Maybe this should be #1. Or maybe this highlights that this list is not necessarily in order. Because I really don’t want you to underestimate how very much I mean it when I say – You do Not need Cot Bumpers.
#3 Baby item you absolutely do not need: cot bumpers. In fact…. Please Do Not buy cot bumpers.
A cot bumper is padding that runs around the inside of a cot, supposedly to protect the baby from banging their head on the hard sides or getting any part of their body caught between the bars. But cot bumpers have been associated with SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), strangulation, and suffocation, and can be very dangerous for your baby.
I can feel myself getting slightly stressed just writing about it. I began this list, this blog, and my consultation service largely because there are so many aspects of babycare that are confusing for parents and families. And no wonder, when there are things marketed to you as helping to keep your baby safe that are widely agreed to potentially lead to their death!! It’s incredible that things like cot bumpers are even allowed to be sold. If I could rip every cot bumper I see off the shelves, I would (maybe I should?). But, since the causes of SIDS are still yet to be fully understood, I suppose it’s not clear enough to ban them – though there are many advisories against them from health bodies around the world*. Continue reading
Is this a girl or a boy?
Most little girl things in stores are pink. Boy things are usually blue. These days, most families I know say they don’t want to force their children into gender roles. When you’re shopping for your baby it can be hard to avoid gender stereotyping, though. Stores overflow with pink gingham dresses and blue shirts, blue trains and pink baby dolls.
So what are your options?
Many people dress babies in the stereotypical colours so others know what gender they are. Until you’ve been out with a baby girl dressed in blue and told a dozen times your little boy is cute you probably underestimate how much you’d like people to know that your girl is a girl. I think it’s something to do with wanting your baby to be more than just another blob. Instead of having just one more squawking bundle of indeterminate gender and debatable merits, you want this baby to be a Person. When someone peeks into the pram and says your girl is a cute girl, she seems to be asserting her Self just a little bit more than if she’s only identifiable as a human, and no more. Continue reading
A recent report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found that by the time a child is 6 months old in this country, only 15% are still being breastfed. Both the World Health Organisation
Is breast best for you?
and the Australian Breastfeeding Association recommend breastfeeding exclusively for 6 months, and continuing for up to and beyond 2 years when combined with meals of solid food. Clearly, the reality of breastfeeding for most Australian mothers is not in line with the guidelines being presented.
I’m a nanny – not a doctor, nurse, or lactation specialist. My advice on breastfeeding has always come from a mixture of personal research and observation. Any serious concerns or questions, I’ll tell parents, should be directed at the appropriate health professionals. But I am often involved in changes in breastfeeding and can give basic advice and share my opinions and experiences. Continue reading