Parents Apps

Apps for Parents

Apps for Parents

When you’re a busy parent running around after your Little Pickle/s, time is precious – so we’ve put together our ten tried and tested free apps to give you a bit more of an easier life…and maybe even allow you a bit of time for yourself – provided you can get the pickles to nap on schedule.
Parents Apps

  • Mush – described as ‘tinder for mums’, is a site that enables mums to meet with other local mums in the area. Motherhood can be extremely lonely so if you’re looking for playgroups to attend with your little pickle or other likeminded mums to hang out with then have a look around this fab mum directory! You can download the app here – App Store or Google Play
  • Doodle –when there’s a group of you, no one can ever make the same date.  Doodle saves a huge amount of time going back and forth. Set up a poll with the date range, select the dates you can do and then send the link out to your friends. Once all participants have completed the poll, the most popular days are flagged up and ta-da that’s the date sorted – and you don’t have to be the one to pick one friend’s availability over another. Win! Get it from the App Store here and Google Play here
  • Just Eat – when you’ve had a busy day and the thought of slaving over the oven is not that appealing, reach for your phone and order in your dinner instead. Everyone deserves a treat night once in a while! App Store user? Get it here. Google Play user? Get it here
  • YouTube – whether baby is a few days old or you’ve got a wayward toddler then Youtube will be your saviour. Load up white noise for those times you’ve forgotten to pack Ewan or your myHummy sleep aids, pop on ten minutes of Peppa Pig and Ben and Holly for those days when you can’t face anymore ‘But, why mummy?’ questions or search out some educational games for when you need to get the dinner cooking! YouTube comes as standard on most smartphones but if you need a reminder, download here.
  • First Year – this app makes tracking daily activities a piece of cake! It’s ideal if you’re trying to keep, or establish, a routine with easy to input feeds/naptimes/nappy data logs. You can even track developmental milestones as well as growth charting. It also comes with a handy ‘notes’ section which is ideal for making notes to chat to Health Visitors about – or simply to remind yourself to do something later in the day! Get organised by downloading on App StoreLP~M Apps NHS
  • Healthier Together – as a parent, there are so many worries through pregnancy, birth and beyond. The Healthier Together app allows parents to symptom check or receive advice from healthcare professionals. No more scare searching on Google! You can download Healthier Together on the App Store here or Google Play here
  • Baby Buddy – what better endorsement is there than one from everyone’s favourite doctor?! Dr Ranj says ‘this app really is what I call the future of healthcare’. Designed to guide mums-to-be through their pregnancy and the first six month of baby’s life, boasts a virtual expert who you can ask a question to at any time of the day or night, daily chunks of information tailored to your stage of pregnancy or age of baby, input your upcoming appointments with reminders and there’s even a ‘What does that mean?’ section where you can find out what a word means.  Download on App Store or Google PlayLPM Buddy App
  • Canva – ever wondered how people get lovely fonts and motifs over images without paying a designer? They’re more than likely using Canva! This app has pre-set templates that are editable or you can start from scratch with a photo upload and drag and drop your chosen font over. So whether you want a fancy Instagram post, a new facebook cover photo or maybe a blog post heading then this is the app for you, download here.
  • Life cake – there’s no doubt your phone camera is stuffed full of pictures and videos from pregnancy, early baby days through to toddler and beyond, so wouldn’t it be nice to be able to share all of those photos with your selected friends and family from all over the world – in complete privacy? Introducing Lifecake! And what’s even better is that it puts all photos into date order, so even if you’re not organised – it will organise it for you. Share your link with people you want to be able to view it; no more forgetting to get photos developed for auntie Mavis, she can view them all at her leisure. App Store it here or Google Play here
  • NCT Babychange – we all quickly get to know our local town’s facilities and can quite easily navigate one-handed to the nearest baby change or mother and baby rooms, but what happens when you experience a poonami in a new area? This is where NCT Babychange comes in! It not only shows you where the nearest place is to your current location but it also features honest ratings from mums who’ve been in the same situation as you previously – so you can pick and choose which one you clear up the explosion in. There’s got to be some silver linings! App Store download here and Google Play here

LPM Apps NCT Babychange

Written by Jess from Prosecco Mum, you can follow her on all the socials below

www.proseccomum.com

www.facebook.com/proseccomum

www.twitter.com/proseccomum

www.instagram.com/the_prosecco_mum

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Baby Shower

Planning the Perfect Baby Shower

So the baby is cooking nicely, all the big ‘things’ have been ordered, nursery decorated and now thoughts can turn to the baby shower. Perhaps you are organising your own baby shower or perhaps you’ve been tasked with the job for the newest mum-to-be on the block?

Baby Shower

Here at Little Pickles, we’ve put together this short guide to help with planning the perfect baby shower!

First, consider the guest list – is this a girls only event or is dad-to-be included too? Are children invited? If family are on the list, it’s best to clear dates with them first to ensure they can make it – nothing worse than leaving family members out in the cold.

Once you have the guestlist it’s time to decide on the venue – the current trend seems to be hosting at a tearoom and having an afternoon tea style affair – though this does pose the question, does the host pay for all in the party or will guests need to pay for themselves?

Alternatively, if the host has a big enough area in their house that can be a great option – or even a local village hall or community centre.

Will there be a theme for the baby shower?

If the gender is known, go with the obvious – plan the theme around pink or blue, elephants and bunnies are nice, soft animal theme choices too – or if you’re not sure on the sex, then keep it neutral with whites, golds and pastels. You can never go too wrong with greys and yellows in my experience!

For the additional little touches, if you’re a creative type then homemade bunting and pompoms are a lovely touch to warm up the room. Etsy and Not On The High Street are fab for both generic and personalised items. Or if budget is a little stricter, Poundland and Home Bargains have an array of cheap and cheerful bits suited to a shower.
What food is baby shower appropriate?

If you’re not at a catered-for venue, like a café or tearoom, then the best food for a large number of people is a finger food/buffet style. Delicate cut sandwiches, pinwheel wraps, little sausages, pork pies, quiches, carrots, cucumber, peppers and dips and a few bowls of crisps. Be sure to make it all pregnancy friendly.

And don’t forget cake! Throw in cake pops for a splash of gender-related colour, if known.

Cake Pops

Another nice touch is to treat guests to mocktails in mason jars with paper straws!
What games are well received at a baby shower?

  • Baby bingo – who will be the first to get a nappy pin or baby bottle line?!
  • Guess the nappy contents – melted snickers bars or generous smears of marmite make fabulous meconium style nappy contents!
  • Guess the baby drink – gather together a number of babies bottles and fill them with various drinks and just like the nappy game, albeit a bit more pleasant, ask your guests to guess the contents.
  • Stick the dummy on the baby’s mouth – a bit of a twist on the classic children’s party game of pin the tail on the donkey.
  • Guess the date of birth and weight of baby – and if unknown, guess the gender!
  • ‘Advice for the parents’ cards – this is always a nice keepsake for parents to look back over in years to come
  • Decorate a babygro – arm yourself with a pile of white babygros and fabric markers and set your guests to work on designing

    Baby Shower DrinksFor the games, be sure to get some little prizes together to award the ‘winner’, it doesn’t have to be anything fancy but is a nice touch…if budgets allow.

But most of, remember, that the nicest part of a baby shower is to ensure that the mummy-to-be is able to chat and catch up with all of their loved ones; this will be the last time in a while that they’ll be sitting still, drinking hot tea without a baby puking on their shoulder or a toddler clinging to their legs!

Written by Jess from Prosecco Mum you can find her on all the socials below

www.proseccomum.com

www.facebook.com/proseccomum

www.twitter.com/proseccomum

www.instagram.com/the_prosecco_mum

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Tanya

Introducing our Organiser – Tanya

Introducing our Organiser Tanya

Little Pickles Market Organiser

Where do you run Markets?

Eastleigh, Romsey, Chandlers Ford, Totton, Applemore and Brockenhurst

What is the item you can’t live without other than your family?

My Phone! I know sad right but it keeps me up to date with work, the world and the kids happy when needed!

How many children do you have?

2, a 12 year old son and a 5 year old daughter. I can not believe that I will soon have a teenager in the house!

If you woke up tomorrow as an animal, what animal would you choose to be and why?  

I would like to be an Orca, free in the ocean surrounded by so many animals but big enough that I am not going to get eaten in the first week!

Where is your favourite place to be and why?

 I love  South Wales, would move there tomorrow if I could but kids not so keen on leaving friends and family.

What is your favourite children’s book? I was a massive Enid Blyton fan and loved her Naughtiest Girl in the School series.  I can not wait for my daughter to enjoy reading and buy them all so I have a sneaky read too. Now I enjoy getting into a Patricia Cornwall book.

Cinema or fancy restaurant?

Cinema is a luxury for me definitely and something that I should do more often. My daughter is not a fan, so makes it harder to go.

Which one spring, summer, autumn, or winter, let us know why?

Tough call there is something about every season that I love, the flowers in spring, the warmth in summer (well maybe not always in the UK!), the leaves changed colour in autumn and the kids faces waiting for a white Christmas in Winter.

Name one thing you always carry in your handbag?

Epi Pen, something that has to be with me at all times due to allergies I have gained following my last pregnancy.  

One bit of information you wish you’d known before becoming a parent?

That the feeling of being a mum is the best in the world, I would have done it sooner! Having kids changes your whole world and sometimes you do not know how you will get through the next hour or even day, then you realise how lucky and privileged you are to be given a child or my case 2.

Best bargain you have found at a Little Pickles Market?

At Little Pickles it would have to be Monsoon dresses for £1 each which were so beautiful and at Bigger Pickles just recently it was a box of Barbies and clothes for £3 which my daughter has already played with every day for the last 3 weeks.

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First Family Holiday

Packing for your Little Pickle’s first family holiday.

Packing for your Little Pickles’s first family holiday

Do you remember the time when you used to book a spontaneous long weekend or holiday and could throw a few things in and travel with just hand luggage? Well, those days are just a distant memory as you embark on holidays with your little pickle…and the kitchen sink in tow!

It’s an exciting time when you decide to take the plunge and leave the security of your own home, with everything in its place, and embark on your first family holiday; but that first time can also be overwhelming as you deliberate on exactly what to pack.

The age of the child can make a difference to what you pack and what becomes an ‘essential’ but here we share our top tips on what to pack for your first holiday with a weaning baby.

Feeding Essentials

If you have just started your weaning journey then you’ll also be supplementing your little pickle with breast or bottle feeding too. Luckily you can pack your boobs but for the bottle feeders amongst us then there’s a few extra essentials to remember!

    • Bottles & Teats
    • Sterilising tablets or sterilising bags

 

  • Ready made formula / powder to make up as you go (remember if you’re flying and taking this in your hand luggage then pop it into clear bags as per usual liquids – security will allow liquids over 100ml if it is for babies, but it will still go through a security search)
  • Milk powder dispenser pots are perfect for the journey as well as days away from the hotel

 

Top tip! For the journey – take or make up enough feeds, plus a couple more, in case of delays.


Food and Weaning Essentials

Plan your baby’s food around the number of days you are there and take enough for each sitting – then add a few more! We recommend taking pouches where possible and lots of snacks. Of course there will be food available, but let’s face it the majority of babies are fussy, so to rule out your baby going into starvation mode then take what they’re used to and cut out one element of stress whilst away. Breakfast is usually the easiest as it’s a home from home; cereals, toast, fruit – ideal if you are baby led weaning – so you could skip packing the breakfast items.  

  • Cup/Beaker
  • Baby bowls
  • Baby spoons
  • Spare pots to keep snacks and leftover ‘pouch’ food in
  • Resealable freezer bags to keep leftover food in or used spoons/pots
  • Disposable bibs – saves on handwashing and also lightens the load on the return
  • Cover all bibs – especially for those baby led weaners!
  • Washing up liquid to wash cups and bowls up (we told you those carefree days were over!)
  • Most hotels provide highchairs but you may want to take a travel seat or a highchair ‘insert’ to ensure that baby won’t slip from side to side

Top tip! Take more food and snacks than you’ll think you need. And remember to pack them for easy access for the journey to your destination!

Travelling and Sleeping

When you’re away, it’s hot – hopefully – and you are likely to go exploring so a pushchair is an absolute must have. A lightweight umbrella fold stroller is the most ideal to take but consider whether your child will be happy and comfortable in there for long periods of time. If you want to eat later than their bedtime, the pram is likely to double up as a portable bed for a few evening hours. A large lightweight muslin cloth can be used to drape over the pushchair to stop beady eyes gazing out at the entertainment (do be careful – ensure it is lightweight and allow for air to flow through).

Dependent on the hood on your pram, you might also need to pack the sun shade/parasol to keep delicate skin out of the sun’s blazing rays.  

A baby carrier – it may not be used when you reach the end destination, but it’s super useful for the airport/transfer part of the journey, giving you a free hand to pull the extra cases and to find passports/boarding passes quickly.

You may want to also consider a travel case if your pram is of a high value – airport handlers are known to chuck items about – even those marked ‘fragile’.

Don’t forget to book a cot or travel cot with your accommodation – we would then recommend taking your own sheets. If your baby has any particular toys in their cot at home, take them along with you – it helps to have something familiar to them on their home away from home

  • Lightweight stroller or babies usual pushchair
  • Pram case
  • Parasol or sunshade
  • Large lightweight muslin
  • Travel sleeping bag
  • Baby carrier/Sling
  • Cot sheets and linens
  • Familiar toy/blanket

Top tip! A travel sleeping bag is well worth taking, you can get your little one ready for bed before you go out in the evening and then do the ‘pram to cot’ transfer when you get back – no need to redress or cover them.

Hot Holiday Clothing Essentials

So you’ve imagined yourselves lapping up the sun, but now the day’s getting closer you’re starting to think more practically. Remember those carefree holidays we mentioned? Babies aren’t great in the heat, so you can wave goodbye to hours basking in the sunshine around the pool. But no fear, there are many ways to keep baby cool in the heat and ensure your first family holiday is memorable for all the right reasons!  

  • Sun lotion/block – Factor 50. Check the UVA rating on the packaging has 5 stars (or at least 4)
  • UV swim suit/swim vest and sun hat with neck collar
  • Night time babygros/PJ’s – likelihood is that the air conditioning will be on in the room and, so it will be cooler than back home
  • Lightweight dresses / trousers – linen is a lovely cool fabric. Make sure that they are not too tight – nothing worse than a hot and bothered baby
  • Swim nappies – if you plan to be at the pool every day then plan to take at least four nappies per day. There’s nothing worse than a ‘code brown’ and it’s even worse when it’s from your child!
  • Float seat – babies are like eels at the best of time, so to ensure no nasty accidents happen in the pool, pack a swim seat to allow them to bob around safely
  • Pool toys
  • Pop up UV tent – takes away the worry of baby being out in the sun as you frantically search for some shade, this way they can relax inside with their toys or enjoy a nap, whilst you enjoy a few rays
  • Magicool / Water spray. Pushchair fan

Little Pickle's Holiday

Top tip! If you have room in your case, take a small paddling pool with you. It’s ideal to have by your sun lounger with a little bit of water for baby to play and splash about in and keep cool


Other Must Takes

  • Baby monitor
  • Wet wipes – ideal for wiping sandy hands and melting icecreams, as well as wiping down tables and highchair trays
  • Antibacterial wipes / gels
  • Toys
  • Travel changing mat
  • Travel adaptors
  • Travel wash – take a few tubes! For weaning babies, there’s sure to be some of the orange stains on bibs, collars and sleeves – don’t leave them to grow mould during the week, put them into soak and hang out in the sun
  • A mini chemist – calpol, thermometer, saline drops, plasters, rehydration sachets
  • EHIC cards
  • Comforters and/or dummies
  • Nappies
  • Nappy sacks
  • Sudocrem
  • Moisturising creams – the pool chlorine can dry out skin
  • Rug for baby to lie/sit on
  • Camera (and charger) to snap all of your happy memories

Top tip! The sunshine is amazing at bleaching out stains from clothes and bibs so be sure to make the most of the rays.

Lastly, and the most important, be sure to enjoy your holiday and make the most of being away from your everyday life. For the little things you may have forgotten, don’t panic – you will be able to buy most, if not everything, whilst you’re away.  We wish you a happy holiday!

Written by Jess from Prosecco Mum, you can follow her on all the socials below

www.proseccomum.com

www.facebook.com/proseccomum

www.twitter.com/proseccomum

www.instagram.com/the_prosecco_mum

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Organiser Vicky

Introducing our Organisers – Vicky

Introducing our Organiser Vicky 

Where do you run Markets? Southampton and Hedge End

What is the item you can’t live without other than your family? My 1980’s VW Camper Van. Just going for a drive is fun when it’s in an old camper.

How many children do you have? I have a little boy, Luca, who has just turned 3. He is more than enough for me!

Organiser Vicky

If you woke up tomorrow as an animal, what animal would you choose to be and why? A penguin. I love the fact that they have the same partner for life and that they are equal in their relationship; they share the tasks of looking after the baby penguin and catching food.

Where is your favourite place to be and why? Anywhere on the Isle of Man. Prior to having a child, we went on yearly motorcycle holidays there and it’s definitely my happy place. We still go most years but have to take the car until Luca is old enough to ride a motorcycle!

What is your favourite children’s book? I loved anything by Enid Blyton as a child. At the moment I really enjoy Richard Scarry books with Luca.

Cinema or fancy restaurant? I like a fancy restaurant!

Which one spring, summer, autumn, or winter, let us know why? Summer. I am totally solar powered. I can deal with anything life throws at me if the sun is shining!

Name one thing you always carry in your handbag? Well as I am usually accompanied by a toddler I’m never without wet wipes!!

One bit of information you wish you’d known before becoming a parent? Don’t compare yourself to other mothers.  Everyone struggles but some hide it better than others. You are doing your best and that is all that matters.   

Best bargain you have found at a Little Pickles Market? A smart outfit consisting of Trousers, Shirt and Waistcoat, originally from Marks & Spencer’s and in perfect condition. It cost me just £1.50! It was perfect for a wedding that we were going to later in the year.

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