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Live webchat with Professor Robert Winston, all about baby and child development, Wednesday 19 December, 1pm

(139 Posts)
AlexMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 18-Dec-12 10:03:20

We're very happy that Professor Robert Winston will be joining us on Wednesday afternoon at 1pm for a live webchat!

Professor Winston is one of the founders of IVF and presenter of a number of BBC documentaries including 'Child of our time', Super Human and the award winning 'Human Body'. Professor Robert Winston will be talking to us about brain development and how you can help your baby in their first few years.

His latest venture is advising and presenting 'The Essential Baby Care Guide'. This set of four DVDs features leading experts research including that from the Royal College of Paediatrics, UNICEF UK, St Johns Ambulance, The National Literacy Trust, the Meningitis Research Foundation and the Child Accident Prevention Trust.

The complete guide costs just £35, whilst individual DVDs are £10 each (inc. P&P) . Mumsnetters are able to get a £10 discount on the Complete Guide by entering the code MUMSNET when purchasing online before 31st December 2012. See:

Join Robert on Wednesday at 1pm or, as always, please post your advanced questions on this thread.

OP’s posts: |
dippyegg Tue 18-Dec-12 10:59:50

Are some parenting styles better for your baby's brain development than others?

MrsJREwing Tue 18-Dec-12 12:55:52

Will there be more Child of our time programmes?

I still think of the religious girl who lost her Mum.

ReallyTired Tue 18-Dec-12 12:57:50

Is intelligence fixed by genetics or mallible. How much difference does parenting/ effort by the child actually make to academic achievement. Can you tell if a small child is gifted/ has learning difficulties accurately?

DeGlitterBug Tue 18-Dec-12 13:07:15

What is your view of controlled crying?

I can't make it tomorrow, so if my Q gets picked, then as a follow-up:

What developmental benefits (if any) do babies get from breastfeeding?

BedHog Tue 18-Dec-12 13:20:08

If you could pick three cheap or free activities to do with a young child which would be most beneficial to their brain development in a variety of ways, what would those three activities be? Why?

Thankyou! smile

LottieJenkins Tue 18-Dec-12 13:41:53

My son was born by ventouse delivery. He has special needs. Do you think the ventouse delivery could have caused this? Is there much evidence with regard to sn and ventouse...........??

MyLittleAprilSunshine Tue 18-Dec-12 14:14:07

Is there any correlation between being born prematurely and having less intelligence/slower brain development. I don't mean in relation to having special needs but just in general.

What are the best kind of activities you can do with a young child to help stimulate them mentally and why are these so benefical?

Thanks so much smile

MyLittleAprilSunshine Tue 18-Dec-12 14:15:27

Second was a follow up question by the way if question is chosen as most likely wont be around tomorrow, thought I'd clear that up. Thanks smile

LeBFG Tue 18-Dec-12 14:24:39

Parents (me included) worry so much about developmental milestones. Particularly the first year or two (I've seen posts with mums almost weeping in despair because their baby isn't smiling at 6 weeks). And particularly with the biggies: walking and talking.

How helpful really are milestones to parents? How much variation is there around the mean? Outside of children with real physical/cognitive problems, how important or useful is intervention when a child appears 'delayed'?

jetstar Tue 18-Dec-12 14:54:28

I also would like to know if there will be more Child of Our Time programmes, I'd love to know how they are doing now. smile

Hopskipandjump Tue 18-Dec-12 15:07:34

I would be very interested in Professor Winston's view on social skills development in children. My ds is an only child and has grown up in quite an adult world pre- going to school - I know that his social skills are behind his intellectual development. Generally, do social skills catch up once at school? Is there anything the professor would advise?

dietstartstmoz Tue 18-Dec-12 15:12:39

Hello Robert, I have always loved the programmes and articles you have done and my husband I particularly enjoyed 'Child of our Time'. We have a 5 year old son with a diagnosis of high functioning autism. He is in mainstream school and is making very good progress but obviously still has developmental delay and we fully expect him to always have issues. He has speech therapy activities daily at school and academically is coping well. Like many parents of a SN child we are always looking for 'answers' and also strategies for helping him with his brain development. Many things we have looked into are so expensive and our paediatrician is very dismissive of many 'interventions' e.g. different dietary programme etc. There is such little professional support and advice out there on SN, brain development and Autism.
I would be interested to know your opinions on the use of intervention programmes for brain development and learning skills past the age of 5 and where parents can start to find sources of support.
Also, do you have any plans to do any research in the area of SN in the future, with regards to development and brain development?

Twinklylightsandbells Tue 18-Dec-12 15:21:55

I would be interested in the Professor's view on "daydreaming" and "concentration" in small children and how these things are impacted by development

PolkadotCircus Tue 18-Dec-12 15:34:43

Hi don't want to ask any questions but just want to say thank you.

Thank you to you and all the other IVF professionals behind the scenes and face to face who help couples like dp and I to become parents.

I had a battered old copy of a paperback book you wrote re infertility.It was my bible. The kindly informative style of your writing (along with all the other professionals we met along the way) pretty much got dp and I through our 7 year IVF roller coaster.

Back in those days you were pretty much it re keeping infertility in the public eye.

I'm now a proud mum of 9 year old fet/icsi twin boys and an 8 year old natural miracle

Sorry to gatecrash!!!

BoffinMum Tue 18-Dec-12 15:35:43

Can you teach a child happiness? In other words, if you continually model what it means to be happy, and encourage them to laugh, will their brain wire itself in favour of an optimistic outlook to life as they grow up?

JeanBillie Tue 18-Dec-12 15:41:54

Wow, so interesting!

My daughter was born spontaneously at 36 weeks, at a healthy weight and with no complications. She was very slow to crawl (14.5 months) and at 17 months is yet to walk.

My instinct is that she is fine and just doing everything at her own pace. Do you think the vital 4-6 weeks she didn't have in the womb had an impact? And if so, at what stage might she "catch up" with her peers?

Thanks so much.grin

Loftyjen Tue 18-Dec-12 15:52:49

Am big Lord Winston fan so hoping I catch this tomorrow (toddler pending!).

Would also like to know what's happening with regard to "Child of our time" and any updates on the children. I felt it made child developmental so accessible and showed that there was a wide scope of "normal".

As a paediatric nurse about to join a health visiting team, I'd like to know if Lord Winston has any ideas of how HV's (and their wider team) can help families further regarding their child's development or if he has seen any good examples that he'd like to see further replicated around the country.

Thank you in advance smile

worldgonecrazy Tue 18-Dec-12 16:42:08

Do you think that children who are advanced in one area will be behind in others? I'm just asking because my 2 years and 11 months daughter will not potty train and we have tried everything from bribery to brute force gentle encouragement, yet she is months/years ahead on everything else.

I didn't know about the IVF thing until I read polkadot's post - my daughter is also IVF so thank you from me and my family.

Reenypip Tue 18-Dec-12 17:19:14

Your Such an intelligent and inspiring person! i enjoy all the programmes and books you have made. I came to a lecture by you 8 years ago or so in Cardiff.

Question: Do you think learning a second language from a young age is beneficial and aids them in their longer term development? I'm thinking of sending my son to a welsh speaking school.

Also, do you think learning a musical instrument from a young age, helps them develop further in the long term?

LottieJenkins Tue 18-Dec-12 18:57:59

Not another question but just to say that i think Winstons Wish is great. My son found his father dead in bed two days before his fifth birthday and WW have supported us a great deal. I gave half the donations from my 40th birthday to WW in lieu of presents!

Ummofumbridge Tue 18-Dec-12 19:06:50

Prof Winston you are an inspiration. Sorry if this is slightly off-topic but I can't miss this opportunity! As a soon to graduate biomedical scientist, I'd love to go into the field of clinical embryology but places are severely limited. What advice would you give me and what do you believe the next advances in fertility treatments will be?

nellyjelly Tue 18-Dec-12 19:41:38

What is your view about the research into young children and day care? Am thinking about Oliver James for example, who as a psychologist is very keen to sell us the view that young children should be cared for at home preferably by their mothers.

I have read some of research but wondered on your view regarding children being cared for in nurseries etc from a young age. How significant is the developmental impact?

Goodkingwalkingslass Tue 18-Dec-12 19:46:18

Hello Lord Winston!

Do you think that the current guidelines to wean babies after 6 months are correct? And do you think baby led weaning and giving finger foods impacts development and eating habits later on in life?

Thanks in advance

FobblyWoof Tue 18-Dec-12 20:18:15

Is there any evidence to suggest having babies close together can have a negative effect on their brain development. And if so, does it at least help with social development?

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