Sleep tips for babies {or what works for us}

sleepy vega

While I’m not one for strict routines or set times with a baby, having a flexible routine, especially come bedtime, really does make life easier. With all four of our kiddos, we’ve implemented a loose bedtime routine from around 6-8 weeks. They’ve all slept through from around the 8-12 week mark. Vega now at 13 weeks usually sleeps from around 10pm to 7am.

Establishing a bedtime routine early on is the best thing you can do to help them sleep well, kiddos like to know what is coming next, and doing the same things in the same order can help them settle easier.

Differentiate between Night and Day – During the day we keep it bright and loud, we don’t tell the other children to be quiet around the baby, we talk and smile and chatter to baby during feeds. Come night time, we keep lights dimmed, the noise down and don’t talk/play during feeds {though I’ll often whisper an ‘I love you’ into a tiny little ear}. Also, at night time, I only change nappies if they’ve pooped – I try and wake them as little as possible.

Watch your babies natural routine – I find that by the 6-8 week mark, my babies have settled into their own routine of sorts, and I know them well enough to know how much sleep they need, their signs they’re tired and how long they can stay awake for at a time. I don’t see the point of stressing trying to force a baby into a routine that goes against their natural rythems, rather I work with them and gradually make little tweaks here and there. My babies always seem to settle later in the evening – nearer the 10pm mark, but I’d much rather have their company in the evening than have lots of wake ups or early mornings! Do what works best for YOUR family.

Let them nap lots! It’s often surprising how much sleep babies need, a newborn can often sleep for 18 hours a day or more! My babies {thankfully} like to sleep lots! Babies who nap more are more likely to sleep well at night, oddly, overtired babies will wake more!

earth friendly baby

Bath,feed,bed
Create a little bedtime routine that you follow each evening. We do bath, feed, bed… there’s often a little play in-between feed and bed! We don’t have a set time, but following the same order of events means Vega knows that bedtime is approaching. I use these Earth Friendly Baby products at bathtime. They’re scented with Lavender which helps to settle them and make them sleepy. Vega loves a little massage with their baby lotion.

He’s usually ready for a feed as soon as he hops out the bath, so I snuggle him up in his towel for a quick feed, then put him in his PJ’s, and then depending on how sleepy he is, either let him have a wriggle or pop him straight in his sleeping bag. He’s been using this GroBag since he was 6 weeks old and it’s fab. I’ve used sleeping bags for all my kiddos, as I know they can’t kick them off and get cold, or end up with blankets over their faces. This one is a 2.5 tog – perfect for this cold winter, it keeps him super warm and cosy and helps him sleep really well. Again, putting it on at bedtime is another cue that it’s time for a big sleep.

grobag

Encourage them to fall asleep alone Now, I’m not strict on this one. However, I do try in the day to pop Vega down before he’s too tired, and more often than not he’ll doze off by himself. It does help them learn to go from one sleep cycle to the next in the middle of the night without needing to be rocked/cuddled/fed back to sleep. However, Vega usually falls asleep on the boob at bedtime! So he’s often flat out when I pop him in his crib.

Don’t panic! It’s hard when you’re exhausted and run down from getting up a zillion times a night to feed a baby. Try not to panic and think that you’re never going to sleep again. All babies are different, some babies sleep through early on, others don’t. It’s pure pot luck. I’m a believer in going with the flow, figuring out what works best for you and your baby.

After four babies, I’m much more relaxed this time around! Our first was one of those magical babies who slept 12 hours from 8 weeks {don’t hate me!} the next two, I remember feeling so stressed, convinced they would never sleep through the night! Endless panics of ‘OMG they’re sleeping too much in the day’… now, I figure what will be will be!

No two babies are the same, some sleep lots, some don’t! What works for one baby might not work for another. Above all, listen to your instinct and your baby.

Saving for a new house

saving online

The one thing that’s rubbish about being an actual proper grown-up is having to save, and not just spend all your money on pretty things or holidays! To be honest, it’s the one thing we’ve never been that great at. For one, we’ve never had much spare cash to save and what little we did have always went on a rare treat. The past few years we have finally gotten a little better at managing our cash, budgeting and *gasp* saving for things!

It’s handy to have some savings behind you, for emergencies {like washing machines suddenly breaking} or even just being able to go away for a weekend. Now we’ve grown to a family of six we’ve outgrown our house and are looking to move. While we’ll be sticking with renting for now, and saving for that, in the long term we’d like to save for a deposit on a house of our own.

We’ve been tightening our belts this year, putting every spare penny asides ready for moving house {soon I hope!}

Here are our top tips for saving:

1. Use online banking – Being able to check our bank accounts on the computer means I can keep a close eye on our income and outgoings. I have a couple of saving accounts linked to my current account to make it easy to put money aside for certain things. I have one account that is for Christmas Savings, another ‘rainy day’ fund and one that is for Rent and Bills. There are even apps for your smartphone so you can check your balance on the move.

2. Set a goal – If you know exactly how much you need to save, it’s easier to save… Use a savings calculator to help you work out how much you need to save each month.

3 Consider investing – If you’re looking for longer term savings, something to give you a safety net or to use for a business investment, investing your money is a great idea and not only for the super rich. A platform such as Nutmeg can help build a personal portfolio based on your requirements. You can open a Nutmeg ISA or personal pension and set up as many funds as you like, perhaps to invest for the childrens future or to save towards a deposit on a house.

This video explains how it works far better than I can ;)

4. Budget! Once you know how much you need to save, use a budgeting planner to help you figure out how much you can afford to save each month.

Are you a saver or a spender? Do you have a savings safety net behind you?

Bluestone

We were lucky enough to spend the week at Bluestone in Pembrokeshire last week – Vega’s first holibobs!

bluestone mama and beastie

After a long cold winter, and a newborn, we were really excited for a road trip and a week away! It’s about a three and a half hour drive from where we live in North Wales, we broke the drive up with a quick stop in Aberystwyth so it wasn’t too bad, and thankfully Vega slept most of the way! Pembrokeshire is such a beautiful area, and we really lucked out with mild, sunny weather.

bluestone baya stairs

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What Mama Wore – Wallis Style Advisor

I mentioned in my last outfit post that after having a baby, sometimes I don’t feel like ‘me’, I’ve spent nine months with a big round belly, feeling feminine and beautiful, and suddenly that bump is gone and I’m not sure who I am or what to wear. The Wallis Style Advisor app is an on-site app that assesses your colour and style preferences, then puts together a selection of items that are aimed at your tastes and personality.

wallis style advisor

It asks questions about body shape and colouring, as well as questions about your lifestyle as well as other brands you like to put together a personal profile. It only takes five minutes to complete, and then it gives you your own style profile and recommended outfits.

It told me:

“You’re the ideal blank fashion canvas with your slender silhouette and balanced hip to shoulder proportions. Focus on creating a more defined waist and magic up some sexy curves. Tops and dresses with belts, ties or nipping at the waist are your best friends. Details at shoulder and bust create shapely volume. Look for fuller bottoms and skirts that create shape. Straight, baggy clothes are a waste of time.”

wallis shoes

It also suggests which styles are best for you {in my case, it recommended shift dresses, fitted tops, slim jumpers and slim leg trousers. About 70% off the pieces it picked out are the styles that I’d usually go for, you can also tell it what size you wear in other brands so it can suggest the size you need in Wallis clothes.

Based on it’s recommendations, I picked out a pair of slim fit jeans, a striped long jumper, a pair of black mocs and a grey biker jacket.

wallis style picks

Overall, I’m happy with the suggestions that it picked out for me, it’s a great way of seeing what you should be wearing or avoiding and perhaps finding some styles you might not have picked out before.

post in collaboration with Wallis

13/52

vega 1352 web

baya 13/52

kiki 13/52

lola 1352 web

Vega – 13 weeks – love his little frown when he’s asleep
Baya – 6 years – such a happy little bee
Kiki – 8 years – mischief!
Lola – 11 years – always deep in thought