Tag Archives: Children

You Bit Me…Ouch…Don’t Bite Me!

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So as you can see, my son has a lovely set of eight teeth.  Eight tiny, pearly white, eagerly awaited, razor sharp teeth.

As you can also see, he has developed a penchant for biting me!

If I ask for a kiss, he comes steaming towards me, mouth wide open, and starts trying to clamp my mouth between his teeth.   Or if he is in a particularly boisterous mood, he will merrily bash against me with his head and start trying to gnaw away at my leg or tummy, or arm.

It was something I wasn’t expecting until he was a little older, maybe at pre-school where you hear stories of that kid who bites!  At 13 months old, I got a little bit worried that the little guy was doing something he shouldn’t have been…I pretty quickly discovered it was totally normal…

So what should I do about it?  I am pretty sure my current approach, giggling madly, giving a puny yelp of an ouch, and laughing some more as he goes in for a second bite may not be the conventional route!  And saying ”no” is something I talked about trying not to do (check it out here).

I never knew, but each bite is just an expression of his excitement, his love, his enthusiasm and his energy in life.  There is no way I am going to bite him back like someone recommended a friend try doing with her son.

Why do toddlers bite?

A bite is a way of expressing something without words, be it happiness, excitement, joy, or anger, frustration or hurt.

It could also be down to the usual suspects…teething, tiredness, boredom or just plain old experimentation.

How to react when your toddler bites you.

Stay calm!  Try not to laugh! Use the serious voice to say something like ‘bites hurt, ouch’ and use it consistently.

Shift the focus to a different activity, not biting mum fun time…a distraction is invaluable.

Understand why your toddler is biting.

If you can figure out what your little person is trying to tell you with a bite, it might go some way to calming the situation down.  If they could be teething, bring the teething toys out.  If they are over tired, try and get a nap in or nap earlier for the future.  If they are in need of more activity, try and give more time to entertaining them.

Each scenario has an obvious solution, but especially if your toddler is older it may be harder to deal with the situation.  Zerotothree.org has some great advice here to help you deal with your situation.

So what age did your child start to bite?  Or did they never go through this phase at all.  How did you handle it?  Would love to hear your thoughts…

I only hope my boob isn’t the next victim!!!

 

 

 

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In A Twist With A Wrong Wrap. Sling Issues.

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We’re having a heat wave. Supposedly. That’s us in the garden in the middle of the heatwave, complete with woolly hats and knitted jumpers!

The plan was not to enjoy a BBQ and lazy day in the sunshine, but to pressure wash the BBQ and the mouldy garden furniture in preparation for the next sunny day. We can dream. Dad is a whiz on the barbie…and the little guy has yet to sample his dads Californian outdoor cookery skills with a salmon or a home made burger on the coals. This way at least we will be totally prepared when the real British summer arrives.

Anyway, what I really wanted to talk about was the wrap sling. Five meters of the simplest looking yet most confusing stretchy fabric that is the wrap sling.

I was a bit of a late starter with the sling, I always wanted one, but I didn’t have a clue what to do with one. They looked so confusing and constricting in the pictures, I wondered how anybody ever managed to get a baby into it or ever tie the exotic looking wrap in the first place.

So the little guy was probably already four months old before I got to try one out. A friend dragged me to a fairly small baby show, the cot2tot stall was empty so I shot in and requested a demonstration. She handed me the sling, and so simple was the basic wrapping that I was sold before I even had the little guy in it. Once he was in, it was like carrying air, the weight was distributed so perfectly with the wide fanned out shoulder straps and he felt light as a feather in it. I was happily bouncing around for ages doing the hard sell to everyone that looked in, I should have been earning a commission!!!

Here’s the rub. During the demo, she showed me the outward facing position, as well as the traditional cuddle position which I would normally use. I have since learned that the outward facing position that I so loved is not actually that great. Having just tried the outward facing hold again, I was super uncomfortable and something didn’t feel right.

Cue the research! Here is what I found:

Babies under 3 months old, and babies without good neck and back control should never be placed in an outward facing position. The reasoning is the same as with older babies but it is exaggerated in those who are that much less developed.

Babies are born with a natural curve to the spine, the C-curve. Over the course of the first year of life, in response to the milestones that baby achieves like head lifting and crawling, they will start to develop the S-curve that is more familiar in adults. (These are natural developments and are the reason that babies should not be placed in walkers or bouncers until appropriate times.)

The development of these curves is also the reason why inward facing holds are superior to outward facing ones. To support the natural C-curve of a baby’s spine requires them to be facing towards your body, this way the legs can get into the spread-squat position where baby’s thighs are held with the knees higher than the hips and only the lower legs hanging down.

In an outward facing position, the wrap sling can not offer a sufficient enough spread-squat of the legs, instead baby is left in a ‘crotch-dangle’ which encourages the spine into a backwards-curved position. Obviously this goes against the very principle of safe baby-wearing, with the potential to interfere with the development of the natural curve.

Then there is the possibility of over stimulation in the outward facing position. Baby can not bury their head in your chest for comfort, and definitely should never fall asleep facing out due the the immense pressure on their neck.

Finally, the outward facing position changes everyone’s centre of gravity. Baby will often try and hold onto your fingers for extra stability, or you might find yourself supporting them under the thighs to compensate for the way they pull away from your body. Either way, carrying something that is arching away from you, will naturally make you arch in the opposite direction…cue back ache, shoulder ache, and general discomfort.

For these reasons, it just isn’t the ideal carry, I instantly tried him in a hip carry once I realised the outward facing was no good.

Do you like the outward facing position? Also, do you find it easy to breastfeed in a sling…I still haven’t mastered this?!

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There is some great info here at the Ergobaby blog.

Fever Panic. Step Away From The Baby Paracetamol

Colorful Baby Toy Set

Writing my post on the use of baby paracetamol was punctuated by my own little guy suffering for three days with spiking temperatures of 103C. At 9 months old, I finally gave in, and cracked open the bottle of sticky, sweet, pink, paracetamol suspension…Calpol.

With each of the six doses over three tense days, I troubled over the good and the bad of the stuff. Needless to say, when the time comes, you have to make your baby more comfortable, and with the lack of any other real alternative, that means a spoonful of (more often than not) bright pink medicine.

Every baby goes through teething pains, growth spurts, coughs and colds. Many times I have sat up nursing my little guy through the night as his teeth have been causing him trouble! Never has it crossed my mind to reach for the baby paracetamol. We cuddle up, chew, nurse and distract…sometimes all night long.

I have to bite my tongue when I hear people using Calpol for grizzly, restless babies, but with no sign of a high temperature…The first line of help for many a problem, including teething is baby paracetamol, sometimes baby ibuprofen, sometimes even both. In my opinion it should come out of the medicine box a lot more slowly…

This time it was different though, not a teething temperature but his first very high temperature, and a visibly distressed baby, I had to let medicine step in and help.

Nothing incites panic more than a fever in a baby? (Well not until you drop your iPhone down the toilet like I have just done…second place panic!) However I was strangely calm, much of my previous research into fevers had actually given me a new mindset about fevers, for which I am grateful.

First Aid Sign/Label

First Aid Sign/Label (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Why do we panic so excessively at what is the body’s most natural defense to infection?

Why do we try to suppress such an important function of the body, so quickly, with such colouful, sugary, pharmacological remedies?

Why do we rely so heavily on these cocktails of E-numbers of which some are known hormone disruptors and carcinogens and some of which are banned in other countries. Then there is the cumulative effects of paracetamol or ibuprofen on such tiny livers and digestive systems, and the relative newness of baby ibuprofen to the market.

Fingers crossed, my little guy is over the worst of whatever it was that upset his little body. It will be a while before I totally relax, but I can get back to finishing my look at fevers and what to do and seriously look at any alternatives that might exist…I will publish it soon!

Baby Led Weaning. Top Tips To Get You Started.

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Baby led weaning is the most fascinating, inspiring and entertaining activity…for adults! Still, after four months, I watch in awe as my little guy handles grown up food…as he shovels way too much in, gags a little and then sticks a bit more in for good measure. He loves to play and learn and food is no exception to this.

I wish more parents had a positive experience of the first few scary months of BLW, but I often hear of parents abandoning ship because it is too scary or too messy.

I have created a list of a few things to get you started and help you feel more confident in committing totally to the BLW experience. As you get started on your journey, keep these tips close at hand to remind yourself that you and baby are in complete control…

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  • Have confidence in yourself. This is the single most important piece of advice I can give. Brush up on your first aid, attend a red cross course or at the very least, know what to do in an emergency choking situation. Learn the basics of back slaps to bring up a lodged piece of food, and understand the process of checking airways, breathing and circulation. Armed with this knowledge you can take a much more relaxed approach to BLW. Look here at the Red Cross site for many great tips
  • Relax. Once you have confidence in your ability in a sticky situation, and trust that your baby knows what he is doing, then you can relax and pass the calm vibes onto your little one. At the start of my BLW journey, I used simple yoga breathing techniques to relax, release and let go of any tension in my body. I kept that calm feeling throughout every early meal until it became natural to both me and baby.
  • Trust in your baby. Your baby has been born with a gag reflex and it starts way further forward on his tongue than on yours. This reflex is your friend, the sound of retching or heaving are his way of dealing with an object and keeping him safe. Try not to interfere while he deals with the object himself, but be at the ready to step in if he can’t handle it
  • Bibs. Double up, I use a long sleeved coverall with a smaller dribble bib on top to fit close around the neck. You will not be so worried about staining the clothes underneath and again you can sit back and relax while chaos take over in the high chair. Tip: Cut the bottom half off of old baby grows and use them back to front as full coverage bibs!
  • Cover the floor. Buy a cheap shower curtain and let the food rain down! Pop in in the washing machine, shake it out after a messy meal, pick big bits up and give them back to baby, and relax in the knowledge that your flooring is protected!!!
  • High chair. I took my high chair for granted until I tried out a friends contraption! Make sure it doesn’t have a fiddly harness or tray that locks too tightly around your baby, you need to be able to whip them out quickly and easily if they become distressed. Look here at the Ikea Antilop, great value, and easy to clean, great for BLW. Look here at the safety 1st baby highchairs, plastic free, able to grow with your child, fairly easy to keep clean but slightly more expensive.
  • Gagging is good. as I mentioned before, it is your babies way of clearing a blockage or learning that trying to swallow something before breaking it down isn’t such a good idea.
  • Silence is not good. look to see if they have panic on their own face, or look like they are silently struggling to bring something up. This is definitely your cue to step in and manually give a helping hand.
  • Let them get back to it. However shaken up you feel, don’t pass your anguish on the baby. Let him get stuck back in straight away so as not to start associating anything bad with his eating.
  • Know that milk is still the main source of nutrients. Please try not to stress over the quantity of food on the floor, or the amount he is actually eating. Food is still just for fun in this phase, once you take the pressure off getting food into baby, and let him take his time over meals, he will become better equipped to understand his own appetite, not what you think his appetite should be.
  • Eat together, don’t stare. Whenever possible, eat at the same time as baby. DO NOT sit and stare at him eating, as fascinating as it may be. Let him see you chewing and swallowing, watch from the corner of your eye, chat and laugh. How would you enjoy a looming figure watching you, praising you and getting involved with your plate of food!!!
  • Don’t overcrowd the tray. My guy likes to eat from a white china plate, he can see the food clearly and knows where and what he wants to reach for. Try adding food slowly to the high chair tray.

Stop The Slop!