Category Archives: feeding

Our first sticker ch(art)

We introduced B’s first sticker reward chart last month and it’s become an ongoing work of art and lesson in self-control for all of us.  The sticker chart tackled two areas that I felt were within B’s reach but he wasn’t consistent and/or disciplined enough about:

1) Self feeding and sitting down for meals (snacks not included) – I was so excited when B would use his spoon or fork to eat porridge, yogurt, oats/cereal, fruits around 16 months.  He’d eat pretty much everything in his first 2 years.  Alas, that didn’t last 😦  Now there are times when a mealtime battle looms, sometimes for a reason (sick), sometimes for no reason (aka #terrific2s). Besides stickers, I’ve tried reducing  snacks, reasoning with him, even a “join us, eat what you can.” When B eats slowly and gets picky, he still needs prompting and bite-sized food to make it easier (and faster), but all this has helped without  needing a rotan!  Yet.

2) Going to the potty – B started gradual potty training around 18 months. We first introduced potty books and a standalone potty, then wore trainers at home, moved to a kids potty seat (on the big seat) by 2 years as he was tall enough then. We’re now seeing increasingly diaper-free days and he’s comfortable standing up or sitting down to pee, when the boy urinals are too high (or there are none). The sticker chart is helping to minimise accidents outside, transition to diaper free in school, and when he needs to do his big business coz for some reason, he doesn’t like to sit and poo!

For both areas, I try not to make a big deal out of it and affirm the positive, though I admit, I’m not a patient mom…. As he’s young, I didn’t want us to be too fixated on any “final big reward” so I kept the design fun and open, with him having the freedom to choose and add stickers to celebrate his accomplishments. It’s nice to hear him say “Mama, I pee, so now get sticker!” or “I am big and strong!” (after eating) as he enjoys and understands what this sticker chart means.

Hmm ... where shall I put my sticker?
Hmm … where shall I put my sticker?

Here’s how we did it: For my vehicle loving boy, I chose a design that would appeal to him – hand drawn, copied and adapted from here. I explained what, why and how – even got B to help paint the background while I wrote out how the system would work (with tiny images for our non-reader to see). We stuck it at height level along the corridor between his bathroom and our dining area. As he adds his stickers, he’s also adding to his work of art aka the sticker chart!

B squirting out watercolours for the background
B squirting out watercolours for the background
Our first sticker chart art (as of today)
Our first sticker chart art (as of today)

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我爱我的动物

July saw a big leap forward in B’s cognitive, and in particular, speech development. Words started to “click” and it was great to be there with him along the way.

Theme: Animals!  It started with us doing an extended craft activity around Margaret Wise Brown’s “Big Red Barn” when we were stuck indoors during the worst of the haze.  The rest of the month was spent on tonnes of books, songs, art and craft, puzzles and outings. We even managed to make this bilingual as B’s new Chinese term was all around the  (Farm)

ABC or Art, Books and Craft: Maybe it was a matter of time but I felt like we found a key to unlock his brain by engaging in more kinesthetic learning this month. We expanded upon a few fave books with a big red barn diorama, a zoo numbers and colouring activity based on Eric Carle’s “123 To The Zoo,” and built our own family tree after reading “Who’s Like Me.”  Some highlights below:

Music and Movement: I finally brought all 6 kids CDs into the car to play on repeat whenever it’s just B and me.  From the classic Old MacDonald (he loves the E-I-E-I-O!) and Incy Wincy Spider actions to his Chinese Playclub’s ditties like “的” and “鸭” as well as Kindermusik’s Morning Song (with different greetings for animals/people).  It was nice to see him not only sing to the words and rhythm but overcome his shyness to move and dance along.

Outings: No surprise, we went back to the zoo to check out the Breakfast With Orang Utans with friends (overpriced, not worth it!) and the new Frozen Tundra polar bear exhibit (cool!). Next time, we’ll visit in the afternoon as B is up longer and can catch more live shows.  We also went to the Maritime Experiential Museum and Aquarium (nice, esp. the spider crabs, jellyfish and dolphins). Here’s other animal adventure places we hoped to/will visit as there wasn’t enough time to see them all! 

Personal:
– Hearing B say “I love you” (sounds more like “I low you”) melts my heart 🙂
– I know I’ve said it earlier, but the Big Red Barn opened up a world of language, esp. speech for him.  He comes up with 3-word descriptors like “big purple ball” (i.e. my yogilates ball) and “dark blue sky” (the view from his window when he wakes). Loves to make animal and vehicle sounds, say opposites thanks to Dr Seuss (big/small, in/out, up/down, high/low), colours (primary+secondary+some tertiary), numbers (1-10) and family names. His thirst for books seemed to have grown exponentially too. He demands to read “more, more books” every time and delights in finishing up familiar sentences or words. Of course, he repeats interesting new words in English, Malay, Chinese and especially, my in-car swearing :0
– Self feeds when hungry and when he likes his food.  Otherwise, he’ll eat with distractions and/or help.  Developed a temporary bad habit of throwing down his spoon/fork/food when done or cranky, but that’s stopped now since I told him off with frequent reminders to put it down on the table (practicing les gros yeux!)
– Naps are still too short but nights are great so we’re rolling with it. I get my downtime or work done at night, spend quality time with him in the mornings, try to take him out each day with a special/ family outing once a week
– Potty training still ongoing, slow and easy.  Undies at home, diapers when out
– All in, it’s been a pretty awesome though tiring month.  Gratifying to see the effort pay off, esp. when I wonder what’s become of me and where I’m headed this year….

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I did what I knew, and when I knew better, I did better

June was an exercise in child-led learning. Forget about class or mommy’s “lesson plans,” our theme was on B’s all time favourite things…

Theme:
(1) Things that go:  It started out with us reading Brian Biggs’ excellently illustrated vehicle series, esp.  Everything Goes: In The Air for days up till (and after) B’s first flight to Phuket.  Shortly after, his Chengzhu holiday program took the Playclub tots on the Duck Tour bus AND boat.  Then we ended up flying again (aka the unplanned haze-cation) to Penang. For a boy already crazy about wheels and diggers, it only seemed natural that this ended up as our special monthly theme

(2) Shapes: Learning shapes is fun and easier as B recognises his rainbow colours (he calls indigo “dark bool” 😉 Besides the hand-me-down shape sorters, blocks and a timely Gymnademics home package set, we reinforced shapes through bean bag games, geometric foam pictures and playdough

Routine:
We used lots of puzzles this month given B’s growing interest (and affinity) for this. Besides the wooden peg puzzles, we took out slightly harder board and magnetised ones.  It takes him some time to get the alignment right even if he knows where it should go. But he takes them out from the boxes himself to work at it almost every day.  For a boy that can’t stay at a task too long, this is quite a feat! We also used more representative learning to support what B would see in real life, i.e. block building a “duck bus/boat”, drawing the jet pilots and helicopters flying by for National Day rehearsal, browsing through books, transportation art and flashcards with photos and/or illustrated print, role playing with toys and sound effects, etc. We even tried threading with his Good Night construction site set. Speaking of which, B can thread in and occasionally flips it over to thread out but doesn’t quite know? have patience? to keep threading the next sequence.

Art and Craft:  So many this month given the special occasions, but no time to complete a big special project (that one’s already WIP for next month). Our faves were:

(1) Fathers’ Day card (done at one of our home playdates)
B made 3 this year, 1 for dad, 1 for each grandpa!

(2) Garden montage to reinforce shapes and colours

Using ziplocked paint, bubble wrap prints and cut-out shapes

(3) B’s first personalised photobook. To make reading (pages, prints, photos) more personal and fun, and also as an alternative to flicking through photos and videos on my smartphone. He seems to enjoy flipping through it and it grounds him esp. when we are away from home and as we have more periods of separation. Worth continuing and building on…

Includes pictures and a few sentences about our home, family, friends, places we frequent like parks, library and outings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outings:  June was children’s season and school holidays.  So… You guessed it!  We went back to the Singapore Art Museum (awesome Enchanted Garden kids exhibit) and Gardens By The Bay (Flight of Fancy’s hot air balloons). We also visited the Philatelic Museum to see geek!mom’s Star Wars exhibit.  With the Singapore Duck Tour, Phuket and Penang trips, B is slowly touring his way through Southeast Asia 😉

 

 

 

 

 

Personal:
– Mealtimes are back to normal, even better in fact since our Penang trip.  B feeds himself, has a robust appetite, is keen to try new things, and most importantly, happily eats fruits and veggies again! At his 18.5 month check in/jab, B weighed 12.5 kg.  He couldn’t stand still to measure the height, but based on his ex-pants shorts and pajamas, he’s definitely over 86 cm!

– Sleeps well overnight (~11 hours straight) but his naps have gotten shorter (~1 hour average) even on days when he’s so tired and nodding off by 1130a!  He tends to wake up crying from his nap yet will only sleep longer if we rock and hold him.  Another regression? Separation anxiety again?  Just roll with it?
– Resumed potty training which I started / stopped earlier this year.  This time, we are going the distance  i.e. no diapers while at home and playdates.  Also bought another, lighter single piece “portette”
– At times, he shows a little stubborn and willful streak so I’ve been more firm with discipline, insisting he continues with the basic home “routine” (incl. helping out, cleaning up), and not giving in to his temper tantrums. So far, nothing unmanageable (yet! yet!)
– Steady progress language and cognition wise. He’s started to fill in missing words from familiar stories and songs, repeat new words that he’s able (willing?) to vocalise and put 2 simple words together like “eat/no more”, “back door.”  Oh, and he’s asking “WHY?” 😉 It helps that I’m reading more specific books with big fonts, few words like the Dr Seuss and Margaret Wise Brown classics, in addition to our usual dialogic, fun but variable stories. Besides English, he seems to find Malay/Bahasa easier to pick up but that could be b/c I’ve been quite negligent with Chinese since our holiday break! Of course, if I were honest, for a verbal mom like me who talks, sings and reads to him constantly, I do wish at times that he could say more earlier! But he’s developing at his own pace and all is well
– We STILL haven’t committed to 2014 nursery for B next year …. Talk about kiasu!  Yet even with my sporadic homeschooling efforts (longer task/wishlist than actual), I still feel we’re doing ok and giving B a better experience at this age
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Same same but different?

Time to reflect on what we’ve tried, what’s worked, what’s not – one month into our revised schedule. Basically, our weekday “homeschool” time has become a bit more intentional.  It’s been mostly fun, often stretching both our discipline and creativity, but I trust there’s positive returns from all this!

Weekdays:  “Homeschool” with mom, plus Chinese, music, swim, playdates
Saturday:  Daddy bonding @ Gymnademics, family time
Sunday: Sunday School @ Sunbeam, family time
As/when: Outings at Macritchie Reservoir, Botanic Gardens, theatres, museums, etc

Routine: Besides the usual bilingual words, math and puzzles, I added right brain activity books and printed worksheets this month.  IMO, these are still quite hard for his age, but I’m trying to introduce matching and memorising as a game and build his competence in tracing and controlled colouring.

Themes and special project(s) were around:
(1) Food – new.  Building on B’s fascination with our kitchen and groceries (he enjoys role playing cooking!) supplemented by Gymnademics home material
(2) Colours – reinforce. B correctly identifies primary colours, though he can’t say them all clearly yet.  Colours also translate into teaching other stuff like shapes, numbers, music et al.  To expand on later

Books: Courage of The Blue Boy by Robert Neubecker; and The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (great excuse to dig B’s torn and tattered copy out!)
Learning thru play: Rather than buy new toys, we made colour sorters and counters using recycled caps and straws. He likes this though finishing them all in one go is the toughest task 😉 He enjoys it even more when we mix it up i.e. figuring out how smaller straws fit into the bigger ones, grouping the same colours, counting with sound effects as he puts them in…

 

Music:  Inspired by Schoenhut pianos, I added coloured stickers to  help draw attention to the actual keys on the electronic keyboard, as he would be drawn to the buttons and lights more (downside of not having just a piano). He’s learning to play specific notes based on colour prompts and maybe one day soon, I’ll colour code simple songs to help him play by sight!

Art and craft:  We do this almost every day (crayons, markers, stamps, pens, playdough, paint on paper/easel/canvas/etc).  But once in a while when mommy is motivated, we collaborate on something bigger. This month we made a food pyramid using pictures relating to the new words in his vocab, coloured different segments per food group, added dots to indicate number of servings, etc.  When we were done he said “Yum!” A few days later, while eating his pumpkin/carrot risotto, he even pointed to the pumpkin and said “dot dot dot dot” (i.e. there are 4 dots associated with the “green” segment).

Outing: Culture heaven for B!  We attended FOUR delightful toddler events @ Singapore Art MuseumEsplanade PLAYtimeCircus Minimus and the Gymnademics Big Day Out.

Character: B is unofficially in his terrible twos, and it’s time to actively focus on character building.  As his personality and preferences emerge, we need to also model and enforce the right behaviours.
– He now says more words each day (finally!). No surprise, a popular phrase is “no no no” even if he means “yes.”  How do we constructively encourage him otherwise?  Also should we consciously avoid using “NO!” in our own speech, esp. with him?
– His sleep has also regressed slightly. From consistent 11+ hours overnight and ~2 hours mid-day to occasionally waking up in the wee hours and/or crashing earlier for his nap. His 18-month brain must be on overdrive!  How can I be sensitive to this, adjusting and accommodating as needed?
– Mealtimes have also become more challenging.  Our eat-anything-yum boy could self feed with a fork and spoon at 16-17 months BUT now struggles to complete meals on his own and even rejects foods he used to like (e.g. tomatoes!).  How to keep trying though it’s frustrating, messy and sooo inefficient?

This past Sunday School gave us some food for thought. They taught that gentleness is touching others gently, moderating your strength, helping others, obeying your parents.  This is part of the series for 18-29 month olds based on Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”  Which brings me to the final lesson this month: No matter how much I plan, accomplish or wish I did more or less of, ultimately I need to lean on Him and trust that all will be well. God is the BOSS!  Not B.  Definitely not me.

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Month 5 Week 3: Routine matters

In a week’s time, B will be half a year old. Motherhood hasn’t necessarily gotten easier but perhaps I’m learning to adapt to (and to some extent, accept) this new “lifestyle.” I started a regular newsletter of highlights, tips and photos with B’s caregivers and closest family members, got to know more moms with similar aged babies in my condo complex, church and also through the local Meet Up groups.

Mommy lessons:

1. Mutual weaning: There are many days when I struggle to find my equilibrium. It’s almost like I need to wean myself from B just as he starts to wean from breastmilk to solids. How to ensure I have time for other stuff including self and couple care? First things first. After a quick breakfast, I go into his room to watch him and join in a short cat nap, check mail and do my QT.

2. Elusive sleep – Just when you think you’ve cracked the “schedule,” it changes 😦 – B used to sleep through the night from 9p to 5a but now wakes up intermittently, usually crying out loud and needing help to settle back down just like his first few months. It could be that he’s subconsciously processing all the stimuli. Some babies have difficulty sleeping when they’re facing major developmental milestones like rolling, sitting, crawling, walking, talking and new people or environments. Meanwhile, I’m re-tweaking his daily routine to hopefully help: 6a wake up, 7a brekkie, 8a bath, 9a nap #1, 11a lunch, 1p nap #2, 3p milk, 5p nap #3, 6p outdoor time (weather/baby permitting), 630p dinner, 7p sponge bath/quiet down, 8p bed time – with one late night/early morning milk feed as needed … and mommy pumping and getting her own stuff done in between. Wish us luck!

3. Mosquito magnet: The weather has been insufferably hot. Even though we live on a high floor, there was an outbreak of mozzies (and roaches), and B got 4 nasty bites on his left leg, right elbow and chubby cheek (!) despite all our best attempts. He hasn’t recovered as quickly vs previous bites/cuts, and sadly, these have left quite a scar too. We’ve tried turning on the aircon, using spray, lotion, patches, those-things-you-put-below. Maybe we’ll get a baby-safe fan next…. Help?

B milestones:

1. Check up: At 5.5 months, B weighed 8.5 kg (18.7 lbs), 69 cm long (27″) with a 42.5 cm (16.7″) head circumference — over 90 percentile now!

2. Eating 3 “meals” a day with milk and water to supplement: So far, so good. Has tried cereal (rice, corn, buckwheat, quinoa), carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, green beans. Next: Fruit purees

3. Physical: He stands with support, in fact, B tends to always push up when/wherever he can; sits tripod style – propped up on arms and/or rests on his elbows, lifts head 90 degrees and scans 180 degrees; rolls tummy-to-side (though it’s still one sided for now); wiggles forward; uses a two-handed embracing reach; significantly improved dexterity with his fingers and legs (reaches, grasps, transfers from hand to hand/mouth), cranes neck forward to see or eat. Next: Block play, sorting, crawling?

4. Language/social: Shapes mouth to change sounds; mimics sounds, inflection, gestures; blows bubbles; laughs hilariously when tickled, makes motions for attention (flapping arms to be picked up, babbles, coughs, even shrieks; develops better depth perception; gazes intently; tracks accurately

5. Cognitive: Interested in colours. In the mornings, I read his Scholastic baby colourbook and then point out all the items that match the colours around us. Forms mental images of what to expect when given a cue (baby signing will pay off soon I hope); Becomes aware that people and things have labels (who’s your mommy, B?); learns which sounds and gestures get a response; shows decision-making expressions with mouth and hand; figures out objects; Changes hand position to touch objects.

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Month 5 Week 1: Solid success

We introduced B to solids today as he’s been able to hold his head upright steadily, developed a strong grip, shown more interest in adult food/eating, control over his drooling, and seems to have lost his appetite for an all-milk diet.  Since he checked in at 8.3 kg (18 lbs) last week, we also feel quite comfortable weaning him now.  For starters, I got him wholegrain rice cereal, mixed 1 spoon of cereal with 3 spoons of expressed milk and viola.  He took to it quite well and from what I can tell, the organic cereal tastes like Nestum which I grew up eating :). I plan to keep serving cereal alternating with milk, followed by simple fruit and veggie purees over the next few weeks.  It’s fairly easy to get started –  a steamer and blender for preparation, small airtight food containers for storage, and baby food planning and cooking library books for inspiration.

General rule of thumb below, though some moms I know do baby-led feeding and are more “liberal.”

(4)-6 months:

  • Offer the same solids 3 days in a row to ensure no allergies
  • Start by alternating milk and pureed solids for lunch/late morning feed (after he’s satisfied his overnight hunger), and then do the same at dinner and finally breakfast/early morning feed
  • Maintain 800-1000 ml total daily milk intake (=4 to 5 bottles of 6-7 oz/180-200 ml milk).  Between 5-6 months, no milk should be needed after 7pm (B did this at 4.5 months)
  • Once he takes to solids, also offer some water to help with digestion and hydration, esp. during the mid-day
  • First foods – give them a runny consistency (add milk or reserve cooking liquid to dilute) as he’ll need to overcome his protective reflex that prevents him from swallowing thick solids
    • Cereal – rice, maize
    • Veg – carrots, sweet potato, yam, butternut squash, pumpkin, potato, zucchini, sweet peas
    • Fruits (non-citrus) – avocado, banana, cooked apples, pears
    • AVOID – gluten (wheat, bread, rye, barley, oats), eggs, citrus, nuts, dairy/cheese, fish/shellfish, coffee, honey, excessive spice, sugar and salt
  • Tips and tricks:
      • Offer initial, small tastes (2-3 spoons) with a plastic, shallow weaning spoon – let him suck it off the end first, and gradually, he will learn to swallow without sucking
      • Don’t worry if he rejects, it may take up to 10 to 15 tries so try and try again 
      • Crying in between spoonfuls usually b/c they are frustrated that feeding isn’t continuous
      • Sit him on your lap to reduce stress
      • Don’t mix solids with milk in a bottle — this amounts to force feeding and may cause choking, faster weaning than needed, and doesn’t enable baby to communicate 

    7-9 months:

    • Introduce single portion breakfast with milk, and lunch and dinner meals accompanied by cooled boiled water and diluted juice
    • Total daily milk intake (inclusive of milk used for food prep) ~600-800 ml (=3 to 4 bottles of 7-8 oz/200-220 ml milk) with milk primarily given after meals now in addition to the mid-afternoon and late night/early morning feeds, as needed
    • New foods – give a variety / coarser texture (minced/mashed vs blended) with iron and protein:
      • Meat (usually mix with blander foods e.g. rice, potatoes, and offer at least once a week) – fish, poultry, lean meat e.g. lamb, turkey 
      • Veg – artichoke, asparagus, broccoli, watercress, spinach, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, cucumber, leek, cooked lettuce, parsnip, rutabaga, squash, carob, green beans
      • Pulses – lentils, split peas, chickpeas, haricot, flageolet and kidney beans
      • Fruit – cooked apricot, blueberry, cherry, cranberry, peach, nectarine, plum, prune + citrus (mixed with other fruits to counteract sugar and acidic content) + dried fruit (mixed)
      • Finger foods – soft peeled fruit, steamed veg sticks/raw soft veg, bread, rice cakes + nut butters
      • Wheat (pasta, cereal), full fat dairy (natural yogurt, well cooked egg, cheese, soy)
      • Olive oil, herbs and spices can also be added now, starting mild, one at a time, as well as finely ground nuts, seeds – amaranth, quinoa, tapioca root, poppy, pumpkin, sunflower
      • AVOID – cow’s milk (wait till 2 years old), shellfish, soft boiled eggs,  coffee, honey, excessive spice, sugar and salt
    • Tips and tricks:
      • No need to sterilise everything all the time now
      • Offer finger foods and water (in a beaker/sippy cup) in between meals, as needed. Get them involved in feeding themselves to encourage independence and coordination.  Finger foods also help relieve teething pressure 
      • Talk to your baby while feeding
      • If full, baby will close his mouth or turn head away

    10-12 months:

    • Establish routine with healthy snacks – 3 square meals a day with the family, eat together but beware his emerging personality (self-feeding, fussiness, food throwing, refusal to eat alone)
    • Total daily milk intake falls to 500-600 ml. Reduce late night milk feed and supplement the mid-afternoon milk with finger food snacks and water
    • Foods:  Try new things to stimulate appetite and senses, finely chopped and minced. Basically, almost all the food you eat yourself within reason:
      • Fiber – peas, fruit, veggie juice. Avoid bulky fiber in brown rice or whole wheat
      • Meat – at least one portion per day, wider range of fish – mackerel, tuna 
      • Herbs and spices – parsely, oregano, basil, coriander, onions, garlic, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla pod
    • Tips and tricks:
      • Drop milk intake to allow room for solids.  Keep up water and juice to avoid constipation 
      • Offer drinks in cups rather than bottles to help development of baby teeth as cup drinking is much faster – minimising contact with teeth
      • Nutritional balance towards strength vs immune boosting – starch, protein, sugar, unsaturated fat for calories and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins
      • Lots of energy rich food with fiber, esp. for breakfast (cereal, fruits) – his biggest meal 
      • Eat small portions but varied types of food, as often as needed
      • Enjoy the possibilities!

    Month 4 Week 1: Each in his own time

    B’s turning into such a delightful little 4 month baby boy!

    Mommy lessons:

    1. Milestone comparison syndrome:  Hubby and I have guiltily caught ourselves saying “he’s 90% on this but only 75% on that” or “he *still* can’t roll over on his own,” etc…. We have to remind ourselves that every child develops at his own pace.  B can’t always be above average, dear! 
    2. Food fussiness:  After weeks of relatively easy and fast bottle feeding, B started getting really distracted — taking 30+ mins to drink 180 ml (6.5 oz) as he tugged on his bib/my hair/anything within grasp, skipping a feed and/or not finishing his bottle at times.  We upgraded his bottle teat to level 2/M for faster flow and also positioned him to face outwards, sitting upright instead with something to hold in his hands.  That has improved things though he occasionally drinks only 4 instead of 5 times a day — even going 10 to 12 hours between bottles!  That said, as his growth has so far been OK, the doc suggested not to worry and wait till month 5 before introducing solids.  I am however starting him on a trainer cup using this all-in-one grow-with-your-baby set
    3. Socialising with baby:  B is becoming more responsive and selective with whom he interacts. He grins, squeals, laughs, babbles away when he’s excited and also has a really loud high pitched cry now when he wants attention! (B has no idea what using your inside voice is … yet). I’ve started to take him to some playdates with fellow newborn mom-friends and signed up for a few infant Meet Up events.  Am also thinking of teaching him baby sign language to help our communication.  Any recs? 

    Baby milestones:

    1. Tummy time everywhere:  He’s been actively doing at least 30 mins now on the playmat, sofa, bed, mama’s tummy, etc.  and seems to (finally) enjoy this more and for longer periods of time.  Once in a while he graces us with a wide grin when he discovers or accomplishes something like moving his hands forward, lifting his head up 90 degrees, making a full push up, etc.  
    2. It’s never too early to read:  Storytime has become a regular part of B’s day and bedtime ritual now.  My parents introduced me to the wonderful world of books very early on and I wanted to do the same for him with series like Go Baby, Baby Touch and Amazing Baby, as well as some great fabric,  musical and classic baby books from friends.  It’s a plus that libraries here are well stocked, in generally good condition and well used.  Can you believe B wasn’t even the youngest member when we signed him up at 7 weeks old?  Kiasu Singapore!
    3. His “I” is emerging – just flow with it: B’s developing strong preferences and doesn’t hesitate to show it.  E.g. When I turn on his mobile and he gets bored, he now uses his fists or feet to change the buttons.  He only likes the activity gym/playmat on our bed; put him down on it elsewhere and he’ll just stare at it, unmoving!  He doesn’t like to be rocked anymore to nap during the daytime and will squirm and squeal loudly; instead put him in his bouncer, rock/sing/shush gently for a few minutes and viola!