As the last child, I never witnessed my mum nurturing another baby so even if I was back home I would still be a novice regarding how to handle a newborn. Tons of antenatal classes and net surfing after and I still wasn’t prepared for what followed. So this me putting the word out there of my findings:
- It’s advisable to use fragrance-free products on baby: I was so excited and nervous to give my baby a bath. Four weeks and a few baths later my little baby’s skin had rashes all over. What did I do wrong? Everything, I had purchased for her bath and skin care, had perfume and had irritated her skin. With the help of our doctor and fragrance-free products we got baby’s lovely skin back. I know first-hand that this doesn’t happen to every baby because friends and family in Nigeria use these products daily. For me however it’s goodbye to such products for the conceivable future.
“It is very important to try to limit a baby’s exposure to harmful chemicals. Children are more vulnerable to the effects of toxic chemicals than adults. Their immune systems and central nervous system are immature and still developing, which means their bodies are generally less capable of eliminating toxins. As well, children have roughly doubled the skin surface of adults per unit of body weight, so a child can absorb proportionally more chemicals”. (http://lesstoxicguide.ca/index.asp?fetch=babycare#oil)
- Cow milk protein allergy and reflux exist: the first, I had never heard of before having my daughter and took a while for me to understand. The second was easy to understand but not so easy to manage, ignorance in both cases isn’t bliss especially when it comes to weaning. CMPA affects a mother’s choice and cost of feeding; with breastfeeding an adjustment in the mothers’ diet might be advised. Not every case is CMPA, but it’s worth considering if baby exhibits similar symptoms as those listed in the pages below. Speak to your doctor/health visitor about your concerns; get them to advise you on the next steps to follow.
- Breastfeeding is demanding: at antenatal classes, they teach you how to get the right latch and detect if the baby is feeding properly. They don’t however tell you that some days would feel like baby is constantly feeding and attached to you. Sometimes you would feel like “me” as a person doesn’t exist anymore (this happens even with bottle feeding). I find the best way to handle this was to accept that am investing into her future with every sacrifice I make. Secondly with every opportunity you get do something that makes you happy e.g. writing, reading. Joining a forum to chat and learn from other people’s experience e.g. Liverpool bambis might be handy. Thirdly tie up your interests with baby’s e.g. I take my daughter to the church playgroup this gives me an opportunity to meet other Christians and the library playgroup as I can borrow books and return them at the next visit.
- Impatience and strict regimes don’t mix well with baby: some babies are easy to handle, some are not. Regardless of which category baby falls into learning a new skill is never going to happen at once, hence the need for patience and flexible routines. I would love baby to sleep exactly at the same time, eat X amount daily, walk and talk at such time and many other expectations, that would make me, look like wonder mum. Alas! It never happens at our pace but there’s, so get rid of impatience and live flexibly, life is generally better when approached that way.
That’s me all done for now, looking forward to learning more on this parenting journey.