Thursday, 18 August 2016

Baobao's Favourites: 17 Months

Baobao has just turned 18 months, so here is a quick look at the toys she has enjoyed this month.

Baobao's imaginative play skills have greatly improved over the last couple of months. She really enjoys using the pots and pans in her play kitchen to cook and feed us. She also uses them to feed her baby. Ikea's metal pots and pans also double up as great musical instruments.

Baobao is quite short for her age, so most hard bodied baby dolls are a little too big for her. This baby doll is the perfect size for her to wear, hold and feed. It has a soft body, which is the only drawback as it prevents Baobao from giving him a bath. 

Baobao has really enjoyed threading this month. She will regularly come to ask to take it out and will thread all of the beads before putting them back. They're excellent for fine motor skills practice.

The weather this summer in London has been lovely and one of Baobao's favourite activities has been water play. She has enjoyed mixing sand with water, using the ladle to tip water everywhere and most of all, getting mama wet!


This month, Baobao has really enjoyed non-fiction books this month. She enjoys acting out the emotions she can see on the children's faces, copying their actions or finding the body parts.

This book shows different children experiencing different emotions. Baobao loves trying to imitate the children and now links the children feeling sad in the book to the baby crying on the bus in the song. I really like this book, because I feel like in the future it will help to allow Baobao to name her emotions and make her more empathetic in time.

Baobao really enjoys playing head shoulders knees and toes, and this book extends that in to allowing her to find other body parts, such as elbows, teeth, etc. She also enjoys completing the activities that the children are doing, such as touching her toes or reaching up high. 

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Being Prepared Part 1: Baby Essentials - The "To Buy" List

When expecting a new baby, working out what they need can be daunting, especially when it's your first. I did a lot of research around what Baobao would need. I searched on the internet and received an amazing book in one of my Project B boxes titled "What to buy for your baby", which broke down the items you would come across for a newborn into manageable categories and then explained why you might want them. This meant I could really evaluate whether I needed to buy something or not.

A year and a bit on, we're expecting another little one. Knowing what I know now, especially after starting the Konmari process, I want to re-evaluate what we need for Xiabao.

Baobao’s (Xiaobao's) To Buy List

  • Sleepsuits (6 in newborn size, 6 in 0-3 months) - This time, we will probably pick up 6 tiny baby size sleepsuits as well. Baobao didn't go into newborn size until she was 1 month and 0-3 month clothed until 2 months. Sleepsuits with poppers up the front are much easier to use than the ones that go over baby's head. I will also aim to get ones with no feet to use when baby wearing.
  • Footless babygrows (6 in tiny baby, 6 in newborn)
  • Long-sleeved bodysuits (6-8 in 0-3 months)
  • Leggings/Trousers (6-8 in 0-3 months)
  • Short-sleeved bodysuits (6-8 in newborn size, 6-8 in 0-3 months) - I would get wrapover style vests for the first few months, as they are much easier to use. Polarn o Pyret do them up to 6 months.
  • 2 cardigans in 0-3 months size
  • 4 pairs of socks - I would probably get closer to 8 pairs, so you only have to wash them once a week.
  • 2 hats 
  • 2 pairs of mittens 
  • 2 pairs of scratch mitts 
  • 1 outdoor hat

Nappies & Changing Accessories
  • Nappies - We'll be using cloth nappies as soon as Xiaobao fits into small gNappies. So we should only need enough newborn size nappies for 4-6 weeks. We used Naty nappies with Baobao.
  • Cottonwool pads/wipes - With Baobao we used flannels and water wipes and will continue to use these with Baobao
  • Lidded nappy bin and two laundry nets - Continue to use the same one as now, but wash every evening.
  • Nappy cream - Sudocrem lasts forever. It's not cloth friendly, but only gets used rarely. Only buy one tub.
  • Changing mat 
  • Changing bag 

  • Bath support 
  • Soft towel 
  • Flannel/sponge 
  • Baby nail clippers/scissors 
  • Hairbrush 
  • Bath thermometer 

Feeding - Tailored towards breastfeeding. 
  • Breast pump
  • Breast pads 
  • Nipple cream 
  • 3 nursing bras - Wait until your milk comes in to buy these.
  • 2 feeding bottles - If bottle feeding you will need a lot more bottles. Our steriliser held 6 at a time, plus we would have at least 4 washed to go in the steriliser at the end of the day. 8-10 bottles seemed enough for us for full time bottle feeding with Baobao from 4 weeks.
  • Breast milk storage containers 
  • Nursing clothes - Have a couple of outfits ready for when you leave hospital. It's difficult to know what size you will be. I went from a 10-12 to a 14 with Baobao. Buy more outfits once your weight has settled.
  • Steriliser 
  • Bottle brush 
  • Muslins & bibs - We had a lot of muslins. Looking at my box, I will probably have about 9 for Xiaobao to start off with. We found bibs didn't become useful until much later. Dribble bibs for once Baobao was teething (and a year later she wears one every day) and feeding bibs for once they are weaning.

  • Moses basket & mattress - We ended up co-sleeping with Baobao. We will use the moses basket we have from Baobao to put Xiaobao in when we are downstairs, but probably won't have it upstairs this time. Instead we will use Baobao's old cot, converted into a co-sleeper cot, with a sleepyhead deluxe in, to provide that feeling of security.
  • Cot & mattress 
  • 3-4 moses basket sheets - We actually only had 2 with Baobao. We found that they tended to dry quite quickly on our heated airer.
  • 3-4 fitted cot sheets - We actually only had 2 with Baobao. We found that they tended to dry quite quickly on our heated airer.
  • 2 mattress protectors 
  • 2-3 grobags 
  • Moses basket stand 
  • Swaddling wrap - Baobao hated being swaddled and so we gave up on swaddling quite quickly.  
  • Cat net - Our cats just avoided the cot for well into the first year. It's only really now that they will venture near her and that's because she feeds them.
  • Blankets
  • White noise toy/app (Ewan the dream sheep) - Or Stinky Ewan as he is now known after 17 months of being Baobao's bedtime buddy

Nursery furniture
  • Wardrobe 
  • Changing unit - We only used this until Baobao could roll. A changing mat on the floor felt much safer.
  • Blackout blinds
  • Room thermometer (Gro egg) - One of our best purchases, without a doubt. It makes seeing the tempurature so easy, because with a glance you can see if the egg is blue, orange or red.

  • Pram with lie-flat seat 
  • Rain cover 
  • Sling
  • Buggy board for Baobao
Car seats
  • Group 0+ car seat 
  • Sun blind 
  • Baby on board sign 
Safety & medical essentials
  • Smoke/carbon monoxide detector 
  • Baby monitor 
  • Childproofing items – stairgate, drawer/cupboard locks, fireguard, fridge freezer lock, window lock, playpen, 
  • First aid & medicine kit 
  • Thermometer - electronic ear thermometers are quick and easy to use
  • Medicine dispensing syringe 
  • Nasal aspirator 

  • Toys and images with bold black and white imagery 
  • Mobile 
  • Baby gym 
  • Sheepskin