9 Foody Places to go as a group of Mums with babies/toddlers

Are you looking for somewhere to meet up with several of your friends, their babies and pushchairs/buggys?

The list below are some of the foody places you could visit that welcome large groups of Mum’s and babies:

1. Queens College Arms – Tadley road

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.

2. Little Roses Tea Shop – Elm Tree Garden centre, just up from the Queens College Arms

They have excellent baby changing facilities and even provide free baby wipes and nappy bags! There is a changing station and several highchairs upstairs if you don’t want to take your pushchair in. Recommend looking in the Chests/tables as there is a treasure trove of toys that will keep children amused for a while. Very welcoming of Mums and babies.

3. Dayers – Chineham Business Park

This place is normally empty in the mornings. They do good breakfasts and cake. Gets busy at lunchtime, so maybe not the best place to go for lunch.

Unfortunately they don’t have baby changing facilities (they used too!) but they do have large toilets so if you don’t mind doing emergency nappy changes on your changing mat on the floor, you should be ok.

4. Dobbies Garden Centre – Tilehurst (25 mins from central Basingstoke)

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.

5. Wyevale Garden Centre – Sherfield on Loddon

They have a large restaurant and outside area. The baby changing facilities are good, but are in the ladies toilets. I recommend signing up for the Gardening Club as you rack up the points quite quickly which give you discounts in the store and restaurant.

6. The Cafe Project, The Dome, behind Asda in Brighton Hill

Open Tuesday to Friday’s from 9.30am.

7. Portsmouth Arms – Hatch Warren

8. Costa Coffee – Hampshire Centrecourt Hotel (Behind the large Tesco’s)

The Service is slow but you can sit indoors or outdoors and there are baby changing facilities

9. Conkers Garden Centre

Related Posts

9 things to do in Basingstoke with a newborn

8 Cheap Restaurants in Basingstoke

11 Places to Breakfast with children in North Hampshire

Book your free electric vehicle advice clinic

“Guest Post Wednesay” is returning! Yay! You may have noticed that things went a bit quiet over the summer period with regards to Guest Posts. However, now that summer is over (boo!) it’s back on track, so if you have anything you would like to publicise to the network of over 1000 parents who read NHM, please email the details to me at northhantsmum@gmail.com.

Are you worried about the impact your lifestyle will have on your children’s future? If yes, have you considered an electric vehicle? Evergreen Consulting are a Basingstoke small business that can provide you with LOTS of information about electric vehicles, including obtaining a grant from the government for one…

Evergreen Consulting are delighted to offer a personalised 30 min one-to-one electric vehicle advice clinic at LCV2012.

Electric vehicles:

  • can reduce fuel costs by upto £2,000/year/vehicle
  • are motorway capable (some can easily travel 90 mph)
  • are very responsive in acceleration
  • durable, traveling up to 25,000 miles/year
  • can reduce your carbon footprint by using 100% renewable electricity
  • make transport ready for a low carbon future

As independent experts with over 5 years experience of operating EVs we can help you answer the key questions you may have.  We can provide professional evidence based recommendations on all aspects of EVs to save money as well as speeding a transition to a low carbon future.

However, places are limited so book now by contacting 07711 252971 or reply to this email: rs@evergreen-consulting.co.uk. You can also find out more details at the website:  http://www.evergreen-consulting.co.uk/index.html

I’ve driven an electric car and I was really surprised at what a great drive it was and especially how quiet they are! If you are thinking about an electric car, I urge you to contact Rob at Evergreen Consulting as he is very knowledgeable and helpful.

12 Things to do when you are pregnant in Basingstoke and North Hampshire

1. Check out NorthHantsMum – obviously! 😀 Especially the newborn page and pregnancy pages. I also recommend requesting to join the secret FB NHM Pregnancy group.

2. Find out where your local baby clinic is. There is a previous post on NHM which details local baby clinic’s in the area. Click HERE for details.

3. Book up for your NCT Antenatal class early – else you not find one close by, which can become complicated (especially if you have had a cesarean) if you want to catch up with your Mummy friends and they all live miles away. NCT also do discounts on courses for those with limited funds. Or if you are looking for an alternative to NCT and live in North Hampshire, you could also try FitMama classes.

4.  Go do the “Hospital Look” round tour a few weeks before you are due. Try not to be too scared if you hear someone in labour 😉

5. Get hold of a Tumble Dryer or find out which of your family and friends have tumble dryers and start being very nice to them! Or, find out where the local laundrette is. You will be horrified by the amount of washing you suddenly have to start doing! The only laundrette details I could find in Basingstoke is the one at Elmwood Parade in Winklebury. Let me know if you have details of any others.

6. Check out the local Breastfeeding support if that’s what you want to do. Check out my previous post about Breastfeeding in Basingstoke HERE.

7. Get your maternity Bra’s from the NCT website. Much cheaper than Bravissimo and I found the selection in Bravissimo to be quite limited.

8. Find out where your local children’s centre is and see if they have a Bumps n’ Babes class you can attend, if only to meet other Mum’s in the same situation and area as you.

9.  Research what is on for Mum’s with new babies in the area. Winter is a notoriously hard time to have a baby because you are stuck inside a lot more, so you need to make more of an effort to get out and about. NHM will keep you up to date on what’s going on in Basingstoke! 😉

10.  Sign up for some of the free pregnancy “stuff” that you can get when you are pregnant. I signed up for the free Bounty Pack. When I received mine it had a bar of galaxy and a can of appletiser. I don’t think they made it out of the car park (blush)! Sainsburys and Boots used to give them out.

11. Attend a Pregnancy Exercise Class. The FitMama Studio in Stroudley Road has a number of classes that are specifically designed for Pregnant Mum’s.

12. Have a pregnancy massage. Check out Massage for Mum’s or BabyBumpBliss.

I can probably come up with a lot more, but I think twelve (the list was originally 10!)  is a pretty round number for this kind of list! Do you have any other good suggestions for those who are pregnant?

Back to School

It’s back to school next week. Yay!! I hope you have had a great summer. Last year I did a number of posts on alternative education options in the area, so I’m going to include a summary of them here. I hope you enjoy the last few days of the summer holiday. If you have children going or returning to school I hope it’s not too frantic trying to get them ready in time!

Montessori Education

Waldorf Steiner Education

School catchment finder, Report on school admissions and Ofsted Reports in North HampshireSchool Catchment area

Homeschooling

Bumbo Seats Recalled in the US

I saw this and wanted to share with you…

“About 4 million Bumbo Baby Seats are being recalled in the US after 21 reports of infant skull fractures. Bumbo plan to add a restraint belt to all Bumbo’s because without restraints infants can manouver out or fall from the seat, posing a risk of serious injuries.”

We had a Bumbo when my little one was tiny but I didn’t like it because she used to arch her back when she was in it and several times I had to catch her from falling out of it. We found the Bumbo at the Tiny Tot’s Table Sale in Chineham (wonder why they stopped?) for £3 and I was quite proud of my bargain. But after a few weeks of using it, I realised that I had to keep an eye on my little one permanently, in case she tried to arch her back to get out of it. I’ve read a few reports about how the structure isn’t very good for a babies back development and they shouldn’t be sat in them for more than 30 minutes at a time. However, it was very useful when we first started weaning.

For more information about the recall, please see the links below.

http://recall.bumbousa.com/

http://healthland.time.com/2012/08/15/popular-bumbo-infant-floor-seat-recalled/

Related Posts

Dangers of Blind Cords

FamilySafePlus

Babies and Chocolate

A couple of my friends were having a debate recently about whether or not to feed their little one chocolate. Personally I don’t want my little one to have chocolate until we have too. I’m of the opinion that she’s got the rest of her life to eat chocolate and she’s not going to know what she’s missing if she’s never had it before. I’m especially worried she’ll turn out like me, addicted to the stuff!

However, I totally respect other people’s opinions and decisions to give their children chocolate. I thought it was an interesting topic to investigate so I’ve included a few links below. My husband did some research about chocolate and babies when our little one was born. He discovered that chocolate changes the taste buds of babies. I can’t find any research to support this but the links below are still interesting reading.

http://babyparenting.about.com/od/startingsolids/f/chocolate.htm

http://www.itsamomsworld.com/tastebuds-and-sugar.html

http://www.nhs.uk/start4life/pages/sweet-as-they-are.aspx

The Importance of Skin to Skin

This weeks theme is “Babies”.

I only picked up on how important skin to skin is when my little one turned a month old. We didn’t have a very easy time with breastfeeding, for several reasons, but it was only when I went to see Lorraine, one of the breastfeeding counselors at North Hampshire Hospital, that it became apparent to me how important skin to skin is. I am eternally grateful to Lorraine for her pearls of wisdom.

I made sure that in the morning I spent as much time as possible skin to skin with my little one. This was fairly easy to do as it was summer time (this was last year, so nowhere near as much rain!) but I can imagine that in winter time it can be quite difficult to do this. My husband also found skin to skin very rewarding and whilst we spent our first few days as a family in hospital, he spent a lot of time with our little one on his chest. The nurses at the hospital were all cool with it as I’m sure they’ve seen it all before!

Even if you aren’t breastfeeding, skin to skin is still very important. Once my little one switched to bottles I had to make a conscious effort to make sure that skin to skin still happened.

My little one is now 17 months old and if I am not dashing to work in the morning I always make sure that the first feed of the day is skin to skin. My little one has always had her milk first thing in the morning so it’s worked out pretty well to be able to do this. I’ve noticed that my little one always needs to touch my skin when I’m holding her now. She puts her hand on the edge of my top or around the back of my neck. It makes my heart sing when she does this and reminds me of when she was really tiny. I’m sure that the skin to skin approach has helped us to bond as I really miss it if we haven’t been able to make time for it.

Whether you agree with skin to skin or not, and based on my experience,  I would really recommend trying to do this as much as possible, especially in the first few months. I can imagine this is really difficult to do with your baby if you have more than one child. Does anyone have any suggestions about to manage this complexity?

If you would like more information about the importance of skin to skin, please check out some of the links below:

http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/jack_newman2.html

http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=82:the-importance-of-skin-to-skin-contact-&catid=5:information&Itemid=17

http://www.lotusfertility.com/Skin_to_Skin_Protocols_for_Bonding_and_Attachment.html

http://www.nhs.uk/Planners/breastfeeding/Pages/skin-to-skin-contact.aspx

In the Garden

This weeks theme is Outdoors, so I’ve been doing some research on things to do in the garden with your little ones and this is what I’ve come up with. Not very original, but might give you some ideas for activities:

Painting Rocks and Flowerpots

Gardening/Weeding (but be careful when trying to explain the differences between weeds and plants, especially to Toddlers!)

Have a tea party: All you need is a picnic blanket, some teddies, dolls or dinosaurs and a children’s tea set. It’s a shame the Basingstoke Toy Library doesn’t run anymore as that would have been a great place to borrow a tea set from.

Painting in the garden: This is a great idea if you like your home furnishings and don’t want them covered in Paint! A friend of mine came up with this fabulous idea. Get hold of one of those tablecloth rolls that you can get for parties (I think its called a Banquet roll) and use that as really large paper for your little one to paint with their toes, hands, feet and anything else you don’t mind getting covered in paint. Recommend to do this on a sunny day, because then you can hose the paint off outside!

Camping: If you don’t have a tent and don’t want to pay out for one, have a look on the Basingstoke Freegle site to see if anyone is giving any away. It’s also possible to put up Requests for Items. Or you could just take some chairs and a big sheet out and build a tent from those.

Take the toys outside: But only those ones you don’t mind washing grass stains off.

Obstacle course in the garden: Even more fun if you have pets that want to get involved!

Home sports day: Egg and Spoon race, Pillow case (sack) racing (preferably not your best ones!) and the three legged race. Hours of fun!

Do you have any other suggestions?

Lido’s in Hampshire

This week’s theme is “Outside” so there will be a few blog posts about things to do outside. Apparently the weather is going to improve towards the end of the week. Fingers crossed!!

I found most of this information at: http://www.lidos.org.uk/. Does anyone else remember when the Aquadrome was Westfield Lido and you could run down the hill, where the bowling alley is now? Or perhaps I’m showing my age 😀

I’ve not been to any of these so apologies if they are no longer open. Might be something a bit novel to do with the children when the sun is shining!

Hampshire

Petersfield Open Air Pool

Heath Road, Petersfield, Hants GU31 4DZ
Telephone: 01730 265143

This is an open air heated swimming pool. The pool is open from mid April until the end of September each year. The pool also has a springboard with a 3-metre deep end and has evening sessions.

Lymington: Seawater Baths
Bath Road, Lymington, Hampshire SO41 3RU
Tel: 01590 674865

This is the second largest straight sided lido in the UK, an unheated sea-water swimming pool.

Aldershot Lido
Guildford Road, Aldershot, Hampshire GU12 4BP
Tel: 01252 323482

The pool is very large, with extensive shallows for children to play in, a diving area and exciting water slides. There is an adjoining main 25m indoor pool, an additional teaching pool, plus a 24,000 sq ft gym.
The Lido is open 10.00am – 7pm, May to September – though off season it is used by a canoe club.

Berkshire

Newbury Lido
Northcroft Leisure Centre, Northcroft Lane, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 1RS
Tel: 01635 31199

This is a heated lido and there is also a 10m heated outdoor baby pool.

Hilsea Lido
Portsmouth, Hampshire PO2 9RP
Tel. 023 9266 4608
or 023 9282 3822 [Victoria Swimming Centre]

Outdoor unheated pool, with adjacent children’s paddling pool.

Related Posts

Swimming Pools in North Hampshire suitable for Babies and Children

Swimming with Babies

Baby and Toddler Swimming Lessons

Traveling with Babies

This week’s theme is about traveling. I published a few posts last year with tips and hints for traveling with babies. I’ve enclosed a link below to the original posts, rather than re-publishing.

General Travel Tips

Traveling with your baby – Part 1

Traveling with your baby – Part 2

I’ve been lucky enough to travel a few times with my daughter since she was born and have picked up a few tips.

If you can fit them in, take your own nappies with you. They are very expensive on the continent compared to here and feedback from other Mum’s who’ve traveled with little’s ones is that the nappies abroad aren’t as “good” as the ones in the UK.

I wasn’t sure where to get my little one’s passport done so I ended up getting it done in Costco. They were very good and it was all over in a few minutes. Several friends have recommended Jessop’s in Basingstoke town centre for baby passport photo’s.

Do you have any good traveling tips that you can share with other parents?

(Thank you to all of you who have added comments to the blog recently. I’m sorry I haven’t replied, it’s been a manic couple of weeks. I plan to respond to all of them over this weekend, but in the meantime, thank you all for your fabulous support!)