Bathtime with Johnsons & Johnsons {Review}

I started going to Baby Massage classes with Jasmine when she was just a few weeks old. I wanted to do something together that would help us to bond but also allow me to learn some skills that I could use at home, on a day-to-day basis. At 9 weeks old, I began introducing massage into Jasmine’s bedtime routine  as I knew one of the benefits of massage was that it could help babies to sleep for longer and more deeply. 17 months on and I genuinely believe that having such structured bedtime routine, which included massage, was a huge factor in getting Jasmine to sleep so well from early on.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Not only was was massage good for us in terms of helping with sleep but I always felt like it brought us closer together. I looked forward to those few minutes every night where our total focus would be on each other. I loved hearing Jasmine’s happy gurgles and feeling connected by our eye contact. I would often sing or talk to Jasmine too as it just felt like the best way to end our day.

Johnson’s and Johnson’s have created products that are suitable for using on newborn skin. I always begin our bedtime routine with a bath – this was a surefire way to get Jasmine in a relaxed mood, particularly when she was a newborn. Even as a toddler, we use the bath as a tool to calm her down before it’s time to go to bed. We have always used JOHNSON’S® TOP-TO-TOE® Baby Bath which is gentle on skin and PH Balanced. It leaves Jasmine’s skin feeling super soft and as the name suggests it can be used all over the body, including baby’s hair. The best thing about this product, for me, is that it doesn’t irritate Jasmine’s eyes. We’ve used other shampoos in the past and they have always resulted in Jasmine’s eyes being red and itchy after use. However, JOHNSON’S® TOP-TO-TOE® Baby Bath promises ‘no more tears’ ensuring bath times are much happier and of course, more relaxing.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

After bath time, I would dry Jasmine and then lay her on top of a clean towel. I’d pour a small amount of JOHNSON’S® Baby Oil into my hands (a little goes a long way) and gently work it into Jasmine’s skin. Using slow and gentle strokes I’d spend just a few moments on each part of the body, in order not to over-stimulate her. JOHNSON’S® Baby Oil claims to lock in moisture and I certainly find that Jasmine’s skin feels just as smooth and soft the day after using the oil, as it does whilst I’m applying it.

If you would like to incorporate massage into your and your baby’s day then check out the video below to find out how:

Admittedly, now Jasmine is older and er, more wriggly we I don’t give her a massage as much as I used to. But every now and again, I’ll give her a foot massage or hand massage before bed as I enjoy the connection it gives us. I would encourage all new mums and dads to make time for baby massage. We benefited from it so much in the early days and I will always treasure those calm and relaxed moments we shared together.

Do you incorporate baby massage into your daily routine? 

**********************************

I am a member of the Netmums Blogging Network, a unique community of parent bloggers from around the UK who have been handpicked by the Netmums team to review products and brands on their behalf. I may have been paid expenses, and have been supplied with a product sample for this review, but retain all editorial control. All my Netmums Reviews will display the Netmums logo within the post.

This is a Netmum’s sponsored review.To find out more click the button:

 photo sugnatrue_zps37c179db.jpg
{ Find me on: BloglovinInstagram and Twitter }

Fisher-Price Dance & Move BeatBo Review

Over the last month or so, we’ve been lucky enough to try out and review the new Fisher-Price Dance & Move BeatBo toy. This baby toy is suitable from ages 9 months+. BeatBo is cute looking rabbit/alien type character who has three different modes:

  1. ‘Dance N Move’ – Plays music and sounds.
  2. ‘Learning and Games’
  3. ‘Sing Along’ using a recording button.

CGV42-bright-beats-dance-and-move-beatbo-d-1

It has an on/off switch (which I think is vital for all toys with sounds – and it’s surprising how many don’t have one!) and two volume settings.

Here’s a little video of me running through the features (I even did a bit of singing!) ;) –

What we loved: 

BeatBo requires 4AA batteries, which were supplied – hurrah!

It’s definitely a ‘grower’, meaning whilst Jasmine enjoys playing the toy now, she will get even more use/pleasure out of it as she gets older and understands how to play the learning games and activities.

The variety of sounds/music is huge. We’d had the toy for about a week before I’d felt like I’d heard all of the music/phrases. Normally I want to chuck noisy toys out the window within minutes of taking it out of the packaging – this certainly wasn’t the case with BeatBo.

It’s pretty robust – still intact, despite being thrown around by the ears/antenna by my toddler.

BeatBo’s light up belly – pressing it gives you even more sounds and music. Also, it just looks pretty cool and creates an instant disco for your little one!

What we didn’t like quite so much: 

Because Beatbo ‘dances’ he sounds quite mechanical when he moves, which is often louder than the music/sounds coming from the speaker.

The recording function, I feel, could be a bit better. The playback of recorded sound gets a bit lost in the music and  ends up sounding a bit strange. Also, at 17-months-old, Jasmine doesn’t really understand how this all works which is fine, but she ends up pressing the record button constantly which can be a tad annoying.

Final thoughts: 

I really like the Dance and Move BeatBo and he’s currently one of Jasmine’s favourite toys. She loves to boogie so it was always going to be a winner with us. As I mentioned above, there a couple things I feel could be improved upon but on the whole the BeatBo is a good ‘grower’ toy. It’s a toy that your child will enjoy for quite a long time, getting more out of it as they get older, and I think that justifies the £34.99 price tag.

Click here to buy the Fisher-Price BeatBo.

 

Does your little one enjoy a boogie? photo sugnatrue_zps37c179db.jpg

{ Find me on: BloglovinInstagram and Twitter }

Family Fever

It takes a village… {Jasmine starts nursery}

Do you know what’s funny? Every time I’ve attempted to write this blog post, I’ve immediately started trying to justify my decision to send Jasmine to nursery.  A decision that doesn’t effect anybody else but her, me and her dad. And yet, I feel somewhat defensive about it, like I should have to explain myself to everybody.

Perhaps part of the reason for my defensiveness is that I feel a tad guilty about it. Because that’s what us mums do, isn’t it? We make decisions for our children, in the hope that they are in their best interests, and then proceed to feel guilty about them. Regardless of the outcome.

Tomorrow Jasmine starts nursery. She’ll be going for two mornings a week for the foreseeable future. I’m both incredibly excited for her, and extremely nervous. I know she’ll be fine – she’s never been particularly phased by new faces and places. But it’s still going to be a big adjustment for us both.

However, I think it’s really important for Jasmine to get that social interaction. Living away from our family and friends means that she doesn’t spend time with other children and adults very often. Aside from the odd toddler group now and again, it’s just me and her 24 hours a day. I don’t think that’s particularly healthy for either of us. There’s an African proverb that I strongly agree with: “It takes a village to raise a child”. I think nursery is going to be as close as we get to a ‘village’ until we’re in a position where we can move closer to our families.

Not only will her time at nursery be beneficial for Jasmine, but also for me. Hence the ‘mum guilt’ I suppose. I’m looking forward to having a few hours a week to myself to do other things besides being ‘just be a mum’. Because lately, that’s what I’ve felt like – ‘just a mum’, as if there are no other parts of my personality. I’ve forgotten who I am and what other things I enjoy doing. I’ve become of  ‘Mumbot’, an automaton who wakes up – changes nappies, makes food, does washing, cleans the house and then goes to bed at night to do all it over again the next day. I’m looking forward to mixing things up a bit.

And would you look at that! Despite my best efforts I still ended up trying to justify my decision to the internet. It was bound to happen, wasn’t it?

I’m off to pack up Jasmine’s little rucksack for her big day tomorrow.

And, when the inevitable guilt creeps in, I’ll repeat over and over “It takes a village… It takes a village…”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Jasmine’s beautiful, personalised ‘ditsy print’ rucksack was kindly sent to us by the lovely folk at My1stYears. It will be perfect for taking her belongings to nursery, is small enough for her to carry herself (which she loves to do) and has adjustable straps. As well as the zipped main compartment of the rucksack, there is also a front zipped pocket too – ideal for carrying around Bunny! The text can be personalised in a range of different colours. It’s such a gorgeous little bag. The only downside? It makes her look so grown up! *sob*

rucksack

 photo sugnatrue_zps37c179db.jpg

{ Find me on: BloglovinInstagram and Twitter }

The Twinkle Diaries
Family Fever
Everything Mummy

Creaturepedia Book Review

A few weeks ago we were lucky enough to be sent ‘Creaturepedia’, a book from Wide-Eyed Editions, to review. The book, as you might have guessed, is an encyclopedia of creatures. As an animal lover, I was pretty sure I was going to love it but I never quite realised just how much.  From the moment I opened it up for the first time and saw the colourful illustrations bursting out of the page, I knew it was going to be good!

Creaturepedia Book Review

The creatures in the book are divided into categories by their character traits and talents, which is far more interesting than listing them alphabetically. For example there’s sections of the book called “The Champion Breath-Holders” and “The Masters of Camouflage”. Having the book laid out this way means that besides the bright and beautiful illustrations there are so many interesting facts that can be learned. For example, did you know a seal can hold it’s breath for 100 minutes? Or that a Tiger has night vision six times better than humans?

Jasmine, at 14 months old, is at an age where she’s just starting to become interested in books. She’ll bring one over to me and sit on my lap BUT her attention span is still very short. This is quite a big and heavy book (because it’s crammed with pretty much every creature you could ever think of!) so it’s probably a bit old for Jasmine at the moment. That’s not to say we haven’t had fun with it though – she enjoys pointing at the pictures as I call out the names of the animals. She’s already fascinated by animals so I’m sure this book will only enhance that fascination in the months and years to come.

creaturepedia book review

Despite the cartoon style of the pictures, I don’t think this book is limited to being loved by just children. I think it would make a nice gift for all animal-lovers, no matter what age. It wouldn’t look out of place on anybody’s bookshelf. In fact, at 28 years old, I still get giddy about learning new animal facts!

Here’s just some of the reasons why we loved Creaturepedia….

This is truly one of the most Colourful books I’ve seen in a long while. It is stunning!

This a book that you can pick up and Read over and over again – and you’ll find something new every time.

Endangered animals – this book has a whole section on these, including my favourite animal, the orangutan. I think it’s important that our children learn about these animals from a young age.

All ages – as I’ve already mentioned, I think this book would make such a great gift for anyone who loves and is interested in learning about animals.

There isn’t lots of Text on each page – it’s mostly focused on the visuals.

Most of the time I feel Unable to put this book down – it’s that good!

Some of the creatures in this book are Ridiculously cute!

Educational – it’s not just a book full of pretty pictures. There’s also lots that can be learned by reading this book.

Priced just £13.48 on Amazon and, in my eyes, totally worth it. It’ll be my go-to present for any upcoming children’s birthdays from now on!

This book has an Enormous variety of creatures in it – over 600, in fact!

Draw – This is the type of book that children would love to copy pictures out of. They would have hours of fun learning how to draw their favourite creatures. I think I’m going to give it a go myself, actually!

Illustrations – for me these are what make the book – quirky, funny and a feast for the eyes.

The Arapaima is a type of fish and just one of the creatures I had no idea existed until I had this book! It grows to 8ft long!!

Do you know any creature lovers, young or old, who would love this book?

 photo sugnatrue_zps37c179db.jpg

{ Find me on: BloglovinInstagram and Twitter }

*This book was sent to me for the purpose of this review but all opinions are my own.

My Family Picnic Favourites

I’ve said it before on my blog but, eating alfresco makes me ridiculously happy! There’s something about enjoying food and drink outdoors, whilst soaking up the sunshine – it just sends happy hormones shooting around my body. This week (Saturday 13th – Sunday 21st June 2015) is National Picnic Week so with that in mind I thought I’d do a round-up post of my family picnic favourites. Hopefully it will inspire you to pack up a bag of tasty goodies, grab your picnic mat and head out for a family picnic.

picnic faves title

My Family Picnic Favourites (1)

1. Hammy Floral Picnic Mat – £30.00

This absolutely gorgeous picnic blanket is from Ragged Rose and features a stunning pink and white floral design on both sides of the mat. On one side the the rose print is on a cotton material and the reverse side has the same print on PVC, making it easy to wipe clean after each use. What I like about this picnic mat is that when you’ve finished using it, you simply roll it up and tie the ends together. I much prefer this to picnic blankets that have Velcro straps because they seem to get messy and ruined very quickly. I now keep this mat folded up in Jasmine’s pushchair basket so I can grab it and use it at any given moment – it’s had plenty of use at the park and beach already.

2. OXO Good Grips Salad Dressing Shaker – £7.69

This nifty little product is a great spill/leak proof way of making up salad dressings quickly and easily. Just add your ingredients and shake it up!  The fact that it’s watertight means it’s perfect for taking your dressings out and about with you for picnics. It’s also handy for storing leftover dressings in the fridge. I love my salads for lunch, especially as I’m on the Slimming World plan, and this has been so useful for making up low-syn salad dressings.

3. Mustela SPF 50+ Very High Protection Sun Spray – £19.79

This stuff has been an absolute Godsend over the last couple of weeks. Jasmine is incredibly fair skinned and I’m always very conscious of that when we’re out enjoying the sunshine. Thankfully this sun spray is easy to use and I know that once it’s on she is protected. It’s not sticky like some suncreams and doesn’t have an overpowering scent either. It’s the best baby and children’s sun protection I’ve used – so much so, I also use it on myself. Now, if Mustela could just invent a way to keep Jasmine’s sunhat on – that would be fab!

4. Can you tell what it is yet?! It’s the OXO Strawberry Huller – £7.99

If you follow my blog then you will know that I am growing my own strawberries this summer so I just had to try this Strawberry Huller which, as you’ve probably guessed, removes strawberry leaves and core – all in one quick twist! I’ve found this works much better on bigger strawberries than smaller ones but it’s quite a fun little gadget. This is perfect if you’ve taken a punnet of strawberries with you on your picnic. Also, it would be particularly useful if you were decorating a cake using lots of strawberries and wanted to get rid of all the leaves quickly and effectively.

5. OXO Twist Top Bottle – £11.99

As a family, we often combine our picnics with a walk or bicycle ride to somewhere first, which in the summer, is thirsty work (particularly if you’re pulling kids along in a bike trailer or pushing them in a pushchair). This large twist top bottle (24oz) is ideal for those pit-stops along the way. I really like the twist top as it keeps the straw inside the bottle, keeping it clean. I’m terrible for not drinking enough water so I’m hoping that having this bottle will encourage me to take a drink out with me wherever I go.

6. BRITA Navelia Water Filter – £19.00

This BRITA water filter would be especially useful for those ‘at home’ picnics or BBQs in the garden. It’s probably the most stylish water filter I’ve seen around (with 6 fab colours/designs available) and it is slender enough to sit in your fridge shelf. There’s an inbuilt electric cartridge exchange indicator to remind you to change the cartridge every four weeks (you can buy a x6 pack of cartridges for around £16). I’ve noticed that our tap water has tasted noticeably nicer since using it.

And, of course, this picnic themed post wouldn’t be complete without sharing some of the yummy things we’ve been enjoying alfresco lately…

My family picnic favourites

As somebody who adores marshmallows, I have always wanted to try a proper American -style S’mores but have never found anywhere in the UK that sells them… until now! Check out these beauties from Anges de Sucre – you can even buy them online and have them delivered to your door. Do it now and thank me later! :)

Corkers crisps are produced just down the road from me in Cambridgeshire. They have a large range of flavours – from Sea Salt to Duck and Hoisin Sauce. However, my personal favourite are the Red Leicester and Caramelised Onion flavour. If you like your crisps to have a proper crunch – these will be right up your street! You can find these crisps available at National Trust properties, the Tate, selected Waitrose stores and also Corkers crisps

We were sent a range of delicious sweet treats from The Fabulous Bakers which have gone down VERY well indeed with my whole family. My favourite had to be the Triple Chocolate Muffins (obvs!), whilst Jasmine couldn’t get enough of the Mango and Pineapple Bars. The range is available to buy from Asda, Ocado and Sainsbury’s from £1.50 – £1.79 – bargain!

Personally, I do not like drinking tea or coffee (I know!) so I tend to stick to water. But let’s face it, water gets boring after a while so it’s nice to finally be able to add some flavour to my drinks when I’m out and about. I now don’t go anywhere without a handy Robinson’s SQUASH’D in my bag. They make up to 20 drinks and cost £2 each, which is obviously much cheaper than buying 20 bottles of flavoured drinks from the shop!

Do you have any favourite picnic products?

 photo sugnatrue_zps37c179db.jpg

{ Find me on: BloglovinInstagram and Twitter }

These products were sent to me for the purpose of this post. However, all opinions are my own.

Summer days
We're going on an adventure
sunshineonacloudydayblog:)