3 Months old and ready to mingle!!

What has been your favourite thing to do with Baby?

As this treasure is my last baby I need to make the most of her and life with a little baby and soak it all up!!

She’s becoming more alert and interested in what’s going on so I’ve been thinking about which groups or classes to take her along to.

It’s nearly 4years since I last had a little baby so I’m thinking there are probably some new things out there.

So, what have been your favourite groups or classes to attend with your baby?

Christmas Baby Massage and Yoga Workshops – Joined by the fabulous Kay Oliver Photography

We’re very lucky to have the talented Kay Oliver with us during the Christmas Baby Massage and Yoga Workshops.

Kay will be providing a Winter Wonderland set up similar to the one shown in these images and will be providing the pictures as digital downloads. Brilliant for making Christmas cards to send to family and friends or just as a lovely keep sake.

Book tickets for the workshops here

Christmas Baby Massage and Yoga Workshops

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A chance for little babies – and parents 😁– to wear festive outfits and get into the Christmas spirit whilst also trying out both baby massage and baby yoga.
 
The fantastic Kay Oliver of Kay Oliver Newborn & Baby Photography will be there to capture festive images perfect for Christmas gifts and cards.
 
Wonderful Claire Caine of Radiance Yoga UK will be doing a Postnatal yoga demonstration in between workshop sessions
 
AND!!!
 
There will be goody bags with samples and discount vouchers
 
PLUS!!!
 
There will be hot drinks and mince pies!
 
Numbers are limited and places are not confirmed until paid for.
 
Mums, Dads, Aunties, Uncles and Grandparents are all welcome.
Book Here
And keep up to date with the event here:

Our newest little Chilled Bean

I realised that I hadn’t properly introduced my newest little Chilled Bean. Born 31st August weighing 8lb 4oz. and after much deliberation named Poppy Elizabeth Oates.

We’ve spent the last nine weeks soaking up baby cuddles, singing lullabies, sniffing sweet baby breath and stroking her fuzzy little head.

Her big sisters quite simply adore her and fight over who is going to help change her nappy or holder or sing to her.

Poppy certainly enjoys being massaged and we’ve all seen the benefits of Yoga and massage in soothing her windy tummy!

We feel soo very lucky to have her and are excited to watch her grow and flourish.

Pregnancy, Yoga and me

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I’ve yoga’d through each of my pregnancies. In my first I only really found time for it when I finished work and started maternity leave so I really only attended a few classes. I really struggled with pelvic girdle pain and at my worst couldn’t get off the sofa or walk across a room. It was agony. It improved with lots of rest but was tough.

In my second pregnancy I attended weekly classes and occasionally practised at home too but really only once a week here and there. My regular yoga teacher at that time didn’t feel comfortable having my continue in her class so I had no choice but to find a pregnancy specific one. There was nothing local to me so I had to travel around 10 miles to get to the nearest class. Some weeks I was just a bit too tired after work to make the drive there and back so I didn’t make it every week and I only really practised at home occasionally. It still really helped me to feel healthier and more energetic and I did still have a little pelvic pain but nowhere near as badly as first time around.

When I became pregnant third time around I decided to make a concerted effort to do some yoga more regularly. I had completed my Pregnancy Yoga teacher training so I knew I could practice safely at home on my own. It made a huge difference! In those early days of pregnancy when I was feeling shattered and nauseous all day every day yoga helped to ease those symptoms and make me feel more energetic. Just a short 10 or minutes of practice would lift my mood, increase my energy levels and ease the nausea. Fantastic!

As a result i have done a little bit of yoga most days. Sometime just 5 minutes here and there and other days lots more. My regular yoga teacher was also pregnant and so totally happy and comfortable for me to continue with classes (thanks Lucy Kite!). I was also teaching my mum and baby yoga and pregnancy yoga classes regularly too so I was getting plenty of practice in! As a result I’ve felt the most well and the most energetic of all of my pregnancies. I feel strong and healthy and have had far less trouble with the usual pregnancy niggles, pains and aches. I have slept soo much better this time around too despite having a bigger bump and I’ve had no pelvic pain this time so far.

Ultimately I think being healthier and maintaining any kind of regular exercise throughout pregnancy can benefit you enormously. The great thing with yoga is that its gentle enough for it to be safe throughout pregnancy and can easily be altered and adjusted so that you still get a good work out that builds strength and tone but without straining you or hurting baby. It has also been a lovely way for me to find time each day to connect with my growing baby despite the pressures of a very busy life with two other children.

I’m taking some time away from teaching for a few months in order to focus on our new baby and settling in to life as a mother of three but I’m already feeling excited and energised to share what I’ve learned with lots of other pregnant mums very soon!

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Babywearing Basics

by Cheryl Grant

Babywearing? That sounds strange!

Baby in woven pic

It does sound strange, doesn’t it, wearing your baby, but that is a general term for carrying your baby in a sling/carrier. Despite the common misconception (mainly portrayed by the media) babywearing is neither a fad or associated with a particular type of parenting style
(e.g./ attachment parenting). In fact, babywearing is an age old parenting tool that was around way before pushchairs!

Benefits of babywearing

There are many, many benefits to carrying your baby/child in a sling. I’m going to list a few that I think are great to know.
Baby awake in wovenYou have your hands free!

Your baby is more likely to be settled and feel secure.

It makes getting out and about easier!

It has positive effects on both mum and baby’s mental health!

It is a great gentle postpartum exercise

It promotes  baby’s development in all areas

It is great for bonding, perfect for dads and other caregivers too!

Wearing your baby in a sling/carrier will not make them clingy. Babywearing helps promote a secure attachment from caregiver to baby.

T.i.c.k.s rules for safe babywearing

We have a set of guidelines to follow to ensure that babywearing is as safe as possible! It’s really good to remember these when positioning baby in a sling/carrier and whilst wearing your baby. Never do anything whilst babywearing that you wouldn’t do with your baby in your arms.

Ticks

 Options

There are so many different types of baby carriers available to buy, from buckle carriers to woven wraps to ringslings. It can often be difficult to find something that is suitable and comfortable. But over the past few years there has been a major progression in support, advice and comfort! There is so much support and advice out there, sling libraries and babywearing consultants are great. They have a wide range of slings available for you to try and hire. There are sling libraries in Derby and Nottingham!

FORWARD FACING
There is always some confusion about babies facing outwards in slings (world facing). It is important to have a sling suitable for forward facing (recommended on the manufacturers instructions) and it is usually recommended that baby has good head control (average of  4 months plus but dependant on baby) and that it is for short periods of time (20-30 minutes) and that if baby falls asleep whilst facing forward that you then turn them back to face you to keep their chin off of their chest! Remember those TICKS!

forward facing baby

You can see here that baby (demo doll!)  is in  a good seated position with the hips rotated upwards. Baby is nice and high and both are comfortable.

 

POSITIONING

The picture below shows an optimum position for a baby in a sling/carrier and this is the position that you should aim for! It is an ‘M’ position with baby’s bottompositioning
lower than their knees. It makes a really comfortable seated position with the hips rotated upwards and soles of  baby’s feet facing the ground. This position is perfect for the natural development of baby’s spine and hip joints! Baby’s head is high up on your chest and the spine is curved naturally.

(Photo credit to jeportemonbebe)

It is recommended that, when babywearing, you use layers of clothing rather than thick padded snow suits. This is because when you wear your baby, they are already getting warmth from your body heat and it’s much easier to add or remove layers of clothing as needed! Tights, leggings, long socks, knitted boots and leg warmers all work well for carrying in a sling. But check to make sure there’s no squishing of tiny toes!

and remember to follow the TICKS rules for safe babywearing!

Below are links to some local babywearing resources! Happy babywearing!

cheryl with baby

Cheryl Grant, B is for Babywearing

Babywearing peer supporter and consultant in training

https://m.facebook.com/Bisforbabywearing/

https://www.facebook.com/DerbySlingLibrary/

https://www.facebook.com/nottinghamslingmeet/

 

 

Capturing Memories

Kay Oliver Photography – Guest Blog

How to choose a photographer and get the best photos

Babies and children grow so quickly and while you know every millimetre of their tiny, perfect face now, in time those memories will fade.  Photographs capture these precious moments, providing an everlasting reminder of this treasured time.  But, how do you go about choosing a photographer you can trust with this all-important task, and how can you make the most of your photoshoot to ensure you have the best results possible?

Choosing your photographer

dsc_5250aWith over 20 years’ experience, I specialise in photographing babies, young children and parents, turning memories into works of art.  I’ve learnt many things over the years and have refined my work into a style that’s personal and emotive, yet fun and creative – so that would be my first tip on where to start if you’re looking for a photographer to trust with your memories – have a good look at their previous work.  You’ll probably have an immediate reaction to their style and if you love the shots they’ve taken of others, just imagine how you’ll feel when it’s your own little one’s beautiful face looking back at you!

Next, have a chat with your photographer.  Find out how the process works, what they offer, what the shoot involves, and if they can accommodate what it is you’re looking for.  Again, you’ll probably know instantly whether this is someone you feel you can trust, and whether you’re likely to be able to relax with them.  Find out where the shoot will take place and what it entails.  The majority of my photographs are taken in my natural light studio, a unique feature that allows me to take true to life photos without the intrusion of a flash, which is especially important with newborns in order to truly capture their perfect, delicate features.

Take your time

dsc_9080aaYour photography session should not be rushed.  You’ll need plenty of time to settle in and feel at ease and, as we all know, when babies are involved they rarely work to a schedule!  Don’t worry about ‘wasting time’ if you need to feed baby or change their nappy; it’s all part of the process.  It’s when they’re happy, relaxed and content that we can take the best photos and this won’t happen the instant you enter the door.  Take your time and enjoy the whole experience.  Typically, my sessions last between 1.5 – 4 hours depending on the session type, so there’s plenty of time for feeding, changing, and those all-important cuddles too!

Make it personal

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Your photographer will probably have a range of props that you can use in your photographs but if there’s anything that’s really special such as a special a family heirloom, a treasured teddy, favourite toy or a special blanket, then feel free to bring it along to make your photos even more personal and meaningful.  Do you, your partner, older siblings or other family members want to be involved?  From just a supporting hand or a shoulder to lean on to a full family portrait, there are lots of ways to incorporate everyone into the photos, in whatever manner they feel comfortable with.

Relax…and be yourself!

Bear in mind that photographs will always turn out best when everyone involved is feeling at ease, so think about this especially when deciding on what to wear.  Will you be relaxed in stiff, formal attire? You want the photographs that you’re going to treasure for years to come to be a true representation, so choose clothing that is really ‘you’ – your favourite top, comfy jeans or, if you feel comfortable in it, just some simple plain underwear.  Avoid anything too loud or heavily patterned; the outfit shouldn’t dominate or detract from the main focus of the photograph.

For every stage

dsc_4372bOnce you’ve found a photographer whose work you love and you’ve trusted them with creating timeless art from your family memories, it’s worth thinking about booking another visit.  Many photographers don’t simply specialise in one stage but will work with your family as it grows to create a set of images to preserve every precious phase.  From pregnancy to newborns, the toddler years and beyond, each photoshoot can capture not only your child’s changing look but also their growing personality with something different and appropriate at each stage – from being curled up on a sheepskin rug during their first few days in the world to the shameless, messy fun of a ‘trash the cake session’ that’s just brimming with personality, or a family location shoot in your favourite outdoor spot as your family grows older and more adventurous. For a photographer, the opportunity to witness and document the growth of your family over time with a series of beautiful images is a true honour.

Kay Oliver is an experienced family photographer and Newborn Photography Excellence Award winner, based in Sawley, Nottingham. To learn more about Kay and to view her work visit www.kayoliverphotography.co.uk or www.facebook.com/kayoliverphoto.

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Small, perfectly formed classes

It is important to me to keep my classes small and welcoming. I attended baby massage and yoga classes with both of my babies and one of the things I liked best about them was how small and friendly they were. I made friends with other mums (who I still see now 5yrs later) and it was lovely and relaxing.

My main aim for each class is for you and your baby to feel relaxed and welcome. It’s a zero judgement environment where whatever choices you’ve made about how you care for your baby will be full supported. Breast and bottle, cloth nappies or disposables, baby lead weaning or total purées, all of it is fully embraced.

I’ve been to almost every baby and toddler class there is with my own two children and I’ve experienced the isolation and awkwardness you can feel when attending a group for the first time. Especially one where everyone else seems to know each other already. I work hard to make sure that everyone feels welcome and integral to the group.

Babies love looking at and interacting with other babies. It’s great for their social development and it’s also lovely when they make little type friends that they go on to see at other classes and eventually school and or preschool. 

For mum’s it’s a chance to relax a little, have a drink made for you and an opportunity to talk to another adult which can help maintain your sanity if your only company has been a baby since 6am!

Hanging with other people who have babies of a similar age can be very reassuring and supportive. We often chat about what each baby has been getting up to and share ideas and suggestions to help with ailments and concerns. Knowing you’re not the only person who’s baby is singing at 3am or is refusing to take a bottle can really help you to feel better or less worried.

So you know that if you come along to a ChilledBeans baby class you can feel confident that you will be greeted with a happy, smiling face, you’ll be offered a drink and a snack and you’ll be listened to and supported no matter what you have to say or who you are.