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Family Life Welcome to the wonderful world of parenting


ECOMING a parent is a life-changing experience. As proud parents, there’s nothing more exciting than bringing home your bundle of joy and starting your new life.

One minute you’re sure to be on cloud nine, cooing over your new bundle. In the next few weeks and months however, you will soon discover you need a whole new routine as you get to grips with your new role. Although your new life is exhausting and exciting, it can also be very tiring as you get used to life as a busy parent. However it’s important to make sure you enjoy this time with your new baby. Before you know it, your bundle of joy will be running around and on his or her way to school. Never be afraid to put grandparents and friends to good use. If visitors pop in, let them hold the baby for a while and have a well earned rest. Remember that your new born baby will, in a few months time, be sitting up, crawling and then walking. Before you know it, your new baby will be a proper little boy or girl. Use the time wisely when your children are little. Get out and about as a family and make the most of your new role. Today many cafes, restaurants and places of interest are completely geared up to welcome children and families. Even just a walk in the local park or outing to a local attraction can be great fun as a new family. Remember however to get your baby into a good sleeping pattern as soon as you can. This is best for him or her and better for you as well. Decorating your nursery is one of the first things to consider when you know your baby is on the way. Some couples prefer to find out the sex of their baby in advance which makes it much easier to decide on a nursery colour scheme. If you don’t want to know the sex in advance, then opt for neutral colours to suit either a boy or a girl. Another option is to go for a mix of bright colours suitable for either boy or girl.

■ FAMILY: Enjoy time with the family while children are young as they grow up so quickly One way to brighten up a child’s nursery is to create a special mural. There are mural kits available for those who want to have a go themselves and designs include fairies, princesses, spaceships, pirates and much more. It’s very important that your nursery is kept at the optimum temperature for your baby to

enjoy a good night’s sleep. Have it too warm or too cold and he or she will wake either boiling hot or freezing cold. Use your common sense and you’ll be fine. Many parents find blackout blinds or curtains are use to keep out the light and ensure a dark and peaceful room.

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Make the right choice for your children


HEN it comes to the education of our children, every parent wants to give their young ones the best possible start in life.

the ins and outs of a particular school, to speak to the teachers and see how the students interact with them. You should use it to do some serious fact-finding, find out about the admissions criteria, the school’s ethos, what facilities are available to pupils and what From nurseries for younger children to the wealth of excellent local schools in the area, both fee-paying and extra-curricular activities are available. You may be considering sending your children to an public-funded, it’s important that we plan for the independent school. educational health and wellbeing of our children. Such institutions are Of course, the so called because they importance of a good are independent of educational start in govern- mental control life will help our and are instead run by children when it’s a board of governors, time to choose a bursar and a head colleges and teacher. universities for their They are often referred further education. to as private or But there are so many fee-paying schools, considerations to because parents pay bear in mind, from fees to send their fundamentals such as children to them. the exam results at Children from all the school, to backgrounds attend practicalities like how independent schools, close is the school to with about half of the your home. children entering Some schools independent schools specialise or excel in having parents certain academic educated under the fields such as state system. sciences, languages, If you are seriously sport or even considering an performing arts. independent school for So if your child’s your child, then it is a interests and abilities good idea to begin are aimed in a certain making a list of direction, it could be suitable schools and worth looking for a obtaining prospectuses school to match their from each. ambitions. Important Perhaps you will considerations include choose an academy, the recent academic or maybe a faith performance of the school? school, whether it is a Whatever you and single-sex or your child decide co-educational upon, it is important establishment, and if it to apply early to gain is a day or a boarding the best chance of school. enrolling in your first But no matter what choice institution. ■ ABC: Lessons start early in life for your children type of educational For younger children establishment you are just starting off on the long educational road, a nursery or primary school looking for, the most important thing is to make sure it feels right for both you and your child as these early will be what you are searching for. years are so important. A good idea is to start by getting in touch with the If your child feels completely at ease in their new local authority and obtaining a list of the schools and surroundings then they will be better equipped to nurseries in your area. make the most of the opportunities that education can You should try and visit ones that you feel have offer. potential – they usually have open days – and also try Your child’s future success is often dictated by their and speak to some parents whose children already path through school, so making the right choices attend. A word of mouth recommendation from other parents about their education is vital. Find out as much information as you can before is often a good sign. making the final decision. An open day offers you a fantastic opportunity to see

■ LEARN: An all round good education is top of every parent’s list

■ EDUCATE: Whether your children enjoy formal learning (below) or a good sing-song in the music lesson (above), your education choices can shape children from an early age

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Baby, take a look at her now

■ TOGETHER: Mum and daughter Emma and Eva, ready for her birthday


ITTLE Eva Patrice is fast approaching her third birthday - but mum Emma says it doesn’t seem two minutes since she born in October 2009.

Eva was featured in our Family Life supplement shortly after she was born (see previous page on right) and we thought it was about time that we had a catch-up. Now Eva Mae is growing up fast into a proper little girl. Her baby days are now behind her and she’s a confident little lady who goes to nursery three days a week while mum Emma continues to work in the Examiner’s advertising department. Emma said: “I work three days a week and Eva goes to Kinder Castle Nursery in New North Road which is ideal as I can easily drop her off on my way to work. “She loves it at nursery and continues to grow in confidence which I think is partly due to going to nursery and socialising with other children. “She loves going and there has never been any problems leaving here while I go to work.’’ When Emma’s not working, her and Eva are often out and about socialising with friends.

■ EVA: She’s a proper litle girl now Emma said: “Luckily a lot of my friends also have young children and Eva loves to spend time with them. She’s never been a shy little girl and is just growing in confidence all the time.’’ Eva started walking just a week before her first birthday and is now a real chatterbox, talking away to everyone. Emma, who lives in Lindley, is now

looking ahead to October when Eva is three and she can put her name down for the local school. She said: “It won’t be long before she’s at school. Time has passed so quickly and I can’t imagine life without her. It seems like she’s always been here.’’ Eva also regularly spends time with

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■ FLASHBACK: A look back to when we last featured Eva, when she was just a baby in April 2010. Mum Emma spoke to us about what a good baby Eva was

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her dad Gareth. Emma said: “She seems to have really grown up these past few weeks and turned from a toddler into a real little girl. Going to nursery regularly has really helped and turned her into a confident little girl who mixes well and has lots of little friends.’’

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Healthy eating from day one



EALTHY eating should begin from day one. From the very start, parents should try and encourage their little ones to get into the habit of eating plenty of healthy fruit and vegetables.

■ HEALTHY: Local nurseries can play their part in encouraging youngsters to eat a good diet

Although a burger or take-away is nice for a change, that’s what it should be - a change from the norm. The rest of the time, concentrate on eating a good nutritious diet. Even in summer, if you’re having a barbecue, encourage children to put plenty of salad on their plates and always opt for lean meat. Visit your local farm shop for a great range of meat for the barbecue and pick up a few salads from the delicatessen to ring the changes and offer your family plenty of choice. Traditionally children shy away from eating their greens but there are ways of presenting fruit and vegetables in a fun way. Cut up pieces of fruit for snacking and encourage your children to enjoy an apple, banana or other piece of fruit instead of snacking on crisps and biscuits. Vegetables can be incorporated into everyday meals. Instead of putting them directly on the plate, put small pieces of vegetables into pies and stews etc and ring the changes with carrot and swede mash instead of potatoes etc. If your children is taking a packed lunch to school, make sure it’s a healthy mix. Try and include a piece of fruit, some carrot sticks or a yoghurt instead of filling up their lunchbox with crisps and biscuits. If your child stays for school lunch, find out what he or she is eating and keep a check to make sure your child isn’t just filling up on chips every day. The number of people who are obese is growing all the time leading to an increase in diabetes. There are now over two million people diagnosed with diabetes in Britain today, and health professionals are seeing a dramatic increase in type two diabetes. Type one diabetes develops if the body cannot produce any insulin, and the people diagnosed are usually younger than 40. Type two diabetes develops when the body is unable to produce enough insulin to meet the body’s needs or the body is responding poorly to the insulin that is being produced. It usually affects people over the age of 40. However, lifestyle changes have altered this pattern in recent years with more younger people being diagnosed with type two diabetes. Take steps now to encourage a healthy diet and you will be rewarded with better health for all the family. Children need to get into good habits early in life to make sure they stay healthy. Mum and dad too need to join in this healthy eating regime.

■ MEAT: Your local butcher or farm shop can offer advice on the best cuts of meat to help make nutritious family meals




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Family Life - Welcome to the wonderful world of parenting  

BECOMING a parent is a life-changing experience. As proud parents, there’s nothing more exciting than bringing home your bundle of joy and s...

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