Friendly outdoor for your baby

The thought of taking your baby for a walk in the park or for a picnic can be quite terrifying and worrying. We help you overcome your fears and introduce you to a number of outdoor activities for your baby that will stimulate his development.

1. “Alice in Wonderland”

This is how your baby is going to feel on his first day outside. Make sure it is a sunny, warm day and take your baby for a stroll in the nearby park. Bring a blanket and sit down with your baby. You can place on the blanket smooth rocks, wood sticks or flowers so the baby can touch them. In a hot summer day, you can also help your baby step on the grass with his empty feet.

2. In the league

You can pretend to play games that involve a ball with your baby: football, volleyball or just… throwing the ball. Have patience though, babies lose their interest quite fast.

3. “Autumn in New York”

In case you do not have the luck of a sunny summer day and everything is just colourful foliage, you can take your baby for a leaf-collecting session. Help your baby gather beautifully shaped leaves and put them in an album.

4. “Around the bubble in 80 days”

This one is mostly for you because you will be the one that is going to move more. Take out a bubble blower and blow them in your baby’s proximity, encouraging him to catch the bubbles. It is a silly, but fun game.

5. “Home, sweet home”

Bring outside some of your baby’s toys and play together on the blanket, helping him discover the world around him with something familiar.

When you go out with your child make sure you talk to him about the things around you. Even though he cannot talk and seems to ignore you, explain to him sounds, objects, nature and so on. He will be very excited about these new things. Scientists claim that outdoor activities help the baby sleep better.

 

 

Fashion up your baby room

Once you introduced the baby to his new room, you have to make sure the room will be a safe and pleasant environment in which your child will grow up. We give you some tips on how to make the room safe, as well as ideas on how to decorate your baby’s room.

Temperature

The right temperature for a newborn room is between 16oC and 20oC. In warm, sunny days, close the curtains and open the window a bit. During hot weather, wipe your child gently with tepid water. Also, make sure the baby’s skin can breathe.

When it comes to cold weather, avoid electric blankets, radiators and heaters around your baby. Make sure he stays warm but without sweating during cold times. This way you avoid flu. It helps you keep the situation in control if you buy a room thermometer.

 Furniture

It is going to be rather difficult to buy the wardrobe to Narnia but you can still furnish your baby’s room in an efficient, fun way.

For babies of 3-4 months, you can buy Moses basket or a crib. They come in all forms and colours.

As your baby grows up you can buy a cot. That option is available from the beginnings as well, if you make sure the baby cannot roll out of it.

Fill the bed with safety mattresses or 100% cotton-sheets and blankets. Cotton keeps the baby dry and does not lead to overheating as quilts and coverlets. You can buy duvets for babies older than 12 months.

To be efficient in space and time, you can also buy a changing table that you can place in the bathroom or the baby’s room.

Storage is very important at this point. You will need many shelves to store the baby’s clothes, toys and feeding products so try space-saving furniture, usually made by Japanese producers.

Décor

While you improve your baby’s room, you can also have fun decorating it. The newest trend in terms of painting the interior walls is the so-called wall art.

With a simplified, nature drawing you can fill the wall of your baby room. Trees, quotes or cartoon characters can create a relaxing, fresh atmosphere in your baby room.

If wall art is too expensive or complicated, try one-colour paint but choose the nuances carefully. Some relaxing nuances are Stillwater 16-4610, Delicacy 11-2409, Sensible Hue SW6198, Aloof Gray SW6197, Shantung 11-2 or Chartreuse.

 

Baby “parteh”. How to host a fun baby shower

The term “baby shower” started a lot of fuss on cultural grounds. Known first as an American tradition and later on as a reason for gifts, a lot of people especially from Europe regard this event with reluctance. In Victorian times, instead of the baby shower women got together in order to share knowledge about baby nursing and explore together the grounds of maternity. The easiest and most accessible approach to a “baby shower” is to set it up as a reason for celebrating and partying in the light of the wonderful news: whether is a pregnancy or the coming of the baby.

Here are some tips on how to throw a “baby shower” without getting caught in the cultural wars.

Ca ching! The sound of money

Before organizing the baby shower for your friend or family member settle the budget. Going for a less-expensive party will save the guilt of your friend and your bittersweet taste. You can book a table in a restaurant or coffee shop, plan a get-together evening at your house or throw a surprise-party.

The round table

Once you have decided upon the budget, consult with the people you want involved. Make sure you communicate efficiently with your event allies and avoid a disaster (especially in the case of surprise-parties). Brainstorm about the theme and location of the event.

Theme

You don’t want to leave a hole in the guests ‘pockets or yours, but the “baby” word needs to pop up at some point. An easy way to cover the theme without great expenses is to give in to your child spirit: buy funny balloons or sweets (teddy bear jellies, lollipops, coloured liquor etc.). Remember that the baby shower is not a party for babies but for adults that want to share the “having a baby” experience.

Invitations

Decide the guest list. Though the number of guests should be in your mind from the first steps, now you have to name them. Make sure you don’t leave out important people like grandparents or relatives of the newborn’s family. You should decide on participants that are interested and would enjoy the event. Also, for a stress-free party, you can mention on the invitation that is a gift-free shower; that way people won’t turn down your invitation on financial issues.

Let the fun begin

A way of keeping people in touch with their inner child and… with the event is to play games. There are few typical baby shower games that you can count on for your party:

1. Baby Face (based on parents’ features, the participants need to guess how the baby will look like in the future);

2. Play-Doh Babies (guests have to make babies from modelling clay)

3. Baby mime (Mime is the best icebreaker game in all times, ask the guests to mimic baby or parent activities)

What is most important: at the end to be an amusing, relaxing experience for both hosts and guests. Avoid blocking your thoughts on the “baby” word and focus on planning a relaxing time for everyone.

 

 

The Baby Gifts Dilemma: “what to gift or not to gift, that is the question”

Is your dear friend or relative expecting a baby? Do you hyperventilate when you think about it? Cast away your fears and embrace the universe of baby gifts. It is not as terrifying and expensive as it seems.

Most people worry about the financial burden that such a gift can cause to them. We don’t need to prove to the baby how happy we are by ordering a mini, pink and marshmallow-dressed interior car. Instead, focus on products that can enhance the development of the baby.

Below, we have made a list with the cheapest and most efficient baby gifts.

BOOKS: We don’t expect a baby to read but a book can help the parents of the newborn to strengthen the relationship with their child. How? Simple; babies perceive the voice of their mother and are highly sensitive to vocal tones and nuances. If the parent reads a fairy tale to the baby, the little one will develop a rich imagination and fall asleep with a nice ring to his ears.

MUSIC: Related to the first option, music proved to be the most therapeutic instrument. A CD/DVD with children songs or symphony is a perfect gift for babies. Classical music is known for helping the brain develop, relax and train. Plus, it can be quite funny to see the baby trying some dance moves.

Pay attention, though. Inappropriate music can also send the wrong stimulus to the brain of the baby so avoid heavy metal and loud noises.

TOYS: Don’t we love them all? Buying a cute doll or stuffed animal can be the most suited gift for a baby. When it comes to toys for babies, we need to consider the fact that the baby will munch and chew on the toy so a right material would be non-toxic and unbreakable. Buy large, washable toys and check the safe tag!

FEEDING OBJECTS: Another cheap and safe idea for a baby gift is a feeding bottle. Choose a colour and a happy print to suit the occasion. Alongside with the bottle you can also buy a matching baby dummy, wrap them nicely and TA-DA! You have the gift.

PHOTO ALBUM: As cliché as it may sound, it is actually a fine idea for a baby gift. That album will be held by the child ten years later and he will be ashamed of the funny pictures his family took. A photo album is a treasure chest, filled with memories and good moments and you are the one that will offer it to the baby.

Good luck!

Welcoming the newborn to the family

You have already gotten used to that growing bulb in front of you. But at the thought of 9 months finale it is going to kick you from the outside, you start to panic. Worry not! That little spring of joy that you carry will be properly welcomed in the new life with our 5 tips.

1. Impulse control

First of all, try to control your shopping craving. The excitement of new items, cute and colourful and the variety of newborn products that seem to lure you… However, this time you need to be chary of spending money. The baby growth rate is quite rapid. In the first 6 months, your newborn may grow 1/2 – 1 inch per month and you don’t want to buy new clothes each month.

At the news of you expecting a baby, your closest friends and family already bought or plan to buy lots of toddler clothes, even bury you in borrowed items.

2. Prioritize

Keeping the new baby healthy is of most importance. Buy the right feeding products. While you are breastfeeding, you can acquire breastfeeding pump, nursing bra and feeding support pillow that can make the process less stressful for you, because less stress for mommy means a happier toddler. Also, sterilize the feeding bottle or any product that comes in contact with your baby since they are very sensitive to bacteria and viruses.

3. The Special Bag

Whether you buy a tote bag or borrow one, you need this for the most necessary items that will follow you and your baby everywhere… just everywhere. It should contain: diapers, baby blankets, plastic bag for used diapers, towel, and baby wipers. If you plan to travel with your baby in a car, buy a baby car seat or borrow one.

4. Dreamland

Prepare the sleeping place for your baby. Buy or ask the people around the house to help you build a crib according to the safety standards. If you are short on money, just make sure that the sleeping place for your baby is going to be safe, comfortable and secure since they tend to roll over and move a lot. You need to make sure the baby will not end up with a pillow or blanket over his face.

5. Be there

Your baby needs to feel you close. Talk to him, play with him (in a gentle way). When he is crying, do not hesitate to take him into your arms and soothe his pain. Do not believe the saying that being next to your child will make him „soft”, a baby’s primal need is his parents’ affection.

Have a joyful baby experience!

21 Weeks pregnant

About 10 inches long, your baby is now about the size of a carrot. There’s a lot of space in the womb for her to move around and kick from time to time. If you haven’t taken the anomaly scan yet, now is the right time to make an appointment. This scan will check for specific risks and will identify the placental position (if possible).

How the baby is developing at 21 weeks

Taste buds are quite developed at this point. Your baby swallows amniotic fluid and its taste depends on what you’ve digested, which means that whatever you eat, your baby will be able to taste it. There is research indicating that babies will have a preference after birth for foods they tasted in utero. That gives you one more reason to eat healthy veggies and fruits.

Your baby has also fully developed fingernails, eyebrows and eyelids. Those glossy images from the scan appointment will start to look better and better.

Your lifestyle and pregnancy symptoms at 21 weeks

Don’t let stress get to you. Take time to relax, have baths and massages and continue with your exercise routine. Whenever you sit or lay down, look for props to keep your legs elevated. This will help diminish leg cramps.

Avoid greasy foods that can cause heartburn and limit your daily calories intake to 500 calories a day. Keep an eye on your weight. You should gain about one pound every week in this trimester. It’s quite common to experience unusual cravings that are unhealthy for you. It helps if you always keep around varied snacks that are healthy substitutes. The key strategy is not to abstain from eating unhealthy foods, but to control your shopping behaviour: don’t buy those junk foods, alcohol and cigarettes in the first place.

Scan appointments at 21 weeks

The anomaly scan is usually taken around 18 to 21 weeks, so if you haven’t went to that yet, schedule an appointment this week. The sonographer will offer you a detailed analysis of the anatomical structures of your baby: limbs, spine, heart and tummy. There are specific risks to look out for at this particular stage, which is why this scan is so important. At the end of the scan, you will receive a detailed report with the analysis. Take it home with you and keep it for reference at other medical appointments. If possible, the placenta position will be identified as well during the anomaly scan.

The growth scan can be taken from 16 to 24 weeks. This week or the next three weeks are just right for taking this scan, as it is more likely for the sonographer to be able to measure your baby from head to toe. Before 21 weeks, your baby could only be measured from head to bottom.

Do you know the baby’s sex yet? You can have a gender scan to find out just that, or you can specify to the sonographer that you want to find out the gender as well during another ultrasound appointment.

Organize Your Pregnancy Pictures and Memories

Do you keep all of your baby scan images in an envelope or do you plan to get crafty and create a baby album scrapbook? Here are some cute and practical ways to organize scan images, videos, photos of your bump and other memorable items.

Have a digital backup

Before you put your ultrasound images on the fridge and spread them around the house, make a backup for each picture. Whether you decide to share them online or not, you still need a cloud folder where all your pregnancy images – even the baby scan images – are stored digitally. This is to ensure that your precious memories are safe in case the actual images get lost or deteriorate. If you order a 4D scan or an HD scan from our clinic, you will also receive a DVD video recording. We advise you to copy that in your cloud album as well. Having all your files in a digital format also means that you can easily share them with your friends and family online. Even your ultrasound video can be uploaded privately on YouTube and shared with those you send the link to.

Use a software tool to organize your media

Tools like Picasa are great to help your organize your pictures by categories, labels and date. If you prefer to relive your pregnancy memories on your laptop, there are plenty of free software tools out there to create beautiful and well organized albums.

Create a baby album

Buy a baby album to arrange your pregnancy photos and baby scan images in an orderly timeline. If you’re the crafty type, you will have fun creating a baby album scrapbook where you can include all images as well as hand-made decorations from paper. You can also add cards and notes from your partner or from your friends, quotes, measurements of the baby in womb and any other items or information that relate to your pregnancy. These will be treasured every time you look through the baby album.

Frame the highlights

Pick the best pictures and the most precious memories from your pregnancy and frame them to have them displayed in your home. Digital frames are a great choice if you decide there are just too many pictures you want to see again every day. A tip for those of you who use digital frames: have one frame dedicated to the growth evolution of your baby in womb and order the baby scan images by date.

How We Ensure a High Quality Experience at Our Clinic

At Baby Scan Clinic in London, we are committed to ensure that you have a comfortable and safe experience during ultrasound scans and that everything goes smoothly during ordering and making your scan appointment. We aim to further improve your experience with our clinic by offering images and videos that make precious memories and through our friendly staff who will do their best to be helpful to you. Here are a few ways through which we ensure that you will have a high quality experience at every scan appointment with our clinic:

Ultrasounds are carried out by qualified professionals

We are registered with the Care Quality Commission, which means that our services are checked on a regularly basis to ensure that national CQC standards are met. These standards mainly regard how the scans are carried out and how our staff care for patients. Our sonographers will help you be as comfortable as possible during the scan and explain the process in detail. We use gently warmed ultrasound gel to help patients relax.

Making an appointment is easy and fast

Our appointment system works smoothly. After ordering your scan, visit our Appointments page and enter your transaction ID. You will then be able to pick a time-slot for your appointment. That’s it! The system is live, so the time slot you pick will be booked instantly. You can schedule appointments on weekdays and on Saturdays between 9 am and 7:30 pm (we support the Keep Sunday Special Campaign).

If you have any questions about scans or appointments, we’re one phone call away: 020 7099 9644 (office hours are Mon-Fri 9 am – 6 pm).

We invest in state of the art technology

We only use up-to-date 2014 GE Healthcare Scanners to carry out ultrasound scans. This is to ensure that our scans are safe and at the best quality possible. We’re also proud to be one of the first clinics in the world to have the new HD Live Scanners. If you’ve taken an HD live 4D scan, you know what it means to experience seeing your baby in womb at a whole new level of image definition. Quality is in the details. We enable parents to purchase images and videos of their scans – precious memories to be relived in detail thanks to the newest technology.

We keep a warm atmosphere

Our staff is friendly and our clinic rooms have a warm and welcoming design. Have a look at some pictures taken at our clinic.

Your Very First Pregnancy Scan

You can take your first ultrasound scan as soon as you suspect that you’re pregnant due to a pregnancy home test. This can be as early as four weeks, yet an internal transvaginal probe may be used before 7-8 weeks. The main reason for taking this first scan, also called a “viability scan”, “dating scan” or the “early pregnancy scan”, is to confirm your pregnancy – and whether it’s a single pregnancy or a twin pregnancy. The presence of the father is welcome at the first appointment, as mums feel more comfortable with the support of a partner at this very first scan. Here are more things to expect from your first scan:

Calculation of the estimated due date

The estimated due date (EDD) is the approximate date at which you should expect to deliver the baby. The early pregnancy scan is also called a “dating scan” because it estimates your stage of pregnancy and the delivery date. The EDD is calculated based on the date of your last menstrual cycle and other factors like the stage of the pregnancy progress observed during your scan appointment.

Checking for single or twin pregnancy

After the embryo has formed, the sonographer will be able to see if, well, two embryos have formed. Identical twins are at first formed from a single embryo that later divides, so it is possible that one twin may be missed at your first scan, especially if you carry out the scan earlier than 6 weeks.

A scan report

Notes are recorded on a written report during the first ultrasound scan. You can take this report with you at the end of the scan. Keep it for future references at doctor appointments and later pregnancy scans.

Ultrasound images of your baby

At Baby Scan Clinic, we offer two glossy images on the day of the scan, for you to take away. These images make a great addition to a baby album.

How to prepare for the early pregnancy scan

Eat and drink as normal on the day of your appointment and wear lose clothing if possible. Ultrasound images are clearer with a full bladder, which is why we recommend to drink a pint of water in the hour leading to your scan appointment without emptying your bladder.

Read more about what the Early Pregnancy Scan entails at our clinic and the benefits you get. (Hint: mistery gift ahead)

 

20 Weeks Pregnant

Imagine you’re carrying a plump banana weighting around 10 ounces. That’s how much your baby has grown at 20 weeks of pregnancy. A growth scan will tell you the exact measurements of your baby, but most babies will have around this weight and about six and a half inches in size.

How the baby is developing at 20 weeks

In general, babies grow about half an inch during this week. Your baby’s digestive system is developing complex functions, aided by the fact that your baby will be swallowing more than in the previous weeks. Development of brain nerves and of some key body functions is going at a fast pace these days.

Iron is very important for the baby’s development at this stage, especially for the creation of red blood cells. Include in your diet lentils, red meat and other foods rich in iron or iron-fortified foods.

Your pregnancy symptoms at 20 weeks

It is common to feel tummy aches around this time, because you bump is growing fast. The muscles and ligaments of your abdomen are stretching apart to make more room. Use lotions to prevent stretch marks and don’t give up your exercise routine. Exercising helps with muscle elasticity. If you feel uncomfortable during exercise, talk to your midwife or doctor to be reassured if this level of exercise is safe for you. If you feel pain in your pelvis, it’s not a major reason to worry, but your doctor can set a diagnosis and prescribe a treatment to relieve the pain.

Your estrogen levels may cause snoring. Sleeping on the side and with a pillow should help, and you will have a better sleep quality. In general, avoid eating before going to bed for at least two hours to sleep more comfortable and to avoid heartburn. Pillows and props should always be with you for a proper nap and a good night’s sleep. Use them to get comfy.

Scan appointments at 20 weeks

The growth scan and the gender scan are usually taken around 20 weeks. In week 21, however, it is more likely that the sonographer will be able to measure your baby from head to toe during a growth scan. Before this time, your baby can only be measured from head to bottom, because she is curled up. If you’ve decided to find out the baby’s sex, the sonographer may be able to tell you more details about the development of reproduction organs – especially if it’s a girl – as these have already began developing.