run out of womb

... learning how to be a mum from scratch

Tuesday 18 August 2015

These are a few of my favourite things...

Sometimes Western World parenting is a battle against Stuff and people trying to make you feel guilty for not having the Latest Thing or doing the hot new class or using the most natural/expensive/hardest-to-get products... etc. Living in a two-bedroom London flat we really try to only get necessary stuff. But I thought I'd do a post about some baby essentials and some totally non-essentials but really pretty/useful/happy-giving things that my tiny man and I are currently enjoying using.

Also, I've accidentally made them look like a bingo card... But they're definitely not about telling everyone to get a full house (not least because too much baby shopping leads to one).

First up is this cute Paul Frank baby grow (£16). It's really soft, the poppers work smoothly, and it looks great on. I go through phases of wanting to dress my baby up in jeans, shirts, tiny man outfits, etc, and wanting him to be cuddly and cosy in babygrows: this one doubles up by being smart and easy. 

Number two is the bath soak from Love Boo. One of my friends bought me the mama-to-be pack of Love Boo toiletries for my baby shower, and I've loved looong relaxing baths in the products ever since - albeit less often since becoming a mum. The potions all smell amazing, and don't have any parabens or other yuck stuff. LB also makes a miracle oil that I've been using on my stomach since birth. No idea if it's really miraculous or would have happened anyway, but my stretch marks have almost entirely disappeared.

Third up is Babycademy's Music Time box. On rainy indoors days I sometimes don't know what to do next with my baby. He's napped, we've gone through our song repertoire (four times), done dancing, mat play, he's not yet into toys.. So this box of songs, games, toys, noise-makers and a book has been really useful. It's a bit like going to a music class like Monkey Music or similar: a CD has 10 hours of songs, activities and stories, each session lasts from 5 to 20 minutes, depending on age (it's aimed from birth to 12 months) and claims to focus on development skills around language, intelligence, sensory, and social skills. It's not cheap at £50, and I don't yet know if the Music Time box is going send my tiny man to Oxford... But I will say he really likes Wilson the frog who lives inside it and it keeps him - and so me - happy for a good amount of time.

Number four is Ikea's baby bath. Just because it's easy to spend a fortune on these, but Ikea's is £6, easily moveable, has a useful rubber tread on the bottom and works really well.

Next are Babymoov's pretty muslins. Most of the time I use plain cheap ones from Mothercare - but I have noticed these are softer and bigger (they come in a pack of three of varying sizes) than the bog standard ones, so I use them in my baby's cot as they're kinder to his so-soft cheeks.

Meanwhile, Diono's car mirror -at number 6- is never going to win a prize for being cute, but it's v. useful. I bought a cuddly, elephant-adorned mirror originally for the car, but its rubbish flat-ness meant I could never actually see my baby in the reflection. This one twists to every possible angle, so you can see your baby, he/she can see him/herself (mine coos at himself admiringly) and it even has a remote control light so you can easily check on them whilst driving in the dark at night.

On the opposite end of the useful spectrum, this set of John Lewis crocodile dungarees (7) has no serious purpose except looking totally gorgeous. I love it especially as designers often seem to make baby boys' clothes a little boring, and this is so fun. Also, you can endlessly croon 'never smile at a crocodile' to your baby... Costs £16.

Number eight is the Sky Baby travel mattress. Travelling with a baby already means a helluva lot of stuff so I was curious to see if this was worthwhile for a plane journey. It rolls up into a small sausage shape and you unfurl it so your baby can snooze easily on your lap. It's really only useful on journeys where no on-board basinette is available, but if that's the case, it's great. You can easily snap the seat belt around the mattress and let your baby stay slumbering during take-off/landing/turbulence and it gives them support for a more comfortable journey. It's light and inexpensive (£30) too.

The last thing I'm loving this week is the Pacapod Idaho changing bag. Pre-baby, I couldn't understand why anyone paid three-figures for a bag which seemed to me like an oversized handbag. Well, I've found the answer here: my usual handbag is a mishmash of old tissues, decomposing bananas and a lot of receipts, which I had to rummage between to find my keys/wallet/etc. This bag makes you organised. PacaPod's USP is having three bags - an outer feeding one with an insulated bottle holder, another changing one for wipes, nappies etc, and a mat in between. You can just grab one of the small pods if dashing out and only needing, say, nappies, and best of all to me, this bag has the appearance of a good-looking handbag and doesn't say 'I love cupcakes' anywhere on its surface! 

*Some items were sent to Run out of Womb for review. Rest assured, though, that I'm seriously gobby and would never rave about something that's rubbish.


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