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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.

 

Decorating A Child’s Bedroom – Jungle Theme

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Home & Lifestyle, Product Reviews | Posted on 07-05-2012

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The majority of Little Man’s toys and books have a jungle animal involved. Giraffes, monkeys and lions are very popular in our house, so when we moved from our flat and Little Man was given a bedroom with plain white walls we had no doubts over what theme to decorate it in. Over the past few weeks we’ve been gathering lots of amazing jungle themed items to use to make Little Man’s room a proper boys bedroom, and we are thrilled with the results.

Duracoat Tough Matt Paint from Homebase in ‘Yellow Submarine’.
This paint contains extra acrylic making it super durable and ideal for high traffic areas. Its also washable which is going to come in very handy when Little Man decides to decorate himself with crayons!
I love this colour and it brightened up the room immediately. It also works incredibly well with the rest of the decorations.

Jungle Wall Stickers by Roommates from Jomoval.
Twenty six stickers of varying sizes featuring an array of creatures found in the jungle, as well as a couple of palm trees, birds and a bright sun. These stickers can be placed on any painted or papered wall, furniture 0r mirrors without causing damage. What’s more you can move and reposition as you want, reusing them if you move or fancy a change of scene, and they are waterproof and wipe clean.
I always wanted to use some type of wall sticker to add pictures to Little Man’s room, and I must have looked at dozens of designs and styles. These were perfect – particularly being re-positionable – and make a dramatic impact as soon as you place them. Little Man saw his wall yellow for a few weeks before we put these up, and as soon as he came back into his room he immediately ran over pointing at them all and poking the ones he could reach. Most mornings he waves at the creatures from his cot! These stickers are just fantastic.

Monkey & Giraffe Decorative Light Switch Cover from Homeplates.
This is a simple cover which is fitted easily over your existing light switch making them a popular home decoration accessory. They are so easy to fit – even I managed it!
I’d never really imagined having a light switch that was any colour other than white, but after discovering the Homeplates website and their vast selection I can see more of these popping up around the house. Inexpensive and so simple the inclusion of this switch cover in Little Man’s room is subtle but so cute.

Jungle Animals Personalised Height Chart from Stuck On You.
Made from high quality canvas and supplied with matching stickers to mark your little ones height on special dates – birthdays, Christmas, etc – these height charts are easily personalised on the website and come in a huge range of designs.
This height chart has featured on my blog before here, but it is still a brilliant part of Little Man’s bedroom and one brightens up a blank wall.

Bespoke Bunting from Just Bunting.
Just Bunting was set up by Karen Davey from Cornwall and she makes a huge range of bunting for all occasions, and she was kind enough to make this colourful personalised bunting for Little Man. The quality is fantastic and it was precisely what I’d imagined – you can see why she’s a member of the #SBS Winners, as chosen by Theo Paphitis of Dragons Den fame.

Green Elephant Organics For Kids Blanket from NaturalMat
This blanket is reversible – the other side has stripes on – and is so soft and snugly. It would be brilliant for wrapping your newborn nice and cosily, or as an extra blanket for use in the cot or in the car, and what’s more its 100% organic cotton and machine washable.

Personalised Safari Wall Art from Alphabet Gallery.
A 15cm square deep wooden box containing the first letter of your child’s name, along with their full name and the origin of it, and their date of birth. This makes a great addition to any nursery and would be a perfect christening gift too.
This item is so beautiful.  The Safari theme provides a great background and the detail that goes into it is exquisite. I am so pleased to have one of these on Little Man’s wall, and I’m sure it’s something we are going to always treasure.

Doodle Zoo Travel Grobag from The Gro Company.
This sleeping bag can be used both at home and on the move as it can be fitted into a car seat or buggy and is five point harness compatible. At 0.5 tog it is ideal for hot summer nights and holiday travel.
This grobag is full of lovely jungle creatures. We have used it in the car seat too whilst travelling past Little Man’s bedtime. The full length front zip makes it easy to transport your little one if their asleep as it gives simple access to your harness. The 0.5 tog means it will get plenty use this summer – should it ever get hot!

Jolly Day Out Portable Storage Caddy from The Gro Company.
Keeping nappies, wipes and creams tidy is easy with this caddy, and the included changing mat and comfy handle means you can carry it around the house with ease.
This was chosen because of its bright orange colour. There may not be a jungle creature on here, but greens, yellows and oranges are jungle colours so its a great match. We keep this filled with nappies and wipes – super cute jungle creature decorated ones from Tesco’s in fact – as well as the essential hand gel and nappy rash cream.  Its great for using around the house, and makes a instant nappy changing station in any room.

Roaring Raa Raa Toy from Toys R Us.
This interactive roaring Raa Raa provides endless fun with a simple push down of his head. The more you press his head the longer and louder the realistic roar, and he even does a little wiggle too!
Raa Raa has been watched by Little Man for quite a while now, so you can imagine his excitement upon receiving his very own Raa Raa – I couldn’t get it out the box fast enough! Little Man loves to press his head down, and often mimicks the wiggling motion when the roar begins. I love this toy because the voice is the same as on the show and its a brilliant copy of a very popular character.

Tigga Shoes from Inch Blue.
Inch Blue are the place to get handmade soft leather shoes, and these bright orange with black stripes make a great jungle addition.

Blue Original 6 month + Soother Two Pack from Mam.
A cute pack of soothers, one of which features a very appropriate elephant! Soothers are only used in our house at nap time and at night, but we seem to lose them all the time, so a good stock is essential.

Jungle Animals Kids Party Boxes from Favours From Us.
These boxes are designed to be used at parties, and would make great goody bags for children to take home filled with sweets. In Little Man’s bedroom they make cute decorations which he could put little bits and pieces in.

Panda Zoobie from Jaz Kids.
This cuddly panda is a great soft toy for your child, but it also holds a secret. It is also a super-soft blanket and comfortable pillow, making it ideal for car trips and cuddling up at home.
This panda has become an instant hit in our house. Little Man loves it, and can often be found carrying it around with him and giving it big cuddles. He doesn’t really use it as a blanket and pillow as yet,  but as a toy its one of his best friends.

Monkey Bibs from Close Parent Ltd.
These bibs come in two sizes – 0 month + and 6 months + – and are soft and absorbent. The 6 month + bib has additional poppers which allow you to fold bottom of the long bib up to form a pouch – great for catching any spillages!

Little Man is rather pleased too – he does enjoy a nice chat with his new animal friends…

Like what you see?

Here are all the website links and Twitter accounts of everyone who contributed towards making my Little Man’s bedroom amazing!!

Homebase can be found @Homebase_UK
Jomoval can be found @Jomoval
Homeplates
Stuck On You can be found @StuckOnYouTweet
Just Bunting can be found @JustBunting
Natural Mat can be for @NaturalMat
Alphabet Gallery
The Gro Company can be found @TheGroCompany
Toys R Us can be found @ToysRUs
Inch Blue can be found @InchBlue
Mam
Favours From Us
Jaz Kids can be found @JazKidsClothing
Close Parent Ltd can be @CloseParent