lifestyle, parenting

Small Brands We Love

In a world of fast fashion and big businesses I like to try and shop locally or with small brands as much as possible. We have a few things that we use almost daily which we wouldn’t be without and would recommend to anyone with children.

Some of these would make great gifts and some are just brilliant, practical things that we recommend to any friends who are having their own children.

My Friend Goo

Ted cut his first teeth at 2 months old. He didn’t have the dexterity to hold the heavy teethers we tried, most seemed too hard for his tiny gums and many didn’t even fit in his mouth. A friend of ours recommended a new teether they’d tried called ‘My Friend Goo’ from Cloud & Cuckoo, we ordered immediately and Goo arrived the next day. Ted had been suffering with teething and was agitated and crying, as soon as I handed Goo to Ted he put the ear in his mouth, had a good chew and fell asleep. My Friend Goo is designed to be easy to hold, he’s hollow so not painful on sensitive gums and has absolutely no nasty chemicals. Jenna from Cloud and Cuckoo is inspirational and one of my favourite people to follow on Instagram. If you need a gift for parents to be I would thoroughly recommend Goo, they will definitely thank you in the months to come!

When Ted met Goo.

Totter and Tumble

When Ted started walking around the furniture I knew we were going to need something on our wooden floor to stop him bashing his head/ knees/ arms/ every body part! I looked everywhere for something that wouldn’t make my house look like a soft play centre but couldn’t find anything. We ended up buying hideous coloured puzzle squares. They were thick and protected Ted but came apart easily and were so garish to look at. Then I found Totter and Tumble on Instagram and ordered one of their Playmats immediately. Thick memory foam, big enough to cover most of my living room and beautifully stylish I would say this has been our best buy since having Ted. They are wipe clean, ideal when you have a toddler, and have saved him from many a bump when falling off the sofa or attempting to climb on or over things he shouldn’t be. We’ve had our mat for a few months now and it has survived sick, wee, poo and a couple of wine spills. Susie is absolutely lovely and most importantly as a parent she knows exactly how hardy the mats need to be to survive family life. I just wish we’d had ours from when Ted was first born.

Before and after Totter and Tumble.

Love Bee Baby

I love buying clothes for Ted, boys clothes are definitely getting better in shops but there is still far less choice than for girls. We will quite often turn up to classes to see other little boys in the same clothes as Ted. Laura at Love Bee Baby makes absolutely beautiful clothes from brilliant quality fabric and you can see how much thought and detail goes into each piece. I try to order a few bits for Ted every time he moves up a size and they wash so well that when he grows out of them they are packed away for the next baby (if we’re lucky enough to have another). If you’re looking for a special gift or just something stylish and different for your own baby then I really recommend Love Bee.

Ted’s leggings from Love Bee Baby.

Nod Pod

Dressing a tiny baby is stressful. Ted was born in September and was still little during the heavy snow. I used to worry about keeping him warm, not having anything too thick on in the car as I wanted him strapped in safely in his seat. I worried about always putting blankets over him in case he pulled them over his face. A friend bought us a Nod Pod and it was an absolute saviour. A star shaped blanket with legs to keep Ted’s toes cosy, a little hood to keep his head warm and made of soft, fleece material I knew Ted was safe and warm travelling around. That peace of mind was invaluable to me. Another great present for a new baby or a Christmas present for any new parents.

Snug as a bug in his Nod Pod.

The Willoughby Book Club

This is a recommendation for older children or even adults. My Godson is 6 and really interested in learning new things. Just before Christmas he had become an avid reader. I was struggling to know what to get him for Christmas when I came across The Willoughby Book Club. You sign up and tell them as much as you can about the recipient then each month they receive a book, gift wrapped, through their door tailored to their interests. I loved the idea of this as it felt like Ethan would be receiving a gift each month rather than just one thing on Christmas Day. He has thoroughly enjoyed receiving the books, his mum tells me that he counts down to ‘new book day’ on the calendar. The book club has introduced him to books that he might not have chosen himself and I know he has used the books to challenge himself. It is easy to update children’s interests and Willoughby Book Club’s customer service is absolutely brilliant. One of the books Ethan received was, although appropriate for his age, far too easy for him. I let Willoughby know and they immediately sent out a replacement and made sure nothing similar was sent again. I highly recommend them as a gift with a difference.

Because we all love a good read.

Do you have any recommendations for small brands that you love? I’m hoping to shop small for Ted’s Christmas presents so would love some suggestions!

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