The Wonders of an Afternoon Nap

A fortnight ago, after BattleKid and I had been swimming, we had brunch with BattleDad before having our usual shower and getting into comfy pj’s. Normally it’s around 1pm at this stage and I get BattleKid into his cot for a nap. However, on this occasion, as I got dressed after our shower, BattleKid was quietly watching Curious George on our bed so I climbed onto our bed next to him for some cuddles. He was enjoying George and I enjoyed stealing cuddles.

After about 15 minutes I started feeling sleepy so I shut my eyes, just for a minute. I fell asleep and unbeknownst to me, so did BattleKid. At 2 o’clock BattleDad, who had been on the bed with us, got up and stirred me. He said BattleKid was asleep.

Sunday afternoon nap
Picture courtesy of BattleDad

We decided to move BattleKid to his cot gently and BattleDad insisted I get back into bed for a nap. Although I had things I wanted to do I didn’t argue and, as I climbed in, I made BattleDad promise to set his alarm for one hours time or I might not sleep that night. I fell asleep straight away into a deep sleep for one and a half hours until BattleDad woke me at 3.30. BattleKid was still asleep which was good. I got up to sort dinner amongst other things.

That hour and a half was much-needed and much appreciated, and it reminded me of the afternoons during my maternity leave when I’d climb into bed around 2pm with BattleKid, him in his Sleepyhead™ pod beside me, and we’d snooze for anything between one and a half to three hours! It was the only way I could get him to nap for longer than 30 minutes at a time. I’d hold his hand or place my hand on his chest and we’d both drop off to the soothing sounds of Ewan. He’d wake up for a feed well rested with a refreshed mum.

5 months old BattleKid
5 months old BattleKid napping in his Sleepyhead pod.

I miss those times. Those afternoon naps were much-needed and well-earned during my maternity leave. So to have BattleKid fall asleep with me again in my arms on my bed was a lovely treat. And what do you know, we did it again last weekend, only this time mum and son napped for two and a half hours on mum’s bed! It’s moments like this I savour as they don’t happen very often. Or do they? Is this the start of a regular occurrence? We shall see.

How we celebrated BattleKid’s First Christmas

BattleKid was eight days off his first birthday last Christmas and although he won’t remember it we went all out. And despite it only being the three of us, as we live away from our family, I’m so glad we made as big a fuss as we did.

It all started with decorating the tree when my sister was visiting the first weekend in December. BattleKid was mesmerised with the lights and baubles and that’s when it started to feel like Christmas was coming for me.

On Christmas Eve we started the tradition of a Christmas Eve Box which is making a reappearance this year and many more to come. We put BattleKid’s first ever decorations on the tree and after his bath we put his new pyjamas on from his box and took some pictures before putting him to bed, ready for the big man in the red coat to hopefully visit.First Christmas 2

First Christmas 1

First Christmas 3

On Christmas morning we woke to find a small stocking of presents at BattleKid’s bedroom door. He had his morning bottle and then opened his stocking presents before we ventured downstairs to see if anything had been left in our sitting room. And what do you know, Santa had visited our house for the very first time.First Christmas 4

Santa left a trike and some other presents and we enjoyed helping BattleKid open them in between taking pictures to share with family back home in Ireland. We had a full Irish breakfast, a must in our house before opening more presents.First Christmas 5

Soon after I got cooking in the kitchen, making us our first ever family Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. BattleKid was weaned at this stage so he tucked in and ate really well much to our delight. After dinner we had a family walk with the BattleDogs before BattleKid had his nap while BattleDad and I watched some Christmas TV on the sofa.First Christmas 6

Once BattleKid woke we Skyped our families, sharing stories of presents and comparing dinners. It was lovely to see everyone via Skype. Isn’t modern technology a wonderful thing. After donning our Christmas pyjamas my husband gave BattleKid his bottle while I started to fill in our Christmas journal, another tradition we’ve started. It is a memory book in which you detail the festive season for ten years and is a wonderful keepsake to look back on in the future.

After BattleKid was put to bed we watched some more Christmas TV before going to bed early ourselves. No staying up late drinking wine for us anymore as we are teetotal these days.

We had a really lovely first Christmas together as a family and we all thoroughly enjoyed the day. We have lovely memories, documented by both pictures and our journal, and in Mum and Dads memories, ready to share with BattleKid in years to come. How did you celebrate your baby’s first Christmas?

Precious Moments with Ty Hafan – Santa

Ty Hafan, one of the UK’s leading paediatric palliative care charities, has been running the Precious Moments Campaign this festive season and you can read all about it on their website. I was privileged to be asked to be a blog ambassador for this campaign and this week sees this fantastic campaign draw to a close. Last week I wrote about my Upbeat moments and this week’s word is very, very apt for the week that is in it – Santa!

This weekend BattleKid saw Santa no less than two times, once at his nursery Christmas party and once with friends at the Pontypool and Blaenavon Railway Santa Experience. And I have to say it was a lovely experience too.

Santa 1We met our friends in the car park and had a quick cuppa in the cafe before boarding our train that would take us to see Santa. We were last to go in and see Santa as we had stopped to talk to the Elves who had been driving the train up the tracks for us. And what a lovely man. Santa was great, asking had BattleKid been a good boy and what he wanted for Christmas, at which stage BattleKid started talking to him with a little bit of prompting from mum. He got a lovely personalised present before we rushed back to the tracks to get the train back to the station. Santa 2

Santa 3

It was a lovely afternoon with our friends, made all the more special by meeting a really, genuinely lovely Santa. I’m sure he will be visiting the BattleHousehold in a few days time!

Did you know that Santa also visits the children and families who use the Ty Hafan facilities, which I found are absolutely amazing on my visit to the hospice last month! Ty Hafan try to ensure that families whose children have life-limiting illnesses get a chance to create precious moments with their children and that is what this campaign has been about. Although time may not be on the family’s sides, Ty Hafan ensure it is quality time, filled with joy and laughter, and that each family that visits their facilities get the chance to create memories to treasure forever, including meeting Santa himself. From music therapy, to messy play, to enjoying a swim together in the amazing hydrotherapy pool at the Ty Hafan hospice, Ty Hafan cater for everything the family and child should need to ensure precious moments are created to last a lifetime.

Meeting santa
Source: Ty Hafan

However, Ty Hafan need to raise £4 million a year to keep their wonderful hospice and facilities open, which is free, for those families that need them. They only receive 4% of their funding from the government, the rest is raised through public donations. It is through campaigns like this that they hope to raise awareness and some much-needed funds to keep their hospice and facilities going.

A gift of just £15 can can pay for a family to have an hour of outreach play therapy, £15 could also pay for half an hour of physiotherapy to ease a child’s pain and £23 could pay for an hour of support for a family. If you’d like to make a small donation to Ty Hafan, you can do so via their donations page at www.tyhafan.org/precious. You can get involved by posting your pictures of Santa on social media using the #preciousmoments hashtag and ensuring you tag @tyhafan so they know you are taking part.

To find out more about what the #preciousmoments campaign and how you can get involved, please visit the Ty Hafan website or one of their social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram). If you are a fellow blogger why not get involved by writing a post that involves the word Santa, ensuring you use the #preciousmoments hashtag and tagging @tyhafan in your broadcasting.

Elektra Cloud9 Nap Mat: Review

I was recently contacted by the lovely Jessica of Elektrabub to see if I’d be interested in reviewing the Elektra Cloud9 Nap Mat, a product she is very proud of and one she uses daily herself. I hadn’t come across it before but as soon as I checked it out on the Elektrabub website and saw what it was, I responded with a big fat yes!

The Elektra Cloud9 Nap Mat was designed by a mum with the busy parent in mind. It is a 3-in-1 sleeping unit that is perfect for children in daycare/nursery, for sleepovers and for naps anytime, anywhere, making it perfect for travelling too.Elektra Cloud9 Nap Mat 1

Elektra Cloud9 Nap Mat 2

The Elektra Cloud9 Nap Mat has a really useful all-in-one design with carry handles and buckles which make it really easy to roll, clip and carry. It is quilted with a comfy mat, soft luxurious pillow and a lovely soft blanket all in one handy, portable pack. The pillow is a high quality pillow, which I can vouch for, and can be gentle machine washed alongside the mat itself. The outer quality polyester fabric is used to give it durability and stain resistance, handy for when toddlers are dragging it around with them, and the inner fabric of the blanket is 100% cotton making it lovely and soft, perfect for napping toddlers. It also comes in two designs: blue dinosaurs or pink teddy bears, and we received the blue dinosaurs design.Elektra Cloud9 Nap Mat 4

Elektra Cloud9 Nap Mat 3The mat measures 52 x 112 cm and can be used from birth to 5 years of age, although I would say this is more suited to children over 1 years of age. The pillow really is high quality and even made me feel sleepy when I put my head on it while BattleKid and I were road testing it! Elektra Cloud9 Nap Mat 5

Although BattleKid hasn’t napped in the Elektra Cloud9 Nap Mat, it came in really useful two weeks ago when he was ill. It helped to keep him quiet and rested on our couch, and so is perfect for helping rest poorly toddlers!Elektra Cloud9 Nap Mat 6

I really like the design of this Nap Mat. It is very well thought out, cleverly designed and rolls back up really easily making it truly portable. The dinosaur design is lovely and the inner fabric of the blanket really is lovely and soft, making it a really comfortable place for a napping toddler or child. It can even be personalised with your child’s name if you plan on them taking it to daycare/nursery or for sleepovers, which is a lovely added little touch. Elektra Cloud9 Nap Mat 7

What I love about the Elektra Cloud9 Daycare/Travel Nap Mat:

  • Great design.
  • Easy to fold out and back up.
  • Great buckles and carry handles making it truly portable.
  • Soft inner 100% cotton blanket and high quality, removable pillow make it perfect for a napping toddler (or mum).
  • Outer polyester material make it durable and easily to keep clean.
  • Machine washable.
  • Two great designs to choose from.
  • Can be used up to the age of 5.

What I don’t like about the Elektra Cloud9 Daycare/Travel Nap Mat:

  • Nothing.

As I’ve said already I really like the Elektra Cloud9 Nap Mat. BattleKid has taken to resting in it while poorly and often asks for it to be rolled out for him to lie in while watching his favourite TV programmes. I am planning on taking it to our friends house this Christmas Day for him to nap in after Christmas dinner. I can see this becoming a firm favourite of his in the years to come, especially for chilling out in while watching TV in the living room. No doubt he will soon be nodding off in it too! It really is a great product and one I’m really happy to have had the opportunity to receive and review.

As I said at the start of this post, I had never come across anything like this before Jessica contacted me. I’ve since only seen something very similar on Amazon but that design does not have a high quality pillow, nor is the inner blanket of that one made of 100% cotton. Therefore, I think the Elektra Cloud9 Nap Mat is of a higher quality than the other one I’ve seen available. It normally retails for around £45.00 but Elektrabub have regular sales so keep an eye on the Elektrabub website for sales details and prices.

So if you are thinking about investing in a portable nap mat, you will not go wrong with the Elektra Cloud9 Daycare/Travel Nap Mat. BattleKid and I highly recommend it!

*We received the Elektra Cloud9 Daycare/Travel Nap Mat for the purpose of this review. However, all the opinions of the product expressed in this review are my own, from my own experience of using the product.

When to make the big move from cot to bed?

BattleKid is almost two and is still sleeping in his cot in his nursery which we lovingly decorated when I was 8 months pregnant. We went for a simple Cheeky Monkey theme and bought blue linen and curtains, a matching light shade and decorated his walls with our Doug Hyde pictures.

I thoroughly enjoyed getting our boy’s nursery ready for his arrival and although it was another eight months until he slept in his own room, it still gave us so much joy and pleasure to see it finally finished. However, I am starting to wonder when it will be time to change his room from a nursery to a little boy’s room.

BattleKid still sleeps in his Grobags and hasn’t attempted to climb out of his cot yet which is part of the reason we haven’t made the move to a toddler bed yet. I guess being in a baby sleep bag has meant he hasn’t really had the chance to get his leg up to even attempt to climb out, as they can be quite restrictive in that sense, and in part I’m glad as it has meant he has remained my baby boy for longer than I had first anticipated.

However, I know the big move from baby cot to toddler bed can only be around the corner seeing as he is approaching two and it’s got me thinking about decorating his room. But I had no idea where to start until I came across the homify website.

The homify website has a huge range of girls bedroom ideas and boys too!

quarto da menina : Country style nursery/kids room by Espaço do Traço arquitetura

They cater for everything from gorgeous pink bedrooms for little princesses, to racing-inspired rooms for boys with a love of cars or bikes (definitely up our street), to clean yet modern spaces for teenagers with both bedroom and office space all rolled into one. Each room on the website is well designed and thought out.

Mediterranean style nursery/kids room by ZAWICKA-ID Projektowanie wnętrz

Homify, a mix between home and modify, is an independent platform which connects the end-user (us, the general public) to a host of professionals across the United Kingdom including architects, interior decorators and designers. Their aim is to connect those looking for unique and bespoke rooms with the professionals who can help.  With such a huge range of girls and boys bedroom ideas I’m sure we can find some great ideas to help us create the perfect toddler bedroom when we come to redecorate BattleKid’s room in the near future.

*In collaboration with homify. Pictures used are from the homify website and are used with their permission.