Category Archives: tummy time

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! 

Month 3 Week 4: Second time around

No, it’s not my second pregnancy (yet!), it’s just B’s second round of vaccinations and wellness check ups with the doc.  This time, he got jabbed twice (left thigh 6-in-1 series part 2, right thigh pneumoccocal) AND received an oral rotavirus vaccine. What torture! I really wonder if we are over-immunizing our young generation these days…. Poor guy was in tears when the doc was done but calmed down after mommy whisked him out of the clinic with ample hugs, lullabies and rocks later. He thankfully didn’t catch a fever but hasn’t been able to sleep as soundly or eat as much as before.  Do babies feel phantom injections?  It almost seems like he’s reliving the experience whenever he enters light REM sleep…. Hopefully these are just short term side effects of the vaccinations.

On a brighter note, his developmental milestones are tracking nicely at 3.5 months. B remains our long limbed and big headed boy at 7.2 kg (15 lbs 14 oz), 64 cm (25″) tall with a 43.5 cm (17″) head circumference.  Jeremy Lin junior?!  Heh heh. Since his weight gain and overall growth seem okay, doc said no need to start solids till the 5th month or so.  The general rule of thumb seems to be to wait till your baby has lost his tongue protrusion reflex (the automatic ability to push out whatever enters his mouth), can sit with his head upright with minimal support to swallow well, can pick up small items and seems very interested in what we adults are eating.  Lastly, doc also encouraged us to keep working on his neck strength so he can roll over and sit upright with more confidence.  More tummy times for you, darling!

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Month 3 Week 1: 3 month upgrades

The “fourth” trimester brought along several upgrades. Some were unexpected, but each contributed to give us fuller hearts, a livelier home, and an increasingly alert and active baby boy.  To be honest, motherhood is very much a work-in-progress but I do feel more confident and less anxious with B each passing day.

Mommy lessons:

  1. Healthy sleep habits, happy child … and family too: B’s nap and sleep time were disrupted by all the Chinese New Year activity. Unfortunately, that brought back the overtired fussy baby (who we thought we’d literally put to bed by week 6) who needs to be rocked to sleep.  After several exhausting days, we bought a bouncer (the Baby Bjorn Babysitter Balance Air – a true Godsend!) and I introduced a sleep schedule: 7/8a wake up, 3 naps (9/10a, after the mid-day feed, 5/6p) leading into his 9/10p “longer bedtime” before the day starts again at dawn. It isn’t easy to enforce this with the hubby who comes home late and B’s many caregivers and visitors but I’m determined to give him the 15 hours sleep needed for his age
  2. Tummy time is good for you, boy: B hates to exercise (who does?!) and makes me look like a slavedriver when others are around to witness his complaints and whimpers. What does mama do? Sneak in playmat time when the critics aren’t around, carry/burp him head-over-shoulder and allow daytime naps on his tummy (supervised of course). It’s paid off – his neck is stronger, the flat spots (!) on the back of his head get a breather … plus, I don’t seem so evil anymore! 
  3. One unexpected “upgrade”: I am inadvertently on Plan B aka stay-at-home mom until I return to work again (or continue if baby #2 comes along).  Plan A was to return to work after my four-month maternity leave (i.e. end of February) and we had scoped out infant care centers to accomodate that. However, recent personal and office developments led us down a different path. When I tendered at work last week, I felt really conflicted — guilty for wanting to work and guilty for choosing not to. It’ll take time to get used to saying “I’m a stay-at-home mom” vs “I work as X at Y” but I know that this opportunity, however brief, is a blessing and B will be the better for it.  No regrets.

Baby milestones:

  1. Sleeping “through the night:” About two weeks ago (from week 11 onwards), B started regularly skipping one of his night feeds, i.e. waking up just once for a feed between 8p and 8a. As I’m still breastfeeding, I kept waking up every 4-5 hours to express and check on him but eventually realised that he’s REALLY sleeping ~7 hours straight overnight (or at least can quietly self-soothe). What bliss!  I’m enjoying these extra hours of rest after months of sleep deprivation.  Pray for no relapses and longer night sleep.
  2. Physical development:  B does mini push ups, moves his head side to side with greater ease (though he still favours one side more), opens up and clasps his fingers together, reaches for, grips and shakes his rattles, blankie, crib mobile, kick-and-play piano, books, mommy’s T-shirt, etc… and his all-time-favourite – sucks his fist (and thumb).  He briefly sits upright when propped up and can roll over while supported too. 
  3. Social development:  B really enjoys his 1-1 time of chatting, storytelling and singing. He smiles socially, pouts and chuckles on occasion (i.e. when playing peek-a-boo or funny faces) and imitates sticking his tongue out. He vocalises different combination vowels and different tones now and has new distinct  “babbles” when he’s hungry, tired, angry, bored, etc.
  4. New year, new things: We had to upgrade him to a convertible cot bed earlier (thanks, 爷爷) after he got stuck in his crib at night for the umpteenth time. He’s also outgrown his moses basket, newborn/0-3 month diapers, mits, booties, socks and vests. We’ve now switched over to 3-6 month and even some 6-12 month clothes, and passed the rest on to other expectant mom friends.  As for swaddling, forget it!  B is too active — and no amount of wrapping can keep him cosy and warm.  We’ve started using sleeping bags instead and they work like a dream.

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Month 1 Week 1: My amazing new job

At work, we just launched our last campaign of the year “The Amazing Everyday.” While I’ve missed the team and our hive of activity, everyday has also been amazing in my new job at home aka motherhood.  The past few weeks have been quite a blur but my live-in helper and (virtually live-in) parents have helped transform many potentially difficult and dreary days into simple yet amazing ones.

Mommy lessons:

  1. Happy mom = happy baby. Don’t forget to take care of yourself! Nap whenever he does. Leave him with other helpful hands in between those marathon feeding sessions or let him cry just a tad longer so you can take a quick snack, shower or face scrub
  2. The 5 S system. Forget the 6Ms and 4Ps from biz school, learn how to calm a crying baby by simulating the womb environment via Swaddling, lying on his Side (left) or Stomach, Shushing sounds, Swinging and Sucking 
  3. Breast is best BUT it comes with lots of blood, sweat and tears (plus round the clock nursing and pumping sessions)!  Don’t let the “breastfeeding nazis” guilt you into thinking you’re a bad mom if things go awry or you need the occasional relief bottle from being a lean mean milk machine
Baby milestones:
  1. Just when we thought we cracked his cries, he added baby talk sounds like the pre-poop “aaaah” whimper.  And speaking of poop, the oil-on-cottonbud-up-the-ass trick works to help get all that “curried yogurt” flowing ;P
  2. Who’s your mommy? He distinguishes sounds and scents, tracks with his eyes, and (mostly!) calms down now when we bathe him or change diapers
  3. Tummy time progress! He lifts his wee head and turns side to side on his own.  It tires him out though esp. as his head seems to have grown faster than the body (newborns develop top down). Over time, as he gains strength and practice, this should get easier … and fun!

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