Monthly Archives: February 2011

A Toddler Tummy Bug

I think it’s fair to say that sometimes being a mum is all about kisses and cuddles, and sometimes it feels like one big struggle. Yesterday Freya had a tummy bug and it felt like we were tripping from one disaster to the next!

It all began when she decided she didn’t want any of the five breakfast options I offered her. Nor did she want her morning nap, but she did want to throw her teddy and toothpaste into the toilet and then start crying because she couldn’t cuddle teddy. So, we shrugged off any negative vibes and went to pick up her prescription from the doctors. It wasn’t ready. Trudging home empty-handed in the rain we discovered that somewhere along the way Freya’s hat had been lost.

I made us lunch and calm was restored with a cup of tea (for me) until seconds later when Freya brought up everything she’d eaten. After a baby-cleaning mission and many tears, we found ourselves queuing up at the doctor’s again. Prescription finally in hand we got to Sainsbury’s and were just about to purchase a new tube of milk teeth toothpaste – when we found mummy’s bank card was missing. A quick trip to Customer Services and we discovered silly mummy left it there yesterday. “Phew!” I say! “We’ve cut it up!” The customer services lady says. Apparently it’s company policy that they can’t keep bank cards on the premises over night.

So, as this tummy bug appears to be spreading through every nursery, school and home in the country. I thought I should share the advice Freya’s doctor gave to me:

*If she has a temperature book her an appointment with the GP to get her checked over.
*Make sure your baby is kept hydrated with plenty of water, check her nappies to see that she is passing urine- if she isn’t she could be dehydrated.
*Don’t panic if baby doesn’t want to eat solids, water is key when she is vomiting. When she does start to want food again, try her on a bland diet of bread, rice, banana and potato.
*You can get electrolade or dioralyte sachets from your GP to replace the minerals she has lost.

Hot Twitter Topic – C-sections

As a follower of Kirstie Allsopp’s tweets, this week I watched with interest as a debate unfolded between her and the chief executive of the National Childbirth Trust, Belinda Phipps, on whether the NCT could be failing women by not offering enough information on having a baby by caesarean in their antenatal classes. This is obviously a highly sensitive issue. With a quarter of women now delivering their babies by c-section, Kirstie believes mums who aren’t able to have a natural childbirth could be ill-informed and made to feel like failures. Today the debate hit the headlines…what do you think?

The Baby Show

Yesterday our little family took a trip to The Baby Show. Now, at fourteen months Freya is practically a toddler but I’m trying to hang onto every little bit of her beautiful babyness while I can…from her smell, to her soft skin and sleepy cuddles! There was no way I could turn down the chance of a whole baby-focussed day. As we approached the entrance to London’s Excel and saw lots of mummies, daddies, bumps, babies and buggies heading through the doors, Freya started kicking her legs in anticipation and my pace, and pulse, quickened. I could tell as we walked through the first stalls, programme in hand, we weren’t going to be disappointed. This was a baby mecca!

From the Pampers Changing Room (a room full of changing tables, mobiles, nappies and wipes) to the Tommee Tippee Feeding and Breastfeeding Area (complete with microwaves, bibs and bottle warmers) to the Fisher-Price creche and Emma’s Diary mum’s meeting point. We were in baby heaven. All the key product-players in my little baby’s life were there. From Plum to Ella’s Kitchen to Philips Avent, Britax, Stokke, Mothercare…I could go on and on. We even saw a giant replica of one of Freya’s favourite Fisher-Price toys…which made her laugh out loud with excitement! Plus lots of smaller boutique stalls with beautiful baby bits.

But the day wasn’t totally product-focussed, we had Freya’s picture taken by the experts at the Sonam Portrait Studios – taking away a free print and entering her in a competition to find the face of The Baby Show. (Fingers crossed!) We stopped at the Prima Baby stage and listened to tips on baby nap times, picking up a copy for £1. Plus there were experts to talk to at the Tommy’s Meet the Midwives and Health Visitors Centre.

We were very well restrained and (ironically) only bought Freya her first pair of reins discounted to half price. Plus we took away a lot of food samples and freebies. This is a must for anyone who needs to kit out their nursery or wants to learn more about babies. And there’s still time, the show runs from February 18-21. Tickets on the door are £20 (including programme).Find out more here

It’s fair to say we all needed an afternoon nap by the end…

My cushions

When Freya was a newborn I thought I’d never have an evening snuggling on the sofa watching the telly ever again! I used to dream of sipping wine while watching a whole programme from start to finish in blessed peace. Then, when Freya started going to bed at 7pm, I didn’t know what to do with myself! I’d sit there on the sofa twiddling my thumbs and feeling desperate to do something! I know that being a mum is one of the best and biggest jobs in the world, but at the end of the day I found myself wanting to do something for me.

It was my mum who suggested I take up sewing, and she even got me one of the super cute John Lewis Mini Sewing Machines in pink (£50). It was the inspiration I needed…and as I started winding my first bobbin, I felt myself unwind from my busy day. I haven’t stopped since! This last week I’ve been making cushions…I got a little bit carried away on Amy Butler fabric at the John Lewis sale in January! I loved the patterns so much, that I quilted them on to wadding and then made them into very comfy cushions!

Mums under pressure

I found myself feeling quite stressed out this morning as I fed Freya her cereal. This time it wasn’t her painfully slow eating pace or the carnage she’d already caused with her toys on the living room floor… It was the news. Scientists at Bristol University have studied thousands of children and they now believe there could be a direct link between the food fed to babies under 3 and their IQ. Apparently eating fats, sugars and processed food could affect their intelligence. And the bit which really struck me with fear was that it’s possible that any future improvements in the child’s diet won’t help. The damage will be done!

Now, as it happens I pride myself on feeding Freya lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and four out of five of her meals are home cooked from scratch…with organic baby pots reserved for a weekend treat. She doesn’t very often turn my food down and she’s never eaten junk food. But I work from home and, because she is my only baby, I have plenty of time to cook for her.

I hadn’t doubted her diet before but as I looked to the future I suddenly felt heavy with the responsibility I have to bring Freya up in the right way. The way I look after her will directly reflect who she becomes in the future…And I want my baby to get a Masters over a McDonalds! What if I’m getting her diet all wrong and my efforts in the kitchen are failing her? Once again a piece of research had left me doubting my parenting skills…

Then I sat back and watched as she ate banana slices in front of me and I started to see things in perspective. Us mums are always under so much pressure to be perfect – with such apparently dramatic consequences. It might well be that if I have more children in the future, or if my hours at work increase, that I won’t be able to provide home cooked elaborate meals every night. In the future she may well become less keen on eating my healthy meals as she discovers the alternatives. I am sure I will give Freya the odd packet of crisps or sweet when she’s older, as a treat! But that doesn’t mean all my good work will be automatically undone.

I’ve decided to take the news with a pinch of…something healthier than salt. While I will always endeavour to make sure my baby is well-fed with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables – I’m determined not to spend too much time stressing about it! What do you think?

Freya’s Nappy Nightmare

I won’t go into too much detail on this one…but ever since Freya had a bad tummy bug in December, her nappies have been less than favourable. In fact I would describe them as explosive at best, terrifying at worst. We’re definitely keeping Pampers in business right now, and as for Dettol – well, we’re getting through bucketloads because explosions aren’t exclusive to nappies and do also happen at bathtime. Ok, that’s enough detail – you get the idea.

After weeks of visits to the doctor we’ve tried everything from a basic diet of banana, rice and bread (that was a tough) to cutting out her two bottles of formula a day (even tougher). Now, after a stool sample has revealed she hasn’t got a bug – I thought we’d reached a wall and Freya would be forever known as the girl you don’t go into the toilet after. Or worse, that it meant she had something terribly wrong with her digestive system. But the doctor seemed sure that this means Freya is lactose intolerant. She handed me a special formula called Aptamil Pepti, and after reading the box I found that “the cows milk protein has been broken down into smaller pieces which makes it easier to tolerate and digest.” She said to come back in two weeks.

“An allergy?” I said…panicking. I had a picture in mind of a pale, frail child who can’t eat cheese, glorious cheese, or her favourite lunch of scrambled eggs… Poor Freya! But the doctor has assured me that this isn’t an allergy but is very often a temporary intolerance to lactose caused by a bad tummy bug. Apparently this can happen after a bug in babies and adults too…and it’s where they have become deficient in lactase which breaks lactose down. She insisted it is only temporary.

The good news is that regular weight checks have shown that despite Freya’s nappy nightmare she is still growing and putting on weight healthily, the bad news is it can take between three and four weeks for her to have a normal nappy. I’m off to check out the lactose-free treats on offer in Sainsbury’s….oh how I hope this is the answer!