Friday, 24 April 2015

Five Tips for a Positive Birth

by Guest Bloggers, Bristol Positive Birth Movement Group.

What is a positive birth?

You can have a positive birth at home, in hospital, with or without drugs: you are in charge of it!

"A positive birth is a birth in which a woman feels she has freedom of choice, access to accurate information, and that she is in control, powerful and respected. A birth that she approaches, perhaps with some trepidation, but without fear or dread, and that she then goes on to enjoy, and later remember with warmth and pride. A positive birth does not have to be ‘natural’ or ‘drug free’ – it simply has to be informed from a place of positivity as opposed to fear..."

Here are our top five tips to a positive birth: enjoy this transformative journey!

1. Get Informed

The key to an empowered birth is knowing what your options are and making informed choices. Know what resources and sources of information are available to you in your community. This can be from birth groups, going on a tour to different hospitals or birth centres, talking to people and reading positive birth stories and books. Knowledge is power!

2. Remain Open in your thinking and in your body

It is good to have your preferences but remember that positive births can happen anywhere and with or without medical interventions. Every pregnancy and birth is different, with its own lessons, insights and wisdom. If something diverts from your original "plan" remain open. Don't be afraid to try something new. Remaining open in your body means releasing any tension that you may be holding. Relax your jaw, unclench your fists and release any tension in your pelvis and birth canal.

3. Trust Your Intuition

That inner voice that has always been there knows exactly what you need, when and how. If you suddenly feel the urge to change something in your birth plan, go with it. You know more than you think you do and your body is perfectly designed to give birth! Your intuition is heightened during labour, so listen to it.

4. Connect 

Connect to your body, your baby, your breath and birth partner/s, should you decide to have some. Let go of any thinking and just stay fully present with the moment. Use whatever is suitable for you to access that inner place of calm, stillness, peace and strength, whether it is an image, a breathing sequence, an object or even a sense of connection to all the other women around the world labouring with you and those that have laboured before you. Visualise and talk to your baby as you journey together. No matter how things go, just stay connected to that still and calm place within.

5. Let Go

Don't let past experiences, fears or the desire for a "perfect" birth stand in the way of what is and being present to the moment. Surrendering to things as they are brings peace and power. Go into that "other worldly" place and bring your baby Earthside.

With love and our warmest wishes,

Thando Harney and Marinella Benelli, co-facilitators of the Bristol Positive Birth Movement Group

The Bristol PBM Group meets monthly on Fridays, 6.30-8.30pm at Red Earth Studio, 23 Backfields Lane, BS2 8QW

2015 dates: 8 May, 19 June, 17 July, 11 September, 16 October, 20 November, 18 December

For more information about the Bristol group OR groups nationwide, please see:

Thursday, 23 April 2015

New Prints from Tots Bots, in Celebration of Real Nappy Week!

It's Real Nappy Week and to celebrate, we've got in some lovely new colours and prints from Tots Bots. Voted Best Reusable Nappy by Mother & Baby Magazine for 5 years in a row, the single size Tots Bots Easyfit Nappy takes your little one all the way from birth through to potty!

Quick and easy to use, the Easyfit V4 is super stretchy for a leak-proof fit and with a blend of silky bamboo and absorbent minky, is beautifully soft against your baby's skin. The nappies are made in Scotland and all the materials are ethically sourced.

The nappy is pre-shaped and easy to use, and the pop in bamboo blend booster comes as standard for increased absorbency.

Binky fabric strikes the perfect balance between absorbency rate, absorbent capacity and drying time.  This up-to-the-minute fabric knit has two sides: one side is made of a lush 50/50 cotton and bamboo blend, and the other made up of 100% micro polyester with a silky velour finish. The natural bamboo/cotton blend on the surface gives more fullness to the pile and improves the wet tensile strength making it super absorbent.

See the full range of new prints and colours at Borndirect/totsbots

Friday, 17 April 2015

Breastmilk, our perfect first food at Food Connections Bristol

At this year's Food Connections event in Bristol, Born will be hosting a unique and first event of its kind to celebrate breastmilk as the perfect first food for humans.  We will be joined by some fantastic speakers including the wonderful Kate Evans, author and illustrator of 'The Food of Love - your formula for successful breastfeeding'. The event will be at Bristol's Watershed Arts and Events Centre  on May 7th from 10 am to 1pm. No booking required.

Throughout the morning, experts will be giving talks or holding workshops on various aspects of breastfeeding. They include Laura Ivine, Biodynamic Practitioner, who will be examining the universal natural lessons we can all take from breastfeeding; April Whincop, Lactaction Consultant, who will be running a workshop on how to prepare for breastfeeding; and a talk by Kate Evans, cartoonist and author of 'The Food of Love - your formula for successful breastfeeding' and 'Bump - how to make, grow and birth a baby'.

In addition, there will be lots of stands to visit (including ours!), ready with advice and support regarding feeding, and the health and wellbeing of you and your baby.

Find out more about who will be there on the day, and check out our Facebook page for updates.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Bathtime with Stokke

Thought Stokke only did Tripp Trapps and cots? Think again! Stokke have brought their innovation to the bathroom, designing some award-winning products that make it easier for you to bath your little ones comfortably and safely.

The award-winning Flexi Bath is an innovative and uniquely foldable bath tub, suitable from birth to children up to the age of four. This is ideal for those of us who travel a lot or are visiting family or hotels where there is only a shower. It's also great for using in the bath to save water, or using in the garden or at the beach where your little one can enjoy the water but still be at your side.

It folds up completely flat so it can be stored about anywhere - under the bed, against a wall, in a wardrobe - it can even fit in a suitcase!

You can use the Flexi Bath from birth with the Flexi Bath Newborn Support which is made to grip onto the edge of the Flexi Bath to lock safely into place. It is specially designed to fit your baby’s body shape, holding them gently and securely in place while allowing complete freedom for the baby.

When bath time's at an end, Stokke's got you covered! Their lovely cotton hooded towel is perfect for keeping your baby dry and snuggly after a bath or a swim. It comes with a soft face mitt too - ideal for gently cleaning away the dirt of the day. 

Or try Stokke's poncho towel with hood - it's soft and fluffy next to your baby's delicate skin and unlike towels, you don't have to unwrap your baby to dry them!

SAVE with our Born Bundle! You can save 10% with our special Bath Package of the Stokke Flexi Bath, the Newborn Support and an Original Cuddledry towel. Visit our website or ask in store!

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Jack N' Jill's Natural Tooth Products - the Antidote to Easter Eggs!

So the Easter Bunny has come and gone, and we are all left with recycling bins crammed full of packaging and debris, rogue pieces of chocolate down the sides of the sofa and a craving for fresh salad.

Time to do some damage control, starting with the children - even if you didn't give in to the clamours of easter eggs for breakfast, lunch and tea, their teeth have been under attack and it's time to fight back! Get rid of all traces of the chocolate feast with these fantastic natural toothpastes by Australians Jack N' Jill which will have your little ones clamouring to clean their teeth!  Made from organic natural flavour with organic calendula to soothe the gums, the toothpaste is specially formulated to be gentle on young children's tastebuds, and is totally safe to be swallowed.

We especially love the 5 flavours of Jack N' Jill natural toothpaste, made from organic fruit flavour with organic calendula to soothe sore little gums. We're not the only ones who love it - the Environmental Working Group Skin Deep Database have awarded it a zero-danger rating - the only baby toothpaste to have achieved this status!

With a focus on keeping it safe and keeping it natural, the Jack N' Jill range is perfect for little teeth and gums and with most of their products and packaging being biodegradeable or recycleable, they're totally safe for the environment too!

Jack N' Jill have recently added a Koala and Dinosaur to their range of toothbrushes and tooth mugs - see the whole range at

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Which Type of Baby Wrap Do I Need to Carry My Baby?

As parents, we are very lucky in our current market place to have access to a huge range of different infant carrying wraps, but this diversity can make it confusing to know which one is best for us and our family.  In this brief guide, we give you a description of the main types of wraps available and some reasons why they may be suitable for you.

Stretchy Wraps 

Stretchy wraps are normally more suitable for newborns to approx. 9-12 months of ages depending on weight. The soft stretchy fabrics will provide the right level of adaptable, supportive fabric around your new babies developing body. The stretchy fabric gives room for beginners to accommodate this learning curve and still support baby.

The Stretchy Moby Modern Wrap

Stretchy Wraps are often made from a cotton rib knit fabric that provides great suppleness, stretch and bounce. All stretchy wraps have a different range of stretch, elasticity, density and weight (grams per metre) and these are all things that need to be considered.

Hybrid Wraps

Hybrid Stretchy Wraps contain a mix of spandex which provides a dense and high elasticity carry, ideal for heavier infants and so lasting longer.  An example is the JPMBB (Je Porte Mon BeBe) Wrap which is 95% cotton and 5% spandex and has a 3 way stretch.

Most Stretchy and Hybrid Wraps are all approx. 5m long in length as standard, although you can get shorter ones if you look and then can vary anything from 50-70cm wide.

The JPMBB Hybrid Original Wrap

Woven Wraps

These are similar to stretchy wraps as they are pieces of fabric that are tied in different ways around you and the baby. However these are woven to be more supportive - they have little or no stretch and can accommodate heavier toddlers, whilst also being used from birth. Over the last few years there has been a huge increase in different brands and styles. But in summary, here are some different weaves to look out for and a table of varying lengths:

Straight weave/gauze:
Simple fabric, often cheaper and potentially thinner

Cross twill (German style woven):
Often one coloured or striped, they also have a good diagonal stretch which can make an easier wrap.

Also has diagonal stretch and the capacity to support any pattern you desire. These are very smooth to wrap with but potentially not as sturdy as cross twill.

Woven wraps come in different sizes to take into account different sized adults/infants and to facilitate a huge variety of different carries. 

Woven wraps have a slight learning curve but once mastered are a truly custom fit - and woven wraps are coming soon to Born! Watch this space!

You can get more advice and see demonstrations of baby wraps and carriers from trained infant carry consultants at Born (please ring to book an appointment) or your local sling libraries and infant carry consultants.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Night Nannies, free drop in help at our Bristol store

Are you struggling with your baby's sleeping patterns? Camilla from Night Nannies has worked with families and their young babies and children for over 15 years, offering advice on normal feeding and sleeping patterns and how to solve bad sleep habits with gentle and realistic solutions.

In April, Camilla will be coming into our Bristol store to offer help and guidance to parents with any issues or questions they may have about their baby's sleep patterns.

Since 1999 Night Nannies has given over 5000 parents throughout the South of England a good night’s rest and expert solutions to sleep, feeding and routine problems.

On 27th April 2015, Camilla will be in our Bristol store, to help you with any questions or worries that you may have. To book a slot or to find out more, please contact our Customer Service team on 0117 9245080 or email

Watch Camilla talk to Eva when she came into the BCfm studios for the Health Hub show.

Here are Camilla's top tips for night time parenting

At Night Nannies we look as all cases as individuals - parents contact us for support and we feel that a sleep problem is only a 'problem' if it is causing upset within that particular family. We will then look at that issue and offer advice for the individual family, following gentle guidelines only.

1. Always try to put your baby down awake so he will recognise where he is if he wakes up in the middle of the night. "Leave a little time between your baby's feed and bedtime. If you feed your baby to sleep, feeding and going to sleep will become linked in your baby's mind. When they wake in the night, they'll want a feed to help them go back to sleep."

2. As your baby gets older (from about six weeks) and is beginning to stretch the time between feeds, ensure that the last feed of the day is a really filling one.  Often your baby will be too tired to make the effort to feed properly, but persevere as this will enable you both to sleep for longer.

3. Don’t worry if your baby grizzles when you put him down to sleep.  Babies often create their own wall of “white sound” in order to cut out other noises that are preventing them from going to sleep.  If your baby’s grizzles increase or continue for more than 5 minutes you should, of course, establish what is wrong.

4. Use a dummy to settle your baby at the beginning of his sleep, whether a nap or an overnight sleep; however, do not let him become dummy-dependent by using it throughout the night – once it has fallen out, leave it.  This way, he will not become used to having it returned to him and will learn to sleep without it. (However, if breastfeeding, wait until your baby is one month old to ensure breastfeeding is well-established). (  

5. Once your baby is weaned (from 6 months), he is able to start sleeping through the night as he will be getting sufficient nutrition during the day. We are saying that only from 6mths it is developmentally possible (as long as the baby is eating well in the day and fully weaned onto solids), for a baby to sleep longer at nighttime, as he is getting sufficient nutrition throughout the day. This is only if that is what a parent should want to achieve. This is actually to avoid higher expectations; often we hear that parents want a younger baby to sleep through/ give up nighttime feeding - we are actually saying quite the opposite, that this is not developmentally possible.

6. Maximise the differences between daytime naps and overnight sleep (nursery and kitchen, dimmed light and bright daylight, calm one-on-one time and busy family chatter).

7. Help your baby to develop his internal bodyclock (or Circadian cycle) by keeping his feed times and nap times consistent during the day – it will help with his overnight sleep.

8. Put in place a regular evening routine so your baby picks up on sleep associations (for example, a bath, a massage, storytime with older siblings, feed and bed).  Try to make this a transferable routine, so that it can remain the same when you go on holiday or to granny’s for the night.

9. Ensure your baby’s bedroom is a peaceful place, somewhere he can sleep well.  Try to keep toys downstairs, have soft lighting and subtle colours.  A black-out blind can be particularly useful to keep out early summer sunlight.

10. Make sure your baby’s room isn’t too hot (or, less likely, too cold). An ideal temperature is around 18°C.

Remember: if you are breastfeeding, you will not be able to begin guiding your baby into a good sleep routine until this has been well-established for your baby, ie: between 4-6 weeks. That is not to say that some of the above tips like a good bedtime routine and the difference between day and night can’t be started! But don’t expect too much, your baby is small and needs to be fed regularly to establish your milk supply.