Monday, September 17, 2012

Sleep Training, take 104!

Isn't my boy just so beautiful when he sleeps, 

He has an internal clock during the day when it comes to naps, by 8.30am he sleeps for an hour/hour and a half and again at 1.30 he sleeps for about 45 minutes. 

I am lucky when it comes to A being able to sleep anywhere, he doesn't need a cot or a pram, he will just sleep when he is tired, on anything, no matter where we are, how many people are around or what sweets he's eaten, he will just pass out and has a deep, motionless and quiet sleep.

Then night comes and I don't know, my beautiful sleeping boy flies out the window and I am left with a little monster. He is 10 months old and still wakes every 2 hours. I have been co-sleeping since he was born, at first it was easy for me and then I being just as attached as A and it was easier to just turn over put his bottle in his mouth and slowly but surely it became a nightmare.

His bedtime kept moving up and some nights I still had a bouncing baby at 10pm and he became a very unsettled sleeper, always moving, kicking, punching and MOANING all night long. This on top of the fact that I have to sleep facing him and cuddling with him else he throws himself onto my back. I was left feeling more exhausted and more irritated and feeling like I just wasn't cut out for this. I was at my last straw and then he started this weird zombie thing, he will sit up, now I'm never sure if he is awake or not, he will swing back and forth and then pass out in one direction, 3 seconds later, he'll sit up, swing back and forth, then pass out in another direction. He does this for an hour!

I couldn't do it any more.

So I reached out to a lady I know was an expert at getting kids to sleep, Michelle Kemp wrote me a post last week, Help your baby sleep right now, the sensible way. With a guide on how to get your baby to sleep.

I started that night, I went all out and even moved A's cot into his own room. 

At 7pm I gave A a bottle put him in his cot and when he was finished with his bottle, I left the room.

The guide said 20 minutes, I lasted 10 minutes of A's crying and went in and patted his back and that was it he was asleep. 

Next day, 3 minutes of crying and he just went to sleep on his own.

A week later he goes to sleep either straight away or he sits quietly till passes out.

He doesn't sleep through, he still wakes every 2-3 hours, still need to figure this part out, I probably should ignore his cries coz he wakes for nothing but because he is used to space he sometimes lands in weird positions so I am nervous about it. Some nights he lands up in my bed at 4am when it's been a long night of wake ups but in general he is in his cot and in his own room.

This being a miracle. From 7pm I have free time, for me to get what I need done or just SIT around, have a long bath, paint my nails or catch up on my blogs.

I am still sleep deprived and I am going to start working on some how getting him to sleep through but I have a few extra hours an evening to myself and I don't wake to every groan and foot in my rib.

You can buy Michelle Kemp's book Two weeks to sleep over at Amazon, her method worked for me so far and had big changes in 2 days. If you do read it please let me know if it worked for you and any comments you have.

Friday, September 14, 2012


Aiden has a room made in kid's heaven and it was my only goal when I was pregnant, I have bought him toy after toy and all he cares about is the packaging. So I stopped buying him crap and then I saw this bubble gun down one of the aisles and thought why not. It has a pretty cool tune for a toy and it doesn't pierce my brain just yet and the look on A's face when we play with it, is just to adorable, the utter amazement and wonder in his eyes makes me laugh till my tummy hurts. Look at the video and see what a cutie my son is.

Oh it's a  Verimark product which Pick n Pay seems to be stocking now.

P.S I was not sponsored or given this product to review, nor was I paid, I just think it's a real cool toy and my kid loves bubbles

Aiden has teeth... now what

Aiden got his two bottom teeth this past month and as motherhood goes with every milestone comes a new challenge. Maybe this isn't a challenge but it adds a tick on my checklist everyday and it's a new responsibility and something new I have to teach A: brush your teeth twice a day and don't forget to floss. Now obviously I'm not flossing A's little teeth just yet before anyone want's to shout any profanities at me but I am 'trying' to brush them when he stops shutting his mouth like a word class wrestler and I manage to get the tiny tooth in his mouth.

A hit the nail on the head this time and sprouted his little whites just in time for, Oral Hygiene Awareness Month, who would of thought. The kind people over at  Oral B  sent me the Professional Care 500, it's an electric toothbrush of note and makes brushing and getting the job done so much easier.

I'm trying to have A in the bathroom when I brush my teeth in hope it will create a "monkey see, monkey do" effect and it will become easier in time. Until then here's some handy info on keeping your wee ones teeth in good health.

Pick a Child-Friendly Dentist

There are pediatric dentists who have additional training and interest in children s’ dental issues. If you don’t have one in your area, look for a dentist whose waiting room, staff attitude and interaction with children tell you it’ll be a good experience. Ask your health care provider for some suggestions if you don’t know where to start.

Visit Ahead of Time

Bring a child in before the time of the appointment to get acquainted with the place. You can also bring a well-behaved 3-year-old with you on your own check-up so they can get used to the idea.

Examine Your Own Attitude About the Dentist

Many parents have some memories of bad dental experiences, and they can sometimes give off negative messages about the dental chair without even knowing it. The parent who can be most positive about the visit should be the one to accompany the child to the dentist.

Respect Those Baby Teeth

Even though your child will lose his or her baby teeth, proper care and treatment, including fillings, sealants and extraction of dead teeth, will help ensure that the jaw and teeth underneath grow well and stay healthy. Be ready for suggestions about care that you didn’t have as options when you were a child. Also remember to ask your dentist about fluoride rinses to help better protect your child’s teeth from decay.

Establish a Routine

Going to the dentist isn’t the only thing that is important. Keeping up with a good oral health routine at home is key. Here are a few things that you can do at home between visits to maintain good oral care:
  • Teach children to brush twice a day. Good times to brush are after breakfast and before bed. Supervise at least the evening brushings for children under the age of seven.
  • Use a soft-bristle toothbrush. Hard ones scrape the gums. Change the brush every three months or sooner if it wears out.
  • Put a timer in the bathroom. Set it for at least two minutes. According to dental recommendations, two minutes is what it takes to get the job done, and children often have difficulty keeping time.
  • Make sure your child is getting some sort of fluoride. Fluoride is available in toothpastes, mouthwashes and rinses, supplements or in fluoridated tap water.
  • Avoid sticky and sugary foods and drinks. They can cause decay (cavities).

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A little late but had to share

Last week Saturday a lot of Mommy Bloggers and readers got to attend the Johannesburg Huggies Momville Launch, it was a lovely day filled with catching up with old friends, meeting new faces and spending time with our little monsters.

The food was indulgent and never stopped coming and coming and coming, the weather was perfect and company was great. I don't want to spill to much as the last one is happening this Saturday in Cape Town and all the wonderful moms who are attending are in for a real treat.

It was all to launch the Huggies Momville website, where pregnant and new moms can find useful info and advice from professionals and moms a like, a community to connect with mom, a platform for mom's to share their stories and a bubble filled with needed advice and information.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Calling all Joburg Mompreneurs

I write for Mommy Matters once a week, they are online parenting and lifestyle magazine that sheds light on the many facets of womanhood, motherhood and livelihood. It has a special interest in moms personal & professional development and run regular workshop and events to ensure that as mothers we are living lives that motivate and excite us. 

I have been watching in pure jealousy on this one event that they have held in Cape Town a few times and been hoping they would do one up here and now they are! Excitement! I have already booked a ticket for my mom and I.

It is a networking breakfast for all you mompreneurs, it's on the 26 September at Grand Central cafe', Melrose Arch. It includes a yummy breakfast and an informative and inspirational talk by Life Coach, Kamani Reddy. So with great food and great moms around you and lots of prizes to win, there is no reason not to go.

Price: R200
Time: 9.30-12.00
(P.SJohannesburg Mompreneurs Networking Breakfast. We do also run these events in CPT, so we just need to be sure which event you wish to attend, and allocate your seat accordingly)

A New Lulluby

A loves music and he loves it when we sing, I have sang 'Old Macdonalds farm' and 'Twinkle Twinkle' so many times I am sick of my own voice. My oh so wonderful sister came home from school with this song and it even comes with actions, it's random and pointless but it makes A almost do somersaults with giggles. Thought I would share and once you've learnt it then I will not be the only crazy woman doing this silly dance in Pick n Pay anymore.

P.S. You going to have to tilt your head

The words are:

Happy llama
Sad llama
totally rad llama
super llama
drama llama
big fat mama llama
baby llama
crazy llama
more fish

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Mothers Pride

 The silliest things make me smile or cry, I have so much pride for Aiden and he brings such pure joy into my life in the smallest forms. He reminds me everyday what really matters in life and makes my whole world a better place to live in.

Here are some small moments that made my heart sing, brought a tear to my eye and made me so proud to be Aiden's mommy.

Your TWO new front teeth

First picture made at crèche

First Swimming lesson

You always go for your fire truck and you kindly give Sloth a ride

You also always go for the bath and your eyes light up and you start waving your arms and watching
you smile makes me smile

And then you learnt to High-five, low-five and baby-five

Let Me Eat CAKE!

Last Friday I was invited to a High Tea at Junipa's for there Media Launch, although quite a distance for me it was a journey worth travelling to this heaven sent coffee shop at the Hobart Grove Centre in Bryanston.
This might sound cliche' but I mean it when I say, you haven't tasted what cake is supposed to taste like until you have put one of this perfected creations in your mouth. It quite literally melts in your mouth and for a few seconds, while you have that sugary goodness teasing your taste buds, everything is right in the world.

My favourite treats for the day was were the Red Velvet Petite Fours ( that's the little one with the strawberry on top) and the Sundried Tomato Galettes (the little pizza on my plate).


They welcomed us with warm smiles and filled us with baking knowledge, offered us perfectly brewed coffee and treated us to little bites of heaven. Wish I had more space in my tummy to fill it up and try everything they had to offer but will definitely be going back to taste the rest.

The launch was not the opening of this gem as they have been in business for years but the launch of there new Cake Studio. From tiered wedding cakes almost as beautiful as the bride, to birthday sponges drenched in Frangelico covered in chocolate Ganache, every creation designed and baked by Junipa's is unique.
"As an artisan bakery, we differentiate ourselves by using only the freshest ingredients to increase the depth of flavour and diverse textures that are a permanent feature of all our baked products. This attention to detail and passion for quality food is our trademark is of course extended to the beautiful cakes we create," explains owner Julian Platt.

Along with planning my wedding cake now before I have even found a suitable man, Junipa's also offers novelty cakes for your wee one and while they look great for them, we can now have cake that actually tastes as great as they look.

You really should go have a look and encounter this mouth watering experience for yourself and treat yourself to bakers, George and Michael, as they create gorgeously delectable confectionery. To order your own baked creation call (011) 706 2387 or visit their Website.

You can also like them on their Facebook Page and follow them on Twitter

Monday, September 10, 2012

10 Months

Help Your Baby Sleep Right Now the Sensible Way

 Help Your Baby Sleep Right Now the Sensible Way

Michelle Kemp is the Author of Two Weeks to Sleep - A Sensible Guide for First Time Parents and Blogger for www.onenormalfamily.comMichelle is married to James and Mum of Max (17 months).

I believe that you must have certain foundations in place to be able to live the life you want to live. One of those foundations is a good nights sleep. We are able to survive on little sleep for a short period of time but we can’t function on this for long. After a couple of months sleep deprivation catches up with us and can cause problems such as memory and energy loss.

When a new baby joins a family everyone expects to forgo sleep for a little while. Newborn babies need to wake regularly to feed as they have very small stomachs. When a baby comes into your life you have to be realistic and live with broken sleep for a short period of time. There comes a point though when you have to claim your sleep back.  If you don’t do this you will stumble through life for the next several years in a hazy fog. It’s not just us parents who suffer due to lack of sleep. Your baby needs a certain amount to grow, develop and enjoy life. 

Below are four basic principles that will help you guide your baby into becoming a good sleeper. These four basic principles are: treat day as day and night as night, observe your baby, help your baby to self-settle and follow a routine. 
Parent and baby learning together

 Treat Day as Day and Night as Night

As soon as your baby is born you can start to show him the difference between day and night. During the day keep the house light and airy. Engage your baby and go out for walks or trips out together. During the night make sure the room he is sleeping in is dark and quiet. Use a night light when feeding your baby and keep diaper changes minimal. If you need to speak in the room he is sleeping in then do it as quietly as possible. Evening life should be able to go on in the rest of your home and your baby should be fine with a low hum of background noise. Just make sure that whoever enters the room your baby is sleeping in to tend to him at night follows the night-time guidelines.

Observe your Baby

Most parents feel pretty nervous when they bring a new baby home. You now have this small defenceless little person to look after. Her health, her happiness; well actually her everything rests in your hands. You are unsure of what to do and don’t speak her language. You have just met her and now you have to do everything for her and get it right. So of course every time she makes even the smallest sound while she sleeps you are leaning over her making sure she is ok. If she doesn’t make any noise for 5 minutes you are checking to make sure she is breathing. When she cries you quickly pick her up and try to fix whatever is wrong. It is totally natural to feel this way. We have all been there.

Now take a deep breath and stop. Next time your baby wakes up and cries stay where you are and listen. What is she trying to tell you? Is she actually communicating with you at all or is she just annoyed because she woke up and now wants to go back to sleep? Babies sleep in shorter cycles than adults. Adults go through 1 hour 30 minute cycles where as babies go through 45 minute to 1 hour cycles. These cycles increase in length from 3 months old. Our sleep cycle starts with drowsiness to light sleep. Then moves to deep sleep followed by REM (dream sleep). Once we pass through REM we move back into deep sleep, and light sleep and then we may wake. It is at this point that a baby may cry because she wants to go back to sleep but can’t.

One of the best things a parent can do for their baby is take the time to learn her language. We all have the ability to do this but we wont learn a thing if we just react without listening and thinking. By learning your baby’s language you will gain her trust. She will feel secure in knowing that you will respond to her correctly or leave her alone when she wants to be left alone.

Babies use two types of cries. One is an emotional cry and the other is a protest cry. You must respond to an emotional cry. A baby will use this if she is hungry, uncomfortable due to a wet or soiled diaper or is too cold or hot, in pain or has had a fright. An emotional cry sounds urgent, is a constant pitch and is continuous. You do not always need to respond to a protest cry. A baby usually uses this when she is fighting sleep. Babies will often protest cry for a little while when you put them down for a nap or at bedtime. They do this if they need to let off a bit steam before going to sleep. A protest cry varies in pitch and is not continuous. The gaps between crying get longer before they nod off. The thing with a protest cry that can throw you a bit is sometimes they can let out a few big loud cries. You still don’t need to respond to this if this all it is. This is actually a good thing as babies often do this right before they go to sleep. If the crying changes to emotional at anytime you need to respond.

Next time your baby cries during a nap or during the night don’t rush straight to her. Stop and listen. Is it an emotional cry or is it a protest cry? If it is an emotional cry go to her. Having a routine in place will help you work out what it is she needs as if she is due a feed soon then you know that she is most likely crying because she is hungry. If she is protest crying and she is not due to get up from her nap or its too early to start the day then give her a chance to put herself back to sleep. 

The table below shows the minimum amount of time you must let your baby protest cry for before going to her. If you go in before this time then you are possibly stopping her from going back to sleep and you are not letting her learn to self-settle. The age range 0 – 2 months has not been included in the table as it is difficult for a parent of a newborn to fully understand their baby’s cries. If your baby is below 2 months old then you should focus on learning your baby’s language. Once you are confident that you know the difference between an emotional and a protest cry then allow a couple of minutes before responding to a protest cry.

It is important to observe your baby when she is awake too. Watch for signs from your baby as to when she is getting tired. These signs can include yawning, eye rubbing, thumb or hand sucking,some babies even become over active. By observing your baby you will know when it’s time to put her down for a nap. It is harder for babies to self-settle if they are over tired.

Help your Baby to Self-Settle

Instead of using quick fix sleep aids you need to help your baby learn how to self-settle. This will involve some hard work on your part but always remember that you are providing your baby with a lifelong skill. There are some key things you must always stick to when helping your baby learn this skill. Firstly always put your baby down in her cot still awake and once you have got her bedding sorted leave the room. Stick to the minimum amount of time to let your baby protest cry outlined in the table above. Make sure you have a timer or clock handy, as it is very easy to convince to yourself that the time is up when it's not. You are timing her continuous crying so if she pauses for more than 10 seconds you need to start timing again. Don’t spend the time hovering outside the door. Use the time to do something for yourself. Just make sure you can hear your baby so you can time the protesting and so you can check to make sure the crying has not become emotional.

If your baby is still protesting after the minimum amount of time outlined in the table above. You can either leave her for a bit longer if you think she might just about be drifting off or you can go into the room she is sleeping in. When you go in do not look at her or engage her in anyway. I recommend keeping a lightweight chair in the room your baby is sleeping in or bring one in with you. You are going to need one as you are now in for the long haul. When you decide to enter the room your baby is in you must be committed to helping her self-settle.

If your baby is not able to stand then pull the chair up to her cot or crib. Do not speak to her or give her eye contact. Just gently rub or pat her tummy in a repetitive motion. The idea with this is that you are telling her that she is not coming out as it is time to sleep but you are with her. Keep rubbing her tummy until she falls asleep. Once she is asleep leave the room.

If after 20 minutes of rubbing her tummy your baby is still protesting you can either keep going or you can take a break. This break is for you rather than for your baby as you may be getting a sore arm by now or feeling frazzled. If you need a break then get her up for 10 minutes but try to keep this as quiet and calm as possible. After 10 minutes put her back into her cot and leave the room. Repeat the waiting process above and if she is still not asleep then go back in and repeat the self-settling process.

If your baby is able to rollover both ways and now prefers to sleep on her tummy then gently and repetitively rub or pat her back. Most babies are able to roll from tummy to back first. Once your baby is able to roll both ways you can leave her sleeping on her tummy as you know that she now has the strength to correct herself or that this may now be her preferred sleeping position. Our son learnt to roll the other way round first. So he would roll onto his tummy and look very pleased with himself and then cry, as he wanted to go onto his back again. He would do this during the night too and it lasted for a couple of weeks until he was able to roll both ways. We responded to this cry as an emotional cry and went straight to him and gently flipped him onto his back. He would go straight back to sleep most times but a couple of times we used the self-settling method as his crying had changed from emotional to protesting.

Babies who can stand need to be taught to self-settle differently. Once your baby is able to stand in her cot it is very important that you lower it so that she doesn’t fall out. The first part of this method is the same so put her down in her cot awake and on her back. If she stays on her back then leave the room and wait the minimum time outlined in the table above. If she stands up then gently put her back down on her back and try not to engage her. Keep doing this each time she stands up. Do it up to 12 times if she keeps standing and after the 12th time leave the room. Then wait the minimum time outlined in the table above and repeat the process if you need to. Keep doing this until she goes to sleep. The idea of this method is that you are showing her what you want her to do. If you are consistent with this method she will learn and she will put herself to sleep.

In order for babies to learn to self-settle and sleep independently they need to sleep in their own crib or cot. I do not recommend that your baby sleeps in your bed.
Make sure you burp your baby properly after each breastfeed or formula feed until she is able to do it herself. Babies who have not been burped properly can often have trouble settling to sleep, as they are uncomfortable. 

NOTE: Remember that when babies protest cry they can let out a few big loud cries. Don’t respond to this straight away, as your baby may just be about to go to sleep.

Follow a Routine

Babies thrive on routine. When a baby is established on a routine he feels secure. He knows that he will be fed regularly, and will be given opportunities to get enough sleep; there will be time for playing and exploring and time for relaxing. As your baby grows up his routine will need to adapt with him. He will be able to go longer between feeds and naps. His overall naptime needs to be slowly reduced during the day so that the length of time he sleeps at night increases. This is a bit of a balancing act, as he will need enough naps during the day to keep him refreshed so he has energy to explore and play. Enough daytime sleep also helps with night-time sleep as this means he will not be over tired when you put him to bed. Babies do not settle well when they are overtired.

You need to feed your baby enough during the day so that when he is ready to sleep through the night he can, as he doesn’t need to wake to be fed. The routines in my book provide the right number of feeds and / or solid meals a day. The amount your baby takes at each feed or solid meal will vary. Babies instinctively know how much they need to eat so let your baby guide you on this. Some days he will not want much at all and this often happens when babies are teething. If he is going through a growth spurt you will be amazed at how much he can put away. 

You need to make sure your baby has opportunities to engage in some age appropriate activities during the day and also ensure that there is some quiet time so that he can relax if he wants to. 

Max laughing with his Daddy during activity time
Please feel free to leave comments as I am more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

Friday, September 7, 2012

It's become so ugly

When I started blogging I didn't even know there where Mommy Bloggers or Mommy Forums or an army of mommy's on Twitter. I got knocked up and having written journals my whole life, I started and online one to help keep me sane. I was anonymous in the beginning, until I came to terms with what was going on and I entered the world that I once loved but at the moment I feel like I have to walk on egg shells, have to watch what I say and actually stress about not the critics or readers but actually of fellow bloggers and tweeters. Not just any bloggers or tweeters, but fellow mothers!

When did this all become so ugly.

When did it become one big competition.

When did it matter who had the highest stats or what peoples stats even were.

When did we start sub-tweeting each other and pushing one another down.

When did we start bullying people like we are in high school.

Why are there mean girls and name calling.

Why do we care who has what sponsors or what giveaways or what reviews, because it's all one big circle and we all benefit from it because if we not giving it away, we stand a chance of winning it somewhere else and we get info on new products, I am proud and happy for other bloggers when they succeed or get another deal because I read peoples stories and I care whether they are happy.

The last while all I have seen is little digs from people left, right and center, attacking one another and I just can't justify it in my mind.

I can't see what you gain from being nasty or bringing someone down. I don't see what you could get at all, really I can't understand it.

We as "Mommy bloggers" or what ever you want to call yourselves it's just a name, we created this world we spend so much time in, we created a place to be ourselves in and a place where we can get support and information and also a place where we can build lasting friendship, why on earth would we then go and sabbotage it, with in the only way to put it, childish bullshit!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Santa Shoebox Project

When I lived in Cape Town I took part in this initiative, I didn't know it was actually a country wide project.
It's a great foundation and doesn't take a lot of your money or time and you will be making a child's Christmas a good one.

The Santa Shoebox WEBSITE is easy to use and it takes probably less than 10 minutes to register and pledge a shoebox to a child, you choose the your child and what organisation they are from and you get a medium sized shoebox fill it with a list of items, decorate the box or wrap it up (lid separately), stick on the label they will email you and you drop it off at one of the many destinations.

What needs to be in the box:

-Toothpaste and tooth brush
-Bar of soap and wash cloth
-An outfit of clothing
-Educational supplies
-A toy

Get involved, get your family and friends involved, get your colleagues involved, get your neighbours involved, get strangers involved, get everyone involved!

They have a Facebook Page - 
And you can follow them on Twitter - @SantaShoebox

If you are one of my friends or crazy family members I expect you to do a box and I will do one big drop, if you get it to me or give me the cash and I'll do a box for you! Charlene, Lee, Simmy, Mom, Aunty, and all you others, I know you reading this!