Found In Translation: UK English Baby Glossary

When I moved to the USA many years ago from Ireland (which is not my home country, if you ask), I had the occasional run-in with the different words used on either side of the Atlantic (or, more often, SAME words with different meaning). Now as a new mum, I had to learn a completely new word book of baby vocabulary.

Here for those of you who might travel to Europe – or just want to have a good laugh – today I present you with some basics of British baby-talk.

Let’s start by changing the baby, shall we? For that, of course, you will need some nappies. Dirty ones go into a nappy bin or, if you’re a bit more posh, into a nappy disposal system. Since we just established the absence of “diapers”, there are no diaper bags. Your baby items will fit comfortably into a changing bag.

But before you put a new nappy on, you will want to clean your baby using a top and tail bowl and drying her afterwards with some cotton wool.

Are you going out? If you don’t want to use a carrier, you will need a pram. The term pram can be confusing.  Many people use the word to mean a pushchair or travel system, but it is also the name for a traditional, coach-style pram. Make sure your tyres are in good shape!

Are you staying in? Baby can be put to sleep in a cot (or if you’re visiting, you’ll probably have a carrycot or Moses basket). You might notice that more European parents are rather concerned that their baby might kick a blanket off and get cold than suffocate underneath it. That’s because the use of cellular blankets is more popular than fleece blankets. Also, European parents don’t give their babies pacifiers, but pacify them with dummies.

If you’re bottle feeding, make sure you have some extra teats (however if you pronounce it ‘tits’, you may as well just stay with nipples:) and a bottle and teat brush.

Lastly, stock up on bibs and cloths to wipe the posset. Now this word is tricky. What is posset you want to know? Wikipedia will tell you that “A posset (also spelled poshote, poshotte) was a British hot drink of milk curdled with wine or ale, often spiced, which was popular from medieval times to the 19th century”. That’s not really helpful. And although somebody once said that it sounds like something the British would wear on their heads to horse races, it is rarely worn on heads (although as a new parent you possibly had it on yesterday:))). Americans call it un-euphemistically spit-up!

What other British words do you find confusing?

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Poop Proofing Infant Swimming Lessons

I was looking forward to the age I could take my baby for swimming classes. A local pool offered classes from 3 months of age which might seem too young, but our son really liked it from the first time we went in!

The pool, like most pools with infant and children swim classes, requires “double diaper” policy – meaning a reusable swim diaper over a disposable. We have been using cloth diapers since Aditya has been 2 weeks old (before that he was too small for the ‘small’ size) and one of the reasons was keeping a one-time item out of landfill. Plus have you checked out the prices for disposable swim diapers? Insane and insane!

So I have decided to employ my wits and figure out a way where I would respect the pool policy and keep my decision to reduce waste. And believe me, I wanted this to work, I would certainly NOT want to be the mom, whose baby cleared the pool;) And after all, I ended up triple-proofing my baby’s butt…

Now, if you’ve never used a swim cloth diaper, this is how it works: it’s not supposed to keep the pee in, just “numero dos”, the poo. So if you’re going to the pool, you want to change your baby into the swim diaper at the pool, not at home, or you might end up with a piddle pool in your car/ stroller/ carrier before you get to the pool at all. The swim diaper lets the pee out – if it held liquids, how would the diaper distinguish between your baby’s juices and the pool water unless it was completely sealed off (which it isn’t)? It is meant to contain only solid waste. And don’t be grossed out. The reality is that many adults pee in the pool too (!!!) and because urine is sterile, it doesn’t pose any health risks. Mostly. Sorry, if you didn’t want to know…

Here is what I do now even if we go to the pool in our community:

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First I use a cheap reusable diaper that I actually got as a gift when we were staying in some hotel (it was part of their kid’s amenity), very similar to “i play” brand. You can get “i play” at almost any kids store and major department stores.

I insert a fleece liner or a small cloth insert (also known as “doubler” or “booster” in the cloth diapering community) into the diaper. Reason? If there is a small poop in the diaper, I don’t have to wash the whole thing, but throw the liner into the laundry bag with other cloth diapers and rinse the cover unless it is soiled. It also gives me the feeling of security that there is an extra layer that will encourage the poop to adhere to. I use Bummis brand for cloth diapering, so I use their liners and boosters too (both available on Amazon and major cloth diapering sites).

Here you see the diaper on my son. My problem with pull-ups is that Aditya is quite skinny and as you can see, the diaper is not sealed properly around his thighs, which is the key for it to work properly:

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Next step is to wrap the cheapo brand cover with a reusable cover with hook-and-loop closure. I love this style, because it is easily customizable and your child is likely to use the same cover for a longer time as he’s growing and the little body is changing shape. The hook-and-loop seals the thigh and tummy area really well:

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Now the staff at the pool sees that we are really wearing two diapers – no cheating here:) And by pulling the top part up a little I am pretty sure that Aditya won’t get his skin scratched by the velcro (it doesn’t happen often, but some reviews mention it, so I  thought I didn’t want to find out, if it happens to my baby;))) – every child’s body is different, so even the diaper will fit slightly differently on each). Again I use Bummis, I love the prints they have (AND their reviews are great)!

And then we just top it off with a rash guard if we’re in the outdoor pool and voila! Happy poop-proofed baby!

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Here are Amazon links to the diapers I like using so much:

 

Liners:     

Diapers:  

 

This post contains affiliate links from Amazon.com. I never link to products I would not recommend based on personal use or products I believe are not healthy/ eco friendly/ ethical.

Supercute Baby Shower Idea – DIY Onesies

On my baby shower I decided to put my guests to work 🙂

I bought 10 white onesies (5 for 3-6 months and 5 for 0-3 months size) and a pack of colourful Sharpies. Then I printed some funny T-shirt quotes as an inspiration and gave it all to the friend who was organizing my baby shower.

Here are my one-of-a-kind onesies (sorry, some of them are already worn, I didn’t take a picture when they were all shiny brand new):

onesies

For good success, if you wish to try this at your baby shower, I suggest:

  • Take into account the number of guests attending and buy about half that many onesies or shirts (not everyone is into crafts and couples sometimes collaborate) – but if buy too many, it’s OK, you have white onesies to give to someone else, use them plain or decorate them yourself in those long evenings when you’re out of work and enjoying your last days before the joyous arrival!
  • Depending on the number of guests see if you need more than one set of Sharpies/ markers, so that nobody cries they can’t find the colour they need (yes, adults turn into babies during times like these:)))
  • Let your guests know there is no do-over. If they make a mistake, it will stay.
  • Make sure you collaborate with your host, so they have an adequate space ready – a work table with a cover or something similar. You wouldn’t want your guests to leave marker stains on a friend’s fancy couch!

Alternatives:

  • Strictly black & white version is very cute too. Or choose another marker colour and use only that.
  • Do this on your kid’s birthday – small kiddo = adults do the crafting. Older kiddo = his/ her friends make t-shirts for him!
  • Dyed shirts with bleach (the design will be white on coloured shirt) >>> careful, this one would be messy!

So Baby Boy is Supposed to Wear Blue?

When I was carrying this little bumblebee in my belly, me and my husband chose not to know if we’re expecting a boy or a girl. I am a bit old fashioned in these things – if God wanted us to know, He’d give us x-ray vision, you’d hear me saying.
“But how will you decorate the baby room?” I’d hear EVERY SINGLE TIME when people asked for the gender of the unborn baby. Well, first, this baby will not have a room (about that later:), second – I honestly failed to see a problem there… until I was a guest at a joined baby shower for two friends, who were carrying a month ahead of me. Nothing was gender neutral except for some books and toys. It seemed that every gift either had “Daddy’s little princess” smeared all over it or it had to have trucks and screwdrivers (one friend was expecting a girl, the other a boy).

I never noticed a ‘problem’ like this in Europe. Things are changing, of course, thanks to imported things that are popular in the USA, but in general, finding colourful and gender neutral clothes and decorations is not a problem. Nor it is a problem in India (my husband’s home country) – a country where any guy can pull off a pink dress shirt.

I think the big sellers and department stores are screwing with us, people. It’s like bad pharma, but in baby clothes and toys – good marketing is making victim of a nation.

And then there was my baby shower. You’ve never seen that many yellow onesies! I love yellow colour, it’s actually my (second;) favourite. But on everything, seriously? So boys have to wear blue and girls pink? And poor babies of granola parents like us have to put up with tons of yellow and green? Are there only 4 colours in this world?

Once upon a time childhood was the time of innocence. Time of play and freedom. Time where everybody wore cute white cotton dresses that mums could easily clean. Time when strangers didn’t have the need to see the gender of a baby the moment they laid their eyes on them. Time when babies and children wore baby clothes, not shrunken adult clothes.
European royalty and noble class had another reason for dressing little boys into dresses – male heirs were in danger of kidnapping for ransom. But when nobody could recognize young boys from girls at a glance, there was less chance of them being taken!
I find it interesting, that originally, when colours were introduced to baby clothing, blue was mainly reserved to little ladies, because blue is the colour of Virgin Mary, and pink was considered a strong, manly colour.
But now, when I have my own little man, I just moan every time I go baby clothes shopping. Why, why in the world, are the boy clothes so boring? And sad, colourless? Can a boy not wear flowers? I could buy many girl shirts and onesies, but many of the companies put cleverly some sort of girl detail on girls’ clothing – frills, bows, princess pictures…
Here is what I do. I always look in the girls’ section first. If the only girly detail is a bow, I buy it and cut the bow off. If there’s no specifically girly detail – well, it just became unisex.
Only one thing consoles me deeply despite boy clothes being excruciatingly boring: I have already saved so much money!
How about you? Do you have a baby boy and a problem finding fun clothes that don’t break the bank?

 

The Day I Disagreed With Our Pediatrician

I am a self proclaimed Amazon addict:) This post contains an affiliate link to Amazon.com and Brillkids.com.

During our first visit to pediatrician, when our son was 4 days old, I asked the doctor: “What shall we do with the baby – how should we stimulate him? What can we teach him?”
And the doc said: “Nothing really. All you can do the first three months is to watch him eat and sleep. Babies this small don’t do anything.”
When we came home, me and my husband were feeling a bit let down. “Nothing? Really? So during pregnancy we were trying to play games and connect with the unborn baby and now for thee months NOTHING?”
When I was expecting this little boy, I found a beautiful book by Deepak Chopra – Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives.

Chopra gives such a sweet ‘recipe’ to bonding with your baby before you even meet him or her, it’s impossible that all ends (or gets interrupted) at birth. I could feel him kicking, I could feel him respond to my touch – in my belly. So now when he is finally here, we do nothing?
I turned to Google (yes, I am a self-proclaimed Google and Amazon addict) and found wonderful Infant Stimulation cards – black and white pictures you can use from birth to stimulate your baby’s vision and brain development. I printed them and started showing then to Aditya at about 2 weeks old. I could see him trying to focus his eyes, I could see him trying to follow the pictures when they moved. It was all slow and very subtle, but then at about 1-1.5 months old he started wiggling when he saw the pictures. He would first stare and soak a picture in, when wiggle as if saying ‘next please’ and then focus on the next one I showed him. Now at 4 months we have a few different booklets including black & white & red cards and they have proven not only to be an educational toy, but also a great distraction tool then he’s fussy or bored.
Since then I have discovered a TON of great tools and toys and I will share them, so in case you’re still waiting to meet your miraculous baby or you’re at home “stuck” with a bundle only a few days/ weeks old, you can start playing games to boost your baby’s development.

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Other things they suggest you can do with your teeny tiny little baby:

  • play music
  • talk and sing
  • massage baby every day
  • show and read him/ her books
  • and, of course, play with your baby

Our days were not filled with watching the baby, but with doing lots of new activities every time he was awake and attentive (probably at that very little age it was all more stimulating for mummy and daddy, but we learned lots of things and created some little rituals that are now a natural part of our life with not-so-little-anymore baby).

And yes – you will spend LOTS OF TIME watching your little one feeding and sleeping, but it totally doesn’t end there!

 

This post contains affiliate links from Amazon.com and Brillkids.com. I never link to products I would not recommend based on personal use or products I believe are not healthy/ eco friendly/ ethical.

 

Getting Ready To Go Out With A Baby

I don’t know how mums of two and more kids do it, there is probably more crying in the house. I admire the women, if there is no crying… because with this little fella, you know when I’m holding him and when I’m not. He just doesn’t like being alone (or as my husband likes to call it, he has ‘abandonment issues’ already). So if I leave him in the bedroom to get dressed and apply make-up (yes, this mama needs make-up to make up for the lack of sleep on some nights;), he will usually start crying or at least sobbing. I can take it for a moment, but when I see he won’t soothe himself this time, I’d just rather pick him up. It’s easier doing things with one hand (or whilst having him in a sling) than having to calm him down.

So here is my humble recipe how I make it work:

Dressing up: I put the little one on our bed (yes, the big bed he gets to share with the two big people who keep kissing him), bring my clothes and lay them next to him. Then I proceed to put the clothes on. I keep talking to him describing what I’m wearing and I show him each piece – he gets a dose of vocabulary and likes when something is flying above his head. Sometimes I touch his face with the fabric, he squeaks with delight!

Make-up application is interesting. We have a rather large wash basin area – without it this trick would not be possible. I sit him down on a towel (so it’s not cold for his tush) and support his back with my stomach. I hold him with one hand and the other use for make-up application! He loves watching himself and mummy in the mirror and when he gets wiggly, he gets to hold bottle tops or brushes. And I again keep taking to him or sing songs to keep him entertained and make it our mummy-and-me time!   image

My Birth Plan (inspiration for yours:)

As promised in my previous post, here is the Labour Plan (or Birth Plan a.k.a. Birth Wish List, as we decided to call it), so you can draw some inspiration as you’re writing your own:

Before Labor Begins

  • As long as the baby and I are healthy, I would like to go at least 10 to 14 days over my due date before inducing labor. I prefer to go into labor naturally rather than be induced.
  • If NST (=fetal non-stress test) observation becomes necessary after my due date, I am flexible and support this procedure.

 Hospital Admittance

  • If I am less than four centimeters dilated, I would like to discuss with my healthcare provider the option of going home.

 Vaginal Exams

  • I would like no internal vaginal exams, within reason, during my labor until I have an urge to push. I prefer at no time to have my membranes broken.

 Induction

  • If induction becomes necessary, I would like to try natural induction techniques first (with the guidance of my practitioner)

Natural induction techniques I would like to try  

  • Breast stimulation/ Sexual intercourse
  • Walking
  • Herbs/ Acupuncture/ Reflexology

If my water breaks before I go into labor, I would like to

  • Wait as long as possible before being induced
  • Talk to my practitioner about alternatives to treatments such as antibiotics after 12 hours or more.

Environment

  • Upon arrival at the hospital, I prefer to have my husband with me at all times.

 I prefer to give birth in a

  • Birthing room with a shower and/or bath
  • Birthing bed
  • Use birthing ball/ stool

Miscellaneous environment items  

  • I would like to have dimmed lights and for people entering the room to speak softly.
  • I would like to play my own music.
  • As few vaginal exams as possible
  • I would like to have my birth photographed/ filmed/videotaped (by my husband).
  • Hospital staff limited to my own doctor and nurses (no students, residents or interns present).

Pain Relief

  • Please do NOT offer or discuss any pain medications with me.

I am prepared to try to handle pain with these natural and alternative methods:

  • Hypnotherapy & Meditation (Childbirth Hypnosis) and relaxation
  • Breathing techniques
  • Massage/ Acupressure/ Acupuncture
  • Water/bath/shower
  • Distraction techniques

Other Considerations

  • Ideally, I want to be able to walk around and move as I wish while in labor.
  • I would like to feel unrestricted in accessing any sounds of chanting, grunting, or moaning during labor.
  • Please always keep my door closed while I am in labor.
  • I would like to eat and drink as approved by my doctor

Monitoring

If necessary, I prefer the baby to be monitored

  • Intermittently monitored to allow for as much mobility as possible
  • External
  • Performed only by Doppler
  • Performed only if the baby is in distress

 

Second Stage Labor

  • As long as the baby and I are healthy, I prefer to have no time limits on pushing.

I would like to be encouraged to try the following different positions for labor (whatever feels right at the time):

  • Squatting/ Birthing Ball/ Classic semi-recline/ Hands and knees/ On the toilet/ Standing upright/ Lean on my husband/ Side Lying

 Episiotomy

  • I prefer to have no episiotomy and risk tearing
  • If I need an episiotomy, I prefer a pressure episiotomy.

 To help prevent tearing, please

  • Use perineal massage/ Apply oil/ Apply hot compresses
  • Support me in breathing in accordance with hypnobirthing for slower crowning.

 Other labor considerations

  • Please allow the shoulders and body of my baby to be born spontaneously, on their own.
  • No stirrups
  • Only use a local anesthetic for repairs.

The Delivery

Pushing

  • It’s important to me to push instinctively. I do not want to be told how or when to push.
  • Push without time limits, as long as the baby and I are not at risk

Miscellaneous  

  • I would like my husband to catch my baby and pull it onto my abdomen (I would like the doctor to catch my baby only if necessary).
  • I would like for our baby to hear our voices first.
  • I WOULD LIKE MY HUSBAND TO ANNOUNCE THE GENDER.
  • I prefer to have the lights dimmed for delivery or, if it is daylight, to access only natural light.

After Baby is Born

  • As long as my baby is healthy, I would like my baby placed immediately skin-to-skin on my abdomen with a warm blanket over it for BREAST CRAWL.
  • Please do not separate me and my baby until after my baby has successfully breastfed on both breasts.
  • Please delay all essential routine procedures on my baby until after the bonding and breastfeeding period (i.e. bathing, suction etc.).
  • If the baby has any problems, I would like my husband to be present with the baby at all times, if I am unable to.

 

Third Stage Labor

  • Please wait for the umbilical cord to stop pulsating before it is clamped.
  • Please allow my husband to cut the umbilical cord.

Placenta  

  • I would prefer for the placenta to be born spontaneously without the use of pitocin, and/or controlled traction on the umbilical cord
  • I would like the option of taking home the placenta.

Newborn Procedures

Administration of Eye drops / Vitamin K / Immunizations

  • Please do not administer eye drops to my baby, I am willing to sign a formal waiver if need be.
  • I would like only the orally administered vitamin K to be given to my baby.
  • I am ready to sign a vaccine exemption waiver and have any immunizations postponed to a later time.

Bathing Baby

  • After we had time to bond, we would like to give our baby his/her first bath using our own non-toxic baby products (advice on bathing appreciated) or not bathe baby at all until next day.

 Circumcision

  • If a boy, please do NOT circumcise my baby.

 PKU (phenylketonuria)

  • Please do routine PKU Testing after 24 hours
  • We decline routine PKU testing at the hospital and have made other arrangements for this procedure at a later date this week.
  • We would like to wait, and delay the PKU testing until we are ready to leave the hospital

 Feedings

  • My baby is to be exclusively breastfed, feeding on schedule.
  • I would like to see a lactation consultant as soon as possible for further recommendations and guidance.

 Do not offer my baby the following without my consent  

  • Formula
  • Pacifiers
  • Any artificial nipples
  • Sugar water

 If my baby’s health is in jeopardy, I would like:  

  • To be transported with my baby if possible/ My husband to go with the baby if I can’t.
  • To breastfeed or express my milk for my baby.
  • To have as much bodily contact with my baby as possible.
  • To be offered a room at the hospital for the duration of my baby’s stay (within reason).

 I would like my in-hospital routine to be

  • Full rooming in, no separation, no exceptions, unless my baby is sick.

My Hospital Stay

I prefer that my hospital stay be

  • As short as it can be.

 Other hospital preferences

  • I prefer a private room and discuss other options.
  • I prefer to have my husband stay with me for the duration of my hospital stay. If my husband cannot stay with me, I’d like for him to have unlimited visits.
  • I would like my guests to be permitted to stay as long as they wish.

As needed post-delivery, please give me:

  • Stool softener.
  • Laxative – I will have my own (coconut water, bananas…) + abdominal massage.

If baby is not well, I’d like:

  • My husband and me to accompany it to the NICU (= neonatal intensive care unit) or another facility.
  • To breastfeed or provide pumped breast milk.
  • To hold him or her whenever possible.

Cesarean

  • If a C-Section is not an emergency, please give my husband and me time alone to think about it before asking for our written consent.
  • My husband is to be present at all times during the c-section.
  • Ideally, I would like to remain conscious during the procedure and have the surgery explained as it happens
  • I would like the baby to be shown to me immediately after it’s born.
  • I would like to have contact with the baby as soon as it is possible in the delivery room.
  • I prefer to have a hand free to touch the baby.
  • We would like to photograph or film the operation as the baby comes out.
  • We would like to film or photograph only the baby after delivery.
  • If possible, please discuss anesthesia options with me (including morphine options).
  • I prefer a low transverse incision on my abdomen and uterus.

 

Recovery

  • If my baby is healthy, I would like to hold my baby and nurse it immediately in recovery.
  • I would like to sign any waivers necessary to permit me to be with my baby in recovery.
  • As long as my baby is healthy, I would like my husband to be the baby’s constant source of attention until I am free to bond with it (i.e., holding, skin-to-skin contact, etc.).
  • Please pay special attention to our nursing needs in recovery. I may need some extra help nursing after the operation.
  • I would like to have my catheter and IV removed ASAP after my recovery period.
  • Please discuss with me what I can expect to feel immediately following the procedure.
  • Please discuss my post-operative pain medication options with me before or immediately following the procedure.

 

I hope you find some of the points inspiring and worth discussion!

Birth Plan and Day D

When I found out I was pregnant, I was looking for a way to avoid C-section at any cost. Living temporarily in the USA, I knew about the alarming rates of UNNECESSARY  C-sections and the overuse of medications during birth and figured out we needed a good doctor and a PLAN. A birth plan! But I have to warn you – you cannot plan EVERYTHING in advance and you shouldn’t think that everything will go accordingly to the plan. So let’s start calling this “plan” a “Birth Wish List” instead.

I am from a family with twins left and right (last set born 3 years ago) and none of the mothers had a C-section. Here most doctors automatically plan for a Cesarean the moment you find out you are carrying twins. I wasn’t pregnant with multiples, so I knew unless we found ourselves in an unusual situation, I would not let any doctor talk me into a Cesarean. I’m not a control freak, but I wanted to be able to decide/ co-design how my baby enters this world.

Even if you’re planning for a C-section (and I will not judge you), it’s nice to know what’s coming and how to make yourself, your loved one (whoever you’d like to have with you on the magical day) and your baby/ babies as comfortable as possible by planning a bit in advance. Have your list nearly ready by 36. week of your pregnancy, just in case…

Once you have the list, print it several times, even if it’s not finalized yet. If you had to leave for hospital right that moment, you have already something in your hand. And why multiple times? Give one copy to your nurse, one to your doctor, have one with you and you will always have a copy when the nurses change shifts, because what if the first one misplaces it? Also when you hand the wish list over, give them a box of cookies or order a pizza on your way to hospital – you have no idea how much your nurse’s attitude towards you and your “list” changes! It’s not corruption, you’re making sure your nurse will be a happy camper even if it’s an overnight shift!
Also if you’re planning to deliver in a hospital, I highly recommend to fill out your paperwork a few weeks in advance. Once you’re in labour, you will save yourself a TON of time – and nerves (who remembers their employer’s telephone number at such time and why are they asking anyway?). You’ll just sign admittance sheet and you’re in!

WHAT GOES INTO A BIRTH PLAN (wish list, I mean;)? I will include my own Birth Plan in a separate post for inspiration.

First, write down any worries you have, and how would you like to proceed if things don’t go ideally. These will be your most important questions to discuss with your doctor, midwife or doula. Then, if you’re taking any birthing classes, jot down the information you would need to know once you’re in the hospital (or at home or wherever else you’ve chose to give birth) and make sure you won’t forget details, so you can incorporate your classes’ skills.

Start writing your plan! I found several downloadable versions on the internet, one of my favourite is here. I copied the 3 I liked the most and combined them, because each had some details the others didn’t. It was about 8 pages long (!!! I know…) Then I gave one copy to my husband so we can each work on it on our own and compare ideas. It’s not necessary, but I wanted to see what he’d see differently before knowing what I thought and vice versa.
At first I was working with the list like this:

I prefer to give birth in a:
Birthing room
Room with a shower and/or bath
Delivery room
At home

I didn’t delete any options, not even those none of us selected. We took the list to our doctor and over a course of 3 visits we discussed the points and I was slowly deleting the selections we no longer needed. The list ended up being 2 pages long (BIG progress from the starting 8:))) and included also our choices in the event of an emergency C-section (see, I DID think of almost everything).

And how it helped? A lot, I say! For example I didn’t want to have an IV if not for an emergency, so although it was offered, nobody reinforced it (my husband had to sign some paperwork, of course). I also didn’t want any painkillers discussed and the nurses were amazing – didn’t mention medications even once! If I had to explain this when I was already in labour, I’d be discussing it right there an then – that wouldn’t help avoiding discussing it, right?

I believe that if you even as much as attempt to write a Birth Wish List, it will help you do some research. And only when you’re really informed, you can make an informed decision. Do not rely on your doctor for everything. Sometimes even doctors assume that what they think is best for you is what YOU THINK is best for you.

This Baby Is Going to Grow Up

This baby is going to grow up.

One day he will be a toddler. Then a kid. And as he is meeting new milestones every day, he is “forgetting” some things in the process. And I will be missing those baby things. This post is for all the mothers, who wish their baby stays a newborn:)

How many times I heard since Aditya was born “Aaaah, I wish to have a baby again. Maybe we’ll have a second one (third/ fourth… pick what suits your situation). I just miss having a tiny baby.” Well, you had one (two/ three… pick…) and they ALL GROW UP. They do. You’ll never be stuck with a baby foreva, sister. Must I remind you??? Keep your friends close and eventually one of them will have a baby. And then you can coo and aaah, but when they start crying, you can return them back to their mama.

I have just returned from a birthday celebration. The honoree turned 5. His friends are 5 or so. When I arrived, the celebrant was crying. He wanted to open his presents. Daddy said OK, so he opened a few of them. Two more kids started crying. They wanted what he had and they wanted to play with the presents. So Mummy said “we’ll open the rest at home.” Another kid started crying. He picked the present himself and wanted to see what his friend says when he opens it. Another kid is crying because his brother is crying. So by now about half of the kids are crying. “Let’s have some more cake!”
And after the cake the kids are playing. One is crying, because another hit him. The hitter is crying because he doesn’t want to say sorry.

So this is what I’m supposed to be looking forward to? I wish this baby stayed small like this, I thought. Naaaah, do I really want to miss all the new things he will show me and teach me every single day? Nope. I can’t wait when he turns 5 and all the kids will be crying at his birthday celebration.

This baby is going to grow up. And it’s OK.

Emergency evacuation with a baby

Today was a scary day. Our neighbourhood had to be evacuated due to brush fires (if you’re interested, read more here). My husband was at work when he called me and said: “I’m watching the news right now. I want you to go and pack an emergency bag, just the necessities and put it in the car. Pack water bottles, our most important paperwork and anything that you might need in case you are not coming home tonight. I want you to be ready in case they order our house to get evacuated.”

I panicked for a moment. What about the baby? Are we going to be OK? All the fears that we new (and not-so-new) mothers have came all of a sudden alive…
I was so glad I had the heads up, I had the luxury of choosing my emergency items fairly slowly. But it got me thinking about refugees of war who sometimes have only minutes to grab their most important belongings and run! I don’t want to compare our situation to theirs, by any means – this is just how my thoughts were running to all corners possible.
One of my thoughts was to make our baby Aditya as comfortable as possible. He is only 3 months old, so he can’t run or hide. He can’t choose much anything for himself. But he can feel when us, his parents, are stressed or upset. I wanted to make sure, that he wouldn’t even know something dangerous is happening.
He was in a playful mood and didn’t want to be left on his own. I couldn’t imagine I would be running around the house packing what might become our only possessions and listening to him crying without having the time to comfort him (leave a baby crying and the “music” might double:), so I tied Moby wrap and put him inside facing out. As I was folding some clothes, I thought “Wow, he is very calm considering I’m running around with him like he was a rag doll.” And then he grabbed on a towel I was about to set down and I have realized, that he thought this was a new game! He’d recently started enjoying when fabrics ‘fly’ above his head and touch his face. So he was actually having a blast for a moment there!
We got packed in a comfortable speed and headed to a friend’s house away from the evacuation line and in the evening we returned home, happy to see the house just the way we left it.

This whole unfortunate adventure made me contemplate how unprepared I was to lose everything in fire and how much some material things mean to me.
Next time I hope I will know what to take with us and consider this a rehearsal for a possible quick exit.
Mainly I hope there is NO NEXT TIME!!!

I wish none of us is in a similar situation, especially with children, but life happens. Shit happens. Let’s try to put together a good evacuation plan for parents and babies!
DISCLAIMER: This is not an official evacuation guide, this is a personal account of events. This guide is food for thought and a little list you should tuck away in your mind and use it if needed with a good dose of common sense and tailor it to suit your situation and needs. Some city/ county government websites have a link to emergency checklists. I also like the Red Cross Preparedness List. If you have time to read this blog, you have time to find and print an emergency list and keep it on your fridge or in your car!
I cannot be held responsible in case you think my list caused you trouble
(sorry, I thought this was necessary).

If you are walking, you need to consider how to hold a baby, that doesn’t walk yet, and a bag/ suitcase at the same time. Use a sling or a baby carrier to free your hands and pack a bag you can carry or pull with one hand or consider a backpack.
If you’re using a car, you can take much more stuff!

Make sure you have:
•car seat for your baby
•stroller or baby carrier for your destination
•lots of water and some non-perishable food (even if you’re just going to a friend’s house – in the event of evacuation, you can be stuck in traffic for hours!)
•baby food/ formula if you’re not breastfeeding or if you’re supplementing
•mobile phone and charger
•map of the area (some roads might be closed)
Your bag should have:
•at least a day’s worth of clothes for everyone
•sturdy shoes
•basic toiletries
•medicines, if you take any; prescription glasses/ contact lenses
•utility knife (or Swiss knife or multipurpose tool)
•cash/ checkbook
•important documents (IDs, social security, mortgage, bank info contact list etc.)
•flashlight and batteries
•paper towels/ toilet paper/ tissues
•hand sanitizer
Personal items:
•laptop and external drive (especially if you have lots of important info and photos stored there)
•irreplaceable items like photos (this is an item

most missed when people lose most of their belongings) or important religious items (I have for example wrapped a cross blessed by the Pope, something that just caught my eye as I was packing and I knew it was important to me – and it didn’t take much space)
•camera with batteries or charging cable
Baby items:
•at least a day’s worth of clothes
•a pack of diapers and baby wipes
•clean bottles
•blanket, burp cloths
•favourite toy or book (you may consider this a non-emergency item, but as I mentioned, my intention was to make the evacuation seem just like a trip and not affect the baby – you will need to entertain the baby and have him/ her feel comfortable with a familiar toy in an unfamiliar situation).
If you have time like I did, change and feed the baby just before you leave. Who knows how long you would be driving or stuck in traffic.

Hmmmm, I feel better now. Just in case we need to evacuate again tomorrow morning! Good night (and good luck)!