Tag Archives: #mmha16

HELP! My baby hates swimming… A guest post by Bernadette Spofforth, CEO of Splash About #MMHASPLASHABOUT

Bernie 1All the advice says swimming is a life skill; start it earlier rather than later, but what happens if your baby develops water wobbles after enjoying lessons for months?  Reluctant swimmers can present themselves when you least expect it; here are a couple of tried and tested tips from Bernadette Spofforth, CEO of Splash About to entice them back into the water…

My baby cries when I take her swimming, what am I doing wrong?

First swimming experiences can be a shock and many babies and toddlers will cry and fuss for the first few lessons, this is a case of persevering and talking to your swim teacher.

Splash ABout - Happy Nappy Wetsuit Vintage MobyHowever nine out of 10 babies cry because they are cold, even in warm water as young babies aren’t as active. A warm baby is a happy baby; it’s time to invest in a baby wetsuit.

There is a range on the market but the Happy Nappy Wetsuit is the only one that complies with British Standard guidelines for baby swimming. This is because uniquely it integrates a swim-school approved neoprene nappy into the body of the wetsuit.

Made from supple neoprene, this wetsuit means no more leaving swim lessons early due to shivering babies and no need for disposable nappies too, making it cost effective and eco-friendly.

Is it worth investing in swim toys?

Sometimes distraction techniques can be helpful for reluctant swimmers.  The baby swim mirror is a concept that has rapidly gained momentum since its introduction into a number of international swim schools. A wet smiling reflection provides a welcome distraction for babies who are not yet relaxed in the water and it’s a fun way to stop worried tears.

Babies learn through play so investing in a few great CE marked toys is also a must, but be careful about non CE marked toys because the paint tends to flake off after exposure to chlorine and this can be dangerous when mouthed by teething babies.

Splash About - Splash Pals Sammi Seal (low res)Toys such as Splash Pals are manufactured from natural rubber and hand-painted with a high-grade vegetable based paint so they are safe for teething babies. These swim toys are naturally resistant to mould because they don’t have any air holes. The colourful swim characters are ergonomically designed for little fingers to grasp, and will always flip on their backs promoting a great safety message for little ones learning-to-swim.

When should I use armbands?

Splash About - Float Suit Apple Daisy designOnce your toddler is comfortable in the water a float suit is a great next step. Suitable from 12months with adjustable buoyancy, it positions the child correctly in the water for learning-to-swim and leaves arms unrestricted by armbands or reliant on holding floats. Be warned, putting on/taking off can be a struggle so make sure you choose one with a back zip to avoid changing room tussles!

Whenever you choose to introduce your baby to the joys of swimming, remember be patient – sometimes having fun takes practice!

Find out more at www.splashabout.com

Vote for Splashabout in the MMHA16 by using the hashtag #MMHASPLASHABOUT on social media

#MMHA16: will the Doona get your vote?

BADGE2So, it’s a legal requirement to have a Group 0 carseat in order to bring one’s newborn home from hospital by car (and in some hospitals they enforce this rule even if you plan to walk or take public transport!) but who says that it needs to solely function as a carseat alone? Not the clever boffins at SimpleParenting, creators of the Doona, that’s for sure!

Like so many genius inventions, combining two useful things together saves time, space, arm muscles and a few pennies (think of the Trunki, Wash n Go, the Fitbit, errr…the snood…) and in this case the Doona is the hybrid of a carseat and a stroller… One minute it secures your child in the back of your car, then you arrive at your destination and – hey presto – no need to struggle getting a buggy out of the boot, or fiddle about trying to attach clips and the carseat to a buggy frame – you simply unlatch the Doona’s own wheels and off you go…

The Doona comes in a whole rainbow of cheery colours and the whole thing weighs around 7kg (so lighter than a Bugaboo Bee). To quote Baldrick from Blackadder, we think the Doona is “as cunning as a fox who’s just been appointed Professor of Cunning at Oxford University…”

Vote for the Doona in the MMHA16 on social media by using the hashtag #MMHADOONA

#MMHA16: The big deal about Smalls

BADGE2Smalls make luxe everyday loungewear and activewear from breathable merino wool.

With a range of undergarments that are smart enough to pass as outerwear, be worn as pjs, under winter layers or for skiing, you might wonder how you managed without them.

One thing’s for sure: kids don’t want to take them off…

To vote for Smalls in the #MMHA16 on social media use hashtag: MMHASMALLS

#MMHA16: Why the @Boden Mac is the perfect School Run coat

BADGE2We ummed and aahed about the perfect School Run coat. Classic styling over fashion, how warm does it need to be…? There were lots of considerations, but here are a few reasons why the Boden Mac came out tops:


  • It has a hood, which means your hands can be free for road crossing, carrying shopping, buggy pushing and eating toast on the way…
  • The colourful design makes you visible (great when your walk to school takes you down a country lane on a misty morning)
  • The pockets are roomy enough to hold larger items (Fruit Shoots/baby bottles/commuter coffee cups, packs of wipes, half eaten toast…)
  • It keeps the rain off (and you can wipe off sticky handprints or jam…)
  • It might not be the warmest fabric, but the straight cut means you can layer a jumper underneath.
  • You can roll it up in your bag and it doesn’t look creased afterwards…
  • It looks great with jeans, works as a colour pop over a suit -or as a cover up over pyjamas…

To vote for the Boden Mac in the #MMHA16 on social media use hashtag #MMHABODEN

images: Boden

#MMHABEEGOOD SM chats to… Simon Cavill of Bee Good

BADGE2Bee Good is the brainchild of Simon and Caroline Cavill and everyone is (ahem) buzzing about it in the beauty world. We were so impressed by their Youth Enhancing Plump & Firm Moisturiser that we shortlisted it for the #MMHA16.

Simon took time out to tell us a bit more about the brand…

SM: What made you decide to start making cosmetics from honey and beeswax?

Simon Cavill: As an experienced beekeeper, you soon become aware of the many uses of honey and beeswax,  going back thousands of years for wound treatments, various medical conditions and cosmetics. I had been using the name Bee Good as a brand on our jars of honey and then in 2008, my wife Caroline developed an interest in using some spare honey and beeswax from our bees in hand creams and lip balms. She made a few samples for family and friends which they loved.

We then did some research looking through some very old beekeeping books in the Hampshire Beekeepers library and found some recipes dating back to 1744 that we used to create our initial product range of lip balms, hand and foot creams.  These sold well at local fairs and farmers markets with great feedback and we won “best cosmetic” at the Hampshire Beekeepers show five years in a row.

SM: Where do you source your other ingredients from?

Simon Cavill: Our honey, beeswax and propolis comes from both our own bees as well as several bee farmers in the UK where we sponsor new apprentices working with them to create a sustainable industry in the UK. Our other ingredients are all sourced within the UK whenever possible and everything we produce is proudly made in the UK.

SM: Which are your bestselling products?

Simon Cavill: Our Honey & Propolis 2-in-1 Cream Cleanser has won numerous awards and has always been a great seller, but our Youth Enhancing Moisturiser is also selling really well and our new NectaPerfecta Beauty Mask is also getting rave reviews.

SM: And which do your own family like best?

Simon Cavill: Across the family, our favourite is probably the Honey & Borage Intensive Hand Repair which is really good for hard-working hands.  I am constantly washing my hands in cold water after handling bees or processing honey etc and it really works.  The girls in the family also love the Honey & Wild Water Mint Cleansing Water for removing make-up and refreshing the skin.  It’s also great kept in the fridge and used on a hot summer’s day!

SM: We love your packaging design, who is behind it?

Simon Cavill: Having great products is wonderful but I think that its really important that companies try and “delight” the customer and that includes every aspect of the brand including the packaging.  Simon designed the original concept of having Honeybees on the packaging along with a silhouette of a key plant used within each product and our graphic designers took it from there.  Also our shipping boxes used for orders from our website have bees on the inside as well as a number of other nice surprises that our customers really love.

SM: What have been your biggest challenges, running the business?

Simon Cavill: As a founder, bringing other people into the business leads to an inevitable but essential loss of control. However, without their knowledge of the beauty sector we would never have grown the business way we have.  Also transitioning out of our house and into proper business premises was a huge challenge as we went from a completely full space to one that suddenly seemed very empty! 

It’s also a big challenge for small companies to deal with all the logistical issues of supplying large volumes of products to partners like Waitrose, QVC, Amazon and the Hut Group etc who all want things supplied on pallets and uniquely labelled. Our next challenge is going to be expanding beyond the UK to meet the increasing demands for Bee Good from all over the World!

SM: And your proudest moment to date? 

Simon Cavill: I think it was when we won Best New Brand at the CEW Awards in 2015 – These are called the “Beauty Oscars” and it was fantastic to be recognised by over 1000 industry experts. What was even better is that we won the same CEW award again in April 2016 – I think thats unique!

SM: The plight of the British bee population has been a topic of concern for a few years now, is the situation getting better?

Simon Cavill: Unfortunately, no.  Our wild Bumblebees and Solitary bees are under increasing pressure from loss of habitat (97% of the UK’s wildflower meadows have disappeared since the 1940’s) , pesticides, and climate change. Wild colonies of native Honeybees are now extremely rare and populations can only be maintained by beekeepers who have to actively manage their colonies to combat the Varroa mite accidentally introduced from Asia in the 1980’s.  Bee’s and other pollinating insects are all critically important as they are required to pollinate 90% of flowering plants including almost all the fruits and vegetables we eat.

To vote for Bee Good’s Plump and Firm Moisturiser on social media use hashtag: #MMHABEEGOOD

#MMHA16: SM chats to The Organic Balm Company

BADGE2You’ll have seen that The Organic Balm Company’s Mother and Baby Nourish Balm has been shortlisted for the #MMHA16. We caught up with Rachael Giacomuzzi, who filled us in on how she launched the brand during her maternity leave and the wonders of hemp seed oil…

SM: How did the company come about?

Rachael Giacomuzzi: The idea for The Organic Balm Company came through requests from friends and colleagues for samples of a balm I had formulated to soothe the eczema which had appeared on my hands. I had a strong reaction to a petrochemical based ingredient in creams in the past which resulted in me pursuing chemical free and organic skincare products. Though my fingers and palms were so dry, cracked and painful I struggled to find a product the worked well and felt appealing to use, one that felt more like an indulgence rather than necessity! I knew the specific ingredients I wanted, having grown up surrounded by books on carrier and essential oils and knew the places to research for traditional skin care preparations, so decided to create my own ‘dream’ formulation. I selected oils that worked best for dry, sensitive and eczema prone skin. Oils with the right fatty acids, vitamins, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties were crucial and the result worked incredibly well. I enjoyed the whole process so much that when people began repeatedly asking me for samples to help their skin, I knew I was onto something. I then set to work on a range of luxury and stylish high performance products that would revitalise and re-hydrate skin, a range that was 100% organic and chemical free.  It took a few years to time research and fully develop the range, I was working full time in Television and commuting so didn’t have much spare time. However, a few years later towards the end of my maternity leave I felt it was the right time to launch and used my countryside setting as inspiration for the brand itself.

SM: Which are your bestselling items?

Rachael Giacomuzzi: The Frankincense Indulgence box goes down very well as it contains our organic RAH (Rosehip, Argan, Hemp) Facial Serum which is a simple yet extremely luxurious and effective blend of oils with natural anti-ageing properties in a rollerball bottle. It’s great for on the go skin care! It works really well with The Soothe and Restore Balm for Hands with Frankincense and Lavender, this was the original formulation which soothed my skin and inspired our company so I personally have a special place in my heart for this product. Our Mother and Baby Nourish Balm also sells really well for women who are after a very light simple balm.  It’s great for the legs and arms to give thirsty skin a healthy glow and its super quick to apply on small people!

SM: And which do your own family love best?

Rachael Giacomuzzi: Good question! As a family we don’t go anywhere without the No Nonsense Balm. It’s very similar to the Soothe and Restore Balm but as it contains no essential oils and is a stainless steel tin it’s a great multi-purpose balm for the whole family when you are out and about. Though saying that, I wouldn’t be anywhere without the RAH Facial Serum in my makeup bag, my Mother would say that too and in my son’s backpack, there’s always a Mother and Baby Nourish Balm to be found.

SM: Where are the products made?

Rachael Giacomuzzi: We are based in rural West Sussex and have a small setup where the products are made. We find producing in smaller batches means fresher products and this is important as we use oils which are quite delicate. Before I got into chemical free skincare I didn’t think too much about why a beauty product had say a 2 year shelf life for example, and the kind of preservative it must have contained in order to prevent the microbial activity for that amount of time! You wouldn’t want to eat a ‘fresh’ ingredient that had been sitting around in a cupboard for a couple years, so you can apply the same principle to skincare. The shelf life of our products range from 6 – 12 months but with any natural product, I think we should use any product within a couple of months. Our products are rich and a small amount goes along way but of course, if you love using a product, using it up is quite a pleasurable challenge!

SM: Tell us about a secret ingredient/wonder product?

Rachael Giacomuzzi: I felt it was important that each ingredient we use should be singularly beneficial in its own right. We don’t use any ‘filler’s’ and ingredients to bulk out or thicken up the product so you could pick out Argan oil, Rosehip oil, Almond oil or Cocoa Butter for example as ingredients you’d use alone to nourish skin, so therefore it’s quite difficult to select one over another. However, one magic ingredient we have in all of the balm products is Hemp Seed oil. It’s amazing for dry skin conditions! It’s one of the richest sources of Omega 3 and 6 with a perfect 3:1 ratio and closely matches our own skins lipids. Its high Linoleic Acid and mineral content, anti-inflammatory and nourishing properties means it really helps improve the skins barrier function and condition so plays a very important role in why our products work so well for dry skin.

SM: Was it difficult to be completely organic and synthetic free?

Rachael Giacomuzzi: It has been a challenge, at points along the development it would have been easier and far more cost effective to not go down the organic route. However, not being 100% was never an option. It had been a driving principle for me when I was searching for a product to soothe my skin all those years ago and had been let down by some products that appeared to be organic when in fact they had only an ingredient or two that were. It was that and seeing organic skincare loaded with synthetic chemicals too. It was very disappointing and so we wanted to be completely transparent with our products and formulated the skincare range with UK certified organic ingredients so we know we are using organic and that tested properly for any traces of pesticides. As we do not use water in our products we don’t need to use a preservative system like you would with lotions, moisturizers and cream cleansers. It has been reported that the average woman uses about 13 different beauty products a day and most contain at least 20 ingredients and additives, with various consequences to the body and skin. It showed that through make-up and lotions this could mean around 515 chemicals being applied on the face each day.  Our bodies just aren’t designed to handle the ‘toxic build-up’. I find it very disturbing the amount of chemicals in baby products too, from shampoos to baby wipes and creams. Our product range is small yet we hope to grow and help people make the switch to healthier skincare. Being chemical free is just as important to us as being organic so it really is our driving force and will remain true to it as we grow.

SM: What’s next for the business?
Rachael Giacomuzzi:
We have some fantastic new products in the line-up and we can’t wait to release those and I am pleased to announce here that we will be launching our mini organic beeswax candle set to complement our Hunicamb Candle in the Autumn. We have just got a new stockist, Garden Organic at Ryton Gardens in Warwickshire so that’s exciting and we are also doing some Skincare events with our Surrey Stockists. These events are a great opportunity to chat with our customers face to face, to answer any queries they may have and for us to find out what other products they would like to see from us!

Find out more and shop online at www.theorganicbalm.com

To vote on social media for Mother and Baby Nourish Balm use the hashtag: #MMHAORGANICBALM

Submissions are open for the Mummy Must Have Awards 2016 #MMHA16

Yep – it’s that time of year again when we start to shortlist for the #MMHA16.

Last year saw ten great brands given the accolade – voted as products or experiences that our judging panel, celeb mum guest judges and Instagram voters all felt really went the extra mile to make parenting wonderful.

Want to submit something for #MMHA16? There are no categories and entries can include absolutely anything that you think the modern mother can’t live without knowing about: travel destinations/leisure activities, womenswear and childrenswear, gadgets, beauty and children’s health products, toys, furniture, baby essentials, travel gear, apps, food/drink items… Have a look at last year’s winners here.

Our Shortlist of 20 will be announced in May and then voted down to ten winners.

Key Facts for submissions:

  • Please submit via email at this stage, with #MMHA16 in the subject line. We will need the name of the product or experience, some basic info (press release is fine) and an image. Deadline is April 24th 2016.
  • Shortlisted products will be called in for judging. How many are required will be on a sensible, case by case basis (ie if it is a toddler snack we might need more than one pack, if it is a stroller we just need one…)
  • Those shortlisted will get a website button and instructions on how to promote their entry further to maximise social media voting.
  • Finalists are decided via our judging panel of editorial team and celeb mums/guest judges and also Instagram and Twitter interaction.
  • Winners will receive a web badge, be featured in our print magazine plus we’ll run all their product news on the website for a whopping twelve months.

Any more questions about entry, drop us a line.