Monthly Archives: August 2016

31st August 2016

Stanley tries: Kidzania, The Dubai Mall

14193733_10157421133515607_1642525071_nI’ve been trying to spend one-on-one time with the boys as much as possible over the last few weeks – and one of mine and Stanley’s trips out last week was to Kidzania in The Dubai Mall.

This is a place we’ve been meaning to try for a long time. He’s an imaginative child and I knew he’d love the chance to wander a child-sized village and get the chance to role play in adult jobs – and this is exactly what Kidzania is all about.

Put simply, you pay for entry, wander around the village, and stop when you see an activity your child wants to try. It could be fire fighting (where they head off in a fire engine to fight a fire), piloting a Fly Dubai flight (with flight simulators to make them feel like they are actually taking off), working as a doctor  (and yes, it includes the dash in an ambulance), or learning how to be a pizza chef (in the village’s very own branch of Pizza Express). To be honest, it feels kind of surreal and kind of magical, all at the same time.

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14159962_10157421139810607_1658629846_nSuitable for kids aged 4+, you drop them at each attraction where they are supervised – and you can either hang around to watch and take pictures – or you can retreat to a parent’s lounge and let them enjoy the experience alone.

Once the kids have completed a job, they get paid in Kidzania Currency (nothing like teaching them the value of money at a young age, right?!) and can spend it either in the shops or on trying activities. Stanley loves art – so he decided to spend his hard-earned cash on an art session, carefully painting away for half an hour! Very cute.

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We both really recommend heading over to The Dubai Mall for a visit. Kidzania is located close to Reel Cinema on Level 2 (follow the signs for cinema parking). Head over any time, but be aware that there’s a shift change between 4 and 5pm and Kidzania is closed (my tip is to head over first thing at the weekend when it’s very quiet!)

For more details and entry prices, visit www.kidzania.ae

In collaboration with Kidzania



26th August 2016

Currently Loving in Dubai – August

We have been back in Dubai for nearly 4 weeks now (wow, that’s gone quickly!) and there are certain places that have been keeping me sane in 45+’C, with two active little boys and a rapidly growing tummy. There are also things I have been buying for the boys and new baby and the odd moment I have been enjoying myself (not that I am ever really on my own any more, with these kicks to the ribs!) So here goes – the things and places I have been loving in August…

Currently Loving Aug

1. Magnolia Bakery

You may have seen my posts recently about Magnolia Bakery – and if your kids have a sweet tooth, it’s a really lovely way to treat them over the summer holidays (I think you might enjoy it too!) We spent a lovely morning at one of the branches a few weekends ago and there’s just something I really like about the atmosphere in there – it’s like a chilled coffee shop (and the coffee is really good if you haven’t tried it) but with the addition of the most beautiful cakes, desserts, and cookies. So the husband and I get our caffeine fix – and the boys are kept happy with their pastel pretty cupcake. Winner!

Details – www.magnoliabakery.com/locations/

2. Pastels, Al Wasl Road

I had a lovely afternoon at Pastels Al Wasl Road this week, getting ready for new baby, with a cut, colour, manicure and pedicure. I always like a bit of pre-baby pampering, mainly because I have no idea when I will be able to visit the hairdresser again (especially as I plan to breastfeed so will have a baby attached to me for a while at least), but also because (quite vain to admit), I know I will treasure those newborn photos and I don’t want my dodgy roots spoiling them. For my nails, I chose Essie Baby’s Breath; here’s hoping, hey? 
I really recommend this salon on Al Wasl Road – it’s such a peaceful spot to spend an afternoon, with lots of light streaming through the windows, fish swimming around a tank, and the comfiest chairs. Let’s hope it’s not tooooo long before I can make a return visit!

Details: www.pastels-salon.com

3. The Bedouin Penguins by Asma Al Ketbi

I love discovering books written about Dubai – after all, this is where my boys live and I want them to read about it. So I recently treated the boys to The Bedouin Penguins by Emirati author Asma Al Ketbi, which tells the tale of a family of penguins from Ski Dubai heading into the desert to meet a Bedouins and see their way of life. The illustrations by Maitha Al Khayat are beautiful and the story is gorgeous. I recommend buying a copy for your kids – and think it’d make a wonderful gift for handing out at all those upcoming birthday parties too.

Details: 20 AED at Jashanmal Book Shops – www.jashanmalgroup.com

4. Bright Eyez

In the midst of buying a new girly wardrobe for baby number three, I barely noticed that my eldest had shot up and his T-Shirts now looked like crop tops! When we got back to Dubai after 5 weeks in the UK, I knew I needed to get him some new clothes and I stumbled on BrightEyez.ae, where some of the coolest T-Shirts (which I’d previously coveted from the UK and USA) were available with some amazing discounts. I treated both the boys to a few and wish I’d done it sooner. Now just trying to resist buying more!

Shop: www.brighteyez.ae

5. Mamas & Papas

Dubai Mummies, we are in luck – as the online world is finally starting to make life easier for us! And the latest brand to start delivering to our door is Mamas & Papas, who launched their online boutique this week. I made an order on Thursday evening as there were still a few things on my ‘to buy’ list for baby girl (including her record book, which I’m sure I’ll ignore for a few months – but at least I’ll know it’s there haha) – and the next morning I got a phone call and then my order was delivered before lunch. Impressive service!

Shop: www.mamasandpapas.ae

6. Kaiser Furniture

We’re in the market for a new bed for Stanley at the moment – mainly because his younger brother keeps climbing out of his cot, so he needs to move into the toddler bed Stanley is currently sleeping in (not ideal timing with a baby on the way, but it seems kids don’t work to a timetable). Whilst browsing places in Dubai to buy it, I’ve fallen in love with a German furniture company Kaiser, which is based in Umm Suqeim. Fun designs and seriously good craftsmanship. The pieces are investments, so don’t expect budget prices – but you definitely get what you pay for. How much fun is this monster design bed?

Details: www.kaiserme.com

I’m also loving…

Taking one of these amazing Waterproof Bags to the beach! Buy here.



24th August 2016

Stanley tries: SEGA Republic, The Dubai Mall

14088617_1062040270499067_2780938814931987927_nI’m going to start posting reviews more regularly on this blog for parents in Dubai, to give us all inspiration for days out, places to eat, shops to head to, products to try, and staycations to book.

I’ll sort the reviews  into the appropriate ages by labelling them for each of the children – Stanley for the younger kids (he’s aged 4), Wilfred for the toddlers (he’s aged 2), and Baby Girl (name to be announced very soon, eeeek) for the baby buys.

So let’s start with SEGA Republic in The Dubai Mall, which Stanley and I went to last Thursday afternoon for a bit of a Mummy and son date before his baby sister arrives.

To be honest, I’ve walked past SEGA Republic hundreds times, but I always thought it was aimed at older kids and adults (for those that fit into those age groups, the place contains the biggest indoor slide in the world, which looks seriously good fun if you fancy an adrenaline rush!)

But I wish I’d taken Stanley inside sooner – as there was so much for him to do and he enjoyed every second. Not only do you have flashing, singing, dancing games at every turn (just like Fun City, if you have ever been there), but there is also a really big and brilliant soft play / jungle gym, separated into areas for older children like him and smaller toddlers and babies (always good if you have a smaller one, as getting knocked over by a queue of overexcited 5-year olds isn’t fun…)

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Stanley spent quite a long time playing on the machines with our pre-loaded card, before heading inside the soft play and disappearing off. Every now and again, he’d come rushing down the slide with a gigantic smile on his face. As this point in pregnancy, it was nice to know that it was totally secure (no escaping as there are staff on the gate to leave at all times) and totally age appropriate (I’m not worried about him being knocked over as he’s a big boy now, but I’d hate him to knock a smaller child in his excitement).

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In total, we spent a very happy hour inside, before heading off to enjoy dinner together in the mall. It would be a great pit-stop if you are planning on spending any length of time in the mall (or send the husband in with them while you continue shopping – what a plan!) – and as you load as much as you like onto the cards, it’s really up to you how much you spend.

Find further details at www.segarepublic.com  – or head straight there on Level 2 of The Dubai Mall (near to Reel Cinemas)

In collaboration with SEGA Republic



19th August 2016

Satisfying our sweet teeth at Magnolia Bakery (and they do Baby Shower Cakes now too!)

14054875_10157356461760607_780999287_nLast weekend, we went down to Abu Dhabi to celebrate my husband’s birthday – and when it came to a morning treat for the boys (and caffeine fix for my husband), heading to Magnolia Bakery was an obvious choice.

I fell in love with Magnolia Bakery when I visited (and then worked) in New York back in my early twenties – so to be honest, we’ve always loved popping into the branches in Dubai as a family. In fact, we used to live right by a branch, which was more than a little convenient when we wanted to pop in for cupcakes!

Why? Beautifully decorated cakes, really good coffee (seriously, you have to try it!) and an ambience that I just really like. Kind of like a good coffee shop, but with a more chilled vibe (and a dose of happiness with all those cakes and sweet treats to take our pick from).

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And if you have a birthday coming up, did you know you can also order cakes from Magnolia Bakery, with delivery to your door? I ordered the husband a cake at the weekend and it came straight to our hotel room. I knew I wanted something simple, so I whizzed over an image I’d found online and the cake was perfect when it arrived (we’ve only just finished it, which means we’ve eaten a lot of cake over the last few days and now I’m craving more!)

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But it isn’t just birthday cakes they can make – check out the images below of all the amazing personalised Baby Shower Cakes that the company now make, perfect for an intimate family celebration, bigger shower with your friends, or a gender reveal party.

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It’s in the UK culture to only have a baby shower with your first baby, which I’m a bit disappointed about to be honest – as I want to gather up my friends and tuck into one of these masterpieces! I guess I’m just going to have to wait for an invite to someone else’s shower and point them in the direction of the cakes instead!

There are four branches of Magnolia Bakery in the UAE. In Dubai, you can visit within Bloomingdale’s in The Dubai Mall, Dubai Festival City Mall, and The Beach on JBR. Whilst in Abu Dhabi, you can visit The Galleria Mall on Al Maryah Island. For full details and contact numbers (for ordering those cakes!), visit  http://www.altayer.com/en/retail/hospitality/magnolia-bakery/magnoliabakery.com/locations

In collaboration with Magnolia Bakery



16th August 2016

Do I really need to make their summer ‘magic’?

Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 20.36.25It was one week day evening last week – and I was sat on the sofa stressing that the plan for the next day wasn’t remotely exciting for the boys. They would spend an hour at the indoor play center near our house in the morning – and then we would come home, have lunch, and spend the afternoon together at home.

As I mulled over the plan, my husband turned to me and said: “What do you remember about summer holidays from your childhood?”

I thought about it for a second.

And happy memories came flooding back.

I remembered long summer evenings playing with my siblings in the garden, pretending our climbing frame was a treasure island and that dipping our toes onto the grass would mean certain death from shark attack. We ran around that garden screaming, grabbing the climbing frame in sheer relief, and pulling ourselves up huffing and puffing until we reached the top, And we’d do it all afternoon – until at some point, probably well before the sun set, my parents would call us in for tea, bath and bed.

I remember going to watch my Dad play cricket at the weekends, wiling away hours playing on swings and seesaws, eating ham sandwiches and dipping fresh strawberries into cream, before lying on a picnic blanket on the grass staring up at the sky to find shapes in the clouds as the sound of birdsong, cheers, and the knock of a ball hitting a cricket bat filled the air.

I remember pub gardens, fish and chip suppers, visits to doting grandparents, the smell of freshly cut grass, the feeling of the mild summer air on my skin, and the simple joy of not having to get up early to go to school.

I know there was more to it – we went on holidays in caravans, made sandcastles on beaches, ran out to ice cream vans when their song rang out in our street, visited zoos, and fed duck in the park.

But there was nothing complicated about the memories of my childhood summers. No doubt my parents spent a fortune trying to entertain us – but I don’t remember the expensive things.  I remember making my own memories, with my siblings, letting my imagination run wild as we ran around our garden fearing shark attacks.

I asked my husband the same question – and his memories were very similar. He remembers playing football with his friends until the sun started to set, grabbing tennis rackets and heading off for a match with his Dad, and long, lazy days at home playing in the garden.

Simple memories.

Happy memories.

Uncomplicated memories.

And as we sat there reflecting on the sofa; him sipping a glass of wine and me sipping something far less exciting, I realised how hard I’d been trying to make every activity over the summer holidays ‘magic’ – and the guilt I’ve felt that I am inevitably, at 36 weeks pregnant, stating to fail.

I wanted every day to be about making memories they held onto forever; memories they wanted to tell their teachers and friends about when they got back to school; and memories that would stay with them until adulthood.

I just didn’t realise I was doing that anyway.

And the very next day, as they ran around the house together (one pretending he was a tiger – sat on a red car, obviously – and the other shrieking with laughter as he was chased), I realised they were making their own memories too.

Different to the summers of my own childhood, yes.

But still making their own memories, together, in this hot summer in Dubai.

And that’s as ‘magic’ as it needs to get.



13th August 2016

I didn’t want to be a shouty mum…

Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 19.35.59It was Wednesday morning and the boys were testing my patience. Now into the 8th week of the summer holidays, which happens to coincide with the last few months of my pregnancy, I am exhausted and running out of ideas to entertain them – especially when the weather is a steamy 45’C+ outdoors.

Wilfred was on the floor playing with his car garage, whilst Stanley had decided he needed a poo. I was enjoying a moment of peace – when suddenly, I heard the lock turn in the bathroom door.

Stanley is 4 and a half now and he has never shown any interest in door locks before – not even so much as a glance. Still, I don’t like the idea of locks at home (even the horror of knowing what they could do was enough to remove them) – but the lock exists on that particular door, as they share their bathroom with guests when they come to stay – and those guests don’t want two boys storming into the bathroom in the middle of their showers and toilet trips (believe me; those boys try every time someone comes to stay).

I guess we got complacent – and whilst I know we have a stack of keys somewhere in the apartment, in the panic of the moment it didn’t even cross my mind to head off and find them.

So what did I do?

I shouted.

In a flap, with visions in my mind of my child discovering something incredibly dangerous in his bathroom (irrational, as the calm side of me knows there is nothing is within reach) or having to call the fire brigade out to break down the door, I shouted louder than I’ve ever shouted in my life for him to open the door.

And then I waited a second or two, before shouting again.

And this time, as I paused the shouting, I heard him scurry off the toilet and run to the door to unlock it.

I flung the door open and I rushed inside – but instead of pulling him into me in pure relief and explaining why I had been so upset, the rage got to me. I put myself down to his level and shouted more. I told him how stupid it was, how dangerous it was, and how he should NEVER, EVER, EVER DO IT AGAIN. If anyone could shout until they were blue in the face, that was me that morning.

Our neighbours probably muted their televisions and paused in sipping their morning coffees, wondering what on earth was happening…

With his mother shouting so angrily, his little face crumpled and tears began to roll down his cheeks like big, fat raindrops – and that’s when I realised how frightened he had been too.

Of course, I immediately regretted my reaction to the whole bathroom-door-locking debacle. I wished I had been the mum that stayed calm, talked her child round, and then sat him on her lap to explain why it had been so silly.

And as I pulled my sobbing, terrified child into me, I wished I could take it back.

I never wanted to be a shouty mum.

But that morning, I was her.

And seeing how much it upset him, I wanted to bury my head into his soft curls and sob too. I wished I’d handled it differently. I wish I’d paused before I let the rage and panic take over.

But since that morning, I’ve had a chance to think. And I’m pretty sure we’ve all been the shouty mum at some point – and with the exhaustion and hormonal dips of pregnancy, I think I can be forgiven.

But next time, I am going to try and stay calm.

After all, I know there will be a next time – whether it’s something as dramatic as a bathroom lock-in or simply losing patience with the boys in the supermarket.

And when it happens, I will try not to be the shouty mum.

Not every time, at least.



11th August 2016

My Dubai Back-to-School Shopping List…

Is it the end of August yet? But seriously – I’m more than ready for the school gates to open again now. My boys have been off school and nursery now for 6 weeks, with another 3 and a bit to go. It’s a long time – especially when you are carrying around a gigantic beach ball of a belly and the temperature outside in the high 40’s.

But I digress… The point of this post is to talk about the ways I have been getting ready for the new school term (hurrah) – and the places we have been shopping for bits and pieces for the boys. So without further ado, here are the places I have been shopping to get my boys ready for the new term…

1 – Shoe Shopping

Where I go: Pairs Middle East

When it comes to shopping for the boy’s school and nursery shoes, my first port of call is the footwear store Pairs. With stores all over the UAE, the shelves are full to the brim with the coolest casual sports brands, including Converse, Skechers, Keds, Ralph Lauren, and Adidas – and the shop assistants are very helpful when it comes to finding sizes and picking styles (a breath of fresh air in Dubai, especially when you have kids in tow). Also excitingly for back to school this August, the company are giving away a complimentary school bag (personalised with your child’s name embroidered on it) with the purchase of any pair of school shoes (black and white) – I got these for the boys (see below) and they couldn’t have been happier! I really recommend heading into store yourself.

For more information, visit the Pairs Middle East Facebook Page or head straight into store at Deira City Center, Dubai Festival City, The Dubai Mall, Mall of Emirates, IBN Battuta, Al Ghurair, Marina Mall Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Mall, Yas Mall, Sahara Center and Mushrif Mall. You can also now shop online at their new website at www.sportlanduae.com/brands/pairs

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2. Name Label Ordering

Where I buy: Ladybug Labels

School uniform isn’t cheap – which is why everything I send to school is labelled to within an inch of its life. That means my name label sticker stash is running short, so I’ve just re-ordered from UAE-based Ladybug Labels. I’ve just ordered the ‘Back to School Pack, which has a selection of classic stickers, large sticker labels, pencil labels, spot labels, and iron-on labels. The sticky labels are all dishwasher safe (and they honestly do last) and I like the fact you can design the labels online too.

Order online at www.ladybuglabels.com

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3. Lunchbox Buying

Where I buy: Mumzworld

My two have had the same lunch boxes for the last few years and they are showing the signs of daily use, with grubby marks and dodgy zips – so I am treating them to new ones this year from Mumzworld. The online store (which has just been redesigned and looks amazing!) has a large selection of different lunchboxes – from spacious zip-up boxes by Beatrix (I love these ones!) to hard protective boxes with colourful designs by Yubo, to bento-style boxes from Bentology. All at good prices too, with delivery to our doors (whoop!)

Buy online at www.mumzworld.com 

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4. Swimwear Buying

Where I buy: COEGA

My two seem to have shot up over the summer – and as a consequence, their UV swim tops look like crop tops and swim shorts look like hot pants (not the best look admittedly). I need to get them some new swimming things for their lessons at school and nursery – and I am sticking to a brand I know and trust with COEGA. There are stores all over Dubai where you can browse and buy the brand – and you can trust that little ones are protected even when in the bright sunshine.

For more information and stockists, visit www.coegawear.com/mobile/locations/

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5. Haircuts

Where I go: Orlando, JLT

My boys had their very first haircuts at Favourite Things in Marina Mall, which has now sadly shut its doors – so I was very happy to hear that employee Orlando (who everyone raved about when it came to haircutting) had set up on his own in JLT. I will definitely be taking the boys here for their pre-school and nursery haircuts in the last week of the holidays and can personally vouch for the service (there are toys aplenty to keep them happy while their siblings are having their turn too).

Kids Salon, JBC1, Cluster G, UB 12, Lake Level JTL. Timings 9am-9pm. Call or Whatsapp 05560 72563 for appointments

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4th August 2016

It’s DSS – and that means free events all around town for kids!

The Jungle Book (2)It’s been a long time since I was in Dubai during DSS (that stands for Dubai Summer Surprises for those not ‘in the know’) – and it’s a real treat to be able to enjoy it for once!

Along with the shopping bargains to be had in nearly every store in the city (keep an eye on my social media accounts as we do our last minute shopping for baby girl), the most exciting thing about the festival is the endless FREE events for kids throughout the city.

So this summer holiday, I don’t have to think too hard about how to entertain the boys (or bankrupt myself in the process) – I just pick an event in a mall, drive them down, and let DSS entertain them instead. A real blessing at any time, but especially in your third trimester of pregnancy!

Here’s a little run down of what you can experience:

Mercato Mall, Jumeirah 1

Circus Fiesta – a live show of acrobatics and circus tricks that will amaze little ones, running until 20th August (4.45pm, 6.45pm, 8.15pm and 9.30pm)

Details – 04 344 4161

Circus Fiesta (5)

Dragon Mart 2

Trash Pack – a live show called ‘S’not Your House’ that introduces kids to a world dedicated to recycling and protecting the environment, running until 10th August.

Barbie the Athlete – running in conjunction with the Rio Olympics, this event features both a live show and a fun workshop where you can be a medal winner, running 11-20 August

Sweet Celebration – little ones with a sweet tooth will enjoy this cupcake decorating / creative pretzels workshop, running until 20th August

Details – 04 362 1900

City Centre Deira

Alvin & the Chipmunks – a live stage show of music and laughter, lasting 25 minutes, running until 10th August

Details – 04 295 1010

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Ibn Battuta

Miss Fortune Circus – a fun circus performance, with lots of audience interaction, running 11th-20th August (3 x shows between 4 and 9pm)

Details – 04 362 1900

BOXPARK

Bricks – a LEGO pop-up shop run by LEGOLAND Dubai, with the chance to win annual passes to the theme park, which opens in the autumn. Open until 20th August (12pm-10pm).

Details – 04 317 3999

 Bricks at Boxpark (2)

CITY WALK

Jungle Book Workshop – a fun activity zone where little ones can come face-to-face with Mowgli, Baloo, Bagheera and Sher Khan, running until 20th August (4pm-10pm)

Details – 800 637227

 The Jungle Book (1)

Dubai Festival City Mall

Summer in the City – an interactive activity zone, where the outside has bought inside. Kids can choose between beach, park and sports with arts and crafts workshops, photo booths, and interactive simulators, running until 20th August (2pm until mall closing)

Details – 04 213 6213

The Dubai Mall

Giant Ball Pit – a fun giant ball pit for the kids to release energy and have lots of fun, open until the end of August

Details – 04 362 1900

I’m planning to head down to a few of the events with the boys in the next few weeks, so keep an eye on my Facebook and Instagram pages for photos of the fun! (although I’m not sure I’m getting into that ball pit with this bump – I’d never escape!)

For full details of all the DSS events, visit www.visitdubai.com/en/dss/events

 

 

 

 



3rd August 2016

5 new investments for baby number three…

This is my third baby, so I’ve already got everything I need already right?

Well yes, I guess so. We certainly didn’t need to make any big investments. We could’ve re-used what we used with the boys and have stored away.

But now I’m onto my third baby, I have got to the point where I know how I like to parent and what makes life easier at home, so there are certain things I have coveted for our third baby that we have decided to invest in.

So without further ado, here are the five new things I have purchased this time round – and if you’re expecting too, it might come in handy…

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1. Stokke XPlory Stroller

This is the biggy – and to be honest, I have wanted this stroller since my first pregnancy with Stanley, but never felt I could justify investing in it. But as this is almost certainly my last baby (last chance saloon!), coupled with the fact the boys will be at school and nursery most mornings, so I will be spending a fair bit of time with my little lady alone – I decided I wanted a new single for the days it is just the two of us.

When Wilfred was a newborn, I had a much smaller gap (21 months) and used our colossal (but brilliant) double buggy every day. We still have it and will definitely be using it when we have all three children together (Wilfred still loves a buggy ride at 2.5 years old), but this lighter, slimmer stroller will be perfect for the days when I have her alone – especially because the double buggy doesn’t fit through the doors to our carpark without a hefty push, which makes it a little trickier when I don’t have my husband around!

What I have always loved specifically about this stroller is that she is high up so I can keep an eye on her at all times. It’s also the most beautiful buggy I have set eyes on… I went for the beige colour purely for my husband’s benefit – I was coveting the purple, but I’m not sure he would have agreed…

UAE Stockist: Just Kidding UAE

2. Water Wipes

When we had Stanley, I did the newborn nappy changing ‘by the book’ with cotton wool and water. Until we got that first meconium poo and realised cotton wool wasn’t going to cut it, so reverted to sensitive wipes. It worked perfectly and his bottom was fine – so we did the same with Wilfred in hospital. This time round, however, my beautiful newborn ended up with a severe, weeping nappy rash that lasted for weeks – so I knew I couldn’t risk using regular wipes on another baby of mine.

Step forward Water Wipes. Essentially, they are thick, pillowy wipes that are 99.9% water (and the rest just fruit extracts). Simply put, they are the next best thing to cotton wool and water (but a lot, lot easier on those yucky newborn poos!)

I had to bring these over in my suitcase from the UK (possibly not one for your Shop + Ship account if you live in Dubai, as they are the heaviest wipes in the world!) but I knew I needed them this time round, so it was worth blowing the luggage allowance!

Stockist: Buy online at Amazon.co.uk or in Boots in the UK

3. Snuzpod

I love co-sleeping with my babies. I like to feel them close to me, to hear them breathing, and to have the convenience of rolling over and feeding them. However, I have always worried about the safety implications, which is why I decided we needed a bedside crib this time around. I was coveting the Chicco Next2Me Cot – until I spotted the Snuzpod, that is… It’s just so beautiful and so convenient – and I love the fact you can take the top part off, so baby can snooze wherever you are in the house.

The way it works is that the side comes down and you physically attach it to your bed, so it’s an extension of where you are sleeping (whilst being a lot safer as you couldn’t roll inside). People have told me that their babies slept in them until they were 6 months, which sounds perfect to me, as then she can move into her cot in her own bedroom (well, the spare room actually, poor third baby!)

UAE Stockist: Mumzworld

4. Sleepyhead

This is the one I wasn’t sure about, but after hearing so many amazing reviews of babies sleeping so well in their Sleepyheads, I’ve decided to go ahead with it. Essentially a  nest for your baby, you place them inside it to sleep – and they apparently feel safe, snug and secure instantly, making them far more likely to sleep well inside it (or so the theory goes). I’ll put my Sleepyhead inside the Snuzpod (above) for her to sleep at home – but when we travel, I’ll use it in travel cots, or move it into the lounge, or if I am in bed alone, I can place it right next to me (as long as the bed is firm) and sleep safely next to her. I can’t wait to see if it’s as good as the reviews suggest!

UAE Stockist: Sleepyhead GCC

5. Rainforest Jumperoo

I am jumping (boom, boom) forward a little bit with this one, as she wont be able to use it until she’s a little older (I’m guessing early next year) – but it is definitely something I’ve mulled over with each new baby before deciding we a) didn’t need it and b) didn’t really have enough space. Well this time round, we do have the space – and with two older brothers to entertain at home, anything I can get my hands on that she might enjoy for a few minutes while I cook dinner / spend some time with her brothers will be worth its weight in gold. So this time, I am finally investing in it – what a lucky girl she is!

UAE Stockist:  Mumzworld