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The psychology of play with baby and child

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What is play? How does it benefit infants & children? The Psychology of Play explained

Come and play!

Play

Play is fundamental to learning. It contributes to cognitive, social, physical and emotional well-being and therefore is essential to development (1). Through play the child explores their environment and tests out their skills and abilities. The child also learns that they have some effect and control over their environment through their actions, build communication skills and relationships with their caregiver and gain social feedback.

 

In sum, some of the many benefits of play are:

  • A great list of the many benefits of play for babies, toddlers, children!
    Physical skill development (fine and gross motor skills) e.g. through sorting blocks, putting objects in and out of a container
  • Develops language skills – Research (2) suggests that play incorporates many of the socially interactive and cognitive elements known to enhance language, especially “guided play” (parents follow child’s lead while scaffolding the interaction, rather than “free play” where play goes wherever child wants)
  • Develops communication and social skills – e.g.sharing, taking turns (with older children), social communication with other children and adults, negotiation skills
  • Understanding of cause and effect relationships – e.g. testing out a toy to try and understand how it works (3)
  • Relationships and bonding
  • Awareness of self in environment – control and ability to make decisions and direct the play
  • Self expression – of choices, wants, needs – experience of these being recognised by another person and learning their influence on the outcome
  • Creativity and imagination skills (1)
  • Independence – e.g. when playing on own and entertaining self
  • Benefits for parents: Observing or joining in child-driven play gives opportunity to see the world from their child’s perspective, especially with younger children who cannot talk yet – they might be able to express their views and frustrations through play . Learning to communicate more effectively and gives another setting in which to offer nurture and guidance (1)

 

How to support your child during play – what parents can do:

Scaffolding; a psychological learning approach, zone of proximal development. Vygotsky

“Scaffolding” learning

Playing alone can be important – it might help the child develop confidence and independence skills, and at other times you (the parent or caregiver) might join in. I remember my toddler when he was a bit younger went through a stage when he didn’t want me to interfere too much in what he was doing and communicated this to me by making annoyed sounds and taking the object(s) we were playing with away from me. For example, if we were trying to sort shapes and I tried to “help” him he’d say waarrah and get annoyed. So I stopped. But, he still wanted me to sit with him. This made me think of the concept of:
  • Zone of Proximal Development (Vygotsky)

  • This is about what we can do with the help of others, that we could not do alone.
  • The support and interaction with others helps develop skills, learning and understanding in the area the child is trying to develop.
  • Here’s a brief page explaining zone of proximal development and scaffolding

 

The Psychology of Play with baby, toddler and kids - the benefits and more!

This is a learning model that actually applies to learning over the lifespan and is relevant us as infants, children, teenagers and as adults, across contexts from school to work. For example, a teacher or supervisor at work might refer to this concept when assisting the learning of a student or less experienced employee.
  • The teacher or supervisor can provide “scaffolding” to support the child’s developing knowledge, skills or understanding of the area they are trying to master.

 

In general, a consistent and predictable parental approach is beneficial

  • Encourage curiosity when playing together e.g. asking – where did that ball go?
  • If baby is exploring and experimenting comment on what they are doing. If they’re not quite getting something “right” e.g. stacking the wrong size block and it keeps falling off – try a comment to acknowledge their hard work and motivation such as “I can see you’re trying to stack those, it doesn’t look like that one fits does it?” – and maybe try scaffolding their attempts by suggesting another block or holding the blocks so they don’t fall to maintain baby’s interest and perseverance.

Get Creative! The Psychology of Play with baby, toddler and kids - the benefits and more!Get creative

You don’t need fancy expensive toys for play or to aid development. This study here (4) discusses the possible benefit of every day items and furniture that can support gross and fine motor skill development (being mindful of risky items or dangerous situations)

Toys, appliances, and even a sofa and coffee table can impact the way or when a baby first crawls, walks or achieves other growth milestones… the significant role household items play in their infant’s motor skill development.

 

‘What does a toy or a coffee table do?’ Well, depending on the space between the couch and the coffee table, it could be the first distance that the child wants to cross… If a toy is cranked and pops up, the child might want to go grab it, which could lead the child to walking. But the challenge is the thing that stimulates that child to begin walking.

Get Social

And of course, another free and thrifty play option is the local playground or park, where you can hang with your other parent friends and benefit from some conversation normalising the trials and tribulations of parenthood… Outdoor Play! The Psychology of Play with baby, toddler and kids - the benefits and more!

 

 

 

References:
  1. Ginsburg, K. R. (2007).The Importance of Play in Promoting Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds. PEDIATRICS Vol. 119 No. 1, pp. 182 -191. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/119/1/182.full
  2. Weisberg, D. S., Zosh, J. M., Hirsh-Pasek, K., Golinkoff, R. M. (2013). Talking It Up: Play, Language Development, and the Role of Adult Support. American Journal of Play, 6 (1), pp. 39-54. http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1016058.pdf
  3. Schulz, Laura E., and Bonawitz, Elizabeth. (2007). Serious fun: Preschoolers engage in more exploratory play when evidence is confounded. Developmental Psychology, 43, 1045-1050.
  4. P. M. Cacola, C. Gabbard, M. I. L. Montebelo, D. C. C. Santos. Further Development and Validation of the Affordances in the Home Environment for Motor Development-Infant Scale (AHEMD-IS).Physical Therapy, 2014; 95 (6): 901 DOI: 10.2522/%u200Bptj.20140011

Developments and progress at 1 year old – baby’s 1st birthday

Typical baby development at 12 months old - psychological, physical, social. We are one year old, happy birthday baby!

Happy Birthday Baby! You’re now one. Time has gone so quickly!

 

So what has he been up to?
In the week or so before his first birthday he’s
  • Spoken his first word, taken his first steps (although the steps have not been repeated since then, grrr)
  • Appears to understand more words and basic instruction, e.g. can you put this in the box (or maybe it’s just fluke each time). Can say “up”, kind of say “moo”, knows the cow says moo, knows the chicken says “bukkarr” and can say his version of a chicken sound, might have said “book” but i’m not 100% sure, say dada, has said “hi” a few times.
  • We have two new teeth coming through – he has 8 already so this will make 10.
  • He can nod his head, wave hello and bye bye and wave this if you ask him to say bye/hello
  • He can play ball by rolling it to me (though not completely accurately)
  • His concentration during reading has improved and he can sit most of the way through a baby book.
  • He eats a lot of finger food and cut up “regular” food, such as pasta, sandwhiches, cheese, basically meals and food that I feel to the toddler (nearly 2.75 years old) but with extra attention to salt content. However, saying that, now that he is one he could have a little more salt in his diet. The NHS write:
The maximum recommended amount of salt for babies and children is:
  • up to 12 months – less than 1g of salt a day (less than 0.4g sodium)
  • 1 to 3 years – 2g of salt a day (0.8g sodium)

What are general developments and milestones at 12 months?

You can find a useful birth to five development timeline here, from the NHS. According to this timeline:
  • 10-18 months, baby usually walks alone
  • by 12 months, responds to their own name
  • 12-18 months, takes an interest in words

 

There is also useful information on development across a range of areas here from the CDC, including social/emotional, language/communication, cognitive and physical developments:
  • Plays games such as peek a boo, can hand you a book if they want a story, repeats sounds to get attention
  • responds to simple verbal requests and follow simple directions e.g. pick up the (item)
  • can bang two things together
  • moves into a sitting position without assistance, cruises/pulls to stand, may take a few steps, may stand alone

 

For further reading on development in young children, have a look at this article “Children under three years: the time of their lives” (M. Dowling), a free resource from the British Association for Early Childhood Education (more resources found here). It discusses areas of progress, important social and attachment related elements, cognitive and emotional development and more.

 

Psychology Resources & Links – Parenting, Child, Mental health & Wellbeing

Psychology related worksheets, resources, psychoeducation – and links to other sites that provide valuable resources along these lines including self help resources and information.

 

Links to external resources:

Psychology Tools(http://psychology.tools/)

  • Provides free resources for therapists, including worksheets to download, psychological models, translated resources, and welcomes resource contributions from everyone. Psychology Tools was set up by a clinical psychologist in 2008 “as a way to develop and share materials useful to psychological therapists”. I have made use of this website for several years.

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Get Self Help – (http://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/)

  • “Self Help & Therapist Resources”. A good resource for psychological education sheets, worksheets, therapy and self help related materials. Provides information for self help, therapists, trainees, mental health professionals. I have been using this site for helpful worksheets and inspiration for, hmm probably about 5 years!

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NHS self help leaflets

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Centre for Clinical Interventions

  • Has a number of resources for mental health practitioners including therapist manuals, brief information sheets and worksheets covering a range of topics including depression, bipolar disorder, social anxiety, unhelpful thinking styles, self-esteem, eating disorders, generalized anxiety and mindfulness, panic, sleep, procrastination, pperfectionism
  • Sheets include resources such as thought diaries, goals records, core beliefs worksheets, to name a few
  • There are also downloadable packs for “consumers
  • Downloads are well and neatly presented, illustrated, and contain many examples to explain and illustrate the points they present
  • Please read their full disclaimer if you are interested, for example they write that the information provided in the information packages is intended for information purposes only…. “information packages are not meant to treat depression, social anxiety, bipolar disorder or any other mental illness….the information on this website is NOT a substitute for proper diagnosis, treatment or the provision of advice by an appropriate health professional…”[more]

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Mind – for better mental health – charity – information and support

  • Information on types of mental health problems, treatments, helping others, legal rights, tips for everyday living guides to support and services, and helplines
  • Helpful resource on A-Z mental health

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The Compassionate Mind Foundation

  • Set up in 2006 the Foundation aims to promote wellbeing through the scientific understanding and application of compassion”

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The Counselling Directory

  • Useful directory and search engine for finding a counsellor, psychologist or psychotherapist near you (UK)

 

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The British Psychological Society – Careers Resources

  • Information about careers, education and training in psychology from the BPS

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General Links

Links to a range of pregnancy/parenting/baby/child related information

(I am not affiliated with any of these sites / resources; they are just some options that I’ve come across that you might find relevant)

 

General pregnancy and baby guides

  • A general pregnancy and baby guide from the NHS website –  I looked up many issues and queries during my pregnancy and first few months of LL’s life here.  Pages include short videos on many topics.
  • Pregnancy related questions – From the NHS website. covers issues including food and drink during pregnancy, pre-conception, travel during pregnancy, labour, and more.

 

Information for parents

  • The Start 4 Life website – There is a range of information on the Start 4 Life website including on breastfeeding, introducing solids, and sections relevant to Mums, Dads, Babies and Professionals. You can also sign up for weekly emails

 

Feeding

 

General activities, play and learning ideas/tips

There are so many sites and resources out there that detail creative and helpful play and activity ideas. These are just a few that i’ve come across and have probably pinned ideas to the Baby Brain Pinterest board. I have no personal or professional connection to any of the boards or authors, I just liked some of their activities and ideas.

  • The Imagination Tree – a wide range of creative play and learning activities for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and school age
  • Where imagination grows – range of art, craft, toddler and preschoolers activities including playing with light
  • Laughing kids learn – range of sensory play, art&craft, numeracy, science and recipe examples including a zipper board, busy bags, tugging box, with lovely bright and easy to follow pictures
  • Adventures at home with mum – a variety of play and DIY activity ideas including sensory boxes and home made toys, with pictures to illustrate the idea and how baby responds, and nice clear lists of “baby learning concepts” included for the activity such as helps with fine motor skills, developing hand eye coordination, etc.
  • No Time for Flash Cards – site that covers a range of early education and creative play ideas, activities and crafts for kids, including sensory activities, fine and gross motor skills, pretend play, books and reading. You can also helpfully search for activities by age, from infant to school age

Disclaimer: baby-brain.co.uk can not take responsibility for any of the content or advice supplied on any linked to external websites. Baby-brain.co.uk is not affiliated with any of these sites and only links to them as a references source that you may chose to look at for further information if you deem necessary. Baby-brain.co.uk accepts no liability for any consequences arising from the use of any resources made available on this website. Materials referred to and supplied here are intended to be read as interest pieces only, and not as direct advice or in place of guidance and advice from a qualified health care professional who you have consulted with. If you have any questions / concerns / issues regarding your child’s development / well-being, or yours or anyone’s mental health and well-being, please contact your GP, Health Visitor, Paediatrician, Midwife, or other relevant health care professional. Adult supervision is required for any activity featured on this blog. Please decide based on each individual activity if it is appropriate for you and your own child.

Baby & toddler sensory play & activity ideas

Here are some baby & toddler sensory play and activity ideas:

Baby painting with one step & ingredient. Safe and edible and sensory play fun! From baby-brain.co.uk

Baby paint in one step

gentle water sensory shower, bath time sensory activity play for baby. baby-brain.co.uk. psychology resource, perspective, blog on motherhood & babies

Sensory water play

fun & sensory play ideas - great list of sensory activities with baby. baby-brain.co.uk. psychology resource, perspective, blog on motherhood & babies

Sensory Activities List

Quick easy baby play & activity ideas: baby-brain.co.uk psychology resource, perspective and blog on motherhood

Really quick and easy play ideas

Water tray play

Quick easy baby play & activities: Cardboard tube play ideas. baby-brain.co.uk psychology resource, perspective and blog on motherhood

Cardboard tube play ideas: tactile and visual craft idea

Welcome to the new arrival – a new baby

 

The new baby has arrived! Here’s a few pictures from the first few days. I’ll attempt to update on a few newborn issues.

New arrival - our new baby - newborn issues, labour, birth. Baby-Brain.co.uk

New Baby

Things feel more relaxed the second time around. They kind of have to be because we also have a 21 month old to look after at the same time. I’m still to work out how I’m going to be doing toddler and newborn care at the same time once I’m on my own every day with it. However, it is still very early days.

 

My brain seems to think the new baby is somehow the first one, but smaller and younger and I was getting slightly confused with names for the first 2 days!

 

I forgot how painful labour can be (durrrhh). I think “mummy amnesia” is actually supposed to be a real “thing”. I also forgot about all the after-issues, aches and pains; It seems like at first you’re fine, then your body realises you just gave birth and can’t be going around putting the washing on and continuing as usual.

 

New arrival - our new baby - newborn issues, labour, birth. Baby-Brain.co.uk

Brotherly Love

The first child (LL) seems to be coping very well with the new addition and is not phased. We bought him a new toy and said it was from the baby. He liked the toy. He likes to kiss the baby and takes great interest in him and all his possessions like “baby’s blanket”, “baby’s basket”, and has liked to sit in the Moses basket and baby car seat himself. Hopefully this brotherly love will continue!

 

Now: a time for adjustment and enjoying.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 parenting “fails” I feel slightly socially judged and guilty about – but also don’t really care!

3 parenting "fails" I feel only slightly guilty about!

3 parenting “fails” I feel slightly socially judged and guilty about – but also don’t really care!

OK, so there are some things I do that I feel a bit guilty about. I’m waiting for the cognitive dissonance to kick in. I don’t even know if “others” do judge it, or if it’s just in my mind about what’s “bad”. Wonder where I got these views from? Anyway, here’s some things I do that I wonder about (but don’t really think it’s a “fail” – I just wrote that for attention)

 

 1. Watching television

My child is 18 months old. He was never interested in television in the past but has been able to watch it in the last few months. I can’t remember exactly when this started but when I realised he could be mesmerized by the television and distracted for a few moments it was brilliant (I won’t lie, after giving all my waking time to another, small, person for the previous 12-15 months, this was good). He likes a few programmes such as The Clangers, and In The Night Garden. We don’t watch television that much. Sometimes, it’s at 6am, which is when he likes to wake up, and I’m not awake at all. It’s usually in the evening just after bath and before bed to relax him and so that I can get things ready for bed. It’s sometimes after we’ve been out all day and I need to sit down for a bit and he’ll be occupied.
Interactive television watching is probably better – if I want to feel less guilty I attempt to have a conversation around the programme, asking questions such as what colour is that, or what do you think is going to happen, etc. But also, just sitting together and spending time watching and modelling emotions and expressions can’t be a bad thing, right?

 

Things I do as a parent I feel guilty about - Placating with food

Have a snack, darling

2. Giving food to placate or stave off further tantrums/crying/grumpiness

So we’re on the busy bus, hot, cold, whatever, busy, screaming, child trying to get out of his buggy straps ALL the time (a recent thing), or he’s tired but refuses to go to sleep. Have a biscuit. Peace for a few moments. I stop feeling the annoyance of all the other bus passengers.

 

 

3. Eating in McDonald’s?

Things I do as a parent I feel guilty about - Going to Mcdonalds

Fun times at McDonalds

This is a new thing. I realised they give you balloons, they have free crayons and paper, good highchairs (on wheels!) and sometimes offer to carry my tray while I push the pram to the table. Plus, I like chips (fries) and milkshakes. Don’t worry… he only has a few chips (*gasp*) and then I give him separate food like fruit, a child friendly sandwich etc. And they don’t seem to mind me bringing him in his own food. We also explored the feel and coldness of ice from my drink last time we were there (picture).

 

So… not really fails, but I don’t feel 100% comfortable with them. But sometimes, they are convenient, and this is probably normal.

Why give up your seat on public transport for a pregnant woman?

 

 

Why give up your seat on public transport for a pregnant woman? Some views, discussion, and examples of refusal.

 

 

Here’s a little riddle for you:

Two people get on a tube train at the same stop, there is one free seat. Passenger no. 1 gets on first and so goes to the seat, he starts to sit down and his backside has only just touched the chair when the second passenger very politely says, “excuse me, do you mind if I sit down because I’m pregnant?”. Who gets the seat? The pregnant woman or the man?

  • Answer →→ → It wasn’t the pregnant woman.

  • I witnessed this today on a busy tube train.

 

To continue the story….. So as I was saying above, the woman asks the man for the seat. The man sits and then waves his hands toward the priority seat next to him and says “there’s a priority seat there why don’t you ask them” in a dismissive and harsh tone. Slightly confused and embarrassed by this, the pregnant woman looks at the woman in the priority seat and asks again, “do you mind if I sit down”. Before she can barely finish the priority seat woman says “I feel dizzy so no”. Ok, says the pregnant woman.
She now probably feels quite exposed and embarrassed, and maybe is starting to feel a bit stressed. She looks at the woman in the priority seat opposite but she has massive headphones on. The pregnant woman isn’t sure how to address her seeing as she probably wouldn’t be able to hear and the pregnant woman doesn’t want to start shouting across the carriage DO YOU MIND IF I SIT DOWN, I’M PREGNANT? Does the initial refusing man, on hearing that the priority seat cannot be vacated, then change his approach and offer his seat after all (I mean, seeing as his displacement tactic seemed to fail)? – no he does not.
Fortunately, two people who are sitting nearby witness all this and offer their seats. The pregnant woman probably just wants to get off the train after experiencing this, but gratefully accepts one of the seats and says thank you several times. She wants to give the refusing man a few words and ask why he acted like this? But, she is too upset to start getting into a conversation and embarrassed because the whole carriage has witnessed this event so keeps quiet and looks sad in her seat.

 

 

To the woman who felt dizzy, ok fair enough, maybe you did and I respect that. To the woman with the headphones on, ok, of course you can listen to music on the train, no issue, it just kind of makes it difficult for people to approach you if you’re in the priority seat and the person is already feeling self conscious and had a hard enough time from two passengers already. Maybe this is similar to the frequent observation of seeing people in the priority seats with their eyes closed (conveniently closed when we get to the next station and passengers start piling on), or paper in front of their faces so that communication with them is made extremely difficult and they don’t have to notice anyone who might be a priority.
My issue is with the original refuser. If the pregnant woman got on the train and he was already sitting there then of course, why would she ask him? She would ask those in the priority seats. But she asked him because they both got on the train, her one second behind him, it’s not like he had been sitting there for ages and she booted him out of the seat. Two people, one seat, one person explicitly says to the other I’m pregnant, do you mind if I sit – possibly a reasonable thing to ask in that situation??

 

  • oh an by the way – original refuser (i’m going to call him weasel man, because he looked like a weasel, and also acted like one but i’m going more on his looks) – do you know what every pregnant woman really REALLY wants?? Why, it’s stress, humiliation, having to justify herself in front of a carriage load of strangers and being made to feel like crap!! Of course it is. Well, congratulations because this morning, you helped her achieve that. The stress was especially welcomed, i’m sure! We all know what a good impact that has on the body, don’t we, and let’s not mention the high levels of cortisol and potential impact on the baby… Words can not describe, but I hope you are ashamed of yourself, except, i’m sure you’re not and you probably boasted about your response and complained bitterly and laughed about the “sense of entitlement” some pregnant woman displayed to you on the train, with your sad little friends down the pub (if you have any friends). 

 

Now anyway, back to the issue. I know some people disagree with pregnant women being able to safety sit down on public transport and having to give up a seat for them. Well, to those people and their comments, I have some responses, see below. The issues below are inspired by comments I have read from other people about such situations, either in on-line articles, or sometimes in the free newspaper you get on the tube…

 

  • Pregnant women have an overinflated sense of entitlement, I’m not giving up my seat to some princess just because they have a baby on board badge on:
    Pregnant women either do not ask to sit down because they are too concerned to approach someone, or they politely ask someone in the priority seat because THAT’S WHAT THE PRIORITY SEAT IS FOR. And, like every “group” of people in life, there are going to be some group members that might come across as a bit more pushy, but if you were carrying another life inside your body you might be a bit protective too.

 

  • Pregnant women are not ill (or it’s not a disability), so why should they sit down?:
    No, pregnancy is not an illness, but yes women can feel ill. In the first trimester (and beyond for some) they can feel incredibly nauseous (and of course, be sick), dizzy, overwhelming tiredness, aches and pains. Later in pregnancy you can suffer all sorts of problems including back pain, ligament pain, jimmy legs (restless legs) and probably many more issues. No, pregnancy is not an illness or disability, but the person might need to sit down due to many of the reasons mentioned above, which are not necessarily affecting non-pregnant people. Also, try walking around with an 8lb baby inside you all day. Ok.

 

  • I have my own physical health problems or disabilities that are not noticeable (i.e., you wouldn’t be able to notice by looking at the person that they do in fact need to sit down). I can’t just go and demand a seat like the pregnant woman, why can’t I go around with this same sense of entitlement and seat taking behaviour as the pregnant woman when I also need to sit? Why should they get to sit down?:
    I’m sorry if it is difficult for you to stand on public transport and you have a valid point in wanting to sit. The priority seat is for people who are pregnant, disabled or less able to stand. As people often instruct the pregnant woman to do, maybe ask for seat and give your reasons. As mentioned, I saw a woman in the priority seat say to a pregnant woman she “felt dizzy” so couldn’t give up her seat. The pregnant woman accepted this. Maybe other passengers would listen if you asked to sit down too. I understand that you shouldn’t have to justify or give your life story in order to sit down, but unfortunately, other people can be mindless and need some prompting, as the pregnant woman will probably tell you after the 100th time she has stood in front of someone on a train, rubbing a massive bump and no one has noticed.

 

  • Pregnant women should be at home, or, if you’re that “incapacitated” you shouldn’t be travelling:
    Do I really have to provide ANY response to this in order to support a pregnant person’s position?! Well ok, just for a start, we all have things to do, places to go, jobs, appointments, lives, pregnant women do not sit at home knitting for 9 months. Many women decide to work up until a few weeks or even the week of their due date, either for financial reasons, work pressures or because the more maternity leave you take before the baby is born the less you have to use afterwards. Some women don’t want to waste a month of maternity leave sitting at home prior to baby’s arrival. They are also not incapacitated, they are growing a child inside their bodies and might not be able to stand for long due to all the reasons above about health complaints during pregnancy and also safety aspects, as I will discuss below.

 

  • Women complain about gender inequality but then say things like ohhh the age of chivalry is gone, men should give up their seats, etc etc, you can’t have it both ways!:
This is not about chivalry, this is not about gender equality, this is about safety. That woman represents two lives, and one is quite fragile. Or, she is unwell and it would be difficult to stand for a long period. Maybe she could stand in front of you and then puke all over you when the nausea finally gets too much, would that be preferable?

 

The reason I would ask for a seat (when pregnant): Because I’m tired, dizzy, feel sick, but most importantly for me, because IT’S NOT SAFE TO GET SQUASHED AND THROWN AROUND ON A CROWDED TUBE TRAIN (or, insert other transport method here) WHEN PREGNANT.

  • I have been pushed, completely squashed and wedged between other passengers, hit (accidently – but required me going to the minor injuries unit and the perpetrator didn’t even notice he’d done it even when I tried to point it out), bulldozed out the way by people trying to get off the train who don’t care about others, had people almost fall on me or fall over in my direction, and probably other incidents that I’ve forgotten about during my 10 or so years of commuting. This, fortunately, was not when I was pregnant although I did have a few people almost fall on me and a person drop their bag on the escalator in front of me when pregnant. The bag fortunately landed on my arm which I had out holding the hand rail, so everything was ok. Still a shock, though.

 

My main argument, then, is: it’s not safe to stand when pregnant, and if you are growing a life inside you then that becomes your priority and should, yes it should, give you entitlement to sit down. If you sit in the priority seat then be prepared to move. I am, and I have moved when asked (quite recently actually, by a women who wasn’t wearing a baby on board badge and didn’t “look pregnant”, but said she was, so ok, and I was in the priority seat). If you don’t want to get up then you have no empathy, awareness of others and their feelings or dignity. End

 

_________________________________________________________

 

If you want to read more about the “baby on board” badge issue, including some experiences from pregnant women, see here: http://www.ababyonboard.com/a-very-royal-baby-on-board-badge/
Unfortunately, there are worse experiences out there:
I did wear one [baby on board badge], after about 5 months people generally ignored it though – I was standing at 36 weeks. My worst two stories: the man who pushed in front of me to get the last seat realised I was heavily pregnant and then pretended to be asleep all the way and the delightful two young ladies who shouted at me and told me they hated people who thought a badge entitled them to a seat and that they wanted to sit down…I see shocking behaviour everyday of women with badges displayed and being totally ignored. (from ababyonboard.com, link above)
 

I really hope these are incredibly isolated incidents, but if not, remember, for all the inconsiderate, despicable “human beings” out there, there will be someone who does give a sh*t, and might help you out. Although, you might have to ask more than one passenger before you find them…

Baby feeding & changing facilities at UK airports, London Gatwick, Heathrow, City, Stansted, Luton


UK London airports, baby feeding & changing facilities informationBaby feeding & changing facilities at UK airports, London Gatwick, Heathrow, City, Luton, Stansted

As part of the Baby Friendly London page (currently in development) – here is some information about feeding, changing, baby facilities at UK airports.

 

I was emailed a link to a really useful site, “Airport Parking Shop Blog”. They contacted 28 UK and Irish airports during January 2015 and collected responses about facilities at each location. They asked the airports via Twitter:

“Do you have dedicated mother and baby rooms for nursing mums?”

See here for a really helpful chart of each airport and the answers they gave about their facilities.

The page also writes about how they collected the data, the response rates, and more about their survey.

 

There was varying responses from each airport, so unfortunately there isn’t complete information for all of the 28 airports. But in summary:
  • London Gatwick said that rooms for feeding and changing are highlighted by signs (either a bottle or “babycare” sign, whatever that is).
  • London Heathrow said they have dedicated family areas, and more information about family facilities can be found here.
  • Luton said they don’t have dedicated mother and baby rooms for nursing mothers, but you can contact a member of their passenger services team for help in finding somewhere quiet.
  • City has changing facilities but no dedicated nursing room.
  • Stansted has a mother and baby room in the departure lounge.

 

Information based on research reported by Airport Parking Shop Blog, as of January 2015. Please collect updated information if this seems out of date for you.

 

 



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