A Parent’s Guide to Making Teething Easier for You and Your Baby

A Parent’s Guide to Making Teething Easier for You and Your Baby

Teething can be a challenging time for babies and their parents. Soreness and swelling may make some little ones fussier and more reluctant to eat. Here is our 11 step guide to help you and your baby sail through teething even with the most stubborn teeth.

You may have heard about the “Terrible Twos”, but what about Terrible Teething? Your little baby may be a little thrown off by those chompers coming in, but teething doesn’t have to be terrible. Just knowing what to expect is an important part of teething, and hey, you’re reading this so you’re on the right track! Once you know what to expect, there are a few ways you can comfort baby.

Babies typically get their first tooth between 6 and 12 months and teething can begin as early as 3 months old. Both teething and when the first tooth appears do vary greatly from baby to baby. So no need to worry if a baby gets their first tooth sooner or later because there isn’t a set milestone for a first tooth. Most adults don’t give their baby teeth a second thought after their last one is lost and the tooth fairy makes their final visit. But they’re important because baby teeth help your child talk, chew, and even smile!  Not only that but they hold the place for adult teeth. Yet for something so important, it isn’t much fun when they first come in.

  1. Know the typical schedule. You can usually expect to see your baby’s first tooth when they’re about 3 to 6 months old. Check with your doctor if it doesn’t appear by their first birthday.
  2. Expect different reactions to different teeth. The lower front teeth will usually appear first and the very first tooth may cause the most discomfort. Big molars or cutting several teeth at once may also be difficult.
  3. Pay attention to more serious symptoms. Teething used to be regarded as dangerous mostly because it got blamed for other developments that babies are prone to at around the same age. Check with your doctor if you see signs of fever, congestion, or diarrhea. They may indicate a viral infection and are not usually directly linked to teething.
  4. Massage your baby’s gums. Rub your baby’s gums gently for a couple of minutes with a clean finger. They may resist at first but they’ll come around if it helps to relieve the pain.
  5. Buy teething rings. Store-bought chew toys will help your baby to relieve pressure on their gums and make them less likely to gnaw on other objects that could be toxic. Pick whatever style your baby prefers.
  6. Make your own teething toys. A bottle filled with plain cold water may be all your baby needs. Washcloth toys dipped in water and chilled, and even cold vegetables like carrots are also good options.
  7. Take proper care of all teething devices. Clean all teething toys after each use. Take frequent breaks to limit the amount of time a very cold object has direct contact with your baby’s gums.
  8. Clean up drool promptly. Babies drool more when they’re teething. Try using absorbent bed sheets. Wiping your baby’s chin frequently with a clean cloth will also help to keep them dry and reduce the risk of rashes.
  9. Use pain relievers designed for babies. Check the labels to be sure a pain reliever is suitable for babies and will aid with teething, be sure to only use the recommended dose.
  10. Keep all teeth clean. Primary teeth need to be kept clean to avoid future dental problems. Wipe them with a soft cloth until there are enough teeth to need a soft toothbrush.
  11. Schedule your child’s first visit to the dentist. Plan on taking your child to the dentist about 6 months after their first tooth appears or before their first birthday, whichever comes first. Early checkups enable your dentist to spot irregularities and advise you about any special care your child needs.

Many children sail through teething with no symptoms at all and simple home remedies will be all that’s needed to ease most cases of fussiness or challenges with eating. For some of our children, teething can be a more distressing time and hard for us as parents by trialing these various home remedies you’ll be able to find one your little one likes best and hopefully make teething a much less stressful process.

As always, talk with your doctor about any concerns or worry’s you have.

Happy Teething!

Key nutrients to help your children feel happier, healthier and smarter

Key nutrients to help your children feel happier, healthier and smarter

Key Nutrients to Help Your Children Feel Happier, Healthier, and Smarter

As a parent, you have a huge number of different jobs and roles. In fact, it can sometimes be rather overwhelming when you realize just how much responsibility you have and how much you need to remember and get right.

No pressure.

But here’s something else that’s important: nutrition. There are specific, key nutrients that can make a world of difference to your children’s happiness, their health, and their performance in school.

Again… no pressure.

Let’s take a look at some of the most important nutrients for our fast-growing children.


Omega 3 fatty acid is a fatty acid that is found in fish, particularly salmon and tuna. It’s also available in various nuts and other sources and can be taken as a supplement.
However, your kids get it, ensure that they are getting it. It is one of the key nutrients for happier and healthier children. The current Recommended Adequate Intake of omega-3s for kids are: 0 to 12 months: 0.5 grams/day. 1 to 3 years: 0.7 grams/day. 4 to 8 years: 0.9 grams/day.

Omega 3 fatty acid plays a huge number of different roles, but some of its greatest hits include:

● Reducing inflammation in the joints

● Reducing inflammation in the brain (which can reduce brain fog and even depression)

● Improving communication between cells by increasing cell membrane permeability

● Improving myelination of brain cells, helping young children to learn

● Increasing the production of DHEA and reducing cortisol (the stress hormone)


Lutein is a nutrient that is typically associated with eye health. In fact, elderly patients are advised to supplement with lutein in order to prevent macular degeneration and other issues. Vision is important for children too, especially during their developmental years. Lutein has also been shown to improve the efficiency of the mitochondria (a cell that converts out nutrients to energy), helping to give children more energy. Children are often thought to have and need more efficient mitochondria than adults. Lutein has also been linked with brain development and appears to correlate with performance in school during a child’s early years!

Vitamin D

A happy kid is a kid who spends a lot of time playing outdoors. Those are also the kids that have the most vitamin D – a prohormone that manages the production of other key hormones in the body. Vitamin D is produced in the body when we are exposed to sunlight. It can also be supplemented if your child spends more time indoors or if you living in the UK like us, where we get very few sunny days!  The most effective source of usable Vitamin D, though, is sunlight. Our children need regular, daily doses of this vitamin because our bodies don’t store Vitamin D. So, it doesn’t work to get a lot of sun one day and then none for a week! Daily exposure to sunlight, for at least 20 minutes, is essential or a supplement is highly reccomended.

It’s particularly important for our little people for a few reasons:

● It manages the production of growth hormone and testosterone.

● It encourages good sleep (which further elevates those hormones).

● It works synergistically with magnesium and calcium in order to strengthen the bones and aid growth.

There’s many more nutrients and vitamins our growing children need and its always good to talk to your GP or health practitioner to seek advice before supplementing your child with concentrated vitamins. However, these are a few examples of key nutrients that your kids need for a healthier, happier, smarter development.

Other important nutrients for children include (but are not limited to):

● Healthy fats
● Vitamin C
● Calcium
● Magnesium
● Iron
● Folate
● Protein

Do your research, look at your children’s diet and consult with your physician, to ensure that your children are given every chance to grow up as smart, strong, and happy as possible!

Build confidence and unleash your inner power

Build confidence and unleash your inner power

My name is Dionne I’m a Confidence Coach and I’m known as the Confidence Queen which I love! I’m also a proud mummy of two beautiful girls. My passion is teaching individuals how to elevate their confidence and unleash their inner power.

My name is Dionne I’m a Confidence Coach and I’m known as the Confidence Queen which I love! I’m also a proud mummy of two beautiful girls. My passion is teaching individuals how to elevate their confidence and unleash their inner power. My confidence wasn’t always high. In fact, rewind 5 years and I was a completely different woman. I was pregnant with my second child and found myself single at 5 months pregnant. Shortly after the birth of my second child my dad passed away. My Dad was my rock and devastated was an understatement. My fiancé had already moved on and was expecting a child with another woman. I had two businesses to run, two children to look after and my world literally started to crumble. Although each day I got up, did the school run, paid wages to staff and smiled inside I was dying. It was the darkest time of my life. My confidence was a 2. I felt a failure, I didn’t love myself, I felt like I had no strength and completely lost my identity. I had no inner belief in my capabilities at all. It took me 3 years to truly find myself and turn my life around to the point where I am now. I learned how to elevate my confidence and my self-esteem. I understand how hard it is to navigate the high’s and low’s life throws at us and being a parent only naturally adds to anxiety, it comes with stresses and sometimes we forget to take time or don’t have the time for our own self-care.

If right now your confidence is low and you’re struggling to find yourself let me give you some little tips to kick start your confidence. Confidence doesn’t disappear, it’s a muscle that needs to be worked. To create an impact these tips are best practiced regularly.

  1. Stop the comparison – You are beautiful, and you are enough! You are perfectly imperfect. From today stop comparing yourself, your life, your parenting skills, your body etc with others. Somebody else’s beauty, success, life doesn’t detract from yours. Focus on you, your journey, your goals and watch your confidence increase.
  2. You create your own happiness – Your happiness doesn’t depend on anybody else or anything. Think bout what makes you happy that you have full control over, now how can you incorporate more of that in your day-to-day life?
  3. Destroy the negative thoughts – Negative thoughts are like weeds. They don’t need sunshine or TLC to thrive and grow. They grow and multiply and take over. If you want a beautiful garden, you have to destroy the weeds. Think of your mind as that beautiful garden. Negative thoughts suppress confidence and self-esteem. Get tough with yourself, look at the positive in every situation.
  4. Do one thing each week that scares you. Take yourself out of your comfort zone. There’s nothing better to improve your confidence than doing something you thought you couldn’t or that scared you. Now I’m not saying to go paragliding, it could be something really small but significant to you.
  5. Try to get enough sleep. Getting too little or too much sleep can have a big impact on how you feel.
  6. Set small goals, such as trying a recipe, learning the days of the week in a new language or simply looking for information on something you’d like to do.

I don’t believe anybody should have to wait so long to find themselves again. I teach individuals how to intensify and strengthen confidence in all areas of their lives, elevate their self-esteem to a higher level, learn to unconditionally love themselves, and unleash the inner power that propels them into living a life of abundance. I’m obsessed with teaching people how to master their mindset which lies at the core of their success.

Start with the tips I have given you and feel the difference. You are amazing and you have everything required within you to live the life of your dreams. Believe and have faith in you. You haven’t come this far to just come this far.

Credit – Dionne Ruddock, Coaching with Dionne, www.coachingwithdionne.co.uk

Confidence Queen

Adoption & Parenthood

Adoption & Parenthood

Hello Huddl community!

We are Andi and Darren, a same sex parent family via route of adoption.  We are so happy to be working with Huddl to share our story directly to parents from all walks of life.  

Parents who may be considering the adoption route to extend their family, those who are interested in hearing an alternative route to parenthood to their ‘birth route, or adopters/ fosters carers who are looking for support and to make links with other adoptive families.  We are also hoping to ‘myth bust’ some of the untruths about adopting.  Whatever your reason for choosing to read our blog, you are most welcome!

We are happy to support people going through the process by answering any questions that you may have, no topic is off limits.  Honesty is always the best policy in our book.

To begin, we are going to provide you with an overview of our journey thus far, written by Andi.  We hope you enjoy our story.

Darren and I had been married for three years when we felt it was the right time to start a family. We had different options available to us but as we both work in schools and I had previously worked within children’s social care, we were aware of the increasing number of children in the care system and we felt we were able to offer a child a stable loving family,  so we chose to adopt.

Our daughter Lucy, was only a few months old when we found out that we were a perfect match for her.  Although the profile we were sent was only a few lines long due to her young age, we felt there was something special about her. Lucy was in the care of foster carers who were amazing while we were introduced to her, letting us take a lead in caring for her in their home, under their supervision and guidance. This was really helpful in getting to know her routines/ likes and dislikes and preparing us for parenthood.   

Unfortunately there was a hold up which meant there was a six week delay in Lucy moving to us, therefore our Social Worker, Foster Carer and Local Authority Senior Management agreed that it was in the best interest of Lucy to get to spend as much time with us as possible during this time. This included opportunities to bring Lucy to our home and get her used to her new surroundings and introduce her to our cat Mollie, which actually worked well as they got used to each other very quickly…and are now best mates!

Although we both have experience of working with children in a professional capacity and baby sitting for friends with young children, the responsibility and realisation of having your own child to care for was a very steep learning curve. During our adoption training sessions much of the material is around dealing with trauma and potential issues that may affect the child, often slightly older children, such as past neglect, and not so much about caring for a baby.  Fortunately, we pulled on experiences of friends with young children and the foster carers were a fountain of knowledge and also continue to be a great source of support. We were extremely blessed with such wonderful carers to learn from.  

When an adopted child moves in with you, social care recommend that families go into a ‘mini lockdown’ so that attachments start to form between you and the child/ren and that they feel safe and secure in their new home.  As Lucy had spent such a long time with us prior to her moving in with us, attachments came very quick and we felt a bond very early on.  For the first few weeks of Lucy living with us, we only introduced her to very immediate family and close friends who would be on our ‘on call list’ should we need emergency childcare. Once the initial settling in period had been completed and she was no longer considered to be under fostering arrangements, we were then able to widen our support network and ask other friends and family to support.

Life for us is very different as parents but in such a positive way. It has been so rewarding watching her develop and grow into a lovely little girl. She was welcomed into both sides of the family instantly and is totally adored.  She has brought out the best in so many of our family members and friends and nobody has treated her any differently to other children in the family.

Since adopting we have had many opportunities to help other people either going through the adoption process or who are considering adoption as an option, by speaking at events, training sessions and even some media campaigns.  We have found it very rewarding being able to provide some peer support which we know first hand how invaluable advice, support, guidance and friendship can be.  We have also now started an Instagram page which is growing quite quickly come and find us and say hello ‘dadda_n_daddy’. 

The advice we would give to potential adopters is be realistic in terms of what needs you can and cannot meet of a child. It is so important to be 100% open and honest with your social worker and family finders.   We are now going through the process again to adopt a second child and we are even more aware of our limitations as we have Lucy to take into account this time. Therefore that match needs to be absolutely perfect for all of us.

Prospective adopters need to have a solid support network of people who can help out when needed.  Meeting up and/or making contact with other adopters is a must, we have made some great life long friends through adoption and it is heart warming watching our children play together.

Most of all, make sure you are in a position in your life where you are able to give 100% of your time to the adoption process. 

The process can be emotional, intrusive, and at times frustrating but once you have been matched with your child and they are home with you, you will realise it is the best thing you have ever done!

For further information on adoption email your anonymous questions to hello@bablbox.com and Andi & Darren will offer the support and answers to your questions in our monthly BablMag.

Andi & Darren, www.instagram.com/dadda_n_daddy

Benefits of staying in shape during pregnancy

Benefits of staying in shape during pregnancy

Benefits of staying in shape during pregnancy:  maintain physical fitness


When it comes to pregnancy and training there are usually two main questions that we as trainers are asked, can I continue training whilst pregnant and can it be beneficial to start some form of training or exercise? The short answers would be yes you absolutely can continue training, maybe not at the velocity and intensity that you originally were training at but you most definitely will benefit from keeping an active routine, secondly for those who aren’t regularly active it would be a great idea to prepare your bodies for the changes that your body is going to be doing over the next few months. Experts agree when you’re expecting, it’s important to keep moving: Pregnant women who exercise have less back pain, more energy, a better body image and, post-delivery a faster return to their pre-pregnancy shape.

  • reduce lower back pain (hello, growing tummy!)
  • manage symptoms of depression and anxiety
  • reduce stress
  • improve postpartum recovery

As stated by the NHS, “The more active and fit you are during pregnancy, the easier it will be for you to adapt to your changing shape and weight gain. It will also help you to cope with labour and get back into shape after the birth.” “Exercise is not dangerous for your baby. There is some evidence that active women are less likely to experience problems in later pregnancy and labour.” I have put together some exercises that will help you along the way of each trimester, 3 days a week as a minimum will help prepare your to body cope with the extra strain throughout each trimester. Be sure to warm up and cool down for at least 5 minutes before and after every exercise as well as frequent stretching.

Safety tips for exercising whilst pregnant

  • Get clearance from your doctor if you’re new to exercise or you have any health conditions that may contraindicate exercise 
  • Drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise
  • Wear supportive clothing such as a supportive sports bra or belly band
  • Don’t become overheated, especially during the first trimester
  • Avoid lying flat on your back for too long, especially during the third trimester
  • Avoid contact sports and hot yoga

Exercises to focus on in the first trimester of pregnancy

The first three months of pregnancy can be a wild ride of emotions. From elation and pure joy to concern, worry, and even fear as you begin to realise that you’re responsible for nourishing, growing, and keeping this tiny soon-to-be human being safe and healthy. As long as you’re not considered a high-risk pregnancy, a well-rounded prenatal fitness routine that includes at least 150 minutes of cardiovascular activity each week and 2 to 3 days of strength training exercises that target the major muscle groups is a healthy regime. Focus on specific exercises to help make pregnancy easier and prepare you for labour and childbirth. (although it seems an age away it is key to start preparing the body for the extra strain!)  One key area to focus on is body awareness, preparing for changes in your posture. Exercises like pelvic tilt will help with the mobility in the spinal area and help strengthen the abdominal area


Squats strengthen all the muscles in your lower body — including the quads, glutes, and hamstrings —having strong leg muscles is a great way to protect your back, so you use your legs instead of your back when lifting.

  • Stand in front of a couch, with your back facing. Begin with feet just wider than hip-width apart. Use the couch as a guide to ensure proper form 
  • Squat down like you’re about to sit down on the couch, but come back up just as your thighs start to touch it 
  • Make sure you take 5 seconds to go down 3 seconds to come back up 
  • Exhale as you squat; inhale as you stand 
  • Do 2 sets of 15 to 20 reps

Pelvic tilt 

  • Stand with your shoulders and bottom against a wall
  • Keep your knees relaxed
  • Pull your tummy button towards your spine, so that your back flattens against the wall: hold for 4 seconds then release
  • Repeat up to 10 times

Pelvic tilt exercises can also be performed laying on the floor flat on your back.

Kneeling push-ups

This move targets core and upper body strengthening together.

  • Place your knees and hands onto the ground, once you are ready to start you should engage the core and have knees, hips and shoulders all in a straight line maintaining good posture in this exercise, push up onto your hands and knees, keeping your knees behind your hips
  • Pull in your abs (the pelvic brace), and then slowly lower your chest toward the floor as you inhale 
  • Exhale as you press back up 
  • Start with 6 to 10 and gradually work up to 20 to 24 reps

Bicep curls 

This simple, yet effective move is another excellent exercise to perform throughout pregnancy. Bicep curls are a key move to add to your workouts since you need to prep your arms for lifting and holding your baby. 

  • Grab 5 to 10 pound dumbbells and stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips and your knees slightly bent
  • Exhale as you slowly bend your elbows, bringing the dumbbells toward your shoulders 
  • Inhale and slowly lower the weights back down 
  • Take 3 seconds to lift the dumbbells and 5 seconds to lower 
  • Do 2 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions

Exercises to do in the second trimester of pregnancy

Once the reality sets in that you’re in this for the long haul, you may notice a feeling of calmness and even an increase in energy over the next several weeks. Many women say this is the trimester where they feel their best, which is why it’s an excellent time to focus on your fitness routine. On the other hand since the uterus is getting bigger, you do need to be a bit more careful with physical activity. During the second trimester, you want to avoid any activities that involve high impact exercise that involves jumping, running, balance, or exhaustion. You also want to avoid any exercise that has you lying on your back for extended periods of time so exercise like pelvic tilts may have to be amended a little or mixing between standing and laying. In addition to the exercises in the first trimester, consider adding some variations to your squat such as narrow squats and wide stance squats. Triceps and shoulders during this trimester. 

Incline pushups

  • Stand facing a ledge or railing and place your hands shoulder-width apart on the surface 
  • Step your body back into a standing plank position with your back in a straight line 
  • Bend your arms and slowly lower your chest toward the railing or ledge 
  • Straighten your arms to return to the starting position

Hip flexor and quadriceps stretch

Due to postural changes, the second trimester is the ideal time to develop a stretching routine that focuses on the hip flexors, quadriceps, low back, glutes, and calves. Because of your changing centre of gravity, the belly tends to fall forward, creating shortened hip flexor muscles. This exercise allows you to safely stretch during pregnancy. 

  • Go into a half-kneeling position on the floor. Place your right knee on the floor and your left foot in front of you, left foot flat on the floor 
  • Keeping your posture nice and tall, lunge toward your left foot until you feel a stretch in the front of your right hip and thigh 
  • Hold for 30 seconds, ease off, and then repeat 2 more times 
  • Switch sides and repeat

Exercises to do in the third trimester of pregnancy

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Prenatal yoga
  • Pilates
  • Pelvic floor exercises
  • Bodyweight moves

These help to keep your upper and lower body muscles strong. It is important to avoid any exercise that places you at a risk for falls. Your centre of gravity is now going to be constantly changing, it’s smart to avoid exercises that could lead to a loss of balance, resulting in a fall. Exercises to target during the third trimester include:

  • Bodyweight squats or sumo squats with a wider stance for an increased base of support (only if you’re not experiencing pelvic pain)
  • Bicep curls with light weights
  • Push ups against a wall
  • Tricep kickbacks with light weight 
  • Standing shoulder press with light weights

Staying physically active during pregnancy is beneficial for both mum and baby.  Including some form of exercise most days of the week will maintain a strong core always as improving it, keeping your muscles, and your cardiovascular system in good shape. Plus it can do wonders for your mental health. Please listen to your body and stop if you feel any discomfort or pain. You should always talk with your doctor if you have any concerns or questions regarding wanting to try new things in your workout or about how your body is responding to an exercise.

Credit – James Comley – Personal trainer & Sport coach www.instagram.com/jamescomleysportsandfitness

Mental Health And Lock Down

Mental Health And Lock Down

We are super excited to introduce to you the latest member of our Huddl family – The lovely Nicole Henry, a highly experienced child counselor, owner of ‘My Tea’ magazine and most importantly a proud mummy to her little boy!

Hi Huddl family,

I’m so excited to join you all! I look forward to assisting and being a support to all the the lovely families you have on board.

I’m Nicole Henry, I am a mother to my 15 month year old son Noah. I am a child counsellor by profession and support children from the age of 5-18 years old. My expertise covers a range of subject areas such as bullying, anxiety, abuse, parental separation, selective mutism, bereavement/ loss, depression and many more. I am the founder of My TEA (Therapy Equates to Awareness) magazine, I created this magazine after the first UK lockdown as I was concerned for many children I had worked with previously but also children that are not deemed as vulnerable. I wanted therapy to be accessible to all children. It’s a light hearted magazine that informs children on different mental health topics which includes activities, articles and testimonials and much more. For more details you can visit my website, www.thenicolehenry.com/mytea

I believe that mental health for children has the same level of importance as it does for adults. Therefore it is important for children to tell their own story in order to reduce mental health issues. Following the pandemic children have had to adapt and work with all the new changes just the same way as us parents. However children’s concerns and worries have been expressed in a slightly different way.

Children have had to deal with loss in many different aspects. This includes loss of loved ones, loss of times spent at school, loss of celebrations such as birthdays and end of year exams.

The aftermath of this has lead to children feeling quite anxious and worrying about tomorrow and the future. Statistics have shown that rates of likely mental disorders have increased since 2017. In 2020, one in 16.0% children aged 5 to 16 years were identified as having a probable mental disorder, increasing from 10.8% in 2017.  The increase was evident in both boys and girls. This is a significant increase we as parents and professionals have to do all we can to support our children.

Anxiety is an emotion that is triggered from feeling quite tense, scared or worried about something. This can cause restlessness, feeling on-edge, trouble sleeping or lack of concentration, avoiding or withdrawing yourself from situations and having a loss of appetite. Symptoms can manifest in different ways as we are all different. 

The best way to manage these feelings is firstly to acknowledge it is present. Depending on how your child communicates, drawing can be a great tool to get them to express how they feel. If they are able to express themselves through conversation then that should be encouraged. Once you have an understanding of how they feel, you can direct them to someone within the profession of mental health care such as a counsellor to seek guidance to work with your child to overcome or manage these emotions.

As we are in our second lockdown I thought it would be a good time to give you all some tips to get through with ease.

Lockdown 2.0 Tips

  1. Daily exercise – I want to encourage you to go out for daily exercise and fresh air. This is very beneficial as it helps to regain focus and switch off from things that are taking place at home, such as working from home. Most importantly it helps to maintain a good healthy lifestyle.
  2. Create a routine – Creating some kind of structure always helps with time management and completing tasks. It’s great that children are able to attend school during this lockdown. This will help take some pressure away from you as parents to manage working/studying from home and looking after children.
  3. Check in – Setting some time aside to bond and check in with your children to see how things are is a great way to build trust and for your child to have confidence to share any concerns or worries. Ways in which this can be built is through activities such as cooking together, painting or drawing together, watching a tv show/movie and discussing the moral of the story.
  4. Make the most of each weekend – As the weeks fly by really enjoy the weekends with your children, fun activities such as making slime, going to the park and playing football or movie days, can really change the atmosphere and bring joy. If possible, I encourage parents to try to have a ‘Me day’ to look after your own mental health.
  5. Remain positive! – My final point would be to remain positive throughout this period. I understand that many maybe under strain for many different reasons but try and find the positive in each situation. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

If you have any worry or concerns you can email your anonymous questions to hello@bablbox.com and I’ll answer them on my new monthly BablBox column. 

Speak soon, 

Love Nicole x

mental health, nicole henry, anxiety, children

Easter activities to do with the family during COVID-19

Easter activities to do with the family during COVID-19

Easter activities to do with the family during COVID-19, from baking, arts and crafts to outdoor activities. Something to keep everyone happy!

Easter is fast approaching, so what will everyone be doing? Easter activities to do with the family are going to be slightly different this year due to the current situation with COVID-19. So here are some ideas to keep everyone entertained and happy!

Cooking- Easter Activities to do with the Family

Cooking is a great way to involve all the family in an activity, even the littlest ones. From simple recipes such as Easter nests or bunny pancakes to hedgehog bread rolls and chocolate chip hot cross buns. The list really is endless!

One of my favourite recipes that I have cooked with my children since they were very small and they still love it now, is Hedgehog Bread Rolls. There are only a few ingredients and the preparation time is around 20 minutes. Therefore, you should be able to keep those minds from wandering off for that length of time.

The Ingredients are as follows:

  • 500g pack of brown bread mix
  • 25g of butter
  • plain flour for dusting
  • 12 raisins
  • 6 flaked almonds

The method for how to make this bread is in the link above. Another great and super easy recipe to do with the kids is Rice pop doughnuts. The best part is that they get to decorate their own doughnut exactly as they want!

The Ingredients are as follows:

  • 200g dark, milk or white chocolate, chopped
  • 25g butter
  • 3 tbsp of golden syrup
  • 2 tbsp of milk
  • 80g rice pops cereal
  • 100g of white chocolate for decorating
  • sprinkles for decorating

As before, the method is in the link above.

Arts and Crafts

Easter collage is a great activity to involve the whole family. This task, as well as others, can be differentiated. Therefore, making them accessible to any age group. To get you started a few essentials are needed. This is just one of the many great Easter activities to do with the family.

First, you will need some printable colouring sheets. These should be Easter themed preferable. Then you will need multi-coloured paper, card or tissue paper. Also, some google eyes, felt pens, cotton wool, paintbrushes, and PVA glue.

Next, you need to cut the paper and tissue into small squares around 1cm squared. These can then be stuck on to the colouring sheets using the PVA glue to make a unique Easter egg, funky bunny rabbit or awesome Easter chick!

Another easy and fun craft to do with the family is salt dough modelling. Salt dough is super simple to make and easy to work with. Even the very youngest family members can get involved.

You can get two types of salt dough. One needs to be cooked in the oven and the other needs to be left to air dry. Air drying does take quite a long time and will test the most patient toddler. In other words, it is so slow!

Ingredients needed:

  • 1 cup of plain flour
  • 1/2 cup of table salt
  • 1/2 cup of water

The method is in the link above. All you need then is some poster paint so that you can create your masterpiece!

Outdoor Fun

Getting out and about is currently limited due to COVID-19. Those of us that are fortunate to have a garden can use this to entertain the children by having an Easter egg hunt or even an Easter scavenger hunt.

There are lots of free pintables available to help with ideas of how to set either of these events up. These are all in the links above.

For those that do not have access to a safe outdoor space, there is also an Easter egg hunt that can be done indoors. Get those teenagers involved by doing a high tech version using QR codes.

Easter And Family Time

Undoubtedly, Easter 2020 will be the strangest one that any of us has experienced. But that does not mean that it must be forgotten. For that reason, the approach just needs to be different as do many other aspects of our life now.

Our children are living in very strange and stressful times. As parents, it is our job to reassure them and try to provide as much normality as we can. With this in mind, we need to use the extra time that we have available and spend it with them. Have fun, be silly, make a mess and get creative. Let that be what they remember about Easter 2020 and not COVID-19.


COVID-19 lockdown Do’s and Don’t for families

COVID-19 lockdown Do’s and Don’t for families

COVID-19 lockdown is in progress, school is out and children are at home. So what are the do’s and don’t of this health crisis.

New Year hopes and dreams seem to be a distant memory, as we are living in very uncertain times due to COVID-19. A few months ago COVID-19 lockdown was something that we never actually believed would happen. It has separated families. Left many people stranded all over the world with no means to return home.

Parents are now faced with having to not only homeschool their children but to work from home simultaneously. Huge financial difficulties lay ahead for people.. Incomes have been lost, profits depleted and jobs paused.

COVID-19 lockdown

Our lockdown started at 8.30 pm on Monday the 23rd of March. People’s movements have been limited and people told to stay at home to help save our NHS. Many will say the Boris Johnson has not been strict enough. Many will say that he is holding back vital testing for frontline staff.

But the truth is never has a Prime Minister in our history faced the pandemic that Boris Johnson is facing. Not one person among us can honestly say they could do a better job. We are all struggling to deal with the possibilities of losing loved ones or even becoming ill ourselves.

What should we be doing – The do’s

First of all, we should all be following government guidelines on social distancing. We should also be staying at home and helping to stop the spread of this virus. But then what….well we all need to take a breath and a step back!

Consider the following DO give yourself a break. Boris Johnson is not the only one facing a pandemic for the first time. We need to allow ourselves the time to embrace our new way of life – all be it temporary.

DO sit and chat with your children about what is going on in the world. It’s better for them to hear it from you rather than the news. It will help put their minds at rest. It will also give them the opportunity to ask any questions they may have.

DO make sure you keep in contact with family. We are fortunate that we have fantastic technology, Facebook, video calling and Zoom. These help us stay in touch with the people we love even when we are separated!! this will help pass the day for not just your children but the family they can not be with at the moment.

At the end of the day pour yourself a big glass of wine and be so damn proud that you made it through the day. It may not have been perfect but who cares!

What Should We Not be Doing – The Don’t

DO NOT stress about homeschooling. You are not a teacher. There is no way on earth that you can recreate a classroom setting. I am not saying do not teach your children but there are other ways to do it.

If you have a little one who is learning numbers or letter recognition. Let them draw them in chalk, paint them or draw them in the sand. If your children are learning about animals there are some fantastic websites available. Chester Zoo now has a live link to their animals, where you can watch them being fed and learn about the individual animal.

DO NOT worry about household chores. The dishes are not done or the laundry isn’t folded as it usually is (really who does this). It is a time for reflection, to enjoy the time we have with our families.

Finally, COVID-19 lockdown lifted

And when we finally have our lives back. When COVID-19 is in the past. The first thing we should do is embrace our parents, grandparents, friends or neighbours. Enjoy a simple walk in the park when you can greet another human being with not only a smile but share a conversation where you can stand shoulder to shoulder. Where the only people needing to wear gloves and masks are Doctors, Nurses or Dentists

The human race is an amazing species. We have overcome so much in our time on this earth and I have no doubt we will overcome again. But what will be the cost? How many lives will be lost? How much debt will the country be in by the end of it?

We will never again be the same, lives have been changed, paths altered. But what I do know is that we will owe a debt of gratitude to all our amazing frontline staff from Doctors, Nurses, Shop workers, Lorry drivers and many many more!