The Best Household Tech Devices For New Parents

Technology is advancing all the time and it is often providing us with new devices that can simplify our daily tasks. Together with Babythingz, retailers of cosytoes (carefully designed cocoons for your little ones), I have shortlisted the latest nifty gadgets which can provide a helping hand to new parents. If you’re stuck for a Christmas gift for a new parent, these may be the perfect purchases for you:

Parent and baby smartband

We are all familiar with the smartbands that have been created to monitor health and fitness – nearly every household has one. The parent and baby smartband goes one step further and has been specially designed for new parents. It can be used during pregnancy to track foetal movements, exercise progress and doctors’ appointments and the parent’s fitness is tracked through steps, calories burned, distance travelled and hydration levels.

It can even be used after birth. The technology can be used to track feedings, pump sessions, vitamin intake, diaper changes and many other reminders to help you day-to-day. There is even a corresponding app so that you can link the data from the band to your phone.

These products have received positive reviews. Many new parents have claimed that it has helped them through both pregnancy and with monitoring their new-born.

Portable white noise machine

As research revealed that the noises that a baby hears in the womb can be replicated after birth, white noise machines have been developed. They have been found to help your baby get to sleep as they find the noise soothing.

Technological advancements have led to the release of the portable white noise machine. This gadget is discreet meaning that only your baby can hear the soothing sounds and it will not disturb others – handy in my household so as not to wake Jack. The gadgets can play a variety of tracks such as heartbeat, ocean waves and raindrops.

They have been developed to turn off after a certain amount of time too. So, if your baby does drift off, the sounds won’t be playing all night long thankfully.

Pacifier thermometer

As new parents will know too well, trying to take a baby’s temperature can be difficult as they wiggle and squirm out of your grasp. At the same time, it is important to monitor your baby’s temperature as it can be an indicator of a cold or perhaps they’re too hot under the blankets.

The recent invention of the pacifier thermometer has addressed this issue. In the shape of a pacifier or ‘dummy’, this thermometer will fit nicely into your little one’s mouth and they won’t even know what you’re up to. A perfect alternative to the traditional thermometers which can cause your baby to become a little agitated. Olivia often wriggles so this would be perfect for her.

Video monitors

Baby monitors have always been an essential purchase for new parents. It allows them to sleep that little bit easier, knowing that if their baby stirs they will hear it through the monitor.

Through the rise of tablets and smartphones, the new monitor includes video feature. This allows you to see the baby from a different room. It also works across the internet too so you can watch your baby from work whilst the other half is babysitting.

Self-warming bottles

Many parents are reluctant to go out when they know that it will be feeding time. Often at a restaurant, it can be a worry that there won’t be a facility to warm your baby’s milk or what if they overheat it? Mimicking the design of self-warming hand warmers, self-warming bottles have been designed. 

There’s no need for a microwave or kettle when you have one of these handy gadgets. With one press of the button, the system heats itself up and warms the milk to the natural temperature of breast milk.

You can use it as many times as you like too, simply recharge it in the microwave or pan and it is ready to be used again.

Collaborative Post

You Are Growing Up Too Quickly, My Son

Many people recently have said how quickly Jack is growing up, how much bigger he looks since they last saw him – and I am inclined to agree.

Maybe it is since I have had Olivia that I have noticed how much more mature he seems and how much he is becoming his own person, maybe it was slightly before then but the fact remains that he has certainly developed into his own unique personality, his own unique style. From speaking with his teachers at this recent Parent’s Evening, I was informed that he had definitely become more confident – although still much more confident with his peers than teachers and other adults.

This is clear to see in the way he acts at home – the things he does, the way he speaks, how he dresses. He is reluctant to allow us to pick out clothes for him – unless he is being very lazy, of course – and he likes to sort out what he is wearing in the morning. The only clothes he allows me to sort for him are his school uniform and his football clothes for his after school football club.

He knows what he wants to put together and how he wants them to go and has started showing an interest in buying clothes when out in town. He often likes to visit Pep & Co and Primark in town and has recently started wanting to visit River Island for their boy’s range as they have such ‘cool’ clothes. He has told me that he is hoping for some clothes from there for his birthday and/or Christmas – I think I’ve got a little trendsetter on my hands. He has also been passed down some great quality Next, M&S and GAP stuff from one of our friends – some still with the tags on – he went through and picked out the things he liked most.

He simply is growing up too fast and it is so important to treasure these days. He is more confident, he is reading slightly above the level expected of his age and he is right on the level for Maths too. He is a very intelligent little boy and he is growing up into a wonderful young man – I just wish these days would slow down.

I’m treasuring these days as they come but it sure does make me sad how quickly they pass us by – if only I had Bernard’s Watch, then I could stop time for as long as I wanted!

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How effective has Stoptober been?

The sixth edition of Stoptober is upon us. Running throughout October, the 28-day event was set up by Public Health England to encourage people to stop smoking from the start of October.

To find out how successful Stoptober has been over the years, Nicotinell, manufacturers of a variety of stop smoking products, has examined the following research:

How Stoptober is helping people to begin their quit

Search volume and Google Trends data around relevant keywords linked to the Stoptober campaign provides plenty of insight into how popular this Public Health England initiative has become.

For example, the average monthly search volume for the term ‘Stoptober’ in the UK was 18,100 between August 2013 and July 2017. However, spikes for this keyword were recorded in September and October of each year analysed; the highest of which was with 266,570 searches in September 2014, followed by 87,410 searches in October 2014.

UK Google Trends data follows a similar pattern. Where 100 refers to peak popularity, interest in Stoptober over time has seen interest peaking at 100 for the week of September 29th to October 5th 2013 when analysing the last five years of search data. There was also a score of 80 recorded in the week of September 28th to October 4th 2014— the highest score across the whole of 2014—and a score of 67 in the week of September 27th to October 3rd 2015, which was the highest score achieved for the entirety of 2015.

Of course, it is to be expected that Stoptober would achieve spikes in search volume around September and October due to the timing of the annual campaign. However, what effect does the initiative have on related keywords?

Stop smoking

The average search volume for the keyword ‘stop smoking’ in the UK was 14,800 searches for the period covering August 2013 to July 2017. However, the following are spikes which have been seen for this keyword over the past few years:

  • There were 60,320 searches in September 2013.
  • 57,630 searches in October 2013.
  • 49,100 searches in September 2014.
  • 51,670 searches in October 2014.
  • 53,470 searches in September 2015.
  • 53,160 searches in October 2015.
  • 46,210 searches in September 2016.
  • 47,770 searches in October 2016.

In fact, apart from 2016, September and October has been among the top three months for the highest search volume for the keyword ‘stop smoking’ since 2013 — only the month of January achieves higher search volume, when New Year’s resolutions take precedence.

Nicotine gum

The average search volume for the keyword ‘nicotine gum’ in the UK was 1,000 searches for the period covering August 2013 to July 2017. However, the following are among the spikes which have been seen for this keyword over the past few years:

  • There were 3,820 searches in October 2013 — a higher search volume than any month from August 2013 to and including December 2013.
  • 4,010 searches in September 2014 — the third highest search volume of the year, behind October 2014 and January 2014.
  • 4,280 searches in October 2014.

Nicotinell

The average search volume for the brand name ‘Nicotinell’ in the UK was 720 searches for the period covering August 2013 to July 2017. However, the following are among the spikes which have been seen for this keyword over the past few years:

  • There were 1,460 searches in November 2013 — a higher search volume than for any month from August 2013 to and including December 2013. For this statistic, it is worth bearing in mind that while Stoptober is a campaign helping to get people to stop smoking for a 28-day period in October, those who take part in the campaign and aim to continue their efforts past this initiative are sure to find nicotine replacement products a great help.
  • 1,690 searches in November 2014 — the third highest search volume of the year, behind January 2014 and August 2014.

How Stoptober is helping people to achieve their quit

A press release by Public Health England, which was sent out ahead of the 2016 Stoptober campaign, contains many interesting statistics around making the UK a smoke-free nation.

For instance, 500,000 of the 2.5 million smokers who made a quit attempt in 2015 were successful — this is a success rate of 20 per cent, which is the highest recorded success rate on record. Public Health England was also keen to spotlight Nielsen data which revealed that the number of cigarettes that were sold in England and Wales dropped by 20 per cent between 2014 and 2016.

So, how does Stoptober play a role in the quit smoking journey of so many Brits? The reasoning behind the campaign, which saw more than 215,000 smokers sign up for the 2015 initiative alone, can help to answer this. The idea behind the event is tied in with evidence that smokers are five times more likely to give up smoking for good after they have gone 28 days without a cigarette.

Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, believes an ‘everyone in it together’ mindset proves beneficial too. He explains: “Stoptober is the perfect opportunity for people to take action to protect their health and join thousands of others who are also making a quit attempt this month.”

Sources:

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Spend Or Save? Making The Right Decisions For Your Family

Keeping your finances in check is no mean feat, especially when you have a family and you’re trying to think about both the present and the future. We all go through times when we have more or less money than usual, and sometimes, you have to make decisions about whether to spend or save. If you’re keen to take a firmer hold on your family’s finances, this guide should prove useful.

The benefits of budgeting

Before you think about spending money or making a payment to your savings account, check your balances and have a look through your monthly budget. If you don’t budget at home already, making plans can make life much easier. If you know what you’ve got coming in and what’s going out, this can help you work out how much disposable income you have and how much you can afford to save. Budgeting is very simple, it doesn’t take long, and you can update your budget as you go to ensure that it’s always accurate. If you tend to fall short by the end of the month on a regular basis, budgeting could be particularly beneficial for you. It helps to prevent overspending and enables you to spread your money over a period of time more effectively.

Speculating to accumulate

If you read finance articles frequently, you’ll come across lots of advice about saving money whenever it’s possible to do so. This is a wise thing to do, but sometimes, you may find yourself in a position where it may be beneficial to speculate to accumulate. Consider scenarios such as moving up the property ladder or making improvements to your home, which will add value in the long-term. If you’re renting and you’re thinking about buying a house, for example, it’s worth looking into your options. If you can get a deposit together, you may find that you’ll pay a lot less for your mortgage than you do in rent and you’ll be investing in an asset that you own. Likewise, if you need more space at home, spending money on an extension or an attic conversion could boost your coffers when you come to sell. If this option sounds appealing, you may find this article interesting http://www.goodhousekeeping.co.uk/news/how-to-add-value-to-your-home.

If you can’t afford to finance the next step, think carefully about your borrowing options and research lenders. You can find information about PrettyPenny.co.nz and other providers online. Before you sign on any dotted lines, make sure you can afford the repayments and ensure that the move makes financial sense. If you plan to convert the loft, for example, ask some agents and builders to come and give you quotes for building work and an estimated valuation once work is complete.

Living within your means

We’d all like to be in a situation where we can live comfortably and save at the same time, but this is not always possible. It’s most important to live within your means. If you’re paying the bills, but you’re not saving, don’t beat yourself up. It’s more important to avoid debt and bad credit scores than to try and save money you don’t have.

Managing your finances can be tricky, especially if you’re trying to live on a single income, you struggle to get from one month to the next, or you’re trying to clear debt. Hopefully, this guide will help you make the right decisions for your family.

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Strolling Around With The Britax Holiday Pushchair

Britax Holiday

We were sent this Britax Holiday stroller for the purpose of review due to being a Britax Mumbassador. All thoughts and opinions are our own. 

The latest addition to Britax Römer’s pushchair offering, the Britax Holiday is suitable for children from six months – 15kg (three years) and is one of the lightest pushchairs on the market, weighing only 5kg and free standing when folded with a compact length of 60cm and a width of 25.5cm. It can fit easily into the boot of a car or in the overhead compartments of other vehicles. It can be easily folded and unfolded with one quick motion and also has a carry strap for easy transportation.
Britax HolidayThe Britax Holiday includes a hood with sun visor, ventilation mesh on both sides of the seat as well as above the head and a large basket with a five-kilogram weight capacity for travel essentials. It has swivel front wheels and a five-point safety harness which can be easily adjusted to the height of your child in three positions to ensure children travel in both safety and comfort.

Britax HolidayBritax HolidayBritax HolidayBritax HolidayBritax HolidayBritax HolidayThe Britax Holiday is available in six colours: Coral Peach, Steel Grey, Cosmos Black, Aqua Green, Ocean Blue and Flame Red and is available exclusively at Argos from August 2017 and other retailers from January 2018, with an RRP of £120. We were sent a Flame Red model and have been putting it to the test over the past month in a variety of conditions.

Over the past month we have been to events on the common, to the zoo, round theme parks and just general day to day activities. I wanted to see how well it worked on the pavement, the road and off road. Lightweight, pushing it on paths and roads is an absolute dream. There is no problem with pushing it and can even be pushed with one hand if required with no worries of it veering off – it really is fantastic to push.

When it comes to off road, it can be a little difficult sometime if the grass or woodland is a little dense however being as lightweight as it is makes it easier to get back onto a piece of ground that is easier. So what do we think of the pushchair itself overall?

Britax Holiday Britax Holiday Britax HolidayFirstly, as I mentioned before, this pushchair is incredibly easy to push and even Jack can push Olivia round in it with some help. The colour is super bright and we’ve had plenty of compliments about it. The pushchair itself is small and sleek in size and can be transported easily – it fits in the footwell of the rear of the car leaving more space in the boot.

The hood does well to block out the sun. The basket is small – I do usually like a bigger basket but this has ample space for the essentials. The 5 point harness is perfect for keeping baby safely strapped in whilst remaining comfortable.

The school run has been made quicker and easier with the Britax Holiday – its sleek and fast movement lends itself to a fast walking pace so it is brilliant when I am rushing to get Jack to school or to pick him up. It is also perfect for short trips down the shops. I have a larger pushchair which I am reluctant to use for short journeys as it can be quite big and bulky so this makes for the perfect transport for such an occasion.

We’ve used this in many different places in the past month and I must say I am very impressed – easy to store, easy to carry, easy to push, sleek and comfortable for my child, what more could I want? Plus it comes in such lovely colours!

With an RRP of £120, I would definitely recommend picking one of these up if looking for something lightweight compared to the more bulkier models on the market. It is serving me and my family well.