From a Mama in the know to Mamas on the go!

Moochicbaby quilted blankets via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I love the range from Moochicbaby it is so beautiful and the fact that every piece compliments each other and all of them are hand block printed!

Moochicbaby quilted blankets via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

The quilts are a beautiful soft, organic cotton, perfect for your toddler to snuggle up to or as a play mat for a baby under 1.

Moochicbaby quilted blankets via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Simplistic design runs through the whole range and I think that is what does it for me, what couldn’t you put with this?!

Moochicbaby quilted blankets are really just so adorable, they are hand block printed on 100% organic cotton and filled with organic cotton too!

What I really love about Moochicbaby as a brand is that they have a range of products in their signature prints, right from pajamas to quilted blankets of a variety of sizes. Each of the styles for all the products are hand block printed so every item is unique.

I’m a particular fan of the beautiful dohar blankets, especially for mamas who are having summer babies!

You can find the full Moochicbaby range here.

Harriet x

The Brownie Bar, delicious mail order brownies via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

My favourite style of brownie is the brownie bomb (salted caramel are my fave, though the peanut butter are delicious too!) and they are totally unique to this company!

The Brownie Bar, delicious mail order brownies via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Delicious gooey brownies straight to your door. The ultimate mail order treat for mamas!

Ok, I have mentioned more than once what an obsession I seem to have with sweet treats and ‘bad’ foods this pregnancy, and I’ve also mentioned how much we love chocolate in this house. Add the two together and it isn’t rocket science to figure out the way to my heart!

At a Christmas fair back in late November with my dearest friend Kate and my Mum I discovered The Brownie Bar and their unbelievable brownie bombs. They are to die for!! Between myself and Kate I think we ate 4 and took another 4 home… out of the 8 there, I’m responsible for at least 6, but hey, I’m pregnant! Kate is the most wonderfully attentive friend and remembered how much I was in love with the brownie bombs (especially the salted caramel ones, though the peanut butter ones were delicious too!) and bought me a mail order of 6 for my birthday a few weeks ago!

I actually did a happy dance when the package arrived as I had no idea it was coming, and truth be told, I’d forgotten about them! The brownies are wonderfully fresh and can be sent all around the country, not only do they make the divine brownie bombs but they make all sorts of brownies and they are all wonderful!

You can find their full range here, and if you want to send them to someone to brighten their day (or just to yourself!) then you can do by emailing the company at thebrowniebar@hotmail.co.uk

Harriet x

Five ways to involve your children in your pregnancy via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

This is one of my most amusing pictures from this pregnancy… I was innocently bouncing on my ball when I was invaded!

Being pregnant is a wonderful, sometimes challenging, time. To know that you have this new life growing inside you is something that you can’t explain or comprehend until you have been through it. There is magic for both Mummy and Daddy to be, and nerves too! If you already have children though, those nerves could be so much more for them – this is a magical time for mummy and daddy, but it can be really unsettling for little ones who don’t understand what is happening, why mummy is physically changing in front of them, why she is so tired, why rooms are moving or why old baby things are coming out of the loft. It’s all change, change, change and that’s scary for grown ups, let alone toddlers and children.

I’ve noticed this so much with Reuben this time round, obviously we have been here before when I was pregnant with Toby, but I feel like he was a bit too young to worry or be concerned – he was only 19 months old when Toby arrived, so for him it has been like Toby has always been here… this time he has a better concept of the changes around him and he is worried, stressed and showing it! He’s nervous and clingy in some instances (he has asked a few times if we will always love him) and in other’s he is stroppy and grumpy, not really sleeping well or happy in himself. This is all (so everyone tells me!) perfectly normal, so I have been working as hard as I can to try and involve him in my pregnancy – just to make the whole thing less worrying. On top of being really nervous about the impending baby and where that leaves him, he is extremely excited (some nights he hasn’t been able to sleep because he wants to meet baby NOW!) and that is also a difficult emotion for a toddler/preschooler or child to grasp and contain!

Here are five ways to get your children involved in your pregnancy:

1. Take the kids to the odd midwives appointment and talk to them about what is happening.

I haven’t had to take the boy’s to all of my midwives appointments, I’ve been lucky enough to arrange them for preschool/nursery days where I could, but on the odd occasion I have taken the boys with me, and instead of preoccupying them with toys or my phone while I talk to the midwife I have involved them in the conversation and in particular got them to come and have a listen to baby’s heart beat and have a feel of my tummy. They now have a good understanding of how to take a person’s blood pressure (!!) but on a serious note they have some physical connection to the fact that there is something in my ‘tummy’ and it has a heart beat. They can hear the heart beat and we can talk about that when we are talking about baby – it makes it more realistic for them. On top of that, I ask them (once I’ve answered the midwife) ‘Have you been feeling baby move? Has mummy’s tummy been growing and wriggling?’ and they can then tell her in their own words what they have seen, involving them and making them feel a part of the change.

Just to note, I’m not suggesting you take your kiddos to your stretch and sweep, but that you let them get involved in the odd appointment if you can.

2. Make something for baby.

Do you remember my post about leaf printing bodysuits? You can read it here if you don’t, but essentially, we made personalised body suits and sleep suits for baby using fabric paint, plain white suits and leaves from our garden. The boys had a blast and we talked about how baby would wear the suits and be really grateful that her big brothers had been so thoughtful and made her such beautiful suits to snuggle up in bed in. Reuben really enjoyed making the body suits, and I am hoping to make some more with him as she grows, possibly making something a bit more difficult like a little felt toy or something, just to keep the ‘best big brother’ role fresh in his mind, without any pressure on him – it just allows him to feel a sense of pride when he sees her with the fruits of his labour!

3. Let them help you decorate the nursery.

If you are having a separate nursery, let your children or child help you choose the decorations! Obviously, this has to be done to a certain degree, I’m not suggesting you go freelance interior design toddler, but allowing them to choose something like a piece of artwork, or a little ornament to put on the shelf, letting them help you paint the room (obviously this requires a certain age, but Roo helped me paint our hallway and was offered the chance to paint baby’s room – though transformers toys took precedent that day!).

Simple things like asking them which colour they like the best, asking their opinions about wallpaper etc… it all makes a child feel a part of the process and it’s the ideal way to let them have their little stamp on things.

4. Arrange to see young babies with friends.

Ok, let me explain this because I’m not suggesting you book a visit to the local nursery just so you can see new babies! I’m talking about when a friend has a new baby, or young baby, then take your children with you to see that friend – explain to them that this is a baby, this is how small they are and (depending on your child’s age) ask them to do something for the new baby, like pass mum a nappy or packet of wipes. Recently Reuben went to visit my mother in law’s neighbour and her new granddaughter was there at only a few weeks old. Mum was really kind to let Reuben sit with the baby (I want to mention here that you should remember that OTT mothering instinct you first have with a new baby, so don’t just assume your friend will be happy with your child being all over a new baby, wait for them to offer etc) and eventually he even helped her give baby a bottle. This was such a big deal for him, he couldn’t wait to tell me when he got home what a wonderful and helpful boy he had been and how he had been practicing for helping with his sister! Sweet!!

5. Talk, talk and talk some more.

I talk to the boys allllll the time about baby arriving – we talk about what that means (a new little sister), we talk about what will happen when mummy starts to have her (I will go to the hospital and bring her home with me, along with a gift she has brought with her for her top big brothers!) and we talk about how they will be my ‘handy helpers’ once she’s here. I reiterate to Reuben how he has always been so helpful with getting nappies for Toby when I ask and how he has always been a super big brother. I talk to the boys about what to call baby (we’ve had Georgina, Henrietta and Snowy…. it’s an eclectic mix…) and how just because she is arriving doesn’t mean that they will be any less loved, in fact there will be another family member in the house to love them, so they will be loved even more.

Talk about your pregnancy. Tell your children when things are happening and for goodness sake NEVER try to pretend nothing is happening!

Do you have any other suggestions of how to get children involved in your pregnancy and make them feel more secure about the whole thing? I’d love to know!

Harriet x

The Pregnancy Diaries :: Week 39 via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids,.

Baby is roughly the size of a mini watermelon at this point in pregnancy! No wonder I look and feel so rotund!

What’s happening to baby this week?

This is the week of pregnancy that you are officially FULL term. As of 37 weeks you are classed as term, though if you have baby between 37 and 39 weeks your notes will say early term. At 39 weeks you are classed as full term (as you are on your due date) and if you make it to 41 weeks you will be late term. 42 onwards is over due. Let’s hope for full term eh? Baby is still building up fat to help her survive and regulate her temperature for when she arrives, though she won’t be very good at self regulating and needs to be watched for signs of being too cold or hot. She could be as long as 50cm and weigh 3kgs already, the average babies are between 6.5lbs and 8.5lbs, though more and more are at the higher end of the centile scale. So what size is baby in relation to a fruit/veg this week? A mini watermelon! And now you know why Mum’s look so fed up at this stage!

The reality: How have I been feeling this week?

Oh come on baby! I was hoping you were going to be here by now! As this is third baby, and it would appear that she is still in the right position I had my fingers crossed that labour would be between 37 and 38 weeks, but alas it isn’t meant to be! Clearly I am making it a very comfortable environment for her and she doesn’t want to move.  When I was walking into preschool earlier in the week I took a bit of a tumble and unfortunately I’ve hurt my knee, at first I thought it was just a few scraps and bumps but sadly it is really sore and seems to have jolted in quite a bit! Add that to the achy pelvis and hips and I feel like I am falling apart! I’m also still exhausted, despite having a few very early nights, I’m assuming that baby is getting ready and my body is tired due to changes and hormones ping ponging around. On another slightly negative note I have been feeling very weepy this week, again I think hormones and tiredness have a part to play in this, but it will all be worth it in the end!

On a positive note, excitement is blossoming in the house, Reuben knows that baby is coming home really soon and we have her room, her crib and her clothes all ready and sorted! Exciting stuff!

Cravings.

My appetite seems to have dipped slightly this week, though I’m still hungry and snacking on occasion (chocolate and biscuits… hey, I said I was weepy!) but largely I have been desperately tucking into stir fries and anything with copious amounts of chilli. Unfortunately this doesn’t have the desired labour inducing effect, I do have a real love of chilli anyway, but it is helping to increase my veg intake and make a healthier pregnancy than the previous chocolate, and sweets diet.

The bad, adorable and downright funny.

Funny:

Obviously my need to wee has increased desperately over the last few weeks, to the most ridiculous point now! I will frequently be sat relaxing and leave the desire to run to the loo until I really have to go, in this instance, everything is so crammed in their now that I cannot stand up properly and end up hobbling all the way to the toilet while clicking and creaking like a haunted house. Watching mummy walk like a hermit has been a source of amusement for all the boys!

Adorable:

Reuben helped me put baby’s crib together last week, and throughout the whole thing he kept telling me how much of a good big brother he was going to be, and when she sleeps here he will come and give her cuddles if she cries. Sweetest boy ever.

Bad:

Between impatience, over tiredness, weepiness and achy-ness I’m not sure what I like the least about this week. I’m hoping that she will hurry up and arrive sooner rather than later!

Harriet x

Designing my girl's nursery to last via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I just can’t get enough of Maileg mice and bunnies, they are so sweet and fit perfectly on this lovely shelf!

Well here it is! I have been working on my little girl’s nursery and gleaning inspiration from various brands and designers that I love for ages. I think when you have children already life can be so hectic that you don’t get to dedicate as much time to designing a room as you would like, though 4am has been a good time to have a brain storm for me!

Designing my girl's nursery to last via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I absolutely love my nursing chair and I think that the fact the boys have used this cotbed gives a really sentimental touch to the room. I’ll be adding some artwork the the right hand corner there once we decide on a name!

I have stuck with the same cotbed that I have had for both of the boys, but I have obviously changed the bedding. I love the fact that all of our children have shared the same bed, I think it’s so sweet and when we look back that will be the one thing that has been a consistent thing for all of the children’s rooms.

As you can see in the picture above the wall has a broad stripe of ‘rose ritz’ pinky coloured paint across. While I didn’t want the room to be a stereotypical baby pink room, it’s just not my taste, I did want something that would have an element of ‘pretty’ and chose to go for this colour with it’s deep rose hue. I wanted something that she could grow into, so as her tastes develop she will hopefully still like her room for a number of years! I took inspiration for the wall styling from the lovely Olli Ella site, which is where I got my bedding from. To do the ‘stripe’ across the room I chose my desired width and then used masking tape to create a truly straight line and painted over the desired space. It was so easy and looks really effective (or I think so anyway!)

Designing a girl's nursery to last via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

This image is from the Olli Ella website (where I got my beautiful pitter patter pink bedding) and I took my inspiration from this. I wanted a slightly darker pink hue, because I want her to be able to grow with the room, but I love love love the design!

Designing my girl's nursery to last via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

My beautiful bedding has come from Olli Ella and I LOVE it! The little teddies in the cot were from a recent trip abroad and were being handmade in front of us at a market stall by a local lady. Such a sweet memory builder!

Designing my girl's nursery to last via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I bought a new wardrobe for her room, something that she can grow up with because it is solid wood and can be rearranged inside to give a better depth to the shelving for her larger clothes as she gets taller. The rocking horse belonged to the boys and has now moved into her room when they decided they didn’t want it in theirs!

I chose the pitter patter pink bedding from Olli Ella, mainly because I love the styling so much, it’s truly adorable and in no way overly babyish! My little shelf and hedgehog lamp are both from Mothercare and help create a perfect finish, plus a little bit of storage for those all important necessities I may need for night feeds. I love the touch of the Maileg bunnies and mice too, the room wouldn’t feel complete without them!

Designing my girl's nursery to last via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

These beautiful little decorations were a gift from some of the baby’s god mother’s (she has 5 in total!) and I knew they would be perfect in her room on her window sill to remind me of my baby shower too!

Designing my girl's nursery to last via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

These adorable shoes were a gift from a friend and make such a beautiful little feature just hanging on the door, my heart melts every time I see them!

There are so many sweet gifts in this room too, my dearest friend’s and family have been so generous and kind with their keepsake gifts and we have tried to make sure that they all have pride of place… at least until she’s old enough to try and eat them!

I hope you like the baby’s room, I love it and it was a real source of pride the other day to see it complete and finished, not only for me because I can’t wait to meet her but also because it represents a new chapter for us as a family of five!

Harriet x

Elks stunning childrens wear from Ireland via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

The burgundy coat remains one of the best pieces in the collection for me, it could be because I had one very similar as a child!

Elks stunning childrens wear from Ireland via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Handmade and designed with tradition in mind.

Elks stunning childrens wear from Ireland via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

This hat just reminds me of days gone past. Doesn’t it you? I love the simplicity of the design and the gender neutrality too!

I came across Elks a few weeks ago and since then I haven’t been able to stop thinking about them! I am totally swooning over their stunning childrens wear and handmade designer image.

One of the things that makes them so unique is the fact that everything, from design to manufacture is done in Ireland by traditional craftspeople. The concept behind the brand, started up by a musician and composer (clearly their artistic flare doesn’t stop at music!), is to create an artisan range of children’s clothing made the traditional way, upholding the traditional Irish values of handing down fine clothing from one child to another. Elks use materials like handwoven Donegal tweed, beautiful Irish linen, rare alpaca wool and the finest merino to create their products and make them the luxurious items they are.

Elks stunning childrens wear from Ireland via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I think this linen dress is beautifully made and ideal for any little lady.

Elks stunning childrens wear from Ireland via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

This particular jumper has been made from alpaca wool, which is super soft and perfectly warming for those remaining winter nights.

Elks stunning childrens wear from Ireland via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

The special occasion or communion dresses are so classically elegant, just perfectly traditional. The detailing on the dresses really attests to the skills of the crafts people that are working with Elks.

Elks stunning childrens wear from Ireland via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I love this navy herringbone coat with the built in hood, I am honestly so tempered to order on for Reuben. It’s perfect for those dressy occasions, every day wear and, of course, handing down to both his younger brother and sister when the time comes.

There is really something so magical, so nostalgic about the brand that I felt I had to share it with you, hence the picture overload! If you want to find out more then you can visit the Elks site here.

Harriet x

The Snüzpod crib by The Little Green Sheep via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

The only bedside crib that can be stand alone AND a bassinet, plus remain a super stylish piece of furniture in your home!

I am absolutely captivated by my wonderful Snüzpod crib from The Little Green Sheep, it is just everything I could have asked for and more!

Not only is the crib super stylish in it’s design, but it is also one of the most multifunctional cribs I have ever come across.

The Snüzpod crib by The Little Green Sheep via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

If I could have had Toby sleeping like this with me life would have been so much easier! Not to mention those lazy night feeds…

 

The Snüzpod crib can be a bedside crib, with one side down to allow a safe and comfortable co-sleeping position for both myself and the baby. I remember for the first 9 days of Toby’s life he was insistent on sleeping wrapped across my neck and chest, and neither of us got a terribly good nights sleep, after that, he discovered that he HATED his moses basket and would wake all the time, just for a cuddle and to feed, but mainly for comfort. If I had had this option, I would have slept more securely myself and Toby would have been able to have the physical contact that he needed. That isn’t to say that co-sleeping in Mummy and Daddy’s bed isn’t a safe option if done correctly and the guidelines for safe co-sleeping are followed, but it was just one that I didn’t feel comfortable with, and I doubt I would this time. So this makes the ultimate compromise for me and I love it!

The other thing that I loved about this crib was that it can be a stand along crib, so if I find that want to use the Snüzpod crib without the option of the open side, I can, anywhere I choose. I remember with Reuben that we moved his moses basket a bit further away from our bed just before he went into his own room, but for parent’s who wanted to have a stand alone crib in another room of the house, this would be perfect. Which leads me very nicely to the last part of fabulousness from the Snüzpod crib…

The Snüzpod crib by The Little Green Sheep via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

The Snüzpod crib is just so clever in the way that it adjusts and adapts to every baby’s need. Bit like parent’s really, we are all different and as such our baby’s have different needs and wants.

It can be a bassinet! Hooray! I don’t have to keep my old moses basket for during the day (which was worrying me with two extremely active older brother’s running about – would she be safe?) and I don’t have to lug a really heavy crib downstairs! Instead in the morning I can take the top part of the Snüzpod downstair with me and the boys and I can place it in the corner of the room where I know there is a firm, solid structure which can house my little lady while she sleeps and the boys won’t be able to knock it over or ‘squash’ it’s sides down.

The Snüzpod crib by The Little Green Sheep via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

The organic cotton bedding is sublime, 100% organic and totally chemical free. It’s perfectly soft for that perfectly soft skin.

I am also loving the organic cotton sheets and blankets that came with the Snüzpod, they are just so soft and totally chemical free, which puts my mind at ease as a mummy and let’s me feel secure knowing that she has something that she can lay her little face on without any worry :)

Now that I have told you how amazing they are and I’m convinced you will want to order one for your own baby or a baby in your family, I am so proud to announce that as a ‘Friend of the Flock’ blogger, I can offer my readers a non-expiring, unlimited 10% discount on all The Little Green Sheep products, which means you can use it as often as you like, on whatever you like! The code is LGSTR10.

As soon as baby is here I will be no doubt spending most of my time taking pictures of her in her Snüzpod (at 3am no doubt!) and I would love for you to join me on my instagram or Facebook page where I will probably be baby spamming hourly! For now you can see how the Snüzpod crib works from the pictures above, isn’t it adorable!? So excited to meet my little girl now and get her in it!

For more information on The Little Green Sheep and their wonderful products you can visit their site here, or even like their Facebook page for additional competitions, discounts and more!

Harriet x

 

8 lies about inducing labour via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

This is one of my favourite pregnancy memes – I just love it. It epitomises how I feel, huge and grumpy!

Recently all I am hearing is ‘Oooh when is baby due? Oh try *insert random bullshit here* to bring on labour*’ or similar and it is something that really bugs me.

I have two children already, one of which is old enough to be a bit unsettled about his impending sister, despite being extremely excited, neither of which seem to sleep in their own beds for a significant period of time each night and both of which view their days as an opportunity to see who can send the other into the biggest fit of hysteria. I’ll give you a hint, neither of them manage to go as crazy as I do. So I am doing all that is humanly possible to encourage my little bundle of joy to get a shift on into the world as soon as she is ready, predominantly for a good rest on the maternity ward!

I thought I would put together a little list of the most common suggestions of how to induce labour and explain the reasons they are TOTAL rubbish. For fun. Continue reading

What we read :: Surtsey the cat via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Surtsey the cat by Hilary Roper, perfect for inspiring little ones imaginations with the most wonderful illustrations.

This book was a Christmas gift from my Mum to both of the boys and it is absolutely stunning so was a must have for our what we read series. We met the author, Hilary Roper, at a local Christmas fair and she explained to us about her beautiful book and the illustrations (which she sells as prints too) and how she has loving developed the story to inspire the minds of little ones with an underwater adventure! When I wasn’t looking Mum bought a copy and had Hilary sign it to both of the boys too – it’s such a treat for us all as a family.

Surtsey the cat goes on an underwater adventure (which Reuben was most distraught to learn our cat Mushu wouldn’t want to do in the bath!) and each page has the most fabulous illustrations to go alongside the story. The boys loved spotting the fish and various things in Surtsey’s adventure.

If you want to find a copy of Surtsey the Cat then you find it here.

Harriet x

My baby does not need a sling by Mariann Hornyák via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Mariann with her baby, holding him close and nurturing his need to be held.

You already carry your tiny baby and you will give birth soon. The transition from the womb to the new world is not a smooth happy journey for everyone. You might be the exception and then you can prove me wrong. But hear me now and we will see later.

Every baby is unique and every mother is unique. I truly believe that mothers have magical skills to bring new life to Earth. To create something from nothing. Mother Nature and the nature of Mothers will always keep me inspired and I will never stop admiring Mothers. While there are not two births the same, one thing is always the same. Babies grow in the body of their mothers and they live a life before birth and after. The life before birth is a peaceful lullaby which is torn apart by a sudden storm to put baby into a new life where nothing is known, nothing is peaceful – only the Mother.

Every baby needs time to process this transition. No exception.

There might be babies who immediately accept everything they get, this is how their personalities will shape their behaviour. Others might fight for a while but will adapt easily. And then there are babies who cannot tolerate changes so well. Every baby will need his mother but some will need more attention than others. And this is life. This is normal. This is natural. If you do not feel that your baby wants to be in arms that much, you might be right. There are babies who are happy on their own and they are very busy observing the world from day 1, and there are babies who want to be carried all the time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They might suffer from reflux, might have other problems. Also we see babies with different needs and in between the ’leave me alone’ and ’never leave me alone’ types. However, if your baby wants to be carried, you will feel the urge to pick him up and hold him always and forever.

And you can.

Carrying your baby forever is one of the best thing you can do for your child as long as your child is happy with that.

You can carry your newborn in arms, most common is the cradle position. Always be careful that you support your baby’s head and you hold him under bum against gravity. Try not to put any pressure on the spine nor the neck. Always make sure that you keep checking the airways; nose and mouth should always be visible and at least two fingers should fit in between his chin and chest. This is the same when you carry your baby in upright position. Make sure that you support your babies natural position and you do not force him into any position where his spine is straightened or his legs are over spread. Then you can carry your baby in your arms close to your chest. You can sit with him, you can relax together.

What happens though, if you need both your hands? Or if you are a type who likes eating alone and not just being fed? What if your child really wants to be carried more than your arms can support you?

This is the stage when your most gentle solution is to pick a sling.

It will give you back your two free hands, it will help your baby remain content and calm. You will be able to interact more and you will have a chance to know your baby better. It is your choice. It is not the alternative to a pushchair, it is not a competition how expensive your sling is. You can choose as you like.  A baby knows nothing about slings but that they want to be carried (and some love to be carried a lot).

A baby carrier is just a tool to help you. It will not make you a better or worse mother however, it might make you more peaceful and relaxed.

The next article will tell you more about the benefits of a sling.

Mariann x

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For more information regarding slings and how to use them, visit Mariann’s wonderful site Baby in Sling here, or you can follow her on Facebook for daily tips and sling related articles here.

The Pregnancy Diaries :: Weeks 35-38 via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

38 weeks pregnant. This was at a recent maternity photo shoot that I had, which was wonderful for making me feel so special and blessed to have my bump.

What’s been happening to baby over the last three weeks?

During these last few weeks of pregnancy baby has put on so much weight! No longer a skinny little thing baby has filled out enough to help her survive and stay warm outside of the uterus. She’s shed most of the downy covering of hair that covered her body as well as the vernix caseosa, the waxy substance that covered and protected her skin during her nine-month amniotic bath. Baby ill most commonly be in a head down position, if not our practitioner may suggest scheduling an external cephalic version (ECV). That’s a fancy way of saying that your practitioner will apply pressure to your abdomen to try to manipulate your baby into a head-down position. By the end of 38 weeks the average baby weighs about 6.8 pounds and is over 19 1/2 inches long (about the size of a leek). She has a firm grasp, which you’ll soon be able to test when you hold her hand for the first time! Her organs have matured and are ready for life outside the womb.

The reality: How have I been feeling in the last few weeks?

Well, I don’t know whether it has been the Christmas and New Year excitement but that bone aching tiredness has returned with a vengeance over the last few weeks. I can honestly say I am doing my best to listen to my body and accept that I need to have the odd nap when and were I can. At this point I have turned to the birthing ball to try and make sure that baby gets into a good position. Both of my babies have been OP (which means back to back) and makes for a really long, protracted labour that usually ends in cesarian section. Toby managed to be born, but Reuben had to be a section and after that experience I would do near enough ANYTHING to avoid a repeat.

I think I have been feeling a bit more of the ‘birth fear’ over the last few weeks. I’m not afraid of the pain, or anything along those lines, but I have been so worried that baby will be in the back to back position and I will end up having another section. This is something that I have to come to terms with and do everything I can to encourage baby to stay in the right position. I would love to have started taking red raspberry leaf tea to encourage labour but as I have been anaemic this pregnancy I can’t as red raspberry leaf tea has a reputation for causing anaemia!

Cravings.

Chilli. Lots of chilli and it has been building over the last few months!

The bad, adorable and downright funny.

Funny:

Over the last few weeks of pregnancy we have had some hilarious moments with the boys trying to help me use the birthing ball, climbing into baby’s crib and various other things. My stand out funny moment was at 4.30am one morning (and by morning I mean night, because 4.30am is night!!!!) Reuben came into our bedroom and snuggled into me, only to ask: Mummy, how does baby come out?

Needless to say 4.30am was too early to have that conversation and my husband swept in with Mummy has to push her out, the ball helps get her ready – remember? Another parenting bullet dodged!

Adorable:

Both of the boys are really excited now. Reuben in particular has been itching to help with everything he can over the last few weeks and has been talking about how he is excited for baby’s arrival. During the last week he helped me set up baby’s crib and even tightened some of the screws himself! He also visited a friend of his Grandma’s who has just had a baby and fed baby a full 8oz bottle! So sweet, now he wants to know if he can feed his sister!

Bad:

The last few weeks have been really hard on my pelvis, it’s been a struggle getting up and about but fortunately for me I have to little monkey’s to keep me active! I have also found the increasing tiredness over the last few weeks to be more of a challenge, but I am doing my best to try and listen to my body and it’s needs… or as much as the boys will allow!

Harriet x

Blita dolls via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I just love this goldilocks doll. Fabric dolls are so much fun and so traditional, a real hand me down for generations.

Blita dolls via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

We are huge foxy fans in this house (ever since we read the Fantastic Mr Fox on holiday one year!)

Blita dolls via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I find the making of fabric dolls to be a skill I’m so envious of, it’s a real talent!

These handmade fabric dolls by Blita are so cute! I love the fact that the designer Anabela has had a life long passion for dolls and that her lovely little Etsy shop comes from her desire to share her handmade dolls with family members… the enthusiasm that she has for making her dolls bubbled over to more nieces and nephews than she was gifted with and Blita was born!

The dolls are all unique, no two are alike and each is handmade to order. One of the things I really like is that Blita dolls are designed based on the characters from traditional bedtime stories such as Goldilocks, Red Riding Hood and The Fantastic Mr Fox. Too sweet!

You can find Blita dolls on Etsy here.

Harriet x

KupuKupuKids fashion from Barcelona via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Super soft cotton to keep your little ones comfy in their first few years.

KupuKupuKids fashion from Barcelona via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

One of my favourite things about this clothing range is that it is gender neutral, which is a big plus in my eyes.

KupuKupuKids fashion from Barcelona via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

This sweatshirt has been made using organic cotton and the dyes that have been used are all eco-friendly too, perfect gift for any earth mama and her new baby.

KupuKupuKids fashion from Barcelona via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

‘Duck Mountain’ is one of my favourite prints from KupuKupuKids, so fun and vibrant, without being garish or babyish.

I love this adorable organic, handmade clothing range from Barcelona; KupuKupuKids, it is so cool, chic and the perfect must have for all organic and eco-friendly mamas out there.

KupuKupuKids is the brain child of Laura, who originally started out with adults apparel and branched into children’s wear at a later date. Although she has always been a fan of natural products and has used them in most of her range for years she has taken it a touch further and everything in the KupuKupuKids range is made with 100% organic cotton and eco-friendly inks!

This super stylish brand is aimed at little ones aged 0-6 and another of my favourite things? It’s delightfully gender neutral!

You can find KupuKupuKids here.

Harriet x

Traditional nursery art work from Paola Zakimi via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I love this wall poster, so simple at yet each animal is illustrated with such wonderful detail.

Traditional nursery art work from Paola Zakimi via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

If you love this little turtle as much as I do and wanted it in your child’s room (or any other animal letter) Paola makes the most adorable clay figures to compliment the artwork. I love them!

Traditional nursery art work from Paola Zakimi via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

The detail in the artwork is so sweet, traditional nursery art work with a modern flare.

There is often something quite charming about the modern twist to classical illustrations, especially when they are done for children’s rooms. It’s something that I find ties together the old with the new and is the perfect way to say ‘Welcome to the world’. That is one of the main reasons I am so captivated with the traditional nursery art work from Paola Zakimi.

Originally from beautiful Argentina, Paola specialises in the most beautiful paintings, drawings and illustrations, which is one of the most beautiful things about her art really, it’s so natural. One of my favourite collections is the ABC collection, I just love the adorable animals, and what I love even more is that if you choose a piece of art work to go in your child’s room and still feel that you are missing that special touch, you can tie everything in with an adorable handmade clay figure that has been painted by Paola to compliment. Perfect!

If you want to view more of Paola’s work (and I strongly recommend that you do!) you can find her here and you can purchase from her Etsy shop Holli.

Harriet x

Adorable hand crocheted rugs from Peanut Butter Dynamite via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

This would be a huge hit with Toby in our playroom. He loves Ooo-ooos!

Adorable hand crocheted rugs from Peanut Butter Dynamite via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

This koala is so cute! Those ears, and the yarn makes them so warm and soft!

Adorable hand crocheted rugs from Peanut Butter Dynamite via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Adorable and super fun. This cushion would be perfect in any room of the house!

I love the handmade, which you will no doubt already know if you follow the blog, but I just do. There is something about something that has been crafted by another person that I find so much more appealing that the machine produced products that we get day to day. Especially when the product in question is as beautiful and skilfully made as these lovely hand made crochet rugs from Peanut Butter Dynamite.

As if the name of the company wasn’t enough to wrap you around their fingers, you only have to see their selection of rugs to want them for your child’s room or space.

Not only do they make these wonderful rugs but they also offer matching cushions to go with them – cute!!

You can find them on at their site here.

Harriet x

Bump photography from Portfolio studios via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Is it a moon? No, it’s the bump! This is my favourite shot by far. I love the way that it’s all about my bump, because it IS the most important part of me at the moment.

Bump photography from Portfolio studios via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

For this we had fans going and someone pulling out my gown train! I’ve never felt so much in the spotlight and pampered! Which is exactly how a mother should feel!

Oh this was such a wonderful experience!

I can’t tell you how enjoyable it was, and how much I loved every minute of capturing this special time, especially leaving the bump photo shoot (which I’ve had booked for absolutely ages) until the very very end of pregnancy. I had the bump photo shoot with a local company called Portfolio Studios and their brilliant photographer Brendan, who couldn’t have been more professional and creative if he tried – I will admit, I was nervous having a photo shoot with a male photographer, a first for me, and something I was unsure of to start with but you just couldn’t help warm to him and feel comfortable in your on skin.

Pregnancy is such a magical time, and yes it can be awful, of course it can – it’s hard work, but in general it’s a time that is forgotten so quickly once you have this miracle new life to care for. You quickly want to lose the ‘post baby bulge’, you want to go back to how your body used to be, but how many women do you hear say ‘I miss my bump’? I really feel that this is because there is no other feeling in the world like being pregnant. That bond, that knowledge that your body is growing a life. It’s a time to cherish and remember. So capturing my (potentially) last pregnancy on film as something I felt I needed to do.

Bump photography from Portfolio studios via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Baby was really active during this shot, obvious it can’t be seen on the picture but she was having a really good wriggle!

Bump photography from Portfolio studios via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

There is something about a naked bump for me, it’s special and it’s magical.

Bump photography from Portfolio studios via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I’m so in love with the way these images turned out with this lace slip. It is the perfect thing for showing off the bump!

Bump photography from Portfolio studios via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Maileg bunnies and mice for my daughter were a must have, I couldn’t imagine her room being complete without this cuteness!

Silhouettes are so lovely in bump shoots, the woman's shape is magical and growing life is captured at it's best in this natural way.

Silhouettes are so lovely in bump shoots, the woman’s shape is magical and growing life is captured at it’s best in this natural way.

Bump photography from Portfolio studios via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I love this dress. It’s something I have owned throughout all of my pregnancies and it’s one of those things that I can only wear when I’m pregnant because otherwise it’s too big!

Bump photography from Portfolio studios via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

This is another dress that I have relished wearing throughout my pregnancy, in fact, I’ve hardly had it off! It’s personal to me and I think that’s what is so special about a photo shoot.

Bump photography from Portfolio studios via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I love this image, heart over the bump. Cliché yes, but it is the ultimate bump shot!

I wanted to share my pictures with you because I think that this is the perfect treat for any pregnant woman. The session with Portfolio starts with a little bit of pampering too, you get to enjoy having your hair and make up done by their wonderful make up artist so it’s something that can really help to relax you in those last few weeks where not everything is possible!

I hope you like the images, if you want to see more of Portfolio studios or book your own shoot with them then you can find their site here and their Facebook page is full of offers and competitions which you can find here.

Harriet x

Stunning Mocassins for mama and baby from EverythingLL via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

These booties are a favourite of mine from the current shop. Warm and stylish, ideal as a first walker (or pram shoe before hand!)

Stunning Mocassins for mama and baby from EverythingLL via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

So elegant and stylish for mama, the perfect post baby treat to welcome in the upcoming spring season!

Stunning Mocassins for mama and baby from EverythingLL via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Made using natural deerskin these are so soft and just absolutely perfect for those kissable feet.

How cute are babies feet? I mean, come on, there isn’t many things that can top trump a tiny foot – they are perfect for kissing, cooing over and adoring… but sometimes, considering they are so frikkin cute, we don’t have much choice for their booties and slip ons! Especially for those first walkers, or when they are still in their prams.

That is why I am so in love with these Mocassins from Everything LL, they are just adorable! Not only that, they make them in my size too, and we all know that moccasins can make any drab outfit feel like a ball gown! They are a mummy essential because, let’s face it, we can’t always be tottering around in super stylish heels, and slippers get wet outside!

Perfectly soft for those first walker or pram shoes, ideal for toddlers and new borns. The moccasins are made from deerskin so they are totally natural too – bonus!

You can check out EverythingLL here.

Harriet x

P.s – not that I’m hinting at all to my husband, but these moccasins make a wonderful gift for baby and mama!

Shroompers, organic handmade toys via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I love the simplicity of the design with Shroompers – there is no set story line for your child to follow, the world is their oyster mushroom (sorry!)

Shroompers, organic handmade toys via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Safe for all ages, these could be a gift for a toddler to explore imaginative play or for a new baby.

Shroompers, organic handmade toys via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Each Shroomper is different too, because they are handmade and made using organic materials!

I love Waldorf toys, and I especially love felted handmade toys that you can see have had a lot of craftsmanship go into them.

Theses toys from Shroompers are gorgeous! They create a whole world of imaginative play for your children, with their neutral facial expressions and minimal style, children can really blossom while they play with these – is your character feeling happy or sad? Are they a magical mushroom prince or a dastardly villain? There is no set story line!

One of my favourite toy finds for such a long time, you can find them here.

Harriet x

P.s – these are especially appealing to me because they are soft and organic so baby could use them, as well as Toby & Reuben, without me having to worry about what she is putting in her mouth/getting on her hands. Perfect!

IvieBaby, modern bedding for modern parents via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

I love this crib sheet! What wonderful colours, and entirely gender neutral, which is such a huge bonus for me!

IvieBaby, modern bedding for modern parents via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Changing mat covers are available too!

Does anyone else find that crib bedding can be incredibly dull sometimes? Between the standard gender stereotyped pale pinks and baby blues there is often little left other than whites, creams and pale lemons!

Enter IvieBaby, modern bedding  for modern people who want style, colour and a touch of awesome in their nurseries!

I can’t get over how cool this bedding range is, and it seems to be expanding (hooray!). IvieBaby offers a range of fitted sheets, cushion covers, boppy feeding pillow covers, bumpers and more, all in their beautiful, modern fabrics that just fit the bill so well!

IvieBaby, modern bedding for modern parents via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

This is one of my favourite sheets, it’s white and neutral but without being too boring!

IvieBaby, modern bedding for modern parents via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Geometric blankets are so stylish and so in at the moment – plus gender neutral and ideal for a toddler room too!

IvieBaby, modern bedding for modern parents via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

Another great gender neutral option for any child’s bed.

One of the best things for me as well is that this range was born out of the frustration of a fellow mother, who simply couldn’t find the bedding that she wanted for her nursery. She didn’t want white, she didn’t want babyish and she didn’t want to compromise on her own style just because there was nothing else available – so she made this.

And I’m super grateful she did!

Harriet x

If you want to get your hands on this luscious bedding range then visit IvieBaby at their Etsy store here.

Bed sharing between siblings via Toby & Roo :: daily inspiration for stylish parents and their kids.

How do you feel about your children sharing a bed? Mine seem to have decided that this is going to be the way they sleep from now on and I think it’s beautiful!

Last week I had a terrible week with the boys and their sleeping, I think it was a combination of the post Christmas excitement and being separated when Reuben went away for a few days with his Grandparents. Needless to say, tears and temper tantrums were the flavour of the week, especially from me – at 37 weeks pregnant I can’t seem to cut 7 hours sleep over 48 hours with much grace or dignity… not that I ever could.

Anyway, it left us with the question of ‘What the hell do we do?!’ I was in panic mode imagining myself and my husband squashed into corners of the bed, me post birth with one child’s foot in my face and another latched on a boob, while Adam fielded questions about the latest transformer to pop into an exuberant 3 year old mind at 3am. I’m not a fan of leaving kids to cry, I used to think I was – I did it a few time with Reuben and it seemed to work, only ever for a short period of time when he just blatantly didn’t want to go to bed at 11 months old and was feeling clingy to me. I guess this is what you would call ‘controlled crying’? I never left him for more than maybe 10-15 minutes, we didn’t have the stomach, and some nights we just gave in and let him come on down… but that had much the effect it has now: grumpy child and grumpy mama the following day. Then Toby came along and I just couldn’t (and still can’t) bare to think that my boy would feel pushed out. Reuben was never really left to ‘get on with it’ after that and Toby hasn’t been either – it didn’t feel right and I’ve grown as a mother. If it doesn’t feel right then it probably isn’t for us.

Tell me I’m making a rod for my own back if you will, but it’s my back and I’ll foster the rod if I need to. I may also cry and complain through it, but hey, welcome to my prerogative!

Fast forwards, the boys have been pretty darn good to us of late, Toby sleeps most night’s through (making up for never sleeping in the first 6 months of life!) and Roo has done for the majority of his life, coming into us around 4am and going back to sleep until his brother gets us all up at 6-6.30am. His only bug bare was settling alone, which he came to do happily at about 13 months old with a few stories and kisses with only the odd night up late.

Suddenly though, and whether it is the impending arrival that is stressing them, or just the Christmas madness, they won’t go to sleep and if they do, they won’t stay asleep! We have had weeks of broken nights (horribly broken, with hours spent awake that started before Christmas and seemed to pause) or temper tantrum filled bedtimes. THEY WILL NOT GO TO SLEEP! We recently had 4 nights of 11pm bedtimes then up and down, chats at 3am, tossing and turning in our bed, co sleeping nightmares with BOTH of them in our bed and it was hell. I didn’t realise you could ‘baby wear’ a 3 year old… across your face. I didn’t know that the conversations about transformers and paw patrol could be so in-depth at 3am. I also didn’t know I could so passionately dislike my children, and consider selling them to anyone, anyone at all at 4am (I am kidding there… about the selling!). This led to hysterical tantrums during the day, arguments about any tiny thing and just general awful behaviour!

Something broke in me eventually, I think it might have been when I breathlessly read Reuben the 8th Thomas the tank engine book and he sat up and went, ‘Mummy we don’t want to sleep, we aren’t sleepy, so it’s not going to happen’. I stood up and explained to him (in my rather hysterical, shouty voice) that I was not going to mess about anymore, oh no. I had had enough! I told them both that I was so tired, that they weren’t allowed to come downstairs tonight no matter what, that they had each other so couldn’t be lonely and I needed to sleep. I would NOT sit their any longer while they giggled at each other and talked over my story reading! They sat there in stunned silence, Toby started to whinge a little as I stood up to walk away. I made my way downstairs knowing full well that I was done and they would no doubt be downstairs in moments, enjoying stealing the prawn crackers from my now semi-warm Chinese takeout.

Then a little voice came across the monitor… ‘ Toby, don’t be sad, Mummy loves us very much, but she is very cross right now because we are being so naughty and won’t go to sleep. She will be so cross with you if you go downstairs, we have to be quiet and go to sleep now. She’s only downstairs you know. Let’s snuggle down.’ After that their was literally no chattering, no giggling, just silence and peaceful sleep. I didn’t realise it at the time and if I’m brutally honest I was just grateful for the quiet, but the boys had climbed into bed together.

My sweet little boys spent the whole night (the whole night!!) wrapped up in each other’s cuddly little arms! Reuben was the most supportive, wonderful big brother and Toby cuddled into him all night. They had such a wonderful rest that they played merrily together (obviously with the odd attempt on each other’s lives in between the sweet playing) all day the next day. Reuben has been begging Toby to sleep with him every night since, so far we have decided to go with the flow and let them choose and though they haven’t started off in bed together (much to Reuben’s tearful horror) sometimes they have ended up so by around 3am. This seems to be a real source of comfort for them, and they seem to be getting closer day by day.

At this stage we are going to see how things progress before we move to full time bed sharing. They have separate single beds which they get into each night at bedtime, and as I said, though Roo is desperate to sleep with Toby, Toby doesn’t want to start the night off in Roo’s bed yet, however as they get older it isn’t something we want to discourage. If they are happy and they keep getting into bed together we will eventually pop a double bed in their room for them to share.

What are your thoughts? Do you kids bed share with their siblings? Would you let them or is it something that would cause chaos in your lives? I’d love to know!

Harriet x