Hip Little Bubba

Posted by Diana on Tuesday Jul 19, 2011 Under Baby Clothes, Baby presents

I must admit I love dressing Baby up in co-ordinated outfits. Whether it’s going to the playground or attending a friend’s birthday party, Baby always looks undisputedly hip. She has even started helping me dress her, pointing to the shoes and hats she’d like to wear with her outfit.

I was excited when a friend told me about Hip Little Bubba – an online boutique with funky clothes for babies and toddlers. The first time I visited the site, I spent hours looking through the gorgeous range of clothes and shoes for Bubba and of course some exquisite products for the Yummy Mummy too! It’s not just clothes and shoes (as much as we love clothes and shoes) there is a wide range of sleeping bags (look at those Grobags), muslin wraps, nursing covers, nappy bags, nursery decorations, classic toys and more.

I make no secret that I love shopping for baby products online and I have encountered many websites in my pursuit to buy quality baby products. Hip Little Bubba makes the online shopping experience fun and really easy. The website is bright and colourful with well photographed products neatly categorised. On the left hand side of the site, there is a helpful preview pane where you can see all the products, your cart, brands stocked, specials and best of all – viewed products. In the flurry of looking at so many funky baby products on Hip Little Bubba, it was good to have a record of the viewed products as it gave me a good short list. You can create a wishlist of your favourite products too!

From my short list I decided on the fabulous Bali inspired Hip Little Bubba Ava Harem Pants. These pants are made from 100% balinese cotton with elasticised ankles and waist. The pants which are super comfy for Bubba are available in lilac and fuchsia. I decided on two cheeky tees made from organic cotton – the Hip Little Bubba Cheeky Monkey tee and the Classic Hip Little Bubba tee. The tees have envelope necks for easy dressing. I couldn’t resist the Cheeky Little Soles white with love heart shoes as well.

The Cheeky Little Soles shoes are made from super soft leather, with cotton lining and black padded soles for extra comfort and protection. Baby who is currently perfecting her walking technique, loves wearing her new shoes which feature non-slip soles making it very easy for her to walk. The shoes are constructed with no uncomfortable open seams and feature a pretty design of colourful love hearts. The generous sizing means Baby will be wearing her Cheeky Little Sole shoes throughout the Queensland winter and summer too!

Hip Little Bubba is based in Hong Kong and ships everywhere. In fact, Australia is one of their biggest markets. My parcel arrived in Australia within seven days wrapped in gorgeous fuchsia paper and protected by a padded bag. The products from Hip Little Bubba would make funky presents and Gift Vouchers are available too. Bring out the hip in you and check out Hip Little Bubba for yourself!

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BabyBjorn Miracle performs…well, miracles

Posted by Lyndal on Tuesday Jul 5, 2011 Under Baby Travel

I’m 11 weeks into this parenting gig and people keep saying that the magic number 12 is up ahead and this is when I will hit my groove. They’re clearly not around my house between the manic hours of 4 and 6pm each night. Now, I can’t perform miracles, but BabyBjorn’s new Baby Carrier Miracle means I can get at least some things done while still meeting Baby’s demands simultaneously (and not lose my mind). Given my current stage of newfound parenting, that’s a miracle in my books!

The BabyBjorn Baby Carrier Miracle is designed to fit a newborn baby from Day 1 to approx 15 months old (12kgs). I’ve found this to be a great solution right from the start, the BabyBjorn Miracle has an adjustable head support specifically designed for newborns in mind and leg straps to ensure baby is nice and secure when they’re little. Also there’s a handy size adapter you simply pull through as your baby grows.

Given that they’re not little for long (and my bundle is certainly thriving and growing far too fast for my taste), the shoulder band, waste band and the lumbar support are just great. I can loosen the shoulder band to transfer the load from my shoulders to the waist band without removing my baby. Considering that you’re quite tired in these early months, the extra support for your back and shoulders really helps. Especially given that you’re doing a fair bit of lifting and your back is getting a work out in every other aspect of baby care.

Another great thing about the BabyBjorn Miracle is the high quality cotton used in the carrier is soft and gentle on newborn skin. The quality materials mean that in the Aussie sun, the carrier dries after a wash in a day when Baby has an….ahem….accident, and our carrier requires an urgent wash. And that’s not a complicated process – you can wash the Miracle in your washing machine. How good is that?

Most importantly for me, Baby likes to be close and to interact with Mum and feel comforted. I’m treasuring this until the day comes that I’m no longer the key attraction for her baby blues and she wants to look outwards. The good news is, the carrier allows for both options. Our little one likes to be carried higher up if she’s on high alert and looking around at the world, but if she fancies a snuggle into Mum and to take a snooze while I toil away, I can lower her position.

And I really can just cart her around with this great looking gizmo. I mean, I wouldn’t cook with her strapped to me because she might collect a bit of splatter, but everything else works a dream – I shop, hang out the clothes, vacuum and go for walks. We also gave the Miracle a try at a recent family barbecue and it was really great. She wanted comfort from us, we wanted adult company, and we both got our way. You can’t do better than that.

The BabyBjorn Miracle is being launched in Australia this month. You can see the key features on BabyBjorn’s You Tube video about the Miracle, and BabyBjorn also provides a great instructional video on the product information page for the Baby Bjorn Miracle on how to use the carrier – which is a really great idea considering their customers are sleep deprived novices at parenthood….namely: me.


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Newborn Mum: birth day music

Posted by Lyndal on Wednesday Apr 13, 2011 Under Newborn

One of the many recommendations you’ll get for baby’s big welcome to the world day is to play music during labour.

Now, I know everyone says that classical music is wonderful in that it relaxes you and elevates the senses, and I’m sure that’s true for many. I love classical music – I love listening to it, seeing it performed, and having it play while I enjoy a delicious dinner and glass of wine. But I think given the task at hand, ethereal compositions from history’s greatest may be lost on me. Death metal might be more the ticket – but potentially not a welcome aural addition to the ambience at Hornsby Hospital or other Mums going through labour at the time.

So I’ve started to put together the playlist for the big day and thought I’d share, and wondered if others would like to do the same. My labour soundtrack comes with this disclaimer: I never claimed to be fashionable in my music tastes. I like what I like.

  • Untitled – Interpol
  • Street Fighting Man – The Rolling Stones
  • Psycho Killer – Talking Heads
  • Learning to Fly – Tom Petty
  • Lock It – Falling Joys
  • Goodbye – The Sundays
  • Jungle – Emma-Louise
  • Charlotte’s on Fire – Cocosuma
  • 8 Ball – Underworld
  • Intro – The xx
  • Heart Skipped a Beat – The xx
  • Here’s Where the Story Ends – The Sundays
  • Marlene on the Wall – Suzanne Vega
  • Stewart’s Coat – Ricky Lee Jones
  • Nothing New – The Waifs
  • London Still – The Waifs
  • Chariot – Page France
  • Keepsake – State Radio
  • Sleep – Azure Ray
  • In the Waiting Line – Zero 7
  • For the Widows in Paradise – Sufjan Stevens
  • Holland – Sufjan Stevens
  • Forever – Ben Harper
  • Silver Lining – David Gray
  • Rinse Me Down – Bombay Bicycle Club
  • Fairytale Lullaby – Bombay Bicycle Club
  • Word by Word – Bombay Bicycle Club
  • Cotton – The Mountain Goats
  • Just Like Honey – The Jesus and Mary Chain
  • Suzanne – Leonard Cohen
  • Labour of Love – Frente!
  • Plans – Birds of Tokyo
  • Caring is Creepy – The Shins
  • My Fear #2 – Cloud Control
  • New Slang – The Shins
  • Meditation Song #2 – Cloud Control
  • Weird Fishes – Radiohead
  • High and Dry – Radiohead
  • Gagging Order – Radiohead
  • House of Cards – Radiohead
  • Heartbeats – Jose Gonzales
  • I giorni – Ludovici Einaudi
  • Reverie – Ludovici Einaudi
  • Reckoner – Radiohead
  • Shiny Happy People – R.E.M.
  • Planet Telex – Radiohead
  • Careless – Paul Kelly
  • Air a Danser – Penguin Café Orchestra
  • Tiny Dancer – Elton John

I’m missing a few here that really could lighten the mood methinks, like Fleetwood Mac. Or the Beastie Boys actually might be more appropriate. Any suggestions welcome.

PS: I am well aware that it is hilariously naïve to even think for one minute that I’ll remember to pop on the CD in the birthing suite when the time comes, but hey, you’ve got to go in with your hopes held high.

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Newborn Mum: the big buggy dilemma

Posted by Lyndal on Friday Apr 1, 2011 Under Baby Travel, Newborn
The big buggy shopping spree.

NewbornMum looking to solve the 'big buggy dilemma' at Baby Kingdom

Now here’s a topic that people have evangelical opinions on: the big buggy purchase.

For the record, feel free to interchange ‘buggy’ with: pram, stroller, travel system, babymobile…and the list goes on. In general, I’m referring to something with wheels and a small body-containing compartment that people push their very young children around in.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not scorning the close-to-religious attachment parents have to their buggy of choice: particularly if it’s a good choice. These contraptions can be the deciding factor that will have you rating your experience of stepping out with Baby along a spectrum of ‘blood curdling nightmare’ through to ‘piece of cake’.

I found shopping for one to be one of the most difficult purchasing decisions I have ever made in my life. I’m not kidding. It outstretched my wedding gown, car and various rental property choices for pure stress value. Sounds insane, I know, but I’m not alone.

Firstly, everyone has an opinion – and they’re all valid because they come from experience. Secondly, there’s just so much choice and so many variables involved.


Buggy considerations

There is a lovely lady at Baby Kingdom in Castle Hill, Sydney, who put it to Hubby and me like this:

  • What’s your budget?
  • What’s your lifestyle? Indoorsy, outdoorsy, jogging, shopping, urban, rural, car drivers or using public transport?
  • How much can you handle lifting? Including if you fall pregnant while you’re still in ‘pram mode’ with your first (or second, or third)?
  • What car do you drive and how big is the boot?
  • What sort of space do you have for storing it at home?
  • How many kids do you plan on having?

Then she got to work with us. And she was terrific.


Buggy rationale

We like to go for walks, sometimes in parks and certainly along the beach or at least along roads that run alongside the ocean. So we need weather protection for Baby – in the cold and in the heat, as well as good suspension on the wheels and tyres for various terrain. We also need storage compartments to carry around the 8,000 varieties of paraphernalia you need to get you from A to B.

Three-wheeler options also seemed to be easier to maneuver, so we decided on that configuration.

We’re not millionaires, so something middle-of-the-range, and a really good deal at that, was really what we were looking for. We don’t drive a massive car. We got ourselves a Subaru Forester, which is pretty generous on size, but then, we also don’t have much space at home for storage when the buggy isn’t in active service.

We also would use this contraption for shopping, and ideally (in my dreamland utopia of parenthood) provide our darling little bundle with the comfort of somewhere to sleep. They do sleep occasionally, right?

I’m not the strongest woman in the world. In fact I have no upper body strength to speak of. Now, I’m told that will change, but in the immediate future my wimpy self needs a pram she can actually haul into the car.

We are planning on possibly having more than one little bundle of joy, but rather than get ahead of ourselves, a dear friend advised me that she often pops the newer of her children in a sling whilst older sibling either sits in the pram or, more recently, walks alongside. Sounded reasonable to me. So I stopped looking at tandem arrangements – not that I don’t think they’re quite a nifty solution.


Buggy of choice

I don’t know why, but there was just something about the Valco Matrix Dart style that appealed on sight. But I also had very reliable and sensible friends chanting the mantra of Mountain Buggy, Quinny and Bugaboo. So investigation was required.

Phil & Ted’s Explorer seemed like quite a good option. Neat little bassinet attachment and, of course, it has the adaptability of a toddler seat or inline options made this a good choice to accommodate the as yet unmade Baby Number 2. I loved the easy access shopping cart and that it folded down so magically. I just wanted a bit more in the way of canopy cover and an easier mechanism on the brakes.

We wandered over to Mothercare at Castle Hill, where they had a great package on their My Choice three-wheeler. The package pretty much gave you everything – rain cover, bassinet: the whole deal. It was very modular, so you just removed or replaced the components as you needed them and it has to be said, the design is lovely. Again, I’d like a little more in the way of a canopy (personal preference). But this was definitely a contender.

Big in the way of a canopy is the Baby Jogger City Elite. Their three-wheeler was terrific. Good storage space for shopping. Oh – and the one click fold is a dream. Really. Not to mention that the brake is on the handle and out of reach of little fingers – so easy for you, and safe for Baby. Just fab. The seat folded down for a newborn, which is great, but I wanted a bassinet (again, just a personal preference from a novice – scoff if you will), and that was in addition to the package at the time. I would recommend this stroller if you’re not married to the idea of a bassinet. Really good buy.

Back to Baby Kingdom, where I ogled the Quinny, Bugaboo, Emmaljunga and Stokke ranges. They are all utterly gorgeous, but I have to confess I didn’t really try them out to their full potential because they were out of our price range. What did occur to me – particularly with the Emmaljunga range – is that if I lived somewhere with a really cold climate they would definitely be the buggy of choice. They all just had beautiful design features, high-quality fabric, and I loved that the Quinny handle allowed you to have the baby facing you or looking outwards.

Baby Kingdom also had a great deal on the Mountain Buggy Swift at the time, which was going for $AUD599 with the bassinet thrown in. The Mountain Buggies look great and their colour spectrum is really funky and vibrant. I loved the fact that it weighed 9.5kg and can take up to 35kg in weight, and the fold-down procedure was really easy. Great brakes too. Our only hesitation here was that it folds down flat and compact – which is terrific – but the length took up the entire boot floor of our car. I loved it though, and we really very nearly bought this. It was our number 2 choice.

The Valco range includes the very neat and compact Ion and Ion Plus. The Ion Plus would have been our choice as it includes the bassinet. If we were only looking to be just indoors or sticking to paved surfaces, this was just the ticket. So incredibly lightweight (8.6kg) and folded down to next to nothing: great for those of us who are sans muscles. Hubby just wanted a bigger handle, and the wheels may not have coped with our walks. So went a bit bigger… and encountered the Valco Matrix Dart Plus.

Loved it. The hood expands, pretty much entirely sheltering your little one in a safe little cocoon and it can take up to 22kg in weight. The brake is really easy to use. Great storage pocket at parent height, and a generously sized shopping compartment underneath baby. It does weigh 11.5kg, but I guess I’m just going to have to harden up. It folds down in two steps so that it’s sort of compact in a boxy way, which suited our car boot as it left room for shopping and other bags alongside it. The bassinet is currently included in a deal at Baby Kingdom – a nice price at $AUD499.

I allowed Hubby to select the colour choice, given I’ve chosen everything else. He went with taupe. See, I would have gone with the grey…but you’ve got to let the boy have some say. Or do you?

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Breastfed Babe

Posted by Diana on Tuesday Jan 18, 2011 Under Uncategorized

Organisations such as the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) are fantastic for promoting and supporting breastfeeding in the community.

Regular meetings are held in local areas throughout Australia, which are facilitated by an ABA Counsellor. I’ve found these meetings to be invaluable to discuss experiences with other new parents and get advice on breastfeeding. The meetings provide encouragement to persist with mastering a skill, which can be difficult to establish at first, but can have amazing benefits for feeding your baby naturally and connecting with your babe.

The ABA offers advice on the Breastfeeding Helpline, 1800 mum 2 mum (1800 686 2 686). This toll free service puts mothers and caregivers in touch with a trained volunteer breastfeeding counsellor 24 hours a day (that includes 3am in the morning)!

You can go along to your first meeting without being a member. If you become a member of the ABA, you receive a subscription to the entertaining magazine ‘Essence’ and you receive a complimentary copy of the book ‘Breastfeeding Naturally’. This book has some good tips on establishing breastfeeding. To learn more about breastfeeding before your babe is born, you can take part in a workshop and there are ABA shops where you can browse through products for your babe.

A product I found wonderful when feeding my newborn babe was Lansinoh. It is lanolin based cream and is amazingly soothing. To find out about other ‘Lotions and Potions’ for you and your newborn babe, click on the Newborn page.

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