I heard from a parent today that they don’t allow their 11 month old to make a mess when he eats.
Now before you start sniggering, I knew exactly what she meant. If little Goggins throws his food everywhere just to make a point/see the reaction/get out of eating it/see the reaction (oh wait, I said that already) they don’t turn a blind eye. They are trying to teach him some rules. I do the same. 11 months old is an appropriate age to start asking your child to hand you food they don’t want when they’re finished, not throw it against a wall, and it’s perfectly fine to tell an 11 month old” no” if they tip their food on the floor 5 times in a row while screaming at you.
But if there’s also an element of simply not liking the aesthetics of yoghurt in your baby’s eyebrows, and of wanting to keep the shaggy white rug under her highchair as snowy as they day you bought it (the day before you found out you were pregnant no doubt), then I’m afraid it’s time someone told you – babies are messy.
If you want to keep your white rug white, your wooden floors scratch-free, your vintage dresses & designer tea towels & first edition books & original art works and hand blown glasswear pristine, you have two choices:
Keep them in a part of the house your child never goes (and at some point, rest assured, they will still go to that part of the house).
Don’t have children.
I know it’s tempting to think the third choice is to keep your children under control and clean and calm. And even though you can probably do those things sometimes, hell, most of the time if you’re focused, there’s almost no chance you’ll do it All the time.
Babies make mess.
They are exploring and learning. Often it requires pushing your hands into your porridge and then rubbing into your eyes, sometimes feeding yourself is so hard that only half of it makes it to your mouth and rest falls innocently on the floor, and sometimes it means feeling so frustrated that your limited coping skills induce you to throw half a peach at the wall.
By all means, try to keep eating under control and try to keep your house clean enough to feel comfortable in, but it’s best if you also try not to worry about a bit of mess at meal time. It’s a necessary part of being a baby.
Does your baby make a mess at meal times?
Do you have any handy tips to keep the mess (slightly) under control?
Every now and then someone comes up with a new piece of gear for baby and toddler care that is pure genius. When they first invented the baby monitor I’m sure parents everywhere were relieved to be able to move their ear away from the nursery door. When non spill valves were added to sippy cups toddlers rejoiced at the freedom to upturn their drinks with wanton abandon. But when some bright spark started selling the Peepee Teepee, basically a little hat for your baby boy’s penis, not everyone was convinced.
In fact, there are hundreds of innovations aimed squarely at your baby or toddler’s toileting habits. But since we’ve got some of the basics to a fairly fine art (think disposable nappies, baby wipes, portable potties…) there are still entrepreneurs out there pushing at the glass ceiling of baby ablutions and eliminations.
Here are three baby and toddler toileting gadgets that just might be crazy enough to be genius. Unless they are just crazy.
Baby Bathroom Harness
The Babykeeper is a harness for a baby aged 6-18 months that is designed, not to be worn by an adult, but to hang over the door of a public toilet.
This one’s more about your toileting habits, but if you’ve ever had to go to a public toilet with a baby you know the choices you’re faced with are all crap (pun intended!). You can leave your baby in their pram just outside the locked door where they will no doubt be abducted and raised by a cult. You can leave the stall door open with the pram just outside so the cult members coming to use the public bathroom can watch you wee. You can try and cradle your baby in your lap while using the toilet, and probably drop them, Baby 59 style, straight into the bowl. Or you can set them on the floor and pray the germs are no worse than anywhere else your baby sits (side-note: apparently they probably are actually no worse than anywhere else).
This over-the-door-harness may make you feel slightly as if you’re treating you baby like a handbag, but provided you don’t forget to collect them as you leave, may just be the answer to the question: “What happens if I can’t hold it until I get home?”
The iPotty is a plastic potty with an activity stand for an iPad attached.
Though there is what seems to be incessant talk about whether or not toddlers and young children should use technology like iPads (note to self, write post about whether or not toddlers and children should use technology like iPads) the fact is, millions do. Much advice about potty training centers on the dual issues of keeping the child actually sitting on the potty long enough to see some action, and finding the experience rewarding, or at least not finding the experience upsetting. Having a TV show to watch or an app to play with while learning to use the potty addresses both issues smoothly and simply.
You may cringe at the idea of introducing your child to iPads in general, let alone encouraging them to hunker down on the loo staring at a screen for long periods of time, but when your toddler starts asking to use the potty instead of weeing on your lap or smearing poo on the walls above their cot I suspect it won’t seem such a problem.
The Peter Potty website announces that it is the world’s only flushable toddler urinal. It is exactly what it sounds like, a urinal small enough for the smallest of urinaters, and adjustable as they grow.
Children of both sexes are usually taught to wee sitting down. But many little boys want to stand, like they see their Daddy doing. An adult toilet is too high for a toddler to wee into standing but a regular potty on the floor is too small to aim at. You either have to resign yourself to urine all over the bathroom floor or insist your boy sits to wee until he is much taller.
Adding a urinal to your bathroom at home may seem like overkill, but despite the instinct to link them with the smell of stale urine and the general distaste of some public men’s bathrooms, the toddler urinal could be be best way to keep your bathroom floor wee-free while keeping your little man happy.
Join the discussion below, are these gadgets crazy or genius?
After 2 babies I decided to give myself an overhaul. While doing this it has made me think of the imprints we leave on our babies/children. One of the things that I have kicked off my overhaul with is joining a group training session.
Now, unlike most group sessions this one is targeted at mothers with babies/children and we all generally bring a baby/child (unless we are lucky enough for a loved one to take care of them).The trainer, Charlotte Hay from SOLMAMAS Slice of Life Fitness www.solfitness.com.au, understands what it is like being a mother and trying to squeeze in time for You. While we might be willing to find a sitter to go out to dinner every now and then, it’s not on a high priority to find yourself a sitter/carer on a weekly biases to look after your baby/child while you workout.
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
This year SIDS and Kids celebrates the 26th anniversary of the Red Nose Day awareness campaign. Funds raised from Red Nose Day have supported Australian families with education and support services and provided over $16m in funding for research into SIDS and Stillbirth.
The cause of SIDS is still unknown. Over 50% of stillbirths in Australia are also due to unknown causes. Through the Red Nose Day fundraising campaign SIDS and Kids are able to continue to work towards preventing Sudden Infant Death. You can buy Red Nose Day merchandise, get involved in community events, or just donate.
Where the money goes:
24 hour, 365 days a year crisis outreach and ongoing bereavement support for families and the community following the sudden and unexpected death of an infant or young child from 20 weeks gestation to 6 years.
The SIDS and Kids Safe Sleeping Program, an evidence-based health promotion campaign which offers practical advice to parents and health professionals about how to best reduce the risks of SIDS and sleep accidents.
Research into the causes and prevention of sudden and unexpected death in the perinatal period and infancy.
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.
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.”
If the baby is being adopted, or born to a mother who won’t raise the child herself, a group shower that focuses on the family as a whole may be more appropriate for everyone involved, and reinforces the idea of the baby coming to a family who wants and loves it rather than a baby being physically born to a human who gestated it.
But the traditional model designed for a woman giving birth to her own child has more than just a place in yesteryear. You could gather around you a group of women, probably inter-generational family members, girls who look up to you, friends you’ve shared memories with, and women you took advice from and admired. These women can help you feel a sisterhood with women throughout the ages who’ve shared, or may share, your journey; in some specific ways that men just can’t be a part of.
Perhaps in this case fathers should be encouraged to have a baby shower kind of celebration as well as the mother, if the mother chooses to have only women at her shower. Dudes could also bond about the ways fatherhood is specific to men and begin their new role knowing they have the support of men around them, instead of isolated in an outdated, sidelined, and silenced position.
How to play the day
If your guest of honour is pregnant she won’t be (hopefully!) wanting to get tiddly at her baby shower, but many of the guests will expect to have a drink in her name (you made a person, cheers to you!). If you want to discourage riotous drinking host your baby shower over a specific time frame, say several hours in the afternoon. If you and the preggo you’re throwing the party for don’t mind guests drinking and whiling the day away in celebration, leave the party open ended. Either way, ensure there’s plenty of non alcoholic drinks and if you made a beautiful, fruity, powerful punch – be mindful of any children!
Games go hand in hand with baby showers. They are just like hen’s night’s games except instead of being penis themed they are now vagina themed. Essentially. People like games but often don’t like being made to play them. Game playing at baby showers, or hen’s nights for that matter, can get awkward when the flow of the day is interrupted to coerce everyone into joining in. Decide up front if you plan to get everyone involved in games and try to pick times when it will be more fun than duty. Shortly after everyone arrives may be a good way to get people talking to one another, mid way may be a good time to revive flagging guests. Another option is to avoid all group games and have game stations, where guests can participate in guessing games and one shot games any time over the course of the day, with prizes distributed at the end of the party.
If you invite them, they will bring gifts. Unless you say not to. Don’t be coy and say nothing at all. That just means guests assume they should being a present but are at sea wondering what to choose. Be upfront and tell guests what kind of gifts would or would not be appreciated. And decide beforehand if they’ll be opened at the party, or you’ll be pressured into doing it whether you wanted to or not! Some guests like to see what everyone gave, but others find the opening tedious. You may want to share your gratitude with everyone, or may feel uncomfortable receiving so many gifts publicly.
What about if it’s not the first baby?
It’s less common to see baby showers for second babies, let alone, third, or eighth. But why so? Is this baby less important? Are we less pleased for the family? I think it’s a shame to put so much energy into the first and behave as if the following babies are no longer anticipated with such excitement. Many people feel silly making a fuss when they are already a parent, or concerned about asking for gifts multiple times, or have less time to enjoy the pregnancy. But you can decline gifts, arrange childcare or include your child. Besides, you should celebrate all your children not just the first, and you deserve to be fussed over every time you make a person with your own body. Go on. Do it all over again!
Join the discussion below, how would you approach a baby shower?