Nuby SureGrip Miracle Mat & Section Plate

As a Nuby UK brand rep we love trying out different and new products. Sometimes we get one product in particular that we absolutely love. Just recently we’ve been trying something new with Erin at meal times and we’ve been using the Nuby SureGrip Miracle Mat.

Nuby SureGrip Miracle Mat

We have had a different suction mat in the past but it’s really big and takes up a lot of space. This one has a much better design because it’s compact and easy to take anywhere with you. The size of the Nuby SureGrip Miracle Mat is perfect as it means we can take it away with us but it’s also perfect for normal meal times.

As a suction mat, this aspect is one of the most important to me. Erin loves to try to move anything that is put in front of her and we’ve had many meals flung across the room because they were in a normal bowl or on a normal plate. This suction mat does wok really well and it does stay put. However, I have found that we have to press down around the edges really hard to make sure it sticks. This may be due to the table we use it on though.

Something else I love about the mat is the size of the two different compartments. They make portion sizes much easier to sort out and they’re also great for separating different kinds of food. Erin finds feeding herself much easier when we’re using this mat. The sides of each compartment means that she can scoop the food up with her fingers if she needs to or she can use cutlery which she is starting to do.

The Nuby SureGrip Miracle Mat is both dishwasher and microwave safe and also oven safe as well! You can actually use this one in a fan assisted oven for up to 30 minutes (180 degrees max).

The Nuby SureGrip Miracle Mat costs £7.99.

Disclaimer: We were sent this product as part of our role as a Nuby UK Brand Rep. All opinions are our own.

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Baby proofing nightmare

When you get pregnant and people tell you that you’re going to need to do some baby proofing the house, I don’t think you’re ever really prepared for what that means. We were lucky I think and we were able to go months and months without really making any major changes around the house. Erin has never really crawled so we didn’t have to worry about that. Instead, she went straight to pulling herself up onto the couch and walking around like that. Now though, she’s nearly 14 months old and she’s running around like a crazy thing. No where is safe.

baby proofing

Now that Erin is very mobile, it has made me realise just how unfriendly our house is to babies.

Just before Christmas we had a library in the living room. That is now mostly in the loft. Although Erin wasn’t quite able to get there then, she is now and the bookcases were not attached to the wall. They were always supposed to be temporary until we got built in shelves. I sold two of the bookcases, have moved one and now I’m trying to figure out what to do with the stuff on the other two so I can get rid of them as well.

Our coffee table got moved from the floor in the living room to the alcove where the television lives. It now doubles as our television stand. However, the more I look at it the more I realise that the drawers are pretty much in the perfect place for Erin. She loves to open things so I desperately need to get some baby locks on there!

We have a stone fireplace. There is no getting rid of that unfortunately but if she falls and hits her head, that’s going to hurt like hell!

Jackson has his food and water bowl in the kitchen. Erin has a bit of an obsession at the minute with his water bowl though. If the gate is open she would happily go in there, tip the bowl over a million times and soak herself! One day we had 4 changes of clothes because she did it over and over again. I know I could keep the gate locked so she can’t get to the bowl but then poor Jackson couldn’t get to his water. I guess at least I know she’ll like a paddling pool in the summer.

I haven’t even thought about upstairs too much yet but I know I need to. We need to figure out where we want everything in Erin’s room and get the furniture attached to the wall. We also definitely need a gate for her room and for the top of the stairs.

Do you have any tips for baby proofing? As a first time parent I feel like there could be loads of things I wouldn’t even think about! 

Tommee Tippee Essentials

Just before Christmas we were sent a fantastic selection of products by Tommee Tippee. January was a very busy month and it took us a little while to try some of these out. Here’s what we thought:

Tommee Tippee

 

first cutlery set

I was a bit apprehensive about letting Erin use this set. Even though she has been trying to feed herself with normal weaning spoons for quite a while she has never had a proper set of cutlery and these have a really different feel to them, and they’re heavier than she’s used to. However, she’s taken to them a lot  better than I thought she would. She isn’t able to really use them properly yet but she knows what she’s supposed to do!

easy scoop bowls

Since we started weaning at 4 months we have been using the same bowls. They were great to start with but they do only hold quite small portions. Erin is a bit of a gannet at times and needs a bowl that holds more. The Tommee Tippee easy scoop bowls are really well designed and come in bright colours, which I love.

Tommee Tippee

Snack n Go Pot

So Erin doesn’t do very well if something isn’t either nailed down or stuck down. If we give her a bag of anything, they end up all over the floor in 2 seconds flat. She is a monster. The Snack n Go Pot is amazing! The pot has a silicone lid with slits cut into it, meaning you can put your hand in and get whatever is inside. However, if you shake the pot around nothing will come out. Perfect for little children like Erin who shake and throw things as much as they can.

We have been big fans of Tommee Tippee since we started bottle feeding Erin. We have never been let down by the quality of the products and that is no exception for those mentioned here. We haven’t managed to try the cup yet because Erin is a very picky little girl and will only use a straw cup at the moment. I do love that it came with filters though as we only give Erin filtered water anyway.

We received these products for the purpose of this review. All opinions are our own. 

When to take the dummy away

Erin is 13 months old now and has probably had a dummy from being about a month old. I really don’t remember when we first gave it to her anymore. All I remember is her having really bad reflux and the dummy was the only thing that stopped her crying long enough to go to sleep. I’d always said that Erin would never have a dummy but I soon realised what a life saver it could be.

dummy

Now that Erin is over a year old I’ve been thinking about when we should attempt to take away the dummy. It’s not that I’m planning on doing it right away but I’m certainly thinking about how to go about it or when to do it.

I’m really not that bothered that Erin has her dummy while she’s asleep. I’m more than happy for her to keep it as a comfort thing for quite a bit longer. If it means she sleeps then I’m okay with that. I’m more worried about her relying on it sometimes during the day. She doesn’t have it all the time right now but she does use it for comfort and for when she’s teething.

dummy

The problem I’m worried about it getting her to give it up during the day when she really doesn’t understand what no means or why she won’t be able to have it anymore. I wouldn’t even know where to begin with trying to stop her having it. I know a lot of places recommend for children not to have them anymore after a year because of something to do with their teeth.

I’d love some advice about getting your child to give up their dummy. What age did your children stop having one and how did you go about stopping them having it?! 

Erin’s 13 month update!

I have no idea where January went but it zoomed by and that means we now have a 13 month old on our hands. I haven’t really done an update on Erin for such a long time so I figured it was about time. I’m hoping to make this a monthly thing from now on though. It’s on the calendar and everything!

health

Erin has been quite poorly for most of the last month. If it hasn’t been one thing it has been another. She’s had a really bad cold and a cough. Then there has a been a lot of teething going on. At first I thought she had one tooth coming through, then I noticed a second. I then noticed the third a week later. A couple of days after that I noticed tooth number four! Being ill on its own is bad enough but add in horrendous teething too and it is pure hell!

Poorly, snotty toddler!

eating

This is not going well at all. Due to the collection of teeth Erin has coming through eating has been a bit of a challenge at times. Sometimes all she wants is much from a pouch. Sometimes all she wants is toast. I never really know. All I do know is that she’s really gone off homemade food at the minute but I have no idea why. However, we have been trying some Ella’s Kitchen snacks and the new For Aisha range (reviews coming soon).

update

You want some parsnip?!

sleeping

This is a bit of a strange one at the minute. We’ve gone months and months with Erin getting up at the crack of dawn. Just recently though she has changed completely. She will go to sleep in her cot at night but never stay there. She wakes up sometimes at midnight just before we go to bed (I swear she knows) and sometimes it is 4:00/4:30. Whenever it is, she screams and screams and screams. However, the minute she lays down in our bed and snuggles up to one of us, she’s fast asleep again. I know co-sleeping isn’t for everyone but John and I love it, mostly! John gets some extra Erin cuddles and I’m getting to sleep in until roughly 8am. It’s been lovely!

I think we’re probably looking at getting Erin her own bed pretty soon!

mobility

Erin started taking steps on her own just before Christmas. Up until earlier on in the week, Erin was still quite unsteady and would only take a couple of steps on her own. She relied on the furniture to help her get around the house. Then, on Friday she decided out of nowhere that she could walk across the whole dining room on her own. A day later, she could walk the length of the living room as well! No, there’s no stopping her. She has cheekily learned how to run away from me a bit as well.

Erin also has her first pair of walking shoes now too. I’m so bad though because I keep forgetting to put them on her while we’re in the house. I definitely need to do this more this month so she gets used to them.

What are these things?!

personality

Erin has really changed over the last month. I have no idea why! When my sister was here for Erin’s 1st birthday party Erin quite happily sat with her and had a cuddle while reading. She had never done that before! Now, Erin loves nothing more than a cuddle on the couch while reading or watching a cartoon in the morning. She’d never really been that into cartoons either. I hate to say it but that damned pig has been allowed on our screens!

Erin has also learned how to play certain games on her own. She loves to play hide and seek with me, either using the curtain or a cloth. She also spends hours with her cookie jar putting the blocks in and getting them out again. However, she knows that it is easier to put the blocks in the top after taking the lid off rather than using the holes in the side!

I really love seeing Erin learn new things and grow every day! I’m so proud of how far she’s come. 

 

The girl who doesn’t sleep

The past couple of weeks have been quite rough and it doesn’t look like it’s getting better any time soon! Out of no where really Erin decided to stop sleeping. She was doing so well after finally sleeping through again and then BAM, it all went wrong.

She went through this really annoying phase of standing up in her cot and crying. It’s really hard to get her back to sleep and after ages of trying, we ended up with her back in our bed. It wasn’t long before that I said I missed co-sleeping. Really, I missed it when she wasn’t mobile and didn’t kick the hell out of my stomach. Now, she’s a pain in the arse to have in bed with us.

More recently Erin has been getting up at 4am and if she isn’t back in bed with us, that’s it, she’s wide awake. Initially I thought it was because she decided she didn’t like her cot anymore, what with the banging on the sides and everything. Turns out, that was not the case at all.

sleep

Turns out, it was teething that has been causing the problems. I had suspicions that one was coming through but there was no real signs of it. Not like before anyway.

On Friday afternoon while Erin was screaming away for what I thought was nothing, I saw the little white tooth poking through. It’s one of the big ones on the top right hand side. No wonder she’s been grizzly as hell and not sleeping. The poor girl must be in quite a bit of pain. She’s even gone off her food which is really not like her.

As the tooth hasn’t come through properly yet I feel like we’re in for quite a few more sleepness nights. Knowing Erin, as soon as she starts sleeping again she’ll get another tooth!

Does anyone want to tell me when this will end? Never? Damn! 

Matchstick Monkey Review

Erin recently turned one and that means we are still quite far away from being over the hell that is teething. The past couple of weeks haven’t been too bad but I have sensed that Erin has another tooth coming through, making her miserable and grouchy.

We have a drawer full of different kinds of teethers but nothing seems to be working well enough for back and side teeth. We were recently sent a new teether on the market, a Matchstick Monkey, to test and I am so thankful for it!

The Matchstick Monkey is designed to reach the source of pain and also makes it possible to get pain relief into the right places. No other teether that I know of can do this. This adorable monkey has a bumpy bit at the back of his head which means you can put, say, teething gel on it, and apply to the back of the mouth easily without getting your finger bitten off! These bumps also massage the gums.

Something I really love about the Matchstick Monkey is his tail. Erin loves playing with this and again, is able to uncurl it so she can reach the back of her mouth. The design of this teether is perfect. You can definitely tell that it has been designed by someone who has children themselves and knows what teething is like.

The Matchstick Monkey is available in quite a lot of different colours so there’s something for everyone. We have the orange monkey and I love it. He’s so bright and colourful and this means I can always find him, no matter where he’s been thrown by Erin.

matchstick monkey

The design of this teether means that you’re able to attach a dummy clip to it if you want to. I LOVE this! I can attach this to Erin’s pushchair when we’re out and about so if she is in a bit of pain, she has something she can get on her own without me having to dig through her bag for it.

All in all, this is by far my favourite teether for Erin. She really seems to get pain relief just from having a chomp on it. She even just likes carrying it around with her even when she doesn’t need it. I honestly cannot recommend this enough. Go out and get one!

We were sent this item for the purpose of this review. All opinions are our own. 

First birthday party food

I have never hosted a birthday party before and that meant really not having any idea what I was doing. We had 8 children come to Erin’s 1st birthday party and adults made total numbers up to about 20.  I had absolutely no clue how much food to buy, what to buy or what to do with it!

My mum and I went to the supermarket a couple of days before the party to buy everything we needed. I had a list of a couple of things I wanted but really, we walked around guessing for some of the food. I figured the children were kind of easy to cater for, mostly, but it was the parents I was stuck with.

Here’s how the food ended up:

party food

As you can see, I made  A LOT of food! Once it was all laid out I knew that there was too much but by then it was too late.

A couple of Erin’s friends have food intolerances so I had to take that into account. I made sure there was a really good mix of options for everyone, both children and adults, and that there really was something for everyone.

Most of the children who came were Erin’s age and still in weaning stages but eating finger food. I didn’t want all of the food to be high in sugar or ‘naughty’ foods so I made sure there were healthy options too.

I thought fruit and veg platters with dips were a really good idea. The fruit platter got demolished but surprisingly, the veg platter barely got touched. I thought loads of people would have eaten this. We took most of this home with us!

Sandwiches and crisps are always a massive hit so I made sure there was loads! Again, intolerances had to be considered so I had to make sure there was a good selection of dairy free options. I went with cheese, Dairylea, egg with and without mayo, jam and tuna with both white and brown bread. The crisps were really a random selection because I bought what I would call ‘posh’ crisps for the adults as well as normal party favourites.

We also had the usual sweet options as well! I made up so many individual jelly pots and I think only 2 got eaten. Since when does jelly not get eaten at a party?!

If you’re wondering about how much all of this cost, well the food was about £40 but this didn’t include drinks or a birthday cake. This quite easily fed the 20 odd people that attended and we took quite a bit home with us. However, I would still do the same next year just to be safe. Children who are 2 obviously eat more than children who are 1!

I would love to say that I made a lot of this myself but I didn’t, I was lazy. Do you cook and bake for parties or buy in like I did?

Erin’s farm themed 1st birthday party

I don’t really remember having birthday parties as a child. I do, however, remember my sister’s party at McDonald’s with the big pirate ship that I was insanely jealous about. Well, until I hit my head on that pirate ship anyway. Erin was always going to be having a birthday party, whether she’d remember it or not.

As this was her 1st birthday, I wanted to do something that was fun for everyone. We have been going to a class called Music in Motion now and Erin loves it. The woman who runs that was an obvious choice plus, we could choose a theme. Having the party farm themed was a really easy choice for me. It was unisex, there would be no pink and it was also cute! Win for everyone!

The first thing I did before anything was to get some tableware sorted out. Party Bags and Supplies do a fantastic Farm Friends theme and they have loads of different items available. We were able to get pretty much everything we needed for under £30 and it is all fantastic quality as well.

farm themed

Let me just say that when you only have one child, and you have never done a birthday party before, you really have no idea what you’re doing. It’s all guess work. Food was a bit of an issue if I’m honest. I had a few guests with intolerances and allergies. I had about 20 people in total to cater for. I had no idea what to buy and how much. Turns out I did too much but more about this in another post.

I think the farm themed table cloths and the farm themed party hats were my favourites of everything we got. I wasn’t expecting 1 year olds to keep the hats on but some of them did for quite a while!

Only 2 people invited couldn’t make the party but we had a good turn out and most of Erin’s friends came! The room was actually quite full and it was MANIC! My sister, who has no children, was not a fan. She was a trooper though and took loads of photos for us.

The first hour of Erin’s party was spent with Donna singing farm related songs, playing with musical instruments and a big parachute thing. The children all really seemed to love it, apart from Erin who did cry a couple of times. She was being a grumpy little sod though! The last hour of the party was spent scoffing the crazy amounts of food I’d made. A good amount made it back into my kitchen. We ate it for dinner last night and it still hasn’t all gone. I’ll still do the same next year!

Erin’s friends spoiled her with some wonderful presents (thanks parents!!) and she genuinely loves all of them. She went from one to another last night and couldn’t decide what to play with. She then got to play with some in the bath. I didn’t even know light up, fountain spurting bath toys were a thing but Erin LOVES them!

I was quite exhausted after the party, as was Erin, but it was so worth it. She was so happy for the last half of the party and afterwards for the rest of the day. She got to spend some time with her amazing friends and just have fun.

I reclined Erin’s seat straight after taking this picture!.

I am so thankful for everyone who came for making Erin’s party such a special time for her. Erin may not remember this day but I will. 

We received some products for the purpose of this post. All opinions are our own. 

Switching to cow’s milk

Something I remember reading a lot when I was pregnant and whenever I look at anything for Erin now, is about 1 year olds drinking cow’s milk. Erin had formula from being a week old or so I had been thinking about the change for quite some time.

cow's milk

I think we started giving Erin cow’s milk months ago but only with breakfast. I got so sick of giving Erin expensive ‘baby’ cereals that didn’t last very long so I switched her over to things like Weetabix and Shreddies. She has always had warmed cow’s milk with these and has never shown any signs of being against having it. In fact, I think she prefers breakfast with this milk compared to when she had it with formula milk.

As Erin’s first birthday approached I decided to begin the switch from formula. I completely switched one formula bottle to cow’s milk at 11 months and a couple of days after her birthday I switched from formula completely. As Erin hadn’t shown any signs of dislike I figured I might be best to change in one go, quickly! I have seen posts from others about mixing both milks for a while or slowly changing but I couldn’t be bothered, if I’m honest.

Luckily, Erin made the switch no problem at all. However, I think maybe it happened too easily. Now I have the problem that she’s probably getting too much cow’s milk. She loves it and will quite happily have 3 8oz bottles a day still. I know she’s supposed to be having about 20oz a day, including with breakfast etc. The problem is, Erin still likes milk before her naps (2 a day) and before bed at night so I have no idea what to do!

How did you make the move to cow’s milk? Any advice is appreciated.