Mind and body

There is a new Government (DfE) initiave out called CANparent, aimed at providing high quality parenting classes to support the parenting skills of both mothers and fathers. They have released a video about myth busting and the ‘tips’ we are given as new parents.

As a mum of a four year old, baby days were a while ago. But I still remember being a new mum, feeling bombarded with advice from all kinds of people whether you asked for it or not! It seems everyone and anyone had a golden tip for what you should do when your baby wouldn’t sleep through the night / had a temperature / wasn’t hungry… you name it!


As a new mum (or dad) you are naturally concerned about the welfare of your child. You have thousands of questions, is this normal, should my baby be doing this? Why isn’t my baby doing that? Who do you turn to for advice…

Being a mum is mostly an instinctive thing for me, I tend not to listen so much to well meaning friends and relatives. I normally smile and nod and then just do what I wanted to do. I had pretty strong ideas about what my baby should be eating, how I wanted to put her to sleep… I felt comfortable parenting my way (which is probably closest to attachment parenting) and went with that.


I did however listen to the advice I received from the health visitors /midwives (in Holland as we lived in Holland until Littlelish was nearly 2) and I do remember them having some good tips that seemed to make sense. It is difficult to know whether every bit of advice you are given is correct or not but I just used my common sense and followed my instincts to decide if it is something I agreed with. At the end of the day we all do it our way.

Littlelish was an easy baby in many ways but difficult in others. She was very content, but didn’t sleep much, wouldn’t drink from a bottle, had difficulty winding down, often seemed deep in thought. I determined (evenutally) she was probably a highly sensitive baby / child which I have written about in more depth here. It seems four years later, we have learnt the best ways to manage and deal with any issues that arise. We did this mostly by instinct and a little but of help from some books (as mentioned in my previous post).


My top parenting advice:

  • If you can, prepare baby food yourself. This will mean they are not eating processed food and that you can introduce all kind of foods at an early age. They say you have to give a baby food 3 or 4 times until they get used to the taste of it! I have a little girl who eats fish, avocado, asparagus and all sorts! I loved this book by Annabel Karmel.
  • Sing to your baby. I sang day in and day out to Littlelish, I loved how she enjoyed it and it was our way of connecting. Apparently singing to your child is very important for their speech development and is scientifically proven to calm them and lower their pain perception.
  • Read to your baby. We all know this is important and why. Give them a love of language and learning for life, help expand their vocabulary, teach them…
  • Wear your baby in a carrier. If you are doing this correctly (ie. not forward facing) it is a great way for your baby to feel safe and secure and very loved. I carried Littlelish everywhere are we both loved it!
  • Do what works for you with regards to sleeping! There is not golden tip that will get them to go down instantly or sleep through the night, every baby is different. Littlelish was a pretty terrible sleeper as a baby. For the first 6 months she slept in a moses basket right next to my side and occassionally with me in bed. When she moved into her own nursery, I always had to rock her to sleep otherwise she literally would.not.sleep. She has only just started to go to bed on her own (since she started school). It wasn’t always easy but this is we did what worked for all of us.
  • The housework is not that important. As long as the house isn’t a total cesspit, it is fine. Sleep when the baby sleeps if you feel the need to catch up. Everything seems more bearable if you have slept enough.

Tips I listened to:

  • Do not put your baby in a walker or bouncer for too long it is not good for their hips.
  • Do not let your child under the age of 1 watch television, it is not good for their development.
  • Do get your baby drinking out of a normal cup as quickly as you can. Sippy cups are not good for the development of the muscles in their mouth. Neither are dummies.
  • Don’t say no all the time, you will sound like a broken record. Save the word NO it for when it is really, really important and they might actually listen ;)

Tips I didn’t listen to!

  • Let your baby cry it out when you put them to sleep, they will learn to self soothe.
  • Don’t give your baby too much attention as they will expect it and become a nightmare!
  • Don’t pick your baby up every time she cries. It will only teach her to cry for things…

 Visit and like the CANparent Facebook page


Everyone knows one of the best things about returning home from a holiday is getting back to your own bed. You have done everything at home to make your bed super comfy, you’ve got a lovely firm mattress, soft bed sheets, fluffy pillow and your awesome snuggly duvet. Just how you like it! That is unless your holiday break was in a top luxury hotel, where you slept in the most incredible bed with the plumpest of pillows and softest duvet known to man…

Our bed at home is super comfy, the kind I could lay in all day, we are definitely trying to channel the ‘hotel’ vibe ;)

Back in September we were asked if we would like to review a new duvet from The Fine Bedding Company. I wasn’t sure as we already had one and we slept fine but I agreed to see what the fuss was about. The Fine Bedding company have a new duvet on the market – The Boutique Silk duvet from ¬£55 “ultimate in luxury, offering a taste of hotel opulence within a washable silk duvet”. I liked the sound of it already, man I am a marketeers dream.

fine bedding

I can honestly say it lives up to it’s name. I have not been disappointed, this duvet really does feel different. It is super soft (with a cotton finish), snuggly and warm yet incredibly light and bouncy. It is the perfect combination, just like in a luxury hotel. I am very happy with our new arrival and may go and reaffirm my love for my new duvet by going for another nap! zzzzzz

Disclosure: Thank you to The Fine Bedding Company for sending me their Boutique Silk duvet. I received this free of charge for review purposes. All opinions are honest and very much my own.

It has been quite some time since Littlelish was waking in the night. I do remember those nights though, trying to prise open your eyes and trapse heavy footed over to your little ones room at 3am or alternatively being kicked repeatedly in the night if they beat you to it and managed to sneak in bed with you…

Yes I would say our nights are pretty peaceful now, bliss… I do love sleep. Who is with me on that?

So when Silent Night offered me the chance to improve my sleep I was interested. Sure I sleep well but I was chasing that perfect, cool, hotel nights sleep that I’ve been lucky enough to experience once or twice before. Could I recreate that at home? Please??

I filled in a questionnaire about how I slept normally, how warm I was, how wriggly I was etc etc. and they sent me through a sleep aid that they thought might match my sleeping habits as a trial. I was to test the sleeping aid to see if it lived up to what the manufacturers claimed.

I was sent a Chillow, a marvelous sounding pillow that slips inside your pillow case (on top of your normal pillow) to keep you cool at night. It claims that you will sleep better – no more waking to flip the pillow looking for a cool spot, awake refreshed after deep uninterrupted sleep cycles and fall asleep quickly in a cool zone instead of tossing uncomfortably.

I tested it for 1 week during which I probably had the worst nights sleep I have had in ages :( Sure it felt wonderful and cool when I lay down… almost too cold sometimes and I fell to sleep pretty quickly but then I always have done. During the night however, I was restless, disturbed, something was bothering me. I did not wake refreshed, I woke with a thick head, groggy and a bit grumpy. Not good. It carried on like this for a week, after which I realised the chillow was doing me no favours whatsoever, I felt rotten!

I offered it to my other half for a night, after which he agreed that he felt worse the next morning. Needlesstosay we relegated it to the garage.

I went back to my normal sleeping arrangements and I am now sleeping fine again! Give me my good old routine for a lovely nights sleep. All I need is a nice firm bed, a soft, fluffy duvet that is not too warm and not too cold, clean, fresh bedding, a nice warm cuddle from my partner and London Grammar on the stereo zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz



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