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Ellenie Case

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Tips on how to deal with an uneased newborn.

It’s very common to worry when you’re trying to soothe a crying baby, but crying is normal, in fact, it’s your baby’s way of communicating with you.

Why do babies cry?

Babies can cry for several reasons including being hungry, cold, tired or simply because they need some attention. Commonly, babies cry for around two hours every day.

In the first six months after birth, newborns will wake at night for food to stimulate growth and development. Normally they won’t sleep through the night until they’re further developed and mature.

Signs of being tried

Similarity to children and even adults, babies show sign of being tried by rubbing their eyes, yawning, grizzling, fussing, frowning and of course, crying. By responding to these signs early, it can help them to have a better and longer sleep.

How to settle them

There are many things that can help settle your baby, including:

Making sure they’re well fed and get proper sleep

The first and most important step is to make sure your baby is properly fed and well-rested. Keeping a diary or record of their eating and sleep patterns can help you with this. Newborns need lots of sleep and can get tired after only being awake for one and a half hours.

Comfort them

There are several ways you can comfort your newborn to soothe them.

  1. Hold them. Holding your baby in your arms with skin-to-skin contact can ease them back to sleep. Try using a rhythmic pattern of patting and rocking them or even softly talking to them. It isn’t until they’re further developed that babies can start self-soothing, so it’s okay to pick them up.
  2. Wrap your baby. Often, covering your child in a soft material to act like a hug can help them settle. Make sure they’re not too hot, their head isn’t covered, and their arms are above waist level before wrapping them. Please note: if your child has started showing signs of rolling over do not wrap them.

Developing a routine

In the first few months after your child’s birth, it’s crucial to be flexible and do what your baby needs.

Where possible developing somewhat of a routine such as food, play and sleep. During the day the routine could simply include:

  1. Check and change their nappy if needed.
  2. Provide your baby with a good feed to sustain them for some time.
  3. Have some playtime together and enjoy some cuddles.
  4. Put them back to sleep.

At night time, it’s important to avoid playtime and instead focus on trying to get them back to sleep.  Perhaps your routine could simply be rocking them back to sleep with a song.

Helping your baby distinguish the difference between day and night in your routine can also improve their sleep. At night time, try keeping it as dark as possible with dim lighting, soft-tones and try re-settling them as quickly as possible.

Other tips to try:

  1. A dummy: Sometimes the sucking rhythm from a dummy can help settle your baby if you’ve already fed them.
  2. A lukewarm bath: If you’re struggling to get your baby to settle, a warm, soothing bath can help them calm.

If nothing is working book an appointment with your GP or doctor to discuss possible treatments.

Relationship and spiritual writer, Shelena Aiyana, discusses how her experiences with abandonment and addiction helped her discover the advantages of conscious relationships, which she now shares with millions of people through her website, Rising Woman.

“Conflict is an opportunity for us to get to know our partner deeper, for us to learn how to get our needs met in a really honouring way.” – Shelena Aiyana.

As a child, Shelena grew up in and out of foster homes where she struggled with abandonment, addiction and abuse. Without a father present and a concept of what made a healthy relationship, Shelena developed a fear for men and became naturally drawn to unsafe partners.

But during her divorce in her early 20s, Shelena had a spiritual awakening that changed her life. She discovered how much she had been denying and suppressing her grief and childhood wounds and decided to make a change.

“I was in so much pain,” Shelena says, “I was struggling with this abandonment wound that had been ripped open and I never want to feel that powerless or that out of control ever again. I felt so much pain in my body that I thought I’d die in my sleep.”

But through a range of spiritual teachings such as plant medicine, ancestral and shadow work, Shelena turned her life around and now teaches millions of people every month about the benefits of self-awareness, reclaiming their true nature and having conscious relationships.

What is a conscious relationship?

“A conscious relationship is simply the act of witnessing our behaviours and noticing our stories. It’s noticing our minds rather than believing every thought we think,” Shelena explains.

“We’re no longer seeing our partner as somebody who is designed to meet all our needs and do the things the way we want them to but instead they are there as a partner in life, an ally in our healing.”

In a conventional relationship, if someone triggers you it’s automatically something they did wrong and there’s something that person has to do in order to fix you. Whereas in a conscious relationship you’re wholly responsible for yourselves, you’re there to support your partner not to fix them.

Often in relationships, we become co-dependent on our partner, which can be dangerous for our health and wellbeing.

Whether it’s from getting into the pattern of caretaking or putting others needs before our own, it’s crucial to remember we’re not responsible for saving other people.

“I think one of the most beautiful gifts we can give people when they’re suffering or struggling, is to remind them of their own power and that we trust them to do the work and heal,” Shelena explains.

“It allows us to create strong boundaries with ourselves and put our care and our own primary needs at the forefront because otherwise, we’re just self-abandoning.”

When we self-abandon, we don’t trust ourselves nor do we identify our boundaries or listen to our inner needs.

One could have a dream that’s really important to them to complete only to self-abandon it because it doesn’t work for someone else.

To avoid this, Shelena says one could ask themselves the deeper question about what that person represents for you and how together, you can heal.

“It comes down to having a compass where you know what your boundaries are as well as what your non-negotiable red flags are,” she says.

Classic, conventional relationships can be viewed in a way that tells us that somebody has to right and somebody has to be wrong, or somebody has to win, and someone has to lose.

We believe flighting, and not seeing eye to eye on things is normal because we weren’t taught otherwise. What we’ve failed to understand though, is that conflict presents the opportunity to learn more about yourself and your partner.

“If we know what we want in the relationship and we can speak that out, then we can actually qualify people before getting into a deep relationship,” Shelena explains.

“My husband and I had a lot of these conversations before we got together. We wrote letters, we revealed our traumas to each other and shared our life stories. We qualified what kind of relationship we wanted and what we needed to get there.”

While relationships can be difficult, seeking support doesn’t mean you’re failing but rather seeking an opportunity to improve and there are a lot of great support systems out there.

“Work with a teacher, therapist or somebody who’s aligned with your spiritual believes and makes you feel safe. I think it’s also really important to experiment with different healing modalities and find out what feels good for you,” Shelena says.

“There doesn’t need to be shame when you turn over a stone and there doesn’t need to be shame when you go into the dark. It’s about reclaiming and really owning who are and accepting all your parts.”

How to heal and prevent nappy rash in new-borns.

While common, the red and sore skin condition known as nappy rash can cause discomfort and distress for children under two.

If your child wears nappies, chances are they’ll develop nappy rash at some stage, so it’s critical you know how to deal with it.

How can it be caused?

Nappy rash can be caused by many things, but it mainly develops as a result of wearing a wet or dirty nappy for too long. When urine or faeces come in contact with a baby’s skin it causes a build-up of moisture which, along with friction and long wear, can cause irritation to the skin.

Wearing plastic pants or underwear can also cause and worsen nappy rash as it stops air from circulating around the skin.

Nappy rash can also occur consequently from a child having another skin condition such as eczema.

Sleeping baby.

Tips for treating nappy rash

The underlying, good thing about nappy rash is it generally goes away within a few days, provided you do some of the following.

Give your baby nappy-free time.

Airing your child’s bottom every day is a great way to avoid nappy rash because it helps the skin to dry out and heal.

You could try leaving a dry nappy or towel under your child for a couple of hours or even fasten the nappy looser to allow air to flow.

Change nappies frequently.

Check your baby’s nappy every hour or so, where possible, to ensure they’re not sitting in a mess and change it straight away if they are. Frequently changing their nappy means the area will stay dry and will start healing.

Mother playing with baby.

Keeping their skin clean.

After every nappy change, use lukewarm water and a delicate cloth to gently clean your baby’s skin.

Where possible, avoid using disposable wipes which can irritate children’s’ skin, especially if the preservatives are causing an allergic reaction.

Using a soap-free baby wash that’s gentle on the skin when bathing your baby is also beneficial.

Baby in bath.

Cloth nappies.

Reusable cloth nappies are problematic when it comes to nappy rash because they’re less absorbent than disposable ones. Plus if remains of soap or detergents are left on them it can cause the nappy rash to worsen.

However, if you prefer the cloth nappy, you can avoid these issues by thoroughly cleaning the nappy after every use and rinsing them in freshwater after they’ve been washed to remove any leftover residue.

Tip from a mother of four: If you want to use a cloth nappy but the moisture is an issue, try placing a woman’s pad inside the nappy for extra absorption.

Cloth nappies.

Creams and treatments.

Applying a gentle barrier cream such as Sudo, after every nappy change can be beneficial in eliminating the rash as they stop moisture from hitting it.

You can either purchase these at your local supermarket or drugstore without a prescription or contact your baby’s GP for a recommendation.

Avoid using talcum powder. It’s important not to put powders on your baby’s skin during this time as it can actually trap the moisture inside, preventing the rash from healing plus, it can be a breathing hazard for children.

A home remedy from a mother of four: “I used cornflour after a cream. Cornflour helps absorb moisture and stays on the surface, so lightly sprinkling some over your baby’s skin can help reduce the rash.”

However, if the rash continues after a few days, talk to your GP to find the right course of action.

Father changing new-borns nappy.

 

Save money, time and so much more with ethical products.

Ethical products

By using a reusable safety razor one can save $250 over five years.

We can reserve a stack of money by converting to ethical products which are long-lasting, improve our health and supports local businesses and fair trade.

Reusable products save money in the long run.

Major supermarkets make it effortless to stick with the cheapest item, but this cycle can end up costing us more than a one-off, marginally more expensive sustainable option.

Most families use one to two rolls of paper towel a week and, while individually not costly, over time this adds up. Reusable, washable cloths are a viable alternative that require no future purchases.

Most ethical bars utilised for shampoo, conditioner and body wash reduce plastic consumption and one is equivalent to three bottles of liquid products.

Ethical soap bars

Reusable goods can last longer and are better quality.

Not only does the move to ethical goods save expenditure but they last longer.

Take toothpaste, if one brushes their teeth twice a day, organic toothpowder will last twice as long as one regular tube.

Organic tooth tabs

The same goes with sustainable bars, depending on how often one washes their hair, the bars can last four to five months. Plus, they smell equally as wonderful and work as efficiently as any regular brand of shampoo, conditioner, or body soap.

Improve your health.

A lot of cleaning products contain dangerous chemicals such as volatile organic compounds that can be destructive to our health. In addition to damage caused to our natural environment, chemicals also cause illnesses and disease, such as cancer.

Unlike bulk cleaning products, sustainable alternatives are usually 100% natural and don’t contain harmful compounds. Alternatively, they are plant-based, pose minimal threat and work just as adequately.

Sourced locally.

Buying locally-made items is a great investment and there are several advantages to us.

Lady surrounded by rubbish

Most ethical goods are made regionally so by buying them, we’re putting money back into our local economy and boosting its profits. Plus, it highlights to the government the areas the public supports and puts pressure on them to make sustainable changes.

Transport is Australia’s third-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. And a major contributed to this is the transport of product goods, most of which are from big chain companies.

Unlike these unethical businesses, the other advantage with locally sourced products is that they require fewer travel miles to deliver. They also tend to use much less plastic, which could prevent massive loss of marine life.

Fairtrade and not testing on animals.

In this day and age, equality and ethical rights are of high importance, yet millions of people, particularly children still suffer under unfair labour rights.

However, the remarkable thing about organic items is they use fair trade, meaning producers of the products are paid fair wages and have up-to-standard working conditions. So, by purchasing these items we can be reassured that the making of them is done morally and reasonably.

Each year, more than 100 million animals are killed in the US alone from the testing of products.

This isn’t the case with sustainable brands, which all refrain from using the harmful and destructive procedures.

They make you feel great because they cause no harm to the environment.

We like to feel good about what we buy and where it comes from, and with sustainable products, this is reassured. We can avoid feeling guilty about using multiple items, and throwing them away because we know they’re ethical, sustainable, good for us and good for the planet.

Girl with green leaf in forest

 

Fast fashion children’s clothes are harming our environment and our kids.

thrown out clothes amongst landfill.

With their rapidly growing bodies, children can go through clothes quicker than any shopaholic.

Every year, 85% of textiles bought in Australia ends up in landfill. A key contributor? Children’s clothing.

A majority of these clothes are made in a process called Fast Fashion, the rapid production of garments by mass-market retailers.

Although affordable, this process is why Australians are consuming 400% more than they were two decades ago.Fast Fashion poses numerous problems to the natural environment and those living within, mainly because of the materials used in development.

Synthetic fabrics  such as polyester, nylon and acrylic are commonly used to make children’s clothes. These materials take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade and release microplastic fibres into the ocean when washed.

Marine animals consume these plastics and inevitably pass it up the food chain until the cycle leads back to us, effecting our bodies.

Currently, there are 5.25 trillion pieces of microplastics littering the ocean – more than all the stars in the galaxy!

Because of the cheap fabric, another issue with these garments is that they break down quicker than ethical clothing and are dangerous to make. On top of poorly paid wages, the workers who create the affordable clothing are also exposed to dangerous elements.

Women working to create cheap clothes.

During production, synthetic garments are treated with multiple toxic chemicals that are not only harmful to the health of workers but also to the children who wear the garments.

Chances are that that five-dollar child’s t-shirt, actually has a much greater, untold cost.

Plus, these poisonous chemicals rapidly increase the amount of Co2 in the air. With levels already exceeding safe human operating space by 20 per cent, it poses a significant problem.

But it’s not too late for change. There are many simple adjustments one can take to prevent these issues and benefit their children.

1.  Buy Sustainable Children’s Clothes.

Unlike fast-fashion garments, eco-friendly clothes are made from better quality materials (organic cotton) and they don’t contain toxic chemicals. Instead, the fabrics are naturally made and sourced.

Below is a list of a few stores you can check out for worthy and sustainable kids’ clothes:

Click photo to find out more.
Click photo to find out more.
Click the photo to find out more.

2.  Read The Label.

A simple solution to ensure you are getting good quality and non-harmful fabrics, is to check the label for what materials are used. You should stay clear of textiles like cotton, synthetic materials and animal fur and instead opt for natural fabrics such as organic cotton, linen, hemp and recycled fibre.

3.  Buy Second-Hand Clothing.

Second hand store

Without adding to the production of garments, second-hand clothes are a great alternative to buying new clothes and they cost a fraction of the price. Additionally, they also provide a great place to recycle outgrown children’s clothes.

4.  Be Mindful of How You Wash and Dry.

The way you clean clothes can reduce water usage and the risk to us.

The average household does 400 loads of laundry every year. You can reduce energy consumption by 90 per cent by simply doing full loads and using cold water only.

A great addition to reduce the amount of microplastics released when you wash clothes is a microfiber-catching laundry ball. Washing one cotton t-shirt releases almost 2,000 microplastic fibres but the laundry ball can slash this risk.

Microplastics in the environment

 

Owner of Arrived Baby Bags, Karen Entwistle discusses the ups and downs of juggling a business with being a parent.

Karen with her son and husband.

“I love [running my own business] because I feel like I’m doing something for the future of my son,” Karen Entwistle, founder of Arrived baby bags.

After having her son, Oscar, Sydney mother Karen realised there was a lack of gender-neutral baby bags in the market, shortly after her business, Arrived was born.

 

 

 

Karen took the plunge in 2019 after leaving her job. She had a vision to create a multipurpose, stylish bag that was sustainable for both parents. However, launching her own business presented its own difficulties.

She shares, “It’s been a bit of a challenge because my business actually launched in April right as COVID was most prominent, but we made a decision to still launch.

“Then obviously kindergarten closed, my husband started working from home and I was in the spare room, so it was pretty hectic.”

For Karen it was a journey into the unknown. With shipping ports around the world held up due to COVID-19, Entwistle struggled with delays in the delivery of her product but it helped shape her business.

“I think the biggest lesson for me, was nothing’s ever going to be on time, and you need to really work to those expectations,” she says.

Despite this, the year was loaded with success for Karen as she managed to build strong relationships with influencers and received a lot of positive customer feedback.

“I’m a second guesser so I doubt myself all the time and I’m super critical [of my work]. I ask myself if I did that right or could I do it better? So, to get [positive] comments just means a lot to me and makes it all worthwhile,” she says.

From a young age, Entwistle suffered from mental health challenges and like many parents had anxiety about being a good mother to her son, Oscar.

“When I first had him it was difficult, there were sleepless nights and breastfeeding didn’t work for me at first. But he’s three now and when he turns around and says I love you Mum; I just know it’s all worthwhile,” she says.

One of Karen’s baby bags.

During the past difficult year, support from Karen’s family and proper time management allowed Karen to juggle parenting while turning her idea into a flourishing business.

“When Oscar has an afternoon nap I work and when he goes to bed at night I do work then or get up early in the morning. It can be tough but it’s about finding a balance for everything,” she explains.

For 22 years, Entwistle worked at the forefront of the fashion accessory industry but making money for other people was never her dream. She always wanted to have her brand.

Entwistle explained how changing one’s career and choosing to start your own business contrasts greatly from working for one.

“It’s a different kind of feeling and responsibility because it’s your own business. It’s your own money that you’ve invested, there’s sleepless nights, long hours and a lot of sweat and tears to launch.

“You have a different passion for it as well and you don’t ever switch off, it’s always on your mind, I love it.”

Arrived baby bag featured on father

For every bag sold through Arrived, Entwistle donates two dollars to the Gidget Foundation Australia, a not-for-profit organisation which supports new parents including Entwistle.

During her pregnancy and after, Entwistle suffered from depression and sought out Gidget for assistance.

Not only did they support Entwistle throughout her pregnancy journey and afterwards, but they also assisted her husband.

Karen Entwistle – Founder of Arrived

Now, Entwistle is an advocate for Gidget and has a message for parents who are suffering from both prenatal and post-natal depressions.

“There’s support out there, don’t be embarrassed, don’t be ashamed,” Karen advises, “It’s much better to speak up, to protect your family than it is just to keep going the way you’re feeling. With the right support you can get through it.”