BlindSides wins Networking Mummies Best Product of the Year

BlindSides wins Networking Mummies Best Product of the Year

We are absolutely delighted that BlindSides won the Best Product of the Year Award at the Networking Mummies Awards 2016.

The Awards were handed out on Saturday 16 April at ceremony at Aston Villa Football Club. It was our first awards ceremony and it was fantastic to win Best Product less than a year since we launched BlindSides.

Networking Mummies received over 600 nominations across 9 award categories.

We are very grateful to the organisers, Networking Mummies, which has 32 branches and 17,000 members in the UK and supports mums, dads and families in business with free networking events and affordable workshops as well as offline and online support.

This fantastic win, follows on the heals of our success in Jojo Maman Bebe’s Invent with Tom competition last summer.

How to help children who are afraid of the dark

It’s a truth universally acknowledged (well almost) that young children sleep better in a darkened room than one where the light is pouring in. And we, as parents, often seek to make the room as dark as possible to help prevent premature waking, particularly in the lighter summer months.

While this works well for many, there are some children who are afraid of the dark, especially once they become toddlers. None of us want to start letting the light peek in so I thought I’d explore some ways to help little ones feel more comfortable in their darkened bedroom. I’m no psychologist but these are the things we’ve tried and found to work.

How to help children who are afraid of the dark

1. A small night light. Some baby monitors have them included or the ones that are a slightly enlarged plug work really well. Often just a small light is enough to help children feel at ease.

2. Instead of a night light you could leave the hall light on outside the bedroom so they can see a sliver of light under the door for reassurance.

3. When the lights are turned out, make sure there are no shadows that look creepy. Children’s imaginations can run wild thinking of what these shapes could be.

4. If your child is convinced there is a monster lurking under their bed you could check under their bed together to show them there’s nothing there before they get into bed.

5. And if they still think there’s something under their bed/in the wardrobe you could “get” some Monster spray. Basically an old plastic bottle that you can refill with water and squirt under the bed to get rid of    the monsters. Even more convincing if you make your own label!

6. If your child has a special cuddly toy, it can help to encourage them to cuddle up to that when in bed for comfort. They can “look after” each other.

7. Just talking regularly to slightly older children and explaining that they are safe and that there are no such things as monsters etc. can really help. Whenever the subject of monsters comes up, whether at bedtime or during the day, we remember together that monsters aren’t real.

8. Avoid reading stories/watching programmes that are scary, particularly just before bedtime so they’re not already scared when they settle down for the night.

All children are different and find comfort in different things so it can take time to find the best way to reassure them but hopefully this gives you some ideas of things that could help.

Five things not to say to a sleep deprived parent

Most of us with children have been there. By “there”, I mean feeling so darned tired that if you weren’t holding on to the buggy as you walked along, you would literally keel over and be fast asleep before you hit the ground.

I was going to write up some top tips for sleep deprived parents when I realised that the most common piece of advice given to new mothers in particular is to “sleep when the baby sleep” which for most of us just isn’t possible. Perhaps we’re fretting about the state of the house (which of course really doesn’t matter) and feel the need to clean and tidy before the in-laws or, even worse, the midwife arrives or maybe it just isn’t so easy to crash out on demand just because the baby is asleep. I could go on…

So inspired by the irritation that “sleep when your baby sleeps” stirs in me, I thought I’d offer some heartfelt advice from my own personal experience of what not to say to a new parent who is just “getting by” on three hours sleep a night.

Five things not to say to a sleep deprived parent

  1. “Sleep when your baby sleeps” – see above. Enough said!
  2. “My son/daughter didn’t sleep through until they went to school” – my mum said this to me about yours truly – the last thing I wanted was the thought that I had four and a half years to wait before I could get back to my much loved eight hours.
  3. “My baby slept through from the beginning” – probably the best way to get a black eye! (and is it even true?)
  4. “You look tired” – no sh*t Sherlock. Not helpful and there’s not much they can do about it.
  5. “Enjoy it, this is the best part” – this may be true and as those with older children know it doesn’t get easier it just changes. However, if these are your only words of wisdom probably best to zip it.

But let’s end on a positive note. My grandfather, a father of five and retired GP, offered this pearl of wisdom which I was actually pleased to hear and which I have since shared with countless suffering parents. There are two important milestones – six weeks and six months; at both of these stages things get easier bigtime and you get more shuteye to boot… pass it on!