Monday, 27 October 2014

Quick & Easy Homemade Halloween Costumes for Newborns, Babies and Toddlers

Halloween is nearly upon us! Whether you love the scary ghools and ghosts or subscribe to the American tradition of "anything goes", you may well be on the hunt for a costume and your baby doesn't need to miss out!

We've compiled lots of ideas for homemade halloween costumes for newborns, babies and toddlers - some may take more time than others (depending on your dedication to the cause!) but we think that there's something loveable and memorable about a great homemade costume - and you'll certainly get points for originality!

The most simple costumes involve working with what you already have.  These decorated vests are cheap and easy to make and ideal for new babies as there is no added discomfort.

If you want to get a little more involved and don't mind a bit of sewing, look for outfits in your baby's wardrobe that can be adapted or could work as part of a more elaborate costume.  The Kermit and Charlie Brown costumes are simply normal tops and trousers with extra bits sewn on...

whilst this great spider costume consists of stuffed tights tied at intervals and sewn onto a black baby hat...

If you have children who are a little older and don't mind a bit of facepaint, you can really let your imagination fly!  We love the Ziggy Stardust costume, and the Frida Kahlo is brilliant although we're not so sure the model approves!

More and more parents are dressing up too, wearing outfits to complement their baby's costume and often incorporating their baby carrier or wrap into the design.  We love these because your baby will still feel secure and cosy next to mum or dad, and it makes it easier to keep up with older brothers and sisters!  This simple popcorn seller has just stuck pieces of popcorn to their baby's hat (use painted cotton wool if you prefer) and covered their carrier in stripey material - felt is ideal as it glues well - perfect for those of us who haven't got the patience with a needle and thread!

We also thoroughly approve of Yoda and the Owl in the Tree - simple costumes but incredibly effective!

For more inspiration, visit our Facebook page and check out our special Halloween boards on Pinterest - and feel free to share your own ideas and costumes with us!  We'd love to see your photos!

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Born on the Radio with BCfm

Great news! You can now hear our Co-founder Eva Fernandes every week on the the Health Hub radio show. Eva will be hosting her very own Baby Hub slot, talking to the fantastic practitioners in our Born Together network.

Eva says,
"Joining me on the first programme was Kris from the Health Hub (the brilliant Community Interest Complementary Health Centre on Cotham Brow) and Saffia Farr, the editor of Juno Magazine. The first show was a great discussion about conscious parenting where we explored what conscious parenting means to us and what gets in the way of us being mindful parents.

Next weeks Baby Hub session will be with Dominique Sakoilsky, founder of Relaxed Birth and Parenting. We will be looking at the importance of relaxation for pregnancy, birth, parenting and life in general."

The show goes out on BCfm every Tuesday between 10-12 o'clock. You can hear the show on the radio at 93.2fm if you are in the Bristol area or you can listen live online on the website anywhere in the world. If you miss a show the replay can also be heard on the website.

Make sure you follow us on Facebook or Twitter to find out about future guests!

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+)

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+)

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!

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

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.