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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: Tommee Tippee Steri Bottle

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information, Product Reviews, Travel | Posted on 10-11-2014

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On my recent trip to the Ox Pasture Hall Hotel in Scarborough I decided I didn’t want to drag our steriliser all that way just for one night, and what was eventually just a few hours in the hotel. Its a large, though essential piece of equipment and as you will all know packing space is often at a premium when travelling with babies. We are Tommee Tippee fans here, having used their bottles and equipment with Little Man and repeating this with Little Dude. A few weeks before my trip I was offered the chance, purely by coincidence to review their brand new Steri-Bottles, and thought I’d found the perfect solution.

Steri_Bottle_TommeeTippeeWe were sent two packs of their Steri-Bottle twin packs to test out on our trip. Little Dude has been using Tommee Tippee bottles since day one after a rather traumatic birth left me unable to even consider breastfeeding so I thought these bottles would be ideal for him. The bottles come ready to use and already sterile. They are incredibly well packed, and the instructions ensure you don’t touch the teat or the inside of the bottle when unpacking them or when preparing your feed. They are single use BUT are recyclable which I love. They sounded too good to be true.

Sadly for Little Dude they were. Despite almost six months of daily Tommee Tippee bottle use these bottles were not for him. The teats were too different to the ones he’s been using that he simply refused to drink from them. We use ready made formula which he isn’t the biggest fan of, much preferring it to be made fresh in the Perfect Prep machine, but whether it was cold or warm, or ready made or fresh, he just wouldn’t drink it. I’d taken some of his usual bottles with me too, so we had to do a bit of make shift sterilising by soaking bottles and teats in boiling water fresh from the kettle.

In theory these are brilliant. A safe sterile way of feeding your little one if you’re away for the night and can’t face lugging your steriliser with you. I guess the ultimate test is whether your baby is as fussy as mine! Great idea Tommee Tippee, sadly not for us though.

Weaning: Getting Prepared

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews, Weaning | Posted on 13-09-2014

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It seems crazy that I’m already thinking about weaning. Little Dude is just 17 weeks old and whilst technically we are “allowed” to wean from now, its recommended that we wait till six months. Clearly nobody told Little Dude this. He wasn’t a particularly big baby when he was born – just 7lb 3 – but he’s been a big eater since day one. His feeding has always been regular as clockwork and the feed size has increased steadily, albeit faster than the guidelines on the formula box. According to that he’s consuming what a six month old should be having, and has been for about a month. This week I bought “Hungry Baby Formula” which is meant to help delay weaning. We’re using this for his last bottle before bed – part of our tactic to help him sleep through the night – but I’ll probably be using it for feeds during the day too soon. He’s been happily going three hours between feeds for a while now, but in the last week or so he’s begun to get a bit antsy after a couple of hours and sometimes even sooner than that. We’re going away on holiday in just over a week so I’d like to put him off weaning until we get back if I can, but I guess we have to work to what he wants and needs.

We weaned Little Man at 16 weeks. He was on purely “Hungry Baby Formula” for a few weeks before we took the plunge and started weaning. As first time parents we ummed and ahhed about it – and most of our decisions – before we did it, but even then we were unprepared when we did. This time around I’m feeling a lot more confident about the idea, and so I wanted to be totally prepared so that we could literally start as soon as he needs us to. So I’ve organised myself two weaning kits – one for at home and one for when we’re out. I don’t have the luxury of being about to camp out at home till he has the hang of it – I think Little Man would get rather bored – so I wanted to ensure I had the right bits and pieces to hand wherever we are. The two kits below are made up of things that I’ve been sent to review and things I’ve bought, most of which came from the Asda Baby & Toddler event.

Weaning At Home: At home will be by far the easiest place to wean, so it has a much larger kit:

  • Tommee Tippee Food Blender – I picked this up in the baby event for just £10. With Little Man I spent one day each weekend steaming and pureeing fruit and vegetables and then freezing them in ice cube trays. I really don’t have the time to do that this time around, but I’d still like to be able to offer up bits of what I’m already cooking from time to time. This blender makes baby sized portions of pureed food as well as slightly lumpier offerings for later on. I also picked up some cheap ice cube trays for those first tastes, and some Tommee Tippee food pots and lids for when his appetite grows. When it comes to serving up his meals I bought a Cool & Mash Bowl from the Tesco Baby Event yesterday. The bowl has a separate area for cooling spoonfuls of food before feeding it, and for squashing any lumps that need it.
  • Munchkin Bowls & Spoons – As a Munchkin Ambassador I’ve been lucky enough to receive a great array of their products which will be indispensable when we start weaning. Their Food Bowls are handy for a good size for serving up small portions and the snap top lids mean that we could potentially take food out with us in them if necessary. We have a good selection of their spoons too, including these White Hot Safety Spoons. Their coloured tips turn white if foods are too hot for Little Dude to eat, and being soft they are gentle on his little mouth.
  • Ella’s Kitchen First Tastes – Whilst I of course want to feed Little Dude as much fresh food as I can, I am realistic. For me there is no better ready made food than Ella’s Kitchen. We used it with Little Man, and I’m looking forward to using it again with Little Dude. The team sent us a lovely box of food pouches to test out for them, with delicious sounding meals as well as those first tastes of pure vegetable goodness. Needless to say I’ll have a couple full of these pouches to hand when the fun begins.
Weaning Out & About: With a five day holiday coming up as well as a weekend away with Nana and an almost four year old who likes to go out in Mummy’s car, there’s going to be a good amount of weaning away from the comfort of our house. Thankfully, we’re all ready for it:
  • Munchkin – Our weaning on the road adventures will generally be made much easier – I hope! – thanks to Munchkin. A good supply of spoons again, as well as one of their nifty roll-up bibs. The bib has a crumb catcher pocket on it which also doubles up as a pouch to put dirty spoons in once Little Dude is finished eating, and it then all tucks up inside itself and velcros shut making it much cleaner to transport. We’ve also got a couple of Food Pouch Spoon Tips which screw straight onto a food pouch. You simple squeeze spoonfuls straight from the pouch and there’s no need for a separate spoon or even two hands. The handy click-lock lids means you can transport them without worrying about leaks. Finally we have a super cute insulated bag to carry all our bits and pieces in. With a large capacity and a mesh pocket for storage, as well as a clip fastening meaning I can attach it securely to my pushchair, this is probably the most important part of this weaning kit.
  • Ella’s Kitchen – Homemade food may well come out with us in our food pots or bowls with lids, but I suspect we’ll be much more likely to use pouches when we go out. Like I said before, I love Ella’s Kitchen. You genuinely get what it says on the front – there are no hidden extra ingredients – and being organic I know they are the best for Little Dude.
So I’m pretty sure we’ve got weaning covered. My kitchen is practically buried in fact with all the bits and pieces I’ve gathered up. Have we missed anything? What’s in YOUR weaning kit?

Preparing For Baby: Formula Feeding

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Preparing For Baby, Product Reviews | Posted on 26-02-2014

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Whilst I’m optimistic that breast feeding is going to be more successful this time around I wanted to make sure I was prepared for it all to go wrong again. Tommee Tippee was my feeding brand of choice with Little Man, and is going to be once again with Little Dude. We have two great pieces of kit ready and waiting for his arrival that are bound to make formula feeding even easier than last time.

Perfect Prep Machine: I first spotted this at last October’s Baby Show in London and immediately wanted one. I was only eight weeks pregnant at the time so clearly buying one there and then would have been crazy, but I was really lucky to pick one up in Amazon’s Black Friday sale a couple of months ago. It was on a great half price offer and I had some vouchers to use up so managed to get it super cheap. The Perfect Prep Machine makes fresh ready to drink formula at the ideal temperature for baby to enjoy in just 2 minutes. 2 minutes. How fast is that? How convenient is that? How much is that going to save time and effort for those 3am feeds when you’d rather be asleep than faffing around with bottles, kettles and formula?
With Little Man it took us a while to get a good organised routine going for making up bottles of formula. During the early days of combination feeding we used cartons of ready made formula to top up my limited supply of breast milk. Whilst its convenient its also really expensive, so we quickly moved to powdered formula after the “Appendicitis Incident”. Once we’d sorted out a great routine for making up the bottles it was fine, but using the Perfect Prep Machine will make the process much easier this time around, and will also be something we can do one handed whilst holding our new Little Dude, instead of having to put him down or balance things precariously. I am so looking forward to using this if the need arises.

tommee tippee steriliser perfect prep sussex mummy

Complete Starter Kit: When it comes to formula feeding – or expressing breast milk for that matter – you need a supply of bottles and a great steriliser. We had a fantastic electric steriliser with Little Man, but we foolishly got rid of it as we originally didn’t plan on having any more children. Clearly that changed. We were so lucky therefore when the team at Tommee Tippee sent me a brand new Complete Starter Kit to review for them with Little Dude.
The Kit was something we bought with Little Man but it seems to come with extra bits this time around – amazing how fast things change in just three years. It comes with the electric steriliser which is super easy to use, six bottles and teats of varying sizes and flows, lids for the bottles if you express straight into them, formula powder measures – which are so useful, a bottle brush for cleaning, and two insulated bottle bags to take made up formula or warm water out with you. This was all included in the kit we bought first time around so I know what I’m doing with all this, though it won’t hurt to remind myself nearer the time! The kit now also includes a bottle or food warmer – something we bought separately last time and to be honest didn’t really use all that much with formula, but did use to warm jars of food during weaning. It now also has a Travel Steriliser included which seems SUCH a good idea. This is a compact steriliser that you can pop into your changing bag and sterilise bottles when you’re out and about. I think this will be really handy when we go and visit family and friends for the day, and also for emergency sterilisation of bottles – you never know when you might need to re-sterilise bottles. It will also be good to take on holiday instead of packing up the whole electric steriliser, and for future use when bottles are down to just one or two a day. It can be used for sterilising with cold water or even for use in a microwave. I think this is going to be really handy.

I love Tommee Tippee. Its a brilliant brand with such reliable products. We have lots of their products ready and waiting for Little Dude, including some new Air Style Soothers we picked up at The Baby Show this weekend, as well as packs of their Soother Wipes and some of their First Sips Cups ready for learning independent drinking. Little Dude will be a great Tommee Tippee Baby.

Preparing For Baby: Breastfeeding

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Pregnancy, Preparing For Baby | Posted on 30-01-2014

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I’m now 24 weeks pregnant. Can you believe it? We found out at the start of this year that we’re having another little boy. Admittedly I did want a little girl – I’m sure all mums do – but I’m really excited to meet my new Little Dude in May, and we’re having a lot of fun getting things ready for him. Having a boy already, and being organised enough to keep a lot of things “Just in case…” our shopping list isn’t too long this time around. There’s a few new bits and pieces we want, but we’ve been lucky enough to dig out a lot of good stuff that we kept, and we’ve been sent a few key items for review. Obviously I can’t review any of them properly yet, but I can preview them now and do a proper review once we’ve used them in May.

I am hoping to breastfeed with Little Dude. Things didn’t entirely go to plan with Little Man – the fact that my breasts didn’t grow at all during pregnancy should have been my first indicator – and we struggled with a poor milk supply, a very hungry baby and a small appendicitis incident rather early on. We combination fed Little Man from day 3 and whilst I’m not going to get stressed if we end up doing that again with Little Dude, I am determined to give breastfeeding a go. Little Man was purely formula fed from 15 days old – I was a little busy in hospital having my appendix out at this point – so I hope to achieve at least two weeks breastfeeding with Little Dude, and any more than that will be a bonus.

We have a couple of bits of kit ready for breastfeeding. The main thing I was thrilled to find tucked away in the loft was my Tommee Tippee Electric Breast Pump. We bought this 10 days after Little Man was born after wrestling with a manual pump for a week. I wanted to try and encourage my milk flow and make it that Daddy could do some feeds. That’s really important to me – and to Daddy – again this time. I want Daddy to do some feeds during the week, especially when he goes back to work, so he has that important bonding time with his new son. Hopefully he’ll be feeding expressed breast milk – my breasts have certainly grown this time so fingers crossed – but if its formula so be it. I only got to use this pump for four days before being rushed down to A&E so I didn’t really get much experience using it, but I’m optimistic I’ll get to test it out properly this time.

cantaloop tank top tommee tippee breast pump sussex mummy

Something we’ve been sent to review for both during my remaining pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding is a Tank Top from Cantaloop. I have great plans to wear this top later in the spring when it gets a bit warmer, and then certainly during the last few weeks of my pregnancy and hopefully throughout a warm summer, but I did try it on when it arrived just to make sure I’d chosen the right size. The top has a built in bra for support, and adjustable straps to ensure the correct fit. Comfort is essential during pregnancy. The top fits really well and there is plenty of room around my bump for growth, as well as a bit more space in the cups for any extra growing my breasts do. The top has super easy clips that unfasten so make breastfeeding easy and discreet and overall it is very comfortable so far. I can see this being my go to outfit for most of the summer!

What other things do YOU think I need to make my breastfeeding experience easier? I’m considering a scarf or cover of some kind. What would you recommend?

Product Review: Tommee Tippee Closer To Nature DECT Digital Monitor with Movement Sensor Pad

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information, Product Reviews | Posted on 04-09-2011

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When babies are awake their parents can keep a close eye on them at all times, but once they are asleep, and especially when they are sleeping in a seperate room, Mum and Dad need peace of mind that their little one is safe.  The DECT Digital Monitor and Movement Sensor Pad from Tommee TIppee provides that peace of mind.

The monitor comes in three parts:

1) Babies Room Unit – this displays the room temperature and also has a built in night light with a gentle low glow.  There is also a paging function in case you lose the parent unit.

2) Portable Parent Unit – this also displays the room temperature so you can keep an eye on it, it has a range of up to 300m and it features a 'Talk Back' button so you can reassure you're baby from a distance.  there is also a rechargable docking station.

3) Movement Sensor Pad – this is for use during those early months before baby starts moving around in their cot.  This is placed between the mattress and the base of the cot and monitors your babies movement.  An alarm sounds if there is no movement for 20 seconds, but please note that this is not suitable for use when baby starts to move around their cot.  The monitor is perfectly usable without the pad.

We were given one to test by Tommee Tippee and on the whole we were very pleased with it, as we have been with all Tommee Tippee products.  We didn't test the Sensor Pad because our Little Man is almost 11 months and frequently rampaging around his cot!  The sound clarity is very good and the night light is a lovely feature.  We also like the constantly illuminated screen on the babies unit.  Our only problem with it is that there is no torch built in to the parent unit.  This is a feature we had on a previous monitor and one we found very helpful.  Overall I think this would make an ideal monitor for new borns.

Tommee Tippee Closer To Nature DECT Digital Monitor with Movement Sensor Mat is available direct from the Tommee Tippee website.

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