Category Archives: In the News

Separating? How do we tell the kids?

It’s a common situation, and becoming more so. Despite picture-postcard ideals and the fairy tales we are told as children – and hope to believe – not all partnerships go well, and not all last. One in three couples separate, and for many the separation involves children.

Lucy Cavendish shares her personal story in London’s Evening Standard. Having spoken to Kitty and Helen, and applied their advice, she’s feeling optimistic about how her children are doing.

You can read Lucy Cavendish’s article in full by following this link to the Evening Standard.

If you’d like personal support, please contact us.

Involving fathers in pregnancy and birth

It’s great to get dads involved … right from the beginning

Involving Dads in pregnancy and birth has been shown to have immense benefits – for the dads, for the babies, and for the mums (and also helps towards simpler labours & births). So it’s great news to hear about a recent ’round table’ discussion that’s taken place and will feed into midwifery practice across the UK. Joanna Moorhead writes about its importance in the Guardian: read the article

‘ … Firstly, because a growing body of evidence is making it clear that fathers who are engaged in pregnancy and birth are more likely to remain engaged in their children’s lives. {bold type added by babiesknow, because this is crucial!}. Secondly, the roundtable heard, because mothers’ levels of satisfaction with their care in childbirth is affected to some extent by how well their partner was treated by the midwife. As one participant put it: “Respecting women matters and you don’t respect a woman if you don’t respect her man.” Thirdly, because fathers provided not only welcome but also extremely effective support to new mothers, especially in the postnatal period. That support could be invaluable, the roundtable was told, not only to the new mother and her baby, but also to the hard-pressed midwifery services…’

We’ll be watching the debate closely and finding out how it begins to filter into midwifery and NHS practice, particularly in respect of support for women and men through pregnancy. Our parenting courses in north London are directed to women and men in equal measures, so you’ll find that all the information on this site relates to you both – but there is one page devoted to dads in pregnancy, (no link) where you’ll find out how a baby is able to bond with their dad even before birth, and how important fathers are.

Anger management for toddlers?

Surfing around, found an article on Parent Dish about the problem in schools of Toddlers’ Anger. There is a call to set up separate referral centres for angry toddlers. And the comments at the end of the blog are largely biased towards reintroducing discipline in the form of ‘a clout round the back of the head’ or a ‘belt/cane’. Phew. Is that really the way to go?

I agree that caring for children well in the early years can help to reduce the likelihood of problems in the future – and it’s good to read Charlie Taylor’s views that adults need to be responsive to young children … but this seems to be where the agreement stops. Separate pupil referral centres for ‘angry’ youngsters? Continue reading

How old is too old to have a baby?

Last month Robert de Niro celebrated the arrival of a new daughter – at the age of 68 – with wife Grace Hightower, age 56. Patricia Carswell muses ‘How old is too old?’ in a recent article and got in touch with Kitty to ask her opinion. Although Kitty believes a lot depends on the personality and lifestyle of each individual set of parents, she does question the motivation for having children beyond the late 50s:

“I think this is completely contrary to the natural law,” she says. “Why have a child at this stage in life? Is it to give meaning to life or to have someone to love you, or is it to fulfill some unmet need? To me it smacks of a world where we think we should be able to have whatever we want whenever we want it.”

Crying and Breastfeeding

The BBC has just issued a report about an apparent connection between breastfeeding and crying. A very small study led by Dr Ken Ong of the Medical Research Council revealed an apparent difference between the irritability of breastfed babies and bottledfed babies, with breastfed babies tended to cry more. It’s a shame that breastfeeding has been linked to excess crying; although the BBC’s article does stress that breast is best. Continue reading

Babies Know if You’re Nice!

A recent study by a group of professors at the University of British Columbia into social evolution sheds light on babies’ preference for kindness. They set up a situation where the babies were introduced to puppets that were either kind or unkind. Babies aged 5 months uniformly preferred the puppets who act nicely towards. In itself, that makes sense to us – we know that from birth, babies have a natural tendency to prefer favourable environments and relationships and babies do prefer to be with people who are loving, nurturing and kind. They do not like threatening or unkind behaviour – why would they? (The tendency to prefer safety and avoid danger is true even in the womb; for instance during amniocentesis babies are freqently observed moving away from the needle). Continue reading