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Having a baby in the area
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mambo66


Posts: 6
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #1
06-02-2008 05:26 PM

Hi everyone,

Have been reading forum threads for a while but feel I could do with some advice from some fellow Forest Hill residents and am therefore writing.

My wife and I are about to have our first baby and have NO IDEA about what Forest Hill has to offer young parents. Is there a nursery any of you can recommend? Are places difficult to get? Is there some form of community of young mums and dads (with their children) around here? Is there anything else you would feel could help us?

Thanks for your help

Mambo66

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robwinton


Posts: 335
Joined: Jun 2006
Post: #2
06-02-2008 05:52 PM

hey Mambo (sounds like the start of a song) - welcome!

lots of parents around here. Not sure what sorts of things you are looking for, but certainly it is a good place to bring up kids. I don't know of a gathering, although I suspect that the NCT groups will organise gatherings, they certainly used to when we were having our first.

The Horniman is a great asset for all sort of things, and I'm sure the library will now have notices of some sort.

There is a new nursery opening on Church Rise called Bojangles. Not sure if they are full (I suspect so). I think nursery places are relatively hard to come by anywhere in London, but you can be lucky.

When is the baby due?

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Jane2


Posts: 221
Joined: Jan 2007
Post: #3
06-02-2008 07:50 PM

Hello Mambo66

Firstly, congratulations!
There is loads in Forest Hill for new parents - don't worry.

I'm one of the NCT Reps for Forest Hill and I hope I can help you out a bit. There are about 100 NCT members in Forest Hill and amongst other things we organise get-togethers for new parents and other events and coffee-morning open houses. I'll pm you separately with my contact details and more info.

There are loads of activities round here for babies and young children, playgroups, baby swimming, parks etc - I have a list of most of them which you can have - I really think its a great place to bring up young children!

I can't really recommend any nurseries as its very much a matter of personal opinion, and they do change depending on management and staffing; but once you get talking to other parents in the area you should be able to get a few ideas. The good ones though do tend to have long waiting lists. Lewisham Council have lists of nurseries and childminders from their 'Children's Centres, Childcare and Play' department - contact details here:
http://www.lewisham.gov.uk/ContactUs/Con...entres.htm

Lastly, if you are signed up to antenatal classes that is a good way to meet other local parents-to-be.

I hope that helps for now! Keep us posted!

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shzl400


Posts: 729
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #4
06-02-2008 10:15 PM

All of the above! I'd also like to say something more about nurseries. I don't know at what age you are planning to send your offspring, but not all of them have baby units - many only start at 2.

If you are looking for a place in a baby unit, start looking now and get your name down for a few as soon as possible. You'll find that places most often come up at the start of September, with a few in January, as the oldest children move on to school and every one else moves up a step. Get the Lewisham list referred to by Jane2 - and contact other councils for their lists, if you are near the borders. There are "community" nurseries, which are run and subsidised by the council, and heavily in demand, especially if they are any good, like Gumboots in Southwark, and all the rest are private.

I'd really recommend choosing a nursery where the children are split by age under 1, 1-2, 2-3 and 3-4, rather than being 0-2 and over 2, because the difference between their development is huge.

And finally, as ever, you generally get what you pay for. When I was looking, I saw a really terrible nursery in Crofton Park, which has now, mercifully, been closed - but it was really cheap!

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vipes


Posts: 145
Joined: Oct 2006
Post: #5
06-02-2008 11:48 PM

Unfashionable and a potential hornets' nest I know but there's always the option of staying at home and looking after it...

http://www.fulltimemothers.org/

They're based down the road in East Dulwich.

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Luca


Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #6
07-02-2008 02:38 AM

Jane2 Wrote:
I'm one of the NCT Reps for Forest Hill and I hope I can help you out a bit. There are about 100 NCT members in Forest Hill and amongst other things we organise get-togethers for new parents and other events and coffee-morning open houses.


Hi Mambo66 and Jane2

I'm expecting my baby in April and I would love to become NCT member too. What do I have to do?

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Jane2


Posts: 221
Joined: Jan 2007
Post: #7
07-02-2008 10:03 AM

Hi Luca - Congratulations to you too! I'll pm you with details about joining the NCT as I don't know if I'm allowed to post it on here (even though it's not a business it's a charity, not sure what the rules are about giving details of charities on here!). It would be great to have you as a member of Forest Hill NCT, there are a few other mums with babies due around April May time and we could arrange a get-together.

Mambo - Theres also the childminder route as an option. Registered childminders have to follow most of the same standards as nurseries and are Ofsted checked etc. For babies it can be a good 'home-from-home' environment. Lewisham Council have lists of Registered childminders in Forest Hill on the same contact details I gave in my previous post. Just something else to consider - it all depends on what suits you and your baby best.

Hope that helps!

PS I heard that Forest Hill has become the baby boom capital of London - wonder if its true?

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mambo66


Posts: 6
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #8
07-02-2008 11:21 AM

Hi All,

Thanks a lot for the info. Really superb.

One more question I have concerns going to hospital on the magic day (which should be sometime in April). My wife and I have opted for King's instead of Lewisham hospital and we do not have a car. We were told about one young mom-to-be who went into hospital alone by bus. I think we would find that too much (can you imagine a woman with contractions on the 185, maybe with the usual people pretending to read so they don't have to give up their seat?). We are so far considering the taxi option but do know about people who were refused a taxi service because they didn't want to carry a woman about to have her baby...

Is there any advice you could give? Apart from, of course, use of a private car?

M66

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kingkong


Posts: 61
Joined: Oct 2006
Post: #9
07-02-2008 11:28 AM

My wife and I live in HOP and her due date is April 8, could she be included in the Forest Hill NCT get together's as well?

We have signed up for NCT classes which will take place on two full Saturdays in March, but we have been assigned classes that will take place somewhere in Herne Hill, near Brockwell Park, is this normal?

K

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Luca


Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #10
07-02-2008 11:33 AM

kingkong Wrote:
My wife and I live in HOP and her due date is April 8, could she be included in the Forest Hill NCT get together's as well?


My due date is 9 April and it will be at King's. Wow I'm going to join the Forest Hill NCT and hope to see you guys there.

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IWereAbsolutelyFuming


Posts: 531
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #11
07-02-2008 11:39 AM

On your last point my advice would be to get to know your neighbours - we did and had tonnes of offers of lifts when it was required. As it was we didn't need to imagine the 185 scenario as that was my wife's mode of transport to Lewisham hospital. Not that she knew she was in labour at that point.

We use Rubadubs (http://www.rubadubs.co.uk) Nursery on Davids Road near the station and would highly recommend it, the staff are great. The waiting list is huge though (I think a recent new attendee had been on the list for 18 months). Whatever you decide, check out the ofstead website as they produce evaluations on all registered nurseries.

NCT classes were a good way to meet people in the same situation as yourselves so I'd recommend following that up. We are in Forest Hill but our classes were in Catford - there were some other Forest Hill people there too (some bloke called Vipes...). Whichever of you is off work with your baby will meet loads of people at Baby Clinics and things like that. The Horniman and the Library are other magnets for people with babies - both do storytime events which are worth attending even though your little one wont be too aware of what's going on at first. You'll see the same faces time and again and people are more friendly in daylight hours, breaking that taboo of talking to people they dont know.

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Elizabeth25


Posts: 212
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #12
07-02-2008 02:22 PM

mambo66 Wrote:
Hi All,

Thanks a lot for the info. Really superb.

One more question I have concerns going to hospital on the magic day (which should be sometime in April). My wife and I have opted for King's instead of Lewisham hospital and we do not have a car. We were told about one young mom-to-be who went into hospital alone by bus. I think we would find that too much (can you imagine a woman with contractions on the 185, maybe with the usual people pretending to read so they don't have to give up their seat?). We are so far considering the taxi option but do know about people who were refused a taxi service because they didn't want to carry a woman about to have her baby...

Is there any advice you could give? Apart from, of course, use of a private car?

M66


Choosing Kings is a VERY good plan (I went to Lewisham). Also do NCT, althought when I was pregnant, four years ago, the closest class was New Cross Gate and most of the glass were from Greenwich. But we are all still in touch and I highly recomend it.

We also don't have a car. But we used Forest Hill cars to get to the hospital. I was in labour on one journey as well. If you don't have a car, it is the only option.

Also, it depends on where you live in Forest Hill. But, if you live on the Perry Vale side of the rail station, the new Methodist Church on Normanton/Shipman Rd. does a mother and baby group. During those first few months a play group is a wonderful thing.

I have heard good things about Rubadubs. My son goes to a childminder, however. Do look at the childminder list from Lewisham Council and visit a few to see what works best for you.

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borderpaul


Posts: 87
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #13
07-02-2008 03:15 PM

We sent our two to Little Cherubs in Sydenham behind the Savacentre as there weren't many in Forest Hill at the time.

We looked to move our toddler later and looked at Little Stars on Sydenham Park Rd beside the Library, came across as very professional but a bit soulless and Rubadubs which seemed friendly but expensive and in the end left him there.

We are now expecting another and wondered if anybody out there has managed to get 3 car seats into their car/mpv with still some space for a buggy with kids roughly aged 6, 3 and a baby.

What car/mpv do you have and were you able to fit three car seats on the back row?

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Jane2


Posts: 221
Joined: Jan 2007
Post: #14
07-02-2008 03:49 PM

kingkong Wrote:
My wife and I live in HOP and her due date is April 8, could she be included in the Forest Hill NCT get together's as well?

We have signed up for NCT classes which will take place on two full Saturdays in March, but we have been assigned classes that will take place somewhere in Herne Hill, near Brockwell Park, is this normal?

K


Hi King Kong yes I will pm you about the NCT get-togethers.

Re antenatal classes -
just to clarify for anyone who doesn't know, there are a couple of types of antenatal classes, the ones run by your hospital which your midwife/health visitor should be able to give you details about (the nearest to here is Lewisham Hospital) - these are free but the quality is variable I think depending on which hospital it is.
Then the NCT also run antenatal classes, which KingKong mentions, these are not free though, but generally quite good and run by trained antenatal teachers.
Yes - it does seem though that it isn't always possible to get into NCT classes nearby, and also the other people at the classes may not be from your local area, I think this is to do with the classes being very popular and Lewisham being a large area, so they fit you in wherever they can. But it is a shame I agree.

Re NCT - if you sign up to an NCT antenatal class it doesn't automatically mean you will be a member of the NCT, you have to join separately.
Once you join the NCT you are 'allocated' to your local group, in this case to the Forest Hill group, which is more focused on postnatal and parent support.

Also you could ask your midwife/health visitor if they run any postnatal classes as these are a good way to meet other parents. At the moment there are some being run by health visitors at the children's centre on Kilmorie Road (next to the school) on Friday mornings, looking at things like baby massage and health and safety. I don't know how long it is planned for these to continue though, the health visiting service seems to have been going through a few changes at the moment.

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ruthb


Posts: 63
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #15
07-02-2008 03:56 PM

I am having a baby in July and live in HOP - maybe we should start a 'mums' thread on this - arrange SE23.com mums coffee mornings etc!

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Deanos


Posts: 14
Joined: Dec 2005
Post: #16
07-02-2008 05:04 PM

I hope I don't offend anyone here, but we found the local NCT really unhelpful when my wife was pregnant. The lady that we spoke to was very aloof and made us feel as if she was doing us a massive favour by talking to us, I know that other people have far better experiences with them, but we were left very dissapointed. We did the antenatal classes at Lewisham hospital and some friends did both the Lewisham ones and the NCT ones and found the free NHS classes to be far more informative. In fact, the whole experience of having a baby in Lewisham hospital was great, the mid-wives were all excellent and very supportive. Don't get me started on the Health Visitors though. GGGGRRRRRRR!!!

A thread would be nice for new parents though, we made some good friends through the NHS classes, but there is no such thing as too much support when you've got a new nipper to look after!

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shzl400


Posts: 729
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #17
07-02-2008 05:57 PM

I have to agree that I found the NHS ante-natal classes very helpful, but they only focussed on the birth. Very little was said about what you do with it afterwards .... Again, I found the NCT not overly welcoming and as it cost ????, I decided to give them a miss.

However, the Health Visitors also ran a post-natal group at the Jenner which I really enjoyed. It was run by a lovely lady called Dee, who I believe has now moved to the Vale Practice. They had all sorts of guest speakers e.g. about aromatherapy, kids teeth, pediatric 1st aid etc. I met loads of new mums there and really kept in touch with them. It was also a place to get informal access to the Health Visitors for little hints and tips (who - sorry, Deanos - I found very helpful).

It can be very frustrating though, asking HVs for advice and they are so vague - but now I understand that there often isn't a one-size fits all answer and you have to find out what works for you the hard way.

However, I can heartily recommend a series of books called "What to Expect when you're expecting/the first year/the toddler years" (especially the first year was good), which usually put both sides of most arguments (sometimes jars, as it is a bit american and assumes you have a paediatrician at your beck and call all the time!)

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Deanos


Posts: 14
Joined: Dec 2005
Post: #18
07-02-2008 06:25 PM

I concur on the What To Expect books, they've been really good. My major beef with the health visitos has been the conflicting information that they give us, they've only really confused, rather than informed, unfortunately. There was a whole thing about the vitamin k suppliment that still makes me bristle and they filled in our red book incorrectly throughout and refused to change it (the carbon paper was mis-alighned so we've got yes's where we should have no's throughout, surely a pretty important thing on a permanent record?). However, I live in hope that the health visitors will prove me wrong!!

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Jane2


Posts: 221
Joined: Jan 2007
Post: #19
07-02-2008 08:01 PM

Oh dear, I'm really sorry if you've had bad experiences with Forest Hill NCT - I hope it wasn't me you spoke to as I'd hate to think of myself as aloof! A bit distracted possibly... maybe I was having a bad toddler day.

I?ve been doing this role a year or so now, its completely voluntary, and I really only got involved because I wanted to help get local new parents together, and maybe offer some help/info. where I could. So if someone contacts me and wants to join in with the get-togethers, even if they aren't a member then they are welcome - the more the merrier!! (I'll probably get in trouble for saying that). But of course we are only one way of meeting other parents, there are many different ways, as others have pointed out on this thread.

Anyway I'd better shut up now, I've waffled enough .... think I?ll go have a wander and see what?s happening on the other threads?

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shzl400


Posts: 729
Joined: Oct 2007
Post: #20
07-02-2008 08:31 PM

Jane2 Wrote:
Oh dear, I'm really sorry if you've had bad experiences with Forest Hill NCT - I hope it wasn't me you spoke to as I'd hate to think of myself as aloof! A bit distracted possibly... maybe I was having a bad toddler day.


No, this was ages ago - both offspring in school now, so no more bod toddler days - now looking forward to the grumpy adolescent days - joy!!

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