Review- Story Telling Cards by Sunflower Seedling

Parenting, Product Reviews

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Hello again! It’s been a little while (I know  I say that a lot) but I’m hoping that with this new section of the blog, I’ll find myself writing regularly again- Bubba permitting.

As a first time Mama I feel like there are a hundred and one things I’m meant to be buying for me and my baby, but in the minefield that is millennial parenting it can be hard to work out what will add genuine value to family life or what will be a waste of precious time and money.

So I figured that the more we share the more we can discover the must haves as well as the don’t even bother, and so I’d love it if you could add your comments, suggestions and recommendations below each post!

FYI I don’t get gifted products or paid to advertise so read on for real reviews.

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Did you know that newborn babies can’t see in colour? Research suggests that they can only see in black, white and shades of grey up until they are around five months old, when their eyes have become more developed. (This was part of the reason why we incorporated black and white into our safari themed nursery)  Yet despite this, there is a startling lack of monochrome books and toys available, but luckily I came across these sensory cards by Sunflower Seedling.

Ored reads to Little Ored daily whilst I take him to weekly sensory classes, so these cards felt like a great way to bridge the gap between the two whilst providing something else to do at home which is both fun and encourages baby development.

The ‘In the Garden’ set comes with six double-sided cards and on each card there is both a picture and- what I would call- a story ‘starter’ (essentially a few sentences designed to start you off on your own, original, storytelling experience). The cards are a great size and weight for little hands to grab whilst the box makes it easy to take the cards out and about. As for Little Ored he seems bewitched by them, wide open eyes studying each card. Compared to your average story book, he does tire quicker when looking at the cards, but my feeling is that this the heightened contrast in shades and tones is somewhat overwhelming!

The only downside I would say is that whilst the cards are great for helping Mamas and Papas to be more imaginative, that in itself can sometimes be quite hard if storytelling doesn’t come naturally to you or if you’re worn out from a long day. I would love it if Sunflower Seedling created a traditional story book for those moments when you don’t even know your own name anymore, let alone what shop Mrs. Ladybird set off to to buy her shoes from!

 

Rating: 7/10- Great addition to play/story time, which is made even better knowing that the black and white images are providing more stimulation for your baby.

Story telling visual sensory cards from Sunflower Seedling – £12.99 for a set of 6

 

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The ‘B’ Word

Parenting

Breastfeeding is sadly, quite the contentious subject. Whether it’s die hard advocates who make formula Mama’s feel like failures, or strangers that shame breastfeeding Mama’s in public, everyone has an opinion and they’re not afraid to share it with you.

Personally, choosing to breastfeed has been a no-brainer even if I previously found the idea of it more daunting than labour (yes, really). Maybe it had something to do with the fact that throughout the majority of my pregnancy, I never heard a positive or encouraging story about breastfeeding. My Mama and Nan chose not to breastfeed, and the few friends I have that are Mothers, also didn’t breastfeed. Reasons ranged from not producing enough milk, to problems with latching or quite simply, it hurt too much.

My anxieties kicked in almost immediately. What if I didn’t produce enough milk? What if my baby refused to latch? What if it was so painful my nipples flew a white flag without even consulting me?

Thankfully a two hour breastfeeding session run through an NCT class, put my mind-and worries- at ease. The session leader separated fact from fiction, and by doing so put to us that we had all the tools needed to be able to successfully breastfeed. Sure, it wasn’t going to be easy. Breastfeeding is indeed an artform. But the important message that was put across to us was not to give up at the first hurdle. To be unafraid to ask for help- be it from a midwife, friend or even your local GP- if and when you need it.

Thanks to our NCT leader, who led the session with a reassuring and positive approach, without bias or judgement, I left the group feeling informed but above all, confident! The horror stories told by work colleagues and friends faded into the background and I felt huge affirmation in my choice to breastfeed.

So here are just some of the reasons (and facts) why I have chosen to breastfeed my baby:

For Mama’s 

  1. Proven to reduce the risk of breast cancer- the longer you breastfeed, the better!
  2. Helps the uterus contract, returning to its normal size significantly quicker.
  3. Burns calories- who doesn’t love a hardcore workout that they can do whilst sitting down?
  4. No warming/sterilising bottles, readily available and IT’S FREE!!!

 

For Babies

  1. Reduces the risk of SIDS
  2. Great for bonding
  3. Tailor made- Believe it or not, your breastmilk is constantly changing in order to provide the nutrients your baby specifically needs, at any given time.
  4. Colostrum is GOLD- the small stuff your boobies make prior to milk, is full of so much goodness that athletes have been known to take it prior to competing (yes, really!)

 

Anxieties relieved I’m now both determined and excited to breastfeed. Yet I’ve decided to keep a flexible and sensible approach to the whole process because the last thing I want to do is put pressure on myself. (Studies have shown that the more stressed you are, the less Oxytocin you’re likely to produce- otherwise known as the ‘love’ hormone-  which is vital to producing lots of breast milk)

Because the simple truth of the matter is that if for whatever reason, breastfeeding doesn’t work out, I’ll just use formula and you know what, the world will still be here in the morning! Because when did you ever meet anyone in your adult life, who didn’t get a great education or an amazing new promotion, all because they were given formula as a baby instead of breastmilk?

I would encourage any new Mum to do their research thoroughly, before deciding that breastfeeding isn’t for them. As much as it might frustrate, there are thousands is a reason why the NHS rolled out the campaign “Breast is Best.” But that said, it doesn’t mean that you or I, are any less of a woman or a Mother for deciding to use formula.

All newborn babies need is love, care, and milk. Whether the latter comes from you or a cow, your baby really won’t mind!

 

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A Letter To Our (Unborn) Little One

Parenting

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Little One,

There is so much we hope for you and yet so much we’re yet to learn about you. Will you inherit my no-nonsense attitude or Papa Bear’s stubborn streak? His unwavering selflessness or my fierce loyalty ? Will you adore fruit as much as I do or will you unapologetically hassle me for biscuits (like Papa Bear does!). Maybe you’ll have traits and quirks which will leave us both in awe, wondering “Where does he/she get it from?!”

There is so much left to chance. Like how tall you will be, what colour eyes you will have and if you’ll end up with a smattering of freckles underneath those eyes. Ok, so it’s not all down to chance, but it still feels like a roll of the dice when it comes to which of our genetics will help to shape you.

There is so much we want to teach you. Not just the fun things like how to whistle, swim or ride a bike, but how to grow up valuing the people (and world) around you over the pursuit of money and materialism. How to have the courage and bravery to live this life being true to yourself, and to always be kind to others, even when they haven’t been kind to you.How to be a true gentleman, compassionate, loving and respectful to women. Or how to be a strong woman, unafraid of the glass ceiling or glossy magazines which will try to undermine your self-esteem.

There is so much you will teach us, without even trying. Like how to let go of our fears and worries and simply love you with abandon. Trusting our instincts as parents, no matter how inept we may feel at times. How to lean on one another, instead of pushing each other away, when times get tough or tiring.

There is a story yet untold but in the past nine months alone, you have been showered with so much light and love from friends and family both near and far, that I know your story will be a great one. By having you, we have been reminded how lucky we are to have such beautiful people in our lives, and now they are in yours.

From the moment we planned to have you, from that first kick felt inside my womb, from the first time we heard your heartbeat, we fell head over heels for you and that unwavering love will never change.

There is so much we dream for you but more than anything we dream for you to be happy, whatever you decide to do and whoever you decide to be in this life.

 

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