How to win the Thumb War – finger guards for kids

So every so often a true unsung hero of a product comes along that deserves its time in the spotlight.  It may not be flashy, it may not be expensive but if it does what it says on the tin then it is definitely a purchase worth making.  Say hello to the Thumbsie.

Rewinding a little to when Little B was a teeny baby.  I was beyond thrilled when, rather than rely on a dummy like her bro, she sought out her two fingers and self soothed in an instant.  She slept through the night quicker and car rides were a dream.  In fact I felt like we were winning at life even if the sound of her sucking her fingers was akin to Maggie from the Simpsons.  Roll on a few years and in her fourth year it wasn’t quite so sweet.  Whereas I became the ‘finger police’ at home, at school I heard she was doing it more and more.  This Easter holidays I had had enough when I caught her sucking her fingers almost 80% of the day.  Our dentist was also not such a fan and so the midnight googling began.  Yes there was the revolting nail varnish stuff that I remembered from my thumb sucking youth but I was a prime example that it never truly worked.  Then I stumbled across the Thumbsie.  Created by a mum, who like me was looking for an alternative solution, she designed a soft cotton glove that covered her daughter’s thumb. When worn consecutively over 3-5 weeks it breaks the habit and voila the days of thumb or finger sucking are behind you.  Although part of me was sceptical I thought it was worth a shot and I am so pleased we did.

I ordered the finger guard version and chose a couple of fabrics that would appeal to Little B (a unicorn one and a purple pony one).  In hindsight I should have ordered 3 as they come home from school filthy, you need a new one for night-time and then I sometimes wasn’t quick enough at washing the school one.  On arrival I would best describe them as a little pillowcase for the 2 fingers that velcros around the wrist.  The accompanying reward sheet was also worth it and once back from school and when I made sure she wasn’t ‘hangry’ I did the grand unveiling.  Little B loved the prints, thought the reward chart was ‘cool’ and was quite delighted to have something her brother didn’t.  Night 1 was a huge novelty and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I checked on her and saw it was still in place and she had nodded off to sleep.  School thankfully was another triumph as there was much fanfare from her friends about the unicorns although a few people mistook it for a bandage and kept asking her how she had hurt her fingers!

Long and short of it is that 5 weeks later we are in the clear and I am just so happy it was achieved in such a positive and kind solution.

Big literal ‘Thumbs Up’ to Jo for making her finger guards and no doubt Little B will get a high 5 when we next visit Mr Dentist too.

All in the detail:

Thumb and Finger guards, £9.95 each
Come in variety of fun prints – you choose
Bundle options available and measuring guide online too
For more info and to buy click here

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Night at the Museum – Dino Snores for kids

What do get your bug obsessed, nature-loving explorer of a son for his birthday? My friend provided the perfect answer when she mentioned Dino Snores – a sleepover for kids aged 7-11 at the Natural History Museum.   I had no idea you could spend a night under the Blue Whale, in one of the most incredible and iconic buildings in London, and when the date of our adventure rolled round it was hard to know who was more excited.
 
Upon booking your tickets for Dino Snores for Kids you get the opportunity to win one of 20 exclusive spots at the Airbnb Base Camp. And what a Base Camp it was.  On arrival we were greeted by our Explorer host, who led us up the steps to the balcony of the Hintze Hall and to a rather realistic looking campfire and log setting. Further treats were in store when we were shown to our camp beds, either side of a giant sequoia and overlooking the breathtaking blue whale skeleton.
Airbnb Base Camp is all about the detail.  Sounds of the jungle fill the air, a fancy dress trunk awaits and even the loos or ‘long drops’ were given a creepy crawlie makeover. Little A was thrilled to see his camp bed complete with hanging lantern and tented canopy and the fun didn’t stop there.  Dino Snores for Kids was super well organised and we soon set off on our evening of adventure.  First up came a Science and Space show in one of the lecture rooms. A rocket launch, lots of fizz, pops and smoke from the science bench and specimens from space all eagerly devoured by our wannabe Astronauts and embarrassing to admit but my friend and I also learnt a few facts along the way. (Pluto is no longer considered a ‘planet’ in our solar system and is now reclassified as a ‘dwarf planet’ FYI!) After a brief pit stop back round our cosy campfire (you pack a snack and the fact you are eating it past 9pm basically makes it a midnight feast).  Next up was designing your own Dinosaur T shirt.  Each activity was led by brilliant NHM staff all bubbling with excitement and interesting facts that kept the children fully interested even past their bedtime.  T-shirt designs complete and stowed away for us, we were off on the final activity of the night – a torch lit trail through the Dinosaur exhibit.  This one isn’t for the faint hearted especially given that the animatronic T-Rexy is waiting for you at the end. Hearts pumping and eyes beginning to look a little weary it was up to the balcony for us and time to bed down at the Airbnb Base Camp.
 
Activities finished around 11pm and the light’s go off at midnight. I was somewhat surprised that after 10 mins of overtired giggling from Little A he actually nodded off to sleep.  He then woke me at 6am needing a call of nature but aside from that slept like a log.  The ‘Animal Man’ is waiting to entertain you after breakfast with a live animal show before the magical bubble disperses and the Museum gets ready for opening time.
Definitely the experience of a childhood and a memory I will cherish of the boy and me time.  If the little one in your life is aged 7-11 and into adventure then this is the sleepover for you.
All in the detail:
We arrived just before 7pm.
Airbnb Base Campers receive a lovely goody bag on arrival.
2 camp beds per ‘tent’
Do pack an eye mask as some lights do stay on so if you are like me and like pitch black then definitely take one
You wear your clothes to sleep in so think ‘overnight flight’ comfort
I put Little A into his PJs with his Boden onesie on top
Pack slippers – marble floors on the walk to the loo
Airbnb Base Camp at the Natural History Museum was simply one of the best experiences for kids we have ever done.
For availability and more info click here
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The new ‘It’ bag – Marloe London

No longer just the dreamy one-stop-shop for the perfect Muslin, Marloe London has branched out into accessories and I want them all.  My top pick for this Christmas is their uber useful Zip Pouch.  The perfect gift for any new kid on the block or Godchild, the zip pouch is made out of heavy weight cotton, has a cool waterproof lining and you can pop their name or initials on the front.  It’s one of those items that would soon infiltrate your daily life in a number of guises – change bag, snack carrier, wash bag, laundry bag or older children could even put their phones/tablets in them.  We use Little B’s as a washbag and you can literally fit everything in.  It comes with a wristlet so you could easily sling it in whichever bag you are toting for the day.  Check out their oversized family bag – great gift for the sister in law.

Also coveting their brass Alphabet charms, £22, perfect for new mums or stocking fillers. Like all lovely Marloe London gifts everything comes beautifully wrapped ready to go.

Especially for PATP readers you can get an exclusive 15% off using the code mumsrule at checkout

All in the detail:
All by Marloe London
Zip Pouch, £25
Family Bag, £65
All can be personalised
Click here to view`
Princess and the Pram readers can receive 15% off their entire order by using the code: mumsrule at checkout

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Doctor Who? Doctor on Demand

So we have all been there when you are packing your bags for holiday and your Little One comes down with a sore throat/rash/ailment and the phone line to your GP seems permanently engaged.  Help is at hand in the form of a handy little app – Qure.

Currently operating in and around Zone 1 and SW postcodes, but will soon be expanding to other areas, it really is worth knowing about.  I put it to practice last weekend when after a period of feeling run down I discovered that the rash on my face might just be the dreaded shingles.  It was a Sunday and as the rash was near my eye I knew I needed to see someone asap.  I downloaded Qure and within 2 hours Dr Dewan arrived at my door. Diagnosis confirmed I had my prescription and was able to start a course of medicine the same day.

Brilliant for those times when travel is problematic with poorly Little Ones as a GP will come directly to you. Prices start at £70 and include a 20 minute consultation.

All in the detail:

Download Qure from your App Store
Currently Zone 1 London and SW postcodes
Prices £70 weekdays per appointment
Weekends £90
For more info click here

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Fashion Forward – new discovery Anna & Louis

Perusing the fabulous Daisy Trust Fair the other week I stumbled across kids fashion label Anna & Louis.  Bringing simple but chic Spanish style to London, Anna & Louis has some really gorgeous pieces – lots of collared dresses, chunky knits and a fine boys selection too.  I snapped up this tartan dress in the sale for Little B’s festive frolics this Christmas.

Adorable outfits for babies too. Take a look.

Take a look.

All in the detail:

All by Anna & Louis
Click here to view

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Let’s Talk Teeth – Invisalign

So as the years go by and the fine lines on my face are making themselves known, one thing I think can still make a difference the older I get, is good teethypegs.  Whilst holidaying with my mother she mentioned that my front tooth was starting to push forward and shock horror she was right.  A swift trip to the dentist confirmed that your teeth do shift with age and although I had joined the train-track brace gang in my teens, I would indeed benefit from a little straightening out.  Vanity got the better of me and I opted for Invisalign.  In short the dentist takes a mould of your teeth and attaches little ‘buttons’ to your teeth that then fit a series of bespoke clear aligners.  You have a course of treatment which includes a number of aligners and come away with nice straight teeth at the end.

Invisalign is a financial investment so you are best to have a consultation and see how you feel.  I go to Pure Smiles in Fulham and so far my treatment has been a lot easier than the old train track variety.

Some things worth noting though –
– Invisalign is a commitment, for results you have to wear your aligner 20 to 22 hrs a day even if it is a special day like attending a wedding etc.
– You can’t eat with your aligner in which means no more snacking (I consider this a mega plus as it has stopped me hoovering up the kid’s leftovers!)
– Sadly it is goodbye to Shellac nail varnish – it chips as you remove your aligners.
– Even worse it’s goodbye to lipstick too.   I had a disastrous first outing trying to wear my beloved Mac Lady Danger and it smeared all over the front my new aligner.
– It is likely that at the end of your treatment you will need a retainer of sorts to stop them moving again.

I have also upped my dental hygiene armoury to include the Oral-B Pro 2500 Toothbrush. It comes in either black or pink and includes a handy travel case so no excuses when on holiday.  My dentist also recommended Tepe flossing brushes which I find a whole lot easier than the old dental floss type.

Will keep you posted on my quest for the perfect smile.

All in the detail:

I go to Pure Smiles in Fulham for my Invisalign Treatment – 0203 613 3343 
They have practices on Fulham Road and New King’s Road 
Oral-B Pro 2500 Toothbrush available on Amazon

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Angel Delight – Olivier Baby for Angelmans

Meet this smiling little cherub Amelia modelling her insanely cute new cashmere jumper by Olivier Baby & Kids.  Amelia was born with Angelman Syndrome, a neurological disorder characterised by profound developmental delays and no functional speech, and 100% of the proceeds from the sale of this new cashmere collection will go to the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics (FAST UK).

FAST UK is a charity dedicated to increasing awareness of Angelman Syndrome and in turn work on finding a cure. The Foundation is also committed to assisting individuals living with Angelman Syndrome to realise their full potential and quality of life.

A wonderful addition to any winter wardrobe and a brilliant reason to buy one.

All in the detail:

Cashmere Jumpers available in Cream, Duck Egg and Smog Grey (Pink coming in Nov)
Sized 3mths – 4years
£59-74
Baby rompers online
Cashmere Blankets coming soon 

Click here to view 

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Get with the Picture – curating your own walls

So how many of us are guilty of snapping a hundred pics of the kids, only for them to fester in a folder on your laptop rather than be printed out and enjoyed? The other day a friend gave my two Littles their own photo flip albums with recent holiday pics inside and they were thrilled to actually see them physically printed out.  As I am way too lazy to take memory sticks to shops and rummage for albums, a new website has caught my attention and it is simply brilliant at providing a straightforward, easy way to create masterpieces from the snaps off your smartphone.  Even better, if you are an Instagram junkie then there is an easy file upload tool to take snaps straight off your insta feed. Hello Inkifi.

For Father’s Day, I gave the husband one of their wonderful Instagram Gallery Frames (see above) documenting the last year or so and it duly arrived all framed and ready to don the walls.  Their photobooks are also super easy to use and a lot less of a faff than other photobook websites.  I like their framed Instagram prints for £30 for presents too.

Its time to get with the picture, download the app (its the way I ordered) or go to their website and quite soon your pics will be released from desktop purgatory and sitting quite happily on your coffee table or merrily hanging on your walls.

All in the detail:

All by Inkifi
Download their app or visit their website
You can order Prints, Photo Books and Wall Art 

Their Instagram Photo book is £15.99 for 24 pages
The Instagram Gallery Frame is £52.00 and 20 x 16 inch
If you don’t have Instagram then don’t fret you can simply download pics from your computer folders.

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All in 1 – Outdoor Overalls for kids

Beatrix Potter, Kendal Mint Cake, and some pretty fine scenery are not the only good things Cumbria has got going on.  Welcome Lakes and Lambs.  The brainchild of a busy mum who couldn’t find well designed, all purpose overalls for her young children so she decided to design her own.

If you are bored of the endless clothing changes required when your Little Ones retreat from playing outdoors covered in dirt and dust then these are for you.  The lightweight fabric is soft and breathable yet durable, and comes with a water and stain repellant invisible coating.  Pop over shorts and t-shirts for the summer days ahead or bulk up with a jumper underneath when winter prevails.

I love the nostalgic, childhood prints – I bought ‘flower meadow’ for my Goddaughter’s first birthday and boys will adore the ‘Busy Bugs’ or ‘Little Farm’ versions.  Lakes and Lambs currently have a sale on so snap up yours now and save on your washing all summer.

All in the details: 

Children’s printed boilersuits all by Lakes and Lambs
Sizes 1 – 5 years
Currently £29.95 in the sale
Gift Boxes available too so you can send pressies direct 

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Let’s Get Personal – monogram marvels

So a couple of years back I went to the States and was in absolute heaven will all the monogramming/personalisation options you could find in the shops.  I came back with all manner of things embossed and initialled and simply couldn’t find anything to compare in the UK….that is until now.  Hello Initially London.  If you have a friend’s birthday, need to take a pressie whilst staying with friends or you simply fancy having a ‘me me me’ moment then take a look at their gorgeous personalised goodies.  I have the wonderful Covent Garden Market Basket personalised in hot orange that I will be toting all summer.  Adorned with a lovely co-ord tassel – it’s the perfect size for the beach, park time or even just grabbing your evening groceries.

Next on the my hotlist is their St James cotton seersucker wash bags.  At £25 they are the perfect pressie for a galpal and you get to play designer and choose from a series of styles and colour thread choices.  I am hankering after the baby pink seersucker with an apple green italic monogram.

Brothers, fathers and boys in general needn’t be left out as they have a broad selection of boot bags, wash bags and sports bag all in ‘manly’ finishes.  For babes their nappy covers make the perfect newborn gift.

So if you have a large brood or just fancy getting organised, take a look and have fun adding your initials to their fantastic designs.

 

POP UP SHOP ALERT
All South West Londoners – you can pop down to Papouelli at 187 New Kings Road where Initially London has taken up residence for the week.  Monday 8th through to Sunday 14th May.

All by Initially London
Click here to view
Prices range from £20-£75 and include monogramming
All feature an embroidered monogram and you get to choose the font style and thread colour
Most importantly they have no limit on the number of letters so you can have house names, mantras and hashtags
If you are not sure on which initial goes where, then check out their super helpful monogram guide
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