Get cheap nappies with the Amazon Family programme.

As every parent knows nappies are an expensive necessity. However with Amazon Family subscribe and save you can make some good savings especially if you have a prime membership.

up to 20% off monthly deliveries

With a prime membership, you save 20% when you subscribe to a monthly delivery of nappies, although you can cancel at any time so you can just get a one-0ff delivery if you want. This would also work if you do not want to pay the £79 annual cost for Amazon Prime as you can get a 30 day free trial. If you do not have a Prime Membership you can still get 5% off your nappies.

Is Amazon Prime combined with Amazon family worth it?

This all depends on your circumstances and what other benefits you are likely to use. Amazon Family is free to join and Amazon prime is £79 a year. So let’s work out how cheap this is.

A monthly pack of size 4 pampers baby dry contains 174 nappies and costs £20.23 on Amazon which equates to 11.6p per nappy. With a 20% discount this equates to £16.18 per pack  or 9.3p a nappy.

The current best supermarket price I can find is Tesco who are doing two 62 packs for £15. This equates to 12.1p per nappy. So the Amazon prime is saving you nearly 3p a nappy. If you buy one pack a month from Amazon you would get 2,088 nappies and save yourself £62.64 against the current best supermarket offer.

However, you have paid £79 for Amazon Prime so you’re actually worse off. This is the case if you don’t use any of the other prime services, but if you do then it could well be worth it. You also don’t need to keep trying to find the best deals at the supermarket and the nappies will be delivered for free.

Other Amazon Prime benefits

  • Free next day delivery on Amazon purchases with no minimum value. If you shop at Amazon a lot or are notorious for waiting till the last minute to buy presents then this could be a great benefit.
  • Unlimited streaming of 15,000 films and tv series. This service is similar to netflix so you could save quite a bit of money if you switched.
  • Free unlimited photo storage with anywhere access.
  • Borrow ebooks for free
  • If you also take the free Amazon family membership you get monthly discounts on baby and child related items. In the past they have included 20% of cot bedding and Fisher Price toys.

Would I recommend it

I  currently don’t have a prime membership as money is tight and as we have a Costco membership we can get nappies quite cheaply there. I also currently don’t have the time to watch many films, so the streaming isn’t worth it for me.

However, I have been a prime member in the past and found it really useful. It does feel strange when I now buy something on Amazon that I have to make sure that I reach £10 and even then I don’t know how long it will take to arrive.

We also used the Amazon family exclusive discounts a fair amount, but we now seem to have most things that we need and we don’t buy that many new toys/clothes or books for the children. When we do need something it’s often bought by grandparents and other family as they are often asking us for ideas of what they can get the children.

As mentioned above it’s your personal circumstances that will dictate whether this is right for you. I just wanted to make you aware that this service exists.

 

 

From bed back to cot- regression and what to do?

Bedtime has been eventful in the last week or two in our household. We took the sides of our eldest daughters cot and transformed it into a bed.

She really loved it at first and settled and fell asleep really quickly. However, she unfortunately learnt how to open doors shortly after that. Since then she has getting out of bed and out of her room constantly. She would not even stay in her bed for more than thirty seconds. We have asked her if she wanted us to put the sides back up and surprisingly she said yes.

I put them up today and so far so good. There was not too much moaning at bedtime and she settled really quickly. I’m really hoping we can take them down again soon as my wife and I did like being able to read and sing to her whilst she was snuggled up in bed. Now we have to do her bedtime routine on her rug and then lift her into the cot at the last minute. It seems like a bit of a regression.

With a bit of luck she will realise what she is missing and ask for her big girls bed back and actually stay in it to fall asleep.

Have other people dealt with regression like this before? How did you deal with it?

How to arrange a playdate

Although this article isn’t just about the issues stay at home dads have with arranging play dates I feel there are more difficulties for men in this regard. I was recently contacted by another stay at home dad asking if I had managed to arrange playdates for my daughters. I have managed to arrange some, but they’re mostly piggybacking on my wife’s friends from when she was on maternity leave.

The importance of playdates for toddlers

Playdates can be a very important developmental aid for toddlers. Especially those who do not go to nursery or attend toddler classes as it teaches important social skills such as sharing. It is also nice for the children to make friends they see on a regular basis. Even though it’s especially important for children who do not attend nursery and/or toddler classes I feel, it is also a good aid for children who do go to nursery and classes. This is because it teaches important social skills on a smaller scale than withing  a big group setting.

The two main issues for stay at home dads

  • The male – female dynamic: Most of the potential playdate options will be a child with their mother. It can be difficult for both the mum and the dad in this scenario to arrange a playdate. There is the potential for a request to be taken the wrong way and sometimes it just seems easier not to ask for the playdate. The mum will have plenty of other mums to ask, but the same can’t be said for the dad.
  • The delay in looking after the child: What I mean by this is that usually a stay at home dad takes over the child caring duties after his partner has finished their maternity leave. In a lot of cases this will be after a year. By this time most mums will already have made a circle of friends, so there is not really any need or incentive for them to add another person into the mix.

How to overcome these issues

  • The male – female dynamic: To avoid any confusion and embarrassment it’s a good idea to invite a group of mums at the same time. Maybe casually mention about meeting up sometime and just seeing what the reaction is. You will probably find it easier to at least arrange the first few dates in a group setting until you become more comfortable around each other. Another suggestion is to have the playdates in a public place rather than at someones house as they might feel uncomfortable with that. Soft plays are a great option for this.
  • The delay in looking after the child: This is a more difficult situation to overcome if you’ve already taken on the role. However if you’re in the planning stage I would recommend that you start piggybacking on your partners playdates. What I mean by this is arrange to go along to some playdates she has with her friends. Maybe specially arrange some playdates for the weekend  if you are working. In that case partners can come along as well. That way the mums get to know you and will accept you into their group. It also helps if their partners get to know you a little so they don’t see you as a potential threat. If you have already taken over the reins from your partner then it might be an idea to get her to arrange a weekend catch-up with some of her mummy friends so that you can meet them.

Conclusion

Whilst it is definitely more difficult for men to arrange playdates I feel it is worth making the effort to arrange them. I think the first time is the awkward, difficult time, but after that it should get better as the other parents realise it’s mainly about the children and not about them. Having said that whilst it is about the children it’s also important that the parents get on as well.

I’m going to try and follow my own advice and arrange a few more playdates, this is especially important once my wife goes back to work from maternity leave and I’ll be looking after two young children. It will be important for my sanity to get out of the house and have some adult conversation.

Your thoughts

I would be appreciative of any feedback and or comments about how you feel about playdates and how best to arrange them.

 

 

The Dad Network

 

Time without the children, time to chop down a tree.

So this week my wife has taken both children out for the day twice. This is a first for either of us and has given her a lot of self confidence which is good. I haven’t managed to take a trip out on my own with both my daughters yet as the youngest is exclusively breastfed and is still unpredictable with timings of her feeds. However, I was quite happy to get on with some task that have been out on the backburner.

Time to get out the chainsaw!

With this free time I have been able to do a lot of gardening which has been necessary for quite a while. This includes cutting down a pretty large sycamore. It felt rewarding to get the chainsaw out and cut down the sycamore which had been blocking light from an old oak tree.

It was hard work, but it felt really good being able to do something without having to worry about rushing in to attend to one of the children. I think my wife also really enjoyed her alone time with the children and will hopefully have gained some confidence to take them both out in future.

Especially as there is a big list of jobs that need doing, that will be difficult to do whilst looking after children.

  • Dig up a flower bed and plant it
  • Lay a patio
  • Protect and stain 2 garden sheds
  • Put a new felt roof on one of the sheds
  • Clear, chop and chip the wood from the sycamore tree
  • Check the guttering
  • Strip and re-varnish the exterior window frames

And this list is just for outside!!! my wife might have to take them away for a month or two to let me finish this list and get all the interior jobs done.

 

 

Can you move a sleeping baby or toddler?

Or in my case try and move them from the car into bed

My eldest daughter has been rebelling against her naps for the past few weeks. What has made it worse is that since the last week or so she has figured out how to open doors.

This means that not only will she get out of bed, she will get out of her room and explore the whole upstairs.

Swimming didn’t work

So today we went swimming as she always gets really tired after that. It worked to a certain extent. She fell asleep five minutes before we got home. This is unusual for her as she has pretty much stopped sleeping in the car.

Last year when she used to fall asleep in the car we could easily carry her in and even if she half woke up most of the time she soon settled back down. As we didn’t want to leave her asleep in the car we decided to try and move her. This turned out to be a big mistake, she woke up straight away and flat out refused to settle after that. She got straight out of bed and out of her room every time we tried to put her down. In the end she didn’t have a nap and she was overtired towards the end of the day. 

Double trouble

To make matters worse her younger sister also woke up when we carried her carseat out of the car. Between the two of them they certainly kept my wife and myself busy this afternoon. So should we have moved them or just left them to sleep in the car? Is it ever okay to potentially wake a sleeping baby? Please let me know in my poll.

 

In hindsight I think letting them sleep in the car might have been better, however at the time I was pretty sure they would settle back down if they did wake up.

Princess Mirror-Belle and the Dragon Pox book review

I was really excited to be win a copy of this book through Toppsta as my two year old daughter really loves the Julia Donaldson books she already has. These include the Gruffalo’s Child, What the Ladybird Heard and various books from the Acorn Wood series.

She especially likes the illustrations and the ways the words flow in rhymes.

As a consequence we were both disappointed with Princess Mirror-Belle and the Dragon Pox. I think it is probably just a bit too old for her.

Synopsis

A little girl Ellen has chicken pox, when she looks in the mirror and starts scratching her reflection tells her off. Her reflection jumps out of the mirror and introduces herself as Princess Mirror-belle and she has dragon pox. Princess Mirror-Belle starts making a cure for dragon pox which leaves a big mess in the bathroom. Just as Ellen’s mother appears Princess Mirror-belle jumps back into the mirror, leaving Ellen to explain the mess.

The bad bits (for a two year old)

  • The story didn’t flow that well and there were more words than my daughter is used too. she often tried turning the page before I had gotten halfway through reading it.
  • The book could encourage bad behaviour. In the story Princess Mirror-Belle squirts a whole bottle of bubble bath, a whole tub of toothpaste, a whole can of shaving cream and a whole bottle of shampoo into the bath as a cure for the dragon pox. They also splash this water all over the floor making it soaking wet. My daughter has a tendency to copy things she hears so I would not want to give her the impression that any of this is acceptable behaviour.

The good bits (for a Two year old)

  • My daughter really enjoyed the illustrations. There was so much going on on each page she enjoyed pointing out various objects and animals on each page. In that sense it helps build her vocabulary.

Conclusion

All in all I would say this book is not a good book to get a two year old. However I can imagine an older child getting a lot more out of the book and enjoying it more. After all it has some great reviews on Amazon, but these mainly seem to be from parents/grand parents of four and five year olds.  In which case I’ll have to try it out again in a few years to see if it is more suitable for my daughter then.