Care for Rare

Our Bepanthen Bedtime

Our bedtime routine…
Ok, please don’t hate me! We’ve had our fair share of challenges, but bedtime has never been one of them. Here’s how we get a solid TWELVE hours every night, with a one year old and a two year old. (Yeah, you read that right).


Perhaps stating the obvious but we make sure there is plenty of “routine” to our “bedtime routine”!
We try to, as much as possible, do things around the same time every evening so Penelope and Larry know what to expect. For example, tea around 6:00 followed by a bit of TV and a bath. Then lots of cuddles. In fact 7:30-8:00 is cuddle time! So, once tea is digested and they have caught up with Duggee they share a bath to exhaust any left over energy from the day. They love playing with bath crayons and bubbles. They are then dried with snuggly towels and changed. We always use Bepathan Nappy Care Ointment to protect against nasty nappy rashes that might interfere with bedtime.  


Bepanthen Nappy Care Ointment forms a breathable and transparent layer to gently protect even the most delicate skin against the causes of nappy rash. The ointment not only helps protect your baby’s bottom, but cares for it with pro-vitamin B5, which gently aids the natural recovery of babies’ skin whilst keeping it soft and moisturised – great for every nappy change, especially at bedtime!

Some bedtime essentials: Story, pyjamas and Bepanthen Nappy Care Ointment


Then it’s pyjamas, a bedtime milk with a story and all them cuddles.
Penelope goes up to bed at about 8:00pm and brushes her teeth and hair first. She makes us kiss Tramp, her bedtime pal, and gets a lovely big kiss from us too. Larry usually nods off after his milk and we pop him in his cot, he gets lots of kisses as well. 

Larry in his pyjamas and ready for cuddles

That’s it. Well, for the kids at least. We usually have a million things to do whilst they’re snoozing. They wake up at 8am, fully charged and ready for another day of chaos!

This post is an entry for #bepanthenbedtimechallenge with @BritMums sponsored by Bepanthen. Learn more at

Happy as Larry

A long overdue update…

Been a little quiet on the blog lately as I have been very busy setting up Happy as Larry Vintage. A vintage kids shop that will also stock retro inspired prints; and it’s been pretty time consuming!

Happy as Larry

As well as sorting through so many vintage goodies and working on the website, Penelope and Larry have kept me super busy too! But, they do make great models for some of the clothing…

I can’t wait to share my vintage goodies! For more, follow my new Instagram page for updates: @happyaslarry_vintage


Milton Review

I have been lucky enough to be chosen as a Milton Mum Ambassador and have since been given the opportunity to try out some fab Milton products. Here’s what I think of them…

Milton Sterilising Tablets

Having used cold water sterilisation since our NICU days, I couldn’t imagine anything else! It’s so simple. Pop a tablet into 5l of cold water and change every 24 hours. We put all sorts into the steriliser, from bottles and teats to dummies, weaning equipment and syringes. I also used it for my breast pump too when I was expressing. I find this method particularly handy because almost all things can be sterilised this way, whereas you’d have to check the compatibility of certain items if you were to use a microwave. 

Milton Solo

This has been super useful and I’d highly recommend to any mum of a young baby for travelling. As above, it is so easy to use, and it fits perfectly in the pram bag! While not in use it’s great for storing a bottle/dummies/teats etc. We travel loads for hospital appointments and the Solo has been such a great travel piece. 

Milton Antibacterial Surface Wipes

I now carry these everywhere we go! If we eat out I always give the high chair a quick wipe. A pram bag essential!

Milton Surface Spray

It’s a known fact that all kitchens can harbour germs. This is a great product for keeping the milk preparation area as clean as can be.

Milton Mini Portable Soother Steriliser

Another fab travel product. Laurence throws his soother out of the pram on our travels a LOT! With this I can ensure that it is sterilised and ready to use again in no time at all. I carry a spare soother in it and switch them as needed. It also has a handy Velcro strap so it can fasten to a changing bag or pram. The blue colour is lovely as well (they also come in pink, purple and green). 

What are your favourite baby travel products? Let me know in the comments 😊

You Baby Me Mummy
Quite Frankly She Said

Two years on…

It’s been two years since we left NICU and brought our newborn home for the very first time, over six weeks after she was born. But, the feelings surrounding our NICU journey are still very raw. The date we brought our baby home is as memorable to me as a birthday or any other significant life event! 

Last year as her first birthday approached I was consumed with thoughts about NICU, ECMO and blood sugars. It was emotional. A happy occasion but emotional nonetheless. I was happy that despite all we went through, we have a (mostly) healthy, bright and beautiful baby that we are intensely proud of. Actually, I feel that EVERY day; but possibly more so around her birthday. I felt sad that I didn’t get to take my baby home, like I should’ve, and have all the usual fusses first time parents do. Instead, my life was ruled by sats, obs, BMs, NGTs as well as countless other medical acronyms I had to learn. But, yet I remained thankful that she was here and I was able to learn about all these amazing things that contributed to saving her life whilst we watched her improve. I felt overwhelmingly grateful on a multitude of levels. I still do. How wondrous ECMO is! How lucky we are to know so much about genetics and thus ensure she gets 100% the best care possible. But, I guess the thing that I was not expecting to feel and that rather took me by surprise, was the feeling of extreme nervousness. I felt like any minute now she would be taken away from me. It’s inexplicable really, and completely irrational, but all the same nerves I had when she was born came rushing back and I feel them creeping up on me again this year too. 

I guess there’s no time frame when it comes to healing after a traumatic experience. Surviving NICU was one of the hardest yet happiest times of my life and I expect all these feelings will resurface each year. It will always be a part of who I am now and this year I’ve kind of accepted that. I think it’s something that never leaves you but gets easier each day. Watching your brand new baby very nearly die still haunts me but being amazed by her every single day now takes precedence.




Smile Back

Wrigley’s Extra have just released their first children’s storybook called The Lost Smile as part of their Extra Smile Back charity campaign, and I have 10 copies to give away.
The book is a lovely story about a little boy who realises his family aren’t smiling anymore, and so goes on a smile hunt to find them. The aim of the storybook is to remind parents about the power of a child’s smile and the importance of protecting it.

Penelope loves The Lost Smile

The Extra Smile Back Project aims to protect children’s smiles by donating money from every pack of sugarfree gum sold during the promotional period to charity partner Action for Children. The monies will be used to create and run oral health workshops, endorsed by the Oral Health Foundation. With this activity Wrigley aims to protect the smiles of over 10,000 children and 5,000 parents across the UK.



Research conducted by Wrigley’s has revealed what parents already know – that it’s still the simple pleasures in life that make our children smile. Forget technology – pulling silly faces (44%), reading stories (28%) and playing hide and seek (27%) remain the best and simplest ways of putting a smile on a child’s face.

This is certainly true for Penelope and Laurence, they especially love story time, and it is guaranteed to put a smile on their faces!

If you’d like to win a copy of The Lost Smile simply comment ‘#smileback’ and I will choose ten people at random to receive one! It really is a lovely story to be enjoyed before the bedtime routine that includes teeth brushing! *Closes 30.06.16.

Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs


Quite Frankly She Said


Very excited to be taking part in the #petitsfilousfirsts challenge with @BritMums. They’re a firm favourite with Penelope and now Laurence can enjoy them too. The new My First Petits Filous are perfect for 6+ months and are low sugar as well as super yummy (I had to check, of course). They’re vanilla flavoured which Larry absolutely adores and carries the added bonus of not staining any clothes! As much fun as weaning is, it’s so messy. Larry loves blueberries and raspberries but the stains are so difficult to remove! These are also great for on the go. We pack them in the lunch box before we head out to the park and it’s a fab snack. We now know to take extra as Penelope is in love with them too! They’re great for toddlers as well. 

My First Petits Filous is a low sugar, vanilla-flavour weaning fromage frais, designed to introduce children to fromage frais from 6 months. The main ingredient is milk and all ingredients are 100% naturally sourced, so parents can rest assured there are no artificial colours, flavours, sweeteners or added preservatives. Not only is My First Petits Filous delicious, it has calcium and protein to help children develop strong bones from an early age and the low sugar content reassures parents that their child will maintain a balanced diet during weaning.

The past nine months has been packed full of ‘firsts’ for Laurence. From opening his eyes for the first time to cutting his first teeth and trying solids for the very first time. He took to solid food like a fish to water and will chomp down on pretty much anything. The little guy is happy with a plate full of broccoli! But, it makes me happy knowing that he can enjoy My First Petits Filous with the added bonus that it contains calcium and protein to ensure he continues to grow strong and healthy! 

Last month, my favourite ‘first’ for Laurence was his first time on the swings at the park. His little face lit up and he was so happy he was able to join his sister, finally! 

I’m looking forward to the next nine months and watching lots more ‘firsts’. There’s going to be plenty of exciting ones like walking and talking, and I’m sure he’ll continue to enjoy My First Petits Filous for all of those too.

This post is an entry for BritMums #PetitsFilousFirsts Linky Challenge, sponsored by Petits Filous


Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs

The truth about having two under two

As it’s getting closer to Penelope’s second birthday, I’m thinking about how fast this past year has gone and just how hard it is having ‘two under two’! 

I found out I was expecting for the second time when Penelope was only six months old and couldn’t quite believe it! We had had a turbulent six months packed with lots of hospital visits, not to mention the first 6+ weeks she was here she was in NICU. To say that I was petrified would’ve been an understatement. But, we were very happy nonetheless. Penelope was going to become a big sister, to a little boy! 

Laurence arrived in August, via elective section and dad looked after Penelope while I recovered in hospital. Penelope was unsure what to make of Laurence when she visited him for the first time. She was only 14 months old after all. She gave him the gentlest of pats on the head and carried on about her business (colouring in Iggle Piggle). 

Everyone told us how great it is having babies so close together, they would be best of friends! I’m still waiting on that. Their relationship grows everyday but I can’t help but think that Penelope much prefers the company of our beagle on some days! However, there certainly are other benefits of having babies close together. We’re getting all the “messy” stuff out of the way in one block as opposed to waiting a few years and doing it all over again. By messy, I mean nappies, pee, poo, weaning, teething dribble and other leaky stuff too! I guess that could be considered a bonus, right?

But, there’s also some aspects that are decidedly difficult. Leaving the house takes approximately ten hours. Two lots of things to get ready, two babies to change and you can guarantee that one will have a sneaky poo just as you’re about to step out, two babies to feed beforehand; not to mention trying to entertain one whilst changing the other, which brings me to my next point. They both require my attention all of the time but there are few things that make them both happy, except Timmy Time, of course. Penelope likes crayons but they’re no good for a teeny baby. Laurence likes naps but that’s becoming increasingly harder with a noisy toddler around. Penelope likes dancing but Laurence can’t join in. Laurence likes me to read a book to him but when Penelope joins in she takes the book and runs off laughing! She’s also become quite territorial now and finds it hard to share. She takes all the toys and hands Laurence a packet of wipes! She likes a good ol’ tantrum if she catches him with one of her Peppa Pigs. 

Tandem prams are about as easy to manoeuvre as a big bag of rocks. Don’t get me wrong, I love our Oyster Max, but they don’t handle the curbs in the same way as a solo pram would. And there’s a lot of weight to push with very little room for a pram bag!

Minor injuries occur on a daily basis. I’ve lost count of the times Penelope has managed to clunk Laurence on the head with a toy. And he’s just as bad, he grabs her hair when she’s in proximity and she’s not a fan of it.

Bath time is total chaos. Fun, but chaos. Certainly a two man job. 

Any planned journey is nothing short of a military operation. 

Getting them to sync nap time was pretty much one of my greatest accomplishments to date. 

The wash load has increased significantly.

If they both decide to cry at the same time it’s probably more peaceful at a wrestling match.

But, would I have it any other way? Not a chance. Watching their relationship grow is the most precious thing I have ever known.


Mr and Mrs T Plus Three
Quite Frankly She Said

Pampers Review

I got to test Pampers last year with Penelope and was lucky enough to get to try them again with Laurence too. Here’s what I think…

I had started off with Pampers Sensitive for Laurence when he was born. They were perfect for a fresh bottom, but as he got older we tried any and every brand, pretty much. But I always end up going back to Pampers. That’s not to say there is anything wrong with other brands, but for overnight dryness I do find Pampers to be the best. 

They’re also super comfy looking too. They allow Laurence to roll at ease and never dig in when he is sitting up. They are fabulous for manoeuvrability. 

I guess the only thing that lets them down, for me personally, is that they are now too small for Penelope. She outgrew the largest size (6+) at 20 months, but wasn’t ready for potty training. Nevertheless, they are the nappy of choice for Laurence and he has sometime yet before reaching the largest size! 

“Pampers Baby Dry have unique Micro Pearls™ that absorb up to 30 times their weight and lock in wetness better than ordinary nappies, for up to 12 hours of dryness and more giggly mornings.”

I can certainly vouch for that. Pampers are the only brand that I know will guarantee a dry morning! 


Did you have a C-section?

Did you have a C-section? I’d love to hear about your experiences as Cesarean Awareness month draws to a close. Please feel free to share in the comments and help other women who may be facing a future section!

Here’s mine:

I had an emergency section and an elective section. My first was very traumatic but it was ultimately the fast acting of the doctors and quick delivery that helped save my daughter’s life as every second counted. 
I was way past my due date and had already had a sweep. She was due in May and it was already June! I lost a little fluid and went for a check up, it was indeed amniotic fluid. I was very excited, she’d soon be here. I was told to wait at home for contractions to start. I had a couple overnight but nothing of significance. So I went in the following day. I was told I was 1cm dilated and could no longer have my baby at the midwife led unit. My husband drove me to the hospital and they monitored my baby. After about half an hour of monitoring the doctor told me he was not happy with baby’s heart rate and they wanted to get things moving fast. I had a cannula put in and my waters broken. There was so much meconium I was taken straight to theatre for an emergency C-section. It was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life, but they delivered my little girl in literally just the nick of time. They flashed a green baby above the sheet and there was no noise. She wasn’t crying. She was taken away to a corner of the room, which was now full of people and then swiftly taken out to go to NICU. I barely caught a glimpse of her. In recovery I was fairly spaced out after being given a concoction of different drugs. Around an hour later I was able to go and see her, only to be told her chances of survival were slim. She had meconium aspiration and persistent pulmonary hypertension. Luckily, she was able to qualify for ECMO and the team came and saved her life before transferring her to a hospital in a different part of the country where she stayed on ECMO for 36 hours and was airlifted back. I held her for the first time at four days old. Recovery from the section was ok. I spent all my time with my newborn in the NICU. I had followed her to the hospital where she was on ECMO, and the car journey was quite uncomfortable. But, as I was in hospital with my daughter I was able to use a wheelchair for the first week or so and didn’t have to move much. The first time I encountered stairs was interesting, it felt sort of like riding a bicycle underwater! I was fully healed by the time I got to take my daughter home.

My elective section was a completely different experience. I was advised to have my second baby via C-section for a variety of different reasons. Although I would’ve received support should I have chosen to go for a VBAC, I didn’t want to chance it. The first significant difference to the two, was entering theatre calmly instead of seeing my husband running in wearing scrubs and seeing the panic on his face. This time we got to be nervous together but it somehow was so much calmer. There were a lot less people in the room this time, which added to the calmness. Also, the whole process was a lot longer, as there was no urgency. My son was delivered and it could not have been more different to my daughter. He did nothing but cry! I was given immediate skin-to-skin and he had a drink straight away! It was quite astonishing as previously our NICU stay was prolonged as my daughter had feeding issues and remained on an NG tube for some time. I also got delayed clamping this time. The experience was completely perfect despite being in floods of tears since we saw our boy for the first time. These were more tears of relief and happiness. Healing seemed faster the second time around and I had to be up and about straight away with a new baby and a one year old! It was the healing experience I needed after my first traumatic one.

Did you have an elective or emergency cesarean? Would you like to share your story in the comments for Cesarean Awareness Month? I’m a bit sad I never got to experience “natural” birth but feel so lucky my two babies are ok, thanks to being able to have C-sections.