Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Cloth Nappy Clinic - Cloth Nappy Q&A With Budding Smiles

Beebies Ambassador & fluffy bum lover Hannah answers your Cloth Nappy Queries! 
"I have a dog which everyone tells me will love to eat the baby's poo so have to be careful to keep all nappies away from him anyway so the less time in the house the better."
As soon as you take the nappy off, it goes straight into either a pail (bucket with a mesh wash bag inside) or a wet bag. You can store these wherever you like to keep them away from the dog. Alternatively, you can put disposable liners if you want to put the poo straight into the bin, you can get rolls of thin disposable sheets to place over the inserts or some brands such as gNappies do fully biodegradable inserts so you throw the whole thing away.
"The idea of having dirty nappies sitting in my house until I can be bothered to do a wash feels a bit gross (do they stink?) and a bit more pressure, as does having to carry them home with me if I'm out."

I look at it this way; Disposables will go in your bin and whether you have a specific nappy bin or use your general household one, they end up smelling even with the lid on! You wouldn't be taking every single disposable straight out to the wheelie bin so you'll always have them in your house for some of the time and I genuinely find that my wet bag full of cloth nappies smells a whole lot less than my bin with disposables in. They do take up extra room in your changing bag when out and about, but again you use a smaller wet bag to hold dirty ones in so they aren't in contact with anything else in your bag.
"They look gorgeous but if I'm constantly washing them will they stay looking that nice? How durable are they?"
Believe it or not, there is a huge market for 'pre-loved' nappies and in the picture of some of my stash, about half of them I've bought from new and the other half I bought from other people who'd used them with their children - Can you tell which are which? If you wash them as per the instructions and don't use too much wash powder as it'll build up on the fabric, they can last for years!
"How do I wash them? What temp and with any special detergents? Are they easy to get clean? I don't like the idea of having to touch them more than I have to."
You will get various opinions on precisely how to wash them, but my process is this:
1) Rinse with a couple of drops of lavender oil in water put in the drum.
2) 60 degree cotton wash with half your normal wash amount of non-bio. There are again differing opinions as to whether you should or shouldn't use gels/powders/liquids etc but as a general rule you need to use about half the regular amount to avoid build-up on the cloth. You can get specific detergents from various brands but I have to admit I've not really felt the need to try them.
3) I hang mine outside come rain or shine! The rain can give them an extra strip wash whilst the sun (or even just UV rays on a cloudy day) will help reduce any stains that may be left behind.
"Do I have to do a special wash just for them or do I wash them with other items, is this hygienic? It feels a bit wrong to put poo in the washing machine, wee ones I'm not so bothered about."
If you have enough nappies, you can just do a wash every couple of days which are just nappies. I tend to wash mine every other day roughly, so washing half of my stash whilst using the other. New baby poo is so runny that it's not like putting an adult poo in the machine, it'd be more hassle to try and clean it off first than it is just to chuck them in! Once baby is weaning and doing 'proper' poo, you can tip it into the toilet as it'll just roll off.
How many do I need to keep me in business! Is there a budget range or a bulk pack to buy with everything I'll need? What should I be looking at paying and how much will this save me over say a year of using disposables?
There are so many brands out there of all prices, so it really depends on which ones you get on with. Go to the Council and get a free trial pack but make sure they give you a variety of brands to try - I told them off because they only gave me one brand! Buying new isn't cheap at the onset, but does save you a load over the course of baby's nappy-wearing days. I recently read statistics from Close Parent which state that, on average, disposables will cost £800-£1200 over 2 1/2 years, whereas a full-time reusable kit (depending on brand) will cost £90-£300 from new and can be used for subsequent babies too.
You can buy full kits from one brand or buy individual nappies from a variety, which is what I've done because there are a few I like!
"Disposables look magic on the adverts, I like the sound of 'drawing the moisture away from babies skin' so how do cloth nappies compare to this? Are they good at holding it all in too?"
I can honestly say that I've not had a major leak from using a cloth nappy, only a couple of times where they've become damp but that's more my fault for not changing Toby in time! I have, on the other hand, had quite bad leaks from one of the biggest brands of disposables where a poosplosion has gone right up Toby's back.
Yes, disposables do draw the moisture away, but they can only do that due to the chemicals that are in them. Because Toby can feel that he's wet, he squirms about and that tells me he needs changing and because it's only completely natural fibres on his skin, he's never once had nappy rash.
"I definitely wouldn't win any awards for my dedication to the environment, obviously if it helps its a bonus but my main and only real concerns are how would this product benefit me and my baby."
As I said briefly above, there are zero chemicals in cloth nappies and new fabrics are coming out all the time which are so lovely for baby's skin. There's the long-term financial benefit for you too and you get a baby with the cutest tush in town (except Toby's obviously, I'll share the accolade with you!)
"I didn't know you couldn't use any barrier creams until you told me so what if he's getting sore?"
Oil-based barrier creams can stay on the surface and reduce the absorbency of your nappies, so you can use creams, but make sure they are oil-free.
"Reasons I'm considering using them......
- They look so cute.
- I like the idea of not having to continually buy nappies and wont run the risk of running out.
- I already feel like the four packs of disposables I bought in bulk are taking up loads of room and I know they wont last all that long. Aldi is ages away and they don't deliver so its nice not to have to go shopping for nappies."
All good points! They seem more daunting than they actually are with all the choice that's out there. I don't think you could ever try every type of nappy out there, so I'd say do some research about the different types (birth-to-potty, pocket, all in one, wraps etc) and try a couple of each and see what you get on best with. If you do ever buy some and don't get on with them, they do hold their value pretty well so you can sell it on and buy a different one!

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Hosting a Baby Shower: Guest Tool Kits

It's important to be fully prepared for all aspects of your shower as once it starts there is normally very little time to organise.

A simple way to avoid extra stress is to prepare a tool kit for your guests which are given out on arrival. These are filled with everything your guest will need to partake in the 'voluntary games' such as 'pin the dummy on the baby' and 'Guess the weight, date & time' that you have set up. That way, you can focus on your hosting duties without being asked for a pen one hundred times over ;).

What to include in your Baby Shower Guest Tool Kits:

A pen / pencil
A postage label with string for adding to a wishing tree
A piece of card clothing with room to write their baby predictions on
A peg to hand their predictions on the line with
A straw for their milk bottle drink
A badge / sticky label for their name & relationship to Mum
A photo prop (baby themed of course!)
Game Instruction sheet (for all games being played on the day)
You could even include a map of the house detailing where the toilets are!

For more Baby Shower Tips, find us on facebook.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Peppa has landed! I repeat, Peppa has landed!

Now, I am not sure if you will have heard of our latest addition before? She likes to keep a low profile...

What am I saying!? Of course you have! Peppa Pig is often considered Royalty in some toddlers eyes, and we're honoured to announce her arrival to Beebies... and just in time for Christmas too!

Here are some of our top Peppa picks.

Muddy Puddles Playground Sets
These colourful play sets can be combined to create an awesome play park fit for Peppa & her friends! 
There is a swing, a slide, a roundabout & a zip slide set available at Beebies - each at just £12.00 with free delivery, these are sure to be a favourite in the run up to Christmas! 

Peppa Pig Weebles Push-Along Train

Weebles Wobble, but they don't fall down! Connect the carriages together and pull Peppa's Wobbily Train to see the wibble wobble action! 

Peppa Pig Medical Set

The perfect gift for your little well maker, this lovely little medical set includes Stethoscope, Syringe, Thermometer, Otoscope, tweezers, Plaster, Medicine bottle, Scissors, Mirror, Nurse Peppa hat. 

Check out the entire range of Peppa products available at Beebies here. 

With every Peppa Pig purchase in October, you will receive a surprise FREE Peppa gift worth up to £9.99! Just pop the code FreePeppa in the box at the checkout. 

 We'll be adding more and more so be sure to come back and check them out! 

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Stay safe & warm on the go this Autumn

With Autumn in full swing, the weather is getting cooler and the dark evenings are arriving earlier and earlier each day. We've put together a list of top picks for staying safe and warm this season. 

1. BundleBean GO! £29.99
The BundleBean GO! is a waterproof and windproof cover that fits snugly on to all buggies, bike seats, rear facing car seats and front style baby carriers. 

The inside is a warm and cosy fleece that is lovely and soft against your child’s skin. It can be used as pushchair footmuff and cover for a baby carrier. It also opens out flat for use as a travel picnic rug or play mat making it the ultimate one-stop-shop solution for busy parents on the go! 
Available in pink, blue, black & red stars. 

2. Hippychick Packasuits  £15.99
These fabulous AIO suits are packable, lightweight, breathable and yet still 100% waterproof. They fold away neatly in their own little compact bags making them so easy to take with you on days out.
Available in red, pink & blue. 

3. Buggi Lights £14.99

Buggi Lights are a fun, simple way to make your baby's buggy visible and safe after dusk or on a wintry afternoon. Put them on and feel confident that cars will see you when you cross the road.

Each box contains two Buggi Lights. One has white LEDs to face forwards, the other has red LEDs to face backwards - just like a car. The lights are bright and are extremely easy to turn on, just press on the ladybird's back to take it through the three flash settings.

As well as being a safety device they have the added advantage of looking fun. Your kids will love having them on their buggies and they are suitable as scooter lights or bike lights for children over the age of three. 

4. Mummy Mitts £19.99
Mummy mitts attach to the handle or handle bar of ANY pram or pushchair allowing you the convenience of removing your hands whilst the mittens remain attached. They are an absolute requirement for every parent! The perfect solution to constantly having to remove your gloves in the cold weather. 

5. NodPod Blanket from £23.00
The NodPod. The ultimate Baby Blanket. With it's leg compartments and hood, this gorgeous blanket is perfect for keeping baby warm as well as safe when strapped into a carseat or pushchair. No more kicking off the blankets! 

Wishing you a safe & warm Autumn! 

Monday, 22 September 2014

Activity Corner - Conker Rolling

On Monday, it was a beautiful Autumnal morning, and daddy had the day off so when we had dropped Harrison off at nursery, we took Alex to the park to play on the swings and walked home through the cemetery.
Our local cemetery is huge, and is a beautiful and peaceful place for a quiet walk. In Autumn, it is absolutely beautiful, with all the trees changing colour and the floor covered in the brightly coloured leaves. It is also the perfect place to collect conkers and pine cones.
Last year we used our conkers in a sensory bin along with some leaves, cones and sticks. This year I wanted to use them in an art activity, and so we did some conker rolling!
To do this you need:

Some conkers

A tray with edges
Paper cut to fit the tray
 Put the paper into the tray (if it is slightly smaller than the tray, sellotape it down to stop it moving about) and squeeze some blobs of paint onto the paper. We chose to use some autumn colours – reds, greens, browns, yellows and oranges, but you could use whatever colours you wanted. Drop the conkers in and roll them around!

The conkers move through the paint and create some lovely patterns. We had fun rolling and shaking the trays to see what effects we could create. It was also the perfect opportunity to talk about colour mixing – what would happen when the red and yellow paint was mixed up? We used brown paper in one of our trays and white in the other to see the different looks.

We used quite a lot of paint, which created a lovely marbled effect. It would be interesting to see the different effects that using less paint and conkers would make – a definite activity for comparison!
The paintings can be left just as they are or cut out and used to make leaves for an Autumn picture.
This would be a lovely activity to do around Christmas with red and green paint to make special wrapping paper for small gifts. I think we will also have a go with white paint (with some sparkles) on black paper for some wonderful snowy images.
A quick and fun activity with conkers!
Rachel x 

Pre-Christmas Market Night

I know, I know, it's only September and I've used that C word rather early for most people's liking... BUT on Thursday 25th September, between 7 & 9pm we're hosting a Christmas Market Night over on our facebook page.

Here we'll be offering you some amazing discounts on some of our best selling items to help you on your way to having Christmas all wrapped up for less!

Here are just some of the fabulous products you'll be able to buy on the night.

Fabric Fancies Christmas Roast Set

KidKraft Booksling

KidKraft Market Stall

NodPod Blanket

Poddle Pod with 2nd Generation cover of choice

Nattou Toy Bundles

To find out about other items up for grabs click here & while your there please help spread the word if you can by liking out pinned post & sharing it with your friends.

All you have to do to claim your item of choice is comment SOLD on the relevent photo. The first person to comment will win the item. Once confirmed, you'll need to message the page with your email address to which I'll send you an invoice. This invoice must be paid within 7 days and only once payment is made will your order be processed. If an invoice is not paid within this time your order will be cancelled and the person next in line will be offered the chance to buy the item.

We hope to see you there! 

Foxy Fashion Picks for your Tots

It's officially Autumn and to start off this colourful season we've a month filled with fun features based around your favourite woodland creatures! 

Today I thought I'd share with you some fabulous foxy fashion picks for your tots. 

Wee Clothing Fox Baby Grow £21.00

Your little one will look more cute than ferocious in this fun fox babygrow.

Snuggly soft and stretchy fair trade cotton, this babygrow has shoulder detailing and poppers for ease of changing. It features a hand crafted monkey design that is made from machine washable felt.

Machine washable at 40 degrees

Mr Fox Day Dress £22.50

Look cute as a button and smart as a fox in this unusual fox print dress! Featuring green and orange foxes on a yellow background, fully lined with pale yellow cotton. Can be worn alone or team with a long sleeved top for colder days – perfect all year round!
Machine Washable at 30c

Dot & Co Foxy and Friends Babygrow £22.50

Stand out from the crowd this Autumn/Winter in our woodland foxy babygrow. 

-Long sleeves with intergral mitts to keep hands warm and avoid babies from scratching their face.
-Nickel free poppers at bottom for easy dressing.
-No scratchy labels at the back neck.
-No scratchy labels at the back neck.

Baba & Boo Mr Fox Appliqued T-shirt £14.95

A gorgeous 100% organic cotton t-shirt with appliqué fox aged from 3-6m, all the way up to 3-4y too. Designed to fit genrously, and bring out the cheeky character in your little one, this Mr Fox T-shirt is sure to be a favourite this Autumn! 

To shop our full range of baby & toddler clothing, visit www.beebiesbabystore.com

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Beebies Ambassador Announcement

So here we are... Sunday night... #BabyHour and time for me to announce our two new Ambassador Families! 

I am totally overwhelmed with the amount of applications we received - what a lot of love for Beebies! 

Having read all of the applications, visited all of your blogs and had a good old read through I've finally come to a decision. You really didnt make it easy for me ;)

 I am very pleased to announce that the new ambassadors are.... 

 **Drum Roll Please** 


Congratulations ladies and welcome to the #welovebeebies team! Your Ambassador packs will be on their way to your inboxes very soon! 

 photo BeebiesAmbassadorBadge_zpsa36e561b.png

I'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone who applied and shared their love of Beebies. 
Head over to www.edspire.co.uk and take advantage of the 15% discount code she has for you there. 

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

National Cupcake Week - Role play

As if we needed another excuse to indulge ourselves in all things cake, this week is national cupcake week!
Over the next few days we'll be sharing our favourite cake related activities right here and would love for you to come and join in.

Today it's all about Role play, and we thought we'd show you our favourite items for cake related role play.

“Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.” -Carl Sagan

KidKraft wooden cupcake stand with cupcakes
This adorable little cake stand is the perfect prop for your tots play shop! With mix and match tops and pretty lace detailing on the stand, little ones will take pride in displaying they're cakes for the world to see! 

Fabric Fancies personalised celebration cupcakes
If you are looking for the perfect memento of a special occasion or just want to send a really special personalised gift, these fabric cupcakes are the perfect solution! Available in a number of colours & designs you're sure to find something your little one will love. We love this Pirate themed birthday cupcake.

'A party without cake is just a meeting.' - Julia Child 

Fabric Fancies Large Bunting Cake
A modern take on your traditional toy birthday cake. Made of fabric and finished with strawberries and bunting frosting your little one will love this! The perfect addition to any party table. 

Come back tomorrow for more cupcake inspired loveliness! 

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Become a Beebies Ambassador!

Good Morning Beebies lovers! 

I'm very sad to share with you the news that our lovely Kelly has decided to stand down from her ambassador role. At this point I'd like to thank her for all of the hard work and support she has given to both me & Beebies, especially in the run up to the LBPAwards. We've loved having Kelly & Tia on board and will continue to follow their adventures over on their blog

She isn't disappearing from the Beebies team completely though as she'll  be continuing with her Cloth Nappy Clinic column each month :). 

 Kelly's departure from the #WeLoveBeebies team does however mean that we've an opportunity for not one, but two lovely families to join the Ambassador team. 

Upon success...
- You will rceive a discount of up to 25% on all purchases at www.beebiesbabystore.com. 
- You will receive a product to review on your blogs every 4 months (minimum)
- You will be provided with a prize for a competition / similar opportunity every 4 months (minimum)
You will have the opportunity to guest post & feature on the Beebies website.
- Your blog will appear on the Beebies Website
- You will be the first to hear about the latest Beebies products & news
- You will join a friendly community 

In order to be successful you will need to:
- Write and maintain a parenting blog to a high standard 
- Have a child / children under the age of 4. 
- Be an active user of social media, including twitter, facebook, instagram & pinterest 
- Be committed to supporting Beebies Baby Store and sharing our products, events and ethics passionately with readers and followers. 
- Give honest and constructive feedback  
- Be enthusiastic and take part in virtual events 

To apply sign up by completing this questionnaire before midnight on Saturday 20th September 2014. Task 2 of the application process will be emailed to you upon submission.

Successful candidates will be announced here on Sunday 21st September 2014 during #babyhour between 8 & 9pm. 

Any questions, please feel free to email me at ami@beebiesbabystore.com. 
Good Luck! 

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Activity Corner: Autumn Apple Fun

Today we've the pleasure of sharing a wondeful Autumn Activity bought to you by Beebies Ambassador Jennie who writes over at www.edspire.co.uk . I was lucky enough to go along and join in their fun yesterday too! 

September arrives

Autumn falls

Apple harvest begins

We are very lucky to live in the heart of rural Kent

Our garden is full of blossom in the spring

Fruit in the summer

And in autumn we get busy with our treasures

Making apple juice and cider

Eating delicious apples straight from the trees

Autumn is also a time

For new routines and fresh ideas

For us

Means a new focus for our messy and sensory play

This week we have been playing with apples

Yesterday Ami from Beebies came to play

And we worked through a series of apple inspired activities

With my four year old twins Esther and William

We played inside and outside

Using all our senses

Our imagination

And developing both fine and gross motor skills

We started with a sensory apple orchard

I made Esther and William one each in a medium sized baking tray

I filled the trays with porridge oats

We then added ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg

It smelled delicious

Good enough to eat

And Esther had a lovely time

Mixing all the ingredients together

We then added red and green pom poms

To be the apples

And we asked Esther and William what creatures we might find in the orchard

In autumn

After discounting giraffes and dinosaurs

We started to think along the right track

Rabbits and robins

Squirrels and moles

Hedgehogs and badgers

Foxes and deer

Esther and William love small world play

And were happy for ages

Feeding the animals

Letting the animals roam the orchard

Placing and organising the apples

We let them enjoy this free play

And they loved it

When they were starting to show signs of being ready to move on

I gave Esther and William each some tweezers and an empty bowl

They explored the sensory tray with the new accessories

We then had a race to see who could move all their apples

From the orchard to the bowl the fastest

Esther loved this activity

Her fine motor skills are better than William’s

She was able to concentrate and move the pom poms

Using the tweezers with accuracy, control and speed

William got frustrated that he was not able to harvest his apples

As quickly as Esther and so we returned to free play

Until he had calmed down

When they were again ready to move on

I showed them a picture that I wanted them to complete using their pom poms

It needed apples to be placed in a tree and the letter A to be collaged

I gave them each a spatula and some PVA glue

William worked hard to put red pom pom apples on his tree

And green pom poms on his letter

Esther added green and red pom poms to the tree

And chose to collage her A with scented oats

This was a lovely idea that I had not thought of

And she really enjoyed making a mess while working away

Once the pictures were complete William had had enough

But Esther returned to her small world play for ages

And I have kept the trays for more sensory play today

Our third activity was outside

I wanted Esther and William to paint a tree

An apple tree

We have lots of apple trees in our garden

So with guidance from Daddy as to which ones he was happy for us to paint

We headed off with our chosen colours

To our designated tree

I am not sure who enjoyed this activity more

Esther and William

Or Ami and me?

With brushes and rollers and a range of shaped sponges

We began to paint our tree

A rainbow apple tree

Much like the Calafant model we had made a few days before

But this time we were outside

Painting a real tree

Developing our gross motor skills

And breathing in fresh autumn, country air

It was good

It was fun

Esther and William were soon painting anything and everything they could find

They decorated old fallen logs with colourful handprints

And picked and painted the apples themselves

This was a great way to extend our autumn apple sensory play

And to take our play outside

For more ideas for apple and autumn play you can follow the links to my blog below

I have also been collating ideas on Pinterest here

For apple themed products from Beebies Baby Store to complement your play
Please click on the links that are here
I will be writing up more autumn sensory play ideas over at Edspire this month

And I will be back to Beebies in early October with some Halloween and Fireworks themed play. 

Mummy of Two

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

#BeebiesBakeOff Mischievous Monkey Muffins

So it's Wednesday evening! And of course that calls for another Beebies Bake Off instalment. This week, we're sharing a super easy recipe from Good to Know which is perfect for your mischievous monkeys! A combination of banana, peanut butter& chocolate which will make the ideal treat or lunchtime snack.

To make these yummy scrummy muffins you will need:

  • 75g butter, softened
  • 75g crunchy peanut butter
  • 150g golden caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1 medium banana, mashed
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 75g dark chocolate chips

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Fan 160°C/Gas Mark 4. Line 12 holes of muffin tin with paper muffin cases. Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter, peanut butter and sugar until soft and fluffy.
  • Gradually whisk in the eggs until evenly combined. Sift in the flour and baking powder and lightly fold in. Add the banana, vanilla and chocolate chips and stir until evenly mixed.
  • Divide the mixture between the paper cases and bake for 20-25 mins until risen, golden and just firm to the touch. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

  • What have you been baking up for / with your tots this week? Link your posts up below.

    Monday, 8 September 2014

    The Conception Diaries by Caroline - Entry 1

    Hi, my name’s Caroline and I am a Beebies Baby Store ambassador as well as a blogger over at Cakes, Corks and Kids.  I recently ‘came out’ about trying to conceive (you can read the initial post here) and the lovely Ami from Beebies asked if I would write a monthly column about our experiences on this seemingly never ending journey. I jumped at the chance and so here goes nothing….

    We’re entering our seventh cycle now and officially in the minority. In general, a fertile couple has a good chance of getting pregnant within a year, as out of 100 couples TTC (trying to conceive) naturally:

    • 20 will conceive within one month
    •70 will conceive within six months
    •85 will conceive within one year
    •90 will conceive within 18 months
    •95 will conceive within two years

    I know they’re just stats and making a baby should be a joy but it’s that feeling of being left on the shelf, being the last one chosen in PE and wondering am I actually good enough? Is my body still capable? What am I doing wrong?  Not a day goes by where I don’t ponder all these thoughts and it gets tiresome and it gets boring, not just for me but for my husband too.

    I read online about secondary infertility, and although this would be my third child, the principles the same. You’ve had one or two kids, fell pregnant quickly and easily and now you’re struggling. Apparently it’s more common than not being able to conceive at all, I’m guessing that’s because second, third, fourth children come along as we get older and therefore our fertility starts to decline naturally. But I’m only 30, and my partner is 36.  We know of many, many couples that have had kids well into their 30’s and 40’s so I’m kind of reluctant to believe our age is the problem but as the months pass I just imagine all these little sperm getting old, wrinkly and dying. 

    A good friend of ours, who recently had a beautiful rainbow baby, recommended a reproductive reflexologist.  I looked her up and loved the sound of it and what she might be able to tell me about my body and my cycle.  I think next month I might book in.  Have any of you used a reflexologist during TTC and found it to be beneficial?

    We’ve changed a number of things over the last few weeks in terms of ‘trying’, firstly we changed….well you know, how we do it.  I’ve also changed the pre-natal vitamin I take, I used to use Seven Seas and I’ve now switched to Pregnacare. We’ve used Conceive Plus Gel a couple of times so I’m living in hope that we might get the right combination and make ourselves the perfect storm so to speak.  I need to bear in mind that there are a long list of things which need to happen in order to conceive – hitting the nail on the head is quite a feat when you actually think about it.  Finally, we’ve made a few decisions at home that have made me 100% happier but I’ll be blogging about all that over on my own blog this Friday.

    So, here we go again!

    Saturday, 6 September 2014

    Choosing a Cot for a Happy Baby Bedtime by Fi Star Stone

    It's so exciting waiting for your new arrival and choosing all of the lovely things for the nursery, but when it comes to choosing a cot it can be quite a tricky task! With so many lovely cots and cribs to choose from? How do you know which is perfect for you and your family and most importantly - a happy baby bedtime?
    A happy baby bedtime
    From birth it’s advisable that your baby sleeps in your room for the first six months, so in the early days a crib or Moses basket is advisable and practical, because you can move it around your home so that your baby is always near you. Of course this isn’t ideal in all homes, and it doesn’t always work, especially if you or your partner are loud sleepers (I’m talking snoring! Anyone else have a snorer?) 
    There are some lovely cribs and moses baskets available and choosing is really a matter of personal taste, but again, ensure it's safe and it's advisable to get one where the dressing or interior is fully removable and machine washable. There are often a few messy moments with newborns - so anything that can be washed is a bonus!

     When your little one is ready to move to a cot, I'd always advise investing in a good cot-bed.

    A cot bed is a cot that adapts into a bed as your baby grows up and becomes a toddler. It’s well worth investing in a cot-bed as it could last you from birth right up to five years! In fact this beautiful one (link over the words to the cot) lasts up to teen! How amazing is that?
    It's also essential you invest in a good quality mattress to go in it. Choose a mattress that’s firm, rather than soft, and that fits well in the cot with no gaps around the edges. This is very important as little hands and feet can become trapped if the mattress is ill-fitting.
    It's also important to mention here to always use a new mattress for a new baby. Even if your baby has a sibling, don’t be tempted to use their old mattress. The phrase I always tell new parents is 'new baby – new mattress.'

    As well as considering the design and look of the bed you choose, ensure it conforms to British Safety Standards (BSeN716). The regulations are there for a reason and they will help keep your baby safe!
    Don't forget to measure the space where it will go – cot-beds are larger than cots, so check the measurements before ordering your final choice!

    A safe baby bedtime

    When planning your baby’s room, ensure the cot isn’t near a radiator or sunny window. Babies are less able to regulate their body temperature so may overheat quickly. This is one of the most common causes of night waking – but it can also put your baby at risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (link here to NHS)

    Without wanting to worry you, it's important to talk about safe sleeping when talking about a happy baby bedtime. All the evidence from every source around the world suggests that placing your baby on their back at the beginning of every sleep or nap significantly reduces the risk of SIDS.
    If your baby is in a cot, make sure they can’t wriggle down under their blanket by putting them in the ‘feet to foot’ position with their feet at the bottom of the cot, rather than their head at the top.
    By following these simple steps from The Lullaby Trust, you’ll be taking the most proactive measures you can to ensure your baby is sleeping as safely as possible:

     You should always place your baby on their back to sleep and not on their front or side - unless your doctor has advised you of a medical reason to do so.

     If your baby has rolled onto their tummy, you should turn them onto their back again.

     Once your baby can roll from back to front and back again, on their own, they can be left to find their own position.

    The information isn’t intended to frighten you, it’s simply a guide to help parents avoid the dangers associated with SIDS and essential that I mention it when talking about a happy baby bedtime.

    Finally – when choosing bedding for your baby, think empty bed! Sounds silly, but the emptier the cot the safer the sleep.

    It's tempting to choose pretty cot bumpers, teddies and quilts, but its advisable to keep the cot as clear as possible. It's not advisable to use quilts or pillows until your baby moves to a bed when they are older. If you need to use a blanket – always ensure it is tucked in snuggly and no higher than waist height.
    Baby sleeping bags are much safer than quilts (which can cause little ones to over-heat.) Babies can also move underneath quilts whereas sleeping bags are fitted snuggly to their body –  offering both comfort and safer sleeping. 
    Finally, whichever cot you choose for a happy baby bedtime – make sure it's safe, comfortable and is right for you and your family.

    My book 'The Baby Bedtime Book' is a gentle sleep guide full of useful tips for a happy baby bedtime and available from Amazon here