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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

Moving To A “Big Boy Bed”

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information, Product Reviews | Posted on 12-10-2012

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If you follow me on Twitter (@SussexMummy) you’ll know that last Friday we took the sides of Little Man’s cot bed. We were a little nervous about doing this in case he woke up at 2am and came running down the hall to play with Daddy, or got out of bed at 6am and sobbed as he watched Daddy go to work. There was also the chance that he’d spend the entire night dropping out of bed and nobody would get any sleep.

Little Man went down at 7.30pm as usual, but spent the first 30 minutes sobbing. The world must look a lot different now he’s closer to the ground and there are no side panels on his cot. We don’t think there was anything more wrong with him than a bit of nervousness at his new outlook. There was also the addition of a Gro Clock to his bedroom which was illuminated and he wanted to cuddle it, and didn’t understand that it wasn’t a toy. By 8pm all was silent and he’d finally gone to sleep.

At 9pm we heard an almighty “THUD” followed by a bit of a whimper so I went upstairs to find him curled up on the floor sleeping. He’d obviously rolled too far and dropped off the side of the bed. We had a Lindam Bed Rail to fit to the side of the bed but unfortunately we hadn’t read the instructions before getting it or we would have found it was too big for out cot – the mattress needed to be 76cm or more wide and ours is only 70cm! This therefore wasn’t fitted so dropping out was inevitable. Unfortunately Little Man landed head first on his music box which used to hang from the sides of the cot and was now led on the floor beside him, but he didn’t seem all that bothered and was back asleep.  I lifted him back onto his bed and he stirred briefly but mostly to check the whereabouts of his beloved Teddy.

Remarkably that was it for the entire night. No more thuds, no wandering around, no wanting to play at 3am. In fact not only did he sleep through he also slept longer. Little Man usually gets up at 7am, give or take 15 minutes. On Saturday he got up at 7.45am.

Nap time on Saturday went just as well – he was down for his usual 2 hours without falling out.

Every bed time since has been amazing. He’s gone down at 7.30pm with no sobbing or whimpering, and not been up before 8am since. He hasn’t fallen out again, and every day time nap has been just as easy. I’m sure this remarkableness won’t last, but I’m enjoying it for now.

Before taking the sides off his cot we arranged for 3 products to arrive which we felt would help this transition.

Firstly the Gro Clock. This is a genius piece of equipment. You set what time you want your child to get up at and when you put them to bed you change the face of the clock from a sun to a star. When the time reaches what you class as a good wake up time – not 5.30am then! – the star changes back to a sun. This tells children that they are allowed to get up. If the star is still visible they have to stay in bed. Whilst we haven’t explained this to Little Man because he’s always been great at getting up at a reasonable hour, he does love the clock. We go through the motions of saying “Night Night” to the sun when he goes to bed and “Hello” to the star. He gives it a little wave before settling down to sleep. We set the wake up time for 7am but as yet he’s sleeping well past that. Should his wake up get too early at any point we have the clock as a great back up to explain that its not time to get up yet, and there is also an accompanying book you can read to your child each night if they are reluctant to go to bed.

Secondly we got a Lindam Bed Rail. As I said before we didn’t read the instructions and sizing correctly so this hasn’t fitted on the bed, but the concept is great, and I am hoping to pass it on to a friend for her to test out for me, so there will be more on this soon I hope. I love how it works and easy fold down mechanism, its just a shame that on this occasion my reading of important details went a little amiss. If my friend can’t use it we may well keep it to use when we go on holiday or to visit relations – it will fit a single bed perfectly.

Finally we got a Night Light from Brother Max. We got one of these to plug in on the landing upstairs so that if Little Man did get out of bed during the night and go wandering he’d be able to see. We have a gate across the top of the stairs so he’s safe, and we close the bathroom and office doors so he’d only be able to go into our bedroom – lucky us! – but there are a few things he could walk into in the dark so this night light was a great help. The Night Light plugs straight into a power socket but the light only glows when its dark. There is a sensor on the bottom which detects light, and as soon as you put the landing light on or open the doors and let the daylight through, it turns off. My favourite feature of this night light is that its dual purpose. When you plug it in to an available socket you don’t lose the use of that socket as the night light comes with one. It also has a socket cover so its safe from prodding fingers. It also has a low power consumption so you won’t see your bills rocket, and the light part stays cool to the touch in case little hands make a grab for it.

One week on and we are still enjoying Little Man sleeping till at least 8am and not getting out of bed and wandering about. I’m confident this won’t last – I’m not going to be THAT lucky am I? – but we will enjoy it whilst it does. We are also happy in the knowledge that we have the tools available to get back to this stage should things go awry.

Gro Clocks are available direct from Gro on their website.
More information about the Bed Rails from Lindam can be found here.
Dual Purpose Night Lights from Brother Max can be bought from these stockists.

 

Do We Do Too Much?

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 06-09-2012

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We’re all busy aren’t we? Whether you’re a Stay At Home Parent or a Working Mum or Dad, you are busy. You have a child, and that is the most time consuming and demanding job in the world, and if you’re juggling full or part time work alongside that, you probably don’t sleep! Modern lifestyles are so much busier than every before, and research from Lindam has found that our children’s safety might be suffering as a result of that.

In a recent poll of 2000 parents a staggering 70% said they regularly left their child playing unsupervised whilst they carried out domestic chores, and 40% of parents admitted that their child had been injured as a result of this. The Top 10 most common accidents for a child to suffer whilst in their home are:

  1. Tripping in garden
  2. Falling from sofa
  3. Falling from bed
  4. Slipping on the floor
  5. Banging head on a sharp corner
  6. Shutting fingers in a door
  7. Being hurt fighting with a sibling
  8. Falling down the stairs
  9. Hurting themselves on broken glass
  10. Suffering a burn from the cooker
The research discovered that the most common time for these injuries to be sustained is whilst the parent is in the kitchen cooking the evening meal. The lounge, garden and bedroom were the most likely places for injuries to happen during this time. Parents have a lot on their plate whilst looking after their child and running the home. There is so much other stuff that needs doing that often distracts attention away from a child. The most common distractions for Mum’s in the home are:
  1. Cooking
  2. Being on the phone
  3. Another child requiring their attention
  4. Working from home
  5. Cleaning the house
  6. Doing the hoovering
  7. Doing the ironing
  8. Being in the shower
  9. Hanging out the washing
  10. Getting dressed
Parents are often looking for ways to distract their child whilst they get on with these tasks, and 80% of parents admitted to using the TV for this purpose regularly.
Claire Rayner, a spokeswoman for Lindam, says “Many accidents experienced by young children in the home come about because mum is understandably not able to keep a constant watch. She can’t be in several places at once and the results show that, it only take a minute for an accident to happen. It’s therefore about using safety products to make the home as accident-proof as possible and allow Mums at least some peace of mind. It’s so easy and quick to put in place some very simple safety equipment such as stair gates, corner cushions and cupboard locks to ensure that parents can rest a little easier knowing that their children are protected.

We have launched our first Safety Day as we are committed to reducing childhood accidents in the home and we feel it’s these small but important steps that can go a long way to reducing the amount of childhood accidents in the home.”

To learn more about Lindam’s Safety Day, and find ways to ensure your home is as safe as possible for you child visit the Lindam website.

 

Product Review: Lindam Safety

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews | Posted on 05-09-2012

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Keeping our children safe is the ultimate priority for any parent. When they reach the toddler years keeping them safe can prove a little tricky to say the least, especially when they start exploring the world around them. Our house is equipped with gates at the top and bottom of our stairs as well as one in the kitchen doorway to stop Little Man wandering in, but there are other hazards around the house and when we’re out in the car. Lindam sent us a selection of safety products to make our home and car that little bit safer to help celebrate the Lindam Safety Day on September 6th.

Firstly, and most importantly for me, was the Multi-Purpose Latch which I fitted to the cupboard in the kitchen where we keep our cleaning products. We are giving Little Man slightly more freedom as he gets older and the gate on the kitchen door isn’t permanently closed as it used to be. Plus he follows us in when we’re in their cooking or doing other jobs. He is drawn to this cupboard like all children seem to seek out the most dangerous places. This latch means that the door won’t open unless you undo it, and Little Man can’t do that. This is a brilliant product which has made my kitchen infinitely safer.

When we’re out in the car keeping the sun off Little Man is very important. I don’t want him overheating, especially when he’s asleep in his seat. Lindam sent us their new White Hot Safety Sunblock Shade to try. It fastens to the window with two suckers and then the blind itself rollers down. A simple release button retracts the blind when its not needed. What makes this blind special is the White Hot sensor on the base of the blind which turns white when the temperature in the car is too hot. My only fault with this blind is that it could do to be slightly wider, but that might just be because my back windows are fairly large.

The danger of plug sockets seems something that’s still up for debate. Due to the design of UK sockets it would take a very creative child to push something into all three pin holes at the same time sufficiently to electrocute themselves, but who wants to take that risk? I use Plug Socket Covers to prevent anything untoward being pushed in them – crayons, food, paper, etc – as well as ensuring there is absolutely no chance of my Little Man getting seriously hurt. These covers from Lindam are neat and easy to fit, but tricky to remove which is ideal when there are little fingers poking them all the time.

Finally I made use of the Door Stopper. Doors closing on little fingers isn’t fun, neither is a door swinging closed leaving your little one trapped in a room that perhaps they shouldn’t be in anyway! This stopper fits quickly and easily to any door. We currently have it on the kitchen door, but I can see it moving to the main bathroom door upstairs once Little Man is in his big boy bed and can wander around more freely. I’d rather not be woken at 2am by a toddler stuck in the bathroom!!

Lindam’s Safety Day in September 6th 2012. You can read Lindam’s advice for keeping your children safe here.

Product Review: Lindam Easy Fit Push To Shut Safety Gate

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews | Posted on 12-03-2012

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So Little Man has learnt to walk. We’ve had months of merrily cruising around the lounge using the sofas or the table for support, but last weekend he just set off across the room with a confident swagger, as if he’d been doing it for years. This means the lone safety gate we have on the kitchen doorway is no longer enough. Thankfully he doesn’t climb the stairs – not successfully at least – so we just needed one for the top. I’m sure falling down the stairs would be something he’d excel in! I wanted something simple to use that I could open easily with one hand. For most trips upstairs I am carrying Little Man so I don’t want to be struggling to open the gate, or having to juggle him whilst I use two hands. Hardly good stair safety! The new Easy Fit Push To Shut gate from Lindam is perfect.

 

As you can see, he’s not going anywhere!

My Little Man is fairly strong and rattles at the gate when he’s wandering about upstairs and it is rock solid – probably due to the great fitting skills of Grandad I’m sure – but it is so easy to fit. Pressure fit between the wall and the banister post, the safety gate has a simple one handed press and lift opening. It can open in either or both directions and the opening is nice and wide. There is a bar to step over which you have to be aware of – especially when positioned like this at the top of the stairs – but I think this is an ideal gate for this placing. I can now go up and down the stairs carrying Little Man easily, and I know he is perfectly safe when I leave him to wander around upstairs.

The  Lindam Easy Fit PushTo Shut Safety Gate is available exclusively from Argos, and is currently half price in their sale at just £14.99 – I think we might be buying one for the bottom of the stairs soon!