Monday, 9 March 2015

Ten Things I only Discovered after Two Babies

You would have thought that, being an educated and involved mother, I would know everything there was to know about babies after having the first one. It turns out, that after Squish was born, I discovered smarter, simpler ways to do various things. 

Hopefully, some of these epiphanies can help other new mothers to do things the easy way.

Disposable food pouches

When Noodle was a baby, the only ready made baby food was the jar variety. The newer tube varieties (like the Pure Squish brand) taste much better and are far more convenient to transport around. You can even buy little screw on spoons that attach to the tube. (P.S. In case you were wondering, that is not where Squish got his nickname from, but that is a story for another day).








Envelope vests

I always thought the wide foldback necks were there so that it is easier to get the vests over soft little heads. It turns out that they are designed so that you can pull them downwards and off babies legs in the event of emergency nappy blowouts. Who knew?


 Using disposable nappies for clean ups

Speaking of emergency nappy blowouts, when you have a baby, you are likely to face clean up of all sorts of revolting bodily fluids. I have discovered that using a (clean) disposable nappy works well to clean up the bulk of the mess. I keep the annoying ones where the side tabs have fallen off handy for this purpose. Then for sanitising and deodorising, tea tree oil, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar work better than most commercial cleaners.
  
Facebook mommy groups

I am not sure if these were around when Noodle was born, but a lot of moms benefit from having experienced mommies on hand to give immediate advice on baby related dramas. These are typically closed or secret groups so that embarrassing threads do not show up on ones facebook feed.

Breastfeeding

One would think that as a mother, this would come naturally and intuitively, but I discovered the hard way that this is not the case. I only breastfed Noodle for about a month before my supply diminished, causing her to reject any attempts at breastfeeding. This was probably due to a combination of formula top ups in hospital and me not having the right information on how to keep my supply up.

Thanks to better education the second time round, I discovered that formula top ups and a rigid three hour feeding schedule were a sure way to diminish supply. Facebook mommy groups were a saving grace in those early days with a wealth of information on how to successfully breastfeed. Squish on the other hand is still breastfed at almost fourteen months. 

Removing Super Glue

Being our resident Doc Mcstuffins toy fixer, I have discovered that if you ever get your fingers stuck with superglue, petroleum jelly can be used to painlessly remove it. Store this information in your memory bank as it is hard to Google things with your hands glued together.

Wonder weeks

When Noodle was a baby I had not even heard of the Wonder Weeks (these are weeks when babies universally appear to make mental leaps in their development, which often coincides with fussy and cranky behaviour. With Squish, they have been remarkably accurate and quite useful in making sense of bad weeks.

Baby led weaning

This basically means letting your baby feed themselves sticks of solids from the time they start solids and skipping the mushy purees completely. Babies learn to chew first and then swallow (as opposed to with purees where they learn to swallow first and chew later).

The idea seems counter-intuitive and even scary (if you do not know the distinction between gagging and choking), but I discovered that this method of introducing solids is easier for both mother and baby (and less messy). Yes, I know I spoke about the food pouches earlier in this post, which would have BLW purists burn me at the stake, but those were only there for quick snacks on the go (or super lazy days).

By eight months old, Squish was happily eating what the rest of the family eats, with very little assistance and many hours were saved steaming, blending and freezing baby foods. 

Sleep Training

When Noodle was born back in 2010, sleep training was very popular. As desperate sleep deprived zombies, we tried sleep training for one night with Noodle when she was about eight months old. It was an epic failure. My poor baby was hoarse from crying, physically ill the next day and it did not help her sleep any better. Guilt-ridden, we refused to do it for another night and our gut instincts as parents told us that we should not be doing this. More recent research shows that crying it out methods of sleep training can cause long-term psychological damage to little ones. I am glad we stopped when we did with Noodle and that we knew better by the time Squish came along.
 
Gelatine tea

A tablespoon of gelatin is added to boiling hot tea or coffee and consumed immediately, at least once or twice a day. Some claim not to notice the taste but I think it tastes aweful and the texture is not very pleasant either.

I noticed slight results but did not persevere too long due to the taste, but I have met many mommies who swear by gelatine tea as a remedy for stretch marks and saggy skin. (Note: Gelatine is available in the baking isle at most supermarkets or for SANHA approved Halaal gelatine, look at Muslim owned spice shops).