One thing you realise pretty quickly when you become a parent is that you need eyes in the back of your head to constantly monitor your child’s whereabouts. Babies not so much, they’re cute and cuddly and tend to stay where you leave them. But those cheeky toddlers…… they’re the ones you’ve got to watch out for……masters in the art of sneaking off, causing mischief and making mayhem. Sammy Screamer
You can be the most observant mama in the world, but turn your back on your children for even a split second and they will find all kids of way to get into mischief. I’ve lost count of the amount of times Riley and Harry have let themselves out of the house and gone round to my mums; thankfully she only lives next door and we have gates joining the back gardens, but there’s been more than one occasion when they’ve gone out the front of the house and neighbours have alerted me to the fact they’re out there. It makes me feel like the worst and most irresponsible parent in the world but you just catch watch their movements 24 hours a day.
Cue Sammy Screamer from Bleep Bleeps – a small motion alarm for parents that sends out alerts and notifications to your smartphone when it detects movement. Perfect for things such as baby fidgeting, cookie jar thieving, fridge raiding and toddler escaping.
Using Bluetooth 4.0, Sammy Screamer connects to a smartphone device within a 30m range. I use an iPhone 6 plus and the two items paired perfectly for me first time, but i know bluetooth devices can be a bit funny when pairing so if you experience difficulties i would recommend a push of the reset button and trying again. Setup beyond that point is really straightforward, you just follow a series of on-screen instructions to adjust the device’s volume, sensitivity levels and name and then it’s ready to go.
The BleepBleeps app is free to download, has a nice layout and is really easy to navigate. From the settings screen, you can control the following:
- Volume – on or off
- Sensitivity Levels – there are three to choose from: ‘Easy Going’, ‘Balanced’ and ‘Highly Strung’ (for those kinds of parents). Highly Strung will pick up the slightest vibration such as a knock on the surface it’s on. Easy Going will need physical movement.
- Monitoring – awake or asleep. When Sammy is awake, she’ll bleep if she gets moved and send a notification to your phone. When you don’t need her, you can use the app to send her to sleep.
Sammy’s battery level, signal strength and movement count is also displayed on the settings screen.
On the activity screen, parents can view a timeline of events and make an educated guess at what’s going on. A string of notifications will appear if movement persists.
Firstly, it’s a brilliant design and visually appealing. A pet peeve of mine is the mundanity of so many devices these days, but Sammy Screamer is something you want on display. We have Sammy in orange but it is available to purchase in a choice of six colours – red, orange, yellow, green, blue and pink. Sammy comes with a mini lanyard so you can hang it on stuff and a magnetised back so you can stick it to stuff too.
There are no buttons or moving parts, apart from the reset button, and it’s powered by an easily accessible coin cell battery.
The beauty of Sammy Screamer is in its range of uses. Just stick it on the things you want to keep an eye on and it will let you know if they move.
Attach Sammy to your bag when you’re out and about. Hang Sammy over a door handle to keep children out (or in!). Stick Sammy on the fridge to warn off naughty snackers. Attach Sammy to your buggy or pushchair. Use Sammy to make sure no-one steals those cookies.
The simple functionality of the device could see its use extend beyond that of an extra set of eyes for parents, though that does appear to be the company’s main focus. For example, it could be hidden on your front gate to warn of an intruder, or attached to your bike so you’ll be alerted if a thief is making off with your ride.
- Small motion alarm
- Sends alerts and notifications straight to your smartphone.
- Mini lanyard – hangs on your stuff.
- Magnetised back – sticks on your stuff
- Bluetooth LE – up to 30m range
- Coin cell battery – six month life
- Available in a choice of six colours
- Free smartphone app for Android and iOS devices.
- CE certified to international standards
- Designed for parents
- Safe for children
- Made from PC-ABS plastic
- RRP £50.00
is the first in a line of parenting aides developed by London-based startup BleepBleeps
, each designed to help with different aspects of child-rearing. The company aims to release other connected devices over a five-year span, such as Tony Tempa, a digital ear thermometer, Cecil G, a GPS bracelet to track your child’s whereabouts, Ultra Stan, an ultra sound pregnancy scanner and Master Bates, a male fertility tester.
I’ve been using Sammy for the last couple of weeks and really can’t fault the device at all. It’s a practical, modern and innovative gadget that all parents should own and i’ll definitely be recommending it to friends and family.
If you’re a regular reader to Love From Mummy or know us personally, you’ll already be aware by now that Riley was born 10 weeks prematurely and has always had issues with his mobility and balance. At 18 months old he was still unable to sit unaided, crawl, talk or even walk. Following visits to various healthcare professionals he was eventually diagnosed with hypotonia, a medical term for decreased muscle tone and more commonly known as ‘floppy baby syndrome’, something i know now to be very common amongst premature babies. He underwent 12 months of intensive physiotherapy sessions which saw a remarkable improvement in his mobility and by 2 and a half he was walking around just like all the other kids his age. But he still showed a lack of understanding and control in balance and spatial awareness.
It was recommended that we buy him a balance bike, which we did, but it was something he just couldn’t get to grips with and he was becoming increasingly frustrated with himself, so it ended up becoming a permanent fixture in the garden shed. Then at the beginning of this year Riley started pre-school and over the course of the next few months i began to notice huge changes in him. He was becoming stronger on his feet, more agile, more independent, more determined, more of a boy and less of a toddler. I wondered if now might be the right time to try again.
So at the start of the Summer holidays, i retrieved his balance bike from the shed, dusted off the cobwebs and placed it out in the garden with his other toys. It was ignored for the first week or so, as i thought it would be, but then one morning i just happened to glance out of the kitchen window and spot Riley on the bike pushing himself slowly around on tippitoes. It was at a snail pace, but it was a start and the next few weeks saw him enjoying the sunshine, growing in confidence and riding around on most days. Content. Free. Happy.
The next logical step was to take him out on the road (by road, i mean the quiet lane that we live on), but up until this point he’d ridden without a helmet and he’s very particular with what he wears on his head, so i wasn’t quite sure how we were going to get on. Thankfully the Natural History Museum Shop came to my rescue in the form of this pretty roar-some Scootersaurus Helmet.
Riley is obsessed with dinosaurs so i knew the helmet would be a huge hit and he could hardly contain his excitement when it arrived, insisting that we head out on his bike straight away to go and see Honey (my mum’s horse). She’s kept in a paddock about half a mile up the road and we’ve been making regular trips up there over the Summer, usually walking, but Riley’s little legs get weak and tired very quickly, so i knew now would be the perfect opportunity to let him loose on his bike and test the helmet out.
I wasn’t sure how we were going to get on and to be totally honest i didn’t think we would make it more than a few metres without some sort of a fall or tumble, but i definitely underestimate that boy’s will and determination because he continues to prove me wrong on a daily basis. He set off on his bike full of smiles, gliding along the lane and rode it all the way to the stables and back without so much as a whinge, whine or fall.
He knew he’d done well and was beaming from ear to ear. As was mummy. And it wasn’t the fact that he’d achieved this milestone that made my heart swell so much (although it was a pretty spectacular accomplishment in itself!), it was the look of pride and sheer joy on his face as he crossed that imaginary finishing line and squealed ‘did you see that mummy? I WON that race’.
That moment right there. That overwhelming feeling of love, of happiness, of every kind of emotion possible.
That’s what parenting is all about. It really doesn’t get much better than that.
As part of our role as Huggies Wipes Ambassadors, we were really sent some of the new Huggies Wipes Style On The Go pouches to try out at home.
Aimed at ‘busy and style-conscious’ parents, these stylish packs are easy to use and handy to have with you when you’re out and about with the little ones. The refillable pouches come in three gorgeous designs and each one holds a portable-sized pack of wipes. Like all Huggies Wipes, the refills are free from perfume, alcohol, parabens and phenoxyethanol and are made with natural absorbent fibres for beautifully healthy skin and gentle cleaning on the go.
Thanks to the pouch’s flip-top lid, wipes are kept fresh and moist. It also means that you don’t have to wrestle with the standard, frustrating sticky flap that either tends to come off the packet (thus drying the wipes out) or unhelpfully won’t budge when you’re desperately trying to grab a wipe before sticky fingers touch the sofa and poopy bums ruin the carpet.
It’s also got a strap which enables you to clip the pouch to a pushchair, bag or similar.
Here’s how we’ve been using our Huggies Wipes Style On The Go:
1) In The Car – There’s nothing worse when driving, than being in need of some wipes and having to rummage through a changing bag in order to find them. Thanks to the strap, i can now hang the wipes up in the car and have them to hand to deal with any emergencies.
2) On The Pushchair – Not only does the handy loop strap mean that the Huggies Wipes Style On The Go can dangle merrily off the side of my pushchair, poised and ready for any messy emergency, but i can also fit a single nappy inside, behind the free packet of wipes. Hurrah for anything that helps us mamas to travel light.
3) Mealtimes – We all know how messy mealtimes can get and the really great thing about Huggies Wipes Style On The Go is that the flip-top lid gives easy access for little hands, so Riley and Harry can help themselves to wipes after eating to clean those sticky fingers and messy faces.
4) Picnics – Similarly to mealtimes, the Huggies Wipes Style On The Go pouches come in extremely handy for picnics too. Hang them from your picnic bag or basket and have them easily accessible for sticky fingers, messy hands and also to wipe down any plates, cups or cutlery.
To find out more about Huggies Wipes On The Go or any other products for that matter, visit Huggies Wipes.
Yes i said it. The ‘C’ word. Christmas.
I know it’s only October, but with Summer firmly behind us and the darker evenings drawing in, it’s definitely time to start thinking about the festive season. It’s one of the busiest and most stressful times of year for parents so i don’t think it’s ever too early to start planning for Christmas. I may come across a little eager, but you know what they say “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”. Failure is not an option for me……i’m too much of a perfectionist.
I’ve not even started my Christmas shopping yet, which is most unlike me, so I’ve put together a little wishlist of essentials i need to stock up on over the coming weeks. True to form, i’ve gone for a black and white theme because we all know i’m a little monochrome mad.
1) Stocking fillers – I find that there’s no better way to start getting ready for Christmas celebrations than by preparing stockings…… or sacks in Riley and Harry’s case. The boys both get one main present each and then a sack full of little presents. Things like books, puzzles, socks, small toys, clothes etc. As it’s still early in the year, there’s plenty of deals around and online stores have a great range of stocking fillers available.
2) Christmas decorations – Every year we take the boys shopping to choose one new Christmas tree decoration each, it’s become somewhat of a tradition in our little family and one that we’d like to continue as long as possible. Mr B is also planning on purchasing a pre-lit artificial tree this year, so i’ve got my eyes set on some new decorations myself.
3) Christmas cards and gift wrap – I actually bought a lot of gift wrap in the January sales earlier this year so i think i’m covered in that department but i am definitely in need of some Christmas cards. I’ll be totally honest, i’m not usually one for writing cards but last Christmas we unexpectedly received one from EVERY one of our neighbours so this year i want to make sure we are better prepared and give one to all of them too.
TIP: If you’re looking for cheap (but nice) Christmas cards, The Works have a lovely range in a number of designs and styles, so there’s something to suit all tastes. Better still, if you’re really on a tight budget then try making you’re own cards and gift tags instead.
4) Christmas crafts – When you’ve got kids, Christmas just isn’t Christmas without some crafts. My boys are both very creative, they love, making, baking, painting, sticking, drawing……anything that involves mess basically. You can buy ready made craft kits for kids, but personally i prefer to trawl Pinterest for ideas and then take things from there. Supplies are usually pretty cheap and i find it’s a great way to occupy and involve Riley and Harry in the Christmas preparations
5) Christmas outfits – When i was younger, my mum used to dress my sister and i the same and i always swore i would never do the same to my own kids, yet somehow i’ve become that parent. One that goes for the ‘twinning’ look. Especially over the festive period. You can’t beat some Christmas jumpers and i love that kids can get away with wearing them for the whole of December; some may call it an unnecessary purchase, i call it a worthwhile wardrobe investment.
6) Advent calendar supplies – I don’t buy advent calendars for the boys because i prefer DIY ones instead. Last year i used a free template from Mr Printables to create an Advent Village and this year i’m giving this one a try instead:
Credit: Hey Look
So…… i usually buy a selection of sweets, chocolates, toys and little gifts to use instead. I’m also hoping to visit some charity shops and stock up on Christmas books, 24 to be precise, so i can wrap them up and let them have one each night before bed until Christmas eve.
How do you prepare for Christmas? When do you start your Christmas shopping?
*Disclosure: This post was written in association with The Works
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