by Vicki O'Callaghan, Solo mum and co-founder of BabyBoo.ie
If you have a baby with sensitive skin or indeed already identified sensory or feeding issues, then the prospect of weaning your little one may fill you with dread. As a mum to a little girl who had diagnosed silent reflux and a serious case of eczema, I was apprehensive about introducing new foods to her diet.
While the silent reflux was under control with medication, the prospect of introducing a baby's first foods into her system scared me. I was nervous that my evenings would be once again spent pacing the floor with a screaming baby.
Most people don't even consider that a skin condition like eczema could affect the weaning development stage. However, flare-ups can be triggered by any number of things, including allergens, so it is something you need to research. My daughter was hospitalised at just eight weeks old following a bad eczema flare-up, so as you can imagine, staying on top of her skin condition became a very important part of my life.
Thankfully after a very careful phased introduction of food, it turned out that apple was the only one that caused her reflux to become a problem again. It wasn't just the food that she consumed that I needed to be careful of though, I also need to ensure that whatever she was wearing next to her sensitive skin did not irritate it.
I started by spoon feeding her and bought every plastic, silicone and waterproof version of a bib that I could find. Then when we moved on to baby-led weaning with finger foods, I invested in coveralls so that I could protect her clothes, skin and as much surface as possible to help with the mess.
Unfortunately, all the coverall bibs that used plastic in their materials, drove the sensitive skin on her neck crazy. Even the washing care labels would cause her eczema to flare-up, and the non-cotton cuffs and trims had her scratching constantly.
The whole experience formed the foundation for the design of our YummyBoo feeding bib. I wanted a bib to that would cover her fully, but also have a waterproof element. Afterall, you can't wean a baby without introducing them to a cup of water! The bib I felt compelled to create would also have to be comfortable, using cotton in as many elements of the design as possible.
Our award-winning YummyBoo feeding bib has three layers. The inner layer next to your baby's skin is 100% organic cotton, the middle layer is waterproof and the outer layer is cotton rich towelling so it’s easy to wipe off stray food. The cuffs, neck and all trims of the bib near the skin are organic cotton, and the care labels are all cotton too. It has a pocket at the front that you can open or close using popper fastenings, depending on whether you want to collect stray nibbles or cover more of your child's clothing.
With so many new mums navigating parenthood with limited supports due to the pandemic, I hope my story will in some way help to alleviate a little of the overwhelm of weaning.
The YummyBoo feeding bib is priced at €14 and is available from www.BabyBoo.ie.