Terry Towelling Nappies

A mother-friend of mine gave me my first bunch of terry towelling nappies. Of course, we had no plans to use them as nappies – these days, terrycloth finds more use as a spew rag. With a collection of about 5 of these, I thought I was set. Later Mum bought another couple of packets, and I took them but secretly thought we were now overdoing it. How wrong I was! Within a couple of weeks I found myself in Baby Bunting picking up another packet of 12 because we just didn’t have enough to keep up. Now, with our collection of 30-40, we can get away with doing a terry towel load once or twice a week. As it turns out, terry towels are very handy things!

  • Spew rags – for burping
  • Feeding rags – tuck into your bra while breastfeeding if your bub likes to make a mess
  • Put a towel onto baby’s play mat or cot if they’re prone to vomiting while playing (my reflux baby is always spewing up!)
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A towel in the change mat for going out means baby doesn’t have to suffer being changed on a cold surface, and makes clean-up easier if bub decides to spew, poo or pee in the middle of the change!

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About 1/3 of my collection – you can never have too many!

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Like with the change mat, a towel on the change table protects against the cold plastic and makes it easier to clean up – just throw the towel in the wash when it gets dirty, and give the table a quick wipe!


Breastfeeding With A Nipple Shield

My baby was hungry; she was rooting, and seemed to latch well when I put her to the breast – but she just wouldn’t suck! In the hospital, the midwives helped me to hand express, then set me up with an electric pump. Off to a slow start, I was told she would have to have her feeds topped up with formula. Our future as a breastfeeding pair was suddenly uncertain: would we be able to establish ourselves? Would she ever feed from the breast?

Then the lactation consultant came, managing to squeeze me into her overflowing schedule of appointments. I am very grateful that she did, as her advice was helped to start us off, finally. She came with a little silicone teat called a nipple shield or nipple guard. Clear and completely flexible, it sits over the nipple and the baby takes this into her mouth, with the nipple inside. It has holes in the end for the milk to flow through.

Avent nipple shield

Avent nipple shield

From the first moment, it was a raging success. She attached with a vengeance and got to guzzling milk like there was no tomorrow. Since then we’ve had no issues using the shield – well, not with feeding, anyhow. I’ve just had to learn to put a cloth underneath to catch the excess that collects in the shield for when she inevitably knocks it off! I’ve also found that she occasionally gets a bit too much and chokes a little, so that’s something else to watch out for, though it doesn’t happen very often.

I’ve seen the lactation consultant since then, and she gave me hope that we’ll be able to wean off the guard eventually. I have flat nipples, which means that Amelia misses the stimulation on her palate that tells her to suck; however, she should get the hang of it as she grows bigger. In the meantime, I’ve found that about once a day (usually the 11 am feed) my boobs will suddenly start cooperating, with nice pointy nipples, and she’s able to feed nicely without the guard for at least one side.

Even if we never get to the point of breastfeeding without the nipple shield, at least we will have been able to breastfeed, in spite of the challenge of flat boobies.

Happy breastfeeding bub

Happy breastfeeding bub


The Dummy


Parenthood can create a lot of strong views and attitudes. Before we even conceived, I had a lot of ideas about how I would like to raise my child. I did not want to be naive, though. I settled into a philosophy of having ideals, but being prepared to change at a moment’s notice as we dealt with the many variables of Reality as they were dealt to us.

One of the views I always held was that dummies are totally unnecessary, and the lazy parent’s way of dealing with their child without having to put in any real effort. This was not entirely just a bitchy, judgmental view – some parents are like that. Of course, I’d hated them from infancy, quite literally! I accidentally copped a mouthful of sterilising fluid through a rubber teat as a baby and hated all rubber products – dummies included – thereafter (and to this day). I hated seeing toddlers and pre-schoolers still unweaned from them. I hated everything about them!

But the philosophy I’d cultivated was one of waiting and seeing. I have a little yellow dummy which came in the showbag at the Baby and Toddler show. I didn’t anticipate needing it, but it happened about a week ago (we’re at 12 days now).

I noticed during one of the night-time feeds that although Milly kept apparently asking to feed – making her fish faces (mouth pouted, opening and closing), rooting, and sucking violently at my finger or anything else she could get into her mouth – when I put her to the breast, she promptly stopped all activity and the milk just oozed out the side of her mouth. She wouldn’t settle, so I was left holding her, desperate for sleep, wondering why, if she was hungry, she didn’t just eat. Then I had an idea.

“Can you go get her dummy?”

Sean wasn’t keen. He shared my concern that if started on the dummy, she might end up dependent on it for comfort. Nonetheless, he did as bade, and brought back the little yellow dummy. I popped it into her mouth, and watched the magic unfold. Her arms and legs, which had been waving around in the air, relaxed and her eyes began to glaze over. Suck, suck, suck. All she wanted was to suck – no food needed.

Amelia doesn’t use her dummy very often, maybe once or twice a day, and usually it’s been sides while breastfeeding. She has a little break from feeding, sucks on the dummy while chilling out in her cot, then spits the dummy (literally!) and continues the feeding.

I never thought I would use a dummy for my child, but it has turned out to be very helpful for those times when all she wants to do is suck and not end up with a mouthful of milk.