WonderBaba

Healthcare by a Pharmacist mum!


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WonderReview – The Sangenic Nappy Disposal Sytem (Bin!!)

newz808028u374z374Right, well how on earth did I get a year into child number three without trying the Sangenic bin before?! I feel like an idiot! I suppose we moved house and in our old place it was more convenient to just run straight out to the wheely bin with every nappy but in our new house it’s just not practical – anyway that’s my excuse but I’m glad I did discover the benefits of this product as even today by 3pm it has saved me four trips outside!

This is basically a smart (not in the techie sense) bin which has a clever design which allows you to pop smelly, or not so smelly nappies in it so that you can store them in your home without stinking like a complete baby factory all of the time!

Sangenic_Hygiene_Plus_Tub2I used to use nappy bags but no matter how tightly I tied the knot I just never felt that the smell was gone if I had a nappy lying around.  I also cant stand the site of nappy bags as they just remind me what I have been dealing with – with the Sangenic bin you just pop it in the bin, do a bit of twirling and off it goes – never to be seen again – well until the bin is full that is, but even then its hygienically wrapped and secured!

I should probably explain how it works a little better than saying you twirl and it disappears…so here goes!

sangenic refillsThe bin comes with a pre-loaded cassette.  Each cassette will hold 66 nappies and each bin will hold up to 28 nappies. So one cassette will give you approximately two bins worth of nappy storage.   You get a refill in the box as well as the pre-loaded cassette.  The bins cost €29.95 and a packet of three cassette refills cost €23.95.  To use the bin you just place the nappy in the well until it is gripped and then twist the dial to individually wrap each nappy.  This action seals the nappy into its own odour blocking multi-layer of antibacterial film.  This is great because the film is antibacterial and kills 99% of germs on contact.  I can personally testify that the claims for unbeatable odour protection are fairly accurate.  From experience you could definitely leave a badly soiled nappy in the bin for a day without getting a smell – if you are just using it for wet nappies you can actually get a few days use out of it without needing to change it – which I personally think is very impressive! Maybe people do leave badly soiled nappies in it for the full 28 capacity – but as I started using this on a “wobbler” rather than a newborn we didn’t have the same volume so it just suits us to empty it more frequently.  Due to the cutting mechanism on the bin its really easy to change the bag without wasting any cassette!

I have to say I didn’t buy this bin for my first two babies as I never paid it enough attention to see how useful it was – truth told – I thought it was a gimmick! I wish now I had lifted my head out of my baby haze for a second longer to actually read the box as it sat on our pharmacy shelf due to popular demand by customers.  I will forever now at least consider that something popular may actually be so successful because it rightly deserves to be!! This product is a great investment and at the price I feel its a bit of a bargain – many fancy normal pedal bins cost the same price and this one strongly delivers a necessary solution to a very smelly problem! To be clear tommee tippee don’t even know I’m writing this article never mind that I have used their product so it is with my hand on my heart I can say that every mum should consider this ‘disposal system’ as for me it has become a house hold essential!

ORDER HERE

The Sangenic disposal system and the refills are available to purchase from me on offer by clicking here!

 

websitefeetlogoI 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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A wonderBaba Guide to the 6 in 1 vaccine given at 2,4, and 6 months of age!

Infanrix Hexa6002PPS0This vaccine is given at two, four and six months and protects your child against six different diseases in one injection.

  • Diphtheria – This can be a very serious bacterial illness which symptoms can vary from sore throat, fever, headache to breathing difficulties and problems with swallowing. Immunity is 97% after vaccination.
  • Hepatitis B – This is a viral infection which affects the liver and can cause serious health problems such as liver failure, cancer, cirrhosis and lifelong infection.  Immunity is 80-100% after vaccination
  • Hib – This is a bacterial infection which can cause meningitis, septicaemia and chest and ear infections. Immunity is 95-100% after vaccination.
  • Polio – This is a viral infection that can cause paralysis.  Immunity is 99% after vaccination.
  • Tetanus – This is a potentially fatal disease which can cause muscle spasm, convulsions and breathing problems.  Immunity is almost 100% after vaccination.
  • Whooping Cough – This is a bacterial infection which causes a characteristic ‘whoop’ sound during coughing episodes and can lead to difficulties breathing, pneumonia, heart and lung failure and brain damage.  Immunity is 75-90% after vaccination.

This vaccine is important.  Each time your baby gets the vaccine their level of immunity is increased and the vaccine becomes more effective.  Getting the vaccine at the recommended times means that your child will be immune to these illnesses as early as possible which reduces their risk of contracting illness.   As with all vaccines there is a very small risk (less than one in 100,000) of your child experiencing a severe anaphylactic reaction but these often occur within 15 minutes of vaccination and the nurses or doctors administering the vaccine are well-trained to manage these reactions.

Babies who should avoid this vaccine are ones who have previously had a severe allergic reaction to a previous dose or have a known allergy to other parts of the vaccine such as neomycin or polymixin B.

You can get your child vaccinated if they have a cough or a cold but not if they are sick with a fever.

cropped-cropped-feet1.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!

 

References:


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Sudden Infant Death Syndrome – also known as Cot Death.

I think any mum sitting down to write an article on this topic would feel the same – the first sentence and I can hardly breathe. I can’t possibly try to empathise with or understand how the horror of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) must make a family feel, it’s beyond the scope of my words and heavily beyond the strength of my heart. So I begin this article with a huge sorrow and sadness for those families already affected and also with a clear purpose of writing in the hope that together, as parents, we can ensure that our babies are exposed to as few risk factors as physically possible.

According to the HSE website SIDS can be defined as “the sudden unexpected death of an apparently well infant for which there is no explanation”.  They also say that “most babies die in their sleep peacefully”.

SIDS is not common – that is important to know – but from the most up to date information I could find it still claimed the lives of 34 babies in Ireland in 2004.  This is significantly reduced from 134 babies per year in the 1980s.  Babies are less affected when they start to gain mobility at about five months of age.  The MOST IMPORTANT thing to take away from this article is that reducing the risk factors for SIDS has reduced the amount of babies that have died.   So the advice you hear at every hospital appointment, GP or public health nurse visit is all trying to deliver the same message – if you follow the guidelines for SIDS risk reduction you reduce the risk of your baby being affected.

question markWhat do we know?

It is also important to appreciate that whilst some risk factors have been associated with SIDS the cause actually remains unknown.  Sometimes there are no answers to the questions SIDS must raise, even though I imagine answers are what you would actually need and be looking for.  With this in mind I think all we can do is the best with the information that we DO know.

We know that 9 out of 10 SIDS deaths occur when a baby is six months or younger.  We know that more baby boys than girls die from SIDS (1.5 : 1).  We know that premature and low birth weight babies have an increased risk of SIDS. We know that exposure to tobacco smoke can increase your babies risk of SIDS x 8! We know that smoking during pregnancy can increase your babies risk of SIDS x 4!  We know that sleeping with an adult increases the risk of SIDS and that this risk increases if the adult has consumed ANY alcohol or drugs which may cause drowsiness.  We know that putting a baby to sleep on their tummy or side increase the risk of SIDS.  We know that a baby using a duvet, quilt or pillow under one year of age is more at risk of SIDS.  Finally we know that a baby who is over heated through their clothes or environment is at increased risk of SIDS.  So actually we know a lot.

How do we use this info to reduce the risk of SIDS?

  • IMG_7589Place your baby on their back when putting them down for sleep.  If they roll onto their tummy with physical ability and by choice it’s ok but don’t place them to sleep on their tummy.  Their feet should be touching the foot of the cot.
  • Use thin blankets or sheets no higher than their shoulders and tuck them in so that they can’t slip over their heads.  Alternatively I found it easier to use baby sleeping bags. Always use the correct size sleeping bag for your baby as otherwise it may slip over their heads – if the small size of sleeping bag seems too big just use blankets for a few more weeks.
  • Do tummy time to help develop strength and muscle tone – you can read more about this in my flat head article by clicking here.
  • quit smoking wonderbabaEradicate all exposure of tobacco smoke to your baby – quit smoking if your can or if not ensure you smoke outside (another room in the house or out the window will not completely get rid of the smoke – you may not be able to smell or see it but it can linger for a couple of hours in a room.)  Don’t handle the baby or let another smoker soon after a cigarette.  For support to quit smoking check out this great website – www.quit.ie – loads of brilliant support and tips available!
  • Its been found that the lowest risk of SIDS is in babies who sleep in a cot or crib in the same room as their parents until they are six months of age.  I found a co-sleeper crib great as it meant I had a lot of the convenience of co-sleeping whilst breastfeeding and recovering from c-section but also the baby had the safety of their own space – in my room.
  • Whilst the evidence is not robust on this tip it’s still worth mentioning that soother use has been associated with a reduction in SIDS risk.  Obviously if your baby doesn’t take to a soother then there’s nothing you can do about it, but if your baby does like a soother at bed time then it’s no harm – and if it falls out when they’re asleep there is no need to put it back in unless they look for it 🙂  For lot’s of more information on soother use check out my full blog by clicking here!
  • Don’t use a duvet, quilt or pillow for your baby if they are under 12 months of age.
  • Keep the temperature of their bedroom between 16 and 20 degrees celcius – ideally 18!
  • Don’t place their cot, crib, or moses basket next to a radiator, heater, fire or in direct sunlight.
  • Babies regulate their heat a lot using their heads – so no hats in bed.
  • Use a firm clean mattress which fits the cot or basket well – with no gaps down the sides.

 

little handWhilst it’s important to be aware of the risk factors and reduce them where you can I think as parents we would find it hard to cope if you thought this was a common occurrence which was a big risk to your baby every day.  So using the most recent figure I could see of 34 Cot Deaths per year in 2004 and also looking at the stats for 2016 – it would mean that to the 34 babies who died there were 63,863 who did not.  We can’t always fear what might happen, if we are taking reasonable precautions to reduce risk factors and act as responsible parents I think we have to just believe that everything will be fine and enjoy our beautiful WonderBabas as they grow and develop into amazingly unique and perfect individuals with more wonder to reveal each day.

If you would like to learn more about SIDS or need support there are some great resources available in Ireland:

 

feetI 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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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 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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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


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Is this heat rash?

heat rash wonderbabaHeat rash is also known as miliaria or prickly heat.  There’s a few different kinds and the rash can range from mild small pimples to deep red lumps.  Its generally a pink or red rash which can be made up of dots, spots or pimples – most often these affect the head neck and shoulders.  Heat rash occurs when your baby’s sweat glands become blocked and become swollen, itchy and generally uncomfortable! It often occurs under clothes where the heat is worst and the material rubs off it causing further irritation and friction. Continue reading


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Should you give your baby calpol or nurofen before vaccinations?

This is a question that crops up time and time again – especially now since new guidance has been given with the introduction of the MenB Vaccine to the primary immunisation schedule.  I’d like to clear it up to help parents understand when you should or should not give your baby calpol or nurofen as a preventative strategy before vaccinations.

  • Ibuprofen (Nurofen) should not be given to prevent pain or fever before any vaccination on the childhood schedule.
  • Paracetamol (Calpol or Paralink) should only be given as a preventative measure at the time of the MenB vaccines only.  This recommendation applies only to the vaccines given at two and four months of age.
  • Paracetamol is recommended before the two and four month vaccines only as a result of the introduction of the MenB vaccine which may put your child at a higher risk of fever when given with the other vaccines.
  • At your child’s two or four month vaccines three doses of paracetamol should be given – the first dose of 2.5mls infant paracetamol (60mg) should be given at the time of vaccination or just after.  The second dose should be given 4-6 hours later and then the third dose should be given 4-6 hours after the second.
  • Paracetamol (calpol) does not need to be given routinely at the 12 month vaccines as your baby is less susceptible to the side effects of the MenB vaccination.

So basically other than before the two and four month vaccines you should not routinely try to prevent side effects of vaccines by giving medication.

However, it is important to stress that if your child is over six months of age and develops a fever over 39 degrees celcius or pain, swelling, headache or irritability after receiving a vaccine you can then use either paracetamol (calpol or paralink) or ibuprofen (nurofen) to treat their symptoms.

hugsOn a personal note I would recommend breastfeeding or if not bottle feeding your baby during or just after their vaccinations – and LOTS AND LOTS of cuddles and hugs…they are shocked and horrified by whats going on and a little love and reassurance is sometimes the best medicine!

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!

 

References

http://www.hse.ie/eng/health/immunisation/hcpinfo/guidelines/

PSI Guidance 2017

 


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A Wonder Review Ear Band-Its!

There is nothing worse than trying to explain to a child that they can’t go swimming  or mess too much in the bath because they are not allowed to get water in their ears due to grommets or ear perforation due to a bad infection.  In addition to that consider the nightmare which exists when trying to bathe a child who hates to have water in their ears!  From both a parents and child perspective ensuring no water enters the ear canal is nothing short of a disaster!

From my experience there are two main situations which arise! One where a child is not allowed to get water in their ears for medical reasons such as infection or grommets and another where a healthy child hates the feeling of water in their ears and suggesting a bath makes you enemy number one!! In essence it involves a parent trying to explain or battle (let’s be honest here!) with a child who either wants to splash and dunk their head under the water or else coaxing and convincing a child that hates the bath that water in their ears is ok and there is no need to be afraid!  Well I don’t know about your WonderBaba’s but mine certainly seem to follow my logical arguments!!

I recently came across a genius little product which solves the problems associated with both of these ‘water’ issues!  May I introduce… Ear Band-Its! Continue reading


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Preparing to Breastfeed!

 

breastfeedingWhilst it is certainly true that breastfeeding is a natural and instinctive skill it is not always true that it will come ‘naturally’.  Personal experience has highlighted breastfeeding as one of the most rewarding experiences life has to offer, but it has also taught me that support and knowledge are key to a successful breastfeeding relationship.  It is most likely that you will have an easy and straightforward breastfeeding experience but it is also very possible that you may stumble across a few hurdles on your way.  With only 10% of Irish mums continuing to breastfeed after four months it is clear that our support networks are somewhat lacking.  Continue reading