Saturday, 15 May 2021

How to raise a science lover

 For many people, science is a wonderful hobby, for others a career and the fact is that it’s a vital part of life that improves our world in many ways. 

Children are innately curious and you may find that because science is so broad, there will be a part of it to please every child.



Children, from a young age like to know all they can about the world around them. They show this in their constant questions about their environment. 

 

“Why is blue a colour?”

“Why does the rain come down?”

“Who made the sky?”

 

These are all genuine questions asked by children and which of course, you can answer via science. The best way to help your child with the answers to these questions is to know them yourself! So, the first thing you should do, if you are not a natural scientist, is to learn all you can yourself.

 

How to help my child learn more

 

Enjoying learning through play is a great way to approach this. Games and experiments can be combined so your child is learning about science whilst they’re playing.

 

For small children, water play is a great first step in science. The simple act of freezing water to turn it into ice is fascinating and children will particularly like the idea of freezing objects into blocks of ice and then watching them melt.

 

You can freeze plastic toys, flowers from the garden, sweets and all sorts of things which can then be admired as ice blocks! Similarly, gardening in your own garden or a container can help children to understand more about biology and botany at once.

 

Freedom to explore

 

Some home experiments are messy but that’s great for children because they mostly love to make a mess! Making slime is one example of messy science and it’s universally popular. There are lots of great tutorials online.

 

Allowing your child to ‘make potions’ is fun too. A selection of clear plastic containers and some ingredients such as plants, flowers, salt, the food colouring will make them feel like miniature scientists as they work out what happens when things are mixed together.

 

This independent school in New York believes all children are natural learners and only need to have that ability unlocked in order to achieve. 


Friday, 14 May 2021

Mum life // Trying to increase my milk supply and save my mental health.

Lately, the constant worry of my milk supply has been growing heavily on my mind and driving me a little crazy if I'm honest.

I'm becoming obsessed that I'm not making enough, 
I'm constantly googling how many ounces should my baby be drinking and then comparing that to the amount I pump on the odd occasion after Bea has already feed.

Last Tuesday I had a clogged up duct which was excruciating and I was worried it would turn into mastitis so I pumped 3 times as well as having Bea feed from it to help clear it and I only managed to get 6 ounces out and when I saw on the back of a formula box that a baby of her age should be drinking 6 ounces a feed I really started to question myself.


I know when I look at Bea and see how happy and content she is and the fact she is producing enough wet and dirty nappies I know deep down she is getting the right amount yet I still find myself worrying.

I  broke down in tears the other day as she fed and fussed on me that I told myself I was just going to give up and buy some formula - all the boys had bottles and she could as well.
I really didn't think I could do it anymore.
My mental health really seems to have taken a big hit with all the worry.


I went to Tescos and bought a box of formula and one bottle. 
I got home and just stared at the box and decided I didn't really want to give up and I was just having a bad day, so I decided to put the box and bottle away out of sight and carry on.

I can do this,.. I know I can do this!!

Bea feeds really well and only on the odd occasion will fuss and pull on me but always comes away from the breast with a full mouth of milk dribble. 

I decided to help put my mind at ease I bought myself some HOTTEA MAMA milks up tea, as I had read some great reviews about it helping to increase milk supply.
 I also stocked up on some of my favourite nipple cream and breast oil to help soothe my currently sore nips thanks to Bea's fussing.



I know my worries are silly and that she is getting enough but it is a little too easy to compare yourself to others on social and google isn't really the place to go for reassurance.

Hopefully, I can combat my anxieties when it comes to Bea and feeding and start to relax a little and start to believe in my own abilities and my body being able to give Bea what she needs.


Any breastfeeding tips and tricks would be most welcome. 

xxx

 

Thursday, 13 May 2021

The Benefits of Extra-Curricular Activities for Children


Extra-curricular activities are a wonderful way for children to learn and to grow in confidence. Not only teaching practical skills but also social skills, extra-curricular activities can really boost a child’s development.


 


When should my child begin extra-curricular activities?

 You can’t start soon enough. Even when your child is a baby, fun baby classes are their first experience of extra-curricular clubs. This can grow as they do and you can seek out activities that interest them such as sports or arts-related clubs.

 

Finding the right fit 

 It’s not always a simple matter to find the right fit for your child. Some children struggle to know what they’d like to do and might try a number of activities before they land on the right one. For this reason, most clubs offer free trials so you don’t need to sign up for a whole term.

 

Another good option for a child who doesn’t have any special interests is Scouts, Cubs, Brownies and Girl Guides. These clubs explore so many different activities in a fun and safe environment that even the most uncertain children will enjoy them. The strong feeling of camaraderie which can come with these groups is particularly good for children who might struggle socially.

 

Some ideas to start with

 Here are some ideas for clubs and activities which might not have occurred to you.

·      Rowing clubs

·      Cricket

·      Rugby

·      Horse riding

·      Ice skating

·      Gymnastics

·      Dance lessons

·      Chess club

·      Debating

·      Sailing

 

There are so many wonderful extra-curricular activities available today that there really is something for everyone. The best schools have extra-curricular activities included as part of their general curriculum and students can take part if they choose.

 

Schools like this private school in Beaconsfield really take extra-curricular activities to the next level with enough choice that students can enjoy a real variety of different activities and sports.



*collaborated post


Monday, 10 May 2021

The Importance of Pastoral Care in Schools


 
Pastoral care is at its heart, the provision of social and emotional care for students. When a school gets it right, the students feel nurtured and safe. 

Wrong and the students don’t know who to turn to in a crisis.




How to know if a school has good pastoral care

 

How can you work out which schools have a great pastoral care system in place? 

There are a few indicators. 

 

The presence of happy students is probably the best indicator of all. When you schedule a visit, you may have some student guides and you can ask your guide if they are happy at school and what it is about the school that makes it special.

 

In schools with good pastoral care, the communication lines are always open. Not only for parents and teachers but also for students with their teachers. 

Children need to feel heard in order to feel safe but they also need to know who to approach if they are in trouble or feeling sad. 

Clear indicators such as information about class counsellors or representatives should always be on offer.

 

Speak to other parents

 

Speak to parents of current pupils if at all possible. They will be vocal if the pastoral care is good and you can learn much from those with experience. 

When children feel that they are in a safe place, they are much more likely to open up about any struggles they may be having – socially, emotionally or otherwise.

 

When parents keep in touch with the staff at school, they can also be part of good pastoral care. For example, informing the staff if your child is having any issues outside of school which they may not be aware of can help the staff to support your child with any problems which might arise as a result of the issues. 

This independent school in Surrey places a strong emphasis on pastoral care and its students thrive as a result.



*collaborated post


Saturday, 8 May 2021

Mum life // Ups and Downs

Last weekend was the first time I have really struggled with having a new baby, I had been pretty smug up until then.
She was feeding like a pro, she was happy and rarely cried, she didn't like to be put down for naps or bedtime but I could deal with that.

Up until Friday last week when Bea decided she was going to become really fussy on the breast.


She would latch on and then bite down and pull her head around.
Which resulted in me crying and getting very sore and her screaming for most of the weekend.
I was in such a state, and I had no idea why she was doing it.


I questioned my supply and started to pump in the rare moment she was calm in her bouncer, or when Jon was holding her.
Pumping gave me a little boost as I could see I was providing enough.
But that didn't stop her fussing.

By Sunday I was stood in Tescos in front of the formula and bottles in tears thinking maybe I wasn't what Bea needed.


I decided I would give it a few more days and see how we got on, I made sure I had all my nipple creams handy and pulled on my big girl pants. I really want to breastfeed and quitting at our first hurdle wasn't going to be the way.

By Monday Bea was nearly back to feeding nicely and I was starting to feel less sore and less like a failure.
I have a 90-minute appointment with a doula on Wednesday just to have some help with feeding and settling Bea, so I'm looking forward to that, I have also joined lots of breastfeeding support groups on Facebook!
Thank god for the internet!

Along with the issues with breastfeeding I have found myself becoming a victim of baby-brain, I keep forgetting important things and it's starting to drive me crazy. 

****

In other news, we sold our house this week and have also put an offer on a new one.
Now Bea is here we decided we did really need to find a 5-bed house and with Jon's new work being a good hour away, we all thought it would be better to be closer to there so that we would see him more.

So on Tuesday Jon, Bea and I went off house hunting.
We went to view a beautiful farmhouse which was built in the 1700s!
Wooden beams everywhere and beautifully big fireplaces.
It's in a tiny village and not too far from Norwich.


Our offer was accepted and now we are just in the process of getting all the legal bits and pieces sorted and hopefully we'll be able to get in there before the stamp duty discount ends.

Fingers crossed.
I can't wait to share the new place on the blog.


Bea turned 3 months this week, and I still can't believe we have a little lady in the house.

As the week has gone on her feeding habits have gone back to being like those of a pro and the fussiness seems to have gone back to wherever it came from.

3 months of exclusively breastfeeding, that is such an achievement for me and I'm proud I didn't give up last weekend. 


 

Friday, 30 April 2021

Baby Bea

 So it's been a while since I last posted.

Things got a bit ugly towards the end of my pregnancy and at 37 weeks baby Beatrix was brought into the world early. 

I was diagnosed with Hellp syndrome and I became very poorly, Bea was brought into the world via an emergency C-section under general anaesthetic, she had to have a little resuscitation but otherwise, she was fine. I had to have a blood palette transfusion right before the section and was monitored for blood loss afterwards.

We were in the hospital for a few days and as soon as I was back up and feeling human again we were allowed to go home. 

So fast forward nearly 12 weeks and life is getting back to normal, the kids are all at school, Jon's back at work and I'm sat around thinking what the hell do I do with a baby! 

I'm pretty sure I've completely forgotten everything. I even think I should have bought some baby books to refresh my mind but haven't yet seen any that shout out to me. So I'm still winging it daily.

Bea is amazing and we are all completely obsessed with her, she is a pro at breastfeeding and has been since the first time she was placed on me! So it's nice to finally be able to have a baby and not all the extra fuss of making bottles throughout the day and night.

I always hated myself for giving up breastfeeding with all the boys so I am really happy I'm able to do it with Bea and every day is an achievement. I have also pumped a few times just to see if I could and to get a little collection going in the freezer - for what I'm not really sure as I'm not looking at giving her a bottle anytime soon.

She does however want to be attached to me 24/7, she doesn't like to nap or sleep unless I hold her. She has spent a grand total of 3 hours in her crib. 

So I am rather sleep deprived but trying not to complain as she's just so lovely.

We started an online zoom massage course the other week and this week attended our very first in-person baby group, I did attempt to go last week but ended up getting lost and crying in my car for about ten minutes. Postpartum hormones are real crazy at the moment!!!

Bea has recently discovered her hands and that she can now stick her tongue out.

She has a love-hate relationship with the car, and I have been trying her with dummies to use whilst in the car but she hasn't taken to any of them. I was also hoping she'd take to one to aid with nap times but I'm going to have to learn a different trick with her. 



Now that she is coming up to 3 months old I am planning to try and get us both into a routine, as the only routine I have at the moment is my day time tv viewing habits.
I want to get out on a walk to the beach on the days I don't have groups with her, I have been saying this since the boys went back to school but I haven't done it yet, I keep putting it off even when I know it will do us both the world of good.

I had forgotten how hard babies are but I wouldn't change her for the world and she was worth the wait and all the heartache we had with all our previous miscarriages.


Thursday, 14 January 2021

My Little Love Heart Baby Girl Gift Set / Review

Just after Christmas, I had an exciting delivery all the way from Australia!
The lovely Luisa from My Little Love Heart had asked me if I wanted to review some of her gorgeous hand made baby items and I was more than keen to say yes.


Luisa decided to send me the Baby Girl gift set in the print botanical.

What's included in the gift set?

A Burp cloth,
Baby Bib,
Bandana dribble bib,
Bunny teether,
and a little headband.


This botanical print is one of their newest prints and has already become a favourite.

It is part of their Australiana range which is the perfect gift for any Australian or overseas baby girl. 

The Australiana range includes the Koala, Kangaroo, Eucalyptus, and floral gumnuts prints.

All items are lovingly handmade by Luisa and the gift set retails at $74.95 Australian dollars which equals £42.52. 
Which I think is a very reasonable price for five handmade items.


I love the print and that the fabric is super soft, I've washed everything in preparation for the baby's arrival and all items washed up a treat.
You can wash the items in a normal 40-degree wash, which makes life easier as sometimes handmade items need to be washed on a slightly different setting to your usual but Lusia has made sure everything is simple and no extra fuss is needed.


I can't wait to see our baby girl wearing her bibs, the print is fresh and bright and the pink is just the perfect shade!


I love all the little details on the items and can tell Lusia has really put a lot of love into making them.


If you are having a baby soon or know someone who is, I highly recommend checking out My Little Love Heart, along with the baby gift sets, items are also sold separately with an amazing range of prints to choose from. 
I also wouldn't let the fact that the shop is in Australia, as the waiting time really wasn't that long at all, it usually works out at 10 - 30 days shipping all depending on how busy the postal team is.