Friday, 24 May 2013

What to take with you when going swimming with baby?

When I first started taking Baby J swimming last year I hadn't a clue what I'd need or even how I'd manage it, but now a year on, I've got my swim bag & routine down to a fine art so I thought I'd share some of my top tips:
Baby swimwear - this can be a mine field with so many options to go for, I've settled on using a Lycra all in one suit for Baby J, it looks like a mini wet suit. I've found the ones with 3/4 sleeves and legs are easier to get on and off. These are readily available from most shops and prices can vary depending on where you go - Primark do them for under £10 - bargain! You can also pick them up cheaply at nearly new sales, I recently just paid £1.50 for the next size up for Baby J.
 
Swim Nappies - totally essential, but do not be fooled into thinking they are like normal nappies, these should only be put on baby just before you go in the pool, they aren't waterproof, so any watery accidents prior to the pool will not be held in!
Mummy Swimwear - through trail and error I've discovered it is far easier to wear a 2 piece suit than an all in one, when your changing you can do it in stages and save some modesty at the same time!
Towel - one for parent, & 2 for baby, I used a hooded one for when we first get out the pool, and have a second one handy to wrap round him whilst changing, or to put underneath him if there are limited facilities in the pool. If the changing rooms are a fair distance away from the pool, I'll often take my towel pool side and wrap Baby J in it as soon as we get out.
Shampoo - I tend to take a foam wash with me, mine has a pump action which makes it super easy to use, I tend to use it all over Baby J to wash away the smell of chlorine. Its mild enough to use on my hair too, if it gets wet.
Body cream - I like use a rich cream on Baby J after swimming, his skin readily absorbs it, and helps keep him moisturised. I also use it on myself too.
As you can see, I don't see any point taking separate products for Baby J and myself, juggling baby, towel and one bottle is hassle enough let alone adding another set of bottles to the equation. I usually wear my hair up, and often it'll stay dry, some swimming instructors encourage Mummy and baby to go under together in which case I do it and afterwards quickly rinse my hair when showering.
 
TOP TIP: Take a supermarket fold away shopping bag with you, load all of your clothes into it first, then baby's, its much easier to fit into a locker this way and easy to carry to the changing rooms after, and when you told it folds up flat into your bag for next time.
 
I hope my swimming tips come in handy, please feel free to leave comments with yours
 
 
 

Sunday, 12 May 2013

My lightweight wheels - Quinny Zapp

A few months back I decided to invest in a lightweight buggy that could live in the back of my car, I wanted something that could easily be assembled and used when nipping into town or on short trips. After consulting my guru sister-in-law B she offered me to try her lightweight Buggy for a day or so a Quinny Zapp, & after only a few hours I had fallen in love with it and was looking online for second hand one.
 
 
 
What makes it so go? Well its really lightweight at only 15kg and folds up really small, it folds down [handle bars to wheels, then in] and fits easily in the boot of my car with room to spare for shopping and everything else. It has a great little sun canopy with windows so you can watch baby, and the straps are well padded for comfort.Mine also came with a carry bag, so if we ever do go away it can be put in the bag.
 
The downside -  no storage, but this can be overcome by buying a simple net basket which easily fits on. It also easily tips, so beware leaving heavy bags on the handles.  I've  recently invested in some hamster bags, which attach to the frame and can be used as rucksacks if needed, these not only add to the storage but also help make the buggy more sturdy. The rain cover fits, but is a little snug, so when Baby J insists on kicking it, it easily comes undone.
 
I've found the Zapp to be excellent, Baby J is always happy to go in, and although it doesn't recline he has managed to nod off it whilst being pushed round the shops. I picked up a second hand one from ebay for £40, it was in immaculate condition and came with a rain cover too. I've noticed there are always Zapp's for sale on second hand sits and on ebay, so its worth shopping around.
 
I still use my Oyster on walks, and long day trips when I want Baby J to be super snug, but on little trips I use my Zapp.

Witney Tar Lakes the ideal place to go for some quiet family time

The Tar Lakes are a great Slummy Mummy secret that we thought we'd share with you... situated near the Cogges estate [keep going on the Cogges road, past the houses on to the single track road heading towards Stanton Harcourt] There is a fab little car park on the left, with a gravel path that leads you across the road and round the lakes. Its quiet and peaceful there, with lots of seating area all dotted around. The gravel on the path can be a bit hard going for some buggys, but you could always switch to the grass instead. A leisurely walk round the main lake takes about 30-45 mins, for the more adventurous you could go on to the other lakes, dogs are welcome too, and for the nature lovers there are usually wetland birds to look at. A great mini family activity that doesn't cost anything!
Tar Lakes
 
For more info visit -http://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/cms/content/rushy-common-and-tar-lakes
 

Nappy 'grab bag' product review

My golden rule when going anywhere with Baby J is ...always take a nappy & wipes, but when I'm just nipping over to my in laws for a cuppa, or popping down to the shops I don't always want to have to take my big changing bag with me, especially if I know Baby J won't need food, and I know I won't be long, in the past I've bunged a few nappies in a carrier bag and took with me, not the most glamours thing to do but it did the job. Whilst browsing the Internet I saw some 'nappy grab bags' which looked amazing, and then by pure luck I was sent one to review.... HOORAY!
 
The lovely Nappy & Wipes Travel Pouch [or nappy grab bag as I prefer] was sent to me by a lovely lady who has her own shop on Etsy called Hellomaterial, the nappy grab bag I was sent was made in Cath Kidston Cowboy oilcloth, which I really love, suits me well. Its the ideal size and I've fitted in 4 nappies, a bag of wipes, my purse, keys, phone and snack for Baby J, if you wanted to be super organised you could also purchase the matching changing mat which will fit in as well. The loop on the grab bag is ideal to hang over the handle of my buggy / & round my wrist. As its oilcloth it is waterproof too, ideal with the awful weather we've been having. The pattern is lovely and vibrant and I've Baby J loved pointing at the cacti when we stopped for a drink when on a walk to feed the ducks. Later when I no longer need to carry nappies it could be used as a wash bag as its that perfect size to fit all my stuff in.
 
 
It is handmade and priced at a reasonable £14.95 this is a great item, and will come in handy in various uses for years to come. Hellomaterial Shop also does these in other patterns too, so if cowboys are your thing there are other patterns to choose from. Visit     http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/hellomaterial?ref=seller_info_count       
 
Slummy Mummy Seal of Approval - GRANTED
 

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Briggs Bibs and Bobs Blanket review - the best blanket around

Fans of my site and followers on Twitter will know that we are HUGE fans of Briggs Bibs and Bobs, a few months back we reviewed some of their bibs, and the Slummy Mummies gave it a big thumbs up, not only were they excellent bibs, but the profits go to Post Natal Research. One of the comments left on the review from the bibs mentioned a blanket, and the person who left the comment raved how amazing her blanket was that she'd had from Briggs Bibs and Bobs..... hummmm what was this amazing blanket? I enquired and was kindly sent one to review.
 
From the moment I was handed the package I was impressed [& I hadn't even seen the blanket] The packaging was well thought out and made me feel excited to open this luxurious package. When I opened the box I was blown away, the blanket exceeded all of my expectations,  the reversible blanket was soft baby blue on one side & blue, navy and brown stripes on the other. The material was so soft and cosy! On the top of the blanket are ribbon tags, which are perfect for Baby J to grab on to, There is even a label with a press stud which can looped round your cot, moses basket, pram, buggy, car seat etc to help keep it in place.... but the detail that made me smile and bought a sappy tear to my eye was the embroidered name of Baby J on the corner in gold with a heart. :-)
 
 
The one above is very similar to mine, and taken from Briggs Bibs and Bobs facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/#!/briggsbibsandbobs
 
The blanket is the perfect size, it  doesn't dwarf Baby J, but likewise he isn't going to outgrow it anytime soon. I've used it for a few weeks now and Baby J loves it, on the weekend during a family movie he happily cuddled down in it, I've also used it in the buggy, and with the handy press stud I wasn't worried about Baby J throwing it out of the buggy when I wasn't looking, it was also useful when I was getting him out as I could move it out the way without it flying  out on to the floor.
 
After a drink got spilt over it I was worried it would be ruin, but I followed the washing instructions and it came out as good as new - HOORAY! The blanket would make a great new Baby gift, and it something that can be used for a long time. After Baby J has gone to bed I often nab it and cuddle down with it in the evenings too - it just has that 'cuddle me now' feel to it or as we say in our household it has the 'cwtch factor'. Priced at just £22 which includes personalisation [postage is extra] this blanket is a bargain, I've seen similar blankets available else where which are no where near as nice, but are priced a lot lot higher. So don't waste time shopping around, order from Briggs Bibs and Bobs, I guarantee you will not be disappointed, and whoever you give the blanket too [if you can bare to be parted from it] will love it and treasure it.
 
Well done Briggs Bibs and Bobs for yet another masterpiece, you are truly are a talented selfless lady.   http://www.briggsbibsandbobs.webeden.co.uk/
 
It goes without saying...
Slummy Mummy Seal of Approval - GRANTED