Monday, 6 July 2015

Children's Book Week: 5 Reasons Why Babies Need Books

When new babies arrive, friends and relatives generously lavish you with new baby outfits, cute little booties and lots of lovely toys. Not many buy books for the new baby. Not because they are opposed to books for babies, it just generally isn't in people's consciousness.  But giving a book to a newborn is a far greater gift than anything else you can give - the impact on a baby's development runs very deep and the inclusive nature of books reaps benefits for the whole family. So why are they so important?

We asked five members of the Born team to give their thoughts...

Barefoot Books: Storytime

1. Bonding (Eva, Born Co-Founder)

From day one, reading with your baby can make a difference. All your baby wants to do is listen to the sound of your voice and feel you close. Reading a book in a gentle tone with lots of cuddles will mean that very quickly, your baby will match reading with pleasure and comfort.  Talking to babies helps them learn to listen, and gives them the chance to respond and be listened to, helping a strong bond to develop.

Xavier Deneux: Opposites

2. Contrast (Becky, Born MD)

Newborns see things best from about a foot away — or the distance from your face to your baby's while you're holding them. So try to select books with high-contrast images. Black-and-white illustrations and patterns (stripes, polka dots, checkers) are easier for newborns to focus on and can help the muscles in their eyes to become stronger. Remember - your newborn will not have any sort of attention span, so don't expect them to be alert for every page!

Hape: Wooden Baby Books
3. Developing Awareness (Georgina, Born Co-Founder)

The soft cloth books and squidgy bath books are perfect for babies who are at the stage of reaching, holding and grabbing. They love to put the books in their mouths, touch them and explore the textures. Turn the pages and point to the pictures. Babies love to observe and copy and this is an important stage of your baby becoming aware of books and basic reading concepts such as pages and pictures. Board books are great as your baby gets older, as they are easy to hold and your baby can begin to turn the pages themselves.  The corners will inevitably get chewed though - my daughter found them to be perfect soothers when her teeth were coming through! 

Christopher Franceschelli: Alphablock

4. Learning is fun! (Katie, Customer Services)

Babies are born learners and there are some brilliant books for babies that start to introduce concepts of basic learning - numbers, letters, shapes and colours - in a fun way. Babies love the repetition of these books, especially if you read them in a sing-song voice! They will soon start to link expressive sounds and words to pictures as they begin to understand that each thing has a name and each name has a 'thing' associated with it!

Jenny Overend: Hello Baby
5. Sharing with Siblings (Helen, Web Manager)

When my daughter was born, books were fundamental in ensuring that my son did not feel pushed out.  They were especially useful when I was feeding her - my son snuggled up against me and we shared books together.  This was special time for him, yet my daughter could still listen and be soothed by our warmth and the sounds of our voices.  As she got older, they both shared books and storytime together, helping the bond between brother and sister to develop too.  Books make a brilliant gift from a new baby to a sibling too, and there are some great books for children about the arrival of a new baby that help to smooth the way!

These are all reasons why books are important for babies but it is worth remembering that baby books are important for parents too. The whole experience of reading with your baby - the ritual of getting a book, finding a peaceful place to sit and getting comfortable, free from noise, screens and other distractions can be incredibly beneficial for both parent and child - the quiet time spent together encourages bonding, communication and relaxation and allows your mind to calm, away from thinking about washing nappies or the next feed!

Clare Beaton: Bedtime Rhymes (also see illustration at top of page)

Thursday, 2 July 2015

15% off EVERYTHING online and in store, this weekend only!

We're joining in with 4th July American Independence Day with some celebrations of our own - 
15 years as an independent retailer!

We're offering 15% off all* online and in store purchases 
(*excluding spare parts and items that are already in the sale).

Just visit on the 4th and 5th July where our homepage banner will reveal your special discount code, or visit our Bristol store.

Happy Independence and Happy Shopping!

The Born Team x

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Ten Top Tips To Help Your Baby Stop Crying

by Guest Bloggers The Gentle Touch.

Having a baby who cries a lot can take its toll on everyone in the family, and finding out the reason for their crying and how to help relieve them can be tricky and stressful. We have compiled a list of things you can try.

It is important to remember that all babies are different and what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another but these ideas seem to help many of our clients.

1. Massage 
Massaging your baby’s tummy has been well documented to help with their wind/constipation and general digestive discomforts. It is best not to massage during an episode of crying but we suggest massaging your baby’s tummy 3 times during the day to help prevent the build-up of gas which can lead to a bloated/hard and uncomfortable tummy by late afternoon and early evening. If you would like to learn more click to read Massage to help Colic.

2. Breathe
Babies will tune into your emotions, so by learning techniques to reduce your own stress levels you’re building your resilience to difficult situations. This simple breathing technique below can be helpful if your baby is in the middle of a screaming episode and you’re trying to remain calm. Deep breathing not only helps to cure anxiety and stress, it also enables relaxation.

You could practice during the quiet moments of your day as well, the more you practice the quicker it will take you to that quiet place in your mind.

Equal breath:

Close your eyes and begin to notice your natural breath, not changing anything at first. Begin a slow count to four as you inhale. Then also count to four as you exhale. Try to match the length of your inhale with the exhale, as you breathe through your nose. You can change the numbers but always keep them equal. This exercise is really useful for calming and focussing the mind and also for getting yourself to sleep (baby permitting) it’s like counting sheep.

If this technique helped you then read our blog Breathing for Parents.

3. Noise
It is not surprising that babies like noise, they have just spent 9 months in the womb listening to your heartbeat, circulating blood and digestion! It might be comforting for your baby to hear similar noises whilst they are transitioning to the world on the outside. You can buy white noise cds/ download apps, some parents notice that even washing machine noise or vacuum cleaner can help settle their fussing baby.

You could also simply make a ‘shuuushing’ noise close to your baby whilst holding them in your arms, this noise is said to be similar to the blood flowing through arteries near the womb, a very familiar and comforting noise to a newborn.

4. Suckle
Babies are born with a very strong, natural urge to suck, some babies are born with a greater need to suck than others. It is common and natural for them to fall asleep on the breast or bottle. If your baby is particularly upset you could try a dummy or a clean finger.

5. Movement 
Babies weren’t still whilst in the womb, imagine, they were surrounded by amniotic fluid, constantly being gently rocked. Many babies find this movement comforting after birth; they will love to be close to you and hearing your heartbeat and smelling your familiar scent. The stillness of lying in a moses basket can be scary and unsettling for them. There are some fabulous Slings and Carriers available on the market, and often local sling libraries to try before you buy.

There are also some great holds you can do in arms. Tiger in a tree is a very good one for settling babies. Hold your baby with his back to you, nestle his head in the crook of your elbow, bringing your arm across his chest.

You can also try some simple rhythmic movements, rocking backwards and forwards. Try and be mindful of your own posture whilst doing this, take it in shifts if you have someone to do this with.

Alternatively you can pop them in a bouncy chair which might be enough to soothe them to a calmer state.

6. Physical Check 
Birth can be a big deal for babies too. When some babies are born they can be in some discomfort, perhaps from a slow/fast birth or forcep delivery. Some have misshaped heads and other conditions which may be causing them pain. Osteopaths have a fantastic reputation for helping newborn babies following birth discomforts, well worth having a chat and seeing if they can help.

Some babies can also be suffering from reflux, silent reflux and other medical conditions which can cause them to cry and be in pain, please see your doctor or a pharmacist who may be able to help you with some over the counter medications if necessary.

7. Diet
If you are breastfeeding your baby it may be worth looking at your diet. Dairy is known as a common allergen, and can be passed via your milk, causing discomfort to your baby if they have an intolerance. If you’re worried about lack of calcium see here for more details on calcium and breastfeeding.

If you are formula feeding you could look at dairy free alternatives, but always speak to your doctor first before doing this.

To support your body during this time, when you’re under stress, eat as many vegetables and fruit as you can. Eating fatty foods, or too much refined or processed products can contribute to a low mood, so boost your diet with the following:
  • Omega 3 supports the body and brain, eat oily fish three times a week (e.g. Salmon, mackerel, sardines). Also flax seeds, hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds 
  • B vitamins help reduce stress and support the body’s energy production – Brown rice, broccoli, pulses (lentils, beans), mushrooms 
  • Protein rich foods to support your energy levels – turkey, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds as these help balance your hormones and will give you energy. 
Contact a Breastfeeding Councillor, they are highly trained and will help you with your latch and position of feeding, these things can make a huge difference to the comfort of your baby. Similarly if you are bottle feeding, perhaps try a different bottle and teat, there are ones on the market said to help reduce air intake.

8. Bath
Give your baby a bath. Keep the bathroom environment calm and quiet, using dimmed lights and keep it relaxed. Some babies find the warmth and comfort of being in the water a relaxing sensation.

9. Say Yes to Help 
You are doing an amazing job and dealing with such a difficult situation, all on little or no sleep. It's not your fault, and it's an incredibly hard start to being a parent. Say YES to a trusted friend, family member or neighbour who offers to help cook, clean or hold your baby. You deserve and need a break. Perhaps book a mobile therapist to come and give you an holistic massage in your own home, it’s important you take time to look after yourself so you can best look after your baby.

There is also support available from Cry-sis ( a charity set up to help parents dealing with a baby with excessive crying. They provide advice and support from parents who have been through the same thing.

10. Talk about it
It can be a lonely time and feel like a lifetime when you have a baby that cries a lot. It’s never easy asking for help but it’s important you do if you feel you are struggling to cope. Even our closest loved ones won’t know how we are feeling if we don’t tell them. Otherwise call your doctor, health visitor, midwife or other health professional and tell them what you are going through.

The Gentle Touch understands how wonderful but also how difficult the early days of parenthood can be and aim to help the transition in a gentle way. Our classes and treatments will give you the tools to support, soothe and connect with your baby. We believe in gentle parenting and have these values foremost when delivering our courses, classes and treatments which nurture both parent and child.

We offer classes in Bristol in baby massage and baby yoga as well as holistic massage treatments for parents. Please visit our website for details.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Come to the Big Born Book Swap for Children's Book Week (6 - 12 July)

Book Trust has been running Children's Book Week in the UK for over 80 years.

Join us from 6 to 12 July to celebrate reading and share the joy of books with children and young people.

We will be running in store events in Bristol, and a special discount on all children’s books during this week in store and online.  We are also running a book swap – please join in and bring in any unwanted books (0-2 year age group only please) to the Born store in Bristol.  The swap will continue during the week, and any left-over books at the end of the week will be donated to the Bristol Baby Bank.

We look forward to seeing you!

Summer for Babies & Toddlers with Frugi!

It's been a busy week here at Born, making preparations for the arrival of the new Frugi Autumn/Winter Collection next month. We know, we know! Horrible to be thinking about winter when we're still waiting for summer to arrive! Fear not - we've still got some gorgeous Frugi summer clothes in stock, so if you're thinking of treating your little one to some new outfits ready for the sunshine and holidays, check out our Frugi baby and toddler range in store and online.

Here are some of our favourites...

 Little Discovery and Bobby Organic Applique Long Sleeved Tops £18

And if you're looking for that really special outfit as a gift or a treat, look no further....


Friday, 19 June 2015

Celebrate National Breastfeeding Week with 10% off all Breastfeeding Products & A Free Goody Bag!

National Breastfeeding Celebration Week runs from Sat 20th – 28th June 2015 and aims to raise awareness of the health and wellbeing benefits of breastfeeding for mothers, their infants and the long term public health for everyone.

We're joining in the celebrations by giving you a FREE BREASTFEEDING GOODY BAG when you buy a product from our range of Breastfeeding Pumps, Accessories and Books. Applies to online and in-store purchases through the week, while stocks last.

Also, leave a review about a breastfeeding product before the end of June 15, and we'll enter you into a Prize Draw where you could win a £20 Born Gift Voucher or a copy of The Food of Love - Your Formula for Successful Breastfeeding by Kate Evans, worth £12.99!

We're also offering 10% off all breastfeeding products and accessories* from tomorrow until the 28th June!

10% Off Bravado Pregnancy and Nursing Bras
These bras are our best sellers and are designed specifically to support your changing shape all day from the later stages of your pregnancy through birth, breastfeeding and beyond!

10% Off Lansinoh Breastfeeding Products
Lansinoh create quality products from breast pumps to breast pads to help parents enjoy the benefits and closeness of feeding their baby naturally.

10% Off Ardo Breastfeeding Accessories
Breastfeeding Accessories as recommended by hospitals & medical professionals to keep mums and babies happy and healthy.

10% Off Nursing Support Pillows by Joyfill
Nursing pillow filled with natural latex, ideal for supporting your back and your baby when breatfeeding and also great for support during pregnancy.

10% Off Nursing Covers by Bebe Au Lait
Gorgeous breastfeeding covers are perfect for nursing on-the-go, providing privacy for you and your baby

10% Off Jellystone Nursing Necklaces
Funky necklaces for your little one to play with as they feed - secured with a break-away clasp and made from soft silicon, free from BPA, Phthalates and PVC

10% Off Welcome World Breastfeeding Tea
The tea helps increase wellbeing of the mother and help ensure a good healthy flow of breast milk.

10% Off All Breastfeeding Books (for parents and for children!)
Whether you are seeking information, opinions or advice, our selection of breastfeeding books offer support and shared experiences about feeding your baby naturally.

*offer excludes Breastpump Hire, Nursing Chairs and the new Ergobaby Breastfeeding Support Pillow.

How Born Supports Families on their Feeding Journey

At Born, we follow NHS guidelines in supporting parents to achieve exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of their babies’ lives. We recognise that not all families can reach this goal, for a variety of reasons, and we try to help overcome any obstacles along the way in a non-judgemental and supportive manner. We work very closely with local Lactation Consultants, Midwives, and Doulas to complement the invaluable service they provide to mothers and babies.

Did you know?

  • We hire out breast-pumps, which are suitable for exclusive pumping.  This can help you get through the early days if there is an issue with latch or supply. If your baby is in NICU or SCBU, you can hire one of our pumps for use at home, at a reduced price. Pumps can be hired as single or double, and we also sell not just the pumps but a full range of accessories and spare parts. We currently work with Ardo to supply this service. Pumps can be collected from our store in Bristol, or dispatched via Special Delivery nationwide. Visit our Breast Pump Hire...

  • We also sell a range of expressing accessories,  such as freezer bags, glass storage bottles, feeding bottles and cups etc. Visit our Breastfeeding Accessories...

  • We provide a fitting service in our store for nursing bras, which can also be purchased online. After lots of research and testing, we continue to believe that Bravado offers the best and most comfortable bras on the market. They have recently streamlined their range to offer four different styles, all of high quality and suitable for use during pregnancy and once feeding has finished.

  • We stock a range of disposable nursing pads, as well as washable ones.  For minor discomfort in the early days we offer lanolin creams and warm/cold packs. We also work with local Herbalist Amanda Rayment who has created a beautiful Nursing Support Tea, to help increase milk supply.


  • Lovely extras for you are also available – nursing necklaces and pendants, comfortable pillows, and nursing covers. Visit our Feeding Accessories...

  • You are welcome to breastfeed or bottle feed in our store - In our Bristol store, we have probably the most comfortable Olli ella nursing chair in existence, all set up for you to feed your baby in case he or she gets hungry when you are out and about. On hand are nursing cushions, filtered water for you to drink, all you ensure you have a nice comfortable feed.

  • We also keep details of local practitioners who work with breastfeeding mothers in our store, or you can call customer services for more information as well. These are all people we have personal experience of working with, and come thoroughly vetted and recommended.