Review; Ickle Bubba Orb

I love writing for Made For Mums. It’s a fab website with tons of information for whatever age your baby is. There is also a fab review section, in which I write for. It’s great because I get to test out the latest baby kit and pass on vital information to other new mums who aren’t as lucky to be able to test things before they buy.

This is my latest review on the Ickle Bubba Orb highchair. You can find the original review here….be sure to check out the rest of the Made For Mums website too. I’ve found it super helpful when it comes to things like weaning and sleep. Enjoy. 

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Ickle Bubba, the company behind this chair was set up by husband and wife Fran and Veronica Vaughan in 2011. The company only sells two products; the Stomp v2 travel system and the Orb highchair.  

The main motivation behind Ickle Bubba was to design a full travel system that looked comparable with the leading brands but at less than half their price.

But with the Orb highchair added to its portfolio, which I tested with my six-month old daughter, Lacie, Ickle Bubba have aimed to make a stylish highchair packed with enhanced features.

More about quality, not quantity the company has already won a whole plethora of awards, with the Orb featuring in Prima Baby’s six of the best new products for 2014.

A futuristic, reclinable, egg-shaped highchair, the Orb is designed to suit newborns and babies from birth to 17 kgs (approx 3 years), making it more of an investment, than an impulse buy.

What’s in the box?
Seat unit
Memory foam seat insert
Highchair base
Tray

Any additional extras?
No

First impressions?
At first glance, it’s clear to see the Orb’s modern style, it would not look out of place in an immaculately decorated show home, where there’s lots of space and most of all not much clutter.  It’s something that you would want to blend in with its surroundings and won’t stand out like a sore thumb in your dining room or kitchen.

Taking it out of the box, I noticed that the chair was fairly large and bulky, especially the base so I found it really dominated my kitchen.  My husband wasn’t happy about that, especially with so many understated highchairs on the market, that would fold up neatly when not being used.

I also found it heavy, so once I put it up (which was really simple as it all clipped together) and found a home for it, which is where it stayed.

How was assembling the Orb?
It was really easy; it comes in three parts, the seat unit (with memory foam insert), the base and removable tray.  All in all it took about ten minutes to fit together, to attach the seat pad to the seat you simply chose what height slot you want (there is a choice of two depending on the size of your child) and thread the shoulder straps through the hole.

How secure is the Orb chair?
The harness itself is easily adjusted with the simple slide of a buckle and there are soft shoulder pads for extra comfort. I did feel that at 15llbs Lacie moved around quite a bit in it and was often lop-sided but she looked comfortable enough and the straps made it very secure, so I wasn’t worried about her slipping out.

Is the Orb comfortable?
Yes, the seat insert is padded and so are the shoulder pads, Lacie fell asleep in the chair many times.

What do you think about the style of the chair?
The Orb is so unusual people will either love it or hate it, it really does depend what type of house you live in – it is certainly different from other highchairs on the market, that can look babyish, plain and plastic.

However, the Orb is big, especially the base, and it doesn’t tuck out of the way like other designs on the market.

Is it easy to keep the highchair clean?
Yes, it is.  The removable seat pad, which comes in five different colours, is made of a memory foam, rubber type material – which was nice and soft and most importantly easy to take off the seat and wipe down after use or to allow for more seating space for bigger babies. Once I worked out how to remove the tray it was however very easy to clean up any mess.

Tell us about the seat’s 360 degree swivel mode.
The spinning feature is really cool; with one push of a small button you can turn the seat around in 90-degree turns.  It means there are four seating positions available, which is really useful when taking your child out of the highchair or swiveling them round to face Daddy as you go and do the clearing up.

How is it when feeding?
It’s great; the height of the chair can be easily adjusted by simply sliding the leg up or down on the triangular frame section.  So you can have it at any height you like, depending on whether you’re feeding at a dining table, a breakfast bar or from the sofa.
You can also recline the chair. I found this perfect for when Lacie, wanted to snooze or if she needed a change of scenery as we ate our dinner. I did however find the button that did this pretty fiddly; you need to push it in on both sides of the base, which requires two hands and actually felt quite stiff.
This left me with no hands to adjust the seat angle or to hold onto my baby as an extra safety precaution. I didn’t want her feeling vulnerable as she tipped back!

Is the highchair as futuristic as it looks?
Yes, there are buttons everywhere; the only problem I have with it is that there is no continuity behind the buttons. Some need pushing, some need to be pulled up and some need to be pulled out. Everything took a few attempts before I worked out what to do, especially with the baby brain still lingering.

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Is the Orb value for money?
Yes, Lacie, got lots of use out of it and so did my nephews.  Although this highchair is expensive, it can be used until the age of three and is durable enough to last if we have any more children.

MadeForMums verdict
You’ll either love the Orb or you’ll hate it, but if your home is super modern or you love design-savvy baby kit, the Orb is definitely for you. Despite its good looks, it also has great practical features like the handy height adjustment and 360-degree rotation. The fact that the tray can be removed so the chair can be pulled up to the table for family mealtimes was a massive positive point for me. 

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The Orb retails at £139.00 and can be brought from http://www.icklebubba.com/

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The Diary of a Breast Feeding Mum

Breast-feeding can be pretty demanding. It can be so rewarding too, and I’m so glad I’ve done it and stuck it out for over eight weeks now.

During the first few weeks my nipples were so sore, which is pretty common and I had mastitis, which thankfully I managed to cure with warm flannels, ibuprofen & self-massage. It was a really painful time but the best thing to do is carry on feeding through it. It helps block the inflamed milk ducts.

Anyway I came out fighting and still feeding. It definitely gets easier, so this is how my day usually goes.

Wake at 5pm.
Lacie now goes from 10pm – 5am, which gives me 7 hours sleep. I always feed her in bed with me, and doze off. It’s so much easier than having to get up and make up a bottle.
Night-time feeding is definitely easier thanks to my Anita breast-feeding PJs, which are comfy and really easy to feed with. No fiddley straps or buttons, they have a chest opening for feeding. Great for ease and cold nights too, when you just really don’t want to strip off.

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Back to sleep until 8am
This feed is always followed by smiles and a bit of playtime. Our favorite story book at the moment is Wilson the Whistling Tree Frog, which is part of her Babycademy set. We read the book whilst doing the actions with Wilson the Frog. It’s great fun for both of us.

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Up at 9am
This is when I do my exercise. I pop Lacie straight in her pram and off we go. I either walk for an hour or jog around the park with her pram, stopping en-route at the children’s playground for some toning work with my resistance band and dumbbells. I will post one of my workouts soon.

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Back by 10:30am
Breakfast. This is usually a Be Skinny Me shake or a Slender Blend shake with Maca powder, a banana and some cinnamon. I also have a bowl of home-made granola, made by soaking oats overnight in apple juice and then mixing with seeds, nuts and dried apricots. I then bake it until golden brown. I love Maca powder because it helps balance out your hormones and help reduce the stress hormones caused by sleepless nights and being a new mum. 

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11:30 Feed then playtime
My feeding app ‘Nursing Time’ really is my bible. It times between feeds, times how long she feeds for, from what side she’s fed and also records all her feeds for the day. Great to look back on. Especially when baby brain kicks in and you can’t remember which side you fed from last.

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11:30 is also playtime
Lacie either goes on her playmat, in her Fisher Price Infant to Toddler Rocker, which comes with comes bright and colourful fabrics to stimulate her little brain and a vibration unit to calm and soothe your baby or simply on her blanket on the floor. She loves having a kick around.
Whilst this is keeping her entertained, I’ll have a snack of sliced chicken pieces, 1/2 avocado and cucumber. Protein is essential for maximising your milk flow, whilst the good fats in the avocado will help improve her  growth and development. I find that I’m really thirsty also when breast-feeding so the cucumber helps keep me hydrated.

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2pm: Lunch
This is usually homemade tomato and lentil soup, which is full of iron and vitamins, followed by some fruit.

2:30: Out and About 
I find this feed the hardest as I’m usually out and about with my NCT friends, mother in law or  mum or sisters, so I need clever clothes that allow me to feed discreetly. I’ve found the Breast Vest to be über helpful, which makes any top a breastfeeding top. It works by  sitting  just under your nursing bra, so when you feed it covers your tummy and doesn’t interfere with your bra straps.  Babes with Babies is another great clothing line, which make stylish clothes especially for nursing mums. I have the Cloud 9 Nursing T-Shirt, which has an elegant scooped neckline and soft draped pleats that flatter a postnatal tum.

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4pm: Juice Time
I’m always tired and hungry in the afternoon so I always have a juice to pick myself up. I love Plenish Juices. They come in handy little bottles, are cold-pressed and full of vitamins, minerals and nutrients to help keep my milk quality high. I also love making my own juices. I tend to do a batch on a Sunday night and freeze. My favourite at the moment is one beetroot, one apple, 1/4 inch of cucumber and 1/2 lemon. I add this to 1/2 a litre of water and sip throughout the afternoon.

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5:30: Feed
Feed time again. If I’m out and about still, then I’ll take some expressed milk, which I’d expressed earlier using my Medela Swing Breast Pump. I love it. It’s so quick and easy – and not stressful. I always thought I’d hate expressing but it really isn’t that bad. I like to give Lacie a bottle every three days just so she’s not fussy and I know she will take a bottle, which is especially important for when the grandparents have her and mummy and daddy want to pop out for some dinner or a spot of shopping. My breast pump came with a Calma bottle, which enables Lacie to maintain the natural feeding behaviour that she’s learnt on the breast. I don’t want her getting confused when going from bottle to breast and back again.

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6:15 : Core Workout 
My hubby usually arrives home about now, so I hand her over for daddy time, whilst I head to our home gym and get some core work in. Just 20 mins is enough to help heal my recti diastasis, which is abdominal separation caused by pregnancy. It’s all about consistency, so I do my exercises little and often. I need a strong core again before I start running any sort of distance or start lifting heavy weights.

7pm: Dinner
Protein & vegetables for us. If I’m extra hungry I’ll have a sweet potato too.
Dinner is usually followed by a chopped apple and almond butter.

7:30: Bath time
Bath time. Lacie usually goes in first. Now her skin isn’t so sensitive I love adding some special Cussons Mum & MeSleep Tight Baby Bath‘. It’s infused with lavender to help her sleep and most importantly its hypoallergenic and paediatrician approved. I always finish her bath with a massage. I wrap my hands around her legs, then gently pull my hands down to her feet before tracing circles on the soles of her feet with my thumbs. I use the Sleep Tight Balm for this. She loves it – and it makes her really relaxed and sleepy.
I’ll have a bath after her whilst she sleeps on daddy. My fav products are also from the Mum & Me range. Especially Calm & Soothe Bath Soak and the New Mum Firming Butter, which contains Oat and Marine Algae Extracts, helps to leave skin feeling tighter, firmer and more toned.

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8:30: Feed
Milk time again. This tends to be a long, relaxed feed, to full her tummy for the night. She’ll then sleep again either on daddy or in her crib downstairs with us, which allows is to get a few chores down or spend some quality time together.

10:30: Last feed
I like to give her a little top up before bed. If I’m really tired, I’ll go to bed at 9ish, then set my alarm to give her a quick feed. She’s sleep 7 hours at the moment so I know if I give her a little top up now I won’t have to wake again until 5:30ish.

Pregnancy countdown – 38 days to go and I had to get…..

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Like most, I’m not good without my sleep. And I know that once baby is here, the first few weeks will be tough. Waking up every few hours is guaranteed but hey, that’s the one of the joy’s of having a new born and I wouldn’t expect any different.

I was blown away by this cool little toy though. Ewan The Dream Sheep not only looks adorable, but it’s cool little features like playing womb and heartbeat sounds which mimics what they heard from the womb is said to help sooth your little one and help them settle.

It also has three other noises including classical music and white noise and it gently lights up a pinky colour, which according to research has been to mimic certain aspects of the womb and be extremely comforting.

I’ve only heard good things about Ewan and CAN’T wait to give him to my baby girl. He is so soft and most impressively the heartbeat and womb sounds that he plays are actual recordings, not computer generated, which should help her with the transition from womb to big wide world. These sounds have also been trialled on different babies and toddlers to find the most effective ones to aid sleep.

Ewan will without doubt be in my hospital bag – the sooner I introduce her to him the better. I can’t wait!

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Pregnancy countdown – 41 days and I indulge in….

.a Neom Feel Amazing Treat box – For New & Soon To Be Mums

Wow – I’m now over 34 weeks pregnant and feeling the effects – especially at night time. The day is fine. I’m still active, writing features from my desk, sitting on my Wellness Ball and still training one or two clients (I had my last one today – boo!) but the night is painful. My hips go numb from where I lie on my side – all I want is to lay on my belly. No chance!

They say that at night its best to sleep on your left hand side as this position helps blood and nutrients to flow to your baby and uterus (womb) and helps your kidneys get rid of waste and fluid. You should also avoid laying on your back because the weight of your uterus lies on the spine, back muscles, intestines, and major blood vessels, which can lead to muscle aches and pains, and impaired circulation, which is uncomfortable for you and can reduce circulation to your baby.
Don’t worry I often find myself on my back at night. I just move straight back to my left. You’re body will soon let you know when it’s time to move, just try and get out of the habit of it!

So to help me sleep, this Neom box of goodies, has been a saviour!

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The Cocooning Bath Oil ( 50ml ) is soothing and relaxing. Great for unwinding before bed and helping you to get nice and sleepy so you doze of quicker and easier.

The Cocooning Travel Candle is perfect for having on as you dry yourself off and rub yourself down in the Cocooning Body Oil which will help keep your skin soft and supple, whilst avoiding stretch marks. It’s smells divine too – light and fruity with a hint of Ylang Ylang, Chamomile and Jasmine. Delicious!

It’s so important to really look after yourself at this time of pregnancy as you do tend to forget about yourself and sometimes feel a bit fed up of all the effort of everyday life. Enjoy these last few weeks – I am. Because before I know it I know I will have my little bubba in my arms and missing these long relaxing baths and pampering sessions!

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32 weeks pregnant and counting…

I thought I would give you a quick update as to how I’m feeling.

I’m now 32 weeks and yes still working out five to six days a week but starting to wake up more tired and also feel the effects of working out with a little person inside of me. It’s not a case of sitting down on the mat for tricep dips and then just getting back up again. Everything is taking that little bit longer. I feel like a granny 🙂

Saying that – my energy during the day is still good and I’m setting my alarm on my phone to remind me to eat every three hours. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not having a slap up meal every time my alarm sounds but I will head to the kitchen and have a big glass of water and a healthy snack like some avocado on rye bread or hummus or veggie sticks.

Sleep – it’s ok. I have one of these amazing pregnancy pillows from Mothercare – which I recommend to EVERYONE! (I even got my husband one because it kept stealing mine!) Sleep is so important for recovery an growth and there is tons of research out there also that says it can help stablise your blood sugar levels and stop you reaching for sugary snacks. There is alot to be said for 8 hours a night – if you can get it!

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My pregnancy pillow from Mothercare is definitely my new best friend! http://www.mothercare.com

De-stress for fertility – it’s time to relax a little

One of the most annoying things people used to say to me when we was trying for a baby was RELAX! “If your stressed things won’t happen“, “Stress is no good for you.” “chill out, it will happen.

The thing is, it makes it worse. How can you relax when you have appointments with a specialist every few weeks or when you couldn’t go to the gym and smash your body into the ground to relax (my weird way of unwinding!) – having a baby was constantly on my mind. I like to take control and for once couldn’t. The one thing I could do though, and did was change my nutrition and lifestyle.

One thing that helped me dramatically was getting to bed before 10pm every night. Now I know this may seem a bit drastic for some but research suggests that the deepest and most regenerative sleep occurs between 10 p.m and 2 a.m.

To help me sleep and de-stress I feel in love with Magnesium Oil Original Spray. A few strays behind the knees before I hit that hay meant I had topped my Magnesium levels up – which is an essential mineral often referred to as the relaxing mineral because of its role in relaxing muscles. Magnesium also supports heart health, and helps to regulate heart beat and rhythm, which pumps blood to the whole body and the reproductive organs, meaning its a  great mineral to aid with infertility.

If you would like more information on stress and infertility – you can also read my recent feature in Fertility Road Magazine, which gives a whole three pages of tips to de-stress. Now don’t shout at me – but I’ve got to say it. If you are feeling stressed then please try and relax. It took me a while to realise how important this was and once I did, I did listen to what everyone was telling me and booked me and my hubby a few weekends away, booked my self in for weekly acupuncture and enjoyed the odd bubble bath watching catch up TV. It obviously worked for us – so enjoy the moment and BREATHE………

 

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