How I can stop my two-year-old asking the same thing again and again? #parenting #toddler

Former health visitor and author of Happy Baby, Happy Family Sarah Beeson MBE answers real mums’ questions in Mother & Baby.

How I can stop my two-year-old asking the same thing again and again? She doesn’t stop even when I’ve given her the answer!

Congratulations on having a wonderfully curious child. Children love to ask for information but they also love to ask questions repeatedly as it feels familiar and secure like repeating a favourite nursery rhyme.

Your inquisitive toddler likes the security of you talking to her and having your attention. It can be a way of them starting up a conversation as they don’t realise it’s frustrating for adults to be repeatedly asked the same thing. So think of it as the interaction that counts rather than the imparting of knowledge.

To relieve the tedium you could vary the answers and if you’re feeling creative make up a game where you can discover more by going to the library or on a hunt.

Try not to show your natural feelings of frustration and praise your toddler by saying, ‘That’s an interesting question. What do you think?’ Putting the answering responsibility back to them.

Enjoy the chat as much as you can because right know your tot thinks you really do have all the answers. It’s an opportunity to see the world through their enquiring eyes.

Sarah Beeson’s MBE is a former health visitor and author of parenting guide Happy Baby, Happy Family and health visiting memoir Our Country Nurse published by HarperCollins available in paperback, eBook and audiobook.

What to NOT say to pregnant women in an antenatal class on BBC 5 Live #mumtobe

Listen on BBC Radio Player from 0:40:36 minutes.

Last week Author of Sarah Beeson MBE talked to Emma Barnett about pregnancy. This week her daughter and Co-Author Amy Beeson was interviewed for the show about her memories of antenatal classes and in particular how dads-to-be were in the classes.

Listen on BBC Radio Player from 0:40:36 minutes.

Interview Transcript

EMMA BARNETT: Over the next few week’s we’re looking at the different aspects of pregnancy…This week we’re shining a light on the partner of the person giving birth usually a man…Here’s Amy, describing her antenatal class.

AMY BEESON: I remember the most difficult thing was some of the men in the group were quite dominant. Some men were lovely and supportive and caring, some women didn’t have partners, they were there on their own or with a friend. But there were some women who had really overbearing husbands.

One woman’s husband got deeply into wanting to have a discussion about what the state of his wife’s vagina was going to be, and would there be cutting during the birth. He got really horrific and started recounting tales he’d heard from other men about this and actually made one women in the group cry. Me and another girl had to say to the midwife, ‘I really think you need to stop this. We’re supposed to be here to get helpful information for giving birth not scaring the life out of us.’ And, also, shouldn’t the focus be on us? She said ‘Well, it’s really important. He’s got his worries and his concerns.’ And yes does, but I think you have to choose the time and place.

And the time and the place was when they did separate us with women in one room and men in the other room. My husband told me all the men went, ‘I am so scared. I just don’t know what’s going to happen.’ ‘I need to get a promotion. I need to earn more money.’ Which I think would have been a good time to maybe ask those scary questions there.

All the women just moaned about their partners. Had a real laugh about it. Not that you don’t care about your partner, I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else there, other than my husband (I did have my mum, but she’s a health visitor so she was quite helpful). It was a  chance to have a laugh and talk about the situation that you’re in when you’re very near to giving birth and you’re the size of a house and have to pee every five minutes. It was nice to have that sort of camaraderie.

Photo credit © The Mango Lab

Amy Beeson runs Wordsby Communications and has a successful writing partnership with her mum Sarah Beeson MBE. Their new book Our Country Nurse is set in a country village in 1975 and is bursting with stories of mums journeys during pregnancy and motherhood. They’re also written nursing memoir The New Arrival and first year parenting guide Happy Baby, Happy Family. Amy is currently writing her first solo novel set in Wartime Staffordshire while Sarah pens advice for new parents on baby sleep or the lack of it!

When Should You Tell Your Children You’re Getting Divorced?

Ending a relationship is never easy especially when children are involved. Author and former health visitor Sarah Beeson MBE shares her advice on talking to children about a break-up in Red’s 10 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You File for Divorce.

When should I tell our children?

Don’t tell children you’re planning on getting divorced if you’re just thinking about it and haven’t reached a decision yet but if they do ask you answer as honestly as is age appropriate. You want to keep the channels of communication open between you and ensure your children know they can trust you because if you do get divorced they need to able to talk to you about how they feel and believe you when you tell them how much you both love them and that the divorce isn’t their fault.

However angry, upset and justified you feel do not run down your partner in front of your child because this is very harmful to their self-image.

How will our kids cope if we do spilt?

Nearly all parents completely underestimate how much a child will blame themselves when their parents split up. Telling them it’s not their fault on a daily basis throughout the breakup and for a long time afterwards will help to reassure them. Don’t over play it, but with gentle words and touches tell them how much they are loved by both of you.

If you have a new partner it is best to wait at least six month before introducing them because a marriage ending is like a bereavement for a child and it takes time for them to adjust. Allow them to talk to about how feel and listen calmly to what they have to say.

Sarah Beeson’s MBE is a former health visitor and author of parenting guide Happy Baby, Happy Family and health visiting memoir Our Country Nurse published by HarperCollins available in paperback, eBook and audiobook.


Happy Baby, Happy Family in Gurgle’s Top 10 Best Pregnancy Books #mumtobe #newmum #pregnancy

Gurgle magazine round up the best books to guide you through your pregnancy and beyond and Happy Baby, Happy Family is at No. 1.

“Health Visitor Sarah Beeson condenses four decades of working wiht families into this extensive guide to trusting yourself and understanding your baby. ” Gurgle

Sarah Beeson’s MBE is a former health visitor and author of parenting guide Happy Baby, Happy Family and health visiting memoir Our Country Nurse published by HarperCollins available in paperback, eBook and audiobook.

What do pregnant women really want to talk about? #pregnancy #BBC5Live #mumtobe #EmmaBarnettShow #pregnancyproblems

Author Sarah Beeson MBE joins Presenter Emma Barnett and Poet Hollie McNish to talk sickness, sex and haemorrhoids – that’s right pregnancy on BBC Radio 5 Live. The frank, funny and sometimes sickening side of pregnancy.

Sarah Beeson MBE

Listen again to this light-hearted discussion of pregnancy with listener stories, poetry from Hollie McNish on the Emma Barnett Show on BBC Radio 5 Live from 44 minutes.

Perfect book for new parents

When health visitor Sarah Beeson’s pregnant daughter asked her to put pen to paper on caring for her new baby she didn’t know it would result into a parenting book full of secrets from four decades of working with families. The result was Happy Baby, Happy Family.

‘Best new pregnancy books… Extensive guide to trusting yourself and understanding your baby.’ Gurgle

‘Answers to key baby-raising questions while sensibly explaining that no one parenting style fits all. A great read to boost your new parent confidence.’ Prima Baby book of the month

Pregnancy Interview

Listen to Sarah from 51 minutes on BBC Radio 5 Live.

EMMA BARNETT: What do you think doesn’t get talked about Sarah in terms of physical and emotional aspect?

SARAH BEESON: I think there’s lots of things and we always go on about hormones, but actually, some of your speakers have brought that in and it’s so true. The hormones that are being released into your body in early pregnancy and all through pregnancy are responsible for a lot things; whether it’s raised libido in a very small percentage or feeling don’t touch me, don’t come near me in other people. There’s what doctors call minor illnesses or complications in pregnancy but they don’t feel very minor when you’ve got them. When you’ve got haemorrhoids or constipation, itching or restless legs. Back ache and pelvis pain that Hollie’s referred to is also a hormone thing where cartilage has soften a bit for an easier a birth but it can cause back ache and pelvic pain. Yes, there’s a lot of different variations on people’s pregnancies and you don’t really know what will affect you or have a say, which is really difficult.

EMMA BARNETT: You don’t see those posters Hollie was talking about that say you will get haemorrhoids, you will get itchy belly as it stretches – those sides aren’t advertised.

SARAH BEESON: No they’re not. Is it a conspiracy? Do people not want to put pregnant women off being pregnant?

HOLLIE MCNISH: You can’t sell anything if you put that.

EMMA BARNETT: You could sell haemorrhoid cream.

SARAH BEESON: Yes, haemorrhoid cream, constipation treatment.

EMMA BARNETT: I didn’t think it was going to go in this direction so quickly but I’m thrilled that it has. Sarah, do you feel there’s also a guilt for women saying I absolutely hate being pregnant?

SARAH BEESON: Society has this view doesn’t it? This wonderful glowing view of pregnancy and in reality if you’re being sick, it doesn’t feel so great. I remember being terribly sick myself. A great friend of mine came to my house and she was expecting her first. She knocked on the door and shouted to me to get a bag and was sick into it before we even said hello. She used all the bags in the car on the way and she needed quite a lot more. Nobody says to you get your sick bags ready, or think about putting your legs up. It wouldn’t be very encouraging! But, interestingly the lady who said she had a terrible time but now she’s thinking was it so terrible? Do I want another one? Again, nature takes over. There are two main urges in human being, which is the will to live and sex. Pregnancy has got that in abundance.

EMMA BARNETT: Talking about power of hormones. Sarah do you think enough is said about how you brain might feel?

SARAH BEESON: Probably not. I think what Hollie’s saying put it in a nutshell. You’re bombarded with all these ideas about what you should and shouldn’t do. And because many of us feel more anxious in pregnancy and things take on gigantic proportions, less would be better. There’s so many different aspects to worry about, it’s no good saying to people don’t worry about that and don’t worry about this, because you do feel worried and have anxieties.

Hollie McNIsh

Poet and mum Hollie McNish read her fantastic poem Banana Baby on the show.

To see Hollie McNish’s amazing poetry go to


Sarah Beeson’s MBE is a former health visitor and author of parenting guide Happy Baby, Happy Family and health visiting memoir Our Country Nurse published by HarperCollins available in paperback, eBook and audiobook.

Why does my new baby cry and go rigid? #parenting #newmum #colic

Former health visitor and author of Happy Baby, Happy Family Sarah Beeson MBE angers real mum’s questions in Mother & Baby.

My six-week-old often straightens her legs and tries to go rigid when crying. What is she trying to tell me?

This sounds like it is probably colic. Often babies go red in the face, get distressed and angry, draw their knees up, arch their backs and sometimes try to push off you with their feet and seem like they are trying to jump out of your arms. It’s not your fault your baby has colic, though it can sometimes feel like they suddenly don’t like you.

Why do they do this? It’s all part of their digestive system adjusting to life outside of the womb and the digestive discomfort they feel as their body is processing the milk. It is usually a short-lived spasm.

The best thing you can do is to stay calm and soothe your baby with swaying, gentle motion and soothing sounds like singing. Give them lots of sympathy and cuddles and take deep long breathes in and out to reduce your own feelings of stress and anxiety. If you have any concerns see your GP to get your little one checked.

Sarah Beeson’s MBE is a former health visitor and author of parenting guide Happy Baby, Happy Family and health visiting memoir Our Country Nurse published by HarperCollins available in paperback, eBook and audiobook.

Sarah Answers Mum’s Big Christmas Question in Mother & Baby

Sarah Beeson MBE is a former health visitor and author of Happy Baby, Happy Family (£9.99, Harper Thorson). In November 2017 Edition of parenting magazine Mother & Baby  Sarah shares her advice on celebrating Christmas as a new family.

Question: We’ve always taken it in turns to go to my parent’s house and the in-law’s house for Christmas. Now we’ve got a baby, we want to stay at home, by ourselves. How should I handle telling everyone – I don’t want to upset them!

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to stay in your own home for Christmas. When it comes to telling your families you and your partner can work as a team by being positive, clear and firm about your decision.

First of all tell both families as soon as possible so everyone has time to adjust and adapt to the new arrangements. When you’re both relaxed and calm each of you could phone your parents to let them know what you’ve decided.

Let your parents know how much you’ve enjoyed their hospitality during past Christmases but that you both feel this is the time to start an exciting new chapter in creating special Christmas memories for your little one. Thank your parents for all they’ve done and if you’d like to make them part of the festivities maybe suggest a family tradition they can pass on in the build up to Christmas Day. Make it clear that it isn't open to negotiation and it’s a decision you
and your partner have taken together.

Discuss with your partner beforehand if you’ve got ideas on how your families could be involved. If they don’t live too far away maybe you’d like to meet for lunch or tea on Christmas Eve and go to a Crib Service with your baby.

Whatever you decide give everyone plenty of notice and don’t feel like the rest of your days have to be spent making everyone else happy. Do what you feel is manageable whether that’s having visitors on other days or going to stay with family for a night.

It may be next year you’ll feel like doing things differently but the way we spend Christmas doesn’t have to be set in stone. Whatever you decide be resolute and don’t get drawn into lengthy explanations or heated discussions. Try your best to be calm, clear, positive and thankful for the love you’ve received and will now give to your own child and enjoy your special first Christmas together as a new family.

Sarah Beeson’s MBE is a former health visitor and author of parenting guide Happy Baby, Happy Family and health visiting memoir Our Country Nurse published by HarperCollins available in paperback, eBook and audiobook.

‘A Cornish Gift’ by Fern Britton #BookReview @Fern_Britton @W6BookCafe @Fictionpubteam @HarperCollinsUK #BookBloggers

A Cornish Gift by Fern Britton published by  HarperCollins is a delightful collection of short stories available in Hardback and e-book which have previously been published in e-book as separate stories called A Cornish Carol, The Stolen Weekend and The Beach Hut.

If  you’re a Fern Britton fan and have read all her previous books bear in mind that this a collection of previously published ebooks so  you don’t buy the same book twice. But if you haven’t read them this hardback collection of stories would make a lovely gift for someone who is looking for a cosy read this christmas.

Christmas comes to the little village of Pendruggan and Cornwall’s very own Mr Rochester, Piran Ambrose, discovers the true meaning of the festive season when even he can’t resist the village celebrations. Meanwhile, best friends Penny and Helen are embarking on a stolen weekend of blissful indulgence but best laid plans often go awry and the ladies are in for a big surprise. In an idyllic cottage on the Cornish cliffs, the Appleby family and their bearded collie, Molly, are having a holiday to remember. It’s time for a little Cornish escape for all.

full of cornish promise

I read Fern Britton’s Cornish novel A Good Catch last summer and really enjoyed it. Her books are very like her, warm and funny, and this collection of stories were great fun to read. There’s a huge amount of bonne amie in all three stories and it certainly made me want to pack up my bags for a weekend and head from West London to the West Country.

The characters of Ex-Londoner, TV Producer and vicar’s wife Penny, and her otherhalf, the gentle-mannered vicar of Pendruggan Simon, and their good friends Ex-Londoner Helen and her  fisherman boyfriend, historian and brooding Cornishman Pirran, feature in all three stories. As do colourful locals from the village which give the books a saga quality. I recognised characters from A Good Catch as well, and it soon becomes like seeing old friends in the local pub.

There’s a huge element of escapism in the books which makes the tone easy to read and refreshing. As a busy working mum, having the excuse to put on my pjs for an early night to read them felt like a real treat. I read a story a night and passed three evenings in the company of lovingly created characters and enjoyed the ride with the same enthusiasm I would have curled up with a copy of The Famous Five many years ago.

Making the transition from screen to page Fern Britton writes with the same affability, good humour and natural charm that have made her a household name as a presenter.

Reviewed by Author Amy Beeson

Come to Book Club

We’ll be chatting about A Cornish Gift at our virtual Book Club on Facebook Live at 8pm Thursday 26 October. Pop over and join us for some book chat.

#BookReview ‘The Woman at 72 Derry Lane’ by Carmel Harrington @HappyMrsH @W6BookCafe @Fictionpubteam @HarperCollinsUK #BookBloggers

The Woman at 72 Derry Lane is Carmel Harrington’s fifth novel published by HarperCollins. It’s already published in the author’s home nation of Ireland and will be released in the UK on 16 November in paperback and is already available on kindle and audiobook.

Carmel Harrington’s other autumn read is Cold Feet The Lost Years published by Hodder & Stoughton. So, it was lovely surprise to see The Woman at 72 Derry Lane in ITV’s new series of Cold Feet being read by Adam’s new girlfriend Tina.

On a leafy suburban street in Dublin, beautiful, poised Stella Greene lives with her successful husband, Matt. The perfect couple in every way, Stella appears to have it all. Next door, at number 72 however, lives Rea Brady. Gruff, bad-tempered and rarely seen besides the twitching of her net curtains, rumour has it she’s lost it all…including her marbles if you believe the neighbourhood gossip. But appearances can be deceiving and when Stella and Rea’s worlds collide they realise they have much in common. Both are trapped in a prison of their own making. Has help been next door without them realising it?

Win a Book

We’ll be giving away a copy of The Woman at 72 Derry Lane during our Book Club on Facebook on Thursday 26 October at 8pm. Simply  comment during the live to enter.

Authors Carmel Harrington and Amy Beeson

I met the lovely Carmel Harrington at the HarperCollins Summer Party at the V&A in London and she’s a warm and funny in person as she is on the page.

Plot twist

A cry of “plot twist” is the mum of the Madden Family’s favourite phrase when things don’t go according to plan. Family is a really strong theme throughout this book which is packed with scenes around of the kitchen tables of Dublin sharing hopes, dreams, loss and making plans for the future whilst enjoying the odd take-away and bottle of wine.

The book focuses on the lives of glamorous twenty-seven-year-old Stella at number 70 and her sixty-year-old neighbour Rea at 72. Both women are isolated in their leafy suburban homes and have become physically and mentally trapped by the sorrow of catastrophic pasts events neither of them want to talk about. Stella and Rea’s unlikely friendship creates a lifeline for both women to emerge from the shadows of regret and pain if  only they can overcome their fears and face up to Stella’s charming but chilling husband Matt, before time runs out.

There’s lots of fun, warmth and friendship in the book and I really enjoyed the flamboyant character of Charlie who brings fabulous hair, musicals and laughter into Stella and Rea’s formerly gloomy days.

Family seems to be everything for the central characters in The Woman at 72 Derry Lane, both your biological ties and the family you create from the people who support you and help you come what may.

Reviewed by Author Amy Beeson

Come to Book Club

We’ll be chatting about The Woman at 72 Derry Lane at our virtual Book Club on Facebook Live at 8pm Thursday 26 October. Pop over and join us for some book chat.

‘True Love at the Lonley Hearts Bookshop’ by Annie Darling @_AnnieDarling @W6BookCafe @Fictionpubteam @HarperCollinsUK

True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop is the second romantic novel by author Annie Darling for HarperCollins.

Like the novel’s protagonist, since early adolescence I have been a Jane Austen fan. Like any girl growing up in the 90s with a love of books and period drama, the BBC’s 1995 production of Pride and Prejudice made Elizabeth Bennet the ultimate heroine and Colin Firth as Mr Darcy emerging from the lake of Pemberley in his wet shirt, a crush to end all crushes. Why worry about finding true love when curling up with a cuppa and a box set on a squashy sofa offers perfect escapism?

It’s a truth widely acknowledged that a single woman in possession of a good job, four bossy sisters and a needy cat must also have want of her one true love. Or is it?

The Plot Thickens

When in doubt reluctant bookseller and vicar’s daughter Verity Love asks “What would Elizabeth Bennet Do?”  Verity’s been single by choice since breaking up with her first boyfriend Adam. What she craves is a quiet life in her rent free flat above Bloomsbury romantic bookshop Happy Ever After with her cat Strumpet and multiple copies of her favourite book Pride and Prejudice.

But everyone wants to find true love don’t they? Verity’s friends and family are determined to introduce her to barely eligible bachelors and when her father’s Mr Collins worthy curate is even suggested, Verity needs to put a stop to the unwanted matchmaking but how?

After a chance encounter with handsome architect Johnny who is possession of a good fortune and rather fine house, and no inclination to marry (no, he’s not gay), Verity and Johnny decide to team up and face the summer’s social engagements as “friends” and avoid the blind dates, matchmaking and singles tables.

By the end of the summer, Verity starts to think being in a couple might not be so bad, but Johnny has given his heart away to Caroline Bingleyesque, Marissa, and unlike Mr Darcy he can’t see that she’s no good for him. Will Verity find her happy ending or is there no such thing?

A thoroughly enjoyable read any Jane Austen fan will enjoy and lap up the references to places, people and the comedy of social situations. Find your favourite squashy chair, skip the box set and revel in the romance.

Reviewed by Author Amy Beeson

Come to Book Club

We’ll be chatting about True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop at our virtual Book Club on Facebook Live at 8pm Thursday 26 October. Pop over and join us for some book chat.