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Sharon Trotter RM BSc

Midwife, Breastfeeding Consultant and Neonatal Skincare Advisor

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All about Sharon Trotter....

Sharon Trotter RM BSc (Adv Studies in Midwifery), Independent Parenting Consultant

Sharon Trotter is a UK practising midwife and independent Parenting Consultant with special interests in breastfeeding and baby skincare. Sharon works independently to advise and promote best practice in these areas and has done for over 29 years. Following publication of her articles in various peer-reviewed journals, Sharon implemented a new policy for baby skincare within her local NHS organisation in 2004. Maternity units all over the UK and beyond are updating their policies in line with this simplified approach, now backed up by the Postnatal Care Guidelines (July 2006) published by NICE, where Sharon is a stakeholder National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE).

She is also author of the bestselling book, Breastfeeding: the essential guide.

In 2007 Sharon launched the unique TIPS Award Scheme, using parent testers who take part on a strictly volunteer basis, to provide parents with the most respected and impartial testing programme in the baby and toddler market sector.

I set up this website in October 2002 so that my peer reviewed articles would be accessible to health professionals.

I would like thank all the people who have contacted me since this web site began in October 2002. I now get emails from all over the world.

If you have any comments or suggestions about breastfeeding, skincare or this web site, feel free to email me.
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All about Sharon Trotter's book ....

 

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Breastfeeding: the essential guide - ISBN 0954838106

Breastfeeding: the essential guide was published in 2004 by my own company ‘Trotters Independent Publishing Services’. The story of my road to publication was featured in the MIDIRS Digest in December 2004.

Since first becoming available from Amazon.co.uk in November 2004, it has consistently featured in the top ten breastfeeding books from over 900 similar titles! Following an excellent review in the internationally respected ‘Journal of Human Lactation’ it is now available from the American giant www.barnesandnoble.com.

Thank you to all my customers (old and new) I hope you are finding the advice useful.

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All about Sharon's company: TIPS Ltd...

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New look TIPS website

Welcome to the new look TIPS website set up by Sharon Trotter, Midwife and Parenting Consultant, to publish evidence-based information about breastfeeding, skincare, cord care and other midwifery-related subjects.

Visit www.tipslimited.com

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December 2013 - e-newsletter 32 published
Welcome to our winter issue!

Like us on facebook – visit the TIPS Ltd facebook page: we publish news (including competitions!), information and advice for parents and professionals regularly.

Our September newsletter was delayed due to my daughter and son-in-law’s wedding so I make no apologies for including a few wedding themed features in this issue. Ashley is our only daughter (we also have three boys) so I was able to enjoy my one and only experience as Mother-of-the-Bride! I am thrilled to report that everything came together perfectly on the day, although I will admit to experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions along the way! We only had six months to organise the wedding celebrations but it turned out to be easier than we had thought. During this time we came across a few great websites and handy tips that we can share with you, not to mention a few of our favourite pictures.

Since our last newsletter in June we have published the results of our two trials: Sterilisers4All and the trusted Bickiepegs Teething Biscuits - which achieved not one but two TIPS Awards! We have also received a delightful review for the all-natural deodorant OY! by Green people. It was sent to us by one of our young testers.

Our featured websites include a unique photography service called: Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org). The more people know about NILMDTS the more families who suffer the tragedy of losing an infant will be able to gain comfort from this very special service. The second featured website is www.motherandbabyhomes.com which launched on 14 August 2013. Mother & Baby Homes is a research based website: it uses oral history interviews to document the stories of young unmarried mothers. These powerful accounts of real life events show why so many women were forced to enter Mother & Baby Homes in England in the 1960s with heartbreaking stories of how their babies were forcibly taken from them and given up for adoption. This is also the subject of our featured DVD, Philomena, starring Dame Judy Dench and Steve Coogan.

Our featured book How to Potty Train, is an easy to use book by Judith Hough and Diane Titterton, designers of the award-winning training pads Dry Like Me. It will help to make potty training simple and even enjoyable for parents and children.

I have been busy writing many of the parenting articles for the second edition of a publication for new parents called The National Parent Guide. This will be available from local registry offices, many maternity units and parenting organisations.

In our Top Tips features, you can find out about National Family Mediation – an organisation set up to help parents with the trauma of separation or divorce. It offers a cost-effective alternative to going to court which is also far less stressful. We feature our friends' Glow Skincare 8 top tips for winter skincare. For those of you thinking about getting married we feature the gorgeous Debbie Graham Wedding Jewellery and Tiaras: a beautiful range of handmade jewellery, designed to your specific needs including the latest trend: back jewellery, as worn by me as Mother-of-the-Bride!

Check out our delightful Testers' photos including pictures of my daughter and son-in-law’s wedding last September. Maybe you have photos of your own you would like to share with us? Remember we're always on the lookout for these - and I will send a signed copy of my book (Breastfeeding: the essential guide) to the sender of each photo we publish.

As well as our regular mix of featured articles (our updated TIPS Toolkits on Breastfeeding, Tongue-tie and Introducing Solids), blog (Grace under pressure), event (our family wedding!), DVD (Philomena), Top Value (ReadyBed®s by Worlds Apart) and Top Treat (Weleda Haircare range) - not forgetting our campaign feature which highlights the fantastic work carried of Independent Midwives UK. Our video clips feature the work of neonatal nurse Sonia Rochel. By watching the beautiful footage of newborns being immersed in warm water baths, we are given a unique view of a baby’s recent life in the womb. Last but not least we bring you part four of our regular feature Diary of a Student Midwife Down Under.

As a special treat for the festive season we are giving away a Tummy Tub full of goodies in our Newsletter Competition so get entering and you could win the lot! Don't forget to check out our 7 mini-competitions with a total prize value of £350! Email your entries and you too could be a winner.

Remember if you are not 'in' you can't win!

Read e-newsletter 32 here....

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June 2013 - e-newsletter 31 published
Welcome to our bumper summer issue!

Like us on facebook – visit the TIPS Ltd facebook page: we publish news (including competitions!), information and advice for parents and professionals regularly.

Our testers have been busy reviewing lots of products: washable nursing pads, two baby oils, a nipple treatment and our first large trial of sterilisers - we will publish the results next month. We're also going to be testing the classic Bickiepegs teething biscuits real soon. Meanwhile, we are delighted that the innovative Vapour Ring from Baby nose-clear® is the latest TIPS Award winner - find out more in the featured products section. We also feature the adorable MamAmor birthing, breastfeeding and babywearing dolls. They haven't been through our trial process, but if they did I'm sure they'd win a TIPS Award!

Our featured website is www.beachdragons.com. Beach Dragons offer an innovative range of UV clothing for children. This Swedish company was founded in 2012 by mother of three Jessica Dahlberg. Jessica spotted a gap in childrenswear and decided to start her own company offering stylish, premium quality beachwear with UV-protection. We are delighted to offer our readers the chance to win one of two UV clothing sets (total prize value is £150) in our e-newsletter competition.

We have three book reviews for you in this issue:
Adventures in Potty Training is about two neighbours who decide to start potty training their children on the same day. It also deals with the very sensitive subject of soiling. The book has been reviewed by one of our parent bloggers whose daughter has also suffered from this upsetting condition.
Birth made easy explains how self-hypnosis, visualisation, different breathing methods and the use of colours for healing and relaxation can help you get the birth you want
• in the Let’s Talk About series of toddler books, we have reviewed My New Baby and Big Beds and Bedtime for you.

In our Top Tips features, you can find out about Train with Nicola Buggy classes - to help new mums get fit with their babies. We feature the adorable Frilly Tushies: a beautiful range of pants to hide nappies that take the old fashioned idea of frilly pants and give it a modern twist (we have two gorgeous sets up for grabs) and we also introduce the innovative craze of Mummy Business Cards.

Check out our delightful Testers' photos including the very first engagement picture: my daughter and her fiancé (who proposed on top of Mount Kilimanjaro!). My Story includes poignant shots which chart the journey of Julie and her family, from diagnosis to treatment for thyroid cancer, just after the birth of her third son.

Maybe you have photos of your own you would like to share with us? Remember we're always on the lookout for these - and I will send a signed copy of my book (Breastfeeding: the essential guide) to the sender of each photo we publish.

As well as our regular mix of featured article, blog (Edspire), event (Father’s Day present to win too!), DVD (Room on the Broom), Top Value and Top Treat we introduce a new campaigns feature with two campaigns: Hands Off Midirs and Movement for an Adoption Apology.

We also have part three of our feature Diary of a Student Midwife Down Under. And we have a special treat for all the readers who have been asking for an update on our original series Diary of a Student Midwife: we have exciting news, with pictures too!

Don't forget to check out our 8 mini-competitions with a total prize value of over £350! Email your entries and you too could be a winner.
Remember if you are not 'in' you can't win!

Read e-newsletter 31 here...

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March 2013 - e-newsletter 30 published
We are celebrating our 30th TIPS e-newsletter with new offers and top tips!

Like us on facebook – visit the TIPS Ltd facebook page: we publish news (including competitions!), information and advice for parents and professionals regularly.

I am thrilled to report that life has settled back to some sort of normality. Our son Jason has even returned to work after four months recovering from a fractured pelvis. This is nothing short of miraculous considering the severity of his accident! Meanwhile our Brigitte has become a granny for the second time and our lovely Michael is studying for a Masters degree which is keeping him busy alongside a full time job and TIPS website updates! We must be good at multi-tasking because, busy or not, we have still managed to compile a new selection of features and competitions which we hope you will enjoy in our first e-newsletter of 2013...

Our testers have been busy reviewing products and completing surveys. Their feedback is vital for companies developing new products and for other parents too. We are delighted to announce our first two 2013 TIPS Awards for the innovative Jackson Reece Nose Nuzzles - see our featured products section.
Our featured website is www.linkwordlanguages.com. Languages have never been my strong point so when I came across Linkword Languages on Twitter I decided to check this out and offered to review one of their courses. Linkword Languages was developed by Dr Michael Gruneberg - internationally recognised expert in learning methods. This simple but highly effective approach to learning really does work. I tried the Dutch course, and you can read my review here. We would like to thank Linkword Languages for kindly offering you the chance to win one of two Linkword Language courses (Level 1-4 disk and MP3 in French, Spanish, Italian or German) and a 30 Survival Course Disk (total prize value is £296) in our e-newsletter competition.
Biovault Family is our featured event as they celebrate ten years as a clinical tissue bank. It's almost five years since my article ‘Cord blood banking and its implications for midwifery practice: time to review the evidence’ was published in the Midirs Digest. I felt this event provided the perfect opportunity to revisit the topic of cord blood banking and answer any questions you may have. To mark 10 years as a tissue bank Biovault Family have kindly offered TIPS readers the chance to save £150 off the cost of cord blood banking. If you would like to take advantage of this offer all you have to do is quote TIPS10 when you apply for Biovault services online and the discount will be applied.
Our Top Tips features include the Eugin Clinic Men’s guide to fertility booklet, with information about of their new consultation clinic in London. We also introduce the innovative and new way of eco-friendly shopping at Unpackaged, and feature the Metropolitan Police Little Book of BIG Scams.

Like the Little book of BIG Scams, the books we reviewed both have the word little in their title: 100 Little Words on Parenthood by Charlie Plunkett, is a collection of anecdotes, poems, words of wisdom and humour on all aspects of parenting (including two contributed sections on breastfeeding and baby skincare by me!) and One Little Baby is an adorable first book for babies.

Check out our delightful Testers' photos including a wonderful selection of pictures that celebrate the home birth of baby number three for one of our loyal Parent Testers. We also have a very special breastfeeding clip showing a perfect latch. Maybe you have photos of your own you would like to share with us? Remember we're always on the lookout for these - and I will send a signed copy of my book (Breastfeeding: the essential guide) to the sender of each photo we publish.

As well as our regular mix of featured apps, charity, article, Top Value and Top Treat our latest My Story follows a mum’s journey as she tries to get a diagnosis of tongue-tie, treated by snipping. We also have part two of our newest feature Diary of a Student Midwife Down Under.

Don't forget to check out our 10 mini-competitions with a total prize value of over £500! Email your entries and you too could be a winner.
Remember if you are not 'in' you can't win!

Read e-newsletter 30 here...

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December 2012 - e-newsletter 29 published
Join us as we celebrate an exciting year for TIPS and look forward to 2013!

Like us on facebook – visit the TIPS Ltd facebook page: we publish news (including competitions!), information and advice for parents and professionals regularly.

I cannot believe we have almost reached the end of another year – where did 2012 go? My life has been a rollercoaster ride over the past few weeks so I am just happy that we have been able to complete this e-newsletter on time!
After a nasty fall from his mountain bike on 22 September, sustaining a triple pelvic fracture, my son has understandably been taking up most of my time! I would like to thank everyone who has been following our journey on facebook for all the messages of support and encouragement. I am thrilled to be able to report that Jason is recovering well and we are hoping that he will be walking unaided again by Christmas! Vukovi, his band, have a date in their diary that Jason (he is the bassist) does not wish to miss. So obviously this was the natural choice for our featured event. Vukovi will be the headline act at the world famous King Tuts on 12 December. Jason may not play the whole gig and he may be sitting down but it will be a great achievement just to be there and I for one will be cheering him on! Join us if you can...

In between playing nurse, physio and cake maker (vital for a quicker recovery!), I have still managed to find time to complete our latest trial of the SnoozeShade® range of products which you can check out in our featured products section.

Once again we have a comprehensive selection of features for you in this e-newsletter. We have reviewed two websites. Aupairads (www.aupairads.com) was set up by two Swedish au pairs and provides a network where parents and au pairs can find their perfect match. It is a unique solution to meet the demand for Scandinavian au pairs from Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. Aupairads are offering our readers the chance to win one of two ads worth €39 each.

The second website is www.tractorted.co.uk. Tractor Ted in Tractorland teaches children from two to six years old about farming and countryside activities such as where good food comes from, the seasons and how to care for animals through DVDs, books, toys and live events. Check out our newsletter competition to win one of ten Tractor Ted DVD and Book sets.

Check out our delightful Testers' photos including some funky pictures of twin boys from Australia and another amazing 4D scan. Maybe you have photos of your own you would like to share with us? Remember we're always on the lookout for these - and I will send a dedicated copy of my book (Breastfeeding: the essential guide) to the sender of each photo we publish.

Our Top Tips include an innovative website for parents of primary school children. Keeping Up With My Kids is the brainchild of Claire Coles, mother of two and full time primary teacher of 9-10 year olds, who came up with the idea while on maternity leave. To help you out as the days get longer we feature Ten Rainy Day Activities courtesy of Galt Toys. We also feature the innovative product range from ICE Gems who have launched a new collection of medical ID wristbands and bracelets designed to help save a child’s life in an emergency.

Our final Top Tip comes from Turn2us, an online resource that aims to help people access the financial support available to them – through welfare benefits, grants and other help. Check out a clever teaching product from Birth International. This fun and engaging hand puppet will help professionals demonstrate the latching of the baby for successful breastfeeding.

If you have ever dreaded mealtimes (I remember it well!) with toddlers then we might be able to help you with our recommended book: French Kids Eat Everything by Karen Le Billon. This follows the story of a family who moved to France, banned snacking and discovered ten simple rules for raising happy, healthy eaters.

As well as our regular mix of featured app, charity, article, Top Value and Top Treat our latest My Story follows Babywearing mum Victoria who not only has four children but also runs the School of Babywearing.

Last but not least, we know you will enjoy reading the first of a brand new feature: Diary of a Student Midwife Down Under. Part one introduces us to our new student midwife as she comes to the end of her second year of a four year combined nursing/midwifery degree in Australia. We hope to follow her ups and downs over the next two years as we compare the differences (if any) between UK and Australian midwifery courses.

Don't forget to check out our 10 mini-competitions with a total prize value of over £500! Email your entries and you too could be a winner.
Remember if you are not 'in' you can't win!

Read e-newsletter 29 here...

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September 2012 – e-newsletter 28 published
Another first for TIPS – our online shop is ready to go live!

Like us on facebook – visit the TIPS Ltd facebook page: we publish news (including competitions!), information and advice for parents and professionals regularly.
After months of planning, we are delighted to announce that you will be able to buy products on our website. TIPS Testers and Members often ask where they can find TIPS Award-winning products, that's why we've decided to start selling them right here, on the TIPS website. We are starting with a small selection of products: our signature latex ducky (you may have been following his travels on facebook); a personalised TIPS baby towel; the TIPS double Award-winning Jackson Reece baby wipes (Best of the best & Best eco-friendly) and the Tummy Tub (TIPS Best of the best baby bath). We will add products to the online shop to meet demand. Please email us at info@tipslimited.com if you can't get a TIPS Award-winning product and we will do our best to find it for you.

TIPS provides independent advice about all aspects of parenting. This involves many hours of research by the TIPS Team. With no advertising revenue our only source of income are the TIPS trials. By using our online shop you will help TIPS continue to provide the very best impartial reviews of quality products for parents and babies. Have a look at our new TIPS Shop here...

Once again we have a comprehensive selection of features for you in this e-newsletter. We have reviewed two websites. Casabu (www.casabu.com) is a free-to-join private sale website. It features up to 15 daily sales offering discounts of up to 90% off retail prices on designer baby brands. Casabu are offering our readers the chance to win one of two £50 vouchers to spend online.

The second website is www.drylikeme.com. If you are about to start potty training your toddler then this could be a lifesaver. DryLikeMe make handy little potty training pads that can be used in little ones' pants. With Dry Like Me pads little ones learn how their body works when they have little accidents. This can help children become potty trained more quickly. Check out our mini-competition to win one of five Potty Training Packs.

Check out our delightful Testers' photos including my godson’s new baby daughter (makes me feel very old!). Maybe you have photos of your own you would like to share with us? Remember we're always on the lookout for these - and I will send a dedicated copy of my book (Breastfeeding: the essential guide) to the sender of each photo we publish.

Our featured events are the innovative Jack & Jill Scottish Markets (where you can buy and sell baby products) and the first national safety day ‘The difference a minute can take’. Organised by home safety brand Lindam this campaign aims to raise awareness of childhood accidents and to help busy parents make their homes safer. On the subject of accidents, burns and scalds can have devastating long term consequences if you do not provide immediate first-aid. One of our Top Tips is a step-by-step guide to treating burns while you wait for medical help. We also feature a new campaign by The Bicycle Helmet Initiative Trust to make cycle helmets compulsory and to make roads safer for cyclists. Our final Top Tip features Osram’s latest LED light gadgets which can be charged with a laptop or PC. These highly energy efficient gadgets have many uses at home and away. We have two of these gadgets to give away.

We have news of two excellent DVD launches. Small Wonders has been produced by Best Beginnings (a highly respected charity who provides invaluable advice and support to parents expecting or coping with the shock of premature birth). The second is the global launch of the eagerly awaited documentary Freedom For Birth – The Mothers Revolution on 20 September 2012 1000 screenings are planned all over the world on that day. This campaign aims to help to bring about change so that women all over the world are allowed to decide how they want to give birth.

Three TIPS Parent Testers have reviewed the delightful book Beautiful Buggy Walks in England by Richard Happer. Not only does it contain stunning photos of the featured walks but it also leads the reader on a journey of discovery. We can guarantee it will make you want to dust off your all-terrain buggy and get your walking boots out of the cupboard!

Our featured products include an ingenious weaning tray called the Tiny Diner (our Top Value) and news of our recently tested baby and toddler slings. You will also have the chance to win some of these winning designs in our newsletter competition.

As well as our regular mix of featured apps (including a free download worth £4.99), charities, article, CD and Top Treat our latest My Story follows Aussie mum Nichola’s breastfeeding experiences as a mother of multiples and premature babies, and tri-andem feeding.

Last but not least, we know you will enjoy reading the final part (11) of our Diary of a Student Midwife: has our highly successful student managed to secure her dream job?

Don't forget to check out our 10 mini-competitions with a total prize value of over £600! Email your entries and you too could be a winner.
Remember if you are not 'in' you can't win
!

You can read e-newsletter 28 here...

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July 2012
Momentous milestone for TIPS Award Scheme...

We are delighted to announce that our 1000th Parent Tester recently registered online to take part in future TIPS trials.

This coincides with the publication of our long-awaited trial results for our first standard trial of Slings for Babies and Toddlers 2012.

I have been planning to test slings since the launch of the TIPS Award Scheme in 2007.

  • 9 products were carefully selected for this trial. 62 test samples, supplied by 6 manufacturers were sent to 62 Parent Tester (the age range of baby and toddler testers was birth to 55 months old).
  • Testers completed and returned 57 test questionnaires; this is a return rate of 92 per cent.

As a passionate supporter of breastfeeding and attachment parenting, I know how important it is to maintain skin-to-skin contact. This helps to stimulate hormone production and boost milk supply. The best way to keep your baby close is to carry them in a sling. This is often called babywearing.

You can read all about how we set up this trial plus the full reviews for each of the nine winning products here...

Hope you enjoy reading the results

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March 2012 – Spring e-newsletter published
Welcome to our Spring issue!

Like us on facebook – visit the TIPS Ltd Facebook page: we publish news (including competitions!), information and advice for parents and professionals regularly.

Once again we have a packed issue including the long-awaited delivery of our TIPS® baby checklist that you, our Parent Testers helped us to develop. We talk a lot about safety in this issue, with articles about the safest car seats, the latest Lindam safety gate (we have two up for grabs in a mini-competition) and a video clip showing a step-by-step guide to using the epi-pen for severe allergic reactions.

Our spring collection of testers photos is sure to delight and entertain you. Maybe you have photos of your own you would like to share with us? Remember we're always on the lookout for these - and I will send a dedicated copy of my book (Breastfeeding: the essential guide) to the sender of each photo we publish.

Our featured brand is the world famous Bickiepegs. Established 87 years ago this beloved baby brand, not only manufactures the classic Bickiepegs teething biscuit but is also famed for the innovative Doidy cup (a TIPS Award-winning product since 2007). We would like to congratulate everyone at Bickiepegs in Aberdeen for continuing to provide first class baby products and excellent customer care.

We also feature the Bellabee website (www.bellabee.co.uk ) which offers the perfect gift solution for children of all ages. Each hand drawn painting is made to order, and guaranteed to brighten up any child’s bedroom or playroom. We even have a personalised Bellabee painting to give away!

We have reviewed Hold it Mama, a book by leading Australian women’s health physiotherapist Mary O’Dwyer. New for this issue, we have also reviewed two apps: one for the childhood classic book: Dear Zoo and the other developed by Explore Learning to help children learn their times tables.

We feature the most gorgeous selection of hand-knitted items by new company Picaloulou. We even have four baby beanies (worth £80) to win in our e-newsletter competition.

As well as our regular mix of featured event, articles, and Top Tips, our latest My Story follows a new mother as she struggles to establish breastfeeding with her son who has tongue-tie. Last but not least, we know you will enjoy reading part 9 of our Diary of a Student Midwife.

Don't forget to check out our 10 mini-competitions with a total prize value of over £400! Get your entries in to Brigitte and you too could be a winner.
Remember if you are not 'in' you can't win
!

You can read Spring e-newsletter here...

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December 2011
Exciting milestone for TIPS...

We are thrilled to have reached another magic milestone – our 800th Parent Tester has recently joined up and is already testing their first products. Congratulations to Sharon – a special parcel of goodies is on its way to you.

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September 2010 - 700th TIPS Tester...

We are thrilled to announce that we recently welcomed our 700th Parent Tester - another magical milestone at TIPS Ltd.

When she signed up to take part in forthcoming trials, Francoise (pictured left) had no idea she was about to become a TIPS VIP. A parcel of goodies was soon on its way to surprise and delight Mummy and Daddy-to-be!

Francoise is now busy testing carefully selected products for TIPS. Results of this trial will be published later in the year – for more details watch this space....
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1 September 2010 - TIPS e-newsletter 20 now online

You can read the newsletter and enter its 8 competitions here....


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March 2010 - new look TIPS website…

We are FINALLY ready to launch our brand new design website. Everything you have come to expect from our TIPS online community is here but with a fresher look for the new decade.

To coincide with the website launch we are delighted to publish our TIPS e-newsletter 18 which is packed full of features including 8 new competitions for you to enter.

The results of our trial of belly balms have just been published. This is the first time we have tested baby balms and we are sure you will enjoy trying the winning products. You can read all about the TIPS-tested belly balms here.
April 2009 – TIPS Award Scheme introduce one-off trials… [back to top]


 

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April 2009 – TIPS Awards Scheme introduce one-off trials…

As well as our standard trials covering baby baths, baby wipes, baby skincare, breast pads/treatments, nursing bras/tops, cuddle towels, decongestants and TENS machines we have recently added one-off trials.
When considering products for testing, I aim to source what I believe to be the best products on the market. Where such a product is quite unique, I will set up a one‐off trial ‐ we have done this for the Kamillosan thermometer soother, Shampoo Rinse Cup, Miracle™ Scarves, Miracle™ Bands and the Dribblebuster® bib. More trials are planned for more information, visit the TIPS Awards section of our sister site. [back to top]


September 2008 – TIPS now has a brand new forum!

I don’t know where the time goes! Already it’s September and so much has happened in the past few months. For all the news and latest info on recent TIPS trials you will have to check out the newsletters but the big news has got to be our brand new TIPS forum.
This new facility went live on August 22nd and it is becoming the place to catch up with your friends and chat about all your parenting dilemmas (of which there are many!). Come and join us online where you can access the latest news, newsletters and post topics on anything you wish to speak about (within reason – please check out our forum rules first).
After a few days news of our website had travelled and we suddenly had an influx of 140 new testers in two days! Registration had to be closed while we caught up but we are back on track now so pop across and see what you think. Just a few more registrations and we will be hitting the magic 500th!
Stats are also up 25% and they are staying there which is great news for everyone! [back to top]


May 2008 – TIPS Awards are now one year old and the TIPS website continues to go from strength to strength.

TIPS Ltd has been trading for almost four years. Following the re-launch of the website in March 2007 traffic has more than tripled! We are now regularly attracting over 4500 visitors a month (200,000 hits) from all over the globe. The new features, including a log-in facility, members’ area, test results, newsletter and online shop, are especially designed to attract even more visitors.
Since the launch of the TIPS Awards Scheme, this unique independent testing programme has really caught the imagination of the public. Our ever increasing pool of parent testers (now over 500) have helped to complete trials of baby wipes, baby skincare products, baby baths, breast pads & treatments, cuddle towels, open cups, nursing bras, decongestants and TENS machines. We have more trials out as we speak and many more planned for the future. To see the latest results complete with detailed information on how each trial was carried out go to the TIPS award section of the website.

To find out more on what we are up to or to enter our many exciting competitions with wonderful prizes please check out our e-newsletters or consider joining up as a member or parent tester. We have plans to set up a TIPS forum so watch this space…[back to top]








All about Sharon's work on skincare and cord care 

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June 2013

Why no baby skincare product should be advertised or promoted as ‘suitable for newborn skin’

Full reference: Trotter S (2013). Why no baby skincare product should be advertised or promoted as ‘suitable for newborn skin’. Midirs Midwifery Digest 23(2): p217-221
Abstract:
Recently published articles question the value of a water-only approach to neonatal skincare, but the evidence they provide is unconvincing.
This paper aims to update those who may be new to this subject, and reinforce the importance of the ‘less is more’ approach to neonatal skincare. It will explain why neonatal skin is delicate and more at risk of damage. It will also highlight the insidious and inappropriate marketing of baby skincare products, focusing on the use of ‘suitable for newborns’ terminology, in this hugely competitive (and lucrative) industry. Credible and evidence-based guidelines for neonatal skincare already provide professionals with the tools they need to drastically reduce the steady rise in infant skin conditions which appears to be co-incident with the introduction of manufactured baby products over 50 years ago (Cork 2002). However, with UK rates of childhood eczema among the highest in the world we need to go even further. We must insist that manufacturers of baby skincare products and the baby press liaise with non-aligned healthcare professionals to ensure that parents get accurate and consistent advice based on the national skincare guidelines.
Keywords: neonatal, eczema, baby skincare products, water-only, skin barrier, vernix caseosa, oleic acid.
Disclosure: the author has no conflict of interest to declare
Correspondence: TIPS Ltd P O Box 8583, 12 Church Street, Troon, Scotland, KA10 7WT; email: sharontrotter@tipslimited.com

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December 2011

Read Sharon’s article: The festive dilemma for parents regarding baby skincare products and a Views on the News feature: A response to advertising used in baby skincare adverts.
Both are published in the December issue of Essentially Midirs Journal
Full references:
Trotter S (2011). Skincare revisited - a festive dilemma for parents. Essentially MIDIRS, December 2011, 2(11):47-49.
Trotter S (2011). Views on the news: A response to advertising used in baby skincare adverts. Essentially Midirs, December 2011, 2(11): 25

You can read the full article here...

STOP PRESS
Following discussions with Sharon, Bounty have stated that once the current contract for advertisements has expired, all adverts for baby wipes will have references to newborns changed or removed.

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leaflet

July 2011
Babycare – back to basics™ leaflet version 8 published

This award winning leaflet is distributed around the UK at various professional and parenting events. Supplies can also be purchased by health professionals or maternity units. Version 8 is hot off the press – please contact Sharon for details.

Not only does this leaflet give you all the hints and tips you need on baby skincare issues, skin-to-skin contact and feeding but it now covers the latest and safest advice on reducing the risk of cot death.

If you would like a free copy of this leaflet please email sharontrotter@tipslimited.com

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June 2010
MIDIRS Digest review article
by Sharon Trotter:
Trotter S (2010). MIDIRS reviewer's comments. MIDIRS Midwifery Digest20 (2):263-5.
'Neonatal skincare is a subject I have followed with interest since 1996. My published work on this and related issues has changed policy within the UK and beyond with my goal of standardised evidence-based guidelines gradually becoming a reality. So when I was sent this article to review I was keen to find out if it contained anything new that would either support or discount the advice I currently provide to parents and professionals on babycare practices, based on the healthy term infant'.

You can read the article here...

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leaflet

leaflet

 

June 2010
Babycare – back to basics™ version 7 is now available...

Version 7 (updated in line with the latest research) is now available. Sponsored by TIPS award winning company Halos N Horns this award winning leaflet is distributed around the UK at various professional and parenting events. Health professionals and maternity units can buy hard copies – email Sharon for more information.


As well as all the hints and tips you need about baby skincare, skin-to-skin contact and feeding but, this leaflet now includes the latest and safest advice on reducing the risk of cot death.

If you would like a free copy of this leaflet please email Sharon.

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book cover

 

 

January 2010
Care of the Newborn
by Ten Teachers
Hilary Lumsden and Debbie Holmes
Paperback RRP: £22.99
ISBN: 9780340968413 Published: 29/01/2010



Almost two years ago I was invited by Hilary Lumsden to write a chapter on neonatal skincare for a proposed publication.

Part of the popular Ten Teachers series, Care of the Newborn by Ten Teachers presents a detailed account of care of the normal neonate, including the minor health problems that midwives are expected to deal with on a daily basis, and provides care and treatment strategies for the neonate and family.
I am delighted to see the final result in print complete with my very own chapter (7) which includes 3 pictures of my baby sons and a testimonial from a TIPS Parent Tester.
You can find out more here.

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company logo

5 April 2009
Natural & Organic Products Show

Olympia, London

BABY SKINCARE: BACK TO BASICS, NATURALLY - a seminar presented by Michael Bate (Weleda) and Sharon (TIPS Ltd) at the Natural & Organic Products Show.

Sharon's baby skincare guidelines have become policy in many maternity units. Sharon will talk about these guidelines and explain how natural products can promote healthy skincare. Weleda head gardener, Michael Bate, will give a profile of the Calendula plant, and explain why it is selected for use in baby products.

This is being organised in association with Weleda, the TIPS Top Baby Skincare Brand 2007-2009.

The seminar was a great success with lots of questions from interested delegates. Copies of Sharon’s award-winning Babycare – back to basics™ leaflets were given out in goody bags on the Weleda stand (see picture). Thank you to everyone who came along on the day and to all the wonderful feedback I have received since. Even if you missed the seminar you can still get your copy of the leaflet - just email Sharon.

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leaflet

leaflet

May 2009
Baby care: back to basics™ leaflet Version 6 (updated in line with the latest research) is being printed as we speak.

Sponsored by TIPS award winning company Jackson Reece baby wipes (www.jacksonreece.com) this award winning leaflet is distributed around the UK at various professional and parenting events. Supplies can also be purchased by health professionals or maternity units – email Sharon for details.
Not only does this leaflet give you all the hints and tips you need on baby skincare issues, skin-to-skin contact and feeding but it now covers the latest and safest advice on reducing the risk of cot death.

If you would like a free copy of this leaflet please email Sharon.

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1NIP graphic9 November 2008
Sharon Trotter wins the Dermatology award in Nursing in Practice Inaugural Award Ceremony!

 

 

19 November 2008
Sharon Trotter wins the Dermatology award in Nursing in Practice Inaugural Award Ceremony!

We are thrilled to announce that Sharon and her Babycare- back to basics™ leaflet has just won the very first Nursing in Practice Dermatology Award for her work on baby skincare issues. This came as a wonderful surprise as she attended the Awards lunch at the Birmingham NEC.

The Nursing in Practice Awards 2008 rewards best practice in a variety of clinical areas, and are designed to recognise excellence and innovation in the primary care setting.

Categories included: Cardiac care, Childhood immunisation, Dermatology, Diabetes, Mental health including dual diagnosis, Obesity, Respiratory care, Sexual health, Travel health and Team of the year.

Thank you to the team of judges at NIP and to Espere Healthcare Ltd sponsors of the Dermatology Award.

This is not just a wonderful honour for Sharon and her tireless work in the field of neonatal skincare but adds weight and credibility to the growing evidence that a simpler regime for all babies and children really does make a difference. A special edition of the Babycare- back to basics™ leaflet is planned to promote this recent win.
If you would like a free copy please contact us.

You can find out more about the NIP Awards and the other winners on the day here or on the TIPS website.

If you would like to use this in a news feature and need more details please contact us by email or call 01292 312 410 or 07921 674 987. [back to top]


Jbook coveruly 2008 –



July 2008
Examination of the newborn and neonatal health – A multidimensional approach

Lorna Davies and Sharon McDonald
Published by Elsevier - published 25 June 2008
Price: GBP 22.99 EUR 33.99
ISBN: 978-0-443-10339-1

I am thrilled to announce that my first chapter in an academic textbook has just been published. Chapter 14 is entitled Neonatal skincare and cordcare: implications for practice. It documents the latest research, and highlights the most important findings, from my six published article on this subject. New guidelines for practice are explained, inline with the latest recommendations from NICE, and the chapter concludes with Jacqueline’s story charting her personal experience of how this new skincare regime had a positive effect on her children’s lives – Jacqueline is one of our very own TIPS testers.

Examination of the Newborn contains the most up-to-date and comprehensive information on how to perform a complete assessment of the newborn infant, with specialists from different disciplines providing in-depth information on examination of the body systems. The book also includes discussion of the psychosocial and emotional elements resulting from any unexpected findings. [back to top]


leaflet

leaflet cover

May 2008
Version 5 of the Baby care: back to basics™ leaflet


I can’t believe that version 5 of this leaflet is now available. This is now sponsored by not only one but two TIPS award winning companies: Halos n Horns and Weleda. It is distributed around the UK at various professional and parenting events. Supplies can also be purchased by health professionals – contact Sharon for details. Not only does this leaflet give you all the hints and tips you need on baby skincare issues but it now covers the latest and safest advice on reducing the risk of cot death. If you would like a free copy of this leaflet please email me.

I have also been busy writing a new chapter on neonatal skincare for the forthcoming textbook by Elsevier called: Examination of the newborn and neonatal health (a multidimensional approach) co-edited by Lorna Davies and Sharon McDonald. You can find out more here. [back to top]

October 2007 - Nursing in Practice Event – London
I was honoured to be presenting my work on baby skincare to other primary healthcare professionals at the London NIP Event. You will be able to download this presentation by checking out the NIP website.
In addition to their magazine and website Nursing in Practice delivers a series of Events. These are the largest series of free conferences and exhibitions dedicated to primary care nurses across the UK. These in depth educational conferences address all the current clinical and policy issues affecting the primary care community. Nursing in Practice Events have been running since 2003 and all our previous events have received approval from the RCN Accreditation Unit. [back to top]



June 2007 - My article ‘Baby products – it’s all in the labelling’ was published in the June issue of the MIDIRS Digest which concentrated on the way baby products are labelled and how legislation is prompting companies to become more responsible for the way they market their products. This is encouraging and time will tell whether it leads to clearer advice being provided on such products. [back to top]


May 2007 - Version 4 of the Baby care: back to basics™ leaflet has just been printed. It gives up to date advice on safe skincare, and includes information from the articles I have published in professional journals. Copies of the leaflet will be handed out to parents and professionals at conferences and baby shows around the UK. You can also order copies of the leaflet by following this link.
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March 2007 - NICE guidelines I am a stakeholder on NICE and I have commented on the forthcoming Antenatal care guidelines in the hope that the latest advice will reflect that featured on the Postnatal Care guidelines last year. I will update you when these are published in 2008. The Postnatal Care Guidelines (July 2006) published by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (www.nice.org.uk) recommend that baby products should be avoided during the first few weeks of life. This is great news and means that more maternity units in the UK will soon be updating their policy on neonatal skincare. The guidelines also recommend not using antiseptic powders or alcohol wipes for cord care of the healthy term infant. [back to top]


February 2007 - I was involved in the second MIDIRS Webinar on 8 February 2007. I hope to encourage debate on neonatal skincare and so that all maternity units in the UK to practise safe skincare for newborns using the water-only regime. The webinar went really well and was followed up in July with a feature on cup feeding and its associated risks. Have a listen and feel free to come back to me with your comments.

January 2007 - my Motion to the 2007 RCM Conference (Seconded by the Ayrshire Branch of the RCM) to stop the use of free samples of baby products on postnatal wards in the UK was sadly rejected.But I plan to resubmit again next year so watch this space! [back to top]


September 2006 - It was gave me great pleasure to present my work on neonatal skincare to the third Annual Midwifery Conference at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen.

April 2006 - I continue to work away spreading the message of safe baby skincare to parents and professionals. It was lovely to meet so many new parents at the Glasgow Baby Show and I will be busy over the coming months at the RCM Conference in Torquay, the Baby Show in Birmingham and my first visit to Northern Ireland in June. My latest paper was published in the RCM Midwives Journal. This brings my work on neonatal skincare bang up-to-date and gives evidence of why newborn skin is so delicate and why extra care is vital in the early weeks of life. I have received many emails from midwives, student midwives and nursery nurses asking for details of my work to take back to their units. As a result of this, baby skincare policies are now being updated around the UK which is great. As well as my new 'Babycare: back to basics leaflet' I have also written the skincare tips for the latest Cotton bottoms brochure. [back to top]


December 2005 - So much has happened in the past few months I can hardly keep up! Firstly I graduated with my BSc in Advanced Studies in Midwifery at the University of Paisley. It was the culmination of many years work and as you can see by the picture it was a magical moment.

I am now busy working on my updated skincare paper and hope to have it published some time in the New Year.
If you have been watching the C4 programme ‘Make me a Million’ you will have seen Leila Wilcox and Ivan Massow winning with their excellent range of safe and affordable baby and children’s skincare products called Halos N Horns. I was involved in a purely advisory role because they were willing to follow my skincare guidelines and advocate the use of plain water for the first month of a baby’s life. I am delighted to announce my recent appointment as Director of the Institute of Dermapaedics This was originally set up by the team at Halos’N’Horns and I am honoured to have been given the chance to take forward the issue of neonatal skincare. By setting strict criteria and guidelines for companies wishing to use the 'Dermapaedic' trademark, parents can be assured that successful products will be safe for use on babies over one month of age. The IOD will continue to provide up-to-date information and evidence-based advice regarding ingredients that are widely used in personal care products. I am especially keen to inform the general public on the potential dangers associated with the early overuse of baby products. By raising this issue I truly believe that the spiralling levels of eczema, asthma and related allergies can, in time, be stabilised and maybe even reversed. This is early days but in time the IOD will be known for it’s excellence in baby/child skincare and the ‘Dermapaedic’ trademark will become the respected benchmark for others to aspire – watch this space…[back to top]


June 2005 - I am pleased to announce that I have completed my University course and will be graduating in November with a BSc in Advanced Studies in Midwifery from the University of Paisley. I would encourage any budding students to ‘go for it’ and get back into the academic routine. As part of my course I applied for two modules at level three through the APL (accreditation for prior learning) route. This simply means that my published work on skincare and cordcare (including the actual process of research used) was reviewed and credited towards my degree. This process was not without its difficulties and I intend to feature this shortly. I found it hard to find information on the APL/APEL programme and would like to help other students who are thinking of applying for accreditation for work previously carried out and relevant to their individual course. My statements of learning and written account (5000 words) can be accessed here. I hope this will help other students on how best to proceed.
I have completed the audit at my local NHS unit following introduction of new babycare guidelines leaflet. The results are very positive and will be published shortly.
I have also been busy attending conferences and baby shows around the UK spreading the word about my guidelines and introducing my book, Breastfeeding: the essential guide to parents and professionals. The official launch was held in Scotland on May 6th with the kind help of my guest of honour, Dame Lorna Muirhead DBE. A wonderful day was enjoyed by all and we raised an amazing £825 for the local Malcolm Sargent House, part of the UK Charity CLIC/Sargent. The event has been featured in the local and national press, alongside mentions in the Midwives Journal and the Practicing Midwife Journal. Thanks to everyone who supported me and who gave so generously to such a good cause.
My recent ‘viewpoint’ article called ‘Skin-to-skin contact: treatment or therapy?’ was published in the conference issue of the RCM Midwives Journal (May 2005). This is based on the skin-to-skin article featured on this site.
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August 2004 - Life has been pretty hectic over the past few months and looks set to become even more so in the future. My skincare/cordcare guidelines are now policy within NHS Ayrshire & Arran. My new leaflet is distributed to all new mothers at their booking visit and the maternity unit, including the paediatric wards in Ayrshire, no longer supply free baby products for use with babies under one month of age and only plain water and cotton wool is used. This is a great step forward and will hopefully lead to an overall drop in levels of skin disorders and referrals to skin specialists. I have updated staff within the maternity unit and paediatric units and I will continue to spread the word further a field. In May this year I presented a poster at the annual RCM Midwives conference in Cardiff and was amazed at the positive feedback I received. Recently an article by Joan McFadden, in the Glasgow Herald, highlighted my work and this too has publicised my work to a wider audience. Preparing my breastfeeding book for publication has taken most of the summer so I hope you will all enjoy the end result when it is released? Click here for the full reference to the March 2004 BJM article.[back to top]


January 2004 - Since last updating this website in June 2003 a lot has happened with my skincare and cordcare work. I decided to go back to University and am now studying for my BSc in Advanced Studies in Midwifery. I never thought I would be back at school at the age of 42! Anyone else out there thinking about returning – GO FOR IT!
I have been asked by the British Journal of Midwifery to write another article about Skincare/Cordcare and this is due for publication in the March 2004 issue. I will give the full reference when I have it.
My local Health Trust has now passed my ‘Guidelines for Baby care’, and they are being printed, ready for distribution to all parents and staff in the coming months. I have also been asked by the University to talk to the student midwives on this subject- a very frightening thought! [back to top]


June 2003 - Following on from the article on skincare, I have now researched and written another article on Cord Care. This will be published in the RCM Midwives Journal (July 2003, Vol. 6, No 7.)
The article is called: Management of the umbilical cord - a guide to best practice. [back to top]

October 2002 - As well as my passion for breastfeeding, my other crusade has been to bring about a change in the way we care for the newborns skin. To this end, I have spent a lot of time researching and writing an article, which is published in the RCM Midwives Journal. (November 2002, Vol. 5, No 11.)
The article is called: Skincare for the newborn: exploring the potential harm of manufactured products.

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