Giveaway – win a Kanga wrap

I love to babywear, and have had Max in front, hip and back carrys since he was tiny. As well as being practical, leaving me with 2 hands free for the older 2 children, I can truly sing the praises of the kangaroo care effect – having had 3 babies through special care now, we practiced kangaroo care with all of them, and it definitely helped with the bonding process. To me, babywearing is just an extension of this.

Designed to hold your baby close straight from birth, the Kanga wrap baby carrier meets the kangaroo care criteria and was developed by midwives. Cool, lightweight and able to carry babies up to 15kg, the Kanga wrap is the perfect introduction to the world of babywearing. Profits from the sale of these wraps goes towards helping maternity care in Delhi slums – so it’s a winner all round in my eyes!

Kanga wrap giveaway

I have one of these beautiful Kanga wraps to give away to one very lucky reader. To enter, simply follow the instructions on the rafflecopter form below – good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

T&C’s – giveaway ends on 14th August, when winner will be selected from all correctly completed entries. Winner will be notified by email and must claim their prize within 10 days or it may be redrawn. The prize is provided directly from Kanga Wrap. Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com

 

Coping with an early teen

Coping with an early teen

The gradual transition from cute gem to stroppy teenager is a difficult time for any parent, and may leave you stuck for ideas on how best to handle it. Here iCandy have listed some of the main things you can do when dealing with this hard period in life, and how best to make things easy for your early teen and you!

Be calm and consistent

Psychologists have found that a teenager’s brain deals with much more emotion than they do logic, due to the increased levels of hormones rushing through their body. This often confuses and frightens a teen. It’s important to understand this change and stay calm. Also be consistent, making sure you are always there for them so they know that they can rely on you whenever they need to.

Show them you care

Tantrums are a teenagers way of reaching out to their parents. They expect a reaction, which generally comprises of a continued argument. Try and make sure you are offering your time for them to voice any concerns they may have, before it leads to a heated debate. Don’t push it on them, reinforce them of your constant and caring presence so they can come to you when they feel the time is right. I would recommend picking them up from school, or dropping them off at their friend’s house, as this is the perfect time for you to talk.

You are a role model for your child – remember this!

No matter what a teenager tells you, or how many times the words “I hate you” come up, remember that inside they will always look up to you. Use this as a guideline for their upbringing. Make sure they don’t see you smoking, drinking, arguing etc., as this will reinforce them to think that this is acceptable behaviour.

Give responsibility but set ground rules

Your child is growing into an adult, therefore needs the responsibility to be able to learn how to live as one. Give them enough responsibility to feel respected, however, always set strict ground rules to follow, teaching them the discipline they will need later on in adult life.

Voice your concerns

As awkward as the “birds and the bees” conversation may be, it is much better to voice your opinion rather than letting them make mistakes they can’t undo. Try not to enforce rules upon them, but give information and guidance on whatever the topic may be.

Finally, always show them love, they need it!

Bubblebum review

If you have more than 2 children, you may well have discovered that 3 standard child car seats do not fit into the back seat of your average car. This is a huge pain in the bum, and after Max was born we actually had to go out and buy a new car just to fit 3 kids comfortably into the back. 

If only I had known about Bubblebum before now. A portable, foldable car seat option, Bubblebum is an inflatable booster cushion for children aged 4-12 years. 

Bubblebum review

The car seats come in packets which are tiny – quite frankly, I didn’t believe there was a car seat inside! You just pull them out and inflate to use – you don’t need a pump or any special equipment, just a bit of puff. It doesn’t take much – within minutes you are up and running.

Bubblebum review

You can see immediately that these boosters are much narrower than your average car seat. This is reinforced when you pop them into the car – instead of all the car seats being very close to each other, there is space around the seats which makes it easier for the children to plug in their seatbelts. Despite them being narrow, there is still plenty of seating space and both Gemma (8) and Jacob (6) look comfortable on them.

Bubblebum review

The seatbelt positioning clips make sure that the lap belt sits correctly across the child, and we have used a shoulder pad to stop the seatbelt from rubbing on Gemma’s neck. 

The BubbleBum has been approved under the United Nations ECE Regulation R44/04 for safety for both Groups 2 and 3, so although it looks very different to your average car seat it is safety approved. The concept of the seat is very clever – if you travel a lot in public transport, have grandparents who sometimes pick up your children or need a quick and portable seat for holidays then the Bubblebum is worth considering. I am not sure I would choose these as an everyday seat, purely because I prefer a high backed booster that provides side impact protection – however that is my personal preference and not a reflection on the Bubblebum itself.

These car seats have been handed to my parents – they find them incredibly easy to fit and use, they are handy to have when they pick the children up from school or clubs and it saves us having to transport heavy car seats about when the children are staying there. They also deflate and fold down into a tiny package for storage, so we are not clogging up their house with bulky seats! 

If you want to try Bubblembum for yourself, simply enter the code  myfamilyfever at the checkout to get 10% off, and UK shipping is free too!

Helping your child settle into school

Starting school

Starting primary school can be a daunting time for even the most confident of children. Not only does it involve losing the constant contact they’ve enjoyed with their parents or guardians since being born, it thrusts them into a wholly unrecognisable environment. To make the process as smooth and rewarding as it should be for your child, there are a few tips you can follow during the first few days at school.

Develop a Routine

Children often benefit from having a daily routine, so start as you mean to go on from day one. Decide on a ‘getting up’ time – signalled by an alarm. You may want to pack a school bag the night before, but involve your child in this process as much as possible from the outset. Select a route to school that works for you both, and stick to it. Most importantly, however, make sure your child has breakfast with you and other members of your family, and use the opportunity to talk about the day ahead.

Encourage Your Child to Make New Friends

While few children will welcome direct interference from their parents when it comes to making friends, there’s nothing stopping you from encouraging your child to be sociable at school. Take the time every evening to talk to your child about their friends and who they’ve spent time with that day. Ask whom your child is spending time with, and what they’re doing together. It is also a good idea to encourage play time outside of school hours, so speak to other parents about play dates at the weekend.

Accept That Your Child’s Mood May Swing

Leaving a parent’s supervision for the first time can be a traumatic experience for a child and the added stress they’re put under could lead to some sudden and marked shifts in mood. In many cases, this is a result of having to be on their best behaviour at school for several hours. When they get home to you, all they want to do is expend the energy that has built up over the day. Set aside a little one-on-one time with your child, and use it to talk about their day at school. It is also a good idea to allow them some quiet play time in their own surroundings, as being at school requires a degree of sharing and compromise – things they may not be used to.

Look for Warning Signs

Every child reacts to the first days of school differently, but temper tantrums, crying and varying states of distress are common. However, after the first two or three weeks, the new routine should settle in, and your child should become accustomed to the daily ritual of getting up and going to school. But if problems with your child’s behaviour persist, or making friends at school is proving to be a problem, it may be worth discussing the issues with your child’s teachers. Most schools now offer pastoral care, which could help your child to settle in more quickly.

The vast majority of children will start to embrace the school environment after the first two to three weeks. If your child is taking a little longer to settle in, be as supportive as possible, stick to a routine and talk to your child about their concerns and fears. Remember, schools and teachers deal with the first few days of school every year, so don’t be afraid to ask for advice and support if you think you and your child need it.

This is a collaborative post. Author Profile:
CET Primary School Tower Hamlets supports high academic attainment and follows the International Primary Curriculum. CETPS Tower Hamlet is free to all primary aged children and believes that all pupils have the potential to succeed.

Tried & Tested Tuesday

Welcome to Tried & Tested Tuesday!  It’s so lovely to see both familiar faces and new ones linking up each week.  We do our best to get round and read all your lovely review posts each week, and we really enjoy seeing the range of products you have been trying out. How are the summer holidays panning out for you so far?

If you’re new to this linky then welcome along! You can find out more about it and how to join in here.  If you’re a regular then welcome to you too! Crack on, link up and share some commenty love – lets face it, that’s what makes linkys work.
 

Each week, as you know, we like to feature two of our favourite reviews from the previous week. This week we have loved: 

Stockeld Park Summer Adventure from Yorkshire Tots – Aside from it being a fantastic place to visit we loved the style of this review!

Lego Movie from Fun for Families – Such a fun review, we loved the photos! 

If you link up please do make sure you visit your hosts Family Fever and We’re going on an adventure to leave a comment as well as a couple of others if you can!  We do ask that you link a maximum of 2 posts each week to keep things fair for everyone – if you choose to link up an extra post please make sure you visit extra posts in the linky to balance it out.  (Additional posts will be deleted out of fairness)
Family Fever



Giveaway – win a £100 Red Letter Day voucher and customised t-shirts

Banana Moon Red Letter Day giveaway

If you have a stag or hen party to plan, you may be looking for ideas – something a bit different, a bit exciting and something the bride or groom to be will not forget in a hurry! To help you along the way, I have teamed up with Banana Moon to offer you the chance to win a £100 Red Letter Day voucher and 5 customised t-shirts – sure to get any stag or hen weekend off to a great start!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com
 

Sleep aids review – sleep mask and magnesium oil spray

Before kids, I could drop my head onto any pillow, anywhere and be asleep in a matter of seconds. Since the children were born, I have nights where I struggle to drop off for a number of reasons – listening for anyone waking up, worrying about something, mentally preparing packed lunches for the next day – you know what it’s like. So I was pleased when I was sent a couple of sleep aids to help – the Tempur-Pedic Sleep Mask and a Goodnight Magnesium Oil Spray.

Sleep aids review - Silentnight

I have never used a sleep mask before, not even when travelling, so I was a bit dubious about whether it would actually help, especially as we already sleep with a blackout blind. In actual fact, it did do me some good – even with a blackout blind, you are aware of lights outside, and shadows in the hallway, which isn’t covered by the blind. The sleep mask blocks all of this, and almost forces you to relax and clear your mind. I have slept much more soundly with this.

The Magnesium Oil Goodnight spray smells delicious – none of the traditional lavender scent here, which is a good thing as I can’t stand lavender! This spray is made with chamomile, clary sage and bergamont and as such has a much more subtle smell. The essential oils are designed to soothe your senses while the magnesium relaxes the body – together aiding a restful night. There is something about the scent which does make you take a deep breath and relax your muscles, and as well as using it on my body, I also sprayed a little bit around the room too.

Do you ever have trouble falling asleep? You could try some of the tips from the Silentnight sleep clinic. There is lots of great information on there to help you out – some of which I would do well to follow too – especially the tip about switching off all technology an hour before bed. I am definitely guilty of bringing my phone and iPad into the bedroom.