Nappy Bag Essentials ~~WIN~~

I am no expert but I think with 3 kids, I’ve gotten the hang of packing a nappy bag. We don’t always get it right and  sometimes forget essentials (like wet wipes) but we’ve finally gotten to a point where we can pack a bag for 3 kids for a day outing without feeling like I’m carrying a mountain on my shoulder. Here’s my list of nappy bag essentials.

A good nappy bag
I’m currently swapping between my Lou Harvey bag and the Dischem baby bag I received last year. They’re both super easy to clean using a damp cloth and the Lou Harvey bag is waterproof, which I love.

Changing mat 
Both bags comes with a changing mat but if yours doesn’t, you can get this super cute fold up one from Clicks or this one from Carriwell.

Nappies
I normally pack in 5 nappies now but when Harper was younger, I used to pack in about 10 and hope that she didn’t decide to have one of those days where she pooped every 10 minutes.

Wet wipes
Most important item on this list. We use the Baby Dove wipes for everything from nappy changes to wiping Ethan’s sticky hands or Matthew’s dirty face. These wipes are amazing because unlike most wipes, the Baby Dove ones come out one by one. They’re soft and durable and can withstand Harper pulling and chewing them without tearing. Plus they have a great scent and are not too wet.

Bum cream
I pack the Baby Dove nappy cream in our bag as well as the Sudocrem Healing Cream. I’ll use the Baby Dove nappy cream with every change as it’s gentle enough for everyday use. I also love the rounded edge because Harper like to chew on it and I can leave her to it without worrying that she’ll cut her mouth with sharp edges. I use the Sudocrem when I see her little bum is starting to get a bit red.

Plastic bags (nappy sacks)
we use these for those dirty nappies that you don’t really want to put back into the bag when there’s no bin around. We also use it for any soiled clothing (think poonami or heavy spit up). Lifesavers! We are currently using these Baby Things Nappy Bags.

Cloth diaper or burp towels
we use those old school white cloth nappies for wiping Harper’s mouth after she’s drank her bottle (oh and her neck – like how does it always end up there) and for wiping her nose.

Spare outfit
Very NB. you never know when your baby is gonna have a blowout, spit up (or vom) majorly, or just start stinking from all that milk that ran down her neck (oh just my baby then). We normally do a vest, a grower, and a jersey/jacket (obviously all weather dependent).

Bottle and formula if you’re formula feeding
I would fill Harper’s milk bottle with the amount of cooled boiled water and get more wherever we are. Don’t be afraid to ask a restaurant for boiled water, they make coffee right? So they should have boiled water. We also use these formula dispensers to store her formula in the bag. Making it easier to just pour it over into the bottle without having to measure the correct quantities out.

Nursing cover or lightweight blanket if you’re breastfeeding
Oh my goodness, there are so many gorgeous nursing covers out there. When I was breastfeeding, I used my Aiden and Anais muslin blanket (as it’s very lightweight) or our old school white cloth nappy to cover up.

Spare dummy
If your baby is using one. Those little buggers have the know-how to get lost at the most inopportune time. A spare will save you from crazy stares and it’s small, so it won’t take up a lot of space in your bag.

Hand sanitiser
For those times when you can’t wash your hands, or your toddler touched the toilet seat when you took him to the loo and hand washing just won’t cut it. You get those mini’s that take up the tiniest bit of space.

Sun hat and beanie
Just in case it’s needed.

Muslin wrap or blanket
Muslin wraps can also be used over the pram when your bub has a snooze, a burp cloth, a change mat and as a feeding cover if you are breast feeding. I mentioned I used mine as a breastfeeding cover earlier. But it has so many uses!

First aid kit
We have a small one I got from Clicks that has a few plasters, an antiseptic ointment and some bandages for those inevitable scrapes and bruises.

Snack and juice bottle for toddler and other kids
Because they never want to eat when we’re out and always look for THEIR juice bottle or a packet of cheddars or a yogurt.

My purse and sunglasses
These are also put into the nappy bag because I really can’t be farted to walk around with 2 bags. I also have a mini makeup bag that has a lipgloss, a pad, a tampon and one of those sample perfumes in it.

Small toy
Our Sophie goes everywhere with Harper. Then I have 2 or 3 cars for the boys as well.

Sunblock spray
We use the spray from Nivea. It goes on quickly, leaves no greasy residue and you don’t have to rub it in.

Panado syrup/Nurofen
I try to always have these medicines in our bag because either Ethan will fall and knock his head, or Matthew will complain something is sore, or Harper will start to feel feverish. Just remember the syringe as well.

There you have it. Our nappy bag essentials for 3 kids. I’m surprised they all fit into the bag lol. And there was still loads of space for perhaps an extra jacket for each of the boys.

~~WIN~~
Want to win a Baby Dove hamper? Simply comment below with what your nappy bag essentials are. If you’re feeling up to it, you can give Baby Dove SA some love here. And if you’re not following me on Instagram, why not? Jokes but you’re missing  out on some content there. Competition runs until Friday, 30 November and the winner will be notified soon thereafter.

Flying with Children

(written in collaboration with Travelstart)

It’s that time of the year again. As soon as we hit October, it’s like the 3 months just fly by and suddenly it’s Christmas! We start thinking about days at the beach, taking the kids out and about, budget friendly outings in January, annual leave and holidays.

For us, we look at budget friendly outings all the time and spending loads of time at the beach. One day, I want to take my kids on a proper holiday though. One where they get to go to an airport, get on a plane, experience the wonder and joy of being surrounded by clouds and looking down at the city they know. I’ve only ever been on an airplane once in my life, when I was 8 years old. It was to Durban and I was thrilled. I remember the excitement of walking onto the plane, looking out the window, I must have had stars in my eyes. I remember my aunt packed an amazing book for me with little cutouts that you moved around and changed the story. It was the best holiday of my life.

I want my kids to experience that kind of joy at least once in their life. I would love to do Mauritius with them one day. Or island hopping in Thailand, maybe an icy adventure in Austria, or a trip to Disneyland in the USA. I’d even settle with taking them to Sun City or uShaka Marine World. In my 37 years on this planet, I haven’t even been to those places.

My boys are boisterous and loud. So being cooped up in an airplane with them for however many hours, scares me. What will the other passengers say? How many times will we disturb the other passengers going up and down to the loo? How will I make sure Harper doesn’t scream the place down?

I know these are probably most parents’ worries and there are tips and tricks for dealing with these worries. Luckily, Travelstart has shared these 10 tips for flying with children.

For someone that hasn’t flown with children before, these are really helpful. Numbers 2, 5 and 7 will be especially helpful to me. You know your kids and what will and won’t work for them. I honestly can’t wait to take our kids on an adventure, whether it be local or international.

If you could travel anywhere in the world with your kids, where would you go?

Do you have any other tips and tricks to share?

This post was done in collaboration with Travelstart, however the views expressed in this article are my own, unless otherwise specified.

 

 

This one’s for the dads – trust your way

*written in collaboration with Baby Dove

So your wife/partner just peed on a stick and you realise that your life is about to change in ways you would never think possible. You guys reach the 12 week mark and think now is the time to tell the world (if you could contain your excitement before telling everyone).

Advice
Suddenly, everyone has some type of advice for your wife/partner. Don’t eat this, don’t drink that, use this for the aches, use that to sleep better. She’s frustrated and emotional, advice overload, and you have no idea how to make things better for her. But you chop on and you get to a point that you don’t say or do the wrong thing for a few hours and you can make your wife/partner relatively comfortable.

Matthew

Baby’s here!
Then your beautiful bouncing baby arrives. You’re enthralled, overwhelmed, ecstatic, nervous and maybe even a little scared. You take baby out for the first time, you need diapers and your wife/partner needs some fresh air, to get out of the house for a bit. You’re standing in the queue, baby is in the pram covered up (or in the baby carrier) and the aunty standing behind you in the queue starts chatting to you. “ooh I’m sure that cry means she’s hungry”, “have you tried using this product for his skin”, “she seems jaundiced, have you taken her for a checkup”, and it just goes on and on and you want to tell the lady you just shut her trap and keep her comments to herself. But you’re nice and hate confrontation so you keep quiet, nod your head and say thank you, you’ll try it when you get home.

Ethan

Time passes but you still doubt yourself
Your baby is now a few months old and you’ve heard all the advice you can handle. You and your wife/partner are both overwhelmed with all the information you’ve been reading up on or been given by friends and family (and the odd aunty in the queue). You start to doubt yourself because one person said you should try the cry it out method, another person said you must chuck the diapers and start potty training from when your baby is 6 months old, but you haven’t even figured out yet how to put the grower on with getting his arms stuck.

Harper

TRUST
I’ve been down this road 3 times now and I too, have heard it all. So now, I’m going to give you some advice. Only you and your wife/partner know your baby. You can read every single parenting book out there but each child is unique. Your baby is unique. You’ve been around this little person for his entire life, held her when she cried at 3am because she woke up and wouldn’t go back to sleep, bathed his little body and used the special bum cream when she got a bad nappy rash. You know when he’s hungry, or crying because she needs a diaper change. You know how warm she likes her formula bottle or how he likes to sleep.

Don’t let anyone’s advice and well-meaning comments cause you to doubt yourself. Thank the person, smile and say you will take their advice into consideration. At the end of the day, you can listen to everything everyone tells you. It’s up to you to take that advice and then use what you think might work for you and your baby.

Mark and the boys

TRUST that you know what’s best for YOUR baby. TRUST that you’re strong enough to do what is right for YOUR baby. TRUST that you have the patience and the knowledge to raise your baby the best way you know how. TRUST that you can give your wife/partner the support and trust that she needs.

Just love your baby. And Trust Your Way!

 

Insuring with Incompass – a little behind the scenes after our accident

Sponsored by Incompass, but ALL opinions are my own

It’s been more than a week since our accident and I would give anything to have this whole incident over and done with. The one thing I am so grateful for, is that we recently changed our insurers.

GETTING INSURED
Making the decision to change was a daunting one. We were with a very well-known insurer and it seemed that they offered the best rates for our car. My amazing friend, Cindy (who blogs over at 3 Kids, 2 Dogs and 1 Old House) co-owns an insurance brokerage called Incompass and convinced me to at least try them out and see if they can find some competitive rates for us.

Incompass has been working in the Insurance industry for 10 years and have built very good relationships with reputable insurance companies, ensuring that we provide you with the best cover for the most affordable price.

I agreed and was put into the very capable hands of Jemimah. Gosh, that woman works magic. First, we received a set of questions that we had to answer. I think was the hardest part. Jemimah then came back to us with a few companies that had the best rates. I had a load of questions because everything was foreign to me. The terms, what exactly everyone was offering, what was included, what wasn’t, etc. But the staff at Incompass is absolutely incredible and patient (and I’m not just saying that because I’m friends with Cindy lol).

After lots of emails between us (because I had lots of questions), the contract was finalised and we were with a new insurer! Yay us! And yay to Incompass for the easy and no fuss handling of this matter. Seriously, these guys and gals do everything for you. They liaise with the insurers, send you any questions they need answered, answer all your questions you may have, send you the contract, go through it with you and then ensure that everything is finalised.

CLAIMING PROCESS
Then the inevitable happened. We had just changed insurers and were then involved in an accident. Not knowing how claims work and if we were even eligible because we had only been with our current insurers for 4 weeks. First, at the scene of the accident, I spoke to a consultant at our insurers and registered a claim. The next day, I emailed Incompass’s trusty Jemimah. Again, I’ll say it, that woman is seriously incredible. She said that she’s available to me if I need any assistance with the claim.

She contacted the insurance, she got all the documents and details they needed to them, she followed up and kept me up to speed. She is still helping me to get in touch with the assessor and claims agent. I don’t think that this would have gone any better with our previous insurer and I honestly don’t think I would’ve received this type of personalised service elsewhere.

So take it from me, you need to get in touch with Incompass and let them help you find the best cover at an affordable price. You won’t be sorry. (And don’t worry if everything sounds like gibberish or goes over your head – like it did with mine. They are patient and will explain everything to you.) Have a look at their website here, it’s really easy to use. They also have a Facebook page.

Tooky Toys with BabyWombWorld

A few weeks ago, the kids received a special delivery from BabyWombWorld and they’re loving it (so am I). I love the quality and the educational value of these Tooky Toys.

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The boys received a 135 piece box of wooden blocks. It was a jungle theme with little wooden jungle creatures! There’s  floor puzzle that you connect and use as the base for your blocks. Ethan had a ball building a little story for us, making the tree lines, with the hippo in the pond and the lion roaring at the giraffe. Matthew eventually joined in and the 2 of them played happily (and without fighting) for a good hour.

The fact that the blocks are wooden means they’re durable and can withstand being thrown around (or aimed at someone’s head) and stepped on. I often find the boys playing together in their room having added some of their other wooden blocks and creating bigger scenes and stories. I just wish these toys came with an automatic pack away option.

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We also received a beads coaster for Harper. She loves moving the beads around on the rungs and because they’re wooden, I find her using some of the beads as teething toys. Chewing on them and trying to get her head through the rungs to reach a bead at the back. This toy is colourful and everything is fixed to the base, so there’s very little risk of baby losing anything. Oh and the coaster also has suction cups underneath to stabilise it. Love, love, love! I even catch Ethan now and again playing with the coaster. So it doesn’t only keep babies occupied.

There are loads more options on BabyWombworld‘s website. Check them out. They make wonderful gifts and are definitely a worthy investment.

Being a real mom

Written in collaboration with Baby Dove

It’s after 11 at night, Mark is sleeping and Matthew is a few weeks old. He’s woken up with a poonami and it’s taking all my creative manoeuvres to get it cleaned up. Once cleaned, I put him on the boob to get him to go back to sleep. Next to me, Mark is snoring and I am contemplating how I can get away with smothering him in his sleep. I look down at this marvelous creation in my arms, suckling softly and grasping my finger tightly. I can see he’s not going to sleep soon, he is wide awake. I heave a sigh of frustration because I’m tired, my c-section cut is throbbing and I’m wondering where my pregnancy glow went. All the baby books I’ve read say that I should swaddle him, ensure that he’s warm enough, that he only gets breastmilk and that I shouldn’t offer the bottle too soon or he’ll get nipple confusion. Those same books say that I should let him cry it out if I want him to sleep through the night, no wait, we should co-sleep. No, never do that, you can kill your baby in your sleep, rather keep him in his cot in his own room. But then I’ll never hear him. So that means I must buy all the expensive paraphernalia just so that I can hear if he suddenly stops breathing or pulls the blanket over his head.

This was 7 years ago, when I was a new mom with no idea what I was doing or how I was going to keep my newborn alive. I was scared, in pain and utterly in love with this amazing creature that God entrusted to me. While I was pregnant, I was given so much conflicting advice from well-meaning aunts, friends, colleagues and the random grandma at the store, that I didn’t know what was what. Then all those books I read made me even more confused and I was clueless. One day, I received the only advice I needed to hear, to trust my instincts because only I knew my baby. I can listen to the advice of all those well-meaning people around me and just use what I need.

Us moms are bombarded with information and advice daily. If it isn’t an aunt, or some stranger in the shopping centre, then it’s Google and all those online articles that we somehow subscribed to. After 3 pregnancies and 3 children, I’ve learnt that the only thing I need is to listen to my baby and trust my gut. I’m the only one who knows what that cry means. I’m the only one that knows when my son falls, all he needs is a little hug and the permission to try it again. I’m the only one that knows exactly when my baby is sick, before the thermometer even confirms it. This is why I love the Baby Dove concept of being a Real Mom. Of trusting your own way of being a mom. That there is no such thing as a perfect mom, only a real one.

This campaign has made me reflect on my 7 years of being a mom. How overwhelmed I was in the beginning. How I wouldn’t trust myself to know what’s right for me or my baby. All those baby books and advice would never make me a perfect mom, I just needed to be a real mom. Remember, when it comes to your child, you know best, so #TrustYourWay.

My favourite Superbalist.com kids shoes

*sponsored

Shopping online has evolved so much in the last few years, did you know that the first item sold online was a Sting album – Ten Summoner’s Tales in 1994. There was a time we were too scared to purchase anything online, for fear of fraudulent activities on our credit cards, or we’d end up losing our money or not getting the items we bought. Some of us were even too scared to log into our online banking accounts. I’ve spent so much money buying things online, from clothing for the kids, birthday presents for loved ones, home ware, etc.

I shop at most of the well-known online stores but only recently found out that Superbalist.com has kiddies shoes. I was as excited as my boys would be if they were to see the entire Paw Patrol squad. I’ve browsed through their selection and here are a few of my favorites.

Kids Chuck Taylor All Star

Matthew will freak out if he must see this! He’s into this whole camo thing lately (no idea where it came from) and every second item of clothing we buy, needs to have this camo print on it. I need to keep these out of his sight. Plus it’s Converse, which is my favourite brand of sneakers.

Kids Superstar 360

Ethan is not a fan of laces, so these slip-on Adidas is just perfect. They have a similar print to the camo, so he won’t feel left out but is dark enough to hide all the dirt he’s bound to pick up.

Clark – Shooshoos

Superbalist.com sells Shooshoos!! Guys, I’m sorry to shout that out like that but I love Shooshoos and how cute is this white and gold pair? (Can you tell I’m excited that I get to buy girls shoes?) Gosh, this speaks to the diva in me.

Kids superstar 360

I wish I could get a pair of these in my size. Have you never wanted to twin with your kid? Only me then? I love these so much, it’s crazy and can’t wait to get Harper a pair. I think she will look so freaking cute in it!

Infants superstar 360

Clearly I have a thing for Adidas Superstar. I just love these shoes. I also love that it comes in girls, boys, baby girls and baby boys sizes. So the whole family can rock these awesome sneakers!

Gosh, I am a sneaker head apparently. I’m also one for a decent app, as I’m on my phone 80% of the day and don’t always get to shop on my pc. So I thought I’d let you know how amazing the Superbalist.com app is. 

It’s easy to navigate, has all the items on the app that is on their website and the best part? You can get R250 off your first buy with a minimum spend of R600. You can download the app for Android phones here or for iOS here. You’re welcome.