10 Baby and Toddler Sleep Tips That Will End the Naptime Battle
This year I had the pleasure of working with Nicole Ray, the editor of Minty Magazine. She is one super lady - with a toddler in tow and a newborn, Nic has taken Minty from strength to strength. Did I mention that Nic is ever so lovely too?
Tell us about yourself and Minty
With a background in events Minty Magazine was an unexpected addition to my life! But as seems to happen so often, the birth of my son changed my perspective on life (obviously bringing children’s interiors right to the top of my priorities – haha!). I saw the magazine was for sale on one Instagram post and before I knew it negotiations were under way and the magazine was ours! I can never really explain what happened – something just drew me to it. I’ve never looked back! I absolutely love creating the magazine and nurturing our on-line community – it brings me endless joy, challenge and a new purpose.
I live a beautiful life in Bondi with my son, my partner David and our new baby girl on the way! (Edit: Nicole's has since welcome a beautiful baby girl called Florence)
What makes Minty different to other publication?
First and foremost, Minty exists to support the Australian Design Industry… I am so proud to offer our incredible brands and stores a beautiful and popular platform for exposure. That is certainly what drives me. Secondly, as a primarily on-line publication we are so lucky to offer our readers such an engaging experience – click through shopping and video for example add so much to our magazine.
How do you select the brands/products that you work with?
I am always drawn to business owners who love what they do – I believe energy creates energy and when I see a new product or store and chat to the creator it’s their passion and belief that pulls me in every time. I want to help them succeed and am so lucky to have an opportunity to help them grow their brand in some way.
I always want to represent the industry fairly, not just promote my tastes, so I will always look for well made, ethical, local, and purposeful elements as well as beautiful aesthetics.
Fave purchase for Charlie so far
Well it’s certainly his scooter that he spends almost every waking minute on! Whilst sprinting after him (particularly at 38 weeks pregnant!) isn’t my best look, I do have to acknowledge the joy it continues to brings him!
What’s on your wish list for your children at the moment?
OMG - where do I start?!
I love the Have A Nice Day range of toys for Charlie – they tick all of my boxes! So beautiful, practical and consciously made. Plus I love seeing Charlie’s little imagination go crazy at the moment with less directed play.
For number 2 on the way…
Well I really need to get cracking on the project… haha! A bassinet might be a good start?! Thank goodness for UrbanBaby for all my essentials! In the meantime the extensive range of Miann & Co cuteness streaming through my post box is keeping me very happy!
How do you juggle working and being a mum?
It is a juggle but I am so lucky to have a very supportive and present partner in crime who helps so much – particularly in the weeks leading up to deadline! Plus day care.. I definitely couldn’t manage without day care. I try to switch off from work when I’m with Charlie but it doesn’t always happen… especially as my optimal Instagram posting time is right at bed time…
What’s next for Minty?
We just ran our first workshop in Sydney which was so much fun and a great success – I can’t wait to roll out a full series of events in 2018!
Thanks Nicole! It was fab chatting with you. Minty 2018 Collector's edition is available for purchase here.
We were featured in Minty Spring 17!
Posted by Vanessa (an auntie to a much loved 2 year old little boy). Vanessa is a much loved team member at UrbanBaby and has been making mental note of gifts to buy for his little nephew. We asked Vanessa to put it in a blog post in case you are after some inspiration as well.
Sometimes little boys are much harder to shop for than little girls. But I have put together my shopping list for my 2 year old nephew. He has recently gotten into all things that have wheels and move. So here are what I am getting him for Christmas this year.
This is literally one of the coolest things I have ever seen. I remember playing on my brothers' car mat with them growing up. My nearly 2 year old nephew will love to play on this play rug with his older brother for years to come. The IVI Interactive Play Rugs have different textures allowing the cars to stay on the road. My nephew will love feeling the different textures as he plays with his cars and trucks.
This set is going to go perfectly with my nephew's IVI play rug. The traffic light, signs and the petrol pump is the perfect addition to his collection. My nephew will no doubt enjoy setting this set up on his play rug to play with this cars. They are beautifully made from rubber wood and will be loved for many many years. This set will fit well with all the cars my nephew has stacked in his room.
The Wee Gallery Animal Alphabet cards are a perfect first learning gift for my nephew. As he is now talking so much he will love naming the various items on each card. He will also learn his ABCs at the same time. I can’t wait to hear all the new words my nephew will learn and what letters he knows. He is growing up so fast. Also I am loving the Wee Gallery timeless monochrome design.
Colin’s camper van is perfect for my nephews little fingers. He will be able to put Colin in the van and take him out again. My nephew is completely into things with wheels that move around, he cannot get enough of them. I am sure he will love wheeling Colin’s camper van through the house this Christmas. I may need to have a look at the other indigo Jamm vehicles to go along with the van.
5. We Might be Tiny – Bear Snackie - Blue Dusk
I think my sister in law may love this gift more than my nephew but he will always enjoy what is inside (he loves his food). This bear snackie is perfect for little ones on the go and at home. The lid becomes a plate alongside the bowl. My nephew is nearly two and food is one of the highest priorities at this point. Anything that can go in his mouth will find its way there. As my nephew learns what foods he does and does not enjoy, he will always love grabbing it out of his new snackie. This snackie is made from a silicone base, threfore will not break when accidentally dropped. I can’t wait to see my nephew open this snackie to find some delicious Christmas treats this year.
I have a confession to make. I am a handbag girl - I LOVE love love handbags. Big tote bags are particularly my favourite because they can fit anything and everything!
Sadly all these bags that I purchased have to be stored away once my babies arrived. I swapped my pre-baby bags with a nappy bag. Whilst I love my nappy bag, I do feel my pre baby bags have been ignored sitting on the shelves for too long.
Until now - Thanks to ToteSavvy!
ToteSavvy is a clever solution that allows you to transform your bag into a nappy bag. It has a clever pocketing system that keeps everything organised and easy to reach. The great thing about tote bags is they are roomy and can fit so many things. On the downside, it can be difficult to find something as they are all lumped together. We all know that when kids want something, they want it stat! Therefore there is no time to rummage through things or even worse, tipping everything out.
ToteSavvy regular has 11 unique pockets to keep everything you and your child essentials where they should be, so you can find and access them easilty. There is an insulated pocket for bottle, pocket with flap as well as pocket for documents (bye crinkly forms) and key clasp. The generous size means ToteSavvy regular is suitable to pack for two kiddies. Packing the regular ToteSavvy is a breeze too because you can lay it flat to easily access and fill all the pockets.
ToteSavvy Mini has 6 clever pockets, including an insulated one for bottle as well as key clasp. Mini is perfect for a smaller bag and when you don't need to carry a lot of stuffs. Elasticised pocket tops also help keep the items inside the pocket.
Both ToteSavvy regular and mini come with change mat and are made from easy to wipe clean material.
Happy Friday lovelies!
We put together a few of our fave items (which turn out to be our customers' fave too judging from the orders that went out the past week) and we kinda like how they complement each other.
What do you think?
I think I am a ilttle bit of a colour girl and I love how neutral colour furnitures such as the Oeuf Bunny chairs can fit both crazy colourful rooms or a neutral tone rooms. I will have to post photos of my daughter bright and colourful bedroom.
And I hope the indoor plants trend will last forever! I love having indoor plants. My son's friend came over for a play date a few months ago and asked why I had so many plants in my house. Haha.
Anyway below are the links that will take you to the items showcased in the above photos.
1. Bear Playmat
2. Wee Gallery Growth Chart in Nordic (comes with a matching bag as shown on the chair)
4. Wee Gallery Animal Alphabet Cards (not really visible in the photo as it is in the basket - gah)
Thanks for looking! If you have any questions at all please feel free to email us at email@example.com or call us at 02 9526 6188.
At around 6 months of age, babies are no longer satisfied with breast/formula milk alone. You may find bubba staring at you when you are eating and reaching out for food to put in their mouth.
Both my kids started when they were 6 months of age and the good ol' rice cereal was their first solid. This was then followed by rice cereal mixed with banana, cooked fruit and then more exciting dishes.
I am sure many of us thinks starting solid is such an exciting phase. It absolutely is, but at the same time can be time consuming as babies only started with a very small quantities. It makes sense to make the food in bulk and freeze for future meal. I found my eldest did not mind having the same meal a few times in the row (he still doesn't!) but my youngest wasn't so keen on having the same meal over and over again.
Below are a few of my faves for freezing baby meal:
OXO Tot Baby Food Freezer Tray
The OXO tot baby food freezer tray is excellent to freeze baby food when they just first started solid. Each cavity is small and comes with a lid so that there is no freezer smell. They are also stackable in the freezer!
OXO Tot Baby Blocks Freezer Box
As bub 's appetite grow, you'll need a larger quantity of solid and OXO tot baby blocks freezer box is great for this as it can be use to store, freeze, reheat and directly serve to bub. The OXO Tot Baby Blocks freezer containers come in 60ml and 120ml size and is BPA, Phthalate and PVC free. It is also leakproof!
Littlelock Glass Food Containers
If you prefer glass version of containers which you can store, freeze, reheat and serve bubba's food, the Littlelock containers are perfect for this. It is available in 120ml and 210ml size and comes in pack of 3.
Wean Meister Freezer Pods
One of the most popular products for weaning is the Wean Meister freezer pods. It is made from a flexible and durable silicone and food comes out easily with an easy push. The freezer pod each has 9 cavity of 75ml. They are easy to clean and also comes with a lid to prevent freezer smell seeping through baby's food. No longer need it for freezing solid? Don't throw your freezer pods away! You can use them to bake mini muffins and to make healthy ice blocks. We still use ours to date. Gotta love products that are long lasting and multi functional.
At what age did your little one start solid? Did they like solids straight away? (Mine spat out their rice cereal when they first tasted them hahahaha...). Also how long until your child ate the same food with the rest of the family? My eldest had his own food until he was over 1 year of age but my youngest insisted that she had the same food with the rest of the family when she was 10 months old (by pointing at our food and shaking her head when offered her own!).
Oh winter – ‘tis the season for cold and flu!
With the freezing temperature unfortunately cold and flu seem to come often and linger for a little while. Cough and runny noses seem to make appearance most days than not.
Now I have been known to tell my friends and family about how our little family love acai bowl. We think they are super yummy and the kids eat them without complaints. The level of sickness in our household seems to be much lower since we start eating the acai bowl regularly too (touch wood).
We used to buy acai bowls from juice bar every weekend. We love it so much that we wanted to have them more often but were not be able to get to the juice bar any other day than on the weekends. I thought I give it a go at making them and am very excited to report that it taste just as good as the ones from the juice bar.
Acai berry is harvested from the Amazon and has very high content of antioxidant and vitamin C. We know that vitamin C is essential to keep the immune system high, therefore stopping cold and flu germs from attacking our bodies.
How we make our acai bowl ( serves 4):
2 Packs frozen pure Acai* ( we buy them from our local fruit shop, one packet has 4 individually sealed packs)
1 large frozen banana
2 cups cut watermelon
0.5 cup juice (we use Nudie apples, orange & mango)
Blitz them together and pour into bowls. If you like, top with cut banana, strawberry, passionfruit and drizzle with honey. Russell and I we have ours with Carman’s crunchy clusters as well and it keeps us full and stop us reaching for snacks.
We eat them after dinner as dessert most nights which is a win win. A yummy dessert which keeps everyone healthy as a bonus.
Note: Make sure you don’t pick up Acai with guarana. I am sure you the kids do not need extra energy from guarana. LOL
View Love Mae dinner sets
It has been raining a lot lately, which means less outdoor play and I am looking for creative ways to entertain the kids! I thought Play Dough could be an answer to ease the cabin fever.
Play Dough is popular with children of any age especially the little ones who really love the creativity. Making play dough at home is super easy and quick and only requires simple ingredients that you probably have in the pantry already.
The recipe I used recently was one that added jelly crystals to the mix. I find using jelly in the play dough recipes gives it a wonderful smell and colour and more elasticity.
It only took me about 15 minutes to make this play dough – which means it is not too long for the children to wait before they can play with it.
There are many benefits of playing with play dough. Just holding it and squishing it in their hands will give your child a tactile experience as the dough responds to their touch. Rolling, cutting and flattening the dough assists in hand-eye coordination and develops fine motor skills. Plus when kids use their stamps and shapes to imprint on the play dough they are also learning cause and effect, and the impact their pressure has on the shape of the dough. As play dough can be made into any shape, it is a great way to stimulate children’s imagination and creativity.
Using play dough is a calming activity. My kids spent almost an hour playing with their play dough. They rolled and squished, used their stamps, made shapes (Olaf and bunny), and pretended they were making cookies for each other. When they were finished with it, we put the playdough in a zip-lock bag and stored it in the fridge to reuse another day.
Mix jelly crystals, flour, salt and cream of tartar in a saucepan
Add warm water and oil
Mix with whisk until no more lumps visible
Place saucepan in medium heat and continuously stir until the mixture forms a very thick lump (a blob)
Take dough out of the saucepan onto clean surface and wait until cool enough to touch
Knead and add small amount of flour if too sticky
Play dough is ready!
I used a raspberry jelly which resulted in pink play dough. I thought it would be fun to have play dough in a few different colours, so I split the mix into three and added some food colouring. I added blue to one piece and yellow to another, and in the end we had a pink, purple and orange play dough (extra point – learning about mixing colours! My toddler is impressed. Magic! she said. LOL) I also found some leftover craft glitter so I added it to the dough, because who doesn’t need extra sparkle!
Hope you’re having a wonderful week!
Autumn is well and truly here. Summer was so hot and gorgeous and the warmth at the start of summer always excites me for the long hot days that are coming, the after-school/work beach swim and dinner eaten in the backyard. Bliss. However I adore autumn. Cooler weather, mellow afternoons, autumn leaves and snuggles whilst watching TV (anyone else sit 2 metres apart from each other during hot summer nights? LOL).
Another reason why I love autumn is soups! I love soups. They are easy to make, cook in one pot (less washing up!) and suit the whole family, including bubba.
Pumpkin soup is my fave, however I find we get hungry not long after we have finished eating it. These days I bulk up my pumpkin soup with potato and sweet potato to make it more filling.
When my babies were tiny I didn’t put the salt and pepper in until I put aside their portion.
Heat a heavy based large pan.
Add oil and sauté leek, onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes until leek and onion become transparent.
Put pumpkin, sweet potato, potato, carrot into the pan.
Pour in chicken stock to cover the vegetables.
Cook until vegetables are soft, add more stock/water if required.
Use hand blender to puree (careful for splashes - it is hot!)
Pour in milk, add mixed herbs, stir (simmer/low heat) until desired consistency
(if you have younger children, you may want to put theirs aside before you add salt and pepper)
Serve with grated Parmesan Cheese (I add sprinkles of dried chilli to mine!)
So easy to make and stores easily in the fridge or freezer for later on in the week. Enjoy!
See our baby food storage selection here if you like! (Click Here)
I make my own chicken stock because when my babies were little I found the ready-made one to have quite a high sodium content. I find them easy to make so I have continued to make it myself. I pretty much buy chicken bones (carcass) from the chicken shop, put them in a saucepan, cover in cold water, bring to boil and once boiled, reduce heat to low and simmer for 1-2 hours. I have left them simmering for 2-3 hours until the bones are soft therefore the stock tastier, but generally after 1 hour it is ok to use.