Midweek Musings: Baby Bottles and Nursery Progress

twistshake-lifebylotte Hello there! I don't often do reviews on here (mostly because the things I am offered aren't usually relevant) but when Scandi brand Twistshake got in touch with me and offered me one of their new baby bottles to review, I couldn't say no. (That sounds so cheesy and hackneyed but it's true).

As Daphne has always been bottle fed, we've been through our fair share of different bottles - we started out with the ones that came with my breast pump, then we moved onto Dr Brown's Anti-Colic, which I think were good but were a right palaver and a half to wash up, and then we moved onto Mam's Self-sterilising Anti-Colic bottles which we currently use. They've been pretty good and I don't have much to complain about with them (although Daph hated their fancy teat and so we still use Dr Brown teats with them), but the Twistshake is quite frankly genius thanks to one thing - the little powder box it comes with.


When we moved onto powdered milk, this really worried me - how would we store the powder when we went out? I know you can get little plastic boxes but they looked fiddly and lots of people said how much they leaked. To avoid the issue completely, we usually make up a bottle then flash-cool it and take it with us, keeping it in a cool bag (or fridge if we're at a friend's) until Daph needs it. I'm pretty sure the NHS would string me up for this, but touch wood it's been OK so far. But today I went to my mum's and I roadtested the Twistshake and it was just brill - I simply scooped out the powder required into the little powder box then tucked that neatly back into the bottle. Then topped it up with slightly cooled boiled water when I needed to make up Daph's feed.

I've seen that you can also use this powder box to store snacks for older kids (like cucumber sticks etc) which is another brilliant idea. I do like a multi-functional invention!

The bottles are bright and colourful (I hated the look of the Dr Brown ones) and very easy to use, with a special powder filter that stops any lumps from clogging up the teat. They're Anti Colic too, although Daph no longer has colic so I can't comment on that. They kind of look like grown-up drinks bottles I think! I love the fact that the colours are bold and not insipid or very clearly gender-specific. We use blue Mam bottles (as well as pink ones) and it annoys me that the pictures on them are clearly designed for boys.

The only downside of the Twistshake is that (as far as I can tell) they are not self-sterilising like the Mam ones - this is a real plus for me as we don't have space for a separate steriliser in our stuffed-to-the-brim kitchen. Otherwise though, I'm impressed, and very happy to recommend them. They're available on Amazon


In other news, this week we've been getting Daphne's nursery ready for her to move into when she's six months old (in just over two weeks). Sniff! Part of me can't wait to move her into her own room because quite frankly, she's a noisy little bugger and between around 2am and 5am just basically makes noise non-stop - singing, gurgling, shouting, crying, you name it. But then part of me is really soppy and can't bear the idea of her not being next to me anymore, all soft and snuffly and smelling of babies. I will miss her!

As we're hoping to move house at some point this year we didn't want to spend too much money on the nursery, so we've really just made do with what we've already got, and bought a few new touches like a rug (not the horrible old one in the picture!), some artwork and a cot mobile, to try to make it nice for her. I'll do a proper nursery 'tour' post when it's all finished but the cot is in and looks fab, and my mum is busy adjusting the existing cheap Ikea curtains (finally cutting them to the right size for the window and lining them with blackout lining). She's also making a cot bumper for me. My mum is a superstar! I really need to learn how to do this kind of stuff - seriously considering a sewing course at some point...

The one thing that I have yet to manage to source is a nice lampshade for the boring pendant light fitting. We have a bright pink one (also Ikea) up now that I bought when I first moved in and it's just dull dull dullsville. I'd love something quirky but not too expensive. Or cheesy. If anyone has any bright ideas, I'd love to hear them!

Review: Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep machine

When we first realised that Chip was likely to be formula-fed, we decided that powdered formula was far too much of a terrifying faff, and so we just bought the ready-mixed stuff, which is sterile and super easy to use. But then as Chip's digestive woes progressed (she's lactose intolerant and normal baby milk gives her a bad tummy), we decided to switch to Comfort Milk, which is gentler on the stomach for sensitive babies. But it only came in powdered form. So we decided - no, that's a lie, I decided - to invest in the wondrous Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep machine I'd heard so much about.

So what does it do? It basically makes making bottles up super easy - you fill it with cold tap water (which it handily filters with its built-in filter), select the quantity of feed you are making up from the large, idiot-proof dial, and stick a bottle underneath it. When it first arrived, Oli thought that it actually mixed the powder into the water for you, but alas, you have to do that yourself. You put a bottle under the dispenser, press the button once, and it releases a spurt of hot (not boiling water), which you then spoon your formula powder into. Give the bottle a quick shake, and then put it back under the dispenser, whereupon it finishes the bottle by filling it with the remainder of the water. The second lot of water is at a cooler temperature, so that the bottle is ready to drink straight away (no more trying to cool it down under a cold tap as you have to do if you make it up manually). The first lot of water is hot enough to kill any bacteria that might be present in the milk powder, so there are no worries about that.

As I said, Oli was not very impressed when it first arrived as he basically couldn't see much of a benefit versus using boiling water from the kettle. But I think he's been won over. This really is a super easy way of making up bottles and SO quick. They say it takes two minutes from start to finish - I've never timed it but it sounds about right. You can make bottles in advance to store straight away in the fridge too, if you're going out later (I know the official guidelines are to make each feed up as it's needed but the NHS seems to think it's OK to store them so long as you 'flash cool' them straight after making). It also works with any bottles, not just Tommee Tippee ones.

I'm so in love with it, in fact, that I'm considering lugging it to my parents' when we go and stay with them at Christmas - can't really imagine being without it now!

It's not cheap, but I got mine on Amazon and at the moment Tommee Tippee are offering 25% off their products with code TIPPEE25 for Amazon Family members, so it was a bit of a bargain and under half price.

So, it's not quite as exciting as a Nespresso machine (and no, it doesn't make cappuccinos too, as my dad asked) but if you've got a new baby, it certainly takes the stress out of preparing formula. Oh, but don't forget that once you've added the powder to the water, the total quantity in the bottle will be more than the amount you selected on the dial. So don't email Tommee Tippee like I did and tell them your machine is a dud and dispensing too much water. Can I blame baby brain? Cringe.