A Littlelondoner | A Little Londoner | Page 76

BREAST IS BEST OR IS IT? An honest opinion

This was to date, has been my most popular blog,so will repost for new viewers x

Swim,Swim,Swim….Baby Swimming Class

Wednesday is our day for swimming classes. I started taking Amelia to swimming lessons when she was 6 weeks old in London.We have gone every week since.In the first few years of your baby’s life they experience a huge development as their brain grows much faster than in later years. Introducing your baby to water from an early age helps them avoid the traumatic experience that older children sometimes suffer when introduced to water later on. More importantly it is believed that babies who learn key life saving skills from an early age, many of whom can swim by as young as 2 years old, whilst not drown proof, have a much greater regard for water and are safer around it. It enables them to make new brain connections and strengthen their learning through exercise and stimulation.
Introducing babies to swimming,aids and improves babies and children’s development in many areas such as: physically, intellectually, language development, emotionally and socially.
In London we were lucky enough to go to a purpose built baby swimming pool,it was lovely and warm,and perfect for her first introduction to the water.

Allowing Amelia to attend swimming classes from such a young age,for me has been about water safety,awareness and lastly learning to swim.She allows us to pour water over her face washing her hair,without a tear in sight.Amelia will kick and splash around the pool for half an hour,prompted by kick,kick,kick and swim,swim,swim. Jumping/falling into the pool with help from me,and is happy to be submersed a couple of times in our half hour lessons.What I want Amelia to gain from her classes is, confidence,respect and a love of water.

Many people are a bit cautious of bringing their babies into a pool prior to their full set of vaccinations,however the WHO (World Health Organisation), recommended they get used to water from an early age,and that having full set of vaccinations is not needed.Some leisure facilities may suggest that babies shouldn’t go swimming until they have had all of their jabs. However, this advice probably dates back to when polio was common and people were concerned it could spread in busy places like public swimming pools.

Amelia all ready to dive in!

Amelia all ready to dive in!

My Top 10 Tips for Taking Your Babies Swimming:

1)Ensure they have a sleep and food 40 mins prior to lesson.
2)Bring two towels for baby,1 for coming out of the pool and 1 to dry baby off. Don’t forget your towel and underwear!I go with my swimsuit on,makes it a lot easier.
3)I never use baby powder on Amelia (because of risk of respiratory problems,research studies have shown),however after swimming I use a little,it helps dry her quicker.
4)Invest in a “Happy Nappy”,from Splash About see here, a double lined reusable swimming nappy,can be used with or without a swimming nappy (I use a Huggies swimming nappy inside).In London I used a “Happy Nappy” bottoms,the pool we use in Ireland is cooler,so use their swimsuit,which is also great for UV protection.

5)Ensure the facility has adequate changing facilities for babies and facilites for feeding post swim.
6)Bring a toy/something to distract them while you are getting changed.
7)Bring food/bottle or of breast feeding be prepared,babies generally can be hungry after their session and will avoid a crying baby in the car home.
8)Be disciplined and bring them regularly once you start,as it takes a while for them to get used to the water.
9)Don’t give up,most babies will love it after a few lessons.
10)Enjoy it,you may not have the next Dan Hope in the pool,but it will be a life experience your child will have forever.

We went to the park after swimming today as the sun is shining.Amelia is wearing a ditsy dress and tights from NEXT and coat from Zara.

Apple and Pear,with a pinch of Cinnamon & What Amelia Wore


This morning when Amelia was having her nap,I made her some stewed apple and pear,with a pinch of cinnamon.

Ingredients –
2 apples, peeled and chopped
2 ripe pears,peeled and chopped
Couple of tablespoons of water
Pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg

Cook until fruit is soft.Puree to desired consistency.Ideal for freezing.


Today Amelia wore a blouse from Du Pareil Au Meme,Leggings from H&M and her London bib from Francesca Baby.We are off to the park today,to enjoy the swings in the sunshine for a change.

http://en.dpam.com (top)
https://www.etsy.com/ie/shop/FrancescaBaby (bib)

Have a lovely day x

Cheesy Rice Balls and Spaghetti Bolognese



I generally do my batch cooking for Amelia on a Monday. Today I tried something new,Cheesy Rice Balls (made with Risotto Rice),it was so easy to make.Amelia had 1 rice ball and some steamed carrot mashed for lunch,she loved it!Thank god,because I have 24 rice balls in the freezer!
I also made her favourite Spaghetti Bolognese,we also had this for dinner.Its so tasty.
About 90% of the food I cook for Amelia is from Annabel Karmel’s books,Weaning and 100 Top Purées (you can choose how much you need to purée).
Both the receipes above are from these books.I make about 3 times the quantity,so I can batch freeze.
I purée the mince a little and chop up the spaghetti.
Happy cooking x

My First Spaghetti Bolognese
from Annabel Karmel’s Top 100 Baby Purees

1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
3/4 cup wiped and sliced button mushrooms
5 ounces lean ground beef
1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock
a few drops of Worcestershire sauce
a pinch of brown sugar
1 bay leaf
2 ounces spaghetti

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a saucepan and saute the garlic and onion for 2 minutes.
Add the grated carrot and saute for 2 minutes more.
Pour in the remaining oil and saute the mushrooms for about 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, saute the ground beef in a dry frying pan until browned.
Add ground beef to the vegetables together with the tomatoes, stock, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and bay leaf.
Cover the saucepan and simmer for about 15 minutes; remove bay leaf.
Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions, but do not add salt.
Puree the cooked meat using a handheld electric blender for a smoother texture.
Chop up the spaghetti into short lengths and stir into the Bolognese

Cheesy Rice Balls

100g (3 1/2oz)risotto rice
250ml (8floz)unsalted vegetable stock or water
55g (2oz) Cheddar cheese,grated
15g (1/2oz)Parmesan cheese
2 tsp finely chopped chives
pepper, to taste
Put the rice and stock or water in a small non-stick saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat as low as possible, cover, and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
Add 2 tbsp water, stir, re-cover, and cook for another 10 minutes until the stock has been absorbed and the rice is tender.
Remove from the heat and leave to stand for 5 minutes, then transfer to a bowl and leave for 10-15 minutes until cool enough to handle. Stir in the cheeses, chives, and season with pepper to taste.
Roll teaspoonfuls into balls using your hands. Serve right away, or place in a sealed container and chill immediately. The balls will keep in the refrigerator for 24 hours or can be frozen then thawed overnight in the refrigerator, not at room temperature.

What Amelia Wore Today

We are going to Soft Play today,so it’s easier for Amelia to be in leggings and a blouse,rather than a dress.
Today she is wearing a ditsy print top from the Little Bird range by Jools Oliver at Mothercare.Leggins from Next and as always a clip,this sparkle white one is from Primark.
Also Amelia’s romper and dress arrived from The Chunk Store,absolutely love them,quality is really good. Think it may be a while until the dress fits her. Thank you The Chunk Store,fast delivery and great quality clothes. www.thechunkstore.com

DIY Blackboard

DIY Blackboard.

Our Sleep Routine………What Routine????


Baby Fruit Crumble, A Firm Favourite


I try and give Amelia at least one piece of fruit every day. She is only now really taking finger food,so I give her part cooked,sliced apple with a sprinkle of cinnamon,Pear and sometimes Bananas (she has to be in the mood).
A firm favourite in our house at the moment is Annabel Karmel’s fruit crumble. Amelia would probably eat this for breakfast,lunch and dinner if I gave it to her!
Give it a try,I promise your baby/child/husband ;-), will love it! It’s such a simple, fool proof receipe,even the worst cooks won’t go wrong!


3 Strawberries,husk removed and quartered
1 ripe pear,pealed and chopped
1 Peach,peeled and chopped


Put all the fruit into a pan,heat gently until all the fruit has softened.Puree the fruit,for older babies,leave some lumps.Crush the rusk in a plastic bag with a rolling pin.
Mix the crushed rusk into the fruit mixture,pop into some pots.Freeze once cooled.

This will make roughly 3-4 portions,I generally make four times the amount and freeze.


Clothes Haul,A Baby No Longer

With Amelia’s 1st birthday fast approaching, I’ve started to notice a lot of her clothes are suddenly getting too small for her (sad face), this means bye,bye baby sizes and hello toddler department. Some things still fit,but I’ve even notice a growth spurt this week,as her head is almost at the top of her Maxi Cosi Pebble car seat….I’m finding it hard to change over to her big car seat (Maxi Cosi Axsis in Confetti), because it’s the end of the baby stage,even though the new car seat is sitting looking pretty in her playroom!
So this week I took advantage of the Mothercare sale,and I had an extra 20% off on top,and bought Amelia some new “threads”, some for now and some for our holiday in May, I also picked up a coat for next winter from my favourite collection in Mothercare “Little Bird”, by Jools Oliver
Mothercare are doing 2 for £10 on loads of their items. http://www.mothercare.com
I came across a great website this week,The Chunk Store, picked up a beautiful summer dress and a romper.Check them out on www.thechunkstore.com
Have a lovely weekend,feel free to comment,follow on Bloglovin & Instagram (alittelondoner1).
We are off to party at a wedding xxx

MUMMY FRIENDS – Essential for new mums.Dedicated to my NCT group

June 2012, I found myself in London, pregnant with my first baby,with a great husband and lovely friends,but I did not have friends with children.I had fantastic work colleagues,who dished out advise,but as any Londoner knows,meeting up with people outside of work is very difficult unless you live in the same area. I had one friend at work who was pregnant at the same time,and lived roughly in the same area,she became a closer friend as our bumps grew,we were a constant shoulder to lean in for each other, I will always be so grateful to have had her around at that time, thank you H.C. Our babies were born 13 weeks apart,so at times,we were at completely different ends of motherhood,but she was my adviser and remains a great friend.
January 2013, I started my NCT (National Childbirth Trust) antenatal classes. The NCT is the UK’s largest and most respected independent provider of antenatal support.I had the option to take the free classes at the NHS hospital that I was having Amelia in, but after a lot of research,I decided to go to the NCT classes in my local area.
I sat next to a girl on the bus home one day when I was about 37 weeks pregnant,she asked me if I was doing NCT classes,and that they would be the most expensive friends I’ve ever made but would be invaluable -oh how right she was!
We (myself and my husband), arrived at the first class in early January and met 5 other couples,who were to become my lifeline,backbone and second family.We all hit it off immediately,and once the classes had finished after about 7 weeks,and we have commenced maternity leave,we started to meet up at least once a week.We would eat cake,drink tea and coffee (decaf of course!), moan about being fat,big babies,not sleeping,our husbands and of course,LABOUR!
The babies came one by one,Amelia was the last,they are all 1 now,and we are waiting to celebrate Amelia’s first birthday
When all the babies were born we had a lovely reunion in L.S. house,babies,mums,dads and our lovely NCT leader L.T.
We all joined baby massage,music classes,swimming classes and almost spent every weekday together.
Summer came with sunny sky’s for the summer in London we spent our days in the parks,trying out buggy fit first,and sitting down to picnics after,the babies were getting big so fast,but of course we didn’t notice this.
We supported each other through breastfeeding,bottle feeding,sleepless nights,weaning,teething and returning to work,with the anxieties of putting our little ones into child care.
One of the girls announced her second pregnancy in July,we were a just thrilled for her,there is now another mum expecting.We have had nights out,which ended in some very bad hangovers!
I have now moved away,as are three other couples soon,I miss them dearly,we speak every week,and we will all see each other again in a few weeks for a big First Birthday Party in London for our special babies.
This is why doing ante natal classes,joining mummy and baby groups is essential…it keeps you sane. Being a new mum can be isolating at the best of times. The first month will be filled with visitors and getting to know your new baby,then you will need something to fill your days with. Go and meet your forever mummy friends like I did.
T.B,L.S,K.E.,S.M and S.E.,husbands and babies,I will be eternally grateful for our friendship xx


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