You read all the books and were totally prepared for the poo and the vomit and the crying and the soft spot in their head… but still you keep seeing things that make you wonder:
Is my child normal?
Probably. Put plainly, your child is more likely to be normal than not – and by ‘normal’ I mean displaying behaviours that are common and not cause for concern.
Here are ten weird, annoying, frustrating, confusing and totally normal things about your child.
1. She bites you on the shoulder when being carried and held.
This can be due to teething (have you noticed your baby gnawing on more than just your shoulder?), or it can be just an experimentation with cause and effect. This is a good sign as it shows your baby is learning more about the way the world works and testing what your response to a nip on the shoulder will be. To avoid getting chunks taken out of you, respond by putting her down without comment. Test completed! Soon with enough repetition she will probably decide the outcome isn’t worth the biting. Continue reading
In recent years I’ve seen more and more babies wearing amber teething necklaces. You probably have too, both in the streets, in your circle of family and friends, and around the million dollar necks of celebrity offspring.
Pretty? Sure. Curative? No.
If you don’t know, these necklaces are made from Baltic Amber and are supposed to relieve pain and inflammation from teething. I’ve heard many people say they work, and many more who say they may as well try them even if they’re aren’t sure if they work, but here’s the rub: there’s not one single shred of evidence worldwide that amber necklaces have any affect on the body whatsoever – except to self-esteem, perhaps. I feel great when I wear some beautiful amber jewellery my dad gave me, but only because I look so lovely in it 😉
There’s two main arguments why I don’t think the teething necklaces should be used.
I write about both here, in an article about the dangers of choking or strangulation from a necklace made with beads that have absolutely no proven health benefits. The beads can break off easily and become a choking hazard and you should never wrap anything about a baby’s neck as they risk strangling themselves. Some suggest wearing the necklace around the ankle to avoid strangulation but then the risk of choking on dislodged beads still exists.
But the main reason I don’t think an amber necklace should be worn by babies to relieve teething pain is because they’re a hoax. Continue reading
One of the top items on many new parents’ to-buy list is a nappy bag. It can shine like a beacon of hope against the fear that having a baby will mean you can never leave the house again. With a nappy bag you can hit the streets, hit the road, hit the town! Most people with whom I’ve worked nappy bags three or four times the size of their baby and filled to the brim.
I’ve already written about paring down your nappy bag so you don’t carry around more than you need. If you lessen the amount of stuff you bring with you on baby outings, then do you still need an expensive and large specialised nappy bag or just….you know… a bag?
#7 piece of baby gear you probably don’t really need: A specialised nappy bag
What makes a actual ‘nappy bag’ different from a regular bag?
- Size: Most nappy bags are over-sized like a swollen tote or satchel. There’s a sense the nappy bag should be big enough to carry everything you might possibly need, but what actually seems to happen is that you carry everything it can possibly fit, regardless of whether you need it. Continue reading
I am a big advocate of swaddling. In my experience young babies who are swaddled sleep much better than those who are not. Wrapping your baby is one the very first things I’d suggest if your baby has trouble falling asleep and staying asleep.
However, I do not recommend you buy a swaddle suit. Not only are they an unnecessary expense but can actually do more harm than good, potentially causing damage to your baby’s hips. All you need to swaddle your baby are muslin cloths.
#6 Item you should avoid buying your baby: Swaddle Suits
- Swaddling basically means “wrapping your baby firmly.” The sensation of pressure on their bodies mimics the feeling of being in the womb and provides comfort (like a hug!). This comforting feeling allows them to feel safer and more relaxed when falling asleep. Continue reading
Did your 8 or 9 month old baby used to be a ‘good sleeper’? Or perhaps not so good, but you’d figured out some tricks and methods to get some approximation of good sleep at night and during naps? Only now you’ve found that suddenly little Tootle (imaginary baby name of the week) is taking ages to settle, waking quickly, crying, fussing, complaining, and generally making a mockery of your previous boasts and relief that she was sleeping fairly well?
It can be very frustrating to feel like something’s gone wrong, especially if you can’t seem to fix it. But if you know what’s probably causing these sleep habits to change then hopefully you can deal with it a little better.
Your baby is older now
Bottom line, even if it seems like a moment ago you learned a routine or a method or a style of babycare that worked, in the first year your baby moves into a different phase of life every few weeks. That means that you need to adapt to these changes every few weeks as well. It’s common to see parents still trapped in a thought pattern from a time their baby was younger, often also trying to combine with information they’ve found or been given about the changes facing their baby now. For example, babies who are eating solids also being pushed to drink frequent large amounts of milk around the clock; the new phase on top of the old.
There are some big things that are changing at around the 8 or 9 month mark that can have an impact on sleep habits. Continue reading