Long Weekends

This pretty much sums up how our weekend went 🙂 As we don’t plan to travel with Nat anytime soon, one form of pseudo-vacations with him are staycations (only when there’s good deals of course). It also gives me a chance to escape, which is what I find myself doing quite often these days. Escape from what? I can’t exactly pinpoint. Maybe just the usual weekend routines that aren’t relaxing most of the time.

How shall I make sense of this…

Weekends with a baby are not really different from weekdays. Most of it is because of the choices we make but for valid and good reasons.

1. There are essentially no more late sleep-in weekends.

  • Nat would be hungry by 7am (if we’re lucky). On normal days, he would wake up around 630am.
  • We choose to keep to the same routine on weekends as per weekdays because our work requires us to be out of the house by 710am.
  • It is also much easier to just begin his day ard 7am and then schedule his breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner from there.

2. Weekends are also now characterised by bits of negotiation and lots of planning.

  • We try to bring Nat to visit his paternal and maternal grandparents and occasionally, his Great-Grandfather.
  • I’ve learnt that there can never be absolute parity so we just try to let everyone spend pockets of time with Nat.
  • More often than not, it happens at our own physical expense because it can be very tiring. It is the right thing to do but still, really tiring.
  • Strangely, the most relaxing Sunday we had thus far was when we left Nat to finish his afternoon nap at my mom’s place after lunch and both of us just went home. We didn’t plan for such an arrangement, it just happened naturally since it was time for his nap after lunch. It was relaxing because we simply rotted at home doing our usual brainless stuff, and the best part was that we could do nothing!

I guess these are some reasons why I look forward to the times where I can just get away and be alone i.e. at work, on vacation with HJ and/or during staycations with the kiddo. Sometimes it feels good to just be detached and in my own bubble.

Some days, all I’d really like to do is to chill on my balcony with a bottle of beer. Then I think about the calories and I get a bit more depressed.

But heck, the pull of the baileys irish cream is too strong. I’ll deal with the calories another day.

– CK

Porridge Recipes

Yesterday was Nat’s 7 month vaccination appointment – he received 2 jabs. One for flu and another one I can’t recall. Anyhow, in typical Nat-fashion, there was no fever so yay. The more facepalm thing was that we now have to give him 3-4 meals a day, with fish/pork/chicken porridge for lunch and dinner respectively and still drink 500ml+ milk a day (between meals). So yes I spent last night planning his daily menu for the rest of June :0 

So basically in a day his food routine is now as such: 

7am: wake up milk feed (70 to 90ml)

8am: breakfast rice cereal with a fruit (30ml milk mixed inside) 

<NAP> approx. 1 hour 

1045/11am: fish/pork/chicken porridge with 1-2 vegetable combos i.e. sweet potatoes, spinach, peas, carrots 

12pm: pre-nap milk top-up (30ml) 

<NAP> approx 1.5 hours unless we go out then it’s a cat nap 

230pm: afternoon milk feed (90-120ml) 

3pm: fruit purĂ©e teatime snack 

<NAP> usually the shortest one around 30-45min

530/545pm: fish/pork/chicken porridge with 1-2 vegetable combos (just no sweet potato or broccoli in the evening as they cause wind) 

730pm: pre-sleep milk feed (approx 90ml) 

10/1030pm: last milk feed (approx 90ml) 

Then while reading up, I realize that baby food recipes are very similar to our adult food ones. For example, pork goes well with sweet potato, carrots, pumpkin and apple. Fish goes well with spinach, wakame (seaweed), broccoli, sweet potato. 

So to add to Nat’s list of foods (below), we’ll be trying mainly chicken and pork for the next 2 weeks. 

Carbohydrates: 

  1. Rice cereal
  2. Oatmeal cereal (best mixed with fruit)
  3. Porridge
  4. Brown rice (trying next week) 

Proteins:

  1. Fish – cod, salmon, threadfin 
  2. Minced chicken (trying next week)
  3. Minced pork (trying next week) 

Vegetables: 

  1. Sweet potato
  2. White potato 
  3. Yam 
  4. Spinach
  5. Broccoli
  6. Cauliflower 
  7. Butternut squash (his no.1 pick)
  8. Carrots 
  9. Peas (his strange favorite?!)
  10. Beetroot (trying next week) 
  11. Wakame seaweed (trying next week) 

Fruits:

  1. Apple
  2. Pear
  3. Banana
  4. Avocado
  5. Peach
  6. Papaya 
  7. Grapes 

Exciting and yummy times 🙂 

– CK 

7 month matters 

So Nat turned 7 months just as we went for a 4 day holiday in Hanoi, leaving him with my mom and helper. Thank God all went very smoothly – his daily routines were pretty much the same with some bonuses like going along for park visits with the dog. The only exception was – Nat started drinking much less milk for his morning and last night feed. So now Nat is on a 4-meal plan with milk inbetween, in line with a Heath Promotion Board (HPB) article that we came across. 


While we were away, pics of Nat at mealtimes, sent to us by my mom was something we looked forward to. That lump of orange in his bowl is actually threadfin porridge with grated carrots. 

So anyway, back to the question – why is Nat not interested in his milk as much as before? 

We know that babies who have started solids still need at least 500ml of milk daily (formula and/or breastmilk). 

Nat usually takes 550-600ml in a day but last week, he just didn’t want to take more than 80ml for his last feed at 10pm. Normally, he would drink between 120-150ml in order to last till the morning. 

Then I wonder… 

Maybe it’s time to change to stage 2 milk? 

We have not switched him yet as Nat’s PD asked us to let him continue on stage 1 for 1-2 more months (we forgot to ask why) so at his next vaccination appt, we’re going to enquire if he can move on to stage 2. 

Maybe purĂ©e/solids twice a day isn’t enough? 

So after he refused to drink milk for his 7am feed, my mom mixed his milk with some rice cereal, and he had no issues with that. Then she came across an article in the newspaper about how much babies above 6 months should eat. We basically have to help him structure his meals such that he has breakfast, lunch, teatime and dinner!?


We then incorporated the guidelines in the table above into Nat’s schedule so for the past two days, he’s been having 4 meals with milk top-ups given before his naps and after his solid meals. 

7am: 60ml-90ml milk + rice cereal 

  • Previously he would take 90-120ml of milk but this has not been the case since last week.
  • Initially, I thought maybe his last night feed is too much so he isn’t really hungry in the morning but he has also dropped his demand for milk at 10/1030pm. 
  • However, with the rice cereal, he doesn’t reject the food so I’ll have to check with his PD why this may be the case?

1030/11am: Porridge (with fish/vegetable) for weekdays, and oatmeal (with a fruit/vegetable) for weekends 

  • His favorite is fish porridge with either grated pumpkin or carrots 
  • We’re going to mix with grated sweet potato next week 
  • Oatmeal cereal is best taken with a fruit mixed inside for taste 

12pm: pre-nap milk top-up 

230/3pm: afternoon milk feed followed by fruit purĂ©e for tea time 

  • This was and still is his biggest milk feed via bottle between 120-160ml depending on his extent of hunger 

530pm: evening purĂ©e (1 main vegetable base mixed with either a fruit or another vegetable) + 1 teaspoon rice cereal & 2 scoops milk powder 

  • When Nat first started on solids, we offered 1 main vegetable but we have been giving him combinations of vegetables and fruits for the last few weeks.
  • His evening meal is quite standard as the recommended vegetables that don’t give gas problems are butternut squash, carrots and peas. 

730pm: pre-bedtime milk top-up

10pm: last milk feed 

  • This is the puzzling one that seems to be dropping on its own. 
  • Last week, a mere 90-120ml could last him until the next morning. However, if he takes anything less than that, he will be peckish at 4/5am. 

In summary, this adjustment to his feeding schedule was an interesting development that took place while we were overseas. It also just proves that nothing is too big that free wifi and whatsapp cannot solve. 

Till our next couple getaway 🙂 

– 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 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 

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

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 purĂ©e 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

High Chair Feeds

As a conclusion to our high chair issue, we bought the IKEA one after quite a number of our friends recommended it. At under $30, most restaurants also use it so it will feel like home for Nat. Currently, we didn’t fix the table yet but I guess we’ll do it soon once he starts finger-feeding himself maybe around 6 months?

Nat on his high chair eating his 10am puree

So far so good…

The perks:

  • The high-backing of the chair offers good back support
  • Price tag is very friendly – the seat costs $29.90 while the cushion is an extra $9.90
  • The inside of the cushion is actually inflatable so you can adjust the firmness of it by blowing in more air or simply letting air escape
  • Easy to assemble, as with most IKEA items

Downsides:

  • While the cushion cover can be washed, it gets stained quite easily – depending on how messy the kiddo is
  • Chair can’t be folded/kept away like some other models in the market but if it’s used 2x a day, then makes sense to leave it near the dining area, tucked at one corner

Speaking of puree, Nat was supposed to try bananas this weekend before his 5 month PD appointment tomorrow but the bananas my mom bought still need 1-2 days to ripen. As such, we’ll KIV that till tomorrow.

In terms of what he has tried…

  1. Rice cereal: comforting food
  2. Pumpkin: the best in terms of texture, really really soft
  3. Carrot: so-so as it not as soft/smooth as pumpkin
  4. Sweet potato: can be quite dry and it caused some gassy problems but no adverse allergic reaction
  5. Yam (Japanese sweet potato): really dark purple in colour but after boiling for 30min, texture is very soft

Once we ascertained that Nat had no issues with the above items, we then gave him the individual vegetables with rice cereal and also mixed two vegetables mixed – pumpkin and carrot puree.

Next week, we’ll be trying the banana and I bought a more familiar type of yam (light purple) vs Japanese yam.

Perhaps at tomorrow’s appointment, Nat’s PD will tell us to up his puree to 2 meals a day? Once in the morning and once in evening? The latter is a whole new ballgame because one needs to give the right food and at the right time, in order to ensure that milk isn’t rejected/refused in the process.

We shall see. Exciting times planning his schedule and menu 🙂

– CK

Finding THE Playmat

I’ve put this on the back burner for weeks… whether we should get a rug, mattress or playmat. Then after hours of research coupled with a lucky find over the weekend, we found the perfect playmat for Nat (and our home) – the PE Parklon Folding Mat. It’s thin but firm enough and best of all, it can be folded and kept away!

So the discussion whether to get a playmat was reopened after Nat started flipping almost everywhere – on our bed, the sofa, his crib. The safest place for him to do all his antics was the floor but we only had a small quilt-like cushion for him to lie on.

We went back and forth with the options below but each had its own issues.

  1. Old school mattress: This was the surface that HJ and I learnt how to crawl. In those days, there weren’t all these fancy playmats. It was either the good old mattress or the floor.
  2. Comforter/quilt: My mom has a spare quilt that we could let Nat lie on or do tummy time. However, while it is fluffy, it’s not firm enough to cushion any impact should his head hit the floor.
  3. ‘Permanent’ Playmats: These range from those puzzle pieces to one-piece mats. I was looking at Parklon Bumper Mats from small small world’s estore. However, my main gripe with these mats is that they tend to become quite ‘permanent’ in the living room. If one is okay with that or intends for that to happen, then no issue there but… I really don’t want to have Nat’s playmat left permanently in our living room. No doubt the Parklon Bumper Mat can be folded and kept in a carrier bag but I rather not keep doing that because it may end up having crease lines after repeated folding. I also don’t think it’s meant to be folded too frequently. Cost-wise, I was really reluctant to spend $120++ on a playmat.

So we were stuck until I found the foldable version of the bumper mat – sold on smallsmallworld and Agapebabies. At less than $90 (before discount), it is more affordable vis-a-vis its bumper mat cousin. We were also very lucky because there was a 15% promotion of all Parklon mats last weekend so that was when I decided it was the right purchase. Material wise, the foldable one differs from its bumper mat cousin as it is made out of PE vs. PVC, but both of which are safe and non-toxic for babies/toddlers so PE or PVC didn’t really bother me.

From Agape Babies

 

The mat comes with a bag and can be kept neatly (above pic) when folded. Actually, I didn’t think we had much choice because it was the only playmat that met all my criteria:

  1. It’s thin yet firm enough to cushion any impact even though it’s only 8mm in thickness. The other bumper playmats range from 10mm to 15mm but a difference of 2-5mm didn’t really bother us because it’s mm and not cm.
  2. It is not meant for heavy usage (the description of the mat also states this) and is supposed to be folded. This sealed the deal for me! Nat is usually having his reading/tummy/play time 2-3x a day at most so it doesn’t need to be open at night after we wash him up and put him down to sleep. I also bring my mom’s dog over on weekday afternoons so even if she’s toilet trained to do her business on her pee pad, there’s no way I want to risk having a carpet/rug/playmat permanently laid out in the living room for fear of pee/poop accidents.
  3. The top surface is strangely flat/smooth and not embossed, unlike its bumber mat cousin so cleaning is very straightforward. Note: the design of the foldable mat is one-sided whereas the bumper mat has two-sides. It being one-sided was fine with us because if the under-side is going to come into frequent contact with the floor, we won’t want to flip it so often either.
  4. I love the design – okay, this has nothing to do with its functionality or price but really just my personal preference. It’s subtle, not too ‘kiddy’ and doesn’t clash with my living room decor/furniture. Coincidentally, Nat also has quite a few ‘twinkle star’ items such as his carrier and onesies so now he has a ‘twinkle star’ mat 🙂

Now, we can literally see how our decision to not have 1) a coffee table and 2) a TV are the two best decor-decisions we’ve made with regard to our home. The lack of a coffee table allows us to have the whole living room space for Nat’s mat amongst other things without having to shift anything away. It also provides ample space at night to do our circuit workouts/stretches. As for the TV, I think we’re quite happy as Netflix junkies and do not want Nat getting distracted with screen time.

So this finally concludes the playmat issue!

– CK

H20, Babies and Sippy Cups?

What led to this question was this – ever since Nat was around 2 months, we had family members ask us whether we gave him water in case he gets dehydrated etc. At that point, we clarified that babies under 6 months do not need to drink water as breastmilk/formula milk contains everything they need. However, we did give sips of water to Nat as our confinement nanny told us that formula milk is more heaty vis-a-vis breastmilk. Now, at 5 months and taking into account how he began taking semi-solids at 4 months, I’ve decided to make sips of water a regular thing in the day. Along with this, Nat gets to try out his sippy cup that our friend gave to him for his 1st month 😀

image1.JPG

Related to this topic of H20 and babies, especially when is it safe to give water and how much water to giveI found quite a few helpful articles online:

Most experts suggest that you wait until you’ve started feeding solids to your baby, when she’s between four and six months old.

From: http://www.whattoexpect.com/first-year/feeding-your-baby/giving-water-to-baby.aspx 

This one applies to exclusively breastfed babies – “Exclusively breastfed babies do not require additional water even when it is very hot outside, as long as baby is allowed to nurse as needed.” Whereas for Nat, he has all along been a ‘combo’ baby of breastmilk and formula and since 4 out of his 5 feeds are formula milk, we decided to give him regular sips of water e.g. no more than 20ml each time usually after or in-between feeds. This is to ensure that it does not interfere with his appetite for milk.

As to how much water one should give, ideally not more than 2-3 ounces over 24 hours or as per what your pediatrician recommends.

Then I recalled reading somewhere that instead of using the milk bottle, water can be offered via the sippy cup.

So here are some tips for introducing sippy cups. I think the most important one is finding one with a soft spout vs. a hard plastic one, which is for later on after baby gets more used to it. This morning was pure trial and error because I was not sure if Nat is ‘ready’ but I guess he is since he has no issues with his semi-solids and every time we feed him his milk, he will try to hold onto his bottle. Nonetheless, today I assisted him in tilting the cup backwards so the water could be sucked out so baby steps…

– CK