NHM Readers: Local places for Preloved items

I recently asked the Friends of  my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook if anyone could recommend the best places to take second hand items. (Thank you very much to everyone who responded!)

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

NHM Readers Recommend Local Places for Preloved Items

Spotlight Centre

Wendy said: Spotlight Centre. If you ask they can pass them onto those in need.  

Penny said: Spotlight have links with social services and can pass them on but please state that they are to be passed on.

Spotlight UK

Christ Church, Chineham

Vicki said: If you take them to Christ Church, Chineham we have contact that we can pass them onto one of which is a charity that helps trafficked individuals and has safe houses and refuges amongst its range of support.

Christ Church

Besom

Abigail said: Besom have taken loads of my baby clothes and baby items (and other stuff like kitchen goods and bed sheets etc) and they have gone to the women’s refuge. They come and collect and all the stuff goes to people in need rather than just charity and you even get a thank you letter in the post which was a surprise.

Besom

Basingstoke Voluntary Action

I have also suggested Basingstoke Voluntary action.

BVA

Community Furniture Project

You can donate unwanted furniture here.

CFP

National Childbirth Trust – Nearly New Sales

You could register to be a seller at the regular Nearly New Sales around the area throughout the year if you want to make a few pennies back.

NCT Nearly New Sales

North Hants Hospital Children’s Ward

Kathryn has advised that good quality toys (except soft toys) and books/complete board games can be donated to the hospital by being left with the ward clerks that wear purple shirts on Charlie’s ward or outpatients.

Emma also said that the children’s wards, CDU and children’s A&E room make use of toys that can be easily sterilised. Some wards may also accept clothing and nappies as they run short.

Little Hampshire

Katie said you can give good quality branded clothes to Little Hampshire and they will sell them for you and take a cut.
Little Hampshire

Basingstoke PCC

Michelle said that you can donate baby and toddler items to The Baby Clothing and Equipment Service. They accept good quality clothing (ages 0-2) and equipment such as cots, prams, stair gates, baby baths and high chairs.   
Baby Clothing and Equipment Service

Frimley Park Hospital

Desiree said that Frimley Park hospital are in need of toys (not soft toys) for their children’s A&E and F1 wards

Popley Little People

Run by Melrose Community Centre (a registered charity), Popley Little People always welcome donations of clean, working pre-school toys.

Popley Little People

As every, you can always take any unwanted items to any charity shop to see them put to good use and sold for a good cause!

Is there anywhere else you would recommend?

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My Favourite Comments so far on the October 2017 NorthHantsMum Survey…

I’m always a bit reticent to publish a survey because you never quite know what you are going to get back.

But you wonderful NHM Readers never fail me and have sent back some AWESOME comments and brilliant feedback, some of which made me laugh out loud and some which brought a tear to my eyes!

I probably ought to say that it’s not just me (Louise) running NHM now. I have an AMAZING team of volunteers who help out regularly, which is another reason why I wanted to publish some of your comments, because they should see that the work that they do voluntarily has a direct impact on parents and families in the area.

It’s been really interesting to see that there is a huge range in the time that people have been following NHM. Some of you have been with me since the very beginning (THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and some readers have only joined in the past few months. Your responses have made me a bit more aware that there is such a diversity in the length of time people have been following NHM. Not quite sure what to do with this! lol.

There have been some fantastic ideas suggested by you this year and have also prompted me to think about a few extra things to investigate over the next few months.

THANK YOU to everyone who has responded so far.

The survey is still open if you would like to complete it: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/FFNHHLW

If you’ve been following NHM for a while, you will know that my ego is MASSIVE! So this post is also for my own ego. So when I’m having a bit of a blah day with NHM, I can read this post and remind myself of why I do what I do on NorthHantsMum ;-).

I’m also quite looking forward to World Domination and becoming a Dame…Hahahahaha.

Favourite Comments

What do you love about NorthHantsMum?

Louise: When asked “What you love about NorthHantsMum” your responses made my heart SIIIIINNNGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHOOOHOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is exactly the kind of responses that I was looking for so it makes me BEYOND DELIGHTED that the reasons that you love NHM are what I intend. THANK YOU!!!!

“Honest reviews Great community spirit”

“It’s local, it isn’t trying to make money from me, it promotes a real sense of community”

“Such a wealth of info on many many areas.”

“Friendly, approachable, always available.”

“Useful stuff written by real mum’s who aren’t afraid to admit it’s hard to be a mum”

“I couldn’t live without it. My husband is about to take over my maternity leave and be a stay at home dad. I’ve told him that he only need use NHM to see what may be of interest to the kids in any given day. It’s a finger on the pulse of family events and all things kids. One source of truth!”

“The availability to meet people, help others through questions asked, ask questions, see you’re not alone, get ideas for things to do and see, activities and events that are taking place. (Often I’ve seen events that you have said you’re interested in which makes me go check out what it is!)”

“I love how nhm is the first thing I think I about when looking for things to do locally”

“Zero judgement”

“Down to earth, honest and very excitable (passionate)”

“Very knowledgeable about local area and a central point fog likeminded people in the area. If you have a question which Louise can’t answer one of the followers knows!”

“That pretty much everything you could need as a parent is in one place”

“the community feel. like we’re all friends.”

“Great supportive community, lots of up to date local info.”

“Louise 🙂 Also so much info & accessibility for so many people, friendly helpful community spirit”

“All the activities that are going on in one place. That NHM is a real Mum, and tells it like it is.”

“The community spirit, and kind and super helpful network it supports and creates for us all.”

“Great tips/info/ideas and places to visit plus what’s on locally as it’s not otherwise advertised to be seen easily.”

“Everything! Reviews, what’s on that Louise nhm fb shares, reader questions, all of it, it’s all relevant and needed!”

What would you like to see LESS of on NorthHantsMum?

Louise: I am SOOO pleased to see that there were hardly any comments to this question. 

Although I do feel compelled to respond to the comments about my recent negativity towards Miss NHM’s previous school.

I’m VERY pleased to say that Miss NHM is absolutely thriving at her new school so I anticipate that future comments about schools will be far more positive ;-).

What should happen next on NorthHantsMum? What is missing from NorthHantsMum? What would you dream of for NorthHantsMum?

Louise: Love, love, LOVE the comments on this one!!! 

“My only wish is that it doesn’t bog you down too much so that you can keep up the awesomeness and keep enjoying it! (Because then we can too ??) There’s nothing else out there like it, it’s a lifeline for mums (No pressure ??)”

“I think just to continue providing the amazing community service that you already do. It’s amazing what you have built in your “spare”time. It’s fabulous”

“Keep doing what you’re doing”

“Continue as you are!”

“World domination ??”

“Change nothing xx”

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Louise: The responses to the final question of the survey are nearly always my favourites 😀

“Just a big massive thank you for all the spare time and hard work you put into this. As one individual I would struggle to remember all that you have helped me with as there is just so much. Multiply that by everyone else and that’s a whole bunch of selfless helping!!!”

“Nope. Keep up the good work”

“It’s really helpful. Saves searching Google for the information you need.”

“Thank you for all that you do! It’s hugely appreciated.”

“Great work whatever you do next”

“Love what is done on here. Really great work going on.”

“Brilliant resource, so lucky to have it available locally.”

“An absolutely fantastic concept and a huge well done for keeping it all going along with a family and job!!”

“Great work Louise, you are doing the community proud.”

“Your the bestest”

“A great resource that can only evolve and go from strength to strength.”

“Thank you for all you do x”

“Thank you! I have shared your page with many Mum’s!”

“You’re amazing. The support you provide is amazing. Thank you so much. I would have been lost these last two years without the virtual comfort blanket you have provided for me. Well done on giving something so valuable to so many.”

“Louise is fab and should be made a Dame”

“You are an amazing lady doing a wonderful thing for other mummies! Thank you! ”

“Thank you for producing such a wonderful resource for local families.”

“Your doing fab Louise”

“You do a brilliant job Lou.”

THANK YOU for all of your comments and your support!!!

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NHM Reader Recommendations: Doulas

Louise recently asked “I’m currently working on a post about local Doula’s. Do you have any recommendations of local Doula’s that you have met and “worked” with? TIA”

Thank you to Desiree and Lisa for the following information websites on local doulas:

https://hampshiredoulas.wordpress.com

www.doula.org.uk

Thanks also to all those NHM readers who gave the following recommendations. In no particular order. 

Thank you also to Juliet who put this post together!!

NHM Reader Recommendations: Doulas

Lisa Ramsay

Lisa Ramsey – Confident Birthing

Beth said “Lisa Ramsey”

Karen said “Currently working with Lisa Ramsey. Confident birthing”

Lyndsey said “Lisa Ramsay is wonderful”

Desiree Rawson

Desiree Rawson

Bethan said “Desiree Doula Rawson”

Jill said “Desiree Rawson”

Karen Mitchell

Karen Mitchell – My Doula

Beth says “Karen Mitchell”

Wendy Wood

Wendy Wood – Relax for Birth

Shaneene said “Wendy Wood – incredible lady”

Laura Geary

Laura Geary

Rebecca said “Laura Geary – she was fab for me!”

Jane Barnfield

Jane Barnfield – Bright and Beautiful Maternity Care

Lisa said “Jane Barnfield”

Carly Lewis

Carly Lewis – Doula Fairy

Jenni said “Carly Lewis”

Nicky White

Nicky White – Berkshire Doula

Victoria said “Nicky White”

Charmaine Sala

Charmaine Sala Massage Specialist

Kirsty said “Charmaine Sala”

Aliceja said “I’ve not used her but I met Charmaine Sala at a mothercare event and she is really lovely and in training to become a doula this year I think”

Carla said “Charmaine Sala”

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Review 2017: Beale Park

Thank you to the NHM Secret Reviewer who wrote today’s post.

Review 2017: Beale Park

Like many other afflicted parents, I have a boy addicted to trains. I made the mistake of promising a train ride all week, and today I had to deliver. Fortunately I live in an area where there are quite a few options that aren’t solely about trains, and today was Beale Park – a stunning wildlife park and gardens with a fantastic selection of children’s play areas. Perfect!

Beale Park website

Beale Park Facebook Page

About

Beale Park is a wildlife park and gardens about 30-40 minutes away from Basingstoke, between Lower Basildon and Pangbourne, by the River Thames. There are three main features to the park:

Wildlife:
The park has a collection of small exotic animals, farm animals and birds, including meerkats, wallabies, coatis, owls and peacocks to name but a few. The train passes many of these areas, which can be very useful for tired little feet, although the paths are pushchair friendly. There is also a deer park set in a large open space with picnic area and zip wire. We haven’t been that far yet though.

Attractions:
The park’s miniature train runs every day during their open season and your first ride is included with your entry ticket. There is an additional charge for further rides. There is an amazing Little Tikes Outdoor Village, indoor play area, adventure playground, paddling pool, sandpit, Roplay area and aerial cableway. To be honest, there is so much at the central play area alone, we could spend the whole day there and our boys would be happy (with a train ride of course).

Gardens:
We have so far managed to convince our boys that the way to the main play area is through the Jubilee Water Gardens. That’s not strictly true but the gardens are so stunning we don’t see the harm in being a little sneaky in order to enjoy the amazing walk. With a beautiful oriental feel, I can’t imagine leaving them feeling anything other than relaxed. There is also a ‘Dry Garden’ running alongside the inner lake making it a wonderful feature.

Conservation

Not only is Beale Park an amazing day out for all, it is committed to conservation of rare and endangered species, managing several projects and supporting others. Always a bonus having a great day out and knowing you are contributing to a wonderful cause.

Food

The Peacock restaurant offers a good range of hot and cold food and drinks. I was also surprised and impressed to see on our way out a table offering fresh milk for tea/coffee etc, including soya milk. I don’t know if they cater for special diets, but I will definitely be checking next time!

Tips

Don’t forget your swimming costumes and towels if you’re intending on using the paddling pool

We found it useful to eat early as the restaurant got very busy

It’s also worth keeping an eye out on their website or Facebook page for events

Facilities

There are two toilet blocks with baby change facilities in the park.

The routes around the park are pram and wheelchair friendly.

Parking

There is a large car park to the front of the park with no charge for parking.

Prices

Prices for low and high season can be found on the park’s website: Beale Park admissions

Children under two years old go free

Rating out of 5

Has to be 5/5, there is just so much to do and see

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NHM Readers Recommend how to find out about primary school open days 2018

An NHM Reader recently sent the following message “I was wondering if you could post on the NHM page asking fellow NHM’s how to find out about primary school open days for kids starting September 2018? I’ve no idea so we’d like to visit a few and don’t want to miss out!”

Many thanks to the NHM Community for your replies, which are below.

A Facebook Group was also set up, the link to which can be found here: Basingstoke 2018 YR R (NorthHantsMum). Thank you so much to Wendy for setting this up. 

NHM Readers Recommend how to find out about primary school open days 2018

Louise Nhm Smith said “ I’m fairly sure that you have to check the individual websites of each school you are interested in. I might be wrong though…”

Louise Nhm Smith said “This link will be useful too: School Catchments

Rachael said “Yeah each school is different, their websites should tell you or call the school reception. It might be a little while before it goes on the websites”

Rebekah said “Usually the open days are October- Nov so check the school websites or ring the school mid September(give the school the chance to get back in the swing of things after the hols)”

Heidi said “If there is no open day information posted, make sure you contact the school directly to ask – our school does private tours, no open days…”

Leah said “Some schools only have open evenings & some only have open days & some only have private tours. I’d look on the websites of the schools you’re most interested in & if not on there call them up. I have 2 choices I’m putting down & know one of them anyway so don’t particularly need to attend open day. I’ll be calling or attending the other school open day but as it’s my local one it’s more than likely my son will go to that one. So scary they’ll be 4 and starting school next year!”

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We ARE keeping a “Sitting with Jane” bench in Basingstoke! WHOOOOOOHOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When the first 12 Lot’s (benches) started bidding at £3000 my first thought was “ah well, at least we’ve raised £1000 for Ark Cancer Centre Charity“.

My second thought was “PHEW!! I don’t need to work out what happens next if we win one!!!” Hahaha.

Then, Lot 13, “Girl Power” came on the screen and they started playing the Spice Girls in the background.

And I started to get a tingly feeling in my tummy…

The bidding started at £3K. Then it dropped to £2K. And then it dropped to £1K and I felt my hand shoot up into the air, with the bidding paddle.

Now, it’s a huge responsibility to bid with other people’s money and there was a LOT of expectation. Running a campaign like this is a huge honour and privilege, one which I don’t take lightly.

I was shaking ALL night.

Several of the benches raised £7K and I felt a teeeennny tiny bit out of my league.

Had it not been for Sue, Rachel and Cathy who came with me, I would have been a dribbling mess on the floor.

And then the Auctioneer said, “anymore bids?”…”Anymore?”…

Sue and Rachel were sat next to me and were clutching my arms and I LITERALLY didn’t breathe for about 5 minutes. At least that’s what it felt like.

“Going once”….

“Going twice”…..

And somebody put in a bid at £1250.

GUTTED!!!!!

And that was it.

I thought it was all over.

I think I literally sagged in my chair.

I heard someone behind me bid for £1500. Then the bidding closed.

And then I got a text.

From Laura at The Topiary, who was sat at the back of the auction.

We had a conversation in the week that we would collaborate if things got a bit hairy in the auction and it didn’t look like either of us would get a chance of getting one.

And in her text it said “I’ll give you the £500”. “You can have it xxx”.

So, we got it!

“Girl Power”.

(Not the best pictures as I was STILL shaking at this point. However, I expect to see far better pictures of this bench in the future! lol).

Thank you!!!!

I need to say a HUGE thank you to the following people, without whom we never would have stood a chance.

My beloved husband, Mr NHM, whose encouragement and belief in my “crazy” ideas is never ending.

Sue – who took Miss NHM and I to see our first bench at the Walled Garden and got me caught up in this whole thing!! Your friendship and unfailing support means so much to me.

Rebecca at The Typeface Group who has been so supportive along this whole journey and who kept me going when I got back from holiday at the end of August and I thought I’d lost momentum.

Mark at The Ark for his brilliant support, enthusiasm and encouragement and Michelle for her wonderful support!!

Steve and Charlotte at Festival Place for their support and encouragement.

All of the NHM Ladies who believed we could do it and donated:  Wendy, CathyW, Lilian, LauraE, Zoe, Cathy, Karen, Lisa, Helen, Gisella, LauraW, Juliet, Emma, Sue, Sally, Mary, Sarah, Allison, Ceri, Katie, SueS, Victoria, Julie, Rebecca, Jules, Eleanor, Pauline, Michele, Jaz, Rachel, Natasha, Stephany, Kath, Sharon, Sarah, Claire, BeckyT, Lisa, Emily, Pam, Cat, Lyndsey, Rebecca H, Stephanie, Gillian. Thank you!!! You are ALL AWESOME!!!!!

Everyone who entered the competition and helped to raised the profile of the campaign. All of the children looked FANTASTIC!!!!

Mike O’Neil at Action Trophies for his very generous donation.

Nicky from Ma Humbugs Old Fashioned Sweet Shop for her generous donation.

John from Tidal Bay Crazy Adventure Golf for his VERY generous donation (£250!!!) about 30 minutes before the event started. STREEEESSSFFULLLL!!!!! Hahaha

Laura from The Topiary for her INCREDIBLE donation and without whom we never would have stood a chance of getting the bench.

Apologies if there is anyone whom I’ve missed off. I’ve barely slept a wink! lol.

What happens next?

Although I had a very strong feeling that we would get a bench, I hadn’t quite sorted out any of the details about what happens if we actually did!! lol.

I am looking to donate the bench to somewhere that people can still access the bench and where it will be indoors so that it lasts for a very long time. If you have any sensible suggestions please do let me know at NorthHantsMum@gmail.com.

Otherwise it’s going on my Mum’s front drive! 😀 😀 :-D.

Also, if you know of anyone who might be able to help me move the bench as it needs to be removed by Monday (18th September), please do get in touch!!!!

Finally

I would really love to get a little plaque for the bench which will say:

“I dedicate this bench to all of the Mums, and their children, in North Hampshire”.

We did it.

Thank you!

You are all AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! xx

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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.

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Domestic Violence in North Hampshire

Louise recently asked the NHM Community on “Louise nhm Smith” for advice for a local lady suffering domestic violence and in need of support.

The responses were heart-warming, and the offers of individual help were amazing to read. In the hopes that this information can help others who find themselves in a similar situation, this post has been put together.

Please note that we are not experts in Domestic Violence and have only tried to put together the information that the NHM Community provided us with, in the hope of helping others in this awful situation.

Thank you to all those who provided input and for showing true community and thank you to J who put this post together on NHM.

Immediate Assistance

Women’s Aid is the national charity working to end domestic abuse against women and children. They offer a Freephone 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline run in partnership between Women’s Aid & Refuge – 0808 2000 247. Their online services also include The Survivors Forum and The Hideout.

Refuge is a national charity providing specialist support for women and children experiencing domestic violence with a network of refuges across the country. They offer many services including child support workers and outreach services (for women who choose not to go into a refuge or leave their home). Their Freephone Helpline is in partnership with Women’s Aid above.

Domestic Abuse Support Hantsweb is a confidential help service for women, men, children and young people experiencing domestic abuse in Hampshire, available on the council website.

Victim Support, Hampshire and Isle of Wight is an independent charity funded by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Police Commissioner.

Support and Information

The Survivor’s Handbook is an online guide on the Women’s Aid website providing practical support and information for women experiencing domestic abuse, with simple guidance on every aspect of seeking support.

Further Support

Taking Steps is a local charity based project, founded by a lady called Gerrie Jordan, offering support for men and women who have experienced domestic abuse.

The You Trust is a charity working in Hampshire and Dorset in a number of specialist areas, from Learning Disabilities to Mental Health and Domestic Violence and Abuse.

North Hants Domestic Violence project on Sarum Hill, 01256 816004.

Practical and Legal Advice

Basingstoke and Tadley Citizens Advice Bureau offers free, independent, impartial and confidential advice.

Assistance with Family Life

The Safe is a local charity offering practical, emotional and social support.

Home Start is a family support charity, with local offices helping families with young children deal with whatever life throws at them.

Counselling

There are many counselling services across North Hampshire, the above organisations should be able to put you in touch with those most relevant. There are also a few examples below:

Relate is a charity aimed at helping people make the most of their couple and family relationships, past, present or future. There is a fee involved, although there is also a free online Live Chat service.

Cedar Tree Counselling is a counselling service located in central Basingstoke, providing affordable, professional counselling for the whole community.

Top Tips

It’s worth considering clearing your browser history after researching your options.

If deciding to leave, do not be alone when breaking the news, or leave when they are out. Make sure there are people with you either way.

Reach out to your local community centre, there may be groups behind the scenes who may be able to offer support.

Are there any other comments you would add? 

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NorthHantsMum is my HOBBY!!!!

I feel I need to state this very clearly.

NorthHantsMum. Is. My. HOBBY!!!

I work on it in my “spare” time.

I don’t spend all day, every day working on NorthHantsMum. I have other things going on in my life. I work a full time job (40 hrs) in part time hours (30 hrs), I have a little part time job that I work 5-10 hours a week, I have a daughter with a serious illness, a husband who is the equivalent to my second child (his words, not mine!!) AND NorthHantsMum. Plus there are my loyal friends, my extended family, a house to run, school life to manage, finances to monitor etc. etc. etc. that factor into this equation.

My time to work on NorthHantsMum is limited and I will be ETERNALLY grateful to anyone who takes this into consideration.

I make absolutely no money on the website for what I do. Neither do the couple of lovely ladies who regularly help me out with posts and pages. We are all volunteers.

VOLUNTEERS.

Please, please, please keep this in mind when you are sending me messages or posts or are emailing me. I have a limited amount of energy. I’m very sorry if your post doesn’t get scheduled exactly when you want it too. That is because I’m being pulled in MANY different directions at the same time.

I love what I do on NHM. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t do it. But I am finding that there has been a lot more pressure this year. People are demanding a lot more from me than they used too.

For example, so far on NHM this year I have:

  • Handled two domestic abuse cases
  • Dealt with a case of a child that was in extreme pain and what to do
  • Helped several vulnerable new Mum’s find the support systems that they desperately need
  • Put lots of parents new to the area in touch with each other
  • Helped with finding holiday childcare for several Mum’s
  • Put several single Mum’s in touch with each other so they can create a support system
  • Helped publicise the Christmas Food Box appeal and co-ordinated a Christmas present drive for a family who were in the local refuge over Christmas
  • Helped many Mum’s and Dad’s whose children are starting school in September this year AND next year.

And lots and lots more that I can’t even remember now.

This doesn’t include posting on the website every day about events, classes, important news for local parents, attending events that I’m invited too, co-ordinating the AWESOME volunteers who so fantastically help me out and save my sanity, organise the schedule and administration for NHM and a truck load of other stuff for the blog.

I LOVE that NHM can help people in the way that it does now. I definitely don’t resent any of it at all. I am privileged and very honoured that I, and the NHM Community, can help people in the way that we do.

I know that it’s my own fault for creating the “monster” that is NHM. However, I never, ever, ever expected it to be what it has become.

But I barely get any time to write personal posts anymore. I know some of you think this is a good thing, but the whole point of having a blog is to be able to actually blog! lol.

I LOVE what NorthHantsMum has become. I really do, but I need a break. I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY need a break.

I am exhausted.

Exhausted from three years of battling the medical profession. Exhausted from two years of battling school. Exhausted from the changes that are being enforced upon me at work which means I am being demoted in my job. Exhausted.com.

So, I am taking the summer off, like I normally do. Except this year I am REALLY taking the summer off.

For the sake of my sanity and my family and my daughter, I am planning on taking six weeks off NHM, from Mon 24th July until Mon 4th September. That may even be 7 weeks. I don’t care how long it is, all I know is, I NEED A BREAK!!!!

Miss NHM is getting older now and strangely she needs me more now than she ever did. I don’t know if it’s because of her illness but she is far more demanding than she was when she was little! lol.

So if you send me an email or a message and I don’t reply in two or three weeks, it’s not because I’m ignoring you. It’s because I’m out enjoying my life and my time with my family. Thank you for understanding.

As always, thank you for your fantastic and very much needed support of NorthHantsMum. And yes, this post makes me sound like a total martyr and normally I’m not, but maybe I’m feeling a bit like that at the moment or maybe I just need a rest?

Roll on the Summer Holidays!!!! WHOOP!!!!!

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Review 2017: Little Street – a unique play opportunity for little people

Thank you VERY much to the NHM Secret Reviewer who wrote today’s post and to Little Street for inviting us along to their re-launch event!

https://www.little-street.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/littlestreet.co.uk/

About

Little Street in Frimley is a role play centre for young children. It is a miniature version of a town, giving little ones the perfect opportunity to try out lots of different experience and careers!

Open 7 days a week, Little Street offer four 90 minute play sessions a day for little people to explore their little world. Pre-booking is recommended as numbers are limited to ensure the best experience for everyone attending. Little Street is suitable for children up to 7 and even has a play pen for young babies as well as bumbo seats available for use.

My daughter (19 months) and I were lucky enough to attend the re-launch event after a recent refurbishment which has made way for a brand new vets and an air ambulance. As well as the new areas children can take a visit to Chicco’s cafe or Belle & Beau Beauty Salon. They can do their weekly shop at the (very well stocked!) supermarket.

There is also a construction site, complete with rocks, bricks and diggers and the Starlets Theatre, which has an Ice Cream stall, stage, musical instruments and many fancy dress costumes. In addition to this there are a variety of ride on toys which can be driven around the road. The attention to detail in each room is amazing, with appropriate wall stickers and fantastic props including animals in the vets, make up and hair products in the salon and many familiar items in the supermarket!

My daughter was a big fan of the new air ambulance and was fascinated by the rotors on top. She also loved the supermarket and kept taking any trolleys that she’d found outside the shop back to it!

The staff at Little Street were very welcoming and did a fantastic job of keeping the place tidy (and as much as possible items in the right rooms!) without disrupting the children’s play. It is very clean and everything is in great condition, you can tell it is very well looked after.

Food

The venue has a small café where you can purchase hot or cold drinks, cakes and healthy snacks.

Parking

There is some parking on site at the station for a small charge, or there is a car park a short walk away where you can park for free for 2 hours – ideal as the sessions you can book are 90 minutes.

Tips

Remember you and your little one will need to wear socks. Don’t worry if you forget as they do have some you can purchase when you get there!

It also has a handy buggy park – if you ask at reception they can give you a lock to secure your buggy in the shelter outside.

Rating out of 5

After wanting to visit Little Street for ages, we were so pleased that it lived up to and exceeded our expectations and we will certainly be going back in the future! It gets a fantastic 5 out of 5 from us!!

Disclaimer: This post is a review of Little Street. The NHM Secret Reviewers experience was supplied free of charge for the purposes of the review. She was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are her own.

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