The little man has had a ‘baby’ since he was about a year old. He’s always loved making cooing noises and pretending to feed it. I was recently given the chance to upgrade his battered ‘baby‘ for a Baby Annabell Brother from Zapf Creation.Baby-Annabell-boxed

Baby-Annabell-brother-sittingThe Baby Annabell Brother doll comes dressed in a blue velour baby grow and matching hat. He also has a bottle, dummy, bib and heart shaped pendant.Baby-Annabell-brother-bottleHe has a realistic looking baby face and soft body that can be cuddled by little hands. He’s a good size but light enough to be dragged round easily by a toddler. Baby-Annabell-brother-EliThe doll is extremely lifelike and gurgles, cries and chatters away in baby babble. He also has realistic drinking and sucking effects and can cry real tears. He can close his eyes and fall asleep and makes cute little snoring noises. Baby-Annabell-Brother-nursingThe little man loves to cuddle and rock him when he cries and handles him really gently as if he is a real baby. It’s really sweet to see. Baby-Annabell-brother-switchHe requires 4 x AA batteries (not included)to make him interactive but obviously the doll can still be played with, without any sounds of movement. The on/off button is located just below the back of his neck, inside his clothing.DSC_0072I really like the Baby Annabell brother doll. I love the fact he’s interactive and does so many things. The quality is great and I think he’ll last for a long time.

He’s become a firm favourite with the little man too. He loves to cuddle up with him and constantly checks that he’s ok. It reassures me that he’d be fine if we have another child.

The doll is suitable for children 2 and over and is perfect for the little man. You can purchase extra accessories to build up your childs collection if you wish

You can find out more about the Baby Annabell Brother doll on the Zapf Creation website.

*We were sent the doll in return for an honest review.

 

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Touching snow for the first time
It snowed yesterday in the North East, thick heavy, white snow which lay nicely on the ground, making everything look pretty and white.
It was also the first time the little man had really seen or felt it. The flakes were falling as we got out of the car and he insisted we needed to run around like lunatics in the snow. 
We also took him out on a sledge for the first time later the same day, he wasn’t too sure initially but by the end of our walk he didn’t want to get off!

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The Sudocrem Care & Protect Baby Changing Room Awards

Having to change a nappy when you’re out and about is never fun and sadly it’s often made worse by inadequate facilities or poor quality baby changing rooms. 

This year Ashton Kutcher has highlighted that ‘Dad’s change nappies too’. With some baby change facilities located in womens toilets only, it can be a struggle for Dad to even find somewhere to change the nappy. It seems Dad’s across the UK agreed with him, and have responded to Ashton Kutchers campaign to improve baby changing facilities. 

Sudocrem, famous for their brilliant nappy rash ointments have come up with the The Sudocrem Care & Protect Baby Changing Room Awards.  The awards are in their third year and allow the public to vote for their favourite baby changing room facilities, whilst encouraging retailers to improve their own. 

This years awards sees new category, Best Service Station as well as Best Retailer and Best Independent Retailer. Some of the most terrible baby changing rooms I’ve seen have been in service stations so I do hope that the new category encourages services stations to up the standards a little. 

Last year say Sainsbury’s in Wandsworth crowed the winner and received a special certificate allowing them to display the Sudocrem Care & Protect Baby Changing Room logo. Everyone who nominates their favourite changing facilities will be entered to win a stay at family friendly hotel, Knoll House in Dorset, so it’s defiantely worth checking out the website for details on how to vote.

Entries will be judged by Nick Wilki, CEO of NCT,  and Sudocrem. The closing date for entries is 13th of December 2015 and the winners will be announced in the first week of January 2016.

Awao
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Baby Shopping – How to save money on essentials

When you’re about to welcome a new member to the family you will need to start shopping for all necessary things. It can turn out to be a very expensive time, making a great impact on your family budget. To avoid spending too much, or even getting into debt, you should follow the simple tips below. Not only will you be able to shop for your impending bundle of joy, you should be able to save some cash along the way. 

Do research before shopping

Before any shopping, no matter what, you should sit down with your significant other and do some research. Take some time to find the best deal for your family money wise, shop around and find the best deals and check out reviews and feedback.  Make a list of things you need and the shops that stock them at the cheapest price. It might seem like a lot of work, but you can use various online services and compare prices easily. 

Buy second hand items

You can get fantastic quality children stuff at your local charity shop or car boot sale. Don’t be afraid to purchase baby clothing or essential furniture. Your baby is only going to use it for a short period of time, as did the previous owner. This works particularly well with clothing since children tend to grow out of clothes rapidly. Ask your friends if they want to sell things too, or swap things around with friends. You will save a lot of money compared to buying brand new. 

Use coupons and discount codes

If you still want to get new baby things then at least make an attempt to save money with coupons and discount codes. There are thousands of them both in newspapers, online and even in your Bounty packs. Nordstrom online coupons from ChameleonJohn.com are worth trying out, you might just find a huge discount on one of your essential baby items.

Ask for gifts

Of course, the best way to get all you need for a newborn baby can be asking for donations. Ask proud grandparents to contribute with their gifts. Throwing a baby shower usually means you will be gifted lots of baby items too. If you don’t think it’s too rude you couple always ask friends an family to give money rather than gifts, which would enable you to but the last few things you need. 

Question everything

And the last tip for today, is to ask yourself“do we need it?” Baby items can be really cute, and your heart may rule your heard with purchases. It’s always best to question where it’s practical and whether you really need it when you’re looking to save money. 

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Vicks Sweet Dreams Cool Mist Humidifier

What do you do when your toddler has cold? Medically, there’s very little you can do. They’re too young for strong medicines, throat sweets are full of sugar and are a huge choking hazard and there are only so many hot and steamy showers they can have.

It’s cold and flu season now. We’ll all get it at some point, but it’s always worse for little people. They can’t tell us how bad they feel and they don’t understand the things we’re doing is to try and make them feel better. 

The little man had quite a nasty cold for two weeks. We tried everything to get rid of it, it was frustrating for him and being woken during the night by a snotty, whinging child wasn’t much for his Daddy or me either. 

As if my some sort of magic we were asked if we’d like to try out the Vicks Sweet Dreams Cool Mist Humidifier. The timing couldn’t have been better, but if I’m honest I didn’t know Vick’s manufactured any other products, other than their Vapour Rub, so I wasn’t too sure what to expect. 

For those of you that don’t know, humidifiers can help to reduce flu viruses in the air and on surfaces and they’re also great at helping with the symptoms of coughs and colds.

The Vicks Sweet Dreams Cool Mist Humidifier is a multi talented humidifier. Not only does it help restore essential oil enfused moisture back into the air, but it also projects a range of bright and beautiful light images onto the ceiling which is ideal for soothing a restless child. 

When it first arrived I was a little surprised by how bulky it is. It’s by no means a small piece of equipment and you do need somewhere substantial to hosue it. I suppose the size can be excused when you realise it does have a 3.8 litre water capacity. 

The large capacity allows it to run for up to 24 hours on it’s lowest setting. It’s designed to be used in medium sized rooms, though it does have a variable humidity setting so you’re in control of how much moisture is expelled. I’d say our rooms were over average size and I haven’t turned the dial higher than half way/

As well as keeping the air in the room moist, the machine releases gentle fragrances into the air which help little people to breathe more easily. There are two scents available, Rosemary and Lavender which is suitable for children over the age of 3 months and Menthol which is recommend for us by those of 3 years. 

As well as the excellent health benefits the humidifier offers, the addition of the light projector is amazing. It has three different picture themes – sea, safari and stars, which are clearly projected onto the ceiling. None of the projectors we’ve used prior to this display pictures as clear as the Vick’s humidifier.

The image selections are done by turning a simple dial. All buttons and functions are very easy to achieve, though the instructions do make them sound much more complex.

The humidifier is extremely quiet and causes no disturbance during the night. The very slight noise that does come from it is like white noise and is quite soothing. It doesn’t heat up during use due to it’s ultrasonic technology, this means the moisture that is expelled is a cool, (rather than hot) fine mist so it’s safer around little people. 

I am so impressed with the humidifier. Not only do the beautiful pictures soothe and calm the little man at bedtime the moisture that’s added back into the air quickly and effectively helps to reduce congestion and ensure a better nights sleep. When the little man was bunged up we noticed a difference after one night using this. He has a much more settled night and was able to breathe must easier.

The main downside for me is the bulky design, it does make storage quite difficult. We’ve resorted in storing it in a cupboard in one of the bedrooms as we don’t have any kitchen on dining room cupboards big enough.

Others may be put off by the price, at £69.99 it’s not a cheap product, and with the pads retailing for around £6.99 for 7 it can work out pricey. We wouldn’t be able to afford to use the machine with a pad every evening, but I’ll definitely use it each time one of us has cold.

You may also need to buy descaling cartridges separately to fit into the base of the machine. How often you need to do this will depend on how hard your water is.

*Sample product*

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