It's my life, but not as I knew it!

These are all things that we bought to help us in our journey raising our beautiful twinklies. I am recommending them as they have been helpful/indispensable to us, not because I have been paid to or sent anything to review.

BUNK COT
available at http://www.thebunkcot.com
This is exactly what it sounds like! They are like bunk beds, but are two cots instead. They do turn into toddler bunk beds too, or can be used as one cot and one bed for children of different ages. When the twins first came home, they were both in the top bunk together and this was brilliant post-csection as there was no bending to get them in or out of bed. Now they are in separate cots and they are still working out for us. Cracker is in the bottom cot and, as I have heard from others, he has been able to climb out of it since he was about 13 months old. This isn’t a problem for us as he wakes up much earlier than Biscuit so instead of being in his cot and waking her, he climbs out and wakes us up instead!
The bunk cot is sturdy, well made and looks good. It comes in white and brown and will match with most nursery furniture. It takes up much less room than two separate cots do, which is so useful when space is at a premium in a small flat with two children!

AMAZONAS WRAP-ROUND SLING
available at http://www.babyarmadillo.com
Woven wrap slings are probably the most complicated introduction into babywearing, as they require tying at a certain tension to properly hold and support your bubba. You tube is a fabulous resource for seeing the numerous ways you can tie a sling, and your local sling library will always be able to help out too.
Biscuit and Cracker were quite small when they were new as they were not only born five weeks early, but there were two of them! This meant that they were too small to be able to use most other slings (they were 2.5kg and lots of slings need babies to be 3/3.5kg to use it) but we knew it would be better for us and for them to be able to sling them.
These slings, once you have got the hang of them, are comfy, easy, stylish and keep bubba warm. We always had people coming up to us asking where we got them from and the twins were comfy.

MANDUCA BUCKLE SLING
available at http://www.cheekyrascals.co.uk
We bought these when the twins were slightly older as they are much simpler when your little one might want to get down (and then back up again) at a moments notice. They have a padded waist and buckles to keep them to secure. You can wear your bubba on your front, hip or back (ALWAYS parent-facing please, more on that in a later post I think). We found these so simple to use (I have even worn both babies together in these), they suit a wide variety of body shapes and they’re comfortable for carrier and bubba. A lot of the time we don’t even take our buggy out with us as these are so simple, comfortable and easy to use.
We wouldn’t give our Manducas up for anything…!

COSATTO EASI PEASI BATHTIME CHANGING STATION
available at http://www.kiddisave.co.uk
Now, this recommendation doesn’t just cover this specific changing station. There are loads of them on the market from lots of different brands. I think you should just buy one. Any one! There are parts of this one that we didn’t use, and therefore were a waste (like the bath- we found it impractical that the bath was under the changing table. Where do you put your baby when you get them out of the bath whilst you then mess around with trying to put the mat back on top and secure it?) But we found it so useful because of the height you change them at, particularly for post-section mums and those with bad backs. It has lots of storage underneath for nappies, wipes, creams and medicines so that everything is in the one place. It is mobile, useful for our first few months where I wheeled this into the warmer kitchen to bath them but returned it to the hallway afterwards for night-time changes. The one huge letdown was the fact that the material on the changing surface is quite tightly stretched over the comfy padding and ours has split and cracked in lots of little places.

Update: the amazingly friendly customer services team, after seeing this post and contacting me on twitter, have replaced the changing mat as it was in warranty (something that I had totally forgotten about). The replacement is the same pattern but I dont know if they have upgraded their materials as it is much better quality. There seems to be more padding underneath and the wipe-clean surface has a lot more give in it.

CHEEKY WIPES
available at http://www.cheekywipes.com
This is the recommendation that will make everyone go “yuk” except for anyone who has seen these bad boys in action and has been converted. Put simply, they are reusable baby wipes. Lovely little square wipes that you wash with your normal load, keep in a clean box of water and aromatic essential oil until use and then put a mucky box with more oil and water to keep the stink down. I love my cheeky wipes, they are easy to use, always there (no running to a store at stupid o’clock when they run out), money saving (once you’ve bought your kit, that’s it until you no longer need bottom wipes) and kind to little bottoms. Biscuit, like all women in my family, has very sensitive skin and even using fragrance-free wipes from any major baby/supermarket brands leaves her bottom red, raw and broken down. Going to my parents for a few days and leaving the cheeky wipes behind does this every time. Luckily a few days of using cheeky wipes again means her tushy is back it’s gorgeous, pink self!
We have also gone back and bought the pretty rainbow microfibre weaning kit (no mucky box required for these, they just get chucked straight in the washing machine) for hands and faces before/during/after feeding. Even a face full of spaghetti bolognese is no match for these!
I have told everyone that I know/work with that they need to get there hands on these for their bubbas. And if anyone is still unconvinced then I can, hands on heart, tell them that even my husband has been convinced and converted and he is not a strong-stomached nurse like me!!

MAM DUMMIES, BOTTLES AND STERILISER
available at http://www.mambaby.com
From day one my twins have used mam dummies and bottles, therefore Rob and I have used the steriliser since then too.
Mam dummies are orthodontically designed so that growing teeth aren’t pushed out of position. They come in a variety of sizes and a multitude of super cute designs.
Mam bottles are superb. They come entirely apart to make for easy cleaning, plus they can be sterilised individually with no need for a separate steriliser (handy for when visiting friends and relations for the day). There are a variety of teats from slow teats to open ‘skippy cup’ style ones. You can also add handles when bubbas start being more independent.

SLEEPING BAGS
available at http://www.gro.co.uk
Anyone and everyone has heard about these beautiful made and gorgeously designed sleeping bags. Used from birth (as long as they’re the right weight) they are safer than covers as the baby can spin around in their cot to their hearts content without the risk of them getting tangled or going under the blankets. They come in a range of tog ratings, with a free nursery thermometer to ensure they’re wearing the right night clothes. We have used them since the twins have fit into them, are still using them as we speak and have the next size up waiting in their closet for next year! As you can tell, I am a fan!

SPILLY SPOON
available at http://www.spillyspoon.com
Spilly spoons are a clever little invention for anyone who ever has experienced difficulties measuring out and giving medicine to their kiddiwinks. They are sturdy plastic contraptions that can hold 10mls of medicine and be put down flat on a surface with no spillage whilst you get hold of your charge and give it to them. It is substantial enough for little hands to hold and give the medicine to themselves (don’t ask me how/why things taste better when they do it for themselves but they do)! Plus we got the ouch pouch with ours, a cool bag to keep your spilly spoon, medicine, inhaler, epi pen, antibacterial wipes and plasters in. Fab little products to make Mamas lives easier, who can say no to that!

SAFE DREAMS COT WRAP
available at http://www.safedreams.co.uk
There will always be controversy about using cot wraps to stop little heads and limbs bashing against and going through cot bars in the night. Some American States have banned them due to the risk they pose. But Safe Dreams have designed and created brilliant cot wraps that are made of breathable fabric in case little ones end up against it in the night. They tightly Velcro on to the cot so there are no dangerous ties dangling around. We have used them to stop dummies falling out in the night!

PACIGRIP AND SIPPYGRIP
available at http://www.booginhead.com
As parents of babies who love their dummies, there is a niggling fear that the dummy will get thrown out of the buggy/sling and then you’re left with a screaming baby and you have to run around like a blue-bottomed fly trying to find another one. Pacigrips are dummy holders with strong metallic clasps to firmly attach that to clothes so that this fear never comes true.
Sippygrips are designed to put around sippy cups and then attach to buggy straps so that they don’t get thrown out and onto the pavement. I have to admit that we do not use them with sippy cups as we didn’t get them for that reason, but they are wrapped round a favourite cuddly toy in the buggy so that this does not get thrown out and messed up or lost. Plus they come in patterns that match the pacigrips!

SLUGS AND SNAILS TIGHTS
available at http://www.slugsandsnails.ie
I cannot recommend these tights highly enough. They are well made, comfortable, super stylish and cute. Mums and Dad can rest safe assured that their little ones are warm and cosy (and safe thanks to the anti-slip soles) and the bubbas can feel happy that they will be the most fashionable in the playground. Couple this with excellent customer service and a fun twitter feed and it makes me happy to do business with them.

Next time….
Things we couldn’t live with….

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