Saturday, 18 September 2010

Almost as bad as semolina

I've been attending a New Parents session at my local Sure Start centre. Three lunchtime slots covering topics as varied as benefits, childcare options and minor illnesses. I think a lot of it boils down to common sense, but I'm all up for information: bring it on and I'll sift through and file what's useful. I have what I think of as a mental filter. A piece of information arrives at my ears, perhaps briefly amuses or arouses interest, then the filter kicks in: is this piece of information going to be useful for future occasions? Yes - file it. No - ditch it. I'm rubbish at pub quizzes.

This week I discovered that we may be eligible for child tax credits, which astounded me. The current threshold for household income is surprisingly high: £66k. As a bonus, the first £100 of your SMP (statutory maternity pay) doesn't count. This means we could be £90 better off (can't remember if it's per week or per month). It's not going to buy that Porsche but it's still £90, which buys a lot of nappies (or icecream). Possibly not the most thrilling bit of blogging I've done, but maybe it'll help make someone's life a little more comfortable.

I've blogged before about motherhood being about liquids, and inevitably this topic arose. If you'd asked me a year ago, I'd never have guessed I could be part of a ten minute conversation about the methods of removing snot from the nose of a three month old child. For the record, going into the bathroom and turning the shower on was a popular solution (the baby equivalent of sticking your head over a bowl of boiling water), closely followed by saline drops (which make baby sneeze, seems a bit harsh to me). We all admitted to simply pulling them out on occasion - gross but true.

Still on the topic of liquids, we covered what to do about diarrhoea, vomiting and constipation (yummy...). The first question that sprung to mind is how on earth do you tell if your little one has the runs?! I guess it's all relative. The solution for the first two is to keep fluids going in: for formula fed babies introduce a little cooled boiled water; for breastfed babies increase the number of feeds. As for constipation, it's not an issue if they're going several days in between as long as it's soft coming out. If not, it's more boiled water for formula fed babies, and for breastfed babies? Prunes for mum. Nightmare memories of school dinners come flooding back...

Image: riganmc /

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