Welcome To Home Learning From Birth

Welcome To Home Learning From Birth

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Carpenter & Kin baby swing review

Carpenter & Kin "The Daydreamer" Baby swing review

Do you have childhood memories of playing at the park on the swings? Do you remember the feeling of the wind blowing past your ears, or twisting the metal chains up as high as they can go then letting them go to twirl around as fast as you could?
Sadly with OH&S and school liability many playgrounds are now scrapping swing sets, but what does this mean for our children's development?
It means more children are not getting the sensory play that they NEED! From 6 months or when baby can sit independently is the time to start swinging! Start with a gentle, rhythmical swing while sitting eye to eye with your babe. They will be looking at you for reassurance so give them a smile, sing them a song, tickle their toes, whatever you like to let them know they are safe.

Siblings can often feel neglected when a new baby comes into the house, constant feeding and settling means parents are often held up caring for the baby. Creating a special task for older siblings to help with can not only help them feel included but also build that special bond between them which will be lifelong.  Here is Tara, aged 7 singing "You are my sunshine" to baby Brody before his nap time, you can see how tired he is but still manages a little smile to show he is enjoying her time with him. This also gives mum a quick minute to fold the washing while watching on. 

Swinging has a list of benefits from strengthening core muscles, improving balance, vestibular functioning for brain development as well as the calming effect which is why mums rock babies to sleep. If you want the best for your baby and understand the importance of sensory activity in daily life, head over to https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/carpenterandkin?ref=shopinfo_shophome_leftnav
where you can learn more about the Carpenter & Kin products.
                                                          The Birth story of Brody Harris

 Four years ago i had the most magical unassisted home birth of Mason, so when i fell pregnant i knew in my heart that i wanted the exact same again but as a wise friend of mine told me "you can't replicate a birth,each is different and will bring with it is own magic" - i needed those words to get me through a turmoil of emotions that presented in the last weeks of my pregnancy.

As the universe had it, we moved house while i was 22 weeks pregnant with our third baby. Don't get me wrong, it was and has been the best move for our family and of course having a big belly meant i got out of most of the lifting and unpacking

When we got to our new home i went in search for a midwife to care for me through the rest of my pregnancy and the birth. Being the third and with both previous pregnancies and births being trouble free, i was relaxed that i would be fine. Well, seems we moved into an area where independent midwives are a rarity and if they were there, they were booked out completely or charging more than our income would stretch too.

My only option was a birth centre in a small hospital around the corner from our house which had no obstetricians so if you needed one you would be transferred half an hour away to another not so great hospital.  I was heartbroken, after all my research into home birth last time i knew the interventions, time restrictions, red tape and general pushiness of hospitals was not what i wanted to be stuck using. My biggest fear was that i would arrive at this birth centre, tense up with fear and stall my own labour resulting in a c-section.

My hands were tied, i contacted every doula i could find i the area to see if they would attend just a birth only to make hubby feel more comfortable with free birthing but insurance and liability makes this all too difficult.

I had no answers, i had exhausted all avenues and as my friend also shared "put it to the universe,be open to what is meant to be" so right up until 39 weeks i was searching for another birth support other than going into the hospital system.

39 week appointment at the birth centre...The dreaded "At our next appointment we will talk about ways to bring on labour" i replied "i won't be at the next appointment as i will have this baby before then"
I had planned in my mind when he would arrive, the previous two kids had come 4 days early and so will he :)

39+ 1 i lost my mucous plug in the afternoon! Fantastic i thought, with #1 i lost the plug and had her within 24 hours, with #2 i had him within 4 hours.....He is on his way!!!! Hmmm, first lesson learnt...when you loose your plug only means one thing....He is on his way....sometime...

39+2 Hairdressing appointment that i knew i had to make. A newborn and two older siblings means mummy time gets very limited so it was my last chance to feel human before bub came and i was determined to make it, even if i was sitting in the chair feeling light contractions warm up my body for the big event. Later that night i put the kids to bed and race up to get some last minute groceries to stock the cupboard for the visitors and weeks ahead i plan to snuggle down and stay inside cuddled with our newborn. The face of the checkout lady when she says "how long have you got to go?" staring at my belly and i reply "well actually I'm in labour now :)" I have never seen a check out lady pack away my groceries so fast, worried i was about to pop this baby out in her checkout isle!

39+3 Today was spent with the kids, we spent all afternoon dancing around the play room wiggling this baby down. Figure eights, stomping, jiggling and just rocking it out with mr 4 and miss 7 while we each took turns on choosing our favourite songs off youtube we bonded. Just the 3 but so soon to be 4. "Hey mama" by David Guetta was the favourite played over and over until i had a big brother and big sister exhausted and ready for bed.

Once i put them to bed, i tried to lay down and rest knowing too well i needed some energy to help me through labour when it kicked in but as soon as i tried to lay down my irregular contractions started intensifying.
I knew what i had to do, i had been mentally putting off this labour, till i had the groceries, till i had my hair done, till the children were asleep so now it was baby and my time. I had to let go. I texted my mum to keep the phone close and I went to change into my labour gear, a black jumpsuit, crop and a necklace i made myself that i strung with every teething necklace both children had worn while little. This was important to me, i needed to have a piece to hold, see and feel that not only helped physically with the pain-all those little amber beads melting on my skin but also to remind me of how loved this baby already is, with two eager  siblings waiting for his arrival.

Resting,walking and trying to let everything go and the next thing i see the sun coming up, had i really been focused and in such a trance that a whole night had gone by? Letting hubby sleep a full night was the right thing as i knew i would be needing his help and having him rested meant a rock of support.

It was 5am when i called my mum who was 2 hours away as i knew if the kids would be waking soon i would need her to help occupy them so i could focus. By 6.10am my mum gently knocked on the front door, she says it was the quickest she had gotten to our house before. It was lovely that we were all so excited to meet our new addition, even being the third!
While mum went ahead with the morning routine, hubby and i spoke about how he would trust me to tell him when i needed to leave to go to the birthing centre. I guess I'm a hard book to read when it comes to labour. I am focused, quiet and withdrawn. By 9am i said i think we should time the contractions, they were not taking my breath away just requiring more focus and deep breathing. They were 3 mins apart. The children came and looked on while i laboured in the playroom trying to move and use gravity to bring bub down. By mid morning i decided to go up to the baby's nursery and lay on a mattress on all fours just being alone and enjoying all the hormones kick in surrounded by our soon to be newborns cloth nappies,feeding chair and swaddles, it gave me that surge to keep going.

I knew my mum would be getting tired minding the two kids after being awake most of the night in anticipation, i suggested to hubby we call his mum to help out with the kids as it would be nice for her to be close for when bub arrives anyway and she had to travel 2 hours to get to us.
It was getting close to midday and my waters still hadn't broke, all i knew is that labour was feeling great, i was managing fine, laughing and enjoying how my body was slowly gearing up for his arrival. I had floated in a warm bath and hung, squatted and lay on my side. I felt the urge to push, it wasn't like the last two births, their waters had broken and i could feel their heads but this was just so much pressure, like a huge beach ball just sitting there. I wanted to push him out but something was stopping me. I hadn't heard his heartbeat, i felt i needed to hear that he was ok before i pushed him out.

I spoke to Hubby and we decided to call the birth centre and let them know we were coming in. It was only 3 minutes away so i figured we had plenty of time. Hubby spoke to them and all i could here was "oh ok then what are our options?" Options! i thought, what options, we were coming in, we just needed to meet our midwife there and have this baby. Well, it turned out that wasn't what the universe had in store for this birth.
I was told the centre had been super busy and with it being the middle of winter some midwives were unwell so they were left with only one midwife who was already caring for a lady in labour and can't legally do two alone. I had a choice.... give birth in the emergency room of the hospital with just a curtain around us or travel half an hour to a bigger hospital to their maternity suites.
Well we chose the bigger hospital, i figured we would call an ambulance and then i could hear if bub was ok with a doppler and also get there quicker than if Hubby drove.
We kept speaking to the midwife on the phone, her voice was angelic, so calm and reassuring. I let out an emotional cry when she said to me "You are doing perfectly"  Looking back now, i see that that assurance from someone else means so much to me.
In only a few minutes the ambulance arrived on our driveway, Mason now 4 had eyes as wide as dinner plates and asked so sweetly "Can i have a look inside?" Haha, "Of course! have a quick look" i say as i waddle down the driveway trying my hardest to hold in this baby head.
With Mason out and Hubby in the front seat i lay down and ask for a doppler to check heart rate, well now i find out ambulances don't carry them. "If a baby is coming, there isn't much we can do" I think to myself, yes i know that feeling -ITS HAPPENING TO ME RIGHT NOW!!

I'm still not sure if anyone, the Midwife, the ambo, even hubby believed how far i was along. I kept saying i was ready to push but as there was no water breaking, blood or screaming it was all calm and enjoyable. I remember laying on my side in the stretcher while reading every sticker on the truck, just as the midwife on the phone had suggested, trying not to think about pushing when i looked over at hubby and did our usual "hey babe?......love you!" and he returning the love.
The ambulance man who sat with me in the back questioned me about why i didn't want pain relief and then offered it to me again 2 more times. He spoke small talk to me and every now and then i would stop, breathe out a contraction then continue with my answer. 130km down the freeway and we were at the hospital in 20 mins. As they lowered the stretcher off the truck i had one more contraction that i asked them to stop moving me for. Straight into the birthing room and i notice a bath running, i later find out that angelic midwife from the birthing centre had requested the only bath suite and for it to be ready when i arrived. The older midwife introduces herself and asks if its ok if a student male midwife care for us and i quickly agree and ask for a doppler to hear bub before i push him out.
She asks me to get up on the bed, i hesitate, this is why i didn't want to end up here. I wanted choice not red tape. That sound....hearing bubs heart beautifully thumping away like the beat of a drum. I was ready to see him!
The midwife asked me to give a urine sample, i took the cup and walked into the bathroom then straight back out again, handed it back to her empty and said, sorry its too late and hobbled over to the running bath. I looked at the midwife straight in her eyes and said as seriously as i could "I want a hands off birth"

The midwives were busy setting up the room, filling out forms and talking to each other so Hubby and i huddled in the corner of the spa bath. He held my hand while i gently and slowly pushed through the pressure. I said to him "Please make this be the last one" The feeling was not painful,not burning but just powerful and taking my breathe away. I place my hand down to cradle his head and remember his sac had still not broken so i ask Garrett to get some pictures.

His head arrives and as i guide is head with one had and gently birth his body my other hand catches his body and breaks the sac accidentally. The sac floats away in the bath and i bring a perfectly healthy tall dark and handsome lil man onto my just to admire.

 I put him to my chest and only then look up to see the midwives starting to come see what we were up to.
They hurry over and while i nurse they ask about the placenta, i will deliver it naturally i inform them and i get a reply of "well if you start to bleed we will have to intervene. hmmm so tempted to fight back with "well i could just eat some placenta to stop the bleeding" but refrain too caught up in my newborn.
The midwife hurries me along to give bub to dad while i push the placenta out but i decline. I want that hormone inducing baby to stay close to me for as long as possible. I hold him and get to my knees and give a cough to release the placenta into my other hand.

I'm asked to get onto the bed and bub is left with me to snuggle. We gaze in awe, another perfect human bought into our lives making our awesome foursome now a fantastic five!
We are left with just the student midwife now as the older midwife went on her break. He tells us that he is doing his midwifery component as he is becoming a flying doctor. He tells me that he has only seen 5 natural births in this hospital in a whole year. WOW!
It is now that i can get my head around where the universe was taking me on this birth journey. Was it the perfect birth? No. Was it in the comfort of my home where my heart wanted to be? No, but it did create awareness for a student midwife about natural intervention free childbirth and it did allow me to walk out of a hospital with a healthy baby in my arms knowing i stood up for my body and were able to be at home within 3 hours of birthing to introduce baby Brody to his siblings.

My first two birth's taught me to trust in my body, this time around i had that made, i still had a lesson to learn though....trust in the universe!
Brody has joined our family like he had been there all along. Such a smiley baby that brings so much joy to us all :)


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Mimijumi Bottles

We are big believers of the benefits of breast milk, the research is out there! If you can.....BREAST IS BEST!!

 While some mums find it hard, some find it flawless, there is usually a time when our breasts need a break. Whether you be going back to work, need a date night with your partner or simply just want to include the siblings in feeding time then you will be looking for a great bottle!

When we bought our first set of bottles 7 years ago, i remember doing everything by the book- Try one feed in the fortnight to get baby used to the bottle, get someone other than mum to feed baby so baby can't smell mums milk, walk/jiggle or take baby outside to distract while using bottle so they can't notice it isn't the breast.

WELL, we did ALL this and still our newborn would not take the bottle which left me the milk lady needing to be available every meal time for her for the next 2 years!
Needless to say by the time we had our next baby 3 years later, i did some more research and hunted out the best (most expensive) bottle on the market which had claimed to be so similar to breastfeeding. Well if my breasts where clear and blue and plastic tasting then maybe they were but Mr newborn didn't take to them at all! So once again i was left to be beside him 24/7 for two years to feed him from my breast.

FINALLY this time we found a winner! Mimijumi have given me the ability to get the groceries done alone while hubby is at home with a Mumijumi full of nutritious breast milk and given our older kids the bonding time with their little brother to feel like they are included with the new addition to the family.

The Mimijumi bottles are a basic design, no valves, teats or connectors to loose or go missing in the wash, just a 3 part system of bottle, nipple and lid. Pour in your breast milk and your ready to go!
 I could go on about the BPA free, anti colic, Latex free, EA free basically TOXIN FREE health benefits but less face it-It only is a great bottle if baby will take to it and after 3 babies and no bottles that could fool our precious ones-WE FINALLY FOUND IT WITH MIMIJUMI!!!

Check out the Mimijumi website for a wealth of knowledge on feeding your baby and where you can snap up these bottles that 9/10 fussy babies enjoy! 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Peppa Pig #thebigsplash GIVEAWAY

We recently had the pleasure to attend #Thebigsplash with none other than the wonderful Peppa Pig! It was a chance for Home Learning From Birth to find out more about "Life's Little Treasures foundation" and boy did it hit home!
The Big Splash is a charity campaign to raise money for premature and sick babies. From March 1-April 30 people are encouraged to sponsor children to "Splash like Peppa!" and participate in fundraising by holding splash parties at the beach, at home or by attending a Big Splash event held at their local pool, creating as much splash as possible in five minutes-HOW MUCH FUN DOES THAT SOUND????
So all you need to do is jump onto www.thebigsplash.org.au register your child and have fun!!!

To celebrate, Home Learning From Birth are giving away a PEPPA PIG prize pack!
Just email kc1181@bigpond.net.au and let us know how your child likes to make a splash and one winner will be posted a Peppa Pig clothing pack to enjoy!
1 x George Pig Tee (size 5) RRP: $19.99

                                               1 x George Pig boys 2 piece set (size 5) RRP: $30
                                               PLUS a Peppa Pig “The Big Splash”  
                                               Silicone Cap by Zoggs (blue)
                                               Total: $49.99

Cadbury Creme Easter Hat

Last year we made our first Easter hats for a local parade and won first place so i thought i would share the photos and instructions on how to make it if you are already thinking about what you will make this year!
Our Cadbury Creme Egg Easter Bonnet.-A nice idea for the boys without all of those flowers and pretty little chicks ;)


 I first started off with a balloon, blew it up and used paper mache to make an egg shaped mould. Used brown acrylic paint to paint the whole egg once it was dried. I used scissors to cut the head hole and placed the paper mache egg onto a fedora hat my son owned just so it was easier for him to get on and off as it was quite top heavy. Then i placed some tin alfoil around the egg to make the look of the wrapper and left an edge by folding it over. I then bought 4 bags of full sized cadbury cream eggs and carefully unwrapped them and used a hot glue gun to stick them to the alfoil wrap leaving the folded over edge exposed. The bag of eggs had a giant label on it i stuck with hot glue to the front of the egg. At the top of the egg i cut a hole using scissors and stuck a fried egg toy that i found in my kids play kitchen but you could get away with white paper and colour a yellow circle yolk on it.
It looked fantastic and took out first prize in the boys category so now onto this year and thinking up another spin on the traditional Easter bonnet!
Have Fun!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Valentine Lollipops

It wont be long till the most romantic day in the year comes around so have you got your valentine's day gifts ready????
If your house is like mine and have a truck load of candy left over from Christmas you may like to make some of these heart shaped lollipops from left over candy canes. If you don't have any left over now is the time to buy some extremely marked down candy canes from the shops!
We made two batches of these last year, one was filled with white chocolate and the other was with red toffee. Simple and cute for all your loved ones! 

Tara & Mason's Artist Party

Tara's 6th and Mason's 3rd Birthday

I love that now our party planning is a combined effort, with both the kids making choices on how they want it to be. We set up a table inside as always our January parties are always on the hottest day of the year!
Below is the birthday girl with a collage of her baby photos in the shape of a six.

Mr Mason below with his big number 3 photo montage

Below are some Paint Palette Cookies that i made from scratch using a mushroom shape cookie cutter and some mini m&m's

Meringue Lollipop wheels
I simply made a meringue recipe and separated into bowls then added our food colourings and blended them in a piping bag. Swirled them onto baking paper and cooked for an hour on low heat. Made some icing mixture to stick the meringues to the lollipop sticks and wrapped them.

Push pop pinatas and Edible crayons.
The crayons are chocolate picollo wafers wrapped in tissue paper. 

Thirsty Artist water bottles

Creative juice

Melted crayon artwork we made with a happy birthday cake
topper to hang above the party table

Cake push pops. I used sponge cake and coloured icing
to fill them and sprinkled with coloured lollies

Gumball Necklaces for party favours for the girls.
Sterilize a drill bit in boiling water for 10 minutes and use a drill to create holes in gumballs then thread onto ribbon.

Rice bubble paintbrush favours for the boys.
Using melted butter,marshmallows and rice bubbles make a slice then cut into rectangles. Make the coloured paint with icing and use tongue depressors as sticks.

The Birthday peeps waiting the arrival of the guests...

The Artists tables set up and ready to go!

Mason working hard on this Canvas
A family photo!
We had a sign saying "Put yourself in the picture"
and had many props for the guests to use 

The busy little Artists working on their canvas'

Put the paintbrush on the Palette. We chose blue as our
target as it is Tara's favourite colour

Tara's masterpiece- An arnotts nice biscuit with a fondant layer on the smooth side. This created our canvas then the children used edible textas to draw on their canvas'

The Artist using her paint palette made by cutting a thumb and
finger space in a paper plate 

The Arnotts biscuit artworks we displayed them on paddle pop stick easels
 which we made by hot gluing them together

Daddy made our Pull string Paint tin pinata using an old paint tin pained and dripped with other shades of paint to give a used effect. The tin was filled with sweets and the base was made from cardboard and electrical tape to secure them in. All streamers were tied into the cardboard base with one being the main support that would release the sweets.

Some of the party guests showing off their artwork

Mason's cake- he asked for a red and blue swirl cake in strawberry flavour. I use fondant to cover the cake and he used edible pens to draw all over the icing. He was so proud of his own cake-a true little Artist!

Tara chose a vanilla cake that had purple,blue and pink swirl and also decorated the icing all by herself. This was THE easiest year i have had with cakes as i left it all to them! hehe

The paint tin pinata in action!
So that was this years theme-Artist Party! We had a blast and it was a success for both age groups. If you have any questions on how something was made or where to source items, don't hesitate to comment below. Until next year, i hang up my party planning job...

Monday, November 25, 2013

Dinosaur discovering

Today we were Archaeologists searching for Dinosaur remains in our sandbox! These super cool bones are from Michelle's Plaster Painting and are a great addition to any sandpit. Hide them right down the bottom and see the surprise when they finally reach them. Best of all once they are found you can actually paint them and display them or if its just too much fun keep them in your sandbox like us!
This set is available to post as well as many more plaster painting items at www.michellesplasterpainting.com.au
or check out her facebook page

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Mobile Toy Library

Have you visited a TOY library???

If you haven't been to see your local toy library-you must!! Its like a toy shop without the tantrums and credit card bill!
The mobile service run by volunteers, parks the bus at a different suburb each week so you can pick your closest location and meet them there. Some locations offer a free morning tea and a chance for your children to play while others are located right next to a playground for you and your little one to run around and enjoy the fresh air!

Anyone is welcome to come visit the mobile toy library and has a HUGE amount of toys on offer for all ages, babies to school aged. Membership is just an annual fee that then allows you to enjoy up to 3 toys in your own home for up to a month. Drop the toys off again when the bus is in your area and choose some new toys. If you get in early you could have your Halloween costume organised without fuss, book week dress up prepared or even borrow some ride on toys for your child's next birthday party!  
The toy library gives you a chance to try out toys that interest you child, expand their imagination and work on skills needed for development.

The amazing volunteers at our local Hawkesbury/Hills mobile toy library have been generous enough to give ONE lucky Homelearningfrombirth reader a full year FREE membership!
To be in the running to win this you must live in the Quakers Hill/Pitt town/The Ponds/Kurrajong area of Sydney. Send me an email kc1181@bigpond.net.au telling me why you would love a

Entries close 9th November and will be contacted by email.  
For more info on the toy library visit
Good Luck!!!

The popular mobile toy library at "The Ponds"

Mason enjoying his lawn mower borrowed from the toy library!