Travel in style with the latest innovation from BabaBing! We’re really excited about our brand new 3 in 1 Travel System, the Raffi. The latest creation to come from our range of stylish and practical baby products is suitable from birth, so it’s ideal for expecting or new parents. And with a fashionable yet functional design, our baby travel system is perfect for making day’s out with your little one a walk in the park! But don’t just take our word for it. Here’s our top eight reasons why we think you’ll love our Raffi 3 in 1 Travel System.
8 Reasons You’ll Love Our Raffi Baby Travel System
1) Everything you need in one travel system
Our new Raffi travel system features three handy features in one pushchair. Not only is the Raffi great for days out with your baby, but it can also transform into a carrycot and a car seat!
Now, you no longer need to think about where your baby will sleep or figure out where to get a car seat. It’s all ready and waiting for you with our 3 in 1 travel system.
With its quick release mechanisms, the Raffi changes from pushchair to car seat to carrycot in just a few moments. It couldn’t be easier, and is a lifesaver for parents who don’t have a lot of time on their hands!
2) Not too heavy, but not too light
Finding the perfect balance between being too heavy and too light is difficult for parents. A very lightweight pushchair can topple over if your baby changing bag is too heavy to hang on the back – and they don’t work very well in windy conditions, either!
Though if your pushchair is really heavy, you’ll no doubt get tired of lugging it around. You’ll also need to lift your pushchair up stairs and into the car boot, which can be a challenge if it weights a lot.
But weighing only 12.5 kilos, our Raffi baby travel system is lighter than many other pushchairs on the market.
However, it’s still sturdy enough to support your bags. Or you can just tuck them in the large shopping basket placed underneath. How handy for trips to the supermarket and the high street!
3) Trendy, unisex design
Even dad won’t mind pushing the Raffi around! Our latest 3 in 1 travel system is sleek in style, with lots of attention to detail, like the extra ribbed knit fabric on the seat and bassinet cover. Plus, with clean lines, no exposed rivets and a smooth, leatherette handle, the Raffi has a truly premium feel. It currently comes in black and grey, offering an understated style both mum and dad can enjoy.
4) Easy to clean
Pushchairs are meant for the outside, which means they can get dirty very quickly. Grass stains and mud are the main culprits for your wheels. Plus, when your baby’s a little older, you might feed them a few colourful snacks that leave messy stains behind. And don’t forget – there’s always a chance of reflux!
But our baby travel system has wipeable surfaces, washable fabrics and an easy-clean footplate. So no matter how often you expose your Raffi to the elements, it’s simple to get it looking like new.
5) Breathable lining works for every temperature
We already know one of the key features of this 3 in 1 travel system – the carrycot. But to make this pushchair even better, we’ve included a super-soft and cosy lining that works in a variety of weather conditions. The high-quality and breathable fabric is created with an advanced material used in the sports and outdoor industry – keeping your baby cool when it’s hot, and warm when it’s chilly.
6) Multi-position incline and recline
If your baby has reflux, you’ll likely want to avoid him or her sitting a little slumped! Lots of pushchair seats are situated so babies sit slightly slouched, which can put pressure on their tummy, and as a result makes reflux worse.
But the bassinet of our Raffi travel system features a three-position incline and recline setting to help with reflux. You only need one hand to simply operate the mechanism that changes the seat’s position and – ta-da! – your baby can be upright and comfy in seconds.
7) Coverage included – whatever the weather
If a 3 in 1 travel system wasn’t enough, we’ve also included a sun visor and rain covers with the Raffi to keep your baby protected – rain or shine! When it’s too bright, just zip down the sun hood, or pop on the rain cover if it’s drizzly. You can even keep an eye on your tiny tot with the viewing window in the hood.
8) An affordable travel system at a great price
Our Raffi 3 in 1 system might have a premium look, but that doesn’t have to mean a premium price tag! We think parents shouldn’t have to pay a lot for fashion and functionality, which is why the Raffi is offered for an affordable, family-friendly price. And through our market research, we’ve even found the Raffi is cheaper than other baby travel systems on the market. So if you’re planning your baby on a budget, it’s the perfect choice, because the Raffi is high in quality, but low in price.
See our brilliant 3 in 1 travel system for yourself and find out how it can work for your family – the Raffi Baby Travel System is available to order from BabaBing! Remember to keep updated with our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram too, with even more Raffi updates coming soon!
Being responsible for a newborn baby is very nerve-wracking, but it’s a fear that all first-time parents must face. To support you along the way, we’ve put together 40 dos and don’ts of newborn baby care. We can’t promise it’s going to be simple, but at least our tips can help you organise things for your new arrival!
20 Dos of Newborn Baby Care
1) Be prepared. Getting ready for newborn baby care seems like a challenge, but since you’re already reading up on it, you’re on the right track.
2) Buy hundreds and hundreds of nappies. Seriously, you could go through up to twelve a day in the early stages. A newborn baby needs to be changed a lot!
3) Accept freebies and hand-me-downs from other mums with older children. From clothes and toys to larger items like pushchairs, you’ll find plenty of other parents willing to pass on their baby gear for nothing!
4) Sleep whenever you can, even if it’s just for five minutes while your little one naps.
5) Create a newborn baby budget to avoid going overboard on your spending, because babies can be really expensive!
6) Order in. There will be many times when you don’t have a second to make toast, never mind cook a full meal. So grab your takeaway menu for tonight!
7) Keep your newborn baby out of exposed sunlight, no matter what. Car shades, sun hats and full-length clothes are all very necessary.
8) Pop a baby changing bag on your shopping list. It will change your life! That might seem like an exaggeration, but they have a lot more space than the average handbag, plus specialised compartments like bottle-warmer pockets – all to make days out with a newborn baby much easier.
9) Use muslin squares. They can do pretty much everything. Okay, not everything, but they’re great for stopping your clothes getting covered in milky sick.
10) Check what you’re entitled to. The government offers a variety of benefits for parents, so make sure you know what you can get help with.
11) Sign up to parenting clubs online, so you can get access to special offers and save money on those important newborn baby purchases.
12) Share the load and accept help from your family and friends. This doesn’t necessarily mean babysitting – it could be as simple as your neighbour doing the dishes for you.
13) Read up on how to change a nappy. If it’s your first baby, you’ll have probably never done it before. But with lots of practice, you’ll be an expert in no time!
14) Build a newborn baby care schedule. At first, you won’t have any kind of routine with your tiny tot. But as you learn your baby’s cues, you’ll soon discover what they need and when. This will give you an idea of how a usual day with your newborn will turn out.
15) Always keep your baby changing bag packed and ready at the door. If you use something up, try and replace it straight away. It’ll make supermarket trips and walks in the park much easier.
16) Have fun! A baby bouncer is perfect for making lots of giggles and laughter.
17) Take lots of walks. Even if it’s just a short trip to the corner shop, you and your baby will both benefit from the fresh air.
18) Talk to your newborn baby. They might not be able to understand just yet, but regular chit-chat will improve their social and communication skills.
1) Think you need to let every visitor in. A polite but firm ‘no, sorry, maybe another time,’ helps to set boundaries when you don’t have the will to entertain guests.
2) Be afraid to get pooed on, because it will go on your hands, and perhaps your face.
3) Buy a baby bath. A clean, washing up bowl will be much cheaper and does exactly the same job.
4) Expect to fit back into your pre-maternity clothes. Due to your uterus expanding in pregnancy, your bump might still remain a few weeks post-birth.
5) Get a second-hand car seat, mattress or bedding for your newborn. The NHS recommends you purchase these new.
6) Think newborn baby care means you can’t go on holiday. Whether you’re flying abroad or camping, you definitely can take a trip with your little one. Just make sure your travel bag is properly packed!
7) Compare yourself to others. ‘Super mums’ on social media might make you feel like you’re falling behind, but as long as your baby is healthy and developing well, you shouldn’t worry.
8) Be surprised when your baby’s umbilical cord stump turns black. In the first few weeks, the stump will dry up and fall off. Although this might come as a bit of a shock, it is supposed to happen!
9) Get upset if your little one doesn’t give you a grin straight away. It takes around a month before a newborn baby learns how to smile.
10) Feel bad if you forget something. You will, so let it go!
11) Be scared to cut your baby’s nails. As these tiny nails can grow like sharp claws, newborn baby care involves a little trimming to make sure your baby doesn’t scratch themselves.
12) Use any massage oils or creams until your newborn baby is one month old, as their skin is too sensitive.
13) Stay silent while your newborn sleeps. A baby will learn to get used to background noise quickly, so you don’t need to tiptoe around the house as your little one naps.
14) Overstimulate your infant. Newborn baby care might seem like it involves a lot of learning and playtime – and it does – but if there’s too much going on at once, your baby can become overstimulated (code for very grouchy!).
15) Think your baby is crying for no reason. If you’ve tried different ways to stop your newborn crying, consider if your baby has colic and ask your doctor for help.
16) Avoid the swimming pool. You might find you have a water baby who loves to splash in the pool! Plus, you can take your newborn swimming at any age, and you don’t have to wait until after they’ve had their vaccinations.
17) Be scared of meeting other mums. It can feel quite lonely on maternity leave, so bring your newborn baby to sensory classes or postnatal exercises classes and make some new-mum friends – most of them will be in the same position as you.
18) Feed your newborn baby anything but breastmilk or infant formula until they are six months old.
19) Buy everything you see. Those cute baby shoes really aren’t necessary, so put them back!
20) Worry! Newborn baby care can feel really daunting, but you don’t need to worry too much. No parents are perfect, but we’re sure you’re doing a brilliant job – you’ve got this!
You’ve done all the right research and are fully prepared. But no matter how much studying you do, life with a newborn probably won’t be the way you imagine. Your expectations and the reality are probably going to be very different things! So, forget perfect parenting (if there even is such a thing) and see what life will really be like with your new arrival!
How to Survive Life with a Newborn
Feeding Doesn’t Always Go to Plan
Life with a newborn involves a lot of milk! Most mums choose to try breastfeeding before moving onto formula, because breastmilk is designed just for your little one. Nursing also offers many health benefits and strengthens the bond between mum and baby. But even though breastfeeding is often referred to as the most natural thing in the world, it’s not always easy. If you do plan on breastfeeding, that’s great – but you should be aware that you might face some problems along the way.
Some things you might not know about breastfeeding a newborn are:
After birth, you and your baby might need some time to get used to latching. It could even take a few days for you both to get the hang of it.
Your nipples might be extremely cracked or sore, meaning it’s too painful to breastfeed.
Sometimes your breasts will be too full of milk (engorged), which can also make them feel very tender.
On the other hand, your breasts might not be full enough! It might take a while for your milk supply to synchronise with your baby’s needs.
These are just a handful of reasons why feeding a newborn isn’t all that simple. But our baby advice is not there to put you off! Mums-to-be might just need to lower their expectations. If breastfeeding doesn’t work out the way you want, give yourself a break – it could happen to anyone.
Sleeping Never Runs Smoothly
You’ll probably already know that life with a newborn is going to be pretty exhausting! It’s no secret that most babies don’t sleep through the night, especially in their first few months. So, with this in mind, you’ve probably read up on nap times and investigated a few baby sleep solutions. But no matter what you do, it’s worth remembering life with a newborn doesn’t always go to plan.
From controlled crying to co-sleeping, you’ll likely end up trialling every kind of way to help your baby sleep. Desperate times call for desperate measures! Although you shouldn’t worry if your snooze strategies don’t run smoothly.
Remember that newborns do actually need a lot of sleep – they just don’t want it all at once. So, when they take a nap, it’s your chance to grab some ZZZs too. The best baby advice for mums is to sleep when their newborn sleeps. Even if it’s just for ten minutes, you’ll need it!
All babies cry. That’s a fact. Newborns need time to adjust – they’re still getting used to the world around them. Without crying, they have no other way to communicate. It’s your baby’s way of saying that there’s something wrong. The most common reasons your baby will cry include:
Too hot or too cold
Needs to burp
And while you won’t recognise them straight away, you’ll soon learn your baby’s cues and work out why they’re crying. But what happens when you run out of options and your little one just won’t stop?
It’s completely normal to feel frustrated and helpless when your baby seems like they’re crying for no reason. It could even be colic, where a healthy baby will cry excessively, sometimes for hours a day. Some advice for first-time parents with a colicky (or just very tearful) baby is to ask for help. Life with a newborn was never going to be easy, so accept support from family, friends and health specialists whenever you can.
The Task of Changing
Life with a newborn normally means no fancy outfits or pretty shoes! While you might feel lured by cute hair bands and over-the-head dresses, you’re probably not going to use them. Newborn babies need changing around 10 times day, so you’ll quickly get tired of undoing fiddly clothing. The last thing you need during an emergency poo explosion is to fight with a trouser button!
Plus, babies can get very messy – not just when they need a nappy change. Milk spills and other stains are going to be a regular occurrence, meaning newborns need new clothes often. Buy lots of cosy sleepsuits and save the ‘proper clothes’ for parties and special occasions – it’ll make life so much easier.
Visitors, Visitors Everywhere
There’s a big difference between accepting support from your loved ones and having visitors come over every second of the day. But that’s what life with a newborn can feel like – every distant acquaintance is just desperate to pop round and see your baby. And while your lovely new arrival is sure to attract a crowd, you’re going to be in no shape to entertain.
For the first few weeks, it’s a good idea to only allow your nearest and dearest to see your baby, and spread out their visits to avoid being overwhelmed. Tell them to bring their own food, including a share for you. Finally, when you’re feeling worn out – get your partner to kick the visitors out!
Looking Pregnant Post-Birth
Post-birth, you might think your stomach will shrink back to its normal size. After all, there’s no longer a baby living in there, so why wouldn’t it? But actually, your uterus expands during pregnancy – and it can take up to two months for it to reduce down again.
Don’t worry about getting your post-birth stomach trim and toned – you’ve just had a baby! Breastfeeding and walks with the pushchair can help you lose weight, but letting your body recover post-birth is more important.
Doing the Best for Your Baby
Taking care of a newborn baby is challenging for everyone. But you’ll be surprised at how quickly you get used to the eat, sleep, change, repeat routine. And through all the sleep deprivation, sick-stained clothes and endless baby cartoons – remember, you’re going to make it through. Life with a newborn might not be the perfect, but it’s worth it.
If you’re thinking about buying a baby changing backpack, you might want to do a little research before taking the plunge. Luckily, we’ve done the hard work for you. Here’s our top ten reasons why a baby bag backpack is a great choice if you’re expecting a new arrival!
10 Pros of the Baby Changing Backpack
1) A Unisex Design Means No Excuses for Dad
Most dads will refuse to carry a pretty handbag, though why should mum do all the work? But with a baby changing backpack, both parents can feel cool and comfortable on days out with their little one. The unisex style makes this changing bag the perfect baby bag for dads. That way, mum gets to relax – and dad has no excuses when it comes to carrying all the nappies.
2) Plenty Space for All Your Stuff
A good baby changing backpack is a roomy one, with lots of space for all your baby gear. And believe us, you’re going to need every inch of your bag to cram everything in.
With all the creams, food, nappies, wipes and spare clothes, your changing bag checklist might feel like it’s a mile long. But a baby bag backpack is specially designed with parents in mind – they have plenty of room for your stuff. Plus, with a zip-fasten top, your belongings are kept secure and aren’t in danger of spilling out.
3) Special Compartments for Both Parent and Baby
A handbag sometimes feels like a deep, dark cave – and once something goes in, it doesn’t come back! But you can avoid struggling and searching for your things with a baby changing backpack. With lots of different pockets (way more than a standard rucksack), it’s simple to sort your baby gear into each separate compartment.
Plus, some designs have their own parent pocket, so you can keep your keys, phone and cash safe too!
4) All That Baby Gear is Heavy
Baby’s in the pram and you’re all packed and ready to go. Just pick up your changing bag and head out the door. Simple. But it’s not always a case of just picking up your bag of baby gear – it’s more like lifting a ton of bricks! So, to avoid confusing a day out with your baby with a gym workout (and it can feel like that sometimes), choose a baby changing backpack. The two straps reduce the impact on your shoulders while alleviating the weight of your bits and bobs.
5) Hands-Free Movement
If you ever find yourself wielding a wriggly baby, plus the pram and a bunch of supermarket carrier bags, you probably won’t have a spare finger to clutch onto your changing bag as well. But with a baby bag backpack, you can have hands-free movement. This can make travelling with your little one much simpler.
6) Works Even When Baby’s Not Around
Baby changing backpacks aren’t just for babies! They have a variety of uses and can hold more than nappy rash cream. When your little one’s older and you don’t need your baby bag backpack anymore, why not use it somewhere else?
Hit the beach with your changing bag – it’s big enough to hold your towels and sunscreen. Or, reuse your bag at the office when you go back to work. You could even keep your baby changing backpack for travel – they make great cabin bags. Don’t forget to hang onto your changing backpack in case of baby number two!
7) More Stylish Than a School Bag
You’re probably thinking a baby changing backpack goes for substance over style. They might even take you back to your school years! But we can assure you, these bags aren’t for the playground. Gone are the days where backpacks were a fashion faux pas. Now, with their trendy designs, chic colours and high-quality fabrics, baby backpacks are one of the most stylish changing bags.
8) Milk Stains, Be Gone
Milky reflux, baby oil, mushed-up food, or even the contents of your little one’s nappy might end up over your changing bag. But cleaning up doesn’t have to be a mammoth task with a baby bag backpack. Simply wipe or wash away stains and your baby changing backpack will look as good as new!
9) Stroller Ready
If your stroller has two handles, you can hang your bag off the back – which is great when you need a break from all the heavy lifting! But if your pushchair or pram only has one handlebar, where does your bag go?
Luckily, you can get handy stroller clips that securely fasten your bag onto any pram handle. The Mani Backpack Changing Bag even includes free pushchair clips, so you can carry your bag however you like.
10) Survival of the Fittest
A newborn can be expensive. If you want to cut the cost of having a baby, you probably don’t want to fork out for more than one changing bag. So, you need to find one that’s resilient, long-lasting and will survive the testing times ahead!
Whether you like taking muddy family walks or are thinking about going camping with your baby, you need a changing bag that’s totally adventure-proof. Fortunately, the Mani Baby Changing Backpack is both wind resistant and batter-proof, so you can take on the elements without destroying your bag!
If you’re still not convinced, we’ve also investigated how the baby changing backpack fares against the traditional tote bag. But who comes out on top? Read more in our BabaBing! blog.
You’ve passed all the pregnancy milestones and now your newborn baby has safely arrived – congratulations! But if this is your first baby, you might be wondering how the next few months will work out. That’s why we’ve put together a baby development week by week guide for weeks 1-8!
From weight changes to their first smile, discover the different baby stages and learn how your little one might grow in their first two months.
Baby Development Week by Week – 1-4 Weeks
You might think your one-week old baby won’t be up to much. But did you know your newborn can recognise you already? Your baby can hear your voice, and although he or she can’t understand what you’re saying, they will feel comforted by your words.
Newborns try to get used to their new surroundings, so keep talking in the early baby stages. Your voice will make them feel reassured and loved. Also, give your tiny tot lots of skin-to-skin contact. It can really improve you and your baby’s bond.
Don’t be surprised if your baby’s weight changes a lot in their first week. Depending on if your baby is formula-fed or breastfed, they’ll usually lose between 5-10% of their bodyweight. Newborns regain this weight gradually over the next two weeks.
Normally, babies are weighed at birth, then again when they’re five and 10 days old. This way, your doctor or health visitor can keep an eye on your baby’s development week by week.
A two-week old baby can’t see very well, but it’s amazing how quickly they’ll start to familiarise themselves with your face. A baby’s vision is pretty fuzzy unless you’re around eight inches from their face, so give your little one lots of smiles and up-close cuddles. This will help your baby learn to focus. Eventually, he or she will begin to copy your movements. Try looking at your newborn while moving your head side to side and see if your baby follows.
Two-week old babies also cry – a lot. It’s their only way of communicating what they need. Whether your baby is hungry, sleepy, too hot, too cold or overstimulated, they’ll let you know by crying. That’s ok – you’ll soon work out what all the different cues mean!
Your baby development week by week is moving forward all the time. And the three-week mark is no different! Your baby should be reacting to all different kinds of noise now. He or she may get a shock if there are loud sounds, like a door banging shut or something falling on the floor. But it’s good to allow your infant to get used to the noise so you can build a baby routine. That way, you don’t have to say silent when they’re asleep.
Your baby will also start to move more by their third week. These movements are usually quite jerky and random. Think lots of flailing arms and kicking legs! Here, your baby is learning about their body as their muscles are developing.
Your four-week old baby’s eyesight and hearing will be developing well. If you make a noise on the other side of the room, your baby might try to turn to see where it’s coming from.
Four-week old babies are better at mimicry too, often repeating (or attempting to!) the sounds you make. Keep chatting and cooing to your baby and your baby will start to understand what different noises mean.
Well done on surviving the first month with your baby! You’re probably exhausted – sleep deprivation is very real for new parents. Little ones might start to sleep through the night at four weeks, but sometimes it can be closer to four months. In the meantime, let’s check out baby development week by week for their second month!
Baby Development Week by Week – 4-8 Weeks
All your cuddles, singing and funny faces have paid off, because at five weeks, your baby might give you a smile! Their cognitive and social skills are getting better, so smile back at your baby to help them learn about communication.
Five-week old infants are also usually more alert and will take fewer naps. Previously, your baby might have only stayed awake for 6-8 hours a day. But by five weeks, babies can be up and about for almost 10 hours. Hopefully, a baby which is awake for longer during the daytime will mean they’ll sleep longer at night. However, this isn’t always the case!
As well as cognitive development, your baby will have physically grown a lot by six weeks. You might discover your tot is hungrier than ever, which is expected with their increasing size. Baby’s muscles will be getting stronger too. He or she will try to lift their head, doing what looks like mini press ups! Those jerky movements from week three will have much more purpose as your baby’s body grows.
Seven-week old babies are beginning to become much more engaged with the world around them. Stimulate your baby’s senses with new sounds like music or show them colourful toys. Let your little one enjoy play time in a baby bouncer – they’re sure to love the springy movements! Whatever you do, participate in lots of baby activities at seven weeks old to support their social development.
We’re almost at the end of our baby development week by week guide. But there’s one more of the baby stages to consider – and it’s unfortunately not that pleasant.
At eight weeks, your baby is due their 6-in-1 vaccine, which protects them from dangerous diseases. The jab is free in the UK. It should be offered by your doctor or health visitor. After your baby’s vaccinations, they’ll probably feel distressed for a few days. But don’t worry – your little one just needs lots of snuggles and love. They’ll soon be back to their happy self!
The summer is in full swing and the sizzling temperatures are set to continue. So even if you aren’t travelling abroad with your tot, why not make the most of the weather and have a holiday closer to home? That’s right – it’s time to pitch up the tent, break out the marshmallows and grab your supply of nappies. We’re seriously talking about camping with a baby.
Now, we know what you’re thinking. Exploring the outdoors and babies usually don’t go together. But it is possible to simply and safely take a baby camping – you just need all the right equipment (and some sunshine!). As well as our 10 top tips, you can find a handy list of baby camping gear to help get your trip started.
10 Tips for Camping with a Baby
1) Bring All the Layers
With temperatures rising to 35°C in some parts of the UK recently, you might think the tent will stay super toasty. But even in hotter weather, it’s likely to feel freezing at night.
When camping with a baby, you need to bring lots and lots of layers to keep your infant warm and cosy.
Light blankets are especially important as you can add or remove them when your baby is too hot or too cold.
2) Baby Wipes Are Everything
Wet wipes aren’t just for baby bottoms!
If you’re feeling especially brave, you might take your baby camping in a non-serviced area. That means no showers or toilets. So, if you don’t have access to facilities with running water, baby wipes are vital for cleaning up those camping messes. Pack as many as you can!
3) Don’t Travel Too Far
If it’s the first time you’re camping with a baby, don’t travel too far from home. Knowing your all your baby bits (and your comfy bed) aren’t a million miles away is a reassuring thought for most parents. Once you have a better idea of what it’s like to take a baby camping, you can go farther afield!
4) Food, Glorious Food
Having the right food for your baby on a camping trip is essential. Simple, on-the-go snacks and meals that are easy to grab will be best when you don’t have many cooking tools.
Babies under six months usually just need milk, so it’s easier if you’re breastfeeding. You might have more of a challenge with bottle-fed babies, because you’ll need to pack boiling and sterilising equipment.
For babies who are older than six months, bring whatever they like to eat! Soft fruit, puréed veggies, chunks of cheese, baby cereal and food jars are some simple ideas. You’ll also need a large cooler with some ice packs to keep everything chilled – and don’t forget bottles of water!
5) Leave Early
Setting up a tent in the dark is a bad idea. Go for an early start, so you’re not fumbling around at night trying to sort your meals and sleeping arrangements. As a result, baby will have a chance to get to know their surroundings.
6) Play Tetris with Your Packing
It’s tempting to overpack when camping with a baby. What if the weather unexpectedly changes? What if baby suddenly needs that teddy bear they haven’t looked at in six months? But don’t panic! You must be practical when packing – so make it easy and play a little Tetris in your changing bag.
Firstly, pop the heavier items like food jars at the bottom. Any loose food items can go in zip lock bags to avoid spills. Keep a few extra bags – you’ll find out why later.
Then, roll up baby clothes (don’t fold them) to save on space. No one cares if outfits are crumpled when camping! Finally, keep your baby’s favourite blanket or comfort toy on top, so you can easily grab it if required.
7) Bring a Baby Backpack
A backpack normally is better than a handbag when taking a baby camping. With two straps, you can ease the weight of all your gear while carrying your little one at the front – good for trekking around!
But what’s even better is a baby backpack, which so much more than your standard rucksack.
They have lots of space and special, designated baby pockets, so it’s easy to carry round all your important baby gear.
8) Keep the Routine
Your baby probably has some kind of schedule. Stick to it! No matter what your routine is, try to keep it the same when camping with a baby.
So if baby usually is fed, changed then rocked to sleep at home, do the same from your tent. This will also help your little one settle into their new environment.
9) Zip Up Your Nappies
Unfortunately, reusable cloth nappies can pose a problem when camping with a baby. If you have no facilities to wash them and no laundrette nearby, you’re going to run out very quickly! You’ll probably need to use disposable nappies for your outdoor adventure. But there’s a problem. If you’re in the middle of nowhere, how are you going to bin them?
You might remember we previously suggested using zip lock bags for food – and we said to bring some extras too. These nifty little bags are ideal for locking away dirty nappies and keeping smells trapped. Put the zipped-up nappies in an additional wet bag, then pop them in the car boot until you find a suitable place to dispose of them.
10) Enjoy Yourself
Camping with a baby sounds like a challenge. But the most important thing is to enjoy yourself and have a great time exploring the outdoors with your little one.
However, if you’re not quite adventure ready yet, check out our baby camping gear checklist below.
Baby Camping Gear Checklist
Our checklist is just baby camping gear – we’ll leave the tents and cooking equipment for the adults! Also, don’t forget to add on any other baby gear you use regularly.
If you want to save and make money on maternity leave, it might feel like a challenge. With a newborn baby, your hands are going to be very full – this isn’t the time to start running your own business! Taking on lots of extra work just isn’t an option for mums-to-be, so how else can you earn more on maternity?
The first thing to do is know your baby budget. Once you know your incomings and outgoings, you’ll get an idea of how much extra dosh you need during maternity leave. But even with a stash of savings, it’s still a good idea to look after the pennies so you don’t feel strapped for cash. Check out our top nine tips and see how you can save and make money on maternity leave!
9 Ways to Save & Make Money on Maternity Leave
1) Shop Around
Shopping around is one of the best things you can do to save on the cost of a baby. For your essentials, like nappies and cotton wool, supermarket brands are generally the cheapest way to go. And if you’re looking for larger baby items, look for deals and bundles to make your money go further.
2) Sell, Sell, Sell
Old forgotten phone stuck in a drawer? What about that fancy dress you’ve only worn once? If you want to make money on maternity leave, have a rummage through your cupboards and see what you could sell. Whether it’s though an online marketplace or a car boot sale, you might be able to earn some extra cash when selling your unwanted cast-offs.
3) Take Freebies
While this baby budget tip won’t help you make money on maternity leave, it’ll definitely cut your costs down. If you have family and friends who already have children, they might give you a few freebies their babies have outgrown.
From toys to hand-me-down clothes, you’ll be surprised what you can find for free. Lots of mums with older children also give away their baby gear on social media or online marketplaces – it’s worth a look to see if you can nab something in great condition.
Plus, when you announce your pregnancy, your loved ones will likely want to give you some new mum gifts. Whether it’s a voucher for maternity clothes or a brand-new baby bouncer, these thoughtful gifts can really help when things are a bit tight.
4) Reuse and Recycle
Cutting back on your spending is one of the best ways to save money on the cost of a baby. But being frugal doesn’t have to be boring when there is so much you can reuse and recycle!
First of all, if this isn’t your first child, make sure to check your used baby gear and see what can be salvaged. If you have a stack of newborn clothes and toys stuffed away in the loft, make sure to check them over before you buy everything new. Providing your baby goods are clean, mould-free and in good condition, there’s no reason why you can’t use them again. If you’re recycling larger baby items, the NHS recommends getting at least a new mattress and new car seat for healthy and safety reasons.
And because it feels so good when we get our money’s worth from something, why not reuse your new baby gear too? Your baby changing bag can double up as your hospital maternity bag. Then when maternity leave is over, use it as an office bag or even as holiday luggage! You can take your recycling one step further too with reusable baby wipes and cloth nappies – although these often require a little more effort.
5) Know Your Entitlements
If you live in the UK and are eligible for statutory maternity may (SMP), you will normally be paid for up to 39 weeks when on maternity leave. For the first six weeks, you can earn 90% of your average weekly earnings (pre-tax). During the remaining 33 weeks, you’ll continue to earn this amount or £145.18 per week, depending which amount is lowest. Your place of work might also xhave a maternity scheme that gives you more than the statutory amount.
Don’t forget to check your other government entitlements. You might be able to make money on maternity leave through child benefits, universal credit or child tax credits.
6) Learn Your Employment Rights
As well as your SMP (which could be supplemented by your employer), you might also be able to boost your income before you go on maternity leave.
You can sometimes take your accrued holiday entitlement before going on leave. That way, mums-to-be can enjoy some paid time off without the extra costs of going to work (like commuting and lunch expenses).
In addition, you may be allowed up to 10 keeping in touch (KIT) days while on maternity leave. KIT days mean you can return to work briefly and still be paid. The extra income won’t affect your maternity pay. It’s also good idea to see if your employer offers any other maternity benefits, like free childcare vouchers.
7) Join Baby Clubs
Becoming a member of an online baby club is a great way to cut costs on maternity leave – all you need to do is sign up. They’re usually free and give you access to special offers and members-only discounts. This can help save money on products you were going to buy anyway.
8) Get Online
Cashback sites and online surveys are useful for making money on maternity leave. They normally won’t supplement your income by much, but you can sometimes be paid in shopping vouchers. That’ll help with all those nappies!
There’s also mystery shopping, but that might be more difficult as some vacancies require you to be child-free. Your income from online work won’t likely push you over your tax allowance limit. However, may need to declare any payments to the tax office anyway.
9) Hobbies at Home
If you have any hobbies with earning potential, you can use them to make money on maternity leave. From baking cakes to crafting jewellery, there are lots of hobbies which could boost your income. And if you have a specific skill set, you could some freelance work in your spare time. Just be aware of any tax implications if you’re making some serious moolah.
Babies are just cuteness and cuddles, right? Wrong! You might have read the baby books, attended every parenting class and listened to mum’s (unsolicited) tips. You’re completely clued up on nappy changing, baby feeding, sleep time and everything else that a baby needs. But what about the stuff that first time parents don’t get told? While there’s a lot of useful advice out there, you probably don’t know what it’s really like to have a baby. Although your tiny tot will bring a lot of good, he or she will also cause some bad – and ugly!
Babies rely on their parents for absolutely everything. It’s a hard job, but someone’s got to do it and that someone is you. So even though it’s not always rainbows and sunshine, your little one is depending on you every second of the day. And that means mum and dad are the ones responsible for cleaning up the milk messes, taking on the poo explosions and getting up again for those midnight feeds.
But to help you through those difficult moments, we’ve put together some funny advice for new parents. Hopefully, our hilarious tips for first time parents will teach you a few things you didn’t know about your baby – and give you a few giggles along the way!
12 Hilarious Tips for First Time Parents
1) Bare Bottom Babies Bring Bad Things to Your Sofa
It’s a good idea for babies to have some bare bottom time. Going nappy free helps to avoid nappy rash, especially if your little one has sensitive skin. But if you don’t want your cream sofa covered in poo, keep bare bums strictly on the changing mat!
2) Baby’s Belly Button Will Turn Black
After birth, your baby’s umbilical cord will be clamped and cut off, leaving a small stump behind on your little one’s tummy. In around 10 days, the stump will dry up and turn black. But first time parents needn’t worry – it just means the stump is going to fall off completely.
3) Suck it Up: Baby Has a Stuffy Nose
Babies have tiny nasal passages that can be easily congested, making it uncomfortable for them to breathe. But babies can’t blow their stuffy noses themselves – it’s up to you to sort it out. We’ve heard some horror stories about nasal suction devices that involve first time parents sucking out the mucus (apparently it doesn’t go in your mouth). Maybe try a baby bulb syringe instead, where there’s no sucking required.
4) Every Morning Feels like a Hangover
Sleep deprivation can do bad things to all of us. Having a baby can make you feel like you have a permanent hangover. Our best advice for new parents? When baby sleeps, you sleep. Even if it’s for five minutes. Take those precious moments of rest now, or you’ll regret it later.
5) Emergency Explosive Poos Will Happen
If you’re breastfeeding, babies are more likely to have lots of loose poos throughout the day (and night). However, keep an eye out for really runny explosions which could be a sign of a diarrhoea.
6) Prevent Sick-Covered Shoulders
Lots of babies suffer from reflux, where milk comes up from the stomach and into your little one’s mouth. And guess where it goes after? That’s right – all over you. First time parents burping their baby after a feed might end up with a milky mess all over their shoulder. Avoid this by covering your clothes with a muslin square (or two)!
7) Baby’s Nails are Actually Claws
For being so tiny, baby’s nails can be incredibly sharp. First time parents are probably scared of cutting them down in case they snip their baby’s skin. But when these mini talons are long enough, your baby will end up scratching themselves anyway. Grab those baby-safe nail scissors and get the job done.
8) The First Month Is a Smile-Free Zone
You’d like to think your lovely newborn baby will be a happy, smiley ray of sunshine. But most babies don’t figure out how to smile until they’re around four weeks old.
Your happy singing and cheerful cooing isn’t wasted, though. Babies soon start to imitate their parent’s facial expressions – so keep on smiling!
9) Roll Up, Roll Up: Your New Baby Is a Tourist Attraction
It’s no surprise that almost everyone you know will want to come and visit your new bundle of joy. Your parents, the in-laws, your great aunt, and then there’s your second-cousin once removed plus their dog…
Having so many visitors can get a little frantic! When you need space after giving birth, the practical advice for new parents would be to politely say “sorry, no visitors for now, but we’ll be in touch.”
Alternatively, you may prefer to shut the curtains and lock all the doors.
10) Get a Takeaway
While it’s important to keep your body healthy, home-cooked meals can be a rarity with a baby around. First time parents should accept casseroles from granny. Defrost that batch of lasagne from the freezer. Or if all else fails, the pizza shop opens soon…
11) You’ll Forget Something
You and baby are braving the supermarket for the first time. Your changing bag is packed and you’re ready for anything. Only to get to the end of the till and find your purse isn’t buried underneath all those nappies and your credit card’s sitting at home. But a good changing bag will have lots of different pockets to keep everything separate and accessible. Or, always make sure to have a changing bag checklist handy.
12) First Time Parents Aren’t Perfect
There will be mistakes. There will be sleepless nights. And there will be some crying and screaming which doesn’t necessarily come from your baby. But all of that’s okay. There’s no secret to being a good parent! Take things one step at a time and soon you’ll be laughing off those baby blunders. Our final piece of advice for first time parents is this: remember, you will manage.
Summer has finally arrived! This year, we’ve managed to hang onto more than three days of sunshine – and the heatwave is set to continue. Although the British weather is very unpredictable, it seems the scorching temperatures are here to stay.
If you have a new baby, you might not feel quite ready to grab your sunglasses just yet. And you’re completely right to consider your baby’s sensitive skin in the sun, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go outside and enjoy it! So fire up the barbecue, pack your beach towels and bring on the ice cream. It’s time for some fun in the sun while keeping your little one safe and protected. You’re going to have a blast!
Why is Baby Sun Protection Important?
Our skin possesses a chemical called melanin, which reacts with the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. If the amount of UV exposure is more than what your skin’s melanin can manage, you will get sunburnt.
A newborn baby has extremely sensitive skin that doesn’t contain much melanin, so is more prone to sunburn. And not only does sunburn cause a lot of pain for your little one, but could also increase their risk of skin cancer in later life. So it’s extremely important to be aware of sun safety for babies and make sure your newborn is fully protected at all times.
How to Keep Your Newborn Baby Protected in the Sun
Young babies aged between 0-6 months should never exposed to direct sunlight. To keep your little one in the shade at all times, you can:
Go for walks early in the morning and late in the afternoon (around 10am and 4pm), staying away from the midday sun.
Attach a protective sun cover or parasol to your pushchair.
Use sun shades for your car windows – they’re usually cheap to buy and can be removed later on.
Give your baby a cotton sun hat which fully covers their head, ears and neck.
Dress your infant in lightweight, loose and light-coloured clothing that protects their arms and legs.
It’s sometimes recommended parents avoid putting sunscreen on newborn babies, as this can harm their delicate skin. It’s best to ask your doctor or health visitor if you’re unsure. However, your baby generally shouldn’t need sunscreen if they’re kept out of direct sunlight at all times.
Sun Safety for Babies 6 Months and Over
Older babies who are 6 months and up still need sun protection.
If your little one is crawling around and likes to play outside, avoid going into the sun between 11am and 3pm. This is the hottest part of the day and could cause your infant to become dehydrated as well as sunburnt.
But if you really need to go out, keep your baby in the shade. As with newborn babies, the same rules still apply – use pushchair covers and car window shades.
Cover your child up as much as possible with light clothing, like an oversized, long-sleeved t-shirt and loose, cotton trousers.
Don’t forget a wide-brimmed sun hat! Although older babies might fight you on that one, as they tend to prefer pulling their hat off at the most inconvenient times. If you go for a walk with your baby in their pushchair, keep checking in case their hat goes astray.
Get a pair of infant sunglasses to shield your baby’s eyes. For the best UV protection, sunglasses should meet the British Standard (BSEN 1836:2005) and have the CE mark.
And the most important sun safety for babies tip: slather on that sunscreen!
How to Use Sunscreen on Your Baby
Babies need sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or more. You also need to make sure your baby’s sunscreen is fully protective against UVA and UVB rays.
Apply sunscreen to any areas which aren’t covered by clothing. Your baby’s neck and shoulders shouldn’t be exposed to the sun, but if they are, take extra care to check sunscreen is liberally applied, as these areas are more likely to get sunburnt. Don’t forget your baby’s ears, face and feet need sunscreen too.
Sunscreen should be applied around 20 minutes before you go outside, then reapplied often throughout the day.
Your baby needs to wear sunscreen every time they go out between the months of April and September.
Finally, even if it’s cloudy, you must apply sunscreen as the sun’s rays are still there.
Protecting Your Baby on Holiday
If you’re not relying on the British summer and plan on going on holiday with your baby, pack lots of extra sunscreen in your hold luggage. Sunscreen might be more expensive abroad, plus you might not be able to find the right type suitable for your baby, so buy it before you go.
Also, if you have a water baby who likes going in the pool, make sure to use a waterproof sunscreen. When your little one’s tired of swimming, reapply sunscreen after towel drying so they stay protected.
Even if you take the necessary precautions, there is a chance your baby could get sunburnt. If your infant is showing any signs of sunburn, head inside immediately. Dab the area with cool water and gently pat dry (don’t rub), then apply aloe vera. Always consult your doctor or health visitor straight away for more advice if your baby has sunburn.
Is Taking My Baby out in the Sun Worth It?
Of course! The sun is our best source of vitamin D, which is important for supporting healthy bones in babies. We additionally get vitamin D from food, but breastfed babies usually need a daily supplement to increase their intake.
No new parent is expected to stay inside for the entire summer. As long as you’re extra careful and take all the right steps to protect your baby, you can both enjoy the sunshine – let’s just hope it lasts!
You’ll already know that a tiny baby can’t do a lot for themselves – in fact, they can’t do much at all! Your newborn relies on you to handle all their baby care needs, like feeding, sleeping and changing.
But if you’re a first-time parent, you probably won’t know how to do a lot of these important tasks, like how to bathe a baby. And that’s completely understandable! Babies don’t come with their own how-to handbook, although that would be very handy.
You don’t need to worry, though. It might seem like you’ve been thrown into the deep end of parenthood, so we’ve prepared a simple, step-by-step guide to help you with baby bath time. And once you know how to bathe a newborn, you might find it a wonderful bonding experience for you both to share.
In addition to our baby bath time tips, we’ve included some extra baby care advice for general newborn maintenance to help keep your little one squeaky clean!
So let’s get started and make baby bath time a breeze.
How to Bathe a Baby
Step One: Check Baby Needs a Bath
Babies don’t need to be bathed every single day. If you want to quickly clean your baby, you could use the topping and tailing method. This involves wiping your baby’s face, neck, hands and bottom without popping them in the tub. Use cotton wool balls dipped in warm water to gently clean your baby’s skin. Make sure to use a new piece of cotton wool for each of your baby’s eyes, outside the ears, the neck, body and bottom.
But if topping and tailing isn’t enough, we’ll move onto Step Two and learn how to bathe a baby.
Step Two: Be Prepared for Baby Bath Time
Before bathing your newborn, check your little one is feeling alert, awake and isn’t too hungry or full. Then make sure you have the following things to hand:
Large, clean washing up bowl – you don’t need an expensive baby bath
Soft towel – an adult-sized one is fine
Always check the water’s temperature by dipping your elbow in to test it. The water should be warm but not hot, and mixed well. You also don’t need to add any soap or gels – just water is fine, especially for babies with sensitive skin.
Step Three: Baby’s Going for a Dip
Gently dip your baby into the tub, using one hand to support their head and keep it out of the water. With your other hand, first tip small amounts of water over your baby’s hair and scalp. Then, still with your other hand, carefully swish the water over your baby’s body without splashing their face. Keep pouring water over your baby so they don’t get chilly.
Step Four: Clean Baby’s Face
Your baby’s face and nose might have a build-up of sticky mucus that can lead to infection. To avoid this, gently dab your baby’s eyes and nose with a piece of cotton wool dipped in the warm water. Wipe away the mucus, using a fresh cotton wool ball for each eye and the nose.
Step Five: Dry Off Baby
Take your baby out their bath and wrap them in a soft towel. Carry your baby to a clean space, like their changing mat. Pat your newborn dry, making sure to gently towel between the folds of their skin. Some babies don’t like having a bath, so this is also a good time to soothe them by giving your newborn a mini massage.
Once your baby’s completely dry, pop on a fresh nappy and clean clothes. Now your newborn is all clean and you officially know how to bathe a baby!
Baby Care Tips
While learning how to bathe a baby is important, there are other baby care duties you need to take care of.
Read up on how to change a nappy. Although, with newborns going through around 12 nappies per day, you’ll no doubt get plenty of practice! Most babies need to be changed as soon as their nappy is wet, so you’ll get used to it quite quickly. Always change your baby’s nappy after a poo.
Baby Nail Cutting
Your newborn baby might only have tiny nails, but they can be very sharp. You need to regularly trim your baby’s nails to make sure they don’t scratch themselves.
Cutting your baby’s nails might feel scary because they’re so small, but you can buy special nail scissors or clippers if you’re worried about nipping their skin. It’s also easier to cut your baby’s nails when they’re fresh from a bath, as the water softens the nail.
Baby’s Umbilical Stump
When your baby’s born, their umbilical cord will be clamped. This leaves a small stump behind on your infant’s tummy. Between 5-15 days after the birth, your newborn baby’s umbilical stump will dry up and fall off.
Before the stump comes away, clean the area in the bath or by using the topping and tailing method. Always fully dry your baby’s stump to avoid infection.
When the umbilical stump falls away, continue to keep your baby’s tummy clean until the belly button heals. This can take up to 10 days. If you see any signs of infection (before or after the stump falls off), speak to your doctor or health visitor.
Now you know how to bathe a baby, but what about the rest? For more baby care tips, check out the rest of the BabaBing! blog for more handy tips and advice to help you on your parenthood journey!