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Showing posts from February, 2014

When everyone else is slamming breastfeeding...

The whole world seems to be talking about breastfeeding, whether we are discussing where women should nurse in public, or demanding that facebook and instagram #freethenipple, there's plenty of controversy and stigma attached to something which in essence is really simple.

When I say simple, its simple as in pushing a boulder up hill is simple (to paraphrase Lauren Laverne). It can be draining both physically and more often mentally when first getting started. We lack any consistent network of support in the UK, and here, our rate of breastfeeding success is dropping.

Consequently, the biggest topic of discussion seems to be whether or not breastfeeding is actually beneficial at all. Since becoming a mum, I've seen so many articles in national papers discussing this (I've even been in one) 90% of the time these articles are written by mums who chose not to continue breastfeeding in the early days.

Many of these articles quote recent Harvard research undertaken on siblings…

Why I Never Force My Kids to Kiss Their Grandparents (Or Anyone Else) | The Official Mayim Bialik Blog at Kveller

Mayim Bialik is quickly becoming my parenting hero.  I think it's great that she  is helping normalise attachment parenting and RIE into the mainstream. Our culture has been in need of a public figure who openly discusses how important the choices we make as parents are. 
 I love the fact she's so open about breastfeeding too. I'm not sure why we're afraid to talk about breast feeding, but it's wrong.  Breastfeeding needs to be discussed (and practiced) in public in order to normalise it for the next generation.



And finally,  what's really awesome about Mayim is that she's taken time out during award season to write this lovely blog about how and why its not a good idea to force your kids to display an emotion they don't feel
"Forcing (even gently) children to kiss people they don’t want to indicates to children that they don’t know their own sense of safety, comfort, their bodies, and what to do with them. Period. I know I’m overly cerebral. I kno…

Everything you need to know about cloth nappies

In the post I address some of the questions/arguments people have about cloth nappies and show how much I saved by using them. Buying cloth nappies is expensive to start.
Hmm no.  Not really.  Most expectant mums I know by a couple of boxes of pampers before their baby is born. It's part of the nesting impulse to be ready. These boxes aren't cheap at £26 a pop one box will last roughly a week.
I recommend by a small second hand stash of about 20/30 nappies.  With a variety of brands so you get an idea of what works for you.
I budgeted around £70 for my set up stash and got about 40 nappies.
That wouldn't even pay for three boxes of pampers.
A lot of council offer vouchers for reusable nappies too as a thank you for helping reduce waste. Don't you need more kit with cloth nappies? I was overwhelmed by nappy pails,  disposable liners,  nappy soak,  reusable liners,  wraps, reusable wipes and inserts too.
The basics of cloth are simple- you have a nappy to absorb t…

Homemade staples- Laundry Powder (without Borax)

When I had my son I was desperate to find as many greener and less chemical ways to run our home as possible. Washing Powder was on top on my list to make at home for a few reasons. Firstly we use cloth nappies and I wanted to reduce the cost per wash, secondly because I'm trying to save the equivalent of a salary by being a stay at home mum, and finally I don't drive and prefer to wear little frog rather than take the pushchair when we do the shopping so wanted reduce the volume of stuff I was having to heave home.
I found some great ideas online, but found that the washing liquid recipes required more space than my bedsit sized kitchen could offer and that most of the powder contained borax which is a dangerous chemical not readily available in the UK.
Through trial and error I have found a simple method of making my own Laundry Powder:


Ingredients
Bicarb of Soda (1/2 Cup) £0.13
Soda Crystals (1/2 Cup) £0.13
*Note you could use just a whole cup of either choice of soda I find…

Dear Grandma - A letter from Magda Gerber

As someone who recently removed all active toys from their home but who's child is an only grandchild to an enthusiast mother in law I had to share this. " Dear Grandma, if you still feel you want to buy something special for that wonderful grandchild, here are some suggestions for play objects that she will use more as she becomes a little older. As I mentioned, wooden toys are fine for one child to use at home. Many toy stores carry beautiful wooden blocks and lovely wooden puzzles of simple shapes with knobs for little fingers to lift each piece. Some Montessori materials such as wooden cylinder sets in their own trays make fine gifts. And of course it is a grandparent's prerogative to give a favorite doll to any grandchild. (Naturally a favorite doll would be a safe doll, with no small, removable parts.)What do all of these recommended play objects have in common? None do anything. They will only respond when the infant activates them. In other words our active infant…

Why our state educational system is outmoded

As a country we are failing an awful lot of kids. Our literacy and numeracy rates are plummeting. Whilst test scores are going up. The state of the educational system as a whole is a mess. GCSE's were set up to be an illustration to employers of a persons ability to apply themselves, yet more and more companies are losing faith in secondary education to a point where degrees have become the entry level academic requirement for previously no academic job roles. This video (although discusses the USA educational system) is applicable also the UK.


 If this video interests you I really recommend you check out this book on how our school system is failing one in five kids.

The book briefly discusses in the fifth chapter something I have long known, that actually parents have the greatest impact in their child's future. Something that I personally believe could be remedied by increasing the amount of mothers who stay at home with their children in the early preschool years. This a …

Heuristic play for babies an introduction

Back in the 80s a child psychologist named Elinor Goldshmeid first used the term Heuristic play. Heuristic play refers to the interaction of babies with everyday objects. This play has been shown to actively improve a child's development skills in areas such as problem solving, it stimulates all of the babies senses and kick starts creative play.