Babywearing Consultancy in Basingstoke: Competition Time!


Competition TIME NAME

Natasha sent me a lovely message saying that she is setting up a Babywearing Consultancy in Basingstoke and she needs some help with the name of her business.

So, she’s set up a competition for the name of her business and she was wondering if any NHM Readers would like to enter.

The winner will get a free consultation or may choose to exchange it for a gift token for someone else.

The competition closes at midnight (actually a minute before! lol) on Friday 3rd April.

Details of how to enter are on the poster above.

Good luck!

NEW!!! NHM “Mum’s of Babies” Group

I have recently set up a secret Facebook group for Mum’s of babies in Basingstoke and North Hampshire.

This will be a safe place to meet other Mum’s of babies and share information.

If you have a baby that is under a year old, then this is the group for you!

If you would like to be added to this secret group, please drop me a short message on FB or email me at NorthHantsMum@gmail.com.

You will need to add me as a friend on Facebook to be added to this group. You can add me HERE.

I know there are lots of small businesses who would like access to this group, so if you have any special offers or anything specific for Mum’s with babies, please drop me a message and I will post it up in the group for you.

I’m afraid I won’t be able to add any businesses to the group as this will group will be for Mum’s of babies only.

Related Posts

NEW!!! NHM Pregnancy FB Group

Review 2013: Basingstoke Aquadrome

Basingstoke Aquadrome

I’ve been to the Aquapark many times but when we went it was my husband and daughters first time. I’m so old, that I actually remember when the swimming pool was Westfield Lido, and they used to open the glass doors so you could run down the hill, where the Bowling Alley now stands. It was always a pleasure going in the water that was full of grass! lol.

We went on a Friday evening, at 4pm. It wasn’t too busy, about 20 people in the whole aquapark section.

Play/Swimming Area

My little one loved the tiny toddler pool. She must have spent about half an hour going on the tiny elephant slide. I did think this pool was a bit cold. The baby beach was great. My little one loved the plastic puzzles on the wall. But beware of the water shoot. We nearly got drenched under this!

The lazy river was fab. We went into each of the different sections and our favourite was the one with the seating. My little one could stand up here and she enjoyed walking up and down the seating and being carried through the water jets. The lazy river wasn’t too fast but you do need to be very careful to avoid the fierce jets!

My husband thoroughly enjoyed the slides although he didn’t really rate the yellow slide.  We spent a couple of hours in the pool. It was a great bonding experience.

Food

We didn’t try this so I cannot comment.

Baby Facilities

The family changing rooms were excellent. Very large and they each had a plastic baby changing stand and a nappy changing bin.

Facilities

Were in good condition. One thing I don’t like is that the showers aren’t enclosed. You have to shower with your swimming costume on (unless you have no shame!), so you can’t shower properly. The toilets were in a good condition but I hate public swimming pool toilets. They are always wet. Yuk.

Parking

There is lots of parking (although not as much as there used to be because of the Spruce Goose hotel extension and the Parachute place), but none that is particularly well placed if you have small children with you. It is free parking though.

Price

As it was Off Peak, my husband and I both paid £5.45 each. My little one was free and from what I can see on the website, all children under 4 are free. You need to double check this though, as I wasn’t quite sure about this.

Other Information

I wouldn’t recommend attempting to take more than one child on your own. If you have more than one small child, you really need a one adult to one child ratio. For safety, I wouldn’t suggest using the lazy river with more than one child at a time. The website states that:

“Children under the age of 4 must wear approved flotation devices and be accompanied by a responsible adult in the ratio of 1:1.”

Our little one didn’t have a flotation device, but that was our decision and we were happy with this as there were two of us to look after her.

The parent and baby beach is open every day from 10.30am and is £3.50.

Rating

4.5 out of 5. We had a lovely couple of hours in the water, but I took half a point off because the water was colder than I would have liked and the showers were open so you can’t really shower properly.

Related Posts

Swimming with Babies

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

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

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!) 

Products that I love (that make my life a little easier!)

There have been a few products that I have fallen in love with since having my little one. I thought it might be useful to share these with you, as you might find them useful too!

One Line a Day Diary

One Line a Day Diary

I was recently talking to one of my Mum friends who works full time (total respect to all Mummy’s, but a little extra for those who work full time). When she was on maternity leave she had planned to keep a diary of her little one’s development and progress. She bought a lovely leather bound book and had the best will in the world but when she went back to work she just didn’t have the time to sit and write.

The One Line a Day Diary is the perfect way to keep on top of a daily diary. You have just five lines to update daily. Perfect for the busy Mum (and which Mum isn’t busy!?!?!) who wants to try to keep a record of those special moments. It’s not too expensive either, at £7.50 from Amazon. Could also be a great present for a new Mum who wants to keep track of everything that happens in those first manic months.

Oxo Tot Whale Pail

Oxo Tot Whale Pail

I LOVE this bath toy holder from Oxo Tots. It’s quite pricey but I managed to get it for cheaper than this when Amazon were doing a deal. It’s great as you just use it to scoop up all the bath toys out of the water, which then drains out of the bottom of the scoop. Brilliantly innovative and much sturdier than the string bath toy bags that seem to be the only alternative.

Taggie’s

Taggie’s

Butterflies and Cupcakes

I’m sure every other Mum knows about these but I only discovered them by accident when I went to visit a “seasoned” Mum. My little one loved them immediately. She’s always been obsessed with labels (material not designer!) since she was very tiny so the Taggie’s have kept her amused for hours on many an occasion. They are quite expensive for what they are but you can buy something very similar for a far more reasonable price from a lovely little local company, Butterflies and Cupcakes who advertise on Facebook. I’m hoping to get some in for future “newborn” presents.

Evernote

Evernote

You could argue that this isn’t a product as it’s free but I wanted to recommend this computer tool as I am completely addicted. I use it for recording recipes, travel plans, product warranties, storing business card details, blog inspiration, networking and a multitude of other ways. It’s very easy to use, free to download and if you love organising like I do (you may have picked up on this from the blog :-D), then it’s the perfect tool. You can create multiple notebooks, I have one for each year, for my work, for travel and for NHM among others. You can also sync Evernote with all of your applications, including mobile phones. It has an excellent search function and has saved me on numerous occasions when I’ve had a “Mummy brain” moment. Can’t recommend this tool enough!

The National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth

I stumbled across this link and had to share. If you feel your child is a genius, this is the link for you! Click HERE for details.

Are there any products that you love that you would like to share? Please add a comment below. Thanks!

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New service launches for reporting births

The Tell Us Once service for both births and deaths is being launched by The Department for Work and Pensions in partnership with local authorities across England, Wales and Scotland. The service will make it easier for new parents to notify government authorities about any changes in their circumstances.

With 770,000 births nationally each year, Tell Us Once saves time. In a single appointment at their local authority, a parent can notify all the relevant government departments and service authorities of their circumstances. For information on reporting a birth see HERE.

Breastfeeding: My Experience

Breastfeeding Support in Basingstoke – Jan 2014

I breastfed my little one for the first 8 months of her life. I’m not one of those Breastfeeding Nazi Mum’s (at least I hope I’m not!) but I wanted to try to do what I thought was the best for my baby. She wasn’t exclusively breastfed as we had several complications. The first 9 weeks of feeding were hellish. However, without the support of the the staff at North Hants Hospital and the Basingstoke Breastfeeding Counsellors we wouldn’t have managed more than a day.

I would have liked to have gone on beyond 8 months but I was forced to return to work when my little one was 5 1/2 months old. By the time she was 8 months old I was so exhausted from having to get up at 6am to express. Nobody mentioned to me that I didn’t need to stop breastfeeding completely, that I could have carried on doing the last feed of the day.

If you are hoping to breastfeed your baby I recommend checking some of the links below in advance of giving birth. I also recommend touching base with one of the breastfeeding counsellors in the last few weeks of your pregnancy, if only so you have a face you recognise if you need to see a counsellor. The counsellors at North Hants Hospital will only allow you to visit them up to your babies 28th day. I know this because I needed an appointment and they wouldn’t make one for me because my baby would have been 29 days old.

So I went to see Rachel at the Baby clinic at Chineham Christchurch. She is lovely and incredibly knowledgable. She picked up on feeding problems that many in the medical profession had missed. I had been to see Rachel in my first few weeks of maternity leave, before my baby was born and I was so glad I had met her before “needing” her support in those first few weeks. I also saw Sarah who was at the Nest, Basingstoke Baptist Church, Brighton Hill. She was so lovely when I collapsed in a heap of tears at about week four when things were just awful.

These ladies and their colleagues do an absolutely fantastic job. I cannot thank them enough for their support during one of the most intense periods of my life. If you are finding breastfeeding a struggle I urge you to reach out to these wonderful ladies.

Another recommendation I would make is that you find out in advance who can take you to the breastfeeding clinics if your partner cannot get time off work and/or you need support after the first two weeks. You never know if you will be able to drive after giving birth (emergency caesarean’s). The Health visitors are great but they cannot come and see you every day. I wish I’d had that list of people I could have called who were able, or prepared, to take me to the clinic when I needed them too. Even a list of taxi numbers would have been a start. Those first few weeks are challenging enough!

Remember though, if you cannot or choose not to breastfeed it DOESN’T make you a bad Mum. I lost sight of this at the beginning and I wish someone had said this to me at the time. Best of luck and if you need help, PLEASE reach out.

Related Links 

“Breastfeeding Welcome” places in North Hampshire – Feb 2015

Breastfeeding Support in Basingstoke – Feb 2015

A Map of Breastfeeding support in Hampshire: http://www.breastfeedingcommunity.co.uk/interactivemap/south.htm

The Breast Feeding network – Basingstoke on Facebook is also a great resource and I wish I’d known of it beforehand.

The official Basingstoke Breastfeeding Network web page. Another great resource.

http://bfsupport.me.uk/basingstokewinchesterandover/

Several of the Children’s Centres in Basingstoke also provide breastfeeding support, e.g. Octopus and Pebbles. Click here for details on Children Centres in Basingstoke

Please also see the great comment from Fumblina below about the NCT breastfeeding support in Basingstoke. My bad for not including the NCT in the original post!

Related Pages

Pregnancy

Basingstoke Babies

UK Babies