Toxins in Breastmilk

By |August 24th, 2015|


II’ve had a question about the article that appeared in the ‘The Australian’ recently about the ‘build-up of chemicals in breastmilk’.

It comes from a report from Grandjean et al in the Environmental Science & Technology Journal on August 20th. See this reference for the press-release. It also contains the reference for the original article.…/breastfeeding-may-expose-inf…/

Prof Philippe Grandjean is a world expert on the issue of industrial toxins in our environment. After a lifetime of work in the field in 2013 he published a book on the subject :“Only One Chance, How Environmental Pollution […]

Important Things About Your Baby’s Skin

By |May 19th, 2015|

NNow that the first few weeks of new grandfatherhood have passed, during which kissing my granddaughter was not advisable (see my previous blog “Six Guidelines for Grandparents”), after three months she became old enough to cope with germs from other than her parents. So now I can succumb to the yumminess of her chubby cheeks.

The thing is all babies are designed to be kissable, and huggable. It’s all part of the kindchenschema, a word that describes the face of a baby that we intrinsically find appealing at a very deep level. The big head, […]

More Guidelines for Grandparents

By |January 30th, 2015|


With my burgeoning experience as a grandparent and the response to the recent ‘Six Guidelines for Grandparents’ ( ) I’ve thought of a few more, which I hope will help the older generation tread the fine line of assisting the new parents without interfering.

1)            Names. You named your babies, now leave it to them to name theirs. If they want to call him T-Kool…. smile, nod and don’t say a word!

2)            Always ask the mother whether you can touch or pick up the new baby. As a grandparent you don’t have the right (and mum’s […]

Six Guidelines for Grandparents

By |December 26th, 2014|


Behold Georgy and baby Lara.  On the 15th December 2014 I became a grandfather. Little Lara came into the world and I can now stop secretly worrying about things totally out of my control…

With this new qualification and experience, I feel it is an appropriate time to contribute some guidelines:

1)            Just because it happened to you, doesn’t mean it will happen to your daughter.

So many times I hear remarks like “Well I couldn’t breastfeed you, so you’ll probably have problems too”. This is unhelpful.

2)            Bring food and cleaning equipment, not advice (unless it’s asked for).

That’s what new mothers need: household […]

Happy Father’s Day

By |September 6th, 2014|

G&meI&meI have two lovely daughters now both grown up (and married recently to wonderful guys). There remains nothing so delightful as hearing them chatting together and screaming with laughter. Sometimes it’s watching a video of me falling over or trying to walk through a glass door, and sometimes they are reviewing the movies they made of each other as teenagers.The most important ingredient of childhood, after safety, shelter, food …. is laughter. Keep it light, keep it quirky and don’t take life […]

Boundaries for the Bigger Baby

By |August 24th, 2014|

I think Dr Michael Carr-Gregg makes an important point (though somewhat indelicately) in his recent interview with the ABC:

I have a bit to say about this issue in “Your Cherished Baby”. This is a short excerpt from the chapter on toddlers…… Young babies cannot be spoilt. For the first few months they rely on their carers so completely that it is hard to imagine a baby being cared for too much. The baby’s the boss and needs absolute security in all aspects of his life, and there is no danger in him learning ‘bad’ habits.

As […]

Mummies and Dummies

By |October 27th, 2013|

TThere was a recent paper in the journal Pediatrics which suggested that parents who, in the first six months of their baby’s life, cleaned their baby’s pacifiers (dummies) by putting them in their own mouth and sucking them, had babies with a decreased incidence of allergic disease, such as eczema, later.

This is not the first time that it has been suggested that challenging babies with germs from the environment at an earlier age decreases their likelihood of allergies as they grow. Poverty, overcrowding, large families, animals in the home, and early exposure to germs in food have all been shown […]

Hip Dysplasia: The Facts

By |September 29th, 2013|

Dysplasia of the hip in babies is relatively common, especially in girls. It is more likely in babies who are breech births, in twins, or ones who have a reduced volume of amniotic fluid in the womb. It also runs in families. Medical staff dealing with babies are always fanatically careful about testing babies to make sure their hips are stable after they are born. Most of the babies with dysplasia are picked up in the first few weeks using a routine clinical test where, with the baby on her back and legs flexed at the hip, the examiner attempts […]

Not all Baby Carriers are Created Equal.

By |September 29th, 2013|

Q:  “A question re carriers and hip dysplasia-my 2 week old daughter has been in a von Rosen splint since day 2 for left hip dysplasia and I am hoping she is in it for no more than 6-12 weeks. When she comes out do you have any thoughts re whether any particular baby carriers are best-I currently have a Baby Bjorn which I didn’t use much for my first two children but had been thinking I might use it more for my third…I know there is talk that Baby Bjorns aren’t good for hips but is this actually true? […]

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