Baby City Guide 2021-2022

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Sister Lilian says…

Baby City is proud to announce the addition of Sister Lilian to our group of Baby Experts, bringing you the best in advice and tips to equip you to be the best parent that you can be!

My little one has developed a fear of water. Any suggestions?

Aversion to bathing and washing hair is quite common and is often difficult to deal with but mostly passes of its own accord if you don’t make too much of a fuss. One has to find practical ways of dealing with washing in the meantime. Bathing with your little one often works. Warming the bathroom with an oil heater before starting may help in the cold months of the year. Placing the baby bath in the big bath or shower cubicle works for some, keeping a vest and trainer pants on and washing under these for others. Let baby brace feet against the foot end of the bath as this adds to a feeling of security and drape a wet, warm wash cloth over the tummy to ‘ground’ baby, as very effective ways of dealing with fear in a small baby. Washing toddlers and older children under the hosepipe (in summer) in the garden or a big basin of water outside is another possible solution. Simply washing with a washcloth while the little one stands or sits in the bathroom or in the bath can also be done. Small babies especially do not really become that grubby that a wipe down with a moist, warm cloth cannot sort it out. Do not become agitated or anxious as this will reinforce negative reactions from your child. This phase will pass, so keep the light at the end of the tunnel in view! If a traumatic incident with water led to the problem, and these tips do not help, consult a child therapist if the problem persists into toddlerhood or pre-school years

How do I dress my newborn in terms of keeping them warm but not too hot?

Dressing babies in early weeks of life seems like quite a daunting prospect but before you know it you’ll recognise if baby is comfortable or not. The first 3 or 4 days temperature control might still be very unstable and baby may need more snug wrapping than will be the case after this. Changing weather conditions and baby’s individual body-type (scrawny, plump, etc) also play a considerable role. Feel the back of baby’s neck and if clammy and hot, baby might be over dressed, if pleasantly warm, all is probably fine. Hands and feet are generally quite cold on a cool day and at night but that is okay and maybe even a good stimulus to keep breathing! Babies lose most heat through their heads and if one goes walking, baby’s head should be covered – remember they are getting circulating air (a draught, basically) but no heat-producing exercise to warm them. At times a newborn will need a cover-all suit (mostly at night and early morning and evening) and as the day warms, short-sleeved cotton clothes are usually fine. There are no hard and fast rules, because babies differ just like adults do.

What is cradle cap and what can I do about it?

Cradle cap is a thick yellow sticky crust on the scalp and often in the eyebrows and sometimes in the fine hair on newborn ears too. It is thought to be that the skin cells, which baby is shedding at quite a rate, don’t even have time to dry out before falling and stick to the already moist developing epithelial cells beneath. We do know however that cradle cap is also related to eczema and many of these babies either come from families with this condition or go on to develop it themselves. Cradle cap responds very well to the Sister Lilian tissue salt remedies Kali mur and Kali sulph, taken 1 tablet of each crushed and dissolved in 5 ml cooled boiled water 3x/day. You can also massage olive oil into the scalp, leave overnight and wash out the next day or use a fine-tooth comb to remove crusts. A paste of bicarbonate of soda and water, applied and removed after 5 minutes may also help. If it persists you might need to change baby’s formula milk to a special allergy formula. If you are breastfeeding, reduce dairy and grain products in your diet. Do not introduce cereals to baby too early either.

When should my baby move from cot to ‘big bed’?

It is advisable to keep your baby in a cot until at least two years of age or even longer if possible. A big cot is always a good idea to accommodate growth till this time. Once babies have progressed to sleeping in a bed, it’s almost impossible to get them back into a cot. When sleeping in a bed they are able to climb out at night, so not only does that hold the risk of them getting hurt while you’re sleeping, but it also tends to negatively affect their sleeping patterns. The cot provides a safe haven in many ways, the security of a smaller, contained space. Parents often try to get a toddler to grow up faster when they are pregnant with a next baby, thinking that it will help them cope with the new addition to the family. Truth is that this often increases the insecurities that a toddler experiences at a time like this. One should take care not to let them feel that they need to ‘grow up’. They are still babies and, if you allow them to be that, they normally handle the transition a lot easier.

What’s better, a camp cot or a traditional cot?

It is not a must to have a traditional cot but it can provide a secure and practical environment for your baby, which a too-small camp cot might not in the long run. There need not be concerns about baby’s posture, back and neck, if the camp cot has a firm base and does not create a hammock-effect. A camp cot has the advantage of being a ‘bed away from home’ when necessary, often making sleep issues easier when visiting. It is also transportable around the home and usually takes less space. The ideal camp cot is one in which the mattress height is adjustable so that you can have baby close to your bed at night, almost as an extension to your bed. A camp cot should be quite big to accommodate a growing baby, if you will be using it for quite a while, and also to prevent climbing-out accidents. If the base is firm and secure and the mattress fairly firm, one need not worry about any effects to baby’s development or posture in a camp cot, when used most of the time. A standard cot too should be roomy enough to prevent your baby needing to move on to a bed too soon, as this often heralds the end of going to bed easily at night. Of course, many babies end up more in their parent’s beds at night than anywhere else and that too is fine, often leading to more secure little ones and less hassles at night for the parents, especially moms! One more factor to consider is your back! A camp cot requires a lot more bending and in time your back might feel it!

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