You stay dry and baby is comfy and dry too
Gaby Logan, TV sports presenter

This week we have a guest post written by Tracey Hargraves, who runs baby swimming classes in South Lancashire for Puddleducks, one of the many fantastic swim school options available in the UK. As many of you start to think about swimming lessons, or start to return to lessons in the coming weeks, we thought it would be a great idea to share some tips on keeping your baby warm in the water. Do let us know if you have any questions at all!

Tips for keeping your baby warm whilst swimming_cuddledry.com

Hopefully, many of you will have discovered the joy and benefits of teaching your little one to swim.  With any luck you baby is thoroughly enjoying their time in the water and is smiling and giggling throughout their time in the pool.  However, for a number of you, your baby may not be enjoying the experience and cry and shiver their way through your time at the pool.  Given the importance of teaching your child to swim, it is important that it is as an enjoyable experience as possible and therefore we want to minimise these tears whenever possible.

One of the most common causes of distress in the pool is that your child is not warm enough.  Remember that your baby is unable to regulate their temperature as well as you, which means that they can feel the cold a lot faster than you.  No two children are alike.  My daughter has always been able to go into the chilliest of pools without problem whilst my son will turn blue in the warmest of pools – absolute polar opposites so to speak!

If your little one does get cold in the water then this can really disrupt their enjoyment of swimming and may lead them to start to develop a phobia of the water.  This could impact on their development and is likely to also impact on both their confidence and swimming ability in the water.  It is therefore really important to recognise these signals and take action early to keep them warm so that they continue to enjoy their swimming experience.  With these top tips, we’ll should hopefully avoid any of these issues. Read the rest of this entry »

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There are two weeks left of summer, and if you have a late break away planned, keep cool. Here are our top five holiday tips for busy parents… hope they help!

Top five holiday tips for busy parents_Cuddledry.com

No need to stress

There really is no need to stress! Ok, so taking kids away on holiday IS a big deal but really it doesn’t have to set off a panic attack. Do you really want to spend all that money and time away from home and spend it feeling stressed and anxious? Let your guard down a little if you need to. Whatever it takes to choose a smile rather than a frown will be worth it to make some happy memories for the family. So how to stay stress free?

  • Plan, plan, plan! Make lists, check them and don’t leave home without them. Plan what you need to pack, what you’re going to do when you get there and what to do in case of an emergency. Natural born planners will tell you that this is the only way to stay stress free while you’re travelling and let’s face it- kids are creature of habit so if you have a general idea of how to keep them happy, your stress levels are going to stay a little lower too.
  • Leave your mobile phone at home. No emails, no calls and no stress. Especially no work related stress. Aim to spend quality time with the kids and not with Facebook
  • Spend some time doing what YOU like doing too. Yes, when you’re away with the kids it’s easy for the time to get swallowed up with what they want to do. But help yourself a little and make sure you plan one or two activities for you too. Read the rest of this entry »

One of the unbridled joys of new parenthood is to watch your child dip their toes for the very first time in the sea. The sensory delights of wave, wind, sun and sand combine to create magical moments for baby and parent alike. Yes, you need to be careful to avoid too much sun on skin, and travelling with a very small one has its challenges, but Nadine Mellor, Editor of award-winning travel website i-escape’s Kids Collection, reckons nothing beats a beach holiday with baby.

Read on for her Top Ten Best Places Around the Med for Babies, all featured in the hand-picked portfolio of stylish hotels and rentals, which actively welcome families. Nadine says: “if you can, travel outside the school holidays for better deals on accommodation and flights, less crowded beaches and cooler temperatures.”

Almyra, Paphos, Cyprus

This stylish design resort has everything parents with a baby could wish for: Four pools and four on-site restaurants. An amazing spa to assist in the post-partem recovery, and soothe sleep-deprived mothers and fathers alike. Superlative service. And endless watersports to try. Best of all? They offer a Baby Go Lightly pre-arrival ordering service so you don’t need to overpack (like every other new parent will); everything you need will be placed in your room on arrival – from car seats to arm bands. Heaven!

Ammos Hotel, Crete, Greece

Read the rest of this entry »

We’re on a safari theme here at Cuddledry HQ and we’re celebrating by teaming up with the lovely people at Trunki for a fantastic giveaway! How would you like to win a fabulous Tipu the tiger Trunki suitcase AND a gorgeously soft and snuggly CuddleSafari dress up towel?

Win a safari package with Cuddledry and Trunki~ Cuddledry.com

Entry is easy-simply fill in the form below, and don’t forget to leave a comment telling us your favourite safari animal of all. That’s it!

TERMS and CONDITIONS can be found on the Rafflecopter form. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

When you bathe a new baby, you need both hands to make it work. Now imagine how parents of twins or more cope at bath time? Having twins is a whole different game sometimes, and bathtime is one such occasion. So can it be safely and efficiently? Of course it can! Here are some tips for bathing more than one baby- hope they help!

Tips for bathing more than one baby~ cuddledry.com

One of you, two of them

Already you’re outnumbered, but don’t let that send you into a panic! Hopefully you have plenty of support from your partner, friends or family, and hopefully that support means that most of the time you aren’t on your own. Bathtime can be quite daunting when babies are really tiny, so do seek out help if you need it. Two pairs of hands are always better than one, especially when you have twins!

Be prepared

Get EVERYTHING ready before you start! Think of it like a military mission if you please. Preparation is the key to success so make you have the following ready to go:

  • Two towels- Cuddledry apron towels, naturally. They’ll make the whole getting out of the bath safely so much easier, and minimise the risk of baby getting upset once the cold air hits. If you do have a helper, make sure you are both kitted out in your towels before the babies get in.
  • Nappies and pyjamas
  • A small bowl for top and tailing
  • Equipment needed for feeding

Together in the tub?

When your twins are newborn, you might want to bathe them separately at first. Small baby baths are wonderful for tiny babies as they help them to feel a little more safe and eclosed, and most are only suitable for one baby at a time. If this is the case, make sure the baby who goes second is safe, warm and supervised while you deal with the first one. If you’re on your own, pop baby number two into a bouncy chair or the moses basket nearby so that you can focus on one baby at a time.

Get some support

Baby bath supports are a great idea for when you take the plunge and bathe your twins together. The foam inserts are great but will require another person to be on hand to help. There are other kinds of bath supports that you can use, some of which are like little seats. These can be really handy but please remember that they do not mean you no longer need to supervise your baby. Only use products that have been made specifically for use in the bath.

Invest in a bath mat

The longer the better! A bath mat is a great idea for older babies who can sit up because they help to reduce the risk of slipping. But normal bath mats are just not long enough for when you’re bathing more than one baby at once. Look around for an extra long mat if you can.

Take turns

If you really aren’t sure about bathing both babies at once, that’s fine! Bathing them separately means that you get to spend 1:1 time with them both. And if you have a helper, you can take it in turns. One bathes, the other dresses, and vice versa. That means you both get to spend quality time with them- so make the most of it!

To bathe every day or not?

You don’t need to bathe your babies every day, unless you (and they) really enjoy it. Bathtime does help to establish a good bedtime routine, so lots of families do like to do it every day. However, if you have more than one baby and bathtime is hard work for whatever reason, don’t feel bad about skipping a day.

What are your top tips for bathing more than one baby?

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Bath time can be such great fun for babies when they start to develop a little control over their arms and legs. All that splashing and reaching for toys! But what about younger babies who aren’t yet able to play in the same way? There’s no reason why bath time should be boring for them. And since we’re on a mission to #MakeBathTimeFun we thought it would be a good idea to share some tips on stimulating young babies at bath time. Read on to find out more…

Stimulating young babies at bath time~Cuddledry.com

Get the level of excitement right

Bath time in many households is a splashy affair, with lots of laughter and merriment. That’s great! And if you have older children, there’s a good chance that your young baby will love to watch the shenanigans at bath time too. But beware. Some babies can become over stimulated with too much excitement and activity, and let’s not forget that most of us choose bath our babies right before bedtime. So you want them to become nice and relaxed before they head off to sleep for the night. So watch your baby. If she seems to be getting a little too worked up, or even upset at too much going on in the tub, scale it back a bit. It might be a good idea to bathe her separately, or ask older children to help you with some of the following ideas.

Sing

Soft, gentle songs are the perfect way to entertain young babies in the bath. Don’t forget she has been listening to your voice the whole time she was inside you, and now that the outside world is a lot bigger and perhaps a lot scarier, hearing you speak and sing is likely to bring lots of comfort. So sing away, it doesn’t matter what song you choose- so long as you maintain eye contact and smile, your baby is likely to find this a very relaxing way to enjoy bath time!

Tickle

Babies respond well to touch, as we all do as human beings in fact, and gently tickling her as you wash her can be a lovely way to keep her stimulated at bath time. Don’t go too mad though- save the tickle monster for the older kids!

Use the senses

Babies use their senses a lot and rely on them to help them make sense of the world around them. You can develop this at bath time by using differently scented (baby safe) bubble bath in the water, or by letting your baby look into a mirror. Small bath toys that light up are great too, and you can encourage your baby to reach out for them and hold them too. It’s also a good idea to use differently textured wash cloths and towels for your baby to feel while she’s in the bath too, and don’t forget to talk to her about how they feel.

In it together

Why not pop into the bath with your baby? It’s probably the easiest way to hold her, and a wonderful opportunity for skin to skin contact too. Make sure you have someone on hand to get her out when you’re finished, but until then enjoy.

Bubbles!

If you have a pot of blowing bubbles, bring them into the bathroom and blow them up into the air. Young babies love to watch them float and this could be a lovely way to calm her down if she becomes upset.

Remember that young babies will only want to be in the bath for a few minutes, and you will need to fully supervise at all times. With this in mind, use your imagination and be creative with the different ways that you stimulate her. Hopefully this will help to develop a love of bath time! Let’s all join the mission to #MakeBathTimeFun!

We’re almost into warmer weather now and chances are many of you are planning your summer holidays too. Even if you’re not going away this year, you’re probably still planning to take the little ones swimming, so this week we’re bringing you some tips and tricks for making the whole process a lot easier. And above all- make swimming fun!

Make swimming fun~ Cuddledry.com

Why take baby swimming?

Swimming is more than a fun activity to keep your week busy and the tire the little ones out for bedtime. Swimming is a lifelong skill that will grow with your baby, and open up a whole new world. And it really does start as soon as they take their first dip.

For more information on why we think it’s important to go swimming with your little one, see this post.

Make Swimming Fun!

We’re encouraging parents to share their top tips on how they make swimming fun for babies- over on Twitter and Facebook- and we’re loving the suggestions so far. We’re using the #MakeSwimmingFun hashtag too, so please do add your suggestions- we’re hoping to update this posts as much as we can!

Here are our top tips for before you go:

  • Be prepared. Ok, that doesn’t sound like much fun but believe me when I say that you are certainly not going to enjoy it very much if you don’t have everything that you need! Make sure your swimming bag is packed and ready to go, and make sure you don’t forget any essentials. The basics for your swimming bag should be towel (we recommend the Cuddleswim or toddler swimming poncho, of course!), swimming nappy and costume. We’ll cover some other bits later on. But as long as you are prepared with the basics, you and baby are more likely to have fun!
  • Take snacks and drinks for after your swim. If you’re breastfeeding your baby will want a feed and if you’re bottle feeding take a bottle. Older babies will want a snack afterwards too, so pop those in your bag.
  • Take some toys with you. Bath toys are an excellent idea and many of these are small enough to pop into your bag quite easily. Keep them in a draw string mesh bag if you can, so that the water can drain away and they won’t get everything else in your bag soggy.
  • Take arm bands or a rubber ring/ baby seat for older babies. These can really help for babies who are confident enough to spend time in the water out of your arms.
  • Take a dressing gown for you. Top tip! Baby will need to get dried, fed and changed pretty quickly before you have even had chance to think about sorting yourself out. Pop a dressing gown on to keep warm.

So, you’re all set! How to make sure baby enjoys the time in the water?

  • Play with the toys you brought along. Charlotte (@cknursingbaby) told us that her little one loves the simple game they play when they go swimming. She pushes a bath toy under the water and lets it pop up again- simple but fun! Watering cans are also good for creating sprinkles that baby will be fascinated to watch!
  • Talk to your baby to reassure and remind him that you are there and he is safe. Never underestimate the power of your voice!
  • And sing to your baby too. All the songs he loves to hear at home work just as well in the water.
  • Maintain eye contact with your baby, and make sure he can see your face at all times. And smile! If you are having fun, your baby will too.
  • Don’t be afraid to move your baby through and under the water. The aim is to get your baby water confident, but this takes time so don’t rush it. Watch your baby for cues, but do take the plunge (so to speak!) if you think he’s ready.

After swimming

If you notice your baby starts to fuss, shiver or cry during your time in the pool, it’s probably time to get out. Don’t push your luck by staying in longer than your baby wants to!

Make sure you have everything that you need ready to go. Wrap baby up and get warm and dry. And most importantly… go back to the pool. A baby who swims regularly is a happy and confident baby in the pool! So go back again- it wasn’t that bad was it?

Please share your top tips on the #MakeSwimmingFun hashtag!

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Here at Cuddledry HQ we’re all for making bath time fun, and also relaxing for you. Our apron towels were designed so that parents could safely and easily transfer baby from bath to warmth without any fuss, and we think we’ve done really well in that respect! But what about when it comes to showering with baby? Are you brave enough to try it? Here are some top tips for showering with baby- hope they help!

Top tips for showering with baby~ Cuddledry.com

Why take a shower with baby?

Not all bathrooms have a bath tub. Fact. But more than that, for some families taking showers works better and who are we to argue with that? But there may be other reasons why taking a shower with baby is a good option for you. Perhaps you are due to go away this summer and your accommodation only has a shower? Perhaps you want to get baby used to showers ahead of scheduled swimming lessons? Perhaps you want to take a shower yourself, and baby is being super clingy? Whatever the reason, it’s not unheard of to pop baby into the shower with you- but you’d be surprised how many parents dread the thought! It doesn’t have to be a stressful activity- and yes, the Cuddledry apron towels do come into it too!

Be prepared

Like any good bath time routine, the success of a shower routine lies in the preparation. Make sure you have everything ready and be prepared to cut it short if baby protests. Hopefully he will love being under the warm water with you, but just in case, you’ll want to have everything to hand! It also helps if you have a willing volunteer ready to take baby from you too- and make sure they’re equipped with your Cuddledry towel ready to keep baby warm! Here’s a checklist to tick off before you start:

  • Hang a small towel near the shower door so that you can wipe baby’s face if he doesn’t like it getting wet.
  • Collect everything you need for after the shower- nappy, pyjamas, a toy to hold and your Cuddledry towel.

Safety first

Make sure you turn down the temperature of the shower so that it is no hotter than you would usually run the bath. It’s also a good idea to skip the soap too- you don’t want a slippery baby, especially if the shower makes him squirm! Make sure there is nothing on the floor of the shower that you could stumble on, and keep all items out of baby’s reach too- so clear the shower shelf of everything and make sure there’s nothing hanging on cords that baby could pull on.

Pop a bath mat down on the floor outside the shower so that you don’t slip getting in and out of the shower, and if you have a waterproof one put that inside the shower with you, so that you don’t slip in there either.

Take it slowlyTop tips for showering with baby~ Cuddledry.com

If your baby has never had a shower before, don’t expect him to love it straight away. Chances are, the water will fascinate him and he will happily duck in with you when you need him to. But there’s also a very good chance that the sound of the water could frighten him, and some babies are not keen on getting their faces wet either. Make sure you take it slowly, and end the shower as soon as your baby lets you know enough is enough!

Make it fun!

Just like bath time, shower time can be fun! Take some toys into the shower with you and let your baby hold one while you stand under the water. Let him associate the shower with fun. Sing songs and talk to him throughout the whole process so that he knows there is nothing to be afraid of.

Top tips

Showering with baby might take some practise at first. Here are some top tips to help it go as smoothly as possible:

  • Have someone hold baby while you get in and have a hair and body wash. Then make sure all bubbles are rinsed away before baby is handed to you, so that you can hold him without slippery soap making things difficult.
  • Employ someone to stand on guard ready to receive baby when you’re done. Keep the water running while you do the hand over so that he doesn’t get cold.
  • Try a family shower- if you have a big enough cubicle! Sometimes seeing older siblings enjoying the experience can help to relax baby, although you will need some shower rules to keep chaos at bay!
  • Spread an extra towel on the floor in the bathroom to stop the floor from getting too wet.
  • Wash baby before you get in the shower, so that he can just enjoy the experience without you needing to fuss about washing.
  • Make sure you’re confident in holding baby while you’re in the shower- if he wriggles you need to be able to hold on tight!
  • For smaller babies, wrap a towel around the body to help with traction in the shower. They’re less likely to slip and will like the feeling of being wrapped up too.

What are your top tips for showering with baby?

I don’t know about you, but hair wash night hasn’t always been the most fun in our house! It’s one thing for the little ones to enjoy splashing around in the tub with their toys, but mention the shampoo bottle and the atmosphere tends to change somewhat! If this sounds familiar, don’t despair because you’re not alone! We’ve put together a few tips that might just make for a happy hair wash after all!

Tips for a happy hair wash~ cuddledry.com

Make it FUN!

Bathtime works better when it’s fun, and hair washing is no different. In fact, it’s probably more important to make hair washing a little more fun, seeing as many little ones tend to dislike it!  If your little one hates hair washing, why not try:

  • Bringing dolly into the tub and washing her hair firs. Play hairdressers and encourage your little one to praise her for being good etc- then refer to this when it’s their turn.
  • Pop a mirror into the bathtub. This can be a great way to pull faces to make your little one laugh!
  • Use a bath toy to squeeze water over your little one’s head- sometimes this can  be a great way to distract from what is actually happening.
  • Use foam bath stickers on the ceiling! When your little one pops her head back for rinsing, she’ll have something a little more fun to focus on.
  • Make foam sculptures on your little one’s head- again, use the mirror.
  • Make up some funny songs- probably the first thing that comes into your head, but that’s ok! Distraction is key here!
  • Let those with longer hair use the Cuddletwist after hair washing- they’re simple to use and make drying a lot easier!


Tips to make it painfree

Lots of children hate having their hair washed because they either don’t like their faces getting wet, or they are scared of having soap in their eyes. Make sure you choose child friendly shampoo that doesn’t sting the eyes, and try these tips too:

  • Use a shampoo shield to keep water and soap away from the face completely.
  • Let your little one wear goggles in the bath- this could be really fun too!
  • @cknursingbaby says “avoid getting bubbles in eyes by tipping head back whilst holding a rolled flannel to their brow & rinsing with a pot of water.”
  • Let your little one hold the flannel to her head- having a job to do will provide a distraction and allows her to feel in control of the situation.
  • If your child is younger and has less hair, use a washcloth to squeeze and wipe water over the hair until the soap has rinsed. This can be a wonderfully gentle way to do it.
  • If your little one dislikes tipping her head back for rinsing, let her lie down in the tub instead.
  • Use a large jug for rinsing rather than a small cup- often one rinse is enough to get all of the shampoo rinsed away at once.
  • Let your child help with rubbing in the shampoo, and rinsing the water. Congratulate her on a job well done!

Mix it up

If your little one really hates washing her hair, mix it up a little. Wash it less often if you need to, or make it different by washing it in a different room for a change. Some children respond better when their hair is washed at the start of the bath, as they know they have the rest of the time to play. Some children like to play first. Talk to your child and agree the best solution. Perhaps the shower is a better idea? Over the sink like at the hairdresser’s might work well too? You know your child best, so make the most of that knowledge.

Don’t stress

No matter what you do, some children just do not like having their hair washed. Don’t stress about it. As they grow older, most little ones grow to accept that hair washing is just something we have to do, and it will get easier and easier. Good luck!

A little while ago we wrote about ways that you can make bath time fun, and we thought it was time to revisit this topic for 2015! After asking around on Twitter and Facebook, it seems that you guys are the experts when it comes to having a jolly good splash at the end of the day! So this week we’re sharing some fabulous tips from real parents, with some of our own ideas thrown in too. Have fun!

Make Bath Time Fun_updated ~Cuddledry.com

Mix up your timings!

Who says bath time has to be at the end of the day every day? Yes, it’s a wonderful way to end the day before bed, and yes it’s helpful to clean the day’s mud and grime before they go to bed… but it can be fun to take a splash at other times of the day too. @rhubarb2rhubarb and @robertaknibbs say that mornings are the best time for them, straight after the school run. This tends to be the least rushed part of the day for many and can make for a nice little water play activity too.

Pop a duck in the tub!

We’re biased, but we think our Cuddleducks are the perfect bath time companions to start out with!

Make Bath Time Fun_updated ~Cuddledry.com

Some babies and young children can feel a little crowded if there are too many toys in the tub with them, so start out small. And you never know- you may end up with quite a collection like Zac’s mum (@cooksey_83)! On the other end of the scale, @hayleyfromhome swears the more toys the better, and all three of hers splash together each night!

Dress up!

Who says dressing up can’t be done at bath time? We absolutely say it can! Our toddler dress up towels are the perfect way to inject some fun into bath time, and what better way to fire their imaginations ready for a bedtime story? Look out for our dress up feature coming soon! In the meantime, why not try:

The Cuddleroar!

Make Bath Time Fun_updated~ Cuddledry.com

The Cuddlepony

Make Bath Time Fun_updated~ Cuddledry.com

The Snugglemonkey

Make Bath Time Fun_updated~ Cuddledry.com

The Cuddlebug

The Cuddlesafari

The Cuddlemoo

The Snugglebunny

The Snugglebear

Make Bath Time Fun_updated~ Cuddledry.com

The Cuddledeer

Tea for two?

Take your little one’s favourite toys into the bath- as long as they’re waterproof! @clairelpark’s little one takes teacups and saucers into the tub with her to make tea- how cute? No reason why dolly can’t get a bath at the same time, and while we’re at it I’m sure a good old fashioned car wash would be lots of fun too!

Paint the bubbles

If your little ones like a bubbly bath, this is a wonderful activity! Simply pop some food colouring and water into spray bottles and let them loose. Don’t worry about the mess! A variation of this activity is to use shaving foam mixed with food colouring, and big chunky paintbrushes so that your little ones can decorate the tiles. It all washes off easily, so relax and let them play!

Anyone for a spot of fishing?

Ice cubes in the bath tub are GREAT fun- and give your little one a fishing net to extend it even further! Can they catch the ice cubes before they melt? We love this idea!

Let them wear socks

This might sound strange, but try it. They will love the funny sensation of having something on their feet in the tub, and there is the added bonus that they won’t slip if they stand up too.

Have a sing song

A simple yet effective way to make bath time fun. Our favourite songs include: Raindrops keep falling on my head, I’m forever blowing bubbles and for more ideas have a look at this post here.

Keep up to date with our Pinterest board

We’ve got a new #MakeBathTimeFun board where we’ll be pinning our favourite ideas, so do keep an eye on it. And if you have any to add please let us know!

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