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Father-Hood & The Bubster Live From The Nursery Run Episode 1 - YouTube

Some mums and dads are whispering about Father-Hood and the Bubster’s new YouTube series. Others are talking at an acceptable volume about it. While yet more are bellowing our names from the rooftops.

Sure, it might only be three episodes into its existence, but Father-Hood & The Bubster Live From The Nursery Run is already making major waves on the world wide web. Which begs the question: are you up to speed with the biggest thing to hit the internet since that game all the kids are talking about?

If the answer is yes, give yourself a high-five before enjoying the first three episodes again (like you’re a gran from the late 1990s taking in the EastEnders omnibus). If the answer is no, hang your head in shame and then allow me to reveal all.

Our new Youtube Series

Live From The Nursery Run is a cross between Rob Brydon’s Marion and Geoff and James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke. It stars a rookie dad (me), a chatty toddler (the Bubster), a few miles of road and some funny songs, book reviews, product reviews and random conversations about sunglasses, Julia Donaldson, sleep, spiders, Paw Patrol and the influence of Jammie Dodgers on modern Greek spiritualism (note: one of the entries in this list is an outright lie).

Father-Hood & The Bubster Live From The Nursery Run Episode 2 - YouTube

The series launched last Tuesday night and from now until the Bubster goes to big boy school, or becomes so famous he moves to Hollywood, new episodes will be unleashed on my official YouTube channel on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

Songs, stories and reviews

It’s a tough publishing schedule, but I’m full of ideas and the Bubster is full of chat, so I think we can handle it. Plus, who knows, as this new YouTube series develops perhaps we’ll see guest appearances from Mummy, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson or Zoella?

Father-Hood & The Bubster Live From The Nursery Run Episode 3 - YouTube

But the potential for growth is not even the best thing about our new YouTube series? Oh no. The best thing about it is that it gives the Bubster and I the opportunity to give other parents (and toddlers) an ongoing insight into our daily lives. From potty training to co-sleeping via balance bikes and lorries sleeping, we’ll show you exactly how a mostly-happy toddler and his second favourite parent manage to make every journey to nursery the most fun it can possibly be.

Is that worth watching? Take a look and find out. Oh, and if you like what you see why not get my name tattooed on your left bicep, or, better still, subscribe to my YouTube channel to ensure that you catch every episode the second it’s uploaded?

Until next time…

The post The new YouTube series every parent is talking about appeared first on Father-Hood.co.uk.

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Hello parents and welcome to first day of the rest of your life. In celebration of the fact my son has dumped Fireman Sam and embarked on a torrid love affair with Ryder and his team of pups, I’ve spent the last few days putting together the ultimate PAW Patrol quiz.

The 11 questions that follow will test your knowledge of the canine cartoon phenomenon in ways that you never thought possible. And by this I mean each query is a mashed together image that represents one of the show’s most popular catchphrases. Simply say (or think) what you see and then flip the card over to discover if you’re ruff, ruff right.

Intrigued? You should be, because this PAW Patrol quiz is the pup treat you’ve been waiting for at the end of a long, tough week. Some of the clues are more literal than others, but, if your kid is a true fan of the show, you should be able to solve all of them in a couple of minutes (apart from No.7, that one is an absolute beast).

All of which is very good, but let’s get down to the nitty gritty – what do you get if you nail my PAW Patrol quiz? The answer is an all expenses paid trip to Adventure Bay including return flights, dinner in Mr Porter’s cafe, a tour of Farmer Yumi’s land, an audience with Mayor Goodway and three nights’ bed & breakfast accommodation in Katie’s Pet Parlor. I’m kidding. The answer is nothing, apart from the pride of knowing that you are a bona fide PAW Patrol boffin.

Got all that? Great. Ready to have more fun than the writers who come up with Captain Turbot’s weird and wonderful alliterations? Fantastic. Then without further do, I present my…

Ultimate PAW Patrol quiz

So how many did you get then? If the answer is less than five, then commiserations your cartoon knowledge retention is clumsier than Marshall’s lift entrances. If it’s more than eight, then congratulations your PAW Patrol brain is as robust as Rubble’s rig.

Until next time…

P.S. Please let me know if you’ve enjoyed this slightly different feature in the comments section below.

The post The Ultimate PAW Patrol catchphrase quiz appeared first on Father-Hood.co.uk.

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Inspiration can strike at bizarre times. Like when you are sniffing your child’s backside at the side of a swimming pool in Ibiza on a sunny Friday afternoon, for example. There I was doing our standard 3pm poo check, when it hit me: as a parent, you end up doing loads of things that are actually pretty creepy when you sit down and think about it.

And with that, my latest funny parenting list was born. Over the course of its lifespan, the Father-Hood Midweek List has poked fun at the things I do more as a parent, found humour in the emotions every parent goes through during every long car journey and laughed long and hard at the things only parents know.

But as good as all these funny parenting list features are, they are in the past and we are in the present. And right now, my Midweek List is loading its arrow, taking back its bow and aiming to claim a direct hit in the heart of ‘5 slightly creepy things all parents do’.

Are you ready to find out what they are? Awesome, then here goes…

5 slightly creepy things all parents do 1. Sniff butts

Do you remember your first time? I sure do. It was in a shopping centre in North West London, I was under instruction from my wife and I did it as covertly as possible, because it felt so wrong. I mean, who could possibly think that shoving their nostrils into another human’s backside and inhaling heartily is okay?

Two-and-a-bit years on, the answer is me. That’s right, folks. My name is Father-Hood and I am a butt sniffer. I do it at least twice a day and I don’t even try to hide my intentions. I just grab my son, lift him high in the air and inhale whatever there is to be inhaled.

And do you know what? People who’ve been there and done the whole parenting thing are completely okay with this, but every now and then I catch sight of a young, single person clocking me while I’m snorting my son’s bottom fumes. Their expressions range from astonishment to disgust, and their eyes scream two words: “gross” and “creepy”.

2. Eat dinner in the bathroom, sometimes in the dark

Once upon a time my wife and I used to ask for a table for two with a nice view when we were dining in a hotel. Now, we play rock, paper, scissors to see who gets to cram a sandwich into their gob while sitting on the side of the bath and who gets the joy of eating on the closed toilet.

But that’s not even the creepiest/worst bit of eating in a hotel as a parent. Oh no. The creepiest/worst bit comes when the noise of the fan that’s linked to the bathroom light wakes the baby up. At that point you have one option and one option alone: turn off the light and test your fine motor skills by dining in the dark. #Blessed

3. Ask a stranger if you can borrow some underwear

Note: by “stranger”, I mean random parent in the swimming pool changing room. By “underwear”, I mean a nappy. And by “borrow”, I mean strap it on my son until he does what he does best.

4. Sing nursery rhymes on the train, in shops and during meetings

I’d love to pretend that we live in a society where it is acceptable for a 37-year-old man to burst into a rendition of Wind The Bobbin Up when he’s standing in carriage G of the 08:46 to Caterham; sing Twinkle Twinkle when he’s trying to find the broccoli with the longest best before date; or croon Three Blind Mice when he’s attempting to convince his boss to follow his Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest feeds. But judging by the looks and responses I’ve received, we’ve got a fair way to go yet.

5. Watch another human sleeping

Full disclosure: whether it’s in the flesh or through the baby monitor, I love watching my son sleep. He just looks so cute and peaceful and happy and content. Plus, unlike his mother, he doesn’t yet possess the vocabulary to wake up, eye me up and down and say: “What are you doing you, weirdo?”

While we’re on the subject of sleeping, it’s time for me to down tools and put this week’s funny parenting list to bed. If you enjoyed it, please like, share, check out my other funny parenting list features and all that jazz. If you didn’t, please pretend you did.

Until next time…

The post 5 slightly creepy things all parents do appeared first on Father-Hood.co.uk.

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Great questions deserve great answers. And as my family unit’s self-appointed Holiday Booker-In-Chief, I feel perfectly positioned to give this top quality query the thought-provoking and insightful response it warrants. Which is…

… it depends.

What the?! Is that it? Because if it is, then I want my money back.

Whoa, whoa, whoa: a) you haven’t paid any money and b) no, that is most definitely not it.

Heart rate and anger levels back to normal? Great, then let me begin with a little background info otherwise known as my recent family holiday history.

All-inclusive family holiday to Dubai

I first encountered the all-inclusive versus bed & breakfast versus half-board conundrum in the middle of 2016. At that stage, my son was six months old and my wife and I were planning our first big family holiday. The little man has never been a great sleeper, so our booking goal was simple. We wanted to find somewhere to go in the November of that year that offered almost guaranteed sunshine, a beach, a pool, a variety of nice restaurants and a major opportunity to refresh and relax.

It turned out this was just about every hotel in Dubai. This meant our focus turned to price and this brought the all-inclusive JA Jebel Ali Beach Hotel to our attention. This resort is not exactly in the heart of Dubai, but it ticked every box we were looking for and when we considered how little we wanted to move and how much alcohol and food cost in Dubai the all-inclusive deal it was offering appeared to be fantastic value.

And do you know what? It was. The food was excellent, the facilities were great and levels of service were outstanding. Heck, the waiters even smiled when I arrived at the breakfast buffet covered in poopy. Long story, you can read about here.

Last summer’s family holiday

In August 2017, we found the cash and time to do a European family holiday. After the success of Dubai, we asked the internet for all-inclusive last-minute options, but couldn’t find anything suitable. Thus we signed up for a half-board break in Tenerife.

Again, the resort was lovely and the service was exceptional, but this time the deal wasn’t. Despite helping ourselves to an array of ‘extra’ snacks from breakfast, we ending up spending quite a lot of cash on lunch, drinks and ice creams. These additional purchases pushed our holiday outlay above desired levels and this left us feeling like we should have planned better, booked earlier and secured an all-inclusive.

This summer’s all-inclusive family holiday

We’re going to Ibiza. We’re going to have a party. In the Mediterranean Sea. Or those are the Vengaboys lyrics I taught my son to sing, anyway. In truth, there was no party (we were in bed by 11pm every night). There was, however, a trip to Ibiza. We went last Sunday, we got back two days ago and we stayed in the all-inclusive Grand Palladium White Island Resort & Spa in Playa d’en Bossa.

Like the other family holidays we’ve been on, we loved the resort and had a great time. But like our previous family summer holiday in Tenerife, I came away feeling like I’d lost out financially by taking the wrong deal.

So where does that leave us? It leaves me counting the cost of going all-inclusive when it was over-priced and there were nice restaurants nearby. And you committing to asking the following five questions before you even think about pulling the trigger on an all-inclusive deal.

The five questions you need to ask yourself before booking an all-inclusive family holiday 1. How long are we going to go away for?

If the answer is more than seven nights, don’t go all-inclusive. No matter how many restaurants a resort has (our one in Ibiza had five including two buffets), the menus seem to shrink as the week goes on and by the time you reach night eight you’ll feel like you’re eating the same thing over and over again.

2. How much are we really going to drink?

Let’s face facts. Alcohol is the main area where you can win or lose on an all-inclusive deal. In Dubai, I got my money’s worth by having a bottle of sparkling wine every night. In Ibiza, I lost out massively by only having a couple of beers each day.

Conclusion? If you’re going to start early, indulge in poolside cocktails and then hit the sports bar for a few nightcaps and a spot of impromptu karaoke, then all-inclusive is most definitely the deal for you.

And if you’re merely going to be indulging in a spot of wine at dinner? Well, then it probably isn’t.

3. Where in the world are we going?

There are two reasons for asking this question.

First, the service, wait times and food and drink in my European all-inclusive were nowhere near as impressive as the service, wait times and food and drink in my Dubai all-inclusive. (Important note: I have a friend who has been on all-inclusive breaks in Spain and Mexico and he reckons his experience in Mexico was far better. When combined with my Ibizan case study, this suggests European all-inclusive deals are not as good value as all-inclusive deals in more exotic locations.)

Second, eating and drinking in bars and restaurants outside of the hotel is a lot more expensive in some parts of the world (e.g. Dubai) than others (e.g. Europe and America). As a result, all-inclusives tend to be better value in the former than the latter.

4. Are there any eating and drinking options near the hotel?

If there aren’t, then you’re pretty much guaranteed to be eating in the hotel each night. And if that’s the case, then booking an all-inclusive deal makes a lot of sense.

5. How much extra does all-inclusive cost per day?

The definitive way to work out whether going all-inclusive is your best option is by doing the following…

  1. Take the price of the resort’s all-inclusive deal.
  2. Minus the price of the resort’s bed & breakfast deal from this figure.
  3. Divide the number that remains by the number of nights you are staying in the resort.
  4. Divide the number that remains by the number of people going on the holiday.

This leaves you with a number that equates to the price of the food and drink every person needs to consume outside of breakfast every day in order for the all-inclusive deal to be deemed value for money.

If this figure seems low when you compare it to the cost of lunch, dinner and snacks in the hotel, then all-inclusive wins and you should book it ASAP. If it seems high, then all-inclusive loses and you should go for a different hotel or deal.

Got all that? Phew, because the washing machine is beeping and I was supposed to have dinner on the table 35 minutes ago. Hope this post helped your holiday planning and you have a great trip.

Until next time…

The post Dear Father Hood: family holidays – is going all-inclusive worth the extra cash? appeared first on Father-Hood.co.uk.

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Father-Hood.co.uk by Stuarthoodlimited - 6d ago

Father-Hood & the Bubster versus... 6ft Wavy Slide - YouTube

Hello, hello, we’re all busy people, so I’ll keep my latest YouTube round-up short and to the point. Since I last mentioned my official YouTube channel, the Bubster and I have been beavering away producing some tip-top parenting content along the lines of:

Baking with the Bubster

Will this become a must-watch series? Can my kitchen withstand such a sugary barrage on a such a regular basis? Time with tell. All I know right now is a) we should have used self-raising flour in this opening effort…

Baking with the Bubster part 1 - YouTube

…and b) we should have gone out and bought eggs before making this second attempt.

Father-Hood presents... Baking with the Bubster Part II - YouTube

That said, the first cake tasted go-oo-od, and the gardeners liked the second one so much they came back for third helpings. Moral of the story? Never judge a cake by the fact it measures less than 5cm in height or doesn’t contain eggs.

Father-Hood & the Bubster Versus…

I can see this franchise appearing in another YouTube round-up or ten (video at top of the article). The idea is simple – the Bubster and I embark on a challenge of some form or other. It could be attempting to finish a puzzle (unlikely). It could be trying to get through a meal without dropping several spoons of food down our front, escaping from our high chair and demanding to watch Paw Patrol (even less likely). Or, as in this particular episode, it could be us putting together a flatpack slide armed with just one Allen key and 30-35 minutes of concentration.

Toddler parkour

My son’s attitude to life? See something, climb it, jump off. Simples.

Toddler parkour - YouTube

Father-Hood & The Bubster Find Free Entertainment In London

According to Elvis, breaking up is hard to do. According to most parents, getting you and your kids in and out of London without spending more than a quarter of your monthly wage is even more difficult. Step forward Father-Hood and his sometimes-willing assistant. These wide-eyes mavericks are climbing on a choo-choo train to the nation’s capital, then hitting the famous South Bank on the hunt for free entertainment. Will they find any? Spoiler alert: the answer is yes, plenty.

Father-Hood & The Bubster Find Free Entertainment In London - YouTube

And that’s it for this YouTube round-up. Hope you enjoyed the content, hope you take the hint and subscribe to my YouTube channel and hope you all have a fantastic week.

Until next time…

The post My latest YouTube round-up appeared first on Father-Hood.co.uk.

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Food, glorious food. Except when you’re a toddler. I mean, seriously – is there anything more frustrating than having a kid who just won’t eat fruit or veg? Stop scratching your head. The answer is no, which is why I signed up for the Toddler Food MOT workshop at The Dadsnet’s recent DadCon.

It was hosted by baby and toddler food brand Organix, it was run by kids healthy eating expert Lucy Thomas and it set out to help adults understand why their child suddenly becomes a fussy eater, before offering up some tips around how mums and dads can conquer a toddler’s eating issues.

Ooh, sounds interesting. It really was.

Why toddlers become fussy eaters

The ‘helping adults to understand’ section used a couple of volunteers, the scene from Indiana Jones where Indy & Co are served chilled monkey brains and a handful of unidentifiable brown liquids (some of which were edible and some of which were not) to explain the concept of food neophobia.

This process, which sees kids restrict their diet to foods they know and recognise, tends to begin at around the time toddlers start to walk. It is sparked by a sudden realisation that certain things are unsafe to eat (e.g. mud, bleach, daddy’s medicine), and it often reaches its peak at around the 18-month mark.

But that’s not the really bad news. Oh no. The really bad news is that the fussy eating issues that are ignited by neophobia can continue all the way up the age of SIX! My initial thought? Blimey, that’s a lot of Cheerios.

Once she’d given everyone a handle on the cause of a toddler’s dietary quirks, it was time for Lucy to cackle loudly, grab her bag and head home to count her money. Only joking. It was actually time for her to reveal her top tips for overcoming this stage. Are you ready for them? Great, then here goes…

1. Changing your child’s diet is an ultra-marathon not a sprint

You know the expression, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again?” Well, it’s highly plausible that it was invented by some poor parent who was trying to get their kid to eat a new fruit or vegetable.

“It can take up to 15-20 exposures to a food before your child will begin to embrace a new food,” explains Lucy.

Yes, that does say 15-20.

2. Don’t use to ‘T’ word

Picture the scene. You’ve been up since the crack of dawn, but have somehow managed to cook something nice for dinner. You put the spoon to your kid’s mouth and… they bat it onto the floor. So you try again and they do it again. You swear internally, take a deep breath and go for a third attempt. Same result, so you get a little agitated and say, “just try it”, “eat it”, or perhaps “come on, just taste it”.

Sounds reasonable enough, right? Wrong. It turns out instructions like “eat”, “try” and “taste” make your child feel like they are being pressurised, and when they feel pressurised they are even less likely to step out of their comfort zone and try something new.

3. But do use the ‘L’ word

“Offering your little one a food which is ‘like’ something they already enjoy is a great way to introduce them to something new,” says Lucy. “For example, if they like slices of cucumber, they may be willing to explore slices of courgette if you say it’s ‘like’ cucumber.”

4. Incorporate food into games

Regular Father-Hood readers will know that I love a good game, and it turns out Lucy is the same. From orange squeezing competitions to hiding carrots around the house and garden, she suggested loads of activities that would get your kid used to touching, feeling and tasting healthy foods. My top three were:

A. Kick the ball, crunch a carrot
  1. Go the garden with your kid, a ball and the vegetable that helps you see in the dark.
  2. Kick the ball to your kid, take a bite out of the carrot, say “mmmm mmm” and grin.
  3. Get your kid to do the same.
B. Fruit sort race
  1. Put a variety of coloured fruit in a plastic container on the table.
  2. Place three of four coloured plates on the table.
  3. Challenge your toddler to sort the fruit onto the correctly coloured plates in the quickest time possible.
  4. Stop the clock.
  5. Clap excitedly, smile profusely and encourage them to lick, or kiss, each of their fingers.
C. Monster teeth
  1. Cut a fruit or vegetable your kid is wary of into strips.
  2. Place these strips under your top lip, so it looks like you’ve developed big, colourful teeth.
  3. Make your best monster noise and wander around like a comedy ogre.
  4. Encourage your kid to do the same.
5. Sing songs

First, you pick a foodstuff (e.g. celery). Then you choose a nursery rhyme or popular children’s song. (e.g. Row, row, row, your boat). And then you mess around with the food, while singing an altered version of the song (e.g. “Row, row, row, celery”). What’s not to like?

6. Change the environment

According to Lucy, taking food off the dinner table and into different and potentially exciting new environments like the garden or “under the table” can help to make it more appealing to a fussy eater.

“You have more chance of success if you make it part of an adventure,” she reveals.

Well, don’t just sit there. Grab a pineapple and head for the park.

7. Praise is really important

You know how you over-celebrated and gave your kid a sticker every time they peed into the potty or went into nursery without crying? Well, this is pretty much the same idea.

“Praise your toddler for taking small steps on their food adventure and offer stickers for touching and smelling a new food,” advises Lucy. “Next time, they might be more willing to kiss or lick it. And after a few weeks they might surprise you by crunching a new vegetable or nibbling an unusual grain.”

8. Take to the bath

Lucy suggests mixing new food adventures with bath time for two reasons. First, if they are playing with a new fruit and squeeze loads of juice out of it, it doesn’t matter, as they are in the bath. Second, spinach (a food which a lot of toddlers refuse to eat) is sticky when it is wet, so you can encourage your kid to stick it to their hand, then their arm, then their forehead and then, finally, their tongue.

“This might be a fleeting touch, but it means that tasting on a very basic level has taken place,” explains Lucy.

9. Never attempt to introduce new food at meal times

Due to the whole “15-20 exposures before a fussy eater will embrace a new food” thing, attempting to shove a previously unknown item into your kid’s mouth at breakfast, lunch or dinner almost guarantees yourself a horrible half-hour and a second shot at making dinner.

Instead, try to keep new foods fun and introduce them at snack times.

10. Cut some shapes

No, Lucy is not talking about dancing (although if it incorporates food and makes your kid smile, then why not give it a go?). She is talking about grabbing a knife or pastry cutter, channelling your inner Picasso and making some ‘food art’ along the lines of the animals in the below picture (credit to Ryan from Organix).

Are we nearly there yet? Yes, we are. In fact, we’re finished. So go forth and cure your toddler’s fussy eating habits. And remember to tell them that Father-Hood sent you.

Until next time…

The post Dear Father Hood: how do you cure a fussy eater? appeared first on Father-Hood.co.uk.

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Rhythm is a dancer. It’s a source of passion. You can find it anywhere. Or you could in your late teens and early 20s, anyway. Now you’re a parent hunting down somewhere to show off your best moves is a little more challenging. It is not impossible, however. And I know this because my wife and I recently took the bubster to our first baby rave.

The event was held in a pub in Balham, South London. It took place from 2pm-4.30pm. It was put on by Big Fish, Little Fish 2-4 Hour Party People. And it was one of the strangest Sunday afternoons I can recall. Not because it wasn’t any good, you understand. But because it featured a bunch of mostly 30-something parents closing their eyes and giving themselves to the music while wearing Baby Bjorns or trying to stop toddlers eating glow sticks.

Yup, a baby rave is a strange vibe all right. But once I got over my initial astonishment, I soon found myself cutting shapes, taking photos of my kid invading the DJ booth and Instagramming shots of my wife and son giving it their all on the podium #squadgoals.

So would I recommend it to other parents? Well, the bad news is it is not the cheapest afternoon out in the world (our three tickets came in at just over £26), but the good news is it is fun, different and memorable. And is there anything else I can tell you about it? There is indeed. Here are the five things I learned from attending my first baby rave.

1. It’s not a hardcore rave

Yes, the baby rave I went to starred a big name DJ who had played nights at Ministry of Sound. Yes, it featured glow sticks and confetti falling from the ceiling. And yes, I witnessed various people making imaginary cardboard boxes. But don’t let that put you off. Most of the attendees would have flunked an exam on rave culture, the music was toned down to cater for the eclectic audience, the dance floor was child friendly and the strongest substance anyone was popping was Calpol.

2. Take ear defenders for your kid

The music might have been toned down, but it was still “What? What was that? I can’t hear what you’re saying!” loud. Thus the parents who brought ear defenders for their little ones were as smug as smug can be. And the ones who didn’t (hello) were forced to take regular breaks from the dance floor.

3. There’s a play area…

On one of our regular breaks we wandered upstairs and discovered… three odds socks, two apples, a woman reading palms and a microwave. Not really. We actually found the chill out room (complete with mini tents and some tunnels for babies to crawl in).

And when we walked out the other side of that den of calm? Well, then we discovered the play room, where kids could get their faces painted, make “art” with Play-Doh and help to create a mural by scrawling whatever they liked on a giant sheet of paper. My top piece of advice? It’s going to get messy, so don’t forget the wet wipes.

4. …And a bar

If the thought of having to embrace your inner raver without the aid of alcohol fills you with dread, then you’re in luck. The baby rave I attended had a licensed bar that was open and ready to do business. It also sold bar snacks, which along with some home baking were the only food options available inside the venue. Conclusion? If you want your kid to eat at a baby rave, take the stuff with you.

5. There is more than one way to baby rave…

…And, perhaps better still, more than one company to do it with. Big Fish Little Fish 2-4 Hour Party People put on the afternoon I went to, but if it doesn’t run any events in your area, don’t despair. The likes of Boom Chikka Boom, Little Ravers or Raver Tots might.

The post 5 things I learned at my first baby rave appeared first on Father-Hood.co.uk.

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Wow, what a deep, interesting and multi-layered question. I mean, is there one way that all parents supposed to think? And if there is, is this parenting mentality absolute, or can it be tweaked depending on your circumstances?

We’re getting into extremely philosophical and highbrow waters here people, so I think it might be best if I ease the tension with one of my favourite dad jokes.

Q. What was Whitney Houston’s favourite form of co-ordination?

A: Haaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnndddddddd Eeeeeeeyyyyyyeeeeeeee! (Note: it really helps if you sing this line.)

Good, isn’t it?

Now we’re all a tad more relaxed, let’s get back to the query re: whether I ‘think like a parent’. Given my son is nearing two-and-a-half, I would hope the answer to be yes. But if I’m totally honest, I think it’s no. I say this for many reasons, including the following three.

1. I’m not one of those super-parents

You know exactly who I’m talking about. The mums who always have a spare set of every possible type of clothing and time to make three different varieties of sandwiches. The dads who always manage to maintain eye contact with you, yet also always manage to catch their kid before he or she hits her head on the ground. The people who somehow manage to feed, bath, dress, toilet train and entertain multiple kids, without getting stressed or angry. The adults who bought their car because it was recommended for parents and always get to nursery on time.

These God-like men and women put my parental planning and foresight to shame, and my hunch is that they achieve what they achieve because they spend every waking hour ‘thinking like a parent’.

2. I take my son into London a lot

I don’t think this is weird. But most parents I speak to seem to find any excuse to not go near the nation’s capital. Here’s how our conversations usually go down.

“You’re going into London?! Isn’t that a really expensive day out?” they ask.

“It can be, but it can also be cheap or even free,” I reply.

“And isn’t it really busy?” they continue.

“It can be, but that’s good as it gives my son more to see,” I reply.

“And isn’t the London underground really bad for steps?” they add.

“It can be, but people usually offer to help,” I reply.

“Hmm, sounds like a bit of an effort, I’ll probably just head to the park,” they shrug.

I know who is right in this scenario (me), but I also know who doesn’t fit in with the prevalent parent mentality (me). And thus I have no option but to conclude that I don’t think like the average parent.

3. My first thought is often: ‘What do I want to do?’

As in you put yourself before your kid? Yes. This may get me in trouble on some parenting message board or other, but the honest truth is in just about every situation my initial thought revolves around which option is best for me.

What happens next? Well, then I go and do what I want to do and catch up with my wife and son later. Stop jeering, I’m only joking. In actual fact, I suppress this thought and seamlessly move on to thinking about which option would be good for the whole family.

So what’s the problem? I’m not saying there is a problem. I’m simply suggesting that my natural instinct is to think about myself rather than my wife and kids, which, to me, suggests that I don’t yet possess the parent mentality.

Acting more important than thinking

And does not possessing the parent mentality bother me? It does and it doesn’t.

Sure, like all good dads, I’d like to reach the parenting level where I unconsciously put my wife and son first on all occasions, but let’s face it: how I act is far more important than what I think. Thus if I continue to do the right things for my family, then I don’t see any problem with me internally projecting selfish suggestions (aside from the huge dollops of parental guilt, obvs).

What about you guys? Do you think I should be concerned? Have you aced parenting to such an extent that you always think like a parent? Or are you in a similar boat to myself? I’d love to hear your thoughts, views and tips, so please comment below.

Until next time…

The post Dear Father Hood: do you think like a parent? appeared first on Father-Hood.co.uk.

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Three times last night, four the night before. No, I’m not boasting about my sexual prowess, I’m talking about the amount of times my wife and I had to deal with our toddler falling off his new “big boy” bed (read: cot with one side taken off).

The good news is we knew that falling onto the floor was a common issue for toddler’s transitioning from a cot to a regular bed, so have covered the danger area in cushions, pillows and soft toys. The bad news is it’s now nearly two weeks since I took the side off his cot and the falls aren’t showing any signs of decreasing.

Yes, he’s had a bit of a cold, and colds always make him toss and turn more than usual. And yes, Britain is enduring a heatwave that has made sleeping extremely uncomfortable. But even allowing for these two things, this is a crisis. A bona fide parental CRISIS!

The potential solutions

So what’s the best way of overcoming a toddler falling out of their bed crisis? Along with the absolute givens of making sure one side of the bed is against a wall and not even thinking about bunk beds, our options include:

  • Putting the side of his cot back on and waiting until he’s 100% ready to move into a “big boy” bed.
  • Buying a toddler bed, which is smaller than a regular bed and has slightly raised sides that help to prevent falls.
  • Moving him onto a mattress on the floor, so he has more space to toss and turn and his falls are less likely to hurt.
  • Moving him into a bed that’s fitted with bed rails.
  • Using duvets and pillows to create a barrier that will prevent him taking a dive.
  • Turning the duvet sideways and tucking it in tightly.

Lots to think about here, so let’s deal with them one by one.

1. Putting the side of his cot back on

This isn’t going to happen, as the little man can climb up and over the bars with ease and pretty much thinks he’s Daring Danny X from Paw Patrol. Thus putting the side back on creates a bigger toddler falling headache than leaving it off. Next.

2. Buying a toddler bed

Positively, a new “inbetweener” bed would excite the little man, take up less space than a double bed and be a lot less risky than moving a two-year-old straight into an adult bed. Negatively, it’s an extra expense and is likely to come as a flat pack. And we all know how good I am at building flat-pack furniture.

3. Mattress on the floor

Psychologist Laura Markham told Livestrong.com that this is a good idea, because it “acquaints your child with the idea of sleeping without boundaries, while also preventing serious falls”. I told myself that I can see the logic, but can’t think of a suitable room where we have the floor space to put a mattress, and am not sure how I feel about telling my child to sleep on the floor.

4. Fitting bed rails

Judging by some of the posts in this informative Mumsnet discussion, parents’ biggest concern about attaching rails to the side of a toddler’s bed is that it “won’t actually teach them to stop falling off the bed”, so is simply “storing up the problem” for later. And judging by some of the other comments, this isn’t actually a problem, as the older kids get, the better they are at staying inside the bed’s boundaries.

5. Creating a pillow and duvet barrier

Like most parents, we’ve done the whole “surround him with a wall of pillows and cushions” thing on a number of occasions (e.g. while the little man has caught some Zzzzzss on a bed or sofa at a friend’s house). But is it really safe enough to use as an all-night-long fall prevention technique? Having seen the speed and power at which my sleeping son can scramble, I have my doubts.

6. Turning the duvet sideways and tucking it in tightly

Yes, this is a thing. And what’s more a lot of these Mumsnetters swear by it. My only issue? It involves the kid being snugly tucked in under the duvet. And while I’d be happy to try this in spring, autumn or winter, given the current summer temperatures in the UK it just isn’t going to happen.

Our next move

Each of the above ideas has merit and will work for some parents. But given my son’s daredevil nature and restless sleeping patterns, our budgets and floor space, and the current UK weather, my top two options are…

  1. Toddler bed
  2. Bed rails

Got that? Great, because I need to go and sell this plan to my wife. Wish me luck. And, as ever, feel free to add your comments, hints and tips at the bottom of the page.

Until next time…

The post Dear Father Hood: how do you stop a toddler falling off the bed? appeared first on Father-Hood.co.uk.

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You thought it was safe to sit down, take the weight off and watch the World Cup. Your toddler had other ideas :-(.

The post The Father-Hood Monday meme: what you see versus what your kid sees appeared first on Father-Hood.co.uk.

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