Making bathtime fun again (Finding Nemo Soft and Gentle Bubbly Bath: review)

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I can’t shout loudly enough about how wonderful it is to see my two girls having bathtime fun together. They’re three and one and, for these two gigglers, bathtime is a great source of hilarity and giddiness.

This is a recent phenomenon for us. My three year old suffers from eczema and it’s only due to some recent appointments with a great dermatologist that she can have a bath without any discomfort. Previously, we were struggling along by whipping her in and out as fast as we could, whereas now she can splash along with one year old to her heart’s content!

Bathtime fun with H&A Finding Nemo Soft and Gentle Bubbly Bath

Now that they are happily drenching me in splash-overspill every evening, I’m always on the lookout for products that will enhance their fun whilst being as gentle as possible to skin.

And what makes a good bath? Bubbles!!

We were recently given the chance to review Finding Nemo Soft and Gentle Bubbly Bath by H&A.  It seemed to fit the bill from the description – hypoallergenic and dermatologically tested.  It’s not garishly coloured and is more or less odourless – it doesn’t smell like the most synthetic strawberry on the planet, for example.

Most importantly for my two, it produced loads of bubbles and left them feeling and smelling fresh and clean.  The amount of fun children get from bubbles in the bath is quite something.  My girls seem to particularly like grabbing a handful and shouting “POOF!!” as they blow it into smithereens.  They cover each other’s heads in it.  My head gets covered, too.

Bubbles can even prompt rhyme-making, it would seem.  My three year old’s latest bubbles rhyme consists of “bubbles, troubles, bubbles troubles” which she sings to the tune of the Peppa Pig theme (if you try and do this yourself it doesn’t work, I’ve discovered.  It must be a special three year old talent!).

Bathtime fun with H&A Finding Nemo Soft and Gentle Bubbly BathWhat’s great about a fun bathtime is that it helps them wind down before bed, easing the path towards storytime and the slumber that’s often very welcome so I can go and collapse on the couch.

H&A have developed a range of Toddler Bathtime products based around friendly characters such as Nemo and Minnie Mouse, and including bubble bath, shampoo and bathtime buddies such as squirty ducks (got to get us some of those!) and bath books. They’re not expensive either – the bubble bath is £1.50 for example.

We’d like to be part of the H&A Bathtime Fun Squad so that we can continue our bathtime fun journey now that we’re enjoying it so much again! Who knows where their bathtime imagination might lead?

Disclosure: H&A are the new sponsors of parent bloggers network Tots100 this year which is very exciting news! This is my entry for their competition to become part of their Bathtime Fun Squad, which would enable me to try out more great products and probably listen to more of my three year old’s singing in the bath. I was sent a free sample of the Finding Nemo Soft and Gentle Bubbly Bath to review as part of the competition. All opinions expressed are my own.

We're going on an adventure

Forget-me-not-Friday #22

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It’s birthday week for three-year-old this week.

In addition, we’ve finally got her eczema to a stage where she can enjoy having a bath and a splash around without any discomfort. This led to the following hilarious exchange.

Daddy, fending off huge swaths of water which are intermittently drenching him as he tries to bath three-year-old and eleven-month-old: “I’m glad you’re having fun, but could you stop splashing me now?”

Three-year-old ignores him and carries on splashing.

Daddy: “Come on, this is no fun for me!”

Three-year-old, whilst subjecting Daddy to another deluge of emollient-filled bathwater: “Yes, but it is fun for me Daddy!”

QV Skincare for itchy and dry skin conditions: review

Recently, we were given the chance to review a new range of products for itchy skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis from QV Skincare.

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To date, I haven’t written much about my nearly-three-year-old’s eczema, mainly because it’s shockingly difficult to deal with and painful to even write about.

It seems so unfair that a child so young should have to deal with this condition. At times I’ve felt angry – I fear that it may spoil her childhood.

October is National Eczema Awareness Month. I aim to write a more detailed post about our experiences to coincide with this and help raise awareness of this debilitating condition.

Until I do, I’ll just say that we’re at a point where we’ll try anything to help ease our daughter’s constant itching and dry, irritated and inflamed skin.

So we jumped at the chance to try these products.

I should say however that our daughter is on a number of medications which we used alongside our new QV products, including antihistamines, steroid creams and antimicrobial washes.

The most important thing in treating eczema is emollient therapy. In eczema, the skin can’t retain water vapour and dries out, causing the itch-scratch cycle to begin.

So we used the QV products as our emollient therapy. Mr EC, who also suffers from eczema (though less severely in his adulthood) also gave them a go. Here’s how we got on.

We were sent a generous amount of products, including:

  • Intensive ointment
  • Dry skin cream
  • Skin lotion
  • Gentle skin wash
  • Bath oil
  • The products arrived with a selection of leaflets telling the eczema story by a colourful and appealing children’s character called Qool Vince! These immediately caught nearly-three-year-old’s eye and I sat and explained to her about the itch-scratch cycle and importance of moisturisation using these leaflets. It’s important to teach self-care for children as soon as possible, so these were really handy.

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    For nearly-three-year-old, I went straight to the intensive ointment to try. We applied it after washing and before any medical creams such as steroid.

    The first thing I noticed about the ointment is that it applies very smoothly, making it easy to get all over coverage very quickly. It moisturises very well and this seems to last for a long time – useful when we’re out and about and don’t want to keep stopping to reapply.

    I kept the dry skin cream in my bag for any top ups needed during the day. A point to note here is that nearly-three-year-old, being a wilful sort, usually hates anything of the ‘cream’ variety (don’t ask me why!). I guess she’s trying to exert some control over what’s happening to her, and this is her way. Yet she doesn’t mind having this cream applied at all!

    It also definitely calms her itching, which is a result. You see, once she starts to itch, she scratches and itches even more. And believe me, there’s no point telling a thee-year-old not to scratch. We have to stop it fast, whether it’s via cream or ointment application or wearing gloves or scratch sleeves. The dry skin cream is certainly a hit.

    Nearly-three-year-old hates baths or washing with a vengeance and understandably so as the water stings her skin. I only tried the gentle wash a couple of times as we usually use our prescription antimicrobial wash – but it didn’t sting her and seems to create a barrier for when the water touches her skin, which is great.

    We usually apply our wash, then rinse off with a bowl of water and a flannel. I’ve been adding a drop or two of the bath oil to the water and this seems to soften the water and provide a bit of extra moisturisation.

    Mr EC has been using the wash every day in the shower and really likes it. As I mentioned previously, he only eat the occasional outbreak now, mainly on his face, but he likes to keep on top of it to avoid any flare ups. He’s also tried the skin lotion and found that this cleared up a persistent dry patch on his cheek.

    Overall, I think this product range is great and firmly recommend it to sufferers. We have seen improvement in our daughters skin. There’ll never be a cure, and as I stated we also use prescription steroids and washes, but her skin is noticeably less inflamed and more comfortable. She also ‘accepts’ the products, as a nearly-three-year-old who knows her own mind!

    If you’d like to try the products, QV have kindly provided a discount code for my readers to use – it’s MUMMY13 and will give you 15% off the entire QV range at http://www.crawfordhealthcare.com/skincare/qv/.

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    Disclaimer: I received these goods free of charge, but was under no obligation to write a review. I probably would have tried the range anyway.

    Blog every day in August: A day in our life

    This month I am taking part in Yummy Mummy in Training’s ‘Blog every day in August’ challenge. Day 6 is ‘a day in our life’…

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    A day in our life (based on today, in fact – I work three days a week, so the other two days would be VERY different!):

    6:30am: Wake up, realise neither daughter is awake yet, decide to get in shower while I can.

    6:45am: Exit shower – 9 month old now awake but playing in her cot so I get dressed and dry hair in approximately 5 minutes. I can hear my mother-in-law downstairs, who has arrived to look after the children for the day.

    6:50am: Partner, still in bed, begins to make “I’m awake but I don’t want to me” noises. I get 9 month old up and bring her to him for a cuddle.

    7am: Go downstairs to greet MIL and finalise everyone’s ‘stuff’ for the day. I hear two-going-on-three-year-old waking up and partner getting her out of bed.

    7:10am: Say my goodbyes for the day, including partner who is off to London and not back until late tonight. Get in car and drive to Rochdale, where I work.

    8am: Arrive at work. First thing I do is make a coffee, or often I’ll treat myself to a latte from the cafe. Caffeine is very important to me. Usually, I have breakfast, too, as I didn’t have time at home (bowl of shreddies, usually!). Work at one of our hot desks until around 12 ish (well, perhaps a break for more coffee around 10ish).

    12pm: Lunch – usually a quick sandwich if I’ve managed to make one in time, or I’ll grab something from the cafe. I usually use this half and hour to do more blogging! It’s bliss just to have half an hour of silence!

    12:30pm: Return to desk – work until 4pm with maybe a break (yes, more coffee).

    4pm: Leave Rochdale and drive home.

    4:45pm: Arrive home to relieve MIL of childcare duties! Greeted by big smiles from nine month old and a barrage of “I’ve been doing this, Mummy!”, “I’ve been doing that!”, “I’ve got a new trampoline move!” from two-going-on-three-year old. They’re in the middle of their tea, so I start to help with their pudding, and get nine month old’s bottles sterilised and ready for the evening.

    They tell me about their day – they’ve been to a local park called Dunham Massey and had a picnic. I do miss them when I’m at work, and I feel a slight emotional tug when I hear what a lovely day they’ve had. But then I remember why I work, and that I’m lucky to be able to work just three days per week and have four days with them. I’m also lucky that they have such good childcare – both from my MIL and an excellent childminder. They are always happy and well looked after.

    4:30pm: Play in the garden for a bit. Two-going-on-three-year-old shows me her new trampoline moves. Nine month old plays on her big garden mat and shuffles herself all around it, as she’s just learning to get around (a bottom shuffler).

    5pm: MIL and I have our tea, which she has kindly prepared. Two-going-on-three-year-old squashes my cherry tomatoes. More garden play.

    6pm: All exit upstairs for bath/bedtime. Nine month old is the first to have her bath – at the moment she loves making large splashes which drench me in water and bottom shuffling her way back towards the taps and plug.

    Bathimte is a challenge concerning two-going-on-three-year-old, as she suffers fairly badly from eczema, something I haven’t written about. She understandably does not like the bath as the water sadly stings her sore skin. We try to do it only a couple of times a week and as quickly as we can. She then has her emmollients and medical creams applied, before she puts on her pyjamas. She sees a dermatologist, and we’re confident she’ll grow out of it. But it’s a difficult waiting game.

    6:30pm: Nine month old, who doesn’t sleep much during the day, has her milk and her eyes start to droop. Two-going-on-three-year-old kisses her and says “night night” and I put her in her cot. She carries on drinking her bottle in her cot and nods of to the sound of Ewan the Dream Sheep which has been a brilliant sleeping aid.

    Two-going-on-three-year-old bounces on her bed for a bit (yes, we let her – one of those concessions you wish you’d never made) and then has three stories.

    7pm: I say “night night” to two-going-on-three-year-old. Have a cup of coffee and cake and say goodbye to MIL, who is travelling back home.

    7:30pm: Get things ready for tomorrow, when daughters will be at the childminder.

    8pm: Retire upstairs, put PJs on, fire up laptop, and sit in bed blogging and awaiting partner’s return from London!

    That was our day today.

    Read day 7 here.