food, Lists

Best freebies for mums and mums-to-be

There are loads of freebies and samples available for mums and mums to be – you just have to know where to look to find them!

Here are a few of my favourites and where to find them:

Bounty
I 100% recommend the Bounty app and picking up their packs from ASDA if possible. The app contains screeds of information and resources from the moment you find out you’re expecting, right up until, well at least 11 months as we are still getting updates and information! Plus, asĀ  your bump grows week by week, the app shows you how big baby’s foot would be at that moment – majorly cute! They offer multiple freebie packs, from when you’re expecting, to when your baby is born (that pack is usually handed to you in hospital) and for when your little one is growing. I mentioned getting their packs from ASDA – their packs are also available at Boots, and possibly still Argos, but especially when you get to the growing family pack, some of the freebies change. ASDA’s includes samples of their nappy and babycare range, as well as items from George.

Emma’s Diary
Similar to Bounty, Emma’s Diary offers a wealth of information and advice for mums. They have an app that I’d definitely recommend any expectant mums download. They offer goody bags for mums to be, new parents and as your family grows. You’ll often find Emma’s Diary at baby and toddler shows too. They are a must-bookmark resource of everything you could ever want to know about pregnancy through to taking care of a growing baby. They even have a baby names section if you’re struggling in that department!

Cow and Gate
Cow and Gate were one of the first freebies I came across – mentioned in mum’s forums and possibly also even by Martin Lewis (Money Saving Expert). I signed up online with them, and within a few days I got a welcome pack through the post with information about the brand, what resources they have available online and over the phone. It also came with a pregnancy diary which was part-journal, part full of tips and reminders of things such as what to pack in your hospital bag, areas for name suggestions and more. Nearer to when Travis was born, I also received a wee Cow and Gate teddy for him, along with some milk vouchers. In fact, Cow and Gate are really good at sending out vouchers and samples, which are handy to even share with other mums if you don’t end up using their milk. They also offer money off their food products too, which have been a lifesaver for us.

Ella’s Kitchen
I love how handy the Ella’s Kitchen fruit and veg pouches are. There’s no denying they have been a great help in weaning Travis and are still useful to have around, to make sure Travis is getting the right amount of fruit or veg a day. However I could easily have overlooked them as a more expensive supermarket brand, had I not signed up to receive a freebie. Not only do they send a coupon for a free pouch, you also get a handy weaning guide, wall chart, stickers and more.

Arla
You may have heard of Arla on the TV adverts – you know the ones for the Skyr yoghurt? Well apparently they do a range of different milks too – and some are perfect for kids growing up (post 12-months it seems). in addition to offering various vouchers for their milk and yoghurts, Arla also give you a cute height chart for signing up to them, so you can mark your baby’s height progress as their bones grow healthy and strong from the milk presumably!

Pampers Baby Club
With the rate babies go through them, who wouldn’t love some free nappies? Pampers baby club regularly send out samples, starting with first size for newborns when you sign up. We’ve just recently received a couple of pairs nappy pants, along with a coupon for money off a full pack. Coupons are also a regular occurrence, along with some great rewards you can redeem on the Pampers Baby Club app. Scan receipts of your nappies to collect points and claim freebies such as magazine subscriptions, vouchers for nappies, baby books, toys and more.

Baby Box
Ok, so this is a slight cheat but by far the best freebie out there is the Scottish Government’s Baby Box. Unfortunately you’ll have to be living in Scotland, which your child being born here in order to get one, but there’s honestly nothing else you could need for a newborn that doesn’t come in this box. Clothes, thermometers, bath stuff, carrier – there’s so many good things inside I wrote a post dedicated to it last year.

Those are my top baby freebies I’ve found – well at least the ones that seem to be regular and stable, rather than flash freebies or sales. Can you think of any I’ve missed? If there are more good ones out there I am always keen to try them, so please share your wisdom!

Baby M's firsts

August Firsts

August Firsts – collated late due to our first holiday! (More on that next month…) Again, I thought I would be struggling for firsts, as the beggining of the month sort of saw Travis plateau if you like, getting comfortable at this wee stage of his life. I should have known it wouldn’t last for long though!

First time he worked out how to get into a packet of snacks
This was so cute, and partly a relief to be honest. Usually feeding snacks results in Travis trying to eat the packet or squish it or shout till you provide him with the treats that are in the package. However, he worked out how to get his hand in – and more importantly, back out – of a pack of veggie straws and hasn’t looked back since. Of course we still keep an eye on him while he is eating, but it just makes it so much easier to do other things like tidy toys, sort lunch or even put his shoes on while he chows down on his own snacks by himself.

First European Championships
Ok so this was a first for everyone, not just Travis, as the inaugural European Championships took place in Glasgow and Berlin in August 2018. Fortunately for us, Loch Lomond, which was being used as the outdoor swimming venue, is close to our house, so we got to take part in some festivities without having to venture very far. On the weekend of 10-11 August, we walked down to see the event area and everything that was happening, and also participated in the community’s European Championships Festival. The festival involved a parade through the town, a stage with music and dancing, activities for kids and stalls from local makers, crafters and experts in the local area. It was great to know that Travis got to be a part of the celebrations in this very first sporting event.

First steps unaided in his walker
Ok so we let him try to go unaided before but he would usually just run for 2 or 3 steps then crash into something or fall over. However on 17th August he seemed to master going in a straight line. I should probably point out that this is a push-along walker rather than one of those sit-in ones (he has one of those at his gran’s house too!) so we were thrilled when he managed to go in a straight line across the living room repeatedly without falling over. I’m sure walking can’t be far away now!

First trip to Innellan
This is a double-whammy first, as not only was it the first trip to someplace new for Travis, it was also his first big anniversary party! Innellan, which is a beautiful wee town sitting on Scotland’s coast, not far from Dunoon (where Travis visited for the first time in February), was the chosen location for the celebration of his great gran and grampa’s 60th wedding anniversary. Can you believe that – a whole 60 years together and still going strong! We took a drive over there on 18th August to celebrate with a meal in a lovely restaurant before heading back to Dunoon to continue the festivities. Travis behaved so well, being passed around loads of family members I hadn’t even met before, never mind him!

First passport
You might remember I mentioned our first holiday at the beginning of this post – well seeing as our first family holiday is to far sunnier climes abroad, Travis needed a passport. Not that we like to leave things to the last minute or cut things fine, but his very first passport arrived on 24th August, about 10 days before we needed to use it! Not that I’m biased in any way, but his photo is so cute, and it’s something I’ll definitely be keeping in his memory box once it has expired.

First Happy Meal
I know loads of mums out there will be horrified that I took my baby to McDonalds, but realistically, he’s learning to eat new things all the time and I believe everything has its place in moderation. Chicken nuggets and chips happen to be some of the easiest finger foods for babies to pick up too, so he could happily feed himself. On 24th August we popped in to McD’s for lunch as a pit stop on our holiday clothes shopping mission. I’m glad he tried the Happy Meal, but he didn’t take to the batter on the chicken nuggets and ended up just eating the inside of the nugget along with his chips. The side of melon however, went down a treat!

First Foods in August:
Toastie – as sampled when he nicked it off my plate in Costa one afternoon!
First melon and watermelon, breadsticks, crackers and cheese dip, all tasted and enjoyed at nursery
French toast – I’m surprised I waited this long to let him try this, after all it’s only bread and scrambled eggs essentially?