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e-newsletter 7 - April 2008 Print E-mail
TIPS e-newsletter 7

:::::April 2008::::

:::::    Issue ::::

newsletter_22_r4_c1 In this issue...
newsletter_22_r5_c1 newsletter_22_r5_c2

Welcome to the seventh TIPS newsletter.

As usual there are loads of things to tell you about, and this is likely to be the largest newsletter yet!

You will have seen the first birthday graphic on our home page. This is to celebrate one year of the TIPS Award Scheme. After many months of hard work we are pleased to announce the publication of our latest TIPS Awards for the nursing bras and tops. There are 44 new awards as a result of this trial which I believe to be the largest of its kind. This information provides parents with a great snapshot of the best available lingerie for the pregnancy and nursing period. 

The TIPS parent testers have been busy with new trials, six of which are happening as we speak. Currently baby baths, cuddle towels, thermometer soothers, nappy cream, nipple cream and baby wipes are being tested. A trial of decongestants is also due to commence shortly so anyone with a snotty baby please come forward!

The 'TIPS bump' has just been added to the by now familiar TIPS baby, TIPS toddler and TIPS family photos. Please send me your pictures. Remember, if you are featured, I will send you a personally dedicated Breastfeeding: the essential guide as a thank you.

Feel free to check out the breastfeeding and baby skincare FAQs online, and read on to see my top tips for the websiteeventbookarticlepodcast (new) featured in this newsletter. Don't forget to read about the latest TIPS competition winners. As well as the TIPS e-competition, remember to give a go to the newsletter main competition and numerous mini-competitions, with prizes donated by Baby SenseGreen MumsLilypadz and Green People. Have a read and see what wonderful new prizes are on offer for this newsletter. Don't forget to check out our top tip

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

Happy testing!


sharon banner


Dedicated advice line: Remember you can contact me on my own Speak Now number, you can call me anytime on 09064006215* if I am unable to answer immediately, press 1 and you will receive a free text to alert you when I am next free.

My speciality subjects are breastfeeding and baby skincare although I am happy to take calls on any midwifery related issues.

Press and Media: If you are looking for expert advice on midwifery related topics you can also call me on my advice line.

*£1.50/min from a BT landline. Calls from Mobiles and other networks may vary.


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tipsducktipsduckFeatured products :: TIPS Awardstipsducktipsduck

With 44 awards covering maternity bras, nursing bras, nursing tops and a gorgeous secret support camisole set there are too many to tell you about here.

The awards are as follows:
• Best of the best (4)
• Maternity bras(2)
• Nursing bras (23)
• Nursing tops (9)
• Best range (1)
• Special awards (4)
• Editor's choice (1)

More information and full reviews on these awards are available here.

AW_best-of-the-best_bra AW_best-of-the-best_materni


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tipsducktipsduckFeatured website :: www.greatvine.orgtipsducktipsduck

Greatvine (


What is Greatvine? this website goes live in May
The information age just got personal!
From time to time we all find ourselves thinking, 'I wish I knew someone who could answer this question for me.' Now, you do. Greatvine is a revolutionary new service. It allows members of the public to interact with highly-qualified professionals in a variety of fields, including education, parenting, careers, health and wellbeing. The Greatvine website provides access to a directory of the finest, fully-profiled professionals in many subject domains and sub-topics. Having paid a per minute fee, visitors to the website are able to communicate with a Greatvine professional of their choice live, by phone or online. This innovative service is personalised, convenient, high-quality and tailored to the user's needs – a welcome alternative to the time and effort needed to trawl the web for in search of information that may turn out to be superficial, or of limited quality and relevance.
Greatvine professionals upload content (documents and files) to the site. This can also be accessed and downloaded for a fee. Examples of such material include: high-quality lecture notes for students and teachers, breast feeding information and advice on helping your baby sleep soundly. 
Please contact Natalia Postlethwaite for more details, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or on 0207 837 0565.

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured website

Green Mums (


Green Mums is an online store for babies and toddlers. It is run by Tracy Dixon, mum to Lily who is two years old. As well as a selection of cloth nappies, features a cloth nappy factsheet designed to help anyone who is looking to buy cloth nappies for the first time. Tracy also sells organic clothing, natural and organic toiletries and a range of wooden toys made from sustainable rubber wood.
The most recent addition to the Green Mums store is a lovely range of organic clothing from Happy Green Bee. This line of clothing is bright, fun and comfortable. It is brand new to the UK and is sure to be very popular.
For free cloth nappy advice, contact Tracy on 01752 661835 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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tipsducktipsduckFeatured book :: Sleep Sensetipsducktipsduck

Sleep Sense by Megan Faure

Initially I panicked when it was suggested that my two month old baby should be sleeping for a certain number of hours when in my personal experience this was far from reality! 
However on closer examination I was able to glean valuable tips which became very useful as tools to help my little one get naps in the daytime and sleep better at night. 
As a first time mum, unfamiliar with simple common sense ways to help babies 
Sleep (like making the room dark for naps and making sure you don't over stimulate your baby) the tips and advice on offer were great, especially when coping with a grumpy and sometimes screaming baby.
Personally, I found the explanation of the 45 minute sleep cycle the most invaluable piece of information. This has been useful as I now have a better idea of when my baby will wake which makes me feel better prepared rather than resenting him for waking too soon! 
The book is well laid out, and easy to dip into with many drawings, graphs, tables etc to make it interesting. 
On a more negative note I did find some of the advice rather too rigid in places and the author does not seem to advocate co-sleeping (which I believe to be perfectly safe and positively conducive to successful breastfeeding).
The suggested sleep/wake pattern of a baby appears to differ wildly from my own experience and that of other exclusively breastfed babies that I know. This makes me think that it could be based on formula fed infants which might give unrealistic expectations to breastfeeding mums struggling to get their baby into any kind of routine.
It might also be worth mentioning that during growth spurts (whether your baby is breastfed or formula fed) or if your baby is ill, their sleep pattern is likely to go haywire for a few days, which is perfectly normal and will soon settle back to your normal (whatever that might be!).
Notwithstanding Sleep Sense is certainly worth a read as long as you use it to help enhance your own instincts rather than as a 'one –size-fits-all' approach which, as we know, can be a misleading.
Reviewed by Wendy (TIPS parent tester)


tipsducktipsduckFeatured event :: Glasgow Baby Showtipsducktipsduck

25th to 27th April 2008


I am delighted to be joining Colin and Janet Cordner on the Jackson Reece Baby Wipes stand where they will be introducing their brand new bio-degradable, eco-friendly, carbon conscious wipes (out to TIPS testers as we speak). This product has been developed over the past year to replace the original wipes which won the TIPS Best of the best award in 2007. I will be on hand to give new parents the most up-to-date baby skincare advice and will also be handing out copies of my Babycare- back to basics™ leaflet, so feel free to come along and say hello.


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tipsducktipsduckFeatured article :: Self-publishing magazinetipsducktipsduck


I am delighted to be featured in the April issue of this magazine which will be available at the prestigious London Book Fair (Earls Court April 14 to 16 2008). 
Jane Rowland, Editor The Self Publishing Magazine wrote: 'A request from Sharon Trotter for a short piece about The Self Publishing Magazine came after I had spoken to a good friend who was expecting her second child later this year. Her obvious excitement was tinged with sadness that a chronic lack of midwives meant the birthing centre she had previously used (and loved) was likely to be closed down before the second child was due. This highlights that something as monumental as becoming a mother - whether for the first or the fifth time – can bring with it new challenges and worries as well as great joy and demonstrates the need for sensible and calming advice - which is what TIPS excels.
In fact, this same friend had reviewed Breastfeeding, the essential guide (Sharon's book) for The Self Publishing Magazine this time last year, and had found the advice invaluable as a new mother. By opting to self publish her book about breastfeeding Sharon has been able to get her sensible and important advice out to hundreds of families - while allowing her to retain control of the book in a way she would not have done had the book been taken on by a traditional publishing company. Sharon has written a piece about her self-publishing experiences for the April Issue of The Self Publishing Magazine - more information is available here.


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tipsducktipsduckFeatured article :: Boobie Buddies Dollstipsducktipsduck


Pip contacted me in January to tell me about her amazing business idea to produce educational dolls that involve the use of totally secure, hidden magnets, at key points throughout the bodies, which enables them to kiss, hold hands, cuddle and breastfeed. The effect gives the child a magical visual image of the Mother and baby bond of breastfeeding! With clean facial lines (and no external attachments, therefore less fiddly for role play) all the child sees is the happy smiling faces of the Mother and Baby dolls. Pip's own story is truly inspiring -follow this link to read about it. For more information on when her product will be ready to buy you can check out her website at

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tipsduck ** nEwtipsducktipsduckNew Featured podcast :: Jenny Allentipsduck ** nEwtipsduck



Jenny Allen, a TIPS parent tester sent me the podcast of her recent claim to fame, an interview on the LK Today Show on GMTV. During this 7 minute clip she discusses full term breastfeeding (rather than 'extended' as it is often misrepresented!) with Dr Hilary Jones and Lorraine Kelly. It is a joy to watch as Jenny provides evidence-based answers to all questions posed on this (sometimes contentious) subject. Jenny's experience shines through with her authoritative and eloquent approach leaving the viewer in no doubt as to the long term advantages of baby-led breastfeeding (however long this may be). Well done Jenny!
You can watch the interview here or see the comments on the GMTV website here.

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tipsduck :: TIPS ::..Late News....Late News....Late News....tipsduck

TIPS in the news…

My story was recently covered by Lifestyle Editor Karen Carruth for The Scottish Farmer Newspaper. She is full of praise for the TIPS brand that she sees as a 'tremendous source of information' while the TIPS Awards are 'similar to a WHICH guide for baby related products'.You can read the full article here.


TIPS to go…
Thanks to a suggestion from a parent tester we have decided to add a new feature on our awards pages. You will see a 'TIPS to go' downloadable pdf below each set of awards. 'TIPS to go' is a list of winning products, awards, suppliers and websites. Handy to take with you when you go shopping! Tell me what you think, and remember to contact us with any comments and suggestions.

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tipsduck :: TIPS::Competition winnerstipsduck

January - February 08
Q :What date will Sharon be a guest speaker at an NCT event in Kilmarnock?
A:16 February 08
Winner Juliet from Hatfield

February - March 08 
Q :What professional journal that has just published Sharon's article
A:Nursing in Practice 
Winner Farhana from Ilford

e-newseltter 6 
Main competition - The winner of the wonderful Arm's Reach® Universal Co-Sleeper® Bassinet (worth £239) isKirsten.

DVD competition - congratulations to Carolyn from Hull andJoanne from Wolverhampton who each win a Birthing Sense 3DVD set

T-shirt competition - congratulations to Kat from Croydon who won the T-shirt donated by

Little me competition - congratulations to Vivienne from Bristol and Emma from Auchengate who each won a set of Little Me Baby Organics products

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sharon banner

Remember you can contact me on my own Speak Now number, you can call me anytime on 09064 0062 15* if I am unable to answer immediately, I promise to call you back. My speciality subjects are breastfeeding and baby skincare although I am happy to take calls on any midwifery related issues.

Press and Media: If you are looking for expert advice on midwifery related topics you can also call me on my advice line.

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Read TIPS reviews...

- article

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- events

- products

- podcast

- websites

- Late News

regular features....

- advice line

- TIPS Testers' pix!

new competitions

- Babycare - back to basics

- TIPS top tips

TIPS baby


I think you will agree that this is a delightful shot of baby Anya all tucked up in her sling being 'worn' by her mum Sue. A signed copy of 'Breastfeeding: the essential guide' (dedicated to Anya herself) is on its way.
TIPS toddler


Thank you to Mum (and tester) Soshanna for sending us this picture of Mia enjoying a relaxing breastfeed complete with sun shades! Cool or what?! A signed copy of 'Breastfeeding: the essential guide' (dedicated to Mia of course) is on its way.
TIPS family


The TIPS family from Hatfield, including Arnie the dog have beaten the competition to occupy our second TIPS 'Family' slot. A signed copy of 'Breastfeeding: the essential guide' is on its way to you.
TIPS bump


This is our first TIPS bump and I am pleased to introduce one of the very first parent testers, complete with new bump. Thank you to Kat for sending this in and your copy of breastfeeding: the essential guide will be on its way to you shortly. Since the launch of the TIPS registration in March 2007, 78 new babies have been welcomed by TIPS testers! Remember to tell us if you become pregnant again, send us your snaps and maybe you will be the next TIPS Bump? [back to top]

On 25 March, TIPS very first bump transformed into a bouncing baby boy! Congratulations...

If you would like your baby or todder to feature in the next issue of the TIPS e-newsletter, just email me their picture.
Babycare – back to basics™ leaflet (version 7) – out now!


This award winning leaflet is distributed around the UK at various professional and parenting events. Health professionals and maternity units can buy hard copies – email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information. As well as all the hints and tips you need about baby skincare, skin-to-skin contact and feeding but, this leaflet now includes the latest and safest advice on reducing the risk of cot death. Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you would like a free copy.

We are working on the draft for version 8 - so watch out for updates on the TIPS website.

TIPS top tips!

Remember to give your baby 'tummy time' when they are awake. This will encourage healthy development. Read about it here.


TIPS competitions
Tummy Tub -competition

The kind people at TummyTub have generously donated one of their wonderful tubs complete with the newly launched Two StepStool. This multi-purpose stool can be used as a stand for the TummyTub. It brings it to the perfect height, allowing you to sit astride the TummyTub while your baby relaxes in the warm water (all tucked up like in the womb). Additionally, the Two StepStool provides extra storage space for your bath toys, and doubles as a toddler step to help them reach the sink for hand washing or teeth cleaning. The prize TummyTub will be filled with lots of other TIPS award winning goodies.
To enter, tell us which popular TV programme has featured the TummyTub (and here is a hint: find the answer on the TummyTub home page). Email your answers to Brigitte The winner will bnotified around the middle of June.


Green Mums mini-competition

Green Mums have kindly donated a 'My first train' (age 24 months +). Made from sustainable rubber wood, this charming pull along train makes realistic train sounds when you press the chimney. To enter just answer this question: What is the name of the swim nappy sold on the Green Mums website?
Email your answers to Brigitte and we will announce the winner in newsletter 8.


Lilypadz mini-competition

Lilypadz have offered three pairs of their award winning silicone breast pads to the winners of this mini competition. To enter all you have to do is answer the following question: On average breastfeeding burns how many calories per day? Email your answers to Brigitte and we will announce the winner in newsletter 8. You can find out more about Lilypadz and read their winning review here.


Babysense mini-competition

Babysense has kindly donated two copies of their book which will go to the first two names drawn out of the hat. 
Email your the word 'Sleepsense' to Brigitte to enter. We will announce the winners in newsletter8.


Green People mini-competition

Green People have kindly donated five Organic Baby Care Gift Packs(RRP £12.99). This is the perfect pack to try pure baby products and great for travelling. It contains lavender Baby Wash, Baby Salve, Mum & Baby Moisturiser and Chamomile Baby Wash all specially formulated for babies' sensitive nappy areas and suitable for those who may be prone to eczema. 100% natural, with certified organic ingredients. Free from the harsh chemicals found in many of today's baby toiletries.
To win one of these packs, just answer this question:
Green People won TIPS Best eco friendly children toothpaste. What are the flavours of these winning toothpastes?
Visit to find your answer.
Email your answers to Brigitte and we will announce the winners in newsletter 8.


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