book-cover-0505www
 

TIPS - expert parenting advice and

 
 

independent reviews of mother and baby products

baby-care-flyer-coverWWW


New to TIPS?
Register

view the latest e-newsletter

Home news stop press

Login






Follow TIPS

feed_icon_44 twitter_icon_44 facebook_icon_44
youtube_icon_44 linkedin_icon_54 pintrest

 
Read Breastfeeding:
the essential guide on
kindle_logo_150
 

TIPS Mission Statement

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

 
Message
stop press
Print E-mail

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.

illustration
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

illustration
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)...

stoppress-July14-nom-nom

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

illustration

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!

 

sharonsignature


 

 

 

6 April 2014

Book review:

The Baby’s Coming by Virginia Howes

illustration
ISBN: 978-1472211736
RRP: £6.99
Published by Headline (13 Mar 2014)
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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. 

illustration

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

illustration

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!

sharonsignature


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

illustration

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

illustration

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!

sharonsignature


November 2013

*** Two TIPS Awards for Bickiepegs teething biscuits!***
illustration


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

illustration

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***

illustration


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

banner
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

illustration

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!

 

sharonsignature

 


 

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...

illustration


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:

illustration

 


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)


illustration

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
 
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Next > End >>

Page 1 of 9