Getting Christmas ready with Alexander Dobell.

Shopping for boys is one of the hardest challenges in my life. I couldn't even finish buying something for my husband when my little one came along. When he was an infant, that was fine. Like, everything didn't end up in a meltdown when I made him wear anything remotely pink. But now four years later, all of a sudden its like a battle dressing up in the morning for school. There are tantrums, bribery, threats, tears, sighs of relief, fear of finding a hole in the sock. It is a whole level of chaos in my house every day.

But when it comes to formal wear, life becomes so much easier. Throw on a white shirt, a tux some shoes and we are on the road. There is no window of throwing a tantrum, except when you're trying to find the perfect tux. So when Alexander Dobell asked us to choose a tux from their website, I instantly took the opportunity instead of having an emotional break-down in one of the trying rooms of Next.

The single-breasted tuxedo has such a beautiful classic fitting. It comes with half lined unhemmed trousers (win-win) with a quarter inch of satin side stripe detailing. It is so well stitched and looks way more expensive than it actually costs! The detailing has been well-taken care of and has contrasting jetted pockets on the inside as well.

My son is quite on the thinner side so seeing the adjustable waists of the pants made me really happy. At least that meant, me not having to run around pulling his pants up every 5 minutes. The unhemmed trousers also worked a treat since I could easily hem them according to his height. The only downside that I would say or maybe my son is a little petite, it was a teeny bit big on him. But I am hoping that he fits into it right after the holidays since there are a few events lined up.  I ordered a size 4 in the beginning (Azlan was going to be 4 in two months at that time) but it was a little too big on him and the exchange for a size 3/age 3 was so smooth, it was like a dream!

There is a huge variety of tuxedos, dinner jackets, Christmas jumpers on their website so make sure you check it out. They not only deal with boys clothing but also cater to men as well. 

5 Tips For Introducing The Sippy Cup To Your Toddler

As your baby gets older, you will need to keep adding items to your feeding essentials. While you may have been breastfeeding or feeding your baby the best milk for brain development through a bottle, when he was younger, when he reaches six months, you can start using another item to give your child fluids: the sippy cup.

A sippy cup is a specially designed training cup that comes with a screw-on or snap-on lid and a spout that will allow your baby to drink without spilling. These cups usually have handles so that babies can hold them, while certain designs do not come with any handgrips. They also come with different types of spouts.

Teaching your child to use a sippy cup will let him know that he can drink milk from another container instead of getting it from the usual bottle and breast. Once your toddler is aware of this, it will be easier to wean him from breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, or both.

According to an expert nutrition advisor, when your baby learns to drink from a cup, you also enable your toddler to gain control over his mouth muscles and, at the same time, nurture his fine motor skills and coordination. It’s a great way to help stimulate your child’s growth and development.

To have an easier time introducing the use of a sippy cup to your toddler, here are some tips to keep in mind:

1. Take your time looking for a sippy cup your child will like.

There are different types and designs of sippy cups. According to experts, most toddlers prefer a cup with a soft, pliable spout because this will feel more familiar to your child than a hard plastic one so you can try this type first.

Sippy cups, in general, are not too expensive, so don’t hesitate to buy more than one and to keep an assortment in your home. You can then allow your child to try several sippy cups with different kinds of spouts until you find one that he likes.

Also, if you find colorful cups with whimsical or popular cartoon characters adorable, chances are, your child will be drawn to them, too. As such, don’t hesitate to buy a couple or more. Don’t worry about the other ones he’s not currently using since they can still be utilized.

2. Let your child choose his sippy cup. 

If your child isn’t paying attention to the sippy cup you’re giving him, use the other ones you have (or get a couple more) and let him select the cup he wants to drink from. Show him at least two at a time and wait for him to pick one. When you allow your child to select his cup, you give him a sense of control most toddlers crave.

3. Teach your child by example. 

Once your toddler has chosen his cup, get another sippy cup and show your child how to raise it to his mouth and tip it up to drink. Make sure you demonstrate how the spout works: that it is like a nipple. When the spout touches the roof of the mouth, he has to start sucking it.

Make a show of how much you like drinking from the sippy cup and talk to your child every time you are teaching him. When your toddler sees you enjoying drinking from the cup, he will follow your lead, and sipping from his sippy cup will soon become natural for him.

4. Give your child the sippy cup while breastfeeding or bottle-feeding him.

If your little one is refusing to use the sippy cup, allow him to drink from it while breastfeeding or bottle-feeding him. Halfway through a feeding, give him half of the formula or some breast milk in the cup. Once he’s emptied the cup, continue breastfeeding or bottle-feeding your toddler.

Make sure you continue to hold your child as you do when bottle-feeding so that he will feel comfortable. Also, make sure the lid is tightly covering the cup to avoid drenching your toddler in milk. 

5. Be patient. 

Until your toddler gets the hang of using a sippy cup on his own, it is best to put only water in the cup to avoid making too many messes. Add a small amount of water first as well. Also, don’t worry too much if your child doesn’t develop a liking for sippy cups immediately. Give him some time and be consistent in giving him the cup and he’ll soon learn to use it.

Introducing new ways of feeding your child is part of their growth and development. Start small, be creative, and persist; eventually, your child will be an expert in drinking from a sippy cup.

Ingenious Ways to Cut your Heating Bill

These days, we're all keen to reduce our carbon footprint and to lower our energy bills. There are many ways you can do this, from improving your insulation to installing overlay underfloor heating, and here are some top tips to help you make changes in your home.

When it comes to keeping your home warm without breaking the bank, there are a few changes that you can make in order to make your property more energy efficient. Using the right type of heating method and installing adequate insulation will help to ensure your rooms stay warm while your bank balance stays healthy. Here are some ingenious ways you can try to slash your heating bills this winter. 

Check Your Windows and Doors.

Before you even think about switching heating methods or changing energy suppliers, you need to look at where you are losing heat from your home. Are there gaps or cracks around your windows or doors that are letting warm air escape? If so, they need to be filled in with weatherstripping, sealant or caulk so that your rooms have the best chance of retaining warmth.

While you're looking at your doors, don't forget to check your front door too. If you can see daylight underneath it, you may need to look at ways of blocking up the gap to stop indoor air from getting out, and you may also need to put a draught excluder inside your letterbox as this is another danger spot for draughts.

Turn Down Your Thermostat.

It's been shown that simply by turning down your home thermostat by just one degree you can save money on your heating bills. You won't notice the difference of just a single degree, but your bank balance will. The saving will add up over the course of a year.

Insulate Your Conservatory.

Your conservatory is one of the trickiest areas of the home to heat because of all the glass which allows warm air to escape. You have two options when it comes to keeping your conservatory warm. The first is to simply not use it when the weather turns cold and to just close the door and use it as an extra layer of insulation on that part of your home.

The second option is to install some specialist conservatory insulation, to triple glaze the windows and to put up thick curtains to trap warm air inside. Many conservatories are not permitted to be attached to the home's main central heating system due to building regulations, so there are limited options when it comes to warming them up. While electric heaters are a possibility they are expensive to run and are not very energy efficient.

The other alternative is to install overlay underfloor heating. Perfect for rooms like conservatories overlay underfloor heating can be used over either wooden floorboards or concrete flooring and is ideal when used under hardwood or tiling.

Change Your Supplier.

One of the easiest ways to save money on your heating bill is to change your energy supplier. It's surprising how few people stay with their original energy company even when they could get a cheaper tariff elsewhere. Although it may seem complicated, the process of switching supplier is quite simple and can be done quickly and easily online through a comparison website. All of the hard work can be done for you and you can reap the benefits of the savings. 

Change Your Boiler.

If you have an older boiler, it's time to think about replacing it with a new energy efficient one. Even if your old boiler appears to be working perfectly, it will probably still be inefficient when compared to the latest models on the market. Although the cost of buying a new boiler may seem very high, you will certainly save more money in the long run, and persevering with a central heating system that is past its prime is a false economy.

Install Insulation.

There are many areas of your home that could benefit from insulation to retain heat and cut down your heating costs. The most obvious place to insulate is your loft space since most of the heat is lost through your home's roof. Cavity wall insulation is also very beneficial, as is insulating around your pipework and under your floors.

If you follow these ingenious tips, you should soon see savings on your heating bills, but your home should stay toasty and warm, even on the coldest days.

Underfloor Heating Supplies are specialists in designing and supplying high-quality underfloor heating systems to keep your home warm. Visit their site today and learn more about how underfloor heating can work for you.