First Time Parents
becoming a parent is one of the greatest things in life, but it can also be one of the scariest! the uncertainty of what parenthood will bring can spook anyone, but we hope to calm those nerves with a little advice from the experts.
World Book Day is a global celebration of books and reading that takes place every year. It's a day where people all over the world celebrate the joy of reading and promote literacy. It's a great opportunity for parents to introduce their babies to the wonderful world of books and reading.
On World Book Day, many schools and libraries organise special events and activities to encourage children and families to read more. Parents can use this day to gift their babies one of the books mentioned in this blog post and start a tradition of reading together. World Book Day is a great reminder of the importance of reading and how it can shape a child's future.
Books are not just meant for adults, even babies love them too. Reading books to babies is not only a great way to bond with them but also helps in their development. Books with bright colours, textures, and sounds can help babies develop their sensory skills and cognitive abilities.
- Where’s Spot by Eric Hill
Where's Spot is a classic lift-the-flap book that follows a mother dog, Sally, as she searches for her puppy, Spot. Curious babies love lifting the flaps to see where Spot is hiding. This bestseller is available in a smart cased-board format with sturdy flaps that can withstand heavy-handed babies.
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a classic children's book loved by kids of all ages, including babies. The book follows the journey of a caterpillar as it transforms into a butterfly. The book features die-cut pages that eager little hands can easily turn.
- That’s not my lion by Fiona Wells
That's not my lion is a touch and feel book that encourages babies to explore different textures. The book has different materials on each page with textured patches to stroke, helping babies develop their sensory skills.
- Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
Guess How Much I Love You is a heart-warming book about the love between a parent and child. The book follows Little Nutbrown Hare as he tries to express how much he loves his father. The book has simple text and beautiful illustrations, making it perfect for babies.
- Baby Touch: Tummy Time by Ladybird
This interactive carousel playbook is the perfect choice for tummy time! Simply fold the book out and tie it together with the ribbon provided. The book will securely sit on the floor as your little one explores the vivid colours and different textures. Ideal for boosting motor skills and sensory development.
- Peter Rabbit Finger Puppet Book by Beatrix Potter
The Peter Rabbit Finger Puppet Book is a fun book that includes a finger puppet of Peter Rabbit. The book follows the adventures of Peter Rabbit as he explores his garden. Babies will love playing with the finger puppet while parents read the story.
- Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Goodnight Moon is a classic bedtime story that has been loved by generations of children. The book follows a young rabbit as he says goodnight to everything in his room. The rhythmic words are perfect for winding down after a day of fun and play. This bedtime story is a perfect nursing chair addition.
- Who? A Celebration of Babies by Robie H. Harris
Who? A Celebration of Babies is filled with bright and brilliant illustrations perfect for little ones. This storybook includes a repetitive verse that is ideal for engaging babies during those precious bonding moments.
- Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox
Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes is a sweet book about the diversity of babies around the world. The book has rhyming text and charming illustrations, making it perfect for babies. The book also helps babies develop their counting skills.
- We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
We're Going on A Bear Hunt is a fun book that follows a family as they search for a bear. This family favourite has repetitive text, which babies love. This playful storybook is a must-have addition for your little one’s library.
Why Should I Read to my Baby?
Reading to your little one is not only a great way to bond with them but also plays a crucial role in their development. It helps them develop language skills, cognitive abilities, and emotional intelligence. These ten books are perfect for babies under 12 months old as they have simple text, bright colours, and interactive features that are perfect for little ones.
Parents can read these books to their babies, or they can let their babies explore them on their own. Either way, these books are sure to provide hours of entertainment and foster a love for reading in babies from a young age.
Your baby won’t stay so small forever, and before you know it, your baby will be crawling from one end of the room to the other. Its a good idea to start thinking about potential dangers in your home before they get to this stage. The babyproofing process is important to avoid any unnecessary accidents to keep your little one safe.
What is Babyproofing?
If you are a first-time mum, babyproofing your home will be a whole new experience for you. Unfortunately, it isn’t one of the most exciting parts of becoming a mum. In fact, it can be quite stressful. This is why preparation is essential.
Babyproofing your home simply means removing anything that can cause harm to your baby and taking precautions to make your home a safe place.
Where to Start?
The best way to babyproof your home is to look at each room in your house through the eyes of your baby. We recommend you go into each room and get on your hands and knees as if you were crawling like your baby. Take into consideration what is within easy reach, sharp edges and any furniture they may use to help them stand up. As crazy as this sounds, it will give you a ‘tots-eye-view’ of each room.
When is the best time to Babyproof a Home?
When your baby arrives, you will be occupied with feeding, changing and settling them into their new routine. So we recommend doing the majority of child proofing before they arrive. During pregnancy, most women find the second trimester a lot easier than the first. Therefore, you may find this the best time to start.
Safety around the House
Multiple babyproofing tips can be applied to all rooms of your house. You may want to start with these first.
Keep all small objects out of reach – make sure that there aren’t any loose change, buttons or button batteries within reach of your baby. Check down the sides of your sofa and the floor to be sure you have removed any choking hazards.
Blind cords – can be a strangulation hazard if they are loose and within reach of your little one. Ensure that you tie them up, cut them shorter or use blind cord safety devices.
Furniture – take into consideration any furniture that could topple over if your baby was to use it to help them stand up, for example, a bookshelf or a set of chests of drawers. This type of furniture should be anchored to the wall.
Electrical cables – are another strangulation hazard, and your baby may be tempted to chew them. Hide any electrical cables or keep them out of reach.
Electric sockets – that meet British Standard 1363:1995 have an inbuilt safety system. You should avoid using socket covers as they could make your plug socket less safe.
Sharp edges – some furniture in your house will need corner and edge guards.
Cleaning products – can be harmful to your baby and need to be locked away.
Medicines – babies and toddlers may mistake medicine for food or sweets. Keep them away from your little one in a locked cupboard.
Stairs – will require baby gates at the top and bottom.
Doors – will need door stoppers, and some may need finger guards over the hinges.
Cupboards – there are many safety devices to choose from that will help keep your little one from getting into cupboards and draws.
Baby and You
Before your baby can crawl or walk, you will spend a lot of time carrying them around in your arms, especially in the first few weeks when skin-to-skin contact is advised. And your baby is comforted by being close to you.
It is important there are no trip hazards on the floor. And you are always aware of your surroundings. Remember, you won’t be able to do day-to-day things like making a hot drink while holding your little one.
Other Safety Tips to Consider
Fitting smoke detectors
Purchasing a children’s first aid kit
Don’t leave windows open or unlocked
If you have a fireplace, make sure it is babyproofed
Ensure houseplants aren’t poisonous
Your child should always be supervised by yourself or another responsible adult.
As part of Child Safety Week, we are looking at car seat safety, concentrating on the different factors you should consider when shopping for a child-safe car seat.
Is it TUV and FAA aircraft approved for travel?
Now that Covid restrictions have lifted. Many families will be planning their first holiday with their little ones. If you are considering travelling abroad this summer, you have probably already contemplated taking your baby’s car seat. However, you may not have checked whether its TUV and FAA aircraft approved for travel.
You can check this by simply looking for the label on your car seat. It should read, “This restraint is certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft”.
Even if it is TUV and FAA approved, you should still contact the airline to ensure its okay.
Don’t buy a second-hand car seat
You may currently be preparing for the arrival of your baby and shopping for the essentials you will need to keep your little one safe, comfortable and happy. One staple you’ll need is a car seat. The NHS recommends not buying a second-hand model as it could have been damaged in an accident. It also may not have all its original parts or instructions.
Do you need a car seat that is part of a travel system?
There are many different models, designs and styles available. But knowing the difference between them can be difficult, especially when you want the best for your baby.
One term you may come across when searching for a car seat is ‘travel system.’ Most travel systems contain a pushchair alongside a compatible Group 0+ car seat. Although, some do come with a carrycot as well as other accessories. These are popular with parents that are on the go and want a car seat and stroller in one. To fit in with their busy lifestyles.
Is your car seat EU-approved?
In the UK, there are two different types of car seats you can purchase – height-based seats and weight-based seats. Below you will find the requirements for each.
Height-based seats – As stated on the gov.uk website, only EU-approved height-based child car seats can be used in the UK. These have a label showing a capital ‘E’ in a circle and ‘R129’.
Weight-based seats – As stated on the gov.uk website, only EU-approved weight-based child car seats can be used in the UK. These have a label showing a capital ‘E’ in a circle and ‘ECE R44’.
Does your car have ISOFIX connectors?
An ISOFIX base makes fitting your baby’s car seat easier. But, more importantly, ensures that it is secured correctly.
Most new cars have ISOFIX connectors. However, if you are unsure. You can usually find them hidden between the padding of your car’s seats. Alternatively, you can check your car’s handbook.
Will you be using the seat in any other vehicle?
Having time away from your baby when they first arrive is unlikely to cross your mind. Your first few weeks together are a precious time for bonding and trying to develop a new routine. But at some point, you will feel ready to leave your baby with their grandparents or a friend.
Therefore, when shopping for a car seat, you will need to keep this in mind. It will not only need to fit your car. But also family and friends who will be looking after your child.
How long can a baby stay in a car seat?
It is important to remember that car seats are designed to keep babies safe while travelling and not as somewhere for them to sleep when outside of the car. The Lullaby Trust recommends that babies should not be in a car seat for longer than 2 hours at a time. And they should be taken out frequently.
They also advise that when travelling in a car with an infant, an adult should be sat in the back of the car with them to ensure they’re safe
The benefits of a rear-facing car seat
Ultimately, rear-facing car seats are much-safer and offer better protection than forward-facing car seats. It’s also a legal requirement for children under 15 months to travel rear-facing.
Practice fitting the seat before your baby is born
Leaving the hospital to return home for the first time with your new arrival is a special moment for all parents. You will be filled with a range of emotions, ranging from excitement to nerves. It’s completely normal to feel nervous or anxious about the start of your new journey with your little one.
One thing that you don’t want to have to worry about when leaving the hospital or birth centre is fitting your baby’s car seat for the first time.
Babies are more vulnerable to injury than adults
When choosing a car seat for your baby, their safety should be at the forefront of your mind. Babies need protection that adults don’t. This is because of their physical traits, such as their proportions.
Travelling with a baby can be quite a daunting thought when you consider the day-to-day essentials this tiny human needs. Add to this the sun, an unfamiliar environment and time spent on a plane with a fussy baby, you have enough reasons to avoid booking a holiday altogether. However, we're here to take any anxieties you may have about travelling abroad and replace them with excitement about creating lasting memories with your little one.
Just like you would plan for a trip to grandma's or a stroll around the park. Going on holiday is no different, it just requires a little more thought. The more careful planning you do before your departure date will make for a more relaxing holiday for the whole family. Our list of baby holiday essentials will help you begin to develop a checklist of everything your baby will need during your trip away.
Doona Car Seat
The Doona Car Seat is a holiday must-have. It is the world's first complete and fully integrated travel system, allowing you to move from car seat to stroller in seconds. Not only is it practical, but it has been designed alongside medical and engineering experts to ensure that the baby's body is properly supported in the correct ergonomic position. Furthermore, it is TUV and FAA Aircraft Approved for travel. So, whether you are wandering along the promenade or exploring in a rental car, the Doona has everything you need to keep your baby safe and supported.
It is important to keep your baby out of the sun as much as possible while on holiday. The NHS states that babies under the age of 6 months should not be in the sun at all, and babies over the age of 6 months should be kept out of the midday sun between 11am and 3pm. However, sun protection doesn't just include using an appropriate sunscreen. You should also consider buying a suitable sun cover for the stroller. The Doona 350° Car Seat Sun and Insect Protection Net has been created to protect against direct sunlight and insects.
First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is a baby holiday essential that should be a priority on your checklist. Hopefully, you will not need it, but it is better to have it on hand should it be required. As recommended by the NHS, your first aid kit should contain paracetamol suspension, ibuprofen suspension, barrier cream, a thermometer and rehydration sachets.
Make sure your holiday is as stress-free as possible with a quality changing mat. This baby holiday essential will ensure that each nappy change is on a hygienic surface and involves as little mess as possible. Any accidents can easily be wiped clean on a waterproof changing mat. During your time away, you may want to explore outside of the hotel. Therefore, a changing mat is a must-have for when you are unsure what facilities the local restaurants and shops have.
A Bag for Essentials
Whether you are spending the day around the pool or heading out to explore, you will need a bag to store your baby's essentials. We recommend making an alternative checklist dedicated to this bag, so you always have everything you need nearby. There is nothing more annoying than having to return to your hotel room to grab something that has slipped your mind. Some items you may want to consider for the bag are sunscreen, muslins and swim nappies.
Although some holiday accommodations provide a travel cot, you will need to check beforehand. Remember to pack a cot sheet to make sure that your little one has a comfortable night's sleep. Don't worry if your hotel doesn't provide a travel cot as they are lightweight and easy to pack away. They are also an investment as they will come in handy for any future holidays or trips away.
Time to Make Some Memories
Now that you have put together your checklist of baby holiday essentials, it is time to make the most of your time away from home together. Remember to take lots of pictures and enjoy every moment!
The key to a good day is a great night’s sleep.
At CuddleCo, we understand the importance of getting a good night’s sleep for your baby’s growth, development and health — and your peace of mind. With over 30 years of combined industry experience, we are rapidly on our way to becoming the nation’s Sleep Specialist for your little one.
With the average newborn baby sleeping for around 17 hours per day, we have launched the Mother&Baby Gold Collection Cot Mattress range, designed from the advice of experts and mothers alike, to give your baby and toddler the best sleeping experience possible. You can rest easy knowing your little one is in great hands — and maybe even get the chance to catch some much-needed ZZZs yourself.
The Importance of Sleep for Your Baby
Some babies sleep much more than others. Some sleep for long periods, others in short bursts. Some soon sleep through the night, while some don't for a long time.
Regardless of your baby’s sleep pattern, the need for your baby to get a good amount of sleep is not to be underestimated. As babies grow, their bodies are in a state of rapid development. While they’re busy snoozing, memories are being stored, synapses are forming, brain tissue is developing, connections are established, energy is replenished and much, much more.
While your baby is sleeping, it is also a great time for you to catch up on some well-deserved shut-eye. For parents, sleeping can be just as important as it is for their baby. Fragmented sleep can leave parents overwhelmed with tiredness and feeling bad-tempered, tearful, forgetful and depressed.
That is why it is crucial for us to provide you with all the tools you need to help your baby fall asleep as much as necessary — and the mattress is a key part of that.
Why Choose Mother&Baby Gold Collection Cot Mattresses?
Everything about the Mother&Baby Gold Collection cot mattresses has been designed with your baby’s sleep in mind.
From catering for newborns snoozing peacefully in bassinets with the small Moses basket mattress, to supporting your baby in the transition to a larger cot as they grow, you can trust this range of mattresses to promote healthy sleep patterns and provide the best comfort for your little one.
The Advantages of the Mother&Baby Gold Collection Cot Mattresses?
Not only do the Mother&Baby Gold Collection cot mattresses offer unrivalled support and comfort but there are also lots of other advantages to choosing them for your baby to sleep on.
- Breathable — they are designed to allow the movement of air to permeate the fabric, allowing for a constant fresh feel and absorption of inevitable leaks. They all have a waterproof membrane to protect each mattress without having to buy a separate waterproof cover.
- Temperature Regulating — containing advanced temperature regulating technology, every mattress in the Mother&Baby Gold Collection range is created to ensure your baby gets the optimised sleep they need.
- Easy to Clean — each mattress comes with a removable, washable cover, which makes it easy to throw in the wash and ensure is always clean and ready for your little one’s sleep-time.
- Anti-Allergy — each mattress incorporates Purotex-infused covers, a revolutionary technology based on 100% natural probiotics, an all-natural remedy against allergenic sleep disrupters. Purotex permanently cleans up to 93.7% of house dust mite allergens, providing a fresher, cleaner sleeping environment for your baby.
- Sustainable — the mattresses are covered in Tencel, which is made from the pulp of trees grown on special farms, and is made using recyclable, earth-friendly chemicals — making it an environmentally-friendly, sustainable choice for your baby.
- Organic — a special selection of mattresses from the Gold Collection, such as the Organic Gold Chemical Free Cot Mattress, are certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), which ensures the product is treated organically from the harvesting of raw materials through to its manufacture and packaging.