TIPS - expert parenting advice and


independent reviews of mother and baby products


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TIPS Mission Statement

To educate and inform parents and professionals about best practice in breastfeeding, neonatal skincare/cordcare and other related midwifery subjects.

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The story so far…

How did a midwife come to own a publishing company?
I have been helping women to breastfeed for more than 30 years and although I am passionate about the subject I could not understand why such a seemingly natural instinct was not shared and experienced by all women. I have breastfed my own five babies for a total of 7 years so I picked up many tips along the way. In 2002 I decided to write down my advice and tips to see what resulted and within three weeks I had the basis of a book!
  • What could I do with this now?
  • Would anyone want to read it?
  • Could it make a difference to the women I looked after?
  • Would it lead to a new interest in breastfeeding?
  • Would any publisher believe in me?

I would not be put off, so decided to print draft copies and send them out as a way of gauging interest. I sent it to friends, relatives, mothers, fathers, grannies, granddads, midwifery colleagues, business contacts, media personalities, breastfeeding associations, agents and publishers. Again and again I received the comment: "If only your book had been around when I started to breastfeed."

This spurred me on to succeed and although I was unable to persuade a publisher to take me on (even though their comments were extremely supportive) the interest was so great I decided to start my own company and self- publish. Hence the name "Trotters Independent Publishing Services". My name is Trotter, my project was definitely independent and I was publishing my own book. It also contains many useful tips, which is how TIPS was born! Now for the logo! Why a duck?

Baby skincare and the duck…
As well as my passion for breastfeeding, my other interest has been to look into baby skincare. To this end I have spent years researching and writing about these subjects and have been published in professional journals (see publications). My proposed new guidelines for babycare are now policy within my local health trust and many other units are following this lead. TIPS Ltd is now a stakeholder with the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) who’s recent Postnatal Care Guidelines (2006) now recommends that cleansers/baby wipes no longer be used on newborn skin. I will continue to spread the word to parents and healthcare professionals throughout the UK and beyond. All my work is available to read on this website and on my sister site for health professionals:

Obviously a duck is synonymous with bathing, which is why I chose him as my logo. Although breastfeeding and neonatal skincare are serious subjects, it is vital for me to add an element of humour in everything I do! 'Trotters Independent' has a certain ring about it, I think you will agree, and the duck gives it an extra fun factor!

What have I published so far?
I will continue to keep my professional website, online, as I intend to write about other subjects in the future and I want my work to be easily accessible to parents and professionals. All my work is evidence-based and where possible will be fully referenced.
Since returning to University and graduating with a BSc in Advanced studies in midwifery (November 2005), I am acutely aware of the importance of this, which is why my work is aimed equally at professionals and parents.
In November 2008 Sharon Trotter won the Dermatology award in Nursing in Practice Inaugural Award Ceremony! This is in recognition of my work on baby skincare and especially the Babycare – back to basics™ leaflet which is now in its 9th edition. Find out more about our NIP award here.

What about the TIPS Award Scheme?
The TIPS Awards Scheme was launched in 2007 to carry out independent market research into carefully sourced products within the baby and toddler market. These products are tested by highly motivated Parent Testers who have signed up voluntarily on the website.
Baby wipes were the first products tested under the TIPS Award Scheme launched in March 2007. Since then we have completed 12 standard trials and 12 one-off trials (covering 39 categories of products), and allocated over 300 TIPS awards.
Only products that comply with our strict criteria can be submitted for a TIPS trial – this is part of our robust selection process. This means that any product accepted to go through to the testing programme is already a winner.
Over 1000 Parent Testers have joined the TIPS online community. When selected for a trial, volunteer Parent Testers receive products to test and are asked to provide their comments using a questionnaire. I collate, evaluate and review Testers’ feedback.
On completion of the judging process, awards are confirmed and the results are published on this website.

Products tested by TIPS are not free or promotional products, but samples for the sole purpose of independent testing.  Only Testers who have agreed and signed a copy of the TIPS Award Scheme terms and conditions can take part in a TIPS trial.

You can find out more about the TIPS Award scheme here, but meanwhile check out the latest results online, read the newsletters and enter the many competitions to win wonderful goodies!

meet the team

Sharon Trotter
Mother & Baby Consultant

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Brigitte Cosford
Graphic Design, Web, Admin
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Michael Stott
Forum Designer, Web Developer, Site Animator
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