Feeding Baby by Instinct

We all feed our babies using instinct. The most natural thing is to feed our own preferences, or foods that we were fed when we were young.

If we refer more to common sense and avoid those foods to which we are instinctively drawn, we could avoid many future feeding problems.

For instance do not automatically start giving your baby cereal if he/she is inclined to be plump.

Another food we give by sheer instinct is sweet foods. We enjoy sweet foods so we give it to our babies.

We also like to flavour the food with  flavours to which instinct draws us.

When you introduce solids for the first time you are in the unique position of cultivating taste. Your baby has had no food previously, so introduce tastes that are known to be difficult to introduce later in the baby’s life.

Many toddlers and small children reject vegetables and food that are ‘healthy’.a_grandmother_feeding_her_grandson_royalty_free_clipart_picture_100914-053013-745053

I believe that it is because we introduced sweeter foods too early and the baby developed a taste for sweeter foods.

I always recommend to start with vegetables as early as possible.

Do not flavour the vegetables and do not add salt sugar or butter. (Give them as bland as possible) Liquidise the vegetables to start. If you do not a have a liquidiser you can grate them, mash and then push them through a sieve to get the food smooth.

Fruit is naturally sweet, so delay the introduction until you have introduced a variety of vegetables.

To simplify the preparation I recommend that you cook enough vegetables for a few days and freeze them in small containers. Label and date the containers so that you can use the oldest first.

Never introduce more than one new item into the diet at the same time. The reason for this is that if baby has a reaction to any ingested item you will be able to identify the culprit immediately. Avoid introducing a new food at night because stomach cramps could result in a sleepless night for both you and baby.

Happy feeding.

© Teresa Denton.


Posted in 3 to 6 Months, 6 months and older | Tagged , | 4 Comments


Colic is difficult to define initially. It usually presents with uncontrollable crying which could be related or unrelated to feeds.

Most people say their baby has colic when he/she has indigestion or trapped wind. Before the diagnosis is made one must first eliminate all other causes of the continuous crying.

If the mother is breastfeeding it could be due to something she is eating. If bottled milk is given it could also be sensitivity to one of the ingredients of the bottled milk. Also check to ascertain whether baby may be hungry and needs more milk.

Make sure that you have checked possible causes which you can influence and rectify.crying-baby-without-people-clipart-76483971

Colic usually starts at round about 3 months of age and normally dissipates by six months. (Sometimes it continues much longer but that is not the norm)

A doctor can prescribe treatment and all the usual methods of relieving the discomfort should be employed in conjunction with the prescribed medicine.

Very effective colic medication is also available over the counter at a pharmacy. The Pharmacist is trained to advise when needed. Help is always available at the local clinic.

In most cases the problem is successfully handled with the right intervention.

Don’t allow this discomfort to continue without help. Get advice to sort out the problem before the resultant tension in the home reaches gigantic proportions.

© Teresa Denton.


Posted in 3 to 6 Months | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Rooibos Tea

I am aware that this herbal tea may not be available everywhere because it is locally produced and distributed, but it has been exported & where there are South Africans there will usually be Rooibos tea.

I have never worked from a scientific premise as far as Rooibos is concerned.

I chose Rooibos because it’s pure herbal tea, containing no caffeine or tannin. Rooibos also makes a refined tea especially for babies. Mothers can buy the baby Rooibos if they want to, but I feel that the normal Rooibos works just as well if it is made very weak. (the baby Rooibos is a little more expensive)

Rooibos is made with boiling water but can be given at room temperature.bottle 2

Rooibos is given as a weak brew with no sugar or milk added. (it is an acquired taste and may need a little perseverence)

We used this herbal tea for thirsty babies who weren’t partial to drinking plain water.

It can also be used for constipated babies and at times add a ¼ tsp of honey in severe cases. (or alternately a little brown sugar)

Rooibos can also be used as a re-hydrate liquid where the baby has had diarrhoea and the usual re-hydrate fluid is not available.

I used weak black Rooibos to dilute fruit juices since pure fruit juices  have a detrimental effect on milk teeth.

When speaking about Rooibos please look around for their skin products. The range is excellent and scientifically blended.

Not just babies, but many a person enjoys a refreshing cup of Rooibos flavoured to taste!

© Teresa Denton.


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Single Parenting

They were not prepared for us 40 years ago, and dare I say they are still not prepared for us.

Throughout the world there are many thousands of single parents rearing their offspring by themselves. The community as a whole don’t realise the difficulties encountered by single parents.

Try cooking dinner, and helping with the homework and ironing school uniforms after a long day at work. Try finding quality time to spend with your child and still having time to undertake studies to improve your own career qualifications.

A single parent often does not have anyone with whom to consult when important decisions have to be made.

Some single parents have the good fortune to have their parents or parents- in-law to support them, but for some of us that support was not available.

Many single parents have no one with whom to share their children’s achievements. I remember sitting beside the sports fields with tears spilling onto my cheeks, and too embarrassed to share her achievements with those around me.

Many single parent families have only their own income on which to depend.

Try to take advantage of ‘hotel specials’ as a single parent. I remember arriving at a hotel with my toddler who was about eighteen months old. At that time the hotel was offering free accommodation for all children under twelve who share their parents room. “ If I book into a single room and my toddler shares the bed with me, can I have a discount on her accommodation?” I asked hopefully. The face of the receptionist was unmoved; “ You must pay full price for her because your husband is not here.” “I don’t have a husband “ I said. “Rules are rules, Madam, you must pay for two”

I paid for two adults.

I had only had one child, but I considered that the responsibility was so much more because it meant that I had to be the mother, father & sibling at the same time.

That warm feeling when your child acknowledges your role, as a ‘double’ parent is indescribable. I received ‘Father’s Day’ cards regularly for many years.

I have often heard that the offspring of single parents are ‘troubled children’. Don’t believe that legend for one moment, children who are troubled come from all types of homes and not necessarily from single parent homes.

There are some advantages of being a single parent.

1.     You can rear your child by your own standards & you don’t have to compromise with a ‘conflicting’ culture

2.     I believe that a child from a single parent home becomes independent much sooner than their counterparts.

3.     Children from single parent homes often become more confident because they are entrusted with responsibilities from an early age.

4.     Children from homes where there is a limited income are frequently more appreciative of the little things in life.

If you are a single parent please remember that your reward at the end of the day will be double.

www.welcomelittlestranger.wordpress.com © Teresa Denton.


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Nappy Rashes

No matter how careful, many a baby has red buttocks at some time or other. If you have ever been a parent you will feel guilty, and attribute the red buttocks to something you did or didn’t do.

There are several reasons for a red buttocks, let us look at a few.

Occasionally it can be attributed to the nappy/diaper itself. I have known of a few babies whose rash cleared up when we changed the make of the diaper.

A health professional will usually tell you immediately if the rash is due to thrush as that rash has rather an obvious appearance.

Sensitivity to milk or any item, which has been newly introduced into the diet, may also lead to burned buttocks. The diet could also be too acidic, which could make the urine burn the bottom.

Amongst the lot, the teething rash is perhaps the most common. Usually when the baby is teething the urine and even the saliva becomes acidic.

What can be done?baby2

If you can attribute the rash to anything in particular, discontinue that particular item and the rash should show immediate signs of improving.

When the rash first appears, change the diaper/ nappy frequently and wash the bottom with soap and water at each change.

While there is a rash avoid any food which may be acidic, it can always be introduced later and more slowly.

Use copious amounts of the cream recommended by your health professional.

For thrush you must use the anti fungal cream recommended by your health professional or pharmacist.

I have always found that a red bottom responds well to a little airing. Take off the diaper and leave the bottom open for a while. (Do it immediately after changing a diaper to minimize the danger of accidents!) If the bottom can be exposed to the sun for a short while, it can do wonders.

When the urine is very acidic I have often had good results from dusting the bottom lightly with bicarbonate of soda. Bicarbonate of soda is an antacid and usually gives immediate relief.

A process of trial and elimination will help, and with a little care you will succeed with this challenge.

© Teresa Denton.


Posted in 3 to 6 Months, 6 months and older | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Breast Feeding Problems?

So often I have encountered mothers who despair at symptoms which are presented when they are breast feeding:

  • The baby pulls away from the breast soon after latching.
  • The baby gulps and in so doing swallows excessive air.
  • Baby seems to be plagued by regular abdominal discomfort.
  • Baby vomits regularly and sometimes hours after the last feed.

Even an enthusiastic breast feeder often considers weaning the baby from the breast.

I am always thankful that I am consulted before the desperate mother weans the baby.

Let’s go through each of the symptoms and see if we can make a difference.

If the baby pulls away from the breast soon after latching it could be due to the tension in the breast and the milk squirting down baby’s throat.

To ease this symptom I usually recommend that mum expresses about a tablespoon or two of milk out of the first breast before she latches baby. This could relieve the tension & lead to a more relaxed feed. The second breast will leak and should not squirt.

The second symptom of gulping could also be eased by the expressing of milk before the feed.

The abdominal discomfort is usually due to incomplete burping of baby after feeding.

If your baby is vomiting, be very gentle with your burping.  Rock baby gently on your lap and avoid shaking.

Also leave the baby in the upright position for at least a half an hour after the feed. When the baby is then flattened to sleep, I recommend that you put the baby in the left lateral position.

NEVER put an ‘oopsing’ baby on his or her back unattended.

For that abdominal discomfort I usually revert back to my favourite treatment…. the warm bath!

It need not be a soaping, washing bath, it rather takes the form of a warm spar soak. The warm water helps to relax those painful abdominal muscles.

I am aware that some babies have a mechanical reason for vomiting. This is believed to be due to an immature valve at the stomach entrance. This problem will usually be self-rectifying so should not cause too much stress. Just treat with the same gentle handling and protect yourself and any other person who handles the baby!

© Teresa Denton


Posted in First 3 Months | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Special Parents of Special Childen

The group of ladies sat in the lounge having tea and cup cakes.

Various subjects had been discussed and then the ladies started complaining about how dirty their children and toddlers get and the problems of getting the stains out of the clothes.

One lady, who had not partaken in the discussion, suddenly sat forward in her chair. “I would love it if my toddler got dirty” she said. The room was quiet. Mrs Cohen continued; “Joseph always stays as clean as he was when I put him in his chair.”

I want to laud that wonderful group of people who parent and care for children with special needs. These are people who are not necessarily blessed with special skills. They are ordinary people who must have been devastated and felt overwhelmed when this little stranger with special needs entered their lives. There must have been fears, doubts and a great deal of uncertainty when confronted with this challenge.

Their courage when tackling this task surpasses all expectations. I believe that they surprise even themselves by the extent of their coping skills.

What we would consider to be minor achievements become major events in the lives of these parents and their physically or mentally challenged children.

There is a very serious consideration in this situation. The rest of the family also need attention and if there are siblings and a partner, care must be taken to balance time given to the other members of the family.

Those of us who know of someone who is in this situation can occasionally step in to lend a helping hand. We could be creative and donate a little of our time. 

Any relief offered to these remarkable caregivers would highlight our admiration for their dedicated and selfless love.

© Teresa Denton.


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