Friday, 27 September 2013

An Amazing Offer for the Baby Show

Have you ever been to a Baby Show before? Nope, me either, but I can't tell you how excited I am to be going to my first one on 26th October. The Baby Show is taking place at London Olympia from 25 to 27 October, and it sounds A-mazing!! I'm going as a guest of Dorel UK {the makers of Maxi-Cosi car seats & Quinny baby strollers}, and I'll be reviewing a secret new product....even I don't know what it is yet! The Baby Show sounds like a fantastic event for parents or pregnant couples, with over 300 trusted brands and 200 specialist exhibitors, I can't wait to check out all the new and innovative baby products. The best news is that you can go too! I've been given a special code so that you can get tickets at a reduced rate. Instead of spending £20, if you click here, you can get a ticket for only £11.95. Amazing! See you there.....

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Thursday, 26 September 2013

Easy & Obvious Advice for Making Baby Formula

This is such obvious advice, I feel a bit silly typing it up. But considering both my husband and I are university educated, and reasonably intelligent, and yet it still took us four months to figure it out, I thought I might as well write a quick piece for all those new parents out there. If you're making a bottle of milk for your newborn baby, the advice is to always make it to order, with freshly-boiled water from the tap. But that means you've got to cool your boiling hot bottle, and if you're disorganised {like me}, your baby is already hungry, and not keen on waiting for the milk to cool. So all you need to do is follow these three easy steps.

Three Easy Steps
1. Always keep a spare bottle of cooled kettle water in the fridge. 
2. Add half boiling water {which sterilises the milk powder and dissolves it nice and easily}, and then top up with cold water. 
3. Ta-dah! Milk the perfect temperature. 

Needless to say, you'll still want to test it my dripping a bit on your wrist. For more advice on making formula, take a look at NHS Choices. It's where I go whenever I want straight-forward advice I can trust.

More posts like this one:
My 5 Favourite Baby Apps
✽ Baby Clothes - 5 Things Not To Buy

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Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Loving Winter Baby Clothes by Mini-Boden

It's been a long time coming, but I'm suddenly obsessed with Boden. My mother's been talking about it for ages, but it wasn't until they sent me a money-off voucher, that I looked at their online catalogue. They just do the best baby boy clothes. Too many shops focus their creativity on baby girls {Baby Gap, Monsoon}, but it's all fair and square on Mini-Boden. Just take a look at these lovely outfits! They're not cheap, but my sister {mother to a 4-year old} says the clothes really last....and I've found a healthy second-hand market for them on eBay.

{I want this!} Clockwise from Top Left - 1. Novelty Hat & Mittens Set, £22 | 2. Bus Logo Jumper, £24, | 3. Vintage Bike T-shirt, £12 | 4. Vintage Car T-shirt, £12 | 5. Star Patch Trousers, £17.80 | 6. Vintage Plane T-shirt, £12, | 7. Bus Logo Jumper, £24.

{I want this!} Clockwise from Top Left - 1. Knitted Dress, £25 | 2. Novelty Hat & Mittens Set, £22 | 3. Fair Isle Knitted Dress, £25 | 4. Quilted Jersey Jacket, £20 | 5. Pretty Playset, £24 | 6. 3 Pack Patterned Tights, £14 | 7. Baby Cord Bloomers, £16.

More posts like this one:
Before the Baby Loves M&S
Baby Clothes - 5 Things Not To Buy

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Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Perfect Peas in Pod Baby Rattle

This gorgeous two peas in a pod rattle by Deerseason is exactly why I started Before the Baby. There's so much incredible creativity out there in the UK, and buckets of amazing baby products just crying out {sorry!} to be showcased on a baby blog like this one. I've been as guilty as any mum for buying the bog-standard {if lovely} Lamaze toys, and now I'm determined to change my ways, and look for original, handmade products. P.S. This Hungry Caterpillar rattle by Precious By Sarah is a new favourite!

{I want this!} Two Peas in a Pod Rattle, £14.48 by Deerseason

More posts like this one:
✽ My Top 6 Baby Bathing Products
✽ Baby's Favourite Toys at 14 Weeks

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Thursday, 12 September 2013

Baby's Favourite Toys - Ivo at 19 weeks

Right now, for Ivo it's all about the gumming. He's not exactly teething, although there's plenty of saliva - I think it's more that he likes to feel the texture of things in his mouth. Toys that previously just got swatted, are now getting the full wet-effect. He's also spotted our iPhones, and loves nothing more than to be allowed to lick them, and attempt a side-gum. And everyday items like paper are suddenly attractive - anything that makes a noise when scrumpled. Labels are also getting much more attention - I never really understood why all the Lamaze toys had little ribbons sewn onto them, but now I get it! Here's his two favourites from this week.

1. Lamaze Freddie The Firefly - You'd think we had enough Lamaze toys, but Daddy bought him this one, and he loves the crinkly wings. Add in the rings and the ladybird teether, and we're talking the perfect toy for the mega-gum.

2. Marks & Spencer's Linking Rings Toy - We actually bought these rings second hand from a Fara charity shop for £1.50, but you can get them from good old M&S. They're our best buy ever - they're the perfect shape for grasping chubby hands, they rattle in a very satisfying manner, and they're very gummable.

More posts like this one:
✽ My Top 6 Baby Bathing Products
✽ Baby's Favourite Toys at 14 Weeks

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Wednesday, 11 September 2013

An Easy Way to Breastfeed in Public

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have spotted that I've recently stopped breastfeeding. It was a super-sad day, but we'd got to the point when Ivo's only breastfeed was in the middle of the night, and I decided I'd prefer to sleep through! While I was feeding, I was determined it wasn't going to stop me going out {easier said than done!}. Like many of us, I'm a bit shy to get my boobs out in public, but one of my girlfriends gave me an amazing Bebe Au Lait nursing cover. They have this amazing semi-rigid neckline that scoops out, so that you can maintain eye-contact with your baby while feeding, without anyone needing to see a nipple. Also it keeps the airflow going, so they don't get too hot - a big deal this summer. Obviously I'm a massive supporter of feeding in public, and no one should feel they have to cover-up....but if you want to, I really recommend buying one. My favourite is the Black Eyelet because I'm often wearing black, and it looks like an elegant scarf. P.S. Hilariously they call them Hooter Hiders in the US....

{I want this!} Babe au Lait Nursing Cover, £31.75

More posts like this one:
Best Baby Travel Accessories - The Snooze Shade
Livy Luloo Pram Liners

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Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Brilliant VW Baby Bodysuits

Attractive bodysuits are surprisingly difficult to come by in the UK. There's plenty of decent everyday wears, but for something truly original, you have to head to folksy farmer's markets, or online. It was on a recent meander around the British boutiques on Etsy, that I discovered these fantastic bodysuits by LOVE Felts. Handsewn by Kirsty, they're a reasonable £10 each, and they can even be personalised with a name or registration number sewn onto the bumper. I love the vintage VW's, the bright fabrics, and the friendly button headlights.

{I want this!} VW Baby Bodysuits, £10 by LOVE Felts

More posts like this one:
✽ My Top 6 Baby Bathing Products
✽ Baby's Favourite Toys at 14 Weeks

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Monday, 9 September 2013

The Best Baby Halloween the world!

Last year was the first time in ten years, that I haven't thrown a Halloween Party. It's a tradition I started at university, but in 2012 I was pregnant, grumpy, and feeling distinctly un-celebratory, so I spent Halloween taking my nephew trick-or-treating. This year, I'm determined to make up for it with a bigger, better bash, and baby Ivo's going to need a costume. The best outfits come from the USA, where they're light-years ahead of us in terms of creativity. There's tonnes of ideas on Etsy, but my favourite costumes are from The Wishing Elephant. Get your orders in early, so there's no chance of your costume getting stuck in the post! For more ideas, check out my Pinterest page.

{I want this!} 1. Baby Gnome Halloween Costume, £28 | 2. Baby Stay Puft {from Ghostbusters} Halloween Costume, £32

{I want this!} 1. Baby French Chef Halloween Costume, £21 | 2. Baby Strongman Halloween Costume, £28

{I want this!} Baby Sushi Halloween Costume, £28

More posts like this one:
✽ My Top 6 Baby Bathing Products
✽ Baby's Favourite Toys at 14 Weeks

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Saturday, 7 September 2013

This Week's Best Baby Blog Links

I'm typing this pool-side in Crete, worrying slightly that my back might be burning in the sun! Yes - we've made it on holiday, and it's all going really well, despite the 20 week terror we've bought with us. Everyone says holidays aren't the same once you've had a baby, and while we've had to abandon independent travel in favour of a package holiday, I'm definitely having more of a break than I ever thought possible. It's partly down to my husband being here and helping out, but also the lack of housework frees up valuable minutes for relaxing and sunbathing! Expect plenty more posts on baby holiday advice coming soon, but first, here are my best baby blog links this week.

 DIY your baby's birthday cake topper

 I love this veggie garden baby shower

✿ Party hat DIY ideas for your children's parties!

 A watery maternity shoot

 A brilliant t-shirt for any sleepy Dad 

✿ Love these growth charts for measuring your little ones

More posts like this one:
More Baby Blog Links

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Friday, 6 September 2013

Reviewing The Best Baby Travel Accessories - SnoozeShades

Our baby is a pretty well travelled little bug. I have friends in Majorca, and mid-week flights are super-cheap, so I've been popping over for visits, and now we're on our first proper family holiday in Crete. Ivo travels reasonably well, but as any mum will understand, a good trip is all about the sleeping. That's why I was thrilled when the lovely people over at SnoozeShade sent me over a travel cot shade and for SnoozeShade Plus for my Baby Jogger City pram. Both have won a ridiculous number of awards, and I can easily understand why! Every now and then you buy a baby product that you can't live without, and the SnoozeShade for my pram has become a key piece of kit. During the day it protects Ivo from the sun {it blocks 97.5% of the sun's UV rays}, and at night, it keeps him asleep while we go out for dinner. It's literally changed our life! The SnoozeShade Cot is fab as well. Our hotel has black-out curtains to stop the morning sun, but Ivo goes down to sleep much earlier than us, and the SnoozeShade means we can keep the lights on, without worrying about him waking up. No more getting dressed for dinner in the dark!

{Pictures} Ivo asleep at the foot of the famous 365 Calvari steps in Pollença in Majorca...and still sleeping even once the SnoozeShade is taken down!

More posts like this one:
Baby Holiday Checklist
Reviewing the Best Travel Cots

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Thursday, 5 September 2013

Baby's Favourite Toys - Ivo at 16 weeks

This week Ivo's started to properly grip his toys, and he loves waving rattles around. He needs to work on his spacial awareness though, because he keeps hitting himself in the face! He's also started to enjoy different textures, in particular the feel of his giant Jellycat Bashfuls Bunny. He'll smother his face into his ears, and gum until the fur is soggy. All these toys come highly recommended, and well-tested! His current favourites are {clockwise from top left}...

1. Taf Toys I Love Big Mat - Now that he's much more happy on his tummy, we've upgraded to an extra-large play-mat. This one has plenty of integral toys {squeakers and mirrors}, and it goes in the washing machine - a key feature considering the amount of dribbling it absorbs.

2. Fisher-Price Musical Activity Keys - These keys were a present from his great-grandparents, and they're a bit too hard for him to shake around. But the blue key is musical, and plays The Wheels on the Bus {one of his favourite songs}, so he has fallen in love with it. I don't think he's figured out how to press it deliberately, but he loves to gum it, and accidentally make the music come on.

3. Lamaze My First Fish Bowl - I think perhaps I love this toy more than him! He likes the yellow fish, because it contains a bell, but it's still a little small for his hands

4. Tomy Hide 'n' Squeak Eggs - He's not quite old enough for these, but he enjoys bashing them with his hands to make them squeak.

5. 100lb Rattle - I picked this up in H&M on a whim, and he loves it! I also looks particularly cute 'weight-lifting'.

6. Jellycat Bashfuls Bunny - Huggable, gummable and often slightly damp. This bunny distracts him on his changing table, and importantly, is large enough to stop him rolling!

More posts like this one:
My Top 6 Baby Bathing Products
Baby's Favourite Toys at 14 Weeks

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Monday, 2 September 2013

Before the Baby ♥ H&M Baby

This morning I spent far too much time admiring the latest collection of baby clothes on the H&M website. It's not all perfect, but there are some great pieces to pick up to add to your little one's autumn wardrobe {if that doesn't sound too pretentious!}. Here are my favourites - for boys and girls aged 4months to 2 years old. By the way - I'm not that impressed by the quality of their basic bodysuits. Better to shop at M&S for those.

{I want this!} 1. Fine Knit Leggings, £5.99 | 2. Sleeveless Denim Dress, £5.99 | 3. Fine Striped Jumper, £5.99

{I want this!} 1. Long-Sleeved T-shirt, £4.99 | 2. Bib Trousers, £12.99 | 3. Fine Knit Cotton Jumper, £5.99

More posts like this one:
Baby Joules Spring Prints
Peter Rabbit for Gap

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