Top ten baby products I couldn’t live without

As I now only have nine weeks left until our little bump is due to enter the world I have finally started to think about what we need to prepare for her arrival. How different it is second time round!! By this time in my pregnancy with Isabella the nursery was complete, wardrobe full and hospital bag packed 🙂

Whilst planning what I need to prepare I sat and had a thought about the 10 things I found most useful and here they are:

1. Amby Baby Hammock
http://www.amby.co.uk

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Instead of a Moses basket Isabella slept in this and I was an absolute god send for me. Even after night feeds she was so easy to settle and if she moved it would rock her back to sleep, I will definitely be using this again with baby number 2.

 

 

 

2. Puckababy Piep
http://www.puckababy.co.uk

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Isabella kept hitting herself in the face or startling whilst sleeping and I found this amazing the first night I used it she went from waking every three hours to going 5 1/2 hours a miriacle when you are sleep deprived. She continued to use the next size up until she was over a year old.

 

 

 

3. Baby Carrier
There are hundreds of different types and brands and I think  it is really down to personal preference and comfort for you and baby. There are loads of sling library’s across the UK where you can go and get advice and trial all the different styles as well as hire them before you spend out money buying one. I would really recommend this as I found my sling to be an absolute lifeline allowing me to keep on top of house work, prepare dinner and just have my hands free. If Isabella was crying or clingy I would also put this on and walk around the house and it would settle her.

4. Motorola MBP30 Digital Video Baby Monitor
http://www.babymonitorsdirect.co.uk

ImageWith loads of great functions this baby monitor gave me absolute piece of mind with Isabella, you also had the ability to play music or talk back through the monitor. The picture was really clear and had great night vision. We have recently just swopped this for a newer model of the Motorola Monitor with two cameras so we can keep a watch on both children.


5. Rocking chair

I was given my grandma’s old rocking chair so I still have this to use but for those night feeds, settling baby or just a nice comfy place to feed and comfort baby I found my rocking chair the most relaxing place to go.

6. Bouncy chair
http://www.kiddicare.com

ImageIf you want to be able to have dinner in piece or grab a quick shower I would recommend purchasing a bouncy chair, a safe place to put your newborn that they seem to relax and enjoy themselves in. There are several models and they all vary in price but I would definateley say make sure it vibrates and plays music.

 


7. Brother Max 3-in-1 Digital Thermometer

http://www.brothermax.com

ImageA newborn is so precious and temperature is so vital that I found the Brother Max thermometer a real necessity and also not only used it to test her temperature or check if she had a fever but to control the nursery temperature and decided what she should wear to bed.

 

 

8. Breastfeeding Pillow
http://www.kiddicare.com
ImageAt the beginning breastfeeding can be tough and if anything makes it easier or more relaxing then it is a necessity in my eyes.

 

9. Sophie la Giraffe
http://www.sophielagiraffe.co.uk
ImageWhen your baby is teething and grizzly you will do anything to make them happier, for some reason this giraffe works miracles for teething pain. I purchased so many different types and styles of teething toys including the frozen ones and necklaces but Sophie was the preference by far.

 

 

10. Fisherprice Jumperoo
http://www.kiddicare.com

ImageThis is for when your child is 6 months + but as soon as Isabella was old enough it gave her a sense of new found freedom and she loved it! This by far was the most useful toy she has ever had and she never seemed to get bored of it.

 

I hope you have enjoyed reading my ‘top 10 baby must haves’ if any of you reading this have any good tips or recommendations I would love to hear from you!

Sophie
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Bugaboo Donkey – Mono Review

This pram has become my true love and I cannot wait to trial it in duo mode when the new arrival is here 🙂

My first pram was the Joolz Day which I absolutely loved but have to say the Bugaboo Donkey has won me over more than that. With my hectic lifestyle we needed a pram that would go on all terrain including the beach, fit in a BMW 1 Series and I also wanted it to look nice, whilst looking for a new pram we also decided that we were going to start trying for another baby so it would make sense to get a pram that would convert to a double. After lots of research and reading other peoples reviews I decided to go with the Donkey.
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Look and Style
As with all Bugaboo prams even with a first glance you cant help but notice the style, quality and ability to personalise, with several colour choices, handle bar covers and accessories you really can make this pram your own.The fabrics and frame are to an excellent standard feeling strong and sturdy to push.

Size
Although the pram looks big in mono mode it is actually no wider than the Chameleon and in duo mode will still fit through most standard doors. The frame when folded fits easily into the boot of my BMW 1 series with the seat and basket.
ImageManoeuverability/Folding 
The pram is so easy to push and there is no need to even use two hands, the steering and control is so light. This pram manoeuvres effortlessly and has swivel wheels that also have air tyres.The tyres also lock in the forward or backward position for rough terrain which this pram really excels in including the beach! The locking process is also handy for rocking you little one off to sleep 🙂 if you are struggling on the sand there is another useful mode which is two wheel mode converting the pram into something similar to a saktruck to drag across the beach.

ImageTo remove the seat from the frame the buttons are memory so when you press they stay released which is brilliant allowing you to do one handed. The folding of the pram is also easy but does require two hands, or if the grandparents are using a decent instruction as my mum borrowed to take my daughter out and ended up with the pram stuck up and had to drive home with the roof down and the pram still up!

Colour packs/Hoods
The hood on the Bugaboo Donkey is great giving you several positions with one option to completely cover your child’s face. The hood is shower proof and also great at protecting from the sun. There are tons of funky colours to choose from for the colour packs even a special edition Andy Warhole design. I get bored of colours or prams easily and this is a great option to change your pram slightly making it feel new.

Handlebar
The handlebar is easy to move up and down with loads of settings easily allowing a 6ft man push or even as low as a child. The handle bar also has a safety wrist strap attached so you ban be sure the pram won’t run away when going down a hill. I can imaging this is especially vital when in duo mode.

Comfort
My daughter (13 months) absolutely loves this pram and seems really comfortable in it, she is happy to sit in it to sleep, eat, and just admire the world which in her stroller she doesn’t seem happy to do any of these especially sleep. I have also used the pram for a 3 year old and there was plenty of space in the seat for him without any issues, which isn’t the case with many other prams. There are several recline options from completely flat to upright which allows you to recline the seat as and when needed as well as giving your child the option to see everything whilst out and about.

Large Basket & Side Basket
As I love shopping the side basket really appealed to me allowing me to happily shop and load the pram with bags without the risk of it tipping up!
It comes with two baskets a side storage basket which can only be used in Mono mode, and there is also a large basket under the seat. The mesh under seat basket is of a large size fitting approx 4 shopping bags with no issues and the side basket can fit approx 2 bags of shopping.

Conclusion
Overall this pram is amazing, I usually get bored quickly with prams and have had several but this time I am happy and can’t wait to convert it to a duo when baby number two arrives (I will post a duo review once she has). I have not had any issues fitting in shops or doorways and love the basket on the side to make shopping that little bit easier. Isabella seems really happy in the pram and it is so easy to push on all terrains. I would give the Bugaboo Donkey in Mono mode a score of 9/10 and for what you get excellent value for money.

Growing up so fast and tough night..

ImageI had a great day with Isabella today, her cheeky little personality is really starting to shine through and makes me laugh all day long. She is gradually becoming more independent and definitely can’t be described as a baby but a toddler. James (my husband) is away working for two weeks in the south of France so things have been tough with pregnancy/hip pain and balancing the cleaning, washing and a toddler. On the plus side I am feeling more energetic as I have been listening to hypno-birthing music before bed and getting early nights rather than sitting up watching TV and talking to James.

How women cope with two under two I am yet to work out but I will soon find out only 10 weeks left until my due date 🙂

Tonight was tough, I made the decision to finally make the transition from bottle to beaker at bed time and she drank the same amount of milk happily but was wide-awake and not ready to sleep. With determination I kept getting her to lie down trying to show her I was calm and could do it all night although inside I was irritated! An hour later she was finally asleep and since falling asleep (i’m going to jinx this) she seems pretty settled and has not woken up since going to bed so fingers crossed it will just take a couple of nights for her to get used to the new routine. It always seems that you get settled in a routine and then its time to tackle something new and start again, hopefully second time round it will be easier knowing what works and doesn’t as there is so much conflicting advice.

 

Antenatal refresher course and yoga

UnknownLast night was my first NCT antenatal refresher course and I was a little dubious about wether I would find it useful but actually really enjoyed the first session and am looking forward to the rest. I would recommend these to any second time mum to not only meet some other mum’s in the same boat as you but also remind yourself of the stages of labour, pain relief, breathing etc.. The course is a 2 hour weekly session over 5 weeks and the last one is for your partner too. Not only is it nice to refresh yourself on labour but I find it a really nice time to focus on the baby as first time round with Isabella she was my only focus this time I struggle to get time to stop and think i’m even pregnant.

http://www.nct.org.uk

pregnancy-yoga class2This time I have been suffering pelvic pain which is totally new to me, I think this is because I am constantly lifting Isabella and running around rather than resting. To help with this I have enrolled onto a specialist Yoga course with Marion Symes – She practiced as a midwife for 12 years but now her main focus is teaching pregnancy and postnatal yoga. She used to run Active birth preparation courses at her local maternity unit but she now incorporates this teaching into her antenatal yoga course. I am starting this six week course soon so will keep you updated on how I get one :-).

http://www.littlegemsyoga.co.uk

Anyway nearly the weekend,
Sophie
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Bloods, GTT and Anti D

I am the most squeamish person ever usually passing out when I have my blood pressure taken so pregnancy is a big test for me especially as my blood group is O rhesus – meaning I have to also have an anti d injection.

1217870163_1384867161Today I had my GTT and there were no dramas I didn’t pass out and it really wasn’t that bad. I also had to have my bloods and GTT last week which I survived both of them as well. Everytime I have something done like this I come away thinking it wasnt that bad yet before each procedure I work myself up into a total stupor, I really and wish I could get over it.

I only have my whooping cough jab left and then its just time to sit and wait for labour to start no more nasty procedures.

Easter Break & Pregnancy Pain

Sorry for not posting we have been away sleeping in a retro camper van called Gertrude at Stewartby Lake as my husband is involved in Powerboat Racing and had no wifi or 3G.

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We had a fantastic weekend away as Isabella loves being outdoors and really enjoyed sleeping in the camper, she also enjoyed watching the racing, playing outside, making daisy chains and eating her own body weight in chocolate..

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Unfortunately during the weekend I noticed my back was getting more and more painful.. Something I never had when I was pregnant with Isabella nor have I had any other symptoms this pregnancy so far. Today it felt so bad it hurt to walk and was still uncomfortable sitting, I called my midwife to explain the pain and she thinks it’s SPD.

I have had a look on the NHS website and it seems quite a common issue Some women develop pelvic pain in pregnancy. This is sometimes called pregnancy-related pelvic girdle pain (PRGP) or symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD).

Luckily I have an appointment with her on Thursday to have my Anti D (as I’m O rhesus negative) and she is referring me to a physio so fingers crossed that will help? If any of you reading this have experienced SPD and have any tips to help I would love to hear from you…

Hope you all had a wonderful break
Sophie
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Easter Fun & A Magic Lollipop Garden

20140415-220148.jpgEaster is nearly here so I thought I would share some cool crafts and recipes to do during the Easter break 🙂 I have become an expert over the last month at eating hot cross buns! I’m officially addicted and don’t think I can use the excuse it’s a pregnancy craving because I’m the same every year.

20140415-220251.jpgI feel it’s really important to encourage creativity and imagination from a young age so I am planning on planting some jelly beans in the garden with Isabella on Saturday night and then whilst she is asleep push in some lollipops into the ground in place of the jelly beans as if they have grown overnight. On Easter morning we can go out and the lollipops will be there.

Crafts

Children love crafts and Isabella has been enjoying several Easter related activities my two favourite were:

Easter bonnet making:

20140415-213005.jpgYou can buy a really cute bonnet from Hobby Craft for the bargain price of £1.99 and they have loads of Easter related ribbons, stickers and stuff to add to your hat I went absolutely mad buying stuff and still cost me no more than £8.00.

 

Handprint Easter Lamb:

20140415-214110.jpgThis is the perfect Easter present for the grandparents as everyone loves something made from a child’s handprint.

It’s the perfect craft for smaller toddlers as doesn’t require a huge duration of attention and they all seem to love to get messy. To read the full instructions on how to recreate visit: http://craftsbyamanda.com/2011/03/handprint-easter-lamb.html

Recipes

Chocolate Nests

20140415-214902.jpgThese are really simple to make and the perfect Easter treat, your kids will love eating them! Find the full recipe here

 

Cinnamon Eggy Bread

20140415-215422.jpgIsabella loves eggy bread for breakfast and this recipe provides something a little different and the prefect Easter treat. Find the full recipe here

 

Happy Easter hope you all have a wonderful time

Sophie x

Fussy Eater

Recently I have been concerned about Isabella going from eating anything to becoming fussy.. I had all the excuses under the sun, teething, illness etc but in reality she had probably just formed an opinion.

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Tonight I find myself wanting to dance around the house with excitement as we had a BBQ and for dinner she ate lamb and rosemary sausages, celery, cucumber and potato wedges followed by a fruit salad… She loved it all so much she was practically begging for more 🙂

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I have learnt a lot from my experiences; Isabella rejecting food, getting stressed, worried about the amount she is consuming and not wanting her to eat pasta and fish fingers day in day out. Some key things I will try to remember second time around for bump will be:

– don’t get stressed if she won’t eat or is throwing it on the floor, I believe they can pick up on this and it makes it worse

– if she rejects something that doesn’t mean she won’t eat it tomorrow try not to always just give her the fail safe favourites

– keep meal times fun and exciting

– try to keep food colourful and interesting

– Annabel Karmel has excellent recipes, meal planners and advice

– don’t compare your child to others they are all so different

I am so pleased with have finally turned a corner and Isabella seems to be enjoying a huge variety of food including curly kale!! This hasn’t come without stress, perseverance and trial and error.

If you’re looking for some exciting toddler recipes a few great sites are:

Annabel Karmel
Ella’s Kitchen
Wholesome Toddler Food

Keep calm and keep trying 🙂

Sophie
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Bargain Hunting

I have become obsessed with bargain hunting for children’s items and apart from for hygiene reasons such as mattresses and nappies I don’t understand the point in paying out for new when you can get so many nearly new items for a fraction of the price.

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Today there was a little pickles market on at our local village hall and I would highly recommend them to anyone. Find out dates and locations here: http://www.littlepicklesmarkets.co.uk
We came home with lots of new toys including a big bag of In the Night Garden figurines for £1 and a Ralph Lauren dress in excellent condition for £2.00.

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I also always make a point of attending our local NCT nearly new sale which are usually larger than the little pickles markets and can get some amazing deals. We attended the Titchfield one a couple of weeks ago and I came home with loads of bargains including a mamas and papas baby swing chair for £8 🙂

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Finally my bargain of the week was off of Ebay, a Pink Lining ‘twice as nice’ change bag used but as new for £21 and it is retailing for £85

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Happy Bargain Hunting x

Meeting our daughter 4D style

I have been excited about today all week as we had our 4D scan at Babybond and I had a manicure and pregnancy massage booked at Eastern Art this evening whilst my husband spent some quality time with our daughter and put her to bed…

The day was exactly as expected perfect.. Our new little daughter looked like a perfect bundle of joy and her growth scan was as expected with all vital organs as they should be. That said she wasn’t in a photographic mood and had me bouncing on a ball to try to get her to change position.

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The 4d scan was especially important to James who feels it is much more real having an indication of what she looks like, whereas I’m lucky enough to feel her every day. Pregnancy is so different second time round with a young toddler, you have no time for yoga, relaxing cd’s and are constantly lugging a heavy pram and toddler about. It was lovely for James and I to take an hour out of our day to dedicate the whole time to focus on our little ‘bump’.

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To finish off a lovely day I headed to Eastern Art for my massage and manicure. I chose to have a tropics shellac manicure which I absolutely love and a 45 minute pregnancy massage was the ultimate in relaxation! So enjoyable that I have booked again for four weeks time and already can’t wait 🙂

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Hope you all have a lovely weekend

Sophie x