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Please find here Salt Way Children’s Centre Timetable May 2012

This includes a Baby First Aid Course- open to people who are already registered with them- on the morning of May 23rd, although the creche is already full for that.


The National Trust Cafe, Swindon

The National Trust Cafe, Swindon

The National Trust Café near the Outlet Village in Swindon has been a weekly meeting place for my NCT group since we were pregnant.

Originally nominated because one of us worked at the National Trust and wasn’t on maternity leave yet, it’s turned out to be a great place to bring babies.

The café is massive, with plenty of space for buggies. There’s a disabled toilet with baby change, a bottle warmer, microwave and notices saying that the café is breastfeeding friendly.

Long tables, small ones and a couple with sofas and armchairs are available. The only negative thing I have to say is that when the sun’s out the café gets very warm. This is easily solved by wearing a summer top as part of your ensemble!

We’ll be moving to the outdoor tables soon anyway. Hopefully.

The staff are lovely and often offer to carry your tray if you’re struggling with a buggy. Ask if they have one of their loyalty cards which you can collect stamps on if you intend to be a regular.

I think a few proper meals are served at lunchtime as it’s the National Trust Staff Café. We’re always there in the afternoon when they have an excellent selection of cakes (including gluten-free ones). Great for that pregnant/ breastfeeding sweet tooth!

The stone tiled floor and the fact that it is also a work place canteen where people may want to, well, work, mean that the National Trust Cafe will become less suitable as our babies become toddlers. So we’re enjoying it while we can!


Tomorrow, April 27th, is the deadline for nursery/ pre-school place applications. Thanks to Butterflies Children’s Centre for the reminder, and for the attached Early Education Providers List  of nurseries. Just passing the information on….

Please contact the relevant nursery directly. This is for children born between September 1st 2008 and August 31st 2009.


Netball Classes at Drove from June 12th

Netball Classes at Drove from June 12th

There will be netball classes at Drove Children’s Centre near the magic roundabout for 6 weeks starting June 12th!

I’m told there will be a crèche… Netball will be every Tuesday from 11am-12pm but you need to get there at 10am the first week to complete paperwork.

I’m really disappointed that this clashes with Baby Sensory, but may ask if I can come late. Haven’t played netball since school and it sounds like a hoot!

You can see the full timetable of activities at Drove this summer by clicking on “Activities” on the Drove Children’s Centre webpage.

Image courtesy of The State Library of Queensland.


The M&S Cafe in town came in handy on Wednesday when my badly teething baby had had enough of my important errands.

Our milk bottle leaked everywhere,  J continued to kick off because of her pain and a few of the other customers seemed annoyed at our sporadically noisy presence. However the staff were extremely helpful- offering to carry my tray and lending us scissors- and I discovered that there are not one but two disabled toilets with baby change facilities upstairs in the M&S in town. Like.


swindonappy:

Now includes Swindon NCT Easter Egg Hunt at Old Town Gardens on Saturday!

Originally posted on swindonappy:

Swindon Town Centre Easter Activities for families. Here are just a few things to do over the school holidays within walking distance of the Swindon Town Centre… I’ll update this if I hear of more, please feel free to add to this in the comments section below as ever.

This afternoon (Tuesday April 3rd) 1-3pm Easter Party at Drove Children’s Centre. Please bring a plate of food. £1 per family, held in the Social Hall.

Update! This weekend on Easter Saturday Swindon NCT is running an Easter Egg Hunt in the Old Town Gardens from 10am to 12 noon. Entry is £1.50 per child and every child gets an egg. All the egg hunters will be entered into a draw to win a big egg too.

There will also be a colouring competition at 50p per go with prizes for winners in each age range.

Sunday April 8th Easter Fun…

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Café Art is one of the most baby friendly places I’ve been in Swindon, in spite of the fact that it has no baby change.

As the weather warms up (with what I hope will be the exception of this week!) the lack of baby change becomes less of a problem given that the public baby change across the street will become more useable.

I am probably preaching to the converted to some extent, but if you haven’t yet discovered it, this Old Town Café is great for parents with non-walking babies for a number of reasons.

Although it’s occasionally very busy when I go there (mornings seem to be busier) mid to late afternoon it is often quiet, meaning you get a choice of seating. Much of this is sofas with space next to them for buggies.

The staff are very friendly and understanding and have helped to create space for us in the past. So far other customers have also been thrilled to be eyeballed, then smiled at by the babies too.

It seems fairly uniform for pregnant and breastfeeding women to have a sweet tooth. Café Art does excellently on the cake front. There’s always a great variety to choose from and they sometimes have little taster bits up on the counter.  Another bonus for the summer is a selection of iced coffees for those of us allowed a bit more caffeine again now.

There’s so much for curious little eyes to take in. The massive windows look out on to Victoria Road including a bus stop. J is happy staring out of them for ages, smiling at people waiting for buses and just watching the big wide world go by. They also have lights which seem to fascinate babies- those ones actually IN the ceiling.

Finally there’s the actual “Art” of Café Art. The premises are shared with a framing business and the café is filled with a variety of styles of picture. It’s mainly modern, fairly commercial stuff.

In colder weather the lack of baby change really is a shame, but it didn’t stop me being a fairly regular visitor all autumn/ winter. I wouldn’t even consider trying to change the baby in one of those tiny cubicles, but my friend did manage it on Monday!

The only other downer is that they seem to be shut on Sundays. I’ve tried twice on Sunday afternoons. Everyone deserves a break though, and I guess if the framing shop shuts they have to.

In the Spring/ Summer it’s an all round winner, though. So get to Café Art in Old Town for cake and iced coffee, safe in the knowledge that your little cherub can poop to his or her hearts content!


Aquababies Wiltshire are currently teaching J to swim and to hold on to something if she falls in- sounds like a good idea doesn’t it?

Aquababies Wiltshire are actually, to be more precise, teaching her to swim underwater. Sound slightly more terrifying? It can be to begin with. I cried at my first session! BUT two courses on J and I are now doing “Advanced Babies” and loving it!

One grey Tuesday last November I drove over to Marlborough with my 7 week old baby for a free taster session (before we knew they would also take place at Dorcan!). I wasn’t with any friends and there were other things going on besides Aquababies in the pool, so lockers were required which made the whole getting us changed thing instantly more difficult. I’m not going to lie to you, I was already running a bit late and this part of it was all a bit stressful, especially as I wasn’t that ‘baby savvy’ yet!

The taster was very well organised, run by Eddie (of Eddie and Lora who run Aquababies Wiltshire). J looked in complete wonder/ surprise for the whole session, but seemed very proud of herself afterwards, very satisfied by the whole experience.

So what made me cry? Well at the end of the taster Eddie “swam” each baby under water in turn for the first time. Before doing this (only if you were happy for him to swim your baby) he did talk through the various reactions babies could have- crying, not bothered, something else and finally continuing their natural reaction to stop breathing under water after leaving the water. He also explained that this would only be for a few seconds.

However when J, the final, smallest baby in the row came up not breathing and flapped her little arms in the air like a fish out of water I panicked, “she’s not breathing! she’s not breathing!!!” Of course then she breathed, well, cried and I burst in to tears of relief.

Eddie was clearly used to hysterical mothers. Another lovely mum, Sarah, took me for a coffee afterwards and lent me her mum to hold J so I could get changed more easily.

Following a bit of a pathetic start on my part I am pleased to report that Aquababies is fantastic. Yes, the babies sometimes cry (not as often as you’d expect) but then babies do sometimes cry. J’s confidence has grown immeasurably. She shrieks with delight and grins during lessons now, as well as crying sometimes. She loves it!

Getting changed has become much easier too, although at times changing rooms and car parks can get pretty busy at our venue.

If you’re worried about taking a baby swimming before immunisation the NHS Choices website would suggest it’s fine, but obviously check with your GP and use common sense.

We’ve just had some underwater baby photos done through Aquababies too, can’t wait to see them!

For more details of what you actually do on the courses and where and when they take place check out the Aquababies Wiltshire website.


Swindon Town Centre Easter Activities for families. Here are just a few things to do over the school holidays within walking distance of the Swindon Town Centre… I’ll update this if I hear of more, please feel free to add to this in the comments section below as ever.

This afternoon (Tuesday April 3rd) 1-3pm Easter Party at Drove Children’s Centre. Please bring a plate of food. £1 per family, held in the Social Hall.

Update! This weekend on Easter Saturday Swindon NCT is running an Easter Egg Hunt in the Old Town Gardens from 10am to 12 noon. Entry is £1.50 per child and every child gets an egg. All the egg hunters will be entered into a draw to win a big egg too.

There will also be a colouring competition at 50p per go with prizes for winners in each age range.

Sunday April 8th Easter Fun Day in Queen’s Park, I’m afraid the poster wasn’t any more specific about times, but I will try to update this if I discover some!

Thursday April 12th, 9.30-11.30am. Easter Crafts Play and Stay Session. £1 per family. In the Social Hall at Drove Children’s Centre.



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