Playgro and ELC call them ‘Loopy Links’. Bright Starts calls them ‘Lots of Links’. Whatever they’re called by different manufacturers (and there any many), these colourful, plastic, textured links which can be strung together are another extremely useful, inexpensive toy. We have about 40 distributed throughout the house, car and strollers.
Bath seats. Useful for singleton babies. A veritable essential for twins.
When babies are very young, it is pretty much a given that you have to bathe them one at a time. For that, I highly recommend a baby bath on a stand. We did put the baby bath on the floor for a while (I was very scared of dropping a slippery baby) but that really hurts your back after a while.
Of course, a sink is also an option for very young babies.
But once baby(ies) gets a bit bigger, it’s time to graduate to the big bath. Holding one baby in a big bath (when they can’t sit in water on their own) is yet another way to absolutely strain your back. If you’re on your own with twins, not only will your back hurt twice as much, but you won’t be able to bathe them together. And twin babies are loads of fun when they’re bathed together.
The solution we have found is to utilize bath seats. I’d never heard of these before I had children but they are plastic seats with suction pads that stick to the floor of the bath. Stick seats down, fill bath with water (BabyBoy and BabyGirl are big enough for a pretty deep bath now), pop baby(ies) in and let the splashy fun begin!
I find that one of the most annoying things that someone can say to a (new) mum is that baby doesn’t look like you. Or in my case, that neither of the babies look like you.
Yes, this is another pearl of wisdom that fell from my mother-in-law’s mouth during her last visit.
What is the point of such a comment? Are you saying that they’re not mine (those nine months of pregnancy would disagree)? That there’s been some sort of genetic misstep and they’ve inherited all their genes from Multidaddy? That the hospital made a mistake and gave us the wrong children?
By sharing private and difficult moments as mothers we create a more complete picture of the reality of motherhood – it ultimately frees us all. The ugly complaints, if told wisely, can be witness to the stamina of this extraordinary relationship. But the fear in us in disclosing is palpable – that we might be frauds and that our secret moments exclude us from being good mothers. For an instant, you are unsettlingly close to the truly dysfunctional mother, and you see the dangerously fragile state that she must teeter in, and how damaging she is to her children.
…toil and trouble? Ok, so this quote is a little off, but bubbles are certainly not trouble, in fact, they are another simple toy that can create hours of fun.
Even young babies will enjoy seeing bubbles drift over them. Older ones will like trying to catch them, and as they become more mobile even chase them. We carry a bottle of bubble fluid in our diaper bag for impromptu bubble sessions when faced with a bored baby (or two). They are also the source of giggles in the bath. Continue reading →
When you’re faced with a squalling newborn and you have no idea why the poor thing is crying, you would be forgiven for thinking that ‘maternal instinct’ is another myth that your real life has just exploded.
But although it took me a few months I am now convinced that mother (or whoever the primary caregiver is) really does know best.
This knowledge is not, however, instinct. Maternal instinct might make you love and protect baby, but it doesn’t decode your baby’s cries or teach you how to soothe. That, I have found, comes with simply spending time with baby and learning what each of the cries mean. It’s not a physical or hormonal thing, it’s a mental, learned process. So when you give birth you don’t suddenly have all this knowledge to hand, and you shouldn’t feel inadequate if you don’t ‘just know’ what to do.
….are the ones with the most longevity. BabyBoy and BabyGirl have all sorts of toys, many of which make all sorts of weird and wonderful sounds (thank goodness for volume and off switches) but two favourites that have been keeping their attention for months now are their stacking cups and stacking rings.
Reading some of the entries on this blog may give rise to the question, did I have postnatal depression?
Answer: yes. But although it’s over now (and I can truly say I am a happy mummy) the question remains, why?
Granted, I did have some of the risk factors associated with PND. These seem to vary from doctor to doctor but have been known to include: multiple pregnancy (hello me!), difficult delivery, type A personality, pregnancy following ART / previous miscarriage, history of depression, lack of support network, unplanned pregnancy, financial worries, overbearing relatives (hello grandparents), domestic abuse etc etc.
However, I think one of the biggest factors in my personal PND (in my non-medical opinion) was false expectations of parenthood.
Like just about everything to do with parenting, the use of playpens is somewhat controversial. Useful tool to keep baby safe, or unnecessary restriction of freedom?
Well, in my experience, especially with twins, certain playpens are useful, but they have to be configured for you.
First, make sure it’s big enough. A small playpen will be no good once baby can roll / crawl, and if baby can’t roll or crawl then you can probably do without one – a playmat or popping baby in the crib while you nip to the loo will work just as well. It really needs to be big enough for at least one adult to get on there with baby, so that baby doesn’t associate it with loneliness.
To give you an idea of size, for our twins we actually bought two (Lindam Safe and Secure) playpens and fixed them together to make one giant playspace – the entire Multifamily can fit in it. Continue reading →