Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Breastfeeding in "public"?

This is one of those topics that seems to really get some people hot under the collar.  Should you do it, shouldn't you do it? Who's business is it anyway?  It's not really something that I think about all that often, but just the other day  I found myself pondering the question of when and where was appropriate.

Now I should perhaps just say here, that for the most part I'm a feed the baby when and where they need it, and I'm really not into faffing around with covers or being discrete.  That's not to say that I'm about to get them both out in public and start waving them around in public, but my priority is feeding my baby, and I can't gaurentee that you won't see anything.......


Half the problem is that one half of the debate seems to think that the other is doing what they're doing to be provocative, to make a point, which might sometimes be the case, but often it's just that they need to feed their baby.  Certainly for me, that's the case, although I have waited for people to challenge me or question what I'm doing (and I had my answers ready) but more than anything I had a hungry baby.

Of course, that in itself can be the "problem" which brings me to a couple of evenings ago.  I'd just arrived in Auckland, it was raining, in the way that only Auckland seems capable of, and a wet me and almost as wet little girl were sheltering in the airport shuttle waiting to see if there were any more passengers on the way.  It was late, I was tired, she was tired, so I went for our tried and tested soother, and gave her a feed.  The shuttle driver opened the door to say that we'd give it a few more minutes, saw what I was doing, looked uncomfortable, apologised and left.

Now he didn't ask me to stop, or say anything, but he wasn't comfortable about it either.  Normally I'd think, if I thought anything, Oh well, so what. But I was actually in his car, and making him feel awkward, maybe that's not on?

I guess really, it didn't matter, but perhaps I should have thought, although ideally we'd all just see it as natural and he would have been as unconcerned by my feeding as I was doing it.

What would you have done?


Monday, 19 August 2013

The truth about giving birth

If you told me that I had to give birth again, my first reaction would be that I was quite excited and pleased by the idea.  Ask me now, and I'd say without hesitation that I enjoy giving birth, it's fantastic.  It might sound a little crazy, I realise, and not everyone has that reaction, but still, on the whole I love it.

I've had four very different births, which you'll know if you've read my birth stories, but all of them have been good in their own way.  Even the emergency section that I had with Kai had good points, although it did take having Mahe to come to terms with it all totally.  By Anja though, it was really good, I looked forward to it, and the actual experience was good. 

I will admit here though, I do clearly remember a point where I thought, I must be crazy, I looked forward to this??  What on earth was I thinking.  I also did the classic, I can't do this phase, probably mid transition.  But, having said all of that, the euphoric feeling you get when you're baby is here and you've done it, you just can't beat that.  It's not just finally meeting the little person that you've been waiting for for the last nine months (or if we're honest longer, often babies are longed for long before they're conceived).  But you can't beat that huge rush of hormones that comes post birth.

The truth about giving birth

This and a couple of other similar photo's are some of my all time favourite shots.  Not because they're the first pictures of Anja (I realise that you can't really see her in this one anyway) but because they're photo's of those first special minutes.  I didn't get pictures like this of the other three.  With Kai photo's were the last things on our mind, and with the other two my official photographer was too busy in his other (more important role) of Daddy meeting a new baby to take pics at this stage.  With extra midwives on hand this time, there was someone else to take the pictures, and I'll always be glad of that. 

So yes, I love giving birth, but what I really love is the feeling you get when you've done it.  There's no beating that.  And of course that cup of tea, slice of toast and shower that you have just afterwards are the best on earth, if only I could recreate all of those without the labour bit......

Baking on the coal range.

Since we moved into this house, and people have heard that we've got a coal range, one of the things I herar time and time again is that scones baked on a coal range are fantastic.  I've been putting it off for ages, but yesterday seemed as good a time as any, so I decided to give it a go.


I should perhaps admit here, that this isn't my first time using a coal range.  Remember when I used to work at Shugborough Hall?  The range in the kitchen was used to bake biscuits when doing school party visits, and I thoroughly enjoyed using it then.  Actually I really enjoyed the whole job and would go back to work there again if the commute wasn't so far from NZ.....

This was a little different, for a start this range is much smaller, the damper at the back that directs heat around the oven is broken, which doesn't help either.  I've managed to get the oven nice and hot quite a few times though, and if our hot water (which it also heats) is anything to go by, then I couldn't see it being a problem.

I used smaller lumps of coal, as that's seemed to get it really hot in the past, and then waited until it was as hot as I could get it.  Now to me, it seemed to be ready, I couldn't touch the door handle without a cloth, but when I checked it was only around 114 centigrade, which is actually a lot cooler than my conventional oven would be.

I decided to give it a go anyway, mixed up the scones (date this time) and put them into the oven.  It took them rather a long while to cook, about 25 minutes, and I think the cooler temperature was why they didn't rise. 


They didn't taste too bad though, as my husband said, he'd have loved them had he been given them and not told that they were scones.  The kids loved them too.  So, somehow, I need to get the oven hotter. Not sure how to manage that one.....

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Bed time routines

One of the things that you hear a lot, when it comes to raising children, is the importance of routines.  Children apparently thrive on a set routine, so they know what's coming and when.  The thing is though, it isn't really my style of parenting, I've always been more interested in the child led approach. We do baby led weaning, I demand feed, and breastfeed until they've wanted to stop.  So routine?  It's not really my thing.


There's one routine that I've always been keen on though, is the bed time routine.  I've always done the wind down, story and then bed for the kids.  But the routine that really counts, is the one that starts around 8 pm, but if I'm lucky it's a little earlier.  First thing is to rush round and get the few toys that are still lying around back where they belong, make sure that everything is sorted for the evening.  Then I put the kettle on, and find something chocolaty or at least sweet in the cupboard, then it's feet up and put the tv on. 


Of course it doesn't always work, sometimes little miss has other ideas and I don't get to spend the whole evening relaxing.  But when I do, I feel great and ready to settle down for a good night's sleep.  Sadly of course I don't always get that either.

Bedtime routine?  Really important.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

The Dinky Minky Pocket nappy

The Dinky minky and dinky pul pocket nappies from nappyneedz have heaps of great features that set them apart from other cloth nappies on the market.  At first glance they don't look that much different to other pocket nappies on the market, but give them a try and you'll soon find they offer some great benefits over other nappies.

Minky Orange
The legs have deep gussets, which help to hold everything in, particularly in the smaller size settings.  With many OSFM cloth nappies, the leg openings are too big in the smaller sizes, and things leak out.  The leg gussets actually mean that it's quite a snug fit, even on tiny babies. 


To help with the fit on smaller babies, this cloth nappy also has back snaps which pull in the nappy at the back and crotch, making it narrower and trimmer on a small baby.  It might still look a little buky on a newborn with the large microfibre and bamboo trifold that it comes with, but stuffed with a smaller insert it would look fine on a newborn.  Here is my little one in it at about two months old:


The pocket for stuffing the dinky nappy with is a generous size, there are two advantages to this, firstly you can yet your hand in easily to stuff it, and secondly, once the nappy has been used you don't have to reach in and pull the insert out, instead it's plenty big enough to shake it out into your nappy bucket.

Over all the dinky nappy is a great choice from birth to potty, currently available from Nappy needz in New Zealand, but they ship worldwide.