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Create More Than Cards, Create Memories To Share

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When a new baby is born, you are so time deprived and have so many tasks to master you wonder how you'll ever find the time to thank people for their beautiful gifts and well wishes.

As baby gifts keep arriving well after the birth of your baby, the guilt slowly starts to build up and you think I really need to start sending out my thank you cards. Babycards.ie offers a quick and easy way to say thank you and can help you produce beautiful personalised cards in just a few easy clicks. There's a variety of gorgeous designs in various shapes and sizes so we're sure you'll find a design which shows off your new baby perfectly! Once you've ticked ordering your thank you cards off the list we know you're anxious to receive them as quickly as possible that's why we aim to deliver your cards within 3 days and for free anywhere in Ireland.   

Whilst there may be other websites offering what seems to be a similar product we make sure you receive cards which are printed to the highest quality. Your cards are important to you and need to be right and we want you to be proud and excited when you give them to friends and family. Having a baby is one of life's special celebrations and sending cards is an important and appropriate way to mark the occasion.

At Babycards.ie we pride ourselves on printing more than just cards, we help you create a memory to hold which lasts forever.

always a pleasure, share moments you treasure

 

6 Week Postpartum Check Up

New Mum with Baby

POSTPARTUM CARE

After many visits to the doctors and hospital during your nine months of pregnancy there is one important appointment, the 6 week check-up which must not be missed.
 
This postpartum care is important. Your doctor will want to make sure you are healing well and will also want to know how you are coping with looking after your newborn baby.  
 
During your 6 weeks check-up you should expect to have:
  • Your blood pressure and weight checked
  • A pelvic and breast exam
  • The healing of your episiotomy, perineum, vagina and cervix checked
  • Your uterus checked to see it has returned to a non-pregnant size
  • Your incision looked at (if you had a caesarean) to check it has healed well and your stitches checked (if applicable).
The doctor may also want to ask you what birth control methods you are considering and how you are adapting to life with a new baby. If you are breastfeeding they may also ask whether you have had any problems with your breasts or lactation and they will also ask if you are having problems urinating and if so may ask for a sample.
 
You may also have questions of your own and the 6 weeks postpartum appointment is a good opportunity to ask them as it may be sometime before your next visit. Some questions you may have could be:
  • When can I start driving again?
  • How can I ease back into my first sexual experience after giving birth?
  • When can I go back to work?
  • How can I get relief from varicose veins/ haemorrhoids/other problems?
If you have feelings of depression after the arrival of your newborn you may also want to discuss these with your doctor.

Your 6 week postpartum check-up is the ideal time to raise any questions or concerns you may have and to gain reassurance that you are coping and recovering well following the birth of your baby. 

 

6 Week Check Up for New Baby

6 week check up

 

WHAT HAPPENS AT THE CHECK UP

 
This 6 week new baby check is often a very exciting one for most new parents as the doctor will assess their baby’s general health, physical growth and behavioural development.
 
Special attention will be paid to your baby’s hearing and vision as well as their body control and social responses.
 
During your baby’s health checkup you should expect the doctor to:
 
 
 
 
  • Check their hearing - the doctor will check your baby is startled and responds to sudden noises.
  • Check their vision - they will see if your baby focuses on your face with their eyes and follows you around the room and if they turn towards bright light.
  • Complete a full physical examination - this will include a complete check from head to toe; examining their eyes, ears, mouth, neck, hips, tummy, hands and feet, head control, spine and anus. With a boy the penis and scrotum will also be examined.
  • Take measurements of your baby - this will include weighing them, measuring their length and head circumference. These measurements enable the doctor to plot your baby’s growth on a chart and provide a good indication of their development.
  • Check their reflexes - some reflexes your baby once displayed disappear around the age of 6 weeks such as the grasp reflex i.e. when you stroke a baby’s palm and their hand closes on the finger.
  • Check their muscle tone - this is usually done by moving their arms and legs.

THE BEST TIME FOR AN APPOINTMENT

New Baby

The 6 week baby check-up is an important milestone for you and your baby so it is important both you and your baby feel comfortable for the duration of the visit. The best time to schedule an appointment is when your baby is awake, but not hungry. Usually about an hour after a feed is the optimal time for an appointment but you know how unpredictable babies can be sometimes!
 
Also, make sure you are prepared for your visit. Although the appointment may not be overly long, it is still an outing with your baby so you still need to pack all the usual items such as spare nappies, wipes, spare clothes, feed (if applicable)- anything you usually have in your baby bag and be sure to bring your bag into the appointment with you.

WHAT TO EXPECT

What to expect from your six week old baby at check-up:
  • They begin to control their head a lot more
  • They make gurgling noises and begin to respond to you
  • They will be smiling or starting to smile when they hear your voice
  • They can follow a toy or light which dangles in front of them
  • They will watch you with an intense expression

For a premature baby the rules are slightly different and you have to take into account a baby born 3 months premature, at 6 months of age will often only display the developmental signs of a 3 month old. However, overtime these development skills become less obvious and usually by two years of age a premature baby will display the same developmental signs as a baby born full term.  

 

Most Popular Baby Names in Ireland

Baby Name

BABY NAMES

Perhaps the most astonishing fact about the most popular baby names in Ireland is how few nowadays are actually Irish! It seems the more traditional Irish baby names have been replaced in more recent times with more modern alternatives.

In the official list for 2010 only 4 out of the top 10 boys names were native Irish and only 1 Irish girls name featured in the top 10.

Click on a name for more details and to learn about it's origins. (Information supplied by nameberry.com)

 

TOP TEN BOYS NAMES - 2010 TOP TEN GIRLS NAMES - 2010
 1. Jack 1. Sophie
 2. Sean 2. Emily
 3. Daniel 3. Emma
 4. James 4. Sarah
 5. Conor 5. Lucy
 6. Ryan 6. Ava
 7. Adam 7. Grace
 8. Alex 8. Chloe
 9. Luke 9. Katie
 10. Dylan 10.Aoife

Although the Top Ten Names feature few traditional Irish names the shift does change if you study the Top 100 Baby Names as over half of the names on the list are authentically Irish. Listed below are the most popular Irish names for boys and girls and their position in the Top 100:

BOYS NAMES - IRISH GIRLS NAMES - IRISH
Cian (14)
Liam (15)
Darragh (16)
Oisin (17)
Patrick (18)
Cillian (21)
Eoin (29)
Callum (32)
Shane (33)
Fionn (35)
Tadhg (40)
Cathal (42)
Finn (46)
Ronan (50)
Ciaran (53)
Rian (54)
Eoghan (55)
Rory (57)
Cormac (59)
Killian (62)
Dara (71)
Senan (74)
Oran (75)
Shay (76)
Odhran (77)
Ruairi (88)
Niall (91)
Calum (93)
Daithi (94)
Lorcan (97)
Daire (100)
Ciara (15)
Saoirse (18)
Caoimhe (24)
Niamh (25)
Roisin (32)
Erin (36)
Clodagh (39)
Aisling (42)
Eabha (55)
Aine (58)
Tara (62)
Sadhbh (65)
Aoibhinn (67)
Caitlin (75)
Aoibheann (76)
Eimear (78)
Aoibhe (79)
Orla (85)
Orlaith (94)
Sinead (97)

To view the complete official list supplied by the Central Statistics Office click on the link below:

http://cso.ie/en/media/csoie/releasespublications/documents/birthsdm/2010/babiesnames_2010.pdf

 

Digital Photography Tips for Perfect Baby Photos

Photo Tips

SEVEN USEFUL PHOTO TIPS

Taking a photo of a baby can be a tricky and time consuming business. However, with the advancement in digital camera and mobile phone technology in recent years, the job just got a little bit easier since you can click away until you finally get the perfect photo.

Babies tend to be naturals in front of the cameras, they often have great facial expressions and it's great to be able to look back in years to come at some great baby photos. Below are 7 helpful tips tips to help you take perfect photos:

Tip 1 - Take Plenty of Pictures

The greater the number of pictures taken, the greater the likelihood of attaining the perfect baby photos. So keep clicking away and eventually you will capture the perfect shot.

Tip 2 - Find a Partner to Help You

Of course you can always take the pictures yourself but sometimes it is often helpful to have a partner to assist you. They can play Peek-a-Boo or shake a favourite toy to try and make your baby giggle and smile. Having a partner to help you often makes the process more enjoyable and fun. the burst mode or sports mode on your digital camera can often be a great help as you can take a number of photos in quick succession to ensure you capture all those perfect baby smiles and cute facial expressions.

Tip 3 - Choose the Right Light

Right Light

To get great baby photos it is important to capture them in the right light. If you are taking photos outside the best time of day to do this is early in the morning in partial shade or early in the evening. These times of day experience softer light and capture warmer tones, plus you have the added benefit of your baby not squinting to avoid sunlight.

If you are taking pictures inside try to use natural light. Window light is great and diffused lighting provides for a softer feel. Try to avoid taking pictures with the flash. Flash can often wash out colours and babies in particular are sensitive to bright light.

Tip 4 - Avoid Distracting Backgrounds and Colours

Place your baby on a neutral rug or against a neutral background to obtain the best baby photos. Avoid bright toys in the shot as these can often detract from the main focus, which is of course your baby. Dress your baby in simple clothes for the same reason as noisy, bright clothes can leave your baby's skin tones looking washed out.

Right TimeTip 5 - Choose the Right Time

Before you attempt to take your baby photos make sure your baby is well rested and fed to guarantee lots of smiles. Make photographing your baby fun for both of you and try not to set your expectations too high, know when to put the camera away! There will always be another time. When your baby is tired after their photo shoot, it's always an idea to use this naptime to get some great shots of your little one sleeping like a baby!

Tip 6 - Add Family and Friends

Photos of your baby with someone special create a great story and are great to look back on. Be creative with your photos, they can be tiny fingers against an adults hand, or pictures of family welcoming the new arrival.

Tip 7 - Explore Black and White Photos

Black and white photos are timeless and often add a feeling of fine art and capture features and subtle details which are often missed in colour. Why not take a collage of black and white photos and use them to tell a story.

 

You've read some useful tips on digital photography so now it's time to put them to the test and see if you can capture the perfect photo for your cards.

To view our thank you cards click here or for some inspiration on what to write check out our wording page

Have you Got Your Bag Packed?

Hospital Bag

THE ART OF PACKING A BAG

The packing of a bag starts when you are pregnant and are approaching the final stages of your pregnancy and people constantly ask you the question "Have you got your bag packed?", to which the majority reply with the answer "No".

My theory is the labour bag is just the start of things to come with regard to bag packing and in a sense helps you to prepare for the constant packing and unpacking of bags which seems to go hand in hand with having children.

NAPPY BAG

It all starts off with the "nappy bag". The majority of new parents take a considerable amount of time to choose the perfect nappy bag. For a start it has to be practical and feature all the necessary handy pockets to hold wipes, nappies, cream, change of clothes, bottles etc and of course be fashionable.

After all the nappy bag is a "must have" item and will undoutedly hardly ever leave your side for the next few months so you want this bag to help convey a good and proud feeling of your new role as a parent. In addition, the nappy bag has to be unisex in style since both of you (I hope!) will share your new found parently role and have hands on experiences.

Nappy BagHaving said this, we all must recognise that there is undoutedly a difference between the male and female perspectives when it comes to packing the nappy bag. Men often have the view women over-pack but I would strongly dispute this fact based on true experiences where my "over-packing" has helped to avoid a potential catastrophe or possible child melt down! My husband on the other hand steers more towards the theory of less is more. He is quite happy to venture out of the house packing as little as possible. I believe this too may have some advantages, the main one being children may become more resilient - especially when is comes to being cold, wet, hungry or sunburnt!

MASTER BAG PACKER

The nappy bag is the first in a long succession of bags to be packed. Since my children arrived I have become the Master of Bag Packing. When the nappy bag era was over we moved onto the nursery/daycare bags, then progressed onto kinder bags and finally we reached the dizzy heights of the school bag! Let me make this clear, these are just the normal everyday bags, lest we forget the more specialist bags such as swimming, play dates, beach bags which we are also required to pack. In addition there is is "just in case bag" which usually resides in the back of the car and contains a change of clothes so every unforseen eventuality is covered.

Therefore, I have to honestly say, the joy and pride exprienced when I packed my first "nappy bag" for my first born child has begun to dwindle slightly as the years have gone by and the volume and variety of bag packing has intensified. There is no doubt the beginning of your Bag Packing life commences with the nappy bag and I believe only ceases to exist when you delegate the task to your children and they follow in your foosteps to become Master Bag Packers themselves!

For more information on our range of cards click here

Choosing Baby Names

Baby Name ChecklistCHOOSING A BABY NAME

Choosing a name for your new arrival should be fun yet for many parents it can sometimes be viewed as one of the most stressful decisions they ever make! There is so much to think about when choosing a baby name.

First of all (if you have chosen to keep the sex of the baby a surprise) you will have to make two shortlists: one for boy's and one for girls.

You will have your own ideas on baby names and so will your partner and other family members and friends! In addition, there may be a family tradition regarding names which you have to take into consideration and also you may want to choose a name which works well with other siblings. Furthermore, you may be searching for a name which has a certain meaning or is associated with a specific culture.

 

TOP BABY NAMES

Choosing a Baby NameMany websites have compiled a list of the top baby boy names and baby girl names from official country statistics. If you log onto http://www.cso.ie/statistics/top_babies_names.htm you will see a list of the top 25 Irish baby names for boys and girls. Whilst over the years there has been some rivalry for the top spots many of the names on the list appear year after year, proving they are a popular choice with new Mums and Dads. The popular names obviously have wide appeal and have captured the hearts of the nation. They have character and form and we know these names will stand the test of time.

Some parents prefer to choose more unusual names for their child, something which is away from the mainstream and perhaps has a more exotic and exciting feel. Unusual baby names often bring a breath of fresh air but it may be wise to weigh up the pros and cons when choosing one for your new baby.

Many parents often wait until the baby is born before choosing a name. Seeing the face of your new born baby and being finally introduced to one another can often just trigger a name. There have been many instances where new parents have spent hours researching and deciding on a name and then when their baby arrives they decide their new baby boy or new baby girl just doesn't look like their pre-chosen name and so the search begins again!

Approaching the challenge of naming your baby is a BIG responsibility and one which you will carry on your shoulders for the rest of your life! However stressful the decision may appear, be rest assured your new son or daughter will at some point be named, and be in doubt in the end you will choose a name you are proud of as you will have spent a condersiderable amount of time thinking and researching your choice!

To view our full range of baby shower invitations click here or check out our article for what to pack for your stay in hospital.