Monthly Archives: April 2018

6 Annoying Things Strangers Say To New Parents

6 Annoying Things Strangers Say To New Parents

I didn’t notice with my first baby (possibly because I was wading through the treacle that is ‘That New Mum Feeling’) just how many ridiculous and annoying comments are made by total strangers to new parents.

When my son arrived, however, I was better versed in the language of parenting and more aware of what was going on in the world around me.

Again and again I was asked the same annoying questions and subject to frustrating comments. Let me take a moment to acknowledge that I know the strangers involved were well-meaning and simply excited to see a baby.  Intentions aside, it still becomes exasperating after a while, whether you’re a new parent or a veteran.

Yesterday we received the happy news that Kate Middleton gave birth to her third baby with Prince William. She may be a Duchess, but I bet she’s heard some or all of these:

Is he a good baby?

This has to be up there as the most irritating question I was asked when out and about with my son.

How I responded: ‘Yes, he is.’

How I wanted to respond: ‘No, actually he is not a good baby. In his two short weeks of life, he’s already been done for armed robbery and drug smuggling. Yesterday, I found out he was involved in a plot to defraud a bank. He has a criminal record as long as my arm!’

Of course he’s a good baby! Seriously, can a baby ever be bad?

Do you want more?      

At the end of a difficult and stressful pregnancy and days after having my stomach sliced open, people were asking me if I wanted to go through it all again.

How I responded: ‘Oh I don’t know yet.’

How I wanted to respond:  ‘More what? Chocolate buttons? Pelvic floor muscles? Oh you mean babies! Just give me a while to get used to this one will you?!’

Do you feed him yourself?

I knew exactly which road this question was heading down. I wasn’t prepared to get into a discussion about how I fed my son with total strangers.

How I responded: ‘Yup’.

How I wanted to respond: ‘Nah, I get someone else to do it’.

Does he sleep through the night yet?

This question is especially irksome when followed up with a comment about how little Jimmy slept through the night at two weeks old.

Inhale. Count to three. Deep exhale.

How I responded: ‘No, not yet!’

How I wanted to respond: ‘He’s three weeks old, I’ve just inhaled an extra-large mug of coffee, tried to put the kettle back in the fridge and the skin under my eyes is so purple it’s almost black. What do you think?’

You don’t want to spoil him

When I think of a spoilt child, Verrucca Salt from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory immediately springs to mind. Let’s remember we’re talking about a baby here. A baby. He’s not manipulating me, he’s crying because he needs something.

How I responded: ‘Thanks. I’ll try.’

How I wanted to respond: ‘Oh, so that’s why he cries when he’s hungry, tired, hot or cold? Because he’s spoilt! Thank you for that epiphany!’

Is your husband at home with his feet up?

On occasion, I was asked this at the weekend when out and about with my kids. I hate the stereotyping and belittling of dads as being useless at and uninterested in caring for their children. This question falls neatly into that category.

How I responded: ‘No, he’s at work.’

How I wanted to respond: ‘Your question is loaded with assumptions. You’re assuming that I have a partner, he’s male and we’re married. While these assumptions are actually true in my case, your deduction that he’s at home doing nothing is not. Not everybody works Monday to Friday from 9 until 5. It’s called shift work.’


Of course I just had to humour people because they didn’t mean to be irritating. Knowing they meant well helped me to hold my tongue – I would never want to upset a well-meaning stranger.

Parenting seems to be an awfully public business and questions and comments from total strangers is something all parents, including duchesses, eventually become accustomed to.

Aimee Foster is a mum, freelance writer and social media manager, bookworm and sea lover. Find more of her ramblings over on her blog, New Forest Mum.

8 Creative Ways To Announce Your Pregnancy

8 Creative Ways To Announce Your Pregnancy

In today’s digital world, pregnancy announcements on social media are the norm. Posting on your favourite social network is a quick and effective way to let everybody know your exciting news.

We took to Instagram to find some uniquely creative pregnancy announcemnts and weren’t disappointed with what we found. The pregnancy announcements below are easy to recreate and are sure to be a big hit with friends and family!

1. Balloons

US blogger, Jessica Roberts used gold number balloons to announce her latest pregnancy. Lining up her adorable children and numbering each one with the seventh balloon on her bump was an original and incredibly cute way to share her big news.



2. Loading Sign

Bump art doesn’t have to be complicated. A simple ‘loading’ image is an exciting way to unveil your pregnancy to friends and family!

3. Shoes

In this case it was an adorable pair of tiny Converse, but you could use any kind of shoe to recreate this beautiful pregnancy announcement.

4. Pets

Not wanting to leave your furry friends out of the excitement, why not include them in your pregnancy announcement?

We’ve been keeping a secret for the past couple of weeks! #pregnancyannouncement

A post shared by Sarah Pierce (@sarah_pierce14) on

5. Siblings

How about using a picture of your children’s first ever conversation?!

6. A Slogan Tee

Slogan tees are all the rage these days and you can find many different ways to tell the world you’re pregnant without having to say a word!

7. Cake

If you know someone who can make a cake like this one or you can make it yourself, this would be a very tasty way to share the news.

8. Spell It Out

A lightbox, chalkboard or noticeboard will allow you to tell everyone the big news in your own unique way.

For this little child we have prayed ❤️

A post shared by S A Eng (@meet.the.engs) on

How did you announce your pregnancy? We’d love to hear about more creative pregnancy announcements!

See That Perfect Mum Over There? I Bet She Wishes She Were You

Do you see that perfect mum over there? The one with the beautifully made up face and the toddler who is sitting nicely eating a finger of red pepper dipped in hummus. He really loves that red pepper. She must excel at feeding him a varied diet packed with super foods. He’s finished the pepper now and, still sitting nicely, he begins completing the puzzle she placed in front of him. He’s so clever. I bet she spends all her time playing educational games with him. Her clothes are incredibly stylish. Where did she get that amazing change bag from? Yes, she really is perfect. I wish I were her.

Now divert your glance back a bit. Can you see the toddler in the corner? No, not the one riding a trike at the back of the hall. I mean the one in the far corner licking the wall. His clothes are covered in biscuit crumbs and his overgrown blonde hair has a large brown smudge in it. Let’s hope that’s chocolate. He’s still munching on the soggy biscuit in between wall licks. When he finishes cleaning the wall, he toddles over to an unsuspecting child, smiles at her and pulls her hair.

See the mum running over to stop him? Yes her, with the hole in her jumper and the dishevelled hair. See her? Her clothes are certainly not stylish; she must have worn them a lot. She doesn’t have an amazing change bag; it’s one of those free ones you can get in Boots. She’s picked up her son and now he’s angrily slapping her in the face while screaming, struggling and spitting the biscuit all over her.

The second mum – the harassed, biscuit covered one – is me.  I imagine that the perfect mum is watching my son and I in complete disgust, while making a mental note never to invite us over for a play date.

Or is she?

It’s funny how we are constantly comparing ourselves to others. Sizing them up, mulling them over, deciding what to feel envious about and berating ourselves in the process. She’s prettier than me, she’s happier than me, she’s a better mother than me…It could go on forever and there’s really no logic to it.

I recently came across a quote that changed my perspective on the whole comparison thing.


A great example of the accuracy of this statement is Facebook. Not many people, myself included, share their backstage on their newsfeed. I see pictures of friends on exotic holidays, beautiful gifts they have been given and all of their child’s gymnastics medals. But I don’t see pictures of them up all night with a screaming baby or snaps of their white carpet after one of their kids has trampled dog poo all over it. Yes it’s great that your friend’s son got into Cambridge University to study astrophysics at age seven. But I bet she doesn’t share pictures of him having a tantrum and smashing up the TV.

Facebook is the ultimate highlight reel. Once I understood that, I stopped comparing.

This applies in real life too. Appearances can be deceptive and snap judgements can be fantastically wrong. You may look at someone and wish you were more like them, while at the same time they are wishing they were more like you.

So perhaps I will brush the regurgitated biscuit off my holey jumper and go talk to the perfect mum with the beautiful face and the clever son. I’m sure she must have insecurities too. Maybe she doesn’t feel the perfection I have projected onto her.  I have no idea what her backstage is like. We might become friends. She may even be brave enough to invite us over for a playdate.

Though, good luck to her if she tries to give either of my children slices of red pepper and hummus as a snack.

Aimee Foster is a mum, freelance writer and social media manager, bookworm and sea lover. Find more of her ramblings over on her blog, New Forest Mum.

44 Top Tips For New Mums

44 Top Tips For New Mums (From New Mums!)

There’s no one like another mum to provide support and guidance when you need it. We asked 44 mums for their top parenting tip. Here are the responses in their own words (and in no particular order):

1. Olive oil is great for banishing cradle cap. And it’s cheap too!

2. Try and make some meals up pre-baby to put in the freezer. Or if you’re not that organised,  then ask everyone who visits to bring a dinner with them.

3. If you are bottle feeding buy a Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep machine. It’s worth its weight in gold and will save you lots of time and hassle!

4. If breast feeding wear a bracelet on one wrist then swap after a feed to the other side so you know which side you need to feed from next.

5. A few drops of tea tree oil in the bath helps you heal after the birth

6. Baby towels are too thin; using an ordinary towel is much better and means you don’t have to waste money on more stuff you won’t actually use!

7. Sudocream can be used for more than just nappy rash – it works wonders on eczema, rashes, spots etc

8. If a baby is drawing his legs up to his tummy it is often an indication that he has wind.

9. Make a proper photocopy of your scan pictures as over time they will fade

10. Get some fresh air- is easy to get stuck in a rut at home. Going out for a walk helps baby sleep and you clear your mind

11. Buy sleep suits with built in scratch mitts, much easier than trying to keep the mitts on.

12. When you’re about to feed your baby get the remote control, a drink, a little snack and your phone or tablet close to hand because it can take longer than you think!

13. Dream feeds (feeding your baby in his or her sleep at around 10 – 11pm or just before you go to bed) work wonders.

14. Once your child has a favourite comfort toy make sure you buy a couple of spares in case of loss, sick, dribble etc.

15. Always leave a small changing bag in the car and another on the pram in case you go out and forget something

16. Read Baby Bliss by Dr. Harvey Karp. It will really help you understand your newborn and how to comfort and help with colic. It was a lifesaver in my house!

17. Make use of toy libraries, charity shops car-boot sales, nearly new sales etc. Your baby doesn’t know the difference between new and nearly new.

18. Always have a plastic bag with you – this is handy to wrap up dirty clothes

19. Keep plenty of muslin cloths and bibs to hand to mop up dribbles, sick etc

20. Have a changing unit – mat, nappies, cream etc ready to use upstairs and downstairs to avoid constantly running up and down.

21. Baby proof your house before little one can actually move around, they start to move when you least expect it!

22. Try and give your baby as much time as possible every day on their tummy. It does wonders for their development.

23. Baby sleeping bags (e.g. Grobags) are a must. This prevents covers from being kicked off during the night. Consequently, baby won’t get cold and you won’t worry!

24. When nappies are on special offer at the supermarket stock up in all sizes. Nappies don’t go off and your baby will fit the bigger sizes eventually. You can save a fortune with buy one get one free deals!

25. Never be afraid to ask for help and advice from health visitors, doctors and other professionals

26. If breast feeding, stock up on nipple cream before your baby arrives. Breastfeeding can be painful and the cream really helps. The last thing you’ll want to do is traipse round a late night chemist with sore boobs!

27. Let your baby have a bit of nappy free time every day if possible. You can lay them on a changing mat. This helps their skin breath and helps with nappy rash.

28. If the baby is screaming, put the hoover on. Babies love white noise and you don’t actually have to hoover anything…

29. Listen to all advice given by well-meaning friends and family members and then disregard 90% of it. You know best.

30. Breastfeeding may be best but at the end of the day if it doesn’t work out – don’t beat yourself up about it. Do whatever works for you and your baby. Happy mum equals happy baby. Fed is best.

31. When introducing older children to a new baby for the first time, make sure the baby is lying in the cot/Moses basket and you are not holding him or her. This gives you both hands free to give your older child a big kiss and cuddle and a present from the new baby.

32. Also, if you have older children, have some little presents ready to give them when visitors arrive armed with gifts for the new baby. That way they won’t feel left out and resentful.

33. Don’t wait till baby is old enough to understand books to read to them. Read from day one – babies love hearing the sound of your voice and this will establish a lifelong love of reading.

34. Always, always have plenty of baby wipes stocked up. You can seriously never have too many of the things!

35. When you first try to leave the house with your new baby it can take ages! Don’t despair, you’ll get much quicker with practise.

36. Make time for yourself. A soak in the bath can do wonders. And make time for your partner. Try and find someone to babysit once a month so that you can have a ‘date night’.

37. When potty training don’t bother with pull ups. Kids just think they are nappies.

38. Create an email account for your child and then email pictures and memories of things they said/did. When they reach 18 you can give them the email address and password.

39. Try and find other mums with similar age children for friendship, advice, playdates and (when needed) a shoulder to cry on.

40. If people offer help – TAKE IT! Especially accept offers from friends and family to look after the baby for a few hours while you nap and/or take a bath.

41. You think you will remember everything – date of first smile, first word etc but you won’t in the years to come. Make sure you write it all down (keep a notebook handy at all times)

42. Trust your instincts! You are mum and you know best!

43. Try and enjoy the experience and don’t worry about being supermum. You can use up so much energy trying to look like the world’s most perfect mum in front of others. What really matters is that you enjoy your children while they are small and smother them with love.

44. ‘The days are long and the years are short’. Never a truer phrase has been uttered!

What are your tips?