Mothers Day

Written by Gary. Posted in General

3rd April
How do I get tripped up every year by this event. I know it's coming but always leave it to the last minute to sort something out.

The first few years when my wife became a mother was where the problem started.
I simply couldn't get my head around the concept that I had to go and buy a gift for her from her son. He wasn't able to because he was too young and couldn't go on the internet himself to order it. This leads to all sorts of problems such as what do you buy her, how do you get the kids to sign the card when they can't even write yet.

Problem solved - paint their hands and feet and get them to make prints on the card

Problem created - get the paint off of carpet, furniture and kids.

Imaginative gifts are the next problem - flowers are easy, as are chocolates but over the years I have tried to be more creative. One year I got a paperweight made from a picture with that laser etching technology. I got it from myPix and  they still do similar items.
Click on the myPix logo to go to their website and click on photo gifts and then choose photos on glass

They have plenty of other gifts which just might add that something extra special for Mummy's first mothers day.
If you are after flowers and chocolates take a look at the voucher code section as there might be some discount vouchers specifically for Mothers Day to help save a little money.

Baby Stair Gates

Written by Gary. Posted in Child Safety

Baby Stair Gates

The first thing to consider when getting a baby stair gate is where exactly it will be placed. Obviously it is going to be at the bottom of the stairs, top of the stairs or both however sometimes you may wish to place it in the hall or on the landing so it isn't actually right up next to the stairs. This could be for a number of reasons but I found the primary one to be the ease of access for the parent.

We have two gates on our stairs, one at the bottom of the stairs and one at the top, but the one at the top is positioned Our baby gate placementas shown in the diagram. The reason for this is it gives an extra level of safety. If the baby manages to dislodge the gate, unlikely but it still could happen, the gate will not fall down the stairs, along with the baby, but will fall forward onto the landing providing vital time for the rescue.


Once you have decided where the gates will be going (we got an extra one for the kitchen and  as we have a kitchen diner had to buy the extension set) you can work out the size required. Be careful here that you measure the widest width as taking a measurement at the bottom of the floor may include a skirting board. This might lead to you getting a gate that is not wide enough as the top fitment, where there is no skirting board will be a little bit wider and you will therefore need to get an extension unit if it's available. For a full look at measuring for your baby gate take a look at "How to Measure Safety Gate Gaps"

Different gates have different widths ranging from the BabyDan extra narrow baby gate, which is expandable from 61 to 102.7cm, to the Summer Infant Wooden Stair Safety Gate which has a very narrow level of expansion from 76 to 82cm.

Before looking for your gate you also need to decide how it will be fixed in place. Do you want to screw the gate to your walls or do you want a gate that uses a pressure mounting system. We opted for the pressure mounting system as we didn't want to put any holes in our walls however even these have lead to paint being chipped off door frames so we (meaning me) will have to do some repairs when they are removed.

In my opinion when buying a baby gate you should ensure to double check your measurements, consider a practical location and buy a gate that will be safest for its intended use.

Take a look at this buying guide for assistance in choosing your gate.



Safety First

Written by Gary. Posted in Child Safety

As a dad I considered it my responsibility to ensure the safety of my children. So set about childproofing the house. It was only after I started that I realised this was going to be a bigger job than I thought. There was so much to think about and it's only after you look into it that you realise just how many ways kids can hurt themselves or render your dvd player unusable.

The first thing you tend to think about is the safety gates and fire guards, but even with these there are a lot of things to consider. With regards to safety gates you need to consider a lot of points before going out and buying one. Where to place them for maximum safety, how wide will they need to be in order to fit the gap, how easy will they be to open with one hand, how they will be fixed and how portable the gate needs to be. Take a look at my article on baby gates.

Other things that you will need depending upon your house layout, furniture and fixtures and fittings are (in no particular order of importance):

  • Plug socket covers
  • Cupboard locks
  • Fridge child safety catch
  • Oven Guard
  • Hotplate covers
  • Toilet lock
  • Furniture straps to stop furniture toppling
  • Cord Shortener (to stop trailing leads)
  • Security glass safety film
  • Corner cushions (for covering sharp corners on furniture)
  • Child safety window locks
  • Night light
  • DVD shield digibox protector
  • Finger protectors (for door hinges)
  • Screen protector for LCD TV

This list is by no means exhaustive and I would advise you to look around at the various products available.


Some of these items I don't possess but wish I had. It is so difficult to clean a TV that is covered in sticky finger prints and so easy to damage an LCD screen if it's not cleaned properly. I might still invest in one of those screen protectors.

Also my bookcases etc have all been fixed to the wall using lots of screws and rawlplugs when I could have purchased a furniture strap and only had one fixing. Its a personal preference thing at the end of the day and I probably would still use screws etc as the furniture in question fits snuggly against the wall rather than having a gap caused by the skirting board. If the latter was the case then the furniture strap would be a better solution.

Go to to see the safety products divided up according to the rooms in the house


The Forum

Unfortunately the forum was lost as a result of the recent hack attempts so all previous posts have been lost.

Please accept my apologies.