Advice to my first-time-mummy self #VicksBabyRubChallenge

The Greenwich Mummy | Family Lifestyle Blogger

Dear first-time-mum me,

Congratulations on your new addition! You must be so proud of your new baby boy, and of course, why wouldn’t you be?

You probably have so many thoughts, emotions and feelings about parenting racing through your mind and that’s completely normal… as a matter of fact, that feeling never really goes away completely! People say it gets easier when you have your second child and they are right in some respects but don’t forget – EVERY CHILD IS DIFFERENT. It’s not always smooth sailing with two in tow; it’s double the mess, double the stress, double the tantrums but double the love which makes it all worthwhile.

There will be fantastic moments like all of baby boy’s firsts; first smile, first laugh, first word, first walk… Then, there will be the crappy days like sleepless nights, temper tantrums, colic, nightmares. When sleep deprivation kicks in, it’s going to sting like a B.I.T.C.H, I won’t sugar-coat it but you will start getting your energy back I promise. For you personally, this will happen around the 4-5 month mark when baby boy learns to sleep a little longer and wakes up a little less at night.

The Greenwich Mummy | Family Lifestyle Blogger
Advice for my first-time-parent self for the @Britmums #VicksBabyRubChallenge

While you’re muddling along trying to figure out this parenting stuff with your BabyCentre forums, Doctor Google and Gurgle Magazine articles, here’s some advice I want to give you for the years to come and before you find out you’re having a second child after 2.5 years…

Make time for yourself

This will always be a hard one for you because you keep putting other people first; whether it’s your baby boy, your hubby, family members or friends you keep trying to give up your time to help them (which is good) but you need to give yourself time too otherwise you will end up burning out. Because you’ve always been this way, it will take time before you really learn how to say no but everyone has to start somewhere. Just give baby boy to hubby for the day and get out of the house. Do things that you loved doing before you became a mum ie. drawing, baking, cooking, eating out with friends and you’ll find yourself a much happier person in the long run.

Make sure you get enough sleep

The good thing is that when baby boy has a nap, you will usually have a nap too which will save you from sleep deprivation. However, once you’re up you tend to find it quite difficult to shut off which means sometimes you skip your morning naps with bubba. This then compounds over weeks and then you find yourself really struggling to sleep at night too then start attacking hubby for sleeping and picking arguments for the sake of it. This is not a good route to go down and something you should learn to avoid doing by making sure you let your body rest regularly and fully. You’ll have to remember to get enough sleep when your second one comes along too.

Well done for coping under pressure

The worst memory you’ll have is when baby boy is three and he goes to A&E for jumping off the coffee table, hitting his head on the side and cutting an inch of his head open. He was so strong and only cried for about 5 minutes whilst you comforted him. Let me tell you now, you did amazingly well at making out like it was just a little scratch because secretly underneath, you were dying inside eith guilt for not watching, shaken from the shock of it all and just wanted to cry your eyes out but you didn’t. It’ll the first time he hurt himself that badly. Luckily, he’ll not really feel the pain and after a 3-4 hour wait at the hospital, the doctor will glue the cut together and he’ll be as right as rain in no time.

You’ll be the ‘go-to mum’ for your first-time friends

They will come to you for advice. The reason they’ll like to coming to you is because you don’t judge them and you don’t try to enforce your parenting styles onto them, which they’ll really appreciate.

You’ll try your best to give your mother-to-be friends a balanced view and always present both sides of the coin so that they can make up their own mind for their parenting journey. If they ask you specifically for your view and then you’ll tell them in the most honest and genuine way possible.

All that bedtime reading with your boy really does pay off!

You’ll love reading to your little boy and start doing so when he’s around 3 months old. It will become your little bedtime routine together which you’ll carry on even until he is four. All the reading will make your little boy love books and he will end up being one of the top children in his reception class that can read with little supervision. You’ll occasionally catch him reading to himself with books he’s really interested in ie. Harry and the Bucket full of Dinosaurs.

You dare not to tell any of the mums at school about high advanced reading levels for the fear of being the labelled “the mum that likes to brag about her child” but you will get to share your joy with your family members and close friends.

Being on a tight budget makes you a practical spender

This is probably the only good thing about being on a budget all the time. You have no money to buy expensive or unnecessary things. You will soon discover that local Facebook groups have the world of things available second-hand at a cheap price which you’ll love. You’ll also try to keep your spending practical. For example, when your little boy gets sniffly and bunged up, you buy rubs like Snuffle Babe and Vicks BabyRub which really help.

Vicks BabyRub has mild fragrances of lavender, rosemary and aloe vera which is really soothing and gentle enough for you to use on a daily basis. You’ll tend to use it more in the evenings ie. after bathtime or before bedtime.

For nappy creams, you’ll find metanium barrier cream works best. You love buying Pampers nappies and wipes but also found that Sainsbury’s own brand and Asda’s own brand were great alternatives and much cheaper too. You’ll only buy fancy clothes from Next every now and then. For regular clothes, grow-suits etc you’ll find old Asda and Sainsbury’s are the best for that stuff.

Mum and baby classes are great for bonding

You’ll love the baby massage classes you sign up for. You’ll find the massage techniques help with your baby’s colic. You also love the bonding connection between you and your baby. When you’re pregnant with your second, you will have to also think about your health. You will try post-natal pilates after your second child and start your gym membership too.

The library will be one of your favourite places to go with your boy and the rhyme time and story time sessions are so popular, you’ll make a lot of mummy friends from going to them.

Stick to the baby-led weaning!

As soon as your boy becomes ready for weaning onto solids, you’ll do really well with feeding him purees and making your own blended meals for him. You’ll also opt for a flexible baby-led weaning approach because you want your boy to feed himself and learn how to use his cutlery. But as he gets older, you and hubby decide to start spoon-feeding him because he would take an hour to finish his meal or will hardly eat. Where he’s such an active boy, he can’t sit still for long and so you both think spoon feedung will help.

In hindsight, you should’ve stuck to your guns and not listen to hubby with the spoon feeding because at four years old, your boy still struggles to eat properly by himself. It would’ve probably been more difficult and taken longer but I am sure it would’ve workd out for the better. The teachers at school say he eats well but you’re not entirely sure this is true because he doesn’t do it at home. He will also start to refuse eating meat products and opt for a pescatarian diet when he’s 2-3yrs old which is fine but I think if you try to introduce him to more food variety when he’s weaning, that would help him learn to eat foods with different textures and tastes which would help him out when he’s older.

All in all, you’re a great mum!

Keep doing what you’re doing because you are really doing great. You’re learning to find your feet as a first-time-mum.  And while you take into consideration other people’s advice (especially when it comes to unwanted advice from family friends, including the non-parent ones), you make sure you define your own rules to parenting. After all, there’s really no right or wrong way when it comes to parenting, just your way.

And what works for one child might not work for another… You’ll find this out when you have your second child! 🙂

Stay sane. Big hugs and kisses, from your future (second-time-mum) self. xx

The Greenwich Mummy | London Family Lifestyle Blogger


This post is an entry for Britmums #VicksBabyRubChallenge, sponsored by Vicks BabyRub. Specially designed for babies aged 6 months and over, Vicks BabyRub is available at Boots, Superdrug, TEsco, Asda, Waitrose and all good pharmacy chains. RRP £3.99.

BritMums

My top 10 products to buy a new mum & baby

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Top 10 Buys Kiddicare Wishlist
The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Top 10 Buys Kiddicare Wishlist
Stock Photo: Pixabay

Firstly… CONGRATULATIONS!

(If you’re not expecting and reading this, here are some great gifts for family members or friends who are)

Expecting a baby whether it’s your first or third is a wonderful experience but it can also be a stressful one. Planning ahead can make things a little easier but from my experience I found that by ‘winging it’ and improvising along the way yields near enough the same results so why add on the extra stress? It’s a bit harder to not stress when it’s your first baby – I remember when I was pregnant with LO I made plans and notes constantly. 1) because of baby brain, I could hardly remember anything and needed constant reminders and 2) I became a little OCD with planning because at the time it felt like it was making a difference and made me feel more in control of my pregnancy.

If you’re a mum to be, you can use this post as a starting point for your wishlist… gifts are what baby showers or  baby sprinkles (mini showers for 2nd, 3rd babies) are for! Don’t be shy ladies, everyone who has children knows how hard and expensive raising a child/children can be and we all need a little help from time to time and showers are the time they should be accepted without arguments. Just don’t go crazy and extravagant with your wishlist or your guests may not turn up! 🙂

I decided to split this list into 5 products for baby and 5 for the expecting parent because gifts aren’t always for bubba, they’re also for the new mum. (sorry Dads-to-be!) Continue reading “My top 10 products to buy a new mum & baby”

The Finnish Box

This post was first featured on MeetOtherMums.com

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | The Finnish Baby Box
Photo Credit: Baby London

It was announced in August that a London hospital decided to pilot a scheme that has been a part of the Finnish maternity scheme for over eighty years. I first came across the post on the Baby London website and thought it was such an interesting topic. Upon digging deeper into the article, I came to realise that the Finnish have been supplying new mums with a ‘baby box’ that is filled with mum and baby products. The baby box is used as a sleeping place for the newborn replacing the need for a cot, crib or moses basket.

Apparently, the baby box has been proven to be a really safe place for newborns to sleep as they cannot roll in the box. It’s something that the Finnish have been doing for over 80 years so it’s a big surprise that the UK has only decided to start implementing something like this now. The baby box is also filled with many things a new mum may need from nappies to baby bodysuits to money-off coupons and vouchers for all things baby.

If the pilot is announced as a success, we may see this new maternity scheme rolled out across the UK.

Read the full story here on MeetOtherMums.com

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Review: Spa Experience London Wimbledon was amazing!

Being pregnant and coming from a spa therapy background I completely understand how important it is to look after my body and my well-being. So when I was invited to review some prenatal treatments at Spa London Wimbledon, I grabbed at the chance with both hands!

When I worked as a spa therapist in Derbyshire, I trained in Elemis and specialised in advanced therapies such as pregnancy massage so it was a delightful surprise to discover that the treatments I was booked in for was the Elemis nurturing mother-to-be massage and prescription facial. With that in mind, I was really looking forward to reviewing the place.

Location
As much as I like to spa alone, it’s nicer to be able to share the experience with someone so I asked a friend to come along with me. The spa is located just a stone’s throw away from Wimbledon and South Wimbledon tube stations so getting there was super easy. It was a short walk away for me from South Wimbledon station and a 1 minute bus ride away for my friend who came via Wimbledon. The spa itself is nestled inside the Wimbledon Leisure Centre, on the first floor. There is also wheelchair access to the spa reception.

Arrival
Upon entering the Wimbledon spa, the lovely smell of oils and scented candles greeted my nose- it really brought me back to my spa therapist days which I miss a lot. We were greeted by two friendly faces at reception who checked us in and confirmed my treatments for the day. I wanted to book my friend in for treatments as she was only having the thermal spa experience but unfortunately they were fully booked.

We were then sat in a small waiting/retail area where we filled in our consultation forms. Our receptionist brought over some complimentary arrival drinks (cold orange juice in a tall shot glass) which I thought was a lovely welcome touch. After the forms were completed, we were each handed a lovely brown canvas bag that contained our spa wear; spa gown/robe, fluffy towel, sandals and a lock for the changing room lockers. ‘Dan’ (I can’t remember his name!) showed us how to set the locks then lead us to the changing area and instructed us to come back to the main reception once we’re ready and to take us on our spa tour.

Spa LONDON Wimbledon Review | The Greenwich Mummy
Time for a quick changing room selfie!
My Spa LONDON Wimbledon Review | The Greenwich Mummy
I wish we were allowed to keep these bags! 😦

The Spa
After donning our swimwear and gowns, we went to meet up with Dan again. He took us on our tour, leading us to the relaxation area which looked amazing and then into the thermal spa suite. When he opened the doors, it was surprisingly light and airy. I really didn’t expect that much natural light in a spa so it was really wonderful to see as most spas just have artificial lighting.

The thermal spa suite has a hydrotherapy pool with jets that you can turn on/off, hammam benches (which are heated tiled plinths you sit on), foot spas and monsoon shower with a hot/cold function, ice fountain, aromatherapy steam room and sauna. Dan told me because I was pregnant, I needed to avoid heat treatments so I could only use the foot baths, hammam bench, experience shower and the ice fountain. I was allowed to sit on the edge of the hydro pool but not get in because of the heat and the jets which would be too stimulating for me. Dan also told us to make sure we keep ourselves hydrated and drink plenty of water. My friend and I were in the suite for about 15 minutes and just had enough time to have a quick natter about how beautiful the spa before my therapist came to whisk me away for treatments.

The Treatments
My therapist (I can’t remember her name either so we’ll just call her ‘Ana’) was super friendly and made some small talk before leading me to the treatment room. She told me that we’ll start off with the nurturing mother-to-be massage and finish with the skin prescription facial. I was taken back a little when she said the treatments were going to be carried out on the bed. Don’t get me wrong, Ana adjusted the bed to fit with the contours of my curvaceous pregnancy body but I was just expecting the special Elemis beanbag to be used. After all, the main concept and USP of the Elemis nurturing mother-to-be massage is for the treatment to be carried on the floor surrounded with cushions and pillows and performed on a unique beanbag. I got over it in the end but just felt a little disappointed. I later found out from the receptionist that the spa doesn’t have the beanbag that’s why it wasn’t used. Fair enough.

“… in that moment, my mind was whisked away to somewhere peaceful and serene and I forgot about everything.”

Spa LONDON Wimbledon Review | The Greenwich Mummy
This was the Elemis pregnancy massage layout I was expecting (Photo Credit: The London Mummy)

Once I was on the bed (which was heated too!) Ana started off by cleansing my feet and in that moment, my mind was whisked away to somewhere peaceful and serene and I forgot about everything. When Ana started to massage my tired and tight legs, it felt even more wonderful. She used a light pressure on my legs and a medium pressure on my back. After working on my legs and back she moved onto my arms, tummy and upper chest. I wished the tummy massage was a bit longer as I love my bump being touched. (If you have this massage in your first trimester, the stomach area is completely avoided.) After having my upper chest massaged, Ana got started on the facial and this is when I started to nod off. I don’t remember much of the facial (sorry!) as I kept drifting in and out of sleep.

I remember Ana applying the papaya enzyme peel which is my favourite exfoliator from the brand. The creamy exfoliator is applied like a face mask and left onto the skin so the fruit enzymes can gently slough away the dead cells without being abrasive or harsh. It’s the perfect exfoliator if you have dry, sensitive or ageing skin. I fell asleep again and woke up with a face mask on but I couldn’t tell which product she used this time. A blissful face and scalp massage (with oil) was performed while the mask was working its magic and I nodded off again. I woke for the last time to Ana removing the face mask with warm mitts then she applied toner, eye cream and moisturiser. I knew the whole experience had come to an end when I heard the gentle chime of the Elemis bells.

Spa LONDON Wimbledon Review | The Greenwich Mummy
What the Elemis bells look like (Photo Credit: Google)

Ana brought me some water and recommended me the Elemis Skin Nourishing Milk Bath and Cream which is great for soothing the skin and keeping it moisturised. It’s one of the Elemis products that’s suitable for those with eczema and psorasis. Ana left me to get dressed then escorted me the relaxation area where I met up with my friend again.

The Relaxation Area
I love the look, ambience and atmosphere of the relaxation area. The sheer dividers provide each guest with that extra little bit of privacy and the loungers were really comfortable. We helped ourselves to fruit-infused waters and fresh fruit (there was also herbal teas to choose from) and laid back on the loungers to chat about our amazing experience. We were also brought some extra fresh fruit and juices, courtesy of the staff and felt absolutely pampered!

Spa LONDON Wimbledon Review | The Greenwich Mummy
Relaxation area and the thermal spa suite door in the distance (Photo Credit: Dale Sauna)

As we indulged on our berries and sipped on our juices, I had a little ponder about the layout of the lounge. It’s an open space so it’s not in a dedicated room like some other spas I’ve visited. To get to the thermal spa suite, you have to walk past the relax area. It just made me wonder if during periods it would get too noisy due to the increased footfall? Luckily for us, the spa didn’t feel busy at all and we didn’t hear a peep from any footfall.

All in all…
We both agreed the spa was excellent value for money; from the service and treatments offered to the spa facilities available, we couldn’t believe a place like this exists in such a central location. We will both be returning very soon for another relaxing spa day. For me, it’ll probably be after I have baby but for my friend, she’s already booked back in! This time for the Elemis hot stone massage and she’ll be bringing her sister along for the mother-to-be massage.

The spa offers all guests a generous 20% discount for re-bookings and special offers like book 2 treatments, get 1 free or book 4 treatments, get 2 free – how awesome is that?! Other spas need to take a leaf out of Spa LONDON’s book. When it comes to client retention I believe in times like these when everyone is on a budget but needing a place to unwind and de-stress, it’s deals like the ones mentioned that will turn first-time visitors into loyal regulars. I would highly recommend Spa London Wimbledon to anyone looking for a stunning day spa with affordable spa treatments and packages.

About Spa London
Spa London is an award-winning concept developed by GLL (Greenwich Leisure Limited) that has revolutionised the day spa market by offering a luxurious experience at an affordable price. The GLL also work in partnership with local councils to deliver a quality service that locals can afford. GLL is a charitable social enterprise for all the community, a not-for-profit organisation with a firm belief in the power of social values.

*NB. I was kindly invited to Spa London Richmond for spa day and pregnancy massage. All words and opinions are my own. The photos used (if not mine) have been credited to their source respectively.


BLOG UPDATE: 30/05/2016
Spa London are re-branding themselves as Spa Experience by Better – this will come into full effect as of July 1st 2016.

The 7 Pregnancy Spa Treatments Every Mother-To-Be Should Try

The Greenwich Mummy | UK Family & Lifestyle Blog

I’m not talking about just the old pregnancy massage or manicure/pedicure. I’m talking about spa body treatments specially designed for a mother-to-be. Hurrah! 🙂

I came across a few good treatments in my search but it wasn’t very easy. Funny that, because there are thousands of women going through pregnancy each year you would think that these specialised body treatments would be promoted more widely. Most spas will just offer a pregnancy massage only which can be pretty boring especially if, like me, you constantly look for something different that doesn’t focus just on massage.

pregnancy spa treatments

Here’s my top 7 pregnancy spa treatments I discovered online:

Champneys Beautiful Bump (55mins)

“Relaxing and pampering for expectant mothers, your treatment starts with a soothing foot soak and back massage. This is followed by a localised collagen boosting body mask enriched with olive, shea, mango and cocoa butters. A relieving foot, leg and scalp massage completes this wonderful pre-natal treatment.”

£55.00

Champneys Mama Mio Lucky Legs Lighten Up (30mins)

“A mineral-rich foot soak, exfoliation and massage for lower legs and feet to help with poor circulation, water retention and the tiring effects of carrying an extra load. While you sit back and relax, we massage your hands and cuticles too. They don’t call it a maternity marathon for nothing!”

£35.00

Elemis Nurturing Mother-To-Be Massage (75mins)

“A gently nurturing, specially formulated massage for mothers-to-be that deeply relaxes. Performed on the unique ELEMIS beanbag for ultimate safety, comfort and relaxation, this unique therapy helps relieve back tension, swollen hands and feet.”

£105.00 at the House of Elemis

NEOM Cocooning Massage (30mins)

“A back exfoliation using the NEOM body scrub followed by a relaxing pregnancy back massage using the beautiful NEOM Cocooning pregnancy oil. You will leave feeling thoroughly pampered, de-stressed and comforted!”

£37.00

ESPA Pre-Natal Treatment (90mins)

“A deeply nourishing body treatment designed to target areas prone to stress and tension during pregnancy. Gentle back exfoliation is followed by a nourishing massage then a moisture rich body mask applied. Finally, truly relax mind and body whilst your scalp is massaged.”

£175.00

Aman Spa Pre-Natal Reflexology (60mins)

“Addresses the more commonly associated pregnancy discomforts such as: sore feet, swelling, back ache and heart burn. Used to encourage overall mental and physical well-being for both mother and baby. Utilises the endocrine reflex points to maintain balance and re-energise. Customised for each trimester.”

£150.00

Dolphin Square Sweetness In Bloom (55mins)

“The ultimate comforting cocoon from top-to-toe for you-and-bump! Commencing with an orange silk foot ritual to bring immediate relief to weary soles before a shea butter massage to the back. A brightening and hydrating facial using gentle yet effective cleansing and moisturising remedies, is combined with a relaxing face, neck and shoulder massage. Option to moisturise the bump with pure shea butter too.”

£79.00

Mamas & Papas Parents-To-Be Event Returns!

M&P Parents To Be Event

Are you an expecting a little one soon or do you know of anyone who is? If the answer is yes then keep reading or share this post with the expecting parents & let them know about this wonderful event.

Mamas & Papas are holding another special Parents-to-be event across the UK. Its 100% free, all you have to do is visit their website to book your place.

What time and where?

It’s on Sunday 22nd November 2015 (London stores) and there are various other places it’s being held too. Just check the link below for the list of locations and to book your place. It’s from 11:00am and lasts for 2 hours.

http://bespoke.bookingbug.com/mamas-and-papas/index_events.html

What’s going to be there?

Probably the same as the one last summer, I’m guessing there’ll be product demos, tips, discounts on products and much more. It should be a brilliant turn out just like the last one so what are you waiting for? Click the link above to find your nearest participating store and book your free ticket!

About Mamas & Papas 
Mamas & Papas is the leading brand for prams, pushchairs, car seats, cots, highchairs, nursery furniture, bedding and toys. M&P have 37 independent stores and over 100 specially selected stockists in the UK as well as an extensive online store to shop from.

Click here to visit the M&P website

– x –

Mamas & Papas Parents To Be Event: August 2015

M&P Parents To Be Event

M&P Parents To Be Event

Are you an expecting mother or father? Or you know of anyone who is then share this post and let them know about this wonderful event. I came across it in my email as I’m subscribed to the Mamas & Papas newsletter and they are holding a special Parents-to-be event across the UK. Its 100% free, all you have to do is visit their website to book your place.

Hurry though as most London venues are already fully booked (Westfield Stratford City & Westfield White City) but there are still some places left at other venues.

What time and where?

It’s on Sunday 16th August and there are various places it’s being held, check the link below for the list and to book your place. It’s from 10:00am til 12:00pm noon so best to arrive on time to get the best experience.

http://www.mamasandpapas.com/store-events/parents-to-be-event/1

What’s going to be there?

There’ll be product demos, tips from healthcare professionals and even first-aid advice from the Red Cross. It should be a brilliant turn out so you’ll have a chance to speak to other parents-to-be and new parents and maybe even make a few new mummy/daddy friends! 🙂

You’ll also receive a free goody bag (while stocks last) and there will be drinks and nibbles upon arrival – just fab!

I’m not expecting another baby any time soon and LO is a little too old for me to get any benefits from this event but it was such a fabulous thing to see in my email, I just had to share with you all… plus it’s on LO’s bday so I will be busy planning his day to attend!

About Mamas & Papas 
Mamas & Papas is the leading brand for prams, pushchairs, car seats, cots, highchairs, nursery furniture, bedding and toys. M&P have 37 independent stores and over 100 specially selected stockists in the UK as well as an extensive online store to shop from.

www.mamasandpapas.com

Manny | The Greenwich Mummy Signature

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Symbol

WPC Banner

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Symbol”

I was a bit stuck (well not really, I wanted to take a different route but couldn’t think of anything else) so decided to choose something of a sentimental value to me and other mothers out there. My symbol for this week’s challenge is of my pregnancy belly or ‘bump’ to put it politely. 🙂

To me, pregnancy symbolises love, life, growth, existence, beauty and nature. It’s so fascinating how another human life can exist and grow in another’s body. I think pregnancy is the probably the only time when a woman is more than happy to pile on as many pounds as she can and still feel/look seriously good.

I managed to take a pregnancy ‘bump’ photo every month leading up to my birth as part of my visual pregnancy diary and wanted to share with you all for this week’s photo challenge… enjoy!

The Greenwich Mummy | Symbol The Greenwich Mummy | Symbol The Greenwich Mummy | Symbol

I loved my pregnancy body especially when my bump was fully showing. Even now, when I see mother-to-be’s with their developed bumps it makes me broody and just brings back all the memories. You don’t realise how quick those 9 months carrying a baby feels like once it’s passed. I hope you enjoyed the photos.Manny | The Greenwich Mummy Signature