Mamas & Papas Apollo Bouncer - Rainbow
This was something I bought before Emily was born. I remember my younger brother and sisters always being sat in a bouncer so it was one of those things I assumed had to be bought. Unfortunately, not all babies take to them, Emily being one of them.
The bouncer itself is very pretty to look at. It's a neutral design which is why I chose this one. It has a "music book" with different tunes depending on what "page" you choose (they all sounded pretty much the same to me), and a heart-beat simulator and a vibrate function which, as Sex and the City fans will know, is a good thing to have with a baby. Again, Emily wasn't quite a fan so it was only a matter of weeks before we moved on to the swing in desperation (see below) and sold the bouncer.
My one qualm about the design of this bouncer is that the vibrate and heartbeat functions don't have an "off" button. You need to keep the main button held down to turn it off. Now, when you've picked up a screaming baby and are trying to calm her, the last thing you want to be doing is still be bent over (be careful not to tip baby over!) to hold the button pressed, because let it be known this bouncer eats batteries for breakfast and you do NOT want to have it on for any amount of time longer than is really necessary. Other than that, if your baby likes this sort of thing, it's a very pretty chair.
Fisher Price Rainforest Open Top Take-Along Swing
I've said so over and over on twitter: I owe a good portion of my life to this swing. It was the best money ever spent and I LOVE it. It has kept Emily quiet for longer than I thought possible. She loves swinging and has a soft spot for the hanging toucan and salamander, spends ages gazing at them in awe.
The swing has 5 speeds and 7 tunes which play in succession, on two volume settings. It's small and compact, can be folded away or moved around the house and out into the garden. HUGELY recommended.
That's all I need to say really. I have nothing negative to say about this swing. Even it's battery usage is darn good.
Ewan the Dream Sheep
I'd never seen a Ewan until my own arrived from Amazon. I'd read the twittermums talk about their Ewan and how great he is time and again, until the curiosity built and built and I couldn't resist any longer - I had to know what they were talking about. Within 10 minutes, there was a Ewan in my shopping basket.
Ewan's feet each make a different combination of sounds: womb, rain, vacuum cleaner & harp music. The best thing about it is that the womb sounds are actual recordings, not computer generated ones. So for very young babies especially, this is going to be so comforting to them.
My first impressions were that he is a really nice size and soooo soft. When I introduced Ewan to Emily, I wasn't expecting that much, so I was quite surprised when she visibly calmed down and just listened to the sound. That night, she self-settled faster than she ever had. It couldn't be just a coincidence. (I've since heard that Ewan works on older children too, not just babies)
Battery life also seems to be good. The batteries Ewan comes with won't last long as they are demo batteries, but once you've put in a fresh set, they'll last a good amount of time.
We've had Ewan for about a month now and he accompanies Emily to bed every night, and every night we see a change in her as soon as Ewan starts doing his thing. I only wish I had bought him earlier - much earlier! If you're expecting, this is one gadget I hugely advise having ready beforehand, you'll thank yourself later.
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