Article written by Los Angeles based Mini Style Blog and sourced directly from: www.ministyle.com
Author: Mini Style Blog - USA's leading style blog for little ones.
Photograper: Clever Poppy - Product stylist and photographer.
When we want to keep our babes warm on chilly nights, we prefer to use a cozy sleep sack! When we discovered these gorgeous sleeping bags from SNUGBAGS, we instantly fell in love with the amazing quality and gorgeous design.
Based and ethically made in New Zealand, SNUGBAGS specializes in 100% natural baby and toddler Merino & Organic Cotton sleeping bags, swaddles and base layers. Founder, Kim Snel, is very passionate about all things natural and only uses locally sourced and produced merino wool that is superfine and of exceptional quality.
SNUGBAGS new award winning diagonal zip design provides safer, better sleep for baby as well as peace of mind and ease of use for parents. It takes the guess work out of choosing a side or front zip sleeping bag - parents can now have the best of both worlds with this unique new design exclusive to SNUGBAGS.
Our favorites are the merino sleep bag in the anchor, cloud and bloom prints shown here on these cuties! SNUGBAGS is offering FREE shipping until Friday at midnight. Shop the collection here.
I purchased this hand painted DYI kit from Clever Poppy for Fathers Day as I thought it would make a super original gift and I knew that Neeva Rose would LOVE getting stuck in painting the cups. She is really arty and painting and coloring in are very high on her daily 'to-do' list.
Unpacking the kit I was very impressed with how well organized it all looked and how easy it was to just have everything right there. The instructions were super easy to follow and within minutes of unwrapping the box we were painting! So easy and so convenient!!
Neevie absolutely loved the easiness of the pens and this mama loved the fact that it was absolutely ZERO mess!! The pens are amazing. No drips, no spills, just beautiful clear lines and very easy to apply even for a 4,5 year old!
In case of a little mistake the supplied acetone came in very handy and the little cotton buds made erasing the mistake a breeze.
Result was one very happy little girl (this kept her busy for at least one and half hour) and one very happy mama! The cups came out absolutely gorgeous and we had lots of fun decorating them together.
If you are looking for a special and very original gift that is also heaps of fun to make then this is it. Perfect for grandparents (think Christmas!), Mothers or Fathers day. Also great for an awesome project to keep the kids busy on a rainy day.
Clever Poppy is all about giving you the chance to take time out to create something beautiful for your home, without the hassle of sorting out supplies, instructions and creative planning. Julie hopes to inspire people and give them confidence to give some creative DIY a go!
Our DIY Kit had everything you need to make our DYI hand painted cups into a non fuss and convenient activity:
DIY Kit includes:
Originally posted on www.ohbaby.co.nz
It's often said that breastfeeding is much easier than formula-feeding - no equipment to sterilise, no rocking a screaming baby while you wait for a bottle to heat up. But breastfeeding, like everything else, must initially be learned, and the first few days can be difficult, even for mums who have previously given birth and successfully breastfed. Ensuring you have plenty of support is vital, as is taking the time to observe your baby's feeding cues, and making sure your positioning is optimal. Frances McInnes of Breastmates offers advice to help you establish successful breastfeeding.
1 Stay calm, as your baby may be able to pick up on your anxiety. If you start to feel uptight or wound-up, take a break for a few minutes, and then try again.
2 Don't place high expectations on yourself. It can take a while before your milk flows, before your baby gets the hang of latching on, and before you get things sorted.
3 While you are still in the hospital or maternity ward, make sure the nurse, midwife, or hospital lactation consultant helps you to latch your baby every time you feed. Don't be shy about ringing your buzzer to call someone!
4 Breastfeeding does hurt to start with. As your baby draws your nipple into his or her mouth, it can be a painful, tearful experience. The pain should stop about 30 seconds or so after your baby is latched on. It may be like this for the first three or four days with a newborn. If the problem persists, seek help from your midwife, Plunket nurse, doctor, or a lactation consultant.
5 The key to successful breastfeeding is making sure your baby has the correct latch. Put your baby on your breast when his or her mouth is open wide and full. Pull your baby's head right to your breast; don't drop your nipple down to your baby, as you will get sore shoulders and a sore back.
6 When your baby is latched on correctly, his or her lips will be covering your breast in a "K" shape that looks like the K on Kellogg's Special K cereal.
7 Always use lots of nipple cream after every feed. This is really important when you are first starting to breastfeed, so make sure to include nipple cream when packing your hospital bag.
8 If your baby has an incorrect latch or if he or she is not suckling properly, it is very easy to get cracked, grazed, and very sore nipples. Use nipple cream to help heal damaged nipples, and if your baby is not latched comfortably on you, break the seal of their lips by using your finger, and start again.
9 If you are getting a sore neck, shoulders, or back, it could be due to the weight of supporting your baby in your arms while breastfeeding. You could invest in a special breastfeeding pillow that can ease the pressure on you, or try some cushions or pillows from your bed to raise your baby up.
10 It can take a while before you get coordinated enough to breastfeed discreetly. Initially, it will be easier if you have an open-front top and a maternity bra. Then you can open the nursing bra cup to feed your baby.
11 Be prepared with breast pads. Some mothers have a fast flow and quick letdown, and leak a lot. Some mothers don't leak at all. You could try some disposable breast pads, or, to save some money, have a look at reusable breast pads.
12 Be prepared for the time it takes to breastfeed. Your baby is relying on you for all of his or her nutrition. Some babies will take 20 minutes or longer to feed at your breast, and you will have to do this regularly throughout the day. Most newborn babies feed three to four hourly to start with.
13 Get plenty of rest. The more rested and relaxed you are, the easier it will be for your body to replenish your milk supply. The old adage "Sleep when you baby sleeps" is completely true! Especially in those early days, when your baby sleeps quite a bit, it's important to lay down for a nap and recharge your batteries.
14 Drink plenty of water. Have a glass of water after every breastfeed. Eat well, and ensure meals and snacks are protein-rich.
15 If you have another child, pack a lunch box, a drink bottle, and a special activity box (stickers, colouring-in, crayons, etc) for them first thing in the morning. Keep this at a level that the child can reach. Bring this out when you are breastfeeding your baby to amuse the older child while you are breastfeeding.
16 Once you get through the first two weeks or so, breastfeeding should be an enjoyable experience for you. It is the cheapest and quickest way to feed a baby.
17 If your partner is at home with you, get him to fix you a small snack and a drink while you are feeding your baby. It is your job to feed your baby, and your partner's job is to look after you.
18 If you are still struggling with breastfeeding after the first two weeks or so, ask your midwife to refer you to a lactation consultant for some individual advice and support. And if it all seems a little overwhelming at times, trust that things will get easier as you and your baby get the hang of it.
19 Expressing breastmilk with a breast pump can be a good way to share the feeding with your partner. If you want to do this, it is a good idea to express milk for him to use at the 11pm feed. Then you can get to bed early (and make sure you do go to bed - resist the temptation to tidy the house or put the washing on!).
20 If breastfeeding does not work for you, don't beat yourself up about it - it is important that baby is happy and healthy, and that mum is happy and healthy too.
Frances McInnes is mum to two boys, and runs the Breastmates (www.breastmates.co.nz) specialty breastfeeding store, providing resources and support to help New Zealand women establish and maintain successful breastfeeding.
SNUGBAGS™ are proud supporters of Sids and Kids and we help to raise awareness for Safe baby sleep conditions.
SIDS and Kids is often asked by parents about appropriate sleeping conditions for their babies, such as what sort of bedding to use, and what room temperature is best. These are important issues as babies control their temperature through the face and head.
Sleeping baby on the back and ensuring that the face and head remain uncovered during sleep is the best protection from overheating and suffocation.
The association between overheating and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome has been known for several years. Current research suggests that if your baby becomes too hot, the risk of SUDI is increased. Overheating can be caused by room heating, high body temperature and excessive clothing or bedding.
Here are some answers to these questions and advice on safe sleeping.
‘What bedding should we place on baby when in a sleeping environment?’
Best practice to avoid overheating
Article written by Sids and Kids. More info on www.sidsandkids.org
SNUGBAGS™ specializes in safe merino sleeping bags for babies.
Shop our range here.
We were so excited to get our hands on the beautiful new Little Skinfood range, including a luxurious talc free body powder, a baby massage oil, a bottom balm and divinely smelling (very subtle) shampoo & body wash and body lotion . The range is Certified Organic by ECOCERT or made with 100% natural ingredients. No baddies and guaranteed free from synthetic preservatives, fragrances and colours. And best of all made right here in New Zealand!
We were lucky enough to receive samples to review Little Skinfood’s gorgeous body wash, shampoo and body lotion. All certified organic by ECOCERT and all 100% natural. Needless to say our little miss 4 Neeva Rose was in girly girl heaven receiving her gorgeous goodies and she could not wait to get into the bath to test them all out!!
The Shampoo and Wash come in the most beautiful see-through packaging and when using the pump disperser a little bit of foam gets distributed in the palm of your hand. This scored the big thumbs up as it was such a novelty and a lot of very good washing and even hair washing (which does not happen very often!!) as a result of that. As a mum I loved the foam as well especially considering how easy this would be with a small baby as there is no need to rub your hands together as the foam is already there.
The Shampoo and Wash have a very gentle, faint natural smell of mandarin which left Neeva Roses hair and skin feeling soft and fresh. The products are really gentle and do not strip skin or hair of their natural oils which is really important to me. I also really like that there is no added perfume as little ones smell beautiful enough as is!
The body lotion (or potion as Neeva Rose calls it) is very light and easily absorbed and is completely odour free. She loved the fact that it’s non-sticky and light as with others we have used in the past she didn’t like the ‘heavy’ sticky feel.
For me I love the fact that all products are safe and gentle for littlies and 100% natural and/or ECOCERT certified organic. Being New Zealand made is also a big bonus as we love supporting fellow NZ made companies. What I also thought was a real bonus that the body wash doubles as a face wash for mum and the body lotion makes a great hand cream!!
For more info about the rest of this beautiful range go to www.skinfood.co.nz
Bringing your new baby home in the cold winter months can seem a little daunting - after all, baby can't tell you whether he or she is too hot or too cold. Special care needs to be taken to ensure that your baby is healthy and comfortable during the winter months.
DOES MY BABY NEED A HEATER?
Newborns are not able to regulate their own body temperature as effectively as older children and adults, so they are particularly affected by dramatic fluctuations in temperature. Where possible, keep your baby in an environment where the temperature is fairly stable, this is more important than the actual temperature itself. The optimum temperature for the nursery is between 16-20 degrees Celsius. If you do choose to use a heater in baby's bedroom, ensure that you also have a thermometer to monitor the room temperature so it doesn't get too warm, or use a heater with a thermostat.
HOW MANY LAYERS DOES MY BABY NEED?
The general rule of thumb when it comes to dressing newborns is that they need one layer more than you are wearing yourself. If you are swaddling your baby, count the swaddle or wrap as one layer of clothing. The most effective way to check whether your baby is warm enough is to feel the back of his or her neck, or across his or her back underneath their clothing. It is normal for baby's hands and feet to be cooler than the rest of his or her body, so they are not an accurate way to check his or her temperature.
WHAT TO WEAR WHEN GOING OUTSIDE?
When taking your baby out, he or she will need a hat and mittens. Merino wool or other natural fibers are best. Socks and warm booties are also a must as well as a warm and windproof jacket and pants. When your baby is lying in the pram make sure to add extra blankets and check regularly to see if she is still warm and snug, it is easy for little ones to get cold specially when they are lying still (unlike us who get warm while pushing the pram!).
WHY ARE NATURAL FIBRES SO IMPORTANT?
When choosing your baby's clothing and bedding, it is best to choose natural fibres such as cotton and merino, as these fibres allow your baby's skin to breathe. Merino is a particularly good winter choice as it gently wicks moisture away from your baby's skin so that if he or she is sweating, or has a nappy leak, the clothing is not cold and damp against his or her skin. Artificial fibres such as polar fleece don't breathe, and can cause your baby to overheat in warmer temperatures as well in cooler temperatures.
Article via Ohbaby.co.nz
“My six week old baby will only sleep in my arms, whenever I put him down, even when he has fallen asleep, he wakes almost immediately.”
I (Pinky McKay) receive emails and facebook messages every single day from new mothers who are confused that they cannot simply pop a newborn down to sleep. Of course it’s stressful to be ‘the one’ who is holding your baby most of the day but it’s even more stressful to wonder, am I doing something ‘wrong’? Or to worry, am I creating ‘bad habits’?
It may help to know you are not alone and that it is very normal for newborns to want to be held against your warm body, close to your comforting heartbeat – in fact, many experts call this the ‘fourth trimester’ . What this means is that human babies are born immature so they really need some extra time to adapt to being ‘on the outside’ while their little bodies and nervous systems develop some more. This isn’t a time for ‘training’ or ‘teaching’ your baby to ‘self-settle’ or to worry about whether you are making the proverbial ‘rod for your back’ but a time for getting to know your baby and helping him feel secure outside the safe womb world.
Just for a moment, put yourself in your baby’s bootees and consider how overwhelming the physical and sensory changes must be for your newborn: imagine yourself soaking in a warm bath by candlelight, listening to the sounds of hushed voices drifting from another room or sift music playing in the distance. Now imagine standing on a buy street corner in the middle of winter, with the headlights of a car shining in your face and loud traffic noise all around you.
In the watery world of the womb, your baby was weightless and warm, he was comforted by the rhythm of your heartbeat and the gentle rocking motion of his “mother home” as his body was gently massaged by the uterine wall and contained by the boundaries of your own body. Now, from this dark warm world of muffled sounds, the newborn must get used to new sensations: air moving across his skin and into his lungs, lights, direct sounds, smells and stillness.
Another thing that makes it difficult for your newborn to fall asleep without help is that for the first few months, your baby will enter sleep from an active sleep phase, he will also have a strong ‘startle’ reflex that will wake him as his tiny body jerks and his arms flail uncontrollably. So, it’s perfectly fine to cuddle, rock or breastfeed your baby to sleep – you can make changes gradually as your baby grows or whenever this becomes unsustainable. And if you want to put your baby down when he has dozed off, one tip is to hold your him until he is in a deeper phase of sleep before you pop him down – when his arm flops it’s a good sign that he is in a deep sleep.
Instead of worrying about what you are doing ‘wrong’ because your baby needs to be helped to sleep, you can ditch the pressure and remind yourself that ‘this too shall pass’. It will, all too soon and you may even miss those delicious newborn cuddles. Soon, when you feel your baby may be ready to settle in a cot you can snuggle him until he is relaxed then give him the opportunity to snooze by himself. For now, when you feel ‘all touched out’ call for help. Hand your baby to a partner, friend or willing family member – you are not imposing, most people love baby cuddles. And try not to feel offended if your baby settles more easily in another pair of arms – it is probably just because he can’t smell your milk!
Meanwhile, by offering what I call ‘womb service’, you can help your baby adapt to being ‘on the outside’.
Womb service involves recreating the sensations your baby experienced while he was safely carried inside you. To help you remember the important aspects, I have called these the five Ws:
Inside your body, your baby didn’t experience cool air blowing on his tiny body or entering his lungs and these new sensations can be quite disturbing. So, at first, warm the space where you are going to be with your baby (16–20˚C will be a comfortable room temperature for your baby), and take care not to have fans or air-conditioners blowing directly onto him in warmer weather. If you are popping him into a cradle to sleep, he will be more comfortable (and likely to sleep better) lying on sheets that have been warmed slightly. You do need to take care not to overheat your baby, but you can warm his sheets slightly with a heat-pack before you place him into bed – test the sheets with your forearm to make sure they aren’t hot.
Just as your newborn was tucked snugly inside your body, supported by the uterine wall, you can provide a sense of security by swaddling him. With his limbs tucked securely against his body, just as they were in the womb, this will help your baby feel safe as well as inhibiting the newborn reflex known as the ‘startle reflex’, this is a primitive survival response that produces spontaneous, jerky movements and can be disturbing for your baby, literally. Snugbags Snuggle Pods are amazing for settling a newborn baby. Find out more here.
Wearing your baby
Inside your womb, your baby was lulled to sleep by your body movements as you went about your daily work. Now, the motion of being carried in a wrap or carrier against your moving body and your comforting heartbeat, as he breathes the familiar scent of your body, will help your baby feel safe. This feeling of familiarity will reduce stress hormones and help your baby relax – and a more relaxed baby will sleep more easily. Wearing your baby may have a balancing effect on his irregular rhythms of waking and sleeping, and is also thought to help him regulate his developing nervous and hormonal system, promoting day waking and night sleeping. Best of all, if your baby falls asleep in the sling, you will have two hands free to do a few chores, or you can go out and enjoy a walk.
Help your baby recall his watery womb world by taking a bath together. Remember that in your womb, your baby was confined, not floating all stretched out, and his womb world was gently bathed in filtered light. By dimming the lights or bathing by candlelight with your newborn, you will help her recall the safety of her womb world and you will be able to hold her close and support her as she gradually relaxes and ‘uncurls’ her limbs. Bathing together is especially helpful if bonding has been interrupted by early separation or a difficult birth or feeding experience. It can also be lovely bonding time for father and baby.
The calming, repetitive sounds of traditional lullabies recall the ‘womb music’ your baby heard before birth (your heartbeat, and fluids whooshing through the placenta). If you are feeling anxious or stressed, try humming, it will slow your breathing and help you relax so your energy will be more calming for your baby too. Baby music that incorporates elements such as the rhythm of a heartbeat or ‘white noise’ can have remarkable soothing effects, especially if played continuously through the night. Of course, your own singing voice is transportable ‘music’ that doesn’t rely on the availability of a CD player, and it will help induce calm and sleepiness just as well as any commercial music –even if you don’t have a fabulous voice!
Pinky McKay is an Internationally Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and best-selling author of the newly revised and updated Sleeping like a baby.
Original Article here: http://www.pinkymckay.com/help-my-baby-will-only-sleep-in-my-arms/
Get your tissues out and watch as these new mums get a beautiful, heartfelt surprise on their baby's first birthday xx
Nobody saw you,
nobody at all
at 3am when
they woke again.
Nobody saw you
picking up the peas,
wiping up the beans,
emptying the laundry basket,
taking out the bins
Nobody saw the crust of toast
that fell out of your bra when you got undressed at night,
such a glamorous life
trying to stay calm.
Nobody saw you
when you were so bored of playing princess ninja pirate turtles
but you said, ‘ok,
just five more minutes,
just one more time,
just one more go,
just one more round’
and then said it again ten minutes later.
Nobody saw you
holding the toddler who wouldn’t be put down
but also wouldn’t go in the buggy
but also wanted to walk but only in the opposite direction
and ‘oh look!
a stick/discarded lolly/dog poo/pebble/cigarette butt/the sky!’
Nobody saw you holding the sick bucket in the night
or on the way back from school
nobody saw you holding a jacket,
a rucksack, a book bag, a sunhat,
a scooter, the baby, a half-eaten apple
and an art project made out of three cereal boxes taped together
and covered in glitter glue,
holding soft little hands at bed time,
holding angry little bodies still kicking and shouting,
holding it together,
holding a hungry....... read more here
Original post from Like Real Life Blog by Abi.
"I write this blog about being a mum and generally my life. I live in Kent with my husband and two young children. I work part time and try to update this blog roughly once a week. I hope that my writing helps other mums, parents, or any other human beings really, to feel less alone. I aim for honesty and sometimes write about difficult stuff to do with my experience as a mum etc but generally I think there’s probably more funny stuff on here."
Follow Abi on her blog here:
Regardless of what stage you are in your parenting journey, there will be good days and bad days. If you’re having one of those rough patches with your newborn, toddler, preschooler or school-aged child, then please, take the time to read this.
In the eyes of your children, you are many things, especially as they grow up. Some days you may be the enemy. Some days you may be their best friend. But every day, no matter how old your children are, you are the most important person to them.
To newborns, you are their world.For nine months they had you close. You were all around them. And, then, all of a sudden, you are nowhere in sight. Sure, you may only be five metres away in the kitchen as they sleep in their cot, but they cannot smell you. They cannot feel your warmth. They cannot hear your beating heart.
As time goes by, they will learn to establish new connections to comfort objects and areas, but this takes time. It may not happen overnight. It may not even happen over the course of a month.
So, for now, let the dishes stay dirty, let the laundry stay wrinkly and let the beds remain unmade. Focus on how your newborn sees you – you are their everything.
And, for now, that’s all you need to be.
To toddlers, you are their missing piece.At this stage, it’s difficult for children to have a sense of identity, unless you are part of it. To a one-year-old, you are their missing limb. And when you are not together, they can feel a little lost.
Sure, they can explore their surroundings on their own, but having you by their side just feels better. Having your hand to hold, your smile to encourage them and your arms to run back into if things get too scary is all they need to find the confidence to grow.
To preschoolers, you are their favourite friend.Preschoolers are full of curiosity and wonder and you are their tour guide on this imaginative journey. Sure, playing ‘camping’ when you have a million other things to do can be painful, but to the little person tugging at your shorts and smiling up at you, this is the most important thing in the world.
Look for fairies in the garden. Hide from the monster in the backyard. Sail around the world in the laundry basket. Visit the stuffed animals in the bedroom zoo. With you by their side, the sky is the limit.
To five-year-olds, you are their teacher.And as their teacher, you can expect to answer a lot of questions. You can expect to explain why dinosaurs no longer exist, why superman can fly but they can’t, why rocks are so heavy, why fish breathe underwater and how Santa can make it around the entire world in just one night.
You can expect to be teaching them, leading them and showing them how to behave with every single thing you do. Yes, it’s a daunting thought and, at times, it can be the most frustrating thing in the world, but it’s also so amazing to think just how much these little ones need you to help them understand their world.
So, whether you are reading this while rocking your newborn back and forth, playing dolls with your toddler or watching Ice Age for the 30th time, take a minute to remind yourself of just how incredible a job you are doing and just how important you are to the little ones in your life.
Written by Jenna Gallina for Babyology.com.au.
Click here for original article.
Kim is the owner of SNUGBAGS - Merino for Kids. Together with her partner James and their little girl Neeva Rose, she lives in a little beach town called Piha on the West Coast in New Zealand. They love surfing, building sandcastles and all things natural and organic.