A Littlelondoner | A Little Londoner | Page 76

Family Friendly Chicken & Vegetable Soup From Weaning to Adults

I’ve been using my new Annabel Karmel book over the last few weeks,Quick & Easy Toddler Receipes.

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See here for more details.

This is my third book in the Annabel Karmel cook book range.I was a bit disappointed when looking through it,as a lot of the receipes are very simple,such as boiling an egg,and many are really for children age 2/3 plus.

Last night I made the Chicken & Vegetable Soup for us all. I made double of all the quantities in the recipe,and added large pasta shells for us. For Amelia’s portion of soup I pureed half,poured it back into the pot & blended it together. I got roughly 10 portions for Amelia,which I put in the freezer, and a bowl for my husband and I. Really delicious with some crusty bread.
Chop & dice finely,your children will be more likely then to eat the vegetables rather than chunks.
I did not have celery,so substituted with a leek.

Creamy Chicken & Vegetable Soup

Ingredients

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30g (1oz) butter
1 Large Onion finely chopped
100g (3 1/2 oz) carrots, diced
30g (1oz) plain flour
1 Litre (1 3/4 pints) chicken stock
50g (2oz) small pasta shells
75g (3oz) cooked chicken breast, diced
3 tbsp double cream
1 tbsp snipped chives

Finely  chop your vegetables to get  smaller kids to eat them.

Finely chop your vegetables to get smaller kids to eat them.

Method

* Heat the butter in a saucepan,fry the onion for 2 minutes.Add the carrots and celery (or leeks in my case), and fry for 5 minutes.

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*Stir in the flour,mix in the stock,and then bring the soup to the boil. Cover and summer for 10 minutes until the vegtables are tender. If making larger quantities,cooking time may vary.

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*Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a pan of water,according to instructions & drain.

*Add your cooked shredded chicken,double cream,pasta and chives to the soup and simmer for 3 minutes.
Season to taste, hold back on the salt for children.

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*Suitable for freezing

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What’s in Amelia’s Easter Basket

Amelia’s “Easter Basket”, is more of an “Easter Bucket”, but she is still so small,has no idea what Easter is,has never had chocolate or sweeties, (and I’d like to keep it that way for as long as possible),and she has has just got a playroom full of toys for her birthday recently. So,I’m keeping her Easter treats small this year.

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I got her some lovely Burt’s Bees Bath products.Burts Bees Baby Bee Calming Lotion,blend of lavender and vanilla surround baby with a scent that soothes and relaxes.Perfect for babies bedtime. Burts Bees Tear Free Shampoo & Wash,made from 96 % natural ingredients. See here for more Burts Bees Products.
A jumping chick & Paint Your Own Egg Cup,will paint this during the week with her, both from 99p Store,bucket is also from here. I am also going to dye & paint some eggs with Amelia,watch out for blogpost.
Some little chocolate eggs (mummy & daddy will eat them)
Lastly a book.I looked around our local book shops for an Easter themed book,but could not find one.Instead, I chose this lovely book,written in Irish (Gaelige), our national language.I thought it would be a lovely introduction to the language for Amelia.
Is Geal Liom Sibh go Leir (You’re. All My Favourites),by Sam McBratney & Anita Jeram. This is a
gorgeous, reassuring story about three little bear siblings, who one day begin to wonder how they can ALL be the “most wonderful bears in the whole wide world” to their parents? Mummy Bear and Daddy Bear must set about reassuring their three little bears – who are all different – that each one of them is equally special and equally loved. A winning combination of irresistibly soothing storytelling and warm, playful watercolour art makes this a quintessential picture book for families who wish to read and learn Irish together.
See here to purchase.

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Will you or have you an Easter Basket for your child?What will you put in it?

T xxx

Fresh Fruit Salad with Homemade Lime & Mint Dressing

We are on a bit of a health kick in our house at the moment,we are going on holiday in 6 weeks,and trying to get the bodies “beach ready”. Although after putting on 3.5 stone when I was pregnant,my body will never again be ready for the beach! But I can try & hope!

Anyway,this dressing is a lovely addition to a fruit salad.It couldn’t be simpler, really. Fresh mint leaves and lime rind are steeped in a simply syrup and strained so only the herbal notes of the mint and the zesty lime flavor remain. Pour the syrup over the fruit right before serving. The subtle lime mint flavor is extremely complementary to almost any fruit.

We love this dressing,I find the original recipe can be quite sweet,so I add less sugar,and substitute some of the water with freshly squeezed lime juice.I love limes,the smell & taste always remind me of summer.Use whatever fruit you have at home for your salad.Amelia has a small bowl of fruit,without the dressing.

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Ingredients

80 mls water
75g sugar (caster)
⅓ cup packed mint leaves
Zest of 1 lime

Instructions

1.Bring water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan. Make sure all of the sugar has dissolved.
2.Remove from heat and add mint leaves and lime zest.
3.Let steep for 15 minutes and strain.
4. Chill.
5.Add fruit to a large bowl. Pour dressing over top and gently stir to combine.

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* The lime mint dressing will keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

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Varicella Vaccine/ChickenPox Vaccine

It’s been on my mind for a while whether I should give the “ChickenPox Vaccine” or in medical terms “Varicella Vaccine”, to Amelia.
I have done a lot of research,and spoken to our new GP regarding it,and have decided to go ahead. Amelia had her MMR vaccine today,so I need to wait a minimum of 4 weeks before she can have it,as both are “live vaccines”, and cannot be had together. She is due her Hib Booster in 4 weeks (13 month immunisation), so I will hold off until a few weeks after that.I just hope she doesn’t get Chicken Pox between now and then.
The chickenpox (varicella) vaccine provides protection against the varicella zoster virus that causes chickenpox.

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The chickenpox vaccine is not part of the routine childhood vaccination schedule. The chickenpox (varicella) vaccine provides protection against the varicella zoster virus that causes chickenpox and shingles.The vaccine is available to children from 12 months plus. The vaccine is currently only offered to people who are particularly vulnerable to chickenpox.Chickenpox is a common childhood infection. In most cases the symptoms are mild and complications are rare. Almost all children develop immunity to chickenpox after infection, so only catch it once. The disease can be more severe in adults.
Chickenpox can be very serious for an unborn baby when a pregnant woman catches the infection. It can cause a range of serious birth defects as well as severe disease in the baby when it is born.
The chickenpox vaccine contains a small amount of the live weakened varicella zoster virus.

The vaccine causes your immune system to produce antibodies that will help protect against chickenpox & shingles.It has been shown that 9 out of 10 children vaccinated with a single dose will develop immunity against chickenpox. A two-dose schedule is now recommended for all, as it gives a better immune response.(HSE).Two doses are given with four to eight weeks between the doses.
The most common side effect of the chickenpox vaccine is soreness and redness around the site of the injection.

This side effect develops in around one in five children and one in four teenagers and adults.

A mild rash may occur in 1 in 10 children and 1 in 20 adults.

Serious side effects, such as anaphylaxis (a serious allergic reaction), are rare. They occur in less than 1 in 100,000 vaccination cases.

Though the varicella vaccine is not part of the routine childhood immunisation schedule in Ireland & the UK,it is in other countries, such as the US and Germany.

Millions of doses of the vaccine have been given and there is no evidence of any increased risk of developing a long-term health condition as a result of the vaccination.

My reason of wanting to give Amelia the vaccine is that if I can prevent her from bring sick then I will,and also to prevent any potential scaring to her face.

From speaking to my GP & researching,by speaking to other mums,the prescription for the vaccine will need to be obtained from your GP,you will need to take it to the local pharmacy & get it ordered,of big in stock,and them bring back to GP’s. It’s a bit of a joke,I can not understand why the vaccine is not advertised more,and why GPs/practice nurses do not tell you about it. I did a bit of reading,and found my answer – it’s not cost effective for Practices to stock it, however some may stock it. The vaccine is approx €160 in total. However this may vary.

Also,something interesting I learned today, is that children should not be given Calpol/Paracetemol routinely post vaccinations/immunisations, unless they are spiking temperatures,as it can reduce the effectiveness of the vaccine.See here for more information.

Have you vaccinated your child against Chicken Pox? Did you know about it?
T xx

Our Favourite Things To Do In London

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Our Tube Station

Last weekend,we returned to London for the weekend,our first time back since leaving in December. We went back for a birthday party for all the babies from my NCT group (antenatal), 7 babies & 12 Adults.It was so lovely to see everyone again.
After many years of living in London, and taking full advantage of all the wonderful things to do,I’d like to share our favourite things. Beyond the usual tourists spots,there are plenty of hidden,and unknown gems,that don’t always have to cost money. Take the tube, don’t be afraid, it is so easy to use,get yourself an Oyster card the day you arrive £5, and top up as needed.

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Camden Town & Market

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Quirky,busy,fun,punks,wild ones,anything goes here.Take a stroll through the highstreet,there are so many quirky shops & of course the usual tacky tourists shops. Bypass these and head straight for The Stables,hidden at the back on of the main market on the left,here is the real gem. It’s quieter,and full of “real” vintage shops and all the food from around the world that you can think of.

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Before Amelia came along,I would head up to Camden a lot on my days off and wander around. If you are bringing children,try and avoid at the weekends,or go early morning. Take your baby sling,it’s much easier than a buggy.
To get to Camden Town, take the Northern Line (black line).Well worth a visit, it’s one you will never forget.

Primrose Hill

From Camden Town, walk along the river, listening to the buskers under the bridges on the way,a 20 minute walk will lead you to Primrose Hill.

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Once the “it” place to live amongst the “celebs” of London. Take a walk through the park,grab a nice cream,or if the weather is nice,take a picnic and rug. Walk to the top of the hill in the park and enjoy beautiful views of the London skyline.Picking out buildings you know .Its one of our favourite Parks in London. Directly across from the Park is London Zoo.

 

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If you are interested in the zoo- my tip is buy a train ticket from where you are staying,if it is not Central London, and get yourself a 2 for 1 on entry to the zoo, by filling out this form,print it and present on the day with your valid train tickets.

If the Zoo is not your thing,directly across from Primrose Hill is another favourite park of ours, Regents Park.Its a beautiful park,with loads going on.

 

 

 

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Anything goes in London,last Sunday,two women were practising their yoga on the Bandstand in Regents Park.This is what I love about London.

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South Bank
An eclectic area,walks along the South Bank bank whether in winter or summer are always lovely.Our favourite things to do along the Southbank are visit The Tate Modern museum and Borough Market,more amazing worldwide foods.

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With a birds eye view of the sights along the river, wine festivals,Christmas markets, and of course for the tourist, you have The a London Eye,Florence Nightingale Museum (any nurses like me,would find this really interesting),Thames Clippers (here you can take boat rides along the Thames & on to Greenwich),London Dungeons & the London Aquarium.

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For a romantic night out,with beautiful food and amazing cocktails- try The Oxo Tower.

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If it’s a child free weekend,then hire some “Borris Bikes”,click here to see how to hire, and take them through the streets and of London,ride into Hyde Park via Marble Arch,and wander around. Hyde Park has the huge Winter Wonderland theme park over the month of December, with its German market.

Greenwich
We would generally drive to Greenwich,however there are plenty of ways to get here. take a Clipper Boat along the Thames to Greenwich,while having your own riverside view of London Town.

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Greenwich is home to a World Heritage Site, Europe’s most successful entertainment arena, The O2,Bitains first urban cable car,The Emirates,London’s oldest Royal Park and the place where hemispheres meet.
Greenwich Royal Observatory (Home of meantime) This line is marked by a metal strip running through the courtyard. By standing over this line, you can be in both the eastern and western hemispheres at the same time.The Observatory is on top of the hill. The pathway up can be a little steep, especially if you are pushing a stroller. If you’d prefer a longer but easier way, follow the signs for the accessible path, which winds around the back of the hill up a more gentle slope.

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The views once on top are amazing. Below you is Inigo Jones’s Queen’s House and Wren’s Hospital (later the Naval College); to the right, the Dome. Opposite are the towers of Canary Wharf and upstream the West End. As you stand on the zero-degree meridian beneath Wren’s Royal Observatory the whole city seems to stretch out in time and space.

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Shopping
We all know London is a Mecca for shopping, but if you want something different from Oxford Street,Regents Street,Westfields (huge shopping centre) one in West London & one in East London,and of course Harrods is worth a “look”.Then my top places for a different shopping experience is Convent Garden,Carnaby Street,take a walk through Kingly Court off Carnaby street to my favourite restaurant/wine bar Shampers.

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I also love Liberty department store,known for its floral & graphic prints,it’s just that little bit different from all the other department stores.

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London offers so many brilliant,different & eclectic restaurants.Take a chance and walk away from the high streets,down the cobbled streets and find the best of the unknown.

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The list could really be endless with regards things to do in London. These are my favourite.
For kids,London Dungeons,The Tower
Of London, London Zoo,London Aquarium, Hamleys Toy Store,Piccadilly Circus are just about 1/4 of things to go. LegoLand is a short drive outside of London,worth taking a visit,and in to the towns of Windsor & Eton.

Bright Lights of Piccadilly Circus!

Bright Lights of Piccadilly Circus!

Returning to Where She was Born.

Returning to Where She was Born.

Saying Goodbye to London,see you again in a few months

Saying Goodbye to London,see you again in a few months

What Amelia Wore

Saturday was the day of the birthday party, Amelia wore a blue ditsy print dress from Next.See here, & a pink cardigan from Dunnes Store,see here.

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Sunday,she wore her Boden Duck Print Dress.See here.

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Monday, Amelia wore her Cath Kidston, out of stock now,but similar in store.

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Layered Cottage Pie/Shepards Pie

This yummy Annabel Karmel cottage pie will go down a treat to every age group in your family. Purée to the preferred consistency for smaller babies.I still purée meat to a lumpy consistency,as Amelia finds it hard to chew.

Original recipe below can be altered to suit your preferable taste.We are not lovers of Mushrooms or Turnip/Swede in our house,so have left out the Mushrooms and added Parsnip instead of Turnip/Swede.

You could make one big pot or smaller pots for the smaller ones and freeze. Layering is optional, you can also mix it all up like a traditional cottage pie.

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Serves 6, Prep Time 10 mins, Cooking time 77 minutes.

250g swede, peeled and chopped
200g carrots, peeled and chopped
A generous knob of butter
2 ½ tbsp vegetable oil
450g minced beef
1 large onion, finely chopped
100g leek, finely chopped
100g red pepper, finely chopped
150g button mushrooms, diced
4 medium tomatoes, skinned, de-seeded and chopped
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp dried mixed herbs
1 beef stock cube dissolved in 350ml boiling water
675g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
50g unsalted butter
6 tbsp milk
Salt and a little white pepper
225g frozen peas, cooked
1 beaten egg.

METHOD
1. Cook the carrots and swede in boiling lightly salted water for 20 minutes or until tender and then mash with the knob of butter until smooth.
2. Heat half a tablespoon of the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and sauté the minced beef for 7 or 8 minutes or until the liquid has been evaporated. Remove the beef from the pan and set aside.
3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a fairly large casserole and sauté the onion and leek for 3 minutes.
4. Add the red pepper and sauté for 2 minutes, then add the mushrooms and garlic and sauté for 4 minutes.
5. Add the tomatoes and sauté for 3 minutes.
6. Add the tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce, herbs and beef stock and simmer for about 30 minutes. Season to taste.
7. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes for 15 to 20 minutes, then drain. Return the cooked potatoes to the empty saucepan and mash together with butter, milk salt and pepper until smooth.

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8. Place the mashed carrots and swede in the base of a glass ovenproof dish (approximately 18cm diameter / 7.5 cm deep) or use mini dishes to make individual portions.
9. Arrange the meat on top, then cover with a layer of cooked peas and top with a layer of potato.

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10. Brush the potato with the beaten egg and cook under a preheated grill for 6 to 7 minutes or until the top is browned.

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Enjoy, we love this! T xx

Flying With a Baby

This is an old post that I said I would reblog, as we are half way through our holiday in Portugal. Flying this time round was pretty similar, other than earlier flight time,longer flight & Amelia refused to sleep. This time round I downloaded a load of free apps on the iPad, and did not make the mistake I made last time- some of the apps did not work without internet access. So, I made sure to ask the lovely ladies at Irish Parent Bloggers and find apps that worked while flying- here is the list I downloaded:

-Toca boca
-I hear ewe
-Peekaboo barn
-Sesame Street what’s in Berts bag
-Tozzle

I also figured a way out of locking the screen on the iPad,as Amelia was forever swiping the screen and coming out of the app she was watching.
1.Go to Settings
2.General
3.Accessibility
4.Learning
5.Guided Access (turn it on), it will take you through the next steps.

We returned from London last night,after a brilliant weekend with our friends (and Amelia’s). I’d like to share my top tips for travelling with a baby.

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Amelia is used to travelling long journeys at this stage,especially in the car,as we used to drive from London to Ireland,so in the last 12 months I have learned how to prepare and minimise the stress,as much as I can (I still get stressed mind).

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We bought Amelia these headphones when she was about 6 months,she loves watching Baby Jake,but somehow I knew that our fellow passengers on Irish Ferries,Stena Line,Ryanair & Aer Lingus, would not share her love for listening to it on repeat for 4 hrs.I know after 12 years of travelling whether it’s on planes,trains or ferries,that children get bored,whine,scream and cry. I generally never minded it too much,but it can annoy other people. I’d like to say I’m a mum who can just think “if they can’t listen to my baby crying,then they can move”,but I’m absolutely not,I do care that Amelia crying would upset other passengers,so, I keep Amelia entertained as much as I can.
These headphones will keep your little one quite,while not disturbing anyone else.They are highly padded,and very soft.Ideal also for the back of the car.
Click here for similar product.

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We checked in our buggy in our Bugaboo Travel Case (I also hid some extra bits in here,toys,nappies etc),free with all airlines (even Ryanair).We took our Bugaboo,we did think about buying a lightweight stroller for travelling,as we are going away in a few weeks on holiday,but decided against it,as Amelia always sleeps really well in her own buggy.I used my Baby Bjorn Sling for around the airport,and for boarding the plane. We didn’t have a long wait before boarding,so minimum hanging around.I have got so much use out of my sling and would highly recommend them.There are so many baby slings on the market,I will do a review soon on them.
See here for our Baby Bjorn Original Sling.

We gave Amelia her breakfast at the airport. You can take milk and medicines through security,without it effecting your own liquid allowance. I took 3 bottles of Aptamil milk,Neurofen,Calpol (with a syringe) & some teething gel. I packed two bottles for the flight,her water,snacks,small books and a few quite toys.
Bring a blanket,cardigan/jumper (planes can get cool). Enough nappies,wet wipes and a change of clothes (just in case).
Our flight was delayed by 1 hour,we were stuck on the plane for the time of the delay,but thank god for the iPad,headphones and an early morning flight.Amelia slept for most of the time,she sucked on her bottle for take off,give your baby/child,a bottle,sippy cup or something to suck on for take off and landing to help their ears pop. The hum of the planes engine,and the movement kept her asleep.We were even able to have breakfast a d coffee while she slept on my lap.Another tip here is, fly early or late,you have a greater chance of your baby sleeping.
Our return journey was not as easy,Amelia was awake for the whole flight,despite it being 2 hours past her bedtime. She was kept entertained by the lovely passengers behind us,Thank You to them!

We generally wait until most people are off the flight until we attempt to disembark. It’s easier,you are not under pressure to rush,and the queues at passport control will have died down.

While my husband put our buggy together,I went to change Amelia out of her baby gro and into her clothes.Let your baby fly in a baby gro,it’s comfortable,lightweight and much easier for changing nappies.

Click here for link to buggy bags.

There are many universal Buggy Travel Cases also on the market. click here to see more.

What are your top tips for travelling with a baby or child?

Love T xxx

When to Stop Sterilising?

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Amelia turned 1, two weeks ago,and I’m finding it very hard to put away the steriliser! Yes I know this is crazy,as she is picking everything she can find off the floor and putting it in her mouth,and has been going to play groups & soft play since she was about 3 months,putting all the toys in her mouth for a good chew.
So why can’t I stop my daily ritual, of after breakfast,rinsing her bottles,pouring washing up liquid on the bottle brush,scrubbing the bottles,teeth and lids and popping them into the steriliser……I think it’s out of habit and knowing that if I missed any milk,that sterilising will kill off any potential bacteria.

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A report published in 2007 from The World Health Organisation (WHO) suggested that sterilisation was no longer considered necessary and in fact was no longer recommended. The reason being that people weren’t sterilising properly in the first place and it was often leading to worse bacterial problems. Also, breasts and breast milk aren’t sterile – so it was a strange concept that we should be doing this with bottles, dummies. The recommendation for babies now is that a good wash with hot soapy water and a clean scrubbing brush and to then dry thoroughly. They also said that a rolling three min boil of items once a week followed by a proper dry was more than sufficient for those that wanted to be ‘extra vigiliant’.

Now while it all makes sense I wouldn’t 100% agree.While I do not think it is necessary to sterilise water cups spoons and feeding bowls when the weaning process starts (I’ll admit I did this for a few weeks!Crazy first time mum), I do believe that bottles,teeth and caps should be sterilised up to a year, or until you switch over to cows milk. I also sterilised all medicine syringes up to 6 months.

My reason for this continued sterilisation up to a year is because during the first year of your baby’s life, he/she is at their most vulnerable to illnesses. If you don’t sterilise your baby’s bottles, viruses, bacteria and parasites can gather on his/her bottle and in his milk and make your baby ill. Your baby could develop anything from mild thrush to a more serious bout of vomiting and diarrhoea.The problem is with milk,especially formula.
It’s not possible or practical to create a totally germ-free environment for your baby. But by sterilising your baby’s feeding equipment, you can reduce the risks while your baby is at its most vulnerable.

We are off to London this weekend,so it is time for my steriliser and I to say good bye,as we don’t need it anymore, this has been the excuse I need to break free.Warm soapy water,my trustee bottle brush and that will be it.
I will add, that even though I’m giving up on sterilising this weekend, we are away on holiday the end of May, and I will use these sterilising bags, just because I’m not sure how safe the countries water is.These Munchkin Steriliser Bags are ideal for nights/weekend and Holidays away,instead of lugging a steriliser with you. each bag can be used 20 times.Available from Amazon & Boots.

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Click here for more details.

I think with sterilising,defiantly do it up to 6 months and them decide what is right for you. Another problem we face is that children now have more allergies and adverse reactions to food than ever before,and the question has to be put- are we over sanitising and not allowing our children to be open to the odd bug or two,which in turn will build their immune system.

What are your thoughts on sterilising?would love to hear what you have done?
T xx

Pregnancy & Baby Books

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When I was pregnant I was a little overwhelmed by the amount of baby books on the market.I bought some books,pictured above, that I thought I would be interested in,rather than “the best reviewed”.To be honest I read about two of them in full,the rest I dipped in and out of over the 10 months I was pregnant and after Amelia was born.

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The first book I wanted to share with you is my favourite, Your Baby Week by Week,by Simone Cave & Dr.Caroline Fertleman. I actually bought after Amelia was born,on recommendation from one of my NCT girls.
This is such a fantastic book,that I now also give it as part of a gift to friends when they have new babies. I forgot to put it in my “Gifts Ideas” post. This is a handbook that I just loved. It is the only book on the market giving a week by week guide of your baby’s development from birth to 6 months.It covers the basics – sleep, feeding, crying, washing, play and development – as well as being packed full of vital information and handy tips for checking a baby’s progress.It is written by two mums,Dr Caroline Fertleman is Consultant Paediatrician at the Whittington Hospital, London, and Simone Cave health editor at the Daily Mirror.I can high recommend this book, and for £9.99, it was probably the cheapest book and most useful one I bought.
For more information click here

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The next thing is actually a Baby App, called “The Wonder Weeks”,also recommended by a friend.This app picks up from the a best selling book. Written by Hetty van de Rijt and Frans X. Plooij Both have studied in Educational Psychology, Physical Anthropology and Behavioral Biology. This app is a great quick oh to,when your baby is going through a fussy period.It
Shows when your baby makes a leap in his/her mental development
What your baby can understand & learn after this mental leap. What your baby can do after this leap.What you can do to help your baby.
Highly recommended again,the book is a more in-dept form of the app.

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So we have all heard of the “Gina Babies”, that sleep,eat and develop as per the book,with persistent training. The Contented Baby, by Gina Ford., former maternity Nurse and bestselling author.All I’ll say is I admire the parents who have stuck to this book. I bought this book early in my pregnancy and started reading it chapter by chapter, I soon realised that this style of parenting was not for me. I have no will power, and if you start the “Gina way”, you need to continue. Maybe this is why I still have a one year old that wakes at night sometimes.
This book is all about routine,I breastfed on demand for 6.5 months,so really did not have much of a routine.I felt I would be forever clock watching if I went by the rules of this book,and was uncomfortable with letting Amelia cry for long periods of time.
In saying that,I would still recommend this book as you can take snippets and adapt it to your life. Maybe review online before purchasing to see if it is the style of parenting you would like to use.
For more information see here

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I liked the look of this book The Yummy Mummy Survival Guide by Liz Fraser, however this was one of those books I dipped in and out of.Some good tips, not as glamorous as the title may lead you to believe. I think one thing I did take from this book is to take care of yourself after the birth.
See here for more information.

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Most people will have heard of or seen this book What to Expect When
You’re Expecting by Eisenberg, Murkoff and Hathaway
, this book was turned into a hilarious movie, I’ve read a couple of chapters of this book. I think I was a bit overloaded with books,ante natal classes and advice by the time I got this book,but I still dipped into it from time to time. It is an in-dept month to month guide through pregnancy.Its pretty full on, so I would think that of you are to buy the book,it’s the only pregnancy book you will need.
To read more click here</a

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What To Eat When You’re Pregnant by Dr Rana Conway
, I bought this not for so much so I’d know what to eat when “eating for two”, (pure myth by the way!), but for what foods to avoid. I’m a big coffee drinker and love diet coke,when I was working 12.5 hour shifts while pregnant,I really needed these- don’t judge!
This book was great for explaining things like explaining 200mg is the highest amount of caffeine I should be ingesting while pregnant- this equates to 2 filter coffees,2 instant or one Starbucks/Costa Americanos (these are what I drink). Cola diet or regular has 40mg per 330ml can,so I could have 1 or two with 1 coffee per day,as I said, don’t judge,I was also working nightshifts in a busy Major Trauma Emergency Department.
Anyway, would defiantly recommend this book as a go to, as a reference guide.
See here for more information.

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Pregnancy For Modern Girls by Hollie Smith, I was really looking forward to reading this book,mainly because of the title, I was quickly disappointed.Yes, it is informative,but nothing that isn’t in all the other books. I couldn’t see what is so different to make it the “book for the modern girl”.

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100,000 plus Baby Names by Bruce Lanksy, well this is what it says. I don’t think there is a name on this planet that isn’t in this book,except for mine! I had an idea of what names I liked when I was pregnant,but really enjoyed flicking through this for other ideas. I know choosing a name can be really stressful for some couples, this book gives you all the options,including what second names to put with first names.

That’s my book lot, what books did you read,enjoy,not enjoy through your pregnancy and after?
Please share. T xxx

FAMILY FRIENDLY PESTO PASTA

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I have been making this pasta salad dish for years,and thought it would be nice to share it, as it’s so quick,easy and really tasty. It’s not from a receipe, I kind of got the idea from a pasta lunch (in a plastic tub) I used to buy in M&S when I was working. I generally make it for BBQ’s and parties (this is the pasta salad dish we had for Amelia’s party), and only add the chicken if we are having it for dinner like tonight,served with a side salad.It’s delicious both hot and cold. Pesto can generally have a high salt content,but seeing as Amelia is now 1, she can have a little.If you are really worried about the salt,then you could make your own pesto,which is also pretty simple.It is also lovely with some spinach and toasted pine nuts sprinkled on top.

  INGREDIENTS

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Fusilli Pasta
Cream Cheese
Pesto
Vine Tomatoes or Cherry
Olive Oil
Chicken (optional)
Pine nuts toasted (optional)
Spinach (optional)

Method

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Boil Pasta as per instructions to al Dente
Pan fry or grill chicken if using
Drain pasta and using warm pan, add pesto and cream cheese until soft.
Mix together with pasta & chopped tomatoes
Add chicken,spinach and sprinkle toasted pine nuts in top if using.
Serve with side salad.

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