Baby B meets Nemo & Giraffe

Ever since I can remember I’ve always loved cats. In fact, I have a reputation amongst my friends as being a bit of a crazy cat lady!!

Unfortunately my mum is allergic to them so I was never lucky enough to have one when I was growing up. However, I did manage to adopt a stray whilst living at university (much to my housemates despair!), and as soon as I was a “real adult” living on my own, I went straight down to my local RSPCA rescue centre and adopted Della, a gorgeous 3 year old black and white moggy with the most beautiful eyes. It wasn’t an easy relationship, Della had clearly been mistreated and it took me a long time to earn her trust and for her to stop attacking me everytime I went near her. When Mr B and I moved to a bigger house, we thought it would be nice to adopt a kitten to keep Della company. We popped down to our local animal aid centre and adopted Jack, a cheeky little kitten who had been born in the rescue centre. Jack reminds me of a dog, he loves to play fetch and is very attention seeking and loving. Definitely not aloof like many cats (including Della!).

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Baby B has been fascinated by both Jack and Della from a very early age. Initially she would stare intently at them, then came smiles at them, followed by giggles at them and the latest development is chasing them! This week I was overjoyed that her first proper word (other than “mama” and babbles etc!) appeared to be “cat” when she saw her little buddy Jack! She also loves to stroke Jack but at only 10 months old we are really struggling to get her to understand the concept of gentle and have to very closely supervise her when she is near to them!

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I was therefore delighted when Lee Hunter, an aspiring children’s author and professional childcare practitioner sent me a complimentary copy of her first children’s book “Nemo and Giraffe”.

“Nemo and Giraffe” is based on the life and antics of Lee’s indoor cat Nemo and is the first book in a planned series which aims to help young children form positive relationships with cats and all pets, and to learn how to care for them from a young age. The series strives to teach valuable life lessons including friendship and to also promote animal rights and welfare. Lee believes that if children can understand and be aware of the appropriate treatment of animals at a young age it can stay with them and benefit them throughout life.

The inspiration behind the Nemo & Giraffe series is the struggle that Lee found as a childminder within her own home teaching the children to be considerate of her cat Nemo, and to learn that he may become frightened if they scream, jump or grab at him. Lee hopes that by promoting their awareness of Nemo’s feelings, the children will be able to not only improve their own behaviours but also their awareness of themselves and others.

I really enjoyed reading the story to Baby B, not least because of the beautiful illustrations by Lindy Damen. However one of the other things that I love about the book is the message about how you can be friends with anyone regardless of who they are and what they look like. I think this is a really nice message for children. I also love the idea of teaching Baby B to be gentle and considerate with our cats and with other animals.

From an educational point of view, I also like the use of descriptive words.

Lee has kindly agreed for me to reproduce some of the beautiful images here:

   You can check out Nemo & Giraffe on Twitter and Facebook here:

Twitter – Nemo & Giraffe

Facebook – Nemo & Giraffe

The book which was self published by Lee can also be purchased from Amazon here: Nemo & Giraffe

I’ll definitely be buying a couple as presents for Baby B’s friends!

X Becca

Binky Linky

Sanity Saving item #1 – Sleepyhead Deluxe

I’m Becca and I have a confession.

I’m *whispers* a massive shopaholic (much to the annoyance of Mr B)!

However in my defence, since we became parents, even Mr B and his credit card have warmed up to my shopaholic ways as he has been unable to deny that some of my “random”, “what the hell is that”, “massive waste of money” purchases have proven to be items worth their weight in gold. Let’s call them our “Sanity Saving items”!

And ladies and gentlemen, today I would like to introduce you to our first Sanity Saving item……

The Sleepyhead!

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I discovered this item whilst pregnant and browsing one of my favourite parenting sites – Wauwaa (check it out, it’s fab!). However, I didn’t actually buy it until later when sleep deprived desperation at 3am led us to be willing to give anything a try!

Now the thing that nobody had warned us about is that LOTS of newborn babies will not sleep if they are not being held. It’s understandable really when you think about the fact that they have been snuggled up cramped and cozy in the womb. Why would they then be happy to sleep in a big open space?! It must be pretty scary after all. Some babies (including Baby B) also have a very strong startle reflex so wake themselves up frequently too if given the space to “startle”.

After a week of taking it in turns to sleep whilst the other one held a sleeping Baby B, we decided enough was enough and found a solution in the form of the Sanity Saving Sleepyhead!

The Sleepyhead is a portable complete baby bed for 0-8 months, made from breathable materials which creates a snug sleeping environment for little ones. The filling material feels very similar to a foam pillow and is reassuringly anti-dust mite, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial (great for Baby B who suffers from eczema!). The cover is made from 100% cotton and is machine washable, including the all-round bumper. The mattress has a waterproof, machine washable cover and a wadding pad that can be removed for easy hand-washing.

The Sleepyhead fit nicely within our Chicco Next2Me co sleeping crib (another great item!) and Baby B is currently napping in it as I type this lying on my double bed next to her!

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As well as being used as a baby bed, the sleepyhead was also great for tummy time in the early days as Baby B could lie over the side. This was fab as Baby B hated tummy time until we tried this.

One of the great things about the Sleepyhead is the fact that you can pick it up and take it with you when you visit friends and family. This was invaluable when we were nap training as it meant Baby B could still have her naps in her familiar bed when we were not at home. We also packed it in our suitcase and took it on holiday with us!

The only downside to the Sleepyhead is the cost. At £99 for the Sleepyhead and 1 cover, plus £39 for spare covers – cheap it ain’t! Especially when it is essentially a glorified pillow (in fact – I think that may have been what Mr B said dismissively when he saw it for the first time! He was soon eating his words tho!). However, from the moment we started using it when she was 2 weeks old, Baby B would sleep very happily in it (albeit with frequent nursing wake ups!) and still daytime naps in it at 8 months old (she is an average sized baby on 50th centile and is almost growing out of it). Therefore for us it was worth every penny (especially as we got it 50% off from wauwaa!) and we wont hesitate to buy another for a second baby! In fact, we have already bought the larger size Sleepyhead Grand (8-36 months) to help Baby B transition to her cot from her Chicco Next2Me crib:

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They do sell second hand on eBay but given that it is the surface your baby will sleep on, I would be concerned about using the same one for more than one baby as I don’t see how the guidance for baby mattresses (I.e. new one for each baby) would not apply?

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All in all – this item Saved our Sanity because it enabled us to get some sleep and for us it was therefore a top buy!

So there you have it – my Sleepyhead review! Hope this helps someone and please do let me know if you have any questions on the Sleepyhead!  

Family Fever

Note – I purchased this item myself and these are my honest unbiased views! This post is in no way endorsed by Sleepyhead or Wauwaa x