The Sleep Diaries: A New Resident

As most of you will know, we’ve been having a few problems with getting our little one to sleep during the night (I want to punch my smug, 6 week old parent self in the face).

I’m not gonna pretend like I’m the only one who’s experiencing problems. Hell, many will have it a lot worse than us. But it is getting pretty wearing, so woe is me, I’m gonna moan about it. We’ve tried a number of things, but so far, nothing has helped.

Throw in a nasty cold for baby, and it’s a nightmare!

The poor little mite will no longer settle after waking up, whereas before, I’d give him a quick feed for a few minutes, and he’d be soundo. We had a pretty sweet set up.

But very rapidly, my sleepy little baby decided he prefers to be awake, and held (while standing… always standing) all night.

So I thought I’d make a series of posts under ‘The Sleep Diaries’ so I can document our journey from nocturnal (can it still be nocturnal if you don’t sleep in the day?), to a well rested household. Hopefully this will also make other parents see that they’re not alone in this sleep deprived, fuzzy world.

Here’s what we’ve tried so far to get him sleeping better:

  • Getting him to sleep less in the day – apparently, that’s a big no no.
  • Getting him to sleep more in the day – for some bizarre reason, a well rested baby sleeps more at night? Not for us.
  • Hungry baby formula – Dom point blank refused to drink formula. I’d hoped it’d keep his tummy satisfied for the night, but we didn’t get to test that theory!
  • Having him sleep in his own room – we thought reducing the noise in the room would keep him asleep. But nope.
  • Putting more layers on incase he was cold.
  • Taking layers off incase he was hot.
  • Giving him a dummy – he’s never used a dummy before, but he’s taken to it quite well. I know I’ve made a rod for my own back with this one, as in a few months I bet he won’t want to get rid of it.
  • An amber anklet – read about that one here.
  • Dream feeding – but he’ll no longer do that, it used to work when he was ickle.
  • Played soothing music – this just made me sleepier.
  • Once he falls asleep, waiting with him in my arms for about 30 minutes, before putting him back in his crib – he wakes up the second I put him down.  I do give pretty good cuddles though, I suppose I can’t blame him ;)

None of the above will work.

So, the last few nights I’ve started a habit that I will HATE myself for in the future. And I know it. But I’ve felt so desperate, I’ve allowed it to happen.

Dom now resides in our bed in the night. I swore blind I wouldn’t co sleep (there’s nothing wrong with it at all, it’s just something that makes me nervous). It isn’t all night in all fairness, but for when I can’t keep myself awake any longer, and give up. I now slumber at the foot of the bed. Low enough that Dom won’t kick me in the eye – something that’s really funny, apparently.


A little preview of our new bed situation

But tonight, we have tried teething gel. I’ve never really used it before, as I’d heard that teething gel wasn’t safe. But I read a bit more into it and it seems perfectly fine. We’ve also started using Calpol’s Plug In – which I quite enjoy too, actually.

I’ll keep you posted! Fingers crossed this is the first, and only Sleep Diaries post ;)


Little Pickles Market

Today Dominic and I took a little trip to Little Pickles Market. I’m not usually one for markets as they’re so busy. And I hate busy. I’m the same with sales, with clothes in piles everywhere, it’s unorganised and people bump into me left, right and centre. I can’t stand ’em. And if I hated them before, I hate them 10 times more now that I’m pushing a buggy around.

Despite my feelings for unorganised, busy places, today I wanted to give it a go.

As I’d expected, it was manic. A fairly small hall, filled with parents upon parents, most of whom where pushing around prams. I had to do a few circuits before I actually managed to get close enough to a stall. But when I did, I was pleasantly surprised.

There was a huge selection of boys clothes to choose from, and it wasn’t a huge jumble, it was all actually very organised. There were a lot of toys too, but Dominic has far too many, I didn’t want to clutter up our house even more. The people running the stalls were lovely too – for some reason I had it in my head that they’d be grumpy and disinterested, but having said that, the market only ran for an hour and a half, so they didn’t have much time to get bored!


The front one is my favourite. DINO-SIR!

I ended up purchasing 3 t-shirts from a lovely lady, and some dungarees from another. All in all, it cost me £3! I was so pleased. No wonder people go mad for markets. I think today I’ve been converted.


Next time I’ll be smart though, and bring Dominic in his carrier for optimum weaving ability, and to spare my sanity a little.


p.s. There is another Little Pickles market going on tomorrow in Eastleigh, for anyone interested. They also run Bigger Pickle events for the older ones.

Review: Amber anklets


Teething. Ohhhhh teething. The bane of my life. Why is my poor baby being made sad by all these teeth invading his mouth?

Until my boy was about 2 months old, I’d never even heard of Amber or it’s supposed pain relieving qualities. I was at a First Time Parents group, when some of the mums brought it up. Admittedly, at the time I thought nothing of it. If I’m honest, I thought it was a bit silly – how on earth could a bracelet/anklet/necklace stop the pain of teething? And if it really did work, why on earth had I not heard of it yet?!

Anyway, I quickly dismissed the idea of ever using one, and put it to the back of my mind. Who believes that kind of stuff anyway?

Enter, teething.

Once Dom had starting teething, I was very quick to eat my words and jump onto the amber bandwagon. Before I purchased anything, I did a lot of research online. I quickly saw a big divide in people’s opinions. The ‘specialists’, if you like, dismissed the idea that they work, suggesting that there wasn’t enough proof. However looking at actual reviews, other people were suggesting otherwise. The products on Amazon are jam packed with reviews of people advocating these anklets, saying how they stopped the teething pains and dribbling of their babies very soon after using them.

At that point I was pretty desperate. My son had become a regular waker in the night, and was a lot grumpier than usual. And a grumpy baby, means a grumpy mummy. Based on the fact I can actually see the white marks in his gums, I can only assume that this, along with the extra dribbling, and the ear pulling (something I’ve read is linked to teething pain), was confirmation of him teething.

So, off I went to the interweb to order me an anklet. I chose an anklet as I really don’t like the idea of something around Dom’s neck. I feel it would be far too easy for him to strangle himself, and with bracelets I thought that if he broke it, he could easily get hold of one of the beads and choke on it. So, I opted for an anklet that I could secure it underneath his socks and baby grows.


When it arrived, I was quite pleased with it. I got mine from Amazon from a company called ‘I like Amber’. It was cute, I really liked the design and it was elasticated so it ‘grew’ with the baby.  It was tiny. I couldn’t figure out how such a tiny anklet could cost £12.00. Don’t get me wrong, £12.00 isn’t extortionate by any means, but for that tiny little thing?! Keep in mind when looking at the below picture, I have the hands of a school girl.


Anyway, I quickly put it on my sons ankle in anticipation that soon, he would be symptom free, and I would finally get some rest at night.

My husband and a number of other people I’d told about it thought it was ridiculous. They kept calling it ‘voodoo’, and made fun of me for thinking that it could possibly make a difference.

From my research, I understood that the warmth of the baby heats the amber a little, which makes the oils from the amber absorb into the skin, and in turn becomes a natural form of pain relief for the child. I felt pretty well researched, and reviews don’t lie, so I confidently stood my ground and insisted that soon, Dom would no longer be in discomfort and would stop dribbling too.

A few days passed, and there was no improvement in my sons mood, and so, no improvement in my sleep. I figured it could take a while, so kept it on him for a while longer. After all, I had heard of cases where it had taken a couple of weeks.

4 weeks on, and my sons teething symptoms still haven’t improved at all.

I’ve decided to remove the anklet, as to be honest, it was a pain in the bum anyway. Despite thinking I could keep it on with socks, it would still manage to escape. Now that he grabs his feet, he’d also try and pull it off when changing him. And, most importantly, there was no improvement in his symptoms.

This is not to say that they don’t work for other babies, as if you read the reviews, other parents swear by then. But unfortunately, in our case, it didn’t work at all.

Whether or not I’ll admit this to my husband, is a different story.


28 things I wish I knew before I had a baby

28 things


From the moment those double lines show up on the pregnancy test, we start planning. Just 9 months until your lives are changed forever, and you’re graced with a little mini you. 9 months until you’re responsible for a whole tiny human.

I was over the moon from the moment we found out we were having baby D, but I was also terrified. How could I be responsible for a human life? An entire person?!

There was so much to learn. So many books read, so many apps and websites I signed up to, to try and prepare me for what was to come. People offer out so much advice to help, but unfortunately with me, it went in one ear and out the other.

I invited other parents to share the things that they wish they knew, before having their babies.

Take a look at what they said below:


“The pushing part isn’t the bit that hurts the most… It’s the contractions leading up to it that really hurt. When they tell you to start pushing, it’s almost a relief to be able to use the contraction to push your little one out.”

Laura, at Dear Bear and Beany.

“I wish I knew that the baby couldn’t care less whether I have a top of the range changing table (which became a clothes dumping ground), a nappy bin (a regular bin works too you know), 100 different bibs (you pick 3 and rotate), baby shoes (…I won’t state the obvious) and fancy baby food making gadgets (my hand-held blender does the same job)!”

– Gina, at Skint Momma.

“I wished that I knew that, Pethadine makes babies that are going to be breastfed very hard to feed for the first 3 days as it stays in their system and effects them latching on”.

– Kirsty.


“Poo comes out in the rain – despite having an expensive washing machine, the best thing I’ve found to get poo out of muslins and clothes is to leave them out in the rain- I think it’s the combination of UV light and volume of water that does it!

– Heledd, at Yummy Blogger.

“How quick they grow!!! To enjoy every precious second of that tiny little bubba..even the colic screams!!”

– Charlotte.

“I wish I knew more about pushchairs. I spent so much money on a pushchair that didn’t suit my lifestyle as it was so big and bulky and could barely fit on a bus. I then replaced it with a stroller to realise my baby was too small for one.”

– Carly, at Mummy and the Chunks.

“Instead of not being able to do things when you have a child, you get to experience more things (albeit maybe different things). I always wonder when people talk about wishing they had travelled before babies, we have actually visited more things with children than we would do without. Having a family is brilliant!”

– Helen, at Casa Costello.

“People kept telling me how the sleepless nights would be a shock when baby arrived… Nobody told me that nearly 2 years on I would still feel exhausted!!!”

– Heledd, at Yummy Blogger.

“I wish I knew in advance how messy babies and kids were! From the day they’re born, you become a human towel. Vomit down the back and wee all over you during nappy changes. Baby food thrown at you during weaning. Grubby hands wiped down you as toddlers. There’s times when I’m genuinely scared to wear smart clothes!”

– Alex, at Random Geeky Dad.

“Breastfeeding hurts, all the books and even the lactation specialists say that if you are breastfeeding correctly it doesn’t hurt. Lucas latched on and fed well and it still hurt, perseverance and Lansinoh did the trick until it stopped hurting and was well worth breaking through the pain barrier.”

Jenni, at Chilling with Lucas.

“How hard it would be to just pop to the shop or just pop anywhere!”

–  Amy, at The Smallest of Things.

“Not to bother with actual clothes for babies until around 6 months, as soon as you pop on the tights, vest and dress combo they will only puke or poo.”

– Clare, at Emmy’s Mummy.

“I  wish I had known more about colic and how to help soothe it. I had heard the word thrown around before but dismissed it and didn’t think it would apply to me. It was a horrible time and wish I had been more prepared!”

– Amy, at This Little Life.

“I wish I knew about colic – and specifically just how difficult it was going to be, and how helpless I would end up feeling because nothing I did helped soothe my baby. Also, when people tell you that colic only lasts 3 months…. all lies.”

– Cat, at Pushing the Moon.

“When you have a baby so long she goes straight into 0-3 make sure you check the baby bag you lovingly packed weeks in advance (months maybe!!), doesn’t just contain beautiful tiny newborn clothes or you may find yourself in a extra large Asda miles from home dealing with a major major poo-splosion & a long queue forming outside the only baby change waiting for you.”

– Louise, at Pink Pear Bear. 

“I wish I REALLY understood that birth plans are not really plans and knew about different ways to birth. This would have enabled me to consider what I would prefer in different scenarios instead of having to make life changing decisions during very difficult moments.”

–  Mo, at  Adventures of a Novice Mum.

“I wished I was prepared for how much pain I would be in after birth. No one tells you about that part and I had no idea it would be so painful for me.”

– Kirsty.

“I wish I’d known not to doubt my instincts. I did know best for me and my baby and everything was going to be OK”

– Laura, at Wafflemama.

“I wish I had known that all the horror stories aren’t always true and actually having a newborn can be a wonderful experience. I would have been able to enjoy it more, without worrying if I was doing it right!”

– Lucy, at The Parent Game.

“Sleep. A full nights sleep. Instead of telling mum’s and dads to make the most of sleep before the baby comes, tell them to instead set their alarms to go off every 3 hours at a ridiculous volume.”

– Becca, at Mrs Flams.

“You buy the best you can afford to turn your little one’s toy box into an all singing, all dancing, battery guzzling, award winning pre-school paradise. Your baby prefers to play with the remote control and an empty crisp packet.”

– Jessica, at Babi a Fi.

” How important it is to look after yourself. If you burn out everyone else struggles too.   ;) still learning this one.”

– Alexandra, at I’m Every Mum.

“I wish someone had told me – identical twins really can happen to you even when there’s no twins in the family and that make you very -very- grey!! (But are bloody ace!!)”

–  Beth, at Twinderelmo.

“That one spare outfit for a day trip is never enough”.

– Julie.

” I wish someone had told us that if you had a baby boy that you should point his *ahem* downwards when changing his nappy! We found out the difficult way ;)”

– Laura, at Mummy Lala

“How little I’d care about make up, getting my hair done or even wearing clean clothes in the early days!”

– Cat, at Rock and Roll Pussycat.

“That mummy guilt is very real and you will feel guilty for the most irrational things but it’s just another sign of how much you love them!”

– Kathryn.

And finally, Kez at Coupon Mama UK pointed out that you can get TONS of free stuff. You can find a bunch of these at Coupon Mama UK, they are super helpful. Take a look here :)

Hope you enjoyed :)

Sam xx

Super healthy, detoxifying Banana & Pineapple smoothie


This smoothie is packed with nutritious, detoxifying ingredients. Pineapple is rich in vitamin C, and together with avocado (if you choose to add it, of course) it is packed with powerful antioxidants – great for the skin! The flaxseed kicks it up a notch by adding Omega 3, protein, iron and magnesium.

This dairy free smoothie is the perfect pick-me-up to keep you going through the day.

(Serves 1)


1 x frozen banana

1 handful of frozen pineapple

1/4 cucumber

1 handful of spinach

1 x tablespoon of flax seed

Unsweetened almond milk – amount depends on how thick you like your smoothies


Add 1/4 avocado, for extra goodness (it will also make it more creamy!)

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon



Throw all the ingredients together into a blender, and blend away until smooth.