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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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#Review: Oxo Tot Feeding Range

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews | Posted on 17-07-2015

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Followers of my blog and my Twitter will know that Little Dude is something of a keen independent self feeder. Purees were pretty much rejected from day one of the weaning process, and generally the only foods he will accept via a spoon are rice puddings and Weetabix. Every other meal and snack has to be self fed using his hands, which as I’m sure you can imagine causes something of a mess.

Lunches tend to be pretty standard meals involving a selection from cheese, crackers, sandwiches, cocktail sausages, cooked chicken, toddler crisps, grapes, and things like that. Evening meals are generally things he can pick up himself, so pasta is quite frequently served, but there is also fish fingers, pizza, sausages, and so on. When we eat foods that need cutlery like cottage pie for example we are usually successful in spoon feeding, but sometimes there’s a lot of arm waving and batting away of the spoon to contend with.

At 14 months old he is hugely keen to copy his older brother in all things. At meal times he sits opposite Little Man and watches him intently, and we are hoping that this will encourage him to realise the benefits of using cutlery as opposed to just his fingers. To aid with this as well, we were sent a feeding set from Oxo Tot so he has his own set of cutlery to get to grips with.

The set consists of a fork and spoon set which features large easy to grip handles and are ideally sized to scoop food onto and fit in little mouths. There is a plate with high sides – part of which can be removed once children get to grips with it – and curved edges that make picking up the food easier. There is also a bowl with a lid that is nice and deep to avoid spillages.

My favourite feature of the plate and bowl is the weight of them. They aren’t heavy by any means but they are much heavier than other toddler plates we have which do tend to get dropped frequently. These set from Oxo Tot sit comfortably and firmly on the table and so far haven’t been moved. The bowl is used daily for snack time and Little Dude is able to sit on the floor and hold the bowl whilst he helps himself to whatever is inside. Because of the weighted base there’s no tipping it over and he seems really comfortable holding it.

OxoTot-Self-Feeding-SussexMummyThe cutlery is being held, and he is excellent and spoon feeding himself air. Actual food? Not so much but the ideal is there so I’m sure it’ll only be a matter of time before he gets to grips with them. For now I’m eternally relieved that we have a large mat underneath his highchair.

Oxo Tot also sent us a matching divided plate. I don’t know what it is with young children but separated food seems to be very important to them. In a similar fashion to the feeding set the plate has high sides, again with a removable top section. The plate itself is divided into four sections – a large one which is suggested for vegetables, two smaller sections for proteins and carbs, and then a small pot in the middle for dip. The underside of the plate features images of what they recommend you place in each section to ensure a balanced meal but by no means should you feel this is anything more than suggestion.

6113700UK_1_(1)This divided plate is our go to plate for lunch each day. Yesterday for example it contained cheese spread sandwiches, fish crackers, chopped cooked sausages, and a few halved grapes. Little Dude loves sitting in his highchair with this plate in front of him, picking out what he wants to eat. He’s very independent and this plate allows him ultimate control over what he’s eating.

I really like the items from Oxo Tot and at the minute they are the only things we use with Little Dude. I’m sure he’ll get the hang of the cutlery soon, but for now he’s content holding it with one hand at meal times whilst merrily feeding himself with the other. The bowl is instantly recognised as his snack bowl nowadays, and I can see this being used out and about this summer thanks to the handy lid. All the items we received are great quality and do precisely what they are designed to do. Meal times aren’t essentially less messy at the moment – he thinks dropping things on the floor is the best game EVER – but he’s certainly on his way to somewhat cleaner meal times!

Feeding Time

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information, Product Reviews | Posted on 03-06-2015

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I’d never really appreciated the comment “No two children are the same” quite so clearly as I have since Little Dude was born. He turned one a couple of weeks ago – mind blowing – and he is so different to his older brother in so many ways. He took eleven and a half months to start sleeping through the night consistently – his brother did it in four. He will only sleep on a mattress on the floor – his brother loved his cot. He is into EVERYTHING – we barely baby proofed with his brother. And he insists on feeding himself – Little Man was blissfully and cleanly spoon fed.

Meal times are just chaos. He has an incredible appetite and he will try and eat pretty much everything. Everything needs to be cut into bite-size pieces and put on a mat on the table so he can help himself. An awful lot goes in, and rather a lot goes on the floor. At the end of an average meal the area around his highchair and this mat are like a battleground. Tonight we’ve had pasta bolognese and needless to say everywhere – including his gorgeous face – is a rather amusing shade of orange.

Clean up is a mission, and its essential for me to clean his mat and anywhere on his highchair that he might drop food and then pick it up again to eat with something safe. After every meal I wipe down his chair and his mat with a cleaning wipe – these things are brilliant and perfect for quick yet efficient cleaning. Once a week – or sooner if things get a bit apocalyptic – I get out the big guns and grab a heavy duty trigger spray and blitz the area. Like I said though, I want to use something powerful and something safe, so my weapon of choice is the Power & Pure range from Dettol.

Dettol is a brand name all parents know and trust. We’ve used their wipes in our kitchen and bathrooms for years. The Power & Pure range is ideal for the eating area though as it provides impressive cleaning ability without leaving behind any chemical nastiness that you wouldn’t want your little one digesting.

I also use their No Touch Hand Wash system at my kitchen sink. The kitchen is, obviously, where I prepare all the family meals and the endless supply of snacks for my two permanently hungry boys. For the protection of my children I need to make sure my hands are squeaky clean and free from any nasty bacteria so washing my hands before preparing food with this nifty device is essential. The sensor ensures it dispenses just the right amount to thoroughly wash your hands and I love the fact it doesn’t drip like manual dispensers tend to.

Dettol-SussexMummy

How do you deal with meal time messes? Most days I generally consider letting him eat outside…

Product Review: Oxo Tot Training Cup

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews | Posted on 21-08-2012

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As you all know my Little Man is going to be 2 in October. We’re very lucky as he’s always been great at eating since we began weaning him at four months, and he’s always enjoyed his milk. He was breastfed for just two weeks after I fell ill and couldn’t continue, so he has been bottle fed formula and then cow’s milk since then. Now as he approaches his 2nd birthday he is still insistent on drinking milk from a bottle, though he is only having two bottles a day – one small one after his midday nap, and one big feed before bed. I’ve tried a multitude of sippy cups and beakers, but he just pulls a face when he takes a drink. Transfer the same milk into a bottle and he finishes it without pausing for breath. I decided we needed a new different cup to try with, so I spoke to the team at Oxo Tot and they sent me a Training Cup to try.

The training cup holds 200ml of liquid so is the perfect size for his milk feed at night. It has an open top, but with an insert which features small holes around the edge. This allows children to get used to open top cups but with the flow much slower to reduce the potential for spillage. It also has a similar shape and feel to his usual bottles so I was pretty hopeful.

One afternoon when he got up from his nap I gave him the Training Cup with 120ml of milk in – his usual feed size at this time. He was excited about a new cup and he brought it to his lips and took a successful sip. I was thrilled – mainly because he hadn’t poured it down himself, proving that this cup does work! Unfortunately this was followed by his usual appalled face and the swift turning over of the cup. Needless to say milk is a little tricky to get out of carpet, but if you do it fast enough there is no lingering smell.

So we are still using bottles for milk, but this Training Cup works really well for meal time drinks. If anyone has any ideas on getting my son off the bottle, or any products that might do the trick, I’d really appreciate your thoughts!!

The Oxo Tot Training Cup is available in green, aqua and raspberry, and you can read more about it here.

Summer Holiday Essentials: Travel Cutlery from Tum Tum Tots

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Holiday, Product Reviews, Summer Holiday Essentials | Posted on 14-06-2012

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When you’re out and about this summer – either on holiday or day trips – you would be advised to slip a set of Tum Tum Tots Travel Cutlery into your bag. Designed to make eating easier for little ones the cutlery is shaped to allow maximum food on them, and less falling off – even pesky peas! The knife is also a safe sharpness to make sure they don’t cut themselves but can still chop soft foods. Each set comes with a case to carry them around in so they don’t get lost, and also so you can transport them after use without messing up other things in your bag. Two designs are available – Ponies and Sheep – and each contains characters which can be mixed and matched by turning over the double-sided handles. You’ll also be pleased to hear that they are dishwasher safe!

Little Man loved using these when we were on holiday recently and they are perfectly sized for him. He enjoys independent eating and no longer wants any help at meal times – despite the mess! I keep a set of these in our changing bag now at all times so they are ready to use when we’re out in restaurants or at friends houses.

Tum Tum Tots Travel Sets are available now from their online store.