Baby Best Buys

So I am pregnant again (15 weeks tomorrow!) and I am very excited at the prospect of going shopping again and it got me thinking about the best buys (or presents) we had for the Boy. There are so many products out there and so many different brands that its a minefield for any soon to be parents and even second/third timers who have forgotten, much like the agonising pain of labour and sleep deprivation which would cause us all to stop with one.

So here are my Best Buys with the Boy that I will be buying / fetching out of the cellar / claiming back from friends for this one:

  • This Swaddle calmed the Boy right down (after we fought him to get it on) and helped him sleep much better. It worked until about 12 weeks old when he could fight his way out. In hindsight I will probably buy one with a zip next time as it means they can’t escape so easily! Calms and soothes baby.
  • Mamas and Papas bath was a fantastic baby bath which enabled me to bath the Boy on my own when the Man wasn’t there and still have my hands free to wash him / play row row with him rather than holding him so he didn’t slip under the water. Perfect if you are bathing a baby alone.
  • You may have read this post about me wanting to save the environment but in the early days I could barely get myself dressed and fed so putting nappies in the equation would have been a nightmare. Instead we used a great local Nappy Laundry Service which would drop off 40 nappies a week and pick up the dirty ones. We paid £8 a week in 2008 so slightly more than the same amount of disposables but still a reasonable price. For an easier introduction to reusable nappies.
  • Nursing chairs can be expensive but for me it was worth every penny to have a really comfy place to breastfeed / bottle feed the Boy, especially after still suffering with a bad back from pregnancy. At 3am the last thing you want is somewhere uncomfortable. We got a second hand Cosatto one which cost £300 new including a footstall for £120! Check out eBay or Gumtree for really good second hand ones.
  • This Baby Gym was given to us by a friend but it was worth its weight in gold.
    The Boy would happily spend hours under it (from about 3 weeks old) until he was about 6 months old and a bit more active. Gives you some time with two hands to yourself!
  • We bought this Baby Bjorn bouncer after reading great reviews on it, I think it must be the most expensive bouncer out there but we managed another bargain eBay purchase for it. Its great for carrying around the house to different rooms (much easier than the gym) so the Boy would sit in it if I needed to cook or when I was in the bath. A really good portable entertainment device.
  • Once the Boy was born it was clear he wasn’t going to follow the instructions manual and sleep when and where I wanted him to. Instead when he was a few days old I spent hours scouring the internet for a sling. We ended up buying this Kari Me sling which is a really long piece of material that wraps around you and baby pops inside. It was a lifesaver, especially when he also refused to go in his pram, so I would wear it for nap times (the only thing that ever made him sleep instantly) and walk to the shops or tidy up or sometimes just sit in the nursing chair and snooze. Sometimes I breastfed the Boy in it too as you can do it hands free. In case they want to be rocked to sleep and you want to use your hands
  • The Morrck Baby Hoodie is very very clever, rather than wrestling your baby into a snowsuit or struggling to get them out of it when they are asleep and you come indoors this wraps around them to create a lovely warm environment but can be easily unwrapped without disturbing them. Don’t bother buying a snowsuit, get one of these. 
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Peeping Tom

>As per SuperAmazingMum and ManicMum’s Peeping Tom meme here is my real life love story.

I never imagined that I would meet my husband and the father of my children on my first day of University. In fact I didn’t know it until many years later. On arriving at the University of Bradford halls of residence I was on the lookout for a boyfriend, having never had a real one before, but the Man never even entered the radar for that. He just wasn’t my type but we got on really well as friends and he would let me watch Dawsons Creek on his TV even though he hated it and let me sleep in his bed (while he was relegated to the communal kitchen counter) when I was locked out of my room. We were always good friends but that was it.

Five months after starting university I did nab myself a boyfriend. He was lovely and we were together for two and a half years but we were very different people and I was not sure about our future. Two things highlighted this for me, the first was the Richard from Friends type moment (you know, the one where he tells Monica he’ll have kids “if you want to”) as he decided that after two years of telling me he never wanted to live in London that he would make the move “if that’s what I wanted” and the second was seeing the Man leaving a club with, lets call her “some Hussy”, which provoked a strong reaction in my gut which felt a lot like jealousy. For weeks I tried to deny this feeling as I was very confused, how could I like him, I had a boyfriend – it was a difficult time for me and as I don’t eat when I am stressed I actually lost weight.

After a stressful couple of months things finally came to a head when we were in the pub, drinking lemonade and watching Neighbours on the TV and I had to leave to meet my boyfriend and I realised I really didn’t want to, sitting in silence with the Man was more enticing than dinner with my boyfriend. So that was it, we broke up that night.

Things move fast at university when you don’t have a job to occupy you and only 15 hours of lectures (and you only bother going to 2) so within a few days the Man had some idea that he was a factor in our breakup (I cannot lie and when a mutual friend asked me if I liked someone else I caved as I had been hiding my secret for so long). As the direct person he is, he got straight to the heart of the matter and asked to “talk” – in the middle of the day, before any alcohol was even consumed! Was he crazy? So I stuttered not yet and proceeded to get very drunk in a club later that night (these being student days where every night was a different club, oh to be young).

What I didn’t know at the time was that almost at exactly the same time as I started to have these odd feelings towards him, he started feeling the same way and thank god he is a very open, honest and brave person as he told me exactly that. It was lovely and oh so cute as we both pondered what on earth to do about this for fear of ruining a fantastic friendship. So we headed back to my place to talk. We both agreed we wanted to kiss but should we, what if something went wrong, what if this wasn’t the right thing to do? The Man’s motto has always been “live by the coin, die by the coin” and so we decided heads we kiss, tails we don’t. Guess what came up – three times in a bloody row, tails!! So of course he threw the coin on the floor and kissed me anyway.

Ten months later we moved to London after graduation, two and a half years after that he proposed (which is worth another post in itself) and 18 months after that the most beautiful Boy in the world was born.

So thank you Bradford University and some Hussy.

Potty Training – 2 weeks on

>Thank you so much to everyone who read my Potty Training diary, it really helped spur me along when I felt like giving up at times and to know other people had similar experiences was very reassuring.

So we are 13 days on from when we started and the Boy is my little superstar, since last Tuesday we have had one wee accident. Apart from that we’ve had 2 days with grandparents, 2 days with the childminder and no accidents at either. I think you can imagine my proud mummy grin each day I hear this. His childminder said “he was a star” – and that’s a direct quote!

He still isn’t asking to go to the potty and he is still in nappies at night (he sleeps with a sports water bottle so that’s got to be cracked first!) but he is doing really well and I am very pleased its going so well.

Will update as and when we get rid of night nappies!

Silent Sunday

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Silent Sunday

Win tickets to The Baby Show in Birmingham

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I have been given two tickets to give away for The Baby Show at the NEC in Birmingham on the 20th – 22nd May 2011.

To enter please do the following:

  1. Follow my blog
  2. Follow @choc0range
  3. Like The Baby Show on Facebook
  4. Please comment below and tell me your most interesting / funny / unique name you have used, heard of or thought of for a baby bump. 
The winner will be the one that makes me snort the most or weep with real tears!
Competition closes 15th May
UK only
Winner must respond within 24 hours or an alternative will be chosen.

And the winner is…

>The winner of the Tommee Tippee weaning kit is MrsE who was randomly chosen by the suitably named random.org!

Congratulations MrsE please DM me your address on twitter @choc0range.

Day Six

>Today was much the same as yesterday, no asking to go to the toilet and always saying no when we asked him, but almost every time we sat him on it he produced. Interestingly a childminder who babysat for us last night said this is very common and sometimes it takes children weeks to actually ask to go so we should just keep taking him when its about time. For the Boy that’s about every two hours. One accident today but it was to be expected given the circumstances – we tried to get him to nap which he completely refuses to do and he wet himself whilst standing at the stairgate screaming “I waking up Mummy”.

We did two outings today so the potty training is becoming less and less restrictive which is great. It actually reminds me of the early days (and what we soon have to come again) when we had to structure our day around nap times.

Here is his chart for the day – my little superstar.