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It is finally here! The most wonderful time of the year has officially arrived and it has exploded out of every corner here in Bochum. And I am obsessed. The idea of spending Christmastime in Germany has always been a dream of mine and I am fully embracing the experience now it has arisen. I mean, I had a Nutella chimney cake from the market for dinner tonight just because I could.

The market itself is absolutely beautiful and full of so many stalls and things to see and do. The main part of the market is situated on Dr Ruer Platz (or outside Starbucks if your bearings are solely based on where to refuel on caffeine like mine are). There you will find a big stage where bands often cover famous Christmas tunes throughout the day. There is a whole zone basically dedicated to gluhwein and other festive alcoholic drinks. You will also find a range of stalls selling the usual things like handmade woollen goods and the most beautiful lanterns you will ever see.


The market doesn't stop there though. There are stalls dotted around the entirety of the city centre selling everything from salmon toasted above a flame right before your eyes to roasted chestnuts brought to you by a man dressed in a flamboyantly Victorian-style (yes, I even spotted a top hat or two).

My favourite section of the market is located on Husemannplatz (next to Commerzbank). It is basically a food court with a canopy of fairly lights stringed up over the top of the seating area and a large carousel that routinely rotates and plays Christmas songs which doubles as a bar. This is where I found the best hot chocolate (Chocomel fyi) which came absolutely smothered in cream and I could have even added additional toppings like sprinkles to that too. They have some great food options too. Personally, I have only sampled the chimney cake with Nutella but they have a real variety of other foods on offer. Here you will find your sweet toasted nuts, your gingerbread hearts, and a few less traditional options like flatbreads and mackerel rolls.



The market is open from 10am everyday and I have been at a range of times throughout the day (yknow for research purposes - deffo not to buy endless crepes) and I would say that around 11am or midday is a great time to go if you want to avoid the crowds but I personally prefer going around 5pm when it has just gotten dark and all the lights are shining. And, at that time, it isn't too busy as it is around 8pm.

Overall, I would say that if you are visiting the North Rhine Westphalia region then you should definitely give Bochum a visit (and pop in for a brew whilst you're at it!). The market isn't as big or exciting as the ones you will find in Berlin or Cologne but it has the vibe of a real German city and still feels a bit traditional (I mean, there was a fish stall in the market). And I can vouch that the hot chocolate tastes just as good - if not better!


You may also enjoy:
Belated Birthday Celebrations At Cologne Zoo
Berlin Travel Guide
Everything We Ate In Berlin
December Bucket List
What To Eat At Exeter Christmas Market

Bochum Christmas Market


It is finally here! The most wonderful time of the year has officially arrived and it has exploded out of every corner here in Bochum. And I am obsessed. The idea of spending Christmastime in Germany has always been a dream of mine and I am fully embracing the experience now it has arisen. I mean, I had a Nutella chimney cake from the market for dinner tonight just because I could.

The market itself is absolutely beautiful and full of so many stalls and things to see and do. The main part of the market is situated on Dr Ruer Platz (or outside Starbucks if your bearings are solely based on where to refuel on caffeine like mine are). There you will find a big stage where bands often cover famous Christmas tunes throughout the day. There is a whole zone basically dedicated to gluhwein and other festive alcoholic drinks. You will also find a range of stalls selling the usual things like handmade woollen goods and the most beautiful lanterns you will ever see.


The market doesn't stop there though. There are stalls dotted around the entirety of the city centre selling everything from salmon toasted above a flame right before your eyes to roasted chestnuts brought to you by a man dressed in a flamboyantly Victorian-style (yes, I even spotted a top hat or two).

My favourite section of the market is located on Husemannplatz (next to Commerzbank). It is basically a food court with a canopy of fairly lights stringed up over the top of the seating area and a large carousel that routinely rotates and plays Christmas songs which doubles as a bar. This is where I found the best hot chocolate (Chocomel fyi) which came absolutely smothered in cream and I could have even added additional toppings like sprinkles to that too. They have some great food options too. Personally, I have only sampled the chimney cake with Nutella but they have a real variety of other foods on offer. Here you will find your sweet toasted nuts, your gingerbread hearts, and a few less traditional options like flatbreads and mackerel rolls.



The market is open from 10am everyday and I have been at a range of times throughout the day (yknow for research purposes - deffo not to buy endless crepes) and I would say that around 11am or midday is a great time to go if you want to avoid the crowds but I personally prefer going around 5pm when it has just gotten dark and all the lights are shining. And, at that time, it isn't too busy as it is around 8pm.

Overall, I would say that if you are visiting the North Rhine Westphalia region then you should definitely give Bochum a visit (and pop in for a brew whilst you're at it!). The market isn't as big or exciting as the ones you will find in Berlin or Cologne but it has the vibe of a real German city and still feels a bit traditional (I mean, there was a fish stall in the market). And I can vouch that the hot chocolate tastes just as good - if not better!


You may also enjoy:
Belated Birthday Celebrations At Cologne Zoo
Berlin Travel Guide
Everything We Ate In Berlin
December Bucket List
What To Eat At Exeter Christmas Market
I was gifted the Ergobaby Embrace baby carrier in exchange for a review and social media coverage however all views (as always) are my own.

When Ava was a newborn, we didn't babywear at all. Honestly, it never even crossed our minds. We just bought a ginormous travel system (that looked like it was something straight out of the 80s) off Gumtree and had done with it. Looking back, I kinda wish we had opted to babywear because this time around it has been an absolute godsend.


I have been babywearing Asaba in his Ergobaby Embrace Baby Carrier since we left the hospital and everyday since. I babywear outside (whilst pushing Ava in her stroller or - more commonly these days - chasing her around trying to stop her from endangering her own life). I babywear when I am trying to do chores around the house. I babywear when Asaba is restless and won't settle. I babywear so I can have my hands free to do things like reading books with Ava. And I love it!

Over the past month, I have been solely using the Ergobaby Embrace and I am pretty impressed. The design of the Embrace couples all the good features of a baby carrier (like adjustability and safety) with the softness of a sling. The material of the Embrace carrier is designed to be gentle on baby's skin and the stretchiness means that you can rest assured your baby is comfort and nothing is digging into his skin. But the fastenings are also really secure and the whole thing is really easy to put on - even alone.



My only qualm with the carrier is that the main buckle is around the waist which I found wasn't ideal directly postpartum when my stomach was still quite sore. But, as the weeks have gone on and my body has started to recover from labour, this has ceased to be a problem. So, I would say, this isn't the perfect baby carrier for directly after you have given birth but it is a great option once you have started to feel a bit better.

Personally, I love the Ergobaby Embrace because it gives me so much more freedom than a pushchair would whilst also having the added bonus of having my baby close and being able to enjoy his snuggles throughout the day. And I know Asaba loves the sling too. Almost the second he is put in, he drops off to sleep. Sometimes he is even snoring as we go about our day. And he remains asleep until I wake him up myself - he is just that comfortable. And, honestly, any new mum will tell you that you can't put a price on that!

Featured:


You may also enjoy:

Ergobaby Embrace: Is This The Ultimate Sling/Carrier Hybrid?

I was gifted the Ergobaby Embrace baby carrier in exchange for a review and social media coverage however all views (as always) are my own.

When Ava was a newborn, we didn't babywear at all. Honestly, it never even crossed our minds. We just bought a ginormous travel system (that looked like it was something straight out of the 80s) off Gumtree and had done with it. Looking back, I kinda wish we had opted to babywear because this time around it has been an absolute godsend.


I have been babywearing Asaba in his Ergobaby Embrace Baby Carrier since we left the hospital and everyday since. I babywear outside (whilst pushing Ava in her stroller or - more commonly these days - chasing her around trying to stop her from endangering her own life). I babywear when I am trying to do chores around the house. I babywear when Asaba is restless and won't settle. I babywear so I can have my hands free to do things like reading books with Ava. And I love it!

Over the past month, I have been solely using the Ergobaby Embrace and I am pretty impressed. The design of the Embrace couples all the good features of a baby carrier (like adjustability and safety) with the softness of a sling. The material of the Embrace carrier is designed to be gentle on baby's skin and the stretchiness means that you can rest assured your baby is comfort and nothing is digging into his skin. But the fastenings are also really secure and the whole thing is really easy to put on - even alone.



My only qualm with the carrier is that the main buckle is around the waist which I found wasn't ideal directly postpartum when my stomach was still quite sore. But, as the weeks have gone on and my body has started to recover from labour, this has ceased to be a problem. So, I would say, this isn't the perfect baby carrier for directly after you have given birth but it is a great option once you have started to feel a bit better.

Personally, I love the Ergobaby Embrace because it gives me so much more freedom than a pushchair would whilst also having the added bonus of having my baby close and being able to enjoy his snuggles throughout the day. And I know Asaba loves the sling too. Almost the second he is put in, he drops off to sleep. Sometimes he is even snoring as we go about our day. And he remains asleep until I wake him up myself - he is just that comfortable. And, honestly, any new mum will tell you that you can't put a price on that!

Featured:


You may also enjoy:

I love my postpartum body but I don't like how the skin on my belly feels.
I love my postpartum body but I don't like how my boobs look.
I love my postpartum body but sometimes I see bikini pics on Insta of other 23 year olds and feel a little sad.
I love my postpartum body but I don't feel confident in it yet.

Here's the truth, guys: I am struggling to love my postpartum body. I mean, I love that this body has carried my two children safely to term. I am in awe of its strength in delivering them both. I love that this body continues to feed and sustain my newborn. But some days it doesn't really feel like home - it doesn't really feel like me.

The thing is, when you are pregnant, your body goes from just being a part of you to being something that also kinda belongs to someone else - it has a purpose further than just being a body. And then, postpartum, it goes back to being a body again. But it isn't the body you remember. And society expects mums just to accept that. This whole movement of body positivity and celebrating mum bods (as amazing as it is) tells us that our bodies are beautiful because of what they have done but it never really talks about how some mums don't just instantly accept and love their new body. Nor that our body isn't just defined by how well it has served others or by its relation to them.

And as a blogger, especially one who writes a lot about parenting, I feel this whole sense of responsibility whenever I discuss my appearance. I want to come across as this body confident mum because that is what I want everyone following my content to be. I mean, if I thought another mum didn't feel 100% happy with their postpartum body, I would want to give them a whole talk about how incredible they are and how beautiful their body is.

But I want to live my truth. I want to feel every emotion I have and know that it is valid. Because it is valid not to instantly connect with your postpartum body. It is normal not to feel like you for a bit. It is ok to not feel confident sometimes.

Postpartum is intense and emotionally testing enough without having to try to keep up appearances.

You may also enjoy:
An Honest Chat About Breastfeeding
Asaba's Birth Story
An Honest Conversation About Being A Mum Of Two
I'm Not Bothered About My Baby Weight
An Open Letter To My Pregnancy Body

I Love My Postpartum Body But...


I love my postpartum body but I don't like how the skin on my belly feels.
I love my postpartum body but I don't like how my boobs look.
I love my postpartum body but sometimes I see bikini pics on Insta of other 23 year olds and feel a little sad.
I love my postpartum body but I don't feel confident in it yet.

Here's the truth, guys: I am struggling to love my postpartum body. I mean, I love that this body has carried my two children safely to term. I am in awe of its strength in delivering them both. I love that this body continues to feed and sustain my newborn. But some days it doesn't really feel like home - it doesn't really feel like me.

The thing is, when you are pregnant, your body goes from just being a part of you to being something that also kinda belongs to someone else - it has a purpose further than just being a body. And then, postpartum, it goes back to being a body again. But it isn't the body you remember. And society expects mums just to accept that. This whole movement of body positivity and celebrating mum bods (as amazing as it is) tells us that our bodies are beautiful because of what they have done but it never really talks about how some mums don't just instantly accept and love their new body. Nor that our body isn't just defined by how well it has served others or by its relation to them.

And as a blogger, especially one who writes a lot about parenting, I feel this whole sense of responsibility whenever I discuss my appearance. I want to come across as this body confident mum because that is what I want everyone following my content to be. I mean, if I thought another mum didn't feel 100% happy with their postpartum body, I would want to give them a whole talk about how incredible they are and how beautiful their body is.

But I want to live my truth. I want to feel every emotion I have and know that it is valid. Because it is valid not to instantly connect with your postpartum body. It is normal not to feel like you for a bit. It is ok to not feel confident sometimes.

Postpartum is intense and emotionally testing enough without having to try to keep up appearances.

You may also enjoy:
An Honest Chat About Breastfeeding
Asaba's Birth Story
An Honest Conversation About Being A Mum Of Two
I'm Not Bothered About My Baby Weight
An Open Letter To My Pregnancy Body

At the start of this month, my little girl turned 2! I know, I can't believe it either. It feels like only yesterday that I was in Lewisham hospital, high as a kite on gas and air, giving birth to her. Now she can walk, talk (mostly she just requests Peppa Pig but the fundamentals are there), and - in true terrible twos fashion - orchestrate the most epic of tantrums. It has gone by so quickly and she really does make me proud everyday. She is so loving but also absolutely bigger than life. She is a friend to everyone - to the extent that I often have to drag her away from grouchy old men in shops that she is shouting 'hi!' at increasingly loudly as they try to ignore her. And she is the best big sister that Asaba could ever ask for. 

Unfortunately, on her actual birthday, Isaac was working. I tried to make the day special with a lot of chocolate cakes, a wide selection of Peppa Pig themed gifts, and a trip to the park to see the ducks but we knew we wanted to do something a bit bigger all together when we got the chance. So, this weekend, we surprised her with a trip to Cologne Zoo.



Now I know that many people dislike the concept of zoos and, personally, I wouldn't like to support anywhere that keeps animals in environments that don't fit their needs so I did a bit of research before deciding to go to Cologne Zoo and what I found was very reassuring. The zoo - unlike many I have visited in the UK - was very spacious and, although there was a lot to see there, you didn't get the sense that the zoo was packed full of as many animals as possible for the visitors' benefit. The enclosures were a lot larger than most zoos I had visited before and the numbers of animals in each enclosure seemed to be really limited. Also Cologne Zoo are partnered with many conservation charities to help improve their standards, set up breeding programmes for endangered species, and raise money for the vital work these charities do world-wide. You can read more about the work they do here.



It was an absolutely lovely day. Once we had arrived and bought our tickets (I think it was around 30 or so euros for all of us which I thought was really reasonable), we headed first to the aquarium (mostly because I had insisted on wearing my camel coat instead of my puffer coat because fashun and I was absolutely freezing my bits off). Ava was beside herself running around looking at all the fish tanks - although, fairly understandably, the eels did creep her out a bit. They had an educational section on the harmfulness of plastic too which I thought was pretty awesome.

We then headed back out into the cold to look at the other animals. As we entered the zoo, they had photographers who offered to take your photo and then you could choose if you wanted to purchase it or not. They got some gorgeous ones of Ava (which surprised me as she got scared of the photographer and hid behind my legs, emerging only to stick her tongue out at the camera) which we chose to purchase for 15 euros for two pictures.



We wandered around the zoo for a good two or three hours with Ava intermittently walking, on Isaac's shoulders, or in the pushchair and with Asaba in the sling. We saw a lot of different animals but my favourite part of the trip had to be the elephants.

Unlike in the UK where I have mostly just seen elephants kept indoors, Cologne Zoo has a huge outdoors enclosure which is absolutely massive as well as a large indoors area. It was amazing to see the elephants interact with one another whilst being a fair distance away from visitors. They were even trumpeting to each other! 

It was such a lovely day out and I would definitely recommend visiting - especially if you have small children.


You may also enjoy:
Ava Turns One
We Moved To Germany
Berlin Travel Guide
My First Impressions Of Life In Germany

Belated Birthday Celebrations At Cologne Zoo


At the start of this month, my little girl turned 2! I know, I can't believe it either. It feels like only yesterday that I was in Lewisham hospital, high as a kite on gas and air, giving birth to her. Now she can walk, talk (mostly she just requests Peppa Pig but the fundamentals are there), and - in true terrible twos fashion - orchestrate the most epic of tantrums. It has gone by so quickly and she really does make me proud everyday. She is so loving but also absolutely bigger than life. She is a friend to everyone - to the extent that I often have to drag her away from grouchy old men in shops that she is shouting 'hi!' at increasingly loudly as they try to ignore her. And she is the best big sister that Asaba could ever ask for. 

Unfortunately, on her actual birthday, Isaac was working. I tried to make the day special with a lot of chocolate cakes, a wide selection of Peppa Pig themed gifts, and a trip to the park to see the ducks but we knew we wanted to do something a bit bigger all together when we got the chance. So, this weekend, we surprised her with a trip to Cologne Zoo.



Now I know that many people dislike the concept of zoos and, personally, I wouldn't like to support anywhere that keeps animals in environments that don't fit their needs so I did a bit of research before deciding to go to Cologne Zoo and what I found was very reassuring. The zoo - unlike many I have visited in the UK - was very spacious and, although there was a lot to see there, you didn't get the sense that the zoo was packed full of as many animals as possible for the visitors' benefit. The enclosures were a lot larger than most zoos I had visited before and the numbers of animals in each enclosure seemed to be really limited. Also Cologne Zoo are partnered with many conservation charities to help improve their standards, set up breeding programmes for endangered species, and raise money for the vital work these charities do world-wide. You can read more about the work they do here.



It was an absolutely lovely day. Once we had arrived and bought our tickets (I think it was around 30 or so euros for all of us which I thought was really reasonable), we headed first to the aquarium (mostly because I had insisted on wearing my camel coat instead of my puffer coat because fashun and I was absolutely freezing my bits off). Ava was beside herself running around looking at all the fish tanks - although, fairly understandably, the eels did creep her out a bit. They had an educational section on the harmfulness of plastic too which I thought was pretty awesome.

We then headed back out into the cold to look at the other animals. As we entered the zoo, they had photographers who offered to take your photo and then you could choose if you wanted to purchase it or not. They got some gorgeous ones of Ava (which surprised me as she got scared of the photographer and hid behind my legs, emerging only to stick her tongue out at the camera) which we chose to purchase for 15 euros for two pictures.



We wandered around the zoo for a good two or three hours with Ava intermittently walking, on Isaac's shoulders, or in the pushchair and with Asaba in the sling. We saw a lot of different animals but my favourite part of the trip had to be the elephants.

Unlike in the UK where I have mostly just seen elephants kept indoors, Cologne Zoo has a huge outdoors enclosure which is absolutely massive as well as a large indoors area. It was amazing to see the elephants interact with one another whilst being a fair distance away from visitors. They were even trumpeting to each other! 

It was such a lovely day out and I would definitely recommend visiting - especially if you have small children.


You may also enjoy:
Ava Turns One
We Moved To Germany
Berlin Travel Guide
My First Impressions Of Life In Germany

Asaba has been in our lives for almost a whole month now and, over the course of this month, I am pretty sure I have experienced every emotion known to man. I have felt such intense love for both my children but also intense guilt that I am not dividing my time equally between them. I have cried in front of slightly concerned looking midwives, I have been so giddy with joy that I thought my heart could explode, and I have sat up in the dead of night looking at pictures of my babies together and feeling a contentment that I can't put into words.

The post-partum period is intense. Emotionally but also physically. The uterine contractions were so much more painful second time around and my back is still sore to date (from what, I am not entirely sure). And, if we are being mega honest here, I still find myself mentally noting every public toilet I see when I am out because my bladder really isn't what it used to be. The recovery period was longer than with Ava - and that is before we even start to discuss breastfeeding.

This time around, I was adamant that I wanted to breastfeed after it was so hit and miss the first time around. I really wanted that experience of nursing a child. But, man, is it hard work. Thankfully, I was able to get some help from the breastfeeding expert on the neonatal ward we were on (despite having been discharged) because Asaba basically chewed my nipples straight off. After a month, I think we're getting the hang of things though. Although I doubt my nipples will ever recover (RIP).


This time is so blessed and I feel so grateful for everyday with my two children but, at the same time, it has been a lot. There have been days where Isaac has been at work and I have felt so stressed and overwhelmed. There have been days when Ava has been really playing up for attention and I have gotten angry rather than understanding her needs. As wonderful as this time is, it is also hard. Despite what Instagram wants us to believe, parenting isn't always picture perfect strolls through the park jumping in puddles followed by hot chocolate stops at the local café. Some days you will stay indoors because it is just easier than trying to get everyone dressed and ready. Some days you will be shouty mum and hate yourself for it. Some days you will be so busy that you realise by 10pm that you have only had two bites of a half-eaten sandwich all day. That is the reality of parenting more than one child (well, at least it is my reality) and I think it is important that we talk about this otherwise new mums will go around thinking they are failures for not doing Pinterest-worthy crafts everyday with their toddler whilst a very well-behaved newborn sleeps swaddled in a moses basket nearby.

Our first month has been a whirlwind. It has been hard and exhausting but also filled with bursts of joy and boundless love. It has been overwhelming but, looking back, I wouldn't change any of it (ok, maybe the nipple issue).


You may also enjoy:
Asaba's Birth Story
How I Found Out I Was Pregnant With Asaba
I'm Not A Cool Mum And That's OK
Reclaiming My Identity Post-Partum
Things I Wish I'd Been Told About The Newborn Stage

An Honest Conversation About Being A Mum Of Two


Asaba has been in our lives for almost a whole month now and, over the course of this month, I am pretty sure I have experienced every emotion known to man. I have felt such intense love for both my children but also intense guilt that I am not dividing my time equally between them. I have cried in front of slightly concerned looking midwives, I have been so giddy with joy that I thought my heart could explode, and I have sat up in the dead of night looking at pictures of my babies together and feeling a contentment that I can't put into words.

The post-partum period is intense. Emotionally but also physically. The uterine contractions were so much more painful second time around and my back is still sore to date (from what, I am not entirely sure). And, if we are being mega honest here, I still find myself mentally noting every public toilet I see when I am out because my bladder really isn't what it used to be. The recovery period was longer than with Ava - and that is before we even start to discuss breastfeeding.

This time around, I was adamant that I wanted to breastfeed after it was so hit and miss the first time around. I really wanted that experience of nursing a child. But, man, is it hard work. Thankfully, I was able to get some help from the breastfeeding expert on the neonatal ward we were on (despite having been discharged) because Asaba basically chewed my nipples straight off. After a month, I think we're getting the hang of things though. Although I doubt my nipples will ever recover (RIP).


This time is so blessed and I feel so grateful for everyday with my two children but, at the same time, it has been a lot. There have been days where Isaac has been at work and I have felt so stressed and overwhelmed. There have been days when Ava has been really playing up for attention and I have gotten angry rather than understanding her needs. As wonderful as this time is, it is also hard. Despite what Instagram wants us to believe, parenting isn't always picture perfect strolls through the park jumping in puddles followed by hot chocolate stops at the local café. Some days you will stay indoors because it is just easier than trying to get everyone dressed and ready. Some days you will be shouty mum and hate yourself for it. Some days you will be so busy that you realise by 10pm that you have only had two bites of a half-eaten sandwich all day. That is the reality of parenting more than one child (well, at least it is my reality) and I think it is important that we talk about this otherwise new mums will go around thinking they are failures for not doing Pinterest-worthy crafts everyday with their toddler whilst a very well-behaved newborn sleeps swaddled in a moses basket nearby.

Our first month has been a whirlwind. It has been hard and exhausting but also filled with bursts of joy and boundless love. It has been overwhelming but, looking back, I wouldn't change any of it (ok, maybe the nipple issue).


You may also enjoy:
Asaba's Birth Story
How I Found Out I Was Pregnant With Asaba
I'm Not A Cool Mum And That's OK
Reclaiming My Identity Post-Partum
Things I Wish I'd Been Told About The Newborn Stage
I was gifted the Sleepyhead Deluxe+ in exchange for a review and social media coverage but all opinions (and cute babies) are my own.

I am currently sat on the sofa whilst Asaba naps in his Sleepyhead on the coffee table. He has a mug of hot chocolate - which is actually still hot (what a novelty!) - sat beside him. I am in absolute mum heaven right now. So, what better time to dust the cobwebs off my laptop and sit down to write a little review of our new favourite baby gadget.


We have been using our Sleepyhead Deluxe+ pod for just over two weeks now and it has honestly been a godsend. Asaba has been co-sleeping throughout the night in his Sleepyhead but we also use it for his naps and to keep him safely contained somewhere whilst I do things like cooking and showering.

Asaba took to it instantly. I think the design creates the feeling of being a bit closed in and supported (like being held) whilst still being able to see what is going on around him - and being able to see me throughout the night - which makes him feel really comfortable. He actually slept better that first night home than any of the previous nights in the cot in the hospital!

Naturally, all babies are different and their sleep habits are different too. Ava would only co-sleep in my arms whereas I think Asaba is a little less clingy and would probably take to just sleeping in a cot or a moses basket if we had taken that route. So, I can't really say that it is the Sleepyhead that is wholly to thank for Asaba's 'not too bad for a newborn' sleep habits but I can say that the Sleepyhead has made a wealth of difference on the convenience front.

For me, the best thing about the Sleepyhead is that I can co-sleep without worrying that I could accidentally roll onto him or that he will burrow down under the covers. And, as I am solely breastfeeding, it is so much easier just to grab him out of the Sleepyhead next to me rather than having to get up in the night to get him from a cot.


Also on the note of safety, Sleepyheads are now being used in four different NHS hospitals across the UK. The hospitals have been quoted on saying that the Sleepyheads 'really help to calm and settle' the babies and small children that use them and that 'parents have been wowed by their comforting powers'. Several hospitals have also partnered with the Sleepyhead of Sweden brand to create special Sleepyhead pods that can be used in MRI and CT scanners to make the experience a little more comfortable for the children needing to undergo these procedures.

In terms of washing it, the cover is super easy to remove and wash (which is lucky because you know nothing stays clean for long with a newborn). It is machine washable so that saves a lot of faffing around trying to wash on special settings or taking to the dry cleaner and it is easy to put back on too.

All in all, I am an absolute Sleepyhead convert. The fact that it allows me to safely co-sleep makes night feeds so much easier and just gives me that peace of mind that he isn't able roll anywhere or nestle down under the covers. It has made the newborn stage so much easier - honestly, I don't think I could do without it now.

Have you tried the Sleepyhead? What did you think?

Featured:
Sleepyhead Deluxe+ in print Cyclo (gifted)

Sleepyhead Deluxe+ Pod: Is It Worth Investing In?

I was gifted the Sleepyhead Deluxe+ in exchange for a review and social media coverage but all opinions (and cute babies) are my own.

I am currently sat on the sofa whilst Asaba naps in his Sleepyhead on the coffee table. He has a mug of hot chocolate - which is actually still hot (what a novelty!) - sat beside him. I am in absolute mum heaven right now. So, what better time to dust the cobwebs off my laptop and sit down to write a little review of our new favourite baby gadget.


We have been using our Sleepyhead Deluxe+ pod for just over two weeks now and it has honestly been a godsend. Asaba has been co-sleeping throughout the night in his Sleepyhead but we also use it for his naps and to keep him safely contained somewhere whilst I do things like cooking and showering.

Asaba took to it instantly. I think the design creates the feeling of being a bit closed in and supported (like being held) whilst still being able to see what is going on around him - and being able to see me throughout the night - which makes him feel really comfortable. He actually slept better that first night home than any of the previous nights in the cot in the hospital!

Naturally, all babies are different and their sleep habits are different too. Ava would only co-sleep in my arms whereas I think Asaba is a little less clingy and would probably take to just sleeping in a cot or a moses basket if we had taken that route. So, I can't really say that it is the Sleepyhead that is wholly to thank for Asaba's 'not too bad for a newborn' sleep habits but I can say that the Sleepyhead has made a wealth of difference on the convenience front.

For me, the best thing about the Sleepyhead is that I can co-sleep without worrying that I could accidentally roll onto him or that he will burrow down under the covers. And, as I am solely breastfeeding, it is so much easier just to grab him out of the Sleepyhead next to me rather than having to get up in the night to get him from a cot.


Also on the note of safety, Sleepyheads are now being used in four different NHS hospitals across the UK. The hospitals have been quoted on saying that the Sleepyheads 'really help to calm and settle' the babies and small children that use them and that 'parents have been wowed by their comforting powers'. Several hospitals have also partnered with the Sleepyhead of Sweden brand to create special Sleepyhead pods that can be used in MRI and CT scanners to make the experience a little more comfortable for the children needing to undergo these procedures.

In terms of washing it, the cover is super easy to remove and wash (which is lucky because you know nothing stays clean for long with a newborn). It is machine washable so that saves a lot of faffing around trying to wash on special settings or taking to the dry cleaner and it is easy to put back on too.

All in all, I am an absolute Sleepyhead convert. The fact that it allows me to safely co-sleep makes night feeds so much easier and just gives me that peace of mind that he isn't able roll anywhere or nestle down under the covers. It has made the newborn stage so much easier - honestly, I don't think I could do without it now.

Have you tried the Sleepyhead? What did you think?

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Sleepyhead Deluxe+ in print Cyclo (gifted)

A while ago, I wrote a post all about my fears about giving birth a second time after a not-so-straightforward birth with Ava. In all honesty, I was really worried about how this birth would be. Not only did I have the memories of a slightly chaotic, long, and panic-filled labour fresh in my mind but also I'm in a foreign country and. at this point, I was 6 days overdue - one day before I was meant to go in to be induced. But this birth was so perfect. Yes, it hurt but it left me feeling positive and competent in my own abilities. And so grateful to everyone who had been involved.

It all started around 8am. Ava and I had been segregated to a separate room as we were both battling colds and Isaac didn't want to be infected as he didn't want to have to take extra time off work before the baby arrived. On that day, I woke up with what I instantly identified as contractions. It was an ache that spread across my hips and lower back before snaking round my lower belly. They were moderately painful (although I wouldn't have said so at the time!) and coming every 10-15 minutes. So, I picked up the phone and called Isaac from the other room and told him 'the baby is coming today'.


As the morning progressed, so did the contractions and by 11am, they were coming every 5 minutes. So, we got the last few things together and made our way to the hospital. When we arrived, we went up to the labour ward and they gave me a 30 minute CTG to monitor the baby's heartrate and the frequency of contractions. Annoyingly, the contractions started to slow down once we arrived so we were sent to the waiting room to wait to be seen by a nurse for a scan and physical examination. 

A few cups of coffee later, we were called through to the room to be seen by the nurse. By this stage, the contractions had slowed down to every 15 minutes and, after a fairly painful physical examination, I was told that I was 2cm dilated. They said I could either go home and wait until labour starts to progress or stay in as I was meant to come in the following day to be induced anyway. I chose to go home.

And, of course, it was then that the contractions started to pick up again.


Over the next few hours, I ate a lot of toast. I had a bath. And then I lay on the sofa in a towel and cried as the contractions got more intense. I must have been lying there for about an hour powering through each contraction as Isaac was preparing daal and chapatis in the kitchen and Ava was watching Peppa Pig in the other room. They both kept coming in and out. One offering his hand for me to squeeze. The other saying 'awh mimi' and stroking my leg. I knew that we had to get back to the hospital else I would be giving birth on the living room floor but Isaac was still trying to finish cooking. With each contraction, I was growing more and more impatient (read: filled with murderous rage) and started shouting orders at him as he ran around the house trying to locate lids for bottles and other random items. Eventually, we reached the car (but only after I literally stood screaming on the staircase mid-contraction as the neighbour's kid watched me from their front door - awks) and the contractions were so intense that by the time we reached the labour ward at around 6.30pm, I couldn't even speak to the nurse and just thrust my Mutterpass (the German maternity notes book) at Isaac so he could explain. 

We were taken through to the same room we had been in earlier for the CTG and they told me I was 8cm dilated. I then proceeded to beg for drugs in both English and German. I even told Isaac to make sure they gave me drugs. The nurse then offered me an infusion. I didn't know what it was but anything to reduce the pain was good by me. So, she put the drip into my hand and gave me the pain relief. It helped a bit but the contractions were so strong. 

We stayed in that room for probably about 2 hours or even less before I felt like I had to start pushing. Isaac was by my side and Ava was in her pushchair watching Peppa Pig on my phone but they were asked to go behind a screen as the nurse examined me again. I was fully dilated.


She then told Isaac that he should go with Ava to the waiting room as they were going to take me through to a different room to give birth. He tried to protest and the nurse asked me what I wanted to do but, in the end, it was insisted upon that Ava wasn't there during the actual birth. Looking back, I was scared by the prospect of labouring without Isaac with me but it was the right decision not to have Ava in the room as her being there would have distracted me from focusing on just birthing the child and I would have felt uncomfortable knowing that she was seeing all the bleeding and everything.

They brought me a wheelchair and helped me to hobble over to it and, at that moment, my waters broke. It felt like a water balloon popping but inside of me. I was then carted through to the delivery room where I lay on a bed (on my side, grasping a pillow) with the same nurse alongside me.

I remember feeling really scared as we arrived at the delivery room. All of my fears from my first birth came to the surface and, without Isaac there, I was afraid of how I would manage. But the nurse was amazing. She reassured me that she wouldn't leave my side even for a second and that the worst of it was over. She told me everything I needed to hear and really made me feel like I could manage - even by myself.

The contractions were coming faster now but they didn't feel as bad as they did before - maybe because I was focused on pushing. With each contraction, I could feel the baby moving down (something I never felt with Ava as we didn't get to this stage without intervention). We must have been in that room for just ten minutes before another nurse was called. I insisted on remaining on my side so they held one of my legs in the air with each contraction. Soon enough, they said they could see the baby's head. At this very moment, Isaac appeared and explained he had left Ava with another woman in the waiting room for a few minutes whilst he came in to check on me. Little did he know that the baby was actually coming right at that moment. He was with me for ten minutes and, in that time, the baby was born.

After just 45 minutes (at the very most) of pushing, Asaba Lawrence Musinguzi entered the world at 9.15pm weighing 7lb 4oz. He was placed on my chest and, I must admit, I had a bit of a happy cry. Ava was soon brought in to meet her little brother and she seemed to instantly take to him. She kept trying to reach down to cuddle him and saying 'baby!' over and over.

Honestly, it was exactly the birth I would have wanted and I feel like it has dispelled so many of my fears and hang-ups that my first birth left me with. 


Asaba's Birth Story


A while ago, I wrote a post all about my fears about giving birth a second time after a not-so-straightforward birth with Ava. In all honesty, I was really worried about how this birth would be. Not only did I have the memories of a slightly chaotic, long, and panic-filled labour fresh in my mind but also I'm in a foreign country and. at this point, I was 6 days overdue - one day before I was meant to go in to be induced. But this birth was so perfect. Yes, it hurt but it left me feeling positive and competent in my own abilities. And so grateful to everyone who had been involved.

It all started around 8am. Ava and I had been segregated to a separate room as we were both battling colds and Isaac didn't want to be infected as he didn't want to have to take extra time off work before the baby arrived. On that day, I woke up with what I instantly identified as contractions. It was an ache that spread across my hips and lower back before snaking round my lower belly. They were moderately painful (although I wouldn't have said so at the time!) and coming every 10-15 minutes. So, I picked up the phone and called Isaac from the other room and told him 'the baby is coming today'.


As the morning progressed, so did the contractions and by 11am, they were coming every 5 minutes. So, we got the last few things together and made our way to the hospital. When we arrived, we went up to the labour ward and they gave me a 30 minute CTG to monitor the baby's heartrate and the frequency of contractions. Annoyingly, the contractions started to slow down once we arrived so we were sent to the waiting room to wait to be seen by a nurse for a scan and physical examination. 

A few cups of coffee later, we were called through to the room to be seen by the nurse. By this stage, the contractions had slowed down to every 15 minutes and, after a fairly painful physical examination, I was told that I was 2cm dilated. They said I could either go home and wait until labour starts to progress or stay in as I was meant to come in the following day to be induced anyway. I chose to go home.

And, of course, it was then that the contractions started to pick up again.


Over the next few hours, I ate a lot of toast. I had a bath. And then I lay on the sofa in a towel and cried as the contractions got more intense. I must have been lying there for about an hour powering through each contraction as Isaac was preparing daal and chapatis in the kitchen and Ava was watching Peppa Pig in the other room. They both kept coming in and out. One offering his hand for me to squeeze. The other saying 'awh mimi' and stroking my leg. I knew that we had to get back to the hospital else I would be giving birth on the living room floor but Isaac was still trying to finish cooking. With each contraction, I was growing more and more impatient (read: filled with murderous rage) and started shouting orders at him as he ran around the house trying to locate lids for bottles and other random items. Eventually, we reached the car (but only after I literally stood screaming on the staircase mid-contraction as the neighbour's kid watched me from their front door - awks) and the contractions were so intense that by the time we reached the labour ward at around 6.30pm, I couldn't even speak to the nurse and just thrust my Mutterpass (the German maternity notes book) at Isaac so he could explain. 

We were taken through to the same room we had been in earlier for the CTG and they told me I was 8cm dilated. I then proceeded to beg for drugs in both English and German. I even told Isaac to make sure they gave me drugs. The nurse then offered me an infusion. I didn't know what it was but anything to reduce the pain was good by me. So, she put the drip into my hand and gave me the pain relief. It helped a bit but the contractions were so strong. 

We stayed in that room for probably about 2 hours or even less before I felt like I had to start pushing. Isaac was by my side and Ava was in her pushchair watching Peppa Pig on my phone but they were asked to go behind a screen as the nurse examined me again. I was fully dilated.


She then told Isaac that he should go with Ava to the waiting room as they were going to take me through to a different room to give birth. He tried to protest and the nurse asked me what I wanted to do but, in the end, it was insisted upon that Ava wasn't there during the actual birth. Looking back, I was scared by the prospect of labouring without Isaac with me but it was the right decision not to have Ava in the room as her being there would have distracted me from focusing on just birthing the child and I would have felt uncomfortable knowing that she was seeing all the bleeding and everything.

They brought me a wheelchair and helped me to hobble over to it and, at that moment, my waters broke. It felt like a water balloon popping but inside of me. I was then carted through to the delivery room where I lay on a bed (on my side, grasping a pillow) with the same nurse alongside me.

I remember feeling really scared as we arrived at the delivery room. All of my fears from my first birth came to the surface and, without Isaac there, I was afraid of how I would manage. But the nurse was amazing. She reassured me that she wouldn't leave my side even for a second and that the worst of it was over. She told me everything I needed to hear and really made me feel like I could manage - even by myself.

The contractions were coming faster now but they didn't feel as bad as they did before - maybe because I was focused on pushing. With each contraction, I could feel the baby moving down (something I never felt with Ava as we didn't get to this stage without intervention). We must have been in that room for just ten minutes before another nurse was called. I insisted on remaining on my side so they held one of my legs in the air with each contraction. Soon enough, they said they could see the baby's head. At this very moment, Isaac appeared and explained he had left Ava with another woman in the waiting room for a few minutes whilst he came in to check on me. Little did he know that the baby was actually coming right at that moment. He was with me for ten minutes and, in that time, the baby was born.

After just 45 minutes (at the very most) of pushing, Asaba Lawrence Musinguzi entered the world at 9.15pm weighing 7lb 4oz. He was placed on my chest and, I must admit, I had a bit of a happy cry. Ava was soon brought in to meet her little brother and she seemed to instantly take to him. She kept trying to reach down to cuddle him and saying 'baby!' over and over.

Honestly, it was exactly the birth I would have wanted and I feel like it has dispelled so many of my fears and hang-ups that my first birth left me with. 


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