Issue 29 P R E G N A N C Y \ B I R T H \ E A R LY Y E A R S L E A R N I N G & D E V E L O P M E N T
Social networking and blogging for Parents... What’s it all about?
The author of the Redneck Mommy tells Flying Start how her online journey began
Parent Coach Sue Atkins talks about how to deal with the big “G” gremlin
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We are saying goodbye to Hotpot and a big hello to Healthy Heroes and their sidekick Freddie the Frog. Healthy Heroes has been designed to help primary aged children and their families make healthier food and activity choices. Further information about the Heroes can be found by visiting www.lhsp.org.uk/healthyheroes
=4((-!"#$$%-;(8%) Free school meals are offered to children of families who are in receipt of Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance (Income based), Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, The Guaranteed element of State Pension Credit or Income related Employment Support Allowance, Child Tax Credit and are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and your annual income, as assessed by the Inland Revenue, does not exceed ÂŁ16,190 (April 10 figure) The Government does not allow us to recognise any other benefit other than those mentioned above. To apply, complete an application form (downloadable from www.lancashire.gov.uk) or simply ring your local Area Education Office with details of your name, date of birth and National Insurance number and an immediate on-line decision can be given. Our menus are planned and analysed to provide the nutrients your child needs for a healthy diet t"TDIPPMMVODIQrovides 2 of your child's '5 a Day' portions of fruit and vegetables. tOur Roast Beef is English and Farm Assured. t We take pride in sourcing local fresh food â€“ our Free Range eggs come from local farms and our milk comes from cows grazed in Lancashire. Please let us know if your child has been prescribed a special diet. There may be some small changes to the menu on certain days in schools where there is a Cook/Servery kitchen.
There's so much to choose from on our new winter menu, including new children's favourites. All our lunches are served with seasonal vegetables or as much as your child wants from the salad bars,plus pudding, yoghurt or fresh fruit.
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Contents 6 Read all about it Parenting news
9 Stuff We Love
Chic organisation and contemporary baby living
10 Past Time Gifts for Children A collection of classic and first toys for children
Parent Coach Sue Atkins talks about the big “G” gremlin
18 The Good, The Bad & The Ridiculous
A look at some of the parenting products to enter the Dragons Den
26 Into the Blogosphere
Tanis Miller, author of the Redneck Mommy talks about how her online journey began
32 Your Stories: Perspectives on Pregnancy Flying Start readers Josie and Mark Maitland talk about their perspectives on pregnancy
36 Parent Blogging
Nickie O’Hara, author of Iamtypecast.com explains where to begin with parent blogging
37 Social Networking
An anonymous mum talks to Flying Start about the benefits of Twitter for parents
39 The Baby Show
Myleen Klass showed off her beautifully dressed bump as The Baby Show welcomed over 24’000 visitors
40 Working at Home: The Secrets of Survival Heidi Scrimgeour, work-at-home mum, shares her secrets of survival
43 Inspire a Love of Learning
An insight into how education trade shows such as BETT are reaching out to parents
45 What is Baby Signing
Julie Ryder of TalkFirst tells why baby signing is so helpful
Issue 29 P R E G N A N C Y \ B I R T H \ E A R LY Y E A R S L E A R N I N G & D E V E L O P M E N T
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Social networking and blogging for Parents... What’s it all about?
Cover © LanaK
PAST TIME The author of the Redneck Mommy tells Flying Start how her online journey began
Parent Coach Sue Atkins talks about how to deal with the big “G” gremlin
Working At Home: The secrets of
d, The Bad The Goo lous! icu rid the &
ng some of the parenti Take a look at the Dragons’ Den products to enter
Don’t forget to check out our website
Flying Start Group of Publications are published by Magenta Press Ltd 45 Centurion House Centurion Way Leyland PR25 3GR. Telephone the advertising offices on 01772 459418, 641536 or 601440 between the hours of 9am-4pm Mon-Fri, alternatively contact editorial by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.flyingstartmagazine.co.uk/contact_us/termsconditions for full terms and conditions relating to this publication
Mums-to-be and new mums in need of a little relaxation should head to www.mamababybliss.com for a little oasis of calm online. The company, dedicated to nurturing mothers, babies and mums-to-be, has a range of new free videos on its revamped website that help mums take five minutes out to relax. For expectant mothers, the site offers videos on an antistretchmark massage, pregnancy relaxation and pregnancy yoga focusing on breathing. The short videos provide the perfect time out – even for working mums – who can do the breathing exercises at their desk. New mums can squeeze in a short postnatal exercise routine that they can do with their baby, while another video offers a calming relaxation exercise for when they need some time out. The site also offers several baby massage
videos, with a particular focus on massaging babies who suffer from colic to help relieve their discomfort. “Our aim with the new website was to create a calming environment that mothers can turn to when they need a short time out. We hope that the video clips help those mums who might not be able to get out the house for a full yoga or massage class, but who could use a short five minutes of relaxation,” explains Justina Perry, founder of MamaBabyBliss.
Sweet Dreams ‘Little Bear’ Mummy, I don’t want to go to sleep...sounds familiar? Hallmark Cards has launched a beautifully illustrated Forever Friends ‘Night-Night, Sweet Dreams’ bedtime storybook – the ideal stocking filler for anyone with their own little bear who doesn’t always want to go to sleep. ‘NightNight, Sweet Dreams’ is the perfect bedtime story to help young children visit the land of nod. Join ‘Little Bear’ as he learns all about the adventure that awaits him as he closes his eyes ready
....................................................... Specialist bra fitters start home fitting service to Support pregnant and breastfeeding women in Dorset Specialist bra fitters, bras4mums, are pleased to announce their newest bra fitting agents are now ready to support women in Dorchester, Honiton, Yeovil, Crewkerne, Lyme Regis Axminster and Weymouth. Bridport Mums, Sarah Hewitson and Abigail Landon, have been trained by expert bra fitter and owner of bras4mums, to offer a home fitting service to pregnant and breastfeeding women in their area, giving them specialist advice and support for their changing body and breast shapes. Founder of bras4mums, Tracey-Jane Hughes, said, “bras4mums was set up 6 years ago with the sole aim of ensuring women get the correct advice and good fitting bras for their pregnancy and breastfeeding. We’ve achieved this through our online and telephone bra fitting service where every woman is assigned a personal bra fitter to check they get the right size and style for their body shape. We
Planning for the first day sends the jitters away
now want to extend this to offer a 1-1 home fitting service, that has proven so popular in the North West of England, across the UK. We’re delighted Sarah and Abi have come on board. They already offer breastfeeding support to women in their area, so this will extend that excellent service”.
Abigail, who also organises the local NCT Nearly New Sales said, “We’re really pleased to be able to offer this service to women in our area. We both struggled to find bras during pregnancy and when breastfeeding, due to the lack of local shops for pregnant women. We’ve both got young children and want to support other women to get proper bra fittings during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It makes such a difference to your mental health to be comfortable!”
To make a home fitting appointment with Sarah or Abigail in Dorchester, Yeovil, Honiton, and Weymouth areas, contact them direct on 07815 148142. For further information about becoming an agent in your area, contact email@example.com, 0845 373 3875 or www.bras4mums.co.uk.
to set sail into the oceans of the night, and why sleep is so very important for growing bears...and little boys and girls. ‘Night- Night, Sweet Dreams’ is available to buy from Hallmark stores in the UK and Ireland for £4.99 (5.96 Euros).
Over half of mothers on maternity leave incur debt Turn2us is encouraging new mothers and pregnant women to check their benefit entitlement and eligibility for grants in light of its new research which shows more than half of mothers (53%) have built up debt whilst on maternity leave. The study, which was carried out by Bounty Parenting Club shows the financial hardship new and expectant mums face, with almost a quarter (23%) of women, who are currently on or have been on maternity leave, confessing to using credit cards, the same figure relying on overdrafts and 27% using up all or most of their savings. Meanwhile, 14% say they cannot afford to have anymore children, while one in five (21%) of mums say that they felt the impact of a child on family finances had made or will make them return to work earlier than expected. Turn2us is currently working with Home-Start and the Child Poverty Action Group to provide a service to help families with young children who are in financial need to ensure they receive the practical help, support and confidence to access the benefits and grants available to them. Faye Mingo, Parenting Spokesperson of Bounty, said: “Mums tell us that taking maternity leave and often dropping from two salaries to one is a challenge. We would urge expectant parents to budget carefully and use the help and support available to them. Whilst expectant parents may feel tempted to splash-out, over spending can risk the longerterm financial security and happiness of their new family.” See www.turn2us.org.uk.
Have your say.....
What do you think about current maternity leave and pay? Have your say over at
Children born deaf are slower to react to objects in their peripheral vision compared to hearing children, according to ground-breaking new RNID-funded research. For the first time ever, scientists tested how peripheral vision develops in deaf people from childhood to adulthood.
Dr Charlotte Codina, from the University Of Sheffield’s Academic Unit of Ophthalmology and Orthoptics, who undertook the study as part of her RNID-funded PhD says: “We found that deaf children see less peripherally than hearing children, but, typically, go on to develop better than normal peripheral vision by adulthood. Important vision changes are occurring as deaf children grow up and one current theory is that they have not yet learnt to focus their attention on stimuli in the periphery until their vision matures at the age of 11 or 12. As research in this area continues, it will be interesting to identify factors which can help deaf children to make this visual improvement earlier.” RNID’s Research Programme Manager, Dr Joanna Robinson, says, “This research suggests that parents of deaf children need to be aware that their child’s initially delayed reaction to peripheral movements may mean they are slower to spot and avoid potential dangers such as approaching traffic or classmates playing in the playground.” The study found that deaf adolescents and adults without hearing since birth can react to objects in their peripheral vision more quickly. Dr Robinson added: "Adults who have been deaf since birth may have advantages over hearing people in terms of their range of vision. For example, deaf people could be more proficient in jobs which depend on the ability to see a wide area of activities and respond quickly to situations, such as sports referees, teachers or CCTV operators.”
For more information about RNID’s biomedical research, visit www.rnid.org.uk/research
Neglected at home, Bullied at school, say Action for Children and Beatbullying Leading children's charities Action for Children and Beatbullying are warning that neglected children across the UK are suffering at the hands of bullies. As Beatbullying’s 'The Big March', the world’s first virtual protest, gets underway charities, global brands and celebrities are all working together to highlight the links between bullying and neglect – to date over 700,000 people have pledged their support. ‘The Big March’ is being held on the first day of Anti-Bullying Week and will see thousands of avatars of children, parents, teachers and celebrities march across computer screens through over 60 leading websites to take a stand against bullying. The protest will culminate with marchers handing over a letter and petition to Government asking for their commitment to do everything it can to protect children and young people from all forms of bullying, violence and harassment. As part of Action for Children's 'Take your action for children' neglect appeal, the charity spoke to both professionals and children themselves to identify the adversity neglected children are facing in schools, activity clubs and neighbourhoods across the UK. Professionals who work with children everyday - such as nursery school teachers, primary school teachers and health visitors - told the charity that neglected children are likely to be bullied. Out of 2,000 professionals interviewed, over one third (37%) claimed that this was likely to be the case. The plight of neglected children became apparent further when the charity spoke to over 3,000 children aged between eight to 12 years olds, over two thirds of whom claimed that they had seen telltale signs of neglect in their peers. The survey gave a valuable insight into how neglected children are treated by their peers;
from those who had come across suspected cases of neglect, the following was revealed: 46% said that children showing signs of neglect are bullied 20% admitted ignoring children themselves 48% said that other children were likely to ignore them 41% said that other children would laugh at them 40% said that other children would be mean to them Tom McLaren Webb, Head of Campaigns at Action for Children, says: “It’s clear from what both professionals and children themselves have told us that neglected children are subject to bullying in schools, playgrounds, and neighbourhoods across the country – we must take action today. No child should be neglected or bullied so to know that there is such a clear link between the two and that many children suffer both is deeply concerning. “By intervening at an early stage we can help break cycles of neglect and by raising awareness of the long term damage that bullying can cause, we can start to stamp out bullying once and for all. That’s why we are delighted to be working so closely with Beatbullying, and why we want everyone to take their action for children and get behind ‘The Big March’, to help tackle the suffering of some of our most bullied and neglected children head on.”
Richard Piggin, Deputy CEO Beatbullying, says: “Today marks a very important day as Beatbullying launches the world’s first digital protest for children’s rights – over 700,000 people are sending a loud and clear message to Government. Beatbullying has been overwhelmed by the support we have had in the past two months from families, schools and leading organisations across the country including Action For Children. We are confident The Big March will ultimately demonstrate to Government the imperative need to act now to protect some of our most vulnerable children and young people.”
Children born deaf don’t see as well as their hearing friends, reveals ground breaking research
!"#$$%&'%()*+, Organisation. Some of us have it. Some of us don’t! Busy mums, school runs, full time work, tea time, family time, pets, shopping, washing, ironing (ok, maybe just folding and putting away), that’s without any ‘me time’. How do we manage to fit it all in one day? It’s not surprising that mums forget to take their children to the occasional children’s party, we’ve even heard of mums forgetting to collect their children from school! For those of you who struggle to remember things in your typical non-stop 100mph day, we have discovered a ‘must have’ just for you. Well, when we say discovered, we haven’t really discovered it because the Filofax has been around for many years. What we have discovered is the style that has been injected into this classic organiser. We checked out a classic Filofax with a family organiser pack. Not only does it have everything you need in an organiser, it’s a pretty hot fashion accessory too. But what makes it a must have organiser for every mum? Answer, the family pack. The family pack contains sections for family member info, babysitting info, school info, term dates, teacher info, after school clubs, parties, pet info, sports and club contacts, income and expenditure budget sheets, birthdays and anniversaries, chore list, shopping list and of course the famous ‘to-do’ list... and more!
Bloomin’ Gorgeous... Well, what can we say! Flying Start absolutely loves the contemporary style of the bloom baby products. This international baby brand set up by four dads allows baby to dine, live and dream in safety and style. The beautifully designed alma folding crib is the perfect answer if space is at a premium while providing a touch of contemporary style at the same time. With its simple patented fold, the alma is the ultimate solution for compact urban spaces, co-sleeping, second homes and for grandparents (or anyone else) who only have young children to stay occasionally. The alma has two mattress heights, combining the benefits of a newborn bassinet or cradle with a crib or cot that can be used from birth to two years. Like all bloom’s products, the alma can be quickly and easily assembled (with no tools at all). It is also reassuringly strong and well made while being surprisingly easy to fold and move across a room on its four lockable castors. Throw in the appeal of bloom’s elegant and modern design and it’s no wonder that the alma has become the crib of choice for a growing number of the world’s leading hotels as well as among the many British mothers and fathers who appreciate form, space and style.
Not only that, but you can buy matching accessories such as bags, purses and pens. So what are you waiting for, get on over to www.filofax.co.uk and get yourself organised for 2011... think of it as a new years resolution treat!
To view the complete range visit www.bloombaby.com
Sweep Glove Puppet £10
Handpainted Butterfly Jewellery Box £20
!"#$%$&'(%)&*$# *+,%-.&/0,(1 Flying Start takes a look at a collection of classic gifts from Past Times...
Classic Paddington £11
Wooden Soldier Skittles £12
Teddy Bear Alarm Clock £12.50
Exclusive Steiff Teddy Bear in a Suitcase £35
Talking Bagpuss £25
All gifts available at www.pasttimes.com
Fishing Basket £28
Set of Skittles in a bag £20
!"#$%&'(#()" A Collection of lovely old fashion soft toys from Spottiswoode
Animal Taxi Cab £30
Yachts mobile £20
Safari Train £35
All gifts available at www.spottiswoodtrading.com
collection of fun and well designed clothes for babies and toddlers from the age of 0 to 5 from designers across the globe. They are the largest UK stockist of the widely popular American brand, Zutano, who design their entire range using colours and patterns that all co-ordinate and interlock, ensuring wear-ability without any compromise on fun or style. The Little Legs Company’s online shelves are stacked high with fantastic babygrows, dresses, trousers, long and short sleeved t-shirts and accessories. Well worth a visit!
Splash n Bump Award Winning Bath Bumper Set
The pack contains four Bumper Pads that are designed to inter-connect so bath shape is not an issue. The Award winning pads adhere to the sides of the bath with suction cups and have shock absorbers on the back to help minimise impact. Each pad has a shaped sponge sea creature which are great for hand to eye co-ordination as baby pushes them in and out of the pad.
www.splashnbump.com .............................................................................. Are you Toilet Training?
‘Max’ Toilet Training balls work by helping to make the potty training experience fun, by giving boys and girls a point of focus and interest. It also helps to accelerate the toilet training process and reduce your child's dependency on nappies. Made using Hygienilac®, a special antimicrobial ingredient that gives Max his anti-bacterial qualities. Simply place for up to four weeks at a time and then invite your children to aim at him, making the whole process fun for everyone. Max is great fun for Dads as well!
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.............................................................................. Babyglow High Temperature Indicating Sleep Suits launched in the UK Babies aged up to about 24 months cannot regulate their own body temperature. They rely on their parents or carers to do that for them. For this reason Chris Ebejer
and protected a process that helps parent and allows baby clothes to become temperature monitors. Simply put, these high quality sleep suits and body suits indicate instantly that the baby has a raised temperature or a fever simply by changing colour. This unique and of acting as a visual, universally understood method of showing that something is wrong and that action is required. The new Babyglow sleep suits and body suits will become available in the UK via
Snowdrop Baby Gifts
Snowdrop Baby Gifts brings you a wide variety of gifts all unique, practical and
both large and small, sleeping bags, bedding bales, toys, sock ons, sleepytot, and gifts from our own baskets and keepsake boxes to beautiful bone china place settings and trinket boxes. Well known brand names such as Cuddledry, Taggies, Lollipop Lane, Izziwotnot, Clevamama, Baby Blooms and much more to discover on our website
Capture the moment with a unique piece of personalised Fingerprint Jewellery. Beautifully handcrafted & bespoke, a gift that you will treasure. impression. The ideal gift for any occasion. Choose from our range of Pendants, Bracelets, Charms. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website
A Shop Specialising in Real Toys
Hiya Kids is a toy shop with wooden toys which are decorative, imaginitive, fun and educational... puzzles, craft and much more. A shop for children specialising in real toys.
Hiya Kids, 82 Lower Richmond Road, Putney, London, SW15 1LL
Telephone 020 8788 3944 Email: email@example.com
quick and simple Impression Kit.
your baby or child, plus a name, date or personal message, taking your impressions from the comfort of your own home, using our
Pure Silver Fingerprint Jewellery individually designed and personalised... incorporating
AUTUMN IS HERE! The Perfect Time For That Family Photo Shoot You’ve Been Meaning To Book...
Amy specialises in creating beautiful, natural images of you and your family in a location of your choice. by 30th November 2011. The beautiful images captured will provide precious memories for a lifetime and will make perfect Christmas presents for all the family.
To book your session please contact Amy Fennell on: 07780 682565 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
www.hiya4kids.co.uk www.thesilverimpressioncompany.co.uk www.amyfennell.co.uk ......................................................................................................................... Basket2u.com launch enchanting Baby Gift-Box range
Each new gift-box has been thoughtfully composed to impress and delight, featuring ever-popular Jellycat soft toy characters, such as ‘Bashful Bunny’, and combining eye-catching Mum.
Each gift is individually hand-folded and delicately wrapped in a light vanilla coloured tissue and enclosed with a card, complete with Basket2u’s trademark miniature woven basket. Finally, the gift-box is hand-tied with a double satin bow for all to admire. The new range complements Basket2u.com’s wicker baby baskets and baby hampers. Priced from £29.95, including Vat and free UK next-day delivery, Basket2u.com’s range of baby gift-boxes represents excellent value for a gift that is sure to impress and excite. Every new parent and every new baby would want one.
We make award-winning books and CDs which are brilliant for babies and toddlers - the best knee games, lullabies and croons - with full instructions.
Sleepyheads is a family run, British business quality nightwear, soft furnishings, wooden toys and personalised gifts. Located in the beautiful Derbyshire countryside, Sleepyheads can perfect gift for the little ones in your life, and their friendly team are always happy to make recommendations and
Sleepyheads exclusive range of pure cotton
Everything you need to keep little ones content from morning till night.
children and parents alike! The colourful patterns and soft, easy care fabric means they are a best selling Christmas gift for children! Contact us on 01332 862440 or visit our website. We look forward to helping you.
........................................................................................................................ Baby Shower Gift Guide
With new research showing that two thirds of expectant mothers now expect a baby-shower, Splash About and BabyBjorn have the perfect presents for the perfect parents to be! The BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier Original (£54.99) is the classic 'must have' carrier. Rocking and moving in the BABYBJÖRN Babysitter Balance (£99.99) enables babies to train their motor and balance skills naturally. You can take babies swimming as soon as they are born and it forms a wonderful bond between parent and baby. The BabyWrap from Splash About (£19.99) keeps babies warm in the water and prevents the shock factor of water to changing room chills. For protection against leaks in the pool the Baby Wrap should be used in conjunction with the Happy Nappy system (£12.99).
your loved one’s prints on recycled silver keepsake pieces. Fingerprints, hand or footprints and children’s artwork can be
keyrings and bookmarks and make perfect gifts for all occasions. Our Pandora style pieces are a popular gift choice for mums as their quirky nature allows the recipient to add charms or beads to the piece as the family or children grow. For further information and product details, contact Allison@pastelprint.co.uk or go to
Artisan Jewelry Crafted for Babies, Children and YOU
artisan jewelry – pearls, semi-precious stones, sterling silver, amber teething necklaces and more – crafted for babies, toddlers, young girls, and mums, with prices starting at £10 at www.bittyplum.com. Bittyplum’s bespoke jewelry consists of a range of earrings, necklaces, and bracelets with unique designs for christenings, birthdays, and matched motherdaughter sets. Bittyplum also creates jewelry for mums who may have special requests.
The Big "G" Gremlin
!"#$% Words: Sue Atk in
I've lost worked their whether they Mums or part-time Mums .
count how many times I've with Mums in particular about overwhelming feelings of guilt are working Mums, stay at home
Women seem to be programmed with it and it just holds us all back, keeps us stuck and is really anger turned in on ourselves as we find it difficult to ask for help, delegate parenting jobs or share our needs with others. It's also about wanting to be a perfect parent - who only exists in Hollywood film I'm afraid ! I remember when my mum was ill in hospital with emphysema a few years ago and no matter how many times I went all the way to the Mayday Hospital during a week – it never seemed to be enough and if I brought her prawn sandwiches she would want cheese – and if I brought cheese she would want prawn . I could never seem to please her and I felt enormously guilty about how much time I spent with her, how many times I went and how I never felt I did enough and then I battled feeling guilty about leaving the kids to do their homework without me, rushing back to prepare my lessons for the next day as I was Deputy Head and class teacher too at the time. I felt torn and pulled into many pieces and I felt guilty no matter how hard I tried to do what was “right” for everyone. So I know first hand all about the feelings of guilt! So what is guilt? Guilt is often a message from within that you have violated your own high standards or others try to make you feel guilty as they may want to have a hold over you even unconsciously. I work with many parents who suffer from what I call “The BIG G” the gremlin of GUILT and it can come from working parents feeling guilty about their work- life balance, to parents feeling guilty about losing their temper, not playing enough with their kids, to feeling guilty about not spending enough time with their partner, their elderly mother, or feeling guilty about being separated or divorced or having to leave work at 5.00 instead of 5.30 to pick up their child from After School Care. The list is endless. Guilty feelings can come from within or be handed down to you
from parents, teachers or people of influence when you were young or can come from lack of self esteem or from controlling partners or ex’s. Guilty feelings can also be tied up to feelings of remorse, regret and feelings of responsibility for others, or for situations that you find yourself in. Guilt is also a feeling of struggling with what you “should,” “ought” and “must” do and it feels like a battle between what you “want to do” or “what you’d like to do” or “what you’d like to choose to do”. The feelings of guilt, regret and remorse are among some of the strongest and most powerful emotions that we most want to avoid as they are so painful. They keep us stuck, keep us trapped and keep us eddying around feeling like a victim because they are so negative. Guilt can make you become over responsible, striving to make life "right” for everyone and can make you feel exhausted and overwhelmed. It can make your resentful, frustrated and helpless and can lead to depression, drinking too much or to great anger or rage. It’s also sometimes about not feeling worthy or deserving enough and can lead to being a martyr. Whatever brings up feelings of guilt for you – it keeps you stuck, disempowered and blocked and it often won’t go away by itself – it just grows, and gets stronger and can mislead or misdirect you about moving forward in your life. Often underneath the feelings of guilt are irrational limiting beliefs that need to be shifted – things like: I don’t deserve to be happy. I am responsible for my family's (spouse's) happiness. There is only one "right" way to do things. My children should never suffer in their childhood like I did in mine. My kids should have more material things than I did. It is my fault if others in my life are not happy. If my kids fail in any way, it's my responsibility. It is wrong to be concerned about myself. People are constantly judging and criticising me and what they think is important to me. No matter what I do, I am always wrong.
Some parents suppress it, some wallow in it and stay helpless and stuck, and some use it as a huge level for positive change. Here are my suggested steps to overcome guilt. t"DLOPXMFEHFUIBUZPVIBWFJU t5BLFDPOUSPMBOEEPOULFFQHPJOHPWFSBOEPWFSJUBHBJOBOE again inside your head -let it go. Go for a walk, bang a pillow, scream in the garden, hit a round of golf and get it out of your body once and for all t%POUBMMPXJUUPUVSOJOUPGFFMJOHTPGJOBEFRVBDZ Grab a piece of paper and a pen and just reflect on the role guilt is playing in your life at the moment by choosing a current QSPCMFNBOEBOTXFSJOHUIFGPMMPXJOHRVFTUJPOT t8IBUQSPCMFNJTDVSSFOUMZUSPVCMJOHNF t8IPJTSFTQPOTJCMFGPSUIFQSPCMFN t8IPTFQSPCMFNJTJU SFBMMZ t8IBUIBWF*EPOFUPNBLFUIJTQSPCMFNXPSTFGPSNZTFMG t)PXNVDIHVJMUEP*GFFMBCPVUUIJTQSPCMFNPOBTDBMFPG CFJOHUIFIJHIFTU
t)PXNVDIEPFTUIFHVJMU*FYQFSJFODFFYBHHFSBUFPSFYBDFSCBUF NZQSPCMFN t*G*GFMUOPNPSFHVJMUXIBUXPVMENZQSPCMFNMPPLMJLFUIFO /PXKVTUSFMBYBOECSFBUIEFFQMZBOETMPXMZBOEJNBHJOF*IBWF just waved a magic wand and made the feelings of guilt EJTBQQFBS8IBUEPZPVTFFOPX IFBSOPX BOEGFFMOPX Now just ask your unconscious what small change you need to make to feel more in control of your life this week. t"TLZPVSTFMGEPFTUIJTQSPCMFNIBWFNPSFUIBOPOFTPMVUJPO t%P*KVTUOFFEUPFYQSFTTNZGSVTUSBUJPOBOEBTLGPSTVQQPSU IFMQ PSBIFMQJOHIBOE t8IPTFQSPCMFNJTJU SFBMMZ t*TJUNZQSPCMFNPSBDUVBMMZTPNFPOFFMTFT t"N*UBLJOHPOBOPUIFShTSFTQPOTJCJMJUZBOEOPUBMMPXJOHUIFNUP FYQFSJFODFCFJOHJOEFQFOEFOU t"N*USZJOHUPLFFQBOPUIFSGSPNFYQFSJFODJOHQBJO IBSETIJQPS EJTDPNGPSU *GZPVEJTDPWFSUIBUUIFQSPCMFNJTSFBMMZTPNFPOFFMTFhT HJWFUIF problem back to the person to solve and to deal with. *UTOPUZPVSSFTQPOTJCJMJUZ Now imagine that "guilt" as an object that you can take out of ZPVSCPEZBOEDBOQBDLBHFVQJOBMPWFMZCPY(JWFJUBDPMPVS UFYUVSFBOEGFFMJOHBOEOPXJNBHJOFDMJNCJOHUPUIFIJHIFTU mountain you can find and throwing it off a cliff for good. 'FFMMJHIUFS (PPEoOPXFWFSZNPSOJOHBOEFWFOJOHKVTUCFGPSF ZPVCSVTIZPVSUFFUIoMPPLJOUIFNJSSPSBOETBZTPNFQPTJUJWF affirmations to yourself regularly to build your confidence and FNQPXFSJOHNVTDMFTBOETBZUIJOHTMJLF *BNHSPVOEFE DFOUSFE QPTJUJWFBOEIBQQZXJUINZTFMG *NBLFHPPEEFDJTJPOTGPSUIFIJHIFTUHPPEPGFWFSZPOFo including myself *EFTFSWFUPTPMWFUIJTQSPCMFNQPTJUJWFMZ *EFTFSWFUPCFLJOEBOEGPSHJWJOHPGNZTFMG *EFTFSWFUPEPNZCFTUBOEGFFMHPPEBCPVUNZEFDJTJPOT *EFTFSWFUPIBWFPUIFSQFPQMFCFHPPEUPZPV UPP *GZPVMFBSOUPTFFHVJMUBTBXBZUPIFMQZPVUPXBSETNBLJOH DIBOHFTJOZPVSMJGFoUIFOJUIBTBQPTJUJWFJOUFOUJPO Guilt is there to allow you to learn from your mistakes, to take control of your life and to help you keep up to the standards and values that you have set for yourself in life. So master its message and move forward driving forward in your MJGFoOPUMPPLJOHCBDLJOUIFSFBSWJFXNJSSPS
About 4VF"ULJOTJTB1BSFOU$PBDI GPSNFS %FQVUZ)FBEXJUIZFBSTUFBDIJOH FYQFSJFODF NPUIFSUPUXPUFFOBHF DIJMESFOBOEJTBO/-1.BTUFS1SBDUJUJPOFS BOE5SBJOFSUSBJOFECZ1BVM.D,FOOB4IF has written many books on self esteem, toddlers and teenagers and has a collecUJPOPG1BSFOUJOH.BEF&BTZ5PPMLJUT available from her website. She is also the BVUIPSPG3BJTJOH)BQQZ$IJMESFOGPS %VNNJFTPOFJOUIFCMBDLBOEZFMMPX series published worldwide and a Judge GPSUIF/BUJPOBM'BNJMZ8FFLi'BNJMZPGUIF :FBSw$PNQFUJUJPO 4VFSFHVMBSMZBQQFBSTPO##$CSFBLGBTU BOE5IF+FSFNZ7JOFTIPXPO##$3BEJP 5PSFDFJWFIFSGSFFOFXTMFUUFSCVSTUJOH with practical tips and helpful advice from toddler to teen log onto IUUQXXXQPTJUJWFQBSFOUTDPN 'PMMPX4VFPO5XJUUFS!4VF"ULJOT XXXUXJUUFSDPN4VF"ULJOT
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During the show, Peter stated that he had no questions to ask but said he loved the product and wanted to make an offer, adding that he believes Solvej has huge potential, of which he would like to be a part. “I was so excited when Solvej pitched her idea to us,” said Peter. “Being a father of five I can appreciate how many things we need to carry for our children to keep them entertained when travelling. The TrayKit makes great use of space and stops parents having to carry more than one bag." The show, which was aired on BBC Two in September, saw Solvej offer 10 per cent equity in her business Content and Calm, which specialises in innovative children’s products, including the Cot Canopy, Protectishade and TrayKit. Peter Jones offered Solvej £80,000 for 25 per cent of her business, with Deborah Meaden matching Peter’s offer, and James Caan offering the full amount for 15 per cent. Solvej left the Den #),$.#/ after accepting a joint offer from Peter and 0 ,+ # Deborah of £80,000 for 22.5 per cent. To purchase the TrayKit visit www.contentandcalm.com
“I've been so thrilled with the reaction from consumers and retailers alike,” said Solvej. TrayKit is already stocked by British Airways, Mothercare, GLTC, and a range of independent retailers, and by January, it will be available in Boots, Tesco and Sainsburys. “There just aren't enough hours in the day to do everything but I'm loving every minute," she continued. But what is it about the TrayKit that saw Solvej receive offers from three dragons, including Peter Jones who made an offer without so much as asking a single question; a Dragons’ Den first. "It's not something I've ever done before - making an offer without asking any questions,” said Peter Jones. “Solvej is extremely impressive and passionate about what she's doing and has a clear vision of what she wants to achieve.” The TrayKit is a bag that allows children to store toys, games and snacks, which can be easily strapped on to a seat, table or lap, unzipping to
"Life has been such a whirlwind since TrayKit launched in August,” Solvej Biddle told Flying Start. Mum of two and business woman Solvej took the Dragons by storm when she walked in to the Den with her TrayKit product recently.
reveal a raised-edge surface, giving children space to draw or play. “I think the TrayKit will be a huge success - a really simple idea that meets a need for every parent on the move,” said Peter. “After watching the pitch and hearing her respond to the other Dragons, it was clear to me that this was a person and a product that I wanted to invest in,” he added.
Flying Start has seen its fair share of parenting products - some good, some bad and some downright ridiculous. We take a look at some of the products to enter Dragons’ Den and hear from Peter Jones and mumpreneur Solvej Biddle about the success of her invention, TrayKit
Tree of Knowledge
iTeddy What: A multimedia teddy bear Who: Imran Hakim When: February 2007 Investment required: £140,000 for 15 per cent Investment secured: £140,000 for 40 per cent with Peter Jones and Theo Paphitis
They reported a turnover of £360,000 in 2009, of which just over half was gross profit and £20,000 was net, and they forecast that once they start selling in England turnover will reach £800,000 in year one, with projected gross profits of £340,000. The pair have been working to extend their range of products as it has reached saturation point in Scotland and received a lot of potential interest at a recent NEC exhibition.
What: An extension to a lightweight buggy Who: Charlotte Evans and Carolyn Jarvis When: August 2008 Investment required: £80,000 for 15 per cent Investment secured: £80,000 for 30 per cent with Deborah Meaden About: Charlotte Evans and Carolyn Jarvis, two mums from Windsor, went into the Den with their idea of how to make life easier for shoppers burdened with a baby buggy as well as bags.
' (%# !)%*+ The buggyboot acts as an extension to a ' lightweight buggy with room for a clip-on %& holdall bag or a child stand. The prototype was launched in October 2006 with the product going on to win two gold medals for design and invention at the British Invention Show. It was also shortlisted for the British Female Inventor and Innovator Awards 2008 where it received a Special Recognition Award.
Charlotte and Carolyn are personally overseeing product manufacture in the Far East, seeking advice from an experienced manufacturer in the nursery trade.
Tatty Bumpkin What: A children’s lifestyle brand that includes clothing, yoga, toys and books Who: Samantha Petter When: July 2010 Investment required: £200,000 for 20 per cent Investment secured: None About: Samantha Petter’s enthusiastic pitch wasn’t enough in the Den as a perceived lack of planning and unrealistic projected figures meant the Dragons did not back her.
During the show, the friends’ pitch was confident but Duncan Bannatyne quickly declared himself out. Both James Khan and Theo Paphitis wanted to invest but were unwilling to bid higher than Deborah Meaden who made an early offer for 30 per cent of the company's equity
Lavish in his praise, Peter Jones began by offering the pair £50,000 for a 20 per cent share of the business. James Caan added that while he liked what he was seeing, he questioned whether he would get a good return and so declared himself out, and Deborah Meaden followed James's lead, saying that she knows very little about the sector. As Duncan Bannatyne and Theo Paphitis also declared themselves out and Peter wasn’t prepared to invest all the money, the pair left with nothing, despite all of the Dragons being impressed with Gavin and Alan’s pitch and product.
About: The Dragons were all impressed by entrepreneurs Gavin and Alan and the advance they had already 23)!24 made in the educational market with their 01 / 5 Tree of Knowledge products. The duo . reported that over 50 per cent of all Scottish secondary schools had bought from their range and they were keen to replicate that success in England.
About: Imran Hakim had no problem winning over Peter Jones and Theo Paphitis with his 21st century %#'!)%* media playing bear back in 2007. Since + '( & then, he has had an impressive media % launch at London Zoo and announced an exclusive deal with the UK's leading catalogue retailer. iTeddy sold well from the summer of 2007, getting the number two spot at Christmas. This success was followed by distribution deals with around 40 countries. iTeddies are now stocked in all major UK toy shops and have sold well in the US following an exclusive deal with one of their biggest toy retailers.
What: An educational motivation resource currently in schools in Scotland Who: Gavin and Alan Burton When: August 2010 Investment required: £100,000 for 10 per cent Investment secured: None
Sam has invested close to a £250,000 of her own money into the business but admits that she has only made £19,000 profit so far. During the show, Duncan Bannatyne and Peter Jones were dismissive about Sam’s growth projections of £5m by 2014, saying that she has very little chance of making this happen. The Dragons were also both amused and bemused by Sam’s energetic demonstration of how children use the Tatty Bumpkin character in classes. While Theo admitted he liked her franchise business and the classes, he said he felt the clothing and animation ideas were not realistic and declared himself out, along with James Caan, Deborah Meaden and Peter Jones. Duncan finished by declaring himself out, stating that the animation will not work but will cost her a lot.
What: Buggy that incorporates a changing table Who: Adam Phillips When: September 2010 Investment required: £100,000 for 10 per cent Investment secured: None
After the show, Claire was undeterred and moved to new premises to accommodate her stock. The children's range of Smarty Pants sold well at country shows and %&'(!&) Claire took the business to the next level, $ # * " opening a shop in Sheffield's Meadowhall centre. Having successfully delivered small print runs for large companies in Yorkshire, Claire has opened a second shop in Doncaster. Keeping her prices low and service high, Claire has been welcoming return custom, particularly from students. She continues to work towards her ultimate goal of a concession stand in Topshop's flagship store.
%&'(!&) #$ * "
What: A detangling hairbrush Who: Shaun P When: October 2007 Investment required: £80,000 for 10 per cent Investment secured: None
Baby Dream Machine What: A machine that rocks a baby’s pram or crib Who: Graham Whitby and Barry Haigh When: January 2005 and December 2005 Investment required: £150,000 for 5 per cent in series one, £250,000 for 10 per cent in series two Investment secured: None About: Graham Whitby faced the dragons twice with his Baby Dream Machine but failed to win investment both times.
About: Ex-hair colourist Shaun P was confident about his innovative Tangle Teezer when he went into the Den. However, after showing the detangling qualities of the product, Peter Jones declared it was a “hair brained idea” and Duncan Bannatyne stated: “I’d be pulling my hair out working with you.”
Adam has an existing nursery %&'(!&) products company that he #$ * owns with two others but " he offered the Dragons a stake in a new company, My Babiie, which he owns himself. He revealed that his first company turns over £1m a year but says he needs extra cash to help him be more ambitious with his new business. The buggy is protected by patent, however the patent is in the name of the person who designed it, who not only owns the design but also has the worldwide distribution rights. The Dragons are unimpressed with this revelation and one by one declare themselves out, despite Adam’s persistence for investment. Adam told Flying Start he remains highly confident that MyBabiie will reach the turnover levels set out in his pitch.
About: Although Claire was clearly passionate about her business, she crumbled under the Dragons’ questioning and left with no investment.
About: In a self-assured pitch, Adam Phillips unveiled to the Dragons his new design of a buggy that converts into a baby-changing table.
What: A range of personalised children’s underwear Who: Claire Locke When: November 2005 Investment required: £150,000 for 25 per cent Investment secured: None
Shaun may have come away with no investment but he soon began marketing the product online and in August 2008, Boots launched Tangle Teezer Original in 200 stores. To date, almost 1.5 million units have been sold and as a brand, it is sold in eight countries including Canada, China and the US. In March 2010, a compact version, along with a detangling brush for children - Magic Flowerpot - were launched. Almost 63,000 units of Compact Styler have now been sold and nearly 27,000 units for Magic Flowerpot, which is now sold in over 1,000 Boots nationwide and all of Mothercare’s stores.
When the Dragons’ Den team last caught up with the pair, Graham was selling his portable pushchair rocker himself and his business partner inventor Barry Haigh was still a shareholder but had since retired. Since then, Graham has successfully launched a website that sells Baby Dream Machines alongside other nursery products. He has also acted on the Dragons'
About: Jacqueline was visibly nervous when she pitched her innovative bedside cot that folds away to provide a suitcase, a pitch which involved a random lullaby leaving the dragons with looks of bewilderment.
About: The Magic Whiteboard is a small roll that can be easily carried around and can stick to any surface in a room. Made from a statically charged polypropylene material, it can be created into a whiteboard anywhere in seconds. Neil and Laura's homegrown business involved selling the Magic Whiteboard, primarily targeted towards trainers and consultants as an alternative to using a standard whiteboard. However, Peter Jones dismissed the idea almost immediately, stating that a trainer would already have a whiteboard, declaring himself out by picking up a marker pen and writing the words “I’m out” on the product. Duncan Bannatyne liked the idea of the product initially but didn't think the market was big enough. But after hearing about interest in Japan, as well as the pair’s exclusivity to the product and the various alternative uses of the rolls, the Dragons became more interested. Duncan made the first offer of £50,000 for 20 per cent, followed by James Caan’s offer of £25,000 for 12.5 per cent, wanting all the dragons to agree to a four-way deal. In the end, the pair walked away with investment from Theo Paphitis and Deborah Meaden who offered £50,000 each for a total of 40 per cent of the business. Since the Den, the product has hit the baby market and approximately 26,000 rolls have been sold as blackout blinds for bedrooms and nurseries, turning over almost £300,000. The product is currently available in Halfords, Boots, JoJo Maman Bebe, GLTC, and from Spring next year, it will be stocked in Mothercare and in 200 Tesco stores. Neil and Laura's latest release is Magic Drawing Board, a top ten app for iPad. ent DEC tm L s e
When Deborah Meaden asked for her three-year forecasts, the entrepreneur faltered, her mind a complete blank on turnover and net profit figures. As a father with young children, Duncan Bannatyne could understand the problems of travelling with babies but couldn’t see how Jacqueline's design solves any of these problems, stating “there is nothing about it that is good”, dismissing it as “ugly” and “ridiculous”. Theo Paphitis too was unimpressed, remarking that the design is "horrendous", a "monstrosity" and can see no market for it. He was the first Dragon to declare himself out with others very quickly following suit, meaning that the entrepreneur left the Den empty handed.
What: A portable whiteboard roll Who: Neil and Laura Westwood When: August 2008 Investment required: £100,000 for 15 per cent Investment secured: £100,000 for 40 per cent
What: A suitcase combined infant cot and baby changing station Who: Jaqueline McKay When: August 2010 Investment required: £150,000 for 40 per cent Investment secured: None
O WATC H E T N
advice, working hard to bring the unit's base price down. In order to survive the recession, he has been concentrating on keeping his overheads low and investing in multi-skilled staff. Fortunately, the baby boom associated with the downturn has buoyed sales on his website. The Yorkshire-based entrepreneur now works with a team of inventors and investors to get pioneering products on to the market whilst selling this product through mumstore.co.uk and various other outlets in 28 different countries.
ent Sec u tm s e
What: Organic baby bath towel Who: Helen Wooldridge and Polly Marsh When: October 2007 Investment required: £100,000 for 15 per cent Investment secured: Turned down three offers from Duncan Bannatyne (£100,000 for 50 per cent), Deborah Meaden (£100,000 for 45 per cent) and James Caan (£100,000 for 40 per cent) About: Cuddledry designers Helen Wooldridge and Polly Marsh shot to fame in 2007 after appearing on Dragons’ Den. The two mums, who were inspired to make the Cuddledry after watching their husbands struggle at bath time with slippery babies, made a big impression on the Dragons’, especially when they decided to turn down three offers of investment. Since the show, the entrepreneurial duo secured private investment and the business has expanded beyond all expectations. The Cuddledry is now used by tens of thousands of parents, endorsed by celebrities and recommended by midwives and maternity nurses worldwide. It is sold all over the world including leading retailers such as Mothercare, John Lewis, Harrods and Debenhams as well as the Cuddledry website cuddledry.com. In association with Global Entrepreneur Week (November 15-21), Polly and Helen launched a week long ‘open clinic’ for anyone looking for help and inspiration to start a new business. The Cuddledry business clinic gave entrepreneurs the opportunity to log on and speak directly with Helen and Polly, as well as being able to post questions answered by a panel of other industry experts. “We have learnt so many lessons along the way and it has been a rollercoaster of a journey, hopefully by sharing our advice we can help other aspiring entrepreneurs to get their ideas off the ground,” said Polly.
YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN WILL LOVE THESE...
Christmas present for any child.
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The much-loved classic Christmas poem is brought beautifully to life in this gorgeous new picture book and CD set, sure to bring visions of sugarplums to everyone's head. With dreamy, magical artwork by Eric Puybaret and an audio CD recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary, this is the perfect
Meet a boy with a dastardly plan -- to ruin Christmas! Bradley Bartleby is bad, VERY bad. He’s greedy and naughty and selfish and spoilt -- and Santa Claus knows it. But when beastly Bradley empties his Christmas stocking to find nothing but a pair of socks, he does quite the baddest thing he has EVER tried to do. He builds a trap -- a SANTA TRAP! With guillotines, dynamite and a tiger or two, Santa doesn’t stand a chance. Or does he?
Clement C. Moore Illustrated by: Eric Puybaret
Would you make friends with a scary, hairy yeti? Betty's out for a walk in the snow when she finds a jingly jangly hat, a scarf, and a giant coat that comes down to her knees. They don't belong to the polar bear, the whale or the arctic hare, so just whose are they? A fresh and funny story, from the creator of the highly acclaimed DARKNESS SLIPPED IN.
The world’s most famous detective. The most brilliant mind in fiction. But before he became the great detective, who was young Sherlock Holmes? Sherlock knows that Amyus Crow, his mysterious American tutor, has some dark secrets. But he didn't expect to find a notorious killer, hanged by the US government, apparently alive and well in Surrey and Crow somehow mixed up in it. When no one will tell you the truth, sometimes you have to risk all to discover it for yourself. And so begins an adventure that will take Sherlock across the ocean to America, to the centre of a deadly web - where life and death are cheap, and truth has a price no sane person would pay .
The fourth fang-tastic book in the brilliantly bloodthirsty CHANGELING series. Return to the dark Netherworld of diabolical demons, vicious vampires . . . and one lone werewolf, intent on revenge. Teenage werewolf Trey is facing the most important and dangerous mission of his life. He must journey into the dark Netherworld and rescue Alexa, daughter of his vampire guardian Lucien, who is being held hostage by a powerful demon lord. But strength and courage alone are not enough to succeed – instead Trey must ‘win’ both their freedoms by participating in a death-match against his deadliest nemesis yet. The forces of evil are stacked against him and Trey can only be certain of one thing . . . one of them WILL die.
Jonathan Emmett Illustrated by: Poly Bernatene An irresistible prehistoric adventure from two of the biggest names in children's books! A hairy mammoth takes a cheeky little baby on a thrilling ride through a moonlit landscape populated by a sabre-toothed tiger, a leaping hare, a laughing hyena and even, just maybe, by a big brown bear . . . But where are they going? And what has it to do with the baby’s scribblings on the cave wall?
Julia Donaldson Illustrated by: Emily Gravett The hotly anticipated FIFTH mind-blowing adventure for Molly Moon! Molly Moon is unstoppable! She's a master hypnotist, a time-traveller and a mind-reader, and in this sizzling new story she harnesses a new power - morphing. Soon she and her twin brother Micky are swapping bodies with ladybirds, dogs, rats, even the Queen of England herself! But they can't continue for ever . . . and unless they can get their hands on 'The Advanced Arts' hypnotism book, they will never get back to their own bodies. Sabotaged by a gaggle of wicked women who want to destroy them, Molly and Micky must find a way to return to themselves in spite of all the dangerous surprises thrown their way. Georgia Byng
A fun and charming book with pop-up letters, revealing a wild animal beginning with that letter. Discover which wild animal is hiding behind its letter by opening the twenty-six pop-ups – one for each letter of the alphabet. Key facts about the animal accompany the pop-up, allowing readers to learn more about their favourite wild animals.
Into the blogosphere losing my almost five-year-old and struggling to find my identity. A few weeks after he passed away I searched 'moms + grief’ online, looking for some sort of support as I was hip deep in grief and feeling more isolated than I had ever felt before. A list of blogs popped up after searching and I slowly found myself immersed in the blogging community. After a few months of reading every blog I could find, I decided that I should try my hand at one of my own. Mostly as a way to fill the long, empty hours of the day. I was simply looking for a distraction and trying to find a way to remember how to live my life. I reasoned to myself that if I could write about life maybe I could start actually living it again.
When you first began your blog, what did you expect to get from it?
Tanis Miller is a pretty big deal in the blogging community. Here, the author of the Redneck Mommy talks to Flying Start about how her online journey began as a distraction after the sudden death of her child in 2005
Words: Jenni Shuttleworth
Why do you call yourself the Redneck Mommy?
At the time, calling myself the Redneck Mommy seemed like the wiser choice compared with calling myself the Garden Ho, which while accurate, could be construed in the wrong way. But the reality is there was little to no fore thought about what I named my blog. I was sitting alone in the dark, in the middle of the night, trying to stave off another night of nightmares by setting up a blog and avoiding my bed. I kept trying to think of something clever to title my site and I was coming up blank. The only thing that kept popping into my head was the memory of when I was a child and I would ask my uncle why his neck was always red and he'd reply by telling me he was a true Redneck. I never quite understood what it meant until I grew up. In a fit of nostalgia, I decided to name myself the redneck mommy as homage to my childhood innocence. Looking back now, I wish I had googled ‘Redneck Mommy’ before naming my blog because then I would have discovered the rat farmer in Alabama. I mean, who wants to be mistaken for a rat farmer?
Why did you decide to start blogging?
My youngest son died unexpectedly and quite suddenly late in 2005. I was all of sudden left alone, grappling with the grief of
I wasn't expecting anything at first when I began blogging except as a way to kill the endless hours of the day. I had hoped to find some relief from the pain clawing at my heart. What I found was the ability to connect with other people while working through my grief online. It was and still is, very cathartic. Slowly I remembered how to find joy in my life and it was a pleasant surprise to find a new passion. Interacting with the online community turned out to be very therapeutic and very likely saved my sanity. I'm pretty sure if I hadn't found a way to focus myself after losing my son I would have ended up bouncing off the padded walls of some rubber room in a
You say in your blog that you knew something was wrong with your pregnancy with your son – can you elaborate on this?
With the previous two pregnancies I had a text book pregnancy with each of them. There was nothing unusual about either pregnancy except for perhaps my new found love affair of scrambled eggs mixed with ketchup. When I was pregnant with Bug, I suddenly gained almost 130 pounds and was plagued with health problems. I just knew deep down in my soul that this baby was different and not because he liked to kick the crap out of my internal organs and head bunt me into submission from the inside out. I kept telling my obstetrician my concerns but she seemed to think everything was fine. She was wrong. I was right. I find small comfort in that because I'm egotistical and like to be proven right as often as possible.
Has blogging helped you in your grieving process?
For the most part, yes. Blogging about losing my son and having the ability to relive memories with my readers has been very comforting, but there was a period of time, about six months after he died, when blogging about anything became too much. I started to use my blog as a way to escape my emotions and push aside the grief and it caught up with me hard. I had an emotional breakdown and it resulted in me walking away from my blog for four months so I could get a handle on my pain. Ever since then I have been very careful not to use blogging as a way to escape my reality because there is no place on Earth you can run from the devil. He'll find you even if you are hiding in the blogosphere.
What advice would you give to someone who is grieving the loss of a child?
First and foremost, allow yourself to grieve. Grieving takes time and there is no time limitation. Be gentle with yourself, your world has changed without your permission and it is okay to be angry about it. Take the time to be sad and to deal with all the emotions swirling around you. Never feel shame in showing weakness. But most importantly, I would tell a grieving parent to remember to find joy in their life when they are grieving, even if it's just a bag of corn chips and a cheesy movie. Joy can feel impossible and elusive when you are grieving but the simple truth is, one joy really can erase a mountain of pain, if only for a second. The world can be a dark place when you are grieving and it can be really hard to remember there is light behind the clouds. I would like to promise them that the sun will shine once again.
Where are you now in the grieving process?
It depends on which day you ask me. Some days I'm just dipping my toes in the pond of grief and other days I'm sinking in an ocean of tears. It's been five years now and my son is still the very first thing I think about in the morning and the very last thing I think about at night. Grief is a shackle I fear I'll never completely shake loose, just as the love I feel for my son will be one of my unending constants.
Can you describe a bad day and a good day?
A bad day is waking up and stepping in dog vomit, then discovering there are no coffee beans in the tin, which seems to happen with an alarming regularity around these parts due to an aging dog with gastrointestinal issues and my continued lack of making a grocery list before heading to the store. A good day is any day that doesn't involve wiping dog vomit out from between my toes.
How has the loss of your son changed your outlook on life?
Losing my son changed every aspect of my life and my personality. I am now more laid back and easy going. It takes a lot to rattle my chains these days and I tend to be more forgiving than I was before my son passed away. I have a keen awareness of just how short life really is and how fragile our lives can be and I want to make the most of every minute I have. And more than ever, I appreciate my family and the love I have for them much more than I ever did before. Our loved ones are a gift and I'll never take the time I get with them for granted ever again.
Bonus points if the child grows up and stays out of prison.
What is the best thing about parenthood?
The best part about parenting is the total joy that comes with loving smalls. I've never known such love before having children.
Do you believe in nature, or nurture?
Nurture all the way. I wouldn't want to doom my children by believing they are destined to become as rotten as some of the apples hanging on my family tree.
What were you like as a child?
I was an obnoxious know-it-all with a competitive streak. There wasn't a sport I didn't play or a book I didn't read. In other words, I was a bit of a geek. My stringy blonde hair and knobby knees didn't help with the geekery either.
Which five words would you use to sum yourself up? Sensitive, smart, arrogant, slightly chubby.
What ambitions do you have?
At this point in my life, my primary ambition is to see my children through high school and into university and onto a solid path of adulthood. If along the way I can lose 25 pounds, write and publish a few books, travel with my husband and figure out how to not burn homemade cookies, I'll consider that a success.
If the internet didnâ€™t exist, what would you do instead of blogging/tweeting?
Likely something constructive that earns money. Or at least that's what my husband would prefer. If the internet didn't exist then I'd likely fill my days reading comic books and watching soap operas because I'm inherently lazy and real work frightens me.
Who are your favourite bloggers?
Kate Inglis from Sweet/Salty Kate, Schmutzie, Whit Honea from Honea Express. There are so many. I'm drawn to bloggers who weave magic with their words and whose talent with writing far eclipses mine.
Where is your favourite place on earth?
Anywhere my family is. Preferably some place where there is a warm sandy beach and an unending supply of nachos and beer.
What makes you happy?
Why did you decide to adopt?
My husband and I had discussed adoption prior to my son's passing. After the birth of my third child I wasn't able to have any more children myself and I wanted an entire brood of them. I would still like more. The more the merrier. My husband may not feel the same though. Heh!
Listening to Billy Idol while watching my older children do household chores as I eat frozen grapes and point out all the spots they missed. There is a limited time frame where I can take advantage of their hard work and pass it off as 'teaching them to be a responsible adult'. I'm embracing this period time because I know it won't be long before they realise I'm just really lazy.
What is the most difficult aspect of parenting?
What gets you on your soapbox?
I don't even know how to answer this because I'm still scarred from the sleepless nights, the vomit, the unexpected trips to the emergency room and all the typical teenage battles I find myself embroiled in. But I think, personally, the most difficult aspect of parenting is knowing that sometimes, no matter how hard you try, no matter how much you love your child, sometimes bad things happen and the unthinkable nightmare of losing a child becomes a reality. Learning how to survive that loss and continue to effectively parent my remaining children has been by far the most difficult aspect as a parent.
What makes a good parent?
A good parent, in my opinion, is one that puts their child's needs ahead of their own personal wishes. A parent that keeps their child safe and instills a deep sense of love with in their child.
Anything to do with special needs children. I'm a huge advocate for the rights of children with disabilities and their families, but I tend to jump on my soapbox most often when people use the word 'retarded' in a derogatory way. I'd like to see the word completely eradicated from our modern lexicon. It hurts to hear people make fun of people with disabilities because it means they are making fun of my children.
When was the last time you cried and why?
I am a cry baby. I cry at the drop of a hat. I wear my emotions on my sleeve. I cry watching commercials on the television, or watching my cats torment a field mouse. I cried yesterday because I saw a balloon in the sky and remembered standing at my son's graveside watching the balloons we released for him float away in the clouds. I just leak. I'm a leaker.
What’s the best piece of advice about anything that someone has ever given to you?
Never walk behind a skittish horse. Only I didn't listen and found myself in an emergency room with a giant horseshoe imprint on my entire face and three chipped teeth. I walked around with a black and blue face for weeks and small children cried and hid behind their parents when they saw me. I learned pretty quickly that sometimes we don't know best and we should listen to the advice given to us by those who are wiser than we are.
What’s the biggest compliment you have ever received?
The biggest compliment I have ever received is people complimenting me on how wonderful my children are. My children are an extension of who I am and I take great pride in knowing I haven't completely mucked them up with my own neurosis and foibles.
What are your insecurities?
I worry constantly about my youngest son Jumby, and his medical health, and I'm very insecure about my inability to keep him alive. Losing one son does not breed confidence in keeping another medically fragile child alive. Also, I really am insecure about my chin, or rather my chins. It doesn't help that I keep sprouting chin whiskers. Nothing is dead sexier than a double chin with whiskers on a gal!
Describe a typical day for you right now?
I'm up to my eyeballs nagging my teenagers, driving them around in my ‘Mom Taxi’ and sitting in doctors offices as my son has one medical appointment after another. If I can squeeze in a blog post, fold a load of laundry and remember to defrost some meat for supper I consider the day a success.
Describe your perfect day?
Any day my husband is home and our children are playing with him is about as perfect as it gets. I love watching them together. And I love the fact that when my husband is home the kids pester him more than they do me.
How were your blogs first noticed?
I have no idea, I am just grateful and thankful they were. There are so many wonderfully written blogs out there that don't get the attention they deserve so I don’t take any of my small successes for granted.
What makes a good blog?
To me, a good blog is a blog written with an authentic voice whether it's humourous, sad or poignant. Any blog that can make me feel something is considered a success in my books. Also it helps if the blog doesn't have annoying music that starts playing automatically when the page loads. I hate that with the intensity of the blazing sun.
Where do you intend to go with your blogging in the future?
I have absolutely no plans. I'm flying blind when it comes to blogging and I am enjoying every second of it. I wouldn't have it any other way. Life is short and I'm just enjoying the ride. To read Tanis’ blog, visit
Tanis protects her children by using ‘blog names’.... Pictured above: Fric, Frac and Jumby Pictured right: Shalebug
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Becoming Dad Me? A Woman? Josie Maitland
It was New Years Eve and the end of a decade - a time for reflection on the most amazing of years. We’d only recently got married (October 24th 2009) and moved into a new house which had quickly become our cosy home. As we sat by the fire talking about things we wanted to leave behind in the old decade and embrace in the new, the discussion turned to having a baby – a topic which had pre-occupied us for much of the Christmas period – both of us oscillating almost daily between a sensible, pragmatic and to be quite honest boring list of reasons we should wait a few years and the overwhelming, primal heart wrenching pull towards starting our own family, the undeniable feeling that now was the right time. Staring into the flames trying to imagine what a baby we made together would look like I hardly noticed my husband had left the room when he returned with my contraceptive pills in his hands giggling and tossed them into the fire. Well that was it. Of course, I could have gone to the doctors and requested another prescription but the truth was that I didn’t want to. I was as keen as he was and we both spent the evening chattering excitedly about how long it might take to get pregnant. After all, we had a year or so to get used to the idea before it really happened…right? I had been warned that my monthly cycle might take some time to return to normal after years on the pill and was surprised when a few weeks later my period returned as if nothing had happened. “It might not be the real thing” friends commented, “You won’t be fertile for a few cycles yet”. But the second cycle never came. Curious about the workings of my body in a way I had never been before I invested in some ovulation strips from the internet and researched when this mystical process might occur. On the 13th of February, after a few disappointing days of using the strips and coming to the premature conclusion that they – or I – simply didn’t work, the strip told me an egg had indeed been released. Despite claiming I was happy, and indeed would prefer, to wait a year or so before conceiving, I was becoming more and more excited about the possibility of this actually happening and secretly willed that egg to be good and strong. Meanwhile I was back on the internet discovering the disappointing odds of So I’m becoming a Dad. A father. The wise one who will give advice and be strong, funny, supportive, get the monsters in the night while being cool. The one who will guide this child through the decades of music gone while I was playing with life. I feel its important to have a decent music collection that the boy can (yes we found out the sex) work his way through offering him a narrative of culture, a soundscape of history that elucidates the world better than any history lesson. So this is one thing as a man starring at door labelled fatherhood I find myself worrying about. Its a form of psychological structuring that helps support me in this epic shift in my life. Being a dad. I’m sure many men out there will agree its a bit one sided when it comes to the parenting thing and woman have the magazines, support groups and baby centre the online help centre, they email in a question and with in seconds supportive replies, information, advice come bouncing in the laptop. My wife will be talking something over with me then rush off to email baby centre coming back with the solution. Its a female only world having a baby yet being a man and on the dawn of being the father I’m aware of the changes I’m going through which sit with the emotions slipping and sliding all over me. But no one really talks about to you after all were men. The car I was told would have to go. An Mgf sports car with two seats, convertible, would not do for a family car. The two seats and mid engine didn't seem to be baby friendly when I looked at the car for the last time before I blinked and saw a problem. I was no longer the man who drove his sports car, no, I was no a Dad to be a family man with a baby and wife to look after. How would her family and mine react if I didn't change the car soon enough. She would be getting bigger and needing a safer car, a smoother car
getting pregnant – a fact I had never really paid much attention to before now, having concentrated on always trying not to get pregnant. Two weeks later – on the 25th February, the pregnancy test showed up as positive and, shaking, I went into shock. After convincing my husband to take me straight to the supermarket where we bought a ridiculous amount of tests and spent the evening confirming what we already knew, the reality began to sink in – I was thrilled, excited and absolutely terrified. And here we are, 28 weeks pregnant as I write, putting the finishing touches to our nursery and preparing to meet our first baby. The pregnancy has surprised me in many ways. Sitting in the doctors’ surgery confirming the pregnancy I felt like a teenager called to the headteachers office until, looking at the GPs beaming face as he said “congratulations”, I suddenly realized that the world no longer saw me as an awkward naive teenager but a healthy, happily married woman. Woman. The word kept circling in my head as the GP spoke and all the way home from the surgery. As a child and a teenager I had actively avoided all things pink and ‘girly’, preferring to climb trees, play football and build lego for hours on end than go anywhere near a dolly or worse – a dress. For several years I chose to
Mark and Josie Maitland talk about their perspectives on Pregnancy in the lead up to the birth of their son
to take her around. Plus, I was to understand we would need, cots, buggies, prams, cribs, slings, toys, mats and a world of other things that hitherto I knew nothing about. Looking at my tiny boot which at best got four Tesco bags in I knew it was time to change the car for a Dads car. I really didn't think I would be holding so much towards this change in vehicle or give it much importance. How horrifying it was to discover my aversion to this new encounter when the question of what type of car as a new dad will I drive and what does this new car say about me and my family. Will it matter? How safe is safe? I became a wreck which my wife watched on as I went through my first crisis of being a parent. Okay I said my identity is changing I accept this. Its only a car! well to men a car says a lot about them and I have become a bit too brand aware for my own good but a reality I couldn't deny. People started joking as they found it funny seeing my sports car go they said things like your a ‘Mondeo man now’. I laughed with them while stating firmly I was not! Forgetting my brother has one and he has kids. I’m not my brother thats for sure. My old mate has a Vauxhall
Wed ding d ay.
have my hair cut extremely short and spiky in a bid to look like my heroes Bart Simpson and Denis the Menace. When I was told at school that I couldn’t play football because I was a girl I secretly wished when blowing my birthday candles out that I would become a boy and win the world cup to prove them wrong. In addition, I rebelled against my parents’ alternative ways – I squirmed, embarrassed, when my Dad served up seaweed, homegrown vegetables from our garden and tofu for my friends and prescribed me homeopathic remedies for my many clumsy accidents. I resisted my Mum’s desire to talk about everything (she is a psychotherapist) and the strange sounds she made doing yoga and meditating. I resented my garden being taken over by people drumming and building sweat lodges. I resolved to live on a diet of chips, tomato soup and mainstream television (which I actually managed very well on at university) and resist all attempts to ‘get in touch with mother nature’ or myself as a woman. It unnerved me. I preferred to be normal thanks very much. I got older and realized fairly quickly that ‘normal’ wasn’t only hugely overrated and explicitly dull but also, in many respects going against my own instincts and ethics. I have married a trainee Dramatherapist and have even
os ie &
he says they get the kids in and its not bad to J drive. Not , ar bad? I need a car c s y O that I like driving. Its b Ba not about me anymore ed: r u t c its about the baby. The baby I i P tell myself needs a good drive. It deserves the best ride in town while being safe; it needs to be safe for gods sake. It needs to look like a grown up car otherwise I’m a dad thats clinging to his youth which is just sad. So I’m a grown up now. A bloke a work tells me about a dealer doing cheap Citroen picassos he rants on for ages about how great they are. Did I want him to set me up with the dealer? I couldn't get the image of a land-rover discovery out my head as the wagon to drive my baby around up high in comfort, just the price tag and fuel costs stopped me and the dodgy chain smoking bloke selling old ones from a portacabin in the track where they film top gear. I got out with my deposit back after shouting at him there's chocolate melted all over the seats, he looked mighty puzzled. But that smeared chocolate on the old dirty seats saved me from a motoring nightmare. My wife said she was proud of me for being wise as she drove me home in her new car with me on the auto-trader app trying hard to find my dad car.
joined pregnancy yoga and invested in a homeopathy kit to help me through the birth which I hope will be a natural water birth. We are excitedly discussing creating a healthy attachment using a sling to carry our baby close to us and practicing baby massage. We have researched ethical, organic clothing companies and a potential first trip away with our baby. Talking about my own childhood has made me realize how fantastic my own was and how it has helped shape the person I am today. I hope I too make bicarbonate of soda rockets in the garden instead of investing in an Xbox, plant our own vegetable patch and keep chickens instead of sampling the local fast food chain and indulge in story, play and music as enthusiastically as my own parents did. I hope I am as nurturing and patient with my own child’s emerging unique self and reflect enough love and self worth back to him that he grows up feeling as happy and self assured as I did. Once the thought of a baby moving inside me was a scary prospect akin to a scene from a horror film – the thought of being pregnant and becoming a mother so totally opposed to my impatient, spontaneous and lively spirit that it terrified me. What I hadn’t accounted for was the fact that I would already feel so fiercely protective, so emotionally entwined with the process and have so much warm love for someone I was yet to meet. I have also realized that becoming ‘a woman’ is not a transformation into a stereotypical mother – living a mainstream, claustrophobic, monotonous existence solely to raise her children. No, a mother, and a woman is something quite different – it is something I am coming to embrace wholeheartedly and is filling me with joy – being a woman is empowering. I can be strong and passionate, soft and nurturing, playful and earnest. I don’t have to sacrifice my spirit – it is the opposite, my spirit, our spirits have created a new life and this enriches my own experience of life. As for becoming a mother, I can only begin to imagine the shift in perspective this will bring but I have found in my heart a spark I never knew existed that I know will kindle up and blaze with love, awe and amazement the moment this little life inside me comes into being.
It was after a failed trip to Basingstoke to look at a dodgy Japanese imported Mitsubishi 4x4, my wife almost in tears begging me not buy it. I woke up. My identity was to change and the car was part of this as was my journey to teach me many changes that would have to happen in order for me to adapt to the role of being a Dad. So in the end much to everyones shock but some admirers I chose a Volvo, the safest car in the world. It looks very grown up and drives like a dream with leather seats for my little baby to be in. It took me a while but I got there. This compared to getting the pram was nothing. Go on ask me what the difference between Mama and Papas and Bugaboo is or Phil and Ted's vs Silver cross. Yes I check every buggy that passes me and feel amazed that I feel proud to be a, classic chassis, silver cross, swivel facing multi positing, flat for newborn pram pushing father. Over the last seven months I have made the nursery special, created toy boxes, chosen comics I want to read him, bought soft toys and totally unleashed my dad to be soul into the voyage of being a dad. Knowing that without getting the car sorted and having a decent record collection I would have felt a bit lost. I now spend my days reading Green Parent, the Mother, Junior, articles, baby books, attachment books, co-sleeping books, what nappy guides and sometimes bursting into tears when I see the scan pics or feel the bump kick as I realize the surreal is merging into real and the joy of life is not the promotion or the world trip on a motorbike or the holiday or anything I thought it was. Its love. Its my wife, its my new family; just glad I now have a safe boring reliable car to take them home from the hospital in.
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!"#$%&'()*++,%+-' ./$#$'&*'0$+,%' Words: Nickie Oâ€™Hara The Parent Blogging concept has snowballed in recent months and new blogs are springing up left, right and centre. Parenting can be a daunting time and blogging is a great way to keep in touch with distant family, to let off steam and maybe to connect with parents who are experiencing the same stage of parenting or who have children with similar disabilities or needs.
Never be afraid to ask for help or advice. All bloggers had to start somewhere and they are all still learning as they go.
A web log (blog) is an online journal; a place to regularly record your thoughts and ideas. When you first create your blog you will need to think of a name. In the blogging community this is how you will be known â€“ it becomes your â€˜brandâ€™. You will also need to decide whether you want to remain anonymous or not. Nothing is private on the internet so be aware of the words and images you are about to upload into the public domain. If you set your own boundaries, it is no less private than walking down the street each day. Good writing and layout is important to your audience. Develop your own writing style and theme and update your blog regularly. Take a few minutes to read through each blog post ensuring that it is well constructed. Developing a loyal readership takes time and you need to give your readers something interesting to return to. Find your niche. This could be anything connected to parenting, creative writing, photography, home crafts, home schooling; the list is endless. Write about what you know and what you feel comfortable with. New bloggers should also spend time reading other blogs, leaving comments and interacting â€“ introducing themselves to the community and becoming part of it. Make it easy for people to leave comments on your blog too and have respect for each otherâ€™s opinions. Great conversations can start through one viewpoint. Blogs used to sit on the World Wide Web waiting to be discovered but now increased online presence and social networking means that any of your connections can find out about a new blog post as soon as it has been published. Twitter, Facebook and email are all excellent ways to promote your blog. There is plenty of support out there for new bloggers. Forums such as British Mummy Bloggers and Blogger. Ed provide a place to meet other bloggers, the opportunity to ask questions, hone your technical skills and work with brands and sponsors.
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The parent blogging community is a tight-knit one. Friendships spring up, bloggers who live near to each other often meet regularly and create their own network, invitations to promotional events will allow you to meet bloggers from near and far; bloggers have even had affairs! It is the same as any community with its highs and lows but can offer many rewards and great satisfaction.
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For the Reader: t t t t
4IBSFZPVSFYQFSJFODFTPSPĂ˛FSTVQQPSU ,FFQDPNNFOUTSFMBUFEUPUIFCMPHQPTU%PZPVSFBMMZ need to say â€œLOLâ€? or â€œhelloâ€?? %POUVTFUIFCMPHGPSQFSTPOBMBUUBDLT*GZPVEPOUMJLF what youâ€™re reading, move on. *GZPVIBWFXSJUUFOTPNFUIJOHSFMBUFEUPUIFQPTUBTLJG you can reciprocate links.
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So these are just a few... to browse the full hyperlinked list of reader recommended blogs visit www.flyingstartparenting.co.uk
to Twitter. I wasn’t really expecting anyone to follow me but simply needed an outlet to express how I felt. My first post was announcing that I was pregnant and showing a picture of the positive pregnancy test. Before I knew it I had 70, then 100 followers some were companies trying to sell things but I noticed that I was being followed by other pregnant women and mums. We’d tweet about our excitement, shared scan pictures, first baby movements and the highs and the lows of pregnancy.
!"##'./0-& 1*2'3%&.'&244&25(,'6 Twitter is everywhere you look, In the news, on the radio, but quite often people join and just ‘don’t get it’.... So what is Twitter all about? Put simply, Twitter is a form of online communication. You choose the people you want to follow and others choose to follow you. Communication on Twitter is known as tweeting. A tweet is something you type; a post, a link, a form of ‘status update’ or a message to another tweeter which is limited to 140 characters. Those following you will see your tweet in an instant timeline. They can share (otherwise known as RT or Re-Tweet) your tweet with their followers and also reply to your tweet publicly or privately. Many use Twitter to follow the lives of celebrities and many celebrities use Twitter to connect with their friends and fans. Flying Start tweeted Camilla Dallerup, (Strictly Come dancing Champion 2008 + GMTV's Fitness expert 2010) Camilla told Flying Start, “Twitter is a great nonintrusive way to keep in touch with people and most of all an absolutely brilliant way to share news, thoughts and instantly. It's also a great way to keep your finger on the pulse to find out what's hot and what's not. I love it!” Find Camilla at www.twitter.com/camilladallerup
Twitter is also widely used by parents. A huge parenting network lies in Twitterland! Here we speak to an anonymously tweeting mum of two about how she discovered the benefits of turning to Twitter. My name is ....well you can call me apregnantpause, that’s what people know me as. I’m 35 years old, live in Yorkshire and have two boys aged 4 1/2 and 12 weeks. I started using Twitter in May 2009 under my real name but only really used it to follow celebrities; Phillip Schofield, Stephen Fry and the like. I think I had about 50 followers and tweeted a couple of times a day, but didn’t really interact a great deal with lots of other people. In October 2009 I found out I was pregnant for a second time and obviously at that point only my husband and I knew I was pregnant, together with one close friend who lives the other side of the country. I was bursting to talk about how I was feeling but as I couldn’t tell anyone I decided to set up a second twitter account, apregnantpause, where I could say how I was feeling and what I was thinking
The people I have come across have been very supportive and as some of us have children already, we’ve been able to pass on tips to first time mums especially as we have all been at different stages in our pregnancy. We’ve supported each other through morning sickness, falling asleep at our desk because of tiredness, Braxton hicks, am I aren’t I having contractions, baby blues, colic, returning to work, toddler tantrums and recently, for those of us with older children, our child’s first day at school. I did join an internet baby group when pregnant with my first son but Twitter is completely different. There is immediacy with Twitter that I didn’t get with these groups. There is always someone around to respond and interact with. I enjoy the company too; with two young children and a husband who works evenings it could be very lonely but it’s not. I chat to others on twitter in the evening whilst we’re watching Coronation Street or X Factor about anything and nothing. There are even a few of us around doing a 3am feed when we can’t get back to sleep and we have a badnightcoffeeclub for the following morning. I have stayed anonymous, even after I told friends and family I was pregnant. Some of my followers joke that maybe I’m famous or infamous hence why I’m concealing my identity. Actually the reason I have stayed in disguise is simply because it’s quite liberating being able to talk freely, not worrying that I’m being judged, that someone has preconceived ideas about me or that they may know the people or places I’m talking about. I’ve noticed that since joining I’m being followed by other anonymous pregnant ladies. In fact there are people tweeting whose friends, even husbands don’t know they have a twitter account but it’s a way for them to talk about their day, their thoughts and comments not just about children but anything and everything. In some ways it can be quite cathartic. Twitter has given me the opportunity to meet and talk to people I may not otherwise have the opportunity to meet, people with different interests and lifestyles than mine who otherwise I would not have come into contact with. I follow people all over the country for example a lady tube driver in London, a bass playing feminist on the South Coast; in fact I twitter with a first time mum who is a nurse in Ireland and single mum in Atlanta USA How else would I have meet them?
Join twitter and say hello to apregnantpause Visit http://twitter.com/apregnantpause
Here are a couple of reader recommended parenting Tweeters (Just visit www.twitter.com/THE NAME BELOW)
jo_simcock lolaismygirl benbloggerdad nickie72 IRLisAUS loveitloveit bringingupcharlie softthistle mydaddycooks Mr_Thorne stromi himupnorth recordmirror CrystalJigsaw arcticmummy mummyblogger moogyboobles MeTheManAndBaby SandyCalico SaraJCox ThisIsDavina DanniiMinogue dvomumalicious Jamie_Oliver Wossy Schofe matt_cardle_uk mr_grimshaw radioleary jlsofficial ollyofficial joemcelderry91 planetjedward Strictly Come Dancing and X Factor.... hebrendan_cole strictlyjordan strictlyorla FlaviaCacace MattCutler123 JimiMistry camilladallerup
So these are just a few... why not check out who we follow and who follows us! www.twitter.com/flyingstartmag
With over 24’000 new and expectant parents entering the show over three days along with grandparents, family members and health professionals, the show proved as popular as ever. Leading baby brands Fisher-Price, Pampers, Britax, Mothercare and Tommee Tippee all unveiled their latest products, while TV presenter, model and mother Myleen Klass took to the stage to share her experiences of motherhood providing useful tips on how she coped, and is coping, with the various stages of pregnancy and explained the inspiration behind the new Baby K range. She was joined on stage by leading experts Annabel Karmel, Clare Byam-Cook and Jo Tantrum who gave the Baby Show audience their comprehensive advice on nutrition, breastfeeding and sleep for babies. Other celebrity mothers who made appearances at the show included award-winning actress Tamzin Outwaite, BAFTA winning presenter Katy Hill and TV presenter Nicky Hambleton-Jones. Tamzin talked about the Fisher Price toys she has been trying out with her 2-year-old daughter Florence, Nicky talked about the ‘Your Baby Can’ programme and Katy was at the show for three days with Prima Baby and Next. In 2011 The Baby Show returns to London’s ExCel for another bumper baby weekend on 18-20 February, as always featuring a comprehensive range of the UK’s leading parenting brands, exclusive product launches and appearances from leading experts on all-things baby. The Baby Show at Earls Court welcomed thousands of expectant parents this October. With hundreds of leading parenting brands, talks from leading experts and appearances from Myleen Klass, Tamzin Outhwaite and Nicky Hambleton-Jones, The Baby Show once again established itself as the world’s leading consumer show for baby and pregnancy.
Did you visit the show? What did you think? What were your favourite products? Did you learn anything new? Did you discover a fantastic product you want to share with our readers? Have your say - visit www.flyingstartparenting.co.uk
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Words: Heidi Scrimgeour
!"#$%#&'#(%$)*$%+',-,./$ Heidi Scrimgeour, work-at-home mum, shared her secrets of survival on MumsRock... I’m the envy of many, I know this. All the time people comment on how lucky I am to have a career that allows me to be at home with my children full-time, and they’re right, I am lucky. But sometimes being self-employed and working from home seems like the ultimate sacrifice. You gain the flexibility to fit your working life around your family, as well as freedom from the rat-race, but at what price? Sometimes it feels like I sacrifice my soul in return for working at home. Or at least my sanity. It is wonderful that I get to wear slippers for my daily commute which takes precisely nine seconds - and I do appreciate being able to collect my children from school every day, and getting to down tools and declare the working day over just because we feel like an ice cream and a walk along the beach. But it’s not easy when your home has to double as your office. And when deadlines pile up and I let the housework slide, I also have to tolerate the domestic chaos seeping into my work environment. Plus, when your office is the desk under the stairs, there’s no soothing weekly ritual of leaving the office on a Friday night to ease you into the weekend, and it’s horribly tempting to keep an eye on your emails when you’re supposed to be engaging in meaningful conversation with the kids at tea-time. I’ve been freelancing for 12 months now and it’s taken me that long to suss out how to make working from home work for me. Not everyone is cut out for it but even those of us whose personalities suit the solitary life of the home-worker find it a struggle from time to time. As I face the next 12 months of my freelance career I’m determined to eke out a better sense of that elusive work-life balance. I’m convinced that good boundaries and healthy
rhythms are the key to working at home without losing your mind, so I thought I’d share my top tips for working at home. This way I might even remember them...
Step away from the computer
It’s counter-intuitive but the single best thing you can do to boost your brain-power and productivity when you work at home is to step away from your desk. Take a shower, read a page or two of a favourite book or magazine, or take ten minutes to brew a decent pot of tea and then savour every drop. Whatever you do, force yourself to switch off from work for a few moments. Discipline yourself to let your mind wander. Every time I do this I’m absolutely guaranteed to be struck by an idea of staggering brilliance, or to at least return to my desk with a renewed sense of perspective. Do it at least once a day, more often if you can manage it, and keep a pen or electronic gadget to hand to capture that staggering brilliance, but don’t be disheartened if it doesn’t happen for you. Remember this is about having a moment, with no other agenda than to rest your mind and lift your spirits.
In this age of multi-tasking madness we’ve all but forgotten the value of singularity of purpose. We struggle to give our full, undivided attention to one single thing at a time, and we’re all the poorer for it. If you’re a mum who works at home, chances are you’re a veritable queen of multi-tasking, but learning how to do one thing at a time can actually help you be more productive and feel less distracted. Don’t leave your laptop open if you’re making dinner. Don’t check your emails while you’re on the phone, and never faff around on Facebook while pretending to talk to your kids. First of all, they’ll suss you out in seconds, and you’ll find yourself with a fractured ability to concentrate. When you’re self-employed and work at home the satisfaction that comes from ticking something off your task list has to replace the feedback that office-workers get from interfacing with colleagues. If you’re constantly doing several things badly instead of one thing well, you deprive yourself of that lovely sense of a job well done, which I find I really need to feel any sense of productivity in the average day.
Don’t give in to the demons of domesticity
Some home-workers swear they couldn’t cope without cleaners. Others feel they’re a luxury that self-employment does not afford. Whichever view you subscribe to, set up a structure for managing your housework, and stick to it. There’s
nothing worse than letting the house go to rack and ruin when a big project or deadline looms, only to emerge victorious at the end of it - to find the house a bombsite that will take you days to right. Hoover every Tuesday at 11am. Put a packet of those cleaning wipes in the bathroom and give it the once-over whenever you answer the call of nature. Set up simple structures that help you stay on top of the domestic stuff, and then stick to them as best you can.
Take time off
Stop laughing, I'm serious. Be disciplined about taking time off. That means actually doing something other than work, instead of just pretending not to work. Boundaries are your best friend but it takes serious thought to put them in place, and maintaining them is even harder. Fridays are always slow in my line of work, so Friday mornings are for admin and brainstorming, and Friday afternoons are strictly work-free zones. That can be difficult to stick to but I’ve learned the hard way that it’s for the best. I’ve plodded my way through many slow and soulless Friday afternoons and emerged to start the weekend feeling inexplicably flat, so I know that time is best spent eating ice cream with my boys or playing with them on the swings. We sneak into the pub for a Guinness / fizzy apple juice and some crisps to help me draw a line under the working week, and I cherish that ritual.
MumsRock is an online glossy for mothers who are striving to get that plate spinning Holy Grail of a work/life balance. And who want to have a bit of laugh while they're getting there. Founded by ex-Big Brother boss Gigi Eligoloff in 2008. Visit www.mumsrock.com Heidi Scrimgeour is a freelance journalist and copywriter who lives on the Causeway coast in Northern Ireland where she is woefully outnumbered by her lovely husband, two rambunctious sons and one wayward (male) cat. She writes about parenting and being a work-athome mum for a range of national newspapers and magazines, but r.com really just wants u o e g im idiscr a six-figure book www.he deal so she can build a house with a sea-view and a 'no boys' wing in which to semi-retire and waft around in a writerly fashion.
The Rise of the WAHD! The ‘dad topic’ of 2009 was the rise of UK men staying at home to take hold of the apron strings while their partner went out to work. After having children, quite often one parent will reduce their hours or even give up work altogether, the most common reason being the cost of childcare. However more and more dads are following in the footsteps of mums by searching for family friendly jobs which allow them to work around home life whilst still reaping the rewards of being a main income earner. Neil Whitehead, Dad of one, tells Flying Start how he is able to earn additional income without compromising family commitments by distributing health products. As a trained graphic designer and art lover I have always had a sense of fulfilment in my design based jobs across London, the south and the south west but due to the nature of the design industry my work has suffered at the hands of redundancy. With a newborn in the house I decided I would try something new for a source of secondary income. I came across a company called Forever. Founded in 1978 it is now the largest natural health company in the world. You won't find Forever in your high street but their sales of aloe vera based creams, drinks and gels outstrip traditional retail sales many times over. I tried a selection of the products and quite simply loved them. The toothgel, moisturiser (yes even us boys are secretly moisturising nowadays) and drinks gave me a healthy glow and a great sense of energy and wellbeing. I had a launch party arranged at my house and sat back as my manager wowed the room with great product knowledge and a few laughs. After the event I had a small network of customers already setup and word soon spread about me and my new aloe vera business. It spread through my friends, my colleagues and ultimately to other people who saw the potential to earn an unlimited extra income. Each member of my team now spends a few hours a week building their business in the quest for a few extra hundred pounds a month or even full financial independence. For me it has created an additional income without compromising my existing work and family commitments. For others it has become their main role as they successfully balance working for themselves and family life. visit Neil’s website www.aloeverasomerset.co.uk
Inspire a love of learning With school age children spending a significant proportion of their time in the classroom, not surprisingly parents have a vested interest in the quality of their child’s education and school life. Not just that, but with the familiar saying ‘practice makes perfect’ there is an increasing number of resources now available to supplement a child’s learning at home; whether it is provided by the school and made accessible through a virtual learning environment, or purchased by the parents themselves. As a result, education trade shows such as BETT are seeing an increasing number of parents, keen to experience the latest products, services and developments in policy that are affecting their child’s educational outcomes. Our children, now commonly referred to as ‘digital natives’, have grown up in a world surrounded by technology. It is not surprising therefore that due to its power to unleash motivation, ICT is a recognised tool for enhancing the learning experience. With a reputation of over 27 years as the world’s largest technology in education show, BETT provides an opportunity for parents and educators alike to see the 700 or so exhibitors showing a wide range of technology in education solutions. The readers of Flying Start can find out about just a few of the resources on offer relevant to those parents looking to supplement their child’s education. Learning from home 2Simple is showing its latest product PurpleMash, a creative online space for children aged 4 to 11 years. PurpleMash can be accessed both at school and at home providing learners with additional support outside of school hours. With hundreds of activities, programs and tools, PurpleMash supports children across a wide range of topics, developing numerous key skills. Visit 2Simple on stand F59 to see a live demonstration of PurpleMash. Proven to raise results, I am Learning Primary from I-Education is a games based revision and assessment system which engages students, encouraging them to learn both inside and outside of school. The resource supports revision, study, knowledge consolidation, assessment and exam practice with the aim of raising results. I am Learning Primary hosts a wealth of curriculum resources across all subjects at Key Stage 1 and 2, with over 25,000 questions and comprehensive reports to demonstrate pupil progress and support continual improvement. Visitors can find I am Learning Primary on stand Q22. On stand B39 visitors can see Q & D Multimedia’s Busy Things, an award winning online subscription service for early years and SEN pupils. There are over 100 activities alive with sounds, colours, animation and full of quirky characters. Busy Things challenges, intrigues and entertains early learners whatever their aptitudes
and abilities. Activities support creativity, literacy, problem solving, reasoning and numeracy. Those visiting Nyoyn on stand SN80 can find out about SoundSteps, an interactive sound concept whereby a collection of mats react by means of sound when a child steps, jumps or sits on them. The children can choose which sounds they want to hear or which game they wish to play, for example musical chairs. SoundSteps does more than just offer a range of 'ready-made' games but stimulates children's imagination and creativity. The wide variety of playing activities means that the SoundSteps product can also be used to support the curriculum: language, maths, cooperation, motor skills and musical development. The mats are wireless which means they can easily be used in conjunction with existing playing materials. Innovative show features Of course there are other exciting things happening on the show floor aside from exhibitors. Since the introduction of the Free Schools programme, parents have been provided with another route to be involved with education. The Future Learning Spaces feature is relevant to these individuals; here visitors can meet with suppliers who are involved with these new programmes. Another exciting feature on the show floor is the Visual Learning feature led by leading voice for ICT in education, Prof. Stephen Heppell. Here, students from Lampton School in Hounslow will be holding a video conference on stand with children in India, sharing their experiences of the primary to secondary transition. Other themes include getting more girls interested in science, using ICT to support revision, and games based learning. Parents looking to find out about special educational needs (SEN) provision can make use of the dedicated Special Needs Zone which hosts a range of SEN specific suppliers, in addition to the SEN Information Point where advice can be sought in relation to special educational needs. The information point is hosted by nasen (the UK’s leading association for encompassing all special and additional educational needs) so be assured that the information you receive here is of the highest quality.
............................................... Celebrating its 27th anniversary in 2011, BETT has evolved into the world’s largest technology in education event. With close to 30,000 visitors and around 700 educational exhibitors in 2010 it continues to inspire learning excellence worldwide.
BETT 2011 takes place from 12th - 15th January 2011 at London Olympia and is free to attend. To pre-register (using priority code EMM6) visit www.BETTshow.com. Also find us at www.Facebook.com/BETT2011 or www.Twitter.com/BETT2011
At MamaBabyBliss we are passionate about nurturing parents and babies through the natural techniques of massage and yoga. Based on the success of our own MamaBabyBliss Baby Massage and Baby Yoga classes, we have developed a unique integrated Baby Massage and Baby Yoga Training Programme that can enable you to become a successful Baby Massage and Baby Yoga Teacher in just four months. Our Integrated Diploma will provide you with the skills you need to develop a successful and around your young family. Baby Massage and Baby Yoga are for everyone. You donâ€™t need any previous skills just a passion for working with parents and babies.
Baby signing is for all children. From a very young age, babies can understand you and they are having plenty of thoughts of their own BUT they can't tell you what those thoughts are and that's frustrating! The good news is your baby is developing their hand co-ordination and from around 6 months babies start to use gestures to wave bye bye, blow kisses and put up their arms to be picked up. Baby signing just uses and extends this natural behaviour by introducing more signs for more words. Children automatically learn the signs when you sign and speak to them.
Why is baby signing helpful?
Lots of reasons! Reduces frustration, builds confidence, brings on speech and strengthens the bond between you to name a few! Janice Smith, mum to Mae, attended classes until Mae started Nursery. Janice says, “I would recommend baby signing to anyone and firmly believe it's contributed to Mae's language development - she will still revert to signing occasionally, if she can't quite get across what she means, and signs along to songs. She took great pleasure in showing off her signing skills to her Scottish relatives over
be satisfied before crying is even a possibility. You get an early insight into their thoughts and because there's more interaction and understanding, the bond between you strengthens. As your child starts to speak more they will sign less but the benefits of signing with your baby continue long after the baby years signing babies have been shown to go on to speak earlier, have wider vocabularies and even higher IQ's than non-signing babies in general. Sally McDonald, mum to Connor, has been attending classes for 3 years since Connor was a small baby. Sally says, “Connor's signing has exploded in the last 2 weeks. All of a sudden he is making over 40 signs. We had a day out at a farm last weekend and he was signing all the animal signs. Other visitors couldn't believe we were having a 2 way conversation with our baby. We are so pleased we persevered, it's well worth it.”
"#$%&'(%)#*%+,-%.-'/-,01 Getting started with baby signing is probably a lot easier and less effort than you think. The whole experience is more fun if you can attend a class as the signs are reinforced with music, rhymes and games (plus you get to meet other baby signers). These are our top tips to help you get going:
summer. It's the best thing we've done together, I'm convinced it has contributed to her confidence both with words and with people.” Signing babies can lead conversations and introduce topics to ‘talk’ about. They can communicate and
! 2 3 4
Look at your child, say the word and make the sign at the same time. Depending on the age of your baby, start with a few signs most relevant to them e.g. food, sleep, more, milk. There's no need to limit the number of signs used, build up at a pace to suit yourself, Aim for your child to make a connection between the sign and what it represents. E.g. make the sign for eat and then spoon it in! Be consistent with the signs, regardless of how your baby signs them back to you. Some babies sign back to you sooner than others. Even if your baby does not sign back to you for a few weeks, they are taking it all in - so persevere! Repetition and patience are important. Remember to enjoy it - signing whilst singing can be a good way to learn new signs.
Words: Julie Ryder, TalkFirst.
!"#$%&'(%)$$*%!"#$%&'(%)$$*%!"#$%&'(%)$$*%!"#$%&'(%)$$*%!"#$%&'(%)$$*%!"#$%&'(%)$$*%!"#$%&'(%)$$*%!"#$%&'(%)$$*%!"#$%&'(%)$$*%!"#$%&'(%)$ Signing Tots Sunny Signers Parents, Organisations, Childcare Professionals & Schools to use with the babies and children in their care. We provide Baby Signing, Sign &Sing sessions, & Professional Training using British Sign Language Signs passionate about what they do.
For all children including hearing, deaf & special needs. For more information on the above or on being part of our organisation running your own home based business please visit our website.
Sunny Signers baby signing classes and workshops are a fun, informative way to learn the valuable skill of communicating with your little one while at the same time meeting like minded parents in your area. Finding out what your baby is thinking and feeling can reduce the frustration in your home and jump start their communication. Classes are taught by experienced teachers who have all signed with their own children and have British Sign Language tions. For more information on classes in your area go to www.sunnysigners.co.uk, email email@example.com or call 07811 278542.
At MamaBabyBliss we are passionate about nurturing parents and babies through the natural techniques of massage and yoga.
Based on the success of our own MamaBabyBliss Baby Massage and Baby Yoga classes, we have developed a unique integrated Baby Massage and Baby Yoga Training Programme that can enable you to become a successful Baby Massage and Baby Yoga Teacher in just four months. Our Integrated Diploma will provide you with the skills you need to develop a successful and
around your young family. Baby Massage and Baby Yoga are for everyone. You don’t need any previous skills just a passion for working with parents and babies.
www.mamababybliss.com www.signingtots.org.uk www.sunnysigners.co.uk ......................................................................................................................... !"#$%&'(%)$$*%!"#$%&'(%)$$*%!"#$%&'(%)$$*%!"#$%&'(%)$$*%!"#$%&'(%)$$*%!"#$%&'(%)$$*%!"#$%&'(%)$$*%!"#$%&'(%)$$*%!"#$%&'(%)$$*%!"#$%&'(%)$ Discover the magic of music with Rhythm Time! A set of highly enjoyable and unique music courses specially written groups by a music school teacher. Through singing, playing instruments and dancing, each course helps with a child’s development and learning, as well as their and co-ordination. As children learn in development stages, babies, toddlers and pre-school children.
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Daisy and Dash
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Each felt play book includes over 20 soft felt pieces and felt coverage on each spread and each transfer activity book features a transfer sheet for children to use in activities through out the books. Available from www.egmont.co.uk
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This is the perfect little kit to keep handy in your Changing bag. Its pretty and compact enough to bundle of carefully thought out items, ensuring that you will be prepared for the most common emergencies from plasters and Bravery Stickers to Burnshield gel and Eye/Wound wash solution. Also included is a comprehensive British Red Cross for babies and children. Don't worry about running out of anything either, as you can get www.babyaid.co.uk The kits are also now available at John Lewis, JoJoMamanBebe, and other retailers.
Picking Your Travel System
Travel systems provide you with a complete package to get mobile with your baby. Most travel systems now include the pushchair & car seat, although you can buy packages which also accessories. Larger website will sell these items separately but a new breed of websites such as Babythings4u.co.uk are now providing these complete package as hugely discounted prices. Combine this with their 'DaySaver' 1 hour delivery slot and online shopping is never been easier.
School Uniforms, Scout and Guide Wear, Premature, Baby Wear, Christening Wear, Swimwear, Contempory and Traditional Toys and Gifts, Wooden Toys, Puppets, Books, Satila & Much more. Visit our website...
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Your one stop shop for gifts and products for babies, children and even mom and dad.
visit the fantastically cute and very welcoming boutique located in the 'Custard Factory', Birmingham or visit www.allthingzyoung.com for fabulous gift ideas. A gift wrapping service for that special touch
Very friendly prices. Great selection of products from head to toe themed rainwear, soft toys to real cars for kids
Products that aren't usually found on the high street
For the crème de la crème of meat this autumn, serve your family a choice cut of meat from Pipers Farm and taste the quality! With only 100% pure, unadulterated meat, so you can rest assured that your family is eating
you needn’t spend hours in the kitchen to make your family a healthy and nutritious meal. Our unique delivery service means that if you order by 4pm your meat will be delivered to you by 12pm the following day, across the UK, so you can guarantee your order will be there when you need it. Pipers Farm were involved in the BBC three series ‘Kill It, Cook It, Eat It’ focussing on how meat is produced ‘The Natural Way’, and are also winners of eight National Awards.
Treat your family to high-quality meat from Pipers Farm this Winter
Meet Santa via Steam Train
Experience a nostalgic steam train ride and meet Santa Claus at the Kent & East Sussex Railway this December. Tickets include a 1 hour return journey to Wittersham Road, when Santa will greet families onboard and give every child a special present. At Tenterden Station, families can also enjoy rides on the Victorian Carousel and take the miniature railway to meet the snow queen where they will receive a quality photo, all included in the ticket price.
www.kesr.org.uk www.pipersfarm.com .............................................................................. 4D baby scan from Baby Premier seeing is believing
You know longer have to wait until birth to see your baby’s face as 4D scanning from Baby Premier enables the mother (and father) to get a clear image of their unborn child. People are generally amazed by the facial expressions and what they can see their baby doing whilst still in the womb. Mothers are usually very excited to be able to see the movements of their baby they are feeling at the same time, but are also often surprised by how much their baby moves that they aren’t aware of. To book an appointment with Baby Premier or for more information on 4D scanning, as well as the vast range of other scans, please call 0845 345 7262 or visit our website
Beautiful Acrylic Mirrors
At Looking Glass Acrylic Mirrors, we provide the ultimate in shatterproof acrylic mirrors. All shapes and sizes are available just take a look.
you have in mind let us know... IF WE CAN WE WILL! Customer service is our number one prority. Acrylic mirrors make wonderful gifts so why not personalise your mirror by having it engraved for those special memorable occasions. Contact sales for more information email@example.com, tel 01543433626 or visit our website
www.lgacrylicmirrors.com www.babypremier.co.uk .............................................................................. !
The solution for quick and durable labelling of everything for kids and grown-ups.
Labels that are bound to stick around!
Identify all your kids clothes with iron-on labels. These very thin labels, made of an innovative material are washing machine and clothes dryer proof. of stickers to identify all your kids belongings including bags, books, pens, musical instruments, sports equipment and shoes to name just a few.
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ARTIFICIAL GRASS FOR SCHOOLS, NURSERIES AND PUBLIC PARKS
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#$%&'()!"#$%&'()!"#$%&'()!"#$%&'()!"#$%&'()!"#$%&'()!"#$%&'() The bug pod and Squirt Spoon SPECIAL OFFER! At Cedarlia we believe in celebrating the simple things in life. Our Petite baby range is a collection of stylish handmade designer products inspired by life and created with love. We stock the award winning Boon products as well as handmade treasures for decorations made by artists all over Europe. The bug pod pictured which makes an excellent gift costs £22.99. We are giving a special discount to all us on www.cedarlia.com and use the discount code FST12 for your
15% discount. The squirt spoon is a must have for mothers weaning their babies this comes with a 15% discount for all readers when you order online.
Bespoke childrens wear and accessories, hand made with love
Lil Bubba Things is a family run business specialising primarily in handmade little girls dresses and accessories from birth to 6 years+. Each little girls dress is bespoke, and has been uniquely hand made with individual embellishments so that no two dresses are the same. We use both reclaimed and contemporary fabrics as our aim is to create clothes that are not only unique, versatile, and great value for money but also kind to the environment. Our LBT Dresses are designed to “grow” with your child as its design allows you to use it as a swing top over jeans or leggings, allowing you to keep the dress in your little ones wardrobe for much longer than other traditionally designed dresses. Please search for us on Facebook (search “Lil Bubba Things”) to see lots of examples of our beautiful Lil’ creations.
Dribblebuster is an Award winning dribble bib designed to save wet clothes and resulting damp chest and chills due to incessant dribbling.
Suitable from birth onwards, Dribblebusters are available in a large range of colourful prints to compliment baby's outfits including iconic Liberty designs. These useful little bibs are less about food mess and more about dribble. They protect your baby's soft skin from the constant damp clothes caused by excessive dribbling (mainly caused by teething). Available from www.dribblebuster.co.uk 0844 6643663
For exclusive features, competitions and more visit www.flyingstartmagazine.co.uk
Ditch the Remote and Enjoy the Outdoors highlighted that 92% of kids would be upset if they weren’t allowed to play outside and two play outdoors with their friends than play computer games or watch TV inside. Over half of the kids surveyed revealed that playing outside was ‘more exciting than playing indoors’ and a third saw it as a ‘a big adventure’. And if they do experience the occasional minor step to making them feel better. GMTVs Child Psychologist, Emma Kenny, explains: “Lumps, bumps, scrapes and bruises are not just ok, but are part of growing up and essential for valuable lessons for later life. Playing outside provides them with rich opportunities for imagination, inventiveness and resourcefulness. However, should they need a little more than just TLC, mums can also have peace of mind by knowing that there is a wide range of market to cleanse, treat and protect their little ones.
Cetraben Emollient Bath Additive Dispenser Emollients have been at the forefront of treating dry skin for hundreds of years. Originally they were simple preparations of oils and waxes, but these have evolved into modern pharmaceutical formulations. The value of preparing dry skin and eczema for the cannot be underestimated. Genus Pharmaceuticals have launched Cetraben Emollient Bath Additive with a novel way of ensuring that exactly the right amount of additive is used. Unliked traditional bottles with conventional screw caps, Cetraben Emollient Bath Additive has a built in measure to ensure you use the right amount of additive and prevent waste and mess. Cetraben Emollient Bath Additive is available to buy in most chemists, and is available on prescription.
See also.... http://www.talkeczema.com/webdocs/ skincare/cetraben_emollient_bath_additive.php
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www.nipponuk.com Nippon UK was established in 1993 and has since made considerable advancement both nationally and internationally. With its headquarters based within a state of the art Martial Arts academy in Preston, Nippon UK also has many other venues in and around the North West of England. Nippon UK prides itself on professionalism which is why all classes are taught by fully professional instructors. All instructors are fully insured as well as CRB checked. ‘The perfect philosophy, the perfect environment, perfect opportunity to learn – practice – and understand martial arts and self defence’
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We are here to help you to get dressed ... not stressed! Rackety’s provide high street quality clothing, adapted to suit the needs of children with disabilities. Rackety’s are changing the choices and perceptions surrounding disability and adaptive clothing forever, adding a rainbow of color and sparkle into the rather grey challenging and colorful lives of our customers. including bibs, vests, pyjamas, swimwear, ourwear, t-shirts and our best selling ‘popper’ selection.
Special needs harnesses for vehicle seats, wheelchairs, shower & bath hoists, commode chairs, walking reins and more. Tel: 01253 852298 Fax: 01253 821780 www.crelling.com E-mail: email@example.com
We make simple belts and full supportive harnesses for all kinds of special needs, including challenging behaviour.
Whether adult or child, we understand that when you live with a disability you will generally shop for your clothing exactly the same as everyone else, but there are a few areas where regular clothing just does not work, this can be a daily nightmare. specially designed to help when you get completely stuck... Clothing that blends in with your regular wardrobe and works with you not against you... Clothing for disabled adults and disabled kids to enjoy! Contact us today for more information, Tel: 01538 381430 Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website
by phone or online at www.racketys.com and Quote RFSO
Improving independence for children with mobility solutions. Skippi, a brightly coloured electric wheelchair designed specifically for children, has recently been launched by Otto Bock Healthcare, a world leading supplier of innovative solutions for people with limited mobility. “Skippi’s speed and high degree of manoeuvrability make it ideal to support a child’s urge to move around and explore their surroundings,” states Simon Tempest, Mobility Product Manager at Otto Bock Healthcare. “Its innovative design enables it to be easily disassembled and fit comfortably in the back of even the smallest cars for easy transportation. Removable and swing away footrests ensure it is easy for the child to move in and out of the wheelchair, while also providing individual leg support.” Contact the Mobility Customer Services Team at Otto Bock Healthcare Plc on 0845 480 1231 or visit
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Pink Elly is a mummy run business with a shop in Botany Bay, Chorley and on the web at www.PinkElly.co.uk products and cash for yourself, school or charity. Until 2003, Pink Elly’s Kristinna worked as an Accountant. After the birth of Isabella in 2001 it became a struggle juggling long hours, childcare and quality family time. The guilt was immense, doubly so as Kristinna had 7 miscarriages and 2 operations followed by daily chance to rearrange life round her daughter. In May 2005, a year later, Pink Elly was launched selling hand made greetings cards. Many a day was spent pushing Isabella around in her pushchair selling cards to everyone who would listen! After realizing that there was a huge gap in the market for reasonably priced, truly practical and fun accessories and toys for children, a truck load of research and several miles walking around trade fairs, the initial idea for www.PinkElly.co.uk are greener products made here in the UK. Our carbon footprint is low and by buying from us you are choosing to be green with a company that truly believes in protecting our environment for the next generations. We don’t just sell you green products….made in China! Being a kitchen table business is rewarding, lonely and messy! Every sale is due to our hard work so makes us feel great, I am always there
Want to get involved? Kristinna would love to hear from you. Visit www.pinkelly.co.uk
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School Uniforms, Scout and Guide Wear, Premature, Baby Wear, Christening Wear, Swimwear, Contempory and Traditional Toys and Gifts, Wooden Toys, Puppets, Books, Satila & Much more. Visit our website...
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Safety tested suitable from birth. If you lose a piece to your toy we will replace it for free
Multiple pieces to create interactive and imaginative play
For more information on these and many new products, visit us online www.mintyhen.co.uk at
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Your one stop shop for gifts and products for babies, children and even mom and dad.
Quote FSM10 on ordering to receive 5% discount
visit the fantastically cute and very welcoming boutique located in the 'Custard Factory', Birmingham or visit www.allthingzyoung.com for fabulous gift ideas. A gift wrapping service for that special touch
Very friendly prices.
Products that aren't usually found Great selection of products on the high street from head to toe themed rainwear, soft toys to real cars for kids
$%&!"#$%&!"#$%&!"#$%&!"#$%&!"#$%&!"#$%&!"#$%&!"#$%&!"#$%&!"#$%&!"#$%&!"#$%&!"#$%&!"# Tiny Tatty Teddy for Tiny Tots Tatty Teddy (RRP ÂŁ19.99). This loveable little grey bear with a blue nose is guaranteed babysafe and will become a friend for life for any new baby. If youâ€™re a parent, friend or relative wanting to celebrate a special gift from this new range of teddies, comforters, keepsake books and photo albums. For more Tiny Tatty Teddy products visit
Little Fish Toys specialises in beautiful wooden toys, kids furniture, soft toys, and educational more - at the best prices. Find it cheaper anywhere our customers the best service and best price around. That's why we constantly price check our stock to give you the best deal. However, should Visit our website today!
discover that if they were to put Hazelwood Chips on their babies’ neck it would soothe teething pains. Almost forgotten, Tearless Teething reintroduced this old remedial way to holistic healing in the form of their necklaces and other products to help not only the babies but to take advantage of the for the infants but the whole family. “to our sheer amazement neither baby had any signs or symptoms during their whole teething period. They got through this awful time and are now just over three but still wear there necklaces as they can help with their digestion and overall health”
www.tearlessteething.com Give your playground a facelift...
!"#$%&'!()#"*+,Our specialist team of wet pour specialists are for playgrounds, private residences and sports grounds.
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To advertise with Flying Start call 01772 459418/601440/641536
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them against the weather â€“ ideal in areas where indoor space is at a premium encouraging children to learn & play outdoors
Bellus Pram Store
Heatom Buggy Store
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Taylor Bishop FA are a First Aid Training Provider we deliver the exact same HSE approved courses as the better known training providers
The only noticeable
being the price
Tel: 0845 052 4667 www.taylorbishop.co.uk We have branded quality training resources, the same high standards, Through our network of training venues we are able to give you as a company the ability to send anyone almost anywhere in the UK, I would never imagine it taking more than a couple of weeks to get someone on a course local to their branch. Below are some of the key advantages of using Taylor Bishop FA -
In addition if Taylor Bishop FA were to become your approved supplier of First Aid Training we could â€“
Paediatric First Aid Specialist
FF 20% O SES OUR ALL C H D WIT E K O BO VERT D A S I TH
Fire Safety and Heath and Safety Training Also Available
!"#$%&'()"*%'!"#$%&'()"*%'!"#$%&'()"*%'!"#$%&'()"*%'!"#$%&'()"*%'! Would you know what to do? Fire Safety Products have over 15 years experience quality engineered for safety and reliability. Semi-rigid ladders for steady descent. Roll out ladders for awkward escape. Quick to use, compact and lightweight. Child carriers also available allowing you to harness the child between you and and the escape ladder and use both hands for descending. Other products available include Alarms, Fire Blankets, Extinguishers and Escape Hammers.
0845 1309 Contact Lancashire Family Mediation for more information Tel: 01772 204248 or visit www.lfms.net
20 with the regulatory reform (Fire Safety) order 2005
IN THE EARLY YEARS ENVIRONMENT Fire Risk Assessment - Assessment Audits Fire Risk Consultation - Fire Safety & Prevention Advice Fire Strategies - Fire Safety Plan Fire Alarm & Emergency Lighting System Designs Fire Safety Procedures - Evactuation Policies & Plans Fire Safety Training
Huw Williams BSc MIFireE ICOB (01443) 858 507 / 07722 832953 @hotmail.co.uk We are members of
Llantwit Fadre, Pontypridd CF38 2EE