Category Archives: Motherhood

So Many Swaddles: A Summary of Swaddles and Swaddling

Mummy Confession: I admit, I hate how the swaddle appears, and the pictures of babies in swaddles sometimes look downright weird. However, they are a lifesaver for many parents as far as sleep is concerned.

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So many options, how do I choose?

*Disclosure: I was not given any of the following products, and am not affiliated with, sponsored by, or writing on behalf of any of the following companies, and this is my honest review and opinion. This blog, however contains affiliate links to Amazon.

Swaddling. The word alone provokes a picture in my mind of baby Jesus in a manger, wrapped up in cloths. Nowadays, there is a much wider variety of options when it comes to swaddling. You can go for the old-fashioned method with a muslin wrap, or use one of the other many options for easier swaddling.

Why do parents swaddle babies? It’s called the startle, or Moro, reflex^. When babies are fresh out of the womb, they “jump” at the sound of things (and sometimes at no sounds, they just do), causing their arms to go flailing. This wakes up baby, and causes mum, dad, or whomever is watching bubs to soothe, resettle, and pray baby goes back to sleep. This makes for disrupted sleep for everyone. Not fun.

So, a swaddle stifles the ability for baby to move their arms suddenly and wake themselves up. It looks confining and maybe uncomfortable, but most babies take comfort in the snug wrap. This is not the case for all babies, but most, especially when they are overtired, are calmed much quicker with swaddling. This was definitely the case with most of the times when my babies were fussing and just could not calm themselves down.

In addition to other ways available to settle babies down, and help them to stay asleep, swaddles are a great option, and there is just so much available now, how do you choose?

I’ve found they all fall within these categories (feel free to click or scroll through the categories), and have done my best to briefly talk about how they differ, as well as provide pictures and brands that would classify in the specific options.

Blanket/Muslin Swaddling

Zip Up Swaddles

1. Arms Free Within Swaddle

2. Arms Up

3. Arms Down

Velcro Swaddles

Transitional Swaddles

Alternative Swaddle Options

 

 

Blanket/Muslin Swaddling:

This is just the typical swaddling, and can be done with any blanket or muslin wrap that is large enough for the baby. It’s versitile, and you can wrap baby snugly with their arms up or down by their sides. Just be sure not to make it too tight, especially around the hips. Muslin wraps are generally better I’ve found to use, because the material is more breathable, and easier to manoeuvre. Always be sure to follow the safe sleeping guidelines when swaddling your baby, and place baby on their back.

Another alternative to blanke/muslin swaddling is the Gro-swaddle which has an extra bit at the bottom to make it easier to wrap Baby up snugly.


Zip Up Swaddles: These come in a large variety of brands, but I’ve found these completely lifesaving as a mother and non-expert in swaddling. They are sized by weight or height, so you get the proper size for your baby, so it is just the right snug-ness for bubby. These come in different categories which I explain below.

1. Zip up with arms free within the swaddle- Several brands have this basic style, just helping to stifle the startle reflex and keep baby snug and warm to sleep. My favourite brand within this category is the Ergobaby Cocoon. Ergo also makes the “ErgoPouch” which is a sleeping bag and swaddle in one. It has varying togs (different thicknesses for varying seasons), so great for warmer or cooler weather depending on the tog.

2. Zip up with arms up– Allowing baby to soothe themselves with their hands, the arms up version by Love to Dream is an excellent swaddle recommended by many mums (myself included). This comes in various thicknesses, and they even offer transitional swaddles. Yes, they look funny, but honestly, this was the best option for us with one of the children, as she could soothe herself and her startle reflex couldn’t wake her.

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Love to Dream Swaddle

3.Zip up with arms down– If your baby prefers their arms to be down when sleeping or swaddled, this is probably a great option for you. The Swaddlepod is a good version of this type of swaddle. Other brands do this, including store brands such as Kmart or Target. This is probably the most common. Just be sure to purchase that isn’t too tight around the hips.

Velcro Swaddles: These swaddles take a step out of trying to wrestle a blanket around Baby and make it just as easy as tucking arms in and securing them. Some brands thatmake these are Swaddleme and Halo sleep sack.


Transitional Swaddles: 

Some of the swaddles above have transitional options, for when you are trying to transition out of swaddles. These can be either to transition to a sleeping bag style, or just out of swaddles

The Not Quite Swaddles, but great options:

Sleepy Wings: This arms only option is good for if you just need something for bub’s arms, or something that will hold a pacifier. The pacifier easily tucks into the spots on the top bit of the swaddle wings. You can choose to put arms up or down as well. They also have other amazing options for transitional wings, or just sleeves that cover little hands.
Find Sleepy Wings here.

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Photo Credit: SleepyWings.com.au

Sleepy Bub: There are two great options here with Sleepy Bub. A onesie that you can zip the arms down, or a sleeping bag where you can zip arms down. The hands are able to be covered as well. This is great for all the babies who seem to get out of everything else!
Find Sleepy Bub here.

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Photo Credit: Sleepybub.com.au

 

Which of these options works for you? Or, do you have a baby who wasn’t keen on swaddling? I love that there are so many options out there now, to see what would work best.

^ http://www.whattoexpect.com/baby-behavior/newborn-reflexes.aspx

Meal Plan Monday: Week #3

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Week three! Get those recipe cards out and join up here for some refreshing ideas for your pantry! If you’ve missed any of the weeks before this, feel free to check Week 1 and Week 2 for more great recipes!

Do you need ideas for kid’s lunches, too? Check out Kidgredients Guide to Awesome Lunches eBook for great tips, tricks and 10 new recipes as you prepare those lunch boxes! (I’m sure they’d make excellent at-home snacks, too.) I am proud to be an affiliate of Kidgredients, and by purchasing through this link I do earn a commission on qualifying sales.

Don’t forget to tag #cookingwithMPM if you do happen to use some of these, so we can see your delicious your dishes! On to great food

If you want to submit any of your recipes to be featured, feel free to use the contact form on the “About the Blogger” page, or email me at MummyConfessions@hotmail.com

Monday: Simple Chicken Wraps

Tuesday: Veal Saltimbocca by Kidgredients

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Photo Credit: Kidgredients

Wednesday: Slow Cooker Lemon and Herb Chicken by Kidgredients

Thursday: Sloppy Joes

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Photo Credit: Mellie and Lou

Friday: Tuna Casserole from Mellie and Lou

Saturday: Pasta Marinara (American Style, no seafood involved)

Sunday: Slow Cooker Pork and Veggies

 

 

Mummy Confessions Recipes from above:

Simple Chicken Wraps:

500g-1kg chicken breast, either cut into fillets or cubed
Turkish Wraps, Flat wraps, or Pita bread
lettuce, tomato, onion, or other toppings
cheese if desire
sauce such as dressing, aioli, etc if desired
Season All by McCormick

1. Cut chicken into desired size and cook until nicely browned and cooked in the middle. When nearly done, sprinkle season all to taste. Separate unseasoned for kids if needed.
2. Place into wrap or bread and top with desired toppings. Enjoy!

Pasta Marinara (American Style):

Pasta of choice (we choose fettuccini)
Vegetable Oil
Small Onion, finely chopped
1 Grated Carrot
1-2 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
1 Can Organic Crushed Tomatoes with Basil Oil
(or 1 Can crushed tomatoes and 1/2 teaspoon dry basil
(or 1 Can crushed tomatoes and 1/2 jar Tomato paste with basil)
1 Tablespoon Chopped fresh oregano leaves or 1/4 teaspoon dry oregano

1. In saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. In separate pot, boil water and cook pasta. Drain pasta once finished, but cook the sauce while it cooks.
2. Cook onion, carrot, and garlic in oil for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until tender.
3. Stir in remaining ingredients and heat to boiling.
4. Reduce heat; Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Add salt (or Vegeta) or sugar, depending on how you like it.
5. Serve over pasta. Sprinkle cheese over top for more taste.

Sloppy Joes (This also makes a great dip for nachos or chips):

500g minced beef
3/4 Can Tomato Soup
1/2 Cup Salsa
Hamburger Buns or round rolls

1. Cook beef until well browned, breaking up the meat as you go. Pour off grease
2. Stir in tomato soup and salsa once meat is browned.
3. Heat to a boil.
4. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes or until no longer soupy, but still saucy. Stir occasionally. Add salt or Vegeta to taste if needed.
5. Serve on burger buns.

Slow Cooker Pork and Veggies

1 Kg pork tenderloin
1 pack French onion soup mix
1 cup water
3/4 cup red wine
3 Tbsp crushed garlic
3 Tbsp soy Sauce
pepper (optional)
Potatoes, peeled and cut in quarters
Carrots, peeled and cut

1. Peel potatoes and carrots and place in slow cooker.
2. Mix all dry ingredients and put over top of tenderloin in slow cooker. Pour all wet ingredients over top.
3. Cook on high for 6 hours or so, until roast is cooked through.

I Don’t Get Out Much

Mummy Confession: I don’t get out of the house much. With or without kids.

School holidays have rolled around again, and that brings my stubborn side out. The side that hates leaving home. We have only left the area a handful of times, because the thought of it alone exhausts me. It’s gotten worse with the number of children. Though, I love socialising and getting out of the everyday routine, it’s so daunting just to get out of the house!

Take for instance this typical before, during and after a trip outside of our neighbourhood: I corral all the children together as I tell them we are going somewhere. Next, they all dart in opposite directions excitedly as I yell for them to put on various articles of clothing. I answer questions of, “where’s that?” I’m serious that it takes about fifteen minutes for shoes alone.

After about an hour, everyone is dressed. Now, I have to convince the oldest and middle children to use the toilet before we leave, because I’m not managing three children in a McDonald’s restroom on the way there.  Twenty minutes later, they have finally finished.

Then I wrangle the kids into the car, buckling them in, and drive to my destination, answering various questions (the same one over and over again usually) about where we are going and who we are meeting. Following that, I get them unbuckled, unload and set up the pram, filling it with several bags of “just in case.”

We roll up in the pram, and I chase them around for hours (as again, they all take off in multiple directions at once) with trips to the toilet every twenty minutes and snacks every ten, while trying to simultaneously prevent the youngest now from putting everything in his mouth and crawling away.

Finally, I find myself debating with them about getting back into the car. Several threats and bribes later I accomplish the feat. Strolling back, I lure them back into the car, changing the littlest, feeding the littlest, buckling seatbelts, wrestling the pram back in the car, and then taking a deep breath before getting home and unloading all the “not tired” passengers. And that’s just a typical venture out for a short while. (Minus the pram for Grandma’s house.) Can you imagine if we actually got out?

I know, I know, it’s good for kids to have experiences, spend time exploring and learning. But, when the holidays roll around and I am not scheduled to get somewhere twenty minutes later than what I set out to arrive, it takes a while to work up the energy and, dare I say, courage to take all of them out on my own.

It’s not that they aren’t behaved. They behave like any child, and I love them to bits. I just don’t feel like spending half an hour negotiating with a toddler on why it’s time to go home. It’s a lose, lose situation and someone always winds up crying. Generally, it’s the children in the car on the way home. And let’s not talk about how the baby now realises when we’re leaving and breaks down in hysterics as I try to strap him into his car seat.

How does it go for you? Do you brave the outside neighbourhood when it’s holiday time? How much time does it take “psyching yourself up” to leave?

My Kmart Mini Haul for under $20!

Mummy Confession: I went in to Kmart to look for thermal wear for our future trip to the snow, and I bought other things (in addition to thermal wear)

*Disclaimer: This is not sponsored, affiliate or otherwise promoted by Kmart in any way, and is my totally honest opinion and recommendation

In preparation for our upcoming family holiday, I went to Kmart to check out their winter clothing situation. Maybe that was my first mistake? We all know Kmart lures in deal-seeking mothers and then they lose the plot when they see all the bargains on offer!

It’s always a bad (or great) idea for me to venture into the Baby section. Usually I just check things out, but this time, I found some truly great products that I wanted to share with you! Why? Because, they are a great bargain, and I love saving money!

My youngest has started solids in the last months, and let’s just say all of the bowls, plates, and utensils have done their rounds. I wanted to get some decent, yet not too pricey, replacements. Plus, I will be needing more as one more child to serve or preferably unbreakable dinnerware. Here are some of the deals I found for under $20 total!

Smock Bibs: $5- Rather than bubs covering himself in his dinner, a two pack of these bibs is just $5! They are plastic on the front and have the long sleeves to keep arms clean, too! My only issue is that they only come in one size. They probably won’t fit my baby in a couple more months, as he is gigantic. Saying that, I’m sure they have art smocks for bigger kids in store somewhere. Right? Because Kmart has everything.

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2 Nonslip Plates: $3- With that price, I wanted to buy more, but I just got some to try out. They’re great and don’t slip around on the table! Other brands would be so much more pricey, so I just thought this was too good to pass up! They aren’t completely flat either, so good for my Starting Solids bubba! One thing that would have been awesome as well is if they made a divided plate with the non slip on the bottom, too!

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2 Nonslip Bowls: $3- Again, bargain alert! Such a great find, and deeper than the plate (obviously), I had to try these as well. They have the little non slip bit on the bottom as well, and, again, excellent for my toddler insisting on eating her milk and cereal all by herself!

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20 Piece Disposable Feeding Set: $6- Included in this set are 4 sippy cups with lids, 4 bowls with lids, and 4 snack pots with lids, as well as 4 spoons and 4 sporks (so the total number DOESN’T include kids.) This is a great little set for starting off, especially as we don’t use a lot of food in one go. I love the disposable option, as you don’t feel as guilty recycling a well used product since it didn’t cost as much. It’s a great option to have in the car or nappy bag, too for a “just in case” moment! At the price, they are also slightly cheaper than the alternative. Though, neither brand of the sippy cups would I deem “spill proof.” So if you want spill proof, check out my overview of sippy cups, including some better options.

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They have so much more on offer, but this is all I needed for now, so I had to practise self-control. So, if you are in need of replacing or adding to your plastic wear for toddlers and babies, Kmart is definitely the place to check out first! I love seeing all theyhave on offer, and their Stock is always changing, so you are bound to find something new and great nearly every time you visit!

 

What a Week! Life Update.

Mummy Confession: This week has been phenomenal, and it’s not even half over yet!

This week has been super busy, even though it’s the first week of school holidays! We haven’t left the house yet, but my goodness has a lot been happening anyway! All of my kids have huge accomplishments for the past few days, and I’m so excited for them! As for me personally, I am pretty happy with my accomplishments this week as well. I have to write it all out because it is just so much all at once! What a joy!

Little Bub has just started crawling the conventional, all-fours style (not that he wasn’t getting around before) and is well into everything! Apparently under the trampoline or train table are the spots to be for a four-wheel driver! In addition to that, he has been attempting to wave, and has actually started to eat some solid foods. We were struggling to get him to open his mouth before this. He’s a big fan of chicken.

Potty training, toilet training

One child is doing exceptionally with toilet training- next to no accidents! I am probably more excited about the last part, as it means less laundry for mama! I could really do with less laundry, as I have to catch up on a room full! I admit this not happening sooner has been all my fault, as I was a little daunted by the prospect of toilet training while managing an infant who is very needy and clingy! And, well, all of the lovely stories as we attempted in the past.

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Pasta Bolognese with Roasted Capsicum

Lastly, and nearly five years in the making, my eldest and resident picky child has started to actually eat new foods as we started Meal Plan Monday. No word of a lie, I was shocked that she finished her portion of peas the first night, and a portion of meat the following night! We still do her meal a little differently, but I am amazed! I will let you in on my secret for her success: the desire for big muscles. No, I’m not joking, and it has taken some time, but I guess the way we went about it helped. Her daddy goes to the gym to work out, and the incentive of going with him someday, and having bigger muscles than him has encouraged her to eat her food. (We also may have told her that her muscles got bigger with each bite…) After she ate them, she told me she liked them, so hopefully less of a battle the next time!

For myself, I finally finished up a post on the Baby Bjorn Carrier One Outdoors which I have been working on (and reviewing) for probably around two months now! I have to say I’m fairly happy with how it turned out, although the video could use some work. Hubs helped me take some great photos with it in action, and I have to say it is helping with my clingy child who hates sleep!Mum

I have also started up a weekly series with a meal plan, and so far I am doing pretty well with keeping up! It is probably part of the reason my picky Child is doing well, and I hope it keeps helping us as a family as well as giving others ideas and recipes for the week ahead!

So, wow! This mother has her work cut out for her in the remaining week, but I am so excited about all of these significant milestones for all of the kids and my small accomplishments apart from being their mum. These may all be small things to some, but to see my kids flourishing makes me so happy!

What have your littles been up to this week? What have you accomplished? What are you looking forward to in the week ahead?