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BabyCentre Blog


About Annie:

Annie Ridout is founder and editor of The Early Hour - an online culture and lifestyle magazine for early risers - and a freelance journalist.

The Early Hour is an online culture and lifestyle magazine, with articles published daily at 5am - for the early risers. Interviews have included: Arianna Huffington on sleep and her morning routine, Benjamin Zephaniah on poetry and politics, the founder of Ella’s Kitchen – Paul Lindley – on building his baby food empire, Rudimental’s DJ Locksmith on fatherhood and touring, and Raymond Blanc on eating out sustainably. If you're up early in the morning - with a baby, toddler, on the commute or just because you're an early bird - you'll love The Early Hour.


A leading maternity nurse and children’s nanny, who looked after both Gwyneth Paltrow and Minnie Driver’s kids, has spoken out about the way modern parents are raising their children. Gwyneth Paltrow and her daughter Apple at a music festival. Photo by Richard Young/REX/Shutterstock ‘Over the years I’ve seen parents becoming much more fixated [on their… Read more »

Pregnancy and childbirth change a woman’s body. It may not be visible from the outside, or through clothes, but it will be different. She’ll have documented the minute changes. Like the spate of stretch marks that appeared across her belly in the later months of pregnancy. Or the flappy skin that she tucks into her… Read more »

A friend of mine used to be head of early years at a primary school in east London. She came back to our shared house in one day and told me that a parent had written her a letter concerning her four-year-old daughter. Apparently, she didn’t want the word NO to be used around her… Read more »

So, did you 1. Know that Pharrell had had triplets? Yes, that’s right: not one, two but THREE babies, all in one go. Well, not him exactly. It was his wife, Helen Lasichanh, who actually ‘had’ them. And that 2. He doesn’t change their nappies? Yes, apparently as well as carrying and birthing three babes, Helen… Read more »

sexy underwear

After the birth of my first baby, friends and family were incredibly generous. The new mum presents came flowing in… flowers, babygrows, cuddly toys, flowers… flowers. More flowers. At the time, I thought it was quite lovely to have a selection of bouquets gathered in the living room (particularly the one that arrived with a… Read more »

Prince George and Princess Charlotte

When Will chose to marry Kate, the nation rejoiced: at last, a ‘normal’ person would be marrying in to the Royal Family. She would make him more down-to-earth; ground him. And when she rocked out in Zara and Reiss numbers, we clapped harder: hurrah for our future queen, who shops on the high street. (Or… Read more »

It's easy for Hollywood star Justin Baldoni to be a 'chilled dad'- he's only doing it part time

A photo of Hollywood actor Justin Baldoni (who played Rafael in Jane the Virgin) recently went viral. In it, he and his father are standing in Whole Foods, grinning, while Baldoni’s toddler-aged daughter has an almighty meltdown. Upworthy took the opportunity to create one of their fairly irresistible, clickbaity headers: ‘A viral photo of a calm… Read more »

Kim Kardashian – American reality TV star, model and businesswoman – hit the headlines for posting a photo on Facebook of her 18-month-old son Saint in his car seat. What could possibly be newsworthy about celebrity offspring in transit, you may ask? Well, in this photo, Kim Kardashian’s son appears to be in a forward-facing seat,… Read more »

The only photos we see of celebrities after they’ve given birth are of those who are back in their size zero jeans mere hours after giving birth. So it’s easy to forget that most celebrities go through pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period in much the same way as you or I – and they have just the same… Read more »

20 things all parents of babies have done before the rest of the world is even up

While the rest of the world sleeps, us parents of babies are up with the sun. Literally. Every mum and dad I know – in real life and online, and that’s a LOT of people – is currently being woken around 4.30/5am. Even blackout blinds don’t work – perhaps it’s the birdsong rousing our babies… Read more »

three month postpartum belly

Many women suffer with this condition after giving birth – but don’t find out for months or even years. If your belly is still looking pregnant months after giving birth (like mine in the photo), this could be why (and it’s entirely curable, as you’ll see in my ‘before and after’ belly shots below)… It was… Read more »

George and Amal Clooney

Earlier this month, actor George Clooney and his wife – human rights lawyer Amal Clooney – became parents for the first time. Their boy/girl twins – named Alexander and Ella – were said to be conceived via IVF. A statement released by their publicist said: ‘This morning Amal and George welcomed Ella and Alexander Clooney into… Read more »

eat at the table

We were recently invited over to a friend’s house for a playdate. There were a couple of other kids there – my daughter’s age, three – and a few babies. While the adults sat in the garden with the babies, the kids caused utter mayhem in the house. There were toilet accidents, toys strewn across… Read more »

One of many parenting conundrums we come across with young kids: at some stage, you will want to (or just will) tell off another person’s child, or they will tell off your child. But is it OK, or not…? My daughter had a playdate recently and the kid who came round got over-excited and starting trampling all over… Read more »

woman having acupuncture to help conceive a baby and fall pregnant

When Geri Horner (Halliwell), or ‘Ginger Spice’ to any children of the 90s, was hoping to conceive her second child with husband Christian Horner it didn’t happen easily. Rather than going down the IVF route, the mum to 11-year-old Bluebell turned to alternative therapies, like acupuncture and prayer. Acupuncture is a technique from ancient Chinese… Read more »

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