Monthly Archives: June 2013

Red Nose Day: SIDS Awareness

A plot of SIDS rate from 1988 to 2006

A plot of SIDS rate from 1988 to 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The last Friday in June is Red Nose Day in Australia. That’s today. Red Nose Day is all about promoting awareness of SIDS and how to prevent the sudden unexplained death of infants under 2 years old. SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is, by its very definition, a mysterious killer.

Though we don’t have a perfect picture of why some babies die suddenly and seemingly without reason, we do know there are ways to lessen your risk factor. SIDS and Kids is an Australian organisation dedicated to saving the lives of babies and children during pregnancy, birth, infancy and childhood and to supporting bereaved families. Red Nose Day is their annual fundraising day and awareness campaign.

Guidelines from SIDS and Kids for safe sleeping in infants under 2

1. Sleep baby on the back from birth, not on the tummy or side

2. Sleep baby with head and face uncovered

3. Keep baby smoke free before birth and after

4. Provide a safe sleeping environment night and day

5. Sleep baby in their own safe sleeping place in the same room as an adult caregiver for the first six to   twelve months

6. Breastfeed baby Continue reading

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Guest Post: Breast or Bottle feed

This week’s guest post is from Sam Stone. Her blog has a great Random Acts of Kindness page that will brighten your day!

If you would like to contribute a guest post please send me a message!

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Before having children we thought we knew it all. We attended the antenatal classes to learn about labour, breastfeeding and how to generally care for our newborn baby. We left with a wealth of knowledge or so we thought.

zoloft-and-breastfeeding

At this stage I had set ideas on parenting. In regard to breastfeeding, I thought I would have no problem with it and therefore would breastfed our baby for the first year.

When our little girl was born these set ideas all went out the window.

Breastfeeding wasn’t easy

After a terrible labour that lasted two days, my milk supply was fairly nonexistent and our daughter was practically starving.

A lactation consultant told me I would need to supplement the breastfeeds with formula. I would also have to express after each feed to help my own supply.

This was a long process. In the early months of our daughter’s life I hardly slept. By the time I had breastfed her, bottle fed her and expressed it was time to start the whole process again. Continue reading

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When it baby showers, it pours

The baby shower. Seems simple enough. Someone close to you having a baby? Throw them a party to celebrate. But then comes the planning and you realise that a baby shower isn’t a baby shower isn’t a baby shower.

Baby shower- comestível chocolate truffles.

Do you invite men? Do you invite only those close to the mother or also those close to the father? Or those who aren’t close at all in your lives? What about couples adopting, or same sex couples with two mothers or no mother, and then what about a birth mother who may not be a part of the family?

Do you encourage drinking, when the guest of honour may be dry? Do you make everyone play games? Do you deny people the fun of games? Do you encourage gift giving? Will the gifts be opened at the party? And do you do it all again for second, third, and subsequent babies?

There’s no right answer, just what makes sense for you and your situation. But here are some of those twisty questions pulled apart like a cinnamon scroll for you (mmmmm, note to self, bring cinnamon scrolls to baby shower this weekend). Parents and party hosters: I’m talking to you!

Who to invite.

Men and Women?

Traditionally baby showers were a chicks only event. Women were the only ones who could understand and who would really care about the impending birth of your child. But, thankfully, today men want to know and do care far more often than they are given credit for. A baby shower can be for both parents and include men and women guests without any expectation of awkward foot shuffling whenever anyone says “breasts” that didn’t follow “show us your.” Continue reading

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Guest Post: Ten Tips for Making Weaning a Breeze

This week’s guest post is from Charlie Wilson. I love reading her posts on Macaroni Mums, a place for “real, down-to-earth, bumbling-along-and-having-a-lot-of-fun mummies.” 

If you would like to contribute a guest post please send me a message!

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weaningWeaning. Ah, the joy of carrot puree up the walls and your baby sending projectile missiles of mush right into your coaxing face. Weaning’s a really exciting stage in parenting – your little one’s expression as he experiences new flavours! – but it’s also a whole new world: What foods to offer? How much? When? What about milk feeds? And allergies? And choking? Parents in the throes of weaning can find themselves floundering and anxious and suffering from ‘spaghetti bolognaise aversion’. So here are some top tips for weaning to make the whole process much easier – and much more enjoyable:

1. Arm yourself with info.

Read one or two childcare books or baby websites that include guidance on weaning to establish the basics of how it works, such as which foods to avoid for the first year and how to transition from smooth-mush to lumpy-mush. Note the words ‘one or two’ in the last sentence – no need to become a weaning expert, which simply leads to obsessing over each detail of weaning. Continue reading

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Playpens: Are they good or bad?

Not so long ago the playpen was a very common and ordinary part of a young child’s life. Ask your own parents or grandparents and there’s a good chance they not only used one, but did so without spending much time pondering over its evils or benefits. The playpen was as ubiquitous as the pram or the highchair.

But today it is far less common to see a playpen. Those who do use them often joke uncomfortably about “locking” their baby away, to buffer against the criticism of others. Forums are littered with parents questioning their pros and cons and asking for advice about whether a playpen will help or harm their baby and their family. Many feel the playpen has become a sort of anti-status symbol, where parents who use one believe they are looked down upon by those who do not.

Why the playpen has fallen from favour.

There are various websites and forum comments that allude to studies that show babies placed in playpens experience developmental delay and suffer long term mental and physical harm. But no one seems to be able to point to any such studies and Alison Gopnik, professor of psychology at University of California-Berkeley and author of  The Philosophical Baby, says she ” [doesn’t] know of any systematic research on this.” What seems most likely is that advice about the importance of allowing a baby to move and explore their environment has been applied by concerned parents to playpens, though not intended to specifically warn against their use in their entirety. Continue reading

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