1) Coping with a clingy toddler

“I’ve found that playing peekaboo helps. When my daughter and her daddy play it together she begins to understand that when things disappear they do come back. When I leave her in a different room and she starts crying, I speak to her through the baby monitor so she knows I’m still there. This means I can get on with my chores around the house.”


Mary Jenkins, 35, from Berkshire, mum to Amy, nearly 2

2) Coping with mum-to-be night-time loo trips

“To minimise getting up in the night, I drink most of my fluids in the day and tail them down towards the evening. But leaning forward when I wee really helps too as it makes sure my bladder is completely empty.”

Hannah Robertson, 28, from Sussex, 8 months pregnant

Keeping your fluids up is important to help you avoid pregnancy heartburn, but don't drink too much with your meals.

3) Easing heartburn

“Sitting tall instead of slouching helps and at night I sleep with lots of pillows to keep me propped up. I was a huge fan of curries before I got pregnany – my partner works in an Indian restaurant and sometimes brings some home – but I’ve had to cut these out as they were making my heartburn a lot worse.”

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4) Emotionally preparing for your baby

“As our baby wasn’t planned, it was a bit of a shock at first. We found going away on a trip with just the two of us really helped us get our head around the fact we were going to be parents. Being away from work and home life meant we could talk properly and now we can’t wait to meet our baby.”

Gina Jempson, 33, from London, 5 months pregnant

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5) Deciding what pain relief to use

“Make sure you know the pros and cons of all available pain relief before the birth. You may only plan to use gas and air, but if the pain gets too much you might end up screaming out for anything they can give you! It’s better to read up about them all so you know what to expect if you need a different method to what you had planned.”

Emma Cummings, 24, from Shropshire, mum to Isabel, 5 months

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6) Learning to ride a bike

“To help our daughter get ready for riding a proper bike, we got her a Lite Rider balance bike (£97.10, www.gltc.co.uk). It doesn’t have stabilisers so it got her used to the bike swaying underneath. She started lifting her feet up and gliding and by 5 she was riding a proper bike without stabilisers.”

Natalie Goodman, 26, from Essex, mum to Sophie, 6, and Ella, 3

7) Choosing a safety gate

“I have four children and have been through a few safety gates! I’ve found with a big family the most important feature is a spring-shut gate. This means you can be sure the little ones can’t escape when one of the older ones has forgotten to shut it. Extension kits are a good idea too, because if you move house you don’t have to worry about it not fitting on new wider doorways.”

Joanna Thompson, 38, mum to Jamie, 12, Hannah, 10, Isabelle, 4 and Jess, 2

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8) Treating cradle cap

“When Erin was a baby, I got rid of cradle cap by putting olive oil in her hair. I put it on at night and then the next morning I combed it out with a headlice comb as the teeth are small. It worked wonders.”


Tammy Keech, 31, from Kent, mum to Erin, 15 months