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Birth to five blog

Parents of babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers discuss the health and development of their children, from teething to weaning to schooling.
  • Poxy Easter!

    by alexis green on 26 April 2011

    What a fun way to spend Easter! Sophie is covered in chicken pox, I have my suspicions over where and who she contracted it from Hmm

    After managing to keep the girls entertained everyday over the easter hols we were planning a weekend away, both as a reward for them being good and a treat for us, so left on Good Friday to visit Chatsworth house, had a great time, helped by the rubber duck hunt in the house to keep them both entertained then travelled further north to Manchester and stayed overnight. Saturday morning I noticed a huge blister on Sophie's chest but wasn't sure as that was the only one whether it was pox or her new dress had been rubbing. We spent the day shopping and body watching as gradually more and more spots appeared, so we called it a day and started on the long journey home.

    Its now day 4 and since yesterday no more spots have appeared, the first are just about beginning to develop the crust though not all of them are fluid filled, not sure if thats the norm? Not an expert on chicken pox, last time I encountered it I was 7 years old and they were on me. She is being very good by not scratching but she says they aren't itchy. She has lots on her back and I mean a LOT and plenty on her face, she is a cab picker so hope she leaves thm alone so her pretty fac doesn't scar. I couldn't find calamine in the chemist so instead am using this really good product called virasoothe, its a clear gel, reminds me a bit of aloe vera aftersn actually and we keep it in the fridge so its extra soothing when applied. Tbh, have no idea how long pox lasts so need to read up, hope my assumption of once the last spot has scabbedd over its no longer contagious it correct, although as not all are blisters but just spots not sure how thats going to work out. Apart from being rather sleepy, pox doesn't seem to be overly affecting her.

    So far Chloe is pox free, although she does have a little red mark on her tummy that may be the beginnings of a spot or just a mark, its inevitable she will get it! Already they are both victims of cabin fever and the weather has turned cold so they've not wanted to play outside. Helping with the housework was todays fun game.

    I'm still all in a tizzy over school and nursery, think Chloe may be sorted, now the schools are open, I've been able to speak to the lady who runs nursery and arrange for Chloe to start in September possibly until 3pm but that needs to be confirmed. I'm still angry over Sophie's school allocation but no longer bursting into tears each time I think about it, and feel more angry each time I think about it.

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  • We Won!

    by Zelkina on 16 April 2011

    Hello all! It's been a very, very long time since i spoke to you all last, so here's all the latest news!

    Mike has had the all clear from the Menningitis! The doctors feel he has managed to get away with it completely unscathed, as he is developing exactly as a normal baby should do! I cannot say how releived I am about that. He's had a hearing test and an eye test as well (the eye test was at my request as I wear glasses, and both my parents also need them, though my mum wont wear them.) and both tests have come back absolutely fine. I'm thrilled. They want to see him just after his 1st birthday as a final check, but are really happy with him.

    What's he up to? At the moment, he's rolling from his back to his front and trying to crawl...he's not quite there yet. Grabbing everything he can, including partners beard and my specs. Chewing everything he can, his teething rings are not enough it would seem. Just trying him on solids now, so far so good with the baby rice! No spitting it all back in mummys face, just trying to grab the spoon so he can feed himself....i feel he may be a very, very messy eater! He's on 9 oz bottles atm with a baby rice feed with his evening one. Laughing at almost everything partner and i do, he seems to find it funny if i say to him "daddy's smelly, isnt he?" in jest. He's learning to wave, i think. I say to him "Hiya" and wave my hand a little and his hand moves as if he's copying. made my mum's day when she saw him do that!. And chattering! Oh the chattering! some days its fairly quiet...others he burbles raspberrys gurgles like theres no tomorrow!

    As for us as a family, we're now in the two bedroom flat we were moving in to....and we've had nothing but problems. One thing after another went wrong. The electrics, hot water, plug sockets, door wouldnt open, and the oven died....oh and the sewage pipe for upstairs broke, leaking all over our decking outside the back door whenever the toilet got used. Charming. All I could think was thank god mike cant crawl yet, he'd have been out on that decking on a nice day and next thing i know covered in poop.

    So it's not surprising we are determined to get out as soon as we can! And that may be sooner than later. I've been looking for a home we could have for long term, either renting or buying i dont care, just somewhere I know we'll be secure for the next 20 years while Mike grows up, and it seems that such a place has just come up! It's an old vicarage, with 5 double bedrooms! And the price is £795 a month.....which is the same as a 3/4 bed house in my area! Needless to say, we are most definately going to try for it. It may take a loan, or something like that while we live there, but for a long term investment, which is what I'm looking at it as, the loan would be paid up well and truly by the time mike's a teen. which makes me happy, as he'll have a secure place to grow up in. it's got a MASSIVE garden too, a park just over the road, a library less than five minutes up the road, its close to our doctors, bus stops, the works. We can only assume the reason that it's so cheap is a) its next to the church, as it is the old vicarage, and 2, it has no double glazing. But it does have gas central heating throughout. We've got a few things to sort first, but it looks like it's going to be the place Mike grows up!

    Love

    Zel and Mike xx

  • School's out

    by alexis green on 13 April 2011

    We found out which school Sophie has been offered a place at on Monday. Since then its been causing some huge issues. I had a few sleepless nights in the run up but since then I've spent each night tossing and turning, huffing, pillow thumping, crying out of sheer frustration.

    Not sure if I had mentioned this before but Chloe didn't get a place at Sophie's current nursery and I had managed to get her into one for two days 9-2 but wasn't too impressed with the nursery. Plan was if Sophie got into our first choice I had time to drop Sophie off in the morning then take Chloe to nursery, fetch Chloe at hometime then collect Sophie. Second choice put Sophie on the coach and take Chloe to nursery, collect her in the afternoon and be back in plenty of time to wait for the coach. I had ruled third choice out as being too far away to ever get a place at and was only put down in desperation so Soph wouldn't end up being stuck at the dreadful local school.

    What happened? She got our third choice! Thus we have a huge logistical problem, I don't drive, recently gave up driving lessons as a waste of time as after 6 months was no better than at my very first lesson. School starts at 8.50 and the bus delivers us outside at 8.20 so in bad weather we have 30 minutes of hanging around getting frozen, wet and miserable. The nursery Chloe is going to is attached to the school, bit of luck you think? No its not actually, school finishes at 2.50 so we have 50 minutes at the end of the day hanging around in the middle of nowhere, ok in summer but not for the rest of the year. But my main bugbear is its an infant school, there are only two decent junior schools, one is attached to my first choice of school so there is little hope of Sophie getting a place there the second is in a different town and once Chloe starts infant school we have an even bigger problem, how on earth am I meant to be in two places, miles apart at the same time to deliver them to school?

    So, we have relucatantly decided on the 'Two Year Plan', I'm manically trying to find Chloe a place at a different nursery but really struggling with start and finish times, I may have found one that runs 1-4 but am awaiting confirmation on this as its not open yet. We have a year to finish decorating our house, get a new boiler installed, fit a kitchen, decorate our bedroom, rebuild our falling down front porch and make the back jungle look like a garden, put it up for sale and buy a house in between infant school and junior school to ensure Sophie gets into our chosen junior school and let me be able to take them both to different schools. Something that makes me sad as this is my family home, my grandparents built it, my father spent his childhood here. Whatever happened to primary schools?

    I don't mind admitting I'm angry, upset and yes, rather bitter and jealous as so far don't know of a single person who hasnt got their child into the school I want my children to go to. Its not fair. Heaven knows how when summer term finishes I am going explain to Sophie she is probably never going to see any of her little nursery friends ever again, she is so sociable and out going I really hope this won't spoil it for her.

    Thankfully the allocated school is fantastic, everyone praises it and the ofsted inspections have all given it the craved for grade 1 outstanding status. Just hope everything comes together in the end, I suppose the one good thing about a potential move from the centre of town to the outskirts is house prices are a lot cheaper so we will have more money to spend on the girls instead of it getting eaten up on the mortgage!

    Why is nothing ever simple?

     

     

  • I’ve had to get a new car. Well, not a new car, I’m not made of money, but a different car. My new wheels don’t seem to match any of the usual parental requirements; It only has two doors. It has a boot big enough to fit about three bags of shopping (if you really squish them in). It’s so small that we call it the ‘Shoebox’. It doesn’t even match much of my personal requirements; It’s a manual (poor left arm and leg are still struggling to figure out what is going on. ‘We though we were just here to play with the radio dial and dance??’) It’s not particularly fun to drive and it’s really not stylish (see ‘Shoebox’) The only reason I have it is because of the previous car, the one we liked to call the ‘FuelBeast’ It cost about a million pounds to run, it was not economical in any way (probably could have run a private jet for the same money) and sometimes you just have to do the grown up thing, give in and take up driving something………..(shudder) sensible!

    But now, see, the problem is that the Shoebox is so small that there is a gap of about a millimetre between both kiddie seats in the back. Now, I don’t know about anyone else but, put two children of speaking ability in the back of a car and it’s an automobile nightmare. I finally realise why my parents were forever hushing us throughout journeys. Tabitha is fond of the ‘Are we there yet, are we nearly there yet?’ form of attack. Nathan prefers the ‘Where are we going, why are we going there, can we go somewhere else, I don’t want to go there?’ method. They like to use these simultaneously, then they like to hush each other (also simultaneously), then they like to shout over each other and now that they are separated by such minute space, they like to start hitting each other. So they get yelled at. So we move onto Tabitha singing every single thing she has ever heard EVER, whilst, and this is the most fun part, playing out the part of the teacher. This means that every song she sings is interrupted by ‘Sit down and be quiet!’ ‘Big voices everybody!’ ‘Are you listening Sophia?!’ And then Nathan will sing too, cunningly a completely different song, or the right song but with different words. So Tabitha will shout at him to shut up. So he’ll sing louder. And the hitting will start again. Then they get yelled at. I’m sure you’re starting to get the picture….

    The answer? Well, to put one of them in the front….obviously! Oh hello great big can of worms, is it time to open you already? Who went in the front last time? Whose turn is it this time? I promise you can go in the front next time, but what if I’m only doing a one way school run and they’re off to Daddy’s for a bit? How am I supposed to remember whose turn then? And what if there’s another grown up in the car and they go in the front, are they taking someone’s turn? Add to this the extra condition that Tabitha won’t sit in Nathan’s seat so I have to swap car seats as well as children. Nathan in the front guarantees a fun-filled journey full of ‘What’s that lever for?’ ‘Can I do the gears?’ ‘What’s that lever for?’ ‘Can I wash the windows?’ ‘What’s that lever for?’ Riding alongside Tabitha means constant requests to ‘Turn the music up’ ‘Sing with me Mummy’ ‘Look at my face Mummy, am I making a funny face?’

    I need a bus. Or, better still, one of them black London cabs. They can sit in the back and beat the living daylights out of each other……but I can just shut my little partition and block it all out!

  •  I can now proudly announce my little two and a few month year old is fully potty trained!

    A few weeks after her second birthday I decided to stick Chloe in pants and see what happened - she went all day without an accident so at night we left off her nappy prepared for a bedding change in the early hours of the morning but she woke up at 7.30 in the morning ran into the bathroom perched on her potty and did her business. Marvellous!

    We have had a few accidents, mainly attention seeking, I've had flu and 5 weeks on still have a hacking cough but thats another story, during the worst of it when I was feverish and delirious obviously she wan't getting her normal amount of mummy attention so decided for two nights running to wet the bed knowing I always come to comfort her if she wakes in the night, having daddy clean her up and not mummy soon put a stop to this. The other day she got a little confused while out shopping, I had taken her into a shop explaining I wanted to have a look at games for the wii and was chatting about wii games next thing I knew she was shouting 'uhoh wee', and there she was with soggy trousers and a puddle around her feet. Mortified we made a quick exit as I decided trying to explain about pea sized bladders and confusion to a pair of teenage boys working behind the counter just wasnt worth the effort. I've now purchased a 'portapotty' which she uses several times a day on our trips out.

    For Sophie, well, being 4 seems to be the way forwards, I'm not sure what has happened but overnight she has turned from terror into little angel. She has decided that four is 'big' so maybe that why? 

  • Nearly nine months!

    by blueeric2002 on 08 March 2011

    Hello everyone,

    It is has been too long since I blogged, finding the time is now very tricky as Izzy is very demanding.  When I am not dealing with her I am trying to do my degree so my blog unfortunately keeps being put on the backburner.

    So, how have things been going?

    Well actually not too bad all told.  I am managing to keep up with my studying whilst raising a highly curious and self determined young lady.

    I am still breastfeeding but plan to give up around about her first birthday, she now has two teeth which has been very trying, I have been bitten once already.  My little boy was not so bad but Izzy has needed much more support from Calpol and the magic Teetha powders.

    She is also not too good a sleeper at the moment, I think this again is the breastfeeding, Thomas was sleeping through by now but she wakes at least twice wanting a feed, I think I will have to go cold turkey with her which I am not looking forward to very much.  On the plus side I do have more time to myself in the evening with a bedtime established although we did have to do controlled crying in the end as the softly softly approach just was not working.

    Izzy has also been a bit difficult on the weaning front, Thomas loved my home made baby food but she will only eat the shop brought stuff, this did upset me initially but the health visitor reassured me by saying that she will eventually move off this and it has to be of a certain standard and quality to be sold in the shops.  This has helped me not feel quite so guilty.  During all this we have a beautiful healthy determined young lady that is thriving and growing up just a little too quickly for my liking!

    The only major issue I really have now is starting to part with all the baby things, I am a terrible sentamentalist so will find this very difficult but the cash injection will be very welcome on the plus side.

    I hope you and all your families are doing as well.

     

    Take care xxx

  • Sparkly gnashers

    by BadDad on 11 February 2011

    Is anyone else struggling with teeth cleaning? Its the one thing that I find difficult to get DD to co-operate wit. She's either uninterested and evasive or downright obstructive.

    I've seen the NHS Choices advice on kids' teeth, but I wonder if anyone has any tips on polishing her pearly whites (preferrably not involving a head-lock)?

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  • Managing reflux in new baby

    by JCR21 on 27 January 2011

    Since I last posted there's been a big change in my household with the arrival of a little girl, Alice, to join my boisterous boys Charlie and Theo. Born in the middle of the snow in early December, she's our little angel. Birth was fine (c-section), but in her first few days it was clear all was not well. Though she fed well (she's bottle fed - not getting into that debate!), afterwards she'd be uncomfortable, crying, arching her back and couldn't settle at all. She'd get hiccups very easily as well, which would cause another bout of crying.

    Had she been our first child, I've no doubt we would have been at our wits end really quickly and wondering what on earth was wrong and what could we do, but with a little experience behind us we were able at least to try to reason our way to an answer. Holding her after a feed, we could feel she was bringing up the milk and swallowing it back down again. Each time it happened, she was clearly in pain. She wouldn't be sick, so it wasn't obvious, but it seemed to us this was most likely the cause of her discomfort. It's known as reflux, and in this case silent reflux. Personally, I think of it as a sick burp which is unpleasant enough as an adult. It happens because the valve between the oesophagus and stomach is under-developed in babies.

    First thing we tried was 'comfort' formula, which is thicker and has less lactose. Just one big problem with this, you can't get it to come out of the teat. And there are no teats (that we could find to fit our Avent bottles anyway) suitable for under 3 months. Variable flow is too fast & with ordinary ones the holes are too small. We changed formula (SMA seemed to be a problem, so moved to Aptimel & then Cow&Gate - which is actually identical to Aptimel), but no real change. So, next stop was the GP. She seemed to take our word for it that it was silent reflux and was happy to prescribe (at our suggestion) Gaviscon for infants. This comes in little sachets which you add to the milk and effectively thickens the milk in the stomach stopping it coming back up. This seemed to work to begin with, but thicker milk in stomach led to thicker poos and bad trapped wind. So the arched back turned into crunching up in pain and no improvement for her.

    The main alternative to Gaviscon is ranitidine (a.k.a Zantac) which works differently. It reduces the acid being produced in the stomach so the reflux isn't as painful. It doesn't stop it, but makes it more comfortable. Most babies get some of reflux/posseting etc... but it doesn't bother them. Again, the GP seemed happy enough to prescribe it. It comes in liquid form & needs to be delivered by syringe into her mouth before every other feed. From the look on Alice's face, it clearly tastes pretty yukky. She's been having it now for 3-4 weeks and she's much improved. Poo went back to normal & the trapped wind almost vanished. She's sleeping more & much more contented. Before, she was either asleep, feeding or crying. Now she can sit in her chair, lie on her mat and generally do normal baby stuff. We have to be careful to keep her upright and settle for 20 mins or so after a feed to let it settle, but that's the only other accommodation really.

    So that's our story. I'd be interested to hear how other parents have coped with similar situations. I've got a couple of friends with newborns who've had similar problems and had different outcomes with things they've tried. One swears by Colief. Another thinks it's done nothing. Gaviscon worked for a colleague's baby. Another has just given up all medication and her baby seems completely fine. Clearly there's no one solution that suits all and many different options.

     

  • Goodness me it’s been a long time since I blogged! I do apologise, I’ve been awfully busy. Sadly me and the husband have gone our separate ways so it’s been a chaos of moving into my new home and setting up a new way of living for me and the small ones. Since my new house is very tiny (but being lent to me by my very kind brother who is busy living it up in Australia), the children are now having to share a bedroom whilst at Mummy’s house, which has been its own trial. Nathan, you see, is used to getting into bed and (usually) staying there and going to sleep. Tabitha, on the other hand, is used to popping out of bed the moment the door is closed, for a spot of reading, singing and playing with her teddies. And I was just in the habit of letting her, since after a short period of time, she would get back into bed, tuck herself up and go off to sleep, thereby causing no problems at all. So now some nights are fine and peace reigns the moment the door is closed, and other nights I barely make it to the bottom of the stairs before Nathan is on the landing complaining that he can’t sleep ‘Cos Tabitha won’t shut up and she’s keeping me awake!’ Oh the fun….

    And it’s the daftest little things that are providing the stumbling blocks. Daddy’s TV is mounted on the wall over the fireplace, while Mummy’s is just at normal TV cabinet height. ‘Tabitha’s in the way!’ ‘I can’t see the telly!’ And Mummy also does not have the marvel that is Sky+. Suddenly Peppa Pig cannot be brought up on demand! Programmes cannot be paused whilst meals are eaten! Mutiny, I sense, is not far away.

    You worry, or at least I certainly did, that the upheaval of splitting your family into two will damage your children. Nathan had a few wobbles, it must be said, but on the whole he’s grasped fairly quickly what is going on. He knows other children whose Mummy and Daddy don’t live together, and who spend time living in two different houses, so on the whole he seems to have come through relatively un-scathed. Tabitha simply lives in her own Tabitha-Bubble and the real world seems to have no effect on her at all. I’m hoping this is the case anyway, though my ears are always pricked for any sign that they are upset.

    So, what else? Well, Nathan came home from school with a pocketful of pennies the other day and swore that his teacher gave him them. Careful questioning and the suggestion that I may in fact ask his teacher why she had given them revealed the truth…..the pennies were pinched from one of the classroom play areas (the shop, I suspect!) Cue much crying and wailing as I pointed out to Nathan that he would have to put them back. ‘But my teacher’ll be cross with me!’ Well, you little Tea-Leaf, sneak them back into the play area the way you obviously sneaked them out and no more will be said on the matter. Fail in your mission, and Mummy will have to have a word with Miss! The pennies went back the following Monday. Lets be honest, who amongst us did not take something home in our pockets that had caught our eye at school? Hell, as a child sometimes me and my brother would ‘accidently’ take home toys from our friends house, if we thought that they would be of more benefit to us! We grew out of it though, I swear…

    Tabitha was also taught a lesson in manners this week, when she refused point blank to say Thank You to Mummy for a piece of cake and subsequently had to watch another, better mannered, child eat it instead. Being only three, and clearly too cross to be articulate, her response was to blow the biggest, spittiest raspberry ever in said child’s direction and then collapse, head down, in a heap on the table in fits of devastation. I know it was wrong, but I laughed til I cried! Sometimes she can be such a spoilt little bratty, but her face is just so funny and expressive, she gets me every time!

    So, onwards we go, in our new lives and I’ll try and be better about keeping you posted.

  • Growing up!

    by blueeric2002 on 13 January 2011

    Hello again everyone,

     

    I hope you are all happy and healthy.

    We have had a quiet christmas which we enjoyed, we also have enough food still in the cupboards to keep us snacking til easter!

    Things are still going well with our newly enlarged family, although I say newly, I must get used to the fact that Izzy is now 6 months old and we have started weaning.  This is not going quite so well as I remember it going with my first child.  Perhaps this is to do with the fact that Izzy loves the breast, she will not take a bottle at all and is now not too keen on taking the food.  I keep trying a few spoonfuls at each mealtime, I presume at some point she will just suddenly decide that she actually likes it after all.  Perserverence as with all things concerning children is very much the watchword.

    Izzy is also teething, she is really suffering with it, we give her things to chew on, cold things to chew on and try distraction but inevitably end up having to give her pain relief :-(  I don't like to give her lots of calpol but also can't see her suffering so she is having to have a dose each day but we limit it where possible to one in the evening when it seems to be at its worst.

    The other problem we have is that she will not sleep on her own despite us trying, the only option here is to go down the controlled crying route, we did this with our little boy and it worked really well.  However this time I feel reluctant, the reason for this is that we are trying to get Izzy to do alot of new things all at once and I am sure that trying to do it all at once will make things worse and not better.

    Therefore we have decided that we will try to get her eating food first, this will hopefully help with the teething thing and ultimately lead to a more settled baby who will be more willing to sleep at night on her own in her own cot.

    Any advice on teething, bed settling and weaning would be gratefully recieved :-D

  • Does it get better?

    by alexis green on 12 January 2011

    Some of you may remember Chloe having a lot of trouble when she was a baby with a constant upset tummy and other problems that was rather vaguely diagnosed as being a dairy allergy. We were advised most children have grown out of this by the age of two (she is two tomorrow). Since she began weaning she has been on a varied but rather restricted diet, until the age of one she was having prescription formula and avoiding all dairy in her food. Since she turned one, she obviously stopped the formula but where Sophie would have a cup of milk with her cereal and one before bed, Chloe has a minimal amount of lactose-free milk in her cereal, minimal amount in her food as if I cook something that required milk will substitute normal milk for her stuff, the odd small yoghurt and thats her lot. It aggravates her tummy a little as her stools are never solid always more on the mild diarrhoea side, but the only other thing I can source in my area is soya milk which I was told by the peaditrician and health visitor is a GM foodstuff containing puberty activating hormones, not sure whether I believe them or not but have decided not to chance it being true. I top up her calcium intake with food such as peas and beans although that makes for one windy toddler!

    I was advised to periodically try her with dairy products, as I should miraculously discover one day she can tolerate it, probably at around the age she is now. I haven't done it very often as can't bear to see my babies ill, so maybe once every few months she would have a little cheese or normal milk and for the next two days she would be grumpy and have rather obnoxious nappies. It was about that time again last week so she had a little cheese in the morning, about the size of an AA battery. Very quickly she got very grumpy, she stopped chattering and playing, and was instead quiet, whinging, and requesting 'duddles', she didn't eat all day which is very unusual as my little pudding loves her food. At night she wouldn't settle, took ages to get off to sleep and kept crying, I got into bed with her to try and calm her instead was greeted with slimy yellow cheese smelling projectile vomit. This happened roughly every fifteen minutes for just over three hours. She had a brief break of 2 hours where she fell asleep, I had taken her downstairs by now, mainly because I find her bed too hard for me than for any other reason! Then one last huge fountain of vomit and more sleep that lasted until about 2pm. The rest of the day was spent cuddling, crying, refusing to eat, cuddling, crying and napping. For three more days she picked at her food, was clingy and quiet until she woke up one morning thankfully restored to health and normality. Age seems to be making it worse rather than better, she seems to be growing into the allergy rather than out of it.

    Think I might leave it 6 months instead of two before she tries something containing dairy!

  • Teething and breastfeeding

    by Jen Staves on 06 January 2011

    I've got a little 5 month old, Margot. She's lovely and sweet (and currently napping). Our primary woe is teething - she got her first two teeth (the bottom ones) at three months! After looking into it, I realised that was quite early indeed - average is 7 months for first teeth and late teethers may not even start until a year. I was a bit gutted, actually - it disrupted her until-then quite good night-sleeping patterns, made her drool and gnaw at her hands like crazy, and worst of all, it made her start biting me while feeding. OUCH! I nearly gave up breastfeeding because of it, and it caused many tears on my part. Being afraid to feed isn't good! But I really wanted to persist and at least breastfeed until 6 months, past her first immunisations and hopefully up until her first birthday.

    I survived by:

    -expressing! In those two weeks where her nibbling was at its peak, pumping and feeding by bottle made me feel loads better. I didn't worry about feeding her, and when we were out and about, I didn't need to worry that all of the sudden I'd start yelping at a cafe while feeding her. I kept doing the morning and night feeds (the ones when she was calmest) and she didn't tend to nip me then.

    -learning her cues. I learned that when the baby is properly latched, her bottom teeth shouldn't come into contact with the breast, so it's at the beginning and end of feeds where you should be wary. I kept my eye on her, and I could start to see the point where she was stopping the normal suck and starting to change position. That's where my finger flew in to unlatch her.

    -waiting it out. It was the most frustrating advice in the world, but it was true. My health visitor told me she'd never heard of a baby doing it for longer than a couple weeks, and although I was convinced I had a baby who would bite me forever, it wasn't true. She did stop.

    What I didn't do:

    -use nipple shields. My husband very sweetly went out and bought some for me, but I never used them. I'd heard they could interfere in feeding. And also, one of the reasons I've liked breastfeeding is the minimum amount of faff involved in feeds. Installing a plastic shield didn't seem right!

    -try to teach her that biting was bad by stopping feeding or saying 'NO'. I'd heard this works for older babies (say 9 months) but three months just seemed to early. If the biting returns with subsequent teeth, this may be something I'll need to consider.

    So here I am, two months later, still breastfeeding and she's now got her top four (all at one time!) teeth coming in. I'm a little nervous, as the top teeth do come into contact with the breast when properly latched, but thus far, it hasn't been too much of an issue (only one nip). I think a lot of it comes down to the fact that she's more used to the feeling of teething and so isn't quite uncomfortable. But I'm keen to hear what other parents did if they had this problem as well - there's a whole mouthful yet to go and I may well need the advice!

  • Its been absolutely ages since I last blogged. We have been busy, very busy.

     

    We have been on holiday, mixing business with pleasure by visiting old friends and investigating whether emigrating is a good option for us. Decision is to wait until we discover what school Sophie has been given a place in and if its not satisfctory up sticks and never look back. The girls will settle in to American life no problem, I'm torn as the trip made me realise how English I actually am. We find out in April so watch this space.

     

    The holiday fixed Sophie's sleep problems. Until recently she would not sleep until about 11pm, over the summer we had managed to get her to sleep at 730pm but only if one of us stayed in the room with her. On holiday she shared a room with Chloe, with Chloe you have to read her a story and she falls asleep during the story, easy. As Chloe was sleeping on an airbed right next to Sophie I coudl hardly sit on Sophie's bed until she fell asleep so would read a story, say goodnight, leave the landing light on and off to sleep she would go, surprisingly without tears or tantrums. Got home, bedtime came and I read her a story, left the room expecting all hell to break loose and nothing so bedtime is bliss now. Think them both being jetlagged helped a lot!

     

    The cold weather has brought with it plenty of snuffles and tummy bugs, Sophie picks up everything from nursery and Chloe collects germs at play sessions. Chloe is ill at the moment, she has a cough that is making her vomit its so ferocious.

     

    My worries that Sophie may be a bit academically lacking have eased a bit, yes she can't tell one colour from another despite me thinking up fun ways to teach and test her and recognising numbers is jolly hard for her, letters she is finding very easy. She can write her full name now and is starting to recognise words. Tbh, I'm finding the letter teaching difficult! There wasn't such a thing as jolly phonics when I was a child, so she gets jolly phonics at nursery and the old fashioned 'this is letter Ay which sounds like a, letter Be sounds like b' from me and the combined efforts seem to be clicking into place very easily for her.

    Chloe is chattering away in sentences now, there is no stopping her, most of it you understand some you don't. She will be two next week and is having a fancy dress party with lots of little people invited. Handy actually as it makes the otherwise miserable month of January rather fun. Its a fancy dress party, with a few simple games like pin the tail on the donkey, pass the parcel and a pinata at the end instead of party bags.

    Christmas was great, this year Chloe actually opened her presents, Sophie was very surprised to get any at all had told me because she wouldnt open her mouth at the dentist father christmas wasn't coming. After she had stopped jumping for joy on christmas morning, I told her I'd had a little chat with father christmas and he had agreed she could have presents but wasnt allowed any sweeties or chocolate until next time she went to the dentist and only then if the dentist said it was ok.

     

     

  • Merry Christmas

    by BadDad on 24 December 2010

    Looking forward to having my whole family staying with us this Christmas so that they can experience the full horror of a two year-olds bedtime. And also her food finickiness, and general over-excitement about her firt "proper" Christmas. This morning, pretty much her first words were: "It's Christmas Eeeeeeeeve!"

    Have a good one everyone!

  • Bedtime blues

    by BadDad on 13 December 2010

    Does anyone have tips on bedtime troubles for a two-year-old? Until recently we were blessed with a bedtime angel who could sleep on a gatepost (don't call social services - we never tried this!).

    Now suddenly we have a sleepless monster who charges about the house in a whirl of terror and pandemonium as soon as we try to leave her in the evening. This is how it used to work (times very approximate):

    • 5.30-6.15 tea
    • 6.15-6.45 bath
    • 6.45-7.30 dressing for bed, milk and stories
    • 7.30-7.35 lights out - sleep time

    This is how it now works:

    • 5.30-6.30 tea
    • 6.30-7.00 bath (most days)
    • 7.00-7.45 dressing for bed, milk and stories
    • 7.45 procrastination, demands for more stories
    • 7.50 more procrastination, more demands for stories
    • 7.55 settling down
    • 8.00 "I need the potty"
    • 8.15 back in bed, more stories
    • 8.30 lights out, child in tears
    • 8.35 parents flee room pursued closely by child
    • 8.36 parents put child back in bed
    • 8.37 child charges out of room
    • 8.38 parents put child back in bed (repeat ad infinitum as per every episode Supernanny).

    At some point between then and 9pm parents retreat to leave crying child upstairs safely behind stairgate.

    9pm child asleep behind stairgate, parents pick child up and put back to bed (at which point child either remains asleep or wakres up and the process is repeated).

    Does anyone have any tips?

    What we have tried so far:

    • night-light - seems to help a bit after story time has finished as a reassurance (also helps parents leave room without crashing into wooden blocks/sqeuaky toy/plastic crap)
    • stair-gate in nursery doorway - removes the danger of running around the whole of the upstairs, but simply "kettles" the problem in one place - she still ends up asleep on the floor in front of it.
    • more stories - boring her to sleep (tends not to work - as soon as the story finishes she opens her eyes and says "again")
    • lullabies after lights-out - again, trying to bore her to sleep, works a bit better, but requires hand-holding and reassurance, and a lot of patience.
    • letting her come to bed with us (ie. we eventually gave up) - we realise this isn't a long-term solution (or rather, it is, but we don't want it to be!)

    Things that might not have helped:

    • this really all started about three weeks ago when she realised she could open all the doors (ie. we are just going to have to live with it).
    • we moved house, to a new area, about two months ago (ie. it's our fault). She used to go to a nursery with a large-ish class all of the same age, she now goes to a childminder who has various different kids on each day (around 2-4), some her age, some a lot older (could she be picking up bad habits?)
    • we have all been ill with various winter ailments.
    • Hallowe'en and Bonfire night - both of these were really exciting for her, but also a bit scary - she's now learned about being scared of monsters and ghosts, and mentions it quite a lot! Also, she is petrified of Santa Claus!

    Other potential factors

    • She's an only child (no siblings on the way yet!)
    • Her speaking and understanding is pretty advanced - often shockingly so. She's got a big imagination (which might be causing her confusing or bad dreams).

    I know there's no secret code to "crack" this problem and it does seem a little bit improved by the night light and the stair gate, but any thoughts would be gratefully received!

    PS. Already tried MumsNet etc!

    PPS. I'm not looking for a diagnosis or a referral to a sleep counsellor!

    UPDATE: I've just read the NHS Choices Common Sleep Problems page and I'm going to start bringing bedtime forward and limiting to just one story (hard as I love stories).

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