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Music benefits babies

music benefits babies

Music and Baby | The Soundtrack to Your Baby’s Healthy Growth

 

making music with baby

Freddy teaching PJ how to use the hand drum at our local free Music in the Park. We took a mat and the boys loved it.

Did you know that music benefits babies? And can make you and your baby more joyful while boosting brain development?

From birth, parents naturally use music to calm and lighten babies, communicate love and satisfaction, and draw in and interact. Furthermore, you can expand on these natural instincts by figuring out how music can benefit your kid’s development, improve social skills, and deliver emotional support. Plus it’s a great way to have fun.

The Music benefits Babies

Besides an early appreciation of music, here are some of the wide range of cognitive, developmental, and emotional benefits of listening to music for babies.

Get an Early Start: Music in The Womb

It is demonstrated that music has a role in mental health even before birth. Tuning in to music during pregnancy has an alleviating and relaxing impact on Mamas. Additionally it also has a positive effect on your unborn baby. Your unborn baby can perceive her mum’s voice, her local language, word patterns, and rhymes.

Music and The Baby Brain 

A study found that musical experiences in childhood can really quicken brain development, especially in language. [1] Neuroscientists who study babies say music has enduring advantages. Music has a significant effect on the baby’s mind. [2] One examination from the Institute of Learning and Brain Sciences identified that babies auditory and prefrontal cortexes appear to be different with exposure to music. These are the areas of the brain responsible for handling both music and speech.

Language Advancement 

fun reversible baby playmat

Not just for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers also benefit from the motor, neural and social benefits of music.

Any exposure to language is beneficial for babies, mainly through an accessible activity like listening and making music. Singing can even provoke children to chime in, in their own little way… Research shows that babbling efforts—even if it’s gibberish—are beneficial for babies’ minds and improving language development.

Music Improves Learning

From the beginning, children can hear the difference between various kinds of sounds. After only a couple of weeks, an infant can recognize their mum’s voice from other people’s. This means exposure to music assists a child’s natural capacity to disentangle sounds and words. Therefore, by singing nursery rhymes to your little one, you can help them distinguish sound patterns and learn through reiteration.

Close Harmony 

Playing with your baby along side music is an easy and effective way to build your relationship. Playing music with your baby triggers the arrival of oxytocin – the “bonding” hormone also delivered during nursing. Finally, babies who move rhythmically to music smile more, are easier to soothe and are more able to study their environment than babies who only listen.

Wrapping Up!

Regardless of how you decide to include music into your baby’s life, it has added neurological benefits but more importantly it is soothing, fun and an incredible way to bond.

References

  1. 2016 study at the University of Southern California’s Brain and Creativity Institute
  2. https://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/113/19/5212.full.pdf

 

Pelvic Floor

Ah pelvic floor muscles… I wish I’d known more… Here is the thing about having kids, so often it’s only in hindsight that I realise I didn’t know, what I didn’t know. And in this case what I really didn’t understand well was what pelvic floor muscles were and why it is so important to […]

Read more

What are the benefits of a Mother’s Group?

The Benefits of a Mother’s Group I’m the first one to preach the benefits of a Mother’s Group. I’ve been having a bit of a rough couple of weeks and was starting to feel all of the overwhelm, and I realised that I haven’t seen my Mother’s Group girls in a few weeks. Who better […]

Read more

Christmas in July in Australia

Well, it’s July. A long way from Christmas and the holidays. And with all the lockdowns we have been having lately we thought it was time to have some fun. So this year we are celebrating Christmas in July. Here are some easy ways you can celebrate too.

Read more

Baby playmat: 5 uses for your play mat

floral baby playmat

Baby playmat in action

We have seen so many wonderful stories and pics lately on our Instagram showing all the ways you are using your baby playmat.  Here are a few of ours faves in case you are looking for further inspiration.

Baby play mat tummy time

tummy time baby playmat

Tummy time practice on the Sage Safari playmat

From a only a few weeks old babies can be placed on our baby playmats to start exploring their physical world. Tummy time is essential for neck, back and upper body strength development. It is how they learn to roll and start reaching all their physical milestones.

 

Does your little one cry during tummy time? Here are some things to try which might help make it a more enjoyable experience. 1. Lying on your tummy next to them and reading,talking or singing them a song. 2. Placing a mirror in front of them. This worked a treat with my eldest who loved looking in the mirror.  3. Placing a toy in front of them which makes noise. Focusing their attention onto an object rather than the feeling of being on their tummy often soothes little ones as they get used to the sensation of tummy time.

 

Play time on your baby playmat

play time baby playmat

Tea parties with baby on our Sand Safari baby playmat

By far the most popular. Our children’s designs have all been inspired with play in mind. And everyone is so creative with how their little ones play.

From newborns doing tummy time to toddlers exploring with cars, blocks, books, and just about any toy, this baby playmat provides a safe space for exploring and using their imaginations.

Encouraging open ended imaginative play is excellent for creativity, social skills and problem solving. Finally, your little one will be refining gross and fine motor skills, practicing verbal skills and most importantly be exploring their understanding of spacial awareness.

No nappy time

Little one needing some air time but you don’t want the carpet getting soaked by the inevitable toileting accident? Your Freddy & Co baby playmat is waterproof. Just make sure you are cleaning it up straight away to avoid damaging your mat if it is left there too long (of course – you don’t want your little one lying in it anyway). Clean up the excess with paper towel then wipe your mat with a soft cloth and warm soapy water.

Picnics and baby led weaning

Babies learning to eat make such a mess!! And picnics are such a fun way to get your little one to explore new foods. Here is where our waterproof playmats come in extra handy. Therefore, you can wipe them straight down with a soft cloth and warm soapy water (we use Earth Choice dish liquid in our house). And if you are near a hose you can always take it outside for a sneaky hose off instead.

Exercise and stretching on your baby playmat

Thankfully this ones for you parents. Your Freddy & Co baby playmat is also designed for you. You can flip it over for a neutral pattern once the kids aren’t using it and it makes for a great place to practice some yoga and pilates, or have a stretch. Finally, I’ve even been tagged in some pics of parents having a sneaky nap here too 😊

And keep those tags coming on Instagram. We love checking out all the ways you are loving your Freddy & Co baby playmat.

Pelvic Floor

Ah pelvic floor muscles… I wish I’d known more… Here is the thing about having kids, so often it’s only in hindsight that I realise I didn’t know, what I didn’t know. And in this case what I really didn’t understand well was what pelvic floor muscles were and why it is so important to […]

Read more

What are the benefits of a Mother’s Group?

The Benefits of a Mother’s Group I’m the first one to preach the benefits of a Mother’s Group. I’ve been having a bit of a rough couple of weeks and was starting to feel all of the overwhelm, and I realised that I haven’t seen my Mother’s Group girls in a few weeks. Who better […]

Read more

Christmas in July in Australia

Well, it’s July. A long way from Christmas and the holidays. And with all the lockdowns we have been having lately we thought it was time to have some fun. So this year we are celebrating Christmas in July. Here are some easy ways you can celebrate too.

Read more

Open-ended play – the ultimate children’s activity

open ended play

Open-ended play is amazing. 

What could be more beneficial for your little one? It is the ultimate freedom from rules and boundaries when it comes to setting up activities for your little ones. From babies, through toddler hood to pre-schoolers, open-ended play is your ticket to finally finishing that cup of coffee while it is still hot. How? Because it has no beginning, middle or end, no rules to govern it and no right or wrong.

So what is open-ended play?

open-ended play

Give them the freedom to experiment without interferring

Open-ended play is when there is no limit on your child’s play. Your child has the freedom to move or adapt the activity as their imagination flows. All the decision making and problem solving is up to them. For example when it comes to drawing and craft… if you give your child a pencil and tell them to draw a shape, they are not making the decisions. Once the shape is drawn the activity is over and finished.

They are following directions, and for some children they may fear making a mistake or not doing a good job. But hand them lots of pencils, paper, craft scrap items, glue, sticky tape etc and give them the freedom to make what ever they like and soon their creative instincts take over and they begin to experiment and become immersed in the activity.

Craft is just one example and I’ll introduce a few more shortly…

Why is it important?

open-ended play with blocks

You don’t need to interfere or follow directions on a box

There are huge benefits for your child when you allow them to explore through open ended play. These include:

+Using imagination, creativity, problem-solving and experimenting – tools your child needs to develop resilience.

+Enhances social and emotional intelligence and intellectual growth through decision making.

+It’s about the journey not the outcome and prioritise creativeness, fun and play over a final result, in fact is no end which means it can stretch long periods of time.

+No need for instructions and reassurance that they’re doing it ‘right’ from their caregiver (see this is where you get your coffee) because there is not right or wrong.

Open-ended play ideas:

open ended play mat

Picture by @woodlandgumnuts_Giving your little ones the freedom to let their imaginations run wild, featuring our Roadtrip play mat. 

  • Craft boxes – think fabric scraps, torn up tissue paper, pompoms, paddlepop sticks, yoghurt lids, milk bottle tops, bread bag clips, pencils, markers, washi tape etc.
  • Dress-up boxes – not just the store bought character princess/superhero costumes, but also generic items which leave it up to the imagination. Scarves, shirts, pants, dresses, hats, bags, beads, capes, gloves etc.
  • Blocks – wooden, lego, montessori sets, duplo, mega block… the type here isn’t important. What is important is giving them the freedom not to follow the design on the box but to experiment and come with their own designs.
  • Magnetic tiles – just like blocks – its not about replicating the pictures they’ve seen before which often requires carer intervention. Instead, encourage them to create whatever they can imagine.
  • Dolls, doll houses, shops, kitchens, toy food – these give rise to so many imaginative scenarios.
  • Train sets and cars  – they can create endless scenarios and explore the world around them.
  • Playdough and small world sets – play dough can become anything their little imaginations can think of… having available small world sets like little insects, animals etc can lead to further play.

So here’s some ideas to try out. Tag us in your pics on Instagram as we’d love to see what you are up to.

Pelvic Floor

Ah pelvic floor muscles… I wish I’d known more… Here is the thing about having kids, so often it’s only in hindsight that I realise I didn’t know, what I didn’t know. And in this case what I really didn’t understand well was what pelvic floor muscles were and why it is so important to […]

Read more

What are the benefits of a Mother’s Group?

The Benefits of a Mother’s Group I’m the first one to preach the benefits of a Mother’s Group. I’ve been having a bit of a rough couple of weeks and was starting to feel all of the overwhelm, and I realised that I haven’t seen my Mother’s Group girls in a few weeks. Who better […]

Read more

Christmas in July in Australia

Well, it’s July. A long way from Christmas and the holidays. And with all the lockdowns we have been having lately we thought it was time to have some fun. So this year we are celebrating Christmas in July. Here are some easy ways you can celebrate too.

Read more

Here’s how it has been for our family in Covid-19

Grey geometric baby play mat

Our family in Covid

I know, we have been missing in action most of this year. Our blog posts, tips, recipes, and activities have not been seen for a long time – except occasionally on IG stories. 2020 has well and truly been kicking our butts but it’s time we pulled it together and embraced this new normal of post-mid-current – who bloody knows – pandemic kind of life. So here it is our family in Covid.

PJ grey diamond play mat

PJ just hanging at home on a pajama day on his grey diamond play mat

So here’s where we are at. In early March (pre-lock down) I had to have surgery and this required a 4-6 week recovery at home (thanks old birth injuries). While recovering, lock downs were put in place and for the most part since I was at home recovering and couldn’t leave the house anyway, life was fairly normal. Here’s where it got weird. Once I had to start going out again I found myself so socially awkward. Did anyone else find that weird? I found being around people uncomfortable after so long with just my family and I found small talk strained. This was so unlike me!! Even eye contact unsettled me and I’m normally very open to social contact.

What it’s looked like for us:

covid family with chickens

PJ feeding the chickens…

This has taken some getting used to, and six months later, I am finally over the social awkwardness. I have found that six weeks at home has made me actually like being at home – eek I said it. We set up a vegie garden, got some new chooks which are finally laying. Finally, we  have really slowed down in life and are living far more in the moment. I no longer have outings planned for every single morning and its nice not putting time restraints on myself each day and just going with the flow. Am I the only one who sees this as a bright side?

What I did think about though, was when both my boys were babies, I badly craved and needed the support of other mothers in the same boat. I have mentioned before I love my mothers’ group and I have some friends nearby with children the same age. There were literally days when the kids were younger that we would rock up to each other’s houses half dressed in tracksuit pants (before lounge-wear was an acceptable thing). And we’d take turns picking up take away coffees and debrief on the current stages, triumphs and trials of motherhood.

Support a family in Covid

It occurred to me that now there are so many women with young children that do not have the opportunity. They aren’t able to access in person support. Have families on other sides of state borders and cannot see friends and mothers’ groups at health clinics are currently closed. It is these mums we really need to reach out and support. If this is you, I can’t imagine how challenging you have found it. If you know one, I encourage you today to take the time to reach out and send them some love.

We are all in this new crazy version of life together and we need to look out for one another.

Now I promise… you wont have to wait so long in between blogs…

Pelvic Floor

Ah pelvic floor muscles… I wish I’d known more… Here is the thing about having kids, so often it’s only in hindsight that I realise I didn’t know, what I didn’t know. And in this case what I really didn’t understand well was what pelvic floor muscles were and why it is so important to […]

Read more

What are the benefits of a Mother’s Group?

The Benefits of a Mother’s Group I’m the first one to preach the benefits of a Mother’s Group. I’ve been having a bit of a rough couple of weeks and was starting to feel all of the overwhelm, and I realised that I haven’t seen my Mother’s Group girls in a few weeks. Who better […]

Read more

Christmas in July in Australia

Well, it’s July. A long way from Christmas and the holidays. And with all the lockdowns we have been having lately we thought it was time to have some fun. So this year we are celebrating Christmas in July. Here are some easy ways you can celebrate too.

Read more

Box Construction Activities – make it easy

Box construction play

Let’s be honest, kids are obsessed with boxes. Here we share how you can make box construction activities for your little ones easy and enjoyable. And they don’t have to be Pinterest perfect. Friend and Mum extraordinaire Emily shares how she went about it.

 

How it started….

Car wash box construction

It all started with a little inspo from Instagram

Mr 3 is obsessed with garbage trucks and recycling. I’m over the brightly coloured plastic toys that we have been accumulating, so it seemed a perfect idea to breathe new life into a bunch of materials we had sent to the recycling heap. So I started searching Box Construction Activities.  Instagram is flooded with some incredible box construction masterpieces lately so I thought I’d build the “Z & T’s Park n’ Wash Garage” reposted by @life.of.enchantment. It was quite the project taking a whole day to construct. Mr 3 looked on in anticipation and I have to admit, I did enjoy the building process.

Mamas you don’t need to be crafty!!

Whilst the car garage has become a super fun toy for my son, the construction process didn’t involve him. Being an early year’s teacher, I’ve engaged my students in box construction tasks. It is a child directed activity that stimulates imagination and encourages problem solving. Given that Mr 3 had seen me building, I thought I’d encourage him to give it a try too. Not all mamas have the natural inclination to craft, so if this is you, the next activity is totally up your alley. So simple, but so much fun for your child.

Here’s what we did…

box construction activity book

This book provided our inspiration

We collected a bunch of recyclable materials and discussed their shapes and properties. Mr 3 sorted them based on their ability to roll or slide. We then read a fabulous book titled Bruno’s Box by Nicola Pontin (purchase it here for just $5  ). It’s about a boy who makes things from a cardboard box and cardboard roll. It was the perfect stimulus for the activity and no doubt we will read it again to get the creative juices flowing.

box construction planning

Planning his dream park

Afterwards I invited Mr 3 to look at the materials and consider what he would like to build. He suggested a park. Collaboratively we drew up the plans (architects draw plans for builders). First of all, Mr 3 wanted a fireman’s pole. He then added some drums, a climbing wall, a fence, car parks and a bike path (he made connections with his real-world experiences at our local parks). Therefore, we referred to our planning sheet as we began to construct with the boxes (note that the drawing is very much open to your own interpretation but of course my son knew exactly what he was doing).

The process engaged Mr 3 for a lengthy period of time and allowed him to have ownership over the final creation. He has enjoyed playing with his park far more than the garage I made for him. The activity is an example of how the process often has many more rich learning implications than the finished product. This child-centred activity is engaging for children of all ages, is free and requires only limited parent input. Certainly, Box Construction Activities are an activity that children will never tire of.

Box construction activities play

Playing with the final versions (on his Roadtrip play mat)

Pelvic Floor

Ah pelvic floor muscles… I wish I’d known more… Here is the thing about having kids, so often it’s only in hindsight that I realise I didn’t know, what I didn’t know. And in this case what I really didn’t understand well was what pelvic floor muscles were and why it is so important to […]

Read more

What are the benefits of a Mother’s Group?

The Benefits of a Mother’s Group I’m the first one to preach the benefits of a Mother’s Group. I’ve been having a bit of a rough couple of weeks and was starting to feel all of the overwhelm, and I realised that I haven’t seen my Mother’s Group girls in a few weeks. Who better […]

Read more

Christmas in July in Australia

Well, it’s July. A long way from Christmas and the holidays. And with all the lockdowns we have been having lately we thought it was time to have some fun. So this year we are celebrating Christmas in July. Here are some easy ways you can celebrate too.

Read more

Easy Play Dough Recipe: A no cook recipe

Cutting easy no cook play dough

The Play Dough Recipe

Play dough – the sensory play that we all did before we even knew what sensory play was….Well maybe that’s just me.

play dough traffic lights

Making traffic lights from our play dough (on our Road trip play mat)

Either way playing with play dough is a great sensory activity for children of all ages (just make sure you supervise young ones). And this is an easy play dough recipe to try as an activity with your little one. By making play dough (or buying) you give your little one so many opportunities to practice their hand-eye coordination skills including rolling, pressing, punching, squishing, poking and tearing. This not only encourages the development of their fine motor skills but also promotes creativity and imagination.

Even better, making play dough together is a sensory experience as the textures change and colours swirl giving lots of opportunity for discussion and language development.

Play Dough Recipe: Ingredients

  • 1 cup of plain flour
  • ½ cup of salt
  • 2 tbs cream of tartar
  • 1 tbs oil
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Food colouring

Method:

  1. Add the dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix thoroughly.
  2. Add oil and stir through (it will not mix fully just yet)
  3. Add food colouring to your boiling water – give more consistent colour.
  4. Slowly add boiling water to the bowl, stirring it through before adding more. *
  5. Put play dough in the fridge to cool. Once it is cool give it a good knead before use. **
Cutting easy no cook play dough

Freddy practicing his cutting skills with play dough. Sign up to our email list for plenty more play ideas.

 

* You probably won’t need all the water. Once it is at play dough consistency, stop adding water and knead.

**If your play dough is too wet and sticky after cooling, knead on a floured bench, adding additional flour until you reach the right consistency.

This play dough recipe is a fun activity to do together, and the best part is it’s even more fun to play with after.

Make sure you subscribe to our blogs (sign up form at the bottom of the page) to keep up to date with craft ideas and coming soon.. games to try with your play dough.

Pelvic Floor

Ah pelvic floor muscles… I wish I’d known more… Here is the thing about having kids, so often it’s only in hindsight that I realise I didn’t know, what I didn’t know. And in this case what I really didn’t understand well was what pelvic floor muscles were and why it is so important to […]

Read more

What are the benefits of a Mother’s Group?

The Benefits of a Mother’s Group I’m the first one to preach the benefits of a Mother’s Group. I’ve been having a bit of a rough couple of weeks and was starting to feel all of the overwhelm, and I realised that I haven’t seen my Mother’s Group girls in a few weeks. Who better […]

Read more

Christmas in July in Australia

Well, it’s July. A long way from Christmas and the holidays. And with all the lockdowns we have been having lately we thought it was time to have some fun. So this year we are celebrating Christmas in July. Here are some easy ways you can celebrate too.

Read more

Easter craft ideas

Easter egg decorating

Easter Craft Ideas for the long weekend…

So this week we’ve been looking for some quick and easy Easter craft activities to try at home and we stumbled upon an amazing blog the Imagination Tree. We typed in Easter in the search bar and I must admit I developed a bit of a mum crush! I wish I was this creative and imaginative but I guess that’s the beauty of the world we live in. We have information at our fingertips and we can play to each others talents. So here are my top three Easter picks for activities to try from the Imagination Tree to keep us busy this rainy long weekend. Two of them we have tried and one we’re leaving until Monday.

  1. Play-dough Easter Egg craft

This is of the two we’ve tried so far. Firstly, because I had playdough made up in the fridge and a bag of pom poms, pipe cleaners and googly eyes on the counter from yesterday.

Easter egg decorating

Easter egg decorating – the before shot (on grey play mat)

I helped Freddy roll the ball and squash it to look like an Easter egg and then he went to town decorating it. What you might not know is we are basically big nerds in this house. So we loved the bonus of educational opportunities outlined in the blog. Yep, good for motor control development, creativity and yes we can sneak in some maths through counting. Winning. The only thing I’d do differently next time is make sure I have a few more decorations available (pipecleaners were not ideal) and offer them up one by one to keep him engaged a bit longer.

 

  1. Lego Print Easter Egg craft

easter egg lego painting

Mid way through our Lego Easter egg painting

Duplo – check, paint – check, paper – check. This one was super easy to try because I already had everything I needed at my finger tips. Unfortunately, our paint is some cheap stuff I got from Kmart that doesn’t work very well so I’m going to try again with some better paint another day but it was such a fun idea and we’ve never done stamping before. The concept of stamping paint was excellent for Freddy’s hand-eye coordination and we counted as we did each stamp. They’re drying now but tomorrow we are going to cut them into Easter egg shapes.

We’ll use these to write thank you messages on them for everyone that bought us an Easter present.

 

  1. Easter Egg Spin Art Garland

I cannot wait to try this one!! Only problem is I don’t have a salad spinner so I’m going to grab one at the cheap shop on Monday if they’re open. I googled it and it turns out spin art is a bit of a thing. I think its going to be worth the investment. I’ll let you know how our garland turns out. Freddy is absolutely paint obsessed now, so I know he’s going to have a ball.

 

Before you go… If you haven’t checked them out yet, our non-toxic baby play mats are only a click away.

Pelvic Floor

Ah pelvic floor muscles… I wish I’d known more… Here is the thing about having kids, so often it’s only in hindsight that I realise I didn’t know, what I didn’t know. And in this case what I really didn’t understand well was what pelvic floor muscles were and why it is so important to […]

Read more

What are the benefits of a Mother’s Group?

The Benefits of a Mother’s Group I’m the first one to preach the benefits of a Mother’s Group. I’ve been having a bit of a rough couple of weeks and was starting to feel all of the overwhelm, and I realised that I haven’t seen my Mother’s Group girls in a few weeks. Who better […]

Read more

Christmas in July in Australia

Well, it’s July. A long way from Christmas and the holidays. And with all the lockdowns we have been having lately we thought it was time to have some fun. So this year we are celebrating Christmas in July. Here are some easy ways you can celebrate too.

Read more

Your guide to an eco friendly and non-toxic baby nursery

Photo by Michal Bar Haim on Unsplash

Coveco Interior Design – Eco Interior Designer Sharyn shares with us tips on creating the perfect baby nursery.

You all should know that I love choosing sustainable products and anything eco-friendly. Why choose sustainable products over regular products, I hear you say!? You have a brand new, beautiful being to look after now, so let’s begin by giving them fresh, clean air to breathe. 

Nurturing the health of our beautiful children is not made easy with so many products harbouring hidden, nasty chemicals. Keeping them safe from things such as harmful chemicals and VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) is so important, now more than ever. VOC’s, by the way, are released as gases or vapours into the air, hence making the air quality all the poorer. I’ve been lucky enough to find some thoughtful companies to recommend who are doing a wonderful job ensuring the safe and healthy future for our young ones.

Wall Decor in your baby nursery:

Let’s start by giving the walls a shake up. A baby nursery can be themed up or given a colour lift by adding a touch of wallpaper. If you are starting your nursery from scratch, your building blocks for styling start here. There are also some eye-catching neutrals if you’re styling for a gender neutral look. I can highly recommend Amba Florette for eco-friendly, FSC certified wall paper which is pvc, formaldehyde and phthalates free. Not only that, they also come with a Class A Fire Certification and are Greenguard children and schools certified.

It’s Play Time:

Baby is eventually going to be old enough to play, so a playmat is a definite essential for your nursery. Freddy & Co. offer designer, reversible play mats. Your personal style on one side and a fun, educational design for baby on the other. The playmats are non-toxic and have passed European and US standards with flying colours. Freddy and Co. also offer 100% bamboo hooded koala towels. They are just gorgeous and great for home and beach days.

Ceiling Decor and Wall Art:

I love turning to Etsy for beautiful, handmade in Australia products. The styles and colour palettes here are endless. You will have no trouble finding a mobile your baby will find stimulating and some ultra-cute wall art to go with your theme.

Bedding:

There’s no other choice here but organic cotton or bamboo as they are naturally sustainable fibres. These organic fabrics are chemical free and will allow your babies body to breathe naturally. If you visit Elkie & Ark™ you will find the most beautiful 100% certified organic cotton and linen, bleach free, toxin free and fair-trade sheets for baby.

Ambient Lighting:

Night time feeds are a given – hopefully only for a few months! This is where you will need soft lighting, just enough to find your way around. That way you can both remain in ‘semi sleep mode’ during feeding time and get back to what’s most important a little easier – sleep!
Look for sustainable lighting designers who state they are looking after the environment during production and are utilising sustainable resources. I’m loving the table lamps at Mutating Creatures.

I hope these tips help you on your way to styling a sustainable, eco-friendly, designer nursery.

Written by Sharyn Kidd of Coveco Interior Design – Eco Interior Designer

You’ve got the essentials, now let’s give it a designer touch …  Feel free to contact Sharyn if you need help moving in the right direction with your nursery design — that’s what she’s here for!

Pelvic Floor

Ah pelvic floor muscles… I wish I’d known more… Here is the thing about having kids, so often it’s only in hindsight that I realise I didn’t know, what I didn’t know. And in this case what I really didn’t understand well was what pelvic floor muscles were and why it is so important to […]

Read more

What are the benefits of a Mother’s Group?

The Benefits of a Mother’s Group I’m the first one to preach the benefits of a Mother’s Group. I’ve been having a bit of a rough couple of weeks and was starting to feel all of the overwhelm, and I realised that I haven’t seen my Mother’s Group girls in a few weeks. Who better […]

Read more

Christmas in July in Australia

Well, it’s July. A long way from Christmas and the holidays. And with all the lockdowns we have been having lately we thought it was time to have some fun. So this year we are celebrating Christmas in July. Here are some easy ways you can celebrate too.

Read more

The benefits of crying: sometimes a cry is exactly what you need!

Benefits of crying - pj on blue geo playmat

The benefits of crying… where to begin

So for those that have been following us on Instagram or have been reading our blogs for a while. You will have noticed that Freddy was promoted to big brother nine months ago. Let me tell you, juggling a baby and a toddler is a whole new ball game.

Reaching breaking point: What led me to this belief

With Freddy:

When Freddy was a baby, he was a shocking sleeper for the first four months. Wouldn’t self-settle, would only sleep for 20 mins at a time and always fed to sleep. At about the five months mark I reached breaking point. Sleep deprivation was killing me slowly, I was tired, irritable and not my usual happy self – it also turned out I’d developed thyroid disease but that’s a whole different story. A good cry helped me to feel better and decide on a path. To sleep train Freddy and work on a routine. Turns out he’s a kid that thrives on routine. Within 24hours he was self-settling because I was feeding him and getting him down at the right time, like clockwork and to this day is a great sleeper.

Baby number 2:

Along comes baby number 2. The early days with PJ were a dream.

Baby cuddles and the benefits of crying

Baby cuddles
Photo by Zahed Ahmad on Unsplash

I wasn’t panicking all the time about feeding him or checking his breathing in the middle of the night. And I didn’t need to rock or feed him to sleep. But somewhere along the four-month mark things changed. The dreaded four-month sleep regression hit, and I found feeding him to sleep was the only thing working at night. However, he still self-settled during the day. The problem was unlike with Freddy I’m finding creating a routine near impossible. This time I have a toddler to juggle and a teenager (my nephew moved in). Suddenly, I have a million things on and PJ kind of just goes happily with the flow. It seems like he has decided night time is when he gets my undivided attention so he wakes up several times and can be awake for hours. So now I’m sleep deprived again, busy and starting to feel the frustration and emotions moving in.

 

Don’t get me wrong, my husband and my teenager have been great and are constantly trying to help. And in fact, my husband is a pro at putting Freddy to bed and can rock PJ to sleep like nobody’s business. But the middle of the night is my time… Plus there is something incredibly lonely about spending two hours in the middle of the night trying to settle a baby on your own.

Breaking point:

Fast forward to Monday just gone. I finally reached that breaking point again. Over the last few months Patrick had cut four teeth, had a cold and a virus that gave him fevers for four days. Up until a couple of days ago I hadn’t had more than a few hours of sleep at a time for months and I was exhausted. So, I did what any desperate mama feels like doing. I found my quiet place (in the shower) and I sat and cried. Now this doesn’t sound productive but let me tell you I felt a hell of a lot better so clearly there was some benefits of crying.

 

The Benefits of crying:

Benefits of crying

Sometimes we need a good cry.
Photo by Luis Galvez on Unsplash

Sometimes we just feel better after a good cry. In fact, research is now supporting this idea that there are health benefits of crying. Judith Orloff M.D. a professor at UCLA explains in her new book that emotional tears have lots of health benefits. There is a reason that we often feel that emotional tears act as a stress valve for frustrations, sadness, anger and even happiness. Apparently reflex tears are 98% water while emotional tears contain hormones and other toxins that accumulate at times of stress, namely chemicals that trigger your body to create cortisol the stress hormone. So, by having a good cry we are releasing these nasties from our bodies. Studies are now exploring the idea that emotional crying also triggers the production of endorphins the ‘feel good hormone’ in the body.

Some other surprising benefits include cleansing your eyes and removing any build ups on the eye or lash surfaces. Improvements in vision due to lubricating your eyes. Finally, antibacterial properties as tears can contain lysozyme a natural antibacterial enzyme produced in the body.

And for the record, the night after my cry, PJ slept for 10 hours straight.  Go figure!

Benefits of crying - pj on blue geo playmat

PJ loves partying all night long… here he is looking innocent at our latest photoshoot (modelling on our Alphabet / Blue Geo playmat)

Join Us…

So Mamas and Papas there you have it, sometimes we all need to blow off steam and have a good cry to help refresh us and help us to tackle another day. If you’re not already part of our Facebook community and Instagram page make sure you jump on. It’s a safe place to share pics, stories, anecdotes and meet some other mamas (and dad’s and grandparents) in the same boat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hand-me-downs: The Best and worst of it…

hand-me-down toys on grey geo play mat

Lets talk hand-me-downs….

So for the past two weeks Freddy has been obsessed with a Lightening McQueen Duplo (Lego) set. It used to belong to his older cousins and during our last few visits Freddy has fallen in love. It got us chatting about the best (and the worst) hand-me-downs we have been given.

Some things are great and can save us both time and money; on the other hand it is not ok to unload unwanted and unusable stuff on others (especially an expecting mama).

So here are some of the best as mentioned by you guys on our Instagram @freddy.and.co.

The Best hand-me-downs

Baby clothes

When Freddy was born I was lucky enough to get some hand-me-downs from my sister in law (yep the family I mentioned above) who has two boys and a girl that are older than mine. It makes it so much easier for those early new born days where they are only in some sizes for two weeks. Baby suits are expensive and when they are wearing them for such a short space of time they don’t wear out. What I didn’t get from my SIL I bought.

Luckily I have had 4 other close friends go on to have boys in the last few years and we have passed the bag of boys clothes on to each new little bub as its arrived adding to it each time. PJ (our bub number 2) is back into it and many new adorable outfits have been added to the pile. And if you have adorable overalls in your babies wardrobe. Pass them on!! Everyone needs some cute baby overalls in their life (yep I’m talking to my girls there 😉)

Baby in overalls on Road play mat

PJ rocking his hand-me-down overalls. Too small but we love them so much. On his Roadtrip/Marble Tile play mat.

Toys

If you can get any of your big ticket items secondhand I seriously suggest it. Other than the Lightening McQueen set I already mentioned, we have been given a ‘Little Tykes Cosy Coupe’, scooter, lots of Lego, wooden toy work bench and trucks. Freddy has loved them all. And the best part – if he doesn’t like them… I either return to the donor or pass them on to the op shop. A win for all!

 

Books

In our house we have children’s books everywhere. Freddy often has 3-4 books each night before bed and is constantly bringing me new ones to read during the day. I’m trying to encourage his reading and we get really excited when we get given books. We’ve just been given a big box of proper mini novels for when he’s a little older and I can’t wait to give them to him. So many of you said you love getting books too (with a few exceptions we’ll get to…).

 

Maternity pillow

Yep – if you’re like me these things are essential in pregnancy. Unfortunately, they are giant and bulky and you don’t use them once the baby comes. Passing these along means you get the comfort when you need it without the bother of trying to store it. I’ve even had a few friends pass these back and forth.

 

Baby on play mat in hand-me-downs

Baby Billy is the 4th baby to rock these adorable overalls on his Roadtrip/ Blue Geo baby play mat.

The Worst hand-me-downs:

Toys

Yes, we mentioned toys above because, hey who doesn’t like a new (to you) toy to play with. These become the worst when they are (A) Broken, (B) Filthy or (C) given to the child directly without talking to the parents… Let’s remember our friends and families houses aren’t a graveyard for the cheap toys of Christmases past. If its got lots of life left in it then definitely, but if it’s so run down your own children don’t want to touch it then probably no one else does either.

 

Used Colouring books

Seriously! Some poor soul in our Insta family got given a bunch of used, scribbled in and torn colouring books. At $2 for a branded book at kmart no-one is that desperate.

 

Used maternity underwear

Seriously I feel bad for the woman who got given a bag full used undies… just because they are maternity doesn’t mean you go handing bags of your used undies to friends ☹ especially if you used them post partum! On a side note – this doesn’t include maternity feeding bras which some of you found useful.

 

Puzzles with missing pieces

Thankfully my SIL is thoughtful and checked all the puzzles she gave us recently before she sent them over. Unfortunately some of you weren’t so lucky. Nothing worse than getting to the end of a puzzle and realising pieces are missing ☹

 

So as you can probably tell, there’s a lot that falls into both Best and Worst category. I guess the way I like to think of it… if its stained, ripped or missing pieces and you don’t want it because of it… then its likely no one else will want it either.

 

While you’re here… why don’t you check out our new Hooded Koala Towel or Round Roadtrip Play Mat.

Have a story to share? Get in touch… We are always looking for extra contributors to our blogs.

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