It’s Alex’s second birthday this month. Firstly, I’m freaking out about my baby turning two but I’m also in a bit of a stress about what to buy him for his birthday. Our house is overrun with toys and I really don’t want to add more to it, there’s going to be no avoiding the massive influx of toys that will be taking over our house come the 21st of this month though! I’m getting bored of always shopping in the same shops on the high street and I’m trying to think of other places I can go browsing for Alex’s present this year. View Post
Potty training, we all dread it don’t we? The thought of puddles of wee on the carpet or a smelly poo hiding amongst the toys on the floor, it’s enough to make even the most hardcore parent squirm as they reach for the anti bac and pull on the rubber gloves. We get through it though and whether it’s with or without some mess and stress along the way, at some point our toddlers start doing their business in the toilet and we are free from nappy changing duties at long last.
Except we’re not.
After taking a very relaxed approach to potty training, from about 2 years 9 months Leo was dry in the day but still wore a nappy at bedtime. In August last year Leo turned 4 and we ditched the bedtime nappies once and for all. There have been a few accidents since we said bye bye to the pull ups but at last I can confidently say Leo is 99.9% dry at night now – yay! View Post
I love babywearing, well, I guess I should call it toddlerwearing now as Alex is definitely not a baby anymore. I was ignorant to how useful wearing your baby in a sling is when I had my first child, I was part of the naïve ‘you’ll make a rod for your own back’ camp. I know, I was stupid. Babywearing does the complete opposite, your life as a mum isn’t hindered by carrying your baby in a sling, it all becomes so much easier! Don’t believe me? Well, here’s a list of five things that are so much easier thanks to babywearing. View Post
Taking the kids to the cinema can be a bit hit or miss can’t it? Especially taking a toddler under two, they are unpredictable at the best of times, let alone in a darkened cinema room, with a big screen, booming sound and loads of people about for your little cherub to throw popcorn at. We have been taking Leo to the cinema since he was about 20months old and he loves it. Alex is 18months and he is more into the whole popcorn throwing thing than watching the film but I think he enjoys it too. We were invited to a preview screening of Sherlock Gnomes at Showcase de Lux in Southampton and we actually managed to all have a really lovely family trip to the cinema and I definitely think the cinema itself and the film we watched were key in making or day out such a success. If you are planning on taking your kids to the cinema for this first time soon, here are my top tips for taking young children and toddlers to the cinema, along with my thoughts on the Showcase de Lux cinema and Sherlock Gnomes. Spoiler alert: We loved it all! View Post
If there is one thing all parents are obsessed with, it is getting our kids to go to sleep. My main concern when I had Leo 4 years ago was how on earth was I going to get my baby to have a good nights sleep so we could both get some much needed rest. Struggling to get your little ones off to the land of nod and then actually getting a decent stretch of sleep once they finally drop off is one of the biggest challenges faced by parents and is something we are all keen to find a solution for. Well, I have two kids now and I have been using a very simple routine at bedtime ever since Leo was 6 weeks old and, I am pleased to report, it really works. The bedtime routine we use with our toddler and four year old is bath, book, bed. Jo Frost and Book Trust have teamed up together for the third year running to share tips and advice on the best bedtime routine with their successful Beth, Book, Bed campaign. A good bedtime routine really is the key to a successful nights sleep, here are my tips along with some great information from the Bath, Book, Bed campaign to help you are your little ones have a happy bedtime and a peaceful nights sleep. View Post
My family have been living off one pay packet a month for over 2 years now and over that time I have had to learn a thing or two about living frugally. Life is expensive and I love finding ways to ease the financial pinch, no one likes that scary moment in the shops when you don’t know if your card is going to be declined or not. One of the best and simplest ways we have been able to keep to our strict monthly budget is by saving a big chunk of money on our weekly food shop. There are so many ways you can cut the cost of your food shopping: buying supermarket own brands, making your own bread in a bread maker (you can even make your own cakes and treats in certain bread makers!) and swapping certain foods for cheaper alternatives, to name but just a few.
Today I am sharing all my tips and tricks on how to slash not just pennies but serious cash off your family food shop. I see some people spending hundreds of pounds on food each week and, if you shop smart, it really doesn’t have to cost you a small fortune to feed your family healthy and nutritious food every day.
Here is my full list of 20 tried and tested easy ways you can save money on the weekly food shop, leaving you with more cash to do some of the things you love (or pay the boring bills with!). View Post
Are you feeling the pinch? Do you hold your breath when you check your bank balance at the ATM? With Christmas only a few months away, are you panicking about how you are going to get through the holidays without going completely bankrupt?
Raising a family is a seriously expensive business and we could all benefit from saving a few extra pennies where we can. If you are looking for ways to save money and make a little bit of extra dollar too then I hope you find this post helpful. I have put together a list of 5 ways to save money and 5 ways to make a bit of extra money too. So, get reading and start planning what you’re going to do with all that extra cash. View Post
Waa, Leo is starting primary school in less than 3 weeks time and I am so not ready to be sending my baby off to the classroom 5 days a week. I am feeling emotional about this massive step, obviously, and if I am being completely honest I am feeling really overwhelmed too. Leo is my firstborn, I have not had to navigate the chaos of the school run and the world of playground politics before; when it comes to starting school and getting organised I am clueless. To help me feel a little less terrified about the new school year and to give me a lesson or two on how to ease my child into reception year, I have enlisted the help of some fellow mummy bloggers. I asked 10 of my lovely blogging buddies, all mums of children already in school, to share with me their top tips, survival hacks and pearls of wisdom on how to prepare and ease your child (and yourself) into school life. If you have a little one donning a school uniform for the first time this September too then I am sure you will find this post useful and will be bossing your new life as a school run mum before the first half term is over. View Post
I always knew that if I ever had a baby I would breastfeed, I have no problem with mothers who bottle feed but I knew that wasn’t the feeding method for me. Before I had my babies, one of the things that worried me about breastfeeding was how I would feel when it came to feeding my baby out of the house. Unfortunately, breastfeeding in public is still seen as a bit controversial and is a bit of a taboo subject, I have no idea why as women have been doing it forever. Because of this often negative view of breastfeeding in public places, nursing mums can often feel self conscious and nervous when feeding out and about. I know from my experience as a first time Mum at 22 how stressed and anxious I felt feeding Leo out of the house in those early weeks.
Now, I’m almost 3 months into feeding my second baby and I will seriously feed him anywhere. If he is hungry then I’m going to feed him whether that’s at home, in a coffee shop or on platform 3 at the train station. When it comes to breastfeeding in public I have learnt not to be self conscious and I am so much more confident now than I was as a first time breastfeeding mummy. If you are pregnant or a new mummy who is nervous about feeding your baby out of the house, here is my quick guide to breastfeeding in public with confidence. View Post
Today I am handing my blog over to my fabulous blogging pal Debbie who blogs over at My Random Musings. Debbie has written a really useful post about getting new blog readers by using Twitter. If you are a blogger then this post is definitely worth a read.
I will always remember the day we brought Leo home as a newborn. Our life as we knew it was over and this was also the case for our lovely cat, Blue. No longer would he have all our attention and love, he was always our fur baby but we now we had an actual human being to look after too. Blue was always pretty indifferent towards Leo, their first meeting consisted of a quick sniff from the cat, Leo’s newborn baby smell obviously melted Blue’s heart too because we never had any problems. However, not all pets take to a new member of the family so easily. For anyone who is worried about introducing their beloved pet to their newborn baby, lovely Kim who blogs over at Odd Hogg has some great tips on how to prepare your pet for the family’s new addition. Over to you Kim.. View Post
Welcome back to my Working with brands mini series. If you missed part 1 – My top tips for new bloggers – please go and have a read, especially if you are a new blogger interested in making money from your writing. I was so overwhelmed by all the positive comments I received on this post, so many new bloggers genuinely grateful for my advice and thanking me for sharing my experience of working with brands as a small blogger. This week I thought I would share with you 10 lessons I have learnt since I began making money from my blog, the list includes positive things I have discovered as well as some hard lessons that I have learnt along the way. I suggest popping the kettle on, grabbing a coffee and making yourself comfortable, this is quite a read but I think (hope!) it is worth it. Enjoy. View Post
On the weekend Oli, Leo and I were up in Leicester visiting our lovely friends for their little boys 3rd birthday party. As we were up in that part of the country we decided to head on over to Thomas Land on the Sunday for some locomotive, tooting good fun. We have previously visited Thomas Land in December on one of their magical Christmas days, Leo loved it and I couldn’t wait to take him back to meet his favourite engines all over again. If you have a toddler who loves trains and is also a Thomas fan, I can’t recommend Thomas Land enough. I have decided to write about our day to convince any parents out there that a trip to Thomas Land is always a good idea. I hope you enjoy reading about our fun filled day and I have also chucked in a few tips to help make your day as fun as possible too. View Post
Ahh the elusive ‘me time’, something all us parents crave but rarely get the opportunity to enjoy. Being a mum to an almost 3 year old I am always searching for a spare 5 (or 10) minutes I can grab for myself, away from the toddler chaos and all the other demands of the stay at home parent life.
In reality, I feel like I need more than 10 minutes. I feel like a whole week at a spa retreat, doing yoga and having daily massages would just about give me the energy boost I seriously need after 3 years of parenting. Unfortunately, with a family and house to look after and with barely enough money to fund a weekend of camping in a field, a week at a spa just isn’t feasible right now.
If you are in the same situation as me then fear not, yes a week of relaxing bliss may be out of the question but there are still ways you can grab some precious me time at home. Here are some examples of how you can unwind and relax after a hectic day of changing nappies, chasing toddlers around, washing 50 loads of clothes, cleaning the floor under the high chair, toddler group hell..do I need to go on? View Post
It is not very often you will find posts about blogging here on Naptime Natter. It is not that I don’t enjoy writing about my favourite hobby ever, it is just that I feel there are so many more experienced bloggers out there who can offer you much more valuable advice and tips than I ever could. You see, when it comes to stats and all that stuff, my blog is still pretty small. Although I may be a very small fish in the overflowing pond of parent bloggers, this hasn’t stopped me from working with brands. View Post