September is Baby Safety Month

From the moment that line appears on the pregnancy test, you never stop worrying about your little ones safety and wellbeing. You worry about eating the right things while pregnant. And then how much your baby is eating once they arrive. How much they weigh. How much they are sleeping. Why they aren’t crawling yet. Sometimes Every. Darn. Thing!

It can get a little overwhelming can’t it? There’s information just everywhere. And sometimes you can’t help but think that some manufacturers are fuelling the worries in order to sell more gadgets and gizmos, right?

That’s why we like September – it’s Baby Safety Awareness Month. A whole month dedicated to helping us parents make sense of the information overload out there. A month which encourages manufacturers to highlights the main safety issues we need to be aware of. And more importantly the simple steps we can take to reduce those rising worry levels.

This year, the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) is focusing on the importance of product registration cards and recall response. Something that is often overlooked. Or thrown away with the empty box.

The JPMA made this little video to highlight how useful these registration cards can be when it comes to matters of safety.

https://youtu.be/FkVj4sYL-K4

Awareness of product recalls can be lifesaving – so a) make sure you register so you have a direct way for manufacturers to contact you if a product you have purchased comes in to question and b) make sure you spread the word to other parents you know, be it on the phone, at the school gates or via social media. We’re all in this together – let’s support each other through it!

If you are seeking more information re: potential baby hazards in the home, from liquid detergent packs to kitchen safety, please visit the official Baby Safety Website here.

Grandparents Day

grandparents daySunday is National Grandparents Day – a day to celebrate all the wonderful Grandmas, Nanas, Nonnas, Grannies, Gramps, Grandpas…or whatever name you use… out there!

Grandparents Day was never designed to be a day for selling cards, flowers and gifts though –as much as they would be appreciated we’re sure. The lady behind it all, Marian Lucille McQuade, (a grandma to 43, and great-grandma to 10! Wow!) first campaigned for it to be a family day – a day that called for generations to simply spend quality time together. It was in 1978 that Congress proclaimed the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day, with President Jimmy Carter stating it was a day to “honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children, and to help children become aware of strength, information, and guidance older people can offer“.

So this weekend, if you are still lucky enough to have your own grandparents around, as well as your parents, don’t forget to take the time to really show them your love and appreciation – and make sure your littles do too! Because let’s be honest, life with kids is busy and we often forget to show it day to day, week to week, don’t we?

Hands up moms and dads, who would have been completely lost in parenthood without the support of their parents – especially in those early months, when we were finding our feet as a new parent?

Hands up – whose parents look after the littles while you work? Be it full or part time. And they LOVE it!

Hands up – whose parents always make themselves available on the phone to you if you’ve had a hard day, or if you need reassurance that you are doing this whole parenting thing right?

Hands up – whose parents can make your little kids squeal with excitement at just the mention of their name?

Hands up – who never get tired hearing your parents’ or grandparents’ stories of the ‘old days’?

I bet there are a lot of hands up right now. Grandparents rock!

Unfortunately it’s not the case for everyone, but we never stop needing our parents, or our parents’ parents, however old we are. And this weekend is another chance to remind them all of that, especially if we have been a little slack on the appreciation front recently. Another chance to remind them that they sit at the heart of your family, no matter how many miles might be between you. To remind them that your kids adore them and love their old tales, traditions…and recipes!  So whether they live around the corner, in a different state, or in a different country, put the spotlight on Grandparents this weekend. Be together – be it virtually or physically. Cherish them! And learn from them, so that one day, our own grandbabies will not only know about them, but think we are that awesome too!

Happy World Breastfeeding Week!

wbw2016-logoIt’s that time of year again where moms across the globe unite to celebrate the importance, beauty and benefits of breastfeeding.

A time where we realize how far society’s come in supporting mothers who choose to nurse….but yet sadly also a time to consider how far we still have left to go.

Yes we’ve seen an increase in educational literature and campaigns. We’ve seen improved public facilities and more accommodating employees. We’ve even got celebs like Liv Tyler, Chrissy Teigan and Mila Kunis now openly talking about breastfeeding, even sharing ‘brelfies’ on social media.

But progress is slow. Breastfeeding is far from being normalized in the mainstream.  There is still that ongoing fear of being judged in public. Still a need to be seen as ‘covering it up’ / hiding away. I mean even Mila Kunis has been publicly shamed for nursing in public without a cover. (We loved her response by the way: ‘If it’s not for you, don’t look!’).

While evidence that breastfeeding benefits women, children, as well as communities and societies, has never been stronger, breastfeeding rates have remained stagnant for the last 20 years says the World Health Organization.

So, this year’s theme for World Breastfeeding Week is all about the bigger picture – breastfeeding’s role in sustainable development. Because as the WHO says: “breastfeeding is not only the cornerstone of a child’s healthy development; it is also the foundation of a country’s development. In fact, supporting breastfeeding is one of the smartest investments countries can make in the wellbeing of their citizens — and thus, in their own long-term strength.”

The aim is to therefore stop people seeing breastfeeding as isolated acts in society, but rather, acts FOR society. It’s something that benefits everyone, so should be championed by everyone.

The WHO is encouraging people to “support mums to breastfeed anytime, anywhere,” highlighting that ALL of society has a role to play in making our communities more breastfeeding-friendly. We all need to do and ask for much more to normalize breastfeeding. More brelfies. More conversations about it (the good and the hard!). More funding. More education. More shared experiences. More public kindness and understanding. More welcoming locations/facilities for moms to use. More employee support – and rights.

As always, we are 100% behind this year’s World Breastfeeding Week. But more than that, we understand our ongoing role and responsibility in this powerful movement. We feel so lucky to have our village of parents and professionals, both on and off line, to provide such a strong and accessible year round support network for new moms and moms-to-be. From social media community chats to Breastfeeding 101 classes, Lactation Lounges, and workshops on returning back to the workplace post baby, we are arming parents with confidence and knowledge on how to make breastfeeding really work for them – for as long as they wish. We work hard to prepare moms ahead of baby’s arrival, so they know what to expect, as well as help them to finish nursing on their terms –not because of social pressures, glares and nerves.

Keeping doors permanently open on this subject matter and empowering our local mamas with kindness and encouragement is how we can ALL best support this cause – both for Breastfeeding Week, and beyond. Onwards we march!

What You Need to Know About Baby & Me Yoga

mom-baby-yogaWhile it may have felt like your little wriggly one was already practicing yoga moves in utero, once they’ve arrived, there really is no better time to think about starting yoga.

Yes, we know, energy and time can be in scarce supply postpartum. So the thought of a mama and baby yoga class (not to mention the thought of putting on exercise clothes) from six weeks, might be daunting. Even stressful. Will I strain myself too soon? Where will I feed baby? What if my baby cries and interrupts the class? What about diaper changes?

But it’s not about putting stress on you, your body or your baby. The right classes offer an inclusive, safe environment. All other parents will be in exactly the same position, with exactly the same worries. If baby cries, no one will judge. If you need to stop and feed baby, go for it. This type of yoga experience is all about destressing and reconnecting with your body. It’s about creating new bonding experiences with your baby. A real win-win for both mom and baby:

Here are our 5 top reasons to give mama and baby yoga a try:

  • NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY: Don’t worry if you weren’t able to fold yourself in to a pretzel pre-baby. It doesn’t matter. No prior skills or yoga knowledge is necessary for new parents to enjoy and benefit from this experience.
  • BONDING TIME: It offers you dedicated time where you can both relax. Remember, your baby will relax when you relax! Joint relaxation is so powerful in strengthening connections and non-verbal communication.
  • BETTER SLEEPERS: Yoga promotes MORE and BETTER sleep. Hooray! Short classes offer just the right amount of stimulation they need to help them sleep for longer stretches. If that’s not good news enough, tactile stimulation has also been show to contribute to the development of the brain and nervous system.
  • BETTER DIGESTION: Yoga stimulates all of baby’s bodily systems including the digestive system. It’s been known to help keep babies contented between feeds and also alleviate wind and colic too.
  • GOOD FOR MOM: Yoga can be great for mom’s all important emotional wellbeing. Not only is parenting hard and stressful at times, for new parents especially, it can be darn scary. Yoga gives moms time to relax and refocus via breathing exercises and focused stretches. And let’s be honest, parenting can also have its lonely moments too, so classes like this are a great way for parents to get out, socialise, support and find a healthy balance.

If this sounds good to you, we offer an all-levels Mama and Baby Class at Babies in Bloom, suited for 6 week olds to crawlers – check out the next few dates on our calendar. All you need is a yoga mat and blanket for baby to rest on.

Our wonderful instructor Holly also recommends some helpful home resources if you want to bring the yoga experience and relaxation vibes home – the Itsy Bitsy Yoga series and Yoga Pretzel Cards.

Enjoy and Namaste!