Rachel’s Diary

18th March 2020

Hello everyone again, what strange times we are living in with the outbreak of Corona virus. The fact of having to self isolate is so foreign to all we have ever known in this country. It will be hard for many families coping with young children and the very real threat of low incomes and job losses. Also the future so uncertain.

I just want to assure you that I am still doing lots of phone, Face time and skype conversations from home. Please dont struggle with loneliness and worry about your baby or toddlers sleep, feeding issues as I am here and very able to help you.  If you are struggling with a young toddler who is normally at nursery this can be exhausting as you perhaps run out of things to do. As you will know I have always encouraged families to get out for a walk once a day, this will be a life saver to you in the current climate. If you’re in the country it will be easier for you but the parks are still open for you to take a walk. If the weather warms up it will be so much more enjoyable and good for you all……get out in the sunshine. Children who rush about outside usually sleep better!

There are lots of things you can do in the home, cooking with your children, playing games, puzzles, reading, singing and also finding new ideas on the internet of keeping you all occupied.  But I do think try and take the children out at least once a day and if you have a garden for them to  play in even better. Maybe try planting some seeds in little pots and the children can see how they grow over the next few weeks.  When going for a walk look at the flowers and bushes in the hedge rows, looking for the new buds to come out. Also looking for birds nests and any wild life in the hedgerows.

Please do get in touch even if it’s only to have a chat and I wish you every blessing during these difficult months to come x

First of December tomorrow, so a little bit of Christmassy news! I’ve been up in London for the past week with work and been really enjoying all the Christmas lights.  A very special time to be here in London. This morning I had an early walk with baby across Regent’s Park into Queen Mary’s rose garden, stopped for coffee in the lovely cafe to warm up!      That’s all for now, be back soon. X

21st November 2019

Well here we are again nearly Christmas time! Where does the year go to! I hope you’ve all had a good year and able to get away in the summer for a good holiday, for those of you who’ve had babies this year that may not have been so easy as before.
I guess many of you will be going away for Christmas or having family to stay and concerned  about your baby or children getting overtired and excited and not sleeping as well as usual. I always say the most important thing is to enjoy Christmas as much as you can.  If your little ones don’t sleep so well or get out of routine then as soon as you’re back home or your visitors have gone try get back into your normal pattern with baby or the children .

I do find that January is always a busy month for me when parents have been away and things have got a bit out of step and they just need some help getting their little ones back on track again.  If this is the case with you please do get in touch after Christmas.

Ive had quite a busy year with various things on different jobs up and down the country. I’ve been up to Scotland several times and also to the Channel  islands….very easy to fly from Exeter.

We have quite a few excellent maternity nurses on our books now who work all over the country and abroad as well. Do get in touch if you’re looking for a nurse as soon as you know, as good nurses get booked up very quickly.
Some of our ladies are trained nurses and some have done the Norland training. All come with lots of good experience from working with families over the years. We can highly recommend them.
Some are younger and wanting to gain experience so do let us know if you’d be interested in having a younger trainee  nurse.  I would be there in the background to give help and advice is needed.
I wish you all a very happy Christmas and new year and will be in touch again very soon. 

Rachel xx

16th February 2019

It’s nearly a year since I last put a post on my website! Such a lot has happened over the past few months that has taken up lots of my time and Iv’e not been able to write. But here we are again and good to be back in touch with you!  Late last summer my husband had a massive cardiac arrest while we were staying in Cornwall for a few days. We were at the Minnack theatre and it happened in the car park after we’d seen the show. We were in my car and I was just about to drive out of the car park when I looked at John and he was unconscious in the seat next to me. I knew immediately what was happening and stopped the car and shouted for help. To cut  a long story short, thanks to the staff at the Theatre having a difibrillater Johns life was saved – although he hung in the balances for twelve hours and was in hospital in Cornwall for nearly three weeks. But we have much to be thankful for as the care was amazing and he has made an extraordinary recovery. It just goes to show that we never know what lies ahead of us.

I stopped work for about six weeks but then got back into the swing of things again and have been quite busy since November.  It was so good to get back to work and be with young families again. I have done several ante natal visits in London over the past few months – also doing mummy and baby sessions in a home and chatting to mums and dads with new babies. I also have various speaking engagements coming up this year – mostly on sleep! Do get in touch if you would like me to come and talk to your parents group about the whole issue of babies and young children sleeping. I always love these evenings and we always have a good part of the session where we have a Q&A time for the parents with little ones.

We now have a lovely team of maternity nurses who are  working with parents all round the country. Lucy and I try and hand pick the nurse for the particular job, especially if mum is wanting a nurse for several weeks. It is so important to place the right nurse with the right family – then everyone is happy!

I’m still living in with families with new babies but not doing long stints anymore. I seem to be very busy with phone/skype consultancies, and these work really very well. So do get in touch if you are having problems with your baby or child and not sure what to do – I always love to help. Please do get in touch even if you just want to chat about the sort of help you need. xx

19th March 2018

We’ve just had another heavy  fall of snow and been snowed in for the second time this month! Its all been quite fun but I think we really are ready for spring now!  I’ve just been in Surrey for a few days working with a lovely little 9 week old baby and teaching her to self settle and sleep well. Thankfully I managed to get home before the snow moved in again. Work has been very busy since just before Christmas with lots of families needing help with their babies and toddlers. In February I spent a couple of days in London and did a mummy and baby session in one of the mum’s houses. About 8 mums came with their babies and we had a really good three hours chatting about their babies and teaching babies how to self settle and sleep.  We also covered routine, feeding, development, solid feeding and many other issues relating to babies.   If you are reading this and would like to hold a mummy and baby session in your home and you have a group of friends who would like to get together, do let me know. I wish you all a very  happy Easter and do get in touch if you are needing some help or advice with your little one. xx

31st August 2017

Hello everyone, I do hope you’ve all had a lovely summer and enjoyed good weather and lovely holidays. For some of you it will be back to the school routine next week and for some you will have little ones starting school for the first time. It can be very daunting leaving your little one for the first time and walking away and leaving him/her wondering how they are going to be without you. Some little ones settle in very quickly while others take several weeks to settle. Some will be very happy for several days and then decide they don’t want to go every day and would rather be home doing something else! Of course today many children go off to nursery or a childminder at an early stage and so going to school is not so daunting for them.  Whatever happens do try and remember that your little one will settle and love school and his new friends after a while.

We have had a lovely summer here in Devon although the weather in August wasn’t so kind as early on. We have had one of our grand daughters staying with us for most of the month which was so good. She and I went to London and had tickets for Buckingham Palace and to look round the Royal mews. We had such a lovely day together. We also had a wonderful family day at the Gatcombe horse trials early in August. We had great fun in spite of heavy rain and getting soaked through!

Grandparents can have such an important role with the next generation and we can build good loving memories into our grand children’s  memory banks – which they can draw on as they go through life. It is always a tragedy when grand parents are denied access to their grand children especially if they have had a good loving relationship with them in the early years. I speak very much from personal experience and would encourage you to build good relationships where you can with the older members of your family.

John and I are off to Pembrokeshire for a week in October – hoping to do lots of walking with Buddy our Labrador dog.

If you are having issues with your baby or toddler regarding sleeping, feeding or needing general parenting advice do please get in touch. I have done a lot of telephone calls this summer and Skype as well with families from all over the world needing advice for their little ones. So do please get in touch……often a phone call can sort things out.  I am still doing maternity work but not doing so much night work now. I have a lovely team of maternity nurses who are working with me now so please do call if you need maternity help.

I think that’s all for now…..be in touch again soon. xx

27th June 2017

It is a while since I was last in touch and now here we are in mid summer! After the heat of last week it is lovely to have it a little cooler now. When we have a hot spell it is often difficult for babies and toddlers to settle well and sleep deeply through the night, especially if you live in a city and there is no air conditioning, which we dont often have in the UK.  Its important to make sure our little ones have enough fluids to drink and to keep them as cool as possible. If you have a young baby it is perfectly ok to give a drink of cooled boiled water inbetween feeds in a bottle.  Using a fan in the bedroom often helps to keep the air circulated. To take your little ones out to shady places with lots of trees, even having picnic meals in the shade will help them to feel comfortable – also toddlers really enjoying eating outside! Do remember plenty of sun cream and not to leave your little one sitting out in direct sunlight – always in the shade.

Many of you will be packing up to go away on holiday soon which is always fun but can be stressful too! Holidays with little ones are so very different from when you went away without children. Do remember not to have high expectations of rest and peacful times unless you have extra help! But holidays with little ones can be such fun and you are building memories for your children that they will never forget. They can be very special times as you and your partner will be more relaxed without the stresses and strains of working life. If you are flying abroad and have a baby do remember to take the feed you need as you may not be able to buy it in the place where you are going to stay.

Have a lovely summer and do get in touch if you need any live in help or advice on the phone or skype. xx

20th February 2017

Just to let you know I am now back to full health and strength and able to do home visits and live in maternity work again! I am very thankful for this and looking forward to going back to work next month with a new baby due in early March. I will be in Cheshire for a little while so if anyone needs a home visit while I am up there –  do let me know and I could pop in on my way home after finishing my placement.  I have been busy with telephone and skype consultations since the new year which has been lovely. A huge thank you to all who have been in touch over the past couple of months.

I now have a small team of lovely ladies who are helping me with Maternity work that I am not able to do. I can highly recommend them as they all have lots of experience with new babies. They all live in the west country but are very happy to travel round the country to help families with little ones. Do please get in touch if you are needing a maternity nurse, whether it is your first baby or subsequent baby. They are also very happy to help if you are having twins and they have had plenty of experience with multiple births. Will be in touch again soon.xx

3rd January 2017

A very happy New Year to you all. I do trust you have all had a lovely Christmas and managed time with your families. It can be a stressful time of the year but so important for little ones and  children to build good memories with their grandparents and cousins. How sad it is when this doesn’t happen and communications between adults have broken down. Of course those who really miss out are the children.

I have had major abdominal surgery in December and am having to take things really slowly, but I am so thankful to have come through safely. I am now beginning to do consultations again but no home visits for a while. I am not able to go back to maternity work for three months – strict instructions from my surgeon! If you are having sleep issues with your baby or toddler do get in touch and we can chat on the phone. Every blessing and trust you all keep well through the winter. xx

Autumn 2016

This is a great article I found in yesterdays newspaper. It is so true and I feel we need to be so careful with our babies and children with watching screens. We never needed them for children before we had them -so why cant we go back to playing with our children and letting them have time on their own as well – we don’t realise what long term damage we are doing to our precious children.


Exeter Life magazine have done a lovely article on my new revised baby book that came out earlier this year. A big Thank you to Laura Dale who has written a lovely article.  www.devonlife.co.uk/exeter

18th August 2016

Well here we are more than half way through the summer holidays – I do hope you are all enjoying this lovely weather we have been having here in the UK. I have been busy with new babies and babies a few weeks old who have not been able to self settle or sleep well for their mummies and daddies…..lots of very tired parents around. What a haze life becomes when we don’t have regular good nights sleep. If you are a struggling mummy or daddy reading this please do get in touch – I would be delighted to help. It is always so rewarding to teach these little ones to sleep well. Enjoy the rest of the summer. Lots of love xx

9th March 2016

It is good to be here in Dubai again – we arrived in the early hours of Tuesday morning. It is lovely to be with our family again, and spend some time with them. Today we have had torrential rain and strong winds and all the schools are closed – chaos on the roads I think! But I’m sure the sun will shine again! It always does in Dubai. xx

On Thursday 10th March – tomorrow I am speaking at an event at JUST KIDDING at Al Safa, at 10 am, do come along if you can. I am talking about babies and all you need to know about newborns and older babies too. Sleep, feeding, flexible routine, bathing, swaddling are some of the subjects I will be covering. Also there will be a Q&A time. xx

20th January 2016

I am off to Dubai again at the beginning of March for a work/holiday trip. I will be taking some seminars and doing home visits while I am there. I will put the dates on my website when they are confirmed. Looking forward to seeing you all again. Joanne Hanson is organising my diary for me while I am out in Dubai, do get in touch with her if you would like a home visit. xx

10th December 2015

This article was in the Daily mail last week. Do take a look and try it out on your baby, and see if baby settles!


24th November 2015

I had a great day yesterday as eight mummies came to lunch with me at home and bought their babies with them. Their ages ranged for 3 to 15 weeks, and they  were all such lovely babies. We chatted about sleeping, feeding, routine, when to start solid food and other issues that mums want to know about when they have young babies. Thank you all for coming. xx

14th November 2015 Had a great walk with a friend yesterday all along the river near us. My lovely Labrador dog Buddy loved it too in spite of not being able to swim so much as the river was going so fast! Had good time in the garden today  clearing up before the winter comes. x

9th November 2015 Thrilled that the revised edition of my book ‘The Baby Book – How to Enjoy Year One’ is all written and now with the publishers!  It will be out in March – so do look out for it!

27th September 2015 A big thank you to all at the Bumpfest yesterday put on by Mumsnet. It was a great day and I very much enjoyed being with you again. Thank you all you mums and dads to be who came to have a chat in the 1 to 1 sessions. xx

10th September 2015. I had a wonderful time looking after this new baby boy!

16th February 2015. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/mother-tongue/11408554/New-Old-fashioned-Parent-how-to-be-one.html I read this at the weekend and would recommend this article and the book. I so agree- we seem to have got so far away from foundational parenting and I meet so many parents who are afraid of upsetting their children.  I am always saying- we are the ones as parents who need to put down loving boundaries -no one else is going to do it and it is all part of our responsibilty as a parent. Babies, toddlers and children thrive on loving boundaries.  One of the first boundaries we put in is teaching our babies/toddlers to sleep well at night. xx

8th February 2015 You can now read a short piece I wrote about my time at an event in Dubai with a lovely organisation called Just Kidding. I talked on helping with babies’ and childrens’ sleep, the importance of flexible routines, as well as the best swaddling techniques. There’s a great video Just Kidding shot of me available to view too! https://www.rachelsbabies.com/articles/JustKidding

8th February 2015 See below a good article on fussy children. I so agree that normally  babies need to be started on solid food earlier than 6 months of age. This enables them to enjoy different flavours and textures before they start having protein,  at the age of six months. They are then ready to start having more lumpy foods than just pureed.  In my experience the later they start on solid food they can become fussy eaters. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/11392807/Are-you-turning-your-child-into-a-fussy-eater.html

7th February 2015. Below is an interview I did yesterday with BBC Radio Ulster…..it is a funny interview about the barber in the USA who punished his son by giving him an “old man haircut”! http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0516gcb

3rd February 2015 Below is a good article I saw in yesterdays paper…it is very true- it is so important for children to be allowed to take risks as they are growing up, as this is all part of life..

24th January 2015 I have had a lovely couple of days walking with friends. Yesterday a friend and I walked part of the east Devon coastal path, we had a good  lunch in Otterton on our way home. Then today I have walked with a great group of lady friends from the church along the Tiverton canal for nearly 7 miles! My legs are feeling it tonight!  Then afternoon tea with my lovely cousin Emma on the way home. The weather has been just wonderful with lots of sunshine even though a cold wind. Hope you are all having a good weekend too. I am back in the office on monday if you are wanting to get in touch. xx

15th January 2015 Last weekend we had a lovely couple of days in London, such fun and lots to see and to do. Just being away for two days seems like a real break. The weather has got colder and there has been snow on Dartmoor but we havent had any yet where we live. I didn’t  manage to  get up on Dartmoor for a walk as I was doing a lovely home visit down in South Devon. Our dear old collie dog is very old and probably wouldnt manage Dartmoor in the snow anymore!  I’m not sure how much longer he will be around for, so sad to think about him not being with us as he is a real family friend.   I have had lots of calls this week from mums with little ones being very unsettled after the Christmas break….please do get in touch if this is happening to you and you need some help. x

7th January 2015 A very happy new year to you all. I do hope you all had a lovely christmas with your families and friends. Where does the time go to! I cant believe that I havent written a blog for 3 weeks now!  Very often after the christmas break parents find that their baby or young child is not sleeping so well as he/she was.  Often this is due to travelling or staying with grandparents or friends and little ones get out of routine. Do please call me if you are struggling with sleep issues and wanting some help or advice as to what to do to put it right. xx

12th December 2014. A new report has come out this week linking women who breast feed to a lower chance of developing breast cancer later in life. We all know that breast is best, but I really feel this is more pressure on women when there is enough pressure to get everything right!  Many women do successfully breast feed but many women struggle and some find it impossible to establish, for all sorts of reasons. One of the reasons I think women give up breast feeding is they dont have enough help in the early days after giving birth. Oh that there were more midwives/health visitors to have time to help mothers get a good start to feeding. Below is an article I read today……If anyone is reading this and needs help with breast feeding please do get in touch. xx http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-health/11288974/What-is-Britains-problem-with-breastfeeding.html

27th November 2014. I have had a really good trip to Dubai, lovely to meet lots of new people and also to stay with my family. Lovely sunshine too! A big thank you to all of you who came to seminars and coffee mornings and the breakfast, please do get in touch with me now that I am home, if you are needing some help. The link to Dubie eye radio is just below. It was good to be on this show with Cecile, Rosie and Mike. xx http://www.dubaieye1038.com/the-word-podcasts/

18th November 2014 DubaiEye Radio Recording I am having a great time in Dubai with seminars and home visits. I was on a radio show with 3 other professionals this morning, the link is below. If you are reading this and live in Dubai and would like a home visit please do get in touch with me, either through my website or email Joanne at rachelsbabiesdubai@gmail.com. http://www.dubaieye1038.com/theword/ Also, we are having a breakfast at the Bystro restaurant and pastry house tomorrow morning at 9-30 local time…..do come along if you would like to join us. Cecile a local midwife will also be with us . She will be talking about feeding. I will be talking about having a flexible loving routine and also about sleep issues with babies and toddlers.

7th November. Here is the link below of St John’s church in Yeovil. I will be there on tuesday morning at the toddler group  and also in the evening. Do come along if you live near by.  I will be talking about my work and also answering parenting questions…..it would be lovely to see you if you can come. xx http://www.sjyeovil.org.uk/

27th October 2014 Such a good article in the Daily Telegraph newspaper today by Dr Max Pemberton. Last week NICE decided that teachers at primary schools should provide tooth brushes and toothpaste and teach the children how to clean their teeth!  Firstly this is not the job of the teacher, as if they dont have enough to do already, and secondly what a sorry mess we are in if parents are not teaching their children to clean their teeth. As I said last week on Twitter, surely this is one of the most basic parenting skills we teach out children.

24th October 2014 Have just had a lovely holiday in the Highlands of Scotland walking the hills and Lochs with a friend…..a wonderful part of the country to be. Tomorrow I am on my way home after a week in North Yorkshire with a family with second baby. We have had a great time together, baby doing really well, 4 weeks old , breast fed and in a lovely 4 hourly routine, he is sleeping very well too. I shall miiss you all when I leave tomorrow, lots of love and take care. xx

10th October 2014 Here I am presenting on Flexible Routine at the Mumsnet Bumpfest! Rachel at Mumsnet Bumpfest If you want to find out more about this, here is the full talk I gave at Bumpfest, I hope you find it useful: https://www.rachelsbabies.com/articles/Bumpfest2014 And  here is the full article I wrote for Mumsnet on this subject: http://www.mumsnet.com/babies/developing-a-routine

7th October  2014 I had a really good day in London with Mumsnet at their Bumpfest. It was very well organised and I had a good opportunity to meet lots of new mums and dads to be. Thanks to everyone who came to my session and for all the questions that you asked. Do get in touch if you are reading this and really struggling with issues with your baby or toddler with sleeping. Also if you are trying to get your baby to take a bottle and having difficulty do get in touch as I would be delighted to help with this. xx

5th September 2014 Below is a link to a new online magazine, called Motherland.  I have written an article for their first edition do hope you enjoy it.xx http://motherland.net/about/

6th September 2014 See the website below, Mumsnet are having a Bumpfest in North London on the 27th September. I hope to be there all day and my session is  during the afternoon. I shall be talking about having a flexible routine, how and why.  Also the importance of sleep for new babies, and growing babies and toddlers.  Do come along it would be lovely to meet you. xx http://www.mumsnet.com/events/bumpfest/2014/programme

1st  September 2014. The article below points out  how quickly mums are sent home from hospital after giving birth….the time spent in hospital seems to get shorter and shorter. I know we all want to get home after giving birth, but surely mums should be able to stay in until they feel ready to go home. Is it any wonder that so many mums have to go back into hospital with complications, either for themselves or for baby. xx http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/11063782/Women-pressured-into-leaving-hospital-too-soon-after-birth-warn-midwives.html

19th August 2014 Do read this great article below by Jemima Lewis. It is so refreshing to hear that some parents are still just letting their children get on with it, so to speak. When ours were young they would play outside for hours making their own games, climbing trees making camps in the garden. Now they are all adults they look back on it as a time of real freedom and fun.   We were farming so we had to be careful that  they didnt play near the farm machinery etc, but they grew up knowing that some places were out of bounds. Hope you are all enjoying the summer holidays. If you are struggling with getting your little one to settle or sleep well,  do get in touch.  So many children seem to wake so early this time of the year and not want to go back to sleep again….I am sure the light mornings has something to do with it..xx http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/mother-tongue/11034558/How-to-make-your-children-happy-by-doing-nothing.html

13th August 2014 I read this article yesterday and was completely amazed that having  a family has for some people become so unatractive that they hire someone for every part of parenting. The poor children who have this sort of parenting. One wonders what sort of hang ups they will have as they go into adult life.   I wonder why these people actually have children as they are the ones who miss out on all those special times.  We all know that parenting is exhausting at times but the good times certainly out weigh the difficult times. Hope you are all enjoying the summer holidays. xx http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/mother-tongue/11026464/Chequebook-parenting-the-A-lister-way.html

5th July 2014 We are having a wonderful holiday in the lake district, in a little cottage near Keswick. We have been able to go to several sessions at the Keswick convention and its been good to catch up with old friends. What wonderful weather we have been having, lets hope it continues now the school holidays are here again! xx

13th July 2014 We have had such a lovely weekend. Last night we had a great party and were able to be in the garden till after midnight as the weather was so beautifully warm. So good to have  lots of lovely friends together, great fun. Then this morning we had a wonderful service at church, and this afternoon, a cream tea in the garden with our lovely daughter and son in law with Susie and her friend and little one. How important it is to be able to stop and enjoy friends and family, so often life dashes away with us and we dont make time for these precious occasions. xx

27th June 2014 Below are 2 links for radio interviews that I did yesterday. I was asked what I felt about giving children water instead of fruit juice on the dinner table. In the news yesterday a report came out giving advice to parents not to give juice at all to try to help the obeisity problem in the UK.. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b047cdh2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p020wr7n

25th June 2014 Do take a look at this link below, it is such a lovely story and is such a wondeful example of how all children are precious, whatever their needs. How lovely to think that a little girl with Downs Syndrome is being used as a model for Sainsbury’s stores. Do look at the video clip of Natty playing her guitar and singing happy birthday.   Well done Natty….xxxx http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/children_shealth/10922996/There-are-no-limits-to-what-Natty-can-achieve.html

23rd June 2014 My wonderful daughter in law jumped out of a plane in Dubai today for Frontline fashion.  This is a charity set up by Melissa Gilgchrist Higgins, for helping  those living in Haitai   affected by  the earthquake disaster in 2010. Well done Helen, you are very brave doing a sky jump! xx

Frontline Fashion: Helen jumps for Haiti – from a plane!!!!

6th June 2014 Do look at this article by Alison Pearson, it is very good and very balanced. I wrote about it on Face book and had some very cross mums reply!   I do understand that not every one meets the right partner in their twenties and wants to settle down and have a family, but our bodies are better at having babies in our twenties and early thirties than in our forties and fifties. I also know that we have had more experience of life by the time we get to our forties, but our energy levels are definately not so great then as when we were younger. Also many women want to have a career first, there is nothing wrong with that, but putting marriage and having a family on hold for a career,  may not be the right way round! xx http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/10870063/Kirstie-Allsopps-right.-Dont-miss-the-baby-boat.html

22nd May 2014 I saw this little peice in the paper on Tuesday and thought it was so good. Wouldnt it be great if all our children were able to take risks as they were growing up. We have been so overprotective of our children in recent years and I am sure that risk taking sensibly, is all part of preparing our children for adulthood. xx http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/10841515/Let-children-trespass-and-start-fires-say-Springwatchs-Packham-and-Oddie.html

14th May 2014 Last week I flew to Edinburgh to be with a lovely family for three days with their beautiful 3 month old baby. It was so good to be in Scotland again, how I love the countryside and the people too. Its so rewarding to work with a family even just for a few days and see the baby settle so quickly……thank you to you both for having me! xx   5th May 2014 Last week I did several Radio interviews on two different subjects. One was as below on potty training. I was talking to Vanessa Feltz on Radio London. Then on Friday I was interviewed on BBC radion five live about some advice the NAHT have bought out. This was telling parents that they need to say I love you to their children several times a day. How sad that parents need to be told this and of course when we do tell our children this we need to make sure that we act it out as well and that we are genuine and not just saying the words.  Today BBC breakfast called to ask if I could go on the show tomorrow to talk about babies and toddlers crying and the effect this has on parents. I would have loved to do this but I am off to scotland tomorrow for three days work…which will be lovely…so maybe next time! Hope you’ve all had a good weekend. xx 29th April. Do read the link below as it makes interesting readingl.  I am wondering if parents are so taken up with Life that they dont have time to teach their children some of the most fundamental skills in life. We all know that many children when they start school have accidents and go home with wet pants or need their pants chnaged at school. When children start school it may be so overwhelming for them that they dont want to use the school toiilet or they are too busy to go and do a wee…..but we know they usually settle down quickly and this phase passes. But for a child not to be potty trained at all by the age of five is surely going to be difficult for this child when starting school. Please do get in touch with me if you are struggling with this issue and need some help. So often it can be sorted very quickly. Yesterday I was asked to talk about it on BBC Radio 5 live.  xx http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10791302/Five-year-olds-in-hundreds-of-schools-still-wearing-nappies-survey.html

24th April 2014 I had a wonderful time in Dubai last month, staying with my family who have been living there for 8 years now. It is always lovely to spend time with them as they only usually come home once a year. I want to introduce you to a lovely friend called Joanne who lives in Dubai and did a wonderful job setting up seminars for me and home visits to Mothers who were wanting help and advice. Joanne came to me last year for advice for her baby, George. She had been using the Baby book and came to a seminar I took. She wanted to help me set things up in Dubai so my last trip was organised completely by Joanne. If you live in Dubai and want to get in touch with her, here is her email address. rachelsbabiesdubai@gmail.com. Thank you to all who came to the seminars and to all the lovely families I visited while over in Dubai. I am hoping to come back again and visit  in October November time, but I will keep you posted on my website. xx

4th March 2014 I am so looking forward to going to Dubai next week. The seminars are now on the front page of my website. Please do come along to any of these venues if you can. I shall be doing home visits while I am there and will also have copies of all my books. I am so looking forward to staying with my family and catching up with them all again.xx

20th February 2014 This article from the Times newspaper on parenting is excellant, every parent needs to read it as it is so true. Hope you enjoy it! xx http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/sitesearch.do?querystring=Exhausted+by+parenting%3F+Its+all+your+own+fault&p=tto&pf=all&bl=on

11th February. Below is a very good article by Alex Proud….how true it is, we need to let our children be children while they can be.xxx http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/thinking-man/10623941/Your-child-is-not-a-genius.-Get-over-it.html

6th February 2014 I have just done an interview with BBC radio, the Mark Forrester show on co-sleeping and what my views are. I wouldn’t recommend it as babies can suffocate easily when sleeping between parents. Also it is good for babies to be in their own cots and learn to sleep well and for parents to have time together without baby.    At present it is quite fashionable to co-sleep and I do believe we will see this pass and it will be the norm for babies to sleep in their cots again. xx

5th February 2014 A big thank you to all the mums, dads, grandparents and childcarers who braved the stormy weather  today and came to toddler group. It was lovely to see you all…hopefully the weather will be better next week! xx

30th January 2014 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/mother-tongue/familyadvice/10604786/A-tip-on-French-table-manners-mind-your-peas-and-tus.html Here is an interesting link to an article on table manners…..maybe I’m very old fashioned but surely there is nothing wrong in teaching our children to sit up to the table and have good manners. I believe this will stand them in good stead for life.  Surely we want our children to behave well when we take them out to restaurants or friends houses as well as when we are at home. Also I think they will enjoy meal times so much more if they know how to behave well at the table.

3rd January 2014 A very happy new year to everyone.  I do hope you all had a lovely christmas and  are enjoying the new year and have  not been too affected by the terrible storms and floods we are having. Do contact me through my website if you have babies or young children who are not sleeping well. Very often this happens if you have been away for a few days and your little ones have got out of their routines.  Dont worry as usually these issues can be put right quite easily…so do get in touch if you are having problems. xx

26th November 2013 I cant believe it is so long since I wrote anything on my website. We have had a very sad time in our family over the past four months. My dear younger brother who was 59 passed away at the beginning of november with stomach and pancreatic cancer. He suffered so much in such a short time,  but was so very brave and never complained.  It has made me realise how important sibblings are to each other and in fact each family member, as we supported and continue to support each other in our grief. What a blessing families can be to each other when we go through the tough times in life. As I speak to groups of parents around the country and abroad I am always saying that if you have family support it is a real blessing.  xx

26th October 2013 Here is a link to an interesting article….how sad that parents now need to be taught how to let their children have a good time running around outside. Hope you all have a good half term and enjoy some time out with the children.xx http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/mother-tongue/familyadvice/10402202/Swap-TV-for-outdoors-children-told.html

17th October 2013   Below is a link to an interesting report on sleep issues with older children. Today I have been chatting to Charles Adler on his canadian radio show about children who dont sleep. We tend to think it just happens here in the UK  but it is pretty world wide in developed countries. Do get in touch with me if you are having sleep issues with your baby or young children. xx   http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/kids-with-irregular-bedtimes-more-likely-to-develop-behaviour-problems-says-british-study/article14807339/

3rd October 2013 Yesterday I read a good piece that Carol Vordeman had said about babies and designer clothes. She is so right, babies do not need designer clothes they need love and cuddles. Babies have no concept of what they are wearing,  designer clothes will not make them better sleepers or be more contented  babies, my guess is it just makes mum feel good! xx

26th September 2013 I see in the news today that 200,000 mums are being forced back to work because of cutbacks in child benefit. What does this government think it is doing putting more pressure on mums who are already under pressure. Is it any wonder that break down in family life is so high in this country, how very sad it all is, surely it is time something was done about this. xx

11 September 2013 Interesting article in the Daily Telegraph yesterday on baby food in jars…..saying that they have half the ammount of goodness in them compared with home cooked food. I have always felt this with jars and there is nothing like home cooked food for babies and toddlers…..but if you have been out all day and are running late there are some very good baby foods that are on the market today, which will be just as good for your toddler. xx

9th September 2013 If you are struggling with toddler tantrums and a cranky toddler do buy the Toddler book as there are lots of tips for the toddler years. If you are struggling with sleep issues with your baby or child then Sleep solutions is probably for you, this deals with issues of sleep from birth to five years. It is so easy to get completely sleep deprived and not be able to make decisions with a clear head. Do get in touch with me through my website if you are struggling as so often it is quite quick to teach little ones to sleep well. xx

29th August 2013 Do read the article below it is interesting reading.xx http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2404754/Can-swaddling-baby-like-Prince-George-raise-risk-cot-death.htmlad

23rd August 2013 There was an interesting piece in the Times newspaper yesterday on swaddling. A mother had taken her four week old swaddled baby to the clinic, and was sternly told off as it is apparently against health professional guidlines. She also has a note on her file that she is swaddling her baby against professional advice and is willing to put her baby’s life at risk by so doing. I was outraged to read this as we have been swaddling babies for years and done in the right  way it is perfectly safe and enables babies to sleep well and feel settled and secure.. This is just another thing to make mums feel guilty and inadequate. I do hope this sort of nonsense will go out as quickly as it has come in. xx   14th August 2013 Do get in touch with me if you are having trouble with feeding or sleeping issues with your new baby, I notice that some hospitals are trying to send mums home even earlier after birth. I know that home is often the best place to be but sometimes mums need a day or so in hospital where they can get help and advice and hopefully some rest. xx   6th August 2013 Below is another link that is worth looking at. Why is it that mums who choose to stay at home with their babies and toddlers often get  a raw deal, Surely it would make sense for the government to give them vouchers to look after their children, so encouraging mums who want to be at home to be able to do so. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10221663/Fury-over-George-Osbornes-snub-to-stay-at-home-mums.html

4th August 2013 Sorry its been such  a long time  since my last blog …..where do the days go to! I hope you’ve all been enjoying the wonderful summer weather we have had, what a treat and how lovely for families to be able to get out and about with the children . Below is the link to a very good article that was in the paper yesterday, somehow it makes a lot of sense. xx http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/10216510/The-reluctant-hausfrau-being-a-German-mother.html

17th June 2013 Do come and visit the Brighton baby expo on sunday 30th June. I will be there and would love to see you. There will be lots of opportunities for chatting about parenting issues. Hope to see you there! xx http://www.babyexpobabyshow.co.uk/visiting/zones/

29th May 2013 Had a really good day today, I have been in Bristol doing some filming for a British TV channel that will be shown in September……I will let you know more when I know more details.xx

29th May 2013 Here is the link to the Brighton baby expo where I will be taking part on June 30th…..please do come and see us if you can. xx http://www.babyexpobabyshow.co.uk/   21st May There has been a report today on co-sleeping which is very good.xx http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2328048/Sudden-infant-death-Risk-times-higher-baby-sleeps-parents-bed.htm   4th May I read today that Kirstie Allsopp says ” why should dad sit up with mum in the night when she breast feeds, as you dont want both parents shattered”. Very good advice, I am always saying this especially if dad is back at work. Sometimes mum needs the support of dad in the night, but if she doesnt then its good that dad gets a good nights sleep. If you are reading this and having trouble getting your baby or toddler to sleep then do get in touch with me. xx   22nd April 2013 Do come to Clyst heath primary school at Kings heath Exeter on friday 26th April at 8pm. I am speaking about my work and giving advice to parents for babies and young children. There will also be an opportunity for you  to ask questions . We would love to see you there.xx   5th April 2013 http://www.charlesadler.com Here is the link for the Charles Adler show. This is a canadian radio station and last night I did an interview with Charles. It was regarding a report thats come out saying it is good for children to be bored from time to time and just have time to be. It was a very good report and I so agree that children do need to have time to just “smell the daises”.     1st April 2013 I do hope you have had a lovely Easter weekend inspite of the cold weather. We are having a wonderful time with our family who are home from Dubai….as always so good to spend time with them. Today we went for a long walk on Dartmoor and it was absolutely freezing but great fun! If you have children at home on holiday from school enjoy the rest of the holidays.xx   26th March 2013 I have just watched the second episode of Bedtime Live, I missed the first one. It is very interesting to see Tanya’s methods and to see families run ragged with children who dont sleep. I have been working with families for many years with sleep problems and find that once parents put some boundaries in with their little ones that the methods work very quickly.  If you are struggling with sleep deprivation as a parent and dont know what to do please do get in touch and we can very quickly get it sorted out.xx   16th March 2013 I was glad to see this week that Professor Tanya Byron has spoken out saying “we are in the midst of a sleep deprivation crisis that is harming our children and young people”.  I so agree with this as I speak to so many parents who are having problems with their babies and toddlers with sleep issues. But please dont be put off if this is you as there is always something that can be done. So, please please do get in touch with  me if you have little ones that are not, or who have never slept. I always say it is never to late to teach them. Most of the consultations I do either by phone or home visits is all to do with sleep. If babies and young children do not sleep well then very often they have eating and behaviour problems as well. If you want to comment on this do follow me on FaceBook on Rachelsbabies.   9th March. Had a lovely day at home sorting things out I hadnt managed to do during the week. Also found a great recipe for lemon cakes in the British hen welfare trust magazine, they are delicious, dont think they will last long in the tin! xx 7th March Thanks to Anna for writing a good article in the Exeter Newspaper Express and echo. Not sure what the link is but hope you can find it. I have done an interview with Mother and Baby mag all about sleep for babies and children. It wont be out for a week or so yet. Also have done an interview with the Mail on sunday today that  wont be out for a few weeks yet either. 7th March 2013 We had a great book launch in Exeter last week with over 100 people coming to give their support. It was lovely to see so many friends I hadnt see for a long time. Thank you to everyon for coming . Do follow me on Facebook on rachelsbabies if you wish   23rd February I had a good flight back from Dubai last night and it is lovely to be home even though it is 25 deg cooler here than Dubai! It was lovely to be with my family again and I am missing you already. Thank you to all you mums who came to my seminars some of you coming more than once! Thank you for all your contributions you made during the question times we had. Also it was good to do several home visits while I was with you. Do be in touch if you need me. I am finding that skype works well to speak to clients overseas. Hope to be back before too long! xx   19th February Thank you to all the mummies who have come to my two seminars at Just Kidding in Dubai over the last two days. It was great to meet you all and some of you came twice……so glad you found it helpful. Thank you to Tanya who organised it all and lots of home visits as well. I am off to Abu Dhabi in the morning to meet mums there at a seminar organised by DbBabies. Looking forward to meeting more mums in the morning.xx   12th February I’m all packed up and ready to fly to Dubai tomorrow to be with my family for 10 days. Cant wait to be in the lovely warm sunshine again! I have a busy week with lots of different seminars organised by two stores, Just Kidding and Ddbabies. I am so looking forward to meeting you all…..do book in if you want to come and havent booked yet. See you all soon.xx   6th February Here is a link to the National article yesterday: This is a newspaper in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

31st January I was on the Steve Wright show on Radio 2 this afternoon…you can listen to it here!  Thanks Steve for having me on, and thanks to Janey Lee Grace …it was good to meet you all. xx   January 29th 2013 A very good day ending with a live interview with Charles Adler from Canada. You should be able to hear it here.   January 29th 2013 Very exciting – all the work I have been doing promoting my new book ‘Sleep Solutions’ is finally beginning to pay off and I’m in the Independent today! http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/should-we-cuddle-babies-or-leave-them-to-cry-8470338.html?google_editors_picks=true Look out for further press coverage over the next couple of weeks. xx January 19th Thank you Lucy for putting all the details of my new book Sleep solutions on my webiste, it looks really good. Sleep is so important for us all and so many families really struggle with settling their babies and young children. If you are having problems do contact me through Lucy. More often than not just half an hour on the phone can help you to put things right. Have a good weekend. xx   January 17th Just home from London and today I met Steve Wright and Janney Lee Grace at the BBC. I did an interview with them on my sleep book that you should be able to hear on 31st January sometime from 2-5 pm. xx   January 15th I am in london this week doing lots of different interviews for my new sleep solutions book that comes out on friday 18th. Do look in the Independant newspaper tomorrow as there should be an article about the book. I will keep you posted on other publications as they come out.xx   January 7th 2013 A very happy new year to everyone, I hope you’ve all had  a lovely christmas. We had a wonderful time in Dubai with family and also meeting lots of lovely parents at events laid on by Jenny and kate .My next book “Sleep solutions, quiet nights for you and your child” will be out next week, so do look out for it in the shops or buy it direct from the publishers. I hope it will be a really helpful guide to those of you who have sleep problems with your little ones. It covers the ages from birth to five years. xx   December 15th Rachel says, A big thank you to Jenny who organised a great morning in Abu Dhabi for me with lots of lovely mums and dads and their little ones,. We met in Jenny’s beautiful shop Dbbabies. Thank you to all of you who came, hopefully see you all again before too long.xx 1st November. I read this week that British infants own an average of 56 outfits! When you see what is on offer in the shops maybe this fact is true. Maybe we have got our priorities wrong! 20th October There has been a very interesting report done by Unicef on breast feeding in the uk. This says there are many more illnesses that babies have if they are not breast fed. I feel again this is putting huge pressure on mums to breast feed whatever. We all know that if you can breast feed successfully it is wonderful but there are many many women who struggle and ususally it is because of a lack of professional help in the earlier days after birth. For those women who can and have breast fed successfully , thats great, but for those of you who cant please dont feel guilty. The important thing is that your baby is loved and cared for and fed well so that he is happy and contented. 9th october I have just done an interview with sky radio news on the subject of children being infront of a screen for too many hours in a day, but Im not sure when it is going out on air. 9th october A report has come out today by leading Psychologist Dr Aric Sigman about the ammount of hours a day children sit in front of a screen.It is said that by the time a child is seven years old he could have spent one whole year of his life in front of a screen of some sort. This will also have an effect on his physical and emotional wellbeing. What a warning to us all…..I wonder if this happens now because so many parents are both working full time and are so busy and often worn out and dont have the time or energy to play with their children. What happened to  pretend games, dressing up etc….. and playing outside and going for long walks! 6th october What a great day Ive had in the garden…the weather has been fantastic all day!…lots of clearing up and digging flower beds….how I love a day like this. Hope the weather will stay fine as lots more to do! xx 29th september What an interesting survey done by Munchkin telling us that mums take four months and 23 days to get the hang of motherhood……I know many many mums who are worried about not coping as a new mum but take to motherhood like a duck to water and dont want to go back to work and leave their little one. But there are many who find it more difficult for all sorts of reasons……if you are one of these and struggling please do get in touch with me via Lucy and we can have a chat.xx September 24th What a great article in the press recently on french parenting. A new book has just been published called Why French children dont answer back. Just to name a couple of things, french children are taught good manners and not allowed to answer back or they are reprimanded for this, and children sit down to meals with all the family. I wonder if this is really what happens! Maybe if we took this up in the UK children would be well mannered when they get to school age, and we wouldnt see so many children with food issues. August 15th What a great time we’ve had with all our grandchildren over the past few weeks, including a day out to Weymouth to the Olympics, just one of many things we have done together these holidays…..all very special.xx July 30th Wel,l my book on sleep is all finished and now with the publishers….cant quite believe it is all done! Thank you to all of you who have done case studies and invited me into your homes over the years to give me so much experience on the subject of sleep…..I couldnt have done it without you all. Now I can enjoy the Olympics !! xx July 6th I see an article about ovary transplants enabling women to go on having babies into their fities and sixties. Is this really fair on the children as our level of energy is nothing like it is when we are younger.I wonder what the outcome of this will be! x July 3rd What a summer we are having it has poured down all day here so I dont feel so bad about being in my office writing…the book is nearly finished ! lets hope the weather improves when the children break up from school, it cant get any worse! x June 22nd Rachel says Oh goodness me what does Cherie Blair think she means about yummy mummies staying at home with their children. I know many many women who would love to be able to be a full time mum at home with their children in the early years.  To those of you who dont have to go back to work….. enjoy being a full time mum and remember you will never regret it. June 18th Rachel says Good for Martha Payne for sending photos of her school meals round the world to raise money for charity, well done Martha keep up the good work! June 12th Rachel says Sorry I havent written a blog for a while but we have been away on a lovely Rhine cruise and enjoyed some beautiful countryside and some lovely weather! Where has the summer gone ! Lets hope its back in time for the school holidays. Now I am finishing writing my book on sleep….it wont be in the shops till January…..will let you know about it nearer the time.xx May 8th Rachel says There is an interesting report out that says a lot of children who have been diagnosed with special needs are actually in need of some good parenting and need to learn about boundaries. How important it is as parents, to put those boundaries of right an wrong down in the early years of our childrens lives, enabling our children to be happy, feel secure and fullfilled. There is a competition running on my Facebook Page where you can win a copy of either The Baby Book or The Toddler Book. For more information Click Here. May 3rd Rachel says I have just read a report that a large number of parents in the uk find it hard to encourage and join in with their children when playing imaginary games. How sad that we have lost this ability, or maybe just dont have the time or energy to engage with our children in pretend games. All children love imaginary games and it is such a good form of play where they can be lost in their own little worlds for a while.I love listeneing to children who play together like this, they have such fun. April 30th Rachel says I see today in the paper that some offices are offering breast feeding facilities for mothers, either to feed or pump. Many mothers apparently are going back to work before baby is six months old because of this.I feel sad about this.  I always say if you dont have to return to work in baby’s first year, stay at home as you will never ever regret that time you spend with your little one….and they grow up so quickly and they are at school before you know it ! April 21st Rachel says Well done Kirstie Allsopp for speaking out about four year olds needing to be part of school statistics on absenteeism if they are not at school. As we all know there are some days when four year olds do better just to have a quiet day at home. There is plenty of time in the future for them to have to go to school every day…..let children be children I say! April 17th Rachel says. I hope you all had a lovely Easter and I guess now your children are back at school. I am working on my next book on sleep and looking for anyone with children between the age of four to five who are having real problems with sleeping issues. Do get in touch via my website, facebook or twitter and I would be very happy to help and may use you as a case study if you would be happy with that. xx April 7th I believe it’s good for babies to sleep somewhere different during the day, to distinguish night-time from daytime. If you have a pram or buggy, by all means put your baby to sleep there during the day. I’m a great believer in taking babies for walks during the day if possible: babies love motion, whether in the pram or the car, and this can often help them to settle off to sleep. Young babies should not sleep for long periods in a bouncy chair or a car seat on a regular basis, as is not good for their backs. If you have a garden that is fenced and safe for you to leave your baby in, then she can have her daytime naps there, as the fresh air is good for her. If she is well wrapped up, it’s fine for her to sleep outside even in the winter; however, it’s useful to have a rain cover for the pram. It’s also a good idea to have an insect net for summer days. Babies are much more comfortable when tucked down in their buggy or pram, and will have deeper sleep, than lying in somebody’s arms. However, don’t worry if your baby falls asleep in your arms now and again. It’s a good idea not to let this become a habit though, as it can make it more difficult to teach her to settle herself. Never go to sleep with your baby on your lap on the sofa, as once you are asleep you will not be aware of your baby’s movements. In the first two weeks of life, your baby can sleep in the living room during the day, even if there is quite a bit of noise. As she gets older I would usually advise that she sleeps in another room, so that she will not be disturbed and you don’t have to tiptoe around her. April 2nd Where should my baby sleep at night? Many parents ask me whether they should have their baby in bed with them at night. I do not recommend that your baby sleeps in your bed, for two reasons: you might turn over in the night and smother her, and both parents and baby will sleep better separately. The Foundation for Study of Infant Death (FSID) advises that babies should not be in bed or on sofas or other places with sleeping parents, particularly if a parent smokes or has been drinking alcohol. Before your baby is born, you and your partner need to discuss and agree where she is going to sleep. It is important to remember that you need time for each other, and sometimes space without your baby. For the first month of your baby’s life, it is fine for her to be in her cot or Moses basket in your bedroom, and maybe she will go into her own room from four weeks onwards, and even earlier if you prefer. March 27th As your baby gets older, he will gradually begin to sleep through the night, having a couple of hours of sleep in the morning and just a nap in the afternoon. As he starts to sleep through the night, he will usually go for one night without a feed, and then maybe want a night feed for the next couple of nights. Once he has slept through the night without a feed, you know he can do it in the future. From about four to six months of age, babies will probably be sleeping through the night from about 7.00pm until 6.00am or 7.00am. Your baby should have a good morning sleep, and just nap sometimes in the afternoon. Try not to let this sleep be too near teatime (early evening feed) or he won’t be ready for sleep at bedtime. From six months to one year, his routine and sleeping will change, he will be having three meals a day. he will be sleeping well through the night, from about 7.00pm until 7.00 or 8.00am. He will then either need to sleep in the late morning for a couple of hours, or have an early lunch (say 11.30am) and then have a two hour sleep in the afternoon. Some days you will find he needs to have a little nap in the afternoon, depending on how good his nights are and when he wakes in the morning. You may not find this necessary every day. By twelve months old he will be having one good sleep a day and the odd afternoon nap, depending on what time he wakes in the morning. Each baby is different, so this is just a guide: babies, like adults, vary in sleeping patterns and needs. I can’t emphasize enough, however, that babies usually need to be taught when to sleep. March 22nd Length of sleep During the first forty-eight hours after birth, your baby will often have a long stretch of sleep. Don’t worry, as this is perfectly normal. For the first two weeks of life, babies will often sleep most of the time, only waking or being woken to feed. Sometimes they may only be awake for an hour at any feed time. This is quite normal, particularly if your baby was born early. My daughters were born two weeks early and they both slept for the first fortnight of their lives, just waking up for feeds. After two weeks they suddenly seemed to wake up and come to life. Babies up to around six month need about sixteen hours of sleep in every twenty-four hours. Some newborns will sleep even more than this. For the first few weeks, you should try to avoid your baby being awake for more than one and a half hours at feed time. Sometimes you will find one hour is enough. March 20th Colic Many babies will be unsettled during the evening and this is often called colic. Normally it is not colic, just a time when they need to air their lungs and be wakeful, This is particularly true if they are sleeping well between feeds for the rest of the day. Babies often need to have one time of the day when they are wakeful, and unfortunately this is usually in the evening just as parents are sitting down to supper.   March 19th How long has your baby been awake? It’s important to remember how long your baby has been awake, as this will help you to know when she’s ready for sleep. Babies can get very overtired from being handled too much and passed around for people to hold, particularly in the first two months of life. Your baby can be overstimulated and then become very awake and aware of noises and things going on around her. At this point it can be difficult to get her to settle, so try to make sure she doesn’t get to this stage. Bouncing or jumping your baby on your lap can also overstimulate her, so try not to do this before sleep. This doesn’t mean that you, your friends and family can’t have lots of cuddles and contact with your baby; just be aware that she may become overtired very quickly.   March 13th Physical signs of tiredness Sometimes older babies will begin to close their eyes and doze between periods of crying, and you then know that they are ready for sleep. When your baby is tired he may rub his eyes and yawn, and when he is put in his cot he will often turn his head away from you or from whatever is going on. At this point he just wants to switch off. He may also crawl up to the top of his cot to sleep.   March 12th Follow my blog entries about sleep issues. Sleep Many parents seem to have problems helping babies and young children to sleep nowadays. How often have you heard friends or family say that they are walking around the house at night to get their baby to sleep, or driving him round in the car to help him to settle? This usually stems from a lack of good advice for parents in training thier newborns to sleep well. As parents, you are often advised to pick your baby up and feed him every time he cries, which can make it extremely difficult to get a good sleeping pattern going. It is a myth that having a baby will mean you don’t get any sleep for the next three years. Babies need sleep in order to grow and develop, and they really can’t have too much sleep; in fact they thrive on it. Babies who are taught to sleep early on will be happy and contended and will generally grow up to be good sleepers. Importantly, parents also need sleep! It is important to form good sleeping habbits in the first few months of life to help your baby age, a baby with good sleep habits should regulary sleep through the night for at least twelve hours. Understanding the difference between cries Understanding your baby’s cries is a learning process as you get to know her. It may take a while for you to understand different cries. Her cry for food will be different from her cry when ready for sleep. A cry for food will be much more desperate; in fact, she may be inconsolable and it will be difficult to quieten her. She may also suck her fingers or hand. The sleep cry will usually not be so desperate; she may well suck her fingers, but for comfort rather than hunger, as she will be longing to be put down for a sleep. Babies often make little noises in the night as they drift in and out of sleep, and this is quite normal. March 7th Tips on ‘sleep for toddlers’. All toddlers under the age of 2 need to have a nap in the day and so do you!   Rachel says, Thursday 1st March Congratulations! Sammie Browning has won the free half hour consultancy with Rachel. Look out for the next competition/offer in the next few weeks.   Saturday 18th February I so agree with Dr Julie Wray of the school of nursing and midwifery. She says in todays Daily Telegraph that many new mums are turned out of hospital too soon after the birth of their baby and left to cope on their own. Many mums I speak to feel the same and say they have given up breast feeding as there was very little help in hospital and they were sent home so soon.  Also many mums are sent home with their babies who havent even been bathed! I know mums dont want to be in hospital for longer than is necessary but it would be good if their was some system whereby new mums were taught how to care for and feed their babies when they get home. The midwives do a brilliant job but just have too much to do.   Friday 17th February What do I give him? Baby rice and pureed fruit or vegetables is a good start. Just a little baby rice, a teaspoon full, then mix in some fruit or veg that has been cooked and pureed and some breast or bottle milk to make it a custard like consistency. Give this in the morning at his 10-11 a.m feed and after about a week give some more at around 5 pm.     Tuesday 14th February How do I know my baby is ready for solid food…….when he starts waking early for feeds and is not satisfied. He may start waking in the night or around 4 a.m when he has been sleeping well. When he is opening his mouth like a little bird when he see you feeding! Also when he around about 14lbs in weight, usually a baby will be ready for some solids in his diet.   Friday 10th February Rachel says Have you seen a brilliant article written by Judith woods this week in the Daily Telegraph on wednesday 8th feb. It is called Knickers to the nappy curriculum and is about pushy parents and their children. It is so true that there are parents who fill their childrens days with activities that these little ones are often not ready for. Huge pressure seems to be on for under school age children to excel in things that not many years ago little ones had not even heard of! Yes, please let our children be children while they can be, there is enough pressure on them when they get to school anyway. Thank you Judith for your common sense article hopefully many parents will read it and take note!   Tuesday 31st January Hello to all my friends and supporters of Rachels Babies! These winter months can be tough so to cheer you up I am offering a free ½ hour telephone consultation for one lucky person – giving them advice/help with their baby/toddler.  All you need to do is ‘Like’ my page and then ‘Share’ it with your ‘Friends’. Find the ‘Like’ button on my homepage. I will then randomly select a winner from the ‘Likes’!  Winner to be announced at the end of February.  Rachel xx Tuesday 17th January; Here is the link to the interview I did on Premier Radio, www.premier.org.uk/ingoodcompany hope you enjoy! Saturday 24th December Rachel says, A very happy christmas to you all and I hope you all have a lovely time with your children and families. As from today we are told it is perfectly ok to swaddle our babies, apparently this is the first time this advice has been given since the 1950’s !!!! What a surprise ! We all know how much better babies sleep if they are swaddled, but now it is official! Will be in touch again in the new year   Sunday 18th December Rachel says, I am a great believer in swaddling, to swaddle baby and tuck her down flat in her pram or cot.     Thursday 15th December, Rachel says, It is important for baby to lay flat on her back to get the best sleep, rather than sitting up in a car seat, which can be bad for her back   Wednesday 14th December, Rachel says, A newborn baby won’t sleep if they are hungry! so how do you know if they are? If breast feeding it’s a little harder to tell, however make sure you feed baby on both breasts and check if baby is routing or moving head from side to side, or putting hands in mouth after a feed, this is a sign she is looking for more! if baby is bottle fed you can see how much she has had.     Tuesday 13th December, Rachels says, I will be giving some useful bitesize points on ‘sleep’ with newborn babies over the next few days…. if you would like more information please refer to The Baby Book. For a newborn baby it is vital that she has 16 hours sleep in a 24 hour period, during the first few weeks.   Thursday 8th December, Rachels says…. In the Telegraph on Saturday last week there was a good article by Rose Prince about food allergies in children. A study has been done at Kings College London on the benifits of giving children small amounts of food that may cause an allergy in order to build up their immune system against the particular allergy. This makes great sense as it seems we have become paranoid about not giving our young children certain foods,  therefore so many children don’t have any immunity against allergies. Of course I know there are children who have very real reactions to certain foods, and these need to be taken seriously.  Rose also goes on to say how fashions change so quickly ,one  moment  you are told to breast feed for 6  months, the next told to wean at 3 months. Is it any wonder that mums are lost in the muddle of advice they are given. Sadly it is often advice that has lost the ability to stick to common sense     Tuesday 29th November, Date for your diary! Sunday December 18th at 8pm on PREMIER RADIO. Rachel is interviewed by Jeff Lucus and Ruth Dearnley and will be talking about her work and giving general advice on parenting. Not to be missed!!!   Rachel says, Tuesday 22nd November. This is the time of year when Bronchiolitis is prevelant in babies and young children. I have seen this in babies aged from about 1 month old over the past few years. It is a horrid condition and babies can deteriorate quickly. The signs are; baby has a cold and maybe a cough, she doesnt want to feed, she can become listless and just wants to sleep. Her breathing can become heavy and her body can become a blueish colour. Often the first sign will be a nasty cough that sounds like croup. You do need to see a Doctor quickly , as sometimes babies are hospitalised and given oxygen. This condition affects babies and young children from November to March.   Rachel says Monday 7th November I see a study has been done in South Africa about the stress to newborn babies when taken from their mother at birth and put in a cot. I understand that all babies are given straight to mother after she has delivered, and put to the breast to feed, unless they are premature and needing special care, so not sure how this report has been done.   It is interesting that this study has been done in South Africa where I guess many babies naturally stay with their mothers as this is culturally acceptable. As we in the west in the main, dont sleep with our babies and children, I hope this report wont bring more guilt and worry to parents who in my view are already overloaded with things to worry about!  Dont let this report make you go into a spin and feel you need to have all your children sleeping in bed with you!   Rachel says Wednesday November 2nd At the weekend there was a very interesting article in the Daily Telegrah newspaper on smacking, written by Christopher Wakling. On thursday evening a new BBC tv series starts called The Slap. I wonder how much negative reaction there will be to this as we as a nation now live in a culture where there are little or no boundaries found in parenting. I wonder if some of the reasons for the riots in August came about because those who were resposible, had never had firm but loving boundaries given to them as they were growing up. Rachel says Friday 28th october Hi everyone, sorry Ive not been in touch for a while, guess lots of you have been busy with 1/2 term this week. I have seen quite a bit in the press recently about parenting for families. I can do ante natal classes  in your area to help you with baby, feeding,breast and bottle, and the big one Sleep!     Do let me know if I can help in any way Rachel says Monday, 10th October Interesting article in yesterday’s Observer entitled ‘Breastfeeding can boost social mobility, experts tell ministers’.  Apparently the government is urged to act on new research that shows the importance of a baby’s early weeks to success in later life.  Dr Emilia Del Bono, an economist at the Institute of Social & Economic Research said “There seems to be evidence of benefits of breastfeeding in relation not just to health – which are already widely known – but also, and perhaps more controversially, in the cognitive, emotional and behavioural domains.  There is a strong argument that the government should include breastfeeding on its list of social mobility indicators.”    Interesting stuff!   Del Bono also commented that whilst it is good that hospitals promote breastfeeding, mothers need continued encouragement to carry on breastfeeding in the longer term. Rachel says Saturday 8th October This past couple of weeks I have spoken to lots of mothers feeling very upset about their childs behaviour now he/she has started at school. They are dealing with tantrums and bad behaviour, and children not sleeping well at night. It is very normal for young children to be very good at school and come home and go into meltdown ! It is often related to being very tired. Do call me if you are having problems such as these.   Rachel says Friday 7th October Well this week I have started writing my book on sleep…..what a subject…..and how vital sleep is to us all! Do let me know if you have any stories on your babies or childrens sleep patterns…..I would love to hear from you. Just get in touch with Lucy Have a lovely wknd.   Rachel says: Tuesday, 27th September 2011 You will have seen the recent news articles about ‘The Erosion of Childhood’ which made some pretty sad reading.  I agree with much of what was said that our children have too much too soon in terms of consumerism, media gadgets and not enough family time and outdoor activities.   It seems we have perhaps lost our way with regards to parenting in the UK.  This is an area I am passionate about and desperately keen to help families with.  How important it is that the boundaries which we give in parenting are laid down in the early months of a child’s life in order to establish a stable, loving and secure family environment where children can thrive and flourish. Don’t forget you can get in touch with me if you are having problems with any issues relating to your babies and children – for example, bad behaviour, eating problems, sleep issues, breast-feeding, maintaining a routine, I am here to help! Sleep Issues Rachel says: This is such a big problem area for many families today who struggle with broken nights due to children not sleeping.  Being a childcare expert I spend so much time advising parents on how to get their babies and children to sleep through the night.  Lack of sleep is so destructive to family life – so please do contact me if you need some help. Rachel says: Saturday 13th August 2011 “Why won’t my baby sleep at night?” is so often the cry from new exhausted parents. A baby who won’t settle at night seems to disrupt family life much more than if he won’t sleep in the day. Sleep is so important to us all and we can’t operate and function properly without it. The most important thing for a new baby is feeding and sleeping, a baby who is hungry or over-tired will not sleep. So, firstly make sure baby has been fed really well, as I say, tanked right! Change his nappy at some stage during the feed, then when he has been up for long enough, about an hour, then he needs to be tucked down in his cot or pram. Very often babies will be fretful and a little unsettled while they are dropping off to sleep, this is quite normal, and if left to settle themselves they should then sleep well until the next feed. This is just a rough guide, do get in touch with me through Lucy whose details are here on my website (lucybinns@bigapemedia.com) if you have any problems with your baby or child not sleeping. My consultancy service works very well and I will try and get in touch with you immediately.   My service is very personal and we aim to respond within 24-48 hours.   Rachel says: Thursday 11th August I just want to reassure those of you who have given your babies cows milk before they are a year old that this is perfectly ok. A report has come out to say that cows milk is too salty, but if your baby has been breast fed and you are weaning him/her and he/she wont take formula, cows milk is perfectly ok for him/her. So rest assurred ! Rachel says Monday 1st August I have just seen a report on demand feeding, carried out in Australia that babies who are demand fed end up with healthier weights. I have found that babies who feed regularly put on weight well and also are very settled and sleep well. Surely this is what we all need! Dont forget you can contact me through my consultancy service if you have any questions you wish to ask. I speak to lots of parents with babies and young children with sleeping issues.