Books, Books, (Boons) Books!

DSC_0755

DSC_0760

DSC_0768

If you follow me on Instagram (if not you’re missing out on a whole heap of baby spam! Scroll down on your phone or peek to the left on your laptop to find me) you’ll have seen that last weekend we made a trip to Lewes where we stocked up on even more books for Little Ored.

It’s funny how Ored and I won’t buy LO any more toys, truly believing that he has more than enough (which he does). But when it comes to books it seems that all three of us just can’t get enough!  Reading was the first “activity” we introduced to LO when he was just weeks old. It was a great way of getting Ored more involved with the bedtime routine, which has (and still does) largely revolved around breastfeeding. It also gave me a chance to share my love of books, gleefully strolling down memory lane to relive the books I used to read as a child. But above all it gives us the opportunity to connect as a family. To switch off and completely immerse ourselves in a world full of imagination.

Needless to say we love books, but they can be pricey, so I’ve started scouting charity shops. This is one tip I’d really recommend to other parents as I’ve found some great bargains including a Roald Dahl treasury, along with copies of The Midnight Library and The Haunted House by the relatively unknown Kazuno Kohara, who is without a doubt my favourite discovery in the world of children’s illustration.

But charity shops don’t always stock newer titles and by and large you end up seeing the same books again and again, so I gave myself a HUGE pat on the back when I first discovered Boons Books. Located in Lewes, East Sussex, Boons sell discounted books that are either remainders or overstocked titles. All of which are in new/near perfect condition yet sold for a fraction of the price compared to the RRP!

Their selection of children’s books is vast, stocking a huge range to suit every age including activity, learning and picture books. Best part? They stock the more cooler, current titles on their shelves! More The Bear and the Piano and less Meg and Mog (although I have to admit that in our house their both loved equally).

The stock rotates regularly so you’ll always come across new covers sitting pretty on the shelves. Likewise, be sure to snap up anything that takes your fancy as it might not be there on your next visit.

Annoyingly Boons don’t have a website but they are well worth the visit, as is Lewes. We’ve discovered some real gems- books that we probably wouldn’t have come across in somewhere like Waterstones- and for next to nothing!

Here are three of mine and LO’s favourites.

  1. Four Seasons In One Day- The Story Orchestra (£7, RRP £14.99)

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons are reimagined in this magical storybook, complete with ‘press me’ buttons which play a small sample of each piece. The pages are beautifully illustrated, with so much for your eyes to explore. LO absolutely loves this so it’s become a firm favourite of ours, and not just at bedtimes!

2. One Day On Our Blue Planet, In The Artctic – Ella Bailey (£4, RRP £11.99)

Teaming vivid and imaginative illustration with engaging non-fiction, this book follows an Adelie penguin chick as she navigates her way through the magnificent if dangerous Antarctic Ocean. This is a great way of bringing wildlife and animal species into the home in a way that is both fun and educational. LO is obviously too young to appreciate the latter part but I love that he points to all the different types of Antarctic animals at the beginning and end of the book.

3. The 50 States  – Gabrielle Balken (£10, RRP £20)

Ok so this is one of my favourites as LO is far too young for this at the moment. But WOW, what an incredible compendium of facts (ranging from statehood dates and capitals, famous faces to key moments in history) about all fifty states of America. Presented in quirky, colourful illustrations that make the knowledge within its pages and engaging, not boring.

As someone who knows only a basic level of American history, I’m looking forward to discovering new things with a curious young mind beside me.

 

cc-tag

Advertisements

Best Skincare Products For Babies

IMG_0938 (Edited)Ok, so let me start this by saying THIS IS NOT AN AD. It deflates me a little to have to say it but I’m well aware of how product endorsement/monetised blogging has changed everyone’s perception of what appears to be a real, honest post only to read all the way to the end and realise it’s not.

All of these products were either given to me at our baby shower or bought with my hard earned cash. Either way we’ve loved them and they’ve proved to be invaluable to us over the past year and two months.

When you bring home your newborn baby you literally have no idea what you’re doing. Even the most basic things- bathing them and changing nappies, – you have to learn. And whilst you’re waiting on that parental instinct to kick in (which it does, but it leaves you hanging just long enough to send you into Google overdrive) the last thing you need is unreliable products. Or too many. Or not the right ones.

We were really lucky to have received so many gifts before Little Ored’s arrival, all of which left us needing to hardly buy a thing in those first few months. But I do remember having been given about three different types of nappy rash cream – wondering which one to use, if I should use any at all?

Newborn skin is so delicate and so we were super conscious about what we we were putting on it. For example, did you know that most baby wipes contain a form of antifreeze (WTF) which is why our midwife suggested using only cotton wool and water to clean during a nappy change in those early months?

It’s not just about having products that work but also about having products with safe, natural ingredients too. So here’s what we used and what we still use even now!

1. Kokoso – Coconut Pot

This was given to us as a baby shower present from a BFF after I mentioned to her that I’d seen it on TV (yep, she’s a great friend and a great listener)  and it turned out to be an absolute Godsend.

This natural, organic coconut oil moisturiser is designed for multi-use meaning it’s pretty much all you’ll ever need. It’s great for dry/sensitive skin, eczema and baby massage as well as preventing nappy rash. And it’s also cruelty free, ethically produced and made from sustainable, recyclable, BPA free packaging. Hurrah!

We have been using it on Little Ored religiously since he was a newborn. First we used it to help with all of the crazy flaking that all newborn skin goes through and then when that cleared up we switched to using it as a nappy balm. We use it every time we change his nappy and since we’ve been putting it on his bottom he’s never suffered from nappy rash again. Ever.

Comes in a changing bag friendly size making it easy to take out and about too!

2. Earth Friendly Baby Shampoo & Bodywash

Made by the people at Lansinoh, Earth Friendly Baby makes a wide range of skincare products that are all made from organic, natural ingredients (something like 99.2% of the ingredients are naturally derived).

Suitable for vegetarians and vegans alike, EFB is against animal testing and the range is made in the U.K. with recyclable packaging.

A bottle of lavender bubble bath was gifted to us at the baby shower and since then we’ve become devotees. We buy both the lavender and chamomile (which smells dreamy) but annoyingly it’s not stocked as widely and readily as other baby brands so I usually have to order it online.

3. Aveeno Baby

I’m always at odds when using Aveeno products on Little Ored. Because whilst they’re fantastic, Aveeno as a brand are not completely cruelty free, testing on animals when required to by law (in countries such as China, for example).

My personal and ethical dilemma aside, Little Ored started suffering from a bad rash around his chin and underneath his neck when he first started cutting teeth and weaning. In other words there was a whole lot of dribble and bibs just seemed to irritate it further. So on the recommendation of a friend, who was going through something similar with her little one, we bought a bottle of moisturiser. After eating or after an exceptional bout of teething related dribble, we’d clean up him up with warm water and apply the Aveeno to clean, dry skin and within a matter of days the rash cleared up completely!

Now that’s he older we don’t need to apply the product in this way anymore but we do still use it after bathtimes to keep his skin super smooth. And the great news? A little goes a long way!

4. WaterWipes/ Co-op Baby Wipes/ Nutmeg Wipes

Remember how I said that most baby wipes have antifreeze in them? Well whilst cotton wool and water may have been great for indoor changing it just wouldn’t have been practical for when we were on the go, so we stocked up on Water Wipes. Made with just two ingredients- fruit extract and water- these wipes claim to be the purest on the market and they were great for Little Ored’s sensitive newborn skin.

We probably used these particular wipes until he was around 7/8 months old and then we started seeking a cheaper alternative (one pack of WaterWipes costs £2).

So now we use own brands at either Co-op and Morrison’s because both are cruelty free.


Tips and Tricks

  • Avoid using body creams and washes on newborns

There’s probably a lot of conflicting advice on this so I’d say do your research, but our midwife told us that recent studies suggest that applying products to newborn skin can increase the likelihood of childhood eczema. I think the consensus is that newborn skin needs time to adjust to life outside the womb. So for the first 3/4 months we didn’t use any kind of wash or moisturiser, only applying Kokoso to the parts where Little Ored’s skin was flaking to stop it from becoming sore or painful.

  • Do a patch test

You never know how skin is going to react to any kind of cream, but particularly skin that is delicate. If you’re unsure, apply a small amount of product to a particular area and leave for 24 hours.

  • Check the ingredients

Whichever brand or product you opt for, make sure you read the ingredients first. If there’s anything you don’t recognise or you’re not sure about, don’t be afraid to Google it whilst you’re still in the store. Be 100% sure before you buy!

  • Stock up on offers

Besides the wipes, most of the products we buy are somewhere in the middling price point (£5-£10) but when there is a discounted offer on, I tend to buy a couple as I know it will get used eventually.

  • Be prepared

Like I said, we were fortunate enough to receive a ton of skincare products at our baby shower and this saved us having to do any kind of mad rush to the shops in that whirlwind which is the first few months of parenthood. Whether you’re having a baby shower or not, make sure you’re stocked up on the necessities before your baby arrives as it’s one less thing to worry about.

I hope you’ve found this helpful! What products do you swear by for your babies/toddlers? Let me know in the comments below!

cc-tag