Are you looking for nursery inspiration? Do you want to create the perfect nursery space for your new arrival but feel you need a little bit of help? These 3 collections from Lolli Living might just be a perfect place to start. Not only do they feature 100% cotton bedding but every accessory you could possibly dream of is available in co-ordinated colours and styles.
All collections offer alternative options for cot bumpers, cot comforters and plush accessories so you can add your own personal touch.
Poppy Seed by Lolli Living
Our favourite owl and birdie characters come together in this classical girly mix of pinks, greens and floral designs.
Animal Tree by Lolli Living
Not sure whether you're having a boy or girl? This gorgeous unisex collection is a perfect option. Beautiful green and brown tones complete with the wise owl and cheeky monkey characters are proving a popular combination for many parents.
Baby Bots by Lolli Living
A real little boys room will be created when using the robot-inspired Baby Bots linen and accessories.We love the use of the strong navy blue in this collection.
Baby Bella are continually sourcing the lastest in nursery linen and accessories and invite you to visit the manchester section of our website for details of our full range. You can also join our facebook page to stay up to date with latest releases.
As a young professional in my life BC (Before Children), I found moving to motherhood an extremely difficult change. Far more challenging than any university exam or work assignment I'd ever encountered, having children threw my very well planned life into complete disarray. Pre-eclampsia, retained placenta, post natal depression, difficulty with breastfeeding... none of this was supposed to happen.
And as we know, or will eventually find out, it doesn't end there. Life with children is magical, full of love, laughter and fulfillment but it also takes a mental toll on many of us. Particularly those of us unprepared for the reality of being a parent. I was one of those "I'm never going to do that when I have children" sort of people.
Unfortunately the mental strain of raising kids can cause our level of patience to somewhat deteriorate. As I talk with other mum's I find that I'm certainly not alone . When I admitted to one customer recently that "I feel like I yell at my children all day, everyday" I could see the look of relief spread across her face as she said "OMG you too?!"
Oh yes, as parents we have all experienced (or will experience) sleep deprivation, a baby screaming for no apparent reason, a bum explosion after you only just changed that nappy, having to pick up those books for the 100th time, piles of washing, children fighting, trying to balance the family budget, a sick child... the list goes on and on.
These things each seem so trivial on their own but when you experience all of them in a day or a week, your head just explodes!
So yes I am guilty of pretending to be asleep so my husband can get up to the baby, yelling at my kids for no apparent reason, leaving a nappy on for a bit too long, shutting the door rather than dealing with the mess, wearing the same pair of jeans 3 days in a row, fighting with my husband in front of the kids, blowing the family budget by getting take-away instead of cooking and sending my child to daycare with a temp.
Others may shake their heads and raise their brow at my seemingly incompetent parenting but in the end my kids still love me and (most of the time) think I'm the most awesome person on this planet. So if you gave a knowing smile while reading this post please be confident that there are many more of us not-so-perfect mothers out there than Facebook and web blogs would lead you to believe ;-)
Having owned our baby stores for more than 6 years Josh and I have seen alot of changes in the Australian nursery industry. We love looking back on old photos of the shop and reminising about prams and products that have come and gone over the years. As small business owners and parents to three children we've always taken our product selection very personally. When choosing products we would ask ourselves "would we want to own this product?" or "is this product something OUR local customers would like?".
Of course no one is perfect and we didn't always get things right. We took chances on new brands that ended up sitting around for months on end and we ended up having to give them away at well below cost but we're proud to say we also took gambles that ended up in strong partnerships with what are now well-established brands.. We thought it might be fun to look back on the years and share a few of the memories.
Best "Inherited" Brand: Britax (Safe n Sound and Steelcraft)
When we purchased our business from the existing owners which was then know as Pippin Australia and situated in a shed in the Goonellabah Industrial Estate we took over dealership of alot of brands. I would have to say the brand that has offered us the best range of products over the years. Britax invest heavily in product development and have always been at the forefront of change in the Australian nursery industry. I still have customers coming in saying that they owned a Steelcraft product 25 years ago and was pleased with the quality then.
Best "New" Brand: Baby Jogger
I clearly recall Carrie, the founder of Baby Jogger in Australia, flying up to see me in our humble store in Goonellabah. She brought a scrumptious feast of mini tarts from Henry's Bakery in Lismore and one pram. I was a little hesitant as the prices of the Baby Jogger prams were at the upper end of the scale and I was mindful that it would have to be a significantlly different product for me to take it on. As soon as she folded it I was SOLD! Anyone who owns a Baby Jogger will know what I mean :-) Baby Bella was one of the first stores that Baby Jogger supplied in Australia and we're happy to say we were part of the "Baby Jogger Revolution" These days the Baby Jogger range in our store is about 6 different prams and loads of accessories to match and our locals just love them!
Consistently Best Quality Brand: Baby Bjorn
We've been selling Baby Bjorn products since the beginning and for the thousands of products we've sold I can only ever recall have one return on these products. This is truely amazing!! I must note that I've also never had a return on a Combi product either however we've not had these as long and therefore not sold as many items. I must also make an honourable mention to Safe n Sound car seats. We have literally sold thousands of Safe n Sound seats and they are always of exceptional quality, are easier to fit and we have a insignificant number of warranty incidents with these products.
Ruby in her Baby Bjorn Baby Sitter. One of my all-time favourite purchases.
There have been a few but I always got a giggle when I had one of my babies sleeping in a cot around the store and they would stir just as a customer was walking by. "I thought that was a doll" they would say.
Which one is the baby?
I'm not doing that again!!
Painting the inside of the Coffs Harbour store. I'm never doing this again. Myself, Josh and my brother-in-law (thank you Steve!) spent a weekend painting the entire inside of the Coffs Harbour building with hand rollers. It was a mammoth job, I was about 4 months pregnant and it was Josh's birthday. Never again!
Yes, all by hand!
In 2010 the Lismore area was devastated by flooding. We're unfortunate to be in a low lying area of the CBD and our store was inundated with water at about 11pm on 21st May. After hours of lifting heavy cots, furniture, prams and boxes of stock upstairs with the help of family and friends, Josh spent the night sleeping at the store "just to keep an eye on things". We were lucky enough to have saved most of our stock but some of our shop fixtures didn't make it.
Less than a year later we were praying for those in our Coffs Harbour community as they experienced huge rainfall in a very short period of time. The water lapped at our back door but never came inside (thankfully) but this wasn't the case for many Coffs Harbour residents who lost their homes and possessions.
The Here and Now
Although owning your own business can be a tough gig at times there are so many positives we take out of the last 6+ years. We are so lucky to be able to meet and share experiences with lots of wonderful people who are travelling through the amazing journey of parenthood. We love spending time sharing in the wonderment of brand new babies when their parents bring them in to meet us. We are also lucky to have flexibilty in our working and family lives. Yes, we work very long hours but I know that if I want to take time off to go to my daughter's school assembly or nurse a sick child at home I can make that happen. We're also very proud of the fact that we are providing employment to other locals. We know that without our team we couldn't do what we do and thank them dearly.
So to each of you that have made Baby Bella what it is today a big hug and thank you. We hope you like what we do and can continue to support us into the future. We also welcome any suggestions on how we can do things better :-)
Jaime Bates xx
With warmer weather approaching many parents with toddlers are beginning to think about how or when they are going to start the toilet training process. Some may be excited at the challenge of this important milestone while others may be dreading the thought.
As a parent I have guided our three children out of nappies and into undies. Our youngest is turning two this week and although she still has the odd accident, we're very confident in her ability to tell us when she needs to go to the toilet. She often takes herself to the toilet these days with the help of our Lupi Lu and Step Stool and we only realise she's gone when she comes out of the bathroom clapping and singing "wee, wee! Ta-dah!" The accidents she has are generally when she can't get onto the toilet by herself or when she's busy playing and cries "wee, wee" at the last moment with no time to make it. The disappointment in her voice almost breaks my heart :-(
Anyone who knows me will know that I'm a little sad to be saying a final good-bye to my cloth nappy collection. I even miss the therapeutic stuffing and folding of nappies in front of a good late night movie. However the confidence and independence that my children display once they mastered the art of using the toilet is priceless.
So from one parent to another there are a few pointers that I can offer for those looking for help:
1. Be consistent. As your child's parent it is up to you when you feel comfortable beginning the toileting process. You need to have a plan, be focused on the process and be ready for accidents. Inconsistency is the biggest factor in delayed toilet training. Having 3-5 days where your sole focus is on toilet training will work wonders and you'll be amazed at how quickly your child will progress.
2. Lose the nappies! Make a big deal out of buying your child's first big boy/girl underpants and hide the nappies. As parents we sometimes find it easier to pop on a nappy then deal with an accident however this will really slow down the process and it may even signal to a sensitive child that you've given up on them. Using training pants in early stages and when leaving the house can help prevent stressful situations for you while still allowing your child to recognise the sensation of being wet, thereby beginning the toilet training process. P.S. Pull-Ups are not training pants, they are nappies.
3. Stay Positive and make it fun. The best results will be achieved when you make toilet training fun and celebrate the wins. Understand that accidents are a normal part of this process. You wouldn't expect your child to stand up and walk for the first time and not stumble. Toilet training is no different. Use a timer to remind you both when it's time to go to the toilet and when the timer goes off play a game - "race mummy to see who gets of the toilet first". Try using the phrase "Let's go to the toilet!" rather than the question "Do you want to go to the toilet?" Giving them the option to say "No" will cause problems if you know they are due to go. "Go and grab your favourite book and mummy will read it to you on the potty" is also a good one.
4. Monkey See, Monkey Do. Like many things in life your children learn a lot from watching their mum, dad, brother or sister. My son had always admired his big sister and wanted to be just like her. When I wanted to start toilet training him I asked his sister to show him how she goes to the toilet. I was in shock when the next minute he took his training pants off and started weeing on the grass as if he'd been doing it all his life. Amazing!
For those parents starting the toilet training journey we wish you a speedy road to success. That look of triumph on your child's face when they first use the toilet independently will be worth the effort :-)
Images have been well-intentionally borrowed off the web. Photo 1 thecuteage.com Photo 2 from itsamummyslife.com
This month we have profiled one of our favourite local businesses from both Lismore and Coffs Harbour to keep you informed about the services available in your local area.
First Steps Early Learning Centre
First Steps Early Learning Centre is located in Market Street, behind the Memorial Baths and offers long day care for ages 6 weeks to 5 years. Each of my children have attended First Steps and I've always been impressed with their level of care and facilities. My personal favourite was the recent addition of a gigantic pirate ship outdoor play area!
First Steps embraces The Early Years Learning Framework and prepares Programs specifically designed to give your child the best start within a nurturing and fun environment.
Operating from 6:30am to 6:30pm, First Steps is a preferred centre for parents who work irregular hours or longer days. Located just outside the heart of the CBD with lots of parking, parents working in town will love the quick drop-off that this centre's location affords.
First Steps have long supported Baby Bella and where possible source their resources locally. This means First Steps are supporting your community. To speak to Sarah (centre Director) about enrolling your child at First Steps, call 6622 8999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also visit their website: www.firststepslismore.net.au
Coffs for Kids
Whether it be parties, sports, music lessons, playgroups, indoor or outdoor activities – visit www.coffsforkids.com where you will find a directory of every business in Coffs Harbour and surrounds that has anything to do with kids.
You will also find an events calendar, weekly guide, school holidays events, blog and much more!
Make sure you join the Coffs for Kids Facebook page and community – www.facebook.com/coffsforkids
Our favourite page is the fantastic “bumps ‘n bubs” section where you can find out about products and services for during your pregnancy or for baby.
As parents we know that every child is different. However studies have shown that children up to the age of 4 are five times more likely to survive and/or avoid injury in a car accident if they travel rear facing in their car seat. This is quite an alarming statistic given recent changes in Australian road rules only require us to keep our infants rear facing until 6 months of age.
So why is rear facing so much safer for our children?
During a collision a child who is seated rear facing will be cradled by the shell of their car seat. If your child was forward facing in the same accident, the force of the accident would throw the child's head forward, causing excessive pressure on the neck and spine. The following video was produced by advocates of extended rear facing in Australia and shows the difference a rear facing seat can make in the event of an accident.
Although our safety standards are amongst the most stringent in the world, Australian rear facing car seats only take an average sized child to about 12 months of age rear facing. As parents, we should only turn our children around when they have reached the maximum weight and/or height for their rear facing restraint.
How do I know when they have outgrown the rear facing position?
For car seats not showing height markers on the front of the seat (generally seats purchased prior to 2012) your seat will either be classed as a A1, A2, A1/B or A2/B seat.
For A1 and A1/B seats you can leave baby rear-facing for up to 12kgs. For A2 and A2/B seats you can leave your baby rear-facing up to 9 kgs.
For seats showing height markers on the front of the seat (generally seats purchased from 2012 onwards) your child will be able to stay rear-facing until their shoulders reach the first height marker on the seat "must be rear facing when shoulders below this line". This is expected to be around 12 months of age.
But my baby hates facing the back of the car?
As restraint fitters we are often asked to turn a child's seat around into the forward facing position as parents feel their child would be happier if they could see more.
Contrary to popular belief, children will not necessarily be happier in the forward facing position. Children's frustration at being put into their car seat may be caused by other factors which could be corrected before reverting to turning their car seat around. Other factors may include insufficient padding in their seat making them uncomfortable, the restraint laying too far back thus them believing you are putting them to bed, the child having experienced a recent long car trip.
We urge parents to try other alternatives before prematurely turning their child around.
If you require assistance in determining whether your child is ready to be turned around in their car seat please contact our Lismore store on (02) 6621 3188 or our Coffs Harbour store on (02) 6651 8484.
If you would like more information on what the maximum weight/height is for your own rear facing restraint please see this link
With a product range which boasts products like they City Mini, City Elite and City Select it's hard to believe Baby Jogger could improve their range further. Well the proof is in the pudding with the release of the new Baby Jogger Mini GT!
This pram sits nicely between the hugely popular City Mini and the beloved City Elite prams. It is a little heavier than the Mini at 9.5kgs but it's a go anywhere pram which features a smaller version of the Elite's tubeless tyres. It has also taken on a hand brake, doing away with the foot brake which cause thong, scuff or high heel wears so much grief.
Other excellent features of this pram include an adjustable handle height, easy access to the storage basket (not huge but generous enough) and a tiny turning circle.
If I was going to compare the Mini GT to something similar on the market, I'd have to say it's a close match to the Mountain Buggy Swift but at just $50 more the one-hand fold, extra deep seat (sufficiently padded) and three stage sun canopy makes the GT a cut above.
So after singing this pram's praises I must mention one small drawback I've discovered. These prams are thin on the ground with only a select few baby stores having stock remaining after it's initial release on the market. There is expected to be wait times of up to 3 months on this product.
Well worth the wait I give this pram 5 stars!!
Is the Mini GT travel system compatible?Yes. With the purchase of the Baby Jogger Car Seat Adaptors this pram is compatible with the Safe n Sound Unity, Peg Perego Primo Viaggio and Maxi-Cosi Mico capsules. The most suitable capsule for this Baby Jogger pram is the Mico.
I've got two on the way. Does the Mini GT come in a twin version?
Yes! The Mini GT Double will be $999 and a limited amount of stock is due to hit your local Baby Bella store early May 2012.
How much does the Mini GT cost?
The team at Baby Bella have put the Steelcraft Agile Travel System to the test in order to provide our customers with a thorough and honest review of Steelcraft's latest offering.
The results are excellent, with the Agile Travel System earning a 4.5/5 star rating from our team.
- One of the simplest travel systems on the Australian market with a seamless transition from car to pram.
- Light weight stroller (7.5kg as per Steelcraft) which will grow with your child up to 22kg.
- Super easy fold which is nice and compact and would be suitable for ALL cars.
- The three stage canopy provides exceptional coverage from the sun's harmful rays. Also features magnets on the hoods peek-a-boo flaps which allow you to view your baby without waking them up to the sound of ripping velcro.
- Very good amount of padding through the wide seat (width at seat base 28cm).
- Four fashionable color options and you also have the option to mix the colour of the capsule and the pram if you wish. - The rear flap the covers the back of the pram is removable for extra ventilation during hotter months. The rear flap also contains an extra concealed pocket for easy-access storage.
- Great value for money particularly because there is no need to buy a 2nd lighter stroller down the track like most parents do who choose a pram that is over 9kg.
- Parent handle is covered with the type of foam which could be easily split if you hit the handle on the ground during the fold or unfold.
- The fold lock is a little tricky to get off while holding the pram to unfold. It gets easier with practice but I do wonder if a pram of this size and weight really needs this feature.
- The basket is on the small side however this is common on prams of this size.
- Seat height of 44cm is shorter than prams such as the Phil & Teds Explorer (56cm) and the Baby Jogger City Mini (50cm)
- The Agile stroller is a clear 'copy cat' of the Baby Jogger City Mini stroller which has always been a Baby Bella favourite.
Star rating: 4.5/5
Suited to: Parents wanting a light weight and compact pram who plan to use their pram mainly on footpaths and in shopping centres. Parents wanting to face baby while they are young (only applies when using stroller with infant carrier).
Recommended Retail Price: Complete travel system (pram & car capsule) $729.90. Agile pram only $399.95
Available colors: Shell, Forest, Black, Red
Weight: 7.5kg (excludes travel system)
Seat Capacity: 22kg
Toddler Seat compatible: No
Toddler Board Compatible: Yes but not while seat is fully reclined.
If you like this pram, you may also like the Bugaboo Bee with Maxi Cosi Mico Travel System.
Your baby's First Christmas is a very special event and although it's more about the occasion than the presents, it's nice to have a little something under the Christmas Tree for bub. Here are our Top 10 Christmas Picks for your baby's First Christmas.
1 - Sophie the Giraffe $34.95
Did you know 9 out of 10 children in France own a Sophie the Giraffe? There is a reason this little friend is so popular. Made from natural latex rubber (which is actually very light), Sophie is a perfect size for little hands to grip and has a cute squeaker to provide stimulating sounds for your baby. Her soft nodes provide welcome relief for sore gums and because her spots are created by non-toxic paint, she's safe to chew. Sophie is also available as a teething ring for tiny hands.
Buy Now http://www.babybella.com.au/gift-ideas/for-bub/sophie-the-giraffe
2 - Bumbo Baby Sitter with Tray $79.95 (Normally $99.95)
The Bumbo Baby Sitter is suitable for babies from approximately 3 months of age. This portable chair provides postural support for baby as they learn to sit up. It is made from a firm foam material which is comfortable for baby whilst being an easy clean surface for mum. Available in a range of bright colours, the Bumbo is one of our favourite gift ideas for bub.
Buy Now (http://www.babybella.com.au/feeding/high-chairs/bumbo-baby-sitter-combo)
3 - Aden + Anais Bamboo Muslins (3 pk) $44.95
A practical gift that comes beautifully gift boxed, these Bamboo muslin wraps are luxuriously soft and are a great size for swaddling in these warmer months (120cm x 120cm).
Buy Now (http://www.babybella.com.au/bedtime/wraps-sleeping-bags/aden-anais-bamboo-muslins-3-pk)
4 - Amber Teething Necklace $29.95 (Normally $34.95)
I am asked every day whether I think these necklaces work. My reply is always yes!
When my son was about 18 months old he was having a lot of trouble with his molars. He had teething rash around his mouth, a runny nose and was drooling like you wouldn't believe. I purchased one of these necklaces and within 2 days we had noticed that his rash had cleared up and his nose was dry. Dash's regular colds were also a thing of the past.
I've had customers tell me similar stories about their children's general health improving while wearing a amber teething necklace purchased from Baby Bella and my daughter who now has about 12 teeth, has only ever had one restless night.
If you consider the cost of over the counter drugs and doctor's visits, I think $30 is a small price to pay for something that could relieve discomfort for your child and improve their general wellbeing.
Buy Now (http://www.babybella.com.au/feeding/bottles-and-accessories/baltic-amber-teething-necklace)
5 - Evenflo Jump n Learn Exersaucer $199.95 (Normally $229.95)
There are hours of fun to be had with this interactive play gym by Evenflo.This beauty includes 55 activities and is sure to be a hit on Christmas day! Helpful Hint: This is one that you will want to put together BEFOREHAND so it's ready to roll on Christmas day. Batteries are required.
Buy Now (http://www.babybella.com.au/play-time/activity-gyms/evenflo-jump-n-learn-exersaucer-1)
6 - Itti Bitti One-Size Nappy $36.95 each (Special $32.95 each)
Why not make 2012 the year to reduce your babies footprint on the environment. Switch to cloth and not only will you save yourself a small fortune, you'll also be helping to reduce waste. Not to mention how cute these soft nappies look on bub!
As a mum who once used disposables but now LOVES cloth, I encourage every parent to give them a go. They are so easy to use and care for and you'll wish you made the switch sooner!
Buy Now (http://www.babybella.com.au/bathing/modern-cloth-nappies/all-in-one-two)
7 - Cloud B Companions $59.95
I don't know how I would have done without my Sleep Sheep! I used this little guy for 2 of my children and it has been wonderful. The Sleep Sheep has 4 soothing sound settings which use 'white noises' to soothe baby to sleep (rather than stimulating songs like some mobiles). I could put my kids down with Sleep Sheep's 'rain' setting and they would be asleep within 5 minutes, without fuss! If they stirred during the night or during a day sleep I would turn him back on and they would often go back to sleep.
Gentle Giraffe also has 4 soothing sounds but with an African twist.
The Cloud B Twilight Turtles and Ladybirds provide a soft glow of star constellations and are great for children of all ages.
Buy Now (http://www.babybella.com.au/gift-ideas/for-bub)
8 - Fisher Price Swing n Rocker $249.95
The Swing n Rocker is one of the best auto swings I have come across. It provides parents with two options, to use as an automatic swing or you can lift the rocker off the framer and use it (without batteries) on the floor. This makes it portable and versatile depending on your immediate needs.
Buy Now (http://www.babybella.com.au/play-time/rockers-and-auto-swings/fisher-price-swing-n-rocker)
9 - Leslie's Boutique Designer Wet/Dry Bag $29.95
Have you been looking for something with style to tote your dirty nappies, wet clothes or even the kids wet swimmers around in? Lovingly handmade in the USA, Leslie's Boutique Wet/Dry bags provide the perfect solution!
These bags are made using gorgeous designer fabrics and quality workmanship. They feature two zippered compartments, one at the front for clean clothes, fresh nappies or wipes and the other a waterproof pocket for your wet and dirty items. Smells are well-contained within the bags wet pocket and the bags can be hung from a pram or nappy bag using the sewn on snap handle.
Buy Now (http://www.babybella.com.au/bathing/nappy-accessories/leslies-boutique-wetbag-medium-wet-dry)
10 - Mini Micro Scooter $119.95
We couldn't resist adding the Mini Micro Scooter to our Christmas list for those older siblings! These scooters are fantastic and can be used from about 2 years old.
The original 3 wheel design combined with the lean and steer action ensures safety and stability for young children. It enables them to learn to use their body weight and balance to steer. Their balance, co-ordination and motor skills will develop as they quickly become proficient confident scooterers!
Buy Now (http://www.babybella.com.au/play-time/Walkers/mini-micro-scooter)
Don't forget Baby Bella offer flat rate shipping of $4.95 on our online store. If you are visiting us in our Lismore or Coffs Harbour store we also provide FREE gift wrapping.
From all the team at Baby Bella we wish you a wonderful Christmas and safe and happy New Year!