Mums magazine spring 18

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kids with the

The best budget locations to enjoy this spring

Forget the fads and choose ‘healthy’

HAPPY BIRTH DAY Improve your chances of a positive birth experience


DATE The importance of ‘couple time’ ...and how to find it


Mums Magazine Sprinng 2018


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Mums Magazine Spring 2018


4. DENTAL HEALTH Help kids adopt a tooth-friendly diet

Welcome to the spring issue of Mums Magazine.

There’s something about this time of year which often

6. DRESS LIKE A MUM Style & motherhood DO go together

motivates us towards making positive changes to our parenting (and personal) habits. This could mean making more time for outdoor activities, in which case we’ve got a whole host of ideas to help you and your children embrace the longer, warmer days (page 36). We’ve also got some brilliant ideas for family summer holidays (page 26) plus days out with the kids (38). On an individual level, spring opens up a whole host of opportunties for investing in our heath and wellbeing. Confidence is a good starting point for this, so we’ve got some top tips from the style experts on how to polish up our look for spring (page 6). On the subject of confidence, we take a look at the importance of mindset when preparing for birth, so if you’re looking forward to a new arrival this spring but feeling apprehensive, turn to page 8.

8. HAPPY BIRTH DAY How to have a positive birth experience 10. SAVE THE DATE How important is ‘couple time’? 12. THE NIGHT SHIFT Top tips for a good night’s sleep 16. BABY READY Preparing for your new arrival 18. GYM MUMMY Baby friendly workout solutions

Enjoy the issue.

20. DITCH THE DIET Change your relationship with food

Caroline Seekings

24. SAFE AS HOUSES How to baby-proof your home




12 15


26. CULTURE CLUB Top places to visit this summer 28. NO MORE MESS STRESS Top de-cluttering tips 30. TOP BLOG Secrets and lives of the leading parenting bloggers 33. LOVE SICK How to look after your wellbeing after a split 34. OUT & ABOUT Make the most of the spring days 36. DAY OUT WITH THE KIDS The best places to visit this spring










The best budget locations to enjoy this spring

Forget the fads and choose ‘healthy’



Improve your chances of a positive birth experience

DATE The importance of ‘couple time’ ...and how to find it



with the


Mums Magazine Sprinng 2018


life tyle magazines

Get in touch: Tel: 07834 233346 Imagery

Information in Mums Magazine is not intended as a substitute for diagnosis, prescription and/or treatment by a Medical Professional. Opinions expressed in Mums Magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher, and the magazine is in no way liable for any such opinions. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the content of this publication is accurate, we cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies. No advertisement, article or image may be reproduced without the written permission of the publishers.

38. SPRING INTO ACTION Flying the flag for outdoor play 40. EDUCATION Manage test-related stress... and more 44. HOW TO TAME A TANTRUM Tips for avoiding a melt-down 45. TEA... MINUS TANTRUMS Fussy eating tips by Annabel Karmel 46. THE BOOK CORNER Titles your kids will love 51. FLOWER POWER Spring fashion inspiration Mums Magazine Sprinng 2018


good reason! Last year alone, there were a horrifying 43,000 tooth extractions in kids to remove rotten teeth, while one in two children are estimated to suffer in tooth erosion. It defies belief, and yet it’s real, and it’s happening - we need to wake up to dental health. The thing is, what we feed our children can have a huge impact on their health in all sorts of ways, including obesity and their teeth. In fact, just recently, it was revealed that salt and vinegar crisps – a snack which many mums will happily give their children – can aid to tooth decay. Juices, diet soft drinks and raw fruit (yes, even fruit) are also rotting our children’s teeth and leading to extractions. So, what can we give them instead? And what should we steer clear of? If this is something that you have been thinking about I recommend that you get a copy of Dr Steven Lin’s book ‘The Dental Diet’ - he has a wealth of information in there. Tooth-Friendly Snacks and Foods

DENTAL HEALTH Nutritional Therapist ANGELIQUE PANAGOS reveals how to help your children adopt a tooth-friendly diet

From the moment our precious bundles of joy are placed safely in our arms, we dedicate ourselves to making sure they’re given the happiest, healthiest start to life possible. Yet, as health-conscious mums, there always seems to be something new to avoid, or to try – should we ditch salt from our kids’ diet? Encourage them to try plant-based foods? Should we try baby-led weaning, our pureed foods? Are our children safe to eat sugar, even unrefined versions? Can they eat red meat? Of course, being a mama is a never-ending rollercoaster, and we are always learning! Yet, every now and again, the media throws something up which we should really sit up and pay attention to. Lately, there has been all kinds of fuss about dental health in our children, particularly in the UK – and for 4

Mums Magazine Spring 2018

The best snacks and foods for dental health in our kids are those which are low in sugar. Aside from the obvious problems like obesity and type 2 diabetes, when our children eat sugary foods, the bacteria their mouths mingle with the sugars to make a mild acid. In time, this acid eats away at the hard, outer layer of his teeth, ultimately causing rotting and cavities. In short, steer clear! Tooth-friendly snacks include – • Hummus and crudities or pitta • Raw or cooked vegetables – crunchy foods that need lots of chewing are great for oral health as they stimulate the release of saliva, and can help to naturally clean the teeth • Oatcakes or rice cakes with nut butter • Hard boiled eggs – Eggs, especially organic and free range eggs, are great sources of calcium, vitamin D and protein, which are all crucial for tooth health • Cubes of cheese • Greek or coconut yoghurt • Smoked salmon slices on homemade pancakes – oily fish such as salmon is full of phosphorous, which helps to protect tooth enamel. • Plain popcorn or popcorn flavoured with cinnamon when old enough- I love Nom Foods • Fruits such as apples, which can ease plaque and even freshen breath! Meanwhile, instead of encouraging them to sip on juices, fizzy drinks or smoothies, they should stick to plain water and milk wherever possible. If your kids do drink juices or smoothies (I can never advocate fizzy drinks!), then try to have them sip through a straw – ideally a reusable one – to avoid acid erosion, and limit the amount of high sugar fruits in each.

Which Foods Should I Avoid?

Foods which are bad for tooth health include: • Fizzy drinks and fruit juices – please try to avoid these foods wherever possible! Endless studies have shown that fizzy drinks lead to tooth decay. If your children really need something sweet, make them smoothies – which still contain fibre – mixed in with vegetables and lower sugar, lower acid fruits. • Sweets are a no-go for obvious reasons! • Dried fruits – while our kids generally love dried fruits such as raisins or dates, and we will often blend them into energy bites and bars, we should remember that they are very high in sugar, while the stickiness means that they will often get stuck to the teeth. If you do want to eat sugary foods or foods high in acid, then feed them to your kids as part of a meal, rather than as a snack – and suggest they rise their mouths or brush their teeth afterwards!

DENTAL CHECK BY ONE The campaign to encourage all babies to be taken for their first dental check by the age of one was launched at the BSPD’s (British Society of Paediatric Dentistry) 65th Annual Scientific Conference in Manchester last September. Dental Check by One (#DCby1) is a nationwide campaign to encourage parents and carers to take their child to the dentist before their first birthday. “Organisations across health care are supporting the campaign so that whether the parents are in a surgery, clinic, school, hospital or their own home they are informed of the importance of getting their child to the dentist by the age of one.” Said Claire Stevens, President, British Society of Paediatric Dentistry. “This first visit to the dentist is an important opportunity for a child to start a life of positive dental care and for parents to get advice on how to keep their child’s teeth healthy and strong.” Indeed, both the cost to the NHS and the unnecessary suffering experienced by children make the need for joined-up action more important than ever.

“The first visit to the dentist is an important opportunity for a child to start a life of positive dental care and for parents to get advice on how to keep their child’s teeth healthy and strong.”

Mums Magazine Sprinng 2018


Do you


like a MUM?

I want to change the bad rep and perception that mums can't dress; that we automatically lose our sense of style and our passion for fashion just because we have a kid or two, because we don't

Founder Zoë de Pass gives us her top ten wardrobe essentials I'm Zoë, I live in London, I love fun and fashion and I promised myself that i would stay stylish and keep my love for clothes regardless of dealing with the madness of 2 kids (with a third on the way!) I want to change the bad rep and perception that mums can't dress; that we automatically lose our sense of style and our passion for fashion just because we have a kid or two, because we don't. I started my DRESS LIKE A MUM project because I frequently receive comments such as 'you don't look or dress like a mum', 'I can't believe you have two kids' and I couldn’t work out if this was a compliment or not and if it is, why is this? My mission is to make the high street a better place for Mums and Mums to be to shop - I feel like we have been an overlooked demographic and that massive assumptions (eg. we do not need / want to be fashionable while pregnant/ nursing) are being made about us. I believe that we need to educate retailers and brands, help them understand what it means for a body and a mind to grow a baby and in turn help them cater for us better"

Top ten wardrobe essentials:

1. A leather biker jacket

2. A decent pair of jeans 3. Trainers

4. A cashmere jumper

5. Something leopard print 6. A statement handbag 7. Sunglasses

8. Perfectly fitting tshirt

9. A sequin jacket, dress and jumpsuit

10. A black tuxedo 6

Mums Magazine Spring 2018

HOW TO LOOK GOOD AT THE SCHOOL GATES By Helen Venables, MD of House of Colour

Mums put themselves under an awful lot of pressure to be perfect at everything, and it seems looking their best at the school gates has been added to their already stressful to do list. Here are my top ten tips on how to get it right at the school gates with minimal effort. 1. Within your colour scheme, pick the colours that suit you best and dress up a simple outfit with a statement item in one of your wow shades. A staple accessory like a scarf or a statement necklace could be the perfect thing to spice up your outfit, so you can still pull off your everyday clothes, but with a colourful twist. 2. Try a simple jacket within your colour scheme and style. It’s often tempting to wear the same old coat that’s been in the back of the wardrobe for years. Instead,

try dressing up a casual jeans and boots look with a wonderful jacket which emphasises your personality.

flats or bang on-trend trainers. Step out of your comfort zone and try something different!

3. Add some glam to items that can be considered frumpy. A classic knitted jumper doesn’t have to look like something from 90’s TV.

8. Don’t forget to treat yourself to a new haircut when you need it. It is amazing how well cut hair enhances your look. Make sure your hair is the colour it is supposed to be and that the cut suits your face shape and personality!

4. Try changing your jean style to flatter your shape. Everyone needs jeans but to look great they also need to reflect your personality and fit your body. Consider investing here – you know you will wear them a lot! 5. Show off your favourite part of you. Whether it’s legs, shoulders or arms, show the parts of you that make you feel confident! Use accessories to draw the eyes to where you want them to look! 6. Having a good coat can lift any outfit and no one need know that jam stained tops are to be found underneath. 7. Comfy shoes are vital but show your personality with some zebra

9. Having two good statement bags helps mums feel and look good at the school gates. Buy one in a neutral colour and another in a wow colour that will make your neutral outfit zing! Bags are key to any outfit at any time. Not to mention the importance of housing a good snack or two for your kids on the way home from a long day at school. 10. During the rainy seasons, a fabulous pair of wellies or an umbrella in your wow colours can add fun and statement to your outfit and be a great talking point!

My School Run Outfit by Stephanie Withers

My go-to ‘school-run’ outfit is a jersey tee paired with my favourite Sadie trousers from Whistles. As I usually run a couple of errands after dropping my son off, I find these trousers make you look put together, even if you’re feeling anything but! Lastly, I’ll throw on a trusty utility jacket and some trainers.

Mums Magazine Sprinng 2018


Particularly in the UK, there is a widespread fear and negativity surrounding birth which can be said to influence many women’s expectations and experience of labour. What do you believe to be the reason for this, and how does the UK perspective on birth vary from that of other countries, and also from the actual reality of childbirth? I think fear of birth has been growing over past decades. Part of it is perhaps fear of the unknown - with birth taking place largely outside of our communities now, modern women don’t have much contact with the sights and sounds of labouring women. Also, unfortunately there are more and more ‘birth horror stories’ to be told - of course there have always been such stories but in our current time it is much more common to meet a woman who has had an unpleasant or traumatic experience than it is to meet a woman who has had a straightforward birth. So it’s actually quite rational to be afraid of birth if it’s likely that you will end up with an instrumental delivery or a caesarean - which in our modern culture, is very likely. Could negativity and fear ever be seen to be a self-fulfilling prophecy when it comes to the childbirth experience, and to what extent does mindset influence the process and outcome (in your view)? I think the problem with fear and negativity is that it can stop women from thinking about the kind of birth they want and preparing - which is probably the worst thing they can do! It’s so vital to learn about all of your options, to learn about your rights in the birth room, and to make a plan, not just for your ideal birth but also to make a Plan B, a Plan C and a caesarean plan, even if you don’t want to have a caesarean. And yes, mindset plays a huge part in labour and birth, as it does in all other areas of life! If you expect something to be dreadful, you probably increase the likelihood of it being dreadful! You also risk becoming passive in the experience, of accepting it or ‘going with the flow’, rather than taking an active role. 8

Mums Magazine Spring 2018

HAPPY BIRTH DAY How to improve your chances of a positive birth experience

By Milli Hill Founder & Director of Positive Birth Movement In the Positive Birth Book, I explored the maths behind a normal labour, and worked out how much time on average you spend having contractions, versus the time you spend ‘not in any pain’. The results were surprising - 77% of the average labour is ‘pain free’! We have this image of birth being non stop agony and nobody really talks about the time you spend in labour when you are actually feeling all kinds of other sensations and emotions excitement, strength, power, love, and the ever so slightly ‘trippy’ feeling that is common with the cocktail of hormones labour brings! I’m not saying that labour isn’t painful, of course - I’ve had 3 babies and found it excruciating at times, believe me! But I do think it’s interesting to shift our focus, in particular as so many women report being so terrified of having a baby. Unfortunately how you feel in labour and how you experience and cope with the pain is not only connected with your expectations, but also with the quality of support you receive, and how safe you feel. For example, we know that having a relationship with your midwife - having got to know and trust her in your pregnancy has a big impact on how women feel during labour, as does their environment: it’s best if their birth

space is quiet, protected, dimly lit and cosy. However many women don’t have these basic things when they labour. They are in brightly lit, unfamiliar spaces, and attended by strangers. Then, when they struggle to cope with the pain, they blame themselves and think, “I was not tough enough. I was not up to the task of labour.” But in fact, they may well have coped very differently if they had been given better support and a better environment. We are not getting the basics of labour right, in our culture. Are there ways that women can improve their chances of a positive birth experience, and also reduce their risk of intervention? Yes there are absolutely ways of ‘maximising your chances’ of a positive birth! Learning about your choices and rights is the main thing you need to be doing. But I do think it’s important to stress that ‘positive birth’ does not necessarily mean not having any intervention, either. Some women who have a ‘text book’ natural birth feel very traumatised by it, others who have every medical procedure going feel great afterwards and at peace with what happened. Positive birth is usually about mindset, and about how you were treated. If you feel you have choice and bodily autonomy,

if everything is properly explained to you, if you feel in control of what is happening, and if you feel respected and heard by your care providers, you will probably feel like you had a positive birth experience. Having said that, if you do want a low intervention or no intervention type of birth, then learning about how birth works, for example, learning about the hormones of birth and what increases or inhibits their production, can really help you to get the kind of birth you want. Also, if you don’t think you will get good one to one support from your standard care, you might think about investing in a doula or an Independent Midwife. These both cost money, but if the day of having a baby is very important to you, you might need to invest in it, just as you would do for a wedding or a dream holiday! What would be your advice to women looking to overcome a fear of labour? That’s a complicated question. If it is ‘extreme’ - then they might need to seek help and support to explore the roots of that fear and address them. This might be different for different women, but most commonly, it’s a previous traumatic birth and / or a history of sexual or physical abuse. This is the kind of difficult and emotional stuff that it can be very helpful to have professional help to unpack and make sense of. If it is less severe, and doesn’t feel overwhelming, then they might consider attending a Positive Birth Movement group, reading the Positive Birth Book, and possibly watching some birth films - there are some good ones on the PBM website here: http://www. Is it possible to have a positive birth even in the event of a previously stressful or traumatic experience? Yes absolutely it is, and many women refer to their second birth as ‘healing’. It can be harder to prepare due to high levels of fear

but often, because of the previous experience, you will know much better what to expect and will prepare in a different way. As I said in my previous answer, you might want to get some support to process your previous traumatic birth, too, as this will help you better prepare for your next birth. An element of control is said to be a crucial part of achieving a positive birth experience. How is it best and possible to achieve this balance of medical guidance and self-assertion? I think control is at the heart of some of these issues. One example I give might help: in your relationship with your partner, in the bedroom, you will - hopefully - know that you can always say, ‘no’ or ‘stop please’ or ‘I don’t want to’, and that this will be respected. You might actually never say these words! But if you did, you know that your partner would listen and respect you. So hopefully there is an unspoken balance in the power dynamic in your sexual life. Unfortunately, in the 21st century birth room, we are in a place where women often do not even know that they have a right to say ‘no’ or ‘stop please’. So there is a huge imbalance of power, which is unhealthy. Changing this imbalance isn’t about women going to war with their care providers, refusing all medical help etc. It’s simply about knowing that they can say no if they want to. This changes the power dynamic completely, and it changes everything from how women feel about themselves and their bodies, to the experience of birth itself. It doesn’t go without saying that some of these problems go far beyond the birth room. Women do not always find asserting themselves comes naturally. We are quite culturally conditioned to be submissive in our interactions, to be on the back foot. Current movements like #metoo and #timesup are quite strongly connected with birth issues: they are about asking for respect and for bodily autonomy, which is what positive birth and the PBM is fundamentally all about.

TV DRAMA DRAWBACKS TV shows such as Call the Midwife and One Born Every Minute portray childbirth to a vast, engaged audience like nothing has ever done before. So much so that there are now twice as many (46%) new parents in the UK whose views on childbirth are shaped by the TV over and above the advice and thoughts of health professionals (23%). What effect does this have? The survey by Baby To Toddler shows that women on TV, screaming in pain as they struggle through labour in order to make a dramatic scene, leads to many expectant viewers to form negative views of childbirth at a time when they should be excited. In fact, the most common feeling listed by new parents in the UK about how they feel about childbirth is anxious (35%), whilst only 3% said they felt confident, and 9% positive, despite the fact that thousands of women each year experience positive, life enhancing births. Beverley Turner, founder of The Happy Birth Club antenatal classes and author of T ​ he Happy Birth Book, says: “Without a doubt a lot of the birth scenes conveyed on television are dramatized to make for interesting viewing. However it is important that expectant mothers don’t allow this to shape their expectations.” Research by Baby To Toddler

Mums Magazine Sprinng 2018


SAVE the DATE In today’s time pressured relationships, how important really is ‘couple time’ ...and how are we meant to find it?

By Sam Owen BSc (Hons), Dip LC, MBPsS, MAC Relationships Coach, Psychologist, Author Couple relationships can often come under strain from the pressures of modern life and parenting. How much of this problem do you think is down to a lack of quality (one-to-one) time together, and how much do you believe is due to other factors? A huge factor is the sudden abandoning of all the good relationship habits that helped create closeness and happiness in the past, such as one-on-one fun time, emotional intimacy, physical intimacy, ‘me-time’ and other forms of self-care, and time for happinessproducing activities such as socialising and inducing hobbies. Added pressures in life requires more support for one another and more strategic planning. You just have to prioritise yourselves and each other in and amongst all your other priorities. What are the specific benefits of couple time (biochemical/emotional?) that make it so effective and important for strengthening a couple relationship?

you’re not even liking and loving each other when things are actually going well. What is the best way of achieving quality time together around work and family commitments? Schedule the time into your diary for weekly, quality couple-time. If something gets in the way of it one week, aim to reschedule it in for another day so that overall you still get that quality together time in once a week on average, for the most part. To what degree do you believe relationships can be improved/repaired by investing more time in each other? One hundred per cent. If you nurture your relationship, amazing things can happen. If you don’t, your relationship can unravel in a big way. What is your top ‘date night’ tip for parents? Make it novel if you can to help release the feel good chemical dopamine, as well as making it fun, achievable, and with some laughter if possible. Ideal dose for a ‘date night’: once a week.

When we physically touch, including cuddling and kissing, we release oxytocin, oxytocin helps us to bond with the other human, feel safer and calmer, and can even buffer us from physical pain. Psychologically you help one another to feel noticed and cared for, and you help one another maintain resilience when life is challenging you. It also helps to keep your focus on one another instead of becoming distracted from one another and then seeking out what you should be getting from your partner, from someone else, e.g. having an emotional or physical affair. Also, when you frequently spend time together in a positive way, you have a much more solid foundation for dealing with any relationship problems you’re having; without that regular emotional connection it’s difficult to have harmonious dispute resolution when 10

Mums Magazine Spring 2018

My Date Night Outfit by Stephanie Withers

For date night nothing beats a floral print dress teamed with a biker jacket and ankle boots. Easy to wear dresses are my go-to piece in Spring, as they look great layered with other wardrobe staples and can be dressed up or down by simply swapping your heels for trainers!

Mums Magazine Sprinng 2018




shift Sleep can often be a challenge for new parents, but is there a way to (eventually) move away from night wakings? What to do if your baby JUST WON’T SLEEP! By Vanessa Christie (MSc, MN, IBCLC, RHV, RNC) - independent Lactation Consultant, registered Health Visitor, birth trauma practitioner and Children’s Nurse

Sometimes you may well feel that you’ve ticked off every box and tried everything you feel happy with, and yet your baby Still. Won’t. Sleep. Being deprived of sleep truly is horrific. Plain and simple. So, if and when you find yourself in the midst of it, be mindful of the following: • Talk to someone you trust about what’s going on and how you’re feeling. Whether it’s a family member, friend, Health Visitor, GP or anyone else, sharing it will often lighten the burden. Closed online groups on Facebook and other platforms can also be an invaluable source of advice and a place to find a virtual hug. • Research has shown that it is not how many times a parent may wake in the night that can contribute 12

Mums Magazine Spring 2018

BEDTIME BOOK *** Editor’s pick***

to exhaustion and possible postnatal depression but how long it takes them to get back to sleep after each waking. Practising mindfulness and relaxation techniques can do wonders in boosting energy, renewing confidence and helping you to sleep more effectively when you get the chance. The benefits of this won’t only be apparent for you but can also rub off positively in settling your intuitive baby. • Are you able to call on anyone else to help you out? If people ask you if there’s anything they can do to help, say a big fat YES. It may be watching the baby for an hour while you rest, or bringing you round some comforting homecooked food but whatever help they are willing to provide, there is absolutely no shame in accepting it. • If your instinct is telling you that your baby’s interrupted sleep patterns exceed what should be considered ‘normal’ and his waking hours are often fussy and unsettled, then keep on seeking answers. For example, if you have a niggling doubt about a possible allergy or other concern, then insist on a second opinion. • If you decide to contact an independent sleep consultant, be sure to ask them about their

Have You Seen The Sleep Fairy? is a beautiful illustrated children’s book designed to help families get a good night’s sleep. RRP £7.99 paperback and RRP £3.99 ebook. Available to purchase from online retailers including background, philosophy and approach, to ensure that you feel comfortable with their practice. Many have plenty of experience with babies (often as nannies or private m a t e r n i t y nurses) but tend not to be trained in holistic assessments of babies and their families, or appreciate the full consequences of some of their advice. • And finally; always know that having a baby who settles on their own and sleeps for long periods of time is NEVER a marker of how successful you are as a parent! For online, phone or in-person consultations, please see for more


Your 10 point plan for a good night’s sleep

Choosing your baby’s first bed is a big decision but have you thought about what mattress your baby will be sleeping on?

by independent sleep specialist Andrea Grace Does your little one dislike the cot? Wake up a lot in the night? Wake very early in the morning? Have nightmares or night terrors? Feed more in the night than during the day? There are so many different sleep problems and if your baby or child is having difficulties, you can help them. Below are my tried and tested top tips. 1. Newborns should be fed and held as much as they need. You need to build a trusting bond. 2. When you’re ready [around 6 weeks], introduce a simple bedtime routine. Familiar steps leading to bed time will help them to feel sleepy and safe. Include a nightly bath.

A newborn will generally sleep up to 18 hours and it is an important time for their development. Many baby beds come with a foam mattress included but it’s worth checking the quality of this. A firm and flat mattress is recommended by experts for safer sleep. Your baby’s mattress should be in good condition and fit the Moses basket or cot properly. Natural fibre or organic mattresses can provide superior breathability to foam mattresses, helping your baby regulate their body temperature throughout the night. They tend to be chemical free and don’t contain synthetic foams so they are thought to be the healthier option and better suited for babies with allergies or asthma. In 2001, Naturalmat were the first company to make an entirely natural baby mattress that met all British standards without any glues, chemical fire retardants or synthetics of any kind. To this day, the Coco Mat is still made by hand in the same Devon factory, on the banks of the River Exe. Designed for use from newborn up to 5 years old and available in all sizes, plus made to measure. Save 10% with code MUMS at www.naturalmat. (ends 31.05.18).

3. Discourage falling asleep over the bedtime milk. Introduce a little picture book after the feed and before going into the cot. This will break the milk/sleep association which often causes unnecessary night wakings. 4. After the early weeks, don’t rock them to sleep, or they may panic when they wake later and you’re gone. 5. If they cry when put into the cot, stay beside them, patting and reassuring. In time, you can gradually withdraw until they are able to settle alone.

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Made by Hand in Devon

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S on lin e Q uo te M UM ffe r (o re sto in or 18) en ds 31.05.

6. Babies wake often in the night, with the sleep cycles. They will re settle happily if they’ve slept independently at the beginning of the night. 7. Get the naps right. Your baby needs to be tired at bedtime but not overtired.

the perfect place for a natural night’s sleep

8. Teach them that the cot is a safe and permanent sleeping place and not just a holding pen until they get in with you! 9. Exposure to morning light sets the body clock and aids good sleeping. 10.Make bed time a happy time of day! Give lots of cuddles and smiles to help them to fall asleep feeling secure and happy. Copyright Andrea Grace 2018

• • •

natural mattresses organic bedding contemporary furniture

Notting Hill Baby Boutique 99 Talbot Road London W11 2AT

0207 985 0474

Mums Magazine Sprinng 2018 Naturalmat_MUMS_ad_80x120_Apr18 AW.indd 1


05/03/2018 10:19

a child who is not getting adequate daytime sleep, will be over tired and thus have a harder time settle to sleep, more disturbed nights and likely early rising around 4.30/5.00 a.m.

5 Steps To Help Your Children Sleep Soundly

By Founder of The Sleep Nanny® Lucy Shrimpton

4. Teach your child to self settle

We all need sleep, it’s essential for our health, immune systems, development and our sanity! So what can you do when those little sleep stealers are keeping you up at night? And what about the impact it has on their well-being too! 1. Routine Get a simple bedtime routine in place as early as age 2-3 weeks. If you haven’t already, start one tonight. A good routine consists of the same steps happening in the same order every night. A routine acts as a trigger or a cue that sleep time is coming and helps a child prepare to settle down. Try to be consistent with bedtime as much as possible. 2. Consistency Consistent responses to your little one will help him to know what he is supposed to do and help him learn to become a great little sleeper. If he is not allowed in your bed most of the time but you allow him to come in with you after 5a.m, this will cause confusion. It has to be black or white. If you say no to a toddler request 10 times and then cave in, you teach them to hold out longer and harder next time. It’s called intermittent reinforcement and it’s a sure way to ‘create a monster’! 3. Over tiredness If you think wearing your child out will help him sleep better at night, you’re in trouble. Once in a while you may see a big catch up sleep from exhaustion but generally, 14

Mums Magazine Spring 2018

Lucy is one of the world’s leading child sleep experts and has helped hundreds of tired parents and children around the world to win bedtime battles and finally gain the gift of a good night’s sleep. Lucy Shrimpton is an author, speaker, trainer and mother of two who knows first hand what it is like to feel extreme sleep deprivation and face challenges with infant sleep. She believes that every family can have a healthier and happier life with improved sleep. Founder of The Sleep Nanny® and author of the best seller ‘The Sleep Nanny System’ Lucy has gone on to develop her own Sleep Nanny Certification p r o g r a m m e and has built a team of licensee consultants. Combining insights from psychology, sleep, parenting and wellness, Lucy is able to help mothers all over the world to live happy, healthy and fulfilling lives

Putting oneself to sleep is a learned skill. It does not mean you need to leave your child to cry or get into a state. There are many gentle and responsive ways to help your child develop this skill that are in line with his developmental readiness. 5 Ask for help Don’t try to figure this out alone, there is no badge of honour for suffering through this precious time. Expert help is available and you can get on with enjoying your little ones and feeling great while protecting the whole family’s health, well-being and happiness. Lucy Shrimpton (The Sleep Nanny®) Author of The Sleep Nanny System

EDITOR’S CHOICE A SLEEPYHEAD® is top of many new parents’ list of must-haves for increasing the chances of a good night’s sleep. And for good reason, as the awardwinning pod system is useful as a cribreducer and for creating a cosy, secure sleep space. RRP £130.00 Available from John Lewis, Mother Care, Boots and Harrods.

Mums Magazine Sprinng 2018


BABY READY A round up of the most useful parenting products and services to help you adapt to new parenhood

Introducing... Babynizer

Your one stop shop for everything you need to prepare for your new arrival! Having a baby, especially for the first time can be extremely daunting and we are here to relieve the pressure. We help future mums choose their baby equipment, set up their nursery or even pack their hospital bag. Here are the main areas where we can help: - One-on-one services: We will come to your house and assess your situation to better understand your needs. During this consultation we will ask you a series of questions which will enable us to help you choose your baby equipment. We can then take you to the shops and demonstrate some of the items chosen together while you sit and relax. Going to a nursery shop is much more effective when you have done this preliminary work. The third part of this service is a personal shopping one where we buy, deliver and assemble all the items for you. - Workshops: We deliver a series of workshops to help you get organised before the arrival of your baby. The first workshop is called "Baby equipment: What is really essential to you?" To check dates and book your space, visit -Hospital bags: We make pre-packed hospital bags which include all the essentials for you and baby during your hospital stay. You can either choose the essentials to be packed in a changing bag or in a travel bag. We also have a "no bag" option with our hospital bag bundles. Visit to browse our range. 16

Mums Magazine Spring 2018


This uniquely-shaped pillow naturally cradles and supports your baby’s head and body and alows them to safely lie without any straps or buckles. The gentle angle is perfect for babies with reflux too! £59.95 RRP



Most stylish

A comfortable, supportive and practical bra is essential for breastfeeding, as the last thing you’ll need is a battle for access when you’ve got a hungry baby demanding a feed. The Shnuggle Squishy Changing Mat is a super soft changing mat made from warm-to-touch foam for the most comfortable and safe nappy changes. Squishy Changing Mat £44.95 These black Postnatal Support Leggings (£21 from www. are a post-pregnancy essential, forming the foundation of many outfits with a seamless style that is designed to be gentle on delicate or sensitive skin.

Doulara Nursing Bra This 2-Pack of Maternity & Nursing Sleep Bras are super comfortable and fantastic for gentle night time support, while the crossover front is easy to pull aside for feeding access. 2-Pack Maternity & Nursing Sleep Bras £19.00 w w w . jjomamanbebe,

Something’s gotta give... The top challenges new parents think they face on a day to day basis are keeping up with chores (53.8%), getting enough sleep (52.2%) and finding time to spend with their partner (38.4%), according to research by Graco (

PILLOW TALK The My Brest Friend Original Nursing Pillow was developed in a laboratory of new moms, babies, and b re a s t f e e d i n g experts who set out to create a nursing pillow whose sole purpose was to answer all the needs of nursing moms and babies. Available in John Lewis

OUR PICK OF THE BEST NURSING CUSHIONS The Theraline nursing cushion makes breastfeeding more comfortable with its nnovative shape and flexible and stable filling.

Mums Magazine Sprinng 2018



CARiFiT specialise in babywearing workouts online that you can view on your laptop, tablet or mobile anytime you need them. The approach is 100% flexible around your ever changing routine, and of course no childcare is needed as your amazing new baby will be snuggled right next to you!


mummy If you’re struggling to find the time or opportunity for exercise in between caring for a little one, these babyfriendly workout solutions might just be the answer... New mums wanting to incorporate exercise into their daily routine may find themselves up against some difficult (but thankfullly not entirely impossible) stumbling blocks, not least of which is a lack of time, or more specifically ‘alone’ time. Chances are if your baby is very young, they’ll be with you at all times, making ‘baby wearing’ workouts (or ones where they can watch/tag along) the only real answer regular exercise. Given these challenges, it would be all too easy not to bother, but with the benefits of regular activity shown to help restore physical strength and confidence post-birth, even the smallest effort is well worth putting in. So what are the options for mums wanting to work exercise into their daily parenting routine? The MUTU System The MUTU System is an awardwinning restorative online postpartum exercise and health programme that’s recommended by


Mums Magazine Spring 2018

doctors and pelvic health specialists. Founded in 2010 by Wendy Powell Dip PT, an internationally renowned and certified postpartum exercise specialist and mother of two, MUTU System already has more than 40,000 members worldwide. The programme consists of 12 modules that gently restore and strengthen the body after birth to prevent and rectify issues such as a weak pelvic floor and Diastasis Recti. This affects more than half of mothers and happens when the abdominal muscles separate during pregnancy and don’t completely heal by six months or beyond after delivery.The new programme gives women specialist advice on healing their postpartum bodies, all from the comfort of their own homes. In addition to a series of high-quality coaching videos, workout videos and imagery to guide women through the programme, it also supports women during pregnancy and those who have experienced prolapse. For further information, please visit

FAST FITNESS By Mirka Moore Multi Award Nominated Blogger & Digital Influencer

As a full-time mum and fitness blogger, I often get asked how I manage to incorporate exercise into my busy parenting life. Here are my top 5 tips: 1. Find an activity you enjoy - This is more important than many people think. There are so many different ways to exercise, and everyone is different. Try a few and find the one/ones that makes you smile too. 2. The power of walking Walking is a great way to exercise and will cost you nothing. Ditch the car and walk whenever possible. This is also an activity you can do with your family, whatever the weather. Who does not like jumping in muddy puddles?

3. Fitness tracker - With so many different gadgets on the market you don’t need to spend loads of money. Just get a basic one that will keep track of your steps. This will motivate you to reach your daily goals, and maybe even do more and get fitter and fitter. 4. Sign-up for a challenge - It doesn’t have to be running a marathon (but it can if you are after a harder challenge). Maybe a muddy 5km local run? That way you will be aiming for a goal, and it will be much harder to skip your exercises as nobody likes to fail. 5. Find the time - One of the hardest things for a busy parent. If you cannot fit in a 30 minute session every day, break it into 10 minutes sessions throughout the day. Every little counts. http://allbabyadvice-blog. com/

Get kitted out Innovative new maternity brand Kalilawear combines Italian design with British style to launch their versatile active-wear. Leading with their signature jacket and pants, created to encourage women to stay active. Kalilawear is especially designed for fit and comfort during pregnancy. Thoughtful features ensure peace of mind for both mum and baby. Carefully located baby-safe pockets in both the jacket and pants keep mobile devices away from baby. Zip open panels enable the jacket to grow with your bump, and zip down for post pregnancy. A supportive over-the-bump band ensure the pants nurture your changing shape. With 5% of profits donated to maternal health initiatives, Kalilawear helps mums support mums.

PARENTING A workout in itself Contrary to the myth that maternity and paternity leave is a restful break from the rat race, new research from Graco reveals how active new parents are compared to office workers who regularly exercise. According to the research new parents spend an average of nearly eight hours a day on their feet, with nearly a third (30%) spending more than 10 hours on their feet each day. This is equivalent to walking nearly a whole marathon (20.5 miles) each week. In comparison, office workers who regularly hit the gym lead a much more sedentary lifestyle, spending an average of just five hours a day on their feet with nearly half of those polled (46%) spending less than four hours a day up and about. On a normal day, parents can carry up to 6kg so when this is combined with the additional weight of a baby, this tots up to over 17.5kg –the equivalent of lugging around a heavy suitcase! This compares to the 5kgs that an office workers could be carrying around on an average day. In addition, parents carry their little ones for approximately two and a half hours each day with nearly one in seven (13%) spending over four hours each day carrying their bundles of joy. Parenting author and mum-of-two Tanith Carey, said: “Becoming a parent is one of the biggest life changes a person can experience. As well the physical demands, you have the added pressure of being responsible for a whole new person!”

Mums Magazine Sprinng 2018


“ DITCH theDIET “ Why I decided to

By Parenting & Lifestyle Blogger

Laura Summers

Dieting seems to have become an intrinsic part of modern society. Half of my Facebook feed seems to be on one, about to go on one, or berating themselves about falling off of one. There’s probably not a lot I couldn’t tell you about diets, and there’s very few I haven’t tried in my adult life. Counting, weighing, carbs, no carbs, shakes, you know the drill. Everywhere you look nowadays we are bombarded by images of perfect bodies and advertisements promising to give us the best body, from diets to exercise regimes, pills and miracle teas. But what if there was another way? I think in the interests of honesty, as I write this I should tell you that at present at a size 18, my BMI is not in the healthy range. But, back in September 2016, I decided that after 20 years of being on and off a diet, I could diet no longer. It was time to change my relationship with food, but also to find some acceptance with my own body. Do diets work? On the surface of things yes. Restrict your food and calorie intake, increase your activity and you’ll lose weight. I’ve probably lost in excess of twenty stone in my life time. The problem is, I have always, always put it back on again. For me dieting leads to a cycle, I restrict, I ban foods, I lose weight, I buy clothes that don’t fit me and plan on wearing them to events in the future. I rarely get into them. I eat well for a while, then all of my plans start to crumble. It starts with the odd thing here and there, until my food becomes just a big mess. I got the point that I actually began to wonder if I had an eating disorder, it was just that out of control. The cycle of dieting was impacting my mental health and I decided enough was enough. I haven’t given up in the least of getting into a healthy weight range, but I had to realise dieting was not the way to go about this. I had to make small changes, small real-life changes for all time. But I also had to find acceptance that this 20

Mums Magazine Spring 2018

process was going to be slow, it may even take years, but it’s about committing to change things forever, not quick fix shot in the pan solutions. Here are my tips for how I have changed my relationship with food and ditched the diet from my life. Start with Maintaining your Weight When I first decided to ‘ditch the diet’ the first goal I set myself was to maintain my current weight. It’s something I have never really honestly done in my adult life. I always lost a bit, gained a bit but never remained consistent. I set about learning what was a healthy amount of food to eat a day. It wasn’t perfect at first, but for a year now until I found out I was pregnant in October I managed to maintain my weight. My current target is not to gain too much during my pregnancy and once I have recovered I will look at tweaking my food portions slowly. No Food is Taboo, but Treat Treats like Treats Remember, you’re not on a diet. No food is taboo, the amount of times I went out to dinner or for a picnic with my children and refused to eat proper food with them. Then I would end up going home and eating something I shouldn’t anyway. So now I allow myself treats, to have dessert when we eat out, but at the same time I remember that treats are treats. Some foods are not meant to be eaten every day and there is a reason for that. If you need to set some rules, do, but at the same time remove the shame around eating certain foods. Exercise Does Not Need to be Punishment You do not need to fork out for an expensive gym membership or drag yourself to a fitness class that makes you feel utterly miserable. This is about making changes for life and finding something that you enjoy.

The average Briton will start (and FAIL) a staggering 189 diets in their lifetime, according to a new study. The survey also showed Brits stick to a diet on average for just seven weeks in total


LEADING DIETITIAN DEBUNKS TOP WEIGHT LOSS MYTHS According to research, women will embark on 130 diets in a lifetime. When we’re looking to lose weight, it’s tempting to try all of the diet trends which promise quick results. But do they actually work? Dietitian, Nicole Berberian at the Streamline Surgical Clinic (London) de-bunks common weight loss myths and separates fact from fiction.

For me, it’s been all about the walking, I have a target of steps I like to reach a day, I also never allow myself to drive the school run and have stuck to it. Youtube is also great for free fitness tutorials you can do at home too. Moderate Portion Sizes and Reduce Sugar A really simple thing I started with here was breakfast cereal. I used to eat a bowl heaped with breakfast cereal. I never looked at the sugar content of this cereal and the first time I did I was shocked. The healthy granola I thought I was eating actually contained 14.5g of sugar per 40g bowlful. Adults are only meant to have 25g of sugar per day, so in reality as I was definitely having more than a 40g bowlful I was having my entire RDA of sugar at breakfast time. So I researched different types of muesli and granola and found a low sugar alternative and started reducing my portion a spoonful at a time until I got to a healthier bowl size. Create a Meal Plan that Works For you I find that a food plan helps me. I’ve had to adapt this since I have become pregnant especially around morning sickness, but my general rule of thumb is three meals and one snack per day. Knowing when I eat and that I can have a snack in the afternoon when I get hungry just helps me to regulate my eating and reduce snacking which can get out of control. Accept You for You and Take out the Shame No one is perfect and even the models you see in magazines aren’t. In fact, they’re not even real they are so airbrushed most of their appearances are not even physically possible. Stop feeling ashamed of yourself, looking in the mirror and pointing out all of the parts of you you hate, and hiding away from that camera. Live in the moment, enjoy life and work slowly and surely towards a healthy life. Laura’s Lovely Blog is a parenting, lifestyle and book blog. Run by Bracknell based Laura, a Mum of two, currently expecting baby number 3 in June 2018. She writes honestly about parenting and education and is very passionate about books and reading. A lover of lovely things, she also firmly believes in making time for yourself as a parent and the power of gratitude.

EATING FAT MAKES YOU FAT “While it is true that fat is a high source of calories, having some healthy fats in each meal is useful as long as you keep a check on the amounts consumed. Olive oil, nuts and avocado are all related to health benefits. A little fat in each meal ensures the vitamins A, D, E and K can be absorbed, as well as keeping you fuller for longer and being important to food tasting good”. WEIGHT GAIN IS GENETIC – I’LL NEVER LOSE WEIGHT. “While it is true that some people may be more predisposed to gaining weight than others, your lifestyle will still overrule this. This just means that those people with a genetic component need to take more care of getting a good balance, rather than use it as an excuse to do less. Even if you are a specific gene carrier, these can be switched on or off by the choices you make – so even more reason to find a long term lifestyle pattern”. IT’S A NEW DIET TREND – SO IT MUST BE GOOD “Many diet fad diets are just not sustainable in the long term and have the opposite result of driving the mind to crave what it can’t have. The force to eat can be powerful and the rebound weight gain after an unrealistic and imbalanced diet fad is common. If it’s healthy, balanced and sustainable – you are likely to be happier and get the results long term”. READ MORE

Mums Magazine Sprinng 2018



Mums Magazine Spring 2018

One of the symptoms associated with the menopause is a weakening of the pelvic floor muscles, and Television presenter Carol Smillie, is determined to tackle the taboo of this issue. She has come up with some tips on how to handle those little leaks, and become healthier and happier this spring:​ 1) Strengthen your pelvic floor muscles – squeeze your pelvic muscles once a day, 10-15 times in a row, holding each squeeze for a few seconds. Make sure you’re in a comfortable position and add more squeezes as you get used to the exercise. Don’t expect overnight results but if you stick to it you will notice positive changes in just a few months! 2) Be mindful of the amount of liquids you consume – it’s incredibly important to stay hydrated when exercising but ensure you swap caffeinated drinks for water. Caffeine irritates the bladder leading to leaks and often making stress incontinence worse. 3) Weight managament – being overweight is known to weaken your pelvic floor muscles because of the pressure of the excess tissue on your bladder. 4) Swap high-impact for low-impact – certain exercises such as running and HIT training will put increased pressure on your bladder and can lead to leaks. Classes focussing on stretching and strengthening (Yoga and Pilates for example) can be a great alternative and are an amazing way to tone too! 5) Be selective with your exercise – lifting is known to put a strain on your pelvic muscles so why not go for a brisk walk with a friend instead? I love going on long walks with my husband and dog, and find a daily walk is a fantastic way to look and feel good! If you are doing exercise involving lifting remember to tighten your pelvic floor muscles before with the above technique. 6) Pretty Clever Pants perfect for catching any little leaks. Protective underwear with a secret waterproof layer, they look and feel exactly like normal knickers. They’re super soft, comfortable, machine washable and allow you to concentrate on your personal best You’ve got no excuses now! (www.prettycleverpants. com).

‘Knowledge is power – but also is having someone who understands’

Michelle Heaton discusses her struggle with early menopause, and the importance of talking when it comes to mental health

Last year I embarked upon a new challenge – writing a book. It’s now finished and due out in early May, and it’s one of things I’m most proud of in my career. It took a lot of hard work, determination, writing in between school pick-ups, kids parties and when they were in bed at 8pm. The main subject matter is menopause – early menopause to be exact and what the challenges are at the moment going through this as a young mother of two children under 6. It was an emotional journey – it’s not something that we are naturally meant to go through whilst raising children. The mood swings and depression have been my challenges whilst holding down a job and raising a family. It’s been hard for them too and although difficult at times, writing it was actually cathartic and helped me face issues I didn’t really know I had. So I’ve said it before – but talk. It doesn’t matter if it’s your friend, husband, mother or someone totally unrelated to you can quite often be a better option. Or write it down like me. But say it out loud and let’s all start talking more. Even if it is that word ‘menopause’ - something that we as women will all go through if we reach a certain age. But it’s still a taboo word – you don’t want to think about it and then one day. Bam. There it is! Knowledge is power – but also is having someone who understands. I hope you enjoy my journey – if nothing else, it’s honest.

DONT MISS... Hot Flush: Motherhood, the Menopause and Me by Michelle Heaton is published on 3rd May 2018 by Michael O’Mara Books (Hardback, £18.99) Mums Magazine Sprinng 2018


Safe as


HOUSES Mums Magazine Spring 2018

The ultimate guide to baby-proofing your home

Babyproofing is essential for little toddlers - their inquisitive nature does not mix well with the hazards found in every home. The Fred range provides lots of durable and easy-to-fit solutions that discreetly fit throughout your home to give you peace of mind while those little ones run around.

chemicals, medicines, knives and other sharp or breakable objects when deciding which cupboards to lock up. All the Fred cupboard locks fit with powerful adhesive as we know how much hassle using screws can be.

CORNER PROTECTORS £6.99 Pack of 8 Available in Pure White or Dark Grey We all know that gut wrenching fear when your little one runs dangerously close to a sharp table corner! Give yourself peace of mind by using corner protectors. When Fred’s adhesive corner protectors are stuck in place, they stay in place and are thin enough to protect both the top and underside of a table corner.

INVISIBLE MAGNET LOCK £12.99 Pack of 2 When only a proper lock will do, Fred’s Invisible Magnet Lock hides inside your cupboards and drawers and is quick to fit with a unique tool that does all the tricky lining up for you. Access to the cupboard is only possible when using the special magnetic key, and it automatic locks as the cupboard closes.

SAFETY GATES From £120-150.00 Safety gates have become stylish! Combining contemporary modern design with uncompromising levels of safety, Fred has created the Clear-View Screw Fit and Pressure Fit Stair Gates. Strong and durable, these gates are also much easier to fit than traditional designs. Screw-fit gates can be used anywhere in the home including the top of the stairs. Every week over 100 of our under 5’s are hospitalised for accidental poisoning, so this where cupboard and drawer locks come in. It seems a bit bewildering at first as there are so many to choose from, but if you stop and consider how many shapes and sizes of cupboards and drawers there are it is hardly surprising! Some fit inside the cupboard, others are visible on the outside – think

Every house has plug sockets, 50% of which are never used, and these act as a magnet for toddlers who will copy you and try to plug things in – anything from hair straighteners to electric fires. Child-proof your sockets with these smooth ‘no grip’ covers. The clever two-step lift and pull mechanism makes them adult friendly.

DOOR SLAM STOPPER £5.99 Pack of 2 Pure White or Dark Grey Tiny fingers get trapped in closing doors in the blink of an eye! To prevent this, Fred’s Door Slam Stopper sits on either the top or the side of the door and stops it from shutting fully. The Slam Stopper clamps firmly onto doors up to 45mm thick and comes with an EZDock to safely store it at night (when doors should be kept closed for fire safety).

DOUBLE DOOR BLOCK £5.99 Pack of 2 Pure White or Dark Grey Fred’s Double Door Block needs a strong a 2-way squeeze to remove, impossible for little ones to achieve. Unlike traditional double door systems, it won’t be possible for a toddler to pull the doors slightly open, so no finger traps. shop-by-brand/fred-64/fredadhesive-double-door-block.html l SOCKET COVERS £4.99 Pack of 6 Pure White

DRAWER CATCHES £5.99 Pack of 2 top drawer catches or £4.99 Pack of 2 Lower Drawer Catches Hidden out of sight and designed for drawers (and cupboards) the Fred catches take just seconds to fit. Automatic locking, and finger proof catches. Use the Top Drawer Catches where there is an overhanging worktop, the Lower ones everywhere else. Mums Magazine Sprinng 2018


Culture club With family holiday habits having shifted in favour of ensuring that children experience different cultures and new educational activities, where are the top places to visit this summer?


IS THE TRADITIONAL FAMILY HOLIDAY A THING OF THE PAST? New research commissioned by holiday experts CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association), has revealed how family holidays in 2018 will be less about lazing around the pool, and more about making sure children soak up the culture and history of the places they visit. When asked, more than four in five (81%) of parents said it’s important to them that their children experience local food, seven in ten said that ensuring their children visit local landmarks to learn about the history of the destinations they visit is a priority and 68% said they want their children to learn about the culture. Meeting children from different countries around the world (57%) and learning to speak the local language (40%) were also key motivators for parents when planning the family holiday. The research has revealed that 2018 will be the year of the ‘educational holiday’ for British kids. The majority of parents when asked said they wouldn’t miss some of the more traditional offerings for children if they were not available. Almost two thirds (61%) said they would not be disappointed if kids’ menus were not an option during their trip and as many as seven in 10 (70%) said they would not care if kids’ entertainers were not available. In fact, almost half (49%) claimed they wouldn’t be disappointed even if their chosen holiday did not give their family access to a kids’ pool or water slides. 26

Mums Magazine Spring 2018

I’ll be honest, Rome’s not hugely childfriendly. Children quickly get bored with museums and monuments, so pick and choose the more child-friendly places to visit to make your time in this beautiful city as interesting as possible. Start at The Vatican. It’s absolutely beautiful, but really with kids it’s not worth queuing to look inside unless your children are really patient (mine weren’t!). So grab a map and head to the beautiful Ponte Sant’Angelo, taking time to pull a few faces at the statues dotted across the bridge. Head to the Pantheon and pause at the lovely Piazza della Rotonda (good place to grab a well-earned gelato here) before striking out towards the Trevi Fountain. Make sure everyone throws a coin into the fountain (backwards, right hand over the left shoulder – no cheating!) to ensure a return visit. Next, head to the Spanish Steps and check out the beautiful views of the city from the top. Now’s the time to grab a taxi – it’s a long walk to the Collisseum, but well worth a visit and the queue to go inside and pretend you’re all gladiators. Round your day off with a proper Italian pizza and a well-deserved sit down. You earned it! r>>

TRAVEL TIPS Leaving in plenty of time, filling the car with toys and games to amuse the kids and taking a 15- minute break every two hours are among parent’s tips for stress-free travel A well-stocked picnic bag for the journey will also ensure the trip passes by pleasantly. The tips emerged following a study carried out among 2,000 mums and dads. David Carter from Accident Advice Helpline, which commissioned the research, said: “We're happy to see that leaving extra time for your journey was voted the number one tip for a stress-free car journey, it’s great advice.Some basic preparation for the journey ahead is the best a way for parents to minimize stress on the roads. Also, make sure your tyres are in good condition and are properly inflated, and your oil, coolant and screen wash are at the right levels."

By Emma Elsworthy

ROAD TRIP ESSENTIAL LittleLife’s new Car Seat Organiser is the perfect companion for keeping kids happy and occupied when they are spending several hours trapped in the car. The Car Seat Organiser attaches easily to the back of the front seat thanks to a sturdy, buckled loop and includes a clear pouch for a tablet or iPad at the top, as well as multiple pouches and compartments for toys and games as well as snacks, drinks and wet wipes.

SINGLE PARENT TRAVEL Virgin Holidays and Elite Island Resorts Caribbean have partnered to launch ‘singleparent’ holidays in an ambitious first for the long-haul holiday market. The current pricing structure of long-haul holidays is usually based on two adults sharing one room. In the instance that a single parent travels with one child, the child would pay an adult rate as the cost of the room doesn’t take child occupancy into consideration. The new agreed pricing structure offers a reduction for the second occupant when they are a child.

AND RELAX... Enjoy a week of total relaxation with the family in Suffolk at Wilderness – a 5,000-acre private estate and home to luxury manors, country houses, farmhouses and cottages. Located just twohours from London on the train, Wilderness offers the perfect escape to the country. Wilderness is home a variety of properties perfect for family stays, including the The Clockhouse, a former Georgian coach house, which has 4 beautifully decorated en-suite bedrooms.

Virgin Holidays has negotiated this partnership on a ‘free-sale’ model at ten resorts across the Caribbean – including all four resorts within the Elite Island Resorts Collection that offer family-friendly holidays.

EPIC FAMILY ADVENTURES If your family is looking for an adventure, the ‘Bright Lights and Golden Sands’ holiday to Vietnam with new tour operator VIVID Travel is just the ticket. Starting out in Hanoi you’ll experience the best of the capital city before enjoying a two-night cruise around Halong Bay. Guests will then head to Hoi An to explore the city by bicycle before travelling to Saigon via a visit to the Cu Chi tunnels to hear how residents utilised the underground network throughout the war era. During the 15-day trip, the whole family can lunch with locals, practice tai chi on a boat, kayak down rivers and relax on the white sands of Lang Co. The Bright Lights and Golden Sands 15-day trip with VIVID Travel costs from £2,741 per person based on a family of four in interconnecting or family rooms and a family cabin on the Halong Bay cruise, travelling between 1 May and 30 September 2018. Mums Magazine Sprinng 2018



No more




There are some days when I feel like I have all of my ducks in a row - the washing is done, the sofa cushions are nicely plumped and my sink is nice and shiny. Then there are days when my house is littered with teeny tiny pieces of LEGO. You can picture the scene, there I am trying to manoeuvre myself through to the sofa, wincing in pain with every step! As a mum of three, you might imagine that most of the time my house leans towards the messy side of things but actually, we have great routines in place that mean we live a fairly clutter-free life. People never believe me, but as soon as I share a few tips they soon see that they could do the same! 5 Tips for living a clutter-free life with kids 1. Get the kids involved. From a young age, mine have been putting their own clothes away and tidying their toys at the end of every day. A great way to get them involved is by putting on music and announcing a 10-minute dance and tidy blitz. By making it fun, they don’t see it as a chore. Top tip: make it into a competitive game by seeing who can pick up 5 or 10 things the quickest - they love it! 2. Cut down on toys. It is one of the hardest things to do, especially when well-meaning friends and family have bought them, but it will make such a difference. If children have too many toys they will become overwhelmed and end up playing with nothing at all, but reduce the amount they have and you’ll see they use everything a lot more. Put aside a day or two and be ruthless - you can do it! 28

Mums Magazine Spring 2018

Top tip: If they put up a fight, tell them they can keep everything as long as it fits within a box/ tub etc.. So instead of 27 Barbies they can only keep the 10 that fit in the draw. It makes it easy for them to visualise the excess. 3. A home for everything. Do you feel as though you don’t have enough storage? Well, maybe it is that you actually have too much stuff for the size of the home you have. So get rid! If it doesn’t have a home and a home can’t be made - get rid of it. Start with a kitchen drawer - empty it out and chuck away the junk. Start small and work up to the bigger jobs like your clothes! Top tip: Get a box and set a timer for 5 minutes. Go around your house and anything that is out of place and you don’t particularly want to keep goes in the box. See how much you can gather and then get rid of it all - let someone else get good use out of your unwanted items. 4. Set an example. Children learn by watching the adults around them. So keep your room tidy and keep on top of your own chores. They will want to copy you and honestly, tidiness is addictive. If you don’t know where to start - shine your sink. If your sink is clean and shiny I can guarantee you will want to make the rest of the kitchen tidy... then there will be no stopping you! Top tip: Whenever you ask them to tidy, make sure to tell them that you are going to be tidying too. Show them that you are all part of a team and everyone needs to keep their own belongings in order. And remember, putting on music motivates everyone!

5 Top Tips for Minimalist Mums By Gina Caro A sustainable lifestyle & simple living blog Set Some Goals - Before you start with trying to change your life you need to have some clear goals. What exactly do you want to achieve? Do you want to be less busy? Do you want a more organised home? Do you want to simply enjoy life more? Whatever it is you want to achieve write it down and come up with a plan for how you are going to achieve your goals. Declutter your Surroundings - The one thing that has the biggest impact on our life has been decluttering. It takes time and effort to get there but once you do it can transform your life. You cannot gain clarity when you are surrounded by mess. Organisation is Key - Once you have decluttered your life it's time to organise. Every single item you own must have a home. Create zones for different areas and once you've used a certain item it must go back to its designated place. Not only does this help to keep your home tidy but it also means you spend less time searching for things as you know exactly where they are. Keep it Simple - Your children do not need to be entertained 24/7. Allow them to get bored and let them be lead by their imagination. Limit the number of clubs they go to and just stick to the classes that they really enjoy. Not only will this save you money but also reduce the pressure on you. Learn to Say No - Learning to say no can be hard but if you truly want to live a minimalistic lifestyle you need to do it. Say no to lots of social activities. Say no to new items coming into your home. By learning to say no you are reducing unnecessary pressure on yourself, giving you more time to do the things you really love.


Declutter one room at a time – This way you’ll see clear progress as you tackle and complete one task at time. It avoids getting overwhelmed. Do not be constrained by someone else’s timeline - Find the time that works for you, whether after work while watching a bit of Netflix, over the weekend, or a couple of hours here and there. This way you’ll feel motivated to do more, not get burned out by the process. Do not buy packing boxes before you’ve worked out what to keep - Organise first, buy second. If your decluttering is effective, you may find you don’t need as many storage boxes as you first thought. Do not hoard - Be completely honest with yourself about what items you really NEED. Give things away either to someone you know, or to charity – you’ll feel better for it. Try freecycle! Do not start a new task before finishing the last one - Complete each task completely before moving on – once you have decided where something is going to go, take it there. Do not forget to ask yourself: does everything have a function? - Seriously, do you really need all those DVDs when you have subscriptions to more than one online TV and film streaming service? The same goes for all those CDs. Don’t forget the scanner is your friend – Boxes of old photographs can be scanned and scored in a fraction of the space. Don’t keep clothes you never wear - Try the wardrobe hanger experiment. Turn around the hooks on all the hangers in your wardrobe. Once you wear an item, turn the hanger back the other way. After a year, get rid of any clothes on hangers still hooked on the wrong way – you don’t need them. Don’t forget to ask for another perspective - Ask for help from a work colleague or friend - they should be able to give you an objective opinion on what they think you do and don’t need. Don’t forget to use your imagination - Ask yourself: “If I was a buyer viewing this house now, would this piece of furniture put me off, or do all these items on the shelf minimise the space?” Don’t think that once you’ve organised your space you’re done Recognise your new, efficient, and logical system for processing and managing incoming and outgoing items and keep it up. Don’t go too far in search of perfection - Good is good enough. Your home will never look like a catalogue because it is actually lived in. Take time to appreciate how far you’ve come. If perfection is your goal then you will always be disappointed. Don’t forget to simplify your personal life - Decluttering your diary is essential for simplifying your life and giving yourself a bit of headspace. You can reduce your commitments and say no to nonessential things. Mums Magazine Sprinng 2018


VICKI PSARIAS I was a TV Director and Filmmaker on maternity leave when I set up my blog, Honest Mum. At the time I felt pretty lost and alone as I was struggling from a traumatic birth. I never expected blogging to become my new career but as technology grew and I realised I was earning more from my blog than my day-job, and in a flexible way that worked around my family, I pivoted to full-time blogging. I’ve not looked back since! My blog was an emotional lifeline for me back in 2010: it gave me purpose and a creative space to call my own, and later, a new career that was brimming with life-changing opportunities. I love how democratic and empowering blogging and vlogging is. I think everyone’s blog differs from each other as it’s the voice that’s unique. No blog is the same. I have created a magazine style format with personal pieces but also interviews, guest posts from other creatives and I cover various genres from food to fashion and the arts. It’s certainy a juggle, but I own my schedule which helps and whilst it’s a full time job, it works around my kids. I love that I feel stimulated every single day and no day is ever the same. The downsides have been a relatively small amount of trolling and I had to deal with libel a few months back but I’m such a positive person, I get right back up again and fearlessly keep putting my art out into the world. I can’t wait to share my book Mumboss with others (it’s out on May 3rd), hopefully inspiring many budding mumbosses out there. TOP TIP Write consistently, work hard at overcoming self-doubt by surrounding yourself with positive people who want the best for you and lift you up but most of all always think of your reader and how you can help others. Let those results keep your confidence up.

DONNA WISHART I started blogging in 2012 when we started weaning our first child. We did baby led weaning and at the time there wasn’t much information around about it so I thought it might be interesting to write about and helpful for other new parents to read. At the time I was on maternity leave from my job as a Bank Manager and when I went back to work, blogging and banking ran side by side for me until the end of 2016 when I gave up my job at the bank to blog full time. My blog has grown so much from when it started that it’s now about busy family life. It follows our adventures, days out and travels as well as insights into the more ordinary moments of our lives too. I hope that it inspires other families to go on a day out or see the adventure in the everyday moments too. Now that the blog is my job and both children are at school I find juggling everything so much easier than when one child was at nursery or when I had a day job too. Plus, up until six months ago my husband worked shifts too! I still have to be really strict with time though and be super organised to make everything work. Before I started my blog we didn’t have the money to go on big days out or travel around the UK. The blog has opened up so many opportunities for us as a family and the children have already seen so much of the country, stayed in so many hotels and been to so many places. Being able to share this life with my family is amazing and a definite perk of the job.


BLOG An insight into the secrets and lives of ten of the internet’s most successful parenting bloggers 30

Mums Magazine Spring 2018

The downside though is that work never stops. If I have a day off I have to catch up. I have to be on social media every day and even if we go on holiday for two weeks and I switch off I need to keep tabs on my emails to make sure that I have work to come back to after the holiday. There really isn’t much downtime as a blogger but I’m now living a life I love and I wouldn’t have it any other way. TOP TIP I have seen so many bloggers start writing purely because they see blogging as a quick route to ‘free stuff’ and money. I just wish it was like that. In reality you only get out of blogging what you put in and for me I had to work 35+ hours on my blog each week on top of my day job and family life in order to build up content, build a social following and increase engagement. A lot of that time I spent with no reward, no free stuff, no payment. I did it purely to build the blog and to get to the point where people did want to pay me for the work I was doing. So my advice would be - if you want to start a blog to write about your life, go for it. It may be in six months or a year or two you start getting emails offering you review products or days out. Maybe even payment. Blogging is consistent hard work. It’s fun and the best job I have ever had and it was definitely worth all the hours I put into it. But it is definitely not a quick or easy route to self employment.

HELEN WILLS Before I had my daughter Maddie, I was an operations director for a big leisure and health club chain, so I was used to being superbusy. Once I had my first child, I was still super busy, but I quickly found that talking to the four walls and a baby was never going to be enough! I’d been writing a diary for her, so when I stumbled across a parenting blog, it was a natural progression to create my own website. It was never intended to be a anything more than fun (although I did have grand ideas that I might one day write a book!), but 8 years later I’m making my living full time from writing! Actually Mummy has had a few different faces over the years. I started by writing in my daughter’s voice, which may sound odd, but the funny anecdotes of a toddler’s life and attitudes were hugely popular, and I won several awards for humour in the first few years. But when children get older, they become less hilarious, so the blog has been completely redesigned since then. I now write about being a mum of teenagers, and the new challenges that brings. I cover self-esteem and keeping kids safe online, as well as fashion, travel, and food as a family of older kids. I’m also a huge advocate of older women, having discovered that people in general - and brands especially - have a very different view of us once we pass 50, so I often write about how I handle that under the heading #50NotOut. My blog is a large part of my working day, so now that my children are at secondary school I work during school hours (once I’ve been for a run and shovelled another load into the washing machine)! I’m then fully focused on being a parent - taxi duties, homework chivvying, meal planning, etc. - until the evening,

when I’ll often sit down and carry on writing. I write for other websites too, and often have meetings in London with PR’s and brands, so it’s a varied week that keeps me busy and is never boring! The perks are many, from being asked to travel with my family to write about an experience like our Cambodia trip last summer, to being sent new product samples to give an opinion on. But that’s not why I do it. I genuinely enjoy being at the thrust of what’s going on in the world for women and families. The only downsides are those normally associated with being self-employed - all the admin, chasing invoices, and having an irregular income. But that’s more than compensated for by being able to decide my own hours. If I want to go to my child’s assembly, or take a day out to shop with my daughter over half term, I don’t have to ask anyone but myself! TOP TIP Do it! There’s a huge community of parents to support you, so if you have a story to tell, even if it’s just to your friends and family, make a start. But do it because you love writing, not because you want the ‘free stuff.’ Nothing is ever free, and producing a solid product review takes time and hard work. You never want your work to become a chore, so be sure that you really enjoy putting together your own story for others to read. It helps to have a passion for something, or a need to connect with others in the same circumstances as you. There are networks of SEN blogs, PND support, and baby loss writers, all offering advice and a place to be understood. Since my daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes I’ve written about the challenges of the condition, and a lot of parents tell me my blog has been a great support with their own diagnoses. So whatever it is you want to shout out to the world, your blog is a fantastic platform. And who knows where it might lead?! Mums Magazine Sprinng 2018


Over the years my blog has grown steadily. The content has changed, of course. Now it’s about my inept parenting of an almost-teen. It turns out that’s even harder than life with a toddler. SALLY WHITTLE Back in 2007, I was a newly single-Mum with a toddler. We’d moved from our home in Brighton to the North of England, to be nearer to family. It was great to have that support, but I missed my old friends and social life. Writing a blog really was a lifeline. It was a place to share the little stories and funny moments, as well as the challenges of raising my daughter single-handed. And in those early days there were a lot of challenges! I loved blogging because it allowed me to connect with other Mums. In the evenings, I’d often be home alone with my daughter, trying to catch up with work online. Having the blog meant there was always a friendly person to chat with, and to share a laugh with. My blog stood out because it was about laughing at the challenges of single parenting. At that time, a lot of magazines aimed at new parents were all about picture-perfect families. Married couples with steady jobs and nice homes. I didn’t see anything that felt real, or that reflected my life. My life was chaotic and unconventional. It was sometimes really hard work and scary. I think my readers liked that I was honest about those things. My posts were about things like giving my daughter cereal in a cup on the way to nursery, or her gleefully telling shop assistants that Mummy says it’s okay to take clothes out of the laundry basket if they don’t smell too bad!


Mums Magazine Spring 2018

I’m lucky that my blog has never become my job. I think that’s allowed me to keep the content very personal to me, and that means writing it has never become a chore or felt like work. To me that’s the secret of keeping a blog going long-term. You have to love telling your story, and not get pressured into feeling you “should” do this, or that. The joy of blogging is that you can fit it around other things – I can blog anywhere I have an Internet connection. Sometimes the hard thing is fitting in work, once I get sucked into Twitter or Instagram, it can be hard to concentrate on work! I love blogging. It’s allowed us to travel all over the world and have amazing experiences, from riding camels in Jordan to visiting rainforests in Costa Rica. But of course there are downsides. Blogging is a 24/7 hobby if you want it to be – so switching off can be hard. And blogging about your own life brings risks. Every time you share a story, you’re inviting the world to judge you. That can be hard when someone’s criticizing your parenting, or your baby.

SUSAN K MANN I started my blog in January 2010. I was just back from maternity leave to full-time work and struggling a bit. I had two kids - one just turned 1 and one just turned 3 and I have blogged for most of their lives. I want other parents to feel that they aren’t alone with the lows of parenting as well and the many highs. I blog in the evenings once my children have gone to bed. I get my inspiration from everything, but mainly my children. I work with PR’s on reviews, blog posts, talking about brands or items, google+ hangouts and sometimes face to face meeting. Living just outside Glasgow it makes it difficult to get to London often. The internet world makes it easier to keep in touch. TOP TIP I would tell them to go for it. Write a few posts to begin with and plan what you’d like to write about. Go with something you are passionate about and have lots to say on the matter. But, you don’t have to stick with the one subject. I blog about all aspects of my life, I have yet to run out of things to talk about. It takes time to build up a blog, look at other blogs on the subject you’ve chosen, pick a theme and go for it. You will make some wonderful friends along the way I know I have. Always be yourself, blog for yourself and don’t try to be anyone else, you are the best you.

TOP TIP If you want to be a blogger, I say just go for it. My advice though is to be YOU and blog what you love. If you love cooking and needlework, blog that. If you can’t cook but have a passion for TV box sets, blog about that. Your passion and enthusiasm will shine through, and that’s what will attract readers to your site. Secondly, do spend some time getting the look of your site right. The best content in the world is going to get ignored if the text is too small, or the pages aren’t colourful.

JO MIDDLETON I had a pretty varied work history before I started blogging, doing everything from working for my local newspaper to trust fundraising at a university. It was 2009 when I decided I wanted to give freelance journalism a shot (I’d been watching a lot of Sex And The City…) and so I started the blog really just as a marketing tool for that. I wouldn’t say I have a particular premise other than just to be myself. I like to think that whether I’m writing something very personal or writing a product review, I apply the same honest, humorous, relatable style. I guess the fact that my kids are pretty old now - 22 and 15 sets me apart from a lot of other parenting blogs. I don’t write about potty training or toys or anything like that, but I do have a lot of experience to share. I currently rent a shared office space that’s about 15 minutes walk from home, and that helps me to manage that boundary between work and home life. Of course one of the things I love about working for myself is the flexibility, so if I do want to work at home, or pop into the office outside my usual hours, then that’s okay too. The thing I love about blogging is the freedom and the variety. I love that I get to work in the morning and have no idea what might be waiting for me! Recently for example I was asked to go speed dating in London as part of a blog post - that’s surely not a real job?! I enjoy being able to set my own hours to fit around other things I want to do, plus I like getting to meet new people and try out things I might normally get the opportunity to do, from seeing behind the scenes in the chocolate factory to trying my hand at skiing. (I am NOT a natural skier is the conclusion we

can draw from that one!) TOP TIP Stay focussed on what you want to get out from it, be yourself, and try not to compare yourself to other people. It’s easy to get sucked into to looking at other blogs that you perceive as more successful, but maybe that blogger spends every evening working on their blog and that just isn’t what you want from it. LINDA HOBBIS Prior to blogging I spent over 20 years working in marketing, and 13 of those years were spent marketing legal services. I left my last job in 2007 to have my daughter Caitlin. I was 43 at the time, and Leuan came along in 2009. As an older mum, I wanted to make the most of the experience and was lucky enough to be able to be a stay at home mum.My husband travels a lot and my parents are elderly so I had a steep learning curve, In my blog I talk a lot about the experience of being an older mum and parenting tweens and teens. Mums and daughters are at the end and beginning of their fertility respectively and that raises all sorts of issues relating to age, the challenges of menopause and the onset of puberty. I think there is a lot of negative judgement of older mums which needs debunking. I find myself working till 10 pm most nights. Because I work at home, though, it does mean that persuading the kids to put their iPads down is more of a challenge when they see their parents constantly on their PCs! There’s no easy way round that one. I think non-bloggers often think it’s just about sitting down and writing but the skills I have had to learn since

leaving full time employment have been many and varied – copywriting, photography, social media management, pitching, SEO…the list is endless. That said, for any mums who are looking for a new career or who want to develop a new skill set whilst their little ones are growing up, blogging is ideal. It’s not a quick fix though but I know loads of great bloggers who combine full time employment with their blogs. I love ever aspect of blogging, but I think that’s because I am my own boss and can decide which projects are worth dedicating time to and how much to invest. We do get to visit places and receive things to review which others regard as ‘freebies’ but in reality a product review post can take around 2 hours to write, photograph and promote – and that’s without actually doing the product testing. There really is no such thing as a free lunch. TOP TIP If you want to make money from your blog it will be a long haul not a quick fix. Decide first who your blog is for, get as specific as you can and then write for them. Once you have grown an audience then you will have the luxury of diversifying a bit. You may also need to invest in selfhosting and your own domain name. Other than that just start! Mums Magazine Sprinng 2018


Long walks Walking is the ultimate way to indulge in the great outdoors - exerting enough to provide physical benefits, but not so strenuous as to feel like exercise. Baby carriers are a useful way of enjoying long walks with your baby and toddler, as they allow for a wider variety of terrains (up hill and down dale) than a buggy or push chair, whilst also allowing you to keep your hands free - whether for picking up the pace...or shopping bags!

Out & about


Easy ways to enjoy spring days

There’s nothing quite like the great outdoors for blowing away the cobwebs and boosting energy levels, and that applies to parents as well as children. We all know that where little ones are involved, getting outside is often easier said than done, but these useful products and classes make it easier to involve babies in your outdoor pursuits... or at least take them along for the ride.

Buggyfit Buggyfit Classes take place every day across the UK and Gibraltar, often in beautiful parks, national trust properties and even along the seafront. But this is no glorified coffee morning: These workouts take place come rain or shine and there’s no strolling and gossiping at the back! That’s not to say these classes aren’t sociable. It’s a great opportunity to meet other new mums and their new charges. Sessions often end with a cuppa and a gossip in the park café and maybe a well-deserved (small) piece of cake.

The PhysioCarrier offers a perfect physiological position from newborn to toddler, and has extra thick and vented padding on the belt and suspenders. There is also a rear mirror for back carrying. Available from


The Thule Sapling Elite is a safe, comfortable child transport with quick adjustment to fit both parents, viewing mirror, removable backpack, and roomy hipbelt pockets. £260


Mums Magazine Spring 2018

Sunny strolls

An early morning or late afternoon stroll is the ultimate way to enjoy a warm, sunny day! To make the most of it, a light and maneuverable pram is essential. This will allow you to stride out without any of the frustrating resistance posed by some of the heavier pram models. For easy, breezy spring-time strolling, we suggest the following two prams, perfect for if you have one or two children.

THE THULE URBAN GLIDE 2 is an all-terrain stroller with a sleek, lightweight design, making it perfect for urban exploration or strolling on your favorite path.


push and manoeuvre with one hand thanks to the front swivel wheels and tight turn radius. No terrain is too rough for these big foamfilled tires, even when the pushchair’s fully loaded or converted to a double pushchair. The expandable side luggage basket keeps essentials at hand with room to pick up more along the way. The Bugaboo Donkey² has a side luggage basket cover matching the sun canopy.




***REVIEW*** Expecting a second baby is inevitably extremely exciting, but equally somewhat daunting when all the necessary adaptations for an extra child come into consideration. Switching from a single to a double pram was the first on a long list of ‘to dos’ before our then two year old’s little sister arrived, and this process involved no end of research into the best product for the job. One of my main concerns when browsing through the multitude of designs and brands was width, since I had nightmares of the potential fluster of getting wedged in a shop doorway with an excessively wide load. However, I am pleased to say that the reality of going about everyday chores with the Bugaboo Donkey was just as easy as whizzing around with any single pram. Though sufficiently wide to accomodate two children, it is still narrow enough to be practical, with

a light-weight feel that makes it nice and nippy around corners... perfect if you’re in a hurry (which if you have two children, you probably are!) For me, a side-by-side style such as that boasted by the Donkey was the only feasible option, since I knew there was no way my toddler (who is very tall for his age) would sit willingly or comfortably in the back seat position of the more common tandem designs. Plus, I wanted to be able to see and converse with both children, something which the front facing option of this pram allows for. On particularly scenic trips out, where the toddler might enjoy being able to see the sights, the seat can be turned around for a better view of the world. Another pre-purchase concern when it came to double prams was their weight, judging by how challenging I had always found lifting just a standard pushchair in and out of a boot. Luckily, going from one to two seats didn’t demand the extra muscle power I thought it would. After taking off both carry cot and seat with two simple click/ lift actions (see video demonstration), the base unit compresses and folds down relatively simply and smoothly. In all, the Bugaboo Donkey certainly helped smooth the transition from one to two children, and made running errands and days out a breeze with its easy handing and spacious design. Mums Magazine Sprinng 2018


Keeping the kids entertained over weekends and holidays can be a costly time, but nothing inspires young minds – or stretches little legs – like the great outdoors. It’s the perfect time for kids to be kids – to celebrate the joy and freedom of their pre-teen years after months being cooped up for the winter. TK Maxx is encouraging parents across the UK to head into the great outdoors and is offering a list of the best locations to enjoy a family bonding day out at low cost or free.



kids with the

14. Bennachie Nature Trail, Inverurie – Tell them folk tales of the people who lived in the hills and fought off devils and giants. 15. Rufus Stone, New Forest – Take a picturesque walk and visit the historic Rufus Stone, the spot where King William II was fatally wounded with an arrow, during a royal hunting outing in the Forest, in the year 1100AD.

These include:

16. Doonies Farm, Aberdeen – Show the kids beautiful farmland, home to many endangered breeds of British Livestock that are at risk of extinction.

4. Beaches in Nairn, Morayshire – A superb sandy beach with beautiful views across the Moray Firth to the Black Isles and its coastline is home to a resident school of dolphins!

17. Den and The Glen, Aberdeen – Explore the park’s wonderful waterfalls and gardens, and keep an eye out for the fairy-tale and nursery rhyme characters scattered about.

5. Exploring Glencoe - A popular filming location where children can run around surrounded by the beautiful Scottish countryside. The eagle-eyed might even spot a famous wizard’s house…

18. Hazlehead Park, Aberdeen – Get lost in the maze, smell the beautiful blooms in the rose garden, play make-believe in the play area or stroke the park’s furry friends at Pets Corner.

6. Marwell Zoo, Winchester – Explore this 140 acre park and get closer to the wonders of the natural world, with 100s of animals to get up close with!

19. Portsmouth Historic Dockyard - Explore historic ships, including Lord Nelson's flagship HMS Victory, Queen Victoria's HMS Warrior 1860 and the only surviving ship from the First World War's Gallipoli Campaign, HMS M.33

7. Lepe Beach and BBQ area – Stroll through the wild flowers, see who can spot the most beautiful birds or visit the historic remains from the D-Day landing before hiring a BBQ to enjoy on the beach. 8. West Wittering Beach, Chichester – Splash around in the beautiful oceans and build sandcastles on the shores of one of the premier Blue Flag beaches in the country, with wonderful views of Chichester Harbour and the South Downs. 9. Canoe Lake – Fly down the zip wire, build sandcastles or hire a canoe and take to the lake to feed the swans.


Mums Magazine Spring 2018

The best budget locations to enjoy a family day out this spring

10. Moors Valley – Enjoy a peaceful walk or cycle ride through the Forest, experience a ride on an authentic narrow-gauge steam train or Go Ape on a high wire forest adventure swinging through the tree tops. 11. Castle Fraser, Kemnay - One of Scotland's largest tower houses. Let young imaginations run free in the Woodland Secrets play area whilst the adults enjoy an impressive portrait collection. 12. Haddo House, Ellon – Pretend to be lords and ladies as you take a tour around the home of the story-rich Gordon family, who lived here for more than 400 years. 13. Loch Morlich, Glenmore, Aviemore Scotland's only fresh water award winning beach, perfect for little ones who like to splash around, and for loch side forest walks.

ALL ABOARD Award-winning Loco2 has found that families are increasingly choosing rail travel, based on 2016-2017 booking data. Kate Andrews, Co-founder of Loco2 comments on the trend: “Going by rail is fun, comfortable, and good value when booked in advance. And put simply, kids love travelling by train. It’s far more engaging than flying – not only the excitement of the railway station and the trains themselves, but there are only so many options for eye-spy from a plane!


‘I love the freedom that having a camper van offers’ TV presenter Professor Alice Roberts

Day out with the kids outfit by Stephanie Withers

Days out often go hand in hand with lots of chasing after the boys, therefore my typical weekend outfit tends to be a casual blazer thrown over a fun graphic tee (Mango has a great selection this season), Mom jeans and some trusty converses. Packed to the brim, my Tiba + Marl backpack is never far out of reach.

“I love the freedom that having a camper van offers. It’s great to head off with just a vague plan of destinations. We’ve already enjoyed spending time in Devon and Cornwall this year, but this summer we may well head up to the Lake District and then up to the west coast of Scotland - perhaps even getting across to Ireland. I love to spend days walking on the beach, kayaking along the coast, cooking a barbecue - then tucking the kids up in bed before settling down to read and write for the evening.” Sounds idyllic. But what of the great British weather, and the damp surprises it can often throw at us? “I don’t mind rain,” says Alice. “If it wasn’t for the rain, our countryside wouldn’t be so green. And luckily, human skin is fairly waterproof!”

ONE FOR THE ROAD Enabling you to see every nook and cranny of where you travel and also letting you dictate your holiday on your own terms, the caravan or camper van has had a renaissance in the last year or so. Picking out the very best scenic and enjoyable routes for camper vans and motorhomes around the highlands, lowlands and islands of beautiful Scotland, Martin Dorey shows you what to see, where to park, what to bring, and even where to rent a camper van. Full of beautiful illustrated maps, and photographs. Take the Slow Road: Scotland MARTIN DOREY

Mums Magazine Sprinng 2018





MORE THAN just fun and games, outdoor play is having a significant effect on British children’s lives, in terms of their mood and daily habits, according to new research. 1 in 3 (32%) of British parents admitted noticing improved behaviour, sleep or mood in their children, following as little as 30 minutes of playing outside, according to a survey of 1,152 UK parents by garden and conservatory furniture e-tailer And 47% revealed that they found it considerably easier to get their offspring to go to bed following an outdoor activity. A quarter of parents state that their kids enjoy playing outside so much that they struggle to get them to come back inside once they have begun to play outdoors. 12% say their children are even keen to carry out activities outside even when it is raining. Despite this, 64% of British parents believe technology, such as laptops, smart phones and tablet devices are overused by their children.

Spring is finally here, so what better time to start making the most of your garden and local parks with these top tips for outside play

A third of this group felt so concerned about their children’s tech habits that they have already or are considering implementing rules to regulate the amount that such gadgets are used each day. Nic Jones, head of digital at, said: “It is encouraging to see the positive effects that outdoor play is having on children and that these huge benefits can be seen from as little as 30 minutes of play in the fresh air. “As well as being a great source of exercise, it encourages group play and creativity and even solo outdoor activities provides a great deal of stimulation for children and allows them to be at one with nature and their environment. “It is great that we are still aware of the benefits of getting outdoors, especially in light of today’s reliance on technology and the importance it plays in the lives of the younger generation. “Technology has a great many uses, but if not monitored correctly it can lead to children becoming quite introvert and can also lead to low mood and anger, as well as physical side effects such as tension headaches and eye strain. So how to we encourage our little ones to embrace the great outdoors more this sping? 38

Mums Magazine Spring 2018

clothe their imaginations ™

DRESS FOR THE OCCASION Kids love getting messy, but detting cold is another story. Award winning Kidunk clothes have been expertly designed to fill that gap between boring old waterproofs and impractical fashion clothes.Lightweight, breathable, comfy and easy clean - Kidunks are the perfect outfit for forest schools, nurseries, adventures in the woods, camping, festivals and craft sessions - to name but a few and can be worn indoors or outdoors. Tough, stain and water resistant. They’re unfazed by kids’ paints or by mud, grass, sand, milk, food or fizzy drinks, and as much as anything can be, they’re kidproof.


One of the most popular pieces of garden play equipment enjoyed by all young children is a sandpit. This wooden square sandpit i 1.2m (4ft) square and big enough to share but small enough not to take over the garden. £99 from

There’s nothing children enjoy more than jumping, so a garden trampoline is a good way of ensuring hours of outside fun this spring and summer. This Magnitude trampoline by Plum includes their new and inovative 3G safety enclosure which curves in at the bottom for added safety but then curves out above the trampoline to give more space for the user. www.wickentoys. £179.99

Children can create their own secret story book house at the bottom the garden with this wonky wooden playhouse. Built to fit in between existing trees, this tree-house structure has two platforms and a high ceiling. Ideal for older children, it has a door with a rectangular window and three other windows are built in to the treehouse to provide good all round vantage points. £7230


Mums Magazine Sprinng 2018



TESTING TIMES In today’s high pressured world, stress and anxiety are increasingly affecting children, but is there a way to help them manage their concerns? According to research, many parents believe their youngsters are suffering from stress caused by school issues, with two thirds believing their kids 'have it tough', with more academic pressure placed upon them than their own generation when they were growing up.I t also emerged two in five think schools put pupil’s well-being at risk by focusing too much on academic performance. Dr Antonis Kousoulis from the Mental Health Foundation, who commissioned the study to mark the launch of their new mental health in schools project, said: “From an independent study we know that 50 per cent of adult mental health problems are already established by the age of 14, and yet mental health education is still not compulsory at schools. “It is crucial that we reach young people early and give them the knowledge and skills they will need to understand and protect their mental health in today’s complex world.” The study also found 70 per cent of mums and dads agree young people should be taught about mental health at school, though one in four incorrectly believe it is already a compulsory subject. by Grant Bailey

APPY KIDS Mindful meditation brand, buddhify, has launched a new version of its bestselling app, which includes a mindfulness wheel, specifically created for kids. The benefits of kids practicing mindfulness have long since been hailed as improved concentration, reduced anxiety and increased childhood happiness to name just a few. Often the biggest challenge though, is getting children to give mindfulness a go, and this is where buddhify offers the solution. All new buddhify is available to download from the app store for a single upfront-fee of £4.99 40

Mums Magazine Spring 2018

MANAGING TEST-RELATED STRESS WITH YOUR CHILD By Charlotte Gater, Head of Curriculum at tuition provider, Explore Learning Children across the UK experience nerves, worry and stress when it comes to sitting what can be life-changing exams. It is important that we do what we can to help manage children’s concerns. So here are some parent tips: Celebrate the effort One of the main contributors to exam season stress is the fear that by not succeeding your child will be letting you down. A good way of avoiding this kind of worry is by focusing on the effort and practise that your child is doing. Celebrating the successes they achieve during their focused practise revision and reminding them if they can’t do something – “they can’t do it yet”. This encourages children to work as hard as they can in preparation, but doesn’t overwhelm them with talk of the end results. Exams are just a chance for the children to show off how much they know. Avoid clashing! Often, with a child under pressure and a parent wanting the absolute best for them, tempers can flare and arguments can result! Avoid using overly-critical language like, “If you don’t work harder, you are going to fail”, try approaching with questions to encourage your child to see the problem by themselves. “How is your revision going?”, or “What are your tricky spots?” are both good questions to ask. Take time off! At times, if tension is building, or your child is starting to feel the strain a little too much – the best thing to do can be to take a step away from the exam preparation for a while! Find something relaxing to do and forget about exam preparation. However, if there is a timetable in place make sure that it is still possible to cover everything in time. Explore Learning is an award-winning provider of English and maths tuition with 137 centres across the UK. For more information or to organize your free trial visit



SUMMING UP... + = “More Maths for Everyone”

"In the recent budget, the government committed to investing more money for maths teaching in schools. Whatever your political belief and aside from the debate about how much investment schools need, we can all get behind the chancellor’s sentiment of “more maths for everyone”. "Helping the next generation to master maths concepts, be confident mathematicians and proud problem solvers is our responsibility as educators and parents.

"This way we can help children to develop the skills needed, not only in so many jobs, but also to be financially healthy. Whilst listening to the budget speech, and the chancellor’s comments on how much the country spends on debt, it is abundantly clear that we need to teach children the importance of good financial management. This way they can grow up to have a good understanding of saving money, living costs, interest rates and the bad debt you can rack up through credit cards and loans. "Here are a few top tips you can follow with your children to help them have a good understanding of budgets: 1) Get them involved with shopping. Give them a budget to spend for the week and get them to meal plan. What ingredients will they need? How many meals do they need to make? Do they have enough funds for all the food you want to buy? Get them to think about looking at different brands or supermarkets to see if they can get more for their money. 2) Teach them about interest rates. Does your child often turn to the bank of Mum and Dad to borrow money for that new outfit/video game/phone etc that they just have to have? Give them some options. Option 1, they can either save up their pocket money or do jobs each week to earn the money which they need to save up before they can buy it. Option 2, you will give

Maths can often be a tricky subject to master, so what can we do to help children grasp the various maths concepts and be confident mathematicians?

them the money upfront, but they then have to pay you back with interest. So if they want £50 they have to give you £55 back over a set period of time. This way they will start to understand about the debt they could create by using loans. 3) Learn about pay. A really interesting activity we do with our older members at Explore Learning is to get them to research how much they would get paid for their ideal job. They then have to see how far their monthly wages would go. Looking at house prices, rents, car payments, food bills etc gets them to see how much disposable income they would have, if any! Some of the funniest comments from the students really highlight their lack of understanding over how much things cost. For example, one student had the (shocking to her) realisation that she may have to share walls with another house, or live in a flat if she wanted to buy or rent in a particularly sought after area.


"Getting your child thinking about just how much you have to spend on necessities like food and heating, will start to prepare them for future financial success. They might even start to understand that the new branded bag they are desperate for is not an essential and stop pestering you for it! You can but hope. "Let’s take the fear out of maths, relate it to real life situations and encourage children to get to grips with finances. More maths for everyone…yes please." For more information please visit

“Helping the next generation to master maths concepts, be confident mathematicians and proud problem solvers is our responsibility as educators and parents”

Whether you’re an eight year old facing an obligatory test or an out-of-practice parent floored by the prospect of bringing to mind the answer to 9X8, this helpful Times Table mug from Mclaggan Smith could be just what you need. Made of fine bone china £9.50

Mums Magazine Sprinng 2018



happy Effective ways to help prevent and treat nappy rash

There are certain trigger times1 when your baby may be more prone to nappy rash Many babies suffer from nappy rash at some time in their first 18 months. Nappy rash can be caused by prolonged contact with urine or stools, although having sensitive skin does increase propensity towards the condition. In addition, certain soaps, detergents, wipes and also chafing can be contributing factors. Nappy rash is characterised by red patches on your baby’s bottom, or the whole area may be red.The skin may look sore and feel hot to touch, and there may be spots, pimples or blisters.


Any change in diet can lead to looser stools and a greater likelihood of nappy rash affecting your baby.

Common Cold

When a baby has a cold, stools are often looser, meaning that nappy rash is more likely to occur.


A runny nose, lots of saliva and diarrhoea are often the signs of teething. It’s also a time when nappy rash can strike.

The best approach to treating nappy rash is prevention, and changing wet or soiled nappies as soon as possible can help to lessen the risk of irritation. Young babies need changing as many as 10 or 12 times a day, and older babies at least six to eight times. Be sure to clean the whole nappy area thoroughly, wiping from front to back and use plain water or baby wipes. It also helps to leave the nappy off for as long and as often as you can in order to let fresh air get to the skin. Barrier creams, such as zinc and castor oil may also help.


If your baby does get nappy rash, you can treat it with a nappy rash cream, although if the rash doesn’t go away or becomes bright red with white or red pimples, they may have a thrush infection. In this case, you’ll need to use an anti-fungal cream, available either from the pharmacist or on prescription from your GP. Ask your pharmacist or health visitor for advice.


Nappy rash is often linked to antibiotic use. Antibiotics may mildly upset the digestive system leading to diarrhoea and nappy rash.

First sleep through the night

Sleeping through the night means that nappy changing may be delayed, making nappy rash more likely to develop.

Change in diet

Such as moving on from breast milk may lead to more frequent and watery stools, potentially leading to nappy rash. Nappy rash usually starts when the baby’s delicate skin is in prolonged contact with urine and faeces in the nappy. It’s much more difficult to prevent this if your baby has diarrhoea.

is here to help!

1.Morris H, The bottom line on nappy rash, British Journal of Midwifery, September 2012, Vol 20, No 9, pages 540-543


Mums Magazine Spring 2018

is here to help! We all know how unpredictable babies can be!

Even if you follow a regular routine, no two days are the same, and there are certain trigger times1 when your baby may be more prone to nappy rash 1.Morris H, The bottom line on nappy rash, British Journal of Midwifery, September 2012, Vol 20, No 9, pages 540-543


we an ing


for Nappy Rash For occasions when it does strike, Metanium Nappy Rash Ointment can be used to treat nappy rash, relieving the irritation and redness. Metanium Nappy Rash Ointment is a medicine. Always read the label. 8749 Mums Mag


com mon cold

3 teething


antibiotic s


fi rst sle ep throug h the nig ht


change in di et


diar rhoe a


from Nappy Rash For daily protection, use Metanium Everyday Barrier Ointment or Easy Spray Barrier Lotion at every nappy change to help protect against the irritants that can cause nappy rash.


babies’ bums

Mums Magazine Sprinng 2018


FIVE WAYS TO TAME A TANTRUM Enhance your calm A tantrum isn’t just about your child. It’s about your state of mind too. If you’re stressed and short of time, if you’re feeling embarrassed or desperate to get out the door, you’re not going to be the sensitive, empathic, warm, considerate parent that you might be otherwise. The message here is to be organised and plan ahead. Put everything out in advance and don’t try to do too much in one day. Having breathing space will make things easier when the tricky situations arise. By far the most effective way to deal with a tantrum is to never let it get started. Sidestep confrontation Many tantrums occur when your child is tired, ill or just not feeling 100 percent. This is not the time for a battle of wills. Try to move things along. Do the basic minimum required, while avoiding confrontation. Leave the disciplining for a time when she can properly hear you.

How to



TANTRUM Dr Sarah Kuppen on the most effective way to handle a toddler melt-down

Use distraction Distraction is a parent’s most effective tool. When things start heading the wrong direction, pick something, anything and redirect her attention. Put on her favourite song, pick up the phone and call granny, suggest a game of hide and seek. If you can get her interested is something else, you may just avoid a meltdown. Explain yourself Even in the early years, children can appreciate an explanation. If you feel like you've said it a hundred times before, she may still need to hear it again. “Sally, please don’t bang your spoon. It makes an awful racket and damages our table. Your brother and sister don’t like it and it spoils the nice feeling we have when we eat together.” If it’s started, let it run its course If your child is in full-tantrum mode, leave her toMagazine it. Don’t try to appease, 44 Mums Spring 2018 make deals, bribes or threats.

Research shows that intervening just prolongs the tantrum. If you’re out and about, put your child in a safe place; somewhere she can’t damage any property, herself or others. Then wait it out. Eventually she will calm down. At this point you will have a much better chance of being heard and any cuddles offered may be gratefully received.

Little Kids, Big Dilemmas: Your parenting problems solved by science Paperback £14.99


minu ! s m u r t tan

Fussy eating tips from

leading children’s cookery author Annabel Karmel

If you sometimes feel like you’re the only parent with a fussy eater and everyone else’s child eats everything put in front of them, then you’re about to feel a huge sense of relief. Did you know that 90% of children go through at least one lengthy stage of fussy eating? There is evidence that food fussiness is genetically determined to an extent, but, whether or not that’s the case, you can still significantly impact their eating habits by how you deal with the situation. Only giving them the foods they enjoy will simply escalate their fussiness, and deprive them of the essential nutrients they need to grow and develop. Annabel’s 5 Golden Rules for Tackling Fussy Eating 1. Hide frustrations The golden rule is to hide any frustrations, and instead give them lots of praise when they eat well or try something new. Yes, this may mean that you have to ignore some

of their bad behaviour and instead focus your attention on their good behaviour, but they will soon find there’s not much point making a fuss if you don’t react.

be blended into such as a tomato and vegetable sauce for pasta or mashed potato with carrot. What children can’t see, they can’t pick out.

2. Healthy swaps Try and introduce tasty, healthy alternatives early on. For example, it’s no secret that children love chips so why not try baking sweet potato wedges and sprinkling with Parmesan instead? They are naturally sweet and baking them in the oven caramelises the natural flavour.

5. Persevere Kids have different preferences. There are so many foods to try so don’t fixate on one and try it again later. Your child may need to try a new food 10 to 15 times before they are willing to eat it.

3. Peer-to peer-learning Children learn from other children so, if you have friends with older kids who are past this picky-eating stage and tuck into whatever is on offer, invite them round. Simply by watching other children and adults eating the food on offer, your fussyeating tot will be motivated to try it themselves.

For lots more recipe inspiration and advice, visit www.annabelkarmel. com.

4. Hidden veggies If your child is fussy with vegetables, create recipes that vegetables can Mums Magazine Sprinng 2018


Harry, A Cat’s Tale is a whimsical story about one cat’s escapades during a dream. Full of delightfully detailed illustrations, the book is adelightful read for children and cat lovers, For more information, please visit www.austinmacauley.


‘Where’s Jane’ introduces young children to Jane Austen’s intriguing Georgian and Regency-era world. Children can enjoy spotting the main characters in ten major scenes from Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility and more. www.quartoknows. com/Ivy-Press/

The top 5 titles your kids will love this spring

Ruby Rides an Elephant is a vibrant and colourful exploration of Sri Lanka which celebrates diversity and encourages curiosity in other cultures.

The story ‘Maddie goes to Zermatt’ follows a lively pooch as she heads to the mountain topsBy author Agnieszka Fibak and illustrated by the talented Stathis Petropoulos. RRP: £8.50 per book Available from:

Written by Ruby Lovell Illustrated by Zara Merrick Published by Lychee Books 8th March 2018 Ages 3+. Hardback. £6.99.

The Day Pinot Pepper Turned Blue is the story of a cat who navigates a host of life issues, with the goal of helping children understand the importance of talking about their feelings.

The Golden Bunny of the Lake District sees Miranda the witch and her seven daughters go on an exciting adventure to the Lake District, in the third title in magical children’s book series. Available to purchase in paperback RRP £6.99 from online retailers including amazon.


Mums Magazine Spring 2018

Our pick of this season’s prettiest floral dresses






Mums Magazine Sprinng 2018




Reveals the five most common ways a break-up can affect your mental and physical health, and how to look after your wellbeing after a split Divorce and the health implications Did you know that divorce is known as the 2nd most traumatic life event after death of a loved one? So, it’s no surprise that a relationship breakdown will have a ripple effect across your whole life, including your work, parenting and friendships and also your health. During a divorce you will have to make life changing decisions about where you will live, financial issues, children, lifestyle, legal matters and much more – all this at a time when you are on an emotional rollercoaster coming to terms with the split. All this stress and tension can have a big impact on both your mental and physical health. Feeling upset, overwhelmed and sad are all normal and a natural part of your healing process. You do need to grieve the end of a relationship and to bear in mind that this is all part of the healing process. Some people will try avoid this by what I term “stuffing” their emotions. This is when you turn to other things to distract yourself so you don’t have to stop and think about the pain of the break-up. Some common methods of stuffing are: • Over eating • Drinking too much alcohol • Taking drugs • Excessive partying • Working all hours • Over exercising 48

Mums Magazine Spring 2018

These things can stop you from dealing with your break-up and will keep you stuck in an unhealthy cycle of avoidance. It’s important to allow yourself time to face your break-up head on and deal with any specific issues so that you don’t drag them forward into the future with you. It also good to understand that it is part of the process and it will pass. The 5 most common ways a breakup can affect you mental and physical health: 1. Divorce can affect your sleep patterns and you may find it harder to sleep. This can cause problems when you need to be making big decisions about your future and can compound the stress you are under. 2. Your self-esteem is often low after a break-up, especially if it wasn’t your choice for it to end or if your partner cheated on you. This can cause you to feel less confident about your looks and body. 3. You may lose your appetite and stop eating (known as the ‘Divorce Diet’). It’s important to maintain a balanced diet as a strong body will help you keep a strong mind. 4. You may start to over eat which can cause you to put on weight. When your confidence and self-esteem are already low this can be a damaging self-perpetuating circle.

5. Conflict with your ex can be all consuming and cause huge amounts of anger. This can build up and cause you to over react or take out your aggression in the wrong places. There are lots of things you can do to keep yourself healthy after a break-up and to minimise the effects it has on you: - Don’t be afraid to cry and face those negative emotions head on - Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself - Reduce the time you spend talking about the past - Refocus on the future and redesign your life just the way you want it - Plan in some fun to help you get your sparkle back - Regular exercise - Healthy balanced diet - Take small steps every day towards creating a compelling future you are excited to live - If you are struggling emotionally the get help from a professional A break-up is a golden opportunity to redesign your life just the way you want it – so it’s time to grab back your control and start getting excited about your future!

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Mums Magazine Spring 2018

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