Why does my LO do that? Problem pages in Mother & Baby

Sarah answers real mums behaviour questions in Mother & Baby magazine. Why won’t my three-year old poo on the potty? Is it OK to pass my baby around for cuddles? Do the terrible two’s really exist?


Potty problems

“Gentle encouragement and opportunity are what’s needed here.”

“Make doing a wee on the potty a part if normal everyday routine, without  saying much about having a poo.”

“Let her sit on the potty in her nappy , if she wants to. Loosen the tabs day by day until it’s almost falling off, then replace the nappy with toilet paper.”

Cuddles

“Your baby will tell you how she feels about it. Always responding swiftly to her needs is what matters.”

“Newborn babies often aren’t bothered…It’s when she gets to seven months plus that she may prefer to be held by Mum and Dad..”

 

Terrible twos

“As with everything, it varies from child to child.”

“Each child is unique, but every one needs praise, love, security and a consistent approach to dealing with the terrible or not-so-terrible twos.”

“Suggest let’s do this rather than ‘no, don’t do that’, and physically him out of the situation.”

About Sarah

Sarah Beeson is a health visitor and author of Happy Baby, Happy Family. She writes with her daughter Mumpreneur and writer Amy Beeson. Sarah’s memoir of training to be a nurse in 1970s London The New Arrival is a heartwarming true story published by HarperCollins.

If you’ve got a question about your LO check out Ask Sarah or get in touch.

Why each child develops at their own pace 

Sarah Beeson MBE health visitor and author explained why four mums Little Ones’ developed at a different paces. Answering questions on weight gain, walking, talking and why twins and premature babies may develop at different speeds for Gurgle Magazine.

Walking

‘Most children start walking somewhere between ten and 22 months. And taller babies  may take  longer than those with shorter legs. Tummy time and floor play really help – and try to resist the urge to hold a pre-walking baby’s hands; cruising around the furniture and pulling themselves up to standing is vital exercise for strengthening all the important muscles needed for walking.’

Baby’s Weight

‘Some babies are just slower to gain weight than others, and very “long” babies may be slower than shorter ones. But generally, if a baby seems contended – smiling, happy and producing plenty of soiled nappies – there may be no need to worry. ‘ In Chapter One of Sarah’s book Happy Baby, Happy Family she explains the three signs that tell you if you’re baby is getting enough milk – and weight gain is just one. 

Talking

‘It’s expected that premature babies will be slower to reach key milestones, although by about a year they are likely to be catching up. A speech and language therapist can help enormously. These are very important areas of a child’s development, paving the way for all other cognitive skills. Ask your GP to refer you if you have any concerns.’

Twins

‘Any direct comparison between children is unhelpful, but that’s doubly the case with twins. As with language learning in adults, some babies need to have all the components of language learning in place before they will even utter a single word – and it’s common for some children to wait until they’re well past two to do so – whereas others start babbling from a very early age and imitating all the sounds they hear.’

About Sarah Beeson

cropped-sarah-beeson-circle.jpgIf you’ve got a question about your LO check out Ask Sarah or get in touch.

Sarah Beeson is a health visitor and author of Happy Baby, Happy Family. She writes with her daughter Mumpreneur and writer Amy Beeson. Sarah’s memoir of training to be a nurse in 1970s London The New Arrival is a heartwarming true story published by HarperCollins.

 

How do I make mornings go more smoothy?

Sarah Beeson in Prima Baby Magazine with some parenting advice on how mums can have smoother and happier mornings.


Nail their routine

“When children spend too long in their PJs they often won’t be willing to break off from what they’re doing. Get them washed and dressed and clean their teeth first thing. Use an apron to keep clothes clean while they have breakfast.”

Keep them on side

use narrative

“Pretend you’re a football commentator and narrate what’s going on”…”For example ‘Are those your shoes? Shall we put them on?'”

speak nicely

“Don’t order them around, try to be inclusive. Say ‘Let’s do this’ rather than ‘Do this now!’. And speak in a warm, friendly tone.”

give regular praise

“Always say ‘Well done’ if they eat their breakfast. Otherwise why will they bother in the future? If their behaviour is really awful, blame the behaviour, not the child. For example, say ‘Kicking is not acceptable behaviour'”

offer two choices

“Give two choices-both things that you’re happy with. For example, say “Do you want toast or porridge today?”

give yourself credit

“If it all goes a bit pear-shaped, don’t beat yourself up- it happens to everyone. Don’t focus on what’s gone wrong, just give yourself credit for everything you have managed to do. Remember that most of the time you’re doing a splendid job.”

about sarah

If you’ve got a question about your LO check out Ask Sarah or get in touch.

Sarah Beeson is a health visitor and author of Happy Baby, Happy Family. She writes with her daughter Mumpreneur and writer Amy Beeson. Sarah’s memoir of training to be a nurse in 1970s London The New Arrival is a heartwarming true story published by HarperCollins.

Making the most of the last days of Summer 

Sarah Beeson was delighted to be asked by Maggie & Rose to share a few tips on creating memories with your children over summer.   

Children thrive on new experiences and summer can be a great time to do something new, revisit those long forgotten favourite activities or just have some relaxing time at home baking cakes and watching movies together.

You can help influence good behaviour in your children by keeping them topped up with fluids and healthy snacks. When you’re out and about a snack bag will save you money, time and the odd tantrum! The more exercise and fresh air they get the more likely they’ll burn off that excess energy and sleep better.

If the elements are against you it would be good to have some crafty activities up your sleeve but don’t feel like you have to be Mary Poppins. London is an amazing city with so much to offer children but not every day has to be a big adventure. Whatever you do, be part of it- you’ll benefit just as much as the children from a break and a change of scene.

Having a conversation early each evening about what’s in store for the following day is a good opportunity to set expectations and give everyone a say in what’s happening. Having a rhythm rather than a strict routine for the week may help. You don’t have to give them carte blanche on activity choices- present them with a few options and let them have a little bit of responsibility on the decision making.

Being positive and looking forward to spending time together is more likely to mean you’ll be in the right frame of mind to enjoy it. A few treats are always welcome but it is your love, attention and listening to your child that will make the biggest difference of all. Enjoy your summer!

 Enjoy Sarah’s article and the rest of the Maggie & Rose Summer magazine.

Sarah’s baby advice book ‘Happy Baby, Happy Family‘ is a perfect read for new parents.

About sarah

If you’ve got a question about your LO check out Ask Sarah or get in touch.

Sarah Beeson is a health visitor and author of Happy Baby, Happy Family. She writes with her daughter Mumpreneur and writer Amy Beeson. Sarah’s memoir of training to be a nurse in 1970s London The New Arrival is a heartwarming true story published by HarperCollins.

Clingy Toddlers: Making small changes for happier families

Baby Expert Sarah Beeson MBE gives a family some one-to-one advice for happier mornings and no-tears drop off at the childminder’s in Prima Baby Magazine.

The solution

“It’s normal for toddlers to cling to parents and carers, it’s all part of their learning and development. They do it because they feel so attached to you, which is a positive thing, although it usually doesn’t feel that way at the time! Praise and encouragement works wonders, and while it won’t transform a clingy toddler overnight, it’ll help you both enjoy the journey through toddlerhood together.”

 

SARAH’S 8-POINT ACTION PLAN

  1. ROUTINE MATTERS

  2. GIVE CONTROL

  3. PILE ON THE PRAISE

  4. TELL HER WHAT’S HAPPENING

  5. OFFER CHOICES

  6. play it cool

  7.  avoid the blame game

  8. accept bad days

About Sarah

If you’ve got a question about your LO check out Ask Sarah or get in touch.

Sarah Beeson is a health visitor and author of Happy Baby, Happy Family. She writes with her daughter Mumpreneur and writer Amy Beeson. Sarah’s memoir of training to be a nurse in 1970s London The New Arrival is a heartwarming true story published by HarperCollins.

Following your baby’s lead and slowing down (Gurgle Magazine)

Alison Tyler asked ‘Can slowing down make you a better parent?’ in an interview with baby expert Sarah Beeson MBE in this month’s Gurgle Magazine. Do you think gentle or slow parenting is your thing? Tweet @NewArrivalBook or Facebook us.

All aboard the SLOW TRAIN

“‘The pressures on parents today are immense,’ says health visitor and baby expert for more than 35 years Sarah Beeson. ‘We are more child-focused than ever, taking babies to classes, buying more toys, playing with them. And there is so much more advice out there it’s relentless.’

Join the slow lane

‘It’s about learning to trust yourself; you know your baby best,’ explains Sarah. ‘Almost all parents meet their baby’s physical needs, but we need to focus on emotional needs too. Don’t forget to voice the love the security that you give your child, right from the start – it’s the most important thing you can do.’

How to slow parent

‘From birth, children strive for independence. If you thwart them, they’ll become frustrated,’ advises Sarah. ‘Everything you do should be baby-led. Your job is to facilitate your child’s needs.’ She suggests all parents sing and play with their babies and young children every day, and offer lots of cuddles and love. ‘And read to your child from the start,’ she adds.

‘Children go at their own pace…All milestones are so wide – tick-box parenting isn’t healthy for parents or children.’

Don’t beat yourself up as a parent. All your child wants is love and security, so try not to get into the rat race. Sure, baby massage is nice, and support groups can be great if they’re sociable, but your baby doesn’t need them – remember: you should be having fun too.’

The result is a calmer, more confident and independent child – and more relaxed parents too. As Sarah so succinctly puts its, ‘Enjoy the moment,, every one. They go so fleetingly.'”

Sarah Beeson MBE is a health visitor and author. Her new parenting book Happy Baby, Happy Family: Learning to trust yourself and enjoy your baby is published by HarperCollins (4 June 2015). You can read all about her nurse training in her memoir The New Arrival: the heartwarming true story of a trainee nurse in 1970s London.

How to survive a Christmas shopping trip with kids

Sarah shares her top christmas shopping tips with Tesco Living.

christmasshoppinghero

Christmas shopping with a baby

If you’ve got a newborn or a baby, the secret to Christmas shopping success is in careful planning and timing, says parenting author and former health visitor Sarah Beeson. You’ll want to coincide your shopping trip with when your child is sleeping, “So before you set off give them a really good feed, change their nappy and ensure they’re snuggled up and content,” she advises. “You will most likely only have a two-hour window to do a trolley dash, so make a list and plan exactly how to use this precious time.” If your little one wakes up, she does not recommend persevering. “There is no joy in walking around the shops with a crying baby, so park it if you can and come back another day.”

Christmas shopping with a toddler

If you’ve got a toddler or young children, the key is to avoid rush hour at the shops. “Go off-peak and avoid lunchtime and directly after school, as keeping the kids occupied in long queues is often the most challenging part of shopping,” explains Sarah. Before you leave for the shops, give your kids a drink and a snack, and ensure they’ve been to the toilet.

Make sure you’ve got everything you need with you too: “Have a few old toys that they haven’t seen in a while in your bag as a back-up to entertain them if they get fed up,” Sarah recommends. “Take a small banana and a bottle of water with you; tantrums are often related to dehydration, so a small, healthy snack can really help with good behaviour.” While it may be tempting to give in to your child’s pleas for a treat when you’re out, this is likely to backfire: “Sugary foods and drinks often make children overactive,” explains Sarah.

Turn them into Santa’s Little Helpers

If you will need to do the big Christmas food shop with your children, you can get a bit crafty, says Sarah. “Before you go, cut out pictures from the packet foods you regularly buy and create a list of items your children will be responsible for finding when you’re there,” she suggests. “Let them match the pictures on the shopping list in each aisle while you get on with the rest of the shop. Many places have little trolleys for children, which are great for making it a fun experience for them.” This approach may take a little while longer, but it keeps them occupied and out of your hair, and turns a chore into a learning opportunity. “Praise them when they find the items and you’ll have your very own Santa’s Little Helpers!”

Christmas shopping with older children

Your kids may be at that in-between stage when they’re not quite old enough to leave unsupervised. If you’re taking them along on a shopping trip, it’s still worth making sure they’ve had something to eat and drink and gone to the toilet before you set off. “Avoid bribery or threats to get them to behave,” Sarah advises. “Shopping for Christmas is part of creating a lovely occasion for the whole family, but takes planning and preparation,” she says. “This is a good opportunity to show them that it doesn’t just happen by magic.”

Help your child to feel included in the process by making a list together and letting them choose and make decisions on some of the things to buy. “This gives them some responsibility and shows you respect them,” says Sarah. If they’re busy looking for items and making choices about what to get, they won’t be bored and sulking. “Thank them for helping and give them praise – this shows them the standard of behaviour you expect and leads by example.”

Read the full article on Smart Shopping on Tesco Living

About Sarah Beeson MBE

Over four decades as a nurse and a health visitor Sarah Beeson’s career has been shaped by the needs of children. Since her earliest days on the wards of Hackney Hospital she has stood up for her patients as shown in The New Arrival her heartwarming true story of training to be a nurse in 1970s London.

Her expertise and innovation have been recognised with the MBE from the Queen for services to children and families, and her health prevention work received the Queen’s Nursing Institute Award but she’s happiest listening to mums talking about their baby.

Sarah firmly believes that this generation of parents is the best there has ever been. Her new parenting book Happy Baby, Happy Family: Learning to trust yourself and enjoy your baby is the culmination of a life time’s experience watching, listening and being part of thousands of families’ journeys from birth to their Little One’s first birthday and will be published by HarperCollins in Spring 2015.

Sarah second memoir about being a newly qualified health visiting in rural Kent in 1970s She’s Arrived! will be published by HarperCollins in March 2016.

Sarah Beeson talks to Tesco Living on How to kick common childhood habits

Nail biting, thumb sucking…should you be worried? Sarah gives some advice about how to support your child on Tesco Living.

Ask Sarah

Don’t worry too much about some childhood habits

“Babies sometimes develop habits like sucking a dummy or their thumb to soothe themselves,” explains Sarah Beeson, former health visitor and parenting author. “Whether they suck the label of their favourite toy, or they’ve got to have the same blankie in their hands every night when you tuck them up in bed, if it causes them no harm, and isn’t something you’re bothered about, it’s fine to leave it alone,” she says. “Don’t force your child to break a babyish habit because you think you ought to or because of remarks from relatives or friends.”

Dummies

While many parents find dummies helpful to soothe newborns, it is one habit that is good to try and break before they are six months old, recommends Sarah. “Their growing attachment for it will increase and it can become harder to break,” she explains. “Dummies can affect your baby’s teeth: they often push food up into the gums, so once your baby is weaning it becomes even more important for them to give up their dummy to avoid damage.”

Sarah also recommends a positive approach: “The secret is giving your child lots of praise and encouragement. Offer cuddles, playtime and stories as an alternative to the dummy when they reach for it as a distraction. This calls for heaps of patience and perseverance, but every time you get them to accept an alternative is an achievement.” For thumb sucking, Sarah suggests gently taking your child’s thumb out of their mouth, holding their hand and playing Round And Round the Garden. “This way they are getting a positive experience in place of sucking their thumb,” she explains. “Also, you are unlikely to get the response you want from using verbal commands.”

Nail biting and positive encouragement

Nail biting tends to be more common in older children and teens, so requires a slightly different approach. “Talk to your child about what might help them stop biting their nails, and avoid methods such as bitter-tasting substances on the nails as a deterrent, as this can feel like a punishment, and take away from your child’s sense of achievement and responsibility,” Sarah says. She also stresses that if your child does not want to break the habit themselves, they are very unlikely to stop. “If your child feels nagged, then your words, no matter how well intentioned, are likely to fall on deaf ears,” she says. “Having arguments over the habit will just fan the flames.”

As with other habits, it is more helpful to give praise and encouragement when they are doing well than to reprimand or punish them when they don’t succeed. “Give them the majority of the responsibility for curing their habit,” Sarah suggests. “If they are at a loss for ideas about how to stop then you could offer some suggestions, but let your child pick one and stick to it.”

Most children grow out of these habits, either on their own or with help from a parent. The barometer should be whether you are still worried about it after trying the above suggestions. “Interventions rarely work instantly,” Sarah warns. “It’s good for your child to learn that sometimes things take time, and it’s far better to try one approach at a time than many, only to give up in frustration.”

Read the full article on Tesco Living.

About Sarah Beeson MBE

Over four decades as a nurse and a health visitor Sarah Beeson’s career has been shaped by the needs of children. Since her earliest days on the wards of Hackney Hospital she has stood up for her patients as shown in The New Arrival her heartwarming true story of training to be a nurse in 1970s London.

Her expertise and innovation have been recognised with the MBE from the Queen for services to children and families, and her health prevention work received the Queen’s Nursing Institute Award but she’s happiest listening to mums talking about their baby.

Sarah firmly believes that this generation of parents is the best there has ever been. Her new parenting book Happy Baby, Happy Family: Learning to trust yourself and enjoy your baby is the culmination of a life time’s experience watching, listening and being part of thousands of families’ journeys from birth to their Little One’s first birthday and will be published by HarperCollins in Spring 2015.

Sarah second memoir about being a newly qualified health visiting in rural Kent in 1970s She’s Arrived! will be published by HarperCollins in March 2016.

First Day at School – 3 top tips for the pick up

Your Little One’s first day at school is a big deal to you but play it cool Mama’s and Papa’s. They’ve had a really huge day filled with new experiences but they are more likely to need to crash out in front of kids TV than thrill you with their tales of school. Raconteur’s they ain’t!

So let’s show them we missed them, get them rehydrated, nourished and chilled to avoid the post-school melt down with Sarah Beeson’s top three tips for meeting your child at the school gates.

First Day of SchoolHow was your LO’s first day at school? What preparation did you do? We’d love to know. Tweet @NewArrivalBook or comment on Facebook.

After four decades as a health visitor Sarah Beeson MBE and her daughter Amy co-wrote The New Arrival, Sarah’s true story of life as a trainee nurse in 1970s London. Their follow up memoir She’s Arrived! and parenting book Happy Baby, Happy Family: Learning to trust yourself and enjoy your baby.