Monday, 22 July 2013

Should you teach your baby to sign?

When Lily (2) was only a few months old, I stumbled across this clip on youtube. The clip is of 1 year old Fireese and her Mum communicating with baby sign language. My mind was blown. Do you mean your baby can speak to you before they have language skills? This is Amazing. Why doesn't everyone do this? I had a LOT of questions ( as I always do).  What was this baby sign language?  How does a baby  learn to sign? And more importantly, how could I learn it?  I set off a quest to find out everything I could. I googled, watched & read anything related to baby signing. I asked all of my Mummy friends, have you heard of this baby sign language? I think most thought I had gone a bit nuts.  My baby is smart I thought, surely we could do this!  I taught myself a few signs and then set about teaching them to Lily.  She learnt one sign incredibly quickly and used it all the time (and still does 2 years later!). The sign was " finished". It was brilliant. She could tell me when she had had enough sleep or food. She could tell me when she wanted to get out of the bath or if she wanted to go home. Just with this one simple sign!  She started using it at about 18 months. Even though it was seriously cool to be able to understand her, and made life a lot easier, I was not committed to teaching her to sign, so she only ended up with the one.

However, I was determined to do it better next time. I researched the signs I wanted to introduce and taught 10 of them to Lily in a day! Those little toddlers are freaky sponges. She now helps me teach Charlie ( 9 months) the new signs every day. I have been using them with him for around 3  months, and he has learnt 2 so far. ( Daddy & More, such a boy)  He gets so excited when he uses them & can see that I understand him. It is an on going process and I will have to be committed to using them in my language with Charlie every day. But I know the reward is going to be worth it!   If you are interested & have a billion questions like I did, reading this article might help.

If you can teach your bub to clap and wave, then you have already started! All you need to do is make the sign every time you say the word and they will do the rest. Just be consistent and patient and it will happen. The first time your baby signs back to you will make it all worth it!

Should you teach your baby to sign? Well, that is entirely up to you. Babies can sign well before they can speak.  Research show's it has no hindrance on your child's verbal skills & I can tell you, Lily is a little chatter box!

Have you had any experience with Baby Sign Language? We would love to hear from you.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

{Recipe} Delicious Stir-fry Beef with Asian Greens

The kids and I LOVE stir-frys. They are so quick, easy and versatile not to mention super healthy! The protein can be switched to pretty much what ever you have fresh and available, beef, chicken, fish or tofu. The veggies can be changed to suit what is in your fridge or garden.. This is a recipe we cook at least twice a week. It is a guaranteed winner with Lily and she will eat it every time, without fail.

Delicious Beef Stir-fry with Asian Green & Soba Noodles

Serves 4

400 grams of sliced porterhouse steak
1 medium onion sliced
5 medium swiss brown ( or any style) mushrooms
1 cup dried shitake mushrooms
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
2 cm piece finely chopped ginger
3 tables spoons of Tamari or Soy sauce, plus extra for serving
2 bunchs (6 stems) of Baby Bok Choy or any Asian Greens
2/3 packet of Soba Noodles
3 tb Sesame Seeds for serving

Stir-frys are designed to be cooked very quickly so you need to do all of your preparation before you begin cooking.

Thinly slice the beef and place in a bowl with the ginger, garlic and tamari. Mix and leave to marinate for as long as you have. The longer you leave it the more the flavour will develop. A few minutes is ok though if you are in a hurry.
Slice all the onions and mushrooms, wash and separate the bok choy. Put the dried shitake mushrooms in a cup and cover with freshly boiled water then set aside.
Place a medium pot on the stove, fill to 3/4 with water and boil.  Heat a large wok to a high heat, then add your oil. I use olive and some sesame oil. Drain the shitake mushrooms.

Ok, now you are ready to start cooking!

To the wok add the onions and toss until they starting to cook, then add the mushrooms and continue tossing. After about 2 minutes add the beef and toss. As soon as the beef begins to brown  it is time to add your noodles to the boiling water, make sure you put your oven timer on as they only take 4 mins! 
Add your bok choy to the wok and toss. Let everything finish cooking for a minute or two. As soon as the noodles are ready, drain and add to the wok. Toss to combine all of the ingredients and add more tamari.

Serve immediately and top with Sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Monday, 15 July 2013

My Top 5 Baby Shower Gifts

As Baby Showers become more and more common I am often asked by other parents and non parents, what makes a great baby shower or newborn baby gift. Its a gift giving mine field out there! So I have put together a list of my 5 favorite guaranteed to please items. I know budgets can be tight, especially if you have a lot of friends having babies close together, as I do! I guess it is just that age, hey?  Here they are in order of budget, cheapest to most expensive.

1. Books! A baby can never have enough books & they start from as little as $5.  Any parent will love an addition to their newborns libary. It does not have to be a book suitable from birth, the baby will grow very quickly! Some of the classic's are A Very Hungry Caterpillar & Where The Wild Things Are. Any touch and feel board book will be fantastic too. A wonderful book for newborns is Mesmerised. You can find it here

babies looking at black and white books for newborns
Image from

2. Baby Clothes. Baby clothes are an incredibly popular gift and the range is staggering. My advice is to purchase your gift in size 00 and up. Mum will usually have an abundance of newborn items that the baby will never have a chance to wear as they grow too fast! Be careful of seasons, make sure you work out what size the baby will be in Summer or Winter etc. This did not occur to me with my first baby, and I had so many gorgeous summer dresses she couldn't wear in winter!
Basics are great, singlets, leggings & onesies. If you don't know the sex of the baby, keep the colours simple like whites and greys.  If you do know the sex you might like to give something a little more special like a pretty dress or jacket.
Cotton Knitted Hoodie
Image from

3. Wraps & Blankets.  You can never have too many! I love Aden + Anais muslin wraps. They are huge and fantastic for swaddling a larger bub and proving shade in a pram.  The more you wash them, the softer they become. You can find them here. If you love the idea of wraps, but would prefer a budget option, I also love the Big W version. They do the same job and are great quality. You can find them here.

Image from

4. Cuddle Dry Towel.  This is an awesome and simple invention! It can be very difficult to bath a baby and remain dry yourself. Getting the baby out of the bath while holding the towel under your chin is almost a circus act. Introducing the Cuddle Dry Towel. It is designed to wear like an apron and once you have hold of bub, one swift snap and it is a regular towel again! This is the only towel I use for my youngest. It has stayed soft after so many washes and he is all snugly as soon as he gets out of the bath.
The Original Cuddledry® Baby Bath Towel oatmeal/white
image from

5. Baby carrier.  This are certainly a high-end gift. If you want to give a group gift, this is a fabulous choice! There are so many carriers on the market at the moment. It will come down to personal choice, so maybe some input from the Mum to be, could be very useful on this one. Carriers are very diverse these days. Offering front carrying, side and back carrying. . Some are just used for newborn to 12 months, and others can be used for much longer.  My favorite is the Ergo Baby.. It can be used from newborn ( with the insert) right up to 18kg. Worn on front, side or back. Will usually fit Mum or Dad and can be very warm in the cooler climates. It is also considered better for the baby with bubs knee's being higher than his bottom.  The Ergo comes in SO many colour and style options it can be hard to choose.

Image from Google Images

I hope this list is useful to you in some way. What is your favorite baby gift to give or receive, leave a comment we would love to hear from you!

** this is NOT a sponsored post. These are all items I use and love.

Conversations with my 2 year old

I am so excited to discover a hilarious series on youtube called " Conversations with my 2 year old". If you have a toddler, please watch. You will be glad you did.  It is a simple and hilarious insight into the potential terrorist that lives within your home. The concept was created by the Dad, Matthew Clarke, whom appears as himself in the films. His daughter Coco is played by a full grown man, which just adds to the humor. Look for the little touches like the cute little bow in his hair!  The films are very clever and reassuring to know that there are other people that experience the two year old's pain.  My favorite episodes so far are 1 and 6 (nobody wants to wear pants!).You can watch them here and here. I am writing this as my 2 year old screams from her bedroom that she has a sore throat, needs a wee, is thirsty, the wind is scary, just one more story...all to avoid going to bed. I would do anything to be able to go to bed right now!

What conversations do you have with your two year old?

You can also check out their facebook page here