Science and Skincare for your baby – Start Fresh with the Facts

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This post is sponsored by Johnson’s Baby, all copy and opinions expressed within are my own.

For an expectant parent, the 9 months prior to the arrival of a new baby is one filled with choices. To find out the gender of your most awaited delivery…….or not, to paint the nursery this colour………or that, this name, that name, hospital or home birth, breast or bottle, cloth or disposable……an endless keep-you-up-at-night intro to the never-ending decisions that mean you’ve made it – your choices will affect the welfare of your small-person for the next 18 years or so. Congratulations!

Our second son Nixon arrived in 2013, we were in NZ this time, and I realised once again that I knew absolutely nothing about being a parent – the only familiar thing was the feeling of knowing absolutely nothing lol. What was vastly different from 2004 when Ethan was born, was, the digital landscape had become a very real, almost tangible part of our daily lives, especially mine as a blogger and a mother. As parents, we now head online to research, discuss and vet our social audiences of their opinions on every aspect of our lives. We have intimate access to the lives of people that we barely know, we ‘friend’ people that are perhaps just a passing acquaintance and are then subject to their own views, lifestyle choices and social media ‘highlight reel’.

The influence of our own parents, close family and trusted friends has waned, taking a back seat to the ever accessible opinions and choices of those on the other end of a Twitter or Instagram handle. As a result, the choices we make as parents, both for ourselves and our kids can become based upon strong, reactive emotions, such as guilt, fear, inadequacy and envy.

I’ve had the ‘Mummy-guilt’ discussion with every single one of my female friends at some point over the past 11.5 years and though it manifests differently for each of us, it’s a massive driver when it comes to making purchasing decisions for our families. As new parents, we have literally 100’s of things more pressing requiring our attention than allowing ourselves to feel guilty for not purchasing the latest celeb endorsed green/vegan/organic/quinoa based/activated/squeezed-through-hemp-filters-held-by-yogis bubble bath for our precious bundles of joy.

Am I right?

In an effort to help shift this feeling of guilt from at least one aspect of daily life, I went straight to the company with the most research published, & the most peer reviewed baby skincare brand, Johnson’s Baby, and got the answers I need to make buying baby care products a choice that doesn’t require a referendum on Facebook – or a science degree!

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4 things you need to know about Baby Products

  1. Are they safe? Pretty much a key concern I’d say and rightly so! Johnson’s baby products meet or exceed government standard in the countries they are sold. In New Zealand, baby personal care products are classified as cosmetics and Johnson’s Baby adhere to the New Zealand Cosmetic Product Group Standard.
    Prior to that, a robust internal safety mandate should be in place. Johnson’s Baby use a 5 step safety process that begins by sourcing raw materials from their trusted suppliers who comply with J&J’s strict safety standards, these materials are then tested, and are rejected if a full safety profile is not met. Next, different experts such as dermatologists, ophthalmologists & paediatricians clinically test the products for safety, suitability for use on s The products are also tested for environmental impact.  The next step is in-use testing of products by volunteers around the world, in their homes, the ‘uncontrolled’ environments of the real world. They also tested their products in the lab under several conditions such as extreme heat, cold, and humidity to make sure the products are safe and consistent. Only after this scrutiny are Johnson’s Baby products ready to hit the shelves. The 5th step is ongoing evaluation and consumer feedback as well as continued research into new and better ingredients to further improve products.
  2. If a product is marked as ‘natural’ what does that mean? I have a big issue with this one as it seems like certain terms such as ‘natural’ are bandied about in both product labelling and marketing without too much explanation of what actually constitutes a completely ‘natural’ product. I would argue that a natural product is one that contains no synthetic ingredients at all. This can seem like an attractive option for those concerned about synthetic products in skincare. It’s worth noting that some natural products and ingredients can be harsh on baby’s skin. For example, plant extracts will vary in quality and performance depending on how they are sourced and this can lead to irritation. In fact, some synthetic ingredients offer high performance, consistent quality, low impurities and excellent safety, that is why sometimes synthetic ingredients are added into Johnson’s baby products.
  3. How to understand ingredient labels? Much like reading food labels, reading product ingredient labels has become de rigueur for the modern parent. There is no simple how-to here, only reassurance in that there IS a global system for labelling personal care products called the INCI (International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient) labelling system. What this means is that ingredients are required to be identified using standard scientific names so it’s easy to compare products across different languages. This system is in place on all Johnson’s Baby products so you can compare apples with apples right there in the supermarket aisle!
  4. Are there ingredients I should be concerned about? This is the million dollar question isn’t it and probably one of the main reasons why there is now so much choice in the baby care category. Remove an ingredient from a product or switch it out with an alternative and you’ve immediately got a point of difference. Most of us have probably heard of parabens, phthalates, SLS and maybe formaldehyde-releasing preservatives (I had never heard of this last one!), but, what you may not know, these ingredients are not added into Johnson’s baby products . Ah-maze!

I’m what I’d describe as a very ‘moderate’ parent. Until just 2 weeks ago we’ve never had to implement exclusion diets in our house but, moderation, exercise and family fitness is non-negotiable. Likewise, I don’t purchase products based upon their ingredients list, I simply purchase products that I like from brands that I trust. I’m sure this sounds more than a bit familiar to some of you right?! In between the housework, chauffeuring, grocery shopping, household admin, working, cooking, management of sports teams and breathing, if my mind happened to drift to the phthalate content of Nixon’s Johnson’s baby shampoo, I can now rest assured, safe in the knowledge that there isn’t any in there!

One less choice to make and one less thing to feel guilty about ; )

For more information on Johnson’s Baby products please click here.

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Swoon-worthy – Luxe Organic Cotton Sheets + a set for you!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family organic sheets

The words ‘luxe’ and ‘organic cotton’ seem like a bit of a juxtaposition in general but in the case of these gorgeous sheets from Babu they are totally synonymous.  

Nix is still waking quite often at night, climbing into our bed and then commandeering the lion’s share of our king-sized bed.  I never, ever imagined that I would wish we had upgraded to a super-king but then again I was never in possession of a Nixon before lol!  

Instead of toughing it out and being kicked in places that one shan’t mention, I now change camps and head for Nixon’s sweet little single bed that’s made up with the most divine set of sheets imaginable.  And I sleep.  Quite well to be honest!  

Babu’s 100% GOTS organic cotton stretch double interlock sheets are made from the the thickest, snuggliest and softest cotton I’ve ever felt in my life.  They literally transform Nixie’s modest (cheap!) single bed and mattress of dubious quality into one of my favourite places in the whole house.   Anyone that touches this fabric is blown away by the obvious quality and attention to detail.

The top sheet is fitted at the bottom end which is absolutely genius if you have kids who are wrigglers like mine, it makes making the bed each day a much more mum-friendly task lol.

I’ve washed these sheets multiple times and they still look and feel as good as the first day I popped them on the bed – without having to wash them first of course as they are organic!  Yay.

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WIN

If you would like to win a set of Babu’s gorgeous 100% GOTS organic cotton sheets just let me know which size and colour you would choose in the comments below; bassinette, cot or single and white, grey, grey star, pink star, yellow star.

Competition closes 7/8/16.  NZ residents only.

In the meantime, check out Babu’s amazing range here

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family organic sheets New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family organic sheets New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Parenting Travel Blog Family organic sheets

Easter Gifting with Burrow & Be + Giveaway!

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Easter needn’t be all about chocolate and picking up the pieces after the kids crash from the sugar rush!  Add some style and whimsy to your Easter baskets this season with Auckland designer Catherine Melo’s ‘Burrowers’ collection from Burrow & Be. 

The iconic Mr. Hopkins print is available in a range of soft furnishings, perfect for complementing nurseries and providing subtle, on-trend accents for the bedrooms of slightly bigger ‘bunnies’.  Printed using eco friendly non toxic inks, on quality 300 thread count cotton, bamboo/cotton blend and canvas, this range will win your heart!

New Zealand's Top Mummy Blogger Easter Gift

Shop the gorgeous range and explore more Burrow & Be goodness online at www.burrowandbe.co.nz plus make sure you enter via the widget below to win a ‘Burrowers’ prize pack including 1x Mr Hopkins Shape Cushion, 1x Pillowcase and 1x Muslin Wrap worth over $100!

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Shop Tour | Global Baby

This little blogging gig does wonders for getting me out and about and exploring different parts of Auckland – it’s also pretty deadly on the credit card as I discover more and more fabulous businesses that are doing things so right in this very competitive retail market.  Our declining love affair with the bricks and mortar storefronts of old makes sense in a lot of markets.  Hell yes I’m going to order groceries online if Countdown sends me a code for $1 delivery – why wouldn’t I?  I can’t drive to the store for a $1, plus my time………

However, there are some things that one simply must shop for in person, and let’s be clear, I’m talking about everything related to baby-on-the-way.  For me, the nesting, list-checking, stroller perusing days were some of the most fun and special shopping days I can remember.  So much time, energy, planning and lets face it, money goes into ensuring you’ve got all of your bases covered before baby arrives – then you do it all over again after bubs is born when you realise you had no idea what you needed and what you didn’t!  Ethan, Nixon and I visited Global Baby during the school holidays and spent some time in the store with owner Anita and her lovely shop assistant Danielle.  These two ladies were the very picture of calm whilst the two boys manhandled everything in the shop and just as Nixon was about to lose ALL of his marbles Danielle sat down with a box of stickers and peace was restored.

That’s the kind of shopping experience I want need from every retailer!

I’ve picked out a few of my favourite, lust-worthy items that are available in-store or online if you can’t make it to Global Baby at 161 Manukau Rd, Epsom.

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Mutsy Strollers

It was love at first sight when I saw the Mutsy range of strollers.  Never before have I considered a stroller an object of desire but the finishing and leather detail on these are gorgeous.  Further complementing their stand-out range of strollers which also includes the Casual Play and Brevi ranges, Global Baby have their very own Stroller Technician who carries out any repairs and adjustments in-house so you and baby are back on the street in no time.  Both Anita and Danielle are NZQA certified Child Restraint Technicians; these are the ladies you need when deciding upon the very best travel system for your family.Mummy Auckland Blogger New Zealand

Perfect Gift Ideas for Baby and Mummy
Mummy Auckland Blogger New Zealand

1.  Pretty Brave Mint with Stripes Slip On $49.90.  I’m dying inside a little that Nixon never got to wear a pair of these super stylish shoes, so sad!  Global Baby has an amazing selection of Pretty Brave Moccasins, Slip-ons and Espadrilles in stock in BOTH boys and girls styles – they’ve just arrived though so be quick!

2.  Haakaa Natural Rubber Teether $14.90.  Shop the NZ designed Haakaa range here, all products are BPA, PVC, Phthalate and Lead free + are scratch and chip proof

3.  All mama’s, new or not so new, need recognition every now and then for the wonderful job they’re doing.  These gorgeous candles, exclusive to Global Baby are blended to promote sleep, relaxation and stress relief.

4.  Kip & Co Bamboo Baby Wrap 2 Pack $64.90.  One of my favorite brands, Kip & Co never disappoint and these stylish, functional swaddles are a nursery essential.  Shop Kip & Co here

5.  Mamoo & Lou Zig Zag Pullover $65.  I spied this NZ brand in the latest Good magazine and was even more enamoured after seeing these fabulous 100% merino knits in person.  Gender neutral, classic styles and superb quality.  Mamoo & Lou tick all the boxes for me and with carefully thought out features such as the folded cuff design on their pants, this range should be at the top of every baby shower wish list.

6.  Baby Wilson Lola Boot by Kathryn Wilson $64.90.  I don’t think these need much of an intro, swoon. Handmade, 100% leather, Baby Wilson by Kathryn Wilson boots make an ideal baby gift, christening gift or christening shoe.  These are the heirloom item every mother will cherish!

Mummy Auckland Blogger New ZealandKaylula Baby Furniture

Design perfection and functionality plus have finally arrived in the nursery.  The Kaylula YoYo cradle may be one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever laid eyes on.  Crafted from bentwood, this cradle is a lullaby-inducing dream!  The Kaylula range also includes 4-in-1 cots and changing table/drawer combos. 

If you’ve done your window shopping/research and are ready to order then head to the Global Baby website to shop their comprehensive range.  If you’re after advice and high-end service then the in-store experience with Anita or Danielle is a must!  Visit Global Baby at 161 Manukau Rd, Epsom, Auckland.  Phone 09 630 1960Mummy Auckland Blogger New ZealandMummy Auckland Blogger New ZealandMummy Auckland Blogger New Zealandmummy-blog-new-zealand-nz Mummy Auckland Blogger New ZealandMummy Auckland Blogger New Zealand

 

Daily Look | Nixon’s Room

Almost two years on I still love this wee nursery.  I was laughing with some girlfriends the other night about the state of it though.  What you don’t see in this image is the gnawed, beaver tracks on the cot rails –  Nixon is THAT child in every possible way!  It will be time for a makeover soon though, as we move on from changing tables etc and make way for some more Big Boy furniture.  That gorgeous, snuggly bear blanket?  Kmart $7.  What the?!  I know, I couldn’t leave the store without it.

Acquisitions | SAM the Sleep Trainer Clock & Nightlight

 Sleep Trainer Sam

 

SAM the Sleep Trainer has moved into Nixon’s room courtesy of Zazu and I’m quite taken with him to be honest!  He’s cute, functional and does what he’s told at bedtime – listen up kiddos lol.
Nix is definitely too young at 16 months to use SAM to his full potential, but we have started closing his eyes at bedtime and nap time (Nix enjoys helping with this), telling him ‘night night’ and noticing that SAM’s eyes are open/awake when we go in after naps or in the morning.  Programming SAM to work with our sleep schedule was really easy, with a predetermined wake up time – we have chosen 6.30am with no alarm on so we can talk about Sam’s eyes being open when Nix wakes up and gets out of his cot.  During nap time we tell Sam to wake up after 100 minutes, again with no alarm sounding, forever hopeful that Nix will go the full two hours!
When Nixon is old enough to comprehend things like ‘mummy doesn’t drink coffee so you need to stay in bed!’ SAM will help with two different visual cues.  At bed time his screen will turn blue, half an hour before wake up time (when SAM will open his eyes) it will turn green meaning, ‘hold on for a bit longer’.  Exactly how long is shown by 12 stars that disappear one by one over the remaining 30 minutes.
This clock makes so much sense to me now I have used it and watched Nix get quite fond of the process.  I’m pretty certain his familiarity with SAM as a nightlight over the next 6 months or so will help immensely when we get down to the business end of staying in bed untill SAM opens his eyes.

Sleep Trainer SAM runs on battery or AC power and is available from numerous retailers nationwide for $69.99, just Google him!

 

Product Review | Oh stinky nappies……..Hello Munchkin!

So I have been fortunate enough to have enjoyed two fab baby showers and received {and given} many lovely gifts to many beautiful bubbas over the years, however I never considered adding a nappy disposal bin to my wish list or gifting one either.

For me the convenience of a nappy bin in the nursery never outweighed the ‘yuck’ factor of having a bin full of dirty nappies in my baby’s room!

Considering my initial, somewhat negative view of nappy disposal systems, I was surprised by how quickly I got used to using the Munchkin Nappy Disposal Bin and how much I actually missed it when I ran out of bags! I was surprised to learn that instead of an expensive refill cartridge, the Munchkin has an easily refillable baking soda dispenser which shakes into the bag every time you close the lid.  One bag lasted us a week and was odour free the entire time.     I have to admit, although initially sceptical, it was nice being able to completely finish a nappy change in the nursery without having to then dispose of the diaper one handed while wrestling the baby – although it is amazing how quickly my one-handed housewife skills have returned to me over the last 4 months!

Though I’m still not convinced these bins are a nursery ‘must-have’ especially for those on a budget, they certainly earn their place on my nursery ‘Wish list’ or as a gift for a baby who has everything.  I can imagine parents of multiples finding the Munchkin bin very helpful!

 

The Munchkin Nappy Disposal Bin was provided free of charge for review, all opinions expressed are my own.

Show & Tell | Crochet Baby Blanket

This wasn’t a well planned out project, I didn’t have a pattern and I didn’t buy wool especially for it.  I kind of wish I had put more thought into it considering how attached I feel to it – I worked hard on this while I was preggo with Nixie and I have just finished the border and steam blocking it – at least it’s all done before he hits 12 weeks.  But it could have been prettier.  

Instead, I present to you, The Craft Mavens, my very earth toned, eco-looking, make it up as I go along, use all the scraps of wool, baby blanket.

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Show & Tell Thursday's

Acquisitions | Tiny Eyes Winter Collab Doll

IMG_5509When Dee (who is the amaze creative behind Tiny Eyes Dolls first posted the sketch of the Little Lion Boy I knew he had to be mine Nixon’s.  As the auction for the collaboration dolls drew to a close I was at my Nana’s enjoying a birthday lunch. Nana has dial-up so I had to rely on my phone to win the auction via Facebook comments. Stressy!
Luckily buying stuff is totally my jam and the gorgeous Lion Boy arrived yesterday. We love him!
The details are perfection, he is WAY bigger than I anticipated and will be loved in this family for a long time.
Tiny_Eyes_2 Tiny_Eyes_1

Acquisitions | Move Your Art Wheelie Box

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I spied these gorgeous wheelie boxes on Lee Ann Yare’s Facebook page when I was in hospital after having Nixon.  This one matched the quilts in his nursery just too perfectly and Brooke from Move Ur Art was lovely enough to drop it off at the hospital for me!  Childbirth doesn’t mean you have to take a break from shopping lol.

These boxes are super sturdy, constructed of thick natural coloured ply with heavy casters – I am so happy with the quality, plus it’s just the perfect size for a little man’s toy box.  Custom sizes are available, with or without lids.

Contact: Brooke Adams, [email protected] 0274422667

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