The Wonder Weeks blog #5: My Wonder Weeks Journal

Logo_TheWonderWeeks_300dpiYou can be the writer of the best, most special book ever!

How did YOUR baby make the leaps? What did he do? How did he react? What did he like to look at?

 

You do not have to be a writer to become the writer of the Best Journal Ever. You just have to write down the daily ‘normal’ things that you observe your baby doing.

Journal 3dThe NEW Wonder Weeks Journal will help you to get an insight into the little things that make a big impact.  Writing and scrapbooking in this journal is fun PLUS the questions make you much more aware of the brainy things your clever, smart, fabulous baby is doing.

My Journal_1Collect and create the best of each leap.  Be as creative as you want!  Stick all your special memorabilia in the journal.  It might be a receipt of the latte you drank at that special little café where the waiters always compliment your baby, the label of the bear that was interesting to your baby this leap, or a lipstick kiss of grandma who, just like with every leap, kissed your baby all over.  It’s these little memories that make a big difference later on!

‘My Wonder Weeks Journal’ is based on the worldwide bestseller ‘The Wonder Weeks explaining the perceptual world and the leaps babies make from 0-20 months.  Based on extensive research at top Universities.

My Wonder Weeks Journal . . . For all those magical leaps

Meet Xaviera Plas-Plooij at BabyExpo Berkshire and hear more about The Wonder Weeks!

www.thewonderweeks.com

 

The Wonder Weeks Blog #3: One of the reasons mothers stop breastfeeding?

Logo_TheWonderWeeks_300dpiIt’s not your imagination– all babies go through a difficult period around the same age. Research by Dr. Frans Plooij Ph.D. and Dr. Hetty van de Rijt Ph.D., has shown that babies make 10 major, predictable, age-linked changes – or leaps – during the first 20 months of their lives taking place around weeks 5, 8, 12, 19, 26, 37, 46, 55, 64 and 75.  During this time, they will learn more than in any other time.  With each leap comes a drastic change in your baby’s mental development, which not only affects his mood, his health, sleeping patterns and the “three C’s” (crying, clinging and crankiness) but also… baby’s drinking and comfort seeking habits.  Unfortunately these Wonder Weeks are often a reason for mums who do not know about these wonder weeks, to stop breast-feeding their child.

With every new wonder week a baby gets a totally new perception of the world.  Every Wonder Week is like waking up on a strange planet.  A baby did not ask for this, did not see it coming, but suddenly this whole new world was there.  What would you do?  You would retreat to a well-known and safe place.  For a baby that is mum.  How would you do that?  By literally clinging to your mum.  Being one with her, holding on tight and the best way to do that would be via literally sucking yourself to your mum.  This is where breast-feeding and Wonder Weeks meet.  Whilst on the one hand Wonder Weeks are in fact something good and signal progress in development, on the other hand, when the Wonder Weeks are misunderstood, they are often the reason mums give up breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding“My daughter was crying so much that I was afraid something was terribly wrong.  She wanted to breastfeed constantly.  I took her to see the paediatrician, but he couldn’t find anything wrong with her.  He said she just needed to get used to my milk and that many infants went through a similar crying phase at 5 weeks.  I thought that was a strange thing to say, because she hadn’t had any problems with my milk until then.  Her cousin, who was the same age, kept crying, too, but he was being bottle-fed.  When I told the doctor that, he pretended he hadn’t heard, I didn’t push the subject though . I found out about wonder weeks later on, but I keep on wondering why nobody told me about these wonder weeks earlier.  ” Julitte’s mum, 5th week

Wonder Weeks and the milk doubting mums:

As the baby gets more Clingy, Cries more and is more Cranky during a wonder week, many mothers start doubting themselves.  Are they doing something wrong?  If a baby wants to drink so often, does this mean they do not have enough milk?  Or is their milk not good enough?  Mums who know their baby is in a wonder week, don’t doubt themselves or their milk.

“Around the third wonder week my daughter suddenly started nursing less.  After 5 minutes, she would start playing around with my nipple.  After that had gone on for two weeks, I decided to start supplementing my milk with formula, but she wouldn’t have any of that either.  This phase lasted 4 weeks.  During that time I worried she would suffer from some kind of nutrition deficiency, especially when I saw my milk supply starting to diminish.  But now she is drinking like she used to again, and my milk supply is as plentiful as ever.  Now I know this is normal behavior during a wonder week. I never doubted my milk again since I know when these wonder weeks are.” Hannah’s mum, 19th week.

Wonder Weeks and the exhausted mums:

Even the mums not doubting their milk sometimes give up breastfeeding.  Simply because the impact of the leap on the behavior of their child is wearing them out.  The mums that know about Wonder Weeks tend to be less exhausted as they know what is happening and that Wonder Weeks are actually a good thing.

Wonder Weeks and the mum of a six month old:

One of the most difficult leaps is the one of relationships, around six months after due date.  The exact same time breast milk alone is not enough anymore and most parents start to give solid food as well.  Mum is exhausted from the leap, doesn’t sleep or sleeps very poorly, while at the same time her child needs food.  Just days after giving the first ‘meals’, the baby is in a much better mood.  Often mums explain this whole sequence of events wrongly and seem to think their child was in need of other milk than theirs.  While in fact the child just went through another leap and finished the leap when he turned six months.

Wonder Weeks and nipple cracks or abrasions:

Pain is, logically, one of the reasons mums want to stop feeding their child.  When a child is in a Wonder Week he wants to drink many times more often than is normally the case. As this is one of the only times a baby is quiet, a mum doesn’t really pay as much attention to the feeding process as she normally would and this can often result in the wrong feeding positions resulting in discomfort for mum.

Making parents aware of Wonder Weeks will enable parents to understand their baby’s behavior much better and will help many mums to continue feeding their child and to make sure these Wonder Weeks are not a reason to give up.

Meet Xaviera Plas-Plooij at BabyExpo Berkshire and hear more about The Wonder Weeks!

www.thewonderweeks.com

RIP Guy Lewis – father to 3, husband to Hanna and Gymboree Brighton Owner and Manager……

Yesterday I had the privilege to join many others to say goodbye to Guy after his tragic and unexpected death earlier this year.

It was a beautiful, emotional service with some very moving tributes and music choices including ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’ at the end, which at least made us smile – so very Guy. We were reminded in the service of many things about Guy not least his kindness, his unbounding energy and commitment to everything he did, his love and passion for his family and his continued drive to ‘seize the day’.

Guy and Gymboree at BabyExpo

This morning, like many I expect, I have woken feeling sad and a little numb having witnessed at 1st hand the pain of the parents who have lost their son and the wife and mother whose 3 tiny, beautiful children will grow up without their lovely dad. I can only imagine how they are coping.

I first met Guy about 7 years ago – I was new to the area, a very new mum and a bit of a disaster really. Motherhood had not panned out quite as I had planned – I seemed to spend my days as a sleep deprived zombie, often covered in sick, I was incredibly lonely and felt a failure on all counts. Then I signed up to Gymboree and suddenly I could start to see some light. Guy would greet you with a massive smile or a hug, little ones were enchanted by him and when we first met I couldn’t believe he didn’t yet have children of his own such was his rapport with the whole class. As with many kids’ activities, I met other mums and made friends, we had a purpose to our day (even if it did take 2 hours to get out of the house) and George loved the classes – he came home stimulated yet sleepy (yay) and he loved meeting the other babies and toddlers. Guy’s warmth radiated and the classes were an oasis and we grew alongside Gymboree.

Gymboree at BabyExpo

Yesterday there was a mention of the thousands of parents who had come into contact with Guy over the 8+ years he ran Gymboree and I hope he knew how important he was. I now know many mums felt the same as me in those early stages of baby and toddlerhood and such classes DO become a lifeline.

BabyExpo is hosting the What’s On 4 Junior awards with Konfidence this year – these awards reward and celebrate the very best activity providers and as always I am so moved by some of the testimonials from nominating parents paying tribute to those class leaders who made such a difference to their and their child’s lives and development.

So, if your lives were enhanced by a fabulous activity, community volunteer, party entertainer or class do make sure you nominate them in the What’s On 4 Junior Awards – just click here – there’s a category for everyone from ‘Best pre/post natal’ to ‘Best after school club’ and you could win 2 tickets to join us at BabyExpo for the champagne awards on June 30.

There’s just a month until nominations close so seize the day and do it now ;-)

Guy on the main stage at BabyExpo with Lucy Piper, Jo Tantum and Phil Gallagher from Cbeebies Mister Maker

I am delighted that Guy’s legacy will live on in Brighton with Gymboree continuing to run under the care of widow Hanna and class leader Bobby and you can see them at BabyExpo on June 30 alongside further Headline Sponsors Sing & Sign, Water Babies and Busy Bees. Guy will be there too in his own way I am sure.

BabyExpo Updates!

BabyExpo – The South Coast’s Biggest and Brightest BabyShow and Family Day will return to Brighton on Sunday 30 June at Brighton Racecourse and Conference Centre with Headline Sponsors Sing & Sign, Gymboree and  Busy Bees Childcare and very special guest Humphrey from Humphrey’s Corner!  Baby-planners, parents-to-be and young families from throughout the Region and beyond can look forward to an informative and fun-filled day with expert pregnancy and parenting advice, a fabulous entertainment line-up, 100’s of fantastic show deals and promotions, £1000’s of baby show prizes, face painters, play-zones, petting zoos and much more. The event will also host the National What’s On 4 Junior Awards with Konfidence and What’s On 4 Me LIVE!  Not to be missed will be the mumandworking flexible working zone with The Mumpreneurs Networking Club, Innovation Alley, The Pregnant In Brighton Pavilion and The Natural Parenting Zone.
Media partners include ABC Magazine and kids4media.com and the event will support Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice and National Childbirth Trust. For more see www.babyexpobabyshow.co.uk

Images courtesy of the lovely guys at two-d studios – www.remembernow.co.uk

What we got up to in half term!

Here at WO4 HQ we enjoyed some great family days out this ½ term!

See below for our trip to Brighton Pier but first our long awaited trip to LEGOLAND Windsor……..

LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort has over 55 interactive rides and attractions and costs £33 for an adult ticket if you buy online.  For more see the website www.legoland.co.uk.

The excitement in the car was almost overwhelming as we approached to be welcomed by giant Lego people. It was a cold day so we had big coats and we were hopeful (as it was an inset day for us but not the surrounding counties) we would avoid too many queues.

The staff are great, very welcoming and friendly and we were through verLego Star Warsy quickly.  The views are lovely as you enter but there wasn’t time to admire Windsor castle as Lego Star Wars was upon us. We had great fun within with great characters, models and sound effects and George’s day was already made. We then walked down to the fabulous Viking’s River Splash experience which was really fun and as it was so cold, I was very relieved that we didn’t get wet!

Then we headed to the famous Dragon ride, via a great adventure playground – Pirate’s Training Camp!  At Dragon we queued for a while, it was a very popular ride and the cold did start to bite. I saw repeat visitors sensibly dressed in hats, gloves and scarves and with supplies to keep them going but the queue moved fairly fast and we were mostly inside. One problem on this ride was that I couldn’t travel with both children and it wLEGOLAND Dragonas suggested I left my 4 yr. old with staff and then went on with her afterwards. She would have freaked out watching George and I disappearing into the tunnel so if you are visiting with fewer adults than small children that’s worth checking 1st. We would have been gutted after such a long wait to have had to walk away but luckily we paired up with a couple and a lone child. The ride is fantastic – so so worth it – we could have spent all day on it.

Then we queued a long time for another little ride, the rain started to come down and here not having the Q-bot was irritating. I had wanted to experience the day without spending extra to ‘Queue Jump’ – especially as we weren’t there on a very busy day. The kids found the people ‘pushing in’ frustrating and annoying and didn’t really understand however. Then hunger really set in so we ended up queuing again in the rain for hot dogs and then eating them in the rain and the day did start to get a little challenging for my youngest.

Fuller tummies helped though and we set off again to MiniLand which was lovely. By early afternoon however we were starting to get cold and tired but there so much we hadn’t visited, so much to explore. Majority rule won and we headed back to the car.  I was probably most disappointed to be leaving but at least we had a great excuse to come back! There is of course a valid reason why LegoLand is not open in the winter but interestingly as the weather drove people away, those who were prepared, were loving the shorter queues and dwindling crowds.

In summary it’s a fantastic family day out. My tops tips would be

  • Take snacks and provisions – to alleviate boredom in queues and meaning you don’t have to waste valuable ride time foraging!
  • Dress suitably – if it’s a cold day wear as many clothes as you can and don’t forget gloves
  • Do get there as early as you can – there’s so much to do in one day
  • Do expect to queue, as with all similar attractions and even with the Q Bot I would imagine on a busy day there’ll be waiting times
  • Do plan your visit. Don’t waste time trying to decide where to head for 1st plan when you are there or having to back-track to see attractions you missed. LEGOLAND is very large – make the most of the day by planning in advance and talking to kids about what they want do to before they get too overexcited to make any sense!
  • And finally Enjoy! We can’t wait to go back!

Brighton Pier

The iconic Brighton Pier cannot be missed as you drive along the sea front with its attractions, lighBrighton Pierts, sounds and smells. I had been going since I was a child and looking forward to taking my children back. Parking on the sea front is now incredibly expensive so if you can park in town and walk down or use public transport. Buses run along the King’s road all the time.

The Pier offers a lovely experience at no cost if you are a stronger parent than I (!) You can walk right to the end, use the deck chairs for free and enjoy a picnic overlooking the beautiful sea, the city, Brighton Marina and new attraction, The Brighton Wheel! With the cry of the seagulls and the smell of chips, donuts and candy floss along with the ‘holiday’ atmosphere it was really enjoyable. Some of the rides were closed due to the time of year unfortunately but we still enjoyed the Helter Skelter and Carousel which both offer good value for money and were great fun although I think I was more scared than the kids on the Helter Skelter!

The arcades offer a noisy, bright and very stimulating and where we lost of 2ps and 10ps in the machines but it was all good fun.  A really lovely way to while away a gloomy October weekend.

For more on the Pier see here – www.brightonpier.co.uk

 

here we go……

baby show venue
baby show venue

BabyExpoUK are delighted to announce the launch of a new
2 day Baby Show to take place this September 29 & 30 at thecentre:mk Milton Keynes!

To visit the new website and watch film testimonials from
last year’s clients see here http://www.babyexpobabyshow.co.uk
thecentre:mk offers a fabulous nearly 2000 m2 of ‘blank
canvas’ exhibition space, all on one level, in one, very central high profile
location and exhibitors are already booking fast – Click here for the floorplan
www.babyexpobabyshow.co.uk/floorplan
As a shopping centre, the facility is already set up for huge visitor numbers
in terms of parking, restaurant facilities, award-winning baby change/breast
feeding areas, accessibility and superb signage in the surrounding areas and
within. With significant numbers of young families choosing this Region to set
up home, thecentre:mk offers very ‘friendly family facilities’ to include
buggies, rein hire and ID wristbands not to mention ‘Kiddy Cars’ rental! All of
which make an organiser’s life less challenging and enable us to focus on the
content of the event.
There will be no entrance charge for the general public but
there will be a ‘Privilege Shoppers’ opening hour on both days where those VERY
keen visitors can access the event 1st. They will be badged
accordingly so exhibitors can spot them throughout the day.
Price per m2 for this 2 day event is currently
£77 per metre + VAT but this is the Early Bird rate and only valid for a short
while. To take advantage of this special price deal and the very best pitches, exhibitors
should reserve their space now at http://www.babyexpobabyshow.co.uk/exhibiting/babyexpo-contract-form-for-exhibitors

Coming out the other side…..

BabyExpo on November 13 was our best yet – highest footfall, greatest number of exhibitors and a really inspiring programme of activities and entertainment – from conception to colic and tons for the kids.

Every year I say I am going to try and streamline the programme & make it more managable & every year I get carried away – this year we had a record 5 ‘extra’ areas ranging from the new Parent’s Pit Stop Zone with Mayo Wynne Baxter to the JUNO Natural Parenting Zone.

We were delighted to welcome the wonderful Phil Gallagher from Cbeebies and Jo Tantum, the UK’s no 1 babysleep expert as well as Headline Sponsors NCT, diddi dance, Early Years Childcare, Sing and Sign and Yummy Mummy Maternity. Thank goodness BabyExpo is now part of the lovely ‘What’s On 4’ family meaning I had fantastic support from business partner Sam, sales manager Mel, Zena, Susanne, a great team of volunteers, various husbands, best friends and older children but still none of us stopped all day!

The event feedback has been amazing but I have to pay tribute to our exhibitors. Not only do they have faith in us and invest in the event in these difficult economic times, but many go out of their way to assist us in the promotion both professionally – emailing their clients and contacts and personally – taking fliers into their children’s nurseries, placing event information on various intranets, putting poster in their local libraries etc.

BABYEXPO is a partnership and we work hand in hand with our clients to achieve its success. We always learn from every event – ironically some of our harshest criticism this year has been that too many people attended – having been at some other events where just a few hundred visitors came we know there are worse problems to have HOWEVER we will work on the layout and stand design to assist this and are already in discussions to this end.

As usual the post-show blues have set in but am already excited about the next show and a new show we will hopefully be announcing in a few weeks! I really hope you will join us! To read some of our feedback click here and to see more from on the day from the BrightonMums click here

Producing successful exhibitions is not rocket science. They are the result of A LOT of very hard work, luck, experience and a fair bit of charm.  The satisfaction however of combining keen buyers with wonderful sellers under one roof for one day and watching 9+ months work come together is enormous.

 

 

 

Officreche to the rescue!

Officrèche offers 2 hours free flexible childcare to help in hectic run up to BabyExpo

Elizabeth, the director of Officrèche (Stand 126, Innovation Alley), knows only too well how tricky it is to juggle marketing a business and little ones – she has a 1 month old son and a 2 year old daughter.

So take advantage of her empathy and 2 hours of free flexible childcare at their premises right by Brighton station. All you need to do to qualify is to ring 01273 434244 and arrange to pop in to meet their staff in the fantastic environment. You can stay onsite and use the office space while your child plays downstairs – or  the 2 hours can also be used to run errands in the outside world but you must do another settle of your child before going offsite.

The normal pay as you go rates are £10/hr for fleixble childcare and office space, £7/hr for flexible childcare – better rates if you buy a subscription! All bookable online, £20 website membership fee waived for November.

Suzanne Borrell - BabyExpo Director adds – Ruby and I are having our 2 hours on Wed! We’ll let you know how we go – I am going to work onsite – just hope Ruby doesn’t wreck the place. If so I may leave her there! Just kidding!

 

Sussex ‘Parentpreneurs’ launch Topsy Toesy online boutique at Brighton Baby Expo

 

Sussex ‘Parentpreneurs’ launch Topsy Toesy online boutique at Brighton Baby Expo

Newly established online boutique TopsyToesy.co.uk, specialising in headwear and footwear for children, launches into the new season with a collection of current stylish designs, several of which have already been picked up by, and featured in, publications such as Vogue, Tatler and The Daily Telegraph

Topsy Toesy is the brain-child of Sussex-based mother Lisa Kingsnorth who, after giving birth to her daughter two-years ago, felt the UK market to be lacking an outlet that specifically provides a unique and desirable range of headwear and footwear for babies and young children for every occasion, as she explains: “Whilst there appears to be an abundance of beautiful clothing available for babies and young children in every imaginable style, I had struggled to find a range of hats and shoes for my daughter to compliment her outfits, whilst providing the necessary protection, quality and comfort I desired.  My aim, through Topsy Toesy, is to seal the gap in the market by providing a one-stop-shop for stylish headwear and footwear for children from birth upward”.

Wherever possible, Topsy Toesy works with UK-based artisans, designers and manufacturers to create a unique range of quality headwear and footwear items to suit all tastes.  This season, the range includes, 100% pure and natural hand-spun yarns crafted into beautiful woollen hats, classic flat-caps for boys, handcrafted knits in Aran and Fair-Isle designs, quintessential trilbies in check-print, cotton crochets, cashmere beanies and beautiful sheepskin trapper hats to compliment a stylish range of footwear, including the popular leather hi-top, desert boot, an array of vibrant Mary-Janes, a selection of exquisite handmade ‘occasion’ footwear and more

To mark the official launch, Topsy Toesy will be exhibiting a selection of goods at the Brighton Baby Expo, American Express Community Stadium, Falmer on Sunday 13 November, Stand 96

All visitors to the stand, signing up for the Topsy Toesy newsletter, will receive a 20% discount code for first time purchases

Improving your child’s chances of success in Maths by making it FUN!

Stephanie Cracknell – Improving your child’s chances of success in Maths by making it FUN!

Maths has been in the news a lot recently. Just on the BBC website, there are stories on schools and universities dumbing down maths, Carol Voderman reporting on how to improve maths teaching in schools and last month a report saying ‘sums tables not needed for maths success in primary schools’:

At Mathemagical parent and toddler classes we want to give children the best possible start in what is perceived as one of the most difficult subjects at school. The first thing that children learn is that maths is fun! We want our children to go to school knowing and believing that maths is just as fun and exciting as music and singing, dance, drama, gymnastics, arts and crafts. They are exposed to a superb range of mathematical toys, resources and games. One minute they’re wearing frog masks and singing ‘5 little speckled frogs’ jumping into the pond, the next they’re running from one side of the hall to other counting out loud as they run. They work in small teams on the floor to solve a puzzle together then jump up and run around together sorting different sized balls into hoops. There’s 20 minutes of free-play where children choose which mathematical toys they want to play with and finally finish with our ‘count-down’ by pretending to be rockets and running madly around the room (and that’s just one lesson)! Each half-term covers a different theme: Sorting and Ordering, 2-D Shapes, Measures, Addition, 3-D shapes and Subtraction and in every lesson not only do we practise out counting, but we teach children what those numbers actually mean.

We’re really excited to be at the Brighton Baby Expo for the first time. Come and visit us at stand 241.

Watch out short video and get more information at www.mathemagical.co.uk