Ultimate guide to children's foot health

Ultimate guide to children's foot health

We can all admit we are all a little obsessed with babies toes, they are just so tiny and there’s simply nothing cuter than little baby feet. But even though many people spend their day’s swooning over their babies tiny feet, are you taking the steps to protect them and ensuring their correct development. It’s important to protect them whilst they are out exploring this world. Their little feet will support them throughout their life on every adventure so it’s vital they get the right start in life.   Barefoot is best We know those teeny tiny little shoes are just too cute to resist buying sometimes but in the early stages of development it is best to keep your little ones feet free and barefoot as much as possible. When they’re babies, their feet are initially made up of cartilage with not a bone in sight. These bones develop over several years and the rigid structure of shoes can have a negative effect on that development. As instead of developing into a natural shape, they can start to take on the shape of the shoe. Walking barefoot or wearing socks strengthens the muscles in the feet and helps develop the grasping action of the toes. Plus, it introduces them to various surface tiles like soft carpet or cool tile beneath their feet. Obviously bare feet are not always practical, especially when they have just started walking and are toddling all over the place. When walking outside or on rough surfaces their delicate skin needs protection from sharp objects. Choosing the right shoes Bones start out as cartilage and a child’s foot isn’t fully developed until as late as about 18 years old. So, it is vital, especially in the first few years of walking, but ideally until 18, that the child’s foot is not subjected to ill fitting, rigid or inappropriate shoes. Our parents persistent nagging that we had “proper” school shoes finally makes sense! It is so easy to get swayed by the cute little booties you saw that you could totally twin together with, but the sad truth is not all children’s shoes are designed with the health of kids’ feet in mind. Depending on the stage of development your child’s feet have a unique set of requirements that the shoe choice needs to meet. Here are few tips to help you pick the right shoe for each stage. Pre-Walkers Newborn's and babies feet are super soft and chubby and are extremely pliable and vulnerable to damage if in the wrong shoe. For this stage we go back to barefoot is best, there really is no need to put your baby in shoes at this stage other than to protect from the cold. This stage lightweight and flexible shoes are best, choose a soft shoe which has very little structure. These are designed to be more like a protective second skin rather than a shoe. First walkers Your little one is discovering what their legs and feet can do and have started to explore the world on their own 2 feet, with some assistance from furniture and mum and dad of course. At this stage the shape of the foot is gradually starting to properly develop so it’s important for this stage this develops in the right way with the right shoe structure. Babies at this stage needs shoes that are flexible, lightweight and durable. They should have a secure and comfortable fastening simple like velcro which can be adjusted accordingly. Confident walkers Your little one did it! They are officially walking and are running off all over the place. Bones are starting to develop and fuse, and the arch on their foot is becoming more visible. For this stage they are getting a lot of use from their shoes and are definitely putting them through their paces. For this reason you need to pick a shoe with quite a bit of durability as they will be taking quite a battering. A more trainer style is suitable for this stage, but make sure there is still quite a lot of flexibility in the sole and forefoot area. Get measured Getting the right size shoe is just as important as the structure. A small shoe will restrict growth and too big can be unsafe and cause tripping. With this in mind, making sure that your children’s shoes are fitted and suited to their feet is one of the most important things you can do for their foot health in the short and long term. Getting your child’s feet measured in-store by a trained fitter is a great way to make sure you’ve got the correct shoes size for their growing feet. Around the age they are starting to walk their feet can grow very quickly, potentially up to two whole sizes in a year! So regular sizing checks are important as they grow. Check that your child’s shoes fit properly every one to 3 months up to the age of 3 years, every 4 months between 3 and 5 years and every 6 months for children aged over 5. Flexible soles Always try to choose shoes with flexible soles. Flexible soles allow the foot and ankle to develop most naturally by enabling the foot to respond to changes in the walking environment and to make appropriate adaptations. They are recommended by podiatrists because they offer protection without being restrictive. When choosing a shoe, you should be at least able to bend the toe of the shoe up easily to help develop the immature muscles of the foot. Wash Caring for the delicate skin on your babies feet is super important. Preventing bacterial and fungal infections starts with good hygiene. Thoroughly washing your kid’s feet at bath time will help make sure they’re healthy. Afterwards make sure you dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes. Trim those little nails It’s crazy to think that nails start to grow as early at 8 weeks in the womb. When they are born their little nails are so tiny you need to look so closely to see even them. But these little things can cause your little one some pain if they scratch their face or body so it is important to keep them short and cut them regularly. This will help prevent painful ingrown toenails. Signs of an ingrown toenail include pain, redness, and swelling. If an ingrown toenail does occur, ease the pain by putting a little bit of cotton between the skin and the ingrown toenail then head for your pediatrician or a podiatrist. A simple in-office procedure can safely fix the problem. Happy feet equals a happy baby!
Trending baby names for 2020

Trending baby names for 2020

Trending baby names for 2020 Choosing the perfect name for your precious baby is a big task, it will be with them for the rest of their lives and will become a big part of their identity – no pressure right!? Finding a name you AND your partner can agree on, doesn’t bring back memories of someone from school you used to hate, your family and friends love it, it's easy to spell, has potential for a cool nickname, sounds good with their surname, isn’t too common but also not too obscure and will suit your new arrival who you haven’t even met yet or might not even know the gender of… Eeeek! We did warn you it was a tough decision. But don’t worry, you’re in luck. We have rounded up the top baby name trends for 2020 to make sure you’re ahead of the curve and to help you with the decision-making process. Trends of names fit for royalty to gender neutral names are sweeping the top baby name lists for 2020. Keep reading for the perfect 2020 baby name inspiration...   Gender Neutral A top trend for this year is going to be gender neutral names, perfect for parents who want to keep the gender of their baby a surprise until they are born, or perhaps for those that just want something a little different for their little one. River – Although River has traditionally been favourable as a males name, in recent years we have seen it growing as a girls name too. Remi – This name has French origins and is the perfect gender neutral name Charlie – This name has been used for both boys and girls for years but it’s still a popular favourite. Wren - Despite being a small and delicate songbird, the wren was considered ‘king of the birds’ according to early folklore, giving the cute creature an air of hidden strength. Bailey – Bailey is growing in popularity for it’s gender neutral qualities. Taylor – Taylor was originally an English surname that quickly became mainstream as a first name and it’s easy to see why.     Short but sweet Research shows that in recent times baby names are getting shorter – people are becoming favourable to short and sweet names with four letter becoming the ideal. Here are our predicted top short but very sweet 4 letter names for 2020. Luna – Originally meaning the “moon” and thanks to celebs such as Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, this original name is at the top of most baby name lists for 2020 Mila – Russian for “dear one” there is no wonder this short but sweet name is gaining popularity. Liam – Liam is commonly associated with being a strong-willed warrior and protector. Noah – With biblical origins this name has been a popular favourite for centuries, but we predict a spike this year thanks to the short name trend. Luke – A form of Lucas, meaning “light giving”, plus a nod to Luke Skywalker from Star Wars. Rose – The delicate and romantic flower is proving a popular short baby name this year. Zane – The name Zane is a name meaning “God is gracious”.     Classic and traditional Parents are increasingly looking back at centuries gone by for inspiration and choosing more traditional and classic names for their little ones. These are some of our personal favourite timeless names that we think parents will be loving this year too. Christopher – Christopher is an evergreen classic name that has been popular for generations. Victoria – The name Victoria is a girl's name of Latin origin meaning "victory". Benjamin – Benjamin is a traditional name that parents have been choosing for the little ones for years. Alexander – Alexander the great anyone? This certainly is a great traditional name for your little one. Eve – Thanks to it’s Adam and Eve biblical meaning, Eve is a traditional name that parents are still loving today. Penelope – A very traditional name but with modern twist thanks to celebrities such as Penelope Cruz.       Colours Add a splash of colour and brighten up your little one’s baby name by choosing a baby name that is often associated with a colour. We have seen a rise is names otherwise known as colours, perfect for those looking for something a little more colourful! Amber - A gemstone known for its striking honey-yellow color Violet – A gorgeous light purple, this name is perfect for any little girl. Also, a popular flower which has meaning of love and a good luck symbol for women. Hazel – Rising in popularity, Hazel is one to watch! Ruby – Taken from the name of the gemstone ruby. Plus, it’s the birthstone for the month of July. Jade – Known as a bright green gemstone, Jade has been a name of top baby names for years, but we expect to see a rise thanks to the colour trend expected to hit in 2020. Ash – Ash is Hebrew for “Happy”.   Royal Connections What better way to introduce your little prince or princess into the world than with a Royal name? With the recent royal weddings and birth of new royal babies, we have seen a surge in parents naming their little ones after the Royal family. Archie - The name means to be genuine, bold, and brave. But unsurprisingly this is tipped to become a popular name thanks to Prince Harry and Meghan’s new arrival being called Archie. Louis – The newest addition to Prince Williams family is the adorable Louis. Meghan – While the traditional spelling of “Megan” is in decline, this alternative spelling of the name has surged in popularity since the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Charlotte – The name of the second born child of Prince William and Kate Middleton, Charlotte has become another popular name due it’s royal connections. George – The gorgeously cheeky son of Prince William and Kate has inspired many new parents. Elizabeth – This is of course the name of our glorious longest reigning Queen. Pippa – Thanks to her sister’s marriage to Prince William and the role in their wedding, the name Pippa has seen a spike in popularity over recent times. Harry – A regular favourite in the top baby name lists, but with the 2018 Royal wedding to Meghan Harry has had a boost up the charts.   Movie moments We can all admit to being a little obsessed with TV and boxsets with the help of Netflix, so it is no wonder that in 2020 baby names are increasingly being inspired by everyone’s favourite characters from top TV series and films! Elsa – Main character from the smash it Frozen and with Frozen 2 hitting the cinemas we expect this one to stick around. Flynn– The male lead from another Disney favourite, Tangled Serena – Made popular by one of the leading female characters in Gossip Girl, Serena van der Woodsen Arthur – Arthur Shelby is the eldest of the notorious Shelby siblings from the hit BBC drama Peaky Blinders Ada – Another Peaky Blinders favourite, this time the name of Ada the fourth and only female of the Shelby clan Jackson - Jackson Nathaniel "Jax" Teller is the main protagonist on the series Sons of Anarchy. Elijah – From the cult favourite TV show Vampire Diaries, the name of Elijah has rocketed in popularity since the 1990s. Jasmine – Of course, the Disney Princess from Aladdin film, but thanks to the recent reboot in 2019 we expect it to be a popular choice for 2020. The most important thing is to choose a name that you and your partner both love. It is true that once you see that gorgeous face of your new born baby you will know the perfect name for them. For now, just have fun browsing all those baby name books.
Why Do Toddlers Have Tantrums?

Why Do Toddlers Have Tantrums?

Today’s parents face many tough challenges. On top of working full-time jobs outside the home (which over half of all moms with kids under the age of 3 do), they cook and clean and do housekeeping chores, and they may be responsible for the care and feeding of their parents and/or grandparents, too. These days, most parents shoulder these responsibilities without much assistance from neighbors, relatives, babysitters, or other hired help. Whew! No wonder it feels like you’re giving 120 percent...you are. You try so hard. You do so much. That’s why it can really push your buttons when your toddler turns into a screaming red-eyed bully. It can feel so unfair—even humiliating—especially if she pelts you with mean words, like “I hate you!” or “You’re stupid!”  Toddler tantrums usually peak at 18 to 24 months, subside a little, and then peak again around 3 ½ years. At these ages your child’s brain is virtually bubbling over with an intense and explosive mix of primitive impulses: greed, stubbornness, aggression, and impatience. And when you combine the “nitro” of your tot’s passionate “mine!” with the “glycerin” of your adamant “no way!”...you’ve got some really, really powerful TNT. Kapow!  Why Toddlers Have Tantrums They don’t speak well. Wouldn’t you get frustrated if you lived somewhere you couldn't speak the language? Well, your toddler also gets irritated when she can’t communicate. No wonder little kids with limited language skills often resort to nontalking forms of communication like foot stomping, arm waving, eye bulging, and screaming!  We set a bad example. Venting your anger in front of your child may train her to scream more. She’ll learn that unleashing her rage is totally fine. After all...Mommy does it. They get stuck in an emotional corner. For many little Tarzans, forcing them to give in can make them feel humiliated. When their primitive sense of pride gets bruised, they go bonkers. The harder these kids struggle against us, the more they get painted into an emotional “corner,” unable to gracefully back down and recover from their upset.  Here’s an example of what that might look like: Jeev, 18 months, was a gentle boy, but he could still act pretty uncivilized. He loved eating whole pears...but one day his mom, Suparna, cut his pear in pieces because it was extra juicy. His response? He grabbed the plate and hurled it at his mom’s head! Suparna realized her “mistake” and immediately offered Jeev a whole pear. And what did this little cave-kid do? He scowled, shook his head No! And refused to even look at it.  Like Jeev, your toddler may get so upset she paints herself into a corner, unable to give in, even when you offer exactly what she’s asking for. That’s why respectful, diplomatic skills are so great. They help our tots escape from this predicament with their pride intact.  They have “temper” temperaments. Intense and spirited toddlers have bigger meltdowns because, well, they do everything bigger. You can’t change your child’s temperament, but using my method of Feeding the Meter, the Fast Food Rule, and learning to speak your toddler’s language (aka Toddler-ese) you will help keep him from exploding into anger with every frustration and disappointment.  Our world is simultaneously too exciting...and too boring. Your toddler’s immature brain may get overloaded by noisy videos. Yet at the same time, she may get bored spending a lot of time at home. Remember, up until 200 years ago, toddlers usually spent many, many hours a day playing outdoors.  Tantrums work! When we give in to outbursts (or pay too much attention to them), our kids learn that screaming gets them what they want. Younger toddlers recognize this subconsciously, but older ones often learn to intentionally use fits to get their way. Why Does My 3-Year-Old Toddler Still Have Tantrums? As kids get older and more verbal, their tantrums occur less and less. Yet many 3-to 4-year-olds (and teens) have occasional meltdowns. That’s because: They still struggle with impulse control. Older toddlers are increasingly well behaved. But after a long day, your child may lose control and scream with the force of Old Faithful (especially if he has a spirited temperament). They are emotional yo-yos. Three-year-olds are no longer babies, but they’re not quite big kids. They sometimes yo-yo back and forth between these two developmental stages so much that they totally fall apart: “I’m a baby…I’m a big kid!” Yikes! Think of it as emotional whiplash (for him and you). They see outbursts at home. If there is lots of quarreling in your family (or violence displayed on TV), your child may defy you more because he’s learned that arguing is a normal way to express frustration.  Our toddler’s rage can suddenly push us over the edge into our own impulsive, irrational rage. We’ve all been there, but when it happens, we must try to remember to breathe and say to ourselves: My child is the caveman...I'm a civilized adult. And as a civilized adult, you must try to stay calm and not return your child’s outbursts with sarcasm, humiliation, or removal of your love...and certainly not with violence.  Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.
Sleep Schedule for Your Baby’s First Year

Sleep Schedule for Your Baby’s First Year

All parents want their infants to sleep well. But many don't know—but want to know—the nitty gritty details: How long will my baby nap? What time should she go to bed? How many hours of overnight sleep can I realistically expect? How does a baby's sleep schedule change over time? Everyone knows that their new baby won't sleep a lot during the first weeks. But, the biggest new-parent misconception is that once the baby passes the first weeks, sleep gradually but, consistently improves. Many expect sleep to just get better and better until the baby is sleeping an 8-hour stretch at 4 months. Not so fast! The reality, for many—if not most—babies, is a bit of a roller coaster with happy victories alternating with frustrating regressions! That said, below is a listing of what you might reasonably expect for your baby's sleep…along with descriptions of some of the common zigs and zags many babies experience during the first year. (Please remember, each baby is unique and sleep schedules can vary widely.) Birth - 2 Months Total Sleep: 14 to 18 hours a day. During the first months, babies sleep in bits and pieces, waking throughout the day to feed. In the early weeks, you can expect your little one to fuss from hunger 10-12 times a day. The day starts around 7am. Napping: Your little sleepyhead will take lots of little naps (for up to 8 hours a day). The daytime cycle is 1-2 hours of awake time then 1-2 hours of napping. During the second month, if your baby's nap goes over 1.5-2 hours, it's not a bad idea to wake him for a feeding. Long naps mean less eating during the day, making babies hungrier at night. Nighttime sleep starts around 10pm. Your baby will drift on and off through the night, punctuated by occasional feedings. The longest stretch of Zzz's usually goes up to 4 hours in the first month and 4-8 hours by 2-months of age. Heads up: White noise, swaddling and motion work wonders starting from day 1 to help babies sleep better and naturally. And SNOO, the smart bassinet developed here at Happiest Baby, can optimize sleep helping babies fall asleep faster and sleep longer by providing responsive white noise + motion and swaddling all in one bed. Don't worry, SNOO doesn't keep babies asleep who need to eat…they will always wake if hungry. 2 - 4 Months Total Sleep: 13-14 hours of snooze. The day starts a little earlier now. Most babies this age wake around 6am. Napping: Your baby will settle into 2-3 daily naps, totaling 4-8 hours of sleep. Nighttime sleep shifts a bit earlier, with your baby going down around 9pm. She'll also sleep longer, still waking for a feeding or two. Longest unbroken sleep is usually around 5-8 hours (some may sleep an even longer stretch, especially using a sleep aide, like SNOO).Heads up: Look out for the 3-month sleep regression! It can suddenly appear, with your baby starting to wake up like a newborn—every few hours—and want to play or cuddle…but refusing to sleep alone. Also, at 2-3 months of age when swaddling is stopped, your baby may start to startle more, roll more and wake many times a night. (FYI, SNOO provides another unique benefit—safe swaddling for up to 6 months. Our patented swaddle secures to the bed to prevent rolling, so you can safely swaddle without worry.) 4 - 8 Months Total Sleep: 12-14 hours a day. When your baby passes the 4-month mark, she's finished what I call the fourth trimester. Many of your new-parent friends may still be desperate from exhaustion. So, if your little one is a great sleeper, don't brag too much about it to the other moms! The day starts between 6-8am, depending on your baby, of course! Napping: 2-3 naps, totaling 3-5 hours a day. Nighttime sleep starts around 7-9pm. Your baby may have an unbroken piece of sleep of 6-10 hours, which most anyone would call "sleeping through the night!" Heads Up: Teething commonly starts between 4-6 months, but like everything, your baby may be earlier or later to the game. Gum pain can make your baby fussier and disrupt sleep. Loud, rumbly white noise can be very helpful to help your baby tune out distractions, both internal, like teething, and external, such as sudden noises. 8 - 12 Months Total Sleep: 12-14 hours a day by the time she hits 8 months. The day starts around 6-7am. Napping: Still 2-3 a day. Nighttime sleep starts around 7-9pm now. Your baby's longest stretch is likely a glorious 7-10 hours at night! Heads Up: This is when infants love to crawl…and even walk. They often wake up wanting to get out and motor around the room.Until your baby is 12 months old, the only safe "lovey" is a pacifier or white noise. 12 Months (Happy Birthday!!!) Total Sleep: 12-14 hours in a full day’s cycle. The day starts at 6-7am. Napping: 2 naps, totaling 2-4 hours daily. Nighttime sleep usually starts earlier, with your baby hitting the hay between 7-9pm. Early enough for mom and dad to get some alone time! The longest sleeping stretch usually averages 7-10 hours at night. bammaxbabies balance bike play mat
How to Deal With Parent-Toddler Temperament Clashes

How to Deal With Parent-Toddler Temperament Clashes

How to Deal With Parent-Toddler Temperament Clashes Is your child a chip off the old block or a mutant from Mars? Are the two of you peas in a pod...or sparks and dynamite?  I’ve written about how your toddler’s temperament contributes to her behavior. Now let’s turn the tables and look at your temperament. (Yes, you have one too!)  Few of us mesh perfectly with our children. Psychologists have a term for how well a parent’s temperament matches up with his child’s: goodness of fit. And, unlike with lovers, opposites don't always attract. Are You Your Toddler’s Boss or Buddy? During infancy, we happily give our babies everything they want: milk, a clean diaper, cozy cuddling. We bend over backward and savor the sweet reward of their laughter and hugs.  Then, around the first birthday, something changes. Our child starts crawling, walking, and screaming out her strong opinions (“Gimme!!!”). We still try to be “reasonable” and give 90% of what she wants, but 10% of the time we just can’t or don’t want to bend to our child’s request. And guess what? She’s not going to like that. We lovingly acknowledge her feelings. She throws a fit!  We use reason. She throws a fit! We distract...we explain...we warn. She throws a fit!  Pretty soon we’re having a fit too. And the two of us are going at it like a couple of pro wrestlers. So what are you supposed to do? At my lectures, bewildered parents often ask what to do to get their kids to behave: “Should I be more lenient? More tough? Am I breaking her spirit? Giving in too much?” They’re confused about teaching obedience because they don’t have a lot of personal experience and they’re bombarded with contradictory advice: Be giving! Be strict! Be a friend! Be the boss!  Most of us want to respond to our children’s demands with kindness and generosity, hoping that they will follow our lead and learn to be kind in return. But unfortunately, trying to be a “buddy” and repeatedly giving in to your tot’s demands may end up teaching her that whining works and turn her into a spoiled brat.  On the other hand, all parents are warned to back up their rules with swift, predictable consequences if they want to raise an obedient child and keep order in their home. But if that really worked, parenting would be a snap. You’d just command your child to stop...and she would. Unfortunately, parents who try to be their child’s “boss” rely too much on threats and often end up inflaming confrontations rather than reducing them (especially with strong-willed, tenacious tots).  So what’s a parent supposed to do?  Be an Ambassador to Your Toddler The truth is we don’t live in a black-and-white world. Sometimes you’ll act like your child’s buddy and sometimes her boss, but the best way to understand your job is to think of yourself as an ambassador...an ambassador from the 21st century to the “uncivilized” little munchkin living in your home. I know what you’re probably thinking: Ambassador? What the heck does he mean? Well, you know what ambassadors do, right? They go to foreign countries and build good relations by giving, giving, giving. They give aid, throw parties, and show respect. But they’re not pushovers. When there’s a serious conflict, they put their foot down: “My country will not tolerate this.”  As parental “ambassadors” we do the exact same thing. We build good relations with our kids by giving, giving, giving. We give food, love, toys, backrubs–we’re forever giving. But from time to time we also need to put our foot down, set a firm limit and enforce it. To build good relationships with dukes and kings, the world’s best ambassadors all must master two key skills: Communicating with respect (to avoid ruining the relationship by accidentally offending their host) Speaking the language of the country they’re visiting (even the best ambassador will fail if she can’t speak the language of the people with whom she’s working.)   Similarly, to build good relationships with their tots, the world’s best parents must master the same key diplomatic skills: Communicating with respect Speaking the language a toddler’s immature brain can understand (aka toddler-ese)  Young kids can be especially hard to deal with when our temperaments clash with theirs, but with these skills in your back pocket, even an oil-and-water pairing can live in harmony! Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.
Space Saving Baby Products

Space Saving Baby Products

Space Saving Baby Products How many times have you thought; how can such a tiny human need so much stuff? We totally hear you! When preparing for your little one’s arrival it’s easy to create quite a lengthy wish list and some of the items on that list are pretty large. If you’re worried about how all of this is going to fit inside the four walls of your perfect but already full home then we’ve got the perfect answers. With a little bit of research and some clever innovation from our favourite brands, we’ve got some super handy space-saving ideas and products to help you regain some of your precious space in your home.   Phil & Teds Lobster Highchair A conventional highchair can take up quite a lot of space round your dinner table and kitchen. For this one we think it’s fun to think outside of the box and go for the Phil & Teds Lobster highchair. It’s the lightest and most compact high-chair around. The idea is simple, this highchair attaches to most tables and work spaces easily for dinner time, and then can just as easily be removed and stored away when feeding time is over and to keep your space tidy. Plus, with it’s compact size and fold, it easily fits into handbags and buggy baskets to take on the go too. Babymoov Travelnest Discover the ultimate 2-in-1 product from babymoov; a carrycot AND a changing bag. Whilst this is ideal for on the go and family travel, the Babymoov Travelnest is also the perfect space saving product for your home. If you don’t have much space in your living room and want a safe space for your little one to nap in the day, or even a space for them to sleep at night in your room but have limited space, this could be the answer to all your needs. When used as a carrycot, it has a very comfortable removable mattress as well as high sides to keep baby safe while they sleep. The two large handles are cleverly designed to make it easy to transport the carrycot without waking your little one. The Travelnest is ideal for providing somewhere to sleep for daytime naps or when visiting friends and can be used as a carrycot from birth until baby can turn over unaided. Then simply fold it up into the handy stylish changing bag for easy storage and to remove any clutter from your home when not needed.  Babybjorn Bouncer A rocker or a bouncer is a popular parenting must have to offer somewhere for your little one to lie and bounce away whilst they look at the world around them, plus they mean you can have your hands free for once! However, there are some styles out there that quite frankly are huge and would take up a lot of space in your home. We recommend choosing a bouncer than isn’t big in size, but that can also be folded down for easier storage. We love the Babybjorn bouncers, they are all super stylish and would fit in most home decors thanks to their muted colour tones, but they also fold flat after use. Gb Pockit+ When most parents are choosing their pushchair they think of features like; Does it have an easy fold? Can it be used from birth? How much is it? But a question that is just as important is how big is it? For one, once it is folded it needs to be able to fit in your boot for when you’re on the move, but also it needs to be able to be stored in your home easily without taking up all the space in your hallway. This is where compact strollers really come into their own and can offer you huge space saving opportunities. There are so many compact strollers on the market that you will be spoilt for choice once you start researching. Ultimately they all have the same concept; to be small and lightweight, therefore answering all your space saving needs. But we have a little soft spot for the gb Pockit+, purely for its super small size once it is folded (you've got to see it to really believe just how small it can fold up). The compact folded package of your pushchair can fit anywhere, in the smallest car trunks, under a train seat or in valuable storage space at home. Boori Turin Have you always dreamed of the nurseries that you see on Pinterest with the gorgeous grand wooden cribs, but your nursery is somewhat lacking on space? The Boori Turin cot is here to help you achieve your Pinterest worth nursery thanks to its compact size. The Boori Turin has been designed to be slightly more compact than a standard cot to offer parents a more space saving cot solution for smaller nurseries. Plus, it’s lightweight and can fit through door frames thanks to it’s handy wheels, meaning you can move it round the house if you were looking for a bedside sleeper too. Then when the time comes it can be wheeled into the nursery, where it will last until your little one needs a toddler bed.
What is Open-Ended Play, and Why is it so Important?

What is Open-Ended Play, and Why is it so Important?

There is nothing quite as magical or fascinating as a child’s imagination. The make-believe characters, situations and stories they come out with are equally impressive as they are entertaining to listen too. As parents, we want only to encourage their creative minds and let them explore play in their own unique way. But parents are often presented with the question of how? Have you ever bought your little one a toy and they have solved the puzzle in a matter of hours, or already seem bored of it after just one day? We believe the best way to encourage play and creativity is through open ended play. During playtime, our children participate in games and activities that prioritise fun. Open-ended play prioritises fun and creativity. But what exactly is open-ended play and how can you offer it to your child?    What is open-ended play? Basically, open-ended play does not put limitations or rules on playtime. The child has the chance to play as they want with unlimited possibilities for hours of fun. When we provide our children with ready-made play and adventure worlds, which are worked out to the smallest detail, we take away the opportunity for them to develop their own creativity. Whereas, with open-ended play there are no instructions, rules, or preset guides for children to follow with “right” or “wrong” results. During open-ended play, children have the ability to make their own decisions and fully engage their creativity and imagination. What are the benefits?  Helps early development Open-ended play helps your little one to be able to solve problems independently, help them to make decisions confidently and also teaches them the process of trial and error to find solutions. When children aren’t handed specific instructions or toys with easily solutions, they have to use their own mind and skills to learn how to play. For example, when you give them a set of building blocks that have no end results or “correct” solution, then they can build a creation completely influenced by their own imagination. Open-ended play helps stretch their cognitive skills. Children learn to react better in situations, they learn to make choices, and they feel more inspired.  Enhances creativity and imagination When you put limitations on play, children don’t have a chance to be creative. If you give them a pen and paper and tell them to draw a tree, you have taken away all their right to be creative and explore their imagination.  Open-ended play is crucial for these early stages of development in children because as their imagination is developing, it needs to be engaged.   It’s more fun! Also let’s not forget, it’s simply just much a lot more fun! The possibilities of open-ended play are limitless and never ending. A simple cardboard box can become a train, a plane, a table or even a den, and that is the magic.  Ways you can encourage open-ended play Engaging your child in open-ended play is easy. The best way to get your children into open-ended play is to introduce them to materials and toys that offer endless possibilities so that a child can explore and play creatively. It’s also important to just let them go with it and discover play in their own way without getting involved yourself. Let them use their own problem solving skills, imagination and creativity when playing with their toys, even if they are trying to squeeze a square building block through a whole that simply is not big enough. Take a step back at let them figure it out by themselves.  The best open-ended toys Before you even start adding copious colourful and amazing toys to your shopping baskets, you do have some supplies at home to get you started on the open-ended play train. You will be surprised by how much fun your creative little one can have with the most non-descript household items. Tried and tested items such as these work great – Cardboard boxes Paper and arts and crafts supplies Sand or mud Empty toilet rolls And so much more! Start experimenting with what your little one gets excited by  Grimms But if you want guaranteed hours and hours of open-ended play fun then our go to is always Grimms. Open-ended play is at the heart and focus of every single design they make. They make sure to keep the playing possibilities as open as possible with every single one of their toys, so that creativity is not restricted, and can develop in new directions. Every single item in their collection is designed to work with each other to create a world of endless possibilities and a world of play where imagination can run wild to create anything. Small and big builders will find everything they need to create new worlds and games. So, the same components may today be a farm, but tomorrow could be a dolls house.The possible combinations are limitless and open to infinite playing possibilities, and that is the magic of Grimms!   There you have it, the benefits of open-ended play are clear and we encourage every parent to give it a go with their family. Playtime can be fun and educational at the same time. So, what will your little one create?
The 5 S's for Soothing Babies

The 5 S's for Soothing Babies

All babies cry—and that’s a good thing. How else would we know if our helpless infants were cold, hungry, lonely or in pain? Traditionally, moms and dads have just been encouraged to keep their chins up and wait until the baby grows out of it. But, that’s easier said than done! So, what are the 5 S's and why are they so important? Crying Takes a Toll on Babies AND Parents Typically, babies get increasingly irritable around sundown and can continue for hours. No wonder, parents get concerned, frustrated and very, very tired. Exhaustion triggered by persistent crying creates huge stress in families, including marital conflict, maternal and paternal depression and obesity. It causes car crashes and other accidents—people make all kinds of poor decisions when stressed and overtired. It also puts babies in danger when a wiped-out parent falls asleep with a baby in his arms, on an unsafe couch or a bed, which increases the risks for SIDS and infant suffocation. And believe it or not, the national costs of complications of infant crying and parental exhaustion total well over $1 billion dollars a year! My ‘Aha!’ Moment on Calming Babies Most doctors say that colic (crying for more than 3 hours a day) is a mystery. That’s what I used to say, too, until 1981 when I learned about the!Kung Sanof the Kalahari Desert, whose mothers usually calm their fussy babies in under a minute! The more I thought about it, the more I realized we could be as successful as !Kung parents, but only if we adopt 2 new ideas: 1. All babies are born 3 months early. Newborn horses can run within an hour of birth but not our mushy little babies. A virtual 4th trimester of womb sensations (soft touch, jiggly motion, snug holding, etc.) may just be what they need. 2. The rhythms experienced inside the womb trigger a reflex that keeps babies relaxed. This calming reflex is a virtual off-switch for crying and on-switch for sleep.   The !Kung mothers are master baby calmers because they imitate the womb by carrying and rocking their babies 24/7...and feeding them 3 times an hour. American parents have long turned to similar womb-mimicking tricks, whether they’ve realized it or not, like going for car rides and turning on the vacuum cleaner to soothe their babies.   The Basics of the 5 S’sMethod for Soothing Babies Smart parents around the world have invented all kinds of variations on the calming womb-like sensations I’ve dubbed the5 S’s:Swaddle, Side-Stomach Position, Shush, Swing, and Suck. 1. The 1st S: Swaddle Swaddling recreates the snug packaging inside the womb and is the cornerstone of calming. It decreases startling and increases sleep. And, wrapped babies respond faster to the other 4 S’s and stay soothed longer because their arms can’t wriggle around. To swaddle correctly, wrap arms snug—straight at the side—but let the hips be loose and flexed. Use a large square blanket, but don’t overheat, cover your baby’s head or allow unraveling. Note: Babies shouldn’t be swaddled all day, just during fussing and sleep. 2. The 2nd S: Side or Stomach Position The back is the only safe position for sleeping, but it’s the worst position for calming fussiness. This S can be activated by holding a baby on her side, on her stomach or over your shoulder. You’ll see your baby mellow in no time. 3. The 3rd S: Shush Contrary to myth, babies don’t need total silence to sleep. In the womb, the sound of the blood flow is a shush louder than a vacuum cleaner! But, not all white noise is created equal. Hissy fans and ocean sounds often fail because they lack the womb’s rumbly quality. The best way to imitate these magic sounds is white noise. Happiest Baby’s CD/Mp3 has 6 specially engineered sounds to calm crying and boost sleep. 4. The 4th S: Swing Life in the womb is very jiggly. (Imagine your baby bopping around inside your belly when you jaunt down the stairs!) While slow rocking is fine for keeping quiet babies calm, you need to use fast, tiny motions to soothe a crying infant mid-squawk. My patients call this movement the “Jell-O head jiggle.” To do it, always support the head/neck, keep your motions small; and move no more than 1 inch back and forth. I really advise watching the DVD to make sure you get it right. (For the safety of your infant, never, ever shake your baby in anger or frustration.) 5. The 5th S: Suck Sucking is “the icing on the cake” of calming. Many fussy babies relax into a deep tranquility when they suck. Many babies calm easier with a pacifier. Complete guidance can be found in my Happiest Baby on the Block book and companionDVD/Streaming Video. The 5 S’s Take PRACTICE to Perfect The 5 S’s technique only works when done exactly right. The calming reflex is just like the knee reflex: Hit one inch too high or low, and you’ll get no response, but hit the knee exactly right and, presto! If your little one doesn’t soothe with the S’s, watch theHappiest BabyDVD/Streaming Videoagain to get it down pat. Or, check with your doctor to make sure illness isn’t preventing calming. How Do the 5 S’s Relate to Another Favorite S – Sleep? The keys to good sleep are swaddling and white noise. In another "Aha!" moment, I realized technology could assist parents with their 4th-trimester duties. So Happiest Baby invented SNOO, an innovative baby bed based on the 5 S’s that helps calm babies and ease them into sleep. Parents especially love when it quickly calms babies for those 2 a.m. wakings! Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider. If you need to send a beautiful gift to your child, you can take a look at this  
50 Simple Songs to Sing With Your Kids

50 Simple Songs to Sing With Your Kids

Simple Songs to Sing for Kids Whether you’re a karaoke queen or an only-in-the-shower kind of singer, there’s one audience that will always be begging for more: your child. Don’t be shy when there are so many sweet and simple songs to sing with kids that every parent can enjoy belting out, no vocal training required. And it’s beneficial to your little one—according to a recent study, singing to your babies boosts their brain development! In fact, scientists found that “lullabies soothe both moms and babies simultaneously while play-songs increase babies’ attention and displays of positive emotion toward mothers.” That’s a win-win! Ready to make some music? Here are some of our favorite simple songs to sing for kids. Classic Songs to Sing for Kids Listen, these classic songs to sing with kids are classics for a reason. So get ready to cue up some old favorites you probably remember from your childhood. “The Wheels on the Bus” You and your mini-me will have a blast making all the hand motions and sound effects that accompany this classic learning song for kids. You can even make up your own verses! “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” There is no better way to learn the animal sounds than with a rollicking round of Old MacDonald. Add hand puppets if you got ‘em! “Itsy Bitsy Spider” Here’s a little spider who never gives up, and isn’t that a great lesson? “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” This is a classic sleeping song for kids. When bedtime can’t come soon enough, just repeat this simple, soothing verse until their eyes close.   “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” An oldie but goodie, the lyrics mention playing a banjo and blowing a horn, making it a great time to break out the toy musical instruments. “Do Your Ears Hang Low?” Songs don’t have to be serious or even make sense. This super silly ditty will get them giggling. “Head Shoulders Knees and Toes” Learn the body parts with this catchy tune. Try speeding it up as you go for even more fun! “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” Introduce your little player to America’s pastime with this classic seventh inning stretch song. “I’m a Little Teapot” This might be the only time you willingly refer to yourself as “short and stout” with a smile on your face. “The Hokey Pokey” We love a song that comes with easy-to-follow dance moves! “She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain” Yee-haw! This song is so catchy and fun that you’ll find yourself singing it over and over! “Hush Little Baby” The repetitive melody and loving lyrics have lulled many a wee one off to sleep. “ABC Song” This is such a helpful way to remember the alphabet…that many of us are still using it as adults!  “Five Little Monkeys” Who can resist those cute, troublesome little monkeys? “Five Little Ducks” Not only does Five Little Ducks teach counting, but it also lets you quack to your heart’s content. “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” Life is but a dream when you’re singing with your baby. “Baa Baa Black Sheep” An easy segue from “Twinkle Twinkle” (it’s practically the same tune), count on these sheep in your lullaby line-up. “Baby Shark” An instant classic…we’d be surprised if you didn’t already know the words (“doo doo doo doo doo”), but did you know it has hand gestures too? “The Animal Fair Song” The minor calamities that befall the circus animals in this song never fail to amuse toddlers. “The Grand Old Duke of York” Sing this one while bouncing a baby on your knees, raising them up and down according to the words. You’ll even get a work-out!  “If You’re Happy and You Know It” It’s impossible not to feel happy singing this song, plus little ones learn to clap!   Disney Songs to Sing for Kids The House of Mouse sure knows how to turn out the hits! There’s no doubt your little one will find a new favorite (or two or three) among these Disney songs to sing with kids. “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” (Frozen) If you can’t hit the high notes of “Let it Go” or “Into the Unknown,” (and besides Idina Menzel, really, who can?), opt for Anna’s sweet ode to sibling love. “When You Wish Upon A Star” (Pinocchio) Your go-to Disney lullaby is the reassuring classic about dreams coming true. “You’re Welcome” (Moana)     Maui’s hilarious rap will have you tripping over your words in the funniest way. Memorize it and you’ll impress the heck out of your littles. “Heigh-Ho” (Snow White) With a chorus that’s easy to sing and repeat, the seven dwarves’ working song is great for clean-up time.           “Bare Necessities” (Jungle Book) We know there are A LOT of verses, so feel free to stick to the catchy chorus. “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” (The Lion King, 2019) The earworm we all grew up was included in the Lion King remake for a whole new generation to enjoy. Teach your kids the “wimoweh” part so they can back you up! “Under the Sea” (The Little Mermaid) Bath time is better with singing, take it from me! “Be Our Guest” (Beauty and the Beast) Funny and fast, this Beauty and the Beast showstopper is a ball to sing, French accent optional. “A Whole New World” (Aladdin) Unlike most Disney love ballads, “A Whole New World” starts with the prince’s part, making it easier for us commoners to hit all the notes. TV and Movie Songs to Sing for Kids Of course, Disney movies aren’t the only ones that bring it with the sing-able tunes. There are plenty of other TV and movie songs to sing for kids…like these! “Do-Re-Mi” (The Sound of Music) A joyous celebration of music, Do-Re-Mi is meant to be sung over and over and over… “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” (The Wizard of Oz) Before kids are quite old enough to handle the wicked witch and her flying monkeys, they’ll swoon for this gorgeous lullaby about dreams coming true. “Hot and Cold” (Sesame Street) Elmo and Katy Perry duet on a kid-friendly version of her pop hit that teaches about opposites.  “It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” (Daniel Tiger) The theme song from Daniel Tiger is sweet and nostalgic, especially if Mom and Dad grew up on Mr. Rogers. Dive deeper into the show and you’ll find many more catchy tunes with great messages. “Sing” (Sesame Street) Don’t worry if it’s not good enough for anyone to hear, just sing this song and add plenty of “la la la’s” at the end. Theme from Spiderman Can he swing from a thread? This question and more are addressed in Spiderman’s catchy origin story theme song, a must for superheroes-in-training. Addams Family Theme Song It’s kooky, ooky and easy to sing—bonus points if you can snap! “Happy” (Despicable Me 2) The Pharrell smash hit was actually made for the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack. Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof! Pop and Rock Songs to Sing for Kids Okay, okay, sometimes parents need a reprieve from the kiddie tunes. And for those moments, try these (not too grown-up) pop and rock simple songs to sing for kids. “Hey Jude” When in doubt, lean on The Beatles. From the sweetness of “Here Comes the Sun” to the silliness of “Yellow Submarine,” there’s something for every mood. We love “Hey Jude” for the “Nah nah” chorus that anyone can belt. “Baby”         Justin Bieber probably wrote this for a love interest, but it’s the perfect song to sing to your literal baby.   “I’m Still Standing” There are so many great Elton John songs to choose from, but we think this one is perfect for sleep-deprived parents. “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”   Grab a couple of microphones (hairbrushes will do!) and belt out this high-spirited duet together.   “I Can’t Help Myself” Any song that starts “Sugar pie honey bunch, you know that I love you” is good enough for our babies.  “All Night Long” Start a dance party when you sing this Lionel Ritchie classic and remember that life is good, wild and sweet. “Uptown Funk” Who knows what Bruno Mars is actually saying? It’s all in the attitude, which is fierce and fun. “Golden” This groovy Jill Scott number radiates positivity and you can learn the chorus in about 5 seconds. “Hands Clap” Fitz and the Tantrums have basically written the adult version of “If You’re Happy and You Know It (Clap Your Hands)”. Now get ready to put those palms together!  “Old Town Road” Kids can’t get enough of this country-meets-hip-hop hit by Lil Nas X with Billy Ray Cyrus. Let your little one climb aboard your back for a pony ride while you sing it! “Wonderwall” Those of us who came of age in the 90s probably have this song committed to memory already, and it makes an awesome lullaby. “One Love” (Bob Marley) It’s impossible not to feel better when you sing reggae from Bob Marley. Final Thoughts: Simple Songs to Sing for Kids  These songs to sing for kids are simple, fun, and timeless—but the list is by no means finite. What are your favorite songs to sing for your kids? Let us know in the comments below!   Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.