Category Archives: weaning

Month 6 Week 4: Halfway there

This time last year, we were chillaxing in Langkawi for our babymoon/anniversary and I was anticipating my new life with a baby. Not once though did I imagine I’d be a full time mom, let alone enjoy it, most of the time.  This year, we took a staycation at Sentosa – what a strange feeling to be babyfree for 24 hours!  We slept in, ate well and talked about our hopes and dreams for the future including the possibilities ahead of us now that both my parents have long term passes and I’ve received my in-principle Singapore citizenship, as well as when to start work and/or try for #2! 🙂   My dad and mom kindly babysat for us — and sent me regular SMS updates, heh.

B unfortunately caught his first bug which laid the entire household out sick for 2 weeks.  Just when he was sleeping through the night without too much hassle or training, it all went to shambles.  May need to tweak his daily routine to support later morning wake ups (he’s up 5/6a and ready to go, argh), him lasting longer in the afternoons and most importantly, learning to sleep on his own again.  At the moment, he still needs 3 naps in the day and sadly, rocking to drift to sleep, else, he’ll get quite cranky.  Besides this relapse, there’s much to be thankful for.  Feels like he’s growing by leaps and bounds every day:

– Proud owner of 2 bottom front teeth! 😀  Ironically, his first tooth came the day after his 6 month celeb
– Sitting steadily upright, rocking back and forth on his tummy, scoots backwards, moves in a circle with his legs and arms, basically can’t stay still. Crawling soon?
– Fascinated with his fingers, loves to touch, enjoys finger rhymes/games, being tickled esp on his feet and tummy.  Also continuing to learn basic baby sign language
– Loves swimming but our condo pool isn’t the best for infants. May sign him up for Aquaducks instead
– Goes to weekly playgroups now with similar aged infants from my condo complex and our local meet up groups. We take turns to host at our homes.  I’m looking forward to other parent and child activities for us too, including Reggio Emilia discovery at the Blue House.  Quite keen to expose him to this environment
– Saying consonant combo strings now:  babababa, googaa … still no mama though 😦
– Food purees tried so far: avocado, chicken, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, onions, potatoes, spinach, sweet beans, radish, apple, pear, blueberry, plum, mango, papaya, chickpeas, beetroot (not such a fan on the last two tho!)
– Started weaning.  50% mommy, 50% formula milk now. Ahhh… it’s really quite manageable now, though I will still try to gradually decrease (vs cold turkey!)

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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 3 Week 2: No rest for the weary

When B began sleeping longer overnight, I still got up at regular intervals to express milk. However, when I mentioned this to a group of other moms at a friend’s party one night, they told me to just sleep and wake with B instead. What a fantastic “get out of jail” card this sounded to a sleep-deprived newborn mom like me!  So last week, despite my internal alarm clock and tingling boobs, if B was asleep, I’d snuggle back down. Then last Thursday, I woke at ~1:30a with a sudden headache and burning boob!  My left side was inflamed and I spent the next few hours restlessly alternating between a low grade fever and chills after downing two Panadol pills and painfully emptying all the milk I could (a measly ~3 oz/90 ml after 6 hours–eek! vs my usual ~1-1.5 oz/30-45 ml per hour). The next morning, my obgyn and a lactation consultant confirmed that I was showing early signs of mastitis and prescribed antibiotics, painkillers, warm showers, cold compresses, manual pumping and massages for my left boob.  It’ll take longer to express milk  because of the added TLC but this will enable me to recover and keep breastfeeding. Else, I could apply cold cabbages to dry up the clogged milk ducts but this would eventually reduce my milk supply.

I didn’t want to wean yet, so I spent all weekend diligently treating my boobs, drinking fluids and resting in between.  Thankfully the pain and swelling have subsided and my milk output is slowly recovering.  Sadly, the biggest takeaway for me after this incident is simply — breast is best but you get no rest!   Last night, when B amazingly slept a whole 8 hours (from 9p to 5a!), I dutifully woke up midway to express.  Nothing beats a mother’s love and sacrifice 🙂

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