Tuesday, 3 March 2015

How Great is your Sling? Tell us and Win!

At Born we love slings and baby carriers.  We love the security that a sling offers to both baby and parent, we love practicality of having your baby with you as you go about your day and we love the closeness and the bonding that babywearing promotes.

As babywearing grows in popularity, there is more understanding about the need for ergonomically safe positioning for the baby and the parent. Consequently, better carriers are being designed and  there are now safe carriers, slings, wraps and mei tai's to suit everyone's needs, tastes and budget.

So in our mission to spread the good word about baby slings, we want owners of carriers, slings or wraps from Born to help us tell others about how great they are.  And if you think they're not so great we'd love to hear from you as well.

If you'd like to share your thoughts and review your sling, simply click on the Review link below, log in to the site and review away!

And as a way of saying thanks, each sling reviewer will be entered TWICE into our 15th birthday prize draw, where you could win 15% off ALL Born purchases for a year!

The closing date for the birthday draw will be midnight of Saturday March 21st 2015, but remember all reviewers go into a monthly draw for a Born Gift Voucher as well, so even if you miss the deadline you can still win next month.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

What are the Benefits of Babies Sleeping on Lambskins?

Lambskins are well loved by many parents, and their babies, as a safe and natural way of promoting restful sleep. However a study has also found that babies who sleep on animal fur are almost 80 per cent less likely to go on to develop asthma.

As reported in The Daily Telegraph, German researchers found that babies who sleep on animal fur for the first three months of life are almost 80 per cent less likely to have asthma at age six.  The effect reduced somewhat as the children grew up with those who slept on animal fur early on 40 per cent less likely to have asthma at age ten.

It is thought exposing babies to the microbes in animal skins helps them create a healthier immune system.

In addition to these newly found health benefits, sleeping on natural lambskin or sheepskin can support restful, healthy sleep for your baby.  Babies who sleep on lambskins benefit from the temperature regulating properties of the wool, which helps keep them cool during hot nights and warm during colder nights. This is especially beneficial for little/low birth weight babies, as they expend less energy keeping warm - and can use it to grow instead!

The lambskins will absorb your unique smell if you lie on it before your baby is born, which provides additional comfort to your child, helping them to settle and feel more relaxed.

The Bowron Lambskin Sleeping Rug at Borndirect
The Bowron Lambskin Sleeping Rug at Born

The lambskins are perfect to use if you bed share with your baby and as they are so transportable, are ideal for holidays or nights away.  They are ideal to use for tummy time and we have found that toddlers and older children adore lounging about on them, as they are beautifully soft and have that soothing security of having been theirs since babyhood!

At Born, we love the lambskins handcrafted by New Zealand producers, Bowron.  All Bowron Sheepskins are 100% free of chemicals and are Oko-tex approved. In the 1990's, Bowron led the world with the introduction of the new bench mark in the tanning process known as the ‘Whitan Process’. This process quickly became internationally recognized as a break through, resulting in improved quality and significantly reduced environmental impact.

Hand crafting the lambskin: Bowron

The wool on Bowron Sheepskins is bleached during processing, but no chlorinated chemicals are used at any stage of the tanning process.  They are sourced and tanned in New Zealand and then shipped to Vietnam to be sewn and packed in workshops that comply with the ethical standards that Bowron promote. Furthermore, no animals are killed specifically for their skins.

So whether you choose the shorn or unshorn sleeping rug, the luxuriously soft infant cocoon or the gorgeously snuggly pushchair liner, you know your baby will be resting on a lambskin that is safe for them, safe for the environment, ethical, 100% natural and supportive of your baby's health and wellbeing.

The Bowron Lambskin Infant Cocoon at Borndirect
The Bowron Infant Cocoon at Born

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Postnatal Exercising by Guest Bloggers WaterBumps & Buggyfit

So you’ve had a baby – congratulations!

The minute you get pregnant the hormone relaxin kicks in which prepares your pelvis for childbirth. This hormone relaxes all your joints throughout pregnancy and will stay in you until you stop breast feeding – though this will lessen over time. You may still have quite high levels of relaxin in you, even after your 6 – 10 week Post Natal (PN) check-up. It is important to remember that even after you have been signed off by your midwife/health visitor, you should give your body a rest and avoid putting your joints through too much stress when exercising.

You may be keen to get back into shape and feel well enough to go back to exercise, however, you have just had a baby! It takes 9 months of preparing to have it and then the process of delivering your baby on top of that, means it will take time to be back to how you were before your pregnancy! Your pelvic floor may be weaker, rectus muscles may be separated, joints may be loose, your lower back may be painful/ache or you may still be healing if recovering from a caesarean section. With all this taken into account, the exercises you do need to be gentle and designed to ease your body back into exercise. Simple exercises can be used on a day to day basis, such as diaphragmatic breathing.

Deep diaphragmatic breathing is one way to help rebuild your abdominal muscles and strengthen your pelvic floor. ‘Reverse breathing’ is the postnatal counterpart of ‘birthing breathing’ which is used to open the birth passage for the baby in late pregnancy. ’Reverse breathing’ is used after the birth of you little one. This can be done by inhaling and then extending the exhalation, while also drawing the abdominal muscles in towards the spine, bringing the pelvic floor up. This is a safe and gentle way to get that toned tummy you have missed throughout your pregnancy. This can also be carried out in water alongside other exercise, such as swimming.

When your lochia (postnatal bleeding) has stopped, swimming is a great form of exercise for the postnatal period and beyond, as it provides a great deal of support- not just physically but also mentally and emotionally. The endorphins released through exercising, help to boost your mood and self-esteem, as well as offering gentle resistance; making even gentle exercise particularly effective. Always begin slowly, building up the length of your swims gradually, making sure you warm up and cool down and that each session lasts no longer than 30 minutes. If your preferred stroke is breaststroke, you’ll need to make a few changes to ensure any pelvic pain or instability that occurred through your pregnancy isn’t aggravated – so focus more on lengthening the glide and not ‘whip kicking’ your legs.

The main thing to think about with postnatal exercise is if you are joining any form of exercise group always ask the Instructor what qualifications they hold in the postnatal field and ensure that you tell them how postnatal you are. A professional qualified Instructor should always ask for your medical history and if you have been signed off by your health professional before they allow you to attend a class.

Post natal exercise is really good for you in a huge variety of ways as well as a great way to meet new friends!

About WaterBumps
WaterBumps is a company based in Bristol which offers blissful, pool-based, pre and post natal classes using gentle toning and strengthening exercises, as well as times of relaxation, helping you to cope better with the demands of pregnancy and motherhood. At WaterBumps we offer a free taster class to anybody new enquiring about classes. For more information, please phone WaterBumps on 01275 400 800 or email: metime@waterbumps.co.uk to book your free taster class. www.waterbumps.co.uk

About Buggyfit
Buggyfit Bristol offers mums the chance to start exercising again in a safe environment with Vicki Hill who is a specialised Pregnancy & Post Natal Personal Trainer.  The classes are for all levels as there are always different exercises offered.  It is about exercising in the fresh air, meeting new mums and best of all with your babies.  There are 2 sessions a week on the Downs, 1 session at Horfield Common and 1 session at St Andrews Pk. Email Vicki at pt@vickihill.co.uk or call 07747 614836 or look at www.vickihill.co.uk to get more information.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Born Reviews the ByKay Mai Tei Deluxe Baby Carrier

This week sees a new addition to the range of Baby Carriers, Slings and Wraps at Born. The stylish and fabulously comfortable Mei Tai Deluxe from ByKay is simple to use, incredibly supportive and all you need to carry your baby from birth until school age.

The ByKay Mei Tai Deluxe comes in a gorgeous dark denim reversible cotton/linen fabric, and includes an integral sleep hood and an optional shoulder pad set for supporting heavier children.

Our in-house Infant Carrying Specialist Katie Richards, is qualified and insured to advise and fit carriers and has over 5 years experience in babywearing.  She explains why Born loves the ByKay Mei Tai Deluxe....

"The Mei Tai Deluxe is a top quality woven carrier. The fact that it is woven is important - it means there is no give in the fabric along the weave but there is stretch on the diagonal. This gives the linen/denim blend a massive amount of strength, which means you can carry your baby securely on your front, back or hip, ensuring that your baby is supported in the best position for healthy hip development.

The large wrap-style shoulder straps splay out, again giving great support and distributing your child's weight evenly. The padded waist belt also increases the high level of comfort."

The Mei Tai Deluxe design is based on the traditional mei tai which has its roots in Asia, where mothers often carried their babies in simple fabric carriers that tied onto their bodies. It's easy to use and is ideal if you don't want to learn any wrapping techniques. The ByKay Mei Tai Deluxe adapts beautifully to your growing child and can be used by other wearers without any adjustments.

The ByKay Mei Tai Deluxe in dark denim is now available at Born.  If you are close, call into our Bristol store for a demonstration or fitting, or contact Customer Service for more information.

Find out about the T.I.C.K.S. rules of babywearing, co-written by Born buyer & MD, Becky Ward.

Friday, 13 February 2015

‘The Mozart Effect’ – Live Music for you and your Baby

By Guest Blogger Jenna from Lilliput Concerts.

Photo: Gill Thomas from Mouse About Town

We’ve all heard about the therapeutic benefits of classical music for stimulating brains both old and new, but how can it benefit you and your family?

Across the length and breadth of the country there has been a musical revolution in miniature, with the advent of professional concerts aimed specifically at families with babies and young toddlers. For younger audience members, research has shown that listening to and participating in live music can promote language, listening and motor skills, as well as having positive effects on behaviour and other sensory development.

A recent study in the U.S has found that even the youngest premature babies can benefit from exposure to classical music, with babies showing an improvement in their vital signs when music was played to them on hospital wards. For those who are slightly older, researchers at Brigham Young University found that music with a steady rhythm and soothing melody, by composers such as Mozart or Haydn, could reduce stress and signs of discomfort in teething and colicky babies (a welcome revelation for any parent who has tried to comfort a crying child).

When it comes to toddlers, we are all familiar with the seemingly instinctive urge to dance that playing music seems to stimulate (and the joyous smiles on their faces as they do so!). It is in these moments that music fires imaginations and opens children to ways of creative expression unlike other experiences they may have had. Family classics, such as the enigmatic ‘Peter and the Wolf’ encourage children to engage not only with the instruments but also with the characters it represents – providing a love of story-telling as well as musical listening.

But it is not only for children that music has benefits. Music is increasingly used at all stages during pregnancy, childbirth and parenting to relax and soothe the anxieties of mums, dads and other family members. Which of us hasn’t experienced plummeting stress levels on hearing a relaxing classic or an increase in positivity when our favourite, up-beat song comes on the radio? This is no coincidence! Research indicates that we are instinctively drawn to music for its positive effects on our emotions and the regulation of the part of the brain known as the amygdala; in stressful situations, the sound of soothing music helps to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, resulting in a calmer and more positive approach to whatever difficulty we are confronting.

For families these specific benefits for the individual child or parent are, of course, important. But listening to live classical music is about more than this. It is about bringing families together and bonding over these musical experiences. So, why not start your family’s musical journey by dipping a toe into a family friendly concert near you? 

Photo: Gill Thomas from Mouse About Town

There are concerts for 0+ in a wide variety of locations and to suit all musical tastes and budgets. In the South West, Bristol and Cheltenham have exciting concerts on offer from Lilliput Concerts with the excellent Music for Miniatures their nearest neighbours in Bath. Over the border in Wales, Baby Brahms keep us entertained, and there is Baby Gigs in Leicestershire. For those further North there is Recitals for Wrigglers in Edinburgh and who can forget the original Classical Babies in London and Manchester. Whatever musical experience is for you, you’re sure to emerge relaxed, refreshed and re-energised!

Photo: Gill Thomas from Mouse About Town

and if your little one wants to explore their own musical skills, Born has a full range of 

Monday, 9 February 2015

Send Us Your Reviews!

Join our 15th birthday celebrations by sending us your product reviews, and you could win 15% off all Born purchases for a whole year! 

If you have been a customer at Born, we'd love you to give your opinion on your purchase – by doing so you'll be helping others choose which products are right for them. So whether you thought your purchase was fantastic or flawed you'll be helping people just like you!

Win our monthly prize draw
We can't thank you in person for adding a review but we can say thanks by entering you into our monthly draw to win £20 worth of Born gift vouchers. The draw takes place at the end of every month, and the more reviews you make the more chances you have to win.

It takes no time
Adding a review is quick and simply. Just click on the Review button below, log in to the site and review away, you can even add a video review! 

Bonus Prize (as it's nearly our birthday!!)

In March, we are celebrating the 15th Birthday of our Bristol store (where it all began!). We're starting the party early by entering every review into an extra Birthday Prize Draw! You could win 15% off any Born purchases for a full year!

Our Birthday is on 21st March 2015 so to be in with a chance of winning, make sure you submit your reviews by then!

We'd especially love feedback on our Baby Carriers, Slings and Wraps, so if you review one of these, we'll enter you into the birthday draw twice!


Thursday, 5 February 2015

Pukka Herbs for Babies?!

Do you want to know more about how herbs can be used every day to support you and your family?

This week on on the Health Hub radio show at BCfm, the guests looked at understanding the therapeutic qualities of herbs and how they can be used to support the body's functions and organs to be healthy and keep you feeling great.

The main guest for the show was Sebastian Pole, founder of Pukka Herbs, who make the Pukka therapeutic herbal teas that are now sold widely on the high street.

Sebastian explained how drinking a simple cup of herbal tea can make a huge difference to your health and well-being. It's not just for adults, either! Herbal tea can support anxious children and there are some Pukka teas that can be of benefit for babies, too.

During the interview Sebastian talks about the use of herbs (and other food such as cheese) for pregnancy, and answers questions from Saffia Farr, editor of Juno magazine who came with readers questions especially for Sebastian.

The guests also talked about the Welcome World range of herbs made by Amanda Rayment and sold at Born.

Welcome World Teas for Pregnancy & Birth at Born