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e-newsletter 15 - August 2009 Print E-mail
TIPS e-newsletter 15

:::::August 2009::::

:::::    Issue ::::

newsletter_22_r4_c1 In this issue...
newsletter_22_r5_c1 newsletter_22_r5_c2

The best laid plans…!

We had hoped to launch the brand new TIPS website in August but we will need a little more time to test out its many features, including our online shop. We promise it will be worth the wait so please bear with us and watch this space… 

Thankfully we are always looking to the future and still have a wide selection of interesting and exciting features and competitions for you to enjoy. We hope you will agree this eleventh-hour marathon e-newsletter contains the eclectic mix of high quality features you have come to expect from TIPS. is our featured website. This was founded by Kaz Deacon, who named her baby shows after her Granny Maud. These baby shows are an innovative venture which aims to offer parents a value-for-money, educational and above all un-commercialised experience. Kaz and I met at the recent NCT conference in Swansea and got chatting – read all about Maud's Baby Shows here.

Our featured product is the latest TIPS Award winner: the Aquasolari washable bed pad. This was a runaway success with all ten Testers who trialled it in May. Five mums-to-be and five children prone to bed wetting tested the bed pad and the results were amazingly positive – read all about it here

We have another delightful selection of TIPS Testers' photos including a stunning shot of a very acrobatic mum-to-be, the multitalented Desiree Kongerod. As well as being a TIPS parent Tester, Desiree is also a professional dancer, circus performer and choreographer. Hubby Martin is pretty amazing too with some powerful biceps! And don't forget to check out the brand new TIPS My story about Kelly's breastfeeding journey.

We have another clutch of wonderful competitions for you to enter so get your entries in to Brigitte and you could be a winner.

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


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 :: Aquasolari washable bed padtipsducktipsduck


Aquasolari washable bed pad
£29.99 + postage

Aquasolari_bed_pad AW_clever idea_Aquasolari_bed_pad
Available from and soon to be available from the new TIPS shop too!

TIPS readers can already purchase the bed pad for the special price of £26.99. Go to and enter'TIPS' in the promotional code box.

The Aquasolari washable bed pad is a unique product that has many uses. It has the potential to become a 'must have' during pregnancy and beyond.

Our Testers were so impressed with this product that we have decided to award a TIPS Clever idea award.

You can also find out how to become an Aquasolari agent from


TIPS Review (May 2009)

When they saw the Aquasolari bed pad, Testers' first impression was overwhelmingly that this was a quality product.

Instructions on the product and on the packaging were clear and easy to follow. The bed pad fitted perfectly to a single bed (its primary use) but Testers who tried it on a double or king-size bed were just as pleased with the area protected. They also found the pad stayed in place, was comfortable to lie on even without a top sheet – this could be used but was not necessary. However what Testers loved the most was the fact that the bed pad was discreet and completely silent, unlike more conventional plastic bed coverings which tend to rustle. They found the pad large enough to protect a bed under any conditions and commented that the material reduced the risk of overheating - this was an added benefit.

When put to the test, the pad worked so well that Testers found it hard to tell if it needed to be laundered. There was no smell from the pad and Testers agreed this is another great plus. Washing and drying the bed pad was child's play, even when line dried.

In fact, so positive was the feedback that all Testers agreed the Aquasolari bed pad had exceeded expectations and they would be happy to recommend it others. All Testers said they would buy the pad and an amazing fifty per cent of Testers added they would consider becoming an Aquasolari agent!

For your chance to win one of two Aquasolari washable bed pads check out mini-competition 1

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured website ::

Maud's Baby Show (

A Welsh Baby Business is born!

eNews15_MaudBabyShow eNews15_Kaz Kaz

Maud's Baby Shows are the first and only parenting events held right across Wales. Directed solely at the Welsh pregnancy and baby market, these events are informative for both expectant parents and those with young children. As well as being an exciting retail experience, Maud's Baby Shows provide parents with information and advice on a wide range of parenting issues.

Raising her three young children in Wales, Kaz has had mixed experiences of NHS maternity services, faced isolation and come across conflicting and inconsistent information. This inspired her to start a business which helps parents in Wales.

The births of her first two children were relatively straight forward. However, the traumatic experience of having her third child last year made her want to do something to help ease the transition into parenthood for others.

From personal experience, she knows how hard it can be to find and access the mountain of quality information you so desperately need when becoming a parent. With so much help, support and credible products available to families, the main difficulty often lies in finding what you really need! Maud's Baby Shows were named in memory of Kaz's grandmother who always urged her to follow her dreams. They are two-day shows designed with parents in mind. Each event is made as accessible, stress-free and enjoyable as possible for all parents. 

What you can expect at Maud's Baby Shows:
• free parenting workshops
• free first aid sessions with the British Red Cross
• Daddies area
• free children's entertainment
• free crèche - we can cater for children with special needs
• special show offers and discounts
• free welcome goodie bag for early birds.

The great success of Wales' first Maud's Baby Shows lead to the setup of a new free online parenting club: Maud's Baby Den. This provides online information on Maud's Baby Shows, useful local and national information and new products to try. It is constantly available for when the Shows aren't running. 

Kaz's various experiences of becoming a parent included negative challenges. She is determined that the outcome is positive and that other parents in Wales will benefit from this as a result. 

For further information visit or

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured book :: The Frugal Lifetipsducktipsduck

The Frugal Life: 
How to Spend Less and Live More

By Piper Terrett
Publisher: The Good Life Press
1 edition (3 Mar 2009)
ISBN: 978-1904871552
RRP: £9.99


First thing I have to do is confess. When given Piper Terrett's Frugal Life book, to read and review, my heart sank into my boots. 

M&S is my home from home, Clarins my skincare of choice, big cars my love and sumptuous hotels my holiday preference… I could go on and on and I'll bet some of you are nodding in agreement. 

Here's the thing, though… I love this book! So much so, that I am going to order my own copy right after I finish this review. It is an absolute delight and a veritable mine of information.

There is not one of us who could not benefit in some way from the words of wisdom contained therein, and it is such a down to earth, very humorous read, that I enjoyed it in one sitting. 

There is advice on practically every aspect of everyday life, including household bills, energy, shopping, entertainment, hobbies, motoring, pensions and savings, growing your own veggies, keeping chickens or making your own wine and beer. Very little has escaped Piper and her band of MSN blog readers and contributors when it comes to living more frugally - and the great thing is that they make it all sound really fun!

There were, I am pleased to say, a couple of moments when I felt very virtuous and these occurred when Piper talked about Christmas. I fondly remembered the Nigella chutney and wonderful pistachio fudge I made and wrapped nicely last year for frugal pressies and it brought a warm, albeit brief, glow. Then I realised I was sitting in the sunshine reading this book while the tumble dryer did the business with my laundry…oops.
The section on having children frugally was interesting, but I am keeping my daughter well away from the 'diaperfreebaby' chapter. The thought of my grandbabies passing 'nappy free' hours on my carpets worried me more that I care to admit, even in the interest of the frugal cause and the environment. In the same vein, too, bloggers broadly agree that choosing very cheap loo paper is not to be recommended!

The chapter on skinning a rabbit took me right back to earlier years - I am not about to say how many years mind you - when my dad brought Mr Bunny home for tea. And I can remember some time later challenging my brother-in-law to tell the difference between the rabbit and chicken I had casseroled. So, a trip down memory lane as well as a lesson in frugality.

Please do not let my last comments put you off in any way, this is a very enjoyable and comprehensive book on the subject of spending less and living more. At the end of each chapter there is a list of recommended books and websites to visit for additional help or information.

The credit crunch makes this book totally relevant for us all. Being frugal allows you to have the best standard of life possible on your income, regardless of what this happens to be.

I now have a list of changes I am going to enthusiastically implement in our household – this extends from food shopping to hobbies; getting fitter and planning ahead for 'life's lumps and bumps'. 

The rabbits are safe for now, but I can't wait to start on the rest!

Review by Elaine (Parent tester)

For your chance to win a copy of this book check out mini-competition 2

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured book :: The Little Book of Holiday Fun tipsducktipsduck

The Little Book of Holiday Fun
In association with Halos N Horns

HaloHorns-New-Logo1 eNews15_book1

For fresh ideas and inspiration on how to keep your kids entertained all year-round, with holiday fun games, look no furter than The Little Book of Holiday Fun. Holidays are about spending time with your family, slowing down and going at your kids' pace. This book will help you with ideas on how to play with kids, to keep you all smiling and give your little ones hours of delight.

You can download your free copy or ask for a printed copy here

For your chance to to receive one of ten copies of this booklet check out 
mini-competition 3

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured articles :: Exposure to Phthalates in utero tipsducktipsduck

Exposure to Phthalates in utero (before birth) can increase the risk of premature birth…


TIPS will only test baby products that are free from phthalates. However, many products do contain these ingredients. A recent study showed a link between high phthalate levels and premature birth which is worrying to say the least.

You can read the Journal of Paediatrics article here and the Telegraph article here

Information on safe baby skincare products tested by TIPS in 2007 is available here - we are hoping to complete the 2009 baby skincare products trial by the end of the year.

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tipsducktipsduck Featured event :: Bountytipsducktipsduck

eNews15_telegraph-logo Bounty_logo

We have been running a mini-poll on the TIPS home page to find out where you would prefer to collect your Bounty goody bags and whether you think these are appropriate.

I was not surprised by the results so far: only 11 percent of respondents wanted to continue receiving their free samples from the maternity unit, 29 percent thought it would be better to collect them from a local high street store or supermarket but an overwhelming majority (60 percent) think the practice of handing out samples is inappropriate.

Reasons for these results may include:

  • unsuitability of some free samples for newborn use
  • intrusion of privacy during the hours following childbirth (when personal details are collected)
  • data protection issues: personal details may be collected by Bounty representatives and passed on to private companies for marketing purposes
  • difficulty in getting personal data removed from Bounty lists should the Bounty representative forgets to tick the relevant box to stop any further contact with the parent.

You can read about the Telegraph’s investigation into Bounty here

If you have any queries or wish to comment on this as a result of your own experiences feel free to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured event :: Maud's Baby Shows tipsducktipsduck

The Carmarthen Showground, Camarthen, 5 to 6 September 2009

The City Hall, Cardiff, 10 to 11 September 2009


We couldn't tell you all about Maud's Baby Shows without including information on the next events:

For more information visit, call 0333 700 01 07 or download a flyer here.

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tipsducktipsduck Featured event :: A Good Childhood Matters - Messages from Researchtipsducktipsduck

Diskus Confrence Centre, Transport House, 128 Theobald's Road, London, WC1X 8TN, 25 September 2009

CPHVA-logo CPHVA logo

A Good Childhood Matters – Messages from Research
Practitioners Supporting Parents

This is a one-day event organised by CPHVA Interest Group for Parenting and Family Support

Conference fees, including lunch and refreshments:

  • Current members of CPHVA Parenting Interest Group £20
  • Non members of CPHVA Parenting Interest Group £50

For more information  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or download the programme and booking form here.


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tipsducktipsduck New My Story :: Kellytipsducktipsduck

The story of how Kelly came to become a TIPS Tester is a story in itself! I was contacted by Kelly's mother-in-law a few years ago, before her son had even met Kelly. Pam was a volunteer nurse in Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania working with mothers and babies. I did what I could to provide advice and sent supplies of my Babycare – back to basics™ leaflets out (pretty exciting to know these were winging their way to the remote quarters of East Africa). 

When Pam found out she was due to become a Granny I sent her a copy of my book to pass on to the new Mum-to-be. To find out what happened next you will have to read Kelly's 'My story'.

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured podcast :: Natural Birth of Twins and Tripletstipsducktipsduck


Natural births of twins and triplets…must watch footage!

One eagle-eyed TIPS Tester spotted this amazing clip of homebirths for multiples (and not just twins!). This is one of the most inspiring collection of clips I have ever watched. They dispel all the common myths usually associated with multiple homebirths: age of mother, gestation of babies, weight of babies, triplets, prolonged rupture of membranes, previous section, breech birth, the list goes on and on... They are fast paced, cleverly shot and include great music ('What are you waiting for' by Natalie Grant and 'You can do it if you really want to' by Jimmy Cliff!). Each clip is made up of: an introductory title, images of the 'last belly shot' before labour, pictures of the delivery, details of the outcome and wonderful shots of the babies, with their names and weights (one pair weighted in at over 9lbs each!). If you are planning a homebirth watch these clips and you will have the confidence you need to enjoy every minute of this wonderful experience. In fact watch this ten minute selection of clips even if you would never consider a homebirth - you may change your mind. I can guarantee you will watch this more than once!

Watch amazing clips on natural childbirth of twins and triplets!

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured podcast :: My Baby Radiotipsducktipsduck


Sharon's latest interview covering the Aquasolari washable bed pad plus the latest advice on swine flu is now being featured online. 

Previous interviews on breastfeeding, baby skincare, cup feeding, baby baths, cuddle towels, Dribblebuster bib, Miracle™ toys, decongestants, baby-led weaning and Ella's Kitchen baby food are regularly broadcast on at 11am and 5pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays (in the 'ask an expert' slot). 

Click on the logo (above) and follow the link to 'Today's shows' then click on 'Tune in' to listen online.

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


TIPS family of Parent Testers reaches yet another amazing milestone....

Congratulations to our 600th Parent Tester: 
Clare from Leeds!

TIPS were delighted to send Clare a signed copy of Sharon's book, Breastfeeding: the essential guide and a huge soft and cuddly one-off celebration towel for this special event.

Perfect timing too as Clare's first baby son was born just seven weeks ago! – Redesigned website coming soon…

The redesigned TIPS website is almost ready. This is a little later than planned, but we can promise it will be worth the wait! Please bear with us while we complete the necessary final tweaking to make sure we give you the best possible online experience. There may be some interruptions to the website as Michael works on last minute changes, but we hope to keep any down-time to a minimum. Watch out for announcements of the big launch. We welcome your suggestions for additional online features, so please  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Baby wipes 2009 trial…

The deadline for completion of the questionnaires has passed and we will shortly be bringing you the eagerly-awaited final results of these tests. Full results and reviews will be available on the TIPS website soon.

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tipsduck :: TIPS::Competition winnerstipsduck


15 May – 14 June 2009
Q: How many TIPS Testers will there be when this competition ends on 15 June 2009? We have 580 today and the first Tester registered in March 2007.
A: 592
WinnerFarhana from Essex

15 June – 14 July 2009
Q: Which TIPS Award did the Aquasolari washable absorbent bed pad receive last month?
A: Aquasolari washable bed pad
WinnerTina from Lanarkshire

e-newsletter 14 
main competition

The lucky winner of the £200 BumGenius bumper package isJoanne from the West Midlands

e-newsletter 14 

  • The lucky winner of the Ella's Kitchen cool bag filled with baby food is Abigail from Ayrshire. 

  • The six lucky winners ofNatracare new mother gift packs are: Catriona from Ayrshire, Jacqui from Yorkshire, Kat from Surrey,Moira from Hampshire,Natalija from Lancashire andSarah from Yorkshire.

  • The lucky winner of the £100 travel voucher from Tots to Travel is Dawn from Perthshire. 

  • The two lucky winners ofWeleda mother and baby goodies are: Paula from Staffordshire and Kim from Derbyshire.
  • The two lucky winners of the book The food maze are:Heather from Hampshire andLesley from Hampshire.

  • The two lucky winners of theDribblebuster T-shirt and bib sets are: Nicola from Dorset and Julie from Wiltshire.

  • The lucky winner of the Bride & Groom duck set is: Vivi(pictured below with Hubby) from Tyne And Wear.

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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...

- book

- events

- my story

- products

- podcast

- websites

- Late News

regular features....

- advice line

- TIPS Testers' pix!

new competitions

- Babycare - back to basics

- TIPS top tips

TIPS baby


Here is Melia and we thought you would agree that this is a delightful picture of this inquisitive baby enjoying her colourful mobile. A signed copy of Breastfeeding – the essential guide is on its way to you for when you grow up!
TIPS toddler


Here is Devyn (our very first TIPS baby featured in the very first TIPS e-newsletter) breastfeeding her dolly while mummy is busy feeding her new baby Caleb (featured as a TIPS breastfeeding baby in e-newsletter 14).
TIPS family


Here is a beautiful family shot showing three gorgeous girls called Sophie (age 4), Millie (age 2) and baby Evie (age two weeks). Thank you to Mummy Joanne for sending us this lovely shot.
TIPS bump


©Eric Richmond -

This is one supple mum-to-be! Here we see professional dancer, acrobat and circus performer Desiree balancing gracefully on the arms of her husband Martin. Desiree was eight months pregnant at the time of this exceptional photo shoot and we are thrilled to be able to share it with you. A few weeks later baby Aksel arrived to complete this new family (see picture below). Visit Desiree's website - - and see more amazing shots.


TIPS breastfeeder


Baby Evie (featured in our family shot above) shows us how to attach and feed like a real pro!
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!

New growth charts for breast-fed babies are now available. The charts and full supporting educational materials can be downloaded here.


TIPS competitions
Maud's Baby Show -competition


We have two tickets to a Maud's Baby Show plus a £50 voucher to use at the event to give away. For a chance to win this wonderful prize answer the following question: How much does it cost to attend one of the Maud's Baby Shows (visit to find out). To enter,  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it - no later than 25 September 09. We will announce the winner in e-newsletter 16.
To read all about Kaz (pictured below) and her innovative events, check out our featured website


Aquasolari mini-competition 1

For a chance to win one of two Aquasolari washable bed pads(RRP £29.99 each)  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by 25 September 09. We will announce the winner in TIPS e-newsletter 16


Frugal Life mini-competition 2

For a chance to win one of two copies of the Frugal Life This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by 25 September 09. We will announce the winner in TIPS e-newsletter 16


Little Book of Holiday Fun mini-competition 3

For a chance to receive one of 10 copies of this booklet This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by 28 August 2009. We will announce the winners in TIPS e-newsletter 16


Dribblebuster mini-competition 4


For a chance to win a Sillybillyz bib, a pink Dribblebuster bibs gift pack, or a blue Dribblebuster bibs gift pack (pictured below)  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by 25 September 09. We will announce the winners in TIPS e-newsletter 16


eNews15_pinkDribblebuster eNews15_blueDribblebuster

Bio - fem mini-competition 5

Our friends at Bio-Fem have kindly offered three sets of Bio-Fem Instant Relief Compress and Bio-Fem Instant Moisturising Balm (see full reviews for these award winning products here). For a chance to win  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by 25 September 09. We will announce the winners in TIPS e-newsletter 16.


Best Beginnings mini-competition 6

We have eight copies of the Best Beginnings DVD (reviewed in TIPS e-newsletter 11). To get a copy  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it - no later than 25 September 09. We will announce the recipients in e-newsletter 16.



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