Baby Led Weaning essentials

I was tagged in a little chain post on instagram and I thought, to just put my baby led weaning essentials in a short blog post. Most of the children will now naturally wean themselves, especially those children, who have older siblings. Baby-led weaning is an approach to introducing solid food where baby is allowed and encouraged to self-feed solid finger foods instead of receiving purées via spoon. A few tips on how to approach it would be:

  • include your baby in family meals
  • keep food in a separate bowl or plate and dose it to the child’s plate slowly (so they are not overwhelmed and also don’t throw all the food on the floor),
  • allow time to discover the textures and flavour. If they don’t want something today, they might want to try it tomorrow.

Besides a few nice plates and bowls, that is good to have on hand (honestly any bowl will do in my opinion), I think these 3 things down below are super helpful to have, when your baby is starting to eat on their own.

1. A GOOD BIB

I find it easier to put them in a nice good big, that is easy to clean, as you don’t really want to change their clothes after every meal. These ones by Hippychick are really good, as they are light, colourful and easy to clean afterwords. They have a variety of them – for starters the ones with a sleeve would be a good choice. Go check them out here!

2. CUTLERY

As long as they’re short and easy to grasp  – these from OXO are great as their handle is chunky and easy to handle. Have a look here.

3. WIPES

I try to be eco friendly when I can. I found these reusable wipes and I love them! So easy to wipe the children when still sitting in the high chair and not use million of disposable wipes in the process. After use, you just pop them in a wash and have them ready for the next meal (you get so many a pack!). You have the option to put them in a box with water and add some essential oils, but I personally prefer to wet them on the go, with fresh warm water. Such a good thing to have when you have small kids – go see them here!

So this is 3 essentials BUT another essential I would say is a great high chair or a seat for a baby when you first start to wean. I have used so many and they all had some perks and faults but my top two choices would be:

BABY BJORN HIGH CHAIR: so easy to use and clean, light, foldable and super safe! A real find!

INFANT/TODDLER CHAIR: perfect for when you start to wean – you can pop it on a table or a counter and feed your baby (but never leave them alone). It is also super versatile, and you can use it on the floor (put the baby in when you hang the laundry..) or if you want to do some arts and crafts/ sensory play but want the baby contained.

BONUS FAVORITE:

SIPPY CUP: BY Munchkin 

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There is so many things I could add, but those are my too essentials for baby led  weaning. I hope that is helpful to anyone who is starting to wean or thinking about it. I have linked all the products so you can find them! Let me know what you think in the comments down below! Would love to hear all the experience and favourites you have!

Sharing is caring!

The Lovely Nanny xx

 

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EASTER CRAFTS WITH KIDS

Easter means that spring is almost here! Although it might not seem like it, as the snow keeps falling, but first spring flowers are peeking out now, and I hope we can soon bask in beautiful spring sun. Easter is such a good holiday, as there is million thing we can do with kids. Winter blues are nearly gone, so we can use all the colours of the rainbow. Weather you celebrate Easter or no, you can join in on the crafts. Here are some ideas and a look through what we did this year.

FLOWER BOUQUET

We started with this easy but so beautiful flower bouquet. Using yellow and orange thin paper for the flower bit; green ribbed paper for the stems; pink and yellow ribbed paper for decorating the glass vase.  We also needed glue, scissors and green and yellow felt tip pens.

This craft will let children practice shapes (as we used circle and star – sort of) and also cutting them.  It introduces them to different papers and how to cut them. Children love sticking things together with the glue, so they will surely love to do this craft.

You will need equal amount of yellow flowers, orange circles and green stems to be cut out first.

When you cut all the needed shapes, put one flower together with the kid. Ask them how it should go, what do they think. It’s good to visualise it before glueing all together. Than you can just let them do the magic. We have bent the green stems in half, so it gives the flower a little more stability. At the end we just simply decorated the glass vase (recycled yogurt pot!! ♻️) with 3 red and yellow strips and put on a handle – all with paper glue stick. So easy and so beautiful. I think it turned out really nice, and it’s a great easter/spring decoration that totally brightens up the room.

EASTER EGG

This craft is a little more complex but super fun and the result is just so cool. You will need: water balloons, string, white glue, colour paints of your choice (we used red and blue that I than mixed in pink and purple) a little water to add to glue and colour,  plastic plates for the glue colours to go in (and some plastic bags to put them in if you are using the kitchen Tupperware – or you can use disposable plates), spoons to mix the colour and glue together, scissors, old newspaper for protecting the table, and old shirt or paint cover for the kid and some disposable gloves if you want (or you can get your hand messy which is also fun).

Than you start with preparing colours. There is no specific recipe, pour glue on the plate and add colour, than add some water (I would suggest not to much). Cut the string on about 30 cm long (eyeballing it)  – It would be a little better to just use one long string, but  depending on the kids age, you can adjust this, so they don’t get frustrated with a tangled mess.

Put all the pieces of cut string in colours and while they are soaking up the colour, blow balloons up and tie them to a string. It’s great if you have something where you will be able to hang the balloons up while they are drying – we had a lamp over the table witch was perfect, but anything will do. Just make sure you protect the area beforehand and have everything ready for when you finish with them, as your hands will be sticky and gluey.

Than just take a ballon and start placing strings around it as much as you can so the ballon is all covered. Once you are done, hang them up and let them dry overnight. Next morning pop the ballon inside and you will get a beautiful Easter egg decoration.

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For extra special egg put small chocolate eggs in the ballon before you blow it up and than once you pop it there will be chocolate eggs peaking out through the string.

FREE PAINT

Since there was so much oriented activity, I though it might be nice to add a little free bonus activity, where we have just used white paper and finger paint. My only instructions were, to paint something that they think looks like spring. I think activities like that are so important, so we can see the child’s creativity on its own. It is also very calming and it’s really good to use it from time to time, when we do a lot of big projects or when we see the kids are restless. It helps them to gather their thoughts and relax. This beautiful painting is the result and I love it!

 

Easter is such a good time to do arts and crafts with the kids and there is endless possibilities – just peek on Pinterest if you need more inspiration. Hope you liked our ideas, and our end results. We had so much fun doing them and are so happy to share them with you!

Happy Easter everyone!🐰🌸🌼

The Lovely Nanny xx

Travel safe

I have been very lucky to travel a lot. With job, and alone. I wanted to talk about things that I do before and during the travel so I feel comfortable and safe when I’m somewhere new. I do not mind that much when I travel with my job as we are always very much looked after, but when I’m alone, it totally up to me. So if you wish to travel more, but you are unsure to go alone, this might be something you would like to read.

BE PREPARED

  • Travel insurance is just a basic, and very easy to make these days. I usually get one from here or here, depends on what I need (annual or just for a trip).
  • MONEY: ask your bank what is best to do when you are traveling, but so far for me has always worked to get money from the ATM in the country I am visiting – I get a big amount out and than spread it around – leave some in the wallet, some in the safe, some in the suitcase etc. just so you don’t walk around with a bulk of money.
  • Documents: you can leave your documents in the safe or in the locked suitcase so you don’t walk around with them, but only take the ones you will really need (no need to take the whole wallet with all the things!)
  • Chose a good bag you will be walking around with, that has zippers, and its preferably cross body, so you can pull it under your hand in front of your body and keep it safe for those walks with a crowd. I have been really happy with my Radley bag, because it has so many pockets to put in all you need for a day and it is still small enough to not feel too much pressure on your shoulders, but I think anything similar would be great.
  • Know where you are going! Plan how to get from airport to your hotel in advance. with a little google search it is easy to find the best way. I would say depending on your language situation: if you have hand language, always take public airport and save the pennies for something else, if you have lots of language, maybe consider Uber which is still cheaper than other private transports.
  • In the same line as the last point, make a plan what you want to see, check google maps how to get there, if you plan to walk – see the best route, if you take the bus or underground – check how they work, how to get tickets and ALWAYS screenshot the routes you are planing to make so you can refer back to them when you have no data on your phone. That way you will also sort of know where to go and will not look confused –  you will blend in the crowd well and be less of a target for pick pockets.

 

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PACK LIGHT/RIGHT

  • Take only the things you need clothes wise and technology wise. Remember you will have to leave all your big valuables in the hotel.
  • Another useful tip I learned along the way is comfort before beauty. Unfortunately if you don’t have a personal driver and someone to wheel you around than you might need to just use your own feet. And if they do not have appropriate shoes on, they might not be very happy – which will make you unhappy and prevent you from being thing you wanted in a beautiful new city. That said, comfortable shoes can still look really nice! So don’t worry you will still look just as good on your insta posts but you will also be comfortable! Win win! 😁 So far I’m about to try the brand Ecco and Geox as I thought they look really nice and comfortable. Would definitely love some personal recommendations though!
  • Pack multifunction clothes (like a hoodie – useful In the rain, warm and has pockets etc)
  • Plan outfits in advance – to save you space in the suitcase and time in the morning.

 

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USE COMMON SENSE

  • Look around yourself when you are walking on the streets and in crowded places like around attractions
  • Notice other people and what they are doing
  • There is always a lot of police around these days so maybe have an eye on where they are located just in case you ever need them
  • Do not flash money or values around for everyone to see (make sure you zip your bag back when you open it)
  • When you have headphones – have in on low to medium volume so you can still hear what is happening around you! I am obsessed with my new ones – click here if you want to give them a try!
  • Walk confident, like you know exactly where you are and what are you doing. If you don’t maybe walk a little more out of the crowd or sit on the bench in the park and than have a look on the map etc.

 

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THINGS YOU CAN’T TRAVEL WITHOUT

  • Extra phone charger – I love this one.
  • One thing I have in abundance is Lip balm/gloss – I swear by this ones that I found very randomly, and i like them because they smell good and stay on. Your lips can get so dry when you’re traveling so having a decent lip balm helps.
  • COOL TIP : If you swab your nose with a little Neosporin before you leave the house, you will not be nauseous on the road (tested and if surpassingly works for me – I would get nauseous every time I travel) and would cling to San peregrino mineral water like my life depends on it. I’m kind of good now – but I still like the mineral water 😉
  • Good moisturiser for your face is essential  (traveling dries your skin a ton, also because you don’t drink enough). I love love this serum by Caudalie  and a face mask by Aveene. To me they make miracles and they are travel friendly!

 

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So this is about it. I tried to search and link as many products I could find for you to have an example of what I actually use. If you have any questions or thoughts do write them down here in the comments or on instagram. I would love to hear about your experiences and what do you do to keep safe and comfortable on your travels.

Safe travels everyone! xx

More than Inspired

Sometimes it happens, and there is  time in your life when you feel uninspired. At first you’ll feel sorry for yourself, than you’ll feel sorry for yourself a little bit more and than if you are anything like me you will try and strategically plan the way out of your uninspired days.

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Most of the times there is a solution for everything. Many times the solution is letting it go. If you are a planner that might be easier said than done, but there is a always a way. Once you collected yourself you can start thinking about the way forward. Does not have to be complicated and often it will come naturally. These few point can be useful:

  • Take some time off,
  • Go for a walk an let your mind go
  • Most of the times you will get ideas spontaneously 
  • Do what you think makes you happy and be selfish sometimes 
  • It is okay to not know all the answers 
  • You are not the only one who thinks like that
  • Write things down (and let them go)
  • Forgive yourself for not being 100% all the time
  • Let others help you
  • Appreciate the road you have taken so far

 

We are constantly surrounded with so many things that are pulling focus from ourselves. A lot of times we forget to be authentic and just true to what we feel and are. That is okay  and it is normal. But is equally important to stay in the loop with ourself and keep working on that inspiration. Some days we’ll need more work and some days nothing, but as long as we are keep going and fighting for our own happiness, we are on the right path.

Have a great week!

TLN xx

Christmas cookies

I try and do some cooking an baking with kids now and than. It’s a great way to learn patience, measurements, and just the way around life. Cookies are of course the best, because there is so much they can do-making the dough, rolling the dough, pressing the shapes – and they also get to decorate them once they are baked! What a joy!

Look what we were able to do this year!

 

We made the dough together and than rolled it out. I let the kids do as much as possible and we had lots of fun.

 

It is great to watch them when they try and choose all the cookie cutters we have, add things on top and just really enjoy themselves.

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We also had Christmas music on the whole time, and had a little dance party every time in between when we had to wait for one batch to be done.

GRANDMA’S COOKIES

750 g flour 

300g sugar (try using coconut sugar instead of white one)

250g butter

150g cream

4 egg yolks

1ts baking powder 

a pinch of baking soda

Vanilla 

 

Squeeze butter and flour together until it becomes all dry and dusty and there is no more bottle visible. Than add baking powder , vanilla and baking soda. In a separate bowl mix sugar and egg yolks. Also add the cream. Mix dry and wet bowls together and use your hands while doing it! It’s the most fun and the kiddos can join! Bake on 170 for about 11 min (depending on how thick you make the cookies, your owen …but the cookies should be pale when taken out). 

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Decorate them after they are completely cooled down. And don’t forget to eat as many as you can! You can also leave them plain, store them in a tin containers and enjoy them with family 😉⭐️

Until next time…

The Lovely Nanny xx

 

Nanny Survival Guide

Nannying is one of the most wonderful jobs you can have. But it’s also one of more demanding ones, and if you don’t take care of yourself, sooner or later you will burn out.  I did, it wasn’t great, and this is what I learn since.

1. You are as important as the family you look after

Your life, plans and commitments are as real as your bosses. Make sure they know that from the beginning. When you take time off, try to really switch off, so you can come back fresh and recharged.

2. Socialise!

Find friends, other Nannies, which you can rely on, and can make playdates with or coffee dates. Nannying can be such a lonely job, it’s nice to have other grown ups to talk to.

 

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Copyright: The Lovely Nanny

 

 

3. Stay healthy, exercise, meditate

Eat good, heathy food, drink a lot of water and take vitamins. We all know how hard it is to drink enough throughout the day, because most days, you can’t use toilet more than once, and even than a child will be sitting next to you. Exercise is so important if you want to keep up with the little ones, but also, it helps you fight every virus that is coming to get you. I recommend pilates or yoga, as when you work 7-7 with screaming tiny humans, an hour of meditation does wonders. But really, whatever gets you going!

4. Learn to say NO

When you feel overworked, learn to say no. It is hard, but for your own sake, you will have to learn it. Learn to say no, if you already made plans and they ask you for babysitting, do another house chore or working an extra day on the weekend. But also say yes, when you can. It is nice to help out when you are able to. The right family will always appreciate that.

5. Communicate with your bosses

Learn to talk to your bosses even about the difficult stuff. About money, children’s behaviour, holidays, time off and all subjects that normally give you bad anxiety.

6. Stand up for yourself

You are your own lawyer, HR, social worker, cheer squad and support group. You are a grown up, professional who knows what to do in her job, that is why you have been hired – now act like it! When you feel something is not quite right, think about it and than try to come up with a reasonable solution, to present to your bosses. But always stand up for yourself, because if you won’t, no one will!

 

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Copyright: The Lovely Nanny

 

Now I will not say all that is equally easy for every one, but in order to stay healthy and sane, you will have to look after yourself. We all have a certain idea of how the job should be done, but don’t overwork yourself. It’s so easy and so not worth it. Every sane family will want you happy and healthy.

Please let me know what are your top survival tips down in the comments!

As always sharing is caring!

The Lovely Nanny xx

 

CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEAS

If you are super organised, than you are already on to of the Christmas lists and presents. I always like to start early, but no matter how early I start I always have to think really hard what to get my loved ones. We mostly have all we need, so I think it’s nice, if your gift can have a personal touch, if you know how to craft, than that is also a plus.

I thought I’ll write a list of GIFT IDEAS, what I thought would be a nice present this year. My family never got huge Christmas gifts, instead we celebrated St. Nicolas, which happens on 6th of December. Because I’m usually not home that day, I give my gifts to family and friends around Christmas.

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It is really hard to know what people want, but a little tip I picked up along the way is listen to them during the year. If they say something, just make a note, and than you are all set for their gift. If you spent some time with them than that should be easy.

This GIFTS are for normal budget. No matter how much money you have, I believe it’s good to be mindful, and set a certain limit per person, especially if you are buying gifts for a lot of people. I usually tent to go a little overboard with gifts for my loved ones, and there is really no need to, so this year I’m sticking to my plan!

I divided the list between 3 category’s:

BABY and TODDLER:

  • A SOFT TOY: Jellycat animals are my favourite (if you know how to sew you can make to toy yourself like I did a few times), they also have amazing selection of handmade toys on Etsy
  • EDUCATIONAL TOYS: blocks, puzzles, shapes, music toys, kitchen additions – cool food items
  • BOOKS (maybe special editions, or a collection) some of my favourites are Petter Rabbit, Winnie the Pooh, Twas the night before Christmas, Dear Zoo, The Gruffalo…
  • JEWELLERY  BOX you make yourself an fill it up with cute rings and hair clips STAY TUNED FOR THE POST ABOUT HOW TO MAKE IT!

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TEEN:

  • EXPERIENCE: like an escape room, movie tickets they can go with their friends
  • BEAUTY PRODUCTS like hair brush, eyeshadow or hair gel
  • CLOTHES or a gift voucher for a store they love

 

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ADULT:

  • CANDLE is never a miss, especially if someone really likes them
  • TEATRE OR CONCERT TICKETS
  • BEAUTIFUL FRAME you fine in a store, or make it, with a meaningful picture in it (maybe your family picture if you live far apart)
  • PERFUME
  • TEA that is different and hard to get if someone loves tea
  • BOOK that they have been talking about (book is ALWAYS a great gift)
  • SPA voucher to your favourite manicure or pedicure place = you can pair it with funny socks

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SOME EXTRA TIPS:

  • Make an effort with the wrapping! It is super nice to receive a gift that is tastefully wrapped and we all know that kids love the wrapping paper the most!
  • Make your own Christmas cards
  • Add little twinkles and extras that you can find in the store or make at home
  • If you’re giving a book always write a note in the book, to make it extra special
  • You can make your own voucher or just decorate the envelope for it

 

Hope this was helpful. Please let me know you ideas or tricks, how do you wrap gifts, when do you start buying them… I wanna know all!!

Don’t forget sharing is caring!

The Lovely Nanny xx

We need a new title for career NANNIES

I was reading this post on Instagram from a founder of a first class private gym, about how everybody can be a personal trainer, but not every one is a great one. I can see a struggle in that industry, as you don’t really have to do years of studying and you can work as a Personal trainer. That than causes a side effect of having a poorly regulated market of good and bad. And I feel exactly the same about being a Nanny.

I feel discouraged when I talk about my chosen profession and I feel defensive. I’m not sure if anything really helps to say or explain, when people you are talking to, have no idea what it takes to be a great Nanny, that babysitter, Au pair and Nanny are not the same, that actually being a Nanny is a career you have chosen, because you want to, not because you want to have a few years of fun, before you find a real job.

Where I came from, being a Nanny is not really a thing, as state nurseries and kindergartens are available to most population. It’s also not a very well paid, if even a job in most of my friends opinion. Or they are surprised I get paid well and only do that?

I’m not really writing this post to defend or apologise Nannies, but I feel like, the more we talk about it, the more people will know, and realised, it is a job, like any other.

It had its own perks like being able to spend a lot of time outside, sing songs, have cuddles, see the world, enjoy the luxury, but it also have a downside like any other job, like never being able to go to the toilet alone (not even for number 2), eating lunch with someone on your lap or showing it down while they sleep, walk around with clothes full of glue, sparkles and snot, seeing a lot of poop on a daily basis, and if you are a live in Nanny, you can say goodbye to sleeping without interruption (unless you sleep with ear plugs) and having a real privacy.

Some of the Nannies are good, some are just doing it because they are young and want to enjoy the life before settling for a real job, and some are amazingly good. How to distinguish between them, does require a little knowledge about the profession. It also depends on what do you want In your Nanny, and what matters the most to you and your family.

Have you ever feel discouraged when asked what you do? Do you feel the title of your position shall be more according what you do? Like if you are a professional Nanny, temporary Nanny, Babysitter?  There should definitely be some difference between the titles or at least a mixture between Teacher and Nanny? What do you think?

Would love to hear your thoughts on the topic I sort off started.

Sharing is caring 😉

The Lovely Nanny xx