Ten Things I wish I Knew before Having a Baby

Friday, 15 September 2017 11:47:51 Europe/London

Motherhood is a lifelong experience! You can’t possibly know it all so here’s 10 things I wish I knew before having a baby

 

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BACK TO SCHOOL ESSENTIALS

Tuesday, 22 August 2017 12:16:50 Europe/London

The back to school season certainly deserves its name of the ‘Back to School Rush’ ; from new school uniforms to stationery essentials, new school books, and PE kits, it’s a busy time of year for parents and we’re here to try and make it as easy as possible for you! 

Backpack Flat lay

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Q&A with founder of Enchanted Wonders - Ayala Homossany

Wednesday, 28 June 2017 15:22:49 Europe/London

We have interviewed founder of Enchanted Wonders, Ayala Homossany to find out what inspired her to create a buisness based around the practice of yoga with children. With 3 children herself and a career in yoga, we think its a great idea!


Why do you think it is so important for children to learn to practice yoga from a young age?

I believe we are all born yogis and yoginis.  The challenge is to maintain it, or rediscover yoga, as we grow up. When children are exposed to the magic of yoga from young age they get to maintain and nourish their inherent abilities (such as curiosity and creativity). Beside the fact that yoga enhances physical strength and flexibility, yoga allows children to nourish and boost their confidence and self esteem. The practice of yoga also allows children to stay connected with their breath and know its benefit and how it can help them manage their daily difficulties. Yoga also helps develop body awareness and understand how to use the body in a healthy way.  One aspect that I found incredibly valuable when children practice yoga from a young age, is that we offer children an opportunity to do an enjoyable activity in an uncompetitive environment. When we do that, we legitimate a space for children to fully express themselves and feel comfortable in their own skin. How incredibly empowering is that?

 

What are the benefits of children and parents attending sessions together?

The biggest benefit of family yoga is connection. For a parent and a child (or even siblings), to be able to connect and communicate in an uncompetitive and relaxed environment is the biggest gift family yoga can offer. To be able to share a space where there is no right or wrong, where the children can see their parents doing an activity and where we create an opportunity for a parent and child to rest side by side and just be aware of their breath, is a magical memory for both parents and children. Especially in our fast pace life family, yoga offer families the opportunity to slow down and be more observant and present. There are so many in-between magical moments in Family yoga that I could write a whole book only about that.

 

Why did you create the Enchanted Wonders A-Z cards? 

During my kids yoga classes, I have noticed that if I manage to create a safe and happy space that includes trust, acceptance and respect towards the kids, their creativity and self expression available to flourish. I believe we are all born creative and all we need to do is find ways to maintain this incredible asset and turn it into a strength. That will allow children, and later on as they grow up into young adults, to be able to fully express themselves and be able to be happy in their own skin and manifest their best version. I was looking for ways to share that magic with children and families, to be able to offer a shared activity, where there is no right or wrong. An activity that can draw out the children’s magnificent creativity and imagination and combines the invaluable benefits that yoga and mindfulness holds in it. This is how Enchanted Wonders was born.

How can the practice of yoga help children develop socially and building confidence?

As part of the yoga practice we incorporate the practice of compassion, empathy and gratitude. Compassion can wear many shapes and forms. Compassion towards ourselves, is where we are invited to practice with gentle and ease while respecting, rather than hurting our body.  Compassion also means to be able to recognise feelings and emotions from a position of self awareness and self acceptance where we can then learn what it means to be compassionate and empathic towards others. As I have mentioned before, yoga being practiced in an uncompetitive environment helps to elevate the children’s self confidence.

In yoga classes we explore the fact that we are all built differently, and have different abilities, ideas, and thoughts which all should be respected and acknowledged. When children are happy and being respected for what they are, they are more receptive to their friends and to their environment and have more confidence.


A little more about you

If you could be a colour which colour would you be and why?

I would probably choose to be a turquoise. Turquoise represent the colour of communication, the ability to connect between my thoughts and my heart.  To be able to fully express, if it is with the spoken word or in any other way, what sits in my heart. I find this ability very important.


What did you want to be when you were growing up?

A professional ballet dancer and later on a dentist.


If you could describe yourself in one word what would it be?

Versatile

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8 things that happen to you when you get pregnant

Friday, 23 June 2017 15:26:13 Europe/London

Blogger Alice Spake, is in her third trimester so had kindly shared with us some of her good and bad expereinces whilst being pregnant!

It seems like yesterday we announced my pregnancy but no sooner were the first scan photos shown, we've blinked and I'm fast approaching the final trimester. Pregnancy has been pretty kind to me; and here's hoping it stays that way! One thing that I have noticed from talking with pregnant friends and from seeing myself is how other people react to your pregnancy and expanding bump so here are 8 Things that happen when you get pregnant...


Your body changes... a lot!

Everything has changed from my skin type to my hair, hands to my feet and of course my belly. My feet have gone up a size so flip flops are my new choice of foot wear, my boobs have taken on a mind of their own and for a usually small boobed lady, I have no idea where to put them and this is before my milk has come in! The biggest change of course is my bump, it just appeared one morning and has been throwing me off balance ever since but boy is it lovely to see.

You will Google everything

And really, you shouldn't. Googling pregnancy symptoms is much like Googling your medical problems when you have the sniffles, it throws up all sorts of problems. I search week-by-week updates and that's about it. Stick to trusted websites, apps and books and if you are really concerned about anything or speak to your midwife.

You start hanging around in book shops

I waited until I had my dating scan before buying any books just in case, but I did find myself hanging around the parenting section on more than one occasion. There are so many options available and before you know it, you're signed up to a Waterstones account and have a trusty bag for life full of books that then end up collecting dust for weeks on end. I promise I will read one soon!

Food is everything

Cravings are a barrel of laughs and your appetite is about to get a bit weird. From those sour sweets, you usually hate, to fizzy drinks and random bowls of broccoli, if those cravings get you, fulfil them! I make sure I get my fruit and veg fix every day but if I fancy Drumstick Squashies or a bowl of ice cream, I'm going to satisfy those cravings especially on those teary days.



Everyone will have an opinion on your bump

My bump has really begun to stick out the last few weeks and I love it but many people, whether family, friends or strangers seem to have an opinion. According to measurements, my bump is the perfect size for my stage of pregnancy but all I hear is "Are you sure you're not having twins?" and "Wow your bump is big". I personally find it offensive, I don't go around commenting on other people's bellies so be prepared, grow a thick skin or be ready for a witty comeback which is my choice of response.

Maternity clothes suck

Not all maternity clothes, but most. I have tried numerous brands and have come to the conclusion they all think pregnant women wear stripes or florals and if they fit the bump, more often than not they don't fit the boobs. I've been buying a few sizes up from my fave brands to fit my bubba in clothes comfortably and if in doubt, the basic maternity range from ASOS is pretty good. 

"But I'm pregnant" becomes your whine of choice to get your way

I will be the first to admit that I use this a little too much for my benefit, but hey it's a good excuse and I only have nine months to use it! Don't want to make another cup of tea? Can't be bothered to cook dinner? Just want some attention? Just whack out the "But I'm Pregnant" line. I always thought to myself that I wouldn't use it too much but the bigger you get, the more tired you are and soon it becomes your favourite saying.

You'll experience some blasts from the past

When we announced our engagement, we had a few surprise messages from people that were no longer in our lives but this goes next level when you announce your pregnancy. People from silly school feuds appeared along with distance exes which was all very weird. We shot off a thank you message and left it at that. Politeness never costs anything!

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Unisex bags the perfect gift for Father’s Day!

Thursday, 1 June 2017 16:43:00 Europe/London

Finding a bag that your man is actually happy to carry can be difficult. You can’t always be the one to carry all of the kids’ stuff everywhere you go just because it’s bright pink with flowers on it…! We have a number of unisex bags to help you out on your travels meaning that you can share the load and dad can take charge on his own without being too embarrassed!

Dad’s Top 5 Babymel Picks


The Robyn

The Robyn Convertible Backpack in Black is the perfect unisex changing bag. This stylish design can be worn in 4 different ways adapting to your style of travel. There are multiple pockets for storing all of your essentials including the accessible front pocket for small items you may need on the go. The most unique feature to this changing bag is the built in easy-wipes pocket on the side of the bag giving you the all-important hands free access with your kids on a busy journey.

The Soho Messenger

The Soho Messenger in Black combines techy function with style. You will never run out of room with this changing bag, featuring the largest number of pockets of all of our changing bags with 11 in total. The wipe clean padded nylon material is soft at the touch and lightweight to carry and is the perfect essential for every dad on the go.


The Frankie Tweed

The Frankie Tweed is the perfectly organised changing bag in a unisex design. This style is available in a tweed fabric as well as a black, navy, navy stipe and pixel dot navy colour. Packed full of useful pockets and with an extra insulated bottle compartment the Frankie is as stylish as it is practical.

The Satchel Black

This stylish changing bag is a Babymel classic. Available in multiple different patterns, prints and colourways the satchel is one of Babymel’s first designs. Simple yet effective this plain black colour is the perfect unisex design, meaning dad will be happy to lend a hand in carrying all of babies things too. One of the satchels best features is the handy insulated zipped side pocket to keep your bottles cool or warm for up to four hours. 

The Compton

The Compton is the perfect unisex choice in a neutral navy colour and an orange interior. Packed with nine different compartments, the Compton is one of our most organised bags that disguises perfectly as a work satchel or travel bag.


See all our changing bags here

Posted By Jemma Walsh
Packing for a festival can be difficult, especially when children are involved! Suddenly the load has doubled the size and become extremely heavy... how does this happen with only two small children? Some things you'll never forget to bring like the tent or your trusty wellington boots but smaller, equally significant things can be forgotten about and can be a weekend nightmare if left at home! We have written you our festival packing checklist including essentials for you and your kids meaning that these things will never be forgotten about or left at home. 


Packing Essentials:

1. A Tent – of course

2. Sleeping bags and inflatable or roll up mats and pillows – sleep is the most important part of a festival, without it energy levels will slide dramatically the following day and that is the last thing you want at a festival with kids

3. Backpacks for everyone! Even the kids (if they carry one at home) it’s a great idea to get them to carry their own raincoat, toys, drink and snacks with them

4. Wellies are a must have, mud at a festival is inevitable

5. Picnic Rug – you can take this into the festival or you can use it to sit outside the tent and play games in the mornings

6. Bin bags – a big must have on the check list, these can be used for many things including a raincoat, a place to store muddy wellies and items, binning rubbish and even a ground mat if it gets wet or muddy

7. Waterproofs and raincoats - never trust the British weather forecast

8. Sun hats for the kids and maybe the big kids (adults) too

9. Sun cream – You do not want to be burnt and ruining the fun

10. Changes of clothes, warm pyjamas and a jumper/hoody – you can never have too many layers

11. Teddies… of course – these simply cannot be forgotten

12. Tissues, wipes and hand sanitiser – wash and wipe your hands on a regular basis

13. Giant water bottle or container that you can fill up for everyone

14. Lots of snacks – festival food can be very expensive

15. Mini first aid kit – just in case of any accidents

16. Torch or headlights for the kids is a fun way to stay safe in the dark

17. Toothbrushes/paste and toiletry essentials

18. Ear plugs are a must have for a good night’s sleep

19. Travel potty – if you have really young kids this can be very useful in the middle of the night (or even the day) for emergencies

20. Face paint/glitter/gems… maybe even fancy dress! Festivals are full of colour so embrace the festival fever

21. Crayons/colouring books – any small, fun and easy activities to keep your kids occupied in the mornings before the music starts and as a bit of down time to relax during the day

22. Bubbles – these are a must have and are much cheaper if you buy a pack before you go instead of paying a crazy amount at a festival. You will be the envy of other children and they cause hours of fun and games for all the family

23. Phone/Camera – finally it may seem obvious but take your phone and maybe a camera separately to stop your phone battery dying so quickly to snap away all those special moments and memories you are making

 
Our Festival Top Tips:

- Write your mobile or contact number and put it somewhere on your child’s person – maybe buy them a lanyard and stick your number too it just in case they get lost, you can never be too safe!

- Talk through a meeting point for everyone – older children will understand this but younger children might not, so point to the people that work at the festival and make sure they understand they have to go to them if they are separated.

- Take regular breaks, the kids might start off the day super excited and full of energy but after a few hours of constant fun they will be tired and ready for bed before the days even begun.

- Drink lots of water and keep hydrated! It may seem obvious but it’s a must have at a festival especially in hot weather with lots of people around.

Posted By Jemma Walsh

Top 5 family festivals for 2017

Thursday, 18 May 2017 15:25:24 Europe/London

The beginning of summer is usually marked with the first festival of the year. It might not be Coachella, but us Brits know how to have a great time with face paint, wellies and of course lots of mud! You might not know this but there are many child-friendly festivals in Britain, meaning you and your kids can still have a great time camping out and enjoying a weekend of your favourite music. 

We have put together a list of our Top 5 family festivals in the UK for 2017 to help organise your summer!


1. Latitude - Suffolk, July 13 - 16th 2017

Latitude is one of the big festivals of the year! Held in Suffolk, this festival has previously won awards for Best Family Festival and Best Family Day Out. The festival has a kid’s area packed full of hundreds of activities to last the entire weekend including creative crafts, face painting, theatre performances, science, soft play and reading. All of this alongside great music from Mumford and sons, The 1975, Two-door cinema club and many, many more.


2. Kendal Calling, Lowther Deer Park, Lake District, July 28th - 31st 2017

This family friendly festival not only has great music but also has a dedicated kid’s area, ‘Kids Calling’, packed full of activities to keep your kids occupied and busy at all times. There is also a family camping area meaning that you will be amongst other families encouraging your kids to interact and make friends on your weekend away.

3. The Big Festival, Cotswolds, August 26 - 28th 2017

This festival now featuring stars such as; Madness and Olly Murs, started as a simple food festival, now it’s full of music, laughter and lots of family fun! The activities include crafts, fun fair rides, and even a farm! The farm lets your little ones to interact with the animals; including chicks, lambs, piglets and rabbits! Entertainment for kids includes lots of silliness from TV presenters Dick and Dom and lots of smaller entertainers throughout the weekend!


4. Camp Bestival, Lulworth Castle, Dorset, July 27 - 30th 2017

‘Kids are king at Camp Bestival!’ There is an upper kid’s garden and a lower kids garden, suited just for your little ones! The garden activities include learning a circus skill, bike riding, arts and crafts and even a bouncy castle and sand pit! For older kids there is a place called ‘The Den’ specially adapted for 13-17 year olds and the school of Rock from the West end will be performing with a theatre show you can’t miss! The lineup includes the likes of Madness, Mark Ronson, All saints and Kate Nash to keep the spirit up and the dancing level high!


5. Cornbury Music Festival, Oxfordshire, July 7 - 9th 2017

You can’t miss a weekend at Cornbury festival, packed full of fun activities for all ages! A supervised kids zone is right in the middle of the festival meaning you can enjoy the music and activities together. The kids zone includes lots of crafts, a circus skills tent to learn a new trick and a toddler disco. Music includes headliner Byran Adams as well as the Kaiser Chiefs and Jooles Holland… so don’t miss out!


S
hare with us your favourite festivals and ideas for the summer holidays!

Posted By Jemma Walsh

10 Fun Dino Facts For Kids

Wednesday, 10 May 2017 09:48:06 Europe/London

We researched some new and exciting dino facts and put together our top 10 must-know facts for kids!


Shop all of our Dino Bags here!
Posted By Jemma Walsh

Find out more about our 'big school' Zip & Zoe backpacks!

Wednesday, 3 May 2017 14:19:26 Europe/London

Finding a backpack that not only looks cool but also fits right, is comfortable to wear and big enough to fit everything you need inside can be a nightmare! Our Zip & Zoe 3+ backpacks are advised for children aged 3-7years and have a number of special features making them the perfect accessory for a new adventure into the ‘big school world’.



There are many key and unique features of 
this backpack meaning your little one will stand out from the crowd and be the talk of the playground! The handy bottle compartment on the side of the backpack is big enough to fit a water bottle to keep your little one extra hydrated when out-and-about. The side pocket can also be a prime position for cuddly toys on the lookout for an adventure! At the front of the bag, there is also a handy zip pocket, perfect for small easy-access items such as pencils, wipes, cards, and small toys. Each backpack also comes with a Zip or Zoe keyring attached to the front of the bag as well as a short story book about Zip & Zoe’s adventures! The keyring can be taken off and added to another accessory or other keyrings can be added to join Zip or Zoe on their adventures!

 

‘I really loved the little book and keyring that goes along with the bag it gave it that little bit of magic for my daughter.’

The inside of the bag is a super-cool sunshine yellow colour with a large velcro pocket, large enough to secure a4 books and papers, or even your little one's homework! The bag is very spacious and can hold many items (and a lot more than you think) for a day at school, trip to the park or a night away with a friend or the grandparents! There is also a name tag station in case your bag gets lost or mixed up and also adds some personalisation to the backpack – kids love this!



The back straps are padded to make them super-comfy on your little one's shoulders and include a chest strap to secure it and stop it from falling off. The chest strap is one of our favourite features as we know children grow at different speeds so it can be hard to buy clothing for them to use that will last them a long time!



‘Normally I have a battle to keep their bag on them for longer than a few minutes, whereas this chest strap keeps the bag secure on my little ladies back allowing her to use her hands freely which is a massive advantage when/if she falls over.'

Posted By Jemma Walsh

Top 3 Worries I Had As A First Time Mum

Tuesday, 25 April 2017 10:29:27 Europe/London

After giving birth to little Kovah Willow in January - through an emergency c section, weighing a tiny 4lbs 9ozs and 5 weeks early... blogger, Crystal Lily didn’t have the easiest start as a mother! Now, 4 months on she shares with us her the first hurdles she had to overcome on her journey as a first-time mum.


First Night At Home
 

That moment you’ve been waiting 9 long months for, the moment you bring your baby home. But for me this suddenly became terrifying. After 8 never ending days in NICU I could finally bring my darling daughter home and I was a muddle of emotions. I was terrified I’d do something wrong, and even more scared of her sleeping without buzzers or nurses checking she was ok, it was all down to me now. Yes, that first night was so scary, I didn’t sleep, I genuinely sat and stared at her all night. If she made a noise I’d shoot out of bed, if she didn’t make noises I’d poke her to make sure she was still breathing. I even found myself with my whole head in her bassinet a few times to listen to her breathing. This probably will happen to all of you, but you’ll be pleased to know it gets a lot easier. You learn to trust your instincts and get into your baby’s routine. I promise it’s something you shouldn’t stress too much over.

Breastfeeding

This gets forced onto you as soon as you say you’re pregnant. “Will you breastfeed?”, “You should read up on breastfeeding, it’s what’s best” blah blah blah. Yes, breastfeeding is best for your baby for multiple reasons, which benefit you both. But, you do not need to punish yourself if it won’t work for you. Some lucky Mamas breastfeed straight away and it works perfectly, however, for some of us, it takes a lot of hard work, tears and sleepless nights. I was lucky enough to be able to breastfeed for nearly 3 months, but due to my severe preeclampsia and HELLP syndrome, I was pumped full of medication that resulted in my milk supply drying up very quickly. For the whole time on my breastfeeding journey, I was combi-feeding with formula and I am now - my daughter is fully formula fed. She’s a very healthy 3 and a half-month-old who went from the 9th centile to the 50th in this time. The formula isn’t poisoning your child, it’s not to be shamed on, just remember FED is best. Give yourself some love and support, you’ve just bought a baby into this world and at the end of the day, a happy Mama means a happy baby. I truly believe in this.


Going Out On My Own

This was honestly a massive shock to me. When I was pregnant I daydreamed about taking my baby girl out for walks, showing her places, just being together in the fresh air as I love being outside. This was not what happened and I don’t know if every new mum goes through this, but I really struggled. I had the worst anxiety attacks over going out without my partner, the world suddenly felt so big and my 4lbs 2oz baby seemed extra small. I was so worried about being on my own and something happening, her getting too cold, what if she was screaming and I couldn’t stop her, what if I felt funny and still poorly after my c-section, what if I fainted as I was still healing? I didn’t leave the house without someone for nearly 2 months, but once we did it really wasn’t that bad at all. She loves her pram and the fresh air is great for babies it really knocks them out. My advice to you if you feel how I did, is just go out in the garden first, then to the end of the road and take longer walks every time and then all that anxiety will drop away.

Everyone is different, everyone has different babies but we are all Mamas. Remember every day is a new day and just remember to take a deep breath and smile that you have such a wonderful little blessing in your life now!

Posted By Jemma Walsh