never look great but believe me when I say that Aria puts a lot of effort into them and yes, I get incredibly frustrated watching her do them, especially when she sticks eyes on bums and that type of thing. It takes a lot to stay strong and not take over.

toddler crafting - the realities of a work from home mam

I dreamed of having weekends and evenings off when I become a work from home mam, and I do tend to take weekends off which is lovely. As for the evenings they are usually spent on the ‘gram, although I do try and stick to a posting schedule of Sunday – Thursday so that I get some evenings off. I’m putting a lot more in now and as a result I am getting a lot more out. My Instagram feed is nicely curated and my following and engagement have increased, and I’ve managed this without neglecting my blog. None of this would have been possible if I were still working part time and running a blog.

I wish I could tell you that I was now more organised with my working schedule. But that would be a lie.

And my house is still a tip. I like to spend my days off with Aria having fun, not cleaning and I like to spend my working days, well, working.

While being a work from home mam isn’t exactly what I had expected it to be, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

*Disclosure – The bread maker was sent to me in exchange for promotion*

the six stages of toddler induced sleep deprivation

1.Denial

It’s just a phase. It will pass. She must be teething. Maybe she’s having night terrors? Yep, it’s a one off, a one off year maybe, but a one off all the same.

2.Woe is me

“My baby has never slept through the night, not once, so I’ve been sleep deprived for *insert years/months/days here*.”
“My baby slept through the night from six months and only started waking during the night again at 1 & 1/2 years. I had a taste of the good life, I knew what sleep was and I got used to it. Now it has been snatched away from me. At least you’re just not used to it full stop, you don’t know what you’re missing by now and I do. I’m much worse off.”

3.Solidarity

The parents of the sleep thieves come together. We laugh, we joke, we share funny memes on facebook. We eat cake. If we don’t laugh we will break.

4.Optimism

It will be easy to crack, we just need to settle her back down instead of giving her a bottle. If we persist we can easily crack this and she will be sleeping through the night again in no time at all. Night one, 4am toddler alarm sounds. I’m exhausted, I’ll just give her a bottle this once so that she goes straight back to sleep. I’m too tired to start tonight. We can start refusing from tomorrow.

5.Loathing

You deal with the night feeds because your husband has to get up to work in the morning, you’re on maternity leave so it’s only fair. You hate him. You deal with the night feeds because your husband dealt with them last night and you take it in turns. You hate him. Your husband snores. You hate him. Even though he does his fair share of wake ups he falls asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow, you can’t switch off. You hate him.

6.Fear

Will it ever end? Will I still be giving her a bottle during the night when she is sixteen, will I???? Really???? I NEED HELP!!!

 

Blog post written by a mother of a two year old toddler who is considering having another baby

Two under two will never be. Two under three is unlikely. Two under four is what I am hoping for.

For probably the first six months of Aria’s life I was broody. I would see expectant mothers bumps and be super envious, despite having an awful pregnancy I wanted to be pregnant again. I would see happy couples excitedly showing off their scan photos and wish that the excitement was mine again.

Then things changed. Aria needed feeding actual food, she slept less and needed entertaining more. Motherhood was now all consuming. The thought of another no longer entered my head. It wasn’t that I didn’t want another, I just had no time to think about wanting another.

Fast forward another year, Aria is two and I am broody again. She is still all consuming but I have realised that a little brother or sister could be the making of both me and her, the making (and possibly completion) of our little family. Aria would have someone to play with and someone to laugh with. She will also have someone to fight with, I’m not naive after all.

 

I want another baby. There I said it. Spencer doesn’t want another baby, not just yet.

 

On our recent holiday we went with a friend and her eight month old daughter. Watching Aria with her daughter melted me. She tucked her in, cwtched up with her and even shared toys with her. She was like a different child and every morning the first thing she would say was ‘baba’, she was so excited to see her and to spend time with her. It changed her. Or at least it temporarily changed her until we came home, back to reality.

For now I have put the baby on hold. There are a lot of birthdays in our family around February, including Aria and Spencer’s and so ideally I want a baby from April onwards, preferably in the Summer. I know from experience with trying for Aria that you can’t plan these things to the month but we can try. I have it all worked out, we will start trying in around five months time, it will take a month or two for us to catch and I will be blessed with a Summer baby. Now to persuade Spencer…

Blog post sharing six family day out essentials

Days out with children require a crazy amount of thought and advance planning, if you don’t plan for every possible extreme scenario (and one more just in case) you can pretty much guarantee that you will need something that you don’t have, usually when you are in the middle of no where. In a bid to ensure that both me and you never end up facing the regret of not bringing exactly what we need to deal with our tantrum-ing/messy/ill toddlers I’m sharing this handy family day out essentials guide.

Spare clothing

On days out we can pretty much guarantee that Aria is going to do something to get dirty, whether it be mud, food, or something else, a spare pair of clothing is almost always required. Going out without a spare pair of clothes is almost as silly as going out without a supply of nappies.

A picnic

As much as I love popping into cafe’s for a coffee and a cake you really can’t beat a home-made picnic, especially when you are on a budget! Make a picnic fun (and take the pressure off yourself!) and get the whole family involved in choosing the picnic items, making the sandwiches, and packing everything up. If, like Aria, your children are fussy eaters, packing a picnic that’s full of their favourite foods can make the day a lot easier and less stressful.

Waterproofs

It doesn’t matter how clear the sky is or how warm and sunny it is when you set off, there is always a chance of rain, especially living in Wales. A decent waterproof jacket is essential when out on family adventures. Top tip, buy lightweight fold up jackets like the ones from Target Dry as there is a huge chance that you are going to be lugging them around all day!

A spare toy

Whenever you go anywhere with a small child, you can guarantee you’ll have an additional guest; Peppa Pig in our case. Despite kicking off at the sheer thought of leaving Peppa at home Aria soon gets bored of her when we are out, usually distracted by muddy puddles or food, and will quite happily drop her anywhere without even realising. This often results in us losing said Peppa Pig which is why we stock up on the small (cheap) ones for when we are out and about.

A camera

Obviously being a budding photographer, blogger and Instagram-er I absolutely cannot go out without the camera. No one should, there are so many amazing memories to capture and treasure on family day trips. Keep a camera (or even your phone) at hand so that you can capture some perfect memories. You never know when the perfect photo op will arise.

Emergency supplies

Keep your handbag well-stocked with first-aid essentials such as plasters, bandages, antibacterial wipes, and Calpol just in case there’s an accident.

And whatever you do – DON’T FORGET THE WET WIPES (yes, I have done that, yes it was a disaster).

*Disclosure – Collaborative Post*