iPhone Apps for Babies/Kids

I thought I would share some iPhone applications I have found and love.

Smart Baby Apps – My First Words 

This is a flash card type app that lets you teach your baby/toddlers new words. There are various categories such as food, emotions, animals, transport, toys etc. This application for me is brilliant for two main reasons; one it uses photographs of the objects it is naming, and two it lets you record your own voice. I think this application is fantastic but I am sad to say it no longer seems to be availble to the Australian Apps store. Not sure why but I hope it is brought back ASAP.

my first words app

ABC For Kids – possibly Australia only
Is a free application that has music clips from ABC’s most popular childhood singers such as The Wiggles, and Justine Clark. The only draw back to this application is that the videos are not stored on your iphone (so you always need wireless connection), and the videos do randomly change.
Baby Piano
There is both a free and paid for version. I currently have the free one. This application turns your screen into a piano. This is great for babies as they can just touch the screen and get a reaction (music and squawking animal). As your child gets older there is a setting that shows them how to play songs (lights up the correct key). As a free application I think this is cute and fun.

Baby Karaoke – possibly Australia only
A fun and free little application that has some favorite nursery rhymes and plays them to fun little cartoons. The songs are ABC, Little Green Frog, Old Macdonald, Open Shut Them, and Row Row Row Your Boat. You can either play them with the voice and words or do it karaoke style

Playground Finder – possible Australia only
This is a great applications for finding nearby playgrounds. It lists what facicilites are availble (such as parking, toilets, bbq, and shade) and you can read reviews and see photos of the park, uploaded by other parents. You can also addd your own reviews and photos.

Child First Aid

first-aid-signAbout a month ago I finally got my act together and did a first aid course.  I’d always been a bit intimidated by the thought of doing one, but knew it was an important thing to do.  Having a baby was just the added incentive that I needed.  Having done it, I am extremely glad I did it, and highly recommend it for those who have never done one before or would like a refresher.  I feel like I will have at least some clue should an emergency arise, and if nothing else, it makes me a little less nervous when my daughter gags and splutters while learning to eat solids.

Some of the ladies from my mothers’ group and I did it through a company called Child Revive First Aid.  They run courses in Melbourne, both for private groups at a location of your choice, and for the public at Mothercare Highpoint or Knox.  The basic first aid class goes for 2.5hrs (with a break) and is $45.  It covered CPR (with practical component), how to identify an emergency and what to do, choking, drowning and febrile seizures.  The course is focussed on baby and child first aid, but most of the concepts can be applied to adults too.  The instructors are practising paramedics so they are up to date and know what they are talking about.  Amanda at Child Revive First Aid was very accommodating when trying to organise our group.

Sorry for being a bit late with this, but I think if you subscribe to their newsletter by the end of tomorrow (1st June), you can go into a draw to win a double pass to a course.  Good luck!

Amber Teething Necklaces

At risk of sounding like a hippie, I am totally in love with my Son’s amber teething necklace!

If you havent heard of them, Amber teething necklaces are made for wearing (not chewing) when a baby is teething. The warmth from the skin releases the active ingredient in the Amber, called succinic acid. Recent research suggests that this can improve immunity, help reduce drooling and soothe red cheeks. Amber’s anti-inflammatory properties are said to help relieve teething pain and calm a baby without the use of drugs

I had friends who have used these teething necklaces on their babies since they were really young, and i was always a little bit sceptical.  I thought they looked really cute on baby girls, but i was not about to whack a necklace on my cloth wearing, co-sleeping, attachment parented baby boy, for fear of really becoming a hippie.

And then we had – what is now referred to in our house as – the week of horror.  We had just successfully completed baby boot camp and got our little man out of our bed and into his cot, where he was sleeping through the night, without kicking Mummy in the face. All was going well, i even felt human!! Then the dreaded teeth started. My son woke every 40 minutes, had neurofen, panadol, and a homoeopathic remedy that smelt and tasted like cola and to this day i have no real belief that it works. We paced and we fed and we bathed him in the middle of the night, i sung twinkle twinkle until my voice was hoarse, and two days later we had a front tooth poke through the gum, we held a breath and went to bed that night hoping we would get at least three hours sleep, and we did! He slept through and so did Mummy and Daddy. We thought we had done it, but the following night it happened all over again. So in desperation i bought an amber teething necklace. By the time it arrived we had a second tooth through the gum and we were back to sleeping through, but i put it on anyway and we ghave all happily co-existed ever since.

Until this week. My son’s childcare has developed a no jewelry policy and so i took his little necklace off as i dropped him off, and when Daddy picked him up, he called to say that my son had a teething / dribble rash all down his chin. From four hours with out it!! We have cut three teeth in the teething necklace without so much as a grizzle, no panadol, no demeted midnight singing, or twilight bathing. It really is a little miracle!!

Due to the no jewellery policy and my mature outlook on life, i hide it on him on childcare days, i tuck it right into his singlet, and so far no dribble rashes, and Mummy and Daddy and my gorgeous teething toddler, live happily ever after.

Product Review: Little Me Organics: Yipeee Playtime Bath Bubbles

Little Me Organics: Yippeee Playtime Bath Bubbles

I picked this product up while on holidays as something nice and different.

Bubbles: I have to be honest there was not a whole lot of them. Now maybe this is because we don’t have a proper bath, just a deep shower base, which we turn into a small bath. So we don’t have water gushing out of tap to churn the water. But we have sat there swishing ours hands through the water vigorously with minimal success. There is about 2 cm max bubble height happening though, which really is enough.

Smell: Ok the smell is divine and really makes the product. I confess to having a sensitive nose to smells, and easily get headaches from perfumes and incense. But the smell os strong enough for you to notice but subtle enough it does not over power your sinuses.

Little Me Organics is a UK company that uses natural ingredients and oils to make their products. The Yipeee Playtime range “helps promote contentment and happiness whilst nurturing goodness into your little one’s skin. Treat delicate skin to silky smoothness and the beautiful aromas of Neroli, Rose and Organic Mandarin. The renowned uplifting properties of these Essential Oils awaken the senses, whilst helping skin stay healthy and keeping baby happy.” If you would like to view Little Me Organics product range just click on over to their website.

The beautiful smell out weighs the lack of bubbles (which I am not entirely sure is the products fault. could be user error). For a pleasant smelling bath experience for you and your baby, I do recommend this product even if it is just a “treat”.

Which Nappy Next?–Follow up

Back in December I wrote about “Which Nappy Next?” which discussed infant sized nappies.  This post follows up on which nappies we tried and how they stacked up.

The Factors

If you look at on-line forums you will find different people highly recommend or highly dislike various nappies.  I think it really can come down to the size of your baby and what your needs are.  Our bubby is relatively slim, so perhaps this may have affected the results.  As each nappy covers about a 4-5kg range, different nappies will fit your baby better at different times as they grow.  And when your baby does a number 3 (most commonly in the car capsule in our case), nothing is going to contain it!  It may just be that certain nappies will minimise the damage better than the others.  Perhaps it is worthwhile trying different nappies as your baby grows, as you may find your favourite nappy may change.

The Nappies

Huggies – Newborn (<5kg), Infant (4-8kg) & Crawler (6-11kg) sizes – We found these to be the most absorbent and most reliable.  However, they are also the most expensive at about 33c a nappy when they are on sale.

Baby Love – Infant (3-8kg) – These were the best fitting and softest nappies, and only marginally less absorbent than Huggies.  Not much of a price difference though.

Snugglers – Small (<8kg) – Again, not quite as absorbent as the Huggies nappies, and not too much of a price differential, but do a reasonable job.  We found that their smallest size was too big for our baby until she reached the 6kg mark.

Mamia (Aldi) – Infant (4-8kg) & Crawler (6-11kg) sizes – Without doubt the best value for money at 25/27c per nappy.  Not as absorbent as the Huggies nappies, and not as soft or well fitting as the Baby Loves, but generally does what it needs to do.

Comfy Bots (Coles) – (Medium 5-11kg) – Found these to be way too big until our bub reached the 6.5kg mark.  Have only used these a few times and have been disappointed as they have leaked.  However, this may well have been because these occasions coincided with some number 3’s (poo explosions!).  Seem to do ok for your normal wees. (Update 29/3/2011: they have been more than fine since our baby has been on solids, but I am guessing the same will apply to all of the above trialled nappies)

The Solution (for us)

So in the end, we have continued to use Huggies overnight, for car trips, and for outings, with the Mamia nappies for everyday use at home.  However, I would also consider using Baby Love nappies in place of the Huggies nappies.

Bubba Mat For Safe Playtime

Back in July 2010 a friend posted on Facebook a picture of their baby playing on a beautiful mat out under a tree. I thought the mat was lovely and asked where she got it. My friend informed me it was called Bubba mat, and it could be ordered online. The more I looked into it the more I wanted it. In the end I purchased it and haven’t looked back.

I love, love, love this mat. It has been great while my son has learned to crawl, pull himself up, and eat. For the most part spills and tumbles happen on the mat. Obviously the more he moves around the less he stays on his mat. But to start with this was really useful as we knew it was a safe place for him. Also we encourage his play time on the mat which seems to work really well. To be honest it also provides a nice soft place for us to lay/sit on the floor with our son and play with him.

It is made out of non-toxic PVC this is a soft and most importantly cushioned, and provides a safe place for your baby to play as your baby learns to explore its world. Best of all it is really durable so will easily last well into toddler and even early childhood years. The only thing it’s not is cat proof, my cat tried once to use it as a scratching post and I was beyond unimpressed.

There are five different designs to choose from that are vibrant and colourful. The mats though are reversible with a different design on the other side. So you really get two mats for the price of one. They also are educational with number and abc displayed.

The mats are:

  1. Soft, durable, and versatile.
  2. A large one piece mat.
  3. Can be used indoors and outdoors.
  4. hygienic and non-permiable, it is also easy to clean.
  5. Can be used for meal times to protect the floor.
  6. Perfect for nappy free time.
  7. Comes with a carry bag.

Bubba mats cost AU$199 GST inclusive plus shipping. They can deliver anywhere in Australia and will deliver internationally. So check them out at Softmats.

Wrap Me Up

 

One of my favourite gifts we were given when Jade was born was the Wrap Me Up swaddle by Love Me baby

Nov_Baby_20101013_28

We loved it so much that when she grew out of it we bought two of the next size up.

Babies sleep better when they are swaddled so that when the startle reflex kicks in they don’t wake themselves up.  Jade never liked having her arms wrapped up though, so we wrapped her loosely and she always managed to get her arms out. 

The beauty of the Wrap Me Up is that the baby’s arms are encased at shoulder height so that they can’t startle themselves, but at the same time they can still put their hands in their mouths to self settle.

Another bonus is that you just put the baby in it and Zzzzzippp!  Much easier than all the complicated swaddling methods.

They come in several different sizes, and several different colours.  They also make one in organic cotton, and a lighter version for summer too.  I have seen them both at Baby Bunting and Mothercare.

The only thing I am not sure of is whether we will have to stop using them once she starts rolling over.

A baby product I highly recommend.

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