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Rock-A-Bye Baby helping those in need

Posts Tagged Gentle Parenting

Rock-A-Bye Baby helping those in need

Just recently we met with some of the Angels who operate the Dandelion Support Network. Dandelion is a grass roots not for profit organisation run entirely by volunteers who give so much of their time and energy to helping those in need.
The Dandelion volunteers accept donations of good-quality second hand children and baby equipment for families in need. Once donated, if necessary they are repaired and renewed. That could mean anything from replacing a missing button or mending a hem to scrubbing back and restoring a well-loved cot. All our the goods are processed by volunteers who follow strict quality assurance standards so that the goods can be enjoyed by their new owner. Once the items are ready for their new home they are packed up with love ready for a new family.

Dandelion partners with some amazing agencies and support services who work with some of the most vulnerable families in our community. Through their partnership with various agencies and social workers, families who are suffering financial hardship can be identified and their specific needs are understood, so that appropriate, tailored packages can be provided to them.

Rock-A-Bye Baby were very happy to donate a couple of van-loads of items including baby capsules, bassinets, prams, travel systems and other necessary baby equipment. We hope that the donation will ensure more infants are travelling and sleeping safely – basic rights for every child.

If you have unwanted nursery equipment and would like to donate you can click through this link and visit one of Dandelion’s many donation days held in various centres across Sydney:

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What to expect at your first antenatal appointment?

Your first antenatal (pregnancy) appointment is exciting and is probably the longest time-wise of your appointments while you’re pregnant. The appointment is an opportunity for your caregiver to take your history and set up a schedule of ongoing appointments for the rest of your pregnancy. Its also the perfect time for you to get answers to any questions you might have. Some women are apprehensive about this appointment thinking that there may be uncomfortable, embarassing or invasive tests done but that’s generally not the case at all.

So what happens at your first antenatal appointment?

At your first appointment you will be asked:

The date of your last period and the length of your cycles. This will help work out your baby’s expected due date (EDD). Don’t be surprised to find that the estimated due date that you are given is different to the one you might have found online: this is because there are more variables than just the date of your last period. Your OB or midwife may also offer you a dating scan, even if you’re certain of the date of your past period. Research has shown that when an EDD is calculated with the help of an early pregnancy scan, there tend to be fewer inductions for pregnancies that have progressed beyond 41 weeks, compared to dating using the last menstrual period alone.

You will be asked about any previous miscarriages, terminations or births.

A history of your health will be developed which may include some questions about close relatives’ health (ie. questions around diabetes, blood pressure etc). This is so that any health issues that may cause a problem in your pregnancy are identified early and certain screening tests are available for genetic conditions and you may wish to avail yourself of these.

There will be a couple of quite personal questions also. Your care provider needs to care for you holistically, for all of you, so questions around your emotional and psychological health as well as asking you if there is any domestic violence in your home or behaviours you are concerned about.

You will be asked where you want to have your baby. OBs and private midwives generally offer a choice of birth place (usually a choice of one or two hospitals they have visiting rights at) as well as homebirth options where they are available. It’s perfectly ok to be undecided at this first appointment and to ask for some time to do some research and decide later on.


This is the part that some people are concerned about, but you need not be. None of the tests are terribly invasive and you will almost always stay dressed .

A urine test — this test is used to check for pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes.

A blood test — you will have a blood test which will include a full blood count and testing for various diseases.

A blood pressure check.

An ultrasound scan may be done if the equipment is present, otherwise you will be referred to an ultrasound clinic. The ultrasound is done to check your baby is doing OK, to see how many babies you are carrying and also to establish your EDD.

Listening to the baby’s heartbeat — this may be the first opportunity you’ve had to hear your baby’s heart. Its a very special moment and its such a shock to hear just how fast their little hearts beat!

Tummy examination — You may have a tummy exam on the outside of your belly just to check baby is growing properly and that your uterus is in the right place.

Once all the talking and testing is done you will have the opportunity to discuss any concerns you might have and ask any questions you would like to. An ongoing schedule of appointments will be set up so that you have regular appointments during your pregnancy that get closer together as your baby’s EDD gets closer, often every 4-6 weeks and eventually weekly till baby arrives.

Remember you don’t have to wait for your next appointment to speak to your care provider if something is bothering you. Most times there will be a number you can call as well as a 24 hour emergency number offered.

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How to clean your Medela pumping kit

I just had a lovely customer who has hired a Medela Symphony to express breastmilk at home call and ask how to clean her kit. So I explained it all on the phone and though to myself – I should probably do a factsheet so that other customers can print it out and have a read of it when they want to clean their kits too. So here’s how.

Cleaning your kit properly is very important to maintain the health and hygiene of your milk and to keep baby safe.
When you first get your kit you must clean the kit before you use it. It is sterile but its always safer to give it a good clean first.

If you are the only person to use your breast pump and your baby is well and healthy you can clean your kit by:

1. Rinsing all parts well in cold water after each expressing session to remove surface milk.

2. Store your kit in a clean closed container or you can store it unrinsed in a closed container in your fridge.

3. Once a day give your kit what I call the BIG clean!

BIG clean instructions

1. Wash your hands well with soap and water and dry them on a clean unused tea towel or on a new paper towel.

2. Separate all your pump kit parts and rinse all the pieces in cold water.

3. Clean all traces of milk and dirt with a small amount of household dishwashing liquid and warm water. Make sure its all nice and clean again with no sticky or greasy marks or residue.

4. Rinse all the pieces in hot water really well, then rinse them again (2x).

5. Sit all the bottles and parts upside down on a new clean paper towel and cover with another new clean piece of paper town while they air dry.

6. Store your kit when its not in use in a clean dry container, and I used to line my container with clean paper too, just in case!

Please note – word to the wise here – your kit isn’t dishwasher safe and the dishwasher isn’t clean enough so handwashing is a necessity.

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Try before you buy

Try before you buy is really one of the many (and varied) reasons people choose to hire baby equipment. As we all know, what Mum and Dad like, it doesn’t necessarily follow that baby will like that too – no matter how shiny, how fashionable or how expensive the product is. Babies just don’t care. The same principles apply with baby’s first bed. Babies have grown and developed in a snug, warm, cocoon like womb for 9 months. Upon arrival babies are probably rather surprised to realise that:


– they’re now expected to sleep alone
– they’re now expected to sleep at a set time
– they should sleep for set periods of time in each 24 hours
– and they are now being put to sleep in a rather cold flat bassinet or cot.

Some babies do sleep “like a baby” but many don’t. Some babies are unsettled and can be difficult to settle and resettle to sleep during the day and night. This experience, of having an unsettled baby who was struggling with colic and sleep, is what spurred Ambrose Hooi to develop the Amby Hammock. Ambrose’s little girl slept wonderfully for the first 4 weeks of her life and then developed what is termed “colic” – that often misunderstood syndrome that results in babies crying inconsolably for hours on end. The Amby Air hammock is a great help for these babies and their parents, with the gentle bouncing and swinging of the Amby spring moving baby in both horizontal and vertical directions, naturally mimicking “the colic dance” movements that the colicky baby wants and needs. You could say the Amby is a baby colic home remedy.

The Amby Baby Hammock Air is also the only baby hammock on the market that can be used up to 12 months of age. It is also larger, safer and has an adjustable incline unlike any other.


Here at Rock-A-Bye Baby we suggest you to hire for a week or two, and if your baby loves the Amby Hammock we can replace it with a brand new hammock delivered to your door – yours to keep – and we’ll pick up the hire one once your new one has arrived and is set up. Hire-Try-Buy is 100% risk free – just hire your Amby, if you love it, we’ll get you a brand new one to keep.

Ambrose says: “Today, many thousands of parents in Australia and Europe have finally come to terms with the fact that for babies, to sleep, grow and feed well, they need a sleeping environment that has at least some ingredients of the maternal womb. The use of Natures Nest by hospitals and child care centres in Australia and Europe is extensive and growing rapidly.”


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Reduce, reuse, recycle, hire

I know I know, the “hire” doesn’t slot in so well phonetically but it makes sense to be a part of that mantra don’t you think?

In the consumer driven world in which we live there is a perception that the number of material things we own, and how much we paid for them, helps us rank highly in the eyes of our peers. And if I’m truthful, maybe it does makes us feel better about ourselves. I know I’m just as guilty as the next person of coveting luxury items (most of which are out of my budget anyway!).

But this idea of needing to possess only the best of everything is what determines our economic and environmental status. The more we consume and spend the greater effect it has on our economy and environment. Whilst spending up big sounds like a good idea for our economy, in actual fact this tends to drive prices higher. This only makes it harder for the average family to buy important items such as furniture and whitegoods.

Imagine a new family, expecting a baby for the first time, wanting the joy of setting up that baby nursery. When furniture and baby essentials, such as car seats, prams and rockers are so highly priced it makes it virtually impossible to afford everything they need all at once. If they are trying to maintain their image by choosing designer labels, it’s just not going to happen.

The solution… Hire it! Hiring equipment means you don’t need to outlay a lot of money to have use of the products you need. There are a massive variety of things that you can hire, or rent, for long or short periods of time. Toy libraries are accessible in most council districts and here are Rock-a-bye-Baby, we offer rental on all essential baby needs.

Babies and children will outgrow stuff pretty quickly and lose interest with play equipment. When they reach this point you simply return the items and hire a different product that’s more suitable to your growing babies needs. So hiring your baby equipment saves you money, time and storage space, especially when you only need to use it for a short time.

It’s kind of like sharing, similar to borrowing a book from the library. When you return your item, it allows others the opportunity to borrow it after you. It’s much better for the environment too. Hiring is a form of recycling. Rather than producing more and more new things to satisfy consumer needs, reusing helps reduce our landfill.

So don’t buy if you don’t have to, hire it… It’s a Win/Win for everyone; a sensible and safe way to help make sure we have a healthy happy planet to pass onto our children and our children’s children.

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