The court at Coughton Court
Coughton Court Key Info
Where is it? Coughton Court, Coughton, Alcester, Warwickshire, B49 5JA
How much is it? £12 for Adults including the house, under fives go free. We also paid for the Cadbury’s Easter Egg Hunt which was £3 (but goes to charity). You can get a garden only ticket which is cheaper
Are there facilities for babies and toddlers? Yes – the baby change is really nice with a proper change mat, mobile, wipes, nappies and nappy bags in case you’ve run out – a lovely touch! There wasn’t much geared towards kids apart from the Egg Hunt, but our toddler loved running around the garden and exploring the house. There’s also a nice little cafe with hot and cold food and the all important cream tea!
Is it easy to take a push chair? Yes, it’s easy enough to push over the grass. However, you can’t take a pushchair around the house, you have to leave safely it at the entrance, so if you have a baby you don’t want to carry, stick to buying a garden only ticket
Is there parking? Plenty
A holiday in the forest
We are just back from a week at Elveden Forest Centerparcs with our two year old. We took it as a respite from the daily grind of February in the UK. Honestly, February is the worst month of the year. January is grim, after the excitement and cheer of Christmas, but by the time February rolls around, getting up and going home in the dark is starting to wear PREEEETY thin. In pre-LP times, we jetted off for a sneaky bit of sun in Lanzarote, to take a week off the tail-end of winter, but it’s not so easy or stress free to holiday abroad with a toddler.
This is why we resorted (see what I did there?) to Centerparcs, which is wonderfully set up for families. We have been before, but not to the Elveden one. I was drawn there following my Google searches on “which Centerparcs is the best” and the promise of muntjac deer as well as the obligatory waterfowl and squirrels. Read More
We had a lovely day out at Kenilworth Castle today. It’s a perfect excursion for the days between Christmas and New Year – crisp, bright and festive. We all had fun exploring and LP tired himself out clambering over the ruined ramparts, so now he is having a snooze while twilight falls, and I’m writing this in the glow of our Christmas tree lights.
Window art for young children
We tried out this recipe for DIY window paint last Saturday when the wind and icy drizzle succeeded in dampening our (mommy’s) interest in exploring outside. It’s a fun, creative and most importantly – easy – toddler activity that doesn’t make *too* much mess. An excellent way to spend time on a rainy Saturday afternoon. Take a deep breath, have a coffee and get mixing!
You discover things about yourself when you become a parent, some more surprising than others. And nappy changing is one of the most educational parenting experiences of all. It occurred to me that in rising to the challenge of a stinky nappy, you attain a certain sense of zen.
Warning: this is not a post for the easily disgusted or anyone wanting to preserve some mystery about parenting.
One thing that non-parents don’t understand is that an intense day of parenting can take it out of you just as much, if not more, than a hard day at work. Hey, no one does understand it until they have kids. But after a few (lovely, well-meaning) people told me to have a nice day off and relax when I finished work last week, I thought I would share exactly what I have been up to on my day away from the office, to show just how relaxing and rejuvenating it was.
Hint: not that much.
Sunset sea adventures
We just got back from a 10 night holiday in the Algarve, near Albufeira, which is why I haven’t posted for a couple of weeks. It was beautiful, relaxing and wonderful to have some sun. The last one seems especially important as I’m now back in UK’s July, sitting in the house with the heating on while it rains outside.
It’s fair (obvious?) to say that holidaying with a toddler is a completely different ballgame to pre-parenthood vacations. It was still fab, but there were a few things I learned on our first trip abroad as a family, that I’m going to bear in mind for the next time.
Cool names AND cool hair
Do you like to come up with silly pet names for your children? My husband and I love to come up with different, affectionate names for our son.
At first, this was a way of amusing ourselves under the pressure of new parenthood – spurred on by sleep deprivation. Now they are an insider’s language, where we express how cute we think our son is – and how much we love him.
I do hope he can forgive us for this when he is older.
1. Little Pickle (a.k.a. “The” Pickle)
Staring in wonder at a fluffy toy that moves by itself!
Sheldon Country Park is a great place to take toddlers
Where is it? Ragley Drive, Sheldon, Birmingham, B26 3TU
How much is it? Free!
Are there facilities for babies and toddlers? Yes – the toilets are well maintained, there is a cafe for snacks / feeding and plenty to entertain the small people, including a play area for older kids
Is it easy to take a push chair? The farm area is well paved and absolutely fine but the muddy grass is not ideal for prams and pushchairs (I’d say the farm is the real reason to go)
Is there parking? Yes
If your baby won’t sleep through the night, I’d like to offer a virtual hug and a round-up of tips I hope might help, from the dark, recent days of my own baby-induced sleep deprivation.
At a few weeks old, LP would often sleep 6 hours a night, from 12am to 6am. “I can handle this”, I thought to myself.
But at 3 months old, he began waking every 2-3 hours, or less. It felt like torture. So I tried almost every idea I could find: consulting books, internet forums, other parents and health visitors.
At 9 months old, LP started sleeping through and now happily sleeps 12-13 hours a night, with one 1.5 hour nap during the day.
All babies are different and many say that they’ll just sleep through when they’re ready, but there was one tip that I felt made a difference for us. Read on to find out what that was. Here are the results of everything I tried.
1. Breastfeeding back to sleep
Sleeping in the baby wrap…but not at night