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The Honest Confessions of a NICU Mum on… Co- sleeping

The Honest Confessions of a NICU Mum on… Co- sleeping


Don’t let baby sleep in your bed.

Put them down awake.

Get rid of the dummy.

Put socks on him.

Dream feed them.

Have you tried a banana before bed?

Order a white noise machine, Gro clock, and blackout blinds.

Type in ‘how to get a baby to sleep through the night’,  and you will be met with so much conflicting and sometimes very odd advice.

Elijah our first child was always a pretty good sleeper, from around six weeks he slept 7-7 and after about a year he did so in his own room. Other than the odd early wake-up, or a bout of illness and even getting rid of the dummy we have always had it pretty good with him.

We co-slept for a while, it just happened naturally, if he woke up early he would come in with us and we would sleep until a reasonable hour.

I remember being told that this was the worst possible thing to do, we would ‘create a rod for our own backs’, he wouldn’t sleep in his own room and wouldn’t be able to settle himself, etc.

I liked him being close to me, it meant I could keep an eye on him, and as he got bigger I liked it when he snuck in our bed.

newborn photographer a sleeping baby

Bed hopping

I do vaguely remember there was a time where the three of us would bed hop, between his room, our room and the sofa but do you know what, we still slept.

I got told by someone that if it isn’t a problem for you, then there is no problem and I hand on my heart believe this. We all slept and no it wasn’t the most convenient thing in the world but it kind of worked.

Then came his brother who didn’t quite follow in his brothers footsteps, so much so even now at sixteen months still doesn’t sleep very well.

We thought we had learnt a lot from having Elijah, and we were quite open to co sleeping again if it meant that we all slept but we were not prepared when it came to our little sleep thief.

I even in a sleep deprived  state ordered a Ewan the Sheep in hope it would work, it did not.

Take last night, he went to bed in his room, woke up but settled again around five times but as we were approaching the wee hours he came in with us and slept until 7am, and allowed his brother a lay in until 7.30am!

The need for sleep

Some may have an issue about co sleeping and it obviously can be very dangerous in certain situations and I am not necessarily an advocate for it, I am however very much for getting sleep.

I don’t have any worries that by co sleeping that I will have one of them in the bed until they are teenagers.

I think in the first couple of years you are in survival mode and you do what you can to get the illustrious bout of sleep that you think about  all day long.

There will be a time where they wont be waking up. Clambering into your bed, kicking you for hours through the night or my personal favourite using your head as a pillow.

It is and when your child doesn’t sleep, and you really do get quite desperate trying everything and anything.

It can be even harder when you know others their age who do sleep, and it can feel as though you are the one doing something wrong.

Once you have had a baby you are in such a rush for them to sleep through the night as we believe that this is an indication of their ability in a way.

Truth be told, I don’t think much helps, they will sleep when and where they want to. A little further down the road something will click and you will be waking up with a toddler heavy breathing in your face demanding that it is time for breakfast and C Beebies.

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Three or four in a bed

Strangely, you will begin to miss those times where you woke up with no duvet and neck ache, snuggled up with someone whose nappy is feeling and smelling way too full.

Or when you, your partner, your child and every single one of their teddies have to come in and you find yourself balanced on the edge of the bed not daring to move in case you fall out!

Let go of the pressure, the guilt if you are reading this after a semi-successful night where your baby/toddler/ pre-schooler/ cat and you did share a bed then don’t sweat it.

Once again, if it isn’t a problem for you, it isn’t a problem, try not to compare yourselves.

Different things work for different people, and that’s okay, however, if one of them does still sleep with us when he is in his twenties then I may come back to revisit this!

Vicki Cockerill is a Freelance Content Writer and NICU/CHD Mum to two boys, she authors The Honest Confessions Of A NICU Mum Blog, founded and runs The NICU Parent Partnership Organisation and co-hosts @KnackeredandNorwich Social Club. You can contact her via her blog or social media;

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The Honest Confessions of a NICU Mum on… PND Guest blog

The Honest Confessions of a NICU Mum on… PND


Those three little letters changed my life in a way I never thought they could.

They held so much power over me, they changed me, I turned on myself and my family because of those three little letters.

I had suffered with my mental health after Elijah was in the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), but after my second son was born, Post-Natal Depression (PND) consumed me.

The signs

Looking back in those first few weeks after Harlow was born I knew more about how my mental health could take a battering after having a baby than I did the first time around.

It all seems to be a blur now, establishing feeding, sleep deprivation, recovery and watching my eldest struggle with the transition and my partner feeling the brunt of it all.

I cannot remember when it started, it didn’t really build up as such.

It most certainly was not just a bad case of the ‘baby blues’ it was so much more.

I remember finding a leaflet about PND in my Bounty folder and how it spoke about it didn’t reflect how I was feeling, it didn’t talk about the reality of what it was really like to have PND.

The anger

When you think of PND you probably think of a mum unable to cope, crying and one that isn’t able to love her child.

That isn’t a correct portrayal of PND, the information in things such as antenatal classes is severely lacking.

I wasn’t just weepy, I was emotionally volatile, the smallest thing would set me off.

I remember feeling so out of control,  the rage would build in me and literally explode.

Never have I been so scared of myself.

It was as though I had my baby, came home lived in the newborn bubble for a few days and boom there it was, PND knocking at my door.

Auto Pilot

I vividly remember a time where Elijah was at his Nan’s and Greg was at work. I was on my own with the baby binge-watching Netflix and living in that feed, sleep and repeat the cycle. As I got ready to feed him again one afternoon I looked down and I remember feeling numb. There was no rush of love, no happiness, there was nothing.

It was as though I was on autopilot, I was doing everything that was expected of me, but without at real emotion attached to it.

I don’t think I truly bonded with Harlow until he was perhaps nearly a year old, and of course, I beat myself up about it every single day.


Because I was so unaware of what was happening when I was ill with Elijah, I let it fester, too ashamed to get help. To understand that what I was feeling was actually ‘normal’ per se and that my baby wouldn’t be taken away from me. It took my first year with Elijah away from me and I knew I couldn’t let it happen again.

At my 6 week check, I told my GP how I was feeling, and she instantly diagnosed PND, there they were those three little letters.

The ones that defined me for what seemed like months, the ones who took over even with medication, therapy and my usual outlet of blogging.

It took me so long to claw myself out of depression, it resulted in me moving in with my Nan so she could help with the children.

Break Down

Greg stood by me the whole time, always the pillar that held our family up. He never judged me when I broke down and said I was miserable, that maybe we shouldn’t have had another baby, that I was a rubbish mum and wanted to leave.

Day after day I told him they were better off without me, I was a failure.

The sense of failure I felt for those months was draining, it affected every part of my being, my life and I couldn’t even recognize who I was anymore.


I have often wondered about what I would tell someone to do if they think they have PND, or what they can do. One thing I pride myself on is honesty. It has at times be hard to be so honest when I write down and recall how I felt when I suffered from PND, it was pure hell.

But, here is my advice (based on my own experiences, this is not a one size fits all miracle cure)

  1. Always talk, no matter how bad you feel, how dark your thoughts are, if you feel you cannot vocalize them to someone you trust, write them down. Sometimes hearing the words, or seeing them on the page helps you rationalise them, process them. You must always be open and honest no matter how hard that it. When we begin to hide it, suffer in silence, it festers.
  2. Never fear judgment from anyone. Many mums and dads have PND it is nothing to ever be ashamed of and it doesn’t reflect your parenting ability in the slightest.
  3. Find something you enjoy, a bath, a book, write a blog, go for a walk whatever makes you feel as though you are you again, make it a priority. If you can try and get out for a walk now and again (GMOT4W can help locally in Norfolk with this!)
  4. This is the hard one, but seek help. From a GP, midwife, charity (I have listed some below) they can help you, advise you and they are not there to judge you.
  5. Take one day at a time, small steps, they will turn into bigger steps, and you will find there will be a time where there are more good days than bad. It can be hard to believe it when you are in the trenches but one day you feel like you again.
  6. Someone is likely to have gone through what you have, felt how you have felt at some point, it really is okay to be honest you are never alone.




Vicki Cockerill is a Freelance Content Writer and NICU/CHD Mum to two boys, she authors The Honest Confessions Of A NICU Mum Blog and co-founded the @KnackeredandNorwich Social Club and campaigns for NICU and MMH issues. You can contact her via her blog or social media;

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The Honest Confessions of a NICU Mum talks Vaccines.

The Honest Confessions of a NICU Mum talks Vaccines.

This is the first post in my new guest blog series for Jess Wilkins Photography where I take controversial parenting subjects and provide my honest confessions and experiences on them.


Okay, before I begin I will just like to say this is not a pro rant for vaccinations nor is it to offer any advice in when making a decision about vaccinating your children.

This is all about my experiences as a NICU mum to a son who has a Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) and my family.

Loaded subject

Never, until I became a parent, did I know that the subject of vaccines is so volatile and explosive.

Even the word vaccine on a post will likely divide and cause a huge argument you didn’t even know you can have.

People you don’t even know, and have never met will tear apart your parenting abilities all based on one single opinion.

Suddenly, you find yourself looking at friends whom you’ve known forever with some sort of fear because they have declared that they have not vaccinated their children.

We are put into two categories and told to go off and fight the good fight for pro or against.

But why? It is a personal family choice and one that should remain that way!

At Risk

It can seem that every Winter I can turn a bit ‘pro vaccine’, but there is a very good reason. Around the beginning of September to March I brace myself for the onslaught of cold and flu season.

I begin to post about the dangers of flu and CHD, and the whole family receive the flu vaccine.

It is more to advise on the effects of being ill around Elijah and passing him something. It isn’t to tell you to all go to get the flu shot right this second!

Elijah is at risk of hospitalisation, pneumonia, respiratory issues, stroke or even a heart attack should he ever catch the flu, and for some CHD sufferers it can be fatal.

Elijah tends to pick things up and they instantly go straight onto his chest.


We have in the past been admitted to hospital because of it, my son was born with a heart that structurally wasn’t correct and didn’t work properly.

I had to trust in medical science and the procedure which repaired his heart, and this is what I do each and every year when choosing to vaccinate my family against the flu.

I’ve read the ‘horror stories’, I have done my research, I’ve spoken to specialists and consultants and most of all I have to trust my gut.


Elijah attends nursery twice a week, and I know that there is plenty of bugs, colds and illnesses going about that he could pick up. But, I will try and do what I can to protect him, or lessen the risk/ severity of symptoms for him in anything I can.

Chicken Pox

I recently learnt this the hard way when Elijah and his brother caught chicken pox. I had been researching into getting the vaccine for this, but it was too late.

We had 4 111 calls in total, two GP appointments and one hospital admission onto the children’s paediatric ward.

They suffered quite badly from this, and no, not everyone will have a severe or prolific case as mine did but deep down I knew this could have been avoided.

It could have been less suffering and pain for them both.

They were ill for nearly a month, and it was such a horrendous time for the family.


I understand the herd immunity argument surrounding immunisation, things such as the flu vaccine will be more effective should the ‘herd’ aka the majority get it and they will then protect those at risk of not being able to have it for what ever reason (some allergic, some medical reasons).

But I wouldn’t judge another parent’s abilities if they choose or don’t choose to vaccinate their child. For me I have one thing that is my focus, doing what I can to protect Elijah because of his heart condition.

If he didn’t have this condition, perhaps I wouldn’t have to think so much about things like this.

But, I do and these are merely my honest experience and opinions on vaccines.

Vicki Cockerill is a Freelance Content Writer and NICU/CHD Mum to two boys, she authors The Honest Confessions Of A NICU Mum Blog and co-founded the @KnackeredandNorwich Social Club and campaigns for NICU and MMH issues. You can contact her via her blog or social media;

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Read more of Vicki’s guest blogs here !

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Self-Care Isn’t Selfish

Self-Care Isn’t Selfish- guest blog by Vicki


When you’re a parent your needs certainly take a back seat whilst you are looking after your little person's every will, demand and tantrum.


It can be overwhelming and sometimes all you want to do is have a hot coffee and pee on your own.


Self-care today is still seen as a selfish but honestly, taking some time to do what you want to do and how you want to do it can bring back a frazzled parent in the blink of an eye.


But, after putting ourselves on the back burner does anyone really know how to enjoy a bit of "me time" and what you could do?!


Here are some self-care ideas to help you find your mojo again!


  1. Take a long bath on your own. It really is amazing to take a bath on your own surrounded by candles and not bath toys or an inquisitive toddler!


  1. Read a book. When was the last time you put your phone down and turned the TV off and just read a book?


  1. Go make yourself a warm drink! Yes, warm... as it was meant to be enjoyed!


  1. Bing watch a series and no we don't mean Paw Patrol!


  1. Enjoy a treat! Box of choc? Your fav sweets? A cream cake? What's your vice? The only rule you don't share it!


  1. Listen and dance to a song you love (no baby shark!).


  1. Take a nap! It is literally perhaps one of the best feelings in the world to wake up from a well-rested nap!


  1. Go shopping on your own. Can you remember what it was like to go shopping on your own with no little people and just for yourself?!


  1. Light a candle it is funny how something so simple can help alleviate the stress of a tiresome day with the kids!


  1. When all else fails, grab your favourite tipple because at times only a gin will do!


We want to hear what you do to give yourself a bit of me time and self-care?


How often does it happen? Not as much as it should?


Then start today!


Look after yourself, you need to if you want to look after the tiny demanding versions of yourself you created!


Vicki Cockerill

Read lots of our other blogs here

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The power of the placenta guest blog Cherished Placentas

The power of the placenta - Placenta pills in Norfolk

Thinking of finding someone who provides placenta pills in Norfolk ? Read on to find out more. You go to the antenatal classes (or you don’t) you watch one born every minute, movies with the call for hot water and towels and you, as a first-time, second time, third time mum (as so many of us do) don’t question any further once the baby is placed on your chest.

From where I sit now (– ahem, next to my placenta dehydration station) I’ll be asking ‘WHAT ABOUT THE PLACENTA??’

But what about the placenta…. A question I never would have asked before my second child...

What is a placenta?

Oh, only a sustainable, life perpetuating, all giving organ supplying all mammals with the essentials they need to grow and develop in the womb…. Only an organ that a female mammal grows from scratch when pregnant. It is so crucial through pregnancy in sustaining life it seems madness that it is removed as ‘toxic waste’ when through the ages so many cultures and remedies have relied on it, cherished it and treated it to rituals that demonstrate its vital place in the life cycle. Most importantly for me why is it ignored when women who have in this day, age and country chosen to go down the placentophagy road, report incredible results.

Up to the point of my second child, I was armed with only this information:

That in the third stage of birth, once my beautiful baby is placed on my chest I’ll birth the placenta, after it has detached from the uterine wall and it will be removed by a midwife. A vague wave of the hand as you’re told you’ll need to inform the midwife as to whether you’d like an injection to help that second birthing process along. That’s it. For many this is ok and the idea of utilising the placenta makes them squeamish and don’t want to give it a second thought.

Now I’m more armed with information, and it’s that information, I started this blog with, that leads me to ask this question of our current, cultural dismissal of the placenta. Because I’m a placenta specialist and I care about what happens.

I write this in my office next to the room where I blend, dehydrate, powder encapsulate and prepare placentas for the next stage of their ‘giving’ life force. Since trying it myself I like to think of myself as a magician of the placenta, creating magic from these incredible and life supporting organs. It’s fascinating, it’s beautiful and I’m aware you may think I’m bonkers, but I’ve seen the results and I’ve experienced them myself and it’s this that drives me to make others aware because it changed my second child experience in the most positive and beautiful way possible.

So, let’s start at the beginning – just what is a placenta… The following information is taken straight from the NHS website:

The placenta is an organ attached to the lining of your womb during pregnancy.

It keeps your unborn baby's blood supply separate from your own blood supply, as well as providing a link between the two. The link allows the placenta to carry out functions that your unborn baby can't perform for itself.

The placenta is connected to your baby by the umbilical cord. Your baby is inside a bag of fluid called the amniotic sac, which is made of membranes.

What does the placenta do?

Oxygen and nutrients pass from your blood supply into the placenta. From there, the umbilical cord carries the oxygen and nutrients to your unborn baby. Waste products from the baby, such as carbon dioxide, pass back along the umbilical cord to the placenta and then into your bloodstream, for your body to dispose of them. (**note from me here - it doesn’t store these waste products it transports them)

Towards the end of your pregnancy, the placenta passes antibodies from you to your baby, giving them immunity for about three months after birth. However, it only passes on antibodies that you already have.

What happens after my baby is born?

After your baby is born, more contractions will push the placenta out through the vagina.

Your midwife will offer you a medicine to stimulate your contractions and help push the placenta out. They'll inject the medicine into your thigh just as the baby is born. It makes your womb contract so the placenta comes away from the wall of your womb. This also helps prevent the heavy bleeding some women experience.

After the birth, your midwife will check the placenta and membranes, to make sure that they're complete and nothing has been left behind.

If you have a caesarean section, after your baby is born, the placenta will also be delivered.

That’s it, factually correct but it doesn’t suggest that women have the option to take their placenta and

As an endocrine organ the placenta self produces many pregnancy and breastfeeding hormones that both sustain and prepare a mother for breastfeeding after birth. Packed with blood, proteins and minerals it’s an organ of nourishing goodness that would cost a huge amount if you were to purchase the man-made forms at a local health store. Remember, as these nutrients and hormones are produced by the mother they are also uniquely design to suit her individuality and this cannot be re-created.

Scientifically it is yet to be proven but it is my true and honest belief that those nutrients are far more beneficial to a mother simply because she is the person that made them and there is lots of supporting documentation available for anyone wanting to read beyond this blog.

To conclude I thought I would list out the amazing and wide- ranging benefits myself and other mothers found when we ingested our placentas through capsule and smoothie form (many of us able to compare between first and second births when we did and didn’t)

  • Boosted Energy Levels
  • Replenished Iron Stores
  • Better Balanced Hormones
  • Reduction in Stress Levels
  • No Postnatal Depression
  • Increases Milk Supply
  • Reduced Postnatal Bleeding
  • Improvement in the Appearance of Skin/Nails
  • Increased feeling of Well-being
  • Increased Infant Bonding
  • Faster loss Pre-Baby Weight

So, there you have it, all the reasons why you’ll hear me asking over and over… ‘But what about the placenta?’ Head over to Cherish Placenta website to find out more about placenta pills in Norfolk.

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Is Social Media Affecting Your Mental Health? Guest blog

Is Social Media Affecting Your Mental Health?


There is no denying it social media has changed the face of parenting as we know it and can affect your mental health. On one hand, we now have a support network of like-minded parents and a wealth of knowledge an the tips of our fingers.

On the other hand we compare ourselves to others and constantly feel as though we not living up to the Instagram glitterati’s standards.

It can make us feel low and vulnerable we can easily feel as though we are under attack as alongside the rise of social media came the birth of the online troll.

Many of us choose to put ourselves and parenting abilities out there for all to see in the digital age of ‘sharenting’.

But, is social media affecting you?

Are you beginning to withdraw, spend hours scrolling through feeds and feeling overwhelming failure wash over you because you are not at that event or party, you don’t get #gifted and your still at home in your PJ’s counting down the hours to bedtime.

If you took a photo of a family day out where you are all smiling and looking as though you are having a great time you would normally upload this photo onto social media. That photo for all to see shows you on a family day out where you are all happy.

It doesn’t show the stress of getting everyone into the car, the tantrum of not being able to watch the I PAD or the argument you and your partner had over where to go for lunch. It doesn’t show the baby screaming for half an hour before they finally went to sleep, or running around trying to find a toilet because the toddler has had an accident.

It is important to take stock and step back at times to gain some perspective. If social media is beginning to affect your mental health and mood then you need to re-evaluate your time on there.

That photo on your feed making you feel like a bad parent? That’s a snapshot, it’s not the whole picture as it were and sometimes social media lies. The perfect wholesome parent or celebrity body that is being pushed down our throats isn’t healthy and unrealistic but something we see every day.

Social Media can empower you, connect you with others and educate and raise awareness of issues like never before, but it can also be damaging to your mental health as well.

Here are our top tips for keeping the balance of social media

  1. Take a break – we get in a habit of constantly checking Instagram or Facebook as soon as we wake up or before we to bed. We feel as though we are missing something, or perhaps if we are not ‘present’ on there we will be forgotten about. Take a break for a few days or even a week, it will still be there when you go back. If you cannot take a complete break, begin by reducing your time.
  2. If you are constantly comparing yourself to certain accounts and it is making you feel low, then unfollow them. Keep your feed full of positive accounts with those who are likeminded, who you enjoy talking to and who you enjoy seeing.
  3. Do you get annoyed with your partner always on there phone in the evenings? Are your children trying to get your attention but your busy scrolling? Put your phone down and be present. See what difference it is by being fully present watching a film, or playing in the park with the kids rather than only half concentrating and getting annoyed when your trying to do too much at once.
  4. Have a think about how much you truly want to share, what do you want out of it. Is it just a personal account for fun? Then keep that in mind, don’t get hung up on the number of likes. Likes/ comments are not a validation of you as a person or a parent. Just because you might not have 1000 likes per photo doesn’t mean your not as good as those who do. If you have social media for business and feel bogged down perhaps now is the time to outsource.
  5. Remember social media does not define you as a person or as a parent it has the ability to make you feel amazing or like you thought you have hit rock bottom. Make sure you don’t let it affect your mental health by following some of our tips.

When you’re feeling lonely and stuck in the house with a new baby or ill child, social media can be a lifeline it can connect you with others who can support you, provide you with tips or just provide some virtual support. It can be a savior by connecting you with other local parents, from social media they can turn into lifelong friends.

Be cautious and sparing with social media, don’t let it dictate your mood or day instead use it as an extension and remember whether you are an amazing parent with or without your Instagram account.

Vicki Cockerill

Freelance Writer and Social Media Outreach Specialist
More blogs can be read here.

Top 5 indoor activities for children when it’s hot

Top 5 indoor activities for children when it’s hot 


Summer has well and truly arrived here we round up some indoor activities for children when it’s hot.

With this ongoing heatwave, you may hear the undeniable sound of parents of young children everywhere groan! As much as it is nice to see the sun finally it just isn’t that fun for your little people.

They are hot, bothered and their sleep patterns are now all over the place with it being too light and too hot. If you are pregnant and already have a toddler you are probably finding it more and more difficult to explain why you are the one occupying the paddling pool more than your child!

You know to avoid the direct midday sun from 11-3, sun cream every hour, hats and lots of water. Not everyone has a lot of shade in their garden and even if you do it can still just feel too hot, and the children aren’t the only ones having a meltdown!

But, really the only way to truly protect your littles’ from getting too hot and bothered is to keep them inside and to get creative! Another afternoon in front of C Beebies doesn’t seem that appealing, does it?

Here are our top 5 indoor activities for children to keep them cool, and amused during the day when it just gets a bit too hot for you and them.

Bring outside, indoors!

If you have the room make some space and bring some of the favourite garden toys indoors! This is the first top 5 indoor activity for children. A small toddler slide is great, or a pop-up tent/tunnel and the children will have all the fun of outside, indoors in the cool! You can sit back on the sofa with the fan and enjoy a well-deserved ice cream!

Car Mat

Car mats are great and one of the top 5 indoor activities for children while it is hot. There are lots of different types of car mats which will keep you a little happy. If you don’t have a mat you can easily make your own track with some masking tape and the best bit is you can change it as much as you want!

Indoor Cinema

It can be hard sitting indoors when you know everyone is out in beer gardens, BBQ’s, beaches etc but it doesn’t have to mean you don’t have fun too. One of the top indoor activities for children is to close the curtains (great at keeping a room cool), grab the snacks and favourite film and pretend you are in the cinema! You could even make some slushies just like the real thing from the comfort of your sofa!

Did someone say cake?

One of the all-time top 5 indoor activities for children is baking, but an afternoon in front of a hot oven in this heat sounds like torture! Have a look for some recipes that don’t require baking, no bake cheesecakes, smoothies, and even homemade ice lollies are all winners and will keep everyone cool and happy!



Games and Messy Play

There are many pre school games available that will keep everyone occupied for an afternoon. There are also some classics you can do such as hide and seek, or depending on how brave your feeling you could explore the arts and crafts cupboard! Games and messy play are one of the top 5 indoor activities for children.

Do you have any tips or activities to keep children amused indoors when it’s hot?

We would love to hear them!

Vicki Cockerill

Freelance Blogger  and Social Media Adviser

Wanting to book a shoot? get in touch.

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Best Family Beach Days Out In Norfolk

Best Family Beach Days Out In Norfolk

There is nothing better than packing up the car with the kid’s swimming costumes, pack of 12 fruit shoots and 500 swimming nappies ready for a day out at the beach.

But, we know as parents our little ones get fed up very quickly and you need to have a plan to keep you from that earth shattering meltdown, so here are the best family beach days out in Norfolk.

Old Hunstanton/ Hunstanton

This stunning stretch of beach runs from Old Hunstanton all the way to the new town. From experience Old Hunstanton Beach tends to be quieter so park up on the cliff top and while away a morning making sandcastles. When the hanger cries get a bit too much take a stroll into the new town and you will find an array of cafés, restaurants, amusements, bowling alleys, Hunstanton Sea Life Centre and a fun fair! It has everything to keep every member of the family happy and that is why it is one of the best family beach days out in Norfolk.

Wells Next to Sea

The little members of your family will be excited to see the boats in the harbour, and take the mini train down to the beach at Wells Next To Sea. There is a shop and café as you walk onto the beach which means you can stock up on drinks, snacks and the all important bucket and spade! Don’t forget to pop into the amusements and grab an ice cream on your way home from one of the best family beach days out in Norfolk.

Great Yarmouth

Bring back all of the nostalgia of your childhood and pass it onto the next generation with a family beach day out at Great Yarmouth. From the horse drawn carriages, donkeys on the beach, Pleasure Beach and the smell of freshly made doughnuts in the air you will find it hard to beat and don’t forget a ride on the snails!

Horsey Beach

For a slightly different take on the normal family beach day out take a boat trip out to Horsey and spend some time taking in their resident seal population basking in the sun. You can sail back to shore and enjoy all of the fun of the seaside with this family beach day out in Norfolk.

West Runton

Feeling a little adventurous, them head to West Runton and try out a spot of surfing, for those less than inclined to do so you can go for a paddle and enjoy the sandy beach.There are always life guards present, so you know everyone is in safe hands on your family beach day out in Norfolk.


This one really is an all round family pleaser, from a morning on the beach to a afternoon hike up to the lighthouse and perhaps an evening show you know there will be some sleepy heads in the car on your way home with this family beach day out in Norfolk.

Vicki Cockerill is a NICU/ CHD Mum of two boys, a freelance blogger and social media adviser, Co-Founder of #knackeredandNorwich social club and maternal mental health advocate.


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To read my other blogs by Vicki, guest bloggers and my own blogs click here.


Thanks for reading Jess x

PYO Norfolk

Things to do with Kids: Top 5 places to fruit pick in Norfolk

Top 5 places to PYO –  Fruit picking Norfolk


Picking your own fruit and veg is a great way to spend a sunny afternoon, who doesn’t love fruit picking in Norfolk. As well as giving you the chance to enjoy some of Norfolk’s best produce, it’s a great opportunity to teach your kids a little more about where their food comes from. To help you plan your fun day out, with the help of friends I’ve picked the top five favourite Fruit picking Norfolk spots for you to explore this summer.


  1. Blofield


At Blofield, you can pick your own strawberries and sweet pea flowers in early June and gorge on raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, tayberries, currants and sweet peas later in the summer. Located just to the southeast of Norwich, the farm is open for PYO Tuesday to Sunday throughout the picking season.


  1. Whitehouse Farm


My backdrop for family shoots this year ,  Whitehouse Farm has been owned by the same family for generations. The tools that decorate the walls were once used to work the land, and although machines have long since replaced manpower, they still add a nice decorative touch to the farm’s café. The cake is epic , and they have lovely shops to browse as well as fruit pick!


The strawberry season is due to start in mid-June. You can also pick up fresh cut meat in the award winning butchers and stop for a tasty cake in the onsite café.


  1. Hillfield Nursery and Farm shop


Hillfield Nursery offers a huge range of PYO fruit. As a result, the fruit picking season at the farm is long, with PYO available from May until September. Among the delicious delights on offer you’ll find rhubarb, gooseberries, strawberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, raspberries, blackberries and over 200 types of apple among much more. There’s also a farm shop where you can pick up other local specialities.


  1. Fairgreen Farms


When asking around I found out about Fairgreen Farms & that they specialise in blueberries, so if this is your favourite summer fruit, you know where to go. The Fruit picking season begins in mid-July and should run until September. During this time the farm is open six days a week for PYO.


  1. The Tacons Farm Shop


The Tacons farm shop offers a fantastic choice of PYO fruit and veg. As well as classics like strawberries, you can also pick a range of other seasonal produce including onions and pumpkins. The farm is open daily for PYO throughout the season, giving you plenty of opportunities to get out and get active with the family. While you’re at the Tacons, visit the farm shop where you’ll find an excellent selection of other freshly picked fruit and veg from the surrounding fields as well as a choice of high quality local produce.

PYO Norfolk







For more ideas on things to do in Norfolk, take a look around my blogs.



children cuddling dog

Top 5 private pools to hire around Norwich, Norfolk

Top 5 private pools to hire around Norwich.


Sometimes going to a public pool with a young baby, or energetic toddler (or both!) doesn’t quite have the same appeal as booking a private pool. Being able to wrangle the children in and out of their swimming stuff on your own and then enjoying the pool all to yourselves does sound like the better option to us!

So, we have looked around and here are our top 5 private pools to hire around Norwich.


Rackheath Pool Norwich

This tropical pool is heated all year round, perfect for little ones which is why it features in our top 5 private pools to hire around Norwich. It comes with baby changing facilities and even travels cots. You can purchase Splash Happy Nappies from here as well.

You can book here.

Woodrising Pool Hire

Private and a very relaxed atmosphere makes this pool great for families which is why it is one of our top 5 private pools around Norwich. It is a great place to learn to swim and very family orientated. Lessons are also available. The pool is located just outside of Shipdham, Norfolk.

You can book here.

Pears Pools

Found 5 miles south east of Norwich, Pearls Pools has numerous facilities which is why we find it in our top 5 private pools to hire around Norwich. It has a wet room, baby changing facilities, pre-sim rooms, and even a lounge area. It has everything you could possibly need for a relaxed family swim.

You can book here.

Bacton Private Pool Hire

Next on our top 5 private pool to hire around Norwich is Bacton private pool. Pack the inflatables as this 33-degree heated pool is perfect for all members of the family, why not bring along Gran too! With a play area located on the side of the pool and a baby changing station it really is a family friendly as they come.


Anchorage Pool

The final entry on our top 5 private pools to hire around Norwich is located just outside of the city centre in Stoke Holy Cross. Maintained at a constant warm temperature it makes it suitable for babies the first time in the pool. Changing areas, showers, and even tennis and gym activities have something for every member of the family.


Do you know of any family-friendly private pools that you recommend? We would love to hear from you, so we can add them to our list!

Vicki Cockerill is a NICU/ CHD Mum of two boys, a freelance blogger and social media adviser, Co Founder of #KnackeredandNorwich social club and maternal mental health advocate.

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More blogs can be found here, and I also would love more guest bloggers baby/ family related, get in touch as I'd love to hear from you. If you love family time and wish to have your family captured, in a relaxed way, feel free to drop me a message via my contact form.