Each month our columnist Leonora Bamford shares her little luxuries from the worlds of parenting, pregnancy and lifestyle.
I love a Bank Holiday, it always feels like a proper break to me. This year I’m going to be dipping in and out of a local festival and weather permitting having BBQ’s for every meal! My kids are at the camping age so I hope we’ll be able to do that for at least one night, sitting around the fire telling stories, roasting marshmallows and drinking hot chocolate.
The Ultimate Accessory for Festivals and Camping
I never stayed late at festivals with my very little ones but I always look in wonder at people who do, we’ve seen these incredible Wonderfold Wagons at the office which is a great way to take little ones and all your bits around a camp.
It’s also this time when I start thinking of any last minute holidays and Mr and Mrs Smith Family always have so many great options. Their site is super easy to navigate and you can pick from ‘Family Friendly Stays With Heated Pools,’ to hotels ones with good kids clubs.
Kidswear Collective Pop-up
I’m someone who shops far too much for the children and I love everything about Kidswear Collective, the brilliant Pre-loved and past season designer kidswear. They’ve popped up next to Blue Almonds on Walton Street and both are well worth a visit.
Brand-new Plant-based Cleaning Range You Have to Try
My favourite nappy company, Kit and Kin, have just launched a fabulous plant based eco cleaning range with super slick bottles and refill pouches. They have a fabulous bundle and its something I am really excited to try out at home.
My Favourite Children’s Beach Bag
If you have any last minute beach holidays lined up, I have fallen head over heels for this children’s beach bag from Liewood. They come in a fabulous range of colours, are very lightweight and made from recycled materials. They also flat pack which is pretty cool.
Leonora’s Little Luxuries: Summer Holiday Top Picks
Mid year is upon us and I’m excited for the holidays to start.
The Young V&A opened on the 1st and is a must to visit. Families can enjoy free activities and with their ever-changing programme they have so much on offer to encourage play, learning and creativity for a range of ages.
There are three big galleries to visit called Imagine, Play and Design and I highly recommend stopping for lunch at the Town Square Café. They really have thought of everything here, including a reading room if you need some quiet time. It is also the perfect quiet space for anyone breastfeeding.
Something I’m longing to try is an array of crazy ice cream flavours at Anya Hindmarch on Pont Street. I love the playful nostalgic vibe with Anya and I’m often popping into her cafe for Smiley cakes for the kids. Last year I missed the ice cream pop up so this time it’s top of my list. The question is ketchup, soy sauce, Ribena or Coco Pops?!
I’m often asked about travel when it comes to July and there are so many wonderful products on the market. I’ll be packing this gorgeous Anti UV swimsuit set from Jacadi for my goddaughter.
Something I came across recently were these mosquito repellent stickers. They seemed to work really well. Nothing’s 100% proof but these really did help. BuzzPatch uses effective, but safe, essential oil combination designed to confuse mosquitoes and hide your kids from their senses. They also had lovely sleepy ones that my older kids loved sticking on their pjs.
Last but not least, a good baby carrier is always helpful when travelling. I love Ergobaby’s new Limited Edition Aerloom number. It’s made to move, stretch and fit like a glove. It’s super light weight with built in air flow and also comes in a ray of awesome colours, almost too hard to choose.
Leonora’s Little Luxuries: Hello Summer!
At last the sun is out and we are ready for the holidays to kick in. My kids absolutely love a festival at this time of year and we have taken them since they were very little.
A Summer of Festivals
The Big Feastival is always high up on my list and this year there is so much for the little ones, from Paw Patrol and PJ Masks to Adam Henson and live science experiments. There is something from babies to children of all ages.
I’m also really excited for Barnes Literary festival on the 24th and 25th June for lots of fun for the 3+ age group with Paddington Bear, Roald Dahl, The Jolly Postman and so much more.
Protect Baby’s Skin with Babymoov
I always struggled on the beach with very young babies always worrying that they were getting too much sun. I think this nifty playpen by Babymoov is utterly brilliant, not only is it 50+ UV protected as a sun tent, but it doubles up as a paddling pool and ball pit.
Bamford Baby Launch
I went to the Bamford Baby launch a few weeks ago to see the collection of their new mother & baby bath and bedtime products. I stocked up on the chamomile baby powder ready for the beach, a great hack is to pop the powder in a sock, a gentle way to dust away sand on the skin.
Ice Lolly Time
It’s ice lolly time of year again and these ice lolly moulds from Lékué are absolutely brilliant. We often make smoothies in the morning and any extra I batch freeze. It’s great for babies who are teething and our favourite at the moment is banana, strawberry and coconut milk.
Leonora’s Little Luxuries: Coronation Celebrations
I’ve been so excited about this Coronation and can hardly wait to be sitting around the television with my family, bunting everywhere and a glass of champagne in my hand.
Crown to Couture Exhibition
To get in the mood I’m taking the children to Kensington Palace to see the Crown to Couture which opened on the 5th April. On show will be everything from historical garments worn by monarchs over the years, to modern masterpieces like that worn by Lady Gaga.
Rachel Riley’s Coronation Collection
I recently recorded a podcast with the incredible children’s dressmaker Rachel Riley who talked me through what she thought the young royals would be wearing over the coronation weekend. She has a wonderful Coronation collection and I’ve fallen head over heels for this strawberry smocked dress which couldn’t be more perfect for the event.
Coronation Decorations and Sweet Treats
I have lots of people staying for the weekend and can’t wait to serve a big creamed tea for everyone.
There are so perfect accessories for the Coronation and I’m going to have King Charles III honeycomb coronation crowns dotted down the table accompanied by the Biscuit Tin from Biscuiteers which is utterly genius.
The King’s Coronation Puzzle
I must be showing my age but I’m a sucker for a puzzle and I bought the Kings Coronation puzzle, Long Live the King, which comes in 1000 or 500 pieces. What more could one want? A bank holiday weekend, with biscuits, bunting and tea, puzzles and champagne surrounded by friends and family.
Daylesford Hip Hip Hooray Collection
Daylesford have the most incredible Hip Hip Horray collection and who wouldn’t want a King Charles egg cosy, absolutely brilliant! And if you are waiting to send a present, the Coronation Tea gift boxes are pretty amazing.
Leonora’s Little Luxuries: Easter Family Fun
I can hardly believe it is April and the shops are overflowing with Easter Eggs!
Peter Rabbit Easter Adventure
I’m so excited to be in London this holidays and can’t wait for a trip to Covent Garden for the Peter Rabbit Easter Adventure.
I’m told that we will be transported back to an ancient Covent Garden filled with fresh flowers, fruits and vegetables and will get to meet Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny and Mrs Tiggy-Winkle.
It’s a 50 minute theatrical and immersive adventure and there is even an indoor activity area, but what my kids are most excited about is the outdoor activity area which for a little extra you get to learn to drive mini Land Rovers in Mr McGregor’s obstacle course.
Easter Basket Picks
Liberty x Bibs have also just released these adorable pastel coloured liberty print dummies which would look gorgeous in the basket too! I just can’t choose which style I love the most.
I absolutely love this Easter bunny basket with an adorable floral lining, which would be perfect for an easter egg hunt and for toys afterwards.
Easter Table Decor
Nobody does a childrens Easter table better than Meri Meri and I think this year’s collection is the best one yet! I’m going all out this year and will pop a bunny headband on each table setting. Their surprise carrots look absolutely adorable.
Wishing you all a very happy Easter holidays x
Leonora’s Little Luxuries: Spring Blooms & March Picks
This is without a doubt my favourite time of year. My office is surrounded by bobbing snowdrops and the daffodils are bursting to life. I love getting the children out into the garden at an early age and I find toddlers love potting up plants and watching things grow. My youngest always loves sewing carrots because then there is something you can eat at the end!
Daylesford Flower Delivery Service
If you’re looking for a beautiful bouquet of flowers to send your mother this Mother’s Day, Daylesford have started an incredibly chic flower delivery service. The cutting garden bouquets are bunches of hand tied seasonal blooms and foliage from their organic garden.
Merci Mama Personalised Bangle
I’ve also fallen in love with this beautiful personalised bangle from Merci Maman which you can write a meaningful note on.
Billy Goat’s Gruff at the Unicorn Theatre
Later this month, the unicorn theatre will be showing The Three Billygoats Gruff. This is the perfect length for little ones with it being under an hour and who doesn’t love a fairytale?!
Anya Hindmarch Favourite Family Biscuit Tin
Something that made me smile this month was the Favourite Family biscuit tin by Anya Hindmarch… no words needed!
Lune + Wild Weaning Freezer Kit
For anyone ready to wean their children you must check out Lune + Wild which has a genius carbon neutral delivery service, bringing frozen meals to your door for babies ready to start weaning all the way up to toddler meals and snacks.
I hope you all have a wonderful month and have a spring in your step!
Leonora’s Little Luxuries: Valentine’s, Pancakes & Half Term
I love celebrating Valentine’s and I can’t think of anything sweeter than a Baby’s First Valentine. Nanny Anita has realms of wonderful crafts to do with your little ones of all ages and her heart sensory bottle was always a hit with my little ones.
Meri Meri Decorations
I enjoying throwing a Valentine tea party and Meri Meri always have the sweetest table decorations that make everyone fall in love. This honeycomb heart garland is on top of my list this year along with their lacey heart plates and napkins.
February Half Term: South Bank Centre Imagine Children’s Festival
If you’re looking for an outing for the family this half term, the South Bank Centre’s Imagine Children’s Festival has an array of workshops, experiences, exhibitions and so much more running between the 8th and the 18th.
Daylesford Valentine’s Hamper
When it comes to gift ideas, no one does a better Valentine’s present than Daylesford with their gorgeous Valentine’s Hamper, filled with all my favourites from their LOVE candle and matches to their rose frizzante and sea salt caramel chocolate hearts.
Rachel Riley’s Baby Sweetheart Gift Box
I always swoon when I see Rachel Riley’s collection and what a divine bunch of goodies in her Baby Sweetheart gift box.
And how can I forget, the beginning of Lent kicking off with our favourite, Pancake Day on the 21st February. It’s a great way to test out different flavours on the little ones…how do you have yours?
Love, Leonora x
Leonora Bamford’s Little Luxuries: New Year Hopes & Plans
January is well under way and as always, I have lots of new year’s resolutions I’m trying to stick to. I always think it’s a wonderful time to sit down and reflect on the past year but more importantly look forward to the year ahead.
My mantra this year for me and this kids is ‘anything’s possible’ and I love seeing how enthusiastic they are about new things.
Exhibitions in London
Every year I say the same thing – ‘I must go to more exhibitions’, and living in London you’re spoilt for choice. The Tate Modern is actually much more child friendly than one would think and a great place to take babies. It’s free admission and often quiet in the week.
There are always exhibitions on (some of which need booking and to be paid for) and next week I’m finally going to see the Infinity Mirror Room by Yayoi Kusama which is on until April 2. While you’re catching up on the creative side, there’s plenty to take your babies to see including baby listening stations with music and stories.
John Lewis Baby Brands
If you’re having a baby this year, make sure you head to John Lewis for all the best brands and products under one roof. Their staff are so uber-helpful and I find myself swooning over all the new baby products when I take pregnant friends for a look.
I always loved having a Moses basket by me when mine were tiny and this organic one from Little Green Sheep is divine.
Baby Gifts: Aigner Babygrow
While I’m on the hunt for good new baby presents I had to share this adorable little Prima cotton babygrow which just made me smile.
Last year I really noticed a change in my skin and have promised myself to take more time and more care with my face. I rarely have a facial but I was given this vegan Stem Cell Serum for Christmas and it’s already made a difference to the tone. It’s extremely light weight and is said to regenerate and repair with alpine rose and raspberry stem cells.
New Year Fitness: Peloton
Another thing I love to re-think in January is my fitness and in our family we love Peloton. Top of my wish list has to be their new rowing machine which had a swivel screen so you can also use it for yoga classes and so much more. It’s also got a Great Wall mount so you can keep it out of the way during the day.
Ganni Walking Boots
Last but not least I do love a new pair of walking boots and I’ve fallen head over heels, excuse the pun, for these Ganni cleated lace up hiking boots which means I’ll need to get some steps in this winter.
Love, Leonora x
Leonora Bamford’s Little Luxuries: Family Christmas Festivities
December is already in full swing and I’m feeling super festive. Shopping for babies at Christmas is one of my favourite things to do and although my babas are all quite big now, I have lots of godchildren and little ones to buy for.
Little Jax Ball Pit
If you’re looking for a bigger present for your baba, this ball pit is gorgeous and so uber-chic. But the best bit is that you get to choose your own ball colours. This would make such a great present.
If it’s mother and baby you’re wanting to buy for check out Aurelia. It’s such a dreamy skincare brand that I’ve followed since they launched. Their Woodland Friends Gift Set looks heavenly and their Overnight Recovery Mask would go down well with any mama I feel.
M&S Baby Outfits
And finally, for anyone who knows me knows that I love a good monogramming and who knew that M&S had such a wide selection? How adorable is this cosy cotton animal sleepsuit?! I also really like the hooded bathrobe to match.
The Dilly Kids’ Afternoon Tea
I do love a good old fashioned tea and have always read my children Beatrix Potter. The Dilly is high up on my London hit list this holidays, serving a gorgeous selection of themed treats and teas for kids and adults with their official Peter Rabbit Afternoon Tea including cranberry scones, sugar snowflakes and white chocolate bunny ears.
For more gift guides do check out mybaba.com and I hope you have a very happy Christmas and New Year!
Love, Leonora x
Leonora Bamford’s Little Luxuries: Prepping for the Festive Season
Battersea Power Station
I’m not very good at queuing but I’ve just waited in a virtual queue for over an hour for the presale tickets of Battersea Power Station’s new chimney lift experience.
Last month Battersea Power Station opened its doors to the public for the first time in 90 years and I can’t wait to see what they have done. I always enjoy a London experience and I think this would be good for any age, followed by a nice stroll in Battersea Park popping into the zoo on the way round.
Pure Earth Collection Sleeping Bags
With the changing of the season I never know what to put on in the morning and I can only imagine that it must be a tough one with little ones at bed time. I always love Pure Earth Collection for their bamboo sleeping bags, and this all season version is just the ticket for right now. It comes with a sweet little clip on comforter to self settle and is 100% natural and organic.
My 1st Years Wellies
For any puddle jumpers, I am loving these personalised dinosaur wellies, from My 1st Years. The nifty little grip handles make them easy to get on and they have fantastic thick rubber soles. For a present I love the touch of having their name written on the heel.
I recently came across Jorgen House and if they had this in the days that I was pregnant I would have been living in this brand. The bodysuit looks so comfortable and chic and it has a clever magnetic closure which is super handy for a growing bump. This would be perfect for prenatal all the way through to breastfeeding!
I can hardly believe I am already thinking about Christmas. There are so many adorable present ideas cropping up and number 1 on my hit list for any new baby this Christmas has to be Marie Chantal’s new navy angel wing sleep suit. She gave me one when my first child was born and it was passed down through the others, and now it is safely tucked away in a memory box.
Leonora Bamford’s Little Luxuries: Top Tips for Halloween
Is there anything sweeter than dressing your baby up for Halloween? I always used to go all out American style and some of our favourite memories are of trick or treating in the early days around the streets of London.
Baby Mori Halloween Sweatshirt & Leggings Outfit
Baby Mori have got the cutest little outfit for a Baby’s first or second Trick or Treat – and it’s made from the softest organic cotton.
Mini Rodini’s Cat Puffer
If you’re just looking for a hint of Halloween, check out Mini Rodini’s new arrivals. They always have the cutest nod to Halloween and this cat patch puffer from four months is utterly divine.
The London Aquarium Halloween event
The London Aquarium is always such a fun experience out and they have a seriously fun Halloween event. You and your little one can immerse yourself in a world of creepy crawlies, charming crocs and curious critters for the ultimate sensory overload. If you have any older children, they are bound to be wowed by the tarantulas and piranhas!
Daylesford Apple Day
If your looking for more of a day out during half term, I’m excited to be joining Daylesford Apple Day on the 22nd October which is an autumnal family fun celebration on the farm.
If you’re venturing further afield for half term or even Christmas and need a compact pram the YOYO2 is just the ticket and literally folds down to nothing. I’m also loving their new colour tones!
I hope you all have a great Halloween – can’t wait for for Bonfire Night!
Leonora Bamford’s Little Luxuries: Autumn in the Air
September always has the feeling of summer coming to a close and a time to wrap up and get ready for long walks.
Daylesford Harvest Festival
Daylesford have the most wonderful two day harvest festival happening this year on the 17th and 18th September, with everything from hot air balloon rides to dancing diggers and fairground rides, delicious dishes from the fire pit and the famous Daylesford dog show! I’m excited to have a stand there this year with Pop Up and Play which should be lots of fun.
Lizzie Loves Be Settled
For those of you who have little ones starting Nursery it can be an anxious time and I absolutely swear by Lizzie Loves Be Settled which is a gorgeous little sachet of activated charcoal from coconuts, apple and peppermint.
Make Your Own Worry Dolls
If your little ones are still worried at the end of the day, I found that making Nanny Anita’s little worry dolls really helped. According to Mayan legends, when someone is kept awake worrying, they tell their worry to these little dolls which are then placed under their pillow resulting in a good night’s sleep.
Baby Music Classes
If you are looking for a fun music class, Maggie and Rose have an adorable mini musician’s class for infants to 18 months which introduces little ones to music, rhythm and sound in a fun and interactive way.
Baby Mori Gifts
I always find September is inundated with birthdays, and find Baby Mori have some adorable outfits which make the perfect present. I have been swooning over this organic teddy bear outfit and couldn’t help sliding the matching jelly cat toy into my basket as well!
A few weeks ago I came across this set of Poster Paint from JDECO which comes with a pallet and a paint brush. It encourages creativity and fine motor skills and I love the range of colours.
Back to School Shoes
If you are looking for a first shoe or a back to school shoe, then Start Rite have an amazing online measuring service and have a huge selection. I love these jigsaw navy first walking shoes which are biomechanically engineered and have a leather lined inner sole which can be removed.
I hope everyone’s back to school goes out without a hitch and look forward to catching up next month when I’ll no doubt be talking about Christmas already!
Leonora Bamford’s Little Luxuries: Last Weeks of Summer Sunshine
I absolutely love this part of the summer holidays without the mad rush of getting the kids ready for school. Here are my favourite little luxuries for August before we are back to school in a matter of weeks…!
When things started opening up after lock down, I realised how incredibly beautiful England was. I booked a couple of staycations with the family falling in love with Devon, Cornwall and even some local villages around where I live.
Canopy and Stars
Canopy and Stars was a firm favourite where I found the most amazing treehouse to stay at, they have so much to choose from and we couldn’t have had a better time away. Unique homestays also had a huge array of quirky and wonderful places to stay on the coast.
This summer I managed to actually get on an aeroplane and the anxiety of seeing thousands of suitcases stuck in various wrong airports across the world made me head to the Apple Store where I stocked up on Apple Airtags. These make a brilliant present and can easily be personalised and are super easy to set up.
Top tip… don’t get too stressed when you first land because you will sometimes see your bag sitting in a field in France or somewhere where the last GPS has been picked up! Give it a good 10 minutes after landing before checking.
Festivals & shows
I hope you all enjoy the rest of your summer holidays, we can’t wait to head down to the Big Feastival which I wrote about last month!
All my children love Julia Donaldson and I cant wait to take my youngest to see Tiddler and Other at Cadagon Hall. The trailer looks awesome and it is the perfect running time of one hour.
Leonora Bamford’s Little Luxuries: Travel Essentials & Family Festivals
We’re finally in the swing of summer and the British summer weather even seems to be playing ball!
BabyMoon Travel Website
For those of you braving the airports this summer my go to has to be the slick BabyMoon Travel website which is super easy to navigate.
Marbella Club Hotel
One of their star hitters has to be the new Marbella Club Hotel for their fantastic tiny tots program which is designed for young families with newborns to toddlers up to five.
They have a pretty mega kids club with everything from perfumier workshops and budding chefs, to mini gardeners and fun in the sea.
Stokke at the Four Seasons
If you are looking further afield the Four Seasons in Hangzhou have a collaboration with Stokke so you know their bedrooms are going to be fully loaded with all the latest Stokke gear! Let’s hope we see this rolling out across more Four Seasons soon!
JoJo Maman Bébé Summer
If you are looking for travel essentials for a baby my go to has to the be JoJo Maman Bébé for all the best bits, like their adorable coordinating kids summerwear.
Scott Dunn also has a pretty epic outlook when it comes to travelling with small families and I love their explorer’s kids clubs which range from four months to 11 years.
This summer I’ll to be taking the short journey out of London to the amazing Big Feastival on the 26th August.
Although a music festival may not appear very family-friendly this one really is! There is always something for everyone, from cosmic kids yoga to Adam Hensen’s farm park and even CBeebies bedtime stories. Plus, it has the most delicious food trucks!
If you are staying London bound, check out my post on outdoor play and fun! And, if it is extra hot, my post on how to dress your baby in hot weather is invaluable. Wishing everyone a great summer holidays!
Leonora Bamford’s Little Luxuries: Summer Essentials
How can it be June already – and I’m sitting at my desk thinking about end of year teacher presents! Here are my essentials for a wonderful summer with your little ones.
Personalised Family Games Box
Stokke Kids Suitcase
Although it’s still a bit of a nightmare flying off to distant countries, it’s nice to finally be able to. If you and the family are off on an adventure this summer, check out Stokke’s limited edition Jet Kids Ride On suitcase which is approved by airlines and can literally turn an economy seat into a kids flat bed!
Kidskalm Biotic Sachets
I recently got back from Morocco where half of us got food poisoning and I was really thankful to have our Kidskalm biotic sachets. If you don’t take one already, holidays are a great time to start a probiotic because everything is so different.
Lido at Hyde Park
This summer I’m looking forward to lots of picnics in the park. The Serpentine has a lido in Hyde Park with a little padding pool and play area for little ones – and the best bit is that the water is tested each week to make sure it meets standards!
Mycey Fruit and Veg Pacifier
I also came across a brilliant Turkish brand called Mycey who have some amazing baby products perfect for the summer picnics! I particularly love their silicone fruit and veg feeder.
Wherever you are this summer or whatever you are doing, I hope you have a blast!
Leonora Bamford’s Little Luxuries: May Half Term, Corgi Cafes & Jubilee Celebrations
My mother used to always talk about how time went so quickly yet for me my school years seemed to drag on and on. I finally get it! The weeks seem to be whooshing past and merge into one another and summer is finally upon us.
I went to the Fuse Communications Press Launch last week and I met so many gorgeous Mummy influencers. It was so nice to bump into lovely Laura Coleman who was wheeling around the chicest new Stokke Xplory X Signature Pram that looked more like a sports car! It always amazes me how far prams have come on. I always love seeing the latest brands that Fuse have on offer.
Lucy Darling Teethers
Lots of the babies were flooding towards the new trends from EDX Education and all the awesome teethers from Lucy Darling. The wonderful Maggie & Rose were looking after the children so we could all have a good look around.
EDX Rainbow Pebbles
London’s First Corgi Café
It’s not long until Half Term strikes and there are some wonderful outings for the Jubilee. I’ll be hanging out at London Zoo for their Zoobile Celebrations and I’ll definitely be popping into London’s first Corgi Café for a Jubilee brunch.
Jubilee Street Party
I know lots of people will be having Street Parties to celebrate on the Sunday! I’ve been inspired after seeing all the fabulous decorations on offer and I definitely feel some Union Jack bunting coming on. I’ve also heard that local Baby Sensory Classes are doing special Jubilee themes so it is definitely worth checking that out.
Rachel Riley’s Teddy Outfits
I can’t wait for an excuse to send my godson one of Rachel Riley’s gorgeous Jubilee Teddy outfits.
Leonora Bamford’s Little Luxuries: Easter Family Fun
Easter is upon us and as always England doesn’t know whether to snow or shine! I love this time of year and always hope for the sun to come out so that the long weekend can be spent outside with the family. Whether it’s your baby’s first Easter or you have older ones in tow, it’s always such a fun time to get crafty and get outside.
Easter Egg Hunt
I love doing a big egg hunt at home in the garden and my kids also love going to ones in London. Kew Gardens have an adorable-looking Very Hungry Caterpillar Trail this holiday and they never disappoint. If you have more grown up children over, the Lindt Golden Bunny Hunt in Kensington Palace’s garden is such fun.
I love seeing the lambs skipping around with their mothers in the fields in April and if you get a chance to visit a farm. my children love to feed the lambs a bottle – and they never say no to holding newborn chicks! But remember, a lambing shed is not safe for pregnant women, so bear that in mind.
Ice Sun Catchers
We love making Ice Sun Catchers and these are great if it’s warm enough to be out because you can freeze almost anything – and little ones love the feel of the melting ice.
I always dress my kids up as little bunnies and I’m crazy about these little booties – just too adorable!
Alternative Easter Gift Ideas to Chocolate
We always get asked at My Baba for alternative gift ideas from the usual chocolate and sweets and this year there seems to be more options than ever. From a Peter Rabbit Tonie to dear little animal counters, we have some great sweetie-free options that are getting more and more popular.
Sending happy vibes to everyone and Happy Easter!
Love, Leonora x
Leonora Bamford’s Little Luxuries: Spring Blooms & Celebrating Mum
It’s officially spring so hopefully people will be getting outdoors more and a Happy Mother’s Day to everyone.
Mother’s Day Celebrations
With Mother’s Day around the corner, I always love to do something as a family and I’ve booked into Anya’s incredible cafe for a tea of delicious cakes and biscuits to make everyone smile. I love how light hearted the village is and I always walk away feeling positive vibes.
If spring has sprung by then, we will pop over to Battersea Park’s Children’s Zoo who usually have rare breed piglets at this time of year.
If you are looking to go away for the weekend and are in need of a travel cot, I’m really wowed by the new Micralite’s Sleep&Go for newborns up. This compact pop up cot has a newborn insert that sits at bed levels meaning you can reach out with ease. The thing however, that really sold it for me, is that this travel cot doubles up as a play pen with a zip-able panel at one end, making it the perfect den for any toddler to have fun in.
With International Women’s Day coming up too, I have been reading the children lots of inspiring books. I’m crazy about the little leaders series which my daughter loves reading to my youngest and I love hearing all about these fantastically great women who change the word.
Polarn O. Pyret
I’ve also just been leafing through the latest range at Polarn O. Pyret. I’ve fallen in love with their baby play suit made with super soft organic cotton.
Love, Leonora x
Leonora Bamford’s Little Luxuries: Love is in the Air
It’s the month of love and I’m a sucker for a Baby Valentine! There are so many adorable arts and crafts you can do with little ones this half-term – especially making up cards for your partner using baby’s hands and feet.
Beatrix Potter Exhibition
I am so excited about the Beatrix Potter exhibition at the V&A which is soon to launch at the start of half-term week – if I had a younger baby I would definitely join their multi-sensory play session for 0-3 year olds which is set to explore themes related to the natural world and the exhibition including music, play and mindfulness.
Valentine’s Red Bath Time Boat Set
I’m a huge fan of Matchstick Monkeys and I love their Valentines Red Bath Time boat set to encourage development, imaginative play and fine motor skills.
If you’re looking for a great one stop shop for pregnancy and baby products, Baby Central is the place to go, with everything from feeding, weaning, bathing and changing to maternity, travel, toys and gifts. I love the huge selection and the fact that it sells all the best brands.
Cashmirino Baby Clothes
Cashmirino have the perfect Valentine outfits for little ones to keep cosy in these still-chilly months. I love their prima cotton babygrow – its embroidered love detailing is utterly divine – and if you’ve got an older baby girl they have a matching babydoll dress.
Love, Leonora x
Leonora Bamford’s Little Luxuries: New Year Hopes
I don’t know if it’s just me but I have been nesting like crazy. Over the holidays, I spent hours clearing cupboards, making space, ransacking the kids’ wardrobes and sending things we don’t use or have outgrown to family and friends with younger children. It feels great!
It’s always nice to have a few resolutions and plans for the year ahead. I’m going to walk more – my youngest has just started riding a bike so it’s more like power walking (!) – but I love getting out and chatting about what’s going on around us. He’s so funny and such good company – I find I’ve been learning more about the wildlife than him!
Thule Urban Glide Stroller
I love the idea of going for long walks in the park with friends; I often did this when mine were tiny. I’ve recently come across Thule prams which look amazing for active parents. They have a great, compact range with lovely, slick colours and cool branding. For city life, I would definitely check out the Urban Glide.
First Aid Course
I also haven’t done a first aid course in far too long, so I’m going to book a refresher course this month. I’ve also just bought this mini first aid kit from E Hospital to keep in my bag.
Bifikalm Relief Drops
We were so excited to launch Bifikalm at Baba West which has been winning all sorts of awards helping babies with sore tummies.
We are starting to understand the importance of supporting a babies gut right from birth and these easy to take drops are suitable from birth and provide immune and digestive support from day one.
Battersea Arts Centre
Somewhere I’ve been desperate to venture out to is Battersea Arts Centre which offers family-friendly events and activities every Saturday. They also have a theatre, pantomime and The Bee’s Knees indoor soft play area for the under 5’s.
New Year, New Beauty Regime
Lastly for me, I’m starting a new beauty regime now I’m 40! I’ve started with Dr Sam’s Nightly Serum which has Retinoid that I’ve been told to take for a million years.
I’ve also booked in to Fox and Vamp for a bit of colour which is where Laura Wills (@fashionbugblog) goes – and what better hair inspo could one have?!
Love, Leonora x
Leo’s Little Luxuries: Christmas is Coming
I woke up this morning and realised that the clocks had gone back and there was frost on my windscreen! How has this year gone past so quickly?! I have my first Christmas event tomorrow and carol singing concerts are already cropping up in the diary!
Christmas Grottos in London
I was so sad to hear that Harrods isn’t going to be doing its famous grotto this year – but there are some wonderful other ones to consider, especially if it’s your baby’s first one. We have a brilliant run down of what’s on offer at My Baba. It’s not as long as normal, due to fewer places offering grottos this year, but Lapland UK is sure to be a good show – and Kew has been on my wish list for years!
Kidsware Collective Coat
Kidsware Collective is my go-to online shop for picking up a pre-loved bargain. When I say pre-loved, many of their pieces still have the labels on! We all need to wrap up warm as the days get colder and I’ve fallen in love with this dear little coat.
Il Gufo Bunny Suit
I’m a huge fan of Il Gufo and although my kids are much bigger now, I’m always looking for presents for godchildren and friends with babies. At this time of year I couldn’t think of a more divine present than this bunny jumpsuit with dear little ears, tail and paws. Lined in cotton jersey, it has a sweet little pocket, a size zip and elastic cuffs – perfect for cold weather.
Stokke’s Winter Set Gloves
I wrote a piece a long time ago that went viral and almost crashed our site – it was for the launch of Stokke’s winter set. I couldn’t believe how such a simple idea could have been missed! Anyway, fast forward a few years and Stokke are still making these beauties, with a soft fleece lining and waterproof outer layer.
Little Butterfly Face Cream
Last but not least, I always like to use a moisturiser on a baby’s skin when the weather turns and you’re inevitably coming in and out of centrally-heated buildings. One of my favourites is Littl Butterfly’s Anti-Pollution Face Cream, a delicious blend of organic oils and extracts perfect for warding against the environment and soothing irritated skin. It’s also dermatologist approved for sensitive, eczema-prone skin.
So, whether you’re popping out for a walk with friends, Christmas shopping, singing carols or visiting Winter Wonderland, make sure you and your babas wrap up warm and snuggle up.
Leo’s Little Luxuries: Top Tips for Halloween
I love Halloween and dressing up a baby for the occasion, is a given. There are so many adorable outfits to choose from and I always try to swap with friends at this time of year to save on buying on Amazon. So for my Little Luxuries column this month, the focus is on the Spooky Season.
Stella McCartney’s Dalmatian Collection
If I had a baby, I would be all over Stella McCartney’s Dalmatian collection. I was mad about the new Cruella movie and what’s not to love about Dalmatians? Top tip, if your little ones are old enough to actually go out and Trick or Treat, Lizzie King always says to fill them up with a great meal and loads of veg before you set out, that way they get the fun but don’t binge on sweets.
Mimi’s Bowl Frozen Monster Bites
If you’re making a meal at home or having friends over, you must try out Mimi’s Frozen Monster Bites, they’re super easy to make and kids love them, adults too! I often have a batch in the freezer, even without the Halloween twist, to serve up as a fun treat.
It’s also a great time for batch cooking and there are so many delicious root vegetables to stock up on. I like freezing in ice trays and then storing in the freezer in easy zip-lock bags ready to whip out and defrost. My older kids planted lots of pumpkin seeds months ago and they’ve been cropping up all over the place. We always end up using them for crafts, carving or eating.
Halloween Nail Inspo From Nails.Inc
My family all love dressing up and whether I go as Cruella DeVille or not, I’m going to be painting my nails viper orange with this gorgeous new colour from Nails.Inc, that’s as natural as can be.
Selfridges’ Halloween Pop-ups
Selfridges have some fun kids workshops on and a really fun Pumpkin Hunt throughout the kid’s department.
Leo’s Little Luxuries: Back-to-School Season
The word on everyone’s lips this month at Baby is ‘routine’ and that’s something I certainly try to live by. I agree that a baby has to fit in with their parent’s lives and how they live, but I believe that there’s a way you can bring routine in to that. Babies crave knowing what’s happening and when, whether it’s feeding, sleeping or playing. I always find that a baby in some sort of routine, whatever that might look like, is a happier one. Which is why all I’m focussing on all the little things that can help set up a successful routine for my Little Luxuries column this month.
With a new school year starting there are so many wonderful classes that one can sign up to from dance and music to art and yoga. We have a great updated list on My Baba with lots of new classes hitting town. I’m also a huge fan of the Peanut app, which is a fantastic network introducing women at any stage of their family journey to connect and get talking.
Mimi Bowl Recipes
If you’re looking to start the weaning process, check out Mimi Bowl’s lovely site and find her on Instagram. I use her recipes for the whole family and her take on first tastes and weaning is great. Her Root Vegetable puree is still one of my favourite pasta sauces out there.
A good feeding routine is always key from early on and I love the look of these super chic DockATot nursing pillows to help get comfy. They’re all gorgeous and I’m torn between the Strawberry Thief and Navy Night Falls pattern.
Toniebox Audio System
I know I always rave about the Toniebox but it really is the best audio system for a nursery. I didn’t get one for my son until he was a toddler but the ever-growing characters are utterly brilliant. For little ones, In the Night Garden is a bit of a must and I absolutely love the look of their white noise Toni which helps them drift off easily with 2 hours of white noise.
Stokke Xplory X
If you’re looking for a new pram, the Stokke Xplory X is a perfect pram for adventure with your little one. The nifty adjustable footrest supports their growing legs and the seat is extra soft. As with most modern prams, it offers reversible seats so the baby can face you or the passing world depending on their age. The Ruby Red is really striking and there are some great accessories. If I needed a pram again, I would definitely go for the winter stroller mittens!
Lilbell Diaper Bags
I try not to suggest too many overseas brands but I’ve fallen for these classic diaper bags from Lilibell. I have some great handbags and always like using them as nappy bags, this genius insert organiser brings a bit of order to your bag and they have one in baby pink!
Leo’s Little Luxuries: Summer in the City
I have had such an amazing start to the summer and although the English weather has been a bit sketchy, it’s been wonderful to catch up with so many friends and family. One of the most special things is being able to meet up with friends who have had babies during lockdown. I think Instagram has been a great way of keeping in touch and seeing how little ones changes. There is something quite amazing about meeting a friend’s baby for the first time and realising that they can walk already. So for this month’s Little Luxuries, I’m sharing my favourite things to do with little ones in London, and some of the baby essentials every new mum should have.
b_together Family Club
I am a huge fan of Maggie Bolger and I can’t wait to check out her new family club b_together in St Johns Wood. I love the whole ethos behind it where you can play, work, eat and relax with your family. Its right up my street.
Roof Garden Café & Bar
I have been wanting to go to Roof Garden Café & Bar, nestled on the top of the Queen Elizabeth Hall on the Southbank, for ages. It’s home to over 200 wild native plants, a luscious lawn and has amazing view across London. The garden, originally a partnership with the Eden Project, was built and continues to be maintained by volunteers and Grounded EcoTherapy, a group which offers people with issues like homelessness help through horticulture. Definitely worth a visit on a sunny day.
Nuk Ice Lolly Set
I love Lizzie King’s thoughts when it comes to eating the rainbow and this year our garden is heaving with crops. I gave each of my children a plot in the garden this year and I have been gobsmacked at what they have grown. For anyone embarking on weaning journey, I absolutely love these this Nuk Ice Lolly Set. It’s so good for weaning and I literally blitz up and fruit and veg into a smoothie consistency and freeze in moulds. Coconut water is another great thirst quencher and easy to freeze.
Liewood Dante Beach Set
I have been doing a lot of shopping for presents at Molly Meg and the new range from Liewood has gone down really well. I love this Liewood Dante Beach Set for trips to the coast.
Baba West Infant Vitamin D Daily Oral Drops
Even though we have been seeing a little bit of sun, I still always recommend our Baba West Infant Vitamin D Daily Oral Drops which are really easy to administer and make sure they’re getting their recommended daily dose.
Kit & Kin Hospital Starter Pack
Finally, great news for any expectant mamas this summer, Kit & kin have just launched this lovely new hospital starter pack, which I am sure would make a great welcome gift.
Read More: The Ultimate Hospital Bag Checklist
Leo’s Little Luxuries: Staycation Essentials
For my Little Luxuries columns this month I had hoped to talk all things holidays and family travel, but it’s such a hard one with government guidelines changing on a daily basis and some people really don’t like travelling with their little ones. I used to find that mine would finally fall into a new routine, just when it was ready to come home again. Whether you’re staycationing this summer or going abroad, I would say the key thing to remember is to travel with a comfort from home.
I used to always take my own travel cot with me and it might sound neurotic but I think a bottom sheet or a muslin from home to wrap on the mattress, makes them feel more secure.
Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser at the V&A
Last week I took my little one to the Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser at the V&A. It was very interactive and he really enjoyed it but it would be just as fun to go to with friends. The V&A have a great outdoor area and café for after the show.
We can’t live without our Toniebox and they have some amazing bedtime calming stories. I think if you have any sort of device like this it’s well worth packing.
Piccolo have some amazing pouches that are easy to pack. Don’t worry too much about food if you’re weaning, because most places you go to will be able to steam up some fresh vegetables and fruit is so sweet at the moment, all you need is the back of a fork.
Love Organic Baby Shawl
From Babies with Love is such a beautiful company with the best ethos. Every penny of profit from their unique, ethically sourced designs goes to orphaned and abandoned children around the world. This Love organic baby shawl is one my favourites.
Stork Sak Carry On
My all time favourite carry-on bag is from Stork Sak. Their eco Cabin Carry-On bag has an integrated organiser which means you can pack and hang up without unpacking, if you know what I mean. It’s the most organised bag I have come across.
Stokke Clikk High Chair
I am a huge fan of the Stokke Clikk High Chair. It’s for children aged 6 months to 3 years is my recommended product for a UK staycation or alfresco fun in the garden. With detachable legs and an additional travel bag, the Stokke Clikk can be conveniently packed.
Leo’s Little Luxuries: Exploring the Great Outdoors
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
I 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.
Muddy Puddles Scampsuit
Muddy 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!
Stokke Xplory X
The 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.
Le Toy Van Rainbow Tunnel
I 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.
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
Another 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.
Nana’s Manners Cutlery
Nana’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.
Béaba’s The Babycook Neo
I 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.
Merle Cape Bib
When 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.
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
When 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.
Milestone Journal from Noble Macmillan
I 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.
Baby Records by Little Brown Box
Speaking 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
A 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.
Weaning Made Simple by Annabel Karmel
With 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.