Category: Buying Guides

What are Amazon Alexa & Amazon Echo? An Overview of the Basics

Amazon Alexa and Amazon Echo dot - what's it all about?

 

Amazon Alexa & Amazon Echo

What’s it all about?

Smart home technology isn’t always that easy to undestand, which is why many people still don’t know much about Amazon Alexa and Amazon Echo and how it can improve their lives. First of all, Amazon Alexa is an app and Amazon Echo is a speaker. If that’s all you have been wondering about – then that’s fine!

However, if you have been wondering about smart home technology and how it can fit into your life, then let’s take a look at both of these in turn – Alex and the Echo Dot, how they work together and why you might want this combo at home.

What is Amazon Alexa?

Alexa is an app, but it’s also been described as a computer generated personal assistant. This app was first seen with the introduction of Amazon Echo Dot in 2014 (which is essentially just a speaker), but since its popularity has grown so much, there are many more devices that work with Alexa. This compatibility with lots of other home automation devices, makes the Alexa and the Echo a very good home hub or platform to control all of your home automation.

Just as the number of devices that integrate with Alexa have increased over the past few years, so has the functionality of the Echo dot with new models being introduced regularly. 

How does Amazon Alexa work?

To work, Alexa needs to be combined with a speaker system, because it’s voice operated. It was originally designed to work with Amazon’s Echo devices which are speakers, although some of the latest devices also have video displays. Essentially, you speak your request to Alexa via the speaker system and the app either finds the answer to your question or performs a task for you.

Alexa operates on the level of the internet, so it can access just about any information you need, as soon as you voice your request. For example, it can tell you the weather, find recipes and play music on request.

Things to ask Alexa

You can ask Amazon Alexa thousands of random questions or ask it to perform a task in your home, such as turn the lights down or the volume of your music up. If you are bored, you can take advantage of its trivia function and ask it to give you information on a variety of topics. For example, you can ask Alexa for some interesting sports facts, important days in history or how many days it rains in your town.

Alexa isn’t perfect, but it does a good job of understanding spoken language and its list of commands are continually increasing. You can ask it to set a timer for you and tell you how long until the time is up (great if you are cooking), it can tell you the weather forecast or the latest traffic report, answer calls from other Alexa users, send an SMS, buy and track deliveries from Amazon, create shopping lists and tell you what’s on your shopping list, it can do maths problems, spell words for you, find phone numbers, add tasks to your to-do list, tell you the date of Easter this year, and the list goes on. 

What Alexa devices are available?

Of course, Amazon Echo Dot works with Alexa, but there are many devices that already have Alexi built-in. These include smartphones, noise cancelling headphones, Android tablets, thermostats, smart light switches, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, car GPS systems, dash cams, and home security cameras, smart TVs, door locks, smart bulbs, home WiFi systems … 

So now you know that Amazon Alexa is an app or a virtual assistant that can perform a large variety of functions in your home, let’s look at the Amazon Echo Dot. 

What is Amazon Echo Dot?

The first Echo dot was designed to operate with Alexa and was originally just a speaker system where you could use your voice to give Alexa commands and it could speak back to you. There have been a number of itinerations since 2014 with some of the newer models also includinbg a video screen, which is necessary if you want to watch movies, read a recipe or check your home security cameras.

Amazon Echo
Since all of the Echo devices have Alexa built in, they all operate the same way – they respond to your spoken questions or commands. All you need to do is to wake up Alexa by speaking the word ‘Alexa’ and then make your request.

Which Amazon Echo should you buy?

If you want the most affordable model, then go for the Amazon Echo Dot, but at twice the price, the Amazon Echo offers much better sound quality, which is something you will want if you play music a lot via this system. However, if you just want it to operate your home automation, search the internet or answer questions, then the cheaper version will probably suit your needs.

The Amazon Echo Plus is more expensive again, but also offers a built-in hub, which might become important to you if you want to set up a home automation system.

Amazon Echo Plus

 

 


 

smart home technology

Buying Guides – Smart home technology

smart home technology

 

Smart Home Technology – The Basics

Smart Home Technology can change the way you live in your home, and change it in a good way! You can have the A/C turn on as you leave work, the lights turn on as you drive into the garage, the espresso machine ready as you lock up your car, and monitor your home security cameras from anywhere in the world.

Home automation has become extremely popular, because it improves your lifestyle, ramps up security and can even help to decrease your power bills. What’s even better is that it doesn’t take a tech genius to set your house up with a range of smart home technology. The problem is though – there’s so many products out there – where do you start?

Choosing the type of smart home technology

Basically, you can choose a product that works via its own app or via a smart home wirless platform, some even let you decide whether to use an app or a home hub to control them. Example of devices that work via an app are the Ring video doorbell and Nest home security products. You download the app to your smartphone and then control the function of these products via your smartphone.

Smart Home Technology Hub - Samsung SmartThings

Other products communicate directly with smart home hubs, such as Wink or Samsung’s SmartThings and you control their functionality via these hubs. There are other home hubs on the market, such as Google Home, Amazon Echo, Alexa, and the list goes on…

All of this can seem very overwhelming for someone who is new to smart home technology, but it becomes easy if you start off small with one or two products. Many people begin with their home security, because there are many affordable DIY camera options on the market that you can install yourself – if you are handy with a screwdriver. Another popular product is the Ring video doorbell (as mentioned above) that you can answer using your smartphone, see who is at the door and speak to them anywhere in the world.

So your first step is to decide what type of smart home technology you want to use in your home first – then install it and get used to using it. Just one word of caution here however, and that’s to select a product that has the widest possible compatibility. By this we mean that if you install the Ring doobell and use it via your app, consider whether you might want security cameras that can also be linked with this product, and maybe later down the road, a home hub as well.

It’s easier to think forwards, than install a variety of smart home technology and realise later that none of them will work through your new home hub. You can end up with a mishmash of technology that doesn’t work well together or make your life any easier!

First, let’s take a look at some of the technology you can install in your home and then we will look at the home hubs that you can use to integrate all your home automation devices together inside your home.

What smart home technology do you want?

Since you are new to home automation, select something that’s going to make your life easier immediately, so you can appreciate its benefits straight away. All of these products will improve your life in some way, but if you keep having your parcels stolen from your doorstep, for example, a video doorbell or an external security camera might be your first choice. Here’s a few home automation ideas you might like to try that are easy to setup and use.

Security cameras

Installing security cameras in strategic positions, both inside and outside your home, allows you to protect your home, valuables and your family from theft or home invasions. You can set them up to send you alerts on your smartphone when they are activated by motion and some can even be configured to sound an alert throughout your home (hopefully to startle the burglars) and call the emergency services. You can also install hidden cameras, so that burglars or thieves don’t know that they are being observed.

Nannycams

If you have young children in your family and you leave them with a sitter, a nanny cam can help to give you the peace of mind knowing that you can tune in and watch what’s going on at home, anytime, anywhere. You can also use the nannycams to speak to your children and see them on video when you are at work, even helping them with their home work or alerting your partner that the baby is awake in the nursery. You can do all this via an app on your smartphone.

SOTION WiFi IP Security Video Camera and Nanny Cam

Video doorbells

These give you the ability to respond to the doorbell from anywhere in your home without having to actually go to the door. You can be in the kitchen or even working in the back garden and still answer the doorbell. You can also be at work and answer the doorbell, making people believe that you are in the house (some burglars ring the bell to see if anyone is at home).

Internal and external lights

You can either install smart light bulbs or smart switches in your home. The bulbs can be operated via your smartphone, where you can set it so that specific lights turn on at a specific time or manually turn them on before you arrive home. Smart switches also let you control your lighting, but from inside your home, by voice commands.

Airconditioning and heating

If you already have A/C installed in your home and you have a home hub, for example Amazon Echo, Google Home or Apple Siri, you can purchase a device that pairs with your remote controlled A/C and lets you control it anywhere in the world via an app on your smart phone. One that comes to mind is Sensibo that lets you control, monitor and automate your A/C, even helping you to save money on your bills. You can even install a smart thermostat that monitors the temperature in your home and dials it down to save you money.

Door locks

There are variety of smart door locks on the market that allow you to lock or unlock the door remotely and store multiple user codes. They also have built-in alarms and can connect to your home automation platform, so that they can be operated by voice within your home. One that comes to mind and has lots of great reviews is the Schlage Z-Wave, as it works with Alexa via SmartThings, Wink or Iris, and another is the Amazon Key Home Kit that operates via an app on your smartphone.

Ring Wi-Fi Enbaled Video Doorbell

For more information on smart home gadgets – read my post here – 10 Best Smart Home Gadgets.

Should you install a home hub?

If you are going to become serious about smart home technology, then you really need to install a home hub, as this brings it all togethr and integrates your devices in one place. It’s worth mentioning at this point however, that not all devices work together with one hub, so it can take a little bit of research at the start, to decide which devices you want to use and selecting the ones that work together well. In the end, you might need to find a work around to get some of your devices to integrate, but it can be done if you are determined!

The other option is to choose a home hub first, before puchasing any other devices – and after identifying all the devices that work with that hub. You can do this by going to the devices home page and checking on their compatibility with other devices.

Popular home hubs include Amazon Echo that integrates flawlessly with Alexa, Google Home and Samsung SmartThings, all of which are compatible with a wide range of devices. As an example, if voice controls are important to you in your home, then it’s worth investigating Alexa and purchasing devices that integrate well with this device.

At the end of the day, smart home technology should make your life easier, not harder, and if you do some research before investing your money, you should easily create a system that works well for you and your family.

 


Amazon Key Home Kit
Check out my post about this amazing smart device!

 

Buying Guides: Baby Books & Reading to your Children

 

Selecting the Best Children’s Books & Baby Books for your Family

It can be a bit overwhelming when you first become parents, particularly when you know next to nothing about raising children!.

First of all, you will want to find books that help you to navigate your baby’s early years as a parent and then you will need books to read to your baby, as well as their first reading books.

To help you to feel like a winner – here are some of the best baby books and children’s books on the market. Keep them yourself or give them as a gift to new mums in your circle.

 

Baby books for new mums and dads

Keep Calm: The New Mum’s Manual

Written in 2014, The New Mum’s Manual is still relevant to all new mums today. With an introduction by Jools Oliver (wife of Jamie Oliver – the British Chef), author, GP and mum of two Dr Ellie Cameron, empowers new mums to relax, trust their instincts and enjoy their baby.

Baby Books - Keep Calm: The New Mum's Manual

Guiding you through all the ups and downs of parenthood, Dr Ellie offers tried and true, practical advice that works, letting mums know that they are doing the right thing for their babies.

With information and advice on the first few weeks of your baby’s life, through sleeping, feeding, soothing, weaning and identifying key milestones, The New Mum’s Manual covers everything you need to know about raising your baby and young toddler. 

 

Your Baby Week by Week

Updated in 2018, this is the ultimate guide for all new mums who want a more in-depth guide to their baby’s first six months. Written by Paediatrician Dr Caroline Fertleman and Health Writer Simone Cave explain all the changes and milestones you should expect in the first six months.

Baby Books - Your Baby Week By Week

Each week is a new chapter in the book, but it also includes tips on breastfeeding and weaning, knowing why your baby is crying, and how to know if your baby is taking enough milk.

Your Baby Week by Week is a great handbook for all new mums who want a helping hand in the first six months.

 

The Baby Sleep Solution

Written in 2017 by sleep consultant and mother of four Lucy Wolfe, this is a book that every new mum needs! Why not let Ireland’s leading sleep expert, help your baby, toddler and children sleep well throughout the night?

Baby Books - The Baby Sleep Solution

This is a gentle and emotionally considerate way to help your little one sleep during the night, without leaving them to cry alone, but instead letting them know that they are loved and supported. The Baby Sleep Solution helps you to teach your children sleeping habits that will last throughout their lifetime and will give everyone a good night’s sleep from birth!

 

The Expectant Father

Written in 2018 by Armin A Brott and Jennifer Ash is a parenting classic and has been updated, revised and expanded. All of the information is aimed at new dads, giving them a blow by blow account of the emotional, financial and physical effects of becoming a parent.

Baby Books - The Expectant Father

This month by month guide gives dads all the tools they need to be a hands-on dad, drawing from Brott’s own experiences of raising three children and his conversations with thousands of other dads.

The Expectant Father gives dads an insider’s look at what being a parent really means and when you know what to expect each month and how other dads have handled similar situations, you will look like a pro!

 

The Second Baby Book

Having a second baby can upset the apple cart, which is why this is such a good book. The Second Baby Book, written by Sarah Ockwell-Smith, mother of four and with a degree in Psychology (who retrained as antenatal teacher, birth and postnatal Douala), helps you to navigate the complexity of bringing a second child into your family.

Baby Books - The Second Baby Book

From knowing the best time to increase your family to addressing sibling concerns and managing two children instead of one! The Second Baby Book answers all the questions Sarah faced herself when increasing her own family, as well as many questions raised by parents who have sought her advice.

 

Baby’s First Year Journal

Every parent needs a baby journal to keep track of their little one’s milestones and to create a keepsake of their baby’s first year. From making a list of your favourite baby names to recording the first kicks during your pregnancy or their very first steps, even writing down your feelings and thoughts, this is a lovely gift for yourself or for a pregnant mum-to-be.

Baby's First Year Journal

Use the month by month sections to keep an accurate track of your baby’s progress, checking the guideposts on your little one’s development and even pop in a few favourite photos in the provided pockets. The Baby’s First Year Journal provides a wonderful memento of your baby’s first year!

 

Books to read to your baby or toddler

Peter Rabbit – My First Little Library

There is nothing better than reading about the adventures of Peter Rabbit to your baby or toddler at night to give them a wonderful peaceful sleep. These chunky board books can stand up to the rigours of little fingers and will introduce your children to early learning concepts.

Toddler Books - Peter Rabbit My First Little Library

The library includes four books on different topics: words, numbers, shapes and colours with an illustration on one page and a single word on the other. These funny lively tales about Peter Rabbit will become part of your little one’s childhood and will keep them entertained for hours at a time.

 

Paddington Little Library

Everyone loves Paddington Bear and these lovely fun books bring this cute little bear to life for your toddlers. The durable board books are hard wearing, so they will last for many years, giving pleasure and enjoyment to all of your children. 

Toddler Books - Paddington Little Library

The four stories covered in these books include Paddington at the Seaside, Paddington Goes Shopping, Paddington at Home and Paddington – the Arrival. As one of the great bears of children’s literature, the Paddington Little Library deserves a place of honour in your nursery.

 

Where’s Spot?

As one of the very best classics in Children’s Literature, your toddlers will love hearing about Spot’s adventures. Read the story to your toddlers and open the little flaps, found on every page, to find where Spot is hiding.

Toddler Books - Where's Spot?

Little kids get really excited opening up all the flaps, even if they have done it hundreds of times already! Where’s Spot is a timeless classic that will cause your toddler to chortle with glee every time it is read. Why help your toddler find Spot the Dog today!

 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

This Little Learning Library is brightly coloured with artwork and is perfect for grabbing the attention of babies and toddlers. With simple text, this book introduces simple first concepts to your children and it’s ideal for babies up to preschoolers.

Toddler Books -The Very hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar illustrations have inspired generations of new readers and include four books: words, numbers, colours and animal sounds. Perfect for all budding readers!

 

Peppa Pig – Little Library

This Little Library of Peppa Pig adventures will thrill your little one and keep them enthralled for hours. perfect for babies up to preschoolers, these six mini board books will last for years and delight all of your children.

Toddler Books - Peppa Pig: Little Library

The Peppa Pig Little Library contains fun and interactive books that are educational for your children and will encourage them to start reading for themselves. The backs of the books even make a jigsaw, helping with their pattern recognition and dexterity.

 

There are so many other books for babies, toddlers and preschoolers that you won’t have any problems finding new books to add to your library! 

 


 

Buying Guides: Space Saving Nursing Chairs for Small Nurseries

 

Nursery Checklist – New Baby Essentials Buying Guide

Buying Guides: Space Saving Nursing Chairs for Small Nurseries

Buying Guide - Space Saving Nursing Chairs for Small Nurseries

 

Tips for Buying the Right Small Upholstered Nursing Chairs

With more and more parents and families living in small townhouses and apartments, small upholstered nursing chairs are fast becoming a necessary item for your new nursery. Gone are the days when you could just re-purpose an old sofa or large traditional armchair for the nursery, now you need to make smarter choices that fit in with both your budget and the available space.

In this Buying Guide, we take a look at all the features you need to consider  when choosing between the different small upholstered nursing chairs on the market, ensuring that you make the best decision for your family. 

 

Buying Guide for Small Nursery Chairs

 

Do you really need a nursing chair?

Some parents are happy to feed their little ones just about anywhere – in their bed, in the family room, study, kitchen or anywhere they happen to be at the time. There is nothing wrong by taking this approach, but since you need a nursery for your baby anyway, it makes sense to have a comfortable nursing chair in the nursery – somewhere you can relax in peace and quiet to feed your baby.

It doesn’t matter whether you are breast or bottle feeding, a small upholstered nursing chairs in the nursery will make it easier for you to feed during the day or night without disturbing anyone else in your family.

 

DaVinci Olive Upholstered Swivel Nursery Glider - light grey - space saving nursing chair

 

How much can you expect to spend on a nursing chair?

The cost of a new nursing chair will be anything from around a low of $150 to a high of $600 or more, and the price you pay depends on your tastes and your budget. Generally however, a comfortable nursing chair that is stylish and suits your needs is usually at least $300.

Small upholstered nursing chairs that don’t take up much room in your nursery don’t cost any more or less than regular nursing chairs. The problem is that the manufacturers or sellers of nursing chairs often don’t clearly advertise the sizes of their chairs, not realising that this can be a major factor in a parent’s buying decision.

This means that it’s left to parents to ferret out this information, sometimes having to dig deep into the specifications to locate these dimensions. You then need to compare all of these dimensions between the chairs yourself – just to find the narrowest nursing chair that suits your needs.

Alternatively, you could read our post “TOP 10 Narrowest Nursery Gliders for Small Spaces” or our latest post “The Best Space Saving Nursing Chairs for  Small Nurseries“.

The difference between these two posts is that we published the first post in September 2016, but we always wondered if our readers agreed with our pick of the Top 10 Narrowest Nursery Chairs. The second post we published in May 2018 and is a review of the nursing chairs that our readers actually purchased after reading our first post.

 

 

The second post makes very interesting reading, because many parents agreed with our selections, but there are also a few left fielders that took us by surprise!

Why not check these posts out for yourself?

TOP 10 Narrowest Nursery Gliders for Small Spaces

The Best Space Saving Nursing Chairs for  Small Nurseries

 

What are basic types of nursing chair that are available?

There are five basic types of nursing chairs on the market:

Rocking chairs

Nursery gliders

Swivel chairs

Recliner chairs

Electronic nursing chairs

Your nursery chair can have one, two, three, four or none of these features, once again it depends on your tastes and your budget. Let’s look at each of these features in turn.

 

Stork Craft Custom Hoop Nursery Glider and Ottoman - Space saving nursery chairs

 

Rocking chairs for small nurseries: These nursing chairs are on rockers and the only motion they have is a backwards and forwards rocking motion. For some people, it feels like you are on a ship, so you really want to be sure that you are happy with a rocking chair, before spending your money.

 

Gliders for small spaces: These move backwards and forwards on gliders and have a distinctly different motion to the rockers. If a rocking motion isn’t for you, then you will most probably find that a glider is fine. However, if you don’t have much room in your nursery and you are looking for a narrow glider, then don’t forget to consider how much additional room the back and forth motion will also require in your nursery. You will need to position the nursing chair a set distance from the wall to enable the chair to glide freely.

 

Swivel nursing chairs: These chairs swivel around on their base with some models swivelling the whole 360 degrees and other models 270 degrees or even less. Swivel chairs are great options for nurseries without much space, because they don’t need any additional room for the swivel action.

 

Small glider swivel chairs: Some nursing chairs swivel and glide, which is great because you have two different options in your nursing chair. The problem however, can be that the gliding motion needs extra room, which you might not have available in a small nursery.

 

Recliners for small spaces: Some gliders and swivel chairs also recline, but you also have the option of just buying a recliner chair. Whilst these can be really comfortable for feeding, they will require additional space to allow the chair to recline.

 

Babyletto Kiwi Electronic Recliner and Swivel Glider with USB Port

 

Electronic recliners: These tend to be recliners with electronic rather than manual controls, often with a footrest that lift up and a headrest that reclines back as well. Whilst these recliners are the ultimate in comfort, they require a lot of space and since they are electronic, can also be fairly expensive.

 

The type of small upholstered nursing chairs that catch your eye will depend on your tastes, but if you want a narrow nursing chair, then you need to specifically look at the width of the seat. If you have your heart set on a rocker, glider or recliner then you also need to decide if you have sufficient space to position the nursing chair away from the wall to allow the mechanisms to work without hitting the wall.

 

Problems with narrow nursing chairs

If you have a small nursery and the only option you have is to opt for a narrow or slim nursing chair, then that’s what you do. However, you need to consider that a narrow nursing chair doesn’t have much width, so if you are feeding twins or you have a toddler who wants to sit with you when you are feeding, a narrow nursing chair isn’t going to cut the mustard.

In the case of twins, you don’t have many alternatives and you will need to find a space in your home for a wide nursing chair or you will have to feed each twin one at a time. If an inquisitive toddler is your problem however, then sometimes you can feed your little one on the bed and other times on the sofa in the family room – allowing your toddler to join you at feeding times, but not every time!

 

Other questions to ask about nursing chairs

Whilst the actual size of your nursing chair will be a big factor in your final buying decision, you can’t just buy a nursing chair based on it’s size alone. There are other considerations that will also weigh heavily on your decision.

These factors include comfort, style, cleaning, safety and durability.

 

Comfort

Just because a nursing chair looks attractive and might have been recommended to you by a friend or relative, this doesn’t mean that it’s  going to be comfortable for you. After all, we are not talking about occasional chairs here, we are talking about small upholstered nursing chairs that you will spend many long hours in, day after day, for months at a time!

So look at features like the amount of padding on the arms, back and seat of the nursing chair, as this will make a difference to your comfort levels. For example, if the armrests are not well padded, they can strain your arms during the feed, but if they are really well padded, can you still fit your nursing pillow at your side to support your baby during the feed? Can you feed football style if you need to?

Also, can you get into and out of the chair easily with your baby in your arms? For many parents, it’s getting out of the nursing chair that’s the problem, particularity if you are short and your feet don’t touch the ground when you are sitting in the chair (it does happen!).

 

Breastfeeding in nursery

 

It’s also important to consider the height of the back and the headrest, because it could be too high for short people and too short for very tall people. These dimensions should be included in the specifications, so you should be able to find them early in your search.

You can also read the testimonials from other parents who have purchased the same model nursing chair, because if they have had these sort of problems getting into or out of the chair, or issues with the back and headrests not being at the best height for them, they will most probably have left a review discussing these problems.

 

Style & Colour

For some people, style is everything, particularly if you want to position your slimline nursing chair in the family room or you want to move it into another room when you have finished feeding your little one. 

You might want a specific colour for your nursing chair, one that suits the colour scheme of your new nursery – but will that same colour suit the family room if you relocate it in a year?

In the end, you want a narrow nursing chair that looks good and can be re-purposed elsewhere in your home, so the design style and colour will play some part in your buying decision.

 

Can the nursing chair be cleaned easily?

Due to the type of upholstery material that is used in these chairs, many of them can only be spot cleaned. You won’t find many nursing chairs with removable cushion or seat covers that can be popped into the washing machine.

So if you spill a bottle of milk or your coffee on the arm of the chair – how well does it clean up?

The best way to judge this issue is to read other customer’s reviews, because if it is easy to clean, then they will usually share this information, likewise if it is difficult to clean.

 

How durable is the nursing chair?

Some nursing chairs are so long lasting that they can be passed down through the generations, whilst others fall apart after 3 months. You want small upholstered nursing chairs that go the distance, so look for a sturdy frame and good customer reviews. 

Often you will find that the cheaper gliders or recliners start to make clicking or squeaking noises after a few months, which can be very annoying. Even worse, sometimes the springs pop out of the base making it very uncomfortable. 

Obviously, these problems can happen with any chairs, however customer reviews should flag these problems if they exist, allowing you to steer clear and select a more durable nursing chair for your nursery.

 

How much assembly does it require?

Not many small upholstered nursing chairs are delivered without some assembly being required. So you can expect to have to do some assembly – how much depends on the particular model.

If the nursing chair is easy to assemble, the manufacturer or seller should highlight that factor for you in their promotions, but if not, always ask how much assembly is required.

You can also read customer reviews, because if the chair was difficult to assemble, they will definitely tell you!

 

Baby Relax Nursery Glider and Ottoman - slimline nursing chair

 

How safe is the nursing chair?

I am afraid to say, but some small upholstered nursing chairs have been known to tip over backwards, so you should always read the reviews, looking for anyone who has had this type of problem with the same chair.

This problem doesn’t happen very often, because obviously, manufacturers don’t want to be sued by customers if their chair tips over backwards – but it is a factor that you should consider in your buying decision.

Also, with any of these nursing chairs that swivel, recline or glide, you want an enclosed ball bearing mechanism, so that little fingers can’t become stuck when the chair is in motion. Manufacturers should mention this in their sales pitch, but if not, be sure to ask about this safety feature.

 

Narrow Nursing Chairs - Infographic

 

 


 

Nursery Checklist – New Baby Essentials Buying Guide

 

 

 

 

Nursery Checklist – New Baby Essentials Buying Guide

Nursery Checklist - New Baby Essential Buying List

 

Nursery Checklist – New Baby Essentials Buying Guide

This nursery checklist is ideal for new parents expecting their first baby or for experienced parents who need to update a nursery for a new addition to their family.

With so many baby products on the market these days it can be difficult to know what you really need for your nursery and where you should spend your money.

If you are on a budget, this guide will come in really handy, because we list all the essential items you need in your new nursery, as well as a few luxuries that you might want to splurge your budget on.

 

Union 3-in-1 Convertible Crib

Union 3-in-1 Convertible Crib - Nursery Checklist

 

The first item in our nursery checklist is this 3-in-1 convertible crib, which is very well priced and comes in seven different colours, so you can match the colour of your crib to your design of the nursery: grey, emerald, espresso, sunshine, lagoon, white and natural.

It meets ASTM international and US CPSC safety standards, and is non-toxic with a lead and phthalate safe finish. This cot is very sturdy, because it’s made from New Zealand pine wood and with it’s smooth and clean lines it will make an elegant addition to your nursery.

One of the best features of this cot is that it converts a daybed and a toddler bed, so you won’t need to purchase another bed until your little one has well and truly grown big!

You do have to buy both the conversion kit and the mattress separately, but the conversion kit will help you to save money in the long run, and most mums want to buy a premium mattress for their baby’s cot.

 

Windsor Nursery Glider and Ottoman

Windsor Glider and ottoman - nursery checklist

Every nursery needs a beautiful and comfortable nursery glider for feeding and cuddling your new baby and this glider by Windsor is well-priced, comes in 13 different colours and is one of the narrowest gliders on the market.

This nursery glider is very easy to assemble and even though it’s narrow (so it fits easily into your nursery), it still has a generous seating area with padded arm rests and side pockets.

The upholstery is 100% polyester and the cushions can be removed for easy spot cleaning. It has a solid timber frame and enclosed metal bearing for a really smooth and quiet glide; a perfect addition to your nursery checklist.

 

Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor

DXR-8 Infant Optics Baby Monitor

 

When you leave your baby in the nursery during the day or at night, a baby monitor stops you worrying! The Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Baby Monitor is one of the most popular on the market and has lots of great features.

For example, it has remote pan & tilt & digital zoom, a large 3.5″ full colour LCD display, retractable antenna, night time vision, two-way communication, ambient temperature alert, sound activation and you can purchase a wide angle lens as well.

With a long 10 hour battery life on power saving mode (6 hours with the screen operating) and a long 700 ft range, and the ability to add four more cameras to your network, the DX-8 is a very worthwhile investment.

 

Crib Sheet Set

Crib Sheet Set - nursery checklist

This soft 100% high quality Jesrey Knit Cotton Crib Sheet Set from Ely’s & Co are another popular item that sells well at the moment.

They are available in grey (shown above), blue and black and you can also purchase a bassinet cover, changing pad cover and a playard to match. I have also found a pink set sold by Ziggy Baby.

Depending on your colour scheme, you can use any of these sheet sets for your baby’s crib, regardless of gender.

They fit most standard crib mattresses and toddler bed mattresses (52″ x 28″ x 9″) and the bottom sheet is secured with a doubly reinforced elastic strip for additional security and durability. They are machine washable.

 

Changing Table

 

Delta Children infant Changing Table with Pad - nursery checklist

 

 

The Delta Children Infant Changing Table is available in grey, dark chocolate, black, white or espresso cherry and is a safe and secure spot to change your baby with everything to hand (it meets all government and ASTM safety standards).

You do have to assemble this yourself, but it’s fairly easy and it’s full size is 35″ in width x 19.75″ in depth x 39.25″ in height, so it should fit nicely into your nursery.

The wide open shelving (10″ clearance) makes it easy to stack your nappies and baby clothes, sheets and blankets, as well as adding a few baskets for toiletries, baby wipes etc.

A changing pad is included and you even have a safety rail on all four sides – very important to prevent your little one falling off! A changing table is a really worthwhile investment and deserves its place in our nursery checklist.

 

Cotton Washcloths

AmazonBasics Cotton Washcloths

 

These extra-absorbent 100% looped-terry Cotton Washcloths are available in white, grey, ice blue, lavender, petal pink, seafoam green and a mix of colours.

You can purchase a pack of 24 or 60 (12″ x 12″) and they are soft enough to use on your baby, as well as for your own needs. They have reinforced edging for increased durability and are both machine washable and safe in the dryer.

 

Super Soft Muslin Cotton Baby Bath Towels

 

Super Soft Muslin Cotton Baby Bath Towels

Your new baby deserves to have super soft towels for their delicate skin and these Super Soft Muslin Cotton Baby Bath Towels tick all the boxes.

These towels are made from medical grade natural antibacterial cotton and are super absorbent and super soft on your baby’s skin. They are also breathable, hypo-allergic, contain no chemicals and won’t irritate your baby’s delicate skin.

Easy to machine wash and pop in the dryer and large enough to wrap your baby comfortably ( 43″ x 45″). You can use them as a towel after their bath or even as a swaddle or blanket.

You can purchase one, two or three in a pack and they are very affordable!

 

Steel Odor Locking Diaper Pail

 

Steel Odor Locking Diaper Pail - nursery checklist

This bagless Steel Odor Locking Diaper Pail doesn’t require refills or inserts, saving a substantial amount of money over the next few years. It’s actually an award-winning diaper pail winning nine different awards!

One of its best features is that it keeps all of the smells inside the steel container, even though you do get a whiff when you open it to deposit another used nappy (cloth and disposables). This diaper pail has a sliding slow close lid and is the perfect size to fit into your nursery (it can hold up to 50 diapers).

It has a childproof lock, so little fingers can’t dig into your diaper pail and it even comes in a huge range of colours: grey, hot pink, ivory, light blue, light pink, mint green, orange, pink hearts, navy blue, purple, red, black & white clouds, black & white triangles, grey chevrons, robin’s egg blue and pistachio green.

 

Baby Wet Wipes Warmer

hiccapop Wipe Warmer and Baby Wet Wipes Dispenser - nursery checklist

 

As anyone who has used a wet wipe can attest – they are cold! This is the reason why the hiccapop Wipe Warmer and Baby Wet Wipes Dispenser is so popular, because your baby won’t have to be startled by a cold, wet wiper during changing time. 

Your wet wipes are guaranteed to stay nice and moist (it has a silicone seal), even though they will be nicely warmed – a boon for fussy babies, especially at night.

It comes with an in-built changing light, so you don’t need to put on bright lights at night and you can see how many wipes are left by looking through the front viewing window. 

This universal warmer fits all brands of continuous feed baby wipes and is a ‘must-have’ on your nursery checklist. 

 

Owlet Smart Sock 2 Baby Monitor

 

Owlet Smart Sock 2 Baby Monitor - nursery checklist

 

This is not a necessary item on your nursery checklist, it’s more of a luxury item for most parents. The Owlet Smart Sock 2 Baby Monitor allows you to monitor your baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels, even when you are not in the room with them.

So if you think that this might be something that would make you worry less – then put it on your shopping list. 

All you need to do is to download the free iOS or Android app onto your smart phone. The  Smart Sock is connected to a base station that receives your baby’s real-time heart rate and oxygen levels via Bluetooth and glows green if everything is OK and red if there is a problem. 

You can monitor these levels via your smartphone, so you can be downstairs while your baby is upstairs in the nursery. The Smart Sock can also be up to 100ft away from the base station and it will still operate via Bluetooth.

The oxygen and heart rates are factory preset, so you can’t change them, but they were set by a team of specialists, so you shouldn’t have any problems.

You receive three Smart Socks with every purchase and it can be popped into the washing machine, but you need to remove the sensor first. Finally, the Smart Sock fits most babies up to 18 months of age or 25 pounds.

 


 

 

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