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These wipes were the only ones sanctioned by the hospital I gave birth in as being gentle enough for newborn skin. I got a free trial pack of ten with my Bounty pack and loved them, the only issue is that you can't just pick them up in your local supermarket. The easiest way to get these wipes is by ordering them in bulk off Amazon or by taking a trip to the local Kiddicare (which we are lucky as it is only 20 minutes in the car.) and they are £1.88 a packet so cheaper than Huggies when they are not on offer too. The wipes come in packs of 60 and you can purchase a box of 15 packs at a time from Kiddicare online. The wipes are 99.9% water and 0.1% fruit extract so you can forget about all the chemicals that are included in other wipes. These are the only ones that can really be used on newborn skin without adding all the extra's that come in other cleaning products and are the only ones approved by Allergy UK. These are the only wipes that haven't brought my little one out in nappy rash by having to use them more than usual when teething and things like that. I would highly recommend them, especially for in your hospital bag - messing around with cotton wool and water with those first dirty nappies isn't easy.
We have been using the Johnson's top to toe wash for my son since he was born. We got a sample sized bottle in one of the new mums packs (I think it was Bounty) for free and I decided to try it, after all, Johnson's is a well known, trusted name. A tiny amount was enough to wash everything including the full mop of hair that he was born with. It took us more than three weeks to use the sample bottle up, as we don't bath him every day but have top and tail washes in between (even at eight months we still do this). Since using that one we have purchased two full sized bottles and we just fill the little one again to keep in the bathroom so it doesn't take up extra room (our bathroom is tiny so any space saved is a plus). The bottles are roughly £2 for 500ml (but is often on sale in the baby events too) and come in a pump style light yellow bottle. They are great on sensitive skin (I have sensitive skin and use it in my bath too) and last for an age. Johnson's classes the product as hypoallergenic, part of the no more tears range and it is Ph neutral and developed specifically for a babies skin that has not built all the extra layers of protection that an adults has. If you don't believe Johnson's, believe me. This top to toe wash is brilliant, it leaves skin and hair smelling and looking gorgeous without any of the irritations that can come with soap products.
I have used these wipes on and off in the past and wasn't overly keen for a few reasons. I bought them because they advertise being safe enough to use on newborn skin. They come in packs of 56 and the package is pink. They are very often on offer for £1 a pack and you are also able to get a full free pack from Emma's Diary as part of the Bump to Baby pack. (Pink one). The wipes themselves are rather thin, stretchy and tear easily. They are quite dry and you have to use numerous per nappy change rather than just a couple. I have never noticed any issues with the wipes causing sores on my sons bum but after the hay fever season set in, I completely changed my mind and I won't be using them again. As you do when you are constantly sneezing and have runny eyes you find yourself using the wipes or tissues that you have to hand. With me it is generally my son's wipes and I hadn't had any issues with them leaving my nose sore until I used the Johnson's ones - they made my eyes water more than the hay fever did they stung that much. This made me think, if they sting my skin with just a little sore on my nose from blowing it, how much would they sting the skin of a little one if they had a nappy rash? No, not for me. Which is a shame as I like the brand and trusted the name.
We have had the Aldi Mamia nappies a few times and never had an issue with them. They cost £5.49 for a pack of 44 (in the size 4 that we buy) and are roughly the same price as buying the Asda Little Angels or Morrison's own brand. If you are buying new born they are only £1.99 a pack though so much cheaper. The nappies themselves are plain white with a small pattern on the front. The smaller nappies have a picture of a bunny rabbit on a beach on them. They have a double leg cuff to help prevent leaks and accidents and the inner core is quilted to prevent any chaffing against little bums. The fastenings are stretchy and repositionable with a Velcro fastening. In our time using them we have never had to deal with a sore bum, or a leak. My only gripe is that they are a little thicker than other nappies and they only have one style rather than a comfort dry and active. However, the nappies are definitely worth the money and I would buy them again.
We have used Pampers wipes on odd occasions and have found them to be okay. The normal ones come in a green packet of 64 wipes that has a resealable opening. The wipes inside are a decent thickness, don't tear as you take the out of the package and are okay for cleaning dirty bums and faces (obviously not with the same wipe). The wipes are slightly stretchy which helps. The Pampers Sensitive wipes come in a white pack and comes in packs of 64 or 12 wipes. It is the cost of these wipes that puts me off buying them. The wipes are rarely on special offer and the overall cost is much higher than other brands, even other big name brands. At £2.47 for a pack you can often buy three packs of other brands wipes for the same amount and due to this and the current economic climate that I prefer to buy other brands.
I bought the Morrison's own brand Stretchi-fit nappies a couple of weeks a go when I saw them on special offer of 3 carry packs for £10 (78 nappies in total). I'm glad I did. We have been using the Little Angels (Asda's own brand) nappies for a while and they were great, until my son started moving. They couldn't keep up with him and started to sag and leak very quickly. The Morrison's nappies come in a small white pack with Purple writing and logo's on. The carry packs in my son's size (4+) have 26 nappies in and are £3.99 to buy on their own. The packaging tells you about the nappy and shows the double leg cuff and tells you that the nappies are hypo-allergenic, have a thinner inner core to allow for movement and stretchy sides too. The nappies themselves are much thinner than the Little Angels, although a tiny bit thicker than Pampers. They seem to be a perfect fit for my son, the elasticated sides mean that we can get a decent fastening while still allowing him the freedom to move around. The double leg cuffs are brilliant, the outer one fits perfectly and the inner one stops any leaks from forming. The inner core is nice and thin, you can see it is there as it is purple and shows through. The design on the front of the nappy is of two elephants. My only irk is that they are gender neutral nappies, but they are purple. Not a great look on a little boy really. So far we have used two of the three packs of these nappies and have only had one leak which was due to the way the nappy was fastened. So we can't complain at all. Morrison's also sell Newborn (size 1-3), Comfy Dry (size 3-6), Growing Up Pants (size 4-6) and swim pants (small, medium and large). Most of these have the same offer of three carry packs for £10 but as well as that they sell the larger packs at 2 for £10 which works out at a similar price to the Asda Little Angels ones. Oliver is comfortable in the new nappies and when he is ready to move into the growing up pants we will stick with Morrison's now.
My little boy was in the NICU when he first arrived and all throughout his time in there, the nurses used Pamper's nappies on him. No matter who put the nappy on, it leaked so we went to Huggies for our first three sizes. We just assumed that this was due to the fit of the nappy on our son and forgot about it. Until Huggies decided to stop selling their nappies in the UK. When they did we looked into other options. Tesco's own brand were thin and leaked, so we tried Asda's Little Angels. They were okay until my son started moving around and we found they sagged and leaked too. So when I saw some Pampers Simply Dry carry packs in Tesco for £2 a pack I got the last two in his size. I was surprised to see what I thought were the same nappies on the shelves on the next row for £5 a pack. When I got to the check out I asked the lady to make sure of the price since I had seen different prices, she confirmed that yes £2 was correct. I got the nappies home and tried them straight away. The first thing I noticed was that the nappies are a lot thinner than some of the other brands that I have tried. I was dubious and wondered if this was why the Pamper's New Born nappies leaked but I'm not so sure after trying the Simply Dry. The nappies have an extra layer inside that you can see is positioned to soak up any urine without the need for a lot of bulk. We tested them out and found that even with my son's new found freedom and ability to crawl and roll, they didn't sag or leak. Great. The sizes are great too, the size 4+ we use has had a lot of room to move about and grow into as well. By the time I realised this I was already wondering why we hadn't been using the brand instead of the others. I still couldn't understand why they were only £2 a pack. It wasn't until I went onto a mummy forum that I saw a huge thread of ladies who were all looking to change from Pampers to other brands of nappies due to their re-brand. It turns out since the launch, the packs are more expensive and they have reduced the amount of nappies per pack too. Now I realised, the packs I had purchased in the Tesco sale were in the old packaging (there is very little difference) so I went to find out how much it would cost me to kit my little one's little bum out in the new rebranded Pampers instead of the Morrison's ones that I had found seemed to fit quite well. I was shocked at the price and could understand why people were looking to move brands. For the new Simply Dry, to buy two of the large packs of 74 nappies, it would set me back £20 in the current Baby event at Tesco - or they are £11.99 a pack. I couldn't believe it when I can buy more than 120 nappies in the current Morrison's offer for £10. I can get nearly double the amount of nappies for the same price. It was beyond ridiculous. Instead of buying the Pampers I have been searching and found that I can buy the same size packs of Huggies that are being discontinued in the right size for just £5.49 from a discount store so I have stocked up.
I found Funky Friends Factory online after asking in one of my Facebook groups if anyone knew of any patterns that I could use for making a memory bear for Oliver. Like many new mums I didn't want to part with any of his newborn or tiny baby clothes and thought a memory bear or memory blanket would be the best thing to do with them since we certainly don't have the space to keep them all. I looked around for a reasonably priced one - I know they take a while to make but we just don't have the money spare for what people are asking. On top of that I have heard of people who have sent clothes off and never got the bear or their clothes back - I know not everyone is likely to do that, but Oliver was only newborn once and I don't want to loose my memories of him due to someone else. My background in crafting doesn't involve making toys at all, or machine sewing anything other than a pillow case so when I saw the patterns that are on Funky Friends Factory I was scared. I can cross stitch, make scrapbooks and cards and even knit (to a very small degree) but these animals looked complex and because of that I was a little unsure about paying nearly AUS $15 for them. Until I had a proper good look around the site that was, because when I did, I realised that Funky Friends Factory has a newsletter and if you sign up for said newsletter you get a pattern to try completely free. So I signed up straight away, clicked the link in my email to confirm it and got the pattern in minutes. The pattern is for a bear named Honey and she can be made for you to keep, for sale, as gifts etc as long as you don't mass produce her and you include a little tag with the Funky Friends Factory name on it. Not bad really considering she is free. So I printed off the pattern and off I went to try and find some of Oliver's clothes from newborn that I wanted to turn into a teddy bear for him and then stopped dead in my tracks, I was going to end up ruining something precious so instead I went and found an old tee-shirt of my husbands that needed throwing out due to size and decided to cut that up and do a trial run first. I won't kid you for someone who has never made a soft toy before it was daunting. I followed every step of the diagrams and instructions to the letter and still had times where I was more than confused. I went back to the website for help and advice and found it in the form of a video tutorial. Every step has been filmed for making Honey Bear so all I had to do was watch, pause and copy the actions and eventually I had my own (somewhat sorry looking) Honey Bear. Spurred on by my finish I went on to make another one out of Oliver's baby grow and it came out great - not perfect but great - in fact, he is asleep cuddling the bear now. I will in the future be going back to the site and ordering at least one of the other cuddly companions to try and make. There is a range that includes lions, giraffes, dogs, dragons, animal toys and much more. I like the fact that you can purchase the patterns as either instant downloads or as a postal service and that if you live in Australia (unfortunately I don't other wise I would do this) you can purchase the full kit of every thing you need including toy stuffing, eyes and pre cut fabric. Funky Friends Factory really do take the stress out of learning something new. I have found learning to make these bears that easy that I will be making at least ten before Christmas to give as gifts to very close family off Oliver so they all have a piece of something to remember him as a new born while they watch him grow up. If you are looking to learn a new craft or find a way of preserving your little ones clothes pop over to the website (http://funkyfriendsfactory.com) and take a look, you get the first pattern for free anyway so as long as you use scrap fabric first you have nothing to lose!
We recently spent a week at the Barcelo La Galea during June with my 8 month old son, my 12 year old brother, myself and husband (late 20's) and my mum and step dad (40's). We stayed All Inclusive and traveled with Jet2Hoidays from Manchester Airport. The holiday was good from start to finish, we had no delays when we arrived at the airport in Manchester, our seats on the flight were pre-selected so we didn't have to worry that we would get split up, especially with the baby. We were seated quickly, the flight went well and we had our transfer coach waiting for us when we arrived in Lanzarote so there was no waiting around what-so-ever. The Barcelo La Galea is situated in Costa Teguise which is around 30 minutes by coach from the airport in capital Ariceffe. The hotel is right on the beach with private access and is within 10 minutes from a more secluded cove as well. As well as access to the beach, the same doors give you access to the bars and some shops as you walk along the coach, whereas if you go out of the main doors and turn left there are all the gift shops, tourist shops for arranging excursions and the Spa type shops (where I was able to buy baby food and milk at a much lower price than that offered in the pharmacy). There are also 2 cash machines close by although one was out of order for the entire time we were there. The hotel itself is very well presented. The reception has a lot of marble with sofa's for you to use whilst waiting, and it merges onto the restaurant area and out to the pools. The rooms are actually all apartments (it looks like it has been converted from one of the Airtours Self Catering resorts). They are spaced over three levels and there are no lift accesses so make sure you request a ground floor apartment or studio if you have a disability or child with buggy. We specified that we had a child under one and still got put on a third floor apartment. Luckily we were able to swap with my mum and had a second floor one instead. Still not ideal as when my son was asleep in the buggy it meant carrying him and the buggy up the stairs in one go so as not to wake him. The apartment was a brilliant size. It had a double bedroom with built in wardrobes and a travel cot was waiting for us in there. The living room area had a small sofa, two chairs, a coffee and side table (and television) and there was also a kitchenette area which had a dining table with 4 seats, a sink, fridge, stove with 2 rings on the hob and a number of cupboards for storing things. The best thing about this area is that it had a sliding style door that completely closed off the kitchenette area leaving just the table and chairs in sight. The bathroom was also very large, with a bath and overhead shower, sink, toilet and Bede all well kept. The floor throughout the apartment was completely tiled so we put down the spare blankets when my son was playing on the floor and for the majority of the time he played in the travel cot instead. The beds were comfortable, and there were plenty of spare sheets for during the night when a couple of times the temperature dropped enough to wake me. We also had the sheets changed 3 times in the space of the week, which included the sheets in the travel cot as well. The towels were changed every day but two which included the final day. The food included was adequate, breakfast was very continental and there was always something that we could have and give our son. The dinner was done in the outside pool bar as well as the restaurant. There were always burgers/hot dog sausages, chips, sandwiches, pastries and ice cream available. As well as this the drinks were all serve yourself, the beer taps had glasses next to them as did the soft drinks, whereas the spirits were lined up on the bar and you just poured a measure as and when. My step-dad took great delight in drinking vodka mixed with ice slushy whereas my mum preferred the local variety of Baileys. The evening meal was a little late for our liking, especially since my son eats at 5pm and then we were having to take him back to the restaurant as they weren't serving the evening meal until 7pm. The selection was always good, although we had to be careful with some of the meats and fish as none of it was de-boned so it wasn't something we could readily give to my son to pick at while we ate. There were always plenty of tables and high chairs available though so we had no issues with seating. Some nights were themed, and one was a take-away theme so there were burgers, kebabs and curries available as well as a wide vegetarian option and lots of salads. There was always a large choice of deserts too so there was something to keep my brother happy each day. The pools in the hotel weren't brilliant. No matter what time of the day you tried to use them they were freezing. I tried them once on the first day with my little one and he wasn't happy about it. The water in all three pools was salt water and left an irritating rash on you if you didn't go back to your apartment to shower as the showers at the pool side were also salt water and made no difference. There were public restrooms as well which were well cleaned and maintained. The sun loungers were of adequate number, you didn't have to fight to get one and you couldn't reserve one with a towel unless you were actually in the pool. (Which was a good thing). The daytime entertainment including mini golf, shuffleboard, rifle shooting and aqua aerobics, my younger brother took part in most, delighting when he got a certificate for winning shuffleboard and going up on stage to collect it during the evening entertainment. The evening entertainment was another ball game all together. It was aimed mainly at the Spanish guests so the music was incomprehensible. There was a dance teacher there one night and she only had one little girl on the floor that wanted to learn, a magician the next night. It was very much aimed at the children when the had someone in. It wasn't until another guest asked for the Cha Cha Slide that people actually got up to dance. Overall, it was a nice hotel, but if I was to go back to the area I think I would go half board and take extra spending money for drinks as we had four or five meals out (including small dinners and breakfast) and lots of drinks in one of the local bars.
I recently got this phone as an upgrade and I love it (and the fact that I got a free Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 with it) from Carphone Warehouse on T-Mobile. As an Android user already I had absolutely no issues setting the phone up out of the box without the help of the quick start guide, but even someone that has never used Android before could set it up in a matter of minutes without it. The phone itself is a lot lighter than I expected it to be, has a 4 inch screen, with a 5 Megapixel camera on the rear and runs on 3G networks. It also has Near Field Communication so it can 'talk' to other devices in a set area around it. The mini comes with 8 or 16 Gb memory and 1 GHz of Ram with a dual core processor. I got the 8 Gb version and have been able to fit it with an 8 Gb micro SD memory card as well which means I have more than enough space for my apps and photographs. The phone runs on Android 4.1 and you can download plenty of Apps from the Google Play store without any issues either through Wifi or your phone carriers data connection. You can customise how you view the Apps in the main page as a list or grid (alphabetical or otherwise) and also on the main screen as you can decide which Apps you want quick access to and arrange them as you like in the 4 by 4 grid. There is also space at the bottom for your five most used apps which remains stationary even as you move through the different screens. The battery on the phone is useful for roughly 470 minutes and took less than an hour to charge from empty. It can be charged through a micro USB cable or through the plug that comes with it. The phone has audio play back and comes with a set of in ear headphones that have removable buds to swap and change between as well as being able to plug others in. The ones that come with the phone have controls on them as well. There is a pre-installed Music App on the phone so you don't even need to look for one in the app store. There is also video recording and playback available on the phone (up to 720p HD) and there is an app pre-installed via the gallery for that as well. There are other apps available such as gaming and social networking but the phone does come installed with some Samsung Apps which includes ChatON (Sumsung's own instant messaging software) and Video hub. As well as that, there is a Samsung run app store that you can download from too. The phone comes in Blue, White or Garnet Red (which is limited to the Carphone Warehouse). Overall I am very happy with this phone as I don't like change but found this one easy enough to move to from my old one.
I got this free in Garnet red with my new phone upgrade and I love it! I have used Android phones for a while now and as this tablet uses the Android 4.1.1 operating system I had it set up and ready to go in minutes. I put in my Samsung account email address, then my Google account details and the tablet automatically detected the wifi network and then downloaded all of my settings and apps that are stored on it. From there I was able to customise the home screens and lock screens with photographs and my apps, download other apps from the Google Play store and set them up with ease. The touch screen keyboard (which I have always struggled with in the past) is large enough to use without having to constantly delete characters because I have accidentally hit the wrong one. It also has the numeral row at the top as well which saves swapping between the two character types while typing. The tablet is heavier than I expected for 7" but not heavy per se. I have been used to using a Kindle 3G and that is a similar size but lighter. There is roughly a centimeter boarder around the screen but all the buttons are touch sensitive on the screen. The screen is very easy to see, clear and crisp in it's display. There is an in built forwards facing camera (useful for Skype) which is 0.3 Megapixel and there is a rearward facing camera which is 3 Megapixel. Although they aren't great in comparison to the phones that are on today's market, the tablet is a year old and they are good for what they are. The tablet has an on button on the right hand side and just below it is the volume button which is confusing in a way as normally the volume is on the left with Samsung phones. The display automatically shows any notifications as a phone would and uses a swipe system to open. The main screen has a section at the bottom which remains stationary and holds shortcuts to your favourite 6 apps. As well as this there are 5 screens that you can add apps and widgets to as you would a phone and the screen just swipes through them in the same way. At the very bottom on the black bar there are some other shortcuts, one gives you the option to close any open apps, another gives the option to go to the home screen, the third is the back button and the last one takes you to short cuts for your calendar and things like that. Due to the size of the screen this tablet is useful not just for browsing the internet or playing games (which I have tried both of and found it very easy to do) but also for using office applications for typing notes, updating spreadsheets or creating power point displays. The Wifi version comes with 8Gb of space built in, and has a section for a Micro SD memory card (although it doesn't come with one). Even though a memory card isn't supplied there is plenty of room on the device for apps and downloads, it is good for reading from apps such as Google books and the Kindle app, and comes pre-installed with Samsung apps such as ChatON which is available on any Samsung device and you can log in to all of them using the same details and gives you the ability to instant message friends through Wifi - the chats will be shown on all of your devices too so you can switch between them if needed. Overall so far, I am finding this very easy to use, update and add apps to. I would recommend to any one who has used Android before and is looking for a small tablet.
I bought this for my son in size 6-9 months as I am Tigger mad. I love the turquoise colour and the striped effect. The t-shirt is made from 100% cotton, and has an orange embroidered Tigger face on the front and an embroidered 'Tigger' label on the left sleeve. The collar and cuffs of the sleeve are ribbed in the turquoise colour used in the stripes and there are two contrasting orange buttons on the collar to make pulling it over a babies head easier (although they can be fiddly to fasten back up - especially if you have a little one that won't stay still). The t-shirt is from Asda, costs £3.50 and is available in store or on the website. The t-shirt comes in a range of sizes from First size up to 12-18 months. It can be machine washed, tumble dried and ironed without any issues. I have washed using stain remover as well and had no issues with colours running or fading and had no issues with shrinkage either. I would recommend this t-shirt, it goes well with trousers, joggers or jeans and wares well.
I have a 7.5 month old son who weighs a good couple of kilo's less than the maximum on this carrier and after a lot of talk about baby wearing/carrying, I decided to get this one to try. It cost just £15 from Asda in the sale so I picked on up and thought that if it wasn't for us, we hadn't lost out a lot. The Chicco Go baby carrier is suitable from birth up to 9kg and can be used forwards facing or facing the person carrying the baby. If you use it carrying the baby facing the person wearing the carrier, it also has a bib that attaches for protection against the straps and against the drool of a sleeping baby. I was concerned though, with regards to the size of the straps on the carrier as I am not a small person by any means (unless you mean height) and I was worried I wouldn't be able to fasten the straps up around me. I needn't have worried, not only can I fasten the straps up I have room to spare. The straps fasten by going on a criss-cross over your shoulders and then fastening them around your waist, once fastened they can be adjusted to help support the baby better. Then for my son, he has never been in a device like this and I didn't know what he would make of it. It was easy enough to get him in and out of, and once in there are adjustable straps around the sides to secure him at the legs, waist and arms. Dependent on the way the baby is facing dictates how the top straps fasten, if they are forward facing the strap folds down so they can see, if they are facing you, it stands upright giving extra protection to the baby's head and shoulders. The carrier is light weight and we have worked out that we should get at least another 8-10 weeks going off our son's current weight as he is on the smaller side but I am glad I chose this one instead of any others that are more expensive as it is fit for purpose and comfortable. We are also looking forwards to taking it on holiday with us so we don't have to take the buggy everywhere. I would recommend this for anyone who isn't sure about baby wearing as it is inexpensive and we found it to be just right.
I love this vest. It cost £4.50 and is only available from Asda George although it is available online as well as in store. It is available in a range of sizes from First size up to 12-18 months. It is made from 100% cotton and has three poppers underneath for fastening and orange embroidery to contrast with the turquoise base colour. The embroidered design is of a bouncing 'Tigger' from the Winnie the Pooh series and it also has an embroidered logo on the left breast which has 'Tigger loves to bounce!' written around the edges. Because the vest has a collar it is perfect with a pair of nice trousers or little pair of jeans on a nice summer day, it is nice without the t-shirt layer to cover it, looks smart and is nice and breathable. The material washes well, I have had no issues with shrinkage or colours running, even when I have had to put it on a pre-wash with stain remover or on a hotter wash to get stains out. Although you can get packs of three vests for less than it costs to purchase this one, I really think it is worth it for the price as it can be worn as an outer layer too.
I bought this shorty pyjama set to take on holiday for my son. It costs £5 for the set and is available from Asda George and online through Asda Direct. I loved the colours when I saw it, it is nice and bright, with bright blue shorts that have printed lions on them and a white t-shirt that has press-studs on the neck line which is a contrasting orange ribbed fabric, a large printed bright lion in the middle and contrasting blue stitching to match the shorts. The set is available in a range of sizes from First size up to 12-18 months. The sizes are good, not on the small size how some outfits can be. Both the shorts and t-shirt are 100% cotton however, if you feel the fabric, it is rather thin and rough in comparison to other baby outfits. To be quite honest I am a little loathe to put it on my son as I don't want it rubbing against his skin. The set can be washed in a normal wash and also put in the drier. Unfortunately, even after washing using copious amounts of fabric conditioner I found that the outfit still felt rough to the touch. Although the colours washed well and there was no shrinkage. Overall, I wouldn't buy this again.