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TIPS Mission Statement

To educate and inform parents and professionals about best practice in breastfeeding, neonatal skincare/cordcare and other related midwifery subjects.

 
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stop presses from 2009 Print E-mail

December 2009

Win one of 50 celebratory bottles of Weleda Baby Calendula Baby Oil worth £7.95
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This competition is run in association with the December/January 2010 issue of The Green Parent Magazine. Find out how to enter here.....


19 November 2009

TIPS Top Brand (Baby Skincare 2007) and Best of the Best (Baby Wipes 2009) both win Gold at the annual Mother & Baby Awards!

Weleda and Jackson Reece were both Gold Winners at the recent Mother & Baby Awards Dinner where I was lucky enough to be a guest of Weleda.


I am thrilled to see these excellent companies finally being recognised for their safe and responsible approach to baby skincare and would like to congratulate them both on their well deserved win!


14 November 2009

CLIC Sargent Blues Ball

A great night was had by all including TIPS prize winners Fiona and Iain (see picture below) at the yearly CLIC Sargent Ball held at the Princess Royal Suite at Ayr Racecourse.

The evening began with a champagne reception then we were treated to a delicious four-course meal. Entertainment was provided by local schoolgirl singing sensation Rebecca Shearing, Frank Sinatra sound-alike Paul Ellis and the excellent Glasgow Soul band ‘Counselled Out’ who kept us on our feet until the wee hours! Charity auctioneers Willie Hamilton and Robbie Taylor kept bidding brisk (including me!) during an exciting auction as dozens of amazing lots went under the hammer and not forgetting the HUGE tombola and raffle prizes making sure that most guests went home with an armful of goodies.


An update on next year’s Kilimanjaro Challenge in aid of our friend Allister Boyd (you can read more about this here) with 31 brave trekkers already signed up – good luck to all of you and we will bring you news of their adventure when the time comes.

Despite the credit crunch we are delighted to announce that this event went on to raise a whopping £46.000!

It is 20 years since Malcolm Sargent House opened its doors to help provide individual support to children and young people with cancer and leukaemia.

Supported by members of the fundraising committee, May Gilchrist, Community Fundraising Manager, succeeded in pulling off yet another success. By the end of the evening we were all ready for a seat (see picture of May and Sharon below) but it was worth all the hard work. A BIG thank you to all the sponsors, especially Brown Brothers printers who wowed us with the stunning programme which was cleverly presented in a mock LP cover (see picture below). This was a truly memorable night.


For more information or to make a donation go to: www.clicsargent.org.uk


16-18 October 2009

Congratulations to Greatvine on their Baby Show success at Earls Court!

Greatvine are just back from their first Baby Show, where they achieved a tremendous 468 signups in total - the equivalent of 1 signup ever 3 minutes over the course of the 3 days! An innovative website, Greatvine.com offers individual advice, by phone, direct from the country's best experts - Sharon is one of Greatvine's many consultants.

Sadly Sharon could not be at there, but the stand was very busy and the team gave away 1700 Greatvine goody-bags with promotional materials for the site and the experts, including the TIPS Babycare – back to basics™ leaflet. Each bag also contained a £10 Greatvine voucher for people to use against a Greatvine consultation of their choice.

You can find out more or book your very own one-to-one consultation with Sharon here...


October 2009

Baby Wipes Awards 2009 now online…



Find out how we set-up the brand new 2009 Baby Wipes trial and read the final reviews here.


September 2009

Weleda need your vote…

Weleda Lavender creamy body wash has been nominated for Best Organic Product in the Bloom Awards 2009.

Weleda Lavender creamy body wash has been nominated for Best Organic Product in the Bloom Awards 2009. For your chance to win the entire selection of nominated products (worth £600!) all you have to do is take part in the consumer online vote at www.askamum.co.uk

 

Find out more about the survey here.


August 2009

And the lucky winner is....

Mum Jo won the main prize in TIPS e-newsletter 14: the ultimate bumGenius package to become a reusable family: 10 bumGenius One Size nappies, a pail liner, a travel bag, 100% unbleached cotton washable wipes and Baby Legs, worth £200!

Of the washable nappies Mum says: "I've been really impressed with them, i've had no leaks at all, they are incredibly absorbant and the fact that they dry in no time means they have a quick turnaround which is fantastic."

Thank you Mum Jo and Baby Evie for the lovely photo!

 


July 2009

Congratulations to our 600th Parent Tester!


We are delighted to announce that our family of Parent Testers has just broken through yet another amazing milestone!

Clare from Leeds was unaware she had become the 600th TIPS Parent Tester until Sharon called her up with the good news. To mark this special event, a signed copy of Sharon’s book, Breastfeeding: the essential guide and a huge soft and cuddly one-off celebration towel are on their way to Clare.

Perfect timing too because Clare recently gave birth to her first son who is now seven weeks old.


21 June 2009

TIPS double Award-winning baby wipes available from Superdrug - Jackson Reece Soothing Herbal Wipes coming to a store near you!

Lots of people ask where they can buy TIPS Award-winning products and we are delighted to announce that from today (21 June 2009) you can buy Jackson Reece double award winning wipes at your local Superdrug. Initially the wipes may not be stocked by all stores so if you can't find them in your local Superdrug, ask the manager to order some in for you.

More information on the Jackson Reece Soothing Herbal Wipes and the full TIPS reviews are available here.


June 2009

TIPS Award winning Tummy Tub goes stateside!!!
Tummy Tub clean up following US feature on the ‘Today Show’



Janis McKellar’s, hubby Brent and their 14 month old son John made an appearance on the Today Show. They joined presenters Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira and Ann Curry Friday in New York Studio 1A to demonstrate the Tummy Tub, a baby bath new to parents in the US. Janis first used the Tummy Tub for her fourth baby in 2007 and loved it so much she decided to become a distributor in the US selling it on her website www.bathedwithlove.com

You can read the full article here, or get more information on the Tummy Tub and see the video clip here.

 


10 - 17 May 2009

National Breastfeeding Awareness Week - win a set of Boobie Buddies....

To celebrate National Breastfeeding Awareness Week I am delighted to offer TIPS members the chance to win a set of Boobie Buddies dolls (worth £40). In the TIPS e-newsletter 7, I told you about Pip Wheelwright and her inspiring story about her Boobie Buddie breastfeeding dolls. These really are the most innovative dolls to hit the market and their ingenious use of magnets allows children to role play by letting the dolls hold hands, kiss and breastfeed (there is a mummy and a baby dolly in each set).

 

  • If you are a TIPS Member or a TIPS Tester email the words 'Boobie Buddies' to Brigitte for a chance to win a set of Boobie Buddies - the draw will take place on 22 May

This competition is only open to TIPS Members and TIPS Testers.


4 April 2009

Allister Boyd – tragic loss of teenage fundraiser!
Please donate to his favourite charities…

Our hearts go out to family and friends as they mourn the loss of their beloved Allister (see our 28 June 2008 stop press news). Having met Allister and heard his story I know his spirit will live on and the fundraising will continue so please support his two chosen charities and donate whatever you can to:


Allister was 19 years old and had been battling cancer for the last three years. He was diagnosed with a brain tumour just before his 17th birthday and since then has had cancer in his spine and, very recently, a second brain tumour was discovered. The doctors could not operate and Allister did not know how long he had left. He helped to arrange a full day of events on 5 April which sadly he did not live to see. We would like to pass on our sincere condolences to his family at this very difficult time. Allister was a force to behold and I for one will never forget him.


5 April 2009

Natural & Organic Products Show
Olympia, London

BABY SKINCARE: BACK TO BASICS, NATURALLY - a seminar presented by Michael Bate (Weleda) and Sharon at the Natural & Organic Products Show.

Sharon's baby skincare guidelines have become policy in many maternity units. Sharon will talk about these guidelines and explain how natural products can promote healthy skincare. Weleda head gardener, Michael Bate, will give a profile of the Calendula plant, and explain why it is selected for use in baby products.

This is being organised in association with Weleda, the TIPS Top Baby Skincare Brand 2007-2009.

Even if you miss the seminar, come and see Sharon at the Weleda stand (number 3002) where she will be available to answer any of your baby skincare queries. So come along and say hello!

 

Find out more about this event here

 
Print E-mail

1 December 2010

 

TIPS e-newsletter is 21!

As we celebrate our 21st Birthday issue we are marking this magic milestone with our winter themed design. Looking at the icy weather we are experiencing in the UK this would seem to be highly topical!

We have another bumper issue for you to enjoy, so snuggle up in the warm and check out the many features we have on offer including our eagerly awaited ‘My Story’ (written by one of our parents) and part four of our ‘Diary of a Student Midwife’.

We recommend our favourite websites, books, articles, podcasts, event, appeal, Top TIPS, product reviews and not forgetting our gallery of photos sent in by you, our readers.

We have dozens of TIPS® Award winning baby products up for grabs, including, among others, a personalised piece of art kindly donated by The Little Picture Company, the iconic Cozy Coupe from Little Tikes, a family ticket to see the famous Tutankhamun His Tomb and his Treasures Exhibition in Manchester and many more...

Remember if you are not ‘in’ you can’t win!

 

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16 October 2010

We have five DVDs of the brand new BAFTA award-winning pre-school series to give away!


Brought to you by the creators of Peppa Pig, Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom is the perfect blend of magic, adventure and humour that is sure to delight and engage young fans. The DVD contains 10 episodes plus special bonus episode ‘The King’s Busy Day’.

First broadcast on Nick Jr. in 2009, Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom is shown daily in the UK on both Channel Five’s Milkshake and on Nick Jr. where it is the No. 3 highest rating show.  It follows the amusing adventures of Princess Holly and her best friend Ben Elf. Holly is a young fairy whose magic doesn’t always go to plan.  Ben Elf doesn’t have wings and he doesn’t do magic.  But elves are very good at making things – especially toys.  They live in the Little Kingdom, a tiny but enchanted magical land where flowers and grass rise above the tallest towers. The unforgettable characters, charming animation and hilarious plot lines make this an unmissable DVD that families will enjoy watching together time and again. Available in all good retailers from 27 September 2010.

You can find out more on the official website www.littlekingdom.co.uk

DVD RRP: £12.99, Cert: U

For your chance to win one of five DVDs email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by 29 November. We will contact the winners after 30 November 2010.

 


October 2010

10:10:10 – date for your diary... How will you celebrate?

 

Please send us your pictures featuring your 10:10:10 celebrations. We will publish the winning shot online and the sender will receive a signed copy of Sharon’s book Breastfeeding: the essential guide. Email your photos to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

10:10 has joined forces with international campaign group 350.org to co-ordinate 10:10:10 (the biggest-ever day of positive action on climate change) on Sunday 10 October 2010.

There are many ways you can join in from the simplest ideas like cooking a meal from locally produced foods and making a special night of it at home to more innovative events like one in the Netherlands to produce a one hour carbon-cutting telethon on mainstream telly.

You can find out how to get involved here...

 

There are six ‘Ten steps to..’ change your energy habits including one from the Mumsnet Forum featuring ten ways you can become a low carbon family. You can download a copy here....

So come on, what are you waiting for GET DOING!!!


September 2010

Meet our 700th TIPS Tester!

 

We are thrilled to announce that we recently welcomed our 700th Parent Tester - another magical milestone at TIPS Ltd.



When she signed up to take part in forthcoming trials, Francoise (pictured right) had no idea she was about to become a TIPS VIP. A parcel of goodies was soon on its way to surprise and delight Mummy and Daddy-to-be! Francoise is now busy testing carefully selected products for TIPS. Results of this  trial will be published later in the year – for more details watch this space....



We will be featuring our very first 4D scan in newsletter 21 (expected date of arrival December 2010). Francoise has very kindly shared this with us. And to bring you right up to date we will add a picture of the new baby!

 


 

August 2010

TIPS Award winning Best of the best Jackson Reece baby wipes up for grabs!

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TIPS Award winning Best of the best Jackson Reece Baby Wipes are now available to buy from Mothercare and Sainsbury’s. They are available in packs of 72 plus a handy pack of ten flushable wipes.

  • For a chance to win a box of ten packs, all you need to do is This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it before 17 September.

We will contact the winner on 18 September.

 

You can get more information about the Jackson Reece baby wipes and to read their full TIPS review here.

 


July 2010

Hot summer giveaway!

 

 




We are delighted to be able to offer you the chance to win this Reglisse maternity tankini (pictured right) in Fuchsia (worth £58).

  • For a chance to win, all you need to do is email us with your size (S, M, L or XL) before 31 July.

We will contact the winner on 1 August.


You can see Amoralia's full range of maternity underwear, swimwear and nightwear on their website: www.amoralia.com

 


June 2010

Our summer e-newsletter is now online

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We have just published our e-newsletter issue 19. This includes 8 new competitions and a bumper selection of features including our eagerly awaited ‘My Story’ (written by one of our parents testers) and part 2 of our ‘Diary of a Student Midwife’.
We recommend our favourite websites, books, articles, podcasts, event, advice line, magazine, and give you our usual selection of product reviews. Don't forget to check out our gallery of photos sent in by you, our readers.
In the competitions, dozens of TIPS Award- winning baby products are up for grabs, as well as a £100 hamper kindly donated by The Food Stork, 3 copies of ‘must-have’ book Hold it Sister (reviewed in the e-newsletter) and a free consultation with a paediatric occupational therapist.
Remember if you are not ‘in’ you can’t win!

5 May 2010

International Day of the Midwife

 

MIDIRS marks this day with a competition for Health Care Professionals to win one of five subscriptions to the new monthly journalfind out more about the new publication here...

 

On Wednesday 5 May, UK maternity charity, MIDIRS, will join with midwives around the world in celebrating the International Day of the Midwife, an annual event which aims to highlight the knowledge and skills of this unique profession.

Andy Fisher, MIDIRS Business Manager, said ‘MIDIRS is firmly behind the aims of International Day of the Midwife. Not only is it a celebration of midwifery, but an opportunity to draw attention to the crucial work of midwives’.

‘Our own mission is to assist in the improvement of maternity care worldwide by providing access to evidence-based information, thereby supporting maternity health care professionals and student midwives in providing not only best practice, but compassionate and high quality care. This will hopefully go some way in helping to reduce child mortality and improve maternal health, two key UN Millennium Development Goals’.

  • To mark International Day of the Midwife, MIDIRS will be offering five health care professionals the chance to win a free, one year subscription to Essentially MIDIRS, the charity’s new monthly journal, due to be launched on 1 June 2010, which aims to provide a vital education and practice development resource to maternity health care professionals and student midwives.

     

  • The competition offers customers the opportunity to submit midwifery related questions of their choice to MIDIRS team of experts for potential publication within the regular ‘Ask Away’ section of the journal.

     

  • Those customers submitting the five best questions will be notified within a week of the closing date. Their questions and the answers will be published in future issues of the journal.

 

Questions should be sent to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it no later than Wednesday 26 May 2010. All entries will be considered.


20 April 2010

TIPS Baby Skincare Product Awards 2010 -
Results just published!!

 

We have tested the very best baby baths, nappy creams, baby oils, baby washes, baby lotions, children’s shampoos and children’s toothpastes. Read all about it in the TIPS awards section of this website...

 


23 - 25 April 2010
SECC Glasgow 10am - 5pm

WIN TICKETS for the Glasgow Baby Show!

 


Jackson Reece has kindly donated six pairs of tickets (worth £8 each) for the Glasgow Baby Show (valid from 23 to 25 April).
For a chance to win please This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by Tuesday 20 April 2010. We will email the winners on Wednesday 21 April.



I am delighted to be joining the team at Jackson Reece Baby Wipes stand (410F) where they will be selling their award winning bio-degradable, eco-friendly, carbon conscious baby wipes. This excellent product has won four TIPS awards (Best of the best award in 2007, Editors Choice award in 2008 and two in 2009 - Best of the best and Best eco-friendly). I will be on hand to give new parents the most up-to-date advice regarding baby skincare issues and will be handing out copies of the latest version of the Babycare - back to basics™ leaflet, so please come along and say hello. You can find out more about Jackson Reece on their website www.jacksonreece.com


March - April 2010

 

Enter your own story for the chance to be published – in association with Halos N Horns and Bounty websites…

 

Here's your chance to enter a favourite bath time rhyme, tale or poem for inclusion into our competition. We'll put your short stories and rhymes on our storytelling pages at Halos N Horns and Bounty.com. Then you, your friends and relatives, and loads of other people too, can vote for their favourite submission.

 

The 10 most popular entries voted for by you - and our judges at Bounty and Halos N Horns - will be published in an exclusive, limited edition book of winning stories, poems and rhymes. This is a fantastic opportunity to see your name in print!

 

Plus, all winning stories will be illustrated by top children's illustrator Margaret Chamberlain, she'll also help judge your stories and design the special edition book of winning tales.

 

Remember, you can submit a story, poem or even a song into our competition. As long as it's your own work and totally original. Please try to keep all entries under 150 words and don't forget to put your contact details into the form!

You can enter the competition here...

 

Closing date 4 April 2010

 


 

 

 

 

 

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For your chance to win one of five DVDs email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by 29 November. We will contact the winners after 30 November 2010.

 

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Find out more about the brand new DVD at www.littlekingdom.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

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700th Tester

Here is Francoise, our 700th TIPS Tester wrapped up cosy in her luxury TIPS VIP Tester towel

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March 2010


Welcome to our NEW LOOK TIPS website!!

We are FINALLY ready to launch our brand new design website. Everything you have come to expect from our TIPS online community is here but with a fresher look for the new decade.

To coincide with the website launch we are delighted to publish our TIPS e-newsletter 18 which is packed full of features including 8 new competitions for you to enter.

The results of our trial of belly balms have just been published. This is the first time we have tested baby balms and we are sure you will enjoy trying the winning products. You can read all about the TIPS-tested belly balms here.
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January 2010

Happy New Year!
Wishing you all the very best for 2010!

We are delighted to announce we have just reached another milestone with over 650 TIPS Testers now signed up. If you wish to join our dedicated team of Testers then all you have to do is follow the instructions on our registration page here....

You will be informed of all new trials and if you fulfil the entry requirements you will be added to the next trial. Just click on one of the links below to check out the results of all the TIPS trials:

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Print E-mail

 

 December 2018

TIPS e-newsletter 44 is published!

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Brexit Brexit Brexit...are you fed up with the uncertainty too?

 

I try to avoid being political and whatever side of the Brexit debate you are on, I respect your opinions. But the inevitable and prolonged uncertainty is becoming more and more frustrating...

 

No matter what news programme you watch or what newspaper or magazine you read it is almost impossible to avoid discussions and debates about the potential ramifications of a Brexit, deal or no-deal. Let's hope the powers that be will find the grace to stop arguing and pass this momentous decision back to the people. Only then can we make absolutely sure the UK can concentrate on the important issues that have, for too long, been sidelined.

 

Whatever happens with Brexit, we will deal with it and I sincerely hope our relations with Europe can continue to be close because we all need to work together for the sake of our children and our grandchildren. OK end of political rant!

 

Back to more exciting matters: we have a fun packed e-newsletter with lots of lovely giveaways for you all to win...

 

I continue to enjoy using my DUOLINGO App (featured last time) and I'm on a 150+ day streak! The last time I visited my daughter in the Netherlands, I definitely found it easier to understand signs and menus although I cannot say I am anywhere near fluent. At least I can say: Ik spreekt een beetje nederlands en ik wil oefenen which means: I speak a little Dutch and I want to practice!

 

Our latest featured AppMusical Hands is an award-winning musical app for babies and toddlers. It’s really simple to use and great fun for little ones, like my grandson Odin (featured in our Testers pix).

 

Our featured Video clip is a Carpool Karaoke that also promotes the wonderful work of our featured CharityStand Up To Cancer. This inspiring campaign is Cancer Research UK’s and Channel 4’s annual fundraising event bringing the UK together and helping speed up progress in life-saving cancer research. James Corden and Michael Bublé carpool through Los Angeles singing Michael's new music and his classic songs. They also have an emotional conversation about the devastation of a cancer diagnosis, and how we can help find a cure by donating to this charity.

 

Our featured film is Tigers: the long awaited release (November 2018) of a film by Oscar-winning director Danis Tanovic, based on the true story of a former Nestlé baby milk salesman in Pakistan called Syed Aamir Raza (played in the film by Emraan Hashmi). He takes on the industry with the help of IBFAN (the International Baby Food Action Network) when he realises that babies are dying as a result of his work pressuring doctors to promote formula. I heard about this film back in 2014 when it started its limited release around film festivals but I am glad to see this film will soon be more widely available around the world. This story needs to be told and, as a long term supporter of the non-profit organisation Baby Milk Action, I am pleased to see they are continuing to promote this film in any way they can.

 

Our first featured bookWhat's Right For Me -Making Decisions In Pregnancy and Childbirth is by our friend and midwifery guru Dr Sara Wickham. As soon as I heard about this book I knew that our loyal Parent Tester (and author of our very popular series 'Diary of a student midwife') would love to review this and I was right! 

 

Our second featured bookCookies is from the publisher Phaidon. Cookies is an Interactive Recipe Book and is fourth in a series of engaging, interactive cookbooks that invite readers to cook using tabs, flaps, wheels and more included in the book! You can also win one of three copies in our mini-competition.

 

Our featured products include a Silent Night and Fruity Favourites gift sets by Green People (win one of each), Weleda Gardeners Favourites gift set (see also our Top treat featuring Emma Britton who designed the Weleda 2018 Gifted by Nature Collection gift range) and a three months supply of Jackson Reece Baby Wipes, the most eco-friendly baby wipes available. 

 

We have a new Brand to promote called Little Freddie (Brigitte loves this one as her grandson shares the same name!). Little Freddie was born when founders husband and wife team Piers and Taslim started their family. That’s when they discovered the baby food on offer at the time fell short of what they what wished for so they developed their own. You can win a month's supply of Little Freddie foods (worth £20) in our mini competition.

 

Check out our latest Top Tips: an ingenious product to prevent slipping in the snow and ice: Nordic Mini Grip by Icebreakers; PV Films (photography with a difference plus a discount code worth up to £250); and YouTuber Louise Pentland who gives great common sense advice to new parents.

 

Our Top Treat is by: Emma Britton - specialist designer of decorative glass splashbacks and the 2018 Gifted From Nature Collection for Weleda. You can win one of two designer tea towels (worth £20) and get 20% discount off Emma Britton tea towels, trays and glassware (valid until 16 December 2018). 

 

Our Top Value product is the delightful Carddies colouring in sets that we have featured before but we love their simplicity. My granddaughter Mia has tried out the new Ballet set at home and on the go and she loves it! You can enter our mini-competition to win one of two Carddies sets (worth £18).

 

As well as our regular mix of features, our latest My Story follows a mum who was diagnosed with polycystic ovary disease and how this impacted on her fertility. 

 

We have a brand new selection of TIPS Testers' Pix for you to enjoy, with some adorable photos, including a pictures of my grandchildren and a competition winner from our last newsletter. Maybe you have photos of your own you would like to share with us? We're always on the lookout for photos of babies, toddlers, families, bumps, scans, breastfeeders, baby-wearing, baby-led-weaning and grandparents. So please email us your photos! I will send a signed copy of my book (Breastfeeding: the essential guide) to the sender of each photo we publish. 

 

Last but not least we have some wonderful competitions for you to enter. Altogether our prizes are worth over £500 so email your entries to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   and you too could be a TIPS winner!

 

Remember if you are not 'in' you can't win!

 

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June 2018

 

TIPS e-newsletter 43 is published!

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Back in the game - finally...

Since our last newsletter I have experienced an agonising three month episode of sciatica. Like so many people this winter, I had suffered from flu for a whole week and I was coughing so much that I herniated a disc. An x-ray diagnosed historic damage to my L5/S1 vertebrae. I literally woke up coughing and was in total agony for the first three weeks, and then little by little I got better over the following 9 weeks. I was devastated when I was told recovery could take three months, but sadly this proved to be accurate. I had to become more patient and find ways to distract myself from the constant pain, while my nerve recovered. In the early days I took painkillers regularly, even tried a TENS machine for 24 hours but once the analgesic effects wore off, the pain was almost more unbearable and my head was fuzzy all the time. So I decided to go cold turkey. I used a combination of ice packs (reduces the inflammation) and my trusty hot water bottle (stick-on heat packs are ideal too) to manage the pain. A warm bath (with magnesium flakes and essential oils) every night relaxed my muscles enough to give me some relief in bed. For many weeks I could not get comfortable anywhere, so I had to keep busy (in a very slow way!). I downloaded our featured App: DUOLINGO language app and started to learn Dutch (my daughter lives in the Netherlands). Granted I am not exactly fluent yet but it's a good start and I am keeping this up, whenever I have a few spare minutes.

I also took up knitting again, after a break of over 30 years! I found a few websites where you can order simple knitting kits (check out the adorable unicorn soft toy I made for my granddaughter). You will recognise the saying: 'baby steps...', which was certainly the case for me and my dodgy back, undoubtedly caused by years of misuse and letting my core suffer. In other words: wear and tear. 'Onwards and upwards...' is my mantra, so I am determined to get back to full fitness and hopefully prevent any future relapse.

I hope that by sharing my experiences I can help you overcome similar issues, introduce you to new ideas, and above all make you realise that you are not alone. Together we can help make your life and the lives of those around you easier... 

During my convalescence I was able to help my daughter's best friend establish breastfeeding (a welcome distraction from my pain, avoiding any slide into self-pity) firstly by phone, then in person when I was able to go out and about again. In the end this very special journey to pain free breastfeeding took, almost 12 weeks, partly due to a late diagnosis of a posterior tongue-tie (which was snipped at 9 weeks). It just goes to show that even with 30+ years experience of helping new mums to breastfeed new challenges always come along. However with patience, determination and lots of cuddles (virtual and real) there is nothing that cannot be resolved. This highlights the first 12 weeks after childbirth also known as the Fourth Trimester which we will discuss in our Talking Point

For new mums who end up struggling - this is much more common than many would imagine -postnatal illness can be a real possibility. This is why our featured charity is PANDAS Foundation. This inspiring charity aims to be: the UK’s most recognised and trusted support service for families suffering prenatal/antenatal and postnatal illnesses.

Friends who used to run The Baby Website got in touch. Like mine, their children are all grown up and my friends have recently started a new website aimed at over 50s. They asked me to do an online interview of where I am now, as a 50 something - makes me feel very old but it's also inspired me to explore new horizons. You can find out more about this exciting new website and read my interview here www.mrandmrs50plus.com 

Our featured book selection by Harper Collins contains all your favourites including Bing, David Walliams, Dr Seuss and many more so get your entries in for a bumper prize worth over £60. 

Our featured DVDs  are from the BBC CBeebies (worth £40) including: Go Jetters: The North Pole and Other Adventures; Hey Duggee: The Train Badge and Other Stories; Sarah & Duck: Constable Quack; and Something Special: Laugh With Mr Tumble  - this feature was already in our last newsletter but due to an error on my part, the DVDs were sent by the BBC directly to the winner, so I still have a set to give away!

Our featured products include a manual breast pump, Green People soothing nipple balm (win one of ten tubes) and a Jackson Reece Hamper full of goodies including their TIPS award winning wipes, the most eco-friendly baby wipes available.

Check out our latest Top Tips: including our TIPS factsheet on tongue tie, how a frozen popsicle can help with breastfeeding and why breast pads and treatments can be a life-saver.

Our Top Treat is: Cucumber Clothing - the coolest new clothing around for pregnant and new mums. The brainchild of two mums: Nancy and Eileen, who were looking for clothes to keep them cool. After a year of research, using a super clever moisture wicking, always fresh fabric, they designed Cucumber's first, cut-to-flatter-all-shapes capsule collection and the rest, as they say... We have a delightful Cucumber head band and eye mask to give away (worth £35)

Our Top Value products include the humble hot water bottle, another of my 'all-time must-have items in life' and a clever therapy wrap that can be used cold or warm.

As well as our regular mix of features, our latest My Story follows a new mum who was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis before she went on to have two children. We follow her journey to breastfeed her premature daughter and the huge differences between her two pregnancies, 12 years apart. It also highlights the difficulties experienced by so many new parents.  As a breastfeeding consultant, the good news is that almost every problem can be resolved, if caught quickly enough. However misleading advice (especially from health professionals) means that many new mums suffer confusion, lose self-confidence, and all too often end up giving up breastfeeding! Thankfully this story has a happy ending so we hope it can offer you some inspiration.

We have a brand new selection of TIPS Testers' Pix for you to enjoy, with some adorable photos, including a picture of three gorgeous sisters and some babywearing beauties. Maybe you have photos of your own you would like to share with us? We're always on the lookout for photos of babies, toddlers, families, bumps, scans, breastfeeders, baby-wearing, baby-led-weaning and grandparents. So please email us your photos! I will send a signed copy of my book (Breastfeeding: the essential guide) to the sender of each photo we publish. 

Last but not least we have some wonderful competitions for you to enter. Altogether our prizes are worth over £300 so email your entries to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   and you too could be a TIPS winner!

Remember if you are not 'in' you can't win!

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January 2018

 

Competition time: Carun Active Hemp giveaway!


Fancy winning a hamper containing £100 worth of Carun Active Hemp best selling products?


Then all you need to do is answer this very simple question: what does CBD stand for? Email your answer to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or look for the competition post on our Facebook page.
The competition closes on 31 March 2018. Good luck!

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About Carun Active Hemp: new all natural super-combo Cannabis Sativa and turmeric products...

Carun Active Hemp is a skincare and supplement brand that boasts being 100% natural. Containing no synthetic fragrances or artificial preservatives, the functional ingredients used in Carun Active Hemp products are non-psychoactive cannabinoids (from Cannabis Sativa) and curcuminoids (from turmeric).

The gentle action of these natural compounds makes Carun Active Hemp products ideal for sensitive skin. Cannabinoids and curcuminoids work together to reduce inflammation, pain, itch, redness and dryness. These super-hydrating properties make Carun Active Hemp products ideal for people who have skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema.

Active Hemp Guru Michal Takac says 'Both cannabinoids and curcuminoids are becoming increasingly popular in mainstream medicine for the treatment of serious illnesses. Research is progressing and positive results are creating quite a buzz.'

You can now find Carun Active Hemp products in local independent chemists and health shops: Carun Active Hemp soap, face cream, ointment, body oil, mouthwash and 3% Cannabidiol (CBD) oil. You can also order these products on Amazon.co.uk

Carun Active Hemp products are 100% natural, suitable for Vegans, and not tested on animals.


My son has started to use Carun Active Hemp soap, face cream and ointment, and is really enjoying these products. I will be publishing his full review in a TIPS newsletter at a later date.


Here's a list of Carun Active Hemp best selling products:

  • Active Hemp Soap with Turmeric RRP £4.99
    CBD 1% - ingredients: Sodium Palmate, sodium Cocoate, Aqua, Glycerin, Sodium Citrate, Hemp seed Oil, Active Hemp Leaf & Stem Extract*, Hippophae Rhamnoides Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Extract, Propylene Glycol, Curcuma, Heyneana Root Powder.
  • Active Hemp Oil RRP £31.99
    CBD + CBDA - 3% - ingredients : Hemp seed oil, Active Hemp Leaf & Stem Extract* Nil THC
  • Active Hemp Body Oil RRP £13.99
    Organic - CDB 1% - ingredients: Olea Europaea Fruit Oil*, Hemp Seed Oil*, Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil*, Active Hemp Leaf & Stem Extract*, Citrus Limon Peel Oil*, Lavandula, Angustifolia Oil, Mentha Piperita Oil, Limonene, Linalool.
  • Active Hemp Face Cream RRP £16.99
    Organic - CBD 1% - ingredients: Aqua, Zea Mays Starch, Glycerin, Olea Europaea Fruit Oil, Hemp Seed Oil, Alcohol Denat. Coco-Caprylate, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Polyglyceryl-3 Stearate, Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil, Active Hemp Leaf & Stem Extract, Citrus Limon Peel Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Camphor, Limonene, Linalool.
  • Active Hemp Ointment RRP £16.99
    Medical device - CBD 3% - ingredients: Petrolatum, Hemp Seed Oil*, Olea Europaea Oil, Active Hemp Leaf & Stem Extract*, Citrus Limonum Oil, Mentha Piperita Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia Oil, Limonene, Linalool.
  • Active Hemp Mouthwash RRP £14.99
    CBD 3% - ingredients: Aqua, Salvia Officinalis Extract, Alcohol, Agrimonia Eupatoria Extract, Mentha Piperita Extract, Eugenia Caryophyllus Bud Extract, Equisetum Arvense Extract, Cinnamomum Zeylanicum Bark Extract, Stevia Rebaudiana Extract, Active Hemp Leaf & Stem Extract*, Alcohol Denat. Citric Acid.

*Products of organic farming

 

For more information go to:

www.carun.uk

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December 2017

TIPS e-newsletter 42 is published!

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Books books books and a few life hacks...

Once again our newsletter has evolved organically so we can offer you, our readers, a selection of great tips and life hacks as well as reviews of an amazing array of wonderful books covering many topics. I know that e-books are taking over from hard copies but I still love to hold an actual paperback in my hands - I guess I'm not the only one to feel this way! It's great to be able to leaf through the pages when I need to go back a bit. Somehow using an e-book is just not as satisfying although I will admit to having downloaded the Kindle reading app on my phone, so I am never left stranded without a book to read (very often an Outlander title!).

By sharing the many parenting features included in this newsletter, I hope to introduce you to new ideas and new ways to make your life and the lives of those around you easier...

We feature a groundbreaking websitewww.omgyes.com dedicated to research predicted to kick-start the next sexual revolution. Research (notably The Kinsey Reports and Masters & Johnson) has been ongoing since the 1940s but it could be argued that our basic knowledge of human sexual function and its taboo status has hardly changed. So what about the actual techniques and insights that women (and men) discover that lead to more pleasure? That’s still an uncharted frontier when it comes to science and research. This is where OMGYes got started. OMGYes is not a subscription site. A one-time payment gives you permanent access to the 62 videos of Season One, which will then fund the next wave of research into women's sexuality. I love this site and its refreshing approach to sexuality. So many women (and men) are ignorant about how their body works so this new resource will hopefully give us the knowledge we need to experience the sex lives we deserve.

Our first featured book Vitamin K and the Newborn is a simple but invaluable text on all things related to vitamin K. Written by my friend Dr Sara Wickham, this is an absolute must-have for health care professionals, but it's also ideal for parents trying to navigate their way through a sea of misinformation on this topic.

Our second featured book is The Happy Birth Book. This really is a refreshing book that does exactly what it says on the tin but with a slightly anarchic slant that I love. Parents so often forget that their pregnancy and their birth should be theirs to own: all too often they become intimidated to ask for what they want or too scared to follow their gut instincts. Beverley Turner and Pam Wild leave the reader in no doubt that parents should be in charge of their own birth journey and this is nothing short of revolutionary!

Our third featured book is Something Fishy by Jean Gourounas, a French author-illustrator based in Saint-Etienne, France. Jean studied graphic design and worked as a graphic designer after university. He has written and illustrated over 15 children's books in France, but this is his first book in English.

Thanks to our kind friends at Harper Collins our main newsletter prize is made up of a staggering 21 books and a CD (worth £200!): a 60th anniversary edition of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, book bundles from TwirlywoosBingRob BiddulphDavid Walliams and Michael Morpurgo plus a lucky dip selection by various children's authors.

Our featured DVDs are from the BBC CBeebiesGo Jetters: The North Pole and Other Adventures; Hey Duggee: The Train Badge and Other Stories; Sarah & Duck: Constable Quack; and Something Special: Laugh With Mr Tumble. Our featured film is none other than Paddington 2 - an absolute delight for all the family!

Our featured app is BeePopulate. Designed by Mango Concept in a bid to develop a fun and engaging game to educate children about bees and the vital role they play in our environment.

Our featured campaign is an exciting project on KickStarter set up by the Highland company Prickly Thistle. The campaign aims to raise funds to build a mill and bring tartan manufacturing back to the Highlands. Such is the interest in this exciting project that even Sam Heughan of Outlander fame, has been tweeting about it (using the dedicated hashtag #buildthemill)! However this is an ALL OR NOTHING goal of £500,000 so don't let this fail, get pledging, you have until 13 December!

Our featured research into Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) is carried out by our friends at Rhythm Health. This follows on from our reviews of two books about the microbiome:The Microbiome Effect and Let Them Eat Dirt (in newsletters 39 & 40). This is your chance to learn more about this topical issue and maybe even be part of some exciting research. You can also win a five day Life shot200 plan (worth £125!).

Check out our latest Top Tips: a life hack on how to remove a splinter painlessly (this went viral on facebook with over 90K shares!), how rubbing magnesium oil into your skin can help restless legs and an ingenious organic spelt filled pillow that has endless uses.

Our Top Treat is Halia Rose - baby friendly products and jewellery for teething babies. We have a delightful Elephant baby teether and a Kata necklace for mum to give away too. Our Top Value product is the humble bootee, which can also be used as mittens for your newborn. Find out why this is such a great idea and check out some more life hacks at the end of this feature.

As well as our regular mix of features, our latest My Story follows the (sadly) all too common traumas associated with sore nipples and the vicious cycle this can lead to. As a breastfeeding consultant, the really frustrating thing for me is that almost every case can be completely cured, if caught quickly enough. However due to misleading advice and the use of nipple shields (rarely any help) too many new mums suffer incredible pain and many end up giving up breastfeeding! Thankfully this story has a happy ending so we hope it can offer you some inspiration.

We have a brand new selection of TIPS Testers' Pix for you to enjoy, with some adorable photos, including a picture of my grandson enjoying his first attempt at real food and an adorable picture of a new dad showering with his newborn daughter. Maybe you have photos of your own you would like to share with us? We're always on the lookout for photos of babies, toddlers, families, bumps, scans, breastfeeders, baby-wearing, baby-led-weaning and grandparents. So please email us your photos! I will send a signed copy of my book (Breastfeeding: the essential guide) to the sender of each photo we publish.

Last but not least we have some wonderful competitions for you to enter: including a chance to win a set of three Weleda Maternity Range products to help celebrate their latest TIPS Award for their new Nipple Balm. Altogether our prizes are worth over £625 so email your entries to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or enter on facebook when we post about each competition and you too could be a TIPS winner!

Remember if you are not 'in' you can't win!

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September/October 2017

 

Bickiepegs giveaway!

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Help Bickiepegs celebrate the recent listings of their Finger Toothbrush & Gum Massager by Sainsbury and Ocado!

Enter this very easy competition a chance to win one of 10 sets of Bickiepegs Finger Toothbrush Twin Packs (RRP £4.49) and Bickiepegs Teething Biscuits (RRP £2.09).

  • All you need to do is email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with the year that Bickiepegs was established.

Closing date 31 October 2017

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About Bickiepegs
Bickiepegs Healthcare have been experts in oral care since 1925. They have also been proud winners of not one but two TIPS awards: in 2007 for the Doidy Cup and in 2013 for the famous Bickiepegs Teething Biscuits.

In 1925 Dr Harry Campbell, a Harley Street Paediatrician, created Bickiepegs Teething Biscuits. They are a natural food-based alternative to plastic teething rings for babies aged 6 months+, and can be used until the first set of teeth are through.
Designed to satisfy babies' natural desire to gnaw during teething, Bickiepegs Teething Biscuits can be used for both front and back teeth. They provide a hard surface on which babies can ‘cut’ teeth and help them develop their jaw, jaw muscles and gums.
Bickiepegs Teething Biscuits are 100% natural Bickiepegs, manufactured in the UK from wheatflour, wheatgerm and water with no artificial colourings, preservatives or flavourings and NO added salt or sugar.


For more information go to: 

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June 2017

 

TIPS e-newsletter 41 is published!


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logosLike us on Facebook – visit the TIPS Ltd Facebook page: we publish news (including competitions!), information and advice for parents and professionals regularly. We're on Twitter too @TIPSLtd

Paying it forwad... 

Sadly I am sure I am not alone in my concerns for the state of the world and humanity itself. It has got to the point that I no longer believe anything on mainstream media - this is equally frustrating and upsetting. However being an eternal optimist, I continue to write only positively about any number of parenting issues that interest me, and that I hope will be relevant to you, my readers.

Although I never intended for this newsletter to have an immigrant theme, somehow it's happened organically - (our featured book and both My Story 1 &2 are written by immigrants). I make no apology for this. In a world that is increasingly diverse, we must find a way to live together more harmoniously and the first step towards this is 'Paying it forward', hence the title of this newsletter. We can all make a difference, and it can start with the simplest of gestures. I was recently travelling by train and was in a rush. I needed to use the station toilet but had no change (only a large note). A lovely woman noticed my dilemma and offered me the coins I needed to use the public toilet, so that I did not miss my train. I was overwhelmed with her generosity, as it was clear she had very little money in her purse. Nonetheless she offered what she had freely, even though she knew I wouldn't be able to pay her back. A few weeks later I was in a similar situation but this time I gave someone else the change they needed. This made me feel happy that I had been able to 'pay it forward'. It also made me realise that the woman who had helped me would have also felt good about her simple act of kindness.

By sharing the news and advice I come across, I hope to introduce you to new ideas and ways to make your life and the lives of those around you easier...

We start with a brand new initiative by the Scottish Government. Inspired by a project that has been running in Finland since 1938. Scotland's Baby Box scheme will provide families of newborns a box with a number of items for baby, including bedding, clothes, nappies and books - it's even suitable for babies to sleep in! The Scottish government said the scheme had a 'proven track record' in tackling deprivation. It should also encourage mums-to-be to engage with maternity and antenatal services. Our feature follows the design process for the Scottish Baby Box which is due to launch this summer.

Our first featured book 'Lucky Boy' is a simple tale of love and loss, but underneath there are many layers interwoven within the two sub-plots (in alternate chapters). As immigration issues so often make the headlines, Lucky Boy is not just topical: it could be about any number of borders around the world today. This story may be fictional but the reality of the subject matter, hidden uncomfortably within each beautifully written line, is impossible to ignore.

Our second featured book is Preparing for Birth - Colouring your pregnancy journey. This simple colouring book with detailed pregnancy-related illustrations can really help mums-to-be focus on her needs and help relieve any stress during this unique and very special time in her life.

Our third featured book is What does baby want? This clever book tells the story of a hungry baby who will not be soothed by a teddy bear, a ball, or even a shiny tambourine. Ultimately, mum realises her baby will only be satisfied by one thing: milk! This innovative book is perfect for nursing babies and their older siblings, for parents and parents-to-be, and for every child who has a doll to feed (see our 'Tester pix' showing my granddaughter breastfeeding her dolly).

We also have two amazing book bundles to give away, thanks to our friends at Harper Collins Children's Books. We have a Dr Seuss set of six books to celebrate the 60th Birthday of The Cat In The Hat (worth £42) and a Bing book bundle of five books (worth £30).

Our featured DVD is the Outlander Box Set (Seasons 1 & 2). I am a fan, so much so that I recently visited the town of Falkland in Fife where the Inverness scenes are films (check out my pics).

Our main newsletter prize offers our readers the chance to enjoy a very popular snack without worrying about consuming too much salt, or artificial additives. Mr Lee's Noodles in a Cup contain Vietnamese noodles with added natural ingredients that are freeze dried (this locks in the goodness and must not be confused with dehydrated foods). Read on to find out why so many sporting heroes and even a rock band (see our featured album by Vukovi) are enjoying these healthy noodles. We are delighted to announce that one lucky winner has the chance to win a mega supply of Mr Lee's Noodles in a Cup (10 boxes of 6 cups and 4 pairs of chopsticks) worth almost £200!

Our featured website is Babies Under Development (www.littlebud.com) whose simple mission is to publish the best resources about fertility in one loud and proud hub. Our featured campaign is by NHS Scotland: Don't get scared, get screened: Cervical Screening saves lives...

Our featured event is the Great British Dog Walk 2017. It's the UK's biggest and best series of dog walks in aid of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, and there's still time to get involved! Go to greatbritishdogwalk.org to find out more

Our featured charity is The Samuel Hardgrave Harlequin Icthyosis Research Trust (SHHIRT). I heard about this charity while watching the Channel 5 documentary about Nusrit 'Nelly' Shaheen (see 'My Story' in this e-newsletter).

Check out our latest Top Tips Brush Baby's advice from their Mums and Gums campaign, plus your chance to win £50 worth of dental products and how TinyTalk helps families experience the amazing benefits of baby signing, understanding and getting to know their babies, long before they're able to talk.

As well as our regular mix of features, we have not one but two My Story features. The first one called Reflections of a Muslim convert and a mother, follows the experiences of an immigrant family as they get used to life in a new country. I hope that through Natalija's experiences you may better understand that small gestures of support can go such a long way to making newcomers feel welcome. Our second My Story is an update on a previous story we featured about Arif, who suffers from Ichthyosis Lamellar, a rare skin condition (see also our featured charity). Arif is now 11 years old and describes in his own words how he copes.

Our Top Treat are: Long Tall Sally and Magnus Shoes - providing stylish and proportionately sized clothes for taller than average women and brand named footwear for those with a larger than average shoe size [Gabor, Josef Seibel, Hush Puppies, Romika and many more...]. Our Top Value product is the Huggsie, an innovative 100% organic (inside and out) baby pillow that has many uses from newborn to toddlerhood. The founder of this pillow also writes our featured blogBabyharvelicious.

We have a brand new selection of TIPS Testers' Pix for you to enjoy, with some adorable photos, including a picture of my granddaughter breastfeeding her dolly, and another of newborn twins. Maybe you have photos of your own you would like to share with us? We're always on the lookout for photos of babies, toddlers, families, bumps, scans, breastfeeders, baby-wearing, baby-led-weaning and grandparents. So please email us your photos! I will send a signed copy of my book (Breastfeeding: the essential guide) to the sender of each photo we publish.

Last but not least we have some wonderful competitions for you to enter: a hamper full of Jackson Reece productsmy son's band Vukovi debut album, an assortment of books (see our book reviews) and the full set of products in the newly launched Maternity Collection by Weleda. Altogether our prizes are worth almost £600 so email your entries to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  and you too could be a TIPS winner!

Remember if you are not 'in' you can't win!

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December 2016

TIPS e-newsletter 40 is published!

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Staying healthy starts with a happy gut...

As we prepare for the festive season, spare a thought for your gut! Remember to be kind to it, or you might be reaching for the medicine cupboard sooner rather than later. Purely by coincidence, this newsletter has a microbial theme (Let them Eat Dirt featured bookRhythm fermented drinks and Caprera foodie website) which we hope will help you find ways you can eat better and easily boost your friendly bacteria. By doing this you will not only cheer up your gut but you're also very likely to improve your mood. Research has highlighted a direct link from our gut to our brain, so even small changes to what we eat could have a big impact on our mental health.

We start with our main newsletter prize: this offers our readers the chance to top up their friendly microbes with an amazing probiotic prize. Our friends at Rhythm Health have kindly offered one lucky winner not one but two packs (you can treat your best friend too!) containing five bottles of Life Shot 50 (worth £100). These VIP probiotics are sure to make your insides smile, as they help to repopulate your gut microbiota.

Our first featured book 'Let them Eat Dirt' follows on beautifully from our last book review of The Microbiome Effect. If you read this you will already know how excited I was about this new field of study: the microbiome and epigenetics. Let Them Eat Dirt covers the same topics but with an American twist, which means that some of the examples mentioned in the book do not apply to British or European practices. However I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book because it offers additional tips and advice which we would all do well to follow.

Our second featured book is The Basic Needs of a Woman in Labour. While the subject of labour and birth is vast, the most important principle we learn from Ruth's book is that 'feeling safe and loved' is key to safe birthing. If every birth facilitator and parent-to-be (not just mums but dads too) were to read this excellent booklet and incorporate its wisdom and ethos into their birth plan, birth could become a more relaxing and satisfying experience.

Our first featured website is Holiday Essentials, the brainchild of Shona Jones. This newly hatched Scottish business which offers a bespoke gift boxes service. 'My Scottish Boxes' can be tailor-made for corporate or charity events and personalised gifts for special occasions, including 'Welcome Boxes' (for letting agents) and 'Wedding Boxes'. We have three My Scottish Box gift sets up for grabs too!
Our second featured website is a simple but original idea. Caprera.com is the largest network of independent food and drink producers in the UK. It's an online marketplace where customers can order food directly from a variety of quality independent producers throughout the UK. What's more, just enter ‘CAPRERALAUNCH’ at the beginning of the check-out process to enjoy £5 off your first order!
Our third featured website is Smalls, a range of merino garments for children that look as good as they feel. It was founded by Cat Pharo (Freelance Stylist and Art Director) and Emma-Jane Adam (ex Digital Marketing), both New Zealand-born mothers-of-three, who fell in love with merino babywear. Enter our mini-competition for a chance to win a gorgeous merino wool misty rose pink tank top (worth £32.50).
Our featured event is an exhibition featuring the Coralie Bickford-Smith's book: The Fox and the Star, taking place at the William Morris Gallery. This exhibition runs from November 2016 to February 2017 and tells the fascinating story of how the book was conceived and produced, with original illustrations and rarely seen proofs. The exhibition will appeal to all ages, from serious book lovers to families who will be able take part in hands-on activities. William Morris’s Kelmscott Press edition of Reynard the Fox, one of Coralie’s key inspirations, will also be on display.

Our featured charity is Glasgow Children's Hospital Charity (GCHC), formerly known as Yorkhill Children's Charity. This name change came about when The Royal Hospital for Sick Children, The South Glasgow University Hospital and The Glasgow Teaching and Learning Centre were relocated to the brand new state-of-the-art Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in 2015.

Check out our wonderful selection of three Top Tipsnew Scottish legislation on a smoking ban in carsPetit Pierrot, who offer immersive interactive French lessons (win a French songs CD worth £20) and why it is much better for you and your environment to opt for natural and plastic free sanitary protection by one of our favourite manufacturers Natracare (win a Natracare gift set!).
As well as our regular mix of features, check out the latest My Story: Baby after a disabled child. This features Kat's touchingly honest account of her latest pregnancy, at the age of 40, following seven years taking care of her three children including B who has special needs. Kat's strength of character and dogged determination to fight for her family will inspire you.

Our Top Treats are: Whisky Frames - photo frames made from whisky barrels (with a mini-competition for your chance to win a frame worth £60) and Blade & Rose, a trendsetting range of leggings and clothing accessories founded by designer Amanda while she was on maternity leave (we also have a festive gift set worth £50 up for grabs - we will draw this in time for Christmas!). Our Top Value products are a reusable IKEA baby change mat and Beco baby swim pants. These products are not only great value for money but they are kind to the environment too so it's a win win!
We have a brand new selection of TIPS Testers' Pix for you to enjoy including some adorable photos of a dad and big brother cuddling skin-to-skin. Maybe you have photos of your own you would like to share with us? We're always on the lookout for photos of babies, toddlers, families, bumps, scans, breastfeeders, baby-wearing, baby-led-weaning and grandparents. So please email us your photos! I will send a signed copy of my book (Breastfeeding: the essential guide) to the sender of each photo we publish.

Last but not least we have some wonderful competitions for you to enter, including our main Newsletter PrizeRhythm Health Life Shot 50 drinks. We will be announcing three new TIPS awards for Weleda Baby Calendula products and your chance to win a special Weleda gift set. We also have Diary Doll pants up for grabs, two lovely Butterfly gift sets by Green People and three gift sets by My Scottish Box at Holiday Essentials (worth £30 each) and our featured DVDs: Tubby Snowball and The Closer We Get. Altogether our prizes are worth over £500 so email your entries to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  and you too could be a TIPS winner!

Remember if you are not 'in' you can't win!

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June 2016

 

TIPS e-newsletter 39 is published!

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Join us as we celebrate 12 years of TIPS®!

 

As always, we are delighted to bring you another fun-packed e-newsletter featuring the very best new products and services, alongside our unique mix of independent, impartial, and above all non-commercial advice on all things related to pregnancy and parenthood.
Our main newsletter prize is a party in a box from our friends at The Party Box Rocks. This is an exclusively designed themed party collection in a box, straight to your door. We are delighted to announce that one lucky winner will have the chance to get their very own party collection (for 8 guests) in a box! This fantastic prize is worth £100! Plus 10% off to readers for any box (one time use) using discount code: Partybox1
Our first featured website is Little Dish www.littledish.co.uk. Little Dish has been making healthy toddler meals for the past ten years. The latest addition to their range is Go Gos! Check out our feature for more about this new healthy snack and for your chance to win 1 of 10 multipacks of Go Gos and a unique Eggnogg colour-in table cloth
Our second featured website is Eggnogg www.eggnogg.co.uk. This company designs, manufactures and sells quirky colour-in products for children. What started as a kitchen table business quickly grew and there are now 66 Eggnogg Colour-in products stocked across Europe, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Dubai. The Eggnog range includes, bags, bunting, fancy dress and party essentials. We also have two Colour-in Little Shopping Bags to give away!
Our featured app, FoodSwitchUK, provides a quick and easy way to make better healthier food choices when shopping for you and your family.

 

Our featured events include the Dad Network second annual live event and Rave-A-Roo family rave fest for London’s Ministry of Sound. We have a family ticket (worth £50) up for grabs in our early-bird competition so get your entries in fast. The deadline for this one is 7 June! We also have £90 worth of sun protection goodies from our friends at Green People, so check out mini-competition 5.

 

Our first featured book  is The Microbiome Effect: How your baby's birth affects their future health, and we are very excited to announce that we have awarded this groundbreaking new title our second 'Must-have' TIPS Book Award (remember to check our mini-competition for a chance to win a copy). Very few pieces of research have the undeniable potential to change the future of health everywhere in the world, but Toni Harman and Alex Wakeford' s work definitely has. In my opinion The Microbiome Effect is a seminal publication in the new field of microbiome and epigenetics. Most of you will never have heard these terms or heard about their potential for changing the way we birth, but you soon will. In my extended review I want to explain what microbiome and epigenetics mean, how they are linked with disease and why Toni and Alex's work is so closely intertwined with my own passion for promoting breastfeeding and safe baby skincare. Our second featured book is Another Twinkle in the Eye: Contemplating Another Pregnancy After Perinatal Mental Illness by Elaine Hanzak which has been reviewed by TIPS Parent Testers

 

Our featured charity is the awe inspiring Invictus Games Foundation (invictusgamesfoundation.org). The Invictus Games Foundation has been established to pursue and develop the legacy of the Invictus Games - Prince Harry’s sporting event for wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women. I watched every episode of the Invictus Games Orlando on the BBC iPlayer and through the tears I felt totally inspired by the life-changing effects this organisation is having on so many people, not just the athletes. It is truly inclusive. I especially enjoyed the journey of the Invictus Choir, lead by choirmaster Gareth Malone, also streamed on BBC iPlayer. The charity single is now available on iTunes with all proceeds going to the Invictus Games Foundation.
Check out our wonderful selection of Top Tips including the Tango Swing seat which provides a new way to enjoy intergenerational playtime at your local swing park, the Diono Radian 5 car seat that is designed to be rear-facing for longer and suitable from birth to 7 years and the MU System, the world's thinnest international USB charger for your smartphones, tablets and MP3 players. 
As well as our regular mix of features, check out the latest My Story: The magical powers of skin-to-skin contact, based on my own experiences when my youngest son was born in 1999; our Top Treat: newly launched Weleda Jardin de Vie fragrances (with a mini-competition for your chance to win 1 of 3 of these) and our Top Value feature: Wonky Vegetables
We have a brand new selection of TIPS Testers' Pix for you to enjoy. Maybe you have photos of your own you would like to share with us? We're always on the lookout for photos of babies, toddlers, families, bumps, scans, breastfeeders, baby-wearing, baby-led-weaning and grandparents. So please email us your photos! I will send a signed copy of my book (Breastfeeding: the essential guide) to the sender of each photo we publish. You can also enjoy some gorgeous photos of our featured blogSurprised by Five . This charts the journey of an Australian couple who found out they were expecting not one but five babies! The chances of this happening naturally is 1: 55 million births.
Last but not least we have some wonderful competitions for you to enter. As well as our main newsletter competitionThe Party Box Rocks, we have a sun protection hamper by Green People and a family ticket (worth £50) to a forthcoming Rave A Roo family festival at Ministry of Sound, London. Altogether our prizes are worth over £450 so email your entries to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  and you too could be a TIPS winner!

 

Remember if you are not 'in' you can't win!

 

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December 2015

 

TIPS e-newsletter 38 is published!

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Top tips for everyone plus lots of lovely hampers to win! 

 

We are delighted to be back having skipped the September issue. We've started a house extension - it's a long story - suffice to say I could be without a kitchen for the whole of the winter... but onwards and upwards is our motto so it's business as usual. We have been busy seeking out the very best new products and services to feature in this newsletter, alongside our unique mix of independent, impartial and above all non-commercial advice on all things related to pregnancy and parenthood.

Our first featured website and main newsletter prize is When we were babies whenwewerebabies.co.uk. A truly unique online wall décor provider, When we were babies uses archival inks and the highest quality heavyweight professional papers ensuring the photos of your whole family at the same age will not fade. All frames are handmade from solid wood and are sourced from sustainable resources. Not only do we have 2 personalised frames (worth up to £69.99 each) for you to win but we are also delighted to be able to offer TIPS e-newsletter readers a 15% discount(use discount code WWWB15 at the checkout).

Our second featured website is Market Porter www.marketporter.com.Market Porter sources high quality fresh meat from free-range British farms (usually reserved for fine-dining) and specially selected cheese, charcuterie and chocolate to deliver to your door. We are delighted to be able to offer TIPS e-newsletter readers a special 20% discount use the TIPSXMAS discount code at the checkout until 17 December 2015).

Our featured appStorcard, provides a quick and easy way to store ALL your loyalty cards on your Smartphone or tablet. See how much lighter your wallet could be!

Our featured DVDs include the long-awaited film The Probiotic Life. It's about what we can do from birth to protect our microbiome (this is the collection of trillions of microbes living in and on the human body) for the best possible health. Alto Films need your support to make this happen. They need money to complete the film - but more importantly, they need good word of mouth, to spread the idea across the world. At TIPS Ltd, we've already booked a perk: a private screening of this ground breaking film. Please help spread the news of this innovative and exciting project on social media using the following hashtags #aprobioticlife or #microbiome. We are also excited to give you the chance to win a copy of the festive edition of Paddington, Limited Edition 3D DVD Sleeve and the official soundtrack(worth over £40). For more details check out our DVD2

Our featured book is by Elaine HanzakAnother Twinkle in the Eye - contemplating another pregnancy after perinatal mental illness is an exciting new resource for new parents, especially those who have suffered from perinatal (from 20 weeks gestation to one month after birth) mental illnesses in previous pregnancies. When Elaine invited me to contribute to her new book (Chapter 15 - Feeding your baby) I was delighted to be involved.

We are featuring 2 charitiesAquabox (www.aquabox.org), who provide safe drinking water and welfare aid items to communities affected by man-made and natural disasters, and to areas affected by on-going deprivation. Our second charity FPIES UK (www.fpiesuk.org) wants to raise awareness of Food Protein Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome (FPIES) and support people who have been affected by this condition.

Check out our wonderful selection of Top TipsBritish Military Fitness (BMF) is a new way to get fit: teamwork and the instructors' infectious enthusiasm is what makes BMF special and successful. We also have two delightful and humorous articles, written by our Parent Testers who share their top tips for surviving the first few months of parenthood and for travelling with young children. On the subject of humorous articles we think our feature on pooping - yes pooping - will get you giggling! However there is a serious message. Our featured video clip shows how a simple step used beneath your toilet seat can and will change the way you think about pooping forever.

As well as our regular mix of features, check out the latest My StoryTalipes equinovarus (club foot) and how early treatment can work...; our Top Treat (Tiny Trolls of Norway - robust outdoor wear for children aged 1-8 in an array of beautiful colours) and our Top Value feature (TIPS Award winning Doidy Cup).

We have a brand new selection of TIPS Testers' pix for you to enjoy. Maybe you have photos of your own you would like to share with us? We're always on the lookout for photos of babiestoddlersfamiliesbumpsscansbreastfeedersbaby-wearingbaby-led-weaning and grandparents. So please email us your photos ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )! I will send a signed copy of my book (Breastfeeding: the essential guide) to the sender of each photo we publish. You can also enjoy some gorgeous photos taken by our featured blogDannythebabywearingdad. His posts are thought-provoking, inspiring, funny, touching, poignant and educational (including video clips on babywearing).

Last but not least we have some wonderful competitions for you to enter, including our main Newsletter Prizetwo photo frames by When We Were Babies (worth £140), 3 gift selections full of goodies from our friends at BickiepegsGreen People and Weleda, an Elle TENS machine plus much more. Altogether our prizes are worth over £600 so email your entries to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  and you too could be a TIPS winner!

Remember if you are not 'in' you can't win!

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June 2015

TIPS e-newsletter 37 is published!

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Join us as we celebrate 11 years of TIPS®! 

Time has flown since last June, when we reached our 10 year milestone at TIPS® and here we are ready to celebrate our 11th birthday! We are delighted to still receive such wonderful feedback from our loyal readers. We look forward to continuing to provide you with our unique mix of independent, impartial and above all non-commercial advice on all things related to pregnancy and parenthood.
Our featured event and main newsletter prize is a brilliant idea! I am certain it will become a popular holiday option for families, and for couples too. Snoozebox is a unique and innovative portable hotel providing luxury ‘on-site’ accommodation at major events and festivals across the UK and Europe. We are also excited to be able to offer you the chance to win a 2 night stay in a Snoozebox at the Great Dorset Steam Fair this September (worth £200)! You can find out more and enter the competition here.
We introduce a brand new product which, I am prepared to admit, seemed rather gimmicky when I first heard of it. How wrong was I? Not only is Becky Mantin's Nappy Grab Bag a great idea for busy mums and dads on the go, but it comes with my favourite baby products: both the Weleda Nappy Change Cream and Jackson Reece Wipes achieved Best of the best awards in TIPS trials!
We have a brand new selection of TIPS Testers' pix for you to enjoy, including many from our featured blog: The Mummy Adventure. Maybe you have photos of your own you would like to share with us? We're always on the lookout for photos to feature under the following categories: baby, toddler, family, bump, scan, breastfeeder, baby-wearing, baby-led-weaning and grandparent. So please email us your photos ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )! I will send a signed copy of my book (Breastfeeding: the essential guide) to the sender of each photo we publish.
We are thrilled to announce the results of the latest TIPS trial of Green People Organic Children Bath & Shower Washes. Parent Testers whose children had extra sensitive skin remarked on the gentleness of these products. Ideal for all skin types, and indeed all ages, these washes are undoubtedly some of the best organic washes available (we have three bottles to give away). We also feature the TIPS Award winning Mama Stella butters and we have a wonderful selection of Mama Stella products for you to win worth a total of £142!
Our featured website www.toms.co.uk is a philanthropic, social enterprise that matches every pair of shoes (and more recently eyewear) purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. One for One™. More products are being added so check out the latest arrivals on the website www.toms.co.uk.
Our featured appChoiceworks, has been created with the support of leading doctors and child development specialists. This app is designed to help communication between children and caregivers. Many children on the autism spectrum use visual schedules (like the ones provided on the app) to help them navigate various routines throughout the day. 
Our featured DVD is the long-awaited family favourite Shaun the Sheep - The Movie with over 80 minutes of fun including Movie Extras: Movie ‘Making Of’, Meet the Characters, Behind the Scenes, Video Bomb Interviews. We also have 2 limited edition Shaun the Sheep Movie goodie bags (worth £20 each!) to give away so don't forget to enter the mini-competition.
I have finally got round to reviewing a very special book (life-changing for me): The Secret Life of Germs. Find out how a chance TV clip gave me the confidence to research and update the guidelines on neonatal skincare advice for parents. 
Our featured charity: STEPS (www.steps-charity.org.uk) is the leading voice and national charity for children and adults who suffer from lower limb conditions (like clubfoot, hip dysplasia and congenital or acquired leg length discrepancy) their families and carers. 
Check out our Top Tips featuresRhythm is a new health food company specialising in creating pure and nutritious natural coconut products to aid digestive nutrition and Quinola Mothergrain, with their new range of baby and toddler foods containing the tasty, nutritious super-grain quinoa.
We introduce our very first featured poem. Taken from website: Child-Autism-Parent-Cafe (http://www.child-autism-parent-cafe.com/autism-poems.html) Most of the poems are written by authors who identify themselves as autistic, mothers of children with autism, and others who are touched by an exceptional person. Welcome to Holland was my particular favourite but you might choose another.
As well as our regular mix of features, we bring you news of our latest My Story: Breastfeeding - my everyday job (with a Mum recounting her experience of full term breastfeeding, right through to the age of 7 years), our Top Treat (NAÏF Skincare range created by two Dutch dads, developed with Swiss dermatologists and tested by parents) and our Top Value feature (Hand tied flower bouquets from Morrisons). 
Last but not least we have some wonderful competitions for you to enter, including our main Newsletter Prize: a 2 night stay in a Snoozebox (worth £200!)two hampers full of Mama Stella products (worth £142), plus 9 mini-competitions. Altogether our prizes are worth a whopping £600 so email your entries to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  and you too could be a TIPS winner!

Remember if you are not 'in' you can't win!

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March 2015

TIPS e-newsletter 36 is online!

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Springtime news from TIPS®!
It's almost time for the clocks to go forward and the nights are definitely getting lighter: it must be springtime! This is our 36th TIPS e-newsletter, and it comes with an eclectic mix of features for you, including a brand new selection of TIPS Testers' pix for you to enjoy. Maybe you have photos of your own you would like to share with us? We're always on the lookout for photos to feature under the following categories: baby, toddler, family, bump, scan, breastfeeder, baby-wearing, baby-led-weaning and grandparent. So please email us your photos! I will send a signed copy of my book (Breastfeeding: the essential guide) to the sender of each photo we publish.
In the products section, we are thrilled to announce the results of the latest one off trial of Weleda Perineum Massage Oil. Designed for use during pregnancy, this oil has unique properties. More and more mums-to-be practise perineal massage and I was keen to see whether this could really make a difference. There has been little reliable research carried out on the benefits of perineal massage, so I wanted to ask real mums-to-be how they felt about using perineal massage as a way to help them prepare for their vaginal deliveries. I also wanted to know whether the use of Weleda Perineum Massage Oil could make a difference to their emotional and physical wellbeing. We also feature the TIPS Award winning Dribblebuster bib, and we have not one but five to give away!
We feature 2 websiteswww.twinsgiftcompany.co.uk with their innovative collection of beautiful and meaningful gifts especially for twins, multiples and their families, and www.biggreensmile.com who offer the widest selection of organic, natural and eco-friendly products for you and your home. 
We feature 3 apps. The unique Flush Toilet Finder, is a very useful free app designed to help people find their closest public toilets. It works worldwide from an existing database of 100,000 public toilets but you can help update it for them on your travels. My daughter found our second app: Sleep Baby Sleep. This ingenious app provides six white noises parents can use to soothe babies to sleep. Using it is child's play and it really works! Sarah & Duck is our third app: it's the first official pre-school app featuring CBeebies' favourites (we reviewed a Sarah and Duck DVD in e-newsletter 33). 
Our featured DVD is the family favourite Shaun the sheep - Flock to the floor with over 70 minutes of fun packed episodes including 5 bonus episodes of Morph.
Our featured charity is The Little Princess Trust. This children's cancer charity provides free real-hair wigs to children across the UK and Ireland who have lost their own hair through cancer, for the duration of their treatment. If you are thinking of having your long hair cut and want to donate it to this worthwhile cause then you will make a real difference for a little Princess - or Prince (boys are also helped). On the subject of great causes, our featured event is March for Mothers. This enjoyable fundraiser will take place on 29 March at Greenwich Park London. March for Mothers is a sponsored walk to raise money for mothers in the world’s poorest communities; it's an event for the whole family, mums, dads, children, aunties, uncles, and friends and is suitable for all ages!
We have reviewed 2 booksBreast Intentions: How women sabotage breastfeeding for themselves and others; and The happy sleeper: the science backed guide to helping your baby get a good night's sleep - newborn to school age.
Check out our Top Tips features: Money saving tips for parents of twins and multiples by the founders of The Twins Gift Company (identical twins themselves); Cotton wool options for new parents; and How do you choose a pushchair? a humorous little guide for new parents illustrated by Argentinean illustrator Agustina Guerrero.
As well as our regular mix of features, we bring you news of our latest My Story (with a Mum recounting her experience of weaning from nipple shields), our Top Treat (Freida's Pantry breast feeding food bar) and our Top Value feature (IKEA's ultra economical Antilop highchair). 
We bring you an update on our original Diary of a Student Midwife, who is now writing for us as a Fully Qualified Midwife. We also introduce a brand new feature: Talking point, with a light-hearted look at the snacks women eat after they give birth. Hot buttered toast and cup of NHS tea tasted like heaven to me but why do we offer this in the UK, and what snacks do new parents get in other parts of the world? If you have an idea for another Talking point then please feel free to get in touch...
Last but not least we have some wonderful competitions for you to enter, including our main Newsletter Prize: a Weleda Gift Set containing all four maternity oils and the full range of Baby Calendula products (worth £120) plus mini-competitions. Altogether prizes are worth over £300 so email your entries to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  and you too could be a TIPS winner!

Remember if you are not 'in' you can't win!

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December 2014

TIPS e-newsletter 35 just published!

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Granny news from TIPS®

After all the excitement of our TIPS® 10th birthday celebrations in June, you would think that things might have calmed down... Well they haven't and excitement levels have remained high at TIPS® HQ as I enjoyed the experience of a lifetime: working as a Clydesider at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, and if that wasn't enough there have been not just one but two new additions to our family! In July Brigitte’s daughter gave birth to her second son Noah, a new brother for Freddie. Then, having kept us waiting for 10 long days after her due date, my daughter gave birth to our very first grandchild Mia! You can see photos of our adorable new arrivals in our Testers' pix section, where you can also find a fascinating pictorial journey through pregnancy (in our featured bump) plus many more wonderful photos sent by our lovely Testers. Maybe you have photos of your own you would like to share with us? Remember we're always on the lookout for these - and I will send a signed copy of my book (Breastfeeding: the essential guide) to the sender of each photo we publish.

We feature products tested since our June e-newsletter was published: 2 baby oils and a nappy balm from new brands Nom Nom and Mumma Love Organics (all of which were allocated TIPS Awards). We also bring you a new review for the TIPS Award winning Elle TENS by Bodyclock. My daugther wrote this after her very successful experience of using this machine during her breech birth. Still on the topic of breech birth, one of our featured blogs is about one mum’s fight to get the birth she wanted: The breech VBAC birth of Remi. The other is inspiring blogspot: Winning Hands Down by author Faith Bleasdale, who just happens to be a single mum of a son with Down’s Syndrome.  

We feature 2 websiteswww.hillswashinglines.co.uk for the creative Hills Hoists (Australia’s rotary line of choice) and www.amyskitchen.co.uk for Amy’s Kitchen (Vegetarian Society approved meals from California). Our featured charity is Yorkhill Children’s Charity. We feature the inspiring story of how Clydesiders (volunteers at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games - including me) joined together to buy a Clyde statue for the children of Yorkhill to enjoy and raised over £6000 for this worthwhile cause!  

We have reviewed 4 booksHappy Hair (The definitive guide to giving up shampoo); Lives with Autism (a collection of accounts from people who have a diagnosis of autism); Ringleaders and Sidekicks by Rosalind Wiseman (an insight into what the author calls "boy-world", the unwritten set of rules which govern the social lives of (primarily) teenage boys) and Parenting from the inside out: how deeper self-understanding can help you raise children who thrive - special tenth-anniversary edition.

Check our Top Tips features for Ashton & Parson teething powdersWise up with Water campaign, in association with the Children’s Food Trust and the Natural Hydration Council (top tips to encourage children to have fun with water and make it their first choice for hydration) and an update for parents; Vitamin D – what you need to know.

As well as our regular mix of features we bring you news of our latest My Storyvideo clip (adorable giggles with baby Meg and a touching airport reunion), apps (Squeezy – Pelvic Floor exercises and Henri Le Worm – cooking games and recipes by Raymond Blanc), Top Treats (Shea Butter Soap by Glow Skincare) and Carddies (UK colouring-in game) and Top Value feature (Little Green Sheep Organic Muslins). 

Last but not least we bring you the final parts of our Diary of a Student Midwife Down Under including an update from our guest male student midwife Matt, who has also just completed his training to become a midwife down under. We have news of the latest edition of The National Parent Guide (www.thenpg.org.uk) which I helped to update. As usual we have some amazing competitions for you to enter, including our main newsletter prize: a Hills Rotary 7 Hoist Washing Line (worth £189.99) and 8 mini-competitions. Altogether, prizes are worth over £400 so get your entries in to Brigitte and you too could be a winner. 

Remember if you are not 'in' you can't win!

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October 2014

Announcing our latest TIPS Award for a brand new range of products designed by a mum with a passion for baby massage and organic products.

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We are delighted to announce our latest TIPS Award for an exciting new organic brand called Mumma Love Organics. For this retrospective trial we tested Mumma Love Organics Baby Massage Oil on ten babies (aged between 7 months to 4 years). Our testers were impressed and we have awarded it a TIPS Must-have. Read on to find out more!
 
Review:
Samantha Quinn is the founder of Mumma Love Organics. Over the last ten years Samantha has enthusiastically studied and practised baby aromatherapy, massage and natural settling. Her own experiences caring for her premature daughter Ella inspired Samantha to train in natural baby care. Baby massage was vital in Ella’s early life. Like Samantha, many parents understand the importance of this popular therapy. Baby massage promotes skin-to-skin contact which is known to stabilise a baby’s heart rate, respiration and temperature, boosting the immune system. Initially Samantha developed massage routines and organic baby products to help Ella. Her three core principles were: Comfort, Settle and Sleep. The British made Mumma Love Organics range can now be enjoyed by all babies. Parents and care givers can also view seven informative baby massage videos on the Mumma Love Organics website: www.mummaloveorganics.com
Our Parent Testers were impressed with the quality of the information provided online and on pack. They also agreed this delicate oil was ideal for baby massage, loved its simple (only three ingredients) natural formulation and found it left their baby’s skin feeling soft and silky.
This is why we are delighted to award Mumma Love Organics Baby Massage Oil a TIPS Must-have.
This is what some of the Testers said:
  • It was thick enough to not slip between your fingers, but thin enough in consistency to apply easily
  • My favourite feature was the calming effect it had on my baby during massage
  • I like the fact that it contained no added ingredients, so I felt it was safe
  • It leaves skin beautifully soft
Award:  Must have

 


August 2014

New documentary “Microbirth” reveals the microscopic secrets of childbirth

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The way we give birth has changed dramatically over the past 30 years. Some leading scientists are warning that these changes could have serious repercussions for the lifelong health of our children. “MICROBIRTH” is a new feature-length documentary premiering worldwide on Saturday 20th September 2014.Featuring prominent scientists from the UK and North America, “Microbirth” examines how modern birth practices could be interfering with critical biological processes potentially making our children more susceptible to disease later in life.
Recent population studies have shown babies born by Caesarean Section have approximately a 20% increased risk of developing asthma, 20% increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes, a similar risk with obesity and slightly smaller increases with gastro-intestinal conditions like Crohn's disease or coeliac disease. These conditions are all linked to the immune system.
“Microbirth” explores several possible explanations. If a baby is born by Caesarean Section, scientists hypothesise this could alter the “seeding” of the baby's microbiome, the critical transfer of good bacteria from mother to baby at birth. Scientists suggest this could lead to the baby's immune system not developing to its full potential. Another hypothesis is the actual process of vaginal birth, including the cocktail of hormones produced during labour, could profoundly affect the baby's immune regulation and metabolism.
Dr Rodney R Dietert, Professor of Immunotoxicology at Cornell University, says, “Over the past 20-30 years, we've seen dramatic increases in childhood asthma, type 1 diabetes, coeliac disease, childhood obesity. We've also seen increases in Caesarean delivery. Does Caesarean cause these conditions? No. What Caesarean does is not allow the baby to be seeded with the microbes. The immune system doesn't mature. And the metabolism changes. It's the immune dysfunction and the changes in metabolism that we now know contribute to those diseases and conditions.”
Dr Matthew Hyde, Research Associate of Neonatal Medicine, Imperial College London says, ”We are increasingly seeing a world out there with what is really a public health time-bomb waiting to go off. And the research we are doing suggests it is only going to get worse, generation on generation. So tomorrow's generation really is on the edge of the precipice unless we can begin to do something about it.”
The film's co-director Alex Wakeford says, “The World Health Organization has stated non-communicable disease has reached epidemic levels. Leading economists have predicted that, by the year 2030, the cost of treating this epidemic could bankrupt global healthcare systems. Governments are extremely concerned about the repercussions of antibiotic resistance and the effect this level of disease could have upon social and economic stability on a global scale. What is not even on their agenda, however, is the possible effect of mode of birth.”
The film's co-director Toni Harman adds, “Caesarean Sections are often essential and can be life-saving. A few leading individuals have been raising the alarm and building up a picture of potential long-term outcomes for some time. Over the last couple of years, more and more people have joined this debate and the weight of this emerging research is painting a very worrying picture in terms of future health across populations. The film raises awareness of the potential importance of “seeding” the microbiome for all babies, whether born naturally or by C-section. This is an issue not just for parents and health professionals, but also for all our world leaders. For surely now is the time for childbirth to be the focus of serious, urgent attention at the highest level?”

 


July 2014

Announcing our latest TIPS Awards for Nom Nom Skincare products (plus your chance to win samples)...

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We are delighted to announce our latest TIPS Awards for an exciting new organic brand called Nom Nom Skincare. Nom Nom Organic Baby Butter and Nom Nom Baby Oil won 2 awards: Must-have and Editor's choice. Read on to find out more!

Nom Nom Organic Baby Butter Calendula and Evening Primrose Oil
RRP: £11.95 for 60mls    
Price per gm: 20p/ml
Supplied and manufactured by www.nomnomskincare.com
Tested March - April 2014
Jayne Russell, a massage and nutritional therapist with twenty years' experience and a passion for working with pregnancy, mums and babies launched Nom Nom in December 2013. Having made skin care products for herself and for her clients, Jayne Russell used her research, training and the feedback from hundreds of mums and mums-to-be to develop this new range. Jayne knew mums wanted kind but effective skincare products for themselves and for their babies. She went on to develop gentle and effective formulations that are a pleasure to use, while avoiding ingredients to which pregnant women and babies may be sensitive. She was also aware that while natural and organic credentials are important for consumers, they can also be quite confusing. This is why she sought and obtained organic certification and backed this up with clear information on-pack and online. The Nom Nom range includes three baby products and three pregnancy products, both available as a gift set. Each product is certified organic by the Soil Association, and five products also have additional COSMOS* certification.
Jayne’s hard work has obviously paid off because our Parent Testers absolutely loved the two products we tested: Nom Nom Organic Baby Butter Calendula and Evening Primrose Oil and Nom Nom Organic Baby Oil with Starflower (see baby oil category). They especially enjoyed how easy it was to apply the Nom Nom Organic Baby Butter Calendula and Evening Primrose Oil. Although it was solid at first, this baby butter melted on contact. It left skin soft, helped to reduce dry skin patches and could even be used on the face. In fact this little pot of butter had many uses for a wide variety of age groups so for this reason we are delighted to award it not one but two TIPS Awards: Must-have and Editor's choice.
This is what some of the Testers said:
  • The information on pack was very clear. I initially thought it was specifically for nappy cream, but I actually used it for loads of things after reading the packaging and loved it.
  • I found this very effective and used it mainly as a nappy cream on my little girl who has sensitive skin, this was perfect for her. I also love the fact it's perfect for everywhere and great for my older children too.
  • I love the fact its ideal for everywhere, and can be used on all 3 of my children. Perfect for slipping in my bag too.
  • I wouldn't have bought it before trying it as a TIPS Tester because there are cheaper products, but I would buy it now. 
Awards: Must-have and Editor's choice
 
Nom Nom Organic Baby Oil with Starflower (for massage and cradle cap)
RRP: £14.95 for 100mls
Price per ml:  15p
Supplied and manufactured by www.nomnomskincare.com
Tested March-April 2014 (retrospective trial)
Jayne Russell, a massage and nutritional therapist with twenty years' experience and a passion for working with pregnancy, mums and babies launched Nom Nom in December 2013. Having made skin care products for herself and for her clients, Jayne Russell used her research, training and the feedback from hundreds of mums and mums-to-be to develop this new range. Jayne knew mums wanted kind but effective skincare products for themselves and for their babies. She went on to develop gentle and effective formulations that are a pleasure to use, while avoiding ingredients to which pregnant women and babies may be sensitive. She was also aware that while natural and organic credentials are important for consumers, they can also be quite confusing. This is why she sought and obtained organic certification and backed this up with clear information on-pack and online. The Nom Nom range includes three baby products and three pregnancy products, both available as a gift set. Each product is certified organic by the Soil Association, and five products also have additional COSMOS* certification.
Jayne’s hard work has obviously paid off because our Parent Testers absolutely loved the two products we tested: the Nom Nom Organic Baby Butter Calendula and Evening Primrose Oil (see baby oil category) and Nom Nom Organic Baby Oil with Starflower. They especially enjoyed the delicate scent, as well as the pump action dispenser - this made applying the product quick and mess-free. The oil absorbed easily, left skin soft and was also great to use in the bath. Nom Nom Organic Baby Oil with Starflower is for baby massage and cradle cap, but our Parent Testers used the oil in other ways. They told us how well this oil helped to reduce dry skin patches associated with eczema and psoriasis - this is encouraging indeed. In fact this lovely bottle of oil was so popular that we are decided to award it not one but two TIPS Awards: Must-have and Editor's choice.
This is what some of the Testers said:
  • It was very easy to dispense and I really like the pump!
  • I tried it on my 5 year old - it made his skin lovely and soft (he is prone to dry skin and the odd patch of eczema), although he felt it smelled a bit 'like a girl'!
  • We don't use oil on my son as it's either too oily, or not agreeable to his sensitive skin. I LOVED this! I put it on after every bath, and it was so gentle on his psoriasis
  • I loved the smell, feel and the fact it wasn’t greasy.
Awards:  Must-have and Editor’s choice
*COSMOS is a new harmonisation of European standards developed by the leading certification bodies BDIH (Germany), COSMEBIO & ECOCERT (France), ICEA (Italy) and SOIL ASSOCIATION (UK). Together they have founded the COSMOS standard to define common requirements and definitions for organic and/or natural cosmetics
 
For more about products we have tested, visit our TIPS Award pages:
 

Win Nom Nom Skincare prizes...

We've included two samples of the award winning Nom Nom products in the fantastic TIPS Birthday Hamper (check out the full list of goodies in our e-newsletter). To enter the competition email the words ‘TIPS Birthday Hamper’ to competitions@tipslimited.comby 24 August 2014. We will announce the winner in e-newsletter 35.
 

 

 


June 2014

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Happy 10th Birthday to TIPS®!

 

I can hardly believe that TIPS® is celebrating its 10th birthday. I remember writing the text for the About us page on our website and explaining why having written 'Breastfeeding: the essential guide' I had decided to start my own publishing company. Here is an extract:

 

“I was unable to persuade a publisher to take me on (even though their comments were extremely supportive). The interest was so great I decided to start my own company and self- publish. Hence the name: Trotters Independent Publishing Services. My name is Trotter, my project was definitely independent and I was publishing my own book. It also contains many useful tips, which is how TIPS was born!”

 

TIPS® has evolved and developed since 2004. I would just like to say that I could not have kept TIPS® going without the hard work and constant support from my dear friends Brigitte and Michael – this really has been a team effort and something that we are all very proud of. Since the launch of the TIPS Award Scheme in 2007 TIPS® has become a thriving online community. Since 2007, we have registered over 1000 TIPS® Parent Testers. We are so grateful to all the Parent Testers who over the years have helped us review nearly 300 products! Ultimately TIPS® is nothing without our loyal followers and supporters, and everyone who spreads the word about our independent and impartial advice. So we would like to extend a HUGE THANK YOU to you all and hope you enjoy this bumper issue of our e-newsletter 34.

 

Since our March e-newsletter we have published reviews for a brand new category of products: ointments suitable for cuts, grazes, burns, rashes and much more (this includes 9 TIPS® Award winning products that comply with our strict criteria). We include here a short review of the innovative Diary Dolls pants, recently launched by TV presenter Carole Smillie and tennis professional Annabel Croft.

 

We feature 2 websites: the creative SewJems (unique handmade gifts and toys); Families Need Fathers (information, advice and support to help separated parents achieve a positive outcome for their children. Our featured charity is Smallsforall originally set up to provide underwear for vulnerable women and children, it is now so much more...

 

We have reviewed 3 books: Goodnight Pirate (an adorable children’s bedtime read); Grace Under Pressure – going the distance as an aspergers mum (Sophie Walker's inspiring autobiographical book); and our latest TIPS® Must-have Book Award winner: The Baby’s Coming by independent midwife Virginia Howe.

 

We also feature Overcome Birth Trauma a brand new CD by the Natal Hypnotherapy company (featured in e-newsletter 28). The CD aims to help Mums with this sensitive issue through the use of gentle breathing, calm and safe visualisation.

 

Check our Top Tips features for the new Which? guide: top 10 car seat tips; Green People's latest sun protection products for pregnancy and baby use; and a2™ Milk a new type of cows' milk that is free from the hard to digest A1 protein.

 

Check out our delightful Testers' pix: adorable pictures of our featured baby, bump, family, baby wearer and baby-led-weaning as well as a couple of photos of our ReadyBeds winners! Maybe you have photos of your own you would like to share with us? Remember we're always on the lookout for these - and I will send a signed copy of my book (Breastfeeding: the essential guide) to the sender of each photo we publish.

 

As well as our regular mix of features we bring you news of our latest My Story, event (Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games), You Tube video clips (incredible births including that of an elephant!), Top Treat (Pippa & Jip designer products plus an offer of 10% discount for the whole of June!) and Top Value (Freezeez ice cream maker).

 

Last but not least we bring you part six of our Diary of a Student Midwife Down Under and news of the third edition of The National Parent Guide (www.thenpg.org.uk ).

 

We have some amazing competitions for you to enter: a very special TIPS® Hamper filled with a wonderful selection of TIPS® Award winning goodies to celebrate our 10th Birthday, and 8 mini-competitions. Altogether, prizes are worth over £475 so get your entries in and you too could be a winner!

 

Remember if you are not 'in' you can't win!

 

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6 April 2014

Book review:

The Baby’s Coming by Virginia Howes

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ISBN: 978-1472211736
RRP: £6.99
Published by Headline (13 Mar 2014)
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Review by Sharon Trotter:
I LOVED this book and would highly recommend it to all student midwives, practising midwives, parents-to-be and anyone interested in the topic of birth. This book is not just a great read, it is also a story that will inspire you to follow your dreams.
Over the years I have reviewed many books for TIPS but only The Blossom Method™ by Vivien Sabel achieved a Must-have TIPS Award. This inspirational parenting book introduces a revolutionary way of understanding the subtle but amazingly simple language of newborns. So when I was sent Virginia Howes' first book The Baby’s Coming, I did not anticipate it would become the second recipient of a Must-have book TIPS Award.
Quite simply I could not put this book down, and finished reading it at 02:45 on Mother's Day - having shed tears of joy, empathy and frustration! Virginia’s detailed and vivid descriptions of a number of home births (including breech, twins, vbac and even one in a local hotel) makes the reader feel like a VIP guest at each unique birth.
However what I enjoyed as much as the birth stories was Virginia’s own life story which is interwoven throughout the text. She is refreshingly open, frank and brutally honest - this is both touching and compelling. Virginia shares details of her personal life, and although this has its fair share of ups and downs she remains an eternal optimist. What shines through is her unswerving determination to become an independent midwife. Her own birth choices had been compromised, partly by the ’one-size-fits-all’ model of midwifery provided by an NHS that can sometimes be a post-code lottery. This system all too often fails women, leaving them feeling isolated, scared and disempowered.
Virginia is not afraid to fight for the women in her care, even if this means she has to confront her superiors regarding midwifery practice. She gives us one example of this when she talks about ‘the bisons of the labour ward’. She uses this nickname to describe a small minority of negative and controlling midwives who made Virginia’s life very difficult on many occasions during her midwifery training. Sadly the actions of a few might affect the excellent work of the vast majority of midwives, who work tirelessly to create lasting positive memories of birth. Virginia is refreshingly eager to stand her ground. She is more than happy to challenge these bullies whose intimidating actions should not be tolerated: they are neither professional nor conducive to natural birth.
The strong and trusting relationship between the parents and their midwife is precious. It develops over time throughout pregnancy and labour. However this trust can very easily be shattered with a few ill chosen words, or with actions that are at best insensitive and at worst bordering on professional misconduct. Such behaviour highlights the unwillingness of certain midwives to practice, as they have been taught, by following their instincts. Instead they choose to follow outdated hospital protocols that are no longer backed up by credible evidence. Virginia is determined to provide a tailor-made gold standard of midwifery care that all maternity units should aspire to.
To say that Virginia is an inspiration is an understatement. Her CV is impressive with life skills that are many and varied: kissogram business owner, mother of four, grandmother of five (all delivered at home by Virginia), general nurse, hospital midwife, passionate supporter of breastfeeding, inventor of the Howes Birth Mirror and founder of Kent Midwifery Practice (to name just a few!).
In recent years Virginia has spearheaded a campaign by Independent Midwives UK. The campaign lobbies the UK government to introduce an indemnity insurance option for independent midwives when a new EU directive is implemented in October 2014 (see our article about this)
I am certain that Virginia's campaign will succeed - I have already joined as a full member. Additionally, I am convinced she will continue to inspire and empower her clients to achieve the birth they have longed for.
Virginia shows us that Mother Nature (she uses her own term: ‘Birth Angels’) invariably knows best. If a woman gets the support and encouragement she needs (and deserves) at this very special time, then she will be able to birth in a place, at a time and in a way that is right for her and for her family.
So now I'm sure you can understand why I loved this book. In fact it has all the ingredients for a great ‘feel-good’ movie but for now I hope that Virginia will be pleased to accept her well deserved ‘Must-have’ TIPS Book Award!

To find out more about Virginia or to book her as your independent midwife:

 


 

April 2014

One-off trial of Weleda Perineum Oil and Easter giveaway...

** ** *Easter Giveaway *** ** *
We are delighted to announce that Weleda are very kindly giving away 5 bottles of their Perineum Oil to TIPS Testers and supporters!

  • For a chance to win a 50ml bottle of Weleda Perineum Oil (worth £7.95) email the words ‘Easter Giveaway’ to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  by 30 April 2014. We will contact the winners in early May 2014. 

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We’ve just launched a TIPS trial of Weleda Perineum Oil. Participants will massage this unique oil into their perineum 3-4 times a week, from the 34th week of their pregnancy until delivery. Two weeks after the birth of their baby, Mums are asked to submit their review of the Weleda Perineum Oil in a questionnaire we've provided. The results of this trial will be published in the TIPS awards section of our website later in the year.


More about Weleda Perineum Oil
A new arrival for the Weleda UK maternity range, Perineum Massage Oil is designed to help mums-to-be prepare for birth. The small area known as the perineum (located between the vagina and the anus) plays a significant role in women’s health. The muscular tissue of the perineum connects with pelvic floor muscles, offering support to the pelvic organs. Tearing of the perineum during childbirth can weaken this support, making later pelvic floor problems or prolapse of the uterus more likely.

First time mothers in particular can be extremely anxious about the possibility of tearing during birth or needing an episiotomy, and that fear can interfere with their confidence as they approach the second stage of labour (pushing). Estimates suggest that over 85% of women will have some degree of perineal tear during vaginal birth*. Massaging the perineum with a top quality and pure oil helps relax the cellular matrix and keep the connective tissues supple and elastic - our best protection against tearing. Massage also increases the perineum’s capacity to stretch more easily and less painfully during birth. Regular perineal massage has been shown to improve the skin’s elasticity and reduce perineal trauma.

Studies** examining the effects of perineal massage during pregnancy confirm that “timely and regular perineal massages reduce the likelihood of perineal tearing or cutting during childbirth”.
Furthermore, through massage, a mother can quite literally get in touch with her pregnant body and understand its capabilities, so the prospect of labour becomes a little less daunting.

 


 

March 2014

TIPS e-newsletter 33 published

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Springtime at TIPS HQ...

It's official, we have just experienced the wettest winter since records began! Our hearts go out to everyone who has been affected by the recent extremes of wind and rain. Here’s hoping we can provide you with some light relief and give you with some clever hints and tips on how you can look forward to a brighter and dryer spring 2014.

Since our last newsletter in December we are delighted to announce we've reviewed the yummy Organic Children Berry Smoothie Shampoo and given it a Best Organic TIPS Award! As we speak, another 7 trials (skincare products and belly balms) are out to Parent Testers, so watch this space for announcements of new TIPS Awards in the coming weeks.

Our featured websitewww.which.co.uk/birth-choice. BirthChoiceUK and consumer organisation Which? have teamed up to develop a website with information about your local maternity services. This great resource will provide parents with all the information they need to make an informed choice over where to birth their baby (labour ward, birth centres or at home).

We havereviewed 2 books: an innovative cookbook: The Contented Calf – Nourishing recipes for breastfeeding mums; and a brand new eco-thriller, written by ex-banker, turned author Jake Rider. His first novel, The Silvanus Supremacy: Reluctant HERO Book 1 is a real page-turner that is likely to become the next ‘must-have’ teenage action hero. Brigitte, our guest reviewer, is certainly looking forward to reading book 2!

As much of my time is dedicated to giving one-to-one advice to new parents, I am thrilled to announce there are now two new ways you can access my advice Live Guru webchats and Ask a Midwife service in association with Biovaultfamily. Both are free to use so if you have a question for me then I am just a click away!

We are featuring 2 very different DVDs Face of Birth(An Australian documentary about pregnancy, childbirth and the power of choice); and Sarah & Duck(CBeebies animation). We also feature a groundbreaking documentary MicroBirth, which can only be produced with your support ...find out how you can get involved here.

In our Top Tips features, we share hygiene tips from our friends atnbsp;Milton, review the latest all natural Mulberry Silk Duvets and bring you news of a new pilot parenting programme from the US. Parents as Partners has been shown to help separated parents become better at parenting together; increase fathers' direct involvement with their children, and help children to feel happier and do better at school. Additionally, the relationship between parents has been shown to improve. While on the subject of dads we review the fascinating documentary The Biology of Dads. This documentary goes a long way to explaining what many of us already believe. It's not just that children like to have their dad around but all areas of their development are positively enhanced by the unique, although often subtle, behaviours that only a dad can provide.

Check out our delightfulTesters' photos including adorable pictures of our featured baby, bump,family, baby wearer andbaby-led-weaning shots and a trip to Twycross Zoo (a TIPS competition winner http://bit.ly/1mr4c68). Maybe you have photos of your own you would like to share with us? Remember we're always on the lookout for these - and I will send a signed copy of my book (Breastfeeding: the essential guide) to the sender of each photo we publish.

As well as our regular mix of features we bring you news of our recommended blog(Mama Twinkle – also the author of our latest My Story), event(Sport Relief 2014),Top Value(our TIPS 100% natural latex duckie!) and Top Treat(Weleda Nursing Oil) - not forgetting a luxurious new Yummy Mummy Cream from Glow Skincare, which you can win! Last but not least we bring you part five of our regular feature Diary of a Student Midwife Down Under.

We have a wonderful selection of goodies in our newsletter competitions(worth £250) so get your entries in to Brigitte and you too could be a winner.

Remember if you are not 'in' you can't win!

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February 2014

Congratulations to Green People on their latest TIPS Award.

Now available from Ocado - find it in the Bathtime & Toileteries of the Baby & Child section of the Ocado Shop

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We are delighted to announce our latest TIPS Award for Green Peoples’ Organic Children Berry Smoothie Shampoo.
We wouldn't normally give two products in the same category a Best Organic TIPS award, but the Organic Children Berry Smoothie shampoo scored so well that we have decided to do just that. You can read the full review here...


December 2013

TIPS e-newsletter 32 published

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Welcome to our winter issue!

Our September newsletter was delayed due to my daughter and son-in-law’s wedding so I make no apologies for including a few wedding themed features in this issue. Ashley is our only daughter (we also have three boys) so I was able to enjoy my one and only experience as Mother-of-the-Bride! I am thrilled to report that everything came together perfectly on the day, although I will admit to experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions along the way! We only had six months to organise the wedding celebrations but it turned out to be easier than we had thought. During this time we came across a few great websites and handy tips that we can share with you, not to mention a few of our favourite pictures.

Since our last newsletter in June we have published the results of our two trials: Sterilisers4All and the trusted Bickiepegs Teething Biscuits - which achieved not one but two TIPS Awards! We have also received a delightful review for the all-natural deodorant OY! by Green people. It was sent to us by one of our young testers. You can read the review here.

Our featured websites include a unique photography service called: Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org). The more people know about NILMDTS the more families who suffer the tragedy of losing an infant will be able to gain comfort from this very special service. The second featured website is www.motherandbabyhomes.com which launched on 14 August 2013. Mother & Baby Homes is a research based website: it uses oral history interviews to document the stories of young unmarried mothers. These powerful accounts of real life events show why so many women were forced to enter Mother & Baby Homes in England in the 1960s with heartbreaking stories of how their babies were forcibly taken from them and given up for adoption. This is also the subject of our featured DVD, Philomena, starring Dame Judy Dench and Steve Coogan.

Our featured book How to Potty Train, is an easy to use book by Judith Hough and Diane Titterton, designers of the award-winning training pads Dry Like Me. It will help to make potty training simple and even enjoyable for parents and children.

I have been busy writing many of the parenting articles for the second edition of a publication for new parents called The National Parent Guide (www.thenpg.org.uk). This will be available from local registry offices, many maternity units and parenting organisations.

In our Top Tips features, you can find out about National Family Mediation – an organisation set up to help parents with the trauma of separation or divorce. It offers a cost-effective alternative to going to court which is also far less stressful. We feature our friends' Glow Skincare 8 top tips for winter skincare. For those of you thinking about getting married we feature the gorgeous Debbie Graham Wedding Jewellery and Tiaras: a beautiful range of handmade jewellery, designed to your specific needs including the latest trend: back jewellery, as worn by me as Mother-of-the-Bride!

Check out our delightful Testers' photos including pictures of my daughter and son-in-law’s wedding last September. Maybe you have photos of your own you would like to share with us? Remember we're always on the lookout for these - and I will send a signed copy of my book (Breastfeeding: the essential guide) to the sender of each photo we publish.

As well as our regular mix of featured articles (our updated TIPS Toolkits on Breastfeeding, Tongue-tie and Introducing Solids), blog (Grace under pressure), event (our family wedding!), DVD (Philomena), Top Value (ReadyBed®s by Worlds Apart) and Top Treat (Weleda Haircare range) - not forgetting our latest news section which highlights the fantastic work carried of Independent Midwives UK. Our Video clips feature the work of neonatal nurse Sonia Rochel. By watching the beautiful footage of newborns being immersed in warm water baths, we are given a unique view of a baby’s recent life in the womb. Last but not least we bring you part four of our regular feature Diary of a Student Midwife Down Under.

As a special treat for the festive season we are giving away a Tummy Tub full of goodies in our Newsletter Competition so get entering and you could win the lot! Don't forget to check out our 7 mini-competitions with a total prize value of £350! Email your entries and you too could be a winner.


Remember if you are not 'in' you can't win!

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November 2013

*** Two TIPS Awards for Bickiepegs teething biscuits!***
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Between August and September 2013, we tested the Bickiepegs® Teething Biscuits.
I am delighted to bring you the final results of our latest one-off trial of Bickiepegs® Teething Biscuits.
Our Testers were so impressed with this product we have decided to award it 2 awards: Clever idea and Editor's choice.
Review:
Bickiepegs Teething Biscuits are made with quality ingredients using a recipe developed by leading paediatrician Dr Harry Campbell in 1925. Dr Campbell wanted babies to have a biscuit that promotes exercise known to be vital for good teeth, jaw, and chewing skills. Bickiepegs Teething Biscuits can also help ease the pain of teething. Bickiepegs are not intended to be eaten and do not form part of the child’s diet. They are suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Recommended from the age of 6 months, Bickiepegs biscuits have been used in royal nurseries. They contain only three ingredients: wheat flour, wheat germ and water. Bickiepegs also manufacture the TIPS award-winning Doidy cup: another classic design ideal for all ages.
Our Parent Testers liked the simple but effective design of the packaging which hinted at its trusted reputation. They were especially pleased that there was no added salt or sugar in the recipe although some did suggest that a variety of flavours or a gluten-free biscuits might be welcome. The biscuits were the perfect size for little hands and most parents agreed that the Bickiepeg biscuit kept their baby happy for long enough to distract them from their sore gums. All in all this classic teething biscuit was a hit with parents and babies alike and we are delighted to award the Bickiepegs Teething Biscuits not one but two TIPS awards:
Clever idea and Editor's choice

You can read all about this trial in the TIPS awards section of the website

Some fascinating facts and photographic evidence regarding the early years of Bickiepegs

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Welwyn Garden City (WGC) Heritage Trust recently contacted Bickiepegs to see if they had any information regarding photos held in the WGC Library's Local Studies Collection. The first of the two photos is an interior shot of the Bickiepegs factory, taken in the 1930s. We can see a couple of ovens on the left of the picture and the small workforce helping to check and pack the cooked biscuits.
The second image is of factories in Broadwater Road - the central square factory was occupied by a confectionery company with the address 13-15 Broadwater Road, with the Bickiepegs factory at 11 Broadwater Rd (shown here on the left of the photo).
It is also interesting to read an old advert for Bickiepeg Bone and Vegetable Broth (circa 1931) that the company made at this time. This broth is advertised as being given ‘from birth’ which conflicts with today’s advice to avoid introducing solids until six months of age. However it does still mention that their products do not contain sugar preservatives or starch. More than 88 years after the Bickiepegs teething biscuits were first manufactured, they are still beingade today, using the same recipe which is free from added salt and sugar, additives or colourings.
The factory in Welwyn Garden City continued to manufacture Bickiepegs teething biscuits until the early 1950s. They moved to Jopps Lane, Aberdeen but when the North Sea oil started new factory units were built at Blackburn Industrial Estate. Bickiepegs were the first company to move into their unit, where production continues to this day. Bickiepegs also manufacture the TIPS award-winning Doidy cup: another classic design ideal for all ages.


October 2013

***Win 1 of 3 Halloween Sets from Mustard***

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This Halloween suitably frighten up your décor with this range of products from Mustard.
Monster Mood Lighting is a set of ghoulish glow-in-the-dark stickers to affix to your light switches, providing seemingly endless combinations of monsters and creepy characters glowing in the night.
The cool Chillax mould creates axed shaped ice lollies complete with fake wooden handles.

  • For a chance to win 1 of 3 sets of Monster Mood Lighting Stickers and a Chillax mould just email the word ‘Mustard’ to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by 24 October 2013. We will contact the winners by 26 October so they have plenty of time to use their prizes on Halloween Night.

To see Mustard’s complete range visit www.justmustard.com
You can follow Mustard on Facebook (go to www.facebook.com/MustardGifts)and Twitter (@justmustard)too.


August 2013


Sterilisers 4 All

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We are delighted to announce the publication of the results for our latest trials of sterilisers. You can see how we set-up this trial and read all the reviews in the TIPS Awards section of this website

As a passionate supporter of breastfeeding, I had planned to trial breast pumps but one of our suppliers suggested we trial sterilisers first. And this is what we decided to do. Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding you will need to sterilise any feeding equipment before use.

  • 8 products were carefully selected for this trial. 80 sterilisers, supplied by 4 manufacturers for the purpose of testing were sent to 48 Parent Testers whose Little Ones were between a few days old and 55 months.

  • Testers completed and returned 79 detailed questionnaires; this is a return rate of over 98%.

The trial of breastpumps will follow!


June 2013

TIPS e-newsletter 31 published

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Welcome to our bumper summer issue!

facebook logo Like us on Facebook – visit the TIPS Ltd Facebook page: we publish news (including competitions!), information and advice for parents and professionals regularly.

Our testers have been busy reviewing lots of products: washable nursing pads, two baby oils, a nipple treatment and our first large trial of sterilisers - we will publish the results next month. We're also going to be testing the classic Bickiepegs teething biscuits real soon. Meanwhile, we are delighted that the innovative Vapour Ring from Baby nose-clear® is the latest TIPS Award winner - find out more in the featured products section. We also feature the adorable MamAmor birthing, breastfeeding and babywearing dolls. They haven't been through our trial process, but if they did I'm sure they'd win a TIPS Award!

Our featured website is www.beachdragons.com. Beach Dragons offer an innovative range of UV clothing for children. This Swedish company was founded in 2012 by mother of three Jessica Dahlberg. Jessica spotted a gap in childrenswear and decided to start her own company offering stylish, premium quality beachwear with UV-protection. We are delighted to offer our readers the chance to win one of two UV clothing sets (total prize value is £150) in our e-newsletter competition.

We have reviewed 3 books for you: 

  • Adventures in Potty Training is about two neighbours who decide to start potty training their children on the same day. It also deals with the very sensitive subject of soiling. The book has been reviewed by one of our parent bloggers whose daughter has also suffered from this upsetting condition.

  • Birth made easy explains how self-hypnosis, visualisation, different breathing methods and the use of colours for healing and relaxation can help you get the birth you want

  • in the Let’s Talk About series of toddler books, we have reviewed My New Baby and Big Beds and Bedtime for you.

In our Top Tips features, you can find out about Train with Nicola Buggy classes - to help new mums get fit with their babies. We feature the adorable Frilly Tushies: a beautiful range of pants to hide nappies that take the old fashioned idea of frilly pants and give it a modern twist (we have two gorgeous sets up for grabs) and we also introduce the innovative craze of Mummy Business Cards. Read on....

Check out our delightful TIPS Testers' photos including the very first engagement picture: my daughter and her fiancé (who proposed on top of Mount Kilimanjaro!).

My Story includes poignant shots which chart the journey of Julie and her family, from diagnosis to treatment for thyroid cancer, just after the birth of her third son.

Maybe you have photos of your own you would like to share with us? Remember we're always on the lookout for these - and I will send a signed copy of my book (Breastfeeding: the essential guide) to the sender of each photo we publish.

As well as our regular mix of featured article, blog (Edspire), event (Father’s Day present to win too!), DVD (Room on the Broom), Top Value and Top Treat we introduce a new campaigns feature with two campaigns: Hands Off Midirs and Movement for an Adoption Apology.
We also have part three of our feature Diary of a Student Midwife Down Under. And we have a special treat for all the readers who have been asking for an update on our original series Diary of a Student Midwife: we have exciting news, with pictures too!

Don't forget to check out our 8 mini-competitions with a total prize value of over £350!

Email your entries (to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) and you too could be a winner.

Remember if you are not 'in' you can't win!

 

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April 2013

www.youpijob.co.uk

We are delighted to tell you about the latest online service community: YoupiJob. The website aims to match 'Posters' with 'Jobbers' so you can find a skilled person in your local area to do the jobs you don't have time to do...

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How did YoupiJob begin?

Youpijob is basically a combination of the French word (youpi) with the English word job - and youpi simply means ‘hooray’!

Youpijob co-founders, Benjamin Leyne and Bertrand Tournier are both in their early 30s. They worked for Groupon in France after graduating from university.
Their careers kept them extremely busy with very little spare time. They didn't want to spend the little free time they did have on daily chores.

The cost of employing someone to carry out these chores was quite prohibitive, so they looked for alternatives. This is how they became aware of new concepts being developed in the US that seemed to work well. These allow people with skills and spare time to offer their services to people who don't have time to do all kind of jobs around the home and garden. Benjamin Leyne and Bertrand Tournier decided to create a European version of this. Youpijob is building strong user bases in France, Switzerland and now the UK.

What could you use YoupiJob for?

YoupiJob.co.uk is an online jobs market place connecting busy people (who need help with all kinds of jobs) with people who have the time and skills to do them (and are looking to make some extra cash in the process).

It doesn’t matter how big or small the jobs are. Whether it's DIY, mowing the lawn, ironing or cooking a weekend meal, the YoupiJob online community allows users to find skilled people in their neighbourhood who can help out.

Benjamin Leyne (see picture), co-founder of Youpijob.co.uk says:
“YoupiJob.co.uk is a great way for busy working people to save money and time by posting a job they would like done on YoupiJob.co.uk. They can let someone from the friendly YoupiJob community, who’s likely to be living in their neighbourhood, do the job for them. It cuts out expensive middlemen and in these tough economic times is a great way to save money, and connect with people in your community!”

How do I know that Jobbers and Posters are genuine?

Every Poster and every Jobber is checked against their social networking certification (Facebook connection, profile pictures, phone number verification)
They are also community reviewed: (this works a bit like seller and buyer ratings on eBay). Every Poster and every Jobber is rated once a job has been completed so it is in the interest of each person to build up a successful profile.
Online Jobbers and Posters profiles include lists of jobs posted, and jobs completed.

How does it work?

If you want to be a Jobber:
- register on YoupiJob: http://www.youpijob.co.uk/index.php?page=6 
- YoupiJob will alert you as soon as a suitable job is posted
- you can also search the jobs online at: http://www.youpijob.co.uk/index.php?page=1 
- if you are interested in a job, just click on the button 'Do this'
- if you are happy with the fee click ‘offer my services’
- if you want to charge a different fee click on ‘Make an offer’
- if you are selected by a Poster you will get an email
- when the job is completed your Poster pays you and then adds a rate and review on your profile.

If you want to be a Poster:
- post your job on YoupiJob here: http://www.youpijob.co.uk/index.php?page=10 
- your jobs will all appear in your profile
- each time a Jobber offers his/her services, you receive an email. 
- you can select the Jobber directly from your Job ad page
- when the job is done, you pay the Jobber 
- don't forget to rate and review the Jobber from your profile on YoupiJob.

For more information go to:

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March 2013

We are celebrating our 30th TIPS e-newsletter with new offers and top tips!

***Spring Offer*** FREE P&P for orders on the TIPS online shop during March and Arpil 2013! ***Special Offer***
facebook logoLike us on Facebook – visit the TIPS Ltd Facebook page: we publish news (including competitions!), information and advice for parents and professionals regularly. 

I am thrilled to report that life has settled back to some sort of normality. Our son Jason has even returned to work after four months recovering from a fractured pelvis. This is nothing short of miraculous considering the severity of his accident! Meanwhile our Brigitte has become a granny for the second time and our lovely Michael is studying for a Masters degree which is keeping him busy alongside a full time job and TIPS website updates! We must be good at multi-tasking because, busy or not, we have still managed to compile a new selection of features and competitions which we hope you will enjoy in our first e-newsletter of 2013...

Our testers have been busy reviewing products and completing surveys. Their feedback is vital for companies developing new products and for other parents too. We are delighted to announce our first two 2013 TIPS Awards for the innovative Jackson Reece Nose Nuzzles - you can check out in our featured products section.

Our featured website is www.linkwordlanguages.com. Languages have never been my strong point so when I came across Linkword Languages on Twitter I decided to check this out and offered to review one of their courses. Linkword Languages was developed by Dr Michael Gruneberg - internationally recognised expert in learning methods. This simple but highly effective approach to learning really does work. I tried the Dutch course, and you can read my review here. We would like to thank Linkword Languages for kindly offering you the chance to win one of two Linkword Language courses (Level 1-4 disk and MP3 in French, Spanish, Italian or German) and a 30 Survival Course Disk (total prize value is £296) in our e-newsletter competition.

Biovault Family is our featured event as they celebrate ten years as a clinical tissue bank. It's almost five years since my article ‘Cord blood banking and its implications for midwifery practice: time to review the evidence’ was published in the Midirs Digest (this article is available on our sister website at: www.sharontrotter.org.uk/midirs2008.htm). I felt this event provided the perfect opportunity to revisit the topic of cord blood banking and answer any questions you may have. To mark 10 years as a tissue bank Biovault Family have kindly offered TIPS readers the chance to save £150 off the cost of cord blood banking. If you would like to take advantage of this offer all you have to do is quote TIPS10 when you apply for Biovault services online and the discount will be applied.

Our Top Tips features include the Eugin Clinic Men’s guide to fertility booklet, with information about of their new consultation clinic in London. We also introduce the innovative and new way of eco-friendly shopping at Unpackaged, and feature the Metropolitan Police Little Book of BIG Scams.

Like the Little book of BIG Scams, the books we reviewed both have the word little in their title: 100 Little Words on Parenthood by Charlie Plunkett, is a collection of anecdotes, poems, words of wisdom and humour on all aspects of parenting (including two contributed sections on breastfeeding and baby skincare by me!) and One Little Baby is an adorable first book for babies.

Check out our delightful TIPS Testers' photos including a wonderful selection of pictures that celebrate the home birth of baby number three for one of our loyal Parent Testers. We also have a very special breastfeeding clip showing a perfect latch. Maybe you have photos of your own you would like to share with us? Remember we're always on the lookout for these - and I will send a signed copy of my book (Breastfeeding: the essential guide) to the sender of each photo we publish.


As well as our regular mix of featured apps, charity, article, DVD, Top Value and Top Treat our latest My Story follows a mum’s journey as she tries to get a diagnosis of tongue-tie, treated by snipping.


We also have part two of our newest feature Diary of a Student Midwife Down Under.
Don't forget to check out our 10 mini-competitions with a total prize value of over £500! Email your entries and you too could be a winner. Remember if you are not 'in' you can't win!

 

* FREE P&P offer limited to one box of ten Jackson Reece baby wipes (due to weight)


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January 2013

Babycare – back to basics™ leaflet (version 9)
Hot off the press!

This award winning leaflet won the first Nursing in Practice Dermatology Award in 2008 and more recently was shortlisted for two General Practice Awards in 2011. It is distributed around the UK at various professional and parenting events.

In Babycare – back to basics™Â you will find all the hints and tips you need about baby skincare, skin-to-skin contact, sun-protection and feeding as well as the latest and safest advice on reducing the risk of cot death. 

Version 9 comes with a handy QR code to use with your smart phones.

  • Email me at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  to get a free copy or to order supplies, or view it on our website...

 


leaflet cover
 
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December 2012

TIPS e-newsletter 29 published

Join us as we celebrate an exciting year for TIPS and look forward to 2013!

***Special Offer*** FREE P&P for orders on the TIPS online shop during December 2012! ***Special Offer***

facebook logoLike us on Facebook – visit the TIPS Ltd Facebook page: we publish news (including competitions!), information and advice for parents and professionals regularly. 

I cannot believe we have almost reached the end of another year – where did 2012 go? My life has been a rollercoaster ride over the past few weeks so I am just happy that we have been able to complete this e-newsletter on time!

After a nasty fall from his mountain bike on 22 September, sustaining a triple pelvic fracture, my son has understandably been taking up most of my time! I would like to thank everyone who has been following our journey on facebook for all the messages of support and encouragement. I am thrilled to be able to report that Jason is recovering well and we are hoping that he will be walking unaided again by Christmas! Vukovi, his band, have a date in their diary that Jason (he is the bassist) does not wish to miss. So obviously this was the natural choice for our featured eventVukovi will be the headline act at the world famous King Tuts on 12 December. Jason may not play the whole gig and he may be sitting down but it will be a great achievement just to be there and I for one will be cheering him on! Join us if you can...

In between playing nurse, physio and cake maker (vital for a quicker recovery!), I have still managed to find time to complete our latest trial of the SnoozeShade® range of products - you can check out in our featured products section.

Once again we have a comprehensive selection of features for you in this e-newsletter. We have reviewed two websitesAupairads (www.aupairads.com) was set up by two Swedish au pairs. It provides a network where parents and au pairs can find their perfect match. It is a unique solution to meet the demand for Scandinavian au pairs from Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. Aupairads are offering our readers the chance to win 1 of 2 ads worth €39 each. The second website we've reviewed is www.tractorted.co.ukTractor Ted in Tractorland teaches children from two to six years old about farming and countryside activities, for example where good food comes from, the seasons and how to care for animals through DVDsbookstoys and live events. Check out our e-newsletter competition to win 1 of 10 Tractor Ted DVD and Book sets

Check out our delightful TIPS Testers' photos including some funky pictures of twin boys from Australia and another amazing 4D scan. Maybe you have photos of your own you would like to share with us? Remember we're always on the lookout for these - and I will send a dedicated copy of my book (Breastfeeding: the essential guide) to the sender of each photo we publish.

Our Top Tips include an innovative website for parents of primary school children. Keeping Up With My Kids is the brainchild of Claire Coles, mother of two and full time primary teacher of 9-10 year olds, who came up with the idea while on maternity leave. To help you out as the days get longer we feature Ten Rainy Day Activities courtesy of Galt Toys. We also feature the innovative product range from ICE Gems who have launched a new collection of medical ID wristbands and bracelets designed to help save a child’s life in an emergency. Our final Top Tip comes from Turn2us, an online resource that aims to help people access the financial support available to them – through welfare benefits, grants and other help.

Check out a clever teaching product from Birth International. This fun and engaging hand puppet will help professionals demonstrate the latching of the baby for successful breastfeeding.

If you have ever dreaded mealtimes (I remember it well!) with toddlers then we might be able to help you with our recommended bookFrench Kids Eat Everything by Karen Le Billon. This follows the story of a family who moved to France, banned snacking and discovered ten simple rules for raising happy, healthy eaters.

As well as our regular mix of featured appcharityarticleTop Value and Top Treat our latest My Story follows Babywearing mum Victoria who not only has four children but also runs the School of Babywearing.

Last but not least, we know you will enjoy reading the first of a brand new feature: Diary of a Student Midwife Down Under. Part one introduces us to our new student midwife as she comes to the end of her second year of a four year combined nursing/midwifery degree in Australia. We hope to follow her ups and downs over the next two years as we compare the differences (if any) between UK and Australian midwifery courses.

Don't forget to check out our 11mini-competitions with a total prize value of over £500! Email your entries and you too could be a winner. Remember if you are not 'in' you can't win!

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September 2012

Another first for TIPS: our online shop is now LIVE!

Check out our small selection of fantastic TIPS products and TIPS Award-winning products here...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 2012

TIPS e-newsletter 28 is published... 

Like us on facebook – visit the TIPS Ltd facebook page: we publish news (including competitions!), information and advice for parents and professionals regularly.

After months of planning, we are delighted to announce that you will be able to buy products on our website. TIPS Testers and Members often ask where they can find TIPS Award-winning products, that's why we've decided to start selling them right here, on the TIPS website. We are starting with a small selection of products: our signature latex ducky (you may have been following his travels on facebook); a personalised TIPS baby towel; the TIPS double Award-winning Jackson Reece baby wipes (Best of the best & Best eco-friendly) and the Tummy Tub (TIPS Best of the best baby bath). We will add products to the online shop to meet demand. Please email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you can't get a TIPS Award-winning product and we will do our best to find it for you.

TIPS provides independent advice about all aspects of parenting. This involves many hours of research by the TIPS Team. With no advertising revenue our only source of income are the TIPS trials. By using our online shop you will help TIPS continue to provide the very best impartial reviews of quality products for parents and babies. Have a look at our new TIPS Shop here...

Once again we have a comprehensive selection of features for you in this e-newsletter. We have reviewed two websites. Casabu (www.casabu.com) is a free-to-join private sale website. It features up to 15 daily sales offering discounts of up to 90% off retail prices on designer baby brands.  Casabu are offering our readers the chance to win one of two £50 vouchers to spend online.

The second website is www.drylikeme.com. If you are about to start potty training your toddler then this could be a lifesaver. DryLikeMe make handy little potty training pads that can be used in little ones' pants. With Dry Like Me pads little ones learn how their body works when they have little accidents. This can help children become potty trained more quickly. Check out our mini-competition to win one of five Potty Training Packs.

Check out our delightful Testers' photos including my godson’s new baby daughter (makes me feel very old!). Maybe you have photos of your own you would like to share with us? Remember we're always on the lookout for these - and I will send a dedicated copy of my book (Breastfeeding: the essential guide) to the sender of each photo we publish.

Our featured events are the innovative Jack & Jill Scottish Markets (where you can buy and sell baby products) and the first national safety day ‘The difference a minute can take’. Organised by home safety brand Lindam this campaign aims to raise awareness of childhood accidents and to help busy parents make their homes safer. On the subject of accidents, burns and scalds can have devastating long term consequences if you do not provide immediate first-aid. One of our Top Tips is a step-by-step guide to treating burns while you wait for medical help. We also feature a new campaign by The Bicycle Helmet Initiative Trust to make cycle helmets compulsory and to make roads safer for cyclists. Our final Top Tip features Osram’s latest LED light gadgets which can be charged with a laptop or PC.  These highly energy efficient gadgets have many uses at home and away. We have two of these gadgets to give away.

 

We have news of two excellent DVD launches. Small Wonders has been produced by Best Beginnings (a highly respected charity who provides invaluable advice and support to parents expecting or coping with the shock of premature birth). The second is the global launch of the eagerly awaited documentary Freedom For Birth – The Mothers Revolution on 20 September 2012 1000 screenings are planned all over the world on that day. This campaign aims to help to bring about change so that women all over the world are allowed to decide how they want to give birth.

 

Three TIPS Parent Testers have reviewed the delightful book Beautiful Buggy Walks in England by Richard Happer. Not only does it contain stunning photos of the featured walks but it also leads the reader on a journey of discovery. We can guarantee it will make you want to dust off your all-terrain buggy and get your walking boots out of the cupboard!

Our featured products include an ingenious weaning tray called the Tiny Diner (our Top Value) and news of our recently tested baby and toddler slings. You will also have the chance to win some of these winning designs in our newsletter competition.

As well as our regular mix of featured apps (including a free download worth £4.99), charities, article, CD and Top Treat our latest My Story follows Aussie mum Nichola’s breastfeeding experiences as a mother of multiples and premature babies, and tri-andem feeding.

Last but not least, we know you will enjoy reading the final part (11) of our Diary of a Student Midwife: has our highly successful student managed to secure her dream job?

Don't forget to check out our 10 mini-competitions with a total prize value of over £600! Email your entries and you too could be a winner.

Remember if you are not 'in' you can't win!

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August 2012

Win one of six pairs of tickets to... 

The Manchester Baby Show

For a chance to win 1 of 6 pairs of tickets (worth over £100) email the words ‘Baby Show’ to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  by 12 August 2012. We will contact the winners by August 14 so they have plenty of time to plan their trip.

 

The Manchester Baby Show will take place at EventCity (near the Trafford Centre)
31 August – 2 September 2012

Opening hours: 9.30am - 4.30pm Free parking for over 3000 cars

Tickets are available in advance for £11 or two for £17

 

 

The eagerly awaited Manchester Baby Show promises to offer the perfect day out for parents to-be. You'll find over 250 brands to choose from, product demonstrations, and experts on hand to advise visitors - all in one place in an environment that truly provides all the facilities you and your children may need. You can also look forward to the return of ‘The Face of the Baby Show’ photo competition to find the face of the advertising campaign for the 2013 Baby Shows. As always, the Manchester Baby Show also promises some fantastic money saving opportunities.

For more information

  • visit the Baby Show website (http://www.thebabyshow.co.uk/manchester/visiting)
  • contact Lisa Sanders: email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or phone 01604 217 004 
  • contact Venetia Khosla: email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or phone 01604 217 111

 

 

 


July 2012

Momentous milestones for TIPS Award Scheme...

Firstly, we are delighted to announce that we've just received our 1000th registration: a Mum has registered online to join our ever-growing panel of TIPS Parent Tester!

 

And we've also published the long-awaited results for our first trial of slings for babies and toddlers.

  • 9 products were carefully selected for this trial. 62 test samples, supplied by 6 manufacturers were sent to 62 Parent Tester (the age range of baby and toddler testers was birth to 55 months old).
  • Testers completed and returned 57 test questionnaires; this is a return rate of 92 per cent.

I had been planning to test slings since the launch of the TIPS Award Scheme in 2007. As a passionate supporter of breastfeeding and attachment parenting, I know how important it is to maintain skin-to-skin contact. This helps to stimulate hormone production and boost milk supply. The best way to keep your baby close is to carry them in a sling. This is often called babywearing.

Hope you enjoy reading all about how we set up this trial as well as the reviews for each of the nine winning products here...

 

 


  

June 2012

New TIPS e-newsletter just published... here is a copy of the introduction:

 

Time to celebrate all things British!

facebook logoLike us on Facebook – visit the TIPS Ltd Facebook page: we publish news (including competitions!), information and advice for parents and professionals regularly.

With the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the London 2012 Olympics coming up we thought we'd join the rest of the UK and get into a celebratory mood. Michael has even designed a patriotic e-newsletter banner with the Union Jack background and Olympic rings with swimming TIPS® ducks! Our British theme continues in our Top Value feature with a chance to win a year's supply of Mornflake 100% British porridge oats. In our featured events we have two Special Edition Rosie Diamond Jubilee Dolls to give away and two special edition sets of our favourite card game from Carddies.

We are very excited about our  e-newsletter competition which offers you the chance to win aKarcher Steam Cleaner worth £260! Perfect cleaning solution if your children have allergies.

Check out our delightful  TIPS Testers' photos including a very special 4D scan and two sets of adorable twins. Maybe you have photos of your own you would like to share with us? Remember we're always on the lookout for these - and I will send a dedicated copy of my book (Breastfeeding: the essential guide) to the sender of each photo we publish.

We feature The Birth Team website (www.thebirthteam.com). Parents-to-be can purchase private care packages ranging from a one-off home visit right up to a full package that include the first scan, antenatal, birth and postnatal care. The Birth Team experts are on-call 24/7. This is an excellent service for anyone wishing to opt for private maternity care.

We also feature the Little Blue Zebra website (www.littlebluezebra.com) which offers the perfect gift solution for children of all ages: prints of illustrations by award-winning children's book illustrator John Butler.

We have reviewed 2 books for you.  Which? Made Easy: Photo Editing explains how to get the best from your digital photos.  The Blossom Method ™by Vivien Sabel is the inspirational parenting book that everyone is talking about. This wee gem introduces us to a revolutionary way of understanding the language of newborns. In fact I was so impressed with The Blossom Method™ that I have decided to award it a TIPS Must-have.

Our featured products are: 3 Shea Mooti products (Mamas Belly Rub Stretch Mark Oil, Baby's Pure Shea Butter Soap and Mamas Everything Body Balm), 2 Halos N Horns products (Halos N Horns Gentle Bubble Bath and Body Wash and Halos N Horns Baby Moisturising Lotion), Weleda Nursing Oil, ViraSoothe Chickenpox Relief Cooling Gel and Organic Babies Mum and Baby Rescue Balm.

As well as our regular mix of featured  appcharity,  events ,  article ,  video clip and  Top Tips.  Our latest  My Story follows Vivien Sabel's journey on the road to publication of  The Blossom Method™, one of our featured books. Last but not least, we know you will enjoy reading part 10 of our Diary of a Student Midwife (delayed slightly due to last minute exams but coming soon...).

Don't forget to check out our 11  mini-competitions with a total prize value of over £550! Email your entries and you too could be a winner.

Remember if you are not 'in' you can't win!

 


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May 2012

 

Travelling with babies and children!

Summer is just around the corner and many families will be planning a variety of trips. We all know what a stressful time this can be.

I have been travelling with my own babies and children for many years and just thought I would share my hints and tips for stress free journeys with your little and not-so-little ones.

Find out more in our newly-published travel FAQs...

 

 

 


April 2012

WIN TICKETS for the Glasgow Baby Show!

We have five pairs of tickets to give away for the 2012 The Scottish Baby & Toddler Show!

Scotland’s biggest baby and toddler event is back at the SECC, Glasgow from 27 to 29 April 2012.  Mothercare and Early Learning Centre are headline sponsor for the second year, and we are delighted to have 5 pairs of tickets to give away for this fabulous show.

Designed for parents and parents-to-be this event brings together the leading baby and toddler companies providing many products and services: from car seats to childcare, prams to photography, maternity wear to nappies. Once again, there will be no less than 200 exhibitors!

At the event, visitors get a chance to find out about latest products and services for parents, babies and toddlers; take advantages of special discounts offered at the show; and get expert pregnancy and parenting advice. There is plenty at the show to make it a really enjoyable event for the family, including a free crèche; free nappies, wipes and nappy sacks at the baby changing area; free facilities at the baby & toddler feeding area; and a baby & toddler play area provided by the Early Learning Centre.

Expert speakers including Annabel Karmel, Jo Tantum, Dr Titzer, someong from Road Safety Scotland and someone from the British Red Cross, will provide free seminars on a variety of topics, including infant learning, and brain development in children.

The show is open from 10am to 5pm daily.

Tickets cost:

  • £6 (if bought before 25 April - booking fee may apply)
  • £10/£38 for a group of 4 when bought at the door.
Each ticket includes a brochure worth £2.  Free entry for under 16s.

For more information or to book tickets:

To get all the latest news about the show, win fabulous prizes (including tickets) like the show on Facebook (www.facebook.com/thescottishbabyshow) or follow it on Twitter @Babyshowsecc.

 

 

 

  


March 2012

New TIPS e-newsletter just published... here is a copy of the introduction:

 

Welcome to our Spring Issue!

facebook logoLike us on Facebook – visit the TIPS Ltd Facebook page: we publish news (including competitions!), information and advice for parents and professionals regularly. 

Once again we have a packed issue including the long-awaited delivery of our TIPS® baby checklist that our Parent Testers helped us to develop. We talk a lot about safety in this issue, with articles about the safest car seats, the latest Lindam safety gate (we have two up for grabs in a mini-competition) and a video clip showing a step-by-step guide to using the epi-pen for severe allergic reactions.  
Our spring collection of  TIPS Testers' photos is sure to delight and entertain you. Maybe you have photos of your own you would like to share with us? Remember we're always on the lookout for these - and I will send a dedicated copy of my book (Breastfeeding: the essential guide) to the sender of each photo we publish.
We have reviewed the Bellabee website for you: go to www.bellabee.co.uk to find the perfect gift solution for children of all ages.  Each hand drawn painting is made to order, and guaranteed to brighten up any child's bedroom or playroom. We even have a personalised Bellabee painting to give away!

Our featured brand is the world famous Bickiepegs. Established 87 years ago this beloved baby brand, not only manufactures the classic Bickiepegs teething biscuit but is also famed for the innovative Doidy cup (a TIPS Award-winning product since 2007). We would like to congratulate everyone at Bickiepegs in Aberdeen for continuing to provide first class baby products and excellent customer care.

We have reviewed a book for you: Hold it Mama, a book by leading Australian women's health physiotherapist Mary O'Dwyer.

New for this issue, we have also reviewed two apps:

  • Dear Zoo: an app for the childhood classic book
  • Explore Learning Times Tables: this was developed by Explore Learning to help children learn their times tables.

We feature the most gorgeous selection of hand-knitted items by new companyPicaloulou. We even have 4 baby beanies (worth £80) to win in our e-newsletter competition

Enjoy our regular mix of eventvideo cliparticle, and featured TIPS® award-winningproducts, and Top Tips (including Top Treat and Top Value).

Our latest My Story follows a new mother as she struggles to establish breastfeeding with her son who has tongue-tie. Last but not least, we know you will enjoy reading part 9 of our Diary of a Student Midwife.

Don't forget to check out our 11 mini-competitions with a total prize value of over £450! Get your entries in to Brigitte and you too could be a winner. 
Remember if you are not 'in' you can't win! 

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February 2012

Win 1 of 10 pairs of tickets to...
The London ExCel Baby Show

24 to 26 February 2012 - Opening hours: 9.30am -5.30pm


The eagerly awaited London ExCeL Baby Show promises to offer the perfect day out for parents to-be. By letting you see and test all the products you could possibly need, this unique shopping event is designed to be free from  hassle, stress and confusion. There will be an opportunity to listen to first class speakers in an environment that provides you and your children with all the facilities you might need. The show will have over 250 must-have brands as well as an exclusive baby boutique with products you just can't get on the high street. The show also promises some fantastic money saving opportunities.

For more information visit the Baby Show website or contact:

  • Lisa Hayhurst: email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or phone 01604 217 004
  • Venetia Khosla: email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or phone 01604 217 111

 


 

 

January 2012

Win a Tummy Tub filled with Jackson Reece baby wipes...

TIPS Testers who trialled the Tummy Tub overwhelmingly praised this innovative baby bath. They told us their babies just loved being securely cocooned in warm water.

The Tummy Tub has been painstakingly developed with safety in mind: the smooth wide rim has easy-grip handles and the rubber strip on the non-slip base ensures perfect stability. Tummy Tubs are made of quality recyclable plastic which has been thoroughly tested for safety in Germany and in the UK. They come in 3 transparent shades and an optional two-step stool is also available. You can use the stool to raise the Tummy Tub, for extra storage or as a toddler step/seat.

The Tummy Tub is easy to use, easy to empty and easy to clean. And you will need less water for your baby's bath - this is great if you are on a water meter or if you are environmentally aware. More importantly: using the Tummy Tub calms even crying babies, helps with colic and settles babies ready for sleep.

 

Jackson Reece wipes have been trialled by more TIPS Testers than any other baby wipe. Feedback from all Testers has consistently been overwhelmingly positive.  Everyone who tested the Jackson Reece wipes for TIPS said they were happy to recommend and buy these wipes. We were delighted to give the Jackson Reece baby wipes 2 TIPS awards: Best of the Best and Best eco-friendly  in the 2009 trial. TIPS Testers are currently trialling the unscented version of the Jackson Reece wipes... keep checking the TIPS website to find out what Testers thought of these too!

 


 

 

 

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For a chance to win a pair of tickets (worth over £100) email the words ‘Baby Show’ to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  by 12 August 2012. We will contact the winners by August 14 so they have plenty of time to plan their trip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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find out about the TIPS-tested baby slings and carriers...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

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go to the travel FAQs..

 

 

 

 

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For a chance to win 1 of 5 pairs tickets to the Glasgow Baby Show email the words 'Baby Show' to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by 14 April. We will contact the winners before 20 April.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For a chance to win 1 of 10 pairs of tickets (worth £200) email the words ‘Baby Show’ to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by 12 February 2012. We will contact the winners by 14 February so they have plenty of time to plan their trip to ExCel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For a chance to win a Tummy Tub baby bath filled with Jackson Reece baby wipes email the words ‘Tummy Tub’ to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by 30 January 2012. We will contact the lucky winner on 1 February.

 

 

 

 
 
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15 December 2011

Exciting milestone for TIPS...

We are thrilled to have reached a magic milestone – our 800th Parent Tester has recently joined up and is already testing their first product. Congratulations to Sharon – a special parcel of goodies is on its way to you in Croydon.

 


 

 

1 December 2011

TIPS e-newsletter winter issue now online... here is a taster:

 

Let the festivities begin!

facebook icon Like us on Facebook – visit the TIPS Ltd Facebook page: we publish news (including competitions!), information and advice for parents and professionals regularly.

If, like me, you are struggling to come up with present ideas for your little ones then help is at hand! We have lots of ideas and a great selection of goodies to make your loved ones smile.

Our magical picture of a very young TIPS Tester gazing with wonder at her twinkly lit Christmas tree will certainly get you in the mood and maybe you have pictures of your own you would like to share with us (remember we're always on the lookout for these!)... meanwhile this newsletter comes with  a delightful set of new photos from TIPS Testers.

We have reviewed 2 websites:

  • www.iaimbabymassage.co.uk a brand new website for mums-to-be and new mums who are interested in baby massage
  • www.multi-mam.co.uk. Previously known as Bio-Fem, the Multi-Mam® product range was designed to provide complete nipple care for new mums. Not only do we have two sets of Multi-Mam® and Multi-Gyn® products up for grabs but we also have a special discount code (AYSCY304) giving all TIPS Members and Testers a 15% discount on all Multi-Mam® and Multi-Gyn® products until the end of December 2011.

We have reviewed 3 books for you - 2 of which would make great stocking fillers:

  • The JaJaJa stories are bi-lingual books with a twist, as they take your child on a learning experience as they read.
  • King Jack and the Dragon is the delightful new book by Peter Bently and renowned illustrator Helen Oxenbury. This lovely rhyming story is the perfect bedtime tale with all the ingredients children love.
  • Where has my little girl gone? This thought provoking book is about how the press and media promote sexualisation and peer pressure and how this can have a negative effect on the emotional development of young girls.

Still on the subject of growing up too soon, we have reviewed the wonderfully innovative tween doll called Notalie®. Girls as young as 7 often reject conventional dolls and miss out on essential creative play. We are thrilled to be able to offer two little girls the chance to win their very own Notalie® in our e-newsletter competition.

As well as our regular mix of event, forum, video clip, articles, DVD, and featured TIPS® award-winning products, we have a review of the Alternative Families Show (as promised in e-newsletter 23) and Top Tips (including Top Treat and Top Value). We have also included our first reviews of 2 clever card games which will make perfect stocking fillers at this time of year.

Our latest My Story follows a new mother as she struggles to establish breastfeeding after a traumatic delivery and a rare case of breast refusal. This mum's determination to feed her baby is truly inspiring. Her story provides a fascinating insight into the practice of EPing. Last but not least, we know you will enjoy reading part 8 of our Diary of a Student Midwife.

Don't forget to check out our 12 mini-competitions with a total prize value of over £550! Get your entries in to Brigitte and you too could be a winner.

 

Remember if you are not 'in' you can't win!

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1 November 2011

Win a Nature Babycare Starter Pack

Naty news...

The design for Naty nappy packs is changing! It will include the beautiful imagery they've been using for the last few years, but information will be added so mums know why it is better to use eco-friendly nappies for their babies.


Naty are also improving their lovely toiletries and adding a moisturising wash to the range - this should be on the shelves in the New Year. Meanwhile the company continue to research new ways of improving the biodegradable content of their nappies.


Naty recently launched a new product: the lovely super soft 100% organic bunny, completely safe from birth (see picture). Do also look out for the soon to be launched organic cotton clothing range. This has been designed for children from birth to 4 years old and will be available to buy online. The clothes are minimalistic in colour with a timeless yet contemporary Scandinavian twist (see pictures on the right).


Naty are working hard on the launch of the new Ambassador programme. The points system that has been running for the last year was wound up in August and the new system should launch in November. Unlike their competitors, Naty can't afford huge marketing campaigns so they rely on satisfied customers who rate their nappies to spread the word. People who do this will get a chance to try the nappies for free and the Ambassadors will have the opportunity to buy the new clothing range at heavily discounted prices. Keep checking the website (www.naty.com) for more information about this in the coming months.

 

  • To find out more about Nature Babycare products or about the Ambassador programme go to: www.naty.com

For a chance to winofNaty Starter Kits including newborn nappies, baby wipes, baby oil, baby lotion, organic cotton bib and money-off voucher email the word ‘Naty’ to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by25 November 2011. We will contact the winners by the end of November

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

1 October 2011

Win a gift set of Organic at Heart products!

Sally Robinson, skincare entrepreneur behind the now famous Waitrose Baby Bottom Butter has just launched Organic at Heart – her own brand of mummy and baby skincare products. You can buy the products in Waitrose and online at www.organicatheart.co.uk

The 5 products in the new Organic at Heart range are at least 99% natural and contain English home-grown and farm sourced ingredients as well as mostly fairly-traded and certified organic oils. Organic at Heart only purchase from farms who adopt farming practice that helps preserve local wildlife (for example bee-friendly projects) and trying to minimise the carbon footprint from field to shelf.

The new range consists of 5 products:

  • Baby Hair and Bath Bubbles with Lavender, Aloe Vera and Rooibos (£3.99/250ml)
  • Bath and Shower gel for Mummy with Citrus & Ginger, Aloe Vera & Rooibos (£3.99/250mls)
  • Concentrated Night –Time Stretch Mark Serum with Rosehip & Starflower oils (£7/175mls)
  • Lady’s Mantle, vegetable Collagen & Vitamin E (£5.50/125mls)
  • Top to Toe Lotion for Baby with Cocoa Butter, Lavender, Starflower & Vitamin E (£3.99/125mls) and
  • Care and Soothe Balm for Mummy and Baby with Shea Butter, Camomile, Oat and Starflower oils (£4.50/100mls).

All Organic at Heart products are free from parabens, phthalates, propylene glycol, mineral oil, PABA, petrolatum, paraffin, DEA and animal ingredients (a detailed description is available here).


Waitrose offer:  All baby products (nappies, wipes and skincare products) are on 3 for 2 offer from 14 September to 13 October


For more information about Organic at Heart products, or to ask for samples call 0118 9693 148 or visit www.organicatheart.co.uk

 


1 September 2011

TIPS e-newsletter autumn issue now online... here is a taster:

 

We hope you enjoyed your summer holidays and maybe even caught a glimpse of the sun? We went to Holland where the weather was cooler and wetter than in Scotland! The highlight of our trip was a visit to the Anne Frank House Museum in Amsterdam which was deeply moving. If you are planning a trip, remember to book your tickets in advance to avoid the queues. You can find out more online at: www.annefrank.org (this excellent website is available in six languages).

Please send us your 2011 summer holiday highlights and maybe we can share some of your pictures in a future issue... meanwhile we have a delightful new set of new photos sent in by our TIPS Testers.

Our featured website is Hanzak.com founded by postnatal illness expert Elaine Hanzak. She provides a one-stop resource covering all aspects of postnatal illnesses from the commonly experienced condition of baby blues to the rare puerperal psychosis. As well as being a poignant reminder of how devastating this illness can be, Elaine Hanzak 's book Eyes without Sparkle is full of hope.

We have reviewed four books for you - two of which are highly topical as our children return to school for the autumn term. The Starting School Survival Guide provides a child-centred but parent-friendly guide.  It's about the ups and downs a child may go through when they start school and also throughout primary school. Middle School – the worst years of my life is the latest block buster by James Patterson. This book was reviewed by two eleven year olds who thoroughly enjoyed every page. We have also reviewed the latest addition to the Which? Made Easy series covering laptops and mobile devices and the highly emotive Mexican Takeaway, charting the real-life journey of a Francesca and Rick as they try to become the first couple to adopt a child from Mexico.

As well as our regular mix of upcoming events, appeal, video clip, article, DVD, CD review and featured product, we have a new Daddy Blog and Top Tips features (including Top Treat and Top Value).

The new eagerly anticipated My Story is about the incredible diary of a mum's recovery after a vaginal hysterectomy. This must-read account of the highs and lows of this common but often traumatic procedure includes the resumption of sexual relations. This is a brave and powerful story by one of our loyal Parent Testers which you won't want to miss! Last but not least, we know you will enjoy reading part 7 of our Diary of a Student Midwife.

Don’t forget to check out our newsletter competition for a chance to win a week’s holiday for six in Cornwall worth £299 and 10 other mini-competitions with a total prize value of over £550! So get your entries in to Brigitte and you could be a winner.

Remember if you are not ‘in’ you can’t win!

 

 

 

20 August 2011

CLIC Sargent Scotland  Ball 2011

After last year’s hugely successful inaugural James Bond Ball, organised by M&M Theatrical Productions, there were high hopes for our 2011 event. The 400+ guests attending this action-packed event were not disappointed with entertainment the whole night through including brand new flash mob IMPROMPTUNE plus star guest’s Dean Park and X Factors Joe McElderry.

A silent auction, prize raffle, special Omega Seamaster Watch Draw, interspersed with headline auction spots throughout the evening helped to beat last year’s total of £25K for CLIC Sargent.

A great night was had by all and the Ayrshire Fundraising Committee would like to extend their grateful thanks to everyone who helped make this event happen. Proceeds will go to help children and families affected by cancer.

For more information go to: www.clicsargent.org.uk and www.magicoftheatre.com

 

30 June 2011

 

Our 750th TIPS Tester has just registered!

Congratulations to Janine who will be sent a wee welcome gift to mark this fantastic milestone.

 

 

 

25 – 30 June  2011

Weleda giveaway for new Mums and their Mums...

We have a very special treat for new mums and their mums. We only realise how important it is to enjoy a little bit of pampering when we become a mum ourselves!

So if you and your mum need a wee treat all you have to do is:

 

  1. Like us on Facebook
  2. email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with your name and full postal address
  3. by 30 June!
The first 30 names drawn at random will receive not 1 but 2 pots of the luxurious Wild Rose Facial Oil capsules (worth £16.95) - one for you and one for your mum!

 

You can find out more about this wonderful product here...

We will email winners by 5 July 5 2011.

 

What are you waiting for?

Get clicking!

 

19 – 25 June

Breastfeeding Awareness Week 2011

 

Check out the breastfeeding awareness week feature in our summer e-newsletter...

Read about the NHS decision to cancel this year's breastfeeding awareness week, and see our reviews:

  • Cherry Healey's excellent TV programme Is Breast best?
  • Alison Blenkinsop's entertaining book Fit to Bust
  • a Scottish website to support breastfeeding Mums www.feedgoodfactor.org.uk

And see how you could win loads of breastfeeding goodies: a Bebe au lait nursing cover, a Floppeze pillow and funky lactivist goodies.

Listen to Sharon's special interview on MyBabyRadio, or download it here...

Remember you can call Sharon for breastfeeding advice on:

  • 09064 006 215* - Greatvine Speak Now number:  if she is unable to answer immediately, Sharon will call you back.
  • 09061 949 915* - Prima Baby/BabyExpert one-to-one advice line (press and media can also use this number for expert advice on midwifery related topics)

 

*calls cost £1.50/min from a BT landline - costs from other networks and mobiles may vary.

 

 

 

 

1 June 2011

TIPS e-newsletter bumper summer issue now online... here is a taster:

We would like to wish all our members a very happy holiday season. Whether you are travelling to far away destinations or staying at home, we have another bumper issue to keep you going through to September.

Our first treat is a stunning photo by acclaimed photographer Dan Streck. Taken when he was visiting the African Kruger National Park, the photo shows the moment an elephant gives birth in water.

We have included a special section devoted to all things breastfeeding with news about this year's National Breastfeeding Awareness Week, breastfeeding advice, featured book, website, useful tips and lots of breastfeeding goodies to give away.

In this issue we feature 2 websites. The first websiteMumsDateDads (www.mumsdatedads.co.uk) is the first dating site we have reviewed. This site is specifically aimed at single parents or people who are happy to date someone with children. We have3 one-month memberships up for grabs (worth £19.99 each). Check out mini-competition 1 to find out how you can enter.

The second website (www.worldsapart.co.uk) is for Worlds Apart® - a toy manufacturer based in Cornwall. Their ranges promote role play for your children. We have 2 innovative play sets (worth £80) to give away - something sure to keep your little treasures happy for hours. Don't forget to check our e-newsletter competition to see how you can enter!

We have reviewed a bookcalled Baby's here! Who does what? This is a light-hearted look at parenting with a special emphasis on working together as a couple. The book is full of useful tips on how to split the work without splitting up! Author Duncan Fisher OBE is the founder of the Fatherhood Institute. He also runs the organisation Family Info.

As well as our regular mix of upcoming events, charity, articles, DVD review and TIPS award winning product, we also have a new forum review. Find out about our Top Tips,Top Treat and Top Value products.  We also have a delightful new set of photos from TIPS Testers.

The new eagerly anticipated My Story, is about an older mum's struggle to carry her precious baby to term after suffering a succession of miscarriages. Last but not least, we know you will enjoy reading part 6 of our Diary of a Student Midwife.

Check out our 11 (yes 11!) mini-competitions with a total prize value of over £400! So get your entries in to Brigitte and you could be a winner.

Remember if you are not 'in' you can't win!

 

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May 2011

All the back issues of the TIPS e-newsletter are now available on this website.

Just go to our e-newsletters section and see what we have published since April 2007 - is your baby, toddler, family, bump or breastfeeding photo featured in any of them?

 

 

12 April 2011

Win Jackson Reece baby wipes...

For a chance to win 1 of 10 prizes of Jackson Reece baby wipes (2 packs of natural and 2 packs of unscented) email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by 30 April 2011.

Remember to add 'baby wipes' in the subject and to provide your full postal address.

 

 

23 March 2011

TIPS Award-winning Best of the best Jackson Reece baby wipes at a Tesco near you!

You can now get these wonderful wipes from all Tesco Extra Stores. Each pack contains 72 soft wipes - choose the natural or unscented variety. You can find your nearest store on the Tesco website here.

I am just back from my local store where I bagged myself a buy one get one free bargain (see picture below) for £2 (that’s only £1 a pack!) .

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To find out more about the Jackson Reece baby wipes, read their TIPS review here.




19 March 2011

Green People gain Fairtrade status for TIPS award winning products

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See the full size document here...

 

 

March 2011

 

TIPS Spring newsletter now online!

Check out our e-newsletter 22. This really should be called a magazine because it is so jammed pack full of features including two useful websites: Dirt Devil and Barrett & Coe Portraits.

As well as our regular mix of upcoming events, book review, TIPS top tips, articles, video clip and winning products, we have our first video game review: Peppa Pig Theme Park Fun on Nintendo DS. We also have a delightful new set of photos from TIPS Testers. The new eagerly anticipated My Story is about a parent’s struggle to get the support she needs for her daughter who is showing sign of autistic behaviour. It is written by one of our Parent Testers. Last but not least, we know you will enjoy reading part 5 of our Diary of a Student Midwife.

Remember to check out our 11 (yes 11!) mini-competitions…  with a total prize value of over £500! So get your entries in to Brigitte and you could be a winner.

Remember if you are not 'in' you can't win!

 

 

February 2011

 

NHS choices publishes links to the TIPS website...

Check out the useful links section in the following:

 

February 2011

 

TIPS book review featured on University of Abertay Dundee Students Association (UADSA) website

 

Our latest book review is now being featured on the University of Abertay Dundee Students Association website  - you can read it here....

 

Hello to our new readers and a big thank you to President David Currie for setting up this new link.

For more information on UADSA go to: www.abertayunion.com

 

13 January 2011

 

Beautiful 2011 Weleda calendars to win!

 

We have 50 calendars to giveaway to early bird TIPS mums and dads who email their name and address to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (please add TIPS calendar in the subject line) by 14 February 2011

 

Weleda, the original green pioneer, was originally founded in Switzerland in 1921 and is celebrating 90 Years of natural, ethical and sustainable health and beauty this year. To mark this tremendous milestone, Weleda have produced a stunning anniversary calendar for 2011, with beautiful photographs of some of the plants and raw ingredients used in its bestselling products.

Each page of the calendar has an inspirational image by Michel Peukert, a renowned international photographer - a delicate rose, a sprig of lavender, and other aromatic and colourful herbs and crops. Each page also features a stakeholder from each of the 12 countries where Weleda has a base (Sharon is representing the UK as Miss November! – see picture).

Weleda has the largest medicinal gardens worldwide, and grows over 300 species using the strictest of organic methods (following Demeter certified biodynamic standards), including 15 beautiful acres in Derbyshire which are cultivated as ‘near nature’ as possible, to encourage biodiversity. Additionally Weleda work with fair trade farmers around the world growing plants for them, sharing nine decades of expertise and organic know-how, and protecting and developing these farming communities with respect for the environment and people.

Overleaf for each month of the calendar you’ll find fascinating information about each plant and its cultivation, and some of the people involved in the projects. There is also a star chart for each month, so that you can enjoy the night’s sky through the year. A work of art to brighten up any space, home or work, the calendar is worth £7.95.

For more information on the TIPS Award winning Weleda range go to www.weleda.co.uk


January 2011

 

Halos N Horns New Year giveaway!

 

To celebrate the launch of two new products, Halos N Horns have kindly donated 5 gift sets for members of the TIPS online community. Each gift set has 7 Halos N Horns products:


Winning one of these fabulous gift sets couldn't be easier: just email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by 28 February 2011 (remember to give your full postal address in the message). The draw will take place on 1 March and we will contact the lucky winners soon after.

 

You can find out more about the new Halos N Horns Baby Lotion and Gentle Bubble Bath & Body Wash in their press release here....

 

Good luck, and very best wishes for 2011!

 

800th-Tester

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For a chance to win 1 of 3 gift sets with  Concentrated Night-time Stretch Mark Serum, Care and Soothe Balm for Mummy and Baby  plus Top to Toe Lotion for Baby email the words ‘Organic at Heart’ to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by midnight on 29 October 2011. We will contact the winners at the beginning of November.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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