Leonora Bamford’s Little Luxuries: Spring Essentials

Photograph by Helene Sandberg

Each month our columnist Leonora Bamford shares her little luxuries from the worlds of parenting, pregnancy and lifestyle.

Hurrah, Spring has sprung and we’re allowed to meet outside. I have missed my friends so much during lockdown and I can’t help but think of all the babies born last year and over the last few months, who have missed out on all the playdates and interaction with other little babas. On 12th April, lots of outdoor restaurants are opening and I will be catching up with friends and their babies for a good old natter, and to find out just how much we’ve missed from each other’s lives over the last year. For my Little Luxuries this month I’m focussing on those Easter essentials and the little things to help us savour every memory of our own little bunnies growing up.

Easter Bonnet from JJ Park

easter-bonnet-jjparks-leos-little-luxuriesWhen it comes to Easter dressing up, I am all for turning the children into cute little bunnies and chicks. How sweet is this little bunny bonnet from JJ Park.

JJ Park knitted bunny bonnet, £23

Milestone Journal from Noble Macmillan

noblemacmillan-journal-leos-luxuriesI always treated myself to a beautiful leather-bound journal from Noble Macmillan and not only did I jot down various milestones, but I often put down how I was feeling and what had happened during the day. My older kids absolutely love me reading back little exerts from their early days.

Noble Macmillan ‘You’re a Star’ journal, £30

Baby Records by Little Brown Box

baby-records-leos-luxuries-springSpeaking of milestones, Little Brown Box is one of my go-to brands for memory boxes for newborns, and their Baby Record cards are absolutely adorable for capturing each special moment and milestone of your baby’s journey.

Pack of 22 Baby Records cards, £10

Pick Plates from Ciara Atwell

pick-plates-easter-essentialsA company that I have just discovered is Pick Plates owned by the amazing food blogger and author, Ciara Atwell. These plates really remind me of my childhood. My mother used to do what she called a Cowboy Supper and we would have little compartments on the plate for different things. These genius little plates do just that for you. They’re great for weaning and introducing new foods with a smile.

Pick Plates Midi plate, £10

Weaning Made Simple by Annabel Karmel

annabel-karmel-baby-recipe-appWith weaning in mind, Annabel Karmel has updated her recipe app and has a fantastic allergy tracker that is well worth a look. She is also about to re-release her number one bestseller on all things weaning and baby recipes, Weaning Made Simple.

Download the Annabel Karmel app

Leo’s Little Luxuries: Sleep Essentials

Sleep has never been more of a buzz word, whether you’re getting more of it due to lockdown or not enough because of having a restless baba, we all know the importance of sleep. When it comes to getting those precious hours at night time, I say do what works for you. I recorded a podcast recently with Dr Harvey Kaarp who has a genius nanny style bassinet that rocks, shushes and lulls your baby back to sleep and then by poplar demand, we also had Sleep Fairy, Alison Scott-Wright on @babawestUK last month. We literally had hundreds of shattered mamas crying out for help and advice. So for my Little Luxuries this month it only felt right to focus on those sleep essentials I’ve found to be real life-savers.

Setting a Routine

mybababathoil-little-luxuriesBamford Baby Bath and Massage Oil, 100ml, £30 

What worked for me was a routine, especially when it comes to night time.  I used to bath my babas, wrap them in a cosy towel and then massage them before their last bit of milk, a story and a cuddle. I have always been obsessed with Bamford Baby Oil which I still use on the whole family and my kids loved a spritz of This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray.

thisworks-sleep-sprayThis Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, 75ml, £19.50

Atelier Choux Muslins

atelier-choux-muslin-leo-little-luxuriesI am a huge swaddle fan and after Aden and Anais made us all realise how fabulous they can be, I’ve had many, many muslins.  I just love the beautiful designs by Atelier Choux, they look good enough to eat.

Atelier Choux Mini Carré with Hot Air Balloons, €33

Love to Dream Swaddles

love-to-swaddleWhen they were little, I loved putting my babies to sleep in a Love to Dream swaddling solution. They look like a little glow worm but it literally added a couple of hours on to our nightly sleep which was pretty amazing.

Love to Swaddle Up Original, 1.0 Tog, from £28.49

Bluebell Smart Baby Monitor

Bluebell baby monitoring systemAnother product that came across my desk last week was the Bluebell Smart Baby Monitor which was created by three UK dads who are all doctors too.  In essence, it’s a 24/7 baby monitor that attaches to your baby’s clothing and is safe to use from birth.  This is an all singing all dancing baby monitor, which monitors your baby’s breathing, temperature, crying, movement and more.

Bluebell Smart Monitor, £299

Read More: The Best Baby Monitors and Where to buy Them

BassiNest Swivel Sleeper Premier

bassinest-swivel-sleeper-little-luxuries-sleep-essentialsSince I last had a baby, there seem to be so many amazing sleep products on the market and I love the look for the BassiNest Swivel Sleeper Premier, which rotates 360 degrees and means that your little one can sleep as close to you and you would like, but still in their own space, which is always important to me.

BassiNest Swivel Sleeper Premier from Halo Sleep, £249

Melodies for Mums

melodies-for-mumsFinally, I absolutely love the sound of Melodies for Mums, which is a brand new singing service for mothers with postnatal depression. The programme is based on pioneering research carried out by Royal College of Music and Imperial College, who found that a 10-week programme of singing and music making for mothers with PND, could be a welcome support and a relaxing way to bond with their baby whilst meeting new mums.

  • Mondays between 11:15 and 12:15, commencing 15th March 2021
  • Tuesdays between 15:00 and 16:00, commencing 16th March 2021

To sign up, visit breatheahr.org/melodies-for-mums/

Leo’s Little Luxuries: Valentine’s Day Treats

It’s already February and I am always a sucker for Valentine’s Day. I love making cards with the children and this year I have been turning my head to a bit of heart embroidery.

It must be really difficult not to be able to socialise with friends with a new baby and this week, I came across www.happity.co.uk which is a clever website created by parents for parents, where you can find local baby and toddler communities and experiences, both in person and online.

This month I’ve stumbled on some lovely pieces, for mum and baby, to make this Valentine’s extra special.

Rachel Riley SS21

leo-bamford-little-luxuriesI just had a sneak peak of Rachel Riley’s Spring/Summer 21 collection. It’s absolutely gorgeous. I have fallen in love with it all, but I have to say their heart pieces are extra special.

Rachel Riley Heart Smock Dress & Bloomers, £89

Naturally Nourished by Kit & Kin

kit-and-kin-mum-baby-bundle_900xKit & Kin is one of my favourite baby brands and any mother would love to get their hands on the Naturally Nourished mum and baby bundle. I love all their products.

Kit & Kin’s Naturally Nourished Mum & Baby bundle, now £65.53

Stella McCartney’s Flamingos

stella-mccartney-flamingo-cardigan-leo-bamford-little-luxuriesStella McCartney has some really special looks in this season and I love this Flamingo Intarsia Knit Cardigan, which is 100% organic cotton. I think it would look adorable on any little Valentine.

Stella McCartney Flamingo Intarsia Knit Cotton Cardigan, £74

Neom Organics Wellbeing Pod

wellbeing-pod-neom-leo-bamford-little-luxuriesI am a huge believer in essential oils and chicest one I have come across has to be the Neom Organics Wellbeing Pod Essential Diffuser. It’s said to help with better sleep, less stress and energy. I have been using their Bedtime Hero Essential Oil from their Scent to Sleep range, which has had a really positive effect on me.

Neom Wellbeing Pod Essential Oil Diffuser, £90

Limited Edition Zoe Jordan

zoe-jordan-love-bomberSomeone gave me a Zoe Jordan Bomber for Christmas and I have to say I have fallen head over heels with her Limited Edition Love Bomber, which has been handcrafted in London with black and white cashmere and embroidered with pin, red and white. To make it even more special, if that is even possible, you can add your loved one’s initials to the front.

Leo’s Little Luxuries: New Year 2021

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

LIZZIELOVES_PRODUCTS_BS_FRONT_544x544Lizzie 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-wash-bag-leos-little-luxuriesPink 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

aurelia-skincare-deodorant-little-luxuriesI’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

done-by-deerAnother 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!