The Dentist… What To Expect.

Isla has two teeth now, and a third is on its way. It’s so strange seeing little teeth when she laughs, I’m starting to get used to them now, she’s not my little gummy bear anymore.

I wasn’t actually even registered at the dentist here, I told myself I would register once Isla got her first tooth, or in time for her 9-12 month health check, whichever came first. The tooth came first, and then a second popped through a couple of days later. So, I registered at the dentist and had my appointment, I made an appointment for Isla and took away the registration form for her.

Yesterday was her first appointment. I wasn’t really sure what to expect. How long would we be in there? Surely only a matter of minutes… She only has 2 teeth! Will Isla open her mouth for the dentist? I have been trying to teach her what to do but she just laughs at me. Will she bite the dentist? Probably.

I have heard recently that some dentists have told mothers to stop breastfeeding during the night once little has teeth… What a load of rubbish! I can see why someone would say that, breastmilk is very sugary. But to stop feeding during the night? I feed Isla to sleep, she will not go to sleep any other way for me (she will for other people). I was prepared to stand my ground with the dentist and say that I would not be stopping breastfeeding during the night.

The appointment was very quick, the dentist had a feel inside her mouth, which Isla wasn’t too keen on, she asked me how many teeth Isla had, made some notes on the computer and said everything looked great. She asked if I was breastfeeding and recommended that I rinse Isla’s mouth out after every feed (haha, no thanks, some days Isla can feed every hour!). She was very pro breastfeeding, which was amazing, telling me to keep going as long as I can.

Baby first tooth

She advised us to come back in 6 months time.

NCT Bumps & Babies

NCT or National Childbirth Trust is a UK based charity which aims to support parents. give impartial advice and introduce people to their local parenting network, in turn giving practical and emotional support.

“Our vision is of a world where no parent is isolated and all parents are supported to build a stronger society.”

They run both antenatal and postnatal courses, the course content depends on which course you choose to attend. There are 3 different antenatal classes, I chose to go to the “signature” classes, which covered everything from birthing options to breastfeeding, we spoke a lot about having a positive labour and birth, taking control and being informed.

You can buy preloved items at the regular “Nearly New Sales”, I have not been to one of these events yet, but have heard they are really great.

There is an abundance of amazing and honest information on their website and facebook pages, you can join your local NCT facebook group to find out about events and opportunities in your area.

One of the events run by volunteers at NCT is “Bumps & Babies”, these meetups are a great place for Mums to meet other Mums, to talk about the highs and lows of parenthood. In my surrounding area, there is a different meetup on pretty much every day of the week! The meets are spread across the county and are often at local cafes, free of charge. You literally just pay for your food/drink!

Baby groups do not need to be expensive, although it is not a baby class, it is a great place to meet other Mums and babies, ask for advice, share and enjoy some cake.

bumps. babies and beyond NCT

Today, I am going to my local Bumps & Babies meet at The Cafe at the Corner.

Camping With Cloth Diapers

Cloth diapering on a camping trip… I know what you’re thinking. Madness! Well no, actually, it’s not. The idea might seem a bit scary, but it is 100% possible with a bit of preparation. If you’re wanting to take reusable diapers camping there are two questions you need to ask yourself.

How long are you going to be away for? And what facilities will there be?

How long your trip is will determine if you need to wash your diapers, reusable diapers shouldn’t really sit around waiting to be washed for more than 3 days – I’ve heard some horror stories about mould and mildew growing on dirty diapers. If you are only going for a couple of nights, you can get away with just dry pailing and then just washing once you’re home.

Camping seems to create a lot of laundry anyway, so what’s another load? If you will be camping for longer than 3 days, you will need to do a wash. Which brings us to the second question.

Some campsites will have laundering facilities if this is the case you just need to remember to bring your washing powder and some change and you can wash and dry as you would at home. Others will not have washing and drying facilities, but might still have clean running water, all this means is you need to handwash your diapers. For this, you will need your washing powder, a large bucket, a plunger and rubber gloves. You’ll need to scrape the poo off your diaper/liner into the toilet, then presoak them for 30 minutes (laminated items only for 10 minutes) in warm water with a pinch of detergent. You then need to remove diapers and refill bucket with cold water, detergent and diapers, now you will need to plunge at least 50 times, let the diapers sit in the water for around 30 minutes and then plunge again another 20 times. Empty and refill the bucket with cold water, plunge until the soapy water is gone. Now just hang your diapers to dry. If you do not have access to warm water extend your presoak time.

How many diapers should you take and what kind? You probably already have an idea of how many diapers your child goes through in a day, multiply by 3 and add your night diapers. This way you have enough for 3 days or to wash every other day. I personally would pack an extra one or two, (I don’t know about you but when I go on vacation I always pack extra pants) you know just in case… As for what kind of diapers to take, take what you are confident work for you and your child, don’t take a bunch of brand new diapers that you’ve never used before. Prefolds and wraps will take up the least space when packing, but it is easy enough to stuff 20 pocket diapers into a wet/dry hanging bag or if you only have one really big wet/dry bag, do what I did and just take a big laundry sack!

If you plan to dry pail you will need somewhere to store your soiled diapers, a large wet bag, a bucket with a lid or even a bin liner will work for that. You will also want a smaller wetbag for when you’re not at the campsite.

It’s really not so different from cloth diapering when you’re at home, it will just take a bit of planning.

high needs baby

6 Signs You Have a High Needs Baby

Friends and family might think you are over exaggerating when you tell them how long your baby screamed for, or how they will only sleep in your arms, don’t worry, I know you’re telling the truth! Some babies are easily satisfied and can just “go with the flow”, others are extremely fussy, hard to settle and require a lot of attention. These intense babies erupt into our world and create a storm of emotions for their parents. These babies are often seen as “high needs”.

Dr W. Sears & Dr M. Sears wrote an article in which they discuss 12 features of a high needs baby, according to Dr Sears, these 12 features are:

  • Intense
  • Hyperactive/Hypertonic
  • Draining
  • Feeds Frequently
  • Demanding
  • Awakens Frequently
  • Unsatisfied
  • Unpredictable
  • Super-Sensitive
  • Can’t Put Your Baby Down
  • Not a Self-Soother
  • Separation Sensitive

Following on from Dr Sears’ list, I would like to share with you the six things that made me realise I had a high needs baby.

1) You can’t get anything done

Remember when you could cook dinner, wash the bathroom, do the laundry and watch your favourite TV show all in one day? Ah yes, a distant memory. Now you find yourself having to do everything you used to do in the short bursts of sleep that your baby has. When your baby is awake you have to be talking to him, looking at him or holding him at all times.

2) Routine… What routine?

Your baby is very irregular. You look in awe at other Mums who have it down to a T, their babies are bathed, fed and asleep for 8PM every night. You can’t hazard a guess as to when your baby will go to sleep, wake up, want to feed… They are very unpredictable.

3) “Don’t Leave Me, Mummy”

When you walk out of the room your baby has a meltdown, she’s looking around desperately trying to find you. Yes, pretty much every baby goes through separation anxiety, but with a high needs baby, it is a lot more intense.

4) You feel like a zombie

What is sleep? Why do people keep talking about babies sleeping through? Are they playing a cruel trick on you? You can only get your baby to sleep by being rocked, cuddled or fed and then they’re awake again in an hour… You know you’re parenting a high needs baby when you drink a gallon of coffee a day and pray for anything more than 40 minutes sleep at a time.

5) People think your baby is “spoilt”

You’re the only one who can settle her, she cries for you, for a cuddle, sometimes for no reason. I have heard people say that Isla is spoilt so many times, that she will grow up to be a diva. You can’t spoil a baby! You can’t give too much love, and with a high needs baby, they need a whole lot of love.

6) Mood swings!

One minute you’re playing hide-and-seek, your baby is full of smiles and giggles, the next she’s inconsolable. You have a happy, chatty baby and you turn away to boil the kettle, boom! Because you’re not looking at or paying all your attention to her, she explodes.

And after all of this, they will become a toddler… That should be fun!

Why Is My Baby So Clingy?

Have you noticed that your baby has become quite clingy recently? Isla has always been a high-needs baby, but over the past month or so she has definitely been more clingy, crying more often and being more cranky.

The most likely reason for this is because at around 7 months babies go through a cognitive leap. During this leap, your baby will begin to realise that you and she are separate people. This is often referred to as “separation anxiety”, you may notice your baby becomes very upset when you leave her, whether that be for a few seconds to go to the loo, or a few hours to go to work. She doesn’t yet understand that when you leave the room, it isn’t for good and you’re coming back.

Up until now, your baby has thought of herself and you as one person, a single unit. And why wouldn’t she? After 9 months of being physically attached to you, it makes sense that it would take a while for your little one to start to learn that they are their own person.

So how can you help your baby through this?

  • Try and leave baby with people they know and see regularly (e.g. Dad or Grandma)
  • Have some routine to when you leave her and who you leave her with, for example, if you are going to work, it would be the same time each day. This way, your baby will begin to learn that when she is left with X person at breakfast time, Mummy will come back
  • When you leave baby, also leave something you wear often, such as a pajama top, your scene will be comforting to baby
  • It is a good idea to say “goodbye, I’ll be back soon” to your baby when you leave her, as she will begin to associate this with what is happening
  • It is better for your baby to see you leave, that way she will not panic when she realises you are not there.

Separation anxiety is generally something your baby will grow out of in time. Yes, it can be a very hard time for both Mum and baby, but there is light at the end of the tunnel!

Attachment Parenting: The 6 B’s

Attachment parenting is a parenting philosophy which aims to actively encourage the attachment of Mum and baby. It is a way of ensuring your child grows up to be emotionally secure, AP (attachment parenting) raised children are said to; have lower stress levels, cry less often and create better connections with people later in life.

So what are the six B’s?

  • Birth-bonding
  • Breastfeeding
  • Babywearing
  • Bedding close to baby
  • Belief in the language value of your babies cry
  • Beware of baby trainers

Birth bonding refers to the 60 minutes immediately after birth, your baby is in an “active alert state.” Birth bonding created a close personal relationship between mother and child. During this time, skin to skin contact is extremely important, not only does it help baby regulate breathing and temperature, it encourages breastfeeding and builds an amazing connection.

Breastfeeding triggers the release of a hormone called Oxytocin, which is often referred to as the “love hormone.” The release of this hormone allows Mum to bond emotionally with their baby while nourishing them. Dr Sears, an American author and paediatrician, advises that mothers breastfeed their children for 1-4 years and is an advocate for extended breastfeeding.

Babywearing helps meet baby’s needs for physical contact, stimulation and movement. Using a sling or baby carrier means it is possible to be close with your baby while still being able to get things done (like housework!)

Bedding close to baby refers to co-sleeping, which supports mother-baby attachment, can make breastfeeding easier and provide both Mum and baby with a better nights sleep. Bedding close to baby also means your baby stays in your bedroom past the recommended 6 months.

Responding promptly to your child’s cry will build a sense of trust for your baby, as they will know that you’re always there to meet their needs. In AP, it is believed that a baby cries for a reason, whether that be for food, comfort, or another reason. A child should never be left crying.

And lastly, beware of baby trainers! There is no scientific proof that sleep training is beneficial for a child. Sleep training only works as a child begins to realise that you will not come when they cry, this is known as “shutdown syndrome.” Sleep training is believed to be traumatic for children. How would you like to cry yourself to sleep?

 

For me AP is common sense, maybe not so much the Co-Sleeping (even though Isla does end up in my bed at some point during the night…). Why would you not want to be close to your babe?  Why wouldn’t I respond to her way of communicating?

What do you think of attachment parenting? Do you agree or disagree with the 6 B’s?

Vitamins, Should I Be Giving Them?

The day after having Isla, a lady was going round the maternity ward giving out Bounty packs. I had picked up two Emma’s Diary gift packs while I was pregnant, you can find out how to collect your packs on the webiste, the packs were great, they contained small freebies, such as Bepanthen, Palmer’s Cocoa Butter, Fairy Non-Bio and more!

In the Bounty pack from the hospital there was: Pampers nappies, Sudocrem, Sanitary towels, a magazine, lots of vouchers and some Vitamin D drops. I was also given a bottle of Vitamin K, off the midwife, and told to give the Vitamin K every day that Isla had more breastmilk than formula (so every day, as she was exclusively breastfed).

Now, being a new parent is a big thing, you have a lot to think about, a lot to worry about, never mind having to remember to give these drops every day. Isla probably got her drops 3 times a week… We used the whole bottle of Vitamin D, the Vitamin K is still sitting somewhere half full. Our health visitor mentioned when she was about 4 months old that I should still be giving Vitamin D, so out I went and spent about £7 on this tiny bottle of drops (which has never been opened).

Do our babies need these vitamins? I can understand myself needing vitamin and mineral supplements with breastfeeding, but do I really have to be giving them to Isla? I was always under the impression that whatever Isla needed, she would take from me, leaving me (probably) a little bit deficient. However, the other day we saw the dietitian, who again mentioned vitamins. What is the obsession with vitamins?! She suggested giving Isla a multi-vitamin now that she is 7 months.

I’m not convinced she needs them, what do you think about giving vitamins to our babies?