A few months ago I heard of a charity called Baby Basics, a volunteer-led project supporting new mothers and families who are struggling with the cost of providing for a new baby. Baby Basics provide essentials and equipment to mothers and families who need some support; including but not limited to young mums, people seeking asylum and women fleeing domestic abuse and trafficking.

Baby Basics started at in Sheffield in 2009, there’s now a growing network of centres across the country. I connected with my local centre and was really inspired by the work they do and their dedication to making an impact on the community. Baby Basics work with midwives, health visitors and other professionals to provide support directly where it is most needed. Their volunteers collect, sort and package a Moses Basket full of clothing, toiletries and essential baby equipment and present it as a gorgeous hamper to a family in need.

We all know Christmas can be a massively expensive time of year, especially for families. There’s often a lot of pressure to buy extravagant gifts and go to events. Plus, Winter in general is more expensive when you have children. They need new coats, shoes, blankets, the heating is on more, you cook more hot dinners. Now imagine that you’re expecting a baby this winter, you’ve left an abusive relationship, recently lost your job or even moved to the UK seeking asylum. I’d imagine that’s considerably more stressful that ‘feeling the pinch’ that we’re all accustomed to this time of year.

 

 

Over the past few months I started buying a few extras when shopping, sorting through good quality/lightly used baby things we have and reaching out to some brands I knew would see the value in lending a hand to someone who needs it. I’ve been completely blown away by the generosity of these companies and so I’ve put this post together, not to make myself seem special but to say thank you to them. Thank you for seeing the value in this little idea. Thank you for making good on your promise to send your wonderful products.

Aqua Wipes kindly made a large donation of their award winning wipes. Aqua Wipes are more than just a baby wipe, they contain over 99% Purified Water ensuring they are natural, caring and suitable from birth. They’re also 100% biodegradable, meaning that you can care for the planet as you care for your child. I’ve used them with Luisa for about 6 weeks now and I would recommend them to anyone, even though Lu is a toddler she still benefits from their gentle formula. This past week she’s been poorly and they’ve really helped to quickly wash her face and hands when she’s feeling sore and has chapped skin.

Childs Farm sent a huge box of their new blueberry and organic mango bubble bath, specially formulated for sensitive skin. Like Aqua Wipes, Childs Farm are committed to making simple gentle products. Their bubble bath is suitable for newborns and upwards. It’s also dermatologist and paediatrician approved as suitable for sensitive and eczema-prone skin. Luisa first developed eczema at around 14 months and we’ve used Childs Farm product ever since. I love how gentle they are, she is a big fan of the fun packaging and we both love the gorgeous scents. Our favourite products from Childs Farm are their grapefruit detangling spray, strawberry conditioner and the famous moisturiser.

Snufflebabe are the UKs bestselling baby nasal decongestant range. They sent a brilliant selection of products for the Baby Basics team to distribute. With the exception of the vapour rub all Snufflebabe products can be used from birth to make a little one with a cold feel a lot more comfortable. I still vividly remember the first time their Nasal Aspirator saved the day in our house! Even now, we still use their vapour rub and vapour oil – they’re both fantastic decongestants and help Lu to sleep a lot better when she’s under the weather.

 

 

If you’d like to make a donation to Baby Basics you can find your local branch here. They’re always in need of baby and new mum essentials as well as bigger items like cots, prams and toys that are in good used condition. You can also support Stripey Stork with donations of goods who may have a centre closer to you as well as your local branch of  Womens Aid.

If you’re keen to find out even more about the work that Womens Aid and the huge impact they have please visit my friend Jaime, an incredible woman, campaigner and mother who spent some time living in one of their refuges 16 years ago. TW for domestic violence.