Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Mummy Must Have Review | Looking Good Babe Care Package

When I was pregnant the first time around I was so adamant that I wasn't prepared and had no idea what I was doing {when infact I ended up being closer to over prepared}. I packed my hospital bag by 29 weeks, which I thought was super late, but ended up being 10 weeks before I needed it. I bought all the things, and I mean alllll the things, because I had no idea what I did and didn't need so I just took the approach of I'll have one of everything thanks, just incase {and let me tell you baby shops love customers like that}. Unfortunately being super prepared didn't help me feel like I knew what I was doing... it just meant I ended up with a heap of clothes and items that I never used {and have hoarded since in the hopes I would use them for the next baby, you know to justify the outrageous amount of money I spent preparing last time}.

On the bright side this meant I've had a lot less to buy for baby number 2, which is a good thing {it also helps that we're having another girl}. However, it's also lulled me into a false sense of security as I've coasted along the last few months with an it'll be right mate, I've already got everything attitude. Now I find myself at 37 weeks pregnant freaking out that I don't have a cot mattress for the baby to sleep on, or sheets for said mattress for that matter. I also haven't fully packed my hospital bag {because I forgot I'll need things like pyjamas and socks, who even forgets normal stuff like that? Me, obviously}. In fact I've been so laid back this time I've pretty much forgotten babies need things other than nappies, nappy cream, wipes and clothes. Of course now I'm slightly freaking out I only have a few weeks to get all the things I've forgotten. Seriously how do we forget about all the other stuff?

Thankfully my friend Vicky from Little Minx Milestones has come to my rescue and provided me with the most awesome looking good babe care package that covers so many grooming essentials for newborns. Despite having children older than mine, she clearly hasn't forgotten what it's like to have a newborn and all the little extras they need, which is good news for first time mums and all the mums out there like me {who clearly still have baby brain 3yrs later}. One of the main things I'd forgotten about is grooming, I totally forgot how much effort goes into caring for a tiny person's skin, hair and nails.

It's easy to forgot how razor sharp baby nails are, and how they grow like weeds, as soon as you trim them the little buggers grow back twice as long. Thanks to the new babies from mother's group, who've recently reminded me of this fact. The looking good babe care package includes both nail scissors and clippers with stainless steel rounded tip cutting edges to make trimming little nails safer and easier. Hopefully they'll make me less anxious about cutting her tiny little fingers. Have you ever cut baby nails? It's seriously nerve-wracking! Luckily there's also a natural wood and bristle nail brush included so I can clean under her nails as well {which will also come in handy on the days I'm too chicken to cut them}.

Then there's baby hair, some people give birth to perfectly bald little babes, not me. I have this magical talent for producing babies with a full head of hair and they never seem to lose it, it just grows longer and longer. I should've known from all the heartburn I experienced that bub would come out looking like a monkey, but it was still a total shock to see a baby with a full head of hair. Judging by the amount of acid reflux and heartburn I've been having this time, this one will come out looking like a gorilla, and if she's anything like her sister the cradle cap will be horrendous {I have so many fun things to look forward to}.

The Little Minx Milestones care package includes the cutest little wooden brush and comb set. Her big sister is very jealous that these are just for the baby. The bristles are so soft and the wood is so much more special than a standard plastic set. The package also includes fairy hair detangler spray {love that it's called fairy detangler, so cute}. If you've never used detangler spray, you need to start, it's like spray on conditioner for kids and it works a treat getting knots out. We still use "magic spray" with bub now and she's nearly 4.
The package also includes a natural konjac sponge which is gentle on sensitive newborn skin and helps to restore the pH level of the skin. Bub had extremely dry and sensitive skin due to her allergies, so I'm fully expecting this little babe to have the same. I'm really keen to see how much kinder this sponge is to her skin compared to run of the mill washers. The package also includes a rubber duck to make bath time fun. I'm sure her sister will ensure that the duck is extremely animated to entertain her!

The looking good babe care package really does cover all the grooming needs of a newborn from nails to hair, and it even includes silicone finger brushes to care for new teeth once they come through. Like all their other packages, Little Minx Milestones have put a great deal of effort into curating an extremely useful gift pack for new mums. Little Minx Milestones is a family owned business started by fellow mum Vicky, who put her own experience plus recommendations from over 300 other families together to create a online store that offers a range of care packages, survival kits and presents for babies, toddlers and families. Little Minx Milestones range includes proven organic, homeopathic, fair trade and environmentally conscious products that have been extensively tried and tested. Little Minx offer a comprehensive range of care packages and survival kits providing solutions for children of all ages from pre-birth right through to school age. I have no doubt Vicky has been a saviour for many new mums and has provided many family members and friends with the perfect baby shower gifts as well, she's certainly made me feel a lot more prepared for the imminent arrival of baby number 2.

Did you forget all the things before having your second baby too? {Please say yes}

Toni x

Disclosure - I was provided a looking good babe care package from Little Minx Milestones for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed in this review are based on my experience with the products, and my very real experience with baby brain! I did not receive payment for this review and have purchased products from Little Minx Milestones previously.

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Monday, March 6, 2017

Mummy Must Have Review | The Happy Me Shop

When bub was about 14 months old we were referred for speech therapy because she had a few issues. She was considered to be behind in the number of words she said for her age at the time and she also wouldn't engage with many people other than me. They were quite worried that she had some sort of sensory processing disorder so we set about trying to improve both her language skills and getting her to engage more through various therapy activities.

A lot of the activities we did involved therapeutic play where we were deliberately trying to get her to interact and actively turn take during games or different scenarios to encourage her to engage with us. We tried various different play scenarios including sensory play, puzzles, imaginary play and lots of little fidget toys and gadgets. Over the course of 9 months of speech therapy and playing she transformed into an almost unrecognisable child, her language developed beyond her age level, she happily engaged with us and children she didn't know and she now won't stop talking {all day, everyday}.

It was during her therapy sessions, and seeing how much progress she was making, that my love of educational toys and sensory play really came to life and I took all the skills from therapy and applied them to our everyday life at home. Needless to say our house now looks somewhat like a cross between a daycare centre and a toy shop because I've filled it with so many educational toys and we're always doing learning through play activities. Even though T would argue we already have enough toys, I'm constantly adding to our collection, especially when I find awesome new products I haven't seen before. My latest little stash of new toys have come from The Happy Me Shop, which I discovered by meeting owner Rachelle in a Facebook group.

The Happy Me Shop is owned and run by Rachelle, a clinical social worker who's had her own counselling practice for over 10 years. Rachelle has experience treating many mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression and trauma, in both adolescents and young children. She also works with clients who have development issues such as autism, learning disorders and sensory processing issues. Throughout her career as a counsellor Rachelle has used many different products to help clients build new skills during therapy and it was witnessing the many benefits from using these products in her therapy sessions that inspired her to create an online store. She's passionate about sharing her knowledge to help others and wanted to give everyone access to a variety of therapist recommended products, rather than limiting their benefits to those attending therapy sessions, so The Happy Me Shop came to fruition.

The Happy Me Shop stocks a range of therapist recommended products including fidget tools, sensory play items and books for both kids and adults. Products stocked can be used to treat sensory issues, stress, anxiety, autism, to develop problem solving skills and also to naturally aid in fine and gross motor skill development through play. My favourite products for bub have of course been the sensory play items and fidget tools as we do a lot of sensory play and fine motor based activities naturally throughout our day. 

I chose a selection of different fidget and sensory items that I knew would be great for everyday play, and are also small enough to fit into the canvas busy bag we take to appointments each week. Being heavily pregnant we have to attend a different appointment almost on a weekly basis at this point in time and it's essential for me to have a few different play items on hand to keep her entertained, because as you can imagine doctor and hospital appointments aren't very interesting for toddlers. Our favourite items for the busy bag have been the 3d worm puzzle, magnetic maze and small elastic ball.

The worm puzzle and magnetic maze are both great for fine motor skills as well as increasing her concentration as she has to work through both activities until she gets to a desired outcome. They're also great for promoting independent play {which is necessary when I'm having important medical discussions}. They also both help with hand/eye co-ordination as she manoeuvres the individual puzzle pieces and magnetic wand, plus they're both fun!

The small elastic ball is a great tool for sensory input, even I can't resist twirling it around in my hands. It's great for pulling, scrunching, bouncing, throwing, catching {and especially good for chasing with our kitten when we're at home}.

Without a doubt both bub's and my favourite of all the items we've been playing with is the sensory dual drop timer. It reminds me of a lava lamp {which I was obsessed with as a teenager} but it's not hot or glass so it's great for younger kids. There's something so calming about watching the little blobs drop down through all the levels and the fact that the orange and pink blobs race against each other to the bottom makes it even more interesting. I could seriously watch it all day and bub is always going and grabbing it to watch the colours race. It's a great little product for quiet time or to help kids wind down for bed time {and it's just as good for adults, in fact I've considered stealing it for my room on numerous occasions}. You can watch a video of it in action here, it's sped up faster than it is in real life, but it's still just as mesmerising.

We've loved using all our items from The Happy Me Shop and I can't recommend fidget and sensory tools enough. They help build so many skills and promote calm and relaxation, plus they don't get boring as they're so interactive. Check out The Happy Me Shop online for more great items, we already own a lot of others that are also stocked such as playfoam, a magnetic fishing game and a jacobs ladder and they're all great for so many different play activities as well as busy bags. You can also follow The Happy Me Shop on Facebook and Instagram.

Have you ever used fidget tools or sensory items?

Toni x

Disclosure - I was gifted the toys shown above for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are based on our experience with the products. I did not receive payment for this review.

Linking with Kell, Alicia and Denyse
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