Thoughts: Hero

Sometimes in life, at the worst moment you will have a memorable and inspiring experience. This happened to me last weekend when I was visiting my friends and family in Rotterdam.

Chloé and I went on a ‘girls only trip.’ Looked very much forward to it and this happy little lion is almost always joining me with a big smile on her face. Actually nothing really changed about my opinion towards her since I wrote my ode to her.

Now, she is a six month old baby andI try to adjust my schedule as I can be very enthusiastic trying to meet up with lots of people. Looking back, I still should have planned more peace and rest for Chloé. With a 4,5 hour drive and getting much attention of an enthusiastic family and little sleep during the day, the dinner with friends at night started as a nightmare. Although I did expect a little resistance of her sleeping in a pushchair, it got worse than that…

As I tried harder to calm her down, she panicked more and more. I didn’t feel ashamed among the other guests, however I did feel horrible not being able to calm my babygirl down. Stubborness came over me, just trying to wiggle the pushchair back and forth, forth and back. I was just out of ideas of what to do. Then, a man suddenly stood next to me. With a calm and deep voice, he asked me; “Can I help you? She is really panicking…”

The way he asked this question was crucial. He sincerely wanted to help me and asked for a yes or no. Whatever I chose was fine with him. This feeling opened a way to listen and think again. There was very little room for others with a desperately crying baby next to me. He looked at me and started asking questions about Chloé. I answered them and already the situation eased down. He held her for a minute and gave some advice. One of his advices was how to ease a child down when it’s upset. He mentioned that the art is finding a balance between attention and neglecting. He softly holded Chloé against him, while talking with a deep and soft voice to me and moved her just a little from left to right as he explained. She eased down.

I got curious about him and wondered about who he was? “Who are you?” I said to him. “With all these questions it is hard to believe that you are just a concerned person.” He answered me;” I am a paediatrician specialised in neonatology and besides that I have two daughters.” I immediately trusted him.

This man was special. You just know it in an instant. With Chloé calmed down, I could actually start conversations with my friends and take a look at the menu. But then, Chloé started crying again. I didn’t manage to calm her down again. I immediately walked over to “the doctor” and asked him for help. It’s a fragile boundary; asking for help as a mother. Sometimes people really just make you feel bad or are obviously or indirectly judgemental.

The best way I can describe this, is that he helped from his inner strength; obviously a lot of experience and confidence about his knowledge and skills. He didn’t want to hear a thank you. His motivation wasn’t likely to be external focussed, but really from the heart.

The day after I was still in thoughts and one friend that was joining me that evening, looked him up on the internet. As a doctor he coaches people among different therapies, being specialised in helping people through traumatic events as he has seen a lot as a paediatrician. Also in his personal life, coming out after 20 years marriage with a wife and two daughters had thought him valuable lessons.

I am grateful and inspired meeting this man. I learned about my daughter and learned about life. Being confident and do what you love, with the use of all your experiences in life can make a difference. This man didn’t need a lot of words to tell me that when I met him. A true hero.

 

 

 

 

 

Holiday: 7 ways to prevent your kid from car heat stroke

Reading newspapers about hot summer days gives lots of joy, but sometimes also some sadness. Especially articles about car heat strokes and babies. Luckily some articles have a good ending, but unfortunately not all. It is interesting taking a closer look how you can prevent yourself from this situation and here are some tips I found on the internet:

Facts about car heat stroke

  • With an outside temperature of 24 degrees celsius, the temperature in the car can rise to 31 degrees Celsius and two hours later even to 36 degrees. If you arrive at your car after six hours, the temperature in the car can even be increased to 50 degrees;
  • Between 1990 and 2016 775 children died in the USA because of  car heat stroke;
  • There are developments for reminder systems in cars, only not yet available in Europe.

Tips to prevent car heat stroke

  1. Never leave your baby alone in the car
    You might consider to leave your baby if you only have a quick car stop for five or ten minutes. However, please remember how fast temperatures rises in your car, even when you’ve opened a window slightly. The body temperatures of babies rises faster than a mature person and a body temperature of 42 degrees can be fatal. If the temperature in the car can increase 6 degrees in one hour, what does it mean in a baby’s body?
  2. Keep something you need in the backseat
    Put your cell phone, briefcase, computer, lunch, ID badge, left shoe, or anything essential to your daily routine beside your child.
  3. Cover your windscreen with a screen
    In winter, screens are handy to prevent scratching when it has frozen; in summer it keeps warmth out. It does not prevent the indoor temperature from rising, but keeps the contact temperature of the dashboard, the steering wheel and the seats lower.Tip: Cover buckles and other items that can get hot with a towel when you leave the car.


     

  4. Always allow children to wear clothes in the car. Ensure that children wear a layer of clothing in the car to prevent the skin from coming into direct contact with a glowing hot buckle. Also wearing clothes is safer in case of a collision; The belt can cut into the skin or provide abrasion and burns when carried directly over the skin. Maxi cosi has some proctectors for use of the seat belts. These protectors prevent friction between the skin and the belts. Belt protectors are also available for the standard seat belt. Ideal for children sitting in a car seat group 2 or on an enhancer. These “mature” belt protectors are also available in a thicker version, useful when your child falls asleep in the car.
  5. Always lock te doors and keep the keys away
    In some cases, a child climbs into a car to play and is overcome by heat, becoming disoriented and thus unable to get out. To stop this from happening, you must always lock your car when parked.Keys should be kept out of the reach of children and if a child goes missing, cars and boots should be checked immediately.
  6. Use sun shades
    A wide sun shade on the rear door window can be very useful with babies sitting in the Maxi-Cosi on the back seat. Early in the morning or later in the evening the sun is low and shines exactly through the rear window in the face of your baby.
  7. Have a plan with a childcare provider
    Ask your babysitter or childcare provider to call you if your child hasn’t arrived as scheduled.
Sources:
https://www.allinmam.com/baby-in-auto-laten-zitten/
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/pinecrest/article131368004.html
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/pinecrest/article131368004.html 

Thoughts: How to be a fit and strong mom?

With Chloé almost 5 months, I notice times are changing. The development of Chloé is really visible now and she is obviously getting stronger. Last week, I witnessed her first real turn from back to belly and this week she’s already moving a lot more.

LittleluxlionMy own physical condition is also a lot better since I gave birth. I feel a lot of motivation to get stronger and fitter. Mentally and physically I really need to gain a little bit of “me” back after two years of non-stop pregnancies and breastfeeding.

My goal will be to gain strength, flexibilty and fitness. I felt strong, fit and flexible just before my first pregnancy. Went to the gym five days a week for different exercises. Played tennis, was active in yoga and boxing.

LittleluxlionWith two under two, being at a gym five days a week doens’t seem realistic. However there should be more into it than I am doing now.

No need to lose any pregnancy kilos. I actually never understood the motivation behind “losing weight”. Losing sounds so depressing. You lose your wallet, you lose hair on your head or lose a beloved one in your life. So what’s the fun of losing weight? It won’t make me realise my goals.

Littleluxlion

This summer I will definitely orientate myself for yoga or pilates places in Luxemburg. A closer look to Chloé’s back to belly turn shows me babys have a ‘winning’ spirit. No is not an answer. They achieve their goals with curiousity and a good balance between perseverance and relaxation. I will follow her spirit. Let’s make it happen and win myself back.

 

 

Holiday favourites: 5 must-have baby items

In one week we are driving to France and having our first family holiday with two kids.  We don’t have a huge car and even if we had, I like to be flexible, pragmatic and travel light.

I noticed when I was pregnant I was overwhelmed by all the ‘baby lists’ and recommendations. I didn’t have a clue where to start, what to prioritise and where to store all these items.

Luckily I already had some friends with babies that warned me not to buy too much of everything, because in the end you surely don’t need all. How thankful I am for that!

As a mother of two under two, I noticed that some items are very helpful. I want to share my favourites with you and am very curious about your opinion. Which item are  you definitely taking with you?

1. Cozy Baby nest
In the Netherlands these items are trending since last year. I totally understand why! When born, Chloé was very little and found it hard to sleep in her cradle. That’s why we bought the cozy nest.

It is safe, very light and easy to carry. This helps you out while travelling. No campingbed needed. For my trips abroad I always bring this one with me. 

Also I find it very helpful at home. During the night I carry Chloé out of the cradle in her nest and breastfeed her in bed while she is in the nest. This way we can continue to sleep safe together in bed.

2. Stokke Newborn
I remember doubting a while before buying this. The Stokke chair is fabulous anyway. It is well prized, as you can have it up to 6/7 years for your child.

With Jules running around I didn’t dare to put Chloé on a bouncer on the floor. So after one month we decided to buy it and I like it very much.

In a jiffy you take the newborn on and off the Stokke chair. So if guests arrive with kids, we’ll get it off and have an extra chair. Chloé can always sit on any surface with the newborn, like a dining chair of on the table. To France we are planning to bring it with us, instead of a bouncer. Perfect solution and still traveling light.


3. Hydrophilic diaper Done by deer
Hydrophillic diapers are indispensable for me. I use them for a lot of things during the day. Not only when we’re out, to lie on when I change diapers, but also for protection from the sun when she is in the stroller/carrier, delicate breastfeeding and for cleaning when Chloé is nauseous.

Why these hydrophilic are my favourites? They are fashionable. I love these diapers. They come in two sizes, different colours and have a loop on it, which is uncommon. This way you can hang them anywhere and eventually I’ll keep them as towels for the kitchen.


4. Snooze carrier
Finding the best carrier was not easy. I have bought, borrowed and tried several ones. Recently I  found the one that is the most convenient for me. I really would advise to borrow different carriers from friends before buying one. However, if you can’t wait, I am pleased to have the snooze carrier. It has a warm inside cover for cold days and is pleasant for the warm days when you remove it. Also it is very easy to carry, putting your baby in and out and is very light as it has no metals or big locks like a lot of carriers.

5. Puckababy four seasons
Not the cheapest sleeping bag, but definitely the best for me! The four seasons Puckababy will save you lots of money. You can adjust the size as well as the thickness, creating a sleeping bag for multiple ages as well as different seasons. It’s about 100 euro and helps you out from a 6 months old baby until approximately 2 years. I use it daily and am very pleased with the sustainable material after all these washes.

 

 

 
Looking forward to holidays! Will update in France about our tour.

Ode to my baby

From the moment you decided to come, you were just so calm and easy, though decisive and quick.

You announced your arrival perfectly. After daddy’s final work day for the coming month and while the first water broke whilst I was on the toilet. After that subtile hello, you waited a few hours so I could easily put your brother to bed and getting ready for the hospital. Immediately after your brother was asleep, the first contraction started. But for the strong ones, you waited until we were in the hospital. Though, it went very prosperous; It only took 5 hours in total.

Little, precious, beautifully baby with lots of black hair: Chloé.  It suits you. I see a humble, precious, beautiful little girl. A brilliant observer, clear, happy, calm and strong. The first weeks the only place you wanted to sleep was on my breast. You needed to gain weight. But how you have grown! And still we are so physically connected by many trips in the sling.

May life give you the optimal circumstances to develop your talent, remain your health and keep that beautiful smile of yours.