Monthly Archives: November 2012

Top 10 toys for the Holidays!

Has your baby started to look lovingly at your iPhone as if it is its next meal? Then it is time to invest in some distractions, particularly with the Holidays right around the corner! With so much in the market to choose from, our network of jet setting mommies has shared with us their top 10 portable toys for babies aged 3 to 6+ months. What’s more, all of these retail for much under £20.

  1. Sophie la girafe – A French favourite for decades, Sophie has the added benefit of being a fantastic teether and  washable (for those clean-freak mommies, like one of us!). Repeated washes may make it loose its squeak (which is not always a bad thing!)
  2. Baby maracas and bells- We have not met a baby yet that does not love these. Extra portable and affordable, so you can always have one in your bag for ’emergencies’. You can buy many versions of this on amazon.
  3. Captain Calamari by Lamaze- It crinkles, it rattles, it shines and with 8 legs, it even entertains a couple of babies at the same time! (A close favourite is the Babyplay Octopus).
  4. Baby Touch books by Ladybird books- Many different ones to choose from and ideal for distraction when you need a minute to yourself!
  5. Sorting bus from the Early Learning Centre- One of those toys that will keep giving…babies tend to start playing with the shapes and re-discover the toy once they start understanding that the shapes fit in the bus. A bit on the bulky side, but we found that taking a couple of shapes with you in your bag does the trick.
  6. Edushape magic mirror crab bath toyWe all know that babies love mirrors! This features a baby safe mirror and has been a favourite for bathtime and beyond. Also a nice one to take on holidays as it can pack flat in your suitcase.
  7. Classic discovery book by Lamaze  This is one of our babies favourite. It has survived many holidays (including being thrown in the sea). Easy to hang on the pram, the baby gym or the moses basket. Babies just love that crinkly sound….
  8. Anything with tugs! What is it with tags and babies? They just love them  (I am hoping my baby is trying to understand washing instructions as most of them are a mystery for me). 
  9. Winkel by Manhattan Toy – Very good teething toy as babies cannot seem to leave it alone!
  10. Any electronic gadget that you frequently use – whatever is in your hands, your baby will want! Think remote control, iPad, blackberry, and basically anything else you do not want them to have! (Note, we are NOT suggesting you buy your  baby one of these. . .they don’t seem to like a copy version – it must be the original owned by mommy or daddy).

So that’s it. That is THE ultimate travel toy guide.  OK we know some of these will be noisy for the neighbour but the sound of the plane engine will nullify it, right?! 😉

Before we sign off though, we have to point out a caveat to this list: we had to restrain ourselves so as to not allow Lamaze toys to dominate it. We aren’t biased or anything, but every single one of the mommies coincided that 1 Lamaze toy equals endless hours of fun for a baby, which makes them great companions on long plane rides. Having said that, we tried to include a variety of toy options that work well, but, if in doubt you can’t go wrong with individual Lamaze toys!

In the meantime, we would be curious to know whether your baby’s favourite toy didn’t  make it on here? If you tell us what it is, we will add it to our next instalment of toy suggestions (as the above was just the beginning)!

Advertisements

Unnecessary Baby Paraphernalia

So you’ve out you’re having a baby – congratulations! After the excitement, celebrations, and day dreaming about your future little thing, the panic sets in. All the things you have to buy can become quite overwhelming. We’ve been there, so we want to help you avoid some of the same mistakes we made by sharing our no need to buy list to save you some money! Once moomboo hits the stores you’ll be able to eliminate more from your list all together, but for now, here are 3 things you can definitely do without (although there is 1 you may still want to buy anyway). This is the first post of our series called – “Unnecessary Baby Paraphernalia” so do keep coming back to visit us to learn more!

This photo showcases the Baby Jogger with 2 maxi cosi seats, but they can easily be converted to normal seats, or basinets

1. Two Prams/Buggies– you do not need a travel and a day pram. Don’t be suckered into buying two. Just find one that suits your family planning style. One of us fell for the trap and ended up buying the City Select Baby Jogger and the City Select Mini. While both prams are lovely, we could have just stuck to the first one as its compact enough to travel with and can incorporate the maxi cosi seat on it when you’re traveling by car or plane a further so you don’t have to take a pram plus a car seat. In addition, it fits two kids on the same frame so that when the family gets larger there is no need to buy another pram. The other one of us has the Bugaboo, which is sufficiently narrow to travel with anywhere. Having said that, its worth investing in a pram cover if you are traveling with the Bugaboo! (We will do a review of our prams in a later post for more details).

Korbell is a very easy to use, sleek design, but isn’t necessary!

2. Nappy/Diaper Bin– Besides being expensive, they are not that useful. We each bought one (a different model) and there was nothing wrong with them, but we could have saved ourselves the money. One of us lives in a house with various floors, and keeps the bin in the bathroom adjacent to the baby’s room on the top floor. Because the baby isn’t necessarily changed in his room every time, diapers end up getting thrown in the normal trash downstairs, or in the normal master bathroom bin. It makes no difference whether they are in the special bin or the regular bin – they are stinky anywhere!

I know we said SAVE money by not buying a nappy bag, BUT if you don’t buy all the stuff we mention on this blog, you can use the money saved to buy this one to use as your nappy bag for every day use! 😉

3. A Diaper Bag – Besides the fact that it is hard to find a fashionable, sleek, simple, well designed diaper bag*, it is just unnecessary  You can use a large bag that you already own. We’ve used a variety of bags ourselves but found that large open ended and easy to access are the best. You can always buy a  bag organiser for the inside if you’re one of those (as one of us is) that loves to have everything neatly stacked and easy to find. If you breastfeed and need to carry your bottles around you can always put your bottles in a bottle carrier inside your bag (you’ll have to invest in one of those anyway, whether it comes with a diaper bag or not).  It will be much cheaper and won’t cramp your style!

* Having said all of this, if you are going to buy one, the bottom of this blog shows an example of a diaper bag that doesn’t look like one (By Pitterpac)! It looks like a beautiful version of a Bottega Veneta bag, but is much cheaper; it has good internal organization system, and it comes in a stunning (unisex) individualistic color. What is not to love?

I know, we’re cheeky – good mommies who still want to look fashionable. But remember, there are many more things you can do without (who doesn’t love to have yet another gorgeous bag with the excuse that it is a diaper bag?). Stay tuned for more ideas on what you need not buy!

Pitterpac Changing Bag

 

We’d like to know what you wish you had saved up on too! Let us know – what are your top 3 unnecessary baby items?

As mommies who travel a lot with our babies, we are always on the look out for convenient things that allow us to strike the right balance between our baby’s comfort and portability.  Moomboo solves the sleep/play/change/travel problem, but as promised, we will be sharing our tips about all things baby.

Food is a topic that is close to both our hearts. As mediterranean’s who love to eat, we want to share that passion with our babies so they can grow up to be good, hearty, healthy eaters.  We believe that both homemade food and organic baby food jars contain lots of healthy minerals and great nutrition for our babies. Here are three of our favourite travel feeding options:

1) The Little Green Pouch – this is a phenomenal idea, that allows you to put your own homemade food inside a squeezable pouch. Young babies learn to squirt this into their mouth early, so its a perfect solution for those independent babies that want to self feed, as it maximizes the likelihood that food will land inside their mouth!  It is also great for older children who want to eat a hearty meal on the road.  It is a shame they only do this in the US and Canada for now.

2) Squirt Spoon Baby Food Dispenser– for those who like to be  fed with a spoon, here is a great mess free idea. It is a spoon that holds your baby’s food inside it. You can put both baby jar food or your own homemade version.

3) B. Box Essential Baby Bottle– if you’ve  moved on to formula (or were always on it) to complement your weaning, you probably crave a bit more mobility to avoid being chained to the house for what seems to be endless baby meals! (can you say 3 solid feeds and 3 bottles!?) This bottle holds the powder to dispense and the water separately, until you’re ready to mix them! It also looks nice, just the way we like it.

All of these options will allow your baby to self feed when ready, but will minimize the mess for you, and make your life easier as you travel. That is just the way we like things to be at Moomboo!

What are your best on the road mess free tips?

Did the title make you cringe? Then you are not alone. You are one of many parents who has negative associations with the phrase “sleep training”. We did too; until we saw the benefits.

By Nicole Delaney Photography

Sleep is an acquired skill like anything else, and as parents it is our role to equip our children with the necessary tools to be happy and healthy. I am sure as a new parent, you will agree, that sleepless nights catch up to you in the form of a bad mood, a short fuse, delirium, exhaustion, lower ability to process information, and in some, even depression. So why would we want our babies to suffer the same fate? Not teaching them this precious skill could not only lead them to be poor sleepers in the long term, but could also lead you to find yourself in situations that in hindsight seem to be funny, but at the time are no laughing matter. Do you really want to find yourself driving around the block, walking up and down the stairs, moving in circles with baby on the maxi cosi, or rocking the crib with your foot all night just to try to get a wink of sleep while your baby does also?

There are many approaches to sleep training. On one side of the scale is the “letting your child cry it out all night” approach, and on the other is a controlled “letting your child settle themselves on their own” approach.  Although we both applied the latter, there are variations in the approach we each used.

What we are trying to say, is that it is important for every parent to determine the approach that best suits them.  No one can tell you what is best for you and your family. However, we can both attest to the advantages of sleep training our children early and combining this with the advantages of a nap/sleep routine (which incidentally is linked to an eating routing too, but more on that another time).  Not only does sleep training give you predictability in planning your own day (not to mention gives you extra time to sleep at night!), but it also makes you feel empowered that you can help your child achieve something wonderful: the ability to look forward to sleep, and the power to settle themselves – their first step at independence (and happiness!)

Although there are many good books out there such as . . .

  • “The Complete Sleep Guide” by Gina Ford
  • “The Baby Whisperer” by Tracy Hogg
  • “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child” by Dr Marc Weissbluth
  • “Your Baby Week by Week” by Dr. Caroline Fertleman and Simon Cave
  • “5 Days to a Perfect Night Sleep” by Dr. Eduard Estivill

. . . sometimes there is nothing like the experience of other parents to help out.

So, we thought, we would use this blog to share our very personal experiences in teaching our own babies how to sleep. We both applied the “teaching your child how to settle themselves” approach, but we did so differently. Today, both our babies are like clockwork  they tell us what time of the day it is with their yawns signalling that its nap time, and their moaning signalling that its eating time (saves us carrying a wrist watch!)

Little by little, we will divulge some of our best tricks to hopefully help you and your babies get off to a simpler, smoother start!

And soon, you’ll be able to get your hands on a moomboo to help you sleep train while reducing changing variables in the baby’s environment, so you know you are giving them the best chance to learn!

In the meantime, why not send us your sleep training story?

Moomboo is coming soon!

Moomboo (SleepPlayChange) is a multifunctional baby sleeping pod that will provide babies with comfortable stability and parents with mobility. Moomboo’s purpose is to make babies and parents happier. Because moomboo helps babies develop healthy sleeping habits in a safe environment, parents maximise their own sleep time, and can thus maintain their mobile lifestyle. Here is how it works:

 

Stage 1: Moomboo allows babies to co-sleep safely with their parents in those first few weeks.  Moomboo encompasses the baby recreating the womblike environment (warmth, coziness and safety), and simultaneously creates a safe barrier between parent and child. We know those first few nights can be stressful, so moomboo wants to make them as enjoyable as possible.

Stage 2: As the baby grows and is ready to sleep a little further away, you can transition moomboo onto its specially designed stand (which incidentally helps babies who suffer from silent/regular reflux and/or colds) with minimal disruption. The baby continues to sleep in the same womblike atmosphere close to your bed, but slowly gets used to having a bit more space for itself.

As you begin to sleep train your child in those first few months, you’ll notice they will start getting up early but not wanting food. That is where moomboo’s baby play insert comes in handy. Just pop it onto moomboo and let the baby amaze at their new play area and beautiful dangling objects in the comfort of their own beds.

Stage 3: Once your baby is a little older, and its ready to transition into is own crib or cot, moomboo helps minimize what can be the most stressful period in the baby’s first 6 months. By placing moomboo inside the baby’s crib/cot, the baby will continue to recognize the comfortable shape, its smell and warmth, and feel more at ease in their new environment.

What is great about moomboo for parents and babies alike, is that it can collapse into a small, portable travel pod which you can take with you to mom’s house or on your carrier luggage on a plane. This means your baby never has to go without its sleeping pod, play gym and changing station, no matter where in the world you are. This allows parents to sleep train their babies with consistency, minimising variables that may prevent babies (and parents) from catching those additional zzzzzz’s! The comfortable, anti-bacterial product, and indentation of the pod, make it the safest sleeping alternative for your baby, largely reducing the chance of SIDS, and giving you peace of mind that your baby has the very best.

The greatest gift you can give a baby (and yourself!) is teaching them how to sleep, so they can be happy, healthy and well rested. Moomboo’s mission is to do just that – help your baby so you canfeel proud and confident that you’ve given them the very best!

As moomboo gets closer to its release, we will update you with more information.

Founded by two very mobile new moms who witnessed the benefits of sleep training their babies early on, but saw their efforts go to waste every time they traveled, we want to save new parents from buying as many duplicative gadgets and making as many mistakes as we did in our first few months. In this blog, we will share our best travel, sleep training, and efficient baby gadget buying tips. So watch this space and let us know what you think!!!