With the festive season fast approaching, there is no better way to get into the Chritmas spirit than with a novelty Christmas jumper.

Once the preserve of granddads, the Christmas jumper is now a must have and the high street is awash with festive knits. To get you into the spirit, here are my top picks…

christmasjumpersher

 

1 // Neon Reindeer Fairisle Jumper, Tesco £20

2 // 3D Snowman Christmas jumper, Primark, £12

3 // Mint Green Fairisle Penguin Print Jumper, New Look, £22.99

4 // Grey Reindeer Knitted Christmas Jumper, River Island, £35

5 // Boxy Snowflake Knit, Next, £26

6 // Northpole Santa Musical Grey Jumper, Primark, £12

Are you a big fan of Christmas Jumpers? I’d love to know where you got your festive knits from in the comments below.

  • Kat | Beau TwinsNovember 19, 2014 - 11:21 am

    Love this. Nearly did something similar last night. I’m going on a hunt for a jumper this weekend. It’s got to be done. Great taste by the way! XReplyCancel

    • Steph@HelloBabyNovember 19, 2014 - 11:38 am

      Ah thanks Kat! Happy shopping! XReplyCancel

  • Gym Bunny MummyNovember 19, 2014 - 3:44 pm

    Bloomin’ typical that I like the most expensive one, love it though!ReplyCancel

    • Steph@HelloBabyNovember 19, 2014 - 7:09 pm

      Ha, always the way! XReplyCancel

  • Everything mummyNovember 22, 2014 - 7:49 am

    Love this post I’m searching for a perfect xmas jumper at the mo love no.3! xReplyCancel

    • Steph@HelloBabyNovember 22, 2014 - 9:06 am

      Ah thanks. There are so
      Many lovely ones out there at the mo it was impossible to narrow down! Happy shopping! XReplyCancel

  • JodiNovember 22, 2014 - 5:47 pm

    Love the Reindeer one! Time for a trip to River Island :)

    I bought a cool Xmas pudding one last year from Sports Direct of all places. Surely it’s ok to have several to choose from?ReplyCancel

    • Steph@HelloBabyNovember 22, 2014 - 7:29 pm

      The more the merrier I say! xReplyCancel

Why is it that I always seem to run out of Christmas gift tags at the very last minute? No matter how organised I am, I never seem to have enough so I have found a solution to my quandry… printable gift tags! Why have I never thought of this before now?!

In preparation, I’ve trawled the world wide web and found some really lovely free printable Christmas gift tags so I thought I would share my favourites with you incase you end up in the same boat!

1 // I love this selection of dangle tags.

IMG_0384

2 // These fun typographic tags, look fab printed on Kraft paper.

holiday_type_tags

3 // These beauties look great printed on heavy stock paper

L1080956_2

4 // I adore this selection of fun tags

Free-Printable-Christmas-Gift-Tags-500x750

5 // How cute are these ‘peace, love and reindeer hug’ gift tags

reindeerhugs_01

6 //How pretty are these hand drawn calligraphy gift tags

DSC_0416
 7 // Brighten up your presents with these colourful gift tags

gifttags2b

8 // These mitten and stocking tags are fab

mld106410_1210_tagsbox3b_vert

9 // Who doesn’t love a bauble gift tag?!

mld106410_1210_tagstray28_vert

10 // Personalise your gifts with these mongram gift tags

mld106410_1210_tagsbox5_vert

With only 42 days until Christmas, it’s time to start thinking about the perfect present(s) for your little ones, so over the next few weeks, I will be sharing various christmas gift guides with you to help you on your way.

I’m going to kick off with ‘musical gifts for toddlers’ as it’s never too early to instil a love of making music in your little ones…

musictod

a // Carousel keyboard and stool, £30 but currently on offer for £15.

b // John Lewis Giant Piano Mat, £30

c // ELC Recorder, £12

d // ELC Wooden Guitar, £20 but currently on offer for £15.

e // Fisher-Price Bright Beginnings Crocodile, £12

f // Bontempi Trumpet, £12.99

g // Bontempi Saxophone, £10.76

h // ELC Wooden Drum, £10

i // Leapfrog Touch Magic Rockin’ Guitar, £20

*** ELC have an additional 20% off toys today only, so be quick!! ***

Over the past couple of months, I have been sharing some brilliant guest posts with you from the wonderful Amy Ransom. ‘Surviving the first 12 days with a newborn‘ and ‘The Fourth Trimester‘ have proven to be a big hit, so here is Amy’s final post in the ‘new baby’ trilogy and it’s another good’un…

please
My final post in the ‘New Baby’ trilogy is one for us all.  For those of us with a new baby right now.  For those of us who are ‘out of the woods’ but know someone who isn’t.  Because no matter how many times you do it, having a new baby can be lonely.  And once we’re out of the baby years, it’s easy to forget exactly what it’s like.  But new mums need all the support they can get.  Which is why we all need to ‘look out for a new mum.’

We’re all new mums.

Having a baby is the MOST CHALLENGING thing you’ll ever do.

Especially if up until this point you’ve had trouble keeping a pot plant alive.  Write this down in big letters and put it on the fridge.  Because when you’re knackered, sleep deprived and hormonal, you will forget this.  You will tell yourself that you should be doing better.  When you’re already good enough.

If it’s your first baby, you’ll spend a lot of time doubting yourself.  A LOT.  You’ll worry that your baby isn’t a) feeding enough b) sleeping enough c) doing somersaults yet.  Is he/she developing normally?  Why is your friend’s baby doing X when yours can’t even do Y yet?  WHY.  WHY.  WHY…

If it’s your second, third, or fourth baby, you’ll still spend a lot of time doubting yourself.  Except this time you’ll feel like a fraud.  Because it’s your second, third or fourth baby.  You know what you’re doing.  This should be easy by now, right?

WRONG.

You may as well forget that you’ve already had one before.  Whilst this might help you with practical things like how to change a nappy and work a steriliser, when it comes to the actual baby, every one may as well be the first.  Because just like pregnancies, they’re all different.  And they all do things uniquely.  In their own time.

When it comes to having a baby, we’re all new mums.

No matter what round we’re on.

Having a new baby is lonely.

I didn’t expect having a baby to be lonely third time around.  I mean, how can you be lonely when you have three kids and you’re literally NEVER EVER alone?

But with new babies come demands.  Naps, routine and oh so much feeding.  Demands that happen regardless of how many kids you already have.  Demands that take you away from the outside world.  The outside world that is having a far better life than you currently are.  Or ever will again.  Parties.  Nights out.  Holidays.  All documented by the wonder that is social media.

When you’re tired and having a tough time, all normal terrain with a new baby in tow, these things can become magnified.  They can make you feel like you’re on your own.  And whilst it’s perfectly natural to feel like this, it’s a sign you need looking after.  A check-in from a friend.  A hug from your other half.  A hot dinner cooked for you.  Any gesture that tells you, ‘you’re not alone right now.’

That you’re loved.

(Also.  They’re not really having a better life than you.  It just feels like that).

Hello?  Is anyone there?

Life is busy.  For everyone.

Beyond the first few weeks in New Babydom, help can dwindle.  The offers dry up.  It’s natural and unintentional.  To that hectic outside world, you’re doing ok.  A good few weeks on, you’re not such a new mum anymore (except you are), your baby is bouncing, you’ve brushed your hair and you’re dressed (sort of).  You MUST be doing ok.

Yet some days, nothing could be further from the truth.  Because looking after a baby is such a fine balance between coping and chaos.  It depends on so many factors.  Mostly SLEEP.  Have a particularly bad night’s sleep and you can pretty much guarantee that everything that follows will turn to mud.  You feel run down.  A bit low.  Alone.

You need someone to notice.

Offering help.  Asking for help.

Since having my third child in July, I’ve been shown the kindness of others.  In the first couple of weeks particularly and especially by mums of three.  Presumably, because they KNOW.

Offers of help have come from surprising avenues as well as from my family and close friends.  Cooked meals.  Driving my girls around.  Relieving me of one (or two) of them so I can enjoy some baby time.  Giving them fun days out that I haven’t been able to do.  Running errands for me.  Just texting me comforting words that I’m doing great and ‘things will get easier.’

Most importantly, people have positioned themselves in such a way that I’ve felt able to ask when I’m struggling or needed something.  And I’m incredibly grateful for this.  It’s important.  These gestures that are apparently ‘nothing’ have been everything to me.

So, if you know a new mum, please look out for her.  Take a minute to remember how tough those early months are.  If you can bear to.  Don’t assume she’s ok because she says she is.  Or because she doesn’t quite look like The Wicked Witch.  Looks can be deceiving.  Ask her how she is.  Text her every now and again.  If there’s something small you can do to help her out, do.

Remember that your ‘nothing’ might just be her ‘everything.’

One day at a time.

In the darkness of a 3.00 AM nightfeed, it can all feel relentless.  You know what?  Right now it is pretty relentless.  But it WILL get easier.  I know this from experience.  And I still have to remind myself.

To this end, it’s important to take only one day at a time.  And live in the moment.  Don’t fast forward to further down the line.  This can be a scary, unknown place that only adds to the overwhelming sense of responsibility you already feel.  Get there when you get there.

Instead.  Breathe.  Deeply.  And breathe some more.

Then remember, this is the MOST CHALLENGING thing you’ll ever do.

You don’t need to be doing better.  You’re already good enough.

Have you found having a baby lonely at times?  I’d love to hear your thoughts below…

A huge thanks once again to Amy for sharing her brilliant words with Hello Baby. If you love her writing as much as I do, she has just released her second book on Amazon Kindle

  • ClaudiaNovember 10, 2014 - 10:34 pm

    What an amazing article. It totally describes what I have been going through with my first baby, now 4 months old. She is great and doing well, but as you say it is the most challenging thing I have done. I miss my former life, and as I have no family here in the UK I am struggling right now to find a minute to just breathe and relax. 4 months on i think I am finally reaching the point where i can’t go on…only I have to! Luckily I have wonderful friends and my husband has finally realised how hard this is and has become much more supportive and helpful. To all new mums, babies are a miracle, and a blessing and all that, but don’t feel guilty if you sometimes don’t like them, you can’t like someone all the time, you will, however, always love them!ReplyCancel

    • Steph@HelloBabyNovember 11, 2014 - 3:54 am

      Hi Claudia, It’s completely normal to feel lonely and low when you’ve had a baby. It can be such a roller coaster emotionally but trying to get a few moments to yourself can help if you can hand the baby to your husband where possible. A healthier diet and gentle exercise can also work wonders. But if you’re ever concerned that your feelings are becoming a little too low, please speak to a health professional. They won’t think any less of you or think you’re incapable of caring for your baby. Good luck, it does get easier. I promise xReplyCancel

  • London Newborn PhotographerNovember 13, 2014 - 10:27 am

    This is such a great article. It is so important to remember how hard it can be for new mums out there. I bet lots of new mums out there can relate to this article in some way or another.ReplyCancel

Being Cheshire-based with two little ones to look after, it’s sometimes nigh on impossible to attend events not in the vicinity. So when I was recently offered the chance to attend The Baby Show, I sent my sister along to report back…

storyboard082
A few weeks ago the Baby Show took place at Olympia, Kensington and as it was approximately 200 brisk paces from my front door, I thought I’d go and find out what it was all about.

I should start by pointing out that my two are aged three and fourteen months so strictly speaking they’re not babies, but with a free ticket and little else to do on a wet Friday morning, I thought it would be worth a look.

The exhibition hall was full to bursting with hundreds of brand and retailer stalls offering absolutely everything you might need (and many things you definitely don’t need!) for your newborn.  From bottles and swaddles, to cots that turned into high chairs, most of the exhibitors were offering decent discounts on their goods during the show, so it would be a perfect one-stop shop for expectant parents.
It’s incredibly exciting when you’re expecting your first child and the tendancy is, of course, to extend this enthusiasm to your shopping.  Unfortunately this venture into the unknown can also be a little overwhelming and so we buy what we’re told we need and only realise months later that we never needed it in the first place.

I am a practical shopper, so needless to say my two have survived without sleeping bags that match their pyjamas and cashmere changing mats and most regrettably the Quinny longboard stroller was not in production when I bought our buggy.  However, there are lots of clever products that can make our lives a little easier or, in the case of the Stokke Winter Kit, that little bit more fabulous, and I thought I’d share a few of the products that caught my eye at The Baby Show here.

My first stop was the Stokke stand to see their new range, which included a chic new Storm Grey Tripp Trapp chair.

IMG_4974

I love grey.  Grey, grey everywhere.  I’ve lusted after a Tripp Trapp for ages and now it matches my dining area, it’s most definitely on my christmas list. It’s a good looking and clever chair (what a combo!) with adjustable seat and footplates that allow your child to sit right up to the table with the adults, which I think is really important in promoting inclusive family meal times.  They were also showing off their new Xplory stroller designs.  My favourite was the stroller with Winter Kit in Cloud Grey (surprise!).  I loved it, especially the insulated handmuffs and hood with sheepskin wool rim, it looked really stylish and very warm and just what you’d want on your third lap of the park on a cold winters morning!

IMG_4959
As a mother of two small people, I was also impressed with the Stokke Crusi, which is a pram / pushchair which can be added to to create a double buggy.  As a double buggy, the high stroller seat position means that the second seat offers much more space to the child sitting in it than most of the other double buggies I have seen on the market and they can actually see what’s going on, rather than just the underside of their sibling’s seat. It is expensive but as it can be used from birth you could buy it as your one and only buggy and just add the second seat when number two comes along!

IMG_4965

There were also two products by a Netherlands based company called Kleine Dreumes which I thought were great and wish I’d known about before now. The first is their Kid-Sit, which is essentially a ride-on board with a seat.

KidSit

I know that my daughter quite enjoys her ‘Buggy Board’ but after a while gets tired of standing and tries to sit down. This invariably results in trying to sit, precariously balancing over the edge, followed by some rolling around the pavement and then a demand to get in the buggy with her brother. This would all be solved with a board which incorporates a seat, so voila, there it is, the Kid-Sit board and seat. We’ve not road tested it yet but it looks great.

Their other product is called a Pippi-carrier and it’s essentially a collapsible frame that allows you to sit and secure your baby’s car seat on top of any shopping trolley, meaning that their seat will no longer take up all the space in your trolley and you are able to leave the shops with everything you need, rather than just the five items you’ve been able to fit around your baby. Tremendous.

pippi-carrier_flow

I also met the designers and owners of Onni Smart Care, who have created an absolutely brilliant monitoring system for parents which not only performs all of the usual video baby monitor functions, but easy to use technology also enables parents to stay connected remotely. Other webcams (including those on your desktop, laptop etc.) can easily be connected to the system to give you a 360 degree view of what’s happening at home; great if you’re away from the children and want to see what they’re up to, and it can even produce graphics to show you trends in your baby’s feeding, sleeping, waking habits and developmental milestones which would enable parents to better understand and anticipate their childs needs and see how their child is developing.  

Omni-Baby-Monitoring-System

I was really taken by this product, it’s extremely clever, yet simple to use and for what it offers I think it’s very good value. I hope to do a more in depth review over the next few months.

So there you have it, my favourite finds from The Baby Show. I hope they might help you on your way.

If you are interested in learning more about Stokke’s lovely products, the kind people at Stokke have sent me this video to share with you. (Look out for the lady in the turquoise trousers appearing fleetingly in the background!).

  • Erin Ek RushNovember 7, 2014 - 4:38 pm

    wow! Those are some fantastic looking prams! The Pippi carrier is a great idea as well. I would have found it really useful.ReplyCancel

  • Mummy MeltonNovember 7, 2014 - 8:45 pm

    Great post, really helpful information and great products xReplyCancel

  • Colette BNovember 7, 2014 - 8:49 pm

    Some genius products!ReplyCancel

  • ghostwritermummyNovember 10, 2014 - 8:28 pm

    Ah fab to see some of my favourite products on your list! I have the storm grey winter kit and the kid sit buggy board- which has been the best baby item we’ve ever owned! x xReplyCancel

    • Steph@HelloBabyNovember 10, 2014 - 9:03 pm

      i’m so jealous!! xReplyCancel