My Worst Buys for Baby

And onto my least favourite purchases for baby!

worst buys

  1. Newborn Outfits – Those outfits may look adorable, but when it comes down to it, all you need is some all-in-one sleepsuits for baby to live in day in day out… Far too many fiddly bits, buttons and what not = alot of hassle during all those nappy changes in the early days!
  2. Newborn Socks – I bought loads of socks for some unknown reason… I mean LOADS, I think I bought about 20 pairs as everyone told me they go missing etc. only thing being, my baby lived mostly in sleepsuits for the first 3m, so approximately 90% of those pairs were never worn!
  3. Teddy’s – I bought and was given combined, about 10 teddy’s… Where are they now? Sitting in a heap under the crib… I had them in the crib “on show” for the first month-ish, but as soon as he started growing, they had to come out for safety reasons, and so atm their just collecting dust…
  4. Cot Mobiles – I bought one, was given another, and also bought a monitor with musical lullabies and a built-in lightshow… Haven’t used any of them! Well, that’s a lie, I used them, but they neither soothed nor entertained my little one at any point! Maybe when he’s a little older he’ll appreciate the lightshow, but right now, not so much!
  5. Wash Mitt & Towel Set – I bought 2 and was given another one of these sets so that I would never be without a baby towel and mitt for the bath… Admittedly, I do like the towels, I know some people don’t and think their a waste of money, but I like them – Their a great size, and the hood prevents little man from completely pulling it off… The mitt on the other hand… useless! Pain in the backside to put on one-handed, slide around everywhere when on, and don’t lather up or hold water very well…
  6. Baby Shoes – Seriously, they will grow out of them within a few weeks, and their purely cosmetic… Enough said.
  7. Baby Products – I bought two of those Johnson’s baby boxes with all the products, plus got given a load more in gift bags… Have hardly used anything! It’s only in the past maybe 6wks that we switched from using just water in the bath to using one of those top-to-toe products, which you only need the tiniest amount of, so it lasts forever! Everything else is still unused in the nursery…
  8. Mittens – My little man refused to wear mittens… Whenever you put them on, they’d be off again within about 15mins… I must have bought about 20 pairs of the damn things…
  9. Baby Books – Luckily I only purchased a Hypnobirthing book as part of a course I went on (which I didn’t read), I did however get given a couple of baby books, and never read any of them! Didn’t have the time nor patience for it, and to be honest, found out more from trial and error, or a quick Google than I would have done by reading a load of expensive books!

My Best Buys for Baby

top buys

Everybody has their best and worst buys for baby. Reading all of these books and articles online about what is and isn’t recommended is enough to confuse anyone, let alone a heavily pregnant, overtired, and unsure first time mum!

So here is my list of some of the best purchases that I feel we made for our first baby…

  1. Baby Gros/Sleepsuits – This is literally all you need (plus vests) for your baby in those first few months! Seriously, those little outfits may look cute, but you try changing a wriggly baby in and out of one after a poo explosion or projectile vomit!
  2. Play Mat – We got a hand-me-down from a friend, it was as he called it “a cheap and crappy playmat” however my son loves it! I’m so glad that we didn’t fork out a load of money like so many of my friends have, but at the same time, don’t know where I’d be without this!
  3. Baby Carrier – We have an ergobaby 360 carrier and love it! We’ve been using it since my son was about 4wks I think? It was basically from when he was the minimum weight recommended… Both my husband and I use the carrier, and both find it very comfortable to wear! It’s a life-saver for walks – particularly along the beach or in the woods where the pram just wouldn’t cope! Also visits to the zoo which are rather hilly for a heavy pram, and trips to the shops when you need your hands free!
  4. Grobags (sleeping bags) – I only wish we could have used these right away! Chase was quite small at first, so well under the recommended weight for grobags. So the first few weeks we had to get by with tucking him in with blankets… Luckily it was a warm summer when he was born, as he just would not keep a blanket on! As soon as you put it on, no matter how tucked in he was, he’d get it off within about 10mins! The first night we put him into a grobag he slept right through, and has done every night since! I’ve just invested in some more in the next size up ready!
  5. Baby Thermometer – We spent quite a bit of money on a Braun Thermoscan Thermometer… And I must admit it was worth every penny! My husband was a bit dubious about the money spent on the gizmo, as I really wanted the one which changed colour depending on the temperature reading to be green/amber/red, you can also input the age of the baby so it would give you a colour based on the recommended temperature range for your aged baby. We’ve used it more times than I’d like already, so it’s definitely money well spent!
  6. Dummies – A bit controversial I know, but I don’t know what we’d do without them! We use the MAM soothers, and Chase will instantly go down at bedtime when he’s given his!
  7. Room Thermometer – Another thing alot of people would probably find unnecessary, but we really like ours. We purchased a groegg thermometer, which also doubles up as a nightlight… It’s great as a quick reference to see which grobagg to use and how many layers to put little man in!
  8. Baby Bouncer – Daytime play, snoozes and sitting around watching Baby TV! We purchased a Chicco Hoopla bouncer – doesn’t have any fancy vibrating or music, but he loves it all the same!
  9. Muslins – Everyone said to me to ensure to have lots of these to hand, and I’m so glad I listened! We have about 20, and yet I still seem to struggle to find a clean one when needed!

Next up, my worst baby buys, so please keep reading!

In at the deep end

swimming

Little man is all set for his first swimming lesson in a couple of weeks!

We’ve decided to book him into a Dad & Baby class in a small privately owned pool – so that the atmosphere is quiet and he is surrounded only by other dads and babies. The class also gives him a chance to bond with his Daddy in a (hopefully) fun activity that he can carry on for years to come.

When researching potential swimming schools I came across alot of information relating to the methods of teaching babies how to swim. There seems to be a lot of controversy on this subject, and varying opinions on the best way to approach the class. Some schools go with the “sink or swim” tatic with forced submersions and pushing boundaries on letting them tread water themselves. Others go with the theory of love and encouragement, letting babies take their time to get used to being in the water and accustomed with the feeling and their movements  in it. Each method had its own pros and cons; from faster learning to more developed, stronger swimmers – or varying levels of confidence being in the water.

I know of people who have gone with the seemingly harsher method of sink or swim, and have had great results from it. Now in primary school, their children love swimming and are confident swimmers in all pools… But I’ve read other reviews online of families taking this approach and having their children terrified of water and refusing to go swimming or even into the sea as a result…

Personally I’ve decided to go with the more natural approach, I believe that each child will progress at their own pace, and that forcibly pushing them beyond their boundaries before their ready could cause them to backtrack or even fear the activity altogether. I want my child to be confident in the water, but also to enjoy it. The aim with this is not only to learn basic swimming skills from a young age, but to encourage bonding time with his Daddy. If all he takes out of a lesson is that he will be dunked under the water or forced into trying to stay afloat himself by the one person he should be able to trust beyond anything, then how is he to learn to trust and build relationships with anyone else?

I’m hoping that I’ve made the right decision and that he’ll enjoy his lessons. I guess only time will tell!

All Change!

Haven’t posted again for a long time, had a lot going on, been unwell, and to be honest, totally forgot. So here we go…

Well first things first, big news in the Eskimo household, I’m pregnant! Currently 24wks, so due for a summer baby, and so far it’s been quite a ride!

I’d firstly like to say, they really don’t tell you what I’d class as the “important” bits in the books you read/films you see… You know, you get told the obvious, your going to have a large bump, your going to be sick, and your going to be tired… That’s about it… Well let me tell you, it’s really not that simple. Maybe for some women it is, and if your one of them (like my mother was) then I seriously envy you, but for the rest of us, it’s a real rollercoaster journey even getting to this stage.

I think I spent more of my first trimester either in bed or at the hospital than I did at work, in fact, I know I did. It seemed to be one thing after another sending me back, and by my 12wk dating scan I had already had 3 scans at the EPU! Now at 24wks I am getting ready for my 6th scan tomorrow, which is to measure growth due to baby being a bit small at last scan. So fingers crossed all is well tomorrow!

The last few weeks have been a bit stressful, I picked up a particularly bad ear infection which after 10days of not being treated by Dr’s, ended up giving me a throat infection to boot… Thankfully they then gave in and gave me antibiotics, which I’m hoping now have cleared both infections! Also been having rather bad back and hip pain, particularly when I lay down, sit down ir walk… So basically all the blooming time! And my nausea has come back! Add all this to the fact that baby has been getting more and more active, it’s been quite an experience! And only just starting the final trimester! All fun and games!

So for now, I’m signing off, but hoping to be able to add some product reviews to my blog now, namely baby related, so hopefully they’ll be of some use to people!

Night world! X

Mum’s 50th Birthday Cake…

So it’s coming up to my Mum’s birthday again, and whilst trying to think up ideas of what to do, I started reminiscing about her birthday last year… Last year was my Mother’s 50th, and so rather than her usual “BBQ in the garden” style get-together she has had every year since I don’t know when, she decided so throw a proper party inviting everyone and his uncle, hall-hire and all! So in honour of this special occasion, my sister’s and I decided to make her a special birthday cake to go along with it…

I’m quite creative when I want to be, so decided to go all out, and design and make a themed cake…Amongst other things, my Mum is a qualified kayak instructor, and so when trying to come up ideas for a theme, this one came up trumps.

Ingredients:

– Two Large Round Sponge Cakes (I used basic vanilla sponge with jam and buttercream filling)
– Ready-to-Roll Royal Coloured Icing (various colours to suit)
– Smarties
– Buttercream Icing
– Food Colouring
– Plain Flour for Rolling the Icing

Method:

– First off, using a sharp knife, cut one of the sponge cakes straight across into a 70:30 sized split
– Make up a batch of plain or vanilla buttercream icing
– Spread a small amount of the buttercream icing onto one side of the still whole cake (to cover about 60%), then gently place the larger part of two pieces of cake you cut earlier onto the icing with the curved side being in the middle of the base cake. Position the top piece so that it is as “flush” to the back of the base cake as you can. You’ll notice that your top cake will overlap slightly on the sides, but this is fine
– Follow the same steps for the smaller piece of your cut cake, and you should finish with a 3-tier cake, which looks like it has “steps” going up the front of it
– Using a sharp knife, very carefully trim the over-hanging edges of your cut pieces, so that the cake is flush all the way around (i.e. still rounded). You should also have a very small amount of your base cake sticking out at the back which you could cut away too
– Your cake is now ready to decorate! So, after choosing your icing which will be your first and base layer all over, start by gently kneading the icing between your fingers to soften it up. Then, using a rolling pin, roll out the icing onto a lightly floured surface; do this until your icing is a flexible and thin, even sheet
– Once you have done this, lightly cover your cake with the buttercream to form a sticking “glue-like” surface, and then very gently, lay the coloured icing over your cake. You may need to use a couple of sheets of icing, depending on how big your cake is, if so, use the crevices of the “steps” to hide the creases in the cake
– Using your fingers, gently press the icing into the cake so that it sticks and sets into the appropriate crevices to show off the design of your cake
– If you are adding a second colour, like my water feature for instance, it will be easier to place the sheets in smaller layers, as you can blend the edges together with the colours
– Once completed, you should have a stepping-stone shaped cake with coloured icing… You’ll now want to decorate it!
– I started by splitting a small amount of my buttercream into two pots, and adding some food colouring to them to create green and blue buttercream. I then used a combination of my fingers, and a pastry brush to dip into the buttercream, and dab onto the cake. This enabled me to create the effect of having patches of green grass on my hills, and also the effect of running water to my waterfall
– To complete the waterfall, before my buttercream set, I sprinkled both silver and light blue “shimmer sugar” over parts of the water feature, and dabbed it into the buttercream with my fingers so that it would set in place
– Using some dark brown royal icing, I created a small “mud-patch” to place near the bottom of the waterfall, and using the shimmer sugar and a little of both coloured buttercreams, I blended this into both the grass and water coloured icing so that it didn’t look too blocky
– Using a small sharp knife, I created tiny flowers out of rolled pink and yellow icing, and boulders by rolling brown and dark yellow coloured icing into ball between my palms, and then squaring them out slightly before setting them into the cake with buttercream
– In between the boulders, I also threw in a few green and brown smarties to mix up the rock/boulder shapes, and to create the effect of mounds in the grass… You could also use the off-cuts of cake to do this if you like…
– Last but not least, the kayaker! This little bugger took me lots of time and patience of rolling icing and shaping to create a kayak, and then a little person separately to place inside the kayak… I then used a toothpick to hold the oar in place and stop it from flopping in the heat, and set the pieces together using buttercream

I’d like to have another go at creating a themed cake, so will have to have a think of what to do and when, but for now, I didn’t think this was a bad first attempt!! 🙂

bdaycake bdaycake1

Mumsnet

So today I joined the forum “mumsnet” after being pestered by my sister to sign up… I’m not usually one for forums due to the fact that I don’t have time to read-post all the time, but then the same could be said for a blog, and so my theory being that I need to MAKE TIME for these things, and hopefully will make some new friends who are in the same boat as me!