Potty Training: The Positive & No Pressure Method (Part I – when to begin)

Miss3yo was a year plus when I started collecting information on what it to expect and how to prepare for potty training. I thought other Mums may like to know too, so I shared it on Instagram. Many Mums contributed to the discussion with helpful tips and we were able to start our own potty journey armed with these wonderful tips. I hope to pay that forward to you guys with this guide.

So, thank God for time and progress, we went through it, she is both day and night trained now. The write ups from before are still relevant, but I will fill in all the gaps and add some snippets from our experience, too.

 

What does a Mum need to know about potty training?? Here it is:

If ou know your child is ready and you just want tips to get started on the actual potty training, click here. If you want to know if they are ready or just get a bit more information on what to expect in general, read on below.

Age guide

‘They’ – the experts, typically say:

Girls are ready at about age 21/2 – 3 (but could be before or after).

Boys are ready at about age 3 – 31/2 (but could be ready before or after).

This is just to give you some indication. In knowing when exactly to start your child, it is better to check their cognitive skills against the readiness signs below. Do not use age to determine when to start!

It is best not to compare with their friends, or classmates or siblings, either. At 19 months old, miss3yo’s best friend started potty training. I am not going to lie, we felt the pressure a little bit, but my little one really was not ready. She would sit but only pee when off the potty. So we stopped even trying and when she was ready, she showed it. To be honest the day she said she was ready, I started asking myself if I was ready, haha. Yes oh, Mums, it is very important that you feel ready too because the process asks a lot from you – you will need to be patient, consistent, keep things positive, catch poo in your hands – lol, I don’t want to scare you but,  it can be quite an experience!

Two stages of potty training:

There are two stages to the potty training process.

1.The potty preparation stage: These are the steps you take as you prepare your baby for potty training. During this period, they are still in diapers but you make toilet activities part of their daily conversation and include demonstrations. More on this below.

2.The training stage – These are steps you take when baby is out of diapers and the training officially begins. More on this in Part II.

Note: During naps and sleep time, you can put your toddler in diapers. Do this till about age 3 or when you notice your child is dry during naps or night time sleep – check the diaper after they wake up. You might also consider buying some mattress protectors – waterproof, to put under the sheets, for the couple o accidents that may occur.

 

Potty Training method – Potty Without Pressure (PWP)

There are different methods you can use, I am going to focus on the ‘potty without pressure’ (pwp) method.
This is the child-led method, which means you start only when your child is showing signs that they are ready or tells you they want to. They say following this method makes the process quicker and easier and based on our experience, I found this to be true-ish.

You can also choose to do it when you feel ready and I have spoken to mums who this worked for. They were consistent and their children got trained. So it is also possible to do the training even before your child shows full signs of readiness. Just be prepared in terms of your expectations. It may (or may not) take longer. You may (or may not) need to stop, if progress is not being made.

 

Readiness signs

There are cognitive signs that your child will show, which let’s you know they are getting ready for training. They may not be fully ready yet, though. But you can start stage 1 – the ‘Potty Prepping’ stage, when you see most of these signs.

The cognitive signs are, your child:
1. experiences discomfort when wet or soiled
2. has regular bowel movement on a fairly consistent basis
3. can follow simple two-fold instructions: pick the bag and bring it to mum
4. can tell you of need to wee or poo before it happens
5. can show or tell you when she has a dirty diaper
6. can sit on a potty for short period of time (15mins), though may need distractions
7. shows interest in watching or imitating activities related to toilet use, e.g. likes to flush the toilet, talks about toilet activities.

The emotional signs:

Make sure your child is not going through any major life changes. The biggest ones are moving house or starting a new school or a new sibling has just arrived. Starting potty training during these major changes may make it more stressful and difficult for your child and likely you, too!

Potty Preparation Stage – the steps

This is the time to:

1. Amp up a lot of talk about the potty.

2. Have the potty on display in the toilet, so that when you do diaper changes the potty is there and you can point and talk about it.

3. Model and talk about potty behaviour relating to your own bowel movement. For example: Mummy feels like she needs to wee. My body is telling I need to poo, I’m going to sit on the big potty/toilet and push it out, lol – the things we have to do in this mum life!

4. I am going to do a small wee wee (we recently started calling it tinkle), or I am going to do a big wee wee (a gush of wee). These different elements of the discussion help keep the experience interesting and fun and reduce the pressure hat may be associated with using the potty.

5. Let your child watch you wee and poo (if you’re comfortable with that).

6. Buy or borrow books about potty training and read them to your child. We loved: I want my potty (girl), other mums suggestion: Elmo’s Potty Time (boy). Consider buying one you think your child will enjoy.

7. Talk about  flushing the toilet, whether you did a wee or poo, cleaning with tissue, washing our hands. As much as possible, let them get involved, too, with these. Toddlers typically love to flush the toilet.

8. As often as possible, carry out diaper changes in the toilet, with your child standing up not lying down. This starts to prepare them physically for the new style of doing their ‘business’.

9. If they will be happy to start sitting on the potty first thing in the morning or last thing at night, you can try that. Do not put pressure if they don’t want to though. Just keep trying points 1 – 8.

 

Signs your child is still not ready

Once you have done the prepping stage for a while you may get the feeling your child will be receptive to actual potty training. Your child may even tell you or just start removing their diaper. You are officially ready to start the actual training stage (details in Part II).

If you start the training stage and notice any of the three signs I will explain below, it means your child needs more time. Stop the training process. Go back to putting their diaper on and following the prep steps, then you can try training again in a month or two, or when they show interest.

If you see these, your child is not yet ready, consider waiting:

a. Hiding while doing a poo.

This is not all bad. If a child is hiding while doing a poo, it means they can tell when they are about to poo . But it may mean they’re not emotionally ready to go ahead and poo in the potty. With this you have to wait and don’t put pressure on your child. You can suggest poo-ing in the toilet (while still in their diapers), explaining that the toilet room is the place for poo-ing, but don’t over push it if they still dont want to go there.

b. Sits on the potty happily for minutes but the moment they get up and take a few steps, they wee or poo on the floor.

This could mean that your child is still nervous about the potty. With this you just have to go back to the prep stage and and try the training stage in a month or two’s time.

c. Says no to everything.

If your child is going through a stage of asserting their independence, where they say no to everything, you may struggle with the potty process. It may be a sign that you should hold off on potty training for a bit longer. Again, with this, go back to prep stage again and wait a month or two to try training stage once more.

 

The actual potty training process?

There are many ways to approach this. I’ve shared details in Part II – How to begin the potty training process. It will also cover:  What you need to get ready for this stage. Other details you need to know. Our experience of potty training my daughter from when I  started to try at 19months old.

Thanks for reading :). Drop a comment or Instagram DM to let me know you found this useful or if you have any questions!

6 Tips for Choosing a High-Quality creche or Pre-school

Modern parents, many of us will agree that trying to choose that first school for your first born was not an easy task.

At the beginning of the search, you have many factors to consider: cost, close to home or close to work, Montessori, academic or other learning styles, a big school that has primary or just a small creche?

The options are many and if you allow it, the search can take a long time.

That’s why I have put together six tips to help you find that first child-care center for your child. Not just any center, but one that is high-quality.

Your money should be well spent (we pay a lot these days); your child should also be allowed to grow and thrive there. The early education experts are telling us that the first 5 years of a child’s life are so important and can shape a child’s future. It is worth choosing carefully!

If you choose a high-quality school and your child spends a few hours a day there, your child will be well on their way to building a solid foundation for their successful future.

A high-quality pre-school should offer:
1. Variety of play – pretend play, physical development activities, pretend play, game with rules, arts & crafts. Some of this play should be outside and unstructured play (the children choose what they want to play with and decide how they will play with the objects).
2. Opportunities to practice turn-taking, sharing and collaborating with their peers
3. Opportunities to practice self-care and tasks that encourage their independence
4. An environment that nurtures their language skills and grows their vocabulary
5. And I believe, care-givers should have a positive relationship with the children and it should be fun!

Parents should also have the peace of mind of knowing that your child is growing confident, is safe, learning, developing and happy.

Let’s look at the six tips to help you choose that high-quality crèche/preschool:

Look for play-based learning
Question: Does the teacher talk about play? Did the teacher emphasize that rather than teaching the children, the children will be playing?

I have to admit that I am biased on this one, as I co-run a play-focus mum & baby club – POPP Lagos. Still, the early education experts have done the research and I have seen the advantages for myself over the last 2 years, so I truly believe play is enough to provide learning for their age (0 – 5).

You may be thinking, what about Montessori? Montessori is not the same as pure play-based learning. I personally believe a good montessori pre-school will incorporate play and a good play-based center, and will incorporate some of that wonderfulness of Maria Montessori’s philosophy, too.

The opposite of play-based learning, is pure formal academics; picture a teacher at blackboard drilling abc, 1-100 into your child and telling them to repeat after them. It involves rote learning and many experts agree, it is not the best thing for a small child (or even an older child – but that’s a discussion for another day).

Even if child A, does learn to recite 1 – 100 earlier than child B through rote learning, it does not make him smarter than child B. Child B will go on to learn it at an older age. While child B is playing in the early years, he is gaining an understanding, he is exploring and practicing for, rather than just hearing and repeating the words he is told by teacher. Child B is also gaining enthusiasm and a love for learning.

Tips: The best tip is to observe the day care or pre-school in its normal state. What are the children doing? Also just ask straight up – what is a schedule for a typical day at the centre and listen to what is said for clues about academic learning or play.

Seek for examples of individualized learning
Question: Does the teacher talk about following each child’s interests and abilities, aside from their regular daily schedule for the children?

When you see two 30 month olds, what they can do cognitively (completing puzzles for example), speech wise and even their social interactions, will be different. One child might be quite talkative, telling stories, another might be able to identify 1 – 10 and love puzzles, but not yet speak in full sentences.The school/crèche carers should be aware of this and adapting materials and interactions with children, daily, based on what they know about each child.

Tips: You can ask what they do if your child doesn’t want to join a certain group activity. You want to hear clues that they would bring out something your child enjoys doing and let him/her do that instead. They should talk about it as though, it is something that happens regularly and they don’t consider ‘wrong’ or ‘bad’ behaviour. If you see it in practice, while you are visiting – even better.

Is there time for free play?
Question: Are there times set aside in the day when the children get to choose what they play with? For how long?

During free play, children get to interact with each other freely and usually this is when they practice collaborating, sharing, waiting your turn. It’s also when they interact – which may just look like talking to or touching each other’s face, depending on the child’s age. Children are in control during free play and are able to act without instructions and may give you more clues as to what their interests are based on what materials they choose to play with.

Tips: Ask how long the children play outside in the playground for, everyday? Outside play is an important part of young children’s development and also constitutes free-play, since the children pick what they want to play on/with. You want to hear about different times in the day there is free play, both indoor or outdoors.

Is the class size adequate? Are classroom materials adequate?
Question: How big the class is – is it spacious? How many children are in the class? How many are under the care of one teacher/carer? What kinds of materials are in the classroom?

In terms of how many adults are watching a child, the younger the children, the fewer the children to one teacher/carer should be. So for babies 0 -15months, you wouldn’t want to see more 4 children to one adult-carer, and there should be only maximum, 8-10 children in one room.

Tips: You want to see shelves or cupboards with different learning material and toys. Look for art materials, music instruments, puzzles, pretend play materials (dolls, dress up costumes, toy kitchen). Is the room bright, airy, and spacious enough for the kids to ‘spread out’ in? I personally do not like to see children watching TV – so, seeing a TV in the room would be a red flag for me.

Are you happy with the teacher’s style and knowledge?
Question: What is the teacher’s personality and behaviour as he/she interacts with other teachers and the children? Is the teacher responsive, warm? Are they using an understanding tone when a child does something different from what is expected? What about the teacher’s credentials and experience? Does he/she have knowledge of child development for the age of the children in their care?

Tips: I personally recommend talking to the teacher who will be in the classroom with your child and directing questions to that person, rather than a tour guide or head teacher, who may have all the ‘right’ answers.

The teacher is closer to the everyday happenings in the classroom and they will be in close interaction with your child. You can also get a feel for their English language skills (does it match what you expect for the school fees you’re paying?), and gauge whether there is warmth and passion for the job.

If you take your child with you when you visit the school, you can also observe how teacher talks to your child.

Are you comfortable with the school policies?
Question: how does the school handle discipline? Do they smack (it would be a ‘no no’ for many of us) or have a time out chair?

Tips: Ask for examples of when they use these methods and do they inform you the parent when an incident has occurred and discipline has been meted?

Ask about sharing policy. You should be looking for something that teaches the children to wait their turn but also respects that if a child has something first, they should be able to play with it for some time before they have to give it up.

Then other key ones: do they conduct fire drills or have a plan for that, how about security, how do they make sure your child stays safe/isn’t picked up by a stranger?

Now, you may not need to ask all these questions to know that a school is quality and right for you, but it is a question template you can keep in mind for your first school visit! Is it not better to set the bar high within your fees range, to help you make the right choice?

One last thing, what ultimately makes a school the right one for you, above any lists, is that you feel confident in the teachers’/carers’ abilities and there is transparency and openness in the schools communication with you. These two things may help you believe your young child will be comfortable, happy and thrive there.

Make you make your list of schools to visit, do add the schools your friends children go to and prestigious schools, but remember that they may not suit you and your family. You may be surprised at which school you end up loving in the end.

Parents, which of these points is most important for you; as in, I must see this at the school? Also, any other key considerations you would add for finding a quality school/crèche, from your experiences?

ps: this article was written by me, for BellaNaija.com and first published there. 

image by Demilade Roberts (IG: @demilader).

Top Black-Baby Skin Products used by Real Mums

This is probably at the top of the list of questions we get asked.

Which skin product should I use for baby?

The answer is… it depends.

Does your baby have dry skin? Is baby prone to eczema? If you answer ‘yes’ to those two questions, you will want something that is hypoallergenic or at least very moisturising. If you have experienced neither of those, then you have even more options to choose from.

Below is a list of the products that most Mums have found useful based on a poll we conducted on Instagram.

For washing:

  1. Boots baby
  2. Aquaphor baby
  3. Ose dudu
  4. Sebamed wash
  5. Oilatum
  6. Aveeno
  7. Shea Moisture baby
  8. Cetaphil

 

For moisturising:

  1. Coconut oil
  2. Shea Butter
  3. Shea butter + Coconut oil
  4. Oilatun
  5. Cetaphil
  6. Aveeno
  7. Sebamed
  8. Mustela

Johnson’s baby was also on the list but do be careful with that, as many Mums have reported a rash or reaction to Johnson’s in the past.

Also if your baby has eczema or shows signs of a rash or eczema, do not be in a hurry to reach for shea butter or natural oils – these may actually do more damage. Instead, please do take baby to a Dermatologist or Pediatrician first to get an assessment.

 

That’s it!

Hope it helps you as a beginning point for choosing which products to try for washing and moisturising your baby’s skin.

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Mums reading, what do you use for your baby’s skin – for washing & creaming? We would love to hear and add any new commonly used ones to the list above!

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Breastfeeding Mums share: 10 Best Tips to Boost Supply

Another day, another breastfeeding post!

I am not in new baby phase yet, but…

I am taking these posts as part of my steps for preparing for breastfeeding baby#2.

If you just want 3 key tips for boosting supply, scroll all the way down and you will see them in bold and uppercase. If you have a few more minutes, let’s go…!

By the way, I wanted to say to someone who may have read this somewhere, recently. I saw this tip in a Nigerian newspaper in August, so I know it is is out there. You do NOT need to rub, rough up or massage your nipples while pregnant, to prepare them for breastfeeding or boost your supply. It is not necessary and has not been proven to be beneficial.

Five things to do in preparation for breastfeeding (by the experts at kellymom):

1.Read Read and read up some more about breastfeeding.

Latch, tongue-tie, and tips. Watch videos online to see different Mum’s breastfeeding positioning. Look out for Mums literarily holding a piece of the breast between two fingers, with nipple and areola sticking out and pushing it inside baby’s mouth – ensuring both nipple and outer area (areola) go in.

2. Put baby on the breast as soon as possible, after birth.

Once initial checks, weighting, wipe down is done and baby is deemed well, put your baby to your breast. If you want to watch something cool, put baby on your stomach and watch him or her ‘crawl’ up to your breast (it’s a newborn reflex!).

3. In those early days, try to keep baby as close to you as possible.

Yes this is permission to be someone who snuggle and hold baby as much as you like. Let those around you help and support by doing other tasks such as burping, changing baby, cleaning, cooking. If you feel strong enough have baby close to you, as often as you can.

4. Feed baby on demand.

This just means as often as baby asks for the breast, you give them milk. It’s hard to know in the beginning what each cry means, but with elimination, you will learn to judge over time (to some degree). It is not a perfect science. I found that even with months, I did not know with hundred percent certainty whether it was hunger or not – plenty of trial and error ensued.

5. Get help with your latch and positioning before you feel you need it.

Once you start breastfeeding, show a lactation consultant in hospital or midwife how you’re breastfeeding. Tell them to please correct. Don’t get shy oh, let them touch you if they want. (I added this final point based on my experience, the experts point only to the top four).

If you do these things listed above you should, I said should oh – you should find that your milk supply is flowing and adequate for you baby. If you are finding you need help with boosting supply or wish to know how one could do that.. check out the tips below.

Health & fitness experts Shredder Gang (@shreddergang), recently asked Mums on Instagram what helped their supply. I have tried to put together a list of the answers that came up most frequently. This one is not research backed – purely based on what mums say helped them.

10 tips for boosting your milk supply by REAL Mums

  1. Drink lots of water
  2. Lactation tea
  3. Fenugreek capsules (also mentions of fenugreek seed or oil)
  4. Don’t stress, Rest! – production starts from the brain lol
  5. Lactation cookies
  6. Pap/akamu/ogi
  7. Oatmeal
  8. Breastfeed or pump every few hours
  9. Tiger nuts
  10. Tea

And that’s the list!

By far, the most common of the ten are the three below, so if you only want to try a few OR want to know where;s best to start:

WATER | PAP | PUMP  & BREASTFEED OFTEN. 

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I wanted to add this for that Mum who just couldnt get her milk flowing or breastfeeding going successfully. It was not your fault. You did the best you could! You may try again for next baby, if you choose, but you know what, if you don’t want to, that’s OK, too. Fed is best, above all else.

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Do you agree with this list? What would you add, please share with us below.

 

ps: image source Instagram @theeducatedbirth.

5 New Trends in Breastfeeding

 

Let’s be real, breastfeeding takes over you life as a new Mum!

Especially, if you’re trying to do it exclusively – that is offering baby ONLY breastmilk and no formula at all. I remember going through those first weeks of breastfeeding and understanding why Mums say you feel like a cow. Milk was literarily everywhere – breast pad, baby’s clothes, your clothes. I spent the early days carrying my breastfeeding pillow around with me in the house, because positioning baby on my lap was still awkward. My breasts were heavy (painfully heavy when the milk first came in) and I cannot forget trying not to cry from the pain on first latch by baby.

Like many women, I persevered because  – bonding, and the thought of baby getting milk made perfectly for them with antibodies etc was very satisfying.

The trends below are a salute to Women’s resilience. What I see is Women making breastfeeding work for them and professionals doing more to support women going through the process. And I love that! You want to do what’s right of baby, but that shouldn’t come as a sacrifice to your health, sanity and happiness entirely.

Check out these new trends in Breastfeeding:

1. Exclusive pumping

This involves only feeding your baby breastmilk from the bottle ONLY and not putting them directly to the breast. Reasons why you might do this:

  • you cannot get baby to latch on,
  • you suffer from breastfeeding aversion (see point 2),
  • your baby gets used to the bottle and refuses to breastfeed on the breast continuously or
  • just out of choice – thats what you want to do!

2.  Breastfeeding Aversion and Agitation (BAA) is REAL.

BAA is described as having negative feelings when your baby is latched on and sucking on the breast.

This is something that affects mums, that they may be shy to share about. There may be a feeling of guilt or shame attached, since we are told breastfeeding should be a natural and thats the opposite of what they are feeling in that moment. It might be temporary or only happen when you’re on your period or on certain days. For some, you just cannot breastfeed at all because of the feeling and might choose instead to go for exclusive pumping.

It’s so important that this feeling is labelled because it is something women are experiencing. Someone close to you may be going through it and not even know there’s a name for it. The more of us who know, the more we can support our sisters, wives and friends or show them where to get support, if they experience these feelings. There is a dedicated website for women experiencing Breastfeeding Aversion & Agitation (BAA), please visit: breastfeedingaversion.com.

3. Adoptive Mums can breastfeed

Induced lactation involves teaching your body to produce milk for a baby, in this case, a baby you have adopted.  You do it by putting your baby to the breast to suckle. If baby is willing and does it, then you repeat this un till milk flows.

I found this very fascinating, but I do wonder why it would be of top importance to have this particular bonding experience with your adoptive baby. In any case, I cannot speak on it much since I haven’t been in the position. What do you guys think – did you or someone you know achieve this successfully?

4. Sadness and Depression during weaning

This usually happens when a mum is forced to wean before she is ready. Some Mums still cannot pump at work comfortably or travel and come back and baby is not interested. This sadness is also more common in mums who have a history of depression. It is believed to be caused by changes in hormone levels. When you’re breastfeeding, the hormones prolactin (brings wellness, calmness, relaxation) and oxytocin (increases positive attitudes like bonding)  are released. So stopping can cause a big drop in these hormones and that may in turn lead to sadness and possibly depression.

As usual, if you suspect a friend or family member is experiencing this, please advise them to talk to you and  a Doctor, who can offer advice and professional help. No one who is suffering these feelings should have to do it on their own.

5. Lactation cookies, muffins and teas

I would say that this is a trend that is new for Nigeria in particular. Two Mums operating as Milky Express and The Milk Booster, are offering breastfeeding advice on Instagram, alongside selling home made cookies and muffins. These snacks can help Mums maintain or increase they supply of milk.

With many Nigerians mums returning to work after a three month maternity leave, these products are helpful to those who want to achieve at least six months of exclusively breastfeeding, especially. New Mums, Funto Ibuoye and Anita Okoye – who is a twin mama, have endorsed the products, sharing that they have found them helpful. If you’re that Mum who has been thinking a lot about your milk supply and returning to work or just boosting your supply, these products could be for you! Find them on Instagram @milkyexpress and @themilkbooster.

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Alright Mums, let me know what you think. Are you exclusively pumping? Are you currently using lactation snacks and do you find them helpful? Share below, please. Let’s do this together, I am personally preparing to get into breastfeeding very shortly again!

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Ps: I will be running my first detailed & paid course:

 The Biggies’ – all the key considerations for your first year with baby.

There will be webinars that cover breastfeeding, weaning, sleep, play & early learning, TV & screen time, Nanny vs Creche (and handouts to help choose either), transitioning older sibling when baby arrives and more. All those big topics you’re thinking about as a new Mum or second time Mum who wants to do things differently this time.

I am very excited, because for once I will be able to give full information, tying all the topics I have been sharing for two years now on Instagram, together.  You will put forward your personal questions, which we will answer. It will act as a small, closed support group of mums with children of similar age.

I will also at this point have a new baby and toddler. Everything is just as REAL for me, as it is for you. If you are interested, please fill this form (it asks for your name, email, subject & message). In the subject put ‘The Biggies’. In message tell me your baby’s date of birth. I’m exciteddddddddd. 

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Labour Will Humble You | Marcy Birth Video Discussion

“Labour pain will humble you” – Marcy Dolapo Oni.

Sooo, I am very late to the party – the instagram clip on her page has 31k views, but I finally caught up with Marcy Dolapo Oni’s video series.

She is an actor, presenter and producer. I will always remember her from a fun & interactive play she acted in called “Iya -Ile(you can click this link, when you hover with your mouse it goes orange), back in 2009. The play was held in London but the vibe, the laughs and the audience dancing (yes they encouraged us), meant we were all transported back to Lagos. It was a great great night of fun.

Anyway, bringing it back to 2017. Marcy has shared a series of videos on her pregnancy and is now keeping us up-to-date on life as a new mum, starting with (you can click this link, when you hover with your mouse) baby’s birth video.

The video is from the heart, hella funny and has many moments mums would recognise! It reminded me of  some long forgotten details from my first born’s birth, I even took notes, lol.

I loved it so much I had an Instagram live video to talk about it. Don’t know if I’ll ever do one of those again *coversface, but I wanted to share the key points we discussed.

 

Why?

– I’m so passionate about POSITIVE birth experiences for all Mums.

-I feel like there’s still so much that comes as a surprise to us during the birth experience. It’s impossible to know everything but, the more we talk and share, the more we close that gap of lack of information!

-If you are informed, you can be confident asking questions and being an advocate for yourself (alongside your birth partners).  That just means speaking up clearly about your wishes and being part of the decision-making process alongside the medical team (within reason, obviously).

Oh, and I’m about to do it again, myself – woo hoo.

 

Right, lets get into.

If you haven’t yet, watch the video, and then run back here to read the points below:

We talked about:

Reasons why one might need to be induced:

  1. Big baby /diabetic mum
  2. Overdue 42 weeks or more
  3. Carrying twins
  4. Bleeding at late stage in pregnancy
  5. Fears about baby not growing/small baby
  6. Pre-eclampsia
  7. High blood pressure.

And below are typical Induction steps (I didn’t actually cover this in the discussion):

  1. Usually you start with a sweep – literarily put their fingers in your cervix and move around between the membrane and your uterus.
  2. ,Then the give you the prostaglandin pessary (goes inside you) or gel
  3. Then they might break your waters if they haven’t broken yet – ‘rupturing your membranes’.
  4. Then they may give you the syntocinon drip to speed things up if contractions slow, or you’re not dilating. The contractions from the drip can be very strong.

Usually if you start with the sweep, they send you home to then see if your body responds to it and starts contracting by itself. If it doesn’t you might go back into hospital and then be given the pessary or gel. Experiences vary based on whether they send you home after you get the pessary or not – I guess if you are a few cm’s dilated, the ward isn’t too full or  you live far, you may be allowed to stay.

Induction and c-section link

Now,  lots of people (medical staff included) accept that if you are induced, you may find yourself, I don’t want to say fast-tracked, but you may end up having a c-section. I think it’s because you’re forcing the body to expel baby. If the body was already getting ready, your induction may be a ‘success’ – vaginal birth, but if your body wasn’t ready at all, it may not respond as well to the drugs and you may need to get an emergency c-section.

When I was told an induction was likely for me, the first time round, I immediately started going on long walks – 1hour plus. I got the sweep, and continued on my walks. I wanted to jump start my body getting ready as much as possible, before we got to the hospital and drugs stage. I don’t know if it helped, but I had started getting some very early labour signs – contractions that started while I was sleeping, but in the morning of the induction day, they had stopped. I was about 2cm dilated when I got the pessary.

I think if I were in that position, I would do the same again. Try to get things going naturally before going in for the pessary or gel.

Baby’s size and position

I feel like every pregnant woman, who is hoping for a natural birth, should be reminded before labour that there are so many factors that need to be aligned to get that vaginal birth. Baby’s position and condition and mums condition too. If Mums pelvis is small in relation to size of baby, mums pelvis is shaped differently to the norm, baby is breech, baby’s hand is up by head, baby poos in the womb, baby’s heart rate slows – any one of these could signal change of plan from vaginal to CS.

So have a birth plan, hold on to it, but let your mind be open to – healthy mum, healthy baby being the goal. It then allows you to adjust your expectations should anything unexpected arise on labour day.

Theatre experience

Now I knew exactly what that experience was like of going from labouring in a quiet-ish room with dimmed lights to a room that is bright, lights everywhere and full of people. It is scary. And I wish they would take 2 minutes to tell a Mum to prepare herself before they wheel her into the theatre. I understand in the grand scheme, if its an emergency, there’s no time for that, but I feel these little snippets of information can be big enough to change a woman’s perspective on her birth experience from ‘wo-wo’ or negative to positive. And all it took was a little heads -up here and there.

Pain relief options

I never tried the tens machine so I can’t speak on that. It’s four electrodes fastened to your back and they send low voltage currents into your skin, stimulating endorphins to make you feel good and preventing you from feeling the pain being sent to your brain from your womb.

I had to agree with Marcy that gas & air is ‘for the birds’ aka rubbish, aka a scam, aka does.not.work. I noticed that there seemed to be a technique to using it – you have to suck deeply. I found that whole sucking  process, annoying for the fact that you got almost nothing in return for that effort, by way of actual pain relief. All the while contractions are hitting you. Hitting you with almost no breaks in between, usually if you got induced.

I have no experience with pethidine so I can’t speak on it. It is a pain killer which is injected into your thigh. It takes about 20 minutes to kick in, but let’s you relax and sleep.

Epidural experience & after effects

The epidural segment Marcy covered was again ‘the truth’. That part where they’re giving you the injection and you have to lie still, back arched, feels a bit scary and almost impossible. You’re being told to be very still, but you’re in active labour, you’re contracting so your body is feeling all the aches and they make you want to move. I was told some women just ask to have the epidural from early onset of labour and I guess I can understand that choice!

I remember holding and squeezing the Anaesthetist’s hand and she sternly tells me, do not hold my hand please. I thought she was rude. Later my friend explained that I would want the hand of the person who is sticking a needle in my spine to be as fully functioning and pain free as possible. Ah, point taken.

Side effects of epidural as it wears off include shivering and itching – both of which I suffered. It also works for 93% of people but you could be in that 7% it does not work for. Some people report tingling in one side of their body for life. I remember feeling some strange tingles, but they passed days/weeks after birth.

I was saying that when you think about all that is entailed with the epidural, you might hesitate to go for it, but it feels so nice to have it! You go from I’m in so much pain, to being like, goodnight and going for a sleep. The relief is amazing.

First reaction

Seeing your baby for the first time just makes it so worth it. Whether it was a CS or vaginal birth, that feeling is indescribable!

Birth advocacy 

I wish for every woman to to know her options and have a say in her birth experience. I also believe ‘healthy mum, healthy baby’, should be the number one goal and kept in mind for all those who have a detailed/elaborate birth plan! Finally,  you can use the BRAN – U model when making medical decisions. For big and difficult medical decision put forward by the medical team, Mum and Dad can ask themselves the questions below before committing to a decision:

B – what are the benefits?

R – what are the risks?

A – what are the alternatives?

N – what if we do nothing, is this an option?

U – how quickly do we need to make a decision, is it urgent?

The bran model was devised by Dr Sarah J Buckely. I added the U part as I believe it’s worth considering too. Maybe even the first question to ask!

The conversation is still up on Instagram along with comments from Mums, if you want to see.

Mums, I would love to hear what stood out for you personally, from watching the birth video. Anything you don’t agree with, completely agreed with/found yourself nodding to?  Are there parts you didn’t really understand? Please share your views below.

When Baby Refuses Bottle Feeding – 10 Tricks to Try

Is your exclusively breastfed baby refusing to drink from the bottle?

I know the feeling! But do not despair, there is hope.

It may be tricky at first, but you can still get baby to drink their milk.

I have found some wonderful tips that you can try. Check them out below:

 

1. Use a baby cup

Try with and without the spout. Have baby drink like we do – from the rim of the cup. The newness of that may encourage baby to drink. Or try with spout, or spoon or a wide brimmed baby bowl.

 

2.Have someone else feed baby from the bottle. 

When you are not in the same room. Try this with tip number 6!

 

3. Feed baby bottle with their back to you. 

So hold baby facing outward, in cradle position. Or have baby sitting upright, again facing outward.

 

4. Warm the nipple with cooled boiled water.

Just so the nipple is not cold.

 

5. Put baby in a swing or bouncer to distract them while you offer bottle.

Or you can trying rocking and moving as you offer the bottle.

 

6. Put mums t-shirt or piece of clothing on

Or something that smells like you close during the feed.

 

7. Offer bottle when baby has just woken up (but not fully awake yet)

Or when baby is sleepy or when baby is asleep.

 

8. Tickle baby’s lower lip to get them to open their mouth.

Don’t force bottle in. If you try and baby is resisting, do not continue beyond 10 minutes. Stop and then try again at another time.

 

9. Try different temperatures of the milk

Warm, cold or very warm (but not hot so doesn’t burn baby’s mouth.

 

10. Try a different bottle nipple/teat. 

Different nipples have different flows. Also a silicone nipple may feel more natural, like an actual breast nipple.

 

And that’s it. It might also help to get into a routine of trying the bottle at the same time everyday. So offering baby a bottle every evening, for example. If you can get Daddy or Grandma or Carer on your side to support the effort, that will remove or at least reduce the pressure you feel.

 

Some more thoughts on the topic:

When’s the best time to introduce a bottle?

There’s a lot of debate about when the ‘right time’ is, to introduce a bottle to a breastfed baby. If you want to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months (or longer), you might be hesitant to introduce the bottle because you don’t want to sabotage your success with breastfeeding.

 

Nipple confusion

There’s also something called ‘nipple confusion’ – because the bottle is technically easier to drink from than the breast, the breast suckling requires more effort, we are told  if we introduce the bottle too early, baby may like it better and then refuse the breast because its more work!

 

Preparing for a return to work 

However, if you’re going back to work between 6 weeks to 4 months, you might feel pressure to know baby will drink from the bottle, or some other means, when you are not home. Knowing baby is comfortably fed while you’re at work will give you major peace of mind, as you prepare for your return to work.

I don’t have the answers. I offer a solution prescribed by one of the links I have listed below. You could try this: At 3-4 weeks (or 2-3 weeks if you are returning to work at 6 weeks), you can begin pumping after feedings for 4-5 minutes if your baby had a good feeding, or 8-10 minutes if he didn’t nurse well or only nursed on one breast.

 

Mums, on this one, I’m counting on hearing your experience. What worked for your baby? When did you first introduce the bottle? Did your baby ever experience nipple confusion? Please share with plenty of details for other working mums in these shoes.

 

sources:
Motherandchildhealth | BreastfeedingBasics

 

Screen time Debate – Is TV Bad for my Baby & Toddler?

This is one of those topic of conversations that can lead to an argument – screen time for babies & toddlers.

I think it can get heated quickly because no Parent likes to feel judged in their parenting and I would hate hate hate (yes three times for emphasis) to make any parent feel that way.

When it comes to these kind of controversial topics, I like to get the facts, then decide on a plan for my family, knowing them. I also know it won’t be perfect stick to the plan 365 days a year, but at least this is a general stand point.

 

Team TV vs Team no TV

Many parents are happy for their babies and toddlers to watch cartoons on their tablets or TV. Many will say my toddler learns from it! We’ll call them Team ‘TV is fine, my baby watches it all the time and even learns things’.

Others may have read about guidelines for ‘screen time’ from the education experts and their warning messages about how they can cause harm. Or just be following a certain philosophy that encourages play over media viewing. These parents offer no TV at all. Lets call them Team ‘TV is bad’.

I know not everybody will fit neatly into these two groups, since they are the both extremes. But I have heard from and know parents in the two camps. Whether you’ve picked a team or not, if you are open minded about discussing screen time for babies and toddlers -0-3 years olds,  let’s talk.

Let’s start with the facts, guidelines, dangers, AND what you can do to keep your child healthy and developing, in relation to screens/media. But first:

 

A story & a balanced diet of play

I remember the first time I let my baby have screen time. Before then, we had agreed and tried really hard not to let her watch any TV at all. She was about 19 months old.  I googled nursery rhymes and a YouTube video of sing-along-songs and nursery rhymes popped up.

The video had millions of views and as I watched her mesmerised, dancing and enjoying it, I could see why parents would rely on tablets/TV to keep their children occupied and get some peace and quiet! Who doesn’t like ‘beta thing’.

But, at this age, my daughter was talking in two or three word sentences, and playing at least four times a week outside the house, in the morning, with other children. Screen time was introduced to a ‘balanced diet of play & learning’ she already had daily. This is how I comforted myself that it was OK. She would also sing along to the songs, many of which she knew from listening to the CD and us singing, so she was actively consuming the programmes we were watching – then only sing along songs and nursery rhymes, strictly.

I had started doing the research already at that point to find out what the dangers and any positives really were.

The facts from experts on media use for young ones

What we know about screen time for young ones (from research that has been carried out by experts):

1. To learn young kids need to be playing and actively interacting with people & objects around them. This includes being read to, playing with toys, singing & listening to music, engaging in stimulating & sensory play, talking to adults and enjoying active play.

2. TV and tablets are not educational. Sometimes the labels say they are educational, for example, baby Einstein and other such programmes for kids, but it has not been proven that TV for babies and toddlers under 18 months of  age is educational. (I think this is one of the most contentious points – many will fight that this is simply not correct).

3. It is possible for TV and tablets to affect your child’s speech, contributing to a delay in talking! The experts have researched and proven this.

4. TV and tablets could affect your child’s other cognitive development including development of their fine motor skills, problem solving and gross motor skills, because it’s time they are not spending working on these. These they have seen a link with but cannot say it’s been proven yet.

5. Other areas that may affect your little one because of excessive media intake is sleep, weight issues, attention issues etc.

 

Toddlers & screen time effects on speech

One of the biggest issues I see and hear about from Mums is speech delays (with absence of health issues)!

Some Parents are waiting for their children to say words. The milestone tracker says to expect 50 words by age two as a guide, and it can be frustrating when just before that point or after, your child does not have up to ten words. (Though every child is different, there has to be room for that even with milestone trackers).

In many of these examples, though not all, the toddler is watching TV or tablets for hours a day. She may be missing out on time that could be spent developing her speech, which is best done through talking to other adults about things around her, being read to, listening to singing, exploring a variety of places (will introduce more words) etc

There are situations where, a nanny for example, spends 8am to 6:30pm with a toddler, and only talks to the child to give them instructions, the rest of the time, the child is watching TV inactively (so not getting up or playing, simply staring at the screen) or a cartoons on a tablet. They bath in the evening, more cartoons and then bed.

The child looks healthy and is fed and very loved by well meaning carers & parents, but what you cannot see is the development that is lacking through little or not as much play and interactions with the world around them. And this is where cartoon watching is not replacement for real & stimulating play.

Now, there will be children who are in the situation above and speech is fine, other developments on track, too. That is also possible.

I think Mums, if they can, should try not give their kids screen time before that child has a good number of words they say clearly and that’s typically after baby’s first birthday. But sometimes if you look at your child’s play diet and it’s full and stimulating, well, you may judge that you have more room to be more relaxed on screen time. But let’s see what the current guidelines from the experts at AAP, actually say.

 

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines on screen time

-extracted from this article by NPR

So the AAP guidelines recommend that kids younger than 18 months do not watch cartoons or tv on screens. Instead they say children should continue to explore and interact with toy/objects and people around them! FaceTime or Skype with loved ones is an exception – that is fine! What is new is that the guidelines now acknowledge, on the basis of new research, that there is a healthy and positive place for screen time in the lives of kids older than 18 months. In the past they just said no TV before age 2 years.

But only when these two conditions are met:

1.First, the screen time has to be parent time. That means time where parent or care giver sings or chants along with the child. Or asks the child questions and engages them or applies what they’ve seen to their every day activities.

2.And, second, the programme your child is watching — like Sesame Workshop and PBS Kids — should not have too much going on.  If your child is overtly mesmerised by the colours and fast changes on the screen, they may not actually take in the substance of the show. If you can, find content that your child can focus on and get something out of.

 

Setting guidelines and limits on media use in your household

From the research done and speaking to Mums, it’s clear that most households will choose to allow some screen time, either after (or before) the 18 month mark. In our household, we allow some screen time now, for our nearly 2.5 year old, but we have introduced limits and rules. These are some examples, similar to what we have, that you could implement at home.

  1. Consider limiting to only in the weekend or only after a certain time in the day.
  2. Find one or two cartoon series that you, Mum or Dad have watched and are comfortable with or nursery rhymes videos.
  3. Use the IPad or laptop rather than TV. This is because then you can turn it off and put it away. Out of sight out of mind. Whereas if they’re watching on a TV screen that is in a living room, it could act as a constant reminder for baby, that they could be watching cartoons.
  4. Do not download cartoons on your phone or introduce them to watching them on your phone. We usually have our phones on us quite a lot. I’ve noticed that removing this option, or never doing it, can really cut down on your children’s screen time. Put toys, books, in your car, and play music.
  5. Limit the hours when they do watch. One or two hours each day during the weekend, for example. Decide whether to add Friday or not to weekend viewing.
  6. If you have a nanny, I would recommend not letting the nanny give them screens to use. That’s a whole human being available to supervise them through play, reading, singing etc. Draw up an age-appropriate a play schedule for your nanny and have her follow it. This is a good rule to practice if you use laptops or ipads as you could simply put those away.
  7. Get Daddy on board. Get Daddy fully agreeing to the rules. Mum & Dad being consistent in the message put out will help your young one.
  8. Provide good alternatives to TV. Our children being bored sometimes is not a bad thing- its good for stimulating creativity. But if you can have a few things out that they could play with, it sets them up for independent play and hopefully removes or reduces the request for cartoons.
  9. You might make exceptions to the rules,if your child is sick. Remember to tell them clearly that it’s because they’re ill, so there’s no confusion.
  10. Consider not putting a TV in your children’s rooms or play rooms.
  11. When you can, watch together, ask about what they watched, talk about experiences or objects seen in the cartoons that match your child’s own experiences or objects they have seen or interacted with.
  12. Let playing be normal. And you can tell your child this too. You’ve enjoyed your screen time, well, now it’s time to play.

Conclusion

More play usually means more mess, let’s be honest. TV is mess-free and easy. I have a child who absolutely loves wet or messy play, or both. This means frequent clean ups, sandy floors indoors and some mess almost everyday. But I keep telling myself, it is a small price to pay for the development and learning.

Another funny thing is, most of us grew up with plenty of play – outside too. I grew up in Lagos and as a youngster I climbed trees, played in the rain (I would put my swim suit on and jump around with my sister) and would sit and play with plants and sand outside till maybe even secondary school *covers face. Yes, I was a late bloomer, but thats something so rare these days.  Our children’s childhood is becoming shorter and shorter. If we prioritise play more and more (the type that does not involve screens) we could be making a big difference in their lives.

Are you still reading? that means you made it to the end! You can’t see, but I’m doing a dance for you. Before you check out another page, lol, I want you to do two things:

  • Share some comments on your views on TV & tablets so far, what you’re doing, not doing in your household..
  • Share what you think about screen time having read all this. Be brutally honest please. I can handle it.

xo

Mummyfix

3 Free Apps Every New Mum Should Have

Do you use apps for your daily life? Are there parenting apps that you love? These are the apps that I used when I had a newborn. The good thing about all of these, is the price – FREE, so you have nothing to lose in trying them out, if you have a new baby.


1.Baby Feed
This App is every new mums best friend. Well, it was mine anyway an dI found it so useful, I recommend it to new mums. It helps you record baby’s feeds, when they’ve been changed and their sleep times and patterns, too. If you’re like me and your memory was soo bad with lack of sleep as a new mum, this app acts as a perfect reminder for when you last fed the baby, and it will remind you when the next feed is due, which breast you last fed from, how many ounces baby ate (if bottle fed) etc.
It can also show you daily, weekly, monthly averages, based on information you put in. You can also use it to store information on your baby’s growth, if you’re tracking abby’s weight gain. You can download it on another phone too, so if Grandma sometimes watches your baby she can just enter the information she has observed into her own app synced with yours. It can put the information into graphs and allows you to export it to your email too.

If someone said to me, you can only recommend one app, just one, it would be this one!

2.Sound Sleeper
This app plays out white noise which can help your new born baby fall asleep quicker and sleep for longer. White noise is just a fancy way of saying background noise. The app has different types of sounds you can choose from: ocean, hair dryer, market, pond, car ride, shhhhhh and I’m sure you get the gist!

The whole idea of playing white noise for new borns is to help them adjust during the fourth trimester – their first three months of life. The experts say that it was not quiet in the womb for baby – mum’s blood was sloshing about and Mum made noise by talking, and moving around, too, apparently it is noisy in there. Newborns can find this background noise to be very soothing (and gently ease them into a nice sleep), the same way many babies enjoy being in water and sometimes even fall asleep in it – it reminds them of happy days (haha) in womb. It can also help babies cry less, reduce their stress and reduce their risk of SIDs.

I used the white noise as part of my little one’s nap and night time sleep routine. We used it a few times a day, to the point I believed that when she heard the ocean noise, it confirmed to her (she was already drowsy at this point), that it was sleep time and she would usually fall asleep minutes after it came on.

This App only plays the sound for 30 minutes. If you want it to play for a full hour or more, you have to pay for an upgrade to the full version of the app – which I eventually did, but you may find you don’t need to. There are also white noise machines that you can buy for baby, check Amazon or ask at your local baby store.

3. Tiny beans
This one was recommended to me by one of the Mums I met an antenatal classes.It comes up as a calendar style and the idea is that you take a picture each day and fill up the days in each month with a new picture. You can put in comments with the pictures too and then share the photos with friends, family or even your partner while he is at work. It can remind you daily, at a certain time, to take a picture of your child.
Another feature this app has is a milestones tick list, so you can record the date you noticed your baby’s first words, first steps etc. It lists out the main skills under five categories – social, fine motor, speech & language, gross motor and cognitive etc and then you can put in the information you observe as your baby completes it. I found the list pretty long, but if you enjoy memory keeping, it is fantastic for that.

I know apps are the future, but personally, I like to limit how many apps I’m downloading and using. I am trying to reduce time on my phone, period. But at the same time, they can really save time and be useful – I think all three above are. So its a balancing act. Do you use any of these apps? And what Apps or routines did you find useful in your first months with baby?

Colic: 15 relief techniques to try & do this 1 thing

Before I had my baby girl, I had heard of colic, reflux and wind (I didn’t know the differences).

The general gist was they would all mean more hassle and less sleep for Parents.

I took in very little on the colic/reflux/wind discussion during antenatal classes because I figured that it was something that happened to ‘other’ babies. Apparently, if you haven’t seen an issue first hand in your friends or family’s babies, you may not recognise it as a possibility for you.

That’s pretty much what happened for me.

 

What is colic?

Colic is excessive crying in babies who are generally not sick. And this part is key:  even medical experts do not understand colic fully, yet. I experienced this first hand. After explaining the symptoms we had with my baby, Doctors would give us a look, and explain in a polite, sensible tone: ‘there is not much I can tell you or do for you’.

Ah! It frustrated me, because when you go to a doctor about your little child who you are powerless to help, you hope the Doctor walks in like a hero, does his/her thing and makes everything OK. Instantly. Hearing the words ‘normal’ and ‘fairly common’, made me take quite a few deep breathes. It really didn’t feel normal to see my baby cry, in what, to me, looked like pain.

A specialist Doctor we saw joked that colicky babies were a form of contraception: ‘you won’t be in a hurry for the next baby’, he predicted. It was a funny joke, but at the time I could not laugh. My baby wanted me to hold her all through the day and sometimes all through the night too. She cried in sleep and stretched and curled and winced in hat looked like pain to me. There was nothing funny about the sleep deprivation and watching her go through that!

 

Is it colic your baby has?

You may not know with hundred percent certainty.

Webmd says symptoms may look like this:
a. Loud crying lasting three hours or more for three or more days a week, over a period of more than three weeks.
b. Prolonged crying between 6 pm and midnight in a baby that has been fed.
c. While crying, the baby draws his legs to his abdomen and clenches his hands and curls his toes; his face alternately flushes and pales with the effort of crying.
d. Baby may pass wind.

 

Causes of colic

They also list some possible causes of colic, based on different theories out there:
a. Tummy trouble, perhaps a problem with the cow’s milk protein or lactose in some baby formulas
b. Reflux — heartburn due to stomach acid and milk flowing back into the windpipe
c. A growing digestive system with muscles that often spasm
d. Gas
e. Hormones that cause stomachaches or a fussy mood
f. Oversensitivity or over-stimulated by light, noise, etc.
g. A moody baby
h. A still-developing nervous system

My baby was described as a ‘colicky’ baby

She did not have the prolonged crying episodes, and the timing of her discomforts was several points through the day. Please know that colic does not just mean that your baby cries for hours in the evenings. It can be crying at different times and what looks like discomfort. It could also be a sign of a medical ailment – more of that below.

 

15 colic-relief techniques to try

A combination of these techniques may help:
1. Tummy massage with sunflower oil- there are several baby massage vides on youtube
2. Bicycle legs – you move baby’s legs in a cycling motion
3. Gently push your baby’s knees towards their tummy if it feels like they need assistance passing wind
4. Warm bath – have baby sit safely inside the water in a bucket or bath (you may have to hold them), not just pouring it over baby.
5. Wear your baby in a sling or wrapper. Preferably an ergonomic carrier (one that has a firmas opposed to a wrap sling) if you think they are showing signs of reflux
6. Have your baby sitting upright during feeds
7. Hold your baby upright over your shoulders or resting on your tummy with a straight back, for 15- 30minutes after a feed, if they show signs of reflux or tend to wake themselves up after you put them down
8. Consider one or two sessions of Cranial Osteopathy, if your in a city that offers them.
9. Try a dairy free diet (and if you can, soya free too)
10. Try eliminating other foods which you thing could be the cause
11. Try infacol (per instructions, if your child is within age specified)
12. Try gripe water (per instructions, if your child is within age specified)
13. Ask your Doctor about Colief drops
14. Support – get as much help from family, friends as you can, even if it’s just watching the baby so you get an hour to yourself
15. My Mum said ‘trust your instincts’, and that was re-assuring to hear. If you feel something is not quite right, do not hesitate to go see your Doctor (and maybe get a second opinion) explaining your concerns. If you’re in the UK, go back to your GP and ask for a referral to a Gastroenteritis Peadetrician, if you’re not satisfied with your GP’s responses. Yes it may be worth it.

 

What we tried 

The first thing I did was try to cut out dairy. Hm that was tough,  I realised milk is in everything. Finding some great dairy free substitutes was the next step and  there are options for: butter, milk and even ice-cream, but this was in the UK. Don’t know how lucky one would be in Lagos.

I also introduced the bicycle legs, tummy massage and we already had warm baths as part of our night-time routine. I then saw a doctor who encouraged me to keep those up and try some of the other techniques below too.

Another tip which was recommended online, was to keep a diary of your baby’s symptoms, (though I had very little success with consistency on this one) or a food diary if you suspect it’s something you’re eating.

You could also try recording your baby during a colic ‘episode’ and showing that to your doctor. The episodes could be excessive crying (though that one is pretty self explanatory), but could also be straining, vomiting, grunting, or crying while passing wind. The episode, in my opinion is what your baby is going through that looks painful or keeps them awake.

 

Our relief came

Eventually we saw a Doctor who did help. Yes, we got a medical diagnosis after a scan by one specialist who then sent us to another specialist. The scan of my baby’s stomach revealed that perhaps there was more to the discomfort that just ‘colic’. The second specialist agreed and prescribed a certain procedure. I’m not prepared to go into it online, but if you have specific questions relating to your experience, you are welcome to email me directly. But as I said it was a scan of her stomach by the Gastro Dr that revealed the problem. Once we got medical help it meant a big relief for baby and us. It was not instant, but it got better and better.

 

My biggest piece of advice for anyone going through colic

So, the one thing I would suggest is to ask all your questions to the Doctor,  even if you think they sound stupid and go back if you feel things are not getting better, after you’ve tried the techniques offered.  No medical person ever made us feel bad and if your child needs medical help, you owe it to them to try to find a solution and make them feel better if you can.

 

Mums, did you  experience colic or reflux or wind with your baby? To the point where you worried all the time? Please share your experience below. There are Mums in the same position as you and your words may be just what they need to hear.