Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Halloween - Perfect Pumpkin Recipes for Babies & Toddlers

It's that time again! Pumpkins are appearing in the shops alongside scary masks and halloween costumes, so what can you do with a pumpkin other than carving it?

Pumpkins are jam-packed full of some of the best nutritional compounds around. They are highly loaded with Vitamin A and beta carotene. Beta Carotene is one of the plant carotenoids that when eaten and digested, turns into Vitamin A in the human body.

Pumpkins are also good sources of potassium, protein, and iron. They are wonderfully low in fat, low in calories but high in fibre.

With all this goodness, cooked pumpkin makes a brilliantly nutritious and tasty meal for your baby or child.  However, before you start saving all the insides of your carved pumpkins, it's important to note that it's always best to use "cooking pumpkins" when selecting a pumpkin which you intend to eat. Although typical large carving pumpkins are edible, they can taste awful!  As a rule of thumb, the larger the pumpkin, the tougher the skin and the woodier and more tasteless the flesh.

If your little one is at the puree stage of feeding, the brilliant "My Pouch" is ideal for batch cooking or when you're out and about.  Just fill up each pouch with the puree then either freeze or pop in a lunch box - your little one can suck it straight from the pouch! Cheaper than shop-bought alternatives and you know whats in it! Perfect for pumpkin on the go!!

My Pouch - A Pack of 10 for just £9.99 at Born

Pumpkin Recipes

Just Pumpkin!
Pumpkin by itself is excellent. To cook pumpkin, slice into chunks no larger than 3"x3", and all chunks must be about the same size. Leave the peel on. Steam in the microwave or on the stove until all pieces are soft and mushy.

Pumpkin Puree (6 months+)
From wholesomebabyfood.com

1 cooking pumpkin
cinnamon, nutmeg (optional - sprinkle into the cooking water or when you puree/mash)

1. Halve the pumpkin, and remove the seeds.
2. Place both halves face down in a baking pan with approx 1-2 inches of water.
3. Bake between 375-425 F for approximately 40 minutes to 1 hour until the pumpkin flesh is soft.
4. Scrape out the pumpkin flesh and then mash or puree as needed for your baby.

Easy Pumpkin Soup (6 months+)
From homemade-baby-food-recipes.com

8 oz (1 cup) pumpkin, sliced
2 tsp unsalted butter
7 fl oz (just under 1 cup) water
little milk (you can use formula/breastmilk if you wish)
pinch freshly ground black pepper (optional)
2 drops of maple syrup

Place the sliced pumpkin in a pan with the water and butter.
Simmer until very tender.
Puree, then use a little milk to thin the mixture to a creamy consistency.
Add the black pepper and maple syrup, then return to the pan and heat through.
If your baby is enjoying finger foods, you can serve this with strips of lightly toasted bread, or even make some "baby croutons". Simply slice whole wheat bread into strips, then bake in a low oven until dry and hard!

Pumpkin Muffins (for older toddlers and children)
By Jane Baxter, from Everyday and Sunday – Recipes from Riverford Farm

115g unsalted butter
175g dark brown muscovado sugar
115g golden syrup or honey
1 egg, beaten
225g cooked and mashed pumpkin or squash
200g self-raising flour
pinch of sea salt
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
75g currants or raisins

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6. Place 12 muffin cases in a muffin tray.
In a large bowl, cream the butter until soft.
Add the sugar and syrup or honey and beat until light and fluffy.
Stir in the egg and pumpkin until well mixed.
Sift over the flour, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Lightly fold these ingredients into the mixture. Stir in the currants or raisins.
Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases so each is two-thirds full.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 12-15 mins, until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
(makes 14)

Monday, 20 October 2014

Born Loves - Zzzzz Book of Sleep by Ill Sung Na

This book is a huge favourite with young children, as the illustrations and story guide them through the falling asleep journey. The author and illustrator is Korean-born Ill Sung Na, who studied and works in the UK. Zzzzz Book of Sleep has been nominated for many awards, and quite rightly so! The book is available as a board book, making it ideal for young children to hold, and easier to turn the pages. At Born we try to stock as many of our books as board books, for this reason. It also often means they take a bit of loving abuse better!

Children love the following the wide-awake owl as he visits other animals, and sees how they sleep. Learning that sleep is so different, and that everyone may need something unique to actually sleep, is a nice message for young children, especially those who have a hard time falling asleep. Maybe some children sleep peacefully alone like the giraffe, and others like to huddle like penguins. Hopefully they won't stay up all night like the owl, though....

You can even buy a cute Sleep App now! http://bit.ly/XP9fyY

If you are having struggles at bedtime, you might be interested in the very popular books by Elizabeth Pantley - The No-Cry Nap Solution by Elizabeth Pantley, The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley, and The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers by Elizabeth Pantley.


And don't forget, a nice warm bath with lots of lavender bubbles is a great part of a bedtime wind-down. We're offering two bottles of Earth Friendly Baby Organic Bodywash & Shampoo for just £7, perfect to get your little one ready for a bedtime story!

Monday, 13 October 2014

The Born Guide to Baby Carriers, Wraps and Slings

At Born, we believe that physical closeness between a parent and their child is incredibly beneficial.  According to experts human contact is essential to a baby’s development, and we have seen this when working with parents, as well as in our own parenting experiences.  Physical closeness comforts your baby, encourages interaction, and it helps you develop a close and loving relationship -  all of which is good news for your baby, and for you! Being close to your baby tells your body to produce Oxytocin, widely recognized as the love hormone, and this creates a sense of bliss and oneness.

Let’s be realistic, though, it’s not practical – or indeed possible – to spend all day holding your baby in your arms.  Lovely as it is to cuddle your baby, trying to get on with daily tasks while doing so only leaves you with one hand free, and can often result in a sore back and aching arms.  That’s where baby carriers come in.  A baby carrier allows you to stay close to your child, while freeing up your arms to carry out everyday tasks.  As you clean the house, cook, walk the dog and go to the shops, your baby can smell you, feel you and listen to your heartbeat. For your baby, this is soothing and reassuring, and it makes your baby feel safe.

Whether you’re expecting a baby, you're a new parent or you simply fancy a change to your existing 'get out of the house with the baby' options, let us guide you through choosing the perfect baby carrier for your family.

Ergobaby 360 Baby Carrier, Slings & Wraps at Born
The Ergobaby Four Position 360 Baby Carrier

Soft Baby Carriers

These are structured carrier made from soft fabrics, worn buckled or tied around your shoulders, back and hips, usually with padded, adjustable straps.  Your baby sits in an upright position against your chest or on your back. This promotes healthy hip, pelvis and spine growth, and can help ease the discomfort of colic or wind.  It also helps to prevent flat head syndrome.
Soft carriers are usually machine washable, and easy to pack away.

Suitable for:  All babies from birth depending on the style of carrier you opt for. Some soft carriers come with infant inserts, to support the head of your younger baby.  Can be used until your baby is around three years old.

Scootababy V3 Baby Hip Carrier, Slings & Wraps at Born
Scootababy V3 Baby Hip Carrier

Hip Carriers

A hip carrier allows you to carry your child as you would naturally. You wear the carrier over your shoulder, with your baby sitting on your hip. This type of carrier promotes face to face interaction with your baby or toddler.

The Hippychick Hipseat offers hip support and although it is not a hands-free option, is great for when your little one wants to alternate between walking and carrying.

Suitable for: Babies who can sit unaided, and support their own head and neck.

Boba 4G Baby Carrier, Wraps & Slings at Born
Boba 4G Baby Carrier

Back Carriers

This is worn like a rucksack. It usually has padded adjustable straps and a waist belt, to distribute your child’s weight evenly. Back carriers are typically made from tougher fabrics, and some are supported by a metal frame. Great for trekking or long walks.

Suitable for: Your older baby or toddler, when they can sit unaided and support their head and neck.

The good news is that many soft Baby Carriers are now multi-position, for front inward-facing, back and hip carrying.  The Ergobaby 360 Carrier offers an ergonomic four positions, with the outward-facing front carry position too.

Moby Original Baby Wrap, Baby Carriers at Born
Moby Wrap Original Baby Sling

Baby Wraps (Wraparound Fabric Slings)

This is a long, wide piece of fabric (often slightly stretchy) that wraps around you and your baby. It enables you to carry your baby in a reclined or upright position, and distribute your baby’s weight evenly across your waist and shoulders. Great for breastfeeding as a wrap facilitates quick and easy access, and can be used to cover baby from crowds and keep them focused on feeding.

Suitable for: Newborns through to toddlers

Je Porte Mon Bebe Baby Sling, Baby Carriers at Born
Je Porte Mon Bebe Ring Sling

Ring Sling or Pouch Sling

A ring or pouch is worn diagonally across one shoulder. Your baby sits against your chest or hip in an upright position, or lies in a reclined position for sleeping or breastfeeding. These slings are simple to use, and easy to put on and take off. With a ring sling you can tighten and secure the fabric by pulling it through two rings to form a loop.  These are ideal for when children want to be carried and the next minute want to walk as they can be lifted in and out in seconds.

Suitable for: Newborns through to toddlers

More Information

For more information about choosing a carrier and identifying which one is right for you and your family, read our full Guide to Choosing a Baby Carrier or Sling

All the carriers we sell at Born adhere to T.I.C.K.S guide  – a guide to baby carrying co-written by our MD Becky Ward and now widely recognized as the minimum standard for all baby carriers worldwide. To see our full range, visit Baby Carriers at Borndirect.com

If you are local to the Bristol area, you can find out how to carry your baby or toddler safely and securely and try before you buy! The Avon & Bristol Sling Library is now meeting each month at Born in Bristol.  Have a free one-to-one sling and safety demonstration where you can ask qualified and insured sling consultants and questions about wraps, slings and carriers and find out which might be the best for you and your baby. Find out more on our Events page, or ask at Born in Bristol (Tel: 0117 924 5080).

Thursday, 9 October 2014

The Dinosaurs Are Back (and they've brought a friend!)

A celebrated favourite of the Born staff and our customers, the family of knitted dinosaurs from Best Years has grown! The new arrival is a gorgeous Diplodocus, quirky, bright orange and ready for rattling!

These gorgeous knitted dinosaurs are a top seller at Born.  Made from super soft ethically sourced cotton, these toys are perfect gifts to encourage movement and support the development of motor skills in babies and toddlers as well as stimulating imagination and make believe.  Each dinosaur is an ideal size for little ones to squeeze and cuddle and with their bright colours and endearing features, they are bound to become a much loved friend for years to come.

In addition to the soft knitted T-Rex (£13.00) and Triceratops (£14.74), we also have the dino rattles, which at only £9 each are a roaring success (sorry!).  Choose from the T-Rex, Stegosaurus, Triceratops and the new Diplodocus - or better yet, select all four friends for a real jurassic adventure! And if the jurassic is a little muddy, just pop them in the washing machine and they'll be as soft and bright as the day they were knitted!

 T-Rex, Stegosaurus, Triceratops and Diplodocus Knitted Rattles by Best Years

The Tourist Collection

If your little one prefers something a little closer to home, they can't fail to love these iconic toys from Best Years Tourist Collection!  Ethical and Fair Trade, each has been hand crocheted by artisans in the Jiangsu province of China, and are beautifully soft for your little one to grab, squeeze and cuddle! The Black Cab, Red Bus and Phone Box make fantastic and truly original gifts that will spark little imaginations for city role play!

Red Bus, Black Taxi and Phone Box Soft Knitted Toys by Best Years

All Best Year's knitted and crocheted toys are beautifully and ethically made to the highest standards. They are the only crochet toy wholesaler to be a member of Equitoy, the UK's leading organisation on toy safety.

And shhh! Keep your ears open for the stomp of a multicoloured stripy T-Rex - coming soon to Born! Watch this space.......

Monday, 6 October 2014

Robin Lim, Midwife and Super Woman

by Eva Fernandes, Co-Founder of Born.

To celebrate the end of primary school for our son Jacob, and secondary school for our daughter Maya, we had planned a big family trip to Indonesia.  The last time James and I were in this part of the world was 21 years ago, during a post graduation gap year.  Much has changed here, especially in Bali which has a huge tourism trade.  But Bali is still home to many thousands of Balinese who require health care and maternity care. So when I knew we would be visiting Ubud I asked some of Born’s suppliers if they would like to donate some useful items to Robin Lims Birth Centre Bumi Sehat as I was happy to use up my generous luggage allowance with useful items for the clinic.

For anyone who doesn’t know Robin Lim, in 2011 she won the CNN Hero of the year for her dedication to midwifery in Indonesia and the Philippines. Plus from the heaving display of awards you can see that Robin is well loved throughout the world. She’s written many books on Gentle Birth and the importance of delayed cord clamping, post natal care and breastfeeding.

Some of Robins awards

I had the pleasure of visiting Robin at the centre, when I arrived there was the smell of Moxy in the air, a traditional acupuncture remedy for turning babies in-utero. At the consultancy desk was a young travelling couple who came to confirm a pregnancy with a scan. Their faces afterwards showed that they had yet to take in the impact of the little black and white scan picture Robin handed to them, a flick through a picture book to show them the baby at 8 weeks and Robin’s matter of fact attitude helped a little, but it was clear that this new addition to their travels was definitely a stowaway.

Robin’s centre is open to anyone and everyone who needs the service, not just Indonesians. Robin was very pleased to see me turn up with my bag of Aden & Anais muslins, tubes of Lansinoh, Bumkins nappies and wraps, bras and breast pads from Bravado and my friend Dominique Sakoilsky’s book; Seven Secrets of a Joyful Birth. She was most excited with the Bumkins wraps, saying they were like ‘gold dust’ in Bali. For ‘the personal health of the baby and for the health of the earth’ she was very grateful to have these to give to the families and said she’d make sure she instructed them personally. After having 8 children in cloth nappies, I’m sure Robin will know what to do with them. 

Mum at Bumi Sehat gratefully receives an Aden & Anais muslin for her new baby

There are 2 labour rooms at the centre. There was one woman in early labour and another in established labour. Easy to tell from the low groaning noises coming from the room.  There is a postnatal room with 3 beds which when I visited were full. Robin was excited to give the mums some Lansinoh as anything that encourages breastfeeding is good. She told me that to bottle feed a baby in Indonesia costs the same as the average monthly wage ($50-60) so if a baby isn’t breastfed they can’t afford much else. Plus you have the issues with water contamination, thinning the milk and none of the many health benefits that come along with breastfeeding for mother and baby.

The money Robin received from the CNN and since is being used to fund a new centre for which work starts next year.  To find out more about Robin Lim and her work or to make a donation please see Robins website.

With thanks also to Lansinoh, Bravado, Bumkins, Aden + Anais, and Dominique Sakoilsky.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Make It Yourself and Get Creating! Guest Blog by Makey Mamas

Pregnancy and birth can bring out the creativity in all of us. Our need to prepare and to nest means that we often begin to tap into a natural urge to provide and "make stuff"!! At Born, we're always interested in parents sharing thoughts and ideas with other parents, so we invited Misty from Makey Mamas to help kick-start that creative flow!

Making Natural Products by Makey Mamas

The idea for my business, 'Makey Mamas' gestated along with my daughter. I wanted to enable pregnant women and new mums to nurture that creative instinct that a lot of women experience during this time.

I offer many creative classes but my personal passion is my Natural Product Making workshop. Using natural ingredients, I share with fellow mamas how to create basic balms, butters and moisture bars to support their babies' health and wellbeing.

Here is one of my well used and favourite recipes that I've been using on my tiny creature since she was little. It's great at helping to soothe a sore botty!! Enjoy and check out details of our creative workshops for pregnant women and mums: www.makeymamas.co.uk

Baby Botty Butter  
(AKA nappy rash cream)

30ml Jojoba Oil
30g Shea Butter
3 drops Lavender essential oil
3 drops Chamomile essential oil

Whisk all ingredients together until smooth and creamy.

Why these ingredients:

Jojoba oil
Its chemical structure resembles our skin's natural oils! It's a light oil so spreads well and is easily absorbed.

Shea Butter
It forms a breathable, water resistant film on the skin. It soothes and softens dry chapped skin whilst nourishing all skin types. Avoid for nut allergy sufferers.

Lavender and Chamomile essential oils
These oils are found to have soothing, sedative and calming properties. They are generally regarded as safe to use with new babies although it is a good idea to wait until baby is at least 6 weeks old before using essential oils. Ask your health professional for advice and always do a skin test on the inside of an elbow first.


Tuesday, 30 September 2014

How to Find the Right Size Maternity and Nursing Bra

When you're pregnant, your body goes through an immense number of changes, and one that is almost immediately noticeable is the size of your breasts. You may find that almost overnight, you have a cleavage that you've always longed for but you may also discover that sensitivity increases too, so even the most gentle of hugs can make you wince in pain!

In addition to your breasts growing, your rib cage expands and your overall body shape changes. It's therefore very important to find the right sized maternity bra to give you full support and maximum comfort.

Getting Measured with Born Trained Staff

Your body begins to change at around 12 weeks of pregnancy, so you may need to change to maternity bra's around that stage.  If you are local to our stores you can come in for a fitting with our trained staff who can measure you and advise about the type of maternity bra that will suit you best.  If you are buying a bra specifically for breastfeeding, we recommend getting fitted at around 37 weeks, as bra's which fit at this point of pregnancy should see you through the size changes after your baby is born and your milk arrives.

If you are not able to call into our stores, you can measure yourself (or get someone to help).

Bravado Confetti - coming soon!

Measuring Yourself for a Maternity Bra

Before you start:
  • Make sure you are wearing an un-padded bra that is not a compression or a sports bra.
  • Stand straight and relaxed, with your arms down, and breathe normally.
  • If you can, ask someone to help you measure.
  • If you’re doing this solo, measure yourself in front of a mirror.

Write down the following measurements:
  • Chest — First measure around your chest. Place the measuring tape around yourself and position it right under your armpits. Make sure that the measuring tape is above your breast tissue in the front, and running parallel to the floor in the back. Pull snug. Write down this measurement in inches. 
  • Bust — Measure across the fullest part of your breasts, right across the nipples. Place the measuring tape around your breasts. This is a loose measurement. Hint: Look in the mirror. Your breasts should fall at the centre point between your elbow and shoulder.
Find your size:
  • Determine your band size: Take your chest measurement. If you have an odd number, round it up or down to the nearest even number (for example, 33.5 rounds up to 34, where 32.5 would round down to 32). This is your band size. 
  • Determine your cup size: Subtract your band size from your bust measurement and this is your cup size. Each inch is equivalent to one cup size, so you can count up (1=A, 2=B, 3=C and so on).  

How your breasts (and bra size) will change throughout your pregnancy and beyond

Bravado have done a great guide for pregnancy changes.  They base the changes on a pre-pregnancy size of 34B, but even if you're not that size, it gives you an idea of the changes that will take place!

3 Months Pregnant:
At 3 months, you'll start noticing many changes to your body, including your breasts and ribs starting to pronounce themselves.  Your 34B may feel a bit tight. You're moving from a 34 to 36 and becoming a C cup.

6 Months Pregnant:
Bravado Body Silk Seamless Bra
At 6 months pregnant, you're not only glowing but your belly is more pronounced, and your breasts and rib cage both feel bigger. You're now a 36C.

9 Months Pregnant:
At 9 months pregnant you're radiant, and almost ready to deliver. Your breasts may begin to feel a bit puffy and tender the last few weeks, and your ribs may feel very pushed out. You are closer to a 36D now, but not for long!

3 to 4 days after you've given birth:
It's now 3 to 4 days after you've given birth. You've been breastfeeding since birth, but today your breasts are significantly bigger and heavier. You've increased at least a full size in the cup (to a E(DD) or more) but feel relief in your rib cage now that the baby is born. You're also wearing a nursing bra to bed for greater comfort.

A breastfeeding rhythm has been established:
You and baby are happily working on your breastfeeding relationship. Around 10 to 12 weeks after birth your breasts have relaxed in size and weight and you could easily wear a 34D.

Choosing a Maternity and Nursing Bra

At Born, we pride ourselves on finding and fitting the right bra for you and your needs. Our range includes the Bravado Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra, our best seller! It will fit you from pregnancy through to extended feeding. The cup stretch is fantastic, and accommodates the fluctuating in size that happens to your breasts in the first few months of feeding. 

Insiders Tip! 
Arriving in stock in the next few weeks, we have the Bravado Confetti, a gorgeous lightweight bra with a small dot pattern, as well as the Bravado Bliss, the ultimate T-shirt bra! It gives you full access for skin-to-skin feeding and includes the Bravado Bra Conversion Kit which enables you to turn the bra into a normal bra when your breastfeeding journey is complete! 

For our full range of maternity and nursing bras, visit Borndirect or contact our stores to book a consultation or fitting.