And just like that, May is here and summer is still playing hard to get. A little bit of sunshine to lull us into that false sense of security before the rain starts again. I don't want to worry anyone but I'm almost certain I saw Noah loading his ark on the Clyde recently..
This month I'll be bringing you -
- Baby Gadgets – best and worst buys
- Baby Showers – do you love or loathe?
- The Royal Baby!
- Our day out at Heads of Ayr Farm Park
Gadgets - the good, the bad and the useless
When I was preparing for the birth of my little angel, I did what most expectant mothers do, I hit the internet harder than I hit the sales on Boxing Day. I was completely overwhelmed with nappy bins, top and tail bowls, Ewan the dream sheep, Sophie the Giraffe... The list was endless and I was clueless.
I eventually muddled my way through but I wanted to know if the things I found a life saver were of the same help to other new parents and if they had any secret items that I had missed out on. We know that babies are all unique but we went for the most common things that are marketed as must haves and the general consensus went a little like this -
Top & Tail Bowl – Pointless. Buy a mixing bowl from Asda for 1/10th of the price and use that. It's the exact same thing.
Bumbo Seat – For me, I loved this. Baby could be sat anywhere I needed her to be and I didn't have to drag a highchair around but my panel disagreed. Another pointless purchase apparently.
Bottle Warmers – Get a jug of hot water, does the same thing. I hadn't ever used one of these so I'll take their word for it.
Perfect Prep Machine – This will always divide opinions and will always be a bone of contention with the masses. Some health visitors will make you believe it'll kill your baby and other's think it's the best thing since epidurals. I LOVED mine. Bottle made in next to no time, perfect temperature, didn't have to keep licking formula off my wrist in the middle of the night when I wasn't sure what my name was never mind if it felt cool enough. Top Tip – Baby haze is real, we've all been making a bottle at 4am and lost count of the scoops and had to start again so I purchased a little pot from Asda that had 3 compartments. The idea is you count the scoops out when you're awake and coherent, so through the night you just open the lid and shake a compartment into a bottle.
Gro Bags – My mummy panel all agreed Gro Bags are a must have. Swaddling in the early days is great for keeping baby feeling secure and warm but my baby never kept her hands in the blankets, she was an absolute fidget and more than once we watched her wriggle out of the blankets which then poses the risk of it going over her face or her getting tangled up. Gro Bags let our little fidget's have hands free sleeping without getting tangled under a pile of blankets. We used ours until she was almost 2 and they are a definitely a must have in our book.
Baby Showers, Love or Loathe?
I had never heard of a baby shower until a close friend invited me to hers back in 2012. It was a great day, games, cake, seeing your skinniest friend look like she'd swallowed a beach ball and feeling semi slim around her for a change. I came away happy that I had purchased a gift for the baby before it had even arrived and I didn't have to worry about panic buying when it finally did. At that point though I don't think I would have felt rude by attending without a gift, the mum to be was a close friend, I would be buying her child a gift at some point anyway.
Fast forward a few years and now it seems baby showers have turned into massive events that are taking the country by storm, the same planning effort as a wedding and the guest and gift lists to match! Have you ever attended a baby shower that was just OTT? Did you feel a pressure to purchase the latest gadget or a designer baby grow? Knowing Mum would be opening her gifts in front of everyone, I felt the pressure at a work colleagues shower. I began to wish she had just asked for vouchers instead of being left to my own devices to purchase a gift that was going to make the crowd 'Oooh' when she opened it. I settled on a lovely blanket. It didn't quite get the reaction of the Baby Uggs or the £130 designer baby grow that was absolutely going to be the child's outfit of choice for it's first projectile vomit, but it was lovely, good quality and useful!
My own baby shower was surprisingly great. I didn't want one. I didn't want any of my friends or family stressed out organising or gift buying and I absolutely didn't want to be made open gifts in front of all the guests. However, I have a mother and cousin who don't understand the word no. I posted an online invitation and requested no presents, just come and eat cake and let me enjoy seeing my friends one last time before motherhood took over and I became one of those people who mentally replied to texts without ever actually sending a reply, or the mother who has 3 different conversations while you're on the phone to her and hangs up without ever finding out why you called in the first place. We hire a pub lounge, people brought lovely gifts for me as well as the baby which was nice, and unexpected. We played games, aunties got drunk and told me horror stories about stitches and failed epidurals... It was a grand day out for all. I definitely think low key is the way forward.
The Royal Baby
I know I'm not telling you anything you don't already know when I write about the latest addition to Wills and Kate's brood but I can't not mention the most talked about birth on the planet!
Prince Louis Arthur Charles of Cambridge arrived on April 23rd at 11:01 weighing a whopping 8lb 7oz and becoming fifth in line to the throne.
I was glued to telelvision as soon I heard Kate was in labour. I had BBC News on waiting for announcement of the birth of what I had absolutely decided was going to be another Princess Cambridge. I am utterly useless at guessing the sex of a baby. Fast forward a few hours and the Prince had been born and then came the wait. We had a good idea we would get a glimpse of him before the day was out. I was furiously texting my friend things like 'Her hairdresser has just left. We can't have long to wait' and 'George will be finished school soon, William will probably go and get him and Charlotte any time now' like I was talking about people I knew personally. Eventually William did leave and he came back with a shy George and a very sweet, waving little Charlotte. Both eager to see their mummy and meet their brother.
I always feel sorry for Kate when I see her post birth, baby only a few hours old and there's his super hero mother coiffed and preened, looking like she's just walked out of a shoot for Tatler when we all know she would rather be in her pyjamas eating toast and sitting on something cool! I can't remember how I was a few hours after giving birth but I know that I wouldn't be able to face the World's media, no matter how many stylists, hairdressers or magicians were there to help me get ready.
Prince Louis got to spend his first night on Earth at home with his siblings and parents and we can't wait for the photographs that are likely to come from his budding photographer Mum and to see what he's wearing.
So, we've touched on the most eagerly awaited arrived of 2018, Prince Louis, but he wasn't the only April Arrival. Khloe Kardashian welcomed daughter True, Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and his wife welcomed daughter Tiana and Opera singer Katherine Jenkins give birth to her second child, Xander.
Pippa Middleton announced her pregnancy the day before the birth of her royal nephew. She and husband James Matthew are expecting their first child together.
Kate Hudson also posted her gender reveal to announce her pregnancy, she will welcome a girl with her boyfriend Danny Fujikawa later this year. Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans also announced his wife Natasha was expecting twins after the couple went through IVF to help them concieve. James Bond star Daniel Craig and his actress wife Rachel Weisz are also expecting their first child together.
The Toddler Tales
My little terrible 2yr old is well and truly established in the Terrible Two's Club. She cries for no reason, everything in sight is 'mine' and she decides half way through eating her dinner that whatever is on her plate is disgusting and she hates it. We are having a great time!
I do my best to keep her occupied so we have started attending a Kidslingo Spanish class which she absolutely loves. The classes are suitable for ages 18 months and up, you can find out everything you need to know including where your local class is by visiting www.kidslingo.co.uk
Heads of Ayr Farm Park
We had heard so much about Heads of Ayr Farm Park in Ayrshire but never visited until last week. I was a bit apprehensive because I know how popular it is and I hate going anywhere where its too busy to enjoy yourself but we certainly picked a good day for it.
Parking was really easy, we arrived about an hour after opening and got a decent space. Prices were £11 per adult and £9 for every child over 2. We made our way in and straight to the horses that were waiting to greet us, we had a wee look at some tiny monkey type things and then I spotted a sign saying Roosters and proceeded to tell my daughter we could go and visit Hei Hei from Moana until it was pointed out to me by a member of our group that we had just came out of Roosters and it was in fact, the cafe. After a giggle at my expense we headed to the giant playpark. There's everything for all ages, the jumping pillows are great fun but we also thought the individual trampolines with safety nets were a fanstastic idea.
We then embarked on an adventure to meet the animals. Animal feed that is suitable for every animal on the farm could be purchased for 50p a bag and there was lots of handwashing facilities available for after you had fed / petted the animals. This was great fun and the little ones absolutely loved it. There's so much to do throughout the park, tractor rides, Diggerland, a sand pit as well as the swing park and climbing frames. We also got up close with a corn snake named Amber and a very cute little hedgehog called Sonic. The staff were great with all the children.
When lunch time rolled round we made our way into the indoor soft play, the cafe inside does a variety of soups and toasties, baked potatoes and hot drinks. The soft play is big enough to keep the kids entertained and it was for Under 5's meaning we didn't worry too much about our kids getting stood on by much bigger kids. The seating area is ideal as the soft play is visible from all the seats and the food, although expensive was tasty enough. We purchase a soup, a baked potato, a coffee, a soft drink and a kids sandwich with crisps and it was almost £20. Next time we will pack a picnic because the kids hardly ate, too busy in the soft play.
All in all we had a great day out. We were 4 adults and 2 toddlers, we spent about £20 each on food and £31 on entrance fees. Not the cheapest day out but perfect for s special treat and we did spend the whole day there and we would definitely return.
Next month we'll be visiting Edinburgh Zoo and exploring the Nenuco brand and it's wonderful smelling products.
I also want to hear from my readers! Let's talk old wive's tales you were told during your pregnancy, you can let me know in the comments and we'll find out the most common ones next month,
Until next time,