Has anyone else got a toddler that is a little bit feral? Little knows how to use a spoon and fork, but most of the time prefers to just pick food up and shovel it in to her mouth. This means meal times in our house can get a bit messy!

So when I had the opportunity to try out some of the fantastic products from Messy Me , I jumped at the chance.

 

The Messy Tunic (Dusty Pink Dots £9.50)

The tunic bib is fantastic. The first thing that hit me when I opened up the packet was how well made it was. You can see the seams and edging have been sewn brilliantly and I have no doubt that it is a product made to last. The fabric is so pretty and the soft dusty pink colour is girly, without being too over the top.

I decided to put it to the test at tea time and it managed to keep my little messy one clean. It’s long enough to collect food dropped in her lap, which is where most of her food ends up some days.

Recently, we decided to do some sensory play and it was easy for her to wear and protected her clothes well. I usually use long sleeved bibs, but I found that, as long as Little’s sleeves were rolled up, the lack of arms wasn’t an issue.

The Messy Mat (Soft Grey Stars £24.00)

I never realised quite how handy a floor mat was until I tried this. Food being dropped all over the floor is a regular occurance these days. Cleaning it up isn’t so straight forward when it’s beans or something else mushy, but I just tend to get on with it and get the wipes out.

Being able to just lift up the mat and tip everything in to the bin was a revelation. I could then just wipe it clean and fold it up ready for the next meal time. No having to get down on my hands and knees and scrub the floor! Little is also a bit of a monkey for throwing her cup on the floor. We’ve tried the no spill cups and she still manages to throw them with enough force to create a splash. I love the way the mat caught all the water – a quick wipe with a towel and it was gone.

It also came in really handy for some sensory play too. I could spread out the inside of a pumpkin, without worrying that the floor would become a sticky, gungy mess. And again, I could just wipe it clean afterwards.

The mat is made from the same great wipe clean material as the tunic bib, but doesn’t have any edging sewn along the edges like the bib does. However, with the mat being laid on the floor and not strapped to a wriggly little one, this isn’t really an issue.

 

 

Overall, I’m really pleased with the products and would definitely recommend them.

Do you have a messy little one? What do you use to make sure the clean up is as easy as possible? 

 

Little Big Love

Becky xx

 

Disclaimer: Although I was sent these items in exchange for a review, my opinions are honest and based on what I have experienced.

Ok so there is no doubt that the viral craze of #treeoflife pictures swimming around Instagram are beautiful. If you haven’t seen them, they show stunning artwork of mothers and babies bonding through a very natural thing, with trees connecting mother and baby through breastfeeding. However, in some people’s eyes, they are another example of how non breastfeeding mum’s are feeling guilt and shame. Hashtags like #breastisbest don’t help the matter! Does that mean that formula feeding mums don’t give their babies life and don’t have a bond with their baby?  Of course not!

From what I can gather, it started to support the #normalisebreastfeeding cause that many breastfeeding groups try hard to advocate. This always surprises me though, as honestly from my standpoint it is a totally normal part of life, to the point where formula feeding mums are made to feel inadequate by health professionals, the media and the breastfeeding army. Let me get one thing straight, when I use the term breastfeeding army, it’s not all breastfeeding mums, it’s the group of keyboard warriors who have their view and will not be tolerant or understanding of others. I respect all mums as, let’s face it, what ever choice we make we get criticised for it but I have an issue with those who purposely set out to make others feel bad. All of the breastfeeding mums I know would hate to think they’d upset or shamed anyone. They agree that however you feed your baby, as long as they are happy, it doesn’t matter. But not all breastfeeding advocates have the same compassion. I think it’s lovely that mums who breastfeed can share something so beautiful and feel empowered by it, but it’s the message it spreads to others that makes me wary of the craze.

Yes breast milk is amazing for babies but not everyone can feed this way. The argument that it’s natural and been around since the dawn of time is valid but historically babies would have died due to feeding issues without a wet nurse or formula. Society and medicine has moved on to allow healthy happy babies whatever the feeding situation!

I have fed Little every which way because she was born too early to feed orally. She was tube fed until she was ready to attempt oral feeding. We attempted breast feeding and fed bottled expressed breast milk and eventually formula. The one she had the most trouble and upset with was breast. So no breastfeeding is not best for every mum and baby. Fed is best and it always will be!

Formula feeding and still we have a connection and bond

What Little thinks to those who shame people for their choice of feeding

Back in the early days when she would take the breast

The oversupply of expressed breast milk I brought home from the hospital. I was a milking machine!

Big feeding a very tiny Little my ebm while we were still in hospital

Little with her NGT (nasal gastric tube) that she loved to pull out!

I have already seen some beautiful bottle feeding tree of life art work. I’m glad these have popped up as they show that no matter how your baby is fed, you still have a bond and give them life. I’d considered doing one from when I could breastfeed, then thought I could do a bottle feeding one, but then realised I actually don’t want to do one at all. Yes they are beautiful pieces of art, but my feeding journey can’t be summed up in a picture like that.

It is lovely to see the pictures, but before posting, consider the hashtags used and the wording of your post. Just because you breast feed or formula feed, doesn’t mean that it is best. We all need to support each other. Always remember #fedisbest

Have you made one of these pictures – either bottle or breast? If so did you consider the impact on others? Should we even have to consider it, or is it simply people being over sensitive? If you don’t breastfeed, how do the pictures make you feel?

I’m interested in open discussions on this but if you comment please be mindful that everyone is entitled to their own views. 

Little Big Love

Becky xx

As any new mum will know, lack of sleep is a killer. Ok, so when I was pregnant I knew that once Little arrived I wouldn’t get much sleep, but I didn’t know just how much sleep I’d lose! 

In the 9 months since Little was born, she must have slept through (and by that I mean 10-5 with a bit of moaning and wriggling in between) for a total of 10 days! This was back when she was about 6 months old and since then we’ve had constant wake ups and 1-2 night feeds to contend with. The last few weeks have felt like we’ve had a newborn again and I’ve really felt like I’ve been cracking up through lack of sleep! 

I’m due to go back to work in January and dreading it (though for more reasons than sleep but that’s another story) and I’ve been so worried about how I’ll function on such little sleep.

We’ve tried everything; white noise, night light/no night light, increased feeds, teething gel/powder/liquid, and every other thing people suggest to us. But our child just does not like to sleep! 

If one more person says to me “sleep when she sleeps” I might scream. I get it, and in the early days I did, but when a baby who doesn’t sleep at night refuses to nap in the day for more than 10 mins in my arms, when do I sleep? And if she does nap for longer and I manage to get her napping in the cot, which we’ve had a few times recently, then I really need to clean, cook, so washing and all those other things that adults do! 

But here’s the miracle. Last night she slept through! Ok, so technically she did wake for a feed at 12am but then she slept until 6.A.M!! No 3am trek in the dark to try and soothe her back to sleep, bumping in to the banister because I’m so tired. No return trip at 3.30am and 4am and then sleeping with her for a bit to try and settle her. No 5.30am wake up because I just give up trying to get her off to sleep again. Hallelujah! It’s a Christmas miracle.

It’s amazing what a bit of sleep does. She happily played in her cot for 30 mins after she woke and I got a shower and washed my hair. We came down, had a bottle and a play and then I cooked myself some breakfast, poached egg on toast, and we’ve been out for a walk. I actually feel so much better and like I can get things achieved today.



What did we do differently? Nothing much, although due to her cold we put a bowl of hot water in the room and a calpol plug in. She also had 6oz of milk instead of the usual 5oz. Yesterday she had two really long naps. Does sleep breed sleep? Does a scented room help her sleep? Who knows but I’ll be doing the same tonight. I know it might be a fluke but I’m praying that I get a nice interrupted snooze tonight too.

What helps your little one sleep? If you’re struggling though lack of sleep, what helps you get through the day? 

Little Big Love

Becky xx

My name is Becky and I’m an Instagram Addict!

Although I only started Little, Big and Me recently, I have blogged for a couple of years. I have always been a very occasional blogger and have tended to pick it up and put it down as I felt motivated. But, the one thing I’ve always kept up with is Instagram.

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I spend far too much time scrolling through people’s pages, liking and commenting on photos and replying to comments on my photos. I find I can get lost in those little squares sometimes and  I have my phone in my hand more than I should some days! Although its not all bad, Instagram is a form of social media that I find really positive (most of the time!)

There is a fantastic community of people on there who share stories, experiences and their lives. I first met an amazing community of women who were going through fertility issues. I was able to share my diary of my fertility treatment with a group of people who really understood. The support was invaluable, especially when people around me in ‘real life’ couldn’t understand. Many of those on the fertility journey have now become part of this fantastic community of parents that exists in Instagram too. Again it has become a place to discuss all things mum and see snapshots of life from some beautiful babies as they grow and develop.

I love to share parts of daily life and the fact that its so instant really helps. Unlike blog posts that need writing, editing, and links adding, among other things. I also really enjoy the comments and likes (I’m a bit of a like whore) from such a wide range of people. It enables conversations to open with people around the world, and closer to home too.

I’m lucky enough that I’ve actually met some lovely people through Instagram that I would call my friends. I’ve been able to connect with people in real life, through friendships made in squares of photos online!

So yes I’m an Instagram Addict, but it’s had a great affect on my life so far.

Here are some of my favourite Instgram photos I’ve posted:

 

 

As you can see, there is a bit of a theme! Well it is all about Little, Big and Me after all!

What is your Instagram username? Come follow me and give me a comment on a picture you enjoy.

Little Big Love

Becky xx

After a fantastic response to Part One, Part Two of the birth story is here.

So here I was, 29 weeks pregnant and sitting in hospital knowing I was going to give birth any time. I can’t actually put in to words everything I was feeling as I still find it hard to piece it all together.

Once they’d removed the magnesium drip, which seriously made me feel like I was dying at one point, they told me to get some rest. The pains were still quite mild but I said to the midwife that as soon as I relaxed I knew everything would start up again. She laughed and said not to worry. So, the lights went off and I laid my head down. As I closed my eyes I wondered how many more days I could do this.

Not the best photo of me I’ve ever taken but it’s real! I look and feel exhausted here because I was.

 

I must have drifted off to sleep, but woke just after midnight with some niggling feelings. I laid there trying to stay calm and that’s when it happened. The gush! I knew straight away that my waters had broken. The only way I can describe it is like something inside popped and then I wet myself. Which incidentally I did do about 10 minutes later! I just couldn’t hold it in and peed everywhere while profusely apologising to the midwife who had come in to check on me after I buzzed. She wasn’t convinced my waters had broken. She thought I’d just wet myself, so the actual wetting myself didn’t help back up my story! But on examination, I was fully dilated. This was it. 29weeks and 1 day pregnant and I was having this baby.

When I’d first been admitted we’d been told what could happen in labour, but in that minute when she told me I was fully dilated I suddenly became more scared than I’d ever been. This baby was wanted more than anything, the fact that we’d been through IVF and I’d stabbed myself with needles and pumped myself full of drugs helped prove that, but I wasn’t ready to be a mum yet. I wasn’t ready to have a baby now. I hadn’t been prepared. We had only been to two antenatal classes and the one that dealt with labour wasn’t for another 18 hours! I had no idea what to do to get this baby out.

The pains started to ramp up and were really strong through my back, so I was given gas and air. I began to have a heavy feeling inside. I couldn’t process what I was supposed to do but told the midwives and Doctors, of which had flooded the room, that I felt like I needed to push. They told me to go for it and that’s when I realised I didn’t know what I was pushing. The Dr told me to push as though I was doing a poo. I’d heard that so many times but stupidly I didn’t know that’s actually what you did! I tried, I really tried but nothing seemed to be happening. They made me stop taking the gas and air as it was making me dozy and as I tried to push I was getting more worked up and apologising to them all for not being able to do it! They fetched an ultrasound machine to check on the baby’s placement, because of the size they were worried there may have been some movement. That’s when they saw the problem. Head up and arm above the head. This baby was a wriggler and wasn’t going to make this easy. To try and get some movement, and this is no exaggeration, I had a Dr and Midwife both put their fingers inside my special place to try and move her. I’ve never felt anything like it, but I thought there would be a head coming out of there soon enough so it was preparation. Although that wasn’t to be. They couldn’t shift the arm and by this point the heart beat started dropping. They decided to move me to theatre, ready to give me an epidural and use forceps to pull the baby out quickly.

I realise I’m referring to ‘the baby’ at this point, but we didn’t know that we were having a girl. We had decided to wait and find out once the baby was born. We were calling the bump Freddie as I was convinced we were having a boy! So, Freddie was stuck and I was rushed to theatre. Hubby was sent off to put on scrubs and then would be allowed to join us. But, we hit a snag.

On the way the heart rate continued to drop. The Dr decided that there wasn’t enough time and called for an emergency cesarean. They didn’t have time to wait for an epidural to do its work so decided to give me a general anesthetic. All of this was a blur at the time. I just remember laying on the table, with the anesthetist trying to ask me questions, while I cried out and writhed around in pain. He told me to try and remain calm and the midwife informed him that I was having a contraction. His reply; “oh, sorry about that.” All I wanted was Big holding my hand, who had been amazing through the whole process so far. He wasn’t allowed in so there I was, about to be put to sleep, laying terrified and alone. Would the baby be ok? Would I be ok?

And then I woke up. Two midwives and Big came in to focus. I had an oxygen mask on but couldn’t reach to get it off. Big looked over me and told me with a smile that “Freddie’s a girl!” I was too out of it to cry, but I felt so overwhelmed. Our little girl. He showed me pictures he’d been allowed to take as they were working on her in the incubator. Inserting tubes and wires. He told me with delight how she weighed 2lb 5oz and how beautiful she was, although he’d only got a quick glance. There I lay, post surgery, in too much discomfort to move (though by this time the pain hadn’t hit yet) and all I wanted was to hold my baby girl. To cuddle her and get that first photo that everyone showed off on social media. But I couldn’t. She was on a ward on the other side of the hospital being stabilised by Doctors.

I was told that if I was able to get myself out of bed and in to a wheelchair in the next couple of hours then I’d be able to go down and see her. I’ll be honest, as I lay there waiting, I didn’t feel like a mum. I had no baby to hold yet. I knew she’d been born but it didn’t feel real. I was worried. Worried that I might not bond with her. That I might not love her as I’d been denied that chance of a cuddle at birth. But honestly, I cuddle her now and that love is so strong. It took me a couple of days of seeing her in the incubator and doing cares for her, which are what neonatal staff call changing nappies and doing tube feeds, to feel like she was mine. To remember that she was that little thing that wriggled inside me. I loved her in a way that I can’t explain. I was finally a mum!

Little Big Love

Becky xx