Posted in babies, Brands we love, Parenting, preschoolers, Toddlers

6 reasons I love this eco friendly giraffe play mat from Babyluv

We live in a really small space that is mostly tiles and I’ve been looking for a playmat to put down for Hamish to play on.

I specifically wanted one that was easy enough to move around to the area he wanted to play in and that I could take with us if we headed for a picnic or to the beach.

When I saw the Babyluv eco friendly animal play mats I knew I had found the mat I was looking for.

Why a giraffe ?

Looking at the cute designs of bunny, elephant and giraffe I chose the friendly lookng giraffe as he loves giraffes.

If you follow us on Instagram you would have seen the absolute delight on Hamish’s face when he recieved this package. He fell in love with the giraffe and insisted on putting the play mat on his bed to sleep on that night.

Why I love the eco friendly playmat

Firstly, the size…. it’s perfect for babies tummy time all the way up to preschool playtime, ensuring that you are investing in a product you can use for a while.

The mats come in two sizes and this is a large which measures 145cm x 195cm

Secondly, design …it’s just too cute. Hamish fell in love with the friendly giraffe and it will compliment most homes.

It’s the perfect play mat or carpet for bedrooms, playrooms, classrooms, travel, speech therapy, or rainy days at home.

Thirdly, its portable …this playmat folds up into a much smaller size and can be kept or transported in the little bag it comes with making it great for taking along to the beach, on a picnic, playdate or on holiday.

Fourthly, its non slip. ..Soft anti slip cloth underneath allows your kiddies to jump, roll and slide all over the mat without it moving.

Fifthly, its soft … it’s so soft that if you were out your little one , or bigger one could nap on it comfortably.

This breathable mat was made with comfort in mind.

And finally…. it’s easy to clean.

The mat is MACHINE WASHABLE and you can tumble dry (gentle/low) or drip dry.When cleaning use a mild detergent, no bleach. You can also use warm iron if needed to get any creases out afer washing.

This little mat is perfect for childhood adventures and I see many reading moments and puzzle play happening here for us as I love to play on the floor with Hamish.

For more information please contact http://www.babyluv.co.za

#sponsored

Posted in babies, Brands we love, Family Time, Fine motor activities, Parenting, preschool, preschoolers, Toddlers

Fit and Fun Mr Ring from Chicco

Hamish was gifted this stunning Fit and Fun Mr Ring from Chicco

He absolutely loves it but it’s taken a few weeks for him to learn to throw the discs over this modern ring toss game, instead of just placing them onto the poles.

The cute hedgehog face base rotates at 2 different speeds, which challenges his attention every time and is awesome for building his hand eye co-ordination skills.

The 8 coloured rings, 2 of each colour pole, are made of lightweight plastic making it the best game for playing indoors as I know he can’t break anything.

Also great for little ones who have just started matching and grouping colours, as Hamish first used this to match the pole and discs according to their colours.

Now we play a variety of games, allowing him to learn to follow commands.

For example :

  • Throw the purple disc onto the red pole.
  • Throw 3 discs onto the blue pole.
  • Throw all the discs onto the yellow pole.
  • Throw the colour disc onto its matching pole.

You could make up any combination.

Of course he loves this version of play, as he gets to tell me what to do when I take my turn.

The poles are also removable, making it easy to store or to take with if travelling.

It plays 6 different melodies.The tunes are plesant and not overly loud, so if you had a baby sleeping your toddler could still enjoy this game without it waking baby.

This fun and funky musical game stimulates manual co-ordination and fine motor skills.

A welcome addition to any toddlers playroom.

For more information contact http://www.chicco.co.za

Posted in babies, Cape Town - Things to see & do, Events, Family Life, Family Time, Life with my bears, Parenting, preschoolers, Toddlers

Fun mamma School Holiday Challenge …. a look at our 10 days of fun activities.

These school holidays I set a daily challenge to encourage parents to spend some time just playing with their children.

All of the challenges were inexpensive, easy things to do at home that did not break the bank.

These were the challenges

On Day 1 we went for ice cream at our local KFC.

Day 2 was more messy as we made our own homemade paints to play with.

These paints were made by adding a few drops of food colouring to yoghurt.

On Day 3 we went on a nature treasure hunt. I think this was his favourite out of all the activities.

I drew a list of things for him to find and we took a walk to find each one.

For Day 4 we played an old fashioned game of hide and seek. Playing with a 3 year old has its challenges. He kept hiding in the same place.

On Day 5 we drew self portraits. I tried rater unsuccessfully to get the entire family to join.

This was also a very special activity as I’m going to get Hamish to draw one once a year and note his progress over the years in a special scrapbook.

Day 6 was to build a blanket fort. I managed to get one up but Hamish prefered pulling it down.

On Day 7 we enjoyed some water play. We had gotten home late and so I added an extra cap of bubbles and we filled the tub with bubbles. It wasn’t long before we were throwing bubbles at each other.

Day 8 we got to move it ! move it ! I took our dance party outside as we were at the Wordcamp kids daycare fir the day.

For Day 9 I gave Hamish some chalk and we went outside to draw pretty pictures on the concrete.

Day 10 and the last Sunday of our challenge. It rained and we decided a lazy Sunday cuddling up and watching movies Hamish chose was the perfect way to end our challenge.

The simplistic activities are often the ones our children enjoy the most. These are the fun things that become part of the memories they look back at when our children raise their own.

Spending quality time, even 20 minute a day totally present with your child is important. Doing things they love allows you to connect closer to them and builds their self esteem.

If you joined our challenge I would love to hear your thoughts on the activcities.

Posted in babies, Events, Health & Wellness, Mamma bears, Parenting, pregnancy, Toddlers

International Babywearing week 30 September – 6 October

This week sees the start of the International Babywearing week.

A week long opportunity to celebrate, promote, advocate and educate about the many benefits of baby wearing.

The theme for 2019 is “CONTINUING TRADITION” and I encourage you to share your thoughts on this topic in the comments below.

What is babywearing?

Babywearing has been practiced around the world for centuries and includes wearing your baby or toddler close to you in a sling, wrap or carrier, as you go about your day.

Babywearing has been gaining popularity in recent years as a form of attachment parenting.

The benefits of babywearing

There are many benefits to babywearing, they include :

  • Good for development as a baby who is carried is closer to mom and can study facial expressions, learn language and be familiar with body language.
  • Your baby may cry less and get a better quality of sleep and so improve their immune system.
  • Improve bonds with siblings as parents have free hands and are able to give more attention to siblings.
  • Helps premature babies gain weight and thrive as skin to skin contact is vital for babies born premature.
  • Good for hips when done correctly can assist to develop strong, healthy hip joints.
  • Can reduce colic as babies who are wborn tend to cry less.
  • Gives parents the freedom and confidence to perform other tasks.
  • Allows for a stronger bonding experience between baby and the wearer.
  • Can help with post natal depression as moms feel less guilty when wearing baby.
  • Keeps strangers away and stops them from just touching baby.
  • Helps mom lose the baby weight as you use more energy carrying yor baby than pushing a stroller.
  • Allows mom to feed on the go if you are breastfeeding.
( source : www.babywearing.org)

My babywearing journey

I started my parenting journey in 1992 and remember being given a baby carrier.

This was a simple device that clipped onto me, that I refused to use until my baby was a plump 5 months old in fear of her falling out.

Four years later as the mom of a now preschooler, a toddler and a new born I fished out the carrier again as I needed some free hands whilst shopping or cleaning the house.

I never saw this as baby wearing only as a way to free my hands to get things done.

In 2003 my youngest daughter was born and I met a fellow mom who wore her baby in bright handmade coloured slings. She seemed a bit eccentric to me.

Whilst I had a fancy pram to gently lay my baby down in she would pick up her little one and strap him to her back or slip him into his sling.

When I fell pregnant with Hamish, I had gained much more knowledge on the benefits of babywearing and my eccentric friend no longer looked so crazy.

One of my first purchases for Hamish was a ring sling.

But I broke my leg 3 weeks into our parenting journey with Hamish and spent much of his first year immobile. So baby wearing sadly did not become the part of our journey I had hoped it would be.

Still there were days when he fussed a little too much or when he was ill that I would bundle him into the sling (which I’m sure I always wore wrong)

Brent would use the sling for Hamish if we went out, keeping him close by.

Being on crutches I couldn’t carry Hamish and am greatful for the sling as it not only kept our little one safe and secure, it allowed for a stronger bond with Brent who became his primary carer if we were out.

I remember the one day in particular, Hamish hadn’t slept all day. His chest was bad and I was beginning to think he just wasn’t going to sleep at all.

The sling was in the car with Brent at work, I was stuck upstairs unable to move very far with a heavy cast on my leg and close to tears at my own frustration of not being able to stand up and rock my unhappy baby.

In desperation, I remembered my friend from so many years ago with her colourful handmade slings, grabbed a sarong and made a make shift sling to slip Hamish into.

A few seconds later, he slept for the first time in hours without fussing.

For us, baby wearing was a way to strenthen our bond, keep our little man safe and secure and to comfort him when he needed to be close to us.

Do you babywearing?

Posted in babies, Crafts, preschool, preschoolers, recipes, Toddlers

How to dye pasta

Coloured pasta is very versatile. You can use it in sensory tubs or to do a vatiety of crafts.

Here is how to dye pasta

YOU NEED:

Dry pasta

Vinegar

Food coloring

Parchment paper / wax wrap

Baking tray

Instructions

For every cup of dry pasta in a bowl, pour 1 tbsp of vinegar.

Add a few drops of food coloring

Mix together until all the pasta pieces are fully coloured

Place a sheet of parchment paper/ wax wrap on the baking tray and pour the coloured pasta on top.

Lay out the pasta in an even layer and let out to dry for a few hours in the sun.

Tip – Try to not have any of the pasta pieces touching when you spread them out to dry.

Posted in babies, Life with my bears, preschool, preschoolers, recipes, Toddlers

How to make Pirate bananas

Each year on the 19 September we celebrate International talk like a pirate day.

To celebrate this year Hamish dressed up in his pirate mask and ran around shouting “Arrrr! Me matey!” as he pretended to be Jake from the Neverland Pirates before we settled down to a breakfast of Pirate bananas.

Pirate bananas

I hear you asking what a pirate banana is….

It is simply a banana with pirate face drawn onto it. I saw one online somewhere and it has stuck with me.

Hamish loves them.

To make your own

To make your own you will need :

Bananas

A piece of cloth or serviette as a bandana ( I used Johnson & Johnson baby wipes)

A black permanent marker

To make up

Draw your pirates face onto the top half of the banana.

Fold your material to form a triangle and tie on.

These make a really cute lunch box suprise or party favour.

Hamish, being just short of 3 years old decided of course, that I wasn’t allowed to break the face when opening the banana.

Have to love a preschooler 🤦‍♀️

Posted in babies, Family Life, Family Time, Parenting, preschoolers, Toddlers, Tweens & Teens

School Holiday challenge … Day 3

Sunday’s are family days. A time to connect and spend time together.

One of the easiest ways to do that is to get outdoors. Put on those Takkies and take the family for a walk. This is both healthy and fun.

A fun way to make this more exciting is to challenge the kids to a nature hunt.

A nature hunt is a list of items they need to find in your back garden, the park, or on your stroll through your neighbourhood.

Try to make your list relevant to your childs age and abilities. For example a little child may just look for a flower, whereas an older child can be asked to find a specific flower like a rose, sunflower or lily.

Here are some examples of a few fun nature hunts.

( photo credit unknown or on image .)

Make your own

Take a piece of paper or card. Draw or list a few items you want your child to collect.

Give your child the list and a marker to pick off each item found.

Just for fun

You could also divide into groups and see who finds the items fastest.

Happy hunting mammas.

Posted in babies, Crafts, Family Life, Fine motor activities, preschool, preschoolers, recipes, Toddlers

School Holiday challenge Day 2 – Homemade bath paint recipes

Most children love messy play as it stimulates their senses and allows them the freedom to explore and play.

Today’s challenge is fabulous for bath time but you can also use any of the recipes to let your child paint on glass doors, windows, tiles or a large plastic tray.

It washes off easily with hot soapy water.

I’ve included 3 recipes to make bath paints. I use the first one as I find it has a better consistency and can be made a few hours before and stored in the fridge.

RECIPES

1.Shaving cream bath paint

To make the shaving cream bath paints you will need:

🎨 A container to mix paints into ( cake baking tins work best, but you can use anything non breakable)

🎨 Shaving cream

🎨 food colouring

🎨 paint brush

To mix your paints together spray a generous amount of shaving cream into each container, add one or two drops of food colouring and mix well.

Note: The food colouring does not stain your child or the bath because it’s used in such small drops.

2. Yoghurt bath paint

This is a great paint to use with little children whom you think may try eat the paint.

The consistancy is a lot more runny, you could add some corn flour to thicken it if you feel it is too runny.

To make the yoghurt bath paints you will need:

🎨 A container to mix paints in. (I like to use a 6 pack yoghurt and use the little pots themselves as my paint pots.)

🎨 Yoghurt

🎨 food colouring

🎨 paint brush

To mix your paint, divide your yoghurt into little containers and add one or two drops of food colouring to your yoghurt.

The colours will be more pastel looking.

3. Bath tub finger paint.

This is a nice alternative to the shaving cream paint but also more runny and better for sensitive skin, as you can use your favourite baby wash or shampoo.

To make the bath finger paint you will need:

🎨 a container to mix your paint

🎨 About 4 to 6 tablespoons of your favourite baby wash or shampoo for each colour.

🎨 food colouring

🎨 1 teaspoon of corn flour per colour

🎨 paintbrush

To make your paint into each container add 4 to 6 tablespoons of your baby wash or shampoo.

Add a drop of food colouring per container.

Mix into each colour, a teaspoon of corn flour.

Mixing colours

Here’s a handy chart to mix your colours.

Happy bubbles mammas ❤

Posted in babies, Brands we love, Mamma bears, pregnancy

Natura Moms and Baby Range

Hamish and I were recently sent a gorgeous gift hamper from Natura, containing some of their new Moms and baby range to try.


I am a firm believer in the Natura tissue salts and have used their range extensively so I was excited to try these new products.


About Naturas New Moms And Baby Range


Natura’s new mom and baby range offers gentle and effective, quality solutions through their trusted homeopathic remedies.

From morning sickness and breastfeeding to colic and teething this comprehensive range have a remedy for many of the common niggles moms and babies have.

What’s really great is that all the remedies are prepared as quick dissolving tablets,making it much easier to administer to babies and toddlers.


Products in the range


There are 17 products in the range.

For Mom

  • Prolak
  • Used for lactation, this supports the production of milk and eases with pain associated with breastfeeding.

  • Moton
  • Used for morning sickness, this assists with nausea and vomiting in the mornings and is useful if you are suffering from dreadful persistent nausea. It also assists with severe water brash.

  • O4 Serum
  • The O4 serum is a stretchmarm reduction gel and is used to reduce the appearance of blemishes associated with stretch marks and scars. It evens the skin tone. Offers intense moisturising and hydrated the skin. It is quickly absorbed to  improve the skin’s elasticity and suppelness without leaving an oily residue.

  • Nipella
  • Used to soothe and protect sore and cracked nippels. This cream 8s GMO free, 100% natural, contains no fragrances or preservatives.



    For Baby

  • Rescue
  • Used if baby is distressed,  tearful, restless, has anxiety or fears or for emotional shock.

  • Arnica D6
  • These are for those every day bumps and bruises or sore muscles.

  • Castro
  • You can use this for baby sniffles like runny nose, post natal drip, nasal congestion and thick sticky tears.

  • Dental
  • These ease teething. Use for painful gums,difficult teething, delayed teething, emotional crying caused by teething and to ease the teething runny tummy symptoms.

  • Kolik
  • For little ones suffering from colic, persistent crying, crying after feeding and if they have a flushed face from crying.

  • Snappy nappy
  • This cute barrier cream contains zinc oxide, soothing calendula and aloe vera to soothe sensitive bottoms.
    It also contains bees wax to act as a barrier against the moisture in your little ones nappy. With no parabens, colorant or fragrance you know this is a gentle product.

    For Mom and Baby

  • Karma Sleep
  • Used for sleeplessness, especially if you have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Also good for restless sleep or changes in your sleeping pattern.

  • Ezin cough
  • Used for md wet and dry coughs.

  • Starlite
  • This product is used for sore throats, coughs, mild fevers and stuffy or runny noses.

  • Magen
  • Used for indigestion, bloating, motion sickness, heartburn or nausea after eating.

  • Kronolax
  • This is used for constipation, difficulty passing stools and to ease abdominal discomfort.

  • Danon
  • This runny tummy remedy is used for diarrhea, loose water stools or involuntary stool movement.


    Our experience


    Not being a lactating mom, we passed some of our samples onto 2 moms who could use them but we did try the awesome bath products.

  • Double Bubble
  • This 3 in 1 body wash, shampooanx bubble bath contains Calendula and Camomile making it the perfect combination to calm Hamish after a busy day.

    He loved the smell, I loved how soft his skin felt after his bath.

    All the ingredients are of natural origin and it has no colorant or Parabens.

    There were sufficient bubbles and it doesn’t leave a stain or mark on the bath.

    Of course I love that I only need one product to clean my busy boy with.

  • Calicalm
  • This calming Calendula and Lavender bath and massage oil could not have arrived at a better time as Hamish hurt his leg at school.

    So I massaged his leg with a little of this to calm him and dropped a few drops into his bath.

    The bottle contains a cute hippo and he was convinced the hippo remedy made his leg feel better.

    I love that this range of personal care products has cute animals on the containers. 

    I also love that when developing these products Natura sourced raw materials which are of natural origin, making them organic or Eco-cert approved, and from sustainable resources.

    You can purchase Natura products at Diskem or Clicks.

    To find out more http://www.natura.co.za

    Posted in babies, Parenting

    The Dangers in dummy chains

    I often do comparisons in my parenting journey as so many things have evolved.

    One of those things is dummy chains ….

    Way back in 1992, when I bought my first dummy chain from Snookums, it was a flat round plastic circle in pink. It had a pink plastic link chain and a clip to attach to the ring of the dummy. You fastened it with a pin.

    The boys dummy chains weren’t much different, only I now found blue and yellow shapes and some fastened with a plastic clip.

    For Kerri, as I felt the plastic hurt the baby as they slept, I made my own by tying the dummy to pink ribbon and fastening it on with a safety pin.

    In 2012 I did my first dummy chain giveaway on Fun Mamma SA ,and thought it genius that soft materials were now being used with a clip.

    My youngest child, Kerri, was by now at school so I never used the product.

    A dummy chain for Hamish

    When time came to buy for Hamish, the choices were overwhelming.

    From soft ribbon chains to natural and silicone beads.

    Hamish was so kindly sent a silicone dummy chain that had his name as a gift.

    He was about 8 months old at the time and would give up his dummy a few months later.

    I would fasten the dummy chain on him and was super impressed as it kept him busy and looked so attractive. Plus it was soft so he couldn’t hurt himself ….

    Or so I thought!

    We had been playing in the bed and I was folding washing. To keep Hamish busy I handed him his dummy chain as I had countless times before.

    With new teeth sprouting he was using the silicone as a teether. This seemed perfect. No need to always carry around a teething toy I could just sterilise the silicone dummy chain and know he was safely chomping on the beads and shapes.

    This particular day I wasn’t concentrating as I folded washing and he grabbed the metal clasp part of the dummy chain and put it in his mouth.

    All I heard was the sound of my child gagging.

    My reflexes were thankfully a lot faster than I thought they were because I can remember seeing everything in a slow motion dream like state.

    I yanked the chain out his mouth, releasing air back into his airway.

    The chain clasps are the same size as a large Grape!

    He had somehow managed to suck this in and it was lodged in his throat.

    If I had not been Infront of him, and a lot of mothers are busy -leaving their babies in cots or playpens with their dummy straps…. If I had not been in front of him he would have choked.

    I’ve been so reluctant to write this post as I know it was a beautiful, well made product.

    It was also a complete accident and one that I could have avoided by giving him something else to chew.

    I also know most moms keep the dummy chain clipped on but at 8 months he could unclip it himself and there are still children who are 3 years old using a dummy …. They still don’t possess the ability to remove items lodged in their throat.

    Hamish wasn’t hurt although we both got a huge fright and I threw out all dummy chains that day.

    If you are a new mom or a mom using a dummy chain please be vigilant. Educate your carers to watch that it is always pinned to your child.