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 Confession: When I was a first time mum, I bought a lot of sippy cups. A lot.
I know the choice can be overwhelming, and what on earth do you choose for your baby? Is one better than the other? Which is the BEST cup?
*Please note that unless directed otherwise by your doctor or peadeatrician, it is not recommended to give a baby water until at least six months old. Giving too much water to your baby, or giving it too early can cause water intoxication. Please consult your doctor for any other information.*
This post contains affiliate links, but has not been sponsored, endorsed, or otherwise compensated for any opinion or suggestions stated. Everything written is of my own accord. See my disclosure policy for further details.
I’ve found in my days of motherhood, that every baby is different and has different preferences for everything, including cups. Not every brand is the same, and not every cup is spill proof or easy to clean. In my opinion, the best cup is the one your child uses easier, comes apart for cleaning easily, and doesn’t spill for the early days of learning. To help you figure out which cup may be best for you, I have compiled a list of the four main types of sippies made for babies and toddlers.
In general, there are four different kinds of cups specifically made for babies and toddlers. This isn’t including the normal open cups, but rather ones with tops that in some way lessen or prevent the spilling of the contents inside. Before you get any of these, be sure to scrub them regularly by taking them apart as shown in their respective instructions. It helps to buy a brush kit to get all of the tiniest crevices. If it helps to know, some bottle companies also have their bottles which fit their sippy tops, but you would have to check those out individually. I recommend checking out Amazon for reviews of any cup before purchasing, just to see how it rates on all factors.
1. Soft Spout Cups- These cups resemble a bottle and the flexible material used for those. But, rather than a nipple-like top, have a spout. These are easy for some babies as I’m sure the similarity to a bottle would make the transition easier. This one by Nuby was loved by my babies as they transitioned, though they preferred the bottle-like top. (These ones seem to rage at 6 months or so and up)
2. Harder Spout Cups – My kids preferred these for some reason, and just couldn’t get on with the softer spouts. Tommee Tippee has a few harder spout types for babies and onward, and many other companies make harder spout ones for toddlers. This particular bub has his very own Penguin sippy from the Avent line. The harder spouts usually have a little silicone or other material that probably feels nicer on bubs gums when they chew it. (These ones seem to rate around 6 months and up)
3. Straw Cups– the variety of these are endless it seems. From the Take-n-Toss straw cups to Camelbak water bottles with straws, you will not be lacking in choice! My preference is always one that is easy to clean in all the crevices, and is as spill proof as possible. We owned one straw water bottle that leant itself to easy pouring, and I often found myself cleaning up puddles and emptying tea cups of water. Straw Cups tend to be recommended for slightly older babies, as getting the hang of sucking until the water comes up can take a little time. I recommend starting with one that has a shorter straw for this reason. (These generally state around 8-9 months and up)
4. Trainer Cups– now these particular cups are super innovative! There are a few options for these Cups, but they all lend themselves to teaching children how to drink out of a real cup (supposedly) without the spills. I say supposedly, because my smart toddler figured out that one particular cup was just easily pushed with her finger, tipped, and the water came freely. This cup is now only given in monitored circumstances. Munchkin has one of these types in both handle and non-handle versions, which are two different sizes. (These generally rate at around 12 months and up)
A Mix of several types
Some companies go above and beyond when it comes to supplying options for sippy cups. A few of the options include interchangeable tops or spouts. ThePura Kikihas straw, bottle or spout tops. Avent and Tommee Tippee have some of their range which is interchangeable with their respective bottles.
Some honourable mentions that don’t quite classify as “cups” but are great innovations in the helpful nature of the sippy cup are:
Spout Water Bottle Adaptor– this smart little invention makes any water bottle a sippy! Just put the top on, and have a less-messy drink for your toddler while out!
Boon Snug Lid– this top makes any cup transition to a spout cup or straw cup! How handy! They even have tops for snack bowls!
Honestly, you don’t NEED any of these Cups, but I’m grateful for the people who have created them, because they are a necessity in my household. The cleanup is much easier, transporting them in my bag or in the car makes for a much more pleasant ride, and my kids love the designs and the independence they have from being able to drink and carry them all by themselves. If you are skipping the sippies and straws, opt for a less breakable material such as plastic, melamine, or otherwise. But, if you decide to get a cup for your baby or toddler- Happy Sipping!
Mummy Confession: I have lost my cool several times this week. It is something I am not proud to admit.
Screaming. Crying. Yelling. More crying. Explosions of all sorts have happened this week, and we have had to wash half of our couch cushions as a result. This is all courtesy of my youngest, who thought we could use some redecorating. Thanks kid.
What a week it has been, indeed. I am not happy to say that amidst the crazy circus that is life with children, I lost it. I lost whatever “it” is several times this week. I yelled, too. I screamed, too. I cried, too. But then, I found “it.”
My crying wasn’t done over the fact that my life seems to be a chaotic hodgepodge of fingers, sticky messes, and whiny voices, but rather the wholehearted thankful cry as I think of the blessing my children are to my life. I end each day with my children, no matter what has happened, by praying with them. I think this particularly important in relation to the fact that it not only brings my beliefs in front of them, but it also teaches thankfulness and humility. It reminds them (and me as well) that no matter where we have fallen, that God hears us and has sent His love to us. I try my hardest to have every day conclude with peace and love, with some tickle-fights and kisses thrown in for good measure.
I don’t like not ending the day this way, and make every effort to see that this is how we conclude our day, and bring to their minds the things in life for which we need to be thankful. I can’t put it as eloquently here as I want to express it, so I hope it comes out as I am trying so hard to formulate words. My brain is wrecked from this week. Exhausted completely. But, next week (and even through the weekend, obviously) we will do it again.
Hopefully this time around there will be less laundry.