Monday, May 23, 2011

Soft sleeping bag for all seasons


Review of Bambino Merino Sleeping Bag

With the cooler months upon us, it’s time to pull out the winter pyjamas and extra blankets. But how do you keep your baby warm? Most parents don’t use blankets to avoid the risk of SIDS, while some babies simply kick them off, or crawl out from under the covers (which is what my kids tend to do). The answer is a sleeping bag, and while there are many of these on the market, I bet there are none as good as this one.
Already established as an award-winning range in England, Bambino Merino is now available in Australia offering practical, stylish and affordable sleeping products for newborns to toddlers.
Parents no longer need to buy several sleeping bags to suit the weather and age of child, because these sleeping bags will last through all four seasons, for nursery temperatures ranging from 17-30 degrees.
Made from 100 per cent pure merino wool, and 100 per cent cotton, they keep baby warm and comfortable throughout the night, without the risk of overheating.
Other brands of sleeping bags require parents to work out the TOG rating for summer and winter, but merino wool creates a “micro-climate” around the baby. This helps maintain an even, comfortable temperature all year round.
Probably the most surprising aspect of Bambino Merino is that it is incredibly soft to touch.
The wool is not itchy or irritating, so it would be suitable for children with eczema or allergies, and another bonus is that it is machine washable.
There is a zip opening at the bottom for nappy changes as well.
I tried the sleeping bag out on my daughter and there’s no doubt she felt warm and snug all night long. The only problem we found was that she wasn’t happy not being able to crawl around her cot when she woke in the morning!
Bambino Merino sleeping bags are come in two sizes to fit babies from approximately two months to two years of age and a toddler size for two to four year olds.
The full collection of merino clothing and baby sleeping bags come in a range of colours. Check out www.bambinomerino.com.au

A world of imagination


One of the best things you can do for your children is reading aloud

“Clash, bang, clash, bang!” shouts my five-year-old, “I’m the Saucepan Man! And you can be Silky, and Paige can be Moonface!”
Thanks to Enid Blyton, my daughter’s love of bedtime reading has grown from strength to strength as the folk from the Faraway Tree become part of our family life.
But this was always going to be the case because this was my favourite book when I was a child, and I had always planned to read it to my children.
However, I had forgotten just how magical the experience can be when reading to your children.
I’ve turned bedtime reading from a short picture book ritual, to a theatrical performance only limited by her imagination.
Each night I ask her what books she wants to read, and each night she shouts: “Faraway Tree! Faraway Tree!”
I read one chapter each night (read with great expression and sometimes actions), but almost every night she begs for another chapter, or another one after that.
When I say it’s time to sleep, she asks “What’s the name of the next chapter?” so she can imagine in those quiet moments before sleep descends what adventure story will unfold next.
Since I became a mother, I have been committed to reading aloud to my children.
It’s an enjoyable time for us to bond, and for them to get an early start in literacy and language.
It helps them settle at the end of the day, and it presents opportunities for us to talk about topics of interest, as well as for them to learn about the world around us.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Safety that is back to front


It’s time Australia looked forward by facing their children back

My littlest one is 11 months old this week and my husband asked me when I was going to turn her car seat around to face the front.
The truth is that I haven’t set a date or age for turning her around, as I know she is safer in a rearward facing seat.
And I’m not the only parent who feels this way. There are a growing number of parents who have done their research, and realised that the longer a child is facing the back, the safer they are in the event of an accident.
Professor Lotta Jakobsson works as a biomechanist and child safety expert for Volvo in Sweden and was in Australia last month promoting the benefits of rear-facing safety seats for children under the age of four.
“The recommendations for Swedish kids, since way back in the sixties, is rearward facing since the age of four,” she said in an interview on ABC Radio National’s Life Matters program.
“It’s actually very good in Australia that your new regulation allows children to travel rearward facing up to the age of four, but as far as I know there are no seats for kids older than 12 months to rearward face and that’s a problem.”
In Sweden (which has a population of nine million), four children have died in rearward facing seats since 1964, in frontal impact accidents, and Prof Jakobsson said it proves that they have a “very robust and safe system”.
In Australia, about 70 children are killed and 1900 injured in road accidents each year.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Big questions from a little mind


How do you explain why everyone is happy about a person dying?

While the US is celebrating and the joke machine is in overdrive since the death of Osama bin Laden, I’ve had my brain rattled by a five-year-old and her endless questions ever since Anzac Day.
There have been quite a few conversations about Anzac Day, especially since it is discussed at school, and on television.
In fact, any time she sees someone in an army uniform she asks me about dead soldiers.
“Why did the soldiers die?” is the first question that pops up and the rest of the conversation goes something like this:
Me: “Because they were fighting in a war.”
Miss Five: “What’s a war?”
Me: “When bad people want to hurt good people, the soldiers have to fight back and protect the good people.”
Miss Five: “Why do they want to hurt them?”
Me: “Because they don’t like the way we live.”
Miss Five: “Why?”
Me (distracted by crying baby and put on the spot): “Because... just because... um... because they’re jealous!”
Then I ramble on about living in a free country and how some bad people don’t like us, as footage from Afghanistan appears on television making it more real.