Once your child is weaning and self-feeding on their own, feeding times take on a whole new look. In no time at all your little diva may be demanding their own table, or may want to ditch their weaning bowls for something a bit more 'big girl or boy'.
Here’s a few of the investments you might want to think about, for your growing feeder...
Toddler Table and Chairs
If your toddler has outgrown their high chair, and resisting getting in it, you may want to think about investing in a children’s table and chair set. The usual high street shops (Argos, Jo Jo Maman Bebe, GLTC), as well as Amazon have a great selection for indoor and outdoor dining.
Think about the longevity of the set – do you want this to last a few months, or years – if so, is it worth getting extra chairs for potential siblings or play dates? What colour and materials are used, are these easy to clean and will they fit with your current décor? Is the children’s chair safe, or is your child likely to play on it and fall off?
It’s likely that your toddler has outgrown the baby bowls and non slip baby plates they used when weaning. While weaners appreciate section food plates, does this still appeal to your growing child? With their portion size also increasing, you may need kids plates with a larger eating space for breakfast, lunch and dinner, that promote self-feeding.
It might be that your child has graduated from products that appeal to babies, and now is looking for more stimulation. Perhaps they want more interaction during mealtimes with fun illustrations on their plates?
Look out for products that appeal to their fun nature, and invite them to the table too - Munchy Play® children’s plates for instance have a built-in track to keep kids entertained, with dining still at the focus. This is after all, a period when fussy eating is very common, so fun kids plates can offer a much-needed solution.
Make life easy for yourself and opt for children’s plates that are safe for dishwasher and microwave use. Make sure your children’s tableware are BPA-free, like Munchy Play children's dinnerware.
Plastic plates are still very popular with children of this age, making them easy to clean and robust enough for the occasional slip. Munchy Play products are made from polypropylene and not melamine.
Youll also be thinking about children’s plates that you can take on holiday and out to restaurants with you, so keep that top of mind too.
As children develop they are able to start using feeding utensils with more skill. Nana’s Manners have designed some great children-friendly cutlery to help children learn how to use knife and forks correctly. There are no rules, only whatever works best for you and your family during meal times.
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Preparing for the arrival of your bundle of joy is an exciting and busy time, and there's soooo much to buy. From baby baths to stair gates, from baby weaning products to children's book However, top of the list of items to add to your growing shopping list is a robust ‘transport system’.
One of the biggest (if not the biggest) investment pieces you’ll make, the humble stroller/pram/buggy/transport system is one purchase that’s worth researching over, as you’ll be using it daily for quite some time.
From Bugaboo to Silver Cross, UPPAbaby to Joolz and many others on the market, it’s hard to know where to begin. A good place is a visit to your local retailer, where they can demo some of the products on the market, so you get a feel for what suits you best.
Here’s what to look for when buying a stroller for your baby:
Convertability: Look at how the transport system converts from newborn (flat) to toddler (upright) and test how these different stages work for you.
Adaptability: If you plan to using your car, measure your boot to see if your buggy fits when collapsed. If you’re planning to use public transport more, then how easy is your buggy to push up ramps and if needed, carry upstairs.
Size of wheels: Much like cars (or toy cars as you’re about to discover!) buggies have different wheels for different terrains. Will you be city dwelling or country jogging more? Ask the advisor which they recommend for your environment
Storage space: You never realise how important this is until you’re up and running, but a basket space underneath the buggy will be your new best friend for all those trips up and down the high street. Make sure yours has enough space and is easy to access.
Noise: Thinking ahead to the many times you’ll be pushing your baby around to sleep in their pram, does it offer protection from wind, rain and noise? On that note, does the hood or brakes make a noise that might disrupt your little one?
Functionality: For all those times your child will have a sticky lollipop in their hand or other equally healthy snacks for children! Think about the mess that will be made and how wipe-clean and easy the material is to wash.
Futureproofing: If you plan to have more children, it’s worth asking if the buggy can be adaptable, some versions allow for a buggy board for instance.
World facing: It’s good to have the option of whether your buggy is parent-facing or world-facing for the months ahead.
Parent proof: If you’re a two-parent family, then think about a versatile buggy that works just as well for Mum as it does for Dad. Some buggies on the market are great for smaller individuals, but not always compatible for taller adults, so it’s worth both parents trying it out for good measure.
An expensive time for new families, here’s some handy budget-saving tips to keep those costs down:
For all kinds of inspiration, check out Munchy Play on Instagram
It happens to the best of us. It can be for the smallest of reasons to largest of triggers, but no parent is immune to the roth of a toddler tantrum!
Particularly rife between the ages of one and three year’s old, toddler meltdowns are usually the result of pent up frustration. The NHS says: “One reason for this is toddlers want to express themselves, but find it difficult. They feel frustrated, and the frustration comes out as a tantrum.”
So, what can we do to ease the impending rage when a toddler tantrum starts to brew? Here’s some helpful tips….
Pay close attention
There may be particular scenarios that trigger your child’s tantrum button. It could be when baby toys aren’t being shared or if you’re opening food they wanted to open themselves (like bananas). Pay close attention to these as you may be able to prevent an outburst, by anticipating the issues in advance.
Keep calm and carry on
At work we’d call it ‘business as usual’, but it’s most important to keep our cool in these moments of outburst. By keeping your composure, you will be able to help them to calm down, some children respond well to comfort, others might need a few minutes of ‘time out’. If your child is lashing out and hurting others, its ok to take them to a safer quieter place until they have composed themselves. When kids get violent, it’s important not to reciprocate their behaviour, as it only makes them think it’s acceptable.
Set a standard
Children repeat learned behaviour, so by giving in to unreasonable behaviour they may use this tactic in future situations to get their own way. To combat this, try and set a good standard from the beginning, reminding them that you only reward good behaviour. For instance, if your child is a fussy eater, but tries something new, this is a great opportunity to acknowledge how proud you are of them.
Particularly helpful in public situations, look at ways to distract your toddler to overcome their anger. Whatever is in sight- a toy car, a cat, a silly face or reach for the nearest kids toy – whatever you can do to divert their attention and resume business as usual!
After the storm
Tantrums come and go, when they go it’s important to sit down with your child and talk through what just happened. Acknowledging their feelings helps to overcome frustration, and explain that when they communicate calmly, you can understand their issues a lot clearer. Be sure to tell your child you love them, rewarding good behaviour is just as important too.
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Every generation has to deal with a new issue that wasn’t around in their time. With a growing trend in digital children’s toys, social media and the Internet, a common challenge for families is how we control the way our children consume digital products.
Greater attention has been placed on this of late, especially with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that was recently introduced in May. This revised regulation (which replaces the UK Data Protection Act, 1988), has been introduced to offer greater protection to individuals’, particularly the way their data is gathered and stored.
12 key areas
And for the first time ever, this extends to protecting children, signalling that times have changed, and our need to stay up to date with latest advancements.
Official guidelines have suggested 12 key areas that business’ focus on right now, with ‘Children’ being one of them.
The guidelines suggest that companies must think about procedures in place to verify children’s ages and ensure they obtain parental/guardian consent if any personal data is required.
The guidelines recommend that if an organisation offers online services to children and requires their consent for information collection, they now may be required for a caregiver to provide such information first. The age defined as a child is for individuals aged 16 and younger, although this may reduce to 13 in the UK.
One of the other key areas of focus for these new regulations is ‘transparency’. It demands that businesses remove ambiguity where data is collected, ensuring that it’s very clear when data is being requested and that the individual is fully informed and consensual of the information they volunteer. Now this extends to children and their caregivers too.
These changes will be seen as a welcomed move by families across the country, who will benefit from the extra control and scrutiny imposed, in order to protect the most vulnerable in society. For more information on the GDPR and its guidelines, you can visit the official ICO website here.
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After months of waiting, the bundle of joy has finally arrived. With sleepless nights ahead and all the other fun that come with having a newborn, you want to buy new parents a special yet helpful baby gift… but what?
Sure, you can buy them their millionth newborn babygrow, or add to their ever-growing collection of Jellycat soft toys, or simply send flowers,
But if you’re looking for something original, then it can be a bit trickier...
Perhaps you want to get the parents something for the future, something you personally found useful, or something to help ease the stress of parent life. So, we’ve scoured the web to find four of our favourite picks….
Personalised Hooded Bathrobe
For cute factor if nothing else, a personalised baby hooded bathrobe is just the business! Girls and boys personalised gifts are hugely popular, and it doesn’t get more adorable than a fluffy robe to wrap them up in! Starting from £17.50 from My First Years there’s a wide choice of colours to choose from. A great practical present too, since it will be used all the time.
Parent & Baby Swim Class
Babies love water, and many parents enrol in baby swim classes from a young age. Filled with fun activities, helpful exercises and sing-along games, most courses stretch over a term, making this the gift that keeps on giving! Better still, at the end of the course you can enjoy your very own ‘nirvana’ moment, with a photo capturing baby underwater. Packages start from £150 with Water Babies.
Munchy Play® Vroom-Vroom Plate
Parents receive so many baby gifts, that it’s lovely to have a present to look forward to in the not-too distant future. Weaning babies comes around so quickly, that in six month’s time, they’ll be starting to think about baby bowls and baby plates and everything that comes with learning to eat. Be ahead of the game with a Munchy Play® children's plate – designed for young children to help with at mealtimes. With its built-in racetrack, the Munchy Play® Vroom-Vroom plate is great fun for little one’s, as you zoom cars around the track. It's also designed with high sides for self-feeding when they get older. Now available from Amazon!
Ewan the Dream Sheep
Ewan is more than a dream sheep, he’s a miracle worker! In those early weeks and months when babies have separation anxiety, or want to be near their parents or can’t sleep, Ewan soothes them back with his glowing tummy and array of special sounds. These include a heartbeat and womb sounds to replicate being back on the inside! There’s also a vacuum cleaner, pouring rain and harp music. Calming and charming this is a great baby gift – and all
for just £29.99 on Amazon.
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