Ireland’s First Ever Parenting Expo taking place in Dublin this Year

The Parenting Expo Dublin

If you’re a parent of kids aged 4 – 18 years, you’ll want to be at Ireland’s first and only “Parenting Expo”! We all know parents are under increasing pressure in today’s busy and fast paced lives, but where do you go to get the answers to the questions you want to ask.

Unfortunately, teenagers don’t come with a manual, so as parents – especially with your eldest child you can find yourself constantly questioning the decisions you have to make..and there are plenty of them!

From how to get kids to eat healthily, to the right amount of exercise, how much social media can you allow and how do you control it, how do you pick the right schools, aftercare, second level, third level, how much discipline without putting kids under pressure, being mindful of their mental health, how to get the balance with quality family time…..the list goes on and on.

We certainly seem to have a good range of support products and services for pregnancy and baby years, but then the little ones head off to school the support seems to drop dramatically.

“The Parenting Expo” is about providing information and support to parents of children aged 4 – 18 years across all different sectors.  Some of the country’s top experts will be speaking about Nutrition, Coping Skills, Social Media and a range of other topics, in addition to a parents’ panel discussion.  A large exhibition area will feature suppliers of everything from kids’ entertainers to single parent support to healthy eating, mindfulness, schools, aftercare and much more.

This one really is all about the parents!  The Expo will take place on Friday 29th September when all the little (and big) treasures are at school so the parents can drop off, come to the Expo for some real support, information and a well-earned break and pop back to collect them at 4pm.

Even if you don’t want to attend one of the talks, parents can wander about the exhibitors area, have a coffee…and probably pick up some of the most valuable information of all…by talking to other parents!

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs has announced €4m is being provided to improve childcare services

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr. Katherine Zappone, has announced that €4m is being provided to improve childcare services.

Minister Zappone says the funding will help put the infrastructure in place to support ambitious plans to turn Ireland’s childcare system from one of the most expensive in the world to the best.
The 2017 Early Years Capital Funding programme is to be made available to childcare centres, crèches and other early year services under three strands:

· Strand 1: Additional childcare places (€3 million)
· Strand 2: Building improvements and maintenance (€500,000)
· Strand 3: Natural outdoor play areas (€500,000)

Minister Zappone said;
“As Minister I am determined that we will deliver quality, affordable, accessible childcare.
Our goals are ambitious. We must lift the cost barrier which is preventing too many families from accessing services.
Today (Monday 20th March 2017) we take another step to putting the infrastructure in place to support our plans by providing €4m in capital funding – which will build on similar funding provided last year.
I encourage providers to use this scheme to increase both the quantity and quality of childcare places.
This funding is in addition to €3m we announced earlier this month to improve childcare services for children of school-going age.

As this money is being made available I am also progressing the legislation which will underpin the radical new approach to subsidising childcare outlined as part of Budget 2017.
In the coming months we will continue progressing our plans with a view to ensuring that families will start benefiting in the Autumn.”


Over 1,000 services received capital funding under the 2016 capital scheme enabling all qualifying applications to be fully funded. All of this funding has been fully utilised and as a result a significant number of new childcare places have become available to children entering the ECCE (free pre-school) programme from January 2017. The 2017 Capital programme will build on the success of last years programme and increase both the quantity and the quality of childcare places.”

Strand 1 will accommodate applications from childcare providers who wish to create additional childcare places for children in the 0-5 age range. The maximum grant available under this strand is €50,000 and is intended to allow for the full cost of a minor expansion project or the purchase of a temporary structure.

Strand 2 will provide grants of up to a maximum of €20,000 for building improvements and maintenance and is exclusively for community (not for profit) early years services. These grants are being provided to ensure that community services continue to be fit for purpose and are energy efficient. Grants under this strand will be provided for essential repairs to the existing building and facilities, replacement of the building’s fixtures and fittings, works highlighted as a direct result of an inspection by TUSLA or other competent authorities, and for works to remove internal divides or rearrange internal spaces to improve efficiency.

Strand 3 provides funding for natural outdoor play areas, to create opportunities for children to play outdoors, in a way which promotes physical development, provides health benefits and facilitates children to learn about risk and challenges in a natural and safe environment. This initiative is targeted at smaller services that have not previously availed of such funding. Under early years regulations, services are required to provide outdoor space for children, and this measure seeks to improve the quality of these. Services can apply for grants of up to a maximum of €5,000.
Pobal will be responsible for administering the programme on behalf of the Department. Further details and information on how to make an application for funding will be available shortly on the Pobal website –

New mums found to be lacking confidence when it comes to caring for a sick baby

Survey reveals new Mums are unsure of what to do when their baby is sick


  • 27% of first time Mums lack an understanding of what they should do when their baby is unwell; almost one third struggle to understand what their baby’s cry means
  • Almost half of new Mums do not know what temperature a fever begins
  • Nurofen for Children has teamed up with Lucy Kennedy to launch its second annual #FeverFighter campaign to inform and empower new Mums


Research by Nurofen for Children has found that 27% of new Mums lack an understanding of what to do when their baby is unwell and often rely on friends and family for advice. Furthermore, a third (30%) of new mums lack confidence when it comes to understanding what their baby’s cry means. Whether its hunger, tiredness or pain, first time mums find it difficult to identify what is causing the cry. When seeking advice on caring for an ill baby, almost a third of respondents (28%) go to their own mother, while 18% look for recommendations from either their GP or online sources and 12% seek the advice of a pharmacist. Mother-in-laws are a less popular source of advice, however, with just 1% of first time mums turning to them for advice!


The survey, commissioned by Nurofen for Children, the pain and fever relief brand, was carried out among 400 first time mothers and informed its #FeverFighters campaign. The research also revealed that almost half of the new mums surveyed (49%) do not know what temperature constitutes a fever (dr. Sinead Beirne suggests above 37.8°C), a quarter thought it was lower and 24% said it was above that figure.

When asked what the most challenging things were about becoming a new Mum, over a third of respondents said lack of sleep (39%) was the most challenging, an issue that is exacerbated when caring for a child that is suffering from a fever. It can be common for baby’s sleep pattern to be irregular while ill, which means mums sleep is also affected. Other challenges new mothers encounter is finding time for themselves (16%) and juggling finances (10%).

In response to the survey’s findings, Nurofen for Children launches the #FeverFighters campaign with TV presenter, Lucy Kennedy as ambassador, who welcomed her third child in to the world just before Christmas and GP Dr. Sinead Beirne. The #FeverFighters campaign has been created to help parents, and in particular first time parents, understand the facts and dispel the myths surrounding fever and effective fever management. This is the second year that Nurofen for Children has rolled out this campaign as the brand is very committed to equipping mums with information and support to help create peace of mind and confidence when treating their child at home.


Lucy Kennedy comments: “As a mum of three, including a brand new baby, I totally understand how stressful and worrying it is when your baby gets sick. I think it’s hardest for first time Mums in particular. I remember it well, feeling very vulnerable and constantly questioning whether I was doing the right thing. The #FeverFighter campaign aims to equip Mums with the information they need on how to effectively manage a fever at home. By taking a step-by-step approach, Mums can not only reduce the symptoms of fever but enable their baby to enjoy their day or a good night’s sleep. Also I want to reassure fellow Mummies that they are not alone when it comes to their worries and insecurities, especially when a baby is sick, we all feel the exact same way. I really hope that they find the information from the campaign helpful and feel a little more confident when caring for their babies when they are ill – Mummies United!” 


Dr. Sinead Beirne’s Top Tips for Effective Fever Management

As part of the #FeverFighters campaign Dr. Sinead Beirne has devised her top tips for effective fever management:

    Your baby’s normal temperature range is between 36°C – 36.8°C. A fever is seen as a temperature over 37.8°C on more than one consecutive reading.

Cool the baby down by stripping them to their vest and / or placing them in a bath of lukewarm water. This may actually help to reduce your child’s fever – make sure the water doesn’t get too cold.



You can medicate your baby effectively at home. Ibuprofen can be given to babies over 3 months or babies weighing over 5kgs. Paracetamol can be used from 2 months. Parents should always read the label of any medicine before giving it to their children.


Keep the baby well hydrated with fluids. If they have been vomiting you need to rehydrate slowly. A tip I tell parents is to give a teaspoon of fluid for every commercial break, if you’ve got the TV on. Ice pops can be helpful too as well as ice cream!


Try not to bundle your baby up in blankets or extra clothes at bed time, as you don’t want to increase the body temperature. I suggest using a baby sleep bag and just one layer of light clothing, like a vest, so no need for pyjamas too.


If your baby is under 3 months and has a definite temperature you should make arrangements to see a doctor. If baby is over 3 months and their temperature stays above 38.5°C despite treatment; or rises to 39°C-40°C and if a fever lasts longer than 2 days, you should make arrangements to see your doctor.

Remember, most temperatures can be managed safely at home. However, your child should see a doctor if they have a spreading rash, headache, poor colour, limping, stiff neck or a reaction to bright light.


Disclaimer Lucy Kennedy or Dr Sinead Beirne do not endorse any medication brands.

Ibuprofen or paracetamol based medications can be used to treat pain and fever. Nurofen for Children contains ibuprofen, which provides effective pain and fever relief for children from 3 months and weighing over 5kg. Nurofen for Children starts to work in 15 minutes to reduce fever and can last up to eight hours, helping baby and mum get relief during the day or night when baby is unwell. Paracetamol based medications can be used in infants 2 months and over.

€3m Euro to support School Age Childcare School Age Childcare Capital Scheme

€3m Euro to support School Age Childcare

€3m Euro to support School Age Childcare School Age Childcare Capital SchemeOn foot of commitments made in the Programme for a Partnership Government, and following a period of intensive collaboration and consultation, Ministers for Children & Youth Affairs and Education & Skills, Dr Katherine Zappone, T.D and Richard Bruton, T.D, are today publishing the Action Plan on School Age Childcare.

Under the plan, funding of €3m is being made available to support the provision of services aimed at school-going children.

An Inter-departmental Group, led by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, in close co-operation with the Department of Education and Skills was tasked by the two Ministers with setting out actions for both Departments that will lead to a quality system of affordable school age childcare with a range of choices for parents and their children for childcare out of school hours.

The Group engaged with key stakeholders including school principals, parents, children and early years services during the course of their work.

As part of a wider commitment to enhance the use of school facilities out of school hours, the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton met with education partners in a roundtable discussion held during the summer where relevant issues were discussed.

The Minister for Education and Skills is developing guidelines for the use of school buildings out of hours with a view to facilitating increased use of school buildings where feasible.

The voice of school age children was also sought by the Group and the results of a consultation exercise with children on their preferences for care and activities after school is included in this report.

The report concludes with specific actions that include the development of a clear quality framework for school age childcare, a tailored qualification for staff working in such services and other capacity building supports.  In summary, the Group found that:

·    National and international research and opinion converged regarding the need for certain fundamentals to be in place in order to deliver a range of high quality, affordable options for school age childcare that meet the needs of children and their parents.  These options must include both formal / centre-based school age care, and informal care by childminders.

·    Ireland needs to continue to invest in early years and school age care to catch up with its OECD counterparts in terms of quality and affordability.  This investment will help to deliver best outcomes for children and will encourage parents to enter or remain in the workforce if they wish to do so.

·    The quality of school age childcare is critical, and a robust system of quality assurance / regulation must be developed over time to assure the safety and wellbeing of children.  Such a system should include a comprehensive set of quality standards, and be accompanied by a compliance regime against these standards.

·    The quality and capacity of the school age childcare workforce is also critical, and efforts must be made to ensure that school age children are cared for by adults suitably qualified to meet their varied needs.  The preference of Irish working parents to date to opt for more informal care for their school age children through childminders must be acknowledged, and policy must reflect the need for quality and affordability measures to extend to this part of the sector also.

·    The voices of children and parents must be taken into account in designing and delivering school age childcare.  There is general agreement on the need to separate school activity from after-school activity, and for a focus on rest, relaxation and play/recreation.

Launching the Report and Action Plan, Minister Zappone said:

“While many parents actively choose to care for their children themselves, for many others the cost of childcare, concerns about its quality, or the limited availability of accessible options, prevents them from gaining employment, remaining in employment, or enrolling in education and training courses.  This Action Plan recognises that parents who cannot care for their children after the school day or during the school holidays need a variety of options to meet their childcare needs – options that are affordable, accessible and assure the wellbeing of their children.  I welcome the collaboration between my Department and the Department of Education and Skills in preparing this Report, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in Government to progress its recommendations.”

Minister Bruton echoed that sentiment, saying “this Report and associated actions demonstrate the value of strong collaboration across all areas of Government.  My Department and its agencies will lead on the development of a professional qualification for school age childcare workers in acknowledgement of the unique role they will play in providing a quality experience for children out of school hours.  The Action Plan contains a commitment that my Department will engage further with the relevant education stakeholders and school property owners to formulate guidelines for schools to facilitate the use of school buildings out-of-hours. I am strongly committed to working with school authorities and property owners to build on their important role as hubs for many activities within their communities including, where appropriate the provision of school age childcare.

School Age Childcare Capital Scheme

Minister Zappone also today announced €3m in capital funding to support increased capacity for the provision of school age childcare.  The new Capital Scheme will be open to both community/not-for-profit and private services and will comprise three separate strands, as follows:

Ø    Strand A: Establishment of new School Age Childcare services

A grant of up to €20,000 will be available for the establishment of new services

Ø    Strand B: Expansion of existing services

A grant of up to €10,000 will be available for the expansion of existing services.  The provision of additional places will be a criterion for this grant.

Ø    Strand C: Improvement of existing services

A grant of up to €5,000 will be available to improve the quality of the service provided in existing services.

The School Age Childcare Capital Scheme will be implemented on behalf of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs by Pobal.  The Scheme, which will be administered on-line, will be open for applications in early April.

Other developments in School Age Childcare

Working Group on the Development of School Age Childcare Quality Standards

The first Action in the Report’s Action Plan is the establishment of a Working Group to develop quality standards for school age childcare.  This Group, which will be established later this month, will be chaired by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, and will include representatives from the Department of Education and Skills, Tusla, childcare providers and school age childcare specialists.  The Working Group will be expected to develop quality standards for school age childcare by September 2017.

Action Plan for Education a significant first step but delivery is key – Ombudsman for Children

The Ombudsman for Children, Dr Niall Muldoon, has said that the Action Plan for Education, published, by the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, marks a significant step in making our education system accessible to all children.

“The publication of an Action Plan for Education, without a doubt, signifies a commitment and an intent on behalf of Government to reform the education sector. This is very much to be welcomed, but action will be the key word I will be focussing on in this plan.

“I am very pleased to see that a number of the recommendations, including a focus on early education and the introduction of measure to support wellbeing in schools made by the Ombudsman for Children’s Office, have been included in the final plan.

“I would urge Government to leave no stone unturned to ensure that wellbeing measures are well resourced. This new culture will enhance not only the mental health of the school community, but undoubtedly the academic achievements of the student body.

“The establishment of a new Inclusion Support Service for children with special educational needs is a positive development. It is important that this service supports children with disabilities to access education, and to transition from preschool to primary and beyond.

“The Ombudsman for Children’s Office in accordance with Article 2 of the UNCRC objects to a derogation permitting schools to admit students on the basis of religion. Plans to increase the number of non-denominational and multi-denominational schools, while welcome, does not address this issue.

“A Parent and Student Charter has been long called for by the Ombudsman for Children’s Office so I am delighted to see that its development has been included. I also look forward to discussions about the role of the Ombudsman for Children in developing local decision making and accountability to parents.

“Having dealt with thousands of complaints in relation to education over the years, the Ombudsman for Children’s Office is familiar with the barriers and obstacles that exist within the education sector. I commend the Minister for the focus on increasing access to education, however the necessary resources will be needed to fund this very ambitious plan.”

back to school lunch

Back to School, Do’s and Don’ts of Lunch Boxes

Make the back to school grind a little easier with healthy lunchbox advice, tips and ideas from Caroline O’Donovan, Nutritionist with the National Dairy Council.


Good nutrition is not only essential for your child’s growth and development but is also important in keeping them adequately fuelled for the long school day. Whether starting school for the first time, progressing from primary to secondary school or returning to a familiar routine; this transition is a busy time of year for kids, teens and parents alike. Back to school marks a fresh beginning and structure for the next 9 or 10 months of your family’s year, so take this time as an opportunity to encourage healthy lifestyle routines and habits from the get-go.

back to school lunch

Don’t forget that a school lunch is one of your child’s three meals a day, so it’s important to ensure they are getting nutritionally balanced lunches and snacks. Typically, a packed school lunch should contain all of the major food groups; consider:

  1. 1 portion of starchy carbohydrate (e.g. wholegrain breads, pittas and wraps, brown rice/pasta)
  2. 1 portion of meat or meat alternative (e.g. chicken, fish, egg, pulses)
  3. 1 portion of dairy (e.g. yogurt, cheese)
  4. 1(+) portion of vegetable (e.g. carrot sticks, peppers, sweetcorn, lettuce, onion)
  5. 1(+) portion of fruit (e.g. apple, orange, banana, pear, kiwi)
  6. A drink of water and/or milk


The Do’s and Don’ts


ü  Get the kids involved – learning about food and nutrition are important life skills and should be encouraged from an early age. Children are more likely to be interested in their lunches if they have helped to choose and prepare them. Don’t be afraid to let them experiment!

ü  Try new foods – trying new foods from an early age plays a huge role in a child’s willingness and acceptance of different foods. Children’s food preferences evolve as their palates mature, so continuously encouraging them to try new and different foods is a crucial step in their development of good eating habits.

ü  Shake things up – variety is key, not only does variation in the diet provide nutritional benefits, but reduces boredom and lack of interest in food. This is particularly important for children and teenagers, as they can be prone to becoming fussy eaters.

ü  Tailor lunches to the time of year – for example, a flask of soup with brown bread during the cold, winter months or pasta salad during spring and summer.

ü  Make it look appetising – it is worth spending that extra few minutes on presentation, especially for younger children. Aim for a variety of shapes, colours and textures in the lunchbox. The more pleasing a packed lunch looks; the more likely kids are to eat and enjoy it. It may be worth investing in colourful, easy-open Tupperware, lunchboxes and thermos flasks to liven up the school lunchtime.

ü  Be prepared and organised – preparation in advance will not only save you time, but will reduce the chances of opting for last minute ready-made lunches or convenience foods which can be high in sugar, fat and salt.



×       Don’t leave it to the last minute – lack of time may increase the chance of filling lunchboxes with unhealthy, convenience foods.

×       Don’t repeat the same lunches over and over – while it’s a good idea to establish a number of reliable lunches that work, try not to overdo it. Mixing it up will increase the variety of nutrients provided.

×       Don’t forget about portion size – this should be specifically tailored to your child/teens age, size and activity levels. Younger children will generally need smaller portions than older or more active children.

×       Don’t forget about hydration – research suggests dehydration can lead to reduced concentration and performance in children. Water and milk are two excellent tooth-friendly choices; try to avoid sugary drinks.

×       Don’t forget about breakfast – it’s no myth that ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’. Break the overnight fast and set the school goers up with a bowl of milky porridge or mixed berries with yogurt and granola. It can be a long wait until small break, so opt for a breakfast that will fill and fuel!


Did you know?

The Department of Health’s Healthy Eating Guidelines recommend 3 servings from the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group each day as part of a healthy, balanced diet. Between the ages of 9-18 years, 5 servings per day are recommended due to the increased calcium requirements at this life stage. Examples of one serving include a 200ml glass of milk, 125ml yogurt and 25g (matchbox size piece) cheddar cheese.

Calcium is recognised for its important role in normal bone growth and development; with childhood and the adolescent years particularly important for forming healthy bones. However, you may not realise that there is more to milk and dairy than calcium, with one glass of milk also providing us with protein, potassium, phosphorus, iodine, vitamin B2 and vitamin B12 – each playing a variety of important roles for our health.

Why not check if your child’s school is registered with the School Milk Scheme? This is a convenient and affordable way to help your child meet their recommended intake from the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group.

Lunchbox ideas

Sandwich fillers:
– Avocado, crunchy peppers and cheddar
– Tuna and sweetcorn, spinach leaves and mayonnaise
– Chicken, mixed salad and tomato relish
– Turkey, grated cheddar and tomato


Sandwich alternatives:
– Pesto pasta salad with chicken and peppers
– Mild spiced couscous with roasted veg and chickpeas
– Brown rice salad with sliced hardboiled egg, avocado and spring onion
– Homemade soup and brown bread


– Carrot and red pepper sticks with hummus
– Cubed cheddar cheese with grapes
– Fruit salad with yogurt and seeds
– Fresh fruit smoothie made with milk or yogurt


Alternative Sweet Treats:
– Homemade flapjacks
– Homemade banana bread
– Mixed unsalted nuts
– Mini box of raisins
– 2-3 dried apricots



The National Dairy Council has produced ‘Nutrition & You’ booklets for Children and Teenagers, which are endorsed by the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute (INDI). These booklets provide tailored information across a variety of topics such as: healthy eating; keeping active; body weight; lunchbox tips; bone and dental health. These are available download for free – enquiries to


The NDC has also developed educational initiatives to help primary school children and teenagers learn about healthy eating, keeping active and the nutritional importance of dairy foods – ask about the Moo Crew for primary schools (; and the HealthFest event for secondary schools (

Your baby benefits from what you eat – World Breastfeeding Week

“mums struggle to consume sufficient nutrients to ensure both they and their baby are properly nourished at this crucial time of life”

Breastfeeding mothers are being reminded of the importance of maintaining their mineral levels to ensure their babies get the best possible start in life.

World Breastfeeding Week is upon us and the World Health Organisation recommends that babies receive breast milk only for the first six months of their life. The WHO bases this on research which shows that adolescents and adults who were breastfed as babies are less likely to be obese or have type-II diabetes, and are more likely to perform well in intelligence tests.

The average nursing mother produces around 750ml of breast milk per day, and needs to consume more calories than normal in order to produce an adequate milk supply. Yet some mums struggle to consume sufficient nutrients to ensure both they and their baby are properly nourished at this crucial time of life because many foods now have reduced nutritional value due to modern intensive farming methods.

In particular, there are far fewer minerals and trace elements in food compared to just 30 years ago, and these are vital for the cells in your body to be able to make proper use of other key nutrients such as vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates and fats.

Cellnutrition Head of Science Roger Meacock explained: “Everyone knows that breast milk is best for babies, but maintaining healthy mineral levels does more than just make sure your breast milk contains all the nutrients your baby needs.”

It is estimated that as many as 80% of the population suffers from a mineral deficiency of some sort. Signs of a mineral deficiency can include: dehydration, food cravings, muscle cramps, fatigue, mood swings,depression, an inability to concentrate, anaemia, lowered immune function, dizziness, headaches, and gastrointestinal problems.

cellnutrition Quinton IsotonicCellnutrition Quinton gently replenishes the minerals and trace elements missing from your system. It is the world’s only 100% natural and bioavailable nutritional supplement to nourish your cells with 78 minerals and trace elements in the precise proportions they require to be strong and healthy.

Meacock adds: “There are other benefits for your baby because the health of your microbiome, the good bacteria in and on your body which supports your immune system and overall health, will be boosted too.

Mothers pass this on to their baby in the womb, during natural childbirth and afterwards during breastfeeding. So by maintaining your mineral levelsthrough and beyond pregnancy when you breastfeed you are building the best foundation for your baby’s health ready for the rest of their life.”

Breastfeeding mothers benefit from having fully nourished cells to help maintain energy levels, support immune system function and assist during times of stress, fatigue, and lowered concentration levels. Newborn babies benefit from having the very best start in life which goes beyond simple nutrition.

When the nutrients we need are hard to come by in our food, Cellnutrition Quinton provides a natural support for breastfeeding mothers. Beingcompletely organic, it is easily absorbed by the body so you can be confident both mother and baby have all the minerals they need to thrive.

Breastfeeding is such an important stage in a baby’s life that we would encourage any mothers who are concerned that they might be suffering from a mineral deficiency to contact Cellnutrition and find out how taking a complete mineral supplement which is 100% natural and bioavailable can support you and your baby’s health.”

Among the minerals found in Quinton are calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, chloride, and sulphur, while the trace elements include iron, manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, and selenium. Quinton is unique because it provides these nutrients in perfect balance with each other and your body – ensuring that your body has the minerals and trace elements it needs when it needs them.

New Dentinox Survey reveals pressure of parenthood

Parents are under more pressure than ever before and despite all the advice on offer, more than half admit they have been shocked to discover how demanding their new role as a first time parent can be.


 A new survey for Dentinox, the baby medicine experts, has revealed:

  • 62% of new mothers believe they are under more pressure than their parents encountered
  • 41% believe that worry is part of the job description
  • 11% of new mothers admits to feeling stressed and worried most of the time
  • 53% take a more realistic view and describe their parenting style as ‘not perfect, but pretty good’
  • 19% of new mums worry about their little one’s health and wellbeing on a daily basis
  • 22% say their child’s diet and nutrition is a source of daily stress
  • 36% said they have been stunned at the number of people who have given well-meaning but silly advice
  • The tips that mums are most likely to give to another new parent is ‘trust your instincts’ (36%) and ‘relax and enjoy your time with your baby’ (21%)
The new data also reveals some surprising insights into parental preferences and shows that many new parents are turning their back on tradition.
  • 33% of mothers now shun gender-specific toys, with most saying that young children should be allowed to play with toys of all kinds
  • Gender-neutral hues are the most popular, with 79% parents going for green, 66% opting for white and 52% showing a yen for yellow
  • 30% of new mothers are now happy to dress their little ones in black, although it is a more popular colour choice for boys than girls, 42% compared to 19%
  • Navy is also on-point with 50% of parents. 36% say they dress their daughters in dark blue and 64% of mothers’ nominated navy as one of their top choices for boys


One approach that remains unchanged for generations is the stocking of a family first aid kit or medicine cabinet. Mum of two, Dr Catherine Hood notes: “Every household has a first aid kit or medicine cabinet and when it comes to being a parent, keeping that kit or cabinet well stocked is vital. So make sure you have stocked up on those Dentinox medicine essentials which will help you and your little one through a year of firsts. Along with the first smiles, first solid foods and first steps there will be some other firsts such as colic, cradle cap and teething woes that are far from fun.”


The big surprises that come with small packages

The biggest surprise for new mothers was how tough it is to care for a little one, with just over half (51%) admitted the demands of parenting came as a shock. Other top tales of the unexpected are:

Strength of feelings for a little one: 42%

How many people give well-meaning, but silly advice: 36%

How many strangers feel entitled to offer advice: 35%

How well they coped with the delivery: 33%

How much babies can communicate at an early age: 32%

The pain of childbirth: 26%

The pain of post-birth contractions: 20%

How often nappies have to be changed: 16%

The sticky black poo babies have in first few days: 13%





Dentinox Medicine Dispenser: Designed by a doctor, the Dentinox Medicine Dispenser is the simple, soothing way to give a pre-measured dose of medicine to a baby aged three months and upwards. Your baby can passively suck the medicine through the orthodontic silicone teat or you can deliver the full content of the medicine chamber simply and quickly using the unique plunger.


Dentinox Infant Colic Drops: Containing Dill oil, Dentinox Infant Colic Drops are suitable from birth and come with a handy syringe for easy application. The drops can also be added to your baby’s bottle to help relieve their discomfort, providing effective relief for those trying, colic episodes. (Contains activated Dimeticone). Always read the label.


Dentinox Teething Gel: Suitable to use from birth, this soothing gel, which can be applied every 20 minutes if necessary, gets to work swiftly, providing effective pain relief. It’s sugar free and contains an antiseptic. (Contains Lidocaine Hydrochloride and Cetylpridinium Chloride). Always read the label.


Dentinox Cradle Cap Treatment Shampoo: Suitable to use from birth and mild enough to use as an everyday shampoo once the cradle cap has cleared up. Dentinox Cradle Cap Treatment Shampoo can help maintain a healthy scalp and hair. (Contains Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulpho-Succinate and Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulphate). Always read the label.


Dentinox Eye Wipes: Suitable to use from birth and containing a sterile saline solution, Dentinox Eye Wipes are designed to gently cleanse a baby’s eyelids and lashes, safely removing sticky residue and refreshing a little one’s eyes. Great to use when out and about too. Dentinox Eye Wipes are not a medicine.


For further information and advice visit

research from Nurofen for Children as part of their #FeverFighters campaign around fever and new parents. As part of this, Maia Dunphy, along with some of Ireland’s leading experts in the areas of nutrition, sleep and medication created educational videos providing tips for new parents.

When Does a Temperature become a Fever?

Survey reveals almost half of Munster mums fail to recognise when a temperature becomes a fever

  • One third of new mums in Munster feel they lack confidence in knowing what to do when a baby is unwell
  • 42% of Munster’s first time mums say lack of sleep is the most challenging part of having a new baby

research from Nurofen for Children as part of their #FeverFighters campaign around fever and new parents. As part of this, Maia Dunphy, along with some of Ireland’s leading experts in the areas of nutrition, sleep and medication created educational videos providing tips for new parents.

Although Fever accompanies most mild childhood illnesses new research by Nurofen for Children has revealed almost half (48%) of Munster mums fail to recognise when a temperature begins (37.8°C) with a quarter (25%) suggesting it was lower and 23% suggesting it was higher. Commissioned by the pain relief brand this research was carried out among 400 first time mothers as part of the #FeverFighters campaign.

#FeverFighters from Nurofen for Children has been designed to help parents, and in particular first time parents, understand the facts and dispel the myths on fever in order to give them peace of mind and confidence when treating their child at home.

The survey also asked what the biggest challenge was about becoming a parent for the first time and although expectant mothers are often warned about the lack of sleep once the baby arrives, 42% of Munster mums still said the lack of sleep was the most challenging thing about becoming a parent whilst a quarter of Munster mums said they wished someone had told them how much of a treat a good night’s sleep would be once the baby arrives.

According to the Nurofen for Children survey, a third (30%) of Munster mums surveyed feel they lack confidence in knowing what to do when a baby is unwell and despite the introduction of free GP visits for children under six years old, just 25% of Munster Mums surveyed said they were more likely to visit the GP since this service was introduced. A significant three quarters of Munster mums said this would not change the frequency with which they attend the GP.

To support the launch, Nurofen for Children is also launching a new app which aims to help mums and dads manage the day to day aspects of being a new parent. Key features include a routine feeding planner, medical diary with a vaccination calendar and a late night pharmacy locator. Nurofen for Children has also teamed up with broadcaster and new mum, Maia Dunphy along with some of Ireland’s leading experts in the areas of nutrition, sleep and medication. These experts feature in educational videos providing useful tips for new parents. These videos can be viewed below and on YouTube and will also be hosted on the Nurofen for Children app, which will be available later in the month.

A mother’s Love

It’s a case of ‘Mother knows best’ for Munster with 22% of Munster based respondents seeking advice from their own mother when caring for an ill baby. Interestingly, the same number (22%) of Munster mums said they would look for recommendations from their GP whilst 18 % of Munster based respondents said they would seek advice from online sources. All of the above were interestingly in preference to advice from their pharmacist, with only 13% of Munster based recipients suggesting their pharmacist would be their port of call. Mother in laws are not such a popular source of advice for Munster mums however, with just 1% those surveyed claiming to seek advice from their in-law!

Over a third (38%) of new parents in Munster said that wished it was possible to have known the love they would feel for their new baby before the birth. 56% of Munster based parents said their baby’s first smile was their most cherished moment of parenthood. More than a third (36%) stated the first hug or kiss from their baby was the most precious milestone.

The transition to parenthood

14% of the Munster respondents revealed finding time for themselves was a challenge in the transition to parenthood with 15% struggling with juggling finances the most. Interestingly, only 1% of Munster based mums said that staying in contact with friends was their biggest challenge following the birth of their baby.

Of the Munster mums surveyed, a third (33%) of them work full time outside the home and while tackling work and being a new parent can be a struggle, Munster parents have plenty of support as 61% of respondents said their partner shares the responsibility when looking after a sick infant. Of those working, 60% said their employers are very understanding when it comes to taking time off to care for an ill baby, but 20% of Munster mums said they still feel they need to make excuses to take time off if their child is unwell.

Nurofen for Children #FeverFighters brand ambassador and first time mum, Maia Dunphy comments: “As a new mum there are so many things to consider! It’s an absolutely brilliant time but it can be a little worrying so it is reassuring to know that I’m not alone in my concerns and insecurities when caring for my child, especially when he is sick. It’s great to know that parents across the country feel the same way and share the same worries and I hope that they find the information from the experts as helpful as I did”.

New EU rules on laundry capsules

New EU rules to protect children from poisoning from laundry capsules

New EU rules on laundry capsules come into force on 1st January.

This is following concern at a number of poisoning cases involving young children who have mistaken the brightly coloured pods for toys or sweets.

New EU rules on laundry capsulesFrom now on, the coating of the capsules must contain a “bittering agent” which will make children spit them out within 6 seconds. There will also be stronger packaging which will be more difficult for small hands to open, and larger warnings telling consumers to keep them out of reach of children.

This follows successful similar EU measures on scented lamp oil and coloured lighter fuel.

Colourful laundry capsules have become increasingly popular over the last few years, as they are easier to use than traditional washing products. However, they also attract children who may accidently swallow them after mistaking the capsules for toys or sweets, and subsequently cause poisoning.

To protect children from poisoning from laundry capsules, the Commission and the Member States agreed in December 2014 to urgently introduce new safety measures on liquid detergents in soluble packaging. Among other measures, as of June 2015, all manufactures have to ensure that the soluble packaging of capsules available in the EU contains an aversive agent which makes children spit the capsule out within six seconds, if they put it in their mouths.

Capsules placed on the market before June 2015 could be sold until end of 2015. From 1 January 2016 all products on the market will have to fully comply with the new rules.

Similarly to laundry capsules, lamp oil and grill lighter fuels might also accidentally be drunk by small children, particularly children between 1 and 3 years old. In 2010 the existing restrictions in the REACH Regulation were reinforced with new labelling and packaging requirements to attract the attention of consumers to the risks of these chemicals. These requirements focus on providing clearer warning statements, limiting the packaging size and making packaging less attractive for children.

An assessment prepared by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) shows that since the latest EU labelling and packaging provisions were put into force, poisoning from these substances has significantly decreased in the EU.


The amendment to the CLP Regulation on hazardous substances and mixtures (Regulation (EC) No 1297/2014) introduces additional safety measures for liquid laundry detergents in soluble capsules, such as using a bittering agent to deter children from putting the capsule into their mouth or making the packaging more difficult to open. Moreover, the packaging has to display warnings that such products have to be kept out of reach of children. These new rules are the result of co-operation between the Member States, the Commission and the industry. A number of companies took a pro-active stance by strengthening their outer packaging already before it became obligatory. See the industry campaign in all EU languages –

Since 2000, EU legislation prohibited coloured and scented oils and required that containers for lamp oils and grill lighter fuels had to be fitted with child-resistant fastenings. In 2009 the European Commission introduced new labelling and packaging requirements under REACH (Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006), such as clearer warning statements, limiting the packaging size and making packaging less attractive for children. According to an assessment by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) published in July 2015, the number of poisonings has been reduced by 9% per year for lamp oils, and 15% for grill lighter fuels since the new measures were effectuated in 2010. An overall reduction of 75% can be expected by 2020.

More information

CLP Regulation
REACH Regulation