Who are you?
Hi guys, we are called The Giggles Family. My husband is a soldier in the army therefore I am a military wife. I'm murrently a stay at home mum as my boy is only 10 months old. We call him Baby Giggles as he is crazy easy to make laugh. We live in Suffolk, UK and we have been blogging for about six months and weekly vlogging on YouTube for two months.
What do you do for a living?
I used to work in Social Care though due to my husband being posted we are all moving with him next month so I have to resign from my job ;( When I feel my boy is ready (or we run out of money!) I’ll be job hunting. I’d like to bring him up myself for as long as we can. It was a huge struggle for us to have a family, so I am even more keen not to miss a moment,
How do you find the times to get things done?!
As our blog is fairly new, I need to put a lot of work in to get it out there. That takes a huge amount of time to do properly and I often don’t feel I have the time to do it full justice because my son is my priority. This means I spend a lot of my evenings, often past midnight working on it. Getting up in the mornings is hard but helped by coffee! G started crawling last month which has actually made it easier as he can get to the toys he wants himself. We have tried to make the house baby safe so he doesn’t need chasing so much but as we won’t have this house much longer, it feels a bit pointless doing too much! Looking forward to the new house and hopefully starting out as we mean to go on in terms of how we lay it out.
How are you?
Hmmm, words to describe how I feel… Tired but satisfied; anxious about the move (we have a date but haven’t been allocated a house yet!); content being a mum after such a lot of heartache to get here; my mind is never clear as there is always something to do; and very much in love with my husband (though I’m not going to lie, adjusting to being new parents was hard at times).
What do you do to relax?
Either a long bath once G is in bed (though sometimes I’m naughty and take my phone with me to work on!), playing with G and generally getting out of the house.
How does a typical day go?
On a working day, my husband give G breakfast so that he gets a bit of 1:1 time with him.
I then take over at 8am. We play for an hour/he tries to steal my breakfast with his puppy dog eyes then he’ll have a bottle. I try to book an activity of some kind into my diary for the mornings so it may be swimming, baby yoga or just a walk somewhere. We both function much better when we’ve got out of the house each day!
Home for lunch then G will nap so I get on with household chores or maybe film a video.
He wakes around 3 so we play with his toys, look at books (read: try to eat books) and at 4 I start dinner. This usually ends up with G crying because he wants to be held at the same time so sometimes he ends up in the baby carrier.
His dad gets home from work, we all have dinner together and then they have a little bit of play time before we all do G’s bath time. That’s a really special time, just all being together and G loves the bath.
G’s bedtime is around 6.30-7am so his dad reads him a book while I snuggle with him for milk and then we get some time together just us downstairs. Too often though this ends up with us both on laptops working! We are trying really hard to cut this down and have blackout nights.
Does G have a feeding routine?
We were advised by the first health visitor to feed G on a 4 hourly schedule, but it didn’t work for him or us. We were all miserable. We went back to on-demand feeding and were much happier.
He had struggles with reflux and colic and eventually was diagnosed with a cows milk intolerance (I hadn’t even known that cows milk was in formula!) so a change in formula again improved things loads.
We started weaning from 5 months old as I just felt he needed it. He loved it right from the get go, starting with sweet potato. Trying to move him onto lumps was trickier as sometimes babies who have had feeding troubles such as reflux are scared of the texture of lumps in the mouths. We just kept gently offering them though and eventually one day he started swallowing them. He now eats anything at 10 months old and loves spicy food and pesto!
Does G have a nap/ sleep routine?
Yes, I tried really hard to learn his personal cues for when he was tired and go with those for naptimes. That helped us slip into a natural routine. Up until a month ago he was wanting a nap at 9am and then at 1pm. Since he started crawling though he has been hit and miss with his morning nap. There is too much he wants to explore! I let him miss it if he wants but always insist on the afternoon nap as otherwise he has night terrors from being over tired which are awful to see. He has just started copying baby signs and recently asked for milk and bed himself!
How do you keep G entertained?
He has his toys all within reach which entertains him ages. Mainly he stops just for cuddles!
He loves nursery rhymes and actions and he is very active so we try and get out to places he can be physical such as soft plays, gymnastics and swimming. I can’t wait for the summer when it won’t be too wet to crawl on the grass!
When G’s having a freak out, how do you calm him down?
Holding him close and putting on either Anna Pancaldi: Out Ahead or Ellie Goulding: Your Song on YouTube on my phone. He can watch those ten times over and not get bored. Must have a thing for blondes!
Does G seem to suffer with anything?
It feels like he was teething from about 3 months old until last week! The poor guy only got a day or 2 break from it at a time. Gel teething toys that we could put in the freezer, a Sophie Giraffe and Calpol helped a lot along with distraction and swimming. He also gets eczema and a painful tummy if he has anything with cows milk in so we are careful about that. We have just started the Milk Ladder with him with a dietician to hopefully help his body start coping with milk.
At what age did G become more mobile?
He started crawling at 9 months in the bath! It took a few more days before he could be encouraged to do it on dry land but now there is no stopping him. He is fast! It took another week or so before my husband gave in to baby proofing the home. It makes life so much easier. No major incidents yet though I have to watch he doesn’t eat the cats fur as she is very fluffy and sheds a lot!
What are your go-to resources for information about your baby when you're worried?
I google everything! I find Baby Centre generally a really good resource. My sister is a paediatrician so she gets a lot of texts from me with questions!
Have you taken G on any holidays or away from home?
As we are a military family, we live away from a lot of family. The only way G was going to get to meet them all was if we travelled so he got used to it early. We only travel at bedtime so he expects to be asleep in the car. I found a snooze shade really useful for this too.
We have a travel cot so it’s always the same one and take his own duvet, teddy and mobile for familiarity. He has always been close to his muslins so we make sure we take a bunch with us. Other than that we try and keep the routine the same.
Usually the first couple of nights he will wake more in the night. I think this is just a security thing of checking we are still there, but then settles down.
We have a holiday booked for next month to Centerparcs which I think he will love though I’m not looking forward to the first few wakeful nights.
What are your baby holiday essentials?
Travel cot, Snoozeshade, his mobile, muslins and loads of bottles as its not always as easy to wash them up/sterilise them.
Does G have a favourite toy?
A dog soft toy in his cot, soft muslins and anything that makes a noise!
What was your most recent baby or baby-related purchase?
More muslins! I found some cute star ones in John Lewis that match his duvet. I love stars!
We also bought him some clothes as he went up a size (see my haul on YouTube) and some baby instruments as he loves making noise!
What have been the most useful products you've bought or discovered?
The Wonder Weeks App, Baby Lock (which locks the screen for him to watch YouTube), banking apps to sort out money on the go, and Blogger to blog on the run.
What is G’s mode of transport?
We mix between a mummy facing travel system when we need to walk far and a carrier for shorter journeys or when he is a bit more clingy e.g. teething. I started with a sling carrier and a wrap. We now use the Stokke carrier as it fits my husband better but I am about to review another wrap as I think it will fit me better.
I have noticed that when he has had time in a carrier, he is then more independent when put down. It’s like he has had his top up on cuddles to last a while!
What are your absolute essentials when you go out?
Bottles, nappies, wipes, foldable bib, spoon, muslin, hat, gloves, spare outfit, money, phone and lipstick! This has made me realise I really should do an updated “What’s in my changing bag” video!
Where are your favourite places to shop for baby clothes?
Supermarkets have amazing clothing for the price, Primark is great for girls but not a lot for little boys I find, Baba +Boo have some bright pieces and Next clothes last a long time.
What do you wish you’d known before you had a baby?
That the first 3 months are so hard, both on settling in with your baby and on your relationship adjusting. That it does get better and to not worry about the housework because baby cuddles are much more important!
What's the best advice or most useful tip that anyone's given you about parenting?
If you are struggling to conceive, try not to focus only on that. It’s easy to say now but I feel like I wasted weeks, months, years worrying when I could have been enjoying other things in life.
Do you have any tips you’d like to share with other mums or expectant mums?
Remember to eat and drink! Coffee is a blessing and you’ll get much more satisfaction at the end of the day from making your baby laugh than having a clean bathroom. Take lots of photos and videos (I wish I had started ours earlier) because it goes crazy quickly.
You can find Jules and the rest of The Giggles Family here: