Tag: baby

Egg Allergy Anxieties

Many mothers fret about allergies, and I’m no exception. I’m having an issue with eggs this month. Kayla had a horrible reaction at eight months old, while my partner also has an egg allergy.

Egg allergy symptoms normally occur within a few minutes but some children may not react until a few hours after eating eggs or foods containing eggs.

Kayla had quite a severe reaction when she was Frankie’s age after consuming boiled egg, she broke out in a rash from head to toe, her nasal became inflamed and she began vomiting violently. It was during the snow storm we had four years ago, a taxi-man I never got to thank got us to the hospital within minutes. It was a very scary experience.

When I began researching egg, I discovered egg has many other names. Some of them hidden amongst ingredients that can be easily consumed without knowledge. Egg can be also known as Conalbumin, Livetin and Ovalbumin amongst many other words. Egg is also used in some hair care products, medications and vaccinations. For this reason Kayla had her MMR in hospital as a precaution.

I dreaded birthday parties, try explaining to a toddler they are not allowed cake, it was horrible. She missed out on so much due to her allergy. One of Kayla’s favourite foods is a pancake, it’s a special treat. A friend had joined slimming world and gave us an eggless pancake recipe that I still treasure to this day.

Eggs are very nutritious. They provide your baby with iron for their brain development, protein for growth and they are a source of vitamin D for healthy bones and teeth. Frankie is more active now, I’ve noticed he has a much bigger appetite the past week. It’s now time to introduce some new foods, explore some new textures and tastes.

Over time Kayla began to tolerate small amounts of egg. Advised by our dietician we began reintroducing her last year and so far it has been a success. Many children do outgrow their egg allergy before adolescence but in some cases, it continues into adulthood.

What if Frankie reacts? The hives I can cope with but when Kayla’s nose began to inflam, that was terrifying! It may be a little extreme but considering the family history I’m looking into getting an allergy test done on Frankie for my own peace of mind.

We Buy Second Hand Toys

Since our family grew we had to make some big changes, the electricity, heating and shopping budget all increased, money is tight so we decided to make some big changes and one of mine was to shop for second-hand toys for the kids.

Children are so expensive, their needs and tastes change so quickly. Buying second hand baby clothes and toys helps create a greener environment, landfill space is preserved. Buying used goods also costs only fraction of the original price.

I researched some baby and toddler second hand markets local to me and came across The Baby Market. So Kayla and I headed along is search of some inexpensive educational toys.

Upon arrival there was a €3 entrance fee with €1 donated to charity. I loved the layout of the room, it was spacious with plenty of room between tables, perfect for creeping through the thirty something stalls, toys were stockpiled and the atmosphere was lovely. There was an excellent variety of quality second hand baby, toddler, maternity and children’s goods. I also came across a handful of stalls with local vendors selling services and goods, and there was a little kiddies corner with arts and crafts too.

Kayla and I went off exploring for some bargains, our aim was to find some new toys for the little man. This teddy was one of Kayla’s finds. The Fisher-Price Love to Play Puppy normally retailing for €19.99, we got it for €3. Frankie love’s it.

Another bargain not to be missed was this VTech Playtime Bus that normally retails for €26.99. It is an interactive talking bus that teaches phonics, letters and numbers, costing us mere €4. While Frankie loves pressing the button, Kayla is having a great time answering the interactive curriculum questions, it’s a very educational toy.

Some people may be too proud to buy their children second hand toys but honestly after finding these little treasures I will definitely be back. It’s shocking some of the bargain that can be found. Stall holders had travel systems, car-seats, cots, bouncers and baby monitors and sterilisers. You could get everything you need for a newborn baby under one roof, it’s amazing and so cheap.

Always keep an eye out for product recalls especially when buying for a baby and always check the product is in perfect working order before purchase.

The Horrid Onset Of Teething Is Upon Us

When your baby reaches the milestone of cutting their first tooth it’s certainly an exciting time. Although getting there we endure sleepless nights and some frantic ordeals trying to soothe our babies. Some babies endure some awful, sometimes very painful, swollen and inflamed gums while their teeth start cutting through and other sail through the whole process. Not forgetting they produce a barrel of drool too.

The horrid onset of teething has been slowly lurking and creeping upon us awhile now, Frankie started to drool excessively about six weeks ago. One morning last week he woke up with a grumpy appearance, flushed cheeks and then refused his porridge. He never refuses food. Ever. With all gums he’s latching and gnawing on anything within arm’s reach. I even found him chewing on the side of Kayla’s dolls house the other day.

Just as we get him in a fantastic routine he is waking four-to-ten times a night, sore, swollen and very upset. No cuddles, no Calpol, not even co-sleeping will comfort him. It’s an awful to watch, I’ve been close to tears as he wails. It’s heartbreaking. We are walking the walls trying to comfort him to no avail, he eventually sobs himself to sleep.

He’s very attached at the moment too, I cannot leave the room without him crying after me or chasing me in his walker, I think his uncle got him a super express one, he’s a pro in it. I must be in full eye contact at all times. Kayla has been feeling very left out as he needs my constant attention every hour of every day. When we eventually get him to nap, all I want to do is chill with a strong coffee but she has other things in mind.

My favourite hour of the day is when daddy walks in and I almost throw Frankie at him and escape to our bedroom and hide, that’s until Kayla assumes I’m playing hide and seek and proceeds to act like a crazed jack in the box. This tooth better make an appearance soon or I may have to get in there with a chisel myself.

Operation Get Frankie Sleeping Through The Night

Last month I started over obsessing about Frankie’s sleeping patterns, ranting and raving like a woman possessed  to anyone who would listen. I was pacing the floor past midnight, he was disrupting the entire house, even Tinkerbell our lab was creeping through the house at all hours. I spent more time rocking, cradling, and searching for soothers than I did feeding, cooking and cleaning throughout the day

Kayla never slept through the night until she was nine months old, so sleepless nights wasn’t unusual. Frankie started following Kayla’s footsteps so I got books, searched the internet, tried co-sleeping and got advice from friends, family and strangers. Nothing seemed to work and I ended up stuck in a rut of answering his demands and needs immediately.

Kayla didn’t want to be around me because I was in such bad form. Her sleep was also being disrupted, one night she shouted ‘just shut him the hell up’ and another ‘just give him his bloody soother’, she was starting to resent her baby brother. My relationship was being jeopardized with my first born because I couldn’t get my little babóg to sleep at night. I did not want to play, I did not want to do leave the house, I wanted to hide behind the curtains and watch movies all day.

I was blathering over on my Twitter page and one morning a lovely lady, Niamh O’Reilly, a sleep expert from The Nursery, answered my cries. I proceeded to tell her our routine, only to discover we did not have one. Frankie was over sleeping during the day, I let him dictate, he slept when he wanted during the day, sometimes waking only for feeds or a soother. I assumed some babies slept 18 hours a day at five months. You would think on your second child you would have everything to perfection, I allowed Frankie to take the lead, responding to his demands, allowing him to eat, sleep and play when he wanted.

Niamh designed a structured routine for us and recommended to stay relatively strict for the first few days. Frankie wasn’t impressed, he was now napping in his cot, woken according to the schedule and breakfast, dinner and tea were now in my control.

Within two nights of following through with the firm routine Frankie slept from 7.30pm to 8.15am. I won’t lie I got an awful fright the first morning, I dived into his room to check his status, he was lying their cooing and content, it was so refreshing. Me and Kayla had celebratory pancakes for breakfast, we went the park, we baked cakes and I finally retained and enjoyed much needed one-on-one time with her.

Each and every day that followed we shadowed Niamh’s routine, twerking it to suit school runs and other herrings, Frankie has consistently continued to sleep through every single night apart from the day he got his four month injections.

The biggest tip Niamh gave us was his dream feed. Every night at 10pm, I give him a bottle, avoiding eye contact, with no interaction or nappy change, once he’s finished the bottle he gets a kiss goodnight, his soother and I leave his room till morning.

I was so drained, I had almost accepted I got one of those babies who doesn’t sleep. If any of you are struggling with a baby or toddler to sleep at night I highly recommend Niamh from The Nursery. Niamh helped me regain my family’s life back with friendly, responsive and practical advice. Frankie no longer dictates his routine and I’m very confident our routine will continue with a few adjustments as he gets older.

THANK YOU NIAMH!

Four Month Vaccinations

For those who have decided to give their baby their vaccinations it can be an awful experience for mam and baby. Frankie is out of sorts after having his eleventh needle on Monday morning, his four month vaccinations. Unfortunately he has taking a little reaction and his leg has become swollen and inflamed. We spent the day yesterday topped up on calpol and I smothered him in snuggles.  He is very clingy, I shower, he showers, I pee, he pees.

I drew a box around the affected area to  monitor the redness and I’m constantly checking his temperature, it’s awful to see him like this, he’s such a smiley baby, it’s horrible.

We are way behind vaccination schedule, I keep cancelling the appointments, anxiety is getting the better of me, He cries, I cry.  He had his first needle fourteen hours after he arrived, paediatricians were concerned and wanted to check his platelet count as mine had plummeted during my pregnancy due to a condition called thrombocytopenia. His veins were so tiny doctors struggled to retrieve any blood after several attempts. Luckily on day two they got a sample, we got the all clear and were later discharged. Then with recommendations from a doctor in Our Lady’s, we returned a few days later for a repeat and again thankfully got the result we’d hoped for. So within four days the little man had endured six needles, the poor little sod.

Reactions like this make me not want to give him his injections but we had a ‘whooping cough’ scare a few weeks back, he’s better protected from all those nasty bacterial bugs. Fingers crossed today is a better day and hopefully he’ll be back gliding through the house in his walker terrorising Kayla and Tinkerbell.

Our Weaning Adventures

At four months Frankie didn’t seem satisfied solely on bottles, he started to wake up for feeds throughout the night and was taking a lot of interest in our food and sucking his pudgy little hands, so regardless of recommendations of midwives, public health nurses and the likes I decided to start weaning Frankie earlier than the six months. It is advised to start a baby on solids when they are six-months due to development and nutritional reasons.

I suppose due to these ‘rules’ administered by health care officials I wasn’t very prepared for weaning, I had no high chair, baby spoons or water-proof bibs. I decided I wanted everything organic, homemade, full of nutritious ingredients although on a few occasions I have given him puree fruit pots, they are so handy if you are out and about or if your homemades haven’t fully defrosted by snack time.

It’s so true, the nutrition baby receives in their first year will impact on their eating habits for the rest of their lives. I look at Kayla my first born,  who eats dinners solely of mash, carrots and gravy. She is a very fussy eater and that is due to my poor diet I inflicted on her in the first years. It’s something I regret immensely, since then I have changed my attitude to parenting and put my her needs before my own. Over the past year Kayla has grew a love for fruit, all fruit, so her eating habits are slowly improving. If I had of introduced all the beautiful foods there are out there sooner maybe she wouldn’t be so picky.

I decided Frankie’s first meal would be a taste of porridge, something easy and simple to make, although it didn’t happen that way. The texture was nothing like my Nana’s, it resembled gloop and had the consistency of tar. He gagged, he heaved, he cried, he projectile-spat across the room, It was a big FAIL! So maybe porridge wasn’t the best decision but you have to learn these things for yourself. You have to find what works for you and your baby.

Frankie’s first spoon feed

When he learnt to swallow food we moved onto sweet potato, carrots and butternut squash. It wasn’t until I started cooking up a storm in the kitchen that I realised all his food was orange. So as the days and weeks went by, I started introducing more food like parsnips, peas and chicken all pureed of course. He took some time accepting some of the new flavours, he would spit the food allover the room but I never gave up. He loves his food; now that I’m offering a huge variety.

Frankie is six months now and I have many worries about weaning, Kayla my four-year-old was allergic to eggs, lactose intolerant and it was around this age we discovered it. The fear of him choking on finger food also scares me, it’s natural to worry but I take it to another level. I have taken a course in First Aid to ease my anxieties.

I’m also very house proud, so when it comes to finger food I tend to opt for dry food like bread and toast, soon realising I was starting to follow my old weaning habits I had on Kayla. I’ve given in to my former ways and have given him mango, banana and cheese. I’m allowing him to explore, play and make all the mess that needs be for him to enjoy it.

Weaning is such an important part of babies’ development and I’m so proud I’ve changed my old ways and allowed him to mush, squish and squeeze these new textures and flavours whether it be into his hair, ears or nose. I won’t lie the mess can be frustrating but it’s harder to have a child who won’t eat vegetables and meat than clean up a baby after a fun meal-time.

Look Who’s Walking

We reached another milestone last Thursday; Frankie is now six months old. It’s shocking how fast time passes us by, it feels like only yesterday that we brought him home from the hospital. He’s thriving, he’s on solids almost two-months, gumming on finger food and sitting up unaided. In the past week he has dropped three of his seven bottles and (I’m going to whisper this just in case he hears me) he is sleeping through the night, HALLELUJAH!!

His uncle got him a walker and he loves it. It’s not even here a week and he gets so excited when he sees it coming out, kicking, cooing and grinning from ear to ear. He loves the freedom of propelling across the room. If he’s in bad form it’s almost like a soother for his feet too, once he’s in the walker he glides up and down the room exploring his future targets.

I’m fully aware crawling is essential for both physical and mental development but Frankie hates being on his belly, I refuse to force tummy time on him, he will crawl when he is good and ready. He likes to be sitting up, in his swing; he likes to see what’s going on and what everybody is doing around him.

I get why some people are against walkers, parents reaction time is hindered as babies are moving faster, reaching higher and some say development is delayed. It’s common knowledge if you leave a child unattended, accidents will happen and I would never leave him in the walker for more than twenty minutes a time. Some might say it’s lazy parenting too but I would rather have him working on his leg muscles, building up strength than have a puddle of tears to mop up after he continuously planks the floor.

Tummy Time of Torture

Frankie spent his first two weeks on his tummy flaked across my chest like most babies, during that precious bonding time. Over the next few weeks as he became more alert he decided he didn’t want to be face down in my abdomen, so then tummy time became no more.

At my last Public Health Nurse appointment, the nurse pointed out the obvious that Frankie was getting a flat head. She nagged for at least ten-minutes about how important tummy time was; motor skills this, muscles development that. Let’s just face facts, he HATES it.

Now as a result of despising tummy time he has yet to roll over from his front to back whilst on a flat surface, he is six months next week. He will sit up on his elbows for all of two minutes then he proceeds to plank the floor, kicking and screaming.

I’ve tried it all, couple minutes here, couple there and couple feckin’ everywhere. I make a shrine for my little babóg, surrounded by colourful toys. I’ve got on all fours, flopped about like a fish singing twinkle-twinkle many a times. One day he even grunted at me, pretty sure he clenched his fist in a temper too. How dare I put him on his tummy?

We have tried this…

Tummy Time

and this…

Tummy Time

and this…

photo 3 (6)

So I get how tummy time is an important aspect of the larger concept of free floor time BUT every year with every new baby there is a new technique to raise your baby. Personally I think tummy time in just a new-fangled idea to make up for the fact that babies spend way to much of their days on their back. Tummy time wasn’t a major concern four-years-ago. Kayla NEVER had tummy time, ever, she’s fine, and her motor skill and muscles developed just like any other kid.

Today I have decided to stop forcing tummy time on my little man, he doesn’t like, and I don’t even know why I tried for so long. Frankie is sitting up aided by a couple of pillows, he is able to support his own feet and loves bouncing around in his swing. His motor skills are developing just perfect too. He can pick up and grab any object in his path and manoeuvre it into his dribbly mouth. He can even hold his own bottle; bet you my PHN’s baby can’t do that. And we are signing, which is great for motor skills and muscle development, not that he has returned a sign yet but he recognizes them and he will sign over the next couple of months.

Tales of a Tired Mom

After many challenges, questions and occasional tantrums with the small, bedtime can be quiet frustrating in my household. Last week it was an utter success but unfortunately it was replaced by a week-long of sleepless nights from sundown to sunrise with thanks to my two nocturnal children.

I woke up one of the mornings to find Frankie naked from the waist down and Kayla in his cot changing his bum. With the happiest grin, thinking she was the cleverest, smartest, greatest kid in the world, I refrained from screaming, I got up went the toilet counted to ten returned and took over what she had started. Not a wipe left in the 60 pack and they are all face down in his sheets. Lovely, thanks Kayla you’re the best (sic). The two of them smiling and cooing, whilst I looked on as if I had escaped from an asylum after another sleepless night.

Last week I considered giving them up for adoption. They spent four of seven nights acting the complete bollox, here is a recorded timeline of one those nights…

7.45 Story time with the four-year-old.

8.05 She goes straight asleep, success!

8.15 Feed baby his last bottle.

8.30 Babies bedtime.

8.37 Baby cries, race up the stairs to put soother in mouth.

8.39 Breathless, sits on stairs for a few minutes.

8.42 Boils kettle, makes coffee.

8.50 Baby cries.

8.51 Trying to avoid eye contact with smiling baby.

8.52 Tuck in, soother, kiss goodnight.

9.01 Baby falls asleep.

9.03 Clicks kettle, mammy time.

10.30 Bedtime; creeps back into room, don’t breathe, get into bed.

10.41 Baby wakes up for soother.

10.50 Baby coughs.

23.04 Baby falls asleep and snores heavily; surprised neighbours cannot hear.

23.10-23.20 I fall asleep.

00.07 Four year old wakes up – to warm.

00.13 Now she’s too cold.

00.14-00.20 She falls asleep.

01.36 Baby wakes up – doesn’t know what he wants.

01.45 Falls asleep *snores (pokes baby to try stop snoring).

02.30 Baby wakes; I let baby cry it out.

02.50 I give in, bottle time.

03.56 Loud bang followed by four-year-old calling for mammy.

03.57 Tucks her in, rubs back (she fell out of bed HAHA), kisses goodnight.

03.59 She now needs to go the toilet (WTF, considers telling her she has a mattress protector).

04.00 Carries child to toilet, wipes bum, washes hands, tuck’s in.

04.06 Find four-year-old creepily loitering around bedroom door.

04.07 I allow her to co-sleep.

04.10 Baby wakes up.

04.15-04.25 Everyone asleep and snoring.

06.05 Beep Beep… BEEP, stupid van reverses up the road (I consider throwing rocks from the window).

06.40 Neighbour slams door leaving for work (considers throwing rocks again).

06.41 Everyone’s awake.

07.00 Daydreams about adoption, running away and working nights.

I’ve yet to meet a mom who hasn’t had their fair share of sleepless nights. I choose to be a mom; I choose to have two children, i do love them, it comes without saying. My god its hard work, if you’re not wiping butts, wiping up sick you’re nursing a boo-boo. So dear friends and family STOP judging me on my high level of caffeine intake, telling me I look tired, and do not judge my appearance. I am tired!!

Things I've Learnt Being A MAAAmmy

1. You will no longer laugh at the parents of hurricane hell raising children on Channel 4.

2. Counting to three will be your most commonly used phrase.

3. You will spend most of your days with a howling resident on the bottom step of your stairs.

4. You question how people in bungalows discipline their children.

5. You prefer cuddling and kids movies to hitting pubs and clubs.

6. Your home will be covered in valuable pieces of artwork that didn’t cost you a thing.

7. You will sneak sweets like it’s a contraband substance, soon mastering ramming anything that tastes good into your mouth and be able to exchange conversation with your small normally.

8. It doesn’t matter how many books, magazines and articles you read about caring for your child, every child is different and they all progress at their own pace.

9. Everything you do is an adventure.

10. Showering with a locked door behind you is a luxury.

11. Children do not understand why a mammy would ever want to have any privacy.

12. You will inherit ‘shower schizophrenia’, a constant belief your baby is crying whilst you shower.

13. You often finish up showering with only one leg shaved and have you will have a frequent presence of unwashed conditioner in your hair.

14. You may have an audience whilst showering, shouting the most awkward of questions.

15. You will never wear white again.

16. Children have one level of volume, LOUD!!

17. You are easily manipulated by puppy-dog-eyes.

18. Your washing basket will never be empty.

19, If you mop the floor, it’s guaranteed they will spill something.

20. You will spend most of your days threatening to throw away their toys, if they don’t clean them up.

21. It is perfectly acceptable to sniff a childs butt in public.

22. You can do almost anything with one hand.

23. You will re-define “sleeping-in” to any time past 7:30am.

24. You will have impeccable packing skills.

25. That it’s very rewarding to have a purpose other than yourself.

26. You will realize how amazing it is to watch children grow. Observing the confident-creative little people they become.

27. You will be wiping butts for eternity.

28. There will be a never ending trail of mush, crumbs and spills.

29. An early night is going to bed the same time as your children.

30. You will use baby wipes to clean almost everything from random spills to your whole bathroom.

31. You will have perfected the straight that’s-not-funny face when it’s actually quite hilarious.

32. You will never judge a stranger on their child’s behaviour. If anything you will sympathize.

33. Bedtime will become one of your favourite times of the day.

34. You need caffeine to get through your day.

35. Children get inhuman bursts of energy at bedtime

36. Silence is not golden. Never trust a quiet toddler.

37. Your food always looks tastier.

38. You wouldn’t change anything.