Amber Teething Necklace Update

We had a major crisis in our household recently. My Mum lost our little one’s Amber teething necklace whilst she was looking after her. My husband went bonkers (thankfully at me, not my Mum, who felt awful enough!). After four nights of unbroken sleep, the first in 13 months (we know we are very lucky, and it helps to explain why I have the energy to blog!) I was ready to sell an arm for a new necklace!

I know many people don’t believe in the Amber necklaces and I did pooh, pooh them before using them. You may have seen that good old Trading Standards decided to ban the sale of Amber Necklaces in this country earlier in the year. I was not very impressed then, as we couldn’t even get a back up necklace as there was no warning in advance that it was about to be banned.

Fumbilna added a wonderful comment to one of the previous posts about this, saying that she managed to get hold of an Amber necklace from a company in Latvia, who wall outside of the Trading Standards policy.

My wonderful, awesome husband (just checking to see if he really DOES read the posts every day!) has found a company in this country that still sells Amber Necklace’s. However, they aren’t advertised as Teething necklace’s. Rather than drop this company in it with Trading Standards, if you want to know the company we used, please drop me an email at northhantsmum@gmail.com.

Best of luck with the teething. We have incisors and the back ones coming through at the moment. It’s not fun to seeing your little one’s in pain, but it is cute seeing their perfect little teeth. That is, until they bite you! 😉

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Amber Teething Necklace’s will be banned in the UK

Amber teething necklace’s

 

Willowdene Christmas Holiday Club

Marilyn contacted me asking me to let you all know about the Willowdene Christmas Holiday Club:

Willowdene Holiday Club is open every school holiday for children aged 4 – 12 yrs. Affiliated  with Willowdene Nursery School the Club provides high quality, affordable and reliable childcare.

Open 7.30-6.00 each day, we offer flexible booking by the hour, with all day and half day discounted rates.

Dates open over Christmas are December 21st & 24th and Jan 2nd – 4th.

Ofsted registered, we provide a professional service in a happy, safe and stimulating environment. Based at Christ Church, Chineham we aim to inspire and motivate the children with a variety of activities for both indoors and out. We introduce play that challenges the children’s imaginations e.g. den making, and with the woods around us we are able to go on Nature walks, bug hunts and picnics. We also take the children to the Library and local parks. With the emphasis on fun , the children enjoy an action packed time and each day is different.

For further details please contact us at willowdene@btconnect.com or 01256 324191.

Thanks Marilyn!

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Day Nurseries in Basingstoke and North Hampshire

PlayDays Parent and Baby Club

Kirsty sent me a lovely message asking me to publicise the new Parent and Baby Club at PlayDays every Tuesday. So if you are looking for something to do today with your baby, pop down to PlayDays 😉

Baby Club Poster

Every Tuesday (term-time only), 10:30am-12:30noon

£1.50 per child (0-18ths), Free tea or coffee for parent

Come and enjoy a focused session for your babies, whilst you enjoy a complimentary tea or coffee and the company of other parents with babies, who you can share experiences with. The session will be run by a qualified Nursery Practitioner and will end with singing a few nursery rhymes or a story.

Please check out our Facebook Page: Playdays Indoor Playcentre, Basingstoke for more information and dates, or email us on: playdays.newbabyclub@gmail.com.

Look forward to seeing you there!

Children’s Bike Seats

Getting a childs bike seat sorted has been on my to do list for a very long time, but I just never seem to get around to it. I want to go in to Basing Cycles in town and have a chat with them as they specialise in Specialized bikes, which is the bike I have. I was also hoping that I might be able to see if they are interested in doing a discount for NHM Readers also looking to buy a child bike seat.

I’m finding that a childs bike seat might be like a sling. I really want one and I just want someone to tell me which one to get, but we will probably end buying a really expensive one (like we did with the sling)  because we don’t know any better and then we will probably only use it twice (like the sling).

I’ve also been trying to put together a post about Children’s Bike Seats since March this year! In an effort to pull my finger out and get the post started AND completed, I put a request out on Facebook to see if you wonderful readers would be happy to provide your insights. This is what you came back with:

Wendy made an excellent point “The first thing you have to consider is your bike. Not all seats fit all bikes.” Amber also made an excellent point “It’s worth emphasising that ALL children should have cycle helmets along with their parents whenever they are cycling.”

Matt, a keen cyclist, said: “My recommendation is the Co-pilot Limo seat, RRP £109.99”. Lesley also recommended the Co-pilot Limo child seat. She said “We did a lot of research when looking to purchase a seat for our daughter. She was 2 years old at the time (now 4). The seat has a lot of protection, just I case your bike topples over. At that age she tended to fall asleep after a while, but the side protection, meant she could rest her head comfortably. The seat also grows with your child, straps move to deal with growing legs. And, a final bit of usefulness – the seat doubles up as a seat off the bike too. We would stop for a picnic, and our daughter was able to sit comfortably and securely for her meal. (equally-it can be a handy retaining option if you are on your own and don’t want your child to toddle off while you tend to your bike). 5* as far as I’m concerned. Daughter now cycling using her own Steam, and she asks to go to places we used to take her on the back of our bikes.”

Karen recommended a Hamax child seat “I’ve got a hamax one – very pleased with it. What about some research on the difference between rear and front seats- the ones that go near the handlebars- they look pretty dangerous to me! Amber also recommended a Hamax seat “Both my husband and I are very keen cyclists and did a lot of research before buying ours for our daughter and as Wendy says, not all seats fit all bikes…. We bought a Hamax Sleepy which is great, they are very robust seats with adjustable footrests and harness so it growns with your child. With hindsight I wish we had got the Siesta model which reclines further than the Sleepy as she invariably nods off in it and she just lolls forwards in the seat. She doesn’t seem to mind that but it is a little disconcerting!”

Charlotte suggested the Wee free ride, “We have wee free ride. Lo sits on the cross bar in front of you. Very safe for them as they’re inside your arms and they get a great view. BUT it doesn’t work well on small frame bikes as you have to ride with your knees out wide! My bike at 16″ frame is too small. My husband’s at 17½ is just about OK.”

I was originally leaning towards a Wee free ride but I have a small bike frame so I don’t think it will be suitable. I would love a Co-pilot seat but I had a quick look on Amazon and the Hamax seat seems to be a bit cheaper. If anyone has any other suggestions please do add a comment.

I hope to do some more research this weekend and will add any links I find into this post. I’m hoping that by getting this post out there it will help me get my butt into gear about getting a bike seat sorted!!! 😀

Further Reading

Which Cycle Seat Guide

Mumsnet Child Bike Seats

Carrying Children on bikes

What is the right age for a baby bike seat?

Local Bike Shops

Basing Cycles – Basingstoke

Winklebury Cycles – Basingstoke

Pedal On – Tadley

AW Cycles – Caversham, Reading

5 Places for Sunday lunch, with Children, in North Hampshire

Is it just me or has it been one of those weeks? We had no internet at the weekend and it’s been intermittent all week, hence the lack of posts this week. Very frustrating as I had lots of posts that I wanted to work on. For example, this post is supposed to have 5 places for Sunday lunch with children. I only had time to come up with three. Do you have any recommendations for this post?

1. The Beech Arms – Oakley

3. The Harvester – Brighton Hill (I’m going to be very controversial here and say that I’ve never been that impressed with the Basingstoke Harvester. The last time we were there the babychanging room was in a disgusting state, which never bodes well for a restaurant!)

Updated Dec 2013

4. Spruce Goose – Leisure Park

9 Foody Places to go as a group of Mums with babies/toddlers

Are you looking for somewhere to meet up with several of your friends, their babies and pushchairs/buggys?

The list below are some of the foody places you could visit that welcome large groups of Mum’s and babies:

1. Queens College Arms – Tadley road

Recommend booking in advance and asking for the “big” table. They have baby changing facilities onsite and bottle warming facilities. Very friendly and welcoming of Mum’s and babies. For bigger children, there is a climbing frame in the pub garden.

2. Little Roses Tea Shop – Elm Tree Garden centre, just up from the Queens College Arms

They have excellent baby changing facilities and even provide free baby wipes and nappy bags! There is a changing station and several highchairs upstairs if you don’t want to take your pushchair in. Recommend looking in the Chests/tables as there is a treasure trove of toys that will keep children amused for a while. Very welcoming of Mums and babies.

3. Dayers – Chineham Business Park

This place is normally empty in the mornings. They do good breakfasts and cake. Gets busy at lunchtime, so maybe not the best place to go for lunch.

Unfortunately they don’t have baby changing facilities (they used too!) but they do have large toilets so if you don’t mind doing emergency nappy changes on your changing mat on the floor, you should be ok.

4. Dobbies Garden Centre – Tilehurst (25 mins from central Basingstoke)

If you fancy going a bit further afield or live near Reading, it’s worth checking out the restaurant of this Garden Centre. They have a large restaurant with a big outside eating area. Seems to be quiet because it’s outside of central Reading.

5. Wyevale Garden Centre – Sherfield on Loddon

They have a large restaurant and outside area. The baby changing facilities are good, but are in the ladies toilets. I recommend signing up for the Gardening Club as you rack up the points quite quickly which give you discounts in the store and restaurant.

6. The Cafe Project, The Dome, behind Asda in Brighton Hill

Open Tuesday to Friday’s from 9.30am.

7. Portsmouth Arms – Hatch Warren

8. Costa Coffee – Hampshire Centrecourt Hotel (Behind the large Tesco’s)

The Service is slow but you can sit indoors or outdoors and there are baby changing facilities

9. Conkers Garden Centre

Related Posts

9 things to do in Basingstoke with a newborn

8 Cheap Restaurants in Basingstoke

11 Places to Breakfast with children in North Hampshire

Bumbo Seats Recalled in the US

I saw this and wanted to share with you…

“About 4 million Bumbo Baby Seats are being recalled in the US after 21 reports of infant skull fractures. Bumbo plan to add a restraint belt to all Bumbo’s because without restraints infants can manouver out or fall from the seat, posing a risk of serious injuries.”

We had a Bumbo when my little one was tiny but I didn’t like it because she used to arch her back when she was in it and several times I had to catch her from falling out of it. We found the Bumbo at the Tiny Tot’s Table Sale in Chineham (wonder why they stopped?) for £3 and I was quite proud of my bargain. But after a few weeks of using it, I realised that I had to keep an eye on my little one permanently, in case she tried to arch her back to get out of it. I’ve read a few reports about how the structure isn’t very good for a babies back development and they shouldn’t be sat in them for more than 30 minutes at a time. However, it was very useful when we first started weaning.

For more information about the recall, please see the links below.

http://recall.bumbousa.com/

http://healthland.time.com/2012/08/15/popular-bumbo-infant-floor-seat-recalled/

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Babies and Chocolate

A couple of my friends were having a debate recently about whether or not to feed their little one chocolate. Personally I don’t want my little one to have chocolate until we have too. I’m of the opinion that she’s got the rest of her life to eat chocolate and she’s not going to know what she’s missing if she’s never had it before. I’m especially worried she’ll turn out like me, addicted to the stuff!

However, I totally respect other people’s opinions and decisions to give their children chocolate. I thought it was an interesting topic to investigate so I’ve included a few links below. My husband did some research about chocolate and babies when our little one was born. He discovered that chocolate changes the taste buds of babies. I can’t find any research to support this but the links below are still interesting reading.

http://babyparenting.about.com/od/startingsolids/f/chocolate.htm

http://www.itsamomsworld.com/tastebuds-and-sugar.html

http://www.nhs.uk/start4life/pages/sweet-as-they-are.aspx

The Importance of Skin to Skin

This weeks theme is “Babies”.

I only picked up on how important skin to skin is when my little one turned a month old. We didn’t have a very easy time with breastfeeding, for several reasons, but it was only when I went to see Lorraine, one of the breastfeeding counselors at North Hampshire Hospital, that it became apparent to me how important skin to skin is. I am eternally grateful to Lorraine for her pearls of wisdom.

I made sure that in the morning I spent as much time as possible skin to skin with my little one. This was fairly easy to do as it was summer time (this was last year, so nowhere near as much rain!) but I can imagine that in winter time it can be quite difficult to do this. My husband also found skin to skin very rewarding and whilst we spent our first few days as a family in hospital, he spent a lot of time with our little one on his chest. The nurses at the hospital were all cool with it as I’m sure they’ve seen it all before!

Even if you aren’t breastfeeding, skin to skin is still very important. Once my little one switched to bottles I had to make a conscious effort to make sure that skin to skin still happened.

My little one is now 17 months old and if I am not dashing to work in the morning I always make sure that the first feed of the day is skin to skin. My little one has always had her milk first thing in the morning so it’s worked out pretty well to be able to do this. I’ve noticed that my little one always needs to touch my skin when I’m holding her now. She puts her hand on the edge of my top or around the back of my neck. It makes my heart sing when she does this and reminds me of when she was really tiny. I’m sure that the skin to skin approach has helped us to bond as I really miss it if we haven’t been able to make time for it.

Whether you agree with skin to skin or not, and based on my experience,  I would really recommend trying to do this as much as possible, especially in the first few months. I can imagine this is really difficult to do with your baby if you have more than one child. Does anyone have any suggestions about to manage this complexity?

If you would like more information about the importance of skin to skin, please check out some of the links below:

http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/jack_newman2.html

http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=82:the-importance-of-skin-to-skin-contact-&catid=5:information&Itemid=17

http://www.lotusfertility.com/Skin_to_Skin_Protocols_for_Bonding_and_Attachment.html

http://www.nhs.uk/Planners/breastfeeding/Pages/skin-to-skin-contact.aspx

Traveling with Babies

This week’s theme is about traveling. I published a few posts last year with tips and hints for traveling with babies. I’ve enclosed a link below to the original posts, rather than re-publishing.

General Travel Tips

Traveling with your baby – Part 1

Traveling with your baby – Part 2

I’ve been lucky enough to travel a few times with my daughter since she was born and have picked up a few tips.

If you can fit them in, take your own nappies with you. They are very expensive on the continent compared to here and feedback from other Mum’s who’ve traveled with little’s ones is that the nappies abroad aren’t as “good” as the ones in the UK.

I wasn’t sure where to get my little one’s passport done so I ended up getting it done in Costco. They were very good and it was all over in a few minutes. Several friends have recommended Jessop’s in Basingstoke town centre for baby passport photo’s.

Do you have any good traveling tips that you can share with other parents?

(Thank you to all of you who have added comments to the blog recently. I’m sorry I haven’t replied, it’s been a manic couple of weeks. I plan to respond to all of them over this weekend, but in the meantime, thank you all for your fabulous support!)