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Jan19

The Ultimate 2017 Checklist For Organising Amazing First Birthday Parties

Categories // Advice and guides

There are few birthdays as special as your baby's 1st birthday, but making the most of this wonderful occasion for your own child isn’t easy - particularly if you’ve never done it before.

At first glance, there are so many things to consider; the theme, the invites, the food… and then there’s the age-old problem of the invite list. This is why so many people, unfortunately, make mistakes and forget to focus on what really matters.

To help you along, we’ve put together the ultimate first birthday party checklist. And, to make it ultra simple to navigate, we’ve divided the tasks into the most appropriate timeframes for you.  

At the end of this article, you’ll find a handy checklist you can use to make sure everything goes to plan.

No need to thank us - just get that pen and paper handy!

babys first birthday party organiser checklist

1 Month Before

Select date and time

You’ll no doubt want to invite a fair few people to the party, therefore get this task polished off as early as possible in order to ensure your child’s first birthday makes it into their diaries. Just try and avoid dates that are public holidays or midweek.

Make a guest list

Focus firstly on your immediate family and friends, and only extend out if you feel you need to. Depending on how busy or far-flung your family and friends are you might want to do this step earlier. Providing those closest to you are included from the start, you won’t run the risk of upsetting anyone on this occasion!

Make a list of phone numbers

Grab your favourite, trusty spreadsheet application and make a list of everyone’s phone number and email address, if you have them to hand - this will come in handy very soon.

Not a spreadsheet whizz?  Don’t worry we’ve made a 1st Birthday Party Planner excel template you can download here

bundles of joy 1st birthday party planner

Select party location (home/outdoor)

If you’re feeling adventurous and the big day happens to fall during the spring or summer, go for an outdoor location. Otherwise (and, to be honest, this should be the default choice in Britain), go for indoors to avoid rain stopping play.

Decide the party theme (if there is one)

A theme isn’t necessary and may be a step too far if you’re pushed for time, but if you want to set a theme for the party, go for it. Fairy tales or characters and scenes from any of the popular baby TV programs are popular themes. 

Set a budget

Time for the money element! You won’t need a big budget for a first birthday party, so simply ensure you have enough to cover the venue (if it charges for space), food and decorations. Be realistic - don’t go mad.

Book outdoor venue if required

If you decided to go for an outdoor venue - great! Just make sure you book it in plenty of time, because such venues tend to get snapped up when the weather gets warmer.

3 Weeks Before 

Make and deliver invitations

Remember that contact list you put together a little while ago? Time to use it! Unless you want to go the traditional route, digital invitations will save you a huge amount of time, so put a nice email or text together and get them sent out.

Plan your baby’s outfit (if it’s a themed party)

If you’ve gone for a themed party, it’s time to shop for the outfit. Of course, if you know of someone who has a spare piece of clothing you could borrow, that’ll help save a chunk of your budget, too!

Have a basic party menu ready

Finger buffet food is the key here, but be sure to make a list of what you’re likely to have on the table before you order.

Choose a caterer or sort out recipes if doing yourself

Save money: do the food prep yourself (rope in a friend). Spend a little but gain more time: bring in a caterer. Make the choice that befits the venue and your budget.

Choose a first birthday cake

There are some lovely first birthday cakes you can pick up relatively cheaply, but make sure you go for a fairly big one to ensure there’s enough to hand around at the end of the party.

Plan for party bags and decorations

Everyone loves a party bag, and a first birthday wouldn’t be complete without decorations, so make sure you sort out both of these elements in plenty of time.

Plan for your Thank You cards

Sending a hand written Thank You card in the post is a really nice gesture so now’s the time to think about ordering the style of cards you’d like to send and buying enough stamps.  Having the cards and stamps on stand by mean this won’t get forgotten in the post-party wind-down!

Decide on 2 or 3 party games

The best way to fill time at the first birthday is to have two or three party games at the ready. Pass the parcel, hide and seek or musical statues are classic ways to keep the older kids (and adults) entertained.

2 Weeks Before

Shop for party bag gifts and decorations

A party bag can easily and cost effectively be made that little bit more special with a ribbon and birthday-themed sticker or two. Add those to the simple gifts that’ll be contained within (go for sweets and chocs - that kind of thing).

Shop for other birthday resources

Think of anything else you might need - paper plates, tablecloths and cleaning products (particularly the latter!), and add them to your birthday shopping list.

Enlist the help of family or friends

Don’t do this alone! Rope in your family and friends to help; they’ll likely jump at the chance.

Order a birthday cake

You could, of course, get a cake from a supermarket, but if you want to make the day that little bit more special, order a unique cake featuring your baby’s name, instead.

Confirm pick-up date/time with bakery

The local bakery is a great choice for the cake, and most will be able to work to your schedule if you give them plenty of time.

Organise extra furniture, baby blankets, and soft toys if the party is at home

If you’re going to hold the party at your house, make sure you’ve got enough emergency chairs, additional toys and baby blankets to ensure it goes by without a hitch.

Book outdoor activities such as bouncy castles or swings

If you’ve gone for an outdoor venue and have decided to hire in particular activities, now is the time to get them ordered to avoid disappointment.

Book entertainment such as magicians and exotic pet handlers

Entertainers will require at least a couple of week’s notice when booking, so get in touch with them now to ensure they have your date in their diary.

Buy prizes for the party games

A party game isn’t much fun without a prize for the winner, so make sure you shop for some simple, low-cost prizes. Again, chocolates and sweets are always winners here.

1 Week Before

Get final head count and RSVPs

By now, you should have received all RSVPs, but chase anyone who hasn’t responded so you can get that all important final head count.

Confirm booking with venue/caterer if applicable

If you originally put off confirming the venue while waiting for the exact number of people attending, now is the time to confirm the date with the headcount to hand.

Start organising party bags and label them with guest names

Time again to turn to that spreadsheet of invites. Felt tip in hand, start putting together your party bags with all the necessary goodies and label them with guest names.

Check memory storage on your phone or camera so you’re ready to capture the special day

There will be so many photo opportunities on the day, so make sure you don’t run out of space on your smartphone or camera by checking that you’ve got plenty of storage space available.

Check your first aid kit - anything can happen at a party

It doesn’t really bear thinking about, but things can go wrong at kids parties - particularly with so much going on. Make sure you have a fully-stocked first aid kit to hand, just in case.

Shop for your baby’s birthday outfit and present

If you didn’t need to buy a themed birthday outfit for your baby, you can leave it until now to shop for their ‘normal’ outfit. It pays to bundle this in with the present shopping, too.

Check the venue and your home is baby-proofed

No sharp objects, open plug sockets or expensive equipment onto which drinks can be poured; leave no stone unturned!

Select appropriate party music

This bit is fun - and there’s no harm in admitting it. Grab your music library or subscription service and set up a special playlist that features songs and theme tunes that befit a first birthday party.  Top tip, make sure your playlist doesn’t include any lyrics not suitable for children’s ears and select those Radio Edits!

1 Day Before

Check candles, cake knife and matches for the cake

Everyone will be looking forward to the reveal of the birthday cake, therefore make sure you’re ready to make this first one ultra special with all the trimmings.

Choose your own party outfit and accessories

Time to focus on yourself! Spend some much-needed time looking for an outfit and accessories for yourself; you need to shine on the day too, after all.

Re-check guest list

The last thing you want to do is accidentally leave anyone out, and with so much going on, you might want to take one last look at the guest list. Is everyone definitely present?

Reconfirm your family member or friend will still be helping

If you’ve roped in support for pre-party preparation and activities on the big day, make sure you double check that those who opted in are still up for it (once they’re in, they’re in!).

Keep your baby’s outfit and shoes ready for the big day

To avoid last minute scrambles, leave the baby’s outfit and shoes somewhere obvious before the big day. That way, you can grab them quickly when the time comes to get dressed up.

Wrap your baby’s birthday present

Grab your favourite tipple (be it a glass of wine or cup of tea) and enjoy wrapping your child’s first ever birthday present.

Get an early night - it’s going to be a long day tomorrow

Now for the most important piece of preparation, you’ll do the day before. Tomorrow will be long, emotional and hard work, so make sure you get plenty of sleep beforehand. Once that present has been wrapped, get an early night!

first birthday party bundles of joy

On the Birthday

Start preparing party food and refreshments

To ensure maximum freshness, reserve the first couple of hours of the day to preparing the food and refreshments. This is where those handy helpers will be invaluable.

Set the table and decorations

Transform the tables in the venue or your home with the decorations you purchased and make everything look fit for a king.

Set a separate place for presents

When people arrive, they’ll probably be laden with presents, so make sure there’s an obvious area for them to be placed, ready for opening later on.

Pick up the cake

Head to your local bakery and get that cake; if you’ve done your homework, it’ll be ready and waiting for you. Just remember to be very careful driving it back - take someone along with you, if possible.

Make sure the camera or phone is charged and ready to go

Keep your smartphone or camera on charge for as long as possible during the morning and make sure it’s working as intended an hour or so before with some test shots.

Keep cameras and candles ready

Keep both the birthday cake candles and camera in your pocket at all times - you’ll need to grab both quickly when required.

Keep the first-aid kit in a safe place

Again, we won’t dwell on the reasons for this one, but make sure you and a few other parents know exactly where the first-aid kit is located, and make it as easy to access as possible.

Keep the guest contact list in a safe place

The spreadsheet you created a few weeks back containing guest contact details may not be out of service just yet. Keep a printed copy of it close by just in case you need to contact anyone on the day, or if you need to check where someone important is.

And remember to get someone to note down what gifts you received so that you send out some personalized Thank You cards after the event.

Day after the Birthday

Grab the spreadsheet containing a note of the gifts you received, now’s the time to find those Thank You cards and stamps you ordered 3 Weeks ago.  Handwritten notes popped in the post really create a lasting impression and are a joy to receive.

That’s all, folks

…and breathe!

Time for a hearty pat on the back, for if you follow our guide to organising your child’s first birthday, you’ll create a day that will live long in the memory and from which you’ll have numerous photos to embarrass your child with later in life.

Enjoy it!

Get your copy of the checklist here

 

 

Bundles of Joy Tick List page 001

 

Jun08

5 reasons why your toddlers aren’t that terrible

Categories // Advice and guides

5 reasons why your toddlers aren’t that terrible

When you have a toddler it can be very stressful as they are more active, say ‘no’ a lot and then there are the legendary tantrums. But don’t worry and look on the positive side: here are 5 reasons why your toddler is not that terrible.

They can talk and tell jokes: It was cute when your little boy or girl was just gurgling and making noises but it is even better when they can talk and form sentences. They can tell you when they want a cuddle or a snack instead of crying. You will soon notice what fun things kids say – especially when they start telling jokes or making up jokes of their own!

They think you know everything: For a long time, your toddler will think you are the fountain of all knowledge. You will know the answer to every question of ‘What’s that?’ ‘What is making that noise?’ and so on. They will rely on you to tell them all the answers and trust your every word.

They want to learn: Because they think you know everything – they will want to learn everything. As they get older they will remember more, ask more questions and discover things for themselves. Make sure you encourage this learning in every way you can, like getting a personalised money box for them so every penny they find can be saved up for something special – even if it is just a bag of sweets.

Their imagination can run wild: The doll house, all those cars or a kitchen set you have bought them before now will suddenly become the most fun things a two-year-old can have. When they reach the right age, their play time will become more imaginative and creative as they make up games, stories and create their own world with all their toys, books and more. 

They take time for themselves: Up until now, you might not have much time away from your child, but as they grow up and learn to play on their own you will find they are happy to have time alone, as long as there is something fun to keep them occupied for half an hour or so. Make sure you too make the most of this short time alone – but keep an ear out for any trouble! 

Jun02

Bundles Of Joy 1st Birthday Checklist

Categories // Advice and guides

Birthdays are a magical time for children, but as a parent it can be difficult organising everything for the big day. Luckily here at Bundles of Joy we’ve done the hard work for you and made a comprehensive checklist for your little ones first birthday.

 If you would like to download this checklist enter your email address below and click 'Submit'

Your Email:

May31

What do you know about twins? Learn the facts

Categories // News

What do you know about twins? Learn the facts

Now you know more about twins, treat your own adorable twins to some new baby gifts from Bundles of Joy! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May25

Do you know any of these amazing baby facts?

Categories // News

Do you know any of these amazing baby facts?

Babies are amazing, as a parent you know that, but there is still so much to learn about these wonderful and sometimes weird little individuals. And with that in mind, read below some mind blowing facts about babies and don’t forget to visit us at Bundles of Joy. We have a fantastic range of personalised baby gifts, from soft plush toys, books and blankets as well as 1st birthday and christening gifts.

At birth babies do not have kneecaps. Rather they have a structure of cartilage that resembles kneecaps. They usually don’t develop them fully until after six months.

Babies can’t cry, they can scream for what they want or need, but can’t technically cry. Tears can’t actually be created or released until about three weeks in.

When babies are born, they have 300 bones. Adults have 206. Bones fuse together during growth to come up with the new number.

They hear just like an adult, even though they will startle at just about anything because it’s a new sound, not because it’s loud.

When your newborn turns their heads it’s not always because they just saw something interesting. If he or she turns her head at a spoonful of food, it is because they are full, this is also where shaking your head for “no” originates from.

It only takes a few weeks in before a baby can visually distinguish between his or her mother and other adults,with the voice and smell of the mother recognized from birth.

A baby is typically capable of their first non-gassy smile at only one month old.

Giving birth is no picnic but spare a thought for the woman who gave birth to the heaviest baby ever born. The boy weighed 22 pounds, eight ounces and was born in Italy in 1955.

Valentina Vassilyeva set the record for most children birthed by a single woman. She gave birth to a total of 69 children. She gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, 7 sets of triplets and 4 sets of quadruplets between 1725 and 1765.

Your baby is seriously strong, you may know that newborns have the reflex to grab onto things with their hands, but what you probably didn't know is that their grasp is strong enough to hold their entire body weight up… Perhaps you have a future strongman on your hands!

Other articles you may also find interesting:

Here are 5 reasons your baby is crying.

Creative ideas for revealing your baby’s gender.

May18

5 creative ideas for revealing your baby’s gender

Categories // Advice and guides

5 creative ideas for revealing your baby’s gender

Revealing the baby’s gender can be a lot of fun, and you have probably seen some creative and unique ways people have revealed the sex of their baby to family and friends, whether it’s throwing a party, posting on social media or doing something more private. Of course, revealing the baby’s gender can happen during the pregnancy, or you as parents can be surprised with everyone else when the baby is born.

If you want to tell your fantastic news to everyone in the most creative way, check out some of our ideas below on how you can reveal if your baby is a boy or girl:

Cakes: Revealing the gender with a specially made dessert is popular, and can be done in different ways: Baking tonnes of cupcakes, and have them iced in either blue or pink, or having one big cake with a neutral coloured icing, but once the guests cut a slice, the sponge is coloured blue or pink! You can be creative as you want with your cake reveal!

T-shirts: If you have an older child, getting them a t-shirt made saying “I’m getting a baby sister” or “I’m getting a baby brother” is a cute way of making your news public, and also makes sure the older child involved with the whole process.

Maternity photos: If you and your partner have arranged some maternity photos, you can get creative and leave clues in the pictures about what your baby’s gender might be.

Edit the ultrasound: After you have had the ultrasound that discloses the gender, why not add on some pink or blue effects with edits and filters, then share the pictures with family and friends? The ultrasound picture will give a personal touch to the reveal.

Video: Whether this is your first child or second, a fun way to reveal the baby’s gender to family and friends is making a video or short film. In this format you can be as creative and innovative as you want.

Whatever you do to reveal the baby’s gender to your family and friends, remember to have a special baby keepsake for your baby when it’s born or to give out to family and friends. We have tonnes of great toys, presents and more at Bundles of Joy.

Photo by: Kristin A

May05

Here are 5 reasons your baby is crying

Categories // Advice and guides

Here are 5 reasons your baby is crying

As a parent, you are the person your child is fully dependent on, you provide them with love, nourishment, warmth and comfort that they need. You are the also the person that sees most of your baby’s tears. It’s your baby’s way of ensuring and communicating to you that they are in need of something and require a response from you.


Sometimes it can be hard as a parent to understand and work out what problem or need your baby wants you to fix. With age it will get easier; as they grow they will learn other ways of communicating to you, such as giggling, pointing and laughing.

Until that moment your baby is older and able to express themselves to you, it would be beneficial to read below our five reasons why your baby is crying.

They’re hungry

This is the most common reason your little one is crying, especially when they’re new-born. The general rule of thumb is the younger the baby, the hungrier they will be. Babies’ stomachs are extremely small and can’t handle very much food, so it won’t be long until it’s empty again after a feed. If you're breastfeeding, offer your breast, even if their last feed doesn't seem that long ago.

If you're bottle feeding, your baby may not require more milk for at least two hours after their last feed. If your baby is not finishing their feeds, they may prefer to drink milk formula little and often.

They just want to cry

If your baby's less than about four months old, they may cry more late in the afternoon and evening. This is normal, and doesn't necessarily mean there's anything wrong with your child.

Sometimes your baby’s persistent crying can be down to colic. Your baby may become flushed and frustrated, and refuse your efforts to comfort them.

The general notion people associate colic with is stomach problems, maybe caused by an allergy or intolerance to something in your breastmilk or formula. However, some experts now think colic is linked to a stage called the "period of PURPLE crying®". PURPLE is an acronym and the letters stand for:

Peak of crying. Your baby may cry more each week, the most at two months, then less at between three months and five months.

Unexpected crying. It can come and go and you don't know why.

Resists soothing. Unfortunately, your baby may not stop crying, no matter what you try.

Pain-like face. Your baby may look as if she is in pain, but it's unlikely that she is.

Long-lasting periods of crying. It can last for several hours a day.

Evening. Your baby is most likely to cry more in the late afternoon and evening.

They need to be held

Babies need lots of physical contact such as cuddling and swaddling as well as reassurance to comfort them, so when your baby cries they may simply just want to be held close to you.

Your baby needs lots of cuddling, physical contact and reassurance to comfort her. So her crying may mean that she just wants to be held.

They are crying because they are tired and need to rest

Babies can often find it hard to doze off, especially when they’re overtired, as a new parent you will soon learn the signs of when your baby needs a sleep pretty quickly, and it may even coincide with when you need a day nap!

They are crying because they’re too hot or too cold

A good way to check whether your baby is too hot or too cold is by feeling their tummy; a common mistake is feeling their hands or feet as new-borns’ feet and hands often feel cold which is perfectly normal.

Keep the temperature in your infant’s room around 18C, use sheets and blankets as bedding in the cot, if they feel too hot, remove one and vice versa. Try not to overdress your baby as well, they generally need one more layer than yourselves to be the optimum temperature.

If you or a loved one have had a precious new arrival visit Bundles of Joy and shop a wide range of fantastic personalised baby gifts, such as our baby blankets, the perfect accessory to soothe your baby in maximum comfort.

Other articles you may also find interesting to read:

6 ways your child lets you know they love you

Fantastic foods for your little one

 

Photo by: TaniaVdB

Apr26

Six ways your child lets you know they love you

Categories // Advice and guides

Six ways your child lets you know they love you

It’s the best feeling in the world as a parent when your little one looks at you and says those three words… I love you! But did you know there are other ways your child shows their love towards a parent? Have a read of the six other ways your child will show you their love below.

Your new-born baby stares into your eyes

When you catch your baby staring at you they are actually working hard to memorise your face, with them being naturally drawn to it. At this age the world will be blurry to them, but they can see most clearly at the distance between your face and theirs when you hold them in your arms.

Your baby thinks about you when you're not there

Between eight months and 12 months old they'll start to wrinkle their face and look around when you leave the room and then greet you with a smile when you return. Your child sees you almost as a safe zone; they’ll be comfortable to explore around them and move away from you but will return for your love and support.

Your toddler throws tantrums

They may not seem like it at the time, but your child’s tantrum shows they feel secure with you. You should feel loved and special that your child is able to show their true emotions to you when they are hurt and angry… even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time, they trust and love you!

 

Your toddler seeks you out for comfort and reassurance

The old saying of ‘actions speak louder than words’ apply here. Your toddler may be too young to understand the concept of love, but you will be the one they turn too when catastrophes happen in their world, such as their juice tipping over or them banging their head.

Children this age may not truly understand the meaning of, "I love you", but their actions speak louder than words. It'll be you they run to when they fall over or feel sad.

Your toddler gives you gifts

It may be a crudely drawn painting that will be stuck to the fridge, a flower from the garden or a hand-made card but these are all pointing towards the fact your child is learning to give, by watching you. When you treat your child with love, care and support you will see it reciprocated back to you as they get older.

Approval

You will notice as your child gets older they will start to be more cooperative around the house and they'll look for chances to impress you, whether that’s cartwheeling through the sitting room or putting the dishes away. You’ll soon be hearing "Look at me!” a whole lot more!

Why not show you your love to your little one by lavishing them with a gift from Bundles of Joy? We stock a fantastic range of baby and toddler gifts such as the Jelly Cat bashful bunny, the perfect super soft plush toy to comfort your child.

Other articles you may also find interesting:

Planning and preparing your baby shower

Perfect foods for your child

Apr25

Planning and preparing for your baby shower

Categories // Advice and guides

Planning and preparing for your baby shower

The tradition of a baby shower is becoming more popular and it is a lot of fun for everyone involved. Like a hen do is the last big party before marriage, the baby shower is similar as it celebrates the couple before the birth of the baby. For anyone looking to plan their baby shower, take a look at our guide below for some tips and ideas.

Planning - First of all, you need to set a date, ideally a month or two before the baby’s due date. However, you can also arrange it for after the baby’s birth, so the whole party can be centred around the little one!

Next up is to make a guest list. This could be all the female friends and family but it is important to include the dad and open up the guest list.

When thinking of who to invite, remember where the shower is to be held. It can be the host’s home, or the home of a family member. For a bigger guest list, a bigger venue might be needed, or maybe a nearby park for a picnic in the sun.

Once invites have been sent, you need to get down to the finer details of planning, like food, decorations, games and gifts!

Food - There are tonnes of ideas for food, like a buffet, tea party, picnic and lots of cakes! Like with decorations, the food can have a theme and you can go wild with the icing on cupcakes! If you are struggling, ask your guests to bring something themselves, or hire a place that will cater.

Decorations - The decoration can have a theme, whether it’s connected to the baby or the expecting couple, and it doesn’t have to be over the top. A banner or garland, lots of balloons and some flowers will be perfect. They can also be coordinated with the baby’s gender too!

Games - There are many great ideas for games to play at the baby shower. Why not ask everyone to bring a baby photo with them, mix them up, then everyone has to guess who the photo is of? Another fun one is a blind taste test – of baby food! Use the blind fold again and get everyone to draw a baby without looking!

Gifts - Baby showers are great for the expecting couple to receive gifts from family and friends before the baby is born, so there won’t be a huge mess when her or she arrives. Check out the range of baby shower gifts we have a Bundles of Joy.  

Apr20

Fantastic foods for your little one

Categories // Advice and guides

Fantastic foods for your little one

When your baby reaches six months old they are ready to begin eating solid foods and begin to explore the exciting flavours, textures and smells that food brings us. The recipes below will give your child the nutrition they need whilst also developing their sense of smell and taste whilst enjoying these new foods.

Banana puree

Ingredients

1 small ripe banana

1-2 tsps of baby rice

2 tbsps of breastmilk or formula

Mash the banana well until smooth. Mix the rice and milk, and stir into the banana. Adjust the texture with milk or rice to your desired preference.

Banana and Avocado puree

Ingredients

1 small ripe banana

Half an avocado

Peel and de-pit a ripe avocado. Cut “meat” out and mash with a fork, peel and mash 1 banana. Place in a blender or food processor and puree until desired texture is achieved. Avocados and bananas do not need to be cooked.

Broccoli and cauliflower puree

Ingredients

1 large broccoli floret

1 large cauliflower floret

Steam the vegetables until they are tender. Puree in a blender or mouli and adjust the texture with boiled, cooled water or your baby's usual milk.

Avocado and Mango Mouse

Ingredients

1 cup peeled and cubed mango

1 ripe avocado – peeled, seeded and cubed

Plain or vanilla yogurt or water, apple or pear juice

Mash the mango with the avocado until smooth. Add yogurt or water or juice and whip with a whisk until a creamy mousse like consistency is created.

Potato and spinach puree

Ingredients

1 medium floury potato, peeled and quartered

A handful of spinach

Boil the potato in unsalted water until tender. Steam the spinach over the potato in a sieve for the last few minutes of cooking. Drain and mash the potato with a little of your baby's usual milk. Puree the spinach and add to the potato.  You can adjust the texture with boiled, cooled water, breastmilk, or formula.

 

Baby ‘Mole

Ingredients

1 ripe avocado

Wheat germ or crushed wholegrain cereal

Pinch of garlic powder, pepper & basil

Peel and pit a ripe avocado, cut “meat” out and mash with a fork. Next mix avocado, wheat germ/cereal and spice then blend. Fold in plain whole milk yogurt until a texture good for your baby is achieved, serve with toast or vegetable sticks.

 

Lentils with butternut squash

Ingredients

50g split red lentils

120g butternut squash, peeled and diced

Boil the lentils in water until soft. Steam the squash until tender. Drain the lentils in a sieve. Add the squash to the sieve and place the sieve over a bowl. Press the mixture through the sieve using a wooden spoon, stir and serve.

Avocado and kiwi puree

Ingredients

Half a ripe avocado

1 ripe kiwi fruit

Mash the avocado well. In a separate bowl, peel and mash the kiwi. Push the kiwi through a sieve to remove the pips, then mix with the avocado.

You can always make up your own delicious recipes for your little one, just be wary of string flavours, pips and seeds.

When introducing new foods, you can always reward your child for pushing their taste boundaries by visiting Bundles of Joy. We have a fantastic selection of gifts for baby boys and girls for you to shower your little loved ones with.

Other articles you may also want to read:

Great games to play with your baby

How to be a fantastic Dad when your baby arrives

Photo by: tookapic

 

 

Apr19

Five ways on how to be a fantastic godparent

Categories // Advice and guides

Five ways on how to be a fantastic godparent

It is always exciting to be asked to be a godparent. It means the child parents trust you to be part of their child’s life and to help out and support the family. A position of godparent can be simply symbolic or an actual figure of guidance and faith for the child. Either way, here are some great tips on how to be best godparent you can:

Be the fun one:

Whatever your relationship is to the child (besides godparent) whether it is aunt, uncle, close family friend or cousin, make sure you are a fun one. After the parents and grandparents, you will often be the next person the child goes to. Ensure this is the case by being indulgent when they are younger, and lots of fun when they are older. Don’t hesitate to play with them as soon as they ask! The bonding between you is important.

Make time together:

When the child is still a baby, make sure you don’t miss important moments. Even though they won’t talk at this age, visiting as often as you can and doing something special when you’re there will help them to remember you. As they get older, be sure to make time just with them.

Keep in touch:

If you don’t live close, remember to keep connected with your godchild. Phone calls, FaceTime and Skype are a lot of fun, and remember writing a letter can be even more special – and they can keep it too. As your godchild gets older and into their teenage years try to keep current with them. It’s good to keep that special relationship with them.

Cards and gifts:

Remember the important holidays, and especially your godchild’s birthday. When they are younger they won’t remember or fully appreciate the card and letter, but the presents and cards will be kept so when they’re older they will know you have doted on them from the start. Getting something extra special for them won’t go unnoticed!

Support your godchild’s parents:

Children all go through difficult stages; non-stop crying, tantrums, mood swings and fighting with their siblings. As well as being there for the child, remember to support the parents. Be there to listen to the moaning about the troubling stages and encourage them it will change – eventually! 

And for the parents, make sure the godparents know what a fantastic role they are doing, with these gifts for godparents.

Apr18

Great games to play with your baby

Categories // Advice and guides

Great games to play with your baby

It is important to play with your baby and toddler. It helps you to bond with them, gives them ways to learn from you and develop skills. Setting aside time or playing with your baby any time you can is a great way to pass the time and will make you and the baby very happy. Check out some ideas on what to play here:

Talking through a cardboard tube is a fun game that helps develop the babies hearing. The voice is distorted so getting the baby to respond is good as they might not realise it is you.

Play in the garden with flowers. This gets the baby out in open and helps build up their immune system and sense of smell.

Build towers with building blocks. Getting you baby to build towers with blocks or boxes is a way for them to develop hand-eye coordination and their grip. Don’t get too frustrated when you’ve helped out by building a huge tower and they knock it down!

Reading books. It is not just playing but reading books that are interactive and have attractive pictures help the baby and toddler with visual and verbal skills. Make sure you point to and name  everything on the pages.

When they baby is being changed, they can get quite restless. Playing with their legs and arms help to comfort them and will also build strength in their legs – great for when they start crawling and toddling about too!

Put on some music – and not just children’s music, but some of your own music – and get them dancing around the living room. This is good for visual learning and keeps them exercised. Try get them interested in some basic musical instruments too.

Finger shadows. This is always a good classic game for bed time. Using the light from the night light or a torch, make shapes with your fingers to produce shadows. It won’t matter if you can’t do anything but a dog – your child will love it!

Nursery rhymes and songs are a great way to get your child talking. The rhythm and patterns of nursery rhymes are great ways for children to learn new words and build up confidence.

Hide and seek is a step up from peek-a-boo. Kids loving finding you, checking all the cupboards and behind the curtains. It might take a while for them to grasp just what to do, so playing in pairs in groups is best when they are young.

You can also get some personalised baby gifts at Bundles of Joy and use them at playtime too.

Photo by: Petr Kratochvil  

Apr14

How to be a fantastic Dad when your baby arrives

Categories // Advice and guides

How to be a fantastic Dad when your baby arrives

So the moment has arrived, after you have had the easier end of the deal during the pregnancy (try carrying a baby for 9 months) you are now a Dad! It’s an exciting, wonderful and terrifying experience being a new Dad.

It can be challenging, so we thought we’d help you out a bit. Have a read of our guide below to give you some pointers on how to be a fantastic Dad to your new arrival and also be a pillar of strength for your other half!

 

 

Hold your nerve and be strong

After the midwives, doctors and health visitors dissipate and you’re left alone for the first time with your baby it’s easy to feel panicked. Combine this your baby waking up more, crying louder, and the odd breastfeeding malfunction and the first few days can be really stressful. Now’s the time to stay calm and remind your partner what a great job she’s done so far and what an amazing mum she is.

Have all the right numbers and contacts at hand

Make sure you’ve got all the important numbers you need: your midwife, doctor, and health visitor. Other numbers that are useful are antenatal teacher, your local breastfeeding counsellor and the National Breastfeeding Helpline. If any problems do arise you’ll be ready!

Shop

Make sure the fridge, freezer and cupboards are stocked up with nutritious,quick and easy meals. This will be an extremely busy time in both your lives and nipping to the shop for a few bits and bobs will now be extremely difficult. Also knowing the baby aisle at the supermarket like the back of your hand will be a godsend!

Set Boundaries

Your new little family will be in high demand with visitors after the birth, but you have to set boundaries as it can be exhausting to have so many people coming and going. Be ready to put people off if your partner, baby or you feel you’ve had enough.

Treat and pamper your partner

There are lots of ways you can look after your partner and make her life easier, new mums have gone through hell of a ride and are sore, tired and hormonal. Run her a relaxing bath, massage her shoulders, cook her favourite dishes and treat her exactly how she should be.

Communication

You and your partner really can't do enough of this. Give your baby and partner equal amounts of praise, and be honest about how becoming a parent has made you feel and listen to how she feels too, just show love, support and understanding and things will be great.

Your friends

During this time it’s easy to forget about yourself, you need to be able to talk to people who are not part of your core family. Chat to one of your own close friends to talk over all the details of the birth and any worries you may have.

Being new parents for the first time is an incredible yet challenging time that should be enjoyed to the fullest. For all your new born baby needs from baby blankets, baby albums and super soft plush toys such as the Walter Whale Clickitty Rattle from Jelly Cat visit Bundles of Joy online.

Other articles you may also find helpful:

Having a baby? Here’s what to pack in your hospital bag.

The dos and don’ts of visiting a new born baby.

Photo by: PublicDomainPictures

Apr11

Dos and Don’ts for visiting new born babies

Categories // Advice and guides

Dos and Don’ts for visiting new born babies

Welcoming a new baby is very exciting, getting that new baby smell and a cuddle with a new boy or girl might make you run for the door. If it’s a friend, sister, cousin or co-worker who has just had the baby, you will want to be there to congratulate and take in the cuteness.

However, the birth of a new baby can be tiring for the parents, and the influx of visitors can add to the tiredness and stress. Remember there is always time later on when the baby is a little bigger to visit. Here is are a few dos and don’ts for visiting the baby.

DO be patient. Wait for the invite from the new parents, rather than showing up when they don’t expect it. And remember when you are there it is going to be different with crying, nappies, feeding and more, so be prepared to not bombard the parents or baby.

DO make yourself useful. As it will be a bit like a circus, offer some help. You can be the one to make the tea, tidy up or do some dishes. Try not to be a burden to the new parents, and they will appreciate your help.

DO put your phone on silent. You might be only there for half an hour but keeping your phone away and on silent means there will be no strange sounds that could disturb the baby. 

DON’T forget about Dad. He hasn’t had as hard a time as mum, but he does deserve congratulations too. Helping him out is just as important as helping out mum. 

DON’T take loads of pictures. A couple of snaps of the new baby is all that is needed on the first visit. There is plenty of time later on when both the baby and mum are feeling and looking better. Remember to keep the flash off too – the bright light can be too much for the baby.

DON’T come empty handed. A card or gift is always appreciated by the new parents, and something cute for the baby will be well received. Check out Bundles of Joy for gifts for baby boys and baby girls.

If you are taking kids, make sure they know to act calm and not be noisy around the baby. It might be better to take them when they baby is a few days older and will also be more interesting to the older children.

Photo by: Public Domain Pictures

Apr08

How to deal with late night visits from your child

Categories // Advice and guides

How to deal with late night visits from your child

Having your child wake you up as they climb into your bed in the middle of the night is a problem most parents face at some point with the same question being asked time and time again: “why won’t my child sleep through the night?”.

Interestingly for children and adults ‘night wakings’ are a normal part of our sleep cycle, but good sleepers know how to fall back to sleep without help. Unfortunately, many toddlers and children haven’t mastered this skill yet.

Below you will find tips on how to deal with your child when they turn up in the middle of the night at your bedside.

Lose the sleep aids

At bedtime many toddlers still have trouble switching their minds off, relaxing and falling asleep without the comfort of a sleep aid or cuddly toy. This can cause problems if the child awakes during the night and doesn’t have that toy or sleep aid to hand. You should gradually and gently phase out the sleep aids, whilst also leaving their room in the same way you will during the night.

Just remember that you have to leave the room before your child falls asleep so they don’t wake up wondering why you're no longer there. This may be a long, hard process, so be patient.

Consistency

Develop a plan, and stick with it. In the middle of the night after a long day at work it’s easy to give in and allow your child to climb into your bed. So be strong and make sure you escort them back to their room, tuck them in and leave. Be prepared to repeat this routine over and over if necessary.

Confront your child’s fears with them

Being scared of the dark or a monster in the wardrobe is a normal fear for toddlers. Help them by leaving the hall light on or installing a night-light. If it’s a monster hiding under the bed we suggest doing a monster search at bedtime, fill up an old water spray bottle (call it monster spray) and let your child spray around the room, under the bed and the closet, you can also set up old cardboard boxes as monster traps.

Cuddle time with your child

Since many young children can’t tell the time, you should specify when it’s ok to come into your room for a cuddle and some bonding time. If you’re up early anyway, suggest to your child to come in when its light (this may have to be adjusted in summer). As they get older and learn to tell the time tape a piece of paper over the minutes of a clock, and use a marker to draw in the agreed-upon wake-up time. When the two numbers match, your child will know it's the right time to pay you a visit.

Compromise

You can also share your bedroom on special occasions with your child, put a small mattress in your room and let them sleep there. Perhaps consider making a small “den” for them with a thin mattress and one of our personalised baby blankets, it will appeal to them but on the flip side after a few nights or weeks on the floor, your child's own soft mattress may seem more appealing to them.

Other articles that you may also find interesting:

Teaching your child to read

Reasons babies cry and the best ways to soothe them

Photo by: Fujikama

Customer Comments

Good afternoon Bundles of Joy

Wow, what can I say?

I ordered a Christening Mug yesterday at approx 13:30 I was kept informed of the progress of the order via email in the afternoon.

This morning I received an email stating that it would be delivered today by courier between 11:14 and 12:14 it turned up at about 11:18.

What fantastic service, I will definitely be recommending your company, and using it again.

Many thanks for such a prompt and professional service.

~ Terry Wright - March 2015

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