Wednesday, 27 May 2015

The Bags, They are a-Changing





Remember when changing bags used to be... well, like changing bags? Great big IKEA-sized bags that weighed a ton even before you'd loaded in the nappies, wipes, drinks, stuffed animals and kitchen sink.  Even worse than that, they would invariably be made from wipe-clean linoleum and decorated with teddy bears or rattles, effectively screaming mumsy and alerting everyone to the likely presence of poo-ey nappies within.

Cast that image from your mind. We, at Born, bring good news. No, we bring GREAT news! Baby Changing Bags are no longer the style killers they once were. Baby Changing Bags are no longer the size of small horse. Baby Changing Bags are no longer covered with teddies (well, most of them).

So why the change (no pun intended)? Essentially, changing bags are being made for the people who use them - parents, NOT babies - and that has made a massive difference in how they are designed.

The style of the bags are modern and in keeping with bags that you would use in day to day life. Many of them convert from daytime use as a changing bag to use as an evening bag on a night out. Even if you're not a "handbag person", many of the bags can be worn as messenger bags, satchels or backpacks.


PacaPod Oban Changing Bag

Most bags come with a baby changing mat and at least one insulated bottle holder, but many of these features are removable, so when you no longer need a changing bag and your little one has progressed past the fun of potty training, you can reclaim the bag as your own.  In fact, some bags are made specifically to fit laptops as well as baby gear.

PacaPod have gone one stage further and have designed amazingly stylish "Parent Bags" with separate baby changing pods and baby feeding pods that fit neatly into the bag whenever you need them, or hang from your stroller if your bag is full of "'grown-up stuff'. Ideal for those parents who are organised and an absolute joy for those of us who like to pretend we're organised.


PacaPod Coromandel Baby Changing Bag



From the luxurious elegance of the Pacapod Firenze Leather Baby Changing Bag to the trendsetting funky-ness of the Lassig Casual Buggy Bag Star, the range of Baby Changing Bags has at last recognised its new market - varied, modern and definitely not mumsy!


Lassig Vintage Metro Changing Bag

See our full range of Changing Bags at Borndirect.com

Friday, 22 May 2015

Babywearing in Summer - How to Keep your Baby Cool




Summer is nearly upon us and we will be seeing lots of sunshine (hopefully).  As the warmer days creep up on us, it is a good time to consider which baby carriers are best for the warmer days.

There are so many good carriers on the market now and most come with breathable fabric to keep both you and your baby cool. Some materials work better than others, for example a linen/hemp/cotton blend in a woven wrap or gauze material in a carrier can be more airy and can assist with airflow and breathability. You might also like to consider a carrier with fewer layers, like a ring sling.

Some manufacturers like Connecta have created the Solarweave designs to be more supportive in the heat. The mesh of the fabric and minimal harnessing helps both baby and carer to keep cool,  and there are UV filters built in to the fabric that block 95-99% of the harmful rays. 


The Connecta Solar Baby Carrier


Equally, the Ergobaby Performance Ventus Carrier is lightweight with moisture-wicking mesh for increased breathability so both you and your baby will stay more comfortable on hikes and busy days out.


The Ergobaby Performance Ventus Carrier


Whichever sling you use, a little bit of forward planning can help you manage the heat. Avoid the midday sun if possible and sit in the shade rather than direct sunlight. Make sure you and your baby drink lots of liquid and dress in lightweight clothes. Finally, if you feel yourselves getting hot, have a rest, unwrap and allow the excess heat to disappear.

Enjoy the summer and the hot days - and don't forget the sun lotion!




Wednesday, 20 May 2015

The Ergobaby 360 vs the Beco Gemini Baby Carrier - What are the Main Differences?




The Ergobaby 360 Baby Carrier and the Beco Gemini Baby Carrier are both popular carriers with Born customers. Both carriers have the same four baby carrying positions but work in different ways. So what are these differences and which is the carrier that will most suit you and your baby?


The Newborn Position

Ergobaby Infant Insert
If you’re carrying your newborn in an Ergobaby 360, you will require an additional newborn infant insert. You will use this until your baby is about 4 to 5 months old and has good head and neck control. The infant insert holds your baby’s legs in the correct “frog” or “W” position and supports their head and neck.


The Beco Gemini doesn’t require anything extra. Instead, you reduce the base of the carrier with poppers so that your baby’s legs are supported and are not opened up wide. It also has an adjustable head support that you can increase the length of by using the clips at the shoulders.


The Forward-Facing Position

Both of these carriers offer a forward facing position which is an option many parents like to have. To carry your baby in an Ergobaby 360 forward-facing position, you need to reduce the width of the carrier by adjusting the buttons on the front of the carrier. The 360 carrier design gives a structured bucket seat so your baby is in a seated position when they are facing outwards.




As with the Ergobaby 360, to carry your baby forward-facing in the Gemini, you also reduce the width of the carrier base by adjusting the lower poppers so that your baby is in a seated position and their legs are well supported and not too widely spread.




Both carriers support the baby’s hips so that their legs are not dangling - a feature that we at Born think is really important for the comfort of your baby. You can use both carriers in the forward-facing position from around 5 months of age to about 12 months.


Distributing the Baby's Weight

One feature that the Gemini offers is to cross over the straps at the back. Some people like the way it spreads the weight. It’s not so easy to cross over the back straps of the Ergobaby 360 because of the positioning of the clips and the moulding of the straps which are designed to fit around your shoulder blades. However, the 360 does have a really wide waistband to help distribute the baby’s weight.





All the baby carriers we sell at Born adhere to the T.I.C.K.S. guidelines for safe baby wearing, so you can buy from us with confidence. For more information to help you choose a sling, please contact Born Customer Service Team or if you are local, make an appointment at our Bristol store where qualified and insured baby wearing consultants will be able to help you.





Monday, 18 May 2015

Cozy Classics - Board Books for Children AND Parents!



Ever fancied reading War and Peace but never got past the first page? Now's your chance to not only read the book, but share it with your little one too!

The rather brilliant Cozy Classics range of board books for children (and adults?!) re-tell the Classics using only twelve child-friendly words, each appearing alongside a needle-felted illustration.




For younger toddlers, the books provide a way to start building vocabulary and understanding links between words and pictures, but rather than using the traditional "cat" and "apple", give slightly more 'grippier' words such as "talk", "dance", "sisters", "muddy" and "love".

Older toddlers and children find the books can help them relate to a sense of narrative, developing an understanding of how the words and pictures build up a story.




And this is where the real fun begins! The words and illustrations follow the classic story but are so flexible that you and your little one can use them as prompts to make up completely new stories yourselves. Brilliant for encouraging blossoming imaginations and creativity and extremely handy if you're a bit rusty on the classics!

The illustrations in the books are a joy in themselves. All of the felted figures and objects in Cozy Classics were painstakingly made by hand and there are no computer created graphics used in the creation of the illustrations. For example, the skies which appear in Moby Dick are natural backdrops, either captured by shooting photographs out open windows or on location.

The Cozy Classics are written and illustrated by twin brothers Jack and Holman Wang

We love these books because they are not intended as a start to the academic life of your child, or to get them further ahead in the race to university! They are simply beautifully illustrated books that give us as parents a chance to share stories and characters that we love themselves.  If you haven't read the books since school, there are short "Cozy" reminder versions of the stories available on our website, alongside the books or on the Cozy Classics site.  And if the classics are new to you - what better chance to get to know them than to share that discovery with your child?




The following Cozy Classics are available at Born, priced £6.99:


        



   


Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Breastmilk - Our Perfect First Food: A Fantastic Success!

Thank you to all the amazing people who visited the event last Thursday.  It was so lovely to see so many people interested in supporting mums to breastfeed, and seeing all the beautiful babies, many being worn in slings, made me feel all warm and fuzzy!

On the morning of the event I made a stop to BBC Bristol to do a pre-record interview with Jenni Murray from BBC Radio 4's Women's Hour and just about managed to get every breastfeeding related item into the interview. Have a listen here, and let us know what you think!




The event includes some fascinating talks and discussions. The highlight of the event for me was seeing Claire

http://breastfeedingthoughts.com/2015/05/06/the-composition-of-human-milk/


Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Born's Top Ten....Bath Time


Our Top Ten Must Have's for.... Bath Time!

End of the day Bath Time is the perfect time to relax with your baby and it's part of the day that you can both look forward to. A gentle winding down can help your little one to prepare for sleep, but don't forget to enjoy the fun splashy play too!


1. Bath Support 
Allows you to rest your baby safely in the bath, and get them clean with both hands free. No more grappling what feels like a slippery baby otter at bath time.


Born: The Jahgoo Baby Bath Support, £12.95



2. Cuddledry Bath Towel
A genius design which keeps you dry whilst allowing you to keep your baby close once they are out of the bath. Generously sized, so your baby won’t grow out of it too quickly either.


Born: Cuddledry Baby Towel, £29.99 


3. Bath Thermometer
Essential for making sure the water is the right temperature. Babies have very sensitive skin and need their bath water cooler than most adults like it.


Born: Moby Whale Bath Thermometer, £18



4. Natural Sea Sponge 
No nasties, and super-soft on the aforementioned delicate skin.


Born: Organic Natural Sea Sponge, £6.25



5. Bubble Bath
Once your baby is over six weeks old, a small amount of bubble bath (especially lavender) can help chill them out before bedtime.


Born: Earth Friendly Baby Organic Bubble Bath, £5.49



6. Moby Rinser with Pour Spout
Makes rinsing hair a fun game, and hopefully avoids tears at hairwashing time.


Born: Moby Whale Hair Rinser, £7.00



7. Non-Slip Bath Mat
Ideal for older babies and toddlers, especially once you are bathing more than one child at a time! Available in natural rubber or fun Moby blue.


Born: Bath Mats from £17.00



8. A Set of Natural Rubber Ducks
A firm traditional favourite. Buy either one duck, or a family of ducks!


Born: The Real Rubber Duck Family, £14.99 



9. An Activity Toy
Our bestsellers are the Green Toys Tugboat and the Sophie the Giraffe Pyramid. Older babies and toddlers love playing in the bath. The tugboat doubles up as a hair rinser as well.


Born: Green Toys Recycled Tugboat, £12.00



10. A Sense of Fun
Make bath time an exciting and enjoyable part of your child’s routine. Bathing with your babies is a great way of getting lots of skin to skin contact, and keeping this time of the day as a special time where they get your complete attention is a great idea. No phones, no tablets, no chores, just lots of bubbles and giggles.



Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Can My Baby Really Swim?


by Guest Blogger WaterBabies.

Babies are amazing. They’re born completely helpless, and yet they have strong reflexes to learn all the skills they need for life. Water Babies classes are founded on our studies into child development. Here we explain the fascinating reflexes behind your baby’s instinct to learn to swim.




We Came from Water

Evolutionary theory says that as a species, we came from water, and perhaps some of our primordial instincts remain. For your baby, living and growing in water was a much more recent! As they developed in-utero, they swam around and opened their eyes. So it’s little wonder small babies are so at home in warm water.

Babies’ reflexes mean they develop at a similar rate and achieve milestones in the same (ish!) order. For example, the righting reflex kicks in and they learn to sit – in fact, they become loathed to lie down, and nappy changes become a total struggle!

Many of these involuntary reflexes are there at birth and fade with time. In your Water Babies class, you begin with the special reflexes that apply to being in water, and turn them into deliberate actions by using word association and progressively repeating certain skills.


The Water Reflexes
  • Breath hold Your amazing baby has a strong reflex to hold their breath. Their voice box is higher than an adult’s, and gradually drops during the first four years of life. This makes it hard for water to pass into the lungs. It’s also covered with taste buds that detect water and make the epiglottis, which covers the windpipe, automatically close, so your baby swallows rather than inhales. 
  • Swimming Reflex Your baby will also automatically kick and move their arms under water – a feeling you’ll remember from when you were pregnant! 
  • Eyes open! If you’ve seen pictures of babies underwater, you’ll see they open their eyes wide. Babies have a film over their eyes that means they’re not bothered by getting water in their eyes. 


The Mammalian Dive Reflex

While lots of baby swim schools mention it, it is NOT a reflex that’s relevant to baby swimming! The dive reflex is an incredible response in infants to being plunged into cold water. Oxygen goes the vital organs allowing a baby to survive much longer than an older child or adult. There have been reports of small children recovering fully after up to half an hour in ice-cold water! However, as all our pools are lovely and warm, and we only swim for a couple of seconds, it’s not relevant!


Learning to Swim

We use word association, songs and games to help your baby learn to kick and hold their breath. After only a few weeks, you will see them hold their breath in preparation for venturing under water.

Your baby can’t really swim, but they have strong reflexes and no fear which means you can teach them vital, life-saving skills for a lifetime of healthy, happy splashing. The earlier you start, the better – you don’t have to wait for immunisations.


Water Babies classes take place across Bristol, Bath and WSM. To find out more, please call 0117 946 6919 or to find a WaterBabies class in your area, look at our website www.waterbabies.co.uk.