Author: Janine Smith

Your Guide To Baby and Child Car Seats

Choosing a car seat can be a complicated business as there are a lot of car seats on the market and there are blurred lines between the car seat categories as different seats are suitable for different aged babies and children. However, I have attempted to create a simple guide to the different car seat categories and how to choose the right car seat. In the UK: all children from newborn babies to 12 years old (or 135cm tall, whichever comes first) need to use a car seat the car seat needs to be from the correct seat category for your child’s age/weight/height the car seat needs to meet EU standards: R44 and R129. The R129 standard is the new EU regulation  the I-size, which is based on height rather than weight. From everything I have read, it sounds like the R44 car seats will eventually be phased out but it isn’t clear when this will change.   Rear-Facing Car Seats (Group 0) Most commonly, these are for babies from newborn to about 9months (22lbs), …

9 things I wish I had known about labour & birth

Now, it’s been a while since I have done the birth thing myself – 17 years, 14 years and 11 years ago – but I do love birth and I obssess about it somewhat! As part of my training to be an antenatal teacher, I had to debrief my birth experience to learn from it and to ensure any issues weren’t carried into my antenatal classes. I had a straightforward homebirth, which was an incredibly positive experience but it still a steep learning curve and there was plenty I didn’t expect… 1. my waters could break first, without strong & regular contractions… and that it could be hours before those contractions properly kicked in. My daughter was in a back-to-back position, which is why my waters went first and the hours of milder contractions were turning her. 2. I did not know how to breathe… I didn’t have the understanding or skills to use and control my breathing, so while I was pretty calm most of the time I didn’t have anything to use when my contractions …

surviving the death of your child

I have written lots of posts about Jamie, my boy who died when he was three days old. I have written about my pregnancy and his short life but I have never really written about living with babyloss – carrying on, coping strategies, mental health, triggers, just getting on without my third child. It is never something we just get over but living with it is something so many parents have to do after miscarriage, after stillbirth, after neonatal death, after cot death, after an accident or an illness. These posts may be helpful, even comforting, to other bereaved parents and I would like to share your stories of your life after the death of your child. I am now 11 years into life without my third child – it hasn’t always been easy, it isn’t always easy, he is constantly missed and his death changed me and our family, in ways I can’t adequately describe.   Jamie’s story… At my 20 week we discovered that something wasn’t quite right with his stomach – a …

Being Middle-Aged

I want to write about being a middle-aged woman, mother, wife and friend with the menopause – my experience is by no means unique, so I am sure some of my ponderings will resonate. Physically, age happens and I don’t just mean with new aches and pains, grey hair and chin hair, although that is also there. I mean with hormones and the changes that come with the peri-menopause. Functioning with sleeplessness, lack of energy, struggles with concentration and fluctuating hormones, which can make me feel on top of the world and completely worthless from one day to the next. And with this comes mental aging when a different perspective might happen – and it hits us all differently. I am at a point where I want to slow down, I want less stress, less juggling, less pressure and more settledness, more calmness and more freedom to do what I enjoy, both at work and personally. As a 46 year old woman, life can be very much about fixes – wrinkle creams, concealers, HRT, mood stabilisers, hair dye, getting into shape, dieting… …

The Menopause

Parenting and the menopause don’t go together that well! My menopause, or perimenopause because I still have periods, is unpredictable, my moods shift, I am tired and I can feel overwhelmed by juggling work, home and family. This year I have made some major changes – work has been simplified so I can focus on the sessions that make a difference; my health is more of a priority so I am eating well and walking more; and I am giving myself more downtime so there’s more life balance and a lot less stress. All of this means I am accepting and trying to take more control of life with the menopause, it also means I have more energy and more time for my children and the demands that come with parenting. I run my own business and I love my work but I need it to be more focused and less stressful so there’s less juggling, so there is less to feel overwhelmed about. A few weeks in, I feel calmer and happier. I have two teenage children who …