Fishy Business

So ever since the PD told us to start Nat on fish, we’ve tried 2 types – threadfin and salmon. Cod’s coming up next week. We steam the fish, mash it up and serve with rice porridge. I know, HJ always jokes that Nat’s menu sounds so much more appetizing and healthier that his own. The salmon test was interesting though as we noted that Nat prefers a certain type of salmon meat – those near the fatty belly! 


So this picture was taken today, the final day of food testing with salmon belly meat. Nat took to it quite well and finished the bowl. This was after the decision to experiment and try salmon belly meat. 

Initially, we gave Nat normal salmon fillet but, as you can tell from the picture below, he didn’t really like it. That was a bit strange because he had no issues with threadfin fillet the week before. 


I could also see that the meat texture was more flaky, abit like tuna, so perhaps swallowing it is also more difficult compared to the softer texture of salmon belly meat. As a result, Nat only took a few spoons. 

So thanks to today’s experiment, we now know that it’s not salmon in general that he doesn’t like but he prefers the salmon belly that is more fatty and softer. Yay. 

It’s like the food tasting never ends. We still have a very long list of green leafy vegetables that we’ve not tried but this is what makes it exciting I guess. 

The combination that I currently can’t wait for is salmon, tofu and spinach porridge. Sounds delicious 🙂 

– CK 

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Back to Basics

So it’s been 2 weeks since I returned to office on a 3 day work week. Nat has also been shuttling between our house and my mom’s place. Thankfully, he still sleeps throughout until 6am, functioning as both our alarm clocks. However, we noted that it’s been quite hard getting him to nap for long periods in the day (>1.5hrs). I’m not exactly sure why but the last thing I need is for his day time naps to affect his night time sleep then we’re doomed. We also noticed that he has taken to love sleeping on his tummy, in a crawling position?? Weirdo. 

So on the issue of nap patterns,  this article summarizes some reasons why naps can’t last for longer than an hour. 

Just up till a week ago, Nat sleeps the longest for his 1st and 2nd nap (usually between 1.5 – 2 hours each time). 

His 3rd and last nap is usually under an hour, between 4-5pm, just before his evening purĂ©e. 

Currently, on the days I go into office, he clocks 1hr for his 1st nap, wakes up around 915am and doesn’t want to go back to sleep. By extension, his subsequent naps are brought forward because he can’t and should not stay awake for more than 2.5hrs between naps. 

I also noticed that this does not really happen on the days I am at home in the morning. Usually I’ll let him nap on my bed next to me and he is able to snooze from 8-10am. Sigh… so perhaps, the change in the morning environment (going to my mom’s place or sleeping in his crib at home) plays some role? I’m not too sure. 

Then as I was reading the article, I realized that we have allowed Nat to form certain sleep associations, just by the sheer effectiveness of some of them. 

Sleep Associations – it is the number one reason that a baby will take short naps. If a child is needing to be bounced/rocked/nursed to sleep then when baby wakes up after his first sleep cycle (which is approximately 45-50 minutes long) he will need those same conditions to fall back asleep.  

For Nat, he sleeps the fastest when we smack/pat him to sleep. No bouncing, rocking or nursing. Just firm pats to his butt always does the trick. He has also taken to sucking his thumb/fingers to self-soothe, of which we always try to take them out. 

So could his nap changes be partly attributed to the effects of sleep associations? I am not sure. 

I’ll wait till this weekend and experiment – as to whether Nat really naps longer for his 1st morning nap because he’s snoozing on my bed next to me? 

I won’t label this as a sleep regression episode because he is still able to sleep through most of the night after his last 10pm feed. As and when he’s not able to sleep at 8pm, it is also usually because he’s peckish and wants milk i.e. maybe a growth spurt? 

This is all quite puzzling. Let’s not even talk about the transition from 3 to 2 naps. We’ll cross the bridge when we get there. 

– CK 

6 months and counting… 

So on my first day back at work, Nat also had his 6th month vaccination appointment. His PD then told us we could introduce protein into Nat’s diet! He can also try broccoli, cauliflower and spinach. I think his menu is more exciting (and healthier) than ours. 

So after doing some reading, I’ve decided to delay broccoli until he’s almost 7 months because it can cause gas in babies. 

In terms of what types of foods babies can take at each stage, this article organizes it nicely in a table. 

So far, there’s 3 categories of food that Nat has tried between 4-6 months, they are grains, vegetables and fruits. 

Grains: rice cereal, oatmeal cereal 

Vegetables: sweet potato (Japanese & Australian varieties), yam, carrots, potatoes

Fruits: pumpkin (local and butternut squash), banana, avocado, apple, pear 

Moving forward, these are the new types of foods that we can introduce as advised by Nat’s PD : 

  1. Fish (threadfin, salmon, cod) – I came across this that explains the types of fish that are better suited for baby food
  2. Cauliflower  
  3. Broccoli 
  4. Spinach 

In terms of how milk is balanced out with puree/porridge, the former still constitutes the bulk of Nat’s diet. 

In a day, he has a total of 5 feeds, 3 are full milk feeds while 2 consists of purĂ©ed food. 

Below is Nat’s feeding schedule between 4-6 months in summary.

645/7am: wake up milk feed (120ml)

10/1030am: mid-morning purĂ©e (3-4 ounces) followed by a milk top-up (60ml) an hour later after his bath and just before his 2nd nap only if he is still hungry 
230pm: full milk feed (150-180ml) 

530pm: evening purĂ©e (3-4 ounces) followed by a milk top-up (60-90ml) an hour later only if he’s peckish 

10/1030pm: final milk feed (160ml) to last him until 6/630am the next day 

I think we would also let Nat try feeding himself via putting bite-sized food pieces into his mouth. So far, we’ve given him baby biscuits and fruits i.e. half a banana to gnaw at. Most of the time, the food ends up everywhere else but his mouth. Owell, we all have to start somewhere right. 

What I find amusing is that ever since I started planning Nat’s menu, we also started eating fruits on a daily basis haha. 

Exciting (and healthy) times ahead. 

– CK 

Escapism 

I could do with such a life, just lounging by the pool. Now with Nat, we take turns to do laps while one of us accompanies him. What’s missing, that I’ll try to remember for our next staycate is some booze and a book.  Anyhow, I think where this all stems from is possibly my need to escape. Escapism – the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities… 

So yes, after 6 months of maternity and childcare leave, I am going back to work tomorrow.

In retrospect, I think 5 months away from the office is the sweet spot. 6 months may be a tad too long?

It was a little frustrating in the last few weeks – because I was facing a baby, helper and dog daily.

I’ll be honest, the initial months after Nat was born were really about coping and just staying on top of things with regard to ensuring baby eats, sleeps and poops well. Thereafter, once our helper arrived in February to assist with the household chores and some aspects of babycare, I think I got bored. Nat was also on a routine that required minor tweaks as the months went by but things were predominantly the same. This is going to sound crazy but I look back on the first 3 months fondly, where it was just the two of us, coping and eventually getting the hang of caring for a newborn.

So fast forward a few months, I guess the more irritated I got staying home all day, the more I wanted to escape at any chance I could. Lunch/dinner meet ups, grocery runs, massages to fix my right neck & shoulder, jogs around the estate, going to the gym, doing laps in the pool… I just had to get out of the house.

Maybe after going back to work, and only being home on Mondays and Tuesdays, this feelings will become less pronounced and I may yearn to just be at home more.

People are like that. I guess I’m like that.

The grass always seems greener when you’re on the other side of the fence.

T-1.

– CK

M Day 

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Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and I could not help but search for some funny Pinterest quotes. Some of them are quite hilarious but this one stood out because it’s too true. Even till today, some of the best advice comes from my mother. Then I think about the past 6 months being a mom to Nat and the main reflection I have is that I should not be so paranoid about things, which intensified after he fell off the bed.

I/we cannot protect him from everything. He has to fall and fail, in order to learn to get back up on his feet without me/us being a crutch.

The irony – after I had typed the last sentence, Nat almost fell off his rocker chair! HJ forgot to strap him in but thankfully I saw him in the mirror and we stopped it in time *deep breath*.

T-4 days (till work). 

More excited than anxious. 

– CK

 

Everybody Dies.

Over the weekend, we were shuttling between two hospitals. My maternal Grandpa was warded on Thurs and should be discharged soon. Then on Friday, my paternal Grandma underwent an op for her heart and is in ICU until she can go to the normal ward. I generally don’t deal with such issues very well. I am avoidant because I have difficulty accepting that one day, they are no longer going to be here.

Everybody dies. I know.

I just dread dealing with all the emotions that come along with it.

– CK

Time Extension 

I was supposed to go back to work today but I had to extend my childcare leave by 2 weeks while we work out childcare arrangements involving my mom and helper on the 3 days that I go into office. So I get 14 more days to spend with this little rascal 🙂 

Some preliminary thoughts… 

I think I could do with having both work and Nat in a week. Though I’m sure the 3 days in office is just the minimum amount of time I’ll be spending on work. Yet, I need to be mindful to not swing the other way and enter my “workzone” especially when I am at home and Nat’s awake. This reminds me of his newborn days when everyone advised us to catch up on sleep whenever the baby naps. I guess now, we will be trying to catch up on work whenever he naps. 

Thus far, we’ve also been very fortunate to be able to have a regular weekly routine going. Every Friday we would bring Nat out in the evening and every Sunday, we’ll drop him at my mom’s place so that we can go out to do things that we won’t be able to do with Nat i.e. foot/back massages and watching movies. 

Moving forward, we’ll probably swap them around because my new office would be in town so it would make sense to go out without the kid on Fridays and then bring him out on Sunday evenings. 

T-14 days. 

I just hope I don’t take too long to get back into the hang of things. Afterall, Nov 4th 2016 (the last day I was in office) is a very long time ago. 

– CK 

The First Fall

Yup. Nat rolled off the bed this afternoon. It was during his last nap. HJ tucked him in and barricaded him between our pillows. Initially, we heard some faint sounds, then suddenly he let out a louder cry. When I first entered the room, I could not find him on the bed!? In my head I was like “where the f*** is Nat!?” Then I think saw him on the floor in-between my bedside table and the bed, near the rattan chair. I screamed and picked him up. He stopped crying in 3 seconds? I was still in shock. It could have been worse. I think having the table and the paper bag next to it meant that when he rolled off, he did not hit the ground immediately.

We did a quick physical check. He was conscious, no blood, no bump. The side of his forehead was slightly red though. No vomiting. He could still laugh. We did not let him go back to sleep. Instead, we had to monitor and see if he had any odd behavioural changes.

Thankfully, all seemed okay.

  • We let him listen to some music – he was engrossed as usual with the iPad screen.
  • I read him his favourite books – he was following the pages and pictures.
  • We let him play with favourite chain toy – he was grabbing and bringing it to his mouth.
  • He was peckish around 530pm so we fed him his evening purĂ©e – appetite still as good.

So I guess all is well as of now. Thank God.

Note to self: kids are more hardy than we give them credit for, it’s the adults that need to take a chill pill.

However, we also learnt a lesson the hard way literally – that it is no longer safe to leave Nat alone on a bed anymore, even if he’s sleeping. Though he cannot crawl yet, he’s proven to be able to “slug” his way from one end of the bed to the other.

Sigh…

– CK