Would you consider a football inspired baby name?

Baby names are always such an emotive topic and one of the UK’s most unpopular baby names could be about to make a comeback – thanks to England’s World Cup success. ‘Gareth’ was ranked 117 in the popularity charts in 1996 – the year England reached the semi-finals of the European Championships.

Young expectant mother with letter blocks spelling name on her pregnant belly

But following Gareth Southgate’s infamous penalty blunder which saw them miss out on a place in the final, it had plunged to 1,903 by 2016, with just a handful of tots given the name each year.

However, the England manager’s success so far has seen a sharp revival in interest in the name, with almost two thirds (65 per cent) of parents believing it will make a comeback thanks to the World Cup.

Fittingly, the Welsh name means ‘gentle’ and was first made popular by a legendary ‘brave and modest’ knight in King Arthur’s court. Gareth definitely seems to have a more relationship and gentle approach to his management so maybe this is true.

The study, by ChannelMum.com, found around one in 14 children currently have a football-inspired name – but 84 per cent of parents think more babies will now be given a moniker based on the Three Lions players.

More than one in 10 of the parents polled who are currently expecting even admitted they are now considering a footie name for their baby. How about you?

Picture showing pregnant woman with question marks on belly

Picture showing pregnant woman with question marks on belly

How much sleep do new parents get in the first year of their baby’s life

One thing that is joked about when you are pregnant is trying to sleep while you can but how much sleep do new parents really get in the first year of a baby’s life?

Pregnant woman lying in bed sleeping

Amazingly, new parents will steal just four hours and 44 minutes of sleep in an average night during the first year of their baby’s life, it has emerged. That means in their tot’s first 12 months, exhausted mums and dads will sleep 59 per cent less than the recommended eight hours a night, losing the equivalent of 50 nights of kip. It also emerged a typical parent spends 54 minutes per day trying to get their baby to sleep, adding up to almost 14 days in their first year.


More than two thirds of British parents believe they have got into arguments with their partner purely as a result of their baby’s poor sleep habits. Steve Reid, CEO and Co-Founder for sleep technology brand Simba, which commissioned the study, said: “As a new parent myself, the fallout from sleeplessness as a parent can be overwhelming and can push you to the limits, which is why we’ve been meticulous in crafting the new Simba Hybrid® Cot Mattress. “Sleep nourishment, plays a vital role in the recuperation, growth, immune system, brain development and learning of a child and having put the cot mattress through rigorous independent testing, the results speak for themselves. “Nine out of 10 babies fall asleep faster on a Simba, with three out of four sleeping longer too – gifting parents with a much-needed additional hour of sleep every night. “When your baby sleeps well, you sleep better and that sets everyone up for the day. “Investing in the right mattress is just as important for babies as it is for adults.” Sixty-four per cent look back on their first year as parents and are ‘amazed’ they were able to function through it all as well as they did. In those early months, one third of new parents believe warm milk is the best remedy for settling a restless baby. Thirty two per cent found their little one slept best when they were rocked to sleep in their arms, and one in five got their baby a comfort blanket to keep them cosy while they snoozed.

close-up portrait of a beautiful sleeping baby on white


1. Warm milk

2. Sticking to routines

3. Gentle rocking motion

4. Dummy/Pacifier

5. Give them a warm bath

6. Comfort blanket

7. Reading

8. Gentle bouncing

9. Singing

10. Give them a favourite toy

11. Play with my baby as much as possible during the day to tire them out

12. Calming music

13. Ambient noise – e.g. hairdryers, washing machines, turning on the hoover

14. Driving them around

15. Baby massage

16. Children’s TV

17. Putting them in hiking pack or pram and walking for miles

18. Reducing eye contact before bed

19. Putting them outside in the fresh air

20. Scenting a tissue/fabric with fragrance near the bed

5 reasons why it is great to be pregnant in the cold weather

We’re into March. You’d be forgiven for thinking that spring would be well on the way. Yet, The Beast from the East has hit the UK causing minus temperatures and a whole manor of day-to-day disruptions.

When you’re all stuck inside, a few months gone, living off the remnants of your freezer, tinned goods, and half a loaf of bread, watching your milk seemingly evaporate into the snowy abyss, the cold weather situation can be quite stressful.

That said, while the snowstorm of 2018 has been likened to our coldest winter of 1963, generally speaking, cold weather in Britain is typically tame and mostly tolerable. Cold weather can, in fact, be as much of a blessing as a bind during pregnancy. Flipping the thermometer, is there really anything worse than carrying baby in sweltering summer heats with swollen ankles?

If you’re pregnant this winter, look beyond the hindrance of our recent snow days, and celebrate the little conveniences cold weather can bring. Here’s our five reasons why it’s great to be pregnant in the cold weather.

  1. Hibernation

While snow days can cause mayhem inside the home, during pregnancy they do encourage you to take much-needed time out, away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Relax. Treat your pregnant self! Put your feet up, get a cup of cocoa, and indulge in a paperback.

  1. Relieve those swollen ankles

Sadly, many pregnant ladies do suffer with swollen ankles. While it isn’t possible to banish the symptom, due to your body’s insistence on retaining water, at least the cooler weather is soothing rather than irritating. Another perk? Unlike the summer months, winter fashion means your ankles needn’t be on show if you don’t want them to be.

Pregnant woman lying in bed sleeping

  1. It is always nap time

Thanks to daylight saving time, and winter daylight hours, it’s always naptime in winter. When you and your bump are exhausted, you can guarantee bedtime is never too far away.

  1. Body temp bliss

Increased blood flow, increased metabolism… ergo increased body heat. When pregnant, we are less likely to feel the cold. But, not only that, winter is all about layers. Feeling cold? Layer up. Feeling flushed? Take a layer off. Winter just works with pregnancy body temps. Plus, with all the winter wear, disguised by big knits and fur-lined coats, you’re less likely to have your bump touched by strangers. Win-win.

  1. Food, glorious food!

Which mum-to-be really wants to be tucking into a salad every day during pregnancy? No, give us hearty dishes. Casseroles, homemade pies, chilli, roasted vegetables, oven-baked potatoes, soup. And lots of post-Christmas treats, of course. Comfort food is the way to go.

How to baby proof your garden

As soon as our children begin to sit independently, it’s not long before they’re crawling a little and causing mayhem wherever they go. Babyproofing or childproofing your home is a priority for new parents. Whether you live in a cosy two-bed apartment or a generously-sized country house, your baby is bound to take a tumble or a bump to the head, despite your best efforts.

That being said, most of us do forget to look beyond our four walls. If you have a yard or are blessed with a garden, it’s important to baby proof your outdoor space, too! Young children love to get stuck in and explore new environments, and nothing is as enticing as natural smells, textures, and colours.

infant baby girl in dress sitting green grass playing with grass by barn

7 steps for a child-proof garden

With spring well and truly on the way, her are seven simple tips to help you childproof your garden. You’ll want that space ready asap, after all you wouldn’t want to miss those two weeks of summer we’ll be treated to mid-May.

1. Commit to regular poo patrols

Whether you have dogs or cats (or even neighbours, to be honest), be sure to regularly check your garden for any animal poo.

2. Store away tools in the shed

As tempting as it may be to drop tools and head indoors for the day, when little ones are about, always store them safely and securely away in your shed. The same goes for BBQs.

3. Be wary of water

The water in children’s paddling pools should be changed every day to ensure they aren’t exposed to nasties in the water. If you have a pond, speak with your local garden centre or gardening service, and arrange for a cover to be fitted.

4. Look out for low walls

Low walls invite climbers, which, in turn, leads to tumbles, falls, and tears. Consider building your wall higher or adapting the area to include fencing.

5. Swap slabs for grass

The spacing between paving, whether slabs or flags, are a typical trip hazard for little ones with little legs. The hard surface can also cause myriad injuries when tots take a tumble. Swap the slabs for artificial grass from Grass Direct and remove the danger and the need to mow it too!


6. Replace poisonous plants

Give your garden the once over for any poisonous plants. Some common culprits include daffodil bulbs, rhubarb leaves, and ivy berries. Scoot them out and replace with less hazardous alternatives.


7. Pad any sharp edges

From garden furniture to play equipment, check for sharp edges and pad them out to avoid eye injuries or other nasty bumps.

Would you add anything to the list?