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Educational Play with Schleich I'm a big fan of learning through play. Unforced educational play. I'm not a teacher and I don't want to be. I want my children to naturally learn whilst they are having fun. When I was contacted recently...

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Say Eh-Oh to the new Teletubbies toys! There back!! Teletubbies made a joyous return to CBeebies last year, and this year marks the launch of the new range of toys. As you know I was sent a box just before Christmas, and today I can finally...

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Travel: Ox Pasture Hall Hotel, Scarborough Last weekend Nana and I took a rather lengthy journey north for a night away at the Ox Pasture Hall Hotel in Scarborough, with Little Dude in tow. The Ox Pasture Hall Hotel is a luxurious country hotel...

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A Place To Enjoy My Garden I love my garden. I love the fact that I have a garden, especially with the recent gorgeous weather we've been having. Whilst I have a pretty compact garden, there's a lot going on out there. Plants, fruit...

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Cuddles With Ben Cohen Some days I have a really difficult job. Days like this for example. *Ahem* That rather nice young man is former rugby player Ben Cohen. Ben is a bit of an expert when it comes to cuddles. He has...

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Child Safety Week

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews, Summer Holiday Essentials | Posted on 30-06-2014

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Last week was Child Safety Week, a week which I’m sure we all count as one of the most important. Keeping our children safe is our top priority as parents. We’ve had an array of safety products come through our front door recently, thanks in most part to our new role as ambassadors for Munckin Lindam. Here are our top picks from them, and other brands.

Munchkin White Hot Inflatable Duck Bath: Bath times are great fun, but they do present a number of hazards, especially for babies. One of my biggest concerns at bath time is making sure Little Dude’s bath is the right temperature. This bath from Munchkin is perfect for ensuring that he always gets a safe comfortable bath. On the bottom of this super cute bath is a White Hot Safety Disc which changes colour depending on the temperature of the water. If its too hot it glows white so you know to add more cold water. The “tail” of the bath also makes a comfortable support to rest Little Dude against whilst we are holding him in the water. He loves this bath and splashes his little legs around whenever he’s in there. We keep it at Nana and Pops’ house as its ideal for use at grandparents and for holidays. My only complaint is that the bath taps don’t reach over the duck’s sides to fill it, so we had to use a jug which was a bit time consuming. I’m sure if you had a shower head on your bath taps you could use that for a faster filling. Overall a great fun safety product.

Lindam Adjustable Back Seat Mirror: I’ve found we go out and about much more with Little Dude than we did at this stage with Little Man. Packing them both into the car for trips to the grandparents, the shops, or the local National Trust doesn’t seem as hard as I expected it to and its a great way to keep Little Man entertained. For me its important that I can keep an eye on both children when they are in the back seat. Little Man is in a forward facing car seat behind the passenger seat so he’s pretty easy to watch. A quick look in the rear view mirror and I can generally spot what he’s up to. Little Dude is in his rear facing car seat behind the drivers seat so he’s altogether more difficult to watch. Lindam’s back seat mirror stops this being a problem however. The mirror is really easy to fit to the headrest of the seat and can be adjusted to ensure its angled correctly. From my seat I can now see Little Dude – generally sleeping to be honest – clearly. I love the size of this mirror – far bigger than others I’ve seen and the one we used with Little Man without being obtrusive.

NSA Travel Centre: What a beautiful summer we’re having so far. Who’d have thought it after all that rain and flooding earlier in the year. Glorious sunny days seem to be here for the long haul and we’re certainly making the most of them in the local park and running about in Nana and Pops’ garden. We’ll hopefully get to do the same in our own garden soon but it currently a building site! Little Man is clearly the one doing the running around in the garden, whilst Little Dude is invariably asleep or just chilling out. Keeping him cool and protected from the sun is of upmost importance, and the NSA Travel Centre does this job perfectly. Its a brilliant pop up tent – you can literally throw it and watch it pop up if you wish to – which provides UV protection as well as a comfortable place to sleep as it doubles as an approved travel cot. Super compact when not in use it can also be easily packed into a car for day trips and is light enough to carry with you to the local park as well. I love the included self inflating mattress which makes sure Little Dude is comfortable, and knowing that when the sides are zipped up he’s perfectly safe and protected from the sun, heat and any wildlife in the garden. I also plan to use this inside too, as a ball pit and somewhere to pop Little Dude safely when he starts moving about.

NSA Travel Centre

Preparing For Baby: Bath Time

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Preparing For Baby | Posted on 09-04-2014

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Like all first time parents there were lots of things that we were worried about when Little Man arrived, and lots of things we weren’t all that confident about. I think the biggest one was his first bath. Needing to make sure the temperature of the water was correct, ensuring the room we had the bath in wasn’t cold, making sure we have all the things he needed for afterwards ready, and most importantly figuring out how to hold him safely in the water AND wash him at the same time with just two hands. We ended up putting it off for as long as we could, focusing on the important top and tail washing for the first few days. It wasn’t until our breastfeeding support worker came round when he was six days old that he finally experienced his first bath. She’d obviously come around to help me with feeding him which was going really poorly, and asked how we were doing otherwise. We mentioned in passing that we were doing okay but were a bit nervous about bathing him and she rolled her sleeves up and asked for his bath. She was brilliant and filled the bath to the right level, got us both to feel the temperature and then merrily popped him in. Needless to say he was pretty unimpressed, but that was something which went on for a while to be fair, but we felt happier afterwards that we could get through bath time without drama.

When it came to preparing for Little Dude’s arrival – I am now at the “Anytime you’re ready!” stage – we knew we needed a new baby bath but I went looking for something that would help eliminate some of the concerns we had about bathing Little Man. My main worry was just not having enough pairs of hands, and with Little Man no doubt wanting to “help” I was going to need more hands than usual. Most baby baths are simple in design, and just look like a smaller version of your usual bath at home. Most are only usable for a few weeks or months too. After a lot of internet research and asking the ever helpful forum that is Twitter, I stumbled upon the Summer Infant company, and their range of bath time products which included this rather helpful looking bath tub.
summer infant splash and sparkle baby bathAs you can immediately see this bath looks a bit different from most others on the market, and that’s due to the inclusion of a sling which clips onto either end of the bath and supports your baby safely and securely, thus leaving your hands free to bathe your child. It supports your newborn just out of the water so you don’t have the safety worries you would have if for any reason you turn your back for a second, and the foam headrest makes sure they are nice and comfortable.
Once baby is too big for the sling you simply unclip it and the back rest underneath becomes visible. This again ensures you don’t have to support baby fully yourself. And when they grow again – and to be honest babies grow VERY fast – the tub is actually big enough for them to sit up in, meaning this bath can be used up to the age of 2! There is also a plug in the base of the bath for easy emptying after the splashy fun is over, which is especially handy if you sit this bath in your big bath at home.

I LOVE the sparkly colour of the bath itself, and the fun fish pattern on the sling. I love the fact that the sling is really easy to fit and remove, and more importantly is machine washable – very important for the inevitable weeing in the bath incidents! Obviously we haven’t had chance to test it out just yet – I think putting Little Man in it at 3 and a half would be pushing things – but I am so looking forward to doing Little Dude’s first bath in it.

The Sparkle & Splash Bath comes in blue or pink and is available from a range of online retailers as well as high street stores.

Review: Original Toe Stretchers

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in New Year New You, Pregnancy, Product Reviews | Posted on 14-01-2014

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I know lots of you have started 2014 with a resolution to get fit. There’s been lots of people jogging on my Twitter feed, going to fitness classes and generally working out. Working out is not something I do. Ever. And now I’m pregnant again, it’s not the time to start. But with all the exercising that you’re doing, how many of you are exercising your toes? No, I’m not crazy. Did you know that exercising your feet can help improve posture, restore that natural spring in your step, and also correct and help a host of problems like sciatica, varicose veins and bunions? I hurt my back several years ago and it got that little bit worse when I was pregnant with Little Man. Back pain happened much sooner in this pregnancy so I’ve been on the hunt for something to help ease it as medication is pretty much a no no. Bump bands are helping support my growing tummy and easing the pressure on my back but when I was recently offered a set of “Toe Stretchers” with the promise it would help I thought I’d give them a go.

Toe Stretchers Sussex Mummy
I tweeted a photo of these when they arrived and received several “What on EARTH are those…?” replies. Once you see them in use though they make a lot more sense. The easiest way to put them on is in the bath. Getting them wet makes them stretch over your toes, and after the initial – and perfectly normal – feeling of stretching, they sit in place. As you can see I tested them out in the bath and was surprised how pleasantly comfortable they felt.

Toe Stretchers In Bath Pedi Sussex Mummy

There was no discomfort at all, and the initial stretch was a brief sensation but in no way painful. Now of course you can wear them out of the bath, when you’re sat in front of the TV in the evenings or when you’re at your desk at work. For me though they are a great addition to my relaxing in the bath, and I have noticed an improvement in my back pain.

These Toe Stretchers come in one size which fit from a size 4 right up to a large size 12. They are currently available from JD Harris for £14.95 a pair and come with a lifetime money back guarantee which is pretty awesome.

HABA 75th Anniversary Review: Viking Duck Squirter

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews | Posted on 26-03-2013

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This is the second of three HABA reviews this week as part of their 75th Anniversary activity.

As you all know by now, bath times are great fun in our house, and it seems Little Man’s mission to make as much of the bathroom wet as possible. With this Viking Duck Squirter his mission is a lot easier to fulfill. Easy to use you simple hold the duck under the water, allow it to fill up and then squeeze it gently to shoot the water at anyone lucky enough to be nearby. I think the duck is a very cute design and the little viking helmet whilst a bit of an odd addition adds a quirky twist.

This duck will make a great addition to any bath time, and it would also be fun to take to the beach or even the swimming pool. Water play in the garden this summer – should it ever arrive – will also benefit from this little creature, either in paddling pools or toddler water fights. This little duck is suitable from age 18 months and over.

 

Review: New From Munchkin

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews | Posted on 18-03-2013

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Munchkin is a brand I’ve featured a few times on my website. They produce consistently quality products, and these two additions to their range are no exception.

Tug Along Boat
I seem to review a lot of bath toys, but its a great fun time of day, and in our house its Daddy’s job and a lovely opportunity for father son bonding. Daddy has been saying for a while that Little Man needed a boat for the bath, something I’m surprised in hindsight that we’ve got this far without. When Munchkin offered us this Tug Along Boat to review I couldn’t say no.
This brightly coloured boat comes with a red raft which attaches to the back or can be used independently. The boat itself has holes in the top to collect water which can then be poured out through the wheel at the front. The green handle is a great size for both children and adults alike so everyone can get involved with the water play. Beneath the handle you can see through to where the water collects and its made to look like a glass bottomed boat, giving a great view of some fish. The boat comes with two water squirting crew members – a penguin and a seal – who man the craft and also add an extra fun dimension. Little Man loves playing with this boat at bath time. He steers it around the bath with the handle and pours lots of water out past the wheel. Water squirters are always popular so these are much loved too – just remember to take cover if you’re in the bathroom with him!!

Click Lock Bento Mealtime Set
This mini version of a Bento Box is incredibly cute and functional. We like to go on picnics when the weather allows or if we’re out at a zoo or theme park, and Little Man will be heading off to preschool in September (Eeek!) so some kind of lunch box was going to be needed. This is perfect.
The box comes with three compartments – a main area for sandwiches or something savoury, and then two smaller compartments for fruit, vegetables or even yogurt. Each compartment has its own lid, and the two smallest ones have removable inserts for easy cleaning. Fitted into the main lid are a toddler sized fork and spoon, and there is a space on the base to write your child’s name. This Bento box is part of the popular Click Lock range, so once you hear the click upon securing the lid, you know its fastened and nothing will be escaping. I am a big fan of this and can see it getting lots of use for years to come – I just wish they did one in my size!!

You can find these, and the rest of the Munchkin range online.

 

Product Review: Flexibath from Whitestep

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Competition, Product Reviews | Posted on 25-04-2012

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Baby baths are notorious for being bulky and difficult to store out of the way, especially if space is limited. We bought one before Little Man was born and finding somewhere to keep it when not in use was a bit of a nightmare, especially in a small flat. But when your baby is small its not really a good idea to put them in a big bath of water, with baby baths being a much safer option.

If you’re short on space, or if you’re looking for a portable bath you can take on holidays or when staying at family or friends, a Flexibath might just be what you need.

The Flexibath is the size of a traditional baby bath – perhaps even a little bigger – and provides a good sized and easy to use bath for newborns and babies. (It holds 39 litres of water when full.) The beauty of it is then when you’re finished you simply drain it using the plug in the base – a plug designed to be difficult for children to pull out – and fold it flat.
Just like that! There’s even a handy clip on the top to hold it flat so it can be slid conveniently under a bed or chest of drawers, or propped up in the corner of a bathroom until next time. It also fits easily into a suitcase for holidays and takes up minimal room in the car for overnight stays.

I was sent a Flexibath to test out with my 18 month old Little Man, as the bath is sold as suitable for use from birth to 4 years. If your child is happy to just sit in the bath then yes, I am sure you’ll fit a child of 2 years or more in there without a problem. Unfortunately my Little Man is more of a “walk around and wriggle about” kind of bather, so keeping him happy in this was a little tricky… and wet!

But do not fear! If you buy a Flexibath for your newborn – and I only wish I had when Little Man was born – it doesn’t become obsolete as soon as your child gets too big or starts moving around. The Flexibath makes a great toy box, or could be used for laundry. We even used ours to store books in until our Tidybooks Bookcase turned up, and it holds 100 plastic ball pit balls with ease. Away from using it for your children I think it would make an attractive colourful planter for your garden, and the transparent one with turquoise trim which we were sent to review could even be fashioned into a mini greenhouse to protect your seedlings during Britain’s dubious weather. A multitude of uses for a brilliant and ingenious product!

Flexibaths are available now from Whitestep but I have one to give away to a lucky SussexMummy reader. All you need to do is click here and fill in your details to be entered into the draw.  The competition closes on Friday May 4th at 8pm so get clicking!!

Katherine’s Cosy Creations

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 12-08-2011

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Whilst bath time, swimming and days at the seaside can all be great fun, there is nothing worse than a cold wet child. Babies get cold very fast when they get out of the water and as parents we endeavour to quickly and efficiently get out children dry and warm. Square towels with tiny hoods in one corner are all over the place and we own several of them, but they aren’t the easiest of things to get on your baby quickly. I have a solution – Towelling Ponchos. Now apparently these things aren’t new and have somehow passed me by completely, but I was very excited when a friend of mine told me she made them and offered me one in exchange for a plug on my blog – I was only too happy to oblige.

“Katherine’s Cosy Creations” is operated and run by a Stay-At-Home-Mum in Crawley, West Sussex. Katherine utilised her sewing skills and those unenviable late nights as a new parent to make things for her little boy Toby – who makes a gorgeous model. Soon she was whipping up bibs, towelling ponchos and personalised blankets for herself and her friends. She has now taken to Facebook to promote and sell her products.

Katherine gave us a blue towelling poncho which we now use every night at bath time. We use a seat in our bath for our little man and once he’s watched the water drain away we can drop the poncho over his head and lift him out. Parents stay dry and little man stays warm as he’s transferred to his changing table to get totally dried and dressed. We also used it when we went swimming and the same applied – as soon as he was out of the water the poncho went on and he was warm. Little Man loves his poncho and I think he looks very cute in it – slightly elf like really!

“Katherine’s Cosy Creations” can be found on Facebook, or you can email her directly. Tell her I sent you!

Product Review: Halos’N’Horns

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 11-08-2011

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Bath time is one of the highlights of the day in our house. It’s not always been this way. In the early days bath time involved lots of screaming and kicking of feet. For the first few months we didn’t partake in the bath, bottle, bed mantra at all. In fact we just bathed our little man once a week – that was all our ears could stand! Nowadays it’s a totally different story. Bath time now involves lots of splashing and toys and bubbles, so I was very interested when I was offered the chance to review some bubble bath.

Halos’N’Horns was a range I’d never heard of. When it comes to bath time Johnson’s pretty much reigned supreme in our house because to be honest that’s the brand that is pushed at new parents, and rightly so – we love it, and still use it now. Halos’N’Horns works on similar principles – hypoallergenic, kind to eyes, doesn’t contain any of those nasty chemicals that you don’t want anywhere near your little one’s skin – but the major difference we liked was the bubbles. A tiny squirt created a mountain of bubbles that lasted for the duration of the bath and didn’t vanish within seconds of the little man being put in there. He also came out squeaky clean and smelt rather nice too. I am also a big fan of the slogan: “Healthy Skincare for your little devils” – I couldn’t have put it better myself!

 
 

For more details of the Halos’N’Horns range visit their website or follow them on Twitter.