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BABY | Everything You Need To Know About Taking A Baby On Holiday

Friday, 11 August 2017
There's a lot to think about when you're taking a baby on holiday and I know, because I worried about each and every one of them for months before we took Oliver to Portugal in July. I don't think I even got excited about our holiday until about a week before, as my mind was just totally consumed with everything that could go wrong.

Luckily, nothing did. We had such a lovely time, and everything just kind of fell into place. I have to say, though, a lot of it was down to preparation and taking on board all the advice from friends and other mums I'd spoken to about it.

So here's our holiday experience, bit by bit, covering all the questions I asked before I left and everything I think you need to know about taking a baby abroad.

For reference, Oliver is 9 months old - crawling, pulling himself up but not yet walking. He has 2 bottles of formula a day - morning and before bed, and sleeps pretty well (but he's an early riser).

With that said, grab a cuppa - there's a lot to cover...

TAKING A BABY ON HOLIDAY TIPS AND ADVICE FOR FORMULA FED BABY ABROAD PARENTING AND LIFESTYLE BLOG

Travelling: Airport Security and Flight
'What can you take through security for a baby?'

We flew with Ryan Air on an early morning flight at 7am. Ryan Air are pretty good in terms of what you can carry for a baby. We were allowed one fold-down pushchair, a car seat and a changing bag at no extra cost. We weren't going to take a car seat originally but our airport transfer company didn't have any seats for a baby under 1. I had already worried a bit about getting taxis abroad without a baby seat, so I was kind of relieved that we could take one with us. I knew it might be a hassle though, so when we were looking for a buggy to take with us, we went for the Mamas and Papas Armadillo as this one let us fit the car seat on top (with adaptors) which meant we wouldn't be carrying it around on our arm if we got a taxi somewhere. 

For the changing bag, we were allowed to carry on snacks and formula for Oliver. I phoned ahead to ask how much formula I could take in my carry-on luggage and was told that we were allowed to take as much as we needed for the onward journey (usually two for a short haul flight). We only needed one but I took two small ready made bottles any way, just in case. They took my changing bag to check at security, but I didn't have to taste the milk like some of the forums had warned. I think they just checked to make sure the seal wasn't broken. 

We gave Oliver snacks when he woke up at the airport - some bread and butter and a fruit puree, to try and postpone his first bottle of the day. A few of you had recommended giving him a bottle when the plane takes off to help ease any pressure on his ears and it worked, he didn't flinch at take off and the milk sent him straight to sleep. Although I'm not sure the ears popping would have been an issue anyway, as he landed without any milk and didn't flinch then either! Oliver napped for the first hour of our 3 hour flight, and for the rest of the time he ate snacks, and played with his toys. 

TIP: Take plenty of snacks and toys in your carry on luggage for the airport and plane. 

everything you need to know about taking a baby on holiday uk parenting bloggers maisy meow

Formula and Food
'How do you give formula to a baby on holiday?'

Oliver has two bottles a day and we use powdered SMA pro milk but when we're out and about, he has Aptimil ready made bottles (he hates ready-made SMA). I read initially that it's fine to take powdered formula and make it up with boiled bottled water while abroad, but then I realised I'd be doing this without a perfect prep machine and it would be a total pain (the perfect prep has made me lazy, I admit). I googled to check if you could buy ready-made aptimal bottles abroad but read that they don't sell them in Portugal. 

Note: If you do decide to give powdered formula with bottled water abroad, be sure to check that the bottled water you're using is safe for babies as some have a high sodium content. (more info here)

So then I considered taking ready made bottles with me. The most common advice given was to order formula and get it delivered to the Boots store past the airport security so that it doesn't go against your luggage allowance - great advice and totally makes sense. However, our airport was tiny and didn't have a Boots store so we ended up packing all 22(!) bottles into our suitcases. 

To my surprise, our local supermarket did actually stock ready made bottles - they had aptimil, cow & gate and a few other brands (although they were around 2/3 euros a bottle!). Oliver ended up having 3 bottles a day instead of 2 (mostly because I was worried he wasn't drinking enough) so when we ran out, we were able to stock up again easily (although it was expensive to do so). 

When it came to sterilising bottles, we used these sterilising bags and popped them in the microwave for 5 minutes. They're super lightweight and easy to use.

When it came to food, it wasn't much different to eating here. We took a supply of snacks from home like wafers but you could buy most of it over there any way. He ate scrambled eggs, toast, lots of fruit and we bought purees and snacks from the baby aisle in the supermarket which he loved. We also made our own ice lollies for him which did a great job of keeping him cool and hydrated!

TIP: Take a fruit popsicle maker so you can make baby-friendly ice lollies!

what to pack for taking baby on holiday uk parenting blog maisy meow

Packing: Clothes and Baby Supplies
What should I pack for a baby on holiday?

We did that thing that everyone told us not to and bought lots of cute 'night time' outfits for Oliver - lots of shirts and smart shorts that he could wear to dinner and cute little shorts and t-shirts for night time. It turns out everyone was right and he barely wore any of it. 

During the day, he mostly wore his long sleeve, long leg swimming suit as he'd be in and out of the pool. We took other swim suits but we always went for the one piece as it's easier to get on and off and in future, I won't bother with the sets that have a top and shorts. When he needed dry clothes, we'd put him in either his one piece romper or a t-shirt and cotton shorts. 

At night time, it was roasting and it didn't feel right to put him into a shirt or smart trousers so he ended up wearing his super comfy clothes at night too. I wanted the option of being able to put him straight to bed if he fell asleep on the way home as well. 

I assumed he'd sleep in just a vest at night but in fact, we always had air con on and the room was quite cool so he actually slept in a baby grow with a blanket over him. If I'd realised the room would be a cool temperature, I'd probably have brought his normal sleeping bag but we just used a blanket instead. I'm so glad we brought a couple of blankets with us as we used them loads!

In regards to other baby supplies, I can only speak about Portugal but my goodness, baby stuff is expensive in the supermarket. We took one pack of nappies and two packs of swim nappies and luckily only had to buy one large packet of normal nappies while we were away. Nappies were twice the price over there so I'd recommend taking as many as you can fit in your suitcase!

TIP: Pick long-sleeve, long leg swimsuits - you'll appreciate something that's easy to put on when it's boiling hot and your baby has sticky, sweaty skin! It also means less skin is on show, which means you need less sun cream! 

TIP #2: Forget the shirts and smart clothes and take comfy, light weight clothes. 

TIP #3: Remember sun lotion can stain clothes yellow, so don't splash out on expensive clothes!


Sleep and Routine
Will going on holiday ruin my baby's routine?

The villa that we stayed in provided a travel cot for Oliver which was in our room, and we just brought our own sheets for it and gave it a wipe down before using it. I was a bit worried that Oliver wouldn't sleep in a different bed but he settled fine. Our normal routine went out the window obviously, but we came settled into a new mini routine for while we were away. 

Oliver would wake at 6am, have a bottle and then all 3 of us would go out for a walk to the beach. You'd think that sounds crazy going out at 6am, but we'd often bump into other tired-looking parents and their prams! The beach is actually lovely first thing in the morning and it's a good time for babies to explore without you worrying about them getting sunburnt or lost in the crowd. We'd go for breakfast at a cafe around 7ish, then we'd walk back to the villa and he'd be ready for his nap. 

He'd normally have a long sleep in the afternoon too and for that nap, we'd put him into our bedroom with the air con on and a blanket which kept him really cool and let him sleep for hours. We were in a villa, which meant we could lay by the pool while he napped indoors and we could keep an eye on him using our baby monitor. 

When we went out for dinner, we'd go at around 6.30/7pm and Oliver would have already eaten by then. We actually came up with a genius little system (if I do say so myself) that let both me and andy eat our dinner in peace and quiet, while it was still hot! We'd go to the restaurant with Oliver in the buggy, order our meals and then me or andy would take oliver for a quick walk in the pram. The combination of the bumpy cobbled streets and the snooze shade meant that Oliver would fall asleep quickly and he'd usually last an hour or so while we ate our dinner! It was so easy! 

At night, he'd go to sleep after a bottle and our room had black out blinds so the room was pitch black until morning. We did bring this portable blackout blind but obviously didn't need to use it! 

Once we were home, it took no more than one day for Oliver to settle back into his normal routine.

TIP: Bring your monitor so you can relax on the balcony/poolside while the baby sleeps!

everything you need to know about taking bottle fed baby on holiday uk parenting bloger

Sun Protection
What's the best way to protect baby's skin on holiday? 

This is very much a 'learn from my mistakes' section. Well, it was a mistake on the first day anyway. I was really worried about Oliver getting sunburnt on holiday so the minute we arrived, I covered him in Boots Soltan Sensitive sun cream for babies and within half an hour, he was crying uncontrollably as he'd rubbed his eyes in it. He cried for hours and rinsing his eyes didn't seem to help. Oliver has never had sensitive skin, and for some reason I didn't even think about it going into his eyes! I felt so guilty.

The next day, we went to the pharmacy and they recommended Avene sensitive sun cream - this was thicker and absorbed much better (I put on a lot less too). I made sure that I put a  small amount on but covered all his skin and when it came to his face, I only put it on his cheeks as he had a sun hat covering most of his face and to be honest, he was almost always in the shade. 

We took this pop-up beach tent so that when we were hanging out by the pool, Oliver could play in his tent and watch us while still being in the shade. Sometimes we'd put a little paddling pool inside too so he could splash around, or we'd set up some sun umbrellas outside it with some towels and blankets so he could crawl around for a bit. He came into the pool with us too in his little rubber ring.

When we went out walking, we'd always put up our snooze shade over the pram and this kept him out of the sun (and usually sent him off to sleep too!). 

TIP: Buy a good sun cream for babies, and use it sparingly! Use clothes and shade to protect. 

uk parenting and family bloggers maisy meow

Well, I told you it was a long post didn't I?

This may look totally overwhelming but in all honesty, everything was so much easier than I thought it was going to be.

I think I've covered everything but please let me know if you have any questions or if you have any further advice on what I've said above - I'd love to add some of your tips to this post too!

What's your top tips for taking a baby on holiday?





Vlog | A Mum on Maternity Leave

Tuesday, 1 August 2017
One of the main reasons I started vlogging again was to record all these early memories of baby Oliver. I want more than just the family album and the milestone photos - I want to remember all the little things like our maternity leave days that seem uneventful at the time, but ones that I'm sure I'll look back on fondly in years to come. 

With that said, I'm going to start vlogging at least once a week. I'll try and pick a day that's not just me and Oliver rolling around on the rug but I can't promise that won't feature at some point on most videos. That's life on maternity pay, after all. 

Lifestyle and parenting blogger and vlogger uk glasgow scotland scottish

I really hope you enjoy watching these too and seeing the day in the life of a mum on maternity leave.  I love watching daily vlogs and seeing what other mums like me get up to and how they fill their days with a young baby. Plus, in this video there's some Primark shopping and who doesn't enjoy a bit of that? 

Make sure you're subscribed to my channel so you don't miss any videos.


Do any of you vlog as well? Leave links to your channel below if you do!

BABY | Oliver's 9 Month Update

Wednesday, 26 July 2017
I've not been around much on my blog recently - which is pretty evident given that I'm currently writing Oliver's 9 month update and the last post on here is his 8 month update! My bad. I have good reason for my absence though, we've been on our first family holiday in Portugal and we had the best time ever. I'm going to be making a video all about that on my youtube channel - so make sure you're subbed if you want some tips and advice on taking a young baby on holiday! 

While we were away, it felt like Oliver aged way more than 2 weeks. He's came home much bigger, more mobile and he just looks like a little toddler now. Here's all the developments of the last month.. 

Lifestyle Parenting Baby Mummy Blogger UK Maisy Meow

Crawling and Pulling Himself Up 
Oliver has been army crawling since 8 months and he's now super quick and mobile. In the last few days, he's progressed to crawling up on his knees although he still reverts back to his army crawl for quickness! He pulled himself up for the first time the day before we went on holiday. I was sitting on the floor in his room drying my hair while he played in his cot and I could see him grabbing the bars of the cot and pulling a little. Then, as if he knew exactly what to do, he lifted on hand and pulled up even further and then before I knew it his little face was peaking over the top of the cot with the biggest smile I think I've ever seen! We both just stared at each other with open mouths trying to work out how he'd managed it so perfectly first time! He kept practising on everything in sight while we were away, and since we came home he's on everything - the couch, the fire place (baby proofing required!) and he's keeping himself up for an extra half hour each night practising climbing the bars in the cot. I must admit he's harder work now that he's on the move - he can't be left for a second and he's always desperate to get onto the floor so he can keep practising! 

Reflux - We've ditched the Dairy Free diet
I mentioned in Oliver's 8 month update that we were trying a dairy free diet to see if his reflux was the result of a lactose intolerance. We were prescribed Nutrimigen but after 2 weeks it was clear it wasn't helping the reflux and in fact, it was making him really windy and uncomfortable too. After another visit to the doctor, we went back to SMA pro milk and we're now using gaviscon sachets in every bottle which helps a lot. He's only having a bottle in the morning and before bed now too and having less milk definitely improves the reflux. We've been trying to stick to more solid foods too as they seem easier for him to hold down - scrambled eggs and sweet potato fingers are his favs! 

Lifestyle Parenting Baby Mummy Blogger UK Maisy Meow

Sleep - Controlled Crying (kind of)
I've always had to put Oliver to bed when he's already sleeping - whether that's because he's fallen asleep on his bottle or because I've rocked him back and forth for 10 minutes. If he woke once I left the room, I'd always have to start again - exhausting! I'm going back to work in a few weeks time and I knew I couldn't expect my mum to go through this process every time he needed a sleep so I decided to try a bit of 'controlled crying' to see if he could send himself to sleep. The good thing is, there wasn't really much crying involved. I started with his naps, when he's usually really tired, and I put him in his buggy with his blanket and faced it to the wall as I normally would. Then I left him and sat on the couch behind to see if he'd fall asleep. He moaned a little but didn't properly cry and within 10 minutes he was sleeping - I totally wasn't expecting it to work first time! Next, we tackled the bedtime routine and couldn't believe it that after 20 minutes of him crawling around the cot, babbling and being full of energy, he face planted the mattress and fell straight asleep. I could have cried with happiness, in all honesty. I think he probably could have done this months ago if I'd just left him long enough! Our controlled crying attempt ended before it really began - he's now a champion sleeper and we put him down awake every night now. He's still an early riser though - 6am is our wake up call and that's fine with me, really, because it means that when I'm back to work, I'll get an hour playing with Oliver before I have to get ready in the morning. 

Teeth 
He still has just two teeth on the bottom but given all the red cheeks and drooling, there's definitely more on the way! Calpol and teething powders have been our friend this month, and everything else that he can chew on .. including my shoulder and neck. He's secretly a vampire, I know it! 

Lifestyle Parenting Baby Mummy Blogger UK Maisy Meow

Oliver is still a super happy, cheery little boy and he loves when people chat to him. He's always got the biggest open-mouthed grin on his face when he's getting attention and he lunges towards people when he wants a cuddle/grab of their face. His favourite toys this month are mobile phones and tv remotes - he's not picky, he'll take any that are going as long as he can chew them. 

So many people have commented on how much he's grown recently, and you can totally see it in these photos I think. I took these in Portugal, on the day that he turned 9 months and it's the biggest change I've seen in him month-to-month since the newborn days. I must admit that the chunky baby stage is a firm favourite of mine - I just can't resist those chunky thighs and that double chin! 

Happy 9 months Oliver! 

 

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?





The First Haircut

Tuesday, 6 June 2017
babies first hair cut uk lifestyle and parenting bloggers vloggers

It's been a long time coming, but we finally cut Oliver's hair. The 'mullet' was cute but with his hair constantly in his eyes, it was time for his fashion statement to take a backseat and for practicality to win.

Here's my latest 'day in the life' vlog documenting his first hair cut, a trip to the soft play and what we are now considering might be a lactose intolerance (more on that later)...


When did you first cut your babies hair? 


Nursery | DIY Pom Pom Garland

Monday, 5 June 2017
DIY POM POM GARLAND TUTORIAL POM POM FOR NURSERY HOW TO

We're at the very end of decorating Oliver's room and I'm just adding some finishing touches before I film his nursery tour this week (make sure you're subscribed to my channel so you don't miss it!). One of the things on my list was a pom-pom garland to hang from the new shelves we've just put up in his reading corner. 

Oliver's room was decorated around this pom pom cot mobile from Mamas and Papas. I absolutely adore the colours in it and it was actually one of the first things I bought for his room, and what went on to be the colour inspiration for the whole nursery. Anyway, a pom pom garland on the other side of the room was just what we needed to balance out the colours. 

I had a look on Etsy but couldn't find one in the colours I was looking for, so I decided to pop on my crafty hat and make my own. After a quick trip to Hobby craft, I'd picked up three bundles of cotton yarn in mustard, teal and a blue/grey and a pom pom making kit. The pom poms were surprisingly easy to make using the tool and after watching tutorials on line where people used forks and other household items to make them, I'd definitely say the pom pom maker is the simplest way to do it. 

POM POM GARLAND TUTORIAL BOYS NURSERY MAISY MEOW CRAFTS INTERIORS DIY HOW TO

All you do is wrap the wool around both sides, fasten the clip, cut through the centre and remove the tool. Once you've fluffed it up and trimmed any messy bits, you have the perfect pom pom in just a couple of minutes. 

I used black and white striped parcel string to hold the pom poms together, and I threaded the pom poms onto the string using a thick knitting needle. Because the string was so thick, the pom poms couldn't move around much so I didn't have to secure them with anything. 

The whole process took about 45 minutes (although it would definitely have been less if it wasn't for my ridiculously blunt scissors). Once I'd got the hang of making the first pom pom, it came really easily and it's actually pretty therapeutic to chill out watching telly and making things. It's given me a bit of a bug for making things myself, actually. I don't think I saved money doing it, as it was more expensive to buy all the wool etc. but I ended up with the perfect garland in the perfect colours. 

I'm so happy with the end result and think it's exactly what this area of the room needed! 

Nursery Inspiration POM POM garland tutorial Shelves in Nursery Scandinavian Neutral


Here's the video tutorial on how to make the garland if you want to give it a go yourself! 


What do you think? Have you tried any interiors DIYs recently?



Olivers 7 Month Update

Sunday, 21 May 2017
Oliver Jack Wells turned 7 months old on the 20th May.

I started writing these updates thinking I'd enjoy looking back on them in years to come but I had no idea how much I'd enjoy reading them even just a few months later. Every so often, I read back through the early months and reflect on how much Oliver and life, in general, has changed in such a short time. It's odd writing this post, knowing that in a few months I'll be reading it back and thinking, 'wow, things are so different now'. With that said, here's Olivers 7 month update...

Baby Development at 7 Months Parenting Mummy Bloggers UK MAISY MEOW

He's changed so much in the last month. He's now eating three meals a day and loving his food. He loves sweet potatoes, pears, apple biscotti biscuits, scrambled eggs and banana - oh my goodness, he loves banana. He's getting much better at feeding himself, especially with his biscotti's or his wafers and it's the sweetest thing watching him chew with his gumsy little smile. He's still using his fruit feeder and we're still giving him purees too. He went through a short phase where he was getting frustrated being spoon fed, but he seems to have gotten over it again. 

Oliver has had a few days where his gums have been bothering him and he'll have little red cheeks and a red nose, but there's no sign of any actual teeth yet. It hasn't been awful yet and normally he's fine if he chews on his matchstick monkey or has some calpol. I can always tell when his gums are bothering him because he sucks in his bottom lip and pulls the cutest little face.

Baby Development at 7 Months Parenting Mummy Bloggers UK MAISY MEOW

When it comes to development, he's totally thriving. He's very mobile and it's no longer safe to leave him on the bed or anywhere for that matter because he will undoubtedly roll and roll until he hits something. He has an insane amount of strength in his legs (thanks to the jumperoo!) and he's happiest when he's standing up with me holding onto his hands. He loves it so much that he's still refusing to stay in the sitting position for any length of time but if I'm able to distract him with toys on the floor, he can sit up for a few minutes without toppling over. Most of the time, though, he just straightens his legs out and uses anything he can to pull himself up (sometimes it's my hair). If I let him stand against the couch and let go of his hands, he gets the biggest smile on his face!

Baby Development at 7 Months Parenting Mummy Bloggers UK MAISY MEOW

One of the biggest developments this month is that he's starting say 'mum' and 'dada'. He actually said 'mama' first, despite everyone telling us it's always dada! I spent weeks repeating 'mamama' to him and eventually I noticed he was watching my mouth and copying me, within a few days he was shouting 'mamama' himself and it's evolved into just shouting 'mum!' now. He doesn't quite use it in context, but I like to pretend he's shouting on me when he does it! He learned 'dada' within a few days of saying 'mama' and loves practising them both. Watch his video update to see it!

Sleep is something I can finally say I'm happy with. Oliver's still following his bed time routine of bath, blow dry and bed and he'll sleep from 8pm until 6-7am - normally he doesn't wake during the night but if he does, it'll be around 5.30 and he'll usually go back down after it. In the mornings, he'll nap for 2/3 hours most days and then have another 45 min nap around 2pm and then 5pm.

7 Month Baby Update Rolling and Standing Development

He loves to grab faces and giving him his bottle is a whole new experience now with me trying to wriggle away from his little hands and trying to free my hair from him. It's so sweet though, because you can see his little brain working and studying every single part of your face. His little hand is always touching everything in side, and he does the cutest little twirling motion with it which makes my heart melt. 

I say  it every month, but this is my favourite age so far. I'm loving every minute of Oliver and instead of feeling like I need a break every so often (like I did in the early days), I now just want to spend every minute with him and as soon as he's in bed, I'm looking forward to the morning when I can go into his room and see his gorgeous little smile beaming back at me.

Happy 7 months Oliver! 




Five Baby Weaning Essentials

Thursday, 11 May 2017
Weaning was a much bigger deal than I'd originally thought it would be. I always looked forward to when Oliver would have his first foods but when it came down to it, I realised I actually had no idea how to do it. What do you give first, and what time of the day? What if he chokes?

Olivers been having solids for around a month now. He's still having mostly purees but he also has fruit and wafers for a snack. Like everything else baby related, it was all trial and error before we found our feet but I definitely feel more confident now to carry on weaning onto more solid foods.

Here's 5 of the essential baby products that have helped us start weaning..

baby weaning essentials what do i need maisy meow parenting baby blogger uk

1. High Chair | Stokke Steps High Chair 

This high chair is an absolute dream. Oliver can't sit up completely unassisted yet, and this chair gives him really good support to keep him upright at meal times. We've tried feeding him in his pram and in the bumbo but he's at his most comfortable when he's sitting straight in his seat and he loves having the baby tray to bang on in between mouthfuls! 

2. Long Sleeved Bibs | Asda 

When people say it's messy to wean, they're not kidding. I ruined so many of Oliver's vests and onesies in the first few days by using normal bibs. I then moved up to plastic wipeable bibs but these just distracted him and he was more interested in stroking the plastic than eating. The best ones I've found are the asda sleeveless ones as they're wipeable, have sleeves but don't have a stiff plastic fabric that distracts him. 

3. Fresh Food Feeder | Poundland (Similar here although poundland is cheaper of course!)

I am so worried about choking. After a few weeks, we introduced this feeder and it's really helped with his hand to eye co-ordination so he can learn how to feed himself. It's basically just a hand held feeder with a net that can be filled with fruit or veggies (you can see my lovely assistant Oliver giving a demo here). The net which prevents any big chunks coming through while still getting him used to eating proper food.

4. Baby Wafers | Kiddilicious 

Since discovering that rusks were full of sugar (seriously, why are they sold for babies?!) we switched to giving him banana or blueberry wafers. The wafers dissolve in his mouth and I've noticed they've really helped him get used to having bits of food in his mouth rather than soft purees. 

5. Steamer/Blender | BEABA Baby Cook 

We always keep a few jars of baby food in our changing bag for when we're out and about but at home, we make our own. We use the BEABA baby cook to steam and blend fruit and veg. When you buy your own supplies and make it yourself, you realise how cheaply it can be done and it's actually really easy. Watch me make Oliver's favourite sweet potato, carrot and pear puree in this video


What were your weaning essentials? 







Vlog: Ikea Haul & Garden Tour

Tuesday, 9 May 2017
IKEA HAUL NURSERY TOUR GARDEN TOUR UK LIFESTYLE AND PARENTING VLOG BLOGGER MAISY MEOW

Hello everyone! The sun is finally shining in Scotland and more importantly, it's actually warm. We had a lovely relaxing weekend together. We managed to do a little garden makeover and went to Ikea to pick up some bits for Oliver's nursery (tour coming very soon, promise!). 

I vlogged our day together which includes an ikea haul at the end to show you all what I picked up. 

Have a watch and let me know if you liked it. And of course, don't forget to subscribe!

How to Make Your Own Baby Puree | Beaba Baby Cook

Sunday, 7 May 2017
How to make your own baby puree DIY baby food uk lifestyle and parenting blogger maisy meow

I always planned on making my own baby puree but when the time came, we found ourselves giving ready made baby food for Oliver's first tastes. We had been sent a box of Piccolo pouches (which went down a treat) and we tried some others from Heinz and Ella's kitchen but after a few weeks, we began to realise how expensive it is to rely on pouches and jars. Given that we're giving Oliver ready made milk for acid reflux, we're already spending a small fortune in the baby aisle every week and when it comes to baby food, we've no excuse for buying ready made.

We were contacted a few weeks ago by BEABA who offered to send us one of their Baby Cook Food Processors so that we could make our own in the easiest way possible. It's been a total game changer and I'm actually really enjoying using it and trying out different food combinations.

Once we move onto the next stage of weaning, we will use it to make thicker purees and eventually we will simply steam the vegetables which he can chew on himself.

Tonight's video is a really quick and easy tutorial on how to make your own baby puree using the Beaba baby cook food processor.

Make sure you click the thumbs up button and subscribe!




Oliver's First Words

Friday, 5 May 2017
Babys first words at 6 months mama baby says mama uk parenting and lifestyle blogger vlogger maisy meow

Tuesday started off as normal and I decided to vlog a 'typical day on maternity leave' however, somewhat 'typically', the day didn't go as expected. It ended up being super stressful in the morning with Oliver's acid reflux in overdrive and then super rewarding in the afternoon.

Oliver has now said his first words! He's always been a chatty baby and he babbles all day long. I've been repeating 'mamama' to him for a few days and he's been watching my mouth intently trying to work out how he can say it too.

Here's the vlog ... 

(Make sure you hit thumbs up and SUBSCRIBE TO MY CHANNEL so you'll be notified every time there's a new video!)



Mamas and Papas Opening Event at Glasgow Fort

Monday, 1 May 2017
Mamas and Papas Personal shopping experience Store review Glasgow fort

Mamas and Papas is by far my favourite store for everything baby related. The baby clothes are dreamy, the nursery decor is exactly my taste and you can always rely on the staff to offer the best advice when you find yourself totally overwhelmed with choice. Since having Oliver, I spend a lot of time in Mamas and Papas so I was super excited to be invited to the launch party on Friday*. The old store at Glasgow Fort has closed and a revamped, updated store has now opened at the other end of the shopping centre. You can find the new store next to M&S and River Island. 

Oliver and I were up bright and early (as usual) so we made our way to the event quite early, thinking we'd arrive and have the store to ourselves for a while before it got busy. It turns out everyone else was just as excited, as the shop was already buzzing at 10am and there was a great atmosphere with goodie bags handed out as we walked through the doors and excited staff members ready to give us a tour of the shop. The goodie bags had Bloom & Bloom products, the cutest cloud covered bib and vest set and the sweetest little rattle that Oliver has been pretty much obsessed with ever since.

It seriously is a beautiful store now. It's decorated in neutral greys and whites with baby clothing sections, a gorgeous homeware area with displays to die for and a full display of prams and car seats towards the back of the shop. But that's not all - Mamas and Papas now have a personal shopping service, with a seated area and dedicated staff that'll talk you through everything you need for a new baby's arrival or for any baby related purchase. We sat in the personal shopping area while I gave Oliver a bottle and it's such a chilled, homely atmosphere with comfy couches and chairs. It helped that they had snacks and drinks laid out for the launch party too - because who wouldn't want a free muffin? 

Mamas and Papas Personal shopping experience Store review Glasgow fort
Mamas and Papas Personal shopping experience Store review Glasgow fort


The pushchair area has a mock car set up which can be used to demonstrate how to fit the car seats and the isofix bases. It also doubles up as a fun place for older kids to play on, and we witnessed lots of excited little feet scrambling over the seats as they took their shot in the mint spotted car. They also have an interactive machine, where children stand to have their measurements taken - did any of you see me on my instastories, weighing Oliver and getting his height? It was so cute!

Mamas and Papas sell almost everything you'll ever need for a baby or toddler and it's so easy to spend ages in one section alone, so it's great that the new store has feeding rooms that you can visit if your shopping spree coincides with baby's feeding times. We saw lots of mums making use of the rooms during the day and it just shows how appreciated it is when shops add little details like this. 

We had such a fun day exploring the new store and taking part in the fun games and competitions. On top of the lovely goodie bag, we won a Cowshed candle on the tumbola and I couldn't resist picking up a summer outfit and adorable little shoes for Oliver too. I also left with a huge wish list after seeing all the gorgeous nursery decor and baby boy clothes. Our nursery is themed around their 'Sweet Dreams' collection and I just can't get enough of those prints and colours. 

Mamas and Papas Personal shopping experience Store review Glasgow fort

There are some beautiful boys clothing in all my favourite colours - khakis, mustard and lots of cute prints and stripes. I can pretty much guarantee that Oliver's going to be head to toe in Mamas & Papas by the end of the month. I just can't resist their baby clothes and he needs a new wardrobe for summer so it's perfect timing too!

Thank you so much to Mamas and Papas and their lovely staff for such a fun day - Oliver and I really enjoyed spending some time in the new store and we will definitely be popping into the store during the week again. Although it's a brand I've always loved, our day at the new store has really confirmed to me that Mama's and Papas are in a class of their own. I can't recommend them enough. 

Did any of you make it to the opening in Glasgow this weekend?

*collaboration with Mamas and Papas

Can a Chiropractor cure acid reflux in babies?

Sunday, 30 April 2017
UK Parenting and Lifestyle Baby Blog Maisy Meow Acid Reflux Infant Reflux Treatment Cure

I've talked about Oliver's acid reflux a lot on my blog over the last few months. It's something I hadn't even heard of babies having before I had him and although it's not as bad now as it was a few months ago, it's not an easy thing to deal with. Constantly changing his clothes only for him to be sick all over them again within seconds of picking him up - I've had days where I've spent half an hour changing Oliver into 4 or 5 different baby grows because he's been sick on every one as soon as I've put it on him. Then there's me - clothes and hair covered in sick too, which makes getting us both ready to leave the house a bit of a difficult task to say the least. 

We're so lucky that the sick is the only problem with the reflux. It doesn't hurt Oliver, he's somewhat  unaware of it actually. He can be in his jumperoo having the time of his life, throw up a tonne of milk mid-jump and carry on like nothing's happened. I made a video a few weeks ago talking about acid reflux in babies and explained how it started with Oliver and what treatments we had tried so far. 

A few people had recommended that we try seeing a chiropractor to see if they could help. I read up on it and found quite a few people saying they'd had really good results from it so we decided to give it a go. Here's a new video about our visits to the chiropractor for acid reflux .... 



Have any of you had babies with reflux? And did you visit a chiropractor? 



Baby Boy Look Book S/S '17

Sunday, 23 April 2017
Baby Boy Lookbook Outfit Ideas OOTD Spring Summer 2017

Oliver's now moved up to the next size in most of his clothes - yep, the boy who didn't even fit into 'tiny baby' size when he was born is now in the clothes that I referred to as 'man size' when we looked at them a few months ago. He's not quite man size, but he's definitely a bit of a chunk now! 

I thought it would be a bit of fun to film a baby look book for my youtube channel this week, since I've been spending every morning saying 'oh my goodness, you look SO cute today'. We still have more things to pick up for him, and I'm planning on a big Zara haul on pay day (which I'll share too of course). 

Hope you like the video and all the cute baby smiles! Don't forget to like and subscribe! 

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