JoJo Maman Bebe Pocket Dinosaur Review

We’ve recently been buying up plenty of wooden toys. After seeing how much Gracie loved her other wooden animals that we’d picked up, I was excited to get the Pocket Dinosaur set for her.

This box cost us £15.00 from a high street shop. The box contains 18 pieces, 12 dinosaurs (6 pairs), 4 trees, and 2 volcanoes. While the box states that the toys are suitable from 18 months, Gracie is enjoying them at 13 months, and the size and quality of these toys are equal to that of other toys that are suitable for her age.

The 12 dinosaurs are in bright colours that Gracie found really attractive. She loved that there were two of every dinosaur, in two different colours. This gave her the opportunity to pair them together, both by shape, and with other dinosaurs in the same colour pallet. The trees and volcanoes have also found use outside of the set as a part of other small world play.

These are not the first wooden dinosaur toys that we’ve picked up, originally finding a couple of Le Toy Van dinosaurs while shopping in Glastonbury, and these compare extremely well. While the Le Toy Van dinos are certainly of a higher quality, this is directly tied to a higher price.

Ultimately the Pocket Dinosaur pack provided a large number of good quality toys that are perfect for those who prefer wooden toys, or small world play, and while not my favorite brand wooden toys, they are great for smaller hands. 

Two under two: One Month In

Here’s the thing, I expected this to be so much more difficult than it is at the moment. I remember what it was like with Gracie, how tired I was, how I was just making up things as I went along. This time around I sort of knew what I was doing, and if I’m honest I was already exhausted…

One month in and we’re beginning to find our rhythm as a family. Gracie has started to sleep through the night which is a small blessing. Unfortunately Margot’s had a chest infection for the last two weeks but she’s been toughing through it like a trooper. Everyone compliments us about how we don’t look like sleepless zombies, so we must be doing something right. 

One of the things that’s made me really happy is getting Margot into Gracie’s old clothes, it’s wonderful to see these beautiful items getting a second wear, and I feel less awkward about purchasing new clothes knowing it’ll get two babies worth of usage.

As Christmas approaches I look forward to enjoying the season with both my girls. 

Busy life & baby Margot 

So it’s been a while since we’ve posted on here. Life pretty much went off the rails recently and we just haven’t had the time or the energy to post. But that is all about to change, as we’re finding our rhythm as a family with our latest addition, baby Margot.


This beautiful girl was born on the 10th of October and has been doing her best to rob Mummy and Daddy of their sleep. 

That’s all we have to say at the moment but we’ll be back to posting regularly soon. 

A Wonderful Wednesday

Gosh what a busy day we’ve had! To kick the day off there looks like their might be an end to our teething in sight, as the first of the top two teeth has finally cut through the the gums. Gracie has handled the whole thing like a trooper as usually, but it cannot be pleasant to go through that.

This morning we had our appointment with the health visitor, it was time for Gracie’s 9 month review and we are pleased to say that everything is going very well. She continues to be a large baby sitting above the 90th percentile in weight and height. The health visitor was happy with how Gracie was developing both in movement and speech. We knew that things were going okay, but it is always nice to have someone else to confirm this too.

The health visitor also gave us a book bag, along with two books, as well as a toothbrush and toothpaste. We knew that we would receive these bits, but it is great that there is system in place that provides these sorts of essentials to babies.

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This afternoon we did something very exciting, we took Gracie to the beach for the first time! She loved it, for nearly an hour she crawled around on the sand leaving great rings behind her. She progressively covered her self in sand, until she was completely caked. We also went paddling with her for the first time, taking her walking in the shallow water. Surprisingly the water was lovely and warm, and she had great fun kicking and splashing her feet.

In short it was a very busy, but wonderful Wednesday.

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Baby’s first trip to A&E

Hey guys! Sorry I’ve been so quiet lately things here at the Reusable Family have been pretty hectic the last few weeks.

Firstly we’ve popped our vegan month on hold for the time being. It’s something we are definitely passionate about, but as those of you who follow us on Instagram may be aware, we’ve had a health issue arise that forced our hand a little. I’m sure we could work around it but for the time being we wanted to work with what we know works.

We also had our first A&E trip with Gracie last week. Most likely triggered by a viral infection, she threw up everywhere, was painfully hot, and at times unresponsive. By the time we got to the hospital she was on the mend, and was quickly back to her usual self. One of the things we needed to do was catch a urine sample, which is an absolute pain to do. I missed two pees before we finally caught one. After three hours we were discharged, exhausted but happy that Gracie was okay. The next day she was back to her usual self. 

I’m heading back to work tomorrow which seems odd to even think about. We’ll all just have to see how things go. 

Alva Nappy Review

We are reviewing all the different brands of Cloth Nappies that we use. Our previous reviews are:

And you can see a post giving a broad overview of our stash here.

So let’s get this said right at the beginning, a lot of people don’t like Alva Nappies. This is because they are made in China, now while some people may object to this, there is certainly an up front cost to reusable nappies and that does have go be considered.

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Nothing is quite as dapper as a cloud with a moustache

We got our first Alva nappy after we won an online competition. We’d seen the lower price tag and the fact they only come with a single insert and had been put off by that. However these nappies have become a staple of our stash.

What we liked…

First of all we were impressed by the quality of these nappies. They feel well made, the poppers are sturdy, but un-pop at the right amount of force meaning that you’re not just tugging on them hopping that the fabric doesn’t rip.

The soft fabric that sits against your baby’s skin is also extremely soft, and quickly pulls any moisture away from the baby leaving them feeling relatively dry to the touch when the nappy is removed. The pockets of the nappies are also a decent size, and while the insert that comes with the nappy is certainly enough for short periods, there is plenty of room in the nappy to add additional inserts for ensure that the nappy can be worn for longer, and without fear of leaks. Alva nappies are also easily adjustable for your baby’s size, using poppers to make the nappy bigger or smaller, allowing you to find the perfect fit.

Perhaps one of the best things about Alva nappies however is their eye catching and beautiful designs. One of the many benefits of reusable nappies is that they can look extremely attractive, and Alva nappies certainly embrace this fact. The sheer quantity of designs means you are sure to find something that you like.

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Owls, foxes, feathers, dinosaurs and wolves! You are sure to find a design for you

What we didn’t like…

So as we mentioned above, Alva nappies are produced in China which we know might put some people off of purchasing these nappies.

The real drawback however is that these nappies only come with a single insert. And while this is plenty for short periods of wear, we don’t feel that it really gives you the peace of mind that you’d want from a nappy. We are fortunate that we have a number of spare inserts in our stash, others just starting their collection won’t have such convenience.

The white fabric is also a little prone to staining, while these does not effect the quality of the nappy, it can be touch unsightly. That said, we found that successive washes removed the stains with ease, and the use of napisan (or something similar, we use Bio D Nappy Fresh).

Conclusion…

It says a lot that of the nappies we’ve purchased for Gracie, the one nappy that we ensured that we had on hand was the single Alva nappy that we randomly had. Since that I have purposely purchased more Alva nappies for pad out our collection and provide us with more tolerance when it comes to washing and drying our nappies. More than this we intend to purchase more Alva  simply because we love the designs, trust the quality, and find that, simply put, they fit Gracie extremely well.

If you are just starting out along the road of reusable nappies, then perhaps these are not a great place to start, but if you have a collection, or are looking for a few statement pieces then I couldn’t recommend them highly enough! However I would suggest a purchase of additional inserts (especially charcoal ones that fit these well).

 

My Changing Bag Essentials

Do you ever look at another parent’s changing bag and wonder at what marvellous things that they surely contain. Well here is your chance to have a sneaky look in what I’ve got in my bag! And unlike most people, I decided to forgo the typical messenger style bag, opting for a backpack. This allows me to wear the baby on the front, while also comfortably carrying the changing bag.

So without further ado, these are the things I carry about in my bag!

The Essentials

Changing Mat

I really doubt that there is a single changing bag on the market that doesn’t come with some sort of changing mat. These tend to be thin, lightweight and waterproof, so obviously the first thing I did was take that out and put in my own, soft, not waterproof, and rather chunky.

Personally I love the Close Pop-In Change & Go which is wonderfully soft and warm for Gracie. The whole thing rolls up nicely and fits neatly into one of the stretchy pockets in the back of the bag. It even has a handy pocket that will hold your reusable wipes, or nappy sacks if that’s your jam.

Nappy Wet Bags

If you are using reusable nappies then at some point you are going to be out and about and your baby is going to need a change, and while you can easily throw away disposables you cannot do that for cloth nappies.

I rock a couple of Tots Bots Waterproof Nappy Bags. These things are excellent, they can be folded down so when not in use they take up practically no space, they hold roughly three or four nappies, and once your done just tip the contents out, turn them inside out and shove them in the pail along with your dirty nappies. Eventually you can toss them in the wash together and then they are ready to be used again.

Reusable Nappies

While I am happy to use any nappies from my stash, there are certainly a few that I prefer to pack in the bag. I typically pack a Close Pop-In Nappy, an Alva Pocket Nappy or a Smartie Pants Pocket Nappy. I favour these because they fasten tightly, and I don’t usually have leakage problem with these nappies.

Reusable Wipes

If you are using reusable nappies, then you might as well use reusable wipes. Once used they go in the wash with the nappies. I use Cheeky Wipes, just grab them out of the wet box, and pop them in the waterproof travel bag your good to go.

The Little Bits

  • I also pack small bottle of hand sanitizer just in case my hands get mucky
  • A small Sophie la Girafe teething toy
  • Muslins
  • Emergency wet-wipes & nappy sacks
  • Change of Clothes
  • Milton Wipes just in case she throws her dummy on the floor

The Extra Stuff

Typically these bits are for me, and get thrown into the bag if I have enough room!

  • My Tablet
    • If I know I am going to be out for a while, or if I am going to go to a coffee shop etc. I pack my tablet just in case I can get in some blogging/writing
  • Glass Bottle/Coffee Cup
    • In my attempts to be green I have started packing my reusable coffee cup in case I get desperate for caffeine, and I pack myself a drink in my glass bottle
  • A reusable shopping bag
    • Just in case I need to pick up some bits or bobs, plus one of the main reasons I go into town is to the visit the butchers or green grocers