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Our most beloved baby books

Reading to your baby is often one of parents' favourite things about parenthood. Here are a few of our most loved books, all available as board books, for anyone seeking some bed time inspiration: Dear Zoo, Rod Campbell. Charming and iconic, lift the flap trip through the zoo. That's not my dog/car/zebra etc, Usborne Books. Textured fun with hundreds of different titles for every interest. We love spotting the mouse. Goodnight Moon, Margaret Wise Brown. Calming bedtime story with amazing vintage drawings. A bedtime staple in our house. Peepo, Janet and Allan Ahlberg. Told from the viewpoint of a baby boy as he learns about his world. Fox's Socks, Julia Donaldson. Fox's socks is one of a series of lift the flap...

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Home birth planning

There are two broad ways of having a baby; in hospital or at home. In some areas of the UK home birth rates are rapidly rising. For second children research indicates that a home birth is a safer option and for a first, very slightly less safe. A home birth can be a magical experience where mum and dad can both stay in an environment where they are relaxed and comfortable and feel in control. In such an environment women often labour better and the chances of complications fall. Hopefully you will have a lovely midwife who'll even run you a bath after your labour and then you can sleep in your own bed and get to know your baby...

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Christening keepsakes

What do you still have from your christening day? I have these pretty candles, a napkin ring and a bracelet, which of course no longer fits me. We're off to a christening soon and hoping that the little girl will still have her christening gifts in years to come, but also be able to play with them now. Yummikeys make a perfect gift for such an occasion. They're unique and can also be personalised with engraving on both sides of the crocodile key, and they're fun from the day you're given them.

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Teething remedies

This will be a familiar scenario for some of you. Your baby has got the hang of feeding and sometimes sleeps for longer stretches, when teething strikes and it all goes pear-shaped.  Here's a few tips that worked well for us: Keep sticks of cucumber in the fridge for your baby to chomp on. They're cool to chew on and as they consist mostly of water they're generally-considered ok before weaning. If your partially-weaned baby goes off solids, don't be afraid to up the milk feeds if they're hungry. They'll take more solids again once their gums stop hurting. There are several products available at chemists for teething. Anbesol teething gel worked well for us and we have friends who...

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Blue for a boy, pink for a girl....?

It's a relatively recent phenomenon which has brought us the gender separated toy shop. If you take a wander round your nearest toy retailer you will likely find separate isles for boys and girls toys. The girls section will almost certainly be a sea of bright barbie pink, purple and glitter, whilst the boys will be a sludge of grey, khaki and blue. The toys for girls and boys are also very different. With a bias towards construction toys and action for boys and towards mothering and small world play for girls. The bias starts from babyhood where girls have few options that aren't pink and fluffy and boys are already dominated with blue and dinosaurs. Even animals seem to...

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