How to calm a crying baby

Have you ever had a newborn baby who would just cry and cry and no matter what you do they just won’t calm down? If yes, then you are not alone.

It usually starts late in the day, around bedtime. They will begin to cry for no apparent reason. You may think, maybe it is colic so you give them anti-colic medicine(gripe water), it won’t work. Then you think again, maybe they need a calm relaxing bath, that too don’t work. Maybe they need feeding but they won’t even take the food from you because they are busy crying. You have tried everything in the book and they are still crying in fact, they are getting louder and more upset.

First of all do not worry. It is probably hard to do given the situation and you might have even looked at the baby and asked “what is wrong with you ” or “what do you want” you are not shaking the baby or shouting at them, you are just genuinely looking for answers! won’t it be lovely if they can respond and tell us what’s wrong?

Crying is natural for babies. That is how they communicate with you. They are telling you something. Maybe they are over stimulated.

We live in the city and our baby is used to noise and sounds but sometimes I have noticed that she gets very upset when the older siblings are getting excited playing their video games, there is a program on tv and couple with the noise outside. It all becomes too much for her.

Another reason I have noticed is when she hasn’t had a good long nap during the day. Contrary to popular misconceptions, babies need a good morning and afternoon naps. Sleeping during the day does not mean they won’t sleep at night, in fact it helps to calm them down for the night and like a learned behaviour, it teaches them how to sleep.

Bearing these reasons in mind I do they whole thing the books recommend. Give her a bath, massage her body while moisturising her, add drops of oil to her head and massage her head gently. Clean fresh clothes, fresh diaper and feed her. A trick I use on her while feeding her and I noticed she wants to pull out and cry is to stroke her hair gently.

It may not seem it but most often times babies cry in the evening because they are tired and wants to sleep. They are feeling restless. They have not learnt fully how to settle themselves, this is why it is good to have a good routine and start teaching them to self soothe but they are babies and are still learning. So while we are teaching and waiting for them to get the hang of things, we can help them.

Find out what your child wants and likes. It is usually a variety of things. I will share some of my daughters with you

She likes to be carried so her head rest against my chest. I think it is so she can listen to my heart beats. Similar to when they were in the tummy. It might seem like I’m “spoiling her” but I see it more as we both keeping an ear out for each other. Making sure we are alive and our heart is ticking.

She likes her hair to be stroked gently. Especially the back hair. Luckily enough she is blessed with hair so there is something to stroke, if like my older daughter she didn’t have hair as a baby, I think I would just stroke her head.

She likes to be rocked in an upward and downward motion as supposed to the common side to side rocking of infants.

She enjoys a variety of sleeping positions. Sleeping on her tummy is her favourite. Followed by sleeping on her side facing me (we co-sleep and I nurse her on demand)

Lastly although she isn’t on a dummy or a sucks her fingers, she loves to put her hands on her mouth using her tongue to play with her fingers. It is actually quite cute to watch her sticking out her little tongue to touch the hands. If she’s not feeling her fingers with her tongue, she loves her hands close to her chin when sleeping on her tummy or clasped together (organically) while on her side.

I would like to point out that professionals do not support sleeping with a baby in your bed or putting a baby to sleep in a way other than on their back. So please check with your doctor and I am not a child expert. I am just a mom sharing my personal experience on how I manage to calm my baby down when almost everything else fails.

The Accidental Park Party Crasher

we’ve only been used to the America school system now for three months. there are still some things that we are trying to get used to. this week I got an email and a flyer from the school saying that they were having a dual language school picnic at the dinausar park in the upper west side of manhattan. we later got another email saying to bring food and snacks in contribution. the picnic was in celebration of cinco de mayo that had happened over the weekend.

 

the weather was lovely and we had had a rough night thanks to colic in the baby so I thought the fresh air and the chance to see my older two kids again that afternoon would be nice. I horridly got up, got dressed, got the baby dressed, made a quick simple cheese sandwich and left the apartment for the park.

on getting there, there were lots of kids playing around, climblng the cute dinosaur statues in the middle of the park, some where on the swings, some running around the sprinklers where water sprays out from. some kids were sitting down eating, some queuing up (which I found out was a lingo some Americans were not familiar with, I asked another mom “is this the queue?” and she looked at me probably pondering what I was asking her, im getting used to that look by now, that look that says I hear you but I don’t understand what you mean’. so I went on to repeat myself, maybe it was the accent.  no, still not getting it. the next thing to do is to rearrange the verb or look for another verb to replace the one you used. so I asked for the third time, “is this the line” “oh yes!” she exclaimed smiling, the joy of finally understanding was too cute to miss. I smiled too and made little remark about the English English and the American English. we both laughed about it as I went. on to join the now long food ‘line’ (not queue).

I looked around hoping that my kids would see us and come give us a cuddle while they run back to play, as they typically would do. but no one came. then I looked around for any of their classmates that I have come to now recognise . still no one. then finally I looked around for their class teachers, no? ok now this is not funny were are they? I told the lady behind me to please hold my spot while I go and look for my kids. I was worried this time. I sent them to school, walked them inside so what is going on? I had little comfort from not seeing their classmates and teachers. maybe their class wanted to use the loo ( almost all. the parks in manhattan has toilet – big big points to the Americans there!) but no one was lining up around the toilet area.

I went on to ask a lady wearing the school badge. at least now I know this was definitely my kids school. I asked about other kids and she then went on to explain that this was for the dual language program. But I choose this school for its dual language programs. one of the schools that teaches in Spanish and English. my daughter comes home everyday speaking Spanish to me, so what do they mean by “this is for the dual language programs” I thought the whole school was a dual language program. she went on to explain. I will try to explain because it still somehow confuses me too. so public schools in American or should I say in New York city (thats were I’m experiencing), have the general typical classes and then sometimes have specials programs running in the same school. this programs are not after school clubs or breakfast clubs. its like having a school inside a school. a school for special kids with a form of learning difficulty, a school for gifted and talented kids and in this case a school for dual langue. I say school to understand it better but its the same school, same principal. different teachers, different curriculum maybe and different classes. but all in the same compound. this was new to me. the only time I experienced something like this was at university. post graduate and distance learning students for example all shared campus with us but were somehow different.

anyway just to be sure that my kids were definitely not here I called the school and was told they were in class. I was relieved. I’ve gone past feeling disappointed stage now because this and many more will happen. moving into a new city is bound to set you confused over things but the joy is that its all part of learning the new way of life there. its all part of the adventures and memories you will have with you. I still remember going for my first job interview in London.

I went back to tell the kind lady holding my spot on the line that I won’t be needing it as I got my wires crossed. she said not to worry that I should stay and have lunch and join them in the celebration. I love food and I love music so I wasn’t going to say no to free fun!

that was how I found myself celebrating cinco de mayo in the park with students, teachers and parents who were not in my kids class. I was glad to be there because there was so much fun!

A Day out In The City

Today started out like any other day, the kids woke up super early despite it being a weekend and wishing just like every day in the last five days, they had wanted to sleep in, wake up late. What happens to the not doing anything until it was 11am rules? Kids being kids, they decided to wake up early and start the day in a high spirit. I looked at them wanting to moan about it but decided to go with the flow. we turned the radio on, dancing and singing while tidying up.

then my phone buzzed reminding me of a play date we had arranged last week, I had forgotten all about it, talk about baby’s brain! I had not only forgotten, I haven’t confirmed it. quickly I rushed to text the family and they said yes they were still expecting us. quickly we raced to get ready and just as we were about to leave the apartment, the baby decided to do a number 2. after cleaning her up, she started crying so I stayed back to nurse her. eventually we left the apartment and headed up town.

we took a taxi to 116th street and as the driver was going past the park I realised that it was unusually filled up, people were having parties, kids playing, music beaming from different angles. I asked the driver what was going on and he said it was cinco de mayo celebration. I have heard of this celebration were a lot of Americans dress up in colourful Mexican themed outfits, drink margaritas and eat tacos but I have not really thought much of what it actually meant. a quick google search told me it was a day celebrated because a small Mexican army defeated a large French army in the battle of Puebla. asked and answered. moving on swiftly because it is still all new to me. I am glad that at least that we are all somehow colourfully dressed. quickly I asked the taxi driver if he could be kind enough to play photographer and tale us a photo so we can remember our first somewhat cinco de mayo celebration in New York City. Maybe next year we will be able to do it proper,

Mummy Whats the Weather like Today?

Today my daughter asked me what the weather was going to be like, just as they were getting ready for school. it seems like a simple enough question, I’m pretty sure she had asked the same question yesterday especially now that we seemed to have skipped spring and jumped straight to summer in May.

it was such a beautiful spring day!

As she asked and I muscled the strength and concentration to check the weather app on my phone, I told her it would be hot and sunny so she needed to put on her warm weather clothes, water bottle  and apply sunscreen. Just then it dawned on me that She depends on me for almost everything, all three kids depends on me, my husband depend on me to keep the family running, help him with his doctors or dentist quarterly check up, my parents, grand-parents, cousins, friends, they all depend on me. Maybe it was the lack of sleep seeing that I’ve only had 3 hours of sleep, I panicked for a little bit. The realisation that I was the human Siri was honestly quite overwhelming. In the words of Peter Parker spider man, “with great power comes great responsibility” my case appeared to be somewhat the other way round, “with great responsibility comes the need of great power, or perhaps coffee, or sleep or a hug or three nannies” – Irene. I know I’m no Beyonce so the idea of three nannies was out of the windows.

What if I fail them, now I’m not too worried about the adults in this equation, it is rather the young ones, the most vulnerable ones that I worry about. Its not their fault. They literarily depend on me for their survival. I am the sole source of food and nutrient for my nursing baby. Now that my husband has traveled back to work, I am the older kid’s main source of physical parental support. I may not be their sole source of nutrient as I can easily take them to McDonalds for cheese burger and fries, but the guilt and worry keeps me up at night. I find myself questioning myself, asking, if I’m giving them the right nutrients. I mean forget the fact that they got food in their tummy at least, they are showered, taken to school every single day, taken away from arms way, no, society makes it looks like parents who take their kids to fast food are not so good.

I don’t need no society to be on my case, I am already on my case. I ask myself what if I don’t know the answers to their question? After all, not all the answers can be found in an app, and i’m pretty sure google does not know everything. And Siri, well that guy does get tired sometimes and he begins to get cranky, trust me I have seem him get “emotional” when my son spent over thirty minute asking him weird questions over and over agin.

Again, what if I don’t have the answers they want? God know I love them too much to want to fail them, to not be able to give them the answer they need. I may not be able to answer all their questions, one thing I will always want them to know is that I am here for them. I will listen to their questions no matter how tired I am or how ridiculous it sound. I will search heaven and earth for answers no matter how many few hours of sleep I have had. You see, because they depend on me, it has now become a duty. I owed it to them the minuet I choose  to bring them into this world and be their mother.

The truth is, they are not the only one who depend on me, I also depend on them. they gave my life a new meaning, showed me strength I never knew I had, I mean I can multi-task like a pro! I never knew I could survive on only two hours of sleep and still be able to function the next morning. I depend on my husband for emotional support he may probably think its more financial as he calls himself my ATM machine but I beg to differ. Also being my best friend, there are things I can only tell him and not get worried about being judged. I depend on my girlfriends for moral support and so on. I believe thats what relationships are all about, us depending on each other. Helping each other out. An unspoken code.

So in reply to her question, it is a beautiful weather outside today and later on in the day, me and the littlest one went out for picnic under the most beautiful tree we saw while the older kids were at school.

A Trip to Science Museum London 

Over the years we’ve taken the kids to the science museum London. They enjoyed it as younger kids but didn’t understand much then.

Since the kids got a little older and started full time primary school, we haven’t taken them for a while, until it was science week at their school and they needed to submit a project. Time for a little adventure!

To keep the kids entertained on our tube ride, we picked up a tube map for them to navigate our stops. Being it was a Sunday, there were engineering works going on on the London Underground, which affected our journey. 

The science museum London is a free entry museum (donations accepted and we highly recommend it), it’s easy to locate. To get there, follow the signs from South Kensington underground station, past the natural history museum on the left. The Victoria and Albert Museum on the right until you get to the end of the subway and then you turn to your left. 

You will need to go through security check and then your adventures begins with locomotives and stem engines, many interesting things to see, do and discover on the ground floor,all the way to the top floor. 

Exploring space. 


We went on a space tour learning interesting facts like how astronauts do number 2 in space and bring the sample back to NASA to analyse the content of their poo. Space is pretty but its poo business isn’t pretty. 


Then we took the stairs all the way to explore more matters and materials. There is lift, clean toilet with baby changing facilities and a cafeteria (first floor) that sells hot and cold food. There is a gift shop on the ground floor. 

Next we explored matters and materials. 

By the time we had lunch and toured the second floor, we were tired. There was School the next day and I didn’t want to tire them up. So we had to go but we are coming back over the half term for part 2!