Up Close & Personal with Anna Wythes from Modimade

Juggling Motherhood with Running a Business

Today I am thrilled to welcome the lovely Anna Wythes, owner of Modimade, to The Nursery Collective Blog. Anna is a mother of two, and recently welcomed her little girl Adhya Devi to her family and the world (and how gorgeous is that name!). Read on as she shares about her recent birth experience and just how she’s managing to juggle being a mama-of-two and running a business!

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BEST OF EOFY!

Our Favourite EOFY Offers!

Is it just me, or is 2017 just whizzing by? I can't quite believe we are already half way through the year, and speaking of time flying, my baby girl turns 3 this week which is totally crazy! As the financial year comes to a close, I am delighted to bring you this round up of amazing EOFY Offers from our lovely Nursery Collective brands, so read on for some fabulous discounts and get ready to shop! All offers are valid until midnight June 30, 2017.

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WHAT IS THE FINNISH BABY BOX CONCEPT?

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Guest Blog: Susanna Heiskanen of Tuutu Baby Box

Did you know that in Finland, expectant mothers are given a special baby box by the state - a starter kit of clothes, baby items and toys that can even be used as a bed. This beautiful tradition dates back to the 1930’s and some even believe it has helped Finland achieve one of the world’s lowest infant mortality rates.

Today on the blog, we have the lovely Susanna Heiskanen, co-founder of Tuutu Baby Box, the first Finnish designed and Australian made Baby Box, sharing with us a little bit more background about this wonderful concept.

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THE EASTER EDIT

Our Favourite Easter Products and Exclusive Discounts!

Easter is just a hop, skip and a jump away and there is so much more available for our precious little ones besides chocolate! (although we love our Easter eggs too!)

We are so excited to bring you our first Easter Edit which is choc-a-block with beautiful and unique Easter themed products available from our wonderful Nursery Collective boutiques. And because we love a good Easter sale, we also have some ah-mazing and exclusive Easter discounts available for Nursery Collective customers...so make sure you read ALL the way through to get the details of which boutiques you can use the code TNCEASTER to grab some amazing discounts and start hop-hop-shopping!

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HOW TO SURVIVE CHRISTMAS WHEN YOU’RE PREGNANT

Guest Blog Post - Ellen "The Stylist Mama"

Christmas is such a joyful time to spend with family and friends, but can sometimes feel a little stressful and overwhelming if you are pregnant, or heaven forbid - about to pop. Add the Aussie heat, and a few too many belly rubs and you are no doubt over it! Follow these little steps to make sure your Christmas is remembered for all the right reasons, after all - I’m sure you'll be spoilt regardless!

Keep hydrated and snack on the Christmas goodies!

Ok, so you can’t indulge in some fancy bubbles, or eat anything raw or questionable (goodbye seafood and the ham!) but you can snack on lots of hot meats, and of course the veggies, and no doubt, most of the desserts! Think of the positives, like how fresh you'll be feeling over the days that follow - no hangover here!

Mix Christmas up!

So obviously there will be no “unsafe” foods on your plate, but why not use that as a great excuse to change the menu and enjoy a really traditional Christmas lunch or dinner? Research cookbooks and blogs for some interesting recipes - think egg nog, Christmas Turkey and Roast Pork, and Apple pie, or a gingerbread house for dessert!

Gift Ideas!

Depending on where you are at in your pregnancy will determine the gifts you receive from your loved ones. My one and only piece of advice… Be SELFISH! Go for it, while you can afford the time! Ask for massage vouchers, mani/pedi vouchers, maternity bars, hair salon vouchers... anything that makes you feel divine! Maybe even a magazine subscription or a few new “travel size” perfumes, something fresh and exciting will always pick you up on your yucky days!

Keep the pressure off yourself!

Finally, take it easy! If it’s all too much to think about hosting or going to a Christmas get-together, keep it low key and book a restaurant, or better yet - get away. A small little road trip or short plane flight to somewhere where you can just relax and spend time with your partner is sometimes better then any family Christmas. If you book a restaurant, its a very easy way to entertain and sometimes works out to be more valuable then having leftovers in the fridge for weeks!

Whatever you do, enjoy your Christmas! Remember that very soon your little baby will enter the world and Christmas will become all about them - so take the time to soak up all the excitement and anticipation!

Merry Christmas!
xx
Ellen

Follow Ellen's blog The Stylist Mama a blog destination for all things parenting + fashion + lifestyle. The blog features stories, products and events that appeal to the modern mother, and an insight into life as a first time mama. Based in Brisbane Australia, Ellen Robbins is a full time stylist, lover, and mother of one.
Ellen's social media - Instagram , Facebook and Pinterest

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(The lovely Ellen)

 

 

 

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BABY SLEEP IN THE FIRST YEAR : OUR TOP TIPS!

Getting your baby to sleep can be one of the biggest challenges as a new mum. Because if they don’t sleep, you don’t sleep. And if you don’t sleep, well… lets just say there’s a reason sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture!

When I was a new mum I started out in a completely blissful state with a baby who slept beautifully, only waking once or twice a night to feed. I was smug in the fact that I had a “good baby”. He was sleeping well and so was I. I felt invincible. This motherhood lark was easy!

And then everything changed. And went downhill. Fast.

We went from one or two wakings a night to our lowest point where he woke up every 45 minutes. All night long. For MONTHS. And I was lucky if he napped for more than 15-20 mins during the day. I was a complete basket case and would burst into tears at any given minute. My weight dropped well beyond what would have been welcome post baby, and my family feared for my sanity. But with some help from a sleep consultant, we finally managed to get back on course and eventually I had a baby who slept well, woke up happy, wasn’t overtired, actually napped, and who finally “slept like a baby”.

And all was right in my world. Not to say it was all smooth sailing from there... Illnesses, sleep regressions and growth spurts would often disrupt our routine, but now I had the tools to get back on track.

(Here's a pic of my little one with his exhausted Daddy!)

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So in todays blog post, we are bringing you some top tips for navigating your way through the highs and lows of baby sleep in the first year! Our lovely contributor Erika Lamour is an Infant Sleep Specialist at The Sleep Dept who has worked with newborns, toddlers, special needs, multiples and everything in between.

Here are her hottest tips around the most FAQ’s for new mums when it comes to baby sleep.

SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT

There are definitely foundations you can set early on to create great sleep habits, but the 0-3 month stage of your baby’s life really should be referred to as the 4th trimester. Babies are making a HUGE transition from womb to world - coming from an environment that is dark, warm and well-nourished to suddenly being exposed to light, different temperatures and hunger. Whilst it’s not a great idea to have your newborn on a time-based schedule, if you make sure your newborn is awake for no longer than 60-75 minutes between sleeps, you are on your way to creating great habits.

DEALING WITH THE 4 MONTH SLEEP REGRESSION

Ah yes... The dreaded 4 month sleep regression where sleeping patterns change and become more like an adults. Your baby's brain has matured, gone are the days where your little newborn could fall into a deep sleep at the drop of a hat. Now, they start to sleep more like us - they begin to go through light and deep sleep cycles. This means that each time your babies sleep cycle goes from deep to light, they will most likely wake up (thats every 40-45 minutes!)

While many parents fear the 4 month sleep regression, it really shouldn't be seen as a regression but more so a developmental milestone, and the best time to implement a sleep program that's right for you and your baby.

PACIFIERS/DUMMIES – YAY OR NAY?

Uh-oh! Paci's are great to settle and soothe newborns, but what happens when you are up 10 times in the middle of the night popping it back into your baby's mouth? The best thing to do is cut it - COLD TURKEY! i know it sounds scary! But if it is being used as a sleep association it WILL wake your baby in the middle of the night and when they can't find it, it may cause confusion and distress. We need to guide babies in having their own sleep associations that they create themselves. All the babies who implement 'The Sleep Dept' program get used to having no paci on night 1! Instead, replace the paci for a small comforter.

SLEEP ASSOCIATIONS

If your baby has a sleep association that means they will not fall asleep without this. The simple answer as to why this might be happening is - they haven't been allowed to figure it out on their own. When we introduce external sleeping associations, such as feeding or rocking a baby to sleep, we take that away from them. We don't want a baby to be falling asleep outside of their cot (easier said than done!). There are gentle ways that this can be done (The Sleep Dept. only uses gentle techniques and no Cry It Out methods). It takes patience and consistency, but the good news is that if we follow a plan 100%, the results are almost immediate, with babies falling asleep on their own and sleeping through by night 2!

HOW TO STOP SWADDLING WHEN BABY STARTS ROLLING?

In my experience, the best way to do this is... COLD TURKEY! It creates less confusion for your baby. I would recommend introducing a small handkerchief sized comforter, so that your baby can keep their hands busy if they need to. Again, most babies get used to having arms out in a night or two.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN MY BABY IS SICK OR TEETHING?

The MOST important thing to remember when your baby is sick, teething or going through a sleep regression is to not introduce anything new - especially a bad habit that you had worked so hard to get rid of in the first place! Of course, your baby needs you in times like these, but the best thing is to go to them. They still need to know its night time. So do what you have to do - feed them, bring a mattress into their room, hug them. Just be sure to stay in their room. All of these things pass, and if a baby is on a solid routine, it will only be a few days before they are back on track.

WHAT ABOUT TRAVELLING WITH MY BABY, WILL THIS RUIN OUR ROUTINE?

We get it. A long flight, lots of waiting around, unfamiliar surroundings - these can all affect your Bub BUT if your little one is in a great routine at home, then they should be able to easily adjust wherever they are in the world. My best tips for travelling with a little one -
1. Throw all your rules out when on the plane. It will be much less stressful for both you and Bub if you do what will easily calm your Bub.
2. Get your baby onto a routine based on the timezone you are in. Babies adjust to different time zones much quicker than adults!
3. Have your baby spend lots of time outside during the day, and start the nighttime wind down approx. 2-3 hours before sleep time.

If I’d known about these tips with my first I definitely would have been better equipped to deal with our sleep issues. I can see now that my problems started with the 4 month sleep regression which started early (yes it’s possible!) and were made worse by sleep associations and dummy use. By the time I had my second I knew what to expect …although she still loves her dummy! (we’ll deal with that eventually!)

If you'd like to grab another EXCLUSIVE HOT TIP from The Sleep Dept, plus some additional parenting tips around Feeding and Nutrition in the First Year, sign up to our mailing list to download your FREE New Mum Checklist Kit! This 27 page e-book has everything you need when planning for baby all in one place!

Sign up NOW!

To get in touch with Erika and her team and find out more about their services CLICK HERE

To shop all things Baby Sleep including blankets, wraps, sleepsuits, cot sheets and sleep pods click here

Brought to you by The Sleep Dept  *not incl in home consultation

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(The lovely Erika Lamour - Infant Sleep Specialist)

 

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FINDING YOUR VILLAGE AS A NEW MUM – ABOUT ME & THIS BLOG

Hey there!

My name is Cathy and I’m a mum of two from Sydney, Australia. My two little loves are M and H (aged 5 and 2) and we are currently living as Aussie expats in the brash, bold city of Dubai. I’m a mum and wife first and foremost, a business owner, a first generation Aussie of mixed heritage, a lover of animals, a foodie, a classical guitarist, a bit of a crystal loving hippy with some OCD tendencies, and I’m completely passionate about my friends and family.

When the opportunity came up for hubby and I to do a stint in Dubai 9 years ago, it was scary and exciting. I had all these ideas about starting a family and living the SAHM life after spending the previous 10 years working and playing hard in the Sydney advertising scene. There was also an underlying sadness to our move, as we had only been married a short while but had recently lost a baby in early pregnancy.

In many ways I wanted a new beginning and a fresh start.

Fast forward three years and I was pregnant with my first….and along the way I had made some incredible friendships with other expat women who had quickly become my closest friends, and my new “family”. It dawned on me that it truly does take a village, not so much to raise a child, but to support a new mum, whilst she’s floundering through lack of sleep, endless nappies, even more endless feeds, trying to keep everything together whilst feeling frustrated, overwhelmed and often lonely…. did I mention the sleep deprivation?

Having a solid support network of women made a huge difference to me as a tired new mum, especially being far from home. And not only as a new mum, but during the 3 years when my husband and I battled with unexplained infertility after our earlier loss. So after my son was born, I had the added “mum guilt” of feeling I had to be grateful for every second because of the struggle to conceive. How could I complain that I was in complete, toe-curling agony in the early days of breastfeeding? How could I let myself cry during those dark months when my son decided he was going to wake up every 45 mins all night long…yes every 45 minutes.

There were days when I hated it. And days when I’d manage to get some sleep and the clouds would clear. When being a mum was the best feeling ever.

Some of my other friends were dealing with colic, reflux and other medical issues. Some had post natal depression, in fact I’m pretty sure I did too during the period my son didn’t sleep.

But our little village banded together and somehow we managed to navigate our way through.

There’s so much about early motherhood that remains unspoken before you have a baby - even the antenatal classes you attend focus on the birth, but not the aftermath. I thought breastfeeding would be completely easy and natural and was shocked to discover it wasn’t. I thought babies slept. I never imagined that being a full time Mum would be so monotonous at times and that I would often feel like I’d lost my identity. And how much strain all of the above could place on a marriage, even one that was rock solid.

But the women around me, my fellow mums and friends helped get me through in a way that only they could. I realised how much I appreciated my own mum. I understood how she must have struggled when she was a new mum in a new country, with my sister and I born only 13 months apart (kudos to you Mum )

Nowadays when I meet a new mum, I do my best to support her and become part of her village, to let her know it’s OK to stumble and vent frustration. I truly believe there’s so much beautiful, strong and feminine energy created when women support each other.

6 years on and two kids later I’m loving motherhood and also running this business.

I want this blog to bring you valuable information to help navigate the journey into motherhood. We are working on some awesome new blog posts about everything from sleep in the first year, to breastfeeding basics and tips, travelling with your baby, hypnobirthing, the importance of self-care as a new mum and much more. Some amazing women who are experts in these areas are collaborating with us – again another tribe of supportive women at work!

The Nursery Collective is a hub where new and pregnant mums can find all their shopping needs in the one place, so at times I will be featuring some of our lovely brands, as well as the stories about the women and mums behind them.

I look forward to sharing with you on this blog. Don’t forget to sign up to our mailing list so you can be the first to hear about our blog posts, as well as receive any special offers. Feel free to comment below if there is anything in particular you want us to blog about.

And lastly, please share this post with any new mums or mums-to-be in your life and become part of their village.

With love
Cathy x

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