Ali is a makeup artist by trade and a mum of 1 and half (currently baking number 2 due in Oct!) so when she’s not knee-deep in foundations and highlighters she’s enjoying her time with her 2.5yr old son.
What were your first thoughts and feelings after your baby was born?
Immense relief and a wave of this euphoric love that I can’t even begin to describe. My little one was born a month early so his safe arrival was more a priority than any consideration of my own health and safety.
This was almost immediately followed by “Your wanting to stitch WHAT?” And I can’t believe I’m now solely responsible for this tiny human.
Did you settle quickly into a routine with your baby? If so, do you think it worked well for you?
Yes and no. As he was premature, there was a strict routine I needed to stick to in terms of his feeding times being every 3 hours. However, after a month of his weight coming along nicely, I adapted a loose version of a routine that was recommended in a baby book and honestly it was the best thing I could have done and worked brilliantly.
How soon after your baby was born did you begin to swaddle your baby?
At the 2 month mark I swapped the wraps for the swaddle (and I wish I had done it sooner to be honest) as he was such a Houdini and would wriggle one or two arms out to try and self soothe, which I didn’t know at the time but became evident when we started him in the swaddles and he would suck one of his wings where his hand was and started to self-settle on his own. I actually tried to give him a dummy to help with his sleep and self-soothing but it would fall out every time and subsequently wake him up. Little did I know this immediately stopped as soon as I transitioned him into swaddles.
How did you come to know about LOVE TO DREAM™?
After MUCH late-night feed googling through forums and blogs on other parents experiences with sleep patterns, self-soothing and heat regulated sleeping attire I discovered there were a lot of other parents using LOVE TO DREAM™ swaddles and I read nothing but great reviews about them so I decided to jump on the band wagon.
Do you feel like using the LOVE TO DREAM™ range of products has made a positive impact on you and your baby's sleep?
Absolutely. For many reasons but for the most part being that it allows some regulated free movement of my babes arms and hands. I’ve found the natural position my babe liked to be in was his hands and arms up - not restricted like a cocoon across his stomach and unable to self soothe on his own. The swaddle allowed my babe to naturally move his arms and hands during his sleep to a certain degree where I found he would instinctively put his hands to his mouth to suck and give his eyes a little rub as he drifted off to sleep. The swaddle gave enough restriction to stop the jerky movements which would usually wake him up but regulate a slower movement which we have ourselves as adults when trying to get comfortable in our sleep!
What is the one thing you wish you'd known before you became a parent?
The amount of time (and sleep time at that!) you spend researching and investing in products, ideas and routines to make your babe comfortable and happy since coming earth side. It never stops.
I literally still find myself daily looking at new and old products to help my babe as he grows.
Three words to describe life before parenthood and three to describe life after becoming a parent?
Before: Quiet, straightforward and indulgent
After: Extraordinary, vulnerable and magical
What is the one piece of advice you’d offer new parents or parents-to-be?
That not everyone has the natural “mum or dad instinct” as soon as the babe pops out which is so okay and not to be too harsh on yourself for not having this straight up!
Not all of us are natural superstars where they can immediately hop on a bike and start peddling and balancing first go. It’s hard work, it can take time to figure out what your “gut feeling” actually is and to be secure on the decisions you make for you and your small babe.
Everyone will have their two cents on what works for them and what they do with their own family, just know there is more than one right answer or solution. It’s okay to do things different to those next to you and to be secure in that.
What are your top 5 essential items to have ready to go when baby arrives?
- A SWADDLE UP™! Trust me. Just buy it.
- Onsies - and ones that zip both ways for easy nappy changing on the bottom half.
- Bubnest. These are a magical portable womb like bed carriers which pairs brilliantly with the swaddle. Your babe will sleep anywhere with this.
- ALL the wipes.
- Wine. You’ll need this some nights
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