Thursday, 29 April 2010

German Measles

Alice woke up the other morning with a rash. It was over most of her body, and as she'd had dry skin for a few days running, I assumed it was her eczema flaring up again. I gave her a good soak in an oat and milk bath and got on with the day. Unfortunately, my day involved meeting up with six other mums and babies. As the afternoon drew on, Alice starting looking progressively spottier. I stammered some apologies and headed to the doctor who confirmed she had rubella. Thankfully, she's right as rain and isn't even itchy. I'm mortified to have exposed others to it, but I suppose it can't be helped.

With a 10 day quarantine ahead of us, I'm planning on finally sorting out the garden, and maybe getting a few projects completed. I'm also trying to research options for immunisation, as now she is immune to rubella, it seems silly to expose her to it again if she has the MMR vaccine. I don't think the single doses are licensed for use in the UK though. At any rate, that will give me something to think about while I'm at home. Let's hope the little one gets over it soon, although every time I see her spotty little face grinning at me, I can't help finding her extra cute!

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Rear Facing Car Seat

We don't tend to use the car very often. Alice probably goes in it less than once a week, but we still needed a new car seat. While I was researching the best one to go for, I came across information that says that keeping a child rear facing for as long as possible is the safest. Marvellous. I'll get one of those then. But it wasn't that simple. Finding a group 1 rear facing car seat in this country is astonishingly difficult. I went to a site that lists UK stockists of various makes of seats, and fortunately found one near my parents' house. The price was the next sticking point. Mothercare's stock of Group 0-1 car seats range from £79.99 to £199. The one we went for cost £290. I must admit, there was a little voice niggling away asking why we were spending so much, it's not as if we use the car often anyway. I guess this is a choice every parent has to face. One look at some crash test videos made my mind up. Hopefully, as information about the huge safety benefits of keeping children rear facing for longer is made more widely known, prices will come down and availability will improve.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Happy Babba

When Alice was born she cried a lot and loudly. Very loudly. I thought perhaps that maybe all mothers hear their baby's cries louder than others, but friends with their own little ones assured me that Alice was just especially noisy. She seemed to be very extreme. I felt unable to read the signs, because she only really did one. She went from sunny and contented to full blown screaming in the blink of an eye. I wondered what I was doing wrong. I knew of other people with babies who did controlled crying or even 'cry it out' from a young age and despite what I'd read, these babies seemed so much happier than mine. Perhaps I'd got it all terribly wrong. Maybe responding to every cry was making her unhappy.

Despite my concerns, I kept on carrying Alice frequently, calming her as soon as she cried and feeding her to sleep. Every instinct in my body was telling me that was right. Well, my little babba is eight months old tomorrow, and I realised today that she is a totally different baby. She rarely cries now, and if she does it is more of a whimper that I can attend to before it worsens. She wakes with a smile and giggles all the time. My fears were totally unfounded. It is impossible to say, but I don't think that she would be the confident, curious little creature she is today if we had abandoned our instincts and gone down the more common path.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Feeling ill, staying attached

It's been a bit of a tricky week or so. All of us have been under the weather and it hasn't made life easy. Things particularly came to a head a couple of days ago when I found myself having to make very frequent dashes to the bathroom. Unfortunately, when Alice feels poorly, she likes to feed. A lot. This meant that she was unceremoniously unlatched, put on the floor and left for a few minutes fairly often. As a baby who is used to always being allowed to nurse as long as she likes and to having parents around almost all the time, this probably came as something of a shock. She made her displeasure pretty obvious even to me upstairs.

I've struggled a bit with feeling guilty for not being there to fulfil her needs as much as I usually do. I've frequently had to unlatch her as I was just too sore to continue. As we 'rested' in bed I struggled to keep my patience as she hit me over the head for the twelfth time with her stuffed pig. I didn't feel I was fulfilling the role I have set myself and Alice had certainly noticed. Thankfully, a friend had lent me The Attachment Parenting Book by William and Martha Sears. In it, they write 'What our baby needs most is a happy, rested mother.' This struck a chord with me, and I realised I didn't have to be some super woman. I managed to call in the cavalry (my lovely husband) and ignore the frankly towering pile of washing and concentrated on feeling better. Alice and her Daddy enjoyed some quality time, and I remembered that it is my aim to just be 'good enough'.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

The Mother Magazine

I returned from a lovely stay in Gloucestershire yesterday to find my first magazine from The Mother had arrived. I first came across it after reading a recommendation on somebody's blog (can't remember who I'm afraid). I had been hoping to subscribe to a magazine for a while. I enjoy lots of the conventional magazines you find on the shelves, but generally find myself disagreeing with some of their suggestions. I don't like the idea of having a 'must buy' product or learning 5 top tips for getting your child to sleep through the night. When I read the ethos of The Mother however, many things seemed to ring true with me.

I have now read the whole magazine and have thoroughly enjoyed it. It is far more thought provoking than many articles I have read on child rearing. I certainly don't match up with some of their ideals. I am a meat eater, I plan to fully vaccinate my baby, I'm a Christian and I'm sceptical of homeopathy, but even if I don't follow some of the finer details, they make me examine my lifestyle. I certainly have more in common with that than with those who encourage me to leave my baby to cry it out, to wean at 4 months with purées or to stop breastfeeding at 6 months.

I'd thoroughly recommend the magazine. I only wish it came every month!