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!
Don't surprise mum
As a general rule it's best not to surprise the mum-to-be, some of us don't like surprises at the best of times and when heavily pregnant even more so. It's probably best to check that she is feeling up to a baby shower and even if she wants to celebrate pre-birth, as some women are superstitious about welcoming baby until after his or her safe arrival. You can of course plan the shower for after the birth, as long as mum feels up to it, the plus side of this is that gifts can be personalised for the new baby, the down side is that mum will have much less time and energy to enjoy the party.
Don't leave mum with the tidying up
If you can it is best not to have the party at the mum-to-be's house - unless some of the guests are willing to stay behind at the end to clear up! The last thing you need when you are nine months pregnant is to have to tidy up after everyone else so it might be best to host it yourself, find another willing volunteer or book a restaurant or village hall. Traditionally a baby shower is a female only zone and an all-girl party can be great fun, but if this is mum's second or third baby it might be more practical to invite kids and partners too. It's usually a good idea to consult the mum-to-be on the guest list, you don't want to forget Great Auntie Gladys or invite hubby's ex-girlfriend by mistake...
Do pick a fabulous theme
The theme of the baby shower can be as involved or as simple as you like. You can really go to town with decorations, cakes, food and party games all in your chosen theme, or plan something more understated. It is a lovely idea to choose a theme that is special to the guest of honour, favourite holiday location, favourite colour or maybe favourite book, and of course if you know the sex of the baby you can choose pink or blue to decorate your party. Our baby shower balloons are a stylish way to decorate the party, in pink, blue or neutral colours.
If this is mum's first baby, and she is not yet immersed in babyland, you could arrange an elegant tea party or sophisticated meal in a lovely restaurant instead of a full-on baby shower. There is no rule that tells us baby showers have to all about baby, you can make it all about mum too.
Don't get the vodka out
Although some of the guests might appreciate it, a baby shower is not really the place for a nice merlot or a bucket load of cocktails. Instead you could plan some gentle party games to break the ice and get everyone talking. Of course you know the mum-to-be best, she may prefer something more low key, but if you think she's up for a giggle you could try pregnancy twister where the guests strap pillows to their middles to act as a big pregnant belly and everyone tries to play twister. Or make up some jars of pureed baby food and get the guests to guess the flavour, or guess the date and weight of the baby. If you or your guests have artistic tendencies you could plan a lovely craft activity for everyone to do, maybe decorating some baby clothes or a blanket for the buggy or cot, something special for the mum-to-be to keep as a momento of the day. A really lovely idea is to set up one of our stylish guest books so everyone can send personal messages to the baby. You could take photos of everyone to stick in alongside their comments and this could be the start of a beautiful keepsake book for mum to add to as baby grows. Finally (and possibly most importantly!) provide huge amounts of tea and cake.
Do plan a gift
We have some beautiful gifts for mum and baby, perfect for a baby shower. Our stunning nappy cakes make a gorgeous centrepiece for the party and our fabulous baby clothes bouquets and hampers make stunning gifts. You could all make a contribution towards our luxury hampers for a real wow factor or our beautiful keepsake boxes contain all the essentials for a new mum and baby. You could keep it simple and ask everyone to bring nappies, wipes, bibs or muslins, gifts you can never have too many of when starting life with a new baby. You could also club together and buy something mum can keep and treasure, jewellery maybe or some of our gorgeous mum-to-be skincare. Baby showers are all about showing friendship and love for a new mum and so our beautifully illustrated promise and wish cards make a perfect baby shower gift. Each guest writes a practical pledge of support for after baby arrives, "I promise to bring dinner round", "I promise to do your ironing", they then pop these in one of our lovely gift boxes and mum can call on these favours when the time comes. Finally, one of our stylish baby diaries makes a thoughtful gift, beautifully cloth bound, this is the perfect way for mum to record all those special moments and memories.
Do send the guests away with something special
Finally it is a lovely idea to send your guests away with a party favour, just something little to end the shower in style. Some ideas include a muffin (bun in the oven) or one of our luxury handmade mini soaps or bath bombs (baby 'shower'). If you have time you could plant some seeds and give your guests a seedling to nurture and grow as baby grows. You must also, of course, give each attendee a large slice of cake to take home with them, but make sure you leave enough for the mum-to-be to enjoy after the shower with her feet up!
A baby shower is much more than a party, it is about rejoicing in friendship and celebrating the start of the journey into motherhood. It is strengthening a vital support network that mum will need as she embarks on those difficult first few months and beyond. So don't stress about the theme or the decorations, the most important message is that you are all there for your friend as she begins the trickiest and most wonderful job of all, being a mum.
First of all you can start to drop sizeable hints about how fantastic it would be to have a baby shower. You can of course plan your own shower, this is a great way to make sure you have no unpleasant surprises and if you enjoy organising these sort of events then go for it, but if you would rather sit with your feet up and let others plan for you, a few well-placed hints to your best friend or mum should get the ball rolling.
There are a couple of things about a baby shower to bear in mind however. As the mum-to-be you may want to make sure that the shower does not take place at your house. Well-meaning friends may think it will be easier for you not to have to leave home but you definitely do not want to be stuck with all the tidying up, so you may want to subtly suggest it is held elsewhere. You may also want to have some input into the theme of the shower, this will be an event that you will look back on with great fondness in the coming years, and a naff theme may put a bit of a downer on the day! Also, don't be worried about making some suggestions for suitable gifts for the shower, your friends and family will want to buy gifts for you and the new arrival, and a list from you will be an enormous help. Finally, it is a really lovely idea to leave a keepsake book out for all the guests to write a message for your new baby. This is something that you can add to as baby grows and will make a beautiful memento to look back on.
A baby shower is much more than a party, it is about rejoicing in friendship and celebrating the start of the journey into motherhood. It is strengthening a vital support network that you will need as you embark on those tricky first few months and beyond. So whatever the theme or location, the most important part of the shower is to relax and enjoy spending time with friends and family before baby's arrival.
Another fun thing to consider in these last few months of pregnancy is enrolling you and your partner on a course of antenatal classes such as those provided by the NCT. The information they provide is useful but the most fantastic part is meeting other new mums (and dads) in your immediate area. When you all start the course you have nothing in common apart from a similar due date but if you are lucky enough to get on as a group then you may well form lifelong friendships. Nothing beats sharing the highs and lows of coping with a new baby with someone else going through it at the same time, you will laugh and cry together in equal measure and in the end a friendship forged in this furnace of emotions will last forever. You will also eat a lot of cake.
Finally, if you have worked through your pregnancy you will be approaching the start of your maternity leave. You may feel that once you have stopped working you still have a lot to organise for the baby, you may be thinking of ways you can keep busy before the birth. We have only one piece of advice for you here and that is to make sure you set aside plenty of time to put your feet up. Sit on the sofa, eat chocolates and watch daytime telly, sit in the bath with a cup of tea and a good book or relax in the garden in the sunshine. None of these things will be possible for the next 10 years so do as many of them as you can before baby arrives!
There is an old adage that it takes a village to raise a child and in our twenty-first century lives we often live away from our extended families. So in these last few weeks of pregnancy take time to connect with friends both old and new, put your feet up and enjoy the peace and quiet and get ready for the adventure ahead!
As your pregnancy progresses towards the halfway mark and you treat yourself to those maternity trousers with the big, stretchy waistband, there is no doubt to you and everyone else that you are expecting. I loved this part of being pregnant, for a couple of months after the nausea and tiredness had subsided and the heaviness of later pregnancy hadn’t kicked in I felt pretty good and very proud of what my body was achieving all by itself. You can look forward to your 20 week scan, nothing beats the amazing feeling of seeing an actual wriggling, kicking, healthy baby on the sonographer’s screen and it certainly makes this pregnancy thing seems very real. Of course the big question at this point is, do you find out the sex of baby, or not? There are lots of traditional ways of predicting baby’s sex; dangling a wedding ring over your belly (backwards and forwards like a pendulum equals boy, round and round equals girl), carrying high is supposedly a girl, carrying low a boy, carrying your weight out front equals boy, carrying your weight on your bum and hips equals a girl, heart rate over 140bpm is a girl, under is a boy, and so on, but the only sure-fire way to find out is to ask at your scan and as long as baby doesn’t have its legs crossed the sonographer should be able to tell you. A lovely way to tell friends and family which flavour baby you are expecting is to send them one of our gorgeous personalised announcement bears and balloons. Personalised with ‘it’s a boy!’ or ‘it’s a girl!’ this is a really fun way to spread the news. A great way to begin a new family tradition.
Although it may not seem like it at the time, these precious few months will fly by and it is well worth celebrating those pregnancy milestones. Why not treat yourself to one of our fabulous pregnancy journals to record all those special memories, from cravings to baby’s first kick, baby hiccups to Braxton hicks, or maybe as an aide memoire for baby names or nursery ideas. You will also find yourself carrying your unwieldly maternity notes with you at all times so why not get one of our beautiful maternity notes cover to help you look stylish wherever you go. Another fun idea are our pregnancy milestone cards, beautifully illustrated cards to place on your bump each month, take a photo and have a lovely reminder of your growing baby. Share with friends and family on social media and they can join in with your joy.
Now you can feel movement you can start to get to know the little person growing inside your belly, just as they are starting to get to know you. Baby now has its own pattern of waking and sleeping and although it feels as if they are most often awake and doing somersaults when you are trying to sleep, these reassuring movements mark the beginnings of a bedtime routine. Little one now has their eyes open and will react to a loud or familiar noise. They are getting to know you and other members of your family and will be soothed by these familiar voices and sounds when they leave the womb.
So when the backache gets you down, or the indigestion kicks in, when you’re having trouble sleeping or another stretch mark appears, have a sit down and remind yourself what an amazing thing your body is doing. Give yourself a break from worrying and let yourself daydream about the little person about to enter your life (oh, and have that third chocolate biscuit while you can!).
The early weeks of being pregnant can be a strange and wonderful time. You are bursting with so many new emotions, you are often tired and hormonal and nauseous, but you probably don't look that different to normal and you may not have told many people outside of your family. This a time for you to treasure your precious little secret, before your bump grows larger and becomes something for all to comment on. This is a time to rest and plan and dream about the future.
And then comes the first big milestone, the dating scan, and finally, after seeing that precious heartbeat, you can start to tell the world your amazing news. This announcement is such a gift to those close to you, particularly parents who may be about to become grandparents and so why not make it really special and send them one of our gorgeous, personalised announcement bears and balloons. A wonderful way to start a new family tradition.
Once you start to tell the world then things start to feel real and the milestones just keep coming. The first time you can't do up your normal trousers over your little baby bump, the first time you tell a stranger or your work colleagues, the end of morning sickness and your first odd craving or that magical first kick that feels more like a tiny butterfly fluttering in your tummy. Everybody's pregnancy journey is different, many mums will share their experiences of pregnancy and birth but your pregnancy will be unique to you. It may not feel like it at the time, but you will look back at this time when you were growing a little person inside you with enormous fondness and every milestone is worth remembering and celebrating. It is a lovely idea to keep a pregnancy diary and record each one of these milestones along with your thoughts, emotions and feelings to share with baby when they are older.
It is really important for you and those you love to look after you during these first few weeks so we have put together our top five tips to help those around you take care of you at this special time. Stick it on the fridge as a gentle reminder to those around you that you need some looking after:
- Celebrate the bump! Getting rounder during pregnancy is something to be celebrated but mum may feel uncomfortable getting bigger and bigger. Lots and lots of compliments are the order of the day here, tell her every day how wonderful she looks and she will start to believe it. Jewellery can be a wonderful way to show her you care, one of our diamond pip necklaces would be just the thing.
- It is hard work growing a little person and so mum will need to be encourage to rest and relax as much as possible. Treat her to some pampering goodies such as our all natural, award winning essential mum to be collection or our pamper hamper packed full of wonderful essential oils, and make sure she has the time to use them.
- Start planning together - every pregnancy begins as a bundle of wonderful possibilities and it is great fun to take some time out together to daydream and plan for the future. Whether it's the colour of the nursery or baby's first outing, planning will help it all feel more real.
- Take time to talk - having a baby is probably the biggest shake up to anyone's life and the idea can be daunting. Every pregnant woman harbours the odd secret doubt about how she will cope when baby arrives, or worries about baby being healthy. Talking about the future will give her time to express any concerns she may have and will bring you closer together.
- Go with the flow - OK, so it is a fact that being pregnant generates a large amount of hormones and however we try sometimes these will spill out as emotional outbursts. Try not to take it personally and just be there with a box of chocolates and a hug when the storm subsides!
Pregnancy can be a rollercoaster of hormones and emotions but it is also an incredibly special time in a woman's life. You feel like you will be pregnant forever and you are counting down the days until baby is due, but then it is over in the blink of an eye. So take time to savour the moment, celebrate those milestones and put your feet up while you can!
We are chuffed to bits to announce that we have won gold not once but twice here at Babyblooms! The team here are incredibly proud to have won GOLD in the Prima Baby Awards for our beautiful baby bouquets, an award judged by both parenting experts and parents themselves. There were some fabulous entries in this category and we are thrilled to have been recognised as the best of the bunch in this prestigious award.
If that wasn't enough we have also been accredited by Feefo as a Gold Trusted Merchant for the second year running! We’d like to thank all our lovely customers for taking the time to leave such fantastic feedback. And although we don't like to blow our own trumpet we are so chuffed with your comments we can't help but share some of them J
A truly fabulous online shopping experience...
Beautiful and unusual gift, much nicer than a bouquet of flowers...
Service was amazing...
Quality product, beautifully presented...
Lovely gift, worth every penny...
Excellent website, delivery and products, will definitely use this company again...
We’re blushing now!
Thanks again you lovely lot, the team here are positively bursting with pride.
- Den building is always a winner in our house. Dig out some old blankets and duvet covers, grab a couple of dining chairs, a few clothes pegs and a handful of hair bobbles (brilliant for attaching blankets to the top of a chair) and you have a cave, rocket, submarine, cafe or house, the only limit is the kids imaginations! If they do run out of ideas then you could suggest the den becomes a stage set for a play, they can create the storyline, raid the dressing up for costumes and sell tickets. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy the performance.
- If you are feeling brave you can get the paints out. Cover everything you can with newspaper, put the kids in old clothes and let their creative juices flow. If they need a bit of direction, blow paint aliens are great fun and easy for little ones to manage. Water down some paint, grab a straw and get them to blow the paint over the paper. Add some eyes and you have created some crazy alien beings.
- Another firm favourite is creating your own fantasy house or world on paper. All you need for this is some large sheets of paper, a glue stick and a copy of something like an old Argos catalogue. Get the kids to cut out all their favourite things from the catalogue and arrange them however they like on the paper, this leads to hours of fun! If they get bored with this you can get them to make their own snap cards by choosing two of various items and sticking them onto some old playing cards. The two items do not need to be identical as you can help your child recognise the comparisons by writing on the bottom of each card (i.e. dog, cat, man, lady), great for little ones who are learning to read.
- Another great activity is constructing your own marble run. Raid the recycling bin for cereal packets, loo rolls, cardboard boxes and the like, create a sturdy base and then build away, testing with marbles as you go. The beauty of this activity is several children can build at the same time with a shared end result.
- Finally a great one to end the day with, a tidying competition! Set a timer, select some prizes (in our house it's chocolate buttons!) and set them to work. With prizes for the tidiest room and quickest tidier, hopefully your house will be back to normal in no time.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
- Time to enjoy a long, uninterrupted relax in the bath with our lovely bath soak and a gorgeously scented relaxation candle. Or push the boat out with our luxury pamper hamper.
- A leg and foot massage with our cooling leg and foot cream to ease tired limbs.
- A cup of tea with our mummy bear mug to be enjoyed still hot with a box of chocolates (not to be shared).
- 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.