Life Skills Programme – Parenting

Please read about the advice and support as well as participate in the activities and quizzes below regarding pregnancy, the early stages after childbirth and general parenting:



Where do these words go into the missing spaces – Sensitively, Appropriately, Universal, Development.


Attachment behaviour in adults towards the child includes responding _________ and ___________ to the child’s needs.

Such behaviour appears _________ across cultures.

Attachment theory provides an explanation of how the parent-child relationship emerges and influences subsequent ___________.



  1. Sensitively
  2. Appropriately
  3. Universal
  4. Development


1) What do you think is meant by ‘sensitive responsiveness’?


This means responding accurately to baby’s signals. This will most likely result in the formation of a strong attachment. This is not dependent upon the amount of time a caregiver spends with the baby.


2) How might you sensitively respond to a baby who is turning away food but trying to bite and suck on other objects?


You can sensitively respond by applying teething gel onto gums for example.


Myths and facts about attachments:


Myth: “Secure attachment and love is the same thing.”


Loving your baby doesn’t automatically result in secure attachment. Secure attachments develop from an ability to manage stress, respond to baby’s cues and successfully sooth your baby.


Myth: “Always responding to their needs makes babies spoiled.”


The more responsive you are to an infant’s needs, the less “spoiled” the baby will be as they get older. Bonding creates trust, and children with secure attachments tend to be more independent, not less.


Myth: “Secure attachment is a one-way process that focuses on accurately reading my baby’s cues.”


Attachment is a two–way, interactive process where your baby reads your cues as you read his or hers.

Baby Safety at Home – Spotting Dangers


Spot the Danger


Can you identify the 5 dangers in each photo? (click to enlarge)

Baby Skin Sensitivities


Identify and label what these common rashes in childhood are from the following:


Eczema, Hives, Baby Acne, Hand foot and mouth, Impetigo, Milia, Nappy Rash, Meningitis



  • Develops when hair follicles in the skin get blocked with excess sebum (oil produced by the skin) and dead skin cells
  • May be caused by hormones received by the baby from the mother
  • Could be a reaction to oily skincare product
  • Consult GP if it doesn’t clear up after 3 months



Baby acne



  • Causes the skin to become itchy, dry, red and cracked.
  • Commonly affects areas where the skin folds: behind knees, elbow creases, neck, around the eyes/ears
  • Long-term condition but normally clears up by the age of 11 in over 50% of cases
  • GP can advise treatment such as creams to sooth the itching






  • Rash that can appear on the hands and feet or ulcers than can appear in the mouth
  • It is common in children under 10 and is very contagious
  • The rash is not itchy and the spots are flat or raised (sometimes with blisters) but are smaller in size than chickenpox sores.
  • Rash will clear up on its own however it can make babies feel generally unwell with symptoms including loss of appetite, fever and sore throat



Hand, foot and mouth



  • A raised, red, itchy rash that appears on the skin
  • Occurs when a trigger causes an allergic reaction such as a certain food or a sting from a nettle, bee or wasp
  • It causes the body to release a protein called histamine which causes tiny blood vessels to leak fluid which collect in the skin and cause a rash
  • The rash normally disappears after a few days, but some cases can last longer






  • A skin infection caused by bacteria, it begins with a rash and blisters that burst leaving thick yellow-brown crusts.
  • Sores tend to develop around the nose and mouth and are not painful but may be itchy.
  • It should clear up without treatment in 2-3 weeks but treatment is advised as it is contagious.






  • An infection caused by bacteria, a virus or a fungus
  • It affects the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord
  • If a child is ill and a purplish or red rash has appeared, push the side of a glass against the skin. If the rash doesn’t disappear they may have septicaemia which can be fatal so this illness should be treated as a medical emergency






  • A common condition caused when a baby’s skin comes into contact with urine and faeces
  • Affects 1/3 of babies and causes skin to become sore, irritated and sometimes red and blotchy
  • If it is mild the rash won’t require medication/treatment.
  • However, if bright red spots appear or the skin becomes swollen and blistered or dry and cracked, see your GP as these symptoms suggest a fungal infection.



Nappy Rash



  • Pearly white cysts that appear just under the skin’s surface usually on the cheeks and eyelids
  • They are caused by the pores becoming blocked with keratin, a protein produced by the skin
  • This affects around half of all newborns and does not need to be treated and often disappears within a few weeks





Cradle Cap


Cradle cap requires no specific treatment and usually clears up on its own after a number of weeks or months. However, gently washing your baby’s hair and scalp with baby shampoo may help prevent a build-up of flakes.

Gently massaging a small amount of baby oil or natural oil into the scalp at night can help to soften and loosen the scales.


1) What two types of natural oil does the NHS recommend to treat cradle cap?


Almond or olive oil


2) In the morning use a soft baby brush or cloth to gently remove any loose particles and then wash the hair with a baby shampoo. Why is it important not to pick at the scales?


Could cause infection




The following remedies may soothe your child’s eczema:

Apply an unperfumed emollient to the skin several times a day (for example, when you feed your baby or change their nappy). This will stop their skin getting dry.

1) What is the best way to apply a soothing cream?


Downward strokes


2) To avoid making a child’s eczema worse, their bedroom should be kept hot or cool?




The faeces of the house dust mite can sometimes cause an allergic reaction and make eczema worse. Dust mites collect on soft toys, so limit these to one or two favourites.

3) At what temperature should soft toys and bed linen be washed at to kill dust mites?


60 degrees


Some fabrics can irritate the skin. Try to avoid wool and nylon.

4) Which fabric does the NHS recommend instead?




Nappy Rash


Most babies get nappy rash at some time in the first 18 months.

1) What are some of the causes of nappy rash?


Unchanged nappy, sensitive skin, rubbing, soaps, baby wipes


There may be red patches on your baby’s bottom, or the whole area may be red. The skin may look sore and feel hot to touch, and there may be spots, pimples or blisters.

If your baby gets nappy rash you can treat it with a nappy rash cream. Ask your health visitor or pharmacist to recommend one. 

2) If the rash doesn’t go away or your baby develops a persistent bright red, moist rash with white or red pimples, which spreads to the folds of the skin, what infection might they have?


Thrust infection


What is an Emollient?


Emollients are moisturising treatments applied directly to the skin to reduce water loss and cover it with a protective film. They are often used to help manage dry or scaly skin conditions such as eczema.

1) How do Emollients work?


Helping the skin to retain water, moisturising, ease itching, reduce scaling and soften cracks.

Birth to One Talking


Development Timeline


This is a guide to the milestones in your child’s development from birth to 12 months. Use it to see when your child may gain certain skills and learn new things. The ages given are averages and a lot of children will gain one skill earlier than another.

1-4 Weeks:

  • Baby loves looking at faces.

By two weeks most babies begin to recognise their parents.

  • Baby startled by sudden noises.

You can soothe your child learn by holding them close, making eye contact and talking to them. They’ll look back at you and begin to understand how conversations work.

4-6 Weeks:

  • Baby starts to smile.

You can encourage development by making faces and noises, and talking about what’s going on around you.

  • Baby lifts their head.

Babies will try to lift their head while lying on their front, almost like they’re doing a mini press-up. They’ll start to wriggle and kick, and it’s not long before they can roll over, back to front or front to back. This means they can roll off beds or changing tables, so take care not to leave them on their own.


6-8 Weeks:

  • Vaccinations and full health check.

Your baby will be given a number of tests and a full health review. After the injection your baby may be upset for up to 48 hours. They may have a mild fever and a small lump where they had the injection.

3-5 Months:

  • Reaches out for objects.

In order to grow and develop, children need time and attention from someone who’s happy to play with them. You don’t need expensive toys to help children learn. You can teach them through playing, singing, reading and talking.

4 Months:

  • Vaccinations due.

Scheduled vaccinations are a good time to talk about any concerns you have about your child’s health. You can also contact your health visitor or go to the local child health clinic at any time.

5 Months:

  • Baby can hold objects.

By five months babies can lift and hold objects, but are unable to let go of them. They will often put things in their mouth to explore the taste and texture. They’ll enjoy shaking things that make a noise, so rattles are great.

6 Months:

  • Hand to hand co-ordination.

Find toys that they can pick up and move around, as that will help them improve their co-ordination. Singing with your baby is ideal stimulation because it involves language and music. Music without words can be good for young minds at this time too.

  • Baby starts to eat solids.

Before this, your baby’s digestive system is still developing, and weaning too early can increase the risk of infections and allergies. Weaning your baby with healthy foods such as fruit, vegetables and yoghurt will increase the chance of them being healthy in the future.

6-8 Months:

  • Baby can sit without support.

If your baby is not able to sit unsupported by nine months, talk to your health visitor or GP. It’s a good time to remove cot bumpers as your baby may use them to pull themselves up and could fall out of the cot.

6-9 Months:

  • Teething starts.

Most babies get their first milk tooth at around six months, usually in the front of their mouth at the bottom. Give your baby something hard to chew on, such as a teething ring, a crust of bread, or a peeled carrot. For babies over 4 months, rub sugar-free teething gel on their gums or give them sugar-free baby paracetamol or ibuprofen.

  • Baby can pull him/herself upright.

At this stage of development children will start to pull themselves up and can stand while holding on to furniture. Before you know it your toddler will be eager to discover new things and trying to climb.

7 Months:

  • Responds to your voice.

The more you chatter with them, the better their vocabulary and communication skills will become. Babies under 12 months pick up the tone and warmth of the voice and listen to the tune of your conversation.

10-18 Months:

  • Walks alone.

Encourage your child to walk with you (using reins for safety) as soon as he or she is able. It might slow you down, but it’s a great way for you both to get some exercise. If your child is not walking by 18 months talk to your health visitor or GP.



1 – When should you start talking to babies?

A. From the moment they are born
B. After six weeks
C. When they smile at you


A – From the moment they are born.

They will recognise the mother’s voice – and probably the father’s – from inside the womb. In fact, the really truthful answer is to sing and speak to the baby before birth: talk to your bump! Following birth, you should be sure to make eye contact and smile!


2 – When does the majority of brain development occur?

A. In the first four weeks
B. From birth to age two
C. When they start school


B – From birth to age two.

It’s estimated that we are born with 20% of our brain capacity, but before our third birthday it is up to 80%.


3 – When do babies start to communicate?

A. Before they start talking
B. After they start talking
C. As soon as they’ve said their first word


A – Before they start talking.

Communication is more than just words: it is also gesture, eye contact, body language, touch, music, smiles. Babies can understand long before they can talk.


4 – If a young child says something incorrectly, you should:

A. Nod in agreement
B. Say it back the right way
C. Write down the correct word


B – Say it back the right way.

Say it back the right way, and extend it. He points and says ‘ay aw’ and you say ‘yes, it’s your ball, isn’t it? Your lovely big green ball’.


5 – Is it ok for young children to watch television?

a) Never
b) As often as they like
c) For limited periods


C – For limited periods.

Yes, but watch television with her so that you can talk about it: Nobody learns words by passively watching TV, so limit the time the television is on and use the time to play.


6 – Why is responding to babies good for them?

A.  It motivates them to keep talking
B. It is good manners
C. It develops their listening


A, B and C.

It is all these things: by responding you are showing respect for what they are trying to say and encouraging them to stay engaged with you whilst you carry on your conversation.

Car Seat Safety


Most accidents happen near home. The car crashes you hear about on the evening news tend to be gory high-speed wrecks on busy motorways. However, most accidents involving kids actually occur on local, residential roads during a routine trip to the nursery/daycare centre, the supermarket, or the park. That’s why it’s critical to take all the same precautions for a short drive that you’d take for a three-hour ride to Grandma’s.

Kids are more at risk than babies and toddlers. Children between ages 4 and 8 are more likely to be injured in a car than kids under 4. That may be because parents tend to slack off about safety as their children get older. Most mums and dads know to strap infants into a rear-facing car seat, for instance; but only 20 percent of kids between 4 and 8 ride in booster seats, as safety experts recommend. Children are safest in the backseat, where they’re farthest away from the impact point of a frontal crash, and where any surfaces they might bump into (the back of the front seats, for example) are likely to be softer than the dashboard.




1 – Infant car seats are usually suitable for infants up to what weight?

A. 10 pounds
B. 20 pounds
C. 30 pounds


Car seats are suitable for infants up to 20 pounds.


2 – What objects should not be given to a baby to play with while riding?

A. Sharp objects
B. Heavy objects
C. Long pointed objects
D. All of the above


All of the above – None of the items should be given to a baby during a car ride.


3 – If buying a used car safety seat, you should be sure that it was manufactured after what date?

A. January 1, 1981
B. July 1, 1981
C. January 1, 1984


January 1st 1981.


4 – In case of recall notices, the seat should be registered with who?

A. Doctor
B. The manufacturer
C. No one


The manufacturer.


5 – Infants should ride facing the back of the vehicle until they are at least what weight and how many months old?

A. 30 lbs., 24 months
B. 20 lbs., 12 months
C. 15 lbs., 6 months


20 lbs, 12 months.


6 – How is an infant seat secured into the car?


With a seatbelt.

Changing a Nappy


What should you do at each stage?



Before you change a nappy, make sure you have everything you need within arm’s reach of the change area. This includes: a fresh nappy, baby wipes and baby cream.







Lie baby down on the change table. If she grizzles, sing her a song or give her a favourite toy to keep her entertained.







Undress baby’s bottom half and unfasten the nappy. Use the front of the nappy to wipe off any poo, then fold the nappy into a tight bundle before putting it in a plastic bag.







Gently cleanse baby’s bottom using baby wipes. Make sure you get into the crevices but avoid separating a baby girl’s labia to ‘clean inside’. Likewise, a boy’s foreskin should never be pushed back.







To wipe the back of baby’s bottom, hold her by the legs with your fingers between her ankles and gently lift so her bottom comes slightly off the change table. Wiping girls front to back will help avoid vaginal infections.







Apply a dollop of baby cream to prevent against nappy rash.







Open a clean nappy, making sure the fastening tabs are towards the top. Lift baby up by the ankles and slip the nappy beneath her bottom. Fold the front flap up, tuck it firmly around baby’s waist and secure each tab.







Once you’ve dressed baby, secure her in a bouncer or cot and dispose of the nappy. Wash your hands before touching baby’s hands or face.


Bottle feeding baby tips


If you have decided to bottle feed your baby, you may be confused about where to start and how to ensure your baby receives all the nutrients he or she needs.

This section explains the basics of bottle feeding and links out to other useful info to help make feeding a safe and stress-free experience for you and your baby.


How often should I feed my baby?


Experts suggest that you let your baby choose his own routine when bottle feeding, how often and how much. As a general guideline between birth and six months your baby will need an average of 2 to 2.5 ounces of formula per pound per day. So, if your baby weighs ten pounds, she will need 20 to 25 ounces per day. In metric measurements this is equivalent to between 150-200ml of formula per kilogram of his body weight per day

Small amounts often work best as your baby’s stomach is only small. Giving large amounts of milk in one feed will not necessarily help your baby to go longer between feeds. Instead they may be sick or put on too much weight – so don’t worry if they don’t want to finish the bottle.


There is so much choice, which formula is best for my baby?


There isn’t going to be that much that differs between the varying kinds of formula. The majority of formula milks are made from cow’s milk and manufacturers try to get them to resemble breastmilk as close as possible. They will all contain fat, protein, carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals. It could be a choice made by your baby depending on his tastes or for health reasons you may be advised by your GP to try a different formula. Find out more about choosing formula milk.

Formula now comes in different forms; powder, which you make up with water or ready-made cartons, which are useful if you are going out.

Do note that there is no evidence that changing from a ‘first’ milk to any other type of formula is necessary or beneficial – at any point, unless for medical reasons.


How do I help my baby to feed from a bottle?


  • Always hold your baby close to you and look into his eyes when feeding. This helps your baby feel safe and loved.
  • Try to hold your baby fairly upright, with his head supported in a comfortable, neutral position.
  • Hold the bottle horizontal to the ground, tilting it just enough to ensure your baby is taking milk, not air, through the teat. Babies feed in bursts of sucking with short pauses to rest. In this position, when your baby pauses for a rest the milk will stop flowing, allowing him to have a short rest before starting to suck again.
  • Brush the teat against his lips and when he opens his mouth wide with his tongue down, help him draw the teat in.
  • You will see bubbles in the bottle as your baby feeds. If you can’t see any bubbles, break the suction between his tongue and the teat from time to time by moving the teat slightly to the side of his mouth. You should then see bubbles rushing back up into the remaining milk.
  • Your baby may need short breaks during the feed; he may also need to burp sometimes.
  • Interrupting the feed from time to time also gives your baby a chance to register how ‘full’ he is, and thus control his intake. Your baby needs to be able to relate to those caring for him. Aim to keep the number of people who feed him as small as possible. Your baby should always be held and never be left unattended while feeding from a bottle.


How can I bond with my baby when bottle feeding?


Bonding with your baby is not unique to breastfeeding mums, formula babies have just as much of a relationship to build upon and you can enhance this by creating a relaxing and loving environment for your baby to feed in. Make sure you are cradling your baby as touch is very important, as is eye to eye contact for establishing and constantly renewing the bond between you and your baby. Don’t let anyone criticize your choice, be respectful of their choice and hope that they will respect yours.


How will my baby’s bottle feeding change as they grow?


  • During the first week, your baby will only be able to manage small amounts – try offering between 30ml and 60ml at each feed.
  • At about one month old, your baby may want between 90ml and 120ml at each feed. They may drink between 400-800ml per day. They may want more milk at some feeds than others – they may drink their milk quickly and they will soon let you know if they want more!
  • Between two and six months, your baby may take between 120ml and 180ml at a feed. They may drink anything from 700ml to over a litre a day.
  • At about six months, they may want between 180ml and 220ml at a feed. Their total formula intake may be about 900ml a day.
  • It is normal for a baby’s feeding and sleeping patterns to alter as they grow and develop. This does not mean that they need to change milk. Nor does it mean that they need to start solid food before your baby is six months old.


How much milk does my baby need when she starts solid food?


  • When you start giving your baby solids, the daily intake of formula milk is likely to gradually decrease to about 720ml.
  • Once your baby is fully established on solids, your baby will need about 500ml to 600ml of formula every day alongside a varied diet. If your baby doesn’t want this amount of milk, you can always give them milky foods such as custard, rice pudding and yoghurt, or cheesy sauces.
  • After your baby turns one year old, they can move from drinking formula to full-fat cow’s milk and will need approximately 400ml of milk per day.


Does my baby need water?


Your baby may occasionally need extra water, especially if the weather is hot and she’s thirstier than usual. However, only give small amounts of water at a time. You don’t want water to replace a feed and make your baby too full for her milk. If your baby is younger than six months, boil the water first and allow it to cool before offering it to her. Tap water is fine to use as it’s cheap, safe, and there’s plenty of it. You will need to offer your baby water if she becomes constipated. Extra fluids can help to soften her poo if she hasn’t been getting enough liquids.

Check that you’ve been measuring out and mixing up her formula correctly. Formula with too much powder in it can cause constipation. Your baby will also need extra water if she’s ill or feverish, as water alongside her usual milk will help to re-hydrate her properly. You may have seen many types of flavoured or plain waters in the shops, which are marketed solely for babies and toddlers. These can be expensive and are not necessary for your baby.


Does my baby need vitamins?


Vitamin supplements are recommended for:


  • Babies and children from 6 months up to 5 years old
  • Babies who are having less than 500ml (one pint) of infant formula a day might benefit from them earlier than 6 months.


Vitamin D can be particularly difficult to get from diet alone hence the recommendation of supplements. Exclusively breastfed babies may be at risk of vitamin D deficiency if their mother did not take this vitamin supplement during pregnancy and may benefit from taking it from one month – ask your midwife or health visitor for advice.


When should I move from a bottle to a cup?


It is a good idea to aim to wean your baby off the bottle after 12 months, and it’s a good idea to encourage your baby to drink from a cup when they start on solid food.


If I am going out for the day or travelling how can I store my baby’s feeds safely?


Transporting formula milk can cause harmful bacteria to grow so it’s important to prepare and store your baby’s feeds carefully by following guidelines from the Department of Health and Food Standards Agency.


If I am travelling abroad can I use local formula milk?


Formula milks are available in most countries, but some countries do not have the same recommendations about safety and formula milk, or nutritional recommendations, so it may be a good idea to bring your formula with you unless you know that you can get more easily. When travelling abroad where tap water is unsafe, or if labels may not state a bottled water is safe for infant feeding (or where the language is not understood) a bottled water with a sodium content less than 20mg of Sodium (Na) per 100ml should be used. Bottled water should be boiled and cooled to no less than 70°C before use as with ordinary tap water.

Make Your Home Healthier: 10 ways to make your house safe


Every year, millions of kids are injured or exposed to toxins right under their own roof. Learn the top ways to keep your family safe.

Your home should be a haven: the one place where your children will be protected from harm. Young children can spend up to 90% of their time indoors, so a healthy home environment is critical and yet many hazards aren’t obvious. Experts say that these are the most important preventive steps to take.


Guard Against Scalding


You probably know that your young child could drown in the bathtub, but she’s just as likely to get seriously burned.

“Hot water can burn skin just like fire,” says Meri-K Appy, president of the Home Safety Council. A baby or toddler who is exposed to 140 degrees F water can be scalded in less than five seconds, so make sure your hot-water heater is set to 120 degrees F, and always test the water temperature yourself before placing your child in the tub.


Watch Out for Windows


Every year, more than 4,000 kids end up in the emergency room after tumbling out of a window. It’s crucial to install window guards (rows of bars no more than four inches apart that screw securely into the sides of window frames but can be released quickly by an adult in case of fire) or window stops (which prevent windows from opening more than four inches) on all upper-level windows.

Babies and toddlers can be strangled by cords on blinds and shades, so place cribs and other furniture away from windows. It’s best to use cordless window coverings in kids’ bedrooms, but if you can’t replace existing ones, visit to request free retrofit kits that make corded blinds and shades safer.


Foil Other Falls


They are the leading cause of unintentional injury for kids ages 14 and under, but your child’s risk of being hurt in a fall – down stairs or off furniture, for example – multiplies once she’s mobile. “Toddlers are still mastering the whole walking thing, and they lose their balance a lot,” says Debra Smiley Holtzman, author of The Safe Baby.

Install wall-mounted baby gates at both the top and bottom of stairs, and cushion corners and edges of tables and fireplace hearths with padding to protect your child from banging her head on them if she topples over.


Renovate Carefully


If your home was built before 1978, there’s probably lead in the paint under the top coats on your walls and windows, as well as in old floor varnish. When lead dust gets stirred up during a renovation (or when paint starts to chip), the toxic particles put your child at risk of developmental and learning problems – so it’s important to hire a contractor who’s certified in safely removing leaded materials. Visit Allium’s website for more information.

You may not think that drinking water with very small amounts of lead could cause any issues. However, if you continue drinking the same water over time, it will build up in your body and become harmful. Pregnant women and young children are particularly at risk of the effects of lead.

If you’re not sure or are concerned, call Anglia Water’s Lead Advice Line on 0345 070 3445 to book a free lead test.


Be Prepared for Fire


Kids ages 5 and younger are twice as likely to die in a residential fire as older children or adults because it’s harder for them to escape on their own. It’s critical to have a smoke alarm on every floor including the basement as well as outside and inside every bedroom. Remember to test them monthly.

You should also have one multipurpose fire extinguisher for every 600 square feet of living space. When using an extinguisher, remember PASS: Pull the pin. Aim at the base of the fire. Squeeze or press the handle. Sweep from side to side at the base of the fire until it goes out.


Monitor Carbon Monoxide


Low to moderate levels of this colourless and odourless gas can cause symptoms similar to the flu (without fever). But as levels increase, the toxic effects of carbon monoxide (CO) can be deadly, especially for children, because the gas prevents oxygen from getting to the heart and brain. “If you don’t have carbon-monoxide alarms outside bedrooms and other sleeping areas, you may not know your families being poisoned until its too late,” warns Blackburn.

Carbon monoxide is produced by the incomplete burning of fuels, including coal, wood, charcoal, oil, kerosene, propane, and natural gas. The most important way to prevent carbon-monoxide poisoning is to make sure that all your fuel-burning appliances are working properly, says Blackburn. Have your heating system (and chimney and flues) inspected each year.


Ban Bugs Safely


Mice, cockroaches, ants, and other pests are annoying, but they’re usually not nearly as big a health threat as the toxins that get rid of them. “Pesticides contaminate the air your child breathes and the floor she plays on and increase her risk of developing neurological problems and cancer,” says Parents advisor Philip Landrigan, M.D., director of Mount Sinai School of Medicine’s Children’s Environmental Health Center, in New York City.

Instead, he suggests sealing off crevices in your floors and walls, weather-stripping doors and windows, and keeping your kitchen clean and free of food particles. If you must use pesticides, buy the smallest amount needed, and choose gels or baits instead of sprays.


Avoid Allergens and Irritants


Pound for pound, children breathe more air than adults do, so they’re especially vulnerable to the effects of indoor environmental pollutants.

Never let anyone smoke in your house; keep humidity levels at a minimum by using exhaust fans in the kitchen and bathrooms and a dehumidifier in your basement to prevent mould growth; remove any water-damaged carpet and furniture promptly; open doors and windows when cleaning, painting, or laying new carpet; and change furnace filters as recommended.




1) Above what temperature will water scald a child?


A baby or toddler who is exposed to 140 degrees F water can be scalded in less than five seconds


2) What should you always do before you give your child a bath?


You should always test the water temperature yourself before placing your child in the tub.


3) How many kids a year injury themselves from falling out of windows?


Every year, more than 4,000 kids end up in hospital after falling out of a window.


4) What can you do to prevent this?


It’s important to install window guards or window stops on all upper-level windows. Also, place cribs and other furniture away from windows.


5) What should you install on your stairs to help prevent any falls?


Install wall-mounted baby gates at both the top and bottom of stairs.


6) What areas of your home should you pad or cushion?


Ensure corners and edges of tables and fireplace hearths are cushioned with padding to protect your child from banging their head/hurting themselves.


7) What should you do if you’re renovating and you worry about being exposed to lead in the original paint?


When lead dust gets stirred up during a renovation (or when paint starts to chip), the toxic particles put your child at risk of developmental and learning problems. Visit Allium’s website for more information about getting your home tested.


8) What number can you call to find out about if your water has lead in?


If you’re not sure or are concerned, call Anglia Water’s Lead Advice Line on 0345 070 3445 to book a free lead test.


9) What should you have installed in every room in case of fire?


It’s critical to have a smoke alarm on every floor including the basement (if you have one) as well as outside and inside every bedroom. Remember to also test them on a monthly basis.


10) What does PASS stand for?


PASS stands for:

  • Pull the pin
  • Aim at the base of the fire
  • Squeeze or press the handle
  • Sweep from side to side at the base of the fire until it goes out.


11) How can you detect Carbon Monoxide poisoning?


Ensure you have carbon-monoxide alarms outside bedrooms and other sleeping areas.


12) How can you prevent Carbon Monoxide poisoning?


Make sure that all your fuel-burning appliances are working properly and have your heating system (and chimney and flues) inspected every year.


13) How can you prevent pests apart from using pesticides?


Seal off crevices in your floors and walls, weather-stripping doors and windows, and keep your kitchen clean and free of food particles.


14) How can pesticides contaminate your child?


Pesticides contaminate the air your child breathes and the floor they play on.


15) When should you open doors and windows in your home?


Open your doors and windows when you’re cleaning, painting or laying new carpet.


16) What should you never do in your home when you have a child?


Don’t let anyone smoke whilst in the house and remove any water-damaged carpet and furniture promptly.


Breastfeeding positions


Successful breastfeeding relies on finding a position that works for you and your baby.

Here we show you some pictures and details of the more popular and comfortable positions, and we have also included some great breastfeeding video animations that show you how they work in practice.

There are various breastfeeding positions you can try and if one position proves tricky and you’re experiencing breastfeeding problems, don’t give up – you might simply need to try another method, have a look at our breastfeeding pictures and videos to see which one suits you and your baby. Sometimes you or your baby may have a preference for feeding from a particular side.

Just before feeding, it’s important that your body feels supported and comfortable when breastfeeding so find the best position that prevents you from straining any muscles, in particular those in your back. You may be more comfy in a chair, sofa or in bed. Pillows, cushions, V-Shape pillows etc. can help you to find the best position for you to feed baby. Some mums find that they need to use a stool or low table to help support their legs.

Below we outline the main breastfeeding positions to try:


Cradle Position

This is a popular position that works for lots of mums. Some mums feel that this position works best if they have delivered vaginally. Occasionally, mums may find that this position is difficult when helping baby move their mouth towards your nipple.

Place your baby’s head in the crook of your arm and ensure her arm is tucked under her body. Your baby should be facing you, your tummies turned to each other. Take your right breast in your left hand or vice versa.

Draw your baby to the breast and ensure she takes the whole nipple and most of the areola into her mouth. To check your positioning is correct make sure baby’s ear, shoulder and hips are in a straight line.


Cross Cradle Position

A slight variation on the cradle-hold position and this position may work well for babies who have difficulty latching on or babies that are small. This position requires a pillow. Place the pillow on your lap and ensure your baby is resting at nipple level. Make sure your elbows are supported. Cup your breast in a ‘U’ shape – if you’re feeding from the left side, use the left hand and vice versa. Support your baby with the fingers of the hand – place your hand behind your baby’s ears and neck, with your thumb and index finger behind each ear. This cradles your baby’s neck and keeps his head secure while you feed.

The palm of your hand should be placed between your baby’s shoulder blades. Draw your baby towards the nipple. When your baby has opened his mouth wide, gently push him towards the breast using the hand that is placed between the shoulder blades.


Side-lying Position

If you prefer to lie down for breastfeeding or are looking for a restful position for night-time breast feeding, you could try a side lying position. This position is particularly good for mums who have had a c-section delivery. Lie facing your baby, using pillows to support your back or between your knees. You can also use a pillow behind baby’s neck to keep him in a secure position facing you. Cradle your baby in your arm, with his back along your forearm. Ensure your baby’s ear, shoulder and hip are in line to ensure your baby gets their milk easily.

It’s important to exercise caution when feeding your baby in this position, particularly at night-time. Don’t lie underneath your duvet when feeding to avoid the possibility of falling asleep and possible suffocation. Furthermore, do not feed in this position on a sofa where your baby could roll between a cushion and suffocate if you fall asleep.


Clutch or Football Position

This is a useful position for mothers recovering from a c-section as it keeps the baby well away from your cut. It’s a position many babies find comfortable, so you might like to give this one a try if other positions aren’t working for you. Place a pillow underneath your baby and support baby’s head in your hand, facing upwards and towards you.

Nestle your baby’s side closely to your side so they are well secured and comfortable, with their feet tucked under your arm.

Bring baby towards your breast gently and place them on the nipple.


Laid-back Position

Laid-back breastfeeding, or Biological Nurturing, encourages closeness between you and your baby. Baby is laid ”tummy to mummy” and encourages baby to find their way to your breast. This position promotes you and your baby’s natural breastfeeding instincts.

Start by getting yourself comfortable, and leaning back into pillows, cushions etc. In this laid back position, gravity will help to hold baby in place. You may want to cover baby with a blanket to keep him warm. With your back, head and shoulders supported lie baby ”tummy to mummy”, with his cheek resting on your naked breasts. Some mums place their arm behind baby. You may need to help by guiding him towards your nipple. Baby will probably do lots of head bobbing which is helping him to move to where he needs to be. Once baby is latched on, relax and enjoy this close feeling.

13 ways to diffuse toddler tantrums


As a parent tantrums can be pretty tough to deal with. Especially in public when you feel all eyes are on you and your child. Here are some top tips for dealing with toddler tantrums.



1. Explaining can help


It’s tough being a toddler. You can’t always fully understand or explain your emotions and it’s also pretty tough to control them if things don’t go your way. Try letting your child know that you understand why they are cross. “I know you can put your shoes on by yourself but the straps are so fiddly. Do you want me to help?”… “I know you’re having such fun and feel sad because you don’t want to go but we can come back again tomorrow. I know! Why don’t we stop at the shops on the way home and buy some strawberries?… ”


2. Be aware of common tantrum triggers


It’s no surprise that toddlers are more likely to get cross if they are tired or hungry. Let’s face it – we are not at our best when we get that way too! Of course, we can’t always arrange supermarket visits or other necessary tasks around our children’s routines, but it’s helpful to pick your times wisely if you want to avoid public melt-downs!


3. Toddlers have bad days too


Grown-ups often talk about having a bad day – those days where, for whatever reason, we feel irritable and nothing seems to be right. Well, when your toddler is in the midst of a tantrum it’s worth remembering that they might just be having a bad day, too. “Adults are allowed bad days so why not children?”. Accepting this makes you feel less frustrated when they have one of those days.


4. Try reward charts


If tantrums are becoming a frequent occurrence, you could consider trying a reward system. Rewarding good behaviour can really help to turn bad behaviour around. Focusing on the positive can help both you and your child.


5. Give your child space


Some children just need to get their anger out before you step in to comfort them. Think about when you’re in a tizz – you often need a bit of space to calm down and until you get it it’s hard to listen to any reason. It’s the same for little ones. Give them space and time to let it all out. Try to stand back and stay calm and then once their rage subsides you can give them a big cuddle and talk to them about why they felt so cross.


6. Keep calm


There’s nothing like having to manage a very public melt-down to test the will of even the most calm parent. Getting a judgemental look from another shopper in the supermarket isn’t helpful, but try not to worry what others are thinking. Remember you know your child best and know how to handle their tantrums better than anyone else. Try to stay as calm as you can.


7. Use reason, not punishment


It’s tough when your child has a tantrum – especially if you’re knackered and more so if they kick off in public. But it’s important not to dwell on the tantrum after it has passed. You can, of course, calmly remind your child of what you expected from them (for example – you could say “Mummy told you off because you hit your brother and you know hitting is wrong”). But then try and draw a line under the event and get the day back onto a more positive track.


8. Comfort and cuddles


It’s hard to not be stressed and even annoyed when your child has a tantrum. But after everything has calmed down try to move on. Your child needs lots of cuddles and comforting in the aftermath of a tantrum, or perhaps before you suspect one is coming on. When they have calmed down then forget what has happened, give a big hug and then go and do something lovely together.


9. Ignoring works for some, but not others


The strategy of ignoring a tantrum is relatively controversial. Some parents believe ignoring your child doesn’t teach them that this behaviour is wrong, but gives them a sense that you don’t care about their needs. For others, however, ignoring a tantrum is a strategy that works well, helping to teach a child that bad behaviour is not a way to get attention. You know your toddler best and you’ll soon work out when to ignore the tantrum and when to step in.


10. Be patient – this phase will pass!


On those days when it seems you’ll never come out the ‘other side’, take a deep breath and remember that all children grow out of tantrums eventually – and like many things to do with being a parent, a dose of patience is what’s required! It’s important to remember this phase is a normal, healthy part of their development. ‘This is just a phase’. Keep that as your mantra!


11. A sprinkle of mesmerising glitter


Make a glitter calming bottle and when your child is having a tantrum shake it and ask them to sit and watch the glitter swirling until it all settles. There’s something about watching the glitter that is mesmerising and mums swear these really work.


12. Give notice when it is time to leave


Often a tantrum can occur when it is time to leave the park/soft play/ a friend’s house. Your little one is having so much fun and it is not surprising they don’t want to stop. Try giving warning when it is close to the time you have to leave. Tell your child they have five more minutes or three more goes on the slide. Then cheer them on their way with the promise of a snack or the next lovely thing that you will both do.


13. Try distraction


When you sense that your toddler is about to launch into a tantrum try using distraction to stop it in its tracks. It doesn’t always work but it can be a useful strategy to try. In an exaggerated voice point out something amusing/unusual you have spotted in the distance. Or suddenly find a toy in your handbag and ask if they can hold it. Or suddenly exclaim that you remembered you bought some plasticine and suggest you both go and play with it…