Category: Health

Now I’m a kangamumma convert

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As much as I would have liked to be, being a babywearing mum was not my thing when I had my first baby. I kind of wished I could prance around barefoot, bub attached to me, without a care. Alas, there was no prancing. The pram was too easy to get her to sleep and the carrier I had was not comfortable to wear. It was all too hard. Flash forward to bub number two and I’m converted. Finn, my little joey, loves being close to me in his ‘pouch’ – and this kangamumma is loving every┬áminute of it.

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Local Label Love: Gourmet Juniors

I’m big on dishing up home cooked, nutritious meals for Millie – but that’s in an ideal world. I don’t always have the time to cook! Melbourne’s Gourmet Juniors has taken the stress out of dinner time with a toddler by offering tasty food made from organic produce and free-range meat. The new Gourmet Juniors heat and eat meals are the perfect solution for mums with too much on their plate.

Name & business: Alecia Whitelaw from Gourmet Juniors: Real Food For Kids.

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Alecia Whitelaw and her daughter. Pic: My Mini Edition

Where are you based? We are proud to be a local Bayside business. Our commercial kitchen is in Cheltenham and office in Port Melbourne.

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C’mon get appy

Who knew there is so much fun to be had on a mobile phone that doesn’t involve chatting to your mates, sending an MMS or shopping online?

It’s apps. They’re great. Besides your usual, EVERYONE must have apps (Instagram, Facebook, Urbanspoon, Shazam) there’s numerous pregnancy/baby/parenting ones that are as handy as a wet wipe.

Throughout my pregnancy I used Baby Bump. Enter your due date and each week there’s some info about what’s happening to you, how baby is growing (and strangely the size bub would be if it were a fruit or veg) and a countdown so you know how many days you have left before you’ll be able to see what you’ve been lugging around for 9 months.

It has tips and limited info, but I just liked to be able to peek at it every now and then. It was free and certainly added to my excitement about having a baby as each week my colleagues would ask me how big bub was. “It’s a grapefruit already? Wowsers!”

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There’s lots of similar ones out there and some can be quite involved, with space for your bump pics or the ability to connect with other mums-to-be.

Once we brought Millie home and I was in my ‘zombie cow’ state (half asleep and breastfeeding around-the-clock) I found the free app Baby Feed quite useful.

It charts how long baby fed for, on what side, how long it’s been between feeds and if you do a nappy change before/after a feed you can record if it was a poo or just a wee.

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I didn’t use it for long, but Baby Feed was good in the early days when you just can’t remember any details about anything. The only problem was this zombie cow often forgot to start or stop the timer. Never mind.

I continue to use The Wonder Weeks app after being told about it in one of my first mother’s group meetings.

The Wonder Weeks is a book written by an infant development expert from the Netherlands and has been condensed for use on an iPhone or android mobile.

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After entering your baby’s birth date (or corrected age in Millie’s case – she was prem and born 4 weeks early) it will provide a chart in weeks and indicate when your bub will go through a ‘leap’, or developmental milestone.

According to the author, leaps are when your baby’s brain is changing and so coincide with fussy periods your baby might have. So if bub is particularly sooky or miserable, it’s likely he or she is in the middle of a mental development phase.

It’s certainly interesting. The chart shows what stage your baby is at in terms of age and shows upcoming leaps with a solid line and indicates the weeks your bub might be fussy (storm cloud) or happy (sunshine).

Some mums look to the chart and dread the stormy periods because their bubs behave almost exactly as the chart predicts.

I didn’t really notice too many swings in Millie’s attitude to worry about the pending storm clouds, but it was great to read a summary of the leap as well as to learn what her new abilities would be and when we’d start to see her do them.

The app charts your baby’s leaps until they are 84 weeks old (Millie is about half way through).

Have you discovered any useful baby or parenting apps? Tell me what they are below.

The crying baby ghost

Does anyone else hear their baby crying even when they’re not?

It happens to me all the time.

It often happens when I strip off and step in the shower…that’s a guarantee I’ll hear it: a faint waaaaaaaaa.

I tilt my ear toward the hallway.

Waaaa.

Ok then. Shower off. Towel on. Up to Millie’s room. Open the door. She’s snoozing. Hmm.

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Hubby comes home from work and starts talking about his day. I shoosh him. “Is that Millie?” I say. He rolls his eyes. It’s not.

Settled on the couch with a cuppa, ready to watch the latest Game of Thrones episode (yeah, yeah…don’t tell me you aren’t stupidly excited that it’s back) and I’ll suddenly hit the mute button on the remote. I can hear a sob. Oh no I can’t.

We laugh that there’s a crying baby ghost in our house. Or that Millie pretends to be asleep again when I check on her.

I suspect it’s something engineered in mothers. Once that baby is put in our arms we are wired to jump up at the tiniest peep.

I think it stems from those first weeks with bub, those weeks when you’re so nervous and lie awake listening to every cry, snuffle, breath, squeak and sigh from the teeny little person beside your bed. Your hearing is so finely tuned to them that you hear their cries ringing in your ears.

I thought it might have been the lack of sleep that was sending me round the twist, but no, Millie’s almost 9 months old and a champion sleeper – and it’s still happening to me.

I won’t ignore it, the day I don’t take a peek at her or check the monitor is the day it’s actually Millie awake and crying.

Please mums, tell me it also happens to you? Or am I going batty?

Sick and tired of being sick and tired

Fresh off her nursing strike, Millie has thrown me another parenting curve ball.

She caught a damn cold.

For you and me, it’s no biggie. We’d snuffle our way through our daily duties, pop on a pair of socks, make some Lemsip and use the sickness as an excuse to have an evening on the couch watching the box.

But for a baby, to have a cold is to be absolutely miserable.

I’m not sure where she got it from, but it’s knocked her for six.

It’s been a week (!?!) of runny noses, sleepless nights, constant coughs, tears, tantrums, baby Panadol and Puss In Boots eyes.

You remember in Shrek where Puss In Boots does his doe-eyed look to make everyone sigh and be sucked in by how cute he is? I swear Millie does the same look, but her huge blinky eyes looking up at me were ones of ‘Mum, why do I feel so sad – and why can’t you help me?’

It’s heartbreaking for a mum. My little petal has struggled to feed and sleep, getting more and more upset by the lack of these two necessities.

Usually a great sleeper, Millie has been awake at hours we haven’t seen since she was a lot younger.

We’ve tilted the cot, given doses of Panadol, used a vapouriser with Euky Bear inhalant in the top and bought saline spray to clear the mucous (at this point I’d like to thank my friend Yvette for the tips, she’s a gem).

Millie is otherwise ok, so we just have to ride it out. But riding it out takes a LOT longer in a child who is too young to blow their nose.

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My little sick Millie couldn’t even stand play time for long without getting quickly frustrated by her blocked nose.

It’s just a lousy cold. I can see she is slowly getting better. It’s been tough for me because I’ve spent the entire 8 months of her life soothing her, feeding her, making sure she has little reason to cry, and then all of a sudden I can’t fix what is making her so upset. I’m sure I’m not the first to feel like this and I won’t be the last.

But for a bit of perspective, I think of the parents at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital and it immediately stops me feeling sorry for myself and my girl. We are very lucky to have our health and I will never take it for granted.

Instead of buying her an Easter present, I’ve made a donation to the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal in Millie’s name.