With Princess Charlotte approaching her first birthday the world's media spotlight will be focused on how the palace decide to celebrate her birthday. No doubt Kate will have an army of party planners to help her create a stylish and stress free event but for the rest of us the idea of planning a first birthday party can be daunting.
In February I gave birth to my second child, a little girl. I'm grateful to my constituents for their patience, as I've had to reduce the pace of my work a bit as a result. Nine weeks on, last week I made my first trip back into the parliament for the Strasbourg 'plenary', when all the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) sit together for key votes.
So you may have heard of Post Natal Depression, but do you know the symptoms? One in seven women and 1 in 10 men suffer from it but awareness of this illness tends to be after diagnosis rather than in the lead up to having a baby. So if you're trying for a baby, pregnant or a new parent here are the key symptoms to look out for in yourself and your partner.
New parents are inundated with unsolicited parenting advice and no topic is more eagerly discussed than sleep. After countless sleepless nights, the exhausted state many find themselves in can make it harder to separate fact from fiction. So here, for the benefit of tired parents everywhere, is a list of baby sleep advice you can safely ignore.
Many people told me their horror stories of birth. Many people rolled their eyes or laughed at me when I said I wanted a homebirth for my first baby. Many people told me I was being naieve or foolish. And many people close to me thought I wouldn't be able to do it: that I wouldn't stay at home the whole time, not for my first baby, or that I wouldn't cope without strong pain relief.
When our babies are first born, choosing a comforter is not the first thing we worry about and it can be after baby has chosen something entirely unsuitable to fall in love with (like a cuddly toy with wobbly eyes all set to fall off or a unique toy found at a car boot sale or even like one of my friends little boys, blue tack!) that we realise we should have encouraged a safe, replaceable and machine washable toy.
We made the heartbreaking decision to withdraw her life support. It was the kind thing to do. She had fought such a brave fight but now her little heart couldn't cope. Our little girl died because her heart was too big. At least we were able to have one cuddle without wires and machines as she died. She died in the arms of parents who loved her so much. I hope she felt that love.
In a nutshell, a wakeful window is the average amount of time your little one can stay awake in any one stretch. Knowing your child's optimum sleep window can make a huge difference to how easily they settle to sleep and how long they stay asleep- think of it as your bedtime window of opportunity, paving the way for a much smoother bedtime or nap time routine!