Hello everyone, now that Christmas is well and truly a distant memory, hopefully you have all recovered and are looking for some fun things to do with the family. Half-term is 
coming for those with school-age children, so check out what's on across the county. This newsletter is quite a bumper edition as there have been a lot of updates on the site this month!  

If you don't already, please come and like us on facebook - we are so close to 10,000 likes and I am rather excited by the prospect of having it say '10k'. Haha.

 
Submit an Event
Come and CHatSubmit Place to EatSubmit Place to Eat
 


 
 




Please feel free to use the buttons above to add your own event, business etc to the website totally free.
 


Barracudas Activity Day Camps
offers 80+ exciting activities including sports, crafts and creative arts for children aged 4 ½ to 16 years. Flexible hours from 8am to 6pm means busy parents can relax knowing their children are well entertained all day! At the kids camps children can try new activities, make new friends and most of all have lots of FUN! With Barracudas camps, holiday childcare is taken care of - activity holidays that are Ofsted registered, giving peace of mind for parents, whilst ensuring maximum FUN for kids. To book call us now on 0845 123 5299 or visit www.barracudas.co.uk

 

Easier to Use Forum
I have finally got round to updating the forum and linking it in with facebook - you can now log in with facebook and also comment on a post using your facebook account. Hopefully this will make the forum a little bit more accessible to those of you who don't have time to get to grips with using it! It's still nice to come and introduce yourself though! 


Things to Do section
To make searching for events, groups and classes easier, the Things to Do section has been split into Things to Do - By Area, and Things to Do - By Type. As well as being able to search by different areas in Essex, as you have always been able to do, you can now browse all the parent and toddler groups, classes, events etc. Though be warned, there are a lot! I have also made the section more appealing to advertisers by adding in some lovely big ads, so if you'd like any info about that, please get in touch. Likewise, you can still make your event a featured event at the top of the page for only a pound a week.

Also seeing some changes this month is the
map - it's been updated and made a bit easier to use, so check it out if you want to find out what's happening near you.



Alternative Shopping Guide
I'm so excited to be adding some lovely new shops to the
Alternative Shopping Guide this year. The guide is full of fantastic independent shops that sell great gifts, fairtrade or handmade toys, clothes that are a bit different to what's on the High Street, and lovely bits and bobs to treat yourself, so make sure you take a look! You can browse the different categories for shops or search the Product Guide if you are looking for something specific.

If you are a shop and are interested in getting listed, please
email me for more information.



Essex Mums Awards
I've been thinking it would be nice to give out some Essex Mums awards to local businesses that have been chosen and voted for by you - to let people know what Essex Mums love and want to recommend to others. Currently we're just in the prep stage and I'm looking for category suggestions
here. Please come and suggest anything you think would be good and keep an eye out for future messages about voting!



Ask the Counsellor
Come and take a look at our newest section of the forum:
Ask the Counsellor and ask qualified counsellor Amanda Wilkins any questions you have about emotional wellbeing, particularly within the pre natal and post natal period.



Ask the Baby Expert
I'm excited to welcome Lynsey Calvert to the
Ask the Baby Expert section. She is joining Lisa Clegg, author of the Blissful Baby Expert. 
Lynsey is a psychotherapeutic practitioner specialising in maternal wellbeing, the founder of Mothering Matters and a mother to 3 boys. Welcome Lynsey!
 

Midwife Needed
Our lovely midwife Lorraine is very busy doing some fantastic and exciting work, and we have a vacancy on our
Ask the Midwife section of the forum. Can anyone help or recommend someone who might be interested in answering questions from our mums to be?

 


Does your baby have a flat head?

It could be a condition called Positional Plagiocephaly.Until 4-5 months of age repositioning and tummy time techniques may be enough to encourage natural correction of head shape. 

If repositioning techniques have not brought about sufficient improvement, then Cranial Remoulding Therapy is an option. This is a pain-free 
and non-invasive treatment.

If you would like more advice the London Orthotic Consultancy’s clinics in Romford and Harley Street offer an initial, no obligation FREE consultation at which your baby’s head shape will be assessed, measured and treatment options discussed.


Contact: 020 8974 9989 or info@londonorthotics.co.uk
www.londonorthotics.co.uk




Events
Lots going on this month! You can find full listings on the 
Things to Do section but hopefully this will give you a few ideas about what's on near you and across the county. I have added a few extra half-term events, but there are lots more listed on the website, so make sure you take a look to find fun things to do for your family, and let us know when you try something good. Oh, and remember to say you saw it on Essex Mums!













 


 

 

NEW classes for pre-schoolers coming to Rayleigh and Southend from January – now taking bookings!

Talking Tots provides the only pre-school activity class to focus on encouraging confident communication and social skills, self-esteem, good listing and attention, basic pre-literacy and expressive language development – all key skills needed to support effective learning at school!
Want to know more? Please email claire@talkingtots.info for further information about:
  • FREE taster sessions running on 31st October at the new Southend library, The Forum
  • Classes currently running in Shoebury, Thorpe Bay and Leigh-on-Sea
  • Classes launching in Rayleigh and Southend in January
Don’t miss out!


 

New Classes and Groups
A selection of new information about classes and groups added this month.  Some are brand new to the site, some just have updates about new venues, details etc.Take a look at the 
Things to Do section for complete listings.

Classes
 
Parent & Toddler Groups 
 
Updated Children's Centres Timetables
 
Groups for Older Children
 
Sports
 
Groups for Parents & Parents to Be
 

Having had 3 daughters in quick succession, I seem to have accumulated a mountain of baby equipment, toys, books, clothes, games, puzzles and DVDs. I didn’t know what to do with them, until now that is. With the summer around the corner, I have decided to clear out the loft and turn all of it into cash for my much needed and frankly well-deserved holiday. With Essex Baby & Children's Market coming to Billericay on 9th March, I am able to sell all our quality preloved, but unwanted baby and children’s gear, and keep 100% of the proceeds.  I might also save a fortune by grabbing some of the bargains available on the day. 

Essex Baby and Children’s Market 
9th March, 10am to 12pm
Hannakins Farm Community Centre, Rosebay Ave, Billericay, CM12 0SY

Pre-loved stalls still available £15
Contact Jenny at
jenny@babyandchildrensmarket.co.uk or 07921764746


Competitions
Things to win! Check out the great 
competitions we currently have running. If you would like to run a competition yourself please let me know - it's a great way to advertise for free and also give something lovely to parents in Essex!

 

Product Reviews
Product reviews added this month! You can see a bit about each of our reviewers 
here, or can go straight to the reviews here.

Hugo Frosch Hot Water Bottles
Louise writes: Hugo Frosch are a German company who make a wide range of hot water bottles (Wärmflaschen) and covers to liven them up a bit. We were lucky enough to review their Classic velvet covered hot water bottle in Leopard and their hot water bottle with heart velour covering...

Click here to read more!



Mr Hendrix and the House That Talked
Jenny writes: This is the first book in a series written by mother and daughter duo Jennifer and Anji Foxx and illustrated by Eva Sassin.  Mr Hendrix is a Pomeranian puppy and the book tells of his busy day after his owner leaves for work in a house where the objects and items of furniture are able to talk.
Click here to read more




Mr Hendrix and the Half Eaten Mince Pie
Jenny writes: The Mr Hendrix books are the adventures that a Pomeranian puppy has whilst his owner, Olivia is not around. Mr Hendrix has two very special friends: a French toy cat called Kitty and a home-made snake draught excluder called Sid.
Click here to read more




Stamptastic
Helena Writes: Stamptastic is a personalised permanent inkstamp that can be used to name a child’s belongings for school, sports and other activities.  I was very happy to have the opportunity to try out and review Stamptastic with my seven-year-old daughter Amalia.
Click here to read more 


Rocket Soft Leather Baby Shoes
Louise writes: I am a bit of a sucker for baby clothes, yet can’t get on board with baby shoes. It might be that my daughter lost one of every pair she owned for the first couple of years of her life, it might be the hassle of getting them on to feet that insist on curling up into little balls when you try to get shoes on them.
Click here to read more 





New on the Shopping Guide
Check out some of the gorgeous new shops added this month:

Pregnancy & Parenting Articles
Some great articles added by our writers this month - take a look! To see all the articles we have on the site, visit the 
Pregnancy and Parenting section.
 
Polyhydramnios
Your baby is surrounded by amniotic fluid inside the amniotic sac and this fluid protects your baby and helps him to grow and develop properly. The amount of fluid which surrounds your baby can vary on a day to day basis as your baby swallows fluid and passes urine into it daily.

Click here to read more 





The Amnotic Sac
Your baby is growing inside your uterus or womb within a bag of fluid. This bag of fluid is called the amniotic sac. You may hear the amniotic sac also referred to as the membranes. This is because the walls are made up of two membranes known as the chorion and the amnion.

Click here to read more 




Eating for Two
When eating with others, you may hear comments such as ‘have another slice, you are eating for two now!’ and while it may be nice to be given the last piece of chocolate cake after dinner as a treat, it is important to realise that there is not normally any need for you to ‘eat for two’. 

Click here to read more





Antenatal appointments
The care and advice that you receive from healthcare professionals whilst you are pregnant is referred to as ‘Antenatal care’. If this is your first baby or you have experienced problems in a previous pregnancy, you are usually offered up to ten antenatal appointments.

Click here to read more



Hair loss during pregnancy
Although it is a rare symptom during pregnancy, some women do experience hair loss whilst they are pregnant and there is normally no reason to worry if you do experience hair loss.

Click here to read more



Listeriosis
Listeriosis is an infection which is most commonly caused by eating food which has been contaminated with bacteria known as listeria. Listeria can also be found in soil, decaying vegetation and also in (untreated) water. It is also possible that listeria may be found in the digestive systems of certain animals including sheep and cattle which means that their stools will contain the bacteria.

Click here to read more


Getting Ready to Breastfeed
You’ve weighed up your options, and you’ve decided you want to breastfeed your baby. However, for some new mums, breastfeeding doesn’t come as naturally as they thought it would. Just hang in there, it just takes a little time and patience.

Click here to read more 




Controlled Crying: To Do or Not to Do?
Sleeping issues and babies. I bet this is the biggest problem for all young parents. Everybody would love a miracle cure: a manual which guarantees a peaceful sleeping baby. This kind of manual does exist, but almost nobody dares tell the truth about the outcome. One way to get a baby to sleep is to use controlled crying. Effective for getting your baby to sleep, but how does it affect your baby otherwise?

Click here to read more 





Recipes
Take a look at our recipes section for some tried-and-tested family-friendly feeds! Do you have something you would like to add to this section? If so, please share it here. If anyone is interested in becoming a regular contributor please get in touch.

Here are a few ideas to try:

We all know that our little ones grow up so fast and clothing them quickly becomes costly.
Half-Pint Chic is an exclusive online site that runs weekly sales offering the best designer children's clothes at up to 70% off high street prices. Choose from brands like Caramel Baby & Child, Marie Chantal, Baby Graziella, Bonnie Baby, Their Nibs and many more in their weekly sales, so it is the perfect place to pick up a stylish bargain.

Most orders dispatched next day, plus there is a gorgeous gift wrap service. 

Visit 
www.halfpintchic.com

 



Everything else
As always, please send any events, feedback, ideas etc. to me at 
louise@essexmums.org. I love hearing how people use the site and ways I can improve it. The normal newsletter will be back next month - I hope you've enjoyed this overview of the website!

I hope you have a lovely month and that I'll get to see you at a meet-up soon.

Kind regards
Louise




 
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