Category Archives: General

July 15, 2015

And the Award goes to…

LL AwardsIt is remarkable to see how well children respond to praise to reinforce good behavior. We can see by observing our children’s innocent reactions, how it is in our DNA to welcome positive reinforcement to grow as a person…. And I have to admit, that even as an adult I’m not impartial to it either…

LBP Award 2014 Logo MASTER

Little Butterfly London has received eight award nominations since our launch, last year in September 2014. I was very pleased to see that our baby skincare line is getting so strongly recognised. It has confirmed and even boosted my ambition to continue the journey I have started, and has made me reflect on how far we have come in such a short time. It is a pleasure to see our meticulously designed products and brand, reflected in the appreciation of this competitive market and hear people’s admiration for Little Butterfly London. I am amazed to see it travel from a light bulb idea, onto to the shelves of the country’s leading retailers.

tgp_nba_2015_silverWe were delighted to see our ‘bubbles in the breeze’ top to toe wash win the Silver Award in The Green Parent magazine awards. The formulation is beautifully delicate and enriched with pure organic plant extracts such as meadowsweet, cucumber and oat kernel extract. Alongside this, our hero product, the ‘soft as moonlight’ nappy change cream, which contains more than 18 precious ingredients, has been nominated for five LBP (Loved By Parents) Awards. Our “fall into dreams” mother & baby massage oil, which contains only the most precious and selected ingredients, has been shortlisted for a FreeFrom Skincare award, and our entire range has been shortlisted for the “best infant skincare range” in the Little London Awards.

In many of these categories we are undeniably the smallest and youngest brand, competing Shortlist 15 RGB 72dpiwith strong established players, which have been on the market for many years. We hope however, that what we lack in years on the market, we are making up with unparalleled quality in skincare formulations, all delicately packaged and presented.

Finally, receiving awards is wonderful, but it is only a confirmation that we are on the right track, not the end of the road. We are very grateful for the excellent response we have had from the media and will continue to strive for British excellence, and to provide only the best and safest skincare for the most precious skin of all, that of our little ones.

 

April 8, 2015

How to wean your baby

Weaning your little one can be a daunting task, especially with so many conflicting views around. We speak to Sara Patience, a registered health visitor, nutritionist and nurse with more than 15 years of experience working directly with families, about her new book Easy Weaning and her top tips on how to get your baby eating solids. When is the right time to start weaning?

The Department of Health advises weaning at around 6 months, which is 26 weeks. Prior to this babies need only breast or formula milk. By six months babies are usually able to support their upper bodies in a sitting position, pick up and object and put it in their mouth and swallow. Every baby will be a bit different, which is why the guidelines offer some flexibility. I advise mums to aim for six months to begin weaning. We know that there is no advantage to waiting longer than six months, when babies are beginning to run low on nutrients such as iron, zinc and vitamin D and that weaning before four months, which is 17 weeks, increases the risk of allergy, obesity and choking.

Untitledb What food is best to start the weaning process with?

There is no evidence that weaning should start with one particular food.  If your baby is six months they may start weaning with soft pieces of food, often sharing something the rest of the family are eating, and allow baby to pick the food up and feed themselves, this is referred to as ‘Baby-Led Weaning’. You could try a piece of potato, broccoli, spaghetti, as long as it’s soft enough to easily squash between your fingers. Don’t give hard foods, round or tubed shaped foods. If your baby isn’t yet six months old, or you want to start with purée, you can purée vegetables that you are about to eat, or purée pieces of fruit. Don’t forget that babies tolerate meat very well and it supplies zinc and iron, both of which baby is starting to run out of. Ensure meat is prepared in a way that baby can manage. Start with a small amount of food, if your baby is picking food up, not much will be eaten, if you are using a spoon a few teaspoons is enough for a first go. Then increase the quantities as your baby gets used to it.

Are there any foods that should be avoided in the first year?

There are food restrictions during the first year. Between six months and one year you should avoid: honey, added salt and sugar, whole nuts, liver pâté, shellfish, shark and unpasteurized foods. However, from six months your baby can have ground nuts or thinly spread nut butters, unless there is a history of allergy, cow’s milk used in cooking or on cereals, but not as a main drink and eggs can be given if cooked solid.
Fish also has a restriction in that girls and women of child bearing age should only have oily fish up to twice weekly whilst boys and men can have it up to four times weekly. If you chose to give your baby foods before six months you need to avoid all the foods named above, as well as any cows milk, gluten, eggs or nuts – if you plan to wean before six months, speak to your health visitor for advice.

Any tips on how to broaden the range of foods that your child will try?

Image courtesy of http://www.picturespk.com/

Image courtesy of http://www.picturespk.com/

Fussy eating is almost a right of passage for a toddler – expect it, it’s developmentally normal. However, there are things you can do to minimise fussy eating. Start, by weaning your baby on to home cooked foods, this way, your baby will become accustomed to the foods you eat (I’m presuming you eat healthily!). Offer your baby a wide variety of foods, flavours and textures – if you use purées move your baby off them quickly as prolonged use of purée can increase fussiness. Exposure your baby to foods, use them for play, involve them when shopping. You can do all these things before your baby is one year.  Remember that foods often have to be offered 12 -15 times before they are accepted. If your baby rejects something –don’t take that as evidence that they don’t like it, offer it again.. and again.. and again.

How do I wean my child off formula milk and when?

As your baby increases their intake of solid foods, their milk intake will begin to drop. At eight months, for example, your baby is likely to have three meals a day, and three bottles a day, by one year this is likely to have dropped to two bottles, or beakers of formula milk. From one year, your child can have full fat cows milk and only needs around 350/400mls a day, they will probably have other dairy foods in their diet.
To change from formula to cows milk you can just stop the formula and give the cows milk. If your toddler is used to warm formula, they may prefer warm cows milk. If your child doesn’t seem to like it you can mix the cow and formula milks, slowly reducing the formula and increasing the cows milk. Don’t be tempted to flavour the milk with sugary powders or teas. When your baby has cows milk she will need vitamin D drops available from your health visitor or pharmacy, in fact, if your baby is having less than 500mls of formula approaching one year, they will still need vitamin D drops, so don’t feel they need formula as a ‘supplement’, they won’t be drinking enough to achieve this.

February 9, 2015

How to achieve the perfect post-natal body…

So many celebrities seem to spring back into their size 0 jeans after three months of giving birth and you may wonder how they achieve this so quickly. Pilates expert and mum-of-two Sarah Vrancken (www.svpilates.com) here shares her tips on how to lose weight and tone up quickly…

First of all, you have to ask yourself the question what your perfect body is. Do you want to go back to your pre-pregnancy weight and shape or are you looking to lose some extra weight? After all, celebrities are under more pressure to be very slim, whilst that may not be the look you strive for. 

woman 2If you have had a normal delivery without any complications, then you can start exercising after six weeks. It is best to start gentle and focus on the two important supporting muscle groups of your core: the transversus abdominis, which is the muscle group that wraps around your belly holding your stomach in, and the pelvic floor muscle. The most effective exercises to work these muscles include the Plank position and the classic 100 Pilates position whilst breathing in the correct way, which means you pull in your belly button towards the spine when you exhale. It is so important to get the main stomach muscle to shorten during the post-natal period and doing the above mentioned exercises will help you to achieve this quicker.

In addition to toning exercises, it’s key to incorporate some cardiovascular exercise into your weekly routine that raises your heart rate significantly as it’s the most effective type of exercise to burn off fat. From running to spinning, as long as it makes you sweat and out of breath, it will help you to shed the weight. Of course, it’s not easy to find the time to exercise when looking after a newborn. That is why it can be worth investing in a running machine or spinning bike so that you can exercise at home when the little one is asleep.

However, through my own post-pregnancy exercise routines, I’ve learned one important lesson: you can never out-train your diet. To get results quickly, it’s important to have a healthy diet and stay away from processed food, alcohol, caffeine and sugar. I used the Paleo lifestyle as a template after the birth of each of my girls and this together with a consistent exercise routine helped my body to regain its pre-pregnancy shape. It’s not always easy to say no to that piece of chocolate cake when meeting up with friends, but if you can stay focused then the results will soon follow…

 

December 15, 2014

How to plan the perfect kid’s party…

Rochelle George and Kim Asprey know all the secrets to making your little one’s birthday truly special. Their new London based events company Ruby and Roo create bespoke and memorable children’s parties that celebrate the playfulness of childhood.  Here Kim Asprey explains why she started her high-end children’s party planning business and what her top tips are to make your kid’s party into a success…

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Where did the idea for Ruby & Roo come from?

Rochelle and I have been friends for over eight years, and our backgrounds are a combination of working in child care and development, PR, marketing and events.

The idea for Ruby & Roo came about because we saw that there was a gap in the market for a completely bespoke and high-end children’s party planning company in London. We felt our combined experiences created a wonderful synergy and the perfect grounds for establishing this type of business together. The idea for the name Ruby & Roo stems from Rochelle’s nickname Roo and her antipodean roots…she is originally from New Zealand. We felt it added a lovely twist on your typical party planners’ names and has a nice ring to it too!

What do you enjoy most about organising parties? 

There is so much satisfaction in planning children’s parties to perfection. Seeing the guests’ faces light up in amazement when they enter the party is just the best feeling ever and makes all the hard work and preparation worthwhile. It is a joy to make these children’s dreams come to life and leaving them with lasting happy memories.

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Tell us about the secrets of throwing a great kids party. What are your top three tips?

There are so many important aspects, but we would say the following are essential:

  • + Make a master to-do list which contains the most important details such as your guest list, contact information, supplies, dietary restrictions, RSVPs and so on
  • + Create a theme that your child will love – perhaps recreate a favourite Disney film or character. Send out invites in plenty of time to guarantee a good turnout
  • + Organise engaging and age appropriate activities for the children attending
  • + Show-stopping and lively performers are an absolute must if you want to keep the little ones happy
  • + Unique bespoke cakes that tie in with the theme can act as the centre piece of the party. The food you serve is equally important if not more for leaving a lasting impression with all guests

What is the most unique party request you have received so far? 

We received a brief recently to arrange a science party for a 6 year old girl and we had such fun bringing all the elements together! We organised for two ‘Mad Scientist’ entertainers to teach the children how to make ‘radioactive putty’ and mix dry ice potions. We created a bespoke hand sculpted three tier test tube birthday cake with a popping candy centre and marbled sponge. The candy bar was over-flowing with large test tubes filled with neon marshmallows, mad scientist cake pops, fizz whizz cosmic dust, gobstoppers, sherbet lolly’s and flying saucers. The science themed gift bags contained bubble science kits, a build-your-own microscope and a grow your own plant from gel kit – if only we could be six all over again!

What do you think sets you apart from all other kids party-planners in Central London?

Ruby and Roo is a collaboration of two dear friends who have a collective 30 years of experience working with children and in events. We love what we do and this is reflected in the personal service and great attention to detail that we offer. It is our aim to make every party truly special and memorable and we go the extra mile to achieve this.  We cater to all budgets and we have access to a wide network of trustworthy suppliers and CRB checked entertainers who we work with regularly.

We attend the parties ourselves to make sure everything is perfect and runs smoothly…..

October 23, 2014

A Mother’s Wish List

It is true to say that your life changes when you have children. There is the change in priorities, the change in sleeping habits (sadly…) and the change in your wardrobe (chasing a toddler in high heels turns out to be impossible). However, one of the biggest changes I experienced was that I suddenly became aware of a whole new array of brands and products, which cater for new mummies and babies. There are some stunning items out there – from cashmere blankets to beautiful changing bags – and currently, these are the top five items on my Wish List:

 Cashmere blankets from http://www.purebaby.co.uk/ – from £102 

Bonnie Baby  Sky Blanket in Grey

Bonnie Baby Sky Blanket in Grey

Not all blankets are created equal. A soft cashmere blanket offers a luxurious touch that you and your baby will appreciate. It is worth the investment as it is something you will cherish, use on a daily basis and will keep as a precious souvenir. I certainly did that with mine. My favourite cashmere blanket has a beautiful discrete print on light taupe coloured cashmere with a satin ribbon. It is still in a great condition despite putting it in the washing machine once, which is of course not recommended…

The Nest Bag from Marie Chantal – £495 from http://www.gift-library.com/

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Proof that a changing bag can look glamorous too, the Nest Bag from Marie Chantal ticks all the right boxes, combining practicality with style. Unfortunately, this bag wasn’t available yet when my son was born and I was forever looking for a beautiful, practical changing bag, but nothing seemed worth the investment. If you find yourself on the same quest, looking for a changing bag you want to be seen with, then have a look at the Marie Chantal bags, which come in several colours…

Luxury Mother & Baby Massage Oil – try our Little Butterfly London ‘Fall into Dreams’ Mother & Baby Massage Oil, £27

fall into dreams

fall into dreams

It is one of my favourite products in the range as the Little Butterfly London Mother and Baby Massage Oil not only provides nourishing care for your baby’s skin, but also facilitates a bonding experience with your little one. Gently massaging your baby’s skin is such a precious way to bond and connect with your child. Our massage oil is 100% organic and certified and contains only the most precious of oils such as rose hip, argan, peach kernel, apricot and jojoba mixed with calendula for a healing effect. Very lightly scented with organic orange and mandarine essential oils … just the right amount to make it the perfect sensual experience for you and your little one.

 Silver Cross Aston Martin Edition 2014 – £3,000 from http://luxury.harrods.com/

Silver Cross Aston Martin Edition 2014

Silver Cross Aston Martin Edition 2014

It can’t get much better. The old-style Silver Cross prams are just beautiful, but lack thefunctionality required for city living. You won’t have that problem with the new limited edition Silver Cross Aston Martin, which boasts air-ride suspension, touch-perfect handling and an ultra-lightweight magnesium alloy structure – oh and it goes without saying that it looks fabulous too!

Sleeping bags from Tartine et Chocolat – £85 from Blue Almonds www.bluealmonds.co.uk

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I love these sleeping bags as they are so practical and are available in gorgeous designs and beautiful, elegant colours. I used these for my son until he grew out of them as they kept him warm and snug. As a bonus, these sleeping bags look stunning in the nursery too.