Giveaway : Win A Tommee Tippee Ultra Feeding Bottle

Tommee Tippee have recently launched their Ultra Games contest, running for two weeks from 8th – 21st August, it is the ultimate sporting event on the baby calendar. Lucky babies from all over the nation are able to compete to be crowned a Tommee Tippee Ultra Athlete. To celebrate the Ultra Games I am going to be giving away an Ultra Feeding Bottle to one lucky reader.

blog competition to win a tommee tippee ultra feeding bottle

Baby led in pushchair covered in mud wearing ultra games sweatband and tommee tippee medal

Aria is already a Tommee Tippee Ultra Athlete, as you can see from the state on her she worked hard to earn her precious medal. If you think your little one has what it takes head on over to the Tommee Tippee facebook page to enter them into the awards, in the meantime, if you would like to be in with the chance of winning a Ultra Feeding bottle please fill in the form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

T&Cs : The winner will be contacted by email, if I receive no reply within one week I will draw another winner. UK only. Under 16 year old’s must have permission from their parent/guardian to enter. If you claim to have submitted an entry which you haven’t all of your entries will be disqualified.

Weaning Essentials
We started Aria’s weaning journey a couple of weeks ago now, in this time I have picked up a few essential items that I will be sharing with you today. All weaning journeys are different so what is essential to us may not be essential to you, but there are similarities in every journey so hopefully you will pick up a tip or two if nothing else.

 

baby weaning essentials

IKEA antilop high chair with supporting cushion and tray

IKEA Antilop high chair with tray & supporting cushion

First things first, you may want to buy a highchair. I took to Twitter for highchair recommendations and was very pleased that this seemed to be the winner, why was I pleased? Because the whole thing came to just £19! There really is no need to splash out on an expensive high chair, this one does the job, it wipes clean easily and the supporting cushion is great for keeping teeny, tiny Aria in place.

oraganix baby rice baby puree and o biscuits

Organix Baby Food*

Baby rice is a must have, this is great for mixing in with fruit purees or simply mixing with milk. It is also handy to have some pre-made food in, even if you are planning on making everything yourself from scratch, these are so handy to have for the days when you haven’t had time or are rushing out somewhere and need some food to take with you. The Organix range is as good as home made and made with organic ingredients.
vanish stain remover

Stain Remover

This speaks for itself really, weaning is messy, especially when they are eating carrot and sweet potato.

mini blender for baby food from Aldi

Mini Blender

We have a big KitchenAid food processor, we could puree Aria’s food in there but there are so many different bits to wash it is a lot of hassle for a tiny bit of food. It really is ideal to have a mini blender especially for your baby’s food. We picked this one up very cheaply in the Aldi baby event.
baby puree in silicone ice cube trays

Silicone Ice Cube Trays

These are great for freezing your baby purees. Aria currently eats two ice cubes per meal, they easily pop out of these trays ready to be defrosted and eaten.

Totseat

Totseat*

The Totseat is great, it can be attached to practically any chair to convert it into a highchair. This is so handy to have for feeding when out and about visiting friends, or if you are going away.

 

Milton antibacterial surface wipes pack of 30

Antibacterial Surface Wipes*

These are great to give the highchair a quick wipe over when baby has finished creating their mess/eating.

 

Available at Boots, John Lewis, Mothercare, Ocado, Superdrug and Tesco as well as independent pharmacies and nursery retailers.

 

tum tum easy scoop dining set

Tum Tum Easy Scoop Dining Set*

These do just what it says on the tin! You can easily scoop all of the last bits of food out of these, ideal for runny purees. They are also heavy and gripped on the bottom making it very difficult for baby to grab and tip over. The design is bright and colourful making it super attractive to baby.

Available here.

vital baby suction bowl and warm-a-bowl

Vital Baby Suction Bowl & Warm-a-Bowl*

You can never have too many baby bowls! Again, these are bright and colourful making them attractive to baby. The suction bowl is amazing, I have actually tested how strong it is by lifting it up when it is in place on the highchair, it brings the highchair with it! *Please note, Aria wasn’t sitting in the highchair when I performed this test*

The warm-a-bowl is another great product, you fill the base with warm water and it keeps the food warm. Perfect for slow eating babies.

Available here.

Annabel Karmel's new complete baby & toddler meal planner book

Annabel Karmel’s Baby & Toddler Meal Planner

Obviously the type of weaning book that you want will depend on how you plan on weaning your baby, for example, there are other books available specifically for baby led weaning. We are absolutely loving the Annabel Karmel book, I am currently on week two of the meal planner and following it step by step. I had no idea where to begin with weaning so this book has fast become my bible.

pink tommee tippee plastic bib with upturned edge

Plastic Bib

When feeding Aria I tend to strip her down to her nappy and a bib. Instead of ruining her pretty bibs I bought this plastic one that catches the majority of the food and wipes down easily after use. The only downside to it is that Aria likes to chew on this instead of her food.

What are your weaning essentials? Did you/will you use any of these products?

Shop weaning essentials at Amazon :

Mummascribbles

 

Family Fever


How We Sterilise & Make Up Aria’s Bottles When In The House and Out & About
Sterilising and making up babies bottles can be such an overwhelming subject when you start out, so many people give you conflicting advice on what you should and shouldn’t do which can lead to a great deal of confusion. We are now in a routine with our bottles so I thought I would share what we do, both in the house and when out and about.
our bottle routine, washed bottles in the microwave steriliser

First up, washing and sterilising. We don’t have a particular routine with washing the bottles, if there is space in the top of the dishwasher they go in there, if there isn’t they get washed with a bottle brush, warm water and washing up liquid. There is a downside to washing them in the dishwasher, if you put them in with certain food stained items they may discolour, ours often come out with an orange tinge to them, though this does fade.
After washing we always sterilise our bottles. We have a microwave steriliser, I measure out the required amount of water in one of the bottles (I used to use a jug and then realised I may as well just use one of the bottles!), pour this into the steriliser and then pop it in for the required time, six minutes in our case though all sterilisers will have their own instructions. When buying a steriliser be sure to check that it fits in your microwave oven, our previous one was too small so we ended up having to buy a new one! 
Once the bottles have been sterilised they need to be left in the steriliser to cool down for at least ten minutes, we always wash and sterilise our bottles before we need them, usually before we go to bed. 
As soon as you open the steriliser and air gets in it is no longer a sterile environment, therefore you shouldn’t open it, get one bottle out, close it, and go on like that for the rest of the day. We take all of the bottles out at once and put them together with the lid on, so long as they are used within twenty four hours they are still classed as sterile. 
cow & gate infant milk with tommee tippee bottles
We use Cow & Gate first infant milk and plan on using this right up until we start using cow’s milk. We have been told that the follow on milks and various stages are basically a waste of money, this will do just fine. 
review of tommee Tippee perfect prep machine
We have the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep machine to make up our bottles in the house, I love this device and would recommend it to any new mum, in those early days when your baby wants feeding every two hours this thing is amazing. We even kept it in the bedroom when Aria was waking during the night!
We’ve tried several different bottle brands with this machine and they have all fitted just fine. 
making up a bottle in the tommee tippee perfect prep machine
The machine makes a bottle at perfect temperature in two minutes, none of this boiling the kettle, waiting for the water to cool down before making the bottle and then putting the bottle in cold water to be cool enough to drink, with this you just press a button and it does it all for you. 
It pours a shot of boiling water into the bottle, you then add the formula and shake, pop it back under and it tops it up with cool water. The water goes through a filter so is absolutely fine to give to your baby. Our filter lasts ages, but this does depend on the water where you live. 
flask, formula and bottles ready for baby when going out for the day
If we are going out for the day I make one bottle up in advance, we have been told not to do this but making bottles up at the right temperature when out can be impossible. I keep the bottle in the insulted bottle holder which came with my changing bag. As well as the ready made bottle I take some sterilised bottles, a flask of boiling water and ready measured out formula in Tommee Tippee formula dispensers. Once Aria has a bottle I make the next one up straight away by pouring the water from the  flask into the bottle and adding the formula, I then store it in the insulated bottle holder until Aria wants her next feed. The reason I make them in advance when out is because the water is boiling so the bottles need a while to cool before Aria can drink them.
I always make sure that I carry more bottles and formula than I need, as well as a microwave steriliser bag, this way if I end up staying out later than planned I have enough food and can sterilise another bottle if I need to. 
How do you make up your bottles when in the house and out & about? Have you received confusing advice from health care professionals?
*Post contains a sponsored link*

Tour of Aria’s Nappy Changing Table
When planning Aria’s nursery we debated whether or not to get a changing table, a lot of people said they bought them but tended not to use them opting to just change them where ever they were when they needed changing. We decided to go ahead and buy one, even if we didn’t use it as a changing table it would come in handy as storage. As it turns out we use it for every single change so it was well worth the money!
IKEA Sundvik nappy changing unit
Carry on reading for a tour of our changing table and to see the changing related products that we use on a daily basis.

products for changing babies nappy
I posted this changing table wishlist a while ago as we weren’t sure which changing unit to purchase. We eventually settled on the IKEA Sundvik, it wasn’t my favourite but it was my favourite out of the ones that we could afford.
sudocrem care & Protect hand sanitising gel baby moisturiser and large sudocrem tube
We always keep the most used products out on the table within easy reach, those are nappies, nappy wipes, Sudocrem, hand sanitiser and moisturiser.
pretty basket containing nappies
I received this basket at my baby shower and it is just perfect for storing nappies in. We use Aldi nappies, I’ve tried quite a few different brands and find that these work best for us, which is fantastic as they are really cheap! We keep a kitchen roll at the back of the table for when Aria decides to have a wee mid change, this quickly soaks it all up before it goes everywhere. The moon and back wooden plaque came from Not Shabby Very Chic.
yellow hello sunshine flag
We have a sloping ceiling in part of Aria’s room as the attic stairs are above it, it is quite annoying but fortunately the changing table fits underneath it perfectly. I added this Hello Sunshine flag onto the slope part to brighten it up again, this also came from Not Shabby Very Chic.
baby changing area with polka dot changing matt, teddy bear and to the moon and back plaque
We automatically placed the changing mat with the edging at the back initially, after a few incidents of pees dripping down we rotated it so that the edging now prevents wee from dripping off the mat and onto the floor. This is probably the way they are designed but we didn’t realise that!
The teddy bear was a gift.
tommee tippee sangenic refills medela steriliser bag tommee tippee perfect prep filter
inside IKEA sundvik drawer baby wipes nappy rash lotions nappy bags
Aldi nappies
As for what we keep in the changing table we try to keep it to changing related items with the odd exception.
In the top shelf we have refills for our Tommee Tippee Sangenic nappy bin, Medela sterilising bags* and replacement filters for our Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep machine (I did say it is mostly changing related!).
In the top drawer we have nappy wipes (several different brands as we were given quite a few as gifts, but we buy Aldi’s as they work well and have a lid on the packet), swimming nappies, nappy bags and various nappy rash creams.
The bottom drawer is where we keep our nappies, we don’t shop in Aldi apart from for nappies and wipes so we tend to stock up when we go. The carrier bag contains size three nappies which we aren’t yet using.
tommee tippee sangenic nappy disposal bin
We keep our Tommee Tippee Sangenic nappy bin next to the table so that we can pop used nappies straight in here.

Essentials for the Bump & Beyond
Every person and every baby is different so this list of ‘essentials’ won’t necessarily be right for everyone but these are some of the less obvious things that we have found to be essentials, some pre-pregnancy and some that we do not go a day without using now that Aria is here.
Heavily pregnant woman wearing tight black dress with text over 'essentials for the bump and beyond'

boi oil, bump cream, cooling foot gel, hand & body lotion
This one really is quite an obvious one. I am not convinced that all these lotions & potions really do prevent stretch marks, if they do then I dread to think how bad mine would have been if I didn’t use them, they are bad enough as it is now! I found the lotions to be essential for easing itching. When you are pregnant your stomach is stretched, a lot, as a result the skin can sometimes itch like crazy, using a good amount of cream/oil helps to ease the itch.
The foot cream is not necessarily something that everyone will suffer with, but during pregnancy I could not sleep due to my feet being on fire, a good layer of cream helped to cool them down a little.
Hand cream is something that has now become an essential. I am constantly washing up bottles which can be very drying on my hands. I am now keeping hand cream everywhere (kitchen, bathroom, bedroom) and giving my hands a good coating when I remember.
lavender essential oil
A friend of mine who had a baby several months before I did gave me this lavender oil (along with other lovely gifts) at my baby shower. The Midwives who attended my home birth were very pleased to see that I had a bottle and instructed me to add two drops to my baths for the next few weeks after giving birth as it acts as a natural antibiotic. As well as helping to aid recovery a nice warm bath with the scent of lavender is very relaxing.
pink plastic cup with lid and straw
I bought this cup from Primark for during labour. A few people had told me to take straws so that Spencer could easily give me a drink. I didn’t end up using it in labour as our hospital bags were in the car ready to go to hospital, and my labour took place in the house! I did however use it loads during the first few days when attempting to breast feed. I was tired, clumsy and constantly holding Aria which meant that I was either not drinking at all or hitting my drink over. I could easily tuck this cup into my legs while feeding Aria and not have to worry about water spilling everywhere if I hit it over.
tommee tippee perfect prep machine
The Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep machine is a very new addition to the Cornelius household and has already made the house a calmer environment, especially during the nights. As I am no longer breastfeeding, just expressing and feeding Aria via bottles, the night time feeds tend to be formula as that is when I am not expressing. Boiling the kettle, waiting for the water to cool down, making the drink, etc really isn’t ideal at 4am when your baby is screaming. We debating making up the bottles in advance and storing them in the fridge, but then we would still have to warm them up and making them in advance isn’t really recommended.
This machine is a saviour. It is small enough to sit on my dressing table in the bedroom during the nights and it makes a bottle at the perfect temperature in less than two minutes. The lights flash quite bright and it is noisy which can be annoying for Spencer when he has work the next day, but it isn’t half as annoying as Aria screaming while waiting for a feed.
The machine can be expensive but we managed to get it for just £51 through Amazon, it was reduced to £66.66 and then we received a further £15 discount as we are members of their family club.
cow & gate starter pack packaging and contents
As we had issues breast feeding Aria in the early days we were put onto plan two by our Midwives, which was to continue breast feeding but add two 70ml bottles of formula into her day too. We were advised to buy these ready sterile bottles that contain 70ml of ready to drink formula. They are amazing and we still tend to buy these now despite not needing them as much due to having the Perfect Prep machine. They are quite expensive but they are perfect for popping into the changing bag and taking out with you just in case you run out of bottles or don’t have time to make up bottles before going out. You just shake the bottle, take the lid off, put the teat on and they are ready to go.
ewan the sheep
Aria is a very sleepy baby who drops off to sleep too easily if anything! However, in the first couple of days she did struggle to drop off to sleep in her Moses Basket. Ewan the Sheep really did help her to drift off, he plays a variety of different sounds including white noise, which helps to settle Aria. We don’t use him as much now but there is still the odd occasion that he is required and I am pretty sure there will be a lot more occasions to come.
retro cream microwave
Now this one isn’t necessarily an essential but I thought it was worth putting in this list so that people don’t make the same mistake as we did. If you buy a microwave steriliser be sure to check that your microwave is big enough to fit it in. Our’s wasn’t hence a trip to Wilko to pick up this new microwave. I fell in love with this microwave so was very happy to have an excuse to buy it, but it is an expense we could have done without so just double check before buying anything! (our steriliser came in a set with bottles that we had already started to use which is why we didn’t just return the steriliser!)
medela quick clean microwave bags
As well as having a ‘proper’ steriliser these microwave steriliser bags* are very handy. Each bag can be used a total of twenty times (there is a check box on the bag that you tick after each use so you remember) and only takes three minutes in the microwave. They are great if you quickly need to sterilise a bottle and will also be good to give to baby sitters instead of having to give them the big steriliser which may not fit in their microwaves!
tommee tippee sangenic nappy bin
The Tommee Tippee Sangenic bin is amazing. We were recommended by two of our friends to buy this and we managed to get it quite cheaply on a weekend that Mothercare were matching their competitors prices and Kiddicare had it on offer, I think we only paid something like £10 for it! This bin compacts nappies and ties them into a nappy bag for you, it contains the smell so you only need to empty it when it is full. It is great to be able to simply put a nappy in a bin and forget about it!
Other essentials include :
Leggings and t-shirts – in the early days you have so many visitors and what feels like so little time and energy. I took to sleeping in leggings and t-shirts and keeping them on all day, so that when people came and I hadn’t had time to put clothes on they thought that I had got up and get dressed.
Paper diary – not only will you have a lot of people wanting to come and see the baby you will also have a lot of appointments for the baby. I know a lot of people rely on their phone calendars nowadays (us included) but we found a paper diary a lot easier, we could keep it in a central place and both pick it up when needed to check time slots and add appointments in.
Chocolate/biscuits – you will come to realise that the baby comes before everyone else and you will find little time for yourself in the early days. Eating, drinking, washing, everything goes out of the window! Keep some high energy snacks handy that you can easily grab and eat when you have that rare spare five minutes. For me this is a great excuse to eat loads of chocolate and biscuits!

 

Are there any items that you couldn’t live without pre and/or post pregnancy?