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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: Almondella Baby Box

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Pregnancy, Preparing For Baby, Product Reviews | Posted on 28-06-2014

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I’ve reviewed a few beauty monthly subscription boxes on here and been a big fan of the concept, as well as the contents. The arrival of Little Dude has given me the opportunity to test out a new kind of monthly subscription box – the baby box.

I was recently sent a brand new Almondella box to test out. Almondella originates from Finland where new mothers get a box of products when their babies are born – something which I must say appeals to me!  – which includes clothing, washable nappies, bedding, towels and other care products. You might recall that Prince George received a box from the Finnish government when he was born. The empty boxes are even used as a bed for baby, which certainly saves on buying moses baskets. Almondella decided to give people to get their own taster of this box by providing a monthly box which fits in with the age of your baby, starting from when they are in your tummy right through until they are 3 years old. If you become a subscriber you get a preview of the contents each month and so get the option to skip a box if you wish to.

We were sent a “Newborn Box” to review, which contained items for Little Dude and for me. Our box contained a Lifefactory Glass Bottle for feeding, a packet of Imsevimse Washable Breast Pads, some Love Boo Bosom Buddy breast firming cream, a pair of Moi Leggings and a Darling Clementine Note card.

almondella subscription box contents

This box is clearly geared up for those early days of seemingly endless feeding, and even comes with a leaflet about bonding with your baby through breastfeeding. Now unfortunately for me, despite my best intentions, a slightly traumatic birth and subsequent problems have meant that breastfeeding was pretty unsuccessful from day 2. Little Dude enjoyed about a 36 hours of being purely breastfed and that’s brilliant for me, considering the chaos that ensued. Despite this I think this box and its contents are pretty cool.

I love the colourful breast pads – who says they have to be plain and white – and I’m sure these would have been great fun to use given the chance. The breast firming cream smells really fresh and absorbs nice and quickly which is crucial for any kind of beauty regime nowadays. I adore the leggings which are a great gender neutral grey shade with a distinct black bird pattern across them. These are sized 0-6 months so we should get plenty wear from them, even if a bit of rolling up the legs is required at the start! Personally the idea of a glass feeding bottle is a bit scary – I do tend to drop things pretty regularly – but the silicone sleeve on this bottle will provide a degree of protection. Being made of glass also makes the bottle more dishwasher friendly without the danger of picking up strong odours and colours which often occurs with plastic bottles. Finally the note card is probably the vaguest part of this box, though I guess it would make a cute Thank You card for those baby gifts that you receive.

The Almondella boxes start from 45 Euro a month for a 12 month subscription – that’s just over £36 at today’s exchange rates – with the price increasing slightly per box for a shorter subscription. Trial boxes are also available from 30 Euro and one off gift boxes are 59 Euro. Now according to the enclosed leaflet the contents of my box retails at 85 Euro (just under £70) making the 45 Euro price tag seem a pretty decent saving. Whilst I wouldn’t personally pay £70 for the contents of my box, I think £36 would be fairly reasonable, especially when its being delivered and sent internationally. All the products are of a great quality and they are all something that little bit different that you probably wouldn’t find in stores. Almondella boxes gives you a great insight into baby brands and products from across Europe and for me that’s another interesting feature.

Almondella subscription boxes are available from their website. You can also find them on Twitter @Almondella

Baby Gifts: My 1st Years

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews | Posted on 10-04-2014

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When a new baby is born it is inevitable that gifts are going to be bought. When Little Man was born we had an influx of presents bought for him. Mostly clothing, but a few toys and the odd item that we’ll always keep. I like the idea of keepsakes more than disposable items like clothing, which is why I love the items on the My 1st Years website. They do a huge range of keepsakes for children, including a personalised baby clothes range – something a bit more special than a pack of plain sleepsuits – and a gorgeous range of personalised baby blankets. In fact you can get an amazing range of personalised items from the website, so when they got in touch and asked me if I’d like to review something I was rather spoilt for choice!
After MUCH deliberation I eventually picked this beautiful Wooden Abacus. A white frame and pale pine rods are instantly brightened by the multi-coloured that make up this abacus. As you’d expect you can get this personalised too. I went for the old style personalisation which has my Little Dude’s name in red text down one side of the abacus – photos of which will follow once he’s born and his name has been announced – but now you can get a more subtle inscription of up to 20 characters engraved on the front, as you can see from this image. A great solid toy for him to play with when he’s older, but also something that he can treasure as it will always be his abacus, despite Little Man’s best attempts to play with it now! Now only did I love the abacus itself but I also adore the packaging. A stunning blue box which you could easily use if you were buying something from My 1st Years as a gift. A truly quality service.
As I said there’s a lot of amazing products to choose from. As well as those already mentioned there’s a gorgeous range of teddies, comforters, booties and even a teepee, all of which come with the option of personalisation. There are items to suit all budgets and all tastes so you are bound to find something that would be just perfect for that newborn in your life. I’m sure Little Dude is going to love his new abacus, and I’m sure it’ll be something that takes pride of place in his bedroom for years to come.

Product Review: Cosyplay Luxury Play Mat

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

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When you have a newborn you invariably spend a lot of time cuddling them, especially as when they are awake they are pretty much always feeding. Sometimes however you do need to pop them down, and as they get older and you begin introducing “Tummy Time” you want to ensure that where you put them is safe and comfortable. I thoroughly recommend you investing in a Play Mat from Cosyplay.

The Cosyplay Play Mat was developed by Dr Kerstin Castle when she was on maternity leave with her third son. As with a lot of babies Luca was not a fan of “Tummy Time” and Kerstin was in need of a solution. “Tummy Time” is something of an alien concept to babies, especially when from day 1 we have them led on their backs all the time. I remember the first time we tried “Tummy Time” with Little Man and he just led there face down on the floor and not moving. In order to encourage a bit of enjoyment making sure our children are comfortable is crucial, and this is where the Cosyplay Play Mat comes in.

The Play Mat is made from Memory Foam which as many of you will know is hugely comfortable. As well as providing a soft surface for your child to lie on, it also supports them ensuring their are comfortable and feel safe. This memory foam is protected by a PU waterproof cover which is warm, soft and BPA free. One of the things I love about the PU cover is its anti-microbial properties. Basically this means that no bacteria, fungi or dust mites will collect and spread in the mat. This makes it very hygienic, but also helps if your baby has a skin condition such as eczema. The whole mat is covered with a zipped on cover made from either minky or fleece. Both are machine washable, tumble drier proof, and also non-pill so no little bits will find their ways into your babies mouth.

Now as you all know Little Man is well past the “Tummy Time” stage at 2 years old, but believe me, that doesn’t stop him from enjoying the Cosyplay Plat Mat. Whether he’s lying on it whilst watching a movie or TV show, using it to “carpet” his tent, or making a den, he spends much of his day on or under it. Its also a comfy place for nappy changing or just sitting on to read a book. Apart from comfort I think Little Man’s other major reason for loving the mat is the spotty design – very in keeping with his favourite TV star, Mr Tumble. I’ve led down on the mat myself and I must say its VERY comfortable. If I could get 5 minutes peace I’d probably take a nap on it!

You can learn more about the CosyPlay Play Mats, view their range or even order a spare cover for your Play Mat on their website. You can also find them on Twitter @CosyPlay, where you’ll find lots of great “Tummy Time” tips, and ‘Like’ them on Facebook.

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!!