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I randomly came across this on Amazon and thought it could be a fun addition to bath time. My little boy has never had an issue with bath time anyway but its always nice to add things in now and then.
The crazy soap comes in an aerosol can with a monkey on the front. Its trigger is a little like a whipped cream bottle and it squirts out as you'd imagine.
Tyler loved this although he will not accept that its not shaving foam. If I'm honest it kind of seems to be glorified shaving foam!
It's not as mould able as it makes out though its a nice sensory experience for the children to squeeze in their hands.
As it's soap too it also cleans them. My little boy quite likes standing in the bath and me squirting it on him and then him rubbing it all in to get clean.
It kind of breaks up when it gets in the bath as you'd imagine so best to keep in the hands!
Also it may be common sense but remember to clean the nozzle off before sticking the lid back on to avoid gross residue left behind (my partner forgot once!)
It sells on Amazon for £2.50 for 2 bottles which is pretty good. We have almost finished one bottle in about 2 months but we use it at least twice a week and quite large amounts so it lasts quite a while. Id definitely recommend especially if you have a little one who isn't fond of bath time.
I bought Mr Frosty as one of the presents for my sons third birthday. If I'm honest I was more excited than him. I wanted this so much as a kid and my parents never got me it. Now I'd finally get to try it. Now don't get me wrong I wasn't expecting full on slush puppies (which I'm an addict of) from this item but I was expecting more than I got!
Now the manufacturers recommended age is 3-7 years. My 3 year old is certainly nowhere near strong enough to use this. Even I find it a struggle.
To use Mr Frosty you remove his hat, pop in ice and turn his handle while pushing down on his hat. You really have to go at it and get very little ice (which collects in a small drawer in his tummy) in return. I was very disappointed. Not only could my son not really use it, my hand hurt from the sheer effort for a tiny bit of crushed ice. You will also find the time it takes you to crush the ice half of it will melt!
Mr Frosty also comes with some small lolly moulds, a small snowman to fill with cordial to squirt on your crushed ice, two tiny serving bowls complete with spoons and two ice cube trays. The ice cube trays make shapes of fruit so they make nice novelty ice which kids will enjoy. They are the only thing we have really made use of!
It currently retails on Amazon for £17.65 and I must say I would not recommend it for that price.
I got Pop Up Pirate for my little boy as he's now at that age where he's starting to learn turn taking etc. He is 3 and able to play competently but I'd imagine this game can appeal to older children but for less amounts of time. He is still at the age where this can keep him entertained for many games in a row.
It is fairly easy to pack away as long as its kept all in one place- I can't let my son play unsupervised with friends as the swords end up all over the living room!
There's no complicated set up when you open the box. All you have to do is take the swords out their frames and off you go!
There are four different coloured swords, you can talk about the colours with your child if they are still learning them.
The way the game works is you put all the swords in the barrel and then pop the pirate in. You then can take turns (or play by yourself) taking the swords out one by one until the pirate pops up. It can happen at any point in the game, sometimes at the start and sometimes not until the end. We have had a couple of disappointing occasions however where it didn't pop up at all!
This game is good for teaching hand/eye co ordination, fine motor skills, patience, turn taking, colour recognition. You can also include other things such as counting the swords as you take them out.
Highly recommend. Not gonna lie...sometimes when he pops up I jump too!
It's currently retailing on Amazon for £7.49.
I actually purchased this as a charity shop while browsing for stocking fillers for my 2 year old son at Christmas.
The puzzle itself looked relativly simple but I thought it was great for learning colours (he only knew a few). He loves doing puzzles so I thought it'd be a good way to learn colours.
It only cost me £1.50 as it was at a charity shop. It's originally from Marks and Spencers, a quick search reveals they aren't selling these anymore however they have a very similar puzzle (just different pictures with a slightly more colourful design) for £5. Looking at other reviews that is what this puzzle retailed at.
The puzzle comes in a cardboard box which is white with colourful dots in a variety of colours. There are pictures of the puzzles (each one is consists of just 2 pieces) so you can see what you are buying. There is a red string which comes through the lid so you can carry it around.
The puzzle pieces are cardboard but very sturdy, they have been at the hands of my toddler and presumarbly at least someone elses (with it being 2nd hand) and the pieces are not damaged in any way at all.
There are 10 of these puzzles all of animals including a frog, a mouse and a bee. The child just needs to fit the right animal into the right frame. My 2 year old can do this in minutes so of course feels very accomplished, his task is telling me which colour these animals are, he still is learning about 4 of the colours in this puzzle so we do it often and he has learnt a couple of colours since using this. He has so much fun doing the puzzle that he doesnt mind the questions (sometimes he finds learning his colours a little boring!). He has used this almost every day since Christmas as his own request.
I think this puzzle would also be useful for younger ones for fine motor skills, matching the colour of the animals with the colour of the frames they need to be put in and learning animal names. The age range is suggested as 1-3 and I would agree. I think by the age of 3 the puzzle just wouldnt be challenging enough and many 3 year olds would of learnt all their colours.
Overall I think this is a great little puzzle for toddlers, its also a great starter puzzle for toddlers who havent played with puzzles/jigsaws yet.
I had a little extra Christmas cash to splash and thought I'd grab me and the boyfriend a few treats off the lovehoney website, they had a sale on and how could I resist! I popped this in my online basket. It was just £3.99 for 50ml. I've never bought lube before but this seemed a good price to me.
It comes in a red patterned bottle with the well known durex brand on the front along with a picture of some cherries and the flavour "very cherry" printed on there. The ingredients are all listed on the back.
On opening I decided to squirt a little on my finger to check the taste, better to do that I thought than to find out on use that I hate the flavour. I'm so glad I used this technique!
To use you have to twist the lid (a pump) a few times (I believe a safety catch was on) then pump. You will need to pump it a few times to get some out for the first time.
Taste wise I found it vile. I like cherries, cherry sweets, cherry flavoured lollipops but this was horrible. It reminded me a lot of the taste of those lollipops you used to get that had stickers or transfer tattoos inside and you had to lick your way to them. As a kid a few times I bought these wanting the coveted treasure inside but never could handle the taste to get to it! Not only is the taste horrible but after licking it off my finger and gagging I then had an aftertaste which was almost as bad as the initial lick. I cant tell you my boyfriends view on its taste as after seeing my face after trying it he refused to try (coward!).
So safe to say the lube wont be used for its flavour!
The consistency of the lube is quite nice, it doesnt run off your fingers (or bits and bobs!) straight away but isnt particularly thick either. Its also not sticky which I wouldn't of liked.
The lube is suitable for use with condoms (or without) and also sex toys.Its definitly a fun addition to sex with your partner but due to the taste I could of had just as much fun with an unflavoured lubricant.
I had been meaning to purchase digital scales for a while, I like to know my exact weight and I often found analog scales a tad innaccurate!
Whilst doing my regular online grocery shop at Tesco I did a quick search and found these at just £9 (currenty down from £12). They had decent reviews, would look nice in my bathroom and I'd say a great price too. I also liked the convinience of them coming with my shopping (although you do sometimes have the annoyance of them not having the item that didn't happen to me this time!)
The scales measure 35cm x 31cm x 3.5cm I find them a perfect size for scales. They are mainly glass and square in shape. The digital display is on tope of the scales and come up in a nice big font so no straining to see what you weigh!
The scales will measure in 3 different measurements- stone, lbs or kgs. You can select which one you want by removing the battery cover on the bottom and sliding a small switch (wear your glasses when changing this switch the writing can be a strain to read otherwise!). I chose stones as thats what I'm used to but I know a lot of friends who use kg.
The scales do have a limit but this is 23 stone/330lb or 150kg.
As well as weighing yourself these could be ideal for weighing your suitcase before heading to the airport to avoid those extra baggage fees!
They use a lithium battery which comes included. I've only had the scales a couple of weeks so I cant personally comment on the battery life, I took a brief glance at other reviews to confirm this and it seems that others have had the scales for over a year and have not yet had the battery run out.
Usage wise these scales are very easy. Place them on a flat surface (obviously) and just step on.
As I said they are made of glas so you won't be wanting to step on right out the shower with wet feet. They are really easy to clean. I just wipe them over with a bit of anti bac spray and a cloth whilst doing my bathroom cleaning.
Overall I'm really pleased with them so far and love their simple design.
This is a vapour rub that can be used from 3 months. Ideal for babies when they're suffering from a bad cold.
I didn't actually buy this but got given it by my boyfriends mum, Tyler had stayed over hers the previous night and she'd bought it a couple of hours before bed as he'd had a bad cold coming on.
I find vicks a bit strong and think this is mild and definitly prefer it.
You apply a small amount of this to the chest or back. You can also apply to soles of feet- some people say its an old wives tale but I think it works having done it to myself before when suffering a bad cough from my cold, I did of course use vicks for me. If applying to the soles of the feet you may want to put socks over the feet once applied to keep it on!
It has a long shelf life and as you dont need a lot it can last a very long time. It won't cost you much though, Amazon currently stock it at just £2.90
The first time I watched this I wasn't with my child but my boyfriend- we were 22 I believe. To be fair Disney is one of those films that attract all ages and we both love Disney films!
Now that Tyler is 2 he is starting to pay more attention to Disney, his current favourite is Dumbo but this one held his attention the entire movie the first time round.
The storyline goes- Tiana is a hardworking waitress, often working double shifts to save up for her dream- a restaurant called Tianas Place. It was always her fathers dream to open up a restaurant but he passed away, spurring Tiana on to work harder to make this dream come true.
At her best friend Lotties party she gets a blow- she was ecstatic having just agreed to a deal with Fenner and Fenner to buy a building she'd set her heart on to be her restaurant they tell her that somebody has outbit her and that she would of been over her head at her restaurant, she's "better off where shes at". Feel distraught in Lotties bedroom she wishes hard on an evening star that she will still get her restaurant. This is where she gets the shock of her life from a talking frog!
He explains his name is Prince Naveen and he has been turned into a frog by a local Voodoo dr. He asks her to kiss him explaining it will break the spell and he will give her all the money she needs for her restaurant in return. When she kisses him however the spell doesn't break as she isn't a princess (she was only dressed like one as it was a costume party). The spell infact backfires and she turns into a frog!
They set off on a crazy journey trying to find a way to become human again, making friends with a jazz loving crocodile called Louis and an eccentric fire fly called Ray who is in love with a Star. Along the way they learn about each others lives, experiences and dreams. Will they make it back to their former lives or remain as frogs? You'll just have to watch it!
Tiana is Disneys first African-American princess. She leads a lot of the songs in the film and does a great job of it too, I love her voice and Tyler loves dancing to the songs. The songs are definitly the type that will stick in your head.
The only thing I'd say is if you have a child who gets scared easily you may want to be cautious- the black magic scenes may be a tad scary to some- although my 2 year old appears to be unphased by it.
I love the way Disney capture the audience of all ages and this is yet another brilliant classic that I must of watched 10 times already!
Amazon sells this for £12 (it'll cost you more for Bluray) and at the time of writing this lovefilm was showing it too! You may be able to get more for your money at supermarkets if theyre doing an offer but £12 isnt too steep for a DVD that'll be enjoyed for years. If you want to go cheaper you can buy off Amazon 2nd hand- theyre currently going for as low as £5.85 (and £1.26 for delivery).
I got this book given to me by a health visitor, they give out a few books as a scheme to get more parents reading to their child. My child was still a baby when we got this, he's now 2 and a half. Its one of the books we might read at bedtime although its very short so we'll read more than just this one.
Its a sturdy cardboard book with only 4 double pages (8). The sentences are short and rhyme with the following page- "squelch squelch in the mud, splish splash scrub a dub". The fact that its so short means you can keep babies attention on this book even when they are quite young. Now that my son is 2 and a half he still enjoys it however I don't read it to him, he reads it to me, as its so short it was easy for him to memorise. He does have a fairly good memory- we havent read it for at least a week but i turned to him now and said "squelch squelch" and he immediatly replied "in the mud!". You can add actions onto the words (e.g. pretending to squelch in the mud or pretending to splash in the bath) and the book ends with "tickle tickle under there" so you can of course add a tickle much to the squeal of delight for your little one!
I think Tyler really enjoys that he can "read" this book himself to me and it may be good as he's older for when he's learning to read.
If you have not been given this book via the bookscheme (they were giving out a few years so I'm not aware if this particular book is still offered) you can buy it new for £3.22 and used for 1p (£2.80 delivery). Its a nice price for such an enjoyable book and again another book which grows with your baby (we've had almost 2 years of enjoyment from it after all).
We have quite a selection of books in this house and this is another one of Tylers favourites- he loves anything to do with animals! Its a nice simple story by Nick Butterworth.
The front cover is white, the word Tiger printed in bold black letters, a little picture of Tiger the kitten (he has tiger like markings on his fur) and the authors name printed underneath in a smaller black font.
The book begins by introducing you to Tiger the kitten, explaining that although he isn't a real tiger sometimes he likes to pretend he is. The book goes on comparing certain aspects of the kitten that is like a tiger e.g. comparing his paws to a tigers claws and how they are both good at jumping. It ends by saying how much he loves his bed, just like a real tiger.
Thoroughout the book the writing is on the left hand side, the picture is on the right (occasionally the picture covers both pages).
The book itself is cardboard and sturdy so the pages cant be ripped. They arent as thick as the baby board books but still thicker than usual. The story isn't hugely long winded so it keeps your little ones attention. The writing is printed just how you read it- capitals and italics for emphasised words, smaller font for whispered words. The pictures are also nice as your little one gets older they can point and tell you about them.
You can get this book from Amazon. At the moment it goes for £4.49 which I think is reasonable for such a nice book. They are also going very cheap for used copies- there a few selling for just 1p! Adding on the £2.80 delivery youd only be paying £2.81 so this would be a nice stocking filler for Christmas.
Tylers had this book from around 18 months and it still holds his attention at 2 and a half. I'd expect this could still be enjoyed for ages 3-4 but i wouldnt be sure whether they'd enjoy it above that age. Still got £2.81 for a 2nd hand copy you can't complain!
We got given this as a present for Tyler at Christmas when he was 18months old. At 2 and a half he is still enjoying it.
Its kind of a book and toy in one. It has a volume settings for the voiceover- you can have it quiet or loud. It can also be switched off- this is ideal as Tyler enoys this story so much sometimes we read it together without the voice over!
The voiceover is a womans voice and it reads the story out aloud as you turn the pages.
It also has a wheel on the side which says "puppy" and makes dog noises and then "elephant" and makes elephant noices. Theres a bright red cattepillar on the top, as you move it a puppy peeking out behind the pages and it ranges from saying "Hello", "lets find some animals" and "wheres the monkey".
As Tyler is older now its a great book for saying "wheres the...","what animal is this" and "what noise does this animal make" On the back page there are two frogs and three ducks (the rest are singular animals) so we have also counted them together.
The book itself is full of bright colours and very engaging. This book has been well used and the battery is yet to run out which is nice as some toys seem to run out so quickly!
Its a plastic book so no ripped pages, its pretty much indestructable! Being plastic I can imagine it could be cleaned easily although this has never got dirty so I havent had a chance to test out the theory!
I wouldn't say this would keep a little ones attention for ages and I wouldn't rely on it to read to your child (left to their own devices children won't wait for the voice to finish anyway) but its a nice toy for them to play with and with a parents supervision and interaction their attention can be kept for much longer.
This book is from Fisher-Price which is a well known and trusted brand. You can get it on Amazon for £13.45, there a couple of sellers offering lower prices but once you are factoring away the delivery charge you end up paying more.
If I'm honest I dont think the book is worth paying anymore than £10 for but with brands such as Fisher Price you often end up paying for the brand aswell as for the product!
This is another book from Fiona Watts & Rachel Wells touchy feely "Thats not my" books.
We now have two of these books, Tyler got this particular book when he was 1 and at 2 and a half he still enjoys to read it now, especially since getting another one of the series (Thats not my panda).
The story begins on the front page and continues to the end where it finishes with "Thats my hamster, its tummy is so soft!".
As with all the "Thats not my" books there is a mouse on each page and Tyler enjoys pointing it out with each one.
The book has very bright colours which makes it attractive to little ones.
As I said in my review of Thats Not My Panda this really is a book which grows with your child as they enjoy feeling the textures from a young age then doing more- talking about textures, joining in with repetition, pointing out the mouse etc. This is why I'd say its such good value for money- currently going on Amazon for £4.50. You can even get this particular title at 99p used (along with £2.80 delivery charge).
I'd definitly reccomend buying a few of these books as Tyler seems to enjoy it even more now he has 2 of the series, I'll definitly consider picking up 1 or 2 more for Christmas.
This is another of the series of Fiona Watt's & Rachel Well's touchy feely Thats not my... books.
My sister got this for Tyler and I knew he'd like it as we already had one of their books. He is 2 and a half now but he got the last book when he was 1 and enjoyed it then just as much as now.
I would say the book definitly grows with your child, from a young age they can listen and touch, as they get older they can point out things on the page, they can begin to join in with the repetition and older still they can talk about the textures.
The story starts on the front page, there are 5 scenes where it explains why its not "my panda" with touchy feely parts such as a bumpy nose or smooth tongue then at the end it says "Thats my panda its tummy is so soft".
There is a mouse on each page, so we often make a game as we read it to "spot the mouse".
We often have this story on the little pile in his room that we use for bedtime stories and if its available its usually his first choice. Now he's older he likes to enjoy telling me the story from memory aswell.
Its not a long winded story so its easy to keep younger ones attention.
You can get these on Amazon for £4.50 new, used ones go cheaper but price of packaging usually means you're not making huge savings!
I'd definitly reccomend these for their longetivity and they're from a series of books so you can buy a range of them to enjoy.
Colic was the 2nd worst thing I went through, the first was a drug free birth (take the drugs ladies!). He got it around 3 weeks old and it continued through to about 3 months. Oh the crying. So much crying.
I do not know if its exhausation but I have a very scarce memory of those first 3 months (many of my friends do too.). I do remember crying once. Just holding him at 5am, incredibly sleep deprived and crying. His Dad is a great guy to me but he was not an involved parent for the first year. As far as he was concerned Tyler was my job. Hes great now but God the first year I could of done with some support!
Nothing really got rid of colic. A few things helped me and I will share them just incase they help any other poor frazzled mother.
This does NOT work immediatly. You need to use it consistently before seeing any results. A few of my friends who used it gave up after using it just a few times. Thats not how infacol works.
This calmed Tyler so much. Infact this is how he slept at night for 5 months (thats the age he learnt to break out). Swaddling definitly calmed him and made him feel secure.
A WARM BATH
When all else failed a warm bath usually calmed Tyler down. To this day hes a real water baby and loves being in the bath (and now he's older in swimming or paddling pools) I very rarely had to deal with tears at bathtime (except when it comes to hairwashing these days!).
A BABY SWING
This is the BEST thing I ever had. Whenever I think of it I remember the night Tyler was up ALL night crying, refusing to sleep. Then i put him in his swing. The swing clicked with every swing and I found it hard to sleep with a noise but i dropped straight off. Those were the best 2 hours sleep of my entire life.
White noise is like a hairdryer, a vaccumm cleaner etc. When i did a hoover in the day, Tyler always dropped off. Unfortunatly when your colicy baby is upset at 2am your neighbours won't appreciate you in getting a bit of housework done. Luckily youtube has many white noise videos, my favourite was a video called "baby got colic" id play it through whilst cuddling a swaddled tyler. 95% of the time he was asleep way before 10 minutes of this noise.
Those were the only methods that worked for me and I did try quite a few. Of course its worth trying anything, all babies are different and what works for some may not work for you and vice versa.
Its important to remember babies do pick up on your stress. There is NOTHING WRONG with leaving your colicy baby crying for 5 minutes while you have a drink (tea, not vodka!) and turn on the radio. It is better that you leave them for 5 minutes then getting worked up yourself.
A support network is pretty important too, a few times I had my partners mum come over for an hour or so to help or even take him out for a little bit. Its not easy to do on your own and you should never struggle if you dont have to.
A lot of babies get colic, thats just the way it is, with any luck it will be gone by 3 months (when you've only dealt with it 2 weeks and you get told it'll be gone by 3 months it feels ages away but it really isn't!) And if your baby has it. Good luck! I hope you find a few of your own methods which work for you and baby!
Most women when expectant have ideas on what they want to do as a Mother. Many decide fairly easily whether or not to breast feed or bottle feed. I for one was set to breast feed. As far as I was concerned it was easier than bottles, cheaper and it was ideal for my baby considering it was natures intended source of nutrition for him.
During my pregnancy I was given lots of info about breastfeeding. The thing that annoys me most looking back is being told babies know how to breastfeed and it comes instinctivly to them.
I was also told I'd have a lot of support and advice from the professionals. I felt postive about breastfeeding for my babies first six months (and possibly up to a year).
I remember the first time I tried to feed my son. It wasn't long after delivery and the midwives helped. He wasn't interested though, we spent a while trying to get out some colostrum and get him to take it but he wouldn't. I was advised to keep trying.
After 12 hours he still wouldnt take any, I was given a syringe to try and express a small amount out but couldn't get more than a couple of drops. In the end the midwives advised I gave him some formula so I did. I wouldn't say I felt bad about this decision, formula in my eyes is better than nothing for sure. I did feel a kind of failure though. I was told babies KNEW how to breastfeed so why exactly was my baby not taking to mine? It almost felt like a rejection. He didn't have tongue tie and he was full term (born at 37 weeks) so I couldn't understand what was wrong.
I was in hospital for a week as Tyler had a skin infection (I cant remember the spelling of the long word but for short it was Staph) so he was on antibiotics. I would hope this would give me a chance to establish feeeing. There were quite a few occasions when a midwife would come to help me to get Tyler to latch on. Occasionally he would and theyd dissapear promising to be back in a few minutes (they never were, too short staffed). He'd often come off after a minute or so though. In the end we switched to nipple shields, these are more like a bottle teat and helped him grip better. The problem though was he'd often fall asleep minutes within feeding but then if I'd take him off he'd wake within 10 minutes appearing to be hungry. So eventually I changed to combination feeding. I'd feed with the nipple shield for a while and then with formula.
This routine continued at home with the combination feeding. I didn't often breastfeed in public, people would stare at you and judge you. My friend once got asked not to breastfeed in a cafe, she was mortified, she was very discreet about it and her son was crying as he was hungry.
Despite the judgement you get for breastfeeding in public you do also get judged for bottle feeding.
I occasionally expressed milk. I didn't get a huge amount out, not enough to even take out but I hoped it would raise my supply. My friend expressed after her caeserean, we were once at a baby group where she asked for a bottle (of breast milk) to be warmed. A fellow mum then decided to discuss how breast is best and nobody should give their baby formula. She didn't direct this at my friend (who she presumed was formula feeding) but it was pretty obvious thats why she'd started the discussion.
Sometimes breast feeding mothers were the worst critics.
Unfortunatly my supply never raised. This is more because I was ill informed. Soley breastfeed my son would go a maximum of two hours before wanting his next feed, but the norm was more around one hour. I thought this was excessive and I must not be satisfying him. In the end i fully switched to formula. Had I known what I do now (one of my friends is a peer supporter in a breast feeding group- something else I didnt know existed) I would of continued the feeding as breast fed babies do often need to feed more often in the early stages.
I do not feel bad that my baby ended up on formula and nor do I judge other parents who decide to use formula. Breast feeding is not for everyone and well done for those who give it a go and those who succesfully manage it.
I do not believe my breasts are "just for sex" and I have been told breast feeding doesn't cause saggyness or less fulller boobs, pregnancy is usually what would do this.
I do plan to have another child in a few years and yes I would like to breastfeed this one. If he or she doesn't take to this I will not feel bad as I would of tried.
I would advise any expectant Mother who is considering breastfeeding to thoroughly research but do keep an open mind. Some people cannot breastfeed and some just don't want to. Its a big can of worms and some people do have very strong opinons but I do not think Mothers should be judged on which route they take.