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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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Preparing For Baby: Bedtime

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Pregnancy, Preparing For Baby | Posted on 04-03-2014

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Since finding out at our 20 week scan back in early January that we’re having another boy we’ve been full throttle buying bits and pieces that we need and transforming what was our office/dumping ground into a nursery. Little Dude will be spending his first six months in a bedside crib in our room, but we’ve got his bed sorted in his own room too, as well as a chair for those night feeds and drawers and shelves full of things.

We were big fans of swaddling with Little Man. He slept really well wrapped up securely in giant muslin cloths and cellular blankets, and its one thing that we said we’d definitely repeat with Little Dude. This time around however we are going to be testing out Gro-Swaddles from The Gro Company. Gro-Swaddles make the act of swaddling even easier. The swaddles are shaped cotton jersey wraps. There are no buttons, ties or velcro patches involved, they are simply just wrapped comfortably and securely around your baby, obviously without being too tight or restrictive. The swaddles are suitable for use up to the age of 3 months (or around 14lb/6.5kg) and can be used to recreate the feeling of being in the womb which your baby will be used to when they are born. The Gro Company sent us three swaddles to test out and I bought a couple more at the recent Baby Show at Excel as I am already in love with them. They look and feed so comfortable and cosy and I’m sure Little Dude will be happy to snuggle into them when he sleeps.

Gro Egg Gro Swaddles Egg Shells Sussex Mummy Gro CompanyAnother product we are testing out for The Gro Company is their famous Gro-Egg Room Thermometer. The Gro-Egg works as a room thermometer so you can keep and eye on the temperature and ensure your baby is appropriately dressed at nighttime. Monitoring the room temperature is very important for newborns especially, but you always want to ensure that your baby doesn’t overheat or get too cold. What I love about the Gro-Egg is that it glows a different colour depending on the temperature. For example, if the room is too cold it glows blue. If its too hot it glows red. This means that with a simple glance you can establish whether you need to act, and it means that you can eliminate the need to think – something I don’t do well at 3am! The gentle glow also acts as a subtle nightlight. During a recent shopping trip we have bought an Egg Shell for our Gro-Egg – a super cute cover which sits on the top of the egg and makes it look like a monkey. Little Man was very keen to help choose this and preferred this design to the others two on offer – an owl and a penguin.

As well as these review products we also have Gro-Bags that we used with Little Man washed and ready for when Little Dude outgrows his swaddles. We are big fans of The Gro Company and have always been thrilled with any products we’ve bought or received to review for them in the past, and I’m sure the Gro-Swaddles and Gro-Eggs will be no exception.

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.

 

More Alternative Easter Gifts For Under 5’s…

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information, Product Reviews | Posted on 03-04-2012

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Twinkle Tog
Sleeping bags are brilliant for babies, especially those that wriggle around in their sleep – bags mean that you’re not up half a dozen times a night because your little one has kicked their covers off. When your little one becomes a toddler though and they are more mobile, a sleeping bag can be restrictive. When I go in to his room in the morning my Little Man tends to stand up and give me a wave as I come through the door. In a traditional sleeping bag this is usual followed by him falling over. With a Twinkle Tog the problem could be solved.
The Twinkle Tog is a duvet body suit, with defined legs which mean your little one can wander around in it if needed. It keeps them nice and warm throughout the night, and can even be used easily in a car seat if you’re travelling at bed time. I think this cute sheep design makes a great Easter gift too! Twinkle Tog’s are available from all good retailers, including Amazon and Mothercare.

Munchkin
Bath time is  always popular in our house and we like to make sure we have a good supply of toys in there to keep Little Man entertained. Munchkin do some of the best bath toys we’ve found, and we particularly enjoyed playing with this – the Dolphin Divers.
Water is scooped up using the whale and then poured through, making the dolphins spin around. Lots of splashing fun! Plus the whale sits neatly on the top when not being used. The unit fixes securely to the wall using suckers too! You can see the full Munchkin bath toy range online.

Mam
Another item now ideal for babies first Easter – an Oral Care Rabbit.

Babies oral hygiene is important from day one – not just when teeth start to appear. This cute rabbit is designed to keep tiny mouths clean and free from bacteria, as well as provided relief from the itchy gums caused by teething. It can also be used to clean those tiny first teeth. Your newborn is bound to enjoy chewing and sucking on it, and whilst you’re keeping their mouths clean they’re getting used to the idea of  brushing teeth. I think this is very cute, and a great Easter gift. Mam Oral Care Rabbits are available from baby sections of most high street stores and online. You can learn more at the Mam website.

Clintons Cards
Whilst you’re buying your Easter cards from Clintons this year – for me you can never go wrong with a Boofle card – why not take a look around on the shelves for your gifts too? As well as a lovely set of Lindt Bunnies – technically not eggs – they also have some craft activities to keep your children quiet during the holidays.
This set makes 3 foam chicks, using push out pieces in a variety of shapes. A great craft activity, and the three finished chicks can be used to decorate Easter cards, the dinner table, or just around the room for Easter weekend. These are designed for children aged 3 plus, so would be a good introduction to the world of craft. Cards, gift wrap, Lindt bunnies and Easter Craft Sets are available now at your local Clintons Cards.

Galt
If you want to get your children interested in gardening you might not automatically think of going to Galt first, but they have a great product which would be a cool Easter gift to teach them about how things grow –  Grow-A-Head Bugs!
Available in four styles – Ladybird, Bee, Butterfly, or Grasshopper – the grass grows after just a few days. Once its long enough you can start trimming or styling to your hearts content.  The Grow-A-Head is a simple yet effective first step towards gardening, allowing children to grow their own unique wild-haired creature. Grow-A-Head’s are available now from the Galt website.

Just Jaks
Baking with children is a fun, and messy, activity. The team at Just Jaks have found a way to hopefully reduce the mess and make delicious fruit flapjacks at the same time.

In your postbox sized parcel you’ll receive a bag of flapjack mix and a bag of mixed fruit, depending on which flavour you go for. To that all you will need to add is about a glass full of apple juice, and in the case of one mix a grated apple. After a good stir you pop it into the oven and 20 minutes later you have a delicious flapjack all ready. Whilst you don’t get the chewy consistency you get from sugar and syrup based flapjacks, you do get a yummy fruity flapjack which is altogether healthier – I know which I’d rather give to my Little Man!! Head over to the Just Jaks website now to check out their range.