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Your newborn baby’s skin is precious! In contrast to our own skin, it is much more delicate and needs extra special attention if you’re going to take good care of it. Your baby’s skin contains more water than yours, so is able to both take in and lose more water more quickly too. This means that whatever you put on that skin is absorbed quickly, and that your baby can be prone to more mild skin complaints than an adult too. Here is a quick guide to caring for newborn skin.

caring for newborn skin~ cuddledry.com

At bath time

Bath time is a wonderful chance for you to bond with your newborn baby, and it’s a great way to establish a positive and calm bedtime routine. See our post on how to make it as peaceful as possible. At first, your newborn baby may not need a bath every day, and if you notice that baby has sensitive or dry skin, you might want to make it every other night- some experts believe that two or three times a week is plenty. Other tips for caring for baby’s skin at bath time:

  • Choose your products carefully. Skin care experts recommend going for organic products that use natural ingredients chosen to care for delicate skin. We love the Earth Friendly range which is available to buy on the site and we’re huge fans of Childs Farm Toiletries too.
  • After washing your baby, always apply a gentle lotion to restore moisture in the skin. When you apply it, do so with gentle, downward strokes that won’t irritate the tiny hair follicles on your baby’s skin.
  • Never rub your baby dry- always pat gently, so that delicate skin cells are not damaged.
  • Don’t forget to wash and dry in between all the folds on your baby’s skin, as it is very easy for skin to become irritated in these areas.
  • Always use a soft towel. Our Cuddledry aprons are made from unbleached cotton and natural bamboo fibre which means that they are kind to delicate skin and the double layer helps to draw moisture away from baby.
  • For more tips on bathing your newborn baby, see this post.

Exposure to the sun

Your newborn baby should not be exposed to strong sunlight so you will need to take great care to stay in the shade if the sun is shining where you are. Sunblock is not recommended for babies under the age of six months so it really is important to keep precious skin protected and safe.

Newborn skin conditions

Your newborn baby’s skin may suffer from a range of common conditions in the early days; if you are worried about your baby’s skin, do seek advice from your doctor or health visitor so that appropriate care can be advised. The usual complaints that you might find baby suffers from include:

  • eczema
  • dry skin
  • newborn rash- medically known as erythema toxicum
  • baby acne
  • cradle cap
  • nappy rash
  • sweat rash- miliaria
  • impetigo

There is lots of information on all of the above on the NHS website.

Practical tips for newborn skin care

Check baby’s skin regularly for rashes or irritations, and always use non-bio washing products too. Baby massage is a great way to keep baby’s skin moisturised and for keeping on top of skin checks too; baby massage is also a fabulous way to bond with baby and a perfect end to a busy day. For more tips, see this post.

Sleep is like the holy grail when you become a parent, yet for many of us it remains highly elusive and ever tempting. We all want as much as we can get, and that means helping baby to get it too. Newborns are programmed to wake every three to four hours, but that doesn’t mean we can’t relish those brief periods of sleep! If you’re feeling the effects of broken nights and restless days, perhaps these tips for better baby sleep may help…

Tips for better baby sleep~ Cuddledry.com

*Before we begin, we’d like to point out that we are NOT experts on sleep! We are mums, just like you. The following tips are things that have worked for us, and in no way the gospel truth. We are all simply parents trying our best to achieve a happy balance between mayhem and peace, and we hope that you are too. If you have any concerns or worries over your baby’s sleep, or any other issue at all, please see your health visitor or GP for advice.

Nail the naps

Firstly, if your baby does not sleep well during the day, chances are they will not sleep well at night either. Lots of babies struggle to settle well at bedtime if they are over tired, so our first tip is to nail the daytime naps. When you have a workable day time routine, you’ll find that the night times become a lot easier to deal with too!

  • Watch your baby for sleep cues. When the eyes start to look tired, or baby starts to rub them and yawn, chances are bedtime is near.
  • Have a good routine- story, feed, bed for example.
  • Be consistent. If baby sleeps better in the cot, then try to make sure you’re home when you know that baby is due a nap. Of course, this isn’t always possible, so don’t cancel plans if you’re out and about.

White noise

Lots of babies find that the outside world is just too quiet. And it doesn’t help that we naturally tend to tip toe around babies in whispers at bed time too. The problem is that newborns especially are used to lots of noise from their time in utero. All that blood whooshing around and external noises they spent months listening to have a lasting impact on little ears. The result is that some babies respond really well to white noise and many parents have been amazed to find their little one sleeps really well through it all. Great examples of white noise include the washing machine, a radio set to static or the vacuum cleaner. Alternatively, you can buy special machines that play white noise, or you can download apps to your phone or tablet. It’s also worth bearing in mind that you don’t need to creep around when baby sleeps either. Make good attempts to help baby learn the difference between night and day by keeping daytime noise as normal, and night time a little quieter.

Have a good bedtime routine

Human beings respond well to routine, and bedtime is a fine example of this. Babies quickly learn that one thing follows another so if you have a good, consistent bedtime routine there is every chance they will respond well. Most good routines involve a bath (see this post for tips on bathing your newborn) and this can be a lovely way to relax and unwind together. However your routine looks, bear in mind:

  • Your routine needs to work for your family. If going to bed at 10pm works for you and baby, fine. If an earlier bedtime works better, then go for it. Don’t worry about timings as long as the order of events are the same.
  • Anyone who is taking care of baby needs to know the routine so if you’re about to enjoy a night off, make sure whoever is babysitting knows how you like things done.
  • Be flexible if you can. Sometimes the best routines can go out the window, for many reasons. Don’t panic if they do!

Babywearing

Lots of babies like to be held close, but this doesn’t always help if you have a busy day ahead of you. Let’s face it, the baby moon can’t last forever, especially if you have older children to take care of too. If that’s the case, babywearing can really help to both settle baby, and to provide extra opportunities for sleep. Being held in a sling or carrier helps baby to feel secure and snug, much like in the womb, and it also leaves you with two hands free to get on with whatever you need to do! Additionally, studies have found that babywearing helps to regulate baby’s heart rate and temperature and can help to alleviate symptoms of stress and post natal depression too. Another plus point is that babies who are carried tend to cry less and sleep more- result!

What are your top tips for better baby sleep?

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Swimming with your baby: getting started~ Cuddledry.comWith summer in full swing, and many of you either jetting off on holiday (if you’re pregnant, don’t forget to read our post on travel tips during pregnancy) or wanting to make the most of your summer by splashing out at the pool, now is as good a time as any to talk about swimming with your baby. It can be daunting when you take to the water for the first time with your baby, but this is one experience that you can give your child that will build on essential skills for life.

Before you take to the pool, make sure that you have everything ready for the changing room. Ideally you need your Cuddleswim baby swim towel, nappy changing items and clean clothes for after your swim- babies can cool down quickly once they are out of the water so it’s a good idea to get these all ready before you get into the water. Anything that can save time afterwards is a good idea!

Being prepared is essential if you want your baby to develop a love of swimming, so today we’re looking at ways to get started on your journey, and tips for preparing your baby to take to the water. We’re delighted to have some tips from the wonderful Water Babies today- so enjoy!

Giving your baby water confidence  is one of the most important ways you can help to prepare them to enjoy swimming and be safe in the water for life.

Having spent the first nine months of their lives suspended in fluid in the womb, babies generally love the liberating sensation of floating freely as it’s such a familiar environment. But, just to make sure their first experience is an entirely happy one, here are some tips on things you can do to prepare them for that all important first visit to the pool.

Here are some top tips for preparing baby for swimming:
  • First and foremost – keep it fun! Sharing a bath with your baby is a great bonding experience and something everyoneSwimming with your baby: tips for getting started~ Cuddledry.com can do. Lie back with them on your chest and encourage lots of splashing by playing with toys. Constantly smile, sing and talk to them whilst maintaining lots of reassuring eye contact.
  • Of course, you don’t always have to get into the tub. In a shallow baby bath, lie them on the bottom with a few inches of water around them, or, if your tub is deeper, support them under the shoulders and then lower them gently into the water, letting it cover their ears. Use your free hand to pour water over their body – you can also swish them gently from side to side in this position and watch them gurgle with delight! As they get older, lie them on their front, making sure you keep their face out of the water.
  • Blowing bubbles has an important role to play in swimming as it helps babies learn to control of their breathing –important for later submersions and swimming strokes – so practise this from early on. Make yourself look as silly as you like and see if they imitate you! As they get older, use beakers, toys and sponges to pour water over their bodies and, as they grow in confidence, their heads as well.
  • If your bath is deep enough, encourage your baby to start kicking by letting them float on their backs in the water with you supporting just their head. Babies love this sensation as it’s a freedom that they can’t experience on land; so let them explore water’s natural buoyancy.  Encourage them to explore underwater by putting toys on the bottom – they’ll keep their eyes open as they put their faces down to see.
  • Whether you’re taking your baby to the pool on your own, or to structured classes, make sure your first visit is a positive, gentle introduction to this multi-sensory world. If you are starting lessons, try to take your baby to the pool before the first one. Spend time on the side getting them used to the noises, colours, splashing and general hubbub of the pool environment – these will all be much louder than at home!
  • Make sure you check the pool temperature – it should be at least 30 degrees – and think about investing in a baby wetsuit if necessary.
  • Swimming with your baby_tips for getting started~ Cuddledry.comWhen you get in the pool for the first time, smile and talk to your baby – show them that it’s all meant to be fun! It’s really important that you are calm and positive as they’ll take their cues from you. Get your shoulders under the water and hold your baby so the water covers their chests.
  • Through the session, try alternating between holding your baby very close, with lots of reassuring skin-to-skin contact, then at arm’s length so they can move freely and feel a bit more independent.
  • Babies tire easily in the water, so restrict your first visit to around 20-30 minutes and make sure you have a hat and warm, cosy towel for afterwards. It’s normal for them to be hungry and tired after swimming, and not unusual for them to sleep for a couple of hours as well – definitely an added bonus to a successful trip!

Tips from Water Babies

When you first bring your baby home from the hospital, it can be an incredibly daunting time- whether you are a first time parent or not! Nobody knows it all, and often we can feel that the smallest of tasks should come naturally to us straight away. This isn’t always the case though, so there’s no harm in reading up on the things that you’re not sure of. Hopefully you also have a good support network around you too, as help and support in the early days can be essential! So in a bid to be helpful ourselves, we’ve written a few key points about one of baby’s firsts that often leaves new parents in a bit of a cold sweat. The bath. Here is a very quick guide to bathing a newborn baby.

tips for bathing a newborn baby_Cuddledry.com

Be prepared

This may seem silly, but bathing a newborn baby is not the easiest of tasks! It’s a good idea to have everything ready before you start, because once baby is in the water you won’t have any hands free and you certainly won’t be able to leave the room for anything. Newborns rely on you 100% at this point, and have no control at all over their bodies, so you will need two hands for this task. One to hold baby and one to wash gently. If you have an extra person on hand to help you we recommend that you make the most of that too! The things that you’ll need to prepare are:

  • A soft, warm towel to wrap baby in after the bath. Of course we recommend the Cuddledry apron towel here! Our towels are made with bamboo and cotton so they are super soft and they are also double layered, so that water is kept away from baby’s skin.
  • Nappy changing items.
  • A towel or blanket for you to kneel on- leaning over the bath is not going to be good for your back, but you want to keep your knees protected too.
  • A changing mat and liner.
  • Clothes to dress your baby in after the bath.
  • Anything you need for feeding your baby ready to go.

It’s also a good idea to make sure that the room is warm ( a baby’s temperature can drop quite quickly) and double check the temperature of the bath water too. It should be warm enough but not hot.

Getting into the bath

It can be nerve racking! Once wet, newborn babies are slippery and no doubt the biggest fear here is that your baby could slip from your hands. Don’t worry- this is not likely to happen if you hold them properly. It’s a good idea to undress baby, then wrap in a towel for a moment while you wash the face. Then, you need both hands to lower baby into the bath. Place one arm shoulders and neck, holding the outside arm with your hand. Place your other hand under the bottom and lower gently into the bath. Once baby is securely resting on the bottom of the bath, remove that hand and use it for washing. Do not let go of baby!

Gently scoop the water onto baby’s skin, so that the temperature is maintained throughout, but look out for signs that baby si getting cold. There is no need to use soap at this stage unless it has been recommended. Wash baby gently from top to bottom, front to back, talking soothingly as you go. Some babies love bathtime, but some may find it stressful so watch your baby and when you feel time is up, it’s time to get out.

Getting out of the bath

This is where your Cuddledry towel proves it’s worth! We’ve struggled with this step many times, and it’s not easy removing a baby from a warm bath to wrap them into a towel that’s waiting on a cold floor. The Cuddledry apron towel is attached to you the whole time that you are bathing baby. This means that it is on hand, warmed from your body heat, and ready to go- meaning that you have two hands free to lift baby gently from the bath. Simply pop your free hand back under baby’s bottom and lift exactly as you lowered. Bring baby to your chest, wrap, and hold close for a moment. Then all you need to do is cuddle your baby is you gently dry the skin (pat, don’t rub) and when you’re both ready, use the single hand poppers to release baby onto the changing mat. Baby will be snug and still wrapped in their towel, thus eliminating upset from the cold. Put on the nappy and bed clothes as quickly as you can, but remain gentle at all times; hopefully baby is nice and relaxed, so you don’t want to ruin that now. Lots of babies will want a feed almost immediately after a bath, so if you have everything ready for this then go for it.

How often to bathe?

Newborn babies don’t need a bath every day- usually a top and tail wash is enough. But if your baby enjoys bath time and you find it is an activity that helps to strengthen the bond, there is no harm in doing it daily. Once your baby is crawling around it’s a good idea to make it a daily activity, and lots of parents find that it ends the day well for bedtime.

If you have any questions at all regarding bathing a newborn baby, or any of our products do please get in touch- we’re always happy to help!

Are you going away this summer? Are you also pregnant? No doubt you’re looking forward to one or two weeks of putting your feet up and relaxing by the pool? And why not? We all work hard and when you’re pregnant, relaxation is a must! But what about the flight? Are you prepared for your possible additional needs this year? Fear not. We’ve put together some tips for flying when pregnant, thanks to our lovely followers and fans over on Twitter.

Tips for flying when pregnant~ Cuddledry.com

Before the flight

Preparation is key! As with anything, you will need to be prepared ahead of your flight, so make as many lists as you deem necessary. And don’t forget to refer to them as you pack, and mark off items once they’re done. There’s nothing like a completed checklist for saving your sanity ahead of a big trip!

Loved By Parents (@LovedbyParents) recommends a good night’s sleep ahead of your flight too, which we think is a great idea. If you don’t manage to sleep well on the flight itself, at least you have slept well the night before, and hopefully you can rest once you arrive at your destination. Being rested ahead of the journey also means that you are more likely able to deal well with any potential delays or mishaps- but fingers crossed these don’t occur!

Clare (@AsmilebyPost) adds that it is essential to leave in plenty of time for your flight too. This will save you rushing about and stressing about being late, and will give you extra opportunity to get your feet up in the airport too.

It’s also a good idea to pack as lightly as you can, so that you’re not hauling around a really heavy bag that could cause strain or discomfort. And in case there is nobody to help you, you won’t be struggling to lift and carry too much weight either. Of course, there is nothing wrong with asking for assistance when you fly, so do speak to the airline staff and explain you’re pregnant and would like some help. Beckha (@LoveBeckha) recommends bags on wheels too, so that you don’t need to carry your things at all.

Another good tip is to think about your travel outfit. If you’re going somewhere hot, wear layers that you can strip off when you get there and pack extra water to drink in the airport when you arrive.

Lastly, before you fly it’s a good idea to see your doctor to ensure that you are fit and healthy for the flight. Ask for a letter that confirms this too, so that you are covered in case there are any questions raised at the other end. Check your airline’s policy on flying during pregnancy and make sure that you are within the limits for travel.

On the flight

Pia (@PiaMaria79) says that flight socks are an absolute must when you fly, because the the change in air pressure can cause uncomfortable swelling in some cases. She also recommends drinking plenty of water, and moving around as much as you can.

Flying with baby (@Flyingwithbaby) also recommends stretching and walking around as much as possible, and says that packing an extra cushion is a good idea to provide added back support and comfort if you need to rest.

Don’t be afraid to let the airline staff know that you are pregnant, and ask for as much help, support and extra cushions/ blankets as you need. Comfort is essential during pregnancy, and especially whilst flying. Jai (@KiddyReviews) says there is no need to feel uncomfortable making it known that you are pregnant and in need of various items, so don’t be shy about it!

Sarah (@TobygoesBananas) recommends asking for an aisle seat so that you can escape to the loo easily when you need to- fab advice!

Dealing with sickness

If you’re flying whilst in the throws of morning sickness, it’s a good idea to plan ahead of your journey as much as you can. If sitting by a window helps, then request a seat change if needs be. Keep hydrated as much a you can, and if you are likely to vomit ask to be seated by the bathroom if possible. Vicki (@ElliebearBabi) says that when she has travelled during pregnancy, she has always ensured that she has plenty of mints with her to ease symptoms of sickness, so make sure you’re armed with all the necessities that help to make you feel more comfortable.

When you arrive

Take your time. Don’t rush to collect your bags and if you can, sit down if the queues for passport control are long. Keep water with you as it is bound to be hot at the other end, and if you’ve worn layers now is the time to start stripping to keep as cool as you can. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.

And relax- you’re on holiday!

Bath time is the perfect way to end the day for anyone, but particularly for a baby. Many families use this part of their daily routine, and many babies see is as an essential sleep cue too, knowing that after bath comes sleep. Not only that, but the warm water helps to relax and soothe baby ready for the night ahead, which makes the whole ritual of a bath indispensable for so many. But water is also fun. When baby discovers splashing the fun factor intensifies and before you know it you have a situation on your hands! How to keep bath time as a relaxing and soothing experience ahead of bed time, without taking away essential learning and inevitable fun? Here are some tried and tested tips for a relaxing bath routine.

Tips for a relaxing bath routine~ Cuddeldry.com

Let them play

We’ve already written about the fun that can be had at bath time, and if you’re looking for some serious wind down time, you might not want to try all the ideas in that post! But there is no reason why you can’t still add in some toys for gentle stimulation. Babies learn through play- as we all do to some extent no matter what our age- and so a few well chosen toys in the tub won’t hurt at all. Play helps to relieve stress and makes baby a lot more receptive to new situations too. Choose toys that are not noisy and that don’t require a lot of activity; toys that baby can gently explore are perfect, so waterproof bath books and plastic model boats are perfect for the more relaxing bath.

Add something soothing to the water

Be mindful of what you add as you don’t want to irritate delicate skin. Some bath products have been specially designed for bedtime baths and contain lavender to help relax and soothe. You could also add 2-3 drops of lavender oil to the water to create a soothing bath too. Mixed with chamomile oil, this helps with minor skin complaints such as eczema too.

Play some soft music

Babies respond well to music, and have done since they were in the womb. Soft, gentle music can also help to create a soothing and relaxing atmosphere  but make sure the volume is low.

Have everything ready

Don’t start scrambling around for nappies and towels at the end of a relaxing bath, as this can bring the mood right down and get baby worked up. Make sure you have everything ready before baby gets in, or ask a partner to get the things ready for you. Place your towel on a warm radiator so that you can wrap baby up nice and cosy afterwards too. Leading to our next tip…

Choose your towel carefully

One of the reasons why we are so proud of the Cuddledry apron towel. When you are ready to take baby out of the bath, there is no need for slippery shenanigans that often occur, and baby will not get cold or distressed either. You wear the Cuddledry towel like an apron so that you can gently lift baby from the bath and hold him/ her close. Then wrap baby in the soft, warm towel and enjoy a cuddle. What a perfect way to end a perfect bath.

Get baby dressed in a warm, quiet roomTop tips for a relaxing bath routine~ Cuddeldry.com

If there isn’t enough room in the bathroom, move slowly to another room to dress baby. This room should be dimly lit, warm and quiet. If you’re using a Cuddledry towel, all you need to do is un-popper the towel from you and lay baby down gently, still wrapped up snug and warm. The towels are made from bamboo and cotton and are double layered, so slightly thicker than normal towels and highly absorbent. You may find baby is already dry, but pat gently in case. Then dress, quickly but gently. Hopefully the transition from bath to bedroom has not disturbed the relaxed mood you’ve created!

Baby massage

This can be a wonderful addition to your bedtime routine and is best done after the bath. Read our guest post from Mumma Love Organics for fantastic baby massage tips.

End with a story or a lullaby

Depending on your routine (baby may have a feed before or after the bath), end your day with a short story or a gentle lullaby. Baby won’t mind whether or not you can sing in tune!

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It’s something that comes to all parents at one time or another- potty training. It can be a source of frustration, despair and endless worry. OR it can be easy as pie- a breeze. It depends on how ready your child is and how relaxed you can afford to be. While there is no ‘one rule fits all’ and, indeed, no ideal age to potty train, there are signs that you can look out for to see whether or not your little one is ready, and lots that you can do to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible. Take a look at our potty training checklist- we hope it helps!

Potty training checklist~ Cuddledry.com

Is your child ready?

You might be ready to ditch the nappies and move on to big pants, but that does not necessarily mean that your child is ready. If you try to potty train before your little one is ready, you may find the whole process is a lot longer and far more stressful than is necessary-  there are certain physical and emotional developments that need to happen for your child to be able to make the step from potty to pants. There are signs to look out for that can help you to decide:

  • does your child tell you when her nappy is wet or soiled?
  • does your child take off their nappy by themselves?
  • does your child show an interest in the potty/ toilet when other family members use the bathroom?
  • is your child’s nappy dry in the morning?
  • does your child tell you that she needs the toilet/ potty?

How to get started

As with any aspect of parenting, there is no right or wrong way- whatever works for you and your family is best. Many experts do agree, however, that when you potty train it is best to take away the nappies and introduce proper underwear from day one. Once your child is in knickers rather than nappies, it is easier for her to realise when she is wet (if she has an accident) and easier for her to make the association between wearing knickers and going to the toilet. Swapping from nappies to knickers throughout the day can be confusing, and staying in nappies whilst you train even more so- your child is used to ‘going’ in her nappy so won’t necessarily see the need to use the toilet. To help your child transition from nappies you can:

  • let them help to choose new underwear
  • help them to decide where to keep their potty and make sure that they are able to get it by themselves
  • praise,praise, praise. Tell your little one how grown up she is by using the toilet/ potty. Many experts advise against rewarding for using the potty, but you can always let your child know that you are pleased at their efforts!

To stay in or not to stay in?

This is another debatable point where potty training is concerned. Some parents set aside a week in their diary and stay around the house as much as possible so that they are close to the toilet and so that accidents are kept to a minimum. Some parents prefer to leave the house armed with all the essentials they need- spare clothes, wipes, potties/ toilet seats etc. It is up to you and what works for you.

Potty or toilet?

Again, this depends on you and your child. Some parents find that potties are more handy as they are portable and less daunting to smaller children at first. Some parents buy special seats that fit on top of normal toilet seats so that their child can use the toilet like the rest of the family. If you do go for potty, bare in mind that eventually your child will need to learn to use the toilet too.

It may be Spring, but that doesn’t always mean warm sunshine and dry land when you live in the UK! But why let that stop you? Recent studies have proven that children need at least 15 minutes of outdoor play every single day, and let’s face it- they don’t tend to mind a spot of rain, do they? So if you’re looking for excuses, look elsewhere. These tips for outdoor play have been designed to inspire you to get those wellies on and get out and play!

Tips for outdoor play~ Cuddledry.com

Why outdoor play is so important

Being outdoors has so many benefits for children (and adults too!) and these are just a few of them:

  • Vitamin D. Being outside boosts the intake of the vitamin we need to absorb calcium and promote bone growth. For growing children getting enough is essential!
  • Gross motor skills. Children need to learn how to run, jump, climb, kick balls and pedal pedals. Being outdoors promotes gross motor skills and gives children wide open spaces to exert themselves.
  • Fitness. Give a child an open space and that child will run! Being outdoors promotes a healthier lifestyle for our children and boosts fitness levels too.
  • Knowledge of the world around us. Being outdoors is a wonderful learning experience for children, and an opportunity for them to use their senses to explore. Just being in green spaces boosts a child’s knowledge, but also being able to investigate new surroundings has huge impacts on learning too.

So now that you know how important being outdoors is, here are some tips to getting out there and playing!

  • Make sure you have appropriate clothing. The UK is not known for it’s warm weather all year round, and we do tend to get a lot of rain too. So make sure you have thick waterproofs and welly boots to hand at all times. As they say- there is no such thing as poor weather, just poor clothing!
  • Make outdoor play a natural part of playtime. Don’t make a big deal out of going out to play- it doesn’t need to be planned, or something to ‘get over and done with’. As soon as you view being outdoors as part of everyday life, the easier it will become.
  • Indulge in your child’s interests. If they love creepy crawlies, go on a bug hunt. If climbing is their thing, find a good, solid tree and see how they go. Take a picnic to the park, and bring teddies to make it extra special.
  • Take the paints outside. Outdoor art is a wonderful way to get kids creative and you won’t even notice you’re outsideTips for outdoor play- take the paints outside~ Cuddledry.comonce you get going! Another plus is that the house stays clean too…
  • Clean the car. A simple, yet wonderful sensory experience for children. And you get a clean car in the process. Result!
  • Go for a walk. Take bikes, prams, scooters or just little legs. Where you go doesn’t really matter- take a letter to pop in the post box? Buy a comic from the newsagent?- but once you’re walking and breathing fresh air the world is your oyster!
  • Take an empty bag with you. Sounds strange, but you’ll notice that children like to collect things when they’re out and about. Let them find brightly coloured leaves, oddly shaped stones and smooth, round rocks. Let them collect their treasures!
  • Run. Yes, you too. Get outside, get the endorphins flowing. Take a ball, or a skipping rope, or just run. Get the heart pumping and enjoy being outdoors!

The best thing about being outdoors in cold or rainy weather can sometimes be coming back inside again. Make sure you have some warm milk or hot chocolate to hand, and wrap cold children in a snuggly Cuddledry to warm up… until the next outdoor adventure!

Bath time doesn’t always have to be at the end of the day. Of course, a bath is an integral part of most bedtime routines for many families, but sometimes it can be fun to make a splash at other times too! Water play is a wonderful sensory experience for babies and toddlers and if the weather is not permitting, why not bring it inside? The bathroom is the ideal place and so we’ve put together some tips and ideas for making bath time fun!

Make bath time fun~ cuddledry.com

  • Create a colour themed bath. This can be as simple or as extravagant as you like. Colours are a great way to add a fun element to bath time, and all you need is to collect toys of the same colour, add a few drops of food colouring to the bath and you’re set!
  • Make the water glow! Submersible lights are a wonderful way to transform any bath tub. You can buy various types quite cheaply and the colour changing versions make for a rather magical experience. If you can, close the blinds and turn out the lights too so that your little one can enjoy the experience to its full potential.
  • Cook up a storm! Kitchen utensils such as wooden spoons, colanders and whisks don’t need to be restricted to the kitchen. Encourage imaginative play and introduce them to bath time instead. Perhaps your little one will create a bubbly feast for a king?  Or a magical potion for fairies? The possibilities are endless.
  • Give dolly a bath. Children love to role play and bath time is a great opportunity for you to encourage self care. If you have a baby doll that can go in the bath, bring her in and let your little one take turns to wash her hair and body.
  • Let them paint! If paintbrushes and all the paraphernelia that goes with it sends shivers down your spine, why not bring it into the bath instead? You can buy specific bath crayons and paints, or you can bring small pots of washable paint into the bathroom instead- it depends how brave you are! The best thing about this activity is that your little one gets to express himself, and you get to hose him down afterwards!
  • Play sink or float. Let your little one help you to find waterproof objects and take turns to guess which ones will sink and which will float.
  • Make paper boats- and sail them. Simple fun!
  • Add some ice! Add a few drops of food colouring to the water before you freeze it, then pop them into the bath for theMake bath time fun~ cuddledry.comlittle ones to chase! Once melted, the water will change colour- and you can have a chat about why the ice melted too.

All of the above can be done during the usual bath time if you prefer, but if you know that your little one needs extra wind downtime after activities like this, then you might want to choose a different time instead. As always, make sure you supervise little ones at all times, and don’t forget to wrap them up warm in their Cuddledry towels afterwards!

What are your little one’s favourite bath time activities?

OK, it’s time to ‘fess up.

Have you ever dressed up your baby as a bunny? Ever squeezed them into an adorable monkey suit or drawn whiskers on them with a Sharpie while they slept?*

As parents, we seem to have a growing obsession with dressing up our kids as animals. Chubby babies and toddlers are adorable enough at the best of times but add in costumes, face paints and funny ears and it’s all just too darn cute.

Retailers have seized upon this fetish of course and it’s possible to get just about any animal theme that takes your fancy. For less than $40 you can even dress your baby as a lobster, courtesy of Annie’s Costumes.

Feeling the chill this winter? Never fear – animal hats are here! You can keep your toddler’s head toasty and make them look like a bear, all at the same time.

We are not in a position to judge of course – we are all about the animals with our toddler towels. Our Cuddlemoos come complete with tiny cow horns and our Snuggle Monkey even has a tail. It doesn’t get much cuter than a toddler with a tail.

But what is it about tiny people dressed as animals that sends our hearts and tummies all a flutter? We wouldn’t actually want a live monkey wreaking havoc in the bathroom, drinking the organic body wash and drawing on the tiles with toothpaste, so why is it so cute to play dress-up with our little ones?

On the flip side of course, there are lots of people who like dressing up their animals as people. There is nothing quite as adorable as a guinea pig in a hat.

*That one might just be me.

By Jo Middleton aka Slummy single mummy

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