This week it is believed that NICE will be releasing new guidelines on Co-Sleeping, recommending that parents should not co-sleep with their children until they are at least 1 year old (previously the guidelines were 3 months old).
Whilst the exact new guidelines are yet to be seen by Nice Mums, it seems as though NICE are looking to scare new mums out of co-sleeping rather than provide them with the guidelines needed to do it safely, which is a great shame when co-sleeping carries such huge benefits for both baby and mum.
The term 'co-sleeping' is as blurry as previous guidelines. It can be used to cover bed sharing, sofa sharing and room sharing, resulting in confusion as to what the real definition of co sleeping actually is, and more important where the dangers lie and how it can be done perfectly safely.
By changing the age for "safe" co-sleeping, NICE are serving to insult the intelligence of mums by no doubt offering up unfair studies which have included results of both those who co-sleep safely and more so, those who don't. Rather than offer up the facts that co-sleeping is a perfectly safe and infact beneficial way to sleep when done correctly, they appear to have presumed we are all too stupid to co-sleep safely and have gone for the alternative option of covering their arses by putting everyone off doing it, as opposed to offering advice on how to co-sleep safely.
Yes co-sleeping can be seen to be dangerous, especially when you consider how studies will count the drunk mum who hopped into bed after too many pina coladas and a pack of marlboro lights, or the acid tripper who decided to pass out on the sofa with baby/ pink spotted penguin or whatever they perceived them to be in that particular acid fueled moment, but I'm not so sure all mums fall into that type of parenting style. It can also be dangerous if you swamp your baby in huge duvets and pillows. Hey, it can even be dangerous if you and your partner both weigh 20 stone and decide to sleep with baby inbetween you in a single bed. I'm hoping though, that if you're intellegent enough to have read as far as this 4th paragraph, that you could have worked all that out for yourself anyway.
Co-sleeping is one of the most natural things in the world for a new mum to do, and they will always be drawn to this, especially during the early days of sleepness nights and endless feeds. These kind of guidelines will not stop mothers having their newborn in their bed, they will only serve to induce unnecessary guilt and confusion over whats right and natural, and drive those who are co sleeping undercover, forgive the unintentional pun, pretending to health visitors that babys sleeping in a cot, when in reality they fell asleep in the mums bed.
In giving a blanket guideline that you just shouldn't do it, NICE are opting out of offering advice on how to co-sleep, putting those that do (and are perhaps lacking in common sense) at risk. So here is Nice Mums guide to safe cosleeping:
1) Step away from the pino
Co-sleeping, or being around a baby full stop when you're drunk is stupid and dangerous, either leave the pino in the fridge or get a baby sitter
2)Don't do drugs
As above, don't be so stupid
Your baby does not want to inhale those horrible chemicals and it can harm him/her if they do. Either don't smoke or don't co-sleep. You have to make that choice and stick to one or the other.
4) You are not from princess and the pea, you don't need a stack of high mattresses or a high bed
Or if you infact are a princess sleeping on a stack of mattresses, make sure there is no chance ever of baby rolling out of bed. A bed guard on both sides should do the trick, or even better, have your mattress on the floor.
5)Use a baby monitor
Place it on the bed so you can hear baby at all times. Make sure however that there are no wires from it around to pose a risk.
6)Keep covers and pillows to a minimum
A newborn baby can easily wriggle under a big duvet. Getting out from under there is a whole different matter. Avoid duvets and thick bedding. Its better you sleep in a warmer top so that your covers can be kept lower down.
7) Think about your sleep patterns
If you have a tendancy to throw yourself around or disco dance in your sleep, your baby probably won't appreciate being in the same bed as you.
8) Consider easy alternatives
If you're not certain about having your baby in your bed then consider a bedside crib/ side car cot which is a 3 sided cot that attaches to your bed. It offers the benefits of co-sleeping whilst giving your baby a safe space to sleep
9)Take NO risks
If you feel at all unsure about being able to co-sleep safely then don't do it. Trust your instincts at all times and assess all risks before hopping into bed.
Sleep safely Nice Mums! xx
Kate Harris Photography offers photography services covering Torbay from Maternity, newborns, family, portrait, boudoir, weddings and even birthday party's in the studio! Delivering a professional and friendly service with competitive prices.
Kate is one of the latest businesses to join our discount list, offering Nice Mum Card holders 5 free 8x10 high quality prints with any shoot booked.
Contact details are tel: 07887409968 email: firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.kateharrisphotography.co.uk
We just approved the artwork for the new cards so they're off to the printers!
As soon as we get them they will be made reavailable to buy on the discounts page of this site so more mums can benefit from the great savings they offer!
On Saturday myself, my partner and toddler decided to spend the very sunny day in Paignton. After enjoying the Geopark and the beach we decided to seek some shade from the midday sun and something to eat. Fuzzy Eds which forms part of the Flagship pub on Paignton seafront offered the ideal location and some much welcomed air conditioning!
It cost us just £1 for my son to go into Fuzzy Eds using our Nice Mum Card as they offer a fantastic 50% discount on the usual £2 entry fee. There are two soft play areas, one for over 5's and one for under 5's. My son loved the safe space he had to play in. As the weather was so sunny there was only us and one other family in there at the time which was lovely!
There are a selection of up to date magazines available to borrow which was a lovely treat for me to sit and read while I let the boys play!
Food can be ordered next door at the bar and they will bring it through for you meaning you have access to an excellent range of items on the menu, far more than you would usually find at a play cafe. We ordered 2 adult mains and two childrens snack plates (giving us 6 different items of food for my fussy eater) and two drinks which totalled £17. Food was of a good standard with no complaints coming from us! I had remembered when ordering that cutlery is not allowed in Fuzzy Eds (presumably for safety) so we did bear that in mind when ordering as some foods could be very messy without it! As part of my sons food choices I accidently ordered mash which was impossible to eat with no cutlery so it would have been helpful if we'd been reminded of this rule when ordering.
The staff are lovely and friendly and I really have no complaints about how they treated us on this visit or any previous ones.
Fuzzy Eds is a great low cost day out or idea for a quick escape from the sun. I definitely recommend it to Nice Mums!
Nice Mum Stars **** 4/5
Fuzzy Eds acts as a recycling collection point for our collection, with a bin on site for biscuit wrappers and baby wipe packets so please help us to reduce landfill by popping yours in there when you visit!
Wishing all the Nice Dad's a very happy Father's Day! We love you all!
We've asked our members to send us any messages about their dad's. Here's some of them :
'Dad, you have shown us all what it takes to be a real man. You've taught us how we should be treated and to accept nothing less. Thank you Dad'
Marie & Mel
'To my Daddy. I'm so proud of how you have been handling yourself during the past few years. You are the most wonderful Daddy a girl could wish for and I'm very glad to have you in my life'
'Thanks for everything Dad'
'Happy Father's Day Dad. Me and the boys love you very much'
Alison & family
'Dad, you will always be my hero. Enjoy your beer'
'Missing you every day Dad'
'Dad. You may not be my real dad but you've always been there and have been like a dad to me. Thanks for everything'
There is a huge range of fitness activities currently going on in the area for mums, perfect for those looking to improve fitness and socialise with other mums! Have a look at the time table for details of whats on!
Buggy Running – great way for parents to get fit and healthy without paying for a babysitter as your child can come with you
Bootcamp – fun social group fitness sessions
Get Moving Sessions – for people who may be getting back in to fitness or have had some injuries can attend these sessions to help them start getting fit again
Beginner running group – want a fun social way to get active. Beginner running is for you. Led by a qualified leader who will help you get your fitness up.
Breeze cycling – ladies only led rides. A perfect way to meet new people or have fun with friends.
Did you also know that in July and August that children can cycle in Saltrams garden. It is safe, flat and perfect for children to learn to ride or become more confident in a completely traffic free area. While the parents can enjoy a beautiful walk around the gardens.
Wednesdays – 10-11am – children 5 years old and under
Sundays -10-11am – children 11 and under
Sky Rides—led rides for all the family to enjoy around some beautiful sites. Sign up via the Sky Ride website.
Routes 27—Why not jump on your bike and use Route 27—Drakes Trail to see the city of Plymouth right up through to Plym Valley. Not got a bike—not to worry why not hire one from the various places in Plymouth.
Mountain Bike Trails—Plymbridge Woods has some great mountain bike trails. Why not try them out with family or friends. Find the start just up from the carpark.
Saltram Cycle Loops—if you fancy a more scenic and easy ride, hop on your bike and take a trip around on of the Saltram Cycle Loops. Maps can be picked up in the Welcome Centre.
Climbing at Dewerstone
The Plym Valley stretches a vast area with some amazing places to explore and do some great activity on. Did you know you can climb The Dewerstone? Always make sure you have experienced climbers with you and take the necessary safety precautions. For more information on The Dewerstone visit the Plym Valley page on the Nation al Trust website.
Did you know at Saltram we will be getting an Outside Table Tennis table to be situated near the Welcome Centre. It is a great way to have fun with family and friends. Maybe even challenge your friends to a match.
Saltram has 5 permanent orienteering courses in the parkland which are fun for all the family to enjoy. Why not have some friendly competition and see who can find the most control points on our routes. Plymbridge is currently in the process of getting a course put in which will be ready by the Summer. Why not challenge all your friends to complete all the courses in record time.
Maps are £1 from the Saltram Welcome Centre.
Informal Play @ Saltram + Plym Valley
We have a number of equipment in the garden at Saltram which you can pick up and play with, every day, all day. Pop in and have a go.
Throughout the summer holidays a member of the team will be up at Cadover Bridge on Tuesdays with lots of equipment for you to come and play with.
COMING SOON . . .
Canoeing & Paddleboarding
Canoeing Tours & Paddleboarding activities will be kicking off from Saltram beach this summer. We have teamed up with the Mountbatten Centre to offer some great sessions right here in the beautiful surroundings at Saltram. Charges will apply, more information to follow.
Summer Fete at Saltram – 26th and 27th July – enjoy the great british summer at Saltram with lots of stalls and activities to enjoy.
50things activity day – 2nd August at Saltram – 50 things to do before your 11 ¾ - lots of activity onsite for people to take part in.
The Plymbridge Games – Sunday 10th August at Plymbridge Woods – lots of different sports and activities for everyone to enjoy. Includes climbing, archery, medal making, den building, volleyball and more.
The Saltram Games – Sunday 24th August at Saltram - lots of different sports and activities for everyone to enjoy. Includes climbing, archery, medal making, den building, volleyball and more.
NT Cycle Day – Saturday 4th Oct at Saltram and Plym. Find out about all the different ways to cycle around the sites. Led rides about the site / get your bike checked by Dr bike. See some demos and even try your hand at some bike skills.
Today we visited the English Riviera Centre in Torquay for a swim with my toddler.
We arrived at 11.40 and parked in the pay and display car park outside costing £3 for 3 hours (I always like to over pay just in case we stay longer than planned).
We went into reception asking to pay for a swim and was told the pool was closed until 12.15 which was a little disappointing as there had been no mention of this on their website. So having paid to park I decided we might as well have an early lunch there so we headed down to the Bay Brasserie located on the ground floor.
We found a table and I went to order at the bar. There was no queue but I had to wait a couple of minutes while the two staff behind the bar continued their conversation leaving me ignored . One lady said sorry, served me, then continued her conversation while I waited for my coffee. I can't say I was especially impressed at the service!
Our order of kids burger and chips and adult vegetarian burger and chips and latte came in a reasonable amount of time. It cost £11.05 and was quite good. I enjoyed my burger and my boys burger got mostly eaten too.
We then went back up to reception to pay for our swim where the receptionist was polite and friendly. I did get accosted by a woman promoting a burlesque event that's coming up there soon who thrust a flyer into my hand saying it'd be just my kind of thing. - I hate burlesque, but not as much as I hate people presuming I like burlesque just because I have tattoos.
We then went back down for our swim where we found the changing rooms spacious and clean with plenty of lockers requiring a £1 coin to use.
We'd been given a laminated card to hand in at the pool but there was no one on the desk so after a short wait we just left it on the side.
My boy loved the slope into the pool making it possible for him to walk into the pool. He started shivering as soon as he got in, it was a bit cold but not as bad as my little actor was making it out to be. After a short swim the wave machine came on. My boy liked it at first but then got scared so we sat on the side until it finished. There's a small water slide and seperate pool. There's also a big flume for older kids although it wasn't clear or not if it was open.
We didn't stay in the pool too long as my boy was complaining of the cold so we went and had a shower and got changed. There were plenty of showers and cubicles free although we chose not to use a cubicle as it was too much of a squeeze for both of us and they were very dark inside.
The swim cost £4.20 for me and was free for my son as he's under 3.
All in all we had a good time although we would have liked the pool opening time to have been advertised as it wasn't clear on the website that it was closed until 12.15 (I'm not sure if it had been closed all morning or just for a short period). Parking charges were also a bit off putting as our usual pool offers free parking. The swim itself I feel was good value for money and I was impressed with the cleanliness.
Nice Mum Stars *** 3/5
Warm up the pool and give the Brasserie staff somewhere private to chat for more stars!
Tumbling Teds is a play cafe located close to Newton Abbot town centre. It has free parking and an easily accessed location.
Designed for under 6's, it is ideal for toddlers offering plenty of things to play on including a big range of Little Tikes toys and a ball pit.
Tables are arranged around the play area giving parents the opportunity to sit back and still be able to see little ones playing.
It costs £3 for a child to play ( under 1s are free ).
We visited Tumbling Teds recently and as we have done on previous occasions found the staff to be very friendly and polite. There's a good selection of good and drinks to choose from. We ordered cheesy chips and childrens sausage and chips.
I was little dissapointed and surprised that the sausages were not "proper" sausages but my son was happy enough. The food was ok, nothing to write home about but edible and wouldn't put me off going again. That said, their malteasers coffee is fantastic!
The painted artwork on the walls does look in need of a bit of a refresh and wipe down and gives the place a slightly tired look but I'm sure the children aren't going to notice.
My son loves having the freedom to run around and play without me needing to follow him as the layout makes it possible to watch from a distance. Also with the age range not allowing older children in it makes it feel safe for toddlers, although this might of course make it hard for families with older siblings to visit.
Overall we enjoyed our visit to Tumbling Teds.
If the food and decor were slightly improved we'd look for more stars, but for now we give Tumbling Teds
**** 4/5 Nice Mum Stars
Party Power is the creation of Rebecca Kelly – a 33 year old entertainment specialist based in South Devon. Rebecca spent 10 years performing and creating children’s entertainment programmes for holiday parks up and down the UK before going on to
spend several years running events for London’s Dominion Theatre where she regularly put together events for over 2000 people.
Since relocating back to Devon in 2014, Rebecca has turned her attention back to family entertainment and couldn’t be happier. She says: “Running parties and events for children has always been one of my favourite things to work on. With kids you get an instant reaction; seeing their faces light up with sheer joy at what we can be provide is what makes it all worth it - and I’ve decided to focus my attention on creating that kind of excitement every day. Whether I’m running parties myself and jumping round like a lunatic or shopping for new toys and games, every day for me is like an escape into that magical world of childhood – way better than any anti-ageing tonic! As an event specialist as well as a doting Auntie to 6 nieces and nephews, I truly understand how precious and important these moments are. For instance -your child will only ever have one 6th birthday, and I pride myself on providing a service that ensures the fun goes off without a hitch so that mums and dads can relax and enjoy this cherished time – Basically, I have the best job in the world!”
Parents can also benefit from Rebecca’s vast expertise at any time using her free consultancy service. If you’re stuck for ideas, need help finding a venue or even just need some advice on kids parties in general – she can help. She says: “I know first hand how stressful and overwhelming it can be for beginners to plan such a special event. From finding a venue to sourcing catering or running round the shops trying to fill party bags, time runs out before you know it! I try to make myself available for some friendly advice for anyone struggling with all those decisions – every little helps!”
For more information on Party Power – just visit www.partypower.org.uk