Each month our columnist Leonora Bamford shares her little luxuries from the worlds of parenting, pregnancy and lifestyle.
It’s 2021, let’s take a deep breath.
I keep thinking, every time I sit down to write my column, that times will have changed and perhaps we would all awake from this terrible nightmare. I can’t imagine how worrying it must be having a baby in lockdown and I just pray that the news of the vaccine rolling out will be quick and leave us with green shoots soon enough.
For the first time since I can remember, I haven’t written a list of my resolutions. My husband and I normally sit down on the 31st and look back over last year’s resolutions and see what we’ve accomplished. I don’t know why, maybe we just couldn’t be bothered, but this year we didn’t even do that. 2020, what a year!
Instead of writing a great list that gets put to the back of my bedside drawer, this time, I’m going to make some life changes. Covid has changed us all and if I can make some changes, however small, I feel like I might have taken something away from all of this. I want to put my phone down in the evening, I want to spend less time surfing aimlessly and I want to focus on me and my family. If there was ever a time when you can say no, it is now!
I have always been crazy about meditating and especially for little ones. I’m so pleased to see Netflix has just launched Head Space Guide to Meditation with Andy Puddicombe. It’s more important than ever to take time out, look after ourselves and whether that’s a bubble bath, a favourite meal or a bit of yoga, try to get that time. It’s not easy without a support network at the moment, especially with a baby, so I know it’s easier said than done.
Leo’s Little Luxuries: January 2021
With most of the country in Tier 4, we can’t really venture out much, but if I was in town I would get down to Crystal Palace Park to see the dinosaurs. It looks amazing.
Baba West Vitamin D Drops
Product wise, I’m so pleased to have just launched our new range of supplements and in particular the Vitamin D Drops for babies. The NHS have said even babies should be taking it. You just need to look into amounts, if you’re bottle feeding.
Baba West Infant Vitamin D Daily Oral Drops, £14.95
Lizzie Loves Sachets
Lizzie is my hero when it comes to looking after your family. I’m obsessed with all her recipes and take her Be Well, Be Sleepy and Be Settled sachets. We all do.
Lizzie Loves Supplement Sachets, from £7.95
Pink Lining Wash Bag
Pink Lining have an amazing sale on at the moment and I’m crazy about this Dalmatian print.
Yummy Mummy Wash Bag, Bottle Holder and Wallet Bundle, now £95
Aurelia Botanical Cream Deodorant
I’ve always been sceptical when it comes to strict free from deodorants but I’ve been using this Aurelia one for a few weeks and love everything about it.
Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Botanical Cream Deodorant, from £18
Done by Deer Essentials
Another of my favourite brands for babies is Done by Deer which you can get on Alex and Alexa. Their sale is still on and they have some pretty amazing deals.
Various Done by Deer products available at Alex and Alexa
Look after yourselves and let’s hope next time I sit down to write a piece, it will be on a happier note. Much love!
Leo’s Little Luxuries at Christmas
Well, I don’t think any of us could have imagined a Christmas quite like this one! Although we’re all so lucky to be at home with our loved ones, it’s just not quite the same, is it? I feel for all my friends who have recently had babies and are missing that connection where you get to snuggle up with your closest friends and family around the fire, watching good old Christmas movies.
Companies have been working so hard to keep things going and I am pleased to see so many are still offering light trails set under COVID regulations. If you’re happier to stay in at the moment, CBeebies will be spreading some festive magic with the return of their Christmas show, Christmas in Storyland. We absolutely love this and will be tuning in on Saturday 12th December to watch Dilly Dally the Delivery Elf and all their favourite characters.
Dockatot Sleep Pods
Formerly Sleepyhead of Sweden, the brand has had a rebrand and has taken the name of its sister brand, Dockatot. I am such a huge fan of theirs and absolutely love their new range of interiors and beautiful patterns.
Matchstick Monkey Babycare
I have loved watching Matchstick Monkey, the teething brand, grow over the past couple of years and I am thrilled to see their brand new range of natural and organic baby care. Even their packaging is sustainable, made of sugar cane and the range includes Baby Balm, Body Lotion, Wash, Conditioner and a couple of lovely oils.
Matchstick Monkey babycare, from £9.99
If you’re stuck for present ideas, check out Marie-Chantal’s gift guides and in particular these adorable Peter penguin slippers or their iconic angel wing sleep suit in bottle green.
Peter Penguin slippers, £25
Velour Angel Wings sleepsuit, £55
Isabella Oliver Maternity Leggings
Finally, if you’re rocking any virtual Christmas parties this December, don’t forget to check out Isabella Olivier’s new collection.
Isabella Oliver Rowsley maternity leather leggings, £349
Wishing everyone a happy, safe Christmas and let’s hope 2021 is a good one!
Leo’s Little Luxuries: November 2020
With the news that we’re going back into lockdown, I am in full-blown interiors mode so what better focus for this month’s Little Luxuries than the little things to upgrade your home. I love doing up the children’s rooms and there is so much on offer that one can find online now to make things easier.
Normally I would pop in a fun outing to do with your little one and although we won’t be venturing out much this month, it’s good to see that babies and toddlers up to school age are exempt from the rules, when going out with their mother and a friend of the same age.
Keep safe everyone!
Molly Mahon Prints
I hear through the grapevine that my absolute favourite strawberry print is being re-interpreted by the incredible Molly Mahon, but she has got so many beautiful fabrics and wallpapers to choose from, the hard thing is choosing which one to go for. Her Marwari Horse in oyster blue is one of my favourites.
Molly Mahon’s Marwari Horse in Oyster Blue, £95 per metre
Arket’s Wool Rug
I can get lost on Arket’s beautiful website and I have got my eye on a gorgeous hand tufted wool rug with stars on it.
Hand tufted wool rug, Arket, £75
By Charlotte Actually Illustrations
I love anything personalised and Charlotte Pearl, not only sells beautiful illustrations that go well in any child’s room, but will also personalise any of her collection for the most perfect Christmas present. My daughter has this one in her bedroom. It’s so beautiful you can get lost in it.
To The Moon And Back Print, by Charlotte Actually, £15
Teddy One Hurlingham Cot Bed
I am a huge fan of Teddy One furniture. They sell beautifully handcrafted, British furniture for a child’s room. I have had this Hurlingham Cot Bed since my little one was born and have recently converted it into a toddler bed. It’s such a statement piece and absolutely makes the whole nursery.
Hurlingham Cot Bed, Teddy One, £1490
Leo’s Little Luxuries: October 2020
One of my best friends has just had a baby, so I’ve been helping with the must have items. I forgot how long that list was! All my favourite go to brands are going strong and there are so many wonderful new products on the market, which is what I’ll be focussing on for this month’s Little Luxuries. We’re lucky to be able to test lots of them out and I really have been amazed this month at some of the launches.
Baby Bjorn Baby Carrier
Number one on my list has to be a Baby Bjorn baby carrier. I loved wearing my babies and so did my husband, there’s something so special about having them on your chest. I chose the Baby Bjorn and just passed mine on to my friend as even after three babies it looked like new. The ‘Move’ is on everyone’s wish list but I love the Mini too. It comes in different materials and lots gorgeous muted colours.
Baby Carrier Move, Baby Bjorn, £119.99
Stokke Clikk High Chair
I’m a huge Trip Trapp fan and although it’s not needed immediately, I still use our three now. Stokke has also just launched their Clikk high chair. This slick looking chair is super easy to put together, and can be used from 6 months to 3 years. It has a great adjustable foot rest and its tray can be popped in the dishwasher. The best bit is that it comes together with tray and harness so you don’t get hit with hidden extras. I love the Clover green.
Stokke Clikk high chair, Smallable, €169
Bugaboo Travel Cot
I’m so happy to see Bugaboo branch into other realms with their new Stardust travel cot. Bugaboo only ever launches a product when they know they’ve got it right and with this product, there’s no change. I used to battle over travel cots when my children where small and once they were finally up, I dreaded taking them down again. This genius cot unfolds in one second and has a built-in mattress with two heights being perfect not just for older babies, but newborns too.
Stardust Travel Cot, Bugaboo, £199
Family Day Out: Pumpkin Picking
At the time of writing this piece, you’re not to mix in a group of more than 6, so I’m going to be taking my little ones to pick a pumpkin. There’s something so lovely and seasonal about pumpkin picking and the sea of orange can’t help but make you smile. I love making pumpkin soup with roasted seeds. I’ve also been hacking them in to wedges, drizzling them with olive oil and herbs before roasting for half an hour, it’s so easy as you don’t even need to peel them. For babies, pumpkin puree is delicious with rice or pasta, it’s also pretty good on its own with a dollop of yoghurt.
Leo’s Little Luxuries: September 2020
After a crazy summer of everything from heatwaves to torrential rain, I can’t believe it’s September already. The unknown feels so strange, with going back to school for my older two and I can hardly believe that my little one is starting nursery. Call me bonkers, but we got a new puppy a couple of weeks ago, so although the sun has seemingly disappeared, I’ll be wrapping up and going on long walks each day. It’s also so nice if you can take a bit of time out from the busy day to have a walk with friends.
I was in London for quite a bit last month and I found the most amazing miniature swimming pool in the heart of Chelsea. I always panic with water around and like to get little ones swimming as soon as possible. The Chelsea Swim Spa is a state-of-the-art hydropool which is really warm and even has underwater music. They hold swimming lessons for small groups of 3 to 4-year-olds, and older ones can have private lessons or 2-1 classes.
Petit Boum Farm Spy Sensory Bottle
I always get excited when I find a new brand that I fall in love with and Petit Boum is one of them. We sell a small selection on Mybaba.com and I particularly like the Farm Spy Bottle where a natural environment has been recreated with animals that will become the main characters of your children’s imagination. I also love the pink and green glitter Float Bottles which seem to calm children within seconds.
Farm Spy Bottle, Petit Boum at Mybaba.com, £12.50
Beauty Pie Subscription
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I have become absolutely obsessed with trawling the Beauty Pie website. BP is a beauty membership started by the incredible Marcia Kilgore of Bliss Spa. Basically, you pay a monthly membership and get hundreds of pounds worth of the latest beauty. Check out her website but try not to get lost on it.
Beauty Pie subscription, from £5 a month
Mustela Cleansing Oil
I absolutely love Mustela’s Cleansing Oil. It’s ideal for bathing dry skin and is suitable for infants from birth, babies and children and, best of all, it’s made from organically farmed avocado.
Mustela Cleansing Oil, available on Amazon, £12.51
Leo’s Little Luxuries: August 2020
Well, we’ve never had a summer quite like this before and I can’t begin to imagine how scary it must be having a baby during this pandemic. Not being able to have the support that most mothers get at the beginning and having the extra worry of what to do when you finally meet up with friends and family. We’re all in uncharted waters, but the light is glimmering at the end of the tunnel. And for my Little Luxuries this month, it’s all about topping up on some self-care essentials for you and Baby.
At a time that would normally be filled with play dates and meet ups, I’ve been trying to think what I would do if I had a baby at home. One thing I know for sure, is that I would be relying on the Peanut App.
Gorgeous Michelle Kennedy struggled to meet like-minded new mamas when she had her firstborn in 2017 and off the back, she’s created the most incredible community. Her mission has always been to stop the great feeling of isolation and empower women all over the world. So, instead of feeling alone, pick up your phone and download.
What’s amazed me about this time is how many people have started new businesses. It’s exciting to see so many new products hitting the market and, although I’m not in the office in London at the moment (where we normally see hundreds of products a week), we’re getting new mama and baba products flooding in every day. I love seeing parents creating businesses from their kitchen table and it’s something that inspires me daily.
Maggie Pegs’ Peg Dolls
I love wooden toys. I think they feel nicer and last forever. I was sent these gorgeous Peg Dolls from Joanne at Maggie Pegs and I think these Weather Dolls would make the perfect present or addition to any nursery.
Weather Peg Dolls, £20, Etsy
Brush Baby Toothbrush
People all over the world have been freaking out about not being able to see the dentist and so we have been looking after our teeth with extra care in our household. I am a huge fan of Brush Baby and this adorable little first brush is a real winner for 0-18 months, they also have fantastic electric toothbrushes for older stages.
Nourish by Jane Clarke Drinks
Whether you are breast feeding or just need a bit of a pick me up, check out Jane Clarke’s Nourish drinks. I have known Jane for years and have been waiting for this product for a long time. These delicious little drinks have the perfect blend of calories, protein, vitamins and minerals and gives you a serious nutritional boost when your body needs it most. They come in four delicious flavours, but I have got to say I am a sucker for Chocolate.
Farmologie Moisturiser by Childs Farm
My skin can’t get enough moisturiser at the moment, especially my hands and I was so excited to discover the new Farmologie range from Childs Farm. The founder, Joanna, is an absolute genius when it comes to looking after baby’s fragile skin and has just launched this new eco range to help people with dry, sensitive or eczema-prone skin. It’s a very reasonable price point and a must try.