As promised in my previous changing bag post, here are the highlights of what I keep inside my trusty tote. I’m not talking nappies, muslins and baby wipes etc as I would hope these are already a given, but things that I didn’t know existed when I was pregnant, and have found to be invaluable since.

Clockwise (starting from top left):

Kiddylicious Wafers
These handy packs take up little space and weigh virtually nothing, but keep Caspar engaged just long enough for us to wolf down a coffee or quick meal when out and about. The fact the remnants cement themselves to his little hands and sleeves is the only sticking point (pun unapologetically intended).

Milton Antibacterial Wipes
These are brilliant for wiping over toys that have made contact with the floor, or sanitizing a surface you can’t guarantee is clean (this isn’t a comment on the cleanliness of local eateries –  I find these most useful for after we’ve torn through a cafe. We are like a tiny, sticky tornado).

JoJo Maman Bebe Changing Pouch
I keep all nappy changing essentials in this handy pouch, so when we need to head to the Baby Change I can just grab everything I need with one hand.

Sudocrem
Specifically, this tiny travel-sized pot. I got this in one of my free Bounty packs, and despite having used the original contents months ago, I now top it up from the full-sized tub as it’s just so much easier to pop in the bag.

Ikea Soft Book
Like every other sane person, before becoming a parent I sped through the baby & child section in Ikea faster than you can say ‘meatballs’. These days, I relish in their sweet, simple designs and affordable price tags – nearly every baby-populated household I go into has one of their highchairs.

Ring O Links
These are one of my best buys. You can use them to attach toys, teething rings etc to the pram or highchair, but they also provide entertainment on their own – Caspar enjoys manically shaking them together at any given opportunity.

Sophie Giraffe Harness
All new parents know about Sophie Giraffe and her natural gum soothing qualities, but not so many seem to know that you can buy a harness* to stop her making a quick dash to the floor every 5 seconds.

*Don’t worry – it’s not long enough to cause any safety concerns.

Cath Kidston Travel Bags
Available in a number of their iconic prints, these zip-up, waterproof bags are handy for holding anything you’d rather not come into contact with everything else (the less of which said, the better).

As always, I’m all ears to hear your recommendations!

I’ve written before about my search for aesthetically pleasing baby kit, and an appealing changing bag was without a doubt one of the most fiendish to find items on my pre-baby wish list. My issue with so many of the designs is that they are a) styled to look like a souped up laptop bag or b) seem to be geared towards the baby, rather than the parent, who will actually be carrying and using it day to day (I’m talking cupcake prints and chintzy bows).

After a fair bit of research and one too many YouTube reviews, I plumped for Baby Beau’s ‘Ellie’ bag – a simple black leather affair with tan details and gold hardware. What I love about it is that for all intents and purposes it looks like a regular handbag, but open it up and the contents are just as practical, spacious and waterproof as any of the more traditional designs. What’s more, the innards can be zipped up into a standalone pouch and completely removed, super handy for dropping off the essentials with grandparents/nursery etc, whilst you use the shell of the bag like any other handbag. As standard, the Ellie also comes with a range of removable accessories, notably a chestnut coloured bottle holder with humbug striped lining, and a matching changing mat. I’ve used mine almost daily for the last 5 months and have yet to fault it.

Other bags I have seen (but not tested) that seem to fulfil my particular criteria include the Noa from Storksak, pretty much anything from Jem + Bea and Tiba and Marl, as well as other products from the Baby Beau range.

 

Coming soon – My Changing Bag Unpacked | The Contents

We are gearing up to start weaning in the next couple of weeks, but whilst I am merrily stocking up on bibs, face cloths and spoons, I have to admit I am not really ready. Those who know me will know this is not like me at all – I am a meticulous planner through and through. 

On paper, I’ve done my prep – I’ve been on a short course, read the boomf, talked to friends who’ve just started and watched for the signs from Caspar that he’s ready. But I find myself flitting constantly between baby led and spoon fed approaches, debating the pros and cons of each in the middle of the night. I’m hoping all will become clear when we actually get going, and that I will look back in a few weeks time and wonder what I was fussing about.

In the mean time, at least I am confident with one element – these fab coverall bibs will ensure Caspar looks his best in amongst the chaos!

I am quite particular about my surroundings. It’s not that I’m a germaphobe, I just like things to look nice. Quite simply – it makes me that little bit happier, albeit in an entirely frivolous and superficial way. 

As a mum, I’ve struggled with the idea of entirely sacrificing my carefully curated home in favour of cheap plastic and jungle themed paraphernalia. Of course I’m keen for Caspar to experience shapes/colours/textures etc, but I believe this can be done by and large through books, a few toys, sensory classes and simply getting out and about. That said, I’ve really struggled to find things that we have actually needed in the house (high chairs, bouncers, playmats etc) that are visually appealing – so much of what I find in British shops is covered in brightly coloured cartoon imagery. The US, Australia and Scandinavia seem to do a better job – brands such as The Land of NodThe Honest Company and Stokke do parent and baby friendly designs beautifully.

So here are a few items I’ve found that I personally feel strike the balance between being visually appealing, practical and (somewhat) affordable, a few of which I own and some of which I covet:

home-invasion-baby-style-collage

  1. Mamas and Papas Stargaze Play Mat & Gy
    Caspar has enjoyed using this play mat daily from just a few weeks old. It offers sounds, a colourful light display and a multitude of textures perfect for tummy time, all in a pleasing palette of yellow, grey and purple.
  2. Stokke Tripp Trapp High Chair
    Available in a whole range of colours, the Tripp Trapp is Norwegian design at it’s best. We are just on the cusp of weaning, so although I can’t attest to it’s practicality just yet, our all-white version fits effortlessly into our modern kitchen.
  3. Sebra Interior Play Gym
    I would pair this wooden baby gym with a sheepskin rug underneath for a super soft and gorgeous looking play area.
  4. Snuzpod Bedside Crib
    Although Caspar has now sadly grown out of his, this lovely crib offered us safe co-sleeping and a compact design for our small bedroom for several months.
  5. Mamas and Papas Buzz Bouncer
    We actually have a version of this with more features, but I think the basic premise of an ergonomic chair with an activity arc is all baby needs from a bouncer, so why spend more?
  6. My Babiie Changing Mat
    We keep two changing mats in the house, one downstairs and one up, and as much as I would like them to be neatly tucked out of sight, in reality most of the time they can be found adorning our bed or sitting room floor, so it’s worth choosing one that looks as good as this.

Do you know of any (ideally affordable) brands available in the UK that offer practical yet aesthetically appealing baby kit? Please do share with us!