Do babies with lots of hair give you pregnancy indigestion?

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The myth about a foetus having lots of hair leading to heartburn during pregnancy is not true at all! “FALSE!” I cry. I think I might have felt a twinge of excess acid twice during pregnancy but that was due to me eating naughty meals rather than Emery’s abundance of hair follicles.

“So much hair!!!” is what strangers tend to say to me upon seeing Emery. The first thing anybody comments on is the amount of hair on his head. For some reason when he was born I did not find it surprising but I suppose it was due to my lack of observing babies. I guess once you have one of your own you’re more likely to notice others (also I’m not the kind of woman who coos over other babies sorry). All of his hair thankfully hid his flaky scalp and his funny shaped head.

With regards to pregnancy symptoms I was really lucky. I did not have any morning sickness throughout. There were times when I felt a little nauseous but nothing that stopped me going about my day or severe enough to draw any attention to myself.

Neither did I get any cravings… or did I? I enjoyed treating my sweet tooth. Whether it is because I just let my pregnant self indulge (I can be strict when it comes to sugar) or there was an actual craving I’ll never really know.

A colleague would often tell me that they could only see my pregnancy from the front ie. on my belly. I was very lucky in that sense. I have a customer facing job and it was only at 7 months that people seemed to realise I was pregnant (to be fair I did try and hide it because telling people I was pregnant made me cringe). It was only at 8 months that I started feeling heavy on my feet and have aching tootsies by the end of the work day.

I know I was really lucky with my pregnancy but I also think I’m one of those people who just gets on with it. I do realise that some people can get truly be affected by pregnancy for various reasons but there are some who just milk it. Hopefully (if I have another) that pregnancy will go just as smoothly! Fingers crossed.

How did you get on with your pregnancy? Did you get lots of heartburn and hoped the baby would come out with lots of hair?

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Review – Little Ones fragranced wipes.

When I popped down to Sainsbury’s, they only had the fragrance version so that’s what I had to pick up. Note, they also have “botty wipes” and I’ll go into this further below.

Brand: Sainsbury’s

Pack size: 64 wipes

Price: 60p (0.94p per wipe) / also available in multipack

I think this is the only pack of scented wipes I have ever bought. The smell is clean and pleasant but can imagine it would irritate some people. The size of the wipe is just right and the amount of wetness is perfect. There is a funny thick texture to them, which might be due to the perfume. Kind of foamy but nothing comes out of the wipe. If you have ever used a toilet wipe or antibacterial cleaning wipe then it is the same foamy wet texture but without the foam physically coming out. That probably doesn’t make sense to you… the texture isn’t bad, it just surprised me as I’ve not used any wipes that feel like this.

These particular wipes have the plastic lid closure which is great for keeping the wipes moist. Note that not all of the Sainsbury’s own brand wipes have this. None of the packaging is recyclable. All Sainsbury’s toiletries bear the cruelty free Leaping Bunny logo. Interestingly the “botty wipes” and the “hand and face wipes” do not have the logo. I emailed Sainsbury’s to inquire about this and the response was they weren’t sure why but would forward the query onto the packaging team.

It might be a coincidence but Emery had a bout of nappy rash when I was testing these out. It didn’t come out straight away, perhaps after a few days of using these and it may have just been a coincidence. The packet does state the wipes are suitable for newborns so they should be a gentle formula. I’m sure it’s not the worst case of nappy rash ever recorded but I decided to stop using these wipes and his bum healed up after a few days. The packet also says they are gentle enough to use on the face. 

Due to this nappy rash incident I don’t think I would recommend these wipes, which is a shame as I love that Sainsbury’s own toiletries are cruelty free (they are looking at getting the household goods certified with the Leaping Bunny also). I ended up going back into Sainsbury’s and swapping the pack for the fragrance free version even though I’d used half the pack so got to give it to them for good customer service. I shall try the new pack and review them. I’ve been perfectly satisfied with other Sainsbury’s toiletries such as the shower gel and hand soap. They also have cruelty free baby washes and lotions.

Have you ever used the Sainsbury’s baby wipes? Are you someone that refers fragrances wipes?

Are there any cruelty free perfumes?

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For me, perfumes have been one of the hardest things to find that are cruelty free, a reasonable price point, and also fairly easy to get hold of. All the big brands that you know of probably test on animals but I have reached out to two companies to confirm whether their fragrance lines are also cruelty free.

First up is Stella McCartney. This British designer is famous for not using any fur or leather in her designs, nor any animal byproducts such as silk or wool. Therefore you would think that her fragrance line would also be ethically made and sourced.

Thankfully, it is. I contacted the brand customer service and received quite a lengthy reply but the important part is this:

“With regards to your questions about whether our fragrances are tested on animals, I can confirm that they are absolutely not tested on animals. We believe so strongly in this principle that we have actually reduced our distribution of the fragrance, forgoing markets such as China, which legally requires fragrance products to be tested on animals prior to entering the country. This is a long term commitment from us, as a brand, that we will not be swayed on. We have the full support of our fragrance partner Coty on this mission.”

So for me, Stella McCartney is a big thumbs up. Her fragrances can also be classed as vegan. These scents are generally found in most department stores and perfume shops and she has a few different lines so there is a decent choice available.

Secondly, I reached out to Marc Jacobs as the beauty line is cruelty free. The fragrances are produced by Coty, who produce many other perfumes but the company is not classed as cruelty free. Sadly the response from Marc Jacobs Beauty is not even worth talking about. The reply was vague and generic and didn’t even address my questions. I may try and reach out to them again in the future but for now I will not be buying any MJB perfumes.

Have you found any nice cruelty free perfumes? I’d love to be able to expand my perfume shopping list!

6 months?!

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Last week Emery hit the 6 month mark. I think it’s so crazy how time has flown by so quickly! That also means two thirds of my maternity leave is over. Time goes by so fast. In my head I still think it’s May but autumn is settling in. There is even a new car registration (67 plates) out now.

SLEEP. Not going to lie, it has been tough. Especially during the first couple of months. I was a first time mother trying to figure out how this motherhood thing works whilst running on very little sleep. I should have known that Emery would not be a great sleeper seeing as he barely slept the first night we were in hospital. I was so grateful when my husband came back to us the first morning and I had an amazing three hours’ sleep.

Using a swaddle bag at home seemed to help. There have even been nights when I’ve been able to have a miraculous four or six hours of uninterrupted sleep but mostly Emery sleeps in his cot for two hours (if I am lucky) and then wakes up. For the first few months I would stay up and breastfeed and then try to put him back in his crib (apparently I have a light sleeper who prefers sleeping in someone’s arms and instantly wakes upon transfer) and repeat the cycle through the night resulting in a very sleepy mama. Then one night I decided to co-sleep and haven’t really looked back. I follow all the co-sleeping guidelines but the anxious mother in me still wakes throughout the night to check on baby.

MOVING. Emery has been good at holding his head up from the get go. Even before he was 8 weeks old he was holding his head up pretty high. He began rolling over before 4 months and I find it extremely hard to change his nappy. I no longer change him on the table in case I’m not on the ball for some reason. Sadly changing him on the floor also means he rolls over onto his front almost straight away and now he’s starting to shuffle himself forward.

My husband thinks Emery will be crawling soon. In fact, if he wanted to, Emery could propel himself from one side of the room to the other. He can move one knee forward and do some sort of funny movement to move himself forward so he is halfway there. I worry that one day I’ll turn around and he will have disappeared somewhere!

Emery can also sit up by himself for a while but he does tend to topple over. There is no crying and usually he turns it into his shuffle crawl. I also accidentally discovered that he can stand up on his own if he is holding onto a ledge. He can’t stand for long but he seems to enjoy being able to.

WEANING. My mum has been kind enough to make Emery some congee (it’s like baby rice, very popular in south east Asia) when we go to hers or when she visits. He enjoys sticking toys in his mouth and he really loves eating congee. There is no need to coax him to eat, he just opens his mouth when the spoon comes close. Thankfully his poos have been all right so far.

Husband is really championing baby led weaning. I like the idea of it but I worry about the mess. Plus we have two dogs who will be waiting to catch any fallen pieces. At least they can vacuum the floor for me. I think we will do a combination of puréed foods and baby led weaning. The only thing stopping me is my laziness. I need to make a better effort of blending food up for him to try.

HAIR. The first real haircut was done just after five months. Much to my husband’s dismay my mum had already trimmed Emery’s fringe. We first went to a specific children’s salon but they were fully booked. We then went to a men’s salon where my husband likes to go. He got his done and initially agreed to the £24 price for Emery. I said no.

Eventually went to another hip barber and there was and guy there who did Emery’s hair for £10. He sat in daddy’s lap but don’t think he enjoyed the experience. I kept some of his hair from that day. Not sure what I’ll do with it though.

PERSONALITY. Emery is so alert now. He is awake for a lot of the day (too much, he hardly naps) and he can amuse himself with his toys in his playpen for a short period whilst I rush around trying to squeeze in some housework.

He is quite aware of people. He definitely knows who I am and he enjoys bonding with daddy and maternal grandmother. He has a good time with grandfather too. Emery is amused by the two dogs, especially when they are running back and forth chasing after toys. Emery can be clingy sometimes. It is nice when he is passed back to me and stops whinging but I know he needs to get used to others as well.

It’s been an interesting six months and I’m sure it will only get tougher but hopefully there will be some laughs and triumphs along the way. If anyone has tips on weaning then I’d love to hear them!

My journey into reusable nappies.

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Seven years ago when my boss’ wife was pregnant he mentioned they were considering using reusable nappies. The horrific image conjured in my head was a whirlwind of terry towels and big safety pins. Little did I know that the world of cloth nappies had changed so much. A couple of years ago, another girl I used to work with shared an article on Facebook about the advantages of ‘real’ nappies and that really changed my mind. So when my husband and I decided to start trying, I threw myself into lots of research. The world of reusable nappies is not as straight forward as one might think!

Firstly, WHY would anyone want to use reusable nappies? Surely they make your house stink and it’s a lot of work? Well, having a bin full of nappies stinks anyway and whilst you have to put a bit more effort into reusables, it’s not actually that bad. If you’re used to doing laundry then you won’t bat an eye. Furthermore, disposable nappies take 200-500 years to break down. Imagine your baby using twelve nappies per day and how many babies are born everyday… Humans already impact the environment immensely so I want to help as much as I can. There are also lots of man made chemicals inside a disposable nappy. They are there to help give your child a sense of ‘dryness’ and also to soak up lots of urine. Some say that once they switched to cloth, their baby no longer had nappy rash. Also, cloth nappies are so darn CUTE. The prints are simply adorable and although some can be bulky, I have found that most have fit under babygrows well.

Setting up your real nappy stash can be very expensive upfront, whereas with disposables, you only need to buy them when you need them so the cost is spread out but eventually costs more. My husband and I asked for reusable nappies as baby gifts so this helped us out. I am lucky that my family prefer practical presents as opposed to ‘cutesie’ gifts. We also did trials before fully committing. This is useful because you can buy one or two from the same brand and use them before buying the ‘starter packs’ which will come with several nappies, the bucket, mesh bag, liners etc. Then, you can take the nappies from the starter pack and return those instead of the used single ones (assuming you make the switch before the return date is up).

Once you have decided that you are going cloth, you then need to decide what style you want. This part is very overwhelming as some sound very similar. For the best advice, contact a seller or other mothers who have used them. For example, you can get bamboo, microfibre, or cotton materials and they each have different absorbencies and drying times. Then you need to decide if you want all-in-ones, pocket nappies or two parters. After that you then have to decide if you want sized nappies which fit better at particular weights or ‘birth to potty’ sizes which are cheaper in the long run as they will last the whole nappy period but may be a little big when baby is younger or possible snug when your baby is larger.

I read a blog post which advised it was better to get the sized nappies due to fit. Advice from someone else was that it is best to get the two part nappies (better containment). I must be lucky as Emery isn’t a ‘heavy wetter’ so I do actually wish I’d simply bought the birth to potty ‘all in ones’ but you never know what your baby’s toilet habits will be. Another bonus is that you can sell your used nappies on to recoup some of the cost. Some councils also promote the use of reusables so it is worth looking into that. An alternative option is using a nappy washing service but this is often as pricy as purchasing disposables so it depends if your concern is cost or environmental. Eco biodegradable nappies are also available but these can be very expensive.

In future blog posts I will review the reusables that I have. I am keen to explore new brands but it can be hard because there are so many options available now.

Does anyone like the idea of cloth nappies but are hesitant about starting to use them? Has anyone had any bad experiences?

Review – Mamia sensitive baby wipes.

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I thought it best to start the review series with the wipes that practically every parent I know has used, so people can have this as the ‘baseline’ and compare.

Brand: Aldi
Pack size: 64 wipes
Price: 55p (0.86p per wipe) / also available in multipack

The size of the wipes are perfect. Not too big and not too small. The amount of ‘wetness’ is also great for handling baby poops that may have gone unnoticed and stayed stuck to a bottom longer than it should. The packs each have a plastic ‘lid’ which prevents the wipes from drying out. The wipes are fragrance free and are formulated with aloe and chamomile to give a cooling and soothing sensation to the skin. Overall I’ve had no problems with these wipes causing a sore bum or any other irritation. I even used them during a bout of nappy rash and the wipes didn’t make it worse so that was a relief.

The wipes are not biodegradable nor is the packaging recyclable. However, the wipes material is sustainably sourced. Thankfully, Aldi are generally an eco company and their toiletries are cruelty free (Aldi household goods received the leaping bunny logo earlier this year). I contacted their customer service to confirm this and this was the reply:

“Aldi is committed to animal welfare. Our policy is that all of our own-label cosmetics or toiletry products, or their ingredients, are not tested on animals. It is our policy never to commission animal testing or to knowingly allow it to be undertaken on our behalf.
We are proud to have been awarded the Leaping Bunny certification on cleaning products by international animal welfare organisation Cruelty Free International.”

They currently do not use the Leaping Bunny logo on their toiletries but there may be future certification.

Overall these wipes are great because they are so well priced and they are of good quality. You can find an Aldi almost anywhere now so they are not hard to attain. It’s just a shame none of it is recyclable.

Tips for attending a baby show.

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On September 22nd to 24th there will be a Baby and Toddler Show at Event City, Manchester. You can get 1/3 off tickets using the code ‘AB28‘. Full priced tickets are £12 so you can get them for just £8.

Baby and toddler show events are a great place for buying your baby purchases if you are definitely going to commit to them. There are some great deals to be had but there will also be people trying to flog you stuff whether you need it or not. I’ve attended a baby event twice so here are some tips that you may find helpful.

1. If you already know what you want, research prices online beforehand so you know you are definitely getting a good deal when you get there. Some locations have poor phone signal so it prevents you from having a quick search online.

2. Have a look at the exhibitors list on the event website. By seeing which companies will be at the event, you can have a look at their website to see if any of the products interest you. You might already be planning to buy from them so you might get a great deal there or you can also have a look or feel of their product before you buy. Sometimes the website lists the offers they will have on such as “10% off when you spend £50” or “buy two bibs, get a third one free” so you can budget.

3. Look out for the freebies. Lots of stands will be giving out sample sizes of their products. You might as well try the sample if it’s free (and cruelty free!). Some stalls will also be holding competitions to win certain products. There’s no harm in entering but be aware that it often involves giving out your details and being added to a mailing list.

4. Bring snacks and drinks. Food at the event is unlikely to be cheap and the smell of hot food is probably going to make you feel hungry.

5. Go early or late. It will be quieter at either end of the day so it will not feel as chaotic if you’re having to push a pram around or drag around an unwilling child. Sometimes they have further discounts in the last hours of the last day of the event.

6. If you go during your first pregnancy then there is the possibility of being lured into buying lots of things because the sales pitches will make you think you need them. In this case, it’s best to go with someone who has recently had a baby as they tend to know what’s what. I have a friend that researches a lot too and she has a 3 year old so she gave me some great advice about what to look out for.

7. There is usually a breastfeeding area but it’s not very private and is surprisingly small. Might as well sit in the regular eating area and cover up (if you wish to).

8. Have fun but don’t go crazy. Think about whether you really NEED that item or will it just go to waste? It can be tough deciding on the spot when you’re offered a fantastic deal but do think about whether it’ll fit in with your lifestyle. Make sure you ask about the return policy if you are unsure about an item.