Category Archives: breastfeeding

Inspire your kids with these lovely DIY gift ideas

Parents love receiving handmade gifts from their children. It doesn’t matter if they have drawn a picture for you or presented you with a bunch of your prize roses from the garden – it is the thought that counts.

UntitledChildren also love to give their mom and dad gifts and they like to make things themselves. Cutting and pasting, drawing and colouring all help your children to learn, work with their hands and to be creative.

If the gift is also useful and your children will see you using their gift, then that is even better. Thinking up gifts that actually have a purpose however, can be brain-racking. So here are 6 easy and very affordable ideas that should inspire the creative streak in your children and help you out of a tight spot.

1. Creative aprons: Every mom or dad needs a handy apron for the kitchen and one that can be hand painted and personalised is a gift that will be treasured. Check out the range of affordable aprons from and then help your child design a wonderful, creative gift as a birthday or Christmas present.

2. Personalised coffee mugs: This idea is so easy, because all you need to do is buy some white mugs from the dollar store and some ceramic paints. Then let your child create a beautiful design on the mug for mom, dad, grandparents or siblings as a gift.

3. Key chains: Pop into your local craft shop and you will find all of the ingredients to make simple, beaded keychains that are useful and fun. Your kids will love making them and will feel a little buzz every time they see their keychains being used.

4. Handmade coasters: Buy some plain white ceramic tiles, a piece of felt, glue and chalk paint. Paint the tiles with the chalk paint, then glue the felt to the backs for protection, add some pretty buttons or sparkles to the corners and then let your children write a message on the front – your kids will have great fun with these gifts.

5. Message pillowcases: Purchase a plain cotton pillowcase and slide a piece of cardboard inside so your children can easily write on the pillow case. Then using a pencil your child can write a lovely heart-warming message, which you can trace over with a felt marker. They can also add little hearts or other decorative elements to the design. Set the marker (read the instructions with the marker pen), then wash and iron your child’s gift.

6. Flower crowns: You and your kids will need floral wire, floral tape, and flowers which you can pick in your garden. If you don’t have a garden, you can also buy bouquets from supermarkets or order flowers from online florists like Fresh Flowers. Guide your kids to form the floral wire in to a circular shape to make a loose crown around the head and then cover the wire with several layers of floral tape. Cover the wire by taping pretty leaves and stems, this will act as the base of the crown. Next, attach your selected flowers (with long enough stems) by taping them to the base. Let your kids add flowers to as much or as little of the rest of the crown as they like.

There is nothing better than receiving a handmade gift from your children and these 6 ideas are all very affordable and easy to make.


Stream of Consciousness Sunday: Special Breastfeeding Comments

Here is my 5 minute brain dump as part of this great series. Here goes …

I’ve had my fair share of “special” comments over the last 18 months regarding breastfeeding. Some are more “special” than others:

  • Someone dared to say that formula was “far superior” to my breast milk (BiP was 6wks old)
  • “You are making her needy by not giving her the bottle” (BiP was 8 weeks old)
  • I’ve been told that I was only breastfeeding my baby for my selfish wants and needs (BiP was 3m old)
  • Apparently I was “abnormal” to be still breastfeeding a baby of 8 months (thank you ultrasound lady)
  • When BiP was approaching her first birthday a lot said that “I’ve done my bit but enough’s enough”

Now most people don’t bother saying anything – I’m a lost cause.

My favourite recent comment actually can from a guy and I’m putting in bold because I think it’s “great“:

“Umm … isn’t BiP a bit too old to still be breastfed? I mean, I’d get it if she was a boy”

What do you say to that? *insert eye roll*

There, I promised you a “special” comment.

Any of your own you’d like to share?


This is my 5 minute Stream of Consciousness Sunday post. It’s five minutes of your time and a brain dump. Want to try it? Here are the rules…

  • Set a timer and write for 5 minutes only.
  • Write an intro to the post if you want but don’t edit the post. No proofreading or spellchecking. This is writing in the raw.
  • Publish it somewhere. Anywhere. The back door to your blog if you want. But make it accessible.
  • Add the Stream of Consciousness Sunday badge to your post.
  • Link up your post at all.things.fadra.
  • Visit your fellow bloggers and show some love.

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy says NO baby photos

no baby photos for Carla Bruni France Carla Bruni-Sarkozy gave birth to her daughter Giulia in Paris on 20th October 2011.

Everyone wants to see pictures of her baby. But, they will not see the baby’s picture, not now, not ever.

Carla announced “I will do everything to protect this infant, and I’ll be absolutely rigourous. I will never show photos of this child. I’ll never expose this child.”

According to the law in France, the permission of a child’s legal guardian is required before any photograph of the child is published (Article 9 of the civil code). The problem is that the internet is global and the same laws don’t apply.

Carla’s first son Aurelian was photographed in 2008 on holiday in Petra, Jordan. She says she regrets exposing him to the media and should have known better.

She felt she should have realised that there would have been photographers there.

Aurelian was 8 years old at the time. She said “I should have never taken my son to visit this magnificent site.”

Some feel that as France’s First Lady we should have access to the baby photos. Should we? Before Carla is France’s First Lady she is a mother, one that wants to protect her child.

What do you think?

Do you think the public should see the photos of a celebrity or public figure?

Breastfeeding a Toddler: 4 weird things.

breastfeeding toddler infantIn follow up to my post the “10 Truths about Breastfeeding a Toddler” I thought I’d add some weird things I’ve discovered whilst breastfeeding my toddler.

1. Your breasts will smell of garlic

Yes, you read that right. Obviously now BiP is eating everything and her favourite thing is garlicky green beans. SO, needless to say when she feeds right after lunch my breasts smell like garlic for the rest of the day. Nice eh?

2. Your nipples are hilarious (and so is your belly)

After a year of breastfeeding BiP suddenly discovered that my nipples are funny. Actually they are hilarious. Whisking my breasts away before the nipple crippling game starts has become a battle of wills!

Annoyingly my belly is also hilarious. When I get ready to feed BiP she thinks it’s really funny to grab my belly and squeal. Doesn’t do wonders for your self esteem but I guess the mass of jelly and over stretched skin does feel weird, and maybe slightly amusing.

3. Your lose all rights over your bra

BiP can now unclip my bra and almost clip it back. It’s amazing how it’s no longer MY job to do that, but hers. If I put my bra back on before she is ready I certainly hear about it.

4. Nursing in Public demands attention!

The look of shock on people’s faces when I feed BiP in public is priceless. She will tug and pull at my clothes until I oblige. When I am about to feed her she turns to her audience, clasps her hands tightly and squeals with delight. It’s super cute but it draws maximum attention.

So, there you have it.

What weird things have you discovered about breastfeeding a toddler?

Excusez-moi Madame? Where are you from?

breastfeeding in franceToday BiP had an appointment at the pediatricians. It was just a general check up.

In France there are a number of required check ups and this was BiP’s 16 month check up (she’s 17 months old now).

We saw a different pediatrician from our usual one because I’d discovered he was possibly more pro-breastfeeding than my regular pediatrician. As I’ve written before, breast isn’t always best if you live in France. So it’s important for me to find someone supportive.

Everything was going great until the subject of vitamins came up. He said it was time BiP took some different vitamins which were to be dissolved in a bottle of juice or milk.

The following conversation is translated from French (obviously) –

Me: “But BiP doesn’t drink juice or milk”

Pediatrician: “WHAT? What does she drink then?”

Me: “Water?”

Pediatrician: “But what does she drink for MILK?”

Me: “Umm, she drinks my milk”

Pediatrician: “STILL?!?” He shrieks, almost falling off his chair.

Me: “Yes, I have no good reason to stop, she loves it.”

Pediatrician: rubs his forehead “What about yogurt?”

Me: “No, she doesn’t eat yogurt.”

Pediatrician: “Why?”

Me: “Well, I believe that cows milk is for baby cows” (I couldn’t find the word for calf in French) “AND my milk is for MY baby”

Pediatrician: SIGHS Loudly “Excuse me Madame? Where are you from?”

Me: “I’m half English, half Egyptian”

Pediatrician: Nods knowingly “Ok, good. See you next time!”

I guess my ridiculous answers come from the fact that I am OBVIOUSLY not French!

The experience reminded me of a clip from the movie Grown Ups … Check it out …

Are Hospital Goodie Bags Sabotaging Breastfeeding?

Are the freebies you are given in hospital when your baby is born sabotaging breastfeeding?

Some people are campaigning for hospitals to remove the freebies new mother’s are given when they have their baby.

Free things for the babySo, what are usually contained in these goodie bags?

  • Free diapers
  • Free samples of baby wash
  • Formula samples and/or coupons
  • Coupons for other baby products

Some say the formula coupons and samples are sabotaging breastfeeding. I’m not so sure.

I could argue that giving free diapers is also sabotaging cloth diapering. Is it?

As new mothers we do have the right to choose. We also have the obligation to educate ourselves about breastfeeding.

Personally I was given a lot of formula coupons – in France formula feeding is the norm. Did these coupons ever entice me? No. Did I keep them? No.

Did I read about breastfeeding? Yes.

Even in France where the number of women breastfeeding past 3months is the lowest in Europe (in spite of having the highest birthrate) there were free classes provided by midwives on breastfeeding leading up to the birth.

We have access to information. A lot of information.

Shouldn’t we be educating pregnant mothers about breastfeeding rather than blaming the hospitals for giving goodie bags?

Breastfeeding Freedom

freedom to breastfeedFrom the day BiP was born my intention to breastfeed was often met with a vast number of questions. The one that has been asked repeatedly is “Isn’t it so demanding? Don’t you want your FREEDOM?”

I know I am not alone. Many women are asked about their compromised freedom when having a baby – as if breastfeeding is to blame.


Now BiP is close to 17months (and YES, still breastfeeding) I feel it’s time I talked about the freedom TO breastfeed.

FREEDOM POINT 1 – It’s just there!

My breasts are with me all the time, best part is they don’t need sterilising, mixing or shaking (even if BiP does try the last 2).  I feel I have more freedom breastfeeding than I would bottle feeding because I don’t have to worry about temperatures, water, sanitation etc … Kinda kills that killer advice “Oh, just give the bottle – it’s SO much easier”.

FREEDOM POINT 2 – It’s MY decision!

I made a decision TO breastfeed. What is it to you? My breasts, my baby, my choice? I don’t chirp in about how you feed your baby so why do you do insist on doing it to me?

FREEDOM POINT 3 – Maybe I want to go out WITH my baby!

My favourite question when BiP was about 3 months old was, “don’t you want to go and spend a weekend away with you husband?” – Ummm yes, that would be lovely but I WANT my baby with me. Breastfed or not.

Personally I still can’t imagine leaving BiP for more than a few hours at a time but guess what? That’s MY choice.

So there you have it – so many see breastfeeding as something that holds women back – what about letting us be and accepting the fact that we are FREE to choose to breastfeed?

What would you add to this list?


10 Truths about Breastfeeding a Toddler

www.growingyourbabyThis post was inspired by Jessica from TheLeakyBoob’s post on Toddler Breastfeeding – it was great to realise that I was not alone in finding breastfeeding a toddler an emotional roller-coaster; it’s harder than nursing a baby, it’s perhaps more rewarding and it really means you have to defend your position more than ever.

Many see it as crunch time for us … BiP is almost 15 months old, she has been walking for 4.5 months, she now suddenly has 12 teeth, she eats more than I do (seriously) and she can say “Mama”, “Daddy” and “A-BOOB”! Time to wean I hear people say! Well, I‘ve said we’ll wean when we want to before – here are 10 straight up home truths about breastfeeding a toddler:

1 – Your clothes need to be more easy access than ever as your begin to realise just how strong your dermined toddler is to get to the source. Necklines on your tops will be stretched beyond recognition if you do not oblige.

2 – Be prepared for raised eyebrows and the “you are STILL breastfeeding?” when you nurse in public.  You can tell people that it’s actually recommended by the World Health Organisation to breastfeed for 2 years.

3 – To prepare yourself for breastfeeding a toddler you might consider watching wrestling matches for some interesting holds. Exciteable toddlers want to run, jump, talk, laugh and feed at the same time. That’s a lot for one small nipple to handle.

4 – Get ready for the possible social embarrassment of your toddler asking to be fed. I have memories of one little girl screaming “I want BREASTY” in the middle of a supermarket. By now it’s too late to change the word for it – BiP already calls it “A-BOOB” and if I don’t give it to her I get “A-Boob-oob-oob-boob!” No one in our area of France knows what she is saying but I do find it funny and incredibly cute.

5 – The level of cute is so hard to describe. When BiP know’s she’s going to get her “A-Boob” she gasps in delight, sometimes even grabs the side of her head with excitement – It melts my heart. Every. Single. Time.

6 – It’s the best first aid kit in the world! Every toddler falls, some falls are more spectacular than others but one thing is guaranteed, no amount of cuddles, singing, distraction or chocolate will work as fast as the breast at calming a hurt toddler.

7 – Tantrum Free Zone … well, kind of. One of the best way of avoiding tantrums is to create a diversion or a distraction – yes, parenting a toddler seems to involve skills of a magician, a circus monkey and an acrobat. If you see a tantrum on the horizon breastfeeding your toddler can often avoid it altogether.

8 – Breastfeeding your toddler will not make them clingy or “needy”. What’s the big rush to make them super independent before their 2nd birthday anyway?

9 – Contrary to what many say, after 12 months your breast milk does NOT turn to water. The nutritional properties change but as KellyMom reports 448ml of breast milk contains over 60% of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C plus many other nutritional benefits.

10 – Running around after a toddler is exhausting! But! Be prepared that every time you sit down your toddler will think that it’s time to feed!  Honestly, if it means I get to sit quietly for a few minutes let’s do it … here’s your A-Boob!

There are obviously so many more benefits to breastfeeding a toddler as outlined by La Leche League International but these are just some personal ones. At the end of the day our children grow up so fast – the bond a breastfeeding mother has with her child, no matter how long the journey is, is so special – for those of us who choose to continue remember, it’s YOUR child and YOUR breast.

What are you thoughts on breastfeeding a toddler? Have you done it? Are you doing it? Would you do it?

Love Bites: Breastfeeding and Teeth

teething and breastfeedingFunny that in the same week that I received the comment “Oh you are still breastfeeding? But, umm, she has TEETH?” that I also received an email from a university friend asking for my take on dealing with teeth and breastfeeding. So, I guess, it’s a important topic. I have been told, on numerous occasions, that once BiP got teeth, breastfeeding, must, I mean, MUST come to an end. Ask why and I guarantee there is no viable answer. One thing is for certain; it changes things.

When do babies get their first tooth?

This is a spectrum – the average age is 6 months but it can range anywhere from 4 months to as late as 18 months.

Won’t breastfeeding a baby with teeth hurt?

Yes, it can. It probably will hurt but no baby intends to bite you (well, not usually, BiP sometimes bites if I doing something outlandish like talk to someone whilst she is nursing)!

How do I deal with teeth, biting and breastfeeding?

The key thing to remember is that NO baby intends to hurt their mother and cut short their breastfeeding journey – I say journey because it really is one!  In reality not all babies bite, it’s just that many do!

So here are my tips to prevent biting:

  • Make sure your baby’s mouth is open wide enough – Once BiP got teeth I realised that she never opened her mouth wide enough in the first place so teeth got in the way.
  • Usually when babies are teething it’s around the same time that they are aware of their surroundings so it might be a good idea to nurse somewhere quiet. Distracted babies can bite.
  • If you baby is teething give a teething toy before a nursing session or let them chew a teething necklace.
  • Make sure you baby wants to feed before offering the breast to minimise biting (this might sound awful but I found that I usually got bitten when BiP wasn’t really in the mood to nurse).

Remember: A nursing baby CANNOT feed and bite at the same time!

What do I do if my baby bites me?

Most say to ignore it but if the bite is anything like I’ve experienced that is next to impossible.

  • I’ve found that taking BiP off the breast and explaining that biting means that we won’t be able to continue is usually very effective (BiP at 6m would cry her eyes out during this explanation and then nurse correctly).
  • Sometimes, you’ll need to move somewhere quieter to concentrate on your baby (BiP would bite if I was talking to someone or playing with my phone).
  • Abandoning that nursing session for a while is also a solution especially during transitions between dropping feeds.


At the end of the day it is important to remember that no baby, that I have ever heard of, has bitten a mother’s nipple off – although it may feel like it is possible! I know with BiP I have held my breath and looked down to be shocked that my nipple was still attached!!!  Yes, it can hurt. Yes, you can end up with cuts. Dig out that lanolin and air dry when you can. It is not uncommon, and usually painless, to have teeth marks on your breast post feed once you have the biting under control. I promise it’s a short lived stage and there is NO reason to wean your baby just because they have teeth.

For more information check out KellyMom (this site should be in your bookmarks already!)
What are you tips on dealing with breastfeeding a baby with teeth?