Get To Know Me…

This is is a little post I wanted to do so you guys can really get to know me more. I love sharing my life with you all on insta so I thought I would share more on the blog with you and hopefully you like me even more after reading this 😉 {I try to be funny, that’s one thing to know about me}

So here are some things about me –

Just incase your totally new here, I’m Rachael, 26, mum of two boys, Jude who is 2.8 years and Jesse who is 5 months. I live in the UK and have done all my life & here’s a little more about me…

• I’m not 100% vegan…I’m more 99%…the 1% is that I’m REALLY struggling to give up galaxy chocolate..I mean, who doesn’t love galaxy chocolate 🙃 but other than that I’m total vegan 🌱🙌🏻

• My zodiac sign is Taurus – my birthday is the 29th April. I’ll be 27! I can’t believe that 🙈 I still feel like I’m 18 sometimes then I catch myself in the mirror & I’m like 😱 when did you get this old 🤔 feel like I blinked and I’m nearly 30 but they say your 30’s are your best years so roll on 30 {just not too quickly}

• My fears are drowning {in a shark infested sea 😂} & anything terrible happening to my children doesn’t even bare to think about!

• I moved into my own home on 31st October 2017 {it was such a nightmare 🤦🏻‍♀️}

• Some Things I love are sunshine, the smell of horses {horse shit really}, a really good book & a really good horror movie {josh is a wimp and hates horrors 😂}

• Last song I listened to was ‘Wild Love’ by James Bay. It’s so good!!

• Jude wasn’t planned but I wouldn’t have it any other way & Jesse was planned.

• I started blogging when I was actually 18 after seeing zoella’s blog {I was actually one of her very first subscribers to her blog and YouTube, that makes me feel old 🙈} but I’ve only really taken it more seriously since having Jesse

• I Blog because I want to inspire people and help people and fellow mama’s and papa’s out

• I LOVE learning new things all about diet, health, veganism & kids development etc

• I’m obsessed with good documentaries {especially on Netflix}

• I have a horse, barney whom I’ve had since he was 6 & he’s now nearly 12!

• I spend pretty much every evening that I don’t go to the Yard in my pyjamas {once the boys are asleep} with a tea and eat as many Oreo cookies as I like {literally stuff my face 👍🏻} and watch trashy tele on E4 or Netflix..I clearly have such an exciting life these days 🤣

• I actually do a happy dance {with cheering arms} when both the boys are asleep 💃🏻

• I don’t like my body naked but I plan on changing that this year 💪🏻

• I’ve been with Josh for 5 years this summer. We met through a mutual friend, I wasn’t interested at all but he wouldn’t stop pestering me for ages and the rest is history

• We love love love to holiday! We’re off on holiday in June with our best friends for a week to Ibiza…don’t get too exited…it’s to a kids hotel 🤣 as long as the babies are happy, I’m happy {but would still love to go Ibiza on a baby free weekend 👯‍♀️🍹🍸🥂}

• I’m a terrible dancer & I have to be totally wasted before I get up on the dance floor. I’m a terrible singer for that matter as well 🙈

• I’m a teacher for the underprivileged children {mostly naughty kids & ones that have been in prison etc} it’s a tough & challenging job but I’ve done it for 5 years now and I love it & think it’s really rewarding helping young people turn their lives around 🤗

• I don’t actually have a lot of friends but the friends I have are all I need 💛 {you know who you are guys 😉}

• I really want to meet new people and challenge myself with my blog and YouTube.

• I’m super exited for my future!!

• I don’t like to think about the past. It never does any good.

• I’m currently reading the gentle discipline book which I’m loving! & have a load of books lined up to read! {I’ll probably be dead before I get to finish all of them 🤣}

• Sometimes I feel like the only word I say all day is ‘No’ 🙄 that’s motherhood, some days it’s all sunshine and rainbows and the next day it’s all ‘shits hit the fan’ and all your parenting skills are straight out the window 🙈😂

• My celebrity crush is Josh Duhamal 😍 {from safe haven} total stud muffin that man!!

• Potty training is the Bain of my life 😷

• I really want to go to Bora Bora {I would literally die if I ever got to go there}

• I would like to have 4 children some day {I would love a girl}

• One of my favourite quotes is from one of my favourite moves….

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

– H. Jackson Brown Jr, P.S. I Love You

• I’m a sucker for a beautiful romance film {anything from Nichols Sparks is a winner} I mean, who doesn’t cry when they watch the ‘The Notebook’ & who’s heart isn’t racing when they watch ‘Dear John’ & I love love love ‘The Best Of Me’ & ‘Me Before You’ had me on floods…I couldn’t stop crying like a baby! The list goes on…

• I’ve recently started to meditate & do yoga {& actual exercise, I mean I move more than just when I’m running after Jude now haha 🙈}

• I’ve also recently just discovered the Buddhism way of life & I’m so intrigued by it! It seems amazing & I really want to educate myself more on it & practice it myself

• One day I hope there is world peace ✌🏼 & harmony 🌎 {I also hope to live in Hawaii but i think I have as much chance of that happening as world peace happening}

So there you have it guys! I hope he’s made you feel a little more like you know me 🤗 anymore questions just ask in the comments & also if you don’t already then do follow me on insta as I share a lot of my life on there too ♥️

Namaste 🙏🏼

Bambinomio Cloth Nappies…

Ok so when you first think of cloth nappies you probably think ‘no way!’ Or ‘what a palaver they are when you can get disposables for “cheaper” & throw them in the bin’ I totally get that, I had them thoughts too until I actually used the Bambinomio cloth nappies! Honestly they have totally changed my life {nappy wise that is}

So starting from the beginning…I was kindly sent a beautiful starter pack of the ‘MIOSOLO All In One’ cloth nappies form bambinomio to try out and review. I was given 3 nappies, a changing mat, liners & an extra durable mioboost insert to try out. Now before I tried these out I did try out the Gnappies {they are a more USA based cloth nappy company} with Jude when he was a baby. Jude was the WETTEST baby ever when it came to nappies and the poopiest baby ever so I really felt that the Gnappies just weren’t cutting it for me & so I turned to disposable nappies and never looked back until now..the bambinomio nappies are a game changer & in my opinion are just totally amazing!! Here are some reasons why I love to use them…

• they are eco friendly to the planet 🌏 think all the less plastic you’ll be using from not buying disposables that come wrapped in plastic every time you buy a pack {and the plastic bag you probably use to put them in to leave the shop..sooo much plastic which is so unnecessary}

• You use the same size nappy from birth to potty training…I used one for Jesse and one for Jude and they fit both of them totally fine! This really is amazing in my opinion!! Literally you will be saving so much money! {who doesn’t want to save their pennies where they can}

• The ‘miosolo all in one nappy’ is water resistant on the outside so is amazing for active babies, the fabric is sooo soft it’s crazy, It’s like silk!

• They also sell swim nappies {I have bought a few of these for our holiday this year for Jude and Jesse}

• They come in lots of pretty patterns..like really pretty patterns {I just want them all 🙈}

• They are super easy to wash & come up looking like brand new {& smelling super fresh}

• You can buy the bambinomio natural laundry powder for the nappies, it is non biological, natural and biodegradable made from plant and mineral based ingredients, no dyes or synthetic perfumes & suitable for sensitive skin…how amazing is all of that!!

• You can add the mioboost booster pads {these are amazing} the booster can absorbed several times its own weight! Trust me when I say it definitely can do this!!

• You can use extra nappy liners that are 100% natural and biodegradable! They can even be used with the swim nappies! They are made from 100% PLA {derived from cornstarch} they retain solids to help reduce soiling of your nappy & designed to repel water keeping your baby dry and comfortable!

• They also have a potty training range of pants which I have just bought a bunch of for Jude as I want to try & have him potty trained soon {but only when he’s ready…which is hopefully real soon 🙈}

• They also sell a bundle of other accessories for the nappies like wipes and baby nappy bag etc as well as swaddle blankets etc

So when I first used the nappy, in all honestly, I didn’t have much hope that I would actually work well & be as easy as disposables BUT I was honestly shocked at how durable and how easy they are to use!! Jesse’s bambinomio will stay on him for a good 4/5 hours before he needs changing whereas the disposable would only last me around 2/3 hours at most! Also I’ve noticed that since using the cloth nappies he doesn’t have that horrible pee pee smell when I take his nappy off & also he doesn’t actually smell when he’s nappy is wet, like with disposables. They are also so gentle on his skin, as he has rather sensitive skin like most babies do, & these don’t make his little tummy have any redness at all, Jesse seems super comfy in them! I use the extra mioboost boost pad at night time and he someone’s sleeps all night long or only wakes up once & I honestly think it’s thanks to these nappies as he doesn’t feel so wet!

So the nappies are amazing for Jesse SO I decided to put the nappies to the test & use them on Jude {who is STILL the wettest toddler ever..day & night 🤦🏻‍♀️} the nappy fitted Jude perfectly which I was again, surprised about, they really do fit from newborn to toddler! So Jude wore his nappy out in the day when we went soft play as I know he would be moving around a lot so I wanted to see how good it was on a toddler who’s on the go…I was AMAZED…honestly mama’s these nappies are brilliant! Jude had it on for 4 hours and no leaks & what I love about it as well, which I only noticed on Jude as Jesse is too small to notice this yet, was that even though he nappy was full to the brim, it didn’t get that horrible saggy-ness that disposables get when they nappy is saturated 🙈 you know when it’s all hanging down and they are walking like they have pooped themselves & all the other mums are like ‘err’ staring at your kids bum & your like 😳 {Jude is that toddler that is super stubborn & I have to literally wrestle him to the ground every time I want to change his nappy} but, nevertheless, a saggy nappy is not a good look at soft plays, that’s for sure 🙈 who else spends 20 minutes bribing their toddler to change their saggy nappy 🙋🏻‍♀️ {we’ve all been there} WELL..that won’t be happening anymore 🙌🏻

I haven’t tried these nappies at night on Jude yet but I will be when I get more mioboost liners as I only have 1 & I’ll let you know how it works as you know if you follow my insta that Jude wets through every night so will be really interesting to see how they work!

Basically to sum it up..I LOVE the nappies & will be swapping to totally cloth nappies with Jesse over time as they are expensive to buy all at once but will save is so so much money in the future! I just wish I had these when Jude was a baby. Also now I think of it, the amount r money we have spent on nappies over the last {nearly} 3 years must be insane!! If you want to save money then I would definitely invest in cloth nappies. I’m going to be keeping these nappies for our next little baby {one day but definitely not one day too soon 😹} so in that sense I’ve already saved myself money {which I can spend on more baby things I won’t need 😹}

Anyways, if you want to know more about Bambinomio then head over to their website www.bambinomio.com/en or check out their Instagram @bambinomio or use my affiliate link to buy some from amazon

I hope this has helped you if your thinking of trying cloth nappies ✨

XO Rachael

Baby Basket…

You’ll be relieved to know this is just a little review today so no need to set aside 2 hours & 4 cups of tea 😹

If you don’t use a basket (Moses basket) for your baby then you need one! They are definitely a necessity I think. Jesse has used his since he was born and he still uses it now nearly every day. The basket stays down stairs in my house and it’s where he sleeps in the day as I don’t like to leave him upstairs whilst I’m down stairs with Jude and he’s perfectly safe in there. It’s also so spacious in their for him, sometimes Jude’s gets in there with him 🙈 I also put his nursing pillow in there for him to lay on as he likes to lay on his pillow so he’s slightly popped up.

They are also so light and easy to move around the house. You can use the basket as a bed instead of a cot/cot bed for the first few weeks or months. I also love that my sleepyhead fits in mine which is ideal for Jesse. The basket also is so easy to put in the car and move to my mums when she is having him for the day/night.

The basket I have comes with an aloe Vera mattress which is amazing and it’s ethically made too which is even better. You can find mine on @loveandcocoon on instagram where there is more colours too ✨

Hope this has helped if you were thinking of getting a basket.

XOXO

Gentle Sleep Solutions Part 2…

So finally part two is up mama’s!! Grab a tea and enjoy…

Ok so going straight into this post with..

Activities and how they affect sleep in our babies –

So this is all information I’ve learned from the amazing book ‘the gentle sleep book’. The book states that sometimes keeping your child more active in the evening can lead to them have disruptive sleep. That seems crazy to me…I would always be taking Jude out to soft play at like 3/4pm and stay there until 6/7pm when it would close in the hopes that Jude would have worn himself out he might actually sleep for more than 1 hour without waking…now I’ve realised that I was doing totally the wrong thing! When I read it I was even thinking to myself ‘this is actually common sense’ but I think as a parent, in your mind you think ‘let’s let them run wild and hope they sleep’ it was actually having the complete reverse effect on Jude. I’ve learned that now. Now, if we go out to soft play or swimming etc then i make sure we have left 2-3 hours before Jude will be going in his bed to sleep (as the book says to do) which is 8pm & the difference is undeniable! I don’t think this would work on a child under 12 months, I’m not too sure though, but it definitely works on 2 year olds!

Day time naps –

I think this one is pretty more like common sense as well. The more your child sleeps in the day the less sleep they will need at night. Jude would nap for 2-3 hours in the day & I LOVED it, I’m not going to lie, I loved having some solitude in the house for a while and having some time to spend with Jesse alone. The book says that children should nap for 1 hour a day and that is all the need. When I read that is says to wake them up after an hour I was actually worried, Jude had always been awful to wake up. It’s like waking up Satan! Anyways I was determined to have sleep at night So I started waking Jude up after an hour (which i hated doing at first) and now he wakes up naturally after an hour & he’s happy! Yes, you read that right…HAPPY! I can’t believe it! It’s like he’s had just enough sleep to be happy and wake up peacefully! I think when he was having 2-3 hours he was having too much sleep, so when he awoke he would feel tired still and be very grouchy bless him. I have seen a huge difference in Judes sleep at night since he started only napping for one hour and I think it’s helped make his bed time consistent as he will ask to go to bed around 8pm as he would have been awake from he nap for 4-5 hours. Also I never let Jude nap past 4pm. 3pm is the latest I’ll let him sleep for 1 hour as if he naps too late he’s whole bedtime routine is off schedule and I really ends up being a bad night.

Diet – lot of people think of you give your toddler a banana before bed they it will help them sleep but that’s actually not true according so scientific research, and my book. Also I don’t believe that toddlers do wake up hungry and I say this because (if you follow me on IG you will know already) Jude doesn’t eat food, barley ever and when he does, it’s enough to feed a baby bird. When he was waking countless time a night for milk I thought it was huger and I would never not give him his milk as I didn’t like the idea of him starving. NOW Jude has the same amount of milk in the day, as he was before when he was waking countless times, and still barley eats anything BUT he wakes up 1-3 maybe 4 times a night. Someone’s he only wakes once! This is what makes me think it’s not hunger. I tried the whole bowl of porridge before bed to fill him up and it never worked. He would still awake a silly amount of times for his milk. I honestly believe it’s all down to routine.

Dreamfeeding – so there is no evidence that says dreamfeeding will keep your baby asleep longer but there is scientific evidence that says breastmilk takes 2 hours to digest and formula takes 4 hours, this is why breastfed babies feed more little and often than formula fed babies and the longer it takes to digest the longer it makes the baby feel full up for. But dreamfeeding is totally down to the parent and there is no right or wrong! If your baby sleeps longer after a dreamfeed and that means you sleep longer then feed the baby, if it doesn’t do anything other than disturb the baby and wake him up, then don’t do it. It’s totally ok to do whatever you, the parent, thinks works.

Swaddling – i personally didn’t swaddle Jude as he hated it but Jesse loved it for the first month or so and now he’s not swaddled anymore. There is no evidence that swaddling your baby helps them sleep but I personally think it does. It replicates them being in the womb which is all they have been used to for 9 months so I think they instantly feel comfortable and content swaddled but it’s totally fine if you don’t swaddle. Many people don’t swaddle. If you do swaddle then make sure to check safety guidelines as it can be risky if done incorrectly.

Baby wearing –

It’s been studied that babies that are worn in a sling or wrap a lot sleep much more better than babies that are in a chair or seat most of the day. So if you haven’t worn your baby then get out there, buy a sling and rock wearing that bubba. If your not into wearing your baby that’s totally fine. Maybe just give lots of cuddles in the day and it might just do the trick.

Lavender oil –

The book says that research has shown that using lavender oil in your child’s night time bath shows that the child spends more time in a deep sleep than for the children who didn’t have it added as it has a calming effect on babies and toddlers as well as mama’s! Also it reduces stress levels so go ahead and treat yourself to a lavender oil bath mama. It should be a medical grade essential oil that is used, not the lander scented stuff you see in the supermarkets. For Jude and myself I use Neals Yard lavender bath salts and lavender essential oil from Neals Yard. I also use Neals Yard ‘night time roll on’ which you roll onto pulse points and I think it works amazing!! You can even use the lavender oil drops in an aromatherapy fan at night time, along side the lullabies quietly playing in the background. Leave the fan on before you child goes to bed so when they get in their room it’s scented and then turn it off when you go to bed.

Music –

For a baby under 6 months you can use white noise and this should help. We have the whisbear for Jesse and Ewan the dream sheep for Jude and he’s obsessed with him. He comes everywhere with us and Jude loves the heartbeat sound in the womb and he’s had that since birth.

For older babies and younger children use alpha music (this is what I play on Spotify for Jude every night and I swear by it) alpha music is music that is recorded at resting pulse rate and has been recorded to intentionally be relaxing and calms the brainwaves into what it knows as the ‘alpha state’ of relaxation. Music has been proven to have a sedated effect on newborns to 5 year olds (how amazing is that) and has also been shown to significantly improve the sleep of children.

A good BEDTIME routine established –

Bed sharing / co sleeping – can you co sleep or bed share with your baby or toddler? Can you or your partner sleep in their room on the floor until they are comfortable sleeping in their room?

Expectations – think to yourself are your expectations of your child’s sleep realistic for their age? Are you giving your child the correct amount of ‘down time’ before they go to bed?

Diet – take into consideration the ingredients in the food your child has before bed, check for sugars, additives and colourings. Try giving your child a small supper half an hour to an hour before bedtime. Consider giving your child Omega 3 supplements every day (it helps with sleep problems)

Transitional object – does your child need a comfort object? Maybe an item of your clothing that smells like you.

IT – screen time – does your child spend too much time in front of a blue light? (Causes melatonin not to be released naturally) make sure to stop the tele and iPads and phones etc 2 hours before bedtime.

Me time – time for mama – look after yourself mama’s. get a good support network. Also spend time enjoying your babies and toddlers to get that bonding time in.

Environment – is your child exposed to natural sunlight every day (this helps with melatonin) ? Can you use low lighting in your child’s room and in the bathroom when they are having a bath? Do you spend time in the day playing in your child’s room with them to make them feel like it’s a happy and safe place to be? Do you have ‘triggers’ to let your child become aware that it’s bedtime soon?

When planning your sleep routine you need to consider all of those things to get the best out of a consistent sleep routine.

This by far is THE most important part of the whole 3 part blog! (Yes there is another part coming) I think it will be trial and error and don’t be disheartened when/if one way doesn’t work for you and your baby, just try another way until it does work. What works for you might not work for someone else.

In the book it says it takes 6 weeks for the routine to become a routine. If your not used to a routine then it may take longer or it may not. It will be hard planning your day around your baby/toddlers bed time (especially on holidays) but honestly I wouldn’t change it now. I love our nighttime routine and I love that Jude loves it too. He knows what’s happening from when we start the very first step in the routine and I think it makes him feel secure and comfortable knowing what’s going on. Remember children have no idea what time it is and they don’t know that it’s bed time unless you have ‘triggers’ to let them know. All they know is light and dark.

Here is mine and Jude’s bedtime routine –

B – for us this is co sleeping. If Jude wakes in the night we already have a bed prepared for him on the floor so he’s not in our bed, he’s still in his own bed but he’s right near us so he feels safe and secure. This has worked wonders for us.

E – my expectations of Jude’s sleep were none. I had no hope of this working and me actually getting more than 2 hours of sleep in a row. I think it’s really important to take into consideration your child’s age and how much they ‘should’ be sleeping for their age and work with that but don’t expect too much to quick or it to happen over night. As I said before it takes 4 week minimum to see results.

D – if you follow my instagram you’ll be aware that I’m conscious of what i feed Jude so I know the ingredients of his meals and snacks. I think it’s so important to know what your feeding your kids. It can’t expect your child to want to sleep if after dinner you gave them a dessert full of sugar, colourings and flavourings.

T – this is Jude’s bunny & sheepy (Ewan the dream sheep) they are part of Jude and Jude loves them. He can’t be anywhere without them and they make him feel safe and secure.

I – we now have a ‘no blue light’ rule that after 6pm the tele is off and Jude plays with his toys in his room which is low lighting.

M – this one is so important! I make sure i have me time more often thanks to this book and I actually think it’s done us the world of good. I don’t get so uptight with Jude’s sleep any more and I feel more relaxed about things (might be all those lavender baths haha)

E – this is a real big one too! So when we turn the tele off at 6 (if it’s on) we also then all the lights in the house on low and light candles sometimes instead of having any lighting. Jude also has his candle light bath and then from there goes into his bedroom to have his nappy and pyjamas on and his book read to him. The lights are off in his room and we just have low lights on in the landing so we can still see in his room. When we read we use a little night light. Jude has his alpha music playing through a little portable Bluetooth Bose speaker all night and I think that really helps! Sometimes he has his aromatherapy fan on with his lavender essential oil in it.

I really hope this helps at least one mama out with their sleeping arrangements & if you have anything to add and share then pop it in the comments and let us know what works for you.

Just remember that children want to sleep and there is no such thing as ‘ a bad sleeper’ children aren’t programmed like us yet and they are just figuring out the world and what it’s all about. They aren’t supposed to sleep 9-10 hours straight like us parents can. So don’t worry if your child still wakes once or a few times a night, it’s normal, and one day they won’t even want you in their room (hopefully that won’t come around too quick) but I think just cherish that your child needs you and wants your love when they awake at night and that will help soothe them back to sleep. They aren’t trying to be a pain or a nightmare. They just want reassurance most of the time from they parents that they are safe, it’s down to you, as the parents to forgive out how to help them feel safe when they awake and how to help them sleep better and more peacefully. After all, what would parenthood be without the bags under the eyes and the endless deliriousness from slowly being made nocturnal 🙈

Part 3 is all about sleep the specific ages 0-3 3-6 6-12 months 1-2 years 2-3 years etc.

Hope you enjoyed it ✨

XOXO