Thursday, September 22, 2011

As nature intended

We were at the Melbourne Zoo today with the kids and were lucky enough to see a baby elephant having a breastfeed from it's Mother. It was so beautiful to watch the Mother and baby elephant gently touch trunks as the baby breastfed. It reminded me just how lucky I have been to have experienced such a beautiful bonding experience with all three of my kids by breastfeeding them. And it's clear that this is how nature intended things to be - breastfeeding is nature's way of guaranteeing we fall in love with our children!

Monday, September 19, 2011

First tooth

At just three months of age, Gideon has got his first tooth (well, two actually since he decided to pop out another tooth since this photo was taken) He'd been a bit unsettled lately but we'd put it down to normal baby behaviour. Turns out the he was actually teething! These first two teeth came too soon for our amber teething necklace to have any effect (it only just arrived in the post last week!) The other two kids were early teethers (4.5 and 4 months) but 3 months is a little too early for my liking! Good-bye gummy smiles!

Farm Story Bag

I recently saw a felt bag and farm animal set on Etsy and thought it was a great idea. So I set myself a challenge to make one myself. This is the end result! This bag was made specifically as a birthday present for my friend's one year old. The bag is big enough to fit a book inside and the animals are all perfect sizes for little hands. The book 'The Big Red Barn' fits perfectly with the bag. I'm very proud of myself as I made all the patterns myself.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Jungle Safari

I always like having a craft activity for the kids to do at parties. I find that often having a structured activity can help a quiet child feel more at ease at a party (I'm thinking specifically of my own children here who often become overwhelmed at parties where there are lots of people). Alternatively, it can help a child who has lots of energy focus and calm down.

Esme's birthday party this year had a jungle theme so our craft activity was to make some binoculars to take on our jungle safari. Here's how we made them:

What you will need:

Toilet rolls
Masking tape
Textras, glitter, sequins, etc for decorating

How to make it:

Get the kids to decorate two toilet rolls.

Cut out two circles of cellophane approximately the same size as the holes of the toilet rolls. Use masking tape to stick on the ends of the toilet rolls.

Use masking tape to stick the toilet rolls together.

Cut a piece of strong big enough to hang around the kid's neck. Use masking tape to stick on each side of the toilet roll.

One of the party games was to go on a 'safari' and find animals hidden outside (I had some cheap plastic animals that I purchased off ebay). The kids were able to use the binoculars they had made to help 'find' the animals.

Jacob was so intent on using his binoculars to spot animals that the other kids had already found most of them before he got to them!

All of the kids had lots of fun making their binoculars and then getting to find the animals.

Elimination Communication and the new baby

I've written before about using elimination communication with Esme and how I thought it helped her to toilet train earlier. For those that don't know what Elimination Communication is, it's basically reading your baby's cues and helping them to get rid of their waste somewhere else apart from a nappy. We love it because it means less nappies to clean, is better for our baby's skin and, believe it or not, a great bonding experience! I love that I am able to read my baby's cues and know instinctively when they need to eliminate. Check out this website if you want more information.

We embarked on our EC adventures again when Gideon was born but we hadn't been overly successful until now. I've found it a bit more difficult EC'ing with a boy than a girl at this early age - simply because positioning to catch wees for a boys requires a bit more effort and coordination. We use a potty to catch waste and hold Gideon over it in the traditional EC hold. He wasn't particularly happy to be held in this position in the early days so instead I have been leaving his nappy off and watching him to learn what 'cues' he is giving for needing to eliminate.

The other day I decided to try him again over the potty as I hadn't tried for a while. So straight after a feed when he was happy I took his nappy off and held him over the potty. Instant success this time! I can't tell you how excited I was to get that first catch (ahhh, the joys of motherhood!) I think that first catch was actually the hardest. We're been having quite a bit of success since that time too and it's so lovely not having to clean those nappies!

I don't profess to being a purist when it comes to Elimination Communication. In an ideal world I'd love to practice EC full-time but it just isn't practical for us at the moment. I'm usually in and out of the car with all three kids across the day or busy with the older two and I don't always have the time to watch Gideon for his 'cues'. But I love that just by doing it part-time I'm learning to understand my baby a little better and minimising our environmental impact!

I'll be back later to write about 'cues' that Gideon gives when he needs to eliminate and the best times to practice Elimination Communication.
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