Baby swimming lessons: are they worth it?

Baby swimming lessonsIt’s a good question, because at around £13 per class they’re not cheap.

Although I took BB swimming regularly when she was a baby it didn’t occur to me to look into anything more structured until I was asked to write a piece about baby swimming lessons for Mother & Baby magazine after Little B was born.

There are a host of franchises out there from Water Babies to Puddle Ducks and Little Splashers, all offering pretty much the same thing. We tried out a Puddle Ducks class in Ovingdean, Brighton, which I was sure Little B would love given he was born in water and gets terrible gripe.

When the dreaded griping pains take hold a nice warm bath seems the natural way to soothe him; as soon as he enters the water he stops crying and wreathing around and his tummy, previously as tight as a drum, relaxes. Continue reading

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Is getting your baby’s stem cells frozen as an ‘insurance policy’ a good idea?

Stem cell harvestingAs a journalist I meet all sorts of people from all walks of life. This week I met a mum, Hannah, who had the blood from her baby’s cord, which is rich in stem cells, harvested at birth and cryogenically frozen in case it comes in handy during later life.

It might sound like something out of a science fiction movie, but more and more parents are using private stem cell banking to preserve the potentially life-saving cells which are otherwise thrown away. Are they wacky, or actually rather wise?

Hannah’s baby daughter Lola has a congenital heart disease and while her parents don’t know whether stem cells could help her condition in the future, given the advances in medicine involving stem cells they thought better to be safe than sorry. Continue reading

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How to work from home with a baby and stay (relatively) sane

Working from home with a baby 6I’m coming to the end of my second month being a stay-and-work-at-home-mum (SWAHM – yes it does exist!) and to say it’s been a learning curve is an understatement. Working from home with a newborn baby sleeping peacefully in his seat is one thing, but quite another now he’s almost 17 weeks old and demanding more and more attention.

So I thought now would be a good time to share my top tips.

Of course it depends on what you do – my job involves sitting in front of the computer and talking on the phone. In the last week I’ve done a phone interview with the managing director of Innocent smoothies with Little B plugged into a boob, and jiggled him in one hand while writing with the other during a separate phone interview with the head of marketing at Coca Cola Enterprises. Good job neither were video calls.

As the weeks go on I’m having to factor in increasing amounts of contingency time ahead of my deadlines in case we have what BB calls a ‘crying day’ (she means Little B, not me. Honest.) Continue reading

Posted in Baby, Breast feeding, Family life, Newborn, Parenting, Pregnancy, Work life | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Why don’t pregnant women use wheelchairs?

Three pregnant dadsThat’s among the questions three ‘pregnant’ dads have posed just days into their mission to wear pregnancy suits for a whole month.

I left BB and Little B in the capable hands of Misery Guts on Sunday to go and write about their story, among others, and it really is an interesting one. There’s no doubt the world would be a different place if it were men who gave birth.

The three dads are wearing 15kg ‘empathy bellies’ – the average weight of a full term pregnancy – day and night in the run up to Mother’s Day to see what it’s like for all us mums out there. Continue reading

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Mountain Buggy Protect review: it’s amazing what you can hold between your teeth

Mountain Buggy review 1Maxi Cosi better watch its back. Mountain Buggy has entered the travel system market with a new group 0+ baby car seat from birth to 13kg (pictured). And boy, is it light.

In case I haven’t harped on about it enough, we live in a fourth floor flat, which is one thing when you’ve got an independent three year old who can walk, but quite another when you’ve got said independent three year old AND a baby. Which is asleep in the car seat. And shopping. And wellington boots the independent three year old discarded in the hallway downstairs…you get the picture. It’s amazing what you can hold between your teeth. Continue reading

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Dream job interview: my out-of-date noughties outfit was fine

Job interview updateThese things are never as bad as you think they’re going to be, are they? Leaving Little B with Granny and going into central London and back again really wasn’t that bad, even though I did miss him terribly and it felt like we’d been apart an age.

My stinking cold managed to contain itself for an hour or so, my out-of-date noughties outfit was fine (according to Gok flared trousers are actually back in), my boobs didn’t leak and instead of being the grilling I thought it would be the interview was more like a nice chat. And it’s fine just to work weekends. I start next Sunday.

Continue reading

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Abra-ca-Debora pancakes review: yum yum!

Abra-ca-Debora reviewIt’s Pancake Day, it’s Pancake Day it’s P-P-P-P-P-P-P-P Pancake Day! Not today, obviously, but next Tuesday, so BB and I thought we’d better get some practise in. We’ve been making pancake faces for breakfast (pictured) – and what fun!

We made ours using Abra-ca-Debora’s ready-made pancakes – the sort of thing I’d usually turn my nose up at but with Little B on the scene is the perfect time and hassle-saving solution that doesn’t require brain function. Continue reading

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