5 Ways to Help Your Teen Daughter Feel Good About Herself

How I perceived myself during my tween/teen years can be summed up in three little words:

Not. So. Great.

All you have to do is look back to my childhood/teenage diaries to see exactly what I’m talking about:

When I look back at family albums at pictures of myself there really wasn’t anything at all wrong with me. Yes I was a little overweight, but it was nothing to be overly concerned about. Yes I wore a ton of black eyeliner and dressed like Madonna, but so did all of the other girls back then.  And yes my hair was gi-normous, but it was the eighties and I was living in New York and Florida – what did you expect?

Tell her she’s beautiful.

Even if at the moment you’re not so sure – maybe she has some questionable fashion choices, wears black lipstick or has dyed her hair some insane color. She’s still your girl and she’s in there – buried – but there. She’s exploring, experimenting, expressing – figuring out who she is and where she fits in. As frustrating as it may be to you and to Grandma, it’s sooo normal. When my parents were overly concerned about my bad makeup choices in the seventh grade, my mom sneakily took me to the mall where we made a pit stop at the Clinique counter for an appointment with a woman in a white lab coat. It was my makeup intervention! I still wear Clinique’s Raspberry Glace lipstick to this day thanks to that lady in the lab coat.

Have her friends over.

My house was hangout central, where all the girls and guys liked to gather after school and on the weekends. My friends loved my parents – Mom and Dad took the time to get to know them, from where they grew up to who they had crushes on. My mom gave my girlfriends manicures and my dad rented horror movies for us to watch and popped popcorn with lots of butter. Our house is where we would eat pizza on a Friday night and where couples gathered to have homecoming and prom photos taken – because we all enjoyed being there. I credit my mom and dad for making “Lori’s house” the place to be/meet/hang.

Don’t deny her of the good stuff.

Short and sweet – give her the sweets. I was tormented for years, watching my girlfriends eat good old fashioned old ice cream while I sat with my little plastic cup of – blech- ice milk. Do they even make ice milk anymore? I don’t think so and I hope not, because ice milk sucks. Give your daughter ice cream. Not  the carton with a spoon – a bowl. Give her real yogurt and real sour cream too. The good stuff in moderation is so much sweeter than the bland stuff every day.

One on one time.

During the tenth grade I was having a really hard time – my weight, my grades, my boy troubles – the usual. I remember specifically my mom taking me out to breakfast one Sunday right after church. It was out of the normal routine and weird that my dad and brother were going home rather than coming out with us. She recognized that I was struggling and had a conversation with me about what was going on, plain and simple. No talking down to me or anger over a failed test, less like a parent and more like a friend which sometimes is needed. That breakfast has always stuck with me as something special my mom did for me.

Encourage her.

I know – no brainer right? Whatever she’s interested in, wherever her passions lay.  In high school I tried out for pretty much everything until I found my “people” in the drama club. I ended up majoring in theatre in college and my parents supported me, never saying, “What are you going to do with a theatre degree?” and drove two hours to see me in every production I did away at school.

These are exciting years – and difficult years, full of change and growth. With support, understanding and love you will both get through them. Who knows – those questionable fashion choices may lead her to be a future season finalist on Project Runway.

When is it safe for me to start exercising after the birth of my baby?

This normally depends on how fit you were before giving birth and whether or not you had a normal delivery or a caesarean section. After a normal birth and a caesarean section its worth waiting until you have your six week check at the doctors before starting strenuous activity such as jogging aerobics or an exercise class.

However if you had a normal birth then regardless of fitness pelvic floor exercises can be started as soon as a new mum feels ready. However do not do full sit ups until your pelvic floor has recovered fully.

If you exercised right until the end of your pregnancy then light exercises can be started almost straight away. I swam until the day before my first daughter was born and with a fairly easy delivery I started light exercise almost straight away. I was taking my baby for a walk within a week of the birth. However after the birth of my third baby I had a much more difficult birth and I did not start any exercise apart from pelvic floor exercises until after my six week check at my doctors. I think with so many of these things only you know how you are feeling!

So if you are feeling really well just start off gradually with light stretching and taking your baby out in the buggy.  Listen to your body if you are over doing it then you will know.  If you are feeling physically tired try and rest more.  If you are over doing it, instead of your bleeding (lochia) reducing after birth it could start getting heavier again. If this happens its worth consulting your doctor.

Are there any reasons why I should not exercise?

If as so many new Mums find you wet yourself just a little at times when you laugh or sneeze then exercising hard will aggravate this.  Its worth looking at increasing your pelvic floor exercises again.  These can be done stood doing the washing up or stood in the bus queue and nobody need know just by clenching the muscles of your pelvic floor!!!

After having my third baby my stomach  just was not going back in the way that it had with my other babies.  I had something called diastasis rectus abdominus which basically meant my stomach muscles had stretched too much during pregnancy.  My mid wife diagnosed me with this and with lots of lower tummy exercises and pelvic floor exercises I was able to rectify it myself but it is important not to do full sit ups until it has healed.

Lastly if you had back pain or pelvic pain during pregnancy consult your GP or a physiotherapist before exercising.

After your six weeks check and everything has returned to normal more strenuous exercise is an option but start gradually! things to consider:

  • Exercise classes: A legs bums and tums class may be a good start. Always tell the instructor that you have only just had a baby and they will tailor the exercise to suit you and keep a keen eye on your to ensure you are not overdoing any of the exercises..
  • Walking: With your baby in a pushchair or stroller is great for baby and Mum.
  • Pilates: This is a great way to bring all your muscles back into action with support in the right areas, you will be able to take it at your own pace which is really important both for affect of the exercise but also for your self confidence and determination to continue! Pilates links so very well into yoga and any further aerobics activity so you can perhaps vary your “getting back into shape” regime by mixing your classes.
  • Cycling: With your baby in a pull along baby trailer from about 6 months this may well be the opportunity to get yourself back into society!! You will meet up with other like-minded mothers whilst at the same time really getting yourself back into shape in a really pleasant way..
  • Jogging: There is no reason, if you maintained your fitness levels throughout your pregnancy, why you are not able to start jogging or do more strenuous activity at this stage. I started jogging for an hour three to four times a week after my six week check with all my babies. My milk supply remained unaffected. However I needed a good support bra my nursing bra was simply not good enough! I would feed my baby beforehand and then would go for a run and it worked for me!

There is some research to suggest that after strenuous exercise that your milk will have higher levels of lactic acid and that this could change the taste of your milk for your baby. I never noticed any difference with my babies but that was my personal experience other mothers may notice other effects! If you have experienced differently we would love to hear through your comments below.

5 Tips You Need To Learn For A Healthier Bedtime Routine

If you’re a parent, you’re familiar with the nightly challenge of getting your kids to go to bed, and stay there. I know it’s not easy, but you have to know it’s for their own good. Kids must get enough sleep. Otherwise, they’ll have a hard time controlling their emotions. You know how irritable and hyper kids can be when tired.

A good bedtime routine can make evenings less stressful and more fun for you and your little ones. I know, it’s easier said than done, but if you instill a routine in them at a young age, they’ll know what to expect. Setting and maintaining good sleep habits it’s very important. It helps your child fall asleep, stay asleep, and awake rested and refreshed.

Now, let’s forget about the “just ten more minutes” plea, and apply these 5 tips for a healthier bedtime routine:

Set A Bedtime

Make a plan and set a bedtime. Don’t take into consideration that it is weekend or a week day because it shouldn’t matter. The bedtime must remain the same. By being consistent they’ll know what to expect every evening.

Set a routine before getting into bed, and stick to it every day. Our routine includes a bath, brushing teeth, putting on pajamas and reading. Let your kids say goodnight to the family members (including your pet) before getting into bed.

Wind Down

For a healthy sleep, your little ones must start the process of winding down their body and brain before getting into bed. They can do that by respecting some rules before bedtime, like no TV, no iPod, no chocolate, and no hard play.

A good way of winding down is by reading a book or having a conversation. I find it helpful to have a quiet conversation with my son about his day with the lights out.

Work As A Team

You don’t have to go through this routine alone. When you set a routine, both parents need to be on the same page. So talk to your husband and stick to the plan.

If the sleep routine is something new for your kids, make them a part of your team. If they’re old enough to understand, explain them the plan. For younger kids, a picture chart is a great way to learn a new routine, using pictures so they can understand easier.

Be Firm

If you’re still hearing the endless plea “Five more minutes, please!” your kids are trying to prolong the bedtime routine. Whether they ask for a hug, water, or want to go to the toilet, they will try anything. The trick is to stay firm, and don’t give in. Let your kid know that once they are in bed, they stay in bed.

Make Sure They Know The Routine

If your kids are older and have their own TV in their room, this may prove a little tricky. Be sure they know that after the lights go out, they need to go to sleep. Reading with the help of a torchlight or watching TV are not allowed.

 

If your kids will follow the same routine every evening, falling asleep will become an easy thing to do.

Developing the best Breastfeeding Diet

As all nurses, doctors and Mums say breast is best for both Mum and baby.

Evidence shows that breast milk ensures babies remain healthier since the milk helps boost the babies immunity.  It also helps protect against infection by providing anti bodies to increase babies ability to fight common infections.  Colostrum is the milk that mothers produce just after birth and this vitally important milk contains a higher proportion of infection fighting substances just when a new born needs that boost. Research also shows that a baby fed by the breast attains a higher IQ which will last into adulthood.

Knowing that babies are healthier and stronger if they are breast fed, a new Mum will need to look at her diet to ensure that she is absorbing sufficient nutrients and goodness to maintain her health and ultimately her newborn baby’s health.

While breast feeding the nutritional quality of milk will remain good almost regardless of the Mums diet since it is natures’ way of ensuring the health and wellbeing of a new born baby.  However, the quantity produced will certainly be affected if the diet of the mother is poor.  So to maintain the health of both Mum and baby a diet packed with nutrients for Mum is beneficial for both.

A nursing Mum will provide 25 to 35 fluid ounces of milk daily.  To do this Mum will need an extra 500 calories daily contained within her diet and must therefore increase her daily intake from around 2000 calories a day to 2500 calories. It is important to say here that these are approximate values and everyone has different requirements; what is important is not to go on a strict diet while breast feeding unless you have consulted a doctor or dietician. A controlled and balanced diet is what we should aim for whether in pregnancy or following birth and this regime should be maintained with just the additional quantity to account for the increased calorific requirements of the baby,

One problem is that we all rarely adopt a correct diet in our daily lives, not to mention when we are pregnant or have given birth!!…we really should concentrate on a good healthy general diet with a few additional supplements to assist the baby.

Foods to eat while breastfeeding

  • Fresh fruit and vegetables which provides vitamin C which is essential for a nursing Mum.  The recommended amount is 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day but it is worth considering increasing this in take to nine portions as vitamin C is essential for the absorption of iron so keeping Mum healthy.  So select five vegetables such as carrots, asparagus. sweet potato, spinach and broccoli  and four fruits such as berries, pears, bananas and apples.
  • Protein (70-100g) such as meats, chicken, beans, tofu and eggs.
  • Polyunsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats.  This includes, nuts, avocados and olive oil as well as two portions of oily fish a week especially fish such as salmon which good for brain function in both baby and Mum.  However it is worth noting that in pregnancy it is recommended that tuna, swordfish. shark and marlin should not be eaten as there is a high mercury content in these fish.  Some sources say that it is fine to eat these once a week  but I would just choose to avoid avoid eating these fish if possible.
  • Foods rich in Vitamin B12 such as red meats, fish, milk and fortified cereals.
  • Foods rich in Vitamin D such as eggs, salmon and mackerel.   In pregnancy again there are recommendations to also take a vitamin D supplement and while breastfeeding there is research to suggest that this is still a good idea.
  • Foods rich in calcium particularly milk and dairy products.
  • Complex Carbohydrates (6-9 ounces) such as wholemeal bread and pasta, brown rice and quinoa

What foods should a breastfeeding Mum avoid?

Top Tip: Get A Good Book

This is probably the best all-round book there is for breastfeeding, suitable for first time moms it’s a portable resouce that is easy to read and provides the best ‘how-to’s’ of any book I’ve seen. It’s very cheap and has real life stories and examples of moms around the world.Click Here for More Info…

There are lots of old wives tales as to what you can or cannot eat while breast feeding but the truth is that it is possible to eat anything within reason.However every baby is different and sometimes just a mother’s instinct is the only way of determining whether a food is affecting her baby.  Sometimes if a baby has colic it may be worth cutting out certain foods to see whether this improves. While breast feeding one of my daughters I found if I drank orange juice my baby seemed to have colic but by cutting this out she became far more settled!
What is certain though is that a baby becomes accustomed to the flavour of their mothers’ milk for example babies in Thailand are used to highly spiced foods affecting the taste of their milk, in European countries garlic is used to flavour food and this all filters into breast milk. What is important is to consider how the baby is responding and whether the baby is contented.
It is not common but it is possible for babies to have an allergic reaction to foodstuffs contained in Mums diet and if you suspect this it is worth consulting your doctor or dietician.

Fluid intake

Fluid intake is very crucial when you breastfeed a baby. This is due to the fact that 90 % of breast milk consists of water. Following childbirth Mum will need to raise her water consumption to about 3L of water daily.  Most Mums find that when they breastfeed they are far thirstier than normal so it is fairly easy to drink the extra fluid needed! A wonderful way to obtain  enough fluids on a daily basis is to drink a glass of water while nursing the baby. This will ensure both Mum and baby stay hydrated!

What else should be avoided?

Drugs should not be taken while feeding your baby however drinking alcohol occasionally is fine. The suggestion is if you are going to have a drink then to drink it just after  feeding your baby since it may take about 3 hours for alcohol to be metabolised by your body. However this is not to say that drinking regularly is a good idea.

It is also recommended that although caffeine is safe to drink its best to minimise its intake. It is essential to avoid too much caffeine because baby’s behavior may be affected by caffeine in breast milk. So try reducing caffeine consumption to one diet soda or two coffees daily.

For mothers that are vegetarian, we would advise eating a variety of foods to ensure a well balanced diet. Nursing vegetarian mums can easily become deficient in Vitamin B12 so it is worth considering taking vitamin supplements as well as fortified yeast to ensure that both you and your baby remain healthy.  We also advise you to consult a dietitian.

Eating well-balanced foods is essential for the newborn and the mum. It provides a good postpartum recuperation for the mother as well as a healthy satisfying start for the child.

7 Ways the Infant Stage Makes Me Grateful for Everyday Things

The infant stage makes us stop and marvel at the miracle of life; in a short nine months, a whole new person grows all of his or her perfect little parts and then bam: here our babies are. It’s a momentous thing, followed by a million magical moments in which we wonder how our hearts can hold such a big kind of love. Meanwhile, life’s basics–like sleep, showers and social lives–land temporarily on the back burner as we care for our little ones around the clock. The first time I had a baby, I think I spent more time wondering why these basics were so hard to come by; I adored my newborn, but worried I might never sleep again. This time, I know how quickly this phase passes, and the “basics” feel more like little blessings every time they come my way. Here are seven everyday things I’m especially grateful for this time around:

1. Pinterest

I hook myself up to the breast pump four or five times a day (in addition to feeding Otto at the breast!), and while I usually spend that time responding to emails, paying bills or working, I only have eyes–or energy–for Pinterest once my 10 PM pumping session rolls around. Scrolling through images of beautiful interiors, cool projects and organized everything is soothing to my busy, new-again mama soul. My house may be messy, I definitely don’t have time for painting furniture, and “organized” is not in my vocabulary right now, but Pinterest reminds me of what it feels like to be inspired in these areas. It doesn’t bother me that I’m not there yet myself–I know I will be again, eventually, and when I get there, I have plenty of pins stockpiled to start things off with a bang.

2. Friends Bearing Coffee

Good company is a gift in itself, and I love just spending time with my friends; I’m grateful that they’re happy hanging out with me in the midst of my postpartum glory. (They still love me with spit-up on my shirt.) I’ve also been delighted by the little gifts they’ve brought along when they’ve stopped by: homemade soup, hot coffee, flowers, a watermelon… Whether they have kids of their own or not, my friends have guessed perfectly at the little things that make my day more special.

3. Hot Showers

‘Nuff said, right? These days, long hot showers (one of my favorite things ever–ever, even pre-babies) are not guaranteed on a daily basis. So when I get that time to myself, under the hot, running water, I love it all the more. Yum.

4. My Husband’s Bygone Bachelor Days

Cooking is another of my all-time favorite activities, but if I’m breastfeeding on the couch when dinner hour’s approaching, my hubby (pictured above with babyman) asks me if I had a plan for dinner, and then jumps in and makes a more simple, streamlined version of that plan, bachelor-style. He might leave out the zucchini I’d planned to put in the heirloom-tomato pasta sauce (I’m a food nerd… and not streamlined), but he gets a hot meal on the table–quickly–and keeps our evening on track. This is crucial with a 3-year-old at home too.

5. Amazon Prime

Running multiple errands with a baby and a toddler is, um… Let’s just say I haven’t mastered it yet. Lucky for me, I don’t have to, thanks to Amazon Prime. I love the free shipping. I love that I can get great deals on items bought in bulk, like the six boxes of Borax (cloth diapering staple) or the case of Mother’s Milk tea I just purchased. And I love that the items come right to my door. Two days later. The only thing I don’t recommend about Amazon Prime is logging in when you’re awake with a baby at 3 AM… Purchasing is dangerously easy for that kind of hour.

6. Babywearing

There are lots of ways to wear a baby. Mine won’t take naps unless he’s on my body, making my Ergo indispensible to getting anything else done. So grateful for babywearing.

7. TLC (For Them and Me)

Because I know how quickly the baby days pass, I’m savoring every moment of caring for my smallest boy. All of it is a pleasure. Really. Diapers and night-feedings included. Caring for my big kid, and my hubs (who’s also caring for me) feels really great, too. I guess since I’m now pushing 30, and since my first baby is now almost 4, I just sense how fleeting young family life is, and how special it is to have people to love, and serve, in all of the small, everyday ways that won’t feel small at all when I look back on them one day.

I also know that in order to take care of my people, I need to take good care of myself. Some of this–like showers, and tea-dates with friends–can be done at home, but sometimes leaving the house for a little while, alone, hits the spot. I’ve been getting acupuncture to boost my milk supply and just generally recover from pregnancy and childbirth; although I’m very aware of the time that’s passing when I’m away from my kiddos, I know my husband has it under control, and the 30 minutes or so of silence and stillness on the acupuncture table feels deeply restorative. When I arrive back at home, I do so as my best self, which benefits all of us. I’m grateful for these little self-care escapes and grateful for the life I return to.

What everyday things does being a mama make you grateful for?

12 Tips for College “Frosh Moms” Everywhere

Plenty of us send our kids off to college. Many of us lie and say it’s no big deal. Fact: It’s an adjustment. Your child must adjust. So do you. My son took 12 minutes to transition to college life. Me? Um, it was tougher than I anticipated. Yet, we still like each other (even after a summer together at home), so I can confidently share some tried-and-true advice for those heading into that rookie year.

  1. Don’t send white sheets, white towels or, really, anything white. What happens between the time you send your child off with pristine linens and when he arrives home is a mystery. Make it easy. Gray goes with everything.
  2. Save the drama for the ride home. I managed that last hug just fine but the “I love you guys” text received in the parking garage ruined me for days. Invisible tears are good.
  3. College kids creatively find solutions. Accept their system. Example: They had the ironing board and the iron, but were lacking one basic skill: how to iron. (Thought I’d covered that but who remembers details like life skills?) A special event and a botched attempt at pressing dress shirts prompted this response from my son’s roommate: “Don’t worry, Mrs. Redmond. We’ll just Google it.” Of course.
  4. Close your eyes. Once you leave that dorm room, return at your own risk. If you visit, ignore serious housekeeping lapses, and the fact that your child and his roommates constructed a Tiki hut in their living room.
  5. Invest in air freshener. What a bonanza for the inventor of this stuff! Febreeze is one of the first purchases college kids make. Dismiss the fact that they are planning not to follow basic hygiene principles.
  6. Learn to guess. Kids call their parents for four reasons. 1. They want assurance and/or advice. 2. They have bad news (grades). 3. They have good news (grades). 4. Money. All calls are made via cell phone while they’re breathlessly walking between classes in the wind, rain or during a tornado warning. You, Mom, are at the dentist. And you are expected to understand why they called. If you ask your child to repeat an indiscernible statement, he may say, “Mom, I’ve noticed you’re having trouble understanding me lately. Maybe you should get your hearing checked.”
  7. Text and Email. Texting and emailing are easy. While your child may still ignore you, it is less likely than with an actual voice call because two words–“I’m good”– can assure you that he still walks on the planet. However, if “various things you email me about” is the subject line of your child’s message, you may be overusing this communication tool.
  8. Kids travel. Be ready. You moved them to one campus, but they want to go to see friends somewhere else and they have a ride. And they’re over 18. Surprise! Or, the fraternity formal is 240 miles from campus! We weren’t ready for this one so figure out your family policy before you get blindsided. (Hint to parents: If you pay any bills, you have some control.)
  9. Beware of Facebook. The day my son included me among his 1,200 “friends” was a fine day, indeed. But when I commented on a post, I discovered that kids expect Mom to be publicly silent. There’s also a thing called “limited access.”
  10. Come up with a Bedbug Prevention Plan. My children call this the BPP, usually accompanied by an eye roll. Yes, I have been dubbed the most neurotic mom ever for my insistence that all clothing and dorm accessories be left in the garage and subsequently washed and dried with high heat, vacuumed and otherwise inspected. Hassle? Yes. The cost of peace of mind? Priceless.
  11. Learn to talk in your sleep. Though we requested that late-night phone calls be reserved for urgent situations, both “late-night” and “urgent” apparently were not clearly defined. If you are prone to have conversations and make travel arrangements with your child while you are in REM sleep, request clarification of all nocturnal conversations in writing.
  12. Wear your seat belt. Your child will sound horrible. He says he is sick. You worry about him, think he has certainly contracted Ebola and plan to contact the CDC. Twenty-four hours pass, you’ve lost sleep and he is MIA. Finally, you call to discover that he has a cold “but it isn’t that bad after all and there’s this great concert tonight in the quad. Talk to ya later, Mom.” Now breathe.

Terrible or terrific? The tumultuous twos

Labels are for tins. Not children.

It strikes me that, when our children do not conform to some imagined set of behaviours or abilities people are quick to label them – the Terrible Twos are just one example of this. But are we right to fear the tempers of our toddlers? And what should we do when faced with them?

What do we expect from our two year olds?

The psychologist, Watson, in the 1920s stated that we should expect our children to behave thus-

[a well behaved child is one who] who never cries unless actually struck by a pin, – who loses himself in work and play- who quickly learns to overcome the small difficulties in his environment without running to mother, father, nurse or other adult – who soon builds up a wealth of habits that tides him over dark and rainy days – who puts on such habits of politeness and neatness and cleanliness that adults are willing to be around him at least part of the day; (he is) a child who is willing to be around adults without fighting incessantly for notice -who eats what is placed before him and ‘asks no questions for conscience sake’ – who sleeps and rests when put to bed for sleep and rest

(Watson, 1928, p. 9-10)

Is this really how you want your toddler to behave? This stepford toddler would concern me, frankly. But in order to label a child as not behaving the way we want them to, we must be holding an idea of what we want them to look like. In some cultures difference and independence are highly valued. In others everyone is expected to conform. What do we want from our children?

Watson, in the 1920s, equated happiness with self-reliance, productivity and an absence of emotion. In the 2010s it is hard to be sure exactly how our children are expected to behave. I have certainly heard parents and media label Toddlers’ behaviour as “naughty” – and there is an emphasis on stopping “bad” behaviour. But possibly not a lot of thought put into telling people (both big and small) what it is we want them to do.

What are the Terrible Twos?

In the 1930s. Goodenough talked about an increase in aggression in the 2 year old age group. Move into the 1940s and people start talking about the Terrible Twos. The Yale Child Development Centre noted that behaviour around the 18 month to 2 year mark started to become difficult, with children being less adaptive and flexible at this age. I don’t think it is coincidence that the labelling of these difficult years was 1940s and 1950s America when conformity was the watchword and widely accepted standards of dress and consumerism of mass produced goods ensured that the status quo was held on to. Having a difficult toddler, screaming and shouting “No!” was re-labelled, not as rebellion but as conformity to the behaviour expected of his age group – the Terrible Twos.

However, this is not to say that an increase in “difficult” behaviour and “non-compliance” doesn’t increase from two years old or so. Observation studies have shown that noncompliance does increase during the toddler years, which may be because autonomous thought and expression are emerging (Kalb & Loeber, 2003).

Why do toddlers tantrum?

Well, my guess is for exactly the same reasons adults do. Frustration, boredom, to get someone to pay attention to what you want, being fed up of being told what to do… The list is endless. We are suddenly faced with little people who are learning to talk (but don’t yet have all the words they need), who are gaining a sense of their own independence (but don’t yet have the motor skills and/or the trust of those around them to let them do everything they want to do independently), who have a sense of “me” and “mine (but so do their playmates, and they have yet to learn to share). And so we see explosions of temper as they try and negotiate the minefield of emotions they find themselves confronted with.

If you really are at a loss as to why your toddler is pitching a fit, Applied Behavioural Analysis may help you throw some light on the whole thing. Looking at the antecedents (what comes before) and the consequences (what comes after) can show us why people do what they do.

So keeping a diary, writing down what the behaviour was, what was going on when it happened, and what happened afterwards, gives you something to look through at the end of the day – perhaps you will genuinely find no reasons – sometimes toddlers just feel overwhelmed and grizzle and cry or there is an internal reason (cold, bored, headachy) that we can’t see and we will not be able to establish why. Or perhaps a light will come on “oh, he threw his toys after playing quietly for an hour. It was 12 o’clock and we ate soon after, so either he was hungry and couldn’t explain it (or didn’t understand how he felt) or he had got bored and didn’t know how to move on to another task”. So you then make sure that food is offered earlier and see if this reduces the behaviour, or keep an eye out for signs a toy is getting dull and help your child to transition to another game. If you can’t write it down in a diary, at least you can use these techniques to have a think once the tidal wave of emotions has calmed to figure out what was going on.

A lot of the time you may find that the consequence if the behaviour is simply your attention. In which case giving more attention when their behaviour is what you are hoping for and giving positive reinforcement for it “you are playing so well!” is likely to increase positive and reduce negative behaviour. This is often coupled with “ignoring negative behaviour”. There are two problems with this, though. Firstly, ignoring your child is often not possible (if they are placing themselves or others in danger) or desirable (some schools of thought say that it is better to acknowledge how the child feels, validating their emotions and helping them to recover their composure). Also some parents seem to really struggle with the concept of ignoring “bad” behaviour – my husband often recalls seeing a mother of a wailing toddler coming out of a supermarket, with her hands under her armpits, she drew her child up to eye level and yelled in her face “Bad behaviour! I am not paying you any attention!”

Who is really being “terrible”?

In any one day the average parent of the average toddler is likely to have done all or some of these things- shouted, flung things, thumped a table, yelled, ignored, told their little one to go away, taken a toy from their child, and, in far too many instances, hit.

The NSPCC reported that in 2002 over 50% of the public thought it not cruel to smack a toddler. By 2007, however, only 33% of people thought it was OK. Well, that’s progress, I guess. Hitting, spanking and smacking is another article entirely though.

But how can we expect our children not to shout when we shout at them? To share their toys if we take theirs away? Or not to hit if we hit them?

So what should we do?

For fun, let’s check out what Watson suggests-

Treat them as though they were young adults. Dress them, bathe them with care and circumspection. Let your behavior always be objective and kindly firm. Never hug and kiss them, never let them sit on your lap. If you must, kiss them once on the forehead when they say good night. Shake hands with them in the morning. Give them a pat on the head if they have made an extraordinarily good job on a difficult task. Try it out. In a week’s time you will find how easy it is to be perfectly objective with your child and at the same time kindly. You will be utterly ashamed of the mawkish, sentimental way you have been handling it

(Watson, 1928, p. 81-82)

Whatever your approach, it seems that consistency is key. An inconsistent style of discipline reinforces the unwanted behaviors in the child and several studies have found an association between inconsistent discipline and child conduct problems (Kolb & Loeber, 2003). So whatever you do, make sure you (and your partner/grandparents etc) stick with it.

Over the last decade or so, it has become fashionable to parade “difficult” children on TV programmes and “fix” them for the entertainment of the masses. Sometimes helpful tips can be picked up, sometimes the “one size fits all” approach leads to the development of portable naughty steps so that you never leave home without one.

So, do naughty steps, time out, or the removal of toys work? These all come under the remit of punishment. Time out originally meant “time out from positive interaction”, however it is seldom used as such and more frequently is used to remove the child from a situation. Time-out procedures have been found to be effective at reducing child noncompliance (Roberts et al. 1981) and evidence suggests that these results can be generalised to other behaviours, such as aggression. However, there is very little evidence to suggest that the benefits that are found in the short-term continue into long term benefits (Houlihan, 1992).

With regards to the sudden increase in the use of punishment and naughty steps for toddlers, I find myself in agreement with Gina Ford (I know. I was shocked too) who said the following:

Put bluntly, these TV programmes promote the idea that children are a different breed who need to be tamed. It’s almost a throwback to Victorian times, and as such it’s terribly worrying.
I’ve regularly seen normal toddler behaviour, such as biting, being demonised in these programmes. The culprits are branded as ‘naughty’ and in need of punishment. So they sit on a step, or whatever, until they submit. Is this really the way we should be raising our children in the 21st century?

Ford eschews the naughty step in favour of “descriptive praise” where you praise a child by telling them exactly what you think they have done well. This positive conditioning approach focuses on good behaviour rather than bad and, as a rule, is known to work well in a variety of settings and is regularly used by psychologists.

But what do you do in the moment, when your child is biting, hitting, screaming, throwing…?
I think the answer to the age old question of how to deal with difficult behaviour, is to try and decide why the temper has flared in the first place. If you then consider how you would like to be treated in similar situations, you would probably be onto something.

When I am frustrated, the worse thing to say to me is “calm down”. If you made me sit on the stairs It would be very unlikely to diffuse my emotions. However, a hug or some understanding that I am cross would probably help. Dr Sears recommends this for frustrated toddlers:

Occasionally, a very strong-willed child will lose control of himself during a tantrum. If often helps to simply hold him firmly, but lovingly, and say, “You’re angry, and you have lost control. I’m holding you because I love you”

Basically a hug, reinforcement of safety and love, and labelling the emotions – this helps the child learn what they are feeling and help them to regulate their emotions and stay safe until it goes away. Of course some children would hate to be hugged when they are angry, in which case I think he would recommend that you don’t – despite what we are led to believe, we as parents usually do know our children better than the authors of books who have never met them.

If your child is putting themselves or someone else in danger or is hurting someone, the Sears approach is to intervene and firmly remove them from the situation:

Biting hurts, and it’s wrong to hurt. You are going to sit by me.” Usually by two years of age the child can make the connection between being aggressive and the consequences. Encourage your child to say “I’m sorry.” If he’s not angry anymore, he might want to give a kiss or hug

Others disagree with making a child apologise unless they are old enough to understand and really mean it.

But the biggest weapon in Sears’ arsenal is to prevent the set up in the first place. Decide where you want to draw the line and which battles you chose to fight – carseats are non-negotiable, for example. In our house transitioning from pyjamas to clothes is often a fight waiting to happen. So when X doesn’t need to get dressed, he doesn’t, but when we need to go out he can have some limited choice about getting dressed – “these trousers or these ones? Wellies or shoes?” etc. that way he has some control over what happens to him rather than always being told what to do and when to do it. Getting down to his level helps too, rather than standing above him.

There is a balance, says Liedloff, author of the Contiuum Concept. If we placate our toddler by giving them what they want whenever they tantrum, they won’t experience the boundaries that help them to feel safe. They feel anxious and confused if the boundaries are not clear or fall down with the slightest push. We can, states Leidloff, be too child-centred.

Non compliance has to be one of the most difficult tantrum starters. That non-negotiable car seat, for example. How do people cope? Here are some ideas-
1. Make it a game. Distract your toddler with toys, singing, anything that takes their mind off the fact that they do not want to do what they are being told to do.
2. Positive reinforcement for carrying out the behaviour. You call it bribery. I call it reinforcement. “I really want to give you these raisins, but you need to be sitting in your car seat” or “when you get into your car seat we can play your favourite CD/go to the park/see if we can find any tractors while we drive to…”

I think we often have to change our approach too, these toddlers keep us on our toes! X hates to clean his teeth. For a while it was non negotiable and resulted in a nightly tussle. Then singing worked, but then it didn’t. Then an electric toothbrush worked for a few weeks. Then it didn’t. Then modelling work, then stopped. We moved onto a toothbrush with a dragon head cover which he gets to hold, then the dragon checks his teeth. When this doesn’t work we brush his teddy’s teeth at the same time and X “shows him how”. For now, these two approaches are working. My, you have to be creative in this game!

The latter approach described is similar to the technique known as “Playful Parenting”. A clever, (but possibly exhausting) approach to your children where you say yes as often as possible (by trying to avoid situations where you are likely to have to say no) and approaching times when you would normally find yourself nagging, exasperated, with humour and games. Thinking about it, perhaps this is not as exhausting as constant battles, frustration and yelling. And the author acknowledge that the idea may seem too much for a tired parent “when we are exhausted or when we are at the end of our rope, we tend to think that play will just be more of an energy drain. But when we engage playfully with our children, we find that suddenly we do have energy, both for fun and finding solutions to thorny problems” (pg. 14).

Being clear about what you want your toddler to do will often prevent tantrums in the first place. There is strong evidence to suggest that little ones are less likely to comply with a task if they are given complicated instructions those that are aversive or vague increase child-ignoring behavior (Dumas & Lechowicz, 1989). This highlights the importance of making requests to children which are clear and age appropriate and which also take into account other factors (such as how tired or hungry the child may be).

So, do the Terrible Twos exist?

Well, in so far as your child is two. And their emotional reactions can be terrible. There are times when the label “Terrible Twos” may feel very apt. But I do hate the term.
This is a time when our toddlers are learning a lot about themselves, their environment, control and power. They are developing speech, an understanding of a range of emotions, cognitive and physical skills… The changes are huge and out of their control. Every day they are told when to get up, dress, eat, sleep…. It is hardly surprising that they want to have their say.
I know, too, that as parents we had kind of got used to being able to generally get our babies to do what we want them to. So this is a bit of a shock to our system too.
Labelling an entire year of a child’s life as “terrible” is very sad. It ignore the amazing things you learn and discover at this age, and the wonders of each little change and growth that we witness as parents.
And when we try and use a “one size fits all” approach and don’t respect our toddlers as little human beings, with the right to have a say in their lives and a right to show us how they feel, what are we modelling?
We have to balance parental control and responsibility with a healthy dose of understanding and respect.

As Dr Suess would say:
A person’s a person. No matter how small

Five Tips for Going Back to School as a Parent

It’s a common thing these days; more people than ever are taking classes while also taking care of their children. Going to school is not easy, and doing it as a parent is even more difficult. Still, if you have your sights set on that dream job which required more schooling, nothing should impede you from obtaining that goal.

Let’s face it, though. Back-to-school parents are not typical students. They have many more life responsibilities to juggle, like dealing with the kids, preparing dinner, being a dedicated spouse, and full-time jobs. When I decided to go back to school for my master’s degree, I was also working as a full-time teacher. At first, it was difficult to work and attend classes, but eventually I realized that I had to take a different approach to graduate school than the one I took during undergrad. Once I did that, everything came into focus.

To keep everything in order without driving myself insane, I had to become a master planner. Every moment of my day was planned to the “T.” Doing this helped me streamline my work schedule while I attended school. Parents who are interested in going back to school (undergrad or graduate school) will need to figure out an approach that works for them, like I did. And to help you figure out your approach I’ve listed the following 5 tips:

1) Plan Your Calendar

Schedule your classes while your children are in school: I, obviously, did the opposite (went to school after work). However, if you are a stay-at-home parent and your children are now in school, schedule your classes during their school hours. This will allow you to be available in the evening, when they are no longer in school.

Mark every quiz, test and project deadline on your calendar: On your first day of class, you will be given a class syllabus. In this syllabus are important dates that, if forgotten, will lead to failing the class. Trust me, I have missed a test date, and I cried for days. Don’t be that guy; write down all quiz and test dates and project deadlines in a student planner on the first day of class! It’s also a good idea to strategically plan out what days you will study and work on projects, so that you can safely plan other things and not worry about having enough time for school.

2) Student – Parent – Chef

Plan your weekday meals every Sunday: Sit down every Sunday and decide what you are going to make for dinner every night that week. Then go to the grocery store and stock up.

This will remove the “what are we going to eat tonight?” dilemma. There’s also this amazing invention at the grocery store called the rotisserie chicken; just in case you drop the ball one night.

3) Online Classes Are Convenient

Consider online classes: Online classes were my savior when I went back for my master’s degree. They allowed me to work on school from home and even during my break period at work.

If you are a working parent, online classes may be the best option for you, as well. Many major universities and colleges now offer several online courses; just ask the admissions department what online options are available for your chosen academic field.

4) Get Out of the House

Study at your college or local library: When I went back to earn my master’s degree, I felt like I couldn’t go study at my college’s library. I think it was because I was an online student.

However, sometimes I had a hard time studying for a test at home or at a coffee shop, so I manned up and went to the library. This is the best place for parents to go study when they can’t concentrate at home. Because there are no distractions at the library, you will get more done in less time.

5) Lead by Example

As parents, we know that leading by example is one of the best ways to teach your children lessons they need to learn. It makes it more fun for them as well. Children are natural observers and are constantly watching you, whether you realize it or not.

Another great idea for back-to-school parents; if your children have a homework hour at home, is to consider using that hour to do your own homework as well!  Your kids will appreciate the quiet time and realize that homework isn’t just something they need to do – mommy and daddy do it too!

The Best Baby Carrier

If you are a new mom or a mom to be, then there are certainly a lot of things on your mind! One of them definitely is finding “means of transportation” for your baby, because you won’t want to be away from him or her!

mom with baby carrierUp until now, baby carrier options were limited to just strollers and baby porters, but now things have changed! There’s a new and much better baby carrier option for you: the Baby backpack!

The baby carrier backpack is the best way to carry your baby around with you anywhere you go! It’s much smaller and lighter than a baby porter and way less bulky than a stroller!

Plus, it leaves your hands free to do other tasks while carrying your baby! What’s also awesome, is the fact that your baby will also love the baby backpack, because it will keep him or her close to his parent, providing a feeling of safety!

There are many baby carrier backpacks out there, so choosing the right one can be difficult and even confusing! In order to help parents to choose the safest and the best baby carrier in UK for their newborns, infants or toddlers, We have undergone the process of picking the best available products in the market.

 

Quick Comparison Chart

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Variety of Baby Carrier Styles

A Baby Carrier is a common equipment for many parents nowadays. There are many reasons for preferring such a baby accessory. The main one is for traveling purposes and outgoing activities. Family gatherings outside or in other places become easier with the Baby Carriers ! The suitable Infant Carrier will offer great mobility and comfort to you and your little one . No more tiredness and stress for long hours ! Just convenient carrying .

The choice of the proper Back Baby Carrier is a bit complex since there are numerous types to choose from Each of these has fine fabric designs, peculiar styles and rather unique shapes! So, with such a variety of Baby Carriers, selecting the best one is a process that needs some time to devote to it, but it worth every minute ! Don’t you agree? Baby Sling is a common type of a Back Baby Carrier. It is formed by a cloth and is attached to the shoulders or hips of parents while the baby’s weight is supported.

best baby carrier UK

Ring Sling is another type of a Baby Carrier. It is completed using a lengthy cloth where one end of the cloth is sewn to two rings of nylon or aluminum. The cloth is wrapped around from shoulder to the opposite hip and back and is secured through the rings. Thus a pocket is formed where the baby will rest. This Baby Carrier Backpack is preferred because of its adjustability to wearer’s size. Another known Baby Carrier type is the Pouches. It is formed by using a wide tubular shaped fabric.

Simple pouche slings do not have rings but can be customized with the help of supplementary accessories like rings, buckles, zippers etc. This is attached over the head and one shoulder, creating a pouch to hold the baby in. Wraps are another unique type of Infant Carrier. It is formed by lengths of fabric wrapped and tied around both the wearer’s and baby’s body . Various changes can be made in the wraps . The wearers can hold the infant in front , back or even on the hip . Baby Carriers are invented from the Asians and are still of use !

For example the Chinese Mei Tai uses a square piece of cloth with parallel straps. Korean also have their unique type of a front Baby Carrier. The so called podaegi. It is a medium to large rectangular fabric hanging from a very long strap. Different styles and alterations of carriers are found in all over the world.

The final decision is on you ,of course. In case you are interested in buying a Baby Carrier you should pay attention especially to the safety of it since the wrong one may cause accidents, no parent would want for his precious child!

All You need to know about Baby Backpack Carriers

Baby Carrier Backpacks are especially popular among parents that are kept out of home for many hours and rather frequently. They are considered a very good choice since they provide a large amount of freedom and mobility. Baby Backpack Carriers are very different from the others made of cloth and are worn in the back. These Infant Carriers have suitable metal or plastic frame and can be worn in your back!

There may be a lot of cheap Backpack Baby Carriers in the market available, but they may not be the best. Why? Because they do not provide an effective support for your baby’s comfortable position especially if they are used for a long time period. On the other hand, the Baby Backpack Carriers of our reference, are manufactured by the same principles as the ones of mountaining backpacks! What is the difference? The weight distribution is made evenly in the back, so the weight is felt in the hips not in the shoulders or back.
Infant-Baby-Carrier-Backpack

That means less stress or pain for you! Now, if you are to buy a Baby carrier, you should choose a well-padded one in order to offer you and your child comfort ability. Also, it should have a high back, to support the little one and to be easily put on without any assistance. The straps are often adjustable but you are to pay much attention on how they are sown. There have been Baby Carriers that offer an extra cover for rain and sun. Backpack Baby Carriers are not always necessities but they are also used for older kids (over a year is best).

They are better than strollers, since they provide more mobility and safeness. Additionally, within the specific Backpack Baby Carrier, the little one will be able to have a good look of the surroundings as you walk with him. Last but not least, you are to feel safer having your child connected with you, in crowed places. The only difficult thing to do, would be to check what is doing from time to time. Unless you keep a small mirror on you in order to see him from the front!

Best Baby Carrier in UK Reviews

BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier One Air
babybjorn air UKWhen it comes to back carriers backpacks, the brand new BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier Air is definitely one of the most lightweight, compact and easy to use models on the market! Like all high quality BabyBjorn products, this too features a special ergonomic design that will make carrying it very easy and comfortable while eliminating the risk of back injuries and problems, what really sets the Baby Carrier Air apart from other models though, is the fact that it has been made using a special fabric that will keep your baby and you as cool possible, even during a hot summer day!

Also, thanks to its unique two piece design, you will be able to easily get the baby in or out of the carrier, without even waking it up in case it has fallen asleep! Furthermore, the Babybjorn Air is also very compact, which makes storing and carrying it, practically effortless! If you’re looking for a practical backpack baby carrier that will be as comfortable as possible even during the hottest of summer days, then the Babynjorn Air Baby carrier, is definitely the one for you! Impressed?

Key Features:

  • The Babybjorn Air Baby Carrier is made entirely out of fabrics that not only can breathe to keep you and your baby as cool as possible, they are also completely safe and non toxic
  • Thanks to its one of a kind mesh material, the Air Babybjorn Baby Carrier will expel all heat and moisture, keeping you and your baby as cool as possible even if you’re out durinh the hottest summer day! Furthermore, the mesh is really soft around the area that the baby’s head and face will be placed, for maximum comfort and safety!
  • Its specially designed and thickly padded shoulder straps you will be able to easily carry your baby for hours on end, without getting tired! You will also be able to freely use arms in the process!
  • The Babybjorn Air Carrier baby is equipped with a special pouch that allows you to store all kinds of items, making it a very practical and convenient baby carrier!
  • This baby carrier can be adjusted very easily in order to better accommodate the baby as it grows up!

 

 


Ergobaby baby carrier

Ergobaby Baby 2017 The Ergobaby Baby Carrier has been specially designed to keep you and your baby as comfortable as possible, at all times!

Apart from its special design, it has also been built using only materials of the highest quality and state of the art manufacturing processes, in order to make it as safe as possible for your baby as well as comfortable!

Furthermore, unlike other carriers, this amazing Ergo baby carrier can be worn in pretty much any way you like! You can either wear it on your front or on your back, like a normal backpack! No matter which way you prefer however, your baby will always be comfortable and your arms will be completely free, allowing you to use them to perform all sorts of tasks while carrying your baby, at the very same time!

Finally, the Ergobaby is equipped with specially designed shoulder straps as well as a waist belt! Each of those is also filled with a special foam to take away all the strain and weight transferred from the carrier to your baby! In short, you won’t even notice that it’s there while you’ll be wearing it!Impressed?

Key Features:

  • The Ergobaby Sport Baby Carrier can be worn on your front, your back or even on your hip and the baby will be always as comfortable as possible! This means that you can change the way you wear it to accommodate the baby’s growth!
  • It can accommodate babies of all ages ranging from newborns, all the way till they time they become four years old!
  • Thanks to the amazing design of this Ergo Baby Carrier, its weight will be evenly distributed all over your body while wearing it! This means that you won’t get tired easily and it also minimizes the risk of developing back problems and pains!
  • It can easily fit in the trunk of your car for easier transportation!

 

 


 

BABYBJÖRN Original Baby Carrier
BABYBJÖRN Original Baby Carrier 2017

It is ideal for parents who have newborns. This will allow them have their babies with them every time. The ease of carrying their baby in comfort and style will encourage new parents to have a closer bond with their babies all the time. The materials that they use have passed international standard and is even safe for your baby to bite and chew during his teething stage. It is also soft and does not irritate the delicate skin of your infant.

Using this great carrier has several advantages. First, it has a head support that makes the baby safe. The design allows the parents to lift a sleeping child from the carrier without disturbing him. The carrier also allows the mother to nurse the baby discreetly. You can also nurse your baby while he is in this carrier, so, you do not need to look for a private place where you can breastfeed him.

Key Features:

  • Allows parent to have his hands free while carrying the baby
  • Can be buckled on easily
  • Have adjustments in front which makes it easy to put in or remove the baby
  • Made of materials that are certified safe and baby-friendly
  • Has excellent posture support that follows recommendations of pediatricians

 


Beco Baby Gemini Carrier
Beco Baby Gemini Carrier
The Beco carrier doesn’t come with an infant insert which is a good thing, since the body is small enough that it doesn’t actually need one! You can just cross the straps in an “X” behind your back, which you can’t do with any infant carrier. Most parents prefer to cross the straps, and they report that it works out great for them!

However, some people prefer having an insert especially, when they start doing back carries, because it feels more secure having them already clipped into the backpack baby carrier.

The bottom part of the body can be folded, making it even narrower so that very young babies can easily and comfortably ride with their legs out while also being in the correct sitting position, which is knees above the butt! When the baby grows bigger, you can just unfold the body, making it wider on the bottom.

The Beco Gemini carrier, also has a 4-5″ headrest which can be flipped up for head support and it also extends the body when your baby is bigger! You can also carry the baby facing forward if you want and he or she will still be in the correct position! Front facing carries may cause you backaches however if you do they last too long, so make sure you use a degree of moderation!

Key Features:

  • 4 in 1 baby carrier, front carry (facing in and facing out), back carry, and hip carry
  • Made from 100% organic cotton, great for nursing and very direct contact intuitive
  • High quality test material
  • Very comfortable for both the carrier and the baby
  • Fully adjustable

 

 


 

Choosing the right baby carrier for your baby

Parenthood doesn’t come with an automatic cutback in chores, and baby carriers let you complete everyday errands without abandoning your parental duties. Assessing the key criteria will help you find your perfect carrier.

-1. Baby’s Age

One to four months.

Babies younger than four months can’t support their own heads. Their visual world is also limited by the fact that they see only a grey scale environment little more than a foot away. At this time, bonding is at its most intense. A front carrier deepens the attachment experience whilst supplying that all-important head support. Infant inserts and adjustable leg bars add comfort and support for tiny newborns.

Six to 12 months

When baby is sitting up, hip carriers, mei tais and backpacks support the additional pounds without limiting baby’s spinal development. At this age, forward facing carriers hang baby by the crotch, which is less than ideal for his back health. Backpacks and hip carriers also let baby enjoy his new, full color, long distance vision by facing him outwards.

The Toddler Years

By the time baby reaches her first year, her weight will become a strain on your back. Backpacks redistribute the pounds ergonomically, and balance weight evenly. Hip belts remove the load from the spine for less strenuous carrying.

The Best of all Worlds

Some carriers are designed to support newborns all the way up to their second year. They are generally soft structured, and can be adjusted to front, side and back carrying positions.

-2. Weaning Stage

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has documented too many sling recalls to warrant recommendation. Whilst they are inappropriate for long term carriage, they remain the best option for discreet breastfeeding. Nevertheless, babies have their favorite feeding positions. Pouches, wraps and ring slings are ideal for cradle holds. Mei tais, pouches and wraps are for babies who prefer upright positions. It isn’t unusual for infants with excellent head control to need additional neck support during nursing. Structured baby carriers are the ultimate solution for this.

-3. Ease of Loading or Ground Stability?

Freestanding baby carriers let you load and unload without a hassle. Non-freestanding models have kick stands that frame them for stability on the ground. It is considered unsafe to leave infants unattended in baby carriers, and modern non-freestanding models usually come with an unexposed frame for ground support. The sole way to find your personal preference is through trial and error. Friends’ and in store baby carriers give you hands-on time to find your favorite.

-4. Weight and Durability

Even the lightest baby carriers will cause strain if they have a poorly designed harness system. This feature conjures away both the carrier’s and the baby’s weight by redistributing it onto your strongest muscles. When buying a baby carrier for extended use, first prize is a lightweight carrier with a superior harness system.

Finding a Balance

The best baby carrier brands on the market tick all the durability, ergonomics and safety boxes, but choosing according to these three simple criteria will not necessarily meet all your requirements. The myriad baby carrier reviews online provide ample information about accessories and features that will best fit your personal needs.

Best Bunk Beds – A Great Way to Save Space in the Bedroom

If you are short of space or simply like to have more space, or just follow your own preference, you can look at space saving bunk beds as good space issue bed alternatives for you or your kids’ bedroom. Actually buying a space saving bunk bed is not only a matter of better functionality; it is a matter of fashion and style. Modern bunk beds are made so to perfectly blend with the environment and even make the setting look prettier.

Why bunk beds are a great idea

If the matter of space saving is something urgent then searching for bunk beds is probably what you would like to do. These beds are extreme space savers, and also have other benefits that will definitely worth the price to be paid for them. Another reason for having bunk bed is that Kids just love bunk beds.

Bunk beds are great for small houses with two or more kids. By going vertical, You will save at least 8 Sq-ft of floor space. That means more space for your kid to play and more space for other furniture. Here are some of the advantages of bunk beds.

  • Fun for the kids: Every kid loves bunk bed. They love the idea of having their own cosy little space to play on.
  • More Space in Less: Kids’ rooms are generally smaller than the other rooms. These beds can free up a few much needed space by making the most of your unused vertical space. You can utilize these spaces to store stuff like toys and mini wardrobes.
  • Private Space in a Shared Room: If you have two kids, then each one of them gets their personal bed to sleep in. Each bunk is easily customizable with their favorite bedding, throw pillows, or clip on reading lamps.
  • With a more compact home, operating costs are reduced as well, such as electricity and cleaning is made much simpler.
  • When required, bunk beds can easily be separated into two twin beds.

Quick Comparison: Best Bunk Beds in UK

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Types of Bunk Beds

When We think of a bunk bed, we think of a two plain wooden cots stacked one on the top of another. For a long time, this used to be an accurate picture. But modern bunk beds come in different shapes, styles, colors, materials and types. You may be surprised to know there are at least 10 types of bunk beds available. However, not all of them are popular. Here is helpful information on these various types:

Twin over Twin Bunk Bed

These are the most common and basic type of bunk bed available in UK. They are composed of two beds, with one stacked on top of another and each bed has a mattress. This type of standard bunk beds usually have a structure that allows both beds to detach, so it can be used as two twin beds that can be placed side by side on the floor. They are ideal for children of near similar age, but of course, if required it can be utilized by one kid and one adult. Most of these bunk beds are fitted with a ladder that allow the kids to safely access their beds.

Twin Over Full Bunk Bed


This type of bunk bed consists of a smaller twin bed mounted over the larger full size bed. The bottom bed is designed for an adult or a teenager, whereas as the smaller bed is suitable for the child. Many parents use the setup for older children with younger siblings or guest visiting with a child. The wide bed on the bottom makes this bunk bed more stable and unlikely to tip over. They are little more expensive compare to twin over twin bunk beds.

Futon Bunk Beds


These bunk beds offer seating as well as sleeping areas in rooms with limited space. Futon bunk beds mount a twin mattress above a futon sofa, providing space for sitting by day and sleeping by night. Designs include those with a futon that is a couch and nothing more, as well as a futon with a folding back that transforms into a second sleeping area when necessary. This configuration means homeowners can put a sofa and bed into the same floor area, halving the amount of space needed without reducing functionality.

Loft Beds


A loft bed only has one bed on the top bunk, with free space underneath which can be used for storage, a play area, a study area or just to create more open space within the room. The big advantage for this is that it opens up the space below to create an area for either a desk, storage drawers, a cupboard or allows space for a play area in small bedrooms. Loft beds comes in different heights and shapes and are more expensive compare to standard bunk beds.

Bunk Bed With Trundle


Bunk beds with trundle are bunks that have an additional space to accommodate people – this is a trundle unit that is kept under the main bed frame. So what you have? A bed that takes portion of floor space as just for one bed, but can handle up to three or even four (in case of full bed on lower bunk) kids, and sometimes the same number of adults.

What to look for in bunk bed for kids

Modern bunks are not as plain as they used to be times ago. Today you will get a good space saving bed with lots of functions such as book shelves, drawers, desks, etc. In some types there are even sofas that are the result of the lower bed transformation. There can also be a desk instead of the bed. In any case whatever you choose, you need to have a clear understanding what is the right bunk bed for your kids.

First of all consider your kids age; it is important because usually it is not recommended that children under the age of six will sleep on top bunk. Also consider the size of the bed. It has a double importance. Firstly, you need to make sure that the room the bed is going to be placed in has enough space for it. Secondly, if you have two school kids, it is a good idea to simply opt for a twin bed. If you have more kids in your home, you should look at twin over full bunk bed, where the lower bunk can accommodate two kids. When you choose a bed that can enhance your child’s study facilities, estimate its quality and overall design, its sturdiness and convenience not only for sleeping but for studying as well.

Safety
One of the major concerns using bunk bed for kids, is the risk of injuries due to fall from the top bunk. Current guidelines recommend that upper bunk should only be used by kids who are at least 6 years old. When you’re buying a bunk bed, it’s important to look out for products that are very well made, are solid in their construction, and that conform to safety standards. Bunk beds sold in the UK need to conform with the British Safety Standard number BS EN 747:1993. It’s important to use the proper size mattress. Most bunk bed manufacturers recommend a mattress no taller than 6”, so that the child is not sleeping above the guardrail. Also you need to make sure children sleep at the end of the bunk towards the wall and away from ladder. For more safety, parents can arrange pillows to prevent the child falling out.

Wood vs Metal
Bunk beds are mostly made up either or metal or wood. They both have their own advantages and disadvantages. Metal bunks are light in weight and cheaper but they are less aesthetically pleasing. The wooden bunk beds are an innovative type of bed which has been started recently. They comes in different designs, look and feel and as expected they are more expensive compare to metal bunk beds. Wooden bunks are also more sturdy and are less likely to bread under weight or force.