But first, Sweden. I don't know what it is about the Swedes (winning Eurovision, perhaps?) but whereas this blog normally trundles along with about 500 page views every day, last weekend the hits went crazy. Over two thousand visitors er, visited last Sunday and they were almost all from Sweden.
Perhaps they were looking for a Swedish au pair? Perhaps you are, too? And if you are, perhaps I can help?
Because if you do fancy one (oh do behave!) then a new site - aupairads.com - is here to help. Set up last year by two entrepreneurial sisters from Sweden, aupairads is an online matching service for au pairs from Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. Families looking for an au pair create an ad and au pairs apply. It's as simple as that. And if you'd like to try it out I've got a voucher code for a free ad. Say hello in the comment box below and I'll send it your way.
Next, bedding. As many an au pair will probably testify (and virtually every parent) toilet training toddlers can be a bit of a nightmare. Especially at night. Dry by day is one thing but getting your child to stay dry at bedtime can be daunting.
Almost all children are dry most of the time by the age of seven. But although there are things parents can do (limiting the amount drunk in the hour before bedtime, avoiding caffeine-containing diuretics like cola, taking a child to the loo last thing at night etc.) accidents are always going to happen. Which is where this comes in.
And talking of cleaning, wouldn't it be lovely to be able to do it with just a cloth and a bowl of water? Think of the savings (to your pocket, as well as the environment) in detergents? Well e-cloth, the environmentally friendly cleaning cloth company, have developed various specialised cleaning cloths for gadgets, cars and even sports gear that do just that.
Simply wet, wipe and dry using nothing but water – e-cloths remove tough dirt and grime by virtue of thousands of tiny fibres that act as a natural adhesive, attracting the dirt and grease which naturally cling to the strands.
Great for those 'little accidents' we were talking about earlier, too - especially the anti-bacterial version which incorporates natural nano-silver to kill bacteria caught in the cloth. But you know, you can't rush these things. Did you know, for instance, that a child's ability to stay dry at night depends (among other things) on an ability to produce the hormone, vasopressin.
Children normally develop this little trick between the ages of two and six years and it basically means that at sundown each day a tiny burst of this antidiuretic hormone naturally reduces the kidney's urine output so that the bladder doesn't get full until the next morning. That's the kind of thing Robert Winston likes telling you. And he's good at that kind of thing, with the comforting authority of his tweed jacket and bristling moustache.
The Essential Baby Care Guide - a unique series of DVDs offering practical, impartial, and potentially life-saving advice for new parents - contains academically-backed advice and problem-solving tips on sleep, feeding, care and development and first aid. Here's a delightful little clip about babies copying behaviour.
The entire series on four DVDs is available for around £35, or the programmes can be bought individually for around £10. Sound advice at a bargain price.
Have a lovely Sunday.
Have a lovely Sunday.