A New Brand of Cloth Nappy – Rock-a-bums

We were recently sent a very exciting package!

It contained a couple of cloth nappies and we all know how slightly obsessed I am with reusable nappies. This brand is not yet available in the UK so it is a bit of an exclusive.

The brand is Rock-a-bums they are an innovative 5 in 1 nappy and come in lots of lovely rock and roll designs. You also have the choice of snaps or velcro.

Personally I prefer some brands in snaps and some brands in velcro and we own a mix of both.

We were sent both snaps and velcro to try out, the fit on both nappies was good but I personally preferred the snaps on this brand, how ever the velcro is very good quality and very sticky.

Now let me explain the 5 in 1 bit, this is very exciting as it allows you to use them in 5 different ways, you can use them as a pocket nappy, you can use them as an all in one, you can use them as an all in two, you can use the bomb proof cover as a cover for a fitted nappy and also they can be used as a hybrid with a disposable insert. So very clever! It’s great to have so many options. We decided to use them as an all in one.

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We adjusted the size as needed with the rise snaps and snapped in one insert and off we went. I found them to be a really good fit for Arabella, we are lucky because pretty much every brand of nappy seems to fit her with no issues, she has good proportions but there is plenty of room for adjustment with the rise snaps. The absorbancy of the nappy was good even with just using the one insert, it lasted the normal 4 hour time span between changes with no leaks or issues. If you do have a heavy wetter you have the option of using 2 inserts.

The inserts are made of synthetic fabrics so wash well and dry quickly. This also means they don’t require loads of prewashing, just one cycle and they are ready for the bum.

And lastly here are a couple of picture of Arabella modelling her Rock-a-bums, and I think she is rocking that bum! And as you can see the prints are gorgeous and the fit is just lovely (slightly better on the snaps for us).

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Nib Nibs Review & Giveaway

I’m a sucker for wine and nibbles on a Friday night, put the baby to bed and pour myself a drink (my favorites are red wine, cider or shandy) and have a few snacks whilst watching TV relaxing with my husband.

I was offered some nibnibs to try and who could resist?

nibnibs are premium baked British nibbles. I received 4 different varieties; roasted salt & pepper jumbo peanuts, exceptional cheddar cheese straws, exceptional cheddar & cheeky onion straws and exceptional cheddar & spicy chilli straws.

The company is a British brand and nibnibs are handcrafted in good old Yorkshire.

I can’t resist a bit of spice so decided to open the exceptional cheddar & spicy chilli straws. They were lovely crunchy buttery cheesy little morsels with a nice, not too overpowering kick of spice. Perfection along with a nice cold cider.

My husband is a big fan of peanuts so he went for the roasted salt & pepper jumbo peanuts, he really enjoyed them. They weren’t overly salted and there was just a hint of pepper which was nice as sometimes pepper can be overpowering.

We are saving the exceptionally cheddar cheese straws and the exceptional cheddar & cheeky onion straws for next weekend. Our little treat!

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I am giving away a selection of nibnibs so you can try them yourself. To enter please click the following link; a Rafflecopter giveaway

More information on nibnibs can be found here: http://nibnibs.com/index.htm

Funky Giraffe Personalised Bibs

We are a big fan of Funky Giraffe bibs in our house, we have quite a few (I have a little bit of a bib addiction, but don’t we all?). They are one of our must haves, they are great for when they get dribbly with teething.

We love them because of their quality and all of the beautiful different designs.

I was recently asked if I would like to review one of their personalised bibs and I jumped at the chance.

So off I went to their website and designed my own bib.

The first thing I noticed was how reasonably priced the personalised bibs are, personalisation is usually something you pay over the odds for, but for a basic personalised bib its £5.00!

The design tool is really simple, even I could use it easily. I am also not the most creative person, but there are lots of ready made templates for inspiration.

I chose to add an icon at the tiny cost of £0.70. I decided on a crown because Bells is our little princess. I also added her name which is free of charge, you can have up to 2 lines of text on the bib at no extra cost.

Heres a screen shot of the design tool and my design;

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If you would like to design your own you can choose a bib colour and style here and then have a play; http://funkygiraffebibs.co.uk/personalised.html#.VD_aKRYuaSo

The delivery for the bib was really fast too, I expected it to take a while due to the fact it was personalised but it arrived promptly with in a few days of ordering. It came well packaged and fit through our letter box so no need to wait in for the postman which is always good.

I was excited to receive it and see how it had turned out, when I opened the packaging I was again pleasantly surprised, I expected the logo and the name to be printed on but it was beautifully embroidered, the bib itself was also great quality (like the other standard Funky Giraffe bibs we own).

They would make a great gift for a new baby, or even for a birthday or Christmas.

I put it straight on Arabella. We love it!

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So much so Bells decided it was good enough to lick! Haha.

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You can see all of the Funky Giraffe product range on their website here; http://funkygiraffebibs.co.uk/

Tommy & Lottie – ethical & sustainable baby t-shirts

I’ll start with saying that Tommy & Lottie is a British brand.

They produce t-shirts with images of British nostalgia. Their current lines are fairground and woodland. Both stunning in very different ways. When I was asked to choose a design for Bell’s I had a hard time choosing just one!

Tommy & Lottie came about when mum of 2 Katie decided to start her own business.

I’m personally a huge fan of Scandi style clothing, and the t-shirt’s echo Scandi design but in a very British way. There are bright bold colours and shapes.

We love a bit of matchy matchy in our house, especially with a cloth nappy.

I picked up some new gNappies at the weekend at the baby and toddler show in Manchester. One of them was “good morning sunshine” which is a brilliantly bright yellow that goes perfectly with the yellow of the carousel horse on the Tommy & Lottie t-shirt.

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One of the first thing I noticed when taking the t-shirt out of the packaging was how soft the cotton was, it was beautifully soft. Just what you want against your babies skin. It also has neck poppers that are a must have when you’ve got a wriggly baby that hates being dressed!

The quality of the print is also fantastic, you can really see that it has been done properly and won’t get ruined when you wash it. The lines are crisp and clean and the colours are vivid.

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And as we were leaving the house we thought we should put some trousers on (we are ladies after all 😉 haha) so we teamed the t-shirt with classic denim jeans, but I bet it would also look fantastic dressed up with tights and a little skirt, or maybe even a tutu!

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And as you can tell Arabella loves her t-shirt.

I’m actually pretty jealous they don’t come in adult sizes (is it lame that I would love for us both to match whilst out and about??).

I also have a funny feeling I am going to have the urge to collect every print because they are all so beautiful!

It’s also very nice to see a company being ethical and caring about where their products are made and come from.

If you would like more information about Tommy & Lottie it can be found here on their website; http://www.tommyandlottie.com/

Making use of our newborn photoshoot pictures with CaseApp.co.uk

For Christmas my husband bought me a photo shoot package which went from bump, to baby.

We booked the photo shoot for when we thought Arabella would be arrive, well it turned out she was early which was very unexpected so we had to bring it forward, then she ended up in hospital at 8 days old for a week because she was very poorly, I had to cancel and rebook, and then she ended up in hospital again, so we had to cancel and rebook! Finally we got them done but at nearly 3 weeks old, photographers prefer for newborn photo-shoots to be done with in a babies first 2 weeks  because after that they are less sleepy and a lot stronger. We had a bit of trouble getting Bella to pose but we got there in the end and got some fantastic pictures.

They’ve just been sat on my laptop waiting for me to do something with them. Luckily I was offered the opportunity to try out a very clever concept thanks to www.caseapp.co.uk.

With CaseApp you can design your own phone or table case and they also make skins. Personally I prefer a case as it gives more protection to my phone, they do two types of cases, a standard one and a tough one, I chose the tough one as I am forever dropping my phone, you know how it is hands full, doing to many things at once, trying to juggle! You’re always going to drop something at some point.

Now I’m not the most creative person I know, I’m more of a maths and science girl my self and believe it or not for a blogger I’m not actually that great with computers. I am learning all the time, but the design maker on their website is so easy to use. You can add pictures, text, choose a coloured background and they even have clip art such as cute lipstick kisses amongst other things.

I decided to start with a picture, I chose one of the images from Bella’s newborn photo-shoot, I’m a big fan of black and white so I chose this one;

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Isn’t she just adorable? Anyway back to the point! Haha.

I wanted to do something a bit more creative than just a picture so I wracked my brain. A lovely friend had sent me a quote the other day, because Arabella is a rainbow baby (a baby born after loss) and we are OBSESSED with rainbows, so I thought I would add this quote to the case round the edge, I also wanted to use all the colours of the rainbow.

The quote is “You make me feel as if I’m dipped head to toe in rainbows.”. Which I thought was very fitting! So I added my text with lots of bright rainbow colours but it just didn’t look right, so I decided to make the background black, this really made my text stand out and fitted in well with the black and white image.

So here is my design on the website;

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You also have a choice of if you would like your case in matte or glossy, I’m a bit of a magpie so went for glossy.

To order it after this literally takes minutes, you can pay by card or with good old PayPal which is my favourite, so convenient. There are also options for super fast delivery, I just went for standard on my order and it only took about a week which is fantastic considering each one is made to your design.

There are also ready made designs that you can add to, or just leave as they are which are all really stylish. I must admit I fell a little in love with “galaxy”.

GalaxyHere is my finished case;

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It arrived surprisingly quickly considering it’s something that is custom made to my design! The packaging is also really good quality which keeps the case safe whilst it’s in the post. Very impressed.

I am really pleased with the quality and it feels really robust like it will protect my phone well, it has a rubber inner case that will absorb any shocks and then a hard plastic outer case, and lets face it I get to look at my adorable daughter every time I pick it up AND IT HAS RAINBOWS ON IT! Haha. What more could a girl ask for. Can’t quite believe I designed something so pretty, so thanks CaseApp now my girl goes everywhere with me.

If you want to have a nosey at their products or even have a play with designing your own their website is www.caseapp.co.uk.

Kokoso Baby – yummy coconut oil

So recently there has been a big hype about coconut oil and all the uses it has.

I was looking for some to use on Arabella’s bum and for myself on my skin and I came across Kokoso.

Kokoso is 100% natural high-quality virgin, unrefined, I bleached and undeodeoderised coconut oil. It really is the king of coconut oils.

There are a lot of coconut oils on the market but some are refined, aren’t virgin. It’s a little like olive oil. You really get what you pay for.

The tub is huge too, 181g and you only need to use a teeny bit every time.

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I’ve been using it as a nappy rash/barrier oil as it’s perfect to use with cloth nappies, it doesn’t damage them or hinder absorbency like some other non natural nappy rash ointments.

I have also been using it for our baby massage oil after Arabella’s bath.

I have also heard it’s great on cradle cap, which we are lucky not to have suffered with.

The first thing that hit me when I opened the tub was the smell, it’s sublime. I want to eat it, it’s really that good (and you can eat it because it’s all natural!).

I get a tiny bit in my hands and rub to turn it into oil, it melts so quickly and is just amazingly silky soft. I must admit I have even been using it as a moisturiser on myself. It makes my skin feel amazing.

You know something is good for your babies bum if you’re willing to use it on your face. Haha!

It contains no chemicals at all, it’s naturally antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal (it can even prevent/treat thrush!). It really is a wonder oil.

You can find out more about Kokoso here; www.kokoso.co.uk

I will be recommending it to all my mummy friends and for the price (£7.99) it really does go a long long way, it’s a bargain! I honestly expected it to be more expensive than it is, that the pot would be smaller but it’s huge!

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So Kokoso Baby gets a 10/10 from me, I adore the stuff and it’ll be on “my stuff to recommend” list for new mums from now on.

Trying out a new type of bottle – the Munchkin Latch

We recently received an email letting us know that we had been chosen to be Munchkin product testers and that we would be receiving our products to test in the post shortly.

We were super excited as you can’t beat receiving surprise parcels in the post.

Our package arrived and we opened it to find that we had been sent an innovative bottle called Latch, with 2 size 2 teats that are suitable for Arabella’s age. My initial thoughts were that I had never seen anything like it, it has a very interesting teat that moves with baby! Very clever.

I followed the instructions to prepare the bottle for first use and sterilised it then we gave it a go.

We currently use Dr Browns and MAM bottles are that are anti colic.

The Latch bottle is also anti colic with a special valve in it’s base, one thing that is quite hard work about the MAM and Dr Browns bottles is they have so many parts to take apart, clean and sterilise. The Latch bottle has less parts than the others and is very quick and easy to clean. You don’t need anything other than a normal bottle brush.

The anti colic valve is the blue bit in the bottom of the bottle that you can see here, it just pops out so it can be cleaned thoroughly very easily;

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My only issue is that we were sent a 4oz bottle yet Arabella is now on 5oz bottles except for her night feed so we decided to try it out on that feed.

Arabella seemed to love the teat and I found it great that it moved with her.

It says on the box that it’s meant to help bottle feed along with breastfeeding, unfortunately we are no longer breastfeeding but we did 6 weeks. I can see how it’s breast like shape may help you switch between bottle and breast easily. I think it’s breast like due to the fact the teat moves like a breast does, on our other bottles the teats are very much fixed.

Here you can see the special concertina shape of the teat which allows it to move with your baby;

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I have a couple of friends with breastfed babies that are struggling to get their babies to take expressed breast milk from a bottle so I think I will be recommending them to try this bottle.

Here are a few more pictures of the bottle and it’s design;

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And finally here is Latch in action with Arabella.

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You can find more information on the Munchkin Latch and their other products here; munchkin.eu.com

Safe cosleeping with our Bednest.

There are so many options when it comes to baby sleeping, Moses baskets, cribs and then there is cosleeping.

Guidelines tell you not to have your baby in your bed with you. It increases the risk of SIDS. But, big but there are a lot of benefits to it. No getting out of bed in the middle of the night to get the baby for feeds, wether it be breast or bottle, and that closeness you can get with your baby being so close all the time.

The Bednest is a good safe compromise, it keeps your baby at an arms reach, but without the risks of your baby being in your bed.

Another good thing is you can rent it, rather than buy, it comes with a new mattress, sides and sheets. This was good for us as sadly due to my fertility problems Arabella is likely to be our first and last baby, if you plan on having a few children you can also buy, and then put it away for your next one, or even just rent it and then you haven’t got to worry about storage!

We didn’t put it up until we came home from the hospital, minor panic as we thought it may take a while to construct, but nope. It literally sets up in less than a minute, very impressive and even a sleep deprived new dad managed it without looking at instructions (he’s a man, there are instructions available with the Bednest but we all know how men like to ignore instructions, haha!).

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Looking back at this reminds me how tiny she was.

For the first 6 weeks of her life we breastfed and then had to stop for a myriad of reasons including medical but in those early days the Bednest really did help with breastfeeding, she was at an arms reach, great for those newborn cluster feeding times.

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As a family we also travel a lot as my family live 200 miles away in Lancashire. We do have a travel cot at my mums but it’s just too big for her currently and when she’s in it she’s not close, so every time we go we take our Bednest. It folds down flat and is really compact. There’s even a travel bag available for it so you can take it on planes and trains with ease. It fit in our small estate car with baby, me, my husband, excitable boxer dog, pram and all the other things a baby requires for a weekend away (as you would imagine that’s a huge amount of stuff!!).

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Here are a few more pictures of Arabella enjoying her Bednest.

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So if you’re expecting a baby, a Bednest is really one of my must have products I urge people to buy. It’s been a life saver literally, Arabella suffers from severe reflux, this was diagnosed after a second episode of apnea (her stopping breathing), the first time we were already in hospital, the second time she was in her Bednest right next to me, and I truly believe if she had been in a Moses basket I wouldn’t have noticed her in trouble, I hate to think what could’ve happened.

You can find more information and buy/rent them from their website; www.bednest.com

I also have a discount code for my readers so you can save some money (every little helps when you’re expecting a baby, I know!!).

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Easy sleeping, say goodbye to tog ratings! The magical Merino Kids GoGo Bag!

As a new mum (and a first timer) I’m constantly worrying, is Arabella eating enough, have I dressed her right, is she safe, has she napped enough? You get the picture the list is endless!

I’ve recently discovered one thing that has taken one of these worries away for me, “is it the right temperature for sleeping?”. Right from the moment your baby is born, the hospital quite rightly, are reminding new parents to be aware of the dangers of overheating – SIDS. So I find myself constantly checking the room temperature, checking that everything has the right TOG rating, questioning if I have dressed Arabella correctly, touching the back of her neck etc . Sounds familiar?

My discovery is the amazing Merino Kids Go Go Bag which removes my having to obsess over togs as it doesn’t need one due to its amazing natural properties! The sleepbags are made of a wonder fibre called Merino wool (100% natural, so you’ll find no nasty synthetics here!). The wool is breathable, so it helps to naturally regulate the perfect temperature reducing the need to have a variety of different sizes and tog sleeping bags in the cupboard ready for all eventualities. Yes, they are a little more expensive than the other brands, but I think in the long run it is worth it as you only need one which can be used throughout the year. One bag, no togs. I love the fact that it naturally doesn’t retain smells so it is saving on my never ending washing pile – I leave it to air over the side of the cot when Arabella is out and about. The care instructions are super simple and I know when it comes to washing the sleepbag dries really quickly.

Already it’s given me great peace of mind that my precious girl is the correct temperature and I love how each bag comes with a leaflet suggesting how to dress the baby for the various temperatures which also takes some stress away and one less thing to think about!

They come in many different gorgeous designs (Arabella is wearing the dusky pink Go Go Bag). I love the fact that the bag comes in two sizes; newborn – 2 years and for toddlers 2-4 years (so they last far longer than other brands which tend to come in 6 or 12 month age brackets, another reason why they are fantastic value!).

It’s also very clever as it can be worn in a car seat safely as it has access for the strap that goes between your little ones legs so you haven’t got excess material between baby and the belt so it’s fantastic for traveling too and makes it easy for a quick transfer into bed.

Have a look at the wide selection of sleepbags at www.merinokids.co.uk and I would also suggest having a browse of their other products, they do some gorgeous designs.

I will be reviewing their beautiful gowns on the blog next so keep an eye out!

Here are a few pictures of Arabella enjoying her Merino Kids Go Go Bag!

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Discovering gNappies, cloth nappies done differently.

So we were sent some lovely gNappies and matching dress to review. They came at the perfect time! We already use cloth/reusable nappies but it’s been super hot over the last week or so, we are lucky that our house is nice and cool but when out and about the cloth nappies can get a bit hot as they’re quite thick for optimum absorbency.

The gPants are very slim fitting and light weight with no heavy materials and breathable due to how they are constructed. They consist of a cloth outer, a waterproof inner that snaps on and into that you place the disposable insert. This is another reason why they would be fantastic for a holiday, when you take full cloth nappies it takes up a lot of space and you need proper washing facilities, with these you can just remove the disposable liner and replace so you get a few uses out of the outer and when the outer needs washing they can be easily hand washed and they dry very quickly. This means you only need a few outers and a pack of liners which doesn’t take up much luggage space at all, this also makes them fantastic for long days out. Last but least they are super cute and the range of matching clothes and accessories they do are gorgeous and fantastic quality!

I will definitely be buying the next size up when she grows out of these, they fit fantastically, are very absorbent and we’ve had no leaks. They are also good for the environment as the disposable liners are eco friendly and compostable!! Very clever and we are very impressed!!

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