Hands up if you are ready for Christmas. I had such great intentions this year, but suddenly it's December and still so much to do. It's so hard to get the balance of giving your children toys they will enjoy and not over indulging and spoiling them. Well maybe my lack of organisation will ensure they don't get too spoilt! So cliche, but where did the year go?
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and hope you are back to join us next year.
We have something for everyone again this month. We are lucky to be joined by Caroline May, mother of 2 and a midwife who has written an article on 5 thoughts for labour.
Pregnant women may also enjoy the pregnancy exercise tips
, also see the link for previous tips for weeks 5 to 24. A great travel tips
article with ideas for on board the flight, something we all dread but with a bit of preparation can be much more enjoyable. Toys, toys, toys its all we think about over Christmas so we have an article on the Toy of the millenium: YOU
. A Christmas edition of whats on tips
and our mother's journey
continues as her son turns 4 months.
Don't forget to enter our latest competition
for your chance to win a voucher to spend at Zarly's Pretty Things. They have beautiful pettiskirts, clips, headbands etc.
I would love your feedback on this month's newletter, I'd also love to hear any suggestions you have. You are welcome to email if you have an article to submit. Simply reply to this email to contact us or click comment on the icon above.
5 Thoughts for labour
by Caroline May (Midwide and Mother of 2) :
Ok, so a no brainer to start with. It hurts, there are no two ways about it. Even if you have an epidural you still have the pain associated with putting the epidural in. It is important to remember that labour hurts for a reason. Just think for a minute what would happen if it didn't? For me as a mother, that would mean my second baby would have been born at the local playground! It hurts so that you know it is happening and you can get to your safe place, be that the hospital or your home. That doesn't mean you have to stop everything at the first contraction and panic, in fact it is probably better to ignore them for as long as possible, but it is time to make preparations.
It is a birth day, not a party. Think carefully about who you really want at your birth. You need to be comfortable enough to be naked, to be yourself, to yell, scream or fart in front of these people and to be able to look them in the eye again afterwards! If you feel inhibited you will not labour well. You need to be able to switch your logical brain off and engage your primitive brain when you are in labour.
For most of the population, labour and birth are normal everyday events. The majority of women can labour well, given the opportunity to do so. There are some women though, who will require assistance. Interventions are not without risk and will result in an action that may or may not be positive. Michel Odent (obstetrician) believes that the first intervention is leaving your own front door. Leaving the comfort of your own house to go to hospital can slow labour down. The oxytocin drip that speeds up your long labour may test your baby's ability to cope with the contractions. The epidural that allows you to be pain free may cause your blood pressure to drop. Labour is not the time to be doing your research about interventions. You need to have done this during the pregnancy so you know what you are and are not happy to accept and under what circumstances.
Don't fight it, work with it. It may not make sense to you right now, but when you are in labour it helps to ride the wave of the contractions not fight against the tide. You will quickly become exhausted if you fight every contraction. You need to stay calm, relaxed and focused. There will be moments when it all seems overwhelming and you loose your focus, but work on regaining it with the next wave and remember to breathe! Your instinct is likely to be to hold your breath but that makes the pain worse. It is the blowing out part of the breath that helps you relax so concentrate on this. Pretend you are blowing out candles, blowing a little sail boat across a pond, blowing the petals off a flower, whatever works for you, but make sure you breathe.
Finally, the only thing that is absolutely guaranteed in labour is that it won't last forever. You will get to meet your beautiful baby at the end of it. Remember that when the going gets tough.
Midwife and Mother of two.
What is Elimination Communication?
By Emily Walker
There’s been a few questions lately regarding the optimum time to begin potty training and troubles with “traditional” potty training. I’ve noticed that the mere mention of potty training before the traditional age of 2/2.5 brings out a lot of opinions! More often than not the debates revolve around children not being ready to express and control their toileting needs at a young age.
The practice of Elimination Communication (EC) completely flies in the face of western society’s current position and philosophy on the potty training process.
This is a simple concept, but it takes some explaining.
Many people are shocked when they learn that there are parents who “potty train” their infants, these parents however, are most likely to be practicing a form of EC.
Elimination Communication is nothing like potty training, although it is sometimes referred to as infant potty training…
This gentle, baby-led approach relies on the caregiver’s understanding of and attention to their child’s individual cues, and their prompt response to the cues which indicate a need to urinate of defecate. No pressure is put on the baby to “perform” to any expectation, they are simply placed over a bathtub, potty, sink or toilet as they do (or don’t do) their business. This method has been found to be much more successful when it is practiced from early infancy.
Based on the evidence of human history, the natural age at which a child can become actively involved in expressing their toileting needs is far younger than is currently recommended and practiced in western society.
There are studies which show babies to have little control over their bowels and bladder. However, the dependence on nappies during the first, second and sometimes third and fourth year will almost certainly have some bearing on these findings. Within the first few months of life, babies can consciously release their bladders and bowels.
There are many ways in which to practice EC, families who choose to practice it will differ in their approaches; You do what works for you. My 14 month old for example is in nappies, but when I catch one of her cues the nappy comes off and I take her to the potty (around 6-7 times a day. We began this process at around 3 months of age.
Other parents will not use nappies at all., not even in public or at night. The extent to which one practices EC is completely a personal decision based on many variables. This process depends on patience, willingness, lifestyle, support networks etc. Also, of course, an ability to be very in touch with the child’s cues, which is accompanied by a realisation that your baby is a wise, instinctual and conscious being.
From the day your baby is born he/she knows instinctively when they need to go. There will be subtle little hints, your baby doesn’t look forward to the discomfort of a soiled nappy so they will warn you!
Here are 5 great benefits that can come from practicing Elimination Communication with your child-
1. Reduces the chance of nappy rash.
2. Reduces the risk of urinary tract infections.
3. Reduces the risk of constipation.
4. Reduces incidences of "unexplained" fussiness and colic.
5. Reduces the risk of bed wetting in older children.
I’d like to thank www.diaperfreebaby.org
for providing this list (from their article “75 benefits of Elimination Communication.”)
For anyone considering this approach to “potty training” Diaper Free Baby also has a fantastic range of articles and resources to help anyone wanting to know more about EC.
Pregnancy Exercise Tips
by Pregnancy Exercise
Pregnancy Weeks 24-34:
This may be this best time during your pregnancy so enjoy it. You are not pregnant for long and as soon as you give birth you will forget all about your pregnancy.
Make the most of all the nice comments you are hopefully receiving.
Your body shape is now changing very fast; you should now start to look pregnant. This can put many more demands on your posture. Try to maintain good posture as this will help you carry your pregnancy more efficiently and give your baby much more room to grow and move.
Diabetes-Blood glucose test
This blood test is usually required around weeks 26-28. Try to get an early morning appointment preferably before you have eaten breakfast. Food will affect the results especially foods containing sugar so the test results may be inaccurate and you will have to go for another test.
If you can’t get your blood test prior to eating try to eat foods that are high in protein and fat and preferably 2 hours before.
These foods will have less of an effect on the results eggs, nuts, avocado. Foods that will spike the blood test orange juice, sugar, fruits and dried fruit, cereal.
Exercise for this Phase
You will find that you can still manage to exercise 3-5 times a week. Swimming, walking and specific pregnancy exercises that will strengthen your glutes and leg strength are very important during this stage in your pregnancy
See the tips for pregnancy exercise for weeks 5-24
Toy of the millenium: You
by Baby Harmony
Eeek! Christmas is coming!!!
Have you visited a toy shop lately? Of course you have. Have you walked in looking for the perfect toy for your baby, but walked out with a headache? Maybe. There are just so many toys nowadays it makes the mind boggle. Well, here’s a little secret: you are the best toy for your baby. Let me explain how you help develop your baby’s brain:
Your newborn sees best at about 18-30cm, or “breastfeeding distance”, and is programmed to find your face very appealing and stimulating. So it’s your face on which they want to practice their focusing and tracking.
The best way to develop language is to use it. Talk to your baby. Sing to your baby. They LOVE your voice (even if you are not Mariah Carey) and you will maintain their attention better than any musical toy.
Gross & fine motor skills
In order to move parts of their body effectively, your baby must learn where these parts are. They’re not born “knowing” that they have feet, they must discover them, and touching them sends this information to the brain. “Oh my goodness, my feet at the end of my legs!”
No baby toy teaches your baby about respect and gives them a positive self image to keep for the rest of their lives. You are the one that does that. Your facial expressions and voice intonation (and how you respond to your baby’s cues) teaches your baby about emotions.
How baby massage can help
Baby massage incorporates all of the above areas of development through positioning, constant communication and touch. And unlike other toys, your baby won’t outgrow it after 6 months; baby massage can be modified all the way up to teenage massage!
Of course you will probably still want to shower your baby with presents this Christmas (pop a couple of Panadols before you head to the shops, please), just don’t forget that you will always be the favourite.
Travel Tips For On Board The Flight
Take plenty of snacks, kids appetites may vary to the timing of the travel cart plus snacking fills in some time.
If your child has only recently been potty trained, you may want to consider putting them in pull ups or a nappy for the flight just in case
Stay calm even if your child cries, don't worry about what other passengers think, you are doing your best!!
Make sure you take Paracetamol with you on-board in case of ear aches or other pain.
Put some breathable fabric over the top of the bassinet to shield baby from lights in the cabin.
Try to keep your kids hydrated by frequently offering water and perhaps occasionally juice.
Ask the hostesses for help if you need it, most of them will be really willing to help.
If you need hostesses to heat bottles for you, ask them in advance of when you need it, they are often busy with catering duties etc. so may
If your baby takes a dummy, let them have it on take-off and landing to ease pressure on their ears, feeding babies on take-off and
You can ask cabin crew to keep your meal warm while you feed your kids and they can bring it to you when you are ready (within reason.)
Dress your kids in layers, planes can be very cold or very hot, and layers mean you can adjust their clothing to suit without having to
Let the kids have a wander and stretch out by strolling up and down the cabin every now and again.
As much as possible stick to your child's bed time routine for evening or night flights, change them into their pyjamas, read a story and have a bottle etc. before having a sleep.
4-5 months: TEETHING... OH MY GOODNESS!!!
My little man has what I call itchy toothypegs... no teeth, nothing visible but they sure are causing him problems. He is dribbling that much that his top was wet all down the front AND down his back... CRAZY! Got him an amber teething bracelet and the dribbling STOPPED~ thank goodness!! So he is also a bit of a lazy little poop! He has been rolling from front to back for ages but he is just too lazy to do it so gets frustrated and his head is that big that he just gives up holding it up after a while.... he still wont roll from back to front he just twists his body and looks like something from the exorcist of Emily Rose....
He is loving his food too.... pumpkin, carrot, zucchini, apples, pears and weetbix have agreed with him... i never made food for my daughter so this is all new and exciting. AND CHEAPER!
He also got sick for the first time..... temps in the HIGH 39's... in and out of doctors and he wasnt eating or sleeping :( my poor little man! Its only now he is getting back to sleeping all night and I am def feeling better for my full nights sleep again...
More from our mums
Whats on tips:
Carols in the City Brisbane
Little Kickers Gold Coast
Hyde Park Christmas on the Green
Christmas Lights Spectacular, Hunter Valley
Christmas Square, Melbourne
The Christmas Show
Lighting of the Christmas Tree
Loxton Lights Festival
Carols By Candlelight, Adelaide
Carols by the Bay
Carols by Candlelight, Perth
Turning on of the Christmas Lights, Albany