Isabelle & Sebastien

Isabelle & Sebastien
My Baby Bundles

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tiger Mum vs Panda Dad

We've all heard of Tiger Mum Amy Chua...but have you come across the much more balanced Panda dad? take a look at some of his views here:

Monday, January 10, 2011

Why don’t shoe shops FIT shoes properly in HK ? is an entire city walking around with wonky feet ?

I first realized that in HK shops don’t fit shoes properly for kids when Isabelle started walking. That was back in May 2009. In London the emphasis on proper shoes for new walkers is huge and it seemed like a huge discrepancy not to be stressing the same thing in HK. I was lucky enough to get back to London around the same time so had Isabelle correctly fitted at START RITE and bought her first shoes there but then I came across the SAME issue here again with Sebastien only last month. For goodness sakes what was everyone else wearing?!

So I started to dig around and here is what I found:

In HK you can buys kids shoes from

(a) Local shops – these are scattered all over town (you know the ones that look like a treasure trove or candy store with all the shoes vacuum wrapped in cling film). They tend to be more about sparkle and colour than podiatry. Personally for early walkers and toddlers I really don’t recommend them.

(b) Market stalls – these are pretty much the same as the local shops but cheaper.

(c) Western shops – then there are a handful of western brands including Jacadi, Ralph Lauren, Bonpoint and a few more. They all have lovely lovely shoes but sadly with the exception of Bonpoint that stock StartRite, none of them look at width. The only other stockist for Start Rite in HK is BUMPS TO BABES and whilst they do measure width sadly the selection is SOOOOO limited it is hard to get what you want and if you do go there make sure you ask for the 'Start Rite Expert'. As a brand they pride themselves in their experts selling their shoes and regularly train their staff. There are a very particular set of things they need to check once the shoe is on. I'm not convinced their HK 'experts' are...well experts. It's probably due to the fact that it's not their own store (but I will be calling Bumps to Babes this week to find out about the training). Having said that for some years now it has been the best option. At the very least you can get measured there and then order online direct from StartRite for more choice.....HOWEVER.......

THE GOOD NEWS HOWEVER is that US brand STRIDE RITE (they are to Americans what Start Rite is to the Brits) has finally launched in HK. Based in Causeway Bay they have more than a similar name in common with StartRite. They also are true believers in correctly fitted shoes for toddlers taking those first few steps. Supported by Dr Tanya Altmann, a UCLA-trained pediatrician, Stride Rite believe that many adults with foot problems can point to their childhood footwear as the culprit – plus they have been around for 90yrs !! So they know a thing or two about shoes.
STRIDE RITE: Shop 216A Windsor House, Causeway Bay

Now if you find yourself in my shoes (excuse the pun) and can’t find a proper shoe store you can always measure the kids yourself and order online. Both Start Rite and Stride Rite provide a chart on their website that enables you to do this.

I also found the guide on how shoes should fit really useful from Start Rite

• we believe that it's really important to measure a child's feet accurately before buying them every pair of shoes. That's because ill-fitting shoes can have a serious impact on your child's foot health for years to come
• like jelly in a mould, your baby’s feet can take on whatever shape they're forced into, so shoe shapes should always match the form of the foot. In toddlers this is wide at the toe and narrow at the heel, a shape that will change as the foot develops
• the width and depth of a correctly fitted Start-rite shoe ensures excess pressure is never applied to your baby’s delicate foot
• Start-rite shoes have built-in growing room to give children’s toes plenty of room to develop
• there is no such thing as an ’average’ foot, so every child should be individually fitted with shoes
• to ensure the best possible fit for children and young people of all ages, Start-rite makes shoes in whole and half sizes, and in up to 6 width fittings (C, D, E, F, G, H), more than any other brand
• using the Start-rite foot gauge, they will measure both feet for length and width/girth to give them a guide to the size that your child will need. They will then advise on the style most suited to your child's foot
• when checking the fit of the shoe, the fitter will get your child to stand up so that they can make sure that the shoe is of the correct length, width and girth. They will also check that the shoe is not rubbing on the anklebone and that the fastening is comfortable and secure. They will then watch the child walk, to make sure that the shoes do not slip off and on
• we recommend that children have a professional fit check every six to eight weeks as toddlers, and every three to four months once they are older
• you can now also measure and fit Start-rite shoes yourself at home. We provide the tools and resources you need to measure your child's feet and then choose the right pair online. And if when you receive the shoes they do not fit correctly then we offer free returns. So it really couldn't be easier to purchase Start-rite fitted girls and boys shoes
• things to look for when shopping for shoes
o Shoes that come in whole and half sizes, and in up to six width fittings, to ensure the best fit for your child
o Footwear which is styled to resemble the natural shape of the foot, so for a toddler this should be wide at the toe and narrow at the heel
o Effective fasteners across the instep so that your child doesn't curl their toes to keep them on
o Shoes made from, and lined with, breathable materials such as leather to allow the feet to breathe
o Soles that are lightweight, flexible and non-slip to make walking easier for young children

And the foot facts section from Stride Rite was great too

The Rite Development
• Bones are not fully formed in a child’s foot until age 5. While the foot is still developing the cartilage can be easily influenced by ill fitting footware.
• The 52 bones in the human feet make up one quarter of al the bones in the human body
• Babies’ feet do not have arches. Arches do not start to develop until 2yrs old.
• Babies feet perspire two times more than adults; so always look for breathable materials such as leather and mesh or anti-bacterial linings
• The heel is the one bone in the foot that helps to balance baby’s entire body. Wow !
• Similar to your body, your feet are still growing into your late teen years. SO your tenth pair of shoes is just as important as your very first

The Rite Fit
• You should never hand me down shoes from one child to another. Why? Baby shoes, especially shoes made of leather form to a child’s foot once they are worn for a while. A person’s gait is much like their fingerprint; it is unique to them. If a child wears hand-me-down shoes, his or her walking pattern may be affected since his or her feet are now trying to form to the gait of another child
• Shoes that do not fit properly in childhood can contribute to poor foot development which can lead to bone, back and muscle problems later in life. To ensure a perfect fit, children’s feet should be measured every 2-3 months until at least the age of 2 because their feet grow so quickly.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Workshop on THE WILL

I went to a worshop at Isabelle's school last night on "The Will' (as in the will of the child) and I really thought it was great. I have to admit that whilst Isabelle is at a Montossori school I don't know nearly enough about the principles as I should. I found the workshop really useful though and here are some of the notes I took. The section at the end starts to cover 'DISCIPLINE' which in itself is such a huge topic that I'm going to cover it seperately in another post.

The ‘WILL’

So what is Montessori about? And how is it different to other schools? There are a whole host of things that are different from traditional school. Here are some of them:

(1)Movement – children are not asked to sit still, based on the understanding that until the age of 6 children can’t sit still for extended periods of time anyway. They are allowed to move around in the classroom, and to the untrained eye it can look like chaos.

(2)Choice/Freedom – children are allowed to choose the work they do, that doesn’t mean that if they choose art all year, that they never learn how to write. Choice is given but also carefully monitored and recorded in notes and children are steered by trained teachers to other work to make sure they get the right exposure to the whole curriculum. It’s all about ‘like what you do and not do what you like’.

(3)Vertical grouping – children of different ages are placed in the same classroom (0-3, 3-6 etc) so that the older ones can teach the younger ones and the younger ones learn from the older ones (they seem to be more receptive to this than learning from adults)

(4)One on One teaching – teaching is done on a 1 to 1 basis with teachers going around the room and spending individual time with each child

(5)No testing – no traditional testing, testing is done, but it’s much more subtle. And teaching happens in 3 stages. For example “this is a pen’ “the pen writes’ and then “what is this?” stages of learning

(6)No correcting – if a child makes a mistake, the mistake is not pointed out, the correct thing is just repeated

(7)Purposeful work – this is all about things being appropriate for their age and size, small brooms, small chair etc

(8)Free to talk – not asked to sit in silence

(9)No punishment just natural consequences

(10)LIMITS – and with all the above come limits, eg free to talk but not shout, free to move but not run, free to choose the work but given only the right selection of choices

The WILL is defined as a driving force that makes the child want to do something. Two important things we have to accept if we are to understand the will :

(1) childen under 3 do not OBEY, if it looks like they are doing what they are told, it’s because they wanted to do it anyway. They do not obey.

(2) children under 3 can not be reasoned with. The part of the brain that allows reasoning hasn’t even developed yet

At this age they also:
1) Copy EVERYTHING whether you think they see or feel or hear it
2) Escape reality
3) Can’t control their voluntary movements

There seems to be a really fine balance between nurturing the child’s WILL without letting it run riot and not suffocating the child so that the WILL is broken. This is where the whole area of discipline opens up and its HOW you discipline your child that will determine what happens to their will.

Some of the things that are important

- No mixed messages from parents, its 6pm is bath time it has to always be bath time and not suddenly play time because dad is home from work and wants to have some play time – kids are not toys, we have to respect them. Hand in hand with this one goes UNITED front.

- They thrive on routine and things being the SAME one day to the next. This is important with what they play with too, they need to play with one toy and be allowed to repeat and repeat and repeat. It doesn’t bore them ! they thrive on this. It allows them to develop their concentration skills. What I do is take 3 toys out of the toy chest each week (and a week is the right amount of time) and leave them on the table in Isabelle’s room. Each day she has the choice which of the 3or 4 she wants to play with. With their toys you can leave out 3 or 4 things for them to choose from but usually when you give a toddler choice its TWO things, ‘would you like to wear the blue shoes or red shoes’ ‘ would you like banana or apple’.

- Don’t use NO so often that you desensitize them to it, use it carefully so that when you do and you mean it they will know it

- let them be creative and let them discover, as long as they are safe don't do EVERYTHING for them, let them work it out for themselves

This isn't even the tip of the iceburge, it's really just a taster. There was a lot more on discipline and I've decided to cover it in a different post

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Your Party? Baby's Party

Your baby's 1st birthday party is a really big deal, specially for baby #1, and you know what, even for baby #2; and since I don't have a #3 I can't really say, but for me the novelty of it or how special it was, hadn't worn off. Last weekend Sebastien turned 1 and I wanted to make as big a deal about it. In some respects I made an even bigger deal because this time around I myself had not only experienced doing it once before for Isabelle, but had also been a guest at several parties in the last 2 years and learnt a lot of tips.

So do you throw a party for the kids or for the grown-ups? I think it depends on who you know. If you're lucky enough to have had your baby at the same time as your friends, then it's a no brainier. If you were lucky enough to meet lots of mothers at your antenatal classes, managed to stay in touch, started a play group together, or went to lots of activities during the week with other mums....then it's also pretty easy. BUT if you live in HK and found that usually helpers go to the play dates or activities (ie no mums there to meet) or if you work like me, then really the party is pretty much about the adults, as you may not know any other kids the same age.

I decided to invite about 12-15 of my good friends. Of course they come with other halves and with their kids. The difficulty in this approach is that now you have several different audiences to keep happy. The adults and then kids who are of a wider age range than if you had just 1 yr olds. I was dealing with 5mth through to 6yrs. So I decided to split them (and my apartment) into 3 groups/ares. The balcony and the living room area near it for the adults, the main living room/ dining room area for the 0-3 and the outdoor playground grass area for the 3-6 (sounding a bit Montessori I know!).

I removed most of the furniture in my livingroom/dining room and covered the wooden floor with play mats. I lined up lots of toys around the edges and when the toddlers arrived they were all distracted by something different. I had a little table with books and colouring for the older kids and even a soft padded area and playpen for the babies.

For the 0-3 I called on Kindermusik by Catherine
They were great. They sent a lovely lady over (Chinese but raised in Scotland) with a lound fun voice. She gathered the babies and toddlers in a cirlce and sang songs, played music instruments, blew bubbles and played with a parachute. They LOVED it.

For the 3-6 I called on JOSE the magician
He was really good and the adults even got into it. They were outside in the playground on the grass with picnic blankets laid out for them.

RELISH did the food and wine (aminly for the adults but for the kids too) and they really are fantastic, the quality of canapes and salads is great; they come along with waitors and a chef that assembles everything on site. It was so smoothly and seamlessly done.

and of course the MIKEY MOUSE cake and cupcakes - thank you to Complete Deelite who I have used for a few years now, they do fantastic cakes and cupcakes, their 3D ones are really very well done!

For the invites I always use Progressive Press. Steve and Bonnie there are brilliant, they took care of EVERYTHING for my weddings (invites, table names, table menus, church programs you name it). I've used them since for the kids Christenings and birthdays. They always do a really professional job

For the going away gifts (as well as themed paper cups and plates) I like to use Toys Club on Duddell Street (13th floor I think in Baskerville House). They have a special section for going home gifts.

Complete Deelite did the helium filled ballons (life size Mikey plus lots of normal ones too)

All in all it took a fair bit of planning - whilst also working - but everyone, specially the kids had a fantastic time. AND MY SON IS NOW ONE

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Books I would recommend

I was pretty lucky when it came to baby books, I didn't go out and buy 100s to them like a few, I was given some fabulous recommendations from friends, went out and bought just those and loved them. Gina Ford being the one I took to the most. I had never heard of her and when I googled her there was immediately controversy around her name. I had 4 good friends and my cousin who swore by her but them lots of opposition to her on the internet, saying things likes 'how can someone who has never had a baby write a baby book'. The point is she is a midwife and has helped raise 100s of children and help countless parents with feeding and sleeping issues by going into their homes and solving bad habits. A milder version of her system is the Tracy Hogg's Baby Whisperer....any more on these below.


WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU ARE EXPECTING by Heidi Murkuff, Arlene Eisenberg & Sandee Hathaway - this was like a manual more than a book. Chapters are divided into Months of your pregnancy "The First Month, The Second Month etc...) Each month outlines the development of your baby, and what symptoms you might be having and also addresses some more common concerns mother's have had in the past. Some of the sections are a question posed by a mother and then the reply. I used to put a star next to any symptoms that I was having. It's funny looking back at it now as there is a red star for Isabelle and a blue star for Sebastien and you can see how different pregnancies can be. At the back there is a section on notes for each month, it's fun reading those again too. Chapter 14 covers labour and delivery, Chapter 15 looks at the first week after birth, and Chapter 6 looks at the next 6 weeks. Chapter 17 is for dads. MAKE YOUR PARTNER READ THIS !! The last few chapters looks at things like illness during pregnancy, what if something feels wrong and also preparing for the next baby.

THE NEW CONTENDED LITTLE BABY BOOK by GINA FORD: she's written a whole host of books, the best one to read whilst pregnant is this one. This book is all about setting out the routine for your baby in the first year. She covers principles of sleep, how much and when to feed your baby. The whole idea behind the book is to have a baby that feeds enough during the day, and sleeps the correct amount during the day (the focus being not to let a child sleep more than the recommended hours for his age at daytime) to ENSURE that your baby sleeps through the night as soon as possible. On her routine Isabelle was sleeping through the night at 9wks and Sebastien at 12 wks. She does use controlled crying to instil good sleeping habits (ie a child that doesn't beed a sleeping aid like being rocked to sleep, given a dummy etc). And she does say that you have to limit a child's daytime sleep to ensure they sleep well at night (and this does mean waking up a sleeping baby when nap time is over - hence some of the controversy around her system). I swear by her however.

THE COMPLETE SLEEP GUIDE by GINA FORD - this goes into more detail about sleep. Problem areas tend to be early morning waking, middle of the night waking, difficulty with the lunch time nap and she addresses these in detail with case studies. They really helped me, I had early morning rising issues with Isabelle and when she recommended reducing the lunch time nap (which didn't seem in any way related to me) suddenly the problem stopped. HONESTLY IT WORKS !

THE CONTENDED LITTLE BOOK OF WEANING by GINA FORD - again in this book she covers the details around weaning, how to start in the first few days and weeks and how it all relates to their sleep patterns. With Gina Ford there is always a 10.30pm feed and she guides you through how once weaning is fully established you can drop this 10.30pm feed. Up until this stage your baby will be sleeping from 11pm to 7am. IT IS AT THIS STAGE WHEN THIS 10.30PM FEED IS DROPPED THAT YOUR BABY WILL SLEEP FROM 7PM TO 7AM !!! and it works !

SECRETS OF THE BABY WHISPERER by TRACY HOGG. Hogg has a softer approach to schedules but nonetheless also believes that children thrive on routine. I loved this book and found it so much more gentle than Gin Ford, having said that I followed Gina Ford's schedules but with some of Tracy Hogg's principles; and to both I added what worked for me, which really is what it's all about

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR CHILD IS SICK by PROFESSOR MIDDLETON, DR RATCHFORD, DR MACKENZIE, DR SMITH. This book is great as a fast reference at home. The first chapter gives you some basics on anatomy & physiology; basics on how the body works. I didn't really use this book much in the first year; instead I ran to the doctor at the first sign of anything. Eventually however you will use it. It covers all the basics as well as a good CPR section.

HE'S HAVING A BABY by JACK O'SULLIVAN. This book is just a bit of fun for dads. It lets them have something on their bedside table too even though it won't match your pile. It's not a detailed book but skims the A-Z surface. Everything from early planning, to spotting labour pains right through to how to deal with a tiny new baby & nappy changing (lots of photos !!).

WHAT TO EXPECT THE FIRST YEAR by Heidi Murkuff, Arlene Eisenberg & Sandee Hathaway . This is from the same "what to expect' series. WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU ARE EXPECTING covers you up to the birth. This books covers the first year month by month much in the same style and ....

WHAT TO EXPECT THE TODDLER YEARS by HEIDI MURKOFF covers you for the toddler years. This whole series is a great manual on all the basic principles; no one's system, just some plane facts on growth, development, illness you name it.

THE CONTENDED TODDLER YEARS by GINA FORD and POTTY TRAINING IN A WEEK by GINA FORD are great for toddlers. She expands on the routines to cater for your toddler AND the potty training method she employes also works. I started Isabelle on it quite young; she was 18 mths old when we started and given that she was so young it actually took us 10 days and not 7 days. When we went out we still used pull ups (which Gina Ford doesn't agree with on the basis that you can't tell a child they shouldn't wet themselves and then have occasions when they are allowed to because they are in pull up - mixed messages that they are not old enough to process. She teaches potty training on the sole basis of deciphering wet from dry). However we did still have occasions we used pull ups and whilst they were dry 90% of the time we had occasional accidents. By the time Isabelle was 20mths old we had lost the pull ups too and she was FULLY potty trained

THE CONTENDED BABY WITH TODDLER BOOK by GINA FORD. This book was a godsend. I remember thinking 'good lord now that I am pregnant with baby two I have to go through Gina Ford's baby schedule and merge it with her toddler schedule and somehow make it all work.....AND THEN I SPOTTED THIS BOOK. It sounds very silly but honestly it was one of the best days ever! The relief that someone else had done the hard work was overwhelming. And true to form it works and we still follow it.

SECRETS OF THE BABY WHISPERER FOR TODDLERS by TRACY HOGG. Again another wonderful book by Tracy Hogg on toddler sensibilities and how to deal with them without pulling your hair out. Better than this for me was

NEW TODDLER TAMING by DR CHRISTOPHER GREEN. I really loved this book and still use it as a guide with Isabelle. It was recommended to me by our wonderful paediatrician in London Dr Stanley Rom who is a total gem by the way

Some links: or - you can join with an annual fee and access a multitude of case studies to help. A god send. Highly recommended. - you can register for free and they will send you a newsletter each week on the progress of your pregnancy or even after the birth on the progress of your baby (what to expect type stuff) I loved receiving their emails !! Highly recommended

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pre Natal Depression

Everyone knows about baby blues after you've given birth and the more serious post natal depression but we never hear about depression that occurs during pregnancy or prenatal depression. I've read on various websites and in research paper that there could be as 70% of all pregnant woman that will experience at some stage some of the symptoms of depression during their pregnancy. Thats a high enough number not to ignore and certainly something we should all be able to talk about.
To experience SOME of the symptoms at SOME stage in the 9mths sounded a bit vague so when I looked into it I discovered that in fact these depressive symptoms are often more minor than a full flown diagnostic depression which is typically only seen in about 10-15% of pregnant women. There's a huge difference between having a bad day and being clinally depressed, crying because you feel fat and being clinically depressed, feeling like you'll be a dreadful mother and being clinically depressed.
That's why it's important to realise that whilst hormones have a bad name, they really are only part of the problem. Stress of pregnancy is another huge factor; and stress comes for many reasons, was the pregnancy planned? the finances involved, will you be moving house? giving up work? your own relationship ups and downs and many more.....
The problem with depression when you are pregant is that it has other implications on how you eat, sleep, exercise etc...all of which impact your baby and all of which then create a cycle to make the depression worse.
I found from talking to women with pre natal depression (the more serious cases) that they felt very confused; they knew they should be happy but couldn't understand why they felt so low.
The biggest issue with depression during a pregnancy is spotting it. So many of the symptoms are the same as pregnancy symptoms. Some woman walk around with clinical depression for months thinking they are just having a tough pregnancy.
The main symptoms are:
Problems concentrating
Problems with sleeping
Changes in eating habits
Feeling anxious
Feeling down/low
So what can you do to help? TELL SOMEONE. Whether that's your partner? best friend? mother? doctor? midwife? Just tell SOMEONE. Let someone know and that in itself is a big step. You need a support network and failing that you should reach out to a psychologist. In somecases you can talk it through and in other cases medication is used. I don't believe in it's use generally (and there are some safe ones for pregnancy) but I also know of woman who wouln't have made it through on thier own despite their support network.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Everything our parents did, but are told not to do...

You've probably all seen this email that went around. I thought it would be amusing to share it again here before some of the real issues:

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the 1930’s 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s !!
First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they were pregnant.
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn’t get tested for diabetes.
Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-based paints.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention the risks we took hitchhiking.
As infants & children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts or air bags.
Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat.
We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.
We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.
We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank koolade made with sugar, but we weren’t overweight because WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING !
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.
No one was able to reach us all day and we were O.K.
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
We did not have Playstations, Nintendo’s, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD’s, no surround-sound or CD’s, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or chat rooms…….
WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!
We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.
We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.
We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and, although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them!
Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!
These generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!
The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned
If YOU are one of them . . . CONGRATULATIONS!

But really AMUSING is all this email was, there are a million 'NO, NO's in there' Most of which I will leave to you to figure out, but I do have some interesting info below:

Despite years of confusing, mixed messages about whether red wine, chocolate, fish, coffee or eggs are good for us or maybe somehow toxic, there have been enough randomized clinical trials to offer some undeniable truths: high cholesterol, low exercise, excessive sun, inhaling cigarette smoke, failing to wear a seatbelt, and excessive drinking while pregnant can hurt you (or your baby). They may not, but they CAN, or quite likely will, depending on the behavior. Studies in the U.S have shown that death rates from heart disease have dropped by 50% in the last 20 years — about half the decline is thought to be due to prevention.

“It would be a disservice to say that (modern, healthier habits) don’t make any difference,”. That was a quote by Dr. Daniel Berman, chief of cardiac imaging at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles. He went on to say “I’m 100 percent convinced that the things we’re doing are extending our younger years.

Berman was also quoted saying the more controversial “The bottom line is that things like bike accidents where a kid died because they didn’t wear a helmet, were rarely occurred. But if your kid happened to fall and was 1 out of 10,000 who died, you must live with knowing it was preventable,”.

Genetics has a role to play too ! Our longevity is rooted in our DNA — 50 percent of our health outcome in fact is estimated to be determined by our chromosomes. You only have to look at Winston Churchill. He smoked cigars, was overweight and yet lived to 90; and yet athletes with healthy lifestyles have dies of heart attacks at 52.

As a parent some things are obvious to me, the health precautions like not drinking or smoking whilst pregnant, not smoking around children, sleeping babies on their back to prevent cot death (see my section on SIDS for other advice), wearing helmets, vaccinating our kids etc.....

It's the less obvious I struggle with. When Isabelle was around 10mths I bought a baby walker, similar to one I had as a baby, only to find out that they were not recommended for use at all. Was it for obvious reasons like they could walk off over the end of a flight of stairs? or walk into a book shelf and bring everything crashing down? Well yes those too, injuries from walkers do exist as would any injuries if you left a child unsupervised. The one that got me was that it is claimed that children using walkers learn to walk later as they are not using their own muscles, nor can they see their feet (the right stimulus) and I even read that it could effect development of the formation of their legs.

Well I didn't throw the walker out. I am most of my generation had them and we all walk just fine. Instead I decided to limit use of it to only a few mths between cruising and walking and only to 10min sessions once in a while.

The list of things we are no longer allowed to do, but that our parents did are endless, some are very sensible and some need to be taken with a pinch of your own salt (make your own minds up). That's just my view anyway.