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

Parenting

You are currently browsing the archive for the Parenting category.

There’s no doubt about it. Parenting is hard work. There are the sleepless nights, the dirty nappies, the tantrums and the messy mealtimes. But if you think that’s all there is to it, you couldn’t be more wrong! We took to Twitter to ask our followers what they loved about being a parent, and the response we got was amazing. So is parenting the hardest job in the world? Maybe. But if anything is worth doing, it’s worth doing well, and it’s likely to be a challenge too.

Parenting: The Hardest Job in the World?_Cuddledry.com

“It makes me proud to see my daughter grow and develop new skills, and seeing how kind she treats other kids.

As parents, we want our children to be happy and to grow and develop into kind and happy people. @wavetomummy told us that her daughter makes her proud every day and @GreatNorthMum added that “Seeing my biggest boy make his baby brother laugh and show him so much affection”  makes her heart melt. And we’re not surprised! Kindness is important. And knowing that you passed that on is something very special indeed. As our friends at @BabaandBoo say, “when their teachers say that they are a joy to be around and are kind to their classmates. Makes me burst!”

From a tiny baby, to a tiny person, these little people never cease to amaze us! What does your little one do to make you proud?

When someone meets your child with their grandparents (whilst I’m at work) and remarks at how well behaved & polite they are!”

We’re with you @Mrsshilts, it’s always nice to know they can behave well without you too! Because no matter how hard we try, we can’t be with them all the time.Parenting: The Hardest Job in the World?_Cuddledry.com We have to loosen the ties and let them grow, let them explore. Let them be their own person. So it’s always a bonus when you discover that the person you made is actually really nice!

But all of this is not to say that our little angels don’t have their moments too. We all do! Kids are still learning and let’s face it, there are many many rules out there to follow. We all have bad days, and kids are allowed them too. It’s how we react to them that leaves an impression. The lovely Fi at @childcareisfun believes wholeheartedly in celebrating every small achievement:

“Every little success and every precious moment – no matter how small, makes me feel wonderful and incredibly proud to be a parent.

That pride and happiness is bound to rub off on the children too, so keep it up! Lizzie at @firstooth agrees, stating that “their achievements big and small” make her proud every day.

So is it really the hardest job in the world? It’s exhausting. It’s emotional. It’s hard. But the hardest job in the world surely has to be knowing when to let them go. These days, while they’re little, are so intense. But they don’t last long, and before you know it they’re long gone. So cherish every moment. Have an extra cuddle tonight. Read an extra story at bedtime. Spend a little longer listening to your toddler’s tales of the day. It’s all worth it.

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 dry.com

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.

Tags: , ,

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 Towels_Cuddledry.com

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

Tags: , , ,

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 »

Tags: , ,

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

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!

Tags:

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~ Cuddledry.com

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 sleep~Cuddledry.com

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!

Tags: ,

« Older entries