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  • Our Top #10 Products for Getting Babies to Sleep

    Once your little bundle arrives, you will soon learn that ‘sleeping like a baby’ is rather a stretch of the imagination and this little bundle is more a sleep thief!

    Here are our top 10 products for helping them get there sooner!

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  • Create your perfect nursery with Tutti Bambini

    As you eagerly wait your baby’s arrival, Tutti Bambini’s range of nursery products will make your new nursery a calm and comfortable place to sleep. Whether your style is modern & sleek or more traditional, there is a furniture range for you.

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  • Dare to be Bold! The limited edition Mima Xari in yellow

    This Spring Mima are launching an exciting new limited edition Mima Xari pram in yellow. Inspired by the vibrancy and colours of India, the striking yellow outer seat pod, compliment the intricately patterned liner and accessories perfectly.

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  • Start running again with Direct4Baby!

    Getting back in shape after having a baby can be a daunting task. It can take a while for your body to feel ready, even once you have had the all clear from the doctor, but by starting small and gradually building up you will soon see and feel the benefits that a bit of fresh air and exercise can bring.   

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  • Real Mum Review - ErgoBaby Omni 360

    A real mum review of the ErgoBaby Omni 360. The newest offering from ErgoBaby, the Omni 360 can be used for forward, side and back carries, meaning its the ideal sling to take you from birth to 36 months.

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  • Mother & Baby Awards 2018 Winners

    Every year Mother&Baby magazine hold awards for the nursery industry to highlight the best products on the market. On Wednesday 29th November, over 500 representatives from the companies nominated gathered at the Westminster Park Plaza in London to hear the winners revealed and party the night away with music from Lemar, a photo booth the Grand Nappy National game and wandering magicians.

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  • Premium Strollers – which one would you choose?

    Once your child is approaching the toddlerdom, parents often decide that the travel system they purchased when expecting is becoming a little cumbersome. It takes over the entire boot of the car and frankly you just want something smaller, lighter and easier to take here there and everywhere. Or maybe you have booked your first family holiday and don’t want to take your expensive pram on the aeroplane where it is prone to bumps and breakages.

    This is where the stroller comes into a force. Here at Direct4Baby we have noticed that parents are after more than just a cheap umbrella stroller. They want something stylish as well as functional. Here are some of our favourites on the market at the moment.

    Babystyle Oyster Zero  - £229

    This is one of my personal favourites. It is a lightweight yet spacious pushchair which can also be used from birth (in either lie-flat mode, with a carrycot or car seat), so it could easily be used as a first pram or for a second baby. The seat is really spacious, ideal if you have a particularly tall or big child.

    The fold mechanism is really easy, simply release the lock and pull on the seat handle.

    The fabrics are almost tweedy, which give a premium look and this combined with the leatherette handle & bumper bar make this a good looking and practical pushchair.

    Recaro Easylife Lightweight Stroller - £189

    A popular choice with the Dad’s here at Direct4Baby! Recaro are well known for their innovations in motor racing and aircraft but they are now using these developments to design award winning car seats and pushchairs.

    The Easylife Lightweight stroller is one of the lightest on the market (5.7kg) and has a practical one-hand fold which is perfect for busy family life. The stroller is tiny when folded and is a good alternative to the pricier Babyzen Yoyo. An ideal holiday or nursery run option.

    Quinny Zapp Flax Plus - £335

    The unique selling point for this stroller is its ability to have the seat forward or parent facing. This is great for younger children (it is suitable to use from 6 months) as this can be the biggest bug bear for strollers.

    It is available in a huge variety of colourways, so there is one to suit every taste. There are 2 push brakes, red for stop, grey for go, to prevent any foot injuries when flicking them up in sandals (ouch!).

    We have a wide range of strollers in store for you to try out and play with. These are just a few of our personal favourites.

     

  • Real Mum Review – Recaro Monza Nova IS

    Every mum has been there, the hideous toddler tantrum when trying to get your little ‘sweetheart’ into his or her car seat. There are tears, kicking, screaming, thrashing, stiffening... You name it, they try it to avoid getting into that seat.

     

    You start off calmly, encouraging them in a sing-song, cheerful voice (just in case anyone is listening), all the while running an internal monologue that isn’t fit for anyone’s ear, but gradually your resolve starts to break down. And so you end up strapping them in whilst holding them down, getting a bit shouty and it’s all a bit horrible. Not the way you want to start or finish a nice day out.

     

    We also had a couple of extra problems, my nimble fingered little boy, aged nearly 3, had taught himself to undo the buckle on his car seat which had made car journeys a bit nerve wracking as I was constantly having to check he hadn’t released himself. Surely a 2 year old should be able to do this? He also hated the straps being so tight on his shoulders so was very upset when being buckled up into the harness.

     

    So when I heard about the Recaro Monza Nova IS with its impact shield that fits across the child’s lap, I thought this could be the solution. No five point harness to struggle with, the vehicle’s seat belt simply goes across the shield, holding your child safely in place.

    Recaro Monza Nova IS

    The impact shield absorbs the energy in the event of an accident, reducing the risk of injuries. There is maximum side impact protection and reinforced armrests for optimal support in the hip area. It has won safety awards both in the UK and Germany, which all reassured me that although looking different, this was a very good car seat.

     

    Recaro, is an up and coming name in the car seat market. Based in Germany, they have designed and engineered seating for cars, aircraft and motor racing for over 100 years. Now they are using this technology in their car seats to produce some of the safest and most innovative products on the market.

     

    Installing the car seat was simple. Taking these photos also forced me to clean out the inside of my car, so thank you Direct4Baby! I simply placed the black plastic insertion aids into the back of the car, clipping them onto the Isofix points.

     Insertion aids

    I then pulled out the Seatfix connectors out as far as possible using the yellow levers at the front of the seat to release them.

     Seatfix connectors out

    Placed the ends of the Seatfix connectors into the insertion aids.

     Lining up adaptors and connectors

    Pressed into place until I heard a click and the green indicators were visible on both sides. Continue to push the car seat backwards until the back of the car seat is positioned against the vehicle seat.

     Green indicators

    I was a bit nervous about trying Jude out in the new style car seat, as I wasn’t sure how he would feel about the impact shield across his body. But after a few minutes he was absolutely fine and now refers to it as his big boy seat. The impact shield acts as a little shelf for him to play with his toys on and he even fell asleep during one trip (which is a miracle, as he doesn’t nap anymore!).

     Jude

    He hasn’t even discovered that there are in-built speakers in the headrest yet, but we’ll leave that for when he is older! So he will be able to listen to music or audio stories without disturbing the rest of the car and the speakers positioning mean that he will keep his head backwards against the head rest.

     

    Overall, I’m really pleased with the Recaro Monza Nova IS, it’s lightweight and easy to install which makes transferring it between vehicles easy peasy. I no longer have a son who can get himself out of his car seat or refuses to get in. Journeys have become a lot less stressful for all involved!

     

    Go and try it out in the Burscough store and see if it could help your car battles improve. Directions here.

     

  • Road Safety Week – Pram and Stroller Safety

    Today we will be discussing how to keep babies and children safe in their prams and strollers in aid of Road Safety Week (20th – 26th November).  All prams, strollers, buggies, and pushchairs must comply with British Standard 7409:1996 or BS EN 1888:2003. These standards lay out the requirements for all vehicles that are used to carry babies or children. Around 1,000 children in the UK are taken to hospital each year with injuries caused by falls, pinches and tipovers from strollers.

    From precious newborns in their carrycots to keeping wilful toddlers on a buggy board, we’ve got tips and products that can help you along the way for a slightly less stressful trip out!

    Newborn Days

    When you are choosing your pram for your newborn, you must ensure that it either has a carrycot included or a seat that lies completely flat. A baby’s lungs are the final thing to develop in the womb so this flat position enables them to develop properly and prevents any breathing difficulties. A lie-flat position is also essential for your baby’s spinal development because it will aid spine growth and in time strengthen muscle tone.

    Most prams offer the carrycot as an additional add-on. However popular brand Mima Kids has created an incredible integrated carrycot which is hidden inside the seat pod on their Xari pushchair. No bulky extras to store when your child is ready to sit up: simply zip the carrycot back in to the seat and it’s tidied away. 

    Mima Xari

    Older Babies

    Once your baby is sitting unaided (usually between 4-6 months), you will want to move your baby from the lie-flat mode to a seated position. If you have been using the carrycot until now you will not be used to buckling your child in with the 5 point harness. It is imperative that you start doing this right now to keep them safe.

    Pushchairs should have two locking devices to hold them securely when being used. Once the main lock has been released in order to collapse your pushchair, the secondary lock should be activated to stop the pushchair from collapsing straight away. There should be no areas where your child's fingers could get caught in the collapsing mechanism.

    Toddlers

    Once your toddler is a little older you may want to move to a more lightweight travel system and a stroller is ideal. They are lightweight, easy to collapse and some are so small they can fit in an areoplane’s overhead locker (we’re looking at you Babyzen Yoyo).

    Babyzen yoyo

    Although it’s tempting to load the handles with your shopping bags, this can cause it to tip over backwards so choose a stroller with a large storage basket underneath instead. Buggy weights can help to counteract this imbalance, with reflective strips for night time visibility.

    Pre-schoolers

    Although most 3-4 year olds are capable of walking long distances, some are less willing so products as the Lascal Buggy Board or Lascal Saddle that can be attached to most prams are a lifesaver. These are also ideal if a new baby is in the pram and parents do not want to invest in a double buggy.

    buggy board

    The clever designers are iCandy have designed in in-built buggy board in their iCandy Orange. This nifty little ride on board holds an impressive 20KG and provides total ease of use. It eliminates the need and expense of a separate ride on board, whilst adding incredible flexibility to the use of the product.

    iCandy orange

  • Road Safety Week (20th – 26th November)

    Road Safety Week is coming up between the 20th-26th November. Over the next week we'll be giving you all our top tips for keeping all the family safe and sound whether it be in the car, walking along the road or as your little ones learn to ride or scoot themselves! Today we hope to clear up the mystery behind car seats.

    Baby car seat

    With such a huge variety of car seats and car seat safety regulations around it can be confusing when it comes to choosing the right one for your child. Whether you are choosing your first car seat for a newborn or a booster for an older child, we can be there to advise. After safety, comfort is key, the more comfortable your child is the more likely they are to travel well. With brands such as Maxi-Cosi, BeSafe, Kiddy, Recaro and Joie, Direct4Baby has plenty to choose from.

    maxi cosi    BeSafe

    Kiddy     Recaro

    Know the law, in the UK, all children require a car seat up until the age of 12 or until they are 135cm tall (whichever they reach first). The seat must meet EU standards and be the right category for their height and age. For a full and clear explanation, check out the government guidelines and the table below.

    i-size v R44/04 table

    Group 0+, are suitable from birth to 13kg or 12 months. This is the first car seat you will need to buy, they are rear facing and if you shop wisely they are compatible with your pram chassis so you can move seamlessly from car to pram without disturbing baby.

    Group 0+/1, are combined seats that can be used from birth until 18kg or 4 years. Many models offer extended rear facing which is the safest way for your child to travel. Unlike a 0+ only model, these remain in your vehicle at all times and don’t have the option to attach to your pram.

    Group 1, most of the car seats in this group are forward facing and are suitable for use once your child has grown out of their baby seat. Ideal for children who suffer from travel sickness when travelling backwards or who enjoy playing I-spy out the window!

    Group 2/3, high backed booster seats are best for older children, 4-12 years or 15-36kg. They are worn with the car’s seat belt and are lightweight, ideal for transferring between vehicles.

    There are also plenty of car seats on the market that combine all or many of these groups so you can buy one car seat that will last for many years, saving you both money and valuable time to spend with your family instead.

    Pimp up the car seat with holders keep drinks & snacks handy, seat protectors to prevent scuff marks and so they can mirrors see you and you can keep an eye on them during the journey.

    Make sure that you know how to fit the car seat properly before you drive off. At Direct4Baby we will take you through everything you need to know about fitting and adjusting your car seat, ensuring you are confident before you leave us.

    If you are expecting for the first time, make sure you practise how to use your car seat and ensure you are confident installing it in your car. There is nothing worse or more stressful than leaving hospital with your new arrival for their first journey out in the big wide world only to find you don’t know what to do with their car seat.

     

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