THE GAME CHANGER: THE BABYBJORN BOUNCER BLISS

baby bjorn bouncer bliss

If you asked me what my 'can't live without' top baby item was, then the baby bjorn bouncer bliss would be it. 

For the first three weeks of Otis' life we didn't have a bouncer as I thought bouncers were for older babies. How wrong was I. Showering and generally getting ready in the morning was a nightmare as we couldn't see each other from the ensuite to the bedroom. Throw in a pet cat who was intrigued by a new baby and that meant closed doors and lots of cries. 

Newborns sleep a lot at the start, so having a bouncer which could be moved from room to room, meant I could see Otis while showering and getting ready, and more importantly Otis could see me.  

Baby bjorn- bouncer bliss

The bouncer bliss design is lightweight which is handy when moving it around the house and packing it in the car. It also has a unique bouncing action that doesn't require batteries like a lot of other bouncers.  The mesh fabric has kept Otis nice and cool in the hot summer months, and the clean minimal design blends nicely with our home. The mesh fabric also moulds to Otis' body and neck, keeping him well supported and comfy.  There's no tacky bright colours or hanging animals which other bouncers come with. As you know me,  I like to keep things as interiors friendly as possible. 

To say the bouncer bliss is a lifesaver isn't an over statement. Otis is only 15 weeks old, and the bouncer is still being used at home and coming with us to family and friends houses, and I'm sure it will continue to do so for a while still. If I had it my way, we would have one on each floor of the house for ease. But that would be a lot of bouncers as we have three floors to cover. 

If you're expecting a child, then this is definitely a game changing item that will help make your life easier.

And it's all about ease when you have a baby. 

baby bjorn bouncer bliss

The baby bjorn - bouncer bliss is for use 0-24 months. 

RRP £147 for the mesh version, and £137 for the cotton fabric version

***This post was sponsored by BabyBjorn and babyville PR. The bouncer was gifted to us, however everything I have written is my own opinion and this is definitley an item that I would buy again.  ***

OTIS' STOKKE 'JUNGLE' NURSERY

This is finally happening! I'm finally sharing Otis' finished nursery. Okay, technically it will never be finished because a room never is, and that's why I bloody love interiors. But this is where it's currently up to so far.

 Wallpaper-    Jungle palm by milton and King ,  Gold canopy from     Molly meg

Wallpaper-  Jungle palm by milton and King, Gold canopy from Molly meg

When I started looking at nursery furniture, all I saw were rectangular white cots and white changing tables. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with white nursery furniture, but I just wanted to be more excited by the offer. After all, interiors are my thing, and I wanted bub to have something a bit different.

Stokke sleepi cot bed in grey

So let's start with Otis' cot. This is the Stokke sleepi bed in Hazy grey. What I love about the sleepi cot bed range is that its one of the only cots that can transition from newborn baby to toddler by adding the extension kits. We've gone straight to the 'middle' size, but it's good to know I can extend it and take the middle panel out when Otis gets bigger and can climb in and out of his bed himself which means I shouldn't have to buy another new bed for another four/five years. How many other cot beds can take a baby from infant to childhood?

The stokke sleepi doesn't compromise on style or quality. The 360 degree cot bars mean it's easy to see Otis from every angle and the lockable caster wheels makes it easy to move to clean around, although you don't need to add the wheels. The cot can just sit on the floor on the frame and the sleepi has four mattress height positions to choose from. We currently don't have it on the lowest,  but we'll soon move it down once Otis can pull himself up. 

It's style, longevity and quality make this a perfect cot bed which should see Otis through to his childhood years.  The sleepi cot bed is available in three colours; white, grey and natural. 

Now let's talk about the changing table/ dresser which is also from Stokke. These come as two separate pieces.  The home dresser is handy storage for all of Otis' clothes, spare nappies and blankets and the soft close features on the drawers means you shouldn't wake up baby.  The style and colour compliments his sleepi cot bed and is also available in the same three shades of hazy grey, white and natural. 

The top home changer can be added to make it a changing table, but also easily removed to leave the dresser in perfect condition. 

Extension kits and bigger mattresses are all available on the Stokke website. Click here to view. 

 Leopard rug is from   Cotswold trading £149.99

Leopard rug is from Cotswold trading £149.99

 Lion and Elephant felt heads   by Fiona walker London. 

Lion and Elephant felt heads by Fiona walker London. 

**Otis and I were very kindly gifted the cot and changing table from Stokke for his nursery. Regardless of this, I would still recommend these items and would purchase them again.** 

MY MUST HAVE *NEWBORN* BABY ITEMS

As Otis is approaching the 3-month mark, I thought it was time I shared my must have baby items. I’d be lying if I said I couldn’t live without any of them, as I’m pretty sure people made do without all of these items years ago, but for me they made my job a hell of a lot easier and got us through that fourth trimester.

When you’re expecting everyone will give you their advice. Most of which I took on board. The only mistake I’ve made is on the buggy front. We bought the Icandy orange which is super sturdy, but it’s also heavy and bulky and takes up far too much room. I know, I know, everyone told us not to get such a big buggy and I should have listened. So with that in mind, I thought I’d share my top items so you can get prepared. 

1. Sleepyhead Deluxe

Otis loved his sleepyhead so much I even wrote a separate article about it being a parenting must have item for a newborn. This portable mattress was brilliant to use all over the house and to take with us when visiting family. It comes in snazzy prints too, so its interior friendly for that mum who doesn’t want to loose their style identity. The snuggly bumper design kept Otis cosy and he could use it from birth, and he's still using it now for afternoon naps. I didn’t get a moses basket, and in hindsight I’m glad I didn’t as they’re not in them for long, and I would have just ended up putting the sleepyhead inside it anyway.

The only downside is the size, but that goes for most baby stuff. Otis is only 11 weeks and he's starting to out grow it, so I might have to invest in the bigger size sleepyhead. **Otis is top of the centile, so I think most babies would be fine to use the deluxe up 8 months if they're smaller.  

 

Sleepyhead deluxe in night falls

2. Baby bath- Stokke Flexi Bath with Support

We’re lucky that we have a bath in our house, but the idea of putting a tiny new born in a giant roll top bath scared me so the Stokke foldable flexi bath with support has been briliant. We place the flexi bath inside our bath to wash Otis and the back support is cleverly designed to clip onto the edge of the box. It keeps Otis comfortable and relaxed, and saves you having to hold onto your baby. Its foldable design means it’s portable to take to the in-laws for his first sleepover so he hasn’t got to change what he’s accustomed to, and as its foldable we’ll definitely be taking it on holiday come September.

Stokke® Flexi Bath® Bundle Tub with Support

3. Baby Bjorn- Bouncer Bliss

I’ll be honest, the baby bjorn bouncer bliss was a game changer. Around 4-6 weeks Otis was becoming more alert and wanted to sit and look around without the constant need to be held and cuddled. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the new born cuddles like everyone else, but a girls got to shower now and then, and being able to put Otis in the bouncer while he watched me meant we could leave the house before 9am occasionally. The mesh fabric has also been ideal for this hot weather making him feel more airy. 

 

Baby Bjorn bouncer bliss

4. Baby Bjorn- baby carrier one 

No this is not an advert for baby Bjorn products. I paid for this carrier and it was, and still is the best £139 I spent. This carrier has enabled me to sterilise bottles, put the washing out and walk to the shops while keeping Otis near to me. It says it’s from birth to 3 years, and luckily Otis is quite a chunky baby, as the only downside to this carrier is that it’s not really suitable for small/ new-born’s and is better suited for babies 6-8 weeks + depending on their size. The positive is you can wear your baby in multiple positions facing you, front facing and on your back and its extremely comfortable due to the waist and shoulder straps which help distribute the weight.

Baby bjorn carrier one

5. Pram- Icandy orange

This one’s controversial. You need a pram, there’s no question about that. But which one? I bought an icandy orange. Its sturdy, safe and has a huge shopping basket underneath. It’s also almost £800. Do I regret buying it? Yes. Do I wish I had listened to everyones advice, of course. If you live in a city or a house without a driveway, or have a narrow hallway like us, then this pram is not for you.  It weighs a tone and takes up too much space. I’ve been advised by a lot of you on Instagram that the best buggy around is the baby zen yo-yo. Its foldable, light weight and even has a new born basinet attachment and it cost's less than £550. Lesson learnt. 

Icandy orange pushchair

6. Maxi Cosi Cabrio fix carseat

I'm not saying you need to buy this exact car seat, but you will 100% need to buy A car seat before your babe arrives. Hospitals won't even let you leave without one, so make sure this item is top of your list to buy. (That goes for you car less folk too). 

We bought the maxi cosi cabrio fix and the 2 wayfix iso base. You don't need to buy the iso fix base, but it does means Otis' car seat just clicks in and makes things much easier, than having to worry about car seat straps. 

The cabrio fix is affordable and well rated and is also one of the lightest car seats on the market.  You have no idea how much you'll appreciate having a lighter car seat until your baby is over a stone and you have to walk to your car. 

We bought both the car seat and the base at the baby show with our icandy pram and managed to save £100 off the total package. Shop around and definitely don't buy second hand when it comes to the base or the car seat. (for other items second hand is fine, but car seats aren't recommended).

** The toy attached to the car seat has been the best £7.99 spent. Its by Bright starts and was bought from Amazon.  Otis only started paying more attention to toys from approx 10 weeks old, but now he loves this.  **

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7. Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine

I had a nightmare with breast feeding. Bad latch, posterior tongue tied baby, blocked nipple (they call it a bleb), bleeding nipples, mastitis and a toe curling pain each time Otis latched on. Pretty much everything that could go wrong, did. Was I  going to let it get me down, hell no! Otis is a big baby. Born between the 75%-91% centile at birth weight,  he wanted a LOT of milk. They say feed on demand, and I was feeding all the time. I breast fed for 3 days,  expressed for 6 weeks and combination fed with breast milk and formula. Then after our 6 week Dr check up at 6 weeks I quit the pump. I had my life back. I was able to leave otis with my mother in law for the night, I didn't have to pump in the night and day and be glued to a socket and otis started sleeping for longer stretches. The perfect prep machine makes the perfect temperature bottle. You just add water, select how many oz's, press the big dial and add powder, shake and its done. First it filters water, then it adds an initial hot shot of water which kills any bacteria present in the formula and helps it to dissolve. If you're planning to give any formula in the first year, then invest in one of these.  

Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine

8. Tiba and Marl baby bag

I'm not saying you need to buy an expensive baby bag, but you will need a bag dedicated to your babe for all the nappies, wipes and bottles that you need to carry around. 

I chose a Tiba and Marl backpack as it was the nicest bag I could find, which didn't compromise on style. It's handy insulated compartments keep the milk warm, and the foldable changing mat is super handy for changing Otis while we're out and about. It also comes with a separate purse to keep your phone and keys in so you don't need to take another handbag out with you.

I wear it on my back, or on the handle bars of the pram, or even place it in the basket if its not full of my shopping. 

It's also big enough to hold my laptop. Not that I get to do much blogging these days when Otis is awake. 

Tiba and marl baby changing bag.

9. Snuz pod bedside crib

We first bought the chicco next to us cot, but as soon as we assembled it we didn't feel it was very secure so we returned it and bought the snuz pod. The snuz pod is £199, so £30 more expensive than the chicco next to you cot, but it's worth every extra penny. The wooden frame feels sturdy and the frame even rocks sightly when baby moves. The zip front means you can pull the side down for easy access when feeding if you have the cot attached to the bed. Just to note, I did have the cot attached to our bed, but after my episiotomy I asked my husband to change sides with me as it was super painful to slide out for bed to go to the bathroom in the night. Plus I ended up not breast feeding anyway, so I've since detached it from the bed. **Top tip, buy a basket to keep your nappies, wipes, creams and nappy bags in to keep tidy**.

Snuz pod baby cot

10. Medela Swing breast pump

The breast pump is something I regret not buying upfront before Otis arrived. It just meant I had to send the husband to Mothercare to buy it when Otis and I were fresh out of hospital and he returned with the not only the most expensive pump, but the double version which came with an eye watering price tag. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating but I didn’t realise these things can cost up to £180. Whether you choose to breast feed or not, no one can prepare you for the engorgement of your breasts on day 3 post-natal. The Medela swing pump was brilliant. It’s hospital grade so you can’t fail for its quality in pumping. My advice would be to shop around. You can buy them second hand and sterilise the bottles and funnel yourself. I’d also recommend buying the hands-free bra off amazon to free up your hands while your sat next to the plug socket. Those 15 minutes per boob is precious time to yourself.  

 

medela swing breast pump

11. Stokke changing table

I was only going to write 10, but I had to include our Stokke changing table. We keep ours in Otis' nursery on the middle floor of our home, but we also bought two cheaper changing mats so we have one on each floor- trust me, you'll need them! 

This handy dresser is great for storage for all his clothes and the side compartment gives me easy access to all the nappies, creams and wipes. 

I dress Otis on this every morning and dry him off after bathtime in the evening and get him ready for bed on it. 

The top changing part comes separately from Stokke, which means I can use the dresser without the top once Otis is bigger. 

 

Stokke grey changing table

Oh, and One last thing. You're going to need plenty of memory on your phone, so get clearing those old photos NOW and get ready for the baby spam! 

THE SLEEPYHEAD, AND WHY EVERY NEW PARENT NEEDS ONE

THE SLEEPYHEAD, AND WHY EVERY NEW PARENT NEEDS ONE

I added the kids & baby sub category to the blog to help other first time parents. Not just because I wanted to give you a list of must have baby items, but I also wanted to help inspire other parents or parents to be that you don't need to loose your homes identity just because you've had a baby. And that highly practical and tasteful baby items do exist, and you don't have to succumb to a house full of brightly coloured plastic tat quite just yet. 

Read More

INTRODUCING OTIS ....

 Otis William Cotton - 0 days old

Otis William Cotton - 0 days old

Its June and my baby is already six weeks old. Where has the past month and a half gone? The good news is I'm back into the swing of things on the blog. Well, sort of. 

Otis arrived on Monday 7th May at 12.10am, after a very long (48hour) labour which resulted in me having to being induced, and have an epidural, which wasn't something I had planned. It just goes to show that having a birth plan is great, but be prepared that it can all change. When you've been 6cm dilated for over 18 hours, with no pain relief, and nothings changing, you have to take the recommended advice.  He was 6 days late (due date was the 1st May) and weighed a very healthy 8lb 7oz. 

The past few weeks have gone by in a flash, as we're currently settling into our new life as a three, and getting to know one another. 

There's so much more to having baby that I never understood before. Terms like engorgement, mastitis, and how your tits swell up like a couple of bricks after you've had a baby and continue to hurt if you're breast feeding/ expressing. How breast feeding can hurt and be fecking painful if the latch isn't nailed. The night sweats, the need for a padded ring to sit up at night, and how having a cot attached to the bed isn't practical when you've had stitches down there, and you need to slide down the bottom of the bed to go to the loo. And, just how long the recovery takes from an episiotomy. I'd say about six weeks actually. 

The tearful moments. The crazy hormones that make you cry because your husband drank your favourite bottle of chablis that you'd been waiting nine months to drink (I don't think that was just the hormones), but couldn't, because you're on another round of antibiotics for the mastitis. Or, because you don't think you took enough photos of your baby as a newborn, and now he's six weeks old. Seriously, this has happened. 

The amount of unwanted advice you get from other mothers. Mothers who had their babies ten, twenty, fifty odd years ago, when gripe water was actually made from alcohol and when smoking around a baby was OK.  And this isn't just from the older mothers. The look or disapproving radio silence when you tell your mum friends about your parenting methods.  Or, when you say you've bought a canopy for your babies nursery, to be told it will be the death of your child.  Everyones an expert eh? But it will look great on instagram, yeah? 

Every day is a life lesson in parenting, and if I've learnt anything, its that we're all just winging it like each other, and a mother should never judge another mother. 

 Now speaking of canopy's... Lets get back to the fun stuff. 

 Otis William Cotton - 2 weeks old. 

Otis William Cotton - 2 weeks old. 

MY NURSERY PLANS

With just 7 weeks to go until the babe arrives, I thought it was time I shared our nursery plans.

We found out at our 20-week scan that we were expecting a little boy, so with that in mind I decided to have a bit of a think of what the little man’s nursery could look like.

Nursery inspiration

I didn’t want to go for anything too childlike  (I know that sounds ridiculous), but I knew I wanted it to be colourful and stimulating, mainly so the colourful plastic will go in the long run.  

As much as I want to be one of those wooden toy mothers, I know the inevitable will happen, so just best to not be defeated in the end and embrace the colour. Or otherwise that stuff would just mess with my Feng shiu. So, colour was a priority above anything else. 

I took inspiration from the usual Pinterest (link to my nursery moodboard), instagram and my love of indoor foliage, but also our little trip to Graceland last year. Did you know that Elvis had a jungle room? Yep a grown man had a room full of soft animal toys (and guitars).

Nursery inspiration

We decided on a gorgeous jungle palm print wallpaper from Milton and King to be the backdrop of the room which is very Beverly Hills hotel. If you don’t know of Milton and King, then be sure you check them out as I found it so difficult to find something fun like this that wasn’t a full wall mural and that delivers to the UK. They have an exciting range of wallpapers which are all easy to install too by pasting straight onto the wall! 

As the room has lovely panelling and a dado rail already, we're keeping this and just adding the wallpaper to the top. Below is a before a pic of the room, when it was a boring grown up bedroom. 

Panneled wall bedroom

I've also added a video of the wallpaper going up. I'll keep you posted with the progress. But for now, here's my moodboard. I hope it inspires you if your currently decorating a nursery, or preparing for a baby room.  

NURSERY MOODBOARD

1. Jungle palm wallpaper £198 per roll, Milton and King

2. Stokke sleepi bed in Grey £575, Stokke

3. Numero 91 Mustard canopy £91, Smallable

4. Grey ball pit £114,  Scandiborn

5. Fox and cactus mobile £75.99,  Etsy

6. Afaw berber style rug £269,  La Redoute

7. Pirate bunny £19.50, Scandiborn

8. Riceberry luxe toy £25, Kidly

9. Lazy bear soft toy £19.50, Scandiborn

10. Noah the giraffe £45, Scandiborn

11. Melissa and Doug Large giraffe soft toy £79.99, Argos

12. Sleepy head of sweden £170 euro, Sleepy head

13. Grey cotton ball lights £32, Cotton ball lights

14. Toy storage sack with personalised letter £32 Clouds and currents

15. Stokke changing table in grey £349 for unit plus £169 for changing unit Stokke