Melissa & Doug Shopping Trolley

Cute, study and long lasting

Recently I was so excited to go out an buy a shopping trolley for M that matched a trolley that I had at the same sort of age. I have wanted to buy one for her for ages as she loves putting things in boxes at home or putting things in the trolley when we go shopping. I bought one that was identical, or so I thought, of the one I had as a child but sadly I was so disappointed in the quality of the item that it ended up being binned almost as soon as we got home. The plastic was thin, the wheels warped and M just could not push it as it was so badly made. I will admit I was gutted.
  We then started to google shopping trolleys for kids and found the Melissa & Doug Shopping Trolley but with prices ranging from £50 – £60 we just could not justify getting one. Luckily I saw one for sale on Gumtree for £15 and jumped at the chance to buy it, even though it was a wee drive away we had wanted a trip down that way for a while so killed two birds with one stone.

On collecting the items we thought it looked pristine, though not knowing what one looked like new we were not sure. As soon as we got home M instantly loved it and I will say that the price tag of £50-£60 suddenly became understandable. The trolley is of such great quality, Imagine a supermarket trolley but shrunk. It has a good weight and is made, from what I can see, the same materials as a supermarket trolley and having worked in a supermarket I know they are not cheap.

I was worried it might actually be too heavy for M to push but she can manage it across carpet with a bit of effort but manages fine when it is on the wooden decking outside or when we took it for a trip round Tesco. Although not needed the trolley has three stoppers that help prevent it tumbling if being pulled up on.

We then saw a brand new one for same in a garden centre near here and I can honestly say the trolley we have is in good as new condition but had we not managed to grab ourselves a bargain I would be happy enough to buy at full price for a Christmas or birthday present. In fact I would buy one in a heartbeat for a gift.

I can see this being used for years and not a mark being made on it.

I have found it reduced to £45.69 in Amazon and would highly recommend this to anyone with a child from 1+ (although it says 3+).

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Blair Drummond Safari Park

A fun day out to see the animals

Sometimes I am taken by surprise about how fast M is growing up and I did just that when we went on a family trip to Blair Drummond Safari Park recently.

The first time we visited the safari park with M was when she was around 4 months old but fast forward 14 months and her experience of the park was so, so different.

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Last time I don’t think she was overly aware of there being animals around her, this time she proudly sat on my knee as we drove round the animal reserve and pointed at the animals with such delight (until a deer came right up to the passenger window and gave her a bit of a start).

One thing I love is that she constantly waved and said tata to the animals as we left them behind, so cute! I love seeing her grow up.

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Of course no trip to any safari park would be the same without getting overly excited about playing in the park which is something that she was far too young for last time. This time she wanted to have a go on every chute, dig in the sand and just generally have such a great time. The park is worthy of a day out in itself and I can see it being the main attraction of our visits here when M and Button grow up.

For someone who only really found the joy of chutes at the beginning of the summer I am amazed at how brave she is now and how the bigger the slide the better.IMGP2297

One of the best parts of the park was the petting farm which allowed M to get up close with the animals and she loved it. Of course she wanted to push her pram and monkey round but she was so keen to say hi and bye to every animal that she encountered even though she was exhausted and could really have done with having a sleep.IMGP2254

Included in the price of entry are a number of different attractions including a boat trip to monkey island and the sea lion show. As it was summer we ended up being in a huge queue to get into the sea lion show and then had to sit and wait for 20 minutes whilst everyone got seated and the show began. All the while the pool area was boiling and I think it all became a bit too much for M. She was fine to start with and excited to see the sea lion but when it went onto the diving board and dove off she thought it had fallen off and got upset so we left as we thought the show had just begun and didn’t want to annoy other people round us. Turns out that the show only lasted 10 minutes so we only missed a couple of minutes of the show.
IMGP2223Overall the day was fantastic and M loved it so much. We spent four or 5 hours there and could quite easily have stayed longer had M not been so tired. I can see us becoming frequent visitors to the park over the coming years and M will certainly enjoy seeing the animals. We also did not realise that we could have used the onsite kennels and so been able to take the dogs with us which is another reason we set off when we did.

You know that you have children when you go to the safari park and your camera has next to no pictures of animals and 100s of your child on it!

 

Rebecca Adlington’s top tips for taking your baby swimming

Take your baby swimming early

You don’t need to be an Olympic swimmer to take your baby swimming – all you need a swimming costume, swimming nappy for your baby and some water.

Despite popular belief you do not even have to wait until you baby has had their immunisations – it is thought that this advice is from when polio was common but there have been no reported cases of polio since 1984.

We took M swimming from the age of 6 weeks and she has loved swimming so much. Just seeing the swimming pool excites her and she loves getting her face wet, putting her head under the water and having a general splash about. Even in colder waters she enjoys her time in the pool and I put this down to taking her swimming when she was so young.

 

You can take your baby swimming at any age, both before and after they have been vaccinated. It doesn’t matter if they haven’t yet completed their course of vaccinations.

 

NHS Choices

But if you were an Olympic swimmer then you would surely have some great hints and tips to share with others and this is exactly what Olympic swimming gold medalist and new mum Rebecca Adlington has done with her five top tips to make swimming fun and enjoyable for even the littlest water baby:
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Rebecca explains:

1: I loved being in the water from a young age and my sisters and I were fortunate to have parents who took us swimming every Saturday. It was the most fun we had as kids and created lots of wonderful memories. And it doesn’t cost a fortune!

2: Swimming is a life skill everyone should have – it could save your life one day as well as being great for your health and wellbeing. I’d love Summer to follow in my footsteps but whatever she decides to do, I’ll be happy as long as she’s a confident swimmer. Just like my parents, Harry and I plan to take her swimming every week.

3: Getting back in the water is empowering for new mums as well as being a great confidence booster. It’s easier said than done, but women should try not to worry about their post-pregnancy figure and instead embrace spending time with their new arrivals. It’s also worthwhile remembering that swimming is a fantastic all over body exercise which can help tone your body. You actually burn 300 calories for every 30 minutes of swimming, which is why it is one of the most effective forms of cardiovascular exercise.

4: Swimming is one of the few activities you and your little one can actually participate in and enjoy together – it provides that real special bonding time for parents and children.

5: Once you’ve been swimming with your baby a few times you’ll realise that it’s a huge amount of fun and really not much hassle. Preparation is key of course and a well-packed swim bag can make it even more enjoyable. I never leave home without Huggies® Little Swimmers, which won’t expand or leak in the water, a change mat and oversized towels to wrap up in when we come out of the pool.

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For practical advice, support videos and a step-by-step guide to baby swimming, visit www.littleswimmers.co.uk.

Growing up so fast but so well

How has she grown up so much already?

Watching your child grow up before your eyes is something that makes you feel so happy and yet so sad all at the same time.

Sad because your baby is no longer a baby anymore but massively happy because they are growing up so well and so happy and that is all a mum ever wants.

Just two weeks ago M decided that walking was going to be her main method of transport. She had ben walking before this but there was a turning point and suddenly there was no stopping her. Now she is so confident on her feet (though still struggles on bumpy ground like grass). She plays football, dribbling her ball around the house. She runs round shops (when they are quiet). She wants to walk everywhere. Her pram is not her best friend anymore. It is great to see her walking and growing in confidence with every step.

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This week we also decided to see how she would get on with the sides removed from her cotbed. We had expected to be running up the stairs and putting her back to bed all night on the first day but it took just one return to bed and that was her for the night. A fluke we thought.  We tried again for another night and this time we did not have to go up and put her back to bed. This is strange as this is the little girl who loves to run around in her cot, talking to her wallpaper and stuffed toys before falling asleep two hours later. Taking away the cot bars seems to have made her bed into a bed rather than a play pen. I am so happy that she has taken the transition so well and hopefully these are not fluke nights. Now I am so excited about going out and buying her first real bed that she can help choose in a few months time when her cotbed is needed by another little human. 
Although we still have the high chair in the house, there is no point putting it away as we will beed it soon enough anyways so we may as well use it, M no longer needs to use it and is quite happy sitting on a normal seat and eating her dinner like the rest of us. She doesn’t mind being in her high chair so we will use it as long as she doesn’t mind being in it but she can be quite head strong so I can see her trying to put an end to this sooner rather than later.

I can not believe how quickly she is growing up but she is growing up to be such a happy and confident little girl and so I can not complain at all. Long may her development continue as well as it does.

 

Enjoying the sun with Little Swimmers

Put on a swim nappy and let your kids cool down with water!

This is the first summer when M has been able to enjoy the water in a fun and cooling way whilst being in the UK. She did get to swim in the sea and outdoor pool when we went to Greece last year but otherwise the summer was spent in the shade. So this year we are making the most of her being that little bit older (she was not moving last summer) and putting on her swimming costume and a Huggies Little Swimmer nappy and enjoying some fun with water (her paddling pool is her newest favourite place to play).

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In a recent post I set out a few places I would love to take M this summer that involved keeping cool in the water and we went to our first place today but sadly the paddling pool was closed due vandalism so instead we visited the beach which was right next to the park to see if M would be happy enough to play in the sea.

Within seconds it was obvious that she loved paddling in the water and, although my feet were freezing, she was so keen to keep walking deeper and deeper into the sea.

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I am kind of glad that the paddling pool was closed now as I doubt we would have gone to the beach thinking the sea would probably be a bit cold for her. She loved it, in fact when it was time to go and get some dinner she was not happy about leaving the water! It was a bit cold for swimming but she did sit down a few times. Even although we were in the water for ages we didn’t need to worry about any accidents thanks to our Huggies Little Swimmer nappy.

If you would like to win a year’s supply of swim nappies then enter this competition!

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This is the first day of my husband’s holidays so we have loads of chances revisit this park with the hope that the paddling pool will be fixed and we hope to visit the other places within the next fortnight.

Where do you love taking your children when the weather is nice?


 

We were gifted a packet of Huggies Little Swimmers for free. All opinions within this post are mine and mine alone.