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photo (65)I absolutely loved being pregnant after I stopped throwing up of course. I was completely fascinated by my growing bump and I ate books about anything and everything baby and all the different growth stages, even getting daily updates from websites.

 

According to research it has been suggested that from 20 weeks your baby can recognize voices from the womb. This has made talking with your bump one of the more popular and loved methods of bonding. It has been said that chatting to your baby in the womb, creates a sense of security for them and reassures them. One of the other wonderful benefits is that Dad’s voice can also become identifiable to your baby too – and maybe even expectant siblings!

 

You could try reading a story to your unborn baby, or even have a good sing song! Either way the baby will form a definite bond with voices that it becomes familiar with during pregnancy, even the bad singers. I went to lots of concerts as I love my music and James used to kick like crazy. When he was born he reacted quite strongly to music and songs he had heard while he was in the womb and artists I had been to see.

 

Every pregnancy is unique though and we all bond differently with our bumps. I was walking with a friend today and she said she absolutely hated being pregnant and felt like there was an alien inside her. Luckily she has two beautiful humans that she has definitely bonded with since but it’s important to remember that not everyone’s experience of being pregnant is the same and if you are struggling to bond with your bump here’s some ideas you can try:

 

I think it’s fair to say that there are few things more therapeutic than massage so I would definitely recommend this. This method is perfect for calming and relaxing the baby, as well as yourself- allowing tranquil and quiet bonding time for you both. The most popular time to start massaging is during the middle to end of your second trimester- especially when baby has started moving and has most certainly begun to develop its sense of touch, which comes before all others. When massaging the bump, it is quite common for the moisturiser to dry out quickly, so oil is a highly recommended as a massaging lotion, especially if you have one that can help prevent stretch marks.  I loved using bio oil €7.99 from boots, and I actually mixed it with my regular cream after bathing.

 

Having a bath especially if you are a first time mum is a luxury. This way your muscles can relax and help both you and your bump to completely relax- creating the perfect environment for you (or Dad) to massage or talk to your bump.

 

One of the more recent methods of bonding with your baby is through a camera lens. If you have your photo from your scan, keep that near you at all times and spend some time appreciating that you have something so special growing inside of you.  One other way photos can allow you to bond with your bump is by taking a picture of your bump once a week. This allows you to truly document this special time and will forever allow you to look back and witness your baby growing inside of you after baby is born or during your pregnancy still. I was extremely lucky to have had great shots done as I was still modeling and James loves looking at them now telling everyone he used to be in my tummy!

 

There really are so many methods to help us bond with our baby’s and research has opened up a whole new world to mums in the modern world to enable us to connect with our baby in the earliest days. However, despite all these exciting findings during pregnancy, there are traditional methods that will forever remain a magical way to bond with your unborn baby.

BLJ Pretty Silver Bola With RibbonOne of these is the Mexican bola. The bola charm’s traditions date back over a hundred years and is a concept treasured by mums-to-be all over the world. The Bola charm is traditionally a chiming pendant that is worn low over the bump- allowing the soft and tinkling chime to serenade the unborn baby as mother goes through her day.

I think these would make the perfect stocking filler for any expectant mum. They are available from €19 http://www.blooming-lovely-jewellery.co.uk/mexican-bola/

Toddler Tales 32 jpeg

I absolutely love the summer. The days are longer and people are much happier. There will be no holiday abroad for us this year as too many work commitments and trying to get a new business off the ground but that’s ok as I’m making sure we get to do a lot of fun things at the weekends here. We recently visited Seafield hotel in Wexford and James just loved the walk to the beach, which is like a forest trail and we had great adventures. The beach is peaceful and beautiful and James ran and ran and laughed for hours. I had some spa treatments, which were incredible, but my only complaint was that there is no air conditioning in the hotel, which made for a very uncomfortable sleep. James was sweating and I didn’t sleep a wink so I was a little cranky coming home.

James is at an age now where all the girls and boys in his class tell stories about their weekends in circle time. James is really starting to notice everyone talking about his or her dads and recently he told his class he spent the weekend with his dad, which broke my heart, as he’s never met him. I know he’s only trying to fit in but its tough for him even at this tender age of three as he feels a little left out. I’d love to see schools/preschools and parents talk to their kids about all the different kinds of families there are out there now. I know some parents feel this is not their duty as they are married and did everything the right way (yes this has been said to me) and to be honest I never gave single parents or any other type of parent a second thought before I had James on my own. One thing I know for sure is that if we teach our kids to be more accepting from a young age it will help to ease the teasing and bullying of kids who have maybe lost a parent or are from same sex couples or indeed separated. Life is hard enough and no one knows what heartache can be behind people’s stories. One thing we can change though is how we treat each other and our children are a reflection of us.

Uvistat Kids pack shotAs skin cancer is the most common cancer in Ireland its really important we consider sun protection for the whole family. Uvistat Sun Creams are 100% fragrance-free and are specially formulated for sensitive skin. Uvistat provides high UVA/UVB protection and its 5 Star UVA rating ensures the highest level of protection.

 

 

 

BLUE BANZ sunglassesPopular parenting website Wauwaa.com is delighted to announce that one of their bestselling items, Baby Banz sunglasses for babies and children will always be available in their online shop. The funky shades are perfect for summer and provide the ultimate protection for little ones!www.wauwaa.com €12.50

 

 

 

ASK ALISON:

Hi Alison,

I need a travel cot and was wondering are there any you recommend?

Thanks, Gina

Hi Gina,

Even since James was a baby travel cots have come a long way. If you are looking to take the travel cot abroad or indeed visit relatives or staycation in Ireland the one I would recommend is the Nuna Sena travel cot / playpen. Its light weight and makes traveling with your baby easy and convenient. It has a clever zigzag leg design, which pops open easily and then refolds again with just one hand. It’s also the only cot I have come across with an upper cot that folds with the frame, which is great for newborns and changing. If you’re abroad this is also a safe place for the baby to play especially in rooms and apartment that are not baby proofed. Skid proof feet keep sleep quiet and still, padded edges prevent finger pinches and the aboveground base makes it draft-proof. What more could you ask for! €185 www.cherishme.ie

Cherish Me  - Nuna Sena Travel Cot (1)Let your angel sleep and travel in comfort in the Nuna Sena travel cot / playpen €185 www.cherishme.ie

 

 

 

 

FOR MUM:

BILLION DOLLAR BROW PENCILMy new favourite discovery is the Billion Dollar Brows ‘Universal Brow Pencil’ is €23.95 www.frenchbeautyroom.com and leading beauty salons.

 

 

 

 

THIS FORTNIGHT:

vita coco water kidsWe’re rehydrating the kids with Vita Coco 100% Natural Coconut Water, a brand new range of naturally fruit flavoured coconut waters that little ones will go coco-nuts for! I’m delighted as I love coconut water myself and the health benefits are endless. There are two delicious flavours that James adores. You can pick them up in Tesco’s and health food stores! VISITING either Dublin Zoo or Fota wildlife park. These are two of my favourite places for families in Ireland. We live right beside the zoo and go almost every week and no two weeks are the same. And as I say to James it’s the only place you can get away with acting like a monkey!