2015 – Keep doing what you do best!

Oh God – looking at my last date post is a terrible thing – I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that so much time has passed and I’ve done so little on here. Yes – I feel guilty for not giving my blog some major TLC. I mean, it’s 2015 – the chance to start fresh, list down all these resolutions that I want to accomplish by this year, live the dream and get all psyched up about my new beginning. Hell – I didn’t even make the time to list them, so chances are I won’t even be able to achieve them.

My point is – and I think so many mothers and fathers out there will agree – we’re literally kicking butt by making it through every single day with all the other responsibilities that life throws our way. We should all give ourselves a huge pat on the back, maybe treat ourselves to some fatty Hershey Pie for making it this far, going through each day like a fighter and being amazing parents. So to all those who are in my shoes; who feel like they have the weight of the world on their shoulders, from juggling a dzillion things from managing to make a career and a living, to changing diapers and folding through endless piles of laundry – you are doing an awesome job. WE are doing an awesome job. Lets keep doing it the way know best and don’t bother by anything or anyone else.

 

The Pacifier Review_AnanIbrahim_TPR_MOM_2015

A miracle worker to soothe your little cutie pie’s dry skin: QV Kids Balm and Moisturizing Cream

When babies are born, they have the softest skin ever; you spend countless hours touching their little feet and hands, powdering their bum and massaging them with baby oil after a nice, warm bath. But as your little bundle of joy starts to get older, they run and jump around, play in the sand, spend hours in the pool and even longer hours outdoors. A scratch on the knee, an elbow scab, a skin rash and before you know it, your baby’s skin is all dried up and is in need of some miracle worker to get it back to its soft, pink, bruise-free state.

After travelling to Egypt, I’ve noticed that Yehia’s skin has become very dry to that extent that it started to irritate him. He would constantly scratch his arms and legs even more frequently, leaving terrible scratch marks on his skin and even sometimes his bum.

I am not exaggerating when I say that I’ve literally tried EVERY moisturizing product and even took him to see a dermatologist who asked me to try this medical ointment to soothe his skin and nothing worked. Until one fine day, I was at Boots and spotted a QV Kids Balm. I immediately picked it up kept applying it on Yehia’s arms, legs and bum every single day after his showers. After exactly eight days, I noticed a significant change. His skin got a lot better. It’s now much softer and he even stopped scratching his legs.Even though its a balm, it doesn’t have that super greasy feel to it and he doesn’t get irritated when I apply it to his skin, unlike many other products I tried.

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QV Kids Balm Available in 100g tube and 450g tub

 

I even got him the QV Kids Moisturizing cream and started using that and the effects are just unbelievable. My little boy feels better and he now has softer, smoother skin. The fun thing about the moisturizing cream is that its super easy to apply. It contains vitamins A (retinyl palmitate) and E (tocopheryl acetate) in colorful, skin friendly blue and purple micro-beads that quickly dissolve when applied to the skin. So now after shower time, Yehia sits up and is ready to be lathered up with his favorite moistorisor. Not only that, I let him apply it on his arms and legs and he has heaps of fun doing so.

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QV Kids Moisturizing Cream – available in 100g tube

 

You can get all QV kids products in almost all pharmacies in the UAE. Price range: 45 – 70 AED.

For younger babies, check out QV Babies product range

Mommy Rant on medical care: Profits or People?

I need to vent about how greedy and profit driven many hospitals/medical institutions have become. We trust doctor’s with our lives and go to them in desperation; so this constant greed to make money and maintain ‘good business’ is something that I just can’t understand. Now I’m not saying that all are like that; my dad is a doctor himself and always puts his patients interests above all, but it’s sad to see a large majority put profits first.

After moving back to the UAE, I struggled to find a good pediatrician that I am comfortable and happy with. On a quest to find one, I took Yehia to Saudi German Hospital to see a pediatrician, who was pretty nice, did a relatively thorough check-up and told me that Yehia’s growth is steady; healthy weight gain and all is well, but (and I was waiting for this) is too active and is falling behind with his speech development and for that, I need to take him to a pedi-neurologist.

Two days later, I went to the pedi-neurologist who asked Kais and I a list of typical questions that doctors use when screening for signs of autism. Based on the doctor’s assessment, Yehia had no indications of autism; however his hyperactivity and speech development ‘is caused by excess neuron/electric signals in his brain) and in order to calm him down, I had to bring him in for an EEG. Based on the test results, I may need to use medication (which according to the doctor is used to treat epileptic cases) to calm him down. He did also say that I can think this over and I don’t need to schedule it anytime soon.

I left the clinic with a heavy heart; thinking a million things and worried sick about my little boy. I spoke to one my father and a close family friend, who is a psychologist and they both told me that these were drastic measures and I should wait. Most doctors would want you to dive into all these check up’s which could all be unnecessary to make money.

Looking over things and what I know about my boy, Yehia has been making some steady progress at the nursery. His teacher told me that he went from not recognizing the children or wanting to play with them, to acknowledging their presence and enjoying their company. He’s making slow strides and I should let him take his time and do things at his own pace. I do however know that he is hyperactive and in order to deal with him better and understand why he has his sudden bursts, I decided to take him to a psychologist/child behavioral development specialist. Kais and I are now in the process of finding a good doctor who we can reach out to; so if you do know of someone that you would recommend, that would be highly appreciated.

Another thing that ticked me off and it’s really why I decided to write about this is my trip to a dentist yesterday. On Thursday, Yehia’s weekly health report at his nursery indicated that he had three cavities. Kais and I were devastated. I know these things happen, but he’s our first and dealing with these occurrences is literally new to us. We’re learning slowly how to tackle baby issues one step at a time. So I took him to the same dentist who visited his nursery. After his check-up, the dentist told me that I need to get his cavities treated ASAP. But because he’s below 3 and will not sit still in his chair, we have to put him under. My mind is already in a million places. Put him under? is that safe? is all this necessary?

I asked her to give us a quote to fix his three cavities and a slightly broken front tooth (which he broke when he banged into a table at 8 months) and the final quote came to 5,300AED. I was baffled – who would think cavities would cost so much.

Nonetheless, I decided to lock down the dates, but also thought of getting a second opinion. I called our dentist in Egypt and had my father check with his dentist colleagues. All of them agreed that this is again, a drastic measure. Why put a 2.8 year old under for a 40 minute procedure to fix teeth which will fall off in a matter of time? If the cavities were hurting him then that would be a different story and he will refuse to eat his food; but they were so minor and were not worth drugging him for.

I decided to wait until he’s three at least and can settle in a dentist chair to treat these and for now watch what he eats (sugar in moderation).

It’s funny how we trust our lives with so many doctors and we believe them blindly. After all, we always want what’s best for ourselves and our children. But the fact that some practices have this greed to make profits regardless of what patients really need and recommend what I can only refer to as ‘your last resort’ is just beyond my comprehension.

I hope you never have to go through such bullshit. Ever.

For all its worth, always get a second opinion and trust your maternal instincts. No one will love or care for your little one as much as you do.

Cool baby pick of the week: Babybay Crib Extension

Every Tom, Dick and Harry tells you it’s best that you don’t ‘prolong co-sleeping’ and that every baby should sleep in a separate crib from day one. You nod and agree enthusiastically. Feeling like a baby expert yourself, you know it’s the ‘right thing to do to do’.You make a mental note to put this to practice going forward.

It’s 3AM and your baby is crying and wailing frantically. You get out of bed, hold him/her for a bit, nurse and cuddle for a bit. Just as he/she is about to doze off, you put him/her back in his/her crib. You slowly remove your arm from under his/her head and carefully tip toe away from that ticking time bomb like some professional acrobat on a thin wire that’s a 100 meters off the ground. Just when you’re about to step into your warm cozy bed, you hear your little one tossing and turning and the bawling starts. After about two or three attempts, you give up and take your baby to bed with you so you can get some sleep. So much for independent sleeping huh?

Tired of being a walking zombie because of all those trips back and forth to the crib?  Babybay to the rescue! This is an alternative cot that you can attach to your bed side so your little munchkin has a separate space to sleep in but can still be within arm’s reach so you don’t get up in the middle of the night.

  • Price: 1,650 AED
  • Weight: 11 kg
  • Dimensions: 86cmx79cmx46cm
  • Ideal to use until your baby is 9 months old
  • Easy to assemble and fits all bed types
  • The Babybay comes with two adjustable fasteners to hold the cot securely in place
  • Comes in three different colors: natural, white and dark brown

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You can also use the wooden bars to turn your Babybay into a stand-alone bassinet if you want to your baby to sleep in it unsupervised for AED 340.

I’m sure you’ve all seen this on Facebook on random posts – but I found a place where you can get these bad boys. Babybay cots are sold at Just Kidding – which is this cute shop that has more than 55 brands for babies, young children and mothers-to-be. They have a physical store located in Al Safa, Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai, one in Gold and Diamond Park and one in Riyadh. Just Kidding ships products all across the UAE with  free shipping in Dubai and across the Middle East.

Toll Free: 800-JUST +971 800 5878

A working Mom’s dilemma: Nanny vs Nursery

For every working mom, leaving your little one behind in someone else’s care whether with hired help/house maid/nanny or a nursery is one of the most difficult decisions you’re forced to make. It’s never easy, especially at first, to accept the idea of leaving your baby for such long hours. Feelings of guilt, doubt and constant worry surface, but you just need to trust your instincts and know that your decision to go back to work is so you can give them the best life that you possibly can.

Back in Egypt when my little munchkin was younger, I was a stay-at-home mom. I freelanced from home and Yehia I pretty much spent the entire day together. Given the current circumstances in Egypt, our outings were relatively limited, leaving very little room for me to take him out to places where he can run, play and enjoy some greenery and space. When Yehia turned two and we moved back to Dubai, I was ready and eager to dive back into the non-stop craziness and self-inflicted stress of PR. Before I started job hunting, I had to face the one thing I procrastinated for so long: enrolling my boy at a nursery. I was never an advocate of hiring help/nurseries and the idea of a nursery was more appealing to me. But the very thought of dropping Yehia off and not being with him gave me panic attacks. I couldn’t imagine leaving him alone or out of my sight for more than an hour, let alone eight. But desperate times call for desperate measures and with Dubai’s soaring rents, financial commitments and the need to live a comfortable lifestyle; finding a job became a must.

I found Happy Learning Nursery, which is close by my building and enrolled Yehia on a part-time basis (01:00 – 05:00 PM) just to make1661544_641198926971_843459051_n the transition easier for him. His first day was a total nightmare; he constantly cried and wouldn’t let go of me; didn’t listen to his teacher or enjoy the company of other children. It felt like he was never going to accept this. Day two, his teacher (Mrs.Caroline – who is by far, one of the most patient, understanding and diligent teachers ever!) told me to drop him off and leave. I literally hung out by a cafe close by because I was in such bad shape. I was freaking out! I kept picturing him on the floor crying, or curled up in a corner scared that I wasn’t around. All these random scenarios got the best of me that I even went and picked him up an hour early.

After a couple of weeks, Yehia started accepting that sometime during the day, ‘mommy leaves, but will come back in a bit to take me home.’ When I finally landed a job, I enrolled Yehia on full time (08:00AM – 06:00PM). A couple of months later; he gradually started to enjoy his time at the nursery. Happy Learning is one of the very few nurseries that I visited and automatically felt good about. The staff, TA’s, teachers and management are some of the nicest ladies I’ve met and are very hands-on and reassuring; which made the transition for both Yehia and I much easier.

So, If you’re about to take that leap, I thought of sharing some pros and cons of sending your baby/toddler to a nursery or deciding to hire help/housemaid/nanny at home:

Nurseries: The plus side:

  • Meeting new people and playing with other toddlers, babies and TA’s gives your child a chance to develop their social skills and help them with speech development.pros_and_cons_of_sending_to_daycare
  • Exposing your child to countless fun activities that stimulate cognitive development and growth; such as painting, imaginative play, story time and reading, construction blocks and play-dough, jigsaws and puzzles, moving around and dancing based on the curriculum they follow.
  • Gives your toddler a chance to enjoy messy play; sand box, palm painting and things that you would be to scared to try at home.
  • Disciplines children: after spending time at a nursery, a stubborn toddler may start to follow directions, respond to your calls and eat better. Various studies indicate that children tend to copy one another and are encouraged by each other’s actions.
  • Assists and compliments your efforts at home throughout various transition phases; such as potty or sleep training.
  • Your child’s safety and well-being are your top priority. Nurseries in the GCC and particularly the UAE, follow a set of guidelines put forward by the Ministry of Social Affairs and The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA). They also conduct random visits and searches to ensure that these nurseries abide by the rules and guidelines. Trained staff and teachers also put your mind at ease when you know that your child is in safe hands.

Some lows:

  • They are expensive.
  • Some nurseries timings may not fit with your schedule, or may be closed on certain holidays like Thanksgiving and Easter when you can’t take time off work and alternatively, you’re forced to look for an immediate back-up plan for your baby.
  • The spread of illnesses is very likely: with so many children in one place, colds and sniffles become super common.

Pros of hiring help/nanny/housemaid:

  • Your baby/toddler is in the comfort of his own house with a dedicated resource to look out for him and give him/her her undivided attention until you are back home.
  • You get an extra helping hand with some house chores, depending on your arrangement.
  • Less of a financial burden compared to nursery fees.

Some cons:

  • Your baby/toddler is not exposed to as many stimulating/engaging activities, nor does he/she get to see new people, surroundings and will generally get bored quickly; especially if you have an active little monkey.
  • Unsupervised care: If you can’t find someone you trust, it becomes difficult for you to leave your baby behind without constantly worrying about him/her.With an increase in child abuse cases from house help in the GCC region, mothers are forced to think twice about leaving their children with hired help.

It all boils down to how you feel and what you’re more comfortable with. No matter what people say, just follow your maternal instincts and do what you feel fits your financial budget and what’s more convenient for you and your little one.

To help you decide on how to pick a nursery, check out this article from Baby Center about what to look for when deciding on a nursery. For more info about how to sponsor house help in the UAE, check this article out.

To all mommies and daddies out there: how did you go about this and what did you end up choosing: nursery or hired help? Share your stories and tips in the comment box below 🙂