Friday, 28 February 2014

Introducing Guide To Be - A Brand New Wedding Review Site

Don't worry - you're not on the wrong blog! Regular readers will know that Before the Baby is a spin off from my wedding blog, Before the Big Day. I followed the traditional route of meeting my husband, getting married, and then after a few months trying for a baby....and I'm willing to bet I'm not the only one! The next step will probably be buying a house - so look out for Before the Big House, or something along those lines! Anyway - if you're like me, and you're reading this because you've recently got married, then I wanted to introduce you to a BRAND NEW site called Guide To Be. The brainchild of the very lovely Eve, and her sister Tessa, this wedding review site is all about connecting brides with truly excellent wedding suppliers. It all started when Eve living in Sydney and struggling to plan her wedding in Glasgow. It was nearly impossible for her to get the inside scoop on which vendors were as good as they claimed, and she was astonished there were no independent sources or dedicated wedding review sites {like Trip Advisor for weddings}. So after her big day, she launched Guide To Be, and I'm delighted to be part of their very exciting launch!

The idea is that newlyweds write reviews of all the suppliers who helped out at their wedding, and then other brides-to-be can make an informed choice. I've already written several of my own reviews, so if you know of excellent wedding photographers, videographers, caterers, florists, dressmakers, etc, etc, head straight over to Guide To Be and get your review up now! Just imagine - your own experience could help that desperate bride struggling to find the perfect wedding band!

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Monday, 24 February 2014

Baby's Favourite Toys - Ivo's Comforter

It says in all the books, that your baby will start to prefer a certain toy at around six months. Officially it's supposed to be out of your control - they'll just pick one, and then that's it - forever! I don't really believe it - we definitely influenced Ivo's decision to fall in love with his Jellycat Bashful Bunny. I've always adored them for their soft cuteness, and I probably encouraged him to cuddle up to the bunny more than any other toy. We have two - one bigger than the other - and although it seems crazy - it's definitely worth buying a second version of whichever toy becomes the favourite. This winter, Ivo has always had a cold, and Bunny #1 and #2 have to make their way to the washing machine to be de-snotted on a regular basis. Bunny #1 and #2 also very rarely leave the house - their not really allowed into the pram, because we can't have them going missing. With Baby No.2 on the way, we've got to decide which toy we want to encourage him make his favourite....I'm keen on another Jellycat creature, but which one??? Which is your favourite? Did your baby fixate on a Bashful?

{I want this!} Jellycat Bashful Bunny, £32 - all other Bashfuls available directly from Jellycat, apart from the Rhino, who's sold out everywhere, but Jelly Express, £15.99

More posts like this one:
Ivo's Favourite Toys

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Friday, 21 February 2014

It's a Boy! Announcing Your Baby's Gender

After a few ups and downs since our three month scan, last week we finally discovered that everything was okay with our little one. It was a huge relief, and we had the added benefit of finding out the gender at the same time! Aaaaand it's a boy! Not a huge surprise for me, since I was always expecting to have two boys {not sure why}, but very exciting for everyone else. It's going to be fantastic for them to play with each other, and I have visions of quiet Saturday mornings in bed, while my husband takes them out to do sport.....bliss! Plus, all of Ivo's clothes can now be worn again. I did have a few sad thoughts about never being able to buy a baby tutu or dolls house, but I suppose we could always have another {VERY unlikely!}. Anyway, finding out the gender reminded me of all the fab pictures I've seen on Pinterest of fun gender reveals - I've collected them all together, do take a look. So.....are you going to find out the gender of your baby?

{Photo Credit} Mandy Kay Photography

More posts like this one:
✽ Pregnancy Diary - Recording Your Baby Bump
✽ Five Favourite Baby Announcement Cards

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Thursday, 20 February 2014

Easy-Peasy Baby Bathing Tip

This is one for all those soon-to-be, or new mothers out there. Regular readers will know I love bath-time with Ivo, and it's been part of our bedtime routine since he was three weeks old. But how do you get your baby out the bath without getting soaked? There are special apron towels that you can buy, but we reckon we've found an even better solution....a towelling dressing gown. We keep one in the bathroom especially, and it works perfectly. No clumsy fiddling with extra towels, just a warm and cosy hug! Plus it's a lovely excuse to buy a new dressing gown!

{I want this!} 1. Anorak Kissing Stags Unisex Bathrobe | 2. Anorak Rabbit Unisex Bathrobe, both £75 from John Lewis

More posts like this one:
Top 6 Baby Bath Buys

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Wednesday, 19 February 2014

For a Baby-Free Moment - My Favourite Blogs

When I was pregnant the first time, I remember one of my Pregnancy Apps suggesting that it's a good idea to subscribe to a couple of magazines, so you've got something to flick through, while your baby is sleeping. I duly signed up to Living Magazine, and now, pretty much every edition is lying next to my bed, beautifully unread. It's not that I don't have time to read them, it's more that I prefer to catch up on the latest posts from my favourite bloggers on my iPhone. This was particularly true when I was breastfeeding - reading on my phone was much easier than handling an unwieldy, flapping magazine. Also blog posts tend to be bite-size, perfect when your baby only gives you a few minutes of me-time. If you've not signed up to a blog reader, I really recommend Blog Lovin. It's easy to use on both your iPhone {or Android} and your computer, and all you have to do is add the blogs you want to follow and you'll get all of their new posts. Here are a few of my favourite blogs - do comment and tell me yours - I'm always happy to add to my blog-roll!

Monday, 17 February 2014

Pregnancy Diary - Recording Your Baby Bump

During my first pregnancy, I pretty much managed to take a picture every week or so of my growing baby bump. I remember thinking I looked huge at about four months, and then looking back at eight months, and thinking I had no idea! This time round, I'm already five months, and I've only taken a couple of pictures, and I'm wondering whether I'll regret it. We're only planning to have two children, so this will be my last pregnancy, and it's strange to think that I'll never go through it again. A stage of life passing before my eyes. Equally, I'm a bit too busy with Ivo to get nostalgic about the present. Maybe I'll just start taking a few more snaps. Are you planning to record your pregnancy in pictures? I've spotted this new iPhone App that might help - the Cinemama. It provides a belly grid {!}, and photo editor, so you can take great bump pictures. Then it'll even link them all together in a growing bump video!! Sounds hilarious. Here are a couple of my favourite ideas - lots more on my Pregnancy Pinterest board.

{Photo Credits} 1. Babies are always measured according to fruit, so I love this idea by Rebekah Hoyt, via Grey Likes Baby | 2. Black & white is always more flattering! Credit unknown

More posts like this one:

Five Favourite Baby Announcement Cards

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Thursday, 13 February 2014

The Perfect Easy-Dress Newborn Baby Bodysuits

When it came to getting dressed, Ivo was actually very patient as a newborn, and didn't seem to mind me slipping a bodysuit over his head. I found it really scary though! I was worried about hurting him, and squishing his little features, or moving his neck at the wrong angle. That's why I'm thrilled to have discovered this lovely crossover bodysuits by Vertbaudet. They do up at the sides, so you don't have to put them over your baby's head. My friend Charlotte's been recommending Vertbaudet to me for months, and I've only just checked out their brilliant website. It's packed full of gorgeous baby clothes, and it's not too pricey. Plus Charlotte says their sales are amazing!!

{I want this!} 1. Happy Price Pack of 3 Long-Sleeved Bodysuits for Newborns, £12 | 2. Pack of 3 Organic Collection Baby Long-Sleeved Bodysuits, £16

{I want this!} 1. Happy Price Pack of 3 Long-Sleeved Bodysuits for Newborns, £13 | 2. Pack of 3 Organic Collection Newborn Baby Long-Sleeved Bodysuits, £17

{I want this!} 1. Happy Price Pack of 7 White Long-Sleeved Bodysuits for Newborn, £21 | 2. 
Happy Price Pack of 7 Long-Sleeved Bodysuits for Newborns, £24

More posts like this one:
✽ 12-18 Months Baby Gift List

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Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Top 6 Baby Bath Buys

This is my second post on great baby bath buys, because as Ivo's grown, he's needed different toys! My first list is perfect for newborns - this one is an upgrade for your 6-12 month old babies. We still use everything on the first list - the Mamas & Papas Acqua Ergo Bath has proven completely indispensable. Ivo's probably old enough to be in the big bath now, but he's so naughty at standing up, that I prefer to contain him slightly. All his bath toys are now aimed at distracting him from trying to escape - it's not that he doesn't like his baths - he just doesn't see them as chill-out time!

{I want this!} Clockwise from Top Left

1. Brica Super Scoop, £14 - Great bath-toy storage! You can scoop all the toys up easily, and the net means they drip dry super-quickly, and don't get mildew. The net suckers to the wall for neat storage.

2. Nuby Splish Splash Stacking Cups, £4.31 - For water movement! These brightly coloured cups have holes in the bottom, and when we make mini-showers, Ivo tries to grab the water, or even drink it!

3. Natural Rubber Cuddleduck, £5.99 - Ivo loves to gum this duck, and sink it under the water to watch it bob back up.

4. VTech Baby Bathtime Bubbles Whale, £19.99 - Recommended by my friend Alice from the lifestyle blog Bootique - this bubble toy keeps Ivo distracted from standing up.

5. Munchkin Squirtin Sea Buddies (Pack of 10), £7.50 - I love these toys! They're super-cute, and really unusual animals - puffer fish anyone? Ivo loves chewing on them, and squishing them so the water spurts out.

6. Munchkin Bath Letters and Numbers, £7.96 - My friend's 18 month old baby can already name her letters thanks to these! Ivo's not that advanced yet.....

More posts like this one:
12-18 Months Baby Gift List

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Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Before the Baby Number 2

I have a bit of an announcement! I'm pregnant with my second baby! It was all slightly unexpected, and our second child will be born only a few months after Ivo's first birthday - so you can expect lots of 'how to deal with exhaustion' blog posts this summer. I find out on Thursday whether it's a girl or a boy, and I can't wait. I have a feeling it's a boy - just like when I was pregnant with Ivo - but who knows whether I'll be right or wrong. I'll be going back to work for three months, and then off again on another year's maternity leave. Luckily my work has been very understanding, but it's going to be strange only going back for a short time. I just hope I don't get too tired in the final months of this pregnancy! In the meantime, I've had to unpack the maternity clothes I only put away three months ago, and I'm desperately trying to figure out what you wear when you're huge in the summer. I'll keep you posted - but in the meantime, here's one of the pictures from our three month scan.

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Monday, 10 February 2014

Nursery Essentials - Three Best Baby Playmats

At first your baby won't move, so all you'll need is a baby gym - or Circle of Neglect, as I like to call them. But by about five months, your little one will start to roll over and reach for things, and then before you know it they'll be sitting up. Long before this stage, you'll need a playmat. I bought the large Taf Toys Touch Mat second-hand from eBay when Ivo was two months, and it's one of my best buys. It's not just a soft spot for your baby to hang out - it also creates a safe, clean baby zone. You can teach other children {and adults} not to walk across it in shoes, and it keeps toys within a certain perimeter - at first! The mat has adapted as Ivo has got bigger. At first he just lay on it and stared at the bright colours, and then gradually he started to interact with the textured accessories. I washed it about once a week - and it's still in great condition. But now Ivo is ten months, and standing up with support - we need something even bigger, so I'm going to upgrade size-wise to a TLCmat Jigsaw Playmat, which I've spotted at a couple of friends' houses. It looks super-adaptable, easy to clean, and hopefully will fill my new giant playpen!

{I want this!} Clockwise from top - 1. TLCmat Jigsaw Playmat, £32.82 | 2. Taf Toys Touch Mat, £39.99 - make sure you buy the large one - 150cm x 100cm | 3. Fisher-Price Rainforest Gym, approx £60

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