MINI POST….The Gro Clock!!!

So last weekend those of us that are parents faced the dreaded, twice annual, mighty scary clock change! Yes the clocks were altered by a whole hour!!! 

I remember the days when I looked forward to the morning of clock change with great anticipation, any extra hour in bed! πŸ™ŒπŸΌ what wasn’t to love.

Well how things change, my husband and I, like many parents in the UK, were left wondering what this change would bring. And, like many parents were looking for any options that might help make the transition a little easier. 

Enter the Gro Clock! If you haven’t tried one of these they certainly come highly recommended and are an ingenious way of encouraging your children to follow a bedtime and morning sleep routines.

So what is it? The clock is a child friendly clock which allows the parents the ability to set a bed time and wake time and uses colours and images to help children understand when they should be asleep and when it’s time to get up! 

The clock can be set to up in a number of ways and gives parents the option of displaying the digital time in addition to the pictures, useful to those older children learning to read numbers and tell the time! 


At night (at the parents chosen time) the clock changes colour and displays a moon center turning to a star surrounded by a series of smaller starts, which slowly change as the time ticks by. 

When morning arrives (again, time set by the parents) the clock glows yellow and the star is replaced by a sun! It shows that it’s time to get up!! 

The clock is accompanied by a lovely book β€˜Sleepy Farm’. This tells a story to encourage children to sleep well and sleep until morning. The Gro Company have also created a handy reward chat which can be downloaded from their website to help encourage little ones to follow a routine. 

A better nights sleep, a little lay in, what’s not to love! 

I hope you’ve found this useful, and your little one has made the transition smoothly! 

Love 


Lindsay 


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Where’s the time gone….. going back to work!Β 

It’s been nearly half a term since I returned to work (yes I teach!), after just over a year of maternity leave! I had very mixed emotions about the whole ordeal and now after some little time to reflect I thought I would update you on how it has been going. 

Firstly let me give you a little context. I’m a teacher working in a small school in Surrey. I absolutely love my job and have been at my current school for a number of years. I have the most fantastic colleagues and the children that I have the pleasure of teaching are on the whole pretty great too!

I really missed my work whilst on maternity leave and it actually took me a very long time to adjust to not being there (perhaps another story, for another time, if I’m ever feeling brave enough.) Whilst on maternity leave, I chose to keep a lot of contact with my work, popped in occasionally to see my friends and keep an overview in preparation for what I would be returning to. I also managed to do a number of my ‘in touch days’ which I really enjoyed and were a good way to keep contact and ease back in. 
Harvey was a summer baby and I worked up until he was born (two weeks late.) In return I was able to take the full year with him, not returning to work until he had passed his first birthday. By this point there were only three weeks remaining until the school summer holidays started and I would be off again (I was very lucky it worked out this way!) 

In regards to childcare for these three weeks we relied solely on our family. Harvey spent the first week in Sussex with my in laws and the subsequent two weeks with my parents who live locally. 
The first week was by far the hardest. We didn’t get to see Harvey at all (except for a few pictures) and I found the return to work exhausting both physically and emotionally. When Harvey finally returned home on the Saturday after my first week I was over the moon to see him, even if he did try hard to give me the cold shoulder for the first ten minutes! Looking back I know that not having him about was very fortunate, I got up early and worked late and I didn’t have to feel any mum guilt about missing dinner, bath or bed because no matter when I returned home he wasn’t going to be there! 


The next two weeks were a little different. Harvey went to stay at my parents who live about thirty minutes from my work so I was always conscious of the fact that if I finished early enough I could make it to theirs for some of the bedtime routine and most importantly a Harvey cuddle. The first week he spent with my parents I had a number of work commitments and only managed to get there three out of five nights. In the final week I was fortunate enough to get to Harvey for dinner, bath and bed every night. This was exhausting, not only was the return to work a shock to the system but my desire to do everything (work to my full potential and be the best mummy I could) wore me out. By the time the holidays started I was shattered! 
Now I have returned to work on a long term basis (at least until baby number two arrives). I work four days a week and have been lucky enough to have family do all my childcare (Harvey spends his time with both sets of grandparents, he loves it!). I have found the first half of term absolutely exhausting and I can not wait until the holidays start again in a few weeks time. The days have been long and I’ve been growing big, currently in my third trimester! I miss Harvey terribly and have found the adjustment very difficult. Harvey on the other hand has taken it all in his stride.
So what have I learnt? I don’t have to do everything; Harvey will still love me. Let family help; they want to and it’s what they are there for! Work and motherhood together is in no doubt exhausting and it’s been hard to find a suitable and practical work/life, mummy/teacher balance. 

For now I’m just trying to make the most of the weekends with Harvey and I’m looking forward to my half term holiday. I’m sure just as I finally get used to it all, I’ll be off on maternity leave again and starting a whole new challenge with two little ones! 

Love 

Lindsay 

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Counting Little Green Sheep…. πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

Just over a week ago we received some very exciting blogger mail in the form of a mattress from ‘The Little Green Sheep’ Company. 

‘The Little Green Sheep’ Comany is a brand I have come across before and in all honesty had always heard very positive reviews about. So I was really excited to be able to try out one of their produts, review and feedback on our experience. I clearly remember the numerous searches for product review when I was expecting Harvey from buggys to bath seats, it’s endless. 

Before I give you my thoughts I think it’s important to know a little about the brand, so here we are….

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‘The Little Green Sheep’ was founded in 2006 by Mark Nicholls and Paul Maurice, two friends who first crossed paths whilst at University in Birmingham. Once they completed their University courses each ventured off on their relevant journeys, between them gathering experience in the product and marketing business as well as the organics industry. ‘The Little Green Sheep’ was grown later based on the simple idea of offering parents and babies the best in baby bedtimes and originated by the friends desire to design and manufacture a baby mattress that combined the best quality support, made in the most natural possible way (using natural and organic materials), the first mattress was launched in 2007! 

πŸ‘ The Little Green Sheep Values & Beliefs

‘The Little Green Sheep’ believe in providing the best for babies. It’s this which inspires them to do what they do, creating beautifully made products; shaped by simple, honest ingredients, and produced in an ethical and appropriate way. They believe in providing babies with the most natural environment possible, away from toxins and harmful chemicals but never compromising on quality.

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So how did we get on?

The mattress we chose to try out was the…

 ‘πŸ‘ Link – Twist Natural Cot Bed Mattress 70x140cm’ 

On first impressions the mattress looked great! It had a clean and appealing finish with a quilted cotton cover, looked smart, but also felt soft and comfortable. 

After looking past the immediate visual impression the important thing to note is that the mattress (unlike many in the market) does not have a removable cover. Therefore it is recommended (essential) that you use a mattress protector to protect against any possible damp (I’m thinking poorly babies, leaky nappies and potty training toddler accidents). ‘The Little Green Sheep’ sell their own recommended mattress protectors which are just as soft and organic as the mattress it’s self!

‘ πŸ‘ Link – Little Green Sheep Mattress Protector’

The next thing to look at are the two sides to the mattress; these have been cleverly designed to take your baby through their toddler years to a recommended age of five. 

The mattress has been smartly designed to incorporate two different sides of support. One with a side designed for 0-12 months (firm surface). 

The other for side little ones from 12 months to five years (supple yet comfortably). Based on Harvey’s age, 14 months, we used the mattress on for the elder ones. 

Harvey took to the mattress immediately, snuggling down with no complaints and sleeping happily through the night. Prior to Harvey’s nights on the mattress he was sleeping on a mattress made by a different brand and if I’m honest also had no difficulties sleeping. Harvey is generally a good sleeper, although an early riser (sadly the early rising didn’t change with the introduction of the new mattress, despite wishful thinking from both Mummy and Daddy). 

So what were the benefits of the mattress? 

First of all it gave me a greater peace of mind knowing that my baby was sleeping on a mattress that didn’t contain any chemicals or toxins. This made me feel happier and far more content about putting him down at night, and sometimes it is just the little things that make all the difference.

I also really loved the fact that the mattress is naturally fireproofed, further peace of mind for Mummy and Daddy. And finally, and most importantly, is that fact that by it being natural it is by far the most gentle on Harvey’s delicate skin(eczema prone).

Now having used a ‘The Little Green Sheep’ product for myself I am highly interested in their other products and I know with the new bump on the way I would love to discover more about some of their other items. As well as mattresses they now also produce a range of baby sleepwear including babygrows, sleepbags and bedding including sheets, pillows, duvets and muslins. The sheet we received in our trial is without a doubt one of the softest I’ve come across and I’ll certainly be investing in some more for both Harvey and the bump! 


And finally in addition to all this they are also the creators of the well know co-sleeping baby crib; the snuzpod!

Good luck with your mattress search and baby purchases, I hoped this helped and I welcome any questions! 

Love 


Lindsay x

Tiddlers to track……

Thinking back to when Harvey was born (just short of ten months ago!) I was fanatic about keeping track of all his feeds and sleeps! Trying to see if there was any sort of sleep pattern developing and constantly wanting to be sure he’d consumed sufficient quantities of milk each day. 

Of course like most things for a new Mummy, despite constantly feeling as though I was the only one with these throughts and worries I soon discovered I wasn’t! When I met with my NCT group a few weeks into motherhood and the babies feeding times arrived we all pulled out our scrappy note books and scribbled down our little ones feeding time and number of oz’s whilst the breastfeeding mummy’s were tracking time and side….. left/right! 

I can assure any new mummy’s out there that as your baby gets older you get less obsessive and eventually start to record less. Which is a relief for a while, although often short lived! Because before long your little one is weaning and off you go again! Making sure they are eating/drinking enough to fill all of the minimum requirements you’ve been told by your health visitors and midwifes. It really can be exhausting. 

And then there are those occasions when you leave your little ones and manage to grab a little “baby free” time!! And you get the inevitable questions…. What time does he have his milk? How much should I give him? When should he nap? How much for dinner? What does he like? Suddenly your little scrap book of notes doesn’t seem so silly anymore! 

Here I’d like to the introduce a company called…..’tiddlers and nippers’

I can whole heartedly say I wish I’d know about this company when Harvey was born! The clever people at tiddlers and nippers have designed a series of note books to help you keep track of your little ones daily feeds and needs! They were designed after the trials and tribulations they felt when tracking their own little ones feeding patterns, so as a result they are created by parents for parents and they really are a fantastic products! 

When Harvey was small I tried versions apps for my phone to track his days but they didn’t have the convenience of pen and paper! I wasn’t going to leave my phone with my parents if  he stayed at theirs for a night and it wasn’t easy for my husband to see what he had been doing when he took over for a bit. And then of course there was always the worry that we might lose all the data and then we’d be back to square one. No pen and paper worked best for us (like many others it would appear!) so this is what we stuck too!
 
Tiddlers and nippers have created a set of notebooks each aimed at a different stage of your babies development! The ‘Tiddler Tracker’ is the first in the series and designed for those new parents and the early days. The front pages contain a clear and simple ‘how to’ guide and example and then from there on each page is clearly laid out for easy day by day tracking of your little ones feeding, nappy changing and sleeping as well as a column to record expressing and a notes box for an extra bits and milestones…… prefect!! 

Of course Harvey has now moved on from this and we have just started using the ‘tiddler toddler tracker.’ This note book is different in its layout and the space for milk feeds has been replaced with columns for eat/drink, as well as one for naps and changes as well as activities and again a little space for notes/milestones. 

After a week of getting to grips with the new book, we are really living it. We can now record all of Harvey’s daily activities and feeds etc, I’ve really enjoyed looking back over the week to see how’s he’s forming patterns and achieving new milestones. For us I feel this is really going to prove useful in a few months time when I head back to work and my parents and inlaws will be covering most of the childcare. This will allow us all to know exactly what’s going on as he moves between us all. 

It’s always great when you get to use a product you love. Not only are these notebook unbelievable useful and practical they also come in a range of cute patterns and colour for you to pick from β€οΈπŸ’›πŸ’šπŸ’™.

To get one for yourself visit the ‘tiddlers and nippers website (click) πŸ‘‰πŸ» πŸ’» or follow them on Facebook, Instagram and twitter πŸ“².