Things to do in Basingstoke with a 3 year old

Things to do in Basingstoke with a 3 year old

Visit a library

Below is a list of Libraries in the North Hampshire area:

  • Aldershot Library
  • Alresford Library
  • Alton Library
  • Andover Library
  • Basingstoke Discovery Centre – Open on Sundays!!!
  • Chineham Library
  • Farnborough Library
  • Fleet Library
  • Kingsclere Library
  • North Baddesley Community Library
  • Odiham Bridewell
  • South Ham Library
  • Tadley Library
  • Whitchurch Library

Or Try out one of the following activities featured on NHM

What would you add to this list?

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitter,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

Swimming Schools and Lessons in North Hampshire

Thank you very much to Shona for putting this post together!!

Swimming Schools and Lessons in North Hampshire

Alton Sports Centre

Swimming lessons start from 3 years old (Stage 1). All lessons are taught by qualified instructors who help children to develop confidence in and around the water.

Alton Sports Centre

Judy Sporle School of Swimming

Based in Winchester, Judy Sporle provides parent and child classes (3 months – 3 years), pre-school classes (3 years – 5 years) and also after school classes (3 years plus). In the parent and child classes they provide introduction to the water, safety, songs and games and water confidence. Pre-school classes have a maximum of 4 children to a class with the teacher in the water. After school classes have a maximum of 8 children in a class and promote water confidence and teach techniques.

Judy Sporle

Turtle Tots

Operating through Reading, Wokingham and Caversham, Turtle Tots run a baby programme and a toddler programme. The baby programme can start any time from newborn to 14 months old. You learn to swim with your baby above and below the water and help teach your baby confidence in the water. The toddler programme has been designed with a set of activities including swimming technique, safety and floating. The toddler course is suitable from 18 months.

Turtle Tots

Angela’s Swim School

Angela’s Swim School has small classes to allow for individual attention and feedback from each session. They offer swimming lessons for all the family with a wide range of lessons for children, adults and babies from 4 months. There are sessions available nationwide, locally they are held at Aldershot, Petersfield, Bordon and Hook.

Angela’s Swim School

Everyone Active

Having more than 70,000 children learning to swim through their swimming Programmes, Everyone Active helps children learn the skill of swimming. They are available 50 weeks a year (2 week break over Christmas and New Year), suitable for children aged over 5 months, all teachers are DBS checked and don’t run “terms” so children can join at any point throughout the year. Locally this is run from Hart Leisure Centre in Fleet, although it is a nationwide brand.

Everyone Active

Water Babies

Water Babies is aware that swimming is one of the few things that you can do with your baby from birth. Water Babies encourages babies to swim underwater whilst having fun. They run locally across Berkshire and North Hampshire and teach from 21 swimming pools.

Water Babies

Swim Expert

Swim Expert runs from the Apollo hotel in Basingstoke. They can provide private 1-2-1 swimming lessons to improve children’s swimming more effectively as well as running small group lessons with a maximum of 3 children per class. They will do lessons for anyone over the age of 2 years.

Swim Expert

Rushmoor Royals

Rushmoor Royals provides swimming lessons from 2 ½ years old in Farnborough, Aldershot and Yateley. Lessons are held over 3 terms and normally run for 12-14 weeks. There are badges for each stage and once achieved, children can move to the next stage.

Rushmoor Royals

Kim Chapman Swimming School

This swimming school is run from Queen Mary’s College in Basingstoke. They provide adult and baby/toddler lessons from 4 months. They also do pre-school lessons for children aged over 3 years. With qualified teachers, the classes are fun using a mixture of toys, nursery rhymes and games to help children learn to swim and be confident in the water.

Kim Chapman Swimming School

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitter,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

NHM Readers: Children’s first aid course

I recently asked the Friends of  my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook if anyone could help this fellow NHM reader: “Any idea how I could get onto/find info on how to get one a children’s first aid course? Got a 3 year old and a 1 year old, and when my little one choked on a grape a few weeks ago I had no idea what to do!!! Luckily she was fine but would like to be more informed, just not sure where to start!?”

These were the responses I received. They are in no particular order. Thank you to Shona for putting this post together. 

NHM Readers suggest children’s first aid courses

Louise NHM Smith suggested Vicky at First Aid Angels Limited and also to check the local NCT website to see if they are doing any first aid courses.

Samantha said: St John’s x

Sarah said: you could try contacting local community centres or nurseries or play groups? sometimes they book a course for staff and have spaces left?

Kelsey said: We went on a free one that the children’s centres were doing. Not sure if they still are.

Marie said: First aid angels

Marie said: I’d recommend Vicky at First aid angels too. We did a group class with her at my friends house when the kids were small.

Kay said: We use Tiger Lilly for our paediatric courses at Spotlight.

Bethan said: Speak to RCS. They run safe and healthy baby courses which incorporate a paediatric first aid training session x

Cerys said: NCT run baby & child first aid courses in association with Red Cross. By coincidence, September’s are this Saturday, 2 courses, am & pm

Louise said:Baby Resuscitation highly recommend this company

Kimberley said:NCT runs great baby and child first aid courses. They are at Everest College every month.

Lucy said:I did mine at the library in basingstoke festival place… It was at a huge discount too so worth asking incase they are doing more (as this was a year and a half ago now) x

Lizzy said: We did ours at Basingstoke discovery centre & was very cheap. So definitely worth checking if they still do it.

First Aid Angels Limited thank you for your support Ladies. We offer a 2 hour parents first aid course in your own home or venue Usually on a weekday evening. We are a Qualsafe approved centre and offer accredited Paediatric and adult first aid courses too.

Lizzie said: I did the NCT Red Cross one which was really good. There’s also a “Safe & Healthy baby/toddler” course run through the children’s centres which covers loads if things including First Aid. That was free & was brilliant.

Kelly said: I have done the Tigerlillys 12hr paediatric course which is really good or they do a shorter 6hr course and a reasonable price.

Luan said: Viables have some emergency aid courses coming up and they deal with various things including choking for infants and adults. Free too! Next is Sep 20th at 2pm. Our new Birth to Beyond course starts on Monday and a first aider will be attending to cover choking, febrile convulsions etc. The course is £20 for five weeks and we will be covering all sorts of other things too. First aid for infants is in the first week. 01256 473634 Viables Community Centre or office@viables.org.uk

Peta said: First aid for life. Owner is london based but she has health care gurus all over. NCT use her (very adaptable/personalised) courses regularly.

Karen said: Nursery Rhymes Inc – St John’s

Susan said:We did ours through the Red Cross but I don’t remember any booking details.

Madeleine said: Tadley Triangle Heartstart did free courses a few years ago

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitter,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

Things to do with a baby in North Hampshire

There are so many classes for babies that you could go to. Take a look at these, bare in mind though that some of these will be pre-booked only.

Thank you VERY much to Shona for putting this post together!

Things to do with a baby in North Hampshire

Newborn classes to meet other mums

NCT Coffee groups

Basingstoke NCT runs coffee groups that meet regularly to support parents-to be and parents. Anyone is welcome, you don’t have to be a member of NCT and is open from pregnancy right up to pre-school age. Opportunities to meet other people and talk to them about their experiences and make new friends.

No fee to attend, there is a collection towards the work the NCT do.

NCT

NCT Early Days

This is a group that meets in a supportive, relaxed and friendly atmosphere to openly talk about life as a mum. You can discuss challenges, tips and the reality over the expectations you had/have. You will meet other parents, make friends and gain support and tips. Courses run over 4-6 weekly sessions for new mums. They are aimed at new mums with babies under 6months. There is a fee for this course – enquire via link below.

NCT Early Days

Little Tots Poppins

This is an Art and Messy session followed by Music and Movement.You don’t register, just pop in. The sessions are run on Thursday mornings from 9.30am to 11am and costs £3 per session. The sessions are term time only.

Little Tots Stoney Heath, White Lion Court, Hollybush Farm, Stoney Heath, Ramsdell, Tadley, RG26 5SL. 01256851398

Little Tots Poppins

Little Munchkins Baby

These are Baby Massage and Baby Yoga classes which help you to feel relaxed, happy and confident with your baby. Baby massage helps build bonds and will help you become more in tune and confident with your baby’s needs. The course is taught in 5 weekly session (1 hour long each session). Suitable from birth. It runs on a Tuesday from 11am to 12pm at Tadley Community Centre.

Little Munchkins Baby

Baby Sensory

These are nationwide so have a look online for your local session as there are quite a few in Basingstoke. They offer a musical world of sensory experiences for both parents and children. There are light shows, bells, bubbles, puppets and signing to name but a few of the activities. The class is split into three phases so there is a free play session in the middle where you can play with the toys and activities set out and sit and talk to other mums and dads. Sessions run term time only and the course is £70 per term you wish to take up.

Baby Sensory

Tots Play

This is a 6 week course suitable from birth to 6 months. You learn fun ways to play and communicate with your baby using massage, music, signing and is also a great way to meet other mums. The class runs from 11.20am to 12.20pm and you must book in advance.

Tots Play

Barn Tots

This is a friendly play session from birth to pre-school. They meet at Viables Community Centre on Tuesdays from 10am to 12pm and Thursdays from 9.45am to 11.45am. It is term time only. There are different toys each week and a great soft play area for babies. There is singing and storytime and music and movement too. It costs £2 per session and includes refreshments for adults and a cold drink, fruit and biscuits for the children.

Active Mums

This is an hour long class which starts with a warm up walk which moves up to a power walk. There are exercises throughout the class to strengthen and tone. The route is suitable for any buggy and it’s a great session to get some exercise and meet other mums. The classes run at 11am on a Monday and Wednesday at Basing Wood. It is all year round and no booking is required. 1 session is £4 or you can book 10 sessions online for £35.

Active Mums

Take a look at NHM’s activity pages too for additional classes you could go to

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Go out for something to eat

You could go out with baby for a bite to eat too. There are lots of ideas here.

Little Roses Tea Room and Gift Shop – Elm Park Garden Centre, Aldermaston Road, Pamber End, Tadley, RG26 5QW

Open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4.30pm

  • Lovely Little cafe with lovely people and great service.
  • Has a baby changing unit in its disabled toilet with nappy sacks and baby wipes for you to use!
  • Sit upstairs if you have toddlers or want to sit on comfy sofa’s – no gate at the top of the stairs though.
  • Lovely cakes and very reasonable placed.
  • Recommend to avoid the Valley of the Dolls shop next door. Unless you are into that kind of thing of course
  • Cafe is situated at the back of the garden centre to the right and has parking next to it.

Wyevale Garden Centre – Wildmoor Lane, Sherfield on Loddon, Basingstoke, RG27 0HL

Open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Saturday and 10.30am to 4.30pm on Sundays

  • Bit hit and miss with quality of food. Week days better than weekends
  • Join the membership scheme as it’s amazing how quickly you rack up discounts which get you money off future purchases.
  • They have a car cleaner on site, so you can have your car cleaned for a very reasonable price whilst you enjoy lunch or coffee and cake.
  • Baby Changing facilities are in the ladies

Departure Lounge Cafe – Basingstoke Road, Alton, GU34 4BH

Open from 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm on weekends.

  • This cafe is next to a Garden Centre and has part of an aircraft (!!!) at the back of the cafe.
  • Was very impressed as it didn’t look much from the main road.

Newlyns Farm Cafe – Lodge Farm, North Warnborough, Hook, RG29 1HA

Open from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm on Saturdays and 9am to 12pm on Sundays

  • Eaten here several times but not with baby so not sure what baby facilities are like. Anyone else been here with their baby?

Squires Garden Centre Badshot Lea Road, Badshot Lea, Farnham, GU9 9JX
Open from 9am – 6pm Monday to Saturday and 10.30am to 4.30pm on Sundays.

  • Lovely cafe here with a room for children with toys and high chairs in which is quite nice.
  • Good quality food
  • Baby changing facilities in the disabled toilets

The Portsmouth Arms – Hatch Warren Lane, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG22 4RA

Food served from 8am to 9pm Monday to Thursday, 8am to 10pm Friday and Saturday and 12pm to 9pm on Sunday

  • Wooden climbing frame and swings for children.
  • Unsure if Baby changing facilities available

Millstone Pub – Barton’s Lane, Old Basing, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG24 8AE

Food served from 12pm to 2.30pm and 6pm to 9pm Monday to Friday and from 12pm to 9pm on weekends

  • A country pub haven, yet only 5 minutes away from the hustle and bustle of Basingstoke town centre, the Millstone is set within a conservation area near to the historical Basing house ruins.
  • Children’s Playground next door. Unsure if Baby changing facilities are available.
  • The Millstone hosts a quiz every Thursday from 9pm.

Giraffe – Festival Place Shopping Centre, Basingstoke, RG21 7BB

  • Check vouchercloud.com for discounts before going
  • Reasonably priced kids menu
  • Current deal on for Kids main course, dessert and drink for just £6.50 (correct as of December 2016) all day everyday
  • Step free access which is great if you are taking a pushchair or two.
  • Kids parties are available too.

Zizzi’s – 1 London Street, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG21 7NT

  • Check vouchercloud.com for discounts before going
  • Bambini Kids Menu – 3 courses and a chococino for £6.75 (correct as of December 2016)

Wagamamas – Festival Place, Basingstoke, RG21 7BB

  • Baby Changing facilities are available in the Disabled toilet
  • Seating is on benches and generally not comfortable for breastfeeding
  • Fast and healthy food
  • If you sit at the tables near the entrance, there is enough parking for pushchairs next to the tables at the back.
  • Disabled access can be used for pushchairs.
  • If you are pressed for time (evening feeds, etc.) you can check out your local Wagamama menu on the iPhone or iPad Wagamama application or check online in advance. The Mobile Applications allow you to place your order so it is ready when you arrive. You can also order takeaway using this option.
  • Excellent air con, so if it’s hot outside, this is a great place to be!
  • Reasonably priced kids menu available

Pizza Express – Unit R9, Lower Ground, Festival Place, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG21 7BB

  • Children’s menu available with 3 courses for only £6.95 (correct as of December 2016)
  • Pizza making parties can be booked for adults and children!
  • They are running an incentive to get children cooking and are encouraging school visits to learn.

Pizza ExpressThe Whitehouse, Winchester Road, Basingstoke, RG22 6HL

  • Baby Changing facilities in Disabled toilets, with cover for babies to lie on
  • Parking in car park is very small. Alternative parking is available at the football ground which is 3 mins walk away, however, you will need your pushchair as it’s too far to carry the car seat from.
  • Dyson hand dryers (it’s the little things that count!)
  • Very friendly people who like babies!
  • Check vouchercloud.com for discounts before going
  • Children’s menu available with 3 courses for only £6.95 (correct as of December 2016)
  • Pizza making parties can be booked for adults and children!
  • They are running an incentive to get children cooking and are encouraging school visits to learn.

Pizza Hut – Brighton Hill Retail Park, Winchester Road, Basingstoke, RG22 4AN

  • Unlimited salad, unlimited squash and unlimited ice cream factory… how can you argue with that?
  • They have two children’s menus with pizzas, pastas or chicken followed by a drink and Ice Cream factory or a fruit juice ice lolly. Prices start at £5.49 (correct as of December 2016)
  • Baby changing facilities are good here too.
  • Balloons and activity books with crayons are available to keep children busy whilst they wait
  • Children’s parties are available too
  • They also have bottle warming facilities
  • High chairs available too

The Harvester – Winchester Road, Basingstoke, RG22 6HN

  • Some tables aren’t big enough for Pushchairs
  • Baby changing facilities are available in disabled toilets.
  • Menu shows the calorie content of each item
  • Starting from £5.99 there is a children’s menu with meals for small children up to 10 years old.
  • Unlimited salad cart too
  • Activity pack with colouring and games to do whilst waiting for food
  • Staff have always been lovely when I’ve been with my child

Mcdonalds  – Brighton Hill Retail Park, Winchester Road, Basingstoke, RG22 4AN

  • If you’re feeling more slummy mummy than yummy mummy and can’t be bothered to mobilise the army, this is a very quick place to get lunch
  • Many more options than used to be, children can have burger, cheeseburger, chicken nuggets or fish fingers. They can also have fries or carrot sticks and for drinks they can have milk, orange juice, fruit shoot or any of the draft drinks.

Nelsons Diner – Newbury Road, Newbury, RG20 4TA

  • I love Nelsons for breakfast. They do a great American breakfast, pancakes with maple syrup. If you aren’t watching your waistline, I totally recommend the milkshakes. Totally moreish. (I may regret putting up such a raving review next time we try to get a table! :-D)
  • Kids menu is available and a meal deal is only £6.95 (correct as of December 2016) which includes a starter, main course and a desert as well as a drink.
  • Children’s parties can also be booked here.
  • Staff have always been really friendly when taken my family there.
  • Changing facilities are basic but adequate.
  • Not much space for pushchairs but there is parking right outside so shouldn’t be much of an issue
  • Highchairs available
  • Play area outside if the weather is nice

Sainsburys – 3 Wallop Drive, Basingstoke, RG22 4TW

  • Children’s meals are developed for ages 5 to 10.
  • They do sell pouches of baby food
  • High chairs are good and have always been clean when we’ve visited
  • Dedicated baby changing room with a toilet in for parents too

Debenhams – Festival Place, Festival Way, Basingstoke, RG21 7BA

  • There is a baby room next to the Restaurant.
  • They also offer a special children’s menu and provide baby food and bottle warming facilities, free bibs and wipes.
  • Two types of high chairs including ones for smaller babies

Morrisons – Worting Road, Basingstoke, RG21 8BJ

  • Fairly limited kids menu but have always been accommodating when I’d asked to adapt it.
  • Children’s lunch boxes are good as there is a choice of contents.
  • £3 kids meal which includes any children’s meal, a fruit bag and a drink
  • Children eat free after 3pm with a full paying adult meal
  • High chairs, microwave and disposable bibs available
  • Baby changing facilities are further from the restaurant right near the store entrance but have always been clean

Olivers Fish and Chips – 39 London Road, Old Basing, Basingstoke, RG24 7JE

  • They have an early Bird Deal at the moment.
  • The restaurant is open every day until 10.30pm, but check the website to confirm this.
  • They do have baby changing facilities and colouring and crayons for bigger children as well as books by the door.
  • Not much space so pushchairs won’t really work.
  • Maybe a place to visit if you are lucky enough to have a night out alone with your partner/husband.
  • Children’s meals are priced from £3.45
  • High chairs are available
  • There is also a takeaway menu for children

Marks and Spencers Cafe – Chineham Shopping Centre, Great Binfields Road, Chineham, RG24 8BG

  • Baby changing in both the male and female toilets
  • High chairs are available and have always been clean
  • Not too cheap but good for a nice treat or even just a coffee and a cake
  • Always clean and tidy
  • Plenty of parking

Nando’s  – Festival Place, Basingstoke, RG21 7BB

  • Open until 11pm most nights
  • Has baby changing facilities
  • They do make you leave push chairs near the door, not always near you which makes me nervous
  • Nandino’s meals for under 10’s – choose one main, a marinade (plain-ish or PERi-tamer), two side and a dessert for £5.65

Spruce Goose – Basingstoke Leisure Park, Worting Road, Basingstoke, RG22 6PG

  • New and improved kids menu
  • All children’s mains come with 1 of your 5 a day
  • Meal deals start from £4.75 and come with a free squash
  • I’ve always found service to be slow when I’ve been there so perhaps better with older children

Queens College Arms – Aldermaston Road, Pamber End, Tadley, RG26 5QR

  • Recommend booking in advance and asking for the “big” table.
  • They have baby changing facilities onsite and bottle warming facilities.
  • Very friendly and welcoming of Mum’s and babies.
  • For bigger children, there is a climbing frame in the pub garden.
  • Meal deal for children includes any meal plus a tub of ice cream or sorbet for £5.75

Dobbies Garden Centre – 166 Hyde End Road, Shinfield, Reading, RG2 9ER

  • If you fancy going a bit further afield or live near Reading, it’s worth checking out the restaurant of this Garden Centre.
  • They have a large restaurant with a big outside eating area.
  • Seems to be quiet because it’s outside of central Reading.

The Cafe Project, Brighton Hill Parade, Off Sullivan Road, Basingstoke, RG22 4EH

  • Open Tuesday to Friday’s from 9.30am to 2pm
  • Fabulous cause, supports adults with learning difficulties; they train the students to gain experience in hospitality and catering and then they go on to find further work experience or paid employment
  • Small children’s menu
  • Friendly and welcoming
  • Lots of high chairs
  • Baby changing facilities

Conkers Garden Centre London Road, Old Basing, Basingstoke, RG24 7LJ

  • Early Bird Meals with children

Go for a day out

You could go out for the day to one of the places we have looked at below…

Legoland – Windsor – Winkfield Road, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 4AY

Under 3’s are free – £55.40 for adults (although annual membership is only £100 so two visits and you are already quids in). Rides for little ones too as long as they can sit up. NHM review 2014

The Look Out Discovery centre – Nine Mile Ride, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 7QW

Under 4’s are free and adults are £7.30. They also run a parent and toddler offer, so you can get a bonus card and when it is stamped, your 6th visit is free. This is only during term time and Monday-Friday.

Marwell Zoo – Thompson’s Lane, Colden Common, Winchester, Hampshire, SO21 1JH

Prices during winter are £15 per adult and free for under 2’s. NHM review 2014

The Hawk Conservancy – Visitor Centre, Sarson Lane, Weyhill, Andover, SP11 8DY

  • Was a bit skeptical about this place before going but it was an absolutely brilliant day out.
  • Loved the Bird Displays, the Ferret Racing and the opportunity to have an eagle sit on your arm!

Prices for an adult entry are £14.50 and under 4’s are free. NHM review 2013

Paultons ParkOwer, Romsey, The New Forest, Hampshire, SO51 6AL

Children under 1 meter are free. Adults and children over 1 metre are £27.25 if booked online in advance.

Playdays2 Stewart Road, KingsLand Business Park, Basingstoke, RG24 8NF

Indoor soft play area with cafe. Under 1’s are free. You can download the app too for discounts. There are also meal deals for children.

JJ’s –  Unit B, Morse Road, Basingstoke, RG22 6NE

Indoor soft play area with cafe. Varying prices for entry depending on age of child and whether it’s peak or off peak.

Eastleigh Lakeside Steam Railway Wide Lane, Eastleigh, SO50 5PE

Adult ticket (return) is £3.50 or you can get 3 rides for the price of two. First class is only 50p more. Children under 2 ride free. There is also a cafe here. NHM review 2013

Finkley Down Farm – Andover, SP11 6NF

Under 2’s are free. There’s so much to do here, soft play, farm animals, outdoor play areas and many more. There is a lovely cafe with plenty of seating. Open all year round too. NHM review 2013

Beale Park – Lower Basildon, Pangbourne, Berkshire, RG8 9NW

Closes from November to February.  Under 2’s are free. There are outdoor play areas (with some specifically for toddlers), indoor play areas, animals, walks, cafe and even a pool in the summer. Adult admission is £7.

Bucklebury Farm – Bucklebury, Reading, Berkshire, RG7 6RR

Lovely big play areas for children, a bus to play on too. Slides inside and also tractor rides out to see the deer. Lots of animals to see too and you can also feed animals. Children under 2’s are free. NHM review 2015

Manor Farm  – Pylands Lane, Bursledon, Southampton, SO31 1BH

Under 3’s are free. Car parking is pay and display. There’s a historic farm, you can meet the animals and do lots of woodland walks. Interactive too, you can feed the chickens and help with milking.

RHS Wisley – Woking, Surrey, GU23 6QB

Under 5’s are free. Lots of lovely gardens to explore.

Birdworld – Holt Pound, Farnham, Surrey, GU10 4LD

Under 3’s are free. Lots of birds to see and also flying displays and other activities to watch/take part in. NHM review 2013

Rainy day activities

If the weather isn’t very good, there are some great ideas of rainy day activities here too.

Treasure baskets

I have recently published a post about treasure baskets and the benefits for little ones. Have a read of it here.

Sensory activities

Having previously worked in a nursery, Shona recommends using everyday things around the house to do different sensory activities. You can buy a tuff spot from Wickes which is great for letting babies explore with their whole bodies in just a nappy. You can use things like custard powder and water, small amount of water mixed with different food colouring, cooked pasta/spaghetti, baked beans, different fruits/vegetables, sand with spoons/scoops. The lists are endless! You can also use different dry items. Use old baby food jars and poke holes in the lids then fill with things like mint, lavender, lemon etc. Make your own play dough with this recipe and play with spoons, rolling pins etc.

Do a mini photoshoot

We all love taking pictures of our little ones so grab your camera and do a mini photoshoot with things you have around the house. Baskets, blankets, lights. It’s a great way to bond and make lots of memories you can save for a lifetime.

Libraries

If your baby is on the move and exploring things, a library can be a great place for them to have a look through some books and come home with a couple of new ones.
Local Libraries

Aquariums

Babies really enjoy the sensory experience of visiting an aquarium. The bonus being that they are indoors too! Perfect for a rainy day.
Blue Reef – Portsmouth
Oceanarium – Bournemouth

Softplay

Softplay – Active Tots has areas for small babies.

Swimming

Swimming – Basingstoke Sports centre has a small pool that is kept at 32 degrees and open between 12 and 1.30 on a weekday and is an open session.

I would also check out the QMC pool as we swam in there last year and it was really warm! Also check out my 2013 review of Basingstoke Aquadrome.

Pots2Paint

Pots 2 Paint – Viables Craft Centre

A great way to get some special Christmas (or birthday) presents done. Handprints or footprints of your little one whilst they are tiny, will be treasured forever!

Baby Massage Classes

We did a baby massage class through our local children’s centre and I really enjoyed it. It was a great opportunity to bond with my daughter when she was tiny.

There are also several Mum’s in the area who run their own Baby Massage classes. I posted a list of them HERE.

Find some Mummy friends!

There are lots of Mum groups in the area who are on Facebook.  It’s a great and easy way to keep in touch. If you are feeling a bit lonely, then post something up and you will be overwhelmed with the response. You can find some of these groups HERE.

North Hampshire Mum’s are VERY friendly and supportive :-D.

Grab a coffee and cake

There are LOADS of little cafe’s in the area which are very supportive of new parents. My favourite for new parents is Elm Tree Garden centre (which I haven’t been to for ages!) which even supplies wet wipes in emergencies!

I also really love the Parlour Tea rooms, but it’s very popular now (for a good reason!) so you need to book in advance. It can get VERY busy.

There is also a tea room in Whitchurch, The Curiositea Room, which I hope to check out soon as it looks lovely! I still haven’t been to the Tea Bar at the top of town either, which looks lovely too! More recommendations by NHM readers can be found here.

Go for a walk

Yes, I know it’s raining. Sometimes though, it’s just good to wrap up and get out of the house. Put the waterproof cover on the pushchair and just go out of the house and get wet. It’s not going to hurt either of you to get some fresh air, just make sure your baby is well covered. There’s no such thing as the wrong weather, just the wrong clothing!

We love Basing Wood and the Lime Pits (as I’ve raved about before!) but there is a great list of local walks suitable for pushchairs HERE. You can also see a reviews I’ve done on Alice Holt and Farleigh Mount.

Go (window) shopping

There are lots of local independent shops in the area. You can find a list of them HERE.

Also, you can’t go wrong in Festival Place. It’s mostly covered and sometimes it’s nice to just wander around or people watch.

Debenhams cafe has a bottle warmer and microwave if you are weaning.

Go swimming

I asked for recommendations for warm swimming pools to take babies in the area on my NHM facebook profile. Here are the recommendations.

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitter,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

Child-friendly places to eat in and around Basingstoke

Thank you very much to Shona for putting this post together!!

Child-friendly places to eat in and around Basingstoke

Little Roses Tea Room and Gift Shop – Elm Park Garden Centre, Aldermaston Road, Pamber End, Tadley, RG26 5QW

Open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and Sunday 10am to 4.30pm

  • Lovely Little cafe with lovely people and great service.
  • Has a baby changing unit in its disabled toilet with nappy sacks and baby wipes for you to use!
  • Sit upstairs if you have toddlers or want to sit on comfy sofa’s – no gate at the top of the stairs though.
  • Lovely cakes and very reasonable placed.
  • Recommend to avoid the Valley of the Dolls shop next door. Unless you are into that kind of thing of course
  • Cafe is situated at the back of the garden centre to the right and has parking next to it.

Wyevale Garden Centre – Wildmoor Lane, Sherfield on Loddon, Basingstoke, RG27 0HL

Open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Saturday and 10.30am to 4.30pm on Sundays

  • Bit hit and miss with quality of food. Week days better than weekends
  • Join the membership scheme as it’s amazing how quickly you rack up discounts which get you money off future purchases.
  • They have a car cleaner on site, so you can have your car cleaned for a very reasonable price whilst you enjoy lunch or coffee and cake.
  • Baby Changing facilities are in the ladies

Departure Lounge Cafe – Basingstoke Road, Alton, GU34 4BH

Open from 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm on weekends.

  • This cafe is next to a Garden Centre and has part of an aircraft (!!!) at the back of the cafe.
  • Was very impressed as it didn’t look much from the main road.

Newlyns Farm Cafe – Lodge Farm, North Warnborough, Hook, RG29 1HA

Open from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm on Saturdays and 9am to 12pm on Sundays

  • Eaten here several times but not with baby so not sure what baby facilities are like. Anyone else been here with their baby?

Squires Garden Centre Badshot Lea Road, Badshot Lea, Farnham, GU9 9JX
Open from 9am – 6pm Monday to Saturday and 10.30am to 4.30pm on Sundays.

  • Lovely cafe here with a room for children with toys and high chairs in which is quite nice.
  • Good quality food
  • Baby changing facilities in the disabled toilets

The Portsmouth Arms – Hatch Warren Lane, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG22 4RA

Food served from 8am to 9pm Monday to Thursday, 8am to 10pm Friday and Saturday and 12pm to 9pm on Sunday

  • Wooden climbing frame and swings for children.
  • Unsure if Baby changing facilities available

Millstone Pub – Barton’s Lane, Old Basing, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG24 8AE

Food served from 12pm to 2.30pm and 6pm to 9pm Monday to Friday and from 12pm to 9pm on weekends

  • A country pub haven, yet only 5 minutes away from the hustle and bustle of Basingstoke town centre, the Millstone is set within a conservation area near to the historical Basing house ruins.
  • Children’s Playground next door. Unsure if Baby changing facilities are available.
  • The Millstone hosts a quiz every Thursday from 9pm.

Giraffe – Festival Place Shopping Centre, Basingstoke, RG21 7BB

  • Check vouchercloud.com for discounts before going
  • Reasonably priced kids menu
  • Current deal on for Kids main course, dessert and drink for just £6.50 (correct as of December 2016) all day everyday
  • Step free access which is great if you are taking a pushchair or two.
  • Kids parties are available too.

Zizzi’s – 1 London Street, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG21 7NT

  • Check vouchercloud.com for discounts before going
  • Bambini Kids Menu – 3 courses and a chococino for £6.75 (correct as of December 2016)

Wagamamas – Festival Place, Basingstoke, RG21 7BB

  • Baby Changing facilities are available in the Disabled toilet
  • Seating is on benches and generally not comfortable for breastfeeding
  • Fast and healthy food
  • If you sit at the tables near the entrance, there is enough parking for pushchairs next to the tables at the back.
  • Disabled access can be used for pushchairs.
  • If you are pressed for time (evening feeds, etc.) you can check out your local Wagamama menu on the iPhone or iPad Wagamama application or check online in advance. The Mobile Applications allow you to place your order so it is ready when you arrive. You can also order takeaway using this option.
  • Excellent air con, so if it’s hot outside, this is a great place to be!
  • Reasonably priced kids menu available

Pizza Express – Unit R9, Lower Ground, Festival Place, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG21 7BB

  • Children’s menu available with 3 courses for only £6.95 (correct as of December 2016)
  • Pizza making parties can be booked for adults and children!
  • They are running an incentive to get children cooking and are encouraging school visits to learn.

Pizza ExpressThe Whitehouse, Winchester Road, Basingstoke, RG22 6HL

  • Baby Changing facilities in Disabled toilets, with cover for babies to lie on
  • Parking in car park is very small. Alternative parking is available at the football ground which is 3 mins walk away, however, you will need your pushchair as it’s too far to carry the car seat from.
  • Dyson hand dryers (it’s the little things that count!)
  • Very friendly people who like babies!
  • Check vouchercloud.com for discounts before going
  • Children’s menu available with 3 courses for only £6.95 (correct as of December 2016)
  • Pizza making parties can be booked for adults and children!
  • They are running an incentive to get children cooking and are encouraging school visits to learn.

Pizza Hut – Brighton Hill Retail Park, Winchester Road, Basingstoke, RG22 4AN

  • Unlimited salad, unlimited squash and unlimited ice cream factory… how can you argue with that?
  • They have two children’s menus with pizzas, pastas or chicken followed by a drink and Ice Cream factory or a fruit juice ice lolly. Prices start at £5.49 (correct as of December 2016)
  • Baby changing facilities are good here too.
  • Balloons and activity books with crayons are available to keep children busy whilst they wait
  • Children’s parties are available too
  • They also have bottle warming facilities
  • High chairs available too

The Harvester – Winchester Road, Basingstoke, RG22 6HN

  • Some tables aren’t big enough for Pushchairs
  • Baby changing facilities are available in disabled toilets.
  • Menu shows the calorie content of each item
  • Starting from £5.99 there is a children’s menu with meals for small children up to 10 years old.
  • Unlimited salad cart too
  • Activity pack with colouring and games to do whilst waiting for food
  • Staff have always been lovely when I’ve been with my child

Mcdonalds  – Brighton Hill Retail Park, Winchester Road, Basingstoke, RG22 4AN

  • If you’re feeling more slummy mummy than yummy mummy and can’t be bothered to mobilise the army, this is a very quick place to get lunch
  • Many more options than used to be, children can have burger, cheeseburger, chicken nuggets or fish fingers. They can also have fries or carrot sticks and for drinks they can have milk, orange juice, fruit shoot or any of the draft drinks.

Nelsons Diner – Newbury Road, Newbury, RG20 4TA

  • I love Nelsons for breakfast. They do a great American breakfast, pancakes with maple syrup. If you aren’t watching your waistline, I totally recommend the milkshakes. Totally moreish. (I may regret putting up such a raving review next time we try to get a table! :-D)
  • Kids menu is available and a meal deal is only £6.95 (correct as of December 2016) which includes a starter, main course and a desert as well as a drink.
  • Children’s parties can also be booked here.
  • Staff have always been really friendly when taken my family there.
  • Changing facilities are basic but adequate.
  • Not much space for pushchairs but there is parking right outside so shouldn’t be much of an issue
  • Highchairs available
  • Play area outside if the weather is nice

Sainsburys – 3 Wallop Drive, Basingstoke, RG22 4TW

  • Children’s meals are developed for ages 5 to 10.
  • They do sell pouches of baby food
  • High chairs are good and have always been clean when we’ve visited
  • Dedicated baby changing room with a toilet in for parents too

Debenhams – Festival Place, Festival Way, Basingstoke, RG21 7BA

  • There is a baby room next to the Restaurant.
  • They also offer a special children’s menu and provide baby food and bottle warming facilities, free bibs and wipes.
  • Two types of high chairs including ones for smaller babies

Morrisons – Worting Road, Basingstoke, RG21 8BJ

  • Fairly limited kids menu but have always been accommodating when I’d asked to adapt it.
  • Children’s lunch boxes are good as there is a choice of contents.
  • £3 kids meal which includes any children’s meal, a fruit bag and a drink
  • Children eat free after 3pm with a full paying adult meal
  • High chairs, microwave and disposable bibs available
  • Baby changing facilities are further from the restaurant right near the store entrance but have always been clean

Olivers Fish and Chips – 39 London Road, Old Basing, Basingstoke, RG24 7JE

  • They have an early Bird Deal at the moment.
  • The restaurant is open every day until 10.30pm, but check the website to confirm this.
  • They do have baby changing facilities and colouring and crayons for bigger children as well as books by the door.
  • Not much space so pushchairs won’t really work.
  • Maybe a place to visit if you are lucky enough to have a night out alone with your partner/husband.
  • Children’s meals are priced from £3.45
  • High chairs are available
  • There is also a takeaway menu for children

Marks and Spencers Cafe – Chineham Shopping Centre, Great Binfields Road, Chineham, RG24 8BG

  • Baby changing in both the male and female toilets
  • High chairs are available and have always been clean
  • Not too cheap but good for a nice treat or even just a coffee and a cake
  • Always clean and tidy
  • Plenty of parking

Nando’s  – Festival Place, Basingstoke, RG21 7BB

  • Open until 11pm most nights
  • Has baby changing facilities
  • They do make you leave push chairs near the door, not always near you which makes me nervous
  • Nandino’s meals for under 10’s – choose one main, a marinade (plain-ish or PERi-tamer), two side and a dessert for £5.65

Spruce Goose – Basingstoke Leisure Park, Worting Road, Basingstoke, RG22 6PG

  • New and improved kids menu
  • All children’s mains come with 1 of your 5 a day
  • Meal deals start from £4.75 and come with a free squash
  • I’ve always found service to be slow when I’ve been there so perhaps better with older children

Queens College Arms – Aldermaston Road, Pamber End, Tadley, RG26 5QR

  • Recommend booking in advance and asking for the “big” table.
  • They have baby changing facilities onsite and bottle warming facilities.
  • Very friendly and welcoming of Mum’s and babies.
  • For bigger children, there is a climbing frame in the pub garden.
  • Meal deal for children includes any meal plus a tub of ice cream or sorbet for £5.75

Dobbies Garden Centre – 166 Hyde End Road, Shinfield, Reading, RG2 9ER

  • If you fancy going a bit further afield or live near Reading, it’s worth checking out the restaurant of this Garden Centre.
  • They have a large restaurant with a big outside eating area.
  • Seems to be quiet because it’s outside of central Reading.

The Cafe Project, Brighton Hill Parade, Off Sullivan Road, Basingstoke, RG22 4EH

  • Open Tuesday to Friday’s from 9.30am to 2pm
  • Fabulous cause, supports adults with learning difficulties; they train the students to gain experience in hospitality and catering and then they go on to find further work experience or paid employment
  • Small children’s menu
  • Friendly and welcoming
  • Lots of high chairs
  • Baby changing facilities

Conkers Garden Centre London Road, Old Basing, Basingstoke, RG24 7LJ

  • Early Bird Meals with children

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitter,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

Classes to do with a baby

Thank you very much to Shona for putting this post together!!!

Classes to do with a baby

NCT Coffee groups

Basingstoke NCT runs coffee groups that meet regularly to support parents-to be and parents. Anyone is welcome, you don’t have to be a member of NCT and is open from pregnancy right up to pre-school age. Opportunities to meet other people and talk to them about their experiences and make new friends.

No fee to attend, there is a collection towards the work the NCT do.

NCT

NCT Early Days

This is a group that meets in a supportive, relaxed and friendly atmosphere to openly talk about life as a mum. You can discuss challenges, tips and the reality over the expectations you had/have. You will meet other parents, make friends and gain support and tips. Courses run over 4-6 weekly sessions for new mums. They are aimed at new mums with babies under 6months. There is a fee for this course – enquire via link below.

NCT Early Days

Little Tots Poppins

This is an Art and Messy session followed by Music and Movement.You don’t register, just pop in. The sessions are run on Thursday mornings from 9.30am to 11am and costs £3 per session. The sessions are term time only.

Little Tots Stoney Heath, White Lion Court, Hollybush Farm, Stoney Heath, Ramsdell, Tadley, RG26 5SL. 01256851398

Little Tots Poppins

Little Munchkins Baby

These are Baby Massage and Baby Yoga classes which help you to feel relaxed, happy and confident with your baby. Baby massage helps build bonds and will help you become more in tune and confident with your baby’s needs. The course is taught in 5 weekly session (1 hour long each session). Suitable from birth. It runs on a Tuesday from 11am to 12pm at Tadley Community Centre.

Little Munchkins Baby

Baby Sensory

These are nationwide so have a look online for your local session as there are quite a few in Basingstoke. They offer a musical world of sensory experiences for both parents and children. There are light shows, bells, bubbles, puppets and signing to name but a few of the activities. The class is split into three phases so there is a free play session in the middle where you can play with the toys and activities set out and sit and talk to other mums and dads. Sessions run term time only and the course is £70 per term you wish to take up.

Baby Sensory

Tots Play

This is a 6 week course suitable from birth to 6 months. You learn fun ways to play and communicate with your baby using massage, music, signing and is also a great way to meet other mums. The class runs from 11.20am to 12.20pm and you must book in advance.

Tots Play

Barn Tots

This is a friendly play session from birth to pre-school. They meet at Viables Community Centre on Tuesdays from 10am to 12pm and Thursdays from 9.45am to 11.45am. It is term time only. There are different toys each week and a great soft play area for babies. There is singing and storytime and music and movement too. It costs £2 per session and includes refreshments for adults and a cold drink, fruit and biscuits for the children.

Active Mums

This is an hour long class which starts with a warm up walk which moves up to a power walk. There are exercises throughout the class to strengthen and tone. The route is suitable for any buggy and it’s a great session to get some exercise and meet other mums. The classes run at 11am on a Monday and Wednesday at Basing Wood. It is all year round and no booking is required. 1 session is £4 or you can book 10 sessions online for £35.

Active Mums

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitter,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

NHM Readers: “Cry it Out”

I recently asked the Friends of  my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook if anyone had any suggestions “My baby boy cannot be left to ‘cry it out’ as he gets himself so worked up which can end up in vomiting or choking! He eventually goes down at night but will not fall asleep other than on me and daytime naps are even harder since birth he flatly refuses to sleep once we lie him down. He just spits out dummies”. This mummy is really struggling with lack of sleep and needs some extra advice and support.

These were the responses I received. They are in no particular order. Thank you very much to Shona for putting these together! 

NHM Readers advise when a baby can’t be left to ‘cry it out’

Gemma said: I had this, I used to feed to sleep and got into a massive rut and a lot of sleepless nights. I did pick up put down technique, you need to be consistent as I tried and wasn’t ready and went backwards but then I was ready and it doesn’t take long to implement, after awhile we just had to tap our lb’s bottom. Good luck!

Pick up Put Down Technique – Made for Mums

Victoria said: I had this with my boy. I had to pursue the screaming and being sick. I would go in and lie him back down and keep doing it if he was sick clean him up and start again. I would try to lay him back down before he was sick. It took about a week/two weeks but it worked, before I did this I slept on his floor and all sorts trying to get him to settle, it was so hard and painful. Xx

Jenni said: Hiya, how old is your baby boy? Also have you contacted the health visitor, we had a sleep specialist come and although she told us everything we already knew it was nice to have support and encouragement. Our little girl was over two though.

Libby said: Went to a cranial osteopath with our first at 9 months old as she cried whenever put down. It was like a miracle! Cranial osteopath said she had a stiff neck down one side due to birth and did a few things while I held her. She went all relaxed like having a massage and the crying reduced massively and she could actually be put down. If not that then some babies are just snugglers, our 4th sleeps in our bed and we don’t mind as long as we are all asleep!

Kathryn said: How old is he? When my daughter was little she napped in the sling, now she’s 8 months she goes down for some naps in the cot but normally feeds to sleep. I wouldn’t do CC (controlled crying) or CIO (cry it out), babies cry for a reason.

Rachel said: We did something which was similar to cry out (but the health visitor was very keen to stress it isn’t)… put them down for nap/bed, do the normal routine and say “night night mummy loves you, back in a minute”. You literally go back in a minute and reassure them they’re ok by saying “night night, mummy loves you, back in a minute” over and over. They say it works from 6 months old, not so good on over 4’s. 3 days and my little one was sleeping through the night (our issue was 15 months old and still waking us up in the night, we’d managed to switch milk for water but he still wanted us at least once a night).

Lizzie responded: We did this too, only at 5 minute intervals. It took a week (and it was a hard week!) but it worked. My little girl was about 4 months when we did it. Her sleep since got thrown out again after going away lots and the hot weather over the summer, so we’ve since had to do it again. This time it only took a few days.

Heidi said: Have you had him checked for reflux? I’m not an expert, but crying when lying flat is often a symptom. Huge hugs, sleep (or lack of!) is so hard to deal with. I tried loads of things with my 2, none of which worked. In the end I saved my sanity by just accepting that was how they were and believing they would grow out of it in the future. Sometimes accepting is easier than fighting.

Karen said: I had this with my oldest when he was little. I couldn’t do the controlled crying, it was just too stressful and felt cruel to me (not judging anyone else for doing it, was just how i felt with my son, we all have to do what’s right for us individually) so I just used to sit in with him. We also had a single bed in his room as well as the cot, so on really bad nights I could just sleep next to him and actually get some sleep. With the sitting on the floor I started right next to the cot holding his hand and then every few nights would start just a little further away until I was sitting on the landing rather than in his room. There were still some nights where it all went backwards but gradually he got used to sleeping on his own. Looking back I realise it was a very short phase in the scheme of things, it just felt like it went on ages because it was so exhausting. So try to hang on the fact that it won’t last forever he will grow out of it.

Rachel responded: ^^^ this works. Used this for my daughter (a few times every now and again we’d have to reset her bedtime). Didn’t work with my son, but take a cup of tea, no eye contact or interaction and if young enough phone on night mode (didn’t bother my daughter). I actually quite enjoyed my 30 minutes of silence sat on her bedroom floor reading ebooks.

Rachel said: Oh so little, raise the cot one end, if it’s reflux related it might help. Fresh air and short walks until little one is asleep then head home. Leave baby in pram/pushchair but loosen outdoor clothing (my radiator was switched off in hall so it was always cool, and lots of blankets rather than coats so I could easily remove layers). Fresh air always helped me think clearer too.

Jenni said: Wow at 4 months, to be honest I would say this is completely normal. Still get in touch with health visitor though. I also lay my kids on their tummy at that age and found that helped.

Caitlin said: I fretted and worried over my son falling asleep on me but it doesn’t last forever. By around a year old he would be happy to fall asleep in his cot so they definitely grow out of it. I would say enjoy the cuddles while he’s little because they grow up so fast and soon you will be sad because he doesn’t need you to go to sleep anymore! Also if he stirs once you’ve put him down I would make a point of not picking him up and just pat/rock with your hand and shh. He should go back off without too much fuss as long as he doesn’t have a chance to properly wake. At this age it should take him around 20 minutes to be in a proper sleep so try waiting until you put him down.

Sarah said: My boy would only sleep on me for daytime naps unless we were out in the car or with the pushchair right up til he was one when I went back to work. My childminder would put him in the pushchair and go for a walk at nap time then gradually all she had to do was put him in the pushchair and push back and forth for 5 mins in the house until he fell asleep. We’ve been co-sleeping at night because he wouldn’t stay asleep in cot for very long on his own. Now he is independently sleeping in our bed we have moved the cot bed next to ours (one side removed and attached to ours with bungee cords so there is no gap) and when he falls asleep we are moving him into the cot until he gets used to sleeping there.

Charlotte said: Cry it out isn’t recommended especially at 4 months old. Contact your health visitor they can support and give strategies to help.

Louise said: 4 months is still so tiny. It really isn’t forever. Research is showing more and more that sleep (the elusive “self settling” and “sleeping through the night”) is a developmental milestone rather than something you can train. CIO isn’t something I could do personally, as it just didn’t feel right for us, but having an awful sleeper I feel for you. I do think 4 months is difficult to label them as bad sleepers though as they aren’t ready or able to manage by themselves at that age. I found the less I looked at the clock and less I counted the sleep I wasn’t getting the less pressure I felt and the happier I was.

Becky said: We’ve tried many things as our daughter’s routines have developed. We found that different things worked for a little while but then she’d change. Currently what works best for us is a consistent bedtime routine followed by putting on classical music and leaving the door slightly open so she knows we haven’t abandoned her. I should add though, she’s nearly 2.

Emma said: Sorry I haven’t read every other comment. The biggest issue is for the mumma to get some sleep, it will put everything into perspective. I didn’t sleep for 9 months, in similar circumstances and ended up having exhaustion. Some people can cope with little sleep more than others. I think the important thing is to get baby quickly checked for reflux etc, possibly borrow a baby carrier to see if that helps during the day and then find someone to help cover you for a night or for part of a day and get some sleep yourself. STOP worrying about house / hair / make up etc and just use every precious moment you have to sleep. These times are hard, somehow we all make it out the other side with our own stories. Don’t be too ashamed to ask people around you for help to get some sleep. X

Claire said: At 4 months they are too young to try CC or CIO methods.(which I am against anyway. But each to their own). They may have an underlying issue (could chat to HV about) or they could just like their cuddles. Some babies stay in the “4th trimester” longer. Have u tried baby wearing? Also this lady has a lot of excellent advice & also does 1-1 consultation to help establish the root cause

Jennie Harrison – Sleep deprived mum’s coach

Skye said: Co sleep? Wear him during the day so you can get things done and he isn’t feeling abandoned. Some research into attachment parenting and/or 4th trimester might help. Also, wonder weeks app might give any indications if he is going through a developmental leap. Please don’t try CIO or CC. 🙁

Rebecca said: Both of mine napped in the pushchair, reclining but not completely flat. I have done CC with both of them but definitely wouldn’t try it at 4 months.

Helen said: At 4 months my little one napped in a sling or buggy and at night it was feed to sleep and co-sleeping using a cot attached to the side of the bed. 6 months later she was sleeping in her cot always and from just over a year slept through the night. Don’t stress about rushing to the cot, there’s plenty of time and you’re not creating bad habits.

Wendy said: At 4 months this isn’t a baby issue, this is a partner issue. How many nights a week is your partner doing? By all means look into things such a reflux but the best solution is for your partner to take responsibility a couple of nights a week. If you are on your own ask for someone to stay over occasionally so you can sleep.

Charlotte said:  At 4 months there is a well known (not to me with my first) sleep regression. It’s hideous and the exhaustion can be overwhelming. I do not believe cio or cc work esp with such a littly. May be worth reading the wonder weeks book for development spurts that link to poor sleep periods, the no cry sleep solution book for gentler methods. I’d also strongly recommend getting a sling to use in the day and if needed to get to sleep at night, reflux checking and asking g for support. Support for someone to have lo so mum can nap through the day, support with cooking and cleaning so those jobs don’t feel overwhelming. This sounds like normal baby sleep behaviour. Neither of my 2 slept, in fact my 2 yr old is still going through a bad phase so I am now about to have a nap. Good luck to the mum, as some have said acceptance and support are the way to go esp at this young age.

Lisa said: My daughter, now 4, has serious medical issues and we left hospital at 2 weeks old with the fleeting instruction of ‘don’t let her cry hard for more than 30 seconds or so because she’ll go very blue and her organs will starve of oxygen’. That put the pressure on a bit. I have to say we are no role models and have no good bedtime routines as such but this was a case of survival. So, we just went with it. If she wanted cuddles, we cuddled, if she went to bed, I went to bed, if she fell asleep, I fell asleep. She co-slept (not necessarily suggesting this) and still does. She averaged about 6-8 hours broken sleep in 24 hours for 2 years. I’m not sure my story helps but my advice would be to just go with the flow, don’t resent the lack of sleep just accept it. That really helped for me, took the pressure off. And remember this stage is not forever. Big hugs tired mummy x x Oh and I would echo the comments for getting him checked out for reflux and other health issues just so you know what you’re dealing with. There used to be a place in basingstoke that sold reflux wedges (pillows). In intensive care they taught us a trick ‘a heavy hand resting on the tummy’ is quite soothing. We would start with a hand and then replace with a surgical glove filled with warm (tepid so you don’t feel heat or cold when you put your fingers in it, not hot) water. Obviously need to remove it when it cools and observe common sense safety precautions. X Oh and I would echo the comments for getting him checked out for reflux and other health issues just so you know what you’re dealing with. There used to be a place in basingstoke that sold reflux wedges (pillows). In intensive care they taught us a trick ‘a heavy hand resting on the tummy’ is quite soothing. We would start with a hand and then replace with a surgical glove filled with warm (tepid so you don’t feel heat or cold when you put your fingers in it, not hot) water. Obviously need to remove it when it cools and observe common sense safety precautions. X

Charlotte said: My little one was very clingy but putting a hot water bottle in the bottom of the crib for a bit before I lay him down worked really well (and still does at 11 weeks) it was the movement from warm mummy to cold bed which he didn’t like. Xx

Karen said: Sorry I haven’t had time to read all the comments. I have no advice to give really but wanted to say as someone who has been there it doesn’t last forever. My youngest had reflux so also couldn’t cry it out. I hope you get some support either from a partner family or friends who can look after lo while you catch up on sleep. Sending hugs as know how tough it is x

Jennie said: In addition to the advice above this is probably the best article on infant sleeping I have ever read (and I’ve read loads!). X

The Huffington Post – conversation with a co-sleeping expert

Gail said: Could be colic. So a baby carrier during the day and lots of boobie or bottle at night time and more baby carrier!! He is only 4 months, lots of walks in a pushchair. Don’t worry it won’t last forever!! If you are bottle feeding, milk allergies are very common. So you could try wysoy for a week just to see if it improves!!

Rachel said: I’m probably predisposed to think of it as it happened to my LO but he had an undiagnosed cow’s milk protein allergy and so was only comfortable sleeping upright on someone as he had pain in his tummy and didn’t like lying down. Maybe if all the other advice doesn’t work it’s worth ruling out especially if there’s a family history of allergies and there’s other symptoms such a persistent vomiting. Good luck, it’s so hard!! Xx And I’d definitely echo the other advice of getting some support, an hours nap in the day can make you feel like a new woman!! ️Xxxx

Marie said: I would certainly check baba out for silent reflux. Babies who don’t enjoy lying flat and who are clingy are often diagnosed with this painful heartburn condition. Either bottle or boob fed, it can affect both. Particularly if mum had antibiotics during pregnancy as these can affect baby’s gut health. I would advise asking GP for infant gaviscon to start with and supplement milk with probiotics to heal the gut and see how baby gets on… hang in there x

Aimee said: I spent the first few weeks/months sleeping upright in bed with my son on my chest tapping his back all night (i’m not kidding, all night!). I knew something was wrong from the start but no one would listen, after a huge emotional breakdown my HV listened and referred me to a paediatric consultant and he was put on Neocate for unidentified intolerances and he was a different baby within a week! He’s now nearly 7, grown out of most intolerances and just takes movicol for chronic constipation. Hang in there, don’t be afraid to keep complaining until your baby is seen by a qualified doctor. Be a complete pain in the bum for your own sanity so you can finally enjoy this wonderful time. Good luck x

Lindsey said: I had similar with my eldest who wouldn’t sleep unless close by in the day. When he was tiny he would only sleep if held or in his baby chair. I couldn’t transfer him to a cot as he would just wake up and scream. He did have reflux so possibly because it was uncomfortable to be flat although he would settle in his cot or crib at night. As he got older, he would only nap on the sofa or a mat on the floor. It wasn’t just at home as he didn’t like the cots when he started nursery at 10 months and slept on the floor mats like the older children. It was tough as it made it hard to get on with jobs while he was napping, but a forgotten memory now, but he still likes cuddles and is approaching 7.

Katie said: My little girl hated lying flat to sleep when she was younger. During the day we used to lie her on her front in her carrycot where we could keep an eye on her. She used the carrycot at night too instead of a Moses basket. She had silent reflux and I think the sturdier base helped her. We got a bean bag when she was around 3 months old and this really helped her to sleep during the day after feeding as she was propped up more. Moved her into a cot when she got too big for carrycot and put books under the head end to raise it slightly. Also used a folded blanket under her head which she still has now at 14 months. She started weaning early at just over 4 months and this really helped with the silent reflux and made her more comfortable and she was able to sleep a lot easier. I know weaning early is not for everyone but hopefully it will help too when you decide to do it. It doesn’t last forever and now she is a really good sleeper. Get plenty of rest when you can and don’t be scared to ask others for help so you get a chance to catch up on some sleep. As a first time mum I found this hard but it really did make things easier. X

Kimberley said: Worth looking at allergy of milk u use or breast if u eat milk products. Ask for help from health visitors. Good luck.

Marie said: My little boy was similar to this. Would cry so much he would vomit. At 5 months we sleep trained him. Best thing we ever did. I read everything I could find on the Internet, downloaded e-books and leaflets. I then came up with a plan to suit me.

First we established a bedtime routine – bath, pajamas, story, bottle, bed.

Then I sang him a song and cuddled/rocked him.

Once I put him down I said “night, night, mummy loves you” something like that.

Then I left the room. Of bourse he screamed. After 30 seconds I went back in and strokes his face and repeated “night, night, mummy loves you”.

Left the room and waited 1 minute and repeated.

Every time I left the room, I waited an extra 30 seconds.

I only ever left him 5 minutes at a time (though the research said longer). Only took 3 nights and each night the crying got shorter. I found the vomiting stopped as he calmed every time I went into the room. First night I remember it took an hour, then 20 minutes second night. Then less than 5 minutes the third night.

Hope that helps.

Liz said: Reflux? Both my daughters had it and would not go to sleep without being sat upright in bed on me, exhausting. They had meds for it eventually which worked after me nagging at the HV and doctor xxx

Sarah said: Neither of mine slept well til about 1yr. It does not last forever.

Agree with: cranial osteopath – helped my daughter. Go get checked out by Dr for reflux. Plus see Health Visitor.

Try baby massage. Helps with all kinds of things and can really promote sleep.

Go to Basingstoke Sling Library and borrow some slings to see if that helps in the day (or night when pacing floors as it helps the arms!)

Could try safe co-sleeping methods or mattress/bed by the cot/crib.

Could try wedge, lifting cot so that baby is never completely horizontal. Plus put a t-shirt around the mattress – a smelly t-shirt you have worn and sweated in for a few nights so it smells of you and your parfume/deodorant. Worked with both mine.

I also used white noise machine, baby music machine, warm bath with lavender, blackout blinds, regular routine (to the point of same pjs put in same place, same sleeping bag, same story, same song, same words and even me with the same jumper every night for months.)

Ruza said: So at four months, my boy would fall asleep in our arms, best times ever or in the pram/pushchair on a walk out. I have never done the controlled crying, personally I believe it produces too much anxiety in small ones. So nap time in the day was for both of us when I needed it. Sleep time at night was achieved with soft lullabies and rocking and then quiet sleep. Elliot slept in the same room till six months. I was lucky that at weekends I swapped sleeping arrangements with my husband. Elliot did not have a daytime sleep in his cot till about 15 months but that was something that evolved between me and his childminder.

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitter,Facebook PageFacebook ProfileLinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

NHM Readers recommend Maternity Clothes

I recently asked the Friends of  my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook where is the best place you can buy maternity clothes in Basingstoke.

I suggested Mothercare and H&M but apparently H&M only have very small sizes in stock at the moment.

(Thank you very much to everyone who responded and to Shona for putting this post together!!!!)

This is what they came back with, in no particular order!

NHM Readers Recommend Places in Basingstoke to buy maternity clothes

Debenhams

Flick said: Debenhams have some in their red herring maternity range.

Wendy said: Debenhams have a maternity department too.

Naomi said: Debenhams – some really nice bits.

Debenhams Maternity

New Look

Flick said: New Look have a small section downstairs.

Kimberley said: New look used to have a few bits.

Lucy said: New Look for top half,  it’s downstairs right corner.

Emma recommended New Look.

Charlotte recommended New Look.

Jane recommended New Look.

Hayley recommended New Look.

New Look Maternity

Next

Diana said: I found Next Directory were the best I ever found in any high street store. Really hit the bill.
Wendy said: I used to get most of mine in Next.
Jane recommended Next.
Next Maternity

Matalan

Kimberley said: Matalan have maternity online. You get free delivery to store.
Lucy said: Matalan for over the bump leggings. I did click and collect so could try on in store and return if it didn’t fit.

Matalan Maternity

Dorothy Perkins

Emma said: Dorothy Perkins online – free returns.
Hayley recommended Dorothy Perkins.

Dorothy Perkins Maternity

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitter,Google+,Facebook PageFacebook Profile, LinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

NHM Readers recommend pottery painting with children

I recently asked the Friends of  my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook where can you do pottery painting with children in the local area. (Thank you very much to everyone who responded and to Shona for putting this post together!!)

This is what they came back with, in no particular order!

NHM Readers Recommend Pottery Painting Venues to take children

The Ceramics Cafe  

Unit 2, Coronation Road, Basingstoke, RG21 4HA

Only open on Saturdays between 10am and 5.30pm

Pots2Paint

Units 9&10, Viables Craft Centre, The Harrow Way, Basingstoke, RG22 4BJ

Open Tuesday to Saturday between 10.30am and 5.30pm

Pots to Doodle Do

The Old Village Shop, Church Lane, Cliddesden, Basingstoke, RG25 2JQ

Open during term time Thursday to Saturday 10am to 4pm. During school holidays, open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 4pm

Just Ceramics

Unit 3, The Old Stables, Oakhanger Farm Business Park, Oakhanger, GU35 9JA

Open Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10am – 5pm and Sunday’s 11am – 4pm.

Playdays

2 Stewart Road, Basingstoke, RG24 8NF

Playdays offer pottery parties and also regularly do pottery painting and play sessions for occasions such as Easter, Mother’s Day etc.

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitter,Google+,Facebook PageFacebook Profile, LinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

Fitness Classes with Childcare

I recently asked the Friends of  my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook if anyone could help this NHM reader with their question: “I am struggling to find any fitness classes that are in the weekday mornings with creche facilities for babies and toddlers. Any chance you can do a post and see if there are some?”

These were the responses I received. They are in no particular order

NHM Readers recommend fitness classes with childcare

Mary said: The aquadrome has a creche but I am not sure of the details.

Rebecca said: Fonseca Fitness is brilliant for this 🙂

Jason said: Beechdown

Vicky said: MummaBFit

Kelly said: Marie FitMama Behenna

Helen said: I have had similar issues, and I work part time, so I turned to signing up to Les Mills exercise classes online (body balance/ body combat/body pump as famously known in gyms). It’s a relatively small monthly fee and you can do the classes whenever you want & download to whatever device TV/iPad etc.

I know this doesn’t directly answer the question, but for a Mum like me whose partner works away I can’t get out to the things I used to love doing so have effectively bought the gym into my living room. Hope this helps

Pat said: People take their babies and kids to Fitness Flex. The classes are 45 minutes and is brilliant

Sarah said: Studio 41 Marie FitMama Behenna. You can take your little ones to the class. X

Peta said: I second this – Marie FitMama Behenna gives a great workout and with children of her own, she gets the work/family juggle. She also offers PT sessions if you would find that easier 🙂

Aimee said: Studio 41 in the Basepoint centre in Chineham. You can take your babies to all of the daytime classes (they can sit in their pushchairs or car seats in the studio)….it is run by Marie FitMama Behenna who knows all there is to know about pre and postnatal exercise and nutrition so she will ensure you get back to fitness safely. Hope that helps x

Louise Nhm Smith responded: I spoke to the lady about this and she is really looking for classes that have creche facilities as she has an 8 month old and 2 year old who won’t sit still whilst she’s working out!

Peta said: I sometimes take all three children with me to see Marie FitMama Behenna – aged 1, 4, 5. I take food, water, entertainment (colouring in, etc). hope this helps.

Claire said: Tadley Boot Camp x

Amelia said: Beechdown

Wendy said: Beechdown, Hampshire Court, the Aquadrome have creches. I haven’t used these but I have used others in the past where you take baby in and understand you need a creche for children between 18 months – 3 1/2.

Mandy said: Beechdown Health Club https://www.facebook.com/BeechdownHealthClub/ xx

Victoria said: Beechdown is fabulous! Have so many facilities, Creche for under 3 and Beehive for over 3’s. Xx

Helen said: Hampshire court hotel has classes in the morning and crèche facilities and a pool plus kids pool 🙂

Rachel said: Beechdown; although I pay for gym and crèche and still don’t go! Oops!! X

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitter,Google+,Facebook PageFacebook Profile, LinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there!