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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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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.

Product Review: Galt Playnest

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 04-08-2011

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The ‘Galt Toy of The Month For July’ was their ever popular Playnest. Now I know what you’re thinking – its August! Well as you are all aware my blog host went crazy for a week and the site went down so I failed to upload this in time, but I’m going for the “better late than never” approach. I’d just like to thank the people at Galt for their patience.

So, the Playnest is an inflatable ring that fits inside an interactive material cover. There is also a quilted centre for your little one to sit or lie on in comfort. The ring can be inflated to different levels depending on the age and development of your child – partially inflated for newborn head support, and fully inflated when your child can sit up. There are eight activities around the ring with a variety of textures and sounds to keep your little one entertained.

My Little Man was sent the ‘Jungle’ design to play with, which was perfect because there is a distinctly jungle theme to his bedroom and toys! Now at nine and half months my Little Man is bordering on too big for this, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t have fun playing it. I loved the fact that I could plonk him in it if the door went and I knew he wouldn’t go on a rampage. Whilst he isn’t demonstrating a desire to crawl yet (Lazy Boy) he does wriggle and roll his way around. The Playnest gives me somewhere safe to deposit him in a hurry. This would have been a brilliant product from birth – I only wish I’d bought one then!

Now Galt requested a video review, so my Hubby took this footage of Little Man in the Playnest so he is entirely responsible for the dubious camera work and the low flying toys!!

 
 
 

Website: http://www.galttoys.com
Twitter: @GaltToys

Product Review: BigJigs ABC Wooden Blocks

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 01-08-2011

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It’s only in recent months that my little man has truly discovered toys. Whilst he often had them placed in front of him and more often than not picked it up for a good chew its only recently that he’s started to interact with them. My lounge floor is not a veritable bombsite of cars and stacking cups and baby walkers and blocks. Within all this carnage however is one of MY personal favourites; the BigJigs ABC Wooden Blocks.

Wooden toys are just brilliant. A nice traditional toy that doesn’t require batteries, comes with no flashing lights, and won’t sit repeating itself until you snap and toss it out the window. My little man can sit and stack the blocks (or more often knock them down) to his hearts content. Thirty blocks make up this brightly coloured set – all the letters of the alphabet plus four shapes. On one side you high uppercase letters and pictures of the shapes, and on the other side you get lowercase letters and the name of each shape. Each block is one of six vivid colours with an easy to read contrasting coloured letter or word. What’s more all thirty blocks fit neatly into a smooth wooden tray.

Now the recommended age use for this product is 12 months + but my 9 month old little man was more than capable of picking up the blocks and knocking the towers down that his Daddy built for him. In time I’m sure he’ll be able to stack these manageable blocks himself and I’m confident this toy will last for years and years to come!

 

The ‘BigJigs ABC Wooden Blocks’ are available for £13.49 from the Wooden Toy Shop, along with an Aladdin’s cave of other gorgeous wooden toys!

Product Review: Stuck On You Height Chart

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 31-07-2011

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Acknowledging milestones in your babies life is all part of parenthood, and watching your little baby grow is one of the greatest. Being able to record these milestones is essential, and thanks to the people at Stuck On You doing this is not only easy but fun.

My fellow CyberMummy attendees will recognise Stuck On You as the people who supplied the cute ‘Blogger Survival Kits’ in CyberMummy Central. Well Stuck On You sell a veritable supply of stickers, labels and personalised items for all manner of things, and they were kind enough to send me a personalised height chart to sample. Supplied ready to hang the height chart is personalised with your little one’s first name and date of birth, making it a perfect keepsake.

Isn’t it just gorgeous? From a choice of over 20 designs each height chart comes with a set of co-ordinated stickers to mark your little one’s height over the years.

The quality of the height chart blew me away. High quality fabric and beautifully thought out stickers makes this a gorgeous addition to any child’s bedroom, and will last for years to come.

Height Charts cost £29.99 and are available from the Stuck On You website.

Website: http://www.stuckonyou.biz
Twitter: @StuckOnYouTweets
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/stuckonyouofficial

Product Review: Tidy Tray

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 29-07-2011

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Eating out with a baby or toddler can be a bit of a mission. The amount of things you need to carry is immense, ensuring you have spoons and snacks, and a meal that your little one will eat hopefully without tossing any of it at nearby people/walls/parents. One thing that all parents need to add to their bag of tricks – and one that fits easily into any bag – is the Tidy Tray.

Yet another genius idea, the Tidy Tray is a foldable washable cover that fits on the tray of all high chairs. Using an elastic edging the stretchy cover securely fits over the tray of the high chair and means you don’t need to do your usual anti-bacterial wipe attack when you get into the restaurant or café you are visiting. Available in two cute designs – pink ballerina for the girls and blue pirates for the boys – the Tidy Tray also features a handy pocket. This pocket holds the tray when not in use, but once unfolded it hangs on the side of the high chair and can hold a drinks cup. The tray is conveniently machine washable so after a particularly messy meal it can just be tossed into the machine ready for your next trip out.

My Tidy Tray is a permanent fixture in my changing bag and has been used on a few different shapes and sized high chair trays and I’ve not found any that it doesn’t easily fit over. A must buy for babies who lunch!

Tidy Trays can be bought online at www.tidy-trays.com
Follow Tidy Trays on Twitter at @TidyTraysUK

Product Review: Boots Nappy Rash Spray

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 22-07-2011

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Once in a while a baby product comes along that makes you think "Why didn’t I think of that?" and that was certainly the case when I received this product from Boots.

Nappy Rash Spray just seems to logical doesn’t it, yet its something I’ve never seen before or even thought to look for.  The whole idea of just spraying your babies sore bottoms as opposed to rubbing in often thick creams is genius.  Two or three short sprays is all it takes and my little man’s bottom had a thin layer of cream on it without the fuss and crying often associated with applying the creams and lotions I used to buy.  Boot Nappy Rash Spray protects from and helps prevent nappy rash and soothes and softens sore skin.  Clinically tested it is suitable for use of even the youngest of babies, and can easily be operated one handed – another plus as cream application usually ends up in a gloopy mess!!

Once again though the key question is does it work?  I’m happy to report that yes it does.  My little boy only gets nappy rash on two occasions – if we can’t get hold of his usual brand of nappy and have to buy an alternative leading brand, or when he’s teething.  Teething has returned to our previously serene (ish) household so his little bottom was getting a red tinge.  Grandma babysat for me yesterday and she used this spray each time she changed him, and she was thrilled to see the redness disappear by the end of the day.
 
A brilliant product that I highly recommend.
 
Boots Nappy Rash Spray can be bought online (http://www.boots.com) or instore for £5.60.

Product Review: Snoozeshade Plus

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 14-07-2011

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I remain eternally optimistic that summer isn’t over and we’ll grab a few more sunny days before the weather turns autumnal. Going out and about on a sunny day with a baby or toddler however is never easy. You need to worry about them overheating, get them covered in sun cream, make them keep their sunglasses and hats on, and keep them in shade as much as possible. None of these are ever simple, and achieving all of them is like a military operation. Until now that is. My first ever product review was for the Snooze Shade – an essential piece of kit for any parent. Following feedback from customers the amazing Cara – creator of the Snooze Shade – has brought out the Snooze Shade Plus, and after a rather cheeky request from me has allowed me to review it for her.

Whilst maintaining all the sun safety credentials of its original the Plus is not only bigger but its without doubt better. The Snooze Shade Plus is larger than its predecessor so doesn’t fit tightly over my pushchair – I have a Hauck Malibu Travel System and we are using it now as a pushchair. The tension of the shade will no doubt vary from pushchair to pushchair but I think the increased size does make it a little easier to fit, though I do end up with a large amount of excess at the bottom.

 

The sneak-a-peek zip feature, which I continue to love, remains but this time runs horizontally across the shade above the new black-out panel. When the panel is closed the Snooze Shade Plus provides a safe and protected environment for baby to sleep in. When the duel-layer panel is opened your baby is still protected from the full force of the sun – though obviously at a lesser extent – but can also see out and won’t be sat in darkness. The key question remains. Does it actually work? Well here’s what my little man thinks:

Speaks for itself doesn’t it?

The Snooze Shade Plus is available from the official website and is priced at £29.99. The Snooze Shade is also available for infant car seats at £19.99.

Website: http://www.snoozeshade.com
Twitter: @SnoozeShade
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SnoozeShade

Product Review: Ella’s Kitchen – First Tastes

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 13-07-2011

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 A second review now from one of my favourite – and little man’s too – baby food brands. As you all know from a previous post Ella’s Kitchen is much used and much enjoyed in our house. There organic food pouches provide a brilliant range of flavours and tastes for your little one, right from the start of weaning up until Stage 3 and even beyond with their lovely range of snacks. I was delighted to again be giving the opportunity to sample and review their products when I was contacted about their new “First Tastes” range.

First Tastes is a range of super smooth pure fruit pouches. They have just one single flavour so are perfect for those first tentative steps into weaning when you don’t want to overwhelm your little ones sensitive pallet. As always with Ella’s products they contain only organic ingredients and none of those nasty additives or E numbers that we want to avoid giving our little ones.

Now my little man is almost nine months old – he will be on Friday in fact – so is long since past the days of weaning. He began his big adventure into solids at 16 weeks so is a little old to appreciate First Tastes as just that. What I’ve found though is that mixed with yoghurt for his breakfast or frozen into cubes and put into his Nuby Nibbler as an ice lolly or teething relief he adores them. We’ve only tried the apple version so far but I’m ready with a batch of fruit cubes in my freezer for when the heat wave starts again, or when the teething reappears. When he’s a little older and has a few more teeth I will also add it to cereal for him to munch through, or he could have it as a simple snack or dessert. The possibilities are fairly endless.

First Tastes are available in four delicious flavours: Apple, Pear, Mango and Banana. If you head over to their website now you can win the chance to sample these new flavours for free.

Find out more over at the Ella’s Kitchen website, or follow them on Twitter and ‘Like’ them over on Facebook.

Website: http://www.ellaskitchen.co.uk
Twitter: @EllasKitchen
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ellaskitchen

Product Review: Shelta UV Protector Beach Mini Tent

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 09-07-2011

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With the recent heat wave that came – and went! – with a bit of a flourish in recent weeks I thought it would be a good idea to highlight some of the sun safety products that are available to protect your little ones. Using the brilliance of Twitter I found myself in contact with KoolSun who sell a variety of sun safety products including clothing, sunglasses, wet suits and lotions. The product I was donated to review was their Shelta UV Protector Beach Mini Tent, which originates in the much sunnier Australia. 

The tent is made using durable fibreglass framing covered by a fabric which provides UPF 50+ sun protection for your little one. The flooring is water resistant – always a bonus with babies – and pegs are included to ensure it’s anchored securely. There are also sand pockets around the sides for added security. The tent measures 120cm square and at its peak is 90cm high. Weighing in at 1.4kg and packed in a handy storage bag it can easily be carried around with the rest of your beach items.

The website and the packaging of the tent tells me it has “Quick and Easy Operation (Opens and Closes in seconds)”. Now I’ve never been particularly good with tents so I thought I’d see just how “easy” it was to put up. I did this in my parents back garden with no help from my husband or my parents – they were all too busy fussing over the little man!

Unpacking the tent was hardly difficult. I will admit that I didn’t find the instructions until after I’d put it up – they are sewn into the storage bag so you don’t lose them, or in my case so you can’t find them!!

Here are the included pegs should I have needed them, which I did. Good old windy British summer weather!!

Looks a bit like an umbrella doesn’t it? Now there were a few labels on the frame telling me to “Pull” and “Push” so I gave it a go.

 
 

Phenomenally easy to put up even without reading the instructions. All that was needed was a small mallet to secure the pegs into the ground. This was the point when I went to find my little volunteer to show just how big this tent is. 

 

My little man is a rather tall nine month old and as you can see he could fit several of his mates in there with him. As you can see the doors roll back and can be fixed to allow ventilation, which is essential should we ever get a hot day again!

 
 

On either side of the tent are roll up windows to allow views but to maintain protection from the elements. The eagle eyed amongst you will be able to see my little man peering out the window at me!! Putting it down was even easier. I literally had to push down where it told me too and the tent collapsed before my eyes.

Sun protection for babies is vital, and this tent provides that perfectly. As you can see it works just as well in a garden as it would on a beach or in a park. I have even put it up in my lounge and given my little man a fun den that I’m sure he’ll enjoy for many years to come. I hope to get a photo of the tent full of some of his NCT baby friends, and I will post that at a future date.

The featured tent is available from the KoolSun website and retails at £40.85

Website: http://www.koolsun.co.uk
Twitter: @KoolSunKidz
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KoolSun

Product Review: Tommee Tippee Wrap&Go

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 05-07-2011

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Tommee Tippee is a brand that has been used by us since our baby was born. Bottles, sterilisers, dummies, breast pumps, bowls, spoons, nappy bins, the list is endless. My husband and I often joke that our little man is practically sponsored by Tommee Tippee with the amount of their produce he owns!! It’s one of the brands I definitely trust and love, and am therefore always looking out for their new additions. The lovely people over at Tommee Tippee were kind enough to offer me one of these new additions to take a look at, and I of course jumped at the chance.

Tommee Tippee Wrap&Go is basically a dispenser for nappy sacks for when you’re out and about, or you could even use it at home. Doesn’t sound exciting does it? Believe me – its brilliant. The surprisingly cute dispenser attaches neatly to a changing bag so that nappy sacks are always to hand. I’m sure I’m not the only Mum whose changed her little one only to discover she’s run out of sacks, and I refuse to just toss the dirty nappies in the bin.

The sacks themselves are antibacterial and kill 99% of germs on contact and also have a fresh lemon fragrance. Now the fragrance is a little overpowering, but to be fair they smell much better than the average dirty nappy! What I love about the sacks is the bright colours – why should nappy changing be dull – and the feel of them. A lot of nappy sacks are flimsy plastic bags that I am eternally nervous about tearing. These are thicker and clearly not going to leak.

The Wrap&Go Dispenser costs £4.99 and comes with two rolls of sacks.
Refill sacks – each roll containing 15 sacks – are also available in packs of three for £4.99.

For further information please go to:
http://www.tommeetippee.co.uk/department/wrap_and_go

Follow on Twitter at: @tommeetippee_UK