October 23, 2014
by Kylie Gardner

Making Nappy Change Time Easy {Giveaway}

Making Nappy Change Time Easy with Toddlers

Brought to you by Nuffnang and BabyLove

This is Rocky. He is 19 months old now and he HATES having his nappy changed.

Mention the word ‘nappy’ and Rocky is likely to suddenly disappear in puff of (smelly) air. He will run at speed into the nearest room and close the door behind him. This really is a futile effort as all our doors have door-stops on them to protect little fingers. Sucker.

When I do manage to get Rocky in the right place at the right time he puts in his best effort to make it a drama. He uses several quite effective techniques to avoid having a clean butt, including:

  • The Donkey – bending both legs in towards his belly he then kicks them both hard at my stomach. This one hurts.
  • The Tour Down Under – you might remember this move from your ab routine at the gym. Holding his legs high in the air he pedals an imaginary bicycle in my face.
  • The Roly-Poly - kind of like the stop-drop-and-roll technique taught to kids by firefighters, minus the fire.
  • The Pretzel – rolling either the upper or lower half of the body separately, so that he twists like a salty New York snack.
  • The “Butt You” – getting into a baby downward dog and sticking his butt in my face.
  • The Upside Down Worm – the 80s, body-rippling break-dancing move that always comes out at weddings (or was that just my wedding?). THAT – but upside down. Quite entertaining, actually.

Making Nappy Change Time Easy

It’s no surprise, then, that I have a few tricks up my sleeve for happy bearable nappy change times.

  • Reciting a favourite story from memory. Our current favourite is “Moo, Baa, La-la-la” by Sandra Boynton. Lucky for me it doesn’t have too many words and is very easy to remember.
  • TV. Especially during theme songs or when music is playing. Move fast, before the song ends! Or try the super cute and mesmerizing Baby Bud Soother song.
  • Nursery rhymes. “This little piggy” is a big winner at the moment.
  • Distraction – by his favourite person, his sister. Pebble has gotten very good at playing Peek-a-boo.
  • BabyLove Nappy Pants for a speedy change. I love nappy pants because I can change Rocky while he’s standing up. It’s the laying down part that he really seems opposed to, so this works a treat. Here’s why you’ll loveBabyLove Nappy Pants:
    • They have a super stretchy waist that is easy to pull up, with no fiddly tabs.
    • They are as absorbent as regular nappies- holding up to five cups of liquid. That’s a whole lot of wee!
    • The stretchy waist fits kiddos just right – no digging in and no leaks.
    • Tearable side seams help make nappy change time quick and easy.
  • 20 Questions – you know, the kinds of questions that mummies and daddies ask their kiddos repeatedly. ‘What does a cow say?’, ‘What does a duck say?’, ‘Where’s your nose?’, ‘Where’s your belly?’, ‘Where’s Mummy’s cocktail?’.

Win $250 worth of BabyLove Nappy Pants!

One lucky Octavia and Vicky reader will win $250 worth of BabyLove Nappy Pants and wipes!

To enter just answer the question in the widget below. Terms and conditions.

Win $250 worth of Baby Love Nappy Pants and Wipes!

October 20, 2014
by Kylie Gardner

Giant Floor Drawing for Toddlers

Giant Floor Drawing for Toddlers

Rocky loves to draw. He will physically climb onto the table to reach Pebble’s drawing materials and then happily wander around the house looking for things to draw on. As long as it’s NOT paper. I’m adding that particular behaviour to the very long list of things that Pebble didn’t do. Or did once then listened when I told her not to. I guess it’s a boy thing? A second child thing? Or just a Rocky thing. It’s who he is and I will embrace that (sometimes through gritted teeth as he throws his toys, climbs on the furniture and smashes …. everything).

I wanted to make the concept of drawing on paper more appealing to my little bruiser and had an idea to do some large scale drawing. Here’s how it went.

Giant Floor Drawing for Toddlers

You will need:

  • an extra large piece of paper (we used a roll of paper that I got from Ikea)
  • drawing materials, for example chunky pencils, crayons or markers (we’re using Micador Washable Oil Pastels #notsponsored)
  • sticky tape
  • an eager toddler
  • adult supervision!

How to:

  1. Stick the large piece of paper to the floor using sticky tape. I suggest sticking it along the entire perimeter of the paper to make sure it stays in place.
  2. Get out the drawing materials and have a go with them together.
  3. Sit nearby, give them lots of time and space to explore, chat about their marks.

Giant Floor Drawing for Toddlers Giant Floor Drawing for Toddlers

These oil pastels are awesome, the colours are bright and they mark the paper really easily. I love how Rocky grasped three in one hand while working with another. The tongue poking out is pretty cute too.

Rocky drew happily for about 10 minutes or so, which is a pretty good chunk of time for a 19 month old to stick at anything. Then he started to experiment with drawing on the wood floors. I redirected him to the paper. He threw a crayon at me. Activity over. #keepingitreal

Giant Floor Drawing for Toddlers

Rocky is unimpressed that I have taken the oil pastels away. Obviously.

The best thing about these oil pastels is that they wiped up with a baby wipe with no problems at all.

Disclaimer: Micador sent us these oil pastels to try about a couple of years ago now, and they’re still going strong. They did not pay me to mention their products or ask me to endorse them in any way. I’m giving you my honest opinion on them because I love sharing products that I genuinely love and use.

Wondering when to introduce your child to drawing? Try reading these tips for drawing for babies and toddlers.

Do your kids like drawing on the walls?

October 16, 2014
by Kylie Gardner

How to prepare for your child’s hydrogen breath test

How to prepare for your child's hydrogen breath test

Ok, so I realise that preparing for your child’s hydrogen breath test (HBT) is a REALLY specific topic. BUT. Rocky had this test the other day and I was chatting with the other parents at the hospital.  We agreed that we’d have loved a little more information to help us know what to expect. So!, Let me serve the people! First, some background on Rocky’s lactose free life.

We have been treating Rocky as lactose intolerant for about a year now. His terrible sleeping habits combined with lots of mucus and snoring led us to believe that he might have some kind of dairy intolerance. I sought advice from my child and youth heath nurse and she said to try skipping lactose before eliminating dairy altogether – thank goodness for that! It’s quite easy to avoid lactose these days, there are lots of products on the market that are lactose free and Rocky still gets to enjoy milk, yoghurt and cheese.

The lactose free diet has appeared to have helped Rocky sleep better. He went from waking eight to twelve times a night (yes, really!) to only waking two to three times a night. His mucus and snoring also reduced and we were all a lot happier.

While it’s not too difficult to get lactose free food, it can be tricky when eating out at other people’s houses or at cafes. So, after a year on this modified diet, we thought it was about time that we got this lactose intolerance thing confirmed one way or the other. We got a referral from our GP and booked in for the next available appointment, a couple of months away.

Here’s the tricky part. The lactose breath test requires children aged 6 months and over to fast for 10 hours before starting the test (infants fast for 6 hours). Yikes! We also had to avoid yoghurt, bananas and apples the day before his test, among other foods (but these are his favourites). Rocky coped surprisingly well with the fasting, I was amazed! I expected huge tantrums, but they didn’t come until much later…

When we arrived for the test Rocky had to drink about 100 – 150 mls of a sugar drink. Which he really did NOT want to drink. We were offered a cup, a cup and straw, a bottle, a sippy cup, a syringe, orange flavouring … none of it worked. Rocky refused to drink. It took two other adults help and me wrapping him in a towel to keep his arms down to get any in him at all. And even then Rocky spat most of it right back out. His hair, face, neck, t-shirt and jacket were drenched in this sticky stuff. But we did our best!

Once he had the sugar drink Rocky had a breath sample taken every half hour for two and a half hours. He was still not allowed to eat anything. He was such a trooper! The Women’s and Children’s Hospital, where we had the test, were well prepared to distract kids. They had lots of toys to play with and kids shows on TV. They also have an awesome playground that wasn’t too far from our waiting rooms. I also took some of his favourite toys and books along for distraction.

At the 2 1/2 hour mark Rocky got a little bit Hulk on me and started to throw toys and push over furniture. Thankfully we were only a few minutes away from a banana and a bowl of hot chips! The final sample was taken and we were out of there. Here are my tips for preparing for a hyrodgen breath test.

* If you suspect that your child may an intolerance please seek professional medical advice. I am not a medical professional and share these tips from my own experience only.

How to prepare for your child’s hydrogen breath test

Arranging the test

  • arrange your test by getting a referral from your GP and finding out where you can have your test. We had to go into the city for our test but you may find that you can go local.
  • submit your referral to the test provider – ask about a cancellation list as the waiting time can be quite long. We were lucky and got called to come in a couple of weeks earlier than expected.

The week before the test

  • if your child is old enough start preparing them for the test by practicing blowing – blowing out candles, blowing bubbles, blowing on flags or pinwheels. During the test they will be asked to blow through a straw, which can be tricky, especially when they haven’t done it before. Younger children will have their breath samples taken by a syringe like object (sorry, I don’t know the medical name!). The nurse places a small tube next to the infants nose and suctions breath from the nostril. It is not invasive or painful at all.
  • find out about the test venue and whether there is some open play space or a playground that you can visit in the half hour gaps between breath samples. Play is fab distraction for kids!

The day before the test

  • double check the list of restricted and banned foods for the day so that you increase your chances of a successful test.

On the day of the test

  • pack a secret stash of snacks and hide them somewhere that your child won’t look for them. This will help you be prepared for the moment when they’re finally allowed to eat again without having to find a cafeteria and make them wait even longer.
  • pack extra spare clothes. All the toddlers I saw ended up having the sugar drink spilled on them. I only packed one jacket for Rocky as I wasn’t expecting him to get so drenched!
  • pack a small towel and a face washer – this will help protect your child’s clothes from getting drenched and help you to clean them up afterwards.
  • take along some favourite toys and books to help distract your child.
  • take two drink bottles. We used one for Rocky’s water, and the other for the sugar drink. We thought that a familiar drink bottle might help him drink it. It didn’t! But it might work for you.
  • make friends with the other families in the waiting room, they are your allies!

Has your child ever had a hydrogen breath test? 

October 13, 2014
by Kylie Gardner

Guess My Picture

Guess My Picture - A drawing and language game for preschoolers

Over the weekend my immediate family gathered to remember my brother, Ryan, who died this time last year. We released some balloons, drank a beer and remembered our happiest and fondest moments with him. We cried, laughed, hugged and cried again. Ryan’s three boys were there, along with their cousins, nine kids in all. Ryan’s ashes are in a beautiful garden with winding pathways, leafy gum trees, a big open lawn and a fountain. It’s just perfect for kids, they love it there. They’re all very young, and don’t really understand the finality of death.  It makes it very hard to stay sad for long when you’re surrounding by laughing, playing children. I hope that Ryan would have loved the way that we paid tribute to him.

After the memorial I went to my mum’s house along with some of the family. It’s such a strange thing, grief and loss. It’s so intense, emotions are so heightened. But the everyday, mundane moments continue. “Do you want a sandwich?”, “Mum, let’s play hide and seek”, “Tell me about your holiday”. It feels surreal to carry on with life, as normal, when someone so important is missing, forever. But you do. Carry on.

Kids are the BEST for distraction from grief, for me anyway. They just want to play. Pebble was tired and cranky that day, we’d let her stay up too late the night before, I guess we were too weighed down our own sadness to worry about bed time. I needed something to distract her, so I suggested we play this game. Her cousins and Uncle soon joined in too, then Nana too. I think I’ll always think of this game as “The Game I Played When I Didn’t Want To Think About My Dead Brother”, but that’s kinda wordy so I’ll call it, “Guess My Picture”.

Guess My Picture

For children age 3 and up.

Minimum 2 players.

You will need

  • paper
  • something to draw with – pens/pencils/crayons/markers

How to play

  • Player 1 draws a picture on the paper. The first person to guess the picture wins that round. Player 1 writes the initial of the winner next to their picture. This is good letter recognition and writing practice, but it’s not essential to the game, so skip that bit if you prefer.
  • Player 2 takes a turn to draw a picture while the other players guess what they’re drawing.
  • Continue on until everyone has had a turn, then start all over again.

It’s very simple, and very addictive. At one point we had three generations and eight people playing! We kept it very casual, with players coming in and out of the game and toddlers scribbling on the page alongside our game. Sometimes, when pictures were very tricky to guess, we asked for clues. I hope you enjoy this game too.

Guess My Picture - A drawing and language game for preschoolers Guess My Picture - A drawing and language game for preschoolers Guess My Picture - A drawing and language game for preschoolers Guess My Picture - A drawing and language game for preschoolers

How to you cope with grief and loss?

October 9, 2014
by Kylie Gardner

The Poo Finger

Having trouble during nappy change time with a wriggly baby? Try  BabyLove Nappy Pants ­ with no tabs to contend with, the 360­degree stretchy waist  allows you to pull them up quickly and easily, so your active toddler can get back to action  in no time! Request a sample

The Poo Finger

There are many memorable moments in parenting. The first cuddle. Their first car ride home. Their first smile. Your first poo finger.Yep, you read that right. You really know you’re a parent when you experience this little gem.

Come on, don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about. As if this doesn’t happen to all parents at least once! This is how it goes. First you smell it. Your little darling has filled their nappy. You grab the back of the nappy with the tip of your index finger, intending to take a look at the situation and … BAM! You got yourself a poo finger.

It usually happens in the early days, to the uninitiated. But it can catch the experienced off guard too. You think you know your kid and their poo schedule, you’re pretty sure there’s gonna be nothing there but you check anyway and… BAM! Poo finger.

I’m pretty grateful (I guess?!) that this has only ever happened to me a couple of times and each time I was at home. Close to soap and water. *shudder* Can you imagine?

Note: that’s totally peanut butter on my finger. I am not that dedicated to my blog that I would voluntarily stick my finger in poo. Sorry.

Do you have a poo finger story?

This post is part of a Nuffnang native advertising series.
Having trouble during nappy change time with a wriggly baby? Try  BabyLove Nappy Pants ­ with no tabs to contend with, the 360­degree stretchy waist  allows you to pull them up quickly and easily, so your active toddler can get back to action  in no time! Request a sample
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