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This week we have a lovely guest post from Baba and Boo, creators of beautiful clothing, shoes and accessories for your little ones. A fully fledged baby boutique, Baba and Boo specialise in fashionable reusable nappies, and today they are sharing their five top tips for cloth nappy beginnings.

Thinking of using cloth nappies but not sure where to begin? We all have to start somewhere, so don’t fret! Here are some words of wisdom from Baba and Boo…

Five top tips for cloth nappy beginnings_ cuddle

Get advice from friends

It really helps when you know someone who already uses cloth nappies so you can lean on them for impartial advice – after all, they’ve already been through it and have most likely tried all the different brands

It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

Don’t over-face yourself. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, which is particularly the case when you have a small baby on your hands, just introduce one cloth nappy per day and scale it up as and when you feel more comfortable. This will allow you the time to really get to know your cloth nappies and establish a washing routine that works for you without feeling any pressure.

Join a support group.

There are plenty of cloth nappy support groups over on Facebook with cloth nappy users on hand to help answer any questions as and when you need advice and it’s a great place to make new clothy friends too. You’ll soon be comparing prints and be surprised how much you can learn just through reading the threads. Baba+Boo actually have their own Nappy Natter group which we would love you to join – we’re a nice bunch, I promise.

Research which nappies are best for you.

You may feel a bit overwhelmed when doing this as there are so many different fastenings/brands/inserts/prints etc which is why getting some impartial advice from friends/groups is a good idea. In some cases it could be trial and error as some babies are heavier wetters than others but there’s always always a solution. A great place to start your research is on this BabyCentre article which talks you through all the options.

Get yourself all set up.

Make sure you have a little system in place before you start… get yourself a bucket for those dirty nappies, a wet bag for when you’re out and about and it’s always useful to have a little place in your house to store everything so it’s nearby. To save yourself time after washing, stuff the nappies with the inserts so they’re all ready to go.

If you have any questions at all, here at Baba+Boo we have our own personal cloth nappy guru on hand so feel free to drop her an email should you feel in a bit of a spin.

Do you have any other tips for anyone thinking about starting their cloth nappy journey? Leave your tip in the comments below.

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Today we have a guest post on baby massage from GoBabyClub app, the baby development app that helps to “stimulate & develop baby through activities in terms of emotional, cognitive & physical aspects, at their own time and pace, to complete the milestone”. To find out more about the GoBabyClub app and baby massage visit the site here. To download the app search for ‘GoBabyClub’ on your Google Play store or Apple iOS store.

Bonding with your baby is one of the most important aspects of parenthood.  One of the most loving and pleasant ways of bonding is to give your baby a massage as your loving touch has the power to soothe your baby. Caroline Rodenbach, GoBabyClub expert in massage, acupressure and reflexology, says that massages on babies are more caresses than real massage, although babies enjoy a soft yet firm touch.

Guest post: Relaxing Bath Time Baby Massage with Super Soft Cuddledry

Touch is both calming and comforting to small babies and plays a large role in healing. Read the rest of this entry »

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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

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

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~

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

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

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

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!

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The Cuddlepony

Make Bath Time Fun_updated~

The Snugglemonkey

Make Bath Time Fun_updated~

The Cuddlebug

The Cuddlesafari

The Cuddlemoo

The Snugglebunny

The Snugglebear

Make Bath Time Fun_updated~

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!


Do you carry your baby in a sling or baby carrier? It can be a wonderful way to keep baby close, and has so many benefits for baby and parent. Babywearing, done safely, can not only help to strengthen your bond, but also provide you with two hands free so that you can continue to multi-task! We do love a clever idea here at Cuddledry HQ, and luckily this age old practise needs no modification at all. Here are a few babywearing safety tips to help you get the most out of holding your precious little one close.

babywearing safety tips~

Why follow safety precautions?

The reason why safety is so important when you practise babywearing is simple. Your newborn baby’s neck muscles are not yet strengthened, and body control is limited too. Newborns also tend to sleep a lot, so if you’re carrying them you must be vigilant and aware of their safety at all times.

The universal babywearing safety checklist is called TICKS.

T - tight. Make sure that your baby carrier is tight enough, and that there are no loose straps at all. Wearing your baby close is important so that you are in control of supporting her entire body, and of maintaining the correct position as you hold her.

I – in view at all times. If baby is not correctly positioned and you cannot see her, you cannot know if she is safe.

C - close enough to kiss. Can you reach forward and kiss the top of your baby’s head? If so, then she is in the right place. If you can’t, you will need to make some adjustments. Maybe your straps need tightening, or your baby is too small for the type of carrier you’ve chosen.

K – keep chin off chest. Babies need a clear airway so that they can breathe easily. When you carry your baby, you are responsible for ensuring her head is in the right position, and her chin is lifted so that her airways are free.

S - supported back. Your baby’s developing spine needs protecting while you carry her.

Other precautions to take

  • When you carry your baby in a sling or carrier, make sure that the face is completely clear from fabric so that she is able to breathe freely. She needs to be able to breathe fresh air at all times.
  • Never run, jog, jump or shake while you’re carrying your baby. It goes without saying, but doing so can cause injury from falling, or baby slipping from her carrier. It can also cause damage to the spine or brain and should be avoided at all times.
  • Make sure your carrier is age appropriate, and checked regularly for signs of wear and tear.

Choosing a baby carrier

When it comes to choosing a baby carrier, please keep the safety precautions in mind. There are lots of different types of carriers, and some are not suitable for newborn babies. Some are intended only for babies over a certain weight, so if you’re not sure then ask. Check online for details of your local sling library, where you can go along and try out different carriers with advice from experts.

Always practise with a doll or a teddy before you place baby in the carrier. Make sure that you’re confident in tying and carrying and always check in the mirror or ask someone else to check your carrier is on properly. When you put your baby in the sling, always support her neck and head, and if she is older and able to support her own head, always support her back instead.

Every day safety tips

  • If you use a wrap and are trying out a new carry, always practise with a teddy or a doll first. When you do put baby into the wrap, do so over a soft surface.
  • Ask someone else to be on hand to ’spot’ for you- if baby does not look happy, or your carrier does not look right they will be able to tell you straight away.
  • Always tie knots into double or granny knots so that they are secure.
  • Make sure you dress your baby in weather appropriate clothes. In warm weather, don’t forget sunhats and sun cream for exposed arms, legs and faces. In cold weather, make sure these areas are covered well.
  • Don’t keep dangerous or precious items in places where baby can easily reach them. Some carriers have pockets that you can store things in- make sure they’re closed!
  • Don’t take unnecessary risks while babywearing. As a general rule- if you wouldn’t do it while pregnant, don’t do it while carrying your baby. So no ladder climbing or cycling please!
  • Don’t cook whilst babywearing.
  • Make sure that only responsible adults carry your baby at all times.

We all know the saying- sleep breeds sleep. And it really does. If your baby sleeps well during the day, chances are your baby will sleep well at night too. However, we also know that babies are not robots. They are all unique individuals and therefore the amount of sleep they get varies, and how they get to sleep can vary too. We’re huge believers in instinctive parenting and generally feel that if it works for you, then go with it. Take what you need from parenting manuals, and leave what you don’t like the sound of. Only YOU will know your baby best, after all. So, with this in mind, here are a few tips for better daytime sleep- take them or leave them, but if they help then great!

Tips for better daytime

Make naps a prioroty

Sometimes we can be so busy rushing from here to there, especially when we have older children to look after too, that naps can often come low on our list of priorities. If this is the case for you, you might find that your baby becomes over tired quite quickly, and then is harder to settle for a nap. Try to make naps a priority if you can, and plan your day around them as much as possible. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with sleeping while you’re out and about so if you can take the pram with you that’s fine. Keep in mind how long you’ll be out and whether or not there will be opportunity for your baby to sleep. By making naps priority, hopefully you will some improvement in your baby’s sleep overall.

Tweak your routine

Just as you need a good bedtime routine at night, having a good routine during the day can help too. If your baby knows when to expect a nap, good daytime sleep is a lot more likely in general. There’s no need to be rigid about timings etc- look for sleep cues and when your baby shows signs of being tired, make sure you are able to allow for sleep. Keep things in roughly the same order, rather than at the same time each day if you can.

Be consistent

Lots of us have busy lives, and we can’t always guarantee that we’ll be at home for nap time. But if you can, it might help if your baby can sleep in the same place each day. If you know that you’re likely to be out every day, make sure you use the same pram for sleeps, or a pop up bed if you’re able. At home, naps in bed are the best way to ensure your baby has a good sleep. Be consistent with whichever way works for you.

Don’t stress

Lots of parenting manuals will tell you to always put baby down awake but sleepy, and to never feed to sleep or use other ’sleep props’ such as music or a dummy. But you know what? Sometimes these things can be the difference between getting some sleep and getting no sleep. If it works for you, then why change it? Parenting should be about making informed choices. If you know that rocking your baby to sleep works for now, and you’re happy to do it then why stop? Don’t feel guilty about the decisions you make in the best interests of your baby, and don’t stress. They really are only little for such a short time!

Encourage baby to fall asleep independently

Yes, yes. We’ve just said that if you want to rock your baby to sleep then you should do it, and we stand by that! But if you do want your baby to learn independent sleep, daytimes are the best time to do it. From around the age of three months babies start to leanrn to self soothe and at this age you can start to give your baby opportunities to practise. Perhaps a cuddly blanket will help, or soft music etc. Your baby might sleep for longer stretches during the day once the art of self soothing has been mastered. Worth a try at least!

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It’s an exciting time for any family when a new baby is expected, and there’s every reason to celebrate the joyous occasion. That said, sometimes it takes careful consideration when you introduce a new baby to the family. How will siblings react? Where will baby sleep? How will baby slot into the daily routine? There’s a lot to work out, and you only have nine months to do it in! Here are some tips for helping you make the extension of your family as smooth as possible.

Introducing a new baby to the family~

Involve younger siblings

Depending on their age, you might want to involve siblings as much as possible when baby is on the way- but choose your timing carefully. With some children, the concept of a pregnancy taking nine months to complete is difficult to understand, so if you don’t want to spend the entire pregnancy explaining why baby isn’t here yet, you might want to wait a while before you reveal all. Many couples wait until the 12 week scan before announcing a pregnancy, but you might want to wait a little longer with younger children.

Once the kids are in the know, involve them as much as possible. Talk to them about the new baby, let them help to decide on names and perhaps choose a teddy for their brother or sister. Once baby arrives, let them help with small tasks such as changing a nappy or helping with bath time. Answer as many questions as your little ones have, and take the time to reassure them that they are still loved just as much as they were before baby arrived.

Prepare practically

Once you know that baby is on the way, the whole family might need a little shuffle round. For at least the first six months, its recommended that baby sleeps in a crib in your room, so bedrooms don’t need to be switched just yet, but it is a good idea to start thinking about where people will sleep after that.

If you have toddlers still in a cot, you might want to consider moving them to a big bed. This can be a lot less disturbing if it’s done in good time before baby arrives, as the new addition in itself can be unsettling for some. If you prepare your toddler well in advance, when the baby arrives they are less likely to feel ‘pushed out’.

In the same vein as moving from crib to bed, other major changes in your toddler’s life should be timed a little more carefully too. Potty training can be quite disruptive to young children, so if your toddler is showing signs it might be an idea to tackle it now rather than wait until the baby arrives. It makes sense to take on one big change at a time!

Buying new baby items

It can be tempting to splash out on new baby items when there’s a little one on the way, but it makes sense to consider what you actually need before you spend. If you saved anything from previous babies, make use of them again! Ask around for recommendations on more expensive items, and refrain from buying too many clothes in newborn size. Wash all baby clothes well in advance and store carefully so that you’re not madly washing and drying when baby’s arrival is impending and you are heavily pregnant.

Consider visitors

When a new baby arrives, friends and family obviously want to visit you. This is lovely! But for younger children- and you and your baby- lots of visitors can be quite unsettling. Agree a limit on how many should visit in one day, and ask friends and family to check with you before they call. It might also be a good idea to spend some time with older siblings to explain that the visitors are for them too, now that they are a big brother/ sister. Some children can feel left out when a new baby arrives, so take the time to help them through it if this is the case.

Stick to your routine

When a new baby finally makes an appearance, the whole family may need to make some adjustments, but it’s important to try and stick to your usual routine as much as possible. For younger children, daily routines help to make them feel secure, and when things are disrupted for a length of time it can be very unsettling. If you can, keep to your schedule of baby groups and after school activities as much as possible. Enlist the help of friends and family who are keen to help out, and try to keep things as normal as possible at home.

What are your top tips for welcoming a new baby to the family?

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