Missed our Wednesday Lunch Club with Modern Family Expert Liz Fraser? Don’t panic – you can catch up on all of the brilliant advice she shared here
Every week at Mother&Baby bring you the Wednesday Lunch Club – a chance to get brilliant advice for your parenting questions from a top expert.
This week, parenting guru Liz Fraser was on standby to answer your questions about childcare.
Liz Fraser is one of the UK’s best-known parenting writers and broadcasters, appearing almost daily on national TV and radio, from ITV1's This Morning and Daybreak to Sky News, BBC Breakfast, LBC radio, BBC 5Live, Channel 5 News and many others. Liz has a degree in Experimental Psychology from Cambridge University, is a key panel member of the think-tank The Centre for the Modern Family, and is now acting as Modern Family Expert for Care.com.
Catch up on all of the highlights from her live chat below…
Q: Why does my child behave differently with me to how he behaves at nursery?
A: I hear you! Alas, this is very common, and just their way of being a bit defiant, and letting you know that they want some attention. At home they are so familiar with you they know they can push you to (and over...) the limit, because you won't ever go away or leave them. At nursery there is the peer pressure of behaving well, and not being rude or cheeky. It's quite normal, and it will eventually stop if you don't give in to it. Try not to make an issue of it; as SOON as children know they've got to you they will do it more and more and more! They are SO cunning...
Q: I'm worried my son doesn't eat enough food at nursery as he can be a very picky eater. What should I do?
A: Please try not to worry! Almost all children eat when they are hungry enough, and if he's not eating a lot at nursery then he's bound to make up for it at home. Keep really good, open communication with his carers in the nursery and ask them every day what he's had to eat, and tell them your concerns. They should be able to tell you exactly what he eats during every day. Many children don't eat all that much at nursery because of all the noise and distraction, or because they don't like the food all that much...and then eat extra when they get home! It all balances out in the end.
Q: How should I go about finding a childminder? I would like someone I can trust whilst I work part time. And can I ask for a trial period?
A: Recommendation by friends is number one, for me, as you will probably trust their judgement, and get lots of insider info and stories about their experiences. It also means you might be able to share a childminder with them, and your children will probably like that, if they know each other. Also checking out reliable, good agencies and companies locally, such as nanny finding agencies, care.com and so on is a good idea, as they will be able to recommend checked, experienced and trusted childminders.
Q: I want to enrol my baby in nursery for a few days a week and currently looking round different places. Are there any particular things I should be looking out for?
A: The main thing is to GO THERE, have a really good look around, and go several times, and different times of the day; morning, lunchtime, afternoon play, and the end of the day. Then you can see how the children are, the staff, the daytime activities and so on.
And don't be afraid to ask lots of questions! E.g. what do they eat? Are there dietary options? Do they have a daily nap? What happens if a baby is upset? How frequent is staff turnaround? (This is a BIG one - babies get quite unsettled if they bond with staff who leave. If staff have been there for years, that's a really positive sign). If you get a good gut feeling, you're probably in the right place.