I will start off the post by saying we are avid Mountain Buggy fans, so when I was asked to review the +one I was like heck yes!

From before Baxter was born we’d purchased their capsule & base and front pack (the Juno). I had my eyes on their new at the time, Urban Jungle Luxury Collection in Nautical. All the heart eyes, navy blue with tan leather. You can imagine my surprise when I came home from work one night and Reuben had gone and purchased the buggy and nappy bag for me. I squealed. I am a total sucker for patterns and aesthetics. When the Juno, their front pack came out in matching Nautical the consumer in me went out and purchased it. I LOVED it and to this day I still get use out of it. One of those on a whim purchases that I didn’t know how often I would actually use it but was pleasantly surprised how frequently I did.

We loved our Urban Jungle, super easy to fold up and down plus easily manoeuvrable when out in shops (and I do a lot of shopping, haha). When I became pregnant with Lily I was so worried about having to buy one of those bulky looking side by side buggy’s, until I discovered the Mountain Buggy +one I was thinking maybe I wouldn’t need to after all. The +one actually won the 2016 OHbaby Awards as being the best double buggy and Mountain Buggy came out on top as New Zealand’s favourite buggy brand. I can totally see why.

The thing I love most about the +one is that is doesn’t visually look like your typical double buggy because the second seat (which can be removed) actually sits behind the front seat so the buggy itself can be used as a single, toddler + storage, toddler + newborn or toddler + toddler with different configurations.

 

 

We initially got the buggy when Lily was a baby so we used it with the toddler + newborn configuration, the second seat and newborn mattress came included. It meant I could see Lily and keep an eye on her while Baxter could people watch – which he absolutely loves. If I decided to carry Lily in the front pack, I can switch it back to being a single pram or just leave the back seat empty or fill it with shopping. There is still heaps of room behind and underneath for storage even with two seats in. We keep our front pack tucked into the back for when we need it.

 

 

The buggy is available in 3 colors. Black, Berry or Marine. We opted for the Marine. I was a bit gutted it wasn’t available in my beloved Nautical but am slowly coming to terms with it.

 

For all of you wanting the nitty gritty on the buggy, here it is:

age range 0 – 5 years
maximum load SINGLE: 25 kg / 55 lbs
DOUBLE: 20 kg / 44 lbs (per seat)
product weight SINGLE: 13kg / 28.7lbs
DOUBLE: 14kg / 30.9lbs
handlebar height 80 – 124 cm / 31.4″ – 48.8″

 

 

Additional accessories you can use with the +one are the Mesh & Storm covers, the new travel bag, the carry cot plus and many more items such as the sleeping bag and freerider stroller board

Whenever we purchase a buggy we also purchase the different weather covers because its something you’re always going to use. We also opted for a maintenance kit this time around and I am so glad we did. It comes with maintenance essentials which help you get the most out of your buggy and comes in a convenient compact roll up bag for easy storage on the go – we keep ours in the boot of the car.

Here is a picture of what it includes:

 

 

For only $40, you’d be silly not to and it’s an absolute lifesaver (pump and all).

I think what I love most is that both kids are happy and comfortable, at first Baxter preferred being in the front but quite often now he wants to sit in the back. I love that they have an option (like calling shotgun) and from time to time when Lily has been sleepy, we’ve put her in the back and she’s fallen asleep.

Overall, I am really impressed with how easy the buggy is to push and manoeuvre given the fact there are two children in it and I also love the fact that when Baxter becomes too big for a pram we can simply swap it back to be a full-time single seat buggy.

Mountain Buggy continue to impress me with the innovative new products they bring out and how helpful their customer service staff are when it comes to answering questions, ordering accessories or replacement parts (which I’ve never had to do but I love the fact you can).

We all know how much those first few weeks at home are with a newborn. They’re even a blur for me still with a 2 year (add a 5 month old into the mix and I’m a frazzled mess) and some days I just can’t be f*cked with the hassle of going to the supermarket let alone out in public at all.

We were introduced to The Baby Bag a couple of months ago after seeing their content in my Instagram feed and I had to give it a go and see what all the fuss is about.

They’d just made some big changes to their website, including the introduction of some logic to improve their user experience and make the end result that much better. I am all about good design and customer experience so I put it to the test and boy was I impressed. This service is a total game changer for busy parents like me.

You can just shop like normal, or you can add a few basic details about your wee ones so that their website recommends products based on their age/stage (nappies, food, baby care etc). Their site is super easy to use and navigate. What’s better? They stock the very best products.

If you choose to use the smart suggestions, the website pre-populates your bag for you when you log in based on what you’ve ordered in the past and what the system thinks you’ll need next. Confirm your bag and it’ll be on your doorstep within a day, sometimes even the same day dependent on your location!

No more running out of nappies and having to do the dreaded nappy run in your PJ’s.

My fav part about the service? It’s created by Mums, for Mums all here in NZ!

I absolutely love what Jessie and her husband created after starting their own family and realising the lack of infrastructure that existed to support parents like us. Baby supplies are required in such high frequency by all of us who typically have very little flexibility in our daily routine.

Jessie Jarvie, the founder is a Mum, just like us – doing big things.

Armed with the determination to revolutionise parenting as we know it, they launched The Baby Bag and I wanted to ask them some questions about it.

  • What gave you the idea to start The Baby Bag?

Before my youngest boy Franklin arrived, my husband and I were both working full time. The needs of our biggest boy, George, were always changing. From puree to soft lumps to fork mashed; from newborn to infant to crawler to walker. We changed nappy brands a few times. Then there came teething. A gummy eye. Dry skin. Nappy rash. Eczema. Little people are so dynamic. My husband would swing by the supermarket after a long day at work to pick up some more wipes. There were a couple of packaged food brands that I was having to get online. I used to try and keep some good quality frozen meals in the freezer for those days when it would all fall to bits, but they weren’t available at our local supermarket. Then I’d frequent the organic grocer for natural remedies for his eczema. I don’t know how many times in that first year I visited the pharmacy. I don’t know how many times I asked Doctor Google strange questions (have you ever had that sense of relief though, when the text field populates your question for you, before you’ve finished typing? Meaning there must be other parents out there asking weird stuff too!). It was 2013. It felt like there were support services around for everyone and everything – except for busy little families like ours. We were shocked at the lack of infrastructure that existed to help young families in New Zealand to thrive.

When my second little boy arrived, the nature of the problem changed. The idea of going anywhere with a really little baby can be quite scary. Paul is part Chinese and there is a wonderful Chinese practice of home confinement for one month after childbirth. This is literally called “sitting the month,” as new mothers are pretty much expected to just sit around in their pyjamas for a month to recover from bringing new life into the world (and so they should, right?) but oh god they need so many darn nappies. And who knew you could go through an entire box of maternity pads in one day?

After the newborn phase, getting your hands on the stuff your kids need continues to be challenging, equally for stay at home parents as for working parents. One babe is asleep (and none of us want to disturb that!) or the other one decides he’s hungry just as you pull into the carpark. Maybe you’re rushing home from a busy day just to chill out with your partner or get into the bath/dinner/bed routine before a meltdown. Maybe it’s raining and the thought of racing into the supermarket with one on your hip and one in the capsule is a bit overwhelming. We found that as a busy family we had quality groceries at our fingertips – we frequented local weekend markets and we were able to utilize services like My Food Bag or smaller food stores that proved to be quicker and easier. But baby supplies were continually a challenge.

We had learnt that becoming a parent was the most simultaneously wonderful and exhausting experience – an adventure like no other, and we wanted to create some infrastructure to make the road a little less rocky. In May of 2015, we launched The Baby Bag from a tiny little office in Grey Lynn, and since then we’ve been offering quick, reliable and cost effective delivery of the country’s widest range of baby supplies to thousands of New Zealand families.

In May of this year, we released a new website that introduced our Smart Suggestions. These suggestions were always part of the long term version but they were data driven, so we needed a couple of years experience behind us first. Our Smart Suggestions offer parents intuitive recommendations, based on their babe’s age and stage. They’re designed to support parents throughout the journey of a little person’s ever-changing needs, whether it be recommending you moving up to a bigger nappy size before disaster strikes, introducing the right flavours and food textures at the right time, or foreseeing teething habits, sleep regressions and flu seasons before they hit the home front; we do our best to take the guess work out of the equation for new mums and dads. It’s awesome and their potential gets me super excited.

  • What does a typical day for you look like?

My house is a jungle. I don’t think I could be an Instamum! Maybe I should try? My oldest boy George usually comes and wakes me up, typically demanding breakfast. He hops into my bed for a cuddle first, which is the best. My littlest is awake soon after and the whole house comes to life as we prepare for the day ahead, eating breakfast, filling lunch boxes, getting dressed and heading to kindy. It’s particularly jungle like at the beginning of the day and at the end of the day. Lucky they’re cute.

The boys are both finish kindy at 2.30pm, which means I have short working days, and most of the time I split shift so that I can spend the arvo with them and then long back on at night to get through any unfinished business. Team baby bag likes to be ‘on call’ for our customers at any time of the day, so it’s not uncommon for me to be speaking to a customer with the boys causing chaos in the background but I’m okay with that, it’s a reality. I feel lucky to have the opportunity to be a parent while helping other parents, too. I feel like that was something missing at the beginning of my own parenting journey, so I’m proud of the service that we provide and it gives me a real kick to be a listening ear.

I have Thursday’s off with the boys and we usually plan one special activity together – scooter riding somewhere new, Uptown Bouncing, the zoo, or visiting Dad at work for an early dinner at the local Japanese place. I try to intentionally plan just one activity for those Thursdays, and no more than that. I’m terrible at overcommitting to everything, but I want my kids to be bored every now and again too, as I know it’s where they find their creativity and their peace. One of my favourite things to do is sit on the couch (usually with a cold cup of tea – what would #mumlife be without cold tea?) and watch them in their playroom together. They fight a lot – but they have a heck of a lot of fun, too! At the end of the day, I suss their dinner and my husband susses our dinner. We’re both exhausted by the time they’re in bed, but then parenting and exhaustion are kind of hand in hand. I’m super grateful for my brood and we’ll be introducing another one come January 🙂

  • How do you maintain a good work/life balance?

I don’t get much of that, but to be completely frank with you – I’m not a big believer in work life balance. I think striving for that mythical concept creates more stress than it’s worth. Us women constantly beat ourselves up because if we’re being a good mum, we can’t possibly be doing a good job at work. If we’re enjoying our work, we mustn’t be seeing enough of our children! The key is to accept that there won’t always be a balance.

I think the most important skill a mum can have (whether she’s working outside of the home or in the home, both equally as tough as the other) is to realise when things become too imbalanced. That’s when she needs to sit down with her support network of people who care about her, and her children, and make changes. When I feel like things are getting on top of me, I break them down into bite sized chunks. My mum always says, ‘eat the elephant one bite at a time’. I’m a big list writer too. I have so many lists!

  • Future plans for TBB?

To continue to rock the socks off New Zealand’s parenting community, one bite at a time.

FOR THE NEXT 5 DAYS, USE THE CODE ‘JESSBOVEY’ AND GET FREE DELIVERY!


This post has been in collaboration with The Baby Bag. All views, opinions and writing is my own and we do not work with anybody we do not know, support and/or love. Please support the brands that support this blog.

What do you immediately do to try and calm a crying baby? You “shhhh”.

I am always somewhat hesitant when it comes to any form of ‘sleep aid’ because I’m fearful that my child will form an association to it that and they grow older, they can’t sleep without it. For some people, this isn’t a concern but if you’re like me and worry, you simply turn the volume down a notch each week until it’s completely off.

The Baby Shusher is different, for us anyway. We haven’t so much used it to get them to sleep but to calm them down. As parents, we all know that babies can go 0-100 real quick and once they’re at 100 it’s often hard to bring them back down closer to a comfortable 0. That’s where The Baby Shusher has come in handy for us.

It’s small and portable so you can take it out with you and utilise it throughout those public meltdowns too. It’s suitable for newborns and older. I’ve often been tempted to try it on Reuben too (haha). I love it so much, we have two. One that stays at home and one that travels with us.I find it great in the car when one of the kids is going crazy, I simply whip out The Baby Shusher and within minutes, they’re calm.

The Baby Shusher is a revolutionary new tool for parents using an ancient but doctor-tested technique to help soothe a fussy baby. The Baby Shusher breaks a baby’s crying spell by engaging his or her natural calming reflex. The rhythmic shush reminds the baby of being inside the womb, where there is a constant inundation of loud sounds from blood flow and other in utero noises (up to 95 dBs, or the sound of a very loud vacuum cleaner). These sounds, which may initially seem harsh, are actually very calming to a baby.

There are two timing options – 15 or 30 minutes and you control the volume.

Priced at $55.95, they make a fantastic baby shower gift and can be purchased from Sleepytot, NZ’s official distributors.

You can purchase here – https://sleepytot.co.nz/baby/product/baby-shusher/

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The week before Christmas, Reuben and I were lucky enough to have a baby-free evening at the Bolton Hotel in Wellington. I haven’t had many nights away from Baxter but knew we both needed it. Not only does having a baby change your life in many amazing ways, it changes your relationship too and both Reuben and I knew we needed a night away to treat ourselves and relax (well, try to anyway as I am terrible at it). The Bolton Hotel is a 5-star boutique hotel in the heart of the city, located on Bolton St off The Terrace so it’s in close proximity to all major amenities, tourist locations and a short walk/uber ride to the nightlife scene.

We hadn’t stayed there before and were hanging out for the peaceful break! I must admit, though, we did dial into the baby monitor at Mum & Dad’s on several occasions just so we could sneak a peek at our little man. I trust my parents 100% but it’s always nice to see them (and check they’re sleeping). The staff were amazing when we arrived, super friendly and gave us the run down, where everything was etc. I loved that we could park right out the front so I didn’t have to waddle too far (ha).

We stayed in one of their Classic Suites, which had everything we needed or could have needed. I liked the fact that it had a separate living area to the bedroom (which meant Reuben could watch the cricket – zzz) and I could blob on the bed and order room service or trawl Facebook feed using their free WIFI (who doesn’t love free WIFI?) even better, they have an in-room iPad for you to use complete with a jazzy hotel app which allows you to order all sorts of delicious goodies, see what’s happening around the city, book a wake up call and so many other things that didn’t involve picking up a phone and talking to somebody. I was super stoked to see a bath in the suite. Yes, we have a huge bath at home but it’s nice to not bath surrounded by floating plastic toys or having a child sticking their finger in your belly button and laughing.

We were treated to dinner at their amazing Artisan restaurant too, we googled the menu before we had even checked in as anybody who knows me, knows I am ridiculously fussy. We were both well impressed with the menu, although we didn’t know what half the things on the menu were (cue more googling). This is purely from lack of us getting out and experiencing/trying new things. Well, try new things we did. We asked the lovely lady looking after our table what she recommended and she guided us well. We started with Halloumi fritters, brioche crumb, quinoa and broad bean salad, tamarillo jam and the Goat’s cheese soufflé with cherry tomatoes, spinach. Wow, I would not usually eat any of the above, and it was a taste explosion, one I thoroughly enjoyed and I am not just saying that. Even Reuben was amazed that I polished off all of mine (and ate some of his). For dinner, we played it safe and selected something we knew we both loved – Beef. We chose the Beef fillet and short rib with Pho beef broth, herb tortellini and mirepoix. Again, divine. Had a real Asian twist to it, something I am usually scared of (flavours in general). My god, it was delicious. Come dessert, I am all about the Chocolate, we had the Chocolate “en surprise” with dulce de leche and roasted peanuts to share. I am pretty sure I ate all of it. Holy moly, what a dish!! The presentation blew me away and I simply didn’t want it to end. The staff were fantastic with us, explaining which cutlery to use when (yes, we’re that noob). They also made me the most delicious Strawberry mocktail (pregnant and all).

We slept amazingly and had a late checkout to allow us to demolish the breakfast we had delivered to our door that morning. By far, the best hotel breakfast I have EVER had in my life. REAL coffee, the most delicious smoothie, REAL bacon and again, presented really nicely and piping hot when delivered.

When checkout time came, the car was waiting at the door for us and the staff were super friendly and chatty.

Would highly recommend for a child-free night, would also attempt taking Baxter (the idea still scares me) as you could easily set their porta cot up in the living area so you have some privacy/peace still or you could opt for a bigger twin room.

As I know, all you mamas are super hard working and deserve a night off for some relaxation. So, I’ve teamed up with the lovely team at The Bolton Hotel to give away a nights stay for 2 with complimentary breakfast*.

To enter, just comment over on the New Mum Club Facebook page pinned post (the post you clicked on to get here) why you and your partner (or you and a friend) deserve a night away. You must also like the Bolton Hotel Facebook page (we can check).

The winner will be drawn on February 16th at 6 pm.

*Bolton Hotel T&C’s – stay can be used on a weekend night (non-event) and will have 1-year validity.

New Mum Club standard T&C’s – https://newmumclub.com/terms-conditions/