Category: Parenting

Save 1/3 on tickets to the Baby & Toddler Show 2017!

*The competition is now closed – but you can still save 1/3 on tickets to the Baby and Toddler Show.

The Baby & Toddler Show brings together everything that new and expectant parents need to give their baby the best start under one roof, and you could win two tickets to go to one of the shows in Manchester, Surrey or Glasgow this Spring. All you need to do is enter the competition below – but don’t worry, even if you are not successful you can still save a third off the ticket price by using the discount code at the end of this blog post.

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Loneliness, Motherhood and Making Mum Friends

Recently, MPs launched a new campaign to tackle loneliness, after research showed that over 9 million people in the UK say they feel lonely, and the effects of “chronic loneliness” can be as damaging to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

When we think of loneliness we often think of older people or those with no family. But in reality, you could be surrounded by loved ones and still feel lonely.

One time in your life when loneliness can strike is when you have a baby. You might have a house full of visitors in those first few weeks, and you spend every waking moment (and there are a lot of waking moments) with a mini version of yourself who needs constant attention. So how could you possibly feel alone when your life is really quite hectic? (more…)

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Keeping your child’s favourite toy safe on holiday, with tips from Mothercare

New research from Mothercare has revealed that 69% of parents say their kid’s favourite cuddly toy is a must-pack holiday item.

For us, we can’t go anywhere overnight without taking Seahorse. He is Izzy’s favourite toy; she’s had him since she was 1 day old. He smells a bit funky, the pink fur has turned grey in places and the light up tummy isn’t as bright as it once was but she loves him regardless.

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He’s accompanied her on many a sleepover, weekend away and of course on our family holidays. He’s been to Portugal, Majorca and Disneyland, as well as many places in the UK.

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Having a favourite toy, something familiar, can provide such comfort when visiting new places. Holidays can often mean a disruption in routine, an unfamiliar environment and new experiences – which can be unsettling for young children.

It’s so important that Seahorse comes with us to provide that reassurance and comfort. It’s even more important to bring him safely back home!

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That’s why I’m sharing some top tips from Mothercare parenting expert Liz Day, to help parents keep their kids’ fluffy friends safe this summer.

Mothercare identifies parents’ bear-necessities for holiday packing

Liz Day, Parenting Consultant for Mothercare, comments: “As well as keeping children calm and entertained during the journey, home comforts such as a favourite cuddly toy can often help little ones settle better into new locations as parents unpack and start to relax. Here’s my advice on how to keep their favourite friend safe and make sure the bear makes the return journey home with you:”

1.      Tag your cuddly toy using the same safety ID bracelet or wristband as you use to keep your child safe – matching their favourite bear will encourage your little one to keep the tag on at all times. Include a return address and your phone number so your invaluable bear finds its way back to its little owner if it gets lost.

2.      Buy two of your child’s favourite cuddly toy and secretly pack one in your suitcase when you go away. If your tot’s toy does manage to escape, it’s really useful if it can miraculously reappear when you get back to your holiday accommodation.

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3.      When on the beach, tie a brightly coloured ribbon to your tot’s favourite fluffy friend so they don’t go missing in the sand.

4.      When travelling, keep bear safely in your hand luggage or pop them in an easily accessible bag so they are within reach to soothe and calm your tot if there are any upsets during the journey.

As well as you child’s favourite cuddly toy, the other top four items parents say are essential to pack for family holidays are:

o   Sunhat (84%)

o   Sunshade (66%)

o   Armbands/ pool floats (55%)

o   Travel cot (53%)

What are your holiday essentials? Do you have any tips on keeping those favourite toys safe?

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Friday night: Before and after kids

“Thank God its Friday” is an often uttered phrase, but now I have kids it has a completely different meaning from when I was in my child-free early twenties.

Then I used to desperately wish the week away and rush out of work on a Friday to spend a couple of hours getting ready, before heading out with my friends. Friday night out was usually followed by Saturday night out… and the weekend would be a blur of blue wkd and apple sourz. Then Monday would come and I’d start the countdown again.

Now when Friday rolls round, I’m thankful for very different reasons. Like no more school run for 2 days.

I’m thankful that my Hubby will be off work for the next couple of days. Then I might be able to wee in peace as there is another grown up to entertain the kids for a few minutes. If I’m really lucky, I might even get a lie in and a cup of tea in bed.

I’m thankful that I’m off work and we get to do stuff together as a family, even if it’s just going shopping or watching a family film, or chauffeuring the kids to various soft play parties.

I’m thankful that I don’t have to spend ages applying eyeliner or picking the perfect outfit, only to end up sweating and drenched in other people’s drinks with only a hangover to look forward to the next day.

Instead I’ll slip into some comfy pyjamas and watch a film. Maybe I’ll even have a glass of wine. Of course I’ll fall asleep on the sofa before I’ve finished it. That’s like the Mum law.

I’m thankful that now in my (early) thirties and as a mum to 2 young kids it’s perfectly acceptable to chose an uneventful evening in over a sticky dance floor and ridiculously impractical shoes.

Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy a good night out with friends, but it generally involves cocktails at a nice restaurant rather than shots and a takeaway kebab. When I do go ‘out’ out, with my mum tum tucked into a pair of trusty skinny jeans and my ‘sensible’ heels on, I usually end up feeling ancient and boring next to all the fashion – conscious inebriated teens.

And it’s not because I’m grown up, or in anyway too good for all of that. It’s simply because by the time the weekend rolls around I’m just too tired. Too tired to spend more than 20 minutes prepping to leave the house. Too tired to queue at packed bars or to dance for hours. Too tired to contemplate having to deal with being woken up at 6am after a 3am bed time – especially if the kids haven’t been sleeping well the rest of the week. And – thanks to my lack of practice over the past few years – I know that even a mild hangover will render me too tired to do anything of value for the next week.

Maybe I am just getting old. But tonight I’ll be quite content watching TV and maybe enjoying a glass of wine. Until I fall asleep on the sofa.

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This post is linked up with:

Twinkly Tuesday @mummascribbles 

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The 12 stages of dealing with headlice

Nits. The one word guaranteed to send you into a head-scratching frenzy. Even as I write this my head feels unbearably itchy just with the thought of them!

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Getting headlice is an inevitable part of being a child. They spend so much time with other kids at school, huddled together at the desk or hugging at playtime, giving those creepy crawlies the perfect breeding ground. However, even knowing that they are extremely common and pretty much unavoidable isn’t enough to stop you feeling completely mortified when your children – or you – get them.

We have recently made it through a headlice infestation. And it wasn’t pretty. Here’s the 12 stages you can look forward to if your kids are unlucky enough to play host to the persistent little blighters.

  1. Discover a whole colony of adult headlice and hundreds of eggs at the most inconvenient time. Like right before you are heading to work/on the school run. You wonder how on earth they got that bad and feel guilty for not noticing sooner.
  2. Spend a small fortune at the pharmacy for some treatment and then treat everyone in the family, just to be on the safe side. After hours of painstakingly combing through the kids hair with a metal comb and trying not to bawk at the little critters falling in the bath, you think the worst is over. It’s not.
  3. You can’t stop scratching your own head but try to convince yourself it’s just psychological. It’s not.
  4. Wash everything on a 90 degree wash. Twice.
  5. Inform the parents of kids who have played with your infected little darling that they might wish to do a head check. Their reactions tell you if these are ‘your kind of people’ or if you are forever going to be avoided at the school gates.
  6. Continue to check the kids hair every night, eventually finding more newly hatched headlice.
  7. Yet more treatment is applied, double the dose this time, followed by another hour spent picking out the tiny eggs with your finger nails.
  8. Wash everything again.
  9. You find yet more nits. And discover they have spread to siblings. Repeat steps 6-8 over and over for what feels like the rest of your life.
  10. Quietly contemplate shaving everyone’s hair off. Including your own.
  11. You are sick of washing bedding and towels everyday. Consider having a bonfire.
  12. Finally, the family have been nit free for about a week now. Consider getting some kind of plaque made in celebration.

So there is light at the end of the lice- infested tunnel. Where there is less scratching and combing and your house no longer smells of tea tree and isn’t filled with the grumbling of kids who are fed up of leaning over the bath while you inspect every millimetre of scalp.

Until the next time!

Have you had the misfortune of dealing with headlice yet? We eventually got rid of them with Full Marks treatment – what worked for you? 

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