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First Birthday Party – A Survival Guide

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With Princess Charlotte approaching her first birthday the world’s media spotlight will be focused on  how the palace decide to celebrate her birthday. No doubt Kate will have an army of party planners to help her create a stylish and stress free event but for the rest of us the idea of planning a first birthday party can be daunting. Let’s face it, the first year of a baby’s life is challenging to say the least, the shock of giving...

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With Princess Charlotte approaching her first birthday the world’s media spotlight will be focused on  how the palace decide to celebrate her birthday. No doubt Kate will have an army of party planners to help her create a stylish and stress free event but for the rest of us the idea of planning a first birthday party can be daunting.

Let’s face it, the first year of a baby’s life is challenging to say the least, the shock of giving birth to a little human being is shortly followed by the exhaustion of sleepless nights and the relentlessness of feeding, changing, feeding, changing. Then they start to move under their own steam and a whole world of potentially fatal hazards opens up, from stairs, to plugs, to the small piece of plastic they decide to try and swallow. So a baby’s first birthday is definitely worth celebrating. You have kept this tiny person alive for one whole year and you deserve a party!

Although your little one will love the cake and balloons and fuss of a party it is well worth remembering that you have a few years before you have to fill your house with screaming children high on haribo or endure soft play hell, so, why not make this about you and your family and friends who have helped to make this year a little bit easier. The wonderful thing about your baby being too small to express an opinion is that you get to invite only the children and parents that you enjoying spending time with. This leads to a much more relaxed and enjoyable party. There are, however, some golden rules about throwing a party for very small children that we ignore at our peril:

Top five tips for a first birthday party:

  • Make sure your baby’s normal nap time is still in place, an over-tired, over-excited one year old will not add to the atmosphere.
  • If you are inviting a few other one year olds, maybe consider limiting the party time to a couple of hours, you may have had enough by then!
  • Create a ‘baby safe zone’ with a couple of blankets on the floor and barricades to prevent any escapees. Put some toys inside and some chairs around the outside for the adults and the little ones can play while you have a chat.
  • A picnic in the ‘baby safe zone’ may be the easiest way to feed the party goers. Check in advance for allergies and chop up the snacks nice and small. A nice way to serve the food is in little paper cups, easy for the babies to hold and easy to recycle afterwards.
  • Maybe the best piece of advice is to keep it simple so as not to overwhelm baby and exhaust yourself. Having said that, if party planning is your thing you should go for it, they’re only one once!

Although the little ones will be too young to play traditional party games there are some activities you can set up for them. Normal balloons can constitute a choking hazard but helium balloons can give a lovely effect. A paddling pool full of small plastic balls can make a mini ball pit and bubbles and playdoh will go down well. The best game ever for babies is to wrap up lots of empty boxes and allow them to unwrap them. This is a double win, they will love the paper and then they will play in the boxes! Finally rhymes set to music and baby dancing will keep everyone entertained.

If you would rather not fill your house up with any more brightly coloured plastic you could point any gift buyers in the direction of our lovely first birthday gift set or gift hamper, or maybe one of our sweet first breakfast gift sets. For a unique and thoughtful gift we have our personalised towels, bibs and muslins, or one of our gorgeous teddies with the birthday person’s name on makes a special gift to treasure forever. For any older siblings, our big brother/sister t-shirt with personalised bear will make them feel very special and should ward off any jealous outbursts. Why not drop hints about our lovely pamper hampers while you’re at it, you deserve a gift too!

A really lovely idea for the grown-ups attending the party is a time capsule party game. Ask everyone attending the party to write a message to the birthday boy or girl in one of our stylish keepsake books, messages of love, a prediction of what they’ll be when they grow up, a memory of their first year, then maybe add some photos of the party and put the book away until their next birthday – this is a fantastic item to bring out for their 18th.

Finally, instead of party bags stuffed with sugary sweets, why not buy books as your party favours, or even better, one of our bib ice-cream cornets or personalised bib sets.

Most importantly make sure you take time to celebrate and savour the little human being you have created as they reach their first birthday. When they move from being a baby into a toddler they will learn and develop in so many ways, becoming more independent and starting to make their way into the big wide world. Give your little baby a squeeze, cuddle them close and enjoy this precious milestone.

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Mother’s Day - a Dad’s Survival Guide…

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Our top five tips for maximum brownie points. For all those Dads out there facing their first Mother’s Day, it can be confusing trying to navigate through the unchartered waters of fatherhood so we here at Babyblooms have put together some top tips to make sure you avoid the pitfalls and earn the maximum amount of kudos. We’re guessing you wouldn’t mind stocking up on some brownie points so if you follow our top five tips you should end the...

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Mother’s Day - a Dad’s Survival Guide…

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Our top five tips for maximum brownie points.

For all those Dads out there facing their first Mother’s Day, it can be confusing trying to navigate through the unchartered waters of fatherhood so we here at Babyblooms have put together some top tips to make sure you avoid the pitfalls and earn the maximum amount of kudos. We’re guessing you wouldn’t mind stocking up on some brownie points so if you follow our top five tips you should end the day in everyone’s good books!

  • Remember, today is all about mum. A lie in is essential, breakfast in bed would be a plus. Pop the breakfast dishes in the dishwasher, change the baby’s nappy and the day will start with smiles all round.
  • A card is a no-brainer and a present would be wonderful. We have some handmade chocolates or a selection of sumptuous skincare that would be perfect to treat mum. For something even more special check out our beautiful luxury pamper hamper or for something a little different take a look at our Mother’s Day bouquet. A first Mother’s Day is a memory to be treasured forever so how about something from our beautiful selection of jewellery? Finally a nice touch is something from baby, maybe a homemade card with baby’s handprint and a ‘I love you mummy’ inside.
  • It doesn’t end there I’m afraid! Don’t let her do any housework or any cooking today, suggest a nap on the sofa in the afternoon, or a long soak in the bath. You don’t have to be Jamie Oliver to knock up a sarnie for lunch and even fishfingers and chips cooked with love can seem like a feast. If you know your way round the kitchen, a meal for the two of you once baby is asleep would be a winner.
  • The gift of a full night’s sleep is worth more than you can possibly imagine, so if possible, arrange one night where mum can sleep in the spare room and you take up the parenting duties. The brownie points will be well worth it.
  • Finally, don’t forget your mum! Pop a card in the post to Grandma along with some of our handmade chocolates and everyone’s happy.

And not forgetting those lovely mums-to-be, this first Mother’s day is really special (and, yes, it does still count!). Maybe a soak in the bath with our mummy to be hamper goodies or a relaxing foot rub and pamper session with our essential mum to be collection, a lie in or a meal in a restaurant, enjoying this time together before baby arrives.

Of course all mums are different and all will have different ideas of their perfect mother’s day, but we all have one thing in common. We all need and crave more time, more time for ourselves, more time meeting our own needs, more time to indulge in the things we used to do before our beloved small people came along. So this Mother’s Day, maybe have a think about how she would like to spend her time, recharging her batteries and thinking about herself for a change.

A few simple gestures, a bucket load of appreciation and some time to indulge herself in whichever way she chooses are the ingredients to a successful first Mother’s Day and when things get tough, remember, what goes around comes around and it’s only three months until Father’s Day!

To help Dad, we have designed a few simple cards which can be printed off for the children to give to Mummy.  Simply click on the Bunny below to view and print the cards.

Mothers Day

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The Importance of Cuddly Toys

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Beatrix Potter, nostalgia and the importance of a child's first cuddly toy...With all the news coverage of Beatrix Potter's new book 'The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots', we here at Babyblooms have been hit with a wave of nostalgia remembering our favourite books and cuddly toys from when we were small. For me, my most precious friend was a well-loved Peter Rabbit, bought for me by my Grandma and taken with me everywhere. This rabbit was my security, my comforter, my place...

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The Importance of Cuddly Toys

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Beatrix Potter, nostalgia and the importance of a child's first cuddly toy...

With all the news coverage of Beatrix Potter's new book 'The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots', we here at Babyblooms have been hit with a wave of nostalgia remembering our favourite books and cuddly toys from when we were small. For me, my most precious friend was a well-loved Peter Rabbit, bought for me by my Grandma and taken with me everywhere. This rabbit was my security, my comforter, my place of safety in unfamiliar surroundings and I truly loved his tatty face and threadbare blue jacket. Of course, as soon as he became my special friend he was no longer the Peter Rabbit from the stories, he was the Peter of my imagination. Any toy bought with love for a small child can become this special friend, a reminder of our love when mummy is elsewhere.

When our babies are first born, choosing a comforter is not the first thing we worry about and it can be after baby has chosen something entirely unsuitable to fall in love with (like a cuddly toy with wobbly eyes all set to fall off or a unique toy found at a car boot sale or even like one of my friends little boys, blue tack!) that we realise we should have encouraged a safe, replaceable and machine washable toy. This doesn't have to be a furry animal, you can get a beautiful range of blankets and comforters for babies that are safe and washable, with spares that can be purchased, that will stand up to years of love. Make sure it something you also like, as it will play a big part in your family life for years to come.

If you are brave enough to take these much-loved toys out of the house then we all know how important it is to keep an eye on them! Many a day out has been doubled in length by a lost toy and a mad dash back to the last place the toy was seen - frantic parents can often be spotted desperately searching for a lost teddy or comforter knowing that their little one will be unable to get to sleep without it. And this heartbreak for the child can be all too real, the loss of their cuddly friend a genuine sadness. I have friends who have purchased a secret double of the special cuddly toy to produce (with great relief) on such occasions.

This is why the gift of a cuddly toy is so important and we here at Babyblooms have designed some gorgeous stuffed animals that make lovely gifts for a new baby. Our Bernard bears or Beau bunnies make delightful first friends for baby, you can even personalise our bears to make the gift that little bit more special. To really push the boat out we have our baby gift sets or welcome baby hampers with gorgeous clothes bouquets, sumptuous skin care and cuddly friend all packaged inside a beautifully illustrated gift box, a unique present that really can last a lifetime!

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Valentine's Day; A Celebration of Love

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Nothing can prepare you for the fierce, unconditional love you feel for your newborn baby, a powerful love that deepens with every passing day as you grip tightly on board the rollercoaster of those first few weeks. Bonding through a haze of oxytocin, consumed by the responsibility of caring for this tiny being, it is a love that changes everything and, inevitably, the other relationships in your life will change too. So, unless you are incredibly lucky, as a new...

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Valentine's Day; A Celebration of Love

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Nothing can prepare you for the fierce, unconditional love you feel for your newborn baby, a powerful love that deepens with every passing day as you grip tightly on board the rollercoaster of those first few weeks. Bonding through a haze of oxytocin, consumed by the responsibility of caring for this tiny being, it is a love that changes everything and, inevitably, the other relationships in your life will change too. So, unless you are incredibly lucky, as a new mum you are unlikely to spend your Valentine’s Day dancing the night away in the arms of your partner (an early night and a cup of cocoa might be nearer the mark) but this new love can and should still be celebrated. Gestures of love from those around us can mean the world at this time.

The concept of true love takes on a whole new meaning for new mums and mums to be. Real romance can be a lie in or a cup of tea, a relaxing bath or a foot rub to ease aching limbs. The most valued romantic gestures are those that allow us to recharge our batteries and reenergise ourselves for the days ahead. So for dads and dads to be, grandmas, nanas and anyone else who wishes to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a new mum, we have some suggestions of ways to show your love and appreciation.

Top five Valentine’s Day gifts for new mums and mums to be:

  • Let’s be honest ladies, jewe llery always goes down well on Valentine’s Day! Our beautiful mummy diamond pip necklace, exclusively created for Babyblooms, is a timeless reminder of the special love between mother and child.
  • Finally, just being there, and telling her through the haze of hormones and sleepless nights that you love her is worth its weight in gold. A loving hug and a reassuring whisper “you’re doing brilliantly” is priceless.

Let’s not forget the source of all this new love, the precious bundle that has turned our life upside down. Although baby doesn’t know it’s Valentine’s Day we can still have fun choosing presents for the new love in our life. Maybe a new cuddly toy or a book to share at bedtime, a gift to enjoy together to celebrate baby’s first Valentine’s Day.

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Prince Charles is on trend when it comes to inspiring new baby names!

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PREDICTING POPULAR BABY NAMES FOR 2016Having created and sold new baby gifts for over ten years we are probably second only to midwives and registrars in having current insight to baby name trends and fashion in real time. As part of the Babyblooms service, we check the spelling and layout of all gift messages to ensure that the gift cards which accompany all of our new baby gifts convey the sentiments of our customers as they intend plus the increasing...

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PREDICTING POPULAR BABY NAMES FOR 2016

Having created and sold new baby gifts for over ten years we are probably second only to midwives and registrars in having current insight to baby name trends and fashion in real time. As part of the Babyblooms service, we check the spelling and layout of all gift messages to ensure that the gift cards which accompany all of our new baby gifts convey the sentiments of our customers as they intend plus the increasing number of personalised baby gifts has given us further insight into popular baby names.

Whilst we know names are influenced by celebrities (remember the popularity of Kylie...) and new babies from those celebrities, the most notable new arrival has been Princess Charlotte, with many girls born this year being named after our new princess. However, popular boys names in 2015 seem to have been influenced by our love of the British Royal especially Prince Charles with Charlie being the number one boy name we have seen in 2015.

Top 3 Babyblooms boy names

Charlie

Harry

Henry

Top 3 Babyblooms girls names

Jessica

Florence

Charlotte

One other name trend worth noting is a revival of names that proved popular in the first twenty years of the twentieth century, although it seems parents are choosing to go for the shortened or more familiar version of the names. We love this fashion for vintage names and predict that it will continue well into 2016.

Vintage Boys Names we predict will be popular in 2016 are....

Edward - Ted, Teddy

Albert - Albie, Bertie

Stanley - Stan

Leonard - Leo, Lennie

Francis - Frank,

Herbert - Herbie

And popular vintage girls names we predict for 2016 are....

Maud - Maudie

Margaret - Maggie

Edith - Edie

Emily - Emmie

Constance - Connie

Dorothy - Dot, Dottie

Beatrice - Beaty

And it wouldn't be a Babyblooms prediction if we didn't think that flower names will continue to be on trend for 2016! Our favourite name is Rose, a silk flower which features in most of our baby clothes bouquets with Daisy, Iris, Violet and Poppy amongst other flower names we think will be popular in 2016.

To all new parents or parents to be, it's a huge undertaking choosing your new baby's name so we hope there is something here that inspires you!

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Christmas tips from our team of mums...

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As a team of mums, we thought we would share a few tips this Christmas. Whether it's to help with gift ideas, advice for new mums with little ones or what we love to do most..wrapping and decorating, we will be sharing them on our Facebook page and this blog. Please share with friends and family this Christmas!1st December - We have a few mums here with December babies so feel quite passionate that Birthdays and Christmas should be kept...

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Christmas tips from our team of mums...

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As a team of mums, we thought we would share a few tips this Christmas. Whether it's to help with gift ideas, advice for new mums with little ones or what we love to do most..wrapping and decorating, we will be sharing them on our Facebook page and this blog. Please share with friends and family this Christmas!

1st December - We have a few mums here with December babies so feel quite passionate that Birthdays and Christmas should be kept separate and we think that should be for a new baby gift too. Buy traditional gifts for a new baby is our advice but if you want to add a little something for Christmas, we have a range of 'First Christmas' gifts to add a little extra something. Baby cracker sockspersonalised reindeer bibs, towels and fine bone china baubles are just a select few from our Baby's first Christmas collection starting from £5 upwards.

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2nd December - Even if your baby doesn't suffer from Psoriasis, Eczema or a specific skin condition, babies skin during the winter months can suffer so it is so important to keep their skin moisturised and well nourished. We are passionate about using organic ingredients like honey, evening primrose oil and beeswax in our range of skincare for babies and mums. Our moisturising baby lotion was beauty shortlist's baby award winner for best baby lotion. Having only launched our skincare in 2015 we were delighted to share the limelight with big brands like Neal's Yard and Burts Bees.

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5th December - Hear the word 'Christmas' and most of us fondly recall the Christmases of our childhoods and the traditions that were repeated throughout our youth. Parents either continue these when they start their own family, initiate their own family traditions or simply have a bit of everything. My mum let us choose or make a new bauble for the tree every year which made our tree extra special.

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9th December - Save some money and make your gifts extra special by printing some of our gift tags which feature our adorable animal and festive illustrations drawn by artist, Amanda Bradley. Happy Wrapping!

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10th December - A Baby's First Christmas is so special. Yes the baby won't know what gift you give them on the day but if you choose something they can use and keep forever it will never be forgotten xxx A bauble for the Christmas tree, a personalised teddy or a breakfast set are just some of our treasured gift ideas.

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14th December - Wintry walks are so chilly so a baby blanket to keep your little ones snuggly is an essential accessory. There are so many blankets to choose from, it's hard to know which one to go for. We love our organic, cotton blankets which also come personalised too to make it extra special.

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17th December - As we get closer to the big day of festive food, don't forget to prep something for baby.

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18th December - Wrapping gifts is so important so our packaging guru, Julie has given you the perfect tips.

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20th December - Last minute decorating tips! Recycle your wreath with baubles and ribbon or even take a trip out into your garden and add some natural features such as berries, holly and pine cones.

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21st December - Our last decorating tip before Christmas. If one part of your home feels in need of some festive action, a string of lights are all you need!

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Holiday Opening Hours and Delivery Dates - Christmas 2015

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Christmas Opening HoursOver the holiday period the Babyblooms office open hours will be reduced and dispatch times will be earlier due to reduced courier services. Orders placed after 2pm on these days will be packed and dispatched (sent) during the next 'open' period.Outside of these hours please feel free to leave us an answerphone message on 01454 272474 or email us: info@babyblooms.co.uk and we'll contact you as soon as we are back!Monday 21st December 9am - 5pmTuesday 22nd December 9am - 5pmWednesday...

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Christmas Opening Hours

Over the holiday period the Babyblooms office open hours will be reduced and dispatch times will be earlier due to reduced courier services. Orders placed after 2pm on these days will be packed and dispatched (sent) during the next 'open' period.

Outside of these hours please feel free to leave us an answerphone message on 01454 272474 or email us: info@babyblooms.co.uk and we'll contact you as soon as we are back!

Monday 21st December 9am - 5pm

Tuesday 22nd December 9am - 5pm

Wednesday 23rd December 9am - 5pm

Thursday 24th December 9am -1pm

Friday 25th December Closed

Saturday 26th December Closed

Sunday 27th December Closed

Monday 28th December Closed

Tuesday 29th December 10am - 2pm

Wednesday 30th December 10am - 2pm

Thursday 31st December 10 am - 2pm

Friday 1st January - Closed

Saturday 2nd January - Closed

Sunday 3rd January - Closed

Monday 4th January - 9am - 5pm - normal hours resume

Orders for Personalised Embroidered T- Shirts or Teddy Bears MUST be placed by Friday 19th December to be guaranteed for delivery before Christmas. Orders for Personalised books MUST be placed by Tuesday 15th December.

To be delivered before 24th December 2014, orders on a standard 1-3 day delivery option must be placed before 3pm on Friday 18th December. Orders requiring a Next Working Day Delivery option must be placed by 3pm on Tuesday 22nd December to guarantee delivery before Christmas.

Happy Holidays!

The Babyblooms Team

x

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Christmas gifts to woo and wow a new mum

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So what do you buy a new mum for Christmas? Or mum to be? As a team of mums with a mission to delight them at every given opportunity, we believe that all present buying for such special people should be thoughtfully considered!Our Christmas collection for Baby's First Christmas has a selection of cute teddy bears, fine bone china baubles, breakfast sets and fun festive clothing. And our mums deserve something special too. Whether it is for carrying those bundles...

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Christmas gifts to woo and wow a new mum

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So what do you buy a new mum for Christmas? Or mum to be? As a team of mums with a mission to delight them at every given opportunity, we believe that all present buying for such special people should be thoughtfully considered!

Our Christmas collection for Baby's First Christmas has a selection of cute teddy bears, fine bone china baubles, breakfast sets and fun festive clothing. And our mums deserve something special too. Whether it is for carrying those bundles of joy for nine months, all the pushing and pain of birth or quite simply to reward the wonderful job of mum, here are our top three gifts to woo and wow mum this Christmas.

1. For now...Woo Mum with Organic Skincare

We apologise for complaining about being tired but we really are. And our bodies and faces want and need some nourishment. Whether its a collection of scrumptious treats like our pamper hamper or simply a fun skincare cracker with a sample of delights, this is one gift which will never be passed up or unappreciated. Made in the UK from organic ingredients our skincare is proving to be a hit with mums and has already won beauty industry awards.

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2. For Ever....Wow Mum with exquisite and thoughtful Jewellery

Jewellery is a perfect gift for mum at Christmas as it really does mark a moment in time and lasts forever. We are very proud to introduce our first ever jewellery collection which comprises of pretty, delicate yet strong necklaces and bracelets made from sterling silver and exclusively designed and handmade for Babyblooms. Designed by Camilla Jones, she brought our ideas to life by hand using age old techniques from her own workshop in Alcester, Warwickshire and we are delighted with the results.

Our Mummy and Me sets are designed for gifting both the Mum and Baby to have an everlasting keepsake. The Diamond Pip necklaces are mini diamonds set on the inside of a circle as a subtle symbol and of pregnancy and togetherness and our beautiful butterfly necklaces, like our logo symbolise hope, joy and new beginnings. The exclusive Mummy breastfeeding bracelets are beautifully elegant yet very practical for those early breastfeeding months. Each one has a sterling silver magnetic clasp which allows the bracelet to be easily swapped from wrist to wrist to record the last side of feeding and will endure as a classic piece of jewellery long beyond the breastfeeding months.

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3. For Fun....Woo Mum with a fine bone china mug

A mug for Mum will always be well loved and is a bit of fun too but make sure you select a quality mug to reward that all important wind down moment. Our fine bone china mug features an illustrated teddy bear and is titled 'mummy bear'. I personally love this mug as it is a good size - not too big, not too small and feels robust but delicate too. The perfect combination. You can buy the set for the set for the whole family too.

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Making an effort with your selection of gift is important as is the presentation of it! Beautiful boxes, tissue paper and silk ribbon is our combination and is admired and appreciated by everyone who receives a gift!

Happy Christmas Shopping everyone and remember to give Mum a big hug too. That is priceless x

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Trait Spotting from an early age

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Working with babies and new mums for ten years at Babyblooms, it still never ceases to amaze me how nature and nurture plays it's part on crafting our personalities and how our traits can be evident as early as the baby stage.Whilst relaxing on holidays this summer (seems a long time ago now!) I took delight in surreptitiously (from behind my book and sunglasses) observing the interactions between a young Mum and her two young sons. One was intent on...

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Trait Spotting from an early age

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Working with babies and new mums for ten years at Babyblooms, it still never ceases to amaze me how nature and nurture plays it's part on crafting our personalities and how our traits can be evident as early as the baby stage.

Whilst relaxing on holidays this summer (seems a long time ago now!) I took delight in surreptitiously (from behind my book and sunglasses) observing the interactions between a young Mum and her two young sons. One was intent on leaping into the pool from all available surfaces each time assuming the persona of a different super hero, whilst the other son was quietly lining up a row of toy cars across the width of the footpath.

I confess I enjoyed a smug moment relishing the fact that I am past that stage, and chuckled internally as the mischievous duo in front of me continued their antics. I also felt tremendous empathy for the mum, as I vividly remembered my pool side holidays with young boys, navigating their behaviour whilst being acutely aware of everyone around me watching my parenting style.

I only became distracted when my eldest teenage son appeared at the edge of my peripheral vision, schmoozing around the pool at the centre of a newly acquired group of friends, laughing and joking with them as easily and comfortably as if they were life-long buddies whilst nestled beside my younger teenage son remained hidden under a towel playing his Nintendo DS.

I am constantly surprised by how different my children are from each other considering they have been brought up under the same roof with similar experiences and influences. Watching the young duo at the poolside reminded me of my boys when they were younger and led me to ponder on their different character traits and my fascination with the influences of nature and nurture. Remembering what they were like as babies and little ones, not so much has really changed over the years.

The eldest son was the defiant toddler who would run in every direction except the one the rest of the family were heading and still now thinks nothing of negotiating public transport and travelling the country alone. He would ingratiate himself on other families at picnics, favouring the contents of their tupperware over anything I had prepared and had no hesitancy in joining in with any games or sports that were happening. This is the same boy that reassures me that "strangers are just friends you haven't met yet".

The youngest child who would never accept the first answer without questioning (relentlessly) now studies Philosophy. The boy whose toy cars had to be lined according to size and type is the one whose room is tidy and ordered. Even a taste for fashion and a sense of occasion was evident in the very early stages when he loved dressing up in fancy dress or for special moments and still frets now as to whether he has the right shirt for the occasion.

I do believe when our babies are born they are who they are. The personality traits of my boys were evident as babies, toddlers, youngsters and now teens. Yes, we influence them with how we parent and the experiences they have within their home and schooling environment yet the fundamental personalities of my boys remain the same. In hindsight, there are really no surprises and I do believe we can all do some trait spotting from the very start.

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Halloween Pumpkin Baby Recipes

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Don't throw away the inside of your precious pumpkin! It's Halloween time soon and at Babyblooms HQ we thought we would concentrate on the annual dilemma of what to do with all the pumpkin flesh we tend to throw away once we've carved out our scary faced pumpkins. The simplest and most beneficial seems to be to eat it so we have pulled together our top 5 Halloween pumpkin baby recipes we have loved making for our own little ones!Can...

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Halloween Pumpkin Baby Recipes

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Don't throw away the inside of your precious pumpkin!


It's Halloween time soon and at Babyblooms HQ we thought we would concentrate on the annual dilemma of what to do with all the pumpkin flesh we tend to throw away once we've carved out our scary faced pumpkins. The simplest and most beneficial seems to be to eat it so we have pulled together our top 5 Halloween pumpkin baby recipes we have loved making for our own little ones!

Can babies eat Pumpkins? Simply put, yes. Pumpkins can be fed to your child from 6 months of age and it's certainly a great idea to introduce pumpkin into your child's diet. Packed with essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients, the inside of a pumpkin can help build a stronger immune system and provide a good source of anti-oxidants. Pumpkin can be given to your baby when solid foods have been introduced, traditionally at around six months of age. You can feed your baby pumpkin in pureed form or mixed into homemade cereals, yogurts and even in meats such as chicken. You can also bake pumpkin and serve the baked pumpkin in small bite size pieces. Rub a little bit of butter and cinnamon on the inside of the pumpkin prior to baking for a tasty treat.

How to select the best pumpkin?

The secret of selecting the best pumpkin lies in the colour, texture and overall appearance. Pumpkin must be firm to handle without any soft spots or cuts. It is better to take smaller pumpkins than larger pumpkins but any size will do.

How to cook pumpkin?

After the pumpkin has been cleaned thoroughly on the outside, peel it and then begin cutting it. Remember to remove all the seeds from the flesh. These seeds are large enough to cause choking in infants. Once cut its best to cook the pumpkin as soon as possible. Cooking pumpkin is pretty much like cooking most other vegetables; either boil, bake or steam it. I opt for steaming rather than boiling because some of those nutrients can disappear during the boiling process. Saying that, baking is also a lovely option. Either serve in bite sized pieces or puree - whatever works for you!

Here are Babybloom's Top 5 favourite Halloween pumpkin baby recipes:


1. Apple Pumpkin Baby Puree (6-8 months)

Ingredients:

-1 pumpkin

-3 Apples, peeled & cored (use Macintosh, Gala, Braeburn or Granny Smith)

- water

-cinnamon, nutmeg (optional - sprinkle into the cooking water or when you puree/mash)

Directions:

- Halve the pumpkin, peel and de-seed it then cut into cubes

- Peel and slice the apples

- Bring water to a boil and then steam the pumpkins and apples gently until soft and cooked. Be sure to check on the water level!

- Let cool a bit then puree or mash as needed for your baby.
 

2. Apple, Pumpkin & Oatmeal Baby Breakfast (6-8 months)

Ingredients:

- 170g apple puree

- 170g pumpkin puree

- 510g (cooked) oatmeal

- Dash of cinnamon, nutmeg and/or ginger

Directions:

- Mix spices, apple, pumpkin and oatmeal together

- Stir thoroughly or blend if needed
 

3. Bananas & Pumpkin Baby treat (6-8 months)

Ingredients:

- 170 grams pumpkin puree

- 2 small bananas

Directions:

- Mash 2 small bananas and add the pumpkin puree

- Mix thoroughly, blend if needed for your baby's texture preferences. Makes a yummy addition to baby's cereal or yogurt.

- You could also try replacing the bananas with pears or peaches!
 

4. Savoury Pumpkin Puree (8-10 months)

Ingredients:

- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

- 25g diced onion

- 225 to 450g of pumpkin peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

- 2 cups of vegetable stock

- dried rosemary and basil

- pinch of sugar if desired

Directions:

- Heat the oil in a medium saucepot then add the onion and squash cubes. Saute until the onions are soft and translucent then add the vegetable stock.

-Bring the mixture to a slow simmer and simmer until the squash is tender enough to puree. Season to taste with rosemary and basil

- You may make this a sweet puree by using nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon as the spices instead of the savoury spices and herbs.

- Toss this mixture with cooked brown rice, couscous, lentils or even quinoa for a hearty meal.
 

5. Autumn Smoothie (8-10 months) (serves one grown up and baby)

Ingredients:

170g plain, vanilla or banana yogurt

1/2 cup milk

60g pumpkin

60g pureed apple

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

dash of ginger

1 banana

Directions:

- Combine everything in a blender. Blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

We hope you have fun this Halloween with your pumpkins and your precious little ones. Our team of mums here at Babyblooms will be experiencing Halloween in a variety of ways depending on the age of their children! I for one will be ferrying my teenage sons to parties playing taxi and my niece will be dressed up as a scary (?!) Elsa ready to trick or treat whilst our new mum in the office will be introducing her baby to Halloween through one of our delicious pumpkin recipes!

Whatever you happen to be doing this Halloween, it really is a special time of year to treasure with your family. Enjoy x

 

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Corporate Baby Gift Guide

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2015 marks the 10th anniversary of Babyblooms and to mark this occasion we have pulled together our top ten best selling baby gifts which we know every new mum and baby will love especially when they all come delivered in our beautiful gift wrapping. 1. Hand-Tied Bouquet – Our signature baby clothes bouquets were the inspiration behind the launch of Babyblooms and this £40 hand tied bouquet continues to be our number ONE best seller.  Priced in line with  bouquets of fresh flowers , our...

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Corporate Baby Gift Guide

Posted on

2015 marks the 10th anniversary of Babyblooms and to mark this occasion we have pulled together our top ten best selling baby gifts which we know every new mum and baby will love especially when they all come delivered in our beautiful gift wrapping.

1. Hand-Tied Bouquet – Our signature baby clothes bouquets were the inspiration behind the launch of Babyblooms and this £40 hand tied bouquet continues to be our number ONE best seller.  Priced in line with  bouquets of fresh flowers , our baby clothes bouquets contain much more to delight the new mum and baby.  The new parents can remove from the bouquet the selection of 100% cotton 0-6m  baby garments and retain the beautiful hand-tied bouquet of silk roses and attractive hat-box style packaging which is great for storing baby keepsakes.

2. Luxury Rose Bouquet – The Luxury Rose Bouquet is a generous and stunning arrangement and  the first choice for many companies who send maternity and new baby gifts to employees and clients.  We have recently developed a new gift which features the Classic Luxury Rose Bouquet with a personalised  towel which makes it extra special for a new baby gift.

3. Baby Hamper – Our selection of baby hampers and gift baskets are increasingly popular for colleagues, family and friends who want to give the new mum and baby a collection of unique baby gifts.  Our luxury new baby hamper is a firm favourite as it contains our  best selling hand tied posy, an organic baby comforter, muslins and  cupcake Pyjamas.

4. Four  Baby Pyjama Cupcakes – To cement our position as a unique baby gift company we developed these charming cake boxes which contain two pairs of mix and match Baby Pyjamas in a choice of size 0-6m or 6-12m.  Available in either  pink, blue or cream,  this is a popular gift to accompany the baby clothes bouquet especially in the bigger size which will then give a gift to fit baby for the whole year.

4. Babyblooms Soft Toy Bunnies –  Byron Betty and Beau are the cutest ever soft toy bunnies!  Designed by the Babyblooms team ten years ago,  these adorable soft toys were part of our original range of new baby gifts and have stayed in the top ten baby gifts ever since.  Suitable from birth, they have become many children’s firm favourites and we are frequently called by frantic parents who are at their wits end and desperate to replace their child’s lost Babybloom’s bunny .

5. Nappy Cakes –  Our nappy cakes are the favourite baby shower gift designed to provide a stunning baby shower centrepiece and a practical and unique gift for a mum to be. They are beautifully presented with our signature Babyblooms silk roses and contain biodegradable nappies and a selection of baby clothes and essentials. Available in one and two tiers in a choice of three colours: Powder blue, Vintage Pink and Classic White.

7. Lion and Unicorn Bone China Breakfast Set – This fine bone china set is popular for gift buyers who want to buy a keepsake baby gift.  With delightful illustrations featuring a playful lion cub and unicorn foal inspired by the royal crest, this unique gift will be used and treasured.  The set is presented in an illustrated gift box, making it perfect for a newborn baby gift or a christening present.

8. Organic Cotton Baby Blankets – A baby blanket will always be a popular new baby gift.  Our collection of organic cotton baby blankets are hand woven using antique looms and traditional techniques making them unique,  fabulously soft and endlessly practical.  These baby blankets are machine washable and woven to last, making them ideal baby blankets and great newborn baby gifts.

8. Bernard  Bear –   We think this handsome chap speaks for himself – an adorable and cuddly traditional teddy bear, he is simply irresistible.  His smaller brother Bertie Bear is also available and both can be personalised with cute,knitted jumpers.  A classic teddy bear will always be loved and makes it an ideal gift for new babies and first birthdays.

9. Essential Mum to Be Skincare – Our  handmade and natural skincare is a new and very popular addition to the Babyblooms range. This mum-to-be gift set has everything to pamper and soothe mum throughout her pregnancy.

10. Baby Bud Posy – A dozen rosebuds conceal six pairs of our signature baby socks. This posy is a fairly new addition to the range and is the result of un-ceasing praise and demand for our baby socks – they are baby socks that stay on! This fabulous little posy which won’t break the bank is a perfect gift for baby girls, boys and is also available in a unisex version.

Everyone at Babyblooms takes enormous pride in the quality of all aspects of our products, gift wrapping and customer service and we are thrilled to have recently been awarded the Feefo Gold Trusted Merchant Award for the second year running. However, never ones to rest on our laurels, we are always excited by new products and love to get creative….. watch this space for new contenders for the top ten baby gifts list.

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Top 5 steps for a calming baby bedtime routine

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We all know the theory and the importance of routines for babies and children-right? Routines are familiar and as such are comforting and reassuring and enable baby to feel secure and calm. They also help us parents to be calm too! But, as a new parent, it is one of the hardest things to crack. Having read endless pregnancy guides and birth stories and subsequently having two emergency C-sections and failed breast feeding attempts, I had pretty much had my...

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Top 5 steps for a calming baby bedtime routine

Posted on

We all know the theory and the importance of routines for babies and children-right? Routines are familiar and as such are comforting and reassuring and enable baby to feel secure and calm. They also help us parents to be calm too! But, as a new parent, it is one of the hardest things to crack. Having read endless pregnancy guides and birth stories and subsequently having two emergency C-sections and failed breast feeding attempts, I had pretty much had my fill of advice, certainly in the form of parenting books. That said, I was determined to crack the 'sleep' thing.

I was hungry for advice and the books gave it but I paid particular heed to the advice offered by family and friends who seemed to have it under control. So here is my summary of the essential ingredients for a successful baby bedtime routine and the benefits of establishing it.

Top 5 reasons why you have to crack the baby bedtime routine...

1. Defined 'me time' when baby sleeps - a chance to pamper and enjoy adult time

2. More sleep at night which means a nicer mummy/ partner / person all round

3. More bonding time with your child - time to have special one to one time and reflect on the day without distractions

4. Happier baby (see point 2)

5. Instil the love of reading with your child.

My top 5 essential steps for a baby bedtime routine....

1. Bathtime - Essential for cleanliness and end of day winding down. Water squirting, measuring and pouring can be great fun, but is also very calming and therapeutic.

2. Massage - After the Bath, towel dry and moisturise with baby lotion or massage with with oil before changing into sleepsuits or pyjamas.

3. Pyjama Time - soft, cuddly, cotton sleepwear helps aide a good night's sleep

4. Bedtime story - quiet time and the opportunity to instill reading as a wind down. My teenagers still read to this day at bedtime.

5. Last Bedtime drink (bottle / breast / cup)

A bedtime routine marks the transition from day and playtime to bedtime and sleep and to my mind is the threshold between day and night! After which there is no going back (until the next day at least) no going outside, no meals, no children's television or games, no raised voices ...... it is quiet time. Don't get me wrong, it is by no means easy for every family and baby. My first baby took to the routine straight away like clockwork after a week but my second took a good month.

All i can say is keep it simple. Persist. And you won't regret it. Promise.

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Best Baby Lotion - Winner of the Beauty Shortlist Awards

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We are thrilled to announce that our Moisturising Baby Lotion has won the Beauty Shortlist Baby Awards best baby lotion category. Having only launched our Baby Skincare range this year, we are honoured to be recognised and to share the limelight with big brand names such as Neals Yard and Burts Bees.Babyblooms' skincare range is completely natural and is hand-made in the UK exclusively for Babyblooms.Moisturising Baby Lotion- 250mlWhat is it? A fragrance free, gentle soothing lotion.Beeswax- Why? This is one...

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We are thrilled to announce that our Moisturising Baby Lotion has won the Beauty Shortlist Baby Awards best baby lotion category. Having only launched our Baby Skincare range this year, we are honoured to be recognised and to share the limelight with big brand names such as Neals Yard and Burts Bees.

Babyblooms' skincare range is completely natural and is hand-made in the UK exclusively for Babyblooms.

Moisturising Baby Lotion- 250ml

What is it? A fragrance free, gentle soothing lotion.

Beeswax- Why? This is one of the oldest raw ingredients to be used in cosmetics dating back to Egyptian times. It is regarded as having anti-allergic, antioxidant and skin softening properties.

Wheatgerm- Why? Nutritiously packed vegetable oil that is believed to have many health benefits. It contains oleic and linoleic acids, both of which are soothing for the skin.

Honey- Why? It has been used as a skin ointment for over 2000 years due to its antiseptic nature. It's also a natural humectant (it attracts and retains moisture), and therefore helps to condition the skin. Honey also carries the medicinal properties of the plants and herbs from where bees have collected their nectar onto the skin .

Evening Primrose Oil- Why? When applied to dry, itchy skin Evening Primrose Oil is very effective. It has been shown to help eczema, psoriasis and acne. Many of the soothing properties are attributed to gamma-linoleic acid, or GLA, a key component of the plant.

The Babyblooms Skincare range is only available to purchase via our website and also includes our signature Baby Care Cream made with Calendula and Lavender for their healing and antiseptic properties. The two baby products are available to buy together for the combined price of £20.00, making an ideal new baby gift or baby shower present.

Handmade and natural Skincare for Mum and Baby

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Top Ten Baby Gifts 2015

Posted on

2015 marks the 10th anniversary of Babyblooms and to mark this occasion we have pulled together our top ten best selling baby gifts which we know every new mum and baby will love especially when they all come delivered in our beautiful gift wrapping.1. Hand-Tied Bouquet - Our signature baby clothes bouquets were the inspiration behind the launch of Babyblooms and this £40 hand tied bouquet continues to be our number ONE best seller.  Priced in line with  bouquets of fresh flowers ,...

Read more


Top Ten Baby Gifts 2015

Posted on

2015 marks the 10th anniversary of Babyblooms and to mark this occasion we have pulled together our top ten best selling baby gifts which we know every new mum and baby will love especially when they all come delivered in our beautiful gift wrapping.

1. Hand-Tied Bouquet - Our signature baby clothes bouquets were the inspiration behind the launch of Babyblooms and this £40 hand tied bouquet continues to be our number ONE best seller.  Priced in line with  bouquets of fresh flowers , our baby clothes bouquets contain much more to delight the new mum and baby.  The new parents can remove from the bouquet the selection of 100% cotton 0-6m  baby garments and retain the beautiful hand-tied bouquet of silk roses and attractive hat-box style packaging which is great for storing baby keepsakes.

2. Luxury Rose Bouquet - The Luxury Rose Bouquet is a generous and stunning arrangement and  the first choice for many companies who send maternity and new baby gifts to employees and clients.  We have recently developed a new gift which features the Classic Luxury Rose Bouquet with a personalised  towel which makes it extra special for a new baby gift.

3. Baby Hamper - Our selection of baby hampers and gift baskets are increasingly popular for colleagues, family and friends who want to give the new mum and baby a collection of unique baby gifts.  Our luxury new baby hamper is a firm favourite as it contains our  best selling hand tied posy, an organic baby comforter, muslins and  cupcake Pyjamas.

4. Four Baby Pyjama Cupcakes - o cement our position as a unique baby gift company we developed these charming cake boxes which contain two pairs of mix and match Baby Pyjamas in a choice of size 0-6m or 6-12m.  Available in either pink, blue or cream,  this is a popular gift to accompany the baby clothes bouquet especially in the bigger size which will then give a gift to fit baby for the whole year.

5. Nappy Cakes - Our nappy cakes are the favourite baby shower gift designed to provide a stunning baby shower centrepiece and a practical and unique gift for a mum to be. They are beautifully presented with our signature Babyblooms silk roses and contain biodegradable nappies and a selection of baby clothes and essentials. Available in one and two tiers in a choice of three colours: Powder blue, Vintage Pink and Classic White.

7. Lion and Unicorn Bone China Breakfast Set – This fine bone china set is popular for gift buyers who want to buy a keepsake baby gift.  With delightful illustrations featuring a playful lion cub and unicorn foal inspired by the royal crest, this unique gift will be used and treasured.  The set is presented in an illustrated gift box, making it perfect for a newborn baby gift or a christening present.t.

8. Organic Cotton Baby Blankets – A baby blanket will always be a popular new baby gift.  Our collection of organic cotton baby blankets are hand woven using antique looms and traditional techniques making them unique,  fabulously soft and endlessly practical.  These baby blankets are machine washable and woven to last, making them ideal baby blankets and great newborn baby gifts.

8. Bernard  Bear –   We think this handsome chap speaks for himself – an adorable and cuddly traditional teddy bear, he is simply irresistible.  His smaller brother Bertie Bear is also available and both can be personalised with cute,knitted jumpers.  A classic teddy bear will always be loved and makes it an ideal gift for new babies and first birthdays.

9. Essential Mum to Be Skincare – Our  handmade and natural skincare is a new and very popular addition to the Babyblooms range. This mum-to-be gift set has everything to pamper and soothe mum throughout her pregnancy.

10. Baby Bud Posy – A dozen rosebuds conceal six pairs of our signature baby socks. This posy is a fairly new addition to the range and is the result of un-ceasing praise and demand for our baby socks – they are baby socks that stay on! This fabulous little posy which won’t break the bank is a perfect gift for baby girls, boys and is also available in a unisex version.

Everyone at Babyblooms takes enormous pride in the quality of all aspects of our products, gift wrapping and customer service and we are thrilled to have recently been awarded the Feefo Gold Trusted Merchant Award for the second year running. However, never ones to rest on our laurels, we are always excited by new products and love to get creative….. watch this space for new contenders for the top ten baby gifts list.

Read more



Breastfeeding or bottle?

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It is World breastfeeding Week between the 1st -7th August 2015 and with breastfeeding always in and out of the news, it seems a good time to give my personal experience of breastfeeding and to introduce Clare Byam Cook, author of ‘What to expect when you’re breastfeeding and what if you can’t?’ as someone we recommend listening to when it comes to all things breastfeeding. Her book explains that while some mothers take to breast-feeding like a duck to water, others just can’t seem...

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Breastfeeding or bottle?

Posted on

It is World breastfeeding Week between the 1st -7th August 2015 and with breastfeeding always in and out of the news, it seems a good time to give my personal experience of breastfeeding and to introduce Clare Byam Cook, author of ‘What to expect when you’re breastfeeding and what if you can’t?’ as someone we recommend listening to when it comes to all things breastfeeding.

Her book explains that while some mothers take to breast-feeding like a duck to water, others just can’t seem to get the hang of it. She agrees that breast is best but stresses that the most important thing is that your baby is fed – whether by the breast or bottle – and you, the mother, should feel comfortable with whatever you choose to do. It’s a comprehensive guide on how to prepare, what to expect and how to overcome any problems.

And if you can’t… the first rule is you shouldn’t feel a failure. Clare Byam-Cook recognises there are certain circumstances where bottle feeding is an advisable alternative. Rather than making you feel guilty if you prefer, or have to, bottle feed, she is wholly supportive and sympathetic, providing you with all the practical advice and information you need.

We first met Clare Byam-Cook who is a fan of our Baby Clothing Bouquets at the Baby Show several years ago. Unfortunately my two children were at school by then so I couldn’t use her knowledge and reassurance for myself but I do want to share my experience of being a failed breastfeeder with new mums or mums to be and urge you to seek out advice like Clare’s as early as possible to help you.

My experiences of being a failed breastfeeder:  Lisa Roberts, CEO of BabyBlooms, the Baby Gift company.

 Throughout my first pregnancy I had very clear expectations for motherhood and breastfeeding was definitely going to play a big part. I was totally sold on all of the benefits:

  • The antibodies and superior nutrition that my baby would receive from the precious colostrum.
  • The precious bonding between mother and baby that only breastfeeding can provide.
  • The ability to feed anywhere anytime, without sterilising or warming bottles.
  • The developmental benefits for my child …. Apparently, it’s been proven that breastfed babies are higher achievers
  • Financial Savings
  • Quicker loss of baby weight.

 However, after an emergency c-section, the reality was very different!

Over four nights in hospital I did not sleep for more than 20 minutes at a time and was constantly ‘feeding’ my baby who cried incessantly. On the last day in hospital I screamed when I discovered that my new baby was passing blood, only to be reassured by a midwife that it was my blood he was drinking from my cracked and bleeding nipples.

Arriving home on day 5 exhausted and tearful I was still ‘feeding’ my starving baby. After a few hours, I was sent to bed by my husband, who took charge and took our son to Tesco. Half an hour later they were back with bottles, steriliser and formula and an hour later my contented baby slept and the house was calm. It was the next day, with the pressure off that I began to bond with my baby and to enjoy those precious early days of Motherhood.

 Even this experience didn’t deter me from trying again with my second son, I convinced myself that I was obviously doing it wrong or maybe my second son would latch on better or I’d have more patience. But whilst this baby was calmer, after 5 days again it didn’t work. This time however, I was invited to a breast feeding clinic where a friendly midwife helped me to position myself and my baby and to get him to latch on properly. She then left me for twenty minutes promising to return and weigh him to prove to me that he had fed. Unfortunately, she positioned me in such a way that the circulation to my legs was affected and when she returned and asked me to hop off the couch and walk to the scales I fell in a heap, scraping my shoulder on some metal steps and narrowly avoiding crushing my precious baby. At that point I left and subsequently chose the bottle!

I am sure if I had known how to access some of the information from Clare, my story could have been different. So to mark World Breastfeeding Week, and tell lots of mums about Clare Byam-Cook’s wise words we have a few copies of her Book and DVD which we will be giving away via our facebook and twitter pages.  Please share your comments and follow us for a chance to win a copy of this fantastic book.



What-To-Expect-When-Youre-Breastfeeding-186x300_large

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