October 12th is World Sight Day. This year their key message is to “make vision count” as there is a shocking statistic that 80% of the world’s blind are avoidably so.
What better way to support than by investing in a baby sensory muslin from Mummy Must Have Award winners Etta Loves? All are designed in line with knowledge of normal visual development in babies.
Laura (the brand’s resident orthoptist) explains “, A baby’s vision is one of the least developed senses at birth. However, as they receive sensory input the nerve cells in the brain multiply and form connections – which all help their vision to develop.
Research has shown that if there is no visual stimulation the eye to brain connections do not develop and therefore sight does not develop. Etta Loves muslins are a great way to provide some of that stimulation as they are designed to the millimetre based on what babies can and can’t see.
Studies have shown that black and white contrast provides the strongest signals to the brain of newborn infants.”
The 0-4 month muslin pack focuses on high contrast black and white designs, whilst the 5+ muslins bring in bright bold colours, in line with the development of babies’ colour detecting cells. Each muslin incorporates a range of large and small scale of the pattern to continue to stimulate tiny eyes as they grow.
Editor writes:“Just like the Queen thinks the whole of England smells of fresh paint, so my third child thinks the world is made of supersoft, snuggly muslin. From the sanctuary of his cot to the towel he is engulfed in after a bubble bath. From the bib that wipes the mush from his face to the edge-chewed-blankie he toddles around with…
Oh, this wasn’t always the way. Alas, number one child had to endure a whole spectrum of inferior fabrics; from scratchy woollen receiving blankets knitted by well-meaning relatives to jersey cloth dungarees that clung to his chubby thighs. And anyone under the delusion that children don’t sweat has never had a partner who thought it would be hilarious to order a pumpkin costume for a six-month-old from Amazon.
Middle child had it much better. One episode of heatstroke whilst driving across France during his first Summer and a chic French friend proffered a huge muslin which she had spritzed with lavender water. Once swaddled in such an ample, soft cloud he stopped crying, projectile vomiting and generally resembling an over-ripe strawberry – and I started to feel like less of a #parentfail.
Even more delightful, the muslin had tiny silver stars all over it.
Since that moment, I’ve found nothing but joy in aden+anais products. Not only is the muslin the most wonderful, resilient texture but wash ’em more and they honestly do get softer. Which is a blessing when – let’s face it – you put at least three loads on per day. But also the uses for an aden+anais muslin are exponential; from burping to buggy covers, from teddy-blankies to boob-covers. Or the time you went swimming and forgot a towel, the time you needed to improvise a cold compress when your kid fell off the swing or the time you forgot a tote bag in the organic fruit and veg store and needed something to carry apples in.
Obviously, aden+anais don’t just create magical muslin swaddles. Their constantly expanding range includes layettes, pull on’s, sleeping bags and- our family favourite – the dream blanket (which in our house is the ultimate ‘telly snuggle’.)
The designs are so elegant yet adorable there is literally an audible coo in our office when a new design is announced (we nearly fainted over the new navy and gold dandelion range!)
If you aren’t familiar with the brand heritage, it was set up by mother-of-four Raegan Moya-Jones over two decades ago and is now their range of products and ‘love and muslin’ ethos is adored not just by parents but also by midwives and paediatricians the world over. And by my three children,unequivocally.
When a friend or colleague announces their pregnancy, recommending aden+anais comes in the same breath as ‘Congratulations’. Without this brand, I could not parent. So it is with great pleasure that aden+anais became our first ‘Editor’s Choice’ winners of the Mummy Must Have Awards. “
#MMHA17 nominated footwear brand Bobux took time out to share their thoughts on Winter Boot choices.
Help! My child needs Winter Boots. What do I need to think about?
NW: Winter boots can be quite a hefty investment so there’s a lot you should consider before committing to a pair. For starters: where you live. Climate should be the first thing you consider so if you live somewhere particularly wet, you might want to opt for water-resistant boots. If you live somewhere with a very cold climate, then wool-lined boots should be on your radar.
You also need to think about what the boots are for. Are they going to be worn everyday? Are they going to be worn as dress shoes? Or is your little one a keen adventurer? For everyday boots, you might want to opt for something versatile and uber comfortable like Bobux Ranch boots. For dressier occasions, something classy like the Bobux Shimmer boot could be a good option. For explorers, you want something easy to clean, and easy to get on and off (but not slip off) like Bobux Pioneer boots.
The shape of your little one’s feet also matters. If your child has particularly chubby or thin feet, adjustability should be a priority. Look for boots with straps that can be fitted a bit looser or a bit more snug according to your child’s foot shape.
Are boots a better investment than just putting them in wellies all Winter?
NW: Definitely! Wellies are a Winter essential but they can’t be used as a substitute for footwear. As well as being notoriously ill-fitting, wellies don’t support healthy foot development, don’t allow feet to breathe and kids’ feet tend to roll around in them. A good boot will keep your child’s feet warm, support their feet, and help them to balance and improve coordination by giving feet the freedom to move more naturally. There’s nothing like wellies for jumping in those Winter puddles, but for everyday wear, opt for shoes that’ll do your kids’ feet some good.
What winter shoe buying mistakes do parents make?
NW: We’ve picked up on a few mistakes parents make when buying Winter shoes for their kids. One thing people might not think is that big of a deal is buying your child just one pair of shoes. Shoes get wet in Winter, and to get the most out of your shoes they need to be dried naturally. If you don’t have a second pair while the wet pair is drying, parents tend to speed-dry their shoes. Putting them in the dryer, leaving them in the sun (if you get much sun in Winter) and even using a hair dryer will damage shoes and shorten their lifespan. The best way to look after your kid’s feet is to keep them in dry, healthy shoes – so make sure you have a spare pair!
Parents also tend to buy Winter shoes before the cold weather has kicked in. When trying on boots, children might be wearing their Summer clothes, not realising the shoes will fit differently when they’re wearing thick, warm socks and trousers. Definitely, something to keep in mind when you’re shopping for shoes this season!
My child is super picky, do you have shoes with unicorns on them?
NW: Oh, yes we do! We have a whole bunch of characters on our Blaze trainers and the Unicorn is one of our favourites. Blaze trainers are perfect for playtime with a flexible, lightweight sole and ultra-durable micro-armoured toe cap. But the best feature of Blaze sneakers is that they help kids learn to put their shoes on the correct feet. On each shoe, you have a dazzling unicorn. When the shoes are on their feet your child can look at the characters and know that if the unicorns are touching, they’ve got their lefts and rights spot on!
My preschooler struggles to put shoes on at nursery, what considerations go into the fastenings?
NW: Fastenings play a major part in how our shoes are designed. We want to encourage kids to put their shoes on themselves – so it must be enjoyable, quick and easy. It’s best to avoid lace-up shoes as there’s a risk of making shoes overly tight which will restrict toe movement. Laces are also notoriously difficult to tie up and dangerous when they come undone. Shoes with strap fastenings are best as they’re easy for kids to get on and they stay on!
What else is unique about Bobux boots?
NW: The truly unique thing about Bobux boots is that they’re built around the equally unique shape of kids’ feet. ‘Lasts’ are used when designing shoes: Molds of feet that designers use to get the shape and fit of shoes right. The trouble with many children’s shoes is that they’re built around the last of a shrunken adult’s foot. Bobux invested in developing custom lasts for kids’ feet for each stage in their foot development. So instead of designing shoes for fully-developed yet tiny feet, we design shoes specifically for those chubby, round, still-developing tootsies.
Will they last all Winter?
NW: A lot of elements come into play when it comes to a boot’s lifespan. Extreme climates with very low temperatures or high rainfall can damage boots so it’s important to keep them polished and let them dry naturally. Generally, though, your boots should last until their wearer grows out of them. With Autumn and Winter spanning six months, this could mean your child will have to go up a size before the season’s over!
What was on the mood board for the AW collection?
NW: The AW collection was designed as a homage to nature and natural materials – but with an unexpected twist. We took earthy tones and textures, and finished the shoes with gorgeous details and embellishments. For the girls’ collection, we wanted the shoes to inspire fantasy and enchantment. Precious silver and gold, and jewels were behind the mood of these styles.
Shop online at bobux.co.uk or check the store locator for your nearest stockist.
Rock Rose’s Autumn gin is infused with blackberries and raspberries as well as the local botanicals – the creators say “, a sprig of basil complements the berries or to bring out the spice try with a nasturtium flower!”
SM Dad writer:“Over the years, and with three kids, we have gone through literally hundreds of buggies. Mentioning no names but – you know – this one is good for this, this one is good for that, this one wins a prize if I can figure out how the heck it folds… But in honesty, as a Dad, when nipping to the shops etc I really don’t want to be pushing a buggy. I want to be on my bike.
For a while, I had a bike with a child seat fitted. This was OK, but not without a couple of issues. Firstly my middle child would – without fail – fall asleep in the seat. Which *is* safe, but does make you cycle a bit warily. Secondly, cycling to somewhere I’d need to leave my bike outside, such as the supermarket (or – ok – I admit – the pub) meant that I was left carrying a child. Thirdly, when you set off on an outing you invariably need to put all the nappies and bottles and fuzzy duckies and whatnot in a rucksack, which can offset your balance a bit.
Women* love buggies because they are glorified handbags. Show me a woman whose buggy isn’t laden down with cardigans and multi-buy bags of rice cakes and fourteen Lamaze toys they think will turn their pre-schooler into Steve Jobs. And once one’s toddler decides they don’t fancy scooting or cycling, the buggy then becomes a transporter for another vehicle too.
So – let me tell you a few things about the Thule Multisport Chariot:
It attaches and detaches to your bike really easily.
For a child, the ride is safe, comfy (and can be really cosy if they fancy a nap).
It converts to a robust but super-light-to-push buggy at literally the flick of the front wheels.
You could jog with it in buggy mode.
You could even ski with it…
The storage capacity would rival Santa’s sleigh.
I love it.
Oh – but isn’t it huge? I hear you cry. Well – no – not really. OK, it’s not tiny, but it will fit in my car boot and down the aisle of most shops and also, because it’s an engineered bit of kit, if for any reason it didn’t fit somewhere, you could just take the back wheels off.
My other half said (jokingly) ‘It’s a bit like a wheelbarrow for kids, isn’t it?’. Yes – it is – but in a good way – they can load up all their bears and dinosaurs into the roomy ‘cabin’ area and you can zip the flyscreen down to ensure none of them bounces out onto the street.
I wouldn’t ride with this on a really busy road, but it does feel a lot safer than a child seat on a bike. For starters, because the kids can’t reach ANYTHING they could tamper with and because the internal harness is not only wriggle proof but it cleverly fastens in two halves (rather than that fiddly thing where you have to line up both bits at the right angle, whilst your toddler kicks you…)
My tip if you are getting one of these would be to get the crank attachment fitted by a bike shop (and checked regularly). And then to expand your horizons taking your kids through marshy fields, up and down hills, along towpaths, over sandy beaches or through the snow. Basically, everywhere you’d find yourself struggling with a buggy.
Oh – and the other thing: prepare yourself to be high-fived by every other dad on the school run for your excellent choice!”
When we shortlisted the iconic BabyBjörn Bliss Bouncer for this year’s MMHA, we were of the opinion that ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…’
The timeless design has been the reason generations of mothers have been able to put a baby down for long enough to have a shower…
But we’re happy to announce that they HAVE made an improvement; namely that you are now able to customise the look of your bouncer with new Bouncer Bliss covers. Parents can choose between stitched cotton or airy mesh; these fabric seats give the baby bouncer a new updated look and feel and allow parents to mix and match depending on where they are.
Kind to baby’s skin and safe to taste, all BabyBjörn fabrics are free from health-hazardous substances and certified Oeko-Tex Standard 100, Class I for baby products. Tested and safe.
The fabric seat for the Bouncer Bliss is machine washable (warm 40°C) and is available in stitched cotton (100% cotton) and airy mesh (100% polyester).
RRP: Cotton £47, Mesh £55 Colours for Fabric seat: Black cotton, Anthracite cotton, Anthracite mesh. BabyBjörn products are available from the online shop (https://www.babybjorn.com) and from all good stockists.
To celebrate making the shortlist for this year’s MMHA’s, maternity and childrenswear boutique The Essential One is offering the chance to win £50 to spend in their store. Follow them on Insta for details of how to enter, but in the meantime, here’s some inspiration re what to buy if you win (or if you just fancy treating yourself or the kids!)
To us, Jardine of London epitomises handbag elegance. Their clean lines, soft leather, and chic designs are key attributes that saw them nominated for the Mama Style category in this year’s Mummy Must Have Awards.
And to celebrate making the shortlist, Jardine are offering a 30% shopping discount to Slick Mummy readers – valid until 31st October 2017.
Shop the range of bags (including the gorgeous new Judi clutch) and leather accessories (such as the striking Suffolk leather journals).
Just use coupon code: SLICKMUMMY30 at the checkout.
Phew; what a huge task the Shortlist was this year. So many great products, challenging brands and charity collaborations caught our attention. Firstly, big thanks to our judging panel (made up of celeb mums and our own editorial team) for their gargantuan efforts here – but now the final choice of winners is down to you, our fabulous readers.
For every like, share, post, RT or competition entry on social media that includes the name of the shortlisted brand and the hashtag #MMHA17 your favourite will receive one vote. Votes will be counted on the eve of 5th October and announced on 6th October. So make your opinion count… (Vote as many times as you like, there are some wonderful choices on the list!)
So – in alphabetical order for each category – here goes:
Best Boutique: online or physical store, we’re applauding choice, quality and customer service.
Maggie and Rose Home
Me & Buddy
My 1st Years
The Essential One
Buggy Love: the strollers for high rollers… We’ve been impressed by the below.
Ickle Bubba Aurora Travel System
Quinny Zapp Flex Plus
Silver Cross Wave
Kids’ Style: too cool for school. Brands we’re consistently excited by…
Blade and Rose
Honey and Toast
Lilly + Sid
Molly Brown London
Wild & Gorgeous
Mama Style: where to shop for school gate style, preggo or not.
Celtic and Co
Coco Rose London Shoes
Jardine of London
Martha Jackson Jewelry
Best Changing Bag: style AND performance (and a bit more style) here are our arm candy nappy carry picks.
Born in Britain Charlton Hobo Bag
Jem and Bea Beatrice Bag
Ju-Ju-Be BFF Bag
Pacapod Gladstone Bag
Tiba and Marl Elwood Backpack
Best Baby Product: big category here, but we’ve chosen based on quality, design, and performance.
Babybjorn Bliss Bouncer
Cheeky Chompers Neckerchew
Etta Loves Muslins
Izmi Cotton Baby Carrier
Little Aurelia Comfort and Calm Rescue Cream
Matchstick Monkey Teether
Mokee Wool Nest
Mustela No Rinse Cleansing Water
Sleepyhead Sleep Pod
Splashabout UV Combie Wetsuit
Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep Machine
Playtime: make some noise for great toys. Chosen for longevity, sparking imagination, getting kids out and about – and because they made our team of junior testers smile.
‘The Superhero Handbook’ by Jason Ford published by Laurence King
Ciao Bimba Dolls
Hape Classic Bus Walker
Infantino Grow With Me Teepee
Kindle Fire For Kids
Microscooters Maxi Micro
Mud Kitchen Pebble Kitchen
SmarTrike 7 in 1 folding trike
Best Beauty Product: when you only have ten mins (ok ten seconds) to spend on your own beauty routine, you need products that pack a punch.
Bee Good Honey and Propolis 2 in 1 Cleanser
Harbour Elements Cleanser
Philip Kingsley Elasticizer
Rodial Glamolash Mascara
Skin Elixir Frankincense and May Chang Moisturizer
Sukin Rosehip oil
Weleda Skin Food
The Game Changer Award: this category is for products or brands that have shaken up the way we approach a problem, through smart thinking, multitasking or innovation.
Ergobaby OMNI 360
Fred Pressure Fit Stairgate
miFold Car Seat
Thule Multisport and bike trailers
We Are Story
Better World Award: we were really excited to judge this category. Charity collaborations that showed style and pizzazz (as well as big hearts!)
Bax & Bay for Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity
Inkrocket for Starlight, Tearfund and Samara’s
Pearl Lowe x Selfish Mother for Tommy’s
Seraphine Love T-shirt for Tommy’s
Scamp and Dude Sleep Buddies for Grief Encounter
Gin Friday Award: how could we not include our regular Gin Friday slot in the awards?
ISFjord Premium Arctic Gin
Rock Rose Gin
Silent Pool Gin
And finally the Editor’s Choice Hero Brand Award:
So c’mon – have your say. What do you think of our choices? Use #MMHA17 to comment on social media.
Parenting Style Coveted