Category Archives: Health Care and Development

Getting your kids to tidy up

Image result for free images getting kids to tidy up

If you are off school and taking government measures to do social distancing and in self isolation and you are stuck indoors, then why not try getting your kids to tidy up.

This is the perfect opportunity and in fact this blog was inspired by my son who on his own accord began to tidy away mine and his dad’s clothes away, not in the right place mind you, but he still managed to tidy a chunk away.

Why not get a load of bins and put them in places around the house and have all the kids in your household have a sort out in their bedrooms, kitchen supervised, bathroom and sort through their bath toys for example and make a day of it.

Use it to go through their toys and have a good deep clean of items. Working in a nursery setting it is surprising how so many items like kids toys can accumulate so many germs.

Have them label the bins and have once all is cleaned sort some toys out for donating.

Why not give them a chore chart and make a game of how many items they can pick up in a minute or do within 10 minute intervals, or hide items around the home for them to find and then they have to find the objects home.

This teaches kids about observation, decision making and being organized.

The more we encourage our kids to be tidy up the more they are likely to follow suit and continue on tidying up their toys rather living in a chaotic mess which can happen with children.

Please let me know what you are doing whilst practicing social distancing and if you have been struck by the  Coronovirus then I hope you do get better soon.

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Many thanks for reading,


Carrie X



Getting kids to do their homework

Image result for free clipart kids doing their homework

Getting kids to do their homework can be like banging your head against the wall, because like my son after a long day he’ s had enough of education by then and to be honest when I was at school I felt exactly the same.

So how do you get kids to do their homework,

  1. Have a routine, so the more they know that it is time to sit down and do some work even if it is reading, the less reluctant they will be and will usually conform after several attempts and be used to knowing that now it is time for homework
  2. Make it fun, I created some charts and use flash cards a lot
  3. Ask questions to build up their interest, as they will interact more
  4. Create a homework plan if it makes it easier and then your child will be prepared for each day

Image result for free clipart kids and parents doing their homework

5.  Have an aim for each day, so for example for Henry it is for him to write more and because being a writer myself and a lover of books it is important for me to see Henry practice his reading, along with working on numbers and different words

6. Set goals for them, so they have a target for each part of the year, and work along with the school to see what their targets are so you can work together with them to enhance your childs learning

7. Remember to praise and reward during and after homework is completed and it will help make them look forward to it rather then dread and be something they want to do rather than what they have to do.

Check out an example of a homework planner I have created for my son Henry which you could use too below:

Copy of Henrys weekly homework Planner

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Many thanks for reading,

Carrie X








5 Parental Strategies


Hi everyone and welcome to another blogpost. Today I m sharing some 5 Parental Strategies to help you with building your child’s growth and development and relationship:

  1. Allow them to make good choices in life
  2. Be calm and patient
  3. Be clear and precise
  4. Always reach their level to make eye contact
  5. Be honest but allow them to use their imagination

It is always good to set boundaries but  I am a great believer of learning through play and would often let Henry pretend now when plays football to do the commentary as it is good for words and communication.

When doing homework and chores, make it as fun as possible otherwise they will get bored.

Playing games like myself and my friends did, using the archers in the estate where we lived as houses, you could help the kids to build some Lego and do pretend play. It is all part of learning and a great for them to have interaction with you and their siblings.

Strategies help set boundaries for you and them. Please comment below of any further strategies you may have.

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Carrie X




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Half term tears and tantrums

Image I took driving around Richmond Park

Hi all yes it is half term and with the weather like it is, it is hard to know what to do.

We have had a few tears and tantrums whilst having a coffee in Richmond Park, which is one of Britain’s biggest parks and you can see some of London’s buildings from there too. Great place for kids to play some rugby or football or have a run around and get in touch with nature.

Don’t forget there are other national parks in and around London and farms, such Hobbledown and Bocketts Farm or even London Zoo.

Doing time out and getting Henry to sit down and think about his behaviour seems to be doing the trick at the moment when it comes to tears and tantrums, and the other thing we have been disciplined in doing is making sure he does his homework from school.

This is consisting of doing some reading, writing, activities like playing with Lego to get Henry to use his hands more and get in touch with his hand motor skills and playing games like hungry frogs.

I think keeping a routine during the school holidays to be tricky but for us routine works better and it is good to get out earlier in the day rather than later as they can become lethargic and fatigued later on, and this can lead to Henry kicking off.

The other great things to do during half term is to get them to do is to spend the time to grow their independence, for example if they can’t get dressed themselves yet start getting them to do it now, because there is no rush and gets them into a more of a routine when they go back to school or nursery.

I also like the Soft Play activity rooms for Henry we have a few near us in the Rainbow Leisure centre and Leatherhead Leisure Centre, There is the Soft Play in the Once Upon A Time Cafe but this is more for smaller kids.

So what kind of things do you do during half term I’d love to hear please get in touch by commenting below.

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Carrie X

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Teaching music to children

Image result for free cartoon images teaching kids music

The one thing myself, my son’s dad and our son loves is music and is a great way to teach children about sounds and words, along with rhythm and singing, using their voices and the sight and hearing.

I love that my son and I will often get up and dance and was one thing he found soothing, when he would have a tantrum or a meltdown.

I would encourage all parents to use music to help their children and spend some time bonding through music. Write a song together.

I loved my keyboard as a kid and do you remember your first record?

I do it was Mirror Mirror by Dollar. I even remember my first record player it was pink and I would spend hours playing my records.

I live my life through music and it good to look back on photos and help your child create their own play list or make a special family CD.

Musical instruments are not expensive and there are many kids ones out there on the market to encourage them to play and create sounds and practice making sounds and you can do this to help with vocabulary by playing to the beat of the word.

The one club I would encourage mums with smaller babies to go to is Monkey Music, as it teaches children about just that.

So lets kick our shoes off and hit those sounds out.

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Carrie X

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I did not plan to write this, but I had to. As soon as I went into that church today I felt I needed to write about it, because it literally BLEW ME AWAY!

I am not allowed to share any videos or pictures to protect the school and children, I just wanted to tell the world how amazing it was.

As soon as I got into that church I could hear amazing singing. I thought it was from a CD that was being played, but hearing the vicar speak opened my eyes to the fact that it was in fact the children. As soon as they got into the church they sprung into song and it was like being in heaven, and what I imagine heaven to sound like, it was that good.

I remember the church services from when I was a kid, they were fun and enjoyable as I got to participate in a few, mainly Primary school, by playing the recorder, singing in the choir or even playing a part in the nativity play, but we relied on hymn sheets and books, often getting the words wrong and only a few would sing.

Looking back, now I am in my 40’s being at the school church services were important to me. Even after I had my heart operation as a child, I have a hole in the heart, I still made sure I attended the school services especially at Christmas. I remember feeling sad and disappointed for not being part of it that year and couldn’t wait to join in again. It was the year where I finally got the part I wanted. To be the Shepherd, I have no idea why, but I did and so when I couldn’t take part that year I remember feeling like I had “Lost my chance”.

I remember having the hymn book often being on the wrong page and not knowing all the words, and miming because I was often too self conscious to sing out loud, but today it was so different.

At Henry’s school church service today it was all about the children, which school should be about, because school wouldn’t be a school without them, and they took charge of that service today. The vicar did say a few words and read a sermon, but most of it was about the children, and when they sang and had the words of the songs on the TV screens, and watching and observing the children I was totally amazed. Not one of them had looked at those screens and still sang the songs like they had been singing them all their lives and for years, and it touched me from my head to my toes and I had to at one point hold back the tears.

It BLEW ME AWAY and beat Songs of Praise out of the window. After seeing this and being there today, I thought afterwards they should do a school songs of Praise or even be in the charts. I could have listened to these children all day long, it was so wonderful and magical, that all the unhappiness I felt today, as yesterday did not go well for me at all, completely disappeared.

It also made me see that my own prayers were answered today. I understand that everyone has different beliefs, but I do think especially after today that there is someone out there looking after us all, including me.

I couldn’t find my son’s reins this morning and last night. I looked everywhere and was panicking slightly. However I had to admit defeat “They were gone” so I thought okay, I am off today and free, so I’ll go with him. I am so glad I did and I can’t help think that this was fate, as far as I am concerned and God or someone had my back, because if I had found those reins I would not have seen that today and I did.

I think it was someone showing me that however tough yesterday was or this morning was “You are going to be fine and there are still some wonderful things that can make you happy in this world” and often it is something out of the blue, or right on your doorstep.

I am even going to email the school to tell them because I want to let them know that those children were ASTONISHINGLY BRILLIANT AND TRULY OUT OF THIS WORLD!

The other thing was, they had the older children help the younger children by holding hands to and from the church. What a lesson that is to them, and they will gain so much from that, that I am not sure that even the teachers, helpers or parents even know how much this is a massive life lesson to them. They are going to benefit so much from that. They would have never dreamed of doing this at my Primary school. When I was a kid I was bullied by the older kids and they had to separate the older children from the younger ones, and keep the gates locked and I dreaded some of the days at school.

Henry loves going to school and the kids are so respectful, even when some of the older children jumped ahead, as soon as a teacher told them to come back, they did without arguing or kicking off and we all made it back to the school without a fuss.

So if your child has a church service this year and you have the chance to go, then after today, if it is anything like today I would say go, because you will be as astonished and blown away like I was today.

If you would like to see my previous post for today, then please visit the site via this link below:

You can also check out my other sites too for posts this year:

If you have stories of your child’s church service then please share if you wish.

Many thanks for reading,

Carrie X

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What to do when kids try to push boundaries because they can’t have what they want! BLOGMAS DAY 6!

Hello everyone, it is Friday yay and before I start this post I just want to let you now that I have already posted a blog today for BLOGMAS DAY 6 on my main site

If you are like me and love planners, I love a good picture or video about planners that people have shared, then you will like my blog post today on Carries Realworld about my Work Planner for 2019.

I would also like to share an article (linked below) that I came across on my WordPress news feed, and if you are blog writer too and need some inspiration for posts I would always recommend you check the news feeds that come up as they often have some great news ideas and topics that may be of interest of you.

The article below is a about how a mum who made a Sensory Cushion for her son who has Autism out of bean bags, because he would get very anxious and helps to keep him calm. Honestly truly amazing and shows how the simplest of  hacks like this can make such an impact and now will help other parents and children too, see below:


Today I wanted to write a blog about,

What to do when kids try to push boundaries because they can’t have what they want!

I know for a fact from seeing other children in my life grow up that there are many mums who have experienced these dilemmas and have been mind boggled as to what to do.

Please do not feel I am being negative about parenting because I am not. I love my son to bits but there are times when I have felt utterly helpless and want to shout “HELLO IS THERE ANYONE WHO CAN HELP ME?” and that is one reason why I wanted to write this blog.

I got the idea for this blog because my son today who is off from school because I had to pick him up from school on Wednesday because I wanted to watch something I wanted on the TV instead of him. I had been up early doing some training and whilst he was supposed to be eating his breakfast wanted to make it clear that he wanted football.

He was chucking some magnetic lightweight thankfully letters from his easel, he was jumping on me wanting to give me kisses, which I know it seems like “What how is that disruptive?” because he was literally slobbering me to the point, sorry for TMI but the point of this blog is being truthful, where I was smothered with saliva.

He thinks this is funny because I am going “Errr that’s disgusting stop” as I don’t like to shout or think he can’t express himself and if I keep telling him to stop calmly and not get angry he will stop without me getting cross. In the end the though I sternly said “I am going to watch my programme and then when I am finished then you can watch what you want”.


I love my football but we all need a change sometimes.

When he saw that I was making it clear and he wasn’t going to get his way, he did try for a little bit more to be disruptive by jumping and messing around chucking the cushions on our sofa. Then because he saw that I wasn’t going to give in, he eventually gave up and I was able to finish watching a full episode of The Apprentice.

Image result for free images people and children arguing

Children will try to push boundaries that’s part of how they learn what is right and what is wrong.

Nevertheless they need to know that they can’t always have what they want, when they want.

  • This in turn helps them to form good relationships with others at home and outside. After all everyone should be respected.
  • To give people time and space
  • Take turns and share

To help make them make the right choices and not push boundaries is to,

  • however much they try to be disruptive and kick off, grab the remote control or hide it they need to wait and that everyone has the right to have TV time too. For example.
  • Its not always about them. Yes kids should come first when it comes to life decisions, but at the same time you have to make it fair for everyone, yourself included.
  • Show them that playing on your own whilst mummy makes dinner can be fun too aswell as playing with others.


When Henry started throwing the letters from is easel when being told a few times,

  • I gave him the chance to see if he would make the correct choice by repeating and making it clear that what he was doing wasn’t good before giving him consequences of what was going to happen if he continued.

This did make him stop and think, but he continued so I followed through what I would do, which was put all the letters in the container they were in and took them all the way and this made him stop again and see that “This is what happens when you do wrong and now I have blown my fun”.

When it comes to kids pushing boundaries and getting kids to behave. You may have to repeat yourself a few times for them to grind to a halt and stop.

You do have to be strong, Henry has sometimes when he hasn’t gotten his way turned aggressive by hitting, he used to bite and pinch which I hope I am not jinking, hasn’t done any biting or pinching for ages, and he often will bite his hand in frustration.

so in following on from my first tip,


That isn’t being unkind or or that they shouldn’t have any control, its so they understand that you are the parent and they need to listen and that you have rules and if they do want something they have to be respectful and kind. When they have listened and not pushed any boundaries by being disruptive then they can have a chocolate or their TV programme on.

  • Teaching patience helps them understand not to push boundaries and will again help them later on in life and building relationships with others.



During Christmas when kids are playing with their new toys, I bet you that there will be that one child if you have a houseful this Christmas will try to take a toy from another child who is happily playing in their own world and then that child who’s toy has been taken, will then begin to kick off too.

Sharing, doing joint activities where they have to take turns, is the key to getting kids to understand about boundaries because if you have 4 children for example and one child gets to play with a scooter when they other kids can’t, obviously depending on age it can cause friction and jealousy.

  • Give each kid time with each toy, and have a timer. Once the timer has gone, then it is time to swap.

To help my son at school transition from one activity to another they use this timing system and I implement this at home too.

  • If a child still continues to take a toy away from another child, let them know and what helps with me now is getting on my knees so I am eye level with Henry and say “That is not how we share and what you are going to do, is give that back and then when they are finished with that toy, then you can have a turn at playing and fun with it aswell” and encourage them to go over give the toy back by taking them to that other child and have them say “Sorry”.

If they refuse then you say “I am going to take this toy from you and give it back and you will no longer play” and this where timeout or making them be on their just for a few moment or 5 minutes or so, to let them think about what just happened.

This not only helps with boundaries but with fixing relationships too and admitting and being truthful that they were wrong in their actions. I have done the whole thing of asking “Would you like it if I took your toy away from you?” but Henry has not said the answer I want and said “Yeah”.


Boundaries can be fixed but the more they teach about when crossing a boundary is wrong the more it will help them to be the good person they want to be and in turn helps them with their wellbeing.

  • If you child does become unbearable to the point you feel that it is your fault and feel you have tried to stop him, but you have no control, don’t beat yourself up. Boundaries pushed or they have completely crossed the line, they can always be fixed and all kids at some point will try to do the same.

I have had bad reports at school and felt that I am some what to blame and felt like “I am trying but not getting it quite right” but children do make up their own minds and choices, and however much we say “Stop” or “Don’t” they will still try.

  • As said in many blogs, you have to persevere, be consistent and try to be on the same page with your school and make sure they are on the same page as you and their behaviour can be fixed.
  • Also many kids without being shown will in some way find their own way if someone else has pushed boundaries and upset them to fight back. It may be the wrong way, but its how they learn how to take control of negative behaviour towards them.

When we upset people, we can often feel upset to because we feel guilt, foolishness and “I’m such a terrible person”, “I should have done this and that” but we are only human at the end of the day and it still important that we let someone know that we aren’t happy about something.

  • If there is an argument or a a disagreement between two or more children, then stay calm and separate them into a different space and let them know what you are going to do and what is going to happen without trying to lose patience so you end up kicking off too, so then you feel bad and “A naughty child”, and allow them to think it through.

I know this may sound easier said then done, but when you take one child into their room or a corner or area, and another in another space. If you speak to them whilst they aren’t kicking off, you won’t always get a clear response and it all starts up again.

Speak to them calmly if not together one at a time and one thing I am trying not to do, is do this in front of others. The reason being I didn’t like it as a child and when an adult would shout at another adult in front of others, you can end up with them being even more disrespectful because they have now been humiliated in front of everyone and made to feel bad.

  • When telling a child off or anyone, you don’t need an audience to do it.

Go through points, example “So she wouldn’t let you play with the Barbie is that right and she called you a name? Okay” and then go through the same with the other child and then if you need time to think it through then do so. I good way of doing this is to say “Right you will both read a book or you can watch your tablets for 5-10 minutes why I help to both figure a solution”.

If you are out in the shops then you can’t always separate so you can say “Right we aren’t going to continue until this stops because you are both getting angry and this in turn is stopping me from getting bits for dinner because you are both arguing, so we aren’t going to say another word until we have finished shopping and then when we get home we can discuss it further”.

When kids are arguing someone is kicking off because they can’t have that chocolate bar it can cause embarrassment and negative thoughts to you, and then you can’t often concentrate, so getting them to focus and help you because they need to understand that this isn’t about them at the moment, helps them understand that at times a chocolate bar or a toy isn’t so important right now and its time to help me “Mummy” for example.

I never want my son to feel that he can’t say how he feels and not take control, because again it is part of how he will learn to be independent. Nevertheless when it comes down to it he needs to learn to behave properly for his own sake, not to push boundaries that will disrupt other people and upset them, and be someone as he is very sociable most of the time and very friendly, to grow as a person even further to continue to form good friendships and gain respect from others himself.

  • teach them about team work and life skills. My son loves to make his own sandwich now and because he has taken the time to make it himself. He will now eat the whole thing without a fuss and without suddenly mucking about putting jam all over the sofa and walls.
  • Team work and life skills are so important, and when they work as a team they will often make the effort to then share. Team work after all is sharing. Doing puzzles, Crafting and Cooking or even playing a sport is a great way to do that
  • it teaches children to work together effectively, communicate and support one another and learn when not to cross a boundary that will effect his relationship and morale of the team.

If they make something they are likely to respect it and take care of it better and show them images from books, flashcards or cartoons of when someone is doing something good, or “This is how we eat nicely at the table because when we don’t eat nicely or wait for people to finish their meal at the dinner table before we begin to get up, makes us all happy and then we can have some playtime afterwards”.

So I hope these tips and tricks help you and your kids to have a great Christmas without having tantrums and arguments as much as possible and I will be posting more and more in the days to come for Blogmas. There will be another post on one of my websites tomorrow, so keep checking my sites below for further details.

You can keep up to date with all my Blogs that I have and will be posting during BLOGMAS by following me on and carriesrealworld. Please see my other sites below:

Many thanks for reading,



Carrie X

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Blogmas for kids and parents

Hi all I hope Saturday is going well for you so far. This year I am doing Blogmas, so as of tomorrow I will be posting a blog everyday on either of my various sites, including this one up until Christmas day (25th Dec).

Here are the links to my other sites:

It is going to be tough but I really wanted to do this as I still got so many things I would like to share before Christmas and before the end of the year.

If there is a topic you would like me to post or there is a favourite topic I have already shared but you would like me to post more of then please let me know. Any suggestions can be left in the comments section below.

You can keep up to date on all my blogs by following me on

I also have a Pinterest page and social media, where I share many things on these too. Please see the links to these below:



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Have a great rest of the day and many thanks for reading,


Carrie X

Having a Premature baby and some things you may not have known

Me and my son Henry in a rare Selfie 

I realised after thinking about my blogs I write on this site, that I don’t think I have ever covered the subject of Premature birth, even though Henry was a Premature baby.

As it was Henry’s birthday last week and bought back some memories as it does every year, thought I would talk about having a premature baby now, and some information which you may not have known prior to having a baby.

Having a Premature baby can be a massive shock, of course it can be the same for full term babies, but I honestly had no idea that Henry was going to be born early. I had come to the conclusion in my head that Henry would be born as planned in January 2014, not in November 2013, and I remember coming across a article in a mother and baby magazine about the subject of premature births and thought “I don’t need to read that it will be okay” and really felt bad about that afterwards, when Henry was born at 31 weeks.

I really wished I hadn’t be so dismissive and read the article because  I think from my own opinion and what I have learned since this happened, you should be some what prepared should it happen because it is more common premature births than what you may think.

My waters broke on the Saturday the 9th November and even when that happened until looking back I hadn’t realised that it was my actual waters breaking. It hadn’t occurred to me, not having a baby before and thought it was too early.

I was about to watch the new series of Dracula at 9pm and suddenly all this water started pouring out of me like a massive tidal wave. I had no idea as to what to do, and so found my paper work that hospital gave me should anything happen like serious pains or bleeding, but nothing about what to do if your waters broke early than expected. I called the number on the sheet anyway but it was a messaging service and then called my mum.

In the end as we live luckily live just around the corner from our local hospital, rushed around their and went to the delivery ward.

I got to say from the moment we reached the delivery ward they took action and were brilliant. I had no idea as to what was going on, and was very distressed because I didn’t know if I was going to lose my baby or if I would suddenly give birth. NO IDEA!

I ended up being transferred to another hospital because our local one doesn’t deliver babies before 34 weeks and they thought that the babies head was engaged and so could possibly give birth.

That didn’t happen and the nurses at our local hospital got that wrong, but I still glad they did what they did. When we got to the other hospital my blood sugar level was going up and up, and apparently my heart rate was going berserk too.

In the end by early hours of Monday, once the hospital staff at the other hospital saw that Henry’s heart rate kept dropping, decided that he should be born and was born by C Section at 1:30am at 31 weeks.

Apparently before this I was contracting and only felt one thing, and that was a tightening in my stomach from my ribs down to my tummy. I am still to this day sure if this was an contraction because not having one before I had and still have no idea really as to what one is like, so still not sure if I felt the contractions or not but apparently they were happening.

I know someone wrote an article about how C Sections is a lazy form of child birth but let me tell you, SO TOTALLY WRONG. The decision of having my son, Henry at that time was taken out of my hands and I could see how ever much it was distressing at the time for me, that the staff I could see had mine and the babies best interests at heart and wanted Henry to be born with as little problems as possible.

As far as I am concerned it was the best decision, because they discovered when they had delivered Henry that he got caught with the umbilical cord around his neck and that’s why he was a getting distressed and why his heart rate was dropping.

Never feel bad about which way your baby was born especially by Cesarean because you do what you have to do, and if it saves you and the baby’s life what is more important?

Some other things you may not have known:

  • Your waters can break from usually 26 weeks and you have sacks around the sack with the baby in, which can leak and that is what happened in my case as in the end my son’s wasn’t engaged but something caused the sack to leak and they gave me antibiotics as soon as they saw what was happening and once you are open downstairs, because the sack has leaked it means that you can catch an infection up your vagina which in turn can effect you and the baby. Check out this article on NHS which has further details: and too
  • Anyone even healthy people can get Gestational diabetes which was in my case and this can rise rapidly when pregnant, so do get tested if they send you to do a Oral Glucose Intolerance Test do it and if you are concerned do speak with your health professional, doctor or midwife about it. Once Henry was born though my blood sugar levels returned to normal, so please try not to freak out.
  • Once your baby is born sorry to inform you but this is a warning as I wasn’t aware until I had it and wish I had, but I ended up having Piles and I know another mum did too. Very, very painful, but check with your health advisor, midwife or doctor as there are creams and medication. Check before you buy, because some oral medications may not a be able to be taken if you are breastfeeding.
  • Babies make a lot of noise, more than you can expect. Neither myself or my husband knew this, and the first night we bought Henry home neither of us got much sleep as we were not prepared for that at all, and they can do this thing where they hold their breath and then breath again. Very scary but you do get used to it, and if you ever are concerned do please speak to your health visitor.
  • Getting your boobs ready for producing milk can be hard work, but once you get used to it, it can become easier and if I were to do it again, I would have seeked out breastfeeding counselling, which does exist as it can stress you out and you can feel defeated when you see other mums producing a cup fall when you can’t produce a single drop. Massaging and using a warm flannel to help warm up your boobs, can help. Always use an electrical express pump not a manual, as it can take a very long time.
  • If they tell you that you need to express 8 to 12 times a day, please don’t feel you need to follow exactly that, because a lot of that is what they have been advised to tell you and because that is the guide line. When I didn’t and rested as that is so important too, get rest and sleep, I produced a lot more milk compared to when I did do it that amount of times with little sleep.
  • Get your hospital bag ready as soon as you hit the 25 week mark as I didn’t and it was a massive rush in the end, and one item that I never listed but would advise you to do so, is to have coldsore and moisturizer, because hospitals can be very dry places and if you are prone to coldsores, then the chances are you may get one. which in turn in my case I couldn’t visit Henry for about a week until it had cleared because of course in the neonatal ward there are other babies and they can if not careful can easily get infected.
  • The neonatal ward can be a very intense and distressing place as when your baby is born premature, from that point forward you have no idea what will happen from each day to the next. Sorry to be abrupt but it is true and so my advice take a deep breath and if you need to have time to be on your own take the time, but it is important you see your baby because your baby will recognise your voice and when you hold them for the first time and they hold your finger helps you bond with your baby, and get to know them.
  • The monitoring screens and wires attached to your baby can play tricks with your mind and there was one day where I was watching it like a hawk. My advice block them out and if your baby looks peaceful and okay, then they are okay and if you have any questions for the neonatal staff, ask because they will give you a peace of mind and reassurance, which often is what we need.
  • The bath technique can kill your arm as even when they are tiny they wriggle and can wince, and once home you can often find your own technique. Take your time and again if you need help from the neonatal staff whilst your child is there that is a great opportunity to ask any questions and raise any concerns you have.
  • One advantage about having a child in the special care baby unit, which really noone if truth were to be told, would really ever want to be in, the staff help prepare you more for when it is time to take your baby home, and you can in our case, spend the night in the neonatal ward the night before you take your baby home.They can send you home with your baby around the 35 week mark and can inform you literally the week before. Sometimes with a full term baby you don’t get this attention and can be left in limbo and sent home. 
  • Babies should be in a crib or Moses basket when they are first at home, not a cot, especially as they can still be tiny. Make sure their feet touch the bottom of their crib or basket, with blanket around them, away from their face, and never cover their face.
  • Don’ trust free nappies at baby shows, because in our case they were rubbish and so when Henry had a massive pooh explosion the nappies didn’t hold any of the pooh and was all down our sons legs and in his babygro. Sorry to put you off your food if you are eating but I have to tell you this because the more prepared you are the more I hope it will save you from getting distressed which can happen especially when you first bring you child home, and can save yourself a lot of time and have more time to recuperate whilst baby is happy sleeping.
  • They can grow teeth very early. The midwife I worked with when I used to give tips and advice on Avent products, because I worked for the company for a little while told me that her daughter was born with a full grown milk tooth.
  • Your C Section scar can become sore. When I did my first 10K run in 2014 after I had my son and crouched down once run was complete, boy did my scar hurt and was not aware and did catch me by surprise.
  • When babies reach the 8 week mark they are classed as full term babies by then, and I was advised not to do any form of exercise until I had my 8 week check.
  • Do practice your Pelvic Floor which is allowed after baby and you return home and the nurses will usually give you advice and a leaflet on this, as after baby is born you can end up quite loose down their and have embarrassing leaks.
  • Babies can have what I used to call “Milk snots” where basically they have milk coming out of their nose. Again my husband and I had no idea and when it first happened when Henry was in his cot in the neonatal ward were both in complete shock, the neonatal nurse was like “Yes that’s normal”, we were like “How come no one told us?”. It can be a nasty shock if you have never had or looked after a baby before who’s had this. It can feel like you are in a scene in an Alien film.
  • The painkillers that they give you in the hospital after you have had a baby and the numbness wears off, as they numb you from I would say the rib cage to your private area before your C Section, and the surgery room was very cold. I was shivering, but the painkillers can have some side effects. The main one was that I couldn’t read a book as the lines were wavy and disorientated.
  • I didn’t sleep for two days only on the Tuesday once Henry was born, as they prick your finger if you have gestational diabetes every half hour to an hour, because of my blood sugar level being so high and was attached to two drips, which made it very hard to go to the toilet and had to use a bedpan. I managed to find a way to pee whilst it was on the bed and I didn’t have to go very far.
  • This leads me to the next thing. Your dignity can go right out of the window, but you end up not caring.
  • The hospital after Henry was born gave me the option to go home on the Thursday after Henry was born or go back into another ward. I was because of my situation put in a single ward, but it depends on the hospital but due to needing the room for another patient which I totally respect was offered to go into another ward with other people or go home. It is entirely your choice, and if you decide to go home, remember your baby is being very much cared for in the neonatal ward and you can spend as much time in the neonatal ward as you like, as in our case the staff there encouraged us to be as involved in our baby’s care as much as possible.
  • Expect a lot of bleeding after having a baby and can stop for a bit whilst breastfeeding.
  • You need as much rest as possible. Yes it is good to be active whilst pregnant but it is especially once your baby is born that you allow yourself time to properly recover as any kind of birth going on my own experience is hard and your body is traumatized. You have delivered another human for heavens sake, so it can take its toll on you, and it can be a culture shock.
  • Other relatives are not allowed to hold your baby in the neonatal ward, because of infection. This may have changed but be aware and do wash and tell your friends and family visitors to wash their hands, as it did bother me when people didn’t when I always made sure my family and friends did. Being in the neonatal ward is hard and so the less you have to worry about the better.
  • All belongings are kept in the clockroom outside the neonatal ward too and the staff may refuse you from taking photos, in our case you wasn’t allowed a mobile phone in the neonatal ward but we were allowed to take a photo with a normal camera.
  • The hospital staff will usually give you some information once your baby has been born preterm about premature birth and what to expect, but I think this should be given prior to having a baby aswell, because even though it can still be a shock you can have some idea of what to expect and give you more reassurance that its not all doom and gloom, even though it may seem so at the time, and often your baby is okay and will still thrive from being born so early.
  • Do read the stories and letters from other parents outside the neonatal ward if you can, as these really helped make me feel better when I did worry about our son in the ward.
  • Premature babies can often have difficulty in breathing at first, and will be given different type of breathing equipment to help them. Henry had a C-Pap, but was off this after a day or so, and you are often if your waters do break and there is a chance the baby may be delivered early be given an injection to help the baby’s lungs, to help them breathe if they arrive.
  • Babies can develop jaundice. Nothing to be too alarmed about as they will usually test this early as soon as they are born, and if they are on the line or under they will usually be put them under a blue light with a face mask over their eyes to protect them, and can recover from this quite quickly. You can often tell if they are slightly jaundice as they can be a yellowy colour.
  • You may need a special insert for the car seat as the normal baby car seats can be too big, and at our hospital they provided this or you, which you did have to pay for, or you can get these elsewhere. Check this link on Amazon for an example:  
  • There are tiny baby nappies and clothes, but you can bring in normal size nappies not clothes, to use on your baby in the neonatal ward too.
  • Don’t use wipes when baby is first born but use warm water and cotton balls and expect their pooh to be black like tar and sticky.
  • Babies will tend to lose a bit of weight at first and then gain weight afterwards.
  • I know this may seem obvious but many parents including us got this wrong when first nappy changing our son. The nappy goes on with the end with the sticker strips at the back of the baby (so the bottom) and you attach the strips at the front of the nappy with the smaller part at the front of your baby. If you have a baby boy make sure their penis is pointing downwards not up. Very important because they can leak out of the nappy and pee can come shooting out over the top, making you change it again.
  • Lay the clean nappy under the dirty one (so the one you are changing) because often than not, they can pee and pooh before you have put the fresh one on. Check out his video by Emily Norris of Baby Changing Hacks:
  • Change their nappy before they have had their milk as do it afterwards, they can bring up their milk.
  • With Henry because he ended up having reflux was given Infant Gaviscone in his milk, which were sachets and read the instructions before giving this and the neonatal staff will usually give you instructions on how to apply this, but can only have a certain amount per day, so do check before using. Please see link for an example of this product:
  • They may advise for no visitors for about a week or so once you bring your child home and if anyone has a cold, be polite but keep them away, as children that are born premature are more likely to get ill too especially being still tiny and this can lead to serious consequences. Any children visiting make sure they are out of uniform and have been cleaned and showered, and again make sure they have washed their hands before holding your baby for the first time.
  • I was shocked when hearing this, but one of the neonatal staff told us how one child was given a piece of food when they were first bought home by a visitor and was rushed to hospital because they almost choked. PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS AND ADVISE ALL VISITORS TO NEVER TRY, AS IT MAY BE A BIT OF FUN TO THEM BUT NOT WHEN YOUR CHILD IS CHOKING AND BEING RUSHED TO HOSPITAL

  • If your baby is returned to the hospital doesn’t mean they will return to the special care ward, but to a normal ward with other different aged babies and can often get further infections. Please do not think I am scare mongering but wanting you to be aware in case you didn’t know and glad I was told, because it did make continue to be vigilante and we can often forget when we are at home, in a normal environment, and it can happen.
  • When a baby cries doesn’t always mean their hungry, and make sure you feed them again, if it is for example 4 hours it is from when they first began their feed not after their feed has finished, and we did get that wrong. Don’t worry as a child will never go hungry and will give you signs like, they will move their head and lips to indicate they are hungry, and never have a room too hot, as they an overheat and in Henry’s case got more distressed and felt the warm more when it was hot rather than cold. Of course every child is different but a room doesn’t have to be overly warm, just comfortable, and don’t put their cot if you can help it by a door or window because there can often be a draft, and keep away from a radiator.
  • One item to invest in,is a room thermometer. So handy and you get different ones. Check out this link on Amazon for examples:
  • They can grow very rapidly and so don’t over do it with premature or full term baby clothes and nappies because with Henry some clothes didn’t even get worn, and same for the nappies. I found at one point I was clearing out his draws quite a lot, every week, because their growth spurts can be every week or more. You can usually tell if they are having a growth spurt because they can become extra hungry, so feed more and doing new things which you may not have seen before and have more dirty nappies. the more they grow, eat and drink the more waste can come out of their bodies. BELIEVE ME!
  • Always have a thermometer to check their temperature and you can get ones which measure both baby and their room, as sometimes you can’t always tell if they have a temperature and I didn’t know this until it happened and speaking with another mum who’s son was also born premature at the same time as Henry and were in the same ward, and hospital is that they are prone to getting chest infections when born premature. Not sure why, it didn’t seem as if the doctor knew why, but from his knowledge and expertise discovered this to be the case. A cold can often lead to a nasty chesty cough, which can lead to a chest infection, and Henry was given antibiotics and an inhaler with a mask that you put over their mouth and nose because they at an early age unable to inhale on their own and independently as of yet.
  • They can put anything into their mouths up to in our case 6 years old, especially if like Henry they have development delay and still use their mouth as a sensor to test and get to know different things they handle.
  • Same goes for chewing, Henry keeps chewing his clothes and you just have to be persistent to let them know that this has to stop now but to use their hands and talk. If they are chewing something say “We don’t chew that, we do this” and show them.
  • Children usually learn through pictures, sounds and actions, rather than by words, and if you can make learning fun rather than structured you can get better results sometimes, again depends on the child.
  • Don’t trust all bottles and teats as some babies can often take to different ones. We wasted money one brand and was advised to use another because our son didn’t take to the teat. If your child does struggle drinking from a bottle do seek support as in our case they advised us of the best one to use, which was an Avent bottle Variable flow teat.
  • Premature babies can have more have difficulty at times to latch onto the breast. Please do not be put off or disheartened as all babies are different, and some take to the breast rather than the bottle, so just try what is best at the end of the day for you and your baby.
  • The neonatal ward will often sterilize your bottles and teats for you, you may just have to provide the bottles and nappies, etc.
  • They may have some clothes to hand in the ward, but do help them by having your own aswell.
  • Babies often like to be swaddled as it gives the feeling of being held still and can feel restless if their arms are constantly free, and if you are not sure how to do this get the neonatal staff to show you.We had a swaddle blanket which was very kindly bought for us by family, can’t remember who and came in handy. Check out this Swaddle Blanket on Very for an example:  Check out this video below of how to Swaddle a baby in a blanket:
  • Henry would become wide awake and stare at lights when he was first born, as often they are attracted by lights. Everything to them is new so let their eyes explore and do talk to them as you’ll be surprised as to what they take in.
  • Some babies and going on Henry when he was first born, loved being winded and it was how we first bonded as mother and son. He found it comforting and would, you may not believe me but it’s true, move his head forward to be winded and this was whilst he was still in hospital. You will be surprised as to how they communicate to you so small, but they do TRUST ME ON THAT ONE!
  • The dream feed doesn’t always work, because babies can often sense when they are back in their crib or cot and come alive at midnight. My advise use calm music and do tell them quietly that you are going to return them to their cot during their feed, and try not to talk then on as this can cause them to become alert. Keep voice low and calm, and as you would before their midnight feed create a ritual so they start to know by music, lighting and quietness that bedtime is coming up again.
  • Indications like certain songs, even bubbles and lighting can help children learn what is coming up next and really helps with different transitions, as no one likes being landed in the deep end without a warning and babies are the same, they like being given a sign and indication, and it helps them learn about when its morning, lunch time and evening. THE MORE INDICATIONS YOU USE THE BETTER THEIR UNDERSTANDING IN MY BOOK!

I hope this has covered everything and if you are due to having a baby then congratulations, and from my own experience try to keep yourself relaxed and calm as possible. If something makes you fearful about having your baby or lowers your mood, turn it off and just prepare yourself, but practice self care as much as you can, as you do need to put yourself first and others second when pregnant, more often than not.

Please do not feel I am contradicting myself by giving the advice above, I just wanted to tell you because there are many things I didn’t know, which you don’t get told, which I wished I had so I could prepare and have items like Piles cream, coldsore cream, what not to buy and be aware of how to deal with such things should they have occurred. Little details make a difference aswell as the bigger details.

If you are reading this and had a baby and have other tips and advice for new mums please share. You can leave a comment below.

You can keep up to date on all my blogs on this site by following me on and I also write on these sites too:

Many thanks for reading,


Carrie X

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Handling half term blues/time for spooks today

For some schools it was half term in the UK last week, but this week my son has been on half term, and it’s not quite gone to plan. Monday I took Henry to a park in Putney near the river thames, and because I forgot his ball which I remembered once we got there he was completely miserable for most of the day.

I tried to explain that I had forgotten it but there are swings in the park and we can sit by the river to watch some boats, seagulls, planes fly over, trains, buses and may see a few helicopters, which my son is obsessed with at the moment, however he was still fixated about his ball.

He did cheer up in the end once he had a complete meltdown, and I felt like a complete failure. I did think about his ball, but in the end because I wanted to get there early so not to be back home too late, didn’t think about the ball until we got the park.

Kids can get obsessed with items its part of how they built their likes and dislikes, and so the next day I did bring his ball, as we went to Wimbledon Park and he was my friend again.

To handle half time blues:

  • I have got down to his level and talked it through with him and got him to focus on the other things he loved and in the end on Monday, we did have a good time sitting by the river watching the world go by. If you do feel yourself wanting to scream, what I did is let it out quietly so I did weep a little, whilst trying not to see my son see my cry and then brushed myself off and concentrated on the time we had together.
  • Count 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 which is the Mel Robbins technique, which I share a lot about on my other blog site Everyone Can Built A Castle, or count to 10 in your head if this counts
  • If you are with someone else, take a few seconds out. Putting children in timeout hasn’t always work but getting yourself out of the situation for a few seconds can help wonders

On Tuesday after we had been to Wimbledon Park, I surprised him by meeting Nanny (my mum) for lunch up London. Result! Not gloating, but that’s how you feel when things do go to plan. He did still kick off a little because the one thing Henry struggles with but can do with persistence, is waiting, but once he saw nanny he was all smiles again.

If your son has ADHD and struggles to wait try:

  • Getting them to focus on something. Reading the book The Baby Whisper, hits the nail on the hand with this one, and is useful because it can work, depending on the child. What I did was say to Henry “See if you can spot someone we know” and he did.
  • If you are waiting for a train or bus, get them to see how many different numbers they can guess of the buses, which was one thing we did on Monday, which worked, and this helps them wait for when its time to get on their bus or train.

The one thing they said at school is that he won’t sit down for very long, but on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, he has. It is often is dependent on what it is, because he sat there lovely yesterday especially watching the birds and the ducks, so if there is something that gets their concentration, then use it.

Yesterday we were out for most of the day. I took him to Battersea Park, where there is a pond, an area to play football which we did and played the crossbar challenge, sat and had our sandwiches that I took with us, and some snacks and then watched the birds by the pond and then walked along the river up to Fulham Broadway. We did have to stop a few times as children do get tired quite quickly but we still did it, and Henry loved walking along the river, going over the bridge and then he got to go passed Chelsea Football club, which I wanted him to see. I wanted to show him a big football stadium, I would love to take him to a match at Stamford Bridge, but just walking passed seeing his face light up I could still he got something out of it.

Henry still had a few meltdowns throughout the day yesterday, because he finds it hard to change from doing one thing to another, but once I showed him that we are going there and perhaps I should print off pictures and map to show him next time to see if this will help, he was fine and as said in the end stopped getting frustrated which is a lot to do with it and didn’t want to go home.

Today he had a bit of meltdown too because we are stopping in for part of the day, but I have an eye screening appointment at my local hospital and then later (my husband and I) are going to take him over to Wimbledon to get his feet measured in Clarks, a great place to get kids shoes, to possibly get Henry some new trainers.

Quick tip# If children start to trip over a lot with their shoes, it is a possible sign that their shoes need changing and their feet are starting to grow out of them.

In any case he really did kick off and I felt myself heat up, so sat down in the Living room and then took a deep breath went back to him and calmly explain things to him trying to use simple words and to see that today we have to do other things but tomorrow we can do a park and walk by the river again.

He did calm down. I am finding talking it out with my son to be a lot more effective then raging which can be tempting, but I can see that this has no effect but can cause an even more a meltdown.

As it is Halloween, time for spooks today we have decorate our home for Henry and my husband too, we won’t be trickle treating but still going to have a bit of fun, going to see if I can make our dinner, burgers, Salad and chips, into something scary.

Even if your children aren’t trickle treating then it can still be a great day to dress up and have some spooking fun.


You can keep up to date with my blogs by following me on and please share what you did this years half term and how you have handled the half terms blues, as a parent speaking and sharing things with other parents can really help. You can leave a comment below.

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Many thanks for reading,


Carrie X

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