Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Get on the floor and other helpful tips

The afternoon session of the Babysense seminar was for older babies and since the morning session was like an antenatal class, there were a LOT of pregnant women who stayed on for my session.

It was actually quite freaky as everyone was either pregnant or had a little baby with them!

I went alone and didn't know a single person there, except Dr S who looked a bit lost amongst all the women :)

I met one twin mom of 7-month-old twins who, when I asked who was looking after them, said "this is my me time" a little bit defensively so I gather people had been giving her some uphill. I reassured her and said, "I TOTALLY agree. Have FUN!"

There was another lady who really was a fantastic ad for a twin pregnancy - all glowing and beautiful (I felt just a tiny bit jealous) - who had a serious case of the twin romance. Her friend asked me if mine were a handful and I said, "oh YES!" and to her, "get lots of help - seriously". I handed out my card :)

I like to sit near the back so I can make a quick dash for the loos (bathrooms) the minute there's a break.

The seminar itself was fantastic as ALL the speakers clearly were experts and knew their stuff well.

Things I didn't like was that it seemed just a tad disorganised (not enough signage, the ticket said it started at 1 and it started at 1:30, seating was auditorium-style so no place to rest my notebook except on my lap and the babies...).

At the start of the seminar the lady said that the babies had to go to the babysitting area (they'd arranged free babysitting) or if you wanted your baby with you, to please leave the auditorium the minute the baby started making a noise as it wasn't fair to the other people who had arranged babysitting.

Fantastic! Or so I thought.

Well, the same thing happened as at Elton John.Some people listened and others blatantly ignored her and just stayed in the room with mewling babies. Gosh, I was cross.

I find it so incredibly selfish - we have ALL paid money and we're ALL looking forward to some time out. What gives some people the right to do that?

The speakers were so good that I didn't want to miss out on anything... otherwise I would have found an organiser to move those people.

You know those feedback forms?

Well, my feeling is if you ask for feedback, you're going to get it so I made them a long list of things they did well (food, fantastic notebooks with speakers' notes, actual content) and things they need to fix for next year.

My Dr S probably saved me thousands of rands by sharing which illnesses/ symptoms to worry about and which you don't need to bring baby to the paed. He actually spoke himself out of LOTS of money :) And I learned that most things don't need an anti-biotic (which I hate but that's a story for another post).

Natalie, you asked about the stimulating your baby section... well, some take-outs...

1. don't leave baby in car seats
2. make sure they have tummy time
3. don't use walking rings/ jolly jumpers for more than 5 - 10 mins a day (please do NOT fight with me - I know some of you love your walking rings (have at it!) - I am reporting what was said... )

visual no-nos

1. overstimulation
2. mobiles over cots
3. no TV

The best things you can do to stimulate your baby is simply to read to your baby and get down on the floor and play with them (also very good for their gross motor development if you chase them around).

One I'm great at (my constant huge pile of laundry is evidence) and one I suck at.

How many times can you read "Poppy cat and the rainy day"???

(although it is very cute when Kendra points that tiny little finger at the cat and says meow)

If only I could crawl faster. Connor and I had a race on Sunday and he won! (shameful)

If there was even the slightest bit of doubt in my mind about having more babies (if I had a spare R100 000 since my eggs are two years older, I'm sure it would take at least 2 IVFs), the workshop on Saturday put it all to rest. Hearing all those new baby sounds... um, no thanks.

Also last night I decided to switch back to my old phone because I simply enjoy it better (and who cares if the current one's newer) and I watched a few videos on there of my babies when they were 4 months old. OH MY WORD - the sounds are different, they look different, they couldn't do anything but cry just like...BABIES! :)

Now I have gorgeous, BIG babies who I can toss around, chase around the house, understand, communicate with; it is fantastic!

I am so, SO done with tiny babies.

Which are your favourite books for your babies? And do you get down on the floor enough?

These gorgeous pics were taken at my friend's babies' birthday party by a professional photographer. That's her on the left of the bottom two pics with the birthday girls :)
P.S. while we all look happy and like we're enjoying the moment, I was actually hanging onto my two for dear life because they just don't sit still!
P.P.S. thank you for all the comments yesterday. I can't WAIT to meet some of you one day - it's on my list :)


  1. Nope, I totally suck at getting on the floor, I probably spend about 15 minutes a day down on the floor but our nanny makes up for my short coming, I think she'd far rather spend time playing with Ava than doing anything else, so our house is not in the order I'd love it to be in, but she does spend literally hours on the floor with Ava.
    Oooh and don't have a cow, but I totally break the walking ring rule too! Ava probably spends about 30 minutes a day in hers!

  2. Sharon, I honestly don't mind what other people do with their babies. I don't feel a need to control other people, just myself :)

    Our first nanny was like that but it drove me nuts - the babies' laundry was always piled up and bottles laying around :)

  3. I feel you on the bringing babies to certain events. I am in charge of our monthly twin club meet-ups and a new member asked if she could bring her 3 month old twins as she is single and, presumably, has no one to watch them. Keep in mind these meetings start at 730 and don't end until 930 or 10 - way past a baby's bedtime, IMO! Not to mention the fact that all the other moms there are looking for time to talk to other adults without the constant distraction of babies - that's the whole point! Of course, I felt terrible telling her no so I tried to politely suggest that she didn't (for all the reasons above) but still welcomed her to bring them if she needed to. And she plans to...

    Since my DH travels for work, I have to get a babysitter (that I pay $12/hr!) every time I go to these meetings. So, I slightly resent that fact that she is playing the single mom card. I know it must be hard to be a single mom, harder than I can imagine I'm sure, but its just once a month and worth the $30 to have a sitter come for a couple hours while the babies sleep.

  4. I actually spend a lot of money on books...we read all the time, and I would get cross-eyed otherwise! And I know the girls love seeing new material, too. Eventually I'll start getting books from the library, but I'm not there yet. The girls are rough on their board books...and they still put them in their mouths sometimes...and I just couldn't imagine them doing that with a borrowed book. (Germophobia, ya know?!)

    When we're not reading, I do spend an awful lot of time on the floor with the babes...and I have the bruises to prove it!

    If anything, I worry that I'm not doing much "structured" learning time, like trying to color or use Playdoh. I have done this a time or two when my hubby is home to's more manageable to have a one-to-one ratio with the girls...otherwise they try to eat the crayons. I think they're probably a little young for that, but it's still something I worry a bit about.

    I would also like to get out-and-about for more "field trips" with the girls, but there again, I usually limit that to when Hubby is here to help. Otherwise it's quite stressful. :)

    At the end of the day, I think we all probably worry a bit much and should learn to trust our gut more.

    And I'm SO with you on the baby thing! We had a really small wedding, and I didn't invite any children. The LAST thing I wanted was a crying baby during the ceremony. We had one family call to see if they could bring their infant with them. I very politely told them, "no", and they seemed to understand. :)

  5. The pics are great!

    Mmmm, I spend quite a bit of time on the floor - mainly when I get home from work after picking him up at daycare. And weekends of course. I love this time - and so true, the older he is getting the more I am enjoying it! I sometimes wonder if I would be able to do the whole newborn things again - but then I also remember the crappiness that went along with trying to fall pregnant, the ubrupt bad (turned out good) end to the pregnancy, and a baby that pretty much just cried, pooped, and slept - where's the fun in that!

    I try to read as often as I can, and my favourite books aer definately not his. He loves this book which has a "siren" button - Sammy's Siren (I think - how bad am I, cannot remember the name... but I know the story pretty well...).

    I wanted to attend some of these seminars, but never got round to it last year, and then this year it also came and went.

    Bad mom me - got a mobile on the cot. No walking ring for me though, we decided against those.

    Thanks for the feedback on the seimar!

  6. Interesting advice! What are walking rings, though?

    Our favorite books are The Very Hungry Caterpillar and the Baby Einstein series books. I HATE Dr. Seuss...they are entirely TOO long. I never understood why my mom didn't like to read them to me until I tried to read one out loud myself. The girls can have those when they can read by themselves! : )

    LOVE the twin mom's comment about "me time"! I do the same thing!

  7. Thanks M, for remembering me on the stimulating babies section. I'm always pleasantly surprised that it usually always comes back to basics. Just spending time playing. No money, no fancy gadgets, no special toys... just Mom and baby on the floor. I love that.

  8. The babies hanging around would drive me crazy too. I don't know how they were able to focus on the content of the presentation if they brought their babies.

    On the floor time, I wish I could do more. I know Niki spends a lot of time with them on the floor. We both meet with the boys' physical therapist and are always trying to incorporate what she taught us into the play. I'm not sure what walking rings are either, but it sounds like what in the US we would call a walker, but they've been pretty much banned in the US. I haven't seen one for sale in ages. There's concern here over babies walking over to a staircase and falling. Then again teething biscuits are hard to find these days as they say they are a choking hazard. I think if you watch your baby when they are eating, everything should be fine, LOL.

  9. I hate reading outloud. I've blogged about that before LOL

    But, I do have older kids who are required to read 30 minutes a night for homework, so they read to their siblings :) It all works out.

    Also, I probably don't get on the floor as much as I should, but I am always grabbing the babies and wrestling around with them on my bed.

    The big kids are always rolling around with them on the floor and so is my husband.

  10. YES, that's what they are - walkers.,%27,%27&order=NAME


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