Dotty & Margot’s 2nd Birthday | Rainy Teddy Bear’s Picnic

Back in August Dotty & Margot turned 2. I am only just getting round to blogging their party but I wanted to make sure that I did as I spent so much time making sure everything was perfect and making so many different elements. Unfortunately on the day it was torrential rain – not good for a teddy bear’s picnic but we made the best of it anyway! Scroll down to see our ideas come to life.

20180811_070035.jpg20180811_091111.jpg20180811_092303.jpg20180811_110451.jpg

We decided to make a bean bag toss for the kids to play with. Josh drew and painted a teddy bear on to a stand that my dad made and wrote ‘feed me’ on it.

20180811_110544.jpg

We also put together a biscuit decoration area using ‘2’ biscuits that my mum made. It was definitely a hit.

20180811_105134.jpg20180811_104430.jpg20180811_104109.jpg20180811_104621.jpg20180811_104359.jpg20180811_105731.jpg

We created loads of chalkboard signage, reusing chalkboards from our wedding. I wrote out exactly what I wanted on them and Josh – being the artistic one – drew it all out for me.

20180811_111758.jpg20180811_105700.jpg20180811_110445.jpg

The plan was to have lots of picnic blankets scattered around the garden with loads of teddies on them. The girls’ friends were asked to bring their favourite teddy with them. But due to the rain the blankets all got completely soaked and the kids ended up sitting on a sheet of tarpaulin!

20180811_105711.jpg

I created this teddy bear out of cardboard and made some bow-ties to stick on.

20180811_105807.jpg20180811_112041.jpg20180811_121929.jpg20180811_095340.jpg

We made these teddy bear picnic bags by buying some paper bags on Amazon and adding the circle for the nose and a little bow. Inside was a drink, sandwiches, fruit pouch, teddy bear crisps, raisins, cheese and a teddy bear biscuit.

20180811_115922.jpg20180811_105745.jpg20180811_111748.jpg

 

Despite the rain the girls had a fabulous birthday and everyone enjoyed it! I did find the whole process very stressful and I don’t think I will go to that much effort for their third birthday as the stress of the party really took away from my enjoyment of the day.

My new venture! | Going back to uni |

So this is an exciting blog post to write! Tomorrow I’m starting my new adventure… I’m going back to school! Or rather uni, to do a Masters Degree!

My MA is in publishing at Plymouth Uni and it’s all about… publishing! My passion is writing (hence this blog) and my biggest desire is to get a job in that field. So something along the copywriting, editing or marketing route. Obviously I’m not particularly experienced in these areas which is why the Ma is important. It will teach me many skills but also give me the necessary experience to get a job that I want in the future (there’s a work experience module that I’m so excited about!)

I’m definitely excited but nervous too. I know I can do the work – I’m not worried about that. I mean I got a first class in my undergraduate and although I know it’ll be more challenging I feel I have the capacity to do it. My main concern is how it will fit around the girls – of course they have to be my main focus so I am nervous about how I’m going to work it around them. I’m also sad because I’m not going to be with them 24/7 too – I’m in uni 2 days and they will be in 1.5 days at nursery and half a day with my parents. I know they will thrive but I’ve been their main carer for so long!

Anyway that’s my thoughts! I’ll let you know how I get on!

How I have finally learnt to love my body | Body positivity, intuitive eating and self love | Kate and the Twins

Over the years I have shared a lot of my story in regards to body love, eating disorders and exercise. I will leave a list of blog posts related to this one at the bottom so you can check them out if you wish.

Over the years I’ve found loving myself really challenging but now, finally I feel that I’ve come to a place where I am truly happy with myself and my body. Well, most of the time anyway. Of course I still have wobbles and days when I don’t feel great but for the most part I’m doing really well and I wanted to share my top tips in reaching a stage of self love with you guys!

1. Diversify your feed

By this I mean follow all different types of people. Follow fat bodies, thin bodies, middle bodies, disabled bodies, black bodies, white bodies and everything else in between. Unfollow the people who make you feel crap about your body. Don’t just follow people who fit in to society’s idea (aka slim). Now there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being slim but not everybody is and that’s ok, but if all you see every time you check Insta are bodies that are not even close to how you look then you’re not going to be very happy. I also think it’s important to follow people who are a similar size to yourself and are rocking their body, wearing amazing clothes and practising self-love. Some of my faves are @midsizecollective @stylemesunday @effyourbeautystandards @bodyposipanda and sooo many more.

2. Ditch the diet

Diets do not work. It is a proven fact. If diets did work we would all be skinny by now but the fact is they don’t. Only between 3-5% of people who lose weight on a diet will actually keep the majority of the weight off. Diet companies such as Slimming World, Weight Watchers and every other one you can think of are BUSINESSES. They exist to make money. Now, think about it logically, if their diet worked and you lost all your weight and kept it off they wouldn’t be getting any money from you – not a very good business model is it? Diet culture is real. It is the idea that society tells us we are fat and then sells us the solution, if you want to know more read about diet culture here.

3. Intuitive eating

So if we’re ditching the diet, what are we replacing it with? Well that’s where intuitive eating comes in. Intuitive eating is the idea that you eat whatever you want, when you want it. Sounds too good to be true right? Basically it’s the idea that our bodies know what they need and we should listen. Nothing is off limits. You may think this means you’ll constantly gorge yourself on cake but actually when cake is no longer seen as “bad” you actually crave it less. Ok when you start you might eat more cake but after a little bit your body naturally balances itself out and now I honestly barely think about food. It’s not even an issue for me. If I ate chocolate before I would obsess over how bad I was but now I just move on. What’s more registered nutritionists actually recommend this for a healthy relationship with food – follow @laurathomasphd @dietitiananna for more. If you want to know more, read about intuitive eating from an expert (as I certainly am not one)

4. Say goodbye to the scales

I can honestly say since I’ve done this I feel so much better. When I was trying to feel better about myself I was doing really well for ages, then I’d weigh myself and I’d hit rock bottom again. Weight can change for any number of reasons, a big one is gaining muscle. So setting a goal based on a number is unrealistic and will just get you down. If you really, truly want to change your body then I encourage you to take progress pictures to see changes rather than looking on the scales. But honestly, you are amazing as you are!

5. Set point weight

Following on from the previous point, I have recently discovered set point theory and it makes total sense to me. Research suggests that every individual has a “Set point” and just as we have no control over our natural hair colour, we also have no control over our body’s biologically and genetically determined weight range. This is obvious when you and your best mate have near enough the same diet and both exercise regularly yet she is heavier/ lighter than you. Scientists estimate that this range is between 10-20lbs so there’s quite a lot of room for change. Look back on your weight over the last 5 years (assuming you’ve not been pregnant or had an unusual illness or something) I bet your weight has rested within certain parameters. This means that we are all meant to be different and that’s ok! And trying to get out of your set point range is going to be very difficult and make you very unhappy. On that note, we need to realise that we are going to weigh less or more at different stages of life. It made sense that when I was walking 4 miles a day to the train and back I was consuming way more calories and still was slimmer than I am now. It made sense that when I was burning 1000 calories a day breastfeeding my twins that I was slimmer than I am now. It makes sense that you’ll be slimmer when you work on your feet all day than when you sit at a desk. Activity levels differ throughout our lives and that’s just a fact. Don’t punish yourself for it.

6. Exercise

One of the times I feel the most confident in my body is when I’ve just finished exercising. When I’ve pushed myself to run an extra mile or I’ve smashed my PB time. It feels amazing and I’m so proud of my body. What’s more, exercise has so many benefits. It’s good for the mind, body and soul. So find an exercise you enjoy…don’t run if you hate it. Take your pushchair for daily walks, do yoga, swimming, rowing, boxing. There are sooo many options. But my best advice would be try not to focus on changing how you look, focus more on how it makes you feel. Strong, confident, fast etc. Exercise really is so great and body acceptance doesn’t mean you have to stop working on yourself physically, it just changes the mentality behind it. A great person to follow on Instagram for this is @thefashionfitnessfoodie

7. Remove triggers

You know that person you follow on Instagram who constantly goes on about their weight? If it’s getting you down, unfollow them. If someone starts talking negatively about weight on a YouTube video, skip past that bit. If your friends and family are going on about dieting either find an excuse to leave the conversation for a bit (go to the toilet, check on kids etc) or try and zone out and go somewhere else in your brain. It might not bother you but sometimes the progress I’ve made can be hindered when I hear others speaking negatively. If it does then I try to remove the problem. I will also never talk negatively about my body to anyone else and especially my daughters. I want them to see me as a positive, happy role model and not feel inadequate if they grow up to not fit society’s beauty standards.

8. Bad days are ok

You won’t feel good about yourself all the time, bad days will come. It’s a journey and not a 3 steps to success programme. There will be days when I’ll see a photo of myself and get really down, but I always try to talk myself round. I also speak to my husband about it and he helps me to see things in a different light. The point is, don’t feel like a failure if you don’t crack this right away. I’m sure nobody does.

9. Realise your worth outside of your looks

You are so much more than what you look like. Sometimes we can be so caught up with “working on our bodies” we forget to work on our minds. For me I am a first class university graduate, a writer, a mother, a sister, a friend, a wife, a Christian and so many other things. I’m kind, caring, generous, silly and many more things. My outward appearance is just a shell. I’m not saying people are wrong who care about their appearance at all – I love make up, clothes, getting my hair bleached and all the rest of it but just remember it isn’t the only thing you are.

I hope my story helps you change your mindset. I would encourage anyone to read the book Body Positive Power by Megan Crabbe & to listen to podcasts by Laura Thomas to start the ball rolling.

If you’ve read this far, thank you! I know it’s long but I am passionate about this and I really did try to make it more succinct!

(P.s the last 2 photos are to show how awkward I am at posing!)

My menstrual cup experience

So I have decided to bite the bullet and review my experience with using a menstrual cup. These photos were taken when I first bought it and hadn’t used it yet just FYI. Not that it really matters but I personally wouldn’t wanna show something that’s been inside me that closely!

Anyway, I have been using the cup for 4 cycles now and honestly I really love it. Well as much as you can love a period catching device anyway! I didn’t have periods for over 2 years from when I got pregnant in December 2015 to this January (2018) and luckily my periods have been nowhere near as heavy since having the girls and only painful one day of the cycle.

Using tampons has always been great for me, I’ve never really had any issues. The main issue that caused me to want to make the switch was the environmental impact. My sister, Mary, has an amazing blog all about her efforts to reduce plastic andthis post offers insight in to why our periods are damaging the environment. But the biggest thing for me is realising that every sanitary towel and every applicator of a tampon I have used is still sitting out there in the world somewhere. Scary. Not to mention the fact that tampons contain harmful chemicals and we are literally shoving them in to our most sensitive area! Using cups also save money. I think my cup was around £20 which is a lot however I probably spent £5 per period on products and now I don’t need to so in 4 months I’ve made my money back.

So down to the nitty gritty. What’s it like to use? Ok I’ll be honest, it’s pretty hard to start with. Like messy, slightly painful and stressful. But the truth is by the end of your first period it’s a lot easier and now, 4 months in its gloriously simple! Just make sure you follow the instructions carefully and don’t put it up too far!

Cleaning is the worst part about it and that’s just something you have to deal with. But at the end of the day it’s not that bad. I personally hate blood but this doesn’t really bother me.

You don’t have to change it anywhere near as much as a tampon either. There’s been times I’ve forgotten about it and left it in all day (not that I recommend this) and it’s been fine. No leaks or anything. To be totally honest I’ve yet to need to change it in public – I normally do it before I go out and when I get in but I can imagine it’s tricky to do. You don’t need to wash it if you’re out though, you can just use loo roll and clean it thoroughly once you’re home. Also another plus point is that if you’re not sure if you’re due your period or if you’re very light you can just pop it in and it isn’t bad for you or painful when you take it out!

There are so many cup brands out there now. I personally use the Mooncup however I’ve wondered whether a different brand would suit me better – I’ve spent £20 On it now so I’m just gonna stick it out! You can find what cup suits you here

www.putacupinit.com

In conclusion, I haven’t found the cup life changing. In fact it can be a little bit more difficult in some ways but I certainly would never go back to using tampons!

Review of Childs Farm products for eczema prone skin

Hey guys!

So today’s post is all about a brand called Childs Farm. You may have seen some good publicity the products have got over the past few months with people claiming that they have cured skin ailments.

Poor Margot has really suffered with eczema since she was around 5/6 months old. It was so bad that she would have to be covered up at all times so she couldn’t get to it to scratch. She would make herself bleed by scratching and it would affect her sleep and general mood.

Here are some pictures of how bad it was – they are not the best quality!

24215286317839db615ea1ef9baff9e37db1ab151dc7d5ca6bad2671d5c9b6d17f3a2f86729158907183fcd0ce804b1916203799b325de0bff64fcc4ef8d1236cc9ca61ab686616c

It was just absolutely awful and upsetting. There was not a lot we could really do, we went repeatedly to the doctors and got prescribed all manner of different creams including Fifty:50, double base, diprobase, oilatum, emollient cream, E45, aveeno and many more! The only thing that worked was hydrocortisone which is a steroid cream and as soon as we stopped using it the eczema would return! It isn’t great for little ones’ skin as it thins it.

Anyway, in August I started using Childs Farm on Margot’s skin, I pretty much used it 4 times per day and the eczema very quickly went away. I now only need to apply it once a day and its absolutely fine. The only time I have had to use the steroid cream is when we went on holiday and were in and out of the pool a lot so her skin dried out. We also used the suncream when we were on holiday which didn’t give any reaction for Margot’s skin. We used the Aldi suncream through the summer which was fine but I noticed it wasn’t good for their faces as when they went in the pool it would go in to their eyes and make them really sore!

 

This is the moisturiser. I really like the packaging for it and as you can see it is suitable for newborn skin. I know Aveeno is also really popular for sensitive and newborn skin however this is a LOT cheaper! This retails at only £3.99 and Amazon do it slightly cheaper!

We also use the bubble bath that they make!

Finally, we also use the hair and body wash and we absolutely love all three products along with the suncream that we used on holiday.

The packaging is 100% recyclable and the products are 98% naturally derived and they include Essential oils, natural moisturisers, natural preservatives and natural detergents. They don’t use SLS/SLES, Parabens, PEGs, Phthalates or Artificial colours.

So there we have it,

I’m absolutely in love with these products and I cannot recommend them enough!

Hope you enjoyed this post

 

Kate-Sig-1

The twins turn 1!

Hey everyone!

I am really trying to get back in to the flow of blogging more regularly but life just seems so busy at the moment with moving house, visitors, weddings and everything else! It was the twins’ first birthday a couple of weeks a go so I wanted to share what we got up to on the day!

I can’t believe that the girls are now one year old, you can see the letters I wrote to Dotty and Margot for their first birthday by clicking the link on their names! The day wasn’t really what I had planned, originally I’d wanted to plan a lovely party with a teddy bear picnic theme out in the garden. I was going to invite a few new people that we have met whilst living here and Josh’s family were coming to visit. However, due to the building work we were unable to have guests come and stay as there was no spare rooms and we didn’t move in to our cottage until the night before. Also, because we couldn’t rely on the weather being nice and there was no bad weather alternative a party was out of the question! Needless to say I’m excited to plan their second birthday party now!

The day started with our usual routine, we bought them a number 1 helium balloon from Asda and I customised their vest with a floral “1” which I bought from Etsy shop craisymissdaisy and ironed them on. I really love how they turned out!

Our celebrations began with breakfast at the Duchy of Cornwall Nursery cafe. Its in Lostwithiel which is very local to us and is an absolutely lovely place. I’ve had afternoon tea there before which was lovely and the breakfast was great too. The girls had their first ever cooked breakfast which they really enjoyed!

Once we got home the girls opened their cards and presents. My sister, who had come up from London, bought them a slide which they loved! They got lots of other bits and pieces including a ball pit, clothes, vouchers and a seesaw but Josh and I personally didn’t really get them anything. We asked their close family (Grandparents, aunties and great grandparents) to write them a hand written letter as a keepsake. I just don’t really feel the need to spoil them and get them lots of presents for their birthday as I believe its important to teach them that presents aren’t the most important thing. They get everything they could possibly want or need throughout the year as and when they need it and I want their birthdays to be about making memories more than anything else! That said, I’m extremely grateful for the presents they did get!

We decided to do a cake smash for the girls. We baked individual sponges in a number 1 tin and then I iced them with pink icing, sprinkles and glitter! At first, the girls were quite overwhelmed and even cried a few times because everyone was looking at them and laughing! They both had different tactics when eating the cake, Dotty just went for it and Margot was going slow and steady, trying to eat as much as she could without us noticing! Of course we didn’t let them eat the whole cake – it was way too much sugar! If you know me you know I am quite keen to keep the girls as sugar and salt free as possible but for their first birthday I made an exception!

20170811_170849

Their main cake that everyone got to eat was made by yours truly. I absolutely love baking and I had a particular idea in mind of what I wanted their cake to look like. Naked cakes are actually pretty easy to make look good because you just shove a load of fruit and flowers on it and it makes it look fab! Their cake topper was from the Etsy store RachelEmmaStudio which I have kept for next year too!

I did a teddy bear themed afternoon tea but it wasn’t as much as I would have want. We cut out some teddy bear sandwiches for the girls and of course the classic pombears! Next up it was time to put the girls to bed with their new cushions from the Duchy!

Finally, the next day I took some pictures with the girls final age milestone card! We got these cards from mushymoments on amazon and absolutely love them!

 

I hope you enjoyed reading about the girls’ first birthday.

Kate-Sig-1

STAYCATION: Our stay-at-home holiday together

As many people who read my blog will know, we love to travel! Last week we had a trip to Berlin booked Monday-Thursday, however on the Friday before, Dorothy was taken in to hospital by ambulance. She ended up staying in there until Sunday afternoon and we were advised against taking the trip. We were obviously devastated but we didn’t want to risk taking her and things got worse with the plane pressure or Margot got ill too. As it was, Margot did get ill on Monday night and we were able to take her to the GP and get her sorted on Tuesday morning. So we ended up being quite thankful that we didn’t go against the doctors’ advice!

As Josh had the week off work anyway, we decided to make the most of it. On the Monday we just got stuck in to tidying and cleaning and getting jobs done so we were free for the week ahead.

On Tuesday, we decided to head to Manchester. We went for lunch at the Anchor Coffee House in Moss Side. I used to park right by there in my second year for uni and walk down Oxford road to campus so we were very familiar with it! The food is amazing and we both had a lovely coffee called a cuban coffee which is made with condensed milk. The girls, of course, attracted a lot of attention!

20170530_133738

We then headed down Oxford Road to Whitworth Park and art gallery.

After that we walked past my old uni and then headed to Starbucks to feed the girls. It was that very Starbucks that Josh and I used to meet after I finished uni and do work together! It was nice to take the girls back to our old haunts and show them another part of Manchester!

20170530_152250

 

The next day, we decided to visit Chester Zoo. It was a pretty hot day and we were slightly worried about how the girls would cope. Unfortunately we stupidly booked holiday during half term. It was absolutely heaving there and getting a double buggy around was difficult enough without having to work our way through crowds of people! Nevertheless we enjoyed ourselves, although the girls were thoroughly fed up by the end!

 

The next day was another quiet one, we just enjoyed the sunshine at our local park and got a coffee from a little coffee shop nearby. Then Daddy was sadly back to work! Thankfully he only has three weeks to go until we move!

20170601_131017

 

Obviously we were gutted not to be in Berlin but we still managed to have a lovely week together as a family.

Kate-Sig-1

Body image after baby

For the vast majority of my life I have struggled with body image issues.I despised my body and the way it looked at times and felt disgusted when I looked in the mirror.

Before I got pregnant I was in the best state of mind I had ever been in regarding my body. I was confident, comfortable and happy with how I looked, my body no longer felt like my enemy but I embraced it.

When I was pregnant, at first I wasn’t bothered with how I looked. I didn’t even begin showing until around 16 weeks and I carried so small and neatly that many people were shocked that I was having twins. I went on holiday to Italy and I confidently strutted my stuff in my bikini, yes I probably looked a little further a long than I was but other than that I felt pretty good! However, one thing that made me less confident whilst pregnant was the fact that I couldn’t wear stylish clothes and I felt like I constantly looked like a sack of potatoes.

As I got further along with my pregnancy I began to grow larger and larger and felt more and more unhappy in my body. My stomach stretched massively and was covered in stretch marks – by 30 weeks I was the size of a full term pregnant woman and I only got bigger and bigger. I began to pack the pounds on and retain so much water; everything from my legs, arms, face to my lips were completely swollen! By the end of my pregnancy I could barely  move and I felt so grossed out by my body! I couldn’t even fit in to maternity clothes anymore!

When the girls were first born, I felt shocked at how little my body changed. From the cesarean/ IV etc. I was completely swollen and I could not fit in to any of the clothes I’d brought with me. Josh had to go out and get me size 18 clothes to wear. I felt so uncomfortable in my own skin (which was incredibly loose) and I didn’t want any photos to be taken!

20160818_162441

Josh took this photo of me 1 week postpartum. It was the first time I felt comfortable enough for a photo to be taken. Just look at my swollen feet!

I am now six months postpartum. My body should now be fully recovered yet it looks nothing like I thought it would. I guess I knew I wouldn’t look exactly the same but this wasn’t really what I was expecting.

20170226_143949

I am now below the weight I was before I was pregnant – thanks to breastfeeding! Feeding one baby burns 500 calories a day so its more than likely that breastfeeding twins burns 1000! I don’t get out much to do exercise, except for a few speed walks with the pram and the 100s of times a day I run up and down the stairs to put dummies back in etc.! So lets just say my body is not exactly toned. My body looks pretty normal now, thankfully I am back in to my pre-pregnancy clothes – I was grateful for this fact because I couldn’t afford to buy a whole new wardrobe! My stomach, however, is my biggest bug bear. It carried to fairly large babies and stretched beyond belief – lets be honest a woman’s body is designed to carry one baby, not two! My belly now has loose skin, stretch marks and yes a bit of fat on there too! I prefer to keep my stomach covered – so I decided to bare it for the world to see. My body isn’t magazine perfection but it has done something incredible that many people would never be able to do.

If I’m honest, I still struggle with my body. I’d desperately like to feel confident and awesome in myself but I’m not there yet. Some days I look in the mirror and feel proud of what I see, other days I feel a bit grossed out! I am a bridesmaid twice this year and of course that in itself brings trepidation – people looking at you etc! Although I’m sure the brides will be much more interesting. But when you are wearing the same dress as other women you can’t help but feel like you will be compared!

20170226_14405620170226_144044

I guess having a baby, especially two at once changes your body. Of course it will, you have grown human beings inside you. I was three people at once, now I’m back to being one. My body isn’t what it was before, and it never will be again… but I have to accept that. I am me, my body is beautiful. A few months a go, someone on the telly said “having a baby ruins your body” and Josh turned to me and said “I don’t think that is true, your body isn’t ruined!” and that made me stop and think. My body isn’t ruined. My body isn’t something to be upset by, it should be celebrated. I may not be there just yet but one day I  hope I will be!

 

20170226_14400220170226_14411120170226_14414720170226_14415520170226_14415920170226_144233 - Copy20170226_14430320170226_14432420170226_14433920170226_144355

 

I hope you enjoyed this post.

Kate-Sig-1

5 months of breastfeeding twins!

I make no secret that I’ve never been a very maternal person. That being said whenever I thought about having babies I always imagined breastfeeding them. I never particularly knew anyone closely who breastfed but I just thought it was natural and therefore it must be easy! 

When I got pregnant I started researching everything and hearing stories from mothers on their breastfeeding experiences. I started to realise it wasn’t as easy as I’d thought and for many people it’s huge struggle. I knew I wanted to breastfeed so I just decided to try as hard as I could and I asked Josh to encourage me and try not to let me give up! 

When everything went wrong with my birth plan and it all felt totally out of my control I was even more determined to get this one thing to go right. Thankfully Dorothy latched perfectly and got off to a fantastic start. Margot took a bit longer but eventually she got there too.

When we came home things got a lot harder. The girls were so small that they fed almost constantly. I felt trapped and glued to the sofa. I kept asking myself if I could really carry on ?! I thought that if I gave them formula things would be better and some of the load would come off me. It feels so intense when it all rests on your shoulders. 

I decided to give myself the goal of 3 months. If I fed them for 3 months I would feel I’d made it and I could stop without feeling guilty. I cried so much in those first three months but I finally made it and decided to keep going a bit longer. Many people told me at 4 months it started to get easier and I just prayed that this was the case because I couldn’t cope! 3 months turned in to 4 and now 4 in to 5 and I’m still going strong. My goal is now 6 months -when they start weaning but currently I feel like maybe carrying on for a year. I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself so I’m just seeing how it goes.

There are days when it is so, so hard. It seems like all they want to do is feed and I get no respite. On those days I want to give up but I just take a deep breath and tell myself not to make any snap decisions because tomorrow could be a better day. It usually is. 

Since the girls were around 3 weeks old we have been giving them a bottle of expressed milk before bed. This was so that Josh could have some bonding time with them and also so they would find a routine and associate having a bottle with going to bed. It worked really well and from 8 weeks old we have had a bedtime routine down. They go to bed at 7 which is amazing as we get a bit of time together. We also introduced a dream feed of formula for a while to help them sleep longer as we were exhausted. After a while they started to refuse this as they were fast asleep and wouldn’t be disturbed so we have dropped that now.

In terms of formula, I’m not against giving it to them every now and then but really I prefer to give them breast milk. I have a huge stock pile in the freezer if I ever want to go out and also sometimes we use it on the weekends so I have more time to get ready. If we go away somewhere I generally have to give them formula for their bedtime bottle as I won’t have had time to express enough and I can’t really take my spare milk with me. We use HIPP organic milk as it’s supposed to taste the most like breast milk and our girls are very fussy! If we’re away I still pump regularly and hopefully I will build up enough of a supply that after a day or two we can get back to feeding them breast milk. I think being flexible is very key when breast feeding twins! 

Tandem feeding is something I get asked about a lot. I have tried it and did it quite a bit at the beginning but I have just decided it isn’t for me. With my girls they both feed for different amounts of time and tandem feeding makes it difficult to sit one up, burp and entertain them. Have you ever tried moving your arms without your boobs moving too?! As it is they feed generally one after the other so they are on a similar schedule if not exactly the same. It can be hard feeding one whilst the other is crying but it’s the plight of a twin mum from time to time. Single feeding also means I can focus all my attention on one baby and we have special bonding time. 

Breast feeding in public is always a tricky subject. Once the baby is latched on its fine as nobody can see anything but can be particularly awkward if they’re being fussy! I employ the tactic of pretending I’m not bothered when inside I’m mortified! At the end of the day it’s natural and it’s just how Dotty and Margot get their food. I have used breastfeeding rooms etc. but often I prefer just to find a coffee shop and feed there so I can chat and enjoy a coffee at the same time! Feeding when I’m out on my own is much harder as I have nobody to entertain the other twin – cue screaming! So if I go out alone I try to avoid it. Thankfully I’ve never had anyone get funny with me about feeding the girls… at the end of the day I don’t particularly want anyone to see my nips! So I will always be as discrete as possible and people should respect that. 

At 5 months the girls are FINALLY starting to go 2+ hours between feeds and where they were once feeding 12-15 times a day it’s now more like 5-7. Much more manageable. I imagined by this point we’d be on a strict routine but that hasn’t happened… I think with babies in the first year it’s better to just go with the flow (pardon the pun!) 

So there we have it. Still breastfeeding almost exclusively and no plans to stop yet. If you’re struggling with feeding take heart. It does get easier and it’s the best start in life for your precious baby!