All posts by editor

How to massage a baby

There’s many a SM who might hold the view that baby massage (along with singalongs, Baby Bach, TinyTalk etc) might be an activity suggested by the do-gooder likes of NCT or Health Visitors to prevent us from boredom, daytime telly and generally going bonkers.

But not so, say the experts at the International Association of Infant Massage – benefits include reducing colic, constipation, aiding crying, promoting sleep and developing coordination and motor skills.

‘Choose a time when baby is neither hungry nor too full’ say Johnson’s Baby. ‘Set the scene in a warm bright room and relax yourself by taking deep breaths…’

‘Start with the legs and feet for a not-yet-crawling infant,’ suggest Baby Centre ‘working gently round the toes, then fingers, arms and chest. Use both hands to open out the chest, then turn baby over onto the back…’ (read more)

Infacol suggest the ‘Tiger in the Tree’ massage technique for babies suffering from colic.

Make the whole experience a little slicker with the following:

  • Gentle Baby Massage oil from -TEN-: this mother and baby beauty range includes a super luxe massage product containing softening sweet almond oil which not only feels delicious but also comes in a bottle with a practical non-slip pump dispenser – great for when you’ve got slippery hands. The soothing scent makes this one perfect for a pre-bedtime massage and a little goes a long way!                                              9TUAJVDU
  • Wrap up afterwards in a Cocooi blanket from Merino Kids: maximise the chilled factor and keep out the chills with these award winning wraps (and sleeping bags for older children) designed to be warm in winter and allow skin to breathe in summer. We love the colour range too – which includes Mint, Raspberry and Turtle Dove grey.

Ed’s Tip: read what blogger and masseuse Ivy Hultquist has to say about music for massage here… (No Enya!)

 

#GinFriday

Get in the Valentine’s mood with the Tanqueray Rouge, made rosy pink with pomegranate juice.

INGREDIENTS

1.25 oz. gin (recommended: Tanqueray London Dry)
1 oz. simple syrup
.75 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 oz. pomegranate juice
1 spiral lemon peel

DIRECTIONS

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the gin, simple syrup, fresh lemon juice, and pomegranate juice.
  2. Shake well and strain into a chilled martini glass.
  3. Garnish with lemon peel spiral.

Makes 1 drink.

Valentine’s Lust List

He loves me, he loves me not. He got me cheap carnations, or even worse forgot…

We’re lusting after the following tokens of esteem:

  • Jo Malone Red Roses cologne: simple, chic, the best way to receive a bouquet…                                         
  • Wrap her up in rouge with a pashmina from Isla Rule Cashmere in Rio Red                                                      
  • Make like Prince Charming with this lovely leather charm bracelet from Lily Belle at Not On the High St    
  • Go for subtle red slashes that mean business with the enviable nude Pigalle heels from Louboutin                 
  • Just started dating? Keep it simple and fun with a box of Godiva’s – we love this ‘You Have My Heart’ kitsch and colourful one…

Retreat to France with your newborn? Oui, bien sur!

You’ve spent 36 hours in labour, lost all your feminine mystique as your lady parts are manhandled by an army of midwives and the bits of you that aren’t swaddled in some sort of bodily-fluid-soaking padding are covered in dribble. Possibly yours.

Frankly, at this point swanning around in an 18th century French manor house for ten days sounds pretty damn good – and that’s what the Post Natal Retreat at La Jugie in Limousin offers – with meals prepared, baby paraphernalia provided, a luxe pool, massages and twice daily fitness classes designed to restore a bit of tone to your wobbly bits. And ooh-la-la, the best bit, you can bring your husband (whom, let’s face it, you’d probably completely forgotten existed by now!) and he can bond with the bubba whilst you get your butt blasted at the hands of Caroline Bragg – personal trainer and pilates expert from Frame, Shoreditch.

Find out more at http://www.lajugie.co.uk/

Playtime: The Capital Play Trampoline

If you have a big enough garden, we all know nothing beats a trampoline for tiring the kids out.

Capital Play have made trampoline owners’ lives a little easier, safer and more aesthetically pleasing by creating an In-Ground model, which is designed to be sunk into the lawn; not just preventing falls but apparently also providing a better quality bounce too.

(And we’d say it’s pretty good fun after a grown up dinner party too!)

Starting at £775 for an 8ft trampoline, the kit comes with the frame, mat, springs, safety pads and retaining wall – find out more at http://www.capitalplay.co.uk/

Stroller Days Out: The Baby Show 20-22nd Feb London ExCel

Got a bump? Well you have a bonafide excuse to shop – and where better than a huge fiesta of all things baby; with hundreds of products from leading brands all under one roof.

Browse the likes of iCandy, Cosatto, Joie, Mothercare, Stokke and many, many more – plus some lovely boutique brands and cult products.

Advice is on hand by way of talks from baby experts such as Annabel Karmel, Jo Tantum and breast feeding guru Clare Byam-Cook, plus fashion shows and entertainment for little ones including play areas.

Get tickets now from http://www.thebabyshow.co.uk/

#GinFriday

We had a few weeks off due to attempting a Jan Detox, but back by popular demand we thought we’d make this one a bit special.

So come 4pm today, pull on those heels, dab on some lippy and crack open the bubbly …and stir yourself the Hendrick’s Eden Special Fizz

INGREDIENTS:

500ml Hendrick’s Gin
150ml Homemade Cherry Liqueur or Cherry Heering (to taste)
1 Bottle Champagne
1 Lemon (sliced)

PREPARATION:Steep sliced lemon in first 3 ingredients overnight* Pour into punch bowl over a block of ice and add champagne just before serving.

(*not likely in our world, but we doubt it matters – Ed)

 

Lovely Little Things: Oilatum Daily Junior Cleansers range

Ask any mum of a kid with dry skin and they will tell you the same thing: they’re just kids. With dry skin.

Ask them to stand still whilst you slather on aqueous cream? Nope, they’ll be trying to ride their trike ’round the living room. Expect them to use ‘medicinal’ bath treatments when their siblings use something pink, glittery and smelling of Peppa Pig? No way.

For mums of kids with dry skin Oilatum has always been a great brand. ‘As a body lotion or bath treatment it really delivers,’ one of our SM testers says ‘,on the days you forget to use it, run out or they stay over at a friend’s house you notice the difference straight away…’

So we were really glad to hear that Oilatum have launched a new range of cleansing products, including Junior Bath Foam, Junior Head to Toe Wash, Junior Shampoo – all mild enough to be used daily and created with dermatologists.

SM Tester says: ‘the first thing to say is that the cleansing products can be used by all the family, so no need to buy separates – even tiny babies can use. They have the same scent as the lotion, which I really like (maybe we are used to it), to me it smells powdery and clean. The bubble bath is lovely, lots of foam – enough to make ‘castles’ as my daughter likes to – and the Head to Toe wash is mild and gentle, no complaints of stinging eyes. After the bath my daughter’s skin was touchably soft and this lastest all day…’

Editor’s tip: try the super moisturising Head to Toe wash for shaving your legs!

 

How to give birth like a calm person…

A Doula once told me that women either check out Hypnobirthing for their first child (when perhaps they fear the unknown – or in my case when I was bored on Maternity leave) or their most recent (when they’ve had so many bad experiences they can’t face another one).

The experts at The Calm Birth School would agree “,Our home study program is for everyone. Whether it’s your first baby or your fifth, our unique program will equip you with the tools for the empowering birth experience you deserve. In fact, our techniques have been proven to help mums who’ve had previous traumatic birth experiences overcome these to change their birth this time around..”

Designed to be cheaper and more convenient than NCT or specialist classes, the Calm Birth School provides a four week online course in Hypnobirthing; consisting of 12 video lessons sent direct to your inbox, plus support via a private Facebook group. In fact, it’s so ‘modern’ that you almost expect Ed Sheeran to pop up singing about ‘happy places’ and breathing techniques.

Instead, the Calm Birth School offers practical advice, tips to stimulate the body’s natural pain relieving hormones and positive reinforcement. They suggest that you commence after your 20 week scan to give yourself plenty of time to practice and generally get into the chilled zone.

100% of Mums who have tried their service would recommend to a friend and 98% would describe their birth as ‘positive and empowering’. We presume the other 2% were too blissed out to comment…