car seat baby safety

The 101 on Car seat safety

car seat baby safety

The 101 on Car seat safety

You’ve bought the best car seat you could, so job done? Actually, no! The most crucial part of a car seat is how well it has been fitted. Even the most expensive car seat won’t protect if it is badly fitted.

So how do you make sure you’re fitting the car seat properly? The key message here is to read the instructions and, if it is available, to look at the fitting video on the supplier’s website.

The safest place to put the seat is the middle of the back seat, but often it is not possible to fit it there. The nearside is better than the offside as you are more likely to stand on the pavement when putting baby in the car. However, if you are driving alone, it may be better to put baby on the front seat where you can see him. If they make a funny sound or appear to be choking, your instincts will be to look to find out what is wrong. Taking your eyes off the road is never a good idea. Suddenly thinking about and looking at your baby could mean you cause an accident. However, never put the seat where there is an airbag – it can seriously injure a baby if it goes off.

The easiest infant car seats to fit are the latest i-Size seats. How do you know if your car is suitable for i-Size or suitable for Isofix? The information will lurk somewhere in the car’s manual. If you have both, then fitting is easy – there is a pair of anchor points hidden between the back and seat. The latches on the car seat should slide straight in. Look out for the indicator lights which show everything is correctly in place. To stop the seat rotating in an accident, there are sometimes top tether straps but more often there is a foot which braces the seat on the floor. The green button on the base usually is green if it is fitted correctly and red if not.

Things become a little more difficult if you have an older car or a seat without the ISO fix latches. Then you will need to use the seat belts. This can be fraught with difficulties and complications so fitting can be a right pain and mistakes are quite likely.

If you are fitting the seat rear facing, you will need to follow the BLUE guides. Forward facing, you need to follow the RED guides. Pull the seat belt out and pass it through the guides carefully following the instructions and click it in. Some belts aren’t long enough. If this is the case, you will need to return the seat to the retailer as it doesn’t fit your car.

Key checks:
· Make sure the seat belt isn’t twisted at all.

· Kneel in the seat pushing it firmly into the car seat and pull on the seat belt so that it is TIGHT!

· Lock-off clips or tensioners help keep the seat belt firm.

Check frequently that the seat is still firmly in place. There should be little, if any, sideways or forward movement. If the seat is a Group 0+ rear-facing seat, carefully check where the handle should be. This can vary from seat to seat, though often it is upright or fully back and it can offer extra protection if you roll the car over in an accident.

When you use the seat belt to fit the seat it is important that it is the fabric part of the seat belt that holds the seat in place. Sometimes, the plastic of the buckle is bent against the plastic of the seat. In an accident, the buckle could shatter, releasing the seat belt. Some seats have alternative routings to avoid this problem.

It’s not just the seat that needs to be fitted correctly. Your child also needs to be strapped in correctly. When the child is in the seat, pull the harness tight. You should be able to get two fingers between the collarbone and the harness, but no more. Most children prefer it to hold them firmly and if you always do it, they come to expect it anyway. Watch out in cold weather. A thick jacket or snowsuit can make the harness less effective, so remove thick clothing before strapping the child in.

Hopefully, you will never need to put the car seat to the test, but if you do have an accident, it’s good to know that everything possible has been done to protect your most precious possession. If you are still confused by car seats, you could read this free handy guide from the Baby Products Association “Car Seats – Ending the Confusion”

which pram life style

Choosing the right pram to suit your lifestyle

which pram life style

Choosing the right pram to suit your lifestyle

Choosing the right pram to suit your lifestyle

After a year of lockdown, we’re all looking forward to getting out and about again.

For some new parents, this might be the first time they properly get to use their pushchair somewhere else other than walking in circles around the local area for the 15th time that week.

For parents-to-be, who may have been delaying choosing a pushchair, it puts the decision right to the top of the list.

Whether you’re a first timer, or are replacing an older model however, choosing a pushchair never gets any easier. It is a big decision. Aside from the hefty price tag, there are so many options to choose from when buying a pram.


Navigating the pushchair market

You’ll probably have questions like, whether to go for a versatile all-terrain travel system, a compact pushchair, or stick with the traditional pram.

The truth is that the pushchair market is flooded with new options, designs, and accessories. The good news however, is that the variety exists because pushchairs and prams are typically designed for different uses.

With the easing of lockdown restrictions from 12th April, it’s now more important than ever to choose the right pushchair for your lifestyle. So we thought we would take some of the legwork out of figuring out which pushchair or pram is right for wherever you’re planning to head off to this summer.


The city pram

If you live in an urban area or are planning to take a city break, you’ll need a pushchair which is suitable for city life. It should be compact and easy to get on and off public transport.

A stroller is generally a cheaper, forward facing, lightweight option which takes up much less space. It can be used as the travel buggy, and ultimately replace the bigger pushchair as a baby or toddler grows.

Look for a reliable, safe, and highly practical ultra-compact stroller to make life easier for parents-on-the-go.


A pram for sunnier climes

For sunny days out at the beach, or picnics in the park, you will need something that offers more comfort. It’s also worth remembering that late spring does tend to bring mini heat waves too.

A pram with a carrycot will offer sun protection for newborns, but is also usually made from breathable fabrics to equally keep them cool.

For older babies and toddlers, a travel system pushchair attachment with a large hood can be used in both forward and backward directions, and can recline flat for nap times on the go.


The road trip pushchair

If you’re planning a longer trip by car, you’ll need to pack a lot more equipment.

A travel system is a versatile option which crosses the bridge between pram and pushchair. In theory a travel system can be collapsed to fit in the boot of the car, and can accommodate a carrycot, a car seat, and a pushchair seat for whenever is necessary.

The travel system offers the best of both worlds with greater versatility right up to toddlerhood.


Buggies for your country getaway

An escape to the country might be just what the doctor ordered to run wild and free for a few days.

Your pushchair will need to be suitable for a completely different terrain to manoeuvre challenges put in place by Mother Nature.

A buggy suitable for the great outdoors will need larger wheels, which lock in place, and better suspension to cope with bumps, stones and mud. Ideally choose fabrics that can be removed and washed easily, but will also offer protection from the elements.


Some points to consider when buying a pram

To make the right decision on which pushchair to choose, consider:

  • How heavy is it?
  • Is it fully collapsible?
  • Is there a one-hand fold option?
  • Are the parts fully removable?
  • Are the fabrics weatherproof (rain, wind, UVA, cooling)?
  • Can you add to it if necessary (car seat adapters, sibling seating, accessories etc.)?
  • Can it be swapped from forward to rear facing easily?
  • Can all materials be cleaned easily?
  • Can it be used in a lie-flat position?
  • Will it fit in overhead lockers or storage areas on public transport?

By considering what you want from your pushchair, and the types of uses you have in mind, you should be able to find the perfect pram to suit your needs.

eco friendly baby

Eco Friendly Baby

eco friendly baby

Eco Friendly Baby

It’s easy to feel saddened by bleak statistics of global pollution and the environmental legacy we are leaving to our children, but there are some simple baby steps we can all take to help reduce some of the damage done to the environment.

With the launch of our new Prams for Good Campaign on March 1st, we are conscious about the amount of baby products going to landfill. Read more on this campaign here

We have come up with a few top tips to help get you started on your journey to becoming a greener parent and look at the best eco baby products around:

Switch nappies

The average baby gets through 4,000 disposable nappies by the time they’re potty-trained, costing families £400 a year and taking up to 500 years to break down. By switching to reusable cloth nappies for just one child, parents could divert as much as 874kg from landfill and reduce their carbon footprint by up to 40 per cent. We love the new eco nappy range from Kit + Kin or the reusable nappies from Bambino Mio.

Ditch the plastic

Nearly every single piece of plastic we have used in our life still exists somewhere on the planet – including your toothbrush! Start by switching from plastic bottles to soap and shampoo bars, choose biodegradable bamboo cotton buds and nappy sacks – and look for plant-based baby wipes which are compostable and don’t clog up the sewers. We love Mama Designs Bamboo Wipes and Breast pads and the subscription to bamboo toothbrushes for the family from The Pearly White Club.

Play it safe

If your child’s nursery or playroom is in danger of becoming a sea of plastic, consider eco-friendly brands such as Green Toys whose non-toxic, food-safe products are made using 100% post-consumer recycled plastic including milk bottles and yoghurt pots. Or switch to wooden toys like Orange Tree Toys – they’ll last much longer and don’t require batteries!

Eco travel

Travel in style and help save the planet with eco-friendly travel products. Try a carrier from Tula or a wrap from Amawrap, both companies with eco-friendly credentials.

You are what you wear

Clothing manufacturing uses huge amounts of greenhouse gases and releases toxic chemicals into the environ­ment – not ideal for sensitive baby skin. Thankfully, there are alternatives, such as organic cotton clothes on the market. We love Baby Mori and the new clothing range from Emma Bunton’s Kit + Kin

What’s for lunch?

Making baby food from scratch is neither easy nor convenient for many parents, but with so many organic baby food brands on the market today, it’s possible to source healthy choices to suit even the youngest (and fussiest) palates. Try Organix for full flavour and a wide range of products from babies to pre-schoolers.

Refill, re-use & recycle

Mopping up after young children is a given, so start by swapping your regular household cleaning products to a greener option such as Ecover. As well as being better for the planet (and cheaper for the consumer) Ecover also has refill stations in stores across the country – look for your nearest one here.

And finally…

Make the switch
With appliances running in the background of most families, it’s important to find an energy provider that won’t cost the earth. Most now offer a ‘green’ tariff but there are also dedicated green only energy companies too, such as Bulb, Ovo and Ecotricity. Simply turning the dial down on your washing machine to 30 degrees can also reduce your monthly energy bill and help the environment.

Don’t forget to share your top eco tips with us on Instagram

grey and white baby bedroom

Grey and White Baby Nursery Room Ideas

grey and white baby bedroom

Grey and white baby bedroom

Grey and white baby nursery room ideas

For a little while now, you’d have been hard pressed to pick up an interiors magazine and not find pages of Scandinavian inspired room designs. Greys, whites and natural woods are bang on trend for home decor right now. From accessories to furniture, grey colour palettes are used as a sophisticated and cool backdrop through the whole home. Unsurprisingly, when it comes to baby’s room, a grey nursery base colour is a popular choice.

Grey nursery decor

It might seem to go against the ‘cutesy’ traditional decor themes for newborns, but a grey baby nursery is what parents are opting for in 2020. Families are turning their backs on the old-fashioned ‘pink for a girl’ and ‘blue for a boy’ idea, preferring more versatile muted tones for baby’s room. Why is that? Well, maybe because for a while now, grey Scandi design has been so hot. As the middle ground between light and dark, it’s the perfect modern neutral. Offering classy and calming contrasts to colourful tones, it creates cool yet comforting scenery for a baby’s nursery decor. Grey pretty much matches anything too. For example, a grey crib will fit into the parent’s bedroom, and can be used by either gender. In shared rooms, grey and pastel toys can seamlessly work for more than one child. A grey theme can also be adapted for a new sibling if they come along, rather than having to strip everything back and start again when tastes change. It’s all simply a case of changing the accent colour.

Grey on the road

It’s not only decor where grey is a popular choice either. Grey travel systems are the new kid on the block, adopting new fabrics and materials to offer a premium feel to parents with an eye for design. The colour is also a new favourite with parents who are moving away from the traditional black, choosing a grey car seat which typically fits in with more car interiors too. With slings and carriers, softer greys are coming through in fabrics, and can easily coordinate with a wider choice of clothing colours.

Adding a splash of colour

Grey and white nurseries may not be for everyone however.  Equally en vogue at the moment, is adding a colour pop to balance the neutral greys. Teals, blush pink, corals, yellows and mint greens as well as the new earthy tones can all stop a grey nursery from feeling flat and bland. Grey and yellow nurseries add a burst of sunshine and are particularly trendy for a gender neutral room. Yellow accessories and soft furnishings are widely available for a range of budgets, and can really lift the greys with a modern edge. Or for a new take on the traditional colours of baby rooms, blues or teals can add coolness, whereas a pink and grey nursery gives a subtle and softer feel. By adding baby blankets with coloured trims, wall art, rugs, and toys, or for the more adventurous, a feature wall, grey rooms can be transformed with a simple injection of colour.  We love the range on offer from Natural Baby Shower.

Grey Nursery Products

We have picked some of our favourite grey products for you to choose from to complement your grey nursery colour scheme: Reusable natural cotton washcloths from Amawrap which also come in a grey colour Reusable Wash Cloths (Large, Pack of 5) The Shnuggle Air Crib to Cot Combines all the key features of baby’s first bed to provide a safe, close and cosy sleep space from birth, but is uniquely designed to grow with baby; www.shnuggle.com  Rosa and Bo Nesting babies – these cute Russian Doll inspired toys are suitable from birth and look lovely in the nursery. www.rosaandbo.com Hippychick Cellular Blanket https://www.hippychick.com/products/cellularblanket Nattou Tembo Rocker – £109.95 https://www.hippychick.com/products/nattou-rocker Mama Designs Babasac cloud sleeping bag https://www.mamadesigns.co.uk/product-category/baby/ Train toy from Nordi Baby which looks great on the nursery shelf too! https://www.nordibabi.com/shop/Train-with-blocks-p238836550 The Gaia Baby Rocking Chair and Footstool
dads mental health

Dad’s Mental Health

dads mental health

Let's focus on Dad...

 

“How’s Mum?  Mum and baby well?”,  “Everything OK with Mum?”,  “New Mum? – How are things?”

It’s no secret that becoming a new mum can be a roller coaster whilst adjustments are made to life with a tiny human.  Sore nipples, leaking breasts, sleepless nights, guilt doubt, overwhelming love, happiness, anxiety, the list of emotions is endless.  However, over the years we have become far better at recognising when mums may be struggling emotionally and have a wealth of services all designed to care for maternal mental health.

But what about partners?  How often do we ask about them?  How often do we stop to consider the massive changes that have occurred in their life?  Rarely!  And, astonishingly, nowhere in our official maternity care guidelines does it mention the wellbeing of partners.

Things definitely need to change, and slowly we are becoming more aware of the need to address fathers’ and partners’ mental health and wellbeing as they adapt to parenthood.  However, until major changes are made in care provision, it is important that as expectant mums we consider, both in pregnancy and after the arrival of your newborn, that you ask how your other half is doing.

For many years women have dryly rolled their eyes and supported each other with tales of woe that their partners are unexpectedly falling short of the mark, but we forget that they are learning too and at the same time as holding down a job, worrying about finances, worrying about the new mum in the house, not to mention making copious cups of tea for every Tom, Dick and Harry that walks through the door.   Are they told they never change a nappy, only to be moved out of the way when they do it wrong? Are they beginning to feel like a third wheel as you bond with your new best friend?

Research now suggests that for every mother that is diagnosed with postnatal depression, 50% of fathers will also be suffering – with no official support!  So, for the Dads reading this here are a few boltholes where you can go for support until our services catch up:

@thedadsnet 

@markwilliamsfmh

https://www.facebook.com/andysmanclub/

Becoming parents is the most wonderful experience but as with anything that is worthwhile and reaps rewards, it is not without its challenges.  Anticipating them during pregnancy and ensuring that you keep checking in on each other in the weeks and months following the arrival of your baby will help to keep everyone that little bit happier.

The 22nd June marked International Fathers Mental Health Day #DadsMHDay

With thanks to Midwife Louise Broadbridge, founder of ‘Let’s talk birth and baby’ 
@thehonestmidwife

fathers day

Celebrating Dad’s First Father’s Day

fathers day

Celebrating Dad’s first Father’s Day

Father’s Day is on Sunday 21st June. For a new dad, it marks a really special day, and the first of many. So how can you make the first Father’s Day special for your little one’s Daddy? We have a few little ideas…

A lie in and an enormous breakfast

Think about what he likes and have it ready. Whether it’s a full English, croissants with jam or granola and yoghurt, have it ready to prepare after he’s caught up on some sleep. He’ll wake up in a better mood and feel special. Dads need pampering too and, as we all know, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach!

A thoughtful gift

There are hundreds of options available on the internet from a personalised book about his baby, to a personalised chopping board or a monthly beer – or even sock – subscription. You know him best and know what he’d like. A carefully chosen gift shows you love him and understand what he likes. NOT ON THE HIGH STREET have some great ideas!

An original artwork or mug

In the days before Father’s Day, you could have a go at creating a bespoke piece of art or a keepsake. You can buy a kit that helps you take prints of your baby’s tiny hands and feet, or make your own. He could keep it by his bed or in the office. Or perhaps have one of your favourite photos or prints printed on a coffee mug?

Something more exciting?

If you can, you could think about making a real day of it. Its difficult at the moment to do everything you would have normally planned, but you could buy him an experience day for the future, or just plan a day to the beach, a zoo or Wildlife Park or a national park.

The gift of time

How about going down the route of giving him the gift of time? One of the things new dads often find difficult to get used to (and which mums on maternity leave sometimes overlook) is the challenge of getting up, going to work, coming home, taking the baby because mum’s been with them all day and needs a break, going to bed, getting up, going to work… You could think about making him a voucher that promises the whole afternoon is his own to go for a bike ride, lie on the sofa with a movie (the louder and more action-packed the better) or have a beer in the garden followed by a nice meal. This sort of gift will be restorative and as welcome as an expensive present.

A special card

It’s always lovely to receive a card that someone has put some thought and time into making. If your baby’s big enough, the effort they put into their early scribbles say ‘I love you’, or if not a simple card with paint footprints and handprints means more than anything you can buy in the shops. A simple card with a design by your baby in wax crayon or poster paint and a thoughtful message from you is sure to touch his heart more deeply than something you’ve picked up in the supermarket.

It’s all about team work

So however you choose to celebrate Father’s Day, remember you’re a team. Everyone has to adjust to their new role and although it can be tricky at times, as the years go on you’ll find it’s the most amazing adventure you will ever go on. And you will get enough sleep again, one day.
baby gift list

Baby Gift List Ideas

baby gift list

How to decide what to put on your baby gift list

They’ve been popular for a long time in the USA, and now lots of mums-to-be are holding baby showers and setting up baby gift lists on this side of the pond aswell. Whether you choose to have a get-together with close family or friends (if you can face-to-face, or if not online), or to set up a gift list because kind relatives, work colleagues and friends are asking what you need, and don’t want to double up, it’s a lovely time to be thinking about your new baby and all the things they’ll need to keep them safe, happy and thriving. But how do you decide what to put on your baby gift list?  There are many gift lists out there, but you could start with a company such as Myregistry.com. Here are some top tips to get you started…

Think practically

Especially if this is your first baby, it’s likely that lots of people you know will want to buy something for the new baby. Whilst one or two teddies count as essential, you’re unlikely to want thirty, so look at what things you’ll need and add them to your baby gift list. Popular items include muslins and bibs, sheets for the crib or cot, a changing bag, baby carrier or a mobile for the nursery. If you have generous grandparents, perhaps they’d be willing to cover the cost of your travel system or nursery furniture.

Think ahead

Friends and relatives can be inclined to fill your nursery up with cute, newborn baby grows. Which are lovely, but do you really need more than ten? It’s a good idea to think about asking for the clothes, accessories, books and toys that will keep you going for the first year, and remember to factor in the changing seasons.

Think about what you’ll get through a lot of

Lots of families find the cost of a new baby a surprise, so it’s OK to add essentials such as nappies, wipes, cotton wool, baby shampoos and nappies to your list as well as weaning equipment and a highchair for later. Some of your friends might be glad to be able to contribute something smaller and useful and will be pleased to know they’re helping in a practical way.

Think about safety

You’re going to need a baby monitor and a car seat. Before long, baby will be on the move and you’ll be needing plug socket covers, stair gates and cupboard locks. These are all good items for the list.

Think about yourself

If you don’t want to ask your friends and relatives for a physical gift, you might feel happier asking for help once little one arrives. Depending on lockdown, having someone to sit with the baby while you take a shower, to put some home-cooked healthy meals in your freezer or to run the hoover round is as much of a gift – often more – than something beautiful yet impractical ordered over the internet. And as for babysitting, take every offer when it comes even if it’s just so you can go around the supermarket unencumbered by a small child!

This is an exciting time

Getting ready for a baby is a very precious time and people want to be part of it with you. They used to talk about ‘being in the club’ when you first announced you were expecting, and it really is like that. You’ll be part of a club of amazing people (generally known as parents) who know the highs and lows of parenting and want to be part of it with you. Our advice is to accept all the support you are offered, and then send a lovely picture of your baby once he or she puts in an appearance to say thank you.

The Top 5 Stroller mistakes

Turn your stroller into a perfect travel system

We’re thrilled to announce that Midwife Cath has partnered with Baby Jogger Australia in 2018, to share her tips and tricks for all things parenthood. To celebrate, we’re giving one lucky Facebook follower the chance to win a one-on-one consultation valued at $250, either in person or via skype. Visit the Baby Jogger Facebook pagehere to learn more and enter the draw to WIN a one-on-one consult valued at $250. About Midwife Cath Midwife Cath – Cath Curtin – is a trusted expert in women’s health, pre-pregnancy, antenatal care and education, pregnancy, labor and birth, postnatal care, breastfeeding, and parenting. She has delivered over 10,000 babies throughout her 43-year career. Cath is an experienced midwife and maternal and child health nurse and can answer any question relating to your –
  • pregnancy, childbirth and parenting (classes)
  • feeding your baby (breast and formula feeding)
  • general baby advice (sleep settling)
  • developmental (checks)
  • toddlers (sleep, feeding and behaviour)
  • parenting questions (co parenting, same sex parenting, parenting alone) ….there’s no baby problem she can’t solve!

Turn your stroller into a perfect travel system

Turn your stroller into a perfect travel system

We’re thrilled to announce that Midwife Cath has partnered with Baby Jogger Australia in 2018, to share her tips and tricks for all things parenthood. To celebrate, we’re giving one lucky Facebook follower the chance to win a one-on-one consultation valued at $250, either in person or via skype. Visit the Baby Jogger Facebook pagehere to learn more and enter the draw to WIN a one-on-one consult valued at $250. About Midwife Cath Midwife Cath – Cath Curtin – is a trusted expert in women’s health, pre-pregnancy, antenatal care and education, pregnancy, labor and birth, postnatal care, breastfeeding, and parenting. She has delivered over 10,000 babies throughout her 43-year career. Cath is an experienced midwife and maternal and child health nurse and can answer any question relating to your –
  • pregnancy, childbirth and parenting (classes)
  • feeding your baby (breast and formula feeding)
  • general baby advice (sleep settling)
  • developmental (checks)
  • toddlers (sleep, feeding and behaviour)
  • parenting questions (co parenting, same sex parenting, parenting alone) ….there’s no baby problem she can’t solve!

Out and about with your baby

Out and about with your baby

We’re thrilled to announce that Midwife Cath has partnered with Baby Jogger Australia in 2018, to share her tips and tricks for all things parenthood. To celebrate, we’re giving one lucky Facebook follower the chance to win a one-on-one consultation valued at $250, either in person or via skype. Visit the Baby Jogger Facebook pagehere to learn more and enter the draw to WIN a one-on-one consult valued at $250. About Midwife Cath Midwife Cath – Cath Curtin – is a trusted expert in women’s health, pre-pregnancy, antenatal care and education, pregnancy, labor and birth, postnatal care, breastfeeding, and parenting. She has delivered over 10,000 babies throughout her 43-year career. Cath is an experienced midwife and maternal and child health nurse and can answer any question relating to your –
  • pregnancy, childbirth and parenting (classes)
  • feeding your baby (breast and formula feeding)
  • general baby advice (sleep settling)
  • developmental (checks)
  • toddlers (sleep, feeding and behaviour)
  • parenting questions (co parenting, same sex parenting, parenting alone) ….there’s no baby problem she can’t solve!
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