Welcome to the My First Five Years Blog. Here you will find all sorts of information, ideas and activities that will help you to support your child.
Before having our baby, I had fully intended to breastfeed. It was really important to me, I had breastfed before and knew the benefits. But two weeks and numerous extra visits from the midwife later, I realised that, actually, the most important thing was that our baby was fed.
Getting started with breastfeeding can be difficult and we are sure that you would have heard (or even experienced with a prior baby) some horror stories about breastfeeding going wrong. Below are some tips and some useful information to get your breastfeeding journey started on the right boob (ha ha, see what we did there!).
The Lullaby Trust has restated the importance of following safer sleep guidelines in response to news reports about a new study which investigates possible causes of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
In the early stages of becoming a parent, the learning curve is steep, and the tiredness levels are so high. Your whole world becomes a slightly foggy bubble of baby baths, naps and nappies, leaving little time for much else.
Mud is possibly one of the most versatile resources your child can play with – and it’s free! As daunting as the prospect of adding mud to play can feel, it is also fun for grown-ups to get stuck in – even Dolly Parton sang the praises of mud at Glastonbury, getting her fans to chant along with her, “We can’t get enough of the music and the mud!”
Together with our friends at Bloomsbury, we are bringing you a monthly book bundle that you can enjoy with your child or children.
I’ll be honest, I write for My First Five Years as a freelancer and have also been an early tester of the app because I have a three-year-old son myself. So, you won’t be surprised to know that I recommend this app to everyone I meet with young children. However, for a while, as a busy working mum, I wondered whether I’d prefer the app to just contain lists of simple-to-set-up activities that I could search for and randomly try when I had a spare ten minutes to play.
Figuring out how to best support your child as they learn about the world and themselves can feel complex at times. As a parent, you can be bombarded with advice, tips and tricks that you may or may not agree with or want to use with your child. An area where people can be the most vocal about ‘handy hints’ is supporting your child’s behaviour, and the ways to respond to what are perceived as ‘negative’ behaviours. A technique that has caused some debate between parents, families and experts is something that is known as the naughty step.
Parenthood didn’t come quickly to me and my partner James. We rode a hard and winding road to conceive, littered over five years with medical checks, unexplained infertility, failed IUI and rounds of IVF, before I finally fell pregnant with our twin girls. During this time I comforted myself by becoming a student of fertility – I studied books about infertility and IVF, and learnt the benefits of healthy eating, acupuncture and mindfulness meditation. When I took the happy call from the IVF clinic that my third try had worked and I was pregnant with twins, I could hardly believe my ears. Not just one baby but two!
When there’s big news, we know it becomes almost impossible to avoid. And that means we might need to think about how to talk to our young children about it! The news of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, or other big news stories, might capture your child’s interest or make them worry.