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See posts about: // Isabelle // Parenting // Family //

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Getting Out and About: Mum and Baby Groups

Today I attended what I believe was the first Belfast 'nappucino' in Belfast City Hall, and had a great morning courtesy of Cloth Nappy Library NI. Luckily, they have decided to make this meet up a regular thing, at the end of each month. I was thrilled to hear that, and can now add this monthly meet to my list of mummy and baby activities that Isabelle and I partake in.
(Nappucino: a get together of people who use cloth nappies)

I am not an organised activity kind of girl. When I was younger, I detested any groups my parents tried to send me to. Brownies - not for me. Sunday School outings - dreaded them. For some reason, I just have a 'thing' against people who have not really much in common being thrown together and expected to have a good time.

Despite what most people would believe, I am actually quite shy, so the thought of going somewhere where I know NOBODY and trying to integrate myself makes me come out in a cold sweat. But, I knew that when Isabelle came along I would have to make an effort to go to some mum and baby groups. I knew it was important for us both - for Isabelle to become better socialised amongst adults and other children, and for me to get out of the house and have people to chat to. I also wanted to make some new 'mummy' friends - people who are at the same stage of life as I am, and who understand the life I now lead as a mother. Isabelle arrived, and after four weeks I knew it was time to start getting out and about to some new groups.

And I am so glad I did! I mentioned in my last post the breastfeeding group I attend each week. This was my first venture. My sister-in-law (Her again! In case you can't tell she is my "go to" on all things baby related!) had enjoyed her breastfeeding group, so I knew this would be a good place for us to start. I arrived the first day with that 'clenched' feeling in my stomach. What if nobody spoke to me? What if everyone HATED me? Luckily, that could not have been further from the truth. The other mums at the group were warm and welcoming, and they were so easy to chat to about everything baby related. As most of the women at the group have babies under 6 months, we are all very much in the same boat and have lots of tips, tricks and sympathy to share around. 

It was from this group that I actually learnt about Baby Sensory. A mum on Facebook had posted pictures of her and her little boy at Baby Sensory, and then it was mentioned at the breastfeeding group. Baby Sensory classes are designed to help you baby develop their different senses, and provide them with different experiences to aid their overall development and communication. After checking out the website, I decided to go along to a class nearby. Cue the dreaded "clenched stomach" feeling once more. But need to worry. Everyone was warm and welcoming. This time however, the focus was really on the babies rather than us mummies, and I loved watching Isabelle take in all the new sights and sounds. I signed up for 10 classes, and know that I will extend this when the 10 are up. I love how these classes challenge and extend Isabelle mentally, and give her a range of experiences I may not be able to provide her myself. 
Baby sensory classes are run around the UK, and I take classes run by Baby Sensory Belfast.

Isabelle enjoying "Colours" week at Baby Sensory

As we ventured to these groups, I found out one thing right away - I'm no longer heading out alone. Even if nobody else talks to me, I have Isabelle to chat to and fuss over instead. As strange as that sounds, it's really eased my fear of going to new groups and being the 'new girl', as I no longer feel like I'm facing things by myself. My little buddy is right there with me the whole time. 

If breastfeeding, nappucinos or baby sensory aren't for you, there are lots of different classes run all around the country. Popular choices include baby yoga and baby massage classes, which are both geared towards relaxation of you and your baby. Swimming classes are increasingly popular and run in most local pools. And then there are the traditional Mums and Tots which are found in church halls and community centres nationwide. A top tip is to check out Facebook pages. I've found that these are more frequently updated than websites now, and much information on websites is out of date. And one Facebook group will easily lead to something else in your area as well.

I've found it great to attend groups which are based on the type of parenting I believe in. Both the breastfeeding group and the nappucino have been based around two parenting styles in which I am a very strong believer. This means that it's likely to be similar minded people I meet up with, so we'll always have lots to chat about. 

So, if you haven't given any mum and baby groups a go, try to find something that you think suits you. Try it out once and, like me, you might just find that you love it and can't wait to for the next week to roll around to see your new friends and their babies again. Next up on our list: Rhythm and Rhyme at our local library. Better get my tambourine out...  

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Happy Breastfeeding Awareness Week!

Did you know that this week is National Breastfeeding Awareness Week in the UK? I'd imagine not! I only found out when my breastfeeding group were taken out on Monday morning for coffee and scones, courtesy of our local Health and Social Trust, to try and promote breastfeeding in the community. So, in honour of BAW, I thought I'd share a little of my breastfeeding story with you.

I am a very proud breastfeeder. Breastfeeding is something which I was brought up to think of as totally normal - the only way to feed your baby. Because of this, as I got older and started contemplating the day when I may have my own family, there was never a single second when I questioned how I would feed my baby. Luckily, Simon's family are also breastfeeding advocates, and it was therefore not something we even discussed when I was pregnant. We just knew - I would breastfeed our baby.

It is, however, something I worried about during my entire pregnancy. I read book after book, online article after online article, and tried to learn as much as I could about breastfeeding during those nine months. Two of my favourite resources were the La Leche League book "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding", and the website Kellymom. (Don't be put off by the wordy book title, it's actual a great source of information on everything to do with breastfeeding!)

Reading about breastfeeding is tricky thing - like learning how to ride a horse from a book. You can know all the theory about how it SHOULD go, but that doesn't mean you can get on a horse and be a champion. What worried me the most were the number of stories of failure I read. Women whose nipples bled, who were in pain, whose babies couldn't latch on and so lost large amounts of weight, whose babies refused to latch on at all, of nipple agony. So, understandably, I had in my mind that I may fail at the one thing which was more important to me than anything else. I knew that, if this were the case, I would be devastated, knowing that I had failed in my motherly duties and was failing my baby. Of course, that's not true, but I knew that's how it would feel. I become even more worried as my due date came and went and my induction date loomed, knowing that it is more likely that breastfeeding may not get off to a good start after a labour which requires a lot of medical intervention. It is for this reason that I was adamant I wouldn't have an epidural (although I did put it out there during labour, but managed to get through without!).

Luckily, I needn't have worried. From the moment Isabelle Katie Jay appeared, she has been a champion feeder. I am so lucky that she just knew what she needed to do, and she got on with it. All of the things I had read prepared me for our first few days together. Although I was lucky and had very little pain, I did experience some around day 3/4. I had read to stock up on Lansinoh Nipple Cream, and I cannot recommend it highly enough to expectant mothers. I was literally half woman, half lanolin for the first week of Isabelle's life, and truly believe it helped us through those painful days. I also knew that Isabelle would eat a LOT. Little did I know she would take after her name sake, auntie Katie, and want to eat almost 24/7. Even my family were surprised at how much she ate, and there were days when she cluster fed all evening, and I thought I would never have a minute to myself again!

Now we are over those first few tough days, breastfeeding is a dream for us, and I am so thankful that I have been so lucky to have such a wonderful experience with Isabelle. Nursing is not just something Isabelle does for food, it's also a way she comforts herself, which means that if she is particularly upset or is having a bad day, quite often only the boob will do. Similarly, feeding her helps to comfort me if I have gotten upset because of her tears or tantrums. At the end of a feeding session we are both chilled out, and at least one of us is usually asleep!

One of the things I have been particularly proud of is my 'ability' to nurse in public. Not everyone is comfortable breastfeeding in public, and I totally understand that. I would say I have no shame...but to me there is nothing to be ashamed of in the slightest - I am proud to show the world how I have made those little chubby cheeks and chunky thighs ALL BY MYSELF! In fact, of all the things I have done in my life, breastfeeding Izzy is the thing I am most proud of.
The list of places I have fed Isabelle in the last 11 weeks grows all the time. From cafes and restaurants, to agricultural shows, to houses of friends and relatives and even during our church service!  And I have to say, I have been pleasantly surprised by people's response. I have had lots of smiles which I take as encouragement and as a seal of approval. Needless to say, these have all come from females! I don't think a man would dare even look over in case they were branded a pervert! One waiter in a restaurant actually turned and went the whole way round to the other side of the table once he realised what Isabelle and I were up to!

As I mentioned, I attend a local breastfeeding group each week. Everyone asks me "What do you do? Just sit around and breastfeed?" which makes me laugh. If the babies need fed, we feed. Other than that, we chat, we share horror stories of sleepless nights, we ponder what awaits us as our babies grow up, but mostly we are there to support one another through the amazing journey of breastfeeding and motherhood. I would recommend checking out a local breastfeeding group - even if you don't breastfeed! Nobody will judge you, and it's a great place to make new mummy friends.

So, since it's Breastfeeding Awareness Week, no matter how you would choose to feed your baby, why not show your support of breastfeeding mommas by giving them an encouraging smile if you see them out in public. Just remember - it's a fine line between an encouraging smile, and a creepy one...

Helpful links:
La Leche League UK
NHS Breastfeeding Info
The Breastfeeding Network (Search for breastfeeding groups here)

Friday, 21 June 2013

10 Non-Essential Baby Essentials...

Baby shopping is a minefield.

When I was pregnant, I was overwhelmed with the amount of 'stuff' on offer for babies, the different things and different brands. Words like Isofix, movement monitor and grobag become part of your daily vocabulary when you previously had never even heard them. The sheer choice of baby items is unbelievable, with parents and parents-to-be being bombarded with information about what they need.

I read a LOT online during pregnancy, and saw everything from "All you need is a cot, some nappies and 3 babygros" to lists of hundreds of items which I had to have. Being the control freak I am, I made a list of exactly what we needed to get for our little lady (although at the time we didn't know she was a lady!). Luckily, my sister in law is a marvel and not only helped me out with what I needed and didn't, but she also loaned me masses of stuff she used with my nephew, meaning my confusion at the whole baby shopping business was much lessened!

When deciding what to buy for your baby, there are lots of things that people class as "essential". Obviously, some things are totally essential - like somewhere to sleep, something to wear, and something to catch the mess - while other things are more of a luxury. But this is my list of non-essential baby essentials broken into two sections: the first are things not classed as essential by general lists, but things I couldn't have survived without in the last 10 weeks, and the second list are things which are generally on every list as (more or less) essential, and which I think are definitely not! I'm sure many will disagree with my thoughts on the matter!

My "non-essential" essentials:
1. Grobags:  BLANKETS CAUSE SIDS! Well, improper use of blankets (eg too loose) can contribute to the likelihood of SIDS (links to information about SIDS at the end of this post). When I was double and triple checking my SIDS information, I knew I wouldn't feel comfortable using blankets exclusively for Isabelle at night. Grobags are baby sleeping bags which are intended to remove the risk associated with loose blankets, while still keeping baby warm and cosy. These give me peace of mind at night, and are also a lot more convenient that having to replace my champion wriggler's blankets every five minutes!
We use: lots of different brands including the original Grobag and Marks and Spencer sleep bags

2. A car seat rain cover: everybody knows you needs rain cover with your pram/buggy. Everyone knows you can attach your car seat to your travel system. But what do you do when you have the car seat on the pram and it rains? Solution: car seat rain cover. Since I regularly use my car seat on the pram base, and since I live in Northern Ireland and it therefore rains all the time, this has been a live saver. One of the items loaned to me by my sister in law.
We use: Quinny car seat rain cover

3. Movement monitor: there are so many styles and brands of baby monitor out there - from the simple noise monitor, to a video monitor that links to your iPhone. For me, video wasn't so important, but having a monitor which detected Isabelle's movement - and therefore her breathing - is an essential. It gives me peace of mind that she is still breathing while she's in her crib each night. Another item loaned to us by sister in law.
The only downsides: forgetting to turn the alarm off during the night when I get Isabelle out to feed her, setting the alarm off at what seems to be a million decibels, and the paranoia that comes when the monitor doesn't click for 5 seconds and I am convinced Isabelle has stopped breathing. This results in me spending most of my evening with my eyes and ears glued to  the receiver!
We use: Tommy Tippee Suresound

4. A baby bath with an insert: lots of people don't even think a baby bath is essential. My sister in law loaned us her bath (surprise surprise!) which has an insert and 'ridge' in it which means that Isabelle is held securely in the bath without us holding her - leaving us hands free to splash her and shampoo that mega head of hair!
When we used a regular baby bath at my in laws, with no insert, we did almost drown her. This bath is most essential for Isabelle's well being I think - wet babies are slippy as heck!! (Especially if you put baby oil in the bath. I speak from experience...don't do this.)
We use: Fisher Price Ocean Wonders Aquarium

5. Car mirror: where do you think I got this from?! This is a mirror which attaches to the headrest on my back seat, and means I can see Isabelle in her rear facing baby seat just by looking in my rear view mirror. Excellent for checking whether she's asleep yet, or whether I need to keep driving! This really gives me peace of mind when I'm in the car, and means I can keep my beady eye on her at all times!
We use something similar to: Dino Easy View

My only problem with this list? My sister in law is pregnant with number two and is really going to want her stuff back...!

My non-essential "essentials": (things encouraged which I think are a waste of my money!)
1. Cotbeds: I understand the premise of these...but I just don't think they are practical. By the time Isabelle is old enough to be sleeping in a bed, I hope we will be blessed enough to have a second baby on the way. This baby will need the we will need a different bed for Isabelle. So I may as well save my money and buy a cheaper cot now, and a toddler bed later. Especially since cotbeds are very expensive.

2. Wardrobes for nurseries: baby clothes are tiny. They fit in a drawer without even being folded - so why buy a wardrobe and hang clothes in it that will leave a 4ft space beneath them? No point in hanging them to keep them crease free either - Isabelle spends all day on her butt creasing things like mad!

3. Change tables: seemingly, I have just have a hatred of all baby furniture! Change tables are so expensive. Just slap a change mat on a chest of drawers which costs half the price!

All my pet peeves in one room!

4. Bedding sets: these really irritate me. These generally have some sheets in them - which are very useful - along with a blanket and cot bumpers. As mentioned, it is not recommended to use blankets for babies while they are under the age of 1, due to the risk of SIDS. And cot bumpers (solid ones like this) are also not generally recommended for use due to a potential hazard leading to SIDS. Yes, these bedding sets look lovely. But since I can't/won't use half of it, I'd rather save my money.
(There is not yet a proven, solid link between the use of cot bumpers and SIDS. You can also buy mesh cot bumpers which are safer to use, e.g. this)

5. Top and tail bowls: just use regular bowls! Better yet, just use one bowl and make sure you wash the eyes and face before the bum! No need for special bowls at all.

****** Read more about SIDS here, and how to lower the risk of SIDS here ******

Monday, 17 June 2013

10 things that make Izzy Izzy...

Of course, I think that Isabelle is the most wonderful and special girl in the world. I know that she is changing so much all the time, and so wanted to remember all the little things that make her unique during these first few months. That way, when she asks me in years to come what she was like as a baby, I won't forget all the little things that make me smile now.

This is taken from Isabelle's baby book:

10 Things That Make Me Me...

1. My crazy hair (see below)
2. My beautiful smile
3. My 'distinct' cry - I'm LOUD!
4. My insatiable appetite
5. My love of my playmat
6. My horror screams during the night which have scared mum and dad! (Only happened twice!)
7. My love of my pram
8. My super wiggles on my playmat
9. My love of nakey-bum time
10. My chatter and funny faces when I say 'Oooo'

Stay tuned for more 10 things posts....

Friday, 14 June 2013

Things we don't no2 ...

Read about the benefits of using cloth nappies and why I decided they were for us here, and the newest "Thing we don't like" here.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Do tough dog toys really exist?

Look at this dog:

 Doesn't he look like butter wouldn't melt?

Well it would. And when it did, it would be left all over the house for me to clean up. Mr Dexter is what's known in the trade as a "power chewer" ie he can demolish anything that he comes into contact with. I spend most evenings picking up bits of toy from the rug where he likes to do the bulk of his destruction. Last week we were in Norfolk visiting the other side of the family, and Dexter and Roxy were left at Hotel Grandparents. In the past when we've done this, Dexter has destroyed bedding, and even had a nibble on the Sky cable. This time, I spoke to my mum the day we were coming home and she said he had been perfect! Well, it didn't last long as she later found he had chewed a panel off the kennel door...

We spend a lot of money on dog toys trying to keep Dexter and Roxy - who isn't immune to a good chomp herself - amused. Dexter is a big, silly, energetic and boisterous boy, but he is also a very sweet and loving boy. He needs a lot of entertaining or he does naughty things and gets into trouble. Just ask poor Jacob, his favourite little person!

Noticing that their toy box was decidedly bare, Isabelle and I made a journey to Pets at Home yesterday. We spent a lot of time in the toy aisle, picking out some lovely new bits for the dogs. We have to pay close attention to what we buy for D+R, as the normal squeaky plastic toys just don't cut it. Luckily, there is a huge market in "tough toys", designed especially for dogs like Dexter. This is what we came away with, totalling £28. Note the things that made me choose these toys were their promising labels "for your power chewer" "tough toys" "invincible chains".

An hour after giving Dexter and Roxy one toy each, this is what Mr Dexter had done. Yes, those blue and black bits are the "invincible chains" and the green and yellow bits are the "durable" chewer.

Simon always says we could make millions in one of two ways: rent Dexter out as a toy tester (I've looked into this and you have to pay for the privilege) or invent a toy which really is invincible, durable and will stand up to a Labrador's jaws. There are only two toys which have stood the test of Dexter: the Clix Dumbbell and the Nylabone Durachew. (Both of these are on the rug in the picture above)

So this morning, after handing over £28 of my hard earned cash for these toys, I watched Dexter tear them to pieces on the rug, to be picked up later on by yours truly. I'd probably be safer just giving him the money to chew up instead....

Oh and just for comedy, I thought I'd include this: Kong Safestix. When Simon first brought one home I thought he'd been at Ann Summers instead of the pet shop.....

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Falling asleep...Or not.

Sleep is a hot topic of conversation when it comes to babies. It's right up there with poo, but strangers don't usually ask about that! Luckily for us, Isabelle is a pretty great sleeper and has been since day one. She doesn't sleep through the night yet, but to be honest I don't think she is physically capable of going that long yet without food, so it doesn't worry me. She generally naps well during the day...although its sometimes a fight to get her there- watch her fight her morning nap below!
(Or Here if the video doesn't load!)

As I said, we are lucky as Isabelle sleeps. If she didn't, we would be two of millions of parents across the world who tear their hair out each night trying to get little one to sleep, and to stay asleep. There is a multi-million pound industry in 'helping' these parents, with books, sleep aids and even DVDs and courses to help people train their children to sleep better.

But some kids just don't sleep. My glorious nephew just turned 2. And my brother and sister in law are only now beginning to enjoy an almost full night of sleep. Jacob didn't sleep. And no amount of 'training' could help him. He comes from two parents who didn't sleep (karma?!) and is simply a little boy who does not require much sleep - why waste time sleeping when there are worms to dig for? My sister in law dealt with this lack of sleep admirably. I'm sure she wanted to murder us every time we asked how he was sleeping. She tried everything she could - implementing bedtime routine, using a dummy, using white noise and even dabbled in controlled crying, all to no avail. But, eventually and in his own time, Jacob slept.

Jacob prepared Simon and I for the worst when Isabelle came along, but we had nothing to worry about. Since she came home from hospital she has slept well in her crib, and in the last 5 weeks has been known to do 5, 6, 7 or even 8 hour stretches of sleep. So why is she such a "good" sleeper? What's our secret? It's Isabelle. She is just a baby who sleeps, and that's that!

Of course, not every night is so wonderful, and at 9 weeks her sleep is still very changeable. She slept 8 hours last night, I doubt we'll get that tonight. We do do some things to help her get to sleep each night to try and get some consistency.

1. Bed time routine
This is simple. Izzy wakes from her pre-bedtime nap (the irony) anytime between 7 and 7.30pm. We take her upstairs and she plays with us on her playmat for as long as she wants. Depending on her mood that can be anywhere between 20minutes and an hour. Every second night, we cut that short and she has a bath. After playtime/bath time, Isabelle is fed in the rocking chair in her room, and I read her a story and sing her the same 5 songs (Twinkle Twinkle, You Are My Sunshine, My Bonnie, This Little Light of Mine and Edelweiss in case you're interested!) then she is put into her bed.

2. Her bed
Isabelle goes into her Mothercare swinging crib after the above, no matter what. If she is asleep, awake, half awake or screaming, she goes in. She is used to her crib, and she seems to like it (big hate for a Moses basket mind you), and she is obviously comfortable there.

3. Her sleep aids
We have a 'noise maker' for Isabelle which was actually bought by me for Jacob (it didn't work!) which is actually a Prince Lionheart Slumber Bear, although we took the noise maker out and have it in the cot separately. This plays a heartbeat and white noise, and I put it on every night, and then every time I put her back down after a night feed. She also has a Twilight Ladybird Nightlight which I also put on every time she is put into her crib. I've no idea if these help really...but I won't be taking them away anytime soon.

So, we try our best to keep bedtime the same every night - around the same time, the exact same routine and, for the most part, it seems to work. Of course we have our bad nights when it takes an hour and a half to get her to sleep, or when she wakes up every two hours to be fed, but these are the exception rather than the rule. Overall, we are very lucky.

And when strangers say "oh surviving without the sleep?" We can always look smug and reply that, actually, our baby sleeps very well. No doubt the next one will be Jacob 2....

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Playtime with Izzy

High up on my extensive list of baby items we needed were two toys which I was adamant we buy before birth: a playmat and a bouncer. Just towards the end of my pregnancy I had a mini panic that we had NO TOYS for our baby, and we went that day to have a look.

There are a lot of toys marketed as "Suitable from birth" or "0-6 months". Obviously we concentrated on these, and eventually settled on just two things. But, despite being marketed as suitable for a newborn, I'm yet to be convinced that most of these toys are. Isabelle is now 2 months, and toys are not top of her list of priorities! So here is my guide to newborn toys which are really worth the investment.

1. A playmat
Miss Isabelle adores her playmat. She has been using it since she was just two weeks old, and it forms an important part of  her morning and evening routine. There are hundreds of playmats on the market, to suit all price ranges. We bought a really cheap one from Asda Direct for £20. It has four hanging toys on a cross arch, and poppers up at the sides to create a 'pouch' for little ones to eliminate draughts. I can also use it when she is bigger for tummy time, as the mat itself is bright and has a mirror on it for that purpose.

You can also go high end on your playmat and get something like the popular Fisher Price Rainforest Playmat which has music, moving butterflies and flashing lights. Again, the bright mat and features like the 'crinkly leaf' mean it is able to be used for tummy time as well.

2. A bouncer
Read about my big love for our bouncer on the "Things we love, things we don't" page! Again, this is something we've used from birth and which there is a huge range of available options to choose from. Our bouncer was relatively cheap at around £40, but you can get them much cheaper if your budget is smaller.
Something like the Bright Starts Sunny Safari is bright and fun looking, while coming in at under £20.

Or, at the top end of bouncers there is the MAGIC astro bouncer which prices in at a hefty £129. For your money you do get mp3 compatibility to play soothing music to your little one, interactive kick pads, flashing lights and storage pockets. There are "cards" available to buy separately which you insert and they play songs and light shows specific to the card.

The next set of toys are not what I would describe as suitable from birth, but they things Isabelle has shown an interest in over the last 2/3 weeks.

3. Tummy time aids
Tummy time is an important part of a newborn routine, allowing them to have time off their back to alleviate the chance of Flat Head Syndrome, and also to allow them a chance to work different muscles and develop their movement.
We have the Mamas and Papas Tummy Time Activity Roll which was recommended by another mummy. It has lots of different toys attached, as well as a mirror, and it plays a tune. It's great for tummy time while Isabelle can't hold up her own head and needs that extra support, and I can see her using it even when she is sitting up and walking. Not bad for £18.50.

There are also specific playmats which are elevated at one end to allow tummy time, like the Mamas and Papas Tummy Time Octopus which is more expensive, but combines both a playmat and newborn tummy time!

4. Lamaze Toys
The Lamaze toys are wonderful as they are so bright and colourful. We have the Musical inchworm, a colourful and noisy block and have just ordered the Wrist rattle and foot finders. Isabelle loves the different textures and sounds which the Lamaze toys are famous for, so they are great for sensory play, and she will get good use out of them all as she grows. They are also pretty reasonably priced, and there are so many choices there is something for everyone!
Check out their stuff here: Lamaze

Enjoy your playtime!

Things we love no.1

Head to the "Things we love, things we don't" page to find out which baby item I couldn't survive without... And one thing Isabelle and I aren't so fond of!

Also check out the "cloth bum mum" page to find out how I started my journey using MCN (and find out what MCN means!)

My style of parenting; crunch crunch

I never thought I would turn out to be a 'crunchy' momma. In fact, until a few weeks ago I didn't even know what 'crunchy' meant unless referring to crisps, so imagine my surprise when I found out I was kind of in that crew.

According to Urban Dictionary a crunchy mom is "A mother who supports homebirth, breastfeeding, baby wearing, cloth diapering, co-sleeping, gentle discipline, etc. One who questions established medical authority; tends to be vegetarian and/or prepare all-organic foods."

Ok, so I don't fit into all of that. I don't question medical authority - in fact Isabelle is getting her first jabs today. And home birth is not for me - imagine all the mess afterwards. But I breastfeed, baby wear, cloth diaper, co-sleep for a few hours each morning and am pretty much a veggie.

Much of that isn't stuff I ever thought of doing before getting pregnant. I thought babywearers were slightly insane, and hadn't given a single thought to cloth. But researching things while pregnant, I ended up convincing Simon we would use cloth, and he was the one who wanted to baby wear. Of course, I am not totally crunchy - I am part of the plastic toy buying, naughty step using crew as well, but for me, it's all about balance, and the scales seem to be tipped towards crunchy!

So here we are, crunching our way through Isabelle's first months. More on each of my crunchy ways in the near future...

Welcome to The Natural Momma in Me

For as long as I can remember I've only wanted one thing: a family. Even before I met my husband in 2007 (although there is controversy over that date!) it was top of my list of priorities. Luckily, my brilliant husband Simon is from the same school of thought. We got married in 2011, and decided to start our family straight away.
It wasn't an easy journey, but in April 2013 we were made a family when Miss Isabelle joined our lives.
This blog is all about our life together, things we do, good times and bad times, things we use, and how it feels to be a momma to the most beautiful girl in the world!

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