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The Baby Show, Edinburgh

Edinburgh baby show

We are running an event and we are very excited!

We are bringing our very first baby show to Edinburgh on the 20th of May 2018 at the Principle Hotel in Charlotte Square between 10 – 3. This is an amazing opportunity to meet some amazing suppliers, learn from our masterclasses, pick up some offers from our exhibitors, join in a taster class and enjoy a cuppa (any maybe afternoon tea if you book in advance) in the gorgeous hotel.

The event is being run by our network of suppliers with proceeds going to Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity and Simpsons Special Care Babies, and is free to attend. We will have a welcome bucket at our front desk and would very much appreciate your donations which we’ll divide equally between these amazing causes.

You are able to pre-register for tickets by visiting our ticketing website and masterclasses/taster session timetables will be released very soon!

Come meet our amazing suppliers and support two amazing causes, we’d love to welcome you along to our event!

 

Tummy Time Ideas for Newborn Babies

Tummy time is amazing for newborn babies and it is so important for their development too. Today we have teamed up with love.learn.develop to bring you their guide to tummy time. It features information on why it is important and gives you lots of ideas on how to do tummy time with your little one. You can download the printable guide by following this link.

Photo credit – The Sensory Sessions

Dipping your toes in the water: the first time you take your baby swimming

bumps and babies collective featured supplier turtle tots

The first time you take your baby swimming is usually a very special moment. However it is also something many parents have a lot of questions about, with parents keen to ensure it is a positive experience. Here Karina from Turtle Tots Edinburgh & East Lothian shares her thoughts on ensuring your first dip with your baby becomes another wonderful memory in your little one’s development.

When should you first take your baby swimming?

We’re often asked about what age is best for parents to take their newborns for their first swim. A baby can go swimming at any age and all you really need to consider is the temperature of the pool, to make sure they don’t get chilly:) Turtle Tots classes are held in warm pools, normally warmer than the majority of public pools, so do check the temperature of the pool before you go. There is absolutely no need to wait until they are immunised before going into the pool.

turtletots edinburgh

What do you need?

In addition to your usual items in your changing bag, I’d recommend taking the following:

  • Nappies: in Turtle Tots classes we operate the double nappy system and would suggest this for all trips to the pool. This is either a reusable swim nappy or a disposable swim nappy, with a NeoNappy over the top. Unlike normal nappies, swim nappies are not waterproof, and so it’s the outer nappy (like a NeoNappy), that keep any leaks in.
  • Wetsuit: we would recommend a wetsuit for tiny babies, especially in pools that are lower than 32 degrees. After six months they are able to go in cooler pools without wetsuits, but as every baby is different we always recommend watching your baby for signs that they may be becoming cold.
  • Towels: the ones with the hoods are popular but really any towel that will keep your baby cosy after their swim is fine. I’d recommend taking two just in case there are any accidents when their nappy comes off.
  • Milk: whether breastfed or bottlefed, your baby will be hungry when they get out the pool.
  • Toys: something to distract them with when you are getting them dressed.
  • Camera: definitely a memory worth capturing. Although most public pools do not allow cameras so it’s best to check before you go. We are lucky in our classes that, usually, we can allow our parents to take photos of their baby’s swimming journey:)

Where should you go swimming?

Ideally you want to take your baby to a quiet pool which is 30+ degrees. You can check out some pools we recommend here in Edinburgh and the Lothians. Try to go when it will be quiet, initially avoiding a weekend if you can.

turtletots edinburgh

What should you do in the pool?

Your first dip should be about creating a wonderful safe environment for your baby. Think about what they enjoy in the bath, perhaps taking their favourite bath toy with you. Keep their shoulders under water most of the time to keep them warm. Splash a little water on their head and face, they should be used to this from the bath so most babies enjoy it. Most importantly, hold them close to you and give them lots of smiles and encouragement. We would recommend avoiding the inflatable baby swimming seats as the baby doesn’t really get much of an experience of the water floating on top of it, and they may aso get cold more quickly.

How long should we be in the pool?

Your first swim should only last about 10-20 minutes, and take them out sooner if they seem cold or are upset. You can build this up over time to up to 30 minutes.

Will my baby enjoy it?

We, as parents, often build it up into a big deal, possibly expecting tears. In actual fact, newborns are most at home in water, they’ve been living in fluid for nine months and if they enjoy their bath, it’s a good indication they will enjoy being in the pool. This is one of the reasons taking them swimming when they are tiny is a good idea, while they still have positive memories of their time in the womb.

Any other handy tips?

In my experience, if you can, go as a duo. Usually it works best if one parent goes in the pool and the other is on hand to get the baby warm, clothed and fed quickly after their swim. If you have to get yourself dressed as well, you might have a hungry baby on your hands. This is just for the first few visits, over time you’ll find the best way to get you and your baby dry and dressed but good to have another pair of hands available until you see how your baby is after their swim.

And if the first trip doesn’t go to plan, don’t be discouraged, just try again next week. Building water confidence from a young age is a hugely important life skill, sometimes it can take some trial and error but when you get those smiles and giggles in the water, you’ll see why it is worth doing.

turtletots edinburgh

Karina Reinhardt runs Turtle Tots in Edinburgh and East Lothian with swimming lessons from birth to pre-school, as well as Turtle Tums, aqua natal yoga for mums-to-be.

Elf on the Shelf

elf on the shelf

We just love the Elf on the Shelf, a children’s picture book that describes elves visiting children in the run up to Christmas to report back to Santa Claus on who has been naughty and who has been nice. These little elves hide from their families overnight and it is an ongoing game of hide and seek in the run up to Christmas. Our friends at Treehouse Childrenswear have an Elf Adoption Centre open so pop along and start a new Christmas tradition!

screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-17-11-00screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-17-11-15If you need some inspiration on where to find our elf, check out our board on pinterest!

 

Connection & Communication – Using baby sign language at home!

sing and sign edinburghBaby signing can benefit any family with a baby or toddler. By encouraging early communication, signing can help your little ones feel confident in their ability to communicate; further encouraging language development and reducing frustration.

Over a series of three posts, we’ll look at how baby signing can help you get the most from your communication with your baby from her first weeks right through to becoming a walking, talking pre-schooler and beyond!!

In this post we’ll consider your baby’s earliest months of life and what communication might look like with a 0-6 month old.

 

0-6 months – Building the framework for good communication.

Take yourself back to a moment when you were face-to-face with a young baby. Perhaps you are remembering the first time you met your own little bundle of joy. Maybe you the are thinking of that little baby peering over her mum’s shoulder from the bus seat in front of yours or that tiny face you can picture is your niece gazing up at you from the pram on your walk round the park. Now bring your attention to your own face. What did it do? What is it doing now as you relive that encounter? Chances are, even without thinking about it, your face opened up, your eyes widened and you smiled. Your voice will likely have softened if you spoke and perhaps you said “Hello there!” in a sing-song tone, repeating yourself once or twice.

Much of what we as parents do to help our young babies make sense of their world is instinctive; our tone of voice, our facial expression, eye contact, the way in which we repeat our words and actions. The amazing thing is that it’s not just adults programmed to respond in this way, babies themselves are born hard-wired to seek this connection and communication with their care-givers and the rest of the world. Even in the first moments of life a newborn seeks out the face of his parents and will focus his gaze on mum or dad. If mum or dad poke out their tongue or make an “O” shape with their mouth, amazingly an hours-old baby will mirror this unusual facial expression. Your baby is incredibly attuned to you and will be using lots of non-verbal cues to help him make sense of a situation and to connect and communicate with the adults around him.

sing and sign edinburgh

I’ve heard about baby signing… How can I use this in the early months?

Perhaps surprisingly for a passionate advocate of baby signing, my advice for the first 6 or 7 months of your baby’s life would be this:

Don’t get too bogged down with worrying about learning lots of signs at the moment. Your baby is already a participant in your communication; simply enjoy connecting with your little one as much as you can. Go with your instinct and notice and commend yourself for all the simple things you do each day which are priming your baby’s brain for language. Now is a good time to begin to use a few basic signs with your baby but at the moment it is perhaps less for your baby’s benefit than your own – use these early months to get into the habit of using a few signs and allow them to become a natural part of your communication so you can expand your signing vocabulary effortlessly as the months go on.

sing and sign edinburgh

SING and Sign

Even if you feel your singing voice is not that great, enjoying songs and rhymes with your child brings a connection between you, a positive interaction, a joyful moment. In your baby’s rapidly growing brain there are pathways being laid, synapses being built. Over time your interactions with your baby shape your baby’s perception of the world. Or to put it another way – a baby’s brain grows based on his or her Story experiences.

sing and sign edinburgh

Renowned research scientist and author of “Connected Baby” Dr Suzanne Zeedyk says;

“When a baby has repeated experiences of being comforted in the face of anxiety, then she develops the capacity to keep herself calm. But learning what comfort is like can only be done with the help of another person, because human brains are so immature at birth.”

Singing with babies helps them learn how the world FEELS. Singing, enjoying, connecting with your baby will help your child grow into teens and adults who can regulate their emotions and will help them move through the world from a place of love.”

As a Sing & Sign teacher, I love ending my working day with a “Babes” class for babies under 7 months. It’s a lovely gentle class to teach after a more rambunctious group of Stage 1 crawlers or Stage 2 toddlers and I get to coo over tiny babies! While I introduce parents to a few basic signs and lots of nursery rhymes to use at home the main focus is very much on the parent-baby connection and the little everyday things parents do to help prime their baby’s brain for language.

sing and sign edinburgh

Here are 5 useful tips we consider during our “Babes” classes. These are universal for any family with a young baby whether you plan to use baby signing or not. Give yourself a pat on the back during the monotony of nappy changes and milk feeds as you recognise that the simple things you do during day-to-day life with your young baby are actually building the framework for good communication:

  • Recognise the value of fun, loving interactions. Those raspberries you blow on your child’s tummy after her bath are LITERALLY shaping her brain and her giggles are her way of getting you to do it again and again to make those neural pathways even stronger! Even something as simple as warm eye contact during a nappy change will help your baby feel safe, important and connected to you.
  • Comment on what your baby is doing and allow them to initiate a ‘conversation’ with you. By connecting with your baby in this way and describing what he is doing, you are responding to him and helping him feel valued and important. And listen to the language you are giving him: “Wow look at those legs! You are really kicking those legs there, kick, kick, kick!” He hears the name for the body part he is moving and the name for the movement he is making; all valuable language for that little brain to soak up.
  • Encourage attentiveness by sharing games and rhymes which build anticipation. Think along the lines of peek-a-boo, “Two little dickie birds” or “Round and Round the Garden”. With lots of repetition, your baby will start to anticipate the “one step, two step, tickle you under there!” or the dickie birds re-appearing. This anticipation holds their attention and encourages eye contact. Use your voice and face to help build the anticipation and try experimenting with leaving a longer gap to see how your baby will respond!
  • Long before your baby can coordinate her movements enough to point or gesticulate, she will use her gaze to direct your attention. Referred to as ‘shared looking’ or ‘gaze tracking’ this is a wonderful way to attune and connect with your little one. Allow her to show you what has caught her attention or use your gaze to show her things too “Look at this lovely yellow duck – do you see the duck? Quack, Quack!”
  • Use non-verbal cues to enrich your communications with your child. Facial expressions, shared looking, tone of voice and gestures. Now is a great time to introduce a few simple baby signs should you wish! Perhaps try “Milk”, “ More” (for tickles and fun) and “Nappy change”…. Things you’ll have plenty of opportunity to practise!

Catherine Rennie runs Sing & Sign classes in Edinburgh and is mum to two boys, both baby signing graduates and enthusiasts!