Missed our Working Mums Club Facebook chat with shopping and nursery expert Amanda Scacchetti? Don’t worry, you can read all of her advice here
Twice a month at Mother&Baby we bring you the Working Mums Club Facebook chat – a chance to get your questions answered about bringing up your baby while juggling work and life. This week, shopping and nursery expert Amanda Scacchetti, Product Development Director at Mamas & Papas was on standby to answer questions.
Amanda's key objective is to create innovative products that will be loved by parents and babies. She's also a mum to Milla, five, and 2-year-old son, Arlo, so knows all about the joint pressures of holding down a busy job and bringing up children. She was on hand to answer questions on juggling motherhood and work, kitting out your nursery and the latest information and advice on which carseats to buy, including the rear v forward-facing debate.
If you missed the chat, here’s what happened…
What's your routine at bedtime? My toddler is going through a very naughty stage and refuses to tidy his toys, get into the bath or help me dress him in his pyjamas. Do you reckon this is a stage?
I think we have all been through this stage, and yes I think it will get better! One thing I find that really helps if you try and get them involved in actually doing things, like asking them to be your little helper. Making them think it’s their decision often helps you get what you need them to do!
I’m 29 week pregnant and not finding out the sex of my baby. I want to decorate my nursery but I HATE yellow (and don't much like green) which seem to be the standard neutral colours. Do you have any advice on how to approach decorating the nursery?
Congratulations! I didn't find out what the sex of my first baby was either, it was such a great surprise after all that hard work. I went for quite a neutral colour, but I got a really cool tree wall sticker with retro patterns that I put on the wall to brighten it up. It depends if you are into more contemporary design or if you prefer a character design. I love the Mamas & Papas Patternology interior collection as there is something to suit everyone – there is a great cloud design that is very generic.
I got a really cool tree wall sticker with retro patterns that I put on the wall to brighten it up
I've designed and developed a new baby change bag - how would I go about getting it stocked in a store such as Mamas & Papas?
I am always really excited about hearing about new designs and products, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and I will make sure it gets to the right person.
Do you feel guilty about being a working mum? I sometimes struggle when my little one gets upset when I drop them off at nursery.
Yes! Of course! I’ve felt better since I became resigned to the fact that I will always feel some sort of guilt - either being away from my kids or being away from work. It’s just the way it is. But what I do know is that the minute I leave the kids, they are happy, contented and socialising with kids their own age, and I am a happier mum overall as I know I need to work to fulfil my own aspirations. I am a happy mum being a working mum, but hats offto all of those mums who stay at home with their kids, it is the most rewarding but hardest job in the world!
I am a happier mum overall as I know I need to work to fulfil my own aspirations
My son is 10 months old and I am looking for my next stage car seat. What would you recommend?
There are a few things that you need to consider that are really important. Firstly, car seats that are rearwards facing up to four years old are 80% safer, and that’s because younger babies' heads are 25% of their body weight, whereas adults heads are only 6% of their body weight. In the event of an impact, if your baby (under four) is forward facing then their head will move forward very quickly due to the impact and their head weight will put extra strain on their neck muscles. So this is why in rear facing the stats are that it is 80% safer as the impact is dissipated across the whole babies' body.
The other thing to consider is that 66% of carseats are mis-fitted so ISOFIX is a great way to hugely reduce the potential misrouting of seat belts. As ISOFIX is also fitted to the car chassis, there would also be less movement in the event of a collision and the car would also absorb some of the force in an impact too.
Which car seat would you recommend I buy?
The Cybex Sirona is a fantastic seat, it has won a significant amount of awards, is easy to put your child in and out as it swivels. I am using this seat for my little boy currently and I find it really easy to use.
I keep hearing a lot about rear-facing carseats and how they're safer for your baby, but surely every car seat is safe? Or are some more safe than others?
All carseats are tested to the relevant safety standards but some get better results in the case of an accident. It's really interesting as the Scandanavian countries have really proven this. In Scandanavia, they have to have their children rearfacing up to four years old in a carseat by law, and their statistics absolutely prove that there are a significantly lower amount of child injuries or deaths because of this reason. For this reason and the answers I gave in the question above, I would absolutely recommend rear facing for longer.
How do you get organised and out of the door each morning? I always end up getting so stressed!
One of the difficult things when getting ready with my kids, especially my daughter is knowing that you are going to be able to get out of the house on time as with all girls she is quite selective about what she wants to wear even though she is only four. So one of my top tips that's made my morning easier is picking out her outfits with her the night before and hanging it on her special clothes peg.
What’s the most surprising thing you've learnt since you've been involved at Mamas & Papas? And what do you think makes a brilliant baby product?
What makes a brilliant baby product, is making sure that products are designed by parents for parents
I think like any mum, my life has changed since having kids, and for me that has been an amazing thing both from a personal and work life perspective. Having had the benefit of spending time with two kids, and over that time using about 20 pushchairs, 15 cradles, 10 highchairs and lots of toys, clothes and bedding, it has made me think differently about how to design and develop product. Great design should be a given, but good design isn’t about the way the products looks, it should also inform how the products work, function and make parents life easier. So in a nutshell, what makes a brilliant baby product, is making sure that products are designed by parents for parents.