Category: Parent & Baby

Patchwork x No+mi Indulgence Gift Box Giveaway

No+mi giveaway

We think the gift boxes from our friends at No+mi London make the perfect baby shower and birth gifts. Filled with beautiful, useful products, hand-picked by the No+mi team, they’ll make any new mum feel super special and very loved. And now we’ve made it easy for a group of friends to chip in towards one, so it can be presented from all of you at a baby shower, or posted to a far away friend to show you’re all thinking of her. All you need to do is customise one of our new No+mi patchworks (A Hamper for a Mum-to-be, A New Baby Hamper or an Indulgence Gift Box), send it out to friends to fund, then head to No+mi to order your gift.

To celebrate our partnership we’re giving away TWO Indulgence Essentials gift boxes – one for you and one for a friend. The Indulgence box isn’t just for mums to be – it’s perfect for anyone in need of a treat. Each box contains:

1 x Cashmere blend Sleep Socks by YAWN
1 x Dry Nourishing Oil 100mL by Enfance Paris
1 x Box of Herbals caffeine-free infusions by Paper & Tea
1 x Soy Wax Scented Candle 100mL by Earl of East
1 x Luxury Raw Chocolate 45g
1 x 1 Month Unlimited Magazine access with Readly Gift Card

To enter for your chance to win head to either our Facebook page or our Instagram:
1. Follow both @patchwork_it and @nomi.ldn on instagram OR like both Patchwork and No+mi on Facebook.
2. TAG someone in the comment of either this post on Facebook or this post on instagram who deserves a treat
*1 entry per user. 1 winner. UK Only. Ends 06/04/17. Full Ts&Cs below.

COMPETITION T&C’S
Terms & Conditions
The Patchwork x No+mi Collaboration Instagram & Facebook Competition is open to residents of the UK aged 18 or over, excluding employees of the Promoter: Patchwork or their affiliate companies, their families, cohabitants, agents and anyone connected with the promotion.
No purchase necessary.
To enter, you must TAG your friend on the competition posts and FOLLOW @patchwork_it and @nomi.ldn on Instagram or LIKE Patchwork and No+mi London on Facebook so we can see your entry to the competition. Entering on both Facebook and Instagram equals two entries.
The start date of the promotion is 30/03/2017 5.45pm. The closing date by which entries must be received is 06/04/2017 23.59pm. This competition will run for 7 days from the start date ONLY.
Prize
There will be 1 winner ONLY. The winner and their friend will receive 1 x Indulgence Essentials box from No+mi each.
The prize is as stated, is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative.
Should the original prize, or any part of it, become unavailable for any reason whatsoever, Patchwork may substitute a prize of comparable or greater value.
Winner Selection
The Free Prize Draw will be carried out on 07/04/2017. The prize-winners will be picked at random.
The prize-winners will be announced on the @patchwork_it Instagram and Patchwork Facebook page on 08/04/2017. The winners will also be notified via direct message on Instagram and email within 7 days of the Free Prize Draw.
Should the prize-winner not respond to the email within 14 days, Patchwork reserves the right to allocate the prize to another entrant.
The result of the Free Prize Draw is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
General
If Patchwork is unable to satisfy certain terms and conditions of this promotion due to circumstances beyond its reasonable control, they may modify such terms accordingly or, if necessary, suspend or discontinue the promotion. By entering the Free Prize Draw, entrants agree to be bound by these terms and conditions and that their names and counties of residence may be released if they win the prize. Entrants agree that Patchwork shall be entitled to use the entrants’ quotes in any publicity material.
Promoter: Patchwork, 7b Harefield Road, Brockley, London, SE4 1LW

10 Baby Shower Ideas

We love baby showers. There are few occasions in life that are so full of love and excitement. And cute baby things. If you’re organising a shower for one of your bezzies we’ve got some ideas you’re going to want to steal. Take it from us, if you include just one of these in her shower, you’ll have a lovely day. Do them all and you’ll go down in history as the best mate ever. So get your organising-head on and take some notes:

Tara’s baby shower – Hooray Mag

Beautiful blooms

Fill your venue with fresh flowers. This is a foolproof way to make the occasion feel super special. Get friends to help you gather the mum-to-be’s favourite flowers from the market and arrange them around the place – it will look and smell incredible.

Ombre mocktails by Handmade Mood

Make a delicious non-alcoholic drink

Invent a fresh and fruity non-boozy drink for the occasion and name it after your bezzie. We love the sound of this ombre grapefruit mocktail from handmademood.com, but why not do a bit of experimenting yourself with different juices – you can’t really go wrong.

Picnic – Hooray Mag

Throw an outdoor picnic

Picnics make for a practical and relaxed baby shower (weather depending!) with enough room for everyone to spread out and for big kids to run around. Just head to a local park, or ask a friend with a nice garden if you can use their space. Keep things casual by asking friends to bring a blanket and a dish, then make your little area feel special with balloons, twinkling lights and pretty decorations. Don’t forget to bring a garden chair and lots of cushions for the mum-to-be in case she’s not comfy sitting on the ground.

Baby shower biscuits by Tuck Box

Baby themed snacks!

Like these incredible baby biscuits by the genius Tuck Box Cakes. Order enough for everyone and they will be amazed by their beauty. Or if you’re a star baker, whip out your whisk and make some little cakes of your own. We’re not huge fans of the whole pink for girls and blue for boys cakes – why not make some in your friend’s favourite colour instead. Or a nice gender-neutral yellow.

Giant confetti balloons – bubblegumballoons.co.uk

Go polka-dotty

If you’re struggling to come up with a fun theme, polka-dots are always a winner. It’s a bright, colourful alternative to pastels and you can incorporate it into the day in lots of ways. Buy polka dot straws for your drinks, dotty napkins, and huge clear balloons filled with confetti.

A Subtle Revelry

Bring out your inner-artists

There are tons of baby shower games to keep everyone entertained, but this activity might be our favourite. Buy a bunch of plain white baby-grows (in a range of sizes so baby has something to grow into) and some waterproof fabric pens, and get everyone to sit down and draw a design. It’s a chance for everyone to get creative, plus they’re lovely for the new parents to keep as mementos.

Chloe’s Baby Shower – Hooray Mag

Snap a photo

Ask everyone to write down a message for the baby to read when he or she grows up. Then get them to hold it up while you take a photo. You’ll get instant results with a Polaroid camera, but if you don’t have one just get them printed and put them in a little box for your friend to keep.

Chip in for a big gift

Club together for an expensive item

If you know there’s one thing (a pram, cot, or sling) that the new mum really needs but hasn’t wanted to splash out on, get everyone to chip in. With Patchwork you can show everyone the gift, collect cash contributions, then buy it where you like, ready to wrap up and give to her on the day.

Send notes in the post

Send a baby shower in a box

Finally, if your best mate doesn’t live close to you, you can still show them you love them by creating a ‘baby shower in a box’ and posting it out to them to open while you Skype. Fill the box with homemade cookies, handwritten notes, pre-decorated babygrows and all the other fun things you’d have if you were to celebrate in person. Although the ombre mocktails might not travel too well.

Use patchwork to ask a friend to make a cake

Get everyone involved

As with all events, organising a baby shower is way more fun and much easier if you get friends involved. Just use Patchwork to show everyone the plan and ask them to help. You can customise our baby shower patchwork or create your own from scratch uploading your own photos and using images from our gallery. Then write descriptions telling everyone what you want them to help you to make and do. Friends can then click around the patchwork and choose whether to do the decorations, make a cake, bring a dish or pick up mum-to-be and bring her to the venue. With Patchwork it’s easy to keep track of who’s doing what in your account. And once the day rolls around, your friend will have the best baby shower ever, knowing that everyone helped make it happen.

Throw the Best Baby Shower Ever

Yay! Your best friend in the whole world is having a baby. And you’ve been tasked with arranging the baby shower. But what’s next? If you don’t have a clue where to start, read on to find out the answers to all the big questions. These baby shower basics should set you up to host the best shower ever.

Who plans the baby shower?

It’s up to you whether you keep the baby shower plans a secret from the mum-to-be or if you want to get her involved in the planning. Does she like surprises or is she more of a planner? If she’s the latter it might be a good idea to keep her in the know, as the last thing you want to do is stress her out! On the other hand if she loves surprises and has enough on her plate, leave her to relax and keep all of the details a secret. Get a couple of her other close friends involved to help with the planning too – planning any party is much more fun with a bit of help.

When should the baby shower happen?

You can of course throw a baby shower at any point in the pregnancy, but we think the perfect time is around the 7 month mark. It’s super exciting because it’s almost time for the baby to arrive, but it’s also great for mum to have something fun to look forward to, as the last weeks can start to drag. Plus she’ll have a lovely big bump, so it’ll all be feeling very real.

how-to-throw-the-best-baby-shower

Who should be invited to the baby shower?

You should be inviting all of the mum-to-be’s close friends to her baby shower and of course any family she’d really like to see. In fact, if you’re only going to involve her in one aspect of the shower, it should be the guest list. You don’t want to forget about her favourite workmate or beloved auntie.

Baby showers are traditionally a chance for the women in the new mum’s life to get together and celebrate, but if you want to involve the dad, go for it. It is after all his baby too! Mixed baby showers are becoming more popular, so if you want to invite the dad and his friends there’s nothing stopping you – just check with your friend if she likes the idea. Mixed showers work really well when you keep things casual – get everyone together in a garden with a BBQ and you’re sorted.

baby-shower-drinks

What kind of invitations should I send?

You’ve got a few options with your baby shower invitations. If you’re keeping things super casual it’s totally acceptable to send an email invite. You could even use Paperless Post and upgrade your email with one of their beautifully designed e-invitations. For a special touch it’s nice to go for printed baby shower invites, these will feel more formal and the mum-to-be will be really excited when one shows up on her doormat.

If you’re keen to save money there are plenty of ready-to-print designs that you can add your own details to. Or you can make your own from scratch – if it’s going to be a small group it won’t take you long to put together a few handmade invitations and everyone will appreciate the effort you’ve gone to. Send these out 6 weeks before the big day so her friends have time to make plans, RSVP, and arrange babysitters if necessary.

Where should we hold the baby shower?

It depends how many people you’re inviting, if the guest list is over 30 then you might need to look into hiring a venue. Most baby showers tend to be a smaller, more manageable group, so it’s best (and cheapest) to host it in a house. As the organiser it will fall to you to offer to host, but if you don’t have the space you can ask another friend if they would mind. It’s also perfectly acceptable to ask the mum-to-be if you can host the baby shower at her home, just make sure you get her out of the house for a few hours beforehand so you can set up. Send her out for a mani/pedi while you hang your baby bunting. Then make sure you stick around for the clean-up afterwards so she can put her feet up.

baby-shower-decorations

What should we do at the baby shower?

Play games! There are so many brilliant baby shower game options out there and they really are the best way to bond and have fun. We love the old favourites like ‘guess the bump size’ – all you need for that are string, some scissors, and a bump. Buy a bundle of babygrows and material pens and have everyone decorate them for the baby, then get mum-to-be to pick her favourite. It’s a nice touch to have some prizes for the winners – they only have to be little things like stickers and sweets.

Depending on what the mum-to-be has requested gift-wise, she might spend time opening presents too. Then just factor in lots of time for chatting, laughing and getting excited for the baby’s arrival.

How much is the baby shower going to cost?

It doesn’t have to cost a bomb. There are plenty of ways to keep baby shower costs down: host the party at home, make your own decorations, and ask everyone to chip in when it comes to the food and drink. Asking friends to bring a dish is the perfect way to save money and cater for everyone.

You won’t need to spend a lot on drink – since the baby mama can’t partake, baby showers tend to be mostly alcohol-free occasions. Although a little champagne toast among the rest of you is definitely okay – just make sure you have a delicious non-alcoholic option for your bezzie. 

throw-the-best-baby-shower-ever

If you’re looking for an easy, stress-free way to organise a baby shower, setting up a patchwork will take the hassle out of it for you. You can show everyone the plan with beautiful images and your own descriptions, and ask everyone to chip in towards the shower with their time, money, or skills. You could ask granny-to-be to bring a cake, ask your friends to prepare some sandwiches, and get another mate on bunting-making duty. And if you need to ask for a cash contribution towards the day, include that in the patchwork too. Then you can collect the money for the bits and bobs you need, and easily keep track of who’s doing what in your account. It couldn’t be easier.

Customise our template baby shower patchwork or make your own from scratch.

Baby Food Delivery

Lots of people use our site to organise baby-showers and new baby gifts and recently we’ve noticed a bit of a trend.

Food. Lots of it. On the doorstep.

So we asked three new mums why a food delivery, organised and paid for by friends, is such a special gift to celebrate the birth of a new baby.

Harriet and Rosa

Harriet’s friends used Patchwork to organise a hamper from her local deli, health food shop and bakery. Then added “a few of her favourite snacks, some champagne and extra tea bags for all the visitors”.

When Harriet’s husband found a huge hamper on the doorstep he was “surprised, delighted and, after a night of no sleep, very grateful for some fresh croissants and coffee”. Harriet says “I just felt really loved. It was like having a big hug from all my friends and exactly the help we really needed. Not only the most useful present we received but also the most heartwarming. At a time when you really need to eat well you don’t have the energy to think about meals so it was lovely to feel that our friends had thought of everything and were really taking care of us”.

Steph’s friends used our site to collect cash towards a week’s worth of readymade meals from Cook.

“We were having baby number three” says Steph. “We really didn’t need much in the way of clothes, toys and baby things so when my friends asked what they could do as a baby gift I suggested some readymade meals! I was half joking but I was so chuffed when our Cook delivery turned up. Having a new baby is exhausting but of course my other two children expected life to continue as normal. Having meals that were already prepared and required no cleaning up saved my sanity. It also meant I had more time to cuddle with my new baby and rest and recover after the birth. I thought it was such a great idea that I have used Patchwork to organise the same gift for a friend who’s about to have her second baby.”

Hetty’s friends used our cash gift list to organise a supermarket delivery the day she got home from hospital.

“The idea was just to have some really good comfort food and a few easy meals within reach” says the friend who organised it. “As Het has moved away, we couldn’t all pop around with supplies so we thought this was the next best thing.” Hetty says, “I barely remembered or had the time to cook for myself in the first week. So a supermarket delivery from a bunch of friends living 100 miles away was a godsend. So thoughtful and the most perfect baby gift.”

Although we all love buying cute booties and bibs, it’s practical and emotional support that our friends really need when a new baby arrives. And whether it’s a local hamper, a selection of home-made meals or essentials from the supermarket, we think a food delivery is a wonderful way to show your love and offer real support in those first few weeks.

Congratulations to Hetty, Steph and Harriet and welcome to the world Imogen, Jack and Rosa.

Check out our other Parent and Baby gift ideas here.

The Mamahood plans your kid’s party

Fabulous woman and fellow SE Londoner, Diana Bardega, set up The Mamahood a year ago, with the aim of bringing mamas together in their local neighbourhoods. The Mamahood provides mother’s with a chance to get creative, collaborative and inspired with crafting workshops across the UK. She’s written us this great blog about planning kid’s parties to help take the stress out of those little birthdays.

Urgh. If you are anything like me, when the time comes to organise my children’s birthday parties I feel dread. It can be such an expensive, mass produced, stressful affair. From naff decorations, to expensive entertainers, crap food, to heaps of plastic tat that will only end up in a landfill.

But fear not, there is another way. You see, all around us are some incredible, creative, independent businesses who are there to help when we hit party planning season. And better than that, some of them are run by fellow multi-tasking mothers who understand better than anyone the stress of organising a party.

The Mamahood is all about enabling mothers to connect and support each other. I believe passionately that we should be buying and supporting and working together more because when you become a mother you join a community. Regardless of class, religion, creed, choices and status we all understand the pressures of being a mum. So when you shop, shop independent and where you can, support your fellow mamas. Because we all know how hard it can be to manage the juggle.

Plus I’ve done the hard work for you. Here is a round up of my top 5 mama-run businesses to check out if you are planning a kids party.

invites

Invites

I have always found it tricky to find stylish invites on the high street. If you’re a stationery addict (I am) you will love the gorgeous Marby and Elm. Set up by a very talented mama Eleanor, she designs and letter presses in beautiful neons and brights. They are so beautiful you will almost not want to send them.

And if you’re after something extra special I cant recommend more highly the wonderful illustrator and mama Lakshmi. She can sketch a gorgeous illustration of your child that you can use for invites and then keep for posterity. Double win.

kids party tableware

Tableware

Look no further than The Jelly Rabbit. Run by lovely mama Sarah, she will take all the stress out of party planning for you. She sells gorgeous tableware, decorations, Pass the Parcel kits, balloons, dress up – you name it. I love her party kits. Literally everything you need by theme and all delivered – no stress!

kids party craft kits

Party Bags

Sick of plastic rubbish that goes straight in the bin? Then definitely check out Cotton Twist, set up by two mamas Anne-Clare and Alexis. They create the most wonderful craft kits that make the perfect take home alternative to a goody bag. Choose from a huge range of themes that suit both boys and girls. And if you need any party extras like themed food boxes then they’ve got you covered there too.

kids birthday cakes

Cake

For ridiculously beautiful cakes look no further than Blossom and Crumb. Run by mega-talented mama Megan, her cakes speak for themselves.

punk-me-up-ceramics-cafe

Venue

Obviously this is hugely dependent on where you are based, but if you do find yourself in SE London, I can not recommend more highly The Punk Me Up Ceramics cafe. Run by the loveliest mama Toni – her kids party packages (held in the back of her beautiful shop) are wonderful. From the make your own goody bags, polaroids of the kids with their faces painted, painting your own themed ceramics and the mini milk bottles and bento boxes for the kids, every detail is covered stylishly and with minimum stress for you. A huge thumbs up.

To stay on top of workshop news and exclusive offers to shop at mama-run businesses, follow us over at @the_mamahood. Whether you want to meet other local like minded mothers, or just have some time for yourself and learn a new skill, you can find out what’s going on in your local area by signing up over at The Mamahood.

Planning your kid’s party? Take some of the stress out of it with our party planning Patchworks. Ask your friends and family to fund, make and do to organise a stress-free and fabulous party. They can contribute their time, skill or money to make the party happen. Your best friend can buy the bubbles, your mum can bake the cake and your brother can blow up all the balloons. Simple.

Customise one of our party planning patchworks here or create your own from scratch.

Gift for New Parents: Baby Sleep Consultant

Anna has two children. She has a gorgeous three year old daughter Isla who bounces around the house all day and a beautiful six month old boy called Sid who wakes up every hour of the night. So when friends asked her what she wanted for her birthday this year her reply was honest and instant: “Sleep!”

“I adore my children but six months without sleep nearly broke me! I was crying most days and felt like a terrible mum because I kept losing my temper with my little girl. I even wondered if I had post-natal depression. I knew friends who had used sleep consultants to help them in similar situations but spending £300 for professional help seemed completely ridiculous whilst on maternity leave when money is so tight.”

So of course Anna was delighted when her friends got together to ‘patchwork the problem’. From a cup of hot chocolate to a session with a specialist, friends could choose a range of sleep related gift items from £1 to £50 and together contributed the £300 needed to pay for professional help.

A month later and Anna says she feels like a different woman: “It was a difficult week of sleep training but I did it, and actually the fact that my friends had contributed made me even more determined. My baby now sleeps for 11 hours a night and I feel human again. I’m a better mum and I am so much happier – as is my baby! Cheesy as it sounds, I can honestly say that Patchwork changed my life and saved my sanity!”

Thanks for sharing your story Anna. We’re just so glad we could help.

If you like this gift idea check out our Parent and Baby patchworks here.

Gift for New Parents: Newborn Photo-shoot

Vicki loved being pregnant. She really enjoyed watching her bump grow, as did her partner Ralph who photographed it getting bigger every week.

As a photographer Ralph wanted to document the whole experience and so took pictures of the booties, vests and bottles that they bought ready for baby’s arrival. Being super organised Vicki and Ralph pretty much had everything they needed by the time their little boy came along. The only thing they really wanted when it came to gifts was a way to capture their new-born experience together.

Vicki wanted a session with photographer so that Ralph could be in front of the camera for a change and so that an experienced baby photographer could capture the preciousness of those early fuzzy days together before normal life kicked in.

So instead of bringing baby gifts, friends and family used Patchwork to contribute towards a studio session with photographer Martina Bee. And with everyone choosing to buy a particular shot or pay for a print the entire shoot was paid for – capturing a very special day and creating memories that will last forever.

Welcome to the world baby Henry. And thanks for sharing, Vicki and Ralph.

If this post has inspired you to make your own baby patchwork, you can customise one of our examples or create one from scratch.