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Olivers 8 Month Update | Dairy Free & Crawling

Sunday, 2 July 2017
8 MONTH OLD BABY DEVELOPMENT UPDATE CRAWLING SITTING UP DAIRY FREE DIET

It's probably been his biggest month yet. In the last 30 days, Oliver has transformed from a little baby to a big boy that sits up, crawls and flashes two big teeth every time he grins. I really feel like this was the month he changed into a 'big baby' if that makes sense. He almost looks like a tiny toddler now, especially when he holds onto his daddy's hands and practises walking. It's the funniest thing watching him lift each foot up to waist height before slamming it down to the ground - you'd think he was doing the hurdles rather than going for a little stroll. 

Shortly after his 7 month 'birthday', Oliver started sitting up unassisted. He'd been able to sit up for a while, but had never been steady enough to sit without a few cushions behind him to soften the blow when he lost his balance. He doesn't need them now, and he's finally stopped throwing himself backwards! 

Oliver's crawling started around the 8 month mark. I'm not sure if you can call it a 'crawl' yet, to be honest. It's more of an army crawl than a baby crawl, but he's putting in the practise and his technique is getting better by the day. Gone are the days when I could leave him on the rug, knowing he could only roll side to side. He can now go side to side, and forward at a quick pace, meaning before I know it he's managed to reverse himself under the chair. It's the cutest thing to see his little face peering up at me, waiting for me to spot him hiding in the corner! 

BABY UPDATE 8 MONTHS DEVELOPMENT CRAWLING SITTING UP DAIRY FREE DIET FOR REFLUX

When it comes to sleeping, we've managed to phase out the Sleepyhead in the last month. It took a good few nights of broken sleep, because he kept rolling over and waking himself up but now that he's used to it, he rolls over at the start of the night and sleeps on his side or his tummy now. He's still an early riser, waking at 6am most days. If you'd have told me a year ago that 7am was a lie in, I'd have laughed but I live for those mornings now!

Oliver's settled into a routine with his naps during the day now too. Before now, he'd have a long nap in the morning then kind of sleep at different points during the day when he felt tired or when we were in the car. Now, though, he has a 1-2 hour nap at 9am, a quick nap at 2pm and then he'll always sleep for an hour after his bottle at 4pm. That's the time I always look forward to because I normally make up his bottle, pick something good on the telly and let him nap on me while I have a wee cup of tea and chill out. I'm really cherishing moments like this just now, as it's not long before I return to work and I know I'll be looking at the clock at 4pm every day and missing those naps. 

Reflux is still a big problem and we're in the middle of a dairy-free diet just now and nutrimigen milk. The doctor wants to rule out any kind of intolerance, since we've noticed his reflux is amplified after cheese and yoghurts. In all honesty though, I don't think he has an intolerance and despites some good days at the start, the dairy free diet hasn't improved anything so far. I think I'll write a post on it at the end of the trial to say how we got on, but I can't say I have high hopes. 

Oliver is the happiest, sweetest and friendliest little guy at 8 months. He loves to 'roar' like a little lion, to wave at everyone he see's (including blank walls, which freaks me out!) and he's at his happiest when he's splashing around in the sink with lots of bubbles. Of course, I'm going to finish on the same note as I always do with these monthly updates. 8 months is my favourite age so far!

Watch Olivers 8 Month Video Here ---> 8 MONTH OLD BABY UPDATE

Have any of you put your baby on a dairy free diet?

Instagram: How to Get Your Creative Spark Back

Wednesday, 28 June 2017
Instagram is my favourite social media platform. I love looking at the beautiful pictures on my feed and reading little snippets of what's going on in everyone's lives that day. I've met some lovely friends through it and over the last few months, I've been using instagram a lot more - working hard to improve my feed, build my following and working on my photography skills in general. Despite that, I find myself in an instagram rut every now and then. For a few days, I'll have absolutely no idea what to post.

For those few days, I fall out of love with instagram. But all is not lost, because I've found the best way to get that creative spark back.

Here's my tips for regaining your insta-inspo:

Instagram how to get out of an instagram rut lifestyle blogger maisy meow insta tips

Take more photos 
When you're stuck for inspo, take photos of everything - even if you don't think it's an instagram moment! The more photos you take, the more ideas you'll get.  This photo above was on one of my 'rut' days, playing Oliver on the rug like we do every morning and I took a couple of photos from different angles and, it turns out, this is one of my favourite photos now.

Get inspo from your favourite accounts
I often use the new 'save' button on instagram if I see a photo that I really like on my feed. Whether I like the angle they've used, the colours in the picture, the way it's edited - anything! When I'm looking for inspo, I'll scroll back through my saved pics and try and get some inspiration. Of course it goes without saying that you should never copy another account, or if you want to do your own take on a unique idea then be fair and credit your inspiration so they see it too.

tips to inspire creativity on instagram maisy meow lifestyle and parenting blogger uk

Think outside the box - look around!
Maybe it's just me, but I definitely have my go-to spots where I take photos. Most are places where the light is good, or where I know there's a nice background. In a rut, these places aren't appealing and instead, I'll normally take a minute to properly look at my surroundings and see if I'm missing out on a photo opportunity somewhere. My instagram is family/lifestyle and interiors based, so thinking outside the box, for me, means moving some items around and creating a new little space for a cute photo. Thinking out the box can also mean trying out a new camera angle - a birds eye view can make a simple set up so much more interesting!

Get inspo for your own account
You might have forgotten about some pics you took months ago that you really liked. Look back through your own feed and see if there's any that stand out to you, or ones that performed really well and see if you can do an updated take on it. If you're like me and take loads of photos every day, there's probably a few in there that you really loved but have totally forgotten about! 

How do you get out of an instagram rut?





Mamas and Papas Sales Haul

Sunday, 25 June 2017
SUMMER SALES HAUL MAMAS AND PAPAS HAUL BABY BOY OUTFITS

I challenge any of you with babies or young kids to walk past the Mamas and Papas sale without 'popping in' for a quick look/shopping spree. It's just a couple of weeks until we go on our first family holiday to Portugal so I felt some holiday purchases were justified, and I'm so happy that I managed to get so much stuff for half price. 

Here's a quick video showing you all what I got - the sale's still on so be quick and go shopping! 






Keeping Baby Cool in The Heat

Monday, 19 June 2017
Teething hit us full force this month. Oliver now has two brand new teeth but for the past few weeks, we'd have days where Oliver would be crying constantly and chewing on everything he could get his hands on. If teething wasn't a big enough problem on it's own, along comes a heat wave. It's not as warm in Glasgow as it is elsewhere in Britain at the moment, but Oliver has still been feeling it. Luckily, we've found one thing that really helps with both teething and keeping baby cool and we can now get outside and enjoy the weather that we've been praying for all year!

HOW TO KEEP BABY COOL IN SUMMER TIPS FOR TEETHING BABIES UK PARENTING AND LIFESTYLE BLOGGER

The Nuby Garden Fresh Fruitsicles have been a life saver recently. This little set of 4 moulds can be filled with fruit/veg puree or with breast milk and popped into the freezer for a few hours. Once frozen, Oliver has a healthy fruit lolly that are easy to hold and suck on, relieving teething pain and keeping him cool at the same time. Oliver chews down on the ice (which, admittedly, makes me shudder) but I can see how much the cold sensation helps his gums. It's also a good way for him to get a bit of extra water in him when he's sweating more in the heat. 

HOW TO KEEP BABY COOL IN WARM WEATHER ICE LOLLY MAKER FOR BABIES

We usually buy a frozen smoothie bag from Tesco packed with strawberries, blueberries, avocado and spinach. We blend it up with water in our Nutri bullet. It only takes a few mins to make the smoothie and then we've then got 4 days worth of ice lollies ready to use in the freezer. The handle is really easy for Oliver to hold and it's also the right shape to put one of the dummy clips around, to stop your little one from throwing it straight out of the pram (something Oliver regularly attempts!).

We go on holiday in 3 weeks time and these frozen puree moulds have earned their place on my 'essentials' list for packing, and I'm sure Oliver is pretty pleased about that!

Have any of you tried these? What's your top tips for keeping baby cool in summer?


Stokke Steps High Chair Review

Tuesday, 13 June 2017
When it came to hunting for a high chair, we wanted three things. 

Firstly, we wanted one that was good quality and built to last. I'm all for cheap and cheerful but for something that we'll use three times a day, for up to three years and possibly twice over (if we have another baby), it had to be hard wearing. Secondly, it had to be easy to clean. Weaning is a messy business and it doesn't really get much cleaner from then on. I wanted a chair I could wipe clean every meal time, with a cover that could be machine washed on the days that Oliver's extra 'creative' with his leftover weetabix. Last but not least, I wanted it to be stylish. Call me vain but I didn't spend months decorating my living room for a pink and red strawberry printed high chair to waltz in and kill my minimal vibe. So with that being said, what did we go for? 



This high chair meets all the points on our list and more. The gorgeous modern, minimal design is exactly the style I was looking for, the quality is out of this world and despite having the messiest baby ever (seriously, sweet potato everywhere .. all the time), the chair still looks as good as new. 

The Steps high chair is customisable  - you can chose the colour of the legs from six choices, the seat  can be black or white and there's a great selection of colours for the cushion. We chose 'natural oak' legs, with a white seat and 'greige' cushion. This made our chair the perfect neutral combination to blend into our living room seamlessly. I loved being able to chose my own colour scheme and the 'create and buy' feature on the website allows you to view different combinations to help you decided which ones you like best. 

The high chair is made for the newborn stage all the way to age 3+ which is great. What's better is that you can pick and chose what you need, rather than paying for the whole bundle that you might not need. We didn't get Oliver's high chair until we were ready to start weaning (he was around 5 months) so we ordered the chair with the baby set, tray and cushion. We can remove the baby chair when he's a bit bigger and he will then use the standard seat as a raised chair at the table. 

The baby set offers the seat for a young baby that can sit up, with straps to keep the secure. The backrest of the chair can be moved into a forward position, for a smaller baby, or further back when they get a bit bigger. I've tried many high chairs in coffee shops over the last few months that have made me realise how important this feature is. In our Steps high chair, Oliver sits close to the tray and there's no gap where food can fall or where he could lean forward and be uncomfortable. 

Stokke Steps high chair review modern minimal high chair review

After lunch, I usually give the tray and cushion a wipe down with a damp cloth, as it's always easier to get the mess before it dries in. Every few days, I'll remove the cover from the chair and pop it into a quick 15 minute washing machine cycle. It dries over the radiator in under half an hour and I can have everything back in place in time for his next snack. I love having the option of throwing this into the machine and, with it being such a good quality cover, it hasn't faded or shown any signs of wear and tear in the three months that my son has been vandalising it every breakfast, lunch and dinner. I'm confident it'll stay in good shape throughout the years. 

Although we used this high chair from 6 months onwards, I think if we have another baby we will invest in the newborn bouncer too. Looking back, I know that it would have made life a lot simpler if we could have had Oliver at the table with us in the newborn days, rather us taking turns to eat! 

If you're looking for a good quality, stylish high chair that's made to last then I can't recommend the Stokke Steps chair enough. 

Have you tried this chair? What's the top things you look for in a high chair? 

*PR sample. As always, all opinions my own. 

Why was I so scared of stretch marks?

Monday, 12 June 2017
It sounds crazy but one of my biggest worries during pregnancy was stretch marks. I analysed the skin on my stomach and smothered myself in bio-oil and cocoa butter stretch mark cream at least three times a day. I loved watching my bump grow, but looking at each progress picture and seeing how big I was getting also gave me this inner dread. What if I end up covered in stretch marks?

Being happy in my body has always been important to me and I felt like I was having that taken away from me. I don't think it's abnormal to worry about your post-partum body. I knew I wouldn't snap back to normal the next day and that it would take some time to get back to my normal weight but for me, stretch marks were irreversible and if I got them, my skin would be ruined forever. 

It was week 34 and I was doing the daily ritual of checking my skin when I noticed the smallest little line. Over the next few weeks, a few more appeared and it was clear my fears had come true. I was terrified of how much worse they were going to get as I grew. I also had so much regret that I hadn't done more to prevent them - had I used the wrong creams or not eaten the right foods?

Stretch marks in pregnancy post partum body maisy meow lifestyle and parenting blogger vlogger

By the time I had Oliver, I had a patch of small red marks to the left of my belly button and after labour, I noticed some red ones on my hips which looked a bit like I'd been scratched. I was devastated. I felt like I'd never be happy in my body again and the weight gain didn't make things any better.

So how do I feel seven months on? My bump has deflated, I've lost my 'baby weight' and the stretch marks have faded a lot from what they were but more importantly, I feel like my whole attitude has changed - I just don't care as much as I thought I would. It's not that I've had a baby and 'let myself go' or that I no longer care what I look like, because I do.

The thing is, I used to be terrified that stretch marks were permanent but that's actually the thing that comforts me now - they're irreversible .. and I need to just accept that. I might not have any control over the marks on my skin but I can exercise and have a healthy diet so that I feel happy with my body and comfortable in my clothes. After all, I'm in my clothes 99% of the time. 

When I'm lucky enough to find myself in a warm country and in a bikini, I seriously won't care if anyone notices my less than perfect skin. When I think about how much time I put into judging other peoples bodies on holiday (and that's none), I realise that no one is paying any attention to my imperfections. Having a baby makes you truly realise what's important and what's not. That change in perspective is something I really didn't anticipate and something that I'm so glad to have now.

If stretch marks are the price to pay for my beautiful little boy and how happy I am now then it's more than worth it. 

Were you worried about stretch marks or your post partum body?





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