Tag Archives: baby

Win a Baby Annabell Newborn doll

With gorgeous new additions for Spring 2016, my first Baby Annabell – part of the Baby Annabell family, the UK’s most popular large doll brand – allows little ones to learn all about nurturing role-play from birth. With dolls and accessories suitable for children aged 0, 1 and 2 years +, your baby can enjoy cuddling, feeding and playing with their very own my first Baby Annabell dolls.

My first Baby Annabell Newborn doll is the perfect first doll for newborns and very young children. Her super soft body is made from cuddly material, featuring a cute facial expression. Suitable for children from birth, she even comes with a rattle inside her tummy to soothe your little one. Age 0 months+

Baby Annabell Newborn doll

Win a Baby Annabell Newborn doll 

I have one lovely Baby Annabell Newborn doll to giveaway. To be in with a chance to win one, simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions:
1. The competition is open to residents of the UK only aged (18) and over.
2. The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered.
3. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter widget above, complete any mandatory entries and any optional entries you would like.
4. The winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
5.The winner will receive a Baby Annabell Newborn doll.
6. The closing date for entries is 11.59pm GMT on 15th August 2016.
7. The winner will be informed by email within 7 days of the closing date.
8. The winner will be asked to provide a full UK postal address with postcode for delivery purposes.
9. The winners name will be available on request
10. Address details will be passed onto an agency to post the prize out to the winner, and is therefore beyond my control. I cannot be held responsible for prizes being lost in the post although I will endeavour to liaise with the agency.
11. Your email address may be passed on to to the promoter for marketing purposes, you may unsubscribe at any time.
12. Entry to this giveaway confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
13. HodgePodgeDays decision is final in all matters relating to this giveaway.

Review: The Baby Annabell Brother Doll

My five year old is a lovely kind boy (he has his moments of being a horror, I’ll not gloss over that). One of the nicest things about him is that he’s brilliant with younger children. He is very caring and likes to “look after” them. He helps them up when they fall over, he will cuddle them if they’re upset and as a result he’s very popular with his friends little brothers and sisters. Alas he is destined to be an only child, but we were sent the Baby Annabell Brother doll to play with and he’s been in his element ever since.

Baby Annabell Brother Doll

I don’t think I’ve ever had a doll like this before. The Baby Annabell Brother from Zapf Creation is incredibly lifelike. The doll, which he named “Samuel” gurgles, coos and cries, sucks when he’s drinking or sucking his dummy, he cries real tears, drinks real water and can be soothed by rocking him and patting his back or stroking his face. Not only does he blink but he closes his eyes and snores when he’s asleep. It’s incredibly lifelike.

Baby Annabell Brother Doll

My son loves it, he coos over it and tries to soothe it when he cries, feeds it and tucks it up to sleep in his bed. He’s very proud of baby Samuel. The Baby Annabell Brother doll actually responds to whatever is happening around him, rather than just making noises at random. Whatever technology is inside it to make it be like a real baby is very clever.

Baby Annabell Brother Doll

The Baby Annabell Brother doll comes with a baby-grow, a hat, a bottle, a dummy, a bib and a heart shaped pendant. You can play with the doll without the batteries in, but without them it won’t interact with you. It takes 4AA batteries and there is an on/off button just below the back of his neck, which is useful for when you need it to stop.

Baby Annabell Brother Doll

The Baby Annabell Brother doll is suitable for children aged two+ and you can buy extra accessories for the baby if you need to. The doll is widely available for around £50 and given how much it gurgles and interacts with you, this is a very special doll indeed.

You can find out more about the Baby Annabell Brother doll on the Zapf Creation website.

Note: We were sent the Baby Annabell Brother doll for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Welcoming Your Child – Humanist Naming Ceremonies

The arrival of a baby is a cause for celebration and an excuse for extended family and friends to get together to welcome the new addition. Traditionally families would gather for Christenings or Baptisms; Bris or Zeved Habat, or an Aqiqah, a rite of passage in which they are embraced by the chosen faith of their parents. But if you have no faith, how can you celebrate the life of the new child in an ‘official’ way? I met Humanist Celebrant Guy Otten to discover more about Humanist Naming Ceremonies.

Guy is a retired solicitor and tribunal judge who is an Accredited Celebrant of the British Humanist Association. He specialises in conducting Humanist naming ceremonies and funerals in the Stockport, Greater Manchester and Cheshire areas, as well as being a noted public speaker and aspiring author. He invited me along to a naming ceremony to see him at work.

naming ceremonies

We met at the Stockport Masonic Hall for the naming of a gorgeous baby girl called Charlotte (aka Lottie). Guy explained that Humanist naming ceremonies can be held in a variety of locations, from the garden at home, a hotel or a hall; he told me he finds local sports clubs are a popular venue these days, and after the ceremony there’s usually a family party for everyone.

Guy spends some time with the family in the run up to the big day, finding out more about them and about their baby. He works hard to make each naming ceremony personal to each family, filling it with anecdotes about them and how much they love and welcome their new child. It’s never a generic ceremony, it’s always absolutely unique to the child, which is lovely.

naming ceremonies

Humanist Naming Ceremonies are joyous occasions where the parents introduce their child to their extended family and friends, often choosing special ‘guide-parents’ to help them through life, giving them advice, comfort, support and encouragement.

Naming ceremonies are wonderful family occasions and Charlotte’s was no different, with one of her guide-parents choosing to say a few words, Grandma doing a reading, Grandad reciting some poetry and Dad Stuart making a speech. It was a real family affair, very personal and extra special. It’s just a shame Charlotte won’t remember the occasion, although Guy does provide the family with a paper copy of the ceremony as a souvenir of the day, so she will be able to read that when she’s older.

Humanist naming ceremonies are rapidly growing in popularity as more people identify themselves as atheists or non-believers. Having now been to two Humanist naming ceremonies, I can hand on heart say that they are the most wonderful, loving, uplifting ceremonies, and a very special way to welcome a child into the family.

If you would like more to find out more about Humanist Naming Ceremonies, or find a Humanist Celebrant near you, please visit the British Humanist Association website.

Review: Aquaint Sanitising Water

As a parent blogger I sometimes get to try out products for review. I usually really like the products I’ve been sent, but occasionally I get one where a loud voice in my head shouts “where were you when I had a newborn?”. This week I was sent one such product, Aquaint sanitising water.

When I became a Mum, I was incredibly torn between wanting to sterilise every single thing my precious baby would ever come into contact with, and wondering whether the frankly industrial smell of the products used to make things 100% germ free might be harmful in itself. And then there’s always the argument that a little bit of dirt does no one any harm (thanks Gran).

When I opened the box and had a good look at the bottles, I was surprised to read that the sanitising water can kill 99.9% of bacteria in seconds, but it’s safe enough to spray into your mouth and has passed official UK drinking water tests. It has no smell and it tastes only of water and it’s ideal for sensitive skins and people with allergies, perfect for me then, I’m as sensitive as they come.

Aquaint

You can use the Aquaint sanitising water on hard and soft surfaces including cutlery, tables, toilet seats, toys etc. as well as surfaces that come into contact with the mouth such as toothbrushes, dummies, feeding bottles and even food (e.g. fruit, meat, fish etc.).

We tried it out in the kitchen, cleaning up after we’d eaten a meal at the dining table. It doesn’t remove dirt, a damp cloth and elbow grease do that, but a spray with Aquaint and a quick rub with a clean damp cloth and everything is sanitary and germ free. Hubs even tested the claim that it was okay to spray in your mouth, he didn’t die and he said it just tasted like water.

I’m ex-NHS and in the course of my career (and also as a parent), I have tried every anti-bacterial gel on the market. I have sensitive skin so it was a necessary evil at work and I’d often be left with cracked and sore hands due to the gel we had to use. I can hand on heart say that this is the gentlest anti-bacterial product I’ve used on my hands ever. It doesn’t contain any alcohol, fragrances, preservatives or harmful chemicals and it comes in a handy little bottle which you can easily slip in a handbag or changing bag.

I am genuinely sad I didn’t know about this product earlier. We’ve gone through gallons of anti-bacterial products over the last four years and all of them have cracked my skin or made me feel sick if I’ve accidentally licked a finger afterwards. I’m putting a small bottle of Aquaint in my bag and it’s staying there until the boy has gone to university.

Aquaint Sanitising Water is available from a range of shops including Boots and Amazon for £4.99 for 500mls and £2.49 for a small 50ml bottle.

Note: I was sent some Aquaint sanitising water to try out for review purposes. All images and opinions are my own.

Sleeping Beauty

Being of the bad backed persuasion, I’m very keen on looking after it. I’m also half sloth so I like my sleep. My bed is my favourite place, a place of serenity, relaxation and comfort. I guess a lot of people feel that way.

When young Splodge was on his way, like any parent we wanted the very best for him. I remember spending days traipsing round baby shops and department stores looking for suitable prams and nursery furniture. In the end we gave up and just went to our local John Lewis and set up a baby-list (like a wedding list but full of small adorable things).

The great thing was that the staff in the baby department are like information ninjas. They’ve been on tonnes of special training and know their products inside out and back to front. It was there where we had a lengthy chat about cot mattresses with a delightfully helpful chap.

For a simple, everyday item buying a mattress for your precious baby can be a terrifying prospect. We’ve all been scared to bits, and rightly so about the risks of cot death.

With this in our heads we were so grateful to the nice chap for his advice. We were buying a cot bed and he guided us through all the mattress options – coil, foam, organic and pocket sprung. He talked us through the pros and cons of each one and we eventually plumped for a good quality pocket sprung mattress. The mattress gave good levels of support and comfort, which for me as a bad backed person was very important. I want my son not to suffer as I have.

photo (14)

Annoyingly for everyone but us, Splodge slept through the night at 6 weeks and soundly bar the odd poorly night ever since. Partly that’s down to his temperament and a good routine, but I reckon sleeping in a comfy bed is up there on what makes him a happy sleeper. He loves our bed too, getting in it for a cuddle with Mummy and Daddy, snuggling and reading a book. Cozy, comfy bedrooms are just good for the soul.