New Mum on the Blog

Sharing is Caring! Experiences, insights, advice and tips from one mum to another

Sniffles n’ Cuddles….

Nothing and I mean nothing is worse for a parent then seeing your own child sick. Whether it’s the flu, a common cold or an ear infection you would do anything in your power to take away their pain to make them feel better. Over this last year Aud has caught a cold a couple times (fact: babies can catch up to 8 colds a year!), and there are a few key things we have used that really seem to work. I wanted to write a bit about what we experienced and what those are to help out any mums or dad’s out there who might wanna know!

For some it may be a easier to distinguish how their little one’s are feeling because they are able to communicate, tell Mommy or Daddy their tummy or head hurts. For a parent of a baby it’s definitely more of a challenge to know for sure what is bothering them. I can’t tell you how many times I took Aud to the Dr. because she pulled on her ear, or had a runny nose, or because I thought our thermometer was broken. You know it’s overkill when the receptionist and nurses know who you are without having to check in…(guilty).

The second week we were home with Aud she got sick. Can you imagine how we felt? Having a two week old newborn with whom we are just getting to know, learning how to take care of, still trying to get the hang of breastfeeding and she get’s sick. Jon had gotten sick and although I told him not to pick her up or go near her (puh-lease), she’s his brand new baby girl, how could he not?

When we took her to the Dr. unfortunately there wasn’t much we could do. He suggested saline drops and a nasal aspirator and to nurse as much as I can. Although it was a common cold (no fever) the thing with babies, especially newborns, is that there is always that risk of an illness turning into Pneumonia so extreme caution and extra extra TLC is needed!

Poor girl was so stuffed up and being that little she just did not know how or what to do about it. I don’t know about you but I really wasn’t getting anywhere with that nasal bulb so Jon, (WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT) being the wondering daddy that he is, literally sucked the snot out of her nose with his mouth (spitting it out immediately after). Now, if that isn’t some serious daddy love I don’t know what is.

After a few days of him doing this, I finally came across something that would be our savior this last year. The Hydra Sense Nasal Aspirator for newborns and infants. Like the bulbs you see at hospitals and in the infant medical kit you probably got at your shower, it’s purpose is to relieve nasal congestion. The difference is that like how Jon was sucking the snot right out of her nose, this traps the mucous and stops it from actually getting into your mouth! Trust me this is one product you definitely are going to want to go and get. It also comes with some saline drops which can help loosen up the mucous and make it easier to get out.

Another thing we used was Coryzalia which is by the Boiron family (same company that makes the Camilia-great product for teething relief). Coryzalia is a homeopathic medicine used to relieve symptoms such as runny rose, sneezing and nasal congestion (ages 1 month-6 years). It comes as ready to use sterile water based doses, which makes it that much easier to give your baby.

We also use the ‘kids 0-9’ cough and cold syrup, another homeopathic medicine free of dyes and sugars and helps relief mucus, congestion, fever, and coughing. She loves the taste of it so she doesn’t protest it. It seems to do it’s job!

Last but not least is TLC.  As I said earlier, the worst thing as a parent is seeing your child sick but I can say without hesitance there is one good thing that can come from it…snuggles!! Whenever Aud has been sick she is extra snuggly and cuddly, and I take it to full advantage!

So although she might be feeling under the weather and she gets up about 5 times during the night, and is cranky, and whiny and it feels like there isn’t anything I can do to make her better- the moment when she clings onto me and crawls up my legs to get in a snuggle and some extra kisses its worth the snotty noses and interrupted sleeps.

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OVER the Mealtime Struggle!!

Since baby girl was 6 months old she has been a great eater, shoveling everything I offer her in her mouth. I’m always one to say my daughter is definitely not a picky eater. Well I must of jinxed myself because lately it’s been nothing but a struggle. My marvelous little eater turned into a picky, picky little monkey.

I spend a lot of time looking up different foods for babies, reading my recipe books, asking friends for suggestions. I get all geared up to make a delicious casserole or a great stew, buy all the ingredients, spend most of the day making it (it takes all day because with a little one can anyone actually cook in the kitchen for an hour while keeping baby entertained? The Wiggles is only 20 minute segments!)

Anyways, I make the dish put it in front of baby and within minutes most of it is on the floor, in her hair, she even goes as far as to hide it in her seat! Not to mention the melt down she has if I try to feed it to her. So I spend the majority of her dinnertime calming her down, picking up all the food off the floor (time to get a dog?), and scurrying to make something else she will hopefully actually eat.

By the end of dinner, we both look like a hot mess. I can’t believe I just struggled for an hour to get baby to eat what seems like a tablespoon of veggies, hardly any protein, all the grapes are on the floor, and pasta is in my hair. I get so worked up and worried during her meal times- she isn’t getting enough vegetables, iron, protein, dairy. The guidelines specifically state she needs half a cup of veggies a day. Ugh! She has to eat!

Yesterday I had just about had enough of the struggle, the food wasting, the mess and after talking to a fellow mummy friend, I think I had a breakthrough.

First I dissected the problem- as soon as Aud protests to a meal I make her, I give in and give her cheese and toast, yogurt or something else I know she will eat. Mostly I sit there and ask her why she isn’t eating, hoping that one day I will get some sort of feedback instead of the snarls and head turns.

So I decided that I would no longer give in. I will no longer resort to cheese, pasta, toast, or cookies as replacements for the meals she refuses, I will no longer worry so much about if one day she doesn’t have her exact servings of the food groups because she can make up for it the next day. I am going to put the food in front of her, whatever it may be, and that’s what she will have.

After making this statement out loud to her last night I think she got my point. So I attempted to make her a veggie frittata (FAIL, more like veggie scrambled eggs) with some egg noodles (weird combo?) and put it in front of her. At first she threw it on the floor, rubbed it all over her hair, whined, giggled, whined, giggled. This went on for about ten minutes. I was sitting there staring at her and thinking to myself, “Don’t give in!”

I decided I would walk away, well more like just go sit in another spot instead of right in front of her, watching her from afar. Then it happened, she picked up some of the food on her tray and put it in her mouth, a few minutes later I found myself putting more on her tray cause she was gobbling it up! She ate the whole serving and was still hungry.

So I put some grapes and milk in front of her. Same thing happened, she threw a couple on the floor, sprayed her milk everywhere but after a couple minutes started to eat them up. This was the first time in a while I felt good about dinnertime for Aud. She had her veggies, protein, dairy, and grain’s all in one meal! Who knew mealtime could be rewarding, there is nothing more satisfying then watching your child eat what you put in front of them. Here’s hoping it keeps up!

So my advice on getting your babies to eat, don’t stress about it. Put the food in front of them, let them touch it, experiment, throw it on the walls, because eventually they will be hungry enough to eat it. Don’t give in because you are worried about the food groups. I heard it takes about 15 tries for baby/toddler to come accustom to a new food. So just keep trying, give lot’s of variety, lot’s of color, texture, tastes.

If baby really doesn’t want to eat veggies, blend them, cover them with cheese, hide them in the pasta, make carrot or zucchini muffins, stuff pasta shells with spinach-put them on the tray and walk away. Trust me, your child knows that it stresses you out, nothing is more entertaining to them then watching mummy get worked up over some green beans.

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Yes…No…Maybe? Reaching those Golden Milestones

Do you get those emails every month about what milestones your baby may reach, and read the list very carefully and think to yourself why hasn’t she done that yet? or have a book that you are constantly referring to every time your baby does something new, and think my babies a genius! Well you are definitely not alone. Watching your baby grow is one of the most rewarding and exciting experiences as a new parents and it is only natural for us as parents to want to make sure our children are on track and reaching those important milestones you read about. Your doctor even gives you a checklist with questions asking what your baby is doing at that stage. I found myself constantly reading up on things Aud was doing, wasn’t doing, maybe was doing. Was that a wave? That was definitely a wave. Did she just babble? I think I heard mmmore. Is that considered crawling? She’s definitely going to walk soon. Come on, I know I’m not the only one with these delusional thoughts that my child will be putting together complex sentences by 12 months and be a ballet dancer by 14 months.

At baby girls 9 month check-up the nurse hands me the ‘developmental screen’ checklist and I carefully go through each question…“by nine months of age does your baby…”as if I am taking my college exams again, I make sure I don’t miss a thing. The first few of course I check the boxes of ‘yes’ and then I get to “Understand short instructions (e.g. Where is the ball? Or Wave bye-bye?)…uh oh…she doesn’t do that. Do I cheat and check yes? Do I put a mark in the middle of the yes and no so it’s like a maybe? Yah, I’ll just create my own answer. So that’s what I did. I put a check mark in the middle. When the Dr. came in and went through the list with me, obviously she stopped at the ‘maybe’ answer. I was worried, I was actually thinking that if I didn’t check yes to all the questions it meant something was wrong.

So the Dr. asks me why I checked in the middle, “well sometimes if we wave bye-bye she flings her arm around, so she’s almost getting it I think.” The look from the Dr. pretty well explained itself- it really didn’t matter if I checked yes, no, or made up my own box, there was nothing wrong with Aud not yet ‘listening to instructions.’ I’m not saying I threw out my book or unsubscribed to the emails, but I have started to take it all with a grain of salt.

I remember watching a movie called “Babies” while I was preggo, (recommended but warning: husband will be extremely bored). It was about 4 different families raising a baby in four very different parts of the world; San Francisco, Tokyo, Mongolia, Namibia. Watching these babies in four entirely different cultures, being parented in different ways and all with different personalities helps you to see that it really doesn’t make a difference whether or not your baby reaches the milestone at the exact time the books say, they all ‘catch up.’ Whether your child walks at 10 months or 14 months, your child will walk.

I have a core group of mummies and babies that I have spent the last year hanging out with. All of our babies are around the same age, so we all got to ask questions, give advice and learn with each other. We would always talk about the different milestones our babes were reaching, and what to expect when they do; it was such a relief to actually see that even though all the babies were around the same age they were all growing and developing in their own way. I always heard that there is this unspoken competition between new mums but I can happily and honestly say I never experienced that with my new friends. We all grew as new mums with each other and probably made decisions as parents we never would have had we not met. I am so grateful for my new friends and couldn’t of found a better group of mummies and babies.

So in the end, you can read the books, and mark the checklists, but don’t worry so much if your baby isn’t saying ‘babababa’ by 8 months, or if he’s not rolling over at 4 months, or walking at 12 months because he will. Before you know it you will be wondering where the year or two went when you could put your baby on the floor and entertain them holding up a black and white picture, and watch them sleep in their bouncy chair for 3 hours…at least until you have the next one…

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One Word-Teething

It’s been a couple months since baby girl sprouted another tooth, I have been wondering when the next one would be. Constantly feeling inside her mouth as she thrashed it from side to side to feel that little nub that I was sure had come up. Aud has had a runny nose for the last month, and I mean runny. Every top I wore eventually had a snot spot on the shoulder by the end of the day, it’s the little things. Teething started around 3 months, she started to put everything in her mouth and not to mention the drooling. I probably said “she’s teething” for a couple months until a tooth actually started to rear its ugly head. Read on to hear about my experience about teething. It’s aint pretty. She’s cranky, she’s tired all the time, she drools, her sleeping is a disaster…as a parent I have to say teething is brutal so I can only imagine what Aud is going through.

Believe it or not her first tooth broke the skin on my birthday back in March. I remember feeling inside her mouth and there it was! That little, pearly nub had popped through her bottom gums. I actually cried a little bit because it was the feeling of “she’s growing so fast!” But I pretty much cry at every milestone and growth spurt. I knew this was only the beginning, since that first one had come it was only a matter of time before more followed. So I took action. I reached out to my fellow mum friends for some advice and they gave me some great ideas to help the pain the baby girl was in. Naturally I feel the need to share with you…remember sharing is caring!!

Frozen Washcloths: Wet and twist a washcloth and put it in the freezer. Aud loves these when she’s teething and it’s small enough to hold herself

Baby Feeders: (Brand’s I used- Sassy and Nuby) These are great because you can fit an ice cube and frozen fruit in the net and baby can hold it and chew and suck on it all she wants and only the juice or water will get through the netting. Also great for baby is starting solids.

–  Teething Rings: Aud had a couple teething rings, we lost one but have managed to hold on to her favorite. The Nuby ring she LOVES! It’s colorful, soft, and lots of space for her to hold and chew. She also loved the Sophie the Giraffe Teething Ring (not the usual Sophie) but unfortunately she lost it and I just refuse to spend $20 on a teething toy.

Frozen Teething Rings: You know the typical teether’s we all used as babies, we don’t use them often but she has the Nuby BPA free Icy Bite teething ring that she really likes.

There are some really great products out there for babies when it comes to teething. Just make sure you are looking for BPA free and stay on top of washing them in the dishwasher or by hand.

I want to talk a bit about something I have yet to try but have heard a ton about. Amber Teething necklaces. Yes, it’s a necklace for your baby to wear that draws out the pain from teething and is said to work. The necklaces are made from Baltic amber and have been used for healing purposes for centuries. I have talked to several mums who have used these necklaces on their babies and they swear by them. I haven’t tried it yet but I think I have been convinced. You can find lot’s of info about them online so read up on them and decide if you think it will help you baby. When I get one for Aud I will let you guys know if it works for her.

Tylenol: I know, I know some mums are hesitant but think of it this way if you have a toothache or a bad headache you are going to take something to relieve the pain, so how can you not offer your child something to do the same? We use Tempra, the banana flavor, and it seems to work the best for us, especially at night.

Last but not least is TLC. When baby girl is teething she needs a little extra TLC. Lot’s of cuddles, hugs, kisses and she even wants to nurse more. I give her whatever she needs when she is teething. Anything I can do to help lessen the pain that comes along with it I do. They say imagine your worst toothache combined with a headache and times it by 10 and that is what babies feel when they teeth. Just do whatever you can to help them out, not only will it ease their pain but it will ease yours as well.

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