Leonora Bamford’s Little Luxuries: Exploring the Great Outdoors

Photo credit: @helenesandbergphoto

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

I am so excited by the theme of exploring in the great outdoors for my Little Luxuries column this month. What more could any of us want after the last year and a half we’ve all had.

Every lockdown baby will be on a path of exploring and discovery and whether it’s having a picnic in the park with family and friends or scoping out your local area, I am sure everyone will have a list full of places they want to explore with their little ones.

BabyBjorn’s Baby Carrier

babybjorn-carrier-little-luxuriesI absolutely loved carrying my babies around with me and BabyBjorn’s Baby Carrier Harmony is amazing.  It can be used from birth up to approximately the age of three and has been specially designed with 3D mesh that is not only very soft but also sturdy. The airy mesh hugs the baby and provides proper support for their back, neck and hips.

BabyBjorn Baby Carrier Harmony 3D Silver Mesh, £190, babyplanetonline.co.uk

Muddy Puddles Scampsuit

muddy-puddles-scampsuitMuddy Puddles is such a brilliant brand and their whole ethos is about getting outside and enjoying the wilderness as a family. Remembering that we live in England, I never go out without one of these scampsuits. They are so versatile. The removable inner fleece suit is super soft and comfy as a cosy onesie and the suit without the lining, works as the perfect waterproof puddlesuit!

Muddy Puddles 3-in-1 Snow Scampsuit, now £60

Stokke Xplory X

stokke-xplory-leo-little-luxuriesThe Stokke Xplory X is a brilliant pram to get you outside. I used the Xplory for my last baby, who’s now 4 years old. It was such an awesome stroller in many respects, but what was stand-out for me was how close it brought me to my son. Over the years as he grew, we enjoyed hundreds of expeditions around both town and country, and despite many years of use, to this day my Xplory still has so much life and love left in it. I’ve given it to my best friend who’s had a lockdown baby and I know she’s going to have many more happy adventures.

Stokke Xplory X, from £899

Le Toy Van Rainbow Tunnel

rachel-riley-rainbow-tunnelI am crazy about Rachel Riley’s toy shop which is always full of lovely, old fashioned toys and one that caught my eye this month was this sustainable rubberwood Rainbow Tunnel which will give your little one long lasting fun, whilst caring for our planet.

Le Toy Van Rainbow Tunnel, £14.95, Rachel Riley

Leo’s Little Luxuries: Weaning Essentials

I can’t believe we can actually get out and start mixing again and I have been thinking of all those young families who must have craved going out and meeting other little ones. For my Little Luxuries this month I’m focussing on all the wonderful new activities popping up on London now things are opening back up again (plus the weaning essentials needed to fuel you and baby for a big day in town).

I am beyond excited to go and see the Alice:Curiouser and Curiouser exhibition at the V&A with a couple of friends, whilst their babies hopefully sleep soundly in their pram. I am also really excited about the re-opening of the Science Museum on 19th May and especially the opening of ‘The Garden’, which is an interactive space located in the basement.  All of my children have loved their time there and although it suggests 3-6 year olds, there are always plenty of babies around, too. There’s so much to take in for little ones from giant tubes to flying saucers and lots of lights.

Everyone seems to be talking about weaning at the moment and I was lucky enough to interview Annabel Karmel last month for my podcast. I wish I had listened to this 10 years ago, when I started weaning my first born. She really is a fountain of knowledge and her app is brilliant.

Read More: Weaning Recipes from Annabel Karmel

I had an amazing nanny called Natalie, who taught me all the tricks of the trade when it comes to weaning and we used to set aside nap time to batch cook for the months ahead. We used to pop the purees in ice trays and once frozen, pop into clearly marked zip lock bags, which we would take out the night before for meals the following day. It was so incredibly easy and actually quite therapeutic to do.

Another thing I would say is, don’t stress yourself out, if you don’t have delicious fresh things at the ready. I used to carry a banana in my handbag, which often saved the day and when travelling, a mashed banana and a mashed avocado mixed together always went down very well.

Piccolo’s Weaning Recipes

piccolo-risottoAnother of my go-to’s for weaning expertise and essentials is the brand Piccolo, and they have some delicious organic recipes. I love the look of this Green Vegetable Three Grain Risotto with Cheese.

Green Vegetable Risotto included in Piccolo Organic Complete Meal Box: Veggie, £52.80 for 24 meals

Read More: Piccolo’s Recipe of the Month: Baby Bircher Muesli with Frozen Berries

Nana’s Manners Cutlery

nanas-manners-weaning-spoonsNana’s Manners have a great range of equipment for weaning and amazing cutlery for teaching little ones how to eat. Their product ranges are set up in three different weaning and feeding stages. Stage one is for babies starting their weaning journey aged four months and above.

Stage 1 Weaning Spoons, £4.95 for 3-pack of spoons

Béaba’s The Babycook Neo

beaba-babycook-little-luxuriesI have tried all of the steamers, but this super duper luxe baby food steamer and blender is on a different level.  It’s the latest model from new generation food maker Béaba. The Babycook® Neo  is an eco-designed product and looks super slick.

Babycook Neo Baby Food Steamer and Blender, £160

Merle Cape Bib

merle-cape-bibWhen it comes to keeping your baba tidy, especially when finger-led weaning is involved, you can’t beat this lightweight Merle cape bib. The recycled material makes it instantly re-usable: simply rinse and wipe clean.

Merle Cape Confetti Mix Bib from Liewood, €22

Leo’s Little Luxuries: Spring Must-Haves

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