Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

Pinterest win! (Winterest?!)

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

I love Pinterest. I can while away hours pinning away interesting craft projects, sewing ideas and projects for the garden that, realistically, I haven’t got a hope of actually doing. But I can dream, and actually there are a lot of pins on my board that I have found useful… hair ideas for my daughter, Chiglet, and helpful household hints for me. Although that does make me sound rather dull!

Taking advantage of a day of good weather, and in anticipation of a forecast week of wet and windy ahead, I spent a bit of time gardening. And of course my thoughts turned to the inspiring ideas on my ‘Garden’ Pinterest board. “What a wonderful chance for some family projects”, I thought.

I cracked my husband on with creating a fire pit using the bricks in the skip (kitchen renovation is ongoing, but that is a story for another day!) and persuaded Chiglet to put down her iPad (no mean feat) and join me in a bit of Mother-Daughter crafty bonding. The plan was to recreate a picture I had seen of a little metal watering can hanging from a hook, with a shower of glittery beads coming out of the spout to give the illusion of  water droplets.

I had a little metal water can already, and a stash of beads from old necklaces and previous planned projects (blame Pinterest!) so Chiglet and I spend a very happy half hour or so threading beads while watching husband lug bricks back and forth. And I have to say we are very pleased indeed with the finished item… Pinterest win!

Pinterest win watering can!

 

 

Get the tape measure out, new mums… apparently, big headed babies are brighter!

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

According to scientists (is there a more chilling phrase?!) there is a link between the size of babies’ heads at birth, and their future success… larger head circumference and brain volume is associated with higher intelligence.

The finding is among the first made by UK Biobank, a long term study of 500,000 Britons to discover the links between their genes, their physical and mental health and their path through life.

“Highly significant associations were observed between the cognitive test scores in the UK Biobank sample and many polygenic profile scores, including . . . intracranial volume, infant head circumference and childhood cognitive ability,” said the researchers in a paper published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry. (And no, I haven’t read the paper… I read an article in The Times newspaper 🙂 )

Incidentally, I have a teeny tiny head. When I worked as an Air Stewardess, I had an extra-small sized uniform hat, and still had to sew a lining of felt into the brim to get it to fit 🙂

Me in the galley of a 'plane In my very small Air Stewardess hat!

Me in the galley of a ‘plane In my very small Air Stewardess hat!

Presents for a new mum

Monday, February 1st, 2016

I’ve put together a few ideas of presents to take round when you visit a new mum with a new-born baby. Baby often gets all the presents (who can resist gorgeous little baby outfits?!) especially if there has been a baby shower before the birth, so these are some ideas especially with Mum in mind.

  • An insulated coffee/tea mug with a lid, to keep hot drinks hot and avoid spillages! Drinking lukewarm coffee and doing everything one-handed is par for the course in the first few weeks of parenthood!
  • Baby Feed Wheel so the new parents can keep a note of baby’s feed times… pencils and scraps of paper are easily mislaid!
  • Food…check dietary requirements (I’m lactose intolerant so couldn’t eat the box of the chocolates my husband’s colleague brought round. Not normally a problem but in my post partum state it seemed like the end of the world that my husband was eating ‘my’ chocolates, even though I couldn’t!). If you’re taking meals around, make sure they’re easy to reheat and there is room in the freezer for them.
  • Nibbles like biscuits, chocolates, muffins and crisps to dip into while feeding, esp if breastfeeding, these can also be handy to give to other guests!
  • Magazines or a kindle voucher.
  • Hand cream (lots and lots of washing hands in those first few weeks can play havoc with your hands!)
  • Anything off the ‘banned’ pregnancy food list (pate, strong cheeses, smoked salmon)
  • If she’s a good friend, a basket of practical presents like dry shampoo, lasinoh cream, breast pads, maternity pads and a baby medicine wheel. If you can make the basket a ‘useful’ one, then so much the better.. maybe with a handle so it can be used to keep the everyday baby bits and bobs in, to move from room to room.
Keep track of baby's medicine times, set the 'clock' dial to show when baby is given calpol etc.

Keep track of baby’s medicine times, set the ‘clock’ dial to show when baby is given calpol etc.

  • Thank you cards and stamps.
  • A cosy cardigan or bed jacket type item for the night feeds.
  • Really nice cordial or soft drink. I love ‘Ame’ because it’s not too sweet, but it’s so difficult to find in the shops!

And while you’re on your way, don’t forget to ask the new parents if they would like you to pick up anything from the shops for them on your way round!

Chicken pox : spot-on survival tips!

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

Most children will get chicken pox at some stage, and it can be a nightmare! It’s horrible to see your little one covered in spots, but there are a few things you can do, as a parent, to relieve some of the symptoms- both over-the-counter remedies, and some that are a little more unusual, but have been recommended to me or that I used when Chiglet had chicken pox.

Basically, you are loking at paracetemol to help the fever, and lotions to help the itching, but I have a couple of other very effective suggestions to help ease the itch!:-

Over-the-counter medicines:-

Chicken pox survival tip 1- a Get Well Wheel

Chicken pox survival tip 1- a Get Well Wheel

Poxclin Coolmousse- this is good if you have a large area of spots to treat, and as it’s a mousse is quite light on the skin- avoiding that ‘crispy pink crust’ type sensation that parents who were treated with lotions and potions in the 1970’s and 1980’s will be familiar with!

ViraSoothe – available as a cooling gel that can be applied two to three times a day for babies from 6 months onwards.

Eurax is great, but for children under 3 it suggests consulting your Doctor before applying.

Calamine lotion (basically calamine and zinc oxide) is the traditional remedy,  once smelt never forgotten!

A couple of alternatives are:-

Oat baths. Fill the end of a pair of tights (a sock or a muslin works, too) with oats (just normal porridge oats), and tie the open end with string or in a knot. Run the water through it, so the bath water turns cloudy. You can also use the sock as a sponge and dab on your childs spots. 

Bicarbonate of soda in bath- this is what really worked for my daughter when she had chicken pox! Instant relief from the itching for the poor little mite 🙂

It may also be useful to clothe your little one in a loose fitting Onesie so they can’t scratch the spots, and keeping fingernails cut short may also help prevent scratching!

Keep track of baby's medicine times, set the 'clock' dial to show when baby is given calpol etc.

Keep track of baby’s medicine times, set the ‘clock’ dial to show when baby is given calpol etc.

Chicken pox is often accompanied by a fever, in which case paracetamol or ibuprofen can help.

Don’t forget your  Baby Medicine Wheel or Get Well Wheel to keep a note of the time you gave the medicine to your child, and you’ll know the time that you can safely give the next dose.

If your child is at school or nursery, let them know that your child is ill in case other children are at risk, and it’s also important to note that people with chicken pox should not travel by air until all the spots have crusted over.

 

 

 

 

chicken pox survival tips

Celebrity Mum of the Year

Friday, March 13th, 2015

TV celebrity Billie Faiers has been announced as the icelolly.com Celebrity Mum of the Year 2015, voted for by the British public.

Billie, star of reality TV show The Only Way Is Essex (TOWIE), is Mum to Nelly,  born last July. You may remember that Billie was lucky enough to receive an amazing Nappy Cake featuring a Baby Feed Wheel from Pure Nappy Cakes at her baby shower last year.

Billie Faiers nappy cake

Speaking of her win, Billie said: “I feel really honoured to have been voted icelolly.com Celebrity Mum of the Year 2015 and I’d like to thank all my fans and fellow mums out there for supporting me.

“It’s been a really busy past couple of years, with TOWIE, my other projects, and of course the birth of my beautiful daughter Nelly last summer. It’s very much been a juggling act, with me trying to find the right balance between my career and family life, something I know all the real mums out there face and deserve huge credit for too – but I wouldn’t change anything for the world!”

 

Heel-prick screening expanded

Friday, January 9th, 2015
The heel-prick test that newborn babies throughout England have when they are between five and eight days old now include checks for more debilitating genetic diseases.

Blood is collected by a midwife, generally within the first week of life. The baby’s heel is pricked and drops of blood are collected and analysed in a specialist newborn screening laboratory; the current heel-prick test checks for

  • Phenylketonuria (PKU),
  • Congenital hypothyroidism (CHT),
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (MCADD).

Four rarer conditions will now also be tested for:-

  • Maple syrup urine disease
  • Homocystinuria
  • Glutaric acidaemia type 1
  • Isovaleric acidaemia

They are all inherited conditions where babies have problems breaking down amino acids, the “building blocks” of proteins, and Public Health England expects 30 cases will be identified each year, allowing life-saving treatment.

The increased screening follows a year-long pilot programme of expanded screening, run by Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust. This found 20 confirmed cases of the four extra conditions, in 700,000 babies. Wales will follow suit on the 12th of January, Scotland and Northern Ireland have not yet made a decision.

Nice to give birth; to give birth, Nice.

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Back in May I blogged about about draft recommendations regarding childbirth from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice). The report has been finalised, and low-risk first-time mothers will now be told that birth in a midwife-led unit is “particularly suitable” for them, and mothers who already have children will be told that choosing either midwife care or a home birth would be equally suitable.

The Institute’s new guidance says that it is safer for healthy women to give birth in a midwife-led unit or at home than in hospital, as they will be less likely to undergo potentially risky surgical interventions such as delivery by forceps, caesarean section or episiotomy.

Local health authorities will now have to ensure that all women have the choice to give birth in hospital, a midwife unit, or their own homes – meaning that thousands more babies could be born outside hospitals (Of the 700,000 babies born in England and Wales last year, 90 per cent were delivered in hospital).

Midwife-led units, or ‘birth centres’, are run by midwives without the medical facilities of a hospital (for example, epidurals are not available). They were established in the 1990s and can be either next to a main hospital maternity unit or separate.

Breastfeeding vouchers for new mums

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

4,000 new mothers in the UK will be offered shopping vouchers if they breastfeed their babies, as part of a full-scale trial. In a pilot study involving over 100 Mums in Derbyshire and South Yorkshire, two thirds of women who signed up to the scheme were claiming the vouchers at six to eight weeks, a breastfeeding rate higher than the national average.

Ladies taking part in the trial received up to £200 to spend at shops such as John Lewis, Matalan, Argos and big supermarkets if health professionals confirmed they were feeding their babies breast milk. Researchers hope the scheme will boost Britain’s breastfeeding rate, improving children’s health and cutting costs for the NHS. The World Health Organisation recommends that babies be exclusively breastfed until the age of six months, but only 1 per cent of British babies meet this target.

What are the pros and cons of the scheme? It’s reported that some NHS staff are uneasy about “bribing” mothers, saying they should be offered support instead of cash. Cathy Warwick of the Royal College of Midwives said “Incentivising public health behaviour through monetary reward will always be contentious. However, the RCM believes that alternative ways of increasing breastfeeding rates also need attention.”

Some mums stop breastfeeding for circumstances they feel are beyond their control (not producing enough milk to satisfy baby, or because of exhaustion breastfeeding can lead to if unsupported, for example). This in turn can lead to some new Mums feeling guilty that they are no longer breastfeeding- will this be compounded by feeling that they are now missing out on vouchers?

On the other hand, the financial incentive may increase breastfeeding rates, which must be a good thing overall- certainly the case study suggests this willl be the case.

Where will the money comes from? Would the money be better spent on breastfeeding support services? Why are the vouchers not available to spend in independent local shops? Why should only the ‘big’ businesses benefit from the increased purchasing power of these parents? For example, new Mums wouldn’t be able to use their vouchers to buy a Baby Feed Wheel to help keep track for their baby’s feed times from Chiggs or from one of our lovely independent stockists, so they would miss out on this useful piece of breastfeeding assistance!

Pregnancy yoga is a stress buster.

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

A study from the universities of Newcastle and Manchester has found that Yoga can cut the risk of stress in pregnant women.

The study, thought to be the first of its kind,  followed 59 women in their first pregnancy. Divided into two groups,  they were assigned either an eight-week course of yoga or “treatment as usual”.

The 31 women in the yoga group took one session of hatha yoga every week. This is a gentle, basic, slow-paced stretching class with simple breathing exercises and seated meditation. Before the first session, they were asked to measure their general mood on a scale where more than 39 meant “high anxiety”. After the first week, their average score had fallen from 37 to 25. Their levels of the stress hormone cortisol also went down, by 14 per cent.

As  Antenatal stress has been linked to premature birth and developmental problems after the baby is born, it has been suggested that free yoga classes on the NHS for mothers-to-be would help reduce the costs of longer-term healthcare for the women and babies.

Tixylix cough and cold medicine recall

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Tixylix , paediatric liquid cough and cold medicines

Novartis Consumer Health UK Ltd have announced that it is recalling certain batches of Tixylix paediatric liquid cough and cold medicines, because of a potential manufacturing defect with the tamper seal that could result in small pieces of plastic being found in the bottles.

  • Tixylix Toddler Syrup 100ml
  • Tixylix Toddler Syrup 150ml
  • Tixylix Baby Syrup 100ml
  • Tixylix Blackcurrant Flavour Syrup 100ml
  • Tixylix Chesty Cough 100ml

What customers should do :-

Consumers are asked to return these products to the place of purchase for a refund. These medicines were on sale in a variety of supermarkets, including Tesco and Sainsburys.

Contact details:-

Anyone with concerns or requiring further information about batch numbers (found on the bottle label next to the expiry date) or how to return the products and receive a full refund, can contact the consumer enquiries team on 0800 854 100 or by visiting www.tixylix.co.uk

A product recall for Boots own brand children’s medicines was also issued recently- details on the Chiggs blog here

Baby Medicine Wheel