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Presents and advice

May 10, 2009 — Category: Baby Advice, Baby Gifts — Written by Kelly

It’s lovely to receive new baby gifts for your baby, but sometimes they come with lots of advice and recommendations that can feel a bit overwhelming. Just because someone else has children of their own, it doesn’t mean that they know more about your child – as time goes on you become the best expert on your own baby. But of course, you don’t want to be rude or unkind to other people, who after all, are only trying to help; so you need to develop a strategy to deal with advice.

You will need to think about what you are being told as some of it will be good advice that you will be glad to use, and some of it may be old-fashioned, or simply not they way that you want to do things. Most people who give advice will be just as happy if you divert the conversation into general talk and reminiscence about babies and how to look after them, so you don’t have to directly challenge them and tell them you don’t want to hear their advice.

Having a baby is such an important experience that it’s no wonder that people want to share how they did it, so there’s a good chance that sometime in the future you will find yourself in the position of being the advice-giver.

Keeping safe

May 8, 2009 — Category: Baby Advice — Written by Adam

Once your baby learns to move around, you have a whole new area of keeping safe to look at. Low shelves, cupboards with easy to open doors and anything just out of reach but hanging down will prove instantly and compulsively attractive to your baby or toddler. As soon as you can see them starting to move independently, you will need to go around your home and look for all these potential dangers. It might seem daft, but crawling around at their height will help you to see what might attract them.

It is much easier to remove the risk rather than to have to keep saying ‘no’. If you only have to tell them ‘no’ occasionally, then it will mean more to them and you will find it easier if you don’t have to be constantly on the look-out for hazards.

You can also direct your baby’s exploring by having a low shelf or cupboard for toys and other baby gifts that are safe for them, so that they can still be investigating but without danger. This gives you the opportunity to distract your baby from the danger area to the place you have made safe for them, and then both of you will be content.

Staying away

May 7, 2009 — Category: Baby Advice — Written by Diane

It is a delight to be able to take your baby to stay with relatives. Your relatives will love meeting the new member of the family, your baby will benefit from getting to know the extended family and you will get a bit of a rest as other people are only too happy to take over looking after your baby for a while. They will enjoy looking after your baby and producing the new baby gifts that they had bought, ready for your new arrival.

It may seem too difficult to do though, as you have to plan for everything your baby will need and everything will have to be taken with you. Before you go, it is a good idea to make a list of all the things you will need; start collecting them together some days before you plan to go, so you have plenty of time to get things ready in between all the usual day to day jobs.

And don’t worry too much about forgetting things - you will be able to buy most things and it’s surprising how much you can borrow or improvise when you have to. The important thing is to enjoy the break with your baby and family.

Baby Clothes

May 6, 2009 — Category: Baby Advice, Baby Gifts — Written by Kelly

Babies need clothes of course and if you haven’t had much to do with them you may wonder what the best types of babywear to get. One that most parents seem to find good is the all in one body suit or romper suit. These are easy to put on small babies and ensure there are no draughty gaps around the baby’s middle. Sleepsuits are similar and designed for the baby to wear at night.

Surprisingly, hats gloves and socks or bootees are also popular because parents know that babies need to keep warm and gloves can also help to protect your baby from scratching themselves by mistake.

However, babies should not be overheated either, so it can be a good idea to dress them in layers, then you can take off or put on according to the temperature. T-shirts and vests can be both practical and attractive, and are designed to be easy to put on and take off a baby.

You may think that items such as knitted cardigans and shawls are old-fashioned and no longer would be much liked, but they can also be useful when you are dressing your baby in layers.

You will probably receive as baby gifts some first size baby clothes, so it might be a good idea to wait a bit before buying your own and then getting the next size up.

There is a good mix of modern and older fabrics and clothes for babies these days, so you can mix and match to suit your choices and lifestyle.

Keeping healthy

May 4, 2009 — Category: Baby Advice — Written by Adam

If you are going to look after your new baby, then you need to look after yourself as well. If you are breast feeding, then you have to make sure you are eating the right diet and getting enough rest while you are producing breast milk. It can be easy at this time to focus exclusively on the baby and forget that you need taking care of too, so give yourself a few minutes if you can each day, to think about what you are going to eat and when you can have a rest.

Small babies tend to sleep fairly randomly through the day and night, so you could wear yourself out if you try to keep going all day and stay awake at night looking after your baby. Give yourself permission to rest during the day while your baby is asleep, the phone calls, housework and other tasks you were thinking of can wait for a time while you recharge your batteries. Better to aim to do only one or two things a day and pace yourself, rather than try to carry on at the speed you were used to before, and ending up exhausting yourself.

It can be difficult to eat proper meals as well, so see if you can get organised some easy to prepare healthy meals, such as pasta and salads, eggs or soup. Staying healthy will help you to have the energy to keep going.

Nappy changing

May 1, 2009 — Category: Baby Advice — Written by Diane

At first it seems a difficult thing to do – it’s a new skill you are learning and you can feel all fingers and thumbs as you try at the same time to hold your baby’s legs, clean and cream them and have the clean nappy ready to put on them. You soon find that it becomes second nature and you can change a nappy at speed. In fact you get through so many nappies at the start it is a good idea to ask for nappies as baby gifts before the baby is born.

But no sooner have you reached this happy stage than something happens – your baby starts to be uncooperative and instead of lying still while you change their nappy, they begin to object, to kick their legs and start to cry. So you have to learn another new skill, how to change a nappy against opposition. One thing that can help here is to distract your baby from what is going on. Have a few toys handy to show to your baby the moment they start protesting, such as a soft toy or a rattle.

As they get bigger and can hold toys, give the toy to them and talk to them about it so that they can share the interest in it. It might not always work, but you will get some easier nappy changing times as they forget to struggle against you.

Helping new mums

April 30, 2009 — Category: Baby Advice — Written by Kelly

Just at the point when a new mum may start to find that she is disappointed that she can’t keep her home as spotless as she would like, relatives and friends may have thought that they should stop visiting and give the new family some space to themselves. Of course, there is a lot of truth in this and it would be most thoughtless to keep interfering when not wanted, but it may be that there is something you could do to help.

Offering to help with the boring but necessary tasks of household work and shopping might be just what a new mum needs to restore her sense of comfort. It is easier and more pleasant to look after a baby in a home that feels ordered and fresh so this is something you could offer to help with, so that the mum can get on with spending time with her baby, or just taking a break so that she can regain some energy.

Most mums with babies find that they simply can’t fit everything in, and many find it hard to understand why, with all the time that should be available, but they are not taking into account how much hard work they are putting into the baby. Your help with some of the other jobs may be just what is needed.

Baby or housework?

April 28, 2009 — Category: Baby Advice — Written by Diane

Sometimes it can be easy to make the mistake of thinking that because you are at home full time with a baby, you should be able to keep your house spotless and perfect. After all, here you are with all the time in the world to do the housework and cleaning – no having to be out of the house by 8am to get to work and not getting home until 6pm when you are too tired to do anything except get a readymade meal and then slump in front of the television.

So why isn’t it working out as you expected? Instead of the perfect home, it may seem even worse than it did before. Well, there is one reason, it’s called a baby. You didn’t give up work to do the house cleaning, you did it to look after the new baby and babies take up a lot of time and attention. You are also on a steep learning curve as most people don’t have a great deal of experience of babies until they have their own, so there is a lot to learn in a short time.

So don’t worry if you see the dust accumulating, or realise that the painting and decorating didn’t get done. You are doing a far more important job in caring for a new human being.

Baby development

April 27, 2009 — Category: Baby Advice — Written by Adam

One of the most interesting aspects of having a new baby is watching them grow through all the developmental stages. Most new mums and dads will have done some reading about what to expect during the first year, but seeing it happen is rather different.

It is exciting to watch your baby as they change almost every day. At first you will be just getting to know your baby and learning the different cries so that you begin to understand what they want. You will notice their jerky, uncoordinated movements, especially when they are excited, for instance when feeding.

Then comes the magic moment of the first smile and from then on it seems that they are in a race to see how much more they can do. They reach the stage of being able to hold up their head and will now seem much more alert and interested in what you are doing and what else is around them. Rolling from back to front may come soon and before you know where you are, you can’t take your eyes off them for a minute without them moving away from where you had put them.

Crawling or bottom shuffling will follow and by now you will probably be having reciprocal conversations with your baby, even if you are not sure what the language is.

By now, you have a strong relationship with this small person, who is no longer just a baby.

Presents for new babies

April 25, 2009 — Category: Baby Gifts, Baby Ideas — Written by Adam

It can be a bit difficult to decide what sort of present to give when one of your work colleagues leaves to have a baby. You may not have a great deal of experience of babies so feel a bit out of your depth in having to choose something for a newborn.

This is where it can be really helpful to browse the internet and find gift sets that have been designed for just this occasion. You don’t need the knowledge yourself; you can leave it to the experts to come up with the ideal gift for a newborn baby, whether it is clothes, soft toys or a rattle.

You can choose what sort of baby gifts you want to give, perhaps jointly with your other work colleagues and you can decide on what message to put in with your gift. It is often nice these days to add a little something for the new mum and dad, so that they also have the pleasure of a new gift.

You may be surprised to find how much you enjoy the process of choosing all the tiny clothes or toys, especially if you haven’t had much experience of small babies so it is all a new experience for you.

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