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Lifestyle, Motherhood, Reviews

Micralite SmartFold Buggy – Review

The award-winning Micralite SmartFold is a fantastic all-terrain buggy, perfect for families on the go!

Micralite SmartFold Buggy

I was lucky enough to test the award-winning Micralite SmartFold from Bournemouth Baby Centre and I was not disappointed. I had heard that the pushchair is meant to fare well on all terrains and so I took it down to Bournemouth Beach to see if the hype was true!

I was so impressed with the Micralite SmartFold on Bournemouth beach. The air-filled back tyres meant I could easily pull it on to the sand without any effort and the mud guards prevent wheel clogging, which can really slow you down on some buggies I have used on the beach.

I was so impressed with the pushchair on the sand, perfect for our family trips to Bournemouth beach!

I am not the most muscly of mums and so when looking for a pushchair weight is a huge factor. What’s great about the Micralite SmartFold is that it’s light and easy to push and manoeuvre with one hand – ideal if like me you have a dog to walk and buggy to push! It features a unique shaped handle bar too, which is fully adjustable.

I tested the buggy with my 8 month old baby boy, but it’s suitable from newborn right up to 22kg (around 4 years old), so you certainly would get a lot of use out of it. Jack seemed to enjoy the ride and slept for an hour as we walked along Bournemouth promenade and up across the clifftop. It was a sunny day and the hood provided good coverage.

The Micralite SmartFold looks the part too. It’s very stylish and features weatherproof fabrics along with UPF50 protection, so it is perfect for holidays home or abroad, come rain or shine! It even comes with a storm cover for really bad weather, which there is always a high chance of in England!

Micralite Smartfold Buggy Review
If like us you enjoy walking and exploring then this buggy is a great choice!

The buggy is compact once folded, but it does take a few attempts to get the hang of it, so I would suggest watching a YouTube video so you know what you’re doing!

One of the only downsides is the basket. It’s an OK size but difficult to get to, so it isn’t the most practical if you are looking to carry a lot, which is a real shame.

If like us you enjoy walking and exploring then the Micralite SmartFold is a great choice as it really is a fantastic multi-terrain buggy.

At £495 (including a free Foot Muff) it isn’t the cheapest of buggies, but it’s high spec, sturdy and stylish, so if you have the money to spend, I would definitely recommend. However, if you like to pack a lot into the basket, this isn’t the buggy for you!

Find out more on Bournemouth Baby Centre’s website.

Lifestyle, Motherhood

Top 10 Teething Remedies and Toys for Babies to Soothe Sore Gums

Here is my list of top 10 teething saviours, which have helped soothe my baby’s sore gums, from teething toys to homeopathic remedies.

Jellystone Teething Stacker for Babies
Jack absolutely loves his Jellystone Rainbow Stackers

My little boy is nearly 8 months old and his first two teeth have started to poke through at the bottom. Unfortunately teething means an unhappy baby. We are getting through so many bibs due to lots of dribbling and Jack is chewing everything in sight. His favourite thing at the moment seems to be our television remote!

To try and help other parents get through the terrible teething stages of their child’s development I thought I would share my top teething saviours, which have really helped soothe Jack’s poorly gums.

1. Teetha Teething Granules
Teething Granules have been a life saver for Jack when he is in distress with his gums. Just before bed, or when Jack appears to be in discomfort, we pop the granules on a spoon and feed them to him and the relief is almost immediate! What I like about the granules is the fact that they are homeopathic. The Teething Granules come in little sachets so are a baby changing bag must-have!

2. Jellystone Teething Stacker
Jack absolutely loves his Jellystone Teething Stacker. These award-winning, brightly coloured rings provide relief for sore gums and also help to encourage hand eye coordination. They are also a fantastic toy for Jack when he is in his highchair, which means I can enjoy my lunch while he plays happily! Made from BPA free, non toxic silicone, your baby can chew on the Jellystone Teething Stackers happily.

3. Cucumber Batons
Hard foods are great for teething babies. I have found that cucumber batons work wonders. Jack loves to gnaw on cucumber as the cold helps soothe his gums and it is also a good way of getting water into their diet.

4. Milk Ice Lollies
Breastmilk ice lollies, or “mumsicles” as I like to call them, also provide relief for sore gums and are great for babies in hot weather. I bought some ice lolly moulds on Amazon and poured my expressed breastmilk into them, popped them in the freezer and voila, you have a healthy, soothing snack for your baby! You don’t just have to use milk, you could also make fresh fruit lollies from pureed fruit and pure fruit juice. They are specifically designed for small hands, so are good for weaning too! You can buy the Annabel Karmel Mini Ice Lolly Moulds on Amazon.

Sophie the Giraffe Teething Toy for Babies
Sophie the Giraffe is made from 100% natural rubber

5. Sophie the Giraffe
I think every child has a soft spot for Sophie the Giraffe! Jack loves Sophie and enjoys chewing on her legs to ease the pain in his gums. It’s made from 100% natural rubber so it’s a safe teething toy for your little one. It also comes in a lovely box making it a great gift for newborns and baby showers! It’s nice and light and Sophie’s spotty body and squeaker stimulate baby’s senses. Sophie the Giraffe is must-have baby toy in my opinion!

6. Teething Car Keys
This toy certainly does unlock some fun! My sister-in-law bought these for Jack and they are one of his favourite toys when he is in his pushchair. Easy to hold for small hands, the keys feature four buttons, which play car sounds to stimulate your little one’s senses and attached are plastic discs which your baby can chew on to soothe painful gums. The Teething Car Keys, available from ASDA, are another great buy for under £5!

7. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Teether Rattle
Another firm favourite is Jack’s Hungry Caterpillar teether rattle. Suitable from birth, the brightly coloured soft caterpillar crinkles when you touch it and has a soft, green textured teether tail, which really seems to help soothe Jack’s gums. The red and green colours really catch Jack’s attention and he loves to pick it up and move it around in his hands, which also stimulates his senses and encourages development. You can buy The Hungry Caterpillar Teether Rattle for under £10 on Amazon.

The Hungry Caterpillar Teething Toy for Babies
The textured tail is great for teething babies!

8. Baby Banana Teething Toothbrush
If you child loves bananas then this is a fantastic teething toy! It features peel handles so it’s easy to hold and comes with two silicone finger toothbrushes so you can brush your baby’s teeth and help soothe their gums with gentle massage. What’s more the Baby Banana Teething Toothbrush comes with a handy storage case and is BPA free and dishwasher safe.

9. Calpol
When Jack is in a lot of pain I give him Calpol and it really seems to soothe him, providing rapid relief, especially at bedtime when his teeth keep him awake.

10. Cuddles
One thing that also helps to calm Jack down is cuddles from Mummy and Daddy! He has definitely become more clingy since he started teething and extra cuddles and kisses seem to comfort him and calm him down. And cuddles are free!

I hope you find some of these useful. I have tried lots of different things and so you may find a mix and match approach is the way forward.

Motherhood, Travel

Top 10 Tips for Travelling with a Baby Under 1

Worried about your first family holiday abroad with your newborn? Don’t be! Here are some top tips for travelling with a baby under one, from a first-time-mum, to make your trip stress-free!

First Family Holiday Travelling with a Baby Abroad
Jack and I on our first family holiday to Majorca

I have just returned from our first family holiday to Majorca with our baby boy Jack, who was just under 7 months when we flew. I was so worried about travelling with a newborn baby, that I nearly didn’t go on holiday, but my husband and parents-in-law convinced me and I am so glad they did, as we had the most amazing time!

My main concerns were what to pack and how to cope with only taking hand luggage and I needn’t have worried about either of those things.

If you are a first-time mum like me and have booked your first holiday abroad fear not. Here are my top 10 tips for travelling with a baby under one, that I hope you find useful.

  1. Choose somewhere baby-friendly
    If you are going on your first holiday with your baby I highly recommend picking accommodation that is baby-friendly so that you don’t have to worry about taking lots of additional baby items and equipment with you. We chose an Airbnb that had a travel cot, highchair, baby towel, baby bath and seat, which meant we only had to pack Jack’s baby monitor, which saved a lot of space when packing!
  2. Check with your airline before you fly
    Before you fly check your baggage allowance and weight limits with your airline. If you are going away for a week or two, taking hand luggage only is totally doable. I didn’t think it would be possible, but we came back with so many of my son’s unworn clothes and other items that I would totally do hand luggage only again for a short trip away. Ryan Air allow you to take two items of baby equipment with you free of charge. If you plan on hiring a car when you’re abroad I highly recommend taking your own car seat with its own travel bag/case, not only for your own peace of mind, but also because you can pack so much of your baby’s things in with the car seat and not have to worry about the weight allowance! We packed our son’s milk, nappies, toys, food and even a paddling pool in with the car seat and we didn’t have any trouble whatsoever because it goes in oversized baggage in the hold. This meant that we could pack all of Jack’s clothes in his baby bag. Ryan Air allow you to take a 5kg for your baby in addition to your own cabin bag, and because baby items are so small, you can fit loads in!
  3. Don’t worry about food and liquids at airport security
    I am currently breastfeeding my son and was worried about the amount of milk I would be allowed to take onboard with me. When travelling with a baby you’re allowed to take enough baby food, baby milk and sterilised water for the journey. We were delayed four hours with Ryan Air and I am so glad I had a full bag of milk and food because the airport we were flying from (Bournemouth), didn’t have a pharmacy like Boots to buy anything for a baby once you were through security. I packed baby wafers, food pouches and four bottles of milk for Jack and didn’t have an issue. I also had a clear plastic bag with teething gel, toothpaste, antibacterial hand gel, nasal spray and Calpol, in addition to my own toiletry bag and again had no problems at airport security.
  4. Don’t overpack
    We were only in Majorca for a week and I totally overpacked! If you are going somewhere warm you really don’t need to take that many outfits with you. We stayed in a villa with washing facilities so even if Jack had an accident, we could easily wash his clothes. If travelling somewhere hot I would say you only need 5 body suits, two rompers, a lightweight baby sleeping bag, some shorts, a couple of baby bibs, a few muslins, a sunhat and sunglasses. These items will take up hardly any room in your baby changing bag, which will leave space for toys, nappies and wipes.
  5. Have a bottle, or boob at the ready
    Babies can suffer with their ears on take off and landing so have a bottle, or your boob ready! I breastfed Jack on take-off and landing and he didn’t suffer at all and it also distracted him, which was great as we had a very fast and bumpy landing that our son didn’t even notice!
  6. Take insect repellent
    Before you fly check to see if the country you are travelling to has an issue with mosquitoes. I didn’t think about this before we flew to Majorca and we all got bitten. The first night Jack had about 7 bites all over him and I was so worried. Luckily we found a pharmacy who recommended a bite cream for babies, which worked wonders, so I would highly recommend taking a plugin and bug spray and cream with you just incase.
  7. Pack a room thermometer
    I always worry about Jack being too hot or too cold, so I am so glad we took a room thermometer with us to Majorca so I knew what tog sleeping bag to put Jack in at night. This gave me peace of mind that he wouldn’t overheat. Also quite a lot of places abroad don’t have air conditioning. If this is the case then I advise opening a window to cool down the room before you put your baby to sleep. You can also get room thermometers that double up as a baby bath thermometer, which saves on packing an extra item.
  8. Be flexible
    If you want to enjoy your holiday, please don’t be too concerned with your usual routine. If you are flying somewhere with a big time difference it will be very hard to keep to your usual timings so you must try and be a little flexible. I was amazed at how quickly Jack adapted to his new surroundings. Majorca is an hour in front of the UK. We usually put Jack to bed at 7pm, so in Majorca we put him to bed nearer 8pm and he went down easily. Also when we were out and about we fed him lunch when we stopped for lunch, which was a lot later than we would usually have lunch in the UK and he didn’t mind at all. I think they are so intrigued by their new surroundings that they forget about food! The same with naps, we didn’t stick to our usual nap times, we just followed our son’s cues and if he started rubbing his eyes or getting agitated we put him down for a nap.
  9. Take a sunshade
    If you are going somewhere hot and sunny I highly recommend you taking a sun shade for your pushchair with UPF 50+ protection. Not only will it protect your baby’s newborn skin from the sun, wind and insects, but it also acts as a great black-out blind for their naps.
  10. Just do it!
    Don’t be afraid about flying with your newborn baby. Now that I have done it once, I would do it again and again as we had the most amazing time and I am annoyed with myself that I worried so much in the lead-up to the holiday. So if you are umming and ahing about whether or not to go on your first holiday with your newborn baby just do it! You won’t regret it!