alternatives to a changing bag

When you become a mum for the first time, if you are anything like us you look for the best changing bag you can find. It must have multiple pockets, a changing mat, bottle holder and, obviously, look the part. However, as our minis grow and numbers two, three…maybe more come along it dawns on you that all is required is a very large, and preferably stylish bag which will look good both on and off duty. So, here are our top picks for alternatives to a changing bag.

alternatives to a changing bag

 1. Effie Hobo bag by Mulberry – these slouchy, wearable bags go with most outfits and can be dressed up or down. They are roomy enough for kiddy essentials and maintain their looks. This style has been such a success Katie has one in brown and one in black!

2. O’Hare II leather tote by WANT les essentiels de la Vie – a large leather tote without fuss and just pure good design. The front pockets provide easy access for keys and phone whilst trying to carry a toddler at the same time whilst the roomy main zipped part has divided sections to help organise all the usual mummy bits and bobs.

3. Large leather tote by Mansur Gavriel – I am lusting after this one…why? I love the understated exterior and then the whammy of a gold interior (I am a sucker for all things shiny). Very roomy with a purse for mummy’s own essentials.

4. Neoprene bag by Leghila – yes, a bag made out of neoprene! I’ve had one since Harry was a few months old and I have used it constantly – due to the material its light but durable. The brilliant thing about them is that they can be washed in the washing machine – fantastic for when accidents and spills happen. I’ve washed mine a few times and it still looks like new. I just love it – they come in some amazing colour combinations and styles so there is a bag for everyone.

5. Leather tote by – a large roomy tote is perfect to carrying around the many essentials a mum on the go requires. The lovely soft grey colour is a perfect neutral colour to go with many outfits (although available in four colours). The price seems a steal for such a lovely looking bag and the long strap makes it ideal for a changing bag with handles for a stylish alternative.

6. Le Pilage Nylon by Longchamp – being able to personalise your changing bag alternative with Langchamp – you can be your own bag designer! Le Pilage has been a Langchamp staple for years and this is a fun way to make it one-of-a-kind, just for you. The bags are roomy and being nylon are hardwearing and practical.

7. Little America backpack by Herschel – yes, a backpack isn’t the most glamorous of bags but when you’re carrying goodness knows what around a theme park, museum or walk, a backpack is a must. Herschel is a cool American brand which also features sensible back support and padded straps. Don’t be fooled by the “Little America” name – it’s big. I have one and have found it invaluable when taking our minis out on adventures.

8. Verity large backpack by Whistles – for a chic take on a backpack which still is functional this backpack ticks the boxes. It can be carried as a backpack or a bag with its handle and the large zip opening at the top makes looking for hand wipes and snacks simple.

Do you have any of these or, have we missed any off the list you feel work well as alternatives to a changing bag?


Rockin’ Baby review and giveaway!

Rockin' Baby review and giveaway

As you will have read in my previous post, I was sent a pouch baby carrier and sling baby carrier from Rockin’ Baby to see if I could be converted to someone who could comfortably use a sling or pouch to carry Teddy. So, after some serious testing here is my review and there is also a giveaway – details at the end of the post!

When the pouch and sling arrived, I opened the boxes and was immediately impressed by the quality of the products. They are made from a very durable cotton, which makes them breathable and more comfortable for both baby and parent, especially in hot weather. The sling has two rings which the material goes through in order to secure it as a carrier. These felt incredibly tough – the last thing you want to think about is it all falling apart and your precious mini on the floor!

Both the pouch and sling came with instructions but I watched a video on how to use them as I was a complete novice. As I have said previously, I did not feel confident enough to use them before this, thinking I would put Harry or Teddy in one and they would simply slip through.

Armed with the instructions I tried both carriers in the house. They were both easy to put on – I thought it would be much more of a struggle and, nervously I have to admit I put Teddy into them. Teddy is not a small boy – he is not nicknamed “Ted the Tank” for nothing! However, he sat on my hip easily and at first it was a weird sensation to have him dangling there but I soon got used to it. He loved being high up in order to have a nosey as to what was going on and we could chat away to each other whilst I wandered about the house.

rockin' baby review and giveaway

rockin' baby review and giveaway

The next challenge – using it outside! I thought I would try different situations so Katie and I took the minis for a walk to a local nature reserve. I used the pouch which I liked as I simply popped Teddy in and off we went. Again, he seemed to enjoy seeing the world from a new perspective and it is just lovely having your little one so close to you.

Rockin' Baby review and giveaway

Rockin' Baby review and giveaway

Rockin' Baby review and giveaway

My husband even wanted to have a go and seemed to enjoy the experience. He also preferred the pouch feeling it looked more masculine but understood why a new mother may prefer the sling (the zippered pocket in the sling is brilliant to carry a few bits without having to carry a separate bag and is easily accessible).

rockin' baby review and giveaway

We then made a trip to London to visit the Natural History Museum. Although it does have lifts, it is more accessible without having to use a pushchair so we took both the pouch and sling to test them out. We ended up using the pouch after trying the two. I feel more comfortable using it. I think this may be because Teddy is bigger and the sling seems more natural for a smaller baby. Also, I am small and I did not feel I could get the sling tight enough, even though Teddy seemed secure enough. It is probably just comes down to personal preference.

During our museum visit both Katie and I used the pouch to carry Teddy. In the morning I carried him and his head and eyes darted about everywhere with so much to see. He was very chatty and interactive. I was surprised that my back did not ache once during the day – the pouch seemed to distribute the weight so as not to pull on my back.

Rockin' Baby giveaway competition

Rockin' Baby giveaway competition

Rockin' Baby giveaway competition

After lunch, Katie carried Teddy in the pouch. He was so comfortable, he actually fell asleep in it! Teddy does not fall asleep easily outside of his cot so this really was a good sign that he felt comfortable and secure.

Rockin' Baby giveaway competition

So the answer to the question in the title is…YES! I’ve been converted. Although I will still use a buggy it is so handy for when a buggy may create more hassle. I have also found it really useful when I just want to “pop” into a couple of shops as it means I don’t have to put the buggy up.

So, now to the giveaway competition where you get the chance to win either a pouch or sling of your choice! Rockin’ Baby are giving one away to a lucky winner to celebrate Mother’s Day and their Mother to Mother campaign (read more about it here). Even if you don’t have a little one small enough for it, you may know someone who may benefit. It is easy to pack away and carry and I felt it allowed more interaction with Teddy. It’s worth trying…what have you got to lose!

To Enter

  1. Subscribe to our blog (for free) – it only takes a minute and you will get updates on new posts and any future giveaways. The subscription box is just on the right of our blog (or at the bottom if you are subscribing on a phone or tablet).
  2. Visit the Rockin’ Baby website and choose which pouch or sling you would like (if you choose a pouch, they come in Small, Medium or Large – I had the Medium and both my husband and I could use it).
  3. In the comment box below this post, tell us which pouch or sling you would like.

Now for the Terms and Conditions

  1. The competition will run from 6:00am GMT on 13th March 2015 until midnight GMT on 27th March 2015.
  2. The competition is open to entrants aged 18 and over.
  3. The winner will be chosen at random and will be announced via social media outlets and will also be contacted in person – so make sure you have subscribed and left your email in the comment box form (your email will not be visible to the public).
  4. The brand Rockin’ Baby are kindly giving the lucky winner a pouch or sling of the winner’s choice. Their mailing address is 11 South 21st Street, Suite 5, Richmond VR, 23223, USA.
  5. The prize will be sent out within 28 days of the winner being announced via signed for delivery.
  6. The competition is open to worldwide entrants.

rockin baby review and giveaway

Good luck!

Georgie and Katie

handmade mother’s day gift kids can make

Handmade Mother's Day gift

As Mother’s Day fast approaches, what could be cuter than a handmade Mother’s Day gift kids can make and get involved in. This trinket/keepsake box provided our minis with plenty of fun. Harry and Harriet loved using all the different materials (especially the glue and glitter) and inspired each other with their creations. These gifts are for their “Nanna’s” (so if the Nanna’s are reading, look away now!).

Handmade Mother's Day gift

What you will need

A small cardboard box (these can be bought online or from craft shops – an example of one is here)

Tissue paper in assorted colours

Felt tip pens and/or paint

PVA glue

Plastic gems / glitter / pom poms / sequins and anything else you or you mini wants to adorn the box with!


Let your mini have free reign!

Handmade Mother's Day gift

Handmade Mother's Day gift

Handmade Mother's Day gift

The end result of Harry and Harriet’s creative work!

Handmade Mother's Day gift

Handmade Mother's Day gift

This idea is not just for Mother’s Day. It can be used as a handmade gift idea for most occasions and celebrations…and the more pom poms and glitter, the better!

Georgie and Katie

Westonbirt Arboretum


For those interested in plants and trees, then Westonbirt Arboretum could be the place for you. With over 15,000 labelled specimens from around the world it will definitely keep you busy. And for those that simply enjoy the fresh air and having somewhere safe and vast for children to explore, then the Arboretum with its 17 miles of accessible nature to roam is the place to go.


Located in the Cotswolds and only three miles from the Gloucestershire market town of Tetbury (which is worth a visit in its own right if you like your antiques) Westonbirt Arboretum is a great place for a family day out. It has well maintained paths, all the family facilities you need and a lovely restaurant which is open daily.



Westonbirt Arboretum consists of three main areas. The Old Arboretum, Silk Wood (a more rural woodland compared the landscaped  avenues of The Old Arboretum) and the Grade I registered Downs which is the perfect location for a picnic. The added bonus for children is that the Arboretum is also home to one of 15 giant Grufflo sculptures.



The Arboretum hosts numerous events through the year. Some of its most popular being Forest Live concerts in the summer. Some of the acts lined up for 2015 include The Vamps, Tom Odell and Paloma Faith. The more family oriented Treefest which is held over the August Bank Holiday includes exhibitors, arena shows, live music, traditional woodcraft demonstrations and fun activities. Lastly, the Enchanted Christmas event during December features a spectacular one mile illuminated trail, highlighting the striking structures of Westonbirt’s trees as they are illuminated against the winter night sky.



From now until May-time there will be new blooms popping up all over the place. So don’t miss out.



Do let us know if you have enjoyed Westonbirt Arboretum before or plan on taking a trip there anytime soon.

Katie & Georgie