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When I was pregnant with my son, I was reluctant to spend a lot of money on newborn items such as sleepsuits and vests, as I simply didn't know which size to buy. In the end I opted for some 3-packs of plain white sleepsuits from Tesco in size newborn and 0-3mths. This turned out to be a good decision as Rory was 11lbs when he was born and therefore he only lasted in the newborn size for a week or so. Thankfully my friend kindly gave Rory a 3-pack of Mothercare sleepsuits in size 0-3mths as a gift and so we were able to make use of these straight away.
Instantly, I could see the difference in the quality of the Mothercare sleepsuits, not only did they look much better, they felt much softer too. After washing I also noticed a difference as I experienced significantly less bobbling with the Mothercare sleepsuits. I have since bought these sleepsuits in bigger sizes (up to 6-9 so far) and they continue to wash and wear well and better than any other sleepsuits I have.
These sleepsuits fasten with poppers from the neck down to the knee and allow easy access to change your baby's nappy quickly. They are also made of 100% cotton and so you can be confident that your baby's precious skin can breath while they are asleep.
It is recommended that the product should be washed up to a temperature of 40 degrees, however, I have had to wash at 60 degrees on the odd occasion to remove tougher stains and this doesn't seem to have caused any problems. The product can also be tumble dried and ironed on a medium heat, although I don't have a tumble drier and and I don't think they tend to need ironing.
Sizes available are: early baby, tiny baby, new baby, 0-3mths, 3-6mths, 6-9mths, 9-12mths, 12-18mths, 18-24mths. The sizes up to 3-6mths contain integral scratch mits which we found very useful, especially in the winter months. The sizes from 9-12mths and up contain a special Toe safe design to prevent loose threads wrapping around baby's toes, very important once your baby starts crawling and walking.
The sleepsuits come in a wide range of nice designs for boys, girls and also unisex. The retail price varies depending on size, design etc but the average is around £9/£10 for a 3-pack of plain white up to around £15/£16 for a 3-pack with coloured designs. However, Mothercare often have deals like 10% off or buy one get one half price so it's worth stocking up if you can get a good deal.
Cartons of ready to use formula are a fabulous invention. They are great for when you are out and about with baby, for those emergency times when you have a screaming hungry baby and don't have time to boil and wait for the kettle to cool down, and for when the grandparents come round to babysit and you don't trust them to count the correct number of scoops! One of the best things is that ready to use formula does not require to be heated and can be given to baby at room temperature.
However, cartons of ready to use Aptamil seem competitively priced at around 64p until you realise that the carton contains only 200ml. As a comparison, SMA ready to use cartons currently retail at around 65p for 250ml, that's only 1p extra for an additional 50ml. As most standard baby bottles are sized at 250ml, this would mean having to carry around 2 cartons for each feed, if like me you have a hungry baby who regularly takes a 250ml feed. If you are out and about you would have to discard the unused milk in the second carton unless you had brought a sterile container with you to take it home. As ready to use formula only keeps for 24 hours in the fridge it is more than likely that it will find it way down the sink eventually.
200ml cartons may suit most babies but as the mummy of a very hungry baby, these Aptamil ones are too small.
My son was 11lbs when he was born and one of the first things that I said to my husband when I saw the size of him was "how am I ever going to be able to breastfeed him?" Despite my reservations, I had been keen to give breastfeeding a go while I was pregnant and so I attempted to breastfeed my son during my stay in hospital. It soon became clear that I was struggling, I was in an incredible amount of pain due to my son's very strong suck and he was a very hungry boy. Eventually I gave in and asked the midwife for some formula. I hadn't done much research into infant formulas while I was pregnant because I was planning to breastfeed, however, a friend had kindly given me a sealed carton of Aptamil a few weeks prior which she no longer required. I did study the carton at the time and Aptamil claimed to be the formula most alikened to breast milk, therefore, on this basis I chose Aptamil in the hospital over the other options of SMA and Cow & Gate.
Once I gave my son the Aptamil he quickly sucked away happily and as he ate more and more I felt content that my son was getting the nutrition he required. Once we got home my husband went to the supermarket to purchase additional cartons in order that we could stock up. All was going fine until when my son turned 2 weeks old he became badly constipated, as he screamed in pain we did all we could to try and ease his discomfort. For the next week or so my son continued to be constipated, fractious and upset and every day we had to do what we could to help him loosen his bowels. After reading various baby forums which had suggested changing formula, I eventually decided it was worth a go so I went to the supermarket and purchased some SMA. To our relief after feeding on SMA for only one day, my son's constipation eased and he returned to the calm and content baby that we had become used to. After that day we did not use the Aptamil again and have never looked back.
Once I changed to SMA I immediately noticed a difference in the weight of the milk, the Aptamil seemed very heavy in comparison and I concluded that my son must have been having difficulty digesting a heavier milk. I was not surprised at this given there is a history of digestive problems in my family. Although Aptamil was not the best formula for my son, every baby is different and so it is not to say that it might be best for another baby.
One thing I did like with Aptamil was the packaging. The formula is stored in a carton with a foil seal and a sealed plastic lid. Inside there is a plastic scoop and a handy plastic bar which allows you to level off the scoops - this seems very simple but I found it incredibly useful when trying to make up a bottle with one hand, whilst holding a screaming baby in the other! This is something that SMA does not offer and so I have to use a knife each time to level off the scoop and this can not be done with one hand.
Aptamil currently retails at around £8.99 for a 900g carton, it used to be the most expensive formula but it looks like the competitors have increased their prices. A carton would normally last around a week for a young baby. It also comes in 200ml ready to use cartons.
My 5 month old son has recently started swimming lessons and he is required to wear both a disposable swim nappy plus a Splash About Happy Nappy on top. Even before my son was born I was always quite dubious about disposable swim nappies as they always seemed quite flimsy and loose and didn't provide me with much confidence over containing any accidents. The Splash About Happy Nappy takes these fears away due to its robust material which appears to repel water rather than just soak it all up like a normal disposable swim nappy. The nappy also fits snugly around baby's tummy and legs to ensure that any accidents are contained within the nappy. As the nappy doesn't soak in water it reduces the weight on your baby and allows them to swim around more freely. I originally ordered the suggested size for my son's weight which was a medium but he is quite a big boy and so we ended up needing the bigger size. I'm not sure whether they are made quite small but because they are a snug fit it may be best to order a size up. The nappy says hand wash only so I have not washed it in the machine, but as he wears a disposable swim nappy underneath it only needs a quick wash.
I purchased the kettle in the off-white colour to match my new Delonghi toaster (and my kitchen of course!) just over a year ago. The kettle and toaster together are very stylish and look great on my kitchen worktop. The kettle is fairly quick to boil, however, it is quite noisy but you get used to it and it doesn't bother me at all, in fact it means I can hear from upstairs when it's finished. The lid can be quite sticky to remove to fill up and it's maybe a little on the heavy side, however, this is the charm of the retro design and so any downsides for me are outweighed by how stylish the kettle looks. At the end of the day, a kettle performs only one key function and so there must be other ways to distinguish them from one another - and for me this is how good it looks in your kitchen!
On purchasing a new toaster for my new house just over a year ago, my main requirement was that it could toast 4 slices of bread at once. Having always previously had a 2 slice toaster I was fed up toasting 2 slices and trying to keep them warm whilst toasting another 2, so that my husband and I could enjoy breakfast together. The Delonghi CTO4003 not only fulfills this requirement for me, it looks fabulous on my kitchen worktop. I chose the model in the off-white colour along with the matching kettle. The toaster has some great features, including the variable browning control and the cancel function which allows you easily pop up the toast when you want it. I haven't really used the bagel function or the defrost function as I just toast the bread directly from frozen and it's fine. The slots for the bread are fairly wide and deep and so accommodate most shapes and sizes of breads easily. The only complaint I would have is that I don't feel the toaster browns the each side of the bread evenly, and I have to cancel it approx halfway through and turn the bread round but that might just be because I am fussy!
I have been weaning my son for about 3-4 weeks now and purchased these pots when they were on a special offer in Asda. What attracted me to these pots is that they are dishwasher, microwave and steam steriliser friendly, all of which are important time saving factors to me. I have used these pots numerous times now and they wash excellently with no food stains (although I do tend to rinse them straightaway before they go in the dishwasher). I make up batches of food for my son and freeze in baby food trays, each day I take out a portion put it into this pot and leave in the fridge to defrost. At feeding time I then loosen the lid and warm in the microwave for a few seconds and then feed him directly from the pot. The lids on these pots are excellent, they clip on easily and are secure so I don't need to worry about any spillages when transporting the food. My son's appetite is starting to increase and the pots are not that big so we probably won't be able to use these for meals for much longer. However, once he can eat finger food I think they will be good for storing raisins etc.
Maternity pads are one of the absolute essentials to pack in your hospital bag. I had done my research before I purchased any and the Boots ones seemed to be the most popular. Not only are they very absorbent, they also provide a comfortable cushion, if like me you are quite bruised or swollen. I continued to use maternity pads for about 6 weeks after my son was born and tried other brands, however, they didn't quite seem to be as good as Boots. Boots have two different versions - normal and slimline. I would recommend the normal ones for at least the first few weeks or until any brusing has eased off - these may not look pretty but you'll be glad in the end, believe me! The slimline ones are more like normal slimline sanitary towels and provided little comfort when I was sore. The slimline ones are however useful after the first month post natal as the bleeding reduces.
This gym has been a god send to me as it has provided hours of entertainment for my baby. The activities are designed so that they can meet the needs of your baby at each stage of development. For newborns it provides lots of shapes and colours for them to look at and I found my son loved looking in the mirror. There is also a wee orange monkey which constantly made my son laugh and giggle for about 2 months! Once your baby can touch things there is an elephant rattle which they will love to bash at and then a parrot which they can grab on to. The gym also plays nursery rhymes and has some bright flashing lights which I found would calm my son down during a screaming fit so I tended to save these for emergencies! I found that while my son lay on the gym I could get on with my chores knowing that he was safe whilst being entertained and stimulated at the same time. I also feel it teaches him to learn to play by himself, a good skill for later life.
The gym is also portable, it can be folded up and taken in the car to friends/family etc.
My son is now 5 months old and although it doesn't entertain him for quite as long now it is still very useful and allows a safe place for him to practice his rolling and tummy time.
Vaseline is an essential part of your baby's bath kit. Very cheap and long lasting, it has a number of uses. Uses we have found so far include nappy rash barrier cream, moisturising baby's dry skin, prevents chafing in rolls of baby's skin, soothing baby's red and dry cheeks from teething. Our newest use is as a rash barrier under our baby's chin as his drooling from teething exacerbates. We tend to use it on our baby before he goes to bed to maximise the moisturising time as during the day we find it can rub it off more easily. It can also get sticky if he gets in over his clothes etc. We purchased a big tub when our son was only a week old and nearly five months on we haven't even used half of it. One of the best things about Vaseline is that the whole family can use it, I also use it for my own dry skin and lips.
This bath is fantastic. I was given it as a gift by a friend and as such had not done much research into baby baths before my son was born, it has only been since I have used friend's baths on the odd occasion or have seen others in the shops that I have realised how excellent this product is. From the first time we used it when my son was 2 days old we have been able to place him in the bath and have our hands completely free. The built in baby mould means that you can freely wash your baby without worrying that they might slip out of your arms. Now that he is bigger (5 months) he can lie in there and splash around and play quite happily without us having to hold on to him. The bath can be placed either inside or outside your big bath - we tend to keep it inside the big bath to limit the splashing water all around the bathroom and also it can be quite awkward to lift in and out of the big bath once filled with water. Our son can't quite sit up on his own yet and so we are still using the moulded part of the bath, however, even though he is quite a big baby I am confident there will be plenty of room for him to last in this bath for a few months to come. Overall a good investment as your baby will not grow out of this as quickly as other smaller baby baths.