Parenting Q&As

We've had various parenting experts come on Mumsnet to chat about the best way to raise children and teenagers - and to pick your brains sometimes, too.


Steph CooperSteph Cooper, editor of CBeebies Magazine

"Play is vital as a way for young children to learn, and having fun with different textures is so enjoyable. We've recently brought back Tiny Tasks in the CBeebies Magazine, which are extra-quick and easy ideas on the page for parents to do with their children at home." Steph Cooper, March 2014

Steph Cooper, a former deputy head teacher and now editor of CBeebies Magazine, gave suggestions on fun ways to help kids learn and how to keep their minds active when they don't have school. She also provided some great CBeebies activity sheets to print out and use. 


Jo TantumJo Tantum, baby sleep expert

"Babies don't just automatically sleep through the night, they need to learn how. The good news is that with your help you can absolutely get him sleeping better. It is always better to start sleep training in the daytime at naps, this is when they learn." Jo Tantum, February 2014

Jo Tantum, a baby sleep expert on the Pampers Love, Sleep and Play expert panel with 25 years' experience, answered your questions on co-sleeping, sleeping through the night and daytime naps. 


Lucy ThomasLucy Thomas, feeding expert

"There is a window of opportunity between six to nine months where babies are most receptive to new flavours and during this time it's best to help them sample as many as possible and not keep their food bland for too long as this can provoke shocked responses and rejection later on." Lucy Thomas, January 2014

Lucy Thomas answered your questions on weaning, unusual eating habits and how to encourage your children to explore different foods.


Dr Frankie PhillipsDr Frankie Phillips, child nutritionist 

"Getting children involved in making their own food is a really helpful way of encouraging good eating habits and it's teaching them a life skill too. It's something that is seeing a bit of a comeback now as we realise how important it is to teach children about food and cooking." Dr Frankie Phillips, July 2013

Registered dietitian and leading child nutritionist, Dr Phillips, answered your questions on dealing with fussy eaters, balanced diets and toddler friendly snacks.


Lucy Brett from the BBFCLucy Brett, British Board of Film Classification

"The research showed that a quarter of 11-15-year-olds admit to accessing films via illegal pirate websites. As these sites rarely carry any age ratings or guidance, the worry with this behaviour is that kids can be unintentionally accessing films that are meant for much older audiences." Lucy Brett, September 2013

Lucy Brett, from the BBFC, answered your questions about keeping children safe when they're accessing films online.

Gemma Gordon-Johnson, First4Adoption

"Social workers will help adopters to consider their parenting capabilities and adopters will be given as much information as possible about the child and their needs so they can make an informed decision about making them a part of their family." Gemma Gordon-Johnson, May 2013

Gemma Gordon-Johnson, head of service at First4Adoption, answered your adoption-related questions.


Charlotte-AynsleyCharlotte Aynsley, TalkTalk

"Parental controls do serve a very important purpose, but they are not a panacea. They are helpful in providing parents with opportunities for conversation, protection and a way of supporting their children to navigate the online world." Charlotte Aynsley, October 2012

Charlotte Aynsley, an expert in the field of internet safety. Charlotte has worked with the governments and schools on keeping children safe online. 


Priscilla SimPriscilla Sim, Relate

"Ask for tolerance and patience, and the specific help you need, rather than expecting your partner to know, or criticising them for not knowing." Priscilla Sim, October 2012

Priscilla is a Relate counsellor and its resident blogger. She has a background in writing and work with children and young people. She began her training as a counsellor with ChildLine and then went on to train and work with Relate.  


Mike BradyMike Brady, Baby Milk Action

"The one message I would like to send out to mums and dads of the future to understand is that any period of breastfeeding will help a child's development." Mike Brady, December 2010

Mike Brady is networking coordinator at Baby Milk Action, a non-profit organisation which aims to save lives and to end the avoidable suffering caused by inappropriate infant feeding. You quizzed him on breastfeeding, formula and Nestlé. 


Desmond Morris, author, zoologist and "people watcher"

"A child that is loved and knows that it is loved begins to develop an unconscious feeling that it must be lovable. It is this sensation of feeling worthy of love that gives them self-confidence." Desmond Morris, November 2010

Are boys inherently rougher than girls? Why do toddlers stand so close to the TV screen? And why do so many people seem to have a 'thing' about spiders? Professional peoplewatcher Desmond Morris answered your sociological queries and offered his  parenting advice. 


Charlie Taylor, behavioural expert

"The teenage brain goes through a big growth spurt and this involves a rewiring of the nerve connections. Result: all this electrical activity is a cause of typical teenage moodiness." Charlie Taylor, September 2010

Monosyllabic teenagers? Endless arguments? Untidy and uncooperative? Charlie, who has been a behavioural specialist for more than 10 years, gave Mumsnetters coping strategies.

Cathy GlassCathy Glass, foster carer and author

"I change unacceptable behaviour through the '3Rs' technique, using sanctions and rewards. Instead of the naughty step, I use time out - for the child or parent. " Cathy Glass, February 2010

Cathy Glass, who writes under a pseudonym, has been a foster carer for more than 20 years, and has authored several books including the No 1 bestseller Damaged. She answered your questions on foster caring and parenting. 



Last updated: 9 months ago