Baby immunisations – what you need to know

Baby immunisations although unpleasant are extremely important help your baby avoid the opportunity of getting particularly nasty and fatal diseases. Some of the immunisations come in injection form, usually into the thighs, and some are given orally by a non tasting solution by syringe.

Here’s the breakdown of what to expect and when. Read more

Why Sunday afternoons are my favourite part of the week


Before having a baby I worked the bog standard 9-5. I used to work alternative  weekends but in general I still got that ‘Friday feeling’ and loved Saturday’s shopping, cinema, meals out etc. Sunday’s we’d normally go around to my Mums for Sunday lunch, or out to the local carvery and Sunday afternoons those Sunday blues would sink in. I’d spent a lot of the evening pretty miserable, for no real reason – I didn’t mind my job, but would still have than sunken feeling. Looking back I was wasting a large proportion of my weekend feeling down about the upcoming week, which I now definitely regret.

When you’re on maternity leave there are no Sunday’s, everyday is the weekend and, although you have many challenges, life is great! Now I’ve returned to work weekend mornings only, it was a difficult decision and isn’t perfect, but at the moment it works for our family. I can look after our son Monday – Friday and he can have valuable daddy time at the weekends. It also saves money on expensive childcare arrangements so whatever I do earn can go straight into the families pot.

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Celebrity Babies and Social Media

You can’t buy any glossy mag at the moment without another celebrity with a new baby or pregnancy announcement – there seems to be a constant baby boom amongst the rich and famous! Little do these little bundles of joy know they are going to be spoilt beyond their wildest dream and treat to all the best toys their hearts desire!

Attitudes towards celebrity babies differ, I personally don’t follow celebrity culture, and I’m not particularly bothered about paying good money to see their Mini Me faces plastered all over the latest OK magazine. Yet some people strive on being up to date with the latest A-listers news! Attitudes within the celebrity world differ too, some celebs are more than happy to keep their baby secret and be paid a high price (I imagine) to release the first photos to the highest glossy page bidder, Katy Price for instance, her children are very much a part of her brand, she isn’t shy about including them in photo-shoots, or her TV programme. Others are the opposite and will take injunctions against anyone who dares ‘pap’ their child, Adele is a prime example, she asserts her son is not ‘public property’ and won a high court case against paparazzi who sold photos of her boys ‘milestone moments’. Then there’s those inbetweeners, those who don’t hide their offspring away but will involve them if its appropriate to do so, celeb chefs are a prime example of this, Jamie Oliver, Gordon Ramsey and Nigella have all had their children feature in their shows.

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Has my child got oral thrush? How? And what can I do about it?


Oral thrush sounds very unpleasant and can be rather unsightly- but rest assured it is extremely common in babies and toddlers, and only causes mild discomfort if caught early.

How do I know if my baby has oral thrush? 

Because the thrush is in babies mouth its sometimes difficult to spot straight away, you might notice when your baby cries or laughs their tongue, inside lips and mouth is tinged white. This could just be milk residue, but if it’s unusual for your baby, persists or gets worse, or is accompanied by white spots then its best to get checked out.

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The best skincare products for Mum


Laura, how do you always look so fresh faced and young?… Said no-one to me, ever. But I’m sure they’re thinking that all the time.

Like the rest of you out there I don’t get enough sleep, I don’t drink enough water and I definitely don’t have time or cash to spend days in lovely health spas having lovely facials, massages and ‘me’ time. In reality my beauty routine consists of grabbing a quick shower during my sons nap time. Therefore, I need a beauty regime with products that are fast acting, simple and don’t cost the earth. Here’s what I use. Read more

My favourite baby toy


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


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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My tips to cope with returning to work after maternity leave


When maternity leave comes to an end its a very stressful time for parents. When I left work on maternity leave I opted to take 9 months, waiting as long as possible until my due date so I’d have as much time as I could with my baby, then I left fully intending to return soon after Christmas. I hadn’t even dreamt of not going back, I left my cup in my locker, papers in my tray and didn’t return any keys… But things change in a way you can’t really comprehend when you have a baby. Your plans come secondary, and often go out of the window, instead of putting yourself first and morning this new little addition to the family rules the roost. Pre-baby my focus was money, how can I make lots and lots of money to buy nice clothes, cool ‘stuff’, and go on holidays, I worked long hours on a 7 day week pattern including weekends, bank holidays and late nights if it meant I was racking up the overtime.

After having a baby and began contemplating returning to work I soon realised there was more to life than money. I’d invested so much physically and emotionally into my child that I didn’t want to go back to work, and I didn’t really mind that that meant I’d be financially worse off. My little boy HATED nursery, we went through the visits and the longest I could leave him was 7 minutes before I was called to come back to my sobbing child. I already knew this would be the case and thankfully had just waited in the car. It broke my heart. So much so that I couldn’t do it and I was very lucky in that I job I was interested in came up, I was successful at interview and crucially it meant I just work weekend mornings, so still have all week with my boy and he has important daddy time for 14 hours a week.

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The Caesarean Debate


The state of our countries NHS is in constant news at present with the proposed government changes to hours of work, forcing junior doctors to work hours they deem as unsafe and unfair. When I went to hospital to give birth to my son, due to the need to be induced then my son being poorly, I stayed in hospital for a week in total, and cannot fault the care both myself and my son received. All the staff were amazing, very caring – and the food wasn’t even that bad! But what was clear was that they were very short staffed for their demand, my experience on the delivery ward may have been improved and shortened had the ward been less busy, (the midwife admitted other people were taking precedent) or, they had more staff to deal with demand. In the post-delivery ward staff were very stretched, some mothers were waiting all day to be discharged as the midwife was just too busy, and one midwife was literally dashing from patient to patient.What is particularly topical at present is the NHS view on birth by caesarean section. The leader of the country’s obstetrician’s warns that there is an “incessant increase” of children being born by c-section. He believes some hospitals are carrying out far too many sections on first time mothers who have a normal, full term, head first baby – this leads to further issues through increasing the chance of their subsequent births also being by section. An issue due to costs of surgical teams, operating theatres, equipment, women having to stay in hospital longer – all cost pressures on an already stretched service.

Rates of sections have been rising, from around 10% of births 30 years ago to near 25% of births today. So why is this? Read more