April is here, spring has sprung and the weather is getting warmer (just). So we have been able to spend more time outdoors and in parks. Don’t get me wrong K loves a good soft play centre when the weather is gloomy but her true love is being outdoors where she can run wild and practice her new hobby of digging for worms. Lovely. She is also loving being able to take her “outdoor” toys with us when we go out too such as her scooter, scuttle bug and her football. I always find that nice weather brings our family together. It’s a time where we can take picnics and sit in the sun it also makes us more inclined to actually do something with our day and make the most of the sunshine (because lets face it, we live in England and warm weather comes few and far between where we live).
My siblings in April
D is getting that little bit bigger now and becoming more interested in things so K feels like she can play with him a little bit more. To her, he’s not that small precious new born anymore where she has to be really careful and quiet around him (ha!, as if she ever was!) He’s sitting up more now so she shares her toys with him and they “play” really nicely. They are still absolutely infactuated with one another. I genuinely think that’s something that will never go away, or at least I hope it never will. K is such an amazing big sister. She is so supportive and tries to teach D new things every day. She loves to give D praise when he does something new or funny, it’s really sweet to watch.
One thing they are enjoying together this month is reading at bedtime. We read D a story before bed at night as part of his routine and K loves to sit on our knee as well and listen too. It’s so lovely as they giggle and glance at one another whilst we are reading it. I love their fierce sibling bond! I feel like April has been a really great month to take photos of them both together and I can’t wait to continue it next month!
April is C-section Awareness Month and so far through this month I have seen more memes and more quotes about women defending themselves about having a c-section like it isn’t a valid entrance in to motherhood. If you google “c section memes” on the internet some of the quotes that comes up is absolutely disgusting. I won’t post it on here for fear of upsetting someone so if you want to have a look go ahead. People have actually wrote that having a c-section is a cop out or a lazy option for giving birth. Let me tell you as someone who has has two c sections that it certainly isn’t an “easy way out”. Both of my babies were delivered via emergency c section and both decisions were completely out of my hands. When I had K I didn’t get the opportunity to even go through the labour process. I was 3 days overdue and hadn’t felt my baby move for a couple of days. As a first time mum I didn’t know if this was normal or not so didn’t really think to notify anyone. When I was examined at the hospital my baby’s heartbeat was so erratic going from 220 bpm (beats per minute) to zero bpm! The professionals had no choice but to send me for a c section immediately as they feared I may have lost my baby if I was to wait to deliver naturally. When I came out of the operating theatre, although I had my beautiful baby girl I felt so disappointed that I couldn’t have the natural birth that I had planned so long to have. I didn’t even get to experience what a contraction was. People thought I was crazy for being so upset about not knowing what a contraction felt like but to me I felt like I had been cheated out of something that, as a woman, I had a right to experience. The birth of my second baby ran a similar course except that this time, at 5 days overdue, I got to experience what it was like to go in to labour. I was all set for a VBAC (vaginal birth after ceserian) but at 7cm dilated my baby’s heart beat again became erratic and not only did they send me for an emergency c-section but they had to put me to sleep. This meant that my husband couldn’t be in the delivery room to watch our son being born and I wasn’t aware that I had had him until 1 hour later! I also ended up on the high dependency unit because I had lost a lot of blood. Is that an easy way out? I don’t think so. Having a c-section is major surgery and one that is painful for weeks after and requires a lot of recovery time. Is that a cop out? again I don’t think so. Over the last two years I have come to accept my c-sections and I now understand it shouldn’t be something I am upset over. I have my two beautiful children to thank for it (and one hell of a war wound on my stomach) and who knows, without those c-sections my babies might not be sat at the side of me whilst I write this!
Some women choose to have a c-section over a natural birth and although it wouldn’t be for me, that is their choice and something that should be respected regardless of what your opinion is. Having a c-section is STILL giving birth. It is STILL your passageway into motherhood and it doesn’t make you any less of a mother for having one. I wrote a blog post a couple of weeks ago here about breast feeding vs bottle feeding and why it’s not a reflection on how good a mother they are by their circumstances. The same applies here. Let’s celebrate that we carried a child for 9 months and brought them in to the world as safely as possible. We all rock!
D has been teething terribly lately and I had to wrack my brains the other night on what I did with K when she was teething to help soothe her. Each baby is different and responds well to different treatments. Below is a list of what works for us when we have a teething baby on our hands.
The mother of all pain relief for children. We use the sugar free version. Between 5-10ml (dependent on age) every 4hrs usually works like a charm and if it doesn’t help take the pain away it usually helps take the temperature down which goes along side a teething baby. Plus I find it helps my two sleep the pain off.
Now we have both the Anbesol teething gel and the liquid. Personally I prefer the liquid as I think it does more as an anaesthetic (I’ve tried both on a mouth ulcer I once had) I also find the liquid more fast acting than the gel but I have both of them in my bag just in case. If teething is really bad, I usually apply both!! (Not sure if that’s allowed but works well for us!)
These worked really well when K was little but I haven’t used them yet with D as he won’t let me put anything like that in his mouth. Basically they are little white granules that come in individual packets that you just pore in to the childs mouth and it supposedly takes the pain away…it’s a herbal method. I honestly don’t know if they actually worked or whether they were more of a distraction method (they dissolve oddly in your mouth) but either way they used to settle K pretty well.
Both of mine were and are big fans of Sophie La Giraffe. A rather expensive giraffe shaped teething toy which can be purchased at most toy/baby stores. The legs are shaped so that they can reach even the backs of the baby’s mouth in order to relieve pain. Sophie also squeeks so provides as a distraction tool. She looks quite cute too I guess. Not sure why she works, but she does so it’s always a winner. Usually priced around £13 so like I said, not your cheapest option but an option never the less (Note: Purchase a harness for Sophie *Ahem – Ebay – Ahem* if your baby is taking her out and strap her to the pram etc…last thing you want to do is loose her!) Alternately, if Sophie isn’t for you then you can purchase other teething rings/toys to help your baby. Nuby do a great one (£3.99 RRP) which you can place in the fridge so it’s nice and cold on your baby’s gums. D is a fan of this as it’s quite easy to hold.
This worked well with K when she was a bit older but not really suitable for D yet as he can’t really hold it. You can buy normal ice pops or make your own healthier ones using frozen fruit. Totally your choice.
- Lots of love, kisses and cuddles
Most babies when teething just want to be held and cuddled (which is fine by me) so usually if I have a teething baby and they are particularly struggling one day I will make sure I clear my schedule and we will just stay in on the sofa and chill with kisses and cuddles.
That’s about it for my tips, is there anything in particular that has worked well for you? I’d love to hear from you.
Today is Plagiocephaly Awareness Day. Plagiocephaly (or flat head syndrome as it is more commonly known) is where a baby’s head is flattened at the back or side caused by pressure on the soft skull bones which have not yet fused together and therefore mould into a different shape. This can occur when a baby spends an excessive amount of time lying or resting in the same position on their backs.
Plagiocephaly affects as many as 47% of babies between the ages of 7 and 12 weeks old. You can help prevent plagiocephaly by repositioning a baby’s head as much as possible to vary the pressure across the skull. It is sometimes diagnosed early so parents can act on it but usually the diagnosis is too late and therefore requires parents to seek out other alternative treatments which can be costly.
As I’ve mentioned before, D was diagnosed with acute liver failure at 2 weeks old and spent a lot of time in the first 6 weeks of his life laid in a hospital bed. We weren’t allowed to move him or hold him for long periods due to him being hooked up to machines and monitors therefore he unfortunately spent a large majority of his day in the same position. This in turn had an effect on his head and he developed plagiocephaly.
When I was contacted to see if I would be interested in reviewing a pillow designed by Babymoov that helped babies with plagiocephaly for this awareness day I jumped at the opportunity. Committing to help prevent flat head syndrome, Babymoov have worked alongside a French paediatrician called Dr Maidenberg and created a pillow called the Lovenest. The Lovenest is a simple solution to help prevent babies from getting flat head syndrome by ensuring that pressure is evenly distributed across the infants head by providing a slight incline. At £14.99 (RRP) it is an affordable way to prevent or treat plagiocephaly.
When the product came I was really surprised on how soft it was. I chose the pillow in blue and it was lovely and complimented D’s nursery well. The age range stated that it was suitable from birth to 4 months and although D is slightly older than this his head fitted in it quite nicely. He appeared really comfortable sleeping on it and the lightweight small design meant that I could transfer it from cot to pram really easily. D has been using this pillow for around 3 weeks now and although I haven’t noticed much improvement in his head (his plagiocephaly is quite severe due to his previous illness) I feel better knowing that because of this pillow it isn’t going to get any worse. As far as products go, it would definitely be on my “must have” list for my baby as a new mum. If I had been aware of this product when D was born or when he was ill in hospital I would have definitely purchased it.
As already mentioned, the Lovenest retails at £14.99 and is available in blue, smokey and white. If you would like to purchase one or view other baby products that Babymoov offer then you can visit their website here
D sleeping soundly in his cot on his Lovenest