Parenting Posts My latest parenting posts… ParentingAngelcare Baby Monitor Review09/04/2019ParentingAngelcare Baby Monitor Review I did quite a lot of research before we settled on a baby monitor. There are a lot of options out there and everyone has different opinions on what they’d recommend and there are also a lot of reviews of the different systems available. There are three main types of Angelcare baby monitors available. One, which is just a sound monitor, the second is a video monitor and the top of the range is the movement monitor. I looked at the pros and cons of each. I didn’t feel that the sound monitor would give us enough peace of mind. I know that when I am babysitting my eldest niece, I often just watch the baby monitor to check that she is breathing! The movement monitor comes with a pad which you can put in the baby’s cot. It detects even the tiniest movement across the whole of the cot and then can alert the parents if the baby does not have movement for 20 seconds or longer. These are ideal for parents who are more nervous, but we decided as we plan to use a bedside crib, that this wouldn’t be suitable for us. So we opted for a video monitor. We wanted one that had a camera and a separate screen for us to be able to watch baby on. It wouldn’t have been ideal to have one that ran on either of our mobile phones, so we ruled this out straight away. After some reading online we came across Angelcare baby monitors. They had faired very well in chatter across the parenting forums, and so I looked into their range further. I found the information on their website easy to follow and it was simple to compare different monitors for different features. As it was important for us to have a big and clear screen to watch baby on, we went for the AC510. The AC510 Angelcare baby monitor has a 5 inch LCD touch screen which was perfect for our requirements. There’s also an inbuilt room thermometer, which will allow us to see how hot or cold the room that baby is sleeping in. This was particularly important for us as our house is a home of two halves. The front of the house can be as much as 10 degrees cooler than the back of the house. The nursery that the baby will eventually move into is at the front of the house. The other features on the AC510 Angelcare baby monitor that really appealed to us is the two-way talk feature. Perfect if one parent is in with baby and needs to ask the other parent downstairs something. Infrared night vision – I think most baby monitors would be useless without this surely? So it goes without saying that we would want this on our model. We also like the fact that we could mount the camera unit on either a table top or a wall. This is perfect if we need to monitor baby in a different place, for example, at one of the grandparents’ houses or even in a different room to where the baby would normally sleep. There’s another great feature of the AC510, one which I doubt we’ll take advantage of, but is there if we need to. The fact that you can add up to four extra cameras and monitor these cameras on the same screen unit. This is ideal if you want a close-up view, as well as a whole cot view. It’s also perfect if you have a very wriggly baby and you need to use two cameras to take in the whole area that the baby may cover during the night. There are lots of benefits to this multi-camera setup. The AC510 Angelcare baby monitor also looks really smart too. The camera unit is small and aesthetically pleasing and the large monitoring screen is easy to use and looks nice. When it came to actually using the baby monitor, the picture on the screen is really clear. I will say there is a bit of a knack to using the touch screen, it’s not as responsive, as say your mobile phone, but this doesn’t really bother me as the camera and thermometer settings are the main features we would use, which are clearly visible from the front screen. On using our baby monitor, we found some other features. One where the screen will turn its self off after a set number of seconds or minutes, and another where the sound will turn off if no sound is detected. That way you don’t get the constant background noise from the room. It will detect if there is a noise in the room and turn the sound back on. For example, if baby is crying. When I first started playing around with the monitor, I didn’t realise this sound setting was activated so didn’t know why the background sound kept cutting out. A quick look on the troubleshooting guide on the Angelcare website confirmed my suspicions. Both features can be turned off and on via the settings found on the touch screen. Overall, I’m really impressed with the Angelcare AC510 and I would recommend this to others who are looking for a video baby monitor. The AC510 currently retails at £199.99, but there are other options of Angelcare video monitors starting at £139.99. Read more posts in the Parenting Category See where I’ve linked this post Disclosure: This is a collaborative post with Angelcare. They gave us a discount on our baby monitor. But as always, my opinions are my own and we think our baby monitor is great.... Baby’s First Kicks23/03/2019ParentingBaby’s First Kicks Was it, wasn’t it? That very question has probably crossed the lips of every Mum-to-be. You’re anywhere between 16 to 24 weeks pregnant and you think you’ve felt your first kicks. Perhaps this isn’t your first baby, so you’ve felt a few flutters before then? I was 22 weeks when I got my first kick, well the first kick I was certain of. There could have been some flutters before that, but it also could have been food moving around in my tummy – who knows? The first kicks from my first baby are one of the most astounding things I’ve come across (so far anyway). I’m sure they’ll be a lot of things with our baby that will blow my mind in weeks, months and years to come. But for this moment in time, I am struggling to put into words how it has made me feel. It made being pregnant very real, in a really good way. I think because it’s hard to get your head around there’s a real live human being inside of you, when you can’t hear it, feel it see it or touch it. The baby only exists because you peed on a stick, the doctors told you it was true and you’ve seen some black and white pictures on a screen. Those things take a lot of sinking in to make them real. A kick, however, makes it very real. There’s something happening to your body that you can’t control and that little tiny human is sending you messages to say ‘hello I’m here’, or ‘I’m awake’ or even, ‘I’m having a nice stretch’. Our baby has very quickly got into a routine with its kicks. The baby normally wakes up and starts a few gentle kicks around about the same time I do, between 6 and 7ish in the morning. He or she stays pretty active until around 11 – 12 noon. I can feel the baby turning around, doing somersaults, kicking me all throughout the morning. The afternoon is when baby is clearly having a chill-out. I generally don’t hear a peep out of the baby until the evening, perhaps anywhere between 8pm and 11pm where he or she will have another burst of activity. Only stopping when my husband puts his hand on my stomach (much to his annoyance!). Baby then seem to chill out again, sometimes giving me a boot sometime between 2am – 4am, just to make sure I’m not having too much of a good night’s sleep!! People have reported that babies often have patterns in the womb and these can often be similar to what the baby does once he or she is born. We’ll have to wait and see. But if that is the case, apart from the 2 – 4am awake period, I’m okay with this. I tend to have the most energy in the morning, so maybe the baby takes after me. I can’t wait to find out. Fingers crossed this little one is a good sleeper, like my husband and I. But I’m sure we won’t be that lucky. When did you feel your first kicks? Did your baby settle into a routine before they were born and did that mimic what kind of routine they went into once they were born? Read more posts in the Parenting Category See where I’ve linked this post... First Mother’s Day Gifts16/03/2019ParentingFirst Mother’s Day Gifts Mother’s Day is just around the corner – it’s March 31st if you haven’t done anything about it yet! Today’s post is showcasing what I think is a lovely idea for a first Mother’s Day gift. So this is a big hint to the partners out there. If your wife or partner has had a baby since the last Mother’s Day, here’s a lovely idea on what you can buy her. One of the nicest things to receive as a new Mum has got to be a baby book surely? A baby book is where you can document precious moments from the early days of being a new Mum. They are great because you can write all the memories and thoughts you have in them, to be enjoyed together with baby and the rest of the family at a later date. It’s also a great place to store keepsakes, like baby’s scans, first baby pictures and even locks of hair when baby gets their first haircut. I absolutely love this Welcome Baby Keepsake Journal from The Gift Experience. It’s quite a big journal at 23cm by 23cm, but that’s ideal if you are putting pictures into it. Otherwise, it might damage easily. The cover is gorgeous as you can see and the beautiful design carried through to the rest of the book. There are different sections to the book, divided by patterned translucent paper and printed header pages. There’s lots to fill in, including writing about the day the baby was born, to thoughts from each parent about the birth. Then once baby is a bit older, there are sections about what baby enjoys. The latter part of the book focuses on documenting baby’s journey month-by-month. So it really is a year-long gift. You can spend a couple of hours each month just filling it in. I was blown away by the way this book has been put together and absolutely love it. I can’t wait to start writing in it for our baby and I’m sure this is something that our baby will look back over when he or she is grown up and enjoy reading what Mummy and Daddy wrote about him/her when they were very little. So, if you are still looking for some inspiration for first Mother’s Day gifts, pop over and take a look. I’d love to know what you were given for your first Mother’s Day, was it something special? I know I’ll start having a think about what to get my husband for his first Father’s Day. Our baby is due in June, so he could have his first Father’s Day this year or next year. We’ll have to wait and see. Read more posts in the Parenting Category See where I’ve linked this post Disclosure: This is a collaborative post with The Gift Experience – they sent me the Baby Journey. But as always, my opinions are my own.... Baby Shows06/03/2019ParentingBaby Shows Now I’m 25 weeks pregnant, I’ve started buying all the essentials my baby and I will need once he or she is here. A great way to find out what’s out there is a baby show. I was recently invited to attend The Baby Show at Excel with MAM. MAM are well-known in babyland for their excellent range of bottles, sterilisers, teethers and soothers as well as many other things. They were hosting a blogger morning, which after we would be able to look around the fantastic MAM stand, in addition to all the other stands at the show. What a great day out for any Mum-to-be. The blogger morning started at 9:30am, just as the show started. Travelling from Kent, it meant it was a very early start but it also meant I could enjoy a full day in London. The blogger event covered three main topics, combination feeding, breastfeeding transitions and oral care for your little ones. There were three experts on hand to talk you through their experience and offer their pearls of wisdom. Being new to this world, I found the three talks really interesting and had a number of questions which I spoke to the experts after about. After the event, I had a look around the MAM stand, which was offering some fantastic deals on their bloggers, sterilisers and other items in their range. I was amazed at some of the discounts available. This is obviously why people go to baby shows like this, as you can save yourself a fortune on all the essential items you need to kit yourself out with. After the conclusion of the MAM event, I met with my friend and we wandered around the show, taking in the multitude of stands on offer. The show was well laid out, with facilities for anyone travelling with kids, things like a changing area, high chairs at the dining tables, which was well thought out. There were lots of stands that offered many nice-to-have things. You could easily spend a small fortune on bits and pieces that you don’t necessarily need, but you’ve seen and fallen in love with. I saw a number of adorable outfits that I could have easily bought in the dozens. But for now, I’m sticking to the essentials and basics as they can really mount-up for first-time parents. There was a buggy track at the event, so you could try out you preferred buggy on different terrains. This is a great idea as not all buggies are equal when it comes to different surfaces. We didn’t stop here as I have already bought a pram but it was very busy with prospective parents. Overall I think the Baby Show was really well organised and laid out. The team there were really helpful and there were a good variety of stands offering lots of useful items. I wouldn’t hesitate to go to another show, to buy the remaining essentials that we need. I also think that my husband would enjoy looking through all that’s on offer. Have you been to a baby show? What did you think? Did you get any good bargains there? Would you recommend it to a first-time parent? Read more posts in the Parenting Category See where I’ve linked this post... 20 Week Scan09/02/2019Parenting20 Week Scan I don’t know about you, but I was actually quite nervous before my 20 week scan. I think it’s because I haven’t really felt any movement from the baby yet, so I was keen to check that everything was okay and just have that reassurance. Also, they call the 20 week scan the anomaly scan, so there’s a bit of apprehension around that ‘just in case they find something wrong with our baby’ moment. We arrived at the hospital super early this time. Last time we went, we had trouble getting parked. We weren’t late or anything last time, I just hate the thought of being caught out. So we left with plenty of time in the bag in case we had to queue for a space. This time, it was much quieter and found a plethora of spaces behind the hospital. It was also much quicker to get to our appointment as we knew where to go from last time. We booked in with reception and waited to be called. Once in our scan our sonographer explained what she was going to do and said not to worry if she went quiet, she was just concentrating. She had a screen to look at and there was one opposite the bed I was sitting on so we could see what she could see. It was amazing. Straight away we heard baby’s heartbeat, so that was really reassuring. She was zipping around my tummy, pointing out parts of the baby and telling her colleague what she was looking at and if she was happy with the scans. It was awesome to see what she could see and also awesome to see her at work. Some of things she pointed out to us, I really couldn’t have picked out. After around 10 minutes, she asked me to go for a quick walk around for five minutes or so and then come back. She just wanted to see if she could get baby to move into a different position, so she could do a couple more measurements. We wandered around the hospital a bit and then took a seat back in the waiting room. A couple of minutes later we were called back in and she continued to scan. She was happy to report everything was fine as far as she could see with baby and asked us if we’d like to know what we were having. We declined as we’d decided we would like a surprise. We left clutching a handful of amazingly clear photos, right up to being able to see the features of baby’s face. What an amazing experience! I was very relieved that everything seemed to be coming along nicely and also so excited to see our little baby again. Read more posts in the Parenting Category See where I’ve linked this post... All parenting posts… You will find 7 posts in the category parenting on this blog.Jump to 2, A, B, F, M, W 2 (1) 20 Week Scan A (1) Angelcare Baby Monitor Review B (2) Baby Shows Baby’s First Kicks F (1) First Mother’s Day Gifts M (1) My Growing Bump W (1) We’re Having A Baby!