There's a wealth of information and resources available for parents of littlies - if you know have the time and the inclination to look for it. But sometimes, you just need an easy to digest, answer at the flick of a page. Enter, the book Parents, Here's Your Answer: A-Z Guide to Happy Parenting for the Under Fives. It's the work of Ailsa McDonogh, an experienced New Zealand Plunket nurse who has worked as a midwife and lactation consultant.
Here's a sample of the sort of answers you'll find in Ailsa's handy book:
Always know where your baby or child is and what they are doing. Make your home, garden and driveway safe and be especially watchful when visiting other people's homes. Common reasons for accidents are:
ATOPIC DERMATITIS (INFANT ECZEMA)
This is the term for reddened broken skin which tends to be dry forming a crusty surface. Sometimes it clears spontaneously or it may continue when it is due to an allergic reaction or a food intolerance. See your doctor
BOWEL MOTIONS (STOOLS)
During the first three to four days, the baby has black stools, known as meconium. As the colour changes to mustard yellow, the frequency slows to at least three to four runny motions over 24 hours around four to six weeks of age.
Bottle fed babies have firmer motions but no bowel motion should be difficult for the baby to pass. Constipation is easily recognized when the motion forms small hard pellets. This will need some attention as baby will be uncomfortable. As foods are introduced in the older baby, the colour will change again, relating to the vegetable or fruit being given.
BREAST MILK STORAGE
Breastmilk may remain in a room for four hours as long as the temperature of the room is below 26°C. It is safe to leave the milk at the back of a fridge for 48 hours. If the fridge has a freezer box, it is safe there frozen for two weeks. When a separate fridge-freezer is available ,it may be kept there safely for three to 12 months. In a deep freezer, it will be safe frozen for six to 12 months.
The best way of thawing frozen breast milk, is by placing the frozen bottle of milk in a jug of hot water until it reaches a pleasant warm temperature. Shake the bottle to mix the milk, then test the temperature on the inner wrist. It should feel comfortably warm.
It is alarming to see toddlers get so frustrated that they hold their breath as they may even go stiff and blue. Their frustration about something has hit a peak and instead of a tantrum the toddler holds his breath. Toddlers' behaviour is often very challenging, but try to stay calm as they will recover and it does them no harm.
This is a greasy substance which covers a baby at birth. It protects the baby against heat loss and aids the sliding out through the birth canal. It is easily removed when the baby is washed after birth.
Often known as Thrush, this common yeast infection is known as Candida albicans. It causes soreness in the mouth when the baby feeds, and the areola, nipples especially, can become very painful. A persistent rash i nthe napkin area makes these areas tender and sore.
See THRUSH, NIPPLE PAIN
You can read more from Ailsa and purchase her book by visiting www.parentinganswers.co.nz