Do You Have The ‘Sewing Bug’?

Are you a sewer?

A home seamstress or tailor – as opposed to some sort of drainage for waste??!!!

I used to be when I was a teenager and in my early teens.  I made quite a lot of my own clothes.  Some well and some quite badly.  As my author Mum ( will attest!

I often pop into the local sewing store for a few bits and bobs and I always stop to admire their window display.  The shop is manned by a group of grey haired grannies – but boy, do they know how to do some great windows!

Mamasimx About Me

Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

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Review of Bebe au Lait Breastfeeding Covers


Bebe au Lait breastfeeding cover

Bebe au Lait breastfeeding cover

Having made the decision to breastfeed my baby I wanted a nursing or breastfeeding cover to use when out and about in public.  I ‘googled’, found several results for nursing covers and decided to go with the Bebe au Lait Nursing Covers.  They had some good features I thought and I loved the available colours and designs.  I purchased the ‘Yoko’ design pictured opposite.

This was seven years and three babies ago and the breastfeeding cover has stood the test of time.  In fact it is still going strong after all these years and all these washes.  The RigiFlex(TM) neckline is still rigid and the metal rings on the ‘tie’ have not tarnished at all.  A good investment.

Another one of my top 20 things I have found most useful after having my three babies, my opinion only, for what it’s worth! But I think it is confusing and stressful enough when expecting your first baby.  Its nice to know of things that other Mums have found useful and would recommend.  It would also make a great gift for a baby shower, new mom to be or gift for baby.

I just love these stylish breastfeeding covers.  And as I stated above I have been using mine for over 7 years now.  They are useful not just for covering baby and you while feeding, but as a sunshade; sunshade over the pram and as a light blanket.  Fantastic must have.

The Bebe au Lait website offers the following as features of the cover:

  • Patented RigiFlex™ Neckline allows for optimal viewing of baby and ventilation
  • Neckline Safety Technology promotes product longevity by preventing fabric wear and tear.
  • 100% breathable Cotton – single layered for cool comfort, soft as can be as it delicately shelters baby while nursing. Tuck top corner under arm for full coverage
  • Internal Terrycloth Pocket: Perfect for quick cleanups and stashing pads and pacifiers.
  • Adjustable d-ring neck strap with branded hardware for authenticity. Adjust it once and done.
  • Generously sized 26” X 36” to allow baby to remain focused, not distracted during nursing
  • Compact covers roll up to take wherever you go.
  • Multi-use: use as a changing mat, sunshade, and light blanket.
  • 2011 Creative Child Magazine Top Choice Winner
  • Machine washable
  • Imported
  • Please note some fabric dye lots and pattern sizing may vary.

The RigiFlex™ is a band that keeps the material standing away from you at the neckline, creating a space so you can look down and watch your baby while feeding.  It’s the most handy feature of all.

There is also a triangle of towelling sewn on the inner side of one corner that you can use to wipe up any extra milk etc.  Very handy.

The covers cost £27.50 or $35 and are available from:

US:  From the Bebe au Lait website.

UK:  From Mothercare (and other retailers such as John Lewis).


Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

©Simone Woods 2013

Review: The Dunstan Baby Language System


Dunstan Baby Language System

Dunstan Baby Language System

Product Name:           The Dunstan Baby Language System
Price:                           £23.00 GBP or $36.00 USD approx.
Available from: various retailers and Amazon.
Main Claim:               The Dunstan Baby Language teaches you to hear exactly what your baby is communicating. As a parent, you will be able to interpret your infant’s sounds and cries – and respond to their needs quickly and effectively. (as per Dunstan Baby Language)
Age Range:                Birth to 3 months (as per Dunstan Baby Language)
Overall Score:           10/10
Recommended?:       Yes.
Length of testing:    Over 1 year. System used for 6 months with my first baby,  8-9 months with second baby and now 7 months and counting on my third little one.

Overview of Product
  • 2 DVD’s    (English with Spanish and French Subtitles Available.)
  • 1 Wall Chart
  • 1 Booklet
  • Case
  • Slip Cover

My Mum sent me a link to an article about this system when I was expecting baby number one 5 years ago.  I was a little sceptical of the claims at first, but after reading the comments I decided to purchase the DVD and investigate further.  I was intrigued and reassured by the background information given about the systems creator, Priscilla Dunstan, on the Dunstan Baby Language website. Following is an excerpt.

‘From the age of five, Priscilla demonstrated an unusual connection with sound. Already an exceptional violinist, she could hear a piece by Mozart once, then play it back in its entirety. Her father, Director of the Educational Testing Centre at the University of New South Wales, found that his young daughter had an eidetic memory – a photographic memory for sound.

During her teenage years Priscilla toured throughout Europe and Australia as an accomplished concert violinist. Priscilla then spent more than 10 years exploring the world of opera, where her talent as a mezzo-soprano deepened her understanding of sound produced by the body.

It was years later, when Priscilla gave birth to her son Tomas, the true significance of her gift emerged. Her instincts as a mother and her connection to sound led her to believe that a baby’s cries had to be something more than just random sounds. Noting combinations of sounds in a journal, Priscilla explored various settling techniques and observed Tom’s reactions. Eventually she was able to recognize patterns, and identify how specific cries had a distinct need attached to them.

After her own experience with Tom, her theory was tested with over a thousand babies of 30+ nationalities. 9 years of observation and intervention research then led to 3 independent international studies, confirming the existence of a universal baby language – the Dunstan Baby Language.’

In her DVD, Pricilla explains that every newborn communicates from birth to 3 months using 5 distinct sounds that signal hunger, tiredness, need to burp, lower wind/gas and discomfort.  This is regardless of the language their parents speak.  It is not a learned language she explains.  Rather, it is a natural way for every baby to express their physical needs.

Disc 1 contains Lesson 1 with the following chapters:

  1. Priscillas’ Story
  2. Welcome
  3. Word 1
  4. Word 2
  5. Word 3
  6. Helpful Advice
  7. Solutions
  8. What Parents Have To Say
Disc 2 contains Lesson 2 with the following chapters:
  1. Welcome
  2. Word 4
  3. Word 5
  4. Solutions
  5. Thank you
  6. Priscilla, Mother and Babies
  7. What Parents Have To Say

Prior to my first babies birth, I watched the DVD several times; taking note of the five sounds and repeating them to myself through-out the day so that they became familiar.

I also hung the small sound chart that comes with the DVD in the nursery so that I could easily refer to it if required.

When baby arrived there was the usual shock to overcome (!), but I found that I could easily remember the sounds, especially with the help of the chart, and I began to really listen to my little one to try to distinguish his cries.  It took about 1- 2 days for my ear to attune to my babies cries and for me to begin to tell when he was making each sound.  What a feeling the first time I heard the hungry cry!  I was elated!  My little one most often made the tired, hungry or burping sounds, but also made the wind and uncomfortable sounds.  My husband and I felt confidence and reassurance knowing that we could, most of the time, attempt to understand what it was that our little son was trying to tell us.  The system states that it is best used for the first 3 months of babies life as from 3 months on, baby will begin to use learned sounds, rather than the physical/instinctual sounds Priscilla describes.  However, my husband and I heard both are boys making the sounds for much longer than this.

Priscilla Dunstan comes across as genuine, down to earth and very approachable in her DVD.  (Like all good Aussies!)  The DVD’s are watchable and easy to digest.  Most helpfully she gives lots of examples of different babies making each sound, so you get a real feel for the sounds themselves.  She also gives advice and techniques for dealing with each of the problems babies cries are signalling.  Very helpful for a first time Mum and Dad.  I recommend this product.  The DVD would make a great Baby Warming Gift as it is best to be able to study it before baby arrives.

Such a relief when you are all at sea with your first baby.

Booklet Pages

Booklet Pages


DVD Cover

DVD Cover



Don’t forget to enjoy your day.


© 2012 Simone L Woods


Yelling at our Children – Succumbing to the Dark Side of the Force

Luke: Is the dark side stronger?
Yoda: No, no, no. Quicker, easier, more seductive.
Luke: But how am I to know the good side from the bad?
Yoda: You will know… when you are calm, at peace, passive.


When our second baby was born, my eldest had not longed turned four.  Used to being, for those four long years, the apple of our eye, numero uno and the sole recipient of all our love and affection, he did not at all take kindly to being replaced, as he saw it, by this crying intruder.

We had primed him, we believed, before baby arrived.  Explaining to him how Mummy was having a little brother or sister and how Mummy would be very busy with the baby for a while, but it doesn’t mean that we love you any less.  It’s just that tiny babies take a lot of looking after.

It became apparent very quickly that whatever priming we had done had gone in one ear and out the other.  What four year old can process how things may change at some point in the future?  This kind of reasoning/thinking doesn’t register on their radar at all.  They are four after all and we should not expect more from them than they are able to give.

Fortunately for me, my mother and father stayed with us for the first few weeks after the birth and the responsibility of childcare of eldest fell on their capable shoulders.  They bore the brunt of the anger, tears and naughty behaviour.  Where was Mummy? Why can’t she play with me?  Why are you taking me to nursery?  I don’t like the way you cook dinner.  Why can’t I see Mamma!  Why!

It would break my heart to hear him yelling and crying.  I understood he was desperately unhappy at the huge change in our household and just wanted me back for himself.  Real feelings of wretchedness and guilt would wash over me; unable as I was to always go to him as I nursed our new baby.  In the first few weeks, I can remember cuddling him between feeds in the middle of the night as he slept and missing him so much.  I can only imagine how he missed me.  This was so different from the blissful, bonding guilt free feelings experienced with him as a baby.

Sal Severe, in his book ‘How To Behave So Your Pre-Schooler Will Too’ (more on this book later) uses the following analogy to illustrate how your child feels when their new sibling comes along.  I think it sums up the situation beautifully.

“Imagine that your husband or wife sits you down one day and happily explains that as she/he loves you so much, and as you are so wonderful, they have decided to have another wife/husband.  A while passes and you forget all about this and then suddenly one day a younger, cuter husband/wife arrives and stays!  Everybody ‘ahhs’ and ‘coos’ over them, almost always ignoring you.  Can you imagine how hurt, rejected, confused and angry you would feel?  This is how your child feels when you bring the new baby home.”  The lesson from this – don’t underestimate how this change is going to effect your other children.

When my parents all too soon left, I was then the usual recipient of his bad behaviour and I admit that I did not always handle this in the way I should have.  I very quickly found that I spent most of my time yelling at him.  How quickly things had changed and how quickly we were all becoming miserable.

I new this could not continue, I did not want to spend my life yelling and my children certainly didn’t want to be yelled at.  There had to be a better way to deal with all of this.  So between feeds and late at night I did some research on the internet.  After looking at several books, I purchased ‘How to behave so your preschooler will, too!’ by Sal Severe, Ph.D.  I knew that it was the way I was handling the situation that had to change, and this book appeared to address this concern.  I am so glad I purchased this book.  It addressed this concern and so much more.

The books stresses, that as parents, we must learn to control our anger if we want our children to be able to handle theirs.  With so much of parenting we all to often fall into the trap of ‘do as I say, not as I do’.  Children learn by example, and by allowing yourself to become angry and yelling, you are telling your children that it is ok to become angry and yell themselves.

I have found controlling my anger to be especially difficult when I am under the strain of lack of sleep and it is easy to forget that I must lead by example.  I am constantly reminded of the scene in ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ where Luke asks Yoda if the dark side of the force is stronger.  No Yoda replies, it is quicker, easier and more seductive.

And this is why we yell at our children, because it is often quicker to get results and it is easier than exerting our will, taking a deep breath and using more desirable techniques of behavioural control.  Yes, and yelling is very seductive because it makes us feel better by releasing all that tension and frustration that has built up inside us.

But like the dark side of the force, yelling is wrong.  It’s the wrong way to behave toward our kids.  It’s only by remaining calm, at peace, being passive that we can choose the right path.  Listen to Yoda.

May the force be with you.

© 2012 Simone L Woods