The Siblings Project | February 2016


The bond between these little loves of mine has really grown this month. Indiana tries to get Parker involved in absolutely everything, and he loves the attention. If she dances, she makes him join in too. If he cries, she tells him it's alright and tries to comfort it. It's so so lovely to watch their little bond grow.

Don't get me wrong, she still tells him off for touching her toys, or destroying her games. But then she is a two year old with slight big sharing issues haha. He doesn't seem to mind though, he just smiles and giggles because his big sister is 'playing' with him. Now Parker is 6 months old and sitting, I think the fun is really about to begin between these two!

The Me and Mine Project

Labour For The Second Time | All Births Are Different


Recently I've been thinking a lot about my labours. How different they were, and how I coped with each. I thought it would be interesting to write about my and others experiences, so that other second time mums-to-be can see a little bit more what to expect; although I'm very aware this is just individual experiences.

When I was pregnant with Parker I will admit now I was absolutely terrified. Not about having a newborn, or having two under two. But about the labour itself. I never found anything to read that gave me reassurance. I was adamant I was going to have a labour just like my first.

If you've been reading for a while you'll know I didn't have the easiest of labours with Indiana. I thought I was one of the lucky ones when my contractions started on my due date. However what I didn't expect was to still be in labour 32 hours later! My contractions weren't doing their job and I eventually ended up on the drip, and had to have help with a ventouse delivery. My recovery was also very hard, and very long.

Parker's birth didn't end up as I expected though. At less than 5 hours long and completely natural (apart from gas & air) it was the complete opposite! Also despite a 2nd degree tear, my recovery was much quick and I felt back to myself within a few days.

So why do I think my second experience was so much better?
  • With Indiana I was told to expect a longer labour. Your cervix has to go from long to short, which takes a lot of time. I was told by my midwife that any subsequent births are usually quicker, as your body knows what to do (and therefore does this part a lot faster).
This was taken on the 4th August at 10am - by 9.30pm Parker was born!
  • I knew what to expect this time. I knew what my waters breaking felt like (and what to do when they did). I knew what was a 'real' contraction, and not a braxton hick. I also knew what the pain was going to be like (and that I could get through it!).
  • Linked with above, I knew what worked for me and my body. Gas and air really helped. Sitting/laying made the pain a lot worse - so bouncing on a ball was out the question. I also knew I hated being touched. If anyone tried to rub my back I whacked them away and told them to leave me alone haha. I feel I knew how to manage the pain better as I could just do the things that worked for me.
  • I was more confident to ask questions and do what I wanted. As a first time mum you usually listen to the doctors/midwives as you assume they know best. However the second time I had clear points that I wanted (water birth, skin-to-skin, etc), and was more vocal about getting them! 
Parker was born in the pool. I then had immediate skin-to-skin ready for breastfeeding!
These are just a handful of reasons, and I'm sure there are more. I've asked fellow bloggers whether they'd like to share their experiences too, to see just how different births can be.

Emma from Mama P and Little Me had a very similar experience to me.
"With my first I had lots of intervention and very little progress. I had my waters broke, they hooked me up to a drip, I was exhausted and went for an epidural to get some rest. With my legs round my ears I had two midwives yelling 'push!' and finally Austin arrived after 38 hours.  
My second was totally different. 90 minutes from my waters going on their own and contractions starting to having him in my arms with only gas and air and nobody telling me when to push! I went into a bit of shock afterwards though as it all happened a bit too quick!" 

Victoria at Mummy to my Cheeky Little Monkey also had a long first birth.
"James' birth was long! I started in slow labour on 19th August and didn't go into established labour till early hours of August 26th! James was born at 4.34pm. From being 10cm to James arriving was 34 minutes resulting in me  having a tear and needing general anaesthetic for the repair. 
With Freddie I found out at 39 weeks I could have elective c-section as I had a high risk of having another tear. Best decision I could have made as his birth was so lovely and controlled. I got all the skin-to-skin contact that I never got the first time. I actually feel like I have recovered better from section than I did from James birth".

Sian who blogs at Quite Frankly She Said had an induction for her first labour
"My first was a horrible, long induction. 46 hours, all the drugs, ending in emcs and a J incision, and 5 days in scbu. Second was an awesome v-bac. No drugs, 3 hour labour, and home a couple of hours later. Couldn't have been more different!

Abigail, who blogs at Lily Mae Adventures has recently given birth to her second baby, a beautiful boy! Sending her HUGE congratulations.
"On paper my labours should have been pretty similar. Both were inductions for the same reason at the exact same gestation (38w). However the two labours couldn't have been more different. My first induction was long, tense and I had all the drugs going including an epidural. I had a bad reaction to my induction pessary and spent more of my labour vomiting than I did focussing on my breathing, and the baby kept getting distressed, so it was all very stressful.  
My second labour I went into it feeling more relaxed with a 'what will be, will be' attitude, and this definitely helped. The whole labour was intense but super fast and I went from 2cm to fully dialated within an hour with no time for pain relief. Although much more painful this time round I'm pleased I managed to avoid pain relief as the recovery was much smoother and we were out of hospital and back home within 24 hours" 
So as you can see, every birth truly is different. Don't be afraid just because your first birth wasn't straight forward, as you're most likely going to have a completely different experience! Just go into it feeling positive, knowing you can do it, and that no matter what happens you'll have your beautiful baby in your arms.

How did your labours/births differ? What do you think made the difference?

5 Baby Led Weaning Essentials


Parker has been weaning now for about 3/4 weeks. He's loving his food and we're enjoying baby led weaning him, just as much as we did with Indiana. I feel like an old pro with it now we're weaning our second child. So I thought I'd write about what we think are the essentials for getting started with Baby Led Weaning.

To start I'll just explain a little bit about the process of baby led weaning (blw). Blw involves the child deciding what they want to eat, and then feeding themselves - with no intervention from you! You don't need purees, they simply eat what you eat. The only exceptions are honey, whole nuts and you obviously need to watch the salt and sugar in foods. You can offer spoons of food, just preload them and give them to baby/put on the tray... and away they go!

But anyway, onto my top 5 baby led weaning essentials!

Books / Support Groups

Top of the list, is some kind of reading material. Be it a baby led weaning book, blog, or even joining Facebook groups (I suggest Baby Led Weaning, or Baby Led Weaning - A Mum's Experience). These will all give information on the basics, the do's and dont's, and where/how to begin. You'll also find recipe ideas, support and a place to share those adorable messy photos!


When you first start, a highchair isn't really 100% necessary, ( a Bumbo, or similar will do just fine). However, once your little one is actually eating a bit more, I'd definitely suggest getting yourself a proper highchair.
Image from

We have experiences with two - one is a Mama's & Papa's Pesto (similar just different pattern) and the other the Ikea Antilop. The Antilop is much easier to clean and has a large tray for baby to explore. However it isn't so easy to store, and I just love how much more secure Parker feels in the Pesto - overall though, I'd go with the Ikea (especially as it's only £13!!).

Protection for Baby... and the House

Bibs, coveralls, splash mats... baby led weaning is messy. You may think you know messy, but this is a whole other level haha. If you have carpets, or don't fancy cleaning the floors every day, I'd suggest a splash mat for under the highchair. We just used a cheap shower curtain from the 99p store, so we just threw it away once it was too grubby!

Coverall bibs are also wise for meals where you know baby will be covered head-to-toe - I'm talking about you spaghetti!. Ideally go for the ones with elasticated sleeves so that food can't fall down them haha. For less messy meals crumb-catcher style bibs are the best; babies love going back in to see what they can try again haha.

Another excellent investment are toddler weaning sets; these are available in different options from suction plates to suction bowls and sippy cups. The most exciting part of these sets is that it makes the food time more exciting and less messy for both the baby and the parent. Thanks to the suction base, the plate won’t move around or flip over, while the colorful design will appeal more inviting to our tiny humans.

Wipes, Wipes and more Wipes!

This goes hand in hand with the point above. Once that mess is made, you'll want a lot of wipes to clean it up with. They're also handy for giving tables in restaurants a quick wipe down, before placing food on them. Also a top tip - keep the wipes upside down. This keeps them wetter, so they're much better at removing mess!

Your Camera!

You really won't want to miss those first moments of your baby tasting food. Or the second. Or third! There's also nothing better than a messy baby photo, so you won't want to forget the camera. Some of my favourite pictures I have of Indiana were taken during her first weeks of blw, they really are moments to remember.

Of course these are just my opinions, and just the basics too. There's a whole world of cutlery, cups, and other top tips! Feel free to ask questions, or let me know if there's anything else you want me to cover regarding baby led weaning.

This post contains Affiliate links. This is a collaborative post.

Parker's 6 Month Update // Happy Half Birthday!


Happy half birthday baby boy!

Wow, 6 months! The pain of labour may be a distant memory, but it really does feel like yesterday this little man came into the world. He's changed our lives in such a big way; and despite not having a full nights sleep in over six months, he's absolutely perfect to us.

Parker weighed 16lbs 2oz at 23 weeks, and is growing into a proper little chunk. He has chubby cheeks to rival his sister's and leg rolls for days. He's getting taller every day and his feet already completely fill his 6-9 month sleep suits! He's still in size 4 nappies, and wearing mostly 3-6 month clothing that's not leggings or sleep suits.

His hair is growing so much now and is a gorgeous sandy blonde colour, and he has the biggest blue eyes I've ever seen. He has got pretty bad cradle cap, as well as eczema which flares up every now and again; mostly on his back and neck. We have started washing him in just plain water, which has definitely helped.

At the beginning of the month Parker was on antibiotics for a throat infection, which was followed a day later by chicken pox! It was a tough week, full of snuggles, NO sleep and lots of crying. But he's been so much better since thankfully. He's also nearly out of leap 5 - so here's to less fussy days!

He still loves his milk and has a bottle every 3/4 hours. This has definitely taken a back seat to food though! We started baby led weaning at 23 weeks; he was SO ready and has taken to weaning really well. He loves toast, porridge, cucumber, rices cakes, and demolished a whole yoghurt this week which made a whole lot of mess haha. He's having 3 meals a day, but it yet to drop any feeds.

Despite all that food, this little guy still doesn't sleep through. We've both decided to start sleep training him now he's 6 months, as well all need the sleep! He seems to have realised naps are good, so fingers crossed he'll get the idea about night time too haha.

He has come on in leaps and bounds development wise though. He rolled back to front at 22 weeks and hasn't stopped since. He hated it at first (and proved this with constant face planting haha), but has learnt to love being on his tummy. He usually spends his time spinning in circles and 'caterpillering' around the room. This boy is on the move!

He can push right up now, and even brings his knees up as if getting ready to crawl! He's also nearly sitting completely unaided which is so lovely. He loves sitting, playing and interacting with Indiana so much more. Standing is also his favourite thing to do.

I can't believe we're out of the 'baby' stage already. We no longer use the playmat or bouncer. He's now in a bath seat instead of the support, and all he wants to do is play with Indiana big toys haha. We've also signed him up to nursery which he'll start at the end of March. Where did my baby go?!
26 weeks
What was your little one up to at 6 months? You can read Indiana's 6 month update here.