As I have previously mentioned we have been lucky enough to be chosen as a #GenerationGraco Brand Ambassador this Summer. Last week I wrote about our review of the Evo XT and Snugride i-size car seat and how we took it to Hampton Court Flower Show. It was the perfect size to move around all the plants I brought….ooops. As part of this Graco invited us up to London for the Graco Baby Bootcamp, unfortunately I had to work that day so Hubby took the boys alone. I was quite surprised that he agreed to go unaided, testament in some part to how easy the Evo XT is to handle I guess. While there the boys got up to all sorts including a buggy assault course. Monkey had a whale of a time.

As part of the session the Sarah Redshaw from the BabyCentre shares some top tips for new parents or expectant parents:

BabyCentre Top Tips of Parents of Newborns

Manage your expectations

  • You will be feeding a lot – whether breast or bottle, it is time consuming
  • You won’t eat a hot meal for a while – feeding, winding, playing and sleeping will pretty much take up all of your time!
  • You will feel vulnerable – but this will pass. Whatever your expectations are, lower them. Remember to look after yourself

Bonding with your baby

  • Skin to skin contact is really important, make sure you and your partner both get plenty of skin to skin contact. Your smell will be really comforting to baby
  • Your baby will have got used to your voice in the womb, be sure to talk and sing to your baby regularly to keep up this bond
  • Pick up on their cues. Parenting doesn’t come with a manual and each baby is different. You will learn what each sound and movement means as your baby develops
  • Newborns love looking at your face and mimicking your expressions. Try sticking your tongue out to see if baby copies!
  • All babies reach milestones at different times, whether it’s responding to sounds, lifting their head, staring at faces, following objects, smiling and more! You will always meet mums who’s baby did everything better and faster than you. Don’t be fazed by this! Also, if your baby was premature, remember to use adjusted age guidelines. If you are really worried, speak to your health visitor

Graco Evo XT and SnugRide i-Size Review

Sleeping, feeding, routine

  • Baby will sleep for 16-17 hours a day in the first week, and will feed between 8 and 15 times a day. After the first week or two, this will decrease to 6-8 times a day. Breastfed babies may feed more often. On day one, your baby’s stomach is the size of a hazelnut. By 14 days it’s the size of an egg!
  • Between 6-8 weeks baby may get into more of a settled routine, however this rule isn’t hard and fast and it may take you a few weeks to notice

Tips for the first few months

  • It’s normal to worry – the most common questions we see on the BabyCentre website are about skin conditions and baby poo! It’s normal to worry, but you’ll find you relax as your baby develops and you get to know each other. If you are really worried, see your GP/midwife/health visitor
  • Get prepared. Before baby arrives, set up an online shopping account. Netflix and Amazon Prime are also good subscriptions for new parents! Most of these subscriptions have free trial periods. Be sure to write down your login and password somewhere!
  • Practice getting the car seat in / out of car, collapsing the pushchair / travel system, fitting car seat to pushchair and removing it
  •  Get a nightlight or bedside light with a dimmer switch for night time feeds
  • Keep a small screwdriver in house – musical mobiles, white noise toys etc all require a screwdriver to get into them! And stock up on the batteries you might need for toys
  • Breastfeeding is hard. It doesn’t always come ‘naturally’. Take your time and be patient
  • Contact baby groups near you to check if there is a wait list. Arrange to see friend and visit your local baby centre. Maternity leave can get lonely!
  • If you think you are going to go back to work – research nurseries /childminders early – some have a six month + waiting list.
  • Depending on your birth, leaving the house and going for a walk with your newborn may feel like a huge obstacle but you will come back with an enormous sense of achievement and pride
  • Have your changing bag ready and stocked to leave the house, apart from the obvious things like nappies / wipes, some other items that may be useful are things like breast pads / change of top for Mum, a few freezer / zip lock bags for any messy baby gros, and spare soother

As part of the event Kipper also got to try out the Graco Move With Me which is the brand new high performance, ultra-compact swing with easy room-to-room portability. As one of the first swings to allow parents to carry their infant from room to room, the Move With Me helps to soothe baby everywhere they move. Suitable from birth to 9kg, the compact swing features an easy two step folding mechanism and integrated carry handle allowing for easy storage. The two-position recline and the padded seat offer optimal comfort for baby, while the five point safety harness ensures they won’t wriggle out. The Move With Me not only comes with a choice of 10 pre-set musical melodies and 5 built in sounds to relax and soothe baby, but also an MP3 adaptor to allow parents to play personalised music and sounds. The innovative new swing can be powered by either batteries or the mains, providing parents full flexibility to take baby wherever they go. With a RRP of  £179.99 its available in store at leading baby retailers in the UK.

With loads of useful information for parents to be and a wide range of innovative products, Graco really does think about its end consumer. Hubby said he learnt loads even though we have had two little ones already. Unfortunately no amount of negotiation will encourage him to try for a pink one, so for the time being I will have to make do with sharing that knowledge instead of putting into practice. Thank you for a great event Graco


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  1. ashleigh allan Reply

    Lots of great tips – very helpful. The graco move with me looks fab

  2. paula cheadle Reply

    would love to have one around where I live, would be good for my daughter

  3. Hayley Todd Reply

    This is a fantastic idea! Thank you for the really useful tips!

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