The top 25 traditional family activities and days out revealed, inspired by Winnie-the-Pooh

Who doesn't love spending a traditional day out with the family. Forget all the gadgets for a day, and spend some good old fashioned fun on a day out with the kids. Whether it's going for a picnic, skimming stones or picking blackberries, spending quality time as a family is really important.

Traditional family activities seem to be making a come-back. This weekend my husband Mark and I will be taking our two children, Amber, ten and Jacob, three, to the seaside for a bit of rock-pooling.

VisitEngland encourages families to experience life’s simple pleasures inspired by the tales of Winnie-the-Pooh and Christopher Robin.

Enjoying a fish supper on Blackpool Pier, negotiating Hampton Court Maze and taking a stroll beside Hadrian’s Wall have been named as some of England’s greatest ‘simple pleasures’ according to a new study released today.

The new study on behalf of Egmont Publishing and supported by VisitEngland asked 2,000 parents to vote for the traditional activities, attractions and days out. The results provide a fascinating overview of the activities, which hark back to a bygone age when the great outdoors was considered the ultimate family tonic.

winnie1.jpg

From learning to skim stones to fossil hunting, exploring castles and forests reaching from Northumberland to Treyarnon Bay, ‘Winnie-the-Pooh’s 25 Simple Pleasures’ were named as:

1. Enjoying a fish supper on Blackpool Pier, Lancashire

2. Indulging in afternoon tea, Devon

3. Picnicking on the shores of Windermere in the Lake District, Cumbria

4. Rock-pooling in Treyarnon Bay, Cornwall

5. Camping in the New Forest, Hampshire

6. Marvelling at Stonehenge, Wiltshire

7. Getting lost in the maze at Hampton Court Palace, Greater London

8. Taking a stroll beside Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland and Cumbria

9. Boating day out on the Broads, Norfolk and Suffolk

10. Watching the puffins on the Farne Islands, Northumberland

11. Stargazing in Exmoor National Park, Somerset and Devon

12. Taking in the vista from the peaks at the Peak District National Park, Derbyshire

13. Trying to make the Queen’s Guard laugh at Buckingham Palace

14. Watching the changing of the Guards at Windsor Castle, Berkshire

15. Fossil-hunting on Brook Beach, Isle of Wight

16. Exploring the famous White Cliffs of Dover

17. Playing Pooh Sticks at 100 Acre Wood, East Sussex

18. Rolling down the hills around Corfe Castle, Dorset

19. Visiting a honey farm in Devon

20. Skimming stones at Holy Island, Lindisfarne, Northumberland

21. Picking blackberries on Box Hill, Surrey

22. Riding a narrow boat through the canal ways, Birmingham

23. Taking in the grandeur of Chatsworth House from the park, Chatsworth, Derbyshire

24. Seeking out the deer at Richmond Park, London

25. Admiring Bamburgh Castle from the beach, Northumberland

The poll reveals that dining alfresco is a firm favourite, securing the first three slots in the top 10. No fewer than four National Parks appear in the full list of 25, highlighting our appreciation for England’s green space. Of these, two made it into the top 10.

Negotiating the maze at Hampton Court Palace was the only activity from the capital to make the top 10, although making the Queen’s Guard laugh came close at number 13. Winnie-the-Pooh’s Hundred Acre Woodin East Sussex, the original destination for playing Pooh Sticks in A.A. Milne’s classic novel, was voted into the 17th spot, closely followed by another favourite activity Pooh would enjoy - visiting a honey farm at number 19. Overall, the South West of England came out on top as the area that offers the best opportunity to enjoy life’s simple pleasures, closely followed by the South East and the Midlands.

Nearly half of respondents claim their fondest holiday memories are from time spent in England, with having a picnic, taking a walk and building sandcastles coming out as the most memorable activities. Interestingly the research shows that kids today get outside almost as much as their parents did, with nearly 50% of families enjoying outdoors activities. Parents also highlighted just how precious quality family time is, with over a third saying they enjoy at least one family outing a month.

The ‘Simple Pleasures’ campaign was developed by and inspired by Winnie-the-Pooh to encourage modern families to enjoy the great outdoors whilst celebrating our great English heritage. The activities reflect the core themes in A. A. Milne’s best-selling books, which centre around a series of simple adventures for Winnie-the-Pooh and his close friends in the Hundred Acre Wood - including playing the game ‘Pooh Sticks’.

The top 10 have inspired a new illustrated guide for families featuring brand new artwork by Mark Burgess, who coloured the original E.H Shepherd Black & White art and the latest book ‘Return to the Hundred Acre Wood’. The guide is available to download for free from the VisitEngland website.

James Berresford, Chief Executive, VisitEngland said: “It’s great that respondents’ fondest holiday memories are from time spent in England and we are thrilled that Pooh’s simple pleasures can be experienced across the country. We hope the guide will inspire families to discover, explore and enjoy the best of England this bank holiday.”

Sarah Bates, Publishing Director, Egmont commented: “Winnie-the-Pooh shares many a simple adventure with his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood so he is the perfect character to remind us how to enjoy the simple pleasures that England has to offer.”

To download the guide, visit www.VisitEngland.com/WinnieThePooh

England’s top 25 “Simple Pleasures” inspired by classic Winnie-the-Pooh tales are revealed today in a guide featuring brand new illustrations.

We take so many pictures of our kids, but what about mum and dad?

As I dived behind a chair at my daughter's 10th birthday celebrations, I began to think about how many photographs of our children we had taken in just a few short years. 

We almost have a flicker book from when they were born to present day. 

At my son's recent pre-school photograph, I was amazed that at 3 years old, the photographer took 2 shots of him and it was done. Not much coaxing or squeezing a noisy animal whilst jumping up and down behind the photographer and saying 'come on smile' was needed!

Kids are so used to having their pictures taken nowadays they aren't fazed by it. Which is ironic because with digital cameras you can take as many as you like, you only had 24 or 36 (which you could always squeeze a couple more snaps out of) pics you could take when I was young on a roll of film! Apologies if any younger people are reading this and have no idea what I'm talking about (I'm starting to feel old now). Have a look on Google!

I remember having my picture taken as a child, mostly by my Grandparents. My Grandma had one of those long thin cameras that had a tall flash that you slide on top of it, that looked liked a mini tray of ice cubes! We'd have to wait what seemed an eternity for the flash to be ready, it took so long, no wonder we had some corkers! She always managed to chop the top of our heads off which was a running joke when we had waited 2 weeks for the pics to be developed and at least one had a sticker over it saying it could be improved!

I have to say, my Grandma who has just gone 81 (don't tell her I said that, she will go mad), sends me a text at least once a week, so she has always been into modern things! She isn't on facebook, and I'd love to get her a little netbook to use it, she calls it faceache, and gets a bit annoyed because people find out things and see pictures on there before her and she was always the one to know what's going on first!

It's sad really as we never print out our digital pictures, when we had been on a family holiday when I was younger, the anticipation in waiting for the rolls of film to be developed and returned, then going to my grandparents houses and having an evening of showing those photos was a lovely thing to do. We don't do that anymore.

I love taking pictures of the kids, on my phone, with the small digital camera or my big digital SLR (still never had time to learn to use it properly).

I got a bit grumpy with my husband while on our daughter's birthday cinema and meal outing because he'd put a picture of me with our birthday girl and her friends at the cinema on to Facebook without me seeing it first! 

Thank goodness for Instagram sometimes, because to be honest, that's the only time I'd be happy with a picture of me being made public, if it had gone through one of Instagrams lovely filters, oh and taken from a height, so I have no chin, erm... and only my left side, and head and shoulders only, ok! 

I then started to think of how every time a photo opportunity presented itself, I would always say 'I'll take it, go on, you lot get together'. 

The reason for this was I don't like my photo being taken! 

This can depend on how I feel about myself that particular day.  

In the last 20 years, my weight has fluctuated massively, I have clothes in 8 different sizes!

You will find plenty of pics of me when I was smaller in size! 

It only occured to me at the latest get together, that my children won't have many/if any pictures of me when I'm not here anymore.

I know it sounds a bit of a morbid thing to think about, but I love to look back at old photos of my family, to bring back the memories to the front of my mind and step back in time just for a few minutes. 

So I really need to pull myself together and start having my picture taken more, no matter what I feel I look like! Somethings better than nothing, right? 

So here goes, the first step... here's a picture of me with my children, Jacob had chicken pox when this was taken!

 Amber, Jacob and camera shy mummy!

Amber, Jacob and camera shy mummy!

I'd love to hear your thoughts. You can leave a comment below. Thanks.

Saying goodbye...

As I sit here and look at your peaceful sleeping face, I remember all the good times we had.

It's difficult to let myself get deep in thought as it makes me so upset when I do.

Just looking round the room we are in at the moment makes me have a lump in my throat.

We had such good times together.

Your smile as we walked in to your warm, welcoming, loving home every Sunday.

 My much loved Grandma: Sheila Shaw

My much loved Grandma: Sheila Shaw

You loved having us all around to your house, your 'brood' as you called us.

I just keep staring at you, watching your chest move up and down, not knowing when it will do that for the last time.

Life can be so amazing and beautiful, but it can also be selfish and sad.

I know that we all have to die someday, but it's not a thing we like to talk about.

As I sit here in this chair, looking at you sleeping. I don't know what to expect.

I'm a little afraid, but I don't want you to be alone.

It's only when we face these kind of challenges in life, that we just stop and think for a moment, at what our life is like.

Yes, I like anyone else moan about things, but when it comes down to it, we are born into this world with nothing and we leave with nothing.

You are in the very end stages of Alzheimer's, and this is one horrible disease.

Bit by bit, the person I knew and who knew me so well, started to disappear.

That little bug eating away at your brain, is selfishly taking away the grandma I know and love.

How dare it, what right does it have to do that?

How can something so small, have such a massive effect on not only your life, but the life of your loving family around you.

I lean over the bed to talk to you, stroke your hair, hold your hand, and you are asleep.

As I am a need to know person, I try to read about what happens when we die.

I think I'm trying to make sense of it and trying to understand the process.

It's my birthday today. 

I'm so pleased to be able to spend it with you.

You have always been in my life, and I love everything about you.

Having to do a big swallow because one minute I'm ok, then the next I cry.

I cry at the thought of you not being here, the thought of not seeing your smiling face, the thought of never going back in time and doing the things I loved to do with you and grandad at your house.

I can see your life fading away, you are different today than you were yesterday.

So many things whizz through my mind, things from the past, the happy times, things now, watching you sleeping and wondering how long we have left with you.

To the immediate future and what is going to happen when you've gone.

Then the distant future and what my life will be like for me and my mum.

Will I be the same as you?

Will I get the same illness?

I've always been scared of dying, obviously the fear of the unknown.

Looking at you now, you look comfortable, serene, at peace in a warm bed, with people to care for you and loved ones at your bedside.

It is now my turn to make precious memories for my children.

If they have as good a memories as I had, then I will have done a good job!

I am very lucky to have been able to spend these last days with you, talking to you about times gone by, and all the lovely memories from my childhood made at your house.

Goodbye my beautiful grandma Shaw. 

Time to be back with the love of your life. My grandad is waiting for you.

See you in the morning for a cup of tea and some breakfast.

Rest in peace Sheila Shaw 1932-2013

Angelcare are recalling 600,000 monitors due to two strangulation deaths

In Canada, Angelcare Monitors Inc. is voluntarily recalling about 600,000 baby monitors following the death of two infants due to strangulation caused by the cord attached to the monitor's sensor pad.

 © Consumer Product Safety Commission

© Consumer Product Safety Commission

Angelcare and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission have received reports of two infant cord strangulation deaths. In November 2011, a 13-month-old female died in San Diego, California, and, in August 2004, an 8-month-old female died in Salem, Oregon. In both fatalities, the cord from the sensor pads was pulled into the crib by the infant. In addition, there have been two reports of infants who became entangled in cords of Angelcare baby monitor models, which did not result in fatalities. In these incidents, it could not be determined if the “sensor pad cord” or the “monitor cord” was involved in the incident.
 
The recall involves the Movement and Sound Monitor manufactured by Angelcare. This design of baby monitor includes a unique sensor pad placed inside the crib, under the mattress, to monitor movement of the baby. An electrical cord about 11 feet long is permanently connected from the sensor pad to the nursery monitor unit. The hazard is created by a cord within reach of a baby inside the crib. The cord can be pulled into the crib and can wrap around the child’s neck. The recall involves all versions of Angelcare sensor monitors including model numbers: AC1100, AC201, AC300, AC401 AC601 and 49255 that did not include rigid cord covers, offered in the remedy. The model number is located on the back of the nursery monitor unit. The monitors were manufactured between 1999 and 2013.

 © Consumer Product Safety Commission

© Consumer Product Safety Commission

Angelcare is providing consumers with a repair kit that includes rigid protective cord covers through which the sensor pad cords can be threaded, a new, permanent electric cord warning label about the strangulation risk, and revised instructions.
 
The recalled baby monitors were sold at Babies R Us/Toys R Us, Burlington Coat Factory, Meijer, Sears, Walmart, Amazon.com, Target.com, Overstock.com, and nearly 70 small baby specialty stores, from October 1999 through September 2013 for about $100to $300. 
 
Consumers should immediately make sure cords are placed out of reach of the child and contact Angelcare toll-free at (855)355-2643 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm's website at www.angelcarebaby.com to order the free repair kit.

The dreaded words.. 'I'm afraid your son has bitten another child today!'

Oh dear!  

Today when I picked up our (soon to be 3 year old) son Jacob from pre-school, I wasn't expecting this...

'I'm really sorry to say but Jacob has bitten another child today. '

My face hit the floor.

As she is telling me this I have my son in my arms after greeting him with a big kiss and a cuddle, and he is constantly kissing my cheek, in a very cute but, I know I've done something wrong mummy, kind of way! 

I can't apologise enough, I say. She adds to my horror when she says it left a bit of a mark on the other child.

I look to Jacob who by this time is running around the class with a big grin on his face. 

 Jacob looking like butter wouldn't melt!

Jacob looking like butter wouldn't melt!

'But he doesn't do it at home I protest', and I say I'll have a talk to him and say sorry once more. 

This is the second time he has done this! 

I leave feeling like the entire staff think I'm a bad mum after what my son did. 

As we leave pre-school and head home, he wants to be more independent by not wanting to hold my hand and to walk on his own.

Yeh right, no chance little man, as I tighten my grip on his little slippery like a snake hand. He's wanting to open the car door and climb in himself, all well and good but I have the sneaky feeling if I let go, he's going to make a run for it. Not good when you're near a main road! I let him be as independent as is safe and he's happy with attempting to climb into his car seat by himself.

When I fasten him into his seat, I say 'Did you bite someone at school today?' He looks right at me with his big blue eyes and says 'Yes, sorry mummy'. 

I then look at him and explain it's not very nice to bite other people and it hurts. 

I know he loves school (even though he's only been going since September, and only goes for three morning a week), so I say to him, 'You can't go to school if you bite people'.

I can see him taking the information in, so after my firm telling off, I leave him to think about it and we drive home in silence.

When we arrive home, as soon as I open the door to get him out, he says 'Sorry mummy' again. 

He is so different to our daughter Amber, who is seven years older than him. We never went through this with her. Our children have such different personalities.  Which is great of course, but this is new for my husband and I to cope with our little monkeys behaviour.

I can hear lots of mums and dads now saying 'It's just a phase, he'll grow out of it'. 

Let's hope so, very soon eh!

90 years of the Walt Disney Company

This week the Walt Disney Company celebrates 90 Years.

I love all things Disney and I've been a very big fan for as long as I can remember.

90 years on so much has happened, from the first feature length movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and the first theme park, to the creation of Disney Channel, Disney Cruises, and joining in ABC, The Muppets and Star Wars! Let’s not forget all the classic Disney Movies in between – The Lion King, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Toy Story, Monsters Inc, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Peter Pan, Tangled, Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, the music, the rides, the shows, the stores, the magic!

What a great reason to post some pictures of well-loved Disney characters.

Timeline of the history of Walt Disney Company

October 16, 1923

Walt signed a contract with M. J. Winkler to produce a series of Alice Comedies — this date is considered the start of the Disney company first known as The Disney Brothers Studio.

September 5, 1927

Release of the first Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoon, Trolley Troubles.

 Steamboat Willie

Steamboat Willie

November 18, 1928

Steamboat Willie is released at the Colony Theatre in New York -- this marks the release of the very first Mickey Mouse cartoon, and the first appearance by Minnie Mouse.

January 13, 1930

Mickey Mouse comic strip debuts.

July 30, 1932

Flowers and Trees, first full-color cartoon and first Academy Award winner, is released.

June 9, 1934

The Wise Little Hen, the first appearance of Donald Duck, is released.

February 23, 1935

The Band Concert, the first Mickey Mouse cartoon in color, is released.

 Snow White

Snow White

December 21, 1937

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Disney's first feature-length animated film, premieres at the Carthay Circle Theatre.

December 26, 1939

The Disney Studio begins its move to Burbank, California, from the Hyperion Studio in Los Angeles.

April 2, 1940

Walt Disney Productions issues its first stock.

November 13, 1940

Disney releases one of its highly regarded classics, Fantasia.

October 1, 1949

Walt Disney Music Company is formed.

July 19, 1950

Treasure Island, Disney's first completely live-action feature, is released.

February 5, 1953

Peter Pan, based on characters created by Scottish playwright J.M. Barrie, is released.

October 27, 1954

Emmy Award-winning Disneyland television show airs on ABC, starring Walt Disney.

July 17, 1955

Disneyland, the first Disney park, opened in Anaheim, California, to an invited audience on this day. The first guests were Kristine Vess and her cousin Michael Schwartner, ages 5 and 7.

October 3, 1955

Mickey Mouse Club debuts on television.

June 23, 1963

Enchanted Tiki Room opens at Disneyland, using the first Audio-Animatronics®.

 

 Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins

August 29, 1964

Mary Poppins, the practically perfect tale directed by Robert Stevenson, about a magical English nanny, is released.

December 15, 1966

Walt Disney, the visionary whose pioneering spirit and inimitable creativity made the impossible possible, turning dreams into reality and building the foundation of The Walt Disney Company of today, dies at age 65.

December 25, 1969

The arena show Disney on Parade, in which costumed Disney characters put on lavish dance numbers, debuts in Chicago.

October 1, 1971

Walt Disney World Resort opens with the Magic Kingdom and two hotels near Orlando, Florida.

December 20, 1971

Roy O. Disney, who, with younger brother Walt Disney, co-founded the company that is now known as The Walt Disney Company, passes away.

March 22, 1975

Walt Disney World Village, a large outdoor mall with specialty shops all built by Disney designers, which later became Disney Village Marketplace, opens.

December 3, 1980

Tokyo Disneyland groundbreaking and site dedication takes place in Urayasu, just outside of Tokyo.

October 1, 1982

EPCOT Center, a major undertaking for Disney, costing in the neighborhood of $1 billion, opens at Walt Disney World Resort.

April 15, 1983

Tokyo Disneyland, the first international Disney theme park, opens in Japan.

April 18, 1983

The Disney Channel begins broadcasting with 18 hours of programming a day.

May 25, 1983

Fantasyland, one of the original lands of Disneyland, receives a complete remodel and opens to the public.

September 23, 1984

Michael Eisner and Frank Wells become chairman/CEO and president of Walt Disney Productions.

March 24, 1987

The agreement to build Euro Disneyland, later renamed Disneyland Paris, was signed in France.

March 28, 1987

The first Disney Store opens, in Glendale, California.

May 5, 1987

First Disney Dollars sold at Disneyland.

May 1, 1989

Disney-MGM Studios, later renamed Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Pleasure Island open at Walt Disney World Resort.

May 6, 1991

The Walt Disney Company joins the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

September 26, 1991

Hyperion Books, a Disney publishing company, releases its first book, Amazing Grace.

April 12, 1992

Euro Disneyland, the first Disney theme park in Europe, which was later renamed Disneyland Paris, opens.

April 18, 1994

Beauty and the Beast, the first Disney Broadway show, opens in New York.

June 15, 1994

The Lion King opens to a limited audience in Los Angeles and New York and nationwide on June 24, 1994.

December 5, 1994

Disney Interactive, a division first intended to develop, market, and distribute cartridge games and CD-ROM software, is formed.

May 22, 1995

Disney agrees to purchase 25 percent of the California Angels baseball team from Gene Autry.

July 31, 1995

Disney agrees to purchase Capital Cities/ABC for $19 billion.

September 1, 1995

Disney Online, a division of Disney Interactive created to develop The Walt Disney Company's online presence, is formed.

October 1, 1995

The Disney Channel begins operation in the UK.

January 4, 1996

Shareholders approve the Disney merger with Capital Cities/ABC.

February 9, 1996

Final FCC approval and filing of merger documents completes the Capital Cities/ABC acquisition.

February 22, 1996

Disney Online launches Disney.com.

July 17, 1996

Disney announces plans for Disney California Adventure park in Anaheim.

November 18, 1996

Radio Disney, a live 24-hour music-intensive radio network, debuts.

March 28, 1997

Disney’s Wide World of Sports, a professional-caliber sports complex at Walt Disney Word Resort that was later renamed ESPN Wide World of Sports, opened to the public.

November 13, 1997

The Lion King stage production opens on Broadway.

March 23, 1998

ESPN Magazine debuts.

April 22, 1998

Disney’s Animal Kingdom opens at Walt Disney World Resort.

July 30, 1998

Disney Magic cruise ship departs on its inaugural cruise.

March 31, 1999

Disney completes the purchase of the Anaheim Angels.

August 15, 1999

Disney Wonder sets sail on its maiden voyage.

September 29, 1999

Euro Disney announces plans to build Walt Disney Studios theme park in France.

February 8, 2001

Disney California Adventure park opens at the Disneyland Resort, in Anaheim, California.

September 4, 2001

Tokyo DisneySea opens at Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan.

October 24, 2001

Disney acquires Fox Family Channel and renames it ABC Family.

November 1, 2001

Disney acquires Baby Einstein, a company that creates products that bring the arts and humanities to babies.

December 5, 2001

100th anniversary of Walt Disney’s birth.

March 16, 2002

Walt Disney Studios theme park opens in France next-door to Disneyland Paris.

May 22, 2003

Disney sells the Anaheim Angels.

May 15, 2004

Disney acquires the Muppets properties and Bear in the Big Blue House.

June 15, 2005

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts launches Adventures by Disney.

September 12, 2005

Hong Kong Disneyland opens.

October 1, 2005

Robert A. Iger becomes president and chief executive officer of The Walt Disney Company.

October 12, 2005

Disney is first to license TV episodes, from ABC and Disney Channel series, for download on Apple’s iTunes Music Store.

February 9, 2006

Disney re-acquires Oswald the Lucky Rabbit from Universal.

March 14, 2006

High School Musical becomes the first full-length movie to be sold via digital download, on Apple’s iTunes Music Store, followed by theatrical features in September.

May 2, 2006

During its 50th anniversary celebration, Disneyland welcomes the honorary two-billionth guest to visit a Disney theme park.

May 5, 2006

Disney acquires Pixar Animation Studios.

September 12, 2006

Disney feature films are made available on iTunes.

August 1, 2007

Disney acquires Club Penguin, a virtual world for kids.

February 13, 2009

Disney XD, a new cable network, launches.

March 10, 2009

D23: The Official Disney Fan Club launches.

April 22, 2009

Disneynature label launches with the release of Earth.

December 31, 2009

Marvel Entertainment joins the Disney family.

January 26, 2011

The Disney Dream makes its maiden voyage.

April 7, 2011

The Walt Disney Company officially breaks ground on Shanghai Disney Resort.

August 29, 2011

Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawai‘i, opens to guests.

March 23, 2012

Disney Junior, a 24-hour stand-alone television network, launches in the U.S.

March 31, 2012

The Disney Fantasy makes its maiden voyage.

December 21, 2012

The Walt Disney Company completes its acquisition of Lucasfilm Ltd. LLC – the global entertainment company founded by George Lucas and the home of the legendary Star Wars franchise.

For more than nine decades, the name Walt Disney has been preeminent in the field of family entertainment. From humble beginnings as a cartoon studio in the 1920s to today's global corporation, The Walt Disney Company continues to proudly provide quality entertainment for every member of the family, across America and around the world. To learn more about the history of The Walt Disney Company, click through the timeline below.

When Adele met Fabrizio Petrossi, one of the Disney illustrators

90 years of the Walt Disney Company

Sleep tips: how to get your little one to sleep for longer

By Adele Jennings

A recent study by Pampers reveals 90% of parents lose up to four hours sleep every night in their baby's first year.

As a parent, no matter how old your child is, you never forget the lack of sleep that comes with having a new baby and trying to function while looking and feeling like a zombie!

I have 2 children and to be honest they are both great sleepers but my husband Mark and I, have put the effort in with their bedtime routines.

Our daughter Amber is nine and son Jacob is 2. With both children, me and my husband used to bicker about who had more sleep, we would say things like: 'You've had half an hour longer sleep than I have'.

 Jacob getting a good nights' sleep

Jacob getting a good nights' sleep

Sleep deprivation is one of the worse things to deal with when your child is small (ok, so yes there are others but this is a biggie). We all need sleep, some more than others, but if we don't get enough it affects how you and your family function.

We have quite a strict routine at bedtime and both my husband, who is a house dad, who puts them to bed on 3 of the nights, and as I work full-time, I get to do 4 bedtimes. We both do the routine exactly the same. I really think this is part of the reason why both of them are good sleepers (as I touch the nearest piece of wood).

Our routine is: bath (not every night), get dried and dressed for bed with just a low-light lamp on on our bed in my bedroom, drinking milk while we read a story, snug while singing twinkle twinkle little star, teeth cleaned and bed, then when I leave the room, I always say 'See you in the morning for a cup of tea and some breakfast'. I used to say exactly the same thing when I was little (it came from my Grandad Shaw) and both my children say it. It makes my heart melt every time they say it. My 2 year old son asks me to close his door!

We never treat bed as a punishment. If either of my children misbehave (which is quite often), we never use 'If you don't stop being naughty, you will go to bed'. I want them to enjoy their bed and sleep as much as I do!

Recent research by disposable nappy favourite Pampers reveals 90% of parents lose up to four hours sleep every night in their baby’s first year.

Nine out of ten British parents claim they lose up to 28 hours of sleep every week (totalling 60 days per year) due to their little ones waking up in the night – according to new research launched by Pampers to celebrate new Pampers Baby Dry nappy, now with an extra sleep layer to help babies sleep uninterruptedly for up to 12 hours.

The survey of 2,000 parents in the UK also reveals that one in five cite a wet nappy as the most common reason their baby wakes in the night, followed by hunger (25%) and teething (24%). It’s no wonder the majority of parents (32%) consider their baby sleeping through the night as one of the biggest first year milestones, along with uttering their first word (26%) and their first laugh (22%).

babydry.jpg

For over 50 years, Pampers has been supporting parents with innovative products and information. Through listening to parents, Pampers knows well that parents recognise the quality of their babies’ sleep by their mood and energy level’s when they wake up first thing. New Pampers Baby Dry, with an improved Extra Sleep-Layer absorbs wetness faster than ever before and reactivates quickly to absorb multiple urinations faster over hours of wear.

For a baby, uninterrupted sleep and a good night’s rest means remaining dry and free from nappy leaks, so by keeping the wetness away from the skin, they can wake up ready to seize the day after a dry night of Pampers Golden sleep. 

Wendy Dean, Pampers Village Parenting Panel Sleep Expert, comments:

“All babies wake through the night as part of their natural sleep pattern. Those that sleep well are able to get themselves back to sleep as long as they don’t have a need that mum needs to attend to i.e. are hungry, too hot, too cold, uncomfortable or have a wet nappy. The new Pampers Baby Dry nappy absorbs wetness away from babies’ skin faster than before, so that even if she/he wakes during the process of having a wee, there is no continued discomfort of wet skin. After a few minutes, baby can return back to the Land of Golden Sleep before waking up to a Dream Morning.”

Tips for a good night's sleep by Wendy Dean

1. Spend some quiet quality time with your baby before putting him down to bed. Singing a lullaby or reading a story with bright illustrations will be enjoyable for both. Baby will be ready to sleep through the night and wake prepared for the day ahead.

2. During your baby’s last feed before putting him down to sleep, try splitting his feed in half and changing his nappy in the interval. While the motion of changing his nappy will pep him up a bit so he’s not fully asleep before you put him down, the second half of the feed will soothe him again if the movement of changing his nappy has unsettled him a bit. Plus this will ensure that he has a fresh nappy to sleep in for 12 hours of Golden Sleep, resulting in a great morning of smiles and discoveries.

3. If your baby wakes very early in the morning i.e. before 6:00 am and is not crying, try not to dash straight to him. He may well have a little chat with himself and then surprise you and go back to sleep, but if not leave him for 10 minutes and follow with gentle rocking to return him to the land of golden sleep .

4. As you enter your baby’s room in the morning, gently talk to him. He won’t be able to talk back but it is the fact that you are looking at him and talking to him that he will love and will also give him a pleasant introduction to the day.

5. A morning cuddle is very important and is the perfect way to start the day for both baby and you and should make it a dream morning for both!

To hear more tips from Wendy Dean, check this video out below.

Visit www.pampers.co.uk for advice and tips on parenting. 

CBeebies Justin & Friends live tour: great show for the kids

10 Apr 2013 16:14

If your little one enjoys watching Mr Tumble, Justin's House or Gigglebiz on CBeebies, they'll love the 'Justin & Friends' live tour.           

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My husband Mark and I took our two year old son Jacob to see the show at Wembley Arena and we had a great time.

Justin Fletcher MBE brings to life many of his very funny characters, including Mr Tumble, Nana Knickerbocker, Arthur Sleep (a favourite of mine, maybe because I'm from Yorkshire), Keith fit, Lord Tumble, Grandad Tumble and even Cliff Tumble makes an appearance.

 Waiting to see the show: Mark, Jacob and Amber 

Waiting to see the show: Mark, Jacob and Amber 

Joining Justin are his friends Robert the Robot and Little Monster from Justin's House along with Nina, from Nina and the Neurons, Andy Day, and Katy Ashworth from I Can Cook, all favourite programmes on CBeebies.

The show was a mixture of clever big screen entertainment with live dancing and singing. The Hands Up song is great, see the video below.

I loved watching Jacob's face as all the favourites came on stage. He couldn't keep still, he was singing and dancing, I tried to get some photographs of him but most of them are a blur!

 All a blur: Jacob having fun singing and dancing

All a blur: Jacob having fun singing and dancing

OK, I'm just going to say it...I have a crush on Justin Fletcher, and yes my husband Mark is very well aware of it! I was a bit giddy to see him live. It seems I'm not the only mum with a crush! Mark kept looking at me when I was laughing out loud at the show! What? He makes me laugh! 

 Jacob and Adele having fun at the CBeebies Justin & Friends live tour
Jacob and Adele having fun at the CBeebies Justin & Friends live tour

Tickets are available now and are priced from £13.00 for children, with family tickets from £52.00 (for four people and subject to booking fee). For tickets and the most up to date tour information please visit: www.bbcliveshows.com.

Birmingham LG Arena, Thursday 11 April 1.30pm & 4.30pm

Nottingham Capital FM Arena, Friday 12 April 1.30pm & 4.30pm

Cardiff Motorpoint Arena, Saturday 13 April 1.30pm & 4.30pm, Sunday 14 April 11am & 2pm

www.bbcliveshows.com