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      29.03.2009 15:21
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      Tip number 2 - enjoy them, it doesn't last for ever.

      My top tip for coping during the first year of your child's life, is to write the following out in large letters and hang it on the nursery wall:

      And this, too, shall pass

      Or, if you prefer:

      It's just a phase

      Either would work. You see, with my first baby, I spent my whole time trying to "fix" her. She would do things that weren't the way I wanted her to do things, and I'd try to work out ways to get her to change. She wouldn't sleep through the night (or even for more than two hours at a stretch), she wanted to feed all the time, she cried if she was put down, she would only nap in my arms or a moving pram. As she got older, she wouldn't eat the foods I wanted, she wouldn't nap for long enough, she still wouldn't sleep through the night. I stressed about a lot of these things and devised lots of action plans for how I was going to do things that would cause her to behave how I wanted. I had the echo in my ears of various people saying things like "ooh, you're making a rod for your own back". It is difficult, when you are a new parent, to know what to do with all the conflicting advice.

      When I had my second child, I didn't have the energy to "fix" him, I just had to go with the flow. By the time I had my third, I'd realised just how very fleeting it all is. It goes so fast. So when he did things that didn't suit me, I tried to remember that it was just a phase, and would last a couple of months at the utmost, and possibly only a couple of days. Although a few days can feel like an eternity with a small baby!

      So instead of planning a way to make him change, I would plan a way for me to survive those few months or weeks, until he changed by himself. Because they do. Most of these things that babies do that are so difficult for us, are things that they grow out of. Son number 2 used to scream hysterically while I was cooking tea every night. I realised that this would only last for a while, so, for that while, I prepared meals after the children had gone to bed, stuck them in the fridge, and put them in the slo-cooker the next morning. At tea-time, I had minimal work to do - and so minimal time for him to scream. Eating slo-cooked meals every night is a little wearing, but in a month or so, my son worked out how to sit up a little, and use his hands a little, and was happy to sit in his bouncy chair and chew a toy while I cooked.

      They change so fast, a problem that seems overwhelming one week is history the next.

      So my tip is to work out how to get through it, rather than to obsess about teaching them to behave differently. They're babies, you can just wait for them to change.

      Baby number 3 was so much less stressful!

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        17.03.2009 12:00
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        A few tips for surviving the first 6 months.

        Baby fed, check. Nappy changed, check, body temperature ok, check. Sufficient array of toys in close proximity, check. Afternoon nap completed, check. Engaged in eye contact and reassured baby, check. Face clear of snot, dribble and gunk, check. Stomach blown on and feet waggled playfully, check. And still baby cries...

        'Darling? The baby's broken....'

        Ah yes. The indescribable frustration and worry that only comes when your baby just won't calm down. You've tried everything, and even some new things out of desperation, yet still they cry. It's all your fault...you're clearly not doing it right. (The Dark Side of the Force again).

        Relax. Deep breaths. Pick up the baby and cuddle them closely. Walk about a bit, bouncing slightly or swaying if this helps. Don't worry if they still whine for a little while. It happens. They don't come out fully world-ready, and the instruction manual may as well be in Japanese, for sometimes there is no definite reason, and you just have to go with the flow. Remember - if you can cope with them being a newborn, then the toddler stuff doesn't seem as difficult. Although they will be much stronger (surprisingly so), and much heavier, and far hungrier, and considerably louder....

        Deep breaths....

        So coping then - it's hard work raising an anklesnapper. My Daughter is only 4 months old, and although she now sleeps through the night uninterrupted (oh joy!!!), she is still prone to afternoon grouchiness, and random sessions of being unhappy with the world. It has taken a lot of angst, patience, a few arguments, and plenty of deep breaths to reach this current level of being just able to manage it - somewhat akin to balancing on your tiptoes while being poked with numerous pointy sticks.

        It can be very frustrating - we grown ups generally like to plan things, and be organised. Baby isn't bothered about that. They vaguely differentiate day and night, and empty stomach and full nappy - but the rest occurs randomly. You will need your wits, and a supply of Coffee and patience to weather it.

        It gets worse before it gets better obviously, this review... Like all rapidly growing organisms, your delightful child will change more quickly than you can anticipate, and in new ways each time. Patterns are only brief cycles, and quickly evolve into different and more complex patterns, which is often a source of confusion and yet more frustration.

        Deep breaths - remember that bit.

        So - tips. Let me think. Erm....Right. These are geared towards the newborn baby - 0-6 months. My expertise does not extend to the noisome bundle of curly hair that is my best friend's child. I'm sure I will have a whole new set of tips when my Daughter reaches that age. I shall ask him - he seems to be coping well - he certainly has more hair left than I do.

        Emotion. Firstly - babies are incredibly receptive. They may totally ignore your feeble attempts to get their attention when you have guests around, and instead lie there looking simple and gurning away, but they will pick up on an angry or upset mode in an instant. When they're screaming because you lay them down and it most certainly was not nap time (the Tilt Sensor in their head goes off), you mustn't let it wind you up. When you're still awake at 2am because they wouldn't settle after the feed, and you've cuddled them and tried to put them down awake (which is like trying to plait fog sometimes), and you're really tired and your partner has just snapped at you for coughing too loudly - take another one of those deep breaths and try to act confident and accepting when you go to your baby's cot. Reassure them softly, sing to them quietly and let them drift off. If you need to scream, go to the spare room and stick a pillow on your face!

        Time. You and your partner need your couple time. Try putting the baby to bed slightly early and making and devouring a 3 course meal together - use the dining table, stick some music on (it doesn't have to be Lame Love Songs Compilation IV), and just enjoy being together again. I've done this a few times already, and it's really satisfying when you both go to bed relaxed and happy with the world again.

        Time 2. You also need your 'Me' time. This is obviously of especial importance if you are a single parent. Not being one - I can only sympathise! - I hope you have a friend or relative you can occasionally ask to babysit for you so you can enjoy some time away from your baby.
        For couples - take turns to mind them for a few hours. My Wife - spiffing as she is - usually lets me have my pottering time on Sunday mornings. I will happily park myself in front of the PC for some Writing time, Playing time (merciless world domination is good), and trying to make the minus figures in my Finances go away Time. In return I will let her have a long hot bath with candles, her copy of Cosmo, and plenty of bubbles.

        Teamwork - and deep breaths...

        Anticipation. Very important. Is it closer than one hour to the next feed? Be ready, just in case they go from happy to starving in two minutes (infrequent, but keeps you on your toes). Have one of everything you need in the baby bag when you go out. And another one of everything in the boot of your car in case of being stranded. You may be able to survive on half a Mars Bar if the car breaks down in the Dales and the RAC tell you it'll be 90 minutes until they reach you, but I rather think your beloved offspring will be less than amused at this turn of events. Have their toys in strategically close locations throughout the house so that you're not forever running up and down the stairs looking for one. Mr Ducky lives on the sofa, and Mr Zebra lives in the cot. Mr Elephant is a floating safety and can be used by one parent if the other needs to locate another item.

        Humour. You will need to laugh off a lot of things. Gagging at the nappy contents? Baby milk and vomit all over your shoulder? Eardrum perforated from sudden screaming fit? Deal with it. Return baby to calm mode with intelligent use of parenting knowledge (run through paragraph one again), and then chuckle about it. If you laugh at the baby whilst stroking them, they may even reciprocate, and you'll have successfully defused the crisis.

        There are of course many more tips - and I suggest you remember one of my other reviews (now that's a test for you), and filter out the useful stuff from the annoying advice solicited from friends, relatives, the old lady at the bus stop and anyone who happens to have seen an episode of Supernanny and overhears you talking about yours.

        Remember - Deep breaths, it's not supposed to go to the exact plan, your job is to respond and manage and not to panic at the seeming lack of control. Most of all - enjoy it. You'll (probably) only have a few children, and you should make the most of it before they turn into teenagers - I cite David from Coronation Street as an example! (How middle aged is that...watching soaps....)

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          02.03.2009 21:46
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          kids may be expensive and demanding but well worth every penny!

          Your life changes more than you can ever imagine. The experience is amazing but challenging.

          My 2 kids (2 years and 4 months) are both really bad sleepers. I could never imagine what sleep deprivation was like. I wake up in the morning having felt that I have barely been in bed. How do we cope?
          - My husband and I take it in turns on a weekend to have a lie-in
          - Every 2 weeks they stay 1 night at the grandparents so we can get a bit of a catch up
          - and I look at these kids and think "I made them!" and nothing can be better and that this is just a phase that they will soon grow out of.

          Financially you have no idea what to expect. Yes, you know it's going to be expensive but it gets to the point that everything you buy is for the kids. How do I cope?
          - I send off to bounty, tesco , Boots, morrisons, etc baby clubs and every so often get vouchers through the post. I collect the vouchers and keep them in my wallet so whenever I buy nappies I try and use the money off vouchers. This can save a couple of pounds each time.
          - I have nectar, boots, and tescos cards which accumulate points everytime I spend. I use the boots vouchers to buy the kids clothes in boots or some toys rather than using cash.
          - when I need to buy anything I check the internet for best prices and look on money saving sites for voucher discount codes.
          - I try and stock up on supplies of nappies, wipes etc when they are on offers.

          Tantrums are always fun. Usually when my eldest has a tantrum it's late in the day when he is very tired. I either;
          - leave him to have his tantrum
          - or get on the floor and copy him (he finds this funny as he thinks I look ridiculous) so soon stops.
          - or let him sit in the naughty corner if he is upsetting everyone else in the room.

          I have just highlighted a few areas and tips on how my husband and I cope with being parents. But I think the most important thing is to make sure there is some "Me " and some "husband and I" time. We make sure that we get out once a week with the our friends seperately and every couple of weeks do something as a couple. You need to have the time to switch off from the kids completely for a couple of hours.

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          14.01.2009 13:00

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          If only there were a manual on parenting!! My tips on how to cope.

          I am a first time parent with a 13 month old little boy. My husband has two children from his previous marriage, and so I expected him to be alot more experienced at parethood than me. Unfortunately he works all the hours god sends, and so I was pretty much left to it when our little boy was born. I will be honest, having a baby is alot of hard work. It takes you a while to figure out what they are crying for. Also the endless screaming can really grind you down in the middle of the night. Sleep deprovation is a killer, but they do eventually grow out of the sleepless nights. Rest assured that things will get better. My tips for coping would be to sleep when your baby sleeps, day or night!! Be prepared as much as you can be. Organise yourself. Don't be affraid to ask for help, and always accept help if it is offered.

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          30.10.2008 11:47
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          Us mums should stand united and be proud of who we are

          When i first became pregnant, like many other mums to be, i had a mixed array of feelings, part of me felt happy about becoming a mother, and part of me felt scared and worried about how i would cope. I mean it looked easy enough seeing other mums with their children, pushing them round in pushchairs and playing with them on the park- i was wrong.
          When my first daughter was born i was ecstatic and felt the happiest person on the planet,we brought her home the following day and got into the swing of things, changing her nappy, feeding. The following day when the midwife came round my daughter had a mucus attack and stopped breathing i went into a state of panic and shock and didn't know what to do, thankfully the midwife took over and i was told the ring an ambulance, we got to hospital and everything was fine. But since that moment i became a very protective parent and got worried at the slightest cough or hiccup, my partner had two weeks off work and helped every bit he could, getting up in the night for feeds, changing nappies,winding her, life just seemed so perfect. Then when his two weeks was up he had to go back to work, when i saw him off for the first time i remember the door shutting and me thinking well it's just you and me now girl.
          At first things went well, i had me time to bond with my daughter and i loved it, i had various visitors, who helped me out and i kept thinking to myself i can do this. The novelty soon wore off though and visitors became none existent although my partner was home at 6.00pm in the day i felt alone and sometimes bored, i mean there's not much a 3 week old baby can do bar from sleep eat and cry.
          I was scared to leave the house on my own in case something happened so stayed in all day, every day.
          The health visitor came round one day, and checked on the baby and then asked if everything was ok with me,i don't know whether it was the hormones but i broke down and told her everything, that i felt i couldn't cope and how i thought i was a bad mum already. She was lovely and suggested things to help me a lot of them where so obvious why didn't i think of them??

          Here is a list of things i have used from then until the present day to help me cope with having children, since then i have had another daughter and have one on the way so having three kids under three is going to be tricky.....

          1~ Remember first and foremost you are not alone, thousands of parents have the same feelings and there are lots of people and things to help you out along the way.

          2~Ask for help, whether it be a health visitor, doctor, your mum,dad or family or close friends that what their here for.Don't be scared whether it be them coming round for a hour to watch your child while you have a bath makes all the difference.

          3~ Try to get you child/children into a routine as quickly as you can,it will be hard at first, but once you do establish one, things will be better all round, and harsh as it may sound, your child will know what's happening at certain times of the day, and you will feel in control.

          4~ When going out somewhere whether it be for a day trip or nipping down town for a hour or two, always make sure you have a bag packed with milk, bottles, bib, change of clothing, snacks,nappies, wipes and other things that are essential, you may not need them, but there again you might, always be prepared.

          5~Entertaining two children can be difficult sometimes because of the age gap, If it's sunny outside, play in the garden, or take them to the park, or go for a walk, you will feel better and so will your child. If it's not the weather to be outside, indoor activities can be just as fun, let them watch a dvd, paint, colour, dressing up or putting some music on and dancing is a great way to bond.

          6~ Let your partner/husband take over for a bit while you have a lie down, or do some house work, this will give him chance to bond as well

          7~ Ok so we all like to be house proud, but that can wait, don't worry that you haven't dusted today leave it till tomorrow your health and wellbeing is more important.

          8~ If for some reason your child won't stop crying, make sure you have tried the obvious things as to why he might be crying, dirty bum, wants feeding, has wind, hurt himself etc. Check his temperature if concerned ring your doctor or out of hours ring NHS direct who might be able to help, they won't think you're stupid because you called, that's what there here for.

          9~ Make sure each child has me 'me' time with mum or dad, this time weather it be 10 minutes or half an hour can be spent doing pretty much anything, from reading a book together, to doing a puzzle, by making sure that you do spend time with each child they don't feel left out and are more likely to be more relaxed and contented.

          10~ Enroll in your local playschool, Nursery, or mum and baby group, there are thousands in the UK, and is a great chance for you and your baby to get out and meet other people, and to share story's and exchange tips, plus you might make friends to.

          I hope my tips where useful in some way? But please remember if you feel like you can't cope you are NOT alone,becoming a parent can be daunting but there is always someone to help you and guide you. Us mums are a circle of friends and should be proud of what we do.

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            13.10.2008 01:13
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            Ten tips on preparing to cope with parenting

            1. Time your pregnancy:
            If at all possible (and with modern contraception it is possible) plan your pregnancy. I don't mean plan as in meet Mr Right, get married, buy a nice house in the area for a good school and save enough money to give the child everything you think s/he should have (there will never be ''enough" money, just ensure there is sufficient money), I mean plan the timing of your pregnancy. Consider whether a winter, spring, autumn or summer baby suits your domestic situation and whether there will be enough willing and eager hands around at the time of the birth (if your partner has a job that restricts holiday dates this may be vital if you are to have him home for a decent length of time in the early days. If you work in education the timing of childbirth can also mean you spend longer with baby before returning to work.... Conceive in December or January to get 9 months off, go back for a week or so while Daddy looks after baby during his annual leave and then get the summer vacation paid!).

            2. Do your research:
            Talk to friends and family who have already had children (don't just ask those with new babies either, speak to those who've seen a few rounds with the birthday fairy). Read pregnancy related magazines, borrow pregnancy and childcare books from the library and get online. Babycentre.co.uk is a good start and will allow you to chat with other women in the same situation, whether that's considering pregnancy, trying to conceive, or actually with a bun already in the oven.

            3. Talk to your partner:
            Find out how he feels about becoming a Daddy. What does he want from family life? How does he see his role panning out? How many children does he want? What age gaps? What are his fears? What is he excited about?

            4. Make friends with your inlaws:
            These people are going to be Grandparents to your unborn. Let them in on the excitement of your pregnancy. Get extra copies of scan photos for them, let them purchase something important for the baby. Let them know that you want them to be involved, that you need them to be involved. Hopefully if you foster this grandparenting role from the very start, they will be there when the poop hits the fan.

            5. 'Borrow' a child:
            'Practice' on someone else's child. Be this nappy changing, bathing, singing nursery rhymns, telling stories or (heaven forbid) discipline. Offer to babysit. you never know, the favour may be returned at a crucial moment in the future.

            6. Listen to all advice given:
            But do not feel obliged to follow it. Your child may be nothing like little Billy, but at least you have a bank of ideas to fall back on should your own fail.

            7. Buy pacifiers/soother/dummies:
            I doubt any mother really wants to use these things and I bow down in respect to those that never do. But I'm not stupid enough to cut my nose off to spite my face. I hate them, but they work, and you can guarantee you will see the sense of these at 3am one Sunday morning when there is no where open that sells them.

            8. Spend money well:
            You need a good car seat, a sturdy and comfortable pram (the type will vary according to the season that your baby is born in and the terrain you generally walk over), a cot with a dropside and the best mattress you can afford. Accept everything second hand except the mattress and car seat (unless you know the carseat owner very well). Clothes, bedding and toys can be purchased second hand. Money saved on buying most items new can be spent on taking an extra few days maternity leave. Consider every penny spent on non-essentials as pennies that you will have to work to make up and time taken away from your gorgeous baby. Does baby really need that matching bedding and curtain set or does s/he need you?

            9. Accept all offers of help:
            And seek out the offers that some are too embaressed to make, or that should be made by relatives (in-laws take heed!). Having children (of any age) is the hardest job there is. Managers of top businesses delegate, why shouldn't mothers do the same? Life shouldn't be this hard. If someone offers to wash up for you, or mind the baby while you do something else, then rip their hand off in thanks! You're a mother not a martyr, baby needs you on top form, take time out for yourself when you can.

            10. Seek professional help:
            If something is worrying you about your child, if you feel you are not coping, then speak to your health visitor or GP. These people are not going to judge you (you're already doing that to yourself). They will have seen and heard it all before, from mild niggling worries to full blown post-partum psychosis (very rare). If your GP recommends anti-depressants then collect the prescription and take the drugs. Don't leave it sitting on a shelf while you continue feeling dreadful. Needing medical help is not a sign that you're not coping, it's a sign that you are taking matters into your own hands, recognising that you do not feel the way that you think you should and that you are doing something to regain control. Let the drugs do their bit while you get on with being a fantastic mum.

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              12.10.2008 00:23
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              the most rewarding job in the world is being a parent

              When me and my husband decided we were ready to start a family i thought everything was going to be plain sailing, my brother had had his child 4 years earlier and i had helped out a lot with her when she was a very young baby so didnt think i was going to have any problems and boy was i wrong.

              The first thing i hadnt banked on was the fact that after giving birth i was going to be so tired and so drained of energy for days, every bit of my body ached and i was so very in need of sleep but my daughter had other ideas, she was a very difficult feeder she would take one ounce of milk every hour and then want feeding again an hour later so by the time i had gotten one bottle into her, changed her and winded her there was only 30 minutes before the next feed, this went on for 3 days so i was a walking zombie by the end of it and decided weather she liked it or not she was going to drink more and have more gaps inbetween.
              The first tip here i was given by a friend, as my daughter started to drop off to sleep with the bottle still in her mouth and stopped drinking i would turn the teat around in her mouth and she would then start to suckle again meaning i could persuade her to take more of the bottle at one time than she had before and we managed to get two ounces of milk in to her in one feed. To get her into a routine of 3 houly feeds i got her a dummy which i said i was not going to do and when she began to stir after two hours gave her her dummy instead to pacify her, she wasnt crying but fidgiting around and grumbling a bit and after the 3 hours were up she drank 3 ounces of formula, that night i got to get some sleep for the first time in days which was great.

              Sleeping at night was the next problem we encountered, she would sleep all day in her moses basket but at night she kept rubbing at her face with her hands and pulling her dummy out every 15 minutes or so and crying for me to put it back in, i brought a swaddle blanket which is a stretchy cotton blanket with velcro on that i could put her arms inside the blanket to stop her getting them to her face and she slept perfectly after this only waking for feeds.

              My daughter suffered with colic but not constantly so i used infacol for this but didnt want to give it when she was ok but dint realise there was a problem to begin with untill she was crying in pain with her stomach, i soon learnt that when i lay her flat on her back after her feed she would scrunch her legs up towards her chest if she has a tummy ache so new this was the start and got in early with the infacol.

              My second child was so much easier to cope with than my first, not because she was any better a sleeper or feeder but because i new what to expect, there are times when every parent needs some help and when you are pulling your hair out and thinking you are rubbish at what you are doing you need reasurance, the best thing is to have friends and family around for advice and reasurance.

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                11.10.2008 20:07
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                Overall there will be times when you can't cope but it will get easier.

                When you have your first child or children in my case (twins) it can be very hard. There is a lot to take in I didn't have a clue at first I had never even changed a nappy then suddenly I have twins and need to cope with two. My husband and our families were a great help though which helped loads. We lived away from our families so at times it did seem hard. I remember all the little things like not being able to get in the shops with our double buggy doesn't sound bad but it is very stressful especially when your husband is away and all you want to do is get in a shop and buy some nappies, also getting on a bus with two young babies and yet again the pram not fitting on and no one offering to help you. I remember when my girls were tiny and from 9-12 every night they had colic it was very upsetting seeing them screaming and kicking there legs thankfully infacol helped with easing the pain but at the time I was thinking what am I doing wrong for this to be happening. When your baby is small it seems like everything that can go wrong does there always getting ill, there not sleeping and lots more but what you don't realise is that everyone has these problems. The best thing to do is go along to mums and tots group and you will soon make friends who will be able to help you out, go see your doctor, midwife etc and they will give you tips. I no it is horrible asking for help but most of the time your parents and family will be there to help you all you have to do is ask for a bit of help. A year or so later you will look back and think was it really that hard as everything has got easier.

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                  17.08.2008 19:10
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                  Just some ideas to help all us parents on the way!

                  Coping with a baby and young infant is incredibly difficult; old or young, fat or thin, rich or poor, parents struggle with their children and the pressures that are put on them from a demanding outside world. I know that when I had my daughter, my first child, I never could have anticipated the level of judgement made by outside parties on my parenting skills or my childs behaviour and abilities. Even as my child is preparing to start school in September, I am preparing myself for additional pressures of being a parent....the competitive Mums at the school gate, the demands of an overly bureaucratic education system (and the enormous stress it puts on our young children and teenagers), and the material pressures of ensuring my child doesnt 'go without'. The stress of parenthood is neverending, but the fact that it is a richly rewarding vocation is a real consolation! Here are some of the tips I have gained so far on my journey through parenthood- I hope they help you cope with the ups and downs of rearing kiddies. Heres my survival guide for looking after 0-18 month olds:


                  ~0-3 Months~
                  ------------------

                  I never enjoyed the newborn baby phase at all. They are beautiful bundles of joy, but not very exciting to be with at this stage. They are COMPLETELY dependent on you, and there is barely a moment to breathe between feeding, nappy changing, bathing, and crying (you and the baby at times!). Coping at this stage is par for the course, because at least you can tell yourself that things can only get better! On top of having a demanding baby at this point, many mothers find that they are stretched emotionally and physically by the limitations of their own birth weary bodies. I know I felt as though I was falling apart at the seams! Heres some ideas for coping with this stage-

                  *Look After Yourself*

                  This concept has helped me all through difficult phases. If a mother (well both parents) doesnt look after herself nutritionally, emotionally and physically when she has a young baby, then the task in hand becomes incredibly difficult and not much joy can be gained from it. I knew that, come hell or high water, I had to retain some of my past independent life and that meant putting on some slap in the morning, having a decent breakfast, and enjoying a nice bath or shower.

                  Remember, if you feel awful and stretched to the limit, then the baby will suffer for it. Putting your needs a bit higher in priority than 'after the dog' will make you feel close to normal again. I know this is easier said than done, especially if your baby is feeding every hour or so, but if your baby has had all it needs for the moment (food, a change, a bit of attention etc...), then there is no shame in allowing yourself a bit of pamper time. Have a nice sleep whilst baby is napping, or take a bath (take monitor in bathroom or leave bathroom door open), or sit at your dressing table and put your make-up on. Maybe start a book or magazine. Bliss.

                  *Go For Long Walks*

                  This idea is great. Long walks into town with a newborn. Invigorating, and lovely when people comment on your adorable little one! Fresh air helps clear the old mental cobwebs away, and I feel my anxieties and stress ebb away as I take in the sights and sounds of a world still going on as normal. If youre couped up indoors with an infant, you can slowly feel your sanity drift away- adult voices and the usual goings of life inject some normality into what can be a quite tiresome routine at times.

                  *Get As Much Sleep As Possible*

                  Share night feeds with your partner. My husband was a saint. He even made feeds for the day up in baby bottles for me the evening before, so that if the chance arose I could use spare moments to nap.

                  Have baby in a moses basket by the bed for a bit, so that trips for night feeds arent long and drawn out. You can just lift baby into bed with you, or else sit in a nursing chair, in the bedroom, then retire to bed once baby is settles again.

                  Grab the chance for a nap when baby is asleep. Only the bare essentials of housework need to be done. Hand washing over to helpful relatives and try to relax abit. No one is built to be a 'superwoman' at this time, its not possible.


                  ~3-6months~
                  --------------------------

                  This stage is a transitional one really. Your baby becomes more animated and interesting, and demanding in many ways. I enjoy this phase more than the newborn time, because the babys character is showing. However, if your child is showing signs of being a miserable disposition or overly clingy, then I can imagine it would be tough and very draining. Babies of this age are sitting up, and are beginning to take solids. Tips out to the shops are more interesting, as you can select vegetables and fruit for weaning purposes, and begin to chat more to the baby. Heres some more ideas for surviving parenthood-

                  *Talk and Interact with Your Baby*

                  I always believed that my baby understood a lot more than she could convey, at a very young age. Your facial expressions and chatting to a young baby can seriously advance their communication abitities at a later date. I would comment on the colours of things when we went out "Look at the red car, Amelia", and I would sing the alphabet to her. If I hadnt talked to her during the day, I would have found being a stay ay home Mum very boring. She was my company, and we had to build a relationship from scratch.

                  *Dont Fear the Weaning Process*

                  My girlie didnt take to milk at all, so weaning onto solid food at 4 1/2 months was a blessed relief for me. I enjoyed every minute of it, and made sure that I smiled and encouraged Amelia vigorously as I fed her new foods. I was determind to make this a good experience. I kept a little notebook tracking the foods Id weaned her onto, and if she liked them/had a reaction to them/ was sick etc.... If you set out to enjoy the weaning process, half the stress is lost. Also, dont worry if your baby rejects a certain food, their palate is very young- give it a week or two and try again. If they continue to reject it, then maybe its time to accept that even babies have tastes and preferences too!


                  ~6months-1year~
                  -----------------------

                  Things start to get a bit interesting here. The old 'separation anxiety' may start to kick in. Babies start to fuss and become fretful the minute the favoured parent/carer leaves the room. This is natural, as they have no concept of time, and cant fathom that just because a person has disappeared from eyeshot for a second doesnt mean they will be gone forever. In their mind, out of sight means you may never return. Its very irritating when a baby screams if you leave their side, but we all need to visit the bathroom from time to time! Just smile and reassure your baby that you will return quickly, and then greet them with a joyful reunion. Lots of kisses.

                  At this stage, independent thought is also coming to the fore. Babies begin to crawl, and some even toddle before 12 months, so a conflict between freedom from the parent and reliance on the parent can surface. The odd temper tantrum can even arise as they grapple with this concept of being a separate entity. The key to limiting stress is to respect their freedoms by safety proofing your house as much as possible. Move precious ornaments out of reach, hide your make-up away, pad the corners of your coffee table, and cover power sockets. That way, stress is kept to a minimum, and frustrations are hopefully nipped in the bud!


                  ~1year-18months~
                  ------------------------

                  Wow! A little person is really emerging now. A conflict between parental personalities and the fledgling childs character can be seen. If you are, by nature, a quiet, sensible person, then an energetic, chatty toddler can be a strain. Remember that for them to develop into well rounded individuals, they may need to go with other people, with other personalities (to give you a break too!). This is where friends and relatives may wish to take over for an afternoon or two. See if anyone would like to take them to the park for a bit. This gives you breathing space.

                  *Enjoy baths? Well, Have One with Your Toddler~

                  Ive always loved having a bath with Amelia. From as early as when she could sit up unaided, I would have her in a lovely bubbly tub with me. I determind that bathtime would be fun, relaxing, and a great opportunity to teach Amelia to be proud of her body. By having a bath with her, I knew that it would limit any hang ups. I tell her all the time how beautiful she is.

                  *Try the Library*

                  Libraries are fantastic for even very young kids. They teach them the magic of books, having an imagination, meeting people in their community, and understanding the need for people to have quiet sometimes to read or think. Try this outing regularly, and you'll see that the library can be a good destresser and a great educational forum.



                  I hope my ideas for coping help you. Thanks for reading xx

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                    15.02.2006 18:30
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                    you are not alone!!!

                    After seeing a review someone had written about infacol, It put back in my mind all those nights of crying, and how hard it is to cope when your little one has colic. So I decided to write down some advice and info that may be useful to anyone who is trying to cope with this.
                    The first point i must make, and i want you to remember is ;
                    YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!
                    There are many people out there who are going through the same thing. Wondering what is wrong with their baby, and why they are crying so much. Wondering if it is something they have done, and if they are a bad parent. Well the answer is NO!
                    It is nothing you have done, and you are not a bad parent.

                    It is one of the hardest parts of having a baby. When your baby is constantly crying, and nothing you can do with passify them, it can really get you down. You can spend hours walking the floor trying to sooth them, and it has no effect. YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS!

                    WHAT IS COLIC?
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                    You child will be diagnosed as having colic if, he/she cries for more than 3 hours everyday, for more than 3 days aweek. It is the extreme end of normal crying. The condition is harmless. This doesn't make you feel any better. They can give it all these nice catagories, but to you, your baby is crying, and all you care about is calming them down.

                    ABOUT COLIC
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
                    Around 20-25% of babies suffer from colic. It usually starts when your baby is around 2-3 weeks old. It can last 3 months or longer in some cases.
                    If you baby was born premiturley, the colic may start later, at around 6-9 weeks. Or around the time of your original due date.
                    This all depends on how premiture your baby is.

                    SYMPTOMS
                    ~~~~~~~~~~
                    *Crying fo a long period of time
                    This can occur at anytime of day. But most people find that it is worse in the evening.

                    *May look in pain
                    Even though your baby shouldn't be in pain, they may look in pain.

                    *Lifting head
                    They may lift their heads up to try and curl up.

                    *Draw legs to tummy
                    Just as when they have bellyache. They lift their knees up to their chest.

                    *Red face
                    Wher he/she gets them selves into such a state, the chances are, they will become red in the face.

                    *Passwind
                    You may find that they tend to passwind alot. This may make you feel they have bellyache or wind.
                    *Refuse to eat
                    Some little ones, find that they do not want their bottle, and just continue crying.

                    *Difficulty in falling asleep and staying asleep
                    They become so upset, that soothing them to seatle them to sleep, may become near impossible. They my also start waking alot.

                    THE CAUSE
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~
                    It has not been given a proper cause, and different professionals have different ideas.
                    Here are some of them.
                    Digestive problems:
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                    Some think that it is due to abnormal gases in the babies tummy, that become painful for them.

                    Temperament and nervous system:
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                    A babies temperament can make them highly sensitive to whats going on around them. So if there is a change to their enviroment, they can become very upset. But they may also become very distressed at the same thing every night. So you can't win with that one. But also, the nervous system being immuture at this age, can mean that the baby can not control it's crying. So will continue getting upset.
                    Swallowing air:
                    Bottle fed babies sometimes gulp air from their bottles. This can cause bad wind, and tummy pains.
                    Foods mummy eats:
                    If you are breast feeding you baby. They say that some of the foods that you eat can make babies colic worse. These foods include:
                    Cruciferous veg (ie cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts, and parsnips)
                    Beans Melon
                    Onions Spicy foods
                    Garlic Caffine
                    Apricots And Alcohol

                    SHOULD YOU SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION?
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                    The first thing i am going to say is;
                    You know your child best.
                    You know if you child is not his/her normal self. So no matter what i say, if you feel your baby needs medical attention, then get it!!!

                    This is just a list you can use as a checklist.

                    Colic
                    ~~~~~~~~~~

                    Suck fine. Generally good appitite

                    Wants lots of cuddles

                    Little bit sicky

                    Pooing well

                    SICK
                    ~~~~~

                    May not feed well. May have a weak suck

                    May appear uncomfotable and not want to be held

                    Violently sick and losing weight

                    Diarrhea or blood in the stools

                    IF YOU BABY HAS ANY OF THE SYMPTOMS IN THE SICK LIST, THEN SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION ASAP!!

                    TREATMENT
                    ~~~~~~~~~~
                    There are many different ideas for treating colic. It is just a case of trial and error with you baby. What works for one, won't nesearally work for another.

                    Breast feeding
                    If you are breast feeding, and feel that maybe some of the foods you are eating maybe causing it (as mentioned in causes)
                    Then it may be an idea to cut out all the foods mentioned, and then gradually bring them back into your diet one by one. This should then tell you which ones are causing it.

                    Bottle feeding
                    If you feel your baby is swallowing air, or getting colic from feeding, you may try these.
                    Make sure the bottle is tipped right up. So that the teat is full of milk. This way no air will be getting in.
                    You can also try different anti colic designed bottles. These include curved bottles, bottles with a callapsible bag inside. or bottles with a vent. Also winding baby at regular intervals during the fed is also adviced, and does help.

                    Colic medicine
                    You can get products such as infacol. These can be put in the babies bottle, or given orally. This is generally given before feeds. It is to help you bring up their wind.

                    OTHER TIPS
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~
                    These are some other tips that you may find will seatle your baby.

                    *Carry your baby in a sling
                    Baby will like the closeness whilst in this. and it gives you your hands free to do other things

                    *swaddle baby
                    This is a way of wrapping your baby up, so that they think they are being held, even when you have putt them down.
                    To do this, lay you baby on one of there blankets. Make sure the head is not on the blanket. Then put one of their arms across their chest, and wrap that side of the blanket over them and tuck it under them, Then take the other arm across their chest, and wrap the other side of the blanket over them and underneith them. They are all wrapped up snug. You can buy specail swaddle blankets. But i found it just as easy to use their normal blankets.

                    *Keep baby moving
                    You can put them in their baby rocker. Or if you have a baby swing, then that would be perfect.Babies find this soothing.

                    *Place near noise
                    Believe it or not, babies seatle to noise. So take them in the kitchen whilst the washing machine is on, or do the vaccuming. They should fall asleep quite quickly. You can buy cds with white noise on. This is like the hissing you get between channels on the radio. This is also meant to be a soothing noise to them.

                    *Car or walk
                    Taking your baby out in the car, or for a nice walk in the pushchair may relax them. But you may find your self walking or driving around for ages, then as soon as you get back home, they start all over again.

                    *Back rub
                    Laying baby on his/her tummy , over your knees, can sometimes help ease tummyache. It's worth a try. But not a good idea to soon after a fed, or you may end up with christened shoes.

                    *Take a bath together
                    Babies like this, as they are close to you, and have the warm water to sooth them. you could even put in some night time baby bath in the water. This may help you both relax.
                    MAKE SURE THE WATER ISN'T TOO HOT

                    ADVICE AND HELP
                    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                    There are people out there to help you. You can always talk to your health visitor. They can give you advice, and surport.
                    But there are helplines and websites.

                    National Birth trust
                    www.nctpregnancyandbirth.com
                    0870 7703236

                    Cry-sis
                    Www.cry-sis.org.uk
                    08451 288 669
                    Cry-sis, are there for parents who have problems with their babies crying. So they are perfect for this problem.

                    You may know of more. Try them, they are there to help you!

                    Don't let your self get to the stage where you could harm your self or the baby.
                    You are perfectly normal to get to this stage, but it;s best to seek advice before you get that bad. If you do feel that way, put the baby down in his/her cot, and let them cry for five minutes, whilst you calm down. They won't do them selves any halm.

                    Look round the shops. They have infacol, and other drops. Plus some homeopathic remedies. Boots are good for these. The prices range from £2.50 up to over £10. So look around, and find what suits you. If the first thing you get, doesn't work, then don't give up. It might just not be the right one for your baby.

                    Try and get a break from time to time. Even if it's just a warm bath whilst your partner looks after the baby.
                    But it would be best if you could get a friend or relative to babysit for a couple of hours. Then you can spend some time with your partner, as a crying baby can put a big strain on the stongest of relationships.
                    Try to remember, you are both going through this. So try not to argue about it. Be there for each other, and give each other a break. Take it in turns to walk the floor, and get up in the night. This will make things abit easier for you.

                    I hope you find this advice useful. Remember YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!

                    Thanks for reading.

                    Julie xxx

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                      09.05.2005 14:25
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                      Many people throughout their lives have terrible things happen to them or to people within their family. Some of these things are known about others our sudden. I thought I would share with you something terrible that happened in my family that caused devastation and unhappiness to us all.

                      My step father- Richard, used to fly planes as a hobby on a regular basis. He owned 3 beautiful light aircrafts one of which was a vintage 2nd world war plane which he had lovingly restored himself. Every weekend he would enjoy flying to different places in the country whether to see other flying friends or to enter in flying competitions which he always managed to come first or second in because of his great experience of flying, as he had done it from the age of 16. He would take us flying when we wanted, to the Isle of Wight, France and even Minorca. Flying was his passion. We all enjoyed it too, but never did we think anything bad would happen, not until the 15th august 1998. This was the day that this passion was ended after a devastating incident.

                      It was a beautiful sunny Saturday, not even a cloud was in site. This of course would mean Richard would be flying today. He set of in the morning, after saying good bye to us all and saying to me “you have been so good recently” and giving me £5, he set off for a day of flying- without knowing that we were never going to be seeing each other again.

                      Richard would always ring us if he was going to be late home, it got to 6pm and there was no call. Then the telephone rang. Thinking it would be him, mum picked up the phone. It wasn’t him. It was his friend saying that there had been a plane crash and that the passenger of Richards’s aircraft had a broken arm, we were not told about Richard at this time. I looked out of the window and saw a police man. I told my mum and the blood drained from her face. I didn’t understand what was going on. She rushed downstairs and her and the police man went into another room. That 15 minutes felt like 3 hours. She opened the door and me and my sister walked in. We sat down together and we were told what had happened. It was the worst thing, it was something I never thought I would hear.

                      Richard had been attending a Fly-in in Bedfordshire with his friend, when the palne they were in ( his vintage Fairchild Cornell) plummeted 200ft to the ground near Woburn Abbey. The passenger escaped with only a broken arm. Richard however did not make it. His death was instantaneous. He had multiple injuries and died as the plane crashed to the ground. The whole front of the plane was crushed there was no way he could have survived. When realising that the plane was going to crash and that there was nothing he could do, he didn’t panic he was just chatting to his passenger, talking him through it, slowly reassuring him and telling him he would be fine, that was until the plane crashed to his death. The injuries Richard received were major: intracerebral haemorrhage, fractures of the skull, ribs, clavicle, left ankle, right tibia, right radius and ulna.

                      I couldn’t believe this had happened, why did it happen to such a lovely person? I never thought that it would ever happen to him. But I was wrong. I suppose anything can happen in our lives, both good and bad and many things that are not expected. We just have to learn to cope and think of all the happy memories that fill our hearts.
                      The person the most devastated was his daughter Jessica, who was 6 at the time. The sad thing is, now 5 years on, she says she cannot remember her daddy, not how he spoke, what he was like or anything. We make sure that we talk about him regularly and let her know of the wonderful things he did in his life.

                      I know that if we both could wish for anything we wanted, we would wish for him to be back with us today.


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                        27.03.2002 03:52
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                        So...... You think we teenagers have it easy then do you? Well, let me stop you right there and tell you, we certainly do not!!!!! You always say that people our age are so much luckier than you because we have things like video recorders and microwaves that you didn?t have when you were growing up, but they are so much trouble!!!! You say that they were made to make life much easier, but when you were a teenager, (not that I could ever imagine that!) did you ever have to sit boring your brains stupid by studying a manual to find out why the video recorder just decided to eat your recording of ?Titanic? with the heavenly Leo?? (Well, he was pretty nice then....) Talking about ?boring brains stupid?, I bet you never had to sit for hours on end writing a biology project on Photosynthesis, or searching for the word ?because? in a German dictionary just because your weird teacher wouldn?t tell you, as it is a word that you weren?t ?old enough? to know about? You had it so easy. At least you don?t get followed round shops by security guards who are about twice the size of you, because they think that you are going to steal everything off the shelves. Just because I?m a teenager, I get blamed for everything! I haven?t even started talking about social lives but since I?ve started complaining about how hard it is for us, I?m not going to stop now!! Besides, social lives are just the worst especially if they?re like mine; non - existent! It wouldn?t have made any difference to you if all your friends had been to see ?Boyzone? four times, ?911? twice and were now going to see ?Savage Garden?, who they hated but who you had loved since you had heard their first chord blasting out from your tiny little radio. (At this point, I will say that for ages I have wanted a first class sound system and all I get is a tiny little clock radio! This is yet another thing that wouldn?t have been a problem for you when you were growing
                        up.) I bet you were never grounded on the night of your best mate?s party just for getting 1 detention with the grumpy old maths teacher, who you?re lucky enough to have for a form tutor as well, and at that exact time when that gorgeous lad (who is going to that party by the way) that sits in the back of your Geography class finally notices you are actually alive! You wouldn?t have had to worry about what your friends were saying when you had your back turned or whether anyone else was going to be wearing the same clothes as you on non - uniform day. Another thing about clothes, did you ever have to wear a red shirt to a disco because your mother had gone into your bomb - hit, sacred pit (otherwise known as a teenager?s bedroom) without your permission and taken out and washed that amazing belly top that would just look stunning with those new white hipsters? The last thing that I just have to say is that whether we like it or not, we have to listen to you. We can?t just walk away. We switch off sometimes but when it comes to the important stuff, we do listen. Whether it?s right or wrong, we have to make our own decisions. How are we meant to learn from our mistakes if you as parents don?t let us make any? Let us live our lives.

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                          04.03.2002 13:58
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                          Are you teenagers driving you round the bend??? When it comes to trerrible teenagers you have to remember who's the parent and whos the children. We all know how they can make you feel guilty for doing anything but you can let them you've got to be in control 1.Don't them eat the house out, you be in control of when they have snacks, lunch etc 2.Start from young, there all ging to turn in to teenagers one day so lay the rules down from the start. 3.Take an interest in there life, ask about friends boy/girlsfriends and where there going out. 4.Treat them for good work. Don't just give them money when they need it, make them work for it, give them £1 for each job they do and you'll soon have your own house cleaner. 5.Listen to them,try for them!!They say your boring and oldfashioned, go over the top and they'll never say it again So Go on, but always give them a chance (But not too many)

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                            24.10.2001 18:59
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                            My ten tips to help with going through the teens are simple and mostly work although as with everything to do with living through those teen years with your children things dont often go to plan. number 1 is never compare one child against another whatever their age. To say your brother or sister did this or that is a sure way to another quarrel. 2. Never compare your children to other peoples children. They are individuals and grow at different rates so this applies whether just born or teenagers. 3. Give your love freely not because they are going to do or be such and such. Love them whatever they are good or bad. 4. If you are having problems tell your teens. They are old enough to see that you have problems too. 5. Never have a taboo subject. Try and talk to them from the start about anything and everything. It is not easy this but will help later on in life. 6. Let them know they can come and talk to you any time of the night or day. Sometimes when we are busy we tend to say "not now" and then that time is lost forever. 7. Do not keep family secrets from them. If they want to know what uncle/aunt done that you dont agree with let them know your side of it. 8. Never make a teenager take sides in any family argument. They will go with the "other side" sometimes just for devilment. 9. Dont always "tell" them to do things. Ask them if they could do it. This will make for a better relationship. 10. Lastly if you are in the wrong apologise after all you expect them to if they are wrong so what is the difference. How do I know all these? These over the years are mistakes I have made sometime or other but my I have learnt by them. One more although I said 10 and this is in my opinion the one you really really really must do and that is to say those three little words to them whenever you can. I Love You and I am pr
                            oud of what you have achieved because there is always something that they have achieved.

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                              23.10.2001 18:12
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                              When young Mums say about the dreadful 2's I have to have a smile to myself and think wait till its the teens. Now that is dreadful but we all have to go through it. Although I do think the teen problems are happening in the early teens now more than in the later teens as it did a couple of years ago. I have 3 children. I cannot honestly say if it is easier to have girls or the boys go through the teens as they both have their own problems. When I went through problems with my eldest I thought I was the only mother going through it. It wasnt till later that I talked to people and found out everyone goes through some bad patch with teenagers. To cut it short my daughter had an awful boyfriend. We would not let her go to an all night party and that was the start of it. His Dad had a cafe in London so off she went. She would ring and speak to her siblings but when I picked up the phone she would just ask to speak to them. We loved her but didnt like her at this point. We kept the line of communication open and did not stop her speaking to her siblings. She would ring my Mother though. Then 6 days later, oh it seemed like a life time, she rang up crying and said could she come home. She had no money, was in a phonebox and I could hear him yelling at her. Mobiles were not like now so I had to get my Mother to ring her and keep her talking while I got the local police up there to get her and keep her at the police station till I had got my husband home from work and we drove the 80 miles to get her. The longest journey of my life. Thank goodness nowadays for mobile phones. We never did say "told you so". Didnt have to. To see her now you would never believe she was that same girl. She is getting married soon to a smasher. Her brother and sister never went through that learning from her. But they played up in their own ways but isnt it awful that you practise with your first
                              , and know a lot more with the others. Show me a mother with a perfect child and I will show you a liar. Whatever you go through with your teenagers keep a communication line open whether its through your immediate family or a close friend and let it be known to them that you might not like what they are doing but you love them. Hey after all the teens only last 7 years.

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