Toddle About Blog

Attachment Parenting: It Might Not Be What You Think It Is

Attachment ParentingAttachment Parenting is enveloped in confusion and opinion. It is often perceived as a fringe or extreme approach to parenting, though parents who practice it are simply following their instincts for attunement with their child. You may be practicing it yourself without even realising it.

A Brief History

Attachment Parenting International (API) was founded 25 years ago by Barbara Nicholson and Lysa Parker, in Nashville, Tennessee. They were mothers and teachers who noticed a growing need among students for greater family security and caregiver availability. They founded API to bring information and support to parents through a centralised collection of resources.

Today, the Attachment Parenting movement is well-established. Most parents recognise the power of touch, positive discipline and other Attachment Parenting practices. However, the essence of Attachment Parenting has been muddled. It is often confused with other parenting styles, such as permissive parenting (placing very few rules, expectations or demands on the child), helicopter parenting (like helicopters, parents ‘hover overhead’ to oversee every aspect of their child’s life) and natural parenting (centred on meeting the child’s needs and encouraging them to develop at their own pace). API approaches parenting in ways that can be adapted by any parent with the goal and desire of helping children reach their fullest individual potential. Continue reading

Getting your Toddler to Listen and Cooperate

Getting your Toddler to Listen and CooperateEncouraging your toddler to listen and cooperate can sometimes be a challenge. So many parents tell me that their little ones have suddenly started saying “no” to everything, have difficulty sharing, have become picky eaters and throw tantrums when they don’t get their own way. It can be a tough time for parents, but these behaviours are developmentally normal and healthy. Toddlers begin to independently explore their own identities, separate from their parents. Pushing boundaries is their way of exploring how the world works.

It’s also worth remembering that children of this age are going through a critical period of brain development, with 90 per cent of the brain developing in the first three years of life and more than a million neural connections being produced each second. Additionally, toddlers won’t have developed attention skills yet, so they have difficulty maintaining focus for very long. Their language skills are generally limited and their thinking is very literal, making it hard for them to understand and process everything you say to them. Continue reading

How To Introduce Your Baby To Solid Food

Introduce Your Baby To Solid FoodWritten by Sally Rowden, Nursery Nurse and Jo Fletcher, Clinical Team Lead, 0-19s Children’s Universal Services, Northants.

Getting the correct advice before introducing solid food to your baby will not only help your little one to grow up to be healthy, but it will also help you to enjoy this special time.

The most up-to-date research tells us that babies only need breast or formula milk up to the age of 6 months.  During the following few months, you can relax and really enjoy the experience of introducing solids, safe in the knowledge that baby’s nutritional needs are still met by their milk intake.

You may recall health visitors and feeding specialists talking about ‘responsive’ feeding – the style of feeding promoted by our teams and around the world to get children off to the best start. Responsive feeding means that the baby is offered food when they are hungry, and that they join in with the experience of controlling their appetite.  Continue reading

5 Amazing Apps for New Mothers

5 App for New MumsAs a new mother, you barely have the time to think, let alone rest. The endless burping, feeding, crying, disturbed sleep, and changing wears down on your energy levels over the months following the birth of your child.

Save yourself precious time and improve your parenting by downloading a few parenting apps to assist you with your daily baby care tasks.

Do I have to sell my J5 to run these apps? Well, that depends on your device, but these apps are available on both Android and iOS.

Install the apps and play around with them for a few days before making your final judgment call on their efficacy.

1. WebMD Baby

If you think your baby may be ill, there’s no need to rush off to the hospital right away if it’s not an emergency. WebMD Baby has plenty of useful information on a wide variety of adverse health conditions that affect infants. Enter the symptoms and receive an accurate answer approved by medical professionals. Continue reading

Easy Toilet Training

Potty TrainingBy Lorraine Thomas, Chief Executive of The Parenting Coaching Academy.

Every toddler will eventually get the hang of using the toilet, but be prepared – toilet training is a messy business. Give it a go when you have got the time, patience and energy. The more positive and relaxed you are, the easier it will be.

Is Your Toddler Ready?

There is no ‘right’ age to start toilet training. Every toddler is different. Some will get the hang of it much earlier than others. Boys often take longer than girls. In general, most children are aged between two and three when they start. Don’t feel under pressure to start because other parents are doing it. Go with your gut instinct. Look out for the signs; these include showing interest in the toilet, telling you they want a wee or poo or pulling off nappies.

You both need to be on top form to make toilet training work, so don’t start when they are unwell or tired. Make sure training does not coincide with a change in your toddler’s daily routine, such as change of childcare. Continue reading

Should it be Illegal to Smack Children?

Controversy Corner SmackingBy Raymond Arthur, Professor of Law at Northumbria University, Newcastle.

With Scotland set to become the first UK country to make it illegal  to smack children, the debate has opened up about whether  the rest of the UK should follow suit.

What is the Current Law on Smacking?

The current laws in Britain today prohibit adults from smacking, pushing or shoving other adults. They also protect pets from violence. However, parents are allowed to use physical force to punish their children, provided the punishment does not escalate beyond ‘reasonable punishment’.

In England and Wales, under section 58 of the Children Act 2004, parents who are accused of causing Actual Bodily Harm to their children cannot invoke the defence of reasonable punishment if their smacks cause mental harm, bruising, scratching or reddening of the skin. Continue reading

Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word…

When us as adults  apologise, our children see this as us being fair and that we are trying to understand and listen to them.

When us as adults apologise, our children see this as us being fair and that we are trying to understand and listen to them.

By Anne Goldsmith, owner of Behaviour First Consultancy.

How many times do we ask our children to say they are sorry?  How many times do we ‘make’ children apologise for something they have said or done? But what about adults?

But it often comes out in an insincere way, doesn’t it? They don’t really mean it, because they have been told to say it.

As a parent and a teacher, I always ‘ask’ children to say sorry, although I insist on taking it a step further.  I ask children to be specific.  Saying sorry is easy and doesn’t really mean anything if it’s not linked to what you are sorry for.

When children are specific with their apology, they are actually thinking about what they have done and whether it was a good choice.

So, for example, “I’m sorry for hitting Billy with my pencil case.”

But what about adults? Should we apologise to our children when we get it wrong? Continue reading

Celebrate Stories, Love Reading

World Book DayTo celebrate World Book Day on Thursday 1st March 2017, we asked some Toddle About readers to review new releases of children’s books to find some amazing, and less well known gems that you might want to discover for yourself. You can read all the book reviews below.

Would you like to write reviews for Toddle About? Become a VIP Club Member for just £1.00 every 3 months and this is just one of the several perks you will enjoy! Find out more at www.toddleabout.co.uk/vip/

Continue reading

Once Bitten: How to help a child that bites

Children bite for different reasons. It can be caused by anything from anger or frustration to boredom, jealousy or sadness.

Children bite for different reasons. It can be caused by anything from anger or frustration to boredom, jealousy or sadness.

By Anne Goldsmith – Positive Behaviour Consultant & Parenting Coach.

Being a parent isn’t easy for anyone, but having a child who bites makes it all the more challenging.  It’s embarrassing and can lead to you and your child being excluded from playdates and parties. It will probably feel like your child will never change their behaviour.  But it can be done. Child behaviour expert Anne Goldsmith explains how…

I first encountered childhood biting when my son was about 2½ years old. We were at a toddler group where the mums were chatting happily and the children playing nicely. Suddenly, the peace was shattered by loud screaming.  A child came running to his mum saying that one of the girls had bitten him. He showed us his arm – with definite teeth marks, bright red and already with a bruise forming.

At the time, I remember being shocked and horrified. “How could a child do that?” I thought, “How could their mum let them do that?” Typical responses, looking back now. But it was another couple of years before I realised that it really wasn’t that simple…

When our second child was just over a year old, she started to bite.  The first time it happened, we were on holiday and we were coming to the end of a fun day having enjoyed some real, quality family time. Continue reading

Let’s Talk About Death

Talking About DeathBy Stephanie Nimmo, author of Was this in the Plan?

Losing your spouse and your child within the space of 13 months would break most of us. Stephanie Nimmo shares how open conversations about death helped her family to cope and really live life to the full.

We really are not good at talking about death in this country, are we? It’s almost a taboo subject, to be whispered about in hushed tones. Yet the only guarantee we have in life is that one day we will die. As soon as we get our heads around that fact we can get on with living and enjoying our lives.

Sadly, I know all too well how precious and unpredictable life really is. In the course of 13 months I lost my husband to cancer and my 12-year-old daughter to the effects of a rare genetic syndrome. It’s unimaginable. What my experience has taught me however is that it’s really important to have open and honest conversations about death and dying with your close family.

I have three older children and they knew from day one that their little sister was not going to live to become an adult. They knew that the time we had with her was precious and that we had to enjoy every moment. Continue reading