The best nappy rash cream
Megan often gets nappy rash. I feel as if I have tried every remedy under the sun and guess which of the creams below is by far the best?
The winner is … Oxyplastine!
Oxyplastine is a thick white odourless cream that should be spread over the red areas, but not rubbed in. It is a protective, soothing cover for the skin. My paediatrician said I should layer it on like aluminium foil over food. Within a few hours, there is a notable improvement. Oxyplastine is, without a doubt, THE BEST nappy rash treatment – forget anything else.
Breastfeeding is great for weight loss
I met some friends I haven’t seen in a while and they said, ‘Julie we’ve never seen you looking so thin.’ That’s what breastfeeding does to you. My midwife said that breastmilk is made out of body fat. I may have never looked so thin but I have also never eaten so much in all my life. I have no self-control and chow down like every meal is my last. I can’t understand why women voluntarily choose not to breastfeed for as long as possible – it’s the best diet ever.
Sophie the Giraffe
My French friend told me that every French child has or has had ‘Sophie La Girafe’. Sophie is a soft rubber giraffe that squeaks. Babies love it because there are lots of protruding appendages that they can grip easily and chew. Megan adores Sophie and as she munches the squeaking giraffe, she works herself up into a frenzy. She gasps, grunts and slobbers and reminds me of a hungry dog devouring a bone. If she could shove the entire thing in her mouth, she would. I love the way Sophie makes Megan so happy.
Get your *@&£ finger out of my daughter’s mouth
One of my friends stuck his unwashed finger in Megan’s mouth and let her suck it. Inside my head it was pure nuclear war. I felt like that person in the painting ‘The Scream’. In hindsight, I am furious with myself for not standing firm and speaking out but I was speechless that someone could be so unhygienic and inappropriate. I mean really, WTF?!?!
I’ve randomly surveyed my friends to check that I am not the only one who thinks it is gross and the general reaction is ‘yuck’, ‘sis’ and ‘eeeww.’ I have noticed that many parents stick their finger in their child’s mouth in lieu of a dummy. Do what you want with your own child, but I passionately believe sticking germ-infested fingers in someone else’s baby’s mouth is overfamiliar and inappropriate. I never put my fingers in Megan’s mouth and I can’t believe I allowed someone else to do it.
Start where you want to end up
Two parenting books gave me a new lease on life, no exaggeration. When Megan was three months old, I had a laissez-faire approach to sleep. I bounced and rocked her when her eyes looked heavy and put her in her cot once she had withered off in my arms. Most days, she had little catnaps but nothing substantial or predictable.
I got tired of looking and feeling as if I had stuck my wet fingers in a live plug socket so I sought out advice on how I could get Megan to sleep better during the day. I wholeheartedly endorse the sleeping advice in these books. It works. It has changed Megan, Alastair and me. We all feel calmer and more centered. Megan is happier because she is well-rested, Al is happier as I don’t bark at him like a cross chihuahua if he is 2 minutes late in the evenings and I am happier because I get some guaranteed Me Time during the day.
Pamela Druckerman, who wrote French Children Don’t Throw Food explains that babies sleep in 30 to 45 minute cycles. Sometimes babies cry after a sleep cycle but they are not actually awake. They don’t know how to connect their cycles so parents must train their kids to link them so they sleep longer.
Druckerman says that when we hear a cry, we should hold back, listen to the tone of it and wait for a few minutes to give the baby the opportunity to self-soothe and then slip into a new sleep cycle. She calls it ‘La Pause’. I never gave Megan this chance because I popped up next to her cot like a jack-in-the-box at the slightest murmur or semblance of a cry. Now, when Megan wakes up after 30 minutes, I do ‘La Pause’ at her door and wait and watch as she slips into the next sleep cycle.
Babywise says that you must begin as you mean to go and you will pay the price later for bad habits you slip into early on. Start where you want to end up. The authors suggest it is a bad habit to always rock a baby to sleep or allow it to fall sleep while feeding. They recommend you put the child in its cot and let it fall asleep on its own.
This means that the baby will often cry as it falls to sleep. This bothered me because I never want Megan to feel abandoned or unloved. The thing is, not all crying is bad. It doesn’t always mean a baby is distressed. The Babywise authors assured me that a little crying is ok, provided the baby is not in pain, hungry etc. It will not destroy brain cells, limit self-esteem or cause Megan to drop out of school. It turns out that Megan only cried for 5 minutes or so as she fell to sleep and now that she is getting used to putting herself to sleep, she doesn’t cry at all.
Babywise says optimal wakefulness (which leads to optimal development) comes from optimal sleep and often we need to teach a baby how to sleep properly. You can’t alter a child’s IQ but you can maximize it and one way to do this positively or negatively is through sleep. This book advises that mom, not baby, should decide when a nap starts and ends. I have started to gently enforce this with Megan and she responds well to my control. Now she often wakes up cooing and gurgling, instead of crying, and I know it is because she has had substantial sleep.
A friend is pregnant with twins and she asked, ‘If you can give me one piece of advice, what would it be?’ Without a doubt, establish some control and structure over the baby’s sleep early on. It has saved my life. I am no longer permanently zonked. We are all much happier.