My girls are all good sleepers, thank goodness! I need my sleep and wouldn’t be happy getting up a few times a night. Equally, I need some chill-out child free time in the evening (to catch up on my favourite TV programs and just unwind), so bed time has to be at a decent time, without fuss. And on the whole we manage this (most nights). How? Well for me establishing a good, firm bedtime routine early on is the answer.

Here’s how we’ve managed this with all three girls, more recently of course with baby Iris. 

I once read that a baby/ young toddler typically needs 12 hours sleep per night, so you need to work it back from when they usually wake up. If like Iris it’s 7am, then 7pm is a good bedtime.

As for getting your baby to bed, a routine should to start by allowing your child a cot/bed of their own, and getting them used to self-soothing so that they have the ability to get themselves to sleep in a relaxed way. Iris went into her ‘big cot’ at six months, which is when we started to establish this  more firm, yet warm and calm approach.

Iris’ routine includes; a bath, some warm milk, a song or book (if she’s not too drowsy from the milk) and then bed. We try to make it a fun, cosy time for her – making it clear she has my (or my husband’s) full attention.

I go through this little routine and then leave the room to deal with my other two little monkeys. If she sits up straight away and cries, I’ll keep comforting her but from that point on I have less physical interaction, no long cuddles, just a quick reassuring hug and kiss and then I walk away again.

Tip… If your baby seems to be afraid of the dark or being alone, try low lighting, a special teddy (maybe one that lights up), or a low background noise such as a soothing nursery rhyme.

Remember you’re in charge, and if you stick to it, it should work! I fully understand this is firm (but I stress, calm) approach is not for everyone but I can testify it’s worked for us, three times now! During the day I don’t really have a routine and am much more relaxed, letting the kids do what comes naturally but bed time is different. At bed time I’m in charge and they accept it because they don’t know any different.

Iris is wearing an aden+anais sleeping bag in these pictures. We’re big fans of aden+anais and these sleeping bags are made of the same beautifuly soft, cotton muslin used in their famous swaddle blankets and muslin squares.

We were recently sent a beautiful Sheepskin Pram Liner to review by the lovely people at The Little Green Sheep.

We were recently sent a beautiful Sheepskin Pram Liner to review by the lovely people at The Little Green Sheep.

Here’s what they say…

“Made from the finest quality sheepskin fleece, The Little Green Sheep’s much loved collection is the perfect solution for keeping your little lamb cosy whilst out and about. Designed to keep little ones warm in the winter and cool in the summer, the temperature regulating whole sheepskin fleece is the perfect accessory all year round – making any buggy a truly comfortable and luxurious ride. The ingenious sheepskin also has a natural self-cleaning ability, which is activated when aired outside.

True to The Little Green Sheep’s signature style, the sustainably produced pram liners are baby-safe tanned and made without any harmful chemicals or substances.”

What did Iris and I think?

I must admit I’ve been thinking about getting a sheepskin liner to put in our buggy for a while now. This particular liner is suitable for most pushchairs with a 3 or 5 point harness – it certainly fits well in our Bugaboo Bee3 (as you can from the pictures). It was very easy to fit, I simply placed the liner onto the chair and pushed the ‘buggy belts’ through the appropriate holes in the liner – and that was it, job done.

For me it’s so important to know that these liners have been produced sustainably and are made with no harmful chemicals or heavy materials. And I love the fact that it will keep Iris warm during these cold winter months as well as keeping her cool in the summer heatwaves (here’s hoping).

Iris looked very cosy in her newly ‘accessorised’ buggy yesterday in the park, and I’m extremely impressed with the quality of this pram liner. It does not slip or move around and fits well into the buggy. We’ll defiantly be keeping this new addition to our Bugaboo pushchair.

We were recently sent a beautiful Sheepskin Pram Liner to review by the lovely people at The Little Green Sheep. We were recently sent a beautiful Sheepskin Pram Liner to review by the lovely people at The Little Green Sheep.

As you can see you were sent an ivory sheepskin liner but they are also available in charcoal and a natural colour. And these retail at £49.95.

Disclaimer: I was sent this Sheepskin Pram Liner by The Little Green Sheep to review.

metallic dream blanket by aden+anais

As you can tell Iris is very impressed with this new dream blanket from aden+anais, and I must admit, so am I.

Made from four layers of 100% cotton muslin, this ‘dream blanket’ is ideal for cuddling, using as a play mat, draping over at nap-time or for travelling – the possibilities are endless. And if I’m honest it’s a blanket I can see myself ‘borrowing’ from time to time too.

Why is Muslin such a great fabric for babies?

Muslin is a finely-woven, amazingly breathable fabric. The open weave and lightweight of the fabric allows air to flow through easily, reducing the risk of overheating and keeps your baby comfortable and safe, at all times. Muslin is also incredibly durable, giving it the ability to withstand countless washes – it even gets softer with age!

The New Metallic Collection

This beautiful new metallic collection from aden+anais comes in four different colour ways; blue and silver, pink and gold, white and silver, and white and gold. And is available in ‘musy squares’ (£20.99 for a pack of 3), ‘dream blankets‘ (£58) and ‘swaddle blankets‘ (£38.95 for a pack of 3).

All aden+anais products are an investment piece, they wash so well and can be used in so many ways. I already have quite a few of their swaddle blankets and use them all the time, with all three girls – not just my baby girl.

metallic dream blanket by aden+anais

metallic dream blanket by aden+anais

Disclaimer: I was sent this gorgeous blanket to review but all thoughts, images and copy are my own. 

Iris is now eight months old and is enjoying the weaning process. She’s trying new flavours and textures everyday and loves watching the rest of us eating together at the table. She’s also starting to taste food from our plates and exploring some baby-led snacks. This got me thinking about making some family meals that can be whizzed up in the blender for her to enjoy too.

As it happens our favourite baby food brand Piccolo were having the same thought and sent us this recipe to try at home.

Piccolo baby food and recipe for the family

Sweet Tomato Ricotta Spaghetti with a pinch of Basil 

This Italian inspired dish combines little pieces of spaghetti with a rich, sweet tomato and red pepper sauce, cooked in olive oil with a pinch of basil and made creamy with a little ricotta.

Ingredients

Glug of olive oil

1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed

½ a red pepper, de-seeded and finely chopped

1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped

1 tin of chopped tomatoes (400g)

1 tbsp of tomato paste

fresh black pepper

100g ricotta

4 fresh basil leaves, chopped

20g fresh parmesan grated

200g pasta (spiral or spaghetti)

 Method 

  1. In a saucepan, heat the olive oil and add the onion and garlic and sauté these until they are transparent (around 8 minutes). Add the chopped red pepper and carrot and cook for a further few minutes.
  2. Add the tin of tomatoes, tomato paste and a few twists of the black pepper mill and stir. Increase the heat slightly and let the sauce start to bubble away for a few minutes, then reduce the heat.
  3. Put on a large pot of salted water and bring to the boil, add pasta to water and cook until’al dente’ approximately 8- 10 minutes.
  4. Add the ricotta, parmesan and basil to the sauce and stir through.
  5. Either puree or leave as a chunky tomato sauce.
  6. Chop up the pasta to little pieces for babies.

 Suitable from 6 months (ideal for freezing)

Makes around 8 baby portions or 2 adults and a baby

Iris loved this meal! She obviously shares our passion for pasta, which is a good thing because we do have pasta on a regular basis.

Piccolo baby food and recipe for the family Piccolo baby food and recipe for the family

Thank you Piccolo for sending us this recipe and the ingredients to recreate it at home. The whole Piccolo range is now available at Asda and other retailers nationwide.

marie-chantal-03

I must admit I do love a good designer/high street collaboration and this is an absolute corker! Luxury children’s wear designer Princess Marie-Chantal has partnered with high street favourite Marks & Spencer, to create a 33 piece collection for babies and children up to 5 years.

Marie-Chantal’s designs and style are classic, elegant, sophisticated and completely gorgeous. She uses the finest materials, perfect for delicate baby skin including; cashmere and silk, which are normally way out of my price range. However, this collection brings her designs to the high street at a much more affordable price point, with items starting at £14.

The full collection includes; clothes, accessories and beautiful baby gift ideas, including a stunning pure cashmere shawl for £60, which I’m sure will quickly sell out and become the must-have baby accessory of the year.

If you’re a fan of Prince George and Princess Charlotte’s style, this collection is perfect for you. Here’s Iris in a few of my favourite pieces from the stunning collaboration…

Marie-Chantal for Marks & Spencer Marie-Chantal for Marks & Spencer Marie-Chantal for Marks & Spencer Marie-Chantal for Marks & Spencer

This collaboration in now in-store and online at Marks & Spencer.