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The Gro-Egg has two functions: i) to act as a room thermometer and ii) to provide a gentle nightlight for you and your baby.
As most new parents are aware, it is very important to keep the temperature of the room where your baby sleeps consistent, and within a specific range. The Gro-Egg helps you to know what the correct temperature is for your baby at a quick glance, as it changes colour according to the temperature of your room. If the temperature dips too low, the Gro-
Egg glows blue, and if the room is too hot it will glow orange and then red. The ideal room temperature for your baby is indicated by a yellow glow. The Gro-Egg also gives a clear and accurate temperature reading to one decimal place.
The Gro-Egg is designed to be used in conjunction with Grobag baby sleeping bags. Parents receive guidelines on what their baby should be wearing according to the temperature of the room. This helps to stop babies either overheating or becoming too cold, which is something that I worried about a lot as a new parent.
The only disadvantage of the Gro-Egg is that the nightlight in't very strong. We still use a separate nightlight when doing late night feeds.
The Gro-Egg is widely available - either directly from The Gro Store or from major retailers e.g Amazon, Kiddicare. It retails in the region of £15 - 22. It is definitely worth shopping around for prices; Asda have recently been selling them for £15.
I thoroughly recommend this product, as it takes the guesswork out of keeping your baby at the right temperature, and allows you to sleep at night (if your baby will let you!).
Kamillosan is a chamomile ointment (Chamomile extract 10.5% w/w) which is used as a treatment for sore nipples, nappy rash and minor skin irritations.
I have used Kamillosan whilst starting to breastfeed two of my children. It is a true wonder product, and really has helped me continue to breastfeed where I may have given up without it. It needs to be applied to the nipples straight after feeding, and then re-applied religiously until any soreness has disappeared. I was in absolute agony from the cracked skin, but Kamillosan really did help. I also tried another market leading product for cracked skin and sore nipples, which costs approximately twice the price - and Kamillosan proved to be far superior. In fact, I would have happily paid three times the cost of Kamillosan for the relief that it brought!
The things that I love about Kamillosan: Apart from the fact that it helps to heal cracked skin, it smells fantastic. I am sure when I was in pain, the strong smell of camomile had an aromatherapeutic effect on me - very calming! I have also used it on my hands, which get very chafed during winter, and it has helped to soothe and calm the redness.
Obviously the price also makes it a winner.
What I would improve about Kamillosan: The only thing I didn't like about the product was that it needs to be wiped off before each feed (it's main competitor doesn't need to be wiped off). Whilst not a major problem, it can prove a bit of a faff at 0300h whilst you're stumbling around in the dark with a crying baby!
Kamillosan can be bought at Boots and major supermarkets. It currently retails in Boots at £4.19 for 50g.
I would thoroughly recommend this for any expectant mothers hospital bag (when it comes to soreness from breastfeeding, prevention is better than cure!), but also as an essential component of your first aid kit or your wash bag. It really does deliver on fixing sore, chafed skin.
Mumsnet is a parenting website. I have been using it for 8 years now, and there have been times in my life when it has been a godsend.
Mumsnet has many facets. Primarily I use it for the talk forums, where I can join in on threads which are as wide ranging as tonight's TV schedule to 'should I be wearing lavender coloured jeans this spring?'. The talk boards not only cover light hearted topics such as Style and Beauty, Gardening, eBay and Property/DIY, but also some of the more challenging aspects of parenting, for example Special Needs, Miscarriage and Bereavement. There is also the ever popular 'Am I Being Unreasonable?' section where posters can ask for Mumsnetters views on whether they are being reasonable or not. Be careful, you need a very thick skin to post here, as Mumsnetters will tell it how it is!
In addition to the Talk boards there is a wealth of information on Conception, Pregnancy, Childbirth and Babies, so if you're a first time parent you need look no further for information. Mumsnet also has regular webchats wiyh politicians, authors, parenting gurus and influential figures, so it is always in line with the zeigeist.
If you are frugal like me, then there are plenty of product tests and competitions to get involved with. Mumsnet also offers discounts or free postage offers with their key partners e.g. The White Company, Mint Velvet and John Lewis. There is no membership fee to access Mumsnet, so anyone visiting the site can take advantage of these offers.
There is also a wonderful community spirit on Mumsnet. Every year Mumsnet runs a Christmas Appeal, where Mumsnetters who wish to donate a present are matched to a Mumsnetter who has been nominated as a recipient as they have had a tough year. It is a true testimony to 'random acts of kindness' and gives me a warm glow everytime I think of it.
Mumsnet is definitely not for the faint hearted though. Mumsnetters, whilst generally kind, will call a spade a shovel. There are no moderators, which can make the talk boards quite 'feisty', however Mumsnet HQ will step in if they suspect that a poster is not adhering to the Mumsnet philosophy.
The format of the website is quite plain, and Mumsnetters have strongly resisted the introduction of tickers. If you like tickers or being able to have a photo alongside your user ID,then its probably not the site for you.
I can't recommend Mumsnet enough. The only downside is that it can be a very addictive site - remember to allow time for real life!
The dreamgenii Pregnancy Support and Feeding Pillow is designed for helping both with restful sleep in pregnancy, and more comfortable support for you and your baby whilst feeding postnatally.
How does it claim to aid pregnancy sleep? - The dreamgenii pillow is designed to support you whilst you sleep on your left hand side, which is thought to help with optimal foetal positioning (getting your baby into a good position for an easier labour), and also to aid blood flow to the placenta. It does this by having two supports - one for your back, to prevent you rolling over onto you back or right hand side, and another for your bump. There is also a longer piece of pillow which is designed to support your pelvis whilst you sleep - you place this between your knees and it prevents your pelvis from becoming misaligned whilst you sleep.
How does it claim to provide feeding support - The pillow is designed to support your back whilst feeding your baby, and to keep them at the correct height for easier feeding.
What I liked about the dreamgenii pillow - In principle the pillow is a great design. I do try to sleep on my left hand side whilst pregnant, so anything that will help me do that and keep me comfortable is considered a godsend. Also, if you suffer from symphysis pubic disfunction during pregnancy the extra pevis/ leg support it offers is invaluable.
The pillow offers the added advantage of being easily machine washable, and comes with a washable cover.
Where I think that the dreamgenii pillow could be improved - In two words, the quality. Whilst the design is very good, the in-built support provided by the pillow is weak, which meant that it didn't really keep me and my bump in the right position. Likewise, I found the leg/ pelvis support to be insufficient, so I ended up ditching the dreamgenii and resorting to using normal pillows. I also found the stitching on the pillow cover to be weak - disappointing for the price.
Unfortunately I can't comment on its merits as a feeding pillow as I have just sold it on eBay in an attempt to cut my losses.
The dreamgenii retails at approximately £40, and is available from large babycare retailers for example Mothercare or Kiddicare. I think that for the quality it is shockingly expensive compared to their competitors in the support pillow market. It's a real shame as I love the design, but the quality/ support provided by the pillow needs to be sufficiently beefed up before I could recommend it to anyone.
I have been using Ocado for almost two years. I first tried using them following a suggestion from my mum, who could see that I was finding a trip to the supermarket with small children more stressful than it needed to be. Having tried Ocado once I have continued to shop with them - I have tried online shopping with each of their major competitors, but found that they could not match Ocado's quality customer service and/ or their delivery charges were very expensive by comparison.
Ocado stocks the following food brands: Branded products e.g. Marmite, Cif etc., Waitrose products and Ocado's own brand.
What I like about Ocado:
Quality Ocado own range - Ocado's own range of food is both diverse and high quality, which means that there is normally a decent, cheaper alternative available than branded or Waitrose product.
- Excellent customer service. They once were unable to complete my order as planned, so offered me £25 off my next shop with them. I also had an incident of a bottle of bleach opening in a carrier bag, and marking my trousers. Ocado reimbursed me the full cost of the trousers. To top these examples the drivers are always on time, are friendly and helpful, and assist me with carrying the bags through to my kitchen.
- Easy to use website. The website is intuitive to use, and it is easy to identify special offers. Ocado also offers an Android phone app, which I sometimes use as it comes with a barcode scanner - very useful for scanning products that are almost empty and adding them to my shopping list!
Delivery pass - You can pay a monthly fee to Ocado to have as many deliveries as you'd like (orders need to be over £40). As we live in a rural area, where a round trip to town is over 10 miles the pass easily pays for itself when considered against mileage costs. The delivery pass costs £10.99 a month (minimum term of 12 months).
Free magazine with offers - Since shopping with Ocado I have received the following free: Italian cookbook, a bottle of port, packs of pasta, 2 x bottles of Innocent orange juice and washing liquid samples. They also produce a regular 'lifestyle' magazine which is free to customers.
Ocado's own range of food - Ocado have their own range of food, which is generally cheaper than the Waitrose or branded food that they sell. Always good for cutting down costs, and the food is generally of very good quality.
Receipt itemised with sell by dates - The receipt lists foods by the date that they are due to go off. Likewise, food always arrives with a decent amount of time left before the best before date - this is something that I can say that some of Ocado's competitors don't do. I have been very cross in the past to find that when I made an online supermarket shop food was delivered that that was due to expire the very same day. Therefore shopping with Ocado makes it easier to menu plan for the week, and reduces the amount of waste.
Where I think Ocado could improve:
Offering fruit and veg by weight - One of Ocado's competitors offers fruit and veg by the kg, unpacked - whereas all of Ocado's fruit and veg is pre-packed and therefore costs more.
Offering a points reward system - There is no points rewards system for Ocado shoppers, which is offered by many of its competitors. Also, up until the 1st Feb 2012, if you pay with a John Lewis card you do qualify for John Lewis Partnership points (as if you were shopping in John Lewis or Waitrose). However this offer is set to terminate from Feb onwards, and it will be back to one JL Partnership point per pound spent in Ocado - disappointing.
Overall I would recommend Ocado - they provide a 5 star supermarket online shopping experience.
I bought this dress in the Cobalt colour to wear to a couple of weddings in Autumn 2011.
I have been really pleased with it as a purchase. I wore it to 2 weddings, where I received lots of compliments about it, and then used it as officewear. The jersey is heavyweight, so drapes beautifully - always useful when you're heavier than your normal pre-pregnancy weight! The fabric also has a good propo
rtion of elastene which means that it clings in all the right places and has plenty of room for your expanding bump.
The dress washed really, really well, maintaining both its depth of colour and the feel of the fabric. It didn't pill or bobble, which is so often the case with jersey fabric.
I'm almost 6', and found the fit great, which would suggest that if you are petite it wouldn't be the best fit.
The only downside is the price. However I managed to use both an Isabella Oliver discount code and Quidco to get cash back. I have since sold the dress on eBay for £37, so all in all it has seemed a reasonable outlay on a per wear basis. It's definitely worth joining Isabella Oliver's mailing list to ensure that you get notified of all of their offers.
I have combination skin, which is a little depressing as I am fast approaching 40. Lots of dry areas, but then a really oily T zone where blackheads and blemishes thrive. This scrub is brilliant on the oily areas. It seems to absorb excess oil, and with regular use I have noticed a reduction in the number of blackheads and open pores I suffer from.
The scrub also has the benefit of being dual purpose - if your skin needs an extra deep clean you can apply it as a mask, and it will work away at unplugging blocked pores - brilliant! Unlike a lot of face scrubs it doesn't feel very grainy, but exfoliates using active ingredients. I like this, as often I find face scrubs too scratchy for the delicate skin on my face.
The scrub has a wonderful mentholated smell, which makes your skin feel all tingly and fresh after use. I also love the packaging, like other Soap and Glory products it has a retro feel, and a fun product description which plays on words.
Price wise it's very good value, being well under a tenner. It has the added advantage of being available from Boots, so there are frequent '3 for 2' offers available on it, along with extra Advantage card points.
I love this scrub, it's as simple as that. I have very dry skin during the winter months, and end up spending a small fortune on various potions to try and keep it moisturised. This product is wonderful as it does the job of both a scrub AND a moisturiser. The salt in the product sloughs away dead skin, and the high oil content moisturises. You emerge from the shower feeling super smooth. The scrub is also great for preventing ingrowing hairs after shaving or waxing, with the added benefit of the salt acting as an antiseptic.
Like all Sanctuary products it has a delicious fragrance, and in my opinion is excellent value for money compared to other salt scrubs on the market. It has the added bonus of being easily available from Boots, and is often on a '3 for 2' offer - even better.
I thoroughly recommend this product - a real treat for just over a tenner.
I have to admit being rather impressed by this hand cream, as it was an impulse buy, and a lot cheaper than some of the hand creams I have used in the past. I bought it during a lunchtime, as my hands were painfully dry and chapped, and I had no hand cream with me at the office. I also wanted to see whether it was good value for money, as I am trying to cut down my spend on hair and beauty products.
What a surprise this cream is. It is easily absorbed, non-greasy, and left my hands really, really super smooth. It felt far more expensive on my hands than the price that I paid for it .
This cream also comes with the added advantage of sunscreen, which is something I look for in all of my skin products - why look sun-damaged and crepey before your time?!
The only disappointment is the packaging. Whilst completely functional, it could do with an overhaul aesthetically - at present the packaging screams 'nothing special'. New packaging could make it look far more luxe. However, that's a small complaint about a big hand cream. Well done Nivea for producing such a great value product.
Gaviscon is a wonder drug if you suffer from heartburn during pregnancy. I have lost count of how many Gaviscon tablets I have taken whilst pregnant, but I can confirm that each time it has dealt with the pain and discomfort of heartburn quickly and effectively.
I personally prefer the tablets to the liquid - whilst they do have a slightly chalky texture they are remarkably palatable and easy to chew. If I'm honest, the liquid version makes me retch! The peppermint flavour is pleasant, and rather similar to the taste of a mint imperial. This is an added bonus if you are suffering from sickness during pregnancy.
Having tried other heartburn remedies that are suitable during pregnancy I still think that Gaviscon is the best. It is slightly more expensive than some of its competitors' products, but as it deals with the heartburn symptoms so rapidly I am prepared to pay the difference.
Our dogs' new Tuffies dog bed arrived today, and they (and we, their humans) love it! For the past couple of years my dogs have slept in plastic baskets lined with vet bed. Whilst the vet bed is great whilst new, and is easy to wash and relatively cheap to buy, it gets worn out very quickly. I therefore ended up buying new pieces of vet bed several times a year, which was proving to be expensive.
I made it my new years resolution to find a dog bed solution that was a) cheaper over a period of time b) easy to clean and c) would reduce the smell of my dogs (I was finding that unless I washed the vet bed every week the dogs beds would make my kitchen smell less than desirable!). That's where the Tuffies dog bed came in. We ordered the largest size of this bed, which comfortably fits both my labrador and springer spaniel cross. We have chosen the chocolate brown wipe clean surface - very smart and very practical. It looks like brown leather from a distance, so it fits in well with our furniture. The surface is wipe clean, apparently you can clean the bed with either bathroom cleaner, or hose it down outside, and then dry it down with a towel. Marvellous! The stuffing of the Tuffies is a futon mattress, so has the added advantage of not collapsing every time a dog clambers onto it therefore keeping your dogs off the floor and away from draughts.
So far we are all massively impressed with our Tuffies, and although it is a substantial outlay to make on a dogs' bed, I am convinced that it will last MUCH longer than vet bed or cheaper dog beds.
I absolutely adore our Bushbaby Cocoon. We bought the Cocoon for our second child, after struggling with a competitor's sling with our first child. We found it easy to use from Day 1 - getting our baby in and out of the sling proved to be an absolute breeze, and as the part of the harness that holds the baby comes away from the sling, it was very easy to lay our son down when he was asleep.
The carrier also proved to be ergonomically suited to us, we're both 6' so can be prone to backache - this was not a problem with the Cocoon.
The fabric of the Cocoon is very strong, and the construction is robust. We have machine washed our Cocoon multiple times and it still looks like new. We also like the fact that the carrier has clips for ease of use - personally I'm not keen on the 'wrap style' slings as I think that they would take me too long to get the baby into when I need to leave the house in a hurry.
I would absolutely recommend this carrier to a new parent.
I started using Moroccanoil last year, after I had read several reviews in magazines stating what a wonder product it is. I haven't looked back. I have below the shoulder, thick, highlighted wavy hair. Over the past 15 years I have tried a multitude of styling products on it to try and get it to behave, but to no avail! I also have very little time to style my hair, so before discovering Morroccanoil I generally tied it back and hoped for the best. Just a couple of pumps of Moroccanoil is enough to calm the frizz and give me sleek hair. It is easy to apply - you pump the oil into your hands, rub it between your palms, and then apply it to your hair, paying particular attention to dry ends.
I find that I don't need to blow dry my hair once the oil is applied, as even air drying seems to produce good results. The oil has the added bonus of being beautifully fragranced.
The oil is quite expensive, but I think that a little goes a long way, so I find that a bottle tends to last me about six months. I absolutely would recommend this product to anyone with dry, coarse or frizzy hair.