Posted in baby loss, baby loss awareness, Ellie, life after loss, motherhood, mothering a rainbow, parenting, parenting after loss

Sleepover

Ellie went for her first ever sleepover last night. She has been asking to stay at both her grandparents houses for a little while and I knew we needed to let her. She packed everything she needed; pyjamas, clothes,hair brush, toothbrush, DVD player, night light, 2 teddies and she was ready. She also wanted to take her curtains (i don’t know why) but with a little persuasion she realised she didn’t need them.

You see, my anxiety over her not being here has always stopped us from letting her stay over anywhere for the night. I know she is safe with both our parents, that’s not the issue, I just knew I would find it hard. I’m sure most, if not all parents, find it difficult leaving their children for the night for the first time but for me it felt like a repeat of history and I’m still not sure I’ll ever be prepared for her to not be here.

Whenever I think of waking up and Ellie not being here it takes me back to the first night after having Jason. Neither of us could sleep, of cause, so we sat on the sofa and watched awful comedy shows. We stayed up until the station turned off and even then sleep was hit and miss. I couldn’t go upstairs, knowing my son should be lying in his Moses Basket or his cot sleeping away. I was very aware that I should have still been pregnant but I wasn’t and the reality hit like a tonne of bricks that I was at home while my baby lay on his own in the hospital. That feeling is awful, unless you’ve been there you’ll never be able to fully grasp what it feels like being at home and knowing your life should have been so different.

Of cause, being a parent after you’ve lost your child is really tough, I’ve never really been an anxious person but where Ellie is concerned I worry about losing her more than is really healthy. I’m so unbelievably grateful that we were given a second chance at being “normal” parents but with each day that Ellie grows and becomes more independent the more I wonder what Jason would have been like now and the reality is I will never know. Due to Jason’s health complications I will never know what it would have been like to parent a 5 year old right now.

Anyway, Ellie absolutely loved her sleepover and has already decided she is staying at my inlaws next week. Mummy really struggled but fought back the tears and the urge to sit in her bedroom and cry those really ugly tears I get when I think about death and what my children would have been like together now. We slept, I woke up and it didn’t feel the same as when Jason died, I didn’t get that gut-wrenching feeling that she was gone, I knew she was safe. I may have cried a little once I’d picked her up and she was back in my little bubble but that’s allowed right?

Life is unfair and our lives should be different however I made a promise to my daughter that she would never be second best or miss out on anything because her big brother isn’t here and a sleepover (as little as it seems) is something she shouldn’t miss out on no matter how difficult it is for me.

I feel proud. Proud of myself for not letting my fears take over and proud of Ellie for being so grown up, spending a night away from us and not being bothered at all.

What age did your little one have their first sleepover? If they haven’t yet, i’d love to know why you haven’t done it yet (if you feel like sharing of cause).

Posted in parenting

Twenty Twenty

The year it all went wrong.

I think it’s pretty safe to say so far this year hasn’t been the best. In February we were dealt with storms that lasted days and caused flooding damage to so many areas around us. Thankfully, we are fortunate that we don’t live close to water and we didn’t suffer but lots of businesses and houses were destroyed due to flooding.

It feels like as soon as our county started getting back to normal we all went in to lockdown and that has been tough in itself!

As keyworkers my husband and I have both been working the odd day here and there but this has been a really difficult time. Ellie has been missing her friends, her nursery teachers, her grandparents and is so bored. It doesn’t matter what we do with her, to her she is still stuck at home and it’s really hard on her. It’s hard on all children.

Our days have been fairly relaxed, we’ve done some nursery homeschooling in the form of phonics, name writing and numbers. She’s read stories, retold stories and acted them out. She’s learnt how to put her socks on herself and has been helping do the odd chores around the house too.

We’ve also had more than one tantrum throughout, usually every couple of days we get a really bad day. It’s tough but just something we know we have to ride out as best we can.

I’ve tried to remain positive through all of this; we are safe at home and for as long as we can we will stay at home. I’ve lost one child, there is no way I am risking taking Ellie anywhere to lose another one. It saddens me that some people haven’t taken lockdown seriously enough; Ellie hasn’t seen ANYONE other than me and Luke in nearly 7 weeks and its tough yet we’ve seen neighbours still visiting their grandchildren regularly and having BBQ’s with their families. Trying to explain to a 3 year old why she can’t do the same (because to her everyone else is seeing their families and friends) is hard. We are both fortunate that our jobs are safe and we both have jobs to go back to, something I know others don’t have. Like I say, i’ve tried to remain positive and see the good in something that is so awful.

I’m hoping lockdown ends soon and we can start to begin a new normal way of living where we can start to venture out more and she is able to go to nursery but I can’t see that happening until September now. We shall see.

How has lockdown affected you?

Posted in Gifted, parenting, product review

Review – Doddl Cutlery Set

We have recently had the chance to work with Doddl to use and review their cutlery set. Ellie is 3 now and is confident in using a spoon and fork when eating however she’s suddenly decided she doesn’t like the feel of the plastic children’s cutlery we currently use and had started eating with her fingers again!
When the cutlery arrived Ellie got so excited about having her very own knife she couldn’t wait for tea time!

This Doddl cutlery set contains a Fork, Spoon and Knife.

The cutlery sets available from Doddl are suitable from 12 months upwards and are designed to suit children up to 5 years+. I loved that these sets contained a knife as I’ve only ever come across sets with a spoon and fork and Ellie is eager to try and cut her own food up, a skill many children don’t have by the time they reach school age.

The cutlery is designed with large metal ends for the spoon, fork and knife (a big hit with Ellie) and a short BPA Free plastic handle, the handles are designed to be shorter to help toddlers grip and have more control over their cutlery.
The cutlery itself has soft grip circles on the handles, typically where children would hold the cutlery, this develops an effective way to hold it ready to move on to adult cutlery.

Since using the cutlery Ellie is growing in confidence using her special knife, I was concerned to begin with as I worried about her cutting herself but Doddl have worked hard to ensure their products are fully safe to use and are functionally sharp, meaning although they are sharp enough to cut food they will not hurt a child using them. Of cause, being watchful of them when they eat is something we all do its just handy knowing they are safe if you do happen to be multitasking like all parents do.

Ellie can now cut her own fish fingers, chips and carrots up which gives her a huge sense of independence that all toddlers need, she loves feeling like she’s grown up like we are. It’s certainly made our meal times much easier!

Another big plus to the Doddl cutlery is the cleaning! They are so easy to clean, we’ve used Ellie’s for a few weeks now and I’ve not had any issues with food getting stuck in between the prongs in the fork or food getting stuck between the plastic handles. They are dishwasher safe (if you are lucky enough to have one…I’m the dishwasher in our house) but they can be cleaned easily enough by hand too.

The Doddl range also includes a Fork and Spoon set, a baby specific set and you can purchase the knife separately too! The also offer a handy carry case which is perfect as we have taken our cutlery with us whenever we have eaten out, it’s changed the way Ellie eats in cafes and restaurants so much. All of these can be found in various colours, ours is in Raspberry Pink, at www.doddl.com or you can head to Amazon UK to purchase them too. I couldn’t recommend them enough.

Disclosure: I was gifted a set of Doddl cutlery in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own. #gifted #AD

Posted in motherhood, mothering a rainbow, Mum Blogger, mummy blog, parenting

Happy New Year

Is it just me or does anyone else feel like 2019 flew by? I don’t think I’ve had a single month where we haven’t been busy. I have neglected my little space on the internet and have felt quite lonely without it at times.

I have taken some time to really think about what I want from this space in the next 12 months and questioned whether I needed it any more. I do, but not in the same way as I did when I first started blogging. At the beginning blogging was a way for me to talk openly about Jason and my grief because I wasn’t able to do this in real life. I talked about him but only to a certain point that I knew friends and family could cope with. I couldn’t fully open up because honestly I knew the truth wouldn’t sit well with them.

I still love writing about him but once his story has been written and rewritten and written again there isn’t much else to say that hasn’t already been said. His story unfortunately doesn’t change, I can’t add anything new because he’s not here and that STILL hurts as much as the day I left him at the hospital. At the same time I enjoy writing about Ellie, her little quirks and personality is one of a kind. She brings a whole new meaning to fiery but she also brings more happiness than I ever thought possible.

So I decided I would make some goals to help me with this space and with the next 12 months. There is so much going on again this year and I am feeling excited to share the collaborations i’ve got lined up and more of our adventures as a family along the way!

So here are my 2020 goals:

  • To make time to write more (simply because this has been a difficult thing the last few months especially!)
  • To remember the happy times and not focus on the bad.
  • To engage more with other bloggers!

Here are my 2020 goals for my social media accounts:

  • To reach 10K followers on Instagram (I do follow genuine accounts back!)
  • To engage more with other bloggers, influencers and parents.
  • To develop my photography/editing skills
  • Don’t focus on ONLY posting the Instagram-worthy posts
  • BE REAL!

I’d love to hear your goals for 2020, write them in the comments and lets support each other. Trolls as SO 2019.

Posted in parenting

No more nappies

My plans were that Ellie would be completely toilet trained by the time the 6 week holidays were over but the closer we got the more I realised she really wasn’t ready. She would have tantrums whenever we offered the potty or cry if she didn’t have a nappy on. She would tell us it is safe in her nappy and I knew we’d cause more anxiety by forcing her and we needed to wait until she was ready.

At the start of the summer Ellie was suddenly ready. She asked for her potty and didn’t want her nappy on as much. It was fine while we were at home but I was dreading going anywhere. I’d concluded we wouldn’t be toilet training so I wasn’t prepared for the sudden change of mind! We did little journeys, putting a towel on Ellie’s car seat and carrying enough pants to last a month 🤣

We had no accidents but found car journeys were causing Ellie too much stress as she worried about leaking on her chair. We survived a wedding where I carried her toilet seat everywhere and a 2 hour journey to our holiday making regular stops. Ellie was doing amazing. I would definitely say that once they are “ready” it will just happen.

Now that Ellie is dry in the day and has been for just over a month, she has now decided she doesn’t like the pull ups at night. We’ve used the pull ups at night since she stopped wearing nappies and she hasn’t had an issue with them but they do irritate her on the sides. Again, I wasn’t prepared for night time toilet training but so far she’s done really well. She hasn’t had a pull up on for 5 nights now and she’s been dry for 5 nights too! I’ve limited her drink once she’s in bed and she’s been using the toilet just before bed too. I’ve then been taking her to the toilet when I come to bed just as an extra but find if I don’t she wakes herself up and tells us which is great. Now just to show her she can use the toilet without waking me up… Now that would be amazing!!

I wish I had some magic tips to offer but I feel like our toilet training was a bit of a fluke. My biggest tip would be to get them used to having pants on without nappy time and not worrying too much about the mess. Waiting until they are ready is also the best way to try toilet training as it won’t take as long to master.

I am so proud of Ellie as she has done all of this before she is even 3.

Posted in motherhood, mothering a rainbow, Mum Blogger, mummy blog, parenting, Play, product review, Toddler Development, Toddler Play

Story Props – Developing Storytelling

Storytelling, reading stories and acting out known stories has quickly become one of our favourite pastimes as a family since Ellie arrived. Her love for books, nursery rhymes and everything literature has brought out a passion in me I haven’t had since I stopped reading a few years back.

Every night Ellie asks for a minimum of 3 stories, one read by me and two read by her Dad. She seems to obsess over certain ones for a while before going back to others but she listens intently until she is able to join in and pretty much tell the story herself. Recently we have been encouraging her to “read” books to herself, I know this is something a lot of EYFS children (reception/aged 4-5) can struggle with when learning to read and I want her to be able to use the pictures and tell the story in whatever way works for her. She has started reading stories to her favourite soft toys and loves flicking through the pages.

More recently she has been obsessed with acting out the traditional tale “The 3 Little Pigs”, she runs around building each house and waiting for the big bad wold (usually me ¬_¬) to come blow the house down. Her imagination is incredible and she will use whatever is around her to pretend. I recently aquired some masks from a teacher at work who doesn’t need them and it made me wonder what else was available to really help Ellie’s imagination and storytelling develop through her love of stories and play.

I came across a lovely lady called Sian who runs her own small business StoryProps.

Sian is an EYFS teacher and has used her knowledge and passion for learning to create props that children can use when reading or telling stories.
StoryProps provides handpainted items that help to ” develop a young child’s communication, language & literacy skills, and creative & imaginative development whilst increasing a love for stories, rhymes, characters and books ” (taken from the StoryProp website) and I completely agree.
Each item is beautifully handpainted to a great standard. My favourite is the Story Spoons which are perfect for enabling Ellie to create her own story around the characters. I can’t wait to order a set!

Follow StoryProps on Instagram and Facebook
To purchase your own set of wonderful StoryProps whether they are spoons, stones or cubes then head on over to their Etsy Shop 🙂

Posted in Gifted, motherhood, mothering a rainbow, Mum Blogger, mummy blog, parenting, product review, Rainbow Mummy, Sensory Play, Toddler Development, Toddler Play

Timber.Tots – 5 Advantages of Wooden Toys

For as long as I’ve been buying toys for Ellie I’ve been aware of the discussion between parents as to what is better for babies/toddlers/children wooden or plastic toys. Now I’ve always been on the fence I suppose because honestly, Ellie has her fair share of plastic and wooden toys. I have always tried to make a conscious effort to buy wooden toys where possible but found they are usually more expensive than plastic and in Ellie’s eyes they aren’t as colourful/exciting/playable as the plastic toys are advertised to be which has made it difficult to be as wood friendly as I’d like. We are two parents who are both on a Teaching Assistant wage (which I have to tell you really isn’t great…) and living penny to penny each month. Sometimes you just have to accept that what you want isn’t always achievable and that’s okay. I’m not here to judge, every parent does what they can to get through each day right?

Here are my 5 advantages to choosing wooden toys from my own personal experiences!

  1. They are DURABLE. Ellie is a tough cookie and she likes to play rough, as do most toddlers I would assume. Wooden toys are long-lasting and they don’t break easily meaning no little sharp bits on the floor. Ellie loves being outside so having her wooden toys means I can clean them easily too.
  2. They are SAFE. Plastic toys usually carry toxins and chemicals that you wouldn’t want near your babies/children. Wooden toys are safe to play with, don’t have chemicals and are usually painted with non-toxic paint which makes them perfectly safe to be gummed, licked etc by those playing with them. Wooden toys are designed not to break easily so there won’t be able broken pieces lying around with sharp edges.
  3. They encourage OPEN PLAY – whether this is imaginative play or real-life skills, the possibilities with wooden toys are endless. Without the constant electronics and noise, the wooden toys encourage children to use their imagination to build on the play. The toy might be a dinosaur but the child must know how to make a noise like a dinosaur or stomp like a dinosaur themselves. As the child’s imagination builds so does their play. They start to include real-life experiences and scenarios in to whatever they are playing with.
  4. They develop KEY SKILLS such as hand eye co-ordination, problem solving, reasoning skills and fine motor skills. Wooden toys can be made in all shapes and sizes making them perfect to develop the skills children need to hold a pencil. Poor development in these key skills at an early age can cause issues in later life.
  5. They are BEAUTIFUL. Their natural colour means they can be transformed in to any colour and anything a child dreams of. They can be monochrome to support babies development or bright and colouful to grab toddlers/childrens attention. They are timeless!

In the past few months I have treated Ellie to a few toys that I know she would get a lot out of. We became brand reps for a fantastic small business; Timber Tots who create and hand paint wooden animals. With so many different animals to choose from I found it so difficult choosing which Ellie would like most of all. I decided to show Ellie and let her decide…which she didn’t. She wanted the bear and the lion and the elephant and the giraffe and the dinosaur and the unicorn….and she continued until I took the phone away!

I decided that as she loves singing and nursery rhymes I would order her the 5 little ducks set and a green “Rex” dinosaur to start with. She has had so much fun singing, counting, matching the numbers and re-enacting Gigantosaurus. The possibilities have been endless, they have made me think more about encouraging her to learn through her play and let her explore things I wouldn’t have usually thought of. It’s far too easy to put the TV on and give myself 5 minutes to sit and enjoy the peace…that turns in to an hour because I just need to get these jobs done…and then before I know it she hasn’t played much at all.

I love how colourful and sturdy the timber tots toys are and I was impressed with how big they actually were. Although I am only a brand rep for three months I know I will be making regular purchases and building Ellie’s animal collection up as these are toys she will play with for years.

We’ve used our wooden toys in so many different ways and I am loving trying out things we’ve never done before too. We’ve used them when reading stories, playing outside, with small tuff trays and I have some amazing new ideas for our new order when it arrives.

We’ve even had fun singing nursery rhymes, Ellie loves singing and whenever she sees her 5 Little Ducks set she starts singing and playing with them.

5 Little Ducks set up with sensory rice and blue beads.

You can follow/contact Timber Tots on their Instagram and Facebook pages or their Website.

Disclosure: I am a brand rep for Timber Tots but have not been asked to review or post about our items other than share pictures on Instagram. All views and opinions are my own.
I have paid for all the toys we have (except the 5 little ducks which was a gift from the owner for joining their brand rep team!) HOWEVER I do have a fantastic 10% off code for anyone wanting to purchase their own. Just use RAINBOW10 at checkout…You’re welcome!!

Posted in Ellie, Gifted, motherhood, mothering a rainbow, Mum Blogger, mummy blog, parenting, Play, product review, Toddler Development, Toddler Play

Nursery Rhyme Play

For a while now I’ve been trying to figure out a way to bring Ellie’s love of nursery rhymes in to her play. She sings all day long and knows so many nursery rhymes, more than I know and verses I’ve never even heard of. I’ve always been envious of those parents who have the time to pre-plan activities for their babies and toddlers because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do with Ellie. Being a teaching assistant and working in a school based nursery during my pregnancy with Jason makes me even more aware of all the things that will give Ellie an advantage when she starts nursery and I am always surprised by the amount of children who grow up not knowing their basic nursery rhymes! I asked a child in my class the other day (year 2) about one of Ellie’s favourites and they didn’t know it. I find it really sad that children aren’t given the opportunities to learn them (I’m not judging or criticising…just makes me a bit sad).

I got in touch with Dee who runs The Little Sensory Box about one of her subscription boxes that will be released soon; I loved one of the items (I loved them all but one in particular) and wanted to know where she got it from and whether I could purchase one from her for Ellie. She very kindly offered to send us one to test out for her and I jumped at the chance to work with such a wonderful small business again that I definitely said yes please!

**FYI – Our review of The Percussion Box is available to read here**

This is where I finally let my creative juices flow. I wanted to build a themed activity around one product and I am so pleased with the outcome that I wanted to share it with you all. Please be nice as this is the first themed activity I’ve ever really done but I would love more ideas if people want to share!

I based the activities around the nursery rhyme 5 Currant Buns and focused on the different activities Ellie would enjoy doing. I tried to make it fun and create something we could revisit too. I had planned so many different things that I decided to run with this over the weekend as Ellie’s attention span isn’t very long and I didn’t want to force her to take part for too long as I knew she’d never come back to it otherwise.

Again, working in a school has encouraged me to fit in some type of learning and 5 Currant Buns is a great rhyme for counting forwards and backwards and we have even looked at matching numbers and missing numbers while messing around too. The first thing we did was explore the glove we were gifted from The Little Sensory Box Ellie already knew the song so she was keen to sing it as soon as I introduced the glove to her. She counted the numbers, pretended to eat the buns off my fingers and joined in with singing. We used the puppet alongside some pictures I printed off Twinkl and laminated so that I could write the numbers on to help with Ellie’s number recognition.

Ellie is confident in recognising numbers to 10 so I knew she would find this easy however I know that constant repetition in mathematics is a good thing so I decided to do this anyway. Eventually my aim is to use the cards but have Ellie write the numbers.

We also used the puppet and the laminated bun cards to role play the rhyme. I laminated a penny coin that I also printed off the internet and everytime someone pays with a penny Ellie would role play it and take her bun away. We later developed this again and used playdough to make the currant buns for her to take away too. She loved adding the playdough and cupcake cases as it gave her something else and encouraged her play to last longer.

Another activity I printed off was some colouring sheets that linked to the rhyme; Ellie loves colouring so I knew this would be a hit for her. She recognised the currant buns and the penny and started singing it again, asking for me to sit with the glove while she coloured. It was a lovely, calm activity before her bedtime that really helped settle her (and wasn’t messy which was a win for me too!)

We came back to the rhyme the next day and did some baking. I had planned on making actual currant buns but as I don’t like them I decided on biscuits instead. It would have been a waste and I found a Paw Patrol Biscuit kit for 85p in our local Home Bargains which persuaded me and we all love chocolate biscuits in this house. Ellie really enjoys baking but it feels really stressful while she is still so little so it’s something I tend to try and do as little as possible which I hate as I love baking too. I hope that it will be one of our mummy-daughter things when she gets a bit older that we enjoy doing together as I’ve dreamt of baking with my children for so long. I found the biscuit kit was probably aimed at just the right timing for Ellie as she was engaged right up until the end where she almost launched herself off the worktop giving me a heart attack and never wanting to bake again! LOL! All was fine and Ellie helped mix, pour and squish the biscuits. Double bonus points for the fact that they have Paw Patrol on them and she couldn’t wait to put the edible stickers on the top and eat them.

We’ve had such a lovely weekend and I know it is something I definitely want to do again. Having a plan has helped us all this weekend and I’ve felt that Ellie has enjoyed playing more. We have also dodged our Saturday meltdown sessions YAY!!

The Nursery Rhyme Glove will be available in The Birthday Box (available soon!!) and can be added to the Subscription Boxes which are already available to purchase. The baby’s first year subscription boxes focuses on key development stages and will arrive in four boxes throughout the first year and the Birthday Box can be added to finish the years subscription off perfectly!

To find out more about the subscription boxes and The Birthday Box, subscribe to The Little Sensory Box or follow them on Instagram 💖

If anyone has any other ideas for nursery rhymes/story play that doesn’t cost the earth please share them!! All my ideas would cost me more than I get paid unfortunately.

Disclaimer - I was gifted the 5 Currant Bun hand glove from The Little Sensory Box but was in no obligation to promote. All views and opinions are my own.

Posted in parenting

Water Baby

I remember taking Ellie swimming while on maternity leave and I clearly remember being in the water 5 minutes and having to get out because she HATED it! The moment her feet touched the water she would scream and cling to me, it didn’t matter how much fun I made it look or what I did to make sure she was warm enough, she really didn’t like it. I stopped taking her at around 6 months as the screams were becoming deafening and I didn’t think it was fair on others using the pool. I vowed to take her again soon however soon turned in to about a year and a half later…oops!!

A bit of a back story, I am petrified of water, I have a huge fear of being splashed and being put under water. I used to hate swimming at school and would use any and every excuse to get out of it.(My periods were every week at one point!) One lesson we were practising to dive in to the deep end and I tried to explain to my PE teacher that I really couldn’t do it…so she pushed me in! You wouldn’t get away with doing something like that now, I wasn’t confident in the water and I’ve never been able to tread water so I panicked and had to get out. I never did another swimming lesson with her again. I have always been worried that my own fear of the water was affecting Ellie and she could sense I wasn’t confident either which is why she wasn’t keen. Yet I have had awful mum guilt since we stopped going (we did only go a handful of times during my maternity leave) because I know the benefits of teaching a baby to swim early.

Swimming with a baby can:
*Help to build muscles, strengthening all of a babies muscles effectively therefore making them stronger.
*Help improve coordination and balance.
*Builds confidence around water early.
*Strengthens a babies heart, lungs and can help to develop the brain.

It can also improve their appetite and the extra exercise will help their sleeping pattern too… more exercise means they are tireder than usual.

Ellie asked to go swimming during the Easter half term holidays, it came completely out of the blue and was the only thing she asked to do throughout the holidays. We are so lucky to have 4 public swimming pools in our town that all have parent and toddler sessions however most of them are during the week. One parent and toddler session is held on a Sunday morning which is perfect for us as it means I can take Ellie but have the back up of Luke too. It’s the family time I crave so much on a weekend, it gets us all out of the house for an hour and we have found Ellie actually LOVES it.

She took to the water so easily this time round, the pool we have used is warmer than the one I used to take her to which has definitely helped but for such a long time now she has pretended to swim in the bath, she doesn’t scream when we have to wash her hair and that has DEFINITELY helped too!

We have been swimming around 4 times now (we skipped one due to an epic meltdown one Saturday) but the look on her face when she jumps in to the water gives me all the feels inside. She is totally confident in the water, which eases my anxiety over giving her my fears slightly, she swims using armbands and only clings a little bit when she’s getting tired. She loves to jump in and see the fear in my face when she does and she loves splashing us both with the floats.

I no longer worry that not taking her swimming as a baby is going to have an adverse effect on her confidence growing up.

To quote Dory: “Just Keep Swimming.”

Posted in baby clothing, baby fashion, clothing, fashion, Gifted, lavender sun, motherhood, parenting, product review, toddler fashion

Top 5…(GIFTED)

Things I look for when buying toddler clothes.

There are certain things I look for when choosing clothes for Ellie, especially now she is getting bigger and the clothes need to last much longer and here is my top 5 things I look out for when I need to buy her new clothes:

1. Durable – Does it wash well? Do any stains remove easily? This is a huge one for me as Ellie is a messy child; she spills her tea most nights and always wants to drink the milk from her cereal bowl in a morning. I am always looking for clothes that wash well, retain their shape and dont shrink when tumble dried 🙈 Now Ellie is in 2-3 clothes I want them to last her as long as possible.

2. Appropriateness – This one for me only seems to be an issue with girls clothes. I find girls clothes (even at age 2) are far too “grown up” for their age. Crop tops, thin material, see-through, spaghetti straps, I could go on. Boys clothes are so much more appropriate for their age, I went through a time when Ellie was a baby where I would only buy boys clothes because they weren’t so stupid looking but now Ellie is older it’s silly but I want her to look like a girl, pretty in pink with a frilly tutu. Clothes I would have hated being put in and I’m sure one day she will hate me for too!

3. Quality – I have already touched on this but the quality of girls clothes in particular is usually quite shocking. The generally use a thinner material which can sometimes look see-through and therefore end up not lasting very long at all. I always look for the quality of the clothes which is why I usually opt to buying Ellie’s clothes in person rather than online.

4. Price – This isn’t a reflection on the product itself but I do find the price of clothing has a huge impact on whether I buy it or not. I am a teaching assistant and so is my husband so our income isn’t much, especially as I currently only work part time. I believe that Ellie is still young and has no concept of how much clothes can cost or that she would need to look after them so I try to spend as little as possible.

5. Usability from Ellie’s perspective – Can she remove it herself? Ellie is just beginning to remove her own clothes confidently and occasionally put them on, I am now more conscious of whether she is able to do these herself. If it has buttons I know she’s not going to be able to do these herself and I want to build her confidence while she is learning.

I was approached by Lavender SUN Co who I have worked with previously (see old review here) to review their toddler range. I was so impressed with the baby items I received that I knew I wanted to collaborate again. This time I opted to review an outfit, which I loved from the second I saw it. I found a lot of the choices for toddlers didn’t fit in to my liking (mainly because they were quite girly and I am not) but the outfit I chose suited us perfectly.

Click to visit shop!

This fairytale 2 piece outfit is absolutely gorgeous!! The skirt is such a great quality and as it is elasticated I know it will fit Ellie for quite some time. I ordered this outfit in age 3-4 and there is plenty of growing room in the grey skirt yet it fits nicely now too (just a tad long as Ellie is quite short for her age).

#OOTD

The top is fairly thin but as I wanted this for the summer I know it won’t be too warm for her. It fits well and the pattern is so cute. Ellie loves finding the butterflies and counting the flowers she can see. I must admit, the top already fits fairly well and I am unsure of how long she will fit in it but again it is true to size and Ellie is just a short, dumpy girl like her Mama is so tops are already getting slightly small in age 2-3years.

I love that she is able to put the skirt on and remove it herself effortlessly and that the top has no buttons and as her confidence in dressing herself grows she will be able to put it on herself in no time at all. There are no buttons or fastenings to deal with which is great!

In regards to it being durable, the first time Ellie wore her new outfit we went to an Easter Egg Hunt at my grandparents house and she managed to get spaghetti bolognese sauce, chocolate and grass stains on the WHITE top and I was sure there would be stains. I removed the top as soon as I could and used some Oxy Action stain remover spray from Tesco and a quick 15 minute wash on its own and it has come amazingly clean, no stains or slight discolouring, it still looks brand new.

I couldn’t fault the customer service of Lavender Sun Co and the website was so easy to use, changing from. British Pounds to US Dollars was quick and meant I didnt need to figure out the difference in price myself.

If you want to have a look at the fantastic outfits available then head on over to Lavender Sun Co or to their instagram page.

Disclosure: I was gifted The Golden Key in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own. #gifted #AD