WonderBaba

Healthcare by a Pharmacist mum!


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Vitamin and Supplement Series – Vitamin C

Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid.  It is a water-soluble vitamin which means it is easily absorbed from food and any extra that your body does not need is excreted.  It is important to make sure your child has a balanced healthy diet as Vitamin C cannot be made by our bodies and so we rely completely on good nutritious food for its supply!

So why do we need it?

Vitamin C promotes good wound healing, acts as an antioxidant, supports a health immune system, helps iron absorption and can help reduce tiredness and weakness. As if that isn’t enough its role in collagen formation means it also helps to maintain blood vessels, bones and cartilage – Vitamin C is a busy vitamin!! Continue reading


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Vitamin and Supplement Series – Vitamin A

What is it?

Vitamin A is a busy vitamin – it helps your childs immune system to work effectively, it promotes good vision in dark or dim light, supports bone growth and it keeps their skin healthy!

There are two sources of vitamin A – some plants and food from animals. Continue reading


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WonderBaba – The Ultimate Guide to Children’s Multivitamins!

Prescription-ConfusionWe always get advertising material into the Pharmacy from all of the different multivitamin brands making great claims about the benefits of their own products.  Even Pharmacists and Pharmacy staff can find it overwhelming trying to decipher what the actual vitamin content is and determine the benefits and downfalls of one product in comparison to another.  The vitamin market is a particularly busy one!  There are so many different products and all have strengths and weaknesses so I have done my best to select the 14 most popular children’s multivitamins and I have literally laid them side by side so we can explore which product meets your individual child’s needs.

veg wonderbabaI’d like to point out at the beginning that vitamin supplements are extremely useful – but there’s no beating a balanced healthy diet! However as an Irish mum as well as a Pharmacist I understand that there are guidelines in place which support the use of Vitamin D supplementation due to the fact the we live in one giant big grey gloomy cloud! Also I understand and have seen first hand that whilst I may make every effort to provide a fully nutritionally balanced diet for my kids (I said I may make every effort..most of the time…I’m not actually WonderMama…) they may still turn their noses up at it and refuse to eat it for many various reasons depending on what developmental stage they are going through or what illness is affecting them. Anyway I’ll get back to the review!

There’s a few things to consider before looking at the comparison… the first is that you will probably need to zoom in on the image to read the content as there is just so much information that it makes quite a detailed chart!! The next is that to put any sort of law and order on the products and to make any sort of logical comparison I had to compare by volume and not always by dose…this sounds complicated but in essence what is on the chart is the vitamin or supplement content per 5mls of liquid so depending on your child’s age and the product directions your child may need to take a different number of mls (2.5mls, 5mls, 7.5mls etc). It is important to take this into account when you are reading the chart.  Always check the dose for your child’s age group first so that you can draw a fair comparison of the products.  I have included all of the dosage and special information for all products in the ‘info’ section which is the lower section of the chart.  For tablets I have noted at the top beside the product name how many tablets are needed to deliver the quoted levels of vitamins.  I hope this chart will be beneficial to parents and Pharmacy staff alike in an effort to provide clarity and clear healthcare for our WonderBabas who deserve the best of our efforts to make the right choices – and information is power – and that is what WonderBaba is all about!

Allergens wonderbabaI have included information relating to the suitability of each product for vegetarians, coeliacs, diabetics, those with nut allergy, lactose intolerance, soy intolerance and more.  If you would like further information please don’t hesitate to get in touch via facebook messenger at the @wonderbaba page and I will get back to you as quickly as I can 🙂

In this blog I planned on summarising the benefits of each different multivitamin or supplement but due to the vast amount I have decided to break these up and I will produce the WonderBaba Vitamin and Supplement Series over the next few weeks where I will explain the benefits of each of the ingredients mentioned below so keep an eye on the blog and the facebook page to see these arrive day by day!

I hope you find this really helpful when trying to figure out the best choice for your WonderBaba. Here is a few general pieces of information you should be aware of before you make your choice:

  • It is recommended by the HSE that all infants, from birth to 12 months, whether
    breastfed or formula fed, be given a daily supplement of 5 µg (200 IU)
    vitamin D. This is available as ‘vitamin D drops’ in all pharmacies as a stand alone vitamin.
  • If your baby is exclusively breastfed and you are giving the recommended additional dose of vitamin D your baby will have a nutritionally complete diet up to six months of age.  At that stage milk consumption reduces due to the introduction of solids and so a balanced and healthy diet then becomes essential. I would like to add that whilst milk consumption often decreases the frequency and habits of feeding commonly do not so continue to enjoy your breastfeeding relationship in this case and remember the vast array of benefits you are providing to yourself and your child 🙂 According to WHO breastfeeding continues to provide up to half or more of a child’s nutritional needs during the second half of the first year, and up to one-third during the second year of life – for the remainder your child is dependent on the food they consume.  So whilst I am a huge advocate of breastfeeding it is important to recognise the possible role vitamin supplementation may have if your child’s diet lacks a nutritional balance due to periods of sickness, loss of appetite or even fussiness.
  • Bottle fed babies who are having more than 500mls of formula a day do also not need further supplementation as their milk is fortified with the vitamins that they need.
  • In the Uk the Department of Health recommends that all children aged six months to five years are given vitamin supplements containing vitamins A, C and D every day (other than those on more than 500mls of formula as it is possible to consume too much Vitamin A which can be harmful).
  • It is important to keep any supplements tightly capped and away from children’s reach.

 

Here is the comparative chart for the 14 top selling children’s multivitamins in my pharmacy – Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy in Dublin 6.  Remember to check the dosage info to do a fair comparison depending on the age of your WonderBaba!

wonderbaba vitamin review print

 

From seeing the table you can see that each product does indeed have its own strengths and weaknesses.  You may feel your child has specific requirements and you may be able to fine tune your choice now that you can see the products side by side.  My overall view would be that for young children ages seven months to four years Vitabiotics Wellbaby liquid is a strong contender as an overall multivitamin. Remember that children who are consuming more than 500mls of formula a day should not receive a multivitamin as it may be harmful due to excess levels of fat soluble vitamin A.  These children should receive vitamin d supplementation only.  Vitamin D drops on their own are available by clicking here and should be given to all babies from birth to one year whether breast or bottle fed.

For children ages three years and up one of the clear leaders is Alive Childrens Multivitamins but this is closely followed by Pharmaton Kiddi Crunchy and Vitabiotics Wellkid which are both suitable from four years. As those three are all chewable tablets it’s important to mention that Vivioptal junior liquid would offer a reasonable alternative if your child will not take a tablet.

A most important thing for me to mention here is that this has been a completely independent review with zero bias involved.  None of the companies mentioned were even aware that I was doing a comparison so as always the results are transparent and I hope I have presented them clearly enough to you for them to speak for themselves.

ORDER HEREAll of these products are available to purchase from me online – just click HERE to get delivery to your door 🙂

 

 

cropped-websitefeetlogo.pngI hope you found this information helpful and as always don’t hesitate to contact me on the WonderBaba Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/wonderbabacare) with any questions or for one to one advice for your little one! You can also consult with me in person at Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy in Dublin 6 or over the phone on 012600262.

 

 

 

References

N.B All ingredient content was correct at the time of writing this review – 12/9/17 – changes may occur – always read the label.

 

 


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Is there a right time to start potty training?

PLPOTTYPODgreyMilltownThe’right’ time for potty training is a topic of great debate! In America potty tends to happen before the age of two but in Ireland it’s much more likely to be over two or even approaching three! The right time is when your child is showing signs of readiness and most importantly you have the available necessary time to support your child through this large transition to avoid it becoming a negatively fuelled battle. There are certain pressures from society now which do encourage parents to take the task in hand a little earlier such as requirements by Montessori schools etc which now start earlier for many children with the introduction of a second free Pre ECCE year. This has changed the starting age for Montessori of many children to three rather than four.  Many montessoris have a requirement for children to be fully toilet trained before starting which would mean you would need to make a start on it at about two and a half years of age.

How do you know if they’re ready (are there signs to look out for)?

toilet-clip-art1-1-copyThere are many signs of readiness, these include: Continue reading


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Hyperemesis Gravidarum – support is here – Hyperemesis Ireland!

Hyperemesis is a crippling sickness of severe nausea and vomiting which effects less than 1% of pregnant women.  It is different to regular ‘morning sickness’ which affects a large proportion of pregnant women and usually clears up around the 16 week mark.  Hyperemesis is a serious condition which can lead to severe dehydration if not treated.  To understand the condition more and how it differs from regular morning sickness I’d like to ask you to read the following blog of a mum who suffered from the illness first hand as I personally was lucky enough to escape with the regular nausea that early pregnancy brings.

dripI have never read a blog that reflects the cruelty of the impact that this illness can have over a woman whilst she’s ‘glowing’ during her pregnancy. This blog is written by an old friend of mine and is well worth a read! http://www.wonkyeye.ie/wonky-eye-blogger/cgispm3anygqg3j5s5nwku8ahzimmv2017814

Hyperemesis Ireland is a new support network for expectant mums who are in need of guidance and care – as a healthcare professional and as a woman I am so glad that this service is now available in Ireland!
#hyperemesisgravidarum #youarenotalone

websitefeetlogoI hope you found this information helpful and as always don’t hesitate to contact me on the WonderBaba Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/wonderbabacare) with any questions or for one to one advice for your little one! You can also consult with me in person at Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy in Dublin 6 or over the phone on 012600262.


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WonderBaba Guide – Suppositories versus Oral Medicine?

Well this is an interesting one as there are a few different factors which need to be considered.  For the purposes of this article I am speaking about the use of suppositories to treat fever and pain, and not referring to their use in constipation.  For more information on constipation and how it can be treated effectively click here.

Untitled design (17)The first thing I have to say is that suppositories are not as scary as some people think, they are just cone-shaped boluses of medicine which can be easily given to your child to treat pain of fever when a liquid is not suitable.  Suppositories available to treat fever and pain include ones based on paracetamol such as Paralink and Tipol, and ones based on ibuprofen such as nurofen.  These are both suitable from three months of age – just make sure to read the packaging to get the correct dosing for your child.

Before I go into the detail of how you actually use suppositories I’m going to get straight to the point and tell you when you SHOULD  use suppositories.

  • Use them if your child has a high fever or is in pain and will not or cannot take oral medication.
  • Use them to treat fever or pain when your child has vomiting.
  • My mummy perspective suggests using them when you are travelling to avoid having to carry lots of liquids.. I suggest this only for young children who are quite happy to use a suppository over oral meds.

What are the pros and cons?

question markUsing suppositories is more invasive than using oral medicine so a correct approach and a respect for your child’s comfort is essential.  I will explain in the next section how to use them but now I just want to emphasise that when used properly with a willing child they are so simple, easy and convenient to use.  I personally feel that a child who is still in nappies is an ideal candidate for this method of giving medicine – they are used to you cleaning and touching their nappy area and so will not be distressed when you insert the suppository – in fact many children will not even notice!! I also think it is a different situation when a child is out of nappies and unless you have the child’s permission and general understanding of what is going to happen I think the oral route of medicine is best when possible.  Another factor to consider is that suppositories have been proven effective for the treatment of pain or fever but they may actually take a little longer to take effect than oral medicine.

When faced with a vomiting child with a high temperature that needs to come down, or a child with a jaw so tightly clenched and unwilling to take oral medicine it is definitely a good idea to have suppositories on stand by.

So how to you use them?

For this bit I’m going to cheat and provide you with a perfect explanation from the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital in London:

“Remember – suppositories should never be swallowed.

  • Sit your child on the toilet to see if they need a poo.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Warm the suppository in your hands for a minute.
  • Remove the foil or plastic wrapping.
  • Get your child into any of these positions to give the suppository:
    • squatting down
    • lying on one side with one leg straight and the other bent
    • standing up with one leg raised
  • Gently but firmly push the suppository into your child’s bottom as instructed.
  • Push it in far enough that it does not slip out again.
  • Ask your child to close their legs and hold your child’s buttocks together for a few minutes.
  • Wash your hands again.

If your child needs a second suppository, wait until the first has dissolved before inserting the second.”

I will add that for younger children such as babies in nappies I would advise that you place them on their backs and proceed to change their nappy – when you have the dirty nappy off and area wiped clean I would hold their legs back gently towards them with their knees bent and insert the suppository then and continue with the nappy change as normal.

cropped-websitefeetlogo.pngSome Useful Hints

  • If the suppository is warm before you open it you can run the wrapper under a cold tap or place it in a fridge for a few minutes to cool it as it can not be inserted when melted.
  • Being calm and confident will help your child to feel calm and confident in your actions.
  • If your child will take oral medicine and finds the use of suppositories distressing then do not persist – just offer oral medicine when necessary.
  • If you would like some tips on how to give your child oral medication then just click here!
  • Having a book ready so that you can scoop your child into your arms and settle them on your knee to read a story which will help them sit still to allow the suppository to absorb.
  • You should always consider the psychological welfare of your child and explain everything that you are doing – I even do it with babies even though they may have no idea what I’m talking about so that they get used to you respecting their personal space from an early age.
  • Sometimes the advice I have to give can make the process sound scarier than it really is – I assure you – babies in nappies most often are quite happy for you to administer a suppository and it can be such a great means to reduce a temperature that you may otherwise struggle to.

 

doctor-logo-red-white-mdWho should not use suppositories?

  • Children who have had bowel surgery unless prescribed by a doctor
  • Children who have an oncological condition or are otherwise immunocompromised.
  • Children who have irritable bowel disease.

 

websitefeetlogoI hope you found this information helpful and as always don’t hesitate to contact me on the WonderBaba Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/wonderbabacare) with any questions or for one to one advice for your little one! You can also consult with me in person at Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy in Dublin 6 or over the phone on 012600262.

 

References:

 

 


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A WonderBaba Guide to Flat Head Syndrome!

 

IMG_7589In the early 1990s advice was issued for parents to place their babies to sleep only on their backs.  This recommendation was introduced by the American Academy of Pediatrics as babies who sleep on their backs have been proven to be less likely to die from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.  I’ll write another article explaining all about SIDS soon but  it’s just important to highlight why we are correctly advised to place babies to sleep on their backs when we are discussing flat head syndrome.

Flat head syndrome is quite common, it affects approximately one in five babies. It describes the development of a flattened area on a babies head. There are two main types known as plagiocephaly and brachycephaly. Plagiocephaly is when the side of your babies head is effected and it can impact the alignment of a babies ears.  Brachycephaly is when the back of your babies head is affected and becomes flattened.  This can cause your babies head to appear wider also. Continue reading


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The Wonders Of Witch Hazel!

IMG_7589Childbirth is obviously a beautiful and wonderful thing, amazing and magical all at the same time! However when you look behind the magic and under all of that happy new baby bliss sometimes you find a mum who is struggling to recover from their vaginal birth due to an episiotomy, haemorrhoids or vaginal tears.  Not every mum will experience discomfort after childbirth but in all honestly a little tenderness and inflammation is to be expected at least.  So to all new mums I would like to help you focus purely on your mesmerising new WonderBaba by explaining how exactly you can relieve your pain and soreness so it is no longer an unwelcome distraction!

Let me introduce you to the wonders of witch hazel and some other natural wonder products! Continue reading


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12 simple tips to protect your child from pollen!

Spring and summer can be a little frustrating because you want to encourage you child to be out doors but every time you do they are struck down by hay fever! Hay fever is more common in older children than babies with more boys being affected than girls interestingly.  To read my full blog on hay fever and its medical treatment you can click here or if you just want some top tips to help to avoid pollen then keep reading!

If you suspect hay fever the best thing to do is to limit your child’s exposure to the allergen pollen. This sounds simple, but once children are involved is anything actually easy?! Here’s some top tips to get you started!

  • met.ie-logo (2)Keep your child inside if the pollen count is above 50 or high.  To check the pollen count on any given day you can look up the MET Éireann website – http://www.met.ie/forecasts/pollen.asp
  • Let your child wear wrap-around sunglasses to stop the pollen from contacting their eyes.
  • Keep windows closed on days of a high pollen count. This one is hard because it’s often quite warm on these days but needs must!
  • Don’t hang your child’s clothes or bedding outside to dry as they may become covered in pollen which will cause irritation at night or during the day.
  • Don’t keep fresh flowers in the house (a good excuse for the men not to buy any!!)
  • Hoover regularly.
  • Dust with a damp cloth regularly.
  • If outdoors avoid areas where grass is being cut or has recently been cut.
  • Keep car windows closed when driving.
  • recirculated-airIf using the air conditioning in your car set it to re-circulate the air in the car instead of drawing in new air which may be heavy with pollen.
  • The best time to play outside is after a heavy down pour of rain – Irish weather comes in handy here! This is when the pollen count will be at its lowest.
  • Wash your child’s hands and face once you’ve finished playing outside to remove the pollen. Also change their clothes.

If you cannot get your child’s hay fever under control please do talk to me, your local Pharmacist or your GP.  Further information on the medical treatment of hay fever is available here!

cropped-websitefeetlogo.pngI hope you have found this article helpful and if you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to contact me by sending a private message to the WonderBaba facebook page (www.facebook.com/wonderbabacare) or by calling me (Sheena) at Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy in Dublin 6 on 012600262. I’m always happy to help!


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WonderReview – Mustela 123 Vitamin Barrier Cream

first 40 yearsAfter three children and five and a half years of continuous nappy changing its fair to say as a Pharmacist I have had a vested interest in trying out all of the many many nappy rash creams that are available on the Irish market!  I’ve had phases with little or no nappy rash to battle and phases where it has felt impossible to clear! For the last couple of months I have unfortunately been battling a particularly persistent case so I was excited and eager to try the new Mustela 123 Vitamin Barrier Cream which arrived on our shelves in Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy…yes I am that sad – this is exactly the kind of thing that makes my day at the moment!! Continue reading