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My first day back in work, this is going to be emotional….

While today is my official first day back to work, I have attended 2.5 training days in the last 3 weeks. The first training day I was very upset leaving. But as my amazing family were babysitting and I was getting updates, I didn’t feel too bad, surprisingly. The rest of my training days went fine. I wasn’t emotional leaving and just looked forward to the thought of getting home to my baby.

Seeing as today daddy is watching our little one, I thought I would be fine leaving. But actually I am a rollercoaster of emotions. From the moment our little one woke (at 5.45, waaay too early) he was reaching out for me. I brought him into our bed for a snuggle and bottle and all he wanted to do was snuggle into mummy and stroke my face. I went to get up for a shower and he got a little upset, despite daddy being right next to him. It just felt like he knew!

That was the moment my emotions got the better of me. As I ran out the door afraid I would miss the bus, I tried not to focus on the tears rolling down my face. Hopefully people on the bus will just mistake it for rain water!

As I sit on the bus typing this, I get a snap of our little one playing with his cars, as happy as ever. I just gotta take a deep breath, pop a smile on my face and hope that the day will fly by!

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Baby, breast feeding, Combination feeding, Easy Parenting, NUK, NUK Closer to Nature, Product Tester

NUK Closer to Nature bottle review

I was lucky enough to be chosen as a product tester for the NUK Closer to Nature bottle set which was arranged by a great magazine Easy Parenting (read the online magazine here). I was sent out the bottle set for 6-18 months, a lovely bottle brush and the NUK bottle cleanser.

My little one was exclusively breast fed (other than a handful of bottles to top him up during the first few weeks). So when I started thinking about going back to work and thus trying to get him onto some Formula during the day, he did not take kindly to it. He really tried hard not to succumb to drinking from a bottle. Originally I tried him on Tomee Tippee bottles (he has the same brand soother) with Formula and he completely refused it. After a few days of continuous bottle rejection, I tried him on expressed breast milk in the bottle, still no joy. Over the course of the next 2 weeks I tried a bottle every day with expressed breast milk, testing beakers (he loves drinking water from his beaker), the magic cup (again loves water from this) and some MAM bottles. No joy at all. Through persistence he started to drink a little from a MAM bottle, but not very much at all, he chewed the teat more than anything. He would reluctantly drink about 1 ounce from this bottle.

When I saw that Easy Parenting were looking for product testers for the NUK Closer to Nature bottle, which is really good for combination feeding mums, I thought why not give this one a try and boy am I happy I did! It is the only bottle we now use.

Our little one loves the bottles, there are multiple holes at the top of the bottle, similar to milk ducts. The bottle is nicely shaped and easy to hold for him. It is also very easy to clean, breaking down into 4 easy to wash parts.

The NUK bottle brush has a strong, good quality main brush and a small brush which gets right down into the bottom of the teat, so you know the bottle is well cleaned. That paired with the easy to use cleaning solution, has given me lots of reassurance that the bottles are properly clean before going into the steriliser.

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If you want to give the bottles a try, you can get them online here: NUK Closer to Nature.

**Other than getting the free products (and a wonderful coffee morning to discuss how we got on) I have not received anything for my review, I just thought it would be nice to tell people how I got on.

Baby, Eczema, Flare-up, Scratching, This too shall pass

Baby Eczema

I have wanted to write a post about baby eczema but every time I think I have this cracked, a new flare up happens and I am back to square one! I now realise that I don’t think I will ever have it cracked, but I wanted to share our journey so far in the hope that it will help some other new mums wondering what to do!

Roughly 20% of the population have eczema (atopic dermatitis), with this stat increasing in likelihood if one parent also suffers from it. It usually starts as a baby with 65% of people with eczema developing symptoms while they are a baby and up to 90% developing symptoms before they are 5 years old. So if your child has made it to 5 with no symptoms, they are hopefully the lucky 80% of the population that avoid it. I was in that category. I was very lucky never to have really suffered with dry skin let alone eczema. But we knew that the chances were high of our little one getting it as sensitive skin does run in both sides of the family.

But the reality of managing baby eczema was a lot harder than I first thought. The first thing to bear in mind is that no two babies are the same. So something that works for one baby might not work for the other. The worst thing was that my baby was sore and itchy and at the start we were really struggling to get it under control despite trying a number of different things.

Washing clothes:

We always use Fairy non-bio washing liquid to wash all our clothes and if our little one gets a present of a new outfit, it is put straight into the wash before he wears it to avoid any chemicals from the manufacturing process getting on his skin.

Bathing:

I have found that water really exasperates our littles one’s eczema. And if you ask any dermatologist, our “clean society” of constantly washing the natural oils off our bodies could be a contributing factor to the increasing rates of eczema in general. So quite early on we decided that daily bathing was not an option and moved to weekly baths. There is really no need to bath them more frequently. In the bath we use Silcocks base as its most gentle on his sensitive skin.

Moisurising:

Believe it or not, moisurising once a day is just not enough for a baby with eczema. We have 2 big creaming routines in the morning and night where I use steroid creams (Eumovate on the body, Hydrocortisone on the face) if he has a bad flare up and liberally apply either Silcocks base or Childs Farm cream all over his body and Silcocks base on his face. Child’s Farm is a new cream I picked up recently that is a lot lighter than the Silcock’s base and I find it soaks into his dry skin really well to leave it really nicely hydrated. During every nappy change I moisurise his torso, legs and arms (if he has a t-shirt on that day). Moisuriser will only last 2-3 hours on the skin, so I found that moisurising after each nappy change really made a difference.

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Flare ups were particularly bad on his face

Managing flare ups

The key to managing any flare up is trial and error. Its important to find a cream that works for your baby’s skin. I was very against using any steroid cream in the beginning as prolonged use thins the skin. However with each flare up I realized that the amount of scratching at already delicate skin was actually doing more damage. So while I now use these strong creams sparingly, I am not afraid to use them if the flare-up is bad and our little one is scratching a lot.

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All the different creams we need to make sure our little ones skin stays well moisurised

I have second guessed myself the whole way through our journey so far, but the key thing I try and remember is this flare-up too shall pass, and is usually does!

Baby, drool, MikaB, sleepless nights, teething, teething jewellery, This too shall pass

We were doing well….. and then teething happened!

Teething! The worst nightmare for any parent. Just as you think things are going well with feeding and sleeping, teething will invariably strike, usually out of nowhere. It also often disappears as quickly as it arrives not always leaving you with the start of a tooth!

Over the first 2-3 years your baby will grow 20 teeth. Thinking about how difficult people find it when their wisdom teeth come up, (I can’t really comment as I never actually had any wisdom teeth) I can only imagine how painful this must be for the little babas.

We were getting into a good sleeping pattern recently when teething struck. Our little one is getting his first top teeth, I think. Mind you, a week later and they are still not through!

Teething can effect a baby in many ways but there are some key signs of it to look out for:

Red bums:

Weirdly enough a baby will get a red bum that can easily turn into nappy rash when they are teething. What the relationship between your bum and mouth are, I have no idea, but its usually the first tell tale sign to indicate you could be in for a few bad nights.

Drool – oh the drool:

When our little one is teething he drools like a St Bernard! Its unbelievable. Who knew a tiny mouth could produce SO MUCH DROOL! You need to ensure you are stocked up on lots of clean bibs as typically we could go through over 10 a day. It’s important to change them regularly as prolonged wetness under their chin can cause really bad dribble rash which is very itch and painful. To protect the skin I moisturise under his chin at least twice a day and cover it with Vaseline throughout the day to act as a barrier so his chin is protected.

Eating everything:

To be fair, our little one eats everything anyways, so its not always a sign that they are teething, but I find that he eats his hand a lot more around times of teething. He is actually using his hand to apply pressure to his gums to ease the pain. I like to try and give him some of the teethers you can store in the fridge during these times, to help soothe this sore gums. I also find teething jewellery to be excellent during these times (see my previous post on teething jewellery here)

Disturbed sleep:

Our little one has a tendency to wake up a lot more when he is teething and just want to be close to mummy. For the past week I have been woken at between midnight and 1am to hysterical cries, nothing will sooth him unless you pick him up and cuddle him. He falls straight asleep in your arms but the minute he is back in his bed, the same thing starts again. This can last up to 2/3 hours. When you are in the middle of it, there is no end in sight, but if you are going through something similar, hold strong! It is just a phase, and this too shall pass!

Remember, getting teeth is very painful for our little ones, so be sure to give them lots of teething gels and a bit of Calpol or baby Nuerofen when they are particularly upset, they can’t tell us their gums are sore, but they can certainly cry about it! And don’t forget, extra cuddles makes everything better

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