Rank #1: Friends
This podcast takes a look at friendship - for children, and adults. Find out when children start to have 'real' friendships rather than playing side-by-side, and how to tackle the vexed matter of sharing without too much upset. How do Mumsnet parents cope with the politics of the soft play, where one parent’s ‘energetic adventurer’ is another parent’s little horror? And what about friendships between parents - we’ll meet some mothers who have become lifelong friends after meeting online on Mumsnet, and hear advice about what to do if nursery-gate friendships go pear-shaped.
Rank #2: Play
In this podcast we take a look at the psychology of play - and find out what’s really going on in babies and small children’s brains when they’re doing it. Does it matter what kind of play they (or you!) gravitate toward? Should you provide lots of stimulation - or is a bit of boredom a good thing? If, like lots of us, you find 20 minutes of pretend shops or playing ‘horsies’ somewhat wearing, Mumsnetters have cunning ways of keeping a child amused while you have a bit of a lie-down - plus brilliant thoughts on which toys really work for each stage of the game, and which aren’t worth shelling out for.
Rank #3: What To Do
Suddenly being plunged into life as a ‘stay-at-home parent’ can be bewildering. Despite having lots of ‘stuff’ to do with a baby - nappy changes alone take an hour a day in the early days - the weeks can seem to stretch endlessly ahead of you. Some love the freedom, others feel anxious at the thought of filling the days. Mumsnetters share their own stories and tips for making the time spent alone with your baby feel fulfilling and (generally!) fun, rather than fraught.
Rank #4: Off Grid
Getting out and about with babies and small children Never does the idea of simply leaving the house seem so fraught with difficulty as it does with a baby or toddler. Parents of little ones are often told to ‘get outside’ every day - but experience tells us that’s precisely when it all goes wrong. Mumsnetters share the disasters and successes they’ve had while out and about - plus their tips for travelling further afield. Find out how to get through the dreaded long car journey with a baby or toddler, how to survive the plane-trip challenge without losing your cool - and how to care a bit less about the tuts of unhelpful strangers!
Rank #5: Work
In reality there’s not often much choice about whether to go back to work after maternity leave - for many, the decision will be based entirely on finances, and whichever path you take you’re pretty much guaranteed your fair share of challenges (and guilt!). So what are the pros and cons of being a stay-at-home-parent or one who works outside the home? Is part time really the holy grail everyone hopes it is? And how on earth do you go about finding the childcare solution that works for YOUR family?
Rank #6: Keeping Clean
A new baby is enough to turn a previously sensible person into an anxious user of far too much antibacterial hand gel - but it's also possible to be a bit too laid-back about hygiene and keeping your child and your home clean. Find out how to find a sensible balance.
Rank #7: Relationships
There's no doubt that becoming parents alters the dynamic of many of your relationships. We explore some of the issues that can affect relationships, and some strategies for making sure that you both have a bit of time - for each other, and for yourself.
Rank #8: Health
Most babies get ill every now and again - and knowing when you need to take action and when to carry on through can remove a lot of the stress. Baby health experts and parents give no-nonsense advice on common ailments, worrying symptoms, vaccinations, milestones and more.
Rank #9: Food
Weaning, nutrition, fussy eaters... We take a look at the psychology of feeding children - why mealtimes so often become a battleground, what you can do about it - and why is food an issue it seems EVERYONE feels they can offer you advice on.
Rank #10: Sleep
An unbroken night's slumber is the holy grail of parenthood. With the help of bleary-eyed parents and a smattering of experts, we'll explore which sleep style would suit your family set-up - and which habits can create problems further down the line.