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: 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 products, 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.
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.
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, or just out of swaddles
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.
Mummy Confession: I went in to Kmart to look for thermal wear for our future trip to the snow, and I bought other things (in addition to thermal wear)
*Disclaimer: This is not sponsored, affiliate or otherwise promoted by Kmart in any way, and is my totally honest opinion and recommendation
In preparation for our upcoming family holiday, I went to Kmart to check out their winter clothing situation. Maybe that was my first mistake? We all know Kmart lures in deal-seeking mothers and then they lose the plot when they see all the bargains on offer!
It’s always a bad (or great) idea for me to venture into the Baby section. Usually I just check things out, but this time, I found some truly great products that I wanted to share with you! Why? Because, they are a great bargain, and I love saving money!
My youngest has started solids in the last months, and let’s just say all of the bowls, plates, and utensils have done their rounds. I wanted to get some decent, yet not too pricey, replacements. Plus, I will be needing more as one more child to serve or preferably unbreakable dinnerware. Here are some of the deals I found for under $20 total!
Smock Bibs: $5- Rather than bubs covering himself in his dinner, a two pack of these bibs is just $5! They are plastic on the front and have the long sleeves to keep arms clean, too! My only issue is that they only come in one size. They probably won’t fit my baby in a couple more months, as he is gigantic. Saying that, I’m sure they have art smocks for bigger kids in store somewhere. Right? Because Kmart has everything.
2 Nonslip Plates: $3- With that price, I wanted to buy more, but I just got some to try out. They’re great and don’t slip around on the table! Other brands would be so much more pricey, so I just thought this was too good to pass up! They aren’t completely flat either, so good for my Starting Solids bubba! One thing that would have been awesome as well is if they made a divided plate with the non slip on the bottom, too!
2 Nonslip Bowls: $3- Again, bargain alert! Such a great find, and deeper than the plate (obviously), I had to try these as well. They have the little non slip bit on the bottom as well, and, again, excellent for my toddler insisting on eating her milk and cereal all by herself!
20 Piece Disposable Feeding Set: $6- Included in this set are 4 sippy cups with lids, 4 bowls with lids, and 4 snack pots with lids, as well as 4 spoons and 4 sporks (so the total number DOESN’T include kids.) This is a great little set for starting off, especially as we don’t use a lot of food in one go. I love the disposable option, as you don’t feel as guilty recycling a well used product since it didn’t cost as much. It’s a great option to have in the car or nappy bag, too for a “just in case” moment! At the price, they are also slightly cheaper than the alternative. Though, neither brand of the sippy cups would I deem “spill proof.” So if you want spill proof, check out my overview of sippy cups, including some better options.
They have so much more on offer, but this is all I needed for now, so I had to practise self-control. So, if you are in need of replacing or adding to your plastic wear for toddlers and babies, Kmart is definitely the place to check out first! I love seeing all theyhave on offer, and their Stock is always changing, so you are bound to find something new and great nearly every time you visit!
The Baby Bjorn Carrier One Outdoors is a carrier for newborns up to children the age of three. It is described as the perfect carrier for family days out. I had the chance to try it out indoors, outdoors, and on an adventure through a torrential downpour. I have described a few of the features of the carrier below, as well as how I found this specific feature to work personally. I have also included pictures of each feature so it is easy to find.
Multiple Carrying Configuration
: The Carrier One Outdoors is a 4 position carrier, allowing for inward front carrying, in addition to special newborn height position, back carrying, and front carrying outward facing as well. It is approved and tested as a, “hip-healthy baby carrier” by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute.^
I could place both my giant infant (10kg) and my tiny toddler (under 15kg) easily into the carrier facing towards me, and my toddler into the back carry position as well. I had to ensure I adjusted the carrier appropriately to take the weight off of the shoulder straps and place them more on my hips. Once I did this, it was a lot easier to manage.
My infant thoroughly enjoyed front facing in the front, but it did make it a bit harder on my back, because he wouldn’t stop kicking. I believe it’s recommended not to front face them for too long, as it puts more pressure on your back as well as provides no escape for bub from overstimulation. I found about fifteen minutes was decent. At the same time, my back didn’t feel strained like in other carriers with a different, less supportive configuration.
Its fairly easy to adjust from forward facing to back carrying as well, which is a nice change from trying to do this with other carriers. (The video at the bottom is a bit better at showing how to go from forward carrying to back carrying)
Do you know why I love adjustable things? It’s because of the height and build difference between my husband and I. We can both easily wear this carrier with nearly a foot height discrepancy and differing builds. Check out all these parts that make it comfortable to wear for both baby and the person carrying the little one.
Zipper Adjustment For Small Baby and Big Baby/Toddler: Until I read into it, I discovered there was a zipper that I needed to move in order to fit my larger baby into the carrier comfortably. I may have tried to fit my large infant with the newborn insert and wondered why it was so hard. So, just be sure you set the right zipper up before squeezing baby into the carrier! Zippers are well labelled as to the requirements for use, so just unzip from the indicated space and zip to the required size. For tiny newborns, there is also a button and loop to attach on the outside for more cozy carrying.
Adjustable waist and clip: I found this little detail of the hook for the waist clip completely brilliant! No fussing around with buckles or trying to push together two bits and not able to reach the back to close it properly. One easy hook, adjust the waist properly with the belts, and you’re done. Simply face the mesh portion towards your body, slip the carrier over your head and against your chest, and you are good to get baby fitted into the carrier.
Adjustable Shoulder Straps Everything about this carrier lets you adjust to your proper fit and comfort. The thicker fabric, with a similar style to the belt, allows you to pull to adjust the shoulder straps. The black portion on the shoulder strap is actually a place to adjust the carrier around your shoulder blades. The black bits slide up and down along the lanyard-style adjuster (as seen in photos). This black strap that goes across your back also adjusts by pulling the black strap to the most comfortable tightness.
Quick release clips: The carrier has four clips which easily attach to secure Baby into the carrier, and also make for a nice and easy quick escape in case you need to put down a sleeping baby, or unload a child after carrying them through a rainstorm. I love this feature, because it means I can transfer a still-sleeping baby from carrier to cot much easier! Anything that makes it easier for mum is amazing!
Bottom Zipper (for use in certain carry positions) Sometimes you need to unzip the bottom of the carrier for certain positions (Such as forward facing while wearing baby on the front position). Please refer to the carrying positions guide in the carrier for the appropriate use of these zippers.
Baby Bjorn Teal Strap (for Forward Facing)
Pull on the Baby Bjorn labelled teal strap when forward facing your baby, so they are more comfortable see and their face isn’t covered. I discovered this after wondering why it wasn’t more tailored to facing forward. Upon investigation, this definitely comes in handy. Silly me!
The materials used in this carrier are great! They make a beautiful, breathable and soft carrier for both baby and mum (or anyone else using it)! Here are some of the highlights!
Breathable Material: The mesh fabric used is great for keeping sweating from Baby wearing to a minimum, and keeping baby cooler. I love the mesh between bubs and whomever is carrying, as that will help with the cooling as well! I found it was great for the warmer weather we have been having, it kept bub and mum both cool enough.
Easy to Wash: Though the fabric is good for repelling dirt and easy to wipe clean, the website says that it can be washed at 40C and dries quickly.^ This is great, because you don’t need your carrier out of commission solely to wash!
Quickly Dries: This material also makes it a lot quicker to dry than the conventional Carriers. I have proven this in my experience through a downpour. The material did repel a bit, so mum and bub weren’t as wet from the carrier as well as the rain itself! It took a few hours to dry before I would wear it again, even in the muggy weather.
Soft, Comfortable, Beautiful Fabrics: One of the first things I noticed- it’s so soft! The gorgeous turquoise colour is a big plus as well! I believe this one comes in either black or turquoise. Though I’m usually in favour of the darker colours, the turquoise is beautiful, and did I tell you it’s soft?! My husband agrees the colour isn’t too feminine or masculine for either mum or dad to wear it. I am personally of the opinion that dads look much better baby wearing. 😜
(I haven’t found in other Carriers)
I love all the great things in just the carrier itself, but in addition to that, you also get these included (and two are part of the carrier itself). I found these all useful!
Storage/Carry Bag: The first thing I realised removing it from the box is that it comes inside a bag! This makes it so much easier to take along in case you decide to pack it away, it’s easy to do! I was glad it wasn’t an option extra, as I remember needing to find something to carry my Ergo along with us.
Pocket for keys, phone, etc: Another feature that popped out to me was the pocket, which isn’t directly behind baby’s back like other carriers I’ve tried. It’s a separate pouch on the belt of the carrier. It can move around the belt, and be used to hold th excess belt as well. It is made of the same lovely fabric as the outside of the carrier.
Pocket for Instructions/Handy Instructions: Get this, there is a tag with the instructions for the positions the Baby Bjorn Carrier One Outdoors offers! This tag tucks into a handy pocket on the carrier, so, for people like me who get flustered at figuring things out, we’ll have somewhere to look. Such a great idea! I found it especially handy to figure out when I needed to unzip the bottom portion or how to figure the newborn/baby zipper.
Overall, I found that I loved this carrier, and really enjoyed all the features! I was thoroughly impressed with the ease of putting it on, as well as taking it off. My infant now gets excited when he sees this carrier- I’m not kidding! Plus, it has made getting him to sleep a whole lot easier, with less struggle.
I have rated the carrier according to my Mummy Confessions Scale here for a quick glance synopsis:
Overall Carry Rating: 4/5 for me, a short person with average build. Ease of Use: 4/5 as it took me a little looking around to get the hang of it. It’s fairly straight forward though. Little Baby Rating: Unable to judge, as I don’t have a tiny baby. Baby Carry Rating: 4/5 as it’s fairly easy to even get a squirming baby in, it is comfortable and supportive Toddler Carry Rating: 5/5 for front Carry while facing inwards. Back Carry Rating: 3.5/5 as I can’t quite manage to get it easily from front to back carry as described, but I’m sure with practise it will be fairly easy. Baby Sleep Rating:5/5 Baby fell asleep in this nearly every time I put him in, big plus for the terrible sleep cycle we have been at lately! Features: 5/5 There are so many! Sit Down Rating: 4/5 You can sit at a slight incline, but you need to support bubs head a little. Transfer Rating: 5/5 It is super easy to remove baby and try to keep them sleeping if you need quick escape, or to get out in th middle of a rainstorm and into the car.
I personally like the ease of use, build quality and the features of the Baby Bjorn Carrier One Outdoors. It’s also comfortable to wear, and judging by my babies reactions, comfortable to be carried in.
Baby Bjorn have come pmwith another great product.
I give it 5/5 😀.
For further information on this carrier, as well as other carriers available, check out Baby Bjorn Australia’s website here. Australians can also find it fairly discounted at the moment here.
Thank you so much for the chance to review your carrier, Baby Bjorn! I love discovering new products that make Mummy-ing easier!
^Information obtained on Baby Bjorn Australia’s website