Monthly Archives: March 2012

Soft play fun

Being on maternity leave has the great benefit of giving me more time with my 22 month old son. One activity I’ve missed out on is going to soft play areas during the week when they are slightly less busy. This morning was a great opportunity to take him to a local venue. Not only did he have a fantastic time (so much so he didn’t want to leave!) but it was also great to meet local mums with children of a similar age.

What was really impressive was the set up and support given by the local mums running the session.

It was a great, relaxed atmosphere with a nice range of toys – from soft play, through to a bouncy castle and scooters. My young son had a ball and I can see this becoming a regular event!

It’s worth looking out for soft play centres setting up at local village halls etc. You don’t need to go to a big commercial centre to have a great time.


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Countdown to number two, three, four…

It’s hard to know whether you get more anxious waiting for your first child or the second/third/fourth.

With the first, there is the fear of the unknown. If you are anything like me your vivid imagination can take over, especially when it comes to the actual birth. On the flip side, you have the time to read all the books, attend all the classes and talk to friends and family about the upcoming event.

With the second (or more) baby, you’ve already had a birth experience – whether good, bad or somewhere in between – so you have some preconceptions (for better or worse). You can only hope that things are a bit easier the next time around as your body has been through the process before. The downside is that you are probably kept quite busy looking after your existing children and don’t get the chance to refresh your memory about the birth process, things to prepare for, things not to worry about.

Key points to remember are:

– Few births go exactly to plan (we may all have a ‘wish list’ which we dutifully write up in our antenatal records, but in most cases you have to go with the flow as each delivery, baby and mother is different – as are the consultants and environments affecting events).

– Everyone has an opinion. The majority of people mean well. Some speak from experience, but sometimes this can be clouded by time so it’s important not to take everything to heart.

Above all, it’s important to ensure you think about what’s right or important for you and use that as your guideline. The experts will step in as / when required.

It’s an exciting, if slightly daunting time. But if you’re expecting number two (or more) then you know the many benefits to be had once you have the new addition to the family.

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Gaga for gifts

Having just stopped work last week I have been amazed at how generous and creative people are when it comes to baby presents. There are some really fun ideas that are beautiful to receive, whilst also being really practical.

The ones that really stand out are the baby bouquets (baby clothes wrapped to look at flower bouquets) from companies such as (also do gifts for grown ups too!). Just type ‘baby clothes bouquet’ into Google and you’ll be amazed by the range of options available.

For my first child, I received a really lovely travel blanket with my child’s name and birth date on (very handy after the three day labour when memories of dates were a bit blurred!). It was also soft to touch, easy to clean and quick to dry – making it the perfect accessory. There are a number of companies that offer this style of gift for reasonable prices such as Born Gifted.

Considering how much is going on in people’s lives, it’s really lovely to receive something a little special for the birth of your child. If it can be practical too, what could be better?

Would love to hear any quirky presents you’ve received that have really helped you with your newborn.



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Buggy basics

Having made the decision to keep my first child at nursery when baby number two arrives, for a number of reasons:

– keeping normal routine

– maintaining lots of play / interaction for a developing child

– time for me to spend with the new baby (and hopefully time to catch up with sleep / housework)

I realised that a single buggy would be practical for walks and quick shops (while a baby carrier is very convenient, there are times when having your child resting separately is really useful!). It was great to be able to use some of our previous experience to pick the new pram. I was in awe at how simple the new system was:

– lightweight frame

– single release fold / unfold

– clip in / out car seat and pram seat

– one press brake

– easy to manouver (good turning circle)

It was great to be able to watch ‘how to use’ videos of different options on sites such as and preciouslittleone, as well as the manufacturers themselves. Options from Britax, Quinny, Mothercare were great and it was just a question of doing some online research to find the best package / option to suit our needs.

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