NHM Readers Recommend: Local Places to go for Large Groups with Pushchairs

I recently asked the NHM Community “I’m looking for suggestions of local places to go for large groups of Mums with pushchairs and little ones under 6 months old, especially places to eat or drink at.”

Many thanks for all your responses, listed below in no particular order:

NHM Readers recommend local places to go for large groups with pushchairs

Rachel said “Wellington country park, eastrop park, memorial park. When I met up with the mum’s from my NCT group we found Longbridge Mill to be accommodating (we just used to warn them when we booked).”

Emma said “Beggarwood park- there’s a cafe at the new community centre

Kate said “Tea bar quite roomy in the afternoon when it’s quieter.”

Helen said “Giraffe have always been very welcoming for our buggyfit socials. They have a big room at the back they let us use and Mums can bring in buggies and feed comfortably

Lisette said “Our NCT group often met at Starbucks in festival place. At the tables and chairs outside. Always plenty of room”

  • Mary replied “We also cause total havoc on a weekly basis as the ‘outside’ seating upstairs means we aren’t in anyone’s way.”

Hannah said “Hook garden centre are good”

  • Lottie replied “Another vote for hook garden centre here”
  • Pauline said “Hook Home and Garden Centre great kids play area and cafe with amazing cakes!

Jessica said “Aingels Cafe and Bistro, lots of parking, relaxed environment and plenty of room.”

Tracy said “Dome cafe Brighton Hill is fab.”

Sarah said “Nando’s rearranged their outdoor tables for a big group of us!”

Jo said “More of the Good Stuff has lots of space and a little fenced off indoor play corner too. LOVELY cake!

Steph said “The cafe in John Lewis has loads of room but that’s more lunch/cake”

Karen said “Roses cafe

Kathryn said “Redfields garden centre in church crookham might be too far for your group”

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NHM Readers Recommend: Cranial Osteopaths for Babies

An NHM Reader recently asked: “I wondered if you might know of any cranial osteopaths that treat babies at all? I have seen a few online but would love some recommendations if possible? Any thoughts gratefully received!”

Many thanks to the NHM Community for your responses, listed below in no particular order:

NHM Readers recommend cranial osteopaths for babies

Val said “Bramley Osteopaths are great and do baby cranial”

  • Natasha said “Second this. I took my daughter here.”
  • Helena said “I’ll vouch for Becky Hall too. She worked wonders on one reflux baby and a toddler that wouldn’t sleep.”
  • Stephanie said “Another vote for Bramley”
  • Lowri said “Becky Hall at Bramley Osteopaths – miracle worker!”
  • Nita said “Another vote for Becky Hall at Bramley”
  • Lindsay said “Becky at Bramley is fab. Both of my boys were treated by her, one as a baby and one as a toddler.”

Melanie said “Sally Mathews did my bubba.” https://www.facebook.com/wessexchiropractic/

Laura said “Physical balance in Overton are great.

  • Hayley said “Physical balance in overton”
  • Angela said “We went to Physical Balance in Overton and they were great! I was a little sceptical but very desperate and it worked wonders.”

Leanne said “Kate Rosati (Latham) treated our baby. She’s great! http://www.listening-hands.co.uk/

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NHM Reader Recommendations: Entertainment for a First Birthday Party

An NHM Reader asked “I am looking for entertainment for my daughter’s first birthday party. So something like Baby Sensory or Caterpillar Music. I am currently checking their availability but need to look for back up in case neither can accommodate me. Would appreciate any suggestions.”

Many thanks for the responses from the NHM community, listed below in no particular order:

Tots Play

Tots Play Basingstoke & Hook

Michelle said “Hi, I run Tots Play classes in the area and also do birthday parties, get in touch for more info www.totsplay.co.uk/basingstoke

Jiggly Wrigglers

Jiggy Wrigglers Andover & surrounding villages

Gemma said “I run Jiggy Wrigglers, we are very well established in Andover and heading to Basingstoke so would be happy to come and entertain. If you’d like to know more here’s our page and just pm me.

Dinky Disco

Dinky Disco

Tanya said “Dinky Disco’s”

Cesca said “Dinky disco are fab”

Victoria said “Defo Dinky Discos! Nikki is AMAZING”

Nikki said “Thanks so much for the recommendations Tanya, Cesca and Victoria. Take a peep at our FB page and full party details on our website. Don’t hesitate to drop me a line if you have any questions”

Lucy said “Dinky Disco! I’ve had compliments for months following our 1 year olds birthday party.”

Pop Tots

Pop Tots

Alison said “Pop Tots”

Jollypop Entertainment

Jollypop Entertainment

Grace said “Jollypop Entertainment run ‘jollypoppets’ parties for little ones. Rhythm and Rhyme time type fun!”

Gym Minis

Gym Minis

Emma said “Gym Minis would have a good selection for you and they do parties”

Caterpillar Music

Caterpillar Music

Jaz said “Nicky does an awesome job at Caterpillar Music”

Hartbeeps

Hartbeeps Farnham, Hook and Godalming

Sarah said “I do multi-sensory 1st birthday parties/ I am a franchisee of Hartbeeps. If you look on our website you can see what we are all about”

Baby Sensory

Baby Sensory

Claire said “I’m Claire from Baby Sensory. Please feel free to pm me and I can check dates for you”

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Hampshire Doulas

What is a doula and why would you want one on your birth or postnatal team?

If you heard of something you could take into labour with you that would make you

  • More likely to give birth vaginally with neither ventouse nor forceps nor caesarean
  • Less likely to use pain medications or to have a caesarean birth
  • More likely to be satisfied with your experience
  • More likely to have a shorter labour
  • Less likely to have postpartum depression
  • Your baby could be less likely to have low five-minute Apgar scores (the score used when babies’ health and well-being are assessed at birth and shortly afterwards).

Would you want to give it a try?

According to reviews of research the type of support doulas supply has been shown to do all these things.

You’re probably wondering what exactly do doulas do that can have all these potential benefits? I asked a couple of your local doulas what they bring to your birth team.

Alex and Desiree both work in North Hampshire. As they talk about becoming doulas and what they love about being doulas I hope you will see that the benefits are so wide ranging even for times when that “more likely to” in the research doesn’t turn out to be definitely will. Perhaps we should add to the list, in our experience having a doula on your team will make you more likely to realise how amazing and wonderful you truly are.

Alex with clients
Desiree

How did you hear about doulas or first start thinking it might be for you?

Alex: Unknowingly, I have doulaed for many years. The saying “it takes a village to raise a child” sits very closely to me as this is how I started my Doula journey. Then a woman in my village, who I offered support to, asked me if I knew of any doulas in our area. The seed was planted as I supported her and decided to start my Doula journey officially.

Within 2 weeks of deciding to go for it I signed up for my Doula training course and within less than a year I became too busy to continue my long standing medical career. And I love what I do!

Desiree: I heard about Doula’s through my sister as she chose to have a Doula support them through their birth. I was very naive and found it odd and rather ‘hippy’. My sister had the most amazing support from her doula.

Then when was pregnant and began planning my birth I knew I wanted a Doula present and having had a long labour my doula was consistent throughout. It really sealed my desire to be able to offer that same continuity of care, calming presence and support that I received to other women and their partners.

What’s your favourite thing about being a Doula?

Desiree: It’s such a privilege for me to share such an intimate, life changing experience with a woman. Seeing her grow, her strength and her ability to birth regardless of what kind of birth – I truly value that. I love seeing women flourish as they step into motherhood, whether it’s the first time or third time.

Alex: The variety of women and couples I meet and being part of their pregnancy, birth and beyond. I feel extremely privileged being a doula. Seeing women making their own informed choices whatever situation they find themselves in. And then seeing women feeling empowered and those lush newborn baby cuddles at my first postnatal meeting.

What are your top tips for planning a positive birth?

Alex: Gather information, know about your choices, trust your body and your instincts. Never take “no” for an answer unless all resources and options explored. Hire a Doula!

Desiree: Birth is a wonderful journey that can sometimes be smooth and straightforward or it may be windy and long. Birth can be like a picnic – you may have 4 seasons in one day.  As much as we can plan, there are unforeseen events that can happen. Whilst it’s great to have a plan, it’s important to know what your options are and know that you have choices. Having a birth plan in place can help. Being prepared for all eventualities puts you in a far stronger position afterwards to feel you retained some choice and control in what happened. Understanding our hormones and our environment plays a huge part in how our bodies relax and function during the birthing process.

Do you have any top tips for new parents?

Desiree: Listen to yourself. Family and friends have the best intentions when they feel they need to ‘offer’ their advice, however there is so much conflicting advice it becomes an information overload. Do what you feel is best for you and your child. Everything your baby needs you already have.

Alex: Restrict visitors, take your time, enjoy getting to know each other, accept help (meals, house chores, childcare for older siblings). Be aware of the 4th trimester. Be gentle on yourself and never compare yourself with other new mums! Sleep when your baby sleeps during the day, even if it’s a cat nap here and there. Get support from a postnatal Doula and don’t feel afraid to ask for help!

Now you’ve had the chance to get to know a couple of our local doulas a little bit. If you decide to include a doula as part of your birth team you will get to know her really well in the antenatal sessions you have together. More importantly, she will get to know you and how she can support you and the rest of your birth team the best way for you. If you’ve got more questions you might like to check out our frequently asked questions page http://www.hampshiredoulas.co.uk/frequently-asked-questions/ and always feel free to get in touch and ask more questions if you don’t find yours is answered there.

hampshiredoulas.co.uk hampshiredoulas@gmail.com facebook.com/hampshiredoulas

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Bubbas and Mamas Children and Baby Sale Saturday 9th June 2018

Why not come to our first ever Bubbas and Mamas Children and Baby Sale, in Church Crookham this Saturday (9th June). We have sold out all the tables for our sale and are really looking forward to welcoming families come and grab some excellent bargains on toys, clothes, maternity wear, books or Moses basket, prams etc.

Entry cost is £1.50 (children go free) starts at 2pm – 3.30pm.

We look forward to seeing you all.

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Review 2018: Good For Mums – Fit-Tums course

Thank you very much to Emma for today’s Review on NorthHantsMum. She’s done a fantastic job!!

Thank you also to Helen for letting us come and review one of the Good for Mums courses!

Review 2018: Good For Mums – Fit-Tums course

About

Having a baby is one of life’s greatest adventures and joys. It’s a magical time, filled with precious moments and unforgettable memories. However, becoming a mum can also throw up some challenges. For many women, the changes to your body can be quite a shock which can motivate us to grab our exercise gear and get back into shape.

But before you do, I really recommend that you consider attending a Good for Mums Fit-Tum Restore course.

The course is specifically designed and tailored for postnatal mums, to help you rebuild your core muscles and rectify the effects of Diastasis Recti (the process of your abdominal muscles separating during pregnancy). Whilst it’s tempting to jump back into exercise as soon as you can after having a baby, the reality is that if you do attempt it before your body is properly healed and repaired you can end up doing far more damage than good. So bump the burpees, say no to squats and read on.

What can you expect from the course?

First off every attendee is required to complete a comprehensive health check questionnaire to understand your birthing experience and any complications you may have faced. You’ll use this as part of an introductory session with Helen, the highly qualified and super knowledgeable class leader. By talking through the results and carrying out a short physical examination, she’ll be able to advise what point your starting from. This is a really straightforward process and aside from a quick check of your tummy muscles, there’s no need to bare all!

Helen will only recommend you continue with the course if your body is ready for it. In the event that she’s concerned that you might require some more advanced specialist support, she is really well connected and will signpost you in the right direction to get any help you need.

Assuming you are fit to carry on, you’ll then undertake a weekly class, as part of a group of other mums in the same boat as you. You’ll learn simple and straightforward exercises and movements that can easily be incorporated into your daily life, which will gradually and safely begin to heal your muscles back to pre-pregnancy state. The wonderful news is, this course is available for you to attend either with baby or without, so you can sign up for the class that suits you and your needs best.

Having attended the course, I would wholeheartedly recommend it to others. It’s informative, its gentle and most of all, it’s fun! My fellow attendees on the course ranged from a mum who had only just had her 6 week check, through to mums of toddlers who had realised that their stomach just wasn’t repairing itself properly. Whilst the class is intended as a restorative process and not an ‘exercise class’, it’s delivered tummy inch loss time and time again too.

So, if you think your tummy is in need of help, you can’t laugh or sneeze without peeing or you just want to be sure that your body is ready for exercise again, this is the course for you.

Tips

This course will only be as successful as you make it. In order to feel the full reward of attending, you need to be prepared to find 10-15 minutes each day to undertake your ‘homework’. Helen will be able to nudge you all along the way and suggest ways to help you remember, but ultimately it’s down to you.

Facilities

The classes are all run in halls and indoor settings, so they are able to run come rain or shine. They all offer onsite toilets and parking, which is especially helpful if you’re attending a class with baby in tow. In addition, if you are at a mum & baby session, there will be a selection of toys and to keep your little one entertained.

Rating

Having now learnt more about what happens to our bodies when we have a baby, I honestly believe this course is an absolute must for anyone who wants to begin exercise again.

It’s a 5/5 from me!

Disclaimer: This post is a review of a Good for Mums course. Emma’s course was supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. Emma was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are her own.

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Review 2018: Studio 1314

I reviewed Studio 1314 on NorthHantsMum in 2016 when they were just starting out.

You may have seen their Lemon Face promotion (which will be starting again in April 2018) on Facebook, which has been hugely popular.

Click on the pictures themselves to see them in detail

I LOVED the pictures that they did for our family in 2016. Absolutely loved them. You can even see one of them at the top of my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook. So when Wayne invited me back to review the studio, to see what had changed, I LEAPED at the chance.

Wayne and Lucy are also very kindly offering a Special Offer just for NHM Readers, which is listed at the bottom of this post.

About

The team at Studio 1314 believe in the personal touch, not just in their pictures, but also in the way that they conduct their business.

Once you have made a booking you receive a very professional confirmation email which confirms your booking and provides a link to a slideshow of some of their pictures, a link to a Pinterest board which is a great source of inspiration.

The email also has a really useful section about what to bring to the photo shoot and which clothes would work best.

I really love that they encourage accessorising and personal items as these make the photos even more meaningful.

A few weeks before our photo shoot, Wayne phoned me and we had a really good chat about what to expect and what to bring for the photo shoot. I love that Wayne was interested in what I wanted to get from the photo shoot as well and that he had some great ideas of what to bring along.

The photoshoot

Having been to several family photo shoots since Miss NHM was born(which I am extremely grateful for!) we kind of know what to expect.

However, it’s always a NIGHTMARE the morning of the photo shoot. Trying to get everyone mobilised and in the car and not forget any of our outfits. Mr NHM nearly forgot his outfit this time (facepalm).

When we arrived at the studio (about 15 minutes drive from Hatch Warren) we were all quite harassed as there had been a couple of “discussions” in the car on the way there.

It was sooooo nice to just arrive at the studio and plonk ourselves on the lovely squishy sofa’s.

Wayne was very welcoming and let us catch our breath before looking through the outfits that we had brought with us. He gave us advice on which outfits he thought would photograph the best.

The photoshoot lasted 90 minutes and that time just FLEW by. Miss NHM absolutely loved being the centre of attention (no comment) when Wayne took lots of pictures of her. We also had several family photo’s taken which are just awesome.

I really loved that when Miss NHM was “doing her thing” (total poser. I blame her father!!!) we could just sit and watch on the lovely sofa. It was so nice to see someone else entertaining Miss NHM and to be able to just sit back and enjoy it.

Wayne was very patient with Miss NHM and he made her giggle lots. She’s very photogenic (yes, I am a bit biased) but she can also be VERY stubborn if she doesn’t want to do anything but Wayne had no problem at all with getting her to do the things he needed too, to ensure that the pictures are perfect.

(No, that isn’t Miss NHM. Lol!)

It’s brilliant that the studio is split into several areas. Miss NHM is getting to that age where she’s conscious about her body and doesn’t want to undress in front of someone else, so it was really useful having the dressing area to change in but still be able to talk to Wayne and Mr NHM.

On our way home, I asked Mr NHM if he enjoyed the photo shoot and he said that he did because it was very relaxed and fun. (I often drag him along to these kinds of things and he’s not often that enthusiastic but that previous sentence is high praise from him!!)

Miss NHM talked for the WHOLE 20 minutes that it took us to get home, about how she liked “the man who was really funny” and she liked having her picture taken. So high praise from her too! Lol.

A couple of weeks later we went back to the studio to see the final pictures in the viewing room. This is a lovely big room with a large TV screen, another fab sofa and an area with toys for little ones to play with. It was awesome to see the pictures on a big screen and we are soooo pleased with them!!!

Special Offer for NHM Readers

Wayne and Lucy are also very kindly offering a very special offer for NHM Readers. (Thank you very much!!!)

The first 10 people to contact the team at Studio 1314 and book before May 2018 will receive a Free family photoshoot, a mounted 7×5 inch prints of their choice and a digital file of the same image.

This would normally have a value of £150.

This offer is ONLY open to the first 10 people who book and ONLY available to NorthHantsMum Readers. Yay!

Tips

Make sure you read through the confirmation email and have a look at the pinterest board and the video.

Plan the outfits that you are going to take with you at least a few days before.

Make sure you have everything ready to go the night before your photo shoot so you don’t have a frantic morning like we did!!!!

Food

Wayne has a lovely stash of biscuits and a very wide range of drinks, including tango orange!!

They even had gluten free biscuits available for Miss NHM, which I thought was such a lovely touch!

Facilities

I think Studio 1314 are the only family photography studio in Basingstoke.

The studio itself has a large area where pictures are taken with a couple of sofa’s on where you can sit and watch what’s happening.

There is a separate viewing room which has a very large flat screen TV where you can review pictures and has an area for toys for toddlers and little ones. The sofa is fab in here too! lol.

There is a toilet within the studio and changing area.

Baby Facilities

The team at Studio 1314 are parents so they TOTALLY get what it’s like having children. They even have a baby changing mat available for you to use!

Parking

Is free, ample and next to the studio.

Prices

Please see the website for more details.

Rating out of 5

Definitely 5 out of 5. It’s clear that Wayne is very passionate about what he’s does and ensuring that the customer gets what they want.

Final Thoughts

We LOVE the photo’s that Wayne and Lucy take. Absolutely love them and I’m very grateful for the opportunity to have another photoshoot with them.

Contact details

www.studio1314.co.uk

www.facebook.com/studio1314

www.instagram.com/studio1314

Wedding Page: www.waynekahnphotography.co.uk

Disclaimer: This post is a review of Studio1314. The photoshoot was supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. I was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own.

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SNOW!!! Things to do with little ones whilst it’s snowing…

Yay! It’s snowing! I know this is a complete nightmare for LOTS and lots of people but I LOVE the snow so I’m very excited about it, even if we did only last 10 minutes because my extremely strong willed 6 year old refused to wear her gloves and got very cold hands very quickly. Sigh!

I’ve also been up since 6am stressing about keeping everyone updated on which schools and pre-schools are opened or closed so I am exhausted! lol.

You can check on this post for more details about which schools are open still and the times that they close: HCC School Closure Website

Anyyyyywaayy, this is my impromptu list of suggestions of things you can do with your little ones today whilst it’s snowing.

Whatever you end up doing…HAVE FUN!!!!!

Outdoors

  • Make snowmen snowwomen, snowbabies, snowchildren
  • Build an igloo
  • Make coloured ice balls (balloons filled with water and a bit of food colouring and leave outside over night)
  • Snowball fight/gentle throw
  • Sledging
  • Snow angels

Indoors

Other Useful Posts

What would you add to this list?

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Teeny Weeny Massage & Yoga for Babies

Miss NHM and I did a baby massage course with Gail in 2011 and the course was so good I still occasionally use the techniques that we were taught by Gail!

Teeny Weeny Massage & Yoga for Babies

I have been teaching Baby Massage dare I say, since 1995, having taken the first ever Baby Massage Course with the IAM (Int. Assoc. of Infant Massage) offered in the UK in 1993!   This really shows my age!!

I have taught in many areas of both Surrey, Berks and Hampshire, but over the last 18 years (since my son was born), have taught most of my classes in the Basingstoke, Hook and Farnham areas……(I may have even taught you….please forgive me if I don’t remember your name as I have taught literally hundreds of Mums over the years and a number now often make me feel even older by producing teenagers who were taught in my massage classes!).

Over the past 4 years I have offered Infant Massage & Baby Yoga classes in 4 -5 of with the wonderful Children’s Centres around Basingstoke which have sadly now closed (criminal!).

Following this  I  taught private classes at the West Side Community Centre in South Ham until last summer when I decided to have a 6 month break.

However, knowing these classes have been appreciated and valued by new Mums over the years and because there is little on offer because of the doors closing of the Children’s Centres, I have decided  to restart my classes in 2018.

I have always seen them as a kind of Foundation Classes for new parents, offering not just massage and yoga tuition but a wealth of information regarding all sorts of topics, where support can be given, problems can be mulled over, new baby handling confidence can increase and very importantly, new friends can be made.

So…..I have decided to return to the Chineham Library and teach my classes once again in Lillypads, the old Children’s Centre there, with my first 6 weeks course starting on Tues. 30th Jan. (and hopefully the second one starting on Tues. 20th March).

If you would like more details, please contact me on my mobile number below.

Thank you!

Gail Harbers (CIMI/BYI)

(Certified Infant Massage & Baby Yoga Instructor)

Teeny Weeny Massage & Yoga for Babies

Tel. 07720 291197

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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.

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