Like sister, like sister

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I always thought I would never compare my children. After all, they’re two entirely separate beings, with different personalities, interests and most probably skills. How could I compare them? And being a younger sister myself I was never a fan of always being known as “x’s sister”.

But when I was pregnant with C I started thinking about it again. In my head, G was a perfect blend of my husband and I. Surely our offspring would inevitably be like, well, G?

And after C arrived I found myself comparing purely so I could better understand what made her unique and different to her big sister.

But there are times when I just have to accept that C and G have both come from the same tree. Like when I put C in this hand me down dress and realised there was a picture on the wall of G wearing the same dress, at around the same age.

C might have slightly longer and slightly less blonde hair, and have her own distinctive personality traits, but there’s really no denying that they are sisters, is there?

Play Together Nicely Now

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One of the things I’m looking forward to with C is her being old enough for the girls to play together. Whilst I’m loving that G is old enough to be independent whilst I’m sorting out the baby, it will be lovely to see them enjoying each other’s company, and yes, also enjoying the peace and quiet for me, however short lived.

I’m sure there’ll be plenty of tantrums, tears and shouting ‘I hate you’ at each other in the years to come, probably over who stole whose clothes from the wardrobe. But I’m hoping those moments will be outweighed by sisterly affection and afternoons spent entertaining each other with games of make believe, dressing up and dancing.

I got a sneak peek at this idyllic future this morning when G decided to turn C’s playmat into a den where they could play together. Easily done, with a blanket over the top (who needs fancy toys anyway).

So far, so very cute.

Then G decided she wanted to play in the den on her own.

“Shall I move C?” I asked her.

All too excitedly she called back “yes Mummy, get rid of C! Get rid of her!”

Idyll, shattered.

Playmat

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At 4 weeks old, and despite still being smaller than she was at birth, C is starting to become much more alert and aware of what’s going on around her.

With real periods of ‘awake time’ we’ve pulled out the bag of baby toys to entertain her with. Last night was her first proper try on her baby gym playmat, and she loved it, despite her big sister appropriating half of the toys for her tea parties and pirate treasure hunts.

It’s now that she’s more alert that we can really start to see the similarities (and differences) between C and her big sister G at this age. Whilst I’m resisting the urge to spend my time comparing them, it’s fascinating to think about how these two little girls will grow up – how much of their personalities and interests will they share as siblings, and how much will be uniquely ‘them’?

Looking back I can see that many of G’s interests began in her early weeks and months – her love of dancing, perhaps from those early days fascinated by the colours and music on Strictly Come Dancing, her liking of dogs signalled by the walks in her pram where she could spot a dog at 100 paces, and, of course her love of food, say no more!

It’s a little early still to notice these interests in C, but I’ll be watching closely I’m sure. And enjoying every moment of her both awake and – importantly for my sanity of course – fast asleep!

Five Best Products For Newborn Babies

Having done this all before, I should probably know all there is to know about newborns, but the truth is I’d totally forgotten 90% of what was useful first time around.

So in an effort to be helpful to others, here’s my round up of the five most useful products for the early days of having baby at home.

Morrck All Season Baby Hoodie

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There’s nothing worse than trying to put on / take off layers of clothing on a squirmy newborn baby. And once they’re asleep the last thing you want is to be waking them up worried they’re too hot or too cold. Not to mention the fact that padded coats and snow suits are a big safety risk in car seats.

The Morrck hoodie slips onto your car seat or pushchair, with straps to safely use with a three or five point harness, and means you can quickly and easily adjust the number of layers over baby without disturbing them, or dropping blankets on the floor. It’s brilliant for nipping in and out of shops and shopping centres, and has enough layers to keep baby cosy even if it’s snowing outside.

Moby Wrap

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Newborns like to be with you as much as possible, and who can really blame them? They’ve spent 9 months growing inside you, sheltered from noise, temperature and hunger, then suddenly are thrust into a bright , noisy and downright terrifying world.

Before you feel as though you will never get a moment to do anything for yourself ever again, a sling can be a really worthwhile purchase, and the Moby Wrap is a popular choice both for ease of use and flexibility to use with different holds etc – I’ve only just started using it but already much prefer it to my previous ring sling, which never seemed particularly comfortable for baby.

It takes a little getting used to when tying it on, but there are plenty of YouTube videos to show you how,and once tied you can leave it on you until you’re ready to put baby in, even putting the wrap on yourself before getting in the car for example, or keeping it on all day and popping baby in and out as required.

Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Cream

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If you’re going to breastfeed, this is pretty much the only product worth buying!

With all the talk of how natural and easy breast feeding is, it can be a surprise how uncomfortable it can be at first, and Lansinoh is basically like a magic balm to help! The only annoying thing is how difficult it is to get out of the tube if it’s not been warmed up a bit first.

I should add that whilst it can be uncomfortable at first, breast feeding shouldn’t be painful, and pain is usually a sign of a poor latch. There’s lots of support out there either via your midwife or organisations such as the NCT and La Leche League, both of whom have helplines and breastfeeding supporters who will even come out to visit you in person, either at home or in hospital.

MAM Glow In The Dark Night Dummies

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Now I’m not saying that dummies per se are an essential baby purchase, but if you do decide to use a dummy with your baby, these are genius – once you get over the slight weirdness of offering your baby something green and luminescent, that is.

Why are they so useful? Well, after a few nights of minimum sleep, even the seemingly innocuous task of fishing a dummy out of a Moses basket becomes surprisingly onerous, so the soft glow of these soothers suddenly becomes incredibly useful!

RockItTots Big Brother / Sister Tshirt

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Not strictly for baby, but when you have an older sibling to think about, getting them on side early on is a no brainer!

With G currently obsessed with superheroes, we put in a special request for a RockItTots T-shirt saying “Sometimes being a sister is even better than being a superhero”, and gave it to her as a present from baby C when she first visited her in the hospital. RockItTots were more than happy to oblige and it was dispatched quickly, so was here in plenty of time for the (admittedly late) arrival of baby C.

So there you go – my five favourite products for baby, all of which are very much in use with C, who’s now ten whole days old!

All of these products were either bought with our own hard earned cash or given to us by friends, we haven’t been given anything for free or paid / otherwise encouraged to review them!