Blue And Pink Piggy Banks,

Coming Soon: Preparing for Baby on a Budget

Here at Little Devils Direct one of our key aims is to help make bringing a little one into the world as enjoyable as possible. For many of you, that means making the process more affordable without the need to compromise on quality, style, and the safety of your child. As parents who have brought up a baby on a budget ourselves, we are often asked if we’ve got any hints and tips for those of you out there who are doing the same.

To help you out, we’ve been spending a lot of time pulling together the ultimate guide to preparing for a baby on a budget. It goes from analysing your cash flow and identifying easy ways to cut back, to advising on the purchase of second-hand items. With such a wide range of choice and an ever increasing array of gadgets being touted as must-haves to expecting parents, we share the things that we found to be:

  • Absolute essentials
  • Not a necessity, but a worthwhile investment
  • A definite luxury, but still nice to have
  • Rarely used

This can help you prioritise your spending and prevent you from wasting money before baby has even arrived.

We also offer our tips on shopping around for the best price and purchasing multifunctional items such as cot beds and 3-in-1 Travel systems that can help to save money in the long run. We’ve even written an extensive section on how to keep equipment and sterilisation costs to a minimum when it comes to feeding your little one!

We’ve still got a little bit of work to do, as every single day a new idea or piece of advice for it pops into our head, however, we are very excited to share our guide and our experiences with you. We can’t wait till it’s finished and will keep you updated on its progress.

Is there any aspect of preparing for a baby you would like our guide to address in particular? Or would you like to see a guide on another parenting subject? Just let us know in the comments and we’ll see what we can do!

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Our Carrera Sport Takes Silver!

 

We are immensely proud to announce that our Carrera Sport 3-in-1 Travel System was awarded Silver in the Best Travel System under £500 category in this year’s Loved by Parents Awards. With all of the votes coming from the parents themselves it is a true testament to the product quality, functional design and value for money we aim to provide at Little Devils Direct.

Our pushchair is especially important to us as it was our very first product! When out shopping for a pram for our on-the-way nephew, we felt let down by the overpriced and basic offerings available on the high street. We took matters into our own hands and Little Devils Direct was born. Seven years later, we are honoured to feature alongside major household names in the Loved by Parents shortlists, and over the moon to have scooped a silver.

We would like to thank all of our customers who took the time to vote for us; we know you are busy people and it means a lot to us that you are so satisfied with your product.

It was also with thanks to our loyal customers that we won Bronze for the same category last year – hopefully we can make it a Gold in 2015!

Although the Carrera Sport is award-winning, we’re always looking for ways to improve our products. If you’ve got any suggestions please let us know in the comments!

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2014 Loved by Parents Awards

 

Little Devils Direct shortlisted in 2014 Loved by Parents Awards

Last year our Carrera 3 in 1 pushchair won bronze in the 2013 Loved by Parents awards for “Best Travel System under £500” and we are extremely proud to be shortlisted again this year in 3 very impressive categories…

Best Pushchair Design – Carrera 3 in 1

Best Pushchair under £300 – Carrera 3 in 1

Best Moses Basket or Cribs – Hush Hush Wicker Crib

Please vote for us!

Help us achieve GOLD this year by clicking here

To make it easier for you to fill out the online form we have a screenshot of one completed– all you have to do is copy it.

Thanks in advance – you’ve made our day!

 

WIN one of our beautiful Hush Hush Wicker Cribs

To celebrate our nominations, we are giving away one of our stunning cribs in the colour and finish of your choice and winning couldn’t be simpler! Just click here and enter your name and email to be in with a chance. Best of luck!

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A peaceful nights sleep

 

Excitement, happiness, anticipation, nervousness, these are all feelings that rush through your mind in those first few nights at home with your newborn. Getting into a routine and having a good night’s sleep is important for both you and your baby.

We know, from experience that in order for mum to get a good night’s sleep the comfort and safety of your little one while asleep is essential.

What your little one will need:

A crib or cot Cribs can be used from the birth of your baby up to six months old. Most parents then make the transition from a crib into a cot.  Cribs are very popular amongst parents for their newborns, although cots can also be used from birth to approx 24 months.

A cot mattressIt is recommended that a new mattress is purchased for each newborn baby. Using a mattress which has already been used will not be as comfortable for your little one and may lead to an unsettled nights sleep for you and baby.

You can put your mind at rest! Any Little Devil Direct cot comes provided with a fully sprung mattress ideal for your little one to lay their head. These mattresses are manufactured to the highest standards, comply with the safety and performance requirements and made with only the best materials.

We choose to supply these mattresses as they offer a hygienic, anti-allergenic breathable and moisture resistant surface, which is wipe clean and washable ideal for any little accidents that may occur.

Top sheets x 4 Bedding sheets are available in a range of materials to help add to your baby’s comfort. You can choose from woven cotton, brushed flannelette which feels warm to the touch, stretch cotton terry or cotton jersey.

Fitted mattress sheets x 4Stretch-fitted mattress sheets are very useful as they are less likely to become untucked while your baby sleeps. They are also quick and easy to put on and take off, which means more quality time for you and your baby.

Blankets x 3 – Simply add or take away a blanket if your baby is too hot or too cold. Cotton sheets and blankets are easy to layer and keep your baby at the right temperature.

Sleeping bag/DuvetLots of parents love sleeping bags as babies cant kick them off, become cold and then wake in the night. Just remember to never use your sleeping bag in addition to a quilt or duvet, as your baby will become far too hot.

Babies need to be kept warm but not too hot, which is why tog ratings apply to all sleeping bags, (quilts and duvets for babies over 12 months). Sleeping bags and bedding should be purchased with season in mind, opting for a lower tog rating in the summer months (0.5 tog or 1 tog) and no more than 2.5 tog in the winter months.

Room thermometerRoom temperate is vital in creating a safe sleeping environment for your baby. A steady room temperature should be maintained at 16-20ºC. Buying a room thermometer will help you keep an eye on the temperature.

Relax! Take a deep breath and enjoy every moment of being pregnant and planning for your new arrival.

VOTE TO WIN

We’re giving away a beautiful brand new Hush Hush Wicker Crib in the colour and finish of your choice. Enter our competition here – http://tinyurl.com/pqgy95x

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Using your baby sling safely

 

While using sling-wraps and other carriers are a very safe way to carry baby, we strongly encourage parents to be informed on positioning guidelines to ensure baby’s safety and comfort. Just like you would with a car seat, it’s important to familiarise yourself with the best practice recommendations.

The UK Consortium of Sling Manufacturers and Retailers have created an easy-to-remember checklist that you can run through every time you use a wrap or carrier to help ensure baby’s safety. Called T.I.C.K.S, you should use this checklist whenever you are carrying baby in one of our Hush Hush wraps.

 

T.I.C.K.S

 

Tight – slings and carriers should be tied tight enough to keep baby close and snug against you. Slack fabric can sometimes allow baby to slump down in the carrier, potentially hindering breathing. A loose sling also offers less support for you, putting more strain on your back and shoulders.

In View At All Times – you should always be able to see your little one’s face at a quick glance down, without having to move any fabric from the sling. If lying in a cradle position, baby should face upwards and not in towards your body.

Close Enough to Kiss – baby’s head should be as close to your chin as is comfortable – you should be able to kiss your baby on the head or forehead simply by tipping your head forwards.

Keep Chin off the Chest – baby should never be curled so their chin is forced onto their chest as this is uncomfortable and can even restrict breathing in some cases. There should always be space of at least a finger width under baby’s chin.

Supported Back – if carrying baby in an upright position, they should be held comfortably close to you so that their back is supported in its natural position with tummy and chest against you. This ensures the airways are kept open as normal.

 

As long as you follow these straightforward guidelines, there’s no reason you and baby can’t safely enjoy being snuggled together whilst out and about or napping. Wrap slings really are a great way to carry your little one around, offering comfort and bonding not offered by prams and car seats – you can read about some of the fantastic benefits in our blog post here.

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Packing the perfect hospital bag

 

When it comes to packing your hospital bag it’s best to have it packed around a month in advance if you go into Labour early you want to be as prepared as possible so you can focus on the birth! It’s difficult to judge how much stuff you will need as there’s no way of telling how long your labour will last, so it’s a good idea to pack an extra bag full of spares just in case. You can leave this at home and your birthing partner can bring it to you if required, though you may not need it at all.

For Labour

Your birth plan and maternity notes – these are vital for ensuring the birth goes the way you have planned

Important phone numbers written on paper – these are good to have in case your mobile battery runs flat

Old, comfy t-shirt or nightie – to wear during labour

Thick socks –During labour, blood flow to the uterus increases, causing feet to become cold

Dressing gown – You might find yourself pacing corridors in early labour and you’ll also need one for the postnatal ward. Keep it lightweight for comfort and go for darker colours as these won’t show any stains.

Slippers – a pair of slip-ons that are easy to get on and off are best

Snacks and drinks – You don’t know how long you’ll be in labour for, and standard meal times can go out the window

Pillows – If you have been using maternity pillows to sleep or relax at home you may wish to bring them with you to help you get comfortable during labour. These can also assist with feeds after the birth.

Something to tie your hair up – things can get very sweaty and you may feel more comfortable with it out of the way. A hairbrush is also useful for this reason.

Music – Take your MP3 player if it will help you relax

Things to help you pass time or relax – such as books, magazines or a tablet computer

For after the birth

Fresh underwear and pyjamas – for your stay on the postnatal ward. Include two or three nursing bras and several pairs of old/disposable cotton knickers. Front opening shirts are best if you plan on breastfeeding.

An outfit for your journey home – This should be loose and comfortable. It will take a while for your bump to shrink so you will probably be in maternity clothes for a while after the birth.

Breast pads – even if you don’t plan on breastfeeding, these will be useful until your milk has dried up

Maternity pads – maternity pads are bigger and a lot more absorbent than sanitary towels. You will probably need to change your pad every couple of hours immediately after the birth, so pack a good supply

Toiletries – it’s best to buy travel versions or decant into smaller containers to save space. Try limiting your toiletries to the basics: shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, facewash, deodourant, moisturiser, toothpaste, toothbrush.

Camera – For snapping loads of pictures for the beautiful new addition to your family!

Towels – The softer the better, as you will likely be very sensitive following the birth

Sleeping mask and earplugs – these can be useful for helping you sleep on a noisy, brightly lit ward

For Baby

Two or three baby grows and vests

Baby blanket – It may be chilly when you leave hospital. If your baby is born in winter you should pack a heavier jacket or snowsuit as well as a blanket.

Nappies and nappy cream – Your newborn may go through ten a day – make sure you buy the newborn-sized nappies.

A couple of pairs of socks or booties

A couple of hats – for keeping baby cosy

Bibs – These will save you having to change a whole outfit if baby brings up milk

Baby car seat – If you’re travelling home by car make sure you and your birth partner have a car seat ready that you have already practiced using.

It seems like a lot, but think how relieved you will feel if you go into labour unexpectedly and all of your things are ready to go. Once you’ve packed your bag, you can sit back with a cup of tea and relax waiting for baby to arrive.