Telesales, Cold Calling and Sleeping Babies!

When Pumpkin was born, we would spend hours every day working through a list of tricks to get her to go to sleep. She wasn’t a fan of sleeping, and would fight the urge to close her eyes for as long as possible. We had a routine of rocking, dim lights, a musical mobile, and early on, a white noise app on our phones. A sleeping baby was our aim and once she had finally closed her eyes we would back away silently, congratulating ourselves on a battle won!

But why is it that is always the exact moment that the doorbell rings, or the phone, or some other loud noise? Perfectly timed to wake the sleeping baby.

I wouldn’t mind so much, but more often than not the phone call was a cold call, of no interest to me at all. So one baby awake and crying, one frazzled Mummy and one telesales person who gets told where to go!!

My problem with unsolicited phone calls is that they are never ever going to work with me. I have never changes energy supplier, or upgraded my TV subscription, or ordered a new conservatory based on being cold called. In fact, the companies who do this go way down in my estimations just by calling. I guess it must work on some people though or they wouldn’t keep doing it.

Another pet hate is charity cold calling. Now I support a number of charities in various ways. I’m not going to list them here as I don’t feel the need to justify them. But phoning people up and trying to pressure them into setting up a Direct Debit is a really lazy way to fundraise in my opinion, and it really harms a charity’s image in my mind. I know there are lots of fantastic causes out there. I wish I could support more, I really do. But ultimately I have to choose who I want to support and how I want to do it. And I have never done it off the back of an unsolicited phone call or visit on my doorstep!

So how do they get our phone numbers? Well one way is that other companies will sell on their mailing lists and contacts to these companies for telesales. This makes me really annoyed and I always make sure I remember to tick the little box to say I don’t want my details passed on, but that doesn’t seem to be enough to stop it.

We have just moved house, and have a new phone number now. I’ve hardly given it out to anyone (mainly as I can’t remember it yet!) and still the phone calls have started. I know the people that make the calls are just doing a (pretty thankless) job but its hard not to get annoyed. Especially as they are often trained to get chatting with you and avoid telling you the purpose of the phone call until they have warmed you up! I used to make an excuse that I couldn’t talk now (changing a nappy or in the middle of breastfeeding were favourites!) but then they would ring back again so now I’m a grumpy woman who tells them they are wasting their time.

I guess I must be missing out of lots of ‘special deals’ and exclusive offers by this approach, but I’ll live with that if I could get to a point where my first reaction when the phone rings is a sigh!!

Disclosure: I was asked to talk about telesales on the blog by Bounty. As a thank you they sent me a funky Trimphone. Thanks Bounty 🙂

Sleeping Soundly (Now!)

Pumpkin is 6 months old and has just discovered the art of rolling over. After many failed attempts, and many hours of me sat holding her favourite toy just out of reach (or the sky remote, chocolate bar etc!) she managed to get from back to front. For a split second there was a look of pride on her face at her achievement. But then she remembered that she doesn’t like to be on her front…. and the crying started.

During the day this is not too much of a problem. Someone is always on hand to encourage her to roll back, or to move her to her back. The problem came when she started to do this at night! Pumpkin is normally a great sleeper, regularly managing 12 hour stints with not a peep all night (although she does take a while to settle sometimes – I don’t want you to think she is perfect!!).

As I put her down for bed after a bath and bottle, she started to thrash about and roll over – then cry as she wasn’t comfortable and she was too tired to roll back herself. This also happened in the middle of  the night when she would stir, roll over and wake herself up (and then us!).

I asked some friends for advice and was recommended to buy a sleep positioner – a contraption which holds the baby in place in their cot while they sleep. Now being a cheapskate (sorry I mean a Spend Less Mummy!!) I decided to find a cheaper way to achieve the same goal. A quick Google found me the answer.

How simple is this?

Just 2 rolled up towels, one either side of where the baby sleeps. This is enough to keep the baby in position and discourage them from rolling and moving around the cot. The towels are placed on the mattress, and then the sheet is fitted over the top.

Sorry, this stage doesn’t photograph very well. You may just be able to see the rolled up towels under the sheet. The result is a cosy space for baby to sleep, with shallow sloping sides which stop the baby from rolling over.

As you can see, Pumpkin approves!

Our evenings and nights have been much quieter since I added the positioner to the cot. It prevents Pumpkin from rolling over when she is falling asleep or in the middle of the night and means we are all getting a much better nights sleep!

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