You must pack these this summer

The summer holiday you have been looking forward to for so long can quickly turn into a week of panic (over controlling your child’s behaviour), of constant battles with your kids to ensure they get some shade and erm… worry over what they can wear! 

Over at A baby on board, this precise problem was being discussed and a list of essential items were identified (that may not be so obvious to you)… So save this page, share it or scribble the list down on to a dried out wet wipe. You won’t want to go on holiday without them. 

Summer-themed books: Ideal for distraction, keeping them entertained and tempting them into the shade for a break from the sun (with an ice cream of course). 

Sunglasses: Just make sure they have proper uv protection. Amazon have a few available on prime which is always handy!

Suncream: This goes without saying but as it is so inportant, we have said  it. so there. And remember to always check the expiry daye if you aren’t buying new!

Headphones: whether your child has his/her own iPad/kindle or you allow him to borrow yours, headphones are a must for any long plane or coach journey.

Summer stripes: we arent completely convinced about number 5 but hey! If you are a fashion conscience parent then stripes are good this year! Now, have a great holiday!

My Baby Has a Temperature

It has been identified that many parents tend to worry too much when they discover a high temperature in their little ones. It is important to keep in mind that fever itself is not a life threatening illness but you do need to know what temperatute is normal, what is considered high, how to take an accurate reading and what action to take.

What is the average baby temperature?

The average temperature of a baby is around 36.4C (97.5F) but this does vary slightly from child to child. it is considered a fever/high temperature if yoir childs temperature is above 37.5C (99.5F).

How to determine whether your baby has fever or not?

There are several methods available to take an accurate temperature reading. 

Ear – Turn the thermometer on – ensure you have read and understood the instructions and directions for use. Gently place the thermometer into your child’s ear, there is usually an audible indicator so you know when you can remove it. The digital display will display the reading and most have a memory option. This is suitable for children over 6 months of age. 

Under the tongue– You will need to place the thermometer under the tongue of your little one. You should ask your child to keep his/her lips closed until you finish taking the measurement. This is more suitable for slightly older children who are able to understand and follow instructions. Recommended age is 4 ears or over.

Rectal – In order to take a rectal temperature measurement, you can keep the belly of your baby on the lap. Then you can get a thermometer, apply some Vaseline on its tip and insert into the rectum of your baby. It is important to hold the thermometer with your hand until it gives a beep sound. This is most suitable for babies aged 0-6 months. 

When should I contact a doctor?

You should contact a doctor immediately in the following circumstances;

  • You have taken a rectal temperature reading of your baby who is 3 months or younger and has a temperature reading of 38 C (100.4 F) or higher.
  • Your baby is aged 3 to 6 months, is irritable, lethargic or unusually unsettled/uncomfortable and has a temperature of up to 38.9 C (102 F) or simply, if he/she has a temperature higher than 38.9 C (102 F)
  • Your baby is aged 6 months to 2 years and has an unexplained temperature higher than 38.9 C (102 F) for more than one day. If however, there is a sign of illness you may want to contact your doctor sooner depending on the severity of the illness (ie cough, vonitting, diarrhoea).

What else can I do to help?

When you discover a high temperature in your baby, you should take necessary measures to make him/her comfortable by removing clothing. Clothes have the ability to insulate heat within the body of your little one, therefore, removing clothes has the ability to reduce the temperature and make your little one feel a bit more comfortable. You can also think about making him/her wear clothes that are made out of cotton as they facilitate more airflow. You can also think about bathing your baby when he/she has fever. However, you should only use lukewarm water and should stay away from cold water. You need to keep in mind that young babies do not have the ability to control their temperature. 

What else do I need to know?

Fever can result in dehydration; you should let your baby drink more fluids instead of solid food. Breastmilk or water would be ideal.

If you keep these facts in mind and seek medical advice if you are concerned then your child will be well looked after – no matter what it is that is causing the temperature.

Do I need to pay back child benefit?

If you are worried you may have to pay back some of the child benefit you have been claiming then you should read on. Gone are the days where everyone is entitled to this benefit in full. This post explains who is entitled to claim child benefit, who is entitled to none and who may have to pay some back in the form of a tax charge. We also explain how to do this and the deadlines that are applicable to you.

Who is entitled to claim child benefit?

Everyone who is responsible for a child who is under 16 (or under 20 if in approved training/education) is entitled to claim child benefit. Only one person can get child benefit for a child. If you earn over £50,000 you may have to pay A tax charge. This is known as a ‘high income child benefit charge’.

What is a high income child benefit charge?

A high income child benefit charge is a tax charge that results in you having to pay back all or some of the child benefit that you or your partner have claimed.  You may have to pay this charge if your income is over £50,000 and either you or your partner claim Child Benefit or someone else gets Child Benefit for a child living with you and they contribute at least an equal amount towards the child’s upkeep. It doesn’t matter if the child is yours or not.

I earn over 50k – What do I need to do?

The person who earns over £50,000 per year is responsible for declaring and paying this tax charge. The first thing you will need to do is register for self assessment (if you haven’t done so already). Once you have registered you will then need to declare how much you earned in the previous tax year – the tax year runs from April to April.

What are the deadlines?

There are strict deadlines and as this post is designed to help people every year and not just for 2016/17, we are giving guidance dates and not exact dates for every year (expect for 2016/17).

The deadlines are as follows:

Register for self assessment – Do this before the end of September and you will be Ok. (Deadline for 2016 is 05th October).

Tax return by post – This is due by the end of October (Midnight on 31st October for 2016).

Online tax return – Due by the end of January (31st January for 2017).

Pay the tax bill – By the end of January (31st January for 2017).

How much will I need to pay back?

The tax charge is incremental, this means that the amount you need to pay back increases the more over £50,000 that you earn. Every one thousand pound that you or your partner earn over £50,000 will result in you having to pay back 10% of the total amount of child benefit you or your partner received that financial year. For example (and in the most simplest terms), if you claimed child benefit for one child, for the whole tax year (a total of £1097.10 for 2015/16) and your salary (minus anything that comes out before tax such as some pensions, gift aid donations, cycle schemes etc) was £51,000, you would need to pay back £109.00 – this is 10% of the child benefit you or your partner claimed. If you earned £59,000 and were in the same situation as above, you would need to pay back £987.00 (this is 90% of the total child benefit claimed).

Is it worth claiming child benefit in the first place?

Clearly, the closer to earning £60,000 you are, the more you are going to have to pay back. Firstly, you should be aware of this and plan for it. The last thing anyone needs is a huge tax bill. You may choose not to get Child Benefit payments, but you should still fill in the claim form because it will help you get National Insurance credits which count towards your State Pension and will ensure your child is registered to get a National Insurance number when they are 16 years old.

Alternatively, you can continue to claim the child benefit, knowing you are going to have to pay most of it back, but keep it in a high interest rate account for as long as possible. You can at least make the money work for you before you give it back.

I hope this post has helped make a little sense of the tax return system for child benefit payments!

worried about baby milestones?

Worried About Baby Milestones?

 The aim of milestone posts and web pages is to help you to understand what age you can expect your little boy or little girl achieve these ‘goals’ and to get an idea of how you can help him along his or her way! As parents we always want our babies to achieve their milestones at the right time, or even better, just before they are supposed to! And of course we worry about these milestones. There is nothing wrong with encouraging your little one to achieve these milestones and nothing can beat the moment when you witness him do something for the very first time!

What if my child doesn’t achieve these milestones?

Please remember that every child is an individual and what we are looking at here is the average. The average means that some will achieve these earlier and some will achieve them a little later. If your child is later than average at crawling, it does not mean he will be a late walker and at the same time, if your child is later than average when it comes to talking, it does not mean he won’t have a rich vocabulary by 3 years old. We all enjoy helping our baby to achieve their milestones and the development posts on this site are exactly about that; helping you to feel confident that you are doing something positive and pro active to encourage development, if you are concerned about your baby’s development you should always speak to your health visitor or GP…

Will my pre-mature baby achieve milestones on time?

A pre-mature baby’s development and milestones will be checked against her corrected age. For example, if your child was born 7 weeks early and she is now 27 weeks old, your GP or health visitor will be looking to see that your child has achieved or is close to achieving the milestones set for a 20 week old. If your baby was 9 weeks early, then the milestones would be checked for an 18 week old. This calculation is usually taken into account until your child is approximately 2 years old, although this is not a hard and fast rule. Most pre-mature babies meet their developmental milestones on or around their corrected age.

Where can I find a baby milestones chart?

milestones chart are a good resource

Milestones charts allow you to quickly view the expected progress and developmental stages of an average child from birth up to approximately 4 or  5 years old. They are usually split into 5 key categories: Social, Self-help, Gross motor, Fine motor and Language skills.  Above is a quick reference babymilestone chart for you.

4 parenting styles- which one are you?

Quiet life? No limits? No responsibilities? Your stress-free life and all other well-planned actions go surprisingly in ‘another’ direction when you become a parent. Most people think they can learn from the mistakes of their parents but it’s not quite possible to do this unless of course, you actually become a parent yourself. If you think 9 months pregnancy is difficult for you? Believe me, it’s nothing. The real test starts after 9 months and it takes all of your focus, energy and drive to raise a child that you can be proud of.

“All kids need is a little help, a little hope and somebody who believes in them” – Magic Johnson

When you become a parent, prepare yourself for surprises because things will not always go the way you plan, in fact, most likely it will go the way your child thinks. You will need to gather all of your courage, use all of your effort, remain determined and be very very resilient if you are to even get close to raising your child flawlessly. Here are some typical parenting styles, which one would you like to be and which one is you?

Detached Parenting

Unlike most of the parents, these parents are neglectful, cold and detached from their children. They have no interest in fulfilling the basic life requirements of their children and expect them to be raised on their own. Such parents often suffer from mental health problems. It can result in children’s total detachment with their parents, poor academic performance, incorrect career choice, and stressful and insecure life.

“Parents are teachers, guides, leaders, protectors, and providers for their children.” – Iyanla Vanzant

Helicopter Parenting

“I can do anything to make my child safe and disciplined” This is the basic rule of helicopter parenting.

Roaming around the children like a shadow and making them feel like they have been pointed at a gun point all the time. Each and every decision will be made by the parents. Their career direction, dressing style, likes and dislikes, study schedule, exercise routine, playing routine and all other major and minor things are decided by their parents with no alone time. Such authoritative behavior of such parents can either bring all the positives within the children in the form of background safety and free to take risks in life or backfire in the form of laziness, unnecessary self-awareness, no decision making power, anxiety, overcompensation, underdeveloped skills and no sense of entitlement in life.

Digital Parenting

Smartphones, iPads, internet, social media and what not! Use technology for effective and convenient parenting. This is the most advanced form of parenting. No matter where parents are, they are always connected to their children. Traditional parents cannot save your from modern forms of wrongdoings such as cyber bullying and drug addiction but this parenting type knows how to handle their children in modern life. They use different kinds of applications in order to ensure safety of their children. They are more open to positive discussions and quite accommodating to their children.

Realistic Parenting

Do what you want to do! But be responsible and learn from your mistakes. These are the parents who induce confidence in their children and allow them to take on the world the way they want to. Such parents don’t expect their children to be perfect. They are flexible, realistic and have lesser expectations from their children. This type of parenting often results in extraordinary confidence and positive decision making skills to their children. Here are some famous and popular quotations from realistic parents:

“Don’t give up until it’s done”

“Follow your passion”

“Don’t ever compare yourself to others. You have your own unique life script to pursue”

“Respect yourself and have confidence”