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Saturday, 19 October 2013

Ikea MULA Building beakers

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I really should have made a better effort to update this blog more regularly.  I'm now back to work, it feels like I'm taking on another job when I get home from work - pick him up from nursery, make dinner, feed dinner, bathe, put him to bed.  It's only after he's asleep I feel like I can have a rest.

We went on a holiday to France in late August, we are driving so the amount of luggage is limited to the size of the car boot.

Here's a great toy we're so glad we bought!


The beakers can be stacked to form a tower, like the photo above, or you can hide them all in the red one when you want to pack them away.  Simple toy but kept my son entertained day after day.  Now we're in October, and he still loves it!!

And... this is probably the cheapest toy we've bought to date - only GBP 1.50!!

When your toddler is abit older you can probably use this to teach them colours too.

Highly recommended :)

http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/80021008/

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

NUK nasal decongester & Braun ThermoScan

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My little one got ill last week, he got a temperature and a runny nose.  It's the first time he got a temperature and it took him 5 days for the temperature to come down!!!

He's finally well and hence I finally have time to update my findings of what I found useful while my little one was unwell.

1. NUK nasal decongester - it's tricky to clear the nasal passage when the little one has a runny nose.  This nasal decongester works very well, it's very quick and easy to use.  The little one breathes so much better after his nasal passage is cleared.

 

 2. Braun ThermoScan

We used to have another ear thermometer - the BrotherMax one, we got it because it worked as a room temperature as well.  But we found the temperature measurement is not very accurate - we used it a few times in a row and we got 36.6, 36.6, then 37.9!!  So... how can we trust its measurement when it fluctuates so much within minutes?  A friend recommended the Braun ThermoScan - it's used by many NHS professionals (including our GP), and it has an indicator that would beep if the position isn't quite right.  Now we feel more reassured that the temperature measurement can be relied upon!  (At first I wanted to get it from the pharmacy straight away after hearing my friend's recommendation, but RRP is 42.99!!  It's cheaper to get it from Amazon even if we pay for the express delivery!)


No one wants their little one to get ill, but it's inevitable that they will one day... it's better to get these gadgets in advance so they are available when you need it urgently!  (and save yourself from paying for express delivery!)

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Homemade banana cake

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Sorry I have been abit lazy with updating my blog these days as it's the summer and we have always been out in the park!

Have been doing some baking as my little one loves finger food

The below quantity makes 6 cupcakes

Ingredients:
1 egg
10g sugar
60ml milk
15ml vegetable oil
80g all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 banana

How:

  1. preheat oven at 175C
  2. mix the flour with the baking powder and sieve well
  3. mashed up the banana
  4. mix the egg and the sugar
  5. add milk and vegetable oil to the mixture and mix well
  6. add the sieved flour and baking powder and mix well
  7. add the mashed banana and mix well
  8. put the mixture into cupcake cases
  9. bake at 175C for 15 minutes or until golden brown

It's a very easy recipe, I did it at 10pm because we decided to have a picnic the next day. (And because it was late, I forgot about taking photos!)

The little one had it for breakfast before setting of to the picnic! Hubby loves it too!

It's his first time trying out whole egg, and there's no egg white allergy, yay!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Cheese biscuits

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I'm in a baking mood these days!  Baking for baby is actually quite fun, and its good that you can control what's in the biscuits - eg reduce sugar, salt and preservatives, and anything you think your baby might be allergic to. 

Ingredients:
115g flour
55g butter
55g grated cheese
2 egg yolks

(Original recipe suggested using 1 whole egg and sprinkle of sesame but I've omitted in case of allergy)

Mix everything to make a dough, put in the fridge for 30 minutes, bake at 200C for 10-15 min or until golden. Can keep in a air tight box for 4 days. 


Friday, 21 June 2013

Apple rice cakes

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Have been experimenting with homemade finger food for my little one. 

This is a really simple and healthy recipe using only apple purée and rice!  It was experimental but I think it went well!

All you need is a small bowl of cooked rice, and some fruit / veg purée (depends what favour you want I make) mix them to get a paste like mixture, get into the desired shapes and bake at 175C for 15 minutes, till they get dried. I tried some and they feel light and delicious!  Since its only rice and apple purée you can let him/her have as many as he/she wants. 


Friday, 7 June 2013

Travelling with a new born - travel tips

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General travel tips:

1) Car seats aren't compulsory in some countries, some people would just hold the baby in their arms when they travel on a taxi.  Maybe I'm abit paranoid and risk adverse, but I don't feel safe with that as the baby might fly out of my arms if there's any accident.  Better be safe than sorry so  I always use a baby carrier and put my son in it during taxi journeys.  When he's older I may get those booster seats that he can carry as a back pack.

2) Bring baby food for contingencies.  Some people thought they could buy baby food when they get to the destination, but I would bring a decent supply just in case.  That's particularly important if you go to less developed countries.  We could still get Ella's Kitchen pouches in the countries we visited, but they are like double the price.

In terms of stuff we bought for our trips, we found these really useful:

1) flexible foldable bath


As we don't have a bath tub at the place we're staying, we need a bath tub to bathe our son.  This folds up easily and fits nicely in our suitcase.  Although it's plastic it feels very sturdy.  Looks cool too!

2) Microwave Steriliser Bags



These microwave steriliser bags are great because it's so light and compact, and fit into any microwave ovens.  I know some people would use steriliser tablets, but because we haven't used those before, we'd rather stick with microwave sterilising than using chemicals to sterilise.


3. Annabel Karmel Food Masher and Bowl


This food masher and bowl set is so handy when you want to mash up banana and potatoes or other soft food for your little one.  Light, dishwasher safe, and cheap, and does the job beautifully.

4. BabyBjorn Active Baby Carrier

As mentioned above I use baby carrier when we travel on a taxi without a car seat.  Maybe I'm abit paranoid and risk adverse, but I don't feel safe with that as the baby might slip out of my arms if there's any accident.  I also used the carrier when we visited places that aren't pram friendly, this BabyBjorn active carrier has a decent back support which I think is more comfortable than other models.  The carrier seems well designed and well made, and I didn't have to worry that I might drop my son. He also seems comfortable and fell asleep fine in it. The baby can face you or face the world, I usually let him face me when I want him to fall asleep.

Weaning pots

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Weaning pots.

I'm a strong believer of "economy of scale" so batch cooking is definitely the way forward for me.  I've purchased lots of different ones, not that I was experimental, it's just that the one I picked initially didn't quite meet my expectation.

This is how I would rank the pots

1. Vital Baby Freezer Pots
2. KOKO Weaning Food Freezer Tray
3. Baby Cubes
4. Brother Max




The Vital Baby Freezer Pots are so good!  They stack really well, and are well made.  You can push the frozen content out easily.  The large ones are ideal size (90ml) for portions as the little one progress with weaning too.  I'd say these pots are the best I've bought, way better than the other ones.  And they are very good value too.  Highly recommended.



The KOKO Weaning Food Freezer Tray comes second, you can "click" the lid into place, and they are very neat in the freezer.  Slight downside is that they don't stack that well without the tray, so when you only have 4 of these left the tray still takes up as much space in the freezer.  They're smaller so it's useful when the baby first start weaning, then I use them for fruit puree "desserts"



We bought these 140ml Baby Cubes because the 1st stage pots are becoming too small for our growing son.  The tray is a good idea as it keeps things neat in the freezer, but these pots are not as well made as I'd hope, one of them chipped after falling a short distance (OK I know we're not supposed to drop them, but accidents do happen, right...?)






I find the Brother Max ones most disappointing.  I bought these before we started weaning as they are apparently "award winning", and I did think they look cool.  How naive...  looking cool doesn't mean they're practical... annoyingly they don't click together properly so they don't look that neat in the freezer / cupboard.  And the bit at the bottom that's supposed to push the frozen content out doesn't quite work...... so, a very disappointing buy from Brother Max (their other products are quite good!)

You can read more info and more reviews here:
    

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Homemade apple teething biscuit

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Bought my son some teething biscuits, the ones from Plum has syrup in it and the ones from Heinz has sugar in it... so I thought I'd try making my own.

Saw some recipes with "prohibited" ingredients such as sugar and eggs, eg Vanilla Teether Shapes from www.homemade-baby-food-recipes.com/teething-biscuit-recipes.html
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour

There are also egg free ones from www.homemade-baby-food-recipes.com/egg-free-teething-biscuits.html
1 cup pure apple juice
1 to 1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup uncooked baby rice

Feeling experimental ... thought I'd mix and match (It's all about mixing some baby friendly dry and wet ingredients together, can't go too wrong, right...) I didn't have any apple juice at home, but I do have some apple puree.  I prefer using baby rice than flour, my son is not allergic to egg yolk, and I didn't want to use sugar, so this is what I came up with:

3/4 cup uncooked baby rice (with dried apple and apricot puree)
1 cup flour
40ml apple puree
40ml baby milk
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon oil

Bake at 180C for 20 minutes (or until it looks dry)

Result!




Not bad I thought, and my son seems to like them :)

Might try a different recipe next time!

Monday, 3 June 2013

Travelling with a new born - flying tips

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It's been a while since I update because we flew from London to the Far East to see grandparents.  We managed 4 flights fine, 2 long haul and 2 short haul, and we're pretty amazed that our 8 months old slept OK during the flights and didn't make too much noise.

Some flying tips:

1) Pick flight times that coincides with your baby's bed time.  We had a 12 hours flight and we picked an evening flight, our son slept beautifully for maybe the first 9 hours!  Even when he's awake he didn't make too much noise as he wasn't tired and hence wasn't grumpy.

2) The in flight infant seat belt doesn't look very safe, we put our son in a baby carrier during take off and landing.

3) The bassinet isn't that long, our 8 month old is already too big for it.  Luckily the airline we flew with (British Airways) also has a reclined chair we could use, otherwise my son's legs would be sticking out for the entire journey.  Please note that whenever the seat belt sign goes on, you'll need to take the baby out of the bassinet / reclined chair for safety reason.



4) When you book your flight, confirm the flight, get to the airport check in desk, get to the gate and get on the flight, let the flight attendent / check-in staff know that you're travelling with a baby and want the bassinet.  They won't install it for you until after take off, but they only carry so many on board and it's first come first serve.  You wouldn't want to carry the baby in your arm for the entire flight...

5) Bring lots of spare stuff, nappies, clothes... just in case.  (we were fine, but our friend's daughter threw up on the taxi on the way to the airport...)

6) Let your baby suck during take off and landing.  I breastfed and I also got some dummies with me, my son wasn't hungry so didn't want my breast, but he did suck on his dummy and didn't complain at all about ear pressure.

7) Bring some toys.  Our son slept most of the journey, but if he didn't, he'd need some entertainment.

8) Don't worry too much and chill.  The flight is only so many hours, and passengers sitting nearby are generally very understanding.


Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Vital Baby Soft Tip Feeding Spoons

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We first came across this soft tip spoon when we bought a travel set.  The lid did not close properly so I wouldn't recommend that set, but the spoon was great!  It's so soft and it's of a good size for feeding a 6 month old baby.  We love it so much that we bought a separate set of spoons afterwards.

They came in pink, blue, and orange/yellow.  

You can read more info and more reviews here:

Vital Baby Weaning Set

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We bought this set as we thought it's a good idea especially for going out, but the lid does not close properly and I wouldn't dare to take it out.

The only good thing I can say about this set is that the spoon is nice and soft, but I'd buy those separately rather than this set.  (We did buy a set of spoons afterwards, that is how good they are!)

Very disappointing, I really would not recommend the set (unless you only want to use it at home), however the spoons are great!

You can read more info and more reviews here:

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Halilit Rainbomaker Musical Shaker

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We first came across this at our son's first jabs.  Our son cried after the first jab and when the nurse shaked her secret weapon - this rainbomaker music shaker, he stopped crying instantly!  The same happened after the second jab.  So we bought it as soon as we got home, and it's very useful in calming our son down.  We have bought this for our friends' babies as we love it so much. (Have at least purchased 5 of these!)

Highly recommended.

You can read more info and more reviews here:

Lamaze Gardenbug Wrist Rattle and Foot Finder

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Our son loves this.  When we bought this at around 3 months he has already found his hands, but not his feet, and he did stare his feet lots and eventually realised those feet are his!  Wish we bought these sooner.

The foot finders did come off occasionally as there isn't any elastic bands, hence 4 stars and not 5.

You can read more info and more reviews here:

 

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Sing along with Elmo CD

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saw this being advertised on facebook, and couldn't help but get one for my son after listening to a sample!

http://singalongwithelmo.co.uk/special/

This used to be 20 quid and is currently on sale for 9.50 (on top there's P&P of 2.99)  This offer is available till 31st March 2013 so if you want one get one now!!


Thursday, 21 March 2013

Tommee Tippee Sangenic Nappy Bin

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New born babies pee and poo all the time.  Fact.

The wet ones don't stink too badly, but the dirty ones do...

And even more so once you've started feeding them solid food.

This nappy bin doesn't take up too much floor space, and it really helps contain the odour, so you don't have to clear your bin everyday.

Only 4 stars because the cassettes are not cheap, but that's the price to pay if we want an odour free home...

You can read more info and more reviews here:

   

Replacement cassettes (each cassette lasts about one week)

 

Magic bullet

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I've heard of the Magic Bullet years ago when I mentioned to a colleague that I like making fresh fruit smoothie, but I never got round to buying one until I need to start making puree for my son.

It is so easy to use - you make puree within seconds.  It doesn't take up much space on the work top, and is easy to clean.  (Dishwasher safe)

There's one thing to watch out though - the white rubber gasket stopping liquid leakage can come loose so make sure it's secure before turning the bullet on. (that's why it's 4 stars instead of 5)

Apart from baby puree, I've also used it to make smoothie for myself, as well as soup for dinner.

Official website with video demo: http://www.buythebullet.com/

You can read more info and more reviews here:

 

EasyN Wireless IP camera

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This camera is great!  Works during the day and during the night, we can see whether our son is sleeping or awake without disturbing him.

You can access through the internet (so hubby at work can see our son if he wants to), and the quality is great.  There's also an iPhone and Andriod app.  The price is very reasonable too, many other baby cameras are closer to the 100 quid mark!

We have two of these at home, as we also use it as a security camera while we're away from home - there's a built-in motion detection function so if there's an intruder the camera will take photos and email you.

Highly recommend this product.


You can read more info and more reviews here:

 

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