Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Must Haves for New Babies V2

So... since my first post The Must Haves for New Babies I have thought of a few more items that I would really love to share. I will get straight into it.

First off is the humble singlet suit. Some times they can be surprisingly hard to find in stores but they are well worth the search. They are perfect for almost all ages pre-toilet training. I put them on under Hannah's clothes and found it particularly useful as Hannah's Daddy was not great at holding her as well as keeping her top down. So during winter it was great knowing she wouldn't have a cold tummy.

Next, I was given a "Fuzzy Factory Mocha Puppy Mat" as a baby shower gift and I have also given one to a friend as a gift. It was brilliant! I loved it and Hannah loved it. It's degree of softness was ridiculous. I only wish they made them big enough for adults! They are also completely machine washable which makes life so much easier on everyone!
Next up is the old Jolly Jumper! What an amazing invention. I also wish they made these for adults. Hannah was only a few months old when I introduced her to it and she loved it. I used to clip it onto the door frame of our bathroom and had Hannah jump in it while I had a shower and it was the best. A few minutes peace to myself, she was happy and she was also in my vision the entire time. I haven't tried the other brands but I am sure they would be equally as great and I would also love to try the musical mat that sits under it one day as well.

We had an Fisher Price Ocean Wonders Aqua Swing for when Hannah was really little and found it to be wonderful. The seat can rotate to go side to side or back to front. It has a light show, music and sound effects and the mobile rotates. It kept Hannah quiet during those new born weeks long enough for her Daddy and I to eat our dinner. And when I just couldn't get her to sleep, this did the trick!
Finally, A friend of mine gave us a Fisher Price Rain-forest Bassinet. At the time we were renting a house where our bedroom was upstairs and the rest of the house including Hannah's room was down stairs. So having her sleep in our room was definitely a safety consideration as she would wake up several times a night. I loved this bassinet! At a touch of a button you could turn on the mobile or have a dim light shine across the baby so you can check on them in the dark. It was at the perfect height and had some storage underneath. It always felt safe and sturdy. I spent a long time after Hannah was upgraded to a cot, trying to find another mobile that was as great and user friendly as the one attached to this bassinet.

Any way there you have it. My now complete list of items that I loved so far through my parenting journey. Having my time over I would definitely get them again and no doubt if we are blessed with any more children they will get much more use. I asked this in the last post, but were there any products or purchases that you recommend to other new parents? Anything you loved and wouldn't do without? Did you think of any others since reading the first post?

I hope you enjoyed reading :-)


Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Must Haves for New Babies

Just two weeks out from our fourth (and hopefully final) move in just under two years, naturally by this point you actually willingly downsize and throw as many non essential items as possible. It lead me to thinking this morning about some of our can't live without, would definitely buy again baby purchases.  I know when I was still a Mummy to be I used to LOVE to hear what other Mums had tried and tested to help make my life that little bit easier. Every Mum and Dad is different and your lifestyle may lead you to need different things but I thought I would share some of mine.

Firstly, this is probably one of my most valued possessions and during all our moves it was the only thing that I would have killed someone over if it had been damaged. Maybe... mostly because of it's price tag.
The Growtime Kimberly Change Chest! It was priced at around that $700 mark but wait till you hear its features! This chest of draws has a removable extension that convert it into a change table, which can simply be taken off when your children are out of nappies. It has plenty of room beside the change mat for all your nappy changing needs. The draws obviously are great storage and they also feature a ‘topple free’ safety system. The table is so solid which is one of the things I loved the most about it. An expensive outlay but it can be used for a life time!

Secondly Invest in a good pram. Hannah at over 1 1/2 is still using our pram, we didn't switch to a stroller and I must say I wish we had done some more research on the pram we were going to purchase. Having one that is easy enough to steer with one hand in all conditions is so valuable. If and when we are blessed with number 2, I will be getting an upgrade! 

Next is the high chair. We originally got a basic Hi-Low chair meaning the height can be adjusted and it was good but we have just recently, so recently in fact that we haven't even used it yet brought a portable booster seat. I wish we had got one of these to start with. Some problems we encountered with the Hi-Low chair is that it at times was difficult to clean, and when Hannah sat in the seat with the tray on there was no way she was going to be able to see over the tray as well as into her bowl. The portable booster seat is a much better fit and it also makes life easier when going on holidays for a week. You just take it along and the wiggling toddler is able to sit at the table with everyone else and is still long enough to sit through a meal... priceless!!!

In our car I have a Baby View Mirror and even when I am in the passenger side I miss it! I am constantly checking on Hannah when we are travelling even just around town. I check if she's falling asleep, chocking on her water, getting into the bags of shopping on the back seat, the list goes on. It was less useful when she was still rear facing but once she was turned around I have found it to be fantastic. Nothing beats safety when you are driving, by not having to turn around to check all the time.

For fear of this post getting a little long winded, I will add just one more. Maybe there is potential for a part 2 here somewhere. Finally another product I just loved is the Pigeon Training Toothbrush set of 3. I introduced Hannah to the stage one brush very early on. It was fantastic for teething. It comes with a little safety ring to prevent your little one choking. The stage 3 brush is pretty much a small toothbrush to prepare for dental hygiene. You can never start forming healthy habits too early!

Well there you have it, my top 5 must haves. I might just have to do a part 2 at some point because I am not even finished writing this one and I have already thought of at least 3 more items I would love to share.

What were your must have products when starting out with a new baby that you could not live without?

Monday, September 2, 2013

Cyber Safety

First and foremost: To all the bloggers and social media user readers out there... which I think it is safe to say nearly all of you, PLEASE, PLEASE take the time to watch the following YouTube clip and take the lollypop experience!

In an attempt to get this experience to reach as many people as possible I am sharing it again here.

It really touched home for me as recently I was approached by a stranger through a comment on one of my blog posts, who asked me if the baby in the photos was mine? And then he proceeded to ask me if he could have her photos? With no intention of allowing this, I asked him what he wanted to do with them. He replied, he wanted to put them on his website. I searched for him and only found a Google+ account which had nothing baby/children related on it. I blocked him and it left me with some big decisions to make about my personal blog and the photos I would put on there in future.
So I can definitely relate to the comment “There is no use in taking the ‘it wont happen to me’ attitude, as no one realizes when they are being preyed on.” from ICT’s & Pedagogy.
If this can reach even just one person who changes their settings or re-thinks putting up a particular photo or identifying too much about where they live and prevents this one person from becoming a victim, then this will be worth it.
Also worth mentioning here is Exif. “Have you heard about Exif – Exchangeable image file format? It’s a specification for how ICTs (e.g. digital cameras/phones etc) that handle image and sound files store information about an image. It’s so that all of the software and hardware involved can understand how to read an image or sound they are given.
Did you know that Exif can include location information. In fact, it can include the longitude and latitude at which the image was taken and store that information with the photo. Most modern mobile devices (e.g. smart phones and tablets) include a GPS and will add this information to every photo taken with the device.” as mentioned by David Jones in our learning journey this week at uni.
You can use this website http://regex.info/exif.cgi to check your images.
It may be a good idea to be smart about when you turn location services on for photos and when and how to turn it off. This website http://www.imore.com/daily-tip-turn-gps-geolocation-iphone-photos-protect-privacy provides some great tips on how to turn GPS or geolocations off.
We all have some power over how much information we share when we are using the internet and creating a digital footprint. We need to learn how to gain this power and how to use it effectively!
Finally here is a link to a UK website called Thinkuknow which I found very useful. The site covers a range of topics about how to teach students/our children of all ages how to use the internet/phones safely, and shows videos, that can help kids relate to the situations they may face.
Furthermore I have also been introduced to another useful website as a teacher, I think it will be worth it’s weight in gold called Know Your Meme I believe this one would be useful as a parent as well.
I really hope this information can help others but particularly parents out there to protect themselves and their families.