Category:Tips’

Baby Diaper Rash

 - by Dania

A few days ago, my 8 months old daughter little tush became angry.  It was a very red and irritated.  She would cry at the mere sight of the baby wipe.  It broke my heart.  To avoid the tears, I would take her under the sink and wash her with warm water and gentle baby soap.  I dried her really well and applied the diaper rash cream (containing zinc oxide) and it was not getting better.  She just kept getting redder.  I asked the pharmacist for advice and she suggested an anti fungal cream (similar to the ones used for yeast infections) applied lightly twice a day underneath the rash cream.  By the next morning the redness had lessened but the biggest improvement was in the itchiness and burning.  The wipes were not burning her anymore but  I still washed her under the sink at every change to help minimize any irritations.  The biggest improvement came when I applied the diaper rash cream (my all time favorite is Penaten, that stuff is amazing!) and covered it with a thin layer of Petroleum Jelly.  This would prevent any wetness from getting through and interfering with the effectiveness of the diaper rash cream.  I did this once in the morning and before bed at night so as not to completely seal off the area from breathing.  Her little tushy is now a mild shade of pink and on the way to making a complete recovery.

It is not easy watching our little ones go through any pain and we will try anything to help make them feel better.  Here are some more tips I looked up to help prevent or heal diaper rash:

  • Spend a few minutes a day without a diaper
  • Make sure your dry the area thoroughly before putting on a new diaper
  • Check baby’s diaper often and try to change it as soon as is gets soiled
  •  Wash baby with warm water and gentle soap to avoid further irritation and make sure to rinse thoroughly
  • Apply diaper rash cream at each diaper change

Good luck!

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Travelling with Kids!

 - by Dania

We recently went on a 14 hour car trip with the family.  I was very worried about how the baby was going to handle it and if we were going to survive with our sanity.  My 8 year old is easy, she packed her own fun bag and put in every thing she needed to keep her busy along the way.  I prepared some sandwiches, water and snacks the day before, packed up the suitcases and we were good to go.

It was the baby’s things that had me in a tizzy, we need a trunk full to go to the grocery store let alone such a long trip.  But planning ahead helped a lot and overall the trip went very well.  One thing that really helped us was breaking up the trip into two sections and spending the night en route.  We were all rested the nest morning and the trip did not seem so bad when we weren’t exhausted.

Many people drive at night while baby is sleeping to be able to make the least amount of stops and cover more ground, this is a very practical way but doesn’t always work out.  If you are going to travel during the day here are some tips that helped us:

  • Time beginning of trip with baby’s nap time.  This way you get a few hours on the road before you have to make your first stop.
  • Make stops every 2-3 hours.  This give you a chance to stretch your legs and baby gets a diaper change and a break from the car seat.  A little back rub will help too.
  • Buy a couple of new toys that baby hasn’t seen before and give them out one at a time during fussy times.  This will give you some extra time when you need it.
  • If you have a portable DVD players bring along DVD for baby (Barney, baby Einstein, anything with strong visuals and music).  This is great if you are not able to make a stop but need to keep baby busy. (I only use TV or DVD player for baby in a pinch).
  • Keep a bag of baby bottles and snacks in the car with you (if you breastfeed, pump and have the bottles ready), you can prepare and give to baby without having to make a stop.
  • Keep blanket and neck donut on hand to keep baby comfy while they sleep.
  • Snacks for you, you need to keep your energy up.

Essential Supplies list:

  • Enough food and milk for the whole trip.  You don’t want to run out of anything on the way and have to make emergency stops especially in areas you are not familiar with.
  • Feeding tools: bottles, nipples, bibs, bowls and spoons
  • Water
  • Formula
  • First Aid kit:
    • Thermometer
    • Nail clippers
    • Gripe water (or whatever you use) for upset tummy
    • Baby Tylenol (or Tempra for pain and fever)
    • Teething cream
    • Infant insect repellant
    • Infant sunscreen lotion
    • Band aids
    • Antiseptic cream
    • Calamine lotion
    • Sanitizer
    • Alcohol wipes
  • Enough diapers, wipes, rash cream and/or baby powder
  • Scented plastic bags for dirty diapers
  • Spare change of clothes handy in the car for emergencies

 

Don’t forget to pack:

  • Breast pump if you breastfeed
  • Play pen or portable crib (for overnight stops)
  • Nightlight for feeding baby at night in unfamiliar room
  • High chair/shopping cart cover:  Love this, easy for me to just cover and slide baby in!
  • Baby’s passport if you are leaving the country (and yours too for that matter)
  • Stroller
  • Any item baby is attached to help soothe them when they are fussy

It is not easy but it is very feasible and can be fun if you are prepared.  Most importantly, keep a positive mind set and don’t let anything get to you.  In the end you will reach your destination so might as well enjoy the ride!

As always, feel free to add your tips, the more help, the better.

Have a safe and sane trip :)

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No camp this summer? Entertain your kids on a budget

 - by Dania

This is not an easy time of year for moms, the kids are at home!  ok, breath! we will get through this.  With this economy, summer camps are not always an option. To top it off, our kids seem to need constant attention and entertainment, they have the attention span of gnats for God’s sake.  You have to be ready with activities and plans for things to do otherwise you will be in for a looooooooonnnng summer break.

Here are some ideas, I have done many of them, hoping to do them all or most of them before the end of summer:

  • Make a trip to your locale craft store and get some projects that fit your budget:
    • Weaving 
    • Jewelry making
    • Light catcher painting
    • Pottery making kit
    • Candle making kit
    • Build a jewelry box
    • Puppet making
    • Woodworking kit
    • Build a birdhouse
    • Car or plane building kits
  • Head to Big Lots for a large canvas and paints for under $10.  A masterpiece on a budget.
  • Mini trips to the mall for ice cream
  • Catch a matinee
  • Lunch picnic in the back yard
  • Baking and cooking fun recipes together
  • Puzzles
  • Plan a scavenger hunt in your backyard
  • Bowling
  • Board games
  • Play dates
  • Create and rehearse a show to perform to the family at the end of the day
  • Science experiments
  • Swimming at the local pool
  • Visit local museums (find out on line what is available in your city, many are free)
  • Family walks at the park or around the neighborhood
  • Family movie night complete with snacks and popcorn
  • Bike rides in the park
  • If possible, time with grandparents.   A sleepover is like a mini adventure for them and a break for mom.
  • Camping out in the back yard under the stars, telling stories.
  • Gardening, planting and watching the fruit of their labors grow.

I hope these are helpful.  I am always on the look out for more ideas, so feel free to post any you have.

Good luck moms, it will be over soon enough :)

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Navigating the solid food maze

 - by Dania

Introducing Solid Food

As if having a baby is not hard enough work, now mine is six months old and needs to start on solid foods.  Which should be the first, what order how much, when, where, how, why……it can be overwhelming.  I have done my research, talked to the Dr., asked friends, read the books, asked my mom and used my judgment and here is the schedule I have put together:

First a couple of tips:

  • Each new food you introduce to your baby should be given alone (or with foods that have already been tried and well accepted by baby) so that if there is a sensitivity or allergy, you can pinpoint it.
  • Introduce any new food to baby  before noon so that if they have any reaction to it you have time to contact Dr. for help and monitor
  • Give them each type of food for at least 3 days (some Doctors recommend 5) so their bodies have time to adjust to it before moving on
  • These foods should be smooth in texture: strained, pureed or finely mashed and thinned with liquid if needed to the consistency of thick cream.  The texture can become progressively thicker as baby becomes more experienced.

Order of introduction I am following with my baby – we are now on number 10:

  1. Mashed avocado  (I heard it was very healthy and nutritious – great as a first solid)
  2. Rice cereal*
  3. Oatmeal cereal *
  4. Steamed sweet potato
  5. Steamed butternut squash
  6. Steamed carrot
  7. Steamed zucchini (mixed in with other veggies as it does not have much flavor but great to help fight constipation)
  8. Mashed bananas
  9. Steamed or grated apple
  10. Pureed peaches
  11. Barley cereal*
  12. Egg yolk ( a little at a time)
  13. Meats

* I started with one tbsp of cereal diluted in water or mother’s milk and increased portions progressively.  As for portion size, start with 2-2.5 oz then work up to 4-5oz.

Of course there are many more steps but these are the first foods and once baby is used to them introducing the rest is easier.

I decided to make the baby food at home, it doesn’t take too long to prepare and I make enough for several days.  For the steamed veggies, I peel and cut into chunks and steam until cooked through.  I then mash with hand blender with a bit of the liquid to get the required consistency.  Separate into portions and refrigerate.  If you have prepared enough for more than a couple of days then freeze them for later use.

One tip that worked for my baby:  After a couple of weeks on veggies, baby is used to them but she doesn’t seem thrilled and doesn’t open her mouth easily.  I tasted it and of course it is bland so I added herbs when steaming to give them more flavor.  She opens her mouth now and seems to enjoy them.  Her current favorite combo is: sweet potato, zucchini, and oregano.

If you choose the baby food jars, brands that use organic products are best and check out the ingredient list before making a decision.

It can be overwhelming but it is only for a couple of months before baby is able to eat a large variety of food, before you know it your little connoisseur will be joining you at the table!

Bon apetit

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Anise Tea for babies, kids and adults

 - by Dania

I remember drinking it with my grandmother as a child.  She used to make it every morning.  She would give me my little cup and we would sit together with some biscuits and the aromatic tea and have our morning chat.  Every time I get a whiff of anise, I remember my grandmother and when I don’t feel well, I make myself a cup of the tea and it always seems to help and take me back to those wonderful days.

I especially drink it during the months I’m breastfeeding so that the baby gets the benefits also.  It seems to help settle her tummy and help with colic and doesn’t hurt the flavor of the milk either.

Anise tea is great for bloating, constipation and general tummy upsets.  You can find anise seeds in most grocery stores.  Anise is also known as aniseed, pimpinel seed, and sweet cumin.

The tea is really easy to make:

  1. Put 1 tsp of seeds in 300 ml of water bring to a boil.
  2. As soon as it begins to boil take off heat
  • For kids and adults, you can have it warm with sugar if you like.  It is very fragrant and soothing.
  • For babies  let it cool to room temperature then give baby 1-2 tsp in the morning and 1-2 in the evening.  Babies like it because of the sweet flavor.  You can also dilute some in some water and give to baby is sippy cup.

My baby started eating solids and teething and of course got constipated.  I gave her some anise tea in her sippy cup with water and I put a couple of  tea spoons in with her cereal.  After a couple of days of being cranky and bloated she is a happy camper.  I give her a bit every day now to avoid that happening again.

Other benefits of Anise tea:

  • Makes an excellent expectorant as it helps loosen phlegm in the throat and lungs.
  • Makes a natural mouthwash.
  • May help in the overall treatment of such respiratory ailments as colds, pneumonia, bronchitis and sinusitis.
  • May help enhance the supply of mother’s milk.
  • May help in getting rid of hiccups.

That’s my 2 cents :)

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Teething Baby

 - by Dania

There is nothing like having a teething baby to break your heart.  As a mother you want to do everything you can to make the pain go away.  Sometimes we have to let things run their natural course and other times we have a few options to try out. 

First things that come to mind are those numbing teething creams.  My pediatrician does not recommend any of them.  Aside from the fact that they are not natural, it is better not to numb a baby’s mouth, when you put those creams on one spot; they of course spread to the whole mouth.  I think that since babies are very oral and explore many things through their mouths, numbing the area interferes with those experiences.

Some tips I use that have helped:

  • Clean and sterilize your hands and rub baby’s gums to relieve some of the pain, they love the counter pressure.
  • Flat rubber (or plastic) teething ring (Not easy to find, easier to find the chubby and water filled kind).  I prefer the flat ones, they fit into baby’s tiny mouth so they can chomp down on them.
  • Camilia for teething.  Homeopathic chamomile and water product eases pain and irritability.  Bonus, chamomile is good for tummy too. Best to check with your pediatrician first but a good option to consider.
  • As a final alternative when all else fails, Doctor approved Tylenol or Motrin.  I use this when I have exhausted all options and baby seems to be in a lot of pain not just mild discomfort.

Other tips I haven’t tried or didn’t get to yet:

  • Something cold to chew on like chilled pacifier (and of course the water filled teething rings but I personally don’t like these).
  • Something cold to eat or drink (depending on baby’s age) these would offer more relief than room temperature alternatives and are more nutritious than teething ring.  I would only offer cold food option at meal and snack times so that baby does not get used to the idea of eating for relief at all times.
  • This one I only heard about.  Give baby a green onion to chew on. You will have a stinky baby but apparently it helps with the pain.  I am not inclined to try this one but thought it was interesting to say the least.

 Good Luck!  Just remember this too shall pass.  Enjoy the moment, next thing you know they will be headed out to college!

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Gripe Water – Gastro saver

 - by Dania

My 8 year old daughter is Gastro girl.  She has a delicate stomach and it is usually the first thing that gets hit when she is  not feeling well.  I used to use Gripe water on her for caulic and hiccups since she was born.  My siblings and I  also grew up on it.  I love that it is not chemical and works well on easing tummy aches and colic.  It is intended for infants but I still use it for my 8 year old and it helps her whenever she has a stomach upset.

It works wonders on the baby, it helps with any bloating and cramping.  I also use it when she has the hiccups and she seems to really like the taste.  She smacks her lips for a few minutes after.

I buy mine at the pharmacy, you should check with your Paediatrician or pharmacist before trying it but I can say that for me it has been a life saver whenever the girls have had any upset tummy issues.

Good luck!

I would love to hear from you at: dania “at” mommynuggets “dot” com

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Morning Chaos!

 - by Dania

Picture this, you wake up in the morning, stretch luxuriously in your bed, Aaahh!  You lay there for a few minutes and stare at the ceiling as your brain slowly wakes up.  You get up, put the coffee on, hop to the shower and start getting ready for your day.  Have your coffee, read the newspaper and out the door you go.  Remember those days?  They are now but a distant memory.

When you have kids, mornings are hectic.  The alarm goes off and you barely have time to open your eyes and pull off the blankets at the same time.  You wake and you don’t hop to the shower you just hop to. If you’re lucky, your husband made the coffee so that you can both be coherent when caring for the kids early in the day.

When I was working, I realized that my best ally was time management.  I would not be able to get out the door in the morning if I did not get myself organized.  Now I am at home but with the new baby I still need a routine, especially when some mornings I am barely able to wake up if at all.

Here are some tips that have helped me stay on top of my morning routine:

  • Pack lunches the night before.  In fact, I pack the lunches right after dinner since I am already up and running in the kitchen.  I fully prepare the lunch bags and put them in the fridge ready for the next morning.  If you don’t have space in the fridge for the lunch bags, then group all the items you need for the lunch together so all you have to do the next morning is throw them in, et Voila!
  • Sign permission slips, tests and any school paperwork right after doing homework and put them back into the child’s folder.  When they are young, it doesn’t hurt to ask every day if they have anything for you to sign.  It saves the morning dash back into the house begging you for your autograph.
  • Prepare school bag, cardigan, jacket, hat, gloves, snow pants and whatever the child needs to pick up in the morning by the schoolbag near the front door.  It helps the child avoid leaving anything behind that you will have to drive over first thing in the morning in your disheveled haste.
  • Choose the child’s outfit (yours too if you like) and lay it out the night before.  This will not only save time but eliminate the drawer and closet contents ending up on the floor in the morning rush to get ready on time.

On the days, I follow what I am preaching, we have smoother mornings.   On the days I don’t (come on, we all need to crash once in a while after a long day!), well you can imagine the chaos and frustration that starts off the day!

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