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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!
Having a healthy, balanced diet during pregnancy is important for both you and your baby. By eating a varied diet, you can ensure that you’re getting the nutrients you both need to help your baby grow and develop.
Eat Well Guide
A healthy diet doesn’t necessarily mean cutting out all your favourite foods. But instead, changing the number of different foods you eat to achieve a varied diet. The NHS Eat Well Guide makes it easy to understand how much of what you eat should come from each food group.
Cooking a balanced, nutritional meal may be the last thing on your mind when pregnant. Especially during your first trimester, when you may be experiencing sickness or tiredness.
But not to worry, as you don’t have to achieve the right balance in every meal. The NHS states that you should aim to get the balance right over the course of the week.
A common myth you’ll hear while pregnant is that you’re now ‘eating for two’. However, when you’re pregnant, you don’t need to have larger portions or extra food. The best way to ensure your baby is getting the essential nutrients they need to develop is by trying to achieve a healthy, balanced diet.
It's normal to have an increased appetite during your pregnancy. According to BabyCenter, the reason you feel hungrier is due to changes in your hormones. They explain that even though you may feel ravenous, you don’t actually need any extra calories. It’s only in the third trimester that you need an extra 200 calories a day.
Fruit and Vegetables
Fruit and vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals as well as fibre, which can help prevent constipation. They also release energy slowly, so you feel fuller for longer.
Therefore, you should eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day. These can be in the form of fresh, canned or frozen fruit and vegetables. When shopping for canned fruit and vegetables, you should opt for those that are tinned, in natural juice or water, with no added salt or sugar.
Remember to always wash fresh fruit and vegetables.
For more information on what counts as one of your 5 A Day, visit the Eat Well guide.
Important Vitamins and Minerals in Pregnancy
A healthy, varied diet should help you get most of the vitamins and minerals you need during pregnancy. However, the NHS recommends pregnant women to take a folic acid supplement and a vitamin D supplement.
Start taking folic acid as soon as you begin trying for a baby or as soon as you find out you're pregnant. The NHS advise you to take a folic acid supplement that contains 400 micrograms (mcg) every day until the end of your first trimester. It’s important to follow this advice as folic acid can prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida.
Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and muscles. During autumn and winter (between October and early March), the lack of sunlight means we cannot make the vitamin D we need. Therefore, you should consider taking a daily vitamin D supplement containing 10mcg.
Vitamins You Should Avoid
During your pregnancy, you should avoid supplements and multivitamins containing vitamin A (retinol). Too much vitamin A can harm your baby’s development. This also includes liver products such as fish liver oil.
If you’re unsure or have any doubts about vitamins and supplements. We recommend speaking to a healthcare professional.
Food and Drink to Avoid During Pregnancy
There are certain food and drink you should avoid while you’re pregnant. Some are more obvious than others, like alcohol. But others may surprise you.
Below is a condensed list of food and drink you should avoid:
- Raw or undercooked meat
- Game meats such as partridge
- All types of pâte
- Liver and liver products
- Raw shellfish
- Unpasteurised milk and dairy products
- Mould-ripened soft cheeses (unless cooked until steaming hot)
- Soft blue cheeses (unless cooked until steaming hot)
- Soft goats’ cheese (unless cooked until steaming hot)
- Raw or undercooked eggs that aren’t British Lion eggs
- More than 200 mg of caffeine per day
We suggest you ask your GP or midwife for a full list of food and drink you should avoid while pregnant.
A Happy, Healthy Pregnancy
The most important thing to remember during your pregnancy is to eat a variety of foods to help achieve a balanced diet. Healthy eating doesn’t have to feel like a chore.
Remember, you can still enjoy your favourite foods. But just keep in mind that if sugary food and drinks are your favourite treats. You need to have these less often and in small amounts.
For further advice and guidance, speak to your doctor or midwife. Before making any changes to your diet, make sure you speak to a healthcare professional.
One last getaway for you and you’re partner before your little one arrives may be at the top of your to-do list. Over the years, the babymoon trend has exploded with the help of celebrities leading the way, such as Love Island stars Olivia and Alex Bowen. Who posted snaps of their babymoon in Tenerife. Before the arrival of their baby boy, Abel, in June.
Travel companies like Jet2holidays and First Choice even have pages on their site dedicated to babymoon destinations. But before you book your last hurrah. You should research and speak to your doctor or midwife about flying when pregnant. So you can plan ahead to ensure your babymoon is as relaxing as possible.
When to Travel During Pregnancy
Every pregnancy is different, and what you experience during a certain stage of pregnancy may be the complete opposite of what your friend does. However, the first 12 weeks, also known as the first trimester, can be particularly tiring. In early pregnancy, you may experience morning sickness and nausea. Therefore, you may want to avoid taking a trip away during this time. Plus, the risk of miscarriage is higher in the first 3 months, whether you’re travelling or not.
Another period you should avoid flying is during the final months of your pregnancy. It’s common to feel more and more uncomfortable the closer to the due date you get. You may struggle to sleep with your bump or experience leg cramps when trying to drift off to sleep.
For many pregnant women, the best time to travel and take that pre-baby holiday is in the second trimester, which is between 4 and 6 months.
Weeks of Pregnancy
After 28 weeks, your airline may request a letter from your doctor or midwife. That confirms your due date and that you’re not at risk of any complications.
It is important to consider that some airlines may not let you fly towards the end of your pregnancy. One reason is that the chance of going into labour is naturally higher after 37 weeks or around 32 weeks if you’re expecting twins. According to the NHS Start4Life website, at 37 weeks, your baby could make an appearance at any time, and this would not be considered early.
When shopping for travel insurance before you jet off, it’s important to bear in mind every eventuality. You should make sure you’re covered for all circumstances, such as an early birth, medical care during labour and the cost of changing your return trip if you do go into labour.
As we mentioned at the start, planning is the key to a stress-free babymoon. Once you’ve decided on the destination you’d like to visit. Make sure you research before booking your flights to ensure there are healthcare facilities nearby, should you need them.
It’s also a good idea to take a copy of your maternity notes/medical records in your hand luggage. Along with any medication you require while away. Another thing you may find useful is speaking to your midwife or doctor about any concerns you have before setting off for your trip, especially if you’re travelling later in your pregnancy.
For most pregnant women, spending longer than 4 hours on a plane is their worst nightmare. However, if you’re thinking about taking a long-haul flight, you should be aware that it carries a small risk of blood clots – Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). To reduce the risk of this happening, you may want to wear compression stockings.
You should also drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration and try to reserve an aisle seat or one with extra leg room.
Remember to get out of your seat and move around regularly. You should aim to do this every 30 minutes or so.
Choosing the right destination for your babymoon can be a difficult task. But there are a few factors you should take into consideration:
- Will you need any travel vaccinations? (Ask your Midwife or GP about travel vaccinations).
- What will the weather be like?
- How long is the flight?
Tips for When You Get There
- Drink bottled water if unsure whether the tap water is safe to drink.
- Be careful when eating and drinking to avoid water-borne conditions, for example an upset stomach and travellers’ diarrhoea – keep this in mind when washing fruit and veg.
- Pack suitable clothes and shoes that you’ll be comfortable in. Remember, your feet may swell in warm temperatures.
- Be mindful when planning activities, and don’t push yourself too hard. A babymoon is supposed to be relaxing.
- If you’re going to a sunny destination, be sure to pack a higher SPF, as your skin is more sensitive when pregnant.
- Make sure you don’t lift any heavy suitcases or bags.
Postnatal depression affects 1 in 10 women. Learn how to identify symptoms and what you should do.
Tips & Tricks
The start of the weaning journey can be an overwhelming time for both parents and baby. There are many worries parents share when approaching the weaning stage. However, most of these concerns have logical answers.
The most common anxieties parents share are surrounding their baby’s safety. For instance, how to tell the difference between gagging and choking is a fear for many. This is why this Child Safety Week, we want to give you an introduction to safe weaning and address any doubts you may have before you and your baby start the weaning journey.
What is Weaning?
Weaning is the introduction of solid foods alongside your baby’s usual breast milk or first infant formula. Solid foods are usually introduced around 6 months of age.
What is Baby Led Weaning?
Baby-led weaning is where you allow your baby to feed themselves rather than spoon-feeding them. You offer them a selection of foods to choose from themselves.
High Chair – your baby needs to learn from an early age that they must be sat down when eating so that they can swallow their food properly. Always make sure that they are sat upright and strapped in. Remember, never leave your baby unattended when eating.
Muslin Cloths – you will probably already have plenty of these from when your baby first arrived. But these will also come in handy during spoon-feeding to clean up any spills or sick.
Bibs – weaning can get messy. So plastic bibs are the best for the beginning.
Plastic bowls – that have individual compartments are ideal to keep different flavours and textures separated. You should also opt for bowls with a suction pad to avoid any accidents.
Soft spoons – that are safe for your baby’s gums.
Introducing New Textures
When planning what meals to feed your baby, you should consider the size, shape and texture of the food you will be serving them. It is important to keep in mind that some babies may need smooth or blended foods to start with until they get used to new textures.
However, don’t worry if your baby refuses lumpy textures at the beginning. The NHS encourages you to keep offering your baby lumpy textures. They will get used to them eventually. The introduction of lumpy and mashed food alongside finger foods is essential. It helps your baby learn to chew, move solid food around their mouth and swallow.
Remember that patience is key when introducing your baby to new foods. Eating is a whole new skill for them, and you should always go at your baby’s pace.
How to Serve Food Safely
Babies are highly vulnerable to bacteria that can cause food poisoning. Therefore, you need to be extra careful when preparing and storing food for your little one. Basic hygiene, like washing your hands before preparing food. Should always be followed. But if you need a knowledge refresh, take a look at the BBC Good Food guide to safely preparing and storing food here.
The main worry mums have when weaning their baby is the risk of choking. Choking can happen at any time with any food. But certain foods, such as small round foods, firm foods and foods with bones, can present a higher risk.
- Remove hard pips and stones from fruit.
- Cut food into narrow batons.
- Avoid round shapes.
- Try grating, mashing, steaming or simmering firm fruits.
- Remove the skin on fruit, vegetables and meat.
- Remove all bones from meat or fish.
- Do not give whole nuts to children under 5 years old.
- Do not give babies and young children boiled, hard, gooey or sticky sweets.
- Do not give popcorn to babies and young children.
- Do not give babies chewing gum or marshmallows.
For a full list of foods to avoid read the Start 4 Life safe weaning guide here.
During mealtimes, you and your family members should all sit down together as much as possible. Mealtimes are the perfect opportunity for your baby to observe how you eat. By acting as good role models when eating, they can learn from the beginning how to eat safely. Babies copy their parents and other children, so it is important that you are a positive influence. You can do this by sitting upright, breaking your food up and chewing properly.
It is normal for your baby to gag when you introduce them to solid foods. As we mentioned earlier, eating is a whole new skill for them. It will take them time to learn how the regulate the amount of food they can chew and swallow at one time.
For more information regarding how to know when your baby is ready to wean. Or how to tell the difference between gagging and choking. You can visit the NHS website. You can also ask a health professional for support.
Whether you are a first-time mum or are expecting your second child, it is important to refresh your knowledge on safe sleeping practices for babies. Becoming a parent comes with new-found anxieties that you have never experienced before. And sometimes, these worries can overshadow your first few weeks of bonding with your little one. To help you conquer any fears you may have about putting your baby to sleep. We have created this blog post where you can find advice, guidance and the Do’s and Don’ts of safe sleeping.
What is Safe Sleeping Advice?
Safe sleeping advice is introduced to expecting parents to ensure that they are taking the necessary actions to significantly reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Also more well known as cot death. It provides parents with the information they need to put their baby to sleep safely through the day and night.
Where Should my Baby Sleep?
The NHS recommends that for the first 6 months, your baby should sleep in the same room as you. The safest place for your baby to sleep is either in a moses basket, crib or cot. Always make sure that you place your baby on their back to sleep.
Can my Baby Sleep in my Bed?
As advised by the Lullaby Trust, babies should sleep in a clear, safe sleep space, which is easy to create in a cot or moses basket. However, it is a personal choice. Below is some guidance from the Lullaby Trust on how to make your bed a safer place for your baby to sleep.
- Ensure that you keep pillows, sheets, blankets and any other items that could obstruct your baby’s breathing or cause them to overheat away from them.
- Make sure that your baby won’t fall out of bed or get trapped between the mattress and the wall.
- Follow all other safer sleep advice.
- Do not let pets or other children in the bed.
- Do not co-sleep if you or your partner smoke.
- Do not co-sleep if you or your partner has drunk alcohol or taken drugs (including medications that may make you drowsy).
- Do not co-sleep if your baby was born premature or at a low weight.
- Never sleep with your baby on a sofa or armchair.
You should never share a bed with your baby if any of the points above apply to you or your partner.
What Type of Blanket Should I use to Cover my Baby?
You should never cover your baby with a bulky quilt, duvet or fluffy blanket. This type of bedding can make it difficult for your baby to breathe and cool down. Lightweight blankets are the best type to use as you can easily adjust the temperature by layering one or more. Remember, a folded blanket counts as 2 blankets.
Your baby’s blanket should not go above their shoulders. To prevent their blanket from moving in the night, tuck it securely under their arms. You should also place them in the ‘feet to foot’ position. It means that their feet are at the end of the moses basket, crib or cot. Instead of a blanket, you may want to use a well-fitting baby sleep bag with the correct tog value.
How do I Know if my Baby is too Warm or Cold?
According to experts, the ideal temperature for your baby’s room is between 16 and 20 degrees. The best way to check if your baby is too warm is by checking the back of their neck to make sure their skin doesn’t feel hot, clammy or sweaty to touch. But remember, if they are unwell, they may feel warmer than usual. In this instance, you would use fewer bedclothes. Another way to check whether the temperature in your baby’s room is comfortable is to get a room thermometer.
What Should my Baby Wear for Bed?
The first thing to take into account when dressing your baby for bed is their room temperature. Knowing the temperature of their nursery will help you make an informed decision on what to dress them in. Remember your baby should never wear a hat to bed as their head is important for maintaining their body temperature. It is how they release heat.
Below is a helpful infographic with guidance on what your baby should wear to bed, depending on what the room temperature is.
Does Breastfeeding Reduce the Risk of SIDS?
Yes. A 2017 study found that breastfeeding for at least two months, even if supplemented with formula, can cut the risk of SIDS in half. Furthermore, the Department of Health recommends that babies are fed only breast milk for at least 6 months.
More Safe Sleeping Practices
- Use a firm and flat mattress that is protected by a waterproof cover, making sure that it is the correct size for your moses basket, crib or cot.
- Don’t use sleep positioners to keep your baby in one position unless advised by a health professional.
- Keep your baby’s sleep space clear of pillows, bumpers, soft toys, pods or nests.
- Keep your home smoke free.
Always Ask if Unsure
When it comes to the safety of your baby, no question is stupid. Your midwife or health professional will be happy to answer any questions you may have. There are also many trusted organisations online, such as the Lullaby Trust or the NHS, that have a great range of resources that cover safe sleep practices.
Child Safety Week is a community education campaign that happens once a year and is championed by the Child Accident Prevention Trust. The charity’s aim is to reduce the number of children and young people killed, disabled or seriously injured in accidents. One way the charity works towards this is by giving free child safety advice to parents and carers to ensure that they have the tools and information required to keep their little ones safe.
This year, Child Safety Week runs from Monday 6th to Sunday 12th of June with the theme of Safety in mind.
In honour of this important week, we have decided to use our resources and expert knowledge to create a series of blog posts. These posts will be dedicated to 4 different safety topics to inform you about real risks that your children are exposed to daily. However, the purpose of these blog posts isn’t to instil you with fear. Instead, we want to provide you with the information you need to deal with these situations confidently and calmly.
The Safety Topics
In this blog, we will cover the main aspects of safe sleep for babies to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). We will focus on common questions about safer sleep and precautions you and your family can take before putting your baby to sleep.
This post is a must-read if you are about to start the weaning journey with your baby. We will empower you with the knowledge you need to safely wean your baby. And will look at weaning essentials, foods to avoid and much more.
A car seat is one of the many things you need to buy before your baby is born. This blog post will act as a guide to choosing the most suitable car seat for your new arrival and will help you better understand the safety regulations and laws in place.
Taking the time to baby-proof your house is an important process that all parents will have to go through before your little one is able to crawl. If you are unsure where to start, this blog post is an essential read.
Make sure you check back in each day this week when we will be publishing a new safety article. For more information on Child Safety, make sure you head over to the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) website.
Nursing pillows can sometimes get forgotten about in the never-ending list of things you need to purchase before the arrival of your baby. Although they are not deemed an essential for mums-to-be, they are definitely a useful product to help you and baby feel more comfortable during feeding.
What is a Nursing Pillow?
A nursing pillow, also known as a breastfeeding pillow, is a C shaped or U shaped pillow that supports you and your baby during breastfeeding or bottle feeding. They wrap comfortably around your body, adapting to your shape and providing a safe place for your baby to rest as they feed. You will find them in a range of prints and styles. But essentially, they are all designed to help make nursing easier and to reduce neck, arm and back strain for you.
Our Mother&Baby Feeding & Infant Support Pillow
Can I use a Feeding Pillow After a C-Section?
A caesarean birth might make breastfeeding more difficult due to several reasons, such as loss of mobility or a long and stressful labour. However, with extra support from your midwife, you should be able to find a breastfeeding position that is comfortable for you. One position that the NCT recommends is the ruby-ball or underarm position, as it might help keep your baby away from your scar. They further suggested that you may want to place a pillow under your arm to help support your baby's weight after they have latched on. Other C-section friendly positions they advise are lying down on your side and laid-back breastfeeding.
Why Should I Buy a Nursing Pillow?
Nursing pillows are especially handy if you plan on breastfeeding your baby. Lactation consultant Wendy Wisner advises keeping baby close with skin-to-skin contact during the first few days of breastfeeding. She explained, “This way, anytime your baby looks for the breast, it will be right there. Rooting, head bobbing, fist sucking, mouth fluttering—these are all signs your baby is hungry.”
Trying to maintain skin-to-skin contact for long periods of time can become tiring for your arms. You may find it even more uncomfortable if you have had a caesarean. Therefore, having a breastfeeding pillow to help support the weight of your baby can make the experience more enjoyable for the both of you.
What if I’m Expecting Twins?
If you are expecting twins and want to breastfeed them, you may want to consider tandem feeding. For this, a twin feeding pillow will help you and your babies find the perfect latch position.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Nursing Pillow
- Is it washable? – It is worth considering whether the pillow itself is washable or if it comes with a removable cover that can be washed.
- Does it have a certified organic cotton cover? – To avoid your baby’s sensitive skin encountering any nasty chemicals or dyes, you will need to ensure that the cover is GOTS certified (Global Organic Textiles Standard).
- The shape – As we mentioned earlier, most nursing pillows are either C shaped or U shaped. Before your baby arrives, we recommend shopping around and trying each shape to find the most comfortable pillow.
- Is it adjustable? – Many feeding pillows are adjustable and feature a strap or belt to secure the pillow around your waist.
Support Pillows and Your Growing Baby
You can continue to use most feeding pillows as your baby grows to help them with their key development stages. The pillows can be used to support baby with tummy time and sitting up. The NHS advises to only do tummy time when your baby is awake and alert. You should never leave your baby on their own propped up by a nursing pillow.
We all know toddlers can be tiring so we’re here to help where we can with the best advice for toddlers. from meal advice to helping with the first steps of life, we hope we can make parenting a little easier!
The Mother&Baby Awards are chosen and voted for by mums each year, making them the most prestigious in the parenting market.
Brands, products and stores nominated for one of these renowned awards can be trusted by parents everywhere. As they’re tried, tested and, most importantly, trusted by real mums!
After being shortlisted in October for 7 products across 5 categories and 3 brands, we were thrilled and humbled to be included in these distinguished awards. And delighted to know that our products were loved and appreciated by mums.
The team headed to the Mother&Baby Awards Show in London to find out if we would take home a Gold, Silver or Bronze for any of our products that had been shortlisted.
We’re honoured to announce that out of the 7 products we had been nominated for, 5 of them won awards!
Winning products and categories:
Best Sleep Product
GOLD: CuddleCo Lullaby Hypo-Allergenic Bamboo Cot Bed Mattress 140 x 70cm
BRONZE: CuddleCo Signature Hypo-Allergenic Bamboo Pocket Sprung Cot Bed Mattress 140 x 70cm
Best Eco-Friendly Product
BRONZE: Troll Lukas Cot Bed – Soft Grey/Natural plus mattress
Best Cot, Crib or Moses Basket
SILVER: CuddleCo Clara Cot Bed
Best Travel Product Over £30
BRONZE: Doona Liki Trike S1
We couldn’t be happier with the results and would like to thank the mum’s out there who tried, tested and ultimately loved our products and, of course, Mother&Baby.
Drum roll, please! We’re so excited to announce that our Autumn/Winter Collection is live. No more sneak peeks or behind-the-scenes. Each nursery set and baby furniture piece we’ve hinted at these past few months is online ready for you to share with your partner, family or expecting friends. Happy shopping!
Meet our 11 New Nursery Furniture Ranges
One of our main goals when designing the products for this launch was to have something for everyone, no matter your style, space or budget. We wanted to create a collection that considered all of the above as well as upcoming nursery trends, quality and functionality.
We understand that all parents want the best for their new arrival and how special shopping for their cot and all other nursery essentials is. We can’t wait to be part of your journey into parenthood!
Adding a pop of colour to your nursery has never been easier than with the Nola nursery furniture range. Available in sage green, flint blue and blush pink, Nola uses the power of colour to turn even the tiniest of rooms into a truly, modern nursery. This 3 piece set guarantees affordable style for all at £389. Other cheaper nursery bundles are also available.
The Aria nursery furniture range is hand-made with a natural grass material called rattan making it an ecological and sustainable choice for parents. Native to Indonesia, this strong, sustainable material is harvested seasonally and grows back quickly, meaning it can be harvested again.
Natural materials are an easy way to add warmth and texture to your nursery. Plus, they tie in perfectly with the boho-chic trend.
Isla combines modern and traditional styles, pairing strong clean lines and soft ash touches to create a nursery range that complements both contemporary and classic nursery decor. This 3 piece furniture set provides spacious storage for your baby’s clothes, toys and daily essentials. The set includes a cot bed that eventually converts to a toddler bed when your child is old enough.
Rafi is the perfect room set for the modern nursery. Available in cool white and charcoal black, featuring warm oak tones and subtle linear detail. Rafi is perfectly finished with soft, tactile leather handles and soft close mechanisms.
The Ada nursery furniture set is a modern classic, incorporating sleek, contemporary lines and soft ash tones. Available in a 3 piece and 2 piece set, Ada would make the perfect addition to your nursery.
Freya brings a calming influence to the nursery with its cool wooden tones and white-washed finish. Perfect for creating a soothing sleep environment for your little one. Freya’s neutral tones will complement any nursery decor or style.
Enzo’s simple design will look the part in any nursery. Its understated style showcases a smooth truffle oak wood finish and cool white tones, featuring black metal handles that provide the perfect contrast.
Lana promises to complement any nursery interior or decor with its subtle two-tone colourway. This gender-neutral nursery set pairs delicate ash tones and a simple, white, painted finish to create a must-have nursery furniture range.
Your Dream Nursery Awaits
We can’t wait to see you bring your nursery to life with our new baby furniture sets. Head over to our Instagram for styling inspiration, and be sure to tag us in your nursery photos to be in with a chance of featuring on our feed!
Style, trend and colour are 3 things we’ll be delivering this autumn with our launch of 11 brand-new nursery furniture ranges. We’re so excited to finally share with you a sneak peek of what to expect from our biggest release to date!
Nursery Design to Inspire
We’ve identified upcoming trends for the nursery to bring you design-led ranges we guarantee you’ll love. Lots of hard work has gone on behind the scenes to ensure that our latest launch truly has something for everyone, no matter your style, space or budget.
Boho-Chic for Your Baby’s Bedroom
The boho-chic trend may have already snuck into other areas of your home in the form of earthy colour palettes and natural hues. But finding a way to incorporate this trend into the nursery was difficult until Aria.
Introducing Aria, one of our 11 new furniture ranges coming to you very, very soon. This nursery furniture is predominantly made of a grass material called rattan. Native to Indonesia, this strong, sustainable material is harvested seasonally and grows back promptly, meaning it can be harvested again.
This rattan nursery range will add warmth and texture to your little one’s bedroom. Along with a crib and baby changing unit, the collection will also include nursery accessories such as a round rattan mirror and a decorative lampshade.
Bold, Modern and Minimalist
In bold contrast to Aria is Rafi, available in charcoal black and cool white, contrasted with warm oak tones. Rafi is perfect for the modern nursery with its subtle linear detail and soft, tactile leather handles. We promise this range will easily grow with your family, from nursery to first bedroom, with convertible cot beds, nursery dressers with removable changing tops, and wardrobes that can adapt to full-size hanging.
The Power of Colour
Here to brighten up those cold autumn days is Nola. This 3 piece nursery set has a simple, minimal design that uses the power of colour to turn even the tiniest of rooms into a truly, modern nursery. Available in three bold hues, Nola adds a playful touch to any room. This Instagram-worthy, 3-piece set has a price tag of only £389, ensuring affordable style for everyone.
We can’t wait for all these new baby furniture sets to launch on our website later this month. To be the first to know when the nursery furniture goes live on our website, make sure you sign up for our newsletter.
We are thrilled to share that we have been shortlisted for 7 products across 5 categories and 3 brands at the Mother & Baby Awards 2023.
The awards are chosen and voted for by parents, which makes this even more special and humbling.
We have been shortlisted in the following categories:
✨ Best Eco-friendly Product - Troll Lukas Cot Bed - Soft Grey/Natural
✨ Best Travel Product Over £30 - Doona Liki Trike S1
✨ Best Product For A Newborn 0-4 months - CuddleCo Bamboo Changing Mat – Natural
✨ Best Cot, Crib or Moses Basket – Troll Lukas Cot Bed
✨ Best Sleep Product - CuddleCo Lullaby Hypo-Allergenic Bamboo Cot Bed Mattress 140 x 70cm
✨ Best Cot, Crib or Moses Basket – CuddleCo Clara Cot Bed
✨ Best Sleep Product - CuddleCo Signature Hypo-Allergenic Bamboo Pocket Sprung Cot Bed Mattress 140 x 70cm
Pancake Day is the perfect opportunity for the whole family to sit down together and enjoy some tasty treats. Paediatric Dietitian, Kat Martinez-Thomas, is here to share with you a quick and easy pancake recipe!
Pancakes are an ideal food for babies, and with pancake day around the corner, I wanted to share a super easy weaning pancake recipe that the whole family can enjoy!
These banana pancakes for baby use simple ingredients but are a bit of a twist on the classic recipe. Oats contain energy, fibre, B vitamins and some protein, making them a nutrient-rich food for babies. The banana adds a little extra flavour and texture to the recipe, as well as extra vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and potassium.
Serve with a dollop of yoghurt and some fruit for a perfectly balanced meal for your baby. Adding a little nut butter, if your baby has tried it before, would be ideal, too!
When can my baby have pancakes?
Pancakes are a great finger food for baby right from early on in their weaning journey. Once baby has started to experiment with different textures, these pancakes are nice and soft and can be cut into ideal shapes for baby to grab hold of to bring to their mouths. They’re a perfect baby-led weaning food – even for parents who may be a little more anxious about offering finger foods.
A note on allergies
This recipe includes eggs, milk and oats – all of which are potential allergens. Make sure your baby has had all of those ingredients before offering them these pancakes. For more on allergens, you can check out the NHS website.
- 1 large banana
- Half a cup of oats
- 75ml milk of choice (see NHS advice on Milk here)
- 1 free range egg
- Sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)
- Simply add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until you have a batter consistency
- Heat some oil in a pan on a medium heat. When hot, turn the heat down and add around 1 and a half tbsp of batter into the pan – add as many as you can fit with a little room to flip (Keep the heat low to avoid the outside burning)
- Watch them carefully and flip once browning on one side. Use a knife to gently check that they’re cooked all the way through
- Continue until you’ve used up all of the batter – you may need to add extra oil in between cooking
- Cut into strips and enjoy!
Kat offers weaning and dietary advice to parents and carers looking for extra support feeding their babies and children. Head over to Kat’s website to find out more about the services she offers.
Starting to wean your baby can be overwhelming for both you and your little one. You might have lots of worries and questions about how to get started or what method is best. Paediatric Dietitian, Kat Martinez-Thomas, has written a guest blog post that will help you start your weaning journey with confidence.
One of the main questions parents have when it comes to weaning is exactly HOW to start. It can be quite overwhelming when looking on the internet, especially with the rising popularity of “baby-led weaning” in recent years.
This blog will cover the differences between traditional and baby-led weaning, as well as the pros and cons of both methods, and highlight what to consider when starting your baby on solid foods.
What is baby-led weaning?
Whilst traditionally babies have been offered pureed food at the start of weaning, baby-led weaning means skipping the purees and offering finger foods instead. The idea is that the baby is in control of what, and how much, they eat, rather than being fed by an adult – hence the term “baby-led.”
What are the benefits of baby-led weaning?
There are many benefits to baby-led weaning, including:
- Allowing the baby independence and autonomy over what they’re eating – this can also help them to follow their own appetite from early on
- Learning to experiment with a wider variety of textures more quickly, and developing skills to pick up food, bring it to their mouth, chew and swallow
- Easier for babies to be involved in family mealtimes and be exposed to more family style foods
- Easier preparation for parents as they can feed baby the same foods they are eating
Are there any cons to baby-led weaning?
One of the main worries parents have with baby-led weaning is around choking. The current research doesn’t show any increased risk of choking from babies that are following a baby-led weaning approach.
Being exposed to a variety of textures as soon as possible, whether through spoon-feeding or finger foods is important to help babies develop and practice the skills needed to become competent eaters.
Some research suggests that babies who follow baby-led weaning take in LESS nutrition at the beginning, as they learn the skills to eat competently. Whilst milk continues to be a main source of nutrition, there are some nutrients, particularly iron, which are important to get from food. Offering plenty of variety of iron-rich foods such as meat, fish, eggs, beans, pulses, nuts and seeds can help to ensure babies get plenty of opportunity to maximise the nutrition from their food.
What about traditional weaning?
Traditional weaning involves spoon-feeding babies purees of different foods and gradually progressing through to more lumpy and textured foods. Many parents may feel more confident following this method, particularly at the start of weaning. It can be slightly less messy than baby-led weaning and parents may find it easier to know how much their baby has eaten. This can help parents to feel comfortable that their baby is getting certain nutrients, such as iron.
Spoon-feeding babies purees can mean it takes longer for them to become involved in family mealtimes, as it’s more difficult to share a meal when feeding your baby at the same time. It can also mean that babies are exposed to less variety of textures, which is important for them to develop and practice the skills needed for eating.
What is the best way to start weaning?
Ultimately, the weaning style parents choose will depend on a variety of factors. There are pros and cons to both baby-led weaning and spoon feeding, and it’s important that parents feel confident in whichever method they follow for feeding their child. Offering a mix of both finger foods and spoon-feeding can be a great way to allow your baby to explore and experiment.
Whether you’re offering finger foods or purees, it’s a good idea to offer as much variety as possible and really allow your baby to try different tastes and textures. It can be a messy time but try to let your baby experiment as much as possible.
It’s perfectly normal for them to want to get stuck in and use their hands or hold the spoon themselves. The more they can feel in control at the table, the more likely they are to enjoy it and feel confident exploring the food on offer.
Whatever way you choose to wean your baby, try to ENJOY the process as much as possible and focus on making the mealtime a positive experience. There’s A LOT for babies to learn during weaning – they need plenty of opportunity to practice and they’ll all get there in their own time!
Kat offers weaning and dietary advice to parents and carers looking for extra support feeding their babies and children. Head over to Kat's website to find out more about the services she offers.