Archive for November 2014 | Monthly archive page

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Baby at Christmas

As the festive season looms and both shops and shoppers prepare themselves for the madness that is Christmas Shopping, I wanted to collate some key tips to help new parents stepping out into busy shopping centres/streets for the first time with babe in arms/buggy (as it’s a whole other world of consumerism, complete with new challenges and dramas that you would never before have considered).  Here’s my top ten list…

  1. Online shop during baby nap-time for either inspiration or actual present purchases. There are a lot of good deals online nowadays and often discount voucher codes for specific retailers if you search for them.  Try and order products by mid December if you’re to stand a chance of receiving everything in time for Christmas though.
  2. If you’re hitting the stores – prepare a list and check it twice! This is where prior online research can help, as well as calls to family and friends in advance to check what they like and sizes etc.  Best to get that all prepped so you know where you need to go and what you need to buy, and try not to deviate.  This helps you plan your route and even to budget better.
  3. When heading out shopping be sure to wear comfy walking shoes and layered clothing for you and baby, and pack the usual baby bag of essentials (for changes, feeds and comforting them) – but on this note be wary of over-packing to give you more free hands for the shopping.
  4. Feed baby in advance of shopping (or in the car when you arrive if it’s cutting it fine timing-wise). The dry air of shopping precincts can often dehydrate babies, so plan for another possible nursing stop during the trip.  It’s also best to shop when they’re well rested, although sometimes you just have to forge ahead regardless.
  5. Use a front carrier/sling instead of a buggy if you can – this makes things easier when trying to navigate around a store with narrow aisles and lots of people. However on the flip-side it means that you don’t have the buggy to help store shopping bags in/on to lighten the load, so you may be more limited in terms of what you can physically carry shopping-wise.
  6. Shop on weekdays (preferably earlier in the week), and first thing in the morning (at shop opening) when it’s quietest. Not only will it mean the chance of a much quicker trip with less queues and people to fight your way through, but less people also equals less germs to expose baby to.  Again, do as much shopping before mid-December as you can to avoid the last-minute rush.
  7. If you know exactly what you want in a specific shop, you can always call ahead and ask them to put it aside for you – meaning you can head straight to the tills when you arrive, rather than having to peruse a whole store to find that one product. Also, if you can’t think of what to get someone, a voucher is always appreciated – and they’re always stocked near tills too.
  8. Bring distractions for baby as they’re unlikely to sleep all the way through given all the noise and bustle, and you’ll need to compensate for not being able to give them your full attention. The best distraction toys are those that clip onto straps on the carrier or buggy (so you’re not bending down to pick them up off the floor all the time).  Try to stop after each shop for a quick moment of eye contact and fun interaction, but if you can also manage to coo (or even quietly sing) to them and stroke their backs as you shop this should keep them comforted.
  9. Remember that you don’t have to cram it all into one day, even though it’s tempting to just get it over and done with.
  10. The very last point to remember is don’t worry about everyone staring when baby does inevitably kick up a fuss at some point. All parents go through it and most will be able to relate.  Just focus on you and baby and doing what you can to calm them down.  If all else fails, head for the hills and try it another day!

Another thing many new parents worry about on baby’s first Christmas is the fact that budgets are often tighter… yet they still want to make it as special as possible for their bundle of joy.  Check out this website for tried and tested money-saving ideas (recommended by parents) on how to do Christmas on a budget:  http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a556419/parents-tips-doing-christmas-on-a-budget.

Also, if you are considering buying Christmas gifts for other new Mummy friends or family members within the Brighton & Hove area, an experience for parent and child, such as baby massage, is a beautiful gift that just keeps on giving.  As it happens, ‘At Home Baby Massage Classes with Forget Me Knot’ do sell e-gift vouchers for each of their packages, and they can be purchased from the comfort of your own home.  You can view and purchase the packages here: http://fmkmassage.co.uk/prices/, and then use the Contact Us form or email address to request that the purchase is presented in a gift voucher form that can be emailed to you.

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