Catherine Southard: BabyBrains London

I am a BabyBrains® Trainer based in South West London. I am passionate about making science accessi

Operating as usual


This is why we spend as much time outdoors as possible with our 👶🏽 the current sunshine does wonders for feeling good in the moment and resting better when we return home 🌞

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Photos from Catherine Southard: BabyBrains London's post 15/08/2022

Such a good explanation of stress in children. Their brain is too immature to regulate their own emotions without the support of a regulated adult 🧠 this is the responsibility of parenting! 💙🤍

Posted • .stressed.species Stress is fueled by fear. Loving, supporting care neutralizes such fear. Share with a parent and follow for more!

*Download the FREE guide: “How to cope with two major fears every mom has”. Link in bio!


Always a good reminder 💙

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Photos from Catherine Southard: BabyBrains London's post 25/06/2022

Sensible words from my wonderful MP. Solidarity with the women and people of minority genders who will be impacted by this devastating change in the law 🇺🇸

Posted • Labour MP supports maintaining access to safe, legal abortion.


This quote couldn’t better support my recent decision to move from working in a nursery, to childminding with my husband so we can look after our little one together 💙

That’s why I’ve been a bit quiet on here! is our childminding account if you fancy a browse of what we get up to ☺️

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I do risky play but less rough and tumble. Must do more! 🧗

Posted • We all know that play is essential for children’s development. Physical play is especially important as it raises metabolic rates, improves motor coordination, promotes brain plasticity & is important for vestibular development (see my previous post). During physical play, parents gently challenge their children to demonstrate & learn about their own physical strength.

Research shows that Fathers engage in more vigorous & exciting physical play than mothers. Dads have a tendency to push their kids limits, to set goals that are just beyond reach, & play in a way that gets kids worked up. For this reason, studies show that Fathers who engage in rough play, have children with improved self-regulation. Having their limits regularly tested creates ‘safe levels of frustration’, giving kids the opportunity to learn how to handle & regulate their emotions.

The research also suggests that Fathers’ physical play is strongly associated with children’s improved social competence. This may be because children are required to constantly read the social cues of their father to simultaneously recognise & test the boundaries of the play space, all while coordinating their body in play. This multitasking requires fast & accurate reading of social cues.

This type of play, however, does not appear to be universal. Fathers from industrialised societies appear to instigate rough & tumble play far more often than those in farming cultures. Research shows that children in these communities tend to play more with peers than parents, as parents are busy tending to crops & completing other essential tasks.

Physical play is great for developing bodies & brains. Fathers tend to be best at this kind of play, but parents, peers & caregivers of all types can encourage their children to engage in rough & tumble activities. By testing their strength & moving their bodies, children are also learning important social & cognitive skills.

References: Carlson 2005; Craig 2006; Roopnarine & Davidson 2015; St George & Freeman 2017



Posted • It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel ans heartless world.

It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.

L.R Knost


Felt tested today with a child I work with who, when tired, resorts to an onslaught of “no!” 😬 dug deep to keep cool

• Young children are needy, selfish, insistent, persistent and consistently demanding. They ask a lot. Because they need a lot. It can take a toll on us as parents.

Children are immature. That is not a slight against them, merely a statement of fact. Their brains and bodies are still growing. They are learning to think of themselves as an individual, in relation to others and well… just plain think full stop.

There truly is nothing quite like the intensity of an immature child that tests our own patience, self-control and maturity as parents. For a lot of it, knowledge is power. Understanding how and why children grow and develop the way they do, the way their brains do or don’t work, what they are and are no capable of goes a long way towards helping us manage our own feelings during the stress of an emotional outburst (either theirs or our own).

Most importantly, the research demonstrates parents who are shown compassion (or show compassion towards themselves) are less stressed and have a greater sense of well-being. It’s essential for us to remember that parenthood is a tough gig and that we all make choices that are the best we can make in the moment.

What we do have as parents however, is maturity. We are more mature in being able to admit wrongdoing, own our mistakes, make amends and re-connect with our child. We are better able to keep our cool, rein it in and apologise when we let our frustration and anger out. We are able to rupture AND we are able to repair.

Being a good and loving parent selflessness, humility and compassion. We must acknowledge our own failings to meet our own or our child’s needs. We must understand our children as individuals, worthy of respect and love. It’s hard work but the intimacy and strength it offers our connections is so very worth it.

References: MacNamara (2016); Muran, Eubanks & Samstag (2021)


I have always found this to be true in my day job (nursery teacher) and it is definitely true in parenthood too! Currently super excited to read the same few books repeatedly with little 👶🏽 as nothing is more important to him haha 🤪💙

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Photos from Catherine Southard: BabyBrains London's post 15/02/2022

I first heard of rupture and repair when reading
The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read by Philippa Perry (great book!) and I think this post summarises the importance of getting it wrong and making it right again in parenting 💖

Posted • One of the hardest parts of this crazy wild ride that is parenting, is to move through the guilt, remorse and feelings of not feeling like we are good enough when we lose our cool with our children. When we can’t possible soothe yet another cry, when we are so deprived of our own basic needs, that it feels impossible to be there for anybody else, and the end result is that we shout, lose it, and say things we later regret.

But what if we started seeing our (normal, common and human) mistakes as learning opportunities where the biggest lessons about becoming a human being are modelled and formed?

If you look back and think of your most precious and valued relationships and friendships, you will probably notice that you got to this point by going through a lot of rupture and repair.

There is powerful value and opportunity in getting it wrong, in showing our humanity and sharing our vulnerability with our kids. They might just learn how to be kinder to themselves when they make their own mistakes in the future. ❤️


Today’s few minutes was chasing 👶🏽 as he toddled around the flat, laughing his head off every time I squeezed his sides 💙🤍

Posted •
Time for connection...take some time each day to look into their eyes, connect, hold them and see the world through their eyes.⁠

It is a gift for yourself as much as it is a special moment for your child.⁠

We get busy, get caught up, juggling life, work, parenting... ⁠

Take a moment to breathe, ground yourself and connect with those around you. (⁠If you want to do so in good company and with a little guidance, check out the Booking a course tab in the link in bio!) ⁠

Have a great week ahead.⁠

⁠ ⁠


Fill up their cups 🫖

Posted • How full is your child's cup this week? ☕⁣

Just like we have an emotional capacity cup, our children do too 💜⁣

We caught up with to get her advice on what empties a child's cup and how we can fill it back up 🥰⁣

Signs your child might show when their emotional tank is starting to feel empty are:⁣

- Changes in behaviour⁣
- Becoming more reactive to situations⁣
- Changes in sleeping habits⁣
- Changes in toilet or eating behaviours⁣
- Increased tantrums⁣
- Getting upset more easily⁣
- Increased fears or worries⁣
- Difficulty separating from parents/carers⁣
- Withdrawing from situations or activities⁣
- Physical signs such as sore tummy/headache⁣

But with a whole lot of loving and play we can start to build them back up 💪 However, if you are worried about your child's mental health please speak to their GP ❤️⁣

What fills up your child's cup? Let us know in the comments below 👇⁣


I’ve never heard it described as a cultural skill, but it’s so true! (Our little is 13m today and typically wakes twice a night 💙)

Posted • We have a tendency to think that sleeping through the night is a milestone in a baby's development. It is the first thing that every stranger asks us about our newborn, and the child who has not yet reached this goal is, more or less explicitly, considered capricious and / or spoiled. In any case a problem. But perhaps it is time to reconsider.⁠

Sleeping through the night is not part of the category of actions for which we are naturally programmed. Sleeping through the night is a skill linked to our culture, as is reading, writing and driving a car.⁠

In our culture, most of us must learn to sleep in circumstances that are not ideal for facilitating gradual learning of nocturnal autonomy. So we help our children to learn this difficult thing, informing us, observing and accompanying them step by step.⁠

This will not take away the interrupted nights, but it will take away the anger, the frustration and the feeling that we are doing something wrong if our baby requires attention at night.⁠

After all, we are parents at night as well as during the day.⁠

And who knows, maybe with all this positive energy in the air, the baby will fall asleep sooner.⁠

✏️ How to ask smarter questions than "Do you sleep all night?” New blog post coming soon


And and I have successfully done it for one year now! It has been a mind-bending year even if you remove learning to parent; but here we are, on 👶🏽‘s first birthday, a little more full of love, a little more humble, a little more tired… let’s see what the next 12 months bring 🥰🎄

Posted • Let’s stick together and help each other up!

Photos from Catherine Southard: BabyBrains London's post 23/12/2021

There’s an awful lot of noise out there regarding infant sleep - go with your gut 💚😌

Posted • This advice makes no sense from a brain development and attachment perspective. Please dismiss it.

Have you ever hired a sleep consultant/coach? What sort of advice have you got that did not make sense? Feel free to share it with me, so I can post about it to better inform other parents.



Our 👶🏽 is learning A LOT then 🤪

Posted •
Movement allows infants to explore their everyday environment and opens new opportunities for learning later on.⁠

Movement builds a sensory “map” in the child’s brain of where they are in space at any particular time. ⁠

Creeping and crawling on all fours, rolling on the floor, rocking to and fro, rocking on Daddy’s knee or on a rocking horse, spinning, twirling, swinging, and rolling are all activities most children love and will repeat them over and over again.⁠

The repetition of these movements results in a store of movement patterns which are processed by the vestibular nucleus (balance system) in the brain and then stored for ready access in the cerebellum, the part of the brain, which coordinates our movements. When enough information has been processed and stored in the cerebellum, the toddler sets out on his journey of exploration of the world.⁠

By the age of 5-6 years, the young child has enough information and experience stored to enable him to run, jump, hop, skip at will and also SIT STILL and LISTEN when required. This ability to keep our heads still and upright enables us to think CLEARLY and to CONCENTRATE. This is a key capacity, which each child needs to develop if they are to succeed at school.⁠

Put your baby down and allow them to explore the world around them. Make sure that you're feeling relaxed too so your cues are positive and reassuring.⁠
Encourage movement and play every day by connecting and enjoying it with them.⁠

How do you get more movement into your baby's day?⁠

Adapted from an article by the Developmental Learning Centre in New Zealand⁠


Just a little reminder if you’re feeling less than rested today 😌

Posted •


Don’t you wish you could plug into your baby’s brain and know what they are thinking? I can’t wait for our 👶🏽 to start talking! Lots of delicious babbling for now 💙

Posted • How to improve your baby’s language?⁠ By thinking about it logically.⁠

Language is a tool for communication.⁠

Language development is all about opening up that communication channel that is so uniquely human and that holds such immense potential for each one of us. The best thing you can do to improve your child's language skills is to give her plenty of opportunities to realise what an exceptional communication tool it is for her. This will automatically spark your child's motivation to master this wonderful tool, which in turn will fuel her thirst for knowledge and her willingness to practice. So, how can you show her how amazingly useful and fun language is? ⁠

4 ways to get your baby interested in language so that she is motivated to learn and use it to connect to the special people around her⁠

Read the full article on our website:⁠

Videos (show all)

🌳🌲🌿🍃🍂🍁🪵🌻🌾🌞Posted @withregram • @littlenestsleep A 2004 study by Yvonne Harrison looked at a group of healthy, full term ...
It feels like this skill is about to be learnt with our bub. He first rolled from front to back 3 times at 3 months and ...





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