“Must Have” Baby Products

The Baby Industry makes enormous amounts of money every year in selling parents to be and new parents everything under the sun, whether they need it or not …

I have to admit that, while I try to be sensible about things, I too get sucked into the marketing ploy sometimes – with its soft colours and cute items and gadgets supposed to make life with baby somewhat easier …

We spent around £2000 on Winry up to her first Birthday including everything from cot, travel system, clothes ect… Sameth has just celebrated his 1st Birthday and tallys up around £800 in spend…
(because we already had most things due to being sensible and choosing neutral colours first time round as often as we could and especially with expensive items)

But Babies actually need suprisingly little …
After all “in the olden days” babies slept in drawers, clothes were handed down through generations, breastfed and still survived …
Yes there was a time when there were no vibrating bouncy chairs, washing machines and i-pads and Families consisted of more children than today … and it was OK …

Nevertheless those things all have their merits in our busy ever changing world and many a Parent find themself with their due date fast approaching, trying to figure out what it is they actually need to keep their tiny human safe and comfy …

I was in Mothercare once with Craig and Winry and at the time about 8 months pregnant with Sameth when a couple in the Cot/Crib/moses basket aisle said “excuse me but would you mind telling us which one we should get – we just don’t know what to do” …

The stuff people find essential is of course going to vary hugely on circumstance and situation but I wanted to share with you my top 3 must haves. Items that I really would not have wanted to do without …

1. The Giant Muslin

These things are super versatile !!! You can use them for pretty much anything: swaddling blankets, sunshades, floormat, burp cloth, breastfeeding cover, towell and the list goes on …
I have a pack of 3 and that’s plenty… they have been a true life saver more than once !!!

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2. The simple wrap sling

I didn’t discover this until winry was about 5 months old but I have loved loved loved it ever since ! They are fairly cheap and so much nicer than the complicated buckle and strap type ones…
I could carry winry around in it for hours on end well into my second pregnancy and they are super handy to have on hand.
Mine is a moby because they are a little bit longer than other brands which is important for me since I’m a larger size and the extra length gives me more flexibility with different wrapping methods.
People often say they look so complicated to tye but that is a big misconception – it takes me about a minute if not less and we’re away …

The wrap has come in especially handy when we were living in our second floor flat and I had to get up and down the stairs with a newborn sameth and winry – sam was safe in the wrap and I had two hands free – one for winry and one for a bag of shopping.
They are also great for colicky babies or grizzly teething babies – neither of mine have ever cried while in a wrap and they love being up and close cuddling with you. Some mothers even manage to breastfeed in them but I never quite mastered that skill …
They are also great for travelling – we flew to Germany with Winry when she was 7 months old and I felt a lot calmer walking around the airport knowing she was strapped to my body and could’t be snatched or go missing in the hubbub ( I may be paranoid but better safe than sorry and all that …)
So definitely a great investement!

 

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3. Baby rocking chair

I was very reluctant about this when we had Winry and convinced Babies should just get used to sleeping in their beds as soon as possible … But I would not want to be without it now, especially when you have more than one child…
You can take it with you when visiting someone and baby can still nap in their familiar place.
You can strap them in there for a few minutes to keep them safe while taking a shower or similar and most babies love napping in them with the curled up position and gentle motion …
They don’t have to be fancy and expensive but they can be a true sanity saver …

 

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I have also given myself plenty a pat on the back for resisting the pink when we first had winry … I would advise any new parent who intends to have more than one child to stick to neutral colours especially with equippment and gadgets that may be expensive but only get used for a short time …
I think it was well worth the “oh isn’t he cute” … “She’s a girl actually” conversation and saved us a lot of money in the long run 😉

Feel free to share your baby must buys and favourite items in the comments – i’d love to know if i missed out on an important one 😉

until next time …

ta da

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ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

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Watch this, laugh at me and then please read on …

Oh dear …

I do love it when things go viral for a good cause and this is the newest one … the ice bucket challenge …
In the last week or so I have seen countless of these videos about and it intrigued me as these things usually serve a purpose …
So I looked into it and found out that it is all about raising awareness of a condition called Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – ALS

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amyotrophic_lateral_sclerosis

This is scary stuff …

I also came across this video – well worth watching! …

The idea of the challenge basically is to dump a bucket full of ice cold water over your head and this then entitles you to nominate someone else to do the same –
the nominee must then dump said bucket filled with ice cold water over their head withing 24h or else they have to donate $100 (originates in the USA) to the ALS Association…
FYI – the UK’s version of the charity is the MND Association (ALS is also known as Motor Neuron Disease).

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This has not only raised a few casual millions to aid the fight against this disease but also helped raise a massive amount of awareness …

So because of all this and also because… well who can resist a good band-wagon opportunity really 😉 I gave it a go …

I nominate anyone who fancies it …

I’d love to see David Walliams, Michael McIntyre and John Bishop do this Challenge  … but nominating them seems like an awfully long shot 😉

until next time …

ta da

A Great Man, Depression, Masks

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I have not written a blog in the last few weeks as we have struggled with bugs and poorly children but I feel compelled to voice my admiration for a great man who is sadly no longer with us…

On the 12th of August news came out of the passing of the great Robin Williams.
The world of Entertainement lost one of – if not the most brilliant actor and comedian of our time to the dark heavy cloud of depression.
This much beloved man was found in his home after having comitted suicide and the news channels and social media sites have overflown with outpourings of love for this kind and immensely talended man.

Robin Williams was my absolute personal favourite! He was my imaginary dream dinnerguest … you know when someone asks you “if you could have dinner with one person – dead or alive who would it be?”
My most beloved movies would not be the same without him. Dead Poets Society, What Dreams may come, Patch Adams, Good Will Hunting, Bicentennial Man, Mrs Doubtfire …
What a Career…

Both me and my husband were utterly shocked and have not stopped talking about him since yesterday …

It is so difficult to understand how a man who seemed to have it all and was so respected and loved could have felt so low that only one, dark and desperate door seemed to remain open…
He will be sorely missed by so many…

Along with countless moving tributes also came an array of articles and coverage on the topic of depression…

Depression is still often seen as a taboo topic, spoken about in hushed tones and with bowed heads in apologetic language.
When talking about such a delicate topic one can’t help but feel awkward, embarassed, guilty, ashamed and misunderstood…
Relationships break down, people lose their jobs and liveliehoods and all too often their lives…

We need to speak out about this…

People who suffer from this disease struggle to explain how they feel because those feelings are not something that can be explained to a person who can still hold a rational thought …

How do I know this ?
I am currently suffering from it myself for the 4th time at the age of 26 …

I belive depression can be a one off occurence in someones life – something caused by circumstances such as a trauma, loss or a period of extreme stress in ones life…
And I think there are people who are genetically more prone to suffer from it than others. There is some scientific evidence to back me up on this but frankly I dont feel the need to reference this here right now…

I am very very lucky in that I have always been able to come back from that dark place although admittedly at my worst, thoughts of suicide crossed my mind more than once.

I am shaking slightly as I sit here writing this, it is such a personal thing to share and I have no idea who might read this once I put it out there for the world to see …
However I have come to the conclusion that I don’t need to feel ashamed for seemingly having this predisposition… I’m not looking for pity either, I realise that I lead a very privileged life in so many ways.
I am proud of myself for having been able to seek help when I needed it, being brave enough to expose myself in that way, before it was too late…
And that is the most important thing…

For onlookers it is difficult to know what to do. Words and offerings of help they believe to be encouraging and helpful often feel like a slap in the face.
For me depression feels like snow in March after a long cold winter… months upon months of grey, wet and cold and the deep and desperate longing for some sunshine and green leaves…
But day after day waking up to more snow and rain and cold… so cold you can’t feel your toes… so grey you don’t want to open the curtains because you can’t bear the sight of another raindrop…
Tired all the time… Confused and lonely even when surrounded by people who clearly and openly love you…
It feels different for other people of course…

The point is… There is not much that other people can do apart from being there for those that suffer.
Being there so that they may realise that it’s OK and that they can ask for help without judgement.

Robin seemed to have it all, but sometimes the luckier, whealthier and loved a person is – the more they “have”, the less deserving they feel of the life they are living.
And the harder it becomes to bear the burden of keeping up with the Image one has created for oneself.

Because this illness is still perceived as a sign of weakness and failiure, many people suffering from it wear a mask every day to conceal the deamons within.
And there may come a time for some people when the mask no longer seems to fit and imagining a life without such mask is like imagining a life without lungs.

I truly hope that he can rest in peace without pain and worry and suffering…

“You have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, here and now, and nothing can stand in your way”.
 Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Robin Williams, his work and incredible talent will not be forgotten.
My heart goes out to his Family in this unimaginable time.