Tag Archives: aden + anais

Nursery Designing for the future: trends we need to consider now

As if having children wasn’t enough of a gigantic leap into uncertainty, for many homeowners the thought of potentially ‘devaluing’ a room by converting it into a nursery can be as horrific a concept as pushing out a placenta.

But a beautiful nursery can be a style statement, and arguably the design trends here move just as quickly as those for kitchens and bathrooms. We take a moment to consider the developments current making waves and which we think will remain buoyant in the future.

Think big in a small space: aside from the proverbial ‘powder room’, it is fair to say that a nursery is normally the designation of the smallest space. But yet, there can be a lot of ‘boxy’ items to cram into that space (cot, changing table, chest of drawers etc). Whilst iconic nursery brands such as Silver Cross have recently introduced more compact versions of their furniture, we love the idea of making a big style statement and then custom building the essentials of the room around it. How wonderful would Cots of Distinctions’ Seven Seas rocking baby cot (above) look with some subtle nautical touches such as aden+anais ‘high seas’ dream blanket  or a minimalist paper boat shelf from JojoMamanBebe?

Grey is the new neutral: gone are the days when magnolia or yellow were the wall-hue staples of indecisive parents. Grey has become the perfectly pitched neutral and partners beautifully with pastels so that ‘pink for girls and blue for boys’ no longer needs to be represented by gaudy hues of Barbie of Chelsea FC. We adore Earthborn’s subtle pink ‘Maybe Maggie’ paint, or Frenchic’s ‘Moody Blue’ – both of which pair delightfully with grey.  Accessorise with a grey ball pit – like MadeByNori’s one or maybe Mokee’s ‘rainy day’ mobile?  (incidentally, if you are still sitting on the yellow fence, a touch of Daffodil brightness looks the bees-knees when paired with grey…)

Tech is your friend: Philips Avent recently launched their ‘UGrow’ Smart baby monitor, which creates a constant audio and visual connection with your baby. The monitor is unobtrusive and chic so why not integrate it with your nursery design? You might be currently baulking at the idea of a flat screen TV in the nursery, but roll on three years and having them watch Peppa Pig in their own space will be a godsend to the rest of the house. Install one early and play Baby Einstein or Mozart in HD quality.

Push Scandi further: Oh those Ikea-fiends and their clean lines. Simplicity and lack of corners in nursery design not only is the current height of vogue but has the added practical bonus that when bubba begins to toddle there are fewer sharp corners to impale themselves upon. Forget plywood curvature though; how about a real forest, complete with wild beasts? We love this hairy rocker from Scandiborn (above) or this chic wooden wall art from Etsy. 

Upcycle: why bring more unnecessary plastic tat into your home when other people’s junk can be the basis of beautiful eco-friendly furniture? Maggie and Rose’s new homeware collection includes a doll’s house made from reclaimed wood and shabby chic chairs – but why not try your hand at DIY as, let’s face it, if it goes wrong it was somebody’s trash anyhow…

Go organic: if the mention of bamboo has you thinking about Dick Van Dyke (and how he never has a bother with it) then check out brands like MORI and Piglet who are creating marvellously snuggly children’s bedding from bamboo and organic cotton.

image: The Sun

Letters play: we love the word art trend (as exemplified when Jools and Jamie Oliver announced their latest arrival, River) – but creating inspirational bon mots on a lightbox is a lovely way to bring subtle lighting into the space occupied by the new light of your life. A Little Lovely Company’s lightboxes can be customised with your own message and are available from MeandBuddy.

Who knows, your future nursery might become the stylish focal point of your home, regardless of the sleep-sapping squawker who resides in it.

This blog post is a part of Design Blogger Competition organised by CGTrader

Our capsule new baby kit

We recently took on the challenge of creating a capsule pregnancy wardrobe, but how about a capsule new baby kit?

‘What?!’ you cry ‘,No rinky dinky ninky nonk train? ‘No baby bath noodle?’ ‘No fuzzy wuzzy doo-dah?’

Nope. We’re being strict and streamlined. Here’s our pick of what’s genuinely useful, great value and – unlike the bath noodle – won’t be gathering dust at the back of the cupboard.

The Koochi Pushmatic stroller: we’ve recently discovered this brand (created by the same design team as Cosatto) and we think the Pushmatic is one of the smartest new baby investments you can make. Sleek, sporty (it’s a three wheeler) and suitable from birth (in the recline position) til three, this one will serve you well for country walks, shopping trips, ‘one-handed folding in the supermarket car park’ situations and battling public transport (did we mention this little gem only weighs 6.7kg?) Our Dad-writers oohed and aahed as much as we did over the colourways  – especially the Green Hyperwave (pictured) – and this stroller (including footmuff and lots of accessories) is currently on offer from Koochi’s website at just £144. (Check out Koochi’s equally sporty range of car seats too!)

koochi_pushmatic_hypergreen_3qtr_footmuff_co_R_RGB koochi_pushmatic_hypergreen_profile_co_R_RGB

The TinyLove 3-in-1 Rocker and Napper: this clever sleep/play solution means you can dispense with the Moses basket, baby nest, sleep pod, bouncer chair, baby gym, rocker – and also all those ‘musical stimulation’ gizmos . In the recline position it is a comfy cradle which can be stable or rocking, or sit it upright to create a bouncer chair/activity centre complete with toys, vibrations and music. Essentially, what this means is you can safely strap your newborn in the chair whilst they are awake (and you want to have a shower) and then when the lullaby tunes, rocking, mirror and rattle toys knock them into slumber you can simply recline into napping mode without needing to transfer the little angel into a crib and risk waking them up.

Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep: At SM we don’t judge how you feed your child, but if you’re going to bottle feed them this invention is simply genius. Gone are the 2am fumbles for the kettle. No more are the 2am scalded wrists as you squirt boiling milk on parts of your own anatomy. With the same sort of logic as a Nespresso machine (and now available in stylish black as well as standard white) in two minutes flat your bottle will be filled with perfect temperature, bacteria free formula, made up to the correct proportions. There’s even a beeper so you don’t need to time the two minutes. Ocado have this one on offer, but be quick!

aden + anais muslin swaddles: we love this brand and a set of their swaddles is the first thing we’d be popping in our hospital bags. Doubling as a sheet/lightweight blankie, comforter, burp cloth, spill wiper, buggy shade, picnic rug, towel – even an emergency nappy – the more you wash these muslins the softer they get. Generously sized, they make swaddle wrapping easy (even for wrigglers). Kids love the adorable designs for years to come (many of us have tots who still take them to pre-school as a snuggler) and if you’re using them as a breastfeeding cover the vintage-chic stripes will double as a cute scarf too.

Pacapod Changing Bag: another MMHA15 winner, we’ve lost count of the times we’ve said to an expecting mother ‘if you buy just one thing get a Pacapod’. Designed to make changing on the go almost a pleasurable experience and super stylish to boot, check out the new range – including our new lust item, the Jasper bag.

The BabyBjörn We Carrier: use this one from birth til three years, carrying either frontways, or on your back. Get mobile with your newborn; whether its out and about or just having two hands free for a few menial tasks at home, the Baby Bjorn is a design classic and has won countless awards – they have thought about your poor aching, post preggo muscles here too – and the fastening mechanism is simple enough to maneuver with even the least passive child, as well as being super safe. Check out the seasonal colour ranges too  – no need to settle for boring black!

aden + anais launch new range of layettes – the first muslin clothing range in the world

One of our hero brands (and MMHA15 winners) aden + anais have unveiled their new collection of layettes, the first in the world to be made from 100% muslin.

In the designs you know and love (starburst, hearts, blazer stripe) and the super soft (gets softer with each wash and snuggle) all natural muslin fabric, the range includes a selection of body suits, tunic tops and bottoms and is available in sizes 0-3m thru 9-12m inclusive.

Order online or find stockists here.


How to… cope with summer colds

Whilst Winter might be synonymous with the snivels, as any Mum knows, little ones can get colds all year ’round (especially if there’s one working its way through their classroom) – here’s our little guide to dealing with poorly ones in a heatwave…

– Top up Vitamin C, hydrate and keep cool with an organic juice ice lolly. Make your own (we love these Space Rocket lolly makers from Lakeland) or choose one made from the whole fruit such as Real Nice.

– Getting lots of rest is easier said than done when the nursery is like a sauna. Fresh air napping is great if you have a shady outdoor spot; oversized muslins like the Aden + Anais bamboo Daydream Blankets (pictured), a travel cot, portable cradle for tinies like this one from JojoMamanBebe or freestanding hammock like this one from Kidlantis are all your friends – as too will be this ingenious clam clip from Jaghoo (pictured) when it comes to putting a makeshift sleep canopy together.

Jaghoo clam clip


SM tip: if you’re facing some resistance to taking mediation and your little patient is off school for a few days, try embarking on a long (ish) read aloud story. Offer another chapter in return for taking their medicine. We love Frances Hodgeson Burnett’s ‘The Secret Garden’ for sick-kid story-time.

– Dressing in light layers …like this gorgeous pointelle top from Little Green Radicals – made from supersoft organic cotton with a cheery design that will have them feeling better in no time!

#SM Sleep Week: The Serenity Star from aden + anais

In ’round off to our Sleep Week features, one of our SM testers tried the Serenity Star from aden + anais out on her newborn son.
The lowdown: this nifty little gadget is a night light, sound machine, temperature monitor, feeding timer – and usefully also (for new mums) a clock to see how many hours left til bedtime or what time ‘Neighbours’ is on TV.
Our SM Tester says: I am currently in the magical and dream-like state of dealing with a two-week old newborn. Gone are my cravings for macaroni cheese (although the calorie content can still be found on my thighs) and in are sleepless nights and stitches.
However, this is not a new experience for me: with a toddler of two and a half already, the newborn housemate has no choice but to get with the programme and chip in. No neatly folded, carefully ironed clothes; no time to spend endless hours gazing at his peaceful sleeping face; no point cooing over the mustard factory in his nappy.
In fact, it is like someone has pressed fast-forward on my life and suddenly everything needs to be done in half the time. I don’t have time to sing for hours on end, nor to carefully log each feed in my leather bound ‘baby book’; the room thermometer from my first child is gathering dust in the corner and we don’t have a night light – quite frankly, I forgot to buy one.
I feel guilty. My second child is every bit as precious as my first, but I just do not have the time to spend fussing and fretting as before. I want the essentials for my second – out with the worries and in with the necessities. Security; safety; food; cleanliness and, above all, love.
The good thing I found about the aden+anais Serenity Star is that is does just that. For me, this handy little gadget gets rid of the fuss and gives you exactly what you want. With features including a clock, temperature check, nightlight, sound machine and even a feeding diary, I had everything myself and my precious second bundle needed, in one place.
The star shape looks attractive in our (sadly not yet re-done) blue and white nursery and the mains and battery options means it is easily transportable too. The low-level soft light is bright enough to make a warm glow in the room, but not too bright that it causes him to wake up (tick box for feeling secure and giving Mummy extra sleeping time). The temperature check with a blue glow for ‘cold’, ‘red’ for hot and ‘white’ for just right (how very Goldilocks), means I don’t need to scramble around tiptoeing trying to check if he is about to freeze or boil without putting the light on and waking him up (tick box for safety). The sound machine plays two varieties of lullabies as well as having a setting for omitting white noise and a heartbeat, means I can make my little one feel snug, whilst reading a story to my toddler downstairs. And,lastly, the feeding diary means my frazzled brain has one less thing to think about.
But most of all, this product is something new. New for him.  And special. It may have all the features we have already seen, but not in this package. Just like my second child.

#SMSleepWeek: Swaddle Style

Swaddling is an age old and wide-respected technique for settling babies into slumber – also aiding colic, providing comfort and a womb-like sensation for the sleeping baby – and we’ve found that despite looking (in a textbook) like doing a bit of origami with your wee one, in fact, the trick is identifying the type of baby you have and matching it with the right swaddling product.

Best Classic Swaddle:  we award this to Aden + Anais, with their supersized, supersoft swaddles that come in a range of beautiful designs (and hey – if they were good enough for Prince George). They double up as a pram shade, burp cloth – just general SM accessory (our Ed ties one to her Mulberry Bayswater )

Our SM tip with these is that the more you wash them the softer they get, so if you are struggling to make the ends ‘tuck’ then iron down a couple of corners first before you use – this gives them a bit more ‘stick’.

Best for Wriggly Babies: we adore the Love to Dream Swaddle UP for wrigglers. It was often thought (taught, chastised…) that if your baby likes to move its arms then you should simply swaddle tighter. But in fact, as long they can keep their arms as warm and snug as the rest of them,  they love the ability to rub their noses, suck whatever is going and generally wave their arms in the air in a baby-rave style. This range caters for babies from birth up to 36 months; details include clever twin zippers, seams on the outside and gorgeous colourways.

Love To Dream

Best for Easy Peasy: the Maguari’s Miracle Blanket is uniquely shaped to make swaddling a doddle. Secure the baby’s feet in the bottom, then wrap both arms in and secure with velcro. Prevents scratching, crying and makes latching easier.  Suitable up to 14 weeks – which is so fleetingly swift that amongst our office we have passed them down, but wonder if the brand might not start a nationwide recycling programme?

Best Organic Cotton: The Gro Bag organic swaddle ticks all the boxes here, made from soft but warm organic jersey, and washable at 40 degrees, this is a great green product. Gro Bag work with The Lullaby Trust and the charity recommend their products.