Checklist for baby’s arrival

I’m doing up a list of things I need for baby and thought it would be good to share, so here goes:

Breastfeeding

  • Breastpad
  • Nipple cream
  • Breastpump (optional)
  • Milkbags / containers (in the early days small containers like snappies are useful; later on bottles that fit directly on the brand of pump you use are best – I use medela)
  • Cooler bag
  • Coolant pack

Bottle feeding

  • Steriliser
  • Bottles with teats
  • Bottle cleaning brush
  • Bottle cleaning liquid
  • Vacuum flask (optional)
  • Formula (optional)
  • Formula container (optional)

Clothes

  • Many onesies
  • Many pyjamas
  • Socks
  • Mittens
  • Pretty clothes for special events
  • Hats

Accessories

  • Bib

Bathing / cleaning

  • Washcloths
  • Tub
  • Baby shampoo and soap
  • Nappy cream
  • Baby powder
  • Baby lotion
  • Misc medications you believe in (gripe water, ruyi oil, Vicks…)
  • Nail clipper
  • Comb
  • Diaper
  • Wet wipes
  • Towels
  • Changing mat
  • Laundry detergent

Bedding

  • New mattress (used mattress apparently increases risk of cot death)
  • Sheets
  • Blanket / swaddling blanket / sleeping bag

Misc

  • Car seat
  • Stroller
  • Diaper bag (can be any big bag but diaper bags has many compartments which can be useful)

For mummy

  • Maternity pads
  • Nursing bras
  • Tummy binder

Its christmas season!

Yes, the festive season comes earlier each year. One almost wonders whether the suggestion of one of my readers that our Mid Autumn light up is an early celebration of Christmas may become reality! When I was younger Christmas season was in December itself but I guess its a combination of businesses wanting to maximise profits from the season’s buying spree and (as a friend suggested) the influx of Americans for whom the holiday season starts with Halloween moving into Thanksgiving and then the rest of the world, also congregating in Singapore moving into Christmas and New Year and after that the Chinese moving into Chinese New Year.

Here’s Sophia saying happy holidays with festive diapers. Aren’t they oh-so-cute? Wish we had these in Singapore.

Just as I thought I had the best angel baby in the world…

At least when it comes to sleep training since Sophia has been sleeping from 10-ish to 7 without voluntarily waking up since she was, oh I don’t remember, somewhere between 6 weeks and 2 months old, and this progressed to 8pm to 7am as she got older. BUT last night she screamed for a full 3 hours and more before eventually sleeping at 11 plus. Ok, the poor girl was sick so I should cut her some slack but I’m not used to dealing with a sick baby. Prior to this Sophia was breastfed so never fell sick except once when she was about 6 weeks old and she was very good that time, no fussing or anything. Ate and slept as per normal. I do hope she recovers soon. Brought her to the doctors for some non sedating cough syrup which hopefully will help her sleep better. I need some sleep……

At times like this I kick myself for stopping breastfeeding.

Hush Hush and its synonyms

I’ve been visiting a lot of friends in my one month break while I was in between jobs and as a result got to see a lot of people at work calming a crying baby. Its surprisingly interesting to hear people’s pet word for pacifying their baby.

1) Whistle – yes, not shhh… but an actual whistle. It was quite surprising to me because I’ve always associated whistling with getting a child to pee than getting him/her to stop crying. Not that I’ve used it in either instance because I also don’t see how making that sound will inspire pee.

2) “sak sak” – as in love in the doting sense in cantonese. Not an unusual work but I guess I just have never heard a predominantly cantonese speaking person at work calming a baby till now so the continuous repetition of the work “sak” is interesting to me.

3) “stop it!” – cute, especially when the mum in question said it in a way that was firm but at the same time as if she wasn’t really expecting it to work.

Me? I say “love love” more than anything else. I also say “mummy love”, “Mummy carry”. “mummy’s here” and “Sophia go to sleep” depending on the situation, but especially when Sophia was younger, “love love” was the most common phrase. So mcuh so that when she refused to be carried by her father, the father said “Daddy also love love what”.

What about you? What’s your pet calming phrase?

Quite the sweet girl actually

For all I say about Sophia being a cowgirl (which I still maintain she is), she is also quite sweet and there definitely is a trace of maternal instinct in her, even at this age. Consider this sequence of events:

Happily playing in a corner of Antionette (a cafe at Scarlet Hotel)

Inspecting every nook and cranny

Suddenly, she heard a baby scream and turned her head, concerned.

She made mummy bring her to the baby and looked on, extremely concerned, as baby E screamed for milk.

Relieved to see baby E happily drinking her milk.

Asking (via brainwaves and sign/eye language) to play with baby after she's well fed

Playing with baby E, as gently as a one year old can be expected to.

Quite sweet eh?

Getting off the bed

Practicing with grandpa's help

Ever since Sophia fell off the bed while sleeping / crawling around in a drowsy state after waking up, she has been very cautious about getting off beds. We’re not sure what happened that time we left her sleeping on the bed and found her crying on the floor since nobody was in the room. My guess was she crawled around in a half stupor immediately after waking up. That’s what she usually does. Anyway, since then, she refuses to get off the bed on her own. Someone always needs to “spot” her even if we don’t touch her. We need to be there to catch her when she falls. And when she’s alone in the room she just screams for help. We keep telling her its ok, you just need to get off legs first but because it involves a little jump she’s still cautious. Hope she grows out of this soon but never ever progress to the stage of climbing out of her crib like these babies:

Formula for sleep

There was a post on The New Age Parents‘ facebook page yesterday featuring a question from a mum on whether she should partially breastfeed her baby because her confinement nanny told her that formula at night helps the baby sleep through the night. I was about to comment but the reply got too long. And it seemed to me that I was the  minority and I was afraid of getting rotten eggs thrown on me. So I retreated to my personal sanctuary that if my own blog on which I can say whatever I want without fear or favour.

I don’t think making babies sleep through is a good reason for partial breastfeeding. I have been exclusively breastfeeding for the past 11 months, with solids from 6 months, of course, and my baby slept through the night from 6 weeks onwards. Its not true that formula is more filling. It is more difficult to digest and hence stay in the stomach longer, that is true but volume for volume babies actually need less breastmilk for their energy needs. This must mean that breastmilk is more “filling” in that more nutrients and calories actually absorbed. My experience is that letting baby sleep through the night is a poor reason for not exclusively breastfeeding. It may not help but yet baby is deprived of exclusively breastfeeding benefits.

There are also a lot of benefits of exclusively breastfeeding that is lost once any other food, even formula, is given. The most common benefit of exclusively breastfeeding is a heathier “flora” in the intestinal tract but there are also lesser known ones for example iron in breastmilk is absorbed much better than other forms of iron but this benefit is lost once other forms of iron is introduced to compete with the iron in breastmilk. I don’t explain it wekk as I’ve digested all these informatino and retained only the conclusion I drew but see for example the following article: http://www.drmomma.org/2010/10/virgin-gut.html. Kellymom’s Why Delay Solids also has a lot of information that I drew analogies on . In a sense formula and solids are similar – both are not nature’s intended food for very young babies – even though formula is closer.

That said, genuinely not having enough milk after an earnest effort, or an ill mother or medically unwell baby or just being unable to cope with the hassle of breastfeeding due to say lack of help with babies are all valid reasons for not being able to exclusively breastfeed and formula is close enough to breastmilk for mothers to really not have to bash themselves up for not exclusively breastfeeding. All I’m saying here is make an informed choice, not a choice based on with frivolous words of a well meaning confinement who probably doesn’t have evidence backing her speech.