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Martha’s Essentials: Lindam Baby Door Bouncer

My wife and I are inexperienced enough parents to think that we can still party until the early hours (it was Eurovision this month) and be in a fit state to be at the beck and call of a 7-month-old dictator the next morning. Of course, there’s always BabyTV, with its colourful slow-moving shapes and xylophone-based soundtrack – it’s as soothing for baby as it is for your banging head. However, Martha soon loses interest in cartoons and let me tell you, too much Stick with Mick will make you want to gouge your eyes out with a spoon. ...

Can you pass The Giraffe Test?

What’s in a name hey? More than you might think actually. A child’s name says more about the parents than their tiny converse shoes do, or the make of buggy they get wheeled around in does. My name is Robin Sherwood, so it’s safe to assume my parents were absolute sadists. Thankfully, most people who choose to name their children after a favourite uncle or grandma with a daft, unfashionable moniker (like Harvey or Gerald) will use the middle name to remember them by. ...

Peppa Pig – a passive aggressive porker?

I've long harboured suspicions that there's a dark side to Peppa's personality. Early on in the first series she exhibited signs of a selfish streak; see Best Friend (series 1, episode 3) where she won't let her little brother George play with her and her friend Suzi Sheep, thus reducing him to tears. She's not adverse to…

We’re only making plans for Nigel

Nigel and I have come along away together since he came to live with me in London during the summer of 2003. A fluffy ginger Tom with entitlement issues and an almost pathological hatred of girls, he’s been by my side (and in my wardrobe/bed/drawers) ever since. But oh, how the mighty have fallen. ...

Martha’s Essentials: The Kenzo peacoat

If you think about it, babies are the perfect market for disposable fashion brands like Primark and H&M to exploit. Because they’re growing so quickly, most items of clothing only really last a few months before your baby has outgrown them, then it’s time to buy some more temporary replacements and so it goes on, ad infinitum. If you think about it, young kids are the ultimate consumers. ...

The big reveal

George at ASDA recently revealed the results of a survey about how parents choose to break the news of a new baby. Of the people polled, 57% announced their first pregnancy to family in person and 54% told their friends face-to-face. So far so normal right? However, 31% of 18-24 year olds and 33% of 25-34 year olds opted to go online for the big announcement. ...

The Dandy Dad Manifesto (Part 1)

I’m in a bit of a bind. Although I’m overjoyed at the news that I’ll be a father for the first time next month, my inner fashionista is frankly terrified. You see, I’m a bit of an urban exhibitionist. In fact, I own more pairs of shoes than my wife, and I consider my inclusion on the Hackney Hipster Hate blog a badge of honour. ...

To NCT or not to NCT? That is the question…

Whether it is nobler in the mind to bear the slings and arrows of well-meaning but really quite dull parents in your local area... As soon as my wife and I announced our engagement, she had a religious epiphany and declared that she’d been a Roman Catholic all along and that we’d have to get married in a Catholic church. This was certainly news to me; as far as I was concerned, aside from weddings and funerals, we had no business being in a church. “Are you aware of the hoops they make you jump through?” I asked in vain. Anyway, like any sensible fiancé I quickly learned to acquiesce and we soon found ourselves jumping through one particularly large hoop – a day-long marriage course at a local community centre, all for the princely sum of £200. ...

Alternative lullabies

As the father of a young baby, I'm often struggling to justify my existence. Between changing a wet nappy at 5.30am and trying to collapse our ridiculous Rube Goldberg buggy, I often feel as useful as an inflatable dartboard. However, at around 2am this morning - in between sterilising my wife's breast pump and blow drying a damp baby grow ready for the next nappy change - I had a bit of a brainwave as to how I could actually make myself useful around the house....