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Shed Those Baby Pounds

December 31, 2008 — Category: Baby Advice — Written by Diane

After the birth of your baby you will naturally be sporting a few extra pounds. You can camouflage the extra weight by choosing flattering clothes. Avoid trousers with pockets for example as they will only add inches to your hips or bottom. Dress in dark single colours for a slimmer silhouette and make sure the clothes are comfortable. Many of your pregnancy clothes will still be useful in the first weeks and months after the baby but slowly start to replace these with clothes that make you feel slimmer.

Don’t feel you have to run out and buy loads of breastfeeding tops. Loose fitting tops and shirts will do the job just as well.

Avoid colours that drain you and make sure your clothes fit well as tight fitting clothes will only make you feel worse. Hit bargain stores to get some clothes to fit in the interim months or borrow clothes from a friend. Be realistic about how long it will take to shed the pounds. After all it will have taken up to nine months for you to put the weight on, it won’t disappear overnight.

Incorporate some exercise into your programme each day. Walking the baby will help and there are plenty of post pregnancy exercise DVDs that can help you. Put some DVDs on your baby gifts wish list so after your post birth check up you can start working out.

Give Mum some ‘Me Time’

December 29, 2008 — Category: Baby Ideas — Written by Adam

After the birth of a baby it’s perfectly natural for the mother to feel down in the dumps about her post pregnancy shape and feel frustrated at the sheer lack of ‘me time’ that she has for herself. Most people concentrate of buying baby gifts rather than considering the mother. In pregnancy and post birth women can feel they have lost themselves somewhere along the way. Their shape will take some time to recover after carrying a baby for nine months, their energy levels will be low due to lack of sleep and the demands of the baby and they may feel constantly dishevelled!

When considering gifts think about buying something for the mother as well. Make sure it is something personal to her and not baby related so she can feel herself again. There are many pamper products available such as bath oils, skin care treatments and scents and perfumes. If you’d like to make sure she gets some quality time to herself how about booking her in for a spa treatment or massage? It will give her a break from the baby and help her to reconnect with herself.

Other ideas are organising a night out with her girlfriends, or encouraging her to go to a local fitness class to help her get back into shape.

Food Hampers as Gifts

December 27, 2008 — Category: Baby Gifts — Written by Kelly

Much thought goes into trying to think of baby gifts. You want to make sure the gift is relevant and practical and perhaps unique to you. If practicality is important then skip the silverware products and only consider them at the time of the Christening, if indeed the parents are having one.

There is a great tip when it comes to buying gifts for the baby; simply get a token gift for the baby and choose something that doesn’t matter if someone else duplicates it such as baby grows or nappies. Then focus your attention on the mother and father and come up with a gift that will be appreciated by them in the next few months. No matter how well the new parents prepare for the new arrival, the birth of their baby will without doubt turn their lives upside down for the first few weeks and probably longer. They will have only a vague idea of what day it is, sleep will be something that is in extreme short supply and meals will grabbed on the run!

Why not put together a food hamper or take round a homemade meal such as a hearty casserole? They might not get the chance to tuck in straight away. It might take some days before they get round to it, but at some point perhaps in the middle of the night your lovely lasagne will seem like heaven to them!

Don’t Forget Dad!

December 25, 2008 — Category: Baby Advice — Written by Diane

It can often be the case that in the excitement of a new baby being born the dad often gets forgotten in all the fervour and fuss surrounding the mother and baby. Family and friends will descend upon the new parents in a rugby scrum of activity bearing gifts for baby and mum but sadly forgetting the poor dad who often finds himself relegated to making cups of tea for visitors.

When looking at gifts and ways to help consider the father as well. Gone are the days when dads take a back seat in child care. Most are involved in sharing the feeds, rolling up their sleeves and changing nappies as well as mucking in with the household chores. Although it’s natural for the mother to dominate the upbringing of the baby in the early months and years dad is becoming more vocal in his opinions of how the child should be raised and has the benefit of having a more objective view.

There are some great books aimed specifically at dads which make lovely gifts when the baby is born with advice on how to deal with the experience of perhaps becoming a father for the first time, milestones in their baby’s development and how to support mum.

Christmas Shopping for Baby

December 24, 2008 — Category: Baby Gifts — Written by Adam

If like many, you are planning to blitz the last bit of Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve then you need to have a good plan of attack when it comes to buying gifts for babies. The two main areas of choice are toys and clothing.

Toys are always a firm favourite with babies particularly if they have moved out of the newborn stage and are starting to become more aware of the world around them. Most stores will label toys according to the developmental stage and age of the child so that you have a good idea of what is appropriate for the baby you are buying for. Most 0 to 6 month old toys will be aimed at stimulating the senses and will have different textures to stimulate the baby’s sense of touch, squeaks and rattles built in for baby’s sense of hearing and be available in a wide range of bright primary colours to catch the baby’s eye.

Clothes can be similarly chosen based on the age of the baby and in some cases the weight. Check with the parents about what age is best as babies can grow out of clothes at an alarming rate and their current size might soon be too small. When buying both toys and clothes keep the tags on to be on the safe side. Toys may be duplicated by other family members and friends and clothes may not be the correct size.

Safe and Sound

December 23, 2008 — Category: Baby Gifts — Written by Kelly

When looking at practical baby gifts there is a whole array of products falling under the baby safety heading that can be considered to give the parents a helping hand when the bay arrives.

You can look at babyproofing gifts according to the age of the baby. At newborn and 0 to 3 months the immediate safety hazards are relatively low since the baby isn’t mobile yet and can’t stand or reach. However there are safety precautions that need to be taken in the sleeping areas such as the cot and crib.

If you have volunteered to buy a cot or crib then make sure the cot is covered by today’s safety standards. The cot should be labelled with the appropriate standards and also have guideline on the appropriate usage covering guidelines about age for example. If you’re buying bedding or mattresses there are also safety considerations to be made to ensure the hazard of suffocation is avoided.

The temperature in the nursery needs to be constant so a thermometer needs to be purchased to keep an eye on that, and also appropriate bedding bought that will keep baby snug but won’t cause the baby to overheat.

The changing table also needs attention and must be secured as babies can easily topple off.

Gifts for Twins

December 22, 2008 — Category: Baby Gifts — Written by Diane

What do you buy parents to be who are expecting not just one baby but two or more? There is no debate that parent to be of multiple babies need as much help in the form of baby gifts as they can get. In some instances the need will boil down to quality but in other areas they will simply need sheer volume. If you are struggling for practical and useful ideas then here are some guidelines to help:

It goes without saying that possibly the best gift you can offer is that of another pair of hands! In the early days it is natural for new parents to be caught off guard by the arrival of multiple mouths to feed and bottoms to change. It can feel quite chaotic at first until the parents find a routine that suits so all help will be gladly welcomed. Offer to run errands or to help mum on her shopping trips. Supply homemade cooked food for the parents to warm up or help out with the chores to give them a break. Be direct and offer help as many parents might be shy of inconveniencing others.

Another practical gift is that of nappies. Multiple sets of babies go through nappies like wild fire so extra supplies will be warmly received. Before you go filling up your shopping trolley with more multi-packs of nappies, double check whether the parents are going down the disposable route or prefer cloth nappies.
Another good idea is to buy a nursing pillow for mum whether she’s breast feeding or not. It will help her to support the babies and if she is breast feeding enables her to feed both at the same time. While we’re on the subject of mum, anything that gives her a treat after the birth such as spa days, massage or aromatherapy burners will be a lovely gift.

Travel Systems

December 21, 2008 — Category: Baby Products — Written by Adam

If you are the grandparents to be you may have offered to buy a travel system as a gift for the baby. A travel system is a way of buying the car seat, pushchair and carry cot so that they can be interchanged using the base unit that allows you to snap different items into the pushchair.

When choosing the travel system make sure mum is involved in the process. Start off by looking at the car seats as this is the area that most affects the baby’s safety. Make sure the car seat is covered by safety standards and to make the selection process easier rule out any that don’t fit into the car tightly. Also ensure the installation process is quick and easy, ones that have harnesses with 5 points are safest.

When choosing to pushchair it’s all about making sure it is convenient and portable. There are a variety of style, sizes and colours and you can choose a pushchair based on the lifestyle of the parents. There are jogging and rough terrain prams for example for the active mother. Make sure the pushchair fits in the car and look at how easy they are to navigate around shops and stores.

Baby Bedding

December 19, 2008 — Category: Baby Advice — Written by Kelly

Bedding is always a popular choice as a newborn baby gift, however when choosing the perfect bedding here are some guidelines:

Baby sheets and blankets need to be super soft for the baby’s skin. Blankets on the market for adults might seem silky soft to you but will feel similar to sandpaper on the skin of a newborn baby so buy blankets and bedding specifically made for babies. Materials such as flannel and double weave and knit cotton are popular choices. Also check the tags to ensure they are machine washable. The parents to be will not appreciate hand wash or dry-clean bedding.

In terms of getting the right measurements for the cot or crib most bedding is made to standard sizes and will fit most mattresses but check with the parents first. Bedding must fit the mattress snugly in order to reduce the risk from suffocation. Elasticated mattress covers are the safest as they are less likely to slip.

Check if the nursery has a theme or certain colour scheme also. You want to make sure your gift matches the décor.

Don’t worry about the parents having bought bedding already. Babies are messy and can have frequent accidents in the night so changes of bedding clothes are essential.

Antique Cot Dangers

December 17, 2008 — Category: Baby Advice — Written by Diane

When thinking of an unusual and welcomed baby gift you may be considering handing down a much loved cot or crib. Perhaps you are the grandparent to be and have always dreamed of handing the crib down as an heirloom or perhaps you just have in interest in antique furniture and think an antique cot would set off the nursery just beautifully. Although older cots can be both nostalgic, beautiful and charming there are some serious considerations to be made where safety is concerned before you decide to give an older cot as a gift.

There are some important safety standards imposed on cots that are produced today which are designed to protect the baby from accidents relating to fire, mechanical, chemical and electrical hazards. The enforcement of the safety standards has done much to reduce the instances of infant fatality and injury due to the cot. Obviously older or antique cots are not covered by these standards and need to be approached with caution.

Old mattresses can pose a suffocation hazard if they are too soft. You also need to check that the mattress fits the cot snugly to avoid any chance of the baby slipping underneath. The space between slats needs to be checked and if there are any missing slats they must be replaced. Many antique cots have beautiful ornate patterns cut out of the headboard or footboard. Although these look very attractive they are dangerous for babies as their limbs and head could get trapped.

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