Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Exciting Teepee Dens

How amazing are teepees? Not just for cowboys and indians, they make the best dens for little beasts. Imagine the fun they could playing with them and in them - hiding out, hosting picnics and tea parties, or finding a quiet spot for reading. A few of my favourites pictured below are by UK mini-boutiques Catching Stars and Love Lime Kids. I also love this rainbow teepee by Wild Things Dresses.

{Product Credit} Teepee play tents with padded floor mat & 3 inside pockets, but without poles by Catching Stars, £125

{Product Credit} Personalised Teepee by Love Lime Kids, £95

More posts like this one:
My Pinterest Board of Children's Dens
✽ King of the Castle Den

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Friday, 26 July 2013

Favourite Toys - Ivo at 14 Weeks

This week Ivo seems much more aware of his toys; he's gripping them, waving them around, and stuffing them in his mouth. All these toys come highly recommended, and well-tested! His current favourites are {clockwise from top left}....

1. Lamaze Play and Grow Dee Dee The Dragon, £7.63 - He loes the crinkly wings and likes to swat it.

2. Nuby Ice Bite Teether Keys, £4.09 - He's not quite got the hang of gumming the icy bits {he prefers my knuckles or his fist}, but he likes to hold the large ring and wave it about so it clatters.

3. Fisher-Price Rainforest Gym - A huge favourite, we couldn't do without this toy! He lies underneath it and stares at the lights and the toys, kicking his legs furiously and swatting all the dangling toys. He's also just started to roll over, so he likes to stare at the rainforest scene.

4. Blossom Farm Wooly Lamb Chime, £5 - He loves the sound this makes, and bashes it constantly. It has a lovely nubbly texture, but I don't think he's discovered that yet.

5. Frog Nuby Teething Blankie, £3.94 - This was a present and introduced me to Nuby toys - don't miss their adorable Monster range. He loves the green crinkly bit, and always looks stunned when we squeak the frog.

6. Pebble Carrot Rattle, £6.55 - If I encourage him to hold this, he loves to wave it around and smile at the rattling sound.

7. Lamaze Mix and Match Activity Blocks, £8.86 - He likes to bash these and stare at the different sides. Again, any crinkly-sounding side is a favourite.

More posts like this one:
My Five Favourite Baby Announcement Cards
The Essential Baby List

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Thursday, 25 July 2013

Amazing Bandana Bibs from Funky Giraffe

Here at Before the Baby Towers we have officially entered the dribbling phase. I'm not sure if baby Ivo is teething, but he's definitely drooling, and enjoying the simple pleasures of gumming his fist. All I can say is thank goodness for my Funky Giraffe bandana bibs! They're fantastic at soaking up Ivo's dribble, drool and spilt milk, without letting dampness through his clothes underneath. Plus they've got two different popper fastenings, so you can have them done up tight or loose. They come in millions of designs - here are a few of my favourites, for boys and girls. The current offer is five bibs for £11 with free postage. You can also get them personalised, something I'm going to have to do for all my friend's baby showers!

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Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Reviewing The Best Travel Cots - The ReadyCot

I'm not sure how it's happened, but I've already been on two holidays with baby Ivo, and he's only three months old. Throw in numerous trips to my parents in Dorset, and my husband's parents in Herefordshire, and he's a very well travelled baby! It also means I've tried and tested a fair few baby travel products. There's a few things that are pretty key, the first being a lightweight, safe, travel cot. We started by using Ivo's moses basket, but he outgrew that pretty quickly, and that's when the ReadyCotstepped into the breach. It's ridiculously easy to erect, incredibly light, and super-cosy for a newborn baby. It comes with a self-inflating mattress and a cover, although I recommend adding your own sheet, as I like elasticated ones that safely cling, and discourage wrinkling. Most importantly, Ivo loves it! It's come into its own in this hot weather, as Ivo's nursery is too hot, so we've had to put him down to sleep in the coolest room in the house - the bathroom! P.S. Don't just take my word for it, the ReadyCotalso won Gold in the Practical Parenting Awards.

More posts like this one:
✽ Holiday Checklist For Travelling With A Newborn Baby

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Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Cute Pairs of Bodysuits for Twins

Before my baby, I always thought I was going to have twins. In fact, I really hope Ivo was going to be double trouble, and I was genuinely disappointed at my first scan to find out there was just one baby in there. Now he's three months old, I can only imagine how difficult it must be to have two newborn babies, and I look at parents of twins in a completely different way. They are clearly super-human! Kelly is a stay-at-home mum of two, who somehow finds time to run her own Etsy shop called Twinzzshop, selling the cutest pairs of bodysuits for twins. I love her clever complimentary designs - all her pieces are hand-sewn using recycled t-shirts. Wouldn't they make the best present for a new mother?

{Product Credit} Rainbow & Clouds Twins Bodysuit Set, £35

{Product Credit} You Are My SunshineTwins Bodysuit Set, £32

{Product Credit} 1. LO-VE Twins Bodysuit Set, £31 | 2. Love Bugs Twins Bodysuit Set, £38

More posts like this one:
Handprinted Baby Clothes
Cool Print Baby Clothes

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Monday, 22 July 2013

Newborn Baby Holiday Check-List

The night before my holiday, surrounded by a million-and-one things to pack, I nearly ducked out of the whole trip. My baby Ivo was only 9 weeks old, and I was travelling to Mallorca on my own, to meet up with my friend Alice, a fellow mother, for a five-day break. It seemed like such a good idea when I booked the flight - an opportunity for our sons to hang out, and for me to get some sun and start an exercise routine with Alice, who's an amazing personal trainer. But at 11.30pm on Sunday evening, I couldn't figure out how I was going to carry all this stuff, plus wheel the pram, and keep my baby happy on the trip from house-to-cab-to-train-to-plane, and all the way back again. How could someone so small require so much stuff? After a sleepless night, I convinced myself I was braver than last night's teary version, and slung everything into a giant wheelie bag. It looked ridiculous for a five-day holiday, but I decided I was over travelling light, and headed out the door. More on the trip itself later, but here's my holiday check-list of essentials you'll need if you're going on a hot holiday with a newborn baby.

{Photo Credit} By me! Ivo trying out swimming for the first time


* Reserve the formula you need for the journey {including extra for delays} from Boots at the airport. I didn't know you could do this until I read advice on Mumsnet, and when I rang Boots, they were totally used to the request. You can find the numbers online - make sure you've got the chemist on the other side of the security checks.

* A large bag for the hold
* The largest bag allowed for hand-luggage - I recommend a soft bag, because you can squish them into almost any bag measurer
* Travel Pram - my favourite is the Baby Jogger City Mini Single (Black), even for a newborn, I just use a sheepskin insert. It folds up in one easy motion, and you can easily take the wheels off for putting in the hold.
* Bag for the travel pram
* Snooze Shade for the travel pram - this is an excellent buy!
* Baby Bjorn Carrier {this is essential - Ivo felt insecure through some of the trip, and having him close to my chest made him happier, plus I could put my heavy hand-luggage in the pram}

* Travel Cot - my favourites are the Baby Bjorn Travel Crib or the ReadyCot pop-up travel crib
* Snooze Shade for your travel cot
* Gro Anywhere Blackout Blind {this is a must-buy}
* 2 Large Muslins & 1 blanket, so you handle any temperature OR if you use Grobags, take a variety of togs
* Shade Tent for the beach or by the pool
* Dummies - if you use them

* 6 bottles {one for each feed, carry them all in your hand luggage, in case of delays}
* make up one of these bottles with milk for the early journey
* 2 cartons of your favourite formula {security will make you open one to pour into a bottle & taste}, then you can pick up another 6 once you've gone through security
* sterilisation tablets & a container for your sterilising
* 2 bibs and/or muslins for each day you're away

* changing bag and mat
* 10 nappies for each day you're away
* one full pack of baby wipes
* cotton wool
* nappy bin-bags
* nappy rash cream {my favourites are Welada and good old Sudocrem}
* Duck-shaped blow-up baby bath {love!}
* baby wash {my favourite is Organic Babies}
* baby towel

Clothes {for a hot trip}
* 1.5 body suits for every day that you're travelling e.g. 7 day trip, take 10 body suits
* 1 vest body suit for every day you're travelling {my favourites are from M&S}
* 1 sleepsuit for every other day
* 3 sun-hats
* 3 pairs of socks {just in case of cold air-conditioning}
* 2 all-in-one sun protection outfits {my favourite are from Jo Jo Maman Bebe}
* beach towel

Medicines & Extras
* Calpol
* Nasal spray {in case of colds}
* Baby Sunscreen
* Baby Nail Clippers
* Hand Sanitiser
* Dylon Holiday Hand Wash Detergent for handwashing in sinks

* A generous selection including any musical toy your child needs to fall asleep
* Don't forget to carry some of these in your hand luggage!

* your child's passport
* travel insurance documents
* details of your destination
E111 card for your child

More posts like this one:
My Hospital Bag List for Labour

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Wednesday, 17 July 2013

My Nursery Giraffe Obsession

I'm not sure where it started, but I've become slightly obsessed with giraffes in children's nurseries. I think it all started with this giant Melissa & Doug giraffe, which I still haven't let myself buy for my baby, but it's expanded to all sorts of nursery accessories. Take a look at my latest finds! P.S. A Pebble giraffe and the cutest crocheted giraffe in the world. Also, I couldn't write a post without mentioning the much-loved Sophie the Giraffe - a teething favourite.

{Product Credit} Six Animal Mobile by Patricija's Garden, £98.58

{Product Credit} Giraffe Night Light by The Little White Company, £80

{Product Credit} Gold Giraffe Stickers by Nice Package Design £2.83

More posts like this one:
Cute Cuddly Octopus
Ingenius Nursery Animal Storage

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Monday, 1 July 2013

Introducing Spaceform Glass Christening Presents

As our baby Ivo starts to grow bigger, we've started to think about his christening. Neither my husband nor I are very religious, but we're keen to mark his birth in some way, and we can't get excited about a naming ceremony. We've chosen four godparents, and I've been looking at the various ways in which we can thank them for agreeing to be part of Ivo's life. One fantastic option would be Spaceform's glass christening presents. Spaceform creates handmade glass frames and tokens, designed to mark special occasions. You can choose from engraved glass photo frames, paper weights, and 'tokens' {solid blocks of glass engraved with a particular message}. The star paperweights {pictured below} are my particular favourite - wouldn't they work perfectly as momentos? Or we could choose the Christening frame, and include a picture of each godparent and Ivo. If you've been asked to be a godparent, then do take a look at the pictures of the personalised tokens. You can arrange for them to be engraved with a personal message - a lovely way to add your own touch to an important occasion.

{Product Credit} Medium Christening Paperweight Star £24.95

{Product Credit} Miniature Christening Token £8.95

{Product Credit} Large Glass Christening Frame £29.95

{Product Credit} Personalised & Engraved Cross & Heart Christening Tokens £55.00

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