Shorter days are here and for us at Match Up Mums there is a lot to pack into them – and the nights too, as I’m sure any working mums will appreciate! October was a really busy month for us. We matched up lots of new groups across London from Stoke Newington to Twickenham, got some lovely feedback from matched up members, and set up some new partnerships - see further details on these and the exclusive discounts available to our members below.
We also took a stand at the Baby Show – three whole days of mums-to-be and new mums, so we decided to offer what surely every one of them wants – a comfy sofa and loads of cake! We really enjoyed meeting lots of new people and it was lovely to meet many of our members in person too, so thank you all for stopping by for a chat – here are just a few of the friendly faces we saw over the weekend and yes that is Annabel Karmel, she came to say hello too.
We’ve got lots more matches to come following our Baby Show sign-ups, but do keep on spreading the word about us to other mums and mums-to-be. It really helps us to keep finding good matches for all the mums on our network. It was fascinating at the Baby Show to see a fair few first time mums-to-be who had their birth plan sorted, and everything planned for their new arrival from the pushchair to the cotbed to the sterilizer and nappy bin – but hadn’t really given any thought to how they were going to spend their days over their maternity leave away from work. Not surprisingly their mums, older sisters and friends who already have children were urging them to sign up. So do tell any new mums in particular just how important it is to get that support network of friends in place, and we’ll be only too happy to help them of course.
New Member Offers
There are new perks to being a member, too – we are pleased to say we have a load of exclusive offers from a range of mum and baby-friendly businesses, so even if you are waiting to be matched up or have already been introduced to your group, you can benefit from being one of our members.
New partners in this last month include First Aid for Life (as seen on Sky News recently), an Award Winning First Aid training business that specializes in paediatric first aid and is offering a discount on all their courses to our members. We are also introducing Hello Mums, a babysitting agency that guarantees babysitters who are thoroughly checked and vetted and all first-aid-trained, and is offering all of our members a free month’s subscription. There are loads of other great offers and discounts on our members’ page, from lovely children’s and maternity wear at JoJo Maman Bébé, to the Bump to Baby massage package from Home Spa London that sounds so lovely, it’s enough to make me want another baby! Almost. So have a look and remember that we post new offers and deals on our Facebook page all the time – if you like our posts regularly, Facebook will keep putting them in your news feed, otherwise you can just check in on our page from time to time.
Until next time, I’ll leave you with two guest posts from our partners. Medina Sam of MK Kids’ Interiors gives some great advice to anyone planning a toddler’s bedroom and Louisa van den Bergh of Lulubaby gives her top tips for anyone expecting or planning their 2nd baby. We hope you enjoy reading them.
Thank you again for your support and for keeping us good and busy, we really appreciate it.
What to expect 2nd time around
by Louisa van den Bergh of Lulubaby
1) Make time to actually consider how you are going to manage when number 2 arrives. For example, line up support; organise a close friend or relative to look after your older child when you go into labour; fill up the freezer with home-made ready meals; have your number 1’s schedule written out in case you are in hospital for longer than expected. Not only do these practical actions help you once baby arrives, but they are also good for making you feel more confident and prepared!
2) Spend time talking to number 1 about the imminent arrival. Let him/ her engage with your tum, feel the kicking, chat about what he/she will be like, what name he/ she could be called. If they are still very little, there are some great books you can buy to help your firstborn understand (e.g. “There’s a house inside my Mummy”).
3) If you had a hard time of it before – either with delivery or breastfeeding, don’t be afraid to talk to a professional (midwife, obstetrician or breastfeeding counsellor, etc.) to help understand why things happened like that, and steps you can take to have a more positive experience.
4) Imagine some challenging scenarios with which you may well be confronted – e.g. toddler tantrum in supermarket, with new-born crying for a feed. Think about what actions you could take so that if such a situation does arise, you know exactly how to deal with it calmly. We find many mums worry about the tea/bath time of day, so have a plan of action for how to cope with this tricky time of day.
5) Once your baby has arrived and if your number 1 is playing up a bit, put yourself in his/her shoes and imagine what it would be like if your partner came home with another woman! Be empathetic and help your first born to deal with his feelings – it is not an easy time for them and being told how wonderful it is to have a sibling falls on deaf ears (initially at least!).
Designing a toddler's bedroom
by Medina Sam of MK Kids’ Interiors
There are 3 essential things to consider when designing a room for your toddler: Safety, Storage and Stimulation.
Safety – Toddlers are usually little explorers. Ensure that hung items such as picture frames and shelves are secured on the walls. Cover corners of furniture with corner guards to avoid painful collisions. Cover all electric plug sockets. If you decide on blinds, install a chain break connector or use a cleat.
Storage – You’ll be amazed at the collection of toys, books and clothes your toddler has accumulated. Let storage be a top priority when designing a room; write a list of all the items that you don’t want to see on entering the room and create storage accordingly.
Stimulation – Create an area within your child’s room, where they can learn and play. Between the ages of 3-6 years children are like sponges so create a great experience for them. I suggest a creative reading corner, or an arts and craft station.
Don’t forget Match Up Mums members get a discount on MK Kids’ Interiors design services and discounts on lots of Lulubaby classes, including their ‘2nd time around’ antenatal course - a one day condensed workshop for mums expecting their 2nd baby.
See our Members page for full details of the discounts available from all of our partners.