Kristina Rihanoff Kristina Rihanoff

Mila is desperate to start crawling!

Hi guys,

I hope you’re all well!

I suppose the first thing I wanted to update you on is that Mila is close to reaching another milestone. She’s trying to crawl, she’s desperate for it. It looks like she’s doing yoga, like she’s doing downward dog! She’s trying every day, it’s a funny one because she’s getting frustrated… She might just start walking without the crawling phase, like some babies do!

She also has her first two teeth, which is really cute! Of course teething is no fun. She can get irritable and frustrated and cry, but she’s got her first teeth now so that’s lovely! They came out over Christmas, and I guess we’ll see the full set soon.

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She’s also trying new solid food and it’s so funny to watch – she has different expressions on her face, not knowing what she’s eating! She eats solids three times a day and milk as well, so it’s going well. She absolutely loves fruit right now, especially bananas and avocados! I have this rule where she only has her fruit in the morning and then she has her veg and protein later on in the day because I don’t want her to inherit my sweet tooth! Mila is quite picky when it comes to her food brands, but thankfully I know what she likes now. She really likes this Italian brand called Piccola. They mainly do savoury food with an Italian taste. She also loves Organix so that’s great that it’s all going well.

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Mila has outgrown her pram!

Mila is getting bigger by the day and she’s actually outgrown her pram! The past six months have just flown by. I had to get my head around getting a new pram. Again, there’s so much choice out there. There are some really amazing, state-of-the-art ones but they’re so expensive. You have to be sensible about your budget. I wanted to get a pram that I could run and exercise with, but also go shopping. After a lot of research, I’m happy to say that I found a brand called Hybrid. You basically change the wheels so the pram can convert from a normal one to a running one. It’s amazing! I would totally recommend it! The baby world is a minefield. There are so many products out there, but remember that babies grow up so quickly, so you have to think carefully about what you really need.

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Singing classes

Mila is very happy in her routine now. We’re still carrying on with the Water Babies classes. As I said before, she was sick over Christmas so she missed a few lessons, but we’re going back now and she still loves it. We’re also going to sing and sign classes once a week, where you learn how to do little signs while you sing. There are lots of other babies around so Mila absolutely loves that because she’s very sociable!

It’s been nice to get my social life back…

It’s nice to have a bit of my social life back, not that I want to go out every night but Mila more or less has an established regime so we can go out with friends and enjoy our time as a couple. I totally understand that new parents will feel strange.

Ben is an absolutely incredible dad, he’s so hands-on, he looked after Mila while I was rehearsing for my show, he was so amazing with her so I’m very lucky that I can leave her and not worry. Because now we feel she’s settled and happy and she sleeps, we can also go out. We went to watch La La Land because there’s been so much talk about it. I’m a big fan of both actors, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. I can’t really say it’s an award winning film to me, because the dancing and singing was good, but it wasn’t totally outstanding and Oscar worthy. But that’s just my opinion. It perhaps deserves an award for cinematography because it was unusual in that sense.

Last week we went to the London Film Critics Circle Awards and it was incredible being in the same room as Kate Beckinsale and Naomie Harris. It was so nice to get all glammed up and put on a dress and go on the red carpet with Ben. It was lovely to have time together, we really enjoyed it!

On the red carpet, I got asked a lot about whether I wanted to return to Strictly, if I was missing it. The thing is, I do miss teaching, seeing people blossom, there’s no reward like it. I’ve started teaching dance a lot actually. I’m teaching private and group classes and it’s been wonderful! It feels like I’ve come home! Check out my website here: bespokeballroom.com. In the future I would love to go back to teaching kids, which is what I used to do back in Russia when I had my own studio. I loved it; there is no more joy than seeing children enjoying dancing. It reminds me of myself when I was younger.

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My weight loss

A lot of people also complimented me on my post-baby weight loss on the red carpet. There were a few articles around saying that I bounced back really quickly, and it was lovely to see the compliments.  But the truth is, it’s not an easy process whatsoever. I was very open several times in my interviews saying I will not diet while I’m breastfeeding, I will not stress myself over losing the baby weight. It will go when it has to go, basically. Of course stopping breastfeeding after six months gave me more freedom to watch what I eat, and after a very overindulgent Christmas, I decided to cleanse my body and also after dancing with Gleb for two weeks was so intense, so it did help me to get back into shape. I felt like I gained it all back at Christmas, so we all decided in our family to go on this Clean 9 regime by Forever Living. You have your shakes, your fibre, you have a whole list of food you can eat because I really do not believe in starvation or depravation. You just have to be smart about what you eat. I also started going back to hot yoga classes too which I absolutely love. It helped me get toned without dancing. Dancing will always be my number one choice but yoga is pretty much up there too. I could only do yoga twice a week because I didn’t have much time and luckily my family helps me to have that hour to myself, to do the class, then come back and look after Mila. I’m very thankful for that.

And then I did that C9 plan where for nine days you eat completely clean food, all the fruit and vegetables that are listed in the brochure, and you can start introducing protein on the third, fourth days like chicken, turkey and fish. It was very easy to follow which is why I loved it. And it’s been really nice to hear compliments about my figure. It wasn’t easy, it took my seven months to get to where I am.

I still have a little baby pouch and it will probably never go, my skin’s been stretched and it’ll probably stay there for the rest of my life but hey, we’re mums and we’re proud of our bodies. I did it gradually and in a healthy way. We shouldn’t be forced into losing our baby weight immediately. If it takes one year, wonderful. If it takes three years, wonderful. If it takes you longer, wonderful.

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Thank you for your readers’ questions! Please tweet me @KRihanoff and @hellomag with your questions using the hashtag #AskKristina and I’ll try and answer them in my next blog!

You blogged about Mila’s sleep routine last time. Is it still going well?

Jo was wonderful. She stayed with us for 48 hours but said I had to pursue the same sleeping pattern for more than a week. It’s still going really well. Mila is sleeping through the night now, which is absolutely amazing and it’s made a massive change to my and Ben’s personal lives. We have our evenings to ourselves so we can do a bit more, like watch a film, go out, see friends – we’re just a little bit more flexible now and not too worried about leaving the house and have Mila screaming ha ha! I cannot thank Jo enough. I thought it was important to share my experience with other new mums, because we’re all learning and I wanted to say that there’s no harm or shame in turning to experts. Mila is a much happier baby now! She had a few nights where she hasn’t slept well and has been crying, but it’s because she’s been teething.

Looking back, is there anything you would have changed in your approach to Mila’s routine?

Yes, definitely! I would have actually asked for advice earlier. I didn’t want to feel like a failure, like I didn’t know what I was doing. I had read a lot of books but the problem is, there are so many books out there and some of them contradict each other. The thing is, you’re trying to get to know your child, and because I was breastfeeding, I just assumed that that was ok, for my baby to be up every three hours and feed. But actually I would have changed Mila’s routine a bit earlier, and settled her a bit better as well… There is no shame in asking experts for help! Do it if you have to!

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Thanks for reading my blog! Hope you enjoyed it.

Until next time,

Kristina x

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