There's a lot of media attention to reduce plastic waste. The government started by charging for plastic bags when you shop and now companies are banning plastic straws. I want to share how I slowly made small lifestyle changes to reduce my plastic footprint that are baby and child friendly.
The best way to go about reducing plastic usage and making these changes to your lifestyle is to do it gradually so you don't notice the inconvenience. The easiest way to switch to a plastic free alternative or to reduce plastic waste is to change we switch an everyday item like a plastic toothbrush to a more sustainable and eco-friendly alternative.
This little gem of a farm in Orpington is perfect for children who love to feed and pet animals. There were sheep and goats at the beginning of the trail, alpacas, llamas and cows, horses and ponies as well as pigs. You'll find chickens, ducks and geese freely wandering around - some may even have lunch with you. Rabbits and guinea pigs are in a sheltered pen by the ticket office.
We visited during half term and it was busy but we managed to find parking easily albeit I had to put my reverse driving skills to the test when I found the small car park was full. There was an overflow car park right next door.
For £4 per adult and £2 per child (over 2) the farm is large enough to not seem overly crowded but small enough to see all the animals in a couple of hours. We did find that the animals were not wanting to feed towards the end of the visit - they probably had a field day with all the school children feeding them. Feed buckets were £1 each for a small bucket including carrots.
It was an enjoyable visit. The wash facilities were good with step stools for young children to stand on to wash their hands.
There is a strict no picnic policy at the farm and there are lots of signs to remind you so if you plan to bring any food to eat don't be surprised that the staff will ask you to pack it away. They do serve a small selection of hot snacks (hot dogs and sausage rolls) and sandwiches including a packed lunch box for children. Their hot chocolates were surprisingly good!
We had a wonderful trip to Cologne to look at new, innovative and stylish baby and children's products exhibited from around the world. It was our third trip and every year we are surprised and excited by the inventions and products that come to the market and only wish we had these when our kids were little.
The nursery furniture by Pinolino were definitely generating nursery envy for us. Spacious 3 unit wardrobes with clean, modern lines would make any room fit for a prince or princess. What drew our attention was the extra large changing table. There was an extra panel extending the back of the chest of drawers and the changing mat was wide so you can change the baby front on instead of sideways. Great for those wriggly babies.
6. Microscooter cabin case and seat in 1
This cabin sized suitcase will take away the stress out of airports. When you've checked in your buggy and you have a toddler who wants to be carried yet you have your own suitcase, changing bag and extras to carry, this suitcase converts to a wheely chair, almost like a ride along bike, for your little one. They say it supports up to 30kg but I had a sneaky ride on it - check me out! Just like their scooters it is well designed, sturdy construction and great manoeuverability.
This is an amazing company using sugarcane waste to build safe, eco-friendly and sustainable building blocks. They have a good range of vibrant coloured educational sets as well as building playsets. These are a great plastic free alternatives and compatible with Duplo.
A baby carrier that meets all your requirements from birth up to 20kg! This carrier is suitable for front and back (from 6 months) carrying and for all season. We were instantly drawn to this carrier as it has a flap that reveals a mesh lining for warmer weather which is a thumbs up as we know how hot and sweaty carriers can get for both baby and parent.
Imagine you're driving in the middle of nowhere, your car boot is full and your baby needs a number 2 nappy change with no changing facilities in sight. We remember very well. Take a look at the superb innovative solution: WeeKee car changing mat comes in a small pack that self-inflates in seconds and counters the incline of the car seat. It's so easy to roll back up and repack.
This car seat, although an expensive initial outlay, is suitable from approximately 4 months, for toddlers and going up to 4 years old. It's the world’s first car seat with built-in airbags. In the case of an accident within 0.05 second the airbags inflate with cold air which give crucial protection to your child’s head, neck and shoulders. It has a 360° swivelling seat to make putting your little one in and out of the car seat a little bit easier. It also has a forward facing seat option from 15 months.
Our favourite product wowed us - the Elvie breastpump. This is a revolutionary breastpump worth the £299 for one pump. It's handsized pump fits into a nursing bra without leads so that you can remain mobile and get on with what you need to do. The world’s first silent wearable breast pump has a 2 hour battery life with a BPA free bottle for 150mL pump capacity and all parts can be sterilised where required. A novel feature of the Elvie breastpump is that you can turn it on using a mobile app that also tracks how much you've pumped with a pump history. We think that if you can carry on with your daily life this could simulate breastfeeding and promote milk production during expressing. Amazing product!
It's coming up to the end of British summer time so we thought we'd make the most of the dry sunny weather and do something outdoors but something different to the usual parks. It was around 18-20°C -too cool for an enjoyable beach day so we decided to try the Box Hill Natural Play Trail in Surrey
As my nephew is starting reception soon I thought I'd put together a few tips for Alice of things that her little one should ideally have got the hang of before starting school and being on his own. Use this as a guide for your little ones to tick off to prepare for school:
I know when to wash my hands
I can wipe my nose
I can ask for help if I don't feel well
Speaking & literacy
I am interested in reading stories & looking at picture books
I am able to talk about myself, my needs & feelings
I am practising recognising my name when it's written down
Getting undressed & undressed on my own
I can button & unbutton my clothes
I can put my own shoes & socks on
I can put my coat on and & use the zip
Interest in the world & new activities
I enjoy learning about the world around me
I am interested in exploring new activities or environments
I like asking questions
I can use a knife & fork
I can open my packed lunch on my own
I am confident at opening wrappers & packaging
I like tracing patterns & colouring in
I enjoy experimenting wit different shaped scribbles
I am practising holding a pencil
Going to the toilet
I can go to the toilet on my own, wipe myself properly & flush
I can wash & dry my hands without any help
I am happy to be away from my mummy, daddy or my main carer
I am happy to tidy my belongings & look after my things
I am feeling confident about starting school
Listening & understanding
I am able to sit still and listen for a short while
I can follow instructions
I understand the need to follow rules
Sharing & turn taking
I can share toys & take turns
I can play games with others
I can interest with other children
I enjoy practising counting objects
I like saying number rhymes & playing counting games
I can recognise some numbers when they are written down
I have practised putting on my uniform & getting ready to leave on time
I have a good bedtime routine so I'm not feeling for school
I'm learning to eat at the times I will on school days