MY TOP 4 PRAMS & CARSEATS

MY TOP 4 PRAMS & CARSEATS

Once the first trimester passes and the icky sickly feeling and exhaustion lifts, if you are anything like me your mind will turn to the excitement of organising the house, decorating the nursery and buying everything that your little bundle of squishy cuteness could possibly need. So one thing you need to know about me is I am a super organised person, who loves a tick list! BUT even i’ve got to admit, this task was very daunting and a little over whelming!

Who new preparing for your first baby would be such a  mammoth task of navigating what you REALLY need, what are considered new mum essentials, which brands are the best, and what are really newborn must haves! I spent hours researching the brands I recommend, and took a trip to the baby show to road test prams and carseats and hit the high street to see whats out there.  

So with all that said I wanted to create an easy to follow buying guide that takes all the shopping stress out of becoming a new mummy.

I’m starting with my shortlist of prams and car seats as these are the two biggest and most expensive decisions, I will also be doing an easy shopping list to follow on from this so check back next week for that! 

MY TOP 4 PRAMS...

 

Who knew it would be easier to choose a brand-new car last year than it was to choose a pram? I can imagine that many parents to be, especially during the pandemic have really struggled with this decision particularly with nowhere open to road to road test all the many options available and see them in person. Luckily for Tony and I, a few weeks prior to lockdown we took a trip to London to the baby show where we got to see and handle so many different types, we spoke to the experts and even got to try them out on different terrain on the buggy obstacle course! We also had a one to one at Mama’s & Papa’s which really helped too. So, with that said here is my mini guide / top 4 prams list.  

Here are my top 4: 

 
1: BABY ZEN YO-YO: £359.60 
This pram is the perfect city stroller, a great fit for those who travel a lot on public transport, it's a must have for those who regularly travel abroad as it fits within an overhead cabin locker, its lightweight enough for the grandparents to handle and its super easy to carry when folded down, and its compact enough for those with smaller vehicles. The only downside I could find is, it's so lightweight that even something such as a heavy handbag on the handlebars could tip it backwards with small baby inside. So, with that said I would only recommend this one for when your baby is over 6 months old and I wouldn't put anything too heavy on the handle bars. Secondly the seat is not parent facing, so for those parents wishing to chat to their baby and pull faces whilst on the daily walk this isn't the one for you. 
 
*Shanie's score card 9/10* 

 

 2: STOKKE BABY BEAT: £520.00 
This pram is fairly new to the market and is a nice mix between a compact city stroller and a traditional more heavy-duty pram. The design is pretty slick and it's not too heavy for lifting in and out of the car. It is also a great ride so to speak with shock absorbing tyres and easy smooth turning. It is compatible with most car seats and the seat flips to be both parent facing and outward facing which was a big bonus for me as it is great for baby's development. 
 
*Shanie's score card 8/10* 

 

3: BUGGABOO FOX 2: £1,029. 
Now this is one of the most popular prams on the market, it is more expensive than the previous two options but you do get everything you could possibly need included in the package for the price. This pushchair is suitable for all terrains, so it is great for those who enjoy long walks in the countryside, or for those parents who live where there is cobbled or uneven streets. It is a similar weight to the Stokke baby beat so not super lightweight but light enough to lift into the car. It also comes in five colours. 

 
*Shanie's score card 8/10* 

 
 
4: ICANDY PEACH DESIGNER COLLECTION CERIUM: £1,300. 
The I candy peach is a great option to consider, there is a couple of different versions of the peach so check out all of them. However, the designer collection cerium version is the smartest looking with premium fabric, and a slick black on black colour code. This is definitely one that the Daddy's will enjoy pushing down the street, it is a smidge heavier than the other two prams above, but it is still manageable, particular with its easy carry strap you can just pop it on your shoulder like you are carrying a sports bag. Again, the price includes everything you could possibly need to get baby from new-born to 4 years old. This one has the bonus feature that the bassinet is approved for overnight sleeping so great for a night away, it also has a very useful large matching rucksack / changing bag, large enough to store everything you need for an overnight stay for bubba. It also has the multi-facing seat which is important to me for those long walks. 
 
*Shanie's score card 9.5/10* 

 
 
SO WHAT DID I CHOOSE?  
In the end Tony made the final choice on the pram, first reason being I am the most indecisive person ever, and secondly, he majorly preferred the design and look of the Cerium and the unisex changing bag was the cherry on top for him. I also really liked the Baby Zen Yo-Yo particularly for trips into London and for travel abroad. We won't buy it until baby is 6 months old, but it's definitely on our shopping list before we go on holiday to Thailand next year. 
 
Full disclosure; We were gifted the I Candy Peach designer collection cerium, but only after we had committed to buy it anyway. (Ad - Gifted) 

 

MY TOP 3 CAR SEATS...

 

Let's talk car seats.... this is going to feel like the most important decision you have made, especially when you strap your brand-new bubba in for that first drive home from the hospital (I am certain we will be doing like 10mph the entire drive home Lol) 
Car seats are such an important thing to really do your research on before you buy, firstly you need to find one that is compatible with your chosen pram so do check compatibility before buying, secondly you need to research safety features, and it's also worth paying attention to how long your baby will actually fit into that particular seat choice verses the cost of it.  
 
What took us by surprise was the fact that the first car seat tends to only fit baby for between 12-18 months. I mean bloody hell, it's a lot of money for something they outgrow so quickly, but we've rapidly learnt that that rule of thumb tends to pretty much go for everything. Baby stuff is expensive and nothing lasts longer than a year! Get used to it folks! 
 
Here are my top 3: 
 
1: CYBEX Z CLOUD ISIZE: £224.00 ( Plus base £189.00) 
Age: 0 - 24 months  

 
Let's kick off with something that is top of the range and has two very special features, the first being the fact that it rotates on the base 180 degrees, meaning that it is so much easier to place baby in and out of the car seat without straining your back which you will be thankful for when your tiny baby rapidly becomes a bigger heavier baby. Secondly it is one of the only seats on the market with an ergonomic lie flat position, this means that when baby is asleep you do not need to disturb them and remove them from the seat when you get out of the car. You can flat lay the seat easily and leave baby to sleep for as long as he / she wants without worrying about the usual 2-hour rule. Many car seat manufacturers do not recommend that babies should be in a car seat for more than 2 hours within a 24-hour time frame as to not cause damage to their developing spines. However, with this seat having the ability to open out and lay flat this massively reduces that risk. This seat also has a one base two seat plan, so when baby outgrows this one you can keep your original 180 degree rotating base and buy the next size seat up which is the Cybex Sirona Z I size (£260), this seat will see you through from new-born to 18kg or approximately 4 years old (however it is a fixed car seat that you cannot remove or place on a pram and it does not flat lay (hence why you might wish to purchase the Cloud z first). If that wasn't enough the Cloud Z also comes with a new-born removable inlay for extra snug comfort, an extra-large sun canopy at UPF 50+ so when you transfer baby onto the buggy in the lie flat position to continue their nap you can protect them from strong winds or sunshine. It comes in a range of colours but I personally love the black as it goes well with our pram. It is also suitable for strapping into a car without the base for when you travel, take a taxi or the grandparents take little one for the weekend however remember that i size means the seat has been safety tested up to 70mph, the child can be rear facing which is 75% safer than forward facing, however as soon as you use the seat without the base, the seat is only safety assured up to 30mph. This one may be a little pricier than others on the market, but it will last you longer as a first car seat option than the standard 0-12 months. I love the fact that the flat lay feature means no disturbing baby when you get out of the carit has a smarter look than most designs and it has an extra safety feature of L.S.P which is optimised linear side impact protection.  
 
*Shanies score card: 10/10* 
 
2: MAXI COSI PEBBLE PLUS: £199.00 - (Plus base £199.00)  
Age: 0 - 12 months. 

 
I had heard that Maxi Cosi was the most popular brand on the market for car seats prior to visiting the baby show, so I was keen to check out what they had to offer, after all apparently they have transported over 50 million babies home from the hospital worldwide, Wowza The pebble plus was recommended by the expert we spoke too, and it is a part of their ‘2-way family range’ and it appears to be compatible with most major pram manufacturers. We liked it because it is compatible to place onto a pram base, taking baby direct from car to pram,  it is I size (tested to 70mph, 75% safer when rear facing), it has an isofix base for ease of use but it can also be simply strapped into the car for when grandparents or friends have the babyThis seat has an adjustable head rest which is great for comfort as your child grows taller, and it has machine washable covers which will 100% come in handy when baby throws up everywhere. It has a hidden UV sun protector hood which is perfect for when baby is in the seat and on the pram however remember with this car seat the baby should only be kept in there for 2 hours in 24-hour period anyway. The design for this one is a classic, with multiple colour options. As long as it is registered within 3 weeks, Maxi Cosi gives you a life time warranty and it is one of those brands that keeps a good resale value. The price point was definitely appealing but then again it only lasts 12 months before you have to shell out for the next one which would be the Maxi Cosi Pearl (£123.20) which is a fixed option that goes all the way to 4 years old.  

*Shanie’s score card 7/10* 

 
3: MAXI COSI MICA 360: £299.00  
Age: 0 - 4 years old   

 

Now the price point on this one is brilliant, it is perfect for parents only looking to make one purchase that will last as it  will take you from new-born to 4 years, and believe it or not the price actually includes the base and it has a new born inlay for when baby is littleThis one like the Cybex also has my favourite feature, the rotating 360 features to save your back from lots of trips to the chiropractor, it doesn’t flat lay, but when your little one is a big bigger it does have a recline function to aid in car naps. This one only comes in 3 colours, Black, Graphite & Authentic grey (dove grey). It also is a fixed car seat, so it is difficult and a bit of a fuss to transfer it from one vehicle to another, it cannot be used without the base and will not slot onto your pram, so with this baby will need to be disturbed every time when moving them from the car to the pramThe base has a cool beeping sound feature to let you know it is safely installed which is helpful, and again all the materials are machine washable which with a toddler and snacks will be needed. In terms of safety it ticks all the boxes, I sizeIsofix and it has a special shell developed for maximum side impact protection.  

*Shanie’s score card 8/10* 

 

WHAT DID WE CHOOSE?  

Until we discovered the Cybex, we were 100% going to purchase the Maxi Cosi Mica 360, we loved the 360 features, the value for money verses time used and the design. However, the fact it wasn’t easily transferred to the grandparent's vehicle and couldn’t go onto the pram made us want to look again and explore a few more options before making a final decisionSo, when we discovered the Cybex Cloud Z, it was a no brainer, with the cherry on top being the flat lay feature. Yes it means we will eventually with the one base and two seats end up spending around the region of £680.00 to get our little one to 4 years old verses the £299.00 that we would have spent on the Mica 360, but for us it came down to lifestyle and the ease of not disturbing a young baby getting in and out of the car. Basically, we chose the option with the least amount of crying involved Lol. 

So, there you have it guys, my personal buying guide when it comes to prams and car seats. I hope it helps! Please be sure to do your own research on each of these before making a decision as i’m not an expert, mearly a Mummy to be, just like you. We chose the pram & carseat that we feel will work for us as parents, but that might not be what works for you! 

Don’t forget to check back here next week when I will be sharing my full shopping check list that any first time parents will not want to miss.

 

Shanie & Bump xXx

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“Yay I’m Pregnant” (& loving it), This is a positive vibes only zone!

“Yay I’m Pregnant” (& loving it), This is a positive vibes only zone!

It’s been a hot minute since i’ve posted on my blog, so welcome back! 

If you follow me on Instagram you will know that my  incredible partner Tony and I not only got engaged this year but we are also expecting our first child together in August. We were blessed enough to fall pregnant super quickly, and despite experiencing my first pregnancy during a world wide pandemic and as a result of that, then spending most of my pregnancy in quarantine…. so far I have had a very positive experience with only a few shitty moments along the way. But mostly its been great and rather than shy away from that fact, or keep quiet about it, I wanted to share it with you and speak openly about my positive pregnancy for the following reason…

Its funny, as soon as you tell people that you are pregnant, their first reaction is always surprise and excitement, however  what I wasn’t prepared for was that within 5 minutes of the  buzz and excitement dying down, “it” begins!

What is the “it” I hear you ask?

Well here “it” is…. I noticed quite quickly that despite their good intentions, people have a strange habit of projecting their own experiences of pregnancy and birth onto you and your partner even if its super negative! It is often unsolicited advice, inappropriate comments or detailed story telling, and i’ve got to be honest, in my experience so far, more often than not, it isn’t the positive kind of story telling, comments or advice that you would hope for from people who are supposed to be happy for you. Where is the positive energy guys???

Tony and I heard everything from… Tony should “Move out for the next 9 months, as with all the hormones I would be a nightmare to live with”, to people describing how “awful” their birth stories were; sharing gory details and displaying their trauma for us to see in plain sight. People were even telling me that my pregnancy was going to be this miserable experience that I needed to strap myself in for, oh and then there is the insensitive “your gonna get fat” jokes! I mean really guys? How is this helpful?

Overall people tend to be pretty negative, however, they don’t actually realise they are doing it because everything is said as some sort of joke or in jest which is the worst part about it I think. They don’t even realise how insensitive they are being, or that what they are saying could negatively impact our experience and conjure up anxiety and fear at a time where it is vital to be calm and relaxed!

So with that said, VERY quickly Tony and I decided, that we needed a plan to protect ourselves from anything that might cast fear or uncertainty over our journey to becoming parents.

 

Step number one in our quest to have a positive experience was, we were going to have to get comfortable with being blunt and perhaps at times even quite rude to people who try to protect their negative experiences onto us!  We made a pact that from now on neither he nor I would not be allowing anyone to get past the first sentence of any story or comments that might make us feel worried or fearful of the journey ahead. We would literally shut down the conversation with “i’m sorry, but we aren’t open to hearing anything that isn’t 100% positive at this time, so we are going to have to stop you there”.

Next we booked a consultation with a holistic pregnancy coach (@Lacinne & @CoupeDC). I got to know them when they featured on episode 12 of my podcast ‘Influence Me’ CLICK HERE TO LISTEN. They themselves had a holistic pregnancy, followed by a free birth (aka unassisted birth) and they have raised their daughter exclusively on breast milk and a plant based diet. They seemed like our sort of people, and “parent goals” so we decided to book an appointment and they didn’t disappoint. They were super positive yet honest about their pregnancy, birth and parenting experience and gave us lots of confidence that we too could have an enjoyable journey and birth. This was the kind of people and energy we wanted to be influenced by, so we sat down with them before we even saw a midwife to establish the balance between the holistic approach and the medical led approach to pregnancy and birth.

Shanie with Lacienne & Coupe 

We also did some research and put together a reading list; One of my favourite books that both Tony and I listened to on Audiable was ‘The Positive Birth Book’ by Milli Hill. After reading this book I felt instantly empowered, educated in both pregnancy and child birth. I felt in control of my journey to becoming a parent and confident that I could have a positive birth regardless of how it played out. Tony also read this one with me and now feels confident that he will know what is happening during every phase of labour and he knows how best to support me when the time comes.

My final step was to follow some positive birth accounts on Instagram such as @ThePositiveBirthCompany @Birth_ed @BadAssMotherBirther , you would be surprised how powerful it is the randomly take in incredible birth photos, videos and positive stories every day whilst scrolling. Even on a subconscious level it helps eradicate fear and fill you with excitement at meeting your newborn baby when the time comes.

@Birth_ed

It is such a shame that so many women and men automatically pull for the negative pregnancy and birth stories, and i’ve actually found that the women with the positive experiences are the quietest in the group and the least likely to share and speak up. I’m sure a lot of it comes down to people not having dealt with the trauma of their own experience properly so therefore they project it onto others whenever they get the chance because it is their truth, even if it is a case of the “wrong audience”. Then the people who had a great experience end up feeling guilty or uncomfortable sharing a positive version of events as they don’t want to boast and brag so instead they keep quiet.

However, as a first time mum to be, it can be pretty toxic to be hearing awful stories, especially when you are feeling so vulnerable already. So I wanted to write about my experience so far by adding some pregnancy focused blog posts into the mix that are still super honest about the tough parts of pregnancy, but that have a little more  balance between the tough moments and the positive magical experience of growing a human being.  Over the next couple of weeks I will be sharing my personal experiences of the first, second and third trimester, exercise in pregnancy, the truth about expecting during a pandemic, as well as sharing lots of useful and practical information from writing my birth plan, packing my hospital bag and what was on my new baby shopping list!

Overall, my pregnancy has been awesome, i’ve loved feeling my baby grow, wriggle and kick over the past few months. I have loved this new developing bond between Tony and I as we get closer to becoming “Mum & Dad”, and i’ve even loved the experience of watching my body change (which honestly I thought I would hate! I’ve genuinely surprised myself there). Pregnancy does not need to be a list of crappy things you go through, or that happen to you. Yes some of it is bloody hard, and I know plenty of women have it really tough and don’t enjoy it at all and I honestly don’t envy them whatsoever. But some women have a beautiful experience, enjoy pregnancy and that should be allowed to be spoken about and celebrated openly too, so here I am saying its not been easy at all, but i’m pregnant and i’m loving it! (most of the time).

Check back soon for my first trimester post!

Shanie & Bump Xx

 

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Jamie Jewitt: Speaker, Philanthropist, Love Island Alumni & Humanitarian

Jamie Jewitt: Speaker, Philanthropist,  Love Island Alumni & Humanitarian

S2//E14: On this Episode of the ‘Influence Me’ Podcast Shanie Ryan is joined by Jamie Jewitt, at just 15 years old he became a model shooting some huge career boasting campaigns for the likes of Calvin Klein, Tods, Emporio Armani & Tom Ford, however we walked away from it all to try and find more purpose in his life. He caught the eye of TV producers and starred in a NYC based reality show called Taking New York before eventually being cast again by the same TV producers for one of the UK’s most popular reality shows Love Island. He now leads a more authentic life working with charities such as Help the Refugees and only working with brands that align with his core values. In this episode we dig into mens mental health, how he overcame his own demons, what he really thinks about the term “influencer” and why social media can become toxic if you let it.In this series, we’ll dig deep to get to know the real person behind the digital fame. Shanie will introduce you to some incredible people, with amazing journeys and stories that you can either relate to, learn from or be inspired by.

Follow on Instagram @TheInfluenceMePodcast

Influence Me is produced by 

@BirdLimeMedia

However this episode was specially produced by Jayli Music for Redwood Studios.

Influence Me is sponsored by 

@HisAndHersRenovationsInteriors

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The Radio Times recommends ‘Influence Me’ as one of it’s top podcasts!

The Radio Times recommends ‘Influence Me’ as one of it’s top podcasts!

Whilst quarantine is pushing some of us to tackle that huge to do list that we never quite get around too, others are overwhelmed by the juggle of work, life & home schooling, and lets not forget those who have literally run out of things to do so spend their days sunbathing, working out and enjoying iced coffees in the back garden and those that are simply bored stiff!

Well which ever category you may fall into, its never a bad idea to take an hour to yourself to listen to a good podcast. Perhaps you need an episode to help you switch off from life, perhaps you want to learn something new, or be inspired by someones story, or maybe you need to work on your own self development a little.

Well The Radio Times have recommended their top 23 podcasts to listen to right now and ‘The Influence Me’ podcast has made it onto the hotlist. Check out the article below and don’t forget to check out an episode or two whilst your at it!

LISTEN TO ‘INFLUENCE ME’ PODCAST HERE!

CLICK HERE to read the full article

 

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Laceinne & Coupe; Vegan Lifestyle, Water Fasting, Free birth & Holistic pregnancy…

Laceinne & Coupe; Vegan Lifestyle, Water Fasting, Free birth & Holistic pregnancy…

S2//E2: On this Episode of the ‘Influence Me’ Podcast Shanie Ryan is joined by The Pink Coconut curator, holistic pregnancy coach, Doula & blogger Laceinne & her husband Coupe DC who is a personal trainer, water fasting coach & nutrition expert. This episode is so varied and speaks with not one but two expert guests. Laceinne really opens up about her personal experience with free birth / unassisted birth, she shares how to experience a holistic pregnancy, and discusses her choice to raise her baby on an entirely plant based diet. Coupe has a wealth of knowledge in both health & nutrition, he coaches hundreds of people online on water fasting and its benefits and speaks to his knowledge as a personal trainer on making healthy lifestyle choices. Combined they have over 100,000 followers and counting and their lifestyle choices both intrigue and inspire their thousands of followers. In this series, we’ll dig deep to get to know the real person behind the digital fame. Shanie will introduce you to some incredible people, with amazing journeys and stories that you can either relate to, learn from or be inspired by.

Follow on Instagram @TheInfluenceMePodcast

Influence Me is produced by 

@BirdLimeMedia

Influence Me is sponsored by 

@HisAndHersRenovationsInteriors

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