I cannot believe 16 weeks have already passed by and Paige has had her third set of vaccinations. Paige has taken the jabs in her stride and recovered quickly after an initial scream that makes my eyes water. Another thing that makes mom’s eyes water is the cost of the vaccinations but, they have to be done. I’m not of the set that debates the efficacy of vaccinations, I want to give Paige all the benefits modern medicine offers and to protect her health whenever I can. There are two options available: state or private vaccinations.
State vaccinations are free and available at state clinics and hospitals, as well as at some private clinics and hospitals. Wait times at state medical facilities can be long and stock is not always available. Private clinics that offer state vaccinations may charge an administration fee. My advice is to phone ahead to check whether or not they have stock and to ask what is the quietest time of the day. The second option is going private and to pay a considerable amount more. The advantages of going private is your baby will get 2 injections instead of 3, stock is almost always guaranteed, and you can book an appointment and avoid the line of waiting moms. The cost of private vaccinations is around R2 000, depending on where you go.
I’m not in favour of waiting for hours in a room full of crying and snotty babies but I also don’t like to fork out thousands of rands every four weeks. So, I have found a middle ground and go to a private clinic and pay for the administering of state vaccines when they are available. Thula Baby Centre is situated at South Seas in Mouille Point and nurse Heather Wood is friendly and great with the babies. The atmosphere is calm and warm and offers chairs where you can feed in private, free weigh-in and various baby products. They make the extra effort and organise a new mom’s tea so you can meet and share your experiences with other moms and maybe make a few new friends.
The services at Thula come at a cost. A 30 minute consultation costs R228, and the admin per vaccine is R105. Home visits are R460 and your first consult will set you back R300. They also run an 8 week antenatal class at a cost of R1 200 per couple. Certainly not the cheapest, but I am prepared to pay for convenience, the warm environment and the assurance that I can phone Heather at any time for advice. This time they were out of one of the state vaccinations so I had to pay for it – ouch! – but here’s hoping medical aid will cover the costs.
I think all parents have experienced that sinking feeling when their child starts to cry hysterically in the back seat of the car. It isn’t that ‘I will calm down in a minute and start sucking my thumb’ cry. Oh no, it’s so much worse, and it always happens when it’s not safe to pull over or when you are almost at home and you have to weigh up whether I just push it that little bit longer or not. The other sort is the ‘keep the car moving mommy or I will cry at every traffic light’ cry. Don’t we all love this one? I’ve adapted my driving style to try avoid this cry by driving slowly up to those dreaded red robots, all the while hoping it will turn green before I reach a stationary point. Another trick I’ve learnt, for when you don’t have much space to play with before the red robot, is rolling slowly forward and tapping the breaks to get the car rocking. Graeme and I have also, on occasion, jumped around as much as we can strapped in to try get the car rocking at stop streets. All these tricks are used simultaneously with the move I like to call the ‘stretch your hand into the back and shake the car seat whilst singing at the top of your voice to the car radio to try calm a crying Paige’ move. My moves all have varying degrees of success, depending on how Paige is feeling that day, and are constantly being tweeked and improved. So, if you see a white car holding up a line of cars as they approach the traffic lights, is rocking and is not a lowrider, and its occupants are flapping their arms around whilst singing songs like ‘Paige is our sweetheart and likes to smile and not cry’, that’s Graeme and I. Happy driving!
I like to enter competitions, provided they are free, and I have been lucky enough to win a few. The Your Baby and Toddler were running a Yookidoo competition and my name was drawn to win a hamper of toys for 0-6 months. I was over the moon when I won and I didn’t have to wait long until it arrived at the post office for collection. The hamper did not disappoint and I have been having lots of fun playing with them … I mean Paige has been having lots of fun playing with them.
The Yookidoo toys are good quality, brightly coloured and interactive for baby. They are very clever, for example, the soft ball plays music when it is rolled, the parrot sings when it is rattled and the horse neighs when it is shaken. The musical kaleidoscope has a dual purpose and can be used for tummy time or attached to the cot and has 4 different slides to keep baby entertained. The playmat is beautifully made and is bright and fun to play on. It is best suited for babies who are sitting or crawling and is a decent size at 1,4 m x 1.1 m. Paige is still little and prefers her play gym as it has the crossbars so her toys can dangle over her head.
These toys are on my pressie list and I look forward to when Paige is old enough to play with their bath toys which look so much fun. What I especially like is that all toys are fitted with batteries. There is nothing worse than getting home to find you need to buy batteries and you have a grumpy mom, I mean Paige, to placate. Prices range from R80 for the rattles to R450 for the playmat and are sold at Baby City and other stores. I have posted more photos and a video on their Facebook Yookidoo South Africa page.
When Paige was 7 weeks I thought it was time to get back into exercise and back into shape. Now I’m not a fan of exercise or the gym, a gentle stroll followed by tea and cake is more my thing, but I need it to feel healthy and good about myself. I joined the Yum Mums exercise group which meets in Green Point Park every Monday and Thursday morning at 9:30 am. This group ticks all my boxes as it is outside, I can bring Paige along, chat to other moms, and work on my toning and cardio.
The social aspect is great as I get to meet new moms, compare stories and enjoy the scenery of the park and promenade. Even though there is a lot of chatting there is also a lot of exercising going on and I’m noticing the difference in my body. You can bring baby or come alone, and classes take place in the local hall if we are rained out. New moms can join from 6 weeks after birth and can exercise at their own pace. It took me a few sessions to build up my strength and still only do the exercises my body is comfortable doing. The group is run by Talia and the cost is R50 for each hour session and is payable monthly. You can contact her on 082 514 1088.
It is always good to keep useful numbers at hand just in case of an emergency. Print them out or store them in your phone so they are at the ready. Here is a list of some of the hospitals in Cape Town.
Easter Monday was a perfect day to spend with family and friends wine tasting in Stellenbosch. Now, I have had difficulties with producing breast milk and after a few weeks, and since I have stopped taking Eglonyl, my milk as dried up. I would have loved to have been able to breastfeed Paige exclusively and for longer but unfortunately I was unable to. I’m ok with it, I tried my best, and Paige is a happy and healthy formula baby. This means that after months of being teetotal, I can enjoy a glass of wine and if you are going to drink, there is no better place than on a wine farm in Stellenbosch. It is a personal choice whether to drink or not and it’s unfair to judge others if they drink responsibly. Moms that breastfeed should not feel guilty for indulging in a glass of tipple, as long as you wait 3 hours before the next feed. All in moderation I say.
Well, we decided to start our day with a high altitude wine taste at Uva Mira in the Helderberg region. The views from the tasting room are exquisite and overlook False Bay to Table Mountain and to Cape Point on a clear day. Unfortunately their whites were sold out but we enjoyed our tasting of their rose and reds, particularly their Syrah. From there were visited the neighbouring farm, Hidden Valley, to join friends for a tasting and cheese board. The cheeseboard and 6 wine tastings for two costs R240 which, in my opinion, is a little expensive for what you get but the setting makes it an enjoyable experience.
The Ernie Els wine experience was fantastic and I will be sure to visit this farm again. Two tasting options are available, 4 generous wine tastings for R30 or 8 wine tastings for R60. Since this was our third farm for the day, we were conservative and tasted 4 of their excellent wines. Graeme sat this one out as he was driving and looked after Paige who by this time had woken up from a very nice long nap. She was as good as gold but at her age, 11 weeks, is very portable and happy as long as she gets a bottle and some cuddles from everyone. Our wonderful day out was marred when, as we were leaving, our friends noticed that valuables were missing from their car. Unfortunately, you have to be vigilant with safety even in the beautiful surrounds of the winelands.
For the last three weeks I have been attending baby massage classes with Paige and have loved every minute of it. I joined the classes to learn and enjoy the benefits of massage and to meet other mommies. The baby books wax lyrical about the benefits of massage and set out the steps for you to follow. I think we all have a Johnson and Johnson pamphlet about baby massage, I know I have a few, and their product advertising worked and during my pregnancy I went out and bought the lot. The books are fine but I have felt more confident after the classes, especially since Paige is still quite small.
I have been taking classes with physio Kirsty Williams who has rooms in Sea Point and accommodates a maximum of seven people in her classes. My concerns as a new mom going out with Paige are mostly about ease of feeding, calming her when she cries and changing nappies. Well, Kirsty put me at ease and since we are all moms in the class, we are all in the same boat and are encouraged to breast or bottle feed and change those smelly nappies. If your baby cries, that is ok, it doesn’t disturb anyone and you can go about settling her as you would normally. Baby needs to be in a calm alert state to do the massage and if she is not, you can sit back and watch what Kirsty is doing so that you can practice at home. The techniques are repeated each week so you will never miss out if baby is not feeling up for it that day.
Classes take place over four weeks in 2 hour sessions. The first hour is spent learning massage techniques and baby yoga and the second hour is a talk, the topic of which is chosen by the group. So far we have discussed milestones, getting back into shape after pregnancy and birth, and next week it is baby’s sensory world and stimulating integration of this during play. It is a bonding experience and it is also fun to spend time with other mommies and have the benefit of a trained physio doing the exercises with you. Kirsty is great and you can contact her at 084 600 8400 and email@example.com. Her rooms are at 7 The Firs, 41 Kloof Road, Sea Point.