Summer is here at last!
BB Playgroup sessions have now finished for the summer and the exciting Beach Club meet ups begin! Come along to beach and forest adventures and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the western lake district. All the family welcome. Home schoolers welcome too!
- Wednesday 9th July ~ Maryport Beach, Low tide 4pm, meet at 2:15pm. Sandy beach with rocks and great for exploring rock pools. Coming into Maryport from Flimby, turn left towards industrial estate as if heading for aquarium, turn right over bridge, then left off Shipping Brow, follow signs for Promenade. You can either park on the road and walk along promenade, or drive and park by slipway down to beach. Beach shoes advisable. Also option to play at Shiver me timbers park and aquarium before beach.
- Thursday 17th July ~ Whinlatter Forest, meet at 11:00am. Meeting outside visitors centre for a walk around the park followed by lunch, either bring a picnic or enjoy Siskins Cafe, vege & vegan options available
- Wednesday 23rd July~ Lowca Beach, low tide 4:15pm, meet at 2pm. Pebble and gravel beach with shallow rock pools. Turn right off A595, signposted Lowca, pass Moresby church on left, take next road on left signposted Parton, go down hill, look for lane on right before crossing Lowca beck, park at end of lane, watch our for potholes. Walk through railway bridge to access beach on the right.
- Thursday 31st July ~ Millfield River and woodland walk, Workington, meet 11am. A walk along the river in Workington, through Hall Park Grounds, woodland and picnic. Opportunity for paddling in shallow stream too, paddling shoes good idea. From central Workington drive down past Marks and Spencer and Police Station down the hill. Turn right into lane just before Calva Bridge (towards Seaton). Park down this lane, meet in field to right of the lane.
Every now and then you come across a group or session which is just so lovely that you want to share it and tell everyone!
This happened to us when we recently went along to a family music session at the Helena Thompson Museum in Workington. The session is led by musician Elizabeth Walker, who is gentle and welcoming and a fabulously fun musician.
This session is much more than just singing along to nursery rhymes. Elizabeth sings and plays an electric piano which my kids just loved, she shares many new and interesting songs as well as old favorites so all ages are really engaged. The highlight for us was the opportunity to try out many different percussion instruments from around the world. Plus the opportunity to have a run around in the beautiful garden at the museum.
A lovely way to spend a family Sunday afternoon. The Helena Thomson museum is across the road from Curwen Hall so handy for a walk through the woods and by the river too.
Sing it, Shake it
Musical fun for children up to the age of 8.
Sing, play and learn about musical instruments
Starting Sunday 8th June
The Helena Thompson Museum, Workington
Children must be accompanied. £3.50 per child
To book please contact Elizabeth Walker on 07881 048725
The Beautiful Beginnings weekly playgroup sessions at The Settlement have finished for the summer.
And the exciting summer activities are soon to begin…
Let me introduce BEACH CLUB!
Each week over July and August Beautiful Beginnings will be meeting out and about on some of the fantastic beaches, forests and parks around West Cumbria.
Beach meetings will be held on alternate Wednesdays, beginning on Wed 9th July, and the nature and forest meets will be the alternating Thursday.
Check out the blog soon for full details.
We will also be having a summer garden party at The Settlement.
Looking forward to meeting up out and about over the summer.
Great News! There will be a new breastfeeding group in Maryport, held on Wednesday mornings at Maryport Children’s Centre, Ennerdale Road, CA15 8HN.
The idea of the group is to provide a welcoming space for breastfeeding mums to come along with their babies, to meet other mums and access info and support about breastfeeding if needed. A midwife will be at the group most weeks, and there will be yummy cakes too!
To celebrate the beginning of the group there is going to be a pram push / sling walk from Ennerdale Road Children’s Centre through Maryport, finishing with complimentary cuppas at HerCiti cafe on Wednesday 11th June, meeting at 10:30. So do come along and meet other mums. Toddlers, older children and dads welcome too of course.
Spring is here! There are lambs in the fields, daffodils and talk of the Easter Bunny. I love the feeling of newness and potential that comes with the milder and brighter spring days. It feels like a time to put energy into new ideas, let go of the past and move forwards.
There will be no playgroup session at The Settlement Thursday 17th, instead we will be enjoying a trip to The Gincase Farm Park.
The Gincase, just off the Allonby Road, past Bank Mill Garden Centre, has an animal barn with pigs, donkeys and more, a huge soft play barn with ride on trucks and tractors, and an outdoor park. There is a good cafe and you are also welcome to bring a packed lunch, or mix and match the two.
We plan to meet there at 11:00, and there will be a chance to join in with animal feeding from 11:30 and stay and play and enjoy the rest of the day.
The entrance fee is £5.95 per adult and child over 2.We are able to get a group rate of £4.50 each with ten or over people, so if you would like to come, please let me know by Tuesday 15th so I can book.
The Gincase Farm Park, Mawbray, Hayrigg, Silloth Cumbria CA7 4LL
The waiting is over, the baby is here, and now begin the adventures of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding-friendly support from partners, family and friends is one of the most important factors in helping mums to get breastfeeding going well, to stick with it, to develop confidence in herself and enjoy feeding her baby.
1. Let her know you support her decision to breastfeed
Even before the baby is born, let her know you think her decision to breastfeed is great. Take a bit of time to look into the benefits of breastfeeding for yourself if you are not aware of the many short term and life-long benefits that each and every feed gives to mum and baby. Remind her she is doing the most important job in the world, and the benefits of each and every feed will be with her baby for life.
2. Help her to be able to spend time with her baby
Young babies like to feed a lot, and to feed often, day and night. Having the time to be with her baby and feed him as he needs can be challenging, especially if a mum has other demands on her time. Instead of offering to take her baby for a while – which is not really supportive of breastfeeding, offer to help her with the other things that she needs to do. Playing with her toddler or older kids, bringing around some dinners for her freezer, picking up some shopping, helping out with washing or cleaning will take the pressure off her and help her to relax and concentrate of feeding her nursling.
3. Learn how breastfeeding works on a supply and demand basis
Breastfeeding works on a supply and demand basis. When the baby feeds, this stimulates the breasts to produce milk. In the early days babies feed often to build up a plentiful milk supply. So when a baby feeds often, this does not mean the mum does not have enough milk, but just the opposite, that the baby is programming the breasts to make the perfect amount of milk to meet her growing needs. If a mum is tired and feels her baby is feeding all the time remind her of supply and demand, help her out with practical stuff and let her know she is doing just great making perfect milk for her little one.
4. Give breastfeeding friendly support
Often the things people say to a newly breastfeeding mum are said with the kindest and most loving intentions, but may undermine successful breastfeeding for her.Any suggestions to give the baby a bottle or a dummy to give her a break, or to let her milk fill up really work against breastfeeding. As you now know, # 3. supply & Demand – the baby needs to be at the breast to produce milk, anything which gets in the way of this, or separates mum and baby can disrupt breastfeeding. Learn how to listen and support her and give breastfeeding friendly suggestions.
If she is tells you she is having a hard day, or has been feeding all night, instead of suggesting she gives the baby a bottle, remind her of the benefits, and tell her what a great job she is doing. Remind her that babies build up their milk supply by feeding more. Your friendly support and understanding is so valuable. You could offer to cook tea for her family or collect her kids from school whilst she goes to bed with the baby.
5. Give her some TLC
Any mum of a new baby, whether she is breastfeeding or not, is giving 1000% to her baby. Babies are totally dependent, relying on their mums and dads to meet all of their needs, but this also means figuring out what their needs actually are, day and night, no matter how tired you are. Show her you recognise how much she is giving to her baby, and take some time to nurture her. This doesn’t need to be big, complicated or expensive, just let her know you recognise what a great job she is doing, and put a little thought into looking after her. Bring her food and her fave flowers, healthy and tasty snacks and drinks to enjoy as she feeds her little one, treat her to a home massage, or buy her a book or film you know she’ll enjoy when snuggled down with her baby.
6. Help her find breastfeeding networks
Knowing you are not going it alone is really comforting at every stage of a woman’s breastfeeding journey. Encourage her to check out her local breastfeeding group or cafe, offer to go along with her is you know this would make her feel more comfortable. Meeting other breastfeeding mums can provide a great source of support, encouragement and friendship, so encourage her to join local or online groups and create new networks.
At Beautiful Beginnings Play Group, we welcome any parents who would like to come and have a chat about breastfeeding and meet some local breastfeeding mums during pregnancy, and any stage of their breastfeeding and parenting journey. *
Local breastfeeding groups throughout North and West Cumbria can be found at:
You may or may not have been a breastfeeding mother yourself, but never underestimate the difference you can make with your kindness, understanding and support to a newly breastfeeding mum you know.
* The Beautiful Beginnings Playgroup welcomes ALL parents, no matter how they choose to feed their baby.
I am excited to announce that I am beginning new Pregnancy Yoga and Empowered Birth classes in Seaton.
The class begins Sat 22nd Feb 10:30-12:15 and is being held weekly at Seaton Village Hall.
One of the things that I really like about teaching pregnancy yoga is that week by week mums-to-be become more and more confident and familiar with the yoga practices. The yoga postures, breathing and relaxations are so beneficial during pregnancy, releasing stress, anxiety and fear, and cultivating strength, peace and balance in body and mind. Yet the benefits don’t just end here. The yoga postures, breathing and visualisations provide wonderful, reliable and adaptable tools for women to rely on during their labour. My philosophy is, the women explore and enjoy the yoga practices during their pregnancy, then through this practice, the postures, breathing and visualisations will be there to support the women throughout her labour and in her life as a new mum caring for her baby.
Classes are suitable from 16 weeks onwards.
If you would like to book your place, or are interested in finding out more please do get in touch.
Beautiful Beginnings is supporting the amazing work of Cumbrian-based charity Bootle Refugee Aid which is collecting blankets, clothing and essential items to deliver to Syrian families living in refugee camps.
Bootle Refugee Aid is an inspiring charity, whereby Joan Capp and her team of volunteers collect and deliver essential supplies directly to the people who need them:
Our current appeal is for an ambulance and a ship’s container, filled with essential baby supplies, to be dispatched to a Syrian refugee camp as soon as we possibly can. Countless refugees, fleeing the civil war in Syria, are mothers with children and babies, and there is a great need for them to be given assistance. We have located an ambulance, at a very preferential price, and are now appealing for money with which to both buy it and drive it directly to the refugee camp; together with essential baby supplies and money to pay for the associated shipping costs.
The items needed are:
- Warm blankets & baby blankets
- Warm clothing, hats etc
- Baby clothes
- Baby essentials – toiletries, soap etc
- Money donated to pay for delivery of the container
If you feel you are able to donate any of the above items please bring them to the Beautiful Beginnings Sessions Thursdays 1.30-3.00pm The Settlement, Maryport, or contact Clare or Hatti to arrange.
You can also find out more and donate directly to BRACUK on their website:
BOOTLE REFUGEE AID, CUMBRIA UK
(BRACUK) was founded in 1991 by Joan Capp, and registered as a charity on 24th August 1999, with the sole purpose of relieving civilian suffering in areas of either conflict or poverty primarily, but not exclusively, in Eastern Europe.
WHO ARE WE?
Based in the village of Bootle, Cumbria, we are simply a group of people who care about others. Founded during the conflicts of the Bosnian and Chechen wars, BRACUK now receives a great deal of support from the people of Cumbria as well as further afield. We are not affiliated to any other organisation and are non-political and non-religious in both our ethics and practical applications.
WHAT ARE WE TRYING TO ACHIEVE?
We are all familiar with pictures and stories of human suffering. Sadly these images have become almost routine; relegated to the inner pages of newspapers or used as TV and radio news ‘fillers’ – that’s assuming that they are reported at all! We do not consider human suffering to be either routine or acceptable. Resources are allocated strictly according to specific needs at any given time. Discrimination between sectors of the civilian population, regardless of political or religious divides, will never be acceptable to BRACUK, and our emphasis is on reducing need to a self-sustainable level, rather than providing superficial assistance.
So if you have any spare warm baby items, blankets, coats etc that you would like to pass on to help the families fleeing conflict and violence in Syria please do get involved either through BB or by contacting BRACUK directly.
It’s that magical time of year again and we are looking forward to some fun Christmas celebrations with the little ones at Beautiful Beginnings. Both events are free and everyone is welcome, whether you have been before or not. We always welcome new people!
Thursday December 12th – Whinlatter Forest Outing
This year at Whinlatter they are offering Stick Man trails. For those of you who haven’t heard of Stick Man it is a great book about a stick who goes on a big adventure and meets Santa! You can find out more about the book here >> The Stick Man trails are free and there will also be some reindeer up there too for us all to see. To find out more details go to the Whinlatter activities page.
We will be meeting at 1.30pm in front of the entrance to the gift shop. Some of us may be going for lunch in the cafe before, so come along if you fancy it.
Thursday December 19th – Beautiful Beginnings Christmas Party
Come along and join in the fun at our Christmas Party. There will be christmas crafts, music, dancing, games and party food. Please bring along some party food to share with everyone and some ideas of Christmas sing songs would be great too! We prefer party food to be vegetarian as most of our regulars eat a vegetarian diet. This will be our last meet before the new year so please come along, all ages welcome!
Hope to see you all this month for some Christmas festivities with friends : )
Anyone who has had the good fortune to witness children involved in creative play will know that this is a serious business. Children create their own imaginary worlds, characters and games, they explore their real life scenarios and they explore their environments and the materials around them.
This can look so simple, a baby feeling the texture of a stone or a toddler pouring water. Yet each and every moment of such play is precious and valuable in so many ways. Whilst we adults may intellectualise and assume that our kids are developing their co-ordination, learning and exploring, we can really only guess at the learning and inner experience of the child, as I have recently come to realise!
Just recently we were doing some home learning about basic physics, we talked about solids, liquids and gases, about density and what makes some materials heavier than others. My five year old led the way, saying ‘mum I know this already, I learned all about it when I played pouring water and sink or float when I was a baby!’
I was amazed. As a baby and toddler this girl spent many many hours pouring water, mixing and dropping pebbles and leaves into pots of water. She was totally absorbed. I loved to watch her play and knew she must be getting something out of it, but little did I know she was figuring out the properties of the Universe! Later that day we made birthday cards for a train-loving toddler friend. My daughter’s usual drawings are fairies and mermaids, yet here she was drawing a very accurate train, I told her I liked the details, she said, ‘yes dad taught me how to draw trains when I was three!’
As our family’s homeschooling journey develops, my kids are teaching me how their many hours of toddler play really did teach them so much, and just how valuable each and every moment really is. Our children really do learn from all of their experiences.
Never underestimate the value of spending time with your little ones and giving them the time and space to play creatively. Don’t worry about finding the most ‘educational’ toys. Your time, love and the space to play and explore their surroundings gives them everything they need to start figuring out this amazing world of ours.