Archive | January, 2013

Kids having a quarrel and fight

Being an ordinary mum – or coping with a new baby

Posted on 30 January 2013 by hulda

Kids having a quarrel and fightI remember sitting there with my 15-month-old boy playing around on the floor while I tried to breastfeed the one-month-old girl.  It was rather busy and I was very tired.  They were both very lovely children and I was in good hands with family all around me, and a husband who came home every day at 5pm, as well as during lunchtime.

It was in a small town and there were friends who dropped in as well, which was lovely.

The hospital arranged homevisits by the midwives, and as I was a second-time-round mum and also an employee of the hospital, they probably thought I did not need all that much attention.  After all, breastfeeding would come quite easily since I had done it before.

I remember the midwife coming and it just so happened that I had a relative staying with me that particular time, as you cannot really plan exactly when they come to your home, they just tell you that they will be there sometime on that day.  I remember wanting to ask my relative to go for a walk so that I could talk to the midwife on my own; I had some questions, but somehow I found it rude and in the end did not do it.

I found myself fighting the tears on the sofa and there were so many questions that I wanted to ask, so much that I wanted to share but I looked up and swallowed and with pride showed the new baby and told the midwife I was fine.  Breastfeeding was going well and I was a very proud mum of these two beautiful children.  She weighed the baby, who had not really put on much weight, but never the less was quite OK.  She patted me on the shoulder and left me, going to see people who actually had some real problems with their babies.

Later that day I was on my own at home, everyone had gone, the house was a mess, I had not had any sleep, dinner needed to be cooked and both kids very unhappy and crying.  Toys everywhere and I felt I should give them a bath and get them ready for the meal, but they were both too upset to be bathed and I had no energy.

I had never done that before but just this time I picked up the phone and called my mother who also had had two children with a year between and I felt if anyone, she would understand how I felt. I still remember her mild laughing and almost a relief and “I told you so”, when she replied to me, “yes, this is what happens when you have two kids with such a small gap, it is just as simple as that”.   I gather one of the thoughts that went through her mind was that finally someone else in the family might now understand how difficult it had been for her, 20 years earlier.  I stared at the phone in silence and said goodbye.

I put the phone down and that was when I really lost it.  And I could not stop crying until it was 4:55 pm, and it was time for my husband to come home.  I did not want him to see this disaster in me, or feel how I was just simply not coping.  And it was not that everything was all that difficult, after all the toys would be tidied in 5 minutes, dinner (yoghurt and bread) in 3, and the bath could be done tomorrow.

I just could not explain it.  Tears and sadness and a strange feeling that I was on my own completely;  that no one was happy about this little new baby – at least nowhere as much as everyone had been with the first one – and that everyone just felt and oozed out the message:  “Get on with it”.

So I did.

But still to the day, I wish I had asked the midwife to stay, that I had opened up to her and admitted that breastfeeding was not going well, I had little milk, I was stressed, sad and crying each day.  And for the love of God, I would never tell anyone else this.   Perhaps then, she would have been able to help me and find ways to help me cope.  But I did not, and therefore, my world was the same until finally life carried on and luckily I eventually found my way out, and found myself again.

I wanted to share this with you as I know there are many out there who feel the same.  You may not be talking about it, but at least you know that you are not alone.

If you find that you could possibly share it with me, or someone else in our team, please don’t wait as long as I did.

Many blessings, Hulda


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Going potty: potty training your child – tips and advice

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Going potty: potty training your child – tips and advice

Posted on 23 January 2013 by hulda

baby boy sitting on his blue pottyThere is so much confusing information about  potty training, when and how to start. The answer though is so simple: When your child is ready!

So what is the big deal? How do you work out when is the best time to start?

There are certain things to consider such as:

  • Are you putting undue pressure on yourself, or listening to gossip and unwanted advice such as the ‘In my day’ variety from the older generation?
  • Or are you seething with jealousy when your friend’s son is toilet trained while yours prefers to use his potty as a sandpit?

Well the first thing to do is concentrate on what is best for you and your toddler.

If the time is not right, forget it for now. Take heart from the fact that the later you begin, the quicker potty training happens – but starting too early can cause unnecessary problems.

Potty Training

It can be messy! There will be accidents! Potty training is an important milestone for your child, but learning to gain control of the bowel and bladder can be a complicated process and your child needs to be emotionally and physically ready to potty train.

When are children ready to potty train?

We have all heard tales of children who were clean and dry very early, but in reality most children are around two – and many are nearer three – before they start to show signs that they are ready for potty training.

Research shows that bladder capacity increases significantly between the ages of two and three, so most three year olds should be able to hold on and be dry for a reasonable period of time.

If your child seems to be a late starter, be reassured that the age a child is potty trained is not linked to intellect. Nor does it correlate with other stages of development. For example, if a child was an early talker, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be potty trained earlier. Also bear in mind that girls are often ready for potty training sooner than boys.

Let your child set the pace

Potty training is a stage of development that cannot be hurried – like crawling, walking and talking; children will pass these milestones when they are ready.

If other children seem to be out of nappies but your child isn’t yet, don’t worry, and don’t feel pressurised into starting too soon – many children are not potty trained at three and some are still not trained at the age of four. You and your child will get there, potty training is much more likely to be successful if you let your child set the pace, and you know how to recognise the signs that your child is ready.

Are you ready to catch the potty train?

Parents can feel pressured to begin potty training their toddler by nurseries, childminders, grandparents, or even by other parents. There is always someone who proclaims the ease with which their child was clean and dry at a very young age and it all adds to that feeling that we’re failing our children if we don’t potty train them early. Yet, we also know that children develop at different rates – the same is true for potty training, each child’s natural ‘readiness’ to start potty training varies, as does the pace at which they gain bowel and bladder control.

It is important not to start potty training before you and your child are ready. There is no ’right’ age to potty train but each child will have their own ‘right’ time; most children show signs of readiness to potty train between 18 months and three years. If your child is not ready to be potty trained, the process will take longer and the likelihood of accidents will be greater.

Signs of readiness for potty training

  • Your child can manage to stay dry for at least 1½ – 2 hours between wet nappies.
  • Regular or predictable bowel movements.
  • Indicating awareness that a bowel or bladder movement is occurring – perhaps by interrupting what they are doing and concentrating or going off somewhere quiet for a poo, or telling you that they have had a wee or poo, or showing signs of discomfort when the nappy is soiled.
  • Disposable nappies are very absorbent and it’s possible your child may never have felt the sensation of being wet. Putting a non-absorbent liner inside the nappy, or wearing a pair of pants underneath the nappy or changing to cloth nappies could provide this sensation. See if your child feels uncomfortable or asks for a nappy change.
  • Your child is able to understand simple requests such as: ‘Where’s your potty?’ or: ‘Do you need a wee?’
  • Your child has the coordination and ability to sit on and get up from the potty and can manage to pull pants up or down with only a little help.
  • Your child shows a desire to please and cooperate.
  • Your child enjoys praise.
  • Your child shows an interest in others using the toilet and imitates.

Children learn so much through observing and copying and potty training is no different.

How to begin potty training

There are no hard and fast rules on how to potty train. Some parents take it slowly; others prefer to train more intensively. The important thing is to be relaxed and to make it fun for both of you. For most children it is easier to begin by using a potty rather than a toilet as it’s easier to sit on, it’s the right size for toddlers, it can be moved around easily and a child is able to try to use it independently fairly quickly.

When your child is confident on the potty you can encourage them to start to use the toilet; when that time comes they will need a step to help them climb up and rest their feet on and a child’s toilet seat to help them feel secure.If your child is showing signs of readiness and you know you will have the time and patience to commit a few days to start potty training, then you are ready to begin. Let your own circumstances dictate when you start and try to plan ahead to avoid a time when there are too many distracting events so you are well prepared and able to commit time. Have confidence in your own ability to judge the right time for your child.

Use your common sense; if your child is going through a resisting ‘no’, ‘can’t’ or ‘won’t’ stage, then its worthwhile postponing potty training until the phase is over. If your child has other regular carers it will be helpful if you let them know that you are starting potty training and try to encourage consistency in your approaches.

First steps

  • The first step in preparing for potty training is deciding what you are going to call things – many people call it wee and poo, others call it pee and number twos. Use words that you are comfortable with as you will use them a lot over the next few weeks and months.
  • Talk about wee and poo and then at every opportunity talk to your child about weeing and pooing!
  • Let your child see you on the toilet and show them what you’ve done.
  • Start encouraging your child to let you know when they are weeing or pooing and give lots of praise when they tell you what’s happening.
  • Awareness that a wee or poo has happened is important, and comes before awareness of the need to go.
  • Read stories about potty training and take your child shopping to help choose a potty and pants.
  • Decide where the potty will be kept; the bathroom or somewhere easily accessible is best. Don’t forget to tell your child what it is for and suggest they try it out, and give praise if they do – and be prepared to demonstrate this yourself!
  • Happily talking about sitting on the potty and being happy to practice sitting on it is a really good start! If you let your child run around without a nappy or pants on, you may even find they have a wee or poo on it!
  • Put the potty in an accessible place and tell your child where it is. Ideally your child will be able to get to it and use it without asking, but this will probably happen later rather than sooner.

You may notice that your child has a pattern to their weeing and pooing, if so you can encourage them to use the potty around the times when they would normally go. If not, encourage your child to sit on the potty every couple of hours; not too often or for more than a few minutes each time or they may get bored.If your child asks for the potty in between, then all the better.

Perhaps you could use potty time to sing rhymes or look at books together. If your child has a regular time for opening their bowels; perhaps after breakfast, try to ‘catch it’ by sitting your child on the potty at that time. If and when you do ‘catch’ something show your pleasure and approval.

Accidents will happen

Show pleasure and give praise every time your child sits happily or wees or poos in the potty. If your child gets up and runs away from the potty, stay calm, encourage them onto the potty again later. It is inevitable that accidents will happen and remember they are part of the learning process; be patient and go at your child’s pace – it takes time to potty train and children have a lot to learn during the process.

Encourage your child to be involved and pull the flush when you empty the potty down the toilet – and don’t forget to both wash your hands.

Showing signs of needing to wee

Children are often busy and interested in playing and don’t always notice that they need to have a wee or a poo. You’ll often see signs such as wriggling; learn to recognise the signals your child gives when they need a wee or poo and guide them to the potty straight away as they often can’t hold on for very long. Resist the temptation to ask your child every half hour if they need to use
the potty as this could become irritating for both of you.

Your child might need reminding at times though, for instance half an hour after having a drink if they haven’t yet asked for the potty

Abandoning nappies

Some parents prefer to potty train in the summer when their child can run around without nappies, for others that isn’t possible. However, nappies will need to be abandoned in the daytime at some time during potty training to avoid giving confusing messages. Some parents choose to change from nappies to absorbent training pants or pull-ups as they can be pulled up and down, others make the change straight to pants.

It is very likely there will be a risk of soiled pants and puddles but if everything goes well these may be fewer than you think. Tell your child in advance that you feel sure he or she will be able to wear pants instead of nappies and you could take a shopping trip together to choose which pants to buy. Dressing your child in clothes that are easy to pull up and down will help their ability to use the potty independently and will also help you on those occasions when you both need to make a quick dash to the potty!

And don’t forget to use shoes that can be washed easily, when the inevitable accidents occur your child won’t think or have time to move their feet out of the way.

Give your child plenty of praise and encouragement. And, if you feel your child is almost there but is still having accidents, an incentive may just do the trick.


A reward system, such as a star chart, might work well but it’s important to offer rewards for using the potty and for letting you know when they need to wee or poo rather than for being clean and dry.

If your child doesn’t seem to be progressing then you may choose to leave potty training for a while – your child simply may not be ready; don’t worry, false starts are very common. Be patient, go at your child’s own pace; it takes time to potty train and there will be frustrations, for some it can be quick but for others it may feel like a long haul. Let your child know what you want but above all be consistent, be positive, provide lots of praise and make your child feel clever and special.

Boys – standing at the toilet

To begin with it’s usually easier if boys learn to wee sitting on the potty before mastering standing up and weeing in the toilet. When they start to stand, they will need a step and you may find it useful to put ping pong balls in the toilet to develop a good aim. Boys should be encouraged to gently shake the penis when they finish weeing to get rid of the last few drops.

Becoming independent

A child can be considered potty trained when they are able to use the potty fairly independently. This means they know when they want to go and are able to react by using the potty.

Wiping can take a while to master and is quite difficult for most young children, you will need to do this yourself initially – but you can introduce the idea and begin to practice when you feel your child is ready. Girls need to learn to wipe from front to back to avoid infections. Wet wipes can be useful at this stage. Always wash hands when you finish.

The ability to gain bowel and bladder control follows a pattern for many children – bowel control occurs first and this can be identified by more predictable and regular bowel movements, then daytime bladder control is achieved before night-time bladder control.

Night time dryness

If your child is reliably dry during the day, you may start thinking about
removing nappies at night. Indications that your child may be ready to become dry at night are a dry or less saturated nappy in the morning or after a daytime nap.

Talk to your child to find out if they would like to leave off their night-time nappy. You can protect the bed using waterproof products. Make sure your child has a last wee before you tuck them up in bed. They may wake and need a wee so leave a soft light on and make sure the potty or toilet is within easy reach.

It is not unusual for a child under five to still be wet at night, if your child doesn’t seem to be ready, you may consider trying again in a few weeks.

It doesn’t end there…

For many parents the pace of life is so busy that once a child has been potty trained it is easy to neglect the need to ensure there is time in the day for children to have a relaxed sit on the toilet for a poo.

Putting a daily toilet routine in place will ensure that going for a poo is a routine part of your child’s day and encourages the complete emptying of the bowel on a regular basis, helping to lessen pooing accidents and avoid constipation.

A daily toilet routine is especially important for boys who, once they begin to stand up to wee, have to make a special effort to sit on the toilet and pooing can become rushed or simply forgotten, leading to constipation. If you have concerns about how long it’s taking your child to become clean and dry, contact your Health Professional at Annerley or you Doctor.

Ref: ERIC –Education and Resources for improving Childhood Continence 2010

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Health check schedule for your child: when to get a child development assessment

Health check schedule for your child: when to get a child development assessment

Posted on 23 January 2013 by hulda

Baby-600pxIt’s important to have your child’s health and development reviewed regularly by professionals to catch any signs of abnormal development. We offer health checks at our health and child development review for an affordable price, where you can discuss your concerns and our trained professionals can assess your child’s health and development.

Guidelines are available to help you decide why and when you should have a health and developmental assessment for your child.

The core purpose of health and development reviews is to:

  • assess family strengths, needs and risks;
  • give mothers and fathers the opportunity to discuss their concerns and aspirations;
  • assess growth and development; and
  • detect abnormalities.

The following are the most appropriate opportunities for screening tests and developmental surveillance, for assessing growth, for discussing social and emotional development with parents and children, and for linking children to early years services:

  • by the 12th week of pregnancy;
  • the neonatal examination;
  • the new baby review (around 14 days old);
  • the baby’s six to eight-week examination;
  • by the time the child is one year old; and
  • between two and two-and-a-half years old.

One of the main goals of regular  health checks are to recognise disability and developmental delay. This includes a responsibility to provide information, support, referral and notification to others, and in particular there is a duty to inform the local education authority if it is suspected that a child may have special educational needs. Practitioners carrying out the health and development reviews are expected to have knowledge and understanding of child development, and of the factors that influence health and wellbeing. They need to be able to recognise the range of normal development.

Growth is an important indicator of a child’s health and wellbeing. Where parents or health professionals have concerns, the child’s growth should be measured and plotted on appropriate charts. New growth charts (based on World Health Organization standards covering infants aged between two weeks and two years) were introduced in May 2009 following a pilot programme.

Regular monitoring of growth continues to be reviewed as new evidence emerges and concerns regarding obesity increase. Measuring and assessing the growth of young children is a particularly skilled task, and needs to be carried out by appropriately trained practitioners. From birth to two years of age, infants should be weighed without clothes on modern, electronic, self-zeroing scales that have been properly maintained and are placed on a firm, flat surface. Length (up to two years) and height must be measured on suitable equipment designed for the purpose.

Competent physical examinations should be undertaken for all newborn infants and at six to eight weeks, and thereafter whenever there is concern about a child’s health or wellbeing.

New guidelines on the physical examination of babies soon after birth and again at six to eight weeks will shortly be published by the National Screening Committee.

Source: Healthy Child Program

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Advice when traveling with your child from the experts at Annerley

Advice when traveling with your child from the experts at Annerley

Posted on 14 January 2013 by hulda

Annerley’s team of maternity and early childhood experts share their knowledge and experience so you can travel safely and happily with your family. Check out the full article on traveling with your child in the current issue of Playtimes Magazine!

Baby on board! Travelling with your child.

Traveling while pregnant

Hulda Thorey, registered midwife and founder of Annerley, recommends:

  • If possible, travel during the second trimester (14-28 weeks) as this is the time you are likely to feel your best and the risks of miscarriage and premature labour are the lowest. Try to book a plane where you feel the least claustrophobic in. A private plane from Jettly  is a good option.
  • Drink lots of water before and during a flight; and take regular washroom breaks. Try to move around regularly and exercise your legs while you are seated. Also, try keeping your hands and fingers mobile to avoid water retention around your joints.
  • If you are prone to fluid retention, on the morning of the flight, put pressure stockings on before getting out of bed and wear them throughout the  journey.
  • Wear flat, wide shoes that can stretch as your feet will increase in size due to water retention during the flight. these hiking shoes are a good exemplification.
  • Get a “fit to fly” certificate in the 7 days before going on the plane. Midwives or doctors can provide this after a routine checkup.
  • Be sure to wear a bra that fits comfortably, and avoid underwire.

Traveling with babies and toddlers:

Sofie Jacobs, registered midwife, recommends:

Traveling with babies

  • When traveling by plane on your own, you never seem to have enough hands so find out whether your departure and arrival airports offer a meet and greet service that could help you.
  • Use a lightweight sling onboard as this will make it easier for your baby to sleep, rest and feed, and you won’t have to worry about dozing off and your baby falling on the floor.
  • Make sure you are well hydrated in the days before, during and after traveling as dehydration and jetlag can decrease your milk supply. Take bags of ‘Mother’s Milk’ tea with you and drink it while you are traveling. If your milk supply is on the low side, you can take Fenugreek, a dietary supplement that increases your milk supply.
  • Babies cannot regulate the increase in pressure in their ears during take off and landing so at these times, make sure your baby suckles by either breastfeeding, or sucking on your finger or pacifier. For older children, Sarah Walker, registered nurse at Annerley, recommends giving your children organice lollies or tubes of yogurt during take off and landing to help clear the ears and prevent painful buildup of pressure.
  • If your baby follows a fairly strict feeding schedule and you are traveling to a different time zone for more than a few days, it is worth to adjusting towards the new time zone a few days to a week before you travel by gradually moving the feeding times backward (traveling West) or forward (traveling East). Do the same when you arrive back home.
  • When you arrive at your destination, expose your child (and yourself!) to daylight and spend as much time as possible outdoors while you are awake
  • Travel and jetlag affects all of us to one degree or another. Be patient and understanding, and remember that travel means a temporary rather than permanent setback when it comes to feeding and sleeping routines. 

What to eat while traveling

Sarah Walker, registered nurse and certified CPR and first aid trainer, recommends:

  • To help pass the time, pack individual snack packs on long haul flights so that every hour or two the child receives a new paper bag with a small activity and a healthy snack.  It is easy to find individually packed dried fruits, biscuits, crackers, and yogurts at most children’s stores.
  • Remember: never introduce new foods to infants during flights as any allergic reaction would be difficult to deal with and potentially dangerous.

Keeping your baby calm

Donna Watts, infant massage instructor, recommends:

Massage can be used to relax and make a child feel secure and less anxious when traveling. Small gentle strokes can calm a baby or toddler and help settle a baby who is dealing with a different time zone.

Read the full article in the current issue of Playtimes Magazine!


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