Mummy Confession: I have a hard time letting go of things I’ve bought for babies, especially the “big ticket” items.
Disclosure: This post is not affiliated, sponsored, or otherwise endorsed by Tree Hut Village.
We’ve all done this, I’m sure. After having one child, and unsure about time between children, we put the car seat, the high chair, and maybe even other large items in storage. They gather dust and appear useless until needed again for years. It’s either that or sell on buy/sell pages for a few dollars more than nothing
Did you know, though, there is a way to make some extra money off of those unused baby products you’ve packed away in storage, just in case you need it again?
Introducing Tree Hut Village, a parent-to-parent lending community! I’m excited to tell you all about this new platform, and hope you are as excited as I am about this opportunity to help others, and maybe make a little back in your pocket as well!
What is Tree Hut Village and why was this community created?
Tree Hut Village is Australia’s first parent to parent baby equipment
hire platform.^ It is a community designed to allow those who wish to hire their baby equipment to parents.
This initially was designed with traveling parents in mind, as they have the choice to either drag their bulky equipment around in and out of travel locations, or hire from a company. It can be quite a lengthy and expensive process to hire from big companies. Tree Hut Village provides a simple 3 step, all online, process for both lending and selling.
Listing your items is completely free, and there is no cost to start up. Tree Hut Village only deducts a 15% administration fee after you have approved a booking. I have to say that’s amazing, for the fact that they connect you to a community that would otherwise be very difficult to manage yourself!
I love the community that Tree Hut Village has created for parents, and the opportunity to support local families while we travel!
Why the name “Tree Hut Village”?
^Tree Hut Village was the name chosen because the creators wanted to express what’s important to them:
– Fewer items go to landfills (“the tree”)
– Enabling giving back to the community (“the hut” stands for tangible things)- that’s why we partnered with charities like St. Kilda mums
– Parents helping parents to travel hassle free or to earn some extra
How can I participate in this community? Why should I participate?
Firstly, you need to go online and register with the platform, and you just start either listing items you would like to lend (they must comply with Australian standards and be no more than 6 years old), or selecting items you would like to borrow.
The lending process is merely three steps:
1. List an item (it’s completely free!)
2. Approve bookings as they are requested.
3. Connect with borrowers when and lend your baby equipment.
Again for someone borrowing, just three steps required:
1. Search for an item and check its availability.
2. Book and pay via the security of the website.
3. Connect with the lender and confirm pick-up details.
Both lenders and borrowers are able to leave reviews, and the listing will remain active until changed by the lender themselves.
You should participate because it’s a good way to make use of your baby equipment while it is just around collecting dust! Be a part of the community and help others who would like to either trial a product before they buy it, use equipment while they travel rather than hiring elsewhere, or just have an item for a shorter period of time rather than buying it. We all know that baby equipment can be expensive to buy outright, and it’s only used for a small portion of time!
The community is growing, and it would be amazing to see people from all over Australia offering to lend their unused baby equipment in order to help others!
Mummy Confession: When I was a new mum especially, I was always curious to keep up with what skills my baby was developing. I often felt the need to see their progress and keep track of their milestones.
Disclosure: This post is not sponsored by any of the following companies or apps and is purely my honest opinion. This post contains affiliate links.
Now, hear me out, not every baby develops the same skills at the same time. Just like every child isn’t the same height, weight, or build, development varies from baby to baby. But, I like the reassurance of seeing how my child was coming along with milestones, as any mum would. I also like seeing what sort of activities help in their age group as well.
There are three great Apps that help mum to keep up with skills and developmental milestones that coincide with the age of their baby, toddler, and child. Below, I have outlined a few that have come in handy for me as a mother.
Many baby websites offer newsletters as well to help keep track of baby’s development and various things to expect as they grow. Some of these are listed here with my Pregnancy and Parenting Communities post.
The Wonder Weeks
Each baby has times where they seem to be more sleepless, fussy, and all around grouchy, and I have found a lot of the time, it is because they are going through developmental leaps. The Wonder Weeks app is based on a book written about this. It allows you to enter your baby’s due date and it predicts when these “leaps” occur. So much is happening in their little world that you can’t see, and this helps me to be aware of what my baby could possibly be working on, or trying to figure out. As stated in the app, though, every baby isn’t doing everything listed by those time frames, but it is a great guide as you look out for things they are achieving!
You can also set up an alert to let you know when baby is entering a fussy stage, so maybe you will be that one step ahead, being prepared.
Do you like writing down what your bubs is up to? Keep track of medications, immunisations, feedings, diaper changes, sleep, teeth, and more. Digitally store tons of developmental and growth information as well as photos and videos. Keep track of one child or more, and a daily bit of information on their age group.
If you want to have is information saved for a hard copy scrapbook later, get this app. It is so helpful when you feel like there is no time to write anything down. Plus, there are great communities online to ask your parenting and baby questions (and Baby Bump, their sister app, has one as well).
I just got this one, but I’m already impressed! This one offers an evaluation of baby’s skills and development and helps with some activities to develop their skills.
It has videos that show how to do certain activities with your baby to aid development, and has in-app purchases for further things. It also offers articles on baby’s development. You can opt in for various categories to receive information and activities for children through the age of two. There is so much I haven’t seen yet, so I will need to check it out more before I can write about it, but I was impressed already in the short time I’ve had it!
Mummy Review: I’m a light sleeper. My babies tend to be ones who roll around endlessly during their sleep hours, making it fun for anyone to keep them sleeping. We had the chance to try the Grobag and GroEgg together, and I’m hoping we’ve turned a corner in a bit more settled and easy sleep, as well as keeping with safe sleeping guidelines.
As you may have read, we have co-slept in the past, but as the littlest is now all over the place, he can no longer safely be in my bed. I needed to find a way for my baby to sleep safely and soundly throughout the night. When I was given the chance to review the GroBag and GroEgg, I jumped at the opportunity, as I hoped it would bring more sleep for me and for baby!
The GroEgg is a nursery thermometer which changes colour to indicate temperature, and displays the temperature digitally as well. It comes with a guide as well on how to dress Baby according to the temperature an indicates ideal temperatures. This takes the guesswork out of wondering if baby is too hot or cold! It doubles as a nightlight!
The GroEgg is meant to be used alongside the GroBag, another Gro Company product, as the various togs of sleeping bags are tailored to various temperatures, and alongside to layers in accordance with temperature guidelines. There is a handy guide in the pamphlet as well as on their website for further help.
I found the temperature to be accurate, and have no complaints, as it did display properly as well as change colour according to the temperature. I found it great as a nightlight as well as the fact that I didn’t have to turn a light on in order to read the temperature (or even enter the room). I could just go by the colour displayed and adjust the temperature accordingly.
As well as the pamphlet inside that talks about the GroEgg, the Egg itself has the colour coding (which are logical choices for colours if you think about it) so you can tell what the range in which the temperature lies, and whether you need to alter it.
The GroEgg is powered by plugging it into an outlet. This does mean cords, and you obviously need to ensure you safely put it out of children’s curious reach. The plug, however, is not attached permenantly, but is removeable from the back. I would love if they offered a cordless option, but from my own experience with rechargeable cordless products, they can’t usually go all night without having to be recharged again anyways.
The GroEgg also comes with cute covers as well, if you prefer the look over just the egg shape. This is definitely a bonus if you are looking for something a little more like an animal shape.
Upon taking this out of the packaging, I can feel this is made of quality material. The tog thickness is 2.5, so not too thin, but not too thick. Great for the autumn season. It also comes with a thermometer for the 0-6 months and 6-18 months sizes, and information of how to dress your child according to the temperature. So, if you don’t happen to have a GroEgg, you do have this thermometer. Though, it’s far easier to read the GroEgg, especially in the dark.
The great this about this sleeping bag is that there is no need to use blankets or wonder if baby is warm enough. There is no frustration about your child kicking off the covers and being cold either.
In our experience with it, the sizing was quite generous, and the 6-18 month size fit my child who is in a size 1 as well as my child in a size 2 (but just barely). It helped a lot to regulate the temperature and baby slept a bit deeper because of it. When bub wasn’t teething, he slept very well through the night with minimal wake-ups which was refreshing for everyone! Even my other child loved how it kept her warm and cozy.
Our house was around 19-20 degrees at 2.5tog GroBag we needed a long sleeve shirt/onesie along with the GroBag itself. This did exceptionally well, and my baby had some nice sleeps. We have liked the GroBag so far, and are hoping in time, it will be a good part of his nighttime routine to indicate that it is time for sleep.
The Pattern– I absolutely love this adorable print, and I believe it is fairly unisex. The hot air balloons and animals is a clever print, and both me and my children were fans.
The Zippers– The GroBag has two zippers. It zips from top to bottom, not bottom to top like most baby products I’m used to! This means no pokey zipper bits on baby’s face! It also makes it easy to change. The second zipper at the bottom allows for you to have minimal opening when strapping a belt through when baby is in the pram.
Belt Hole in Back– A small slit which you can easily lace a pram belt through! Minimal opening, so less disturbing for a possibly sleeping bub! It velcros shut, so it’s not an issue when not in use as well.
Buttons at the bottom– To keep the zippers covered from prying fingers, or just out of the way, there is a little piece of fabric and some buttons to cover them.
Sleeveless Design– while I first thought, “why sleeveless when it’s more a transitional or winter suit?” It makes sense so that bub doesn’t overheat. You can layer their Grosuit or other clothing according to their guide on how to dress Baby. You can see the full answer to my question here.
Sizing– The size ranges for the GroBag is 0-6 months, 6-18 months, and 18-36 months. While the sizing may sound a bit ridiculous, it works well. My tall baby fits the 6-18 month size, and so does my middle child (who is a tiny thing way over 18 months). The sizing is generous, which is great, and means you have it last longer! (They even have a 3-6 and 6-10 year GroBag, but it isn’t currently in stock at the moment!)
Mummy Confessions Scale for Sleeping Bags-
Easy to put on: 4/5 – With a baby who just wants to go, it does get a tad difficult, but just because you need to get the zipper together at the top. Stays on: 5/5 Easy to change baby in: 5/5 – The two zippers make it super easy! Easy to take off: 5/5 – So simple! Appropriate thickness for seasons available: 5/5 – They offer options from .2tog to 3.5tog Baby likes it? So-so. He’s not a fan of sleep. Material: 5/5 – Great breathable material, not too heavy, but warm! Sizing: 5/5 – The three size ranges are great, offering choice for various sized children…especially cool that they have up to a size 10 once stock is back!
Overall Rating of Gro Bag: I definitely rate this 5/5 overall, as all of the options for this Sleeping Bag definitely mean there is one out that that should work for your baby (if they like sleeping bags)!
Questions I asked The Gro Company:
Why does the GroBag have a sleeveless design? We believe that Baby Sleep Bags should be sleeveless to aid heat loss and air circulation. (Babies sleeping under traditional blankets rarely sleep with their arms inside). The new British Standard also stipulates that Baby Sleep Bags should be “without sleeves or hoods”. In cooler weather, we recommend long-sleeve bodysuits, in addition to a long-sleeved pyjama top, pyjamas or a sleepsuit.
What else can I use with the GroBag and GroEgg?
You should use your Grobag instead of blankets and sheets. The only other bedding required is a bottom sheet. Grobags are designed to replace blankets and sheets. They come in three tog (warmth) ratings for your individual baby and the temperature of your baby’s sleeping place. Duvets, quilts and pillows should not be used for babies under 1 year old and never with a Baby Sleep Bag. The Lullaby Trust recommend that the safest place for your baby to sleep is in a cot or crib in your room for the first six months. Important: never use your Grobag Baby Sleep Bag with a duvet or quilt.
· Gro-Suit– The Gro-suit is intended for use with a Grobag in cold weather or in room temperatures of 18°C or under. They are most suited to be used with a 2.5 tog or 3.5 tog Grobag.
If your room is under 16°C and you’re using a 2.5 tog Grobag you should add a vest underneath your Gro-suit. However, if you’re using a 3.5 tog Grobag you only need to use the Gro-suit underneath.
If your room is under 14°C you should ideally look to increase the temperature of the room, or use a 3.5 tog Grobag, with Gro-suit and vest.
· Gro Friends (Please remove from a sleeping baby. Soft toys should not be left in a babies cot)
· Gro Egg Shell
· Gro Muslins
· Gro Light
· Gro Anywhere Blind
Which tog do you recommend for which seasons (or where can I find that information)? We recommend choosing the tog per temperature of the Nursery which is how our Grobags work hand in hand with our Groegg Nursery thermometer product.
We then have our What to Wear Guide available on our website for further assistance on how to dress your little one during sleep.
Mummy Review: I’ve always loved boutique styles, and having something that is a unique style! I also love supporting local businesses and mums, so this is a win, win!
Disclosure: Some of these products were given to me in exchange for my honest opinion. I liked them so much, I bought more .
My Little Love Hearts is a boutique style shop for a range of accessories for babies, handmade in Australia. Their line of products includes bibs, hair bows, and teething rings. I have reviewed the products below which I have received and also purchased a couple more, in addition to the lovely presentation of how it arrived in the parcel!
Firstly, though, I just wanted to give some insight into the maker of these great products and what inspired her to create this brand, as well as her aspirations and personal favourite items. 🙂
(I will also be editing this post and putting better photos in once my little model will stand still)
What inspired you to start My Little Love Heart?
My interest in baby apparel and accessories, specifically bandana bibs, began after my daughter Natalia was born. As she was prone to reflux we started to go through a large amount of baby bibs. I found it very difficult to find products of the highest quality with modern and stylish patterns so I started making them myself.
What is your favourite product?
I would have to say I have three favourite products, firstly the Love Heart Teething ring as this is my own idea and design, it also represents what my brand is all about ! The second would have to be the bandana bib, this would be my most popular item and I love the feedback I get from customers. The third favourite would be the burp cloths, as they use the most fabric I really get to enjoy the detail on the wonderful patterns.
Are you working on anything that you’re excited about (new product, new styles, new designs, etc)?
Last month we just finished our first collaboration with Perth designer Megan Isabella Designs. She has developed the Succulents and Cactus print exclusively for My Little Love Heart. We love that it is a print that boys can wear as there are very few options for the little guys these days. We will also be adding 2 more fabrics in the coming months, once again something for the boys !
What is a goal you have for the future of your business?
I enjoy making these products and would love to increase the export side of the business through retail outlets around the world, especially my birth country of Colombia. It would be an amazing feeling walking into a shop in another country and seeing my products sold there.
This is the beautiful parcel I received from My Little Love Heart. I must say, the care that went into this presentation is lovely!
Need a nice gift? Your order comes nicely wrapped and ready to go (See photo at the top of the post)! this attention to detail is such a great touch!
Regular Bib The Bibs made by My Little Love Heart are made in two sizes and has two plastic buttons to adjust to a proper size as well. Backed with towelling, it’s not thin and soaking through easily. I would say my baby is a medium level drooler, and I haven’t had an issue with it soaking through too quickly. Obviously, I take it off during naps, and let it dry.
I recommend the cactus and succulent pattern for its pure awesome look. I was overjoyed to receive this bib, and it sure is helping us have less wardrobe changes during the day, while still maintaining a fashionable look. I have gotten a ton of compliments on this bib, and just adore the pattern!
Bandana Bib I love the style of the bandana bibs! For my boy especially, it makes him look even more handsome, and covers him under and around the neck. It is also backed with towelling and keeps his neck dry. This is good, because my bub’s neck is particularly sensitive as he is prone to eczema. The bandana bib also comes in two sizes and has two buttons for adjustment within the size. My little one was lucky enough to try one out in the lovely feathered pattern. I have washed it a few times, as the drool is strong with my baby, and I have no complaints. It’s still just as cute and great for bubs to wear!
Bandummy This particular style I have never seen before, and I think it is quite innovative in its design! After finding this style online, I had to order one! Bub is always losing his dummy (pacifier to those not fluent in Aussie) and this design allows me to keep it close. The best part is not needing an extra dangly bit to clip on, hoping my baby won’t rip it off minutes later. You can also attach teething toys!
It works best with dummies or teething toys that have a bit of space, and just fits one of my bubs preferred pacifiers. Bubby was putting his own dummy back in easily, and I didn’t have to search the whole house for it!
Only one issue I would have with it is that, obviously, I cannot attach any other pacifiers that my babe prefers to it, as they would need a string attached to lace through the hole (which is a simple fix, anyways). Otherwise, this is a totally brilliant idea, and I’m stoked to have this in his wardrobe!
Bunny Teething ring These eco-friendly Beech Hardwood teething rings are particularly lovely to look at, and I think the patterned moustache pattern makes it so cute! It comes in this handy little bag, so a beautiful little touch I appreciated! I’ve always loved this style of bunny ear-ed teething rings! I had to order one for my little man, as he is experiencing the dreaded teething, and everything is in his mouth. This ensures that he’s not crawling around and shoving things the other kids have left out in for amusement, but playing and chewing on this instead. Even better, his bandummy easily clips on to this, so it’s not getting lost! Little man is still getting used to it, but so far seems to be enjoying this one!
So, all in all, I am stoked about these products, and I hope you have even found something to admire. As you may know, I just love talking about great baby products, so out of these, I would highly recommend the Bandummy if you have a bub with a pacifier or teething toy they are attached to. Help baby and help yourself by ordering one today! Tell them Mummy Confessions sent you!
Mummy Confession: I admit, I hate how the swaddle appears, and the pictures of babies in swaddles sometimes look downright weird. However, they are a lifesaver for many parents as far as sleep is concerned.
*Disclosure: I was not given any of the following swaddle products unless indicated otherwise, and am not affiliated with, sponsored by, or writing on behalf of any of the following companies, and this is my honest review and opinion. This blog, however contains affiliate links to Amazon which means I make a comission off qualifying purchases, with no extra cost to you.
Swaddling. The word alone provokes a picture in my mind of baby Jesus in a manger, wrapped up in cloths. Nowadays, there is a much wider variety of options when it comes to swaddling. You can go for the old-fashioned method with a muslin wrap, or use one of the other many options for easier swaddling.
Why do parents swaddle babies? It’s called the startle, or Moro, reflex^. When babies are fresh out of the womb, they “jump” at the sound of things (and sometimes at no sounds, they just do), causing their arms to go flailing. This wakes up baby, and causes mum, dad, or whomever is watching bubs to soothe, resettle, and pray baby goes back to sleep. This makes for disrupted sleep for everyone. Not fun.
So, a swaddle stifles the ability for baby to move their arms suddenly and wake themselves up. It looks confining and maybe uncomfortable, but most babies take comfort in the snug wrap. This is not the case for all babies, but most, especially when they are overtired, are calmed much quicker with swaddling. This was definitely the case with most of the times when my babies were fussing and just could not calm themselves down.
I’ve found they all fall within these categories (feel free to click or scroll through the categories), and have done my best to briefly talk about how they differ, as well as provide pictures and brands that would classify in the specific options.
This is just the typical swaddling, and can be done with any blanket or muslin wrap that is large enough for the baby. It’s versitile, and you can wrap baby snugly with their arms up or down by their sides. Just be sure not to make it too tight, especially around the hips. Muslin wraps are generally better I’ve found to use, because the material is more breathable, and easier to manoeuvre. Always be sure to follow the safe sleeping guidelines when swaddling your baby, and place baby on their back.
Another alternative to blanke/muslin swaddling is the Gro-swaddle which has an extra bit at the bottom to make it easier to wrap Baby up snugly.
Zip Up Swaddles: These come in a large variety of brands, but I’ve found these completely lifesaving as a mother and non-expert in swaddling. They are sized by weight or height, so you get the proper size for your baby, so it is just the right snug-ness for bubby. These come in different categories which I explain below.
1. Zip up with arms free within the swaddle- Several brands have this basic style, just helping to stifle the startle reflex and keep baby snug and warm to sleep. My favourite brand within this category is the Ergobaby Cocoon. Ergo also makes the “ErgoPouch” which is a sleeping bag and swaddle in one. It has varying togs (different thicknesses for varying seasons), so great for warmer or cooler weather depending on the tog.
2. Zip up with arms up– Allowing baby to soothe themselves with their hands, the arms up version by Love to Dream is an excellent swaddle recommended by many mums (myself included). This comes in various thicknesses, and they even offer transitional swaddles. Yes, they look funny, but honestly, this was the best option for us with one of the children, as she could soothe herself and her startle reflex couldn’t wake her. (There are also other options which are more of a transitional swaddle style, but still allow for stifling of the startle reflex, which are the Zipadee-Zip and the Sleepy Hugs. I was given these to review at another opportunity after this post was written.)
3.Zip up with arms down– If your baby prefers their arms to be down when sleeping or swaddled, this is probably a great option for you. The Swaddlepod is a good version of this type of swaddle. Other brands do this, including store brands such as Kmart or Target. This is probably the most common. Just be sure to purchase that isn’t too tight around the hips.
Velcro Swaddles: These swaddles take a step out of trying to wrestle a blanket around Baby and make it just as easy as tucking arms in and securing them. Some brands thatmake these are Swaddleme and Halo sleep sack.
Some of the swaddles above have transitional options, for when you are trying to transition out of swaddles. These can be either to transition to a sleeping bag style (like the GroBag or Baby Dee Dee Sleep Nest), or just out of swaddles. I’ve reviewed two different ones here on my Winter Sleep Wear Feature (but they come in different weights for different seasons, too). These ones in particular are meant to still give the cosy feeling of a swaddle, but a bit more freedom.
The Not Quite Swaddles, but great options:
Sleepy Wings: This arms only option is good for if you just need something for bub’s arms, or something that will hold a pacifier. The pacifier easily tucks into the spots on the top bit of the swaddle wings. You can choose to put arms up or down as well. They also have other amazing options for transitional wings, or just sleeves that cover little hands.
Find Sleepy Wings here.
Sleepy Bub: There are two great options here with Sleepy Bub. A onesie that you can zip the arms down, or a sleeping bag where you can zip arms down. The hands are able to be covered as well. This is great for all the babies who seem to get out of everything else!
Find Sleepy Bub here.
Which of these options works for you? Or, do you have a baby who wasn’t keen on swaddling? I love that there are so many options out there now, to see what would work best.