Archive for the ‘Cambridge Baby Blog’ Category

Baby Blog – Weaning Update

Posted Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019 by Tanya Maskell in Cambridge Baby Blog

I think the last time I wrote about weaning, Molly was 6 months old, eating mainly pureed foods and only eating 2 meals a day. Now she’s eating 3 meals a day and having proper little meals. She even had a baby roast dinner at the weekend. It’s much better now she can have proper meals, although, it is much more time consuming!

Molly loves her food. She always has. She eats loads! It’s not very often she refuses something - in fact, I think I’ve yet to find something she doesn’t like! She always clears her plate and usually will start screaming because it’s all gone and she wasn’t finished eating, thank you very much. I’m amazed at how much she eats actually. Sometimes I wonder where she puts it all. I thought it was normal for a baby to eat like this until we spoke to another mum at a baby group we went to. She said her baby hardly ate anything and that opened my eyes to how different each baby really is. I count myself really lucky that Molly is such a good eater. It’s one less thing to worry about and I hope it continues as she gets older. 

I love watching Molly eat. She looks so grown up when she’s picking up each bit of food and putting it to her mouth. It doesn’t seem like she should be able to do it so well at her age but it’s incredible. She can even pick up her cup and have a drink all by herself. I obviously supervise her to make sure she doesn’t choke or anything but I just let her get on with it and eat my own lunch. It’s like having my own little lunch date every day. We don’t eat the same things because I’m a very fussy eater and I don’t want that for Molly so I try and give her a good variety of different meals.

She eats so many different things and, because she eats so much, I sometimes find myself struggling to keep up with the demand. I really want Molly to have good home cooked food and experience a range of different flavours so I often find myself cooking things in the evening to pop in the freezer for later dates. Molly goes to bed so early so we don’t eat together as a family yet which is a shame. I hope we can start to push her bedtime back soon so this is something we can start to do. Then Molly can just have a portion of what we’re having (if it’s healthy enough!) For now though, I’ll continue to cook batch cook baby friendly finger foods in my spare time. I secretly quite enjoy it anyway. I have a lot of new recipes to try over the next couple of weeks so I’ll share a few of my favourites if they go down well.


Baby Blog – 8 month sleep regression?

Posted Wednesday, September 25th, 2019 by Tanya Maskell in Cambridge Baby Blog

I’ve always had this preconceived idea in my head that Molly would have 3 solid naps a day, right on schedule and all I’d have to do is put her down in her cot, say it’s sleep time and she’d easily fall right off to sleep and stay asleep for at least an hour. I don’t know where I got this ridiculous idea from. Movies maybe? Or social media? It’s not true! I’m sure it might be for some people but for my baby daytime naps were always a constant battle. I think there was a period of about 5 days where she just didn’t sleep during the day at all. I couldn’t cope. Sam came home one day and I was in tears. I googled and came up with nothing. It’s better now. It can still take half an hour to get her to sleep sometimes but she’ll usually stay asleep for an hour, sometimes more. Most days she’s getting two good naps now.

I guess I’ve always considered myself quite lucky with sleep though because she’s always been a good night time sleeper. We could put her down at bedtime and usually not hear anything from her until probably 4am at the earliest which was great. Usually it was closer to 6! We were getting a decent amount of uninterrupted sleep at night which i knew was great compared to what some people were going through. The problem with this though, is that when it changed it hit us like a ton of bricks.

When we went through the 4 month sleep regression it was tough but luckily it didn’t last very long. Looking back, I can say that it was a very short period of time that really wasn’t as bad as it felt. Now we’re in the midst of another sleep regression, I’m having a hard time believing that it’s going to get better anytime soon. It’s very easy to see things clearly when you look back but during it’s an absolute nightmare isn’t it? I’m not yet feeling the effects of sleep deprivation but I’m sure it’s coming. We’ve been woken up 3 or 4 times for a few nights in a row now and I hate it. I love my sleep and I don’t cope very well without it. 

She’s also started waking up about half an hour after we put her down to sleep and screaming. I have no idea where this new thing has come from! I’ve been on the old Google and it seems as though this age is where they start to experience separation anxiety. They know you’re still near so they cry for you to come to them so maybe she’s doing that? It just means that alongside being woken up multiple times in the night again, we’re also being robbed of our evenings which has been tough.

I’m not complaining (much). I love my daughter and I know she’s still a baby and developing, but I wish there was some consistency. I feel like if she’d been a bad sleeper all along then it would be much easier to cope with when she regresses. I don’t think you could call it a regression then though could you? At least her naps have gotten better - for now. 




(Update - Last night she slept through until 6:45am after her silly wake up 30 minutes after being put down. But trying to get her to nap today took me over half an hour. I just can’t win.)


Baby blog – 8 month update

Posted Wednesday, September 18th, 2019 by Tanya Maskell in Cambridge Baby Blog

This past month has been packed full of changes and new skills. I'm astounded by the amount of things she has learned in such a short amount of time. We now think we're raising a genius - obviously. It's not all been good though. I think we've hit another sleep regression. Afternoon naps and her 6pm  bedtime are now becoming a thing of the past. She's just having so much fun practising her new skills that she doesn't want to sleep. Please send help...and coffee.

 

Here's what Molly has learned in the last month:

  1. She's learnt to wave - Molly can wave back when we wave to her and when we say hello. I did tell you I'm raising a genius.

  2. She's learnt to clap - This is fast becoming one of her favourite things to do. Just another thing to add to the genius list.

  3. She's learnt to dance - She has a little bop now whenever she hears a good piece of music. She just sits there and bounces happily. Cutest. Thing. Ever.

  4. She's learnt to climb - She still can't crawl yet but if she's sat next to something she will do her best to clamber and pull herself up. It's incredibly exciting to see her trying to stand but also...slow down please!

  5. She's learnt to say 'dada' - kind of. Sam is convinced she knows that he is 'dada' but I'm not so sure. She definitely does say the word 'dada' a lot more now but it's often mixed with lots of 'dadadadada's' and 'nanananana's'. Either way, she's definitely starting to get more vocal now so I'm sure it won't be long until she's talking back to us.

  6. She's learnt to throw - Her dummy has been launched from her pushchair now and I've had food thrown at me on more than one occasion. This is a skill that I'm less thrilled about her learning.

She's learned so much in the past month. She's gaining so much more personality and it's amazing to see her slowly transform into this little person. I can't help but wonder what she will be like when she's older now. The possibilities are endless. For now though, I'd just like to get through the next month. Just maybe a quieter one this time please.


Low waste life with baby

Posted Wednesday, September 11th, 2019 by Tanya Maskell in Cambridge Baby Blog

Since it was zero waste week last week I thought I'd write a post on how you can live a low waste lifestyle with a baby. Lots of people equate  baby with lots of waste. But that doesn't have to be the case. You can have a baby and still live a low waste, eco friendly lifestyle. Sometimes it may require a little more effort, or a costly initial outlay, but in the long run it's totally worth it and you'll probably even end up spending less!

Here are my tips to living a more low waste life with a baby:

  1. Use cloth nappies - This is where you'll probably make the biggest difference. On average a baby will use 5000 nappies until they're potty trained. That's a lot of nappies ending up in landfill and they take 200 - 500 years to decompose. Cloth nappies are brilliant. Once you get used to them they're so easy to use. I put my dirty nappies in a mesh bag inside a bucket and when it's full I put the mesh bag with the nappies inside in the washing machine. This is usually around every 2 1/2 days. It's really not much extra effort and saves so many nappies from going to landfill. Even using cloth nappies part time is better for the environment. I use the Disana Brushed Cotton Nappy Liners as inserts to absorb the wee. These are brilliant because they're not bulky, they have a good absorbency  but they're also quick to dry after washing. I also use the Disana Paper Fleece Nappy Liners. I love these because if there's no poop, I can put them in the wash to use again! They usually survive 2-3 washes.



  2. Washable wipes for bums and faces - By using these you're saving money and waste, and they're so much better than disposable wipes. They clean more effectively and we very rarely have a nappy rash incident. I have a box on the changing table which I fill with water and a couple of drops of lavender oil and I keep my bum wipes in there. When they're used I pop them in the nappy bucket and they get washed with the nappies. The face wipes I keep downstairs and just wet as needed. I wash these with a normal wash load of Molly's clothes. It couldn't be any simpler. You can even use them on the go. You'll just need a couple of wet bags - one for clean wipes and one for dirty wipes. 

  3. Buy second hand - There are some things for babies that you should always buy new (mattress for example) but for everything else you should try and buy preloved. Many baby items are only used for a short period of time so are in great condition. I buy most of Molly's clothes second hand and we have quite a few second hand toys. We bought her cot and her stroller secondhand too!

  4. Buy sustainable - If you can't find what you want preloved then look for sustainable items made from natural materials. I bought Molly a wool mattress. Not only is it made from natural materials, it's super comfy and studies suggest that wool can actually help you sleep better. Make sure to buy good quality items and look after them well. Then you can sell them or pass them on so somebody else can enjoy them too.

  5. Repair before you replace. - Always try and repair what you already own before buying something new. Or you could even up-cycle it into something new to enjoy. I've seen wool mittens made from old jumpers or socks turned into coffee cup cosies. I put Molly's old dummies into a box frame - I've made a great keepsake to put on the wall and I've stopped them ending up in landfill. 

  6. Make something new from what you've already got - It turns out, there's lots of things already in the house that can make great baby toys. Have you tried making a shaker from an old bottle and some pasta? Just make sure the lid is glued on so baby can't unfasten it. A wooden spoon and an upside down plastic tub/tin can make a great drum. And there's endless fun to be had with something as simple as a some fabric scraps stuffed inside an empty tissue box. 

 

There are so many ways in which you can live a low waste lifestyle with a baby. Remember, you don't have to do things perfectly straight away. Every little helps, so start small. Who knows where you'll end up. 


What I packed in my hospital bag

Posted Friday, September 6th, 2019 by Tanya Maskell in Cambridge Baby Blog

I came across the list for what to pack in my hospital bag yesterday and it really took me back. Packing my hospital bag was probably one of the hardest things I had to do when I was pregnant (besides pushing the baby out). I must have unpacked and repacked it at least 10 times. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t forget anything, but I also didn’t want to look like I was packing for 2 week break for a family of four. I think it’s easy to think about what to pack for your new arrival but it’s important not to forget about yourself. 

Here is a snapshot of my list for both mum and baby.

 

Mum

  • Birth plan/hospital notes - Your birth may not go exactly as you planned but it’s good to have your preferences down on paper. Just be prepared to change your mind once it starts happening. 
  • Nightshirt - Some people may tell you to pack a nightshirt for while you’re in labour but I wasn’t in any position to think about changing my clothes. I gave birth naked from the waist down and wearing the t shirt that I travelled into the birth centre in. I did however wear a nightshirt for afterwards which was probably the only thing I could face wearing. I wore this Unisex Cotton Organic Nightshirt by Living Crafts. I loved it and I even wore it throughout my pregnancy. It got a little tight towards the end but it still saw me the whole way through. It was also great for breastfeeding with the buttons on the front. 

Unisex Soft Organic Cotton Night Shirt

  • Nursing bra - If you’re planning on breastfeeding you’ll probably want to have a nursing bra or two so you can feed your baby when they’re hungry - which is a lot
  • Big knickers! - People told me I needed big knickers. I wasn’t entirely convinced so I packed some in my size and some a size up. I soon learnt that those people were right. You want the Bridget Jones kind. The bigger the better in my opinion, to keep the maternity pads in place. There will be quite a bit of blood so you may want to get them in a dark colour
  • Towel - Turns out I didn’t need a towel. The birth centre provided all the towels I needed, but I’m not sure if this is commonplace in all hospitals.
  • Maternity pads - I took a pack of 20 and I think this was more than enough because the hospital provided me with a couple too. I used disposable pads at this birth but I think next time I might try reusable's. I think I’d much rather have soft cotton next to my skin than synthetic materials. Same goes for the knickers above - get cotton/organic cotton. 
  • Wash bag - Toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, flannel, soap, shampoo, conditioner, lip balm, deodorant etc. I also packed some cooling spray, some post birth ‘down there’ spray and nipple balm. 
  • Snacks - During my labour I wasn’t eating enough and I was threatened with a drip unless I ate something. The midwife then suggested Lucozade which my husband had to go and fetch from the shop. I hated him leaving so next time I’m going to make sure I have a bottle in my bag ready just in case. 
  • Phone charger - For you and your partner. You don’t want them to die when you’re just about to tell everyone the baby has just been born. And I’m sure you’ll want to take lots of pictures. 
  • Headphones - To listen to your birthing playlist if you have one.

 

Baby

  • Muslins - I take these everywhere so obviously they went in my hospital bag. I have the Organic Muslin Squares by Disana. Had them for almost 8 months now, they’ve survived multiple washes (some hot ones) and they’re still going strong.

 

  • Baby body - Obviously you’re going to need something to dress your baby in once they’re no longer in the safety of your tummy. The first ever piece of clothing my baby wore was an Organic Cotton Baby Body by Living Crafts. It felt good to know that such a soft fabric was against my newborn baby’s skin. 

 

  • Nappy sacks - The nappies usually just got thrown in the bin at the hospital but I took some of these just in case. I don’t think I used any though. 
  • Cotton wool/reusable wipes - They say to use cotton wool on newborn baby’s soft bottoms. I did, because as a first time mum I followed the advice of the professionals. I have some organic cotton reusable wipes and now I know they would have been perfectly fine to use with water instead of cotton wool. It actually would have been a lot easier and a lot less fiddly. 
  • Hat - Or 2, if you’re planning on having a water birth
  • Socks - For either their feet, or their hands. 
  • Scratch mittens
  • Blanket - My baby was wrapped in a hospital blanket during our stay there so our blanket was only used when coming home. It was definitely needed in the middle of January. I now have the Delicate Wool Blanket by Disana and I definitely wish I’d had it from the start. It would have been so perfect for my tiny new baby. 

 

  • Going home outfit - Some people like to put their baby in a cute outfit for leaving the hospital. I didn’t care what she looked like, I was just so worried that she would be warm enough. I think when we left the hospital Molly was wearing a baby body, a sleep suit and then a wool cardigan. This was plenty since we were getting straight into the car and she had a blanket over her as well. 

 

Remember, the shops don’t close just because you’re in labour. If you forget anything, or need something you weren’t expecting to need, it can easily be bought after the baby is born.


7 month update!

Posted Tuesday, August 27th, 2019 by Tanya Maskell in Cambridge Baby Blog

So much has changed in the last month. Molly is becoming more like a little person now and less like that little baby that I brought home from the hospital. I started writing this blog a week ago but much of what I had written was no longer applicable. Things really are changing that quickly. I’m going to keep it simple because I fear that what I write now will also be changing again soon. 

 

  • She’s finally in 6-9 month clothes! I know I can write this one with confidence. I’m 99% sure she will not be going to shrink back down into 3-6 month size. I’m only 99% sure because it seems I can never be 100% sure of anything that involves Molly. 
  • She stays awake for longer periods now. It’s lovely now she can go a lot longer between naps without getting grumpy and tired. We can do a lot more with her now, and sometimes this means that she sleeps for longer than 30 minutes during the day too!
  • She’s sitting independently now. It’s not very often she falls over, and more often than not when she does fall, its from her own doing. She thinks it’s hilarious to fling herself backwards so we always have to make sure she’s sat with a couple of cushions behind her. 
  • She has little conversations with us. There are no words involved but she speaks in the gaps, just like a normal conversation goes. 
  • She has 3 meals a day now. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s a lot more effort but since doing this we’ve found it easier to settle into a routine. Breakfast, nap, play, lunch, nap, bottle, play, dinner, bath, bed. Simples! (In theory). 
  • She copies things now. It’s so cute. A few times she has said ‘uh oh’ after I have said it to her. She definitely waved at everybody during our last baby sensory session, butI have yet to get her to do it in front of her daddy.
  • She puts her arms up now when she knows she’s going to be picked up. This one is so simple and yet it’s my favourite thing that she does now. 

It’s lovely to watch her growing up and developing and learning new things. I’m really excited for everything that's to come, especially when she starts moving around. I get sad sometimes when I think about how fast time has gone, and how I’ll never see her at those ages again, but that’s what number 2 is for, eh Sam?


5 things I said I’d never do as a parent

Posted Wednesday, August 7th, 2019 by Tanya Maskell in Cambridge Baby Blog
  1. Co-sleep - I’d read and heard a lot about how unsafe co-sleeping was and so I made the decision that it would be something that I wouldn’t even consider. Especially since I’ve been known to do some strange things in my sleep. I think I stuck to this decision for about 3 months, until we visited my mums house and Molly decided that she wasn’t too happy about sleeping in her travel cot. I probably stuck it out for about a night and a half, but sleep deprivation got the best of me and we invited Molly into our bed at about 4am. The first time I didn’t get much sleep because I was worrying so much but Molly did and so we continued to co-sleep for the rest of the trip. And we haven’t looked back since. Most mornings Molly comes into our bed at 5am so we can all get an extra hour or two of sleep. It’s a lovely thing to do. If we have another child I’ll probably co-sleep again, if needed, but I’d still probably wait until they’re a couple of months old again.

  2. Buy shop bought baby food - This was complete naivety on my part. I thought that baby food would work out really expensive and I thought that they were full of rubbish. This is not actually the case. The supermarkets always have good deals on jars of baby food and the ingredients are simple and minimal. They aren’t full of salt and sugar as long as you are sensible about what you are buying. When we started to wean Molly I tried to steam and blend my own baby food but it all just got too much. Since Molly doesn’t sleep for longer than 30 minutes I don’t get time in the day to do things so I was trying to do everything I needed to do in the evenings. I couldn’t stay on top of it all and I caved and bought baby food. It is one of the better decisions I’ve made though. She has a mixture of shop bought and homemade and now we’re all happy.

  3. Buy plastic tat - I hate plastic baby toys. They just seem so flimsy and cheap and tacky. I decided before Molly was born that she would only play with wooden educational toys. I’m not sure if this decision was based on image or what is best for baby. There’s also the fact that plastic isn’t a very sustainable material. And don’t get me started on what I’ve read on VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) and BPA (bisphenol A) coming from plastic toys. However, all of this went out the window when I realised that babies LOVE plastic toys. The lights, the tunes, the spinning and the buttons. So obviously we’re now the owners of many cheap plastic toys and Molly loves all of them. I still try and buy second hand etc where possible, and we still have a few wooden toys too so I don’t feel too bad.

  4. Let baby watch tv - ‘My baby was not going to watch TV! My toddler was not going to watch TV! I will be super mum and will play with my child for stimulation and she will never be sat with her eyes fixated on that rectangular screen.’ Yeah right. Sometimes a little distraction is needed. I don’t let her watch TV often, and she only watches baby sensory videos on youtube. It’s not like I’ve sat her down in front of 50 shades of grey every afternoon. Sometimes I need to get things done and I need her to be distracted for 5 minutes. This is when the TV can come in very handy. For example, when she’s all set up in her pram ready to leave the house and I realise I’ve not packed her changing bag. I can guarantee at this point Molly will start crying, and I don’t know what happens to me when she cries but I just cannot function, so I’ll put on a little baby sensory video. This keeps Molly happy and quiet and I can pack her bag without flustering and everybody is happy. I still feel guilty that I let my baby watch a screen but I don’t think 5 minutes here and there is going to cause any problems.

  5. Be overprotective and worry too much - I think this one covers all the previous points and much more. My husband kept telling me that he didn’t want me to be one of those parents who was so overprotective over their child that they were barely able to do anything. I think they call it helicopter parenting. I assured him that this wouldn’t happen and I was going to be so laid back I’d be horizontal. Ha! Now, I don’t think I’m that bad. I am a worrier. I used to watch her when she slept, I was completely over the top with loose things around her crib etc. I absolutely hated it when she moved into her own room and considered sleeping on her bedroom floor ‘just in case’. I have no idea what that ‘just in case’ was referring to but I just didn’t want anything to happen to her. So I am just a little bit overprotective. My husband thinks I’m very overprotective but I think it’s all just part of being a new mum. I do worry less as she gets older and gets a little less fragile, but then there’s always new worries coming along. I’m pretty sure I won’t become a full blown helicopter parent when she’s older and I’ll let her venture off into the world when she’s ready. I’m also pretty sure my husband will disagree with me on that one.

We’re weaning!

Posted Wednesday, July 31st, 2019 by Tanya Maskell in Cambridge Baby Blog

We’ve been giving Molly food for over a month now. I can’t quite believe that. Can time slow down please?! We started weaning Molly onto food when she was just over 5 months old for a few different reasons. I really wanted to wait until she was 6 months as is recommended but my poor little baby wasn’t gaining weight very well. The health visitor told me to feed her more but that just ended up with a very sore and miserable mummy, and there was no changes to Molly either. I tried formula but for some reason during that time Molly decided she was on a bottle strike. So food was our last option. 

We started simple and just started mixing some formula with baby porridge. I did this for about a week while persevering with the bottle, which she eventually started to take after a couple of weeks. Once she’d started taking a bottle and she was swallowing more baby porridge than spitting out I started to give her ‘proper food’. We started Molly on pureed vegetables, following the guidelines of vegetables first. I think for the first week she ate courgette, broccoli, carrots, and beetroot. She took to it really well. I don’t think there was much that she rejected, even on the first try. After we’d introduced lots of vegetables we started to feed her fruit. The first thing we tried was banana which she absolutely hated. She even hates it now, but it seems to be the only thing she doesn’t like so I think we’re doing well.

As soon as she hit the 6 months mark I started to give Molly some finger foods alongside her purees. I’d planned to do baby led weaning from the start but, because we started early, I knew that this was something that I could no longer consider doing. If I’m honest, I’m quite disappointed by this. It seems as though most of the advice and recommendations is to do baby led weaning from the start (and wait until your baby is 6 months old) and since I didn’t do this I sometimes feel a little guilty. As usual, all I wanted was the best for my baby whilst also trying to stay in line with current guidelines and recommendations. (I can now see, after 6 months, that this isn’t always possible and that I can judge better what is best for my baby).

Overall, weaning Molly has been a really fun experience. Preparing all the food is a bit of a pain. It's an extra job that I don't really have time for, especially because of how much I have to make. I never knew something so small could eat so much. Molly is now eating 2 meals a day. She has porridge made with formula for her breakfast sometimes mixed with a fruit puree. For her lunch she’ll usually have some sort of protein (eggs, beans, meat or fish), a vegetable, and then a carbohydrate like toast or potato. She’s had fingers of avocado, fingers of banana and toast but she doesn’t have many finger foods yet. Until you’re experiencing your little one eating finger foods you have no idea how scary it is. So we’re taking it slow just to keep anxiety levels low. We haven’t introduced many high risk allergy foods yet either for the same reason. She’s had cow’s milk, wheat, gluten, egg and fish which have all been fine so far. I’ll continue to keep introducing these high risks food and then keeping them in her diet regularly to help reduce the risk of allergies. 

Looking back I’m glad we started weaning Molly when we did. It was obviously the best thing for her at the time and now she’s eating like a pro (almost). At some point we’ll move onto complete baby led weaning but for now I’ll continue to cover her face with puree (aiming for her mouth of course) and let her gum on a piece of toast or avocado afterwards.


6 Month Reflection

Posted Wednesday, July 24th, 2019 by Tanya Maskell in Cambridge Baby Blog

I cannot believe my tiny newborn is 6 months old already. Where has the time gone? It only feels like yesterday that I was counting my contractions and wondering how long it would be until I met my daughter. And yet, it all seems to have gone by in such a blur that I can barely remember any of it. 

I was at a baby sensory session last week when a mum walked in with her 3 week old baby and I couldn’t help but stare. This baby was so fresh and tiny. It made me  look at Molly and got me thinking about when she was that age. It was hard. My god, it was so hard during those early days. But thinking about it and then looking down at my smiley happy 6 month old I was filled with a great feeling of accomplishment. I realised I had survived every one of those days. Those days where I spent the whole day in tears, or in my pyjamas, with a sink full of dishes and laundry all over the house. I was a mess, constantly wondering why on Earth I wanted this life for myself. I can see now that it really does get better. At 6 months old it really starts to feel worth it.

Those tears have not gone just yet thought. (Will they ever?) Just yesterday I shed a few because I just could not get her to sleep. Eventually I had to call it a day and ask Sam to have a go, who managed it in about 10 minutes. I felt like such an utter failure. But these days are not the majority anymore. In fact, these ‘days’ are now just moments. Most of the time now I feel like I’m actually getting the hang of this parenting thing. The house is no longer a complete mess (just a normal mess), the laundry gets done, I have lunch at lunch time. Molly naps!! (For 30 minutes at a time but who cares?? She actually naps now!)

I do miss the newborn stage. Mostly just the way she used to fall asleep on me. She doesn’t do that anymore, which makes me a little sad. But she does so much more now. She smiles when she sees us which is the most heartwarming thing ever. She actually plays with things properly now. She’s into everything and it’s so cute! (I’m pretty sure I won’t be saying that when she can crawl.) She rolls around on the floor and lays on her front with her head and can play like that. She can sit! (Almost). I could make a list as long as my arm of the things she can now do and she’s only 6 months old. I had no idea that babies progressed so quickly. It’s incredible. I think if I blinked for a second I’d miss so much. I'm really enjoying this stage of her life but I’m also so excited for all that comes next.


Surviving Summer – My tips for summer with a baby

Posted Tuesday, July 16th, 2019 by Tanya Maskell in Cambridge Baby Blog

I’m not really a fan of hot, sunny weather but I’m determined to not let that get in the way of making some great summer memories while she’s a baby. We’ll never get this time again. 

The hottest day we’ve experienced together so far was just over 30 degrees Celsius. We made it through though despite all my worrying. The night was the worst. I think it was 27 degrees in Molly's bedroom when we put her to bed so she went to bed in a nappy and a 1 tog sleeping bag. It probably would have been a 0.5 tog if we’d had one but we didn’t so we made do with what we had. She was absolutely fine, as she always is. I do think I worry too much but I always think it’s better to worry a little too much than not enough.

Here’s how we stayed cool in the heat. 

  • Water - this one is actually in 3 parts. I’ll start with the most boring. Molly is partly breastfed and partly formula-fed (due to very painful nipples) so I make sure to offer Molly water in her sippy cup to make sure she’s staying well hydrated. For babies who are exclusively breastfed, extra feedings from the breast is recommended.

Part 2 is a wet towel. My husband decided to purchase a magic towel which claims to be 0 degrees when wet. Spoiler alert: it does not even get close to 0 degrees when wet. However, it does stay cool for a long time in the heat though and feels lovely on the skin. I’m sure any old wet towel or even a muslin would do the same job. This helped to keep all 3 of us cool when the mercury rises. 

Part 3 is the most exciting and most definitely my favourite. PADDLING POOL. She loved it, once the water had warmed up a bit! A bit of advice, don’t try and put your baby in the water straight from the hosepipe. I’m speaking from experience here. Straight from the tap, the water is very cold and baby will probably hate it and cry (oops). Lots of splashing and plenty of toys, in the shade of course, and you’re probably set for at least a half an hour of fun with your little ones. 

  • Shade -   Recommendations say that babies less than 6 months old should not wear sun cream and should stay out of direct sunlight. Hmmm, easier said than done when it’s the height of summer, the sun is directly above and there are no clouds whatsoever. We put up a gazebo in the garden so we had a place to put the paddling pool that was out of direct sunlight. That means we have somewhere to sit at all times of the day and be out of the sun's rays! 

When out and about we use a muslin to shade her in her pram. You should never cover a baby’s pram with a blanket or a muslin as the temperature will rise putting your baby at risk. However, we use some buggy clips to clip one end of the muslin to the top of her buggy hood and the other to the handle so she’s shaded from the sun but still has good airflow inside her pram. Alternatively, you could just use a parasol. I like to make do with what I already have though to save a bit of money!

 

  • Clothes - I think for most of the day Molly just wore a nappy which was great. We use cloth nappies which are a little more sturdy and stay in place better than a disposable in my opinion so she was quite happy. I think a light cotton summer dress or romper is needed to cover up their bare skin from the sun's rays if you’re going to be out and about. 

And don’t forget your sun hats! Molly wears a fireman’s hat which is perfect for keeping the sun out of her eyes and off her face and neck. 

  • Fans- These are an absolute godsend. Obviously, I’d never want molly directly in front of a fan, especially all night.  We placed a fan outside of her bedroom door just before we put her to bed and it worked brilliantly at creating an airflow around her room without putting her in a draft, she loved the constant white noise too!

 

I’ll never be a fan of the really hot weather that comes in the summer but having a baby to spend it with definitely makes it more fun (and more stressful. Maybe that’s just me.). These are the ways we tried to stay cool during the hot weather we’ve been having recently. I am in no way qualified to be giving out advice, I just wanted to share my tricks for keeping cool and enjoying the sunshine.