Category Archives: Products

You must pack these this summer

The summer holiday you have been looking forward to for so long can quickly turn into a week of panic (over controlling your child’s behaviour), of constant battles with your kids to ensure they get some shade and erm… worry over what they can wear! 

Over at A baby on board, this precise problem was being discussed and a list of essential items were identified (that may not be so obvious to you)… So save this page, share it or scribble the list down on to a dried out wet wipe. You won’t want to go on holiday without them. 

Summer-themed books: Ideal for distraction, keeping them entertained and tempting them into the shade for a break from the sun (with an ice cream of course). 

Sunglasses: Just make sure they have proper uv protection. Amazon have a few available on prime which is always handy!

Suncream: This goes without saying but as it is so inportant, we have said  it. so there. And remember to always check the expiry daye if you aren’t buying new!

Headphones: whether your child has his/her own iPad/kindle or you allow him to borrow yours, headphones are a must for any long plane or coach journey.

Summer stripes: we arent completely convinced about number 5 but hey! If you are a fashion conscience parent then stripes are good this year! Now, have a great holiday!

Disposable or Reuseable – The Big Nappy Debate

Disposable or reusable? The choice is entirely yours. Your decision will most likely be based on cost, convenience, babies health and hygiene and environmental concerns (not in any particular order). You may want to figure out what your priority is before you decide and make a decision from there. This post will help you with that decision!

Cost

Despite the initial outlay costing more, reusable nappies work out much cheaper to use than disposables. If cost is a big factor in your decision then consider the fact that newborns need changing approximately 12 times a day. Depending on the brand of disposable nappies used to compare, it is estimated you could save anything between £150-£1000 per year. Most reusable nappies are able to be used again for 2nd children so if you plan on expanding your family in the future, the savings double!

Convenience

Without a shadow of doubt, disposable nappies are more convenient than reusable. They are available in pretty much every shop (be it a big supermarket chain or a local grocery store), they are more absorbent and once they are dirtied you simply throw them away. If all you had to consider was convenience then you would most likely choose disposable. With that said, there is no reason why you can’t use a combination of both (such as disposables at bed time and when out of the house for long periods and reusables for any other time).

Babies health and hygiene

There have been concerns that disposable nappies have harmful chemicals and reusable cloth nappies cause nappy rash. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest reusable nappies produce nappy rash. Nappy rash is caused by a number of factors such as friction, moisture, urine and faeces. Sometimes, the culprit is infection from yeast, such as candida albicans. Disposable nappies are generally more absorbent than reusable ones which may reduce moisture but the key to avoiding Nappy rash will always be to use a good protective cream and to change your baby regularly. The concerns regarding harmful chemicals dates back to a case over thirty years ago involving tampons. The same super absorbent ingredients are used in nappies (Sodium polyacrylate crystals) and there were fears these caused or were linked to toxic shock cases. It was later discovered it was misuse of the tampons that caused this. You should also remember that nappies don’t enter the human body so any risks are likely to be perceived rather than factual. Another unproven concern regarding disposable nappies is that they cause the temperature of the scrotum to be higher than the boys who wear reusable cotton nappies. A study in Germany in 2002 found this information to be incorrect and concluded the temperature was the same in boys who wear either disposable or reusable.

The Environment

Surprisingly enough, the environment agency found little difference when comparing disposable or reusable nappies in terms of environmental impact. The fact is they both affect the environment negatively, just in different ways. Disposable nappies take over 100 years to degrade and make up 4% of our total landfill waste (which is huge)! Reusable nappies need to be washed regularly meaning they use water and electricity. Not to mention the delivery service some companies offer which of course consume fuel and pollute the air. If you do decide on reusable nappies, washing them on a full load at a lowered temperature (perhaps 60 degrees instead of 90) and not using a tumble dryer will help to lower the impact they have on the environment.

I hope this has helped you reach an informed decision. Please let us know what you decide on and why?

Which bath seat and when?

Bathing your baby is easy if you know how. Particularly if you are using the correct equipment to assist you. Here is a quick guide on which bath/bath seat to use and when:

It is likely you are going to need 2-3 bath seats (depending on your preference) as your baby grows. The first being for newborns, the 2nd for little babies who can’t yet sit and the third for those who can sit but still need a little support. No baby bath is designed for a child to be left alone, you must supervise your child at all times.

Newborn – Baby bath tub

The baby bath tub allows you to bathe your baby in the room of your choice, preferable one that is warm and with no draughts. It can be a little difficult to fill up and empty if you are on your own and can be a drowning hazard if you have other children in the house so ensure your routine doesn’t involve leaving a tub full of water unsupervised. It can be awkward holding your baby and washing him at the same time, particularly if you also need to lean over the sides if a bath, the baby bath tub allows you to place the bath on a raised surface for easier access. You must obviously check the surface is stable, not near anything electrical and the tub/baby is not at risk of falling. The baby bath tub will last for the first month or so. If you would prefer to bathe your little one in the bath, there are a number of products suitable for newborns, most notably the angelcare soft touch baby support.

1-4 months (or until sitting) – Soft mesh bather

There are a number of different mesh bathers, they attach to the base of your bath using suction cups and allow your child to lye at a comfortable angle with a good view of you and the bath water. Some come with raised sides and adjustable incline whilst some are simple and simply offer a comfortable place for baby to lye. Once your little one is able to roll over, you will have to be in your guard to make sure she doesn’t roll off, those with sides don’t offer that much protection against children who can roll so be sure to keep a hand on or near your baby at all times.

Once baby can sit up – A bath seat!

once your child is able to sit, he will be able to experience bath time from a whole new perspective, initially you may want to use a seat that surrounds your child to protect against falling. They are also secured to the base of your bath using suction cups and will have a recommended water level indicator. You can pick one up for around £20(ish) and it will last you longer than the two previously mentioned items. Some come with side support and a recline option if you have a particularly fussy prince or princess.

Personally I went for all 3 of the above, I chose the baby bath tub because it allowed me to bathe my newborn in our much warmer living room and include my older daughter in her little sisters bath time. Once my little one was old enough they shared a big bath together, firstly with the mesh bather, then the bath seat and then once she was sitting confidently and never tipping forwards or backwards, with nothing. Bath time is just as enjoyable now as it ever has been. Except for the washing hair bit.

Tommee Tippee digital monitor with sensor pad – closer to nature

I bought the Tommee Tippee digital monitor with sensor pad to replace the old analogue version which I used with my first born. I was very impressed with the clarity, quality and reliability of this digital monitor and the sensor pad. Being a worrier, I was always going to choose a monitor with a sensor pad and as it was a brand I trusted (from previous products) I went with this. Within 5 minutes of taking it out of the box we were set up and ready to go; you have to make sure you put the sensor pad in the right place with the wire not interfering with the pad or being within reach of baby, this is easily achieved by just following the simple instructions. The wire from the sensor pad then plugs into the base unit. We used the sensor pad in a Moses basket, cot bed, travel cot and also on a single bed (as she got older) and it has always been reliable and reassuring.
You can adjust the sensitivity of the pad easily – once you have the level that doesn’t give any false alarms there is no need to touch it at all until your child moves to a different bed (and therefore has a different sized mattress). The monitor unit can be set so that it continuously beeps on every movement that is detected and/or to sound an alarm if no movement is detected (in my experience of using this, baby breathing is enough movement for detection) . The room thermometer is displayed on the monitor base and portable parent unit and the talk back function is clear and easy to use (press to talk). It has a charging dock which sits on our bedside table making it easy to put the monitor on charge whilst always knowing exactly where it is, therefore being easy to grab in the middle of the night. We have never had a problem with the battery life or with the reception; if you are looking for a digital, portable baby monitor with a sensor pad, I can’t recommend this enough.

Good Points

  • Accurate temperature display on parent unit and monitor base
  • Reliable movement sensor pad with adjustable sensitivity
  • long distance range with out of range indicator
  • Belt clip on parent unit
  • Comes with a charging dock
  • Night light on base unit can be remotely controlled by parent unit
  • Easy to use talk back function
  • Negative Points

  • If you set the parent unit to constantly beep with every movement detected it is slightly too loud to sleep through – however you can switch this off and have the alarm sound if no movement is detected for 30 seconds.
  • If your baby moves around a lot this may result in false alarms – I didn’t have this problem but my view is it is still worth having for those first few months before baby is able to roll over.
  • Who is it good for?

    If like me you need reassurance that your sleeping baby is ok then this is for you. Although your baby should sleep in your room with you for the first 6 months, that doesn’t mean we are able to constantly monitor them – we need sleep too. The Tommee Tippee digital monitor with sensor pad monitors your baby for you. And the beauty of it is you can set it so you are alarmed (woke up) if no movement is detected for 30 seconds and also have the option of constant beeps through the parent unit to reassure you that your baby is still OK. Buy this if you need that peace of mind each night.

    Buy the Tommee Tippee closer to nature digital monitor with sensor pad

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    What do new babies need?

    What new babies need is much less than you may think, check out my complete guide to what you need for those first few weeks both in your home and when out and about.

    In your home

    Sleeping
    Your baby obviously needs somewhere to sleep both during the day and at night time. For now we will just call it a baby bed as I want you to choose the bed that best suits you (ie Moses basket, crib, cotbed etc). Here is my list of everything you will need, you must make sure your mattress fits your choice of bed:

  • Baby bed
  • Tightly fitted mattress
  • Monitor
  • At least 4 well fitted sheets
  • Age appropriate sleeping bag – check which tog rating here
  • 3 blankets
  • Room thermometer
  • Feeding
    This list obviously depends on how you are going to feed your baby. I liked to have a few bottles at home anyway just in case I had Breastfeeding problems, here is what I recommend you have at home, reduce or ignore the bottle feeding items if you plan on Breastfeeding:

  • Breast pads
  • Nipple cream
  • Maternity/feeding pillow
  • You may also want a breast pump.
  • If you are solely bottle feeding I recommend you have the following, if you are mix feeding you will probably need half of these quantities.

  • 6x bottles
  • 6x new born teats
  • Bottle brush
  • Steriliser
  • Thermal flask
  • 3-5 cartons of ready made formula milk
  • Storage container for transporting small amounts of formula
  • Plenty of bibs
  • Bathing
    You baby only needs to be ‘top and tailed‘ until the umbelical cord has fallen off. In preparation for bathing your little one, I recommend you have the following at home:

  • baby bath tub
  • Bath thermometer
  • 2-3 soft hooded towels
  • You may also want some baby soap or shampoo but this really isn’t necessary, particularly for newborns as they don’t tend to get very dirty.

    Changing
    There is going to be a lot of nappy changing in those first few months, you are probably going to change anything between 8-15 nappies every day. Whether you are using disposable or re-usable you will need a constant supply. Here is what I recommend you have at home to get you started:

  • 100 nappies (if using disposable)
  • Lots of cotton wall balls
  • a changing mat
  • A big tub of Vaseline(to prevent nappy rash)
  • Nappy rash cream (such as metonium) to treat nappy rash
  • Wet wipes (although you should try to avoid using these for the first few weeks)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Nappy bags
  • Clothing
    Babies look the cutest when they are in sleepsuits and you don’t really need much more than that for the newborn stage, here is what I suggest you start off with and you can buy more if need be. (Which I am sure you will – this obviously also depends on how quickly your newborn grows)

  • 8 sleepsuits
  • 8 babygrows (what’s the difference?)
  • 2 wool or cotton cardigans
  • A sun hat (if likely to be out in the sunshine) see more on sun safety
  • A wool or cotton hat, booties and mittens (if it’s cold or likely to get cold).
  • Safety
    There is no need to baby proof your house until your little one is showing signs of becoming mobile. The only essential I would say you need for the first few weeks is a reliable thermometer.

    Out and about

    Safety and comfort are the two main things your baby needs when out and about,

    In the car

  • Car seat
  • Baby on board sign
  • Sun shade
  • Walking

  • Pram or travel system
  • Baby sling or carrier
  • Sun shade/parasol for your pram/travel system
  • You may also want some additional blankets for use in the car/pram
  • Over time you will discover things you wish you had and buy things you don’t really need but this list should serve you well when preparing for your little ones birth, as far as I’m concerned this is everything you need to ensure your baby is clean, comfortable, fed and safe, which is pretty much what you are responsible for ensuring from the second she is born. As always I welcome your feedback so please let me know what you’re thinking in the comments section below.