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Maternity, Motherhood and Politics

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This post in inspired by the recent news of MP Stella Creasy bringing her baby with her for a debate. Being a mother is hard, being a working mother is harder. The struggle between wanting to continue your job and still being a present parent is a dilemma most mothers feel. Many jobs offer paid and covered maternity leave so the mother can take that initial time to bond with her baby and usually hire someone else to cover the workload during that time. But what if you do not have the employment rights for that maternity leave? Unfortunately for Labour MP Stella Creasy, she has had to bring her baby to work due to lack of employment rights.   Stella in parliament with her son @itv.com Politics  On Tuesday, the MP had brought her three-month-old son with her to a debate in Westminster. Without adequate maternity cover Stella has been trying to balance working after giving birth, to continue representing her constituents who she says, 'still have a right to be heard.’ MPs are entitled

Rosie's Pavlik harness

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  When Rosie was younger she had to wear a Pavlik harness. This is usually put on babies if they have developmental dysplasia. This is when the 'ball and socket' joint of the hip doesn't form properly and so they have dislocated hips. It is congenital and usually affects girls more so than boys. Rosie's cousin had this happen with both of his hips.  The health visitor first noticed that Rosie's dimples on her lower back were slightly misaligned. We were referred to Musgrave Park hospital and the baby hip clinic. As she was so little her hips were scanned in the ultrasound rather than x-rayed. This showed that her right hip was unaffected but that her left hip was borderline. We agreed on the Pavlik harness rather than leaving her hip to potentially get worse, better safe than sorry. She had to wear it for twelve weeks, going back for readjustments every four weeks.  What is the Pavlik harness?  A Pavlik harness is made of fabric and is essentially a splin

The Montessori Method and home education

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Home Education Making the decision to home educating your child can be a huge step for parents. The reasons can vary from family to family. with my own family, we got a taste of home education during the covid-19 lockdown and I found it to be fantastic and stressful at varying times. It was fantastic as I could monitor what my son learnt and could fully see the extent of his own knowledge. It was great seeing how he absorbed anything put in front of him, however, it was also stressful when work needed to be completed for the teacher by a certain deadline and Jamie didn't want to do it.  What is great about home education is that there are no deadlines you and your child can learn at your own pace and base your curriculum around their developing interests. This concept of following the child's interests is in line with the Montessori Method. What is the Montessori Method? The aim of the method is to enable you to raise your child as a whole person, not to develop one specific pa

Must have big ticket baby items

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I now have two babies under two. Rosie is 15 months old and Katie is 7 weeks old. We also have a six year old, Jamie. We kept a few big items from when Jamie was a baby as we knew we wanted another at some point and then when Katie came along we still had everything from when Rosie was born so there wasn't much we needed to buy new.  There are some things as a first time parent that you think you need but now that I'm an old hand at this I've realised that you definitely do not need as much as you think. So here is a list of items that I have found very helpful: The Pram  When Jamie was born my dad offered to buy us the pram and so after going around the shops to try out a lot of different models, we settled on the Silver cross wayfarer travel system. This was a great pram as you can change the wheels to swivel or lock them into forward position. It was easy to fold up and down and lightweight enough for me to be able to fit it into the car. The link to buy the new

A dad's role in their child's emotional intelligence.

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  The importance of emotional intelligence. Many researchers over the years have emphasised the importance of emotional interactions in the parent-child dyad and the great impact it has on a child's well-being. Parents need to take an active role in teaching their children key skills in developing emotional intelligence. The consequences of failing to learn the basics are intermingling dire, for example, an inability to handle anxiety or depression can increase the chance of children abusing drugs or alcohol later on in life. However, children who are taught by their parents to be emotionally intelligent are more able to regulate their own emotions. They were better at focusing their attention, and could relate more to other people and performed better academically in school. Parents who offered empathy in the face of their child showing negative feelings such as anger, sadness or fear, actually built bridges of loyalty and affection between themselves and their child. For years th

Five parenting styles and their outcomes

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When a person or couple decide to try for a baby they usually have a basic idea of how they will parent their child and how they will be as parents. These thoughts are usually based around their own experiences with their parents and how they were raised. Some will have had a positive childhood and the parent will want to raise their child as they were. However, some experiences may have been negative and the parent will then express that they do not want their child to have to go through what they did.  The strategies parents use can fall into categories or ‘styles’. There are four main styles and there are some that are more modern. I will give a brief summary of the main ones and how these styles may affect the outcomes for the children.  Authoritative This style is characterised by reasonable demands that are combined with high responsiveness to their child’s needs. The parents that use this style will have high expectations for their children but will also give the

Baby-led weaning basics.

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 A big milestone in a new parents journey, and even with subsequent babies, is when they begin eating solid food. However, common problems can be that baby doesn't seem keen on lumpy food or mealtimes become a battle with an older toddler. You want to provide them with healthy fruit and vegetables, they want chicken and chips. My aim for this post is to help parents with the basics of baby-led weaning. When to start solids. Current NHS guidelines states to start babies on solids at six months alongside their usual breastmilk or formula. However, some babies seem ready before this but this is a common misconception.  Parents can be told by others that certain signs their babies are showing means their ready for solids but this is not the case. Parents are told that:  Night waking is a sign of readiness. Babies wake during the night for numerous reasons but if baby is under six months old and does seem genuinely hungry then more milk should be offered rather than solids. Others belie