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I'm a married mum who loves chocolate & music & having an opinion on just about everything! E-Mail summermama@hotmail.co.uk

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Product Review: KUB Tundra Cot/Bed

What? From the KUB furniture range, the Tundra cot/bed.
How much? RRP £220
Where from? Exclusive nursery retailers 

Part of the process of getting ready for the imminent birth of your new baby is getting the nursery sorted out. Some people go all out for a real nursery look, with colourful borders and co-ordinated photos on the walls, some people find out the sex of the baby before it’s born so that their son is welcomed into a blue nursery with car, train or football themes, or their daughter has a pink princess room with fairies and butterflies and flowers.

We chose not to find out the sex of our baby: We much preferred what is viewed by some as the ‘old fashioned’ idea of having a surprise when the baby arrived. I understand that some people like to find out in advance, but for us it’s like opening your Christmas present early. We painted the bedroom cream and brown, with a teddy bear theme from Mothercare for the accessories; the curtains, the bedding, the cot mobile, etc. We made it suitable for a boy or a girl, and to compliment the colours of the room we chose a cream and oak chest of drawers and a Tundra cot/bed from KUB furniture.

We chose the Tundra cot/bed partly because it fitted so well with the colour scheme in the bedroom and partly because of KUB’s eco-friendly design and build principle, and partly because it seemed like a sturdy, well made product. Designed to be used for many years as it has the ability to be changed into a junior bed when baby is old enough to not have the cot sides, we decided that while it was expensive to make the purchase it would be worthwhile in the long run as we wouldn’t need to then buy a junior bed when baby grew out of the cot.

The Tundra cot/bed in cot mode

The Tundra has three settings for the bottom; the highest setting, for a newborn baby, the mid-setting as they get a little older and the lowest setting for older babies and toddlers, when they’re able to stand. It comes complete with plastic teething rails down either side so that when your little one starts chewing they won’t damage the sides and more to the point they won’t damage themselves by ingesting pieces of paintwork.

Though we set the cot/bed up prior to our baby being born, we used a Moses basket in our bedroom to begin with. We had hoped that it would last til baby was six months old, but he grew out of it length-ways and width-ways by the time he was three and a half months old, and reluctantly I had to start sleeping him in his own room in the cot/bed. (There was no way I could fit that in our room to continue sleeping him with us, and we couldn’t afford to spend more on a rocking crib or other alternative to fit in our room for the next few months). My first night without baby by my side was a fretful one for me, but The Boy was absolutely fine and he’s slept in his own room since.

The first issue we discovered with the Tundra was when we needed to move the base down to the mid-level. The Hubby, being the handy DIY type that he is, quite merrily undid all the necessary bolts and removed the base carefully – and at that point, three of the four wooden lugs broke off. These lugs fit from the two base side bars that slot into the ends of the cot/bed and they sheared off because they were so weak and thin. The Hubby was disappointed as he commented that even on cheap sets of drawers you have better quality dowels than they are, and as they’d broken so completely he ended up drilling much larger holes than the factory drilled ones, and fitting replacement dowels that are thicker and better quality. We were disappointed, but it wasn’t an issue that we dwelled on; after all, we’d rectified the problem easily and the cot/bed was safe to continue using with the replacement dowels in place. When we changed the setting from the mid-level to the lower level after The Boy learned to stand up while holding onto the sides (and leaned over the railing!) we had no problems.

When The Boy started chewing on everything thanks to his teething, I thought the cot/bed was a safe environment for him to be in. Unfortunately one afternoon time was getting on and I thought he should have woken up from his nap, so I looked in on him and found him standing at the foot end of the cot/bed chewing on the foot board. While the sides have teething rails, the ends do not. At the time, he had two top and two bottom teeth, and the scraping action of these razor-sharp teeth had removed the white layer of paint from the foot board of the cot/bed, revealing the chipboard underneath. In a few minutes, he had scraped a patch the size of a postage stamp and had bits of white paint in his mouth. Fortunately I’d realised and I’d gone to him and was able to extract the paint and take him out of the cot/bed; I photographed the damage and sent it to the customer services department voicing my concern about this and enquiring whether there was a teething rail for the end sections that they could send me. The response I received was less than satisfactory: All KUB furniture is VOC free, contains no formaldehyde in the glue and the finish is tested for non toxicity and also for any emissions so your baby is not in any danger from toxins. We don’t have a teething rail that will cover the ends but generic rails can be ordered from Mothercare online for £14.99 and they’ll fit square and round cot bed ends.

Well, for a start, I checked Mothercare and every other nursery retailer I could think of, and I couldn’t find anything suitable for the end of the Tundra cot/bed. The ends are broad and square, and obviously they’re shorter than the sides, and every retailer that sells teething rails sells them for the cot sides (so I’d pay a fortune for side teething rails that I’d need to cut down) and the width of the average teething rail seems to be narrower than the dimensions of the Tundra. Where the quote for £14.99 online came from I don’t know, but I was unable to find anything suitable from Mothercare online in any price range. Unhappy I had no choice but to continue using the Tundra as I had nowhere else for The Boy to sleep; I couldn’t leave him awake in there while I popped to the toilet or did the housework upstairs as every time I left him in there awake he was chewing more.

It wasn’t that I was concerned about the toxicity levels of the paint he was potentially ingesting (I would hope that there was no toxicity risk!) – my point was more that he was peeling off pieces of paint that he could easily have choked on had I not realised what was going on. The Hubby was at work, and I messaged him to let him know what was going on. When he got home from work he had a look and we discussed what options we had; further trawling online searching for teething rails suitable to fit the ends of the Tundra cot/bed was fruitless and discussions with family and friends threw up a variety of ideas but all of them were decided against for one reason or another.

Then The Hubby was at work one day and he came up with a plan; white plastic angle from the DIY store (the stuff you use to protect corners on walls or the end of the kitchen worktop). He purchased a single length and then when he got home he measured it up and cut it to the required length and filed the edges round. We left The Boy with his grandparents to stay overnight and The Hubby fixed the angle in place over the end of the cot/bed and held it in place with the cot sides and No More Nails to ensure The Boy couldn’t remove it.

This not only has hidden the numerous patches where The Boy had peeled off the paintwork, but it has also provided a teething rail of sorts so that if The Boy started trying to chew it again he couldn’t do further damage and was no longer at risk of choking from the bits of paint he was peeling off. The Hubby put a matching length of plastic angle on the head end of the cot/bed to prevent the same thing happening there, and it seems to have resolved the issue for us for now.

The Tundra cot/bed is not a drop-sided cot/bed. Nowhere does it claim to be, so it isn’t falling down on another point or failing in some way, but I think it needs to be. I’m 5ft 6ins and The Hubby is over 6ft and now The Boy has the base on the lowest level it’s a hell of a bend over the side rail to get him in. It isn’t so bad getting him out – he’ll stand up and hold his arms up to you and it’s easy. But getting him in, especially when he’s fallen asleep in your arms and you’re trying to gently lower him onto the mattress is a knack that you have to perfect. Its hell on your back, as he’s now 23lbs, and you’re bending so far over, it really is awkward. We’re not planning another baby just yet, but if I was pregnant again there’s no way I’d be able to do it, which would leave me pretty much stuffed as I wouldn’t be able to put The Boy to bed.

Unfortunately, for the cost of this cot/bed, it falls down in too many respects for me to think of it as a worthwhile cost. It does look very nice, but the fact the sides don’t drop make it less than entirely practical and the problems we’ve had with the dowel pegs and the paintwork have really let me down as far as quality goes. I wouldn’t recommend this product to a friend and I wouldn’t buy it again knowing what I know. There are also marks on the cot bars on either side where he has knocked toys against them, and what child do you know that won't do that? I give it two out of five because it is an expensive mistake that I’m stuck with til The Boy needs a proper bed as I spent so much on it I can’t justify spending out even more money for a junior bed. I feel very let down by the response from the customer services department and I feel there are many improvements that should be made on this product to justify the extortionate high price.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Lazy Days of Summer

So here we are, nearing the end of July, and what a disappointing summer it’s been so far! It started so well: In April I stocked up on sun cream, shorts and sun hats for The Boy and we spent days in the garden, at the beach, we had the fans on to keep the house reasonably cool and we slept with windows open and only sheets covering us. What happened?

I was talking to my best friend the other day and remembered that this time last year she came and stayed with us for a week ‘just in case’. According to my dates, my baby was due on 27th July, but according to the hospital measurements my due date was 2nd August, needless to say everyone was quite twitchy from mid-July onward whenever I had a twinge! Hence my best friend coming to stay.

The weather was boiling: I was in and out of the shower probably as often as I was going to the loo, which was pretty often! If I wasn’t going out I was wafting about the house in flip flops, pants and oversize thin cotton shirts, or my other favourite was a vast cotton maxi dress. I was getting through a box of Jubbly ice lollies every day and the freezer couldn’t keep up with my demands for ice for cold drinks, as well as clearing my local supermarket of fruit juices and flavoured water. My best friend and I made plans to go out every day, cancelled them every day as I was too hot to move, and we spent all our time in the back garden under the shade!

I’m not good with extreme weather. In the cold weather I get cold to the extreme if I don’t layer a ridiculous amount of clothes (we’re talking thermal underwear, knee high socks, vest tops under t-shirts under long sleeve tops under sweatshirts, the works) In the hot weather I overheat very easily: I sweat like a pig (excuse me, ladies most definitely do not simply glow) I get migraines, dizzy spells, and it’s only been in the last few years that I’ve managed to not pass out at all at the peak of the summer. My doctors very simple analogy of it was that I’m like a car with a broken radiator – I have no way of regulating my body temperature, for whatever reason best known to biology – and the pounding heat of last July combined with being so heavily pregnant was worrying. I knew I’d end up as a sweaty heap during labour regardless of the overall temperature anyway, so the fact that it was so hot worried me that something more could go wrong – I’d overheat and pass out during labour or something, or my body just wouldn’t be able to cope with it all and something terrible, like a fit during labour, could occur.

I was fortunate: A week before my due date according to the hospital, the weather cooled. The day I went into labour, five days overdue from the hospital date, was clear and bright but not overly hot, and by the time The Boy was delivered a summer storm was thundering across the evening sky, making the hospital windows shudder in their frames and bringing with it a welcome cool breeze (not that I benefited from that much, stuck in the stifling recovery room with my newborn and not an open window to be had in the whole hospital, though they did bring me a fan). Indeed the labour was just as hot and sweaty as I suspected it would be. Luckily I’d had the sense, before leaving for hospital, to have a shower, wash my hair and tie it back in a plait, but the staff were concerned at how hot I was during the final throws of labour and a couple of times they got me cold compresses for my forehead (which was a lovely thought, but when I’m in that kind of situation I’m a bit like a caged animal and you better have a damn good reason for touching me or I might just have your hand off!)

After The Boy and I arrived home following our stay in hospital, the weather was bright and warm but not too overbearing, which was nice as I’d been concerned about keeping a newborn baby the right temperature and if it had been too hot that might have been very difficult. Then summer gave way to autumn, winter was just round the corner and before I knew it I was pushing a pram through four inches of snow.

I was hoping, when April brought such lovely sunshine, that this summer might be a nice one. After all, The Boy is almost a year old, and fantasies of taking him to the beach, for ice creams, playing in the park and the garden, putting him in cute t-shirt and shorts outfits with sun hats, played through my mind. We’d go for day trips to the zoo, to the local water park, I’d take him swimming in the outdoor pool at the place where my parents own a holiday home and we’d enjoy the lovely sunshine together.

And yet here we are, late July, and it’s another grey, overcast day. It’s been that miserable recently that The Boy’s Grandma (The Hubby’s mum) has knitted The Boy a grey bobble hat (complete with ear flaps) for wearing out and about as when she looked after him the other week and they went out walking the dog she was concerned that his head and ears were too cold. I mean, come on, right? It’s July! It may not be hot enough for shorts and t-shirts but surely a child can get away without a full on woolly ensemble of bobble hat, mittens and a scarf? Apparently not! I’ve even got her a footmuff for the pushchair she has as the blanket she used the other week blew away in the strong wind! (Luckily she was with The Boy’s Grandad who went off and caught it, if she’d have been on her own with The Boy and her dog the blanket would have had to be allowed escape).

It’s The Boy’s birthday the first week of August, and I was hoping for lovely weather so that we might go for a picnic in the park with some of his friends; At the moment I’m considering going to the local indoor soft play place for children, as at least it won’t matter if it’s raining or cold! I shouldn’t have to consider this when the child has an August birthday! It should automatically be a given that his birthday will be bright, sunny and warm!

We were going to go out today, weather permitting, but between the weather being so rubbish and the fact that The Boy napped from til almost has taken most of our afternoon, so at the moment we’re both still in our PJ’s watching CBeebies and eating chocolate. It’s a bit of a winter lazy day activity but we’re happy enough with Waybuloo and Little Charlie Bear keeping us entertained. I do like to get The Boy out of the house as often as possible as I don’t want him to be one of those kids who spends their whole time indoors watching the goggle box, but some days it’s the right thing to do, and we’ve been out every day so far this week so I don’t think one day of PJ’s and telly is going to matter much.

We’re still awaiting delivery of our Bambino Mio products to test, which surprises me as the lady seemed certain that they’d arrive by today (we were out yesterday, but didn’t receive a card from the postman to say he’d tried to deliver anything) Knowing my luck they’ll arrive tomorrow morning (our Saturday postman turns up at 8.30, our weekday postie not til 10!) while we’re having a lie in!

Since The Hubby has been working all week this week, tomorrow morning we’re going to let The Boy get into bed with us for his morning bottle and we’ll watch a film – maybe Shrek or Shrek 2 (again!) or perhaps Finding Nemo (for the millionth time) I got The Witches the other day with Anjelica Houston, simply because it was reduced in Sainsbury’s to £3 and I loved the book as a kid, but I’m aware that at the moment it’s a little old for The Boy so I’ll have to wait before I can watch that with him and make out it’s more for his entertainment than mine! Cars seems to be a current favourite of The Boy’s, he’s into everything motor related right now which is lovely as I remember my brother being the same as a child. I’m hoping my mum will manage to get him the lovely ride-on car she’s seen for his birthday.

Well, I’d better be off, need to close the back door as it’s a bit too chilly in here for my liking with it open and I can hear the theme song for I Can Cook!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bambino Mio: Re-Useable Nappies - Our Adventure Starts Here!

Shortly after I got pregnant with The Boy, I discovered the Bambino Mio system of re-useable nappies. Being very keen to save some pennies (how expensive are disposable nappies?!?) and plus knowing that it’s kinder to the environment and better for baby to use re-useable than disposable, I investigated the possibility of purchasing a starter set.

However, the Bambino Mio re-useable nappies come in different sizes and I wasn’t sure which size would be better. As myself, my brother, my Hubby and his sister were all 8lb+ babies at birth, I was anticipating The Boy would be in the same region. It would mean that I’d only get a couple of weeks use out of the first size of Bambino Mio before I needed to get the next size up, and I decided that it wasn’t worth the hassle of trying to sort that out as well as juggling with a newborn baby as a first time mum.

As it turned out, when The Boy was born he was 6lbs 10.5oz so I would have got a fair amount of use out of the first size Bambino Mio nappies. However with several nappy changes a day and our washing machine on full time to handle the clothes, bed stuff and muslin cloths anyway, I put the idea of re-useable nappies to the back of my mind as something else to wash that I didn’t have time to deal with. My family and friends also put me off, saying that it was just something else to worry about washing, and drying, and dealing with dirty re-useable nappies is not the most pleasant experience!!

Now The Boy is almost a year old, and I heard on the grapevine that Bambino Mio were looking for people to test their range. It’s called the “Real Nappy Challenge” and they’re asking testers to use one of their re-useable nappies for just one nappy out of the day for a week, and compile a diary on how successful the nappies are and see whether it is enough to convert you to a full time re-useable nappy user. They reckon that just one re-useable nappy per day can save you £40 on disposable nappies!

Well, The Boy is tall for his age, and broad, but he has very slim hips, a non-existent bum and a slender waist, and I find a number of problems with disposable nappies. They have to be pulled very tightly to fit him round the tummy well, and even then the overnight nappy tends to leak by the morning (he sleeps round from 8pm til 8am usually) If it’s just a wet leak that isn’t too bad and it’s a case of an early morning wash and change of clothes for him, with a change of bedclothes as well (but it isn’t nice for him, lets be fair!), but if it’s a dirty nappy leak that’s another vest and sleepsuit/pair of pyjamas potentially stained (no matter how I wash them there’s always a trace left isn’t there!!) I’ve been very lucky in that he has only ever had nappy rash when his bottom has been particularly active when he’s teething or unwell, and usually it’s for a couple of days and lashings of Sudocream and a couple of hours ‘nappy free’ does the trick, but apparently re-useable nappies will mean his chances of getting nappy rash are even lower. I find named brand nappies no better than supermarket own brand: Pampers don’t fit him well and leak very easily – Huggies are probably the better named brand than most, but they have a tendency to feel quite hard at times and they’re packed badly quite often and you end up tearing bits off them when you’re trying to open it up to put it on. Supermarket own brand nappies are all about the same: Fine on the whole, not a terrible fit but not fantastic, and if the nappy is particularly wet it will soak through around his legs and waist.

Bambino Mio - Birth To Potty set (can save you £700 on disposable nappies!)

I got in touch with Bambino Mio and completed their questionnaire and they’re going to send me two re-useable nappies and one cover so that I can use a re-useable nappy for one nappy change each day for a full week and see what I make of them. I’m very interested to see how well they fit The Boy (who is more slender around the waist than many of his peers and I think this is the root of the problem with disposable nappies) and how much they can take (after all, without chemicals and gels to keep the wetness away from his skin, can it handle his 12 hour overnight sleep without squishing all over the place?)

I’ll be posting a daily diary entry detailing our findings with the Bambino Mio re-useable nappies and let you know how we get on!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Product Review: Fisher Price Jumperoo

How much? RRP £84.99
Where from? Nursery retailers

The Boy has a friend, who is 12 weeks older than him, and we visit once or twice a month and spend the day with him and his mummy (they live a fair distance away). Shortly after Christmas when we visited, when we arrived his friend was merrily bouncing away in a Fisher Price Jumperoo.

I admired it immediately due to the bright colours, the animal noises and music, the fact that it wasn’t a moving walker as such (I hate those things with a passion) but it supported him well in a standing position and by encouraging bouncing it was strengthening his legs and spinal muscles ready for when he is at the stage of wanting to walk.

His mummy showed me more about it; The comfy fabric seat goes round in a full circle, allowing the child to move around as they like, and there are things all round the tray for variety, which do different things – You press a button for a tiger to pop up from some pretend grass, a bug with fabric wings dangles on a stretchy stalk that bounces it around, a sunshine in a clear ball can be spun round, and The Boy’s friend was quite contentedly playing in his Jumperoo for a good hour before he got bored of it. His mummy then showed me the three different height settings – at the time, she was using the setting which allowed the seat to be closest to the floor, but with three easy to change settings it can be altered as the child gets taller to allow them to continue using it and be comfortable.

The Boy at that stage was too young to go in it, as the child needs to be able to sit independently before the Jumperoo is used, and he wasn’t at that stage. However the item stuck in my mind and as time went on and he was able to sit up independently I investigated the possibility of getting him one.

I must admit I was shocked to find out the RRP was £84.99, due to the size as well if you buy it online most places will put another £10 on that for delivery, so it isn’t a cheap product by any stretch of the imagination. I decided to look at alternatives and although there are some, none of them seemed to meet the same standard and provide the level of comfort, entertainment and suitability as the child got taller.

Purely by chance, in April this year, I made contact with another mum of one, the same age as myself, whose daughter is a few weeks younger than The Boy. She’d brought a Jumperoo for her Christmas present, but then in March had brought her a baby walker as well. Since her daughter preferred the baby walker, this lady was looking to get rid of the Jumperoo. Immediately I asked her how much she wanted for it (four months old, in excellent condition) and she said £50: She even drove to our house to drop it off! I was thrilled with the purchase and put it together immediately.

At this point, let me also mention that I didn’t get instructions with this Jumperoo, I simply had the image in the Argos book of what it should look like finished and the bits in a black bin liner to put together. It took me all of 15 minutes, and once finished I turned it on and looked at The Boy. He was sitting in his play pen watching me, utterly transfixed.

I popped him in the Jumperoo at that point, and he merrily stayed in it for about an hour, bouncing away, chattering to himself, and playing with all the toys. He got bored of it after filling his nappy (let’s face it, can’t be nice to be bouncing up and down in that!) and from that point on he was smitten. He was 8 months old at that point (tall and broad for his age) and I was using it on the middle setting for height which was comfortable for him to be on tip toes but not struggling to be on tip toes. Since we use the product in our front room, he had laminate floor under his feet and I was concerned about him slapping his feet against the laminate with his full weight, so I had a look at what I had and discovered that the Fisher Price play mat that comes with the baby gym is actually ideal. Though it’s a square mat to go in a round space, it’s big enough to cover the most part of the circle without too much overlap and without interfering with the rubber parts being against the floor for stability. The hooks on the mat, meant for attaching toys to, meant I could put the bottom circle bar of the Jumperoo through them to hold the mat in place. (Since it’s also from the Rainforest range it even matches!)

The Boy adores his Jumperoo, and will spend on average of an hour to an hour and a half in it most days if we’re at home. There’s a little empty space on the tray section with a dip in it, and quite often I’ve given him a biscuit or something and he’ll use that section to put the biscuit in. It must be comfortable, because the other day he was merrily jumping away and I was reading, and the next thing I knew he was snoring softly, his head resting against the plastic sunshine globe, dangling in his Jumperoo quite contentedly!

I adore this product, even though it should have been expensive and I got a good bargain by buying 2nd hand privately, I highly recommend it to any parent. It’s awkward when taken apart due to the size and shape of the pieces, but despite that I’ve taken it apart a few times and taken it to my in-laws house when we’ve gone there for the day, and I’ve also moved it upstairs for The Boy to sit in while I’m doing housework or whatever upstairs. It keeps him entertained, it keeps him safely contained, and it provides him with an excellent work-out! Well worth looking out for good quality 2nd hand versions if you haven’t got £100-odd to splash out on a brand new one. The fabric seat is easily removable for washing (hand washing only recommended, but I threw it in the machine on a handwash cycle and it came up a treat) The rest of the unit is metal and plastic so a wipe over with some Dettol and it’s done.

You can choose the sound settings – there’s a low and a high volume, and you can have it so it only makes noises when the child bounces or moves, or you can have it so it constantly plays a ‘jungle’ tune (I admit that one gets very annoying very quickly!)

Definitely four and a half out of five, highly recommended, good quality product. Could only be improved if it came with a little mat which could be fixed under it if you are using it on harder flooring.

Weaning: When Your Child Keeps Giving Food To The Dogs!

In a couple of short weeks, we will be celebrating The Boy’s 1st birthday. I’m looking forward to it in some ways – the marker of his first year, the first of many birthday celebrations to come; But in other ways I’m not looking forward to it, as it is the marker of him no longer being a ‘baby’ and it means that a whole 12 months has gone by since I gave birth to him yet still I am two dress sizes bigger than I was pre-pregnancy and I still don’t feel like I have the faintest, foggiest clue what I’m meant to be doing in this job as ‘mummy’.

As we all know, part of them growing up is all the fun of weaning. The Boy started on baby rice at four months old but wasn’t interested in the least – he wanted to move onto more interesting things from the moment we tried anything other than milk. The Boy has been exclusively formula fed since he was six weeks old – he rejected breastfeeding from the start, so for the first six weeks I was expressing and combination feeding, but after The Hubby returned to work it was just too much to try and look after The Boy, express for a good four hours a day, as well as clean bottles, make up formula and everything else that needs to be done all day. So anyway, he was five and a half months when we tried Rusks mashed in formula milk, and baby cereals for breakfast with fruit pots in the afternoon, and he’s done really well. On the whole he loves his food (though there are moments!) and he is generally good about eating.

The thing is, now he’s nearly a year old, I kind of expected him to be a little more independent about eating by now. I don’t know whether that’s accurate, whether I was expecting too much too soon, but I presumed by this point he’d be trying to spoon feed himself, certainly holding his own cup of water when he had a drink. He doesn’t; He’ll sit like a baby bird with his mouth open waiting for you to pop in the next spoonful or attach him to the water beaker. Finger food is a different matter: He loves getting his hands into that and playing with the different textures (and flinging a lot of it on the floor). And herein lies my current issue.

Our two hairy hounds of hell, one male and one female, are generally pretty good about not begging for food. The female is a bit weaker about it and she will sometimes forget herself and sit looking pleading at your feet while you’re eating, but she was a rescue dog and we don’t know her history, but she was very underweight when we first adopted her so I think it’s safe to say that, combined with the fact that she’s a complete bitch (I don’t mean that as an insult, I mean it quite literally!) means that she is constantly on the lookout for food. She’s a random cross breed and is a fairly small size dog (think about the size of a spaniel) so when she puts on weight it really shows. Our male dog is pedigree, and burns off his excess calories easily by all the running around he does, so a treat or two doesn’t hurt his figure; but she has quickly become a porky little rain barrel!

The trouble is, while neither of them will beg for food from The Boy as such, they are never far away when he is in the high chair at mealtimes. The Boy, such is his nature, wants to share everything right now, so whatever finger food he has; biscuit, banana, toast, whatever – he’ll have a couple of mouthfuls then offer it to the dogs. Now while they get interested, they won’t take it from him, as either myself or The Hubby (or whoever is feeding The Boy) is sitting there watching them closely to make sure they don’t – but if they don’t take it from him, The Boy will casually fling it on the floor. The female dog will break her neck on the laminate floor racing to get to whatever tit-bit it may be – she’s been known to eat orange and red peppers, carrot sticks and cucumber – but the male is a little more reserved and he’ll only eat it if it drops right in front of him and it’s something of interest – a biscuit or a piece of toast for instance.

I’ve tried locking them outside (very noisy – they bark and shriek like crazy to be let back indoors, and the noise puts The Boy off eating altogether as he is very easily distracted). We can’t shut them out of the room we have the highchair in as our kitchen, dining area and front room have no doors separating them, just open doorways, and the dogs aren’t allowed past the kitchen doorway into the rest of the house as the female cannot be trusted not to mess (again we think it stems back to her being a rescue dog, she’s fine when contained downstairs, but allow her the run of upstairs and she’ll ruin the carpet within a week). The female has a large cage in the kitchen that we put her in overnight or when we’re out (again because of the messing problem which she’ll do downstairs if left out overnight or while we’re out) so I have sometimes put her in the cage while feeding The Boy, which leaves the male dog free but he tends to go and lie in the front room when she’s out of the way. However it seems pointless as The Boy will still drop food on the floor in anticipation of when they come back into the room.

As I said, the male dog it isn’t so much of a worry, but the female is now seriously porky (her head looks out of proportion to her body!) she’s lost her waist entirely and she waddles about with her fat little bottom wiggling from side to side like a real hoochie! To top the problem off, I can’t take both of them out for a walk on my own, nevermind with The Boy in his pushchair as well, as the male is frightened of everything and goes scatty at the traffic and the noises it makes and the female has no road sense and just wants to bomb out into the middle of the road every two minutes. It takes both me and The Hubby to walk them, so we can have one each, and even then it can be a nightmare if you see another dog, or a cyclist, or someone on a skateboard or rollerskates, as the male dog will go scatty and flip around at the end of his lead barking (the vet says it’s a fear response) while the female dog will go scatty trying to get to them to say hello and potentially have her tummy tickled. Since The Hubby works funny shifts, nine times out of ten he isn’t home until The Boy is in bed, which means one of us has to stay at home, which means we can’t walk the dogs, which means the dogs don’t get a walk as often as they should. This doesn’t help the porky female wear off those extra calories!

I’m at a loss – If I stop giving The Boy finger food he’ll never learn to feed himself properly, but as long as I continue he is dropping it on the floor for the dogs and the female is hoovering it up like a mad thing and gaining weight by the day! Any suggestions gratefully received!!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

10 Things I Love About You!

  1. The way you blink and look around all confused when you first wake up; And then you see me and a beautiful big smile takes over your whole face despite the fact you’re still half asleep.
  2. The way you smell when I hold you close, of shampoo and baby bath, of lotion and fabric conditioner, and that base smell of you that I would recognise anywhere.
  3. The way when you wake in the night in pain or after a bad dream and I go to you and you curl yourself tightly against me and let out a big shuddery breath as you snuggle against me, your little hands curled around my top so tightly.
  4. The way you giggle makes my heart leap and brings tears to my eyes.
  5. The way I can be having the worlds most rubbish day and then I see you and you look at me with those huge, trusting blue eyes and smile at me and I know, no matter what else happens, everything will be OK because of you.
  6. The way you’re so desperate to walk, and talk, and become an independent little man, yet you still turn to me for reassurance when you’re not sure of someone or something.
  7. The way you want to share everything with me, from your food to your toys, and the pleasure in your eyes when I accept your offerings.
  8. The way you chatter away to yourself and your toys when you think nobody is listening.
  9. The way you fiddle with your hair when you’re engrossed in something or when you’re feeling tired.
  10. Most of all I love you, for just being you, the most precious, most wonderful thing in my life and making every single moment of every single day worthwhile.

I was tagged by Twinklenicci and I am tagging the following people so they can write their "10 Things I Love About You!" and link it up ...


Friday, July 22, 2011

The Good News We've Been Hoping For!

There’s a huge feeling of relief in our house at the moment, I am very pleased to say. The Hubby hasn’t been made redundant after all. There has been a last-minute reprieve by the company who purchased the store he used to work at, and the staff have been taken on by the new store. They’re also in the DIY business and they’re also a very well known brand name, and finally things are looking positive.

Last week, when I wrote the post about his impending unemployment, we were worrying like crazy how things would turn out. A conference call on Thursday last week between the new owners of the store and the previous ones confirmed that the staff would be taken on with no break in their contract (no redundancy) Phew!!

It wasn’t very clear at that point, though: It seemed as though the new store had been forced into it, and one of the major worry points was the fact that the staff were told it would be for a 6 month period. Many staff (The Hubby included) were concerned that if the new store had been forced into taking them on when they didn’t really want them, they would make life very awkward in an effort to push out the staff from the old store: Also, what difference would it make if they weren’t made redundant now only for redundancy to come in 6 months time? In addition to that, in 6 months time would it be counted as ‘voluntary’ redundancy, in which case they wouldn’t be entitled to any kind of pay-out? Would the staff have to endure all manner of hell while the new store attempted to push them out, having to give notice in the end rather than being made redundant, and once again loosing any kind of redundancy money?

The store under its former company name closed the shutters for the last time on Saturday lunchtime. The store was emptied of stock by this point (people had been purchasing trolley loads of goods for £5, kitchen cupboards for £2 each, lightbulbs for 50p each) and there was literally just the racking left on the shop floor (oh, and the tired old lino). It was a sad way for the store to end.

Still, on Sunday evening, the staff were in the mood for some drinks: To drown their sorrows, perhaps, but it was also a ‘farewell’ to the old company name and their way of saying goodbye to some staff members who had already found new jobs (and one or two who have decided that it is a good time to simply retire altogether). Our small market town was descended upon by the 30-something staff and their partners, for a meal of fish & chips, some games of snooker and more vodka, lager, and more notably Jaeger Bombs, than should be consumed in a single night.

Monday morning was a strange old morning, not least because The Boy was with his grandparents overnight, so The Hubby and I got the first opportunity since his birth for a lie in together, followed by a sausage sandwich each for breakfast and lots of strong tea. The Hubby should have worked on Sunday, but of course as the store had shut a day earlier than planned he’d had an extra day off already, and by Monday he was shuffling his feet and wondering what his week would entail.

Tuesday morning was the morning of The Big Meeting. All the staff met up the road at our local McDonalds for , and those that have cars drove the rest of them to the next town on from ours (a larger town) for a meeting in the new companies store over there. The meeting commenced at , and I sat at home with The Boy nervously awaiting news. At lunchtime, The Hubby texted me to say that the initial group meeting had gone a lot better than he’d hoped for, and he was due to go in for a one to one meeting shortly. He arrived home around four in the afternoon and the relief was immediately obvious.

At this point, let me just say, The Hubby is a very laid back character. He’s not one to show stress or nerves, he isn’t one to say if he’s feeling anxious or worried, but in the days until this meeting he had been a very different character to normal. Still not actually showing stress or telling me he was feeling anxious, he’d not been sleeping well, had been less tolerant of our dogs bad behaviour (Dog Borstal is very tempting with our two at the best of times!) As slim as he’s always been, he’d even lost weight in the run up to this meeting on Tuesday.

He walked through the door on Tuesday afternoon looking visibly more relaxed, happier and more content. He came in and I asked if he was OK and he grinned and said, “Yep, it all went well,” and proceeded to tell me all about it. As I said in my previous blog, I was trying to think positive, think that maybe this could be the best thing all round … Well, it seems like it actually might be.

The new company has a higher base rate of pay than the old company: They offer more holiday to their staff: They do store bonus schemes, where if a store exceeds their targets for a period all the staff benefit in their pay packet: The training is much better, more thorough, and equivalent to a much higher level even outside of the company: If they have to send staff to other stores for training, or away for courses, they will foot the bill for everything from the petrol costs or bus fare all the way to meal allowance and hotel accommodation. The new company apologised profusely for not being able to get in touch with the staff prior to the point that they did: It seems that legally speaking, although the old company was definitely going to close, had the new company approached staff to discuss employment with them it would still count as ‘poaching’ and they could still get into considerable trouble with this.

The new company have told the staff that they can sign onto a contract under the new company at whatever point they feel like; or not, if they so desire, and they can remain under their original contract from the previous store indefinitely. For staff that have been there a long time, this may be more beneficial, but for staff like The Hubby and others that have been there less than 10 years, the new company contract (at this point in time) appears to be a much better idea; Although before any decisions are made, The Hubby wants a copy of the new company contract to look over and be sure before he makes any decisions.

Since the meeting on Tuesday, the new store manager has phoned The Hubby daily to update him on various different things; Originally the training was going to commence next Monday at a store which is about an hours travel away, which posed a problem given the amount of staff that don’t drive or have their own cars. The new manager said he’d try to get mini-buses scheduled to collect them, but he phoned today and said that hadn’t worked out, so he’d changed the training location to the store they were in on Tuesday for their meeting, so it’s not half as far to travel and it’s possible by public transport, too. (The one thing about living around here is that public transport borders between non-existent and barely-there). He’s spoken to The Hubby about the new deputy manager, who used to work at the store The Hubby works at under the old company and who wasn’t a particular favourite, but who apparently has been waxing lyrical about The Hubby; the new managers words were, “He has nothing but high praise for you” which made The Hubby glow like a 60 watt light bulb.

The Hubby has also been advised about what his job role will equate to in the new company, and what that means for his future training, how they perceive his job progressing in the coming years, and they have a good idea of what they’d like and The Hubby is very happy to have such structure and such safe knowledge that the company is investing in him: The old company unfortunately made lots of empty promises.

On Wednesday we enjoyed a day with The Boy, relaxing at home and enjoying our new found chill zone: On Thursday I went into the office, so The Hubby and The Boy went out together with the pushchair and had some Father-Son bonding time. Today the three of us went out again together, fed the ducks and wandered around town in the sunshine, relishing these days together because we’re safe in the knowledge now that next week he has a job to go to, and our next mortgage payment can be made and The Boy will have nappies and food!

This weekend The Hubby wants to concentrate on some gardening; We’re hoping for good weather as we’d also like to go and visit my parents in their holiday home at the coast for the day, and enjoy the last couple of days before his four weeks of training starts. At the end of the training, he’ll have a couple of weeks off, and then the staff will be back in their store under the new company name at the beginning of September to stock: By the end of September, the store will open under the new company name and business will continue.

I can’t tell you how much stress, strain and worry this whole situation has caused us: I kept trying to be positive, thinking to myself well it could have been worse, he could have been made unemployed last July (when I was heavily pregnant with The Boy and we’d have been up s**t creek without a paddle) But now we know what’s going on (and he’s happy with what’s going on) I feel so much more relaxed already. Knowing he’s happier makes such a difference to me: I hate when he’s feeling stressed or down, and it worries me that it might kick him off into that black pit of depression (he’s not been down that road for some years now, the same as he’s not been a drinker for some years now, but it’s not the sort of thing you ever ‘get over’ it’s the sort of thing you’re always in recovery from).

So starting next week he’s off for training and it will be business as usual for me & The Boy at home on our own five days a week. Truth be told, as nice as it is to have The Hubby around for support with The Boy (especially this week, as The Boy has been very miserable with his teething) I think it will be even nicer once he’s back into a proper routine with his work and he’s got something to focus on each day rather than pottering about the house with me and The Boy.

I know we’re very lucky; It could have been very different and I’m so grateful that it has turned out this way. Many families have been affected by the recession and job losses and I really feel for them – I didn’t think we had anything to worry about, but it just goes to show you never can tell.

Anyway, I’m going to sign off now, as I want an early night (Got a total of about five hours broken sleep last night thanks to The Boy waking and screaming every couple of hours because of his teething).

Catch you all soon x

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Product Review: Bright Starts Bouncer

What? Bright Starts Bouncer (from birth to approx 6 months)
How much? RRP £14.99
Where? All good nursery stores

There’s such a lot of stuff you need to think about buying when you’re pregnant with your first child; Most of it you’re not sure about, a great deal of it you’ll find afterwards was completely unnecessary and a few bits will be totally invaluable. Like most mums-to-be, I’d looked around at the array of beautiful things I could spend my money on in anticipation of The Boy’s arrival, and made a list of what I thought would be needed. I then got my mum and my mum-in-law to go through the list with me and we made some changes at their suggestion, and off we went to Mothercare and various other stores to pick up what we were after.

One thing I never even considered was purchasing a baby bouncer. I don’t know why it didn’t strike me as something that might be useful: I know my mum had one for me and my brother when we were little, and my mum in law had one for The Hubby and his sister when they were babies too, and most of my friends with children had one, but nobody had ever said to me “You absolutely must get one of these!” so they just struck me as being very nice to have but not entirely necessary.

Two weeks before I went on maternity leave one of the ladies I regularly spoke to phoned in with a big problem, and it took me all day to get it sorted out, but I managed it and phoned her back about five minutes before I packed up for the day to say it was sorted out: She was so thrilled she was going to send me a bottle of wine to say thanks, but then we got chatting and I said that the wine would have to live in the fridge for another couple of months because of the pregnancy, so then she said she’d send me a gift for the baby!

The following day a courier delivery guy arrived with a package for me, and it was a lovely Bright Starts Bouncer!!

The style I have is a bright blue seat fabric and frame with brightly coloured stars and swirls on the fabric (The fabric is the same as this image, but the toys on the bar are slightly different). It has a removable toy bar, can be adjusted into various recline positions to make it suitable from birth until baby is about six months old – max weight 9kg (or can sit up unattended, whichever comes first) It has a little box on the front with one button for vibrating option, low level and high level, and another button for playing nursery rhymes, low volume or high volume. It has an automatic stop function after it has been on for 20 minutes.

While I was on maternity leave, before The Boy was born, doing all those bits and bobs you do in preparation, I kept contemplating whether it was worth setting up the bouncer or whether it would be a waste of space until my baby was a little older; In the end I did leave it boxed up for the first few weeks, but I could have used it sooner.

The first time I used it, was when I was tidying up my bedroom after The Hubby had gone back to work, so The Boy would have been about four or five weeks old. He kept crying whenever I put him into his Moses basket and I couldn’t sit holding him all day, so I set up the bouncer and put batteries in it and popped him in, using it in the most recline position. He was unimpressed at this stage with the vibration or the music, so I left those off and he quite happily watched me as I bustled about doing the cleaning; after about half an hour he fell asleep, and he was absolutely fine and comfortable so I left him where he was while I continued. As he got older I used the vibration options and music options and he enjoyed them, especially as I became used to the pattern of songs myself and would sing along to them!

I quickly realised what a useful little thing it was; it became one of my highest recommended baby items, and every time someone tells me they’re pregnant it’s the first thing I recommend they buy! I used it daily for The Boy – if I was at home alone with him, and he wasn’t asleep, I’d put him in it in the bathroom while I took a shower (the midwife said the steam was good for him too, so that was a double bonus!) I took it out into the garden and we’d sit in the fresh air, I used it in the living room when we had people visiting and took it to my parents-in-laws house when we went round to see them for the day. It’s so lightweight you can pick it up and move it around as you please; and it comes apart simply as well, so it’s no hassle to pack it into the car boot to take it with you if you go out with baby. It provides an excellent alternative to having a young baby constantly in your arms and I found it so handy to have!

Of course there’s plenty of other options on the market; ones that rock as well, ones that change with the child as they get older to eventually become a toddler chair, different designs, different brands, but whichever one you decide upon it really is the must have for any new parent; I think the Bright Starts one is fantastic because while it’s at the cheaper end of the market and it’s simple, it does what it says on the tin and never once did I worry about The Boy falling out of it (it does up around baby with two secure clips on either side and you can easily adjust it to fit nicely).

I was quite naughty and used it past the time he was six months as he was still under the maximum weight and wasn’t sitting up unsupported til he was eight months, and the day he was able to sit up unsupported and I had to pack it away I was very sad indeed. It’s been lovingly packed up – I removed the batteries and cleaned the fabric, packed it all back into the original box – and it’s been put in the loft in anticipation of Baby 2.  I have removed the toys from the toy bar as The Boy still enjoys playing with them; three brightly coloured plastic toys that spin and rattle, so they’re still coming in handy to keep him entertained. Once he grows bored of them they’ll be put away with the rest of it.

Overall, I’d give the Bright Starts Bouncer five out of five. It’s handy, well made, despite its frequent use it still looks brand new and the batteries still had plenty of power when I removed them to store it. I would absolutely, definitely recommend this product to anyone whose pregnant or who has a young baby as I have found it is one of the best products a new mummy can have!


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Product Review: Flexibath

How much? £25 upward
Where? Online nursery retailers

Our house is a very standard size three bedroom, but unlike most we don’t have a bath in our bathroom! The family who lived here before us included a grandmother with mobility problems, so they removed the bath and installed a large shower instead. When we viewed the house, as a couple without kids, it didn’t matter to us as neither of us are the sort of people to spend hours lounging in the bath anyway, and as the bathroom is quite small it seemed like a good idea to maximise what space there is.

The Hubby redecorated the bathroom within 18 months of us moving in because it had been quite badly done, with ordinary laminate floor which had got wet and was stained and warped and not fitting properly, there was a lot of whitewashed wood everywhere which was a nightmare to keep clean and which looked cheap and nasty, and the cupboard under the sink had no back to it and sat away from the wall, so we were forever loosing things in the gap! He replaced the sink and the cupboard, we kept the same loo and the shower, and he re-tiled and laid a lovely slate tile floor and we were thrilled with how it turned out.

When The Boy was born, we used a standard baby bath from Mothercare to bath him in, originally in his bedroom as it was warmer than the bathroom. However as he got older, and he enjoyed splashing around in the bath, I found it didn’t matter how many towels I put under it, the carpet would still end up damp in his room – as it was a new carpet and underlay when we decorated the nursery I was keen that it didn’t get destroyed, and also carrying a bath full of water from the bathroom into the nursery was hell on my back and not the easiest task to do, so I began looking at other possibilities.

I discovered that as the shower is a large size, I could fit the baby bath in the shower tray at an angle going corner to corner, so I started doing that, and bathing The Boy in the baby bath in the shower cubicle. The door folds out of the way very well and it didn’t matter how much he splashed. As time went on and he got bigger, I began to have some concerns over how we would deal with bath-time as he got older as he still wouldn’t be ready to have a shower for a few years.

One evening on the internet I discovered the Flexibath from A Real Cool World, a company from Denmark. It’s advertised as being specifically designed for houses with showers and no baths, for taking away on holidays, and the fact that it folds completely flat (with a handy lock on it to stop it popping open unexpectedly) means that I can easily fold it away and hide it even in our tiny bathroom if I want to. It’s available in a wide range of colours, and though I was tempted to buy a blue one for The Boy I was sensible and opted for the clear one (though it does have blue trim at the fold points!) since we’ll be needing it for the next baby too. It was expensive at £25.95 plus £3.95 p+p, but after reading some excellent reviews on it I decided it would be worth the money. The Flexibath holds up to 39 litres and is advertised as being suitable for use for children up to around four years old, which is ideal for my needs. I went ahead and made the purchase, and received the bath from VUP Baby, a store I found on Amazon marketplace, within five working days of placing the order, which I thought was good delivery time considering I’d been warned to allow 14 working days.

The first thing that struck me about the Flexibath was that it didn’t look big enough to accommodate a child of four years old. It’s actually shorter in length than a standard baby bath, though rather than being shaped the same as a standard baby bath it is more of a box design, so you fit more water into a smaller space, if that makes sense. When reading the safety comments on the packaging, I noticed that it says Use only water and childrens soap and shampoo in the bathtub. Do not add baby oil or any other liquids to the water. Prolonged/extensive use of such liquids may damage the soft plastic (TPE). This I felt should have been advertised with the bath before I decided to make the purchase. The Boy suffers with eczema which is concentrated on his back and tummy, and I regularly used Oilatum bath additive to soothe this. I have e-mailed the manufacturers of Flexibath and written to them on their Facebook page enquiring whether Oilatum counts as the sort of additive not suitable for use in the Flexibath, but unfortunately so far have not received a response (The e-mail was sent six weeks ago: The Facebook message at the beginning of this week when I found their Facebook page). However Oilatum is a fairly expensive product (around £10 for a decent size bottle that lasts a month of The Boy having a bath every evening) and so I tend to use it when his eczema has flared up. At the moment I’m not using it as his eczema isn’t too bad, and instead I have switched to using an Oilatum soap bar to wash him with and coat him in Oilatum lotion (on prescription from his GP) after having a bath to keep it under control. Perhaps using it occasionally in the Flexibath would be OK but it’s obvious their customer service department can’t be bothered to respond to my query so in my book that’s a black mark against them anyway!

As the Flexibath doesn’t have the same non-slip patch on the bottom of it that a standard baby bath does, I’ve also had to invest in some ‘bath splats’ to stick to the bottom of it to make sure The Boy doesn’t slide about too much. I got bath splats as they’re about the side of your hand so I can fit a couple into the bottom of the Flexibath without any issue; a standard size bath mat could be used, but you’d have to cut it down to fit.

As the Flexibath is shorter than my standard baby bath was, it means it fits better into the shower tray and rather than having The Boy at a funny angle which put more stress on my already dodgy back lifting him in and out, I can now have the bath straight across the shower tray which makes it much easier for me (and The Hubby) to get him in and out without putting so much strain on our spines. As it’s more of a box shape than a standard baby bath, the sides are higher which helps contain The Boy as he is more mobile now, and if he does decide to splash about thanks to the high sides most of the water remains in the bath rather than giving me a shower at the same time! (Though having said that, now The Boy is playing more with his bath toys he has taken to filling those with water before dumping them out onto my lap, so once or twice my trousers have been soaked through anyway!)

The Flexibath, like most standard baby baths, has its own little rubbery bath plug which fits tightly into the hole. I encountered a problem with this though, and I think it’s worth noting: When running water into a normal baby bath, when you check the temperature and it isn’t quite right you can pop open the plug, let some water out, then pop the plug back in place and re-fill to the right temperature without too much issue. With the design of the Flexibath plug, I found the other day that once you pop it out to release some water, it becomes a battle trying to get it back in again before the bath has emptied; And you do need to be very precise at getting it back into the plug hole and making sure its fitted in place properly or it does leak. I ended up loosing about three quarters of the bath water instead of the dribble I wanted to in order to get it to the right temperature. I’m not some kind of eco warrior but I did feel this was quite wasteful and could potentially be improved by a little tweaking of the bath plug design to make it easier to get in again.

Also the lock on the side of the bath is apparently very attractive to The Boy, who won’t stop fiddling with it! With the plug at the foot end of the bath, the lock is on the right hand side so it’s closest to me when I’m sitting next to the shower tray when The Boy is having a bath. All the toys in the world won’t distract him from fiddling with it, and as it is only made of plastic I do worry that his constant playing with it will weaken the join and it will break off. For me, that won’t be too much of an issue as I don’t tend to fold it down and lock it in place flat much anyway, but part of me thinks for nearly £30 I want something that isn’t going to break off easily, and obviously if you buy this item because you do regularly use it to go away camping or something with the kids, the lock is going to be an important feature and you’re not going to be impressed if it comes off easily (Though they do say you shouldn’t rely on the lock when travelling with the Flexibath and you should tie it up anyway, which begs the question, what’s the point of the lock if it needs help to function properly?)

Now at this point, I’m going to go back to my initial comments about I don’t quite see that this product is going to work for a child up to four years old. I know The Boy is tall and broad for his age (on the 95th percentile) I know that when a company says ‘approximately four years old’ they probably mean a small four year old or a large three year old – either is acceptable to me, as once he is too big for it he’ll be having a shower like me and his daddy, but what gets me is that at 11 months old he is already too long for me to be able to lay him back in the Flexibath to wash his hair! (Hence this has to be done either with the shower over the edge of the bath, or we do it when he has a bath at his Grandma’s house in the big bath). This also deducts points from the design as far as I’m concerned, because if I can’t wash an 11 month olds hair in it, what hope do you have for a child of three or four? But until The Boy reaches three or four, I don’t know what the Flexibath is like for older children, so we’ll have to wait and see about that.

Would I recommend this product? Probably not, if I’m honest, not for someone in the same situation as me who needs something for frequent use. I would recommend it as a holiday-only product (for instance my parents could keep one folded in the bathroom at their holiday home). It’s a good idea but it’s expensive, you can’t use oils in the bath which I know a lot of mummies like to do, especially olive oil for dry skin, and their customer service leaves a lot to be desired as far as I’m concerned at this moment in time (Though if I do hear from them I will update you here!) I don’t see that its going to last him til he’s four, but again I could be wrong we’ll have to wait and see. The theory behind it is good, but for the price I feel they could have provided a much better product. I don’t regret my purchase as the shape of the standard baby bath combined with The Boy now being more active left me constantly worrying he would tip it over end-to-end and the boxier shape of the Flexibath makes it more stable in this way, but it does seem quite flimsy considering it’s designed for folding and unfolding regularly I’m not sure it would take too much use before it gave up. I’d have to rate this product a disappointing two and a half out of five.