Do you ever get a product and think this won't be that great and then when you actually use it you wonder what you ever did without it? That's the way I feel about the Mee Light.
Being a blogger I'm offered the opportunity to review products all of the time. Some that I don't even mention on my blog because they're just not even worth the time of a blog post to say how terrible they are. Plus I'm of the opinion that everyone is different & I would never cause a company repetitional damage just because I had a poor experience with something. I will be honest, I thought this would fall into that category, gifted away because it's no use. I know how much you value my opinion on things and as much as I would be completely transparent about the pros and cons about something, if I can't find anything nice to say then I won't say anything at all. It's a concept I've been brought up by. I love being able to try out products and tell you what I think and bring you solutions to common mummy issues.
The Mee Light is the simplest and effective baby product I've used. Charlie, as you will know, is still breastfeeding. This means that he is still up every night to feed. Although we are now in Spring, the 'wee' hours in Scotland are still pitch black and therefore I need to turn on the light to feed Charlie. Fraser works shifts and I hate the thought of disturbing him during the night, the way I see it is at least one of us is entitled to a full night's rest, especially when he works crazy hours.
We have wall lights and beside lamps. The beside lamps are too bright to turn on but our wall lights above our headboard are on a dimable switch so we can have them down low for night feeds. This is all very well but often the sound of the switch being turned on can unsettle Ella and wake her during the night, especially when she's at her light stage of sleep around 5/6am. I used to use my phone light to see charlie but it was too bright and even with the brightness level down it would time out and mean that I was doing everything singlehandedly too.
The MeeLight attaches to your clothes offering a handsfree experience which is essential I'd say, especially since I already feel like I need another arm anyway when I've got a baby! It projects soft light on to the area you need to see and has 3 different levels of light setting. Not only this but if you're like me and tend to fall asleep when you're feeding then it has a 15 minute automatic timer that switches off to save battery life. The charging unit is neat and minimalist, as it the design of the light. Because it can stand alone too I often switch it on to go to the loo during the night too so I don't wake up the whole house with a bright light.
As I said before, it's a product I thought I'd never use but now, I wouldn't be without it! Worth it's weight in gold.
It's no surprise that having 2 babies in the space of 2 years wreaks havoc on your figure. After having Ella I found myself looking back at photos of myself from years past and thinking 'I wish I was as fat as I thought I was then' when I was probably 2 dress sizes smaller, had a flatter tummy with flawless skin - not a single stretch mark in sight yet still miserable about my appearance. It's crazy.
I have really felt the pressure both times bounce back in my early post partum days. Is it because of the celebrity culture that we are consumed by on a daily basis? For most, it probably is but for me I just wanted to feel like the old Ash. If you don't already know, I suffered with HG in both of my pregnancies which is severe vomitting all day every day and albeit I lost weight being pregnant due to the sickness, I felt I lost myself a little. I didn't feel like me and I didn't recognise myself in the mirror. My body was changing, my life was changing & I felt awful 99% of the time. The only thing that kept me going was knowing there was a positive outcome at the end and that there was an end to this in the first place. But anyway I'm rambling on about HG which is a whole blog post in itself which I will get round to writing eventually but for now it's all still too raw and I'm not in the right headspace to really open up about it.
I made a promise to myself that after having Charlie I would do my best to try and get back into shape especially since this is probably going to be our last baby and we also have our wedding next year - eek. After doing a lot of research I realised that those changes need to start as soon as you give birth and the best way to train your body back into place is by using a Belly Bandit training band.
The belly bandit is a huge stretchy piece of fabric that secures round your tummy with velcro. It helps to guide your split stomach muscles back to their pre-pregnancy position and flatten your stomach at the same time. I've heard horror stories of new mums saying their stomach muscles went back but trained outwards meaning they always feel about 3 months pregnant. Although you can fix this, it's just extra work that you don't need when you're trying to get into shape after having a baby.
I've taken some before and after pictures which to be honest I'm beyond nervous to share with you. I'm embarrassed at the before picture and although I'm pleased with the results of the Belly Bandit I feel I'm putting myself out there to be scrutinised and judged for my post baby body. I feel vulnerable but happy to share how much of a difference the belly bandit has made for me.
I must admit I do accredit the majority of my weightloss to breastfeeding as I have been living on a diet of tea & cake for the past 2 months which will soon change now I am allowed to go back to the gym and kickstart my healthy eating for summer. But with this being said I haven't put on any weight, I've actually lost over a stone since having Charlie which I am pleased about but I have a whole long way to go before I'm finally happy with my figure. Although in saying that, will we ever be happy with what we've got? Probably not! It's not all about what's on the scales though, for me it's how I feel in my clothes. I want to be comfortable and happy to wear a t-shirt and jeans and not worry about my muffin top spilling over as I lift up the kids. I also want to be healthy enough to run about with them at the park and look after myself because I feel I owe it to them as their mummy to make sure I'm fit & well. Obviously I'd love a toned flat stomach and I'm sure if I work hard I could get there. There's got to be an element of life balance though and I'm afraid I just love dunking biscuits in my tea more than running on the treadmill...
As a dog owning family, trips outdoors for walks and park time adventures are an all too frequent occurrence, and although Ella is great on her feet she would never be able to keep up a decent pace with us without the use of her buggy. We are fortunate that she never puts up much of a protest to go in it but with that being said it does sometimes feel like a bit of an ordeal to take a big pram out for a short walk down to our local park.
We were looking for something to help with this transition from toddling to confident walks to the park but knew that inevitably she would get to a stage where she would end up cycling or using a scooter as her little mode of transport and that's where the SmarTrike Infinity 5-in-1 trike came in.
With the ability to take little ones on board from 10 months up to 3 years, we knew the SmarTrike was going to be a worthwhile addition to our home and I wasn't disappointed. It's impressive design allows it to adapt as your baby grows as it starts as a stroller and ultimately transforms into your child's first trike, which I can only imagine makes the start of learning to cycle less daunting as it's such a familiar product to them.
Admittedly, I was a little apprehensive when I started to unbox the SmarTrike and I seen how many parts there was to it, however after methodically looking at the photo instructions I soon realised how easy it was to assemble and was completely finished in less than 15minutes, which is pretty good going for a DIY amateur like myself.
The trike has 5 modes which includes the ability to recline to accommodate younger children particular during sleep times. There are handy foot rests the pop out from the sides of the central body of the trike and conveniently tuck away again as though they are part of the design when the child starts to use the foot pedals.
My favourite part about this SmarTrike is how plush the fabric feels. The super padded seat unit and canopy makes for a smooth, comfortable ride and also coordinates perfectly with the storage bag and handy pocket pouch located on the parent bar. I find the attention to detail with the storage fantastic as I have enough space to pack food, nappies, wipes, a spare coat etc in the bag as well as having a more convenient zipped wallet style pocket on the parent bar where I store my phone, keys money, hand sanitiser & doggy bags.
Since I'm often on my own & have had to learn the trick of walking a dog and pushing a stroller, I didn't know how easy this was going to fair with the SmarTrike but thanks to it's patented 'Touch Steering Technology' this was a breeze. I'm also pleasantly surprised with just how well made and sturdy the SmarTrike is despite it being so lightweight!
Ella has certainly enjoyed using it and we have had such joy watching her. She especially loves the little cup holder on the front so she can easily access her water & it seems she has been using her travel time to make all of her important calls as she plays with the phone attached to the front, a nice feature to keep kiddies entertained.
I'm looking forward to the good weather coming in as unfortunately living in Glasgow, Scotland we are not lucky enough to have dry days too often.
Have any of you used the SmarTrike range ? What are your thoughts?
Sleep, or lack of, is a hot topic when it comes to parenting so it's no surprise that the market is saturated with products claiming to give you that peaceful nights sleep you've been dreaming about -more specifically daydreaming, actual dreaming would involve sleep... which we are not getting right now, remember?
The power of social media can influence the perceived effectiveness of baby products. We have all been witness to babies blissfully sleeping in cribs, sleep aids, miracle performing swaddles and so on online which more often than not it is contrived for marketing purposes and there we are, falling for it hook line & sinker.
This is what I thought I was going to categorise the 'Sleepyhead of Sweden' into - the 'Instagram made me buy it' file with all of the other nonsense that I purchased when I became a mum for the first time with Ella. Of course it looks beautiful & more importantly it looks comfortable for my baby, but is it really worth the £110 price tag? It seems a bit steep for 'just a pillow'.
My intrigue for this product grew throughout my pregnancy as I felt I could never escape it. Pinterest worthy photos of dreaming babes, rave reviews & happy mummies - it all seemed too good to be true! So when I was given the opportunity to find out what I thought for myself, I grabbed it with both hands.
What is it?
So what is the Sleepyhead? It's a snug pod made from breathable materials said to 'reinvent the womb' to give your baby a sense of safeness and security. The thick bumper around the side of the pod helps to reduce startle reflex. When babies feel too much space around them like they would do in a crib or moses basket as a newborn they often get a fright and shoot their arms and legs out and this wakes them. The sleepyhead provides the same sensation of being held so your baby is less likely to suffer from startle reflex and sleep for longer - win!
When the product arrived I was impressed that it came in a protective cover/carry case, ideal for us since our baby, Charlie wasn't due for another few months and this kept it safe in storage.
Charlie is 6 weeks old and has been using his Sleepyhead since birth. We use it inside his bedside crib which really helps to pad out all of that extra space that he isn't filling right now. Considering Charlie is breastfed, he only usually wakes once during the night. We go to bed at around 10.30pm when I will give him his last feed and then he will wake at around 4am. We completely put this down to the effectiveness of the Sleepyhead because he is so comfortable, content and probably so unaware that he isn't being held anymore!
What I love about the Sleepyhead
There are so many more features that I love about the Sleepyhead.
It's portable. Ella is still in a travel cot when we stay overnight at my Mum's house so the thought of having to assemble 2 of them then find somewhere for them to sit would be a nightmare. Whenever I go to stay there I just take the Sleepyhead pod and put it in the bed beside me - it's great! There's also a carry handle at the top so when I'm making my trip from the car ladened down with 2 babies, a dog, a changing bag and an overnight bag I have a handle to loop on to a free part of my body!!
I also love the range of covers you can get it in, there's something to suit everyone. I opted for the classic white option because I thought this would work well for photos to get a nice simple background. The cover itself is such good quality. Charlie has been sick and weed all over his a few time now - it washes well and dries so fast. The only complaint I have is that the cover isn't the easiest to get back on again. We have the hang of it now but the first few attempts it was quite frustrating to get the cushion to fit and close the zip but I suppose this is due to the nature of the design, to feel snug and cosy.
How long does it last?
The Sleepyhead deluxe goes from 0-8months but there's also a next stage called the Sleepyhead Grande which is for 8-36months, I would love to get that one as he grows. We will be transitioning Ella from cot to toddler bed soon, something that I am really anxious about, primarily because I'm scared she will fall out and hurt herself so I think to help with this process we will need to look at the Grande for her.
Overall I am so impressed with this product and so glad that it wasn't just a fad! Not only is it sleek and luxurious looking but it actually lives up to it's dreamy sleep claims. If you're thinking about getting a Sleepyhead or are having a baby and haven't heard of them before then I would get it to the top of your present list because it's something we just couldn't live without now!