How to quickly child proof your surfaces – without spending a fortune!

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Babies are clumsy, careless and fearless when it comes to trying out their new found mobility. They’ll happily balance on the edge of the sofa, crawl straight off the bed or walk right into the coffee table! If you go through the toddler stage without an injuries, bruises or bumps then you deserve some sort of parenting medal, but let’s face it, it’s going to happen…however, there are ways we can help prevent these misfortunes! Read more

Mummy Power

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Sometimes a family member will spend an hour or so with me and my son. I’ll recall a terrible tantrum filled day to my friend over coffee. Or tell a colleague how I’m now at work having had only had a few hours sleep last night. And they all say the same thing… “I don’t know how you do it!” Sometimes neither do I, I can only put it down to one thing…

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The day the Disney Cruise came!

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There’s no denying I am a big Disney fan, I just love it – and I’m sure my little boy will too when he’s a bit older. So I was very excited this week to get to see the Disney Cruise in action as it sailed past my hometown to stop for the day at the Port of Tyne.

It’s the first time a Disney Cruise liner has ever toured the British Isles, so it was a pretty big deal, that plus the sunny weather and high press coverage meant, unsurprisingly, people came out in their hordes to see it. As we drove down to the viewing area of the port cars where backed up in the nearby streets having been abandoned by families, we managed to get parked in the car park but driving down it was quite a sight as it emerged before our eyes. Close up it was even more impressive, at 294 metres long with 11 desks which can load upto 2,700 passengers and 945 crew members – it is a huge vessel. Painted to perfection it was absolutely immaculate, sophisticated but with tell tale Disney signs – Mickey ears on the funnels, Goofy hanging off the back and a horn that sounds to tune of  ‘When you wish upon a Star’!  We could just about see the rooftop swimming pool with its ‘Aquaduck’ flume and huge screen showing films (Disney, of course!). A Disney lovers absolute dream. Read more

Review: My Pregnancy & Baby Today by BabyCentre Phone App

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I downloaded this phone app when I first found out I was pregnant and have to say I found it absolutely brilliant. Made by the parent resource BabyCentre, which I still consult on a very regular basis, it tracks your pregnancy day by day through using your estimated due date to give you daily updates, tips and information on your growing baby.

Everyday has a new piece of information, whether that be what to expect next, recipes to try, videos to watch – I particularly enjoyed the weekly fruit or vegetable baby comparison size, and still remember when my son was a mere poppy seed!

But as a first time Mum, one of my favourite and most useful part was the in app forums, you’re automatically joined to a birth club forum based on your due date. After this you can join as many others as you like whether that be a first time Mum forum, pregnant after miscarriage, single parent. They even take into account ladies pre-conception and post delivery with their actively trying groups, post natal depression and breast feeding support. Managed by their team of volunteer overseers these really are incredibly useful as a way to ask, compare, and just get support from other ladies across the country in the exact same position as you.

You will also receive a weekly e-mail with even more information, links to the Babycentre website, and facts on what’s happening inside your body. There’s usually a section for Dads to be in here too, which I found to be a really nice touch and would forward to my husband. These emails continue after birth and I still enjoy receiving them to see where my son is on the monthly milestones, and reading new games I could be playing with him each month to aid his development.

They seem to constantly strive to make the app better and often have updates, for instance now you can take photos of your growing belly to compare with others and keep as a memento of your pregnancy, they remind to do it each week – which is a really nice addition. I took some tummy photos through pregnancy but my baby brain often forgot to do it on a regular basis!

The best thing about this app is that everything is together, and at the touch of a screen – you don’t have to Google something you need reassurance on and scroll through to find something credible. The chances are someone else has asked it on the app already and got a number of good responses.
The worst was the birth announcements! When it gets to the start of your due month and the month before they come in thick and fast, stories of unexpected labour and gorgeous pics of cute babies. To only add insult to the fact – in my case – that I was still pregnant, huge, uncomfortable and wanted to be next!!

A definite must have for pregnant Mums out there. And, it’s completely free!

From crawling to walking! A survival guide

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My son is just starting to walk. To be honest, I didn’t really actively encourage this, as crawling is a nightmare enough, let alone having to actually run after him! But a few days before his first birthday he did it! His first, very shaky, step. He’s 12 and a bit months now and still isn’t walking confidently, but he definitely has it in his head now, every now and then he’ll warn us he’s ‘going for it’ by making a Chewbacca type noise, a huge toothy grin and stagger like a drunken zombie in our general direction! And then everyone in the room must stop what they’re doing to clap and marvel at his achievement. Read more

Preparing for a Centre Parcs holiday with a 1 year old! Tips and how I am preparing for the trip.

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So, in 3 weeks time we’re off for our first threesome family holiday…and to say I’m excited is an understatement! We’re playing it safe and not venturing abroad just yet, I literally can’t imagine anything worse than attempting a flight with Jacob who literally can’t stop still, ever, instead we’re heading to our local Centre Parcs! What could possible go wrong….

We’ve visited Centre Parcs before and we’re big fans, the past few times we’ve been to the Sherwood Forest location and really loved it, but this time we’re staying closer to home and visiting Whinfell Forest in Cumbria, a short but sweet Friday – Monday break. A few friends have said that this one is probably the better for smaller kids as it doesn’t get as manic in the pool etc. Let’s hope the little one agrees!

Heres my tips and how I’m preparing… Read more

My favourite baby toy

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When looking for a baby toy you want something durable, something your baby is going to find interesting and hold their attention, and something which has a purpose i.e rattle, teether, or some sort of education element. And for me, the one that ticks all the boxes and hands down wins the best toy I’ve bought for my son so far is…..

The Lamaze Rainbow Glow Rattle

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My strategy for breastfeeding in a public place

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Breastfeeding is a difficult task to master – breastfeeding in public is even more tricky, especially if you’re a rather shy first time mother. My first attempt didn’t go very well, it was in a busy M&S cafe – my son was very small and still could only feed using a nipple shield, I hadn’t practiced with the cover up scarf I’d bought, All in all I just felt awkward and uncomfortable and soon resorted to the back up bottle of expressed milk. In fact, I spent the next few weeks frantically expressing breastmilk for every trip out we would take. Putting undue pressure on myself. But things did get easier when my confidence grew and I discovered these few things.
Nursing rooms – sounds obvious but I didn’t realise most places have pretty decent nursing rooms, ranging from just a chair behind a curtain, to a proper room equipped with rocking chair, little table, hook on the door and art on the walls (Fenwicks!) All department stores will have a nursing room and some larger shopping centres do too. Not that you should lock yourself away to nurse, but these rooms are great for when you’re building confidence to feed in public, you fancy some time out and when you’re baby reaches that age where everything distracts them from feeding.

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I tried three top selling baby wipes to see which comes out best!

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I use a lot of baby wipes! I use them for pretty much everything, nappy changes of course, washing sticky hands, washing hi-chairs before and after eating – in and out of the house, washing faces, spillages etc etc the list goes on. I also like to have a few packets on the go at the same time – one in nappy change station, kitchen, changing bag. So, am I getting the best wipes that offer me the best value for money? I put three different types to the test! Read more

Why is reading so important to our children?

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Before my son was born I was an avid reader. I love books and reading, very little makes me happier than having a good browse in Waterstones – you’ll typically find me in the history or historical fiction section, playing ‘got, got, need’ with all the Victorian books, buying a crisp new smelling book is my euphoria (even if it does just sit on the bookshelf for months). In fact, writing this is making me crave a trip to Waterstones.

No surprise then I hope my son also loves books, I want him to have that feeling of escapism and enjoyment of reading a book you just can’t put down when he’s older. I bought my husband this lovely little hard back Dr Seuss book (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Oh-Baby-Places-YouLL-Go/dp/0679885722) for Christmas whilst I was pregnant to read to the bump, and will never forget the moment he read it to him at only a couple of weeks old and it settled him, as if he could remember and it provided some comfort. At the moment he does enjoy books, he flicks through the pages and grunts, points and particularly enjoys pealing flaps off flappy books or scratch those with touchy feely bits. He hasn’t quite grasped the enjoyment of being read to yet, no surprise at 11 months! But I’ll still persevere, due to the numerous following benefits; Read more