Buying a stylish chariot for your little one can be confusing. Not only do pushchairs come in different shapes, sizes and styles, there is also a variety of accessories too. Stroll-On Baby has three Pram and Nursery Retail Shops in Devon and reveals some pros and cons of the different types available to help you find the perfect pushchair.
Buggies and strollers are great pushchairs for flexibility and are usually reasonably priced, with a simple umbrella fold that’s ideal for day-to-day use. Strollers are generally lightweight and compact, which is good if you live in a flat or rely on public transport. However, be aware - some models aren’t suitable for newborns because the seat doesn’t recline enough and many aren’t ideal for bumpy ground, as they normally have small wheels and little suspension.
Off-road buggies and all-terrain pushchairs are ideal for the great outdoors. Usually three-wheels, these pushchairs have large, chunky tyres, which make them ideal for crossing bumpy terrain. All-terrain pushchairs provide a smooth and comfortable ride and can cope with rough ground, however, you’ll need a big boot and muscles to put them in the car, as they are bulky and usually quite heavy.
Travel Systems and Combination Pushchairs are versatile and offer you an ‘all-inclusive’ option for all your baby transporting needs. Whilst some car seats and carrycots slot directly onto the chassis, others fit over the normal pushchair seat. Travel Systems are great for car owners as the baby can be transferred between the car, pushchair and house without disturbing them. However, it is not recommended that your little ones spend too long in their car seat. On the flip side, travel systems can be quite large and your baby with outgrow the car seat and carrycot at around 12 months (and sometimes before), so you need to think about storing these components when not in use.
Pramette is a pram which cleverly turns into a pushchair, so offering more versatility and value. Pramettes can be purchased with the option of a matching car seat too. It is also worth noting that the pushchair seat can often face the parent or can be forward facing, thereby offering the ‘walk talk’ option with your little one.
Julie Eales heads up the Stroll-On Baby team and says “Buying a pushchair for your new arrival, or even a growing toddler is a special time and we are looking to offer that extra special service for the extra special occasion. With over 100 prams and pushchairs on display, in all sizes and colours, as well as cots, cot beds, car seats, highchairs, walkers and a vast array of baby products, we are sure to find something to suit everyone, not only in style but budget too.
Stroll-On Baby offers practical help and support and welcomes you to pop in and see them at Market Street, EXETER (EX1 1BP), 26 Western Approach, PLYMOUTH (PL1 1TQ) OR 92 Queen Street, NEWTON ABBOT (TQ12 2ET) or go to
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About Baby Wearing
Babies are designed to be carried. Even newborn babies lift up their knees and stretch out their arms when they’re picked up, automatically adopting the right position to sit on their parent’s hip. Being carried correctly in a sling supports the spine, keeping it in the C shape that babies’ spines need to be in while they are growing. As babies’ hip joints are not fully formed at birth, it’s also important that babies’ legs are flexed when they’re in a sling so that the hip joint sits securely in the socket. The baby’s knees should be higher than their bottom and their legs should be supported up to the knee so that an M shape is seen when looking at the baby:
Benefits of Baby wearing for Parents
Parents who carry their babies enjoy a close relationship with their baby and learn to pick up on their cues. They have a lower incidence of post-natal depression.
Breastfeeding may be easier. Mum can read baby’s cues and react quickly to his needs and having her baby close will help her milk supply.
Using a sling means that parents will have their hands free. This makes tasks such as washing up or cooking much easier.
If you have another child, using a sling can reduce sibling rivalry and frustration as you’ll have your hands free to play.
Benefits for the Baby
Babies who are worn in slings tend to be more settled and sleep for longer. They have improved digestion from being held upright and they cry for about half the length of time of babies who are not worn. They spend most of their time in a state of ‘quiet alertness’, able to take in what is going on around them. Premature babies gain weight faster when worn and have better temperature regulation.
Babywearing in Special Situations
Parents of babies with special needs, premature or low birth weight babies and twins can still wear their babies. It’s worth talking to a babywearing consultant about the best type of sling for your child(ren).
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Choosing a Sling or Baby Carrier
When choosing a sling or baby carrier, it may be useful to ask yourself the following questions:
How old is your baby/child?
Different slings are more suitable for different ages of babies although babies’ and parents’ preferences also are very important. Stretchy wraps, for example, are ideal for newborns but can only be worn on the front so may be less suitable for an older baby or toddler.
Who will be using it?
If more than one person will use a sling, you’ll need to buy an adjustable sling or carrier unless you’re both exactly the same height & size. If choosing a wrap, make sure it’s long enough for both of you and make sure you’re both confident using whichever sling you choose.
How often will you use it and for how long?
Think about how the sling distributes weight and try to choose one that spreads the weight through both shoulders and your back if you’ll be using it for hours.
How easy do you want your sling to be?
Wraps are very versatile but take some practice to learn how to tie them. But some people prefer tying slings to using ones with buckles or rings.
There are some simple safety tips which can be used to make sure that your baby is always carried safely.
A good sling should have these features (remember the TICKS acronym):
In view at all times
Close enough to kiss
Keep chin off the chest
For more information, visit www.babyslingsafe.com or chat to a Peer Supporter or Babywearing Consultant in your local area. The site includes information about bag slings, most of which have been withdrawn from sale in the UK because of safety concerns although similar styles may still be available. Counterfeit slings are also commonly sold through online auction sites.
When using a wrap, for a baby younger than 3-4 months, the knees should be bent and always be lined up with the width of his pelvis when he’s froglegged in the wrap. These wonderful images are from je porte mon bebe www.jeportemonbebe.com
The image shows how the baby should be positioned under the wrap.
There are many different kinds of slings available although not many of these are sold by High Street stores.
Here are the main types:
Pouches are simple pouches of fabric, worn over one shoulder. They can be put on and off very quickly. Some are adjustable so can be worn by people of different sizes.
Ring Slings are also worn over one shoulder but can be adjusted by pulling the fabric through the rings. Babies can be held upright or in the cradle hold and later on the hip. Toddlers can also be carried.
Mei Tai’s are Asian style carriers which consist of a structured body panel with straps. They can be used on the front, back or hip. The weight is distributed through the wearer’s shoulders and the waist.
Soft Structured Carriers also have a panel of fabric with straps but usually fasten with buckles and are quick to put on and adjust. They can be used on the front, back or hip. They have a wide base to fully support the baby from knee to knee.
Stretchy Wraps are made from stretchy fabric and are one long piece of material. They can be pre-tied before the baby is put in and can only be used for front carries.
Woven Wraps are a long piece of woven fabric. They offer a high level of support for the wearer and are extremely versatile. They can’t usually be pre-tied but can be used for front, hip and back carries.
Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions about using Real Nappies.
How many nappies do I need? This depends on how often you wash, type of fabric of nappy and drying facilities.
How often do I need to change a Real Nappy?Regularly, as with a disposable! In practice, this usually means every 2-3 hours or sooner if soiled. Newborns may need changing up to 12 times a day, which can be quite a challenge in terms of having enough nappies! Sometimes, with heavy wetters, you might need to boost nappies/use the more absorbent types. Remember too that until you have pre-washed your nappies several times they will not absorb well, just like with new towels and tea towels etc. Fabric conditioner will also reduce the absorbency of nappies so should not be used. Finally, there will come a point where some nappies wear out - in practice this is only likely to happen if you have inherited some old nappies or have bought second-hand nappies which turn out to be rather well-worn.
Do Real Nappies work at night?Real nappies can work really well at night but you might need to boost your normal daytime nappies or use thicker ones at night. Initially, with small babies, this won’t really be an issue if they are waking regularly for feeds and nappy changes anyway. As children get older and sleep for longer periods they need nappies that absorb more. You can buy special booster pads, improvise with terries/prefolds as extra padding or buy a couple of thicker nappies. There are some nappies that are specifically designed for use at night. Some parents like to use breathable fleece or wool wraps/covers over night nappies as they let a little moisture evaporate and may be more comfortable for baby when his/her nappy is not going to be changed until morning.
Are Real Nappies really environmentally-friendly?All nappies, disposable and cloth, have an impact on the environment. Disposables are a single use item which cause a major problem when they need to be disposed of. Real nappies can be used over and over again and avoid the landfill problem. Please see below for suggestions as to how to minimise the impact of using real nappies:-
I write this from the perspective of a working mother, who has had her fair share of dark days, and gladly light days; who juggles life, work, children, caring and relationships.
I facilitate a project called Tea & Talk Devon, which is a mental health awareness project. Our aim is to create a warm and friendly environment to help people feel comfortable talking about mental health, with tea and cake. We want Devon to have a better attitude to mental health and to challenge the stigma and discrimination people can face - in work, school or accessing services. Part of the project is for you to make a small pledge, something small and achievable that can retain good mental health or to support someone who may be struggling.
When we deal with mental health problems, our own or others, we are not only faced by the experiences themselves but also people’s attitudes to those experiences which can at times be as damaging and unhealthy as the experiences themselves.
Projects like this are important because:-
Having a mental health problem can penetrate your identity so everything else gets hidden away, people see you differently and society sees you differently. But you aren’t different. You are still a parent, child, friend, sibling or employee.
Tea & Talk Devon has so far this year had nearly 300 people attend the sessions.
Nice Mums will be at the Acorn Centre family fun day tomorrow Saturday 24th May 11am-3pm to spread the word of our recycling collection. Look out for our banner and come and have a chat or pick up a flyer to find out more about how we are reducing landfill and raising money for Torbay Holiday Helpers Network.
HOW TO LOVE YOUR BODY
Mama be free from the chains of the expectations you THINK people have of you!
Mama be free and see what a wonderment of a being you are and how your body birthed life to another and life to a superhuman in you!
Mama free yourself from the small mind that used to suffocate your very being and feel the breeze of joy caress your beautiful body, mind and ever expanding heart.
Mama will you realise you are so incredibly beautiful exactly as you are, for the scars on your body that tattoo the landmarks and mile stones in your blessed life and for the beautiful big heart you have that rides over all idolised and mindless expectations of what is “beauty”
Mama, be free!
Something happened to me when I had my boy. One year on and I am feeling more joy, appreciation and love for my body than I have ever felt before.
My body has been permanently altered and not in what's thought to be a “typically” good way! Yet I see the beauty in it more than I ever have before.
Maybe it’s the fact that it was the home to the little love of my life for nine months, in fact that probably has a large role to play, but it’s more than that also.
I used to look in the mirror and just see imperfections. I felt like a little girl desperately waiting for some thing to happen to my body that made me feel I could accept it, I just didn’t expect that thing to be “giving birth”!
I look in the mirror now, and although I see what magazines would find a whole list and red circle opportunities of imperfections, I still smile at myself and feel love and respect for my body and what I see.
I think to myself “thank you body, for keeping me healthy and giving me this beautiful life to live every single day and thank you body for bringing my ray of sunshine into this world, thank you body, you are AMAZING! And amazing is BEAUTIFUL”
It might have taken having a baby for me to realise how beautiful my body is JUST the way it is, but you don’t have to have a baby to realise it too for yourself.
Just look at yourself naked, or near enough. And see your body for exactly what it is… The thing thats giving you life! This precious life! This life filled with so much incredibility.
Your body is responsible for giving you eyes to see the beautiful things you can see every single day that touch your heart and soul.
Your body is responsible for letting you hear sweet music and the sound of people laughing.
Your body is responsible for you feeling the tender touch of love.
Your body is responsible for making you move step by step to see more and more of this incredibly magical world and the stars that shelter you in the night sky.
Your body is responsible for making you feel every incredible emotion that puts the colour into your lifes canvas.
Your body is responsible for tasting the sweet tastes of this earth's nutritional fruits!
Your body is responsible for swaying and setting itself free to the rhythm and vibrations that flow through your ears! DANCE!
Your body is responsible for everything you have and will experience that will leave you so thirsty for more of this life you pray that when you leave your body…there is more, so that you feel you can take this incredible journey you have experienced in your amazing body with you!
Your body is responsible for a million and more things that make life worth while to you every single day.
Your body is not here to be punished every day for not being like some one else's! Jesus… Life is too short for that shit! Life is too precious to make yourself feel like crap for the shape or size of your body. You have everything to thank your body for, so don’t be your own worst enemy. Give it the love and appreciation it so truly deserves.
Love your body! Be thank full to your amazing, incredible and BEAUTIFUL body. Be kind to your body. Treat it well physically and be mindful of it, say nice things to and about it. Do not be your own worst bully. Be your own best friend.
I dare you to look in the mirror and tell yourself only wonderful things about your body every single day until you believe it.
LIVE your life.
Marcia – NEOL (Natur-Elixir of Life)
Lee Hodges you have won a pair of weekend tickets to Vegfest! We will be contacting you shortly.
Thanks to all those who entered. Keep an eye on this page for future competitions and giveaways.
When I started Nice Mums Devon I had no idea that in 17 months it'd grow so big, with over 1600 members across the county. Whilst it has been a fantastic experience running something that enables mums to access such fantastic local support it has turned into an incredibly time consuming job (which doesn't pay!). I've ran the group alongside being a student and a single mum, but the time has now come for me to go back to work and I will soon be starting my new job, leaving me with nowhere near enough time to run the group in the way it demands or deserves.
I have been trying to find someone / a group to take over Nice Mums Devon but so far its been too big a job for everyone I've spoken to, however I've not given up yet! In order to concentrate on searching for someone to take over I have decided it best to temporarily close the Facebook group. I appreciate this may sadden some, but with upcoming exams and a new job all starting in the next couple of weeks I really need time to get things organised in order to give NMD the best chance of continuing without me.
Thanks for all of your support. Please keep an eye on this blog for further updates.
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