31 October 2010

Picking a Pram

Pram choice is about as controversial as discussions regarding politics and religion. Everyone has their favourite brand and model, their reasons and their regrets. Ultimately, you don't really know what you need in a pram until you have the baby and for most people, they want to be organised before bubs arrives.

I'm not going to go into what you should look for in a pram except to say that you should clearly know what you want to do with your pram before you buy. Do you want to:
  • take long walks;
  • run or jog with it;
  • only use it in the shopping centre;
  • how often will you be putting it in and out of the car;
  • do you want baby to sleep flat in the pram; 
  • do you want to be able to carry more than one child if you decide to do the whole pregnancy and birth thing again?

Layla when she was 1 week old asleep in her pram in our kitchem
 When you think you know what brand you want, make sure you stop every Mum in the shopping centre to ask her what she loves and hates about her pram. Hear first hand what the market is telling you before you make your choice. Ultimately you need to go for practicality and functionality as your pram will be really important in getting you out of the house once bubs arrives.

Buying a pram is a big investment and something you only really want to do once. If all else fails and your choice doesn't suit, don't forget that there is always Ebay.

30 October 2010

How big is big enough?

Many breastfeeding Mums I've spoken to express a concern about their baby's weight gain at some stage, whether it be after leaving hospital or much later down the track. We often assess our children against the growth charts that appear in the 'Blue Book'. Layla took over 4 weeks to regain her birth weight and during that time there was a lot of pressure on me to either stop breastfeed or to supplement with formula. Even after she regained her birth weight, her weight gain was slow. In saying that, I have to ask now, was her weight gain slow in relation to the wrong measure?

Did you know that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has release revised charts for breastfed babies? Have a look at this great article from the Australian Breastfeeding Association with links to the WHO charts and tables.

As you can see from her photos, there is no longer an issue of slow weight gain! 26 weeks on and we're still breastfeeding.

28 October 2010

Can fashion and breastfeeding really mix?

Before I had a baby I had not given any thought to breastfeeding fashion. Nowadays, whenever I look at clothes, I'm overcome by thoughts of "hmmmm....could I feed in that top/dress/outfit?"

Trying to find nice and reasonably priced breastfeeding tops is no small task. I found that the style choice was limited and generally the prices were way too expensive. Target and KMart keep some simple styles but not a great range.

I've come up with a couple of solutions:
1. Milkshirts - these funny looking singlets allow you to turn any top into a breastfeeding top. They allow you to lift your shirt in order to feed without exposing your post pregnancy tummy to the world. http://www.milkshirts.com/ is the webpage from the USA but they can be ordered here in Australia from http://www.nursingangel.com.au/.

2. Motherwear - this USA based online store specialises in nursing clothing from dresses to tops and pyjamas. Not only are their prices very reasonable, they have GREAT sales and ship to Australia for a reasonable rate. With the difference in seasons between here and America, you can easily pick up a bargain. They have a great size and colour range as well. http://www.motherwear.com/

Productive Podcasting

Being a new Mum involves heaps of time alone. Often you'll be home alone with bubs or walking. I have found a way to fill the time - Podcasts!

iTunes has heaps of great podcasts that are interesting, educational and informative. My favourite by far is "New Moms, New Babies". This podcast from the states is like a mothers group for your ipod. They discuss all different relevant topics associated with having a new baby. They also feature authors and medical professionals on issues I have found to be really helpful. In addition, they've also helped me find wonderful new websites or given me ideas that I've been able to apply with Layla. They have a website http://www.newmomsnewbabies.com/ where you can also download the podcasts or listen directly.

Guided relaxation and mediation podcasts are also a really good way to unwind after a trying day when you're dead tired or your mind is racing a hundred miles an hour.

Night Time Leaking Problem Solved

I've recently gone back to giving Layla a dreamfeed between 10 and 11pm. In order not to fully wake her, I don't change her nappy. As a result, we had a few night time disasters with nappy leakage through her clothes, grobag and sheets. I've tried a number of things including:
  • fluffies pilchers - old favourites. They are good but you can only buy them online and can get expensive plus as summer roles around they are going to be too hot;
  • trying the next size nappy - worked for a while but no solution;
  • nappy liner inserts - had to buy 200 of them online. Worked well but were very bulky.
The solution has been Pampers' Baby Dry Nappies. You can't buy them in the supermarket as they are imported European Pampers nappies (the ones in the supermarket are from the USA). I have no idea how they work but they are brilliant. They are super thin and super absorbent. The other night I fed Layla twice without a change and still no leaks.

They are available from http://www.pampersnappies.com.au/ . For $10 you can get a trial pack in whatever size and nappy type combination that suits. Delivery is included in the $10!

The website blurb says....
"Designed to help give your baby undisturbed sleep, Pampers® Baby-Dry has the Extra Sleep-Layer™. It's an extra layer of protection that helps lock wetness away for up to 12 hours. So your baby gets the sleep he needs to develop. With correct sizing you will never need to worry about leaks and bed wetting during the night!! "

I ordered my box on Tuesday night and they were delivered to my door Thursday morning...brilliant!
Great find ;)

Keeping track of time

Whether it is due to sleep deprivation, exhaustion or brain fade, keeping track of when your baby last fed, how long your baby has been asleep or when you last gave medication can be an onerous task. While some parents like to keep a written record, I found that the Itzbeen baby timer has been my best friend since Layla arrives. My husband likes to call it the 'Itzgone' as I'm always asking him "have you seen my Itzbeen?"

The Izbeen Baby Care Timer was developed by a new mum and dad who found themselves sleep-deprived and needing help to remember baby care details, such as when their baby last ate or napped. They tried charts and journals, but thought there had to be a better way. So, they created the ITZBEEN™: a multi-purpose nursery tool that helps new parents remember the basic details of baby care. The ITZBEEN™ has four timers that count up with the touch of a button, and a host of other helpful features, all designed with the needs of a new parent in mind.

I'm told that there is an iphone app that performs a similar function to this timer. The difference is that the Itzbeen timer also has a night light which is really handy when checking on baby during the night or trying to find a dummy that has fallen down the side of the cot!

I bought mine from Baby Bunting for $39.95 but they are available from most baby shops as well as numerous online stores.

Welcome to my blog!

Six months ago today, I become a Mum for the first time. After a long labour, our beautiful princess, Layla Jade, came into this world. I was overcome with emotions - joy, fear, exhaustion, amazement and happiness. While my journey into motherhood had started many months before, that day in April saw the start of a new chapter in my life.

Since then, I have ridden the rollercoaster that is motherhood. We have had our ups and our downs. There have been days that I would rather forget as well as experiences that still amaze me. Having a child is like waking up on a new planet where everything seems the same but is different. As a well educated, corporate career woman, I had read every book and thought I was prepared. Ultimately, being a parent is one where education happens on the job. Every child is different, somethings work, others don't. There are no silver bullets just trial and error.

Every week now I come across products, resources and opportunities that make my life a little bit easier. My inspiration for this blog has been to help new parents navigate their way through the minefield of baby 'stuff'. I will be posting information on things that I have found useful, things that have helped me and recommendations. I look forward to your comments and contributions.

Jas x