Category Archives: Newmarket Mum

Keeping baby and Mum cool during hot weather


Remember the Summer of 2017? It happened for about ten days, a few weeks back. We all frantically went out and bought fans and paddling pools just before the more traditional June/July/Wimbledon weather hit.

Well, rumour has it, we are due some warmer weather again, so this time round I am determined to be more prepared.

We shared some top tips over on my Facebook page and have highlighted five of the best ones below.
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Open up the loft hatch. As hot hair rises – this gives the humidity and heat somewhere to escape to (so they say!) It seemed to work for us anyway.

Having a cooler/tepid bath cooled and calmed AB down before bed. “They” advise not to keep babies in a cooler bath for too long so they don’t get chilly but I loved laying in the cool water once she had gone to sleep. My absolute favourite bath oil is made by Olverum. Not only does it aid aching muscles, the smell is incredibly relaxing and it leaves my skin so soft.

Reconsider bedding. We removed AB’s waterproof mattress protector as it got incredibly sticky in the heat but we have also now purchased a 0.5tog sleeping bag which is so thin it can be used during our heatwaves and in hotter climates abroad. My favourite sleeping bags are the Grobags from The Gro Company and I frequently spot them in the clearance section of TkMaxx or Mothercare!

Placing a bowl of iced water in front of a fan. As suggested by one of Newmarket’s best Nannies, Louise Galloway this trick creates a refreshing, air conditioning feel and is great in both the nursery and my own bedroom.

Use the black-out blind all day. As lovely as it is to see the sunshine beaming through the nursery windows, lots of Newmarket Mum’s recommend keeping the black out blind closed all day so that the room does not get too hot during the day.

What are your top tips to keep both Mum and LO cool during the warmer weather?

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Newmarket Baby Group: Fairstead Nursery Rhymes


What is it? Little Foals, a traditional sing-a-long nursery rhyme session

Where is it? Fairstead House, Performing Arts Studio

How much is it? FREE

When is it? 14:30 every Friday (during term time)

Where to park? Limited parking available at the school but there is a gate open close to the school in the Waitrose car park so perhaps they are welcoming cars there too!

Pro’s: Wonderfully traditional – nursery rhymes are accompanied by a piano and it is lovely to be joined by the incredibly well behaved Fairstead nursery students.

Con’s: It’s an hour long – which is quite lengthy but feeding and napping is welcome during the class.  

What did AB think to it? AB loves watching the bigger children and the sound of the piano. She also enjoys it when there is a story at the end which is accompanied by sound effects from instruments and the piano.

What did Mummy think to it? This is a great opportunity for us to get used to the grounds but even if you are not planning to use Fairstead nursery it is a well organised, friendly, traditional nursery rhyme session that is the perfect way to end the week.

Was any cake involved? Free tea / coffee and home-made biscuits available!

Score out of 10: 10/10

WIN a month’s supply of Asda Little Angels Nappies


Enter a Rafflecopter giveaway to WIN a month’s supply of Asda Little Angels Nappies!

This month we have tried out the Asda Little Angels, Comfort & Protect nappy range. Featuring deliciously, chunky thighs I am always conscious that nappies aren’t too tight for AB but equally poo explosions and wee leaks are one of my biggest nightmares! Asda Little Angels, Comfort & Protect nappies have an incredibly soft, elasticated back panel and the size 3 fits 5 month, 15lb AB like a dream. Their claim to offer “12-hour dryness” is accurate too! Even when shopping in Asda, it is incredibly tempting to buy brands such as Pampers but now I have tried Asda Little Angels I wont be steering away again. 18575638_10211440410198584_976340461_o One of my favourite features is their ‘I’m growing…. next size up please’ tabs. If the tabs fasten comfortably in the coloured area then the fit is ‘just right’, but when the tabs start to move to the white area, this means your little one is ready for the next size up.

The new Little Angels Comfort & Protect range is available in sizes 3, 4, 4+, 5, 5+, 6, and 6+ and are priced from £3.50 per pack.

Enter a Rafflecopter giveaway to WIN a month supply of Asda Little Angels Nappies!

Don’t Mention the ‘S’ Word – SLEEP


My latest article over on Huffpost – Don’t Mention the ‘S’ Word – SLEEP

…Why It’s Best Not To Admit When It’s Going Well

At the “Breastfeeding Support Group“ that I attend on a weekly basis, mums get support if they are having nipple troubles, latching issues or pumping disasters but they will also be celebrated and congratulated if breastfeeding and milk donating is going well.

On the popular Facebook group “Can I breastfeed in it? UK“ I recently shared a photograph of myself in a dress that I had purchased from Asos. I received hundreds and hundreds of ‘likes’, ‘loves’ and comments telling me how gorgeous, classy, fabulous and well I looked. Their kindness blew me away.

Mummy friends, whether online or in reality are great – they are so supportive, right?

From these two experiences you can see why I was lulled into a false sense of “it’s-okay-to-speak-honestly” security.

“Is AB sleeping well now that she has moved into her own room?’, I was asked. I told the (perhaps sleep-deprived) mummy’s in front of me that she was indeed sleeping well. Incredibly well in fact – 12 hours plus each night after simply falling asleep ‘on the boob’ and being transferred to her cot.

You could have heard a pin drop before the torrent of remarks flew towards me. From being told that sleeping too much will stunt her development and that the sleeping habits wouldn’t last to being terrified with potentially incorrect SIDS facts and how cruel the ‘cry it out’ method is – admitting that AB was sleeping well was a bad move.

It’s not like I am reaping the benefits yet, my nights are spent wide-awake watching a small black and white monitor, which takes me back to the Summer of 2002 when I would watch Big Brother live… even when Kate Lawler and co were sleeping!18425014_10211363901125905_2267678162042249093_n

All mums have bragging rights, but as a family, we even refrain from posting too many photographs of AB on social media in case it offends or frustrates. I was merely answering a question.

For the first time I wondered if it is how formula-feeding mums feel when accosted by breastfeeding mums? But perhaps that’s a whole other blog post in itself.

The reality is that the time it has taken me to type and edit this post with one hand whilst breastfeeding, my latest post, Twitter rant and tired-looking selfie is due to a restless and teething night. Oh how the other tired mums have rejoiced!

So mums, if your baby sleeps through the night, whether it’s a one off or a new regular routine, we should feel that we can respond truthfully if asked and if we fancy it we could even brag about it.

Do you dare to admit when your child is sleeping well?

 

 

An open letter to my childless friends. With love, a new Mum


I want to share the best bits with you and distract you from the worst. I want to tell you to sleep, indulge, relax (enjoy being braless and able to jump) and be selfish while you can but this isn’t about that – it’s not really about our little one, it’s about us, me and you!

Sorry for the way I have let our friendships deteriorate. Once so keen, interested, and proactive and now so, so…. well, distracted.

All of a sudden, you are handed a gooey bundle by the midwife and your title changes. Are you; ‘YOU, Mum, Wife’ or ‘Mum, Wife, YOU’ or ‘Wife, Mum, YOU’ etc… As to be expected, the pecking order changes, your identity changes and your friends’ opinion of you changes.

To the friends that have been so giving! Within four short months we have received baby shower gifts, baby arrival gifts, Christmas gifts, Christening gifts and so many “just because” gifts. We are so thankful for your generosity and kindness. As parents we are going to have to work hard to teach our little one to be very grateful, as it is clear that she is so loved and oh so very spoilt.

To the friends that carry on regardless – I get it! Why change your routine because we decided to have children? Being the one that liked to arrange the social events and regularly get friends together, it’s a culture shock to see your #BestGirls Instagram posts, Facebook updates and Snapchats. But I promise that I do “get it!” Don’t call me and certainly don’t leave me a voicemail, don’t send a text that requires a lengthy reply, don’t send a Whatsapp voice message that might disturb a calm baby and don’t send a snapchat that I will miss and can’t replay…the list goes on.

I know I make things hard for you and myself! Trying to be the best Mum I can be means that other things slide; the laundry, my beauty regime and friendships.

Please don’t stop trying to reach out to new Mums – I may not reply but continue to contact me on as many different forms of social media as possible and as often as you can. Despite being incredibly caught up in my own world of spit up, babble, lack of sleep and dirty nappies, I try to listen and hear what you’re telling me about your life too – honest.

To the friends that always persevere. Thank you for always asking how I am, and when I don’t reply, you try and ask me again. You update me with your news without expecting a response. You fill me in with your gossip and you always show me that you care. Believe me, I love to her about your dating experiences, career news, exciting excursions and gossip and I am so grateful that you at least pretend, to care about my nipples, nappies and napping troubles.

To the friends that make themselves present and seen. So long, boozy bank holidays, lavish weekend breaks and sporadic plans. Thank you to those that choose and want to now spend times having disturbed lunches, walks in the countryside and interrupted conversations in our lounge – let’s face it we will always provide wine and/or gin and you are more than welcome to indulge in as many baby cuddles as you wish!

Dear childless friends, you might be one of these, some of these or even none of these but THANK YOU for being patient, supporting and so valuable.

A new Mum

 

Newmarket Baby Group: Daisy Baby – Tinies


 

What is it? Daisy Baby  – Tinies with Helen Plumb

“Our uniquely integrated class for mum and baby where baby massage, baby yoga, baby reflexology and calming techniques are delivered alongside educational themes which will be relevant to the babies developmental milestones. Classes progress from our rhythmic and relaxing Tinies on to the colourful and lively Wrigglers. Classes also incorporate yoga-based movement, relaxation and support for mum.”

Where is it? Tesco Community Space, Newmarket

How much is it? £36 for six weeks

When is it? Friday’s at 11am in Newmarket (Or Tuesday’s at 11am over in Isleham)

Where to park? Lots of free parking is available in the Newmarket Tesco Car Park

Pro’s: Great chance to learn a new skill (baby massage) whilst taking a calm hour to bond with your baby. The wonderful Helen is the perfect group leader too – providing helpful information, sharing her Daisy knowledge and her own personal baby experiences!

Con’s: If your baby sleeps through the class you do feel like a bit of a lemon – but that’s the same with most baby classes.

What did AB think to it? She loves the baby massage and rhymes. She wdaisyfoundationill only “coo” when she feels secure and comfortable and she is particularly vocal during the Daisy Tinies classes. AB also always has a really solid nap after being massaged in the class.

What did Mummy think to it? We have now added the Daisy baby massage technique into our bed time routine in between AB’s bath and story time/night-time feed. The accompanying nursery rhymes help tired mummy’s remember the order and method of the massage.

Was any cake involved? No… although you do walk through the bakery to get to the community room and the group tend to head to the coffee shop afterwards! Helen does make all guests a cup of tea or coffee on arrival.

Score out of 10: 10/10

Are you a breastfeeding Mummy: At the end of the class, Helen encourages Mum’s to lay back and relax/meditate with their baby. I always take the chance to give AB a lying down feed whilst listening to Helen’s dulcet tones.  

Daisy Baby – Tinies with Helen Plumb

WIN a 60 minute massage with The Lavender Clinic – suitable for pregnancy


WIN!

If you Google “Pregnancy massage Newmarket” it is no surprise that The Lavender Clinic is one of the top hits to appear on the page in front of you!

I met the talented massage therapist, Melanie back in December when I was treated to a pregnancy massage during my third trimester. With tight water retention and an aching lower back, I wish that I had booked up more 60 minute pregnancy massages with Melanie from The Lavender Clinic – particularly as she charges just £35 and is mobile.

Setting up in the comfort of my own home in Newmarket, Melanie released my back tension and eased the pain in my legs from having water retention. Pregnancy massage was a wonderfully natural way to ease my pregnancy ailments.

The Lavender Clinic’s Melanie offers pregnancy massage to Newmarket mummys-to-be over sixteen weeks pregnant.  Amongst many benefits, massage during pregnancy may help to alleviate:

  • Muscle tension
  • Muscle spasm and cramping
  • Sciatic pain
  • Swelling oedema
  • Back, neck and shoulder discomfort caused by hormonal and postural changes
  • Stress

It can also help to:

  • Improve the quality of sleep
  • Reduce headaches
  • Relieve heartburn
  • Balance mood-swings and help depression.

WIN a 60 minute full body massage or pregnancy massage. 

Massage available in Newmarket, villages within 8 miles of Newmarket, Soham, Ely and Fordham. Terms and Conditions can be found via the Rafflecopter link. 

Donating Liquid Gold


Donating breast milk in Newmarket
Donating breast milk in Newmarket

As Ireland has announced that their one and only Milk Bank has just a two week supply left, I thought it would be a good time to share the news on my latest local quest.

Donating breast milk to local hospitals in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. As we do not have a maternity unit in Newmarket you could choose between donating your milk to West Suffolk Hospital or The Rosie at Addenbrookes… or both! (All of the admin is managed by the team at The Rosie.)

Over 12lbs at 9 weeks old, AB and I have sBreastfeeding Mumsettled into a good feeding routine leaving me feeling confident and keen to share my gold top goods!

Donating breast milk to our local milk bank has been incredibly easy to kick-start and simply requires an email, blood test and a breast pump.

I will share further news on the experience in a few weeks time but here is all you need to know on how to donate breast milk to local hospitals.

Email Janette (janette.clark@addenbrookes.nhs.uk) confirming the following information:

I can confirm that I have not had a tattoo in the last 12 months or a blood transfusion in the last 3 months. 

Name:

Address:

DOB:

NHS Number:

Child’s name:

Following this you will be invited for a blood test and given a large supply of milk storage bottles.

Newmarket does not have a milk collection service yet (maybe this will be my next quest) so the only catch is that you will have to deliver your milk to the hospital every four to six weeks.

Tempted but not sure if you should donate too?

Breast milk banks are one of the reasons that more premature babies are surviving.

The BBC article explains;

“For these tiny, tiny little ones – breast milk is liquid gold, it’s liquid medicine,” said Ms McCrea.

“It’s human milk that gets their gut primed, it’s human milk that fights any infections that they can get. It constantly changes to fight all the new infections that they’re liable to have.”

She added that in some cases, donated milk could mean “the difference between life and death”.

Let us know if you will be donating your breast milk to the local milk banks too! 

Newmarket Baby Group: Breastfeeding Support Group


What is it? Newmarket Breastfeeding Support Group

Where is it? The Stables, Newmarket High Street

How much is it? Free

When is it? Wednesday mornings from 10:00am onwards – we stayed for two hours.

Where to park? On the high street (if you are lucky) or for 60p you can park in the car park behind TK Maxx for 2 hours.

Pro’s: This free support class is the perfect place to chat about the painful yet rewarding reality of breastfeeding. What’s more, the ladies are all incredibly friendly and welcoming.

Con’s: Nothing springs to mind – the group is relaxed and laid back. There isn’t a group leader setting out activities for the LO’s or demanding that specific boob-related topics are discussed. As the founder Hannah states; “Currently can only offer advice based on our own experiences and point in the direction of breastfeeding clinics or private lactation consultants, however as some of you know, I’m hoping to do some training soon.”

What did AB think to it? She fed immediately then slept for over an hour so clearly felt relaxed. The atmosphere was so chilled out that AB even felt comfortable enough to lay on the mat on her back for 15 minutes. (This never happens at home!)

What did Mummy think to it? The group and the closed Facebook page are fantastic. You will get a feel for the informative yet relaxed style of the group by adding yourself to their Facebook page. We struggle to get up, dressed and out of the house before midday but I am so glad we got into gear this morning. Despite what you might think, it’s not all about boobs! We also discussed (/moaned about) baby weight gain, other classes, prams, white noise, baby massage and sleep – or lack of!

Was any cake involved? Yes! The group now takes over a whole room right next to the cafe. The hot drinks and cake are much cheaper than other high street coffee shops, the queue to order is always very short and they will bring your goodies into the room so there is no waiting around.

Score out of 10: 10/10