I like to play a game, with myself or anyone I can convince to join me. Now, get your minds out of the gutter! It’s a game about baby names. Or rather, the baby names a celebrity might use.
Once you get started it’s hard not to see examples everywhere. You know the kind I mean. Names that are meant to sound unique and imply a certain idiosyncratic eccentricity in the parents; Apple, Blanket, Sunday… Presumably we’re meant to add baby naming to the list of ways we can never hope to compare to the celebrity; never understand what it’s like to be them, mere mortals that we are.
Families trust me with their most precious possessions, their children, and so safety is always on my mind. Parents are always thinking about it, too. Sometimes I work with overprotective parents who won’t allow reasonable risk for fear of their child’s safety. Sometimes I work with parents who haven’t considered possible risks I’ve been able to point out to them, so we can collaborate to keep their kids safe. Very often I work with parents who do not agree with me about a particular aspect of child safety, and so do not follow my recommendations. That can be scary. Making a safer world for kids can be hard if you feel like the only one who sees a danger. Continue reading →
There are lots of good organic and pure fruit and/or vegetable baby foods available pre-made these days. But many parents still enjoy/prefer to cook and blend food themselves, especially in the earlier days of weaning. I like to do this, myself. It’s a good way to make sure you know exactly what you’re giving your baby and allows for adjustments to their tastes and reactions. For some families it’s not overly difficult or time-consuming to boil or stew a pot of apples, of sweet potato, pumpkin etc. Immersion stick blenders are wonderful for whizzing it all up right in the pot. Now all you need to do is pop it in the fridge or freezer…
#2 Baby item you definitely shouldn’t bother getting: Specialised pots for storing and freezing baby food.
There are several different styles available, often online or from baby superstores. They are simply small plastic containers, usually of around a 100ml capacity or there about. Sometimes they come in a stand to stack them in and keep them stable in the freezer. The cost varies.
There’s no need to go looking for these speciality items. Just get lots of ice-cube trays. Just simple, cheap, plain old ice-cube trays. Fill with your blended/mashed foods. Freeze. When they’re solid, pop them out and store in labelled snap-lock bags in the freezer. Continue reading →
Yep. Not what you want to have to tell the parents of the 4 month old in your care on your first day as their nanny.
Now, before I tell you the whole horrifying story, you can relax your Macaulay Culkin style stance of shock. Let me assuage your fears. I am fine, no psychological damage at all. Thank you for your concern, I’m truly touched 😉 And the baby, well he’s just fine as well.
In fact, he was fine the whole time. But – I did, I must admit, accidentally lock 4 month old M in his room, alone, on my first day as his nanny.
To be fair, all I did was shut the door. I didn’t actually lock it. I’d put him to sleep, smugly satisfied I’d passed the first test of the day by settling him easily and swiftly. He was tucked firmly into his cot, flat on his back, arms spread above his head and hands clenched in a peaceful sleepy double fist pump (“yes! I am going to rock this nap!”). I shut the door and went about my business.
I’ve worked in lots of homes with lots of babies. Different families have different styles, both in the way they run their home and in the way they approach parenting. I’ve used these stints amongst varied parenting and household styles to experiment with and explore which of the thousands of possible baby accessories are most commonly used and which are the most necessary and useful. It’s not the same list.
#1 Thing you think you need but don’t: Change Table.
Plenty of seasoned parents will tell you they’re an unnecessary expense. It’s not just me. You can change a baby on the floor, on the bed, on top of a chest of drawers. As time goes on you’ll find yourself changing them in the backseat of the car, on the kitchen table, and as they get older while they try to run away. All you need for these changes is, at best, a change mat with raised edges, and at least, a soft but firm surface. Continue reading →