We are so proud of our skincare that we were really chuffed when the judges at the Mama and Baby Awards loved it too!
Both our Calming Baby Inhalation Oil and our Cooling Leg and Foot Cream were recognised in the awards this year, which are our favourite awards because they are judged, not voted for, and completely sponsor and ad-free. We love to create beautiful and unique gifts for mum and baby and awards like this really are the icing on the cake!
Although we had the hottest June day for forty years the sun hasn't made much of an appearance lately, but we must be due some hot weather soon and those lucky enough to be holidaying abroad will have to contend with rising temperatures which is trickier with a new baby around. There is some great general advice out there around safer sleeping with your baby and this link (https://www.lullabytrust.org.uk/safer-sleep-advice/) is a great place to start, but as always, if you are worried about your baby give your GP or health visitor a call. In the meantime, we have put together our top tips for helping your baby cope with the hot summer weather.
Get yourself a room thermometer, then take a look at the chart below for some guidance on how to dress baby at bedtime in the heat. This is handy information but you know your baby best so this is intended as a guide. Usually baby's room will cool down as evening turns into night so it might be worth checking the temperature again before you go to bed. It is best to check baby's temperature by gently touching the back of their neck or their tummy, it is normal for a baby's hands and feet to feel cool to the touch but this doesn't always give you an accurate indication of how warm they actually are. Just whilst the weather is particularly warm it is worth removing any waterproof mattress cover as the plastic retains heat and can cause baby to sweat.
Create as much of a breeze as possible, open the windows but draw the curtains two thirds of the way across to keep out the sun. Open a loft hatch if you have one and some of the hot air should escape upwards.
At bedtime, a quick, tepid bath before bed should cool baby down and placing some large (one litre or more) frozen bottles of water in baby's room overnight will cool the room as it melts. If you have a fan in the room, placing the bottles (or a large bowl of ice) in front of the fan will cool the air.
In the daytime it is best to dress baby in loose cotton clothing with a wide brimmed hat and any baby under 6 months old should be kept out of the sun as their delicate skin has less melanin than older children and so they will sunburn much more easily. As very young babies do not perspire effectively they can overheat very quickly so care should be taken not to leave them for too long in a very hot room or car.
If it is very warm and humid and baby gets a bit sweaty they may develop a little bit of heat rash, which looks like tiny red bumps around the neck, groin, back of the knees or crease of the elbow. If you cool baby down and remove any tight clothing this should just disappear by itself, but again if you are concerned give your GP or health visitor a call.
Dehydration can be an issue for little babies in the heat and it is worth keeping a check on how many wet nappies your baby has. A breastfed baby does not need additional water, but will probably need to feed more often, so make sure mum gets lots of cool drinks. A bottle- fed baby can have cooled, boiled water throughout the day and night in addition to their normal feeds. Again, if you think your little baby might be dehydrated, have a chat with your doctor.
We here at Babyblooms HQ hope these tips help baby (and you!) get a bit more sleep during those long, hot summer nights. Stop by again soon for more baby life hacks and new baby gift ideas.
Do you know someone who has just had, or is about to have a baby? Having a new baby in the summer time has its challenges but it is a wonderful time of year to welcome a new baby into the world. Here at Babyblooms we have put together some gift suggestions for summer babies.
Our Luxury Summer Bouquet is a beautiful and practical gift for a new baby. A wonderful alternative to sending fresh flowers, this stunning bouquet features Babyblooms own cleverly rolled flowers that gently unfurl to reveal soft, white, 100% cotton baby clothes, perfect for the delicate skin of a newborn baby. The silk roses, gerberas and delicate flowers and leaves can then be kept by the new parents as a lasting keepsake. The bouquet comes beautifully presented in an exclusive presentation box and is a really thoughtful gift for a new baby.
Getting little babies to sleep in the warmer weather can be tricky, so why not give the gift of a good night's sleep to a new mum? Our Sleepy Baby Gift Set helps to create a calm and peaceful bedtime routine which means a calm and sleepy baby. Our award winning, all-natural baby care products, expertly handmade by our lovely suppliers on their farm in Cornwall are guaranteed to soothe and protect baby's delicate skin and are designed to help promote a good night's sleep. The calming baby bubbles, baby massage oil and baby inhalation oil are just the ingredients you need to help baby gently drift off to dreamland. Or you could send one of our incredibly popular Little Love Sleepy Time Hampers, a gorgeous selection of personalised bedtime goodies in our exclusive Babyblooms print. Once baby is snuggled up in our gorgeous pjs with their own cuddly bunny and blanket they will sleep the night away.
We know that finding a fun, practical and unique present for a summer maternity leave gift or baby shower can be tricky but here at Babyblooms we've got it all wrapped up. We have taken all of our sweet treats and put them together to create this Sweet Expectations new baby hamper in one of our beautifully illustrated gift boxes. Our delicious cupcakes are actually a cleverly rolled pair of super soft and snuggly baby pyjamas presented in cute cupcake cases for a perfect bedtime treat. You can spoil the new baby with one of our ice cream bibs or cupcake socks and our sockpops are actually our famous stay on socks carefully rolled to resemble lollipops. Beau Bunny completes the hamper to make this a beautiful, fun and practical gift for a mum-to-be.
Any mum-to-be may be feeling the heat this summer and so why not treat her to one of our Essential Mum-to-be Skincare Collection? Our all-natural skincare is designed with pregnancy in mind and will cool and soothe tired limbs. Our Refreshing Skin Spritz and Nourishing Body Balm will calm and refresh on the hottest of days and our Cooling Leg and Foot Cream is a Mama and Baby Beauty Shortlist Awards winner for 2017!!
We have lots more gorgeous gifts for mums and babies at www.babyblooms.co.uk. Follow us on Facebook @BabybloomsLtd for useful blogs and fantastic giveaways.
- It is amazing how much 'stuff' even a tiny baby needs and you can guarantee that you will have just safely stowed away your hand luggage if you are lucky enough to be flying off somewhere, or packed all your luggage in the boot of the car, when little one needs something from the depths of your bag. A top tip is to group all your baby kit together into smaller bags (large freezer bags are ideal) then pack them into your suitcase. This means you can pull out just your nappies and wipes, or just baby's spare clothes or snacks, without having to rummage through your entire bag each time.
- If you are flying, make sure you tie something bright, memorable and unusual to your bags and your pushchair or travel cot if you are putting them in the hold. Thick, patterned ribbon is ideal as other families are unlikely to have used the same and, when three pushchairs are making their way round the luggage carousel, you will always end up with yours!
- Pack muslins - lots of muslins... they can be used for pretty much everything on holiday from pillows to blankets to sun shades to cloths for mopping up every kind of mess.
- Think about investing in a sling to carry your baby, baby wearing has many benefits from calming an over-tired little one to leaving you hands free at the airport or whilst sightseeing. If you are not sure where to start there are lots of local sling libraries that will help you get started and you may even be able to hire a sling for your holiday at a fraction of the cost of buying one.
- When you arrive at your destination it is so tempting to jump into planning lots of fun activities but little ones are creatures of habit and they will become tired very quickly, particularly in the heat. From experience, it is probably worth not trying to pack too much into one day, maybe factor in a slower pace and either a morning or afternoon activity with plenty of time to chill to stop everyone getting frazzled. Another tip is to eat out early, you will get a quieter restaurant, quicker service and a happier baby.
- A universal bath plug will change a shower into a bath for a little one, which could save some tears if baby isn't used to a shower. Other things you may want to consider packing that might not immediately spring to mind include Calpol, a travel black out blind, disposable bibs and a baby monitor, all handy bits of kit when travelling with a little one.
We here at Babyblooms hope that you all have a fantastic holiday, whether you are planning a longhaul trip to somewhere exotic or a caravan down the road and if you have any other top tips for travelling with a baby we'd love to hear them!
First up - let's talk about poo...
As a new parent, I couldn't believe quite how much time I spent looking at, cleaning up and discussing poo - frequency, colour, consistency, it became a bit of an obsession. And after having three children I must have spent hours just changing nappies. So below are some of my top tips gleaned through those hours of night-time nappy changes and piles of dirty nappies.
- Our first experience of our baby's poo is pretty terrifying, the tar-like meconium in those first nappies is like nothing else. And although the baby books warn you about this, I wasn't expecting it to be quite so sticky, it stuck to my tiny baby's bottom like superglue. Try adding a small amount of olive oil onto baby's bottom to help remove it, otherwise you may be wiping all day.
- I think this one is genius and I have to admit it took me until child number 2 to clock this one. The little shoulder flaps in a body suit or vest are to enable you to pull it down past baby's shoulders rather than over their head. When faced with a poo explosion this means you can avoid smearing poo in baby's hair, which is always a bonus.
- Another genius hack that it took me to baby number 2 to realise is that most nappy brands have a line at the front of the nappy that changes colour when the nappy is wet. I was literally speechless when someone pointed this out to me, I must have changed hundreds of nappies and had never noticed.
- Night time nappy changes can be the worst, you just want to get baby changed and fed so you can both get back to sleep. I found it best to change baby before feeding as then if they fell asleep during the feed I didn't have to disturb them - unless of course your baby poos during a feed, then the whole wonderful process starts all over again.
- Another helpful hack for night time changes is to double up the mattress protection and sheet on baby's bed. Then if you have a nappy leak in the middle of the night you don't need to go hunting round the house for clean sheets, wasting valuable minutes where you could be sleeping.
- Another time saving nappy hack is to place a clean nappy under baby before you remove the dirty one. It saves time with a wiggly baby and if you have a boy, a quick nappy change will reduce the risk of getting wee in your eye.
- During the first few weeks you will find yourself almost constantly reaching for the changing mat, and with my first baby I trudged upstairs each time to baby's bedroom where we had put his changing station. After a few days, a friend pointed out that I could keep a changing mat downstairs - absolute genius. I stashed a mat, some wipes and nappies under the sofa and saved my legs, energy and sanity.
- Finally pop a change of clothes for you in baby's change bag. This will avoid having to dash home smelling of poo when your baby's (or somebody else's baby) nappy leaks on your lap.
We here at Babyblooms have put together some gorgeous gifts to celebrate with new mums at this time of year. Our beautiful luxury spring bouquet or our Easter hand-tied bouquet are a perfect way to send your love to those new spring babies and their mums and dads. Our super cute cuddly bunnies make lovely gifts for a new baby and can be personalised to make the gift really special. We also have some gorgeous new baby hampers featuring our bunnies that make a perfect gifts to welcome a new baby at Easter time, such as our beautiful, new Little Love hampers.
There are lots of lovely ways to mark Easter time and the coming of spring with a new baby, many of which celebrate birth and new beginnings. Eggs have been used for centuries at this time of year to symbolise new life, just as bunnies have been symbols of fertility. When baby is very little then a chocolate Easter egg is just the thing for mum to enjoy with her feet up, but as baby gets bigger, an Easter egg hunt is lots of fun for all the family. If your little one is too young for lots of chocolate then you could decorate some real eggs (boiled is best!) or some polystyrene eggs (available in most craft shops or supermarkets). Have fun decorating the eggs with paint and glitter, hide the eggs in the house, garden or park, then get the kids to run round collecting as many as they can find, producing a prize for everyone at the end.
There are lots of fabulous Easter crafts to keep older children occupied, particularly important if mum is busy with a new baby. Easter bonnets, nests for chocolate eggs, Easter egg baskets and lots more, with kits widely available if you, like me, sometimes lack inspiration! Also, if weather permits, nothing beats pulling on your wellies and venturing outside for some spring sunshine, the older kids will love letting off steam and new babies sleep much better after a dose of fresh air.
Easter is also a time for families to get together and it can be a lovely idea to buy an Easter gift for a new baby. If baby is too little for an Easter egg then a cuddly toy makes a thoughtful Easter gift. Our bunnies make gorgeous presents for baby's first Easter or our beautifully embroidered, personalised bunny tops are perfect for babies and older children.
Here's hoping from some spring sunshine in the next few weeks and we hope you all have a great Easter!
Mothering Sunday, or Mother's Day, has become a celebration of motherhood in all its forms, a chance to show some love and appreciation to mum for all that she does. Who else knows where the spare nappies are kept, or the 'right' way to set up the train track for the toddler? Without mum, how would the pile of dirty washing be magically transformed into clean folded clothes or the bedtime story be retold for the millionth time? OK - we know dads can do some of this stuff too, but Mother's Day is one day in the year that is just for mum and we think it should be celebrated in style. New mums in particular need all the love and support they can get and so we have put together some ideas to help spoil a new mum or mum-to-be this Mother's Day, they deserve it!
- We're guessing the thing that most new mums would like best of all is some more sleep. If possible arrange a lie in, preferably with baby well out of earshot - this is undoubtedly the best gift money can't buy for a new mum.
- It is absolutely amazing how much time a new baby can take up and mum may well be missing some uninterrupted 'me time'. Our selection of lovely skincare can be just the thing to help mum feel more like herself again and our luxury pamper hamper will really make her feel spoilt. Top if off with some delicious handmade chocolates and the door to the bathroom firmly closed - heaven!
- If baby is still very new and you are looking for the perfect gift for mum and baby, then our first Mother's Day bouquet makes a beautiful, practical and stylish present. These baby clothes bouquets are a unique alternative to fresh flowers, the perfect little roses unfurl to reveal the softest babywear and the bouquets also include beautiful silk blooms for mum to keep.
- A first Mother's Day is a memory to be treasured forever so how about something from our beautiful selection of jewellery? Babies grow so quickly and an everlasting reminder of those precious early days would be a very special gift.
- And not forgetting for a mum-to-be, this first Mother's Day is really special. Maybe treat her to 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, giving her an opportunity to relax and unwind before baby arrives.
Mums are superheroes and Mother's Day is a chance to celebrate her super powers. Life can be tricky with a new baby and each day can seem the same, so this is a chance for mum to step out of her normal routine and recharge her batteries. Let's hear it for all the mums out there - they are all awesome!
As mums we often put a huge amount of pressure on ourselves, whether it's how we look, how we dress or how we care for our babies and so the last thing we need is to feel obliged to write ourselves a long list of new year's resolutions that we will no doubt break by February. So, in a spirit of solidarity with all new mums out there we have put together a list of resolutions that we think you should try and keep in 2017...
- Shower at least once a week (preferably without an audience).
- Wear make-up that hasn't been applied by one of your children.
- Aim for more napping for everyone.
- Give yourself a break and take 20 minutes a day to do something just for you, maybe reading your favourite book or magazine, a spot of exercise or a hot bubble bath.
- Get outside more, whether it's a quick walk to the shops, a trip to a baby group or a playdate with a friend, leaving the house can really improve your mood.
- Practice saying 'no'.
- Embrace good enough, don't let your pursuit for perfection make you miserable.
- Don't try too hard to change; your little one loves you just the way you are.
Here's to a happy and healthy 2017 to all mums and little ones from everyone at Babyblooms!
I did some research and discovered that every day, parents, caregivers and pregnant women are putting themselves and their children at risk due to a shortage of parent and child spaces. And this is a national problem, our research shows that 90% of pregnant women have reported struggling to get their bump in and out of a vehicle due to lack of space in a normal parking bay. Not only that, but 90% of parents more often than not cannot find a free parent and child space, and as we know, trying to get a baby car seat out of the car when parked in a normal space can be an absolute nightmare. What this all boils down to is that we need more parent and child spaces, for parents with young children and for heavily pregnant women.
I was shocked to discover that there are currently no official recommendations set by government as to the number of allocated parent and child spaces in public car parks and so I have launched a petition to raise awareness of this issue and to gather support for a white paper for government calling for more spaces to be allocated to families. If you would like to support our campaign and share your experiences then we would be delighted to hear from you, you can find all the information at www.givemespace.net. Please join us in supporting safer parking for families and the Give Me Space campaign!
Summer can disappoint but autumn always delivers.
We love autumn, the trees turn golden and glorious colours, we can dig out our warm winter woollies and favourite winter boots, wrap the kids up and go out conker hunting and splashing in puddles. No more worries about sunhats and suntan lotion for baby. Now, we can head out to give baby their first taste of blackberries or apples straight from the tree. Gone are those tricky, sticky, sunny nights where baby fights sleep and back are the darker, chillier, cosier nights with warm, cuddly bath times, comfy soft pyjamas, and snuggly stories in bed.
Babyblooms have some lovely gifts to help keep baby warm, cosy and happy both day and night. Why not treat baby to one of our supersoft snuggly organic cotton blankets, made even more special when baby's name is embroidered using our luxury pewter thread. Calm and peaceful bedtimes are the holy grail of parenting and cooler, darker nights make this tricky time of day that little bit easier. Our bath time and bedtime hampers contain everything a new mum needs to soothe baby peacefully to sleep. If the colder wind chaps baby's delicate skin then our award winning baby care cream is the perfect balm to soothe, nourish and protect.
During Autumn there are wonderful festivals to look forward to; your baby may not appreciate how fabulous they look dressed as a giant pumpkin for Halloween, but the photographic evidence can be a talking point for years to come. Little ones can"t really join in with the trick or treating but they will love watching the candle in a carved pumpkin and they can enjoy some yummy , baby food made with the inside of the pumpkin (see our delicious and nutritious pumpkin recipes below).
Just a couple of words of wisdom based on past experience, it's probably best to keep baby away from the front door if trick or treaters call, until you have had a chance to ask them to remove their masks. Halloween masks seem to be getting more and more graphic and little ones will not understand that the scary face looming at them from the darkness is supposed to be fun! Finally, always watch baby around any candles or other naked flames, they will insist on getting as close to it as possible and candles and Halloween costumes certainly do not mix.
This new season of mellow fruitfulness is a wonderful time to give birth and our beautiful autumn baby bouquet makes a unique and special gift for a new mum and baby. Or have a look at our pampering repair collection, this award winning skincare is the perfect gift to treat a new mum.
As the year moves forward, the days shorten and we look forward to some clear, cold, bright sunny days, it is a lovely time of year to wrap up warm and venture out with baby to enjoy some autumn adventures. We here at Babyblooms would like to wish you a very happy autumn!
Babyblooms top 5 favourite pumpkin recipes:
- Apple Pumpkin Baby Puree (6-8 months)
-3 Apples, peeled & cored (use Macintosh, Gala, Braeburn or Granny Smith)
-cinnamon, nutmeg (optional sprinkle into the cooking water or when you puree/mash)
-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.
- Apple, Pumpkin & Oatmeal Baby Breakfast (6-8 months)
-170g apple puree
-170g pumpkin puree
-510g (cooked) oatmeal
-Dash of cinnamon, nutmeg and/or ginger
-Mix spices, apple, pumpkin and oatmeal together
-Stir thoroughly or blend if needed
- Bananas & Pumpkin Baby treat (6-8 months)
-170 grams pumpkin puree
-2 small bananas
- 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.
- we recommend you try replacing the bananas with pears or peaches!
- Savoury Pumpkin Puree (8-10 months)
-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
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
-Make this a sweet puree by adding 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.
- Autumn Smoothie (8-10 months) (serves one grown up and baby)
-170g plain, vanilla or banana yogurt
-1/2 cup milk
-60g pureed apple
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
-dash of ginger
Combine everything in a blender. Blend it until smooth. Serve immediately.
Babyblooms' top five gorgeous Christening gifts;
- Something to treasure
Whether you are attending a full blown traditional Christening service or a more informal naming day celebration it is lovely to get a gift that the family can treasure forever. Our beautiful handcrafted English pewter has been made exclusively for Babyblooms and makes a perfect Christening present. Choose from cups, plates, tankards and egg cups, all beautifully embossed with either our adorable teddy or bunny motif. Another truly special Christening or Naming Day gift is jewellery for mum and baby. From a traditional baby Christening bracelet or silver cross necklace to our stunning mummy and me diamond pip necklaces, we have a range of outstanding, handcrafted jewellery that will be a lasting memory of a special day.
- Something just for them
By celebrating the giving of a child's name we are celebrating their arrival into the world and so choosing a Christening or Naming Day gift that includes the child's name is particularly special. We have a gorgeous range of personalised gifts that will surprise and delight both mum and baby, from a beautiful personalised bible to an adorable Christening bear with the child's name embroidered on his cute little t-shirt. Our personalised nursery rhyme and fairy tale books make a gift that will be enjoyed for years to come and our stylish baby keepsake box contains a gorgeous personalised snuggle wrap.
- Something for the big day
Baby needs to look his or her best on their big day and we have some lovely gifts to help baby stay looking cute and clean throughout the day. The guest of honour will inevitably need to eat at some point during the proceedings so why not get mum some of our beautiful, personalised muslins and bibs to make sure baby still looks lovely while protecting his or her special outfit? Our supersoft organic cotton baby blanket, embroidered with baby's name will keep little one warm in a draughty church or hall and our gorgeous nappy cakes make a fabulous and amusing centrepiece for the buffet.
- Something for memories
Big days such as Christenings and Naming Days are what memories are made of. Our stylish Christening keepsake book makes a fantastic guest book where guests can write special messages for baby to treasure as they grow. It can then be used to keep memories from other special days from birthdays to the first day at school. A truly special gift.
- Something fun
- If you would like your child to be brought up as a Christian and you have a strong Christian faith, then a traditional Christening is a wonderful way to begin this journey. A more relaxed church and clergy will also welcome you into the church and the community even if you are not regular churchgoers but would like to celebrate the new addition to your family with your church and community. Our top tip is to suss out your local vicar to see what he or she will go for in their church, maybe ask friends who have gone down this route for some advice.
- A top tip if you're not sure about a full Christening service but would still like a church based celebration, is to consider a church blessing or thanksgiving service. These are ideal if you would like your child to be welcomed into the Christian church without the full commitment of a baptism service. Your best bet is to have a chat to your local vicar or minister and they will be able to tell you what they are willing to do in their church. Some may even allow to you to have an input in the wording used or allow you to choose whether the service is part of a main church service or a separate event.
- If you have no religious beliefs and would prefer a secular celebration then there are some lovely options to choose from. You can book a naming ceremony at your local registry office, or, as with weddings, lots of venues can hold a naming ceremony for you. You could arrange for a celebrant from the British Humanist Association to led the ceremony or you could lead it yourself at home. You can play music, read poems and celebrate your child with family and friends. Instead of godparents you can choose supporting adults or mentors to love and support your child as they grow.
- Choosing godparents or supporting adults for your child can be a wonderful gift for them as they grow and develop. Asking close friends or family to play an important role in your little person's life, lending them an ear or offering advice as they grow up, is a lovely thing to do. Choose people who you think will still be in your life in twenty years and more, someone who will offer a different perspective from you but who you can trust to love and protect your child if needed. It is traditional for girls to have two godmothers and one godfather and boys to have two godfathers and one godmother, although it is entirely up to you how many you choose.
- Whichever way you decide to celebrate you will want to make sure that baby looks gorgeous on their special day. Whether you have a family Christening robe handed down from generation to generation or you go shopping for a special outfit, remember that baby will more than likely have to eat at some point during the day, so it might be worth considering a couple of special bibs and muslins to protect their outfit until the photos have been taken! Also, churches can be cold so make sure you have a blanket in case baby gets cold. Finally, make sure you have something to occupy older children and siblings during the ceremony so you can enjoy at least some of the day without distractions.
Bringing family and friends together to celebrate the new addition to your family is a wonderful way to create some special memories for you all. Today we have so many options available to us that we can mix and match and choose a celebration that really suits our lives and beliefs. Our final and most important top tip is to make sure that you enjoy the day as a family, eat cake, drink tea (or wine if you prefer!) talk, laugh and relish spending time with special friends and family.
When you first announce that you're pregnant, particularly as a first time mum, you will undoubtedly at some point have a queue of well-meaning friends lining up to regale you with their birth stories. I can remember a pleasant picnic in the park, sat (somewhat uncomfortably as I was eight months pregnant) on a picnic blanket, listening to my lovely friends trying to outdo each other as to how terrible their childbirth experience had been. This conversation, intended originally to reassure me about my upcoming labour, had turned into a talking therapy session filled with intimate revelations and hysterical laughter, which left me less than reassured! But this sharing of the experience, this ability to laugh and cry and listen with others is how women have been coping with the aftermath of birth for centuries and no doubt next time a friend tells me she's pregnant I will have an irresistible urge to share with her a blow by blow account of my three day labour with my eldest son...
From when that blue line appears on the pregnancy test, giving birth becomes the ultimate goal, and as your pregnancy progresses the idea becomes more and more real. It is a very peculiar thing to be so excited about an event that you know will bring with it pain and discomfort, nudity in front of relative strangers and up close and personal examination of your intimate areas by several different people. It is also seen as an experience that will shape the rest of your life and alter the way you see yourself as a woman - but should it? Although childbirth is a universal experience, it is also a very personal one. We can aim to control the environment in which we give birth, we can carefully write our birth plan and we can attend courses and read books, but in the end our experience will be what it will and we need to accept the experience we are given. Whether you begged for an epidural ten minutes in or hypnobirthed your way serenely through thirty hours of labour, it says nothing about your ability to love and care for the little person you have grown inside you for nine months and no one has the right to judge you, nor should you judge yourself.
So how can we best support a mum to be who is at the end of her pregnancy journey and getting ready to give birth? Putting aside all the practical things that you may not be closely involved in unless you are her birth partner (the classes, the preparation, the hospital bag and so on) it is a lovely idea to let her know you are thinking about her. Maybe send a little gift just for her, some relaxing bath bubbles or a box of chocolates. Maybe pop round for a cuppa and ask her how she is feeling about giving birth and give her the opportunity to express any worries or take her out for a large slice of cake and talk about anything and everything except babies. It is a really exciting time for friends and family as well as mum-to-be and a lovely opportunity to share some special time before junior arrives and the fun begins!
When a new baby comes into the world it seems inconceivable that this little creature will one day be walking around in the world on his own, but it does happen and sooner than we think, and there is lots we can do to help them develop and grow in the best way possible. A simple, good quality baby toy can make a wonderful gift for a baby shower, new baby or Christening as, once all the new baby outfits no longer fit and the new born phase is over, your gift will come into its own.
Babies need different toys at different stages of development and so we have put together a quick guide to the best toys for each stage. When baby is first born they don’t need much stimulation past close contact with mum but once baby reaches four to six months they start to develop more control over their limbs and can begin to explore the world around them. At this age their mouth is their main tool for exploration and teething toys are perfect, as they are an interesting texture to chew on and too big to be a choking hazard. Our wooden bell rattle is a great gift for this age and will continue to hold baby’s attention for the next few months. Around eight or nine months baby will begin to move around and this is when the fun really begins! It’s time for mum to batten down the hatches and move the cat food out of reach as junior starts to understand his environment by trying to put everything he finds in his mouth. Toys that move with baby are great for this stage of development as following a toy car or a toy animal on wheels will help them to practice controlling their movement. Around ten months to a year baby will really start to play and there are a wide variety of toys that should keep them entertained, at least for a little while. They will begin some imitative play and may start to play with dolls and teddies in a simple way. They will also love to put things in containers and take them out again or attempt to stack items, our beautiful stacking rings are great for this stage of development. Their fine motor skills increase and they will enjoy more control over their pincer grasp meaning that toys such as our mini maze will fascinate them. Finally they will begin to use toys as tools, and will love pounding pegs into holes with our wooden hammer bench.
Colourful baby books are great to include in the toy box at any age, when they are little opt for board books that can take a bit of rough handling and chewing, they will enjoy a bedtime story, or simply looking at the colourful pictures and practicing turning the pages. Our story bag and book complete with puppets will bring hours of fun for many months to come.
Also, a new baby can be a tough time for an older brother or sister so it can be a really lovely idea to buy a little gift for a sibling when baby finally arrives. Our beautiful wooden toy aeroplane makes a great present for a slightly older child, or one of our big sister/brother t shirts with its own personalised bear makes a really thoughtful gesture for a little one welcoming a new baby to the family.
Watching a baby grow and develop and find their little place in the world is one of the greatest joys of parenthood and some well-chosen, good quality toys will help baby to reach their developmental milestones at the right time for them. Chosen with care and given with love, toys are the gift that will keep on giving.
You wake up, the sun is shining, and it seems like a wonderful idea to go out in the sunshine for a fun day out with baby. Three hours later, when you have packed enough bags for a trip to the tropics, you have attempted to leave the house three times but have been thwarted each time by the arrival of a dirty nappy, or the need for a feed, you are finally ready to venture out, at which point you realise it is now raining… To help avoid these pitfalls, we here at Babybloomos have put together some top tips and practical advice to (hopefully) help you get out of the front door and enjoy a day trip with your baby.
First of all, as we all know, we need to be careful to keep tiny babies out of the sun entirely, but when baby is on the move, around six months, then they can venture out in the sunshine, though you should head for the shade between 12pm and 3pm. It is best to protect their delicate skin with loose, light fitting cotton clothing and use a sun cream especially formulated for babies with an SPF of at least 15, offering good UVA and UVB protection. You generally need more sun cream than you might first think, a plum sized dollop is a good guide and pat rather than rub to give the skin a good covering. Try and apply around 15 minutes before going outside and remember to reapply every couple of hours (more if they are splashing around in water). Sun protection can be very tricky with a baby with eczema or sensitive skin, try a patch test of a hypoallergenic formula before applying all over (SunSense Kids SPF 50+ was great when my little ones had eczema, well worth the slightly higher price tag). Make sure you apply their eczema emollients or treatments first, then apply the sunscreen half an hour later.
Going out and feeling the sun on your face is definitely good for the soul and the world feels like a better place in the sunshine. It really is worth the effort to get out with your baby and so we have put together a list of suggestions to try and make this process that little bit easier.
- Take more nappies and wipes than you possibly think you could ever need, there is nothing worse than being miles away from a shop and realising you have run out.
- Nappy bags are also very useful and have many, many uses beyond a dirty nappy including dirty clothes, the remains of the picnic and to carry those pebbles that your child just cannot live without…
- Changing mats also have many uses including a place for baby to sit on at any time when you are out and about.
- Our gorgeous muslins are also essential for wiping faces, acting as picnic blankets or for creating some shade.
- Take an extra change of clothes for everyone, I am still scarred from the memory of a day trip where my little one’s nappy leaked on my lap and I was a long way from home and a change of clothes!
- Our award winning baby care cream is ideal for soothing heat rash and insect bites.
- Snacks, snacks and snacks (including for you) and plenty of drinks.
- Some of our beautiful wooden toys make great distractions for baby if they get bored.
- Our beautiful soft leather shoes are perfect for protecting little feet when baby is crawling round on the grass or sand.
- Finally, a neat trick for a teething or messy baby, pop more than one of our lovely personalised bibs on baby before you leave the house and then simply remove the top layer when soggy – genius!
Don’t forget to take some photos of your day to share with friends or to add to your baby diary, after you have gone to all the effort of getting you and baby out of the house it is worth making sure you all remember what a lovely day you have had!
Getting baby to sleep on a hot day can be a challenge. If you are out and about make sure you don’t leave baby to sleep in a hot car and, if baby is in a pushchair make sure you have a sun canopy or an umbrella to keep baby out of the sun. It can get surprisingly hot and airless in a pushchair so it is best not to put even a lightweight blanket or muslin over the hood to keep the sun off, maybe try putting the pushchair in some shade instead. At night, ideally their room should be between 16 and 20 degrees but of course this isn’t always possible. You can open lots of doors and windows before bedtime to try and cool the room down and put a fan on in the room before they go to bed, although it is best to keep this well out of the reach of curious little fingers and they probably won’t appreciate sleeping with the fan trained directly on them. A lovely cool bath just before bed will help, our calming baby bath time hamper contains lots of goodies to help with this, and you could try putting their pillowcase in a plastic bag in the freezer, so it is lovely and cold when baby rests her head. As a rule of thumb, if baby is wearing a nappy, vest and sleepsuit, just a sheet is needed if the temperature is over 24 degrees, but be led by baby, if she is still hot it is fine for her to go to bed in just her nappy and you can always cover her with a sheet later in the evening if her room cools down.
Sometimes life is so busy with a small baby we forget to take the time to just stop and marvel at how amazingly beautiful they really are. Sunny days out are where special memories are made, they give us the chance to relax and relish this little person as they and we enjoy the sunshine – just don’t forget the nappies and suncream!