Category: Parenting

In an emergency would you know what to do? Parenting Institute First Aid Course- Review

Last Wednesday, Neil and I had the pleasure of attending one of Parenting Institutes first aid courses.

Parenting Institute

Parenting Institute offers a range of training courses for parents to help them parent more confidently. They offer training by professionals and experts so you get the support and knowledge you need to support your children as best you can. You can book through Parenting Institute and they hold their classes in different locations, with different experts.

Ali

The expert on our first aid course was Ali. Ali is a Dublin firefighter/paramedic for the last 15 yrs , he deals with all types of emergencies on a daily basis, from the minor bumps and bruises to the life threatening emergencies. As a father of 3, he has dealt with his fair share of incidents , so he decided to get into teaching first aid. Recently focusing on paediatric first aid. From his experience he found parents tend to panic when dealing with their own child, So he started up his own business called Meditrain, to empower and give parents confidence in treating different types of incidents, so they’ll be able to handle emergencies confidently and safely.

The Course

Neil and I have been wanting to do a first aid course since Kyle was little. Yes- for the last 8 years!! We have seen some come up but always put it on the long finger. Things that had put me off were little things like price, that we were too busy to go and also too busy (and tired) to take everything in. I thought there would be alot of theory involved and alot of things to learn at a first aid course.

Well I stand corrected. Not only am I delighted we finally went, we actually had fun. Ali was absolutely fantastic. I think that makes a huge difference. Personally I think you need to be kept engaged to actually stay interested in something. And when its in the evening and most people there are parents of little ones its essential to be kept engaged. (And awake!)

Ali covered CPR, Abdominal Thrusts (previously called the Heimlich maneuver), Burns, Temperatures, Fevers, Cuts, The recovery position, broken bones, first aids kits, slings. How to use a defibrillator What you should have in your first aid kit and what steps you should take first in an emergency.

I would highly recommend Parenting Institutes first aid course to anyone. Before going I thought it was essential for parents but now I feel it is essential for everyone. First aid differs slightly when it comes to babies newborn-1 years old but it doesn’t differ very much to an adult.

If you have been waiting for a sign to book a first aid course this is it! Do it- it could save someones life!

For more information or to book into one of Parenting Institutes courses check out their website or facebook page.

**Neil and I were kindly invited to take part in Parenting Institutes First Aid course. But, as always my opinion is my own

Pre-school Ready

As a mum of 3 (and one on the way) I strive to make things as uncomplicated as possible. Things going to plan and as smoothly as possible is a daily goal in our house! This year preparing our 3 year old for Montessori was our goal! 
Name Tags
Lets face it, kids lose things! Everything! So, my best approach is to be as prepared for the inevitable as possible! Label everything. I found bright, fun and affordable labels from MyNameTag.ie and they make everything so convenient! My daughter’s name is on everything and I also added my number. She loves them as they are her favourite colour and also a character she loves! They do stickers for lunchboxes, bags, water bottles etc. They also do iron on labels for their clothes, slippers and even for comfort toys/blankets if they decide to bring them along too!
Personalised Bag
Another amazing company I came across was JustaThought.ie, a company that do personalised small school bags. They stich your little ones name onto it, making it very special (and convenient) for anyone starting pre school or School!Not to mention all of the patterns are absolutely adorable!

Practice
We spent a lot of time practising opening and closing bags, lunch boxes and water bottles. We also practiced taking on and off coats and shoes. And probably most important we practised her going to the toilet on her own and washing her hands.
All things that seem so simple to a child a little older or to us, but could be very daunting when they start pre school for the very first time!
Role Play
One thing our little one loved to do was Role Play. She would play the teacher and I would be the students or visa versa. It really got her an understanding of what it would be like in pre school and how exactly the dynamic would be!
Night Before Preparation 
Lastly, We got her very involved in preparing everything with us the night before. Her lunch, lunchbox, clothes, shoes, coat and even down to which hair clip she would wear. For her, it made the next morning very exciting, with her really excited to get ready in everything she had prepared herself the night before!

3D Gender Scan with Ultrasound Dimensions

Last Saturday Neil and I had the absolute pleasure of visiting Ultrasound Dimensions and having a 3D gender scan on our fourth baby!

I don’t know about other mums but for me, fourth time around and I was more nervous than ever before. I think the more pregnancies you have the more information you have also learned. With Google so easily accessible and so much information at our finger tips it can be a nerve wrecking experience getting your first scan. 
Initially when we were invited to ultrasound dimensions for our scan I spoke to Monica on the phone. Immediately I felt her calmness and her experience even just over the phone. So I have to say I felt confident going to Monica to do our scan as I really felt she knew what she was doing and she has years of experience. One thing Monica said to me on the phone when we spoke for the first time was “Eyes only see what the brain already knows” and from that moment on I knew we’d be in very capable and experienced hands with Monica at Ultrasound Dimensions Blackrock. I feel like with all the places that offer private scans all you really want and need is somebody who is fully educated in this field and knows exactly what they are doing, talking about and also looking at when they see you little baby pop up on their screen.
Our apt was for 11 on a Sat and I didn’t know how traffic or parking would pan out- already feeling anxious about the scan I didn’t need finding a parking spot and being late another issue to worry about. But it is so easy to get to and there is loads of parking right out side on the Main Street where you don’t have to pay or down one side street a 30 second walk where I think it was €1.50 for two hours parking. When we got there we were greeted by a very friendly receptionist and a calm and clean waiting area. I filled out my form before going in. Personal details and then if you wanted to also check measurements and weight which I ticked absolutely YES. This is a little extra but in my opinion totally worth it. There is also a priceless option in my opinion which is to also have everything out onto a USB key for you to keep- again this is a little extra but a fabulous touch and something you will have forever. 
In Ireland for many people especially public patients, the first scan isn’t until 20/21 weeks pregnant. A nerve wrecking time for any parent to be! I think before baby is moving and before you have really any other reassurance all is well, an early gender scan is a no brainier. For a little over €100 you can have the reassurance of seeing your baby and checking all the major bits are ok. For me, before feeling any big movements it was so nice to see baby rubbing her face and sucking her thumb and little smiles… And yes that’s right I did say her… We found out it is another little GIRL.

A major thing Neil found from our experience with ultrasound dimensions was how warm and personal the experience was. Sometimes, in your maternity hospital it can feel very clinical and when doctors are talking facts and doing their checks, although understandably they’re doing there job it can still feel very impersonal. With Monica she made us feel so at ease and like she genuinely loved what she was doing and cared about our scan as much as we did. Because let’s be real, this scan, this moment (especially for us finding out the sex) is going to change our lives. This new little one is going out family and we will remember it forever. 
Monica really got to know us and even tell us a little about her life and kids.

If you are on the fence about a private scan or a 3D scan or a gender scan I would say GO for it!! I don’t think you will ever regret seeing your baby in the womb. Or getting the reassurance that everything is ok in there! But my biggest advice is going to somebody experienced, somebody you will feel at ease with and somebody who you feel in your maternal instinct you can trust- and that is Monica at Ultrasound Dimensions in Blackrock. You will not be disappointed.

For more information or to book your own scan, check out Ultrasound Dimensions they offer so many different types of scans. One to suit any want or need you or your partner may have. Ask for Monica and dont forget to say I sent you 🙂

Thanks for reading,
Laura xx
If you want to see more of our scan and hear my views in person please watch our YouTube video down below.. 

Disclaimer- we were kindly invited to ultrasound dimensions to review their services but as ALWAYS my opinions are my own. 

5 reasons why we Love Child’s Farm!

When we were given the opportunity to review some Child’s Farm products I was more than happy to oblige. My friend Kellie from “My Little Babog Blog” loves them and uses them on her children so I knew I would love it too, so of course I jumped at the chance!

From the very first squeeze of the bottle, I knew I would love them! We are totally converted and here are 5 reasons why..

Joanna

Joanna Jensen the creator and found of Child’s Farm first caught my attention. A mum of two daughters, Joanna only used organic washes on their skin and hair and she often felt disappointed by the products. Joanna decided it was time kids had their own set of products, which smelt great, were kind to skin and really worked…and the idea for the Childs Farm was born. Joanna had clear ideas of what she wanted from her children’s brand and most importantly it had to be as natural as possible with ‘free-from’ ingredients without affecting quality or results.
Joanna worked for a year getting the products right, making sure that the blends were just perfect by using a combination of essential oils along with the wonder ingredient, Argan oil. Most importantly, SLS, SLES, artificial colours, mineral oils, parabens and petrochemicals are NOWHERE to be found, and together this has resulted in Childs Farm becoming the first, and only, baby & children’s skincare range of its kind!
The smell
The smell is absolutely devine and it’s a soft natural smell not really strong and in your like other baby brands I have used on my children in the past. 
Even after the bath is over the soft smell lingers in the bathroom.. And I really noticed even when I was kissing the kids goodnight when I’m going to bed I can smell it off their hair and the moisturiser I’ve used on them.. It’s edible!!
The Ingredients
* Childs Farm uses natural ‘free-from’ ingredients and essential oils to produce a range of mild, kind and delicious-smelling toiletries.
* All Childs Farm products care for the hair and skin of newborns, babies and children.
* One of very few baby and child ranges that undergo clinical and controlled user trials.
* These certify that all Childs Farm products are dermatologically tested and approved, and paediatrician approved, as suitable for newborns and children with sensitive and eczema-prone skin.
The gentleness 
Noa has the same skin as me. It’s very sensitive. Any time she has an infection her skin can break out in a rash or hives.. So I’ve always had to be so careful with her bath products and the washing powder I used on her clothes and bed clothes. Child’s Farm is so gentle on her skin. I honestly have never felt or seen her hair so soft! Her skin is soft and not one hint of a reaction. It’s like a weight is lifted. I’ve found something I can use on her that literally ticks all of the boxes! 
✓  Dermatologically tested and approved
✓  Paediatrician approved
✓  Suitable for newborns and upwards
✓  Suitable for children with sensitive and eczema prone skin
✓  98% naturally derived ingredients
✓  Made with organic essential oils
✓  Free from parabens, SLSs, mineral oils and artificial colours
✓  Never tested on animals, only on people

The price
I have been using these products for 4 weeks and they are not even half gone yet.. The bubbles have less in it, my kids love lots of bubbles and you have to use a generous amount but still loads left! 
The 250ml are only only €4.50. And in my opinion,worth every cent! 

Now the low down on what we thought of each product we reviewed…

Bubble Bath
As I said above the smell is amazing.. The bubble bath moisturises as you bathe which I love as my girls have dry skin. You have to use quite a generous amount though to get lots of bubbles like my girls want. (Which is lots!!)
3in1 Swim
This shampoo, conditioner and body wash combo I was excited to try. Kyle does swimming lessons and even after showering I can never get the smell of chlorine off him. This is fantastic. It’s gentle, it didn’t sting his eyes and left his skin feeling really soft. And most importantly it got rid of the smell of chlorine!!!!
Moisturiser 
I was very impressed with the moisturiser too. I think it is the best moisturiser I’ve ever used on my children! It smells fresh and light, it left their skin so soft and it drys very quick. Which for me is essential. It didn’t leave their skin oily or greasy what so ever like brands I’ve used in the past! Love it! 
Hair and Body Wash 
This is great. One thing I love is that it doesn’t lather too much in the hair.. Some products give too much lather and just when you think it’s all out there’s more left! 
It didn’t give a hint of irritation to my three children’s sensitive skin (especially Noa Belle) and it didn’t sting any little eyes!
Hair Detangler 
Again, another Child’s Farm product I will buy again! This leaves Noas hair smelling amazing and even when she is just sitting on my lap I can smell it! Her hair has never been softer or shinier between this and the hair and body wash! You just need a little amount sprayed into the hair and brushing through is a dream. 
Overall- SO impressed!!!
We were sent these Child’s Farm products for the purpose of this review but, as always, my opinion and words are my own. 

Sudocrem Baby Changing Room Facilities Awards 2016

Parents from all over the country have been voting in the Sudocrem Baby Changing Room Awards and the best changing rooms in Ireland winners have just been announced!
Research revealed that 94 percent of parents consider baby changing rooms important when planning their day out.
But a shocking 45 percent have experienced a dirty changing room and a further 30 percent have faced a lack of bin for nappies and other waste when changing their little one.
Sudocrem is encouraging venues across Ireland to provide clean, safe and warm baby changing room facilities. 
These places were voted the best and received three stars… 
Blanchardstown Centre, Dublin
Dundrum Town Centre, Dublin
Kildare Village
MacDonagh Junction Shopping Centre, Kilkenny
Mahon Point Shopping Centre, Cork
Boots, Liffey Valley Shopping Centre
Brown Thomas, Cork
Brown Thomas, Dublin
IKEA, Dublin
The top things parents want in a baby changing room are:
1. A designated room for baby changing
2. Clean facilities with a dedicated bin for nappies and wipes
3. A changing table at waist height that has a security belt.
4. A changing table within arm’s length of the sink
5. Feeding support for example a chair for the parent that is separate to the changing area
6. A changing room that is wide enough to fit a buggy / double buggy
7. A toilet for the parent or other children within the same baby changing space
Receiving 2 stars were.. 
Jervis Shopping Centre, Dublin
Liffey Valley Shopping Centre, Dublin
The Square, Tallaght
Pavilions Shopping Centre, Swords
Stephens Green Shopping Centre, Dublin
Marshes Shopping Centre, Dundalk
Douglas Village Shopping Centre, Cork
Arnotts, Dublin
Boots, Castlebar
Boots, Childers Road, Limerick
Mothercare, Crescent Shopping Centre, Limerick
Debenhams, Newbridge
Debenhams, Mahon Point, Cork
Marks & Spencer, Blanchardstown
Tesco, Oranmore, Galway
Ilac Shopping Centre, Dublin
Ballincollig Shopping Centre, Cork
Manor West Shopping Centre, Tralee
Wilton Shopping Centre, Cork
Mothercare, Sligo
And receiving one star in the awards.. 
Applegreen Enfield West on the M4
Marks & Spencer, Dundrum
Is there one near you?

10 foods to eat when you are breastfeeding..

Porridge 
Porridge Oats are a completely natural whole grain, high-fiber food. A bowl of porridge in the morning can help increase your milk supply. Plus, oats are high in iron; and iron-deficiency anemia, which is common in new mums and can affect your milk supply! 
Yogurt
Stocking your fridge with yogurt a smart move because the creamy stuff has got both protein and calcium! Just beware that some breastfeeding moms are told to give up dairy if baby is diagnosed with a milk protein intolerance. Signs your baby could be one of them include frequent spitting up, diarrhea, bloody stools, rashes, coughing and wheezing.
Brown rice
White or brown? Brown rice is better for you because it’s got more fiber and other nutrients. Complex carbs like brown rice (and porridge) help keep you full and keep your blood sugar at consistent levels (no drastic energy dips!). Brown rice does take a little longer to cook than white rice. If you don’t have time, don’t worry! Instant boil-in-bag brown rice has the same nutrition content as the regular kind, but require less effort.
Dates
Dates are another calcium-rich food, they’re thought to help increase milk supply, since they increase prolactin like apricots do. They’re also a high-fiber, naturally sweet treat. Their high finer content also helps keep your bowels regular! Which is great for after birth when you can become constipated! Chop some up and add them to your morning porridge! 
Beans
Fiber-rich kidney, black, pinto and other beans can be good for your digestive system, and they’re fantastic sources of iron and protein. 
Almonds
Almonds aren’t just packed with protein; they’re a good non-dairy source of calcium. And the every little bit helps. Breastfeeding moms should take in 1000 mg of calcium per day. That’s because the milk you make is high in calcium, and if you don’t get enough in your diet, your bones and teeth could be robbed of calcium they need. There are some exceptions though. If you’re allergic to almonds, they’re obviously a no-no. And if your family history includes a history of nut allergies, you might want to hold off on them until your baby is at least 3 months old, since food proteins more easily pass from a mom to her baby’s bloodstream (via the baby’s gut) in the first three months of baby’s life.
Salmon
This tasty, fatty fish might be the perfect meat for breastfeeding moms. It’s high in protein, and also contains large amounts of DHA, this type of fat is very important to the development of your baby’s nervous system. 
Apricots
Apricots contain dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium, all essential nutrients. Eating apricots can also increase prolactin—that’s the hormone that tells your body to produce milk. Fresh, whole apricots are a better source of fiber than canned apricots; if you go canned, look for ones packed in water or natural juices, instead of sugary syrup. Dried apricots are also easy to toss in the diaper bag for an on-the-go snack.
Spinach
Actually, pretty much any dark green, leafy veggie is a breastfeeding super food. That includes broccoli and Kale. They’re full of nutrients and even high in calcium. (This one’s for you vegan and veggie moms!) So you can get a veggie serving and a calcium-rich serving in one, delicious, leafy food. Plus, we love how versatile spinach can be. Eat it fresh in a salad, sautee it as a side, or add it to lasagna.
Sesame seeds
Who knew? Sesame seeds are packed with calcium, and are a good source of fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and manganese. Toast them and sprinkle them over a salad of dark leafy greens. Or add some to your veggies; green beans and sesame seeds are a tasty combo.

To epidural or to not epidural..

I had an epidural on my first two babies. I was a huge believer in pain relief, and I suppose looking back really didn’t know too much about the side effects of having an epidural and really didn’t care. I was too scared to do it without and totally thought there is nobody handing out medals at the end for bravery! I blame age, lack of education and definitely lack of explanation in my midwifery care and hospital.

On my first, Kyle in 2009 I had an epidural. He was a forceps delivery. Afterward I experienced horrific migraines to the point where I couldn’t open my eyes… The epidural had gone too far and pierced my spinal cord. I had to have a blood patch done. Another epidural (basically) but it fed blood from my arm into my back to patch up the little tear. It worked immediately but I suffered with back pain for years as a result. And I was hospitalised again when he was 10 months old for horrific migraines again… 
When I was having Noa I thought I could try do without but once in labour with her the fear took over and I asked for an epidural. I had a long labour. I got the epidural at 2cm and it slowed everything down. By the time I was 10cm 10 hours later the epidural had semi worn off and I couldn’t get another. She was born “star gazing” and got into difficulty which resulted in an episiotomy.. I felt everything.

I had all intention of getting an epidural on Briar again mainly out of fear. That I wouldn’t be strong enough, capable enough, brave enough to do it without. How wrong I was….
All my intentions went out the window when she decided to arrive 6 mins after I got to the hospital. No time to get an epidural, no time to take a Panadol, no time to take my clothes off!!!! 
And what an easy birth hers was. Coincidence maybe but I think not…. I stayed at home doing things and walking around and this was my first pro during childbirth- gravity for sure helped my body with contracting effectively. When I was in transition I instinctively got onto all fours (in my hallway!!!) and this helped hugely with that… 
Lying in a hospital bed on your back with your legs numb is really not how Mother Nature intended us to give birth. 
I gave birth to her with one push and there was absolutely no intervention then or after. No stitches, no stinging, vertually no pain afterwards. I could walk, I could dance. I was on cloud nine! 
Briar was my third time to give birth so that could have played a big role but I am so thrilled to have proven to myself and maybe others that you don’t need an epidural to give birth and if you are planning on one just be completely informed on pros, cons and side effects. 
Of course everyone is different. Every mothers preference and choice is different and no choice is right or wrong. The main thing is baby makes a safe arrival! 

Baby now teething ball…

My poor little baby has started teething months before her brother or sister ever did. So these teething balls came at just the right time! As soon as I took it out of the box the rattle inside caught Briar’s attention… And still now two weeks later as soon as she hears it her head turns. So that is a great feature. For B it took her a while (she’s still not a pro) to learn to grasp it. With all the bits to chew it did take her a while to learn which ones she likes and which ones she didn’t. But once she did she absolutely loved it! Since receiving it I have given it to her every single day. It’s my go to when she’s cranky. And the little rattle noise stops her crying every single time.

We have a Sophie the giraffe too which she absolutely loves but she does get a bit frustrated with Sophie as it’s hard to find an easy but to chew on. But with the Babynow teething ball the little bits are the perfect size for her to chew on. Each and every one of them!

It’s 100% BPA free and child safe. Designed in Ireland! Two balls come in the box, in bright colours and textured surfaces to stimulate your child’s senses! The surfaces help massage babies gums! 

Two come in each box in different colours so I gave one to a friend who’s baby is just a little older than Briar Rose…. This was her opinion…. 
“Tom loves it, he really enjoys chewing the different textures. Sometimes I notice he finds one he really likes and no matter which way I give him the ball he chews that one. The only negative I would say is the bell inside, it’s pretty annoying and now sure it’s needed. Thanks again for sharing with us”
You can get yours from babynowbrand.com 
Disclaimer- I received this product for free for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

Instead I held you….

Briar is going through her 4th leap at the moment and wants nothing but my arms….. 

It can be stressful but this time around… With baby number 3, I chose to embrace it! 
Today while Noa was having her nap B was so cranky I lay on the couch with her on my chest and she fell asleep… And so this blog post was inspired… 
I should be cleaning the kitchen and putting away the grocerys but instead I cuddled you…  
I should be hoovering the floors and mopping afterwards. But instead I kissed you and let you sleep…. 
I should be re-washing the clothes I left out in the rain last night and forgot to take in… But instead I held you tighter. 
I could be doing my hair and putting a little bit of make up on but instead I held you.. 
I should be running the piles of clothes in our kitchen through the dryer and put them away… But instead I kiss your tiny hand that is resting on my chest… 
Because one day that tiny little hand won’t reach for me.
One day my chest won’t be where she rests her head. 
One day her tiny hand won’t fit in mine like this. 
And one day her tiny calm body won’t fit on my chest anymore. 
So today….
I held you. 

Surviving the first few days..

Those first few days while you are still in hospital with your beautiful little bundle are indescribable. You are so high on endorphins and adrenalin, and mainly high on love of your little one. You cant sleep if you wanted to because when you are not smiling and talking about your new baby you are staring at them. 

There is nothing at all for you to do but be gentle with yourself and look after your baby. Everything you need is within arms reach and your breakfast, lunch and dinner is made for you. 
All you really want to do is bring your little bundle home.. you big yourself up for the big day and first journey home….
Now what…
Here are a few little tricks to surviving those first few weeks (and months) of motherhood…
Accept Help:
This is my best advice I have ever given and been given. I dont know if it is an Irish or a pride thing, but us Irish have such a tendency to say no to help. The Irish “I’m grand” attitude.. But the more help you have the happier mom you will be- from my experience. When Briar was born my MIL brought over a cooked chicken and a little grocery shop and it was literally the best thing anyone could have done for me. 
Do nothing:
As a mum of three there is ALWAYS something to do. And I am never on top of everything at home. But getting through those first few days/weeks it’s important to just switch off do nothing and lean a little bit heavier on your partner/husband. It might be hardier on them for a while but looking after a newborn especially if you have others kids is hard too. Especially if you are breastfeeding and doing all the nights too!
Sleep:
Its the good Oul “sleep when the baby sleeps” advice but it is so true. Sleep deprivation not only affects you mentally it leaves you looking drained, grey and it can start to takes its toll on you skin too. It’s extremely hard to sleep when baby sleeps when you have other kids or an 18month old like I did but try go to bed super early or when baby starts to get into a bit of a routine go to bed when baby does! These days don’t last forever but the days will be much easier and enjoyable when you’ve had more sleep! 
Eat well and Drink water: 
If you are breastfeeding you are already drinking litres of water!!!! But eating right and drinking enough water is essential for a successful breast feeding journey and also to help you look and feel better after delivery. Never skip a meal. 
Start your day on the right foot:
How you start your day can really effect how your whole day pans out. For me if I put on a little bit of make up, brush my hair and put on something that’s not a tracksuit or lounge pants and my day is already looking brighter.. Now I’m not saying fresh hair and a full face of make up but a bit of mascara and a brush through your hair can make all the difference!! 
Work out:
At the end of those first few weeks my greatest tip is to walk or work out or both! Obviously check with your GP and make sure it’s okay for you to start excersizing again and then the sky’s the limit. For me working out or walking helps me mentally more than anything.
These tips aren’t for everyone and as we know every mom is different. 
These worked for me.. 
Would love to hear your tips to. 
To see more follow me on Instagram and follow my snap chat “lovelifelittle1” and check out my what I get up to Wednesday’s. 

Thanks for reading 
Laura