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Welcome to our online store

Looking for new baby gifts? With our exclusive range of fabulous baby presents you need look no further.

Enjoy a browse of our online store and select any of our gorgeous gifts from exquisite baby clothes to the softest toys, you’ll find the perfect present for the new arrival.

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Practical tips on choosing baby names

So you’ve pored over the baby naming books, looked at popular and unusual baby names and come up with a few names you like. Before finalising your decision, you’re looking at everything from what they might mean in another language to seeing how they go with your surname.

If you’re seriously contemplating calling your child Moonbat, remember it’s the hormones peaking and that your partner is right to say no!

Do you prefer a name that’s a shorter variant of another? Common sense says to put the longer version – providing it’s not too vile – on the birth certificate. There’s no law that says you have to call your child by anything other than the shorter – invariably cuter – version, but you leave them the option, as they get older, to wheel out the longer – invariably less fluffy – version when the occasion suits. (Essentially, this is the one time when you can afford to be indecisive and leave making a final decision for a decade or two.)

Let’s face it, a five-year-old Effie is sweet, but she might prefer to be Josephine when she’s running MI5. Conversely, if you do opt to use the full variant of a name be prepared that everyone – school friends, teachers, relatives et al – will shorten it, regardless of whether you mind or not. Jonathan will become Johnny. Thomas will be Tom and nothing you can do or say will make a blind bit of difference.

Once you’ve settled on a shortlist, the next hurdle is how the first name and surname work together – because if ever there was the potential for disaster it is now.

Paige, Tess and Warren are all relatively innocuous. Add the surnames Turner, Stickle and Peace and they become not only legendary but the stuff that classroom bullies thrive on.

Gen up on trends and associations in baby naming. Don’t forget to add any middle initials into the equation (Chris P Bacon, anyone?) or the fact that your child’s first name can be shortened (we refer you to our previous Mr Scratcher). Rhythm, rhyme and alliteration should also be taken into consideration. Frankly, A-level English is less of a sweat.
Ooh, and while you’re playing the surname game, you really need to settle the thorny old question of one surname or both.
If it’s going to be one, and that one is your partner’s rather than yours, are you prepared for 18 years of patiently correcting the assumptions of teachers, dentists and doctor’s receptionists? Or, if it’s to be both, which one’s going first? And are they going to combine as one new double-barrelled surname or does one surname get downgraded to a middle name, a la Hillary Rodham Clinton? And what about hyphens? Don’t leave this decision till you reach the registrar’s office: it’s really not the place for a punctuation fight.

Middle names seem to serve little purpose – until you’re naming your own child and then their use becomes immediately apparent. Here’s how to placate your parents-in-law. You can have the entire Arsenal squad in here if you want to – nobody will ever know. The only thing you need to worry about at this stage is the issue of unintentional acronyms – just what do all those initials spell out? Charles Ramsay Archibald Pearce; beware!

No matter how in tune you and your partner are, naming your child is one area where hitherto happy couples often fall out.
If you can’t both agree on one definite winner, then your best bet is to draw up a shortlist of acceptable names and then one of you (and we’re not saying who as that would be sexist) should point out in no uncertain terms that the person who has carried the baby for 40 weeks and then gone through a three-day labour gets the casting vote. RIGHT? The only proviso being that you can’t use the names of past lovers or current crushes.

Still undecided? Say it OUT LOUD. Make a list and say them all out loud. You’ll be amazed what gets crossed off!

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Preparing for a new sibling

Imagine if your husband came home to you today and said this… “Guess what, honey? I have great news that I am so excited to share with you! I’m getting a new wife! Don’t worry, I’ll still love you just the same, and we’ll still do lots of fun stuff together, but now we’ll have someone else to share all that fun with us. She’s not coming for about 9 months, so you’ll get to help me get the house all ready for her. You can go shopping with me to buy her gifts and help me get her room ready. Won’t that be fun?” Umm….yeah…you’d be less than thrilled. In fact, he’d be lucky if he even got to finish the second sentence!

Tip #1: Use children’s books – books are a wonderful way to introduce new concepts or teach lessons to your child.

Tip #2: Have siblings exchange a special gift at the hospital. When “big sister” arrives, the new baby can be waiting with a gift for her!

Tip #3: Plan for big sibling’s arrival at the hospital.
If a family member or friend will be bringing your first child to the hospital to see you and meet baby, think about how this is going to happen. Again, think about that “I’m getting a 2nd wife!” scenario. This could be a very emotionally overwhelming experience for your child to walk into a room and meet his/her little sibling for the first time, especially if s/he’s gone a few days without seeing you or dad and is feeling particularly vulnerable. Seeing Mummy holding the new baby could be very overwhelming, so it may also be helpful to have someone else hold the baby while big brother/sister and Mummy get some cuddle time first.

Tip #4: Find special one-on-one time with your first child. This is important both before and after the new baby arrives. Let your child choose what s/he wants to do and make it a really special outing that they will remember. No matter how much your child ADORES his/her new sibling, it’s important to give that one-on-one time, too!

These tips are just a small sampling of what’s worked for others as they transitioned from a family of three to a family of four. Older siblings will love their new baby brother or sister, but they also need to figure out their changing role in their family and how to share attention with another (very needy) human being! So… what’s worked for you? Do you have any tips to share?

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Surviving the first few weeks of a newborn

Welcome to the Mummy Club. You are now a member of the world’s biggest, longest-enduring, least exclusive, yet most sought-after group in the world. Your cronies include incredibly organized, creative, talented, athletic, and socially gifted women. They also include incredibly confused, stressed-out, tired, cranky, and nervous-about-keeping-the-baby-breathing women. Almost every mummy has characteristics from both categories.

That said, when you meet another member of the club who seems to have it all together (or even just seems to be freshly showered) you might start to wonder if you are fit to wear the burp cloth. Not only is that spit-encrusted shield of honour yours to keep, but your moment or day or week of feeling inadequate is only temporary. In about six to eight weeks, you will emerge and realize that you are quite capable of keeping your squirming, whining, tiny infant alive. In fact, you might even be good at it.

Before you and your baby can begin your new life together, you must actually leave the hospital; a scary scenario for any new mummy. After all, for the last 48 hours or so, you have been in the protective custody of nurses and doctors who know exactly what they’re doing. Now, for some bizarre reason, they seem to have the impression that you do too!

While you may not feel confident in your maternal skills yet, you can still be prepared to make the trip home. You need only four essentials: an infant car seat, a change of clothes for the baby, some nappies, and another pair of hands (whether they’re attached to the baby’s father, your mum, or a good friend). Going solo with your newborn is possible, but not ideal, particularly for the first week or so, when you’re losing sleep and gaining work.

When you get home, your baby will need to eat and sleep often. You will feel not just exhausted, but also physically uncomfortable as you heal, depending on the type of birth you experienced, for approximately one to three weeks. You will no doubt also experience difficulty and discomfort for roughly two weeks as you learn to breastfeed, if that’s the feeding method you’ve chosen.

It’s a sacred truth that parenthood requires love and sacrifice. It’s a secret truth that what parents sacrifice is almost all of their sleep; for a long, long time. Sure, you probably heard that you’d be sleep-deprived., but the degree to which you will suffer has certainly been whitewashed. While some mummies enjoy a chunk of four or five hours by the second month, others can scrape together only two or three at a time far into their new-parent gig. No matter which category you fall into, though (and you will fall, because you’re so tired you can’t stand) sleep will be as elusive.

You are guaranteed to miss your sleep. In fact, after months and months of interrupted REM cycles, you may find yourself tendering Faustian bargains in your head, just in case a higher power might be listening. (I swear I’ll never eat another piece of chocolate, if I could just…have…a…full…night’s…sleep!). Unfortunately, this type of desperation often begets resentment. And no one is immune from it. Not your husband, not your mother, and not even your baby.

Whilst your baby is getting all the rest she needs (what with napping all day) you’ve long ago used up your energy reserves and are running on empty. You need your rest and, like every mummy from the beginning of time, you sometimes feel a tad out of sorts that this helpless creature holds your sanity in her tiny, vice-like fist. In this exhausted, uncertain, yet extremely vigilant state, you will be trying to make sense of those cues everyone told you your baby would send your way. You know, the ones that signal that she’s tired or wet or curious or hungry. The funny thing is that no matter how hard you look or listen, you definitely will not be able to decode every gurgle, wince, whimper, or cry. Not to worry: Your baby barely knows what she wants and needs during these first weeks, let alone how to communicate it to you. So instead of driving yourself crazy trying to read her mind, relax and concentrate on the basics: feeding, burping, changing, and snuggling.

Somewhere toward the end of this early phase, you’ll probably be both surprised and delighted to discover that your baby will be sleeping for slightly longer stretches (like three whole hours instead of a measly two), and thank heaven for small blessings. Feedings will be less stressful and may space out a bit as well, timing-wise. Your GP will probably pronounce you healed somewhere around six weeks, maybe eight weeks if you had a c-section or otherwise complicated delivery. Your partner will make the mistake of thinking that you actually want to have sex again just because your body is capable (not!). In between, you will call and run to the GP or Health Visitor often for checkups and emotional support. And someday you will look back on all this and remember the emotional peaks, forget the frustration, and actually feel like doing it all again!

Yes, having a baby truly is the end of life as you know it, and if we may invoke another cliché, your new life may feel like a crazy roller-coaster ride, complete with exhilarating highs and nauseating lows. But be assured, taken as a whole, the entire experience will be as wonderful as it is wild. 🙂

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Ethical Alpaca

Alpaca is a species of camel. Like Llama, but smaller, Alpacas are gentle and inquisitive by nature from thousands of years of domestication. They have a fine, heavy fleece which occurs naturally in over 22 shades ranging from black, charcoal, silver, sand, brown and ivory making Alpaca wool ideal for Alpaca clothes. Alpaca wool clothing and other alpaca products are made from this pure natural fibre.

Once treasured by Inca Royalty for its unique strength, lustre and slippery softness, Alpaca wool has a hollow fibre which renders it uniquely light and up to 30% warmer than the same weight of merino wool.

Alpaca has no lanolin content which together with an absence of the ‘prickle factor’ associated with ordinary wool makes it ideally suited for babies and sensitive skins. It is up to 4 times harder wearing than merino wool and does not tend to pill or ball. An alpaca sweater for example can last longer than a wool or cashmere sweater. It also comes in at least 22 natural colours.

Like Sheep, Alpacas are shorn for their wool. Some people are under the misguided impression that Alpacas are killed for their wool – this is not the case at all. Alpacas can live for 20 years, promising a lifetime of shearing potential of far greater value than a single pelt.

We do NOT support alpacas being killed for their skins, and thus our fur slippers are made from the pelts of baby Alpacas – or “cria” – which have died of natural causes as the weaker animals often perish in the harsh Andean winter.

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5 Baby Sleep Mistakes New Parents Make

Pre-kids, not much sleep used to be a) a good night out and b) nothing that caffeine and a bacon sarnie couldn’t fix. Now that you’re a mum, the amount of sleep you get depends on your baby.  And, when it comes to night-time, some just don’t play ball.

You want to get up close and personal with your pillow, but she wants feeding, burping, cuddling and soothing. Sadly, you can’t will your little one to snooze through the night, waking only when you’re dressed, showered and ready to face the day.

But there are things new parents (unwittingly) do that make bedtime harder. How many do you recognise?

1 EXPECTING TOO MUCH, TOO SOON

You’ve sung the lullaby and drawn the blackout blind, but your little one still won’t nod off. That’s because babies aged 12 weeks and under have no concept of the difference between night and day. In fact, the hormones that control our patterns of sleeping and waking don’t start to kick in until around three months old. Younger than that and there’s no point in expecting anything from her sleep-wise – she just has to follow her own needs. Babies of this age are also so small that their stomachs can’t hold much milk. They need to feed frequently and, when they get hungry, they wake up. It’s not until around 16 weeks that 
your baby might be able to go without a feed for long enough to give you 
a decent stretch of sleep yourself.

‘Even at nine months old, 60% of babies still wake at night. It’s normal; you will save yourself a lot of heartache if you go with the flow. So, lessen your expectations and, remember, it’s normal for parents to be this tired.

2 DOING TOO MUCH

Yes, you’ve had a baby, but life doesn’t stop. You’ve still got people to see, shopping to do, babygrows to wash… But anything new is hugely stimulating for a baby who’s under 12 months. Every room will be full of different smells, sounds and sensations that she needs to adjust to.

Her brain is working overtime, and the result is that she can become over-stimulated, then over-tired. When this happens, it’s harder for her to get to 
sleep, because she’s upset. This is a juggling act for parents; our lives 
are busy, but babies less than a year old are usually very happy in an environment that’s dull, boring and familiar.

If you want to work towards a good night, the golden rule is not to do too much that’s new in any one day. And definitely don’t introduce your baby to anything unfamiliar in the run-up to bedtime.

3 RUSHING THE BEDTIME ROUTINE

You’re exhausted. You can’t be bothered to run the bath. Or read a book. Tonight, just for once, you’ll just lay your baby down, very gently in her cot and… No, she’s not having it. That’s because, from about six weeks old, sticking to a routine is key to sleep.

It doesn’t matter what your routine is – bottle, bath, bed, or bath, cuddle, lullaby – what matters is that you do the same things every night. This makes your baby feels secure and signals sleep. And it’s also calming for parents. Don’t try and get it done quickly – just enjoy this gentle time with your little one.  Over time, these actions will start to lull your baby into sleep readiness. It won’t happen instantly. But consistent bedtime routines will help get your child into the relaxed state she needs for sleep.

4 WAKING YOUR BABY UP FROM A NAP

Your baby barely sleeps at night, but is sparko during the day. Surely the best way to help her slumber more later is to stop her sleeping so much during the day? Actually, it doesn’t work that way. The reality is that if you let a baby nap when she wants to, for as long as she wants to (during the day, as well as at night), the better her sleep routine will be.

The only person who knows how much sleep your baby needs is her. If you wake her up, you’re depriving her of rest that she wants. That will make her over-tired – and, if she gets over-tired, she’ll be grumpier and less able to get back to sleep later. It’s a double-whammy of badness.

Next time your baby is snoozing during the day, join her. It’s not the beauty sleep you’re used to, but those extra naps will help all of you feel better.

5 KEEPING THINGS TOO QUIET

Your baby has finally gone to sleep and you’re desperate not to wake her. So you creep around the house, being as quiet as a mouse. Good idea? No! If a sound is familiar to a baby, it won’t worry her – she’ll sleep right through it. For example, if she’s used to her big brother singing, she’ll keep sleeping. If she’s used to banging doors and creaking floorboards, those sounds won’t faze her. It’s unfamiliar noise that will wake her!

If you spend the first 12 weeks tiptoeing all over the house, all you’re doing is creating problems for yourself down the line. The best thing to do is to go about your business as normal when your baby’s asleep. The quicker she gets used to it, the easier she’ll find it to sleep through it in the future. And it’ll make it easier for you, too!  Sleep well!

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The indispensable muslin squares

These simple pieces of cloth have numerous uses which is why no new mum should be without a decent stash.

Burping your baby is the most well known use for muslin cloths; simply drape the cloth over your shoulder while you burp your baby and your clothes won’t get dribbled on.  Babies dribble and posset when they eat a lot more than you might expect so always have a muslin cloth nearby when you’re feeding your baby.  You can even use one instead of a bib.

Other uses include bathing; you can gently clean your baby’s skin with a muslin cloth and you can also use one as a towel due to their absorbency.

Many women use muslins to swaddle their new baby in or as a light blanket on a very hot day.  You could also place one on top of a pram or moses basket mattress, tucking the sides under, to absorb any vomit or dribble, minimising the amount you need to wash the sheets or mattress itself, as you can often simply swap the muslin for a new one.  Some mothers swear by muslin cloths as comforters, as babies love the texture on their skin.

We’ve often seen women hooking blankets over the front of their pram to keep the sun off their baby if they don’t have a parasol.  Blankets are so thick that the pram could become very hot doing this and a muslin cloth is a much better alternative.

Putting a muslin square over your changing mat makes it more comfortable and can take off the chill.  You could also use them as nappy liners or even traditional style nappies.

Muslins are a nursing mum’s friend.  They make ideal nursing covers and can be secured using your bra strap.  If your breastfed baby is teething, wrap a frozen breastmilk ice cube in a muslin, hold or secure the end and let your baby gum at it for a cooling effect your baby will enjoy.

As your baby grows, try hiding your face behind a muslin cloth and playing peekaboo; babies love it!

The best thing about muslin cloths?  They’re cheap and easy to wash, so there really is no reason not to stock up as you won’t want to be without them.  We stock organic cotton muslins, so more gentle for delicate and sensitive skin.

Muslin squares really are essential for any new mum and hopefully these tips have given you an idea of just how versatile they can be.  If you have any more uses of your own, please feel free to share them below!

 

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Bringing Baby Home – be prepared

One of the most cautious drives you’ll ever take is the one bringing your newborn baby home with you. Newborns look and feel fragile, and they represent a new world of uncertainty.

It’s true: There’s no official instruction manual for becoming a parent. But relax; you’re not the first parent to wonder why you’ve been entrusted with a little person without an instruction manual.

The 40 weeks of pregnancy allow time for more than just picking out names; it’s your opportunity to plan and prepare. The more you know about your newborn, the better equipped you’ll be when he or she arrives.

Once your baby is born, doctors will be looking for a few key signs that he or she is healthy and ready to go home.  First they will want to see that the baby is able to breathe well and maintain its body temperature.  Newborns must also demonstrate that they can feed well. Regardless of whether it’s breastfed or bottle-fed, all babies should be wetting at least three or four nappies in a 24-hour period.

Most healthy newborns go home after two or three days, yet the transition for parents is just beginning. It’s OK to feel a little scared — the first week after babies are born is when they’re most vulnerable. Newborns can have multiple medical problems that if left unattended can become serious.

Dehydration is sometimes a concern for newborn babies that can continue once they’ve left the hospital.

Parents should also watch for signs of infection in their newborn. Infections can be picked up during birth or from people other than the parents handling the baby, such as visitors. Most people think only of fevers, but newborns can have dropping temperatures. It’s always wise to watch for signs of infection around the belly button, poor sucking during breastfeeding, a lack of appetite, poor weight gain, weak crying, and increasing irritability.

Jaundice happens in many babies, peaking in the first week as newborns learn to excrete the yellow pigment called bilirubin in their stools. Babies tend to have slow liver function at first and may have some evidence of jaundice as their livers quickly mature over the first several days.

Although most babies remain perfectly healthy after they’re discharged from the hospital, it’s important to watch for any signs of illness and take your child to the GP for evaluation.

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Choosing Baby Shower Gifts

Opening the gifts is perhaps the most anticipated at any newborn baby shower party. The chorus of ooohs over beautiful nursery items, cute toys and gorgeous baby clothing is a sweet reminder of the rite of passage into motherhood. As a family member or friend of the new parents, you always want give unique baby gifts to the new parents to make a good impression.

But for some, choosing the right baby gifts can be very stressful. There are many gifts you can give to new baby, and mum, but no matter how trendy or unique the gift is, always keep it practical!

* Basic Necessities

Everyone loves dressing a baby; friends and family will all want to buy clothes for the new baby as soon as he is born. Many mums wished they had received a variety of sizes because their babies outgrew the newborn size outfits within two or three months.

* “Would Be Nice to Have” Items

If you want to add extras to your basic baby gifts, you could add cot toys, personalized baby clothing, nursery prints, a memory box, stuffed animals, rattles, baby shoes etc. You may also like to add crib blankets or quilts or pram blankets and wraps.

* More Expensive Gifts

If you are very close to the family and would like to buy more expensive baby products, think about items that have longevity, which can be handed through future siblings and future generations. Quality and luxurious fabrics such as Alpaca or Cashmere are fine examples and make wonderful keepsakes.

By the way, it’s always a good idea to ask the family which baby items they need the most and which they have already received. That way there won’t be a duplication of baby gifts, and makes unique gifts for baby.