Cocoon Babies Car Seat Blanket

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When I was pregnant with my first son, I bought lovely, thick, fluffy pram suits to keep him warm. After all, he was due in November and it would be really cold. When he was a few months old, I realised that what I was doing was really unsafe. REALLY unsafe. The thickness of the pram suit meant that his car seat straps were not snug against his body, and if we’d had an accident, he would have been thrown forward an inch or two in his car seat. It might not sound like much, but that can do a lot of damage especially to babies and children.

 

So, with my second son, I didn’t buy a pram suit. Instead, I put him in little cardigans then popped a blanket over him once he was strapped into his car seat. This was much safer, but goodness me, it was a faff! More often than not, he decided it was naptime just as we needed to go out. Putting a cardigan on meant he would wake up, so he’d spent a lot of the car journeys grumpy and crying. Or he would kick the blanket off and get cold. Or I’d worry that he might have pulled the blanket over his face. I just didn’t know how else to keep him warm yet still be safe.

 

cocoon babies

cocoon babies car seat blanket review

 

Fortunately, a savvy mum had already come up with the perfect solution: the Cocoon Car Seat Blanket (£29.99). Like me, she had learnt about the dangers of putting babies in thick coats or pram suits while in their car seats and together with her own mum came up with this fantastic blanket.

 

The Cocoon is a beautiful knitted blanket with soft snuggly fleece on the inside and four simple poppers to close it. The back of the blanket has three holes, perfectly positioned to fit each of the straps and the buckle of your baby’s car seat. You then place your baby into the car seat, do up the straps and the blanket then closes over the straps. There is no need for a pram suit, coat or jacket so the straps are snug against your baby’s body keeping them safe and secure. The Cocoon fits babies from birth until around 9 months old, so it also offers great value for money. It’s such a clever yet simple idea!

 

cocoon babies car seat blanket

 

As well as keeping Baby J warm and safe, the Cocoon solves the problem of what to do if he falls asleep before we go out. I can simply place him in his seat, with his Cocoon already there. As there are no sleeves to worry about he doesn’t even stir. I can do up his straps and close the Cocoon without disturbing him. He carries on snoozing, blissfully unaware. And if he is still asleep when we reach wherever we’re going, the poppers make it easy to open the Cocoon without waking him up, so he doesn’t get too warm! It has made going out and about so much easier.

 

car seat blanket cocoon babies

 

Everywhere we go, people comment on our Cocoon, saying how cosy Baby J looks and asking where it’s from. When I explain how it works, the feedback is always the same: “what a brilliant idea!” And I have to agree with them, it IS a brilliant idea. The Cocoon is one of the best baby accessories we’ve ever tried and I truly think every new parent needs one!

 

To buy one or to find out more go here: http://www.cocoonbabies.co.uk/

 

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Disclosure: I was sent the Cocoon car seat blanket to review, however all thoughts and opinion remain my own.

Silent Sunday #2

Fisher-Price Newborn-to-Toddler Play Gym

fisherprice newborn to toddler baby gym review

 

Since the arrival of Baby J, people have often asked me, “is it harder having two?” I always reply that it’s not any harder, it’s just different. There is one thing that I have found tricky and that is making sure I give them both plenty of attention – if I play with Little N I worry that Baby J isn’t being stimulated enough and if I play with Baby J I worry that Little N feels left out. It’s hard to find things that keep both a toddler and a baby happy, but I have managed to find at least one thing they both love, which is this fantastic Fisher-Price Newborn to Toddler Gym.

 

fisherprice play gym review

 

The Fisher-Price Newborn-to-Toddler Play Gym (£56.99) is a “grow with me” toy which is suitable from birth and has three stages: Lay & Play, Sit & Play and Stand & Play. It has over 10 different activities, features bright colours, dancing lights and fun sounds, has gorgeous little animal toys and brightly coloured balls to play with, and has 2 different music modes: Long Play for up to 20 minutes of music or baby-activated Short Play.

 

In newborn mode, baby can Lay & Play on the mat and try to grab and bat the animal toys dangling from the arch. In sitting mode the mat can be folded over to reveal pockets, so that baby can Sit & Play putting the balls in the pockets. In toddler mode, the mat can be moved away completely and it becomes a Stand & Play toy using the giraffe and zebra ball drops. Through the various modes of play it helps babies to develop both fine motor and gross motor skills as well as working on their coordination and balance.

 

The play gym was super easy to assemble. The arch simply clicked onto the two bases and the soft padded mat attached easily on each corner. No tools required! The owl toy was already attached to the arch so I simply had to add the other two toys, get the balls out, add 3 AAA batteries, then it was ready for the boys to play with.

 

fisherprice baby play gymfisherprice newborn toddler play gym

fisherprice baby gym review

 

I am a bit of a neat freak and hate clutter so I’m really happy that this baby gym doesn’t take up lots of space. The mat is machine washable which is very handy after Little N’s sticky little fingers have been all over it. The design is so gorgeous with beautiful bright colours and a mixture of jungle and woodland animals. With Little N I loved anything nautical-themed, especially whales. This time round, with Baby J I absolutely love woodland creatures, particularly foxes, so this fits in perfectly!

 

I have set the play gym up in the newborn mode so that Baby J can lay down and play with the animal toys and watch the dancing lights. At the same time Little N is able to play with the zebra and giraffe ball drops. Baby J absolutely loves batting at the toys and is delighted when he manages to grab hold of them with his chubby little hands. The padded mat is so comfy that he will happily lay there long enough for me to have a cup of tea!

 

Little N thinks the ball drops are brilliant and spends ages dropping the balls into the top of the arch or through the holes. He loves showing the different coloured balls to his baby brother, he is so sweet. Baby J will often stop what he is doing and just watch Little N. They both love the music and the little sounds that it makes when activated by what they’re doing. It has a great mix of nursery rhymes that change often and are interspersed by bubbly, “boingy” sounds and giggles.

 

This baby gym is perfect for keeping little ones happy from birth well into toddlerhood and it’s fantastic if like me you have both a baby and a toddler to entertain, as they both can happily play together. I predict that this is going to provide my boys with lots of fun over the next few years!

 

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Disclosure: I received the Fisher-Price Newborn-to-Toddler Play Gym for free for review, however all thoughts and opinion remain my own.

Silent Sunday #1

silent sunday

 

 

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What NOT to say to a new mum


In the days and weeks following my babies' births, I had expected that people would be sensitive to the fact that I was tired, emotional and hormonal, and handle me with care. I could not have been more wrong! 
 
Here are some of the gems that people have actually said to me days after having a baby:
 
"She looks like she’s got another one in there"
This was said by my Dad, of all people, 24 hours after having my baby! I had been telling him and his girlfriend about Baby J's amazing birth. His girlfriend said, "you don't look like you've just had a baby." By this, she meant I looked well. My Dad piped up, "yeah, she looks like she's got another one in there." Ouch.
 
"Oh, gosh, your belly is still big!"
Thank you, dear friend of mine, for pointing that out. It'll take a bit longer than 36 hours to get my pre-pregnancy figure back, y'know.
 
"Wow, look at his squashed head"
Well, duh, his head was squeezed out of my vagina 36 hours earlier! This was from the same friend who made the big belly comment. She pointed out my belly then immediately commented on my son's head. I was floored.
 
"Is she having another baby?"
This was said by my 7 year old stepson, whilst pointing at my belly. Enough with the belly comments, people!
 
"Are you okay? You look tired"
You might think this is well-meant comment, but I'd actually slept well, spent time doing my make-up and thought I looked quite nice on that occasion. So it was a bit of a blow to be told I looked tired. And even if I did look tired, don't point it out!
 
So next time you visit a new mum, if you're not sure what to say, at least you know what NOT to say!
 
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Dettol Baby Blanket Donation

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Like most mums, my children’s first ever blankets are a treasured keepsake, but many babies across the world never get to experience the comfort of a warm, clean blanket.
 
Dettol has teamed up with celebrity mum-of-two, Rachel Stevens, to encourage mums to “keep the memories, not the bacteria” in a new campaign which highlights the dangers of bacteria on baby blankets: did you know that even after washing they can still harbour a variety of unpleasant bacteria? The campaign also supports disadvantaged families in need of baby blankets and raises money for the charity Sparks.
 
EDITORIAL USE ONLY Rachel Stevens, a mum of two and new ambassador of Dettol Anti-bacterial Laundry Cleanser, launches the Dettol Baby Blanket Donation campaign in central London, by donating the first blanket to the cause. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday September 23, 2014. Dettol is encouraging parents across the UK to “keep the memories, not the bacteria” - @DettolBlanket #sharethememories - by donating a blanket via Freepost and sharing their special recollections and photographs of their babies’ blanket on social media.  Once collected, the baby blankets will be hygienically washed with Dettol Anti-bacterial Laundry Cleanser before being re-distributed by Dettol to families in need. For more information visit <www.dettol.co.uk/donate> Photo should read: Geoff Caddick/PA<br />
 
Dettol Anti-Bacterial Laundry Cleanser kills 99.9% of bacteria even in washes as low as 30 degrees. Dettol and Sparks are asking mums to send in unwanted baby blankets to their freepost address below, where they’ll be hygienically washed then redistributed to families in need.
 
For every blanket collected Dettol has also pledged to donate £1 to Sparks. Sparks’ projects find ways to diagnose, treat and prevent conditions in four key areas: pregnancy and birth, first months of life, infancy and early childhood and rare childhood diseases. You can find out more about their work by visiting www.sparks.org.uk.
 
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To donate a blanket to the campaign simply send it to the following address:
 
FREEPOST RTKJ-YSGS-SSHR
Dettol Baby Blanket Donation
c/o Spink
Balcombe Place Stables
HAYWARDS HEATH
RH17 6AZ
 
You can also share on Facebook your special baby blanket memories and photographs. Or tweet @DettolBlanket using the hashtag #sharethememories.
 
It’s such a great campaign and couldn’t be easier to get involved!
 
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