Things I’ve Learnt As A Parent With EDS

May is here! The warmer weather has arrived, and summer is just around the corner, but May also happens to be EDS and HSD Awareness Month! As promised in my Instagram post at the beginning of the month, I plan to do a few blog posts around EDS Awareness month and how my EDS has affected me, especially as a new parent! I was hoping to have the first of these posts up sooner. However, both Alice and I have been ill, so it’s been somewhat challenging to write up the posts as Alice is extremely clingy when sick, and I’ve been rather tired, no thanks to my asthma! My uncle on my dad’s side also sadly passed away rather unexpectedly, so we’re also dealing with the aftermath of that.

Being a parent with any of the different Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes or HSD is something else! Although I’ll admit, I’m on the more extreme end of how my EDS affects me; my joints dislocate multiple times a day, and the chronic pain is at times unbearable. I also have stretchy and fragile skin, which Alice now has a thing for pinching and pulling – definitely not fun! With this in mind, my hand therapist has worked extremely hard to find splinting methods which work for me to at least protect my thumbs, wrists and hand joints from dislocation. As well as a variety of splints made by my therapist at the hospital, I also use the Aircast wrist splints with thumb spica when playing with Alice as I don’t like to wear my soft casts around her as they’re pretty scratchy on her skin! Unfortunately, my other joints are still dislocating on multiple occasions during the day, especially as Alice is now climbing over me, but I’m slowly working on managing them! 

Another thing I’ve come to realise is that EDS makes doing some tasks so much harder! For example, nappies? Once your little one is more active, forget it and get pull-ups! They’re much easier to get on and off as you can stand little one up to stop them wiggling around and rolling away from you. A little tip if you’re using Pampers like us, you can get free packs by scanning the codes inside the packs of nappies and nappy pants into the Pampers Club App! Another annoying task that’s harder is getting jars and lids off, so I suggest you get a jar and lid opener, or you’re asking for either a subluxation or dislocation of several joints! 

As well as needing different splints when playing and interacting with your little one, you may want to invest in a protective play mat such as the ones that Munchkin And Bear do. We got ours as it’s made of memory foam and protects Alice from bumps whilst giving me some more joint protection! The mat is also highly durable, and I can easily roll over it in my wheelchair. When it comes to cleaning the play mat, we use Clenill wipes at the beginning and end of each day, plus whenever there are little messes made! Another perk of these mats is that they’re double-sided, so you can change up your space’s design with the flip of the mat! 

Other things I’ve learned are more to do with being a wheelchair user and a parent. For example, I knew that feeding would be hard as I couldn’t get close enough to high chairs. Luckily, doing baby-led weaning with Alice has paid off big time! Not only does Alice adore food, but it’s also meant I haven’t had any high-chair fights! So instead, I use the Mamas And Papas snug seat on the dining table with the activity tray detached for mealtimes. As we all eat together and Alice is never left alone, it’s a pretty safe method for us, especially as I can get under the table with my wheelchair! 

Another thing is that trying to go anywhere with both a pushchair and a wheelchair is very difficult to do independently! But, thanks to a lot of practice, I can push Alice and myself on flat ground if my joints are having a good moment. However, uneven ground or bad joint moments are a no-go! This is also why I’m hoping to be able to either get an electric wheelchair or a power attachment soon so that I can do more things with Alice independently. This is especially important now as once I’ve got a car sorted, I’ll finally be driving again! However, the only reason I can do things with Alice outside of the house is because of the pushchair we brought, which I’ll be doing a whole blog post on. I’m aiming for that to be out later this week, so keep an eye out! 

Do you have EDS or HSD? What did you learn on your parenting journey? Comment below or on our TikTok video/Instagram reel which shows some of the products I’ve mentioned in this post!

This post contains affiliate links. This means that we receive a percentage of the revenue made from purchasing products when you click on a link. This does not affect you as the consumer or the price of the product or service. It is also not a paid-for promotion or a collaboration/advert.

Boosting Milk Supply When Your Baby Has CMPA

Growing up, both Alex and I have had our fair share of allergic reactions. Even as an adult, the list just keeps increasing in length for me whilst Alex’s has thankfully just stayed at one (throat sweets, would you believe). Whilst a family history of allergies can increase your child’s risk of developing allergies themselves, exclusive breast/chestfeeding may help prevent asthma, eczema and allergies in high-risk children. So, imagine my shock when we were told that I had to cut all dairy when Alice was just a few weeks old. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), I knew all about milk allergy as I’ve had lactose intolerance since I was 12. Because of this, until Lactofree and lactase enzyme capsules came onto the market, I was stuck trying to live with using soya milk (yuck!) or deal with the consequences of having milk (not the best idea either). 

Alice’s diagnosis of CMPA (short for Cows Milk Protein Allergy) came as a bit of a shock. Still, thankfully I’ve adjusted really well, especially as I tend to use almond and coconut milk anyway. However, as Alice has an immediate reaction to milk products and other problems with her weight, we’re under a dietitian at the hospital who has just been incredible. Not only have we been on a milk-free weaning workshop, but we’ve also been given information leaflets on everything we need to do to help Alice move safely onto food until her body no longer reacts to milk. But one thing no one talks to you about when you’re breast/chestfeeding is that increasing milk supply when on a dairy-free diet is something that can get a bit tricky.

Most people have heard of the feed every so often advice to increase milk supply, but on top of that is also a whole market for lactation products that claim to help boost milk supply. Unfortunately, most of these contain milk; however, there are a few dairy-free products, so I decided to put them to the test! I power pump in the mornings anyway, which helps keep my supply going for Alice, but I have added the following products into my diet: 

1. Boobbix:

Most people in the lactation world will have heard of Boobbix. They’ve won countless awards, have been featured in parenting magazines, in various social media posts and are seen as some sort of magic cure for all milk-supply issues! Whilst most of the range isn’t suitable for those allergic to dairy or those who are breast/chestfeeding CMPA babies, there are a few products that you can use from the range: 

  • Boobbix Dairy-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies: This was the first product I tried from the Boobbix range and is the one I adore the most! Not only do they taste amazing, but the concoction of fenugreek, brewer’s yeast, oats and flaxseed have definitely helped in further increasing milk supply on top of power-pumping and pumping after feeding Alice. I tend to have 1 or 2 a day, depending on what else I have to eat that day. 
  • Boobbix Hot Chocolate Powder: The hot chocolate powders are the only products in the range that can be consumed whilst pregnant as it doesn’t contain fenugreek. If I’d known that before I had Alice, a pack of hot chocolate powder would’ve been going into my hospital bag! The hot chocolate does have a bit of an aftertaste which takes a little getting used to, but once you’re past that stage, it’s like a little hug in a mug full of goodness for your milk supply! Bit of tip if you’re consuming this a night, though – make sure you have pads or catches on to catch any leaks! 
A photo of a white mug with a slice of pizza on and the words ,you'll always have a pizza my heart, in black writing on the front containing hot chocolate is on a grey kitchen worktop. There is a white, pink and purple bag behind the mug with the words 'boobbix boobie drinks let the milk flow' on.
A hug in a mug – Boobbix Hot Chocolate!
  • Boobbix Granola: Like the cookies, the granola contains fenugreek, oats, flaxseed and oats. All the flavours are dairy-free and go with everything from coconut milk to yoghurt, and it is even good for a tasty snack on the go! The only flavour I’m yet to try is the maple and pecan one which I’m hoping will be back in stock soon as I’m a big fan of anything that has pecans in. 
Image shows a white bowl with granola and a milk alternative in on a black worktop. Behind the bowl is a white, pink and purple bag with an image of granola on and the words 'boobbix boobie granola let the milk flow' on. Next to the bag is a white Alpro coconut and almond milk container with images of almonds and  coconut on.
One of the ways I have my granola!

The other thing I love about Boobbix is that they have made it very clear on their products that they don’t replace frequently feeding on both sides and pumping before, during or after feeds. Instead, their products are merely an aid to help in increasing milk supply on top of the usual things you should be doing, but in my experience, they definitely work. Before using Boobbix, I was lucky to get 3 ounces of milk over a 1-hour power pumping session; I now get anywhere from 5 to 8 ounces over the same time.  

2. HOTTEA Mama Milk’s Up! tea: 

If you’re a tea lover, this is another good product to try, especially if you don’t want the calories that come with cookies (just make sure that you’re getting enough calories in your diet as breast/chestfeeding exclusive burns around 500 calories a day!). Not only is the tea is caffeine-free, which is great if you’re trying to limit your caffeine intake, but it’s full of ingredients known to aid milk supply, such as fenugreek seed, anise, nettle leaf, lemon verbena and rosemary. I tend to have a cup of this either in the morning with breakfast or mid-morning if I’ve had a coffee with breakfast instead. 

Image is of a white mug containing tea is on a black worktop. to the left of the mug is a blue and purple box containing hot tea mamas milks up teabags.
HOTTEA Mama Milk’s Up!

3. Fenugreek Capsules:

If the idea of using food and drink doesn’t suit you, or you’ve tried that route, but nothing seems to work even when doing things like power-pumping, then fenugreek capsules could be the answer. I used these temporarily when Alice was really poorly in hospital, which almost killed off my milk supply (thanks to stress!), but I quickly got onto cookies and tea, which suited Alice and me much better. However, whilst fenugreek capsules definitely helped my supply, they had one very undesirable side effect on both Alice and me – gas! Unfortunately, it’s a well-known side effect which is why it’s advised to limit the amount of fenugreek in your diet to avoid it. However, if you can get past that, then it’s definitely an option! 

Like the creators of Boobbix say, no product can ever replace frequent feeding, correct positioning and regular pumping to maintain milk supply. Lactation products are merely aids to help with increasing supply on top of already doing these things, but they can definitely be a solution! 

Do you have a go-to product that helps your milk supply? Let us know in the comments to help others who need some guidance on what is available! 

This post contains affiliate links. This means that we receive a percentage of the revenue made from purchasing products when you click on a link. This does not affect you as the consumer or the price of the product or service. It is also not a paid-for promotion or a collaboration/advert.

Christmas Gifts: Last Minute Gift Ideas For Babies 6-12 Months

If you haven’t been following the blog the last few weeks, then you’ll be pleased to know that recently we’ve posted several Christmas gift guides for foodies, parents-to-be, new parents, those who are breast/chestfeeding and yesterday, we posted a last-minute gift guide for babies ages 0-6 months. So to finish off our 2021 Christmas gift guides, we’ll be sharing our last-minute gift ideas for babies aged 6-12 months in this post. All of the following ideas are gifts that Alice is getting for Christmas, except the booster seat, which we purchased before Alice’s arrival! So without further ado, let’s start the final guide for this year! 

That’s Not My Dinosaur Gift Set:

Fluffy toy? Check. Interactive book? Check. If you want to gift the gift of getting a little one to love books from a very early age, then Usbourne’s range of interactive books from its That’s Not My series are a great place to start! Each page of the That’s Not My Dinosaur book has textured areas for little ones to explore and develop sensory awareness, on top of the language awareness that reading from a young age brings. The That’s Not My Dinosaur gift set also comes with a cuddly purple dinosaur toy, perfect for little hands to snuggle up to! 

Vtech Sit To Stand Music Centre:

If you want a musical toy to last a good couple of years, then look no further than the Vtech Sit To Stand Music Centre! The centre comes with 15 melodies, 7 sing-along songs, various sounds and phrases, a microphone for the little one to sing into and 4 voice-changing effects. The panel containing the keyboard, drum, saxophone, guitar and microphone detaches from the stand to allow it to be used when sitting down. In addition, the centre teaches animals, colours, instruments and more and being suitable from 12 months to 3 years means that the centre is an excellent choice for a gift if you want something which will last. 

Carotina Blocks And Mat Set:

Previously reviewed on the blog (you can find the full review here), the Carotina Blocks And Mat Set is another excellent multifunctional, space-saving toy. Not only does the playmat come in a jigsaw style, but it also has pop-out animals and houses which can be slotted into some of the blocks for little ones to create their own themes and stories. In addition, the bright colours of the set catch little ones attention for more extended periods, allowing their creativity and imagination to truly flourish when playing with this set. There are 38 building blocks of varying sizes and colours in the set and 24 pieces that make up the playmat if you include the pop-out animals and houses. 

Benbat Portable Booster Seat:

We’ve posted about Benbat’s Portable Booster Seat before, but we’re posting about it again because we love just how useful this is! This portable booster seat has similar functions to a highchair but is lightweight, great for travel so you can feed little one anywhere, and can be placed wherever it is needed. Another thing I like about the Benbat is that not only is it portable, it also comes with storage compartments to pop some bits and bobs in for little ones. This is great, as you can forgo the changing bag and pop nappies, wipes etc., into the storage compartment of the booster seat when going out locally. As they get older, they can pack the storage compartment themselves, which further helps to aid their independence and development! 

That’s the Christmas gift guides for this year complete! If you’ve found any great gift ideas for the little ones in your life, add them to the comments to help others with their last-minute Christmas shopping! Although the gift guides may be done, we’ll also be sharing blog posts on how we’re prepping for Alice’s first Christmas, so do keep an eye out for those! 

This post contains affiliate links. This means that we receive a percentage of the revenue made from purchasing products when you click on a link. This does not affect you as the consumer or the price of the product or service. It is also not a paid for promotion or a collaboration/advert.

Christmas Gifts: Last Minute Gift Ideas For Babies 0-6 Months

Christmas is only 15 days away! If, like us, you still haven’t finished Christmas shopping for whatever reason (ours is due to Alice having been back in hospital), you’re probably panicking as well! So, following our Christmas Gift guides for parents, which were posted the other week, we’re finally able to post the gift guides for babies! Today’s will be for babies aged 0-6 months, with tomorrow’s focusing on 6-12 months. As Alice is almost 4 months old, we’ve been getting bits for Alice that fall across both age groups. However, most of the following suggestions are things that Alice already has and loves! So without any further ado, let’s give you some ideas for your last-minute Christmas gifts! 

Nuby Tummy Time Pillow:

Alice has had the Nuby Tummy Time Pillow since she was only a couple of weeks old we were told when leaving the hospital to get started on tummy time as soon as possible. There are many features on the pillow, including a mirror, teether, and rattle. It also has several areas that crinkle to really catch the little one’s attention. The colours are also designed to aid with sight development right from birth, with black and white and shades of red and yellow being the primary colours on the pillow. The pillow can be used to a year of age and beyond, so it really does last! 

Alice a small white baby with brown her is wearing a pink sleepsuit whilst leaning on a red and yellow tummy time pillow. She is being supported on it by Alex, a white man with red hair and glasses, wearing a dark green t-shirt.
Alex with Alice on the tummy time pillow

Steiff Lambaloo Stacking Lamb

Steiff has been renowned for producing teddy bears and toys to last through the generations, and the Lambaloo Stacking Lamb is no different! However, the beauty of this particular toy is that it’s interactive and has various functions suitable for use from those early days through to toddler and beyond. For example, it can become a stacking game, several different toys, or just a simple cuddly teddy bear. It’s also machine washable, which may surprise some people when they feel the different materials used. We have previously reviewed Steiff and the Lambaloo Stacking Lamb in particular. If you wish to read the full reveiw, you can do so here

Alice, a small white baby with brown hair is laying on a multicoloured play mat wearing a green long sleeved top, dark blue leggings and white and light blue socks. Around her are a green ring, light brown ring and red ring.
Alice with her Lambaloo Stacking Lamb

Red Kite Peppermint Trail Play Gym

We purchased this play gym for Alice before she was born as we needed something multi-functional, as well as compact due to size limitations. The Red Kite Peppermint Trail Play Gym can be turned into a ball pit, a tummy time mat, and has various toys for hanging from the arches which go over the play gym. The fact that the play gym has all of these features means that it’ll be longer lasting than other play gyms on the market and combining 3 things in one product is fantastic for saving precious space. The play gym comes with several balls for the ball pit feature, but you can pick up more from various places if you need to. The colours on the play gym also capture the little one’s attention for more extended periods.

Alice a small baby with brown hair is wearing a dark green long sleeved top and blue jeans. Alice is laying in a multicoloured play gym with various animals on. There are various coloured toys dangling from an orange and light green arch above which Alice is trying to reach.
Alice playing in the play gym

Little Tikes Plush Chair

This is something we’re getting Alice for Christmas as she really loves to sit up but can’t yet sit entirely unaided by herself. Little Tikes has been around for years. Even when I was little, I had a Little Tikes car, and that’s how I’ve always remembered the brand! So seeing them do a sit-me-up version of the iconic cosy coupe made Alex and I very excited. But, of course, if the little one you’re gifting this to also happens to have car-mad parents, then this will go down a treat even more! The chair features a cup holder for a sippy cup or bottle, a mirror, and the horn even beeps! 

Have you found any good last-minute gift ideas for the little ones in your life? Share them below to help others with their Christmas shopping! 

This post contains affiliate links. This means that we receive a percentage of the revenue made from purchasing products when you click on a link. This does not affect you as the consumer or the price of the product or service. It is also not a paid for promotion or a collaboration/advert.

Christmas Gift Guides: Gift Ideas For Pregnant And Breast/Chestfeeding Parents!

With December 1st here, Christmas prep is in full swing! But, if you’re like Steph and haven’t fully finished Christmas shopping because you have no idea what to get people, then fear not! Following on from our Sous Chef review with gift ideas for foodies and our gift guide for new parents and parents-to-be, Steph’s sharing as a breastfeeding parent what to get parents who are breast/chestfeeding their little ones! Unfortunately, breast/Chestfeeding usually means that the go-to gifts, such as anything alcohol-related, are off the list. However, as a breastfeeding parent, I’m pleased to tell you that there are still good gift options out there! Most of the following ideas also work if the person you’re gifting happens to be pregnant (note: most of the Boobbix products can’t be consumed during pregnancy). 

1. Nursing friendly clothes from Stylish Mum

I absolutely adore Stylish Mum! Not only do they do some beautiful jumpers, dresses and nursing tops, but they also do nursing hoodies! Their nursing hoodies are how I initially fell in love with the brand, as I love my activewear when I’m not going out and about. The other thing I love about this brand is that unlike other nursing wear brands, you can’t really tell that the hoodies and jumpers are nursing wear unless you really look. It means that even once you stop breastfeeding, you can still wear jumpers and hoodies from the range. They also do a matching kidswear range! 

A photo of Steph, a white woman with blonde and brown hair is holding Alice, a white baby with brown hair whilst looking out of the window at Gatwick’s South Terminal. Their backs are to the camera. Steph is wearing a multi coloured floral jumper and Alice is wearing a light pink, grey and white jacket.
Wearing one of the nursing jumpers from the Stylish Mum range!

2. Alcohol-free gift sets

If the person you are looking for really does like a tipple and you don’t want to deviate too much from that, then luckily, there are plenty of alcohol-free giftsets out there to choose from! For those who like wine, the Just Perfect Wines Gift Set featuring 2 mini bottles of Freixenet alcohol-free sparkling wine also comes with a tin of Belgium chocolate truffles for the ultimate treat, as well as a fizz stopper! If they aren’t a wine drinker, there is also a mixed case of non-alcoholic beers, which may tickle their fancy! This case features beers from the likes of Brewdog, Maisels, Juliper and others! The majority of the brands in the case are German, which may work in your favour even more if the person likes their German beer! 

3. Boobbix

Has the person your looking to gift ever said to you that they’re struggling with milk supply or want to increase it? Boobbix is literally a magic potion for helping to boost milk supply alongside regular expressing or breast/chestfeeding. Boobbix does a range of lactation cookies, granolas and even hot chocolate. Although Alice is CMPA, Boobbix do dairy-free chocolate chip cookies and granola, which is dairy-free, meaning that I’ve still been able to benefit from their magic formula! Unfortunately, due to the ingredients, only the hot chocolate in the Boobbix range can be consumed whilst pregnant. 

Photo of 3 packets of dairy free cookies in a box. The packaging is white with purple and pink details as well as a chocolate chip cookie on it. In the background is another white packet with pink label and clear window showing the granola inside.
A recent Boobbix order of mine!

4. Elvie Catch 

I’ve spoken about the Elvie Catch on the blog before. Still, I really can’t recommend this to breast/chestfeeding parents enough! These dishwasher-friendly collection cups can each hold 30ml and are great for catching leakage, let-down and more when either expressing, nursing or just going about day-to-day. They are also discreet for wearing during the day and slip-proof. I used these when I was leaking colostrum so that I could freeze it, and I still use them now, catching any stray milk to add to feeds or to store at a later date! The box itself is small which makes the Elvie Catch a great stocking filler.

A photo of two clear plastic Elvie Catch collection cups with silicone backing sat on top of a white box which they come in. The box has a photo of the collection cups on it along with the words Elvie Catch in grey on top of the picture.
The Elvie Catches and their box

Have you found a gift good for a pregnant parent-to-be or breast/chestfeeding parent? Share it in the comments below! Also, our gift guides for babies aged 0-6 months and those aged 6-12 months will both be out over the next few days so keep an eye out for those!

This post contains affiliate links. This means that we receive a percentage of the revenue made from purchasing products when you click on a link. This does not affect you as the consumer or the price of the product or service. It is also not a paid-for promotion or a collaboration/advert.

Christmas Gift Guides: Gift Ideas For New Parents And Parents-To-Be

With Cyber Monday here, now is the perfect time to look for your Christmas gift bargains! If you’ve got a new parent or parent-to-be in your life, then gifts that will help them on their parenthood journey will be massively appreciated. Amazon and other stores have some fantastic deals on products that Alex and I are using as new parents to Alice, and so the following gift ideas all come highly recommended by us both. 

1. Nuby UV Sterilisers:

Alex and I are both in agreement that one of the best purchases we ever made was our Nuby UV sterilisers. These are actually genuine 59S sterilisers with Nuby branding, which made us feel much more confident about buying the sterilisers as we’d heard such good things when over in the US about 59S. The dummy one was the first steriliser we brought as a tester to see if we liked the UV sterilisers work. Considering that Alice is fascinated with launching her dummy on the floor, this has been a godsend! We also have the travel one, which can fit 2 mam bottles comfortably and 3 at a push, as well as dummies, breast pump parts, and you can even sterilise your phone and keys! The travel one also has a storage section under the sterilising bit and looks like a posh cooler bag rather than a steriliser. Both sterilisers come with a dummy included, and the travel one also has a Nuby bottle. The dummy steriliser can be battery or USB-cable operated, and the travel one is USB operated via a rechargeable battery pack which is included. Both sterilisers can also be plugged into the mains!

Photo of the Nuby dummy Steriliser and box in the background. There is also a black battery charger and white USB cable in the photo.
The Nuby dummy Steriliser

2. Baby Nails Thumble Set

If you need just a little stocking filler, then the Baby Nails Thumble Set is a great size for that! We all know that keeping baby’s delicate nails trimmed to stop them from scratching themselves is hard work! Luckily, some fellow parents came up with the fantastic idea of using a thumble with filing stickers to file precious little one’s nails which means less of a fight! It’s so simple to use that you can even file nails using the thumble whilst feeding or during cuddle time! The filing stickers come in two varieties; one for 0-6 months and a slightly coarser one for 6 months plus. 

3. Blink Mini Camera

If you know that the parents or parents-to-be in your life want an app-controlled baby monitor that works with Amazon’s Echo Show, but don’t want to spend hundreds on one, then look no further than the Blink Mini Camera! Not only does this come with 2-way communication and night vision, but you can also view it from your phone, tablet and of course, the Echo Show. It also works as a brilliant pet camera. Alex and I use the Blink cameras to keep an eye on Alice when she’s in either her bed or the lounge if we’re out of the room (for example, in the bathroom), and Alex uses it to check in when he’s at work. We also use our lounge one to keep an eye on Fudge when out of the house.

Photo of a white Blink Mini Camera with black face mounted on a white and grey Snuzpod bedside crib. There is also a grey Snuz cloud attached to the Snuzpod in the photo.
Alice’s Blink camera

4. Amazon Echo Show 

Of course, if you go for the Blink mini camera, you can always bundle it with the Amazon Echo Show! We don’t know what we’d do without ours, from enabling skills to help settle a baby to learning skills, operating smart lighting and more. The Amazon Echo Show is a great assistant to have in the house! We also use ours to find recipes, watch videos and even as a digital photo screen. Alexa also has a skill from Tommys called the Tommys Midwife Skill, so if you’re pregnant, you can literally ask Alexa anything to do with Pregnancy. Steph says, “this skill helped me so much when I was pregnant with Alice, and even Alex was asking questions to do with pregnancy.”

The Echo Show is available in 5″, 8″ and 10″. We have the 8″ in our kitchen, the 5″ at Alex’s mums and will be getting the 5″ to replace the Echo’s in the bedroom once Alice moves into her own room. 

5. Snuza Hero MD

We found out about the Snuza Hero MD after someone we got to know through our Instagram let us borrow theirs whilst we’ve been waiting for Alice’s breathing monitor to come. So if you have an ex-NICU baby in the family or know that the parents in your life just want a monitor for peace of mind, then this is an excellent investment! The Snuza Hero MD is medically certified, and the Lullaby Trust also give them out to parents who’ve previously lost a baby to SIDS as part of the CONI programme. The monitor simply clips onto the baby’s nappy or bottoms (just make sure it’s in contact to track breathing) and will vibrate to rouse the little one if no breathing is detected for 15 seconds, alarming after 20 seconds if the vibration doesn’t work. This little monitor has already worked a few times when Alice has either breath held or had another blue episode. 

Alice, a small white baby with brown hair is looking at the camera with eyes open wearing a white long sleeved vest and light blue jeans. On Alice's jeans is a white and purple Snuza Hero MD breathing monitor.
Alice wearing the Snuza Hero MD

Do you have any ideas for what to get parents-to-be or new parents for Christmas? Share them in the comments to help other readers with their gift shopping! 

This post contains affiliate links. This means that we receive a percentage of the revenue made from purchasing products when you click on a link. This does not affect you as the consumer or the price of the product or service. It is also not a paid-for promotion or a collaboration/advert.

Christmas Gifts For The Foodie In Your Life!

With Christmas less than a month away, most will be turning their attention to Christmas gift shopping and wondering what to get their loved ones. But, if you’re anything like us, you either pick up on hints throughout the year or pick gifts based on hobbies and interests. Luckily, if you have a foodie in your life to shop for, then there is one company that offers a range of goods that may just make your loved ones Christmas and do products that will make Christmas dinner with the family extra special! 

Sous Chef is an online cooking shop that offers everything from ingredients for that special meal to gift sets for the foodie in your life and even discovering new recipes and cuisines. Sous Chef also has a fantastic Christmas range for the run-up to Christmas, and of course, for Christmas Day itself, including Panettone (vegan options available), preserves for cheese and advent calendars amongst the range. Sous Chef also has a tasting box subscription which you can buy for yourself on a monthly basis or as a gift for someone with three, six, and twelve-month subscription terms all available. 

However, if the foodie in your life happens to adore Japanese cuisine, then Sous Chef has the perfect gift for them! The Japanese Raman Bowl Set features two ramen bowls which are dishwasher and microwave safe, two ramen ladles made from bamboo, a ramen recipe book and a drawstring bag! It also happens to be one of Sous Chef’s bestsellers. So we feel fortunate to be gifted one of these sets to review by Sous Chef for this blog post. 

On opening our package from Sous Chef, the set was extremely well packaged! Not only was there lots of recyclable packaging to protect the set, but the size drawstring bag was a pleasant surprise. Not only did it contain the entire set, the fact that it’s large enough and reusable means that we can use it for food shopping in the future! In addition, the drawstring bag is covered with various airport codes like VLC for Valencia and DFW for Dallas, along with their timezones and a picture that represents the destination. 

A beige drawstring bag with various black and red images on featuring various airport codes, cities and timezones on.
Sous Chef Drawstring Bag

Inside the drawstring bag was additional packaging to protect the two ramen bowls. The bowls have a beautiful blue and white glazed wave design on the inside and a white and blue marble style design on the outside. Both the inside and outside designs are complemented by a brown-black rim, and the design is done so that it can be mixed and matched with other items, which is custom in Japan. These large bowls are made from ceramic and can be used for both ramen and donburi dishes. They also happen to be microwave and dishwasher safe, making life a lot easier when cleaning up or if you want to warm your ramen up! There were also two ramen ladles made from bamboo in the bag, which need to be hand-washed and dried before storing.

2 blue and white bowls with brown wooden ladles inside are sitting on a light brown wooden table with black quartz marble rectangles on the table top.
The Ramen Bowls And Ladle

Also in the bag was a ramen recipe book which contains mix and match recipes for noodles, broths and even ideas for toppings! This is great as it allows you or the person you’re gifting the set to discover different ramen and donburi dishes at a convenient time. We also tried to see if the ramen bowls would fit a takeaway from a well-known Japanese restaurant which they did with ease! It also means that the well-known restaurant’s recipe book can be followed to the letter if you or the person you’re gifting the set to happens to have it. 

2 blue and white bowls with brown wooden ladles on the side of them are sitting on a light brown wooden table with black quartz marble rectangles on the table top. The bowls are filled with two different types of ramen.
Ramen in the bowls

As a side note, also included where some money-off vouchers for companies that Sous Chef partners with. The only thing which wasn’t included was chopsticks; however, Sous Chef has a range of chopsticks made from different on their website available to purchase; there’s even a travel set! Overall, this set is definitely a good shout if you want a non-perishable gift for the foodie in your life, or even as a treat yourself if you want something new in the home kitchen! 

This reveiw was kindly sponsored by Sous Chef, who gifted us The Japanese Ramen Bowl Set in exchange for this review. However, all opinions in this review are our own.

Product Review: Multifunctional Toys For Babies And Toddlers

With Christmas not that far off, people are beginning to think about what gifts their loved ones might like and when it comes to babies and young children, what toys would be suitable for them. There are many different types of toys available, from games to cuddly bears and toys which aid learning and development, which can make buying gifts for babies and young children somewhat challenging.

Toys and Bears offer a range of toys and teddy bears, and their handy filters help you take the guesswork out of what to buy! You can filter by age, price, brand and more! In addition, they have a great range of educational toys if you wish to gift something that will aid development. Finally, if you’re interested in the Montessori way of learning and play, then Toys and Bears have a range of Montessori toys.

A multicoloured box containing a toy is laid flat on the floor. The box has a white baby on the front playing with building blocks and the animal cut outs which the toy contains.
The Carotina Baby Blocks Mat in its box.

In terms of toys that aid development, one that is definitely suitable for babies and toddlers is the Carotina Baby Blocks Mat. When in its box, the set doesn’t look that big; however, looks are deceiving, especially with this product. This multifunctional mat and blocks set can be used from around a year old up to four years of age and has many features making it an excellent choice if you want a toy that will last a couple of years rather than a few months.

The large building blocks are great for little ones to explore their creative side whilst developing their fine motor control through stacking and building. The blocks are the perfect size for small hands, and the vibrant colouring of the blocks make them attractive to babies as well as helping to stimulate their brain growth. The blocks also enable toddlers to learn how to count when they’re ready to, and with there being 38 blocks of varying sizes, there’s plenty of ways to get little ones learning off to a great start!

Bright yellow, green, red and purple building blocks are laid out on the floor. To the right is an open box containing several pieces of the playmat in with various colours.
The building blocks and some of the playmat pieces

Moving onto the playmat and the jigsaw style means that little ones potentially have their first 24 piece jigsaw within this toy! The playmat, when put together, measures 70x50cm and is double-sided, making for hours of learning and fun. Each piece has a different scene on the front; for example, an ocean scene for the shark and octopus jigsaw piece and a desert scene with pyramids in the background for the camel. The back of each piece has the backs of the animals and the back of the two houses on the most prominent jigsaw piece with a blue background with white polka dots.

Photo of playmat pieces with the backs various animals and 2 houses. The pieces have a blue background with white polka dots.
The back of the playmat pieces

However, the beauty of this entire set is that 11 of the animals and the houses pop out of the jigsaw piece, whilst a few of the building blocks contain slots on top. This is a fantastic feature as it allows little ones to create their own scenes and helps with many different areas of their development. In addition, the bright colours of both the jigsaw pieces and the blocks really stand out even when put together.

A small jigsaw style playmat is laid on light brown laminate flooring. Each piece of the play mat has a different scene with various animals in and each piece has various bright colours.
The front of the playmat

Right now, Alice is a little too small to use this toy as she’s only 2 months old. However, we can’t wait to see her using it in a few months when she sits up by herself, and we’re excited to see her start using it. The set is the perfect size for our house, especially as we’re pretty limited on space which is why I’m so happy about all of the functions that the Carotina Baby Blocks Mat contains.

This post is kindly sponsored, and we were gifted the Carotina Baby Blocks Mat for this review. However, the content is based on our honest opinions.

Steiff Teddy Bear Review

When it comes to toys for little ones, there are many different types to choose from, but if there’s one essential toy that most people can agree on when it comes to what children should have, it’s teddy bears and plush toys! Whether it’s as a gift for that special occasion, a reward for good behaviour, or just one that parents get for their little one, teddy bears have been a staple in babies nurseries and toddler/children’s bedrooms across the world. Even now, both Alex and I have our favourite teddy bears from when we were children! 

Many brands create teddy bears, but one extremely well-known brand is Steiff. For generations, Steiff has been a go-to brand for families worldwide when giving a teddy bear to a little one and is easily recognisable with the iconic button in the ear trademark that Steiff has had since 1904. Steiff teddy bears are also known for being subjected to rigorous testing and for being of extremely high quality; after all, the Steiff company motto is “Only the best is good enough for children.” Both Alex and I had Steiff bears growing up, and with Alex’s mum’s side of the family being German, they know Steiff very well as a household name in Germany when it comes to teddy bears and plush toys! The high quality of the teddy bears and plush toys also means that they can be passed down for years to come. 

Teddy bears come in many shapes, sizes and colours. Whilst Steiff is renowned for its plush animals and their teddy bears, some of the Steiff range also double up as other types of toys. The Steiff Teddy Bears Stacking Lambaloo Lamb is one such teddy bear that can also be used as a toy. An excellent feature of this particular item from Steiff is that this lamb has 3 separate rings that are interactive and aid development making it truly versatile. The red one rustles, the light brown one in the middle is a cuddly ring, and the green ring at the bottom is a rattle. The lambs head is simply removed from the stack to enable the rings to come off. 

Photo of a cream coloured lamb shaped teddy bear with a smiley face on. The teddy bear has 3 rings making up its body; the top is red, middle light brown and bottom is green. The teddy bear is sitting on a grey box with red coloured drawings on.
Steiff Stacking Lambaloo Lamb

Right now, Alice loves her cuddly light brown ring and the red one which rustles. At 6 weeks old, she’s slowly becoming more aware of her surroundings, so it’s an excellent time to introduce the teddy bear to her in its separated form. The lamb’s stacking feature is also perfect because the teddy bear can be used for a stacking activity as the baby grows and moves through their developmental milestones. Talking of development, we love that one of the rings is red, as this is thought to be one of the first colours that newborns can see when their colour vision begins to develop. 

Alice, a small white baby with brown hair is laying on a multicoloured play mat wearing a green long sleeved top, dark blue leggings and white and light blue socks. Around her are a green ring, light brown ring and red ring.
Alice enjoying the rings as separate toys!

The interactive functions of the Stacking Lambaloo Lamb aren’t the only reason it’s an excellent choice as a cuddly toy; there are other reasons too. At just 18cm in length, Steiff’s Stacking Labaloo Lamb is the perfect size for tiny hands to grab hold of and play with but actually looks taller than its stated length when upright. Another most welcome feature is that the teddy bear is machine washable, even though you wouldn’t think it would be by looking at it due to the plushness of the materials used. This particular feature is excellent for ensuring that germs are kept at bay, especially as babies like to explore with their mouths, and this specific bear is great for babies from their very first days and weeks with all of its features! 

With Christmas coming up, Steiff has plenty of options for gifts for little ones, whether it’s a teddy bear for a new baby, a teddy bear for a toddler or even a collectable for a slightly older child; Steiff really does have something for everyone. The different ranges mean that you can get the infant or child’s favourite animal and, in some cases, their favourite character too! Steiff also packages their products beautifully, adding that extra special touch and quality feel to the products.

Photo of a grey and white striped box with drawings of teddy bears in red on. In the middle of the box is a cream circle with black outline which has the word Steiff in block writing in. The words knopf
How the teddy bear came packaged.

This post is kindly sponsored, and we were gifted the teddy bear for this review. However, the content is based on our honest opinions.

Photo of a brown box on a grey background with a multicoloured animal print sleeve wrapped around it. The sleeve also has a cream coloured square box with a drawing of a dears head with flowers one, and a fawn just in front of it. The words 'little fawn box' are in black underneath. There's also the words 'the subscription box for mum & baby' in cream on a black background underneath.

Parent And Baby Subscription Boxes – Are They Worth It?

Anyone who signs up to parent and baby sites like Bounty, Emma’s Diary or even just looks at Instagram or Facebook adverts will have probably seen that you can get subscription boxes for babies as well as parents. For those stuck on what to gift parents-to-be, they can seem like a great option, especially as you can find new products and they’ll usually have plenty of useful things inside.


One such box is Little Fawn Box which are boxes for parents-to-be and babies. I recently found a discount code for them which reduced the first box to £7.99, including postage. Usually, the boxes are £12.99 plus £2.99 postage, taking the total for each box to £15.98. You can also get 3-month and 6-month packages so that the boxes work out a bit cheaper. In addition, Little Fawn Box claims that all of the contents of each box are worth at least £30. So it works out at around a 50% discount by the time you’ve included postage.

Photo of a brown box on a grey background with a multicoloured animal print sleeve wrapped around it. The sleeve also has a cream coloured square box with a drawing of a dears head with flowers one, and a fawn just in front of it. The words 'little fawn box' are in black underneath. There's also the words 'the subscription box for mum & baby' in cream on a black background underneath.
How the Little Fawn Box arrives

The box itself is reasonably sized, and I really like the sleeve wrapped around the box as it makes the box itself less dull. In addition, I really like the design as it’s simple yet sleek, and the dear with the fawn is adorable!

What was in the box

Photo of various baby products including a cream and see-through baby bottle, multi-coloured baby rattle and cream and blue coloured bottle containing baby body wash. There is also a green box containing a cleansing bar, a rainbow coloured bath bomb, and a purple, cream and yellow box containing wardrobe dividers which also has an orange black and white tiger on. The products are arranged on and around a brown box which is on a grey background.
Our Little Fawn Box Contents
  1. MAM 130ml Ant-Colic Self Sterilising Bottle And Soother Set

I have so many of these sets from various freebies that I’ve managed to get hold of that I could probably start a small shop! However, I love the MAM bottles, and luckily, that’s what Alex and I have chosen to use with little one since they have a self-sterilising function which will be a godsend when we’re away travelling. The self-sterilising function also means we don’t need to worry about getting a bulky steriliser, which we have barely any room for in the kitchen! 

2. Lamaze Spin And Smile Rattle

I love that a sensory toy for our little one has been included in the box! This colourful rattle is a great size for little newborn hands and helps stimulate their vision, hearing, and touch senses. The smiley face ball moves independently of the rest of the toy to create sounds using the little balls inside, and the toy itself is excellent as a first teething toy for when little one reaches that stage of development!

3. Aveeno Baby Daily Care Baby Gentle Wash

I love travel-sized baby washes and was pleased to see this in the box as it gives us another baby wash option to try out with little one once they’re here. This 50ml gentle baby wash contains colloidal oatmeal for dry and sensitive skin and is specially formulated to reduce the risk of allergies – perfect for little one!

4. Belo And Me Safari Animals Wardrobe Dividers

If there’s one thing both Alex and I are guilty of, along with most other parents-to-be, it’s buying a large mixture of different sized clothes for little one before they’ve even arrived. We love a good clearance and will often pick bits up when shopping for other things, but organising little one’s clothes because of this has become rather challenging. Luckily, these wardrobe dividers will come in handy as they go from tiny baby all the way up to 18-24 months. Each coloured divider has a safari animal on it, giving little one something to look at and help them learn both colours and animals as they get older.

5. Oh K! S.O.S Foaming Cleansing Bar

This product highlights the slight dangers of getting a subscription box with allergies. My skin is very sensitive, and I happen to be allergic to tea-tree, amongst other ingredients found in many skin care products. Luckily though, this is a product Alex can use, so he’s delighted that he’s got something out of the box and hasn’t been left out! The cleansing bar includes a mesh bag for storage, and I’m told that the bar itself is great for treating breakouts!

6. Miss Patisserie Pride Bath Ball

It’s that time of year, and Pride month is just around the corner, so we were expecting that there would be a Pride-themed product in the box somewhere! I’m a big fan of bath bombs, and not only does this one from Miss Patisserie look lovely, but it also smells lush! I also really like that Miss Patisserie’s bath bombs are cruelty-free and suitable for vegans.

Thoughts

Overall, I really like most of the products in the Little Fawn Box subscription box. Not only are the products useful for both parents and baby, but you can see that thought has gone into the selection of the box contents. Of course, there is always a danger with subscription boxes that you run into the slight problem of receiving something you don’t like or can’t use; however, the Little Fawn box, in particular, is good value for money. We worked out that the box contents at the time of writing this post are worth over £45, which is much more than the £30 that Little Fawn Box claims the boxes to be worth.

Have you brought a Little Fawn Box? Let us know what you received and what your thoughts on the box are in the comments below!

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