Interesting Sleep Facts

The 18th March was World Sleep Day. I think sleep is the one thing parents struggle with universally, even if you have a good sleeper there are periods where they just don’t sleep due to teething or because they are sick! Only another parent knows what it feels like to be exhausted literally to your bones.Interesting Sleep Facts|SA Mom Blogs

In honour of World Sleep Day I found these interesting facts about sleep in relation to kids.

  • During the first two years of a baby’s life, new parents will miss six months of sleep on average.
  • Over two million children suffer from sleep disorders.
  • Children don’t react the same way to sleep deprivation as adults: while adults get sleepy, children become hyperactive. In fact, a lack of sleep can result in ADHD-like symptoms in kids. Children need an average of nine to 10 hours of sleep each night.
  • Fifty percent of women with children agree that sleep is the best way to recharge. This is nine percentage points higher than women without children.
  • The Seattle Children’s Research Institute found that three- to five-year-old children who watched violent shows on TV were more likely to develop sleep problems. Sleep problems early in life increase the chances children will become obese and do poorly in school.
  • Approximately 74% of stay-at-home moms report they have insomnia almost every night.
  • While adults can usually go directly into the state of deep sleep, infants in the early months enter sleep through an initial period of light sleep.
  • Babies have shorter sleep cycles than you do
  • Babies don’t sleep as deeply as you do. 
  • Night waking has survival benefits. Babies only way to communicate is through crying so if their need for food doesn’t wake them how would they let you know? Same when they have a stuffy nose and are struggling to breathe.

Interesting information right? It doesn’t make dealing with sleepless nights easier though 🙂

This post was sponsored by Pampers.  You can follow them on Facebook and YouTube.

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{Guest Post} When Along Comes Baby Number Two

healthy-living-9Today we meet South African mommy blogger Faziela, who shares a range of all her emotions about the impending birth of Baby Number Two.

Every parenting journey has that turning point, that moment where you are managing to hit every parenting mark out there. Our turning point came shortly after Cupcake turned a year and a half, I was hitting my stride at work, managing to cook AND prepare lunches every day, Cupcake was sleeping through the night, getting things done the night before so that ready to grab and go, not forgetting even managing to put lunch in for myself *gasp*who is this woman!?

Then as life would have it, I found out I was expecting baby number 2! Eek!

It has taken me a good while to adjust to the concept of having a second baby, whom we have named Dumpling, especially since we are now in such a routine with Cupcake. That being said, this pregnancy has already been completely different to my first. Where my first was easy sailing, this pregnancy brought with it early bleeding (I was on Utrogestan for 2 months which gave me the most severe migraines), my leg muscles are constantly aching, my skin is going through puberty all over again and I am just always out of energy.

Not that I am complaining; I am more than certain that things could be a lot worse, however, I feel like I am short changing Cupcake because we aren’t able to be as on the go as before. Trips to the park are shortened because I can’t keep up when we are alone and I can’t hold him for as long because he just weighs too much.

Time feels like it is flying past but it also feels so slow; my body that I was just getting comfortable in was back to its full pregnancy glory, big butt and all. Maternity clothing that I had given away had to be replaced, and leggings are my new best friend.

On the flip side of things, Cupcake has developed a much better bond with Superman, the 2 of them are often spending time out in the garden or watching movies (or rugby, sigh) but this has been so amazing to see how independent my little guy was getting.

The change in him has been ever subtle. We keep telling him about the new baby and his imminent arrival. At first I thought it was all for nought until he started coming to my tummy and saying “Baba?” and then he would give my belly a hug and a kiss. Even in his littleness, he already has the traits of being an amazing big little brother.

In all honesty, the very thought of handling two children under the age of 2 has me terrified; Cupcake already keeps us so much on our toes, how am I going to be able to cope with 2 of him!?!

Then right on cue swoops in Superman, my calm in the storm, who has been reassuring me all along that we will get through it one baby step at a time. That whatever situation we get put through, we will get through. Even as I write this post, Dumpling is practising his martial arts skills.

On the other end of the spectrum, I feel as if though I just want to have my body back to myself, for sure I won’t be getting much sleep when Dumpling arrives but at least I will be able to lay on my stomach pretty soon, yeay! And the I’ll be able to run after Cupcake, catch him in my arms and be all silly with him and Superman….and with Dumpling 🙂

So, yeah, I can’t tell you that I am going to nail parenthood once Dumpling is born. I’m going to fall over my feet at times and even cry a little bit when things get too much, but with every little kick, every littledragonmommy flutter in my ever expanding belly, I already know that I love Dumpling so much and I cannot wait for him to meet his brother.

 

This post was written by Faziela, who blogs at Official Dragon Mommy. You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram.

 

 

{Guest Post} Ten Things To Do Before Baby Arrives

 to do list before baby arrivesWhether you are ready or not, your baby is going to come and change up your whole life. Even if this is your third or fourth child, adding a new baby to the mix can be a difficult but amazing time. To make this time a little smoother, there are some things you can do to help prepare yourself and your family for the impending bundle of joy.  

Being prepared is my first tip for most parents. If you can think ahead, preparing yourself for the things that might take place makes most situations easier. From putting extra outfits in your car to carrying crayons for restaurants, being a parent requires staying one step ahead of your, very fast, child.  

Here are my ten things to do before baby arrives, in no specific order.

  1. Take Each Sibling Out for a Date: Not only is your life about to change, but your other children are also about to have their little world rocked. If you have one child, they are about to share your attention with another baby. If you have more than one child, your youngest is about to be bumped up to the older sibling. Taking the time to focus on them before the baby arrives is important for both you and your child.  

2. Date Your Spouse: This is an obvious thing to do, but it can be difficult when you lack in babysitters. No matter how hard it is to find a babysitter, make the effort so you can get some crucial one on one time with your spouse. 

3. Finish the Nursery: Whether you have a designated nursery or not, the last few weeks before arrival is the time to get all of the details done. If you have a special nursery, get all the decorating finished. Put together and set up all of the furniture. Trust me, putting together a crib with a frequently nursing newborn is a real treat.  

4. Freezer Meals: As your due date approaches, it is time to stock your freezer with easy dinners, snacks, and breakfast foods. Having a full freezer makes life a lot easier after having a baby. Also, I always stock my house up with groceries and any necessities beforehand, which gives my husband and I a break from having to worry about heading to the store for little items.  Some of my favorite things to freeze are pancakes, French toast sticks, banana muffins, ham and cheese pockets, lasagna, buffalo chicken macaroni and cheese, rustic chicken stew, and Italian chicken. I plan most of my freezer dinners as slow cooker meals. I put all of the frozen ingredients into the slow cooker and come back in a few hours to a lovely meal. It doesn’t get simpler than that!

 5. Schedule Newborn Photos: Make sure your photographer knows your due date and has a tentative date onto the schedule. Of course, babies don’t always arrive at the time we hope and plan, but you want to make sure your photographer isn’t booked so far in advance. Newborn photos are precious, and a great reminder of your newborn was when they are older.  

6. Have a Girls’ Day: Taking care of yourself frequently takes the backburner as a mother. However, this is an excellent time to take a few hours with your close friends to focus on you. See a new movie, get a pedicure, have a fancy dinner out, or just plan a girls’ night at your home.     Whatever you decide to do, focusing on yourself helps you feel relaxed before birth. I would also recommend getting your haircut now because you never know the next time you will be able to escape to get one.  

7. Take a Road Trip or a Babymoon: If you can swing it, taking a road trip or a babymoon with your husband is so worth the time and money. Most babies don’t enjoy the car, so it may be the last time you can enjoy a winding, country road. 

         Stay in bed and breakfast, while sleeping in late. I cannot recommend enough indulging in time to yourself and with your spouse before your baby arrives. Marriages frequently take the backseat when children come; connect now and stay that way throughout your marriage.

8. Pack your Hospital Bag: Most mothers pack and repack their hospital bag a dozen times before it is go time. However, unless you live in a remote village, your husband or family member can fetch any item you forget so don’t fret too much. Here are some of the things I love to bring with me when I have my babies:

  • Dry shampoo
  • Phone charger
  • Breastfeeding pillow
  • Extra snacks (I am always famished the days after birth. Instead of bothering those poor nurses all day, I pack a lot of snacks.)
  • Comfortable, thick socks
  • Nipple cream
  • 3 or 4 sleepers for baby
  • One cute, coming home outfit
  • Change for the snack and drink machine (for the reason listed above) 

9. Install the Car Seat: Unless you want to live in the hospital forever, you need to have an installed car seat in your vehicle. They are required by law to verify a secure car seat is in place before you are allowed to take the baby home, which is typically just a quick check. However, you want to make sure it is installed correctly. When installing the car seat, you may need help from your spouse because the baby bump can make it difficult.  

10. Read: If there is one thing I miss in the early days of motherhood, it is the unlimited amount of time to read. So, take the time to read everything – newspapers, magazines, a novel, parenting books, or whatever you enjoy. Having a young baby in the house means you will either be too busy to read or too exhausted to keep your eyes open when you do have a few moments.

These are just a few of the awesome things you can do before your baby arrives. You will want to get all of the clothes and sheets washed, the house cleaned up, and your birth plan prepared. However, make sure to spend the last few weeks enjoying this precious time before your baby arrives. Your life is going to change forever, in a beautiful and extraordinary way.

 

***

This post was written by Natalie Michele, who  is a general physician and pregnancy consultant who aims to inform and assist current or expecting mothers to a smooth transition to maternity. You may find her on her blog or on Twitter.

 

 

Win these cute shoes and rattle from Myang!

myang giveawayAre you looking for some really cute baby or toddler items for the little one in your life? Then look no further than Myang, who have some really gorgeous shoes, accessories, baby linen and toys as well as gift sets for the discerning shopper who is looking for a thoughful gift for a shower or birthday.

There are lots of lovely goodies on the site, but for today we are giving away shoes (worth R270) and a rattle (worth R95).

The products are lovingly created by an all woman team, many of whom come from disadvantaged communities, where the company hopes to make a real difference.

They also offer free delivery all over SA if your order is over R250. Their products range in size from 0-3 months to 18-24 months.

Would you like to win this prize? All you have to do is visit their Facebook page (one entry) and  then for an additional five entries,  subscribe to their newsletter.  In order for us to track you, please make use of the Rafflecopter mechanism below.

Terms and conditions:

  1. Competition is open to SA residents only.
  2. The competition will run for a week and the winner will be announced on Facebook and emailed.
  3. If you have won a giveaway on SA Mom Blogs in the last 3 months you will not be eligible for this giveaway. 

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Guest Post: Nesting 101 For Expectant Mommy Birds

Tips for New MomsSo, you’ve just found out you’re preggies and the world seems to have changed. Suddenly, you are a “Mummy bird” – you know, the ones you see on nature shows, the ones that feed their screaming chicks by vomiting in their mouths, or something like that. You feel different and so does everything around you.  Feelings of pure joy, anxiety and awe all mix together into a bundle that sits squarely in your tummy, just above the uterus, just above this human being made of you. There are two options here:

  1. You were not planning for or vaguely expecting a baby at this stage in your life in which case you cry both tears of warm unexplained fuzziness and tears of sheer horror, sit in a quite spot in the doctor’s office and while swaying back and forth soothe yourself with a sweet lullaby your own mother sang to you as a child. Ok, maybe not so girl interrupted. But the point is that an unexpected pregnancy is very different to one that has been on the vision board for a while.

OR

  1. You were planning and longed for a pregnancy in which case you tell everyone. And I mean everyone. Your family (extended family included), hubby’s family, colleagues, neighbours, long lost friends, other patients at the doctor’s office, the security guards at your housing complex, and the man who trims the garden hedges once a week. You have tonnes of friends with babies and have always offered to baby-sit. You are just so giddy with joy you actually emulate the rising sun!

Either way, nesting is an important part of any pregnancy and includes anything that relates to the baby. The urge to get the baby room ready, read all the books about raising a genius, and eat only the healthiest meals for your little precious one to enjoy.

It can seem overwhelming, especially as the word “pregnancy” is nothing but a red flag to anyone and everyone. Suddenly, the lists of advice come rolling in. Who is the best paed (better than every other), how the type of birth you choose can drastically impact your and baby’s health, why you should have baby in another room as opposed to your room, what you should be doing when, how and why…etc etc etc

Now plug your ears to the background noise and read the following carefully:

First rule to nesting: YOUR BABY = YOUR RULES, YOUR NEEDS, YOUR CHOICES

Don’t be phased by the tonnes of weird looks you get when you explain what your ideas are, or the strict parenting rules people have. You are the mother of this child, and you are the best person…listen to me, the BEST person to choose its pre- and post-birth journey.

Now take a deep breath and let’s go through my recommendations for nesting:

Never underestimate the power of the moolla

First off, nesting cannot be enjoyed if the finances are not in order. Do yourself a favour and save a little each month so you have a bit of a buffer post-birth. You never know if and when you need extra cash. God forbid baby is unwell (worst case scenario) or hubby’s aging grandmother who lives in Iceland wants to visit to see the baby but can’t afford the airfare. If not needed immediately, you will have a sweet little sum that you can invest on behalf of baby boo.

Always check on the procedures and extent of your medical aid

Medical aid, with their fine print and terms upon condition upon terms. We need them, but we are rarely fully satisfied. Yet again, get your ducks in a row sooner rather than later. Find out from your medical aid what your option covers, and what authorisation procedures need to be followed pre- and post-birth. For example, some medical aids have rules about authorising a form of birth within a certain time period of the pregnancy. Authorisation means you will get covered when the time comes!

An antenatal class can be invaluable for new Mummy birds

First time Mummy birds, may know the theory (at best) behind having one’s own little chicklet but the reality can be different to what’s expected. Before you borrow books from all your fellow bird friends, take a moment to consider what you really need. Yes, determining the kind of parent you wish to be is important but the first step is to understand HOW to take care of this tiny creature. Practicality is key in the nesting period and an antenatal class can be very helpful with that. Learning the basic mechanics around baby care while in the company of other mums-to-be is very helpful for one’s self-confidence. It is also a great opportunity to introduce the Daddy to the realities of a new born baby and the role he should and must play. I mean hey you didn’t make baby boo by yourself!

Don’t overspend – trust me

The temptation to go wild on purchasing baby stuff is strong. Think of a hungry zombie let loose in a crowded mall. We have all been there. The baby room decor, the personalised baby room wall decals, the cutesy clothes from Woollies or worse still a baby clothing designer, the classic yet modern changing table, state of the art pram and car seat. The baby magazines don’t help either. Everything is just so damn adorable. This coupled with the need to give your child only the best (fuelled by marketers the world over) has us drooling and obsessing over every detail.

Now, the key to conquering new mummy syndrome is to recognise that you’re crazy (in love) about your baby and not the stuff on offer…step away from the store window. Do it! Now, don’t look back. Slowly, slowly slowly.

Ah (sigh) you made it. Well done! You are on the road to recovery.

Overspending may seem fun, but it actually creates a more fussy environment for little baby than you think. Here is a list of things that parents the world over generally need:

Health & Safety

  • Digital thermometer
  • Nasal aspirator/saline drops
  • Babynail clippers
  • Babybrush/comb
  • Medicine measuring equipment – a soft tipped syringe is recommended
  • Good quality car seat that meets South African safety standards (should include: 3 point harness, head support, cushioned inside, easy to carry, easy to lock and unlock into the car seat base and pram)


Feeding

A few pacifiers (NUK has the best shaped pacifiers for baby’s mouth)

  1. A) Breastfeeding
  • A breast pump that suits you best.
  • Ointment to protect your nipples against cracking (I can personally recommend Lansinoh nipple cream)
  1. B) Bottle feeding
  • Steriliser (A microwave steam steriliser is very easy to use)
  • Bottles (Here again I would recommend NUK)
  • Teats (note the different hole sizes NUK no.1 is under 6 months of age and no.2 is for 6-12 months of age)
  • Bottle brushes

Breast-feeding tonic (for mom to take while breast-feeding):
1 litre diluted juice
2 litres water
60ml Schlehen Elixir (available at any pharmacy)
1 effervescent vitamin C tablet

Mix the above together and keep in fridge. Take one glass before each feed.

Medicine

  • Non-alcoholic Gripe water (I recommend Telament gripe water for wind)
  • Telament drops (Also used for wind)
  • Calpol (used for pain or fever)
  • Surgical spirit (used to clean the umbilical cord)


Bath products

  • Aqueous cream (used as body wash when applied before baby’s bath)
  • Baby shampoo
  • Diaper cream (I recommend Bennets bum cream)
  • Babybath
  • Cotton wool pads or balls

Nappies

  • Four packets ‘new born’
  • Four packets ‘size 2′
  • Bin and scented plastic bags
  • 6 packets of non-perfumed wet wipes

Clothes

  • 6 front-fastening, cotton short-sleeved babygros (for summer babies)
  • 6 front-fastening cotton long-sleeved babygros (for winter babies)
  • 4 cotton vests (the ones that fasten between the legs are the best)
  • 3-4 pairs of new born socks or booties
  • Two cotton beanies
  • 2 cotton sweaters or jerseys (cardigan style are best for new-borns)
  • 4-6 bibs (towelling ones)

Nursery

  • 4-6 receiving blankets
  • 2-3 baby blankets
  • Cot / camping cot (ideally one that has a detachable new born crib, a detachable changing area for new born baby, and an adjustable cot for growing baby)
  • Pram
  • Mattress for cot
  • 2-3 sheets
  • Night-light
  • A nappy bag (you or your husband will be carrying this, so go with what suits you)
  • Changing pad for changing nappies (that is if your cot does not have a changing area already installed)

 

Other

Car window shade

Pram (one that is light enough to use with ease, but maintains the safety standards you need for a growing baby)

 

Let’s consider the list shall we?

What can you put on the baby shower list, and what can you buy? I would strongly recommend you buy the cot, car seat, pram, grooming kit, medicine kit, and feeding kit (including breast pump and bottles).  The rest is free game for all your baby shower buds. The more you can save on items like towels, nappies and clothes the better your nesting period will be. You will not have the stress of getting everything, but will have the comfort of knowing that the essential stuff has been taken care of.

Don’t forget about Mummy bird

So you’re all guns blazing in the prep phase of your pregnancy but when was the last time you gave yourself a treat? Ate your best comfort food, or booked yourself in for a pedi or mani, or gave yourself a PJ day where you lay in bed reading your favourite book. Don’t fool yourself. Little chicklet will only be as happy as Mummy bird is. So the less anxious, stressed or just plain manic you are the more chilled your baba is. Take the time to spoil yourself and indulge in celebrating you. It may seem like an extravagance when there is so much to do and so little time but trust me you will not get that time back once baby boo is born.

kamanthaThis post was written by Kamantha Muller, who blogs at Off Your Rocker Bye Baby. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter. Would you like to write a guest post on SA Mom Blogs? Read the guidelines here