is your baby tongue tied?

PAPER&PASTA Emma Daniels Tongue Tie

Let’s talk about tongue tie. Most people haven’t heard of it, I hadn’t until I was told Max had it. It’s basically a case of the tendons under the tongue not breaking like they should when baby is still in the womb. So the tongue is tied down. The only real problem with this and the reason you should act quickly rather than leave it (like my doctor suggested) is that it massively affects feeding, I think more so for breast (as they need a wider suck, and it makes it painful for you), but it will still cause problems with the bottle. However it has also been known to cause speech defects when the child is older.

Max latched well and would drink for five minutes happily, but would then struggle to carry on, so would ‘mess around’. I would blame his attention span, my milk supply, his appetite, and eventually my tolerance for pain, thinking I was just not as hardcore as other breast feeders!
It was becoming very painful, making life painful. Thankfully a wonderful friend of mine who is a Family Support Practitioner asked if she could send some specialists round, just to be sure everything was ok. They very kindly came out of their way, and just chatted while I fed, asking a few easy going questions. They came to the quick conclusion that he was tongue tied, something which he had not been tested for, removing a massive weight of failure off my shoulders, and leaving me the details of a specialist who could quickly cut it for me, but applied no pressure for me to do so. Three days later it had been done.
As it had been left so late, we had both already got into bad habits, but feeding was transformed!

It was like we had been cycling with the break jammed, and now it was fixed.
So if in doubt, get it checked. If you are having any problems with feeding, even silly little niggly ones, talk to a specialist. And if you are in suffolk, call these ladies. Or if you know it is tongue tie, and you would like to get it snipped (the earlier you get it done the less it will hurt/affect the baby) get in touch with Sarah.



so we have a lot to catch up on…

my apologies, i started this blog as a way to keep track and share my life with a new baby. but i’ve learnt life with a baby does not always allow for such luxuries, especially when you are self employed with only Grandma’s as childcare! so we have a lot to catch up on, i will try and do so with out too much fuss, please bare with me!

PAPER&PASTA Emma Daniels Catch upMax at 10 months old


maternity shoot, if in doubt, do it.

PAPER&PASTA Helen Kirkman photos1 copy

only four months ago i was the size of a house and bursting with excitment. i am so glad i took so many photos as it’s sometimes hard to believe it all really happened!

but as nice as it is to have my Instagram bump selfies, i am so glad we got to have a shoot with the beautiful Helen Kirkman. it was such a lovely time of the day, in what was a lovely summer, i’m so happy we captured it. these are a few of my favourites…

PAPER&PASTA Helen Kirkman Shoot2

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PAPER&PASTA Helen Kirkman Shoot7if you are looking at these wondering if you should bother doing a maternity shoot, questioning if you need one. obviously, it is not something that you need, but something that if you invest either a little time and/or money in now, you can be happy you did for the rest of your life, and that person inside you might enjoy them too!

if you are in the UK, i can highly recommend Helen, i was nervous about posing and being cheesy or awkward but she was so relaxed and fun i completely forgot about it.

have a look at her website HERE. go on, have a look, and while you’re there give her a ‘Like’ or a ‘Follow’, she’s a good egg she deserves it.

surviving the first three months…

there was me thinking i was going to post about baby a few times a week, or every time i took a few nice photos… HA! first thing i have learnt, looking after a baby really is all consuming, i’m lucky if i can eat lunch and get dressed, let alone keep my online presence healthy. it really is about surviving for the first few months. keeping baby fed, clean, warm and happy is the daily challenge. and as soon as you accomplish all those things, it’s time to re do them.

PAPER&PASTA surviving the first three months. baby lap.

i also wrongly assumed that once he was born i would be immediately in tune with him, knowing exactly what he wanted. nope. but this is half the fun, starring at him for hours on end, trying to read him and learn his signals, trying to communicate. for me, the changing mat is the best place to bond. we are face to face, he is awake, and i have both hands free to grab brightly coloured objects or to sing Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes over and over. at around 5 weeks this all started to pay off, as i was blessed with smiles, closely followed by ‘talking’… best thing ever.

PAPER&PASTA surviving the first three months. changing mat.

so my advice from what i have learnt over the last three months?

newborn babies really do love swaddling, it looks mean, it’s the opposite. dummy’s are not the devil. the hair dryer turns into a magic sleep machine, and exercise balls will take the strain out of ALL THE BOUNCING.

take lots of photos, all the time, of everything. you can edit them down next time you are feeding or stuck under a sleeping baby and don’t dare move

buy ‘one handed food’ you can eat straight away. wash fruit before storing it, prepare anything you can in advance. not only will it save you time and stress, it’ll make you feel like you’ve got your shit together, which at this time, does not happen as much as you’d like.

set up stations, like you do with the changing table, where you put everything at arms length, do this everywhere. if you are breast feeding you are going to need a glass of water, some entertainment, maybe some food, some form of communication, a muslin, a blanket, maybe a dummy… i have a day and a night station, which means i don’t have to run around the house with a crying hungry baby trying to find somewhere good to feed.

let your standards slip, find a new class of tidy, leave those dirty dishes, enjoy the chaos for a while.

don’t try to be superwoman, surround yourself with helpful things and people…

PAPER&PASTA surviving the first three months. ben and silly face.

things that have helped me..

PRISCILLA DUNSTAN’S BABY LANGUAGE. a lady with photographic memory for sound noticed her baby made certain sounds for certain needs, she then went on to test the theory with more than 1,000 babies around the world. the noises are natural reflexes the baby makes, for example making a na sound when hungry as their mouth is making a sucking motion. it’s not voodoo (people give me a stupid look when i explain it to them) it is nature helping us out!

BREAST FEEDING APP. unless your memory stood the test of pregnancy and new motherhood, this will help you keep track of everything!

ARRIVAL BREAST FEEDING SUPPORT. i’m going to say it, breast feeding is hard, especially if there are complications (a story for another day) it can all be very overwhelming. these ladies, local to Ipswich (do look into people in your area) came to my house, were warm and friendly, then reassuring, and then literally turned it all around for me. they recognised Max was tongue tied, explained my options and put me in touch with another lovely lady to quickly get it sorted out. if it were not for these ladies i would have given up. give them a call if you are struggling even a little bit.

FIVE TO THRIVE. as much as motherhood should be learnt from older generations, some may have a very old fashioned, and unhealthy way of dealing with babies. this is a round up of everything we have learnt about babies and people in the last 50 years, we don’t use lead pencils anymore if you catch my drift?

PAPER&PASTA surviving the first three months. Bear Hat.

the biggest revelation i have had since having a baby (and bear with me on this one), is that babies are actually just people put into an alien world. they have been put into a brand new body they need to learn how to work, in a brand new world they need to figure out. they have all the tools there, they are very very smart, they just need to completely learn how to communicate. it is scary and very hard work for them. so rather than just babying him and seeing crying as noise, i now want to calm and comfort him, try to figure out what he is trying to tell me, and in return help explain the world to him.

sorry got a bit deep there, will definitely post a fluffier piece next time!

don’t forget to take lots of photos…

the next few posts are probably going to be a baby bump overload, but i followed everyone’s advice and took lots of photos, now i don’t know what to do with them all!

this was one i MADE Luke do with me (using pregnant hormone sad face, not aggressive force- he’s fine)…

Big Bump Photos! PAPER & PASTA

i was inspired by one of my favourite photos of my nana…

Stella Photo booth shots. PAPER&PASTA

i love it as it is such an insight into her character when she was young. after seeing this, i decided that at every milestone in my life i would take a photo booth picture to remember it . so this is my first!

things i have learnt about being pregnant… full term


one of the main things i was worried about, with the whole being pregnant thing, was the actual birth. i remember hearing heavily pregnant women saying they “can’t wait till they give birth” and i thought i would never wish to hurry along something so scary! but it becomes inevitable, it is something you have to do, so you first accept it, then prepare, then sit and wait for it to happen. there is also the combination of being able to turn over in bed, tie your own shoelaces, AND meet the person you have made which makes it all a bit more exciting!

Preparations, Full Term. PAPER & PASTA

people are not discreet. being pregnant has changed the way people act around me. from knowing instantly if someone knows your secret; stop sneaking looks at my stomach i’m not going to start showing for months! to becoming a focal point; i have never received so many smiles from strangers. to a talking point; “wow you are big, how much longer to go? girl or boy?”. which in the last couple of weeks just turns into stares and nudges. most of the time, this extra attention was lovely, it made moving around easier, everyone is happy for you and trying to help you out, and you can get away with anything!!

Belly Shot. PAPER & PASTA

pregnancy doesn’t have to become you. when i pictured being pregnant (which i admit i did a lot, for a very long time) i thought eventually i would become a big bloated elephant and not feel like myself anymore. and actually i was sort of looking forward to it, a new identity, having a good old moan about my swollen ankles. but it never happened, i always felt like me, with a massive beach ball attached to my front. i still had the same thoughts, wanted to wear the same type of clothes and do the same things i had done before… as long as i ate every few hours and always had water!


essential things i didn’t realise i’d need… a foam mattress topper, many many pillows, a chair placed in every spot i stand up in for longer than a minute, chocolate ice cream, cooling spray, a midnight cold water paddle and the need to dress up nice and go out!

everyone tells you, make the most of your freedom, get as much sleep as you can, and take lots of photos, and i’m glad i did… or i don’t think i’d quite believe it!

Full Term. PAPER & PASTA

baby shower fun…

i had never even been to a baby shower before, and the idea of being ‘showered with gifts’ and baby gender themed fruit cake made me feel a bit queasy. but after seeing so many lovely photos (again on Pinterest) of some more laid back do’s over the last year or so, i thought it would be a lovely excuse to get all my favourite people together, and show them how round i was!

i also realised i could turn it into a bit of a creative project, which got me far too excited. i started with the invite, it was so much fun designing a cut design for myself for once…paper&pasta baby shower invite

i managed to luck out with my location, i had made some recent friends in two lovely sisters, Hannah and Beth who were opening up their own independent coffee house, Baker & Barista, in my favourite part of Ipswich (it is now open so if you’re in the area you must go visit!). although it wasn’t quite ready in time for my shower they were kind enough to open their doors early and host us anyway which i am still SO thankful for! they even sorted out the baking for me so i got some lovely sweet treats!
paper&pasta baby shower4paper&pasta baby shower

i went with white and gold decor as it’s neutral and i love it.

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my favourite ‘organised activity’ was the decorate a onesie part. which was when i realised just how many of my close friends were creatives! i got some lovely onseies which i can’t wait to start using soon! paper&pasta Decorated onsies!

another fun activity was for everyone to bring a baby photo of themselves, it is a lot of fun trying to figure out who was who, but not so fun having to do it in front of everyone!paper&pasta baby photo game

i also made a little box with some note paper which i left for people to write any words of wisdom they had for the baby. i thought either they would be lovely and thoughtful so i could frame it and put it up in the nursery, or more likely, silly and rude and i could get them out in 18 years time!

paper&pasta baby shower wise words

check out the incredible cakes and cookies… this was slight torture for me as i had gestational diabetes, but i managed to try a little of most of them and they were beautiful. i am now sampling my way through lots of Baker & Barista cakes to make up for it!paper&pasta baby shower cakes

by far the best surprise of my night was seeing my lovely auntie and cousin who live in Holland, they had told me they could not make it! it was so overwhelming i didn’t quite know what to do! very sneaky! apparently i walked past them in town a few hours before and didn’t notice, i was so stressed that day, my word of wisdom on baby showering, don’t organise your own, it’s not relaxing. if like me, you want to have creative control, by all means still do that, but let someone you are close to organise it, someone who already knows you are a bit of a control freak.

paper&pasta baby shower family

this is me (the round one) with my wonderful mum and my lovely cousin Sam and aunty Sally! i was spoilt that day with Mums help and Sam and Sally’s company!

even my lovely uni besties from Norwich came! i was VERY spoilt!

even my lovely uni besties from Norwich came! i was VERY spoilt!

to everybody who came, especially those who travelled far. and for all the truly beautiful gifts, all of which were so well chosen and/or made (more on that another day)… thank you so so much.

it just goes to show if you look for excuses to get special people together and make contact with those people you wish you saw more, it might just pay off, it certainly did for me!
paper&pasta baby shower gifts

making paper pompoms…

paper&pasta pompoms!

being a pinterest mega fan, i had admired paper pompoms for a while. so finally given an excuse for a pretty party i thought i’d rope in my friend Tors and have a go! it is actually really easy, just make sure you have a good film, or a lot to talk about, as after one or two it can get a bit… samey.paper&pasta paper pompoms

start by layering 8 sheets of tissue paper on top of each other. i chose all white and all gold but am definitely trying an ombre effect next time using different shades. also try different sizes, cutting the sheets in half makes a nice size pompom.
paper&pasta paper pompoms

starting from the bottom of the rectangle fold the sheets in a concertina style, ie a paper fan, keeping to about a 5cm width.paper&pasta paper pompoms 3

next tie a piece of string firmly around the middle of the ‘fan’ to secure. this is also a good time to attach your hanging string to this string.paper&pasta paper pompoms4

trim both the ends of the fan into a curve, this makes a big difference afterwards!
paper&pasta paper pompoms5finally spread out the fanned parts and carefully unfold each fragile sheet. don’t worry if it doesn’t look right straight away you can style it nicely once completely unfolded, and don’t be afraid to mess it up and scrunch a bit!

it’s easy give it a go!

the week of birthdays

i was lucky enough to go to four birthday meals within the space of a week, yes two were mine, and hell yes they were all Italian, it was a very good week!

first was my lovely friend Flo, who got very excited about her caterpillar cake!

paper&pasta birthdays2

then it was Luke’s birthday, when he got to enjoy lot of fishy delights at Lucca’s in Manningtree, and where we later got stranded (always book a taxi home on a Saturday night) and for the first time in many years had to ring my Mum late at night for a lift! thanks again Mum you saved us!

paper&pasta birthdays3lastly it was my birthday. and because, for my birthday i was lucky enough to get a fancy new lens for my camera i took a fair few photos…

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Tors, Flo and I fooding it up

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the dapper looking Timo!

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Luke confused by his coffee cup

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the birthday beaut i promised myself

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yes i may have taken my camera to the ladies to take a bump selfie, but i wanted to capture the moment, and now i’m glad i did!

so here’s to another year…