Moogles: Head Bobbing, Head Banging & Finger Painting

Here a few ‘Mummy Googles’ from the past week, the first sent me into a slightly hysterical state…

Is head bobbing normal?

So, in the last few days, my little man started this gentle bobbing of the head. I’m not talking heavy metal head action (although that is Daddy’s preferred music and whilst brewing in my belly, he did go to a few of his gigs, so maybe?). He does it with this smile on his face, so to start with I smiled and did it back – not really acknowledging it, but grinning along. After a few days, we went to the grandparent’s and I heard Nonna, laughing, exclaiming, ‘What is this head nodding business he has started? I shrugged it off and replied, ‘I know, he is nuts. Maybe it is his way of talking.‘ It was, however, starting to niggle me, because although he looks pretty happy, it does look strange!

The nodding, however, continued and eventually Daddy asked if something was wrong. What? No? There’s nothing wrong! Does it look like there’s something wrong? Enter Google. This was the first thing I found:

I worry that it could be Tourrete’s, or epilepsy, or worse yet, a brain tumor or something equally serious.

What? I let panic sink in momentarily before convincing myself that I had stumbled across a super paranoid Mum extract. I tried, at this point, to tell him to stop. He didn’t stop – maybe he couldn’t hear me over the bobbing. I rapidly clicked on every other possible site I could, including trusty Net mums!

Everyone else in the Mum-sphere was telling me that at around 10 months this is completely normal and they are pretty much just getting in touch with their bodies and experimenting with their movements. Phew! All of the above problems do not develop until they are older, and would not come to light at 10 months old. What I thought was a crazy Moogle had been Googled by hundreds of other mums and many have convinced me that this is normal development, however nutty baby looks!

Obviously, if you are more concerned about their movements, call a doctor, but I think the happy, smiley nodding that my little fella does is development. When Daddy came home and gestured to the bobbing I confidently told him not to panic, let him nod away! One mother suggested that maybe they are imitating pets, which, I think, is a little bit cute.

What to do when baby bangs his head?

We have a stone garden, what a nightmare! Now, we have some soft mats outside because one traumatic afternoon, whilst hanging with baby friends, my little man decided that the stone flooring was the perfect place for a forehead plant. We had been having a little inside picnic, but even the snacks were not enough to keep him from wanting to be in the sunshine!

He had very, very carefully managed to manoeuvre himself over a small step and once he had done that I thought that was the hardest part. Therefore, I turned away for split second and I heard a ‘booof.‘ Evidently, he had carried on crawling slightly too enthusiastically and slipped, banging his head.

Silence. Really sad face. CRYING.

Now, I am a very chilled out parent, perhaps too laid back at times, but I can tell you now, that I was concerned.  Even the mother that I was with grinned worryingly and exclaimed, ‘He will be fine, just keep an eye on him.’  Funnily enough, she was on Google before I was, telling me that he just shouldn’t sleep. In time of emergency, I had been out-Googled.

He had fallen straight to sleep. OH MY GOD! This must be serious. And look at the size of it! I sent a picture straight to Daddy who responded – ‘that is bumpnot small Mary’ – Great, that made me feel worse. I already felt like I had ruined his perfect little face.

After moogling on many, many sites these are the top things to keep an eye out for with a head bang.

  1. You can not tell how serious a head injury is in a baby, so keep an eye on them for 24 hours.
  2. Put a cold compress on the bump – frozen peas wrapped in tea towel will do (if they let you.)
  3. Watch out for vomiting, seizures dizziness and irregular breathing.
  4. Stay away from rough and tumble play for a bit (lots of cuddles I say).
  5. Try not to worry, it does not make you a bad parent. I felt horrible for days, but things happen.

It turns my little man was absolutely fine, and when he woke he was back to grinning like a loony, resisting the ice pack, but happy. It seems, according to Google, bumps happen ALL THE TIME, DO NOT PANIC.

Can you buy edible finger paints?

I loved the idea of messy play. I was, however, having the issue that my soillittle man is still eating/chewing everything. I tried jelly – wanted to eat it. I tried spaghetti – wanted to eat it. I tried sand – successfully ate it. Nonna even tried playing with him the other day with soil and he actually loved it, so I tried it at home – he found a snail and tried to eat it. I’m not sure if part of it was actually eaten, I like to pretend it was just an injured snail and had lost some of its shell previously

Anyway, I got an invite to a ‘finger painting party’. I immediately started looking at where I could buy these magical paints. Now, on maternity wage I cannot afford to splash out and it seemed that these paints were a fortune. Texting my friend, she told me I can make them! Naively, I had never thought about that. So, for all you mummy friends that are stuck for ideas and, yes, I am stealing the idea (but isn’t that what being a mummy is about?) here are a couple of links to help.

There are actually lots of different methods, but here is one that I used, using corn flour which costs about £2.00 (which you can probably find down the back of the couch). It’s stolen from the imagination tree. I did find, however, that it can go slightly stodgy and obviously cleaning up is tricky because cornflour and water make a sticky gloop; this is messy play though. Just make sure that you do not over heat it too!

If you are not concerned about your baby eating sugar, then this is a little tastier (see to the right) and is equally simple to make. I actually used brown sugar because I had no white in, which made it that little bit more crazy. I also used corn flour instead of corn starch. finger paints

There are also some lovely ideas on learn play imagine, including using yoghurt and fruit! It goes to show that fun can be inexpensive! I read that you can use chocolate to let them paint with, but knowing my little greedy guts, he would eat the whole lot!

Signing off…

So, if any mummies have any great messy play ideas that are cheap and cheerful, please feel free to share them in the comments section below.

And please do not worry if your child is going through any quirky habits, it doesn’t matter, because it seems that all children do at some point; it is just the way they are. I just nod back at my little fella now and it makes him laugh!

Just Google It: Lunch, Separation Anxiety & Melon Skins

I am sure that at least 90 percent – no, I think nearer 98 percent of mothers (and possibly dads, aunties, brothers, grandparents or just caring friends) have dived into the depths of Google to search for parenting phoneadvice or just reassurance that they are doing the best for their child.

I am also sure that many of these marathon Googling sessions took place in the dark of the night, in the early hours of the morning, whilst millions of other mothers were in the same situation, tapping rapidly at their phones and sending, probably, the same questions whilst trying to comfort a crying child. (I find that almost a magical image: many are sleeping peacefully, but the glow of phones and iPads are dotted like stars around the world, held by the tired mummies and daddies that are forever striving to solve the mysteries of their helpless babies).

I am also pretty sure that Google has told you that your child has something drastically wrong with them, or has sent you into a mild panic that your baby has not reached milestones, is not eating enough, or should most definitely be sleeping through the night at seven weeks old, thus sending you into a hysterical meltdown that your child is different to everyone else and you must definitely be doing something wrong! In a previous blog post I have discussed controlled crying and after reading a heated debate on a mummy site, I was being accused of neglect and I honestly felt depressed about my techniques for a few days. You may, then, as I did, throw rhetorical questions at your other half.

“Am I doing something wrong?”

“What’s wrong with my child?”

“Shall we take him to the doctors?”

“Is this normal?”

Obviously, your other half should NEVER actually answer these because, let’s be honest, Google must know best! (In my house, if husband has answered or questioned me back, it has spiraled into a sobbing ‘discussion’. He actually took my phone off me today, stating that everything I read upsets me, so just bloody put it away – all in caring way, of course!)

Everyone will tell you that you should not Google, but EVERYONE does it! So, I have decided to create a section where I sum up answers to my most Googled questions. There are, in fact, too many to put in one post so this is deserving of its own category!

Here are three, of many,  ‘Mummy Googles’ (can I call them Moogles?). There will be more to follow in up coming blog posts. 

What can I give my 10-month-old for lunch?

I genuinely cannot think of new things everyday to give my little man for lunch. He is already scarily stubborn and likes to feed himself and purees actually make him sick now. He has a love of all things carby; bread, image1potatoes, crumpets, pasta and I think as long as I mix it up with a bit of fruit, veg, cheese and yogurts everyday, maybe fish or beans, I feel content. What do I do on days he doesn’t fancy eating? Obviously Google it, or give him a banana. If he is waving his arms excitedly when eating, what more could I want? Today, However, I made the mistake of Googling lunch ideas and, wow, I felt inadequate! image4Please tell me that not all parents make salmon risotto for lunch, or minty lamb stew and what on earth is baby kedgeree? Am I just a terrible mother, that my little man just likes a cheese and tomato sandwich?

The metaphorical advice that I read, and the one I will stick with, is the notion of baby eating the rainbow. Picture what they eat throughout the day and if it’s full of colour, they most probably have eaten what they need!

Is separation anxiety normal?

I actually listened to someone once saying that their child must be cleverer than most because at six months they were suffering from ‘separation anxiety’. (Seriously? Feel free to roll your eyes too!) I was told that this is due to their memory developing. I didn’t think much of it because I had not experienced it yet, but, three nights ago I felt the full force of it; every time I left the room he went MAD. I was completely baffled, but after Googling it, the diagnosis was unanimous. Other beads of wisdom that were the consequence of this question were: that it can last until they are four (WHAT?!), to try and practice separation during the day (peek-a-boo is not effective enough) and minimise scary television (I best turn the Walking Dead off then… JOKE!) There was some really useful advice too, but nothing would work immediately; it had to be practiced over time and I wanted to sleep NOW! (It actually lasted five hours in the end, no, it didn’t feel like five hours, it WAS five hours of screaming).

My husband was really poorly at the time (not man flu, actually real flu) and I did not want baby to catch it, so what did I do? I lay on my child’s bedroom floor with him in my arms and fell asleep. Tiredness can make you do crazy things. According to Google this is not the correct way to deal with SA, but in answer to my actual question (see above), yes, it is completely normal; do not panic, it is not just you, you are doing nothing wrong and you can’t stop it!

What happens if baby eats the skin of a melon?

Yes, this happened. I had very, very lovingly cut up melon pieces into triangles for a snack (I was loading the dishwasher and I needed a distraction). I had done this many times before and he usually uses it to chew as it was chunky enough to not be a choke risk. He had eagerly taken a piece and I zoomed off to empty the dishwasher. I came back and the melon was gone – totally, all gone. I assumed he had got bored and thrown it somewhere, however, I searched high and low and it had vanished; eaten. (Since then the house has been tidied and furniture moved and it image3was definitely GONE). He was perfectly happy though- actually reaching out for more.

What did Google say about this? Nothing (that I can see). Clearly no other baby has been hungry enough to eat the skin of a melon. Or no other parent has been awful enough to not chop the skin off. I knew my child has quite a lot of teeth, but I didn’t think  he could stomach that! After Googling, I could tell you that melon is a healthy snack, list the name of melons and when they are in season, but are the skin of melons deadly if digested by an infant? Who knows? This was a terrifying fact – Google could not answer me. I glanced at my child, who was not choking, not coming up in any rash, and just wanted to stack cups. I try not to think about the incident of the ghostly melon skin now and just glance a lot in his direction when this is the chosen snack.

As there was no real answer, I have made up my own: cut the skin off, give baby an apricot instead, or just keep an eye on baby if you have any inking that he a might monster chewer.

Signing off

I have many more Google (Moogle) questions to chat about, but, for now, I will leave it at that.

Please be assured that you are not alone.

And feel free to share any of your Moogles in the comments section below!