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#PAYPARENTHOODFORWARD: MATHS, SKIN-TO-SKIN AND THE ART OF NARRATION

Abigail Gerrard

In this post we welcome Sam Pantlin from The Naked Midwives (www.thenakedmidwives.co.uk) with her tips on helpful parenting mathematics and why skin-to-skin can be so useful. We also welcome Andrew South (find him as @beard_plus_babe) with his tip for revealing the world to your little one. 

Hello, my name is Sam and together with Alex, we are The Naked Midwives.
In addition to running this small business, we are both mums (me to 3
girls and Alex to 1 daughter) and practicing midwives.  We started The
Naked Midwives to address the number of lovely women we would see in
labour feeling as if they've failed in some way if they do not have the
'normal', straightforward birth.  We are passionate about empowering
women and our aim is to make every birth a positive one, regardless of
how these babies make their arrival!

I am married to lovely Tim and have 3 children - Olivia, Evie and Hope. 
My girls are now way, way passed the baby stage (24, 21, 14) but it is
so lovely and incredibly rewarding knowing that they have become nice,
decent people.

LOVE:
Family nights in pj's with a bowl of choc's and a good movie..The teasing and laughing -  usually at my expense.  It's an easy and relaxed atmosphere, I am very lucky.

LOATHE: You can't always protect them against being hurt.  In fact, trying to
keep my mouth shut and not voice my opinion when it is most definitely
not wanted!

#PAYPARENTHOODFORWARD TIP: 

This is a difficult one, couldn't decide so have listed two...

1. Keep it in perspective....... multiply it by 5.  Will it matter in 5
minutes, 5 hours, 5 days, 5 weeks, 5 years.......it allows you to
recognise how much time and energy to give a situation.

2. If your baby is feeling cranky despite being fed and has a clean nappy, strip baby down to their nappy for some wonderful skin-to-skin. Your baby will hear your heart beat and recognise your smell and soon will be calm!

Hello! I am Andrew and I am a first time dad to the human tornado of destruction known as Ada! Ada is now just over a year old, which I can’t quite believe. How time flies when you are knee deep in nappies, eh?! We live in London together with my beautiful wife/Ada’s mum (@mawiatunney on Instagram). I work for a charity doing digital media things and Maria is a Senior Commissioning Editor at Walker Books! *Swoon* Proud husband moment!

LOVE: There is so much to love. Ada is quite the comedian already so she does really make us laugh, a lot. But now that Ada can walk, I love it when she reaches up for my hand and we go for a little wander together. It feels very special having those soft little digits in my hand.

LOATHE: It would be easy to say that cleaning the high chair after feeding. It’s a bit like cleaning up after the raptors in Jurassic Park! But the thing I loathe the most is the small amount of time each day I get to spend with Ada; missing out on seeing her learn new things and taking on new experiences. Working full time or part time for new parents is TOUGH going. Luckily, parenting through WhatsApp is now a thing so plenty of videos/photos each day makes it a lot easier.

#PAYPARENTHOODFORWARD TIP: I could be cheeky and say eat out every now and then with your bubba so you don’t have to clean up the mess at home … but I would never say that… *wink wink*. My top tip is this: narrate everything. When we are out and about in the buggy I talk about everything we see. When Ada points at something, I say what it is and what it does. If it’s the summer, I pick a flower and let Ada smell it and in the Autumn, a crunchy leaf is as good as a toy. I make the noises of dogs, cars and airplanes. (Ada has recently acquired a super cute “Woof woof!”) I might look like I am in The Truman Show, but it is great to watch Ada’s reaction to everything.



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