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Flying to the Sun with Your Baby

December 9, 2008 — Category: Baby Advice — Written by Kelly

If you’re escaping to sunny climes over the Christmas break with your baby in tow then there are some guidelines for ensuring your holiday runs smoothly and the baby doesn’t get too grumpy.

Firstly try to avoid any changes of flights.  If you can’t then try to make sure the changeover times aren’t too short that you have to charge from one side of the airport to the next to meet the plane or equally aren’t too long in between so that you find you wandering around aimlessly for hours trying to kill the time with a squirming baby.

If you can, schedule your traveling for when the baby normally sleeps.  However if your baby isn’t a great sleeper then avoid their usual bedtimes.

Try to book seats in advance so that you can ensure you’re all together as a family.  Ask the plane if they can supply you with a crib for the journey.  Always check with airlines as some have restrictions on the age that a baby can travel.

Bring plenty of toys and invest in or put a baby organizer bag it on your new baby gifts wish list so that you can take all the essentials on boards such as baby toys, wet wipes, bottles and other baby essentials.

Travel Gifts

December 8, 2008 — Category: Baby Gifts — Written by Diane

If you love to travel you may want to include baby travel accessories on your baby gift wish list.  Many people see the arrival of a baby as the end of their ability to take day trips out, weekends away or holidays but these days there are many products and gadgets around to make your trip safe and hassle free.

If you travel around by car then obviously the first piece of travelling kit you need is a car seat.  There are a variety of models and brands to choose from but the most important thing is that it meets with safety standards.  You can ensure this is the case by buying from a reputable retailer and checking the labels.  Some models remain fixed in the car and others can be detached and used as a carry cot.  Choose one that suits your needs.

You’ll also need a shade for the car.  There are some great ones available that have toys attached to keep your baby occupied as well as protected from the sun.

If you stay away at relatives or hotels a travel cot is very useful.  Look out for one that is lightweight, easy to set up and portable.

Stay Safe at Christmas

December 6, 2008 — Category: Baby Advice — Written by Adam

Christmas will soon be upon us and although safety needs to be at the forefront of your mind all the time with a new baby, the festive season brings with it other dangers of its own.  A baby won’t necessarily be aware of all the fuss around it if it’s within the first twelve months but that won’t stop your friends and family inundating the baby with baby gifts.

You may not have had a chance to vet what people are buying your baby before hand so when you open the presents by extra vigilant for small objects on the toys that could come lose or your baby could choke on.  Babies explore with their mouths so you need to be feel happy that the toy is relevant to your baby’s age and is safe.

Bear in mind that people without children may have little concept of the safety issues around babies and older friends and relatives may have a much more relaxed attitude to safety as it wasn’t so avidly adhered to in their time as parents.  Don’t feel embarrassed about taking a toy away from your baby if you feel it is unsafe.  Ultimately you are responsible for ensuring your baby is safe.  You can always save the toy for when they are older.

Clothes as Baby Gifts

December 5, 2008 — Category: Baby Gifts — Written by Diane

If you’re thinking of baby clothes as gifts for baby then there are some key pointers to consider:

Unless the clothes you are buying are for a one-off occasion you need to make sure the clothes can be washed and dried in a machine otherwise they will be way too fussy and impractical for the parents. Ensure you double check the labels before you buy. You’ll find there are more hand wash and dry clean only clothes around than you would think!

Comfort is key when it comes to a baby. They have very sensitive skin and zips, press studs and elasticated arms, legs and waists can soon aggravate the baby and cause discomfort. If there is a zip then make sure there is a layer of fabric between it and the baby’s skin. Elastic should be well covered and ensure there are no rough edges to press studs that could rub against the baby’s skin.

Always choose clothes that can be easily layered. Babies tend to wear one layer more than an adult would unless the weather is very hot. If you live somewhere where its prone to the cold look at buying fleecy coats and suits which offer warmth but aren’t too bulky or heavy.

Baby Pacifiers

December 2, 2008 — Category: Baby Advice — Written by Diane

Amongst all the baby gifts you receive you may find you have collected a wide range of baby pacifiers. You’ll either love or hate pacifiers. On the one hand they are a valuable way of soothing the baby and are also recommended now to be used at bedtime as a prevention aid against SIDS. On the other hand, you know that one day you’ll be faced with taking the pacifier away or may find it discourages your baby from breastfeeding.

If you have received the pacifiers as newborn gifts then you also need to look at whether they are suitable for your baby from a safety point of view. It’s not a bad thing to have a few different styles as your baby will probably like one particular brand best but don’t go rushing out to buy more until you know whether your baby will take one. Some babies just don’t like them.

Avoid pacifiers where the nipple can be detached from the base and also those that have a liquid or gel in the nipple. Liquid filled pacifiers can look nice but they can be potentially harmful if the baby eventually bites through the plastic.

There are also orthodontic pacifiers available that are designed to prevent issues with teeth as the baby grows. They have a rounded top and then a flatter bottom – however if you baby prefers the more traditional nipple, stick with that and take the pacifier away after the first twelve months.

Which Monitor?

December 1, 2008 — Category: Baby Products — Written by Kelly

If the parents-to-be have issued a wish list of gifts for their baby and you’ve chosen the baby monitor then there are some things you need to consider before you go rushing out to buy. There is a surprisingly large array of baby monitors available to its important that you talk to the parents and establish what features they would prefer and if possible get the actual model from them. Asides needing to find one that is robust and sturdy think about how the parents will use the monitor.

Mobility can be a key factor when choosing a baby monitor and there are differing levels of mobility available. Most monitors have a base unit that plugs into the nursery wall and should be positioned somewhere close to the cot. Then there will be a receiver that can either come as a plug-in or wireless. The plug-in varieties limit movement to just one room whereas a busy mum may prefer one that she can pick up and take with her from room to room.

You can also buy monitors that come with more than one monitor. If dad also likes to listen out for the baby then it gives both parents the option to listen in different locations. On a practical level it can be easy to misplace the baby monitor in the same way you would keys or the phone so having a standby can be a lifesaver until the other one turns up!

Alternative Gifts for New Parents

November 30, 2008 — Category: Baby Products — Written by Adam

When looking for unique yet practical newborn gifts it can be a challenge. You want your gift to be appreciated by the parents and to be useful in some way. It doesn’t have to break the bank either. Thoughtful gifts that can be used on a day-to-day basis will be received gratefully.

An idea is to buy baby bibs. A baby will get through stacks of these and any extra ones will be happily received by the parents. There are the bog standard bibs available that simply cover the baby’s front or those that have a nifty little lip to catch any dribbles. They often come in cute and funny designs and various soft fabrics.

For the technological lovers there are digital day reminders that can be attached to food products to remind parents how long ago they opened the bottle. In the hurly burly of the first few months of having a baby remembering what day it is can be a challenge so these practical and easily attached gadgets can be a big help.

If you want to buy something that mum will really appreciate and love, then there are an array of beautiful gift sets available with oils and creams designed to help to avoid the dreaded stretch marks. There are sets specifically for pregnant women so you can be sure they are safe.

Buying Baby Clothes

November 29, 2008 — Category: Baby Gifts — Written by Diane

When buying baby clothes as baby gifts it can be tempting to aim for larger sizes in the hope that they will be useful to the parents for longer. However, for newborn babies this doesn’t tend to work very well and the speedy gaining of just a few pounds can soon make an outfit too small or tight. If you go for sizes that are too big the newborn will drown in the outfit. In the early stages choose clothes based on weight rather than age. Compare different outlets as some ranges can be bigger than others.

You also need to look out for how easily can the clothes be put on and taken off. You’d be surprised how many manufacturers do not design their baby clothes with this practical issue in mind! Sometimes you’ll find that the opening for the head is far too small or the press studs don’t open far enough. The baby will be in and out of nappies so access to the baby’s bottom end needs to be quick and easy. Look out for press stuff openings or outfits that have bottom half that can be removed with ease. Also make sure they can be machine washed!

Choosing the Homecoming Baby Outfit

November 26, 2008 — Category: Baby Advice — Written by Kelly

It can be exciting when preparing to go into hospital to have your baby when you have to pick out some traveling home clothes! There are so many lovely outfits to choose from it might not be an easy decision plus you are bound to be inundated with baby clothes bought for you as baby gifts. Here are some considerations to make when choosing that all important outfit:

Think about the season. A rule of thumb is to put on one extra layer of clothing to that which an adult would wear. Think about the weather and plan an outfit accordingly. You will be walking from a warm hospital to a cold outdoors particularly if you have the baby in autumn or winter and even summer evenings can be chilly. So make sure you have a snug fleece jacket or suit and warm hat. If it is high summer then a single layer will suffice but make sure the baby is shaded from the sun.

With their soft delicate skin you need soft, comfortable fabrics that have stretchy openings for ease of dressing the baby. Make sure there are no tight elastic grips or buttons or press studs that could scratch the baby. Although you may want to go for a fancier outfit than usual make sure it’s practical and comfortable.

Creating a Safe Sleeping Area

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

When choosing sleeping products for your baby or when advising friends and family on suitable newborn gifts the emphasis needs to be on safety first. One of the major fears surrounding new babies is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome otherwise known as SIDS and there is a wealth of sleeping paraphernalia out there that can help to ensure your baby is as safe as possible.
When putting a baby to sleep place the baby on its back on a mattress that is tight fitting and has secure fitting over-sheets. There will be safety standard information attached to any high quality mattresses. Cots and cribs are similarly regulated and again check out the safety standards on the label.

When the baby goes to sleep take out any stuffed toys, pillows, quilts or comforters. Do not be tempted to put blankets in the crib or cot even if they have been bought as baby gifts. They should not be used until the baby is older. Keep your baby’s head uncovered whilst sleeping and never put the baby on a soft surface to sleep as they could roll over onto their fronts.

The key is to be vigilant and supervise your baby as much as possible when they are sleeping. Keep the cot as clutter free as possible and keep an eye on the temperature in the room.

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