Earlier in the week I was invited to a rather special launch evening with Pampers. I trundled all the way up to London (after work) and was looked after extremely well, getting to and from the venue with complete ease. The venue was the Museum of Childhood, which I have heard of before but have never been to. Now I have been there and wasn’t able to see any of the exhibits, I most definitely want to go back with my family!
We were greeted with a large screen that was cordoning off an area and there was an air of mystery about what the event was all about. I think of Pampers and I think of nappies…and not much else, maybe wipes? So after a glass of wine or two and some canapes we where taken beyond the screen where they unveiled their exciting collaboration with the NCT – the UK’s largest charity for parents.
They want to better support parents and babies in the UK by understanding the needs, preferences and experiences of new parents in modern society. The collaboration involves the research into the first 1000 days of your baby’s life until they reach two years old. The study has been designed to provide a picture of the key dimensions of real lives and concerns of parents, of all ages and social and ethnic backgrounds.
This will be the UK’s first longitudinal study into modern day parenting and will look at first time mothers and fathers at various intervals in their child’s life up until two years of age.
Although I’m not a first time Mum anymore, with two children in tow, I can see the huge benefits of such a study and how there are still aspects of those early months that could be better supported. You most definitely have more confidence second time round and because of experience you adapt much quicker and it’s not so daunting.
New research shows that (not surprisingly) ‘healthy and happy’ tops the list of wishes that UK parents hope for their babies. This is followed by babies reaching developmental milestones and growing up in a loving and stable environment.
The aspect of the study that I think is particularly useful is research into how having a baby affects the parents and extended family. There is only so much that you can prepare for mentally and emotionally when you are having a baby for the first time. Ultimately, you only really learn once your baby has arrived but being armed with sufficient support can make the transition to parenthood a little smoother running.
The three fundamental principles are key to the study and knowing more about each aspect will provide much better support and greater understanding. In a nutshell the primary research findings summed up are:
LOVE…Mum’s still the word
SLEEP…well learned or just lucky?
For me, I have always known that ‘Mum knows best’ is usually uncannily true and you should always trust your mother’s intuition. Mine is rarely wrong, no matter what I may think at the time. It’s something that hopefully most Mum’s naturally have towards their child. As far as sleep is concerned, I’m out on that one. Sometimes I feel people are just lucky but then I also have a sneaky suspicion that it may not be! Play goes without saying, it’s good for everyone, not least babies.
The Love, Sleep and Play campaign has a panel of experts who will provide trusted advice for every stage of development. The panel comprises of:
- Dr Tabi Leslie – Paediatric Dermatologist
- Dr Ellie Cannon – Family GP
- Jo Tantum – Sleep Specialist
We listened to Dr Ellie Cannon introduce the new study and learnt a lot about her ethos as a doctor and how she perceives her patients needs as well as listening to other speakers. It was great to see such enthusiasm amongst these ladies for such a great campaign.
After the presentation we were invited to talk to the panel members with any questions that we might have. Drawing on my own personal experiences I was immediately drawn to Jo Tantum – the Sleep Specialist. I was keen to know what her techniques involved and very importantly, how she could help with the night time and nap time settling issues that I have with Baby Beastie. I have never particularly followed any experts or particularly taken on board advice in the past. With Beastie, his problems petered out and now he is a great sleeper but his initial going to bed is extremely disrupted by our resident insomniac. This time around, I feel we need to tackle the issues head on for everyone’s sake and sanity. Jo suggested some techniques and hopefully I will be working towards a solution very soon…
The study is really exciting for new parents and I am really looking forward to eventually hearing all about their findings and how their valuable research will help shape the future of modern day families.