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Our Favourite 'Favourites' of 2016

To ring in the New Year, we've rounded up the Top Ten Favourites Articles of 2016 - if one of these was your favourite, why not share it with friends and family?


2016 was a year filled with informative articles covering a range of topics, from setting boundaries for teenagers, to car seat safety tips. These are the ten most popular ones.

If there's a subject you'd like us to cover in Our Favourites in 2017, please email [email protected] with your suggestions. We're always looking for new and exciting topics!

Your Top Ten of 2016

Teaching Children Good Manners

Most parents appreciate a child with manners, in fact everyone appreciates manners. Who wouldn't like to know that their child is polite and helpful when they aren't around!

With so many external influences around, it's even more important to make sure the manners you deem important are instilled in your child from an early age, whether it's saying please and thank you or clearing their plates from the table; consistency, repetition, and role modelling are key.

Read: Our Favourite Ways of Teaching Children Good Manners

Ways to Alleviate Boredom

How often do you hear "I'm bored" in your house? I don't remember having time to feel bored when I was a child, between homework, playing with my brothers, and helping around the house, and that half hour of TV we were allowed to watch once everything else was done. We knew how to entertain ourselves with whatever we had around us. We spent entire days building forts and tree houses, and creating plays to put on for our parents and their friends.

But, things have changed. I remember nannying for a family and being surprised by the number of activities they had on, and by the fact that the children had no idea what they wanted to do. They needed to be spoon-fed activities all day long, and at the end of the day they would still tell me they were bored. So we went back to basics... It took a while to catch on, but eventually we had a breakthrough.

Read: Our Favourite Ways to Alleviate Boredom

Parenting Apps

We use apps for everything these days, from waking up in the morning to monitoring our children's whereabouts, ordering a cab, talking to family on the other side of the planet, or playing games on our commute.

While we all have apps on our phones for keeping in touch with people and having fun, there are also a multitude of apps designed to make your life a little bit easier. Here are our 10 favourite parenting apps that could help make your daily family life less stressful to navigate.

Read: Our Favourite Parenting Apps

Setting Boundaries for Teens

We live in a world of boundaries and structure. Without rules and boundaries there would be chaos. Teenagers recognise rules and boundaries at school and the consequences when these rules are broken.

We asked Barbara Whiting-Smith, a Parent Support Adviser, to offer some advice to parents on how to set effective boundaries with their teenagers.

Passionate about helping parents manage their own unique situation, Barbara works in partnership with parents to make the changes that they desire.

Read: Our Favourite Ways of Setting Boundaries for Teens

Keeping Baby Warm

We all know that, in the UK, the months between January and March seem long, dark, and bone-chillingly cold! As adults we can warm up under a hot shower or ward off a chill with a cup of coffee or something a little stronger, but neither of these are an option for our little ones - so keeping them warm needs to be our top priority to start with.

When you are looking to keep your baby warm, it all starts with choosing the right fabrics, and there are lots of choices; from cotton and bamboo to lycra and wool.

Read: Our Favourite Ways of Keeping Baby Warm in Winter

Keeping Control of your Playroom

Playrooms can be a source of great enjoyment, but a badly organised playroom can lead to many headaches, backaches and stubbed toes. It's time to take back control of this space and make it a happy environment for everyone.

Having seen many a playroom, here are a few simple tactics that can be applied across the board to make your playroom somewhere both you and your children want to spend time.

Read: Our Favourite Ways to Keep Control of Your Playroom

Understanding EYFS 8 to 20 months

In this series of articles we explore each stage of EYFS in detail and help you understand how they apply directly to your child. This will also help you understand the kinds of things you can be doing with them at home to help them learn.

As a quick reminder, there are 7 stages; 3 primary and 4 specific areas of learning. You will notice the stages overlap - this is an indication that every child will develop at their own rate, and EYFS should be used as a guideline. We have broken each stage into parts so that they are easy to digest and you'll become familiar with what to expect as they start to grow.

Read: Our Favourite Ways of Understanding EYFS 8 to 20 months

Packing for a Summer Holiday

We know everyone packs differently, but there is always something you wish you'd packed when you arrive at your destination. We asked Wendy, mother of 3 and founder of Tots to Travel what she has on her essential summer holiday list!

We'd love to hear what you enjoy doing with your children whilst away on holiday and what items have earned their place in your suitcase! Add your comments below.

Wendy says, "Whilst I don't subscribe to being a full time kids' entertainer on holiday, I do think it's worth having something up my sleeve to inject a dose of playful silliness and to initiate those moments of quality family time. Over the years of holidaying with my 3 kids (Barnaby 10, Maisy 9 and Monty 3) I've put together a list of things that now make it onto my essential packing list..."

Read: Our Favourite Things to Pack for a Summer Holiday


Sleep can be a controversial subject for parents, regardless of whether your children slept through the night from when they were a couple of months old, or you've accepted broken sleep as a part of your life for the unforeseeable future.

All parents make decisions about how to raise their children, some more debated than others. If you think that co-sleeping is something that would work for your family, here are a few facts to keep in mind to make sure it's safe and enjoyable for everyone.

Read: Our Favourite Facts about Co-Sleeping

Giving up the Dummy

For many tired parents, a dummy is a blessing - a way of comforting a baby that won't settle, or a useful tool for toddlers to comfort themselves in new and unfamiliar situations. But there comes a time in all children's lives when it's time to let the dummy go.

The recommended age for giving up the dummy varies - some experts recommend weaning a baby off it before they turn one, and doctors say that there might be an increased risk of ear infections for toddlers using a dummy.

Read: Our Favourite Ways to Help Your Child Give Up Their Dummy


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