Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Media misleading

I'm a huge fan of babywearing.  I currently have three different baby carriers, and love having different ways to carry my little one.  I love the feeling of having him close to me to snuggle, and we have such a laugh and a giggle together when we're walking along.   In the main the comments we receive are positive but very occasionally we get the odd negative comment from people who mistakenly believe it is dangerous to wear your baby.

What I get really annoyed about is the media getting it wrong. The latest example is the BBC programme "In the club", which showed this scene...

This particular baby carrier is not safe at all. In a bag sling, there is no safe way to position the baby. They have to lie lengthways and the sling curves them into a C-shape, pushing their chin into their neck and can restrict their airway. The design of this also means that any air they can breathe is re-circulated air.

There have been deaths associated with this sling. Wearing your baby is easy but it must be done safely for both baby and parent.

If you want to baby wear, please do your research and please find your local sling library to try before you buy, and learn how to wear your baby safely.

There are so many benefits to babywearing:
 1. Wearing a baby is convenient.
When we carry a baby in a sling, we can walk around freely and not have to worry about negotiating steps, crowds or narrow aisles with a stroller. Car seats are heavy and awkward for parents.Babies often look uncomfortable, and they are kept at knee level.  Prams are often cumbersome and bulky in heavily pedestrianised areas.  A sling can block out excess stimuli when breastfeeding an easily distracted (nosey) baby, and it allows for discreet nursing in public places. A sling can also double as a changing pad, blanket, or cushion when away from home.

2. Wearing a baby promotes physical development.
When a baby rides in a sling attached to a parent, he is in tune with the rhythm of their breathing, the sound of their heartbeat, and the movements they make – walking, bending, and reaching. This stimulation helps him to regulate his own physical responses and control his balance. The sling is in essence a "transitional womb" for the new baby, who has not yet learned to control his bodily functions and movements. Research has shown that premature babies who are touched and held gain weight faster and are healthier than babies who are not. Mechanical swings and other holding devices do not provide these same benefits.

3. Babies worn in slings are happier. Well mine is anyway :P

4. Baby-wearing is healthy for you!
It can be challenging for new mothers to find time to exercise, but if you carry your baby around with you most of the day or go for a brisk walk with your baby in hissling, you will enjoy the dual benefits of walking and "weightlifting". A long walk in the sling is also an excellent way to help a tired but over-stimulated child fall asleep. Slings are usually associated with infants, but they can be very useful for toddlers as well; most slings accommodate children up to 35 or 40 pounds. The world can be a scary place for toddlers, who feel more confident when they can retreat to the security of the sling when they need to do so. Toddlers often become over-stimulated, and a ride in the sling helps to soothe and comfort them before (or after!) a "melt-down" occurs. It can be very helpful in places like the zoo, aquarium, or museum, where a small child in a stroller would miss many of the exhibits.

5. Slings are a bonding tool for fathers, grandparents, and other caregivers.
Slings are a useful tool for every adult in a baby's life. It makes me smile when I see a father going for a walk with his baby in a sling. The baby is becoming used to his voice, heartbeat, movements and facial expressions, and the two are forging a strong attachment of their own. Fathers don't have the automatic head-start on bonding that comes with pregnancy, but that doesn't mean they can't make up for this once their baby is born. The same goes for babysitters, grandparents and all other caregivers. Cuddling up close in the sling is a wonderful way to get to know the baby in your life, and for the baby to get to know you!
Instead of running loose in crowded or dangerous places, a child in a sling is held safe and secure right next to your body. Slings also provide emotional safety when needed, so that children can venture into the world and become independent at their own pace.

6. They're budget friendly
Slings cost far less than strollers, front-carriers or backpacks. Many mothers consider the sling to be one of their most useful and economical possessions. Inexpensive used slings can be found second hand and new ones can be bought for about £30 -£100 - not bad for an item many parents use daily for two years or more! A sling can also be sewn for the price of a length of cotton, some rings and batting; sling patterns are available.

7. Slings are calming.
Studies have shown that the more babies are held, the less they cry and fuss. In indigenous cultures where baby-wearing is the norm, babies often cry for only a few minutes a day – in contrast to Western babies, who often cry for hours each day. Crying is exhausting for both the baby and his parents, and may cause long-term damage as the baby's developing brain is continually flooded with stress hormones. Babies who do not need to spend their energy on crying are calmly observing and actively learning about their environment. Baby-wearing is especially useful for colicky babies, who are far happier being worn, but placid, content babies and children will also benefit greatly from the warmth and security of being held close.

8. Baby-wearing is fun.
Who doesn't love to cuddle a precious little baby? And when your baby is older, having him in the sling makes conversations easier and allows you to observe her reactions to the wonders of the world around her. It's also fun for baby, because when she is up at eye level, other adults notice and interact with her more. Your child will feel more a part of your life when she is in her sling, and you will find yourself becoming more and more enchanted with this special little person.

It really isn't dangerous as long as you follow TICKS . 

Sunday, 7 September 2014


Everyday of my life now I have to take responsibility for someone else.  He's on my mind in everything that I do,  whether he's with me or not. He's even on my mind as I cross the road, making me more careful and taking less risks in life.

This week, we made one of the first of many decisions relating to his care and wellbeing. We chose his nursery for when I return to work. In some ways it was harder than I expected it to be.   When we first started looking into nurseries I had a list in my head of key criteria and thought it was as simple as that.

As soon as we looked at the first one I realised there were so many things that I hadn't even thought about which were so important.  With every nursery we looked at, more and more things occurred to us.

We eventually narrowed it down to two. We were left with two final questions. Which one did we feel he would be happiest at, and which one did we feel we could trust to keep him safe, and care for him in the same way we would.

It's the weirdest thing having to choose someone to look after your child, and to pay them for the privilege of spending time with him. Because,  it really is a privilege.

I'm now officially dreading 2015.

Every day that I finish work I'll be desperate to reassure myself that we have trusted the right person to take care of the most precious thing in our life.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Weaning Fun

Oscar is almost 5 months and although WHO guidance states weaning shouldn't begin before babies are 6 months old, we've been letting him, and encouraging him to taste food. Until recently we'd limited it to sucking cucumber, tomatoes and funnily enough lemons which he loves.

Following a chat with the HV yesterday we were strongly supported to properly begin weaning.

There tends to be two ways to wean, traditional weaning with purees at Stage 1, and Baby Led weaning. Baby Led is a more modern way of weaning.  Essentially is placing food in front of a baby and letting them feed themselves. One of the main advantages being that at six months, babies are more likely to be developmentally capable of feeding themselves without turning food to mush.

I'm personally inclined to combining the two methods. Purees of combinations of flavours gradually increasing in texture and baby led allowing him to pick up food, feel the textures and decide for himself what he wants.

He clearly loves both, this week so far has been pureed beetroot with potato and pieces of plum and apricots.

He's a happy boy when he has food to play with.



Monday, 25 August 2014

Bank Holiday Mum Style

It's the last British Bank Holiday before Christmas, yay!!

Its time to go all out and make the most of a day off... Oh wait. I don't get days off ��

I woke at 6 and fed the wee boy, he dozed off until about 7, I didn't.  From 7 until half 8 the wee boy was wide awake and wanted to play with his favourite toy.  Me.

At half 8 he fed again and zonked out for a nap allowing me time to get up and get dressed before rushing out the house for 9.20 to quickly run some errands. Don't worry the other half had just woken up and was keeping an eye on him.

Errands run and the car filled with diesel we sat down for my first coffee of the day and breakfast at about 10am.

Once done it was time to tidy up, hang some clothes out,  put another load on and tidy upstairs. Fed the wee boy again and put my hair dye on before spending the half hour cooking my hair and playing with the wee boy and practicing sitting and kneeling.

Quick shower and rinse off the hair dye, then dry my hair. Cue one tired and grumpy baby who is seriously fighting his nap and the other half in quite a bit of pain waiting for painkillers to work. Grab the baby and do a bit of tidying etc while bouncing the baby.  Other half makes a fantastic cuppa while I feed the wee boy again and he finally falls asleep.

Ten minutes later he's wide awake and wants to play.  Set the baby up with some toys and spend a quick ten minutes getting his changing bag ready before we hit the shops for supplies.

Go to two shops and then travel to his Nan's, during which he finally gets a 20 minute nap. At his Nan's I'm grateful for a sandwich,  some cake and a cuppa before I need to feed him again.

After a little play with his nan, we're sat on the floor together but he wants to sit and stand so needs to be supervised.

15 minutes of lots of giggles and he goes over to his dad for lots of tickles and bouncing and flying like SuperBaby before the crying starts because he's tired.

A nice quiet journey home as he sleeps and on arrival home we have a wide awake baby. Luckily he's content to stay in his car seat while I help my other half do his Ice Challenge for Motor Neurone Disease. As soon as that's done he wants another feed.

A quick feed and I can leave him to play with his dad while I prep dinner. As soon as dinner is cooking it's time to start the bedtime routine.

After a lovely massage and clean clothes for bed is time to climb the stairs for the bedtime feed. That was over an hour ago and he's still feeding.  The other half has been and bought our naan bread to go with the curry I've cooked.

At some point Oscar will decide he's fuelled up enough for the night ahead and all being well go straight to sleep.

Now that's how a new mum's bank holiday rolls. I wouldn't change it ��

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Following advice

Oscar is now 19w and 6 and we're currently struggling with a change in his sleep pattern.

To try and get my head round it and fix it I've been discussing it with close friends, family, and also generally having a bit of a moan about sleep deprivation on social media. Yes I'm aware, typing this at 5am is really not going to help me 😉

However I've got a new issue to deal with. when everyone has been so helpful with advice and talking about their own experiences, you become so swamped with ideas you don't know what to do for best!

So... I've decided to stop . Let's just roll with it, keep following my own instincts and keep reminding myself, it ain't going to last forever.


Friday, 8 August 2014

The Eternal Student

Today, as I returned from the library I realised something. I am now and will always be, forever more, a student.

Since becoming a mum I've attended various classes and talks provided by the local authority, and to further my own desire to know more I search the Internet and visit the library.

Well I'm a clueless new mum, so what do you expect? But it doesn't end there does it?

In years to come I need to learn about and research so much. There's just so much to learn, and everyday is a new lesson.

It's fun being a student!

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Being positive

I'm not normally a fan of meme's, but there's one doing the rounds at the moment which has my full support. It's one that I firmly believe everyone should do, every day, even if they just do it in their head and don't share it with the world.

The current popular meme invites people to post daily their three positives for that day for a week.

My only problem is actually narrowing it down to three! I've always been a "glass half full " kind of gal but this really went into overdrive in 2006 when I developed a real appreciation for being alive and appreciating all the small things, and started to let go of the things that really don't matter. If you can't change it, or it's not in your control, just let it go.

Every day I wake up happy and appreciative of my life, the things I have, and the people I share my life with. Of course there are things in my life which are not perfect, but even on the most miserable and shittiest of days I can look around me and just be grateful.

If you haven't been doing this, try the meme and then turn it into a habit. You'll be much happier for it.