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Overnight Safety For Your Newborn

December 1, 2015 Uncategorized

We’ve talked about all sorts to date on the blog, ranging from boiler checks to being prepared for birth with antenatal classes. Today’s post is going to be about being ready for leaving baby on his or her own,  which is one of the most traumatic experiences a new parent will face. After birth, you’ll soon start to think of your child similarly to a new limb, they’re with you all the time. The exception to that will be bed time, and while there are a huge number of differing (and quite frankly, conflicting) opinions on what is best for sleep, we’re firmly in the camp of getting your child used to going to sleep at night on their own.

Some parents like to put baby down in the living room with them as they watch TV in the evening, and carry them upstairs when they retire for the evening. There’s a couple of common problems with that, and no matter how much we admire many rituals of the earth mother brigade, this isn’t one of them! First and foremost, you’re fostering a future problem of separation anxiety in your child. If they’re used to being around you twenty four hours a day, that’s much more likely to be a problem when you finally do put them in their own room. What’s more, they become used to the background noise of the TV or your conversation to soothe them into the land of nod, and again, that won’t be present later. We fully understand that you’re going to be worried about you child for the first few nights, as you leave the room in the dark and close the door. You might even have to start the tough love early and help them to understand that they’re safe in their bed without mummy or daddy in view. That’s probably not the biggest barrier to a peaceful house after your baby’s bedtime though, it’s far more likely to be your over active imagination, worrying about whether they’re ok, breathing normally and so on. Fortunately, we like in a time where technology solves much of this. You can now get an inexpensive video baby monitor (see http://www.videobabymonitorzone.com/ for reviews) that will allow you to watch your child from a distance, and even movement sensor pads to reassure you that they’re breathing.

Some parents have found that the video monitor systems actually make them more neurotic, as they feel the need to continually stare at their screen, so you might be better suited to an audio only version if you think that might apply to you. These are also available with movement detection, so a loud alarm sounds if your baby might need urgent attention.

Becoming a parent is a stressful, but delightful experience, so put your trust in the technology that’s available, and do yourself a favour. Getting your child into good habits and solid routines from a very early age will pay dividends, and make you the envy of your friends at toddler groups and nursery that are shattered after spending hours getting their kids to sleep every night! What’s more, you’ll be able to enjoy quiet time to yourselves in the evening, and maybe get back to some of the activities you’ve been missing, maybe the odd evening out with friends, or getting back to the gym workouts! It’s important to remember that you’ve still got a life to live too – even if your child needs you throughout waking hours.

Keeping Warm This Winter

September 9, 2015 Uncategorized

About a year ago, we talked about the preparation that’s inevitably needed for a new arrival in the family, with particular focus on the layout of the home. Giving a child their own space early in life is critical, and experts claim that many children that suffer from over attachment to their parents later in life often have a pattern in their upbringing featuring late movement into their own rooms.

There’s far more to successful parenting than providing a room though, and it’s the less tangible aspects like patience and making time for watching that favourite episode of Peppa Pig over and over again that a lot of parents find a challenge from time to time.

What about hidden dangers, though? We’ve probably all gone to extreme lengths for removing the obvious hazards, and now struggle to get those plastic covers out of electrical sockets every time we try to plug the iron in. Coffee tables that the kids can fall on are probably moved (if not gone) and corners of units covered by softer pads. There’s another area that is starting to hit the news more and more frequently, and that’s the safety of the home’s heating system. Everyone’s heard the stories about leaking fumes and aware of the slow poisonous effect they can have, but very few of us can honestly say we’ve done much about it.

If you happen to live in rented accommodation, you’ll receive an annual boiler check courtesy of your landlord, as it’s a legal requirement for this to occur once a year for your safety. How many of us do the same in our own homes though? Very soon, it will be a legal requirement for landlords to provide all new tenants with something to check for problems with their property, such as a carbon monoxide alarm. Of course, it’s down to the tenants to make sure its got batteries in and placed sensibly, but this new regulation puts the responsibility of providing the means to check for fumes into the landlord’s court.

Here’s a quick rundown of what to expect from a high end carbon monoxide alarm:

Heating Rescue Twitter

Richard Shawcross provides a wide range of boiler repair and servicing options with his Heating Rescue service.

In your own home, you can pick up one of these devices very cheaply from your local supermarket, usually for under £10. You can also arrange for a local gas fitter to come and check the safety of your system too, much in the way a landlord would do for their tenants.

It’s all too common for people to realise that there’s a problem with their boiler or heating system after they fall ill, or once it’s broken down. Thankfully, the chances of fatalities these days are very low indeed, but that’s no excuse not to keep your family safe. If you’d rather use a national company, British Gas offer a wide variety of plans to cover your system, some of which will also cover the costs of repair if it does break down. Typically, using a local gas man like Richard is a cheaper option overall, but if you prefer lower monthly payments and a well known name, they’re worth looking into.

Preparing For New Arrivals

August 5, 2014 Uncategorized

There’s an undeniable link between the upcoming welcome of a new baby and the feeling that things at home need to change. We’re not talking about waving goodbye to the lie ins on a Sunday morning while watching Rimmer and Lovejoy’s Sunday Brunch, although that will almost certainly draw to a close for a few months. The change is more to do with the decor and layout of the home, which will need to change to accommodate the baby that will become the main focus for the next eighteen years.

For some, it’s as simple as decorating the nursery, if you’re lucky to have a spare room in the literal sense. If it’s a guest room rather than a spare room that you have, you might be considering giving up the study/office room that is currently under a mountain of paper, and moving the computer into the dining room. For more advanced home redesigns, you might be thinking about getting the builders in, or if you’ve got an ever growing family, fitting a new bathroom so getting a few quotes from local plumbers is on the cards.

There’s so much to consider in advance, aside from the more obvious parts about the delivery. If you’ve got kids already, don’t forget the labour speed dial. That’s not the phone number of the local hospital maternity ward, it’s far more difficult than that. You’ll need somebody very reliable that understands that babies decide to start their journey and arrive at the most unearthly time. You want someone that you know will answer their phone at quarter to four in the morning, and not roll over and go back to sleep. Unless its a neighbour, they’ll need a car, because yours will be heading for the hospital car park as soon as possible. They’ll need a car seat if your older kids need to get to school, and they’ll need to know where to point that car to get there. A good tip is to have them stay over a couple of times as a practice run, as it’ll be good for the kids to be used to waking up with your labour speed dial in the house. Even more importantly, though, it’s important for your emergency guest to see the morning routine in action. For the kids it’s going to be unnerving not to have mum and dad around, and even more to know that there’s going to be a baby taking over and ruling the roost very soon.

So there’s a great little scratch in the surface of the planning that lies ahead for you. It’s great fun having a baby, isn’t it?

Careering Towards Birth

June 6, 2014 Uncategorized

There’s nothing that’s both as exciting and scary at the same time as starting a family. Whether you’re coming to terms with an unplanned pregnancy, or meticulously following a life plan, it’s natural to feel at least a little lost as the bump grows and the big day of arrival looms. Perhaps you’ve been trying for years, and finally found success from IVF or with a little help from a fertility acupuncture specialist’s sessions, and now the mood has turned from frustrating periods when trying to conceive to the nervous but excited anticipation of your child’s entry into the world.

Of course, no-one knows exactly when the time will come, unless for some medical reason you need intervention which could be planned well in advance. What’s more likely is that you’re reading up on creating your birth plan and taking part enthusiastically in antenatal classes or even aquanatal classes.

If there’s one thing that you need to remember, it’s that you’re about to find out how many opinions there are in the world. Everyone you know is about to demonstrate how good they are at opinions, even if they hate kids, have no kids and have never even seen kids. You’ll be forgiven for thinking that you missed the class at school where they explained to everyone in great detail how to bring up children, yet everyone else remembers it perfectly (even if they all remember different rules)!

That’s not what’s going to help you though. What really helps is remembering that the human race did just fine without opinions for thousands of years, just as it did without gas and air, paracetamol, birthing pools and an epidural! If you find yourself wishing that the baby will just hurry up, why not spend some time looking in the mirror and practicing the face that looks like you’re listening while your brain is thinking “Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!….”. It’s going to happen, and it will probably be your mother in front of you, or someone else you would normally hold dear.

My dear old mum gave me the advice that I’d know I was in labour because I’d feel like I was dying. Not only was it possibly the most unhelpful thing she has ever said (particularly as advice) but it was also totally not what it felt like. Not sure why I’m surprised about that though in hindsight! Perhaps I should have just emailed the never croaking agony aunt from this morning for help with my ailments instead. Thanks mum.