THE BLOG
06/02/2015 07:05 GMT | Updated 07/04/2015 06:59 BST

Milestones and Neurotic Mums

Any mum who tells you she's not secretly freaking out that their child's not yet walking, or speaking as fluently as the next kid is basically telling a porky.

Milestones are there as a guideline as to what your child should be doing, but can be a bit misleading too as we are told 'every child is individual' and 'they'll get there in their own time' still we can't help but panic and wonder about the 'unknown' or 'what if'.

Is it the fault of technology, cool new apps on the smart phone that our toddlers would rather explore, than peruse the pages of a paperback book to get their language fix?

In our household we are trying to get back to basics and introduce more reading in the evenings. That means no to Breaking Bad and zombie flicks... for the minute.

It is so easy afterall to plonk the kiddies in front of the computer or TV while you're busy cooking dinner and answering emails, checking Facebook and social media that can be so addictive.

But spending one on one 'mummy time' or parent or even sibling time is so crucial to your little one's development even if it's just 20minutes a day.

Reading is so old school but fantastic for getting the imagination going.

You can have fun with different voices, accents and characters - as sometimes it is a challenge to gage their attention so making it fun is the key, creating a little theatre show with their toys, and using puppets often works a treat.

Many parents are guilty of being too tired to read their children a bedtime story.

I'm loving award winning author Miriam Moss right now whose written a book with busy mums in mind, Alfie's Story, which is about Alfie and his mum who are trying to get home from school in time for Alfie to read his new book at bedtime but the pair keep coming up against obstacles along the way.

Miriam teamed up with tomtom go 5000 to launch her new book this week to encourage parents to get home faster for quality time with their kids.

Their new stats has revealed that a third of parents never read their child a bedtime story, mainly due to external pressures such as having to work late (29%) or the daily commute (26%).

But parents do see how beneficial the bedtime story is, with the majority (65%) believing that reading to their child is important for their progression, and the parents feel less stressed too.

Child Psychologist Dr. Richard Woolfson said the secret is all about the planning.

'A bedtime story can be so rewarding for young children. It relaxes them before sleep, boosts their development, stimulates their interest in reading and enhances the parent-child bond.'

He added: 'The average bedtime story takes just 16 minutes, so with a little bit of planning it can easily become part of your child's end-of-day pre-sleep routine. Once parents start reading bedtime stories regularly, they are often surprised how much they enjoy it!"

You can make things fun by creating a reading corner- or even better huddling under a tepee. Even expectant dad Prince William has got in on the action and is supporting Mothercare's new Tusk range to educate children in the importance of protecting wildlife and endangered species - they've got tepees, books, and a wide selection of enchanting things to encourage reading, while at the same time promoting education in impoverished communities.

It's not all about staying indoors to read though - you can jazz things up a bit, even in this cold weather, by attending after school reading classes at your local library and soft play centres, checkout their websites and especially Facebook pages. I'm gearing up for the arts and crafts Valentine's event at Gambados Beckenham, to help the little one make his first V-Day card. They get professional authors in to read their favourite stories, do crafts and the kids get to take the book home with them. Equally exciting are their Frozen Fridays - a salute to the hit family film.

Uh-oh, I feel a sing-along coming on!