Guest Post Wednesday: Fitness with Becky Lane

You may have read the posts I put up earlier in the year about my efforts to get fitter and a little bit more in shape HERE. I’ve been desperate to lose the baby weight (and more!) and I wasn’t doing particularly well until I signed up for a course that popped up in my NHM FB newsfeed in July.

Becky is a local Mum who run’s her own fitness business. I signed up for a 21 days fitness course which included meal plans and fitness videos. I don’t normally subscribe to this kind of thing but Becky was doing a deal where the money for the course went to St Michael’s Hospice.

Another of the reasons I was attracted to the course was because you didn’t have to attend classes or meetings. All of the support was online (via Facebook) and Becky is very innovative in her approach to contact with you. The exercise video’s were posted to You Tube and each week Becky provided a Video or Voice recording to help keep us all motivated. The diet was based on the Paleo diet (which I hadn’t heard of before) which is very big in the US. The exercises were very intense but were only 8 minutes long at the most.

Most importantly, I lost 4kg in those three weeks AND I’ve managed to keep them off since. I always thought I had a pretty good diet but was just a bit lazy but this opened my eyes to how many carbs and how much sugar I was eating and how little exercise I was doing. The first week was the hardest, but after that first week I was amazed at the energy I suddenly had. I’ve always been aware of how diet and exercise can impact your energy levels but never actually experienced it.

Becky also runs the “Little Black Dress” club. I think the last class of the year has started, but seeing the photos that are posted onto the support groups, the results look very dramatic. One of the reasons I enjoyed these 21 days was the support network that you build between the other ladies who are also following the course. Seeing everyone’s pictures of their meals was quite inspiring. Another perk was that you are automatically signed up to Becky’s website, so every Friday I get an email in my inbox reminding me of something healthy I should be doing! You also don’t need to live locally to attend Becky’s courses.

I’ve tried to follow the general habits that Becky taught me but my love of chocolate often gets in the way. I’m definitely eating less carbs and those that I do eat are the “good” kinds like rice or rice noodles. If you are interested in finding out more about this class or other fitness classes that Becky runs, please check out her website: or Fitness with Becky Lane on Facebook.

Halloween Parties for the Younger Age Group in North Hampshire – 2012

A NHM reader asked a great question on NorthHants Mum and I thought the response deserved blog post. (Plus, I feel guilty that I didn’t post much this week because of internet issues.) Thanks for your question Kaela! I’ve put together a short post for you on Halloween Parties for little ones. Hope it helps!

Kaela asked: “Do you know anywhere that are doing children’s Halloween parties for the more younger age group? Many thanks”

Bopping Babies: Wednesday 24th (Chineham)  and Friday 26th October (Bramley)

Bopping Babies is back with a ‘bang’ with the Halloween special themed

Toddler Sense “Spooky Wooky Party”

Toddler Sense Spooky Wooky Party on the 28th October! Places are filling so please do contact me if you would like to come along for some fabby “more Wooky than Spooky” fun especially for your little one! Email at

PlayDays is having a Halloween Party: TICKETS ON SALE NOW!!!

Playdays Halloween Party, Fri 26th Oct And Sat 27th Oct 6-8:30pm. They have prices for children under 18 months, so will probably be appropriate for little people.

Active Tots Halloween Party

Join us for some HALLOWEEN FUN on Wednesday 31st October! Its a chance to show off your fancy dress! Soft Play as usual, with a few extras in our Activities Room which will be transformed to provide themed activities throughout the day!

The Green Gloop will be simmering in the cauldron for those that wish to give it a stir! Decorate yummy themed biscuits and more….. Usual Play Price plus £2.00 for those wishing to take part in the Halloween Activities! Fancy Dress is a must with prizes for the best dressed!


JJ’s has a halloween Party on, but it’s for older children and is from 6pm to 10pm

Children’s Centres

The Big Children’s Centres: Pebbles, Octopus and Buttercups used to do Halloween themed parties  and events (I think), but I can’t find anything about this on each of their websites and they may not be happening because of the change to Action for Children.

If there are any other events that are happening in the area for younger children, it would be great if you could share so others can see. Thanks everyone!

Baby Weighing Clinic’s in Basingstoke (Last updated 12th September 2013)

Sarah Dutton Photography (2)

I’ve been trying to find an updated list to the lists I used last year but I can’t find them anywhere online.

So I’ve included links to those old clinics, in the hope that someone will be able to send me the latest timetable, so I can share with you all!

The plan is to keep this updated on an ongoing basis.

Please can you let me know of any baby clinics that you know of in the area at  Thanks!


Baby Clinic: The Nest, at Chineham Christchurch, 9.30am to 11.30am Lilypad’s Children’s Centre

Baby Clinic, Gillies Health Centre, 1.30pm to 2.45pm, Buttercups Childrens Centre


Baby Clinic, Baby Chillout and Breastfeeding Support, Gill Nethercott Centre, 10am to 11.30am (fortnighthly) Honeycomb Children’s Centre

Baby Clinic, Baby Weigh and Play with breastfeeding support, 9.30am to 11.30am, Basingstoke Discovery Centre. Octopus/Pebbles Children’s Centre

Baby Clinic, Baby Weigh and Play, 9.30am to 11.30am, Hometree Children’s Centre


Baby Clinic, Baby Weigh and Play with breastfeeding support, Popley Fields Community Centre, Popley: 10-12pm, Octopus/Pebbles Childrens Centre

Baby Clinic, Baby Weigh and Play: Bramley, 9.30am to 11.30am (2nd Wednesday of the month) Lilypad’s childrens centre

Hatch Warren Baby Clinic

Baby Clinic: Rooks Down Community Centre, 9.30am to 11am, 3rd Wed of the Month. Honeycomb Children’s Centre

Baby Clinic: St Leondards Centre, Oakley, 2pm to 3.30pm (1st Wednesday of the month) Honeycombe Children’s Centre

Baby Clinic, Baby Weigh and All Play, 10am to 12pm, Bunnies Childres Centre


Baby Clinic, Baby Weigh and Play, 1.30pm to 2.30pm, Kingclere Health Centre, Hometree Children’s Centre (once a month)

Baby Clinic and Baby Chill, 1.30pm to 2.45pm, Westside Children’s Centre


Overton Childrens Centre, 9.30am to 11.30am( Every 3rd Friday of the month). Honeycomb Children’s Centre


The Basingstoke Discovery Centre

Related Pages/Posts 


13 Things to do in Basingstoke with a newborn

Breastfeeding Support in Basingstoke – Feb 2015


New Parents

Reviews of local attractions

Mum Top Tips!

Historical Links

Summer 2011 breastfeeding support

Baby Clinics October 2009

Last updated 12th September 2013. If anything is incorrect, please email me on Thanks!

Guest Post Wednesday: MAD Academy

Elaine contacted me asking if I could publicise the new MAD Academy classes for her. Here is her post…

MAD Academy classes for preschool children are bursting with energy and fun!  Each week we combine lively music and dance, with carefully structured learning, designed for the specific age and developmental stage of your child.

We sing and dance to lots of popular songs which you will already know, as well as a few new funky ones of our own.  Children are introduced to a wide range of music, whilst being given the chance to explore different rhythms, musical instruments and musical styles.  Dance and movement are key elements of every session and we play lots of games which are guaranteed to be fun and motivational!

As well as ensuring each child has a fantastic time, we give them the opportunity to develop confidence, motor control, physical co-ordination, and social skills, whilst learning to express themselves creatively and encouraging their natural passion for music.

Children are accompanied by an adult and we hope you will enjoy the opportunity to share some fun time with your child.  At MAD we believe in a free-spirited approach to learning which means that if your child doesn’t want to join in an element that’s fine.  The ethos at MAD Academy is a relaxed and fun time for the children and this will, we hope, rub off on you!  Come and experience it for yourself!

We’re actually restarting. The classes used to be run by Cathy, who’s now teaching classes at Hatch Warren on Friday for us…9.30 walkers to 2 yrs, 10.25 2-4 yrs, and 11.20 walkers to 4s. And it’s now run by Sarah Maskell , who’s been teaching for many years and she’ll be doing a class at 9.30 in Chineham Village Hall on a Tuesday for walkers to 4yr olds, and a class at the Salvation Army Hall in Tadley on a Wednesday for walkers to 4 year olds at 9.30. or the MAD Facebook Page

People do need to call to book, as we only put a limited number in each class.

If you mention NorthHantsMum then the first class is free and we do a special rate for siblings and childminders.

Please call us on 01189391055 or 07771850298 to reserve a space.

13 Things to do in Basingstoke with a newborn


1. Subscribe to NorthHantsMum

Obviously! :-D. 

The best way to ensure that you receive each post is subscribe using the “Email Sign Up” box” on the right hand side of the home page of Every time there is a new post on NHM you will receive an email in your inbox.

I get the most interaction on” Louise NHM Smith” on Facebook . The best discussions and comments are always via “Louise NHM Smith“, so I also recommend adding me as a friend. Don’t worry, I don’t ever look at anyones’ profiles. I don’t have the time or interest! lol.

Also ask to join the secret “Newborn”  (or “Pregnancy”) facebook group that I have set up on “Louise NHM Smith” for parents of Newborns. It’s a great way to meet other Mum’s who are in the same stage of babyhood as you.

2. Join a Baby PEEP course

Click for more details about what a PEEP course is. See if your local Children’s Centre hosts one) or Baby Sensory.

3. Go swimming with your baby

Go swimming with your baby (after 12 weeks old) at the Sports Centre in the week or QMC swimming pool at the weekend. See here for more details. You can check out other baby and child friendly swimming pools HERE. Or maybe look into structured classes with Water Babies.

4. Go to a baby weighing clinic

Go to The Nest at Chineham Church on a Monday morning. I always found the cafe area to be lovely as everyone was very friendly and willing to chat to each other, even if you didn’t know them beforehand! You can check out other baby weighing clinics HERE.

5. Find your local Children’s Centre

Visit your local Children’s Centre and ask them about the facilities available. Find details of all of the Children’s Centres in North Hampshire here. A lot of the classes on offer have a reduced cost so if you are struggling for money during your maternity leave, check out the Children’s Centres for support and low cost classes.

6. Visit a local coffee or tea shop

Visit the Little Roses Coffee Shop in Elm Tree Garden Centre for coffee and cake with your friends who are also on maternity leave. You can find other baby friendly tea and coffee shops HERE. I also recently reviewed The Parlour TeaRoom which also comes highly recommended.

7. Go to the Newbies cinema

Go to Newbies cinema on a Monday morning at the Odeon. It’s specifically for parents with babies. The sound is reduced and it’s half lighting so you can still see your baby. Much cheaper than normal cinema tickets and includes free biscuits and tea and coffee (if you get there before the Senior cinema oldies demolish the lot at 11am!). Also recommend signing up to their Odeon Club as you get points and it’s amazing how quickly they rack up and convert into free tickets or free food! Miss NHM went to the cinema every week from 3 weeks old till 6 months old!

8. Take a a Baby Massage Course

You can book independently here or investigate whether one of the local children’s centres has a course. (this tends to work out much cheaper!) Gail who often does the courses is lovely and a real calming influence. Try Baby Bump Bliss or Massage for Mum’s.

9. Go to a Baby Rhymetime session

Go to a Baby RhymeTime session (normally hosted at one of the libraries).

10. Visit “Coffee and Chat on a Friday morning

Visit “Coffee and Chat” on a Friday morning. This group also host a “Sling Day” on the 1st Friday of the month (see here and here for previous posts about slings) and they also do bra fittings on the 1st and 3rd Friday of the month.

11. Have a photography session with your newborn

You can click HERE for a list of family friendly photographers in the area. Some do specific newborn packages, so have a look through.

12. Join a local baby class

There are LOADS going on in the area (Tots Play, Buggy Fit, Baby Signing, Baby Sensory, Splatter Monkeys are just a few). To find more details about which classes are available have a look at the Activities Page on which lists classes by day.

13. Take some hand prints whilst your baby is tiny

Get a head start on those all important first Christmas presents at Pots2Paint. Perfect for creating keepsakes from your baby for your loved ones.


I found it really important to get out and about with my little one in those first few months. The house became thoroughly neglected but it was totally worth it for my sanity!

If you have any friends who have just had a baby, don’t forget to share this post with them!

Related Pages

Things to do/Places to go with a baby when it’s raining

“The Best Baby Changing in Basingstoke Town Centre” Poll

Babysitting in Basingstoke

Baby weighing clinic

Soft Play Centres


Basingstoke Babies


GPW: Maggie B – beautiful extra soft baby blankets

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

NHM Reader Question: Weekend Playgroups

Sue asked on the Facebook Page: Does anyone know if there are any coffee and play groups in Basingstoke at weekends? If not, is it because no-one wants them or because no-one has set one up? I have real problems keeping my 19 month entertained especially as his Daddy works 3 weekends out of 4 and this weekend he is on nights 🙁

Thanks for your question Sue. I’ve done a bit of research and unfortunately I can’t find any coffee or play groups on the weekend in the area :-(.

I know how challenging it is to try to keep a little one entertained on the weekend as my husband is often away for a Sunday or Saturday. Maybe this is a gap in the market that needs filling? I know of the perfect place for this, so if any of you are interested in a weekend play group please let me know. If there is enough interest I will see what I can do to arrange something under the NHM brand.

In the meantime, below is a list of indoor places that you could take your little one on a weekend:

  • Active Tots – open on Saturday
  • PlayDays
  • JJ’s

For details about these and further Soft Play areas in the area check out this NHM page HERE.

Also, have a look at the following post for places to go in Hampshire HERE or this post for Walks in the local area HERE.

Hopefully the weather will improve soon so our little ones can spend more time outside. Having said that, when I was in North Germany earlier in the year I discovered a playgroup that spends ALL of their time outside, whatever the weather. The children are never sick and spend all morning playing outside, come rain, shine or snow!  Apparently there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing! I try to keep this in mind whilst looking out the window at the rain again!

Does anyone else know of any groups that meet on the weekends?

If you have any questions that you would like me to investigate, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Makaton in Basingstoke

Sophie very kindly offered to help out with writing some posts on NHM. Below she shares some details about Makaton. Hope you find it useful. Thanks Sophie, great post!

When we walk past the park Lucy, my 14 month old, makes L shapes with her index fingers and thumbs and shakes them, this is her sign for swings.  I don’t know where it came from she just started doing it one day and then did it again when we were looking at a picture of a park.  Now she does it every time we pass the park on the way back from taking her big brother to school.  And then in the afternoon, when I say “It’s time to pick up Oscar” Lucy immediately rubs her knuckles together; this is the sign for brother (we picked that one up from a Makaton sign language library book).  So with our swimming lessons finished for the summer I thought I would look into Makaton courses and see if it would help us communicate even better until she finds her voice, which I don’t think will be that long.

Makaton is a language programme using signs and symbols to help people to communicate. It is designed to support and encourage spoken language.  The signs and symbols are used with speech, in spoken word order.  With Makaton, children and adults can communicate straight away using signs and symbols. Many people then drop the signs or symbols naturally as their little ones develop speech.  Makaton is extremely flexible as it can be personalised to an individual’s needs and used at a level suitable for them.

Many of the Sure Start/Action for Children centres do Baby Sing and Sign sessions which are centred around the Makaton programme.

Pebbles Children’s Centre – Tel: 01256 357028.

  • Story, Song & Sign – Monday 11.00am – 12.00pm.
  • Drop In/no need to book

The Courtyard Children’s Centre – Tel: 01256 843955

  • Baby Signing – Tuesday 10.00am – 11.00am.
  • Small cost applies – Must be booked in advance

Honeycomb Children’s Centre – Tel: 01256 331574

  • Sing, Song & Sign for Baby – Friday 10.00am – 11.00am – 6 week course from 15 June
  • Ridgeway Centre, Buckskin – Pre-book your place – £12 per child

Buttercups Children’s Centre – Tel: 01256 812615

  • Sing, sign and rhyme time – Friday 10.15am – 11.00am
  • Please call to book a space

For more information you can visit the Makaton Charity website HERE.

You can also see Makaton signing in action thanks to Something Special, a programme on the cbeebies channel and it’s supporting section on the BBC website HERE.

Guest Post Wednesday: “1,000,000,000 sit ups – The end of an era!”

Lola contacted me to ask if she could publicise her work with the Hypopresive method:

Sit ups! They hurt, they wear you out, they hurt your back, they increase abdominal pressure….. and for what? And for all your hours spent trying to flatten your tummy, has it worked? NO… They are so 2011! New to the UK in April 2012 comes the Hypopresive method.

The Hypopresive Method was discoveedrd by Dr .Marcel Caufriez In 1980 …  exciting news! The UK finally have the facts, figures and results on the Hypopresive Method and I am one of 9 instructors in the UK to be blessed with this.


The Hypopresive method is a rhythmatic set of postural exercises, incorporating deep diaphragmatic breathing techniques which together, decrease cavity pressure in the abdominal and thoracic areas. Done methodically and rhythmatically, reprograms the neurological paths to the propreocepters.

In short, what does all of this actually mean?

  • Reduce your waist circumference by 8%
  • Improve posture, in 1 month decreases lumbar lordosis (p = 99.9%), neck (p = 99.8%) and dorsal ciphosis  (p = 99.5%)
  • Increased tone in the pelvic floor and abdominal wall by 58%
  • Increases Strength
  • Improved resistance as EPO increases up to 65%
  • Increase explosive strength and anaerobic capacity raising metabolism up to 15%
  • Improves sexual performance in men and women to enhance vascularization and the amount of blood that reaches the pelvic floor.
  • Decrease of slight urinary incontinence in 95% and moderate in 60%
  • Properly manages the abdominal pressure.
  • Prevent prolapses.

Did you read the facts right? Hypopresive method increases the resting tone of the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles, which is helping with the recovery of urinary incontinence and/ or prolapses, improves your sex drive, makes you stand taller, makes you fitter, stronger and slimmer….. All this as well as a balanced, mental well being .

Since my training I have been working with a mixed group of individuals to, complete gym goers, huge cardiovascular fans, hernia patients, a mix of postnatal ladies and individuals looking to boost weight loss….. The results have been phenomenal and the clients are ALL extremely impressed with their goals that are finally being reached.

Along with my 8 Hypopresive colleagues I feel strongly about getting this method out to the rest of the UK. The medical world and to all fitness professionals who need to reprogram there programmes!!!!

Hypopresive Method is the way forward and the word needs to be spread.

Contact Lola for more information on the next course or any enquiries you may have on 07578 069 829 /

This looks really interesting if you’ve had a baby in the past few years.

Thanks very much Lola. Best of luck with your courses!

Guest Post Wednesday: First Aid Angels in Basingstoke

Vicky contacted me about publicising her First Aid course on Guest Post Wednesday. Vicky is a local Mum who runs First Aid Angels in Basingstoke:

First Aid Angels are a local Health & Safety Executive approved first aid training company run by a highly trained and experienced Registered nurse.

We  offer a  very popular 2 hour Parents first aid course at your own home for small groups , in the daytime and evenings. Babies are welcome too!

The training is relaxed and friendly , delivered by very experienced and highly trained first aiders with nursing/emergency services backgrounds.

We cover the key subjects about infant and child first aid to help you feel more confident and competent  and all questions are welcome !

We use manikins for the practical and each person receives a written training guide with the theory about the subjects that are covered. All subjects are taught in accordance with the UK Resuscitation Council guidelines.

Please see the course flyer with the list of subjects that we cover: PARENTS – FAA A5 flyer v1

We can be contacted by our website , email  or call 01256 412240

This would be a great activity for a new ante-natal group who’ve all had their babies and would like some reassurance in first aid techniques.

Feel free to share the flyer with anyone who doesn’t read NHM (don’t they know what they are missing out on?!?!?! lol)

Best of luck with the business Vicky!

Guest Post Wednesday: The Creation Station

Lara contacted me recently about adding a Guest Post on NHM for “The Creation Station’. She is very kindly offering a free trial for all NHM readers. Please see below for details. Thanks Lara!

The Creation Station: BIG FUN for little People!

The Ultimate Award Winning Children’s Creative Arts and Crafts Activity

-That’s Seriously Fun!

 “It’s taking the UK by Storm”

  •  Awesome Entertaining Fun For; 1-5 year olds during term time, and Holiday Family Fun for 1—11 year olds.
  • Themed Arty Parties
  • Educational and Developmental in Line With Recommended Government Guidelines.
  • Improves Concentration and Nurtures Imagination.
  • The Scene is Left Clean.
  • Interactive and Engaging Quality Time with Your Child.
  • Fully Trained & CRB Approved Leaders.

The Creation Station sessions aim to inspire children’s imaginations through practical creative play. Creating their own piece of art each week also helps develop a child’s thinking and creative skills.

Let your child experience their own ‘Journey of Discovery & Exploration’ with Creation Station

Lara says “As busy parents we can all struggle with ideas, time and energy and the thought of the clearing up afterwards can feel anything but fun! That’s why parents love to come to The Creation Station, and even when we get messy using paints and clay mum’s, dad’s and carers don’t have the worry and stress of cleaning up as they would in the home environment. We just concentrate on having lots and lots of Creative fun!”

Find out how you can come along and enjoy a fun and stress free art & craft messy play with your child.

Call Lara TODAY Tel: 0844 854 9084 or Email:

Visit to receive your FREE activity Download. You can also follow us on Facebook HERE.

Special offers available

FREE Trial for all Northhants mum Readers just quote “northhantsmum” when booking.

Siblings only £2.50. Child-minders – bring one child full price and for every other just pay half price.

Sessions cost £5

“I can do creative things with Daisy far easier at the Creation Station because her attention span is longer and there are more ideas than at home’ ‘definitely Go! Really good thing to do. Nothing like it in this area…!” Jo, Daisy’s mum (age 2yrs)