I’m an ambassador for a lovely local toy shop and firstly I just want to show you one of the little extra touches Hubbard’s Toy Cupboard do. It’s a really simple, it’s just a little ribbon tied on your bag of shopping, but it shows that extra care is taken. Likewise at Hubbard’s they’re always interested in your little one and chat to them about their interests, not to then do the hard sell on them (or you!) just to engage them in conversation and to entertain. They also have toys out that the children can play with while you mooch around the shop.
What I love about Hubbard’s is that most of the toys that they sell are educational. So I know that if I take Littlebit in there for a treat we’ll come out with something that she’ll learn from.
This fab Christmas game from Orchard Toys:
It is a festive colour and shape game, two games in one.
You can help Father Christmas to decorate the Christmas tree, a colour matching game with baubles and/or collect presents in a shape game matching the shaped presents to those in Santa’s sack. It’s double the fun.
But the real surprise comes when the excitement builds at the end of the shape game, as children turn over their cards to reveal the presents in Santa’s sack, which creates great anticipation, intrigue and reward. Littlebit loved this one the most and surprised me by knowing all of the shapes already.
It’s no secret that I love Christmas, and this love is shared by all of us in the Pinkwellies household. I love when the shops start putting their decorations up and we can often be found after playschool touring the local garden centre Christmas displays. Christmas does start fairly early in our house, though the decorations never go up until the first week in December as our Autumn decorations are up until Thankgiving (which we celebrate the last Sunday in November). But we start reading Christmassy stories mid November and watching Christmas films so now we can add playing this Christmas board game to our traditions.
We’ve only had the game a little over a week but we’ve so far played it at least once a day. So it’s definitely a winner for us!
Hubbard’s are selling it for £8.99, a bargain I reckon.
Any regular readers of this blog will know that Littlebit was born 10 weeks premature. This is the reason I support World Prematurity Day (which is today by the way) and charities like Tommy’s and Bliss, charities that work towards reducing the incidence of premature births and strive for better outcomes for the babies that are born early.
Prematurity – the facts
- Premature birth, or pre-term birth, is defined as being born before 37 weeks gestation.
- 1 in every 13 babies are born prematurely in the UK each year – around 60,000 births – and they frequently need monitoring and support in hospital for days, weeks or even months.
- Premature babies haven’t finished growing and the earlier they are born, the more likely they are to experience health issues such as chronic lung disease or bowel problems, and to struggle with feeding and keeping warm.
- The earliest and smallest babies can weigh just 500g, or 1lb.
- For babies born at 26 weeks and under, the average stay in hospital is 111 days, nearly 16 weeks.
- More than half of twin pregnancies, and almost all triplets, are born prematurely. The average length of pregnancy for a woman expecting triplets is 34 weeks.
- The numbers of premature births in the UK are increasing. Possible factors are women having babies later in life, and higher numbers of multiple pregnancies caused by fertility treatments.
I know first hand how hard it can be when your baby is born prematurely. You need information but don’t really have the time or patience to find it. This is why Tommy’s have created this fabulous app. I was lucky enough to be on the trial run of the app and be able to test it and feed back to them before launch. I’m really excited by this as I truly believe it will make a parents journey through NICU, SCBU and prematurity that tiny bit easier. If that’s possible.
The Tommy’s My Premature Baby App has been designed in consultation with mums and dads of premature babies.
It includes the following features:
- Tommy’s expert Having a Premature Baby Guide available in an easily searchable format.
- A diary feature, allowing parents to record their baby’s progress, significant milestones such as coming off breathing support, and their own thoughts and feelings. Users will also be able to search for other people’s prematurity diaries on the App (depending on permissions).
- The ability to plot weight and height on development charts customised for premature babies.
- The ability to record times, amounts and types of feeding and set alarms for breast feeding or expressing.
- A sharing function, so that baby’s pictures and progress can be shared easily with loved ones or shared more widely via Facebook.
- A Finding Friends feature. Mums and dads can enter their own postcode and contact other local parents by email who have been through the prematurity journey.
Having a premature baby – the experience
For parents, having a baby early is a nerve-wracking experience leaving them full of questions about their baby’s health, care and progress.
- A new survey from Tommy’s has revealed that only 1 in 3 parents of premature babies felt excited about telling loved ones their baby had arrived, and 1 in 5 were so worried they didn’t want to tell anyone at all.
- Parents of premature babies were also reluctant to share the news on social media – 7 in 10 parents of babies born at full term made an announcement on Facebook within 48 hours, in comparison to 4 in 10 mums and dads with babies born prematurely.
Tommy’s Midwifery Manager Emma-Lees Lang said:
“Nothing can prepare parents for their baby arriving too soon and the early days can be an emotional roller-coaster of learning, questioning and weathering the ups and downs of their baby’s progress.
“Premature babies can need a lot of care, testing and monitoring and all the different equipment, charts and information can be a lot for mums and dads to take in. We created the My Premature Baby App so that parents can quickly search for expert information at any time of day and night, keep track of their baby’s development and care needs, and share their baby’s journey with wider family and friends – all without leaving their babies’ side.”
I am so pleased Tommy’s have created this app. I wish we had had it when Littlebit was in hospital. Well done Tommy’s.
A while back I wrote about the clever people at Tiny Me who wanted to develop a contemporary, high quality version of the timeless wooden name puzzle which is fully customisable, looks fantastic and has hidden educational super powers. Tinyme woodenname block puzzles. Well their Kickstarter campaign was a success and we are lucky enough to have been sent one for Littlebit to review.
The personalised wooden name block puzzles are:
- Unique: I got to choose the font, colour, pattern and design to create a totally unique puzzle. Tiny Me make the puzzles to order providing us with a classic and truly personalised gift which can be treasured for years to come. I loved the choice of colours and spent ages on the website choosing which combination and which pictures to accompany her name.
- Educational: the puzzles have 2 slide-in cards. The first card allows your little one to create their name by matching letter and colour. Once they’ve mastered this step, simply slide out the card to reveal the black and white text version. No colour prompt means that matching needs to be based only on letter.
- Practical & great quality: the puzzles come with a cute felt storage pouch to make packing up easy and as always are really good quality.
- Name blocks come in 4-9 block versions starting at £22.00 for the 4 block puzzle. Additional blocks are just £1.50 each and the matching felt storage pouches are included in the price!
- Recommended for children over 18 months of age. Littlebit is 4 and knows how to spell her name, she can just about write it herself. But this puzzle is still great for her as it reinforces that knowledge and she loves to pop the blocks in and out. It’s pretty too. I plan to pop some blu-tak on each piece now she’s played with it a lot and use it as a name plate, so it’s multi function too. When she wants to play with it again we’ll just take the tak off.
Because I try to keep Littlebit’s real name anonymous on this blog I can’t show you her whole puzzle but it’s really pretty and I am really impressed with the quality of the blocks. They’re nice a sturdy so tiny hands will find them easy to manoeuvre in and out of the frame.
After a couple of tries with the cards Littlebit could pop them in in the correct order without them. And now we turn them upside down she chooses one and places it in the correct place, without the corresponding card. Proud Mama.
This is a review post. We were provided with the personalised wooden name blocks for review. All opinions are my own.