Children’s Saving Plans

Advice on Children’s Saving Plans
A guest post

In November 2011 a new tax free way of saving for your child’s future was introduced. This enables parents and grandparents to build up tax free savings for children up to the age of 18. 

Children entitled to have a junior ISA are those who are under 18 and live in the UK. You cannot have a junior ISA if you already hold a child trust fund.

There are 2 types of Junior ISA which are as follows:
  1. Cash Junior ISA 
  2. Stocks & Shares Junior ISA

Your Child can have one or both of these at any time. The total amount that can be put into a junior ISA in each tax year is £3,600.

A person of parental responsibility must open one for a child under 16. That person has the responsibility for managing it. They are called the registered contact.

When your child reaches the age of 18 they can then choose to take money out of the Junior ISA or invest in a different type of account. If nothing is done then the ISA will automatically become an adult ISA.

The Money Map (Financial Navigation) can help advise anyone through this type of contract and others which may be more suitable for your circumstances as you may wish to keep more control of your capital now and in the future. The Money Map specialise in all things finance from Children’s ISAs to annuities.

The Money Map offers a free initial consultation at their expense. You can contact them here.

Review of Mam Mini Teethers

My baby likes the MAM style dummies have I have previously mentioned here, so when she started teething, I decided to try their teething products. 

My daughter is only 13 weeks so not fully teething at the moment, by this I mean no immediate teeth are going to come through the gum. However, I can see the buds in her gum and she is showing signs, i.e. excessive drooling, constantly biting things and me.

I looked at the water filled teethers available but they are huge and heavy. Unsurprisingly, she is unable to lift them.
The MAM Mini Teethers are perfect. They are designed with small babies in mind. 
The Bite and Relax teether is suitable from 2 months and comes complete with its own storage and steriliser box.
The teething ring is designed for babies from 1 month. Again it is lightweight and easy to handle. Although it doesn't come with a storage / steriliser case, it does have a clip to prevent it getting lost or going missing when out and about. My daughter definitely loves chomping on this. Both are BPA free.

Breastfeeding (postnatal thoughts)

Following on from my Breastfeeding (antenatal thoughts), what, how, and why did I do following my baby being born?

I breastfed. Yep, that's right. I could and I did. So far, successfully. 

In the hospital I was told to wake her and feed her every hour. She would only feed for five minutes, then sleep again. The staff were concerned she wasn't feeding long enough or not latched on correctly, they checked, she was. When I was discharged (20 hours after her birth), there was a gap on approx. 3 hours between feeds, which she slept through. After waking her, she fed about 20 minutes before falling back asleep.

I continued to wake her every hour, but was exhausted myself, often falling asleep whilst feeding her. Not good! We incrased the gaps between feeds, although still had to wake her! 

As we've gone on she will let me know when she's ready. She is skilled at emptying a breast quickly! It can be painfully full, but within 5 minutes of starting a feeding, it's dry and baby is contently full and asleep. 

I have fed her wherever we are when she needs feeding and have never received any negative comments. There are a lot of places that have feeding rooms now, although I have never used one. 

During our trip to London for the Olympics, I fed her in the Olympic Staduim. I felt quite self conscious at first, but your dignity soon goes after the first leak! When she was about 6 weeks, we were feeding in a cafe, she let go, and the milk kept coming, straight over the table! I was so embarassed, I wanted to hide, but I couldn't, so on we went, with mumbled apologies.

As I was still having therapy, I restarted my appointments four weeks after her birth. At that point I couldn't express, she just wasn't leaving enough behind. To be honest, she's now 13 weeks and I still cannot express a lot unless she misses a feed so it defeats the object. 

Anyway, so no boob and no expressed milk. I did the unthinkable, I left a bottle of formula for her! Oh no! Terrible mummy. She wont take a bottle. She'll get nipple confusion. She wont go back to breast...

Utter crap! She took the formula and the bottle no problem, and went back to breast with no issues. She now has formula one or two feeds a week and she is fine switching between both.

Review of Mam style dummies

OK I know dummies are bad, they affect breast feeding... blah blah blah...
Oh wait, they are now good, they can help prevent cot death.

Anyway, for whatever reason I chose to give my baby a dummy / soother / pacifier. I tried a few different ones, and she would only take one type, the MAM style ones. She preferred them, and now she is getting older she is able to handle these better too. They don't have the fiddly handle bits, but a chunky button style holder. MAM have soothers from 0+ with various colours and designs. They have either a silk teat or a natural latex teat, and are BPA free. MAM soothers also come in their own box to store and sterilise them. You can even order personalised ones online.
Ever had to feel around in your baby's moses basket / crib / cot to find your baby's dummy in the night? Well MAM have the solution to that, MAM Night, they glow in the dark! Great!
Although I bought the initial dummies on the high street, I have since used their website and was impressed with the service and delivery timescales.