Thursday, 18 December 2014

How to Survive a Car Journey with Babies and Toddlers

Ready for Christmas? Presents bought and wrapped? Stockings hung? Large amounts of alcohol ready to be consumed? Or are you one of the thousands across the UK who are facing one of the biggest challenges that the festive period can offer... a long car journey with excitable children.  Accepting the invitation for Christmas dinner with Aunty Vera in Inverness no longer seems like such a great idea, does it?

There's nothing for it but to approach the whole terrifying task like a military campaign. No, no weapons - we mean planning and lots of it.

Firstly, know where you are going. Toddlers are very clever and are pretty sure that you've reached your destination 5 minutes after setting off. And they will let you know. When you hear their battle cry ("Are we nearly there yet?"), be armed with the right response - "We have 2 hours to go, which is a sleep, a snack and 6 rounds of Wheels on the Bus" will be received much more favourably than "erm, I think we should've turned left 3 hours ago".  Check traffic reports before you set off and have an alternative route ready - driving 30 miles out of your way via Little Uppingsnoot is still better than sitting stationary on the motorway for endless painful hours.

Schedule the attack. The best course of action is to drive at night. Leave just after their bedtime, when they are in comfy pyjamas (make sure the car is pre-warmed) and ready for sleep.  Make sure they've had a wee.  Have the car speakers set up to only play in the front - you don't want your sleeping beauty to be woken by the dulcet tones of Iron Maiden banging out in the back of the car.

If you can't drive at night, try to schedule the drive to fit in with their routine, if they have one. Have a rough idea of when the toddler may need a wee or a snack or when your baby might need a feed and plan to stop regularly. Even if you're not the driver, don't try to breastfeed as you zoom down the motorway - it's not comfortable trying to hoik a breast over the baby's car seat, it's not restful for your baby and it gives the lorry drivers an eyeful.

Bring wipes. Lots of wipes. Babies, like their older siblings, are a cunning breed - and if they get a whiff of a forthcoming trip, have been known to store up a super-sized poo, ready to release as soon as you've hit the M25.  Equally, your toddler, through no fault of their own, may decide that car travel is not for them and that organic carrot and hummus lunch that you so lovingly prepared will be regurgitated all over the central console and footwell.  Remember to keep spare clothes and wipes in the car - if they are in the boot, packed deep in the suitcase under the present for Aunty Vera's dog, they will be no good to you. And have more wipes than you think you need. You will need them.

Avoid situations of torture. We're talking CD's here. Be truthful with yourself. Just how many times can you realistically sing along to Wind the Bobbin Up, before you go stark staring mad and attempt to eat your own bellybutton? Twice, we think.  Before the trip, go to the library and copy go to the shops and buy some CD's that will be new for your toddler and that you won't mind listening to. Audio stories are great - look at it as an opportunity to revisit your childhood. Or switch the car speakers, so they only play in the back.

The Art of Distraction. Toddlers get very very bored, very very quickly. You will need to work your way through your entire repertoire of car games (I-spy does not work and should not be attempted ever. When your child announces 'something beginning with M', they will mean a dragon they think they saw two weeks ago). Keep lots of small toys to hand for your baby, too. They will throw them on the floor at three minute intervals, so if you're organised you can get a nice little conveyor system going.

If in doubt, feed them. When games and toys have been exhausted, snacks will hold their interest, give them something to think about and hopefully fill their little tummies with the slight chance of making them sleepy.  But plan your snacks - light finger food is perfect although give them anything sticky and you may live to regret it. And if you are giving them bananas, keep the peel unless you want to be wondering what that slight rotting smell is, coming from under the seat 3 weeks later.

Keep Smiling. Ultimately, the best way to survive the car journey is to relax and enjoy it! Tension and grumpiness (yours or your children's) will make the journey feel ten times longer and actually, long journeys can be a great opportunity to spend some real quality time with your little ones. Take the time to unwind and re-energise - because let's face it, you're going to need all your patience and strength for coping with Aunty Vera.

Visit Born to find products to make your journey easier - including Children's CD's, Wipes and Nappy Bags, snack containers, small toys and kids luggage!

Monday, 15 December 2014

Save over £100 on the phil&teds Smart Lux Stroller with Car Seat!

Save a fantastic £114 when you buy the phil&teds Smart Lux Stroller with the phil&teds Alpha Infant Car Seat & adapters - you can turn your stroller into a complete travel system, perfect for families on the go!

It may be almost Christmas but babies still need strollers, no matter what the time of year!  This fantastically sleek lightweight Smart Lux stroller from phil&teds is perfect for city living and offers 21 riding options, from lying flat in a carrycot (perfect for your newborn) to upright forward or rear facing, with multiple recline positions in between. It converts easily to a travel system and with plush fabrics, air-filled tyres and large sun canopy, your little one will be riding in luxurious comfort!

The Alpha Infant Car Seat is a safe and lightweight baby car seat with 3 installation options including Isofix. With the adapters included as part of the package, the Alpha car seat fits securely to the Smart Lux Stroller, so you can lift your little one from the car to buggy and back again without disturbing their sleep!

The Smart Lux with Alpha Car Seat Package is now available to order at Born for a very special price of £399, saving a massive £114 off the cost of buying the separate items.  Order now and it will be delivered to you in the New Year, hopefully in time for your own little delivery! 

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Born becomes PayPal-Friendly!

Exciting News! We now have PayPal on our website, so you can use PayPal for any of your Born online purchases!

PayPal is a quick and secure way of paying. It means you don't need to fill in payment details or hunt around for your credit card - you can pay for your Christmas shopping with just a few clicks. And you don't need to worry about keeping money in your PayPal account. Link a card or bank account to your PayPal account, and you can pay for your online shopping instantly!

PayPal also offers Buyer Protection, so if a delivery gets lost or arrives not as described (and we hope it won't!), you'll get reimbursed for the full amount - no quibbling!

So come and browse, fill your basket and find out how quick and easy it is to get your Christmas shopping done!

Monday, 8 December 2014

Why we love Pigeon!

For once, we're not talking about Christmas dinner! Pigeon (or Organics For Kids as they were once known) have been a firm favourite with Born customers for many years. Here's why we (and you!) love them so much...

Unique designs and colours
From acorns and hedgehogs to frogs and dogs, the beautifully unique designs from Pigeon are eye-catching for all the right reasons. Pigeon offers a choice of bold bright colours or soft pastels including simple neutrals for a completely natural look.

Beautifully soft and comfortable to wear
The organic cotton fabric used by Pigeon is beautifully gentle against delicate skin and is so soft that the clothes and blankets quickly become must-have favourites, perfect for snuggling up!

100% Organic from field to finished product! 
Pigeon are rightly proud of the fact that their entire supply chain is completely organic, from the fields in Turkey where the cotton is grown through to the factory where the fabric is processed and the clothes are made. Neither the cotton nor the dyes contain any harmful substances, so they are perfectly safe for the most delicate skin and are especially good for little ones with eczema or dry skin.

Social Responsibility 
All of Pigeon's processors and manufacturers meet the minimum social criteria of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), covering employment practices, working conditions, pay, collective bargaining, and the banning of child labour, so you can be sure that the clothes are made for children, not by children.

Last week, Born founder Eva Fernandes talked to Jane Shepherd about what makes Pigeon so special... Watch the video or discover more at

Eva Fernandes talks to Jane Shepherd from Pigeon

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Festive Alternatives for the Christmas Season

Looking for a change this Christmas? Not feeling filled with the joys of tinsel? Or perhaps you want to start some new family traditions now that you have a child, which don’t just centre around toys and food. Although there’s nothing wrong with toys and food. Especially food. Super-especially roast potatoes…

Why not look into the following, for something that can give your Christmas – or someone else’s – a little bit of extra cheer.

Reserve a Place at Christmas for a Homeless Person

£21.62 pays for a homeless person to have a better Christmas this year. This includes access to support as three hot meals. We can’t think of a better way to spread the joy and love this time of the year.

Make a Cool Alternative Christmas Tree

For inspiration, check out the link above or Pinterest. Making something that can be re-used, and added to can become part of your family’s traditions. Children love making memories like this with their families.

Donate to a Food Bank

Many local supermarkets have special collection boxes at this time of the year as well, so please look out for these and donate as much as you can.

Donate a Rucksack to the Rucksack Project

A fabulous project which supplies essentials to homeless people, especially important during colder weather.

Help Kids Company host the UK's biggest children's community Christmas dinner ever!

Choose a pledge and help support a great charity who provide practical, emotional and educational support to vulnerable inner-city children.

Whatever you and your family decide to do this Christmas, we all hope you have a wonderful time together!

The Born Family

Monday, 1 December 2014

Tea for Pregnancy & Nursing - Amanda Rayment from Welcome World Teas talks to Born

Welcome World Teas have been a popular brand since we opened our Bristol store 14 years ago.  Amanda Rayment is a Master Herbalist who blends a range of wonderful herbal teas and advises clients on a one-to-one basis about the best blend for their specific needs.  We sell a selection of teas that are suitable for breastfeeding and pregnancy and a wonderful post birth perineum wash to promote healing.

Born's founder, Eva Fernandes recently had the opportunity to interview Amanda, who talked through the properties of some of the blends.

Raspberry Leaf
In the first interview, Amanda explains why Raspberry leaf (a popular herb for pregnancy), is a brilliant herb to take as a tea for the last trimester of pregnancy, post birth and also to keep in the kitchen cupboard for the family.

Welcome World Raspberry Leaf Tea

Mama's Nursing Support Tea
Welcome Worlds Mama's Nursing Support Tea is incredibly popular with our breastfeeding mums. In the second interview Amanda explains the properties of the herbs, and how they work to aid breastfeeding.

Welcome World Nursing Tea

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Our Top 10 Christmas Traditions for Children and Families

The one thing we all love about Christmas is repeating the traditions that we remember from our own childhood - opening an advent calendar, hanging up a stocking, prodding the presents under the tree to see whose is the biggest... (maybe one not to be repeated!).

Having your own family is a great excuse to revive those traditions and maybe add a few new ones, so we've questioned our customers and searched the web to come up with 10 great Christmas Tradition ideas for you to try...

1. The Active Advent Calendar
Decorate 24 little boxes or pouches. Write a Christmassy activity on 24 little pieces of card and pop one in each box.  Throughout December, your children can open a box each day and you can do the Christmas activity together.  There are lots of ideas for activities - a woodland walk, watch a Christmas film, bake some Christmas gingerbread, make paper chains... the list is endless!

2. Elf on a Shelf
If you're not familiar with this growing holiday tradition, the Elf on the Shelf, in the form of an elf doll, is dispatched from the North Pole at the start of Advent to keep a watchful eye on the children and make sure they belong on Santa's "nice" list.

Children are not allowed to touch the elf or she will lose her magic and the elf must never move or speak when people are home or awake, but can "move" from place to place when no one is around. Each morning, the children rush from their beds to see what sort of mischievous pranks the elf has got up to while they've been asleep.

You may like to also consider the alternative "Thoughtful Pixie", who does a good deed every day rather than creating havoc!

Pebble Pixie Doll Rattle at Born

3. Santa Portable North Pole
This gorgeous magical website is a direct line to Santa! Just fill in a few details about your child (first name, how old they are, an exciting event that happened this year etc) and upload a few photos and let the magic happen! Santa sends an amazing personal video (via email) to your little one that will leave them in no doubt that Santa and his elves are on his way to visit them very soon! The video is free although you can upgrade to more premium paid packages.

Santa's PNP (Portable North Pole) Video message

One word of advice - when you specify whether you think your child should be on the good or naughty list, always opt for the safe option unless you want tears through December!

4. Baby Hand and Footprints
Paint your little one's hand or foot and make a print each Christmas. Cut it out, laminate it and turn it into an ornament that you can hang on the Christmas tree. Every year, your tree will fill up with these little prints - a lovely record of how your children are growing!

If you'd like something more permanent, consider using a company like Smallprint Jewellery who can turn your baby's finger prints into a piece of jewellery or a keepsake.

Smallprint Jewellery Events at Born

5. Biscuits for Santa
A lovely thing to do with your children on Christmas Eve is to bake Biscuits for Santa.  Whether you think Santa would prefer traditional gingerbread or double chic-chip cookies is totally up to you, but letting the kids bake the biscuits they're going to leave for Santa that night is a great tradition and they can really go to town on the decorating!

6. Snowman Soup
Take an empty jar or a cellophane cone and fill it 1/4 full of hot chocolate powder.  Add a layer of sweets (smarties, chocolate buttons etc) and a layer of mini marshmallows, then tie with a ribbon and add a candy cane.  The finishing touch (if you're feeling really festive) is to add a little card with a poem about the "Snowman Soup" - if you're not creative, don't worry - there are plenty on the internet!

Lovely to have on Christmas Eve and they make great little gifts too!

Snowman soup!

7. Norad Santa Tracker
Many people log into the Norad Santa Tracking website on December 24th.  Set up for children, it tracks Santa and the reindeer as they make their way from country to country, delivering gifts as they go.

8. The Night Before Christmas
A growing tradition involves turning Christmas Eve into an extra special occasion with a few early gifts or even a Christmas Eve hamper, specifically to make your little ones feel cosy and snug before bed! Many children find new pyjamas and bubble bath or a Christmas DVD to all watch together.  We love the idea of snuggling up to read "The Night before Christmas", for that ultimate festive feeling!

Earth Friendly Baby Organic Bubble Bath at Born

9. Looking after the Reindeer
Obviously, we need to remember to leave food for Rudolph and friends on Christmas Eve, but do you sprinkle the magic reindeer food outside your house to encourage them to land?  Mix porridge oats and glitter and tie up in a little bag with some ribbon, ready for your little ones to scatter before they go to bed.

10. Father Christmas Footprints
We can tell when Father Christmas has been, thanks to the half-eaten biscuit that's left (the wine nearly always gets finished).  Sometimes, though, he leaves footprints (icing sugar and glitter) from the chimney to the tree or up the stairs...

Father Christmas has been!