How To Get Your Child To Move More And Sit Less

According to recent surveys, 1 in 3 children are not exercising enough. Many do less than thirty minutes of activity a day apparently. With boys outnumbering the girls when it comes to taking part in some form of physical exercise. Of course, this will be of no surprise to you, especially if your children are currently sat in front of the television screen playing video games or watching their favourite shows. And if they aren’t doing that, they may well be sat on their scrolling through their Facebook feeds or watching YouTube videos on their phones. 

As the parent, you need to take action. Exercise is good for both your children’s health and happiness levels. It’s important to find ways to encourage them to move more and sit less. Here are some tips you might find helpful.

Be a good role-model

Don’t tell your kids off for not exercising enough when you’re sitting catching up with Friends reruns and watching adorable cat videos on YouTube. Take the opportunity to exercise yourself, perhaps by playing active games with your children in the garden, or by going on bike rides around your local area. Not only will you improve the fitness of yourself and your children, but you will get to bond with them too. Creating special memories that don’t involve screen time. 

Enrol your kids onto fun activities

We are just about to enter the school holidays , so there are bound to be activities in your local area that your children can get involved in. From holiday clubs to swim classes, do a Google search to discover the types of activities that are available. And going beyond the school hols, there might be activities at your child’s school or the local leisure centre. Get an idea of what your children are into, and encourage them to participate in the relevant groups or classes.

Stop taking the car everywhere

When it comes to your morning school runs, the car is probably a godsend. Especially if your children struggle to get out of bed at the appropriate time. However, why not find ways to speed up the school run so you can take the walk your kids to school instead of driving them. And if your children are averse to walking, let them use their bikes or scooters. If you are only ever travelling short distances with your kids, such as to your local shops or to their playdates, ditch the car and encourage everybody to use their feet instead.

Give them gifts that promote movement

Such as? Well, think footballs, roller boots, bikes, motion-controlled video games, basketballs, and even fitness trackers. Set them up with trendy running shoes too and fashionable tracksuits to give them greater incentive to get outside. So, when Christmas and their birthdays come around again, consider the types of activities your children might be interested in with a little push, and buy them something appropriate to match.

I hope these suggestions were useful to you, especially if your children are currently peering at you over their smartphones or gamepads. Let us know your thoughts, and if you have any other suggestions, please do us all our (and our children a favour) and share them with us.

Charlotte xx

 

10 Tips for First-Time Parents

Looking down and seeing two lines, or the words pregnant.  These can feel like daunting moments everything building up to the birth of a brand new baby. Once your Son or Daughter has been born you may have feelings of what the hell am I going to do, I am never going to be an amazing parent or parents.  These are just some of the feelings and emotions I went through when Jess was born. I only had 14 weeks between finding out I was pregnant and becoming a Mum for the first time. You can read more about that here. Today I am going to share with you 5 tips for when you become a mum for the first time.

Batch Cook before the birth

This is going to be something which I am going to do should we choose to have another child. I remember not having a lot of energy to be able to do things such as cook. This could have been as a result of having a C Section. By batch cooking this means that there is enough meals for you and your family in. You will not have to worry about things such as cooking and having to do the food shop in those early days. Of course one less thing to worry about is of course a huge bonus.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a birth plan

This is something which I chose not to do. I saw it is as because a lot can change and your birth plan is the ideal scenario. I choose not to dot his then it did mean that I was not disappointed that I did not get the natural birth everyone wants. The feelings that I failed did not happen to me because I did not have my heart set on one way of giving birth. Jess ended up been born by C section as her heart rate was dropping a lot lower than they would have liked. I did not end up with the guilt of having the C section. So I would recommend not panic if you do not have a birth plan.

Get a range of size clothing

I was told that Jess was going to be a small baby should I have listened and been keeping her. I would have gone in to panic and bought a lot of tiny baby and newborn clothes. However, when she was actually born she was 8lb 2oz so this is not exactly small. I would recommend getting a range of sizes because the scans are not always accurate when predicting size. At least this way you are going to have clothes which fit your baby. Of course, even if they are a little bit too big for them they always have a bit of growing room.

Do things your way

People want to share with you the way that they did things and that you are doing things wrong. There were multiple things which people said that I was doing differently to how they would do this. For example, I would wash Jess’  dummy when she had dropped it on the floor.  Some people would have just given her it. There is a wide range of things people will tell that they will do different from nappies to how you feed your baby and weaning.

You’re still killing it even if the house is a mess

People see these celebs who snap back and look like they are doing everything they did before they have children. This is not the case for normal mums we do not have the time or the energy we did before children.  As long as your baby has been fed and they are clean. That is all that matters they are not going to remember the tidy house. This applies for when they are toddlers and children. They grow up so fast that you want to spend the time with them and creating memories.

Ask for help if you need it

If you feel overwhelmed by staying home all day with your tiny little baby, ask for help.  You can ask for help even if it is so that you can do something as simple as getting a shower or have a hot coffee.   You are new at motherhood and it is something which I do not think I have mastered at all and I have had nearly 4 years practice. I sometimes have to ask for help now because things can become too much.

Love Your Body

You have just birthed a baby no matter how you had the baby.  C section or a natural birth is one of the hardest thing you can do.  Your stomach is going to be baggy and squishy, you are going to feel flabby all over, and it’s going to take time. It has been home to your baby for 9 months, it may take 9 months or longer to get back to the shape that you were before. I am not back to the shape which I was before I had Jess and she is nearly 4.

Take your time before allowing visits

So many people will want to come and see your new baby. They, of course, are excited to meet your new arrival but they do not think of you and the recovery.  You may not want to have visitors as soon as you are home. I was lucky to be able to spend 7 days in hospital this does mean that I had a bit of time to recover before I had visitors.  Make sure you feel like your up to it before inviting them over. You can say no to people if you would rather stay in your pyjamas and enjoy the newborn bubble.  People if they actually care about you will understand and will come around when you want them to.

Don’t tell people the name you like

This is one which people have told me they would not do. This is due to people trying to put you off a name which you may like for your child. People have been known to air their views on names and try and make people change their mind. If you do not tell people this will not happen. Once you have chosen your name and your baby is here for some reason people seem less likely to tell you they do not like your child’s name. I am not too sure why this is the case but it seems to be.  Should we have another baby we will not be announcing the name until after they have been born.

Do Your Research Before Buying Products

This is one which I would recommend doing if you do not want to waste money. There are millions of baby products out there which the brands claim you need. However, for the majority of them this is not the case. You have other products which can do the job. Meaning that you are not spending as much money. For example nappy bins are one which some people tell you that you can not live without. However, for us we just used to put dirty nappies straight in our outside dustbin. This saved us the money of purchasing one and of course the space. There is a lot of reviews of different products. I always try and review things which we have that we love. By searching around reading reviews you can save money. You may find a better product which would work for you and for less money.

What would you recommend to first time parents?

 

Charlotte xx

 

 

 

Potty Training – Our Experience

Girl Reading Book

Jess is now 3 and half which may seem late to have finally potty trained her. I think potty training was something which we were semi putting her off.  We have tried a couple of times to actually get her trained. I think the first attempt was around two years ago however, she was too young to be fully done. She got the aspects it and this meant Jess was not scared of the toilet or the potty.

We gave up because there was several signs of her not been ready. For example she was not telling us when she had an accident. Of course, this was fine with me at least we had everything which we had the tools to allow us to potty train. We had a step, a toilet training seat along side a potty. Jess occasionally would be using the toilet or the potty.

Last summer I was going to really kick start the potty training with her. I wanted her to be trained really before her 3rd birthday. However, as many of you may know our house move ended up getting delayed and this meant we did not have the summer. Instead I was having to take her on a lot of trains and a lot of travelling. This did mean that it was very hard to start potty training.

There was a lot of changes even towards the end of last year which stopped us been able to do it. For example of course we moved which meant that we no longer lived with my parents. Jess had to get used to this as well. Joe also went away for a couple of months around the same time my brother moved to university. Jess is very close to my brother they claim they are best friends.

Around the turn of this year Jess basically told us she was ready. She made us purchase her some underwear because she wanted to be a big girl now. We allowed her to use the potty when we was at home and wear the underwear. We spoke to nursery as they were on board and they wanted her to go in pants as well.  I think this was because they could also see the signs that she was ready. Jess was getting angry when she needed a nappy change I believe this was something to do with been embarrassed.

Of course, we kept her in pull ups when we was on days out and overnight. We chose to do this because of course, you do not always know where the closet toilet is going to be. When you first start training children do not always tell you much before they need the toilet. I think we kept her doing this for around 3/4 months. Once Jess was no longer having accidents when we was at home or nursery we allowed her to go on short journeys in big girl pants. We have not actually taken her on a couple day out without pull ups.

We ask her before we go out to try on the toilet and this then means that she reduces the amount of accidents. I think we have managed to do around 3 hours out of the house in big girl pants. We have not actually had any accidents when we have been out. Of course, I make sure that I have some spare clothes in my bag should any accidents occur.  I try not to get upset if she has an accident because Jess gets very embarrassed about it. This does mean that I have to reassure her.  I know it is going to be a while before we have Jess dry on a night. This is something which I do not have a problem with at all.

A couple of tips which I would give anyone who is going through potty training are allow your child to choose some pants. If you managed to do this your child will be more likely to want to wear their underwear. Make sure that you have the potty accessible to your child. This may be having it in the front room or wherever you child likes to play. This does mean that they then do not have to run to the toilet as fast. Then this does reduce the chance of them having an accident.  Do not put that much pressure on them they will manage to potty train in their own time. This is something which I did because you do not want them to get stressed about a lot.

What age did you potty train your child?

Charlotte xx

 

Baby and Bump Expo Review

Bump and Baby Expo has been running for 3 years now. It is held at York Racecourse and it celebrates all thing baby whether your expecting or your baby is already here.It is a great chance to meet local business and get an up close feel for their fantastic products and services. You may be wondering why I attended since Jess is 3 clearly not a baby. We attending because we were invited and also we wanted to see what was on offer should we have another child.  There was plenty which was suitable for Jess as well which is always a bonus.

I wish we had attended an event like the York Bump  and Baby expo when we were expecting. I feel like I would have felt more prepared for my journey into parenthood. There is so much to be learnt even after nearly 4 years as a mum. There is so much I would do differently should we have another child. I can not believe how much certain elements have changed.

There was a wide range of handmade clothing and accessories everything you could need for your little one. You could actually purchase the items as well which is always a bonus. I fell in love with some handmade blankets which I will be ordering from should we have any more babies.  Another brand I loved was Snugglz I think I may order Jess a memory box from this company. They are a super local company to me. As you may know if you have read my blog for a while I love to support small business.

Another brand which caught my eye was the beautiful imagination creation as you can see the balloon display is amazing. I can totally see this at a baby shower if you are going all out. This would also look amazing at a wedding or any other event . You for sure do not need to be having a child to be checking these guys out. I was told that some of these balloons can last for up to 6 weeks. This is something which is amazing. They are Yorkshire based as well. They also have doughnut walls, candy carts and soon a processo wall. I know if we host a big party for sure they are a company who we will be using.

There was a few companies who were looking after mums post partum when it comes to exercise. Now this is something which interest me having a sports injury background. Highton Physiotherapy clinic offer a post natal MOT for mums which I think is amazing. For sure this is something which I will be looking into. They also help return to sport plans and accelerating c section scars. Now if you have had a c section you will know you just want it to heal. For sure there a company to check out if you are in the York area, I would even travel to see Victoria.

Another company who I found very interesting is Custom Fit this is a company ran by Claire. Who is a former midwife and now a personal trainer. She comes into your house and does PT sessions with you this is a huge bonus not having to leave the house with a newborn. She even allows you to stop if they need feeding. I know should we have another one this is something I would look into.

I also had a good chat with the lovely lady from Puddleduck swimming lessons is something which we want to start with Jess. We never have been able to find any in our area which are suitable however, Puddleducks have put us in contact with our local team. Hopefully we are going to be able to start very soon because it is a vital skill. It is a shame that the lady we met did not cover our area she covered Hull and York both places we have lived in the past.

There was a number of companies who were offering first aid course. For sure this is something which I should look into if you know Jess she is accident prone. I even have to have an extended first aid kit in the car in case she hurt herself on a day out. I think Joe and I are thinking about doing one of the course in order to be able to help if someone does become injured. As child first aid is slightly different to normal adult first aid. No matter how old your child is it is always worth while looking at these course.

The final company I am going to share is the reading fairy they are a class which meet in York. The classes are designed to develop the crucial building blocks for reading and language development from 1-5 years. They believe in learning through play and nurturing a love of reading. Jess spent a very long time at this stall because they had one of her favourite books We are going on an Easter Egg Hunt. We have actually been invited to one of there classes. I can not wait to be able to give you a full review of these classes because for sure they look like something Jess is going to enjoy.

There were also talks, Q&A sessions and meet and greets with Sally from Mum’s Back and Vicki from Honest Mum blog which were really interesting. This year Baby and Bump was held on the 7th April. Tickets cost £5 and the first 100 guests got a free goodie bag.

Have you ever attended a bump and baby expo?

Charlotte xx

This review was written in exchange for attending this event.  As always my honest opinions are my own. I would like to say thank you to Bump and Baby expo for having me and for the generous goody bag of treats I received. Some of the products I will be reviewing in the future.

Days Out- White Post Farm

You may remember just before Christmas which seems like a long time ago now. We went on holiday to a log cabin in Derbyshire I will be reviewing this at some point don’t worry. We ended up having a day between checking out of the cabin and some other plans. So we found ourselves looking for things to do in the area. Between our cabin and where we was heading and then we came across White Post Farm. This is somewhere which Joe has visited as a child a number of years ago.

I think it cost us around the £30 mark for all which I thought was a little pricey for a farm. I seem to remember that this is more expensive than Cannon Hall Farm. Due to us visiting very close to Christmas they had themed the farm for the occasion. The painted hay bales were one of my favourites. You could also visit the big man himself for a small fee I seem to remember. However, Jess was going to see him in a few days so we opted out of this.

I could not believe how spread out the animals are this is something to keep in mind. If you have little legs with you it can take a while to walk around all of the outdoor animals. I know this is something which took us a while with Jess. This could also be to do with the fact that she is a huge animal fan. She did get scared at a few points because the goats kept following us thinking that we had some food.. You can purchase some animal food from the shop at the entrance I think it was 50p or £1. However, this is something that this time we opted out of doing. There is a wide array of animals on the trail including chickens, goats, pigs, deer, wallabies, cows, llamas, donkeys, and ponies.

The outdoor animals are on a trail and we went in December.  Of course, this is a period when it was wet. This did mean that it was pretty muddy we had Jess in her waterproof bottoms. If when you are planning a visit it has been pretty wet I would recommend taking wellies for your child at least. If you still have to take a pram you will still be able to go around the outdoor area. It is very pram friendly and we saw at least a couple of families doing this.

If you manage to go when the weather is not great there is also the silver barn. This is home to a wide selection of animals and looked like it had just been revamped. From memory this has some reindeers, donkeys, goats, rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens I think they may have been some spiders. You could get very close to the animals again of course you can feed them. You could even handle to the spiders and the snakes.  This is something which we all chicken out on doing. But the option is there as long as there is a member of staff on hand.

There is also a large reptile room which you can purchase some of the animals from. I could not believe how expensive some of them are. There was animals such as snakes, spiders, fish, frogs and all other kinds of reptiles. I did find it amazing that White Post Farm do have little steps which allows smaller children to see because otherwise we end up having to lift Jess. She can be heavy at periods so this is something I try and avoid doing. I thought this section looked a little bit dated and to be honest reminded me of a local park at home. This is an area which Jess was not too interested in once she has found all of the animals. This is something which older children may enjoy.

Because we went when we did it did mean that we had to explore more of the indoor areas as well which there are two play areas.  I seem to believe that there is actually three however, one was closed due to it been Christmas and them having the grotto. There was a small soft play area next to this which is somewhere which Jess visited for a period of time. For me I thought this looked very dated and not somewhere that did not think had the greatest selection. Jess did manage to play in the soft play but this is more due to the fact this is something which she enjoys doing anyway.  It did say that it was suitable up to the ages of 8 but I am sure that some of them would not be. I know that Jess thought that some of it was a bit small. I know she is on the bigger side of 3 because she is so tall.

There is some outdoor areas but of course, we went in December. It looked like there was a large climbing frame which if the weather has been nicer we would have allowed Jess to play on. There is also sand pits but because it had been raining these are no good to be played in either. If we visited another time of the year for sure I know Jess would have been all over them. We did however, play crazy golf even thought parts of the course were water logged. That was part of the fun. We only played in order to spend some more time at White Post Farm as we felt like we had not got our money’s worth. This may just be us because we have been to similar places which have been a fraction of the price but White Post Farm seemed expensive.

There is another indoor area towards the bottom of the farm. This is home to ride on tractors, skuttle bugs, big sand pit with toys, slides, funnels, etc., and it’s all covered. Even though it is covered it can be be very cold in this area. Jess was a little bit too small for the ride on tractors and is too big for skuttle bugs. It was cold when we was in there which means that the time she may have spent in their was actually cut short. She was too busy complaining about how cold she was.

We did take our own picnic because we had just checked out of our cabin. If it had been the summer there was plenty of benches around outside to eat. Instead we had to go to the covered picnic area next to the reptile house. This again was not the warmest place and it was dirty when we ate there. It did look like it needed a bit of love because it did look a bit aged. There is also a couple places which you can purchase a range of hot and cold food from. I think there was only one open when we visited however, it did look very busy. We did also have our own food so this does mean I can not comment on the food element of White Post Farm.

Overall Thoughts

I do not think that I would actually go back to White Post Farm despite it been not that fair from my In Laws. I think it was pretty expensive for the quality of the farm. It looked very run down compared to what I thought it would for £30. We did not managed to spend all day there I think we spent around 4/5 hours which less time than we usually would at a farm. I feel like they needed a little bit more to do some of the play areas where only good for the child in the family.Some of them looked very old and dirty I did not want her to play in them for too long. I am glad we visited though.

 

Have you ever visited White Post Farm? If so what did you think?

 

Charlotte xxx

 

Common Health Conditions During Pregnancy

Everyone says you should enjoy pregnancy because it is only for a short period of time. At the end of it all being well you get an amazing beautiful healthy baby. People rarely tell you that sometimes it is not plain sailing and you will end up with additional conditions during the length of your pregnancy. They can last for a few months post baby as well. The five most common health conditions during pregnancy actually include morning sickness, anaemia, gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, back pain and also antenatal depression.

I was lucky that I did not actually have all of these common conditions. However, I think that it is very rare that you actually do suffer from all of them. Actually suffered from both anaemia and back pain however, this could have been due to having a back to back baby. I am going to share more about all of the common conditions.

Morning Sickness

Morning sickness is super common with 7 out of 10 women experiencing it. Either as nausea or sickness. It tends to start around week 9 of pregnancy of course this can be before or even after. No two pregnancy’s are the same for sure. The good thing if you can call it that should you get morning sickness before 12 weeks you can have treatment for it. In some cases you can become several dehydrated and this can cause a trip to the hospital. Of course, there is different types of morning sickness with the worse been hyperemesis gravidarum. This form usually requires hospital treatment and impacts your day to day life. It has become more widely known as it is something Kate Middleton struggled with throughout her pregnancies. Morning sick I do not think I suffered with of course, I may have done and just thought it was a hangover. If you do not know I did not find out I was pregnant until 26 weeks.  I must have been one of the lucky 3 out of 10 women.

Tips for helping coping with morning sickness

Drink tea and nibble on a plain biscuit in bed. Who wouldn’t want to be able to have biscuits and tea in bed every morning. I think this is something which I would love despite the fact of not been a huge fan of tea.

Snacking is key try basic things such a brown bread toast and sandwiches. I remember I always had to have small meals constantly because this helped me feel better. Apparently this is so that your stomach is never completely empty.

Try and sip small amounts of water throughout the day this then stops you becoming dehydrated. This is something which I try and do now even though I am not pregnant.

Avoid too much pressure on your stomach, wear clothes which could be more lose. If you are feeling sick you do not want something pushing down on your stomach. I know this can be harder when you have an evergrowing stomach. I just used to purchase things a couple of sizes to big to prevent this.

Of course, you can try and eat ginger biscuits as it is known to have anti-nausea properties. However, if you do have HG. This may not be enough to to stop you being sick however, it may help a little bit.

Anaemia

For sure this is something which I battled through out my pregnancy. I only found out that I had this condition due to a routine blood test. One of the main signs is actually tiredness however, I had just started a new job and was towards the end of my third year at university. Of course, I was tired I did not think it was because I had a baby inside  growing me too. You can also feel like you are dizzy, faint and see spots in your eyes. This is something which occurred to me because I was severe anaemic.If you have aneamia their is a risk that your baby will be born premature. This does not mean they will because you have it Jess was 5 days late.  There is some treatment which can do without having to take tablets like I had to.

To try and prevent anaemia you can eat more red meat, green and leafy vegetables and drink fresh orange. Vitamin C does help the absorbing iron. This is something I struggled with due to having a very limited budget when I was at university. I ate a lot more chicken than I did red meat this could be one of the reasons why I did develop anaemia. If I should become pregnant again in the future I think I would change my diet in order to avoid the tablets.  Also try and decrease the amount of tea and coffee you consume I know it is hard because caffeine slows down the absorbing of Iron. I seem to think that I was limited to a couple of coffee’s a day this was very hard because I had usually around.

I joked that I was iron man because of the fact that at one stage I was on 3 200mg tablets a day.  It took me around 6 months to have my iron levels back to normal. This was after two blood transfusions which were done after birth.

Gestational Diabetes

This is one which I know a couple of bloggers have had during their pregnancy’s. Gestational diabetes will mean that 1 in 5 women have to take medication.  You are more at risk of gestational diabetes if you are overweight. This is occurs because your body can not produce enough insulin for your own baby. There is a risk that you will have to have your baby born early. This can occur if your baby is getting to much sugar it crosses the placenta and this can cause them to grow abnormally large.

During your pregnancy you do get a number of tests for gestational diabetes. This is done by testing for glucose in your urine. I used to find it hard to pee in a tube in order for the midwife to be able to check for glucose. If it is found that you do have glucose in your urine it does mean that you may need more tests. This can include fasting blood sugar and glucose tolerance test. You’ll have more frequent hospital antenatal checks and will be referred to a diabetes specialist.  These are checks I did not have to have because glucose was never found in my urine.

Your baby may be born early in order for them not to be born to large. It is recommend that you still exercise.Of course, you may not be able to do as much as you could before you was pregnant. Try avoid sugary treats and also fizzy drinks during pregnancy. This is because it can increase the risk of gestational diabetes. If you have had gestational diabetes your risk of developing diabetes later in life is increased even if your blood sugar tests return to normal after the birth. So as you can imagine this is one condition you want to try and avoid occurring.

Pre-Eclampsia

This occurs when a pregnant woman has both high blood pressure and a high level of protein in her urine. This actually affects 10% of first time pregnancies. 1-2% of them will be severe cases of pre-eclampsia. This is a condition which actually is not usually occurring until the second half your pregnancy. It is usually around week 20 that this can first be spotted. At your antenatal checks your midwife will measure your blood pressure and check your urine and ask about symptoms of swelling.

You are more at risk of developing pre-eclampsia if your a first time mum, have history of it in your family, are overweight or over the age of 40. I have known several people be at risk of this who have not gone on to fully develop pre-eclampsia. The symptoms which you need to look out for for pre-eclampsia are swelling in the hands and feet, blurred vision, pain in the upper abdomen and also vomiting. You can have excessive weight gain due to fluid retention. If you have any of these symptoms you should see a medical professional ASAP. This could have some serious consequences if you are not checked ASAP.

Pre-eclampsia can only be cured by delivering the baby so you will be closely monitored until delivery is possible. You will need to give birth in hospital. If pre-eclampsia is severe you will be admitted to hospital where immediate delivery may be required, even if the baby is born prematurely. You will be given a follow up appointment after the delivery. I know babies who have been born at a healthy weight as a result of pre-eclampsia . Try and keep healthy by eating as good diet as you can during the pregnancy.  Try and cut down smoking if this is something which you do. As well as exercise this is something which I was doing a lot during pregnancy.

Back Pain in Pregnancy.

For sure this is something which I had this could have been due to having a back to back baby. However, there could be other reasons for example a women gains 10-12.5kg while pregnant. This is usually around the stomach area which means that the centre of gravity is tilted forward. I think I actually put on 11kg while I was pregnant and I still have a few of those KG to lose now nearly 4 years on.

The ligaments in your back  also relax more while pregnant which can cause the pain to actually increase. As they are not as tight allowing them to carry the extra weight easily. There is no cure to the back pain sadly I remember having to have support on it. I remember having cold coke cans on my back during labour to try and reduce some of the pain which I was having. You can actually swim which helps reduce the amount of pain that you are in. It is recommended that you go at least once a week while pregnant. I know I could not have done this because I do not even think I had the energy for this.

Antenatal Depression

Depression is something which affects 12% of women during pregnancy. This is something which the majority of women are scared to speak about because of the fear of been judged. Two thirds of these women go on to develop postnatal depression which is something which is spoken about a lot more. There any many reasons why a women may suffer from antenatal depression it could be because she is getting used to the used to the change in life. After all there has been a huge change and her body is constantly changing. There is the pressure to be happy and to enjoy the pregnancy. The women may also be struggling with a number of the common health conditions as well. It is important to speak to your GP or your midwife if you are feeling low.

Of course, because I did not have such a long time to get my head around all of the changes. I wish I had spoken out how I was feeling. I was going to have Jess adopted if you didn’t know. There was a number of feelings going through me at this stage. I felt very scared because I was about to go through birth who wouldn’t be and not have a baby at the end of it. She would have been adopted by a lovely family they already had foster parents waiting. I felt guilty because of the situation I was in. Ashamed when people would ask me about it because after all I couldn’t bond with my bump she was not mine to bond with. I wish I had spoken out about how I was feeling I would if I was in this situation again.

Have you suffered with any of these common health pregnancy conditions?

 

Charlotte xxx

This post is in collaboration with Emma’s Diary

 

 

50 Fantastic Ideas for Engaging Dads Review

We all know the feeling there is so much that we want to do this year with our children. We want to create memories with them which are going to last a life time. This time of year can be tight for money but you still want to have some amazing times. I know this is personally something which me and my family want to do. As you know Joe works away a lot which makes family time even more special . Jess loves spending time doing things with her Dad.

Just before Christmas, I was contacted to see if I would like to review a new book. Full of ideas for Dad’s to do with their children, of course, I said yes because we are always looking for ideas of new things to do with Jess. 50 fantastic ideas for engaging dads is it sounds it is a book which has 50 ideas of what do to with your children. All of the activities which are in the book are very engaging meaning that you have to be hands-on.

There is a range of activities some which we are going to have to wait till the weather becomes warmer. However, there are plenty of the activities that Jess has done already. Even though the book does say for Dad’s we all know Mum’s can do it as well. The reason it is aimed at Dad’s is because they can find it harder to think of ways to engage with their children. When it comes to a fun and educational side of play. There are some activities in the book which I would never have thought about doing. Such as discount shopper allowing your child to go into bargain stores with a budget and allowing them to purchase items. Another one is a door colour challenge find doors which are the colour you say.

The activities tell you what you are going to need don’t worry if you don’t have them all. We have improvised with some elements and still had as much fun. The book also tells you what the children get out of it apart from spending quality time with their parents. One part which I think is the great is the way that it tells you how to develop it to make it even harder. We all know that children can get bored when something becomes too easy for them. It has progressions some of them we are going to be using as Jess is finding some of the activities easy now.

We have been doing the read me a story activity most evenings before bed. This is something which has been part of our routine for a while now and we find it seems to settle Jess before drifting off to sleep. She also will speak about the book in the morning and sometimes for days after. We will let Jess point to things within the book for example where is the frog . This is helping her learn the different animals and also be interactive with the story. For sure, this is something which we can keep up because books is something we have a lot of .

Block tower is another one which we have been enjoying this is something which we can do as a family. We use megablocks which is something that Jess has owned for a while and we have a race to see how can build the highest tower. Then we will ask her to count how many bricks there is again enhancing her learning. This is something I love doing in fun ways where it is possible. Another way we have done this is that you can only use a certain colour to build your tower this incorporates Jess learning her colours. Of course this is also teaching her hand eye cordination fan which is vital for when she starts writing.

The final one which I am going to share with you is the den building. Of course, we have not been able to go outside and do this one yet as it may be a bit too cold and windy. However, we have been using our home to do it we have blankets often around in our house so we have been throwing them over the sofa and footstool. Jess usually demands that I crawl around and she giggles her head off. I think this is one of her favourites from the book because it is one she demands even after nursery. Daddy I am sure will get roped in to play when he is back as well.

I know that we are going to have so much fun doing more of the activities. Another thing which I love about this book is the fact that the ideas in this are not that expensive. A lot of the things which are required you will usually have if you have children. For sure this is a book which is going to get a lot of love in our house. It would be a great present for some who has a toddler as well.

The book is available on Amazon, for £9.99 and can be found here. 

What activities do you like doing which engage with your children?

Charlotte xx

This post contains a PR sample however, all views are my own.

Talking PANTS with Pantasaurus

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A few days ago when I was dropping Jess off at nursery I was informed that they were going to be talking PANTS. I was very confused to what this was all about.  They told me that it was a campaign with the NSPCC and it was to teach children to stay safe from abuse. The children were going to be speaking about this at circle time and may have some questions. This is something which since that conversation I have researched more myself. I could not believe that this is a campaign which I had not heard of.

PANTS is a campaign which is fronted by Pantosaurus who is a friendly dinosaur. Using a dinosaur is friendly is going to encourage children to engage and interact with the campaign. PANTS is a campaign which has been going for a over a year which I have not heard of. It is important because we do not want the young children to be subject to sexual abuse.

PANTS actually stands for privates are privates, always remember you body belong to you, No means No, talk about secrets which could be upsetting you, and finally speak up someone can help.

Privates are Privates.

Which means that you do not need to show them to anyone else. Your private parts are something which only you should see. It encourages children to keep their genitals in their own pants so they are not going to be flashing. This is something important because you do not want your child flashing all because it is not socially acceptable.

Always remember your body belongs to you.

This means that you do not have to do things which others tell you. If you are asked to show some private areas which you do not feel comfortable in doing you can say NO. Your child needs to know that they can tell someone who you actually trust if they are in this situation. For example they need to know that they can tell you because this is important . It means that you can actually deal with the situation in the way you feel most appropriate. This may include going to the relevant authorities if you feel this is required.

No means No.

This means that people have consent to see anything private. If for some reason you do not want them to see you can say NO. For example if they wanted you to show something private you do not have to show them at all.  It’s important that your child knows that they can say no if they do not feel comfortable doing something. They are in control of their own body if they do not want to do something they do not have to which is very important. It is also important to make sure that they know there is sometimes times when they will have to do things which they may not like. For example show an area to a doctor, nurse or an adult who has responsibility for them.

Talk about secrets that upset you.  

This is going to help you because the child to know that they can speak to you about anything which could be upsetting them. This could be anything it does not have to be anything to do with sexual abuse. It could be anything which is upsetting them all children want to know that someone cares about them. If they have any worries that want share with you they need to feel comfortable in been able to do this.  This will hopefully easy any worries which you have as a parent because they can talk to you about things which may be worrying or upsetting them. This can be even things which may seem really small to them like they have had a rough day at nursery because someone has not wanted to play with them or something like this.

Speak up, someone can help.

This is be about anything no matter how small your child may think the issue actually was. If your children are feeling sad, anxious or frightened they know they are going to be able to speak to people. It does not have to be you who your child speaks to. We all know it can be hard to speak to your own parents when something is the matter. However if, the person they speak to is a teacher, someone at their nursery or a family member. Children and for that matter adults should not have to worry about things there is always people that you can speak to and they are not going to judge you for how you are feeling.

I feel like the PANTS campaign is something which should be spoken about more because we do not want children been scared. Sexual abuse is one of the worse things which can happen to you and it is not pleasant so been able to protect more people is key. Talk to your children or other children who may trust you about the PANTS campaign and keep them safe. They are never too young to learn about things like this.

Have you heard about the PANTS campaign?

 

Charlotte xx

 

Tackling Sleeping In Own Room As Toddler With Gloclock

As, I am sure you know by now we have just moved into our first family home which has meant there has been a lot of changes around here.  One of those changes has been Jess getting her own room for the first time, this is something which I was semi worried about. I know this may sound really silly as she is 3 years old and she has been sleeping through the night since she was very small. However, I was scared that the whole change of moving into an new area, getting a big girl single bed instead of a cot may be all too much for her. Jess usually is pretty good at going to be and always has been an early riser even on a weekend on the whole.

I decided that because I have seen so many people on blog or instagram use the glo clock which is a sleep trainer for toddlers. Jess in the few weeks before the move had been pushing and pushing her bed time to the stage that I was asleep before he for example some nights could see her still awake at close to 11pm. The constant battle to get her to sleep was something which was wearing me out and of course due to the fact she was not going to sleep on a night it impacted the time she woke up. Regular I would have to go and physically wake her up in order to make sure she did not miss too much nursery.

I knew when we got the house which would mean she got her own space this was going to have to change. I wanted her in a routine as such more during the week to make sure that she was less grumpy and had the energy to be able to complete tasks throughout the day.  Jess now goes to bed usually happily between 7-7.30pm on a week day of course sometimes, she does get longer on a weekend, we find she wakes around 7am. This does mean that she is getting the recommended 12 hours for her age group because she is not napping at nursery any longer.

Can I put the change and the increase in sleep down to the gloclock? Well it does make Jess want to go up the stairs to see if the blue Mr Star is on which indicates that it is bed time. You set the gloclock to night mode which turns it blue in turn the brightness goes down which of course you want because you do not want your child awake all night due to the distraction. When it goes into night mode it also has the starts around the edges which indicates to your child how many hours it is till they have to wake up again, for example if they woke at 4am and the sun was set to tell them they can wake from 7am it would have three stars. We have found that it does promote Jess to stay in bed a bit longer instead of trying to sneak out at 6am she will wait until it goes Yellow and Mr Sun rises.

We have found in the time which we have been using the groclock that Jess will sit and play in her room, reading stories or something similar till the time that she is allowed out. I have even debated setting it later on a weekend so I can have a lay in because she is still waking up around 7am when she does not need to be. I do wonder if she would notice if I did this?

You do not have to worry that the gloclock is going to run out of battery due it been connected to the mains, there would be nothing worse that it running out of battery during the night to be honest. The gloclock is so lightweight that it does mean you would be able to take it on sleepovers to grandparents houses or even if you go on a weekend away if this is something you would like to do it’s so easy to set up I think it took me under 5 minutes to do.  Another feature it does have is the option to add a nap time on it so this would be used if your toddler still naps this is something we have not done because she is out all day at nursery and then on a weekend she naps if she wants.

I found them so reasonably priced around the £20 mark because who can put a price on your toddler’s sleep, however, I regular find them on local facebook selling pages if you do not know how much use you will get out of one but fancy trying it.

Have you tried the gloclock if so what are you thoughts?

 

Charlotte xx

The Mama Tag

Tags are something which used to be on my site a lot of the time when I first started blogging, These are something which I have not done in a long time now which makes me said as I think this is a good way to get to know bloggers who you read a lot. Today I have been tagged in the mama tag by the wonderful Claire here is my answers to the questions which means you can learn more about me which is always fun because who isn’t nosey and want to know more.

HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU HAD YOUR FIRST CHILD?

I had Jess when I was 20 but I would have been classed as a teen mum for the start of my pregnancy .

WHAT WAS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING PREGNANT FOR 9 MONTHS?

My pregnancy with Jess was pretty fast as some of you may know if you have been around for a long time. I actually only knew for about 14 weeks that Jess was on her way I did not find out till I was 26 weeks so of course it flew by. I think the hardest part for me was the fact that I had to adjust in this short period of time that I was going to be a mummy and of course this was very scary.

CAN YOU THINK OF ANY GOOD THINGS YOU ENJOYED DURING THOSE 9 MONTHS?

Again because it was not long I will not say that I did not love it however, I hated not been able to be as active as I had been.The adjust to now been heavily pregnant and showing was something which I struggled with I am sure if I had another child I would enjoy it a lot more than I did.

IN YOUR OPINION, WERE ALL OF THE THINGS YOU HEARD ABOUT CHILDBIRTH ACCURATE OR WAY OFF?

I had heard all the horror stories of course before I had Jess however, it was not too bad for me even though I ended up having an emergency C section. I think there were points which I became scared in but of course everyone has different pain thresholds and people think different thinks are scary, So childbirth is going to be different for every single Mama.

WOULD YOU HAVE HANDLED CHILDBIRTH DIFFERENTLY IF YOU COULD RE-DO IT?

I think that I would love to be able to have my partner at the next birth or if we could actually do this again. I think that I would love him as well as have been able to have my mum this I am sure is going to calm me down when I am feeling scared and stressed out. It is very unlikely that my mum would be at a next birth because someone will need to be on hand for Jess.

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE FOR SOMEONE WHO IS ABOUT TO HAVE A BABY?

RELAX do not over think it because of the fact that is the more you stress and worry the worse you are going to be. There is nothing you can do if you are going to end up needing a C section to become a mama this is going to happen it usually is only offered if it is the safest option. Things can change so fast and you can not do anything about them I am glad I did not worry too much about my c section because I had done some research about them previously.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A MUM?

I would say it is the work-life balance because as you will know I have been doing my degree alongside been an mum. I feel guilty when I am spending time doing work or when it is nice weather and she is in childcare so at the moment I can get things ready for moving house alongside actually trying to find a job. I know this is something which most mamas struggle with even if they are at home the guilt is real. I have a feeling I feel it more because there is weeks where I have to solo parent due to Joe’s job and at one stage she hated me leaving her in case I did not return as well.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST REWARDING THING ABOUT BEING A MUM?

I would say this is like watching Jess grow up because it is amazing watching her personality she has become a really cheeky but funny little girl with a hint of sarcasm. I love watching her face when she is on days out or experiencing something for the first time that sheer look of wow. It doesn’t even have to be big things it can include her just been able to have an ice cream, I am loving the toddler stage minus the tantrums.

WHAT WAS THE MOST SURPRISING THING YOU DISCOVERED ABOUT BEING A MUM?

How tired it is possible to become and this does not actually stop even when they become older they still can wear you out. Jess makes me so tired watching how much she files around the tantrums which she gives me even wears me out which is never great. I thought that I was tiered before when I was a student well I can tell you when your a mama there is only so many nights you can burn the candle at both ends.

WHAT IS THE BEST MEMORY YOU HAVE INVOLVING YOUR CHILD?

I think think it was when we actually became a family for the time when the drama has stopped and we could enjoy having Jess. This mixed with the first time I saw Jess once I knew that I had to stop her from been adopted because this had been the plan. I knew I could no longer go through with it and i wanted my daughter to be mine.

WHAT WAS THE MOST EXCITING MILESTONE?

I would say them all because they are so special in their own way. Talking or walking I would say are the big two but now we can not get her to stop running off along with the fact that we sometimes we would pay for a little bit of piece and for her not to be constantly talking. We want them to hit the milestones as soon as they can but sometimes we regret it when they can do things we really don’t want them to do.

WHAT IS THE WORST THING YOUR CHILD HAS EVER DONE?

Tell people I have broken her ankle when I have not done anything must be up there as one of the worse. If only more people heard I am sure that social services would have been quickly round to make sure I am not a bad parent. I also hate it when she has a tantrum in public but I know sometimes that she can not help it and that’s how she can communicate that something is wrong.

WHAT HABIT DO YOU WISH YOUR CHILD DIDN’T HAVE?

Getting everything out instead of just a few toys is one so the whole floor looks a complete mess rather than just one area of the room is one of them. Another one which she does is been so sarcastic things like when she says thank you very much sometimes I do not know if she is been real or taking the piss out of us.  I know it is part of her personality but this can be so annoying.

WHAT HABIT OF THEIR MAKES YOU MOST PROUD?

I am proud of how polite she is she will say please and thank you without having to be asked which is amazing. She is so nice as well as will try and make everyone happy without you having to ask she will end up including everyone.

DO YOU SHARE ANY SIMILARITIES WITH YOUR CHILD? (BOTH PHYSICAL AND PERSONALITY?)

I think she is more like her daddy in personality but she can be stubborn like me. She is my double when I look at pictures of myself when I was her age I wish I had some of them I was Jess’s age to share with you.

WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR CHILD TO BE IN 10 YEARS?

I just want Jess to be happy and healthy that is all that matters to me.

IS THERE SOMETHING THAT HAVING A CHILD HAS TAUGHT YOU?

That the things which may have mattered so much to you before you became a mama maybe are not as important when you have children. You change and of course, have to put their needs ahead of your own which can be super hard sometimes but it becomes natural as a mama.

DID YOU IMAGINE YOU’D BECOME A MUM AT THE AGE YOU BECAME A MUM?

No, Jess was not planned and in an ideal world I would have waited and had her when I had finished uni and has been more settled. But I would not change it at all now I love being her mama.

DESCRIBE YOUR CHILD IN ONE SENTENCE.

Jess is a ray of sunshine, a bundle of energy and just someone I always want to be around. I am proud to say she is my daughter.

I am not going to tag anyone as everyone I can think of has been tagged however, if you have not done it and would like to I tag you to do the mama tag. If you do please leave your links in the comments I will be sure to check them out.

Charlotte xxx