Eat, sleep, play, repeat, and then repeat some more

It has dawned on me that I can’t really call myself a blogger if I don’t blog that much. The truth of the matter is that I find myself writing most nights, just not for this. And it’s a real shame, because Ralphie is providing me with more blogging material than ever. He is such good fun. However, I have a bone to pick…

I remember watching The Teletubbies with my sister when she was younger (the first time it came around) and getting ever so frustrated when they repeated everything. I thought to myself, just get on with it! But alas, those little televisions would flicker away and they would keep playing the same video reel again and again.

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Turns out it’s because little ones like it. And now I understand, because I’ve got a little repeat Ralph of my own.

His favourite thing is to go and open the fridge a MILLION times a day. But he’s also partial to Postman Pat on repeat, me tickling him again and again, daddy chasing him around and around, the same book over and over. Basically, anything he likes, he wants to repeat to his heart’s content. For the most part, I’m more than happy to play along.

Take tonight, for example. I employ numerous distraction techniques to make the bedtime change as smooth as possible. He’s tired, he’s a bit ratty and the last thing he wants me to do is put a clean nappy and fresh pyjamas on. The torture! So we have cuddly toys, we have songs, and we have the classic round-a-round the garden. This evening we were also driving around his Duplo train and as I handed him to Daddy for bedtime milk, all he wanted was for us to drive that bloomin’ Duplo train up and down his tummy, noises and all. Ten minutes I lasted. And it was worth it for his shrieks of delight. But I also happened to be extremely hungry!

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So what’s a mother to do? How long will this repeat stage last? How do I endure this without completely losing my marbles? And will it not make Ralphie a bit mad too?

For me, the only answer for now is sleep. Eat, sleep, play and then I’m all ready to repeat. It’s a good job he gives me a smile like this every morning!

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Operation sleep: the giveaway!

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It’s funny how a plan comes together. I’ve been organising this bedtime giveaway for a while, but it seems to be fate that the week I’m all ready to go is the week Ralphie finally gets his head around sleeping through the night. Cheers all round!

I wanted to do this giveaway as I believe that the bedtime routine is so important. After a lovely day together, you need that time in the evening as a mum to switch off and chill, even if it’s only for a few minutes before you fall asleep! We didn’t really have a good bedtime routine for the first six months of Ralphie’s life. We cuddled him well into the evening and he usually ended up going to bed when we were ready to go upstairs too. I don’t regret one bit of what we did, but now our baby’s in bed by around 7.30pm every night, and it has transformed our evenings for the better. We’ve got our ‘us time’ back and we can eat our dinner in peace. Bliss!

So, to celebrate the greatness of bedtime, I’ve teamed up with some amazing small businesses to bring you all the essentials you need to help your little ones drift off to the land of nod without a tear in sight! To enter, all you need to do is head to my Instagram page and read the super simple instructions on my giveaway post. In addition to liking the post and following all six businesses involved in the giveaway, I would love to hear about your baby’s bedtime routine. What special things do you do before tucking them up in bed? Do you have any tips or tricks you would like to share? We’ll be picking our favourites, and six lucky winners will get their hands on some goodies. I’ll also be featuring some of the best comments in a follow-up blog post next week.

Before you go, here’s a bit more about the businesses behind the giveaway and what you can win:

A Little Bit Milo

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This online children’s fashion and homeware store only launched at the end of last year, but is already making a name for itself as a stockist of some of the best independent brands going.

One of the newest items to join their ever-growing range is Guess Who!, a clues-and-answers set of three books from London-based children’s book publisher Owl & Dog Playbooks. What makes it cool is that it can be opened and read in different ways, without affecting the rhythm and rhyme. I definitely need to get this for Ralphie (I’m a massive fan of quirky books and I hope he will be too!). If you enter the competition, this is up for grabs along with a pear night light. The perfect bedtime combo!

Didi and Bud

Every baby needs a cute, comfy sleepsuit and Didi and Bud do the best, in my humble opinion. If you’ve been following me for a while, you will know that I’m a big fan. Super soft cotton, cool prints – what’s not to love? Didi and Bud’s debut collection includes four patterns – penny farthing, top hats, lace umbrella and vintage bicycle in black, blue, pink and grey, respectively. One lucky winner will get their hands on a sleepsuit in the size and pattern of their choice.

Kokoso Baby

I hadn’t heard of this baby skincare brand until recently when I was looking around for something to treat Ralphie’s eczema. We’ve been to the doctors numerous times and got various potions and steroid creams, but what I really wanted was a long-term natural remedy. We’ve been using the organic coconut oil for a couple of months now and I’m really impressed. The redness on Ralphie’s face has cleared up completely and it’s my first point of call for any flare ups. Plus, it feels lovely to put on. Buttery soft, yet surprisingly not greasy. But you don’t have to take my word for it. If you win, you’ll get a pot to try yourself.

Mama Designs

With its removable inner layer, the Babasac is the perfect year-round baby sleeping bag. And it looks really cool too. We’re currently using ours on ‘summer mode’ without the warm lining, and it keeps Ralphie just the right temperature at night. It’s a great investment piece, as I know it will last through the colder months too. Mama Designs has kindly offered up the green apple Babasac in a size of your choice for this giveaway.

Megan Illustrations

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I know I will sound biased as she is my sister, but Megan is one super talented lady! She has just graduated from the Winchester School of Art with a first-class honours degree in Fine Art and is now taking design and illustration commissions, as well as selling prints and artwork. One of her first jobs has been a collaboration with Cribstar to create a bespoke emoji design, which is being used across a wide range of baby clothing – I cannot wait to see the full collection, which will be available to buy soon. We’re lucky enough to have an amazing piece of artwork in Ralphie’s room. If you win, you’ll get to have your own too!

Milk Moustache

This clothing brand has some of the coolest prints going. Teepees, spots, ice creams, doughnuts – if you haven’t checked them out yet, then you must. We’ve got a few rompers and tops, but when I go back to work and bring in some more money, I’m going to have to try and stop myself from buying the entire range! Milk Moustache is best known for its baby clothing range, but did you know they do cot sheets too? The sleeping eye sheet could be yours, and if you really wanted you could even buy the leggings and top to match. Ultimate camouflage!

Remember, head to my Instagram page to enter. And good luck!