Toddle About Blog

Brits’ dental health in jeopardy as 1 in 20 admit they NEVER visit the dentist

Children's Dental HealthAnnual Oral Health Survey shows up to three million could be putting their dental health in danger as fear of the dentist and money worries lead to dental avoidance.

  • Almost one in 20 (4%) parents of children aged 18 or under say their child never brushes their teeth and 7% admit they never take their child to the dentist. [1]
  • Shockingly, 43% of parents of children with a filling said their child had their first one aged seven younger.
  • This corresponds with a report by the Royal College of Surgeons which showed record numbers of under-fives having rotten teeth removed
  • Extractions among pre-school children have soared by 24 per cent in just ten years[2]
  • Shockingly, even babies are affected — last year alone, 47 children under the age of one had newly grown milk teeth taken out.

Britain could be reclaiming its reputation as the nation of bad teeth as a new survey from dental payment plan specialists Denplan by Simplyhealth Professionals reveals over one in 20 admit to never visiting the dentist[3]. Even more shockingly, 1% even admit they NEVER brush their teeth, which could represent over 500,000* of us!

For those who avoided the dental chair and visit the dentist less often than once every 2 years, 39% said they were too scared of the dentist or pain, and the same number claimed they couldn’t afford check-ups.

In a worrying socio-economic trend, over half of UK adults (52%) said they’d cancel a routine dental appointment if they had financial worries, despite check-ups costing as little as £20. Young people aged 18-24 were the age group most likely to cancel. Continue reading

5 Simple Ways To Encourage Your Children To Tidy Up

Tips to encourage your children to tidy up

How can we help kids take a more positive view of tidying up

By Lisa Lyons, a Managing Director at Plastic Box Shop and a busy mum of two. Here she takes a look at some simple yet effective ways to encourage your kids to tidy up after themselves.

If you are anything like I used to be, telling the kids that it’s time to tidy up can often mean an hour or so of frustration and nagging, followed by swift acceptance that the only way any tidying will get done is if you do it yourself. Toys are left out of the box, clothes and towels are scattered across the floor, and shoes are to be found in places that you would have never dreamed they could be. I used to find myself wondering if this routine would ever end, or whether I would be tidying up after them until they were old enough to know better.

But then I decided to sit down and really think about where I was going wrong, and what I could improve to help my kids take a more positive view of tidying up. What I came up with was a plan, a plan that I’ve boiled down to five easy pointers to help all of the other despairing parents out there. They’ve really worked for me, and I hope you find them useful too. Continue reading

The Terrible Twos – Terrible For Whom? This is what your child is going through…


The development of strong and changeable feelings can often spill over into difficult behaviour.

By Dr. Helen Andrews, Clinical Psychologist.

The Terrible Twos – we’ve all heard of them, and many of us dread them. But what are they and why do many, but not all, children go through them?

Although called the terrible twos, many parents find that their child starts to become more challenging before their second birthday. It often coincides with becoming a confident walker and climber and perhaps having a few words. This is no coincidence.

Our children change so much over the first two years. Initially, they are so helpless and so completely dependent on us for everything. Over time they learn new skills; rolling, sitting, crawling and walking, and new ways of expressing themselves, from crying through babbling and then talking.

The early maturation of the sympathetic nervous system results in ‘junior toddlers’ (around 10 – 18 months) living life full of exuberance and excitement, embracing every challenge. As parents, we delight in these developments. We smile and encourage their efforts. We clap as they take their first steps and are proud as they climb up on the sofa for the first time. We listen intently as they babble at us, and strive to keep the conversation going. Studies show that Continue reading

How to spend time with your child when you have no time

Written by Lorraine Thomas, Parenting Expert.


Focus on the benefits of creating time with your family. How will it make you and them feel? What difference will it make to your lives?

I regularly deliver workshops for parents for companies, charities and schools. I think it is a real sign of the times that my most popular session in 2015 is ‘How To Spend Time With Your Child When You Have No Time’. It is an issue every mum and dad struggles with – whether they go out to work or stay at home. There always seems to be too much to do and never quite enough mum or dad to go round. It’s also an issue I work on myself on a daily basis.

You can’t create more time, but you can budget your time differently to do what you want to do. If you keep doing what you are doing, you will keep getting what you are getting.

We parents waste a lot of time feeling guilty and worrying when we could be using it in a much more positive way. At The Parent Coaching Academy, we conducted a survey of 300 parents and found that 8/10 parents say they ‘often’ feel guilty and 8/10 mums say they spend at least 2 hours a day worrying. It is absolutely natural and normal. Continue reading

6 Proven Ways to Help Your Child Get a Better Night’s Sleep

Written by Diane Pawsey, the Family Sleep Consultant

Sleeping baby

For babies, daytime naps are the key to a good night’s sleep

Sleep deprivation has been proven to affect children in many ways. Poor physical development, lack of concentration and behavioural issues are just a few of the side effects. If your baby isn’t sleeping through the night, or maybe refusing to take day time naps, try some of these tips from Diane Pawsey, The Family Sleep Consultant.


1) Establish a routine

Developing good sleep associations is vital to establishing a routine. A bedtime routine should take no longer than half an hour or your child will forget where you are going. They need to follow a sequence of steps each night, to trigger the association to bedtime. Place your baby in their cot awake as this will allow them to self-settle, one of the most valuable tools a child can learn. Continue reading

Travelling with Toddlers: How to make your family holidays and days out enjoyable (for everyone)

Written by Lorraine Thomas.

Family holiday on beach with toddler

There’s no such thing as the ‘perfect’ family holiday so be realistic about your expectations.

We were on the beach at the weekend and I saw one stressed mum sink into the sand, looking as though she was going to need a holiday to recover from this one.  Her young son on the other hand was having a great time, running at top speed, shouting at full volume and sending sand flying in every direction.

“Stop shouting and stand still – you’re kicking sand everywhere!” she shouted.

Her excited toddler carried on.

My heart went out to her. We often have such great expectations that family holidays will be relaxing and full of fun. They can be – but they can also be really stressful times, especially with a toddler because they love routines, and unfamiliarity can bring challenging behaviour and tantrums.

Mum’s sand tantrum is a very common one.  But the reality is that if you are 3 or 4 and are on ‘planet beach’ – one of the most exciting planets you have ever encountered in your universe – then you will want to shout and let the world know.  You can’t really understand why anyone would want to stop you doing what you are doing.  You’re living in the moment and you love it.

You may find his behaviour difficult because he is over-excited and you are unrealistic in your expectations.  You may have told him a dozen times not to run around and get sand over everything and you can’t understand why he’s refusing to do what he’s told.  Step into his flip-flops.  If you were his age, let loose on a beach – you’d probably be doing exactly the same.  Instead of feeling frazzled by flying sand – get stuck in with a bucket and spade, take him to look for crabs or go for a paddle in the sea. Continue reading

Surviving the Early Morning Rush Hour

Written by Lorraine Thomas

The parent's morning battle field

The morning rush can be a battle field

A couple of days ago, one of my clients, Sarah, was in tears within moments of beginning our coaching session.

Sarah is a senior manager in one of the UK’s leading companies.  She’s responsible for a team of nearly 100 people and very successful at her job, working under pressure to very tight deadlines on a daily basis.

But it wasn’t this that had reduced her to tears .  It was her three and a half year old daughter, Katy.  She said that every morning – between 7.30 and 8.30am – she felt as though she was entering a war zone.

I asked her to tell me what she would ideally like to be happening in that hour, breaking down the time into 15 minute segments.  She was very clear.  She wanted Katy to get dressed without making a fuss and eat her breakfast instead of playing with it.  Most importantly, she wanted to have fun with her and the chance to chat and play before they both went their separate ways.

The reality was very different. Continue reading