The closure of schools in response to the Coronavirus pandemic has meant millions of parents are having to play the role of ‘full-time teacher’ to their already busy work schedule. Murray Morrison, founder of learning program Tassomai and ex-supertutor explains why it’s more than OK to lean on technology for support.
Article by Murray Morrison
Let’s get one thing straight right from the start: it is not your job to replace your child’s teacher for the duration of the school closure. Parents all over the country are piling on way too much pressure to meet their own expectations of what homeschooling “should” be, while also trying to maintain their day-to-day job. Be under no illusions that your main obligation should be to your own work – you are not a teacher, and that’s fine.
Give yourself a break – and remember school will cover everything
When school resumes, the first thing that will happen is that teachers will run over everything from last year, and teach everything that had been planned for teaching during the “lost term”. There is no new learning that is meant to happen now that won’t be taught – so there is no pressure on families to exclusively cover this new content.
That said, getting your children to read what the school sends, and spend time practising, reading around the subject (and making notes where they can) will be positive – it means that when the material is taught in class, it will be easier to absorb. That’s going to be useful when the teaching next year is necessarily compressed.
Find things to occupy them so you can do your stuff
Self-directed learning will be a great stand-by: not only does it make for better, longer-lasting learning for your child, but also it gives you time to focus on your own work. The key thing is to make sure that work is done in a structured way with tangible outcomes that you can check periodically. Don’t let them just “read some notes”; instead ask them to make flashcards, make a video or write an essay. Technology comes in very useful here – especially if there is interactivity: Tassomai helps students practise knowledge through personalised quizzing while parents can see exactly how much has been done; other softwares teach through videos that track engagement.
EdTech can really be your friend when it comes to getting your children studying under their own steam: BBC Bitesize has fantastic learning games for all age groups, and a few minutes browsing YouTube will yield plenty of excellent learning channels for occasional use through the day.
Make the time you spend together happy, enriching, positive time that school cannot offer
When it comes to working one-to-one with your children, if you can take a few hours off for it, I’d recommend parents spend their time doing activities that schools cannot provide. There are a wealth of “enrichment” activities that schools struggle to support, but parents can do fairly easily. There are obvious options like craft projects, story-writing and baking which allow you to be creative and discuss words, ideas, maths and science. But you could also try some gardening projects or – with just a few materials like cardboard and tape – tackle some STEM projects like making beautiful 3D shapes, building bridges or constructing gliders.
Use technology where you can to make learning effective and powerful
My advice to parents is to spend a little time seeing what technology platforms are best-suited to solving your most pressing needs as parents: you want education technology that occupies your child’s attention so you have time to do your own work; you also want products that have a solid evidence base underpinning them, so you can be confident that their use will be beneficial.
Check sites like Edtech Impact and Edtech Evidence Group to see which products can be trusted to have a real learning impact so that you can focus on your work and make the time you spend learning with your children as wonderful as possible.
This is a contribution post written by Murray Morrison for The Expert Agency with consent to be shared on this blog.
Looking after children’s skin is very important. For my own kids, they don’t go a day without cleansing with water and a face cloth and moisturising with shea butter/coconut oil whip that I made. I know that when the kids get older I’d have to step up their routine.
Children can grow up so fast. One minute, they’re running around and scattering Lego on the floor, and the next thing you know, they’re spending lots of time in front of the mirror, worrying about their skin and hair. Throughout the changes that they’ll go through in life, it’s important to be there for them every step of the way, especially when it comes to hygiene and skincare.
According to a survey, 81% of young girls said that having clear and healthy skin was very important to them. However, because of lack of skincare knowledge, 45% of girls ages 12 to 14 are choosing to wear too much makeup to cover up their bad skin. It is important to let children know that applying too many layers of makeup can lead to greater skin problems and having a skincare routine is essential to one’s overall health. It’s never too early to let your child know some healthy skin habits, so follow these tips to help your child develop a skincare routine.
Teach your child about her skin type Most children have healthy skin, but by the time they turn 11, some will experience having acne, oily skin, or even dry skin. Assess your child’s skin and teach him or her about her skin type. If you’re not certain, you can find out by doing this simple test to determine his or her skin type. Have your child wash her face with a mild cleanser and lukewarm water. After two hours, observe how the skin looks. If her skin looks tight, dull, and feels itchy, then she has dry skin. Oily skin looks and feels greasy, has large pores, and is prone to breakouts. Knowing about skin type helps you and your child find the right skincare products before he or she starts doing a regular skincare routine.
Cleanse well The first thing that you need to teach your child is to cleanse his skin well. Proper cleansing can help to clear up acne and prevent breakouts, especially if your child has very oily skin Encourage him to do this at least twice a day—once in the morning before going to school, and once in the evening before bedtime. Your child should cleanse all the way up to the hairline and behind the ears every single time. Choose a mild, pH balanced, milky cleanser with little to no scent. Gentle face washes, hypoallergenic products, and cleansers with few synthetic ingredients are ideal for young skin.
Moisturise Applying moisturiser is an essential part of any skincare routine as it keeps the skin supple. Moreover, it is beneficial in improving the skin’s texture, and whether your child has oily or dry skin, it is crucial to use the right type of moisturiser to ensure the skin’s health. A gel-type moisturiser may be more suitable for oily skin, while dry skin will benefit from a lotion or cream formula.
Sun protection Protecting one’s skin from the harmful rays of the sun should be a priority. Sunscreen prevents sunburn, premature ageing, and skin cancer, so kids, especially those who participate in outdoor sports, should make it a habit to use sunscreen every day. Let your child bring a small tube of sunscreen to school as well so he or she can reapply as needed.
Having good skincare habits at a young age can help a child have healthy skin that will benefit him as he gets older. Try these tips to help your child develop a skincare routine. In case of serious skin problems, consult your dermatologist.
A new study has found that 75% of women in the UK want to exercise more. But having a busy schedule, taking care of the family’s needs, or fear of being judged at the gym are holding women back from accomplishing their fitness goals. Fortunately, there are ways to workout while staying at home and you can squeeze exercise into your day in more ways than one. To stay healthy, adults aged 19 to 64 should aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week and strength exercises at least two days a week. For you to meet the recommended amount of physical activity per week, here are 5 brilliant ways to sneak in exercise while at home.
1. Clean your home
Cleaning your home not only gives you a healthier environment to live in but it also allows you to fit in exercise into your day. Mopping, dusting, sweeping, and vacuuming, or cleaning the bathroom can give you a good upper body workout, and it’s even better if you do a couple of lunges or squats while doing any of these activities. However, make sure to avoid using allergy-causing cleaning products as you can end up getting rashes or serious burns and undo all the good that you did to take care of your body. Opt to use natural cleansers whenever you clean your home and move vigorously to make your cleaning workout more intense.
2. Hand wash a load of dirty clothes
Instead of using the washing machine, try hand washing a load of dirty clothes to exercise your arms and shoulders. Hand washing your clothes correctly has so many advantages, you get to workout while doing your chores, save on water and electricity costs, and prolong the life of your clothing.
3. Start every morning with a few exercise moves
After you wake up and make the bed, start your day right by doing some gentle stretching, a few crunches, and as many push-ups as you can. Set aside at least 10 minutes every morning to do these exercises which can strengthen your muscles and core. Doing exercises the moment you get out of bed also helps to make you more awake and ready to face the day.
4. If you’re heading outdoors, speed walk or jog to wherever you’re goin
Instead of walking at a leisurely pace, speed walk or jog to the grocery, the bank, or any other place where you need to go. Doing so counts as your moderate aerobic activity for the day. To motivate you to do this, wear running shoes before heading outdoors and bring a small bottle of water with you to stay hydrated.
5. Walk the dog a little longer
If you usually do just one circuit of your neighbourhood while walking your dog, try doing another circuit to fit in some extra cardio into your day. You can also take the dog to the park and play with your pet so you get to spend more time being outdoors, which is essential to good health.
There are many ways to fit exercise into your daily routine, all you have to do is to turn daily activities into proper workouts. Follow these tips to sneak in exercise while you’re at home for your health and well-being. 🙂
A contribution post by freelance writer, Jane Sandwood. If you enjoyed reading this post, don’t forget to share it with others below.
There are so many things to teach your children. Whether it’s how to handle money, the importance of emotional intelligence or staying safe in public, parenting has to cover a lot ground. One important area that can sometimes be neglected is chores. While these may be just simple day-to-day tasks, ensuring that your child is both competent in them and understands their importance is absolutely vital.
In this article we give a few reasons why children should get involved in a range of household chores from learning how to defrost a freezer step by step to properly putting out the recycling. And for anyone out there whose children are less than excited about this idea, here are also a few top tips of how to get your kids enthusiastic about their domestic duties!
Honing useful practical skills
The first reason why it’s important to get your little ones involved in household chores is so they learn useful practical skills. As a child you are learning everything from scratch so whatever you are doing will contribute to your development. For example, if a child learns how to defrost a freezer not only will they get specific skills in this task, but also start learning about food storage and safety.
Learning the importance of personal responsibility
As overstressed parents we often think we need to do everything for our kids, but anyone living in a home has a responsibility to contribute it. Involving your kids in day-to-day tasks will help them understand their responsibilities as members of the family. After doing a few chores they’ll probably appreciate all your work a whole lot more too.
Making them better housemates and partners
Finally, when children are brought up as hard-workers, helping to clean and tidy a house from a young age they make much better housemates and partners after leaving home. This is absolutely vital to the maintenance of friendships and relationships in early adulthood when they are likely to be sharing accommodation for a good few years. Teaching good habits early will pay dividends down the line.
How do you get kids involved in household chores?
Incentivise the task: A controversial strategy, but a fail-safe one. If your child is reticent to help out, link their pocket money to their efforts. This will get the average youngster up and cleaning in no time.
Make it fun: Chores don’t have to be boring. If your kids aren’t keen to get involved, make the tasks fun. Turn vacuuming into a dance party, take the rubbish out while wearing funny wigs… Anything to get them enthused.
Give them responsibility: We all know how much more satisfying it is to do a task when we have actual responsibility for it. Give each of your children an area of the house for the week and ask them to take responsibility for all the chores. They will soon learn to take pride in their work.
Getting your kids involved in household chores is a great way to make them responsible, hard-working adults. Find ways to make it fun and engaging and in no time at all you’ll have a few busy worker bees helping with your daily tasks.
A guest post by freelance writer, Joana from Cleanipedia
Happy #WellnessWednesday! With the cold weather fast approaching, here are some hair and skincare hacks to stop you looking less than perfect…
As all mothers know, time management is a must, and anything that could potentially interrupt the morning routine is a big no-no. When you’re in a hurry the last thing you need is bad hair or skin, and the time it takes to rectify those issues. Fear not though, with an action plan you can hide and fix all manner of beauty problems without losing too much time. Let’s check some out.
Tame tangled hair You wake up, the kids are round your ankles, you need to get everyone ready but your hair looks like a bird’s nest. We’ve all been there, but don’t stress! This is where the detangling brush comes in. Just work section by section and you’ll soon be tangle free.
Pain free – you won’t have to tug anywhere near as hard to remove the tangles
Quick – much more so than the usual options
Gentle – they’re designed to release knots in a much more efficient manner, so less damage occur
Versatile – they work on all different hair types
Hide poor condition
Sometimes you wake up and your hair looks awful to you, whether it’s greasy, dry or lifeless. You haven’t got time to bring it back to top condition so it’s time for a quick fix. Step forward the tried and trusted ponytail. This timeless style doesn’t just hide a multitude of sins; it takes no time to do and still looks great. Twist it, tie back on the side or add a few accessories if you’ve got the time, and inclination, to make it more glamorous. Also, having dry shampoo in stock is always a great and quick help.
Fight the breakout
You’re awake, you take a look in the mirror and your skin is looking pretty dry. Don’t fret about that, this doesn’t have to take ages to fix. Moisturiser is an obvious one but you can give it a boost by mixing with a face serum. This is a double-pronged attack that’ll give your face a glow and make it feel better too. Prevent this in future by investing in a quality night cream, and make sure you always remove your make-up before you go to sleep. Investing in a skin brush to slough away the superficial layer of dead skin cells can help keep skin clean and spots at bay. You can even choose from a manual one or electric one.
Clear those puffy eyes
Ever woken up and your eyes haven’t got the message? We all have. Puffy, red and looking as though you should be heading for bed, rather than ready to take on the day. Don’t worry, a combination of cold and moisture is going to do the trick. If you’ve got ice packs pop them under or over your eyes for a few minutes. This will clear the puffiness and shrink the vessels that have given you that red eye look. Alternatively, chuck a couple of spoons in the freezer whilst you get breakfast and then hold them over your eyes. If you’ve got time flick the TV on for the kids and put slices of cucumber over your lids to get some much needed moisture in. Failing that, try cold water.
When you’ve got kids, time is precious and these quick fixes are really going to help you claw back a few minutes. From the benefits of a detangling brush to the use of cold compresses on puffy eyes, there’s plenty that can be done. Before you know it, everyone (including you) will be ready to tackle the day!
Now I don’t know about you but my children can be a handful. Sometimes they can play nicely but the majority of the time, they are like feral creatures that require daily taming! As much as it drives me up the wall and cause me unnecessary stress and repeating myself like a broken record, it does give the home a bit of dynamic. 🙂
They are usually the loudest, wildest and playful one in the room. Sometimes they are so confident in the way they play, people can mistaken them for being naughty or cheeky. This is how Baby Girl is – overly confident in everything she does to a point where it makes her look bossy. She plays with her big brother but when she doesn’t get her way she will tease him and intimidate him. LO is such a softie that he ends up in tears if they go head-to-head (bless him!).
If your little one is like my Baby Girl, here’s how to spot the signs..
1. There’s mess EVERYWHERE!
… I mean everywhere! My house constantly looks like it’s been hit by a hurricane. In the bedroom it only takes her a few seconds to pull open her drawers and pull out all her clothes, pull all the laundry on the bottom drying rack off and throw all her stuffed toys in the cot onto the floor. In the living room and kitchen (why do new builds love open-plan kitchens? They are not practical for a young family!) my books and paperwork on my desk constantly end up on the floor in a large pile and all the plates and tupperware in the kitchen gets scattered on the floor. When her big brother gets involved too, it’s double trouble and endless cleaning.
Advice: Watch out for that small but deadly piece of lego on the floor when you come round to mine!
2. House floods become a possibility
Baby Girl can reach the door handles now and one of the things she loves doing most is opening closed doors. The only door we keep closed in the house is the bathroom and when we’re not watching her like a hawk she will sneak to open the bathroom door, climb onto the toilet seat and play with the tap water. The other night we were seconds away from a flood I would’ve had to call an emergency plumber like these guys to help. Baby Girl had clogged up the bathroom sink with toilet tissue and cotton pads then ran the tap full blast. Luckily I walked in just as the sink filled (almost) to the brim. That would’ve been a costly call out! *hides face*
3. She/he has mastered the art of selective hearing
Baby Girl – I’m sure – has selective hearing (I think she’s picked it up from her brother) and will choose when she wants to listen to me. She doesn’t want anyone to get in the way of her having fun so she’s conjured up a few games for herself which is not the most safe such as playing with the kitchen drawers and cupboards. She likes to sit in the bottom drawer and play with her and LO’s plastic plates and bowls. It’s not bad until she gets overly excited then ends up shutting her fingers in the drawer. Her second favourite game in the kitchen is to rummage through mummy’s spice cupboard and drink the soy sauce or munch on the oxo cubes… yuck. I think I need some child-proof locks in the kitchen pronto!
4. Everything is edible in their eyes
Parents, your child can’t truly certify as a wild child unless she/he has ticked this box – eating anything and everything they can get their hands on. From crayons and watercolour paints to rubber balls, sand and cigarettes Baby Girl has gotten her taste of it all. The photo above was taken after I found her sitting happily on my desk with my mini watercolour palette in her hand. It seemed that she had taken a liking to the orange-red paint brick and decided to munch on it however that’s not the worst thing she’d ate. Oh no… the worst thing by far has to be Daddy P’s cigarettes.
Funnily enough, when I was a little girl I also ate my dad’s cigarette in an attempt to what I thought was smoking it… although I was 5-6yrs old and clearly was being stupid whereas Baby Girl is only 18 months with a taste (pun intended) for trying new things.
5. They do not stop/stay still!
Okay so this last sign is a bit wishy-washy as every baby loves to be on the move but seriously, Baby Girl just doesn’t know when to stop… or maybe she does and just doesn’t want to stop! She is forever exploring every bit of the house, trying to find something new or inventing a new game for herself which is great until I have to tell her to stop and she still carries on. I’ll leave the kids to play in the living room and sneak off to the bedroom to rest and will find that she’s sneaked off to the bathroom AGAIN for the fourth time (I need an outside bolt on the door!) Throughout the day she’ll be screeching, screaming, shouting (getting to know her voice as babies do) and running and climbing everywhere.
Eventually, if I do manage to get more than 5 mins rest, the sound of running water from the bathroom will surely wake me up! So if your little one is anything like mine, it’s possible you have a wild child on your hands… good luck! 🙂
If you’re a busy mama, you’ll know all about time management and how there never seem to be enough hours in the day. So everything you can do to catch up a few minutes is a real bonus, and when it comes to looking after your hair there’s plenty you can do. From shortcut shampoo tips to wearing simple styles like ponytails and Dutch braids, you can take control of your hair and get some time back in the process.
Time saving hair care
When you’re pushed for time there are a number of things you can do in advance to get your hair ready. Check out four of the best time-saving haircare tips:
• Shower the night before. Wash your hair, if you need to, the night before. You’ll be grateful you made that little bit of extra effort in the evening when you need to fly out the door with the kids round your ankles the next morning.
• Dry shampoo. Failing washing your hair the night before, make sure you’re always stocked up with dry shampoo. An absolute gift when you don’t have time to rinse and repeat.
• Go short. If you’re getting fed up of taking ages to get your hair ready before you tackle the day, think about going short. There are plenty of cool styles to try, and if timesaving is your main priority, you will definitely save lots of time with a sleek bob or a pixie cut – trendy and practical.
• Treat whilst you sleep. If you don’t look after your hair, it’s going to suffer and it’ll need a little extra TLC every now and then. There are plenty of great deep conditioning treatments out there and rather than taking time out of your day you can get the job done overnight.
We already know that we can save time on hair care, but what about styling? Here are four of the easiest, but oh so stylish, looks that you can do when you’re rushed in the morning:
Let’s start with the easiest style, the simple ponytail. Just because it’s quick and requires very little effort doesn’t mean it can’t look chic. There are so many variations to try out too; slicked back, high up or low down, whatever you love it’ll only take a few minutes to do.
If you’re not a fan of sporting a ponytail, there is a stylish alternative; the half-ponytail which is great if you hate bare shoulders but still want an semi up-do hairstyle. Even if you have short hair you can wear this hairstyle; here’s me sporting the look in my beauty box review post.
Dutch Braids These braids are one of those amazing styles; the ones that look like they’ve taken ages to do or have been done in a salon. But in reality they only take a few minutes when you know how. As soon as you’ve got the knack for how to do them you’ll love how easy it is and how great they look. For simple to follow step-by-step instructions on how to do Dutch braids just click here (tutorial).
The Messy bun
Simply pull your hair into a loose ponytail, divide it into two or three sections and give it a tease (this is what lifts it from mess to messy chic). Take the sections and crisscross them at the top of your head, just like with a topknot. Pull a few strands around and you’ve got yourself a cool, messy bun.
Like the ponytail, there is a half messy bun style which I call the ‘top-knot’. It’s a great style that can be worn easily whether you have long, short or a bob.
Loose waves If you love the effortless beauty of natural loose waves this trick is the one for you. All the prep takes place the night before so all you’ll have to do is flick the waves out in the morning. After you’ve washed your hair don’t dry it completely, leave it a little damp and braid it tightly. Let the braids out in the morning and you’ll be rocking that wavy look.
Give these tips a try and you might even have few minutes left over to enjoy a bit of time to yourself. Good luck!
A guest post written by beauty/hair writer, Joana Teixeira from All Things Hair.
It feels like so long ago since I was nursing Baby Girl and even longer with LO. Unfortunately with Baby Girl, I only managed to exclusively breastfeed for two months as she started to become very colicky and constipated. So I made the decision then to switch her on to formula and it worked well for us. When I had LO I was able to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months before he decided to start yanking at the nipple – that’s when I decided he needs to start getting onto the bottle so I expressed for a month or two then moved him onto formula after that.
During my first pregnancy, I literally bought everything there was to buy for a new mum and baby from changing units to swaddle blankets and nursing apron covers. Some were very convenient to use and some were more of a one-off thing for me. There are a few products that I know I couldn’t live without during my nursing days and if you’re a new mum looking for products to invest in, here are five that I highly recommend you consider ( you may even already have them!)…
1. Nursing pillow
The nursing pillow is my all-time favourite breastfeeding item. It’s perfect for propping baby onto when you’re breastfeeding and makes a great neck pillow. I stopped breastfeeding when Baby Girl was 2 months but to this day, I still using the nursing pillow for myself.
If you’re expecting, you can also use the nursing pillow when you’re pregnant as a leg pillow if you tend to sleep on your side. Place in between your legs when you’re sleeping or resting and it can help to reduce any pelvic or lower body discomfort (very common if you’re in your third term).
Nursing pillows also make great baby shower gifts that not many people think about so keep that in mind for when you’ve got another baby shower coming up.
2. Lanolin nipple cream
If you’re a first-time mum, get ready to learn something new today. If you’ve had a bubba before, what I write next may bring back some painful memories… literally. The first two weeks of breastfeeding are HELL – I am not going to pussy-foot around or lie to you. You need to mentally prepare yourself. As long as baby has a good latch and your milk is letting down, it’ll only be two weeks of hell.
The feeling of breastfeeding can’t really be explained but I’ll try my best. The suction is something you can’t really compare it to – it’s strong and powerful and if baby’s latch is not a good one it can be extremely painful. (More about baby’s latch later.) Some women experience soreness, cracked nipples, bleeding nipples, sometimes a combination of all these things. Your best friend will be a really good nipple cream. Sometimes the nipple cream might not be enough and you may have to think about nipple guards or even expressing breastmilk to feed baby to give your poor nipps a break.
Lansinoh nipple cream is made of pure lanolin – it’s thick and the best thing is you just put a generous amount on the nipple after every feed to help them repair. You don’t have to worry about baby swallowing/eating it as it’s a natural product that doesn’t harm baby if consumed.
Baby’s latch: how do you know if the latch is a good one? You will be able to see that baby is getting enough milk (or colustrum in the first few days of feeding as the body is making the milk supply) as the cheeks are rounded and full and baby’s head is tilted back enough to take in the milk. If you hear a clicking sound, this could be a sign of a poor latch or tongue-tie. To correct a poor latch, use your small finger to break the latch. Make sure the finger is clean before doing so.
A poor latch can cause baby to not take enough milk and cause you to stress but try not to worry. Simply see your HV as soon as you can if you are worried about your baby having tongue-tie, a poor latch, baby not feeding enough or a low milk supply. Remember that the milk supply doesn’t come into full swing until about day 5-6.
3. Emma Jane nursing bra
This nursing bra is my favourite. It’s not pretty but really does the job. The cotton is lovely and soft, the sizing was spot-on and very generous in terms of accommodating to milk-filled boobies which can one minute be as big and hard as watermelons then as shrivelled and soft as prunes after feeding. The bra comes in three colours; white, black and nude. I had the white and nude colour but the black looked great – they just never had my size. You can find these for around £8-15 and are sold everwhere including Amazon, Ebay, Mothercare and most parent and baby stores. I bought mine online. For mums who prefer a wired nursing bra, check out ThirdLove for some bra ideas on what’s out there.
Don’t forget to get yourself some breastfeeding pads (I recommend the Lansinoh ones for softness, comfort and absorption), leaky boobs are common especially around your usual feeding time or when your boobs are too full. Either feed baby an extra feed, express the milk or if you’re at home use a hot flannel or have a hot bath to encourage milk let-down and drain some of the milk to reduce pain, the boob going hard, and mastitis.
4. Muslin cloths
An overall life-saving product. They’re great for placing around baby for discreet nursing, wiping away milk possets and even using as an alternative blanket during those hot and humid summer days when a cellular blanket is too warm to use. My favourite brand is aden + anais and I completely recommend them. They are made from 100% cotton and are the softest muslin cloths I’ve tried. I bought mine from TK Maxx for a bargain – get the swaddle ones as they’re much larger than normal muslin square cloths.
Muslin cloths can so make great teething soothers – simply tie a knot at one of the corners and voila! Babies love chewing on it! 🙂
5. Manual hand pump
If you’re a mum content on exclusively breastfeeding you may feel like expressing is just a cop-out way for feeding baby but this is the wrong mindset. Of course you want to give baby the best ad you don’t want to confuse baby with breast and bottle (teat) but if you are having problems breastfeeding, or your nipples are so cracked that nursing feels like torture or if you’re just so damn tired you can’t cope, a day or two of expressing may just provide you with that little bit of relief mentally and physically. I think sometimes there is just too much pressure on women to exclusively breastfeed but remember we are not “one size fits all” so do what is best for you, your baby, and your current situation.
Don’t force yourself to feel like you need to measure up to what another mum is doing, just do you! You have to take care of yourself as well as baby and your wellbeing is just as important so remember that. I had a really hard time breastfeeding Baby Girl because my nipple was too large for her mouth she kept gagging on it which is the reason why she had a bad latch. She was also constipated on breastmilk (yes, it can happen) so I had to make the decision after two months to just give it up. I and Baby Girl both felt much better after that, her poos were regular and soft and I got back some of my sanity.
For those thinking about expressing there’s plenty of tips on how to express successfully. If you’re contemplating on whether to go for a manual or electric pump I think it depends on your personal preference. I had both and I much preferred my manual one, it actually took near enough the same amount of time to express (I think electric was just 5mins faster for me). My favourite pump is the Medela one. It’s easy to use, easy to clean and the bottles are bigger than some others so more milk storage.
That’s my top 5 essential breastfeeding/nursing products!
I hope this post has helped you out in considering what to buy for your breastfeeding and nursing needs. 🙂
Other breastfeeding tips and advice:
Make sure you express a little bit of milk if your boobs are too full, a hot bath or warm flannel over the breast can help encourage the milk let-down
Milk storage: Any expressed breastmilk can be kept unrfriderated for 1-2hrs then must be discarded, in the top shelf at the back of a refridgerator for up to 5 days, in the fridge ice compartment for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 6 months
If you want to feed discreetly in public, make sure your muslin cloth is long enough. If you want something specific, think about purchasing a breastfeeding apron.
Another nursing trick is to wear two tops; a low-scoop vest inside and a loose top over it. This way you can pull the vest below the breast and the loose top over the breast to feed baby. It should give baby enough ‘boobage’ but still keep you nicely covered and you don’t have to fuss with buying other equipment.
I started my blog just under two years ago and have seen it grow which is a big success to me. I’ve had the chance to work with brilliant brands and am quite proud of myself for still being here and blogging nearly two years on. I really didn’t think I would last this long but so, so glad that I have because I actually like blogging! 🙂
Being a mummy blogger is a niche itself; sometimes it can be really difficult to get your voice out there as there are so many mummy/daddy/parent/family bloggers out there now. I started off blogging about local family activities and reviewing them however, as the months went by I found myself blogging more about other things like home, lifestyle, beauty, fitness, and food. My blog wasn’t just about being a mum and writing about my parenting experiences, it was more than that. It was about me as an individual.
I think in order to survive in the blogosphere, you need to have your personality injected into your blog. People are nosey (no offence to anyone) and we like to learn about how other people live their lives. My favourite mum blogs are the ones that write about their everyday life and what they do in their spare time for fun ie fitness or eating out, how they keep themselves sane during the school holidays and talk about their parenting mistakes and oopsie-moments with their children. People want to see the realness in blogs, especially parent blogs because everyone knows… parenting is not easy and far from ever being perfect.
Another thing I’ve noticed is that blogging is not just about blogging as in the content – it’s also about the amount of followers you have. This is where I fail miserably. I have nearly 3,000 combined followers across all my social media which is nothing compared to some mummy bloggers out there who have over 10,000 followers per social media platform. Brands love it and so do the public; the more followers you have the more ‘respect’ you have online. Having a big social media following will give you that “influencer” status which will make you look very attractive to brands.
The good thing is that nowadays even the little guys like me can get recognised for blogging. If your social media or blog following isn’t as high but your readers or followers are very engaged with your posts, that has a better conversion and can give you an advantage over a bigger blog that has more followers but less engagement. For example… (math lesson time!) you have 10,000 followers and only 100 liked your post, that’s a conversion of 1%. However, if you have 1,000 followers and 100 liked your post… that’s a conversion of 10%. See how good the stats look now?
Say hello to the micro-influencer!
Hurrah! The rise in demand for micro-influencers means we can all get a piece of the blogging-influencer pie, no matter how big or small your blog following is. Yay! 🙂
I think mummy bloggers will continue to stick around for a while. There’s always going to be a new mum searching for parenting advice and what better way to get it than from a mummy blogger? Mummy bloggers are also venturing out into vlogging, podcasting, hosting blog conferences, workshops and even offering their blogging success tips online to connect more with their readers and give them that little bit ‘extra’. I think this innovative way of thinking is what will help them stay ahead of competition and stay in the game for the long haul.
What are your views on the future of blogging? Do you have any innovative strategies in place to connect and engage with your readers?
This post was written as a part of Innovation Company’s study on what bloggers see as the future of blogging. This was a paid post. All words and opinions are my own.
Everyone had a brilliant time and I am so grateful for the turnout that we had. We decided to host your birthday at Discovery Planet in Surrey Quays because (1) it’s close to home and a good location for everyone, and (2) the birthday package deal they offered was great value. We decided to have your cake made by auntie Dinah (DinahsDesserts.com) because her cakes taste scrumptious and look amazing. She didn’t let us down with your unicorn cake at all! It was definitely the second star of the show – the first being you, of course. 🙂