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My day at Mini and me - Meadowhall

Wow, what a day it's been for me - meeting so many babies, toddlers, mums, dads, grandparents......and even the taxi driver wanted to know how to get his 18 month to sleep better!
I travelled to Sheffield from my London base yesterday and stayed overnight in a hotel alongside the canal. It was such a beautiful evening and I enjoyed an evening stroll by the water, watching and soaking up all the sounds, sights and views of Sheffield, which I think as a city, has so much to offer. Everyone is so friendly and my time spent here has been a really lovely experience and one that I will remember with fond memories.
Starting my day with a call into Heart FM Leeds to help Emma with her 2 year old who is resisting sleep, seemed to set the shape of things to come......
Arriving at Meadowhall this morning I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was soon greeted and warmly welcomed by Caroline Jansakar and shown the area where they hold the Mini and Me club every month.
I have to applaud their innovation in creating the club which not only provides a monthly meeting, the opportunity to meet others parents in a safe and non-judgemental environment, but also for them to benefit from the advice given by a monthly, chosen guest speaker.
Today....it was 'Moi' - Alison Scott-Wright, aka The Magic Sleep Fairy and author of The Sensational Baby Sleep Plan.
I came to give a talk on baby sleep - or the lack of it - and to explain how it is possible to teach your baby the art of independent sleep no matter what their age and relatively quickly get them sleeping a full 12 hours, straight though the night!
So I was introduced by Olly, who incidentally has a 3 month old too and was looking for some tips.......so the talk kicked off.
There are four main ages I try and cover in a 'sleep talk' - newborn to four months, four to 12 months, 12 to 24 moths and then 24 months plus. It's always tricky to tailor a talk to exactly match the audience as there is often a wide age-range of babies and children to cover, so after a small introductory talk Olly took the microphone and went onto the floor to ask the parents!
Where possible, I prefer to make talks more interactive and answer individual questions as I feel this can give more practical advice based on the reality of people's individual situations.
Sadly, after much speaking a do many questions - the time passed so quickly and it was time to close the session, however I waited around afterwards to chat to a few of the parents in person and give further help.
Then it was off to Waterstones for a book signing and many of the mums followed me there to come and buy a signed copy of my book and to get some further tips!
One hour later and I was being interviewed by BBC Radio Sheffield within the Meadowhall centre and talked further about the negative effects of sleep deprivation and how to get your baby to sleep through the night.

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