Category: Baby

 

Baby teething pain remedies: how to bring relief to your little one?

If you’re reading this post chances are you’re up all night because your baby is screaming in pain, s/he bites everything s/he sees during the day and s/he’s constantly hanging on your boob.

Your little one is teething and you’re desperately trying to find teething pain remedies that actually work? I hear you sister! My baby has gone through some awful phases during her teething time so I experimented a lot.

In this post I’m going to share some tips on how to bring relief to your little one and I’ll tell you what has worked really well for my daughter.

Teething symptoms and when does it start

Teeth can start to show up between 3 to 12 months of age and will continue to come until about your little one reaches 3 years old (yep I know, that’s a LOT of screaming and crying- God help us all…).

The symptoms include excessive drooling, sensitive red gums, irritability and crying (that is hard to control), chewing on different items, poor appetite, rubbing of cheeks and/ or ears, rashes around the mouth or neck and higher temperature (not necessarily a fever).

The two bottom front teeth are usually the first to appear, the two top front ones come after.

What can you do to help?

1. Breastfeed

Isn’t breastfeeding a good solution for almost anything? Consolation, enhancing immune system, strengthening the mother-baby bond… and yes, relieving the teething pain.

The sucking itself is how babies seem to get some comfort. However, during teething your baby might bite your nipple; if that becomes a problem for you, try to rub your baby’s gum with a clean finger and then offer the breast.

On the other hand, what can also happen is that your little one will reject your breast. Sucking can actually irritate some babies and make the pain worse (it happened to us many times during the night). In this case, try to pump some milk and offer it to your baby in a slow-flow sippy cup.

2. Cold= relief

Cold items are safe and effective way to reduce the teething pain. Chewing on cold things will give your little one a nice, numbing sensation.

You can freeze a damp facecloth for about 20-30 minutes; when it’s cold enough, gently touch your baby’s gums or even let him munch on it for a while. It’s also a good idea to freeze the dummy (soaking it into water before) or water-filled bottle (upside down) and give your baby to chew on the frozen nipple.

American Dental Association recommends chilling a metal spoon in the fridge for a few hours (this worked really well on my daughter).

3. Offer a toothbrush

Chewing on a toothbrush will give your baby’s sore gums a comforting massage. Plus, it will get your little one used to brushing his teeth on a regular basis later on. It’s a win-win!

Babies also love to ‘bite’ on the hard texture of wooden spoons- it gives them the so-wanted pressure against the growing teeth.

 

 

4. Massage the gums and the face

Who doesn’t love a little baby spa?:)

This very simple solution often eases the pain in the quickest way. You can use your clean finger to gently massage your little one’s gum.

You could also just give your baby your own knuckle to ‘bite’ (probably only if they don’t have many teeth yet or if you’re resilient to pain!).

Few times a day try to rub your baby’s face, particularly the jaw and cheek area in a circular motion. It should give him some nice relaxation time and it might just hit the right spot.

5. Chamomile tea

Chamomile has been known for centuries as a herbal remedy for different medical conditions.

Although I can’t say for sure this tea really worked on my daughter, chamomile is an ingredient in some natural teething products and many other mums are swearing on it.

You can pour some cool chamomile tea on a spoon or wet a washcloth in the tea (instead of water), then freeze it and offer it to your baby; remember to check if the tea is caffeine-free.

6. Warm bath

This should be treated more as a distraction from the constant discomfort than an actual remedy.

Warm water from the bath will help your little one to relax muscles in the body. If you play with your baby and sing to him during the bath, he should take his mind off the pain.

What can you buy to help?

1. Teething toy

There are so many of them on the market but I especially like this funky monkey (it rhymes, yay!); its ergonomic shape makes it easy to hold for your little one and it’s dishwasher friendly. You can safely put it in the freezer but if you’re looking for something that will bring your baby even more relief when frozen, I advise you to get any teething ring that is filled with water, like this one. Just don’t overdo with the freezing time- the toy may become too hard for your baby to enjoy if you put it for too long.

Another great product is a teething glove that your baby can wear on her little hand. It’s especially great solution for babies whose hand coordination is not fully developed yet- this way they can use it as a traditional teething toy without your help.

2. Fruit feeder pacifier

This is an awesome little invention where you can put a piece of a fruit or veggie (or any other fresh food) that your baby can chew on. There’s no need to worry about bigger pieces of food getting into your baby’s mouth- that’s why using them is also a safe way to introduce your little one to solid food while they go through weaning and teething phase. They can be dismantled and easily cleaned; you can freeze the silicone (BPA&latex; free) part as well.

3. Homeopathic remedies

This is like a little miracle water! It’s all natural so won’t have any side effects and you can’t really overdose it. Although I found it has a short-time effect, it really helps with relieving the pain within minutes of giving it to your baby. Many other parents also swear by it.

Which products should you avoid?

For your little one’s safety you should avoid:

  • Teething medications (and some over-the-counter remedies) which contain benzocaine or lidocaine. These ingredients can damage your baby’s health so make sure you always read the label of any pain relief tablets/gels you’re planning to buy. Better yet, consult it with your GP before offering it to your baby.
  • Teething necklaces and bracelets (or any type of wearable teething jewellery). These items pose a chocking hazard, mouth injury and infection. Even though it’s quite popular within parents, it’s better not take the risk and stay away from them.

When should you contact the doctor?

You should normally be able to deal with the teething phase at home. However, you need to contact the GP if your baby seems very uncomfortable or if the teething pain affects the way he eats or drinks.

How can you look after your baby’s first teeth?

Before the first teeth appear, or when they just begin to break through, you should simply use a warm, soft cloth and run it over your baby’s gums. You can also use a wet cotton wool; it’s best to do it twice a day (just like you do it yourself in your daily routine) to remove all the harmful bacteria.

When your baby’s first teeth actually show up, use a small, soft toothbrush for gentle cleaning.

Until your child learns how to spit (at about 3 years of age) it’s better not to use a toothpaste or use just a tiny bit of fluoride toothpasste (no bigger amount than a grain of rice).  If your little one swallows too much of the toothpaste he may become sick – so if you want to use it, do it wisely.

That’s all from me for now.

Do you have any hidden tricks or secrets for babies’ teething? Please share it with us and write them in the comments below!

Wishing you less crying and more joy:)

Good luck mamas!

xoxo

Best baby travel systems for 2020- my top 3 picks

What is a travel system and do I need one?

A travel system is a pushchair that is compatible with a baby car seat and carrycot. Many of them come as a 3-in-1 bundle so the car seat and the carrycot are included in the price.

But many brands offer you a travel system only if you buy a carrycot and the car seat separately.

I think this type of pushchair is a great and handy thing to have, especially for first-time parents. But every family is different and one travel system may not be a perfect solution for all other families.

Depending on your budget, a place you live and how often you’re planning to travel, you should chose a travel system that will suit your needs.

To be able to do this comparison, I started to pay attention to what kind of pushchairs are being used on London streets the most and follow these brands on social media. I’ve tested 2 brands from my list. Finally, I looked into forums, mums chats and reviews on Amazon.

Here are my 3 top picks for the best baby travel systems for 2020.

 

1. Uppababy Vista

 

In short: the best versatile travel system, great for running daily errands but also a good companion for weekend trips.

Pros:

– Easy to assemble

– Huge basket

– Great-size, breathable bassinet (also approved for overnight sleep)

– Stylish design and top quality fabrics

– The toddler seat can be parent and world- facing

– Large sun shade canopy with 2 extra expandable panels and a ‘peek-a-boo’ window (you can also slide the canopy up when your child gets bigger)

– 6 recline positions and highly-adjustable 5- point harness

– Adjustable handle bar height and leg rest

– Simple, one-hand fold (also stands on its own)

– Car seat and bassinet included in the price (no need for adapters). The car seat is very easy to install and often appears on the lists of the top 10 best car seats.

– Solid, superb quality wheels ensuring great maneuverability and smooth ride

– It ‘grows’ with your baby and can expand to a double stroller

– Comes with a rain cover and bug net

 

 

Cons:

– Pricey

– It’s not light and a bit bulky when folded

– It can take quite a lot of space in the car boot

– Some reviews say it’s not designed well for a double stroller (at least in certain position).

 

Best choice for: parents living in a city who need an every-day full-size pushchair but also one that will be good for ‘off-road’ trips.

 

Product details:

Suitable from: newborn to 22 kg

Orientation: parent and world-facing

Number of wheels: four

Folded dimensions: with seat attached: 44 L x 65.3 W x 83.8 H cm (without seat attached: 42.6 L x 65.3 W x 83.3 H cm)

Weight: 12kg (frame and seat)

 

*You don’t want to spend money on a new travel system? Check out eBay for second hand Uppababy Vista.

 

 

2. Bugaboo Fox

 

In short: the best high-end travel system, very practical; expensive but well worth the investment.

Pros:

– Bugaboo has a strong reputation on the market; you get few years warranty on it since their products are build to last (I own a different stroller from this brand and I can assure you it’s a top quality pushchair)

– High seat position

– Unique&stylish; look, ‘slim’ frame

– Luxurious and highly functional

– All-wheel suspension (which means a smooth ride)

– Thanks to the big wheels the pushchair has no problem with getting through gravel, grass and uneven surface (it has all-wheel suspension)

– Ultra-compact fold (it’s self-standing when folded)

– Easy to assemble at home

– It has a great, long carrycot (which gives your baby a space to grow)

– Safe& easy to use 5-point harness and brake

– If you have a bigger child you can attach a wheeled ‘rider’ board to the Bugaboo Fox- it’s great fun for your little one and less headache for you!

– Very easy to push and maneuver even with one hand

– Height adjustable handlebar is a great option for taller people

– The bassinet sun shade canopy has an extra panel (so your baby will be fully protected from the sun/ rain/ wind when necessary)

– The storage basket is of generous size and has built-in pockets

 

Cons:

– Complicated fold- it takes some time to get used to it

– Expensive (the most expensive from my list)

– You have to buy a separate car seat

– Most accessorize are not included in price (such as rain cover)

 

Best choice for: active parents who live in the city and need a versatile pushchair; for people who can afford investing in a travel system that will last them for years.

 

Product details:

Suitable from: birth to 17kg

Orientation: parent- and world-facing

Number of wheels: four

Car seat compatible: yes

Folded dimensions: H 19 x W 54 x L 66 cm

Weight: 9.9kg

 

*Don’t fancy to spend so much money? Check the second hand Bugaboo Fox here.

 

3. BabyZen Yoyo 0+

 

In short: the best lightweight and compact travel system, great for traveling.

Pros:

-Very light and compact

-Super easy to push

-The size of the Babyzen Yoyo makes it the perfect stroller for urban living (although small it’s sturdy)

-One-hand fold, you can hang it over your shoulder once folded

-Stylish design

-Perfect for traveling- it fits the overhead locker on the board of the plane

-It’s a good value for money considering its quality

 

Cons:

-Small size basket

-Sun canopy doesn’t have any extra panels (so you may have to buy an umbrella for more sunny days)

-The handlebar height is not adjustable

– No bumper bar

-You normally need to buy a carrycot separately (as well as the car seat with adapters), however you can order the full package from other European countries here.

-Not suitable for rough terrains

– Some mums claim the seat of the stroller is not comfortable for the baby (it’s quite narrow and not ‘upright’ enough)

 

Best choice for: parents living in a city, who don’t have much space at home and who often use public transport. It’s perfect for traveling (I had a chance to use BabyZen Yoyo myself when traveling by plane and it really exceeded my expectations).

 

Product details:

Suitable from: birth to 15kg

Orientation: parent facing (with carrycot/car seat), world-facing (from 6months +)

Number of wheels: four

car seat compatible: yes

folded dimensions: H:52cm W:44cm L:18cm

Weight: 6.6 kg

 

*You’d rather find a cheaper option? Take a look at this Babyzen Yoyo bundle on eBay.

 

Now think hard !

What the type of travel system your family will need the most? You already know?

So take out your credit card:)

All the best mamas!

xoxo

 

Are you ready for this? Travelling with a baby- essentials

Do you remember the times when you were traveling on your own, and the only thing stressful for you was the fact you might have forgotten to put your mascara in the transparent bag with other liquid products?

Well, you’ll have to embrace a new meaning of ‘stressful’ as you’re about to travel with your little one for the first time. Don’t panic, it doesn’t have to be so dramatic as you’ve probably heard from other parents. It will definitely be more challenging but if you organize yourself and plan everything ahead you will have everything under control.

When it comes to your little one’s safety and the right time to travel, there are different opinions out there; many airlines allow you to travel with your infant when he’s only 2 weeks old but doctors say it’s safer to wait until your baby’s immune system gets stronger so at least until he reaches 3 months old (especially if you’re traveling by plane). At the end of the day it’s up to you; I personally waited until my baby girl was almost 4 months old.

Here are few things you should remember and essentials you should not forget once you decide to travel with a mini version of you.

1. Read the reviews of a hotel/ apartment you want to book

Whether it’s a hotel or an Air B&B apartment, it’s important to find out about real conditions of the place you’re about to book. Beautiful pictures with seemingly perfect description won’t help if others say there’s a mould on the walls.

Most importantly, make sure it’s a baby-friendly place: if they offer a travel cot and a baby bath, if there’s a place to heat up your little one’s food any time you want and if there’s a playroom or a playground.

Also, make sure there’s a short walking distance to the shops, beaches or lake (depending where you’re spending your holidays) – you don’t want to end up taking a bus everywhere you go or walk for over 20 minutes with a screaming child just to use a hotel room toilet.

2. Book the right airplane seats

If you’re traveling by plane, it’s important to know which seats are the best for your needs.

Whether you’re planning to hold your baby on your lap or you’re putting him in a car seat, it’s always good to have an extra seat for an extra space (it’s a life-saver when having all those baby staff around!). Plus, you won’t have to worry about feeling uncomfortable every time you have to stand up and excuse the person sitting next to you just so you could walk around or use the toilet to change your baby.

Some airlines will be happy to kind of block the middle seat for you and your baby (usually on long-haul flights and only if the plane is not full), however, from my experience on short-haul, budget flights, there’s no option like that and you need to buy a separate ticket if you want that extra ‘luxury’. Either way there’s usually a small charge when your baby stays on your lap (at least, that’s the rule with Ryanair, Wizzair and Easyjet); this charge, on certain occasions, might actually be higher than buying an extra ticket itself! So just make sure to contact customer service for support if that happens.

If you have a smaller baby that still doesn’t sit properly, it’s best to take an aisle seat as you may have to stand up a lot to calm your little one down. If she’s bigger and already paying attention to things, the best seat will be by the window as you can distract her with what’s going on outside.

3. Choose the flight that aligns with your babies’ nap time

This is a rule I wish I had thought through when I was traveling with my daughter for the first time!

Never take an infant on a plane in his ‘waking’ hours- you will regret it. Even if the afternoon flight is cheaper than the early morning one, it’s not worth to save those £20 and have a 2 or 3 hour horrific flight of screaming and crying. Usually the best time to travel with your little one is early morning (or whenever your baby would normally be sleeping). If you do that, you can pretend you have the most well-behaved and quiet baby other passengers have ever seen! Other parents will give you the jealous look and you won’t be one of those miserable mothers who’s desperately trying to calm down her child ( while everyone else wishes she was on a different flight!).

4. Make sure you’ve got a travel insurance

This is for obvious reason and it’s a must when you’re traveling with a baby. Also, find out where’s the nearest hospital/ ER at your holiday destination. Hopefully you’ll never have to visit that place but it’s always good to know everything in advance, just in case.

If you’re traveling in Europe (and you’re an EU member yourself), it’s very handy to have an EHIC card- it gives you right to the same health care as citizens of the country you’re visiting. So, if you unexpectedly get sick (or your baby), you will be covered.

5. Don’t travel alone

I know it’s not always an option but it’s not much fun traveling with a little baby on your own, especially if it’s your first time. If you have someone by your side you can divide that stress in two! But if not, don’t be afraid to ask for help, people are generally very kind and helpful.

Also, use the benefits of traveling with kids whenever it’s possible- priority boarding, faster security check lanes and family line at customs- always ask someone if you’re in doubt.

6. Pack as light as possible

I know it’s hard thing to do, being a woman and having an extra little person to worry about (when you still have so many things to pack for yourself) but if you’re only going away for a couple of days/ weeks, there’s really not much you will need.

For yourself take only 2 pair of jeans, 1/2 pair of shoes, couple of T-shirts (you can forget about fancy dresses at this point). Pack as little baby gear as possible- babies don’t need as much as we actually think.

Here’s the list of essentials of what you’ll need for your little one :

a) for the baby changing/ carry-on bag (choose one that has separate space for bottles, nappies and a changing mat; I bought this super practical one on Amazon).

  • some wipes and nappies
  • changing mat
  • some extra clothes (in case of small ‘surprises’ )
  • dummies+ clippers
  • toys/ books (take only those which your child really likes)
  • a blanket (useful to cover when your baby falls asleep)
  • snacks + baby water bottle
  • trash bag (for dirty diapers)
  • a lightweight stroller- BabyZen Yoyo is really great for traveling, I borrowed it from a friend on one of my travels and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s so small and compact when folded that fits into overhead compartment on board. It’s also very light and can adapt to many car seats (such as Maxi Cosi Pebble Plus– you’ll need adapters though; for the full review of this product and other travel systems click here).                                                                                                                                      ** If your baby is already bigger and you’re spending a short vacation in a city, you can just take an umbrella stroller (it’s much cheaper but obviously doesn’t have so many features as BabyZen Yoyo does). I normally take my everyday Bugaboo Bee 5 which is a bit bigger than Babyzen Yoyo but it’s still lightweight and compact enough not to give you any headaches (take a look at my full review here). Either way, you can take any pram all the way to the plane and get it back once you land.

  • the right car seat- necessary whether you’re taking a plane, car or train. Make sure it’s compatible with your stroller (if you have a younger baby) but also it should fit the seat of a plane, if that’s how you’re traveling. If you’re not taking the car seat on board, you don’t have to worry about the measurements but if you do, always check what are the requirements of the airline you’re flying with. If you have a chance to rent a car with a baby car seat, that’s the best option- you won’t have to drag you own car seat with you all the way from home.

  • a baby carrier- great for walks and whenever you need to have your hands free (or simply don’t want to bother with a stroller). I’ve used ErgoBaby 360 for most of my trips (you can read my full review of the product here). However, when my daughter grew up a bit and got heavier (she was about 11 months old), I started to use a hip baby carrier as I’ve found it more comfortable and easier to use for quick shopping or whenever she refused to stay in her stroller. It’s also great if your toddler is walking already and you don’t need to carry him all the time.

b) for the suitcase:

  • clothes- pack only practical clothes such as leggings, long/short sleeved bodysuits, all-in-ones, jumpers, hat etc. (try to avoid skirts or dungarees)
  • muslin squares
  • some diapers and baby wipes for the first couple of days (you can buy the rest at your destination)
  • 2 or 3 baby bottles and an insulated bottle bag – to keep the milk warm for couple of hours
  • medicine such as Ibuprofen (might be useful in case of any unwanted fevers/colds) and other supplies such as thermometer, nasal aspirator, diaper cream etc.
  • manual breast pump -for nights out
  • baby sunscreen if you’re heading to a sunny place
  • small inflatable pool (again if you’re going to a hot place)- splashing water was my baby girls’ favourite activity on the beach

  • a stroller rain cover (you can’t predict the weather!)
  • pop up beach tent– a must have if you’re planning to spend your holiday at the seaside, lake or anywhere outdoors where you and your child will be exposed to the sunlight. It gives a shade from the sun, protection from UV rays and the wind. And it’s perfect for the nap time- for the both of you! (If you’re already tight on space, you can always ask at the hotel or apartment you chose if they have anything like that to borrow; in some places these tents are available for renting with other beach equipment).

7. Prepare some entertainment for the travel

So, apart from the toys and books, you should charge your phone or a tablet beforehand. Even if you’re not a fan of playing cartoons for your little one, it might be a game changer, especially if you have a very impatient baby (like I do!). Cartoons and songs on YouTube should occupy your child for some reasonable amount of time. If she’s still too little to watch, then you just have to be more creative- even squeezing an empty candy bar can catch her attention for a while.

If you’re traveling by car, it’s best you make enough stops (it’s recommended to take breaks roughly every 3 hours) so your little one’s spine could get some ‘rest’ from sitting in one position for too long.

I’d also suggest downloading any app with a white noise on your phone, especially if you have a younger baby. Sounds like rain, wind or even a tumbling dryer may help your little one to fall asleep in a new place.

8. Breastfeed if you’re able to

For take off and landing it is the best thing you can do as it helps your baby to feel less uncomfortable when the pressure in the cabin changes. In my case, boobs saved my butt on countless occasions, not only on the plane. It’s way more convenient than feeding from the bottle, you can do it anywhere you like and there’s less equipment to carry. Only bonuses!

9. Be prepared for different kind of food abroad

If your baby is already on solids and she’s a fussy eater (like my daughter), make sure you take some food she likes with you. Chances are you won’t find the same brand or type of food wherever you’re heading and that’s a great recipe for the unwanted drama.

However, if you’re traveling around the same continent you live in, you should be able to get anything your little one eats regularly. You can always do your online research, otherwise you can end up with 10 jars of food you could have got in the local store next to your hotel.

10. Be on time

Remember the rule, be on the airport 3 hours before the departure? Remember when you were never actually there so early?

Well, now you have to be or you won’t make it on time! You need to have time for the check- in, the security gates (and they will stop you to check the baby changing bag- that’s a minimum another 15 min of waiting) plus feeding, changing and all the fun staff. So just don’t add up to the stress you’ll be going through. Don’ be late.

And…I believe that’s it. There always has to be a first time to anything so follow my advice, don’t stress out too much and you’ll be just fine!

Can you think of any other travel essentials that we could add to my list?

Let me know in the comments!

Take care and enjoy your holiday:)

xoxo

 

What to do when my toddler won’t wear shoes?

If your child hasn’t made a big drama when you were putting (or rather trying to put) on his/her first shoes, you can consider yourself very lucky. Most mums freak out when their toddler won’t wear shoes (including me) but what they probably don’t realize is that it is very common situation.

Introducing shoes means your baby can no longer act like a little Tarzan… so imagine how frustrating that must be for him! He’s probably thinking you are trying to take away his freedom and there’s no way he will let this happen!

Your little one will run away, cry, scream or everything at once, and it’s not fun for us at all, especially when you’re in a hurry.

But fear not, I’m gonna give you some helpful tips on how to convince your toddler to start liking what’s on his tiny feet.

1. Pretend you don’t care

It’s really important for your child to associate wearing shoes with something fun and enjoyable. If you show determination or any sign of anxiety about the shoes, your little drama queen will make a big fuss about it. Instead of stressing out about him/her refusing to wear them, just don’t make a big deal out of it.

I suggest putting the shoes somewhere close to your toddler so that he could explore the new item and then explain to him what these are made for. You could also take your own shoes and demonstrate how to use them (remember about a happy face while you’re doing that!).

Now you can gently slip on one of the baby shoes on top of his foot so he could get the idea but don’t force it for now. Just leave them lying around, even for your little one to play with. Soon he may surprise you by showing the interest in them and even asking you to put them on.

2. Distract your toddler

Other way to make your child wear those shoes is to simply distract him. Show him a video he likes, give him a snack, play peekaboo, give favourite toy- whatever gets his attention. If your partner (grandma or a nanny) is around, use him to put the shoes on while you are playing the clown. Chances are he won’t even notice that you are trying to trick him.

3. Make sure first shoes have soft soles

Kids almost always reject hard soles probably because soft soles are much more comfy and feel like wearing socks. But, unfortunately we can’t get away with using socks all the time, especially in colder months.

Soft sole shoes are apparently easier to wear. They will give your toddler much better flexibility and mimic barefoot movement. So leave the harder soled shoes for later.

Stride Rite is a great brand to start with. It’s well-known on the toddlers shoe market.

If your toddler loves wearing socks and won’t wear anything else, go for the Robeez– this American brand is known for the super-soft soles; however they might be a better choice if your baby just begins to walk and still practices indoors.

4. Choose straps or zips instead of laces

Little shoes with laces might be cute but not so practical as first choice for your baby. You are already struggling with putting any kind of shoes on those tiny feet, so you don’t need a double job by trying to do those annoying, short laces. Plus, they do tend to undo very often, so you’ve got another reason to go for a strap/ buckle or zip finish.

Another thing that actually solved problem with my daughter and her stubbornness was the type of shoes. I bought her really nice ankle shoes (with laces!) because she took her first steps just before autumn started. She refused wearing them for a good couple of weeks, screaming in horror to that point I thought the shop assistant must have chosen the wrong (maybe too small) size for her.

So, I decided to buy one more pair of different type of shoes and see how it goes. I chose high-quality Bobux brand  because they’re great for kids with high instep (so they’re easier to put), plus their shoes are made of leather and look really sturdy (and cute!). They have shoes suitable for different ‘walking’ stages of your little one so it’s worth checking out their website first to be sure you’re buying the right shoes.

Although not fully adequate to the weather, my baby girl loved them! Miracle has happened and I was able to put them without any fuss. 2 or 3 weeks after she got used to those lower ankle sneakers, I was able to convince her to put the other pair of ankle shoes I bought for her originally.

5. Choose the right size

This seems like an obvious advice but I assure you it is not. Many parents don’t realize the importance of picking the right size of the first baby walking shoes (the right support for developing feet is super important). So they buy two or three sizes up just to last them for longer. But it’s definitely not worth saving money on your toddles’ well-being: wrong sizing might lead to future orthopaedic issues and be ultimately the reason your child refuses to wear the shoes in first place.

Although it’s best to visit a shoe store where somebody experienced will help you to choose the right size, it’s not always possible to go there (maybe you live too far from the shopping mall) and you are left with an online option. It’s still possible to do it at home; you will need a piece of paper, pen, a ruler or a measuring tape.

Put a white A4 paper on the floor and make your baby stand on it in a straight position, preferably by the wall. Now draw a line around the foot, making sure the tiny toes aren’t curled up during the process.

Now measure your piece of ‘foot art’ from heel to the longest toe (it’s not always the first toe). Your first measurement will probably be around 11-13 cm, meaning an EU size between 19-21 or UK between 3-4 (for more accurate measurement have a look at baby’s shoe size chart).

Voila, you’ve got your baby shoe size!

Another important matter is the width. Many babies are chubby (or were simply born with hobbit feet, like my baby girl!) so they will need wider shoes. Clarks offers good-quality selection of shoes with Standard (F) and Wide(G) option.

6. Let your child pick

Let’s face it, your toddler is already acting like a little dictator- but in this situation I’m afraid you have to let him. Otherwise, you’ll be the one suffering; as far as I’m concerned he doesn’t care if he has shoes on or goes barefoot- but surely you do!

That’s why, if your child is big enough to understand or has grown enough to develop his own taste (and apparently it’s quicker than we think), let him decide which shoes he will wear. He doesn’t like dull brown colour and prefers Batman print? Let him have it. She likes the shoes with red Minnie Mouse on? Go for it. Anything to please your baby!

All in all…

Don’t stress out and don’t get frustrated with your baby if you tried all the tips above and he still doesn’t want to wear any shoes. Some kids simply need more time to adjust to this new situation.

If your toddler is beginning to walk during warm spring or summer months- great, you can still let him play outside with bare feet or with socks on (make sure they’re anti-slippery though).

If it happens to be cold autumn or winter months then well…your child will soon find out he has to stay inside of the pram whenever you take him out of the house and eventually understand there’s no running around on a playground without having the shoes on.

Good luck mamas!

xoxo

Is my little one ready for solids? When and how to start giving baby food

There comes an exciting time in your baby’s (and your) life when she’s ready to try the ‘real’ food. You’ve been probably looking forward to this moment for some time now and waited until the recommended 6th month mark. But then not every child is the same- one develop faster, other slower. So you wonder : is my little one actually ready for solids?

In this post I’ll advise you on when and how to start giving baby food.

1. Signs indicating your baby is ready

There are few things to look out for that will determine if the time is right. Your baby might be ready for solids if she:

a) can hold her head up and sits well. Your baby should be able to be confident in upright and sitting position even if she has to be supported. Many babies start to eat on their parents lap and only progress to the highchair when they can sit up by themselves.

b) has good hand coordination. If she’s looking at the object (not necessarily a piece of food) and able to grab it and then put in her mouth by herself, it’s a green light for you mum.

c) developed curiosity about what other family members are eating. If she’s staring at your dinner and trying to reach for the food (or is pointing at it), it probably means she wants to grab a bite too!

d) is able to swallow. Your baby should be making chewing motions, moving food smoothly to the back of her mouth and swallow. Although choking on the food is not uncommon during first trials (or even later), make sure you know what to do if she doesn’t cope on her own. As your little one learns how to swallow properly, you may notice less dribbling.

e) has gained on enough weight. Most babies are ready to try first foods when they’ve doubled their birth weight. This usually happen around the 6th month. By then many babies will also grow one tooth or more.

2. What foods are good to start with?

Think of healthy food packed with nutritional value such as:

  • cooked or steamed (until soft ) vegetables, for example carrot, potato, sweet potato, butternut squash, broccoli or cauliflower
  • soft fruits: banana, avocado, strawberries, melon/ watermelon, pear (if it’s ripe enough), small pieces of orange or blueberries

When it comes to harder fruits, such as apples it’s always best to grate them and offer it to your baby on the spoon (it reduces the risk of choking).

It’s also a great idea to blend different fruits and vegetables together so your baby could taste different combinations. Or give your little one a couple of different pieces of foods at the same time; this way he’ll have opportunity to explore and eat what he enjoys.

Baby porridge/ rice and other cereal mixed with your baby’s usual milk is another great option for your baby’s first foods. Buy cereal rich in iron, as it’s very important in your child’s development.

Other foods you can give to your baby include:

  • starchy foods such as wholegrain bread, pasta, rice, quinoa, crackers (unsalted)
  • soft cooked lean meat ( turkey, lamb, corn-fed chicken) and certain fish (salmon, cod, mackerel and sardines are good for your baby, however you should limit it to maximum twice a week as they contain minor toxins).
  • hard-boiled eggs (the yolk is the healthiest)
  • dairy products, such as natural yogurt, cheese
  • beans, lentils, peas and corn

3. What texture should my baby’s first foods be?

It’s really up to you how are you planning to offer your baby’s first foods: either blended, mashed or cut into soft ‘finger’ foods. What if your peanut doesn’t have any teeth yet? Not to worry, his hard gums will do the job just right. Try experimenting with different textures and flavours to see what your baby likes.

If you decide to start with purees (like I did), try to move on to mashed or solid foods sooner than later. This will not only help your little one learn how to chew but also speed up his speech development as eating finger foods forces your baby to exercise his jaw muscles.

4. How many times a day shall I serve my baby solids?

When you first start serving your baby solids you should give her just a few spoonfuls or chunks of food once a day. The whole idea really is just to get your baby used to the fact she will now get more than your breast milk or formula.

Remember, until your baby is 12 months the milk she’s having (either from breast or a bottle) will be the main source of nutrition so it’s no point for you to stress out about the amount she’s eating.

As we know, not every baby is the same, some need more some less food than others. But as long as your baby’s weight gain is in healthy rate, you can relax.

What’s more, for many babies the process of weaning means actually experimenting and playing with the food- with my baby girl was exactly like that. She loved to take all kinds of food to her mouth, half of which ended up on the floor or spread around her face and hair. She haven’t really fed properly until she reached about 11 months!

As time goes on, your baby’s appetite will naturally increase; you can start offering three meals a day at about eight or nine months. By the time your baby is 1 year old, she should be having three meals a day ( with some healthy snacks between meals).

5. Which foods shall I avoid?

a) Honey. Your baby should not taste honey until she’ reaches her first birthday. The reason behind is that it can contain bacteria that younger babies digestive system cannot deal with.

b) Whole nuts. They’re a hard no-no until your little one is about 5 years old- for obvious reasons they can lead to choking. However, smooth peanut butter is fine.

c) Certain fish such as baby shark, swordfish, marlin or raw shellfish- they contain high levels of mercury leading to serious sickness and food poisoning.

d) Certain cheeses- some of them can lead to food poisoning because of the unpasteurized milk they’re made of. These include brie, Camembert or soft blue-veined cheese.

e) Tea or coffee- Caffeine will disturb from getting a good night sleep and prevent absorbing iron from your baby’s food

f) Sweet/ fizzy drinks and sweets- As we know, sugar is bad for teeth and overall health (you should not have it too, your baby is watching you!).

6. What ‘gear’ do I need?

There are certain things you have to buy: a high chair, some good bibs, plastic spoons.

You can get either a traditional high chair, which is also the cheapest option or a bit more expensive, but also much more functional high chair like this one here. It has 3 reclining positions so you can start putting your baby in it before he even sits properly. You can also fold it so it won’t stand on your way when not in use, plus it has a very useful basket underneath where you can put toys or other things your baby just randomly plays with during the day. The tray is removable and adjustable so you don’t have to worry about your child growing out of it any time soon.

When it comes to bibs, you would think you don’t need any recommendation, right? After all, you can get them basically in any baby shop. Well, I thought the same and I was using traditional bibs for almost a year until I went to visit my friend who has a baby almost the same age as mine. She got these excellent bibs from Amazon, that have pocket at the bottom. This leak-proof pocket made a big difference during our meal times, especially since I started giving my baby girl finger foods. Before most food she didn’t mange to eat landed on the chair and the floor but after I bought those bibs the food leftovers just gathered there and it meant less cleaning for me= yaay! Plus, they’re made of silicone so are easily washable with warm water and they fold nicely so you can put them anywhere you want.

Another essential piece of ‘gear’ (that unfortunately you cannot buy) is smile, encouragement and lots of patience!

Bottom Line

If you’re lucky your baby will love eating and experimenting with all kinds of food, but if you’ve got a fussy eater (just like I do), you’re gonna have to try all kinds of entertainment to make her eat at least few spoons. From puppet show, changing voices, making silly faces to playing a classic ‘spoon airplane’, there are many ways to make eating fun, you just have to find your own path.

Good luck mamas and take it easy!

XXX

Baby and bedtime routine. How to make an energetic baby sleepy?

You know those babies who go to sleep exactly at the some time every night without any fuss, without breastfeeding forever or holding them until they drift away? Yeah I don’t know either (although the rumour has it they actually exist!).

My baby has been full of energy from the day she was born- she was crying the loudest of all the babies that were in a room with us after I gave birth.

I believe each child has been born with a different character and there’s not much you can do to change it but rather shape it. However, when it comes to baby and bedtime routine, apparently each of them can be ‘trained’ to fall asleep on its own. At least that’s what many experts claim in their books.

I did try to use few techniques such as ‘cry it out’ method but I just hated it. I couldn’t bare my baby girls’ screams and begging for attention. Maybe I’m too soft for it, maybe I didn’t do it the right way but what I know is that we all have to listen to our instincts and don’t feel the pressure to do anything according to some book.

So it’s good to listen to any advice out there but more importantly, listen to your baby.

I prepared a list of what to do to make your energetic baby more sleepy and aware of the coming bedtime.

1. Stick roughly to the same time

Whether it’s 7 or 8 pm stick to that hour (or at least roughly) and let your baby know that it’s time to prepare to go to sleep. Make sure you switch off the TV or don’t use a smartphone in front of your child at least 30 min before he goes to bed as the light from any screen can disturb the healthy sleeping cycle.

2. Make bath a fun time

Warm bath will help your baby to calm down same way it helps us to relax. If your baby is already sitting down on his own it’s a good idea to entertain him in some way (if you want him to stay longer than 5 minutes in there). I tend to go in with my daughter and she loves that but I’m not always in a mood so then I’ve got my bath toys ready. My favourite one is swimming Baby Shark that is activated when it touches the water (and it sings too, not so fun for you anymore); it does the job, your child will be thrilled if he likes Baby Shark song (and which baby doesn’t?).

Oh and don’t forget about brushing the tiny teeth! Don’t use the toothpaste though until your little one learns how to spit. I always try to make the whole process in a not-so-boring way so my little one could associate this routine as a fun activity.

3. Baby spa massage? Yes, please!

Massaging your baby will not only improve his sleep but on the long will also improve weight gain, digestion and blood circulation; it can even ease up teething pain.

Use any organic oil such as coconut oil and gently massage the whole body, including the face (my baby girl loves this part the most!).

It’s always good to sing softly to your baby while doing the massage as a kind of reassurance, especially when your little one is getting used to this experience.

4. Books always welcome

When it comes to reading ‘bedtime stories’, I started pretty early as my daughter was only 3 months old. I used to choose high contrast, black and white books to get her attention but with time we progressed to interactive books such as this one. It teaches your baby first words by pressing buttons and giving different sounds, This way you keep bedtime fun and something your child will look forward to.

5. Choose the right light and ambience in your baby’s room

Many people think blue light is the best option when choosing lamps to their childrens room due to its calming effect. And while it may give you this relaxing sensation or have a good effect on you during the day, it is not the best for sleeping. Same way long exposure to the blue light from tablets or Iphones is harmful, same way blue night lamps will interfere with your little one’s sleep and can keep him awake for longer.

So which colour of the light is the most desirable? According to the scientists, the answer is red. Apparently it will make your baby (and yourself) more tired and won’t keep waking you up in the night, like the blue one would.

What’s more, many parents could swear on the white noise making their babies drift away faster (I was not the lucky one). There are soft toys on the market, such as The Dream Sheep, producing the white noise plus the red light so you get 2 in 1. However, the white noise will usually work on younger babies so make sure you start using it in those early weeks.

6. Keep it cool

When it comes to the bedroom temperature, it’s best to keep it at 18 degrees, which is lower than most people think. If your baby has tendencies to sweat a lot (like mine does), it is also a good idea to cover him with a bamboo muslin blanket, especially during summer. It’s super soft, its properties will help to keep your child’s right body temperature, absorb any sweat and prevent overheating.

7. Swaddle your baby

If you have a younger baby it’s good to learn how to swaddle your baby. There are many tutorials on YouTube but if you keep struggling or just find it time-consuming, you can always buy a ‘ready’ baby swaddle blanket or a baby sleeping bag. 

Being ‘wrapped up’ like this has a purpose of reflecting your womb environment, so it should bring your little one comfort and a feeling of safety.

8. Don’t forget a comforting toy

As mentioned in one of my posts, comforting toy should be always around your baby and will be a great companion for the bedtime routine. Snuggling should make your little one feel safe and secure.

When things get predictable for your little one he will ‘slide into’ that routine himself. For some babies it may get longer but they will get there as long as you are consistent.

Now you it’s time for you to get some sleep too!

Good luck mamas!:)

When do babies have separation anxiety? Tips for making the process less painful

There comes the moment in your life that you have to return to work or simply want to go out for a couple of hours and leave your baby with a nanny or grandma. In many cases it seems impossible when your little dictator starts to scream in horror, like somebody is actually hurting him.

If you hear this terrible cry every time you leave the house, or even the room, you might be dealing with the separation anxiety.

But don’t worry, it’s a natural and healthy process of your baby’s development. There are few things you can do to lessen the drama time when babies have separation anxiety.

Why it happens

If you were one of the lucky ones with a calm baby that was not scared of anyone, now you probably cannot make a sense of why that little angel changed so much.

But separation anxiety is actually a sign of maturity (no matter how ridiculous it sounds); babies start to realize that they are not independent just yet and have to rely on anyone that cares for them. Being aware of that, they might get frustrated with new situations or with new people. They will get especially upset when they can no longer see you. Feeling unsafe, they will not hesitate to show the world how much it bothers them.

When it happens

Separation anxiety and fear of strangers usually happens between the ages of 6 months and 3 years. But don’t stress out (or at least try not to); it’s a common thing within young children and they will grow out of it.

It will be hard for you once you have to leave your baby in the nursery or with a nanny for longer periods of time. She will cry and, most likely, so will you- it’s distressing for both sides. Just remember that you are not damaging your little one in any way- quite the opposite. You are teaching her how to cope without you as you won’t be there for her forever. She needs to learn how to be more independent (and this lesson will go on until the age of 18 or longer, let’s face it!).

What can you do to stop it

There’s no easy way to stop the separation anxiety but rather make it less painful for the both of you.

To help your baby feel more secure, focus on her feelings and how to deal with them . Your little one will learn that if you leave them nothing bad will happen and it doesn’t mean you are never coming back. If your baby’s old enough, you can try to explain the situation- tell them where you’re going and when you’ll be with them again.

Other things you could do :

  • start to slowly separate yourself from your baby- go for a long walk (by yourself), visit a friend or go to the gym. If you disappear from her sight for an hour or two she will get to see that time spent with her daddy or granny can be as much fun as with mummy
  • talk to them about plans- if your child is older and can already understand things, start speaking about what will you do together after you come back. Keep it positive so that your little one has something to look forward to.
  • leave a comforting toy- this one really worked on my daughter. Introducing a soft toy can make her desperate outbursts easier to handle. Buy a plush toy, such as Bashful Bunny (one of the softest on the market), show your baby how to cuddle it, make sure she plays with it on a daily basis and take it everywhere you go. Once she gets to know that the bunny is her friend and will always be there for her, she should pass all her anxiety and anger onto the toy (there’s a reason they call it a comforter, right?). Tip: buy 2 exactly the same plush toys; in case one of them gets lost you will be covered.

  • attend play sessions or organize play dates – this way your baby will have a chance to be around other children and see how fun it can be. You will still need to be close to her, especially in the beginning but the more often you do it, the better. With time, when it becomes a routine for both of you, she may start leaving her comfort zone and stop paying attention if you’re always next to her (and that’s already a big progress, yaay!).

  • if you’re hiring a nanny, make sure she spends time with you and your baby for a couple of days so your little one can get used to that person.

When to seek professional help

As mentioned before, it is natural for babies and toddlers to be upset and cry when their parents are going away. But the older the babies get, the easier it should be for them to understand that people and things exist even when they’re out of their sight.

Until that happens, it’s crucial their anxiety doesn’t stop them from gaining new experiences such as learning new skills, socializing with other babies (or adults) and enjoying their time at the nursery. And it definitely shouldn’t stop you going back to work.

However, in some cases it may turn out that your disappearance is causing your child a lot of distress. If your baby cries for a long time after you have left and she hasn’t got used to being apart after a few weeks, it is best to talk to your GP or health visitor.

Do you have any other valuable tips on how to deal with separation anxiety? Please share your experience in the comments below. Other mamas will be surely grateful!

xoxo

How to balance breastfeeding and pumping

Whether you are going back to work, you want to go out for longer or your nipples are sore, pumping will be beneficial to you and your baby. However, at times it might be stressful. Looking after and breastfeeding your baby is already challenging (especially in those early weeks) so the idea of squeezing time for expressing can sound impossible. Don’t worry, if all of it seems overwhelming; most of the women feel the same way so you are not alone.

To give you some comfort and peace of mind, I prepared a list of tips on how to balance breastfeeding and pumping.

1. Always pump in the mornings

Many midwives and other mums recommend pumping in the morning as your milk supply will be at its highest- you can tell by the feeling of fuller breasts. Since on that time of a day you are well rested (or should be), your body has more energy to produce milk than in the evenings.

2. Make sure you are not stressed out

It’s important to stay relaxed during pumping, otherwise your milk supply will drop. It usually takes a little while for your milk to start flowing. So if you feel like your child is not letting you relax, ask your partner to take over and go to the other room for the ‘expressing session’ (any excuse to get 20 min for yourself is great).

If you find yourself stressed out for any other reason (and there might be thousands of them for a fresh mother) you can simply listen to music or meditate.

3. Pump after breastfeeding your baby

Experts recommend delaying first pumping until about two weeks after birth, or when your milk supply is established.

When you decide its time to use the pump you should nurse your baby first and pump afterwards.

Waiting about 30 minutes after you’re done with breastfeeding can help as well as that’s roughly the amount of time your body needs to start producing ‘new’ milk.

4. Create a schedule but keep breastfeeding on demand

It’s always a good idea to pump according to a schedule however you should not forget to breastfeed on demand, meaning whenever (and wherever) your baby needs to. What you could do, for example, is to nurse your baby from one breast while pumping from the other.

If you want to be economic you could buy these breast shells that collect the milk when your breasts are leaking during feeding and the rest of the day. They also protect sore nipples and help with relieving engorgement.

5. Choose the right pump

Having the right gear is essential if you want your pumping routine to be a success. I strongly suggest going for an electric pump rather than the manual- even though the price of electric ones are much higher. In this case, there’s no reason to save money as using manual pump can make you go mad (unless you are a very patient person). It’s twice as slower and your hands will be sore before you even finish.

Medela swing is so far one of the bests on the market. You can ask other mums around or just read different forums where Medela wins over Avent Phillips or Tommy Tippee. You will also see Medela brand being promoted in many series and movies (especially American) that involve mums and newborns. It’s fairly easy to set up, washes well (both in hands and in the dishwasher), has different levels of suction and its portable if you use the batteries. And yes, you will pay the higher price but you can be sure that, if you will use it frequently, it is worth the investment.

Don’t try to save money and go for a single pump- double will express much more milk in a shorter time (and time IS money, you can probably feel it now more than ever). What is also invaluable when pumping from both breasts is having hands-free pumping/ nursing bra. It will allow you to express the milk with less hassle, without the need of holding the bottles for 15 min (making it a little less boring as you can enjoy your coffee or see what you’ve been missing out on Facebook).

6. Stock up your freezer

Remember the expressed milk you give to your baby should always be fresh and its best to use within 48 hours. According to NHS website, if you keep in on the back of the fridge in the temperature of 4 degrees (or lower), it can stay there for up to 5 days. The excess of milk you are not planning to use should be kept in a freezer in special bags (for maximum of 6 months), just remember to label and date it first. This way in the future you will know which bag you should defrost first.

7. Don’t be too hard on yourself

The amount you express will vary, some women will have it more consistent, some less and it often changes over time.

You should not be upset with yourself if the amount you pump is not what you expected; try not compare yourself with other mums and stay positive.

A tip for mummies who happen to be physically away from their baby: looking at the pictures of your little one often helps to express more milk.

Now sit down, relax and pump some of that precious milk!

Take care mamas:)

xxx

Best toys for babies development

In those early days with your newborn baby it is hard to imagine finding time between feeding, changing dirty nappies and sleeping for a playing session. Besides, why exactly should you fit this extra slot for games and toys even though your baby’s brain is too tiny to understand anything?

Well, according to psychologists, it is never too early to start engaging your little one in playing and exploring the world. You may think your baby is not even interested in what you show to him, but in reality he’s absorbing much more information than we can expect.

Reaching milestones and gaining necessary skills reflects in a big part from the opportunities that baby receives. That’s why choosing the right toys and activities that match your little one’s age is so important; it’s up to you as a parent to pick something that will draw his attention.

Are you confused when you enter the shop or browse through online world of toys? Don’t worry, that’s why I’m here for you.

I prepared a list of best toys for babies development and divided them accordingly to the age so you will know what you need once your little one progresses to the next stage.

Toys for age 0-3 months

Your baby doesn’t do much of a movement yet and she looks so cozy in your arms but it’s important to give her opportunities to wiggle and stretch as much as possible through the day. This way she will develop and strengthen her weak muscles.

It’s a great idea to start tummy time from the first month of baby’s life as earlier you will start the better for the baby. She will most likely not lift her head so soon but could slightly turn the head looking for your face. When she turns 3 months you will notice how much the tummy time has been beneficial for her development; her neck and arms muscles will be strong enough to lift her little head.

My picks for these months are:

Activity mat. Having one of those is a must have for your newborn baby. The clip-on overhead toys might be over-stimulating for your little one until she’s about 2 months old so until then I’d suggest taking them off and placing the mat on top of a rug so your baby is comfortable and safe during tummy time.

Music-playing device. Since baby’s hearing gets developed earlier than other senses, music will catch his attention and stimulate his brain.

The play mat from Fisher Price combines best of these two worlds. It comes with the toys including a mirror (so also great for your baby to stay on her back and stare at her own reflection) plus a little detachable piano that your baby can kick during tummy time and later on use as a toy when she can sit by herself (you may find songs coming from this device quite annoying but at least you will get some well-deserved rest for a minute or two).

• Mobiles. High-contrast black-and-white decorations will be the best pick for your little one. The reason for that is that babies don’t really see colours until they reach about 3 months of age. The black and white graphics will help the early vision development. This mobile from Amazon gives you an option of changing the cards according to age as well as changing the distance of the cord once your baby’s vision improves. This smaller one is portable and you can clip it to most strollers and car seats.

Toys for age 4-6 months

Starting from the age of 4 months babies become especially interested in faces and other circular designs, like spirals. Why? Because their eyesight is developing in a full speed.

From about 5 months they also begin to learn cause and effect, so they may be amazed with shaking toys such as rattles and, obviously, they will put everything in their mouth.

My picks for these months are:

• Soft sound-making toys. For example, light soft blocks or balls will be useful for babies that are in the journey of discovering cause and effect. Any sound that the toy will make will be a great entertainment for your baby.

• Teething toys with a rattle. A toy like this will satisfy your baby’s needs and curiosity so you get a package of 2 in 1. Although the teething process doesn’t usually start until 6 months, gum pain may bother your little one earlier. Plus, the rattle with a handle will force your peanut to exercise her hand grip while shaking the toy around will strengthen her arm.

**For more information about teething toys and how to deal with the painful teething phase, check out my other post.

Toys for age 7-9 months

After 6 months have passed your baby is probably ready to sit unsupported. If she’s still not doing it independently, you can encourage her to strengthen her abs and spine muscles by showing her how to reach the toys that are lying in front of her.

Once your baby is confident enough, she’ll be using her free hands to play with different kind of toys and entertain herself for a short time (hopefully for a long time but who are we kidding).

My picks for these months are:

• Books. Board books and cloth books are safe for little curious hands and they would be really hard to damage. Your baby will love this interactive one as it’s super soft with different textures to explore and it makes noises too! Contrast, black-and- white books are also great as they support eye-development.

• Stackable cups. From building a tower to simply putting them inside of each other, they are multi-purpose; with age your child will be discovering new ways to play with them. These cups not only help baby to practice hand-eye coordination, but also can be used to teach him the idea that items still exist even when you can’t see them. To do so just hide smaller objects under the cups (always under your supervision) and then lift up each one of them making it a game of discovery.

• Balls with holes. Or any other easy to hold ball so your baby can keep developing his grasping skills.

Toys for age 10-12 months

By now most babies will be crawling and starting to pull themselves into a standing position in preparation for cruising. Your little one might also be mastering the act of picking up small objects between the thumb and index finger.

At this age, babies memory is working on more advanced level and they’re able to understand simple words. They’re also more tolerant to various stimulation.

My picks for these months are:

• Household items. Exploring at this age will be your baby’s new favourite activity. Many babies seem to enjoy everyday use objects much more than any toy out there. That’s why its good idea to give your little one pots and wooden spoons (so he can bang on them, for example) as well as empty cereal boxes or plastic food containers. You may find out that there’s no need to buy too many toys after all.

• Activity tables. They encourage development of motor skills and hand-eye coordination thanks to the colourful, engaging buttons. They’re also perfect for entertaining a baby who’s just learned or is in a process of learning how to stand since their strong supportive legs will ensure your baby’s safety during playtime. This one is great as you can remove the legs and make it a ‘sit-down’ toy.

• Plush toys. It is common at this time for many babies to grow attached to objects such as plush toys or comforters and want to hang on to them, especially when upset or sleepy. Giving one may reduce the separation anxiety that a lot of babies develop after 6-7th month.

*For more information on how to deal with separation anxiety click here.

Toys for 12 months +

Your baby’s biggest achievement around the one-year mark is definitely walking (however some babies won’t be ready to take first steps without help until they reach 15 months). Thanks to the observation, they also start to use some objects in their intended use, for instance they will take a phone pretending to talk( so you get the green light to buy a toy phone).

Older babies, at about 18 months age, will most likely start to show interest in more engaging activities that will take their motor skills to the next level. Toddlers may be enjoying kicking the ball around or drawing on a paper with a thick crayon.

My top picks for 12+ months are:

• Push/pull toys. Pulling around an animal on a string or pushing anything with wheels will provide loads of amusement for your walking toddler. This one is a great choice for walking lessons but also for learning first words.

• Cars and trucks. Wheeled vehicles will encourage baby to become more independent by exploring the surroundings by himself.

• Large blocks. Not only building a tower of blocks (and knocking it down right after) is a fun way to play but can be also beneficial to your baby’s brain. Some scientists have found out that young children who play with these toys will be much smarter at maths in the future. Now imagine you are the one who’s raising the next Einstein!

• Baby art supplies. Any toddler will be super entertained by the finger paint—just make sure the drawing tools you buy are non-toxic and big enough for those little hands: Palm-grip crayons, sidewalk chalk and dot markers are the best choice.

  • Wooden cube/ shape sorter. Great for cognitive learning, your little one will learn colours and shapes first and soon she’s going to figure out how to match them with the cube. She may need some help at first so keep encouraging her until she figures it out!

  • Magnetic fishing tableIt’s a great toy for developing hand and eye coordination and it helps with raising your toddlers’ awareness about patience! My daughter was getting quite annoyed when she couldn’t catch the fish at first but with time she mastered it and the toy became one of her favourites.

  • Soft ball pit.  I could not possibly forget to mention this amazing toy. It will give your child hours of fun while helping him to advance his manual abilities such as grasping and throwing. If you don’t have large space at home or you want to spend less money I recommend getting a ball pit that can be folded. (However, it won’t be as sturdy as the first one).

Hope you enjoyed my recommendations. At the end, remember that YOU are the best entertainment for your little one. Toys just give you an extra opportunity to create the bond between you two.

Can you think of any other developmental toys worth mentioning ?

Let me know in the comments!

Have fun mamas:)

xoxo

Ergo baby 360 baby carrier review

When you are out and about with your baby in the pushchair it might be pleasant if your little one is generally calm or while he/she is sleeping but not so pleasant when she awakes and refuses to stay in a sitting position for any minute longer. I know this pain very well as I have a hyper-active child who screams as if I was hurting her when she’s too long in her buggy (15 minutes shopping must seem like forever for her).

That is why I decided to try my luck with Ergo baby 360 baby carrier. I spent a good amount of time researching the market. Choosing the best carrier means not only comfort and functionality but also safety for your baby. There are many brands that claim their carriers are safe and ‘healthy’ for the little ones when in reality the baby dangles in it like a string puppet. So making sure the baby carrier you are planning to buy is ergonomic is the first step to the right choice.

What ‘ergonomic’ baby carrier actually means?

Baby carrier that is ergonomic will have a wide base supporting the weight of the baby in such a way that most of it lands on the bottom not the crotch and holds your little one’s hips and legs in so called frog or M shape position. What’s more, the baby’s spine stays in a C-shape position in an ergonomic carrier.

Why would I spend money on a baby carrier if I can get a sling instead?

Well, first of all a baby sling might be a great thing but only up to a certain age. Your baby will get heavier and heavier from day 1 so having a sling will be only a good solution for first couple of months.

Another thing is that before you start using the sling you need to learn how to wrap it around yourself, And don’t get me wrong, it’s not impossible but if you are impatient just like me, you’ll find a sling really annoying at the beginning. It took me few days of watching the videos on YouTube and then trying to apply it in real life with my screaming (also impatient) baby. Obviously, eventually I learned how to do it and putting it on became much easier with time, but still I was only using the sling in the house. I didn’t even try to take it outside with me as it was cold and wrapping it around myself with a winter jacket on seemed really discouraging for me.

Baby carrier on the other hand is simple to use, with few straps and buttons to do. You can take it anywhere, and if you are in hurry it won’t give you a headache. It will last you for much longer and even if you do spend more money on it, it’s well worth the investment.

Why I chose Ergobaby 360 all positions baby carrier

So apart from the obvious ergonomic feature, Ergobaby is really functional. You can carry your baby in 4 different positions from the front to the back, parent or world facing and even on your hip.

It can be used from newborn provided that you’ll use the infant insert. Once your baby weighs about 5,5 kg you can use it without the insert until she reaches 15 kg (so that can be roughly up to 4 years old- pretty good investment for £100!). Another advantage is that it’s very comfortable; it gives a really good back support with a padded waistband that you can wrap around yourself. Once you get a hang of it, it’s easy to put on yourself (and the baby) with no help needed and will fit parents with different height or size.

One more benefit of this carrier is that it’s made of 100% cotton and can be washed in a washing machine. You have loads of different designs and colors to choose from so every mum can find something for herself. Personally, I think the design and quality is just perfect. I love how simple the adjustment is, with the flap and the buttons on the front. You can also tell the material this carrier is made of is superb quality by just touching it, so you can be sure it will last you for ages.

Get it now!

If you’re still having second thoughts, don’t! Have a look at short videos of this baby carrier on YT or on Ergobaby website where they give you full presentation of the product.

If you are unsure you’ll use it outside of the house, I suggest getting a sling first. Once you get used to carrying a baby on your chest, you’ll see there’s nothing more precious in this world than a little head resting close to your heart. From there a natural shift will be a baby carrier, such as Ergobaby 360.

Enjoy it mamas!:)

xoxo

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