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Back in the game - finally...

Since our last newsletter I have experienced an agonising three month episode of sciatica. Like so many people this winter, I had suffered from flu for a whole week and I was coughing so much that I herniated a disc. An x-ray diagnosed historic damage to my L5/S1 vertebrae. I literally woke up coughing and was in total agony for the first three weeks, and then little by little I got better over the following 9 weeks. I was devastated when I was told recovery could take three months, but sadly this proved to be accurate. I had to become more patient and find ways to distract myself from the constant pain, while my nerve recovered. In the early days I took painkillers regularly, even tried a TENS machine for 24 hours but once the analgesic effects wore off, the pain was almost more unbearable and my head was fuzzy all the time. So I decided to go cold turkey. I used a combination of ice packs (reduces the inflammation) and my trusty hot water bottle (stick-on heat packs are ideal too) to manage the pain. A warm bath (with magnesium flakes and essential oils) every night relaxed my muscles enough to give me some relief in bed. For many weeks I could not get comfortable anywhere, so I had to keep busy (in a very slow way!). I downloaded our featured App: DUOLINGO language app and started to learn Dutch (my daughter lives in the Netherlands). Granted I am not exactly fluent yet but it's a good start and I am keeping this up, whenever I have a few spare minutes.

I also took up knitting again, after a break of over 30 years! I found a few websites where you can order simple knitting kits (check out the adorable unicorn soft toy I made for my granddaughter). You will recognise the saying: 'baby steps...', which was certainly the case for me and my dodgy back, undoubtedly caused by years of misuse and letting my core suffer. In other words: wear and tear. 'Onwards and upwards...' is my mantra, so I am determined to get back to full fitness and hopefully prevent any future relapse.

I hope that by sharing my experiences I can help you overcome similar issues, introduce you to new ideas, and above all make you realise that you are not alone. Together we can help make your life and the lives of those around you easier... 

During my convalescence I was able to help my daughter's best friend establish breastfeeding (a welcome distraction from my pain, avoiding any slide into self-pity) firstly by phone, then in person when I was able to go out and about again. In the end this very special journey to pain free breastfeeding took, almost 12 weeks, partly due to a late diagnosis of a posterior tongue-tie (which was snipped at 9 weeks). It just goes to show that even with 30+ years experience of helping new mums to breastfeed new challenges always come along. However with patience, determination and lots of cuddles (virtual and real) there is nothing that cannot be resolved. This highlights the first 12 weeks after childbirth also known as the Fourth Trimester which we will discuss in our Talking Point

For new mums who end up struggling - this is much more common than many would imagine -postnatal illness can be a real possibility. This is why our featured charity is PANDAS Foundation. This inspiring charity aims to be: the UK’s most recognised and trusted support service for families suffering prenatal/antenatal and postnatal illnesses.

Friends who used to run The Baby Website got in touch. Like mine, their children are all grown up and my friends have recently started a new website aimed at over 50s. They asked me to do an online interview of where I am now, as a 50 something - makes me feel very old but it's also inspired me to explore new horizons. You can find out more about this exciting new website and read my interview here 

Our featured book selection by Harper Collins contains all your favourites including Bing, David Walliams, Dr Seuss and many more so get your entries in for a bumper prize worth over £60. 

Our featured DVDs  are from the BBC CBeebies (worth £40) including: Go Jetters: The North Pole and Other Adventures; Hey Duggee: The Train Badge and Other Stories; Sarah & Duck: Constable Quack; and Something Special: Laugh With Mr Tumble  - this feature was already in our last newsletter but due to an error on my part, the DVDs were sent by the BBC directly to the winner, so I still have a set to give away!

Our featured products include a manual breast pump, Green People soothing nipple balm (win one of ten tubes) and a Jackson Reece Hamper full of goodies including their TIPS award winning wipes, the most eco-friendly baby wipes available.

Check out our latest Top Tips: including our TIPS factsheet on tongue tie, how a frozen popsicle can help with breastfeeding and why breast pads and treatments can be a life-saver.

Our Top Treat is: Cucumber Clothing - the coolest new clothing around for pregnant and new mums. The brainchild of two mums: Nancy and Eileen, who were looking for clothes to keep them cool. After a year of research, using a super clever moisture wicking, always fresh fabric, they designed Cucumber's first, cut-to-flatter-all-shapes capsule collection and the rest, as they say... We have a delightful Cucumber head band and eye mask to give away (worth £35)

Our Top Value products include the humble hot water bottle, another of my 'all-time must-have items in life' and a clever therapy wrap that can be used cold or warm.

As well as our regular mix of features, our latest My Story follows a new mum who was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis before she went on to have two children. We follow her journey to breastfeed her premature daughter and the huge differences between her two pregnancies, 12 years apart. It also highlights the difficulties experienced by so many new parents.  As a breastfeeding consultant, the good news is that almost every problem can be resolved, if caught quickly enough. However misleading advice (especially from health professionals) means that many new mums suffer confusion, lose self-confidence, and all too often end up giving up breastfeeding! Thankfully this story has a happy ending so we hope it can offer you some inspiration.

We have a brand new selection of TIPS Testers' Pix for you to enjoy, with some adorable photos, including a picture of three gorgeous sisters and some babywearing beauties. Maybe you have photos of your own you would like to share with us? We're always on the lookout for photos of babies, toddlers, families, bumps, scans, breastfeeders, baby-wearing, baby-led-weaning and grandparents. So please email us your photos! I will send a signed copy of my book (Breastfeeding: the essential guide) to the sender of each photo we publish. 

Last but not least we have some wonderful competitions for you to enter. Altogether our prizes are worth over £300 so email your entries to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   and you too could be a TIPS winner!

Remember if you are not 'in' you can't win!


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tipsducktipsducktipsduckBook bundle: Lucky Dip tipsducktipsducktipsduck

bookstipsduck bookstipsduck books tipsduck


We have Three delightful children's books (worth over £20!) to give away:

A Little Paper Caper by Oliver Jeffers

The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr

There's a Snake in my School by David Walliams

Published by Harper Collins Children's Books

A Little Paper Caper by Oliver Jeffers (Board book edition)

Published by Harper Collins (January 2018) 

RRP: £6.99

Age range: 1-5 years


This is a specially adapted board book edition of Oliver Jeffers’ original whodunit The Great Paper Caper.

There was once a forest where everyone was contentedly going about their business. All was well until the strangest thing suddenly started happening. Without any warning, branches started disappearing from trees. Something would have to be done, everyone agreed everyone that is, except for someone who was acting very mysteriously indeed.

A thrilling tale of mystery, crime, with a forest, paper planes and a bear who wanted to win!

The Tiger Who Came for Tea - 50th Anniversary edition (Board book edition)

Published by Harper Collins (March 2018) 

By Judith Kerr 

RRP: £6.99

Age range: up to 5 years


Share in 50 years of magic… 

The Tiger has been coming to Tea for 50 glorious years! Celebrate this incredible anniversary with this special celebration edition of the classic story.

There's a Snake in my School (Board book edition) 

Published by Harper Collins (January 2018) 

By David Walliams, illustrated by Tony Ross

RRP: £6.99

Age range: 3-6 years


From Number One bestselling picture book duo, David Walliams and Tony Ross, comes this ssssspectacularly funny picture book for children of 3 and up.

Miranda loves to be different, and on Bring-your-pet-to-school Day she introduces everyone to her very DIFFERENT pet. Penelope the snake.


Miss Bloat the headmistress doesn’t think snakes should be allowed in school. But Penelope has other ideas....

COMPETITION tipsduck ~ For a chance to win the Lucky Dip Bundle worth £20 email the words ‘Lucky Dip’ to  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  by 24 August 2018. We will announce the winner in e-newsletter 44. 

Book bundle: Dr Seuss


Celebrate the 50th Birthday of The Foot Book and win a Dr Seuss bundle of four books worth £24!

Published by Harper Collins Children's Books (March 2018)

RRP per paperback: £5.99

Age range - 3+ years

About Dr Seuss...

Theodor Seuss Geisel – better known to millions of his fans as Dr. Seuss – was born the son of a brewer and park superintendent in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1904. After studying at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, and later at Oxford University in England (where he met his first wife Helen Palmer), he became a magazine humorist and cartoonist, and an advertising man. He soon turned his many talents to writing children's books, and his first book ‘And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street‘ was published in 1937.

His greatest claim to fame was the one and only ‘The Cat in the Hat’ published in 1957. This was the first of a hugely successful range of early learning books collectively known as Dr. Seuss's Beginner Book Collection. In all Dr. Seuss wrote more than 40 children’s books during a career that spanned over 50 years, picking up numerous awards, including two Emmy awards for television and a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation along the way.

Most of you will have heard of Dr. Seuss, but here are some facts and figures that may surprise you:

  • did you know that Theodor Seuss Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, is the world’s best-selling children’s author, having sold over 650 million books worldwide?
  • 'The Cat in the Hat' was the result of a bet! His editor challenged him to write a book using only 250 words. In the end he only needed 236!
  • He won three Academy Awards and coined the term NERD, which first appeared in his book 'If I Ran the Zoo'.

Find out more about Dr Seuss books on the Harper Collins website 

Our Dr Seuss giveaway bundle includes the following books:

  • The Foot Book - 50th Birthday Edition
  • I Wish That I Had Duck Feet
  • Wacky Wednesday
  • Happy Birthday to You!
  • Dr Seuss bundle:

COMPETITION  tipsduck ~ For a chance to win the Dr Seuss Bundle worth £24, email the words ‘Dr Seuss’ to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by 24 August 2018. We will announce the winner in e-newsletter 44. 

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Book bundle: Bing


Win your very own Bing Bundle worth £20: Bing Numbers! Activity book, Bing Something for Mummy Board book and Bing All Aboard the Toilet Train (Interactive Sound Book) 

Published by Harper Collins Children's Books


Bing Numbers! Wipe-clean activity book

Published by Harper Collins (February 2018) 

RRP: £4.99 Paperback - 16 pages

Age range: 3-6 years

Practise your numbers with Bing in this fantastic wipe clean activity book.

Count with Bing, trace the numbers with the special pen, wipe them off and try again! This fantastic wipe-clean early learning activity book will help young children write their numbers with confidence.


Bing Something for Mummy

Published by Harper Collins (January 2018) 

RRP: £6.99 Paperback - 26 pages

Age range: 2+ years

A brand new classic picture book, featuring Bing Bunny and his friend Flop - now major TV stars!

Bing bunny is doing something nice for his mummy. Making happy jammy toast is fun but it can get a bit messy.

But donít worry, Bing. Itís no big thing!

Share the ups and downs of everyday life in this playful pre-school series from award-winning picture book creator Ted Dewan.


Bing All Aboard the Toilet Train - An interactive sound book

Published by Harper Collins (March 2018) 

RRP: £6.99 Paperback - 12 pages

Age range: 2+ years

Join Bing on a toilet training adventure ñ perfect for encouraging young children to use the toilet with confidence.

Bing doesnít use his potty anymore he uses the big toilet, and you can too! It can be scary at first, but with a little practice youíll be catching the Toilet Train in no time.

Catching the toilet train. . . itís a Bing thing!

COMPETITION   tipsduck ~ For a chance to win the Bing Bundle (worth £20) email the word 'Bing' to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by 24 August 2018. We will announce the winner in e-newsletter 44.

tipsducktipsduckFeatured products 1 :: NatureBond Silicone Breastfeeding Manual Breast Pump Milk Saver Suction : :  tipsduck


BPA Free & 100% Food Grade Silicone

Available on Amazon 

NatureBond Silicone Breast Pump is one of the most natural ways to collect breast milk: hands-free, manually, through natural suction pressure.

It is the best natural pump to catch let-down/breast milk during breastfeeding. After all, every drop of breast milk counts.

The 100% food grade soft silicone (BPA free) design also ensures comfort for breastfeeding mums. Being lightweight, the breast pump ensures hands-free attachment so that you can focus on breastfeeding on the other side

  • Capacity up to 4 ounces or 100 ml
  • Dishwasher safe and able to withstand sterilisation's temperature up to 250C degrees

Also available: eNews43-productB

Haakaa Silicone Breastfeeding Manual Breast Pump Milk Pump 100% Food Grade Silicone BPA PVC and Phthalate Free by Haakaa

Available on Amazon

Review by TIPS Parent Tester:

I initially heard about this style of breast “pump” on my local Breastfeeding Network Facebook Page, where fellow breastfeeding mothers talked about the “haakaa pump” as being useful for catching drips of milk from leaking boobs or using it to collect milk from one breast while feeding from the other. I was keen to try this out before going on our first holiday as a family of three when our daughter was around 11 weeks old. I’d hoped it might offer a solution for dealing with engorged and/or leaking breasts which  would be easier to pack, simpler to clean and lighter to carry than either of the other (manual & electric) breast pumps I was using at that time. Unfortunately it didn’t arrive on time for our holiday (my fault, not Amazon’s) but this pump has become my new best friend in the world of “breastfeeding aides”. 

I was really surprised at how effective and easy to use it was – especially as I had bought a much cheaper alternative to the haakaa pump (it's only half the price).  I really wished I had known about this sooner as it would have been such a great way to collect milk in the early days when my daughter could only take expressed milk. Five weeks on, and I still use this pump - almost every morning to collect milk from the other breast while my daughter is feeding  or to catch drips if I wake up (with leaking boobs) before she does. 

It’s a great device because you don’t have to do anything to express milk with it: just stick it onto your boob. One quick squeeze creates a suction that seems to keep the pump hanging there (hands free) until you take it off again (unless you, baby or anyone/thing else knocks it off, of course, which can be a bit annoying, especially if you lose all the precious milk you have collected and get soaked in the process…) I have now learned to turn my baby the opposite way when I feed her (with her head is closest to the pump and her hands and feet pointing in the opposite direction) to avoid any such mishaps.

One of the main features that attracted me to this pump (over other similar styles) was that it comes with a stand. Top heavy breast pump attachments had become a real bug bear of mine (and my husband’s) after having to clean up lots of lost milk that had ‘toppled over’ or fallen off my bedside table during the first 10 weeks of our daughter’s life. That said but I have actually never needed to use the stand as the pump itself stands perfectly well on its own. This makes it a winner in our eyes as it has never toppled over - unlike almost every other ‘milk catcher’ we have used so far! So, in my opinion, the stand is an unnecessary extra (and arguably a waste of plastic in such eco-friendly times). I haven’t really used the “luxury bag” it comes with either but the cap and breastmilk storage bags are quite handy: the cap keeps the pump sterile for longer; the bags stand upright on their own as soon as you pour milk into them. 

The design of this particular pump is also convenient for pouring, either into another container for storage in the fridge/freezer, or directly into your baby’s mouth (as we did one weekend away when we didn’t have access to a fridge and I was keen not to waste the milk collected). Our daughter seemed to love it as it is made from soft silicone, and she giggled when it touched her gums (maybe it provided some relief from teething pain) and the extra milk, which she was able to lap up from the wide brim (as it pools here before you tip it far enough to pour it), seemed to make a fun, tasty snack for her!

The only downsides to the “pump” (which I would call a “milk catcher” rather than a pump since it doesn’t really “pump” milk in the same way as other breast pumps do - and it is perhaps important to note that it probably wouldn’t be so useful for expressing much more than 50 mls of milk at a time because of this), for me, are that;

- You can’t really use it in any position other than an upright one: you need to be sitting up or standing for it to work. I would love it if someone could invent a breast pump that expresses (or ‘collects’) milk for you while you sleep - that would be the mother of all ‘breastfeeding aides’ in my eyes!

- It’s not very discreet as you can’t hide it in your bra or under your clothing. For this reason I have only really used it at home / in the privacy of other people’s spare rooms rather than out and about/on the go.

Both of these disadvantages have actually led me to order yet another “breastfeeding aide” online: “breastmilk collection shells”. I have been told they can fit inside your bra and be worn whilst lying down (see Amazon ). Until I have tried and tested them, I can’t comment further on how they compare to the Natuflow pump/milk collector. I’m still holding out hope for a “pump while you sleep” design to appear on the market but, in the meantime, I will keep recommending this product to all my breastfeeding friends and new/pregnant mums to be as a “relatively cheap & easy to use breast milk collection tool to avoid losing too much precious milk and to hopefully save your pjs/bedsheets/carpet/baby from getting too wet from leaking boobs”

Happy breastfeeding!

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured products 2 :: Your chance to win 1 of 10 tubes of Green People Soothing nipple balm...  : :  tipsduck


In 2011 we tested Organic Babies soothing baby salve in our trial of breast pads and breast treatments. It was a firm favourite with our Parent Testers and won a TIPS Best eco-friendly award. This wonderful little product still does a great job of soothing faces, hands, bodies, bottoms and of course nipples but there is a new kid on the block called Organic Babies soothing nipple balm, which we are sure you will love. The nipple balm no longer contains lavender but otherwise it's exactly the same as the soothing baby salve.

  • To read the original review of the Baby Salve, including Parent Testers comments go to our Awards section... 

The newly named Soothing nipple balm contains organic sunflower, hemp and sweet almond oil to help soothe and protect sore or cracked nipples. It is also:

  • scent-free and suitable for use before, during and after breastfeeding
  • 100% natural, no need to remove before breastfeeding
  • easy to apply: glides smoothly onto the skin with calendula to calm soreness
  • water-repellent as it contains protective beeswax 
  • lanolin-free and suitable for ultra-sensitive skin

We plan to retrial the Organic Babies soothing nipple balm in the coming months so look out for an email from Brigitte asking for volunteers... 

To find out moreabout Green People:

Visit the ~ @GreenPeopleUK

COMPETITION   tipsduck ~ For a chance to win 1 of 10 tubes of Soothing nipple balm (worth £80) check out mini competition 5

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured products 3 :: Jackson Reece wipes: the most eco-friendly wipes available - also safe to flush in septic tanks!    : :  tipsduck

 JR hamper

Win a Jackson Reece Hamper packed full of their amazing products: Herbal Baby Wipes, Unscented Baby Wipes, Nose Nuzzlers Saline Wipes, Mucky Mitts Hand Sanitiser and Natural Baby Products (shampoo, body wash and moisturiser) worth over £20!         

Recently the media has been awash (pardon the pun) with stories about the dangers of single-use plastics and whether or not baby wipes should be banned. So it's really good to know that there is one brand of wipes that has always taken these issues seriously. 

Following many years of sourcing only the best quality ingredients and materials suitable for any baby, child or even adult who struggles with eczema and sensitive skin, Jackson Reece have brought you their lovely natural range. Jackson Reece list every ingredient used in each of their products, and explain what each ingredient is used for.  As well as taking care of precious babies' skin Jackson Reece also make sure their products don't damage the environment.  As well as using 100% biodegradable and home compostable cloth for their wipes, Jackson Reece always take account of recycling when developing new products - so much so that their wipes are safe to be flushed in a septic tank.  

All Jackson Reece wipes have won TIPS Awards (five in total)  remaining our Parent Testers' favourite brand since 2009.

Jackson Reece new range of Natural Baby toiletries (shampoo, body wash and moisturiser) were added to the list of TIPS award-winning products in 2017!

To find out moreabout Jackson Reece:

Visit the

logos  ~ @JacksonReece

COMPETITION   tipsduck ~ For a chance to win a Jackson Reece Hamper containing a full size packs of Herbal Baby Wipes, Unscented Baby Wipes, Nose Nuzzles Saline Wipes, Mucky Mitts Hand Sanitiser and Natural Baby Products (shampoo, body wash and moisturiser) - worth over check out mini-competition 6

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 tipsduck:: Featured tipsducktipsducktipsduck websites for knitters tipsducktipsducktipsduck

While I was recovering from a herniated disc my lovely daughter sent me a knitting pack to knit a beanie hat. This was nice and easy, and a most welcome distraction when my pain levels were high. She then sent me a unicorn soft toy knitting kit which was much fiddlier. However as I was knitting this for my granddaughter I was determined to crack it (see pictures). The next knitting kit I was sent was for a snood. This looks the easiest but was actually the most frustrating. There were so many stitches! I kept dropping the odd one, which meant I often had to unpick many rows before attempting to thread the remaining stitches onto the needle - not an easy task I can tell you! 

This said, the whole process was extremely useful and took my mind off my pain. It has actually rekindled my interest in knitting, but the simpler the pattern the better ;O)

If you'd like to give knitting a go read on.... 


Alpaca Beanie Kit  available on 


This kit comes with absolutely everything you need to make your very own beautiful turn up beanie...

2 x 50g 100% chunky baby alpaca, 6.5mm bamboo needles, tapestry needle & knitting pattern.

This was the easiest knitting kit, and my favourite pattern. I have repeated this five times in a variety of colours. I even knitted a smaller one for my granddaughter following the same pattern but using thinner wool, and it worked out fine.


Unicorn Kit - Suitable for ages 10 and up available on


The kit comes with everything you need to knit yourself a magical unicorn with a silvery horn and a beautiful rainbow mane! This is the perfect project for knitters with a little experience. Once complete the unicorn measures approximately 28cm.

Your kit includes:

3.25mm bamboo knitting needles

100% acrylic yarn

Wool needle

Polyester toy stuffing

Safety eyes


Everything comes packaged in a beautifully designed cardboard box, making the kit a lovely gift! 

You can see from my finished unicorn that the rainbow colours appear much brighter than on the pattern and my horn went a little wonky but in the end I was pretty pleased with the result.

COMPETITION   tipsduck ~ For a chance to win a Unicorn kit (worth £12.99) check out mini competition 9


Snood Kit - from


This kit comes with a clear pattern for beginners, yarn, needles, tapestry needle, help cards and a Knit Kit Company project bag. Size: one size for adults and older kids.

Level: Intermediate – perfect for a beginner with a little experience (this turned out to be true!)


To find out more about the Knit Kit Company:

Visit the

logos  ~ @TheKnitKitCo and on Instagram instagram-small6 

COMPETITION   tipsduck ~ For a chance to win a Cairngorm Bundle Knit Kit (worth £22.99) check out mini competition 8

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 Featured tipsducktipsducktipsduck website 2 tipsducktipsducktipsduckMr and Mrs 50 Plus -


Kathryn Crawford and her husband Nigel founded and ran until the end of 2016. With the proceeds of the sale they decided to take a year off to go travelling. You can read about their Silver Gap Year Travels here. Once they returned they decided to start working on a more age-appropriate site. With 5 children who've all flown the nest, they were well past the 'baby' stage. Having said that their daughter Helena over at Helena's Blog is expecting her first baby and their first grandchild in August so here we go again! 

Mrand launched in April 2018 and is aimed at people aged 50+. 

Kathryn interviewed me recently for her new site. Why not have a read of the feature 'Who Is The Quintastic Sharon Trotter?'!

They will be featuring people of 50+ who have made their mark in some way in their field. Kathryn said: 

'We knew Sharon from our days at TheBabyWebsite and have always admired her dedication, knowledge and the way she always adheres to her principles.  We were interested to find out how Sharon's life has changed since she started out.'

To find out more:

logos  @MrandMrs50Plus

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 Featured tipsducktipsducktipsduck nEw nE nEwtipsducktipsducktipsduckTalking point and useful blogs... The fourth trimester: what is it and how to survive it... 


©HerViewFromHome blog

Most of us know about the three trimesters of pregnancy, culminating in the birth of your baby, but what about the next stage? A term you may have come across to describe the period from birth until baby is three months old is 'fourth trimester'. This is a time of adjustment when your baby and all your close family (including siblings and grandparents) adapt and learn to cope with the new addition. My daughter always tells her newly-pregnant friends that the first 12 weeks after birth are extremely tough but that everyone gets through it and things do become easier. So it's really important for mums to be kind to themselves and have realistic goals.

There are many blogs out there with great advice. I have found three that might help de-mystify this initial period in the transition to parenthood. 

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 tipsduck:: Featured tipsducktipsducktipsduck DVDs tipsducktipsducktipsduckWe have 4 wonderful BBC CBeebies DVDs worth almost £40 to give away


Go Jetters: The North Pole and Other Adventures; Hey Duggee: The Train Badge and Other Stories; Sarah & Duck: Constable Quack; and Something Special: Laugh With Mr Tumble

Published by BBC Worldwide

No you are not seeing things!, This feature was in our last newsletter but due to an error on my part, the DVDs were sent by the BBC directly to the winner, so I still have a set to give away!

eNews43-DVDsAGo Jetters: The North Pole and Other Adventures
RRP: £10.20

This DVD includes nine episodes from the CBeebies animated series about a group of globetrotting adventurers. The programme follows the heroes Xuli (voice Pilar Orti), Kyan (Akie Kotabe), Lars (Syrus Lowe) and Foz (John Hasler) as they travel across the globe in their trusted Vroomster and learn about famous landmarks with help from their mentor, and leader of the Go Jetters Academy, Ubercorn (Tommie Earl Jenkins). Throughout their travels, the heroes often find themselves foiling the dastardly schemes of the villainous Grandmaster Glitch (Marc Silk). The episodes are: 'The North Pole Christmas Special', 'The Strokkur Geyser, Iceland', 'The Aqueduct of Segovia, Spain', 'Rio de Janeiro, Brazil', 'Mount Everest, Asia', 'Loch Ness, Scotland', 'The Grand Canyon, USA', 'Easter Island, Chile' and 'The Parthenon, Greece'.


Hey Duggee: The Train Badge and Other Stories
RRP: £10.20

Review by ...(TIPS Testers):
Get set for a seventh collection filled with laughter, learning and exciting activities in the adventure club that every child will want to join! Meet Duggee, a big lovable dog who is the leader of an after school club called the Squirrels. Under the patient guidance of Duggee, the Squirrels discover new things about the world around them and their comic adventures encourage young viewers to actively solve a problem by moving, jumping, running and skipping.

In this collection Duggee and the squirrels have fun with his train set, try out his new outdoor pizza oven and learn how to keep calm with yoga, but when Duggee loses his voice, the squirrels have to ask the rest of the animals for help!

Sarah & Duck: Constable Quack
RRP: £8.16

Review by ...(TIPS Testers):
Sarah is a seven year old girl with big eyes and a green hat, who lives with her quacky, flappy best friend, Duck. Together, they embark on simple but exciting adventures, full of imagination and humour.
On this DVD, containing ten quirky stories, you’ll witness Sergeant Sarah and Constable Quack’s first case, Moon and Rainbow’s first meeting and a very robotic dream, courtesy of Duck!


Something Special: Laugh With Mr Tumble
RRP: £10.20

Review by ...(TIPS Testers):
This award-winning BBC TV series uses Makaton sign language to help children with learning and communication difficulties, and is highly popular with younger viewers.
These nine episodes see Mr Tumble and his friends having lots of fun and laughter in a variety of places with plenty of activities. Mr tumble helps Aunt Polly dry her washing and invites her over for tea. Mr Tumble tidies up his bedroom, while Justin and his friends play in a recycling band. Mr Tumble holds a swimming gala and Justin learns about powerchair football as a hobby. Mr Tumble goes to Chef Tumble’s restaurant, where everything is either too big or too small. Mr Tumble looks for his pet dog’s squeaky toy bone, while Justin spends his day with his friends and their pet dog. Mr Tumble visits Baker Tumble’s bakery, while Justin spends the day with two best friends who love to bake cakes together.

COMPETITION  tipsduck ~ For a chance to win 1 of 4 BBC CBeebies DVDs (worth £40) check out mini-competition 4 

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tipsduck:: Featured tipsducktipsducktipsduck charity tipsducktipsducktipsduckPre And PostNatal Depession Advice and Support (PANDAS Foundation)


Pre And PostNatal Depession Advice and Support (PANDAS Foundation)

Helpline: 0843 28 98 401

PANDAS want to be the UK’s most recognised and trusted support service for families suffering prenatal/antenatal and postnatal illnesses.

The PANDAS Foundation aims to help support and advise any parent who is experiencing a perinatal mental illness.  They also inform and guide family members, carers, friends and employers as to how they can support someone who is suffering.

PANDAS survives thanks to the hard work of a dedicated volunteer team and donations. 

Would you like to become a PANDA volunteer?

Working for PANDAS is an extremely rewarding and positive experience. Your commitment and hard work will be rewarded with great support, a fantastic online training programme and flexible working conditions. It is because of the staff and volunteers they can implement their strategic objectives and eradicate the stigma surrounding perinatal mental illness.  

  • If you are interested in volunteering, please email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  
  • To find out more or to donate to this charity go to:

  logos ~ @Pandas_UK

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tipsducktipsduckFeatured My Story :: tipsducktipsduck

Our latest My Story follows Kim, a new mum who was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis before going on to have two children. We follow her journey to breastfeed her premature daughter and the huge differences between her two pregnancies, 12 years apart. It also highlights the difficulties experienced by so many new parents.
Read Kim's My Story here....

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tipsducktipsduck :: TIPS top tip 1 :: Tongue-tie and lip-tie: why is it important to check for these conditions  ::tipsduck


Pictures show before and after tongue-tie snip.

I have been aware of the possible complications that a tongue or lip tie can have on the successful establishment of breastfeeding for many years, although I did not actually mention this condition in my book (Breastfeeding: The Essential Guide) when it was published back in 2004. In 2009 having researched this topic in detail, I prepared a leaflet, with lots of pictures, to help parents understand this common condition and how to get help and treatment. I also wrote an article about tongue-tie - this was published in the midwifery journal (MIDIRS Digest) you can read it here...

Again and again I have come across new breastfeeding mums suffering with sore nipples with no obvious cause. Again and again these mums would be fobbed off by health care professionals (read our latest My Story for one such example) who fail to see a tongue or lip tie, or dismiss it altogether. If having tried different treatments and options a breastfeeding mum continues to suffer from sore nipples for more than a few days, it is always worth seeking a second opinion from a lactation consultant or from an expert in tongue-tie. There may be an undiagnosed posterior tongue-tie (this may not be obviously visible) or there could be a lip-tie that needs investigating. 

I have been amazed at the difference a quick tongue-tie snip makes: it allows mum to feed again without being in agony. This is not only a huge relief for the mum in question but also for everyone around her who may have felt helpless. I can only begin to imagine how many new mums have given up on breastfeeding due to an undiagnosed tongue or lip tie, leaving them feeling like a failure and possibly leading to years of regret at having been unable to breastfeed their baby. 

It does not have to be that way so check out our updated leaflet here and remember to get your baby checked for tongue-tie before you even leave the postnatal ward.

TIPS factsheet: All about tongue tie and lip-tie - What it is and how it can be treated. Read it here...

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tipsducktipsduck :: TIPS top tip 2 :: Breast pads and treatments for sore nipples  ::tipsducktipsduck

You can read our review on the innovative Nature Bond manual breast pump in this newsletter's featured product , but here's a wee reminder of breast pads and treatments reviews on our website. 

Breast pads really help avoid leakage and they can also protect your nipples from further damage. However remember to use a nipple balm if you want to speed up the healing process. 

You can read our advice about sore nipples, as well as information about the trial itself and why breast pads and treatments can make a huge difference to your breastfeeding journey here... 

The following products won TIPS awards:

Breast pads:

  •  Best of the best & Best organic - Natracare New Mother Nursing Pads 
  •  Must-have - Lilypadz silicone reusable breast pads
  •  Innovative - Evanesse Washable Nursing Pads, Milkies Milk Saverand Philips AVENT Comfort Breast Shells
  •  Best Washable – Lanowool breastfeeding pads
  •  Best Disposable – Nature Babycare Eco Nursing pads

Breast treatments:

  •  Best of the best & Best organic - Essential Care Organic nipple balm
  •  Best eco-friendly - Green People Organic Babies Baby Salve
  •  Must-have - Weleda Nipple Balm, MamaBabyBliss Aaah Soothing Balm, Multi-Mam Compresses, Weleda Nursing Oil, Organic Babies Mum and Baby Rescue Balm, and Shea Mooti Mama’s Calming Nipple Balm
  •  Highly commended - Kamillosan Soothing Ointment and Multi-Mam Balm

We had tested the Silverette nipple shields in an earlier trial. They scored fairly well but are pretty expensive. However if you want to try these out you can buy them online at Breast Angels:  

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tipsducktipsduck :: TIPS top tip 3 :: How ice popsicles can help with attachment to the breast... :: tipsduck


There are many wee tricks for new mums to try when attempting to get their newborn baby attached to the breast:

  • Get your position right: this is probably  the most important one, but not always easy if you have had a caesarean section or your nether regions are too sore to sit on! 
  • Ask for help early on and make sure you get your midwife or lactation consultant to check for tongue-tie as this can be a cause of undiagnosed sore nipples. 
  • Use pillows to support you and your baby - check out biological nurturing for ideas on positioning.
  • Co-bath or shower with your baby (help will be needed ): this is a great way to help stimulate your oxytocin levels so that your nipples become erect, allowing easier latch. 
  • However, have you thought of using a cool popsicle on your nipple?  This simple method works like co-bathing but is easier to do, readily available whenever you need it (as long as you keep a few in your freezer) and much quicker. 

If you already have sore nipples, the cool feeling will also help to soothe your pain, or you may just want to prevent damage to your newly healed nipples. Either way this quick and cheap solution really does work - I know because I have seen it for myself. An additional bonus is that you can enjoy a delicious popsicle once your is baby safely  latched on, or you can just put the popsicle back in the freezer -  ready for next time.

For more advice and support about breastfeeding have a look at our breastfeeding factsheet here...

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tipsducktipsduck top value :: Hot water bottle  :: tipsducktipsduck


Hot water bottle with cable knit cover and a turtleneck top

£4.99 from 


Cold & Hot Therapy Wrap, Reusable Gel Pack for Pain Relief

In the early days of my sciatica, I used an ice pack wrapped up in a tea towel but this is not very flexible.  If you prefer the option of a gel pack (with velcro wrap) then this one is a good product. This product can be frozen,  or heated in the microwave and will fit snugly around your arm, elbow, foot or ankle.

It costs £10.99 and can be ordered on Amazon


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 tipsducktipsduck:: Top Treat    :: tipsducktipsduck

Cucumber Clothing plus read on for your chance to win a headband and eye mask set worth over £35... 


Cucumber Clothing is the brainchild of advertising and fashion gurus Nancy and Eileen.

Nancy and Eileen knew many women, taking-care-of-business women, organising-the-family women, trying-to-do-it-all women, who were struggling with interrupted nights, poor sleep and uncomfortable sweaty days.

So they decided to give up any idea of spare time and threw themselves into creating a fabulous deluxe nightwear and leisurewear collection that makes women feel great on the inside, and look good on the outside.

It took twelve months from idea to inception. Once Nancy and Eileen found their super clever moisture wicking always fresh fabric, Cucumber was up, up, up and away.

Their first cut to flatter all shapes capsule collection, was a fantastic success. Nancy and Eileen had no idea that so many women were suffering from the wrong kind of steamy nights (and days!).


Cucumber are proud to say their brand is 100% British made sourcing as much as possible in the UK and they aim to continue doing this. Nancy and Eileen look after their supply chain, including their employees – they always pay fair wages – and they are conscious about preserving our planet for the next generation.


Nancy and Eileen are constantly looking at ways of reducing their footprint, without compromising on the quality of their products.  Nancy and Eileen  are also hoping to reduce the amount of plastic packaging they use to zero soon. 

To find out more:

Visit the website: 

 logos ~ @CucumberClothUK

COMPETITION tipsduck ~  For a chance to win a Cucumber Clothing headband and eye mask (worth £35) check out mini-competition 7

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 tipsducktipsduck:: featured App :tipsducktipsduck:


Free language education for the world. 

Duolingo is available on the web, Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.

From November 2016, the language-learning website Duolingo and Duolingo app offer 68 language courses on 28 languages (I chose Dutch). A further 23 courses are in development. The app has about 200 million registered users across the world.

Over 1.2 billion people are learning a foreign language, most of them do so as a way to access better career opportunities. Unfortunately, the cost of learning a foreign language can be prohibitive.

Duolingo was developed so that everyone could have a go at learning a foreign language. This is free language tuition: no hidden fees, no premium content. The free version comes with adverts, that can be annoying but you can also sign up for a paid for, free from adverts, version. Duolingo is used by a wide cross section of society including many Hollywood stars, and also students in developing countries. Duolingo believes in and promotes equality.

It can be hard to stay motivated with remote learning. So Duolingo is designed to be fun, as people prefer picking up new skills while also playing a game.

I have to admit that, having used Duolingo to learn Dutch for the past three months, I am not exactly fluent. However I have learnt many new words and phrases which I am keen to try out on my next trip to the Netherlands.

For more information on the Duolingo story go to Wikipedia 

logos ~ @duolingo

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In this issue...

- app Duolingo

- book selection

- charity PANDAS Foundation

- DVDs 4 BBC CBeebies

- products manual breast pump, Green People soothing nipple balm and a Jackson Reece Hamper

- talking point The Fourth Trimester

- top treat Cucumber Clothing

- top tips TIPS factsheet on tongue tie, frozen popsicles, and breast pads and treatments

- top value hot water bottle

- websites  for knitters, and Mr & Mrs 50+

regular features...

- My Story from Kim

- TIPS Testers' pix!

- mini competitions

- competition winners

- Babycare - back to TIPS baby led weaning  2basics

TIPS Testers' pix!
We have a brand new selection of TIPS Testers' Pix for you to enjoy. Maybe you have photos of your own you would like to share with us? We're always on the lookout for photos of babies, toddlers, families, bumps, scans, breastfeeders, baby-wearing, baby-led-weaning and grandparents. So please email us your photos! I will send a signed copy of my book (Breastfeeding: the essential guide) to the sender of each photo we publish.
TIPS bump
Here is Kelly, who I have known since she volunteered as a TIPS Parent Tester in 2007. She went on to write a series of articles called 'Diary of a Student Midwife' (newsletters 18-28) which followed her journey to become a fully qualified midwife. Here she is expecting baby number three - lots more adorable pics of Kelly with her newly expanded family later in this newsletter. 


TIPS baby

Welcome to baby Matilda born two weeks early in January this year. Isn't she just a wee cutie!

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TIPS toddler

Here is wee Aurora, who we have featured regularly since her birth in the summer of 2016. She was born at 35 weeks weighing a very delicate 4lbs and she is still petite but with a BIG appetitie for adventure!

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TIPS father 

Here is Aurora with her daddy having some more exciting adventures in the park and the beach.

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TIPS siblings 

Here are Matilda's older sisters Ruby and Rosie. As you can see Matilda takes after her big sister Rosie who also has stunning red hair! Such gorgeous pictures of these three loving sisters.

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TIPS family 
Here is a family shot of mum Kelly with her girls Ruby, Rosie and baby Matilda. 

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TIPS breastfeeder 

Kelly is a pro breastfeeder these days but it wasn't always this easy. You can read Kelly's My Story in our newsletter no.15.

TIPSLtd2018 6 
TIPS breastfeeder 2
I love to feature pictures of older babies' breastfeeding in different places so here is Aurora (age 22 months) with mum Kim feeding in the shower and in the garden. Check out Aurora clinging onto her mum's breastfeeding necklace, a common pastime for babies' as they feed. The necklace is from and the matching red dresses are from 
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TIPS babywearing
Here is Kelly showing us how versatile baby wearing is whether out and about or in a public loo.... and here is Aurora being worn by one of her big brothers - how adorable are these pics!
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TIPS baby led weaning 
Here is our gorgeous grandson showing off his skills at baby-led weaning... 
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TIPS competition winner

Here is a video of Aurora playing with her prize books from newsletter 42

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To display this content, you need a JavaScript capable browser.
- don't forget to enter all our competitions and you could be our next featured winner!

TIPS competition winner 2 
Congratulations to Julie on winning the Prickly Thistle Slate Kilt Pin - here is a novel way of wearing a kilt pin without a kilt! (you can read Julie's My Story in newsletter 31).
Above are Julie's cheekie wee boys ready for a new school term!
Babycare – back to basics™ leaflet (version 9) updated March 2016!

This leaflet won the first Nursing in Practice Dermatology Award in 2008 and was also shortlisted for two General Practice Awards in 2011. Version 9 is hot off the press and will be distributed around the UK at various professional and parenting events. Health professionals and maternity units can buy hard copies – email info
for more information. As well as all the hints and tips you need about baby skincare, skin-to-skin contact and feeding but, this leaflet now includes the latest and safest advice on reducing the risk of cot death. Version 9 includes a handy QR code to use it with your smart phones. Online version updated March 2016 Email info if you would like a free copy.

TIPS competitions corner
facebook logoLike us on Facebook

If you are on Facebook and want to take the opportunity to enter all TIPS e-newsletter competitions in 1 go all you have to do is:

  • 'Like' us on Facebook
  • Email competitions and say you wish to enter the e-newsletter competitions 
  • Check out the list of winners in our next e-newsletter – it could be you!
mini- competition 1
For a chance to win the Lucky Dip Bundle worth £20, email the words ‘Lucky Dip’ to competitions by 24 August 2018. We will announce the winner in e-newsletter 44.
mini- competition 2
For a chance to winDr Seuss bundle of books email the words ‘Dr Seuss’ to competitions by 24 August 2018. We will announce the winner in e-newsletter 44
mini- competition 3
For a chance to win the Bing Bundle worth £20, email the word ‘Bing’ to competitions by 24 August 2018. We will announce the winner in e-newsletter 44.
mini- competition 4

For a chance to win a BBC DVD  email the words ‘BBC DVDs’ to competitions (remember to tell us which DVD you would prefer: Go Jetters: The North Pole and Other Adventures; Hey Duggee: The Train Badge and Other Stories; Sarah & Duck: Constable Quack; or Something Special: Laugh With Mr Tumble) by 24 August 2018. We will announce the winners in e-newsletter 44

mini- competition 5
For a chance to win 1 of 10 tubes of Soothing nipple balm (worth £80) email the words ‘Green People’ to competitions by 24 August 2018. We will announce the winners in e-newsletter 44.
mini- competition 6
JR competition 

For a chance to win a Jackson Reece Hamper containing full size packs of of Herbal Baby Wipes, Unscented Baby Wipes, Nose Nuzzles Saline Wipes, Mucky Mitts Hand Sanitiser and Natural Baby Products (shampoo, body wash and moisturiser) - worth over £21 email the words‘Jackson Reece’ to competitions by 24 August 2018. We will announce the winner in e-newsletter 44.

 mini- competition 7


For a chance to win a Cucumber Clothing headband and eye mask(worth over £35) email the words‘Cucumber Clothing to competitions by 24 August 2018. We will announce the winner in e-newsletter 44

 mini- competition 8


For a chance to win a Cairngorm Bundle Knit Kit (worth £22.99) email the words 'The Knit Kit Company' to competitions by 24 August 2018. We will announce the winner in e-newsletter 44.

 mini- competition 9


For a chance to win a Unicorn Knit Kit (worth £12.99) email the words 'The Crafty Kit Company' to competitions by 24 August 2018. We will announce the winner in e-newsletter 44.

:: TIPS winners ::


The lucky winner of the  Dr Seuss  book bundle was Sara from Ayrshire 

The lucky winner of the  Bing  book bundle was Anisa from West Yorkshire 

The lucky winner of the Twirlywoos book bundle was Cheryl from East Sussex

The lucky winner of the David Walliams book bundle was Kerry from Ayrshire

The lucky winner of the  Lucky dip book bundle was Heather from Hampshire

The lucky winner of the Michael Morpurgo book bundle was Anisa from West Yorkshire

The lucky winner of the Biddulph book bundle was Kim from London

The lucky winner of the  Something Fishy competition  was Danielle from West Yorkshire

The lucky winner of the Vitamin K and the Newborn competition was Clare from New Zealand

The lucky winner of the  Prickly Thistle competition was Julie from Merseyside

The lucky winners of BBC DVDS were Daniel from Essex and Munira from London

The lucky winner of the Paddington 2 DVD was Catherine from Lancashire

The lucky winner of the Weleda competition was Natasha from Lincolnshire

The lucky winner of the Halia Rose competition was Soshanna from Kent

The lucky winner of the Dance Central Tutu and shoes competition was Sarah from South Wales

The lucky winner of the Rhythm Lift Shot 200 Plan competition was Sara from Ayrshire



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