Baby Furniture Rearrangments

Ever since Nat started sitting up and getting on his fours, we decided to shift around his furniture. As such, his playpen is now in our living room (-.-) while his playmat is now at my mom’s place. His crib is still in our room but soon…… we’re going to move it into his room. I’m prepared to move him this weekend but HJ would like him to snooze in our room for a while longer haha so maybe, we’ll experiment around 8-9 months?

So the main impetus for this is that Nat is rarely on his tummy nowadays, he’s always either sitting up or on his fours trying to crawl.

Moreover, since he’s over at my mom’s place 3 days a week, we decided to just leave his playmat there permanently. Then on the days he’s at home, he’ll be playing in his playpen or on our beds.

The perks to this arrangement is as such:

  1. Safety – The playpen is a much safer alternative compared to our beds or the playmat because if he loses balance and falls forward or backwards, he’s already on the playpen mattress. This was the mattress that Nat used to sleep on when he was between 1-5 months before we lowered it.
  2. Convenience – We can still see what he’s doing inside the playpen when we are at the dining area or kitchen. Then when our helper takes in the clothes to fold, she also does it on the sofa so someone is always looking out for him at any one time. Then when it’s time to read his books, we just lift him out of the playpen as the sofa and rattan chairs are all located next to it.
  3. Dog-friendly – Previously, with the playmat, we had to fold and keep it whenever Cookie came for fear that she may mistake it as her pee pad, which she conveniently picked her toilet to be smack infront of my living room display shelf. Now, with this playpen, Nat can still have his playtime while the dog is freely roaming about so both of them can do their own things concurrently.

The downside to this arrangement is…

  1. Clutter – Our living room floor space now has a playpen smack in the middle. Though it has wheels, there’s only so much place left to wheel it aside.
  2. Empty nursery – Nat’s crib being in our master bedroom while his playpen is now outside in the living room means that his diaper trolley is also occupying a corner of our room. Thankfully there’s ample room to walk from our bed to the toilet after fitting in his crib, diaper trolley and a stool. On the other hand, there is a blank space in his room, which is meant for his crib. Hopefully we can move him out soon (say at 9 months?)

 

Sigh… it’s like the balance between baby-related necessities and household decor is a tough one to maintain. Previously when deciding on any household items, it was always form vs function. Now, it’s form vs function vs baby haha!

Originally,  I was prepared to shift him out this Friday (always experiment when the next day isn’t a work day!) but HJ read some articles about how it is recommended for baby to sleep in the same room for the first year. So now, I guess 3 of us will be stuck in the same room for the next few months.

I mean the biggest perk of having his crib next to us is that if Nat were to suddenly wake up at 5/530am, soothing him back to sleep is much easier compared to if we had to walk out into the adjacent room. However, I think there is merit to having Nat sleep on his own. Who knows? Maybe after a few minutes of fussing on his own, he can fall back to sleep again. Currently, we have to fight the urge to sooth him the moment he cries because if left on his own for 1-2 minutes more, we notice that he actually just goes back to sleep.

To date, we are still trying to be consistent in upholding the following when it comes to nap/bedtime:

  1. Minimal assistance in helping him sleep i.e. let him fuss for 10 minutes or so, which further tires himself out so he’s really on the verge of sleeping
  2. If we have to intervene, keep patting to approx. 5 minutes such that he is drowsy but still awake so he can fall asleep on his own

It’s hard, because it’s so much easier and faster to just pat him until he’s 100% asleep but no, the ‘struggle’ for them to fall asleep without much help from us is a necessity.

– CK

Bedtime Battles? 

We thought once Nat started snoozing through the night at 4 months, we’ll have it good but no. I think after 6 months, it’s a whole new ballgame. We noted that Nat recently developed a habit of resisting going down to sleep at 8pm. Either that or some nights, he’ll suddenly wake up ard 4/5am crying and HJ will usually carry him out of the crib to soothe him back to sleep. Last night I volunteered to wake up. Since I’m sick and can’t sleep properly with my stuffy nose, why not just deal with the baby when and if he wakes right. 

Then I wonder what could be causing his recent bedtime battles? 

Some nights he will knock out from 1030pm until 6am (hooray!). Other nights, there will be one sudden awakening in the wee hours and it’s not for milk. It’s like he just wants to be carried/soothed back to sleep and invade our bed. 

Could it be his day sleep habits? 

I don’t think so. His day naps are quite regular. In total, he gets avg 4 hours of day sleep and he’s up by 530pm for his evening purée. Between naps, he gets 2-2.5 hours of waketime. 

Could it be overtiredness? 

For some nights yes. When we go out for dessert after dinner or to run errands and Nat’s wash up/bedtime routine gets delayed so he may be overtired on those days i.e. staying awake longer than 2.5 hours. 

Could it be his diet? 

Maybe that was the case for yesterday – when we tested him on Tofu (protein) but it caused some wind/gas in his tummy. The best way to tell whether wind is causing problems is when baby is alright sitting up but cries when put to lie down. So some stomach oil and massage usually does the trick.  

Perhaps it’s this… 

I came across an article that talks about how the inability of baby to fall asleep on their own i.e. dependence on something/someone else to sleep can contribute to night awakenings. 

We are totally guilty. 

I think from the newborn stage until 5 months, smacking/patting Nat to sleep was effective but guess not anymore. 

Half the time, he’s able to sleep on his own, but it’s mostly for day-time naps. 

It’s the night time sleep that it’s the hardest to sleep on his own. We try our best to only intervene if we have to i.e. crying due to hunger or crying due to overtiredness. When that happens, putting him on his side with a few firm pats to his butt works most of the time. On difficult evenings, we got to pat for a while more longer (15-20minutes). 

What I had to tell HJ to resist doing was carrying Nat up from his crib immediately once he cries and bringing him to our bed to be soothed back to sleep. Ideally, Nat needs to be soothed back to sleep in his crib, not anywhere else. 

So I guess we got to go back to the drawing board and reapply our earlier sleep training practices.

  1. Put baby down in crib drowsy so he can fall asleep on his own 
  2. Comfort/soothe in the crib as opposed to carrying baby out immediately  
  3. If no. 2 fails, ascertain if baby is hungry/puckish. If we have to carry Nat out of his crib, we should still put him back in his crib to try and fall asleep 

– CK 

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 purée. 

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 

Back in Business

Nat has returned to sleeping till 7am for the past 2 nights, hopefully his early awakening remains just a phase that has passed. Actually there was a blindspot – too short waketime in the morning, which our friend then advised us to try and put him down to nap later around 830/845am. Nat’s length for his 3 naps were also in the incorrect order, with his last one being the longest, that affected night sleep. I am just so glad that we’re not alone in trying to understand baby sleep and how everything is connected (naps, waketime, feeding etc.)

So now that we’re back in business to having a continuous night’s rest… I was able to consolidate some thoughts based on the past 2 days of experimentation.

Waketime: 

  • By right, for a 5-6 month old baby, they should be able to have 2.5 hours of waketime before the next nap. Nat is able to do this in the day except after his first feed at 645/7am. We would let him fall back to sleep right after his feed so while the other waketimes were being stretched, his early morning one was stagnant.
  • As such, I’ve started engaging him by reading books and playing music between 715-830am before letting him go down for a nap.

Naps: 

  • By extension of no. 1, his nap times will be pushed back a bit and by right, the first two naps are supposed to be longer than the final 3rd one.
  • However, Nat’s mid-day nap is always the shortest except on Friday where he napped from 1230-115pm. This was much later and longer than usual. Perhaps, his body is also naturally adjusting?
  • So say he wakes up at 10/1030am, his 2nd nap should be 1230/1pm followed by his last nap at 3/330pm. Then the length of his last nap is supposed to be the shortest since it is a bridging nap to evening bedtime.
  • However, not all babies go according to plan and when I experimented, Nat still snoozed the shortest for his 2nd nap (we were out at a family lunch) before clocking 1h55mins for his 3rd nap. Thankfully he woke up naturally before 5pm, if not I would have had to do what I am reluctant to, which is to wake him up.
  • I guess for now, especially on days we have lunch appointments, I am okay with his mid-day nap still being shorter as long as his total day time sleep does not exceed 4/4.5 hours.

Never wake a sleeping baby? 

MYTH. Debunked here.

I am aware of this and have roused Nat from his sleep by 530pm a few times before because if he’s allowed to nap beyond that, he won’t be tired at 8pm and night sleep will be compromised.

Of course now the challenge is to explain this to my mom and helper who will be his main caretakers when I return to office in mid-May. At most, there may be a bit of inconsistency but at least I will be the key person enforcing his routine 4 days a week when I’m not in office.

My principle is as such – there are certain times when it is legit and necessary to wake a sleeping baby. I also certainly don’t want to compromise night sleep or deal with repeated early awakenings. So as peaceful as Nat’s face may look when he’s napping, when I have to rouse him, I have to rouse him.

I also know some babies have greater sleep needs so for Nat, so I’ve included some flexible leeway. For example, while experts recommend no more than 3-4 hours of day time sleep for babies at 5 months, ill cap his at maybe 4.5 hours? So depending on the time he goes down to nap for his final one, 530pm is my current absolute deadline.

Sigh… so complex but necessary to understand and experiment.

Hoping next week will continue to be fairly stable 🙂

– CK

Sleep Regression Woes 

So… for the past 4 days, Nat started waking up around 4/5am crying 😦 We thought it was due to the introduction of evening puree, and thus maybe he was not getting enough milk calories but we also noted that before evening puree started, he was unable to nap in the PM last Sunday. Hence, it is very likely a sleep regression phase, coinciding with a possible growth spurt and introduction of evening puree => 3-in-1 combo that basically obliterated his usual schedule.

It was really mind-boggling because when it happened on a day-to-day basis, we could not see the big picture to ascertain what was most likely the culprit? Everyday was a trial and error experimentation, especially since evening puree had been introduced to the picture.

It helped that everything was recorded down so that we could analyze it to check for any patterns.

We also had to ensure that we adhered to certain feeding guidelines given to us by the PD:

  1. First purée of the day – mid AM (10am)
  2. Second puree of the day – before 6pm (once Nat woke up from his PM nap)
  3. Depending on puree intake, top up milk accordingly i.e. if a full bowl (4 ounces is given, no need milk top up)
  4. Keep the 10pm last feed, before 11pm latest (too late = bad for gum health)

Below is the log sheet of the series of confusing events that occurred over the past few days…

Sunday (16/4): [the afternoon his nap regression began]

  • 330pm – suddenly woke up from nap and could not sleep again despite us trying to coax him for 1h+ *** THIS was the start of the sleep regression, that we missed, thinking it was due to the introduction of evening puree ***
  • 6pm – rice cereal (4 dessert spoons with 40ml milk) *wasn’t completely finished
  • 645pm – went to sleep without any milk top-up, too tired after missing his PM nap
  • 9pm – drank 140ml (last feed)
  • 140am – woke up hungry, we gave 40ml *we didn’t think much of this at that time because his last feed was quite early and, his schedule for the day was messed up already so we thought it would be a one-time episode (so so wrong haha!)

Monday (17/4): [Vaccination day, no puree]

  • 610pm – 175ml in the car
  • 835pm – 60ml suddenly hungry
  • 1115pm – 60ml (last feed) *we didn’t rouse him at 10pm as he fell asleep around 9pm only 
  • 440am – hungry, gave him 40ml milk *we didn’t think much of this as it was expected? since his last feed was only 60ml 

# This also ruled out our first hypothesis that his 4/5am awakenings was due to the introduction of evening puree because we gave him his normal full milk feed after the PD appointment in the car. 

Tuesday (18/4): 

  • 545pm – rice cereal (4 dessert spoons with 40ml milk)
  • 620pm – 100ml (could not finish the last 20ml)
  • 8pm – 40ml (peckish, could not sleep)
  • 835pm – 60ml (still peckish) *potential growth spurt alert!
  • 1020pm – 120ml (last feed)
  • 445am – woke up crying, we gave 30ml water^, Nat went back to sleep

^We experimented with water because after Nat was able to drop his MOTN feed, the last thing we want is to re-start a habit of early AM awakenings for milk

Wednesday (19/4): 

  • 535pm – rice cereal (4 dessert spoons with 40ml milk)
  • 550pm – 60ml milk (part 1)
  • 645pm – 50ml milk (part 2, could not finish remaining 40ml)
  • Not peckish at 8pm+ *maybe because he consumed part 2 of his milk close to 7pm
  • 1030pm – 130ml (could not finish remaining 20ml) *possibly due to the short interval between his part 2 milk feed at 645pm? 
  • 415am hungry, gave 60ml milk but a bit diluted^

^ Reason for this is because his wake up feed was 645/7am and we try not to encourage the habit of large feeds between 11pm and 6am. Afterall, Nat had been sleeping through since end-Feb so we very much like to get back to that.

Thursday (20/4): 

  • 145pm – only drank 100ml (usually he takes 180ml)
  • 335pm – suddenly woke up mid-nap hungry, gave 80ml but he could not go back to sleep until after 1hr of coaxing!
  • 6pm – pumpkin and rice cereal puree (2/3 bowl)
  • 7pm – only drank 30ml (I decided to give an hour break to see how much milk top-up he could taken but he wasn’t that hungry)
  • No hunger pangs at 8pm+
  • 950pm – 160ml (last feed)
  • 245am – woke up crying but…. could be coaxed back to sleep within 5-10 minutes without any milk or water required (Thank God!)

So some preliminary conclusions:

  1. Main culprit = most likely sleep regression because both PM naps and night time sleep is disrupted, sometimes he’s hungrier, sometimes he’s not and it all started on Sunday PM, even before evening puree began
  2. It seems that he is able to last through the night as long as his last feed is big enough i.e. 150ml minimum so even with a sleep disruption, he’s not hungry and can be coaxed back to sleep

Today will be another day we cross our fingers and hope it ain’t too destabilizing. Though when all this is happening, I am reminded that I have to just be more flexible and to go with the flow, while also sticking to an overarching routine.

This article nicely summaries what sleep regression is, when it may usually happen, and how to survive it. We’re still not 100% sure what Nat is going through so we’ll just try our best to adjust accordingly.

So for now, our coping mechanism, which we successfully applied yesterday is to try and sleep earlier so that if Nat were to wake up, we are not too zombie the next day.  Before last night, we were totally zonked in the mornings because of his 4/5am awakenings. I still marvel at how we could wake up at 1am and 4am last time but once we started sleeping 6-7 hours straight, it’s physically exhausting to even have 1 night awakening.

Hopefully this will pass soon…

– CK

Dropping Naps? 

Here we go again… Nat’s going to be 5 months next week and his sleep patterns may be changing again. This morning, we failed to wake up at 7am to give him his first feed of the day. We only woke at 8am to find him still sleeping?! Then because he woke up later, he skipped his early morning nap and only napped again at 1130am.

Does this mean he can go on longer than 7hours at night without being hungry? 

Should we move his last feed a bit earlier or his first feed later? 

I honestly have no idea. 

Amidst the above questions I have, I read about the 3 to 2 daytime nap transition but that usually happens after 6 months so I’m not in a rush to have him drop naps yet until he’s ready to. He had previously moved from 4 to 3 daytime naps quite fast around 3 months+ so I don’t hope to see another drop so soon. This is because babies between 4-12 months still need to sleep between 12-16 hours in a day – 4 to 5 hours of daytime naps (7am to 7pm) and 9-10 hours in the night (after 7pm).

Currently, his daily schedule is one where he naps 3x and feeds 5x. This has been fairly consistent since he was 3.5 months old.

  • 645/7am: wake up feed #1
  • 745-945am: nap #1 (1.5 hrs)
  • 1015am: puree & milk feed #2
  • 11am: bath time
  • 12-1pm: nap #2 (max. 1 hr)
  • 130/2pm: milk feed #3
  • 230/245-5pm+: nap #3 (max. 2.5 hrs)
  • 6/630pm: milk feed #4
  • 7/730pm: wash up
  • 8pm: sleep
  • 10/1030pm: final milk feed #5

The only thing that Nat successfully dropped is the 11/1130pm dreamfeed when he was approaching 4 months so now his 10pm feed is the last full one of 160-180ml. Our PD had advised us to drop the dreamfeed if it’s not necessary because she said it’s not good for their gum health if they drink milk so late at night. Apparently the 10pm feed has to drop also but not so soon? It will usually happen when baby starts taking semi-solids in the late afternoon/evening.

So back to his potential routine changes… we’ll start some experimentation tomorrow -> the plan is if Nat isn’t awake/hungry before 7am, we won’t rouse/feed him. Then by 730am I’ll feed him and see whether he will still go down for a morning nap. If yes, the time he goes down to nap would help me better ascertain what is his waketime “sweet spot” before becoming overtired.

Guess there will be much more of such trial and error experimentation this coming month.

In other news, it’s day 1 of sweet potato puree tom 🙂

– CK

Baby Room Reorientation 

So this happened because we were all worried about Nat potentially flipping and going over the higher platform of the playpen at night. The mattress on the floor idea was thrown out the window the moment we saw a cockroach yesterday. So HJ came up with the idea to swap the cot and playpen, at least this way Nat will sleep safely in his cot in our room and we still have the playpen in Nat’s room to change his diapers/clothes and for him to nap in the mornings.


This is the best we can do within the space constraints of the nursery. 

Playpen – currently used to change his diapers/clothes on the platform. We’ll eventually lower the platform for Nat to play inside. 

Diaper trolley – I insisted that even if the cot was coming to our room, there was no way the diaper trolley was entering our room as well so thankfully it still serves its purpose next to the playpen. 

Feeding chair – This huge piece of furniture, that was part of my living room sofa set but can’t fit in our living room is most frequently used by HJ to do the 630am wake-up feed. When Nat was a newborn, this was also where HJ read his Winston Churchill book to Nat, of which it always made the latter fall asleep. Some nights I also hide in the nursery and watch my online shows on this chair so we’ll definitely be keeping this here for as long as possible. 

Side table – Currently housing Nat’s night lamp, bottle warmer and basket of wet ones (kept in the shelves of the side table). Eventually we’ll move the wet ones someplace else and keep Nat’s toys there so it is within reach for him. 

Bookshelf – My favorite part of Nat’s room that contains his books and other miscellaneous items such as his medication box and memorabilia box for cards and such. 

The current downsides to this new arrangement that needs some adjustment is… 

1) I need to walk a bit more and avoid the corner of the cot before I reach the toilet. 

2) If Nat needs to be patted/soothed to sleep, we may have to stand and do it whereas previously I could sit on my small rattan chair next to his playpen, which was shorter/smaller. 

The main pro? 

1) The side of the cot can be adjusted upwards so he can’t fling himself over. In the picture above, the side is up.

Good news is today is night 1 of this new arrangement and Nat was able to fall asleep in his cot with no big issue.We’ll see how the rest of the night turns out. 

Sigh… 

– CK 

Sleeping Arrangements?

Now that Nat has learnt how to roll over and turn, he can’t stop doing it! He does it in his crib before/after his bath, during diaper changes, in his night playpen when it’s time for him to sleep and of course on our bed. So one question that I have is, after he can start to crawl and potentially fall over his crib/playpen because the current platform is quite high, where does he sleep !? or rather, what is a safe sleeping arrangement?

WhatsApp Image 2017-03-27 at 12.54.15 PM.jpeg

Currently, Nat sleeps in our room inside a playpen on the higher platform. During the day, he naps on my bed because I’m still on leave. He is also able to sleep in his crib during the day but because our camera monitor connection isn’t working in his room, we stop letting him sleep there in January this year.

There’s an article about sleeping options so here are some arrangements we can explore:

1. Playpen in our room – We have the option to remove the higher level of the playpen’s platform but the lowest one is more for Nat to play inside and/or nap during the day. At night, I don’t think it is suitable and it would be back-breaking for us to keep bending over once we remove the higher level platform.

2. Crib in Nat’s own room – We’ll let Nat take his morning nap in his crib once I go back to work, after we fix the camera monitor connection. The crib platform can be adjusted to different heights so it’s a viable a long-term option when Nat starts to crawl and eventually walk. However, HJ would like Nat to bunk in our rooms until he is 1 year old so I don’t think he would be happy and/or approve of Nat sleeping separately in his own room so soon. Can we wheel the crib into our room while the current playpen bed goes out to our living room? It is possible but… space-wise though our master-bedroom is big enough to house the crib, I rather have more space. For the immediate short-term, I’ve already had to put bumpers around in case he knocks his head while turning.

WhatsApp Image 2017-03-27 at 12.27.10 PM.jpeg

3. Small mattress on the floor next to our bed – I am currently very keen on this approach. I mean if there’s anywhere “safe”, it’s somewhere that he can’t fall down from right? However, this would entail that we have to literally go down to his level and babyproof our room such that there are no hazards such as electrical cords, small and harmful substances that he can consume e.g. small items and face/skin cream within his reach. So the idea is that Nat can sleep on the mattress at night until it’s time to move him into his own room. I don’t think there is a definitive ‘right’ time to move the baby to his/her own room but for me, the sooner the better whereas for HJ, he would like to be in the same room with Nat at night so we’ll have to reach a compromise eventually.

– CK

 

Baby Staycation 101 

Thanks to my Grandpa who has 7 days worth of Amara vouchers, the family is taking turns to have staycations. For now, because it’s only in Singapore, things are still pretty easy but I’m quite sure after this, we will travel in June without the kiddo (then it would be considered a true vacation!) With Nat, so many things need to be brought along for just 1 night and most of our schedule is also dependent on when he needs to feed and nap.

Packing: Bring extras for everything baby-related… like really everything because you never know if they will pee/poop/puke on their clothes. This applies to diapers and all milk-related items too unless one is exclusively breastfeeding. Things like bolsters that help baby to sleep better is also necessary to create a sleep environment that is closest to home. As babies can’t use the soap/shampoo provided by hotels, there’s a need to pack their bath items separately too.

Feeding: As I’m still pumping, I chose to bring the Spectra as it’s way more effective than my other manual pump. So below are just some of the “extra” things one needs to bring just for the baby if bottle-feeding. I refuse to bring a bottle warmer so a hot kettle, boiling water and a cup works just fine. Of course it’s easier to just let Nat latch on but nah… his milk intake is already quite erratic this week so I rather know how much he’s drinking as opposed to latching where I’ll have no idea. So what happens to the milk pumped out? Kept in the fridge and then made warm using the old fashion way of boiled water.



Activities: After checking in, it was time for Nat’s feed and PM nap so while the kiddo and HJ slept, I went to the spa! Was originally planning on going to the gym but my whole back has been aching after carrying Nat in the carrier to shop at Bugis Junction last Saturday so better not.  We got lucky with our dinner venue at the restaurant TENDON at Tanjong Pajar, which was usually very packed at lunch and dinner times with very long queues, but still had seats available when we walked in at 6pm!

This morning, Nat managed to get some swim time in the bathtub because we forgot to pack our swim wear! Next time we’ll definitely go to the pool.

Since he was still much smaller than the tub, he was able to kick from one end to the other whereas in the inflatable pool at home, he could only tread water and/or move in circles.

Sleep-wise, we were crazy enough to do an experiment – to listen to Nat’s body, forgo the dreamfeed and see if he still needed a MOTN feed. Most important guideline to follow, only sleep train or do sleep experiments if one does not need to wake up to work the next day. Here’s how it went:

620pm: Seemed hungry (last feed was 4hrs ago) but he only drank 60ml then fell asleep at 7pm

805pm: Hungry and drank 120ml before sleeping at 915pm

We didn’t top up with any dreamfeed and as we rightly predicted, he was hungry at 230am so we fed him 60ml to last until 6am

Verdict: Nat still needs a dreamfeed to last through the whole night and we are 90% sure he’s gonna be bunking at my mom’s if we travel in June. Seriously.

– CK

The Queer 4th Month

Queer because most literature I’ve read says strange things will happen this month – the most dreaded being sleep regression. So after 2 weeks of nighttime bliss when Nat slept through and woke up at 6am+, the streak has been broken. On two different days, he awoke at 4am hungry because he wasn’t able to take a full last feed. He also has taken to finishing a full feed in two parts which makes me wonder whether he is ‘rejecting’ his formula because even when hungry, it takes a long time for him to finish a feed.  This is a strange period indeed.

Even his morning tummy time has become sluggish. I don’t blame him, I mean who isn’t groggy after waking up at 4am haha

Thankfully two very crucial things remain constant…

  • Nat seems to still be interested in his books (hooray for the Kino sale over the weekend)

  • Nat can still go down for a nap with relative ease after his wake time

I think if his eat/wake/sleep routine gets totally uprooted, I don’t know what I’ll do.

So now to solve the other mysteries…

Milk In Segments:

  • When he’s hungry, finishing 150ml at one go isn’t a problem but the last 30ml needs to be separate because he likes his milk warm. If we give 180ml in a bottle, he won’t finish the last 40-50ml because by he time he gets there, the temperature is no longer warm. As Nat takes both breastmilk and formula in the day time when we’re at home, I usually give 100ml breastmilk followed by 60ml formula. If he isn’t hungry enough to finish everything, I rather he waste the formula than the precious liquid gold aka breastmilk.
  • We have also changed the teat to his appropriate age i.e. 3months+, medium flow (not the variable flow one which is meant for thicker liquids) so it’s not a case of the milk flowing out too slowly, making it challenging to finish the whole feed. As such, I don’t have a definite solution to this segmentation of his milk intake – or is a solution even necessary? As long as he finishes his feed (160-180ml) in a sitting, does it really matter if it’s taken at one shot?
  • We’ll definitely let his PD know about this at the upcoming appt this Friday and see what she says. I suspect maybe he isn’t that interested in his current formula anymore but am not sure if it warrants a switch because the whole point about Nestle NAN HA (hypoallergy) is that it is the closest tasting to breastmilk… but if Nat is going to be weaned off breastmilk soon, does the resemblance of the formula’s taste to breastmilk still matter?

The Return of the MOTN feed: 

  • On nights with a dreamfeed (60ml just before we sleep around 1130pm), Nat still sleeps through the night so it isn’t so bad. We are very very grateful as it is already that more often than not, we get to sleep for 7 hours straight. It’s only those nights where he isn’t able to finish a full 180ml bottle at his last feed around 10/1030pm that he wakes up hungry ard 4am.
  • This then links to the milk mystery above. When he’s hungry and his last feed was at 6pm in the evening (4hrs+ before), we don’t get why he does only a partial feed? So based on his cues, we don’t feed anymore once he doesn’t want to drink but will sometimes do a dreamfeed before we sleep.

So many questions… to be hopefully resolved (at least partially?) when we speak to Nat’s PD this Friday.

I think one lesson for me to note is that Nat’s schedule is bound to switch from time to time (I just didn’t expect it to adjust every month!) and when things like this happen, maybe it’s time to observe his cues and update his schedule accordingly and not the other way round.

When Nat is ready for semi-solids, there will be a whole new ballgame of structuring his feeds such that it does not negatively affect his night time sleep. It’s really amazing how everything that happens in the day time (feeding and naps) all somehow determines how well the baby sleeps at night. Really also makes me wonder how did we get to our staple breakfast, lunch and dinner meal times. My parents and grandparents certainly did not have so much time to read various books and then apply the literature on us. It was just wisdom from their parents and probably trial and error most of the time and we turned out fine!

– CK