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It’s November and the weather is starting to become a bit colder and I expect most of us will be digging out our bulky winter coats soon if you haven’t already. If you are a new mum or about to become a new mum you will probably buy or receive some beautiful winter coats or all in one snowsuits for your baby but I want and need you to think twice before using these in conjunction with your car seats as we move into the winter season.

[bctt tweet=”A bulky coat and a car seat is a dangerous combination and here’s why: A bulky coat under a child seat harness can result in the harness being too loose to be effective in a crash.” username=”alicanavan”]

You need to make sure that there is nothing compressible between your child and the straps. All you have to do is compress a bulky coat in your hands and then let go and watch the air fill back up instantly. Even the RSA (road safety authority) have advised that bulky winter coats can pose a serious threat when worn under the straps of car seats and they even mention booster seats too so this warning is not just for tiny babies.

car seat safety, car seats, baby, children, parenting

So how do you know if your child’s jacket is too bulky? Well the primary concern is the thickness of the fabric especially puffy jackets and snowsuits. Here’s a little experiment you can do at home to check if winter coats are safe for car Seats. This test will show you how thick the coat is and how much the coat will compress during a crash.

 

  • Take the car seat into the house.
  • Put the winter coat or snowsuit on the child.
  • Put the child in the car seat and buckle the harnesses as you normally would before car travel. Adjust the straps to the appropriate fit for your child.
  • Take the child out of the car seat without loosening the straps at all.
  • Take the coat off your child.
  • Put the child back in the car seat and buckle the harnesses again, but do not tighten the straps.
  • If you can fit more than two fingers under the harness at the child’s shoulder bone, the coat is too thick and is not safe for use with the car seat.

 

I can pretty much guarantee you no winter jacket you have is safe! Basically the thickened fabric will compress and leave the harness slack on the child, allowing excessive movement or even ejection in the event of an accident.

But my child will be cold? It’s such a hassle! What are my alternatives? I hear you and as a busy mum myself even an extra 10 seconds sometimes can seem like a lot, but I cannot stress how important this is. I am deeply passionate about getting this message across as my son’s car seat saved his life in an accident and not just his car seat, but the fact that he was restrained tightly enough. Someone reversed into me so it was not my fault and unexpected so please ‘safety first.

In the winter you can put extra layers on them, long johns, tights, thermal vests or a hat. You can also just take the coat off strap them in and put their coat on backwards so they can put their arms through the opposite way round. If you have a wriggler this won’t work so there are companies like Happynest, and Morrck that sell baby wraps that allow the baby to be strapped securely into the car seat without interfering with the safety of the straps. There are also videos on both of these sites, which will show quite clearly how these products work. You can also get car seat ponchos from Car Seat Poncho which make it incredibly easy to get your child in and out of the car.

So maybe coming up to Christmas if you are buying a pressie for a new mum, park the snowsuit and embrace the wrap.

Help me to spread the word and save lives by buying functional, safe and effective presents and sharing this post with your friends

Thanks

Ali xxx

PARENTING IS LIKE STARTING A NEW JOB EVERY SINGLE DAY

 

Event slider working moms event

Are you heading back to work after maternity leave or just struggling to find a balance between work and home? Are you starting a new career or even just thinking about returning to work? If you answered yes to any of these questions then Eumom’s Next Steps event is for you!!

This event is the first of its kind in Ireland and I’m delighted to be presenting it alongside some truly inspirational women like journalist and author Emily Hourican ; owner of organic baby food company, Organic Little One, Niamh O’Dwyer; lawyer & CEO of Swim Ireland, Sarah Keane; and politician and working mom Lucinda Creighton.

There will be a series of hands-on workshops from LinkedIn, Mumager and Interviewtutor.ie to provide guidance and support if you:

  • are returning to work from maternity leave or perhaps a longer career break.
  • are looking to change career or upskill.
  • would like to start your own business.

 

Tickets can be booked on Eventbrite at: http://www.eventbrite.ie/e/next-steps-an-event-for-working-moms-tickets-18474295114

 

Attendees choose 2 workshops , one from each section below.

 

Workshop A Choice (10.45- 11.30am)

Choose one of the following:

 

  1. CV & INTERVIEW MASTERCLASS

 

If you’re questioning whether your CV would pass the recruiter test, then don’t miss our comprehensive CV masterclass with top interview tips that will have you prepared and confident in making that crucial next step on the career ladder. Hosted by mom and founder of interviewtutor.ie, Orla Donagher, Orla facilitates workshops for Job seekers and also for Employers. She has contributed to articles in Stellar Magazine and has appeared as a career coach in the RTE 2 series “The Unemployables”

 

  1. START YOUR OWN BUSINESS

Want to start your own business but unsure of the first steps to take? This talk will explore everything from exploring an initial idea, taking action and following it through to completion. Hosted by mom, Pauline Sargent, Pauline been running Social Zavvy a digital communications business for the last five years. She also founded DigiWomen in 2012 for female makers and users of technology. DigiWomen was chosen for the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program this year. Her mission in life is to make it easier for more women to set up their own business.

 

  1. HANDLING DIFFICULT CONVERSATIONS

We all have to have them – whether it’s a conversation with your boss about flexible working, or asking your partner to help you more at home.  Discover how to deliver your message so that the other person listens – and feels compelled to change their behaviour or take action. The working mom experts, Mumager, show you how in this pro-active workshop.

 

Workshop B Choice (11.55- 12.40pm)

Choose one of the following:

  1. MAKING SOCIAL MEDIA WORK FOR YOU

Mom of two, Abi Williams of LinkedIn presents ‘Super charge your career using LinkedIn.’ This workshop will showcase the power of leveraging LinkedIn tools to suit your needs and advance your career to the next level. Whether you want to keep on top of topical work-related news and in touch with work colleagues while on leave, or optimise your professional brand image, Abi will show you how. Abi is a sales professional and business leader who is passionate about developing people and helping others achieve their full potential. She’s been at LinkedIn for over 2 years and fully believes in the LinkedIn vision of “Creating economic opportunity for everyone in the world.”

 

  1. MANAGING GUILT

Wracked with guilt over being a working mum?  Or feeling guilty because you don’t feel guilty?  Find out how to get a grip on your guilt and feel more proactive.  In this module you’ll explore practical things that you can do to take charge and reduce how guilty you’re feeling. Our talented Mumager experts will be your guide in this super-helpful workshop

 

  1. GETTING WHAT YOU WANT FROM WORK

Do you know what your entitlements are as a working parent? Would you like to have a more flexible work schedule or more understanding colleagues? In this module we’ll explain how to get what you want from your employer and colleagues.

– See more at: Inspirational Working Mums

Full details on:

Eumom Next Steps Working Event

Read Sharon Tighe’s (eumom) article here:

Positive Next Steps Working Parents Ireland

I hope to see you there

Ali xxx

Any one who has a child understands the joy of getting them to brush their teeth! I’ve even tried turning it into different games including a fun competition to see who can wiggle their bum the fastest while the other person brushes. Needless to say I’m always the clear winner here although James might not agree.

Read more

Safefood campaign Babies Know the facts about Folic 1

Last month I helped launch Safefoods “babies know the facts about folic campaign”. The campaign is primarily to raise the importance of folic acid for all sexually active women whether or not they are planning a pregnancy.

I’m very lucky to be the mum of a beautiful 4-year-old boy James but I like to do things differently and in life it seems I’m quite fond of the element of surprise. Having been with my boyfriend in the states for a number of years, we separated and I decided to come home to heal my broken heart for a couple of weeks.

That was over 5 years ago now and I’m still here. The reason I am telling you this story is because I was about 10 weeks pregnant when I found out and panic set in because I had not been taking folic acid.

I was even more surprised to hear statistics that 50% of births are unplanned in Ireland although how many of us have surprise siblings and I can’t tell you how many of my friends are having surprise honeymoon, 2nd and 3rd babies at the moment with one of my best friends about to give birth to identical twins in a few weeks which means she will have 4 children under 3! Now that’s a busy household.

But what really concerns me is that Ireland has one of the highest rates of neural tube defects in the world and these types of statistics we can absolutely do something about.

Information is power and as a mother I cannot tell you how important that statement is. When I was living in California I was living a very healthy lifestyle and of course children had been discussed. I had visited specialists because I had various concerns such as polycystic ovaries and pre cancerous cells and we had all sat down and talked about what I might need to do or indeed not do to get pregnant and this included dietary advice but no mention of folic acid. In fact I was under the impression that there was no benefit to taking folic acid until you were actually pregnant and this could not be further from the truth.

If I had been lucky enough to have had access to the type of information we are hearing in this campaign I would definitely have been taking folic acid.

For me personally it would have meant a lot less anxiety and stress because all women get a free gift with pregnancy and its called parental guilt and yes this guilt starts long before your baby is even born.

*It is important to also understand that 1/3 of neural tube defects are genetic and therefore completely outside the mothers control.

 

new - PRENATAL MULTIVITAMIN COMPLEX 50 (2)You would have to eat 12 ½ heads of broccoli to reach the level of folic acid you need and even my nutribullet can’t help me achieve that. Folic acid is very simply a B vitamin (also known as folate or vitamin B9) and it is a water-soluble vitamin, which helps grow and protect cells in your body. Your body does not store water-soluble vitamins so you need to keep replenishing your supply daily. Foods like fortified grains, spinach, lentils, chickpeas, asparagus, broccoli, peas, brussels sprouts, corn and oranges all contain folic acid but making sure you get enough folic acid every day from these foods is a challenge. This is reason why supplementation is necessary. But the type of and quality of the supplement is also very important as a lot of supplements have binders and fillers. Terranova do a great prenatal Vitamin with 400iu of methylfolate in it. Folic acid is basically a synthetic version of the folate that is found in foods. Folic acid is not found in nature, and the human body cannot use folic acid as it is – it must first be metabolised into it’s active methylfolate form in order to provide it’s benefits and it is in this form in all Terranova products. You can buy it www.evergreen.ie 

The neural tube actually forms in weeks three and four of pregnancy and grows into the brain and spinal cord and this is before myself and most of my friends even discovered we were expecting.

This week I asked many of my friends who are trying for babies were they taking folic acid and out of about 15 one said yes so lets try and change that to one saying no.

It is a myth that you only need folic acid when you discover you are pregnant. This campaign is asking for all sexually active women to take folic acid and like everything in life prevention is better than cure and this campaign simply means that as a nation we are putting our most precious cargo first and protecting the next generation.

What does “Outdoor Play” mean exactly? Playing outside? Cycling a bike? Splashing in puddles? Yes, but it is also so much more!

splashing puddles

DID YOU KNOW that you are encouraging a child’s understanding of the world by asking “Do you NEED your coat today!” Or that you are developing a child’s hand eye coordination (needed for writing) by asking them to point at an aeroplane in the sky!

But what are the obstacles for you as a parent in accessing Outdoor Play?
Safety? Time? Sickness? “Irish” Weather? Equipment?

Now, think back and ask yourself:

“Did you drink water from the garden tap and survive?”

Child Drinking from Garden Hose

Outdoor Play plays an important part in a child’s whole development and here’s a few examples why…
Encouraging and developing:

1. Self help skills like fastening coats, putting on shoes.

2. Coping with conflict and learning about consequences of actions

3. Extra opportunities to take risks with and without adult support

4. Freedom to run and shout, express feelings

 

TOP TIP: Imagine a child colouring on a piece of paper out in the garden. A gentle breeze comes along and tries to blow the piece of paper away. You are not there to catch the page. How does a child know to hold a piece of paper down with one hand and colour with the other?

There are lots of opportunities for developing the

1. Use and understanding of movement vocabulary – “in” “on” “under”

2. Early reading skills – by seeing and understanding that print carries meaning. road signs, parking, tickets, bus stop

3. Listening and memory skills
TOP TIP: Next time you are outside with your child – even walking from the house to the car – ask your child to list 3 things that they can hear and 3 things they can see. Are they different to what you can hear and see?

We are surrounded by maths without even knowing it:

1. Counting skills e.g. steps, lampposts, yellow reg cars!

2. Shape & size

3. Quantities – e.g. when playing with sand & water or planting

4. Measurement of distances

5. Observing patterns – e.g. Leaves, webs, cracks on path

6. Make “active” patterns – eg. hop, jump, hop, jump

hopscotch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOP TIP: Do you still avoid walking on the cracks in the path in case you’ll fall in! Or how many lampposts/trees are there from your house to the end of the road? How many bricks are there in the pillar of your house?

The world is all around us is so interesting…

1. Observing & investigating living things – taking care of a pet

2. Growth and understanding the passing of time -Plant seeds

3. Observe changes in seasons and weather

4. Using & investigating their senses

 

flowers smellingTOP TIP: Stop and smell the flowers, allow children to run their fingers or sticks along railings-what sound does it make, kick through the autumn leaves or stomp on the crunchy ones, make rubbings of tree bark and their surfaces.

Of course we all associate our Physical Development with outdoors:

1. Hopping, jumping, climbing, running, skipping, throwing and catching…need I go on!

2. Abilities to steer, dodge, push and pull wheeled toys e.g. bike

3. More acute physical development by pegging out washing on a line, watering plants

 

Outdoor Play shouldn’t be an activity we dread or feel under pressure to do. As with most things – little and often is as good as if not better than one grand gesture!

Todd’s Tip: When you arrive home in the car why not stroll to the top of the road before going into the house – your coats are already on! Talk about what you see, hear and stop and smell the roses!

Here are some simple games and opportunities you may be able to work into your day:

“I spy with my little eye” or

“I hear with my little ear…”

Feeding the birds

Bubbles

Sand – a lunch box and lid in the garden/patio

Secret Sound Saturday (what can you hear)

Remember it’s often the process not the project that we learn from. Enjoy yourselves!

Giving you “a helping hand in those formative years”

For further information contact me on info.thetoddlerinn@gmail.com or 018384492

 

IMG_1686ps_ppAisling Ni Dhoibhilin is a qualified childcare professional & formative years specialist. Aisling has a passion for all things “Early Years” and supporting parents and families in those formative years. With 15years childcare experience behind her; Aisling is currently managing The Toddler Inn crèche & Preschool in Dublin 7.

healthy kids food

Do you think that the habits we instill in our kids during their formative years as babies and children will affect their health later on in life?

Well the simple answer is they will and they do which is why we have got to take action and get our kids healthy.

Having just spent the time in Germany at a nutrition conference I am now more passionate than ever about getting our kids to eat better. I had the opportunity to spend the weekend with David Sandoval who is one of the world’s leading wholefood nutritionist’s. His philosophy is very simple: “kids don’t do what you tell them to do, they imitate what you do”

If your kids see you eating take out and processed packaged foods all the time and drinking fizzy drinks they will think nothing of doing it themselves. Fast food joints like McDonalds should not be a treat even for birthday parties. Let me put it this way: if every parent decided that once a year for their own kid’s birthday McDonalds is allowed, but every week your kid has a different birthday party to attend which means that, now your kid will be having McDonalds every week! So really your decision as a parent now affects so many other children too. We need to take responsibility for all of our kid’s health and there are so many other ways to celebrate keeping it healthy!

I know we are all sick of hearing that obesity is on the rise but the reality is that if we don’t do something we are setting our kids up for a lifetime of disease and struggles. A poor diet has been shown to contribute to a lowered immune system, poor energy levels, concentration and behavior problems in school and at home and a wide variety of illnesses like diabetes, digestive issues, mental and emotional problems.

You might not think mood is related to our lifestyle but they are intrinsically linked. We have a chronic problem with mental health in Ireland and instead of medicating why can’t we look at nutrition first?

David shared a couple of key recommendations with me that will help parents ensure the entire family eats better. With babies its important to train their taste buds and brains early on by giving them a wide variety of foods and remember a baby might need to taste and be offered a food up to 8 times before they will accept it so persistence and patience is key.

Let them know early on that their opinion matters and that they have choices but limit their choices to an approved food list. I have a rainbow food chart that I bought from www.lizcookcharts.co.uk on the wall in the kitchen.

colour chart

This activity chart has been designed as a fun way to help children (and adults) to eat the recommended five portions of brightly coloured fruit and vegetables every day. Each family member gets a set of re-useable animal stickers so they can see their healthy fruit and vegetable food intake, aiming to get one sticker on each of the five rainbow colour food groups every day. Because I’m so passionate about greens I take it one step further and ask for 3-4 stickers a day on the greens alone and then there is a reward of the playground or a trip to smyth’s or the movies at the end of the month. This works with James and taking it one step further again it encourages him to choose different coloured fruits and veggies in the supermarket.

Variety and colour stimulate the mind. There is a great website called Food and Spirit and I had the pleasure of hearing Dr Deanna Minich speak recently at the NTOI (nutritional therapists of Ireland’s) conference. She maintains that “The doorway to our health and well-being is before us, rooted at the dining room table, at the restaurant, at the grocery store, at the farmers market, and in the garden. And, within the eating experiences are planted the TRUE ROOT OF WHAT NEEDS HEALING at our innermost core.”

So with all this is mind the final step is how we present food to our kids. It needs to be kid friendly so again colour and kid friendly sizes are key. David recommends cutting oranges across and not down so that kids taste the sweetness not the bitterness first, bananas and apples should be cut into slices. Purple and red grapes and great and full of nutrients but David said never green grapes as they have far too much sugar. Freeze the red grapes for treats (never give these unsupervised to small children as they can be a choking hazard) and if your children eat a lot of treats and processed foods start retraining their taste buds one substitution at a time. For example if they were eating gummy bears now switch to raisins, cranberries and dried fruits.

I always encourage James to eat his water and in my opinion this relates to everyone, as most people are not sufficiently hydrated each day leading to many health problems including overeating as very often thirst is mistaken for hunger. Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables like watermelon, oranges, tomatoes, cucumber, celery and berries are all great.

The most important thing is to create desire. A great and very simple way to achieve this is by using a simple psychological trick. When you are eating say things like yum yum this is delicious and it will encourage your kids to imitate you.

Adding a little salt and butter to veggies (not for weaning babies) is also a great way to help make them taste better and butter is actually a great source of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. In fact, the vitamin A that is contained in butter is best absorbed in this form than any other. But not all butter and salt is created equal so sea salt or pink himalayan salt is best and real butter not processed spreads.

The most important thing is to have fun with food and if you keep offering delicious healthy food they will accept it eventually. Get them involved in the process and let them help with preparation. Kids love nothing more than feeling important and remember that health and vitality is possible for every family just take it one step at a time.

child hand on mouth

Children need Omega-3 for every stage of their development. It boosts their brains, strengthens their immune systems and lifts their mood. It is also claimed to improve behaviour, reduce anxiety and helps to improve language. Sounds too good to be true – yet scientific research continues to show impressive results.

BUT HOW DO YOU ENSURE YOUR KIDS ARE GETTING ENOUGH??

Well as a parent, we’re told to feed our children oily fish twice a week, but this is easier said than done. It certainly doesn’t happen in this house anyway and very often you will find that kids like to eat plain foods with most baulking at the sight and smell of fish. So how do we sneak these essential Omega 3 fatty oils into their bodies? A supplement is the simple answer.

Both James and myself take Eskimo-3. James takes his Eskimo Kids right off the spoon but I have been giving it to him since he was one so he really doesn’t know any different. Many of my friends however struggle to get their kids to take it off the spoon so here are some clever ways of hiding it in food:

Eskimo-3 Kids is available in two flavours – Zingy Orange and Tutti Fruity. While Tutti Frutti is a favourite of many due to a bubble gum flavour, orange is ideal if you need to disguise it into food or drink. Due to a very mild orange flavour, Eskimo-3 Kids orange can be disguised in many ways:

HERE’S MY 11 WAYS TO OMEGA HEAVEN

1. Blend it – Make smoothies, why don’t you put Eskimo-3 Kids into the Smoothie too!

2. Mix it into a yoghurt

3. Mix into fruit juices e.g. apple, orange, pear

4. Put it into porridge with fruit

5. Drizzle fish oil on steamed, sautéed, or roasted veggies

6. Mix it into a sorbet, or even ice cream

7. Drizzle it on bread, before spreading peanut butter

8. Drizzle it on bread, before spreading mashed banana

9. Drizzle into mash potato or vegetables.

10. Mix it with apple sauce

11. Add Eskimo-3 Kids into Protein Balls mixture

Eskimo-3 kids is one of the purest fish oils available today and has been on the Market for more than 20 years. Extracted from the flesh of the fish and not the liver, it goes beyond the strictest laws to ensure you get a fresh and stable oil, free from contaminants and heavy metals like mercury; therefore “as clean as nature intended.”

As a mum and nutritional coach I know that James needs more than just a multivitamin to support his health. A child’s brain and nervous system have different fatty acid requirements whilst growing and the great thing about Eskimo-3 Kids is that it has been specifically formulated to combine natural fish oil with natural plant oils, providing a balance of omega-3, -6 and -9 that reflects these needs. Omega fatty acids are ideal support for our kids health, brain function and all-round ability, helping them to achieve their full potential at school too!

eskimo kids

Available in Health Food Stores and selected Pharmacies nationwide.

h

I get so many emails from mothers, and people in general, asking me how I do everything — because it sure looks like I’m juggling an awful lot!

It’s true, I am juggling a lot. And I won’t lie — being a single parent and working has been damn hard.

Even though James is a little older now, it’s still very tough but it’s still a hell of a lot more manageable than it used to be.

Also, anything worthwhile in life doesn’t come easy. I have learned to manage myself and my time better and I do what’s important to me. thankfully, I’ve finally found a balance and, most importantly, I’m chasing my dreams.

It’s important to dream no matter what anyone tells you. Five years ago, I was pregnant and absolutely terrified. I was about to become a single parent and I was back living with my mum — leaving the big bright lights of New York City behind.

I thought I had nothing when James was born. I was broke, worried and pretty terrified about the future. Having had an incredibly successful career as a model abroad I came back down to earth with a bang. Five years on, I’ve learned so much about life but, more importantly, I’ve discovered so much about myself.

I have learned how resilient we are as human beings and that we always have choices, no matter how dark and difficult situations may seem.

There were days I thought I would never get a break but my years in New York taught me to never give up, while that voice in my head that kept saying, ‘hard work pays off’ was right.

Waiting for any kind of a break was torture but I woke up every day, put a smile on my face and pushed myself harder than ever before.

Sometimes I want to run before I can walk but I have realise now that I have been moving at a pace that is giving me the ability to grow into the person I have become today.

I have learned to see the miracles in every day life. I have finally grown to like myself — hell, even love myself after 37 years. Giving myself permission to do this has made a remarkable difference in my recovery from depression and anxiety.

I have made changes to my life, very slowly, and they have become well-ingrained habits. I sleep more, eat well, exercise, meditate, write a gratitude diary and I’m kind to myself.

After choosing to take an arduous, yet worthwhile, path, I no longer fall into the old habits that are very destructive to both myself, my family, my health and my wellbeing. Instead I’m trying to really feel my feelings and it’s hard but, let me tell you, making that choice has been so worthwhile.

h

You see, we are all born with the complete set of our own jigsaw puzzle, but it’s how we put our jigsaw together that makes the difference.

Some people start with the border and fill it in by joining the pieces, bit by bit, towards the centre. Others start with the corners and fit each piece onto it until it’s complete. That’s the magic of life; we are all different and we will all deal with life, and all it throws at us, in our own way.

Sometimes pieces go missing, but we find them under chairs and couches eventually.

I was also unaware of the really important pieces I had within me but never used. For years I searched for happiness to fill the gaping hole I felt. I always thought that the next job, party, boyfriend or holiday would do the trick.

Now I know I have to look within as everything I need is already there. I filled that empty space, through the years, with parties and alcohol. I was in pain and they were my pain relief.

I now have a beautiful son who I thank every day for saving my life. I’m dreaming bigger and living a better life than ever before.

I never thought I would be able to tell my story, I never thought I could go back and study again, I never thought I would be good enough to rear James on my own and I never thought I could achieve happiness.

Every day I’m achieving these things and more — and you can, too. Sometimes we think it’s selfish to think of ourselves but I think it’s selfless and important to give ourselves the permission to like and even love ourselves.

Experiment and find your formula, eat well and exercise. Try mindfulness or meditation and take time for yourself. Life can be hard work but work hard on the positive things that will make you healthy and happy, and not on the negative lifestyle habits that make life harder. It’s up to you.

Which life will you choose?

Ali xxx

hLike everything baby related because babies are all different they will all experience teething differently. One of my friends has three children now and this is the first time teething has caused chaos in their house. The other two dribbled and drooled but this little fella is not sleeping, his routine is completely out of whack, he’s refusing food and in turn it’s disturbing the other two kids as well.

 

Teething can be a testing time for everyone. I often think how cruel it is that our little ones have to go through such pain but the only silver lining here is they don’t remember: but we do! James started teething early, he was just nearly three months old and as he didn’t sleep for about two years I didn’t really know any different but boy if you’ve had two sleepers and then a child who is suddenly not sleeping it can be really tough.

 

You feel so helpless as a parent watching them with their red cheeks, eating their hands and yours and drooling all over everything and everyone they come into contact with. The symptoms of teething can vary depending on when your child is cutting his or her first tooth. My sister was actually born with a tooth but the majority of babies start teething between four and nine months and don’t panic if your baby is not teething yet because some little ones may start teething as late as one year of age.

 

The individual and very different teething experiences that babies go through mean experts often disagree about the symptoms of teething. However most parents notice some of the following in their little one – drooling, biting, irritability, ear pulling and sleeplessness. In the beginning you might be dealing with a lot of dribble for quite a while. There are some amazing brands around now like Cozi Dry.

complete gift set cozidry

Emily Godson came up with the idea for this product when each of her three babies drooled incessantly while they were teething. She remembers her ‘eureka’ moment, whilst changing her baby’s vest for the 100th time and she wondered why she had never thought of the idea before when she was designing kid’s clothes. She sells vest, bibs and gift sets ranging from €18-75 www.cozidry.com

 

If you are trying to take shortcuts in life make them worthwhile. I’m a great believer in using products that work and vests like these help prevent your babies clothes becoming damp which can lead to colds and skin rashes.

Neckerchew French Chic

 

There are also lots of great bibs on the market like the neckerchew €15.99 from www.cheekychompers.com that are a bib and a teether in one! Your baby will love the chewy piece on the corner of these bibs which means no more teething toys being flung around the car, restaurants or even when you’re out for a walk!

teetha

As far as pain management goes I used Teetha (€6.49 www.earthmother.ie) all the time. James actually recognized the little sachets after a while and used to get very excited when I took them out which led me to believe it gave him great relief.  The Nelsons Teetha Teething Granules are a homeopathic remedy, which is another reason I felt so comfortable using them. As James was so young I really didn’t want to be giving him medicine all the time. I used their teething gel (€5.99) at night before I put him down and if he was struggling during the night I would rub some more on.

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Keeping lots of bits and pieces in the freezer was also my savior. When James was a bit older and eating solids I used the Clevamama Clevafeed (€6.99), which is great for putting frozen fruit into and they can chew away to their hearts content. Never leave your child unattended with these items though.

 

It’s normal for sleeping and eating patterns to be disrupted during this time and if you have a teething tot you will need a lot of patience and cuddles to hand but it’s important to note that if your baby is experiencing diarrhoea or has a temperature or if you detect bleeding of the gums or if you are worried about your baby’s symptoms please consult your doctor.