hLike everything baby related because babies are all different they will all experience teething differently. One of my friends has three children now and this is the first time teething has caused chaos in their house. The other two dribbled and drooled but this little fella is not sleeping, his routine is completely out of whack, he’s refusing food and in turn it’s disturbing the other two kids as well.


Teething can be a testing time for everyone. I often think how cruel it is that our little ones have to go through such pain but the only silver lining here is they don’t remember: but we do! James started teething early, he was just nearly three months old and as he didn’t sleep for about two years I didn’t really know any different but boy if you’ve had two sleepers and then a child who is suddenly not sleeping it can be really tough.


You feel so helpless as a parent watching them with their red cheeks, eating their hands and yours and drooling all over everything and everyone they come into contact with. The symptoms of teething can vary depending on when your child is cutting his or her first tooth. My sister was actually born with a tooth but the majority of babies start teething between four and nine months and don’t panic if your baby is not teething yet because some little ones may start teething as late as one year of age.


The individual and very different teething experiences that babies go through mean experts often disagree about the symptoms of teething. However most parents notice some of the following in their little one – drooling, biting, irritability, ear pulling and sleeplessness. In the beginning you might be dealing with a lot of dribble for quite a while. There are some amazing brands around now like Cozi Dry.

complete gift set cozidry

Emily Godson came up with the idea for this product when each of her three babies drooled incessantly while they were teething. She remembers her ‘eureka’ moment, whilst changing her baby’s vest for the 100th time and she wondered why she had never thought of the idea before when she was designing kid’s clothes. She sells vest, bibs and gift sets ranging from €18-75


If you are trying to take shortcuts in life make them worthwhile. I’m a great believer in using products that work and vests like these help prevent your babies clothes becoming damp which can lead to colds and skin rashes.

Neckerchew French Chic


There are also lots of great bibs on the market like the neckerchew €15.99 from that are a bib and a teether in one! Your baby will love the chewy piece on the corner of these bibs which means no more teething toys being flung around the car, restaurants or even when you’re out for a walk!


As far as pain management goes I used Teetha (€6.49 all the time. James actually recognized the little sachets after a while and used to get very excited when I took them out which led me to believe it gave him great relief.  The Nelsons Teetha Teething Granules are a homeopathic remedy, which is another reason I felt so comfortable using them. As James was so young I really didn’t want to be giving him medicine all the time. I used their teething gel (€5.99) at night before I put him down and if he was struggling during the night I would rub some more on.


Keeping lots of bits and pieces in the freezer was also my savior. When James was a bit older and eating solids I used the Clevamama Clevafeed (€6.99), which is great for putting frozen fruit into and they can chew away to their hearts content. Never leave your child unattended with these items though.


It’s normal for sleeping and eating patterns to be disrupted during this time and if you have a teething tot you will need a lot of patience and cuddles to hand but it’s important to note that if your baby is experiencing diarrhoea or has a temperature or if you detect bleeding of the gums or if you are worried about your baby’s symptoms please consult your doctor.


This valuable and effective settling technique has made a come back due to the preferred sleeping position for babies. Babies positioned on their back are considered at less risk of SIDS, however they will often stimulate the moro or startle reflex with their movements, and wake up. Swaddling or wrapping helps to overcome this concern, by recreating the safe in the womb feeling for baby.

The practice of swaddling goes back nearly as far as human history, itself. The oldest archaeological evidence of mothers swaddling their babies begins in 4000 B.C. The ability of swaddling to soothe and calm babies has been known to mothers around the world for countless generations. But while the evidence of its benefits have been clear to women for thousands of years and across every continent, today we can turn to science for proof that swaddling is one of the most gentle, effective, and beneficial practices for mothers and their children.

In 2002, the medical journal Paediatrics published a study that explained why babies who are swaddled sleep more peacefully by preventing spontaneous movements (called reflex motion) from waking them up continually during the night. The same year, the Journal of Applied Physiology wrote that swaddled infants stay in REM sleep (the most restorative, deepest sleep) longer than those who were not swaddled.

Swaddling is said to be as familiar to babies as it is to their mums because it recreates the secure and cosy feeling of the womb – and using swaddles made of natural cotton muslin swaddles only enhances that blissful feeling. Muslin is a finely-woven breathable fabric believed to have originated in Bangladesh during the Middle Ages. It’s delicate, yet durable weave, makes the fabric stretchy, and therefore ideal for swaddling, as the natural give allows the blanket to be tucked snugly around a baby without being overly restrictive.

The lightweight muslin also permits air to circulate around the baby’s body, while still providing comfort and warmth without the worry that the baby may overheat in moderate weather. Cotton muslin is also a workhorse fabric, in that wraps woven from its natural fibre stands up to repeated washings only becoming softer – and better – with age.

Of course, all the scientific evidence in the world is no substitute for the experience of millions of mothers through uncountable generations – that swaddling in muslin is one of the most loving, gentle, restorative acts a mother can perform for her child.

Swaddling : Fresh from a foetal position, infants are not used to wide-open spaces. Plus, they don’t know that their arms and legs belong to them. When they are overtired, you need to immobilise them, because seeing their legs and arms flail about both scares them as they think that someone is doing something to them – and the experience heaps more stimulation onto their already overload senses. Swaddling may seem dated, but even modern research confirms its benefits.


To swaddle properly : Fold the corner of the muslin blanket down into a triangle. Lay your baby on top, positioning the fold level with his neck. Place one of his arms across his chest at a 45-degree angle and bring one corner of the blanket snugly across his body. Do the same with the other side. I suggest swaddling for the first six weeks, but after the seventh week, when baby is first trying to get his hands to his mouth, help him out by bending his arms and leaving his hands exposed and close to his face and swaddle from under his arms.


Pack of three muslin swaddling blankets €49 made using rayon from bamboo fiber. Aden and Anais wraps are the ultimate in breathability and softness. Muslin’s light, open weave allows a baby’s body temperature to regulate itself naturally, which helps to reduce the risk of overheating.

Important: If you choose to swaddle, be sure you know how to do it correctly. Improper swaddling by tightly wrapping your baby’s legs straight down may loosen the joints and damage the soft cartilage of the hip sockets, leading to hip dysplasia. Be careful not to cover your baby’s head and face. Do not use heavy blankets to swaddle as this may cause the baby to overheat.

The SIDS debate continues to arouse controversy:

The best sleeping arrangement for babies and children continues to be a subject for study and heated debate. Depending on the spin put on a particular piece of research, one study can appear to contradict another. A study by the Department of Child Health at the University of Glasgow, published in 2005, suggests that there is no risk in co-sleeping with a baby over 11 weeks old, they did find a risk if SIDS, not only from co-sleeping but also from a baby sleeping in a separate room but their conclusion that co-sleeping with very young babies is risky contradicts the research carried out among populations in other parts of the world.

So let’s go back to the science of SIDS :

As we have seen, SIDS is caused mostly by unstable breathing and an immature cardiovascular system. It is known from scientific studies that separation from the mother’s body means the baby moves into a primitive defence mode, which can result in wildly irregular breathing and heartbeat. After six hours, a baby separated from his mother has stress hormone levels twice as high as a baby whose mother is close by. In contrast, being in close bodily contact with the mother stabilises a baby’s heartbeat and breathing. That said, there will be many parents who remain anxious about sleeping in close contact with their babies. If you feel uncertain about the issue, you can swaddle your baby to sleep in a cot right beside your bed, where you can instantly reach out to him when he cries.

Sharing a bed with your baby:

Keeping your baby close to you helps you get to know your baby and to recognise when they are hungry and wanting to feed. In hospital, you are encouraged to have your baby with you by your bed at all times. When you go home it is recommended that your baby shares a room with you, particularly at night, for at least six months, as this helps to protect babies against cot death.

If you are breastfeeding, you may find it helps if your baby shares your bed at night. This can make breastfeeding easier because your baby can feed whenever they want without disturbing you too much. Your baby will usually lay on their side to breastfeed. After feeding the baby should be put on their back to sleep, never on their front or side. It also helps to calm your baby if they are unsettled, and many babies sleep better when they are close to their mother. However to ensure safety, there are a number of points to consider before you think about having your baby in bed with you:

You should NOT share a bed with a baby if you (or any other person in the bed):

  • Are a smoker (no matter where or when you smoke)
  • Have drunk alcohol
  • Have taken any drug or medication which could make you extra sleepy
  • Are otherwise unusually tired to a point where you would find it difficult to respond to your baby because this will increase the risk of cot death

There are also a number of things you need to be made aware of if you are co-sleeping:

  •  The mattress should be firm, flat and clean
  •  Make sure your baby does not get too warm. The best room temperature for a baby is 16-18’C
  •  It is best to use cotton sheets and cotton cellular blankets rather than duvets or quilts
  •  Do not swaddle if you are sharing a bed with your baby


Written by Doreen Buckley, registered General Nurse and Midwife and

Gold Medal winner. Lactation specialist with 30+ years’ experience, a

diploma in Neonatology and Diploma in Parent Mentoring. Doreen is also

a Parentcraft education teacher and a baby coach expert with a certificate

in sleep training, holistic infant massage and reflexology. Doreen also

presents ‘Baby on Board’ for RTE Ireland and provides private childbirth

and early parenting one-day courses for couples with their first baby. For

more information visit:


Article is supported by aden + anais, the leading swaddling and baby care brand. aden + anais founder, Raegan Moya-Jones is the author of Swaddle Love, a how-to book about swaddling, techniques and benefits. For more information visit:




Toddler tales 34 jpeg 2

I have to admit that I have always been a fan of a loose routine but recently I’m really starting to realize and understand the importance of structure and routine in a kids life. They like to know what’s coming next and what to expect. Any parent out there that has survived the transition from Summer to school is amazing in my eyes. James has been in preschool all summer and has been very happy but midway through August he decided he didn’t need to go anymore even suggesting that he stay home alone as he’s a big boy now.

This only got worse and I didn’t help by giving in and letting him stay home for a few days. I figured he’d be bored out of his mind as I sat him in front of a DVD and typed on the computer as I explained that I still had to work. “That’s ok mum” he said, at which point I knew I had made a mistake as now there are complete meltdowns where he tells me he will sit still and watch me on the computer.

Well this topped all previous ‘mummy guilts’ as he clung to my leg when I dropped him of at The Toddler Inn begging me not to leave him. “I don’t want to bloody work” I felt like screaming. I actually need a holiday with some sun, sangria and sand. Just as I was dreaming about my fantasy holiday (I’d even settle for magaluf at this stage) the weather changed and I found myself sitting in my dressing gown and slippers with the heating on. I did choose college over a holiday this year which I’m incredibly excited about as I figured I’d see just how much more I can fit into my life. In reality however want to become a nutritional therapist which will enable me to set up my own business and provide for James in years to come as you can’t relying on modeling forever.

James and I are best friends again primarily because we are back into a routine. He’s back at rugby tots as well and his world make sense again. If I’m honest I kinda like the routine I fought so hard against. My new motto is ‘never say you never will, because in life you just never know’ Ali xx


Rockabilly Group shot James loves the new Rockabilly Kids toothbrush, from Stand Up and Smile. This innovative product has been approved by dentists, will never topple over and is without doubt the most hygienic brush in the bathroom!

€8.99 (includes 3 replacement heads to provide a complete year of brushing) Boots (ages 3-7)




MultiMam_BabyDentIf you want to look after your child’s teeth and give them a helping hand while they are teething then try the new Multi Mam Baby Dent teething gel. It has the ability to help heal the gums because of the 2QR and the Hyaluronic acid it contains. It promotes tissue repair and protects the new teeth and gums from caries. €9.95 from pharmacies





Hi Alison

I really struggle with getting my toddler to brush his teeth. How did you do it with James?

Thanks, Erin, Dublin

Hi Erin,

Ah so your toddler is 100% normal in that case. I’ve tried everything from games to toothbrushes that light up. Recently I came across a product called “Wash and Learn” that’s working a treat.

Mum Lorraine Duane is the brainchild behind it and its basically a child’s toiletry bag but with a unique difference. It teaches the child the basics of personal hygiene while indirectly teaching them how to dress. James loves it and he’s thrilled with himself when he can open the buttons and zip himself with no help from me. It’s great for sleepovers in Nanas and has made the chore of brushing his teeth much easier because its now a job he’s doing for himself. Enabling him to be more independent. He snaps the button closed afterwards and hangs it on the back of the door. He also show it to everyone who calls which makes him feel very important and grown up and in James words “I do it all myself with no help from my mum”

Wash & Learn packagingThis “Wash and Learn” teaches children to be more hygiene aware and independent. €25






MIO Fit Skin For LifeCheck out Mio’s new high intensity bodycare range dedicated to toning, buffing and beautifying the skin pre, during and post exercise.

available in pharmacies and Cleary’s Prices range between €25.00 and €42.00




Will we ever meet again book cover READING Will we ever meet again by Tom Colton. If you believe in mediums like I do then this is a book for you.




Q: I’m so tired since the  arrival of my baby and I’ve  heard you talk about the  benefits of a good diet. Can  you share some tips?

You’ve spent the past nine  months looking after yourself  better than ever before. When  the baby arrives nearly all  new Mums tend to neglect  themselves as all the focus is  on this precious new bundle.  Your body has gone through  enormous changes and will continue to go through  changes in the weeks after  you give birth. It’s for this  reason that you need to eat well and look after yourself better than ever so that you remain healthy so you can cope with being a new Mum.

If you’ve had a C-section or stitches vitamin C will help you heal. Citrus fruits and kiwis have loads of vitamin C. Vitamin C also aids the absorption of iron, which will help with energy levels. A bowl of porridge in the morning will set you up for the day. Oats are rich in iron, calcium and magnesium that are vital for your depleted mineral stores after labour. If you’re breastfeeding you’ll need lots of calcium for your baby’s bones and teeth and eating yogurts (or green leafy veg) is a quick and convenient way to get calcium.

One thing a new Mum has very little of is time so you need to find foods that are convenient. I remember going through most days forgetting to eat until someone put food In front of me. This is something a family member can help with by preparing meals and helping with shopping in the early days.

Eskimo3-cap-CMYK-RWH_3800I would recommend taking the ESKIMO- 3 Omega 3 with vitamin E supplement, which will help ward off the baby blues, and also a good Vitamin D supplement, which is crucial for healthy bones and teeth.

eskimo_brain_caps vit dEskimo also do another one that contains Vitamin D so you can kill two birds with one stone!!


You need to eat protein to help repair your cells. Snacking on nuts and seeds is an easy way to get some protein or eating lean meats like chicken. Scrambled egg on toast for a snack is also packed full of protein and energy and make all your bread wholegrain instead of white. If you’re having toilet trouble post birth eat and drink prunes. Prunes were my savior and I’m sure all you new Mums know what I mean!

Top Tips:

1: Make life easy and eat nourishing food that’s convenient. Take your Omegas and rest when you can.

2: Tryptophan rich foods like bananas, turkey, spinach and eggs will help you sleep. Tryptophan is an amino acid that produces calming hormones that slow down the brain and make you sleepy but need to be eaten alongside carbohydrates to access the brain so banana and toast is a perfect combo.

3: is an amazing new company for new mums who want nutritious meals tailored for them post birth.They have a package for new Mums where they can train and have their perfect food delivered for a month or 6 weeks, depending on what they want.  They also have hampers for new Mums and Dads of good, wholesome, nutritious dinners. Just what you need after baby comes home! email emma 

Outdoor Summer Hazards


baby sunbathing


The sun is out; whoops it’s gone again!! Well welcome to the Irish  Summer. But on a positive note getting your babies and kids outside is so  important. James ate everything in sight so everything was a hazard  including pebbles, barbecues, poison berries, water and the list goes on.  Your first thought is to get them back inside to safety where you have every  cupboard locked tight, every corner padded and stair gates that block all  escape routes to danger.

However, after a very long winter a few simple precautions will allow you  to enjoy the alien yellow object that appears as if to tease us sometimes in  the Irish sky.

Keeping our kids hydrated and protected from the sun is one of the most  important things to remember during summer months. I love the  Hamilton range of Sun creams, as they are suitable for all the family and  especially kids with sensitive skin. The snoozeshade for your buggy is  also fab for the summer months as you’re baby will be protected and won’t  overheat in the buggy. Make sure they always wear a sunhat and suitable  comfy breathable clothing. Be careful not to leave creams or insect  repellents lying around as some liquids and oils contain liquid  hydrocarbons, which can cause a serious pneumonia-like condition,  irreversible lung damage, and even death if a child aspirates the  substance into their lungs. This is obviously extreme but a real danger at  the same time. Child resistant caps are a must throughout your house and  garden.

Beware of poisonous garden plants like rhododendron, deadly  nightshade, azalea, rhubarb leaves, lily of the valley, hyacinth, privet,  foxglove, delphinium, laburnum and yew that are known to be poisonous.Also beware of plants with thorns or spikes. These can cause a lot of pain if your baby falls face first into them. Teach your child not to pick flowers or plant parts and keep your baby away from them.

Please be careful near water as drowning is quick and silent. Young kids rarely make a big splash, thrash around, or scream for help like you see on TV. They usually fall in headfirst and sink to the bottom like a rock. A child who’s underwater will lose consciousness after two minutes and suffer irreversible brain damage within four to six minutes. Never leave your child unattended for any length of time near water.

TOP TIPS: (bottom section)

1. Stay aware and never leave them unattended

2. Even after the barbecues go out the coal remains hot so watch those little fingers

3. Don’t let them put soil in their mouth at it could contain dog/cat feces which contain harmful parasites

4. Make sure there are no holes in the fence and keep the gate locked

5. Make sure surfaces around swings and slides are cushioned and bolts are safe

6. Be careful of lawnmowers around children

7. Always make toddlers wear helmets on scooters and bikes

8. Be careful of open windows in the Summer and don’t leave anything near them that a child can climb onto

breastfeeding-1 jpegIn last week’s Femail two angry mums revealed how they were led to believe breastfeeding would help them lose weight, when in fact they piled on the pounds. Both admitted that their diets had been poor, blaming the ‘myth’ constantly pedalled to new mums by health professionals and breastfeeding advocates that the babyweight would melt away as they fed for tricking them into thinking they could eat what they wanted. Here, Alison Canavan, who breastfed her son James for a year, launches a staunch defence of breastfeeding. She argues that it should always be a personal choice made with the best interests of mum and baby at heart, and argues that by vilifying breastfeeding we are ignoring deeper issues about motherhood and self image.

AS I READ last week’s article I felt frustration and anger, yet again, about this topic. Since giving birth to James I’ve noticed that anytime the topic of feeding your baby is brought up, mums should be prepared to have their head eaten off by another mother who thinks they know better or who disagrees with our choice for our child.

I have never and will never understand why women are so hard on each other — this topic in particular seems to always hit a nerve.

In my opinion the breast Vs bottle debate is a complex one where no one wins. We all have different reasons for feeding our children the way we do and should never underestimate the complex issues that can arise post-birth for mum and baby which can influence feeding.

Weight loss alone, however, should not be the reason you choose to breastfeed your baby. Neither should articles claiming that women are now getting fat from feeding frighten you off. Each and every woman’s body will react differently to pregnancy. Some women fly through their pregnancies while others have problems from day one, they gain weight, develop pelvic problems, require emergency sections… the list goes on.

One thing we now know for sure is that eating for two during pregnancy is a myth. Believe me, I was guilty of using it as an excuse to pig out for the first few months, until my doctor told me women only need an extra 200 calories (equivalent to a small bowl of muesli or two slices of wholegrain bread) per day and that’s not even until the third trimester.

In the article the women targeted two aspects of breastfeeding in particular, saying ‘breastfeeding is a very sedentary activity’ and ‘women commonly experience ravenous hunger while feeding’. While I agree with both these statements, they’re not necessarily bad things. I actually enjoyed sitting down to feed as I was wrecked. And I was very hungry but I tried to eat nutritious foods as I knew they would make me feel better and fill my breast milk full of nutrients for the growing baby.

Things are never as simple as they seem, especially when it comes to the combination of women, babies, food and weight. I know that I’m an emotional eater and make bad choices to fill that gap. If I feel lonely, have had bad news about work or am simply tired I pick up the phone to the local takeaway — undoing all the good work I’ve done. But I also know I’m a model and that eating healthily is a big part of my job, which leads me to wonder why I make a choice that can potentially impact my career? Yet we do make poor choices and they are usually multi layered.

In the first few months after giving birth a lot of women experience real loneliness and sadness while home alone with their newborn. Too tired to exercise and too embarrassed to tell anyone how they’re feeling, food can be a big comfort. I’m not saying that these are the reasons the women in the piece gained weight, but we do need to be careful when we make blanket statements about such complex issues.

Breastfeeding is a choice, our food types are a choice and lifestyle is a choice. I always say that how you treat yourself and what you feed yourself will directly influence how you look and feel.

I spoke to Clare Boyle, a midwife and breastfeeding consultant, about this topic. Clare has been working with breastfeeding women for the last 13 years and her experience is that most lose weight easily and usually within the first six months. She tolds me, ‘I have never met a breastfeeding mother who had the weight gain issues such as those described in the article. I wonder if there were some other issues that may have contributed to it as it seems so unusual. I think it would be important to know what type of foods were they eating and whether they were they exercising.

‘It is true that most breastfeeding women have an increased appetite but provided they eat a healthy, well-balanced diet they shouldn’t necessarily put on weight and it is by no means the norm.’

Clare then made another very valid point, ‘There is the common perception that breastfeeding mums think that they are free to eat what they like and therefore they can go for high-calorie foods that they would normally deprive themselves of. If they do this to excess, obviously breastfeeding isn’t going to counteract a complete gorge-fest!’

I didn’t give breastfeeding much thought during my pregnancy. In fact, I just presumed baby came out and fed from boob and we all lived happily ever after.

Well, instead of that plan playing out like the plot of a movie, James couldn’t latch on and my boobs became so sore that I was permanently taking hot showers to relieve them. We soon figured out that James had a tongue-tie, causing his inability to latch.

Then I developed thrush — and my body was producing enough tears to fill Ireland ten times over. I was extremely lucky, though, to have a great friend Andrea Casey sit patiently with me, literally holding my boobs as otherwise I could’t latch him on. Catriona McCarthy, a lactation consultant, also spent considerable time helping me. What I learnt from the experience is that breastfeeding is a skill that doesn’t come naturally to a lot of women, it’s one that both you and your baby might have to learn together. I succeeded in feeding James but not until he was nearly three months old. I persevered because I’m stubborn and, after three months, I had finally started to enjoy the experience. I consider myself very lucky to have had the support I had, because without it I would not have continued to feed.

How you feed your child is a deeply personal choice. I have a friend who is simply uncomfortable with the thought of breastfeeding her children. She has three beautiful kids who are all healthy and happy. How we feed our children does not affect our parenting abilities, food or lifestyle choices — those choices are ultimately up to us. Judging other women also has no bearing on your parenting skills.

It’s great to talk about being more honest with each other, but I think deep down we’re all smart enough to know that the realistic experience of breastfeeding will not result in a woman getting a Gisele-like body. Tiredness, hunger and hormones are all part of the reality of being a new mum but good food, exercise and communicating with loved ones is far better for us in the long term than reaching for the biscuits!




This is a question I had myself when I was a new mum and ­­recently I was able to get the answer from the lovely Siobhan Matthews, who is the owner of a children’s shoe shop called Little Piggy’s Shoes For Kids in Trim, Co. Meath.

As a qualified nurse and mother of three children, she believes that well-fitting shoes will benefit your child on their long road ahead.

She is an expert in this area and had some very interesting advice. The bones in children’s feet are mainly cartilage and do not develop into hard bone structure until the age of five.

As we all know cartilage is a firm tissue but is softer and more flexible than bone, so when a baby is sitting up and ­
not moving around shoes are generally not required, unless advised by ­
a physiotherapist.

Most podiatrist and physiotherapists say that ‘barefoot is best’ — as it allows toddlers to expand and develop the muscles and nerve endings in their feet. But we all know for practical reasons this is not always possible.

Little feet can get cold and damaged with rough surfaces both outdoors, and indoors especially on tiles and wooden floors.

Siobhan would generally recommend a pair of ­­
pre-walker shoes for your toddler when they start to pull themselves up on furniture and begin cruising.

The gripped sole is soft enough to allow them to mobilise naturally and comfortably while also providing them with a little confidence to get going.

She recommends that children should have their feet measured at this stage to ensure that the ­­
pre-walker fits perfectly on your child’s particular shape of feet. The main reason for this being that, at this stage, you want to prevent any unnecessary
injuries to the foot.

Shoes that are ill-fitting can prevent natural growth, cause discomfort and lead to foot problems.

As every child is different, it’s tough to say how long their shoes will last. James goes through growth spurts and once increased a size in six weeks, but his current shoes have lasted much longer.

Children grow at such a rapid rate, especially up to three years of age. Growth rate for the first year can be up to three sizes. Therefore, the general rule of thumb would be to have your little one’s feet measured at least every six weeks. This can be an expensive time but is a very important time in the development of a child’s foot. Remember that their feet will slow down in growth after the age of three.


1.  Have their feet measured by a trained shoe fitter, ensuring they are wearing the correct size.

2.  Economically it makes more sense to have one good quality perfectly fitting leather shoe rather than having to purchase may pairs of ill-fitting flimsy shoes.

3.  Caring for your child’s feet especially up to twelve years of age will pay dividends in the long run, reducing foot problem’s leading to back and hip pain in adulthood.

Avene skincare and its benefits for eczema and psoriasis prone skin

Avene skincare and its benefits for eczema and psoriasis prone skin

Q: Any tips on packing for your hospital bag. I always bring to much!

I panicked about absolutely everything when I was pregnant especially packing my hospital bag. As a model I travelled a lot through the years. So packing is something that really should have been second nature to me. I blame my severe problem of procrastinating about everything. I have a knack of making the simplest things like washing plates, hanging out washing or emptying the bin into enormous tasks, so you can imagine the panic I was experiencing pre-birth. I was most certainly short-circuiting but the good news is I survived.

My first tip is shrinking all your toiletries to travel size. Boots are great and stock nearly all the good brands in travel size now. Bring three or four changes of nightwear. The hospitals can be very warm and I wanted to change quite frequently to feel fresh. Take arnica two weeks before your due dates and make sure to pack some to help with bruising and discomfort after birth. If you are planning on giving breastfeeding a go I would pack a breast pump as I had terrible problems and the breast pump saved me and enabled me to eventually feed. The medela swing is light, battery operated and very efficient. I also brought glucose tablets for that extra push, hair ties and a water spray. If your phone is like mine and the battery lasts 5 seconds you will need to remember your charger to announce the good news and take that first pic!

If you want to take all the hassle and worry away, mum of three Karen Snyder in England has created myHospitalBag. The bag contains over 30 products including a toilet bag with: miniature shower gel, shampoo, deodorant, lip salve, hairbands, shower cap, toothbrush, toothpaste and lip salve. The bag also includes comfortable knickers, maternity sanitary towels, breastpads, facial wipes and antibacterial hand gel, along with flip flops, bed socks, a laundry bag and a pocket pad and pen. To help aid recovery there is a small bottle of Arnica pills that I mentioned earlier.

For your newborn she has included babygrows, vests, hats, mitts and muslin squares all in neutral white, newborn nappies, nappy bags, wipes, cotton wool, disposable changing mat and Sudocrem.

The bag is even big enough to ensure that you have space to add a few home comforts.

If you are interested in buying one, the cost is £85 (€102.67) including delivery of €12 to Ireland which is cheaper and more convenient than buying it all separately.



• Have your bag packed at 35 weeks as junior might want to make an early arrival

• For your going home outfit comfort is key. I wore a maternity dress with tights. have a great checklist

• Disposable or old undies and nipple cream also top my list

• Pre-wash all your baby clothes in non-bio washing powder

• Enjoy every second, you’re about to create a miracle