News

What is the difference between buggy clips, buggy hooks and secure buggy clips? February 10 2014

What is the best clip accessory for me? Buggy Clips, Buggy Hooks, Secure Buggy Clips, Simple Buggy Clips or Super Clips!

Good question! There are so many types of buggy clip in the market, they look the same, seem the same, and look to have the same purpose, so how do you choose the best product for you?

Firstly, they each have a different purpose and actually do different jobs. Let me explain further:

Buggy Clips:

Feel safe in the knowledge that your personal items are safe and secure with this style of buggy clips.

They are perfect to hang  accessories, light shopping or your baby changing bag from. Typically made from extra strong Velcro straps to fit most buggies, prams and strollers these make for the perfect accessory for any mum or dad on the go. You can add or remove items simply and quickly with one hand without having to remove the clip from your buggy.

Expected Features:

  1. Easy to use spring clip. Ideal for one handed operation.
  2. Adjustable Velcro strap to fit most prams and buggies.
  3. Safe and secure clips for handbags to prevent theft.
  4. Extra strong Velcro for easy re-usable fitting.
  5. Expect to have two clips which will make it perfect to attach heavier loads and a baby changing bag.

Buggy Hooks:

This is a very popular choice for most mums, you can keep your hands free and stroll with ease with most styles of Buggy Hooks.

These excellent easy accessible hooks can hang baby accessories, light shopping or your baby changing bag. Typically made with strong adjustable Velcro straps to fit most buggies, prams and strollers make this the perfect accessory for any mum or dad on the go. Different to buggy clips, as these are not secure, but do provide easy accessibility, which can be a good thing but also a bad thing. 

Typical Features:

  1. Hooks can holds up to 2.5Kgs of shopping etc.
  2. Adjustable Velcro strap fits most prams and buggies.
  3. Some Hooks can rotate 360 degrees to fit different shape items, although some hooks do not rotate.
  4. Extra strong Velcro for easy re-usable fitting.
  5. Look to have two hooks as this makes it perfect to attach heavier loads.

Simple Buggy Clips:

There are many styles on the market, but simply they all do the same function. These simple to use buggy straps are perfect for all mums wishing to attach a baby change bag to any pushchair.

Typical Features

  • Simple to Use
  • Easy Clip Design (all metal)
  • Extra safety for bags
  • Clips can either be threaded or hooked over the stroller handles
  • Look for a pack that contains 2 Clips

Super Clips:

A really great product, you can feel safe in the knowledge that your personal items are safe and secure with this carabineer style clip.

There are many large buggy clips on the market, however they essentially do the same job. These clips are perfect to hang  accessories, light shopping or your baby changing bag. That should be made from lightweight alloy to fit all buggies, prams and strollers, which makes this a great accessory for any mum or dad on the go. You can add or remove items simply and quickly with one hand without having to remove the clip from your buggy.

Typical Features:

  1. Easy to use spring clip.
  2. Ideal for one handed operation.
  3. Safe and secure clip for handbags to prevent theft.
  4. One large clip make it perfect to attach heavier loads and or a baby changing bag.

This is a simple guide to the different types of buggy clip on the market. It all comes down to personal preference and what works best for you! All of these products are available from the miracle box, great lifestyle products for parents.

 


Keep your pushchair safe from thieves with this simple and effective buggy lock February 06 2014

Ask yourself this question? What is the most expensive essential baby item I have purchased? Most of you will say pushchair!

With prices ranging from £300 to over £1000, have you considered how you would feel if this was stolen?

All to often we hear:

"I heard about a woman that had one pinched from centre parks"

"My friend had her buggy pinched from outside a ride at Disneyland Paris. Could be a similar situation at any theme park!"

"My buggy was stolen outside our play centre"

"I had my stroller stolen outside the cinema"

 

Buggy Burglars have become a major problem in the UK. With the rise of designer prams, strollers and buggies, there is a black market growing at a fast rate of knots.

Halifax Home Insurance has revealed a £60 million black market for stolen prams.

Tested by mums  before launching...

Select from our Standard or Deluxe Pram Locks to secure your Expensive Pram, Buggy or Stroller. These locks provide a Heavy Duty Deterrent to potential thieves. Simply keep the lock attached to your Pram, Stroller or Buggy and secure when necessary. The heavy duty braided steel wired cable is coated to prevent scratching and the lock is cast in  ABS Plastic to provide durability. Use your lock to attach:

  1. Buggy to Buggy
  2. Buggy to Railings
  3. Buggy to Bike Rack
  4. Buggy to Drain Pipes

Did you know that 20% of Prams, Strollers etc. are stolen from outside Toddler Groups*

(*Taken from independent Police reports in Thames Valley and Kent)

To protect you buggy, stroller or pushchair find out more here about pushchair security


The In's and Out's of Birthing Balls (all you need to know) January 28 2014

Ins and Outs of Birthing Balls

I am probably asked 10 times a day by mums, how effective are birthing balls? Do birth balls really work? Why should I purchase a birth ball?

I totally understand why I am asked these questions, from the untrained eye how can a birthing ball offer so many benefits. I cannot stress how effective they really are. I have been recommending birthing balls to mums for over 10 years now and I still cannot believe how effective they really are during pregnancy, labour and during the postnatal period. I have seen the benefits for myself when my wife used a birth ball during the birth of our son.

As an advanced personal trainer, I have studied the benefits and seen the benefits. I have even developed a birthing ball package to help mums realise the benefits during pregnancy, labour and afterwards using a birth ball (this is called the miracle box complete birth ball package) plus I have also written a book “The Essential Exercise and Birth Ball Handbook for Pregnancy and Beyond” which is sold in Amazon, Waterstones, Boots the NCT (National Childbirth Trust) to name but a few.

So let’s answer some of the questions I often get asked.

What is the difference between a birth ball, exercise ball, gym ball or Pilate’s ball?

Essentially they are all the same thing. The main and most important difference is whether they are made from an anti-burst material. What does this mean? This means the ball will deflate slowly rather than with a bang if punctured.

 

How do you know if it is anti-burst material? 

I often get asked this one. Basically, it will say on the box, website or on the ball. If not and you are given one from a friend, typically a non anti-burst ball will have a shiny surface. If you touch the ball it will feel thin and they tends to be softer. If you are unsure, do not use and purchase a quality anti-burst birthing ball. Some birth balls have a non-slip finish, which helps them grip to the floor as well as helping you to grip the ball when sitting on. Always check the small print when you buy a ball. This is particularly true if you're ordering a gym ball rather than a birth ball. What you need is a ball that is 55cm, 65cm or 75cm in height when inflated. The size depends on your height. Some gym balls can come up much smaller than you expect when inflated.

What size birth ball is right for me?

You will find different guidelines on many sites, and some sites only recommend 65cm and 75cm balls, which I believe is wrong. Through working with midwives, doulas, fitness professionals and many 100’s of mums over the past 10 years, I always stress that it is very important to purchase the correct size ball based on your height. As I tell many mums, firstly, makes sure that your hips are slightly higher than your knees when sitting on the ball when fully inflated. Also the reason you need the correct size ball is for balance and stability. Do not get a larger ball than suggested, as you will find your centre of gravity changes during the later stages of pregnancy, it is important to be in full control when sitting on a birth ball, especially if you intend to do some light exercises.

Sizing Guidelines:- 

55cm for 5'5" and under (165cms and under).
65cm for 5'6"- 5'9" (167.5cms to 173cms).
75cm for 5'9" and over (173cms and over).

A birth ball will take your weight, whatever your size. Good-quality balls are pressure-tested to support weights up to 300kg.

Inflating a birth ball

Depending on your ball, you may get a measuring tape with the ball, which indicates as a guideline whether your ball is at the correct height. If it does not have this, as a rule of thumb, inflate your ball so that it's firm but still gives a little when you press into it. Typically press the ball of your thumb into the ball, if it goes into the ball no further than 1” you have the prefect pressure. Birth balls tend to be thicker than an exercise ball, and will generally take a couple of days to get to the correct height. All balls are slightly different and you may tend to lose some air over time. You'll probably find you need to top yours up to keep it at the correct height for sitting comfortably, with your knees below your hips. Do not over-inflate your ball as you will find it hard to use correctly and you may lose your balance and slip off. Always follow the guidelines with the ball. During the later stages of pregnancy you may want to let out some air to soften your ball. This is useful to do when using in labour. This will make it more comfortable and stable to use.

Using a birth ball for the first time

First of all don’t be afraid of your ball, don’t think the ball is going to burst, roll away or you are going to fall off. You will be surprised how stable a birth ball is!

When you first sit on the ball, it's best to have someone with you to support the ball (especially in the later stages of pregnancy). This will give you the opportunity to get used to staying balanced on it. Always make sure that you are wearing non-slip shoes or go barefoot, socks can often slip especially on smooth surfaces. Make sure that your feet lay flat on the floor, shoulder width apart, so that you feel comfortable and balanced. Place one hand on the ball and lower yourself onto it, once you're comfortable, place your hands onto the sides of the ball by your side. You can start with pelvic tilts (rocking your pelvis from side to side or back to front) this will feel very comfortable and you will find this feels very natural. Then perhaps have a little bounce! This is great for getting your baby excited and helping to open your pelvis. If you feel unsteady at any point hold on to or whoever is near you, such as a chair, table or person.

If you're going to use your ball for exercise, make sure you have a clear area around you. Exercise in a slow and controlled way. Breathe normally, and stop if you feel any pain or discomfort (Watkins 2001). Some birth balls come with safe and effective pregnancy exercises like the miracle box complete birth ball package.

How can I use a birthing ball during pregnancy?

The possibilities for using a birth ball seem to be endless. The earlier in the pregnancy the better, I would certainly suggest using from 6 months and it will become of more use during the later stages of your pregnancy. You can use it to:

Sit on comfortably while you are working or relaxing
Birth balls tend to be more comfortable, and easier to get up and down from than from a sofa or chair. At the same time whilst sitting on the ball you are doing a mini-workout, working your core muscles around your back, sides and stomach area. 
Do gentle exercise
Using your birth ball is a fun way to improve your posture, balance and pelvic floor. Exercising your core muscles during pregnancy can help your body to support the weight of your pregnancy. It can also protect your back, and help you get back into shape quickly after you've given birth. You may also want to try exercising your pelvic floor while sitting on your birth ball.
Help change the position of your baby in late pregnancy (optimal foetal positioning)
If your baby is in a back to back position, adopting upright, forward-leaning positions may encourage him to switch around. Try sitting or squatting and leaning over your birth ball, always with your knees lower than your hips. Try pelvic floor tilts and bouncing on the ball as this may encourage your baby's back to swing forward so he's in an anterior position, with his back towards your bump.
Its a great time to practise positions for labour
If you try out different positions for labour while you're still pregnant, you'll know how they feel and which are comfortable for you. Look out for our complete guide to birthing positions during labour.

 

How do I use my birth ball during labour?

Using a birth ball can help you adopt different labour positions, which can help you be more comfortable in your labour. It has been proven to shorten labour times. Using a birth ball during labour has been shown to help reduce the pain of contractions. Some midwives and doulas recommend a combination of a birth ball and TENS unit to help. These are especially useful for home or natural births. You may find you instinctively sway and rock in rhythm with your contractions and a birth ball gives great support for this.

Below I have outlined a few positions that work best during labour:

During labour you will find that sitting on a

birth ball will help relieve back pain/pressure. It

will also help to open the pelvis and cervix.

Rocking from side to side/back to back or

bouncing will also help aid pain relief. Make

sure that your pelvis/hips are higher than your

knees (as per the image).

 

You will find leaning forward on the birth ball

will help during contractions and will also help

relieve any back pressure. Hold your knees with

your hands or lean further forward it that helps

with your elbows on your knees. During the

contractions lean forward, in between sit more

upright.

You can always soften the ball, by taking a little

pressure out of the ball during the later stages

of labour, to make sitting on the ball more

comfortable.

Kneeling on one leg with one leg forward,

whilst leaning on the ball for support. You may

find this position very comfortable. You can

always put a pillow on the floor to help take the

pressure of your knee.

 

We have included a complete guide to birthing positions when using a birthing ball within the miracle box complete birth ball package

Should I use my own birth ball or one in the Hospital?

Most labour wards and birthing centres have birth balls to use during labour. I recommend taking your own, as you will definitely have one for use and you know where it has been. It'll be easy to clean your ball afterwards by washing it down with warm soapy water and using antibacterial wipes.

What do I do with my ball after the baby is born?

You may find your birth ball more comfortable to sit on than a hard chair, particularly if your perineum is sore. You can deflate your ball a little to make it softer and take the pressure off any stitches or bruising.

You could also use the ball to sit on whilst breastfeeding, you will find that it is better for your posture, as sitting in the sofa can be uncomfortable and your posture tends to slump which is not as good for when feeding.

Many mums have also mentioned that bouncing on the ball while cuddling your baby helps soothe them and often gets them to fall asleep. You can use your birth ball to perform post natal exercises, which is ideal for helping to strengthen your core muscles and also to help perform pelvic floor exercises.

As your baby grows up, you may find that the birth ball often becomes a great plaything or you may use the ball as an office chair, which will help your posture and help reduce back ache.

To summarize just a few of the benefits of using a birth ball:

  1. It will help alleviate back pain.
  2. It helps to get your baby into the optimal foetal positioning, if you baby is back to back.
  3. It will help with pain relief during labour.
  4. It can help reduce your labour time.
  5. Excellent for pregnancy exercises.
  6. During the later stages of pregnancy it can offer support and comfort when sitting on.
  7. Perfect for Post Natal Exercises.
  8. Excellent platform to aid Pelvic Floor Exercises.
  9. Use as an office chair to help posture and help reduce back problems.

 


What to look for when buying a Baby Changing Bag for the first time January 25 2014

What makes a for a great baby changing bag?

Today, changing bags have become more and more of a fashion accessory, this is all very good, however, they do need to be spacious, functional, practical, easy to carry and if you want it to stay looking new, made from wipe clean material. Once you have all the basics considered, choose one that looks great too!

Beware of choosing a changing bag that's too big, unless you have twins, or wish to carry for the family, as it can become bulky to carry. Deep bags can also be a problem, it may hold a lot, but it may be hard to find what you are looking for, unless they have a light coloured interior, as it has been proven a bag with a dark colour interior is much harder to find your personal effects. As a busy new mum, you don't want to be rummaging for that elusive, but essential, item in the deepest reaches of your bag. Changing bags come is a range of styles from backpack to shoulder bag style, both styles offer practicality making it easier to leave your hands free for carrying your baby or pushing the buggy. However, there are now a great range of practical accessories for clipping your changing bag to your stroller/pram or pushchair. Examples are Secure Buggy Clips, Super Clips or Buggy Hooks, each making your life easier, when shopping or holding your baby.

All too often dads, says “I am not carrying that bag”, so it really is worth thinking about your lifestyle before choosing a changing bag. Is this bag just for you or are you both going to be using the bag? Do you need a large or small changing bag? Do I need a bag to occasions? Etc.

There have been over the last couple of years, a massive influx of baby changing bag ranging from the very basic to the super deluxe. Before you buy here's what to look for: (taken from a survey of our mums)

  • Must have a Wipe Clean Material: as changing bags tend to get a little messy.
  • A Padded Changing Mat: essential for all those nappy changes.
  • Plenty of Pockets: for keeping things separate and to hand.
  • Compartments: useful for keeping bottles separate or used nappies separate from clean clothes.
  • An Insulated Bottle Pocket: another useful feature for keeping items hot or cold.
  • Accessories: some come with extras, such as a dirty nappy bags etc. Find out what you get for your money.
  • Mesh, see-through pockets or Light Coloured Interiors: help you spot the items you need from inside your bag more easily.
  • Washable or wipe-clean lining: things can get messy inside the bag, so you need to be able to clean it easily.
  • Shoulder strap: this makes the bag easier to carry.
  • Buggy Clips

Weight Training When Pregnant January 22 2014

Its that time of year again! New Year Resolutions. Everybody want to get fit, introduce a diet, meet somebody new etc... We often get asked is it safe to continue exercising when pregnant? We could write all day about this, however, below is an article we published some time ago, that helps answer a few questions on weight training during pregnancy.

 

A  recent  study by the University of Georgia has suggested that supervised, moderate intensity weight training is safe and beneficial for pregnant women.

The report,  Safety and Efficacy of Supervised Strength Training Adopted in Pregnancy observed 32 pregnant women undertaking strength training twice a week for three months.

The results show that no injuries occurred while potentially adverse symptoms (such as dizziness) were very infrequent – taking place only during 2.1 per cent of all sessions.

The benefits were recorded and produced significant results – the percentage increases in external load from weeks 1 to 12 were 36 percent for leg press, 39 per cent for leg curl, 39 per cent for lat pull down, 41 per cent for lumbar extension and 56 per cent for leg extension.

Blood pressure was unchanged following acute exercise sessions and after 12 weeks of exercise training.  The researches concluded: “The adoption of a supervised, low-to-moderate intensity strength training program during pregnancy can be safe and efficacious for pregnant women.”

The study was published in the current issue of Journal of Physical Activity and Health (volume 8, Issue 3, March 2011). For a synopsis click here. or for more information visit exercise professionals

If you would like to continue exercising during pregnancy, the miracle box complete birth-ball package, provides safe and effective exercises during and after pregnancy, as well as information on Optimal Foetal Positioning, Late pregnancy postures, exercises to help move your baby plus getting baby into the best postition for birth plus so much more.. click here to find out more


New Product Launch Buggy Stroller Lights January 20 2014

I was recently driving through a small village coming back from a meeting. It was  approx.. 8.00pm, it was dark and drizzling. Typical weather for this time of the year, when my headlights caught sight of a mum walking to the side of the road, with a pushchair. She was not walking on a path, there was no path, she was actually walking to the side of the road. The pushchair was black, mum had a black coat on, the village was dimly lit, and it was at that moment, I thought not a great combination. Was this an accident waiting to happen?  Sometimes we forget about our own personal safety, let alone our most precious thing in our lives. We have to get somewhere, time is short, running late, only have a black coat, what ever the reason it we need to step back and think! It was at that moment, we put together a simple, cost effective pack to help in this situation, our buggy/ stroller lights.

Would it not have been great to see Mum, clearly and with warning.                                       

 

Our Out & About Lights from the miracle box...have been tested by mums for 6 months before launching...

 

Simply Improve your personal safety and visibility at night, with these bright LED lights. Tested on a range of buggies and strollers, we have included three lights within our pack. Two Red Lights and One White Light, perfect for night time safety.

Features:

  1. Includes three individual lights.
  2. Batteries included.
  3. Ideal for buggies, strollers, prams, scooters, bikes, backpacks or personal clothing.
  4. Simple wrap around attachment.
  5. Three Light Modes, Constant, Side to Side, Flashing

Available from themiraclebox for £5.99