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Parenting

Working Mom

Every mom works 24/7, but if you’re also employed outside the home, you’ll need to think about how to manage both work and family. Whatever your reasons for returning to work, juggling a full-time job and family life can be challenging.

Making work WORK for you

Here’s how you can get closer to achieving that work-life balance:

·         Find out about your employer’s flexi-time and leave policy, so you know what’s expected of you if you need to take time off to attend to your parenting responsibilities

·         Make frantic mornings easier by packing lunches and laying out clothes the night before

·         Use your lunch breaks wisely – get shopping done, express breast milk, or ask your boss if you can take a shorter break so you can leave earlier

·         Cook double portions of every meal; freeze the extras so you can save some time later

·         Stay connected – play games with your little one, bath together, to maximise the time you get together

·         Nurture your relationship with your partner – you’re in this together!

·         Carve ‘me time’ into the calendar – self-care is not selfish but an important part of being a good mom

Women often tend to feel guilty - mothers especially so! Even if you choose to work outside the home, it’s completely normal to have mixed feelings about this, and to worry about your baby’s care when you’re not around. This, combined with job and relationship demands and the daily stress of managing a home, could make you feel as though you simply can’t cope.

Here are five more strategies to help ease your burden:

1.       Choose your baby’s day care well, even if it costs a little more, and think of the caregiver as an ‘extra mother’, rather than someone competing for your baby’s affection.

2.       Don’t take work home with you; be fully available to your baby for the first hour at home – go for a walk or play games together to help you both relax and bond.

3.       Accept help from family, neighbours and friends – there’s no shame in admitting that it takes more than one person to raise a baby or make sure all the necessary chores are done.

4.       Bed-share or co-sleep with your baby! You’ll both sleep far better, and the close contact at night will make up for the separation in the day.

5.       Use a natural remedy to help keep you calm.

Sister Lilian’s top ten tips for life with a Baby

 

Being a new parent can be daunting and the number of things you need to learn can seem to tower over you like a mountain. Mount Everest, no less… Relax, all new parents feel this way, and soon the many rewards of parenting will be yours! Here’s Sister Lilian’s list of ten basic Baby-dos nobody probably told you, and you probably didn’t think to ask: 

1. Breastfeed as soon as possible after birth: Tell your hospital, doctor, and midwife that you want to nurse Baby before she is bathed and tested. This first feed is invaluable for bonding with Baby, makes breastfeeding easier later, and builds Mom’s confidence!

2. Have skin-to-skin contact with Baby often: Premature, ill, or low birth weight babies have better temperature control and weight gain with frequent skin-to-skin time. Hearing Mom’s heartbeat and feeling her warmth and closeness is wonderfully relaxing for anxious babies – and moms!

3. Clean the umbilical cord and navel at each nappy change: Clean the cord until it is off (about Day 10 or 14), and clean Baby’s navel thoroughly until about six weeks. This prevents urine and stool from causing infection by contaminating the cord stump.

4. Wash behind Baby’s ears: When Baby possets, milk runs down to behind her ears and can start to smell. Gently pull the shell of the ear away from Baby’s skull – it may be crusty at first so keep moistening it – and wipe down with a moist facecloth or cotton wool.

 5. Wash Baby’s buttocks at each nappy change: The best way to prevent nappy rash is to run a basin of warm water at each nappy change, dunk Baby’s buttocks into the water, wash with baby soap, and pat dry with a towel. When you’re not at home, use wet wipes, moist cloths, or oil on cotton wool.

6. Thoroughly and gently clean a baby girl’s labia: When a baby girl passes a stool, splay the labia (lips) of the genital area and gently clean away all traces of poo with moistened cotton wool balls. Also wash this area gently every time you wash her buttocks.

7. Establish a flexible baby-friendly daily routine: Routines help Baby to feel secure, but they shouldn’t be rigid and forced. Watch Baby and base your routine on her natural patterns. 

8. Smile at Baby: Forget the six week rule! If you smile at Baby lots, she will likely respond with a smile much earlier – those half smiles aren’t just wind!

9. Talk to Baby!: Baby loves hearing your voice and learns early speech from the first days. Simply walk with Baby and talk about what you see, think, and feel.

10. Put multiples together in a cot: Twins have snuggled together since the womb, so they’ll probably be most content if you let them carry on during sleep time. At play time, they keep each other happily entertained too! 

Is there an ideal age to have a baby?

Should you take advantage of the vibrant, prime-of-life decade and start a family in your 20s? Are the more settled circumstances of the 30s, along with a still-young heart and body, the ideal years to start a family? Do parents in their 40s know secrets that give them ‘the edge’? There are advantages and disadvantages to all possible ages, and deciding when to have a baby is a very personal decision for each couple. 

Of course, each family’s circumstances are different, and people do learn to adapt to the realities of parenthood. Here are a few things to consider about when to start a family.

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Away with postnatal emotional problems

It’s normal to experience a bit of emotional upheaval when a baby is born. Most women get ‘baby blues’ or ‘third day blues’ a few days after giving birth and have a week or two of increased anxiety and emotionality before things return to normal. If symptoms don’t clear up or seem particularly severe, new mother anxiety may have become postnatal depression (PND), or the more recently recognised condition called postnatal depletion. These can all develop any time during the first year of Baby’s life and the symptoms can last a very long time if not recognised and treated.

The symptoms can be mild or very severe, and there is no single trigger. Often it develops due to a combination of factors such as a traumatic birth, loneliness, stress, and hormonal factors. A woman is particularly vulnerable after giving birth and too many stress factors can lead to full-on depression. There are a number of possible triggers, including:

1.       False expectations

If you have unrealistic expectations or believe that you are totally prepared for birth and life thereafter, the reality of the humdrum of post-baby life can cause disillusionment and depression. Often women who are used to efficiently running their work and personal lives struggle with this, as they feel like a failure when these methods don’t work in their new baby-orientated lifestyle. Women with low self-esteem are also prone to depression. The best approach is a change in attitude and it can help to talk things through with somebody else – especially a mom who has been through something similar.

2.       Hormones

Throughout pregnancy there’s lots of hormonal activity – and this all changes suddenly after birth. The ‘hormonal crisis’ often causes women to feel more emotional, weepy, sentimental, irrationally unhappy, angry, disillusioned, depressed, and even suicidal or completely disinterested in Baby, their families, or their own welfare. Often, the body adapts quickly to these hormonal changes and the result is nothing more than a brief bout of the third day blues. However, these feelings get progressively stronger in some women and sometimes only develop weeks or months after the birth. The fact that it is ‘just’ hormones doesn’t mean that you can just ‘pull yourself together’; this is a legitimate medical condition which may require medical treatment.

3.       Incessant crying

A colicky or ill baby often cries non-stop, leads to sleep deprivation, and causes plenty of anxiety for new parents – all of which can trigger depression! Sitting at home all day with an unhappy baby can trigger the blues, and moms who keep busy while dealing with whatever treatment Baby needs often cope better. Try to arrange outings with other moms and make sure that you leave a bit of ‘you time’ as well!

4.       Relationship strain

Having a baby isn’t going to save an ailing relationship; unresolved relationship problems aren’t a good base to start a new family on. Communication is vital so that both you and your partner understand what each of you is experiencing after Baby’s birth. Be careful that you don’t use Baby against each other, as a pawn in your arguments. View parenting as a team project, not as a competition; not only can this help combat depression, it will also form a wonderful foundation for raising a child.

5.       Tiredness

Sleep deprivation and exhaustion is practically the norm for new moms, although some women react more negatively than others. Don’t underestimate how much this can affect the psyche; it’s the seat of depression. Sleepless nights aren’t really preventable because Baby’s sleep requirements can’t be predicted or controlled. The only thing to do is change how infant sleep is approached – co-sleeping is a wonderful sleeping arrangement which can be very effective in treating PND.

6.       Anaemia

Blood loss during and after birth can lead to anaemia – which can cause tiredness, listlessness, and depression. The body usually corrects this condition by itself, although it’s a good idea to get a blood test at your six week check-up and use iron supplements if necessary.

7.       Chemical imbalances

It’s possible for important vitamins and minerals to be depleted after pregnancy and the efforts of birth. If you develop PND, it’s a good idea to get a blood test to check whether or not there’s a chemical imbalance which needs to be corrected. Zinc is vital for a developing baby, but it also contributes to a sense of mental and physical wellbeing in the postnatal period. Calcium, magnesium, and vitamin B are all very necessary in the postnatal period too, and supplementation may be necessary.

8.       A depressive personality

Women with a more sombre personality are sometimes more prone to depression. Remember that there is help for this from both the homeopathic and the orthodox fields.

Treatment

Never let PND go untreated; it doesn’t get better on its own and can have quite devastating effects on the entire family. You can contact the Postnatal Depression Support Association, a volunteer organisation dedicated to supporting women going through this experience and helping them to find the help they need. You can also ask your doctor to refer you to a trained counsellor. The best way to deal with postnatal anxiety, depletion and depression is to understand your personal triggers, and to get lots of love, support, tenderness, and understanding from your partner, family, and close friends. It’s also important to get real, practical help and to have some time off from caring for Baby each week, so that you can sleep in and feel physically and mentally restored too. 

 
 

Sister Lilian’s Top ten things not to do with a Baby

As a new parent, you’ll probably find a long list of dos and don’ts given to you by any and everyone! Here are Sister Lilian’s ten practical and important Baby-don’ts which probably didn’t make their lists. 

Don’t:

X  Continue activities that distress Baby: Babies first get frazzled and then shut down when they get overwhelmed, so don’t keep playing the same game or trying to get a reaction if Baby turns away or becomes restless or unhappy.

X  Squeeze pimples on Baby’s face: Many three to six week old babies develop milia; fine white pimples over the cheeks and nose. Squeezing them hurts Baby and can get pus into Baby’s bloodstream. Milia should disappear by three months; just rinse the area with cooled organic rooibos tea, and reduce acid causing food like coffee, pickles and red meat if you’re breastfeeding.

X  Try to clean Baby’s mouth: The mouth is self-cleaning and won’t need cleaning until teeth erupt. A white layer on Baby’s tongue is either milk deposits which soon disappear, or thrush, which won’t disappear between feeds and requires treatment.

X  Add cereal to Baby’s milk bottle: This won’t make Baby sleep better or go longer between feeds; instead, it can cause allergies and constipation. If Baby is hungry, try to feed him more often. Breast is of course the best.

X  Force milk-feed Baby: If forced to feed, Baby tends to simply posset the milk. Just like breast babies, many formula fed babies prefer smaller, frequent feeds too. If Baby doesn’t breastfeed for long or finish his formula bottle, he may simply have a small appetite.

X  Give sweet or savoury treats in the first year: Babies don’t have a natural craving for unhealthy treats. Offering these can spoil Baby’s taste for healthy food and possibly cause nutritional problems later in life.

X  Retract a boy baby’s foreskin before it is loose: This should happen anywhere between two and five years. Forcing retraction can scar the sensitive tissue underneath, so gently pull back just as far as it will go for cleaning. Show toddlers how to retract and clean themselves, but check that they are managing.

X  Resent the relationship between caregiver and Baby: It can be difficult when you miss some of those ‘firsts’, and Baby behaves better at crèche than at home. But, if Baby has a good relationship with his primary caregiver, it is a sign that he is secure and content – and that’s worth gold! 

X  Believe that increased appetite indicates a need for solid food: Baby may simply need to feed more often because he’s teething, niggly, or having a growth spurt. Delaying solid foods usually means far less problems – very few babies need solids before six months anyway.

X Compare babies to each other: Babies have certain similarities, and it’s great to chat to other moms, but don’t get caught up in competition!  Babies are very much individuals, and their development will be different from others. Just believe in your baby, love him, and be proud of him no matter what!

Women are their own worst enemies

So, we are the gentle gender, are we? Ask anyone what sets us women apart from men, and the answers will include that we are innately more caring and compassionate, that we have higher EQ and that there is a tender, persuasive side to us. Yeah, right.

I’m up in arms about this because in my line of work as a midwife, and pregnancy and parenting advisor, I have seen from close up how it is precisely we women who undermine one another’s self-confidence and add to the inevitable anxiety that women seem naturally to choose as a sort of default setting. 

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Once a mother, always a mother

Most mothers who use the many services the Sister Lilian Centre has on offer, and who interact with us on our Facebook page, read our unique online magazine eBaby or ask advice from me by booking a telephone consultation , are the age of my own children. Now there’s a sobering thought!

I am at a stage of life where one often spends time in deep reflection in the wee small hours, possibly because one often needs less sleep as one grows older, but also because once a mother, always a mother. So often at night, all the wakeful moms around South Africa (and the rest of the world) are on my mind, and I want nothing more than to reassure each one of you that I really do understand how you feel. 

I recall the many sleepless nights tending my own babies, and the exhausted mornings that followed. My first child, a lovely daughter of 32 years now, slept like most first children do – not at all like the mythical baby who “sleeps like a baby”. She soon taught me that co-sleeping was good – no, excellent! My second “baby” is a strapping young man of 28 years. He was also the “typical” second child, thanks to the experience I gained mothering his sister. Each child taught me a lot of non-book learning, which stands me in good stead today.

The thousands and thousands of parents, babies and children I have had the privilege to work with over the past 29 years have all helped build my experience and knowledge too, at least as much as my professional learning. I am grateful for this, and that in this electronic age, I can share many of these insights with more mothers than ever before. 

Most of all though, at night I reminisce about the utter joy of being in love with one’s babies, having a heart that feels like exploding it is so full of emotion. Your babies are your babies forever, no matter their ages, and I just want to say to everyone who reads this blog, “I know”. I know how you go from despair to elation in the blink of an eye, how you would fight to the death for your babies even though sometimes you want to tear your hair out in frustration, and how you worry about them even when there is no need to do so.

I also know that when you inevitably have to say the many ‘au revoirs’ of mothering – that first day with the babysitter, at daycare or school, the times where your child seems to be rejecting you for others or different experiences – your heart will feel like it is breaking. Hold onto these truths: this is simply the way of life and just making every day as honest and positive as you can will ensure positive outcomes; the wheel always turns and reveals the silver lining; a deep bond will only stretch, not break forever.

It never stops, this mothering thing. The shades of your experience may change and the nature of challenges big and small may seem worlds apart from babyhood to adulthood – but once a mother, always a mother, and with that comes joy and anxiety in equal measures. As a mother, you quite literally feel for your babies, no matter their age or stage. It’s not always easy, but any difficulties are balanced out by joy beyond measure. And there is one magic ingredient that always sees you through, in the good times and the difficult ones – love for your child. Cherish this deepest bond forever, and know that there is nothing more strong or powerful than the love you feel for your children.

What to do when Baby's sleep or feeding is a problem

Being a parent is apparently very stressful! We stress about wanting to start a family; once pregnant, we stress about Baby’s health, the birth, and the nursery – and once Baby arrives we are swamped with new worries every day! Doesn’t that sound crazy? What about all the people who say that having children was the best thing that ever happened to them – or the joys of parenting?

Almost all parents of small children – from newborns to preschoolers – encounter the Big Three parenting stresses: sleep, feeding, and behaviour. Today, I want to give you some guidelines to help you better manage the stress of feeding little ones, and surviving sleepless nights. As always, the best approach is easy, logical, and loving.

 

Will I ever sleep through a night again?

How important is sleeping through the night in the big scheme of things? It isn’t a qualification on any job applications, sleep problems don’t last forever (even if it may feel like it does, sometimes), and there’s really no harm done. Just think of adults’ varied sleep patterns! However, none of this helps when you haven’t had a good night’s sleep in months and you’re too tired to function properly. The best thing to do when you’re in the middle of a sleepless stage is to adapt your expectations and simply do the best you can. To cope best, every sleep-deprived parent needs one sleep-in morning per week; weekends work best because there are two sleep-in mornings available – one for each weary parent! Once Baby wakes up, let the ‘on duty’ parent take her out of earshot for 2–3 hours so that the other parent can have some undisturbed sleep. Use this time wisely – don’t stay awake stressing about what Dad and Baby are getting up to, Mom! You’ll be pleasantly surprised how this one strategy will change the face of your tiredness, but if you’re still desperate, why not purchase my online Baby and Toddler Sleep Guide or sign up to do my online Sleep Workshop.

Feeding frenzy

Everyone seems to have different advice about feeding tots. Mine is simple: breastfeed for as long as possible. Don’t wean early based on misinformation; Babies under six months don’t need any other food or drinks, and feeding often or only a little bit at a time doesn’t mean your milk supply is insufficient. Simply let Baby eat when – and for as long as – she wants to; no stress! It’s generally best to only introduce solids once Baby has a few teeth. Never fight about food (it’s just not worth it!), offer Baby a variety and she’ll choose what she wants – just make sure it’s healthy! Provide food from all colour groups, avoid mucus producing food, and give water or rooibos tea instead of fruit juice or cold drinks. That’s it, really – it’s not rocket science to feed little ones healthily. Pssst! I do have more detailed feeding advice for you in just about every free eBaby online magazine too.

The most important thing to remember is that Baby is an individual. The most successful sleep and feeding routines are ones that are based on Baby’s individual nature.

That’s two of the Big Three taken care of, be sure to see my blogs on behaviour problems too! Basically, if you’re willing to be patient, innovative, and sometimes downright old-fashioned, things will become less stressful and more joyful. You’ll have more enthusiasm and energy, and, best of all, you’ll have wonderful memories to look back on!

Tips for relatives and friends of new parents

Think before you speak! Ask yourself whether or not your words might hurt more than help, and try to find a positive way of saying everything

Simply vow to never share bad news stories with an expectant mom or new parents

Ask the new mom what she would like you to do for her, rather than you suggesting something, but indicate that you are keen to help with household tasks and errands

Arrive with a home-cooked meal by midday so that the new mom does not need to even start planning the evening meal.

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Sassy mothers are women with smart new bags!

You know you’re a mom when your designer handbag has been replaced with a baby bag! That doesn’t mean that this important accessory, which for so many women gives a lift to their spirits and a swing to their step, has to be frumpy! Practical can be beautiful too. And, if you’re on a budget, choosing a bag that can morph from birth bag, to postnatal hold-all, to baby outing bag is wise.

Labour bag

It’s a good idea to have your labour bag packed and ready a month before your due date. Normal pregnancies last 37–42 weeks and you don’t want to be caught by surprise. Don’t panic though, labour generally progresses slowly in the beginning so you’ll be able to pack a bag once labour has started. Of course, you may be so excited that you forget something important and there are some things which you’ll need to buy specifically beforehand. Most labour and postnatal wards supply all of your and Baby’s basic needs so you should check with your clinic and ask what they suggest you bring along.

But what should be in baby outing bag?

Thinking about those first outings with a new baby can be a bit overwhelming at first, so here’s a list of the basics you should have in your oh-so-cool new bag. Keep the list in Baby’s cupboard so that you can check it before you leave and make sure that you restock it after each outing so that you don’t find yourself without something important!

Your baby outing bag should have:

·         3–4 diapers

·         Wet wipes for cleaning away from home

·         Barrier or buttock cream

·         Baby skin lotion

·         Waste disposal bag

·         A change of clothes

·         A hat or cap

·         Something warm for baby

·         Pacifier (dummy)

·         Breast pads in the early weeks if you’re nursing

·         Formula feeding requirements like powder dispenser, bottle, and accessories, if not nursing

·         Medicine dispenser

·         An age appropriate toy

·         A jar of food when Baby is older

·         Feeding spoon

·         Beverage other than milk for babies older than six months

·         Moist cloth in a plastic bag for face wiping

Top tips for Mums of twins

Expecting a new baby is daunting for many parents. With twins on the way, things can become doubly difficult! Normal, everyday tasks like bathing Baby, changing a nappy, breastfeeding, and burping Baby can easily make a mountain out of what otherwise might be just a – well, a small hill, if not quite a molehill. Plus, there are the increased financial burdens, the heightened risk of pregnancy complications, and prematurity to consider. But, ready or not, here they come!

These are the Sister Lilian Centre’s A-Z tips to help Moms of More-than-one:

Accept help. Whether it’s frozen meals, the offer to do washing, or free babysitting, now is not the time for parents to be proud and go it alone. Accept gratefully, and spend that extra time resting or bonding with your bundles of joy.

Breastfeed. It’s more than possible to breastfeed twins. Feed them at the same time, alternating breasts at each feed. Hold them one under each arm, or feed them ‘double-decker’ style – literally on top of each other, but each at their own breast. Though feeding will take longer in the beginning, you will save a lot of time (and money!) on buying milk formula and preparing bottles. You are also more likely to have healthy babies, which will definitely make your parenting journey easier.

Co-sleeping. If your twins are in bed with you, you can be assured that everyone will sleep better, because little ones need closeness and contact. If this doesn’t work, your twins could share a bed.

Décor dilemma. Though twin babies might look the same, they are two unique human beings. A baby room should be planned in such a way that each child has his or her own space and style when he or she gets a bit older.

Enlist the help of a nanny (or two!). Though it might be expensive, hired help means Mom is investing in her own health, as well as in her relationships with her babies and her partner.

Frozen dinner exchange. Organise a group of friends with small babies so that each couple or Mom chooses one meal and prepares it in bulk to provide for each family in the group. This way, you’ll have a whole variety of meals! Because each couple only prepares one meal, they save time – and money too, because ingredients can be bought in bulk.

Get organised. Being organised is vital – lists are an incredibly helpful tool! Adequate planning saves frazzled Moms further stress and worry.

Have practical solutions. Think out of the box to find solutions that work for you and your babies, and keep lists of your –and others’ – best ideas.

Ignore some things. The house is a mess and your legs haven’t been shaved for weeks. In the short term, is that what matters? Will it be on your CV one day? Remember: ignore advice from those who are critical or whose opinions don’t matter.

Joint effort. Work together as a team, Mom and Dad; share the load and support each other. It took two to make your babies, and it certainly requires both of you now. Remember, moms and dads fulfil babies’ needs differently.

Know your babies. Get to know your babies’ individual personalities. Not only will you enjoy your little ones so much more, but you’ll have greater success handling their unique problems.

Lower your expectations. Expecting nothing but surprises is not a pessimistic attitude; it’s simply realistic. Coping this way means less stress if life doesn’t go according to plan.

Maintain a sense of humour. Laughing releases endorphins which will relieve stress and lead to greater enjoyment of the parenting experience – doubly so with twins! Some baby antics really are funny, even if they require a bit of damage control afterwards.

Nappy bag tips. Simplify life with an organised nappy bag. Draw up a list to make sure you don’t forget anything when you leave home.

Online arena. Save time by making use of the wealth of resources offered by the internet; from online shopping and banking, to researching where to find the cheapest nappies.

Prioritise. Decide which tasks are most important, and simply ignore the rest. The list should include some time treats for you with your partner.

Quiet time. Downtime is vital. Relaxing for a few minutes with a cup of tea in the garden, for instance, can revitalise you for the next few hours.

Routine. Although respecting your babies’ individual needs is always important, it is necessary to establish some sort of pattern with twins. Bath and feed them more or less at the same time, and put them to bed together. Remember, routine is something that will emerge in time.

Schedule personal time. This isn’t going to happen by itself; moms must make time for it while their babies are cared for by someone trusted. Sign up for a yoga class, go to a movie, or simply read a book.

Twin-proof the house. Most accidents that happen around the house can be prevented. Simplify things by packing away all ornaments and unnecessary equipment until your babies are a bit older. Remember that with twins, the whole is always greater than the sum of the parts. Together they can dream up more mischief than two singletons ever could!

Utilise special offers for parents of twins. Many baby stores offer essentials like nappies at a discounted rate for parents of multiples. Usually you just have to show a copy of their birth certificates to qualify for this.

Visualisation. When things get tough, visualise the time when your babies will be a bit older. This phase will pass!

Wipe the slate clean. Being hard on yourself for making mistakes simply wastes energy. A parent’s job is not to be perfect, but to lovingly raise responsible adults who can function well in society one day. As the mother of twins, you deserve an extra pinch of respect and support – and understanding for the occasional slip-up!

XXX. Give lots of hugs and kisses! Nothing can replace love and attention; two babies simply means many more touchy-cuddly moments in your home.

Young – that’s what they’ll keep you! Being involved with your children, treasuring every moment, and creating happy memories; these are the experiences that enrich our lives beyond anything we could ever imagine – doubly so with twins! Don’t sweat the small stuff, just enjoy the amazing hurly-burly wonder your babies bring into your life.

Zzz… At the end of each day, all moms and dads need to pat themselves on the back, safe in the knowledge that they’re doing the most important job on earth: raising the next generation and shaping the future of the world – in your case, two at a time!

And, don’t forget to read each new issue of  eBaby and join the Sister Lilian Centre Facebook page to keep in touch with advice you can trust!

What to do when the family interferes with your parenting

Friends and relatives are often the most trusted supporters when it comes to raising babies. And yet, I hear tales of judgement and poor advice daily, so this blog is addressed to all those new aunts, uncles and grandparents, or friends of new parents – and to those parents who struggle with constant criticism or judgement from someone close to them.

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