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September - October 2007
What's in this issue:
This issue I would like to alert you to two health warnings, both was brought to my attention by clients and health workers regarding washing and clothing products for babies/children. I will also cover the topic of sterilising and babies who are fussy drinkers.
Thank you for your comments and suggestion, I hope you find something useful in this issue.
Two Health Warnings
1. Baby Body Wash Products & Parabens
Parabens are the most commonly used preservatives in topical pharmaceutical preparations. They are also used in cosmetics, skin care products, medications and foods.
Parabens can be found in many of the main brand baby products and other products such as shampoos, soaps and cleansers and are known to cause an irritant dermatitis. Recently they have been liked with some types of cancers.
For more information take a look at the following link:
The note at the bottom specifies the cancer caution.
2. Baby Clothing Products
Also just to alert you to a report on the toxic chemicals - Formaldehyde and Aromatic Amines which have been added to the garments being manufactured in China. These chemicals are carcinogenic and are known to cause several medical problems including rashes, headaches and asthma. These chemicals are to reduce the crinkles in natural fabrics such as cotton and wool and are found not only in adult clothing but those made for babies and children. The advice given to help reduce these chemicals in our clothing is to wash them frequently before wearing them.
This is just a brief overview of why, when and methods of sterilising. Today it is not so important to sterilise everything we use for a baby as long as they are thoroughly washed in hot soapy water or put through a clean dishwasher. Dishwashers are known to go to such high temperatures that they sterilise while they wash. Just make sure it is a clean dishwasher and that food doesn’t get trapped in the baby’s items.
If you choose to sterilise baby’s equipment, you may do so up to the age of 3-6 months. After this, baby’s immune system has developed enough to fight off most common bugs. In fact, it is wise to allow baby to build up their immune system by coming into contact with everyday household bugs which they would normally do, such as playing on their mat, crawling around on the floor and exploring their environment.
If you do wish to sterilise, here are some tips for sterilising that may help you.
Before sterilising, make sure you have thoroughly rinsed and washed all equipment in hot soapy water by using a bottle brush where necessary.
What to sterilise? It is advisable to sterilise all equipment and containers used to store and prepare milk until baby is at least nine months old. Thereafter, a hot soapy wash or hot wash cycle in a dishwasher is sufficient.
Methods of sterilising:
Boiling - It is advisable to put a timer on to remind you when to turn off the stove when sterilising is finished. Place all items, covered with water, in a large covered saucepan. Bring to the boil and boil for 5 minutes. Allow it to cool before removing items.
Steam - Commercial sterilisers automatically turn themselves off. All you need to do is fill them with your cleaned items, put in the required amount of water and turn them on. It is also advisable to clean your sterilising unit at least once a week to remove the build up of residue from the water used. This can be done in various ways, e.g. use one third white vinegar to two thirds water. Turn on the steamer as normal and allow it to go through a normal steam cycle, empty the fluid out and you are ready to use as normal. Read cleaning instructions on your steamer before trying this method.
Microwave Steamer - Again add the required amount of water to your cleaned items and follow the instructions of the manufacturer. Clean the steamer with hot soapy water once or twice a week depending on its usage.
Quick single item steam - put item into half a cup of water, cover and place in the microwave on high for five minutes.
Chemical - Make up the anti-bacterial solution (from tablet or liquid form) to the manufacturer’s specifications. Do not put metal into the solution as it will rust. Make sure that the glass or plastic items are totally submerged, without any trapped air bubbles for a minimum of one hour before using. It is possible to leave items in the solution until they are needed but anything added will require all to be sterilised for another hour. Therefore it would be advisable to take out all the items when clean and store them as described below. This solution will need to be discarded after 24 hours, and the container and any unused items thoroughly scrubbed with warm, soapy water before refilling. The discarded solution if poured over your dish cloths will leave them smelling fresh and clean. Both the concentrate and made-up-solution must be stored away from children and direct sunlight.
Store all sterilised items not in immediate use in a clean container or wrap in cling wrap which reduces contamination. Store all covered items in the fridge to minimise bacterial growth. Any sterilised item if unused after 24 hours will need to be sterilised again before use.
Breast or bottle refusal can be a distressing occurrence for both mother and baby.
Often the baby has previously fed happily, then for some reason, begins to refuse a feed. Causes may be apparent such as: an alert baby being easily distracted, over-feeding or force-feeding, gastric reflux, illness in the infant or if breastfeeding, oral or nipple thrush, mastitis, medications and hormonal changes (e.g. ovulation, menstruation), or mother becoming ill. There may also be issues relating to mother’s milk supply, such as: low supply, or slow let-down reflex (thus baby becomes frustrated), or the milk flowing too quickly and baby needs a breather.
Usually, after a few days the baby begins feeding again as though there had never been a problem. If the cause can be located it can be treated, e.g. thrush, gastric reflux.
I have seen older babies who literally refuse their feeds even after only having 30-50 mls or 5 -10 mins on the breast. These babies usually come off crying and refuse further attempts to get them to feed. This is very stressful for mums and bubs. Many of these babies have a degree of reflux and even though they may be on medication, the medication is not enough to prevent discomfort while feeding. Adjusting their medication will improve baby’s feeding so have a chat to your doctor. If the situation is ignored it usually becomes worse.
It is also important not to feed baby too soon after the last feed as she will not feed well and you will only be setting up a bad habit of snack feeding and cat napping. Or if baby has reflux, it may be adding fuel to the fire, increasing the stomach content which aggravates the heart burn.
If you feel baby is not getting enough and are giving her a supplementary or top up feed from a bottle, this may eventually cause your milk supply to dwindle, unless you are expressing to stimulate your breast after every day-time feed. If you are expressing, do not over-express. Five to seven minutes is sufficient but should be done regularly to have any effect. Remember you are not expressing to store milk. If your supply is low you may not be able to express any milk. Expressing is to stimulate the breast to make more.
If you have a good supply in the mornings I suggest you express the excess to give as a top up in the afternoons when you suspect you supply is lower. You will also need to express after feeds just till your supply increases.
Be aware that if you introduce a bottle on a regular basis, your baby may refuse the breast totally as drinking from a bottle requires less effort than the breast.
If mother’s milk supply is suspected to be low in comparison to the demands of her growing baby, measures to increase production can be put into action and after a couple of weeks, the infant is often contentedly sucking away as before.
Some suggestions to encourage a fussy milk feeder:
If you persist in trying to make a baby feed when she adamantly refuses to do so, the infant just becomes more upset. Try distracting them for five to ten minutes with a bit of tummy time and try again. If she continues to refuse, it is most likely she has either had sufficient or there is a greater problem such as reflux.
If you are breastfeeding, another possible suggestion is for mother and baby to get into a warm bath together and after baby has relaxed, she is slowly brought up to the breast. Usually such a baby enjoys the skin-to-skin contact and will begin to suck well.
If your child has started solids, here is a recipe you may like to try to encourage bub to increase their dairy intake. Formula may be used to substitute the milk.
Yoghurt or milk jelly
1 ½ tablespoons of unflavoured gelatine
½ cup (125 mls) of cool water
¾ cup (185 mls) milk or 1 cup (250 mls) plain yoghurt – instead of milk
- In a small saucepan sprinkle gelatine over cool water.
- Stir and heat through.
- Remove from the heat and stir in milk or yoghurt.
- Whisk with an electric beater until fluffy.
- Transfer to a small glass dish and refrigerate till set.
Another idea is to make milk or yoghurt iceblocks on a plastic baby spoon.
Our parenting coach was friendly, approachable, knowledgeable and a good listener. It was such a help seeing the settling techniques in real life – so much different than reading them in a book. We now feel confident that we can continue aiming for this routine but know that some days we won’t achieve it but that’s okay too. Our second baby was diagnosed with reflux at 4 weeks of age. This was a very different experience to our first child and we were confused and exhausted. Our coach provided valuable practical help, advice and guidance to put us on track with dealing with a reflux baby. Our little boy is now far happier and so are Mum and Dad.
Adopting Cradle 2 Kindy’s routine around feeding and sleeping brought us instant and spectacular results. As first time parents it was extremely reassuring to see the routine suited both us and our baby. It brought order to what had felt like chaos and on many occasions we needed to wake our baby for his feeds. Our level of confidence increased greatly as a result of the time we spent with our coach and the tools she gave us. Our baby is happier and we are most definitely happier parents.
Ray’s comments and story
I found the service given to be of a high standard. Our coach was punctual and very professional and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. I felt that I learnt a number of things and had the opportunity to brush up on my skills. I gained vital confidence and knowledge during the visit.
We were assisted in weaning my 3 month baby girl, something I could not have done without her help. As well as achieving this I gained both knowledge and confidence with settling my baby which has allowed me to establish very good sleeping and eating routines. Our parenting coach is very personable and has a good approach with dealing with difficult situations. I liked her form and practical manner and I am very happy with the outcome of her assistance for the two days she was here. I wish I had had this contact number when I had my first child- it would have made my life a lot more pleasurable!
See other testimonials related to the headings throughout the web site or read through those on our Mothercraft Home Service web site, through the link on our articles page.
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Disclaimer: Information we provide is for education purposes only. Please consult with your doctor to make sure this information is right for your child.