I can’t believe Johnny is one next week! I feel my whole maternity leave has gone in a flash but what a year it has been. I’ve loved every day with my little boy and I’ve no doubt had the best year of my life. We’ve been to a few different baby classes so if any readers are pregnant or on leave at the moment, these are the ones I’d recommend.
I saw Baby Sensory being advertised on Facebook and it’s just round the corner. They were also offering a free trial so I had nothing to lose! Johnny was around 8 weeks old when we started sensory and we still go now, we both absolutely love it! There’s always activities planned which fill the full 50 minutes and each one keeps Johnny entertained. I’ve also met some other Mums which has been fab as we stay behind after the class for a drink and a chance for the little ones to have breakfast. I can’t recommend baby sensory enough, from the welcome song to the messy play, we’ve loved every class and I’m going to really miss it when I go back to work.
We also have swimming classes normally once a week. We started when Johnny was about 5 months and we haven’t looked back since. The classes are pretty pricey at £12.50 per lesson but it’s 100% worth it. Our lessons are with Puddle Ducks and they are based around the country. Swimming from an early age gets them used to the water but also teaches them what to do in an emergency for example Johnny can hold onto the side already! If we miss a week he can get a little wingey but he’s back to his happy, splashy self the week after! If you know you’re going to miss a class, you can book a holiday so you don’t miss out which means we can do 2 classes a week sometimes. Johnny has a long nap after each lesson which is an added bonus. I was too scared to put Johnny under the water myself when we first went but now we’re both used to it as the teachers gave us both that confidence we needed. He loves his swimming lessons!
Recently we’ve also been to Rhythm Time. They very kindly sent one of their baby band packs* so Johnny enjoys playing with his instruments at home too. The classes are only 30 minutes long so the babies don’t get restless as they’re quite short. There’s a lot of singing in the classes aswell as them being quite active for Mummy and baby which I enjoyed. I went to the class in Lymm and the teacher was great at singing and keeping the babies entertained. Unfortunately I hadn’t realised how far it was away from us so I would choose a different Rhythm Time class next time.
Yep I did it, I mentioned the C word in October but as it’s Johnny’s first Christmas I need to get organised! I’m so excited for Christmas this year but also slightly dreading it as it’ll be closer to going back to work and leaving JJ. Last year I was hoping Johnny wouldn’t arrive early as he was due on the 7th January but if he’d had arrived before Christmas I wouldn’t have been organised at all. It means this year I can really go all out on the baby’s first Christmas bits and make it one to remember! I know he’ll have no idea what day it is but it matters to me that we have the best Christmas, the first as our little family. I’ve loved Christmas ever since being small myself thanks to my family making it such a special time so I want to do the same for Johnny. I’ve already bought, made and been sent a few bits so I thought I’d show you what I have so far!
Personalised Christmas Eve Box
I’m not really that crafty but I’m pretty impressed with my DIY Christmas box I just need to fill it with bits now! So far I’m thinking cute Christmas pyjamas (I’ve already bought some Christmas sleep suits!), a cute Christmas film, a cuddly christmas comforter or teddy bear and maybe some baby sweet treats. If anyone has any other ideas what I could include, do let me know! This box took a lot longer to make than I’d originally planned but its been worth being able to add my own touch to it. I may have also made one for my dog too…
Personalised Christmas Sack
I’m not planning on buying a lot for Johnny this year for a few reasons. He will get so much bought from family and friends plus if he needs anything I’ve just been buying it when he does. Also, it’s his birthday two weeks later so I’ll run out of what to buy! However, he still needs a personalised sack just to put his small presents in plus it can be saved for many years to come. I’m also considering a stocking just to start a tradition with but again I’m not sure yet as what to put in so please let me know any ideas. I really love the traditional hessian sacks, I can’t wait until Johnny’s old enough to understand all about Christmas!
Personalised Christmas Decorations
I really wanted to shed a tear when this beautiful decoration* arrived from Betsy Benn, they sell some amazing Christmas Ornaments and it was really hard to choose just one. I eventually went for the wooden tag that is a letter from the big guy himself. I love that it has the date stamped on too to show Johnny’s first Christmas. It’s just such a special keepsake that I’ll be putting on my tree every year. My favourite part of the letter is the mention of the man in the moon as when I was small my Grandad always used to mention the man in the moon so it’s so sentimental. I love that Christmas tree decorations can be sentimental yet still look gorgeous on the tree and Betsy Benn really have so many beautiful pieces. They have given Glossy Boutique readers 10% off their site, just use Glossy10 at the checkout. You can find many gorgeous gifts on their site for every occasion and family member.
Betsy Benn is a homegrown family business in London. I absolutely love their products including the many Christmas products as well as stunning prints and gifts. The quality of this decoration is amazing for just £14, you can tell each product is made with the greatest care. I can’t wait to get it up on our tree once December arrives!
Have you got anything special lined up for your little one?
Once Johnny reached 6 months old we started trying him with finger foods. I’ve always been certain that we would do baby led weaning with Johnny but after trying some great purées from Babease, I’m left wondering if it’s possible to mix BLW with traditional weaning. From articles I’ve read previously, it was mentioned that if you used any kind of purées then you couldn’t class yourself as BLW. However Johnny likes being spoon fed aswell as feeding himself with his fingers so who cares what you call it as long as the baby is enjoying this new experience.
I mentioned on an Instagram post last week that I feel a little anxious when Johnny’s eating solid food incase he chokes so I do feel more relaxed with purées. However BLW is super easy as he can more or less eat what we’re having which also means it’s cost effective. When Babease got in touch to see if we’d like to try a few of their products, I was eager to see how Johnny would react to them after we’ve done solely BLW for the last few weeks. As I said, as long as he’s enjoying weaning, whether it be traditional or BLW, I’m really open to trying all options.
Babease* sent some of the packs to try, a cute tote bag and also a USB pen which I love as I’m an IT geek! I absolutely love the packaging of the products. Some of my Mummy friends also agreed with this as we were discussing how luxurious and expensive they look at a Mummy date last week, so it’s definitely a popular opinion. Weaning was a scary prospect for me as I’m not the greatest in the kitchen but these pouches are so handy as they contain so many vegetables and are organic meaning its only good stuff going into JJ. At the moment Johnny doesn’t eat loads so we can get two meals from one pouch as he’s still having breast milk as well as other snacks during the day. There are a number of flavour mixes available so it means our little ones can try a variety of different foods.
I’m pleasantly surprised at how quickly Johnny has taken to weaning, both finger foods and the vegetable purées from Babease. When spoon-feeding him he does now want to try and do it himself but that just shows how independent he’s becoming. I think we will stick with giving Johnny what we’re eating most of the time but if we’re ever having a naughty takeaway or eating out, these pouches are ideal. So is it possible to combine finger foods and purées? Well for us, yes! I’m not going to put a name to the weaning we’re doing, as long as Johnny is trying a variety of foods, who cares?!
Skin to skin is a method recommended by midwives around the world and was something I was really keen on trying as soon as Johnny was born. Skin to skin contact wasn’t just important for Johnny and I but also between Johnny and his Daddy. I’m sure you know that when the baby is delivered it’s important to have them immediately placed on your chest, of course if the baby is ok and doesn’t need any extra help. Once I’d had time with Johnny and fed him for the first time, Ryan then had him on his bare chest whilst I had a shower and got cleaned up. Since then Johnny has always settled so much better on us both with no tops on and I 100% believe this was thanks to that first contact.
Pure Love is a great new campaign where Water Wipes want to encourage skin to skin with parents and their babies. Royal Wolverhampton NHS have reported many benefits such as:
It encourages baby to feed and regulates their heartbeat. It also helps regulate temperature and breathing so it’s a great way to keep baby warm straight from the womb.
Helps to develop a strong bond between Mummy and Baby
Encourages the release of hormones associated with breastfeeding and the supply of milk
Allow Mummy to have a rest after labour whilst Daddy and Baby bond
As soon as Johnny was born, he was placed straight on my chest for that important skin to skin. After a while, he started to search for milk and although he probably didn’t get much out at first we were lucky enough to start well with breastfeeding. Again, I really believe the skin to skin helped us with breastfeeding and 6 months later we’re still going strong! I’m planning on writing a breastfeeding journey post soon as I think it could be helpful for others planning to breastfeed.
Johnny and I have loved skin to skin whether it be after his injections to comfort him, just before bed to settle him or after his baths so my clothes don’t get soaked! If you’re due to have a baby soon, I can’t recommend this bonding process enough.
When people tell you that babies grow too quick, they’re not kiddin’! Johnny has got so many clothes he hasn’t worn, yet I find myself having to buy more because he’s growing so quickly! With his 6 month birthday coming up he’s starting to move up to 6-9 months clothes although he’s already in this size for sleep suits as he’s really long. I picked some bits up from Zara, both normal and sale. I’ve also included something from F&F, I love their clothes for everyday and holiday wear.
I bought this grey quilted jacket in a bigger size (9-12) as he doesn’t need it yet but I think he’ll look so cool in it once the colder weather arrives. It will go with everything too and for £11, I couldn’t resist it. Johnny has a tiny waist so he does still fit in some size 3-6 pants but I got these gorgeous striped joggers in 6-9. They feel like great material and he hasn’t got any striped pants like these. Johnny goes through so many sleep suits now he’s teething as they always end up wet through! I always keep him in a sleep suit if we’re just staying in so he’s nice and comfortable. I love this cute animal suit and the cute paw prints on the bottom of the feet.
A lot of Johnnys clothes have animals of some sort on, I’m obsessed. I bought this Animal Kingdom top in the sale but I can’t find it online now, it may still be in store. I also thought this Old West top was cute also from the sale. Johnny has a few t-shirts like this and I can style them with plain joggers or shorts if it’s a little warmer. I thought I’d also include this little romper from F&F at Tesco. I normally do my big shop in Tesco so I always have a little nosy at their clothes if Johnny’s behaving himself. This was only £5 and I love the little Superman on it which says ‘My Daddy’, so cute!
I’m still on the hunt for some more clothes for Johnny so if you see anything cute let me know on Twitter!