Having a baby is a daunting task. For all involved. Yes...even Dads too.
There, I said it. Sorry, it's true...
Although the most natural thing in the world, it brings many challenges and dramatic changes to our lifestyles that we're not always prepared for. Even seeking information is a minefield. There are books, magazines, online guides, videos...all devoted to endless amounts of conflicting advice on looking after baby as well as every parent, grandparent, distant cousin twice removed and strangers in the street all quite keen to pass on their 'knowledge' and worldly wise advice on how to do it 'right'.
Unfortunately, one size does not fit all. Every family situation is different and every child is too. What works for one family will have others pulling their hair out in frustration...they tell you "Oh just asking our little darlings not to climb on the sofa or draw pictures on the TV should work", as it did for them. It doesn't always work like that. The world isn't like that. So that's why we're not offering any advice on what you should be doing here. We don't mind if you dummy or not, if you have to placate an angry little one with 10 minutes of Twirlywoos on the TV, or even if from time to time you wish that you could run off into the hills and hide from all responsibility for a short while and scream at the moon that this isn't how Supernanny said it was meant to be.
So what is the blog post about? A little help and a little fun. That's all. Some fun gadgets and other stuff to make life that bit more bearable when things are a little tough, so that you can enjoy the moments that matter. Moments like me and my little man here enjoying some quality time...
So here we have The Schoolhouse Studio's 5 must-haves for a more peaceful life...
This is an amazing MP3 player for your baby's mobile. The benefit is that it can be used with any mobile, instead of buying an all in one. There's a slot for a memory card that you load up with tunes and it can spin or stay still whether or not you are playing music and finally, yet most importantly there are volume controls. Which brings onto the sanity saving...
This company specialises in reworking classic and modern pop and rock hits to a music box lullaby style. From Aerosmith, David Bowie to Queen up to more modern artists such as Rihanna, Beyonce and Kanye West, these albums are a God send when you've finally hit the buffers listening to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star for the trillionth time.
There are many apps out there that allow you to play white noise and help your baby sleep, but this is one of the simplest and cheapest options out there...well...it's free. It's also a little bit extra special as you can record your very own looped Shush to comfort your baby when the last asthmatic vestiges have left your lips in a fit of midnight exhaustion.
We live in an old house. It's also from time to time a bit draughty and cold. Now this makes snuggles and duvets all the more important, but of course it can be a worry for our little one in his nursery. This is where the Peanut comes in. It's a tiny Bluetooth device that you can site anywhere such as a cot, car seat, or nursery and monitor on your phone what the temperature is. It will also send notifications if the temperature goes above or below your desired limits. The Peanut also has IFTTT integration for numerous thermostats and smart devices, such as
NEST and HIVE, or even a smart plug to turn on an electric heater that can be voice activated with systems such as Alexa, so it's a great inexpensive way to upgrade your heating without having to purchase an entire new system. As an aside, you can also place it in a refrigerator to monitor the safe storage of your little one's food.
There are also other Peanuts available for monitoring movement and sleep cycles too plus the manufacturer has released a whole home monitoring solution called Mother which you find more out about here.
Ok...so at the start I said blah blah blah about books and advice,
but this one is a gem among many. It's a refreshing look at first time
parenting and the very basics at which items you should buy and others that you should just forget about. It's a light hearted read, and deals with some wonderful advice and brutal honesty regarding all aspects of newly established parenthood with excellent hindsight. It's a laid back approach and a more relaxed (less preachy) view on what really matters and what really isn't so important at the end of the day.
These are just several items that have helped us along the way so far. We will maybe share some more in the future depending how popular this post is, but we'd be delighted if you wish to add any recommendations of items in the comments.