Welcome to The Baby Planners Blog.
Our friends over at Punkin Patch Interiors have had an over-haul of their website and brand. Read what they have to say about the re-launch of Punkin Patch and then head over to check out their gorgeous new website.
Established in the US in 1998 & launched in the UK in 2008, Punkin Patch Interiors is proud to bring Southern Charm to British bedrooms. We felt it was time for the brand to reflect our ethos ‘Creating luxury bedrooms that spark the imagination of little ones’.
The rebrand consists of our brand new logo, Punkin, who likes to play dress up; her imagination transforms bubbles into real balloons. Patch is her younger brother; his number one hero is Dad. The characters form the face of the brand and were designed by acclaimed artist Gemma Milly along with other illustrations relating to the brand. We will be sharing more about them on our blog & via social media in the upcoming weeks.
The Punkin Patch Interiors website www.punkinpatch.co.uk has had a complete spring clean with a new & improved layout making it easier to navigate & search for products as well incorporating our new statement colours of sage, buttermilk, blush pink and silvermist.
We are so excited about our new look and hope you are too.Read More
Today we have a guest post from the lovely Sarah Oakley and Elinor Evans. Sarah and Elinor are yoga teachers based in Hertfordshire specialising in Pre and Postnatal Yoga Classes, Workshops and Teacher Training. You can find out more by going to their website: Yummy-Yoga
What is Yoga?
What is pregnancy yoga?
Pregnancy yoga (also known as antenatal yoga or prenatal yoga) classes are antenatal exercise classes that use gentle and safe yoga to support mums-to-be as they go through the physical and mental demands of pregnancy and giving birth.
Can I just go to my local general yoga class?
By all means, just check with your teacher that they are qualified in pregnancy yoga so that it is safe for you to be in class. However, the advantage of going to a class specifically for pregnancy is that the focus will be entirely on issues, ailments and asana for pregnancy. Also you can find understanding and wonderful new friendships with the other attendees – often lasting a lifetime. From a teachers perspective we are able to give our time entirely to benefit mums to be so feels much better from our side.
Can you start Pregnancy Yoga right away?
Teachers differ on their opinions on this. However, as the first 12 weeks are a precious time for the growth of the baby as the fetus is implanting into the uterus teachers often recommend that you wait until the 2nd trimester before joining a class.
What happens in a pregnancy yoga class?
Lots of mention of the words pelvis, OFP (optimal foetal positioning), birth canal, sacrum and pelvic floors
Hip wiggles and booty shakes (in a yogic way of course)
Ladies sneaking in a quick nap in relaxation
Thinking of cakes in meditation
Lots of giggles
New found strength and relaxation in preparation for giving birth
Friends you’ll keep for life
Pregnancy yoga will provide you with natural tools to support your mind and body. The yoga postures included in class help to keep you mobile and active up to the birth, and help to position the baby optimally for a quicker, easier labour with less need for pain relief.
The meditation and breathing technique used in classes help you to release tension, manage pain and improve sleep. Also yoga can help to alleviate many common pregnancy symptoms such as insomnia, blocked sinuses and aching legs.
Also, by attending a local pregnancy yoga class, you get to meet other local mums who’s support can be vital in reducing the possibility and severity of postnatal depression.
Might I fart in class?
Yes, but it doesn’t happen very often and it is soon forgotten
What should I wear to class?
Comfortable, loose fitting clothing that allows you to move freely. Please do dress in layers that you can put on or strip off during those mumma hot flushes.
Do I need to have practiced yoga before?
No. Just be pregnant! So whether you can headstand in lotus whilst chanting om or haven’t properly exercised in years we hope you find strength and comfort in your classes.Read More
We’ve been rushed off our feet here at BP towers lately and neglected our blog a little bit over the past few weeks. So to get us back on track we thought we’d start off this week with a blog post supporting the fundraising efforts of a special little girl called Ruby and her Family.
The Baby Planners are hoping to help Ruby and her family to raise the £600 they need for Ruby to attend the Lorna Wing Center for Autism and get a diagnosis.
This diagnosis will enable Ruby to get the professional help and therapies needed to learn about and cope with the everyday difficulties faced with autism.
In order to raise the money needed Ruby’s family will be holding a raffle.
The Baby Planners are donating some items and we want everyone who reads this post to get involved too.
There are 3 ways in which you can help:
1. Donate an item to the raffle.
2. Buy raffle tickets.
3. Donate directly to Ruby’s fund.
If you would like to help in anyway, you can contact Ruby’s Mother Leann on 07709586294 or e-mail The Baby Planners at firstname.lastname@example.orgRead More
This weeks blog is written by Guest Blogger Amy Lavelle and focuses on Maternity Wear that’s perfect for the working day.
The Best Of Office Maternity Wear
The buttons on your favourite blouse are straining to the point where, should one ping off, it may take out an eye and your go-to work trousers are going the same way. It’s time to accept the inevitable and face up to the fact that the time has come to buy some maternity clothes.
Most of us are well versed in the trials of hauling ass to work every morning. Add to that an ever expanding bump and the fact that the chemicals in your favourite beauty products have rendered it a toxic minefield to be avoided at all costs now you’re pregnant and suddenly, the seemingly simple task of finding something office-appropriate that will keep you feeling comfortable all day becomes an unforeseen challenge of epic proportion. And that’s without adding in the complications of making it through rush hour in one piece.
Luckily, the days when maternity wear meant loud prints last seen on your nan’s curtains and elastic waistbands also favoured by the medically obese are long gone and now the options out there are manifest, meaning you can update your work wardrobe with a number of options that will still leave you feeling ready to tackle the day and not wishing to retire from polite society till after birth.
Here are some of the best:
ASOS recently made headlines when Kate Middleton wore a navy jersey dress from their maternity range and as we all know, if it’s good enough for Kate… When it comes to finding stylish maternity wear in this season’s trends, ASOS is your first stop. As well as a range of dresses, in every style from summer florals and denim smocks to maternity pencil dresses (a selection that covers any dress code), that you’d probably want to wear whether you were pregnant or not, their selection of maternity skirts and blouses are also well worth a browse: think delicate chiffon blouses and chic midi and pencil skirts ̶ a little bit Mad Men; entirely board room acceptable.
If Kate is your style guru, chances are John Zack Maternity Wear is the brand for you, with a number of pretty, Kate-inspired lace pencil dresses, including this option that will happily take you through a day at work or a day out. Their Grecian style maxi dresses are also ideal for dressy events.
For simple basics and wardrobe staples, Mamalicious’ range is affordable and has simple tops and vests, as well as trousers and jeans that are a perfect foundation for the rest of your work attire. And if you’re on a budget, there are plenty of high street giants now doing their own maternity ranges, with everyone from Topshop to New Look at the more affordable end of the spectrum designing their own ranges not to be sniffed at.
And there you have it: some top, stylish maternity options to get you through your working day without the hassle in the morning. Simply throw on and be on your way. Well, it’s one less thing to worry about, isn’t it?
Amy Lavelle is a journalist from UK fashion comparison site Style in View. She’s contributed to a number of publications including Spindle magazine.Read More
The Baby Planners often get asked which type of sling or carrier is best. We have our own opinions of course – we both like different styles, but the best carrier is always the one that’s right for you, your baby and your needs. As with most things, what’s right for one person may not be right for another.
In today’s blog we’ve included some information on the five main types of Baby Carriers and Slings and included some of our favourite’s as examples.
- A pouch sling is a piece of fabric sewn together at the ends and folded to form a pocket in which your baby nestles. They go over one shoulder like a sash, and the baby sits in the pouch on the front or back.
- Pouch slings are easy to take on and off
- They are compact enough to fit easily into a changing bag.
- They can normally be used from birth to around two years or 14kg
- Most Pouches aren’t adjustable, which can make it difficult to get the carrying
- Pouch slings can be great for breastfeeding.
- A Wrap sling is a piece of fabric (normally woven or stretchy jersey) that you wrap and tie around your body so your baby is held securely.
- You may need to practice first as Wrap slings can be the most difficult to master.
- They are normally suitable to use from birth to around two years or up to 14 kg.
- By wrapping the fabric around the waist and shoulders, you can distribute your baby’s weight, making it easier to carry older babies.
- There are many different tying methods and carrying positions, as well as different sizes of fabric available.
- A Wrap sling, like most other styles, provides an easy discreet way to breastfeed.
- A Ring sling is formed of a piece of fabric which threads through two rings, forming a loop. The sling goes over one shoulder and is fastened by pulling the fabric through the rings.
Ring slings are one of the easiest slings to use, although they can take a bit of practice to get the hang of it in the beginning.
- They are normally suitable from birth to around two years or up to 14 kg.
- They are quick to get on and off.
- Due to the adjustable rings the sling should fit both parents.
- They are great for breastfeeding, as the extra material can be used to discreetly cover you and your baby.
- Soft carriers are the simplest, most widely available type of carrier.
- Most Soft carriers can carry your baby on your front, either facing you or once able to hold their heads up, facing outwards.
- The baby is held in an upright position, so for very young babies unable to support their heads the carrier needs to be used with a padded headrest.
- Normally suitable from birth to around 18 months or 12kg. Some Soft carriers can go up to 20kg.
- Soft carriers are generally easy to use and easy to adjust.
- Because of the style it is difficult to breastfeed whilst using a Soft carrier.
- Look for baby carriers marked with the BS EN 13209 Part 2:2005 safety mark.
- Multi-way carriers normally give you three or four options for carrying your baby: carrying your baby on your front, back or in a ‘nursing’ position suited to
breastfeeding. Some also offer an additional fourth position – the hip.
- They are suitable from birth to 10kg (12 months), 12kg (18 months) or 14kg (toddlers) depending on the style.
- Multi-way carriers offer a longer lifespan than two-way models, but are not normally as easy to get the hang of using correctly.
Today we have a blog post from Kensington Mums. Keep reading to find out all about Kensington mums and the Motherhood Exhibition.
I am a contented Mummy of two healthy and vivacious kids and a Kensington lover. It all started when I had my first baby. It occurred to me that I was not the only one struggling with interrupted sleep, being on call 24/7 with no time off. Kensington Mums was created with the aim of sharing knowledge and experiences and helping my yummy Kensington Mums learn from one another.
Since its launch, Kensington Mums has proved to be a vital support network for the community where Mums can connect, share parenting tips and capture all those invaluable word of mouth recommendations. Not even one year after its launch, I was truly honoured when Kensington Mums made it into the Top 100 winner of the 2012 Business Mum Award.
I run this group with pure passion and determination and honestly enjoy reaching out to Mums. I captured so many invaluable word of mouth recommendations from other mums that I would not be able to live without.
After having my second baby, the idea of having a bigger network support came to mind and in a sense created a passion in me to help mums outside my group of friends. It occurred to me that mums really need a network support so that they won’t feel alone in a haze of milky delight during the first few months of being a mum. If you have family around you to help you then that is ideal but in a country where you don’t have family, your network of mummy friends become part of the family.
As a Mum myself, I can relate to the ups and downs of Motherhood. To me motherhood is the most exhausting yet most rewarding job (I only wish we could get paid for being a full time mama!). So what better way to share the many different motherhood journeys than to exhibit them.
Kensington Mums Motherhood exhibition will showcase and support mums to develop and share their own motherhood stories using their own personal pictures which to them illustrate the definition of motherhood. I want Mums to celebrate Mother’s Day every day! This day should be celebrated because so many Mother’s work super hard all year round and rarely get the merit they deserve. Nurturing and celebrating ourselves is the first step towards nurturing and bringing joy to others. We are not just Mums; we are more than a Mum’.
The exhibition itself aims to engage a wide community of UK and international mums from diverse backgrounds and cultures. The legacy will be increased social awareness of mums’ creative role and value. The exhibition welcomes ALL Mums to take part in this honest exhibition whether they are grandparents, single mums, and teenage mums or widowed. This exhibition will be included for the touring exhibition and events programme: “Story of Mum: Mums making an exhibition of themselves” culminating in an exhibition at the Museum of Motherhood in New York.
This FREE event is taking place on the 7th of June 2013 at Beaufort House, Chelsea.
To participate or attend on the 7th, email Dina at email@example.com to book your place.
I look forwards in seeing many of you there.
Let’s put the mmmm into motherhood!
Kensington Mums Bio:
To be kept in the loop with the local scoop with the latest in children activities, playgroup and family outings, join Kensington Mums where you get free updates with what’s on for you and your little one(s). You are welcome to connect with other Mums to share your tips and recommendation and capture all those invaluable word of mouth recommendations. It’s a fantastic support network! Kensington Mums also organises Mummy and baby outings as well as Mums Night out and pamper events! Visit www.kensingtonmums.co.uk You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter @KensingtonMums. Enjoy your time with your little ones, as they are only little for a short while!
The Baby Planners Top Tips For Keeping Your Baby Safe On The Move
Carrying on from last weeks blog post about Safe Travel During Pregnancy, we thought we’d continue the theme and talk about Car Seat Safety.
Most parents understand the importance of car safety, but many people have trouble fitting and using car seats. Recent surveys have revealed that more than half of baby and child car seats are fitted incorrectly. That’s why it’s so important to read the instructions that come with your car seat.
For a new baby you will need an infant carrier (or combination seat) here at The Baby Planners we can help you make informed choices on car seats and check the seat you wish to buy is suitable for your car, we can even help you learn to fit your seat.
Car Seat Safety Tips
Rearward facing car seats offer the best protection for young babies, who have very little control over their head and neck muscles. Your baby should be positioned rearward facing for as long as possible.
It’s important to remember that car seats are tested by the weight they carry and not the age of the baby or child.
Never use a baby/child seat in the front passenger seat, in the event of an accident airbags can prove fatal for babies and children.
Since 2006 all new ECE approved cars come equipped with isofix anchorage points built in. Isofix compatible car seats can easily and simply be plugged in, leaving much less opportunity for incorrect fitting. You can check your car manual to see if your car is isofix compatible. You can contact us for more information on isofix compatible car seats.
Never buy a second hand car seat; it may have accident damage that you can’t see and which makes it unsafe for your baby.
The law requires all children travelling in cars to use the correct child restraint from birth until they are either 135 cm/4’5 in height or the age of 12. After this they must wear an adult seat belt.
- Practise fitting the seat before your baby arrives. Read though the instructions until you’re absolutely sure you know how it works. You can also contact us and we would be very happy to show you how to fit your car seat correctly.
- Make sure the harness around your baby or child is firm but not restrictive.
- The seat belt should be as tight as possible, to minimise forward or sideways movement.
- Make sure the seat belt passes correctly through all the correct guides on the child seat. Some seats have an alternative routing if the seat belt is too short to use the normal route.
- The seat belt buckle should be straight when locked and should not rest on the child’s car seat frame as it might snap open.
- For older children using forward facing car seats, push your weight into the child seat as you tighten the seat belt to make sure the child seat is securely held. Make sure there’s no slack in the seat belt.
Here at The Baby Planners we can advise you on car seats and installations. You can also practise strapping your baby in with our weighted baby dolls before your little one arrives so you’re fully prepared.
*Disclaimer: All information is correct at time of publishing. Please check for future safety updates.Read More
With the summer fast approaching and holidays awaiting us we thought that a blog on safe travel in pregnancy wouldn’t go amiss. Most women are safe to travel in pregnancy. Most of the risk lies not in the travel itself but in the risks associated with the destination. It is always advisable to check with your Dr or midwife and airline before travelling.
Safe Travel During Pregnancy
You have a growing bump and a relaxing exotic holiday booked – do the two go together? The good news is that most women who are pregnant are considered low risk and its perfectly safe for them to fly. However, you are carrying some precious cargo so there are a few things to think about before you jet off.
When is the best time to fly?
The second trimester is usually the best time to in, you should be feeling fit & healthy and your pregnancy is well established at this point. In your first trimester – up to 12 weeks, there is an increased chance of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy. This risk is probably not increased by flying but some woman have to be careful about travelling because of previous medical conditions.
These can include:
Previous pre-term delivery
All of the above conditions can increase the risk of flying. Always check with your doctor and midwife before planning a trip.
Traveling in the Third Trimester
Travelling in the third trimester is a little more difficult firstly you will be bigger so sitting for a long period of time will be uncomfortable. There is an increase in the risk of deep vein thrombosis and a small chance of premature birth. Again always check with your Doctor or midwife before you travel.
Pregnancy Travel Guidelines
Many airlines place restrictions on traveling in advanced stages of pregnancy and these vary from airline to airline. Remember to check with your airline before you book your holiday.
A general guide is as follows:
Unlimited travel to 28 weeks.
Doctors’ letter required after 28 weeks.
Twin pregnancies: no flying after 32 completed weeks of pregnancy.
Single pregnancies: no flying after 36 completed weeks of pregnancy.
Traveling to an Exotic Location?
Consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Christian Blake from the Portland Hospital says:
The risk of vaccinations in pregnancy on the development of the baby is unclear. Most sources agree that there is no evidence of risk from vaccination of pregnant women with inactivated virus. Yellow fever is a live vaccine and should be avoided as well as Typhoid vaccination.
It is also best to avoid areas where there is a high risk of malaria as the necessary drugs all carry a potential risk for the baby. Some developing countries also have the risk of rubella. The rubella vaccination can’t be given during pregnancy.
It is difficult to avoid getting diarrhoea when travelling to more exotic locations. However, small measures can help with prevention:
Wash hands regularly.
Drink only unopened bottle water.
Do not eat uncooked food.
Fever can be controlled by oral Paracetamol which is safe to take during pregnancy.
Keep rehydrated by taking sugary oral fluids like flat coke.
Did you know that The Baby Planners can help you find your perfect baby moon?
We can go over a number of locations that specialise in rest and relaxation plus specialist pregnancy massage, both here in the UK and abroad. What better way to have a break before baby arrives!Read More
This week we are pleased to have a guest post from Granny and I, a great service that provides families with experienced and CRB checked Granny babysitters in London. Their blog post for us today focuses on Maternity Nurses and Doulas, and off course, their own great Maternity Grannies!
Maternity Nurses and Doulas: which is for me?
We place experienced, professional ‘Maternity Grannies’ to work in families as maternity nurses or postnatal doulas. Our Maternity Grannies have all raised their own children and often grandchildren, so it’s a bit like having your own mum around to help.
They are thoroughly interviewed in person, are qualified in their field, and we check references, certificates and CRB.
Having recently had a little one join our family, we understand how important experienced support is in the early days; we also fully comprehend how difficult it is to know exactly what sort of help you’re going to need!
We are often asked the difference between a maternity nurse and a postnatal doula – both are experienced ladies who have worked extensively with small babies and postnatal mothers. However..
– will usually work 24-hours for 5 or 6 days a week, for periods of 4 weeks or longer. They will sometimes work nights only.
– they will have undertaken formal Maternity Nurse training.
– will carry out all nursery duties, help parents learn to care for their newborn, assist the mother emotionally and with things like breastfeeding or if she is recovering from a C-section
– tend to be quite keen on establishing a sleep and feed routine from quite early on, often with a focus on getting baby to sleep through the night (or as much of the night as possible!) – this is an important thing to ask at interview!
– will usually expect you to sign a contract and put forward a non-redundable deposit in the case of cancellation
– usually work part-time, a few hours every day or every other day for the first 6 weeks or so after the birth
– focus more strongly on caring for and assisting the mother so that she is able to bond with her baby
– they will offer support in whatever way is more appropriate: running errands, cooking, tidying up, looking after baby while mum sleeps, making sure mum keeps hydrated and rested
– will help new parents to care for their baby
– are usually quite keen on encouraging and supporting breastfeeding
– tend to be more baby-led, focusing on allowing the baby and parents to find their own, often very flexible, routine
A few tips when selecting a MN or PD:
– as hard as this seems at the time, decide what sort of person you are: are you all about on-demand feeding and letting baby lead? Or would you be happier with a bit more structure, and are you relying on your maternity carer to help you with that? I think this is the most fundamental question when deciding between a Maternity Nurse (structure) and Postnatal Doula (baby-led). Bear in mind your ideas on this may change once you meet your bundle of joy!
– you need to feel comfortable around her; this person is going to see you at your most sleep-deprived, worn out worst so it has to be someone you instinctively have a connection to, who won’t annoy you by being around, who you can trust and be yourself around
– make sure the focus is as much on supporting you as a new mum, as on caring for the baby, and that the person has specific experience of and understands the importance of this
– Specialisms are important! If you are planning to breastfeed or do mixed-feeding find someone with specific training and experience; if you are expecting twins find someone who has looked after twins before; if you are booking postnatally and baby has a specific issue such as colic or reflux, make sure you find someone with relevant experience in supporting this
– Book in advance! The best maternity carers are booked months ahead of time, and this will mean you can enjoy your pregnancy knowing the post-baby bit is all sorted!
– Go through an agency: often the best maternity carers will find work through agencies. Our clients can simply meet the Maternity Granny and interview her, knowing that we have done all the detailed background checks and will only put forward very high-quality candidates.
The Baby Planners are delighted to be teaming up with Bosom Buddy to bring you a great competition with some fantastic prizes.
To enter the competition leave a comment on this blog post or send us your name and e-mail via our contact form.
One lucky winner will receive their choice of consultation package from The Baby Planners Pregnancy & Labour Services, worth up to £100.
Choose 1 from the following options (click on the consultation you wish to learn more about)…
Terms & Conditions
1. The winner is entitled to 1 of The Baby Planners pre-natal consultations only, the consultation may not be swapped for any other service.
2. Bosom Buddy’s bra fitting service is only available within London and the M25.
3. The winner will have 2 weeks to reply to their winning e-mail and accept their prizes. After this the winner will be re-drawn.
4. Only entries that are received before the closing deadline (UK Date & Time) will be entered into the draw.
5. The competition is open to UK residents aged 16 and over only.
6. The winner will be drawn by random on the closing date and announced on The Baby Planners website, as well as Facebook & Twitter once the winner has been notified.