Does Breastfeeding Really Burn Calories and if so How Many?

Does breastfeeding really burn calories and if so how much?

Does breastfeeding really burn calories and if so, how many extra calories can I eat? This is a question often asked by pre and postnatal women when considering the pros and cons of breastfeeding. There are many anecdotal claims online and in the wider health and fitness community that state breastfeeding burns calories to the extent that it can help new mothers to return to their pre-pregnancy weight. These sources even cite specific daily calorific amounts, ranging from anywhere between 300-500 calories per day.  But where does this number come from and more importantly, is it accurate? This is what we’ll explore in this article.

Does breastfeeding really burn calories and if so, how many extra calories can I eat? This is a question often asked by pre and postnatal women when considering the pros and cons of breastfeeding. There are many anecdotal claims online and in the wider health and fitness community that state breastfeeding burns calories to the extent that it can help new mothers to return to their pre-pregnancy weight. These sources even cite specific daily calorific amounts, ranging from anywhere between 300-500 calories per day.  But where does this number come from and more importantly, is it accurate? This is what we’ll explore in this article.

Is it 500 Calories?

The additional 500 calories per day value is regularly cited in blogs, magazine articles and even the occasional scientific paper. On this basis, you’d be forgiven for thinking that it is factual and that the value was reached at the end of some strong, authoritative research. But you would be wrong! In actual fact, the 500 extra calories per day is the result of a small study that didn’t even measure calorific expenditure to determine whether a woman burns more calories or not while she is lactating. What it actually measured and subsequently reported was the number of additional calories women who were exclusively breastfeeding their babies consumed in comparison to partially breastfeeding women, and those feeding their babies on a formula. On average the breastfeeding women tended to consume an additional 500 calories more than their formula-feeding counterparts, and so the myth was born! To make matters worse, the data collection in this study was self-reported, which is a notoriously unreliable way of collecting scientific information. 

Part of the reason why this myth has been so effective is because on the surface the mechanisms supporting it seems so plausible. If the body is doing more work [lactating] then it must require more energy right? There are two ‘possible’ mechanisms by which lactation ‘could’ help to contribute to a calorie deficit; the first is through its effect on basal metabolic rate (this is the amount of energy burned at rest) and the second is related to dietary-induced thermogenesis (heat production from food intake).  However, the evidence is generally unclear as to whether lactation has any direct effect on either of these two mechanisms.

Research Says….

According to Dewey (1997), women who are exclusively breastfeeding require around 670 additional calories per day. This estimate has been reached by considering breast milk volume, milk energy density and the conversion efficiency from dietary energy to breast milk. It also ‘assumes’ that both thermogenesis and basal metabolic rate are increased during lactation. If therefore a postnatal woman wants to lose weight steadily, consuming only 500 additional calories per day will create a net deficit of around 170 calories each day (1190 per week). Simples, as those little meercats from the TV adverts say!

A modest weight loss of around 1lb per week (or 0.5kg) is generally thought to be safe in the postnatal period. However, is this achieved when most postnatal women report gaining weight in the weeks and months after the birth of their baby?  Research in this area suggests that modifications to both diet and exercise will have the greatest effect and that low-calorie diets are only likely to result in more cravings, increasing the chance of a relapse. Furthermore, a daily energy intake of 1600 calories or less could actually threaten milk production. However, in the case of twins and triplets, milk production is greater and so this base threshold will need to be increased somewhat. In the battle for postnatal weight loss, slow and steady will always win the race.

Look at what you’re eating

Focusing a little more on dietary factors, how is it possible to create an energy deficit when you are sleep deprived, exhausted, hungry and you constantly have a baby (or two) attached to you?  The key here is to think more about what you are eating as opposed to how much. Several studies have revealed that the diet of lactating women is often deficient in grains, vegetables and dairy, which are all food sources that result in satiety and food satisfaction. Ensuring that you eat these foods is likely going to reduce those cravings for high energy and sugary snacks. What’s more worrying however about these deficient food groups is that they are all essential sources of micronutrients, like vitamins D and B12, calcium and iron (Robert-McComb 2014).  Reduced milk production is usually attributed to low protein intake.  Unsurprisingly however, a balanced diet of wholegrains, fresh vegetables and lean protein is the optimum breastfeeding diet to ensure a high-quality and sustained production of milk. Not only will increasing your intake of protein and fresh vegetables benefit your baby, it will also support your weight loss ambitions by controlling your blood sugar, reducing food cravings, leaving you feeling fuller for longer.

About the Author

Naomi Schon is a Registered Midwife (RM) with over 10 years’ midwifery experience. She is also a fully qualified Personal Trainer, yoga teacher and a Pilates instructor. Naomi is currently the lead clinical consultant for all things related to pregnancy and postpartum exercise at Health and Fitness Education (HFE), focusing primarily on their pre and postnatal courses and personal training courses.

Does breastfeeding really burn calories and if so, how many extra calories can I eat? This is a question often asked by pre and postnatal women when considering the pros and cons of breastfeeding. There are many anecdotal claims online and in the wider health and fitness community that state breastfeeding burns calories to the extent that it can help new mothers to return to their pre-pregnancy weight. These sources even cite specific daily calorific amounts, ranging from anywhere between 300-500 calories per day.  But where does this number come from and more importantly, is it accurate? This is what we’ll explore in this article.

References and Further Reading

H. A. Durham, C. A. Lovelady, R.J.N. Brouwer, K.M. Krause, T. Østbye (2011) Comparison of Dietary Intake of Overweight Postpartum Mothers Practicing Breastfeeding or Formula Feeding.

Journal of the American Dietetic Association Volume 111 (1) 67–74.

S L Nascimento, J Pudwell, F G Surita, K B Adamo and G N (2014) The effect of physical exercise strategies on weight loss in postpartum women: a systematic review and meta-analysis Smith International Journal of Obesity 38, 626–635.

J. J. Robert-McComb, Á. García González, L. Carraway. (2013) The Active Female Nutritional Guidelines and Energy Needs During Pregnancy and Lactation 517-533.

K. G. Dewey. (1997) Energy and Protein Requirements During Lactation. Annual Review of Nutrition 17 19-36.

*This is a sponsored post in collaboration with HFE

Pethood Stories – A Woman’s Best Friend with Petplan

Pethood Stories – A Woman’s Best Friend with Petplan – I don’t think there’s ever been a time in my life where we haven’t had a pet of some kind. As a child we were surrounded by cat’s, rabbits and guinea pigs. There’s definitely something calming when you sit petting an animal. I was more than happy to share my Pethood story as part of a series from Petplan Pet Insurance.

Our Pethood Story

Our son had wanted a dog from around the age of five and would regularly ask but we had a cat who was a bit grumpy and it wouldn’t have been fair to get a puppy. So that Ryan could have a pet of his own we got him a hamster, and then another four months later when the first went to hammy-heaven. Unfortunately this one didn’t last very long either and as Ryan was heartbroken we decided that we needed to choose a pet with a longer lifespan so we got a Lionhead Rabbit called Sammy and Ryan doted on him.

Having a dog was still discussed on a regular basis, and as a family we quite liked the idea of having a dog but we were both working full-time and our cat was still the main issue so the conversation was shelved many times. I should point out that we did love having our cat, she was a lovely girl, she just didn’t like other animals.

Amazingly she made it to the ripe old age of eighteen, and as a pet family it wasn’t long before the yearning for a furry friend became apparent.

2014 was the year of The Dog

Our situation had changed. We’d had a little girl who was now three and Ryan was fourteen. I worked part-time and Chris’ job was fairly flexible so it wasn’t long before the yearning for a dog came up again.

We did a lot of research before making any decisions, taking into account the every day costs of having a dog as well as the time we had available for walking etc. Chris didn’t want a small dog, Ryan wanted an English Sheepdog, Isabelle wanted a puppy and I sat and did the research but we were looking at labradors and retrievers. Then I found the Labradoodle.

Labradoodles come in a variety of sizes with some being more curly and hairy than others. Labradoodles are a crossbreed of a Labrador and Poodle and was first bred around 50 years ago as a low-allergen guide dog. A lot of people mistakenly think that Labradoodles don’t shed their fur which is totally wrong – you only need to see what we hover up every day!

So once I’d discovered the Labradoodle it wasn’t particularly hard to convince the others that this would be the perfect breed. As a breed they are good natured, if not a bit daft, great with children and have a good life span. It’s interesting to see what the most popular breeds through time are. I found a local breeder who had some puppies available soon.

I wafted the information through to the others on a daily basis and it was three against one (Daddy) and to be fair he didn’t take much persuasion.  I showed the kids pictures of labradoodle puppies with their scruffy gorgeous little faces, and appealed to Chris’ sensible head about the advantages of having a dog, in particular why a Labradoodle would be a good fit.

When we went to visit the puppies we were led into a kitchen and in ran the puppies. I forget how many there were but they were all golden apart from one little scruffy brown pup. They were all over us, but this little brown one was biting at Ryan’s trainers, pulling at his laces and generally wouldn’t leave us alone. We knew then a there that he was going to be ours, it was like he’d chosen us.

Bringing him home in a veg box sat on Ryan’s lap, all of us grinning from ear to ear. As we’d done our research we knew that we’d have a settling in period where he might cry for his mum, brothers and sisters so we bought him a cosy bed and a toy monkey for him to cuddle up to.

Suprisingly he was no bother at all. He was at his happiest being around us and it really didn’t take long for him to be knitted into our family life. Dogs are known to lift people’s spirits that’s why they use them in some hospitals and nursing homes and coming home to this cheeky chappie is always a pleasure.

Charlie was covered by temporary pet insurance when we picked him up which lasted for a few days which gave us a chance to get his insurance in place. We opted for Labradoodle Pet Insurance Lifetime Cover which gives us peace of mind should anything happen. Petplan offer a range of cover which is tailored to your dogs breed so that you get the correct level of cover. Anybody even considering getting a dog should definitely factor in dog insurance.

It seems that most breeds have certain traits and illnesses they can suffer from. Labradoodles are prone to:

  • Ear conditions
  • Skin conditions such as dermatitis
  • Lumps and bumps
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Cruciate ligament rupture

Poor Charlie does suffer with his ears on and off and has received treatment quite a few times now.

Life with Charlie

As we live on the coast we were keen to get him used to the beach so had his first trip to the beach at four months old. It was on this car journey that we had our first episode of dog car sickness which we later realised was due to anxiety. He gets quite anxious in the car, panting a lot which was resulting in him being quite sick. It took a while for him to overcome this, but we persevered making sure that we kept car journey’s short and always took him to places that he would enjoy.

Our Charlie has a lovely personality. As Isabelle was only three when we got him we made sure that he never jumped up at her, and even now he won’t jump up at children. He’s a sociable boy with other dogs and people. I don’t quite think he understands when people aren’t that bothered with him as he’s used to getting a lot of attention. He would wait for Ryan to come home from school for a bit of rough play.

Charlie is ruled by his belly! He’s a very well behaved dog, BUT will be a bit naughty if he’s given the chance to scoff. He’s gate-crashed many a picnic and has run off a few times when the temptation has been too great. Since getting him we have had another baby who is currently weaning so Charlie is in heaven at the moment.

He doesn’t like water! Bearing in mind the Poodle in him are known waterdogs, he hates it! He doesn’t swim in water and will only go up to his ankles generally at the beach where the water is gradual. When it rains you practically have to shove him out the door. He’s such a wimp.

Charlie loves to play, but he’s not as bouncy and energetic as he was as a puppy. He’s hopeless with balls. He runs after the ball but then never brings it back. His favourite walks are on the beach or in the forest where he can discover lots of different smells and loves to find sticks and bits of driftwood.

Charlie is our third baby, our fur baby. I’m his Mummy! Only other dog owners understand when I refer to him in this way. It took around the same to choose a dog sitter as it did finding a nursery for the kids.

We had another baby last year and it was quite a big adjustment for all of us. It was our first time with a newborn and a dog and the fur was a bit of a concern for us. A year on and Charlie’s loving this new source of food that a weaning baby provides. We now have daily dog/pram walks which seems to suit everybody.

Charlie celebrates Christmas with us. He has a dog chocolate Advent Calendar, a stocking and presents under the tree.

We also celebrate his birthday every January by making him a cake or treats and presents. His dog bed even matches our sofa!

Charlie is undoubtedly a member of our family and we’d be totally lost without him.

Pethood stories - A woman's best friend with Petplan. Read how Charlie the labradoodle became part of our family

*This post is in conjunction with Petplan but all thoughts are my own

My Top 10 Family Foodie Destinations

My Top 10 Family Foodie Destinations

My Top 10 Family Foodie Destinations – If we could travel anywhere around the world based on the foods we’d love to try we would travel to some pretty amazing places.

My Top 10 Family Foodie Destinations

We love a variety of cuisines and thankfully neither of our kids are fussy eaters so we relish trying out new recipes and supermarket finds. So if our bellies were our holiday guide where would we go:

My Top 10 Family Foodie Destinations

1. Egypt

For Falafel of course. I love it. It’s known as the ‘poor mans burger’. It’s made of crushed fava beans, rolled into balls and fried. It’s most commonly served at breakfast to give people energy throughout the day. We would usually have Falafel with hummus or tzatziki (I know that’s Greek), hummus and salad. We’ve also made our own version of Shakshouka which eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, and onions, often spiced with cumin.

My Top 10 Family Foodie Destinations

2. Greece

I tried my first Gyros at a fete type event where there was a pop up Greek stand. Traditionally make with marinated pork, beef or chicken but mine had fried halloumi in it (another one of my favourites). Essentially it was fried halloumi with tomato, onion and tzatziki wrapped up in a pitta bread which would usually be considered ‘street food’. Mine also came with chips that were coated in oregano which were also wrapped up in the wrap. Delicious.

3. Jamaica

Jerked Pork and Blackened Fish. Chris would be in food heaven in amongst the food shacks before settling on the beach to chill whilst the kids try the local fruit. I’m sure Chris would also have a taste of Curry Goat but he might be eating that on his own.

My Top 10 Family Foodie Destinations

4. France

Have you tried a Galette? When we went to France about five years ago now we stayed in Saint Jean de Monts which was lovely. There was a long strip of restaurants and bars which never seemed to close. There were two particular dishes that seemed to feature in every single restaurant and they were galettes and muscles. I’ve never tried and nor do I intend to try muscles and I really wasn’t keen on trying the galettes either. A galette is a pancake made with buckwheat which is served with either sweet or savoury toppings. Now, I’m totally up for pancakes with fruit, lemon juice and maple syrup, but the thought of savoury toppings didn’t really do it for me. However, when we went out to eat one evening we went to a galette restaurant so I had little choice in the matter. The basic galette topping seemed to be ham and cheese with an egg on top but I figured that if I was going to give them a go then I’d better jump right in and opted for garlic mushrooms in a white wine sauce (think vol-au-vent). I was a total convert and tried the ham, egg and cheese which was a fave of the kids.

My Top 10 Family Foodie Destinations

5. New York

I have a hankering for New York. I’ve never actually been to America, but having been a huge fan of friends it’s definitely on my bucket list of places I would like to go. I think Christmas time would be my preference and again it would be the street food vendors that would tempt me first. I’d have to have a try of a chili dog and a proper pretzel. Warm, chewy and covered in salt. Yum.

My Top 10 Family Foodie Destinations

6. India

I’d be in big trouble if I didn’t mention India as Chris’ family on his mums side are originally from India. We eat a lot of curries with mild ones for the kids and spicy one’s for us. We love all the side dishes such as Dahl (curried lentils), Chana Masala (curried chickpeas) and Aloo Dum (curried peas and potatoes). Again, we would be in heaven walking through the brightly coloured markets with all the food smells tempting us. I’m not a vegetarian but I do really love curried vegetables and one of my favourites are vegetable samosas which the kids also love as well. Samosas were traditionally cooked around campfires during overnight trade journeys as they were easy to prepare and could be eaten cold en route.

My Top 10 Family Foodie Destinations

7. Mexico

Oh I do love Mexican food. Tacos are one of our weekly staples. It’s quick and easy to prepare, plonk it all in the middle of the table and everyone can help themselves which always goes down well with families. The beaches look amazing and I can see the appeal for the most romantic of holidays on our own or an action packed family holiday with paddle boarding and snorkeling.

My Top 10 Family Foodie Destinations

8. Spain

Forget all the cured meats, paella, bean stews and prawns fried in garlic and cut to the Churro’s. Whilst in Spain you couldn’t walk ten paces without being drawn to the churro stands. In the evenings when all the bars were open and the restaurants were overflowing with people, we were surrounded by people walking around with cones of churro’s in hand. Essentially these are just like the warm donuts that we get here but in stick version which are covered in sugar and most likely doused in Nutella. I prefer them on their own as they come which I think the sellers found slightly odd but the kids liked to dip them in Nutella.

My Top 10 Family Foodie Destinations

9. Argentina

This is definitely a meat eaters paradise. Huge hunks of meat, sausages and ribs cooked over an open fire or barbeque (parrillada) and eaten with a drizzle of olive oil or a favourite of ours, chimichurri which is herbs, olive oil and garlic washed down with a glass or two of Melbec. I’d also love to try the provoleta which is their version of grilled cheese and empanadas which are either sweet or savoury filled parcels.

My Top 10 Family Foodie Destinations

10. Italy

Last but definitely no least. Italy is definitely somewhere I would like to go for a grown-up child-free holiday where we can take in the sights and take in the glam Italian lifestyle. I dream of lazy mornings venturing out for morning coffee and pastries followed by a spot of handbag shopping. Walking around the shops whilst not having to keep a beady eye out for the kids touching anything and everything. We could find out from locals where the best place to eat would be which are generally the less touristy areas so that we could sample some of the traditional foods such as Antipasti, Calzone and Frangipane not forgetting pasta and pizza. With baby number three due any day I don’t see this being any time soon, but a girl can but dream!

Wow that’s quite a list now that I’ve written them down and one that I imagine will only get longer as we discover more cuisines and places.

If your belly were to lead you to another land where would it be? Plan your dream foodie destination with Destination2 Holidays where you will find everything from family holidays, honeymoon destinations, gorgeous beaches and adventure holidays.

Where would you recommend as your Top Family Foodie Destination?

* This post was in collaboration with Destination2 Holidays but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Top Tips for Finding the Best Bed for your Child – Bedstar

Top Tips for finding the Best Bed for your Child.

How to find the best bed for your child

Top Tips for finding the Best Bed for your child – We spend a third of our lives in bed. Sleep is incredibly important in terms of bodily repair and regeneration, and in terms of the lives of young children, getting a bed, mattress, duvet, and pillows that are perfectly suited can provide boosts to the body, mood and brain. However, whether your child is getting their own grown-up bed, or is simply in need of a replacement, finding which is best up to the task can be a difficult thing to ascertain. To help out, we came up with a few useful tips to point you in the correct direction!


This is perhaps the most important tip in this article, as if your child’s bed is of the wrong dimensions, issues may arise, potentially making bedtime a chore. If the bed is too small, your child will be uncomfortable and constrained when they are in bed, whilst if it is too large, valuable playing space will have been encroached upon! A good idea is to get a bed frame that is lower to the ground than a full-sized adult bed – futons, for instance – that will make it easier for them to climb in to bed and will minimise any risks associated with falling out of the bed.


Again, the style of bed that you choose is very much dependent on your child and the space requirements in their room. Go through the children’s bed section on websites such as Bedstar with your child and show them all of the different styles of frames that they could potentially have. Bunk beds are particularly useful if more than one child is occupying a room, but can also maximise the space for activities below, if the bed only has a single, higher, tier.


You should ideally try and find mattresses, duvets, and pillows that will ensure your child gets the best benefits from their time sleeping. This means finding a mattress that is supportive of the body during sleep, but that isn’t too firm or spring-ridden, things that will only have a negative impact on your child’s quality of sleep. Duvets need to be thick enough to provide warmth during the winter months, but breathable enough to stop summertime stuffiness. Finally, pillows should be found that combine the qualities of both duvets and mattresses. If in doubt, S.L.E.E.P: Select a mattress, Lie down in a sleeping position, Evaluate its levels of comfort and support, Educate yourself about the options, Partners should try each mattress together (that last one isn’t particularly pertinent, but a useful tip nonetheless!)

Do you know of any excellent beds that are befitting of children? Tell us what they are below!

*This is a collaborative post. This post was originally posted on 27/05/15

Elastoplast #TearsIntoSmiles Challenge

Elastoplast Tears into Smiles Challenge.


What do your kids call a cut or a graze?

A Baddie
A Boo Boo
An Oopsie
An Ouchie

Isabelle loves to make a huge song and dance whenever she falls over. She starts off crying and we’re desperately trying to work out if she’s hurt herself and if so what damage has been done whilst she bats us off covering up the ‘baddie’.


Once we’ve had a look we have to assess the situation and work out if it’s just a bang and we might need to rub on a bit of arnica or whether it’s more than that.

We have, like most parents a whole kit of stuff for every eventuality.

We have arnica for bruises
Antiseptic spray and cream to get all the nastiness out of a cut or graze
Plasters of course in all shapes and sizes
Cotton wool pads – for holding over the baddies (better with a sprinkling of magic water)
A cold pack that we keep in the freezer

I think that the biggest part of a cut or graze is the initial shock of falling over that scares them more than the resulting injury.

If we have plain plasters, then part of making it ‘all better’ is drawing a design on the plaster whilst a cotton pad is held in place to clean it is all part and parcel of making sure that all is good and well in the world again.

I’m not playing down any falls that Isabelle may have, but thankfully she’s never had any serious ones that have needed proper medical attention.


We were sent a set of both Frozen and Star Wars Plasters which have all the characters of the films on them so Isabelle has already pointed out her top few from both sets for ‘future baddies’.


I love a challenge so it was no different when we were asked to take part in the Tears into Smiles Challenge – #TearsintoSmiles

So what do you do when your child has a fall?

We do all of the above and Isabelle plays a huge part in this by cleaning it herself and putting the on cream herself. She likes to put on the plaster but her aim isn’t that great so we try and do this ourselves if we can.

Following the clean up we have a bit of calm time when we sit and have a cuddle and either watch a bit of TV or read a book together.

Using Distraction

Once this is all done, it’s definitely a game of distraction that helps get the day back on track.

We were sent a Hoopla Garden Game to try out as part of the challenge which we set up in the lounge to start with but have since played with it in the Garden, and it’s even been on a trip to Nanny and Papa’s house.


Isabelle really liked this game and became the chief score taker (good for helping her count in tens and fives).

All the pieces come apart so could easily be packed away for the day on the beach as well.


This post is an entry for the Britmums #TearsIntoSmiles Challenge, sponsored by Elastoplast.

Lisa x


#VicksTricks for Coughs and Colds

#VicksTricks for Coughs and Colds

I feel like a bit of an expert on this topic as we’ve probably experienced the rough side of a cough and cold with our daughter more than the average mum and dad.

I say this not in a competing kind of way, but having Isabelle has changed so many things about what I used to believe was the ‘right way’ to look after a child.

#vickstricks for coughs and colds- Surviving the cold season with vicks

Ryan was never a sickly child, slept and eat well.

We never avoided people with sniffles and were never really that phased when we turned up to the nursery and yet another notice was on the door notifying us of the latest illness going around.

Isabelle changed all of this.

We truly believe that you could sneeze across the road from Isabelle and she would catch a cold.

I hated it when I went to baby/toddler group and there were always children with coughs and colds as we knew that she would get them.

It irked me when family and friends would visit with a poorly child or ill themselves knowing that she would get it.

I can imaging you rolling your eyes at this point, but Isabelle never gets just a cough or cold. It was always to the extreme.

She would be poorly for days on end, none of us getting much sleep at night due to the crying, coughing, and ultimately the projectile vomiting when she couldn’t control the cough.

She’s been given inhalers, antibiotics, and steroids to help ease her symptoms mostly not helping at all. We know the signs a mile off by now so we know what’s in store for us.

So I pass on our baton of wisdom in all things ‘Cough and Cold’.

My Tips

No milk. I know this one isn’t possible when little ones are little little, but milk is claggy in the throat and can sometimes promote coughing as it thickens the phlegm. Also milk sick is so gross smelling and a nightmare to get the smell out of carpets.

A nice calm bathtime routine. Adding a chamomile teabag into the water or a few drops of lavender oil to relax them and also open up their nasal passages.

No running. I know this sounds like a funny one, but Isabelle would have the most awful coughing fits if she had bursts of running around or being silly, so the run-up to bedtime has to be quiet play.

Open the windows – Even if it’s a freezing cold day. Open the windows during the day in your child’s bedroom to let some fresh air through. Alternatively, you could get a dehumidifier.

Menthol vaporiser – We have a plug-in one that we got from boots which we put on about an hour before Isabelle goes to bed.

Raising the mattress – When they have a cough and cold lying flat is not the best thing for them so put something underneath the mattress so that they are slightly raised. I also give Isabelle an extra pillow for the same reason.

Vick’s Vaporub – Don’t be shy go for the massive tub. We get through loads of this which we apply to Isabelle’s back and chest. We also read on a forum to put it on the bottom of her feet and leave her socks on so we did this as well.

Water – Make sure that your child always has access to water so that they can at least try to help themselves by having a drink during the night.

Isabelle can’t seem to control her breathing very well when she has a cough and a cold and is quite often sick as a result of her panicking when she’s struggling. She now knows to get out of bed. If we can direct the sick away from the bed at least she can get back in without having to wait for the whole bed changing dance.

NEVER let them in your bed. We know only too well what happens when they’ve been sick in their own bed and thinking that it’s an easy option for them to climb in with you only results in nobody having anywhere to sleep!

We’ve also tried nasal sprays which she didn’t like at all so we keep them as a bit of a last resort to be used only with bribery.

Get some balm for their noses which get sore and red from all the nose wiping. It’s like a plaster, they love to have something to put on.

For coughs, we give Isabelle ice lollies which she loves, but it also soothes her throat. If she’s not eating we can make them from fruit so that she’s at least getting some nutrition in her.

All the cough medicine that they are able to have. When things have been really bad we’ve been told by our doctor to give Isabelle an antihistamine to make her sleep.

During the day create a space where they can sleep if they want to. Isabelle won’t go to bed but if she’s comfortable she might at least close her eyes.

Have a selection of easy to play with toys. No jigsaws or complicated games which will end up in them getting ratty.

DVDs or TV for them to watch. Whilst you don’t want them stuck in front of the TV all day some little ones can’t seem to cope with much else.

Don’t expect them to sit and eat huge meals. When Isabelle is poorly she never wants to eat so we let her choose from a selection of things such as fruit, crackers, toast, yoghurts, etc so that she can pick what she wants and is more likely to eat it.

Olbas Oil on a flannel over the radiator and then dot a few drops around the room.

Honey and Lemon – Make them a cup of warm honey and lemon. Putting it in a fancy cup with a straw usually works for Isabelle.

Kids’ magazines always cheer Isabelle up. Isabelle’s favourite part is of course the toy on the front and it’s possibly the only time that she’s interested in the stories and activities inside the magazine as well.

Another good one is to be armed with an iPad or phone with some good kids apps. Isabelle is currently into kids youtube watching the unwrapping of ‘Blind Bags’. The voices totally drive me nuts but as each one only lasts about 4 – 6 minutes they’re tolerable in small doses.

We were sent ‘That Book’ – The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep. It was quite a long book and I’m sure that it might work on a child who stays in bed, lying down in bed and doesn’t talk all the way through, but it made me tired, and she did go to sleep quicker than usual.

We also received some finger puppets which at the moment have prime pillow space in Isabelle’s bed along with bunny.

We do all of this whilst trying to avoid the sneeze spray so that we don’t end up getting it ourselves. It NEVER works, one or both of us always comes down with it so make sure that you have a cupboard full of remedies for yourselves as well.  Chris seems to like the Vicks First Defence Nasal Spray whereas Ryan opts for the Nasal Stick.

#VicksTricks Sliced Banana Trick

This is my entry into the #VicksTricks Campaign.

Lisa x



Bidvine – Local Helping Hands!

Have you heard of Bidvine ?

•This is a collaborative post.

Bidvine is a great online service for finding professional help in all aspects of your life, from a plumber to a personal trainer.  There are over 800 services available covering the whole of the UK. 


The site which is also available as a mobile app is simple to use. When you first go to the site,  you simply put in the service that you are looking for along with your postcode. You are then asked some very simple questions so that you can be matched to the most relevant people in your area. 

So I gave it a go.

I thought that I would test this by searching for  Pet Boarding as we’re going away later in the year so will be looking for somebody to look after our lovely Charlie. 

These are the questions that we were asked. 

How many pets require boarding? 1 

What type of pets do you have?  Dog 

How long is the required boarding period? A week 

Do you require any related services?

Making sure they’re fed
Grooming services
Administering medication
I’m not sure

Where can the service be delivered?

The service pro travels to me

I travel to the service pro up to: This is where you add in the miles that you are willing to travel for the services. 

When do you need Pet Boarding?

There is a drop down menu asking on the timescale which you can choose from being urgent to requesting a specific date which is what we would chose for Pet Boarding. 

Anything else the Pet Boarding Service Provider needs to know?

You can add in any additional details or requirements if needed. 

How would you like to receive bids? 

You can opt to have a phone call with offers or text messages

Then the request is submitted. 

This works on the basis that the Bidvine database will match you with  professionals offering all sorts of services matching  your requirements. You will then be contacted either by  phone call or text with offers which you can accept or reject. 

I was contacted within 20 minutes of submitting my request which I thought was amazingly quick.

What did I think?

This is really simple to do, and you can sign up for a Bidvine account by logging in with your Facebook or google account or by creating one using your email and a password. 

I’ve had a good old poke around the site, and there’s all sorts of services on there including Flat Pack Furniture Assembling to Stress Management Coaching. It’s really simple to do and using the app, can be used with ease as and when things crop up. 

What’s better is that most of us like to use people who have been recommended, so for any jobs that are completed you will be asked to review the services, and in turn you can read other peoples reviews which will help you make the right choice for whatever you choose. 

I’ve downloaded the App as it’s always handy to have in case of an emergency. I have a list of odd jobs as long (actually longer than) my arm which try as he might, Chris just isn’t Bob the Builder!