Please Look After This Pudding – Off to the Childminder

It’s Puddings first day settling in with her new childminder today. I spent a long time looking at childcare for her. As a parent it’s so difficult to hand over your precious little baby to some one else. To trust that they will provide the same standard of care that you do. In truth my new childminder will probably give Pud more time and attention than I do. She won’t be flying all over the place, trying to sort the house out and get the food shop done!

The lady that will be caring for Pud seems to share my child-raising values. I think that’s what really clinched the deal for me. Not just the hundreds of qualifications or the beautiful set up in her home. She’s a sensible, practical person like myself. Not overly mumsy or fussy. I know she will care for Pud in a way that is similar to my own mothering style. She won’t wrap her in cotton wool or make her into a pampered princess. Most of all she doesn’t make me feel like I am a ‘bad’ mum for going back to work.

Making the decision to go back to work full-time will have a huge impact on all of us. For me personally it is giving me back my drive and passion. I believe it will make me a better mother. Having an outlet for my myself will enable me to enjoy the children more. Rather than feeling, as I often do, that I am a slave to their every need, with no time for myself. Is that selfish? Possibly. But as much as I love them, my children do not define who I am as a woman.

Don’t get me wrong, handing Pud to the childminder this morning was tough. Not for Pudding, but for me. As I drove away I couldn’t help but feel that this was the end of a chapter in my life and Puddings’. No longer will we be girls together all week while Pie is at school. She will be out on her own adventures, learning new things from another person who isn’t me. Undoubtedly I will miss those first steps that I have been waiting for these last few weeks. I probably won’t hear her first proper word. It makes me sad. But I also know that in the long term this will be good for her. She will get to socialise with other kids and learn to trust other people.

I know I have picked the right person to look after my little Pudding. When I go back to collect her in a couple of hours she will I am sure have had a lovely time. In the meantime I am going to try to swallow that mummy guilt. Drink a hot coffee and enjoy a deep bath (without the addition of plastic toys…) We will enjoy our last full week together and then get ready to embark on a new big adventure. We might not be hand in hand all the time but at least we will be walking in the same direction.

6 Ways to Support Your Premature Baby in The NICU

No publisher ID given

For most people the birth of a premature baby is a shock. It is a whole new world you are stepping into and it can be pretty daunting. Your tiny fragile baby, in a large plastic incubator, surrounded by wires and tubes. Sometimes it can feel as though your baby is unreachable. You can feel helpless and unable to be the parent you had anticipated. It is ok, these feelings are natural. Being separated from your baby is one of the hardest things any parent can go through. But there are things you can do that can really help to support your preemie.

To your baby the outside world is a loud scary place. The only sound that will be truly familiar is your voice. Talk to your premature baby, hold him and soothe him. He is just as frightened as you are, you need each other to complete this journey. Have a look at the infographic below for some ideas of what you as parents can do to help your premature baby through this difficult time.

These are simple ideas to help you bond as a family and look after each other. If you need more support or want to talk to people who know how you feel have a look at the BLISS website. This fantastic charity has been supporting parents of premature babies for many years and they really understand the emotional ups and downs of having a preemie.

Want to know a bit about what the nurses in the Neonatal Unit do? Check out our post on the Day in The Life of a NICU Nurse.

No publisher ID given

New Year is Here! Are you ready for your New Arrival? 5 Beautiful Nursery Ideas from Murals Wallpaper

So Christmas is nearly here and before you know it January will be knocking on the door. Now that New Year is round the corner the birth of your little bundle of joy is suddenly looking a lot closer. You have dreamed about the pram, picked out a few sleep suits and got the all important first stuffed bear. But the nursery? Oh you have thought about it but nothing quite lives up to all you dream of. You want a perfect room, a beautifully neutral space to enjoy with your new arrival. Somewhere to sit and feed, cosy but uncluttered. A space for everything and everything in its place.

So for your planning pleasure I have teamed up with Murals Wallpaper to bring you 5 beautiful nursery ideas.

Starry Night

Gorgeously neutral and chic, this simple theme of grey and white creates the perfect place for your new arrival to catch those needed zzzzs. I love the mixture of stars and hearts. Teamed with simple white furniture the Mural Wallpaper creates a modern nursery that will grow with your baby.

Cloud Illusions

A pale pallet of soft pinks and blues, keeps this nursery beautifully neutral. Simplistic cloud patterns will brighten even those dull grey February days, leaving you calm and relaxed. Again crisp white furniture helps bring this Murals Wallpaper alive – keeping the room feeling fresh and inviting.

Tweet Dreams

Know you are expecting a special little lady? This stunning woodland design complete with birds and owls is perfect. Elegant and fun with lots of things for little ones to look at as they grow up. This paper creates a brilliant nursery and captures imaginations as babies grow. A few girly accessories and some cute bunting will set this Mural Wallpaper off wonderfully.

All the Leaves Are

Another more feminine idea with this stunning leaf drop paper. Beautifully colourful yet subtle. A quirky pattern that will remind you of all the seasons. This Murals Wallpaper is right on trend, but trendy doesn’t have to mean uncomfortable like those pre-pregnancy shoes you craved! This nursery gives off a warm glow, a cosy feeling of nights spent curled up with baby. The pattern has so much going on that a just a few accessories are all that is needed to complete the look.

Nordic Nuance

Ah have you been dreaming of those clear cut nordic lines in your nursery? Its understandable but sometimes minimalistic can feel a little cold. This paper from Murals Wallpaper brings the gorgeous nordic colours and prints with a twist of cute fun. Clean and bright this nursery is perfect for baby boys and growing boys.

Fallen in love with these ideas? Or perhaps you think you have some great designs of your own. Mural Wallpaper can create wallpaper from your own uploaded images. Does a nursery get any more personal than that? Have a look at the Mural Wallpaper website for further details.

*DISCLAIMER – This is a collaborative post with Mural Wallpaper. All thoughts and opinion are my own. All images are from Mural Wallpaper*

To My Baby Now You Are One

Dearest Pudding,

Today you turned one. It has been a year since a nurse laid you on me and I met you for that first time. My squashed, slightly potato shaped Pudding. I knew I loved you before I saw you. But once I could feel you on my skin, see your face and feel your hand clasp round mine, I knew I would love you forever. My troll haired Pud. You have completed our family. We are now the awesome, foursome.Mummy Tag

It hasn’t been easy. I can’t deny there were times when I thought the PND would beat me. Would drag me down, tear our family apart. You wouldn’t let it – your smile got me through those darkest of days. Knowing you needed me kept me fighting. You will never know how low I felt in those early days of your life. You saved me Pud, saved me from myself.

I don’t know how a year has passed this fast. What a crazy year it has been. My little squashed potato you have blossomed into an independent little diva. The troll hair remains but that helpless newborn has gone. I remember those early cuddles, you curled into my neck. Fast asleep on my chest. Long gone are those days. Now I am lucky to get more than a passing wave as you crawl off on your next mischief-making adventure!

You are the cutest little thing right now. You always wake with a smile and a giggle. I love walking into your room and finding you babbling to your bears. You are an adventurous, plucky little lady. Forever climbing the stairs and diving off the sofa head first. The sausage dog loves you. She totally dotes on your every move, rolling over to allow you to stroke her tummy. Suffering you sitting on her and pulling her ears. You two are thick as thieves as she sits under your highchair scoffing scraps!

I know your brother has loved you from the beginning. But today watching you together as he helped with your presents I felt so proud. I knew then how much you loved each other. How important you are to each other. I know you two will fight, I know it won’t always be a rose garden. That’s ok, it’s what you do with your siblings – but just try not wind him up too much. I can already see he is going to be the sensitive one out of the two of you.

So now you are one my gorgeous Pudding. What excitement will the next 12 months bring? I don’t know for sure. What I do know is that this year has gone so fast. I can almost feel the time running through my fingers like sand. I want to catch it. To stop it, to have one more sleepy cuddle with you. One more moment listening to you babble. I know you have to grow-up, that you will continue to amaze me every day as you do so. But I will treasure this year in my memory. Remind myself of how you felt curled against my skin in the delivery room. For now though my Pud, you are one and to you my darling Happy Birthday.

Love Mummy x

A Day in The Life of a NICU Nurse

No publisher ID given

‘Oh wow what a lovely job, cuddling babies all day’ says a Mum when I tell her that I am a NICU nurse. Well yes it is, a great job. A privilege and a huge responsibility. But it’s also an emotional roller coaster. Knowing the life of these delicate babies is often held in my hands.

The NICU can be a loud busy place. Walking through the door you are often met with a barrage of alarms and a flurry of activity. Not all mornings start like that, sometimes there is time to take a breath. But other days you hit the ground running. These little people have you on the hop before you even begin. Such fragile little things that even the most stable on the unit can take a turn for the worse in the blink of an eye. I watch them like a hawk, respond to their needs. Turn them, snuggle them into tiny nests. Providing comfort care when the outside world all becomes too much for their preemie brains to take.

I watch in wonderment as their tiny bodies fight to maintain themselves. Encouraging their parents, supporting them in this most trying of times. Comforting their families as we ride this roller coaster together. The ups and downs of being born to soon. I explain the technical interventions required to keep their precious baby breathing and growing.

I Spend time with Mum, enable her to hold even the sickest of babies. Calm her when her breast milk starts to dry up through the stress of being in the NICU. Feeding her baby is one of her most important roles, but it’s not easy. She is in the unit every day, keeping her vigil by the bedside, she won’t eat properly or sleep properly. Feeling guilty, desperate and alone – my support to her is almost as critical as that to her baby. Bonds are created with families, they are trusting you with the most precious thing in their lives.

The ward round comes and the doctors make their plans. Plans that effect the whole family. Mostly there is hope but sometimes there is none. Hard decisions are made. Babies and their families keep coming. Some have completed their journey and we are waving them out the door. Home to a normal life, after the longest of roads travelled. Others are moving elsewhere requiring treatments we cannot provide or stepping down to local units. Completing that final phase of feeding and growing.

Of course there are cuddles. A break from the routine of caring for the sickest babies. A quick snuggle with a feed whilst Mum gets some rest. It is short-lived. The page has gone another baby needs the team. We race down the corridor, emergency bag in hand. Sometimes we know what to expect when we arrive. We know that this is a premature baby that will require our support. Other times it’s a term baby who hasn’t delivered as expected. The adrenaline rushes through your veins, it’s not excitement, it is a fight or flight response. I am trained for this, technically I know what needs to be done. But I never feel relaxed, this young life deserves my all, the best of my abilities. This family is counting on us.

There are times when as a team we are shocked to the core after events. You can’t help but become emotionally involved with these tiny babies and their families. Whilst everyone maintains their professionalism, ultimately it is the compassion and empathy that we feel that makes us the doctors and nurses we are. In the hardest of circumstances we are there for each other, who else could understand what this job does to a person? Tea and coffee are drunk by the bucket load and biscuits are consumed in vast quantities.


Yes this job is a privilege. It can be both beautiful and terrifying in equal measure. Watching these babies grow, flourish and eventually go home with their parents is one of the most satisfying parts. The journey is hard, for everyone. As a nurse it is technically challenging and emotionally wearing. I can’t imagine doing it without the amazing team of doctors and nurses around me.

After 12 long hours the day is finished. Notes are written, babies are tucked into their beds. But the NICU doesn’t sleep. The next shift is here. Their turn to ride this train. Continually watching, responding, comforting and caring for the babies and their families. For me its time to return to my own family, to try to decompress from the events of the day. Do I spend the day cuddling babies? Sometimes; but there is a lot more to a day in the life of a NICU nurse.

No publisher ID given

Beautiful Organic Baby Clothes From Babies with Love

Here at Pudding HQ we love getting our hands on the latest gorgeous organic baby clothes. It was with great pleasure then that we agreed to review the beautiful new range launched at From Babies with Love. Just like us From Babies with Love think that super soft organic cotton is the way forward for dressing your precious little bundles. But what I love about From Babies with Love is that every purchase you make helps support abandoned children through a donation to SOS Children. Gorgeous, super soft clothes and support for a worthy cause, how can you not fall for From Babies with Love?

babies-with-love

We were sent a simply printed romper suit and matching hat for Pudding to try. I was immediately struck by the quality of the cotton. It really is super soft, I almost wish they did this in an adult size! Unfortunately my model has been less than gorgeous these last two weeks. But you can catch her in her romper over on Instagram later this week.

babies-with-love-2

The French Grey Little Kisses romper was generously sized. Our little Pud is on the petite size, so the 6-12 month romper has plenty of space for her. This beautiful starry romper is the perfect mix of class and sophistication for this time of year. Whilst being both comfortable against the skin and giving back to others less fortunate. A festive purchase that really takes on board the meaning of Christmas.

The whole Autumn/Winter collection is fabulous, From Babies with Love have produced some exquisite items. And knowing how cosy the romper is that we have reviewed, I would have no hesitation in recommending these:

groups_penguin_kisses-edited

I think that From Babies with Love is not only producing lovely soft, organic baby clothes but is also bringing a little bit of extra love to those babies who are not as lucky. By supporting From Babies with Love we can as parents open our arms out to little ones, who through know fault of their own, need our love and support.

Fallen in love with From Babies with Love? Why not check them out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

 

*DISCLAIMER We received the items From Babies With Love free of charge in order to conduct this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own*

Puddings Gift Guide 2016: Messy-Me Takes the Stress out of Mess

Ah the weaning stage! How as parents we love it, watching those little people stuff food in there mouths ears, nose, eyebrows… Yes you and I both know that getting the food actually in to the child can be a bit a of a challenge! Still its all part of the fun right? So long as the clear up operation afterwards is not to onerous. Well let me introduce to you the marvel that is Messy-Me.

img_3400

These beautiful oil-cloth products are not only wipe clean, parent friendly items but they also look super stylish as well. No more day-glo bibs and high seat covers, your babies feeding station can blend in with the decor. Even if last nights spaghetti it still hanging off the ceiling!

Messy-Me offer a wide range of items from floor mats to help protect the carpet, tunic style bibs for those super messy eaters and comfy inserts for your high chair. Now Pudding is as most of our regular reader will know, a bit of a foodie. She loves it, and I have to say she is not too messy because she wouldn’t ever want to waste anything that could be eaten!  With this in mind I opted to review the gorgeous inserts for her high chair and one of the bibs. Although I spent a long time browsing the Messy-Me site and marvelling at all the lovely things on there.

img_3298

The bib and the insert arrived super quick. I was immediately struck by the quality of the Messy-Me products. The oil-cloth was really soft and you could tell it had been well manufactured. The insert was lovely, all soft and squishy. Perfect for getting Pudding to sit a bit longer at the table after she has finished stuffing her face.

img_3299

I picked a print that is called Vintage Floral on the Messy-Me site. A beautiful feminine print, just perfect for Pudding. I hoped it would add a touch of class to her eating. Unfortunately it hasn’t and she still resembles a piglet that has fallen into a bowl of tomato soup most meal times… Still at least the bib itself is very easy to clean!

Messy-Me have some fabulous items, not only are they useful they are beautiful looking and made to a really high standard. If you are buying for a weaning Mum & baby this Christmas you should definitely consider these. You can order them here, prices start from £7.99.

petite-puddings-christmas-gift-guide

DISCLAIMER – We received the bib and high chair insert courtesy of Messy-Me in order to conduct this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

Crikey Child! What is wrong with your face?! – An Allergic Reaction

So this weekend both Mr Pud and I had to work so Pudding and Pie were left in the care of the grandparents. Now I don’t know who was most excited about this! Suffice to say the grandparents had lots planned and the kids looked like they were plotting a pretty amazing rampage of their own.


Off we went then 7am Sunday morning feeling more than a little miffed to be missing out on the fun. They all had a great day – and some lovely food at a local bistro. Mr Pud noticed when he rang at tea time that Pud had a red face. We put it down to teething and thought no more about it.
When we got back the kids were in bed. My mother in law mentioned that Pudding’s face was very red but that she was happy. I had a quick look at her in the cot but was initially unconcerned. After waving off the grandparents and assuring them all was fine we ordered a pizza ready to settle on the couch together. Mr Pud was a bit concerned about Pud so we decided to get her up and just check her for a rash anywhere else. We are meningitis neurotics any sight of a rash and I am getting glass out!
Well we woke her. She was chuffed to see us. I can only say I didn’t share her joy! My poor child looked like she had gone 5 rounds with Tyson!! Her face was bright red and her eyes were so swollen she could barely open her eyelids. Despite looking like something out of a horror movie she still smiled…

Even as nurses we were pretty shocked at how bad she looked. It was clear that she was having an allergic reaction to something. We got some input from one of our doctor friends and called the 111 NHS service. We were advised to take her into A&E. Inwardly I groaned, having already been at the hospital 13 hours this was the last thing I wanted to do. But dutifully I packed a bag and picked up my puffy Pud, I crossed the threshold as the pizza arrived!

A&E was manic as I knew it would be. Poor Pud had no idea what was going on. But despite being dragged out in the middle of the night she took it really well. She was smiling and waving at people. This was met with a mixture of horror and compassion. Poor little girl did look awful! Finally after a few hours we were seen, a quick dose of Piriton and we headed home. Tired but no worse for our little adventure.

This morning Pudding looks ok, apart from being angry about lack of sleep. A bit red-cheeked still but most of the swelling has gone down. It was scary was even with our backgrounds, we didn’t know if she would get any worse or what was causing her to have an allergic reaction. The cupboard is now stocked with Piriton and I am trying not to monitor every thing she eats or touches.

Ant one else experienced anything similar? How do you deal with allergic reactions?

Pudding’s Gift Guide 2016: Rozee Cheeks Boutique

If you are one of our regular readers you will know that we love boutiques at Petite Pudding. No Christmas gift guide would be complete without mentioning some of our recent finds and we think that Rozee Cheeks is a gem!

Rozee Cheeks is A US-based boutique which specialise in organic clothes. We love all the prints from these guys. This great blanket by Penguin with red penguin-print is no exception. Made from super soft organic cotton, its perfect for naptime and playtime.

img_3230

We think the matching red penguin-print romper is super cute as well. The kimono wrap style is gorgeous. The romper is also made out of organic cotton and feels great against babies skin. Full of festive cheer but still wearable in January!

img_3232 img_3234

The whole range on Rozee Cheeks is stunning. From beautiful girly summer rompers to warm pure cotton sleep suits there is something for every baby. Most importantly all the items are 100% organic. Which means not only are they super soft but that the manufacturing process is also less harsh on the environment.

Go over and check out Rozee Cheeks and their beautiful items. If you are Stateside make sure you check out their fab collaboration with Bala Yoga and enter the competition to win $150 of goodies!

petite-puddings-christmas-gift-guide

DISCLAIMER: This is a collaborative post with Rozee Cheeks. All opinions are our own.

 

Similac Follow-On Milk Review: The Proof Is In The Pudding!

Now those of you who are regulars on the blog will know that Pudding is a foodie, she loves her grub. This is possibly telling in the size of her thighs. But milk, well that she is not to fussed about. In fact in all honesty it can turn into a battle at bottle time! So when we were offered the chance of trying a new follow-on milk I jumped at the chance.

Similac Follow-On Formula
The Similac Follow-On milk is prepared in a similar way to all other formula milks in that you need to wait 30 minutes for the kettle to cool before making the milk. This was not a problem for us, as Pudding has her milk about the same time every day. So I could get organised before she got grumpy!

I was slightly thrown the first time I came to prepare Similac Follow-On milk. With our usual follow on milk it is one scoop of powder to 30mls of water. The Similac formula uses one scoop to 60mls of water. This was actually easier for us as Pudding only ever drinks 180mls of milk so it was much quicker to scoop out the milk. It also meant I didn’t get distracted and forget how many scoops I had put in. I would say that the only real problem was that the tin did not provide a scoop level so it was a bit tricky to ensure the scooped amount was correct.

img_3177

Because Pudding is such a great eater I don’t worry too much about how much milk she drinks in a day. What I love about Similac Follow-On milk is that I know she is getting all those extra vitamins and minerals. The Similac Follow-On milk includes vitamin A and C as well as calcium, vitamin D and iron. In addition to this the milk is palm oil free and suitable for vegetarian, Kosher and Halal diets. As a Mum I feel reassured that on those days where she is teething and not into solid food as much that the Follow-On milk will provide her with everything a growing baby needs.


I liked the design of the tin, I think it keeps the milk fresher as the lid seal is tight. The instructions for making the formula were really easy to follow. I did however miss not having a scoop leveller. The tin was also a winner when it was empty. It could be used as a drum or  in our case chased all over the laminate flooring!

So what did my fussy Pudding think of Similac Follow-On milk? Well I was actually pleasantly surprised. I made up her usual 6oz of milk and handed her the beaker. Usually she takes a couple of sips and then rolls over and shuffles off to play. Sometimes it can take up to an hour and quite a lot of protesting to get her to drink enough. But after the first few mouthfuls of the Similac Follow-On milk she kept right on drinking, finishing the whole 6oz without stopping!

img_3178
I have to say I wasn’t convinced that it wasn’t just that she was particularly thirsty at that time. But she then did exactly the same thing every time she had milk for the whole day. No messing about, just laid back and drank her milk straight off. I can only assume that she really liked the Similac Follow-On milk. The proof as the saying goes is in the Pudding.

I would certainly consider continuing to use Similac in the future. Although that is dependent on how easy it is to buy locally. I am hoping that my local Boots will stock it. It made a nice change to see Pudding enjoying her milk. I wouldn’t have any hesitation in recommending it to other parents, especially if their little one is a bit fussy with their milk.

Important notice: Breastfeeding is best for babies and is recommended for as long as possible during infancy. Breastfeeding provides many benefits to both mother and baby. It is difficult to reverse the decision not to breastfeed. We recommend that you speak to your healthcare professional for advice on how to feed your baby.


 DISCLAIMER: I have been sponsored by Similac to try Similac Follow On Milk and write about it on my blog. All opinions are my own.