Category Archives: Tips

10 Things You Should Know about Breastfeeding

While preparing for the arrival of my 2nd newborn next month, I am taking time off to write this very long entry, hoping to encourage more moms to join me in this amazing breastfeeding journey too! I hope that whatever i write below can help inspire you to attempt and persevere to breastfeed for as long as you can, cos breastfeeding is a gift that a mom can give to her child only once in his lifetime, once the time had passed, you cannot give this gift again.

Breastfeeding

Before i became a mom, I had never thought much about breastfeeding at all, or even showed any interests to find out more from breastfeeding colleagues. When i hear about breastfeeding my reaction will be “Oh?! Ok…” Only when I was mid-way pregnant with my #1, then I began to question myself if I want or need to breastfeed my baby? But first, if I know nuts about breastfeeding, how am i going to make that decision of to breastfeed or not?

Being a very serious person that always seek to find out the truth myself, instead of depending on hearing what everyone (breastfeeding moms, non-breastfeeding moms, singles, married but no children yet, and even men had tried telling me about breastfeeding when I haven’t gave it a thought at all) had to say, I actually went to the library to borrow many books on this topic to learn what breastfeeding is all about, what are the benefits, how it works, the techniques, tricks, tips, how to troubleshoot, etc. So i studied and i succeeded in exclusive breastfeeding for 18 months despite negative comments, discouragements or challenges from around me! I was able to do so because i already knew what are bullshits that i do not need to heed or entertain, as well as i found two very positive and supportive mommy friends whom i approached for help and advices!

Recalling back, I feel it’s amazing how my body is able to support and provide food for the first 18 months of my son’s life! All his milk intake came from me and i was very happy because my son is my lipo-suction machine as well as he is gentle to our wallet!! I didn’t plan when to stop breastfeeding, some how, one day after midnight, when KD turned 17 months exactly, he decided to stop latching just like that. 🙂 I think I am a lucky one in this sense, i immediately took the cue and start weaning him by extending the time to express my breast milk. The frozen supply of expressed breast milk in the freezer lasts for another month before it is totally depleted and then we started our purchasing of milk powder journey.. ($_$””) [Psst!! And can you imagine? For the next 9 months that followed…. i still have breast milk in my breasts even though i didn’t latch on or express anymore? that’s like WOAH! No one told me that!!]

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Check out KD’s michelin hands and thunder thighs!

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Breastfed babies plump up very easily from birth, by the 3rd month I saw a cute chubby baby in my KD!

I shall not go into details about how breastfeeding works, what you should do etc.. You will be able to easily find theses out on your own if you are really keen about breastfeeding. What I want to share is the 10 things about breastfeeding that I have experienced & learnt and feel it will be encouraging for you to know:

1. CONVENIENCE
I feel the biggest advantage about breastfeeding is convenience – there is no need to wash & sterilize bottles, no need to bring any milk accessories out, no need to wake in middle of night to go out to mix a bottle of milk, you don’t even have to switch on the lights to find your breasts! Thus i always advocate please latch on all the way, unless necessary. One big beauty about breastfeeding is it’s available anytime, anywhere! I don’t feed my baby water cos breast milk is water and i don’t force my baby to drink from a milk bottle too. C’mon! He is so new to this world! Let him enjoys what he loves! *grins* And you know what is the other greatest convenience? You can bring your baby travelling without fear of:
i) him crying on the plane cos of ear pains,
ii) him drinking any contaminated water or food
iii) packing hot water, ensuring enough milk powder,
iv) how to sterilise while outside or overseas etc etc etc

2. NIPPLES SAVER
The BEST nipple cream is actually your own breast milk, try it to believe it! After every feed, just press on your areola to express a little milk and smear it over the nipple. Wait a while for it to dry before covering up. And the BEST way to heal crack nipples is actually your baby’s saliva! Just endure the pain and keeps on latching, the pain will surely go away in a day on its own as compared to not latching and pumping out the milk with nipple cream.. It’s the same as wearing new shoes, you know? Cracked nipples are result from improper latching so your nipples need to be accustomed to your baby and it won’t be pain again. Endure and I swear it heals in a day!

3. NOT ENOUGH MILK MEH?
I am always very puzzled when i heard friends turned new moms tell me they stopped breastfeeding like as early as less one month after delivery, their reason is always not enough supply and when i observed or probed a little, i realised that they do not feed frequently or when baby demands for milk, they continued wearing underwired bras, they want to nap in day and sleep through the night and etc. You must know that your baby controls the milk supply. In the beginning, he may cries often and need to latch on VERY often, it’s very normal.. he is helping you to build up the supply for his needs. Many oldies love to criticise that it’s because you do not have enough milk and thus the baby is always hungry.. simply just latch on, and soon, your supply will meet your baby’s demand and a schedule will be form. And please remember, your baby is growing and will have growth spurts. Thus expect that during his growth spurts you will have to latch on frequently again as he is helping you to build up the supply again to meet his needs. Should you feel your milk supply has dropped, check your breasts for blocked milk ducts. There are also ways to increase milk supply such as having enough liquids intake, ensure ample rest and relaxation, as well as taking nursing tea & supplements. Lastly, DON’T BE obsess with how much milk you can pump out and how much milk your baby is taking at every feed! The logic is the same as you will never pee or poo the same amount of waste every time cos it’s depending on your intake and as for the baby’s feeding, they are like adults, we eat more when we are more active and warm and lesser on days where it’s cool and cosy right? They have appetites too.

4. FEED REGULARLY LEH
I do not really follow a time table to feed my son. I take the cue from him to feed him. However, i make it a point to not let the time in between feeds be longer than 3 hours so if he was still sleeping, i will carry him up, wake him and feed him. If he is too sleepy, you can undress him and stroke his jawline gently to wake him. There are actually many different theories out there on breastfeeding schedule and techniques, there is no wrong ones, just simply choose one method that fits you best. In gists, all theories are in the same direction –> Feed regularly to promote and maintain milk supply. And remember, your breast can never be emptied of milk… as you feed, it’s producing milk too.. So in the time span of feeding your baby, don’t be amazed when you have let down a couple of times.. (Ehem, this is something only women get to enjoy just like the other thing you know?…) It’s good for your baby’s growth and it’s good for the mommy cos the more you feed, the faster you slim down! ;p

5. ONLY YOU~
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Just like it’s you whom carried your baby for 9 months, it wasn’t your hubby, your mom or your mother-in-law.. Breastfeeding to me is the same. It’s a very special way of bonding that can only happen between the mom and child, that NO ONE else can replace. Simply just let others bond with the baby in other ways. There should be no need to express your milk out and allow others to feed the baby instead if you are breastfeeding! Won’t that make things more tedious for every one? You pumping, your baby wailing and some one has to wash and sterilise everything later! If you are going back to work, u can start pumping only the week before and talk to your baby about you going back to work, trust me, he knows. Feed the baby only one or two feeds a day via bottle during the hours that you will be away at work. Don’t need to feel frustrated if the baby doesn’t want the bottle. They are smart, when you are not around, somehow they will know and give in to bottles when they are hungry. I still latched when I am back home with baby or on weekends cos I am a lazy fuss free mom. It’s convenience and bonding at the same time that I love!

6. MOST PRECIOUS AND BEST GIFT
Do you know that the colostrum that our breasts produced during the 1st 3 days of the baby’s life is very precious and good for the baby? Even if you do not breastfeed for long, do it at least the first few days to pass this gift to your child. Once it’s over, you can’t give to him again.
Extracted from La Leche League:

” Your breasts produce colostrum beginning during pregnancy and continuing through the early days of breastfeeding. This special milk is yellow to orange in color and thick and sticky. It is low in fat, and high in carbohydrates, protein, and antibodies to help keep your baby healthy. Colostrum is extremely easy to digest, and is therefore the perfect first food for your baby. It is low in volume (measurable in teaspoons rather than ounces), but high in concentrated nutrition for the newborn. Colostrum has a laxative effect on the baby, helping him pass his early stools, which aids in the excretion of excess bilirubin and helps prevent jaundice. In those first few days it is extremely important to breastfeed your newborn at least 8-12 times each 24 hours, and more often is even better. This allows your baby to get all the benefits of the colostrum and also stimulates production of a plentiful supply of mature milk. Your colostrum provides not only perfect nutrition tailored to the needs of your newborn, but also large amounts of living cells which will defend your baby against many harmful agents. The concentration of immune factors is much higher in colostrum than in mature milk. Colostrum actually works as a natural and 100% safe vaccine. It contains large quantities of an antibody called secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA) which is a new substance to the newborn. Before your baby was born, he received the benefit of another antibody, called IgG, through your placenta. IgG worked through the baby’s circulatory system, but IgA protects the baby in the places most likely to come under attack from germs, namely the mucous membranes in the throat, lungs, and intestines. Colostrum has an especially important role to play in the baby’s gastrointestinal tract. A newborn’s intestines are very permeable. Colostrum seals the holes by “painting” the gastrointestinal tract with a barrier which mostly prevents foreign substances from penetrating and possibly sensitizing a baby to foods the mother has eaten. Colostrum also contains high concentrations of leukocytes, protective white cells which can destroy disease-causing bacteria and viruses. The colostrum gradually changes to mature milk during the first two weeks after birth. During this transition, the concentrations of the antibodies in your milk decrease, but your milk volume greatly increases. The disease-fighting properties of human milk do not disappear with the colostrum. In fact, as long as your baby receives your milk, he will receive immunological protection against many different viruses and bacteria.”

7. BEST SUPPLEMENT & IMMUNITY BUILDER
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Do you know that there are very little supplement that you can give to your child below one year old and yet they are so exposed and vulnerable to all the germs and virus in this world? The special thing about breastfeeding is that we can breast feed all the time, even when we are sick with flu or cold! You should be wearing a mask when you breastfeed your baby when you are sick, and feed before you take your medication. Our breast milk will contain the antibodies for the illness that our body is fighting against and is very good for the baby! Always check with your doctor if you can continue breastfeeding, you can breastfeed unless advise otherwise by the doctor. 🙂

8. YES BABY??
Breastfeeding time is actually a very good time for the mom to bond with the baby. He does not look any where but you (of cos other than that he might be so cosy that he falls asleep!) So, try not to multi task while you are latching on the baby, (though it’s always tempting to check on facebook, reply messages or upload the baby’s latest photos…) You can look at him, admire and remember his features, trying to freeze those touching moments into your memory. Some times i sang to my baby or i just talked to him. He will be very soothed by his mom’s voice. KD was breastfeeded by me for 18 months and he is already 40 months old now. Yet he still remembers that i breastfeed him!! Once in a while, he will come to me and tell me he wants to drink MY milk but i will apologize and reply him no more stock! Haha!

9. YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT
Breastfeeding also make us more aware & conscious of the food that we eat. It’s important that we learn to know our food because certain foods can:
* increase or decreases your milk supply
* provide nutrients to your baby like eating salmon for DHA etc
* cause allergies to your baby
* cause colic & wind and etc
Always keep a mental note on what you have eaten and observe your baby’s output. And you can be adventurous when your baby gets older!

10. YOU HAVE GOT THE POWER!!
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Lastly, to end off, i hope that you know that you have this special gift / ability / power to be your own baby’s only source of food for at least the first 6 months of his life. No one can or should stop you unless you yourself want to.

BREASTFEEDING TIP #1: Especially for new moms-to-be, I will strongly recommend you to go to the library to borrow at least a book on breastfeeding, to find out what it’s all about on your own. After all, breastfeeding does not work out for lazy and half hearted moms… And though women nowadays are are educated but it is not something that comes natural to every women. Breastfeeding is actually science on its own too. 🙂

BREASTFEEDING TIP #2: After completing the readings, make your own notes and go to YouTube for tutorial on how to latch on baby, how to unlatch etc.. Again, it’s not something that all women or babies will know how, some women actually dunno their own bodies well enough, and it’s something where you can’t practise or have hands on tutorials before hand… You just have to learn the techniques and trial and error when you have your newborn in your arms. Lastly, there are many different issues/situations such as some women may have inverted nipples or sleepy baby etc.. ALL THESES, can be troubleshooted and you can breastfeed. There is actually no such thing as not enough milk or cannot breastfeed unless your doctor specifically tells you you have a medial condition that you can’t breastfeed your baby.

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A visit to the S.E.A Aquarium @ Resort World Sentosa

Before I start, this is one place I highly recommend for your family to come! Yes, there are still some fishes missing. But the experience is awesome and magnificent! The moment I entered, I feel transported to another world where I do feel so light hearted and relax! Beautiful! Kd enjoys himself too!

I won’t go into too much details but just share with you images I took while we were there.

Warning:
This is a pictures heavy post!

Tip:
Go on a weekday morning at 10am when it just opened. The crowd is much lesser and you will be able to take pictures comfortably. You can exit and ask for a re-entry stamp and come back again later in the day.

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December is good for movies dates

with our precious children!!

There are so much movies released recently that my 3yo can watch! So I had been bringing KD for a once a week movie date! Just me and my very little boyfriend. How sweet is that? 🙂

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Last week, we watched Hotel Translavania @ Shaw JCube. There is a warning of some disturbing scenes but neither me (a preggie) or KD saw any! Though the movie is full of monsters, but the monsters are really cute! I have to say that the storyline and conversations are not something young children can understand and laugh with, its more for teenage and adults, however KD still managed to sit through the 91 mins long movie because of the cartoons and sound effects. It’s an enjoyable time! Mommy needs a little break from the very active and playful boy too! What’s better and easier than sitting together enjoying a movie in darkness and aircon?

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And that explains why we went to JCube again this week, for another movie date! We went back to Shaw JCube to watch Rise of the Guardians yesterday! I must say this is a nicer and more suitable movie for a 3yo! KD can recognize the Santa and Easter Bunny. But he loves the sand man and tooth fairy too! Of cos, at the end of the movie he loves Jack Frost too! The movie is exciting for kiddos, easy to understand and full of beautiful surprises.

Tip:
1) There is a promotion from now till 31 Dec 2012, that if you purchased a standard price ticket for movie before 2pm(with no discounts), a child age 6 and below can enter for free!

2) What’s better is if you can watch an older release first because the ticket price is only $8.50 compared to a new release at $9.50!

3) There is also a ribena combo set at $5.90, consisting of a ribena and popcorn, which both are KD favorites too!

4) Some cinemas provide booster seats which our shortie child can sit higher and be able to enjoy and watch the movie too. Don’t be shy to ask if they have!

5) If your child had not been to the movies before or you are not sure if he will enjoy and able to sit through a long movie, bring along his favorite food like chocolates, tiny biscuits or sweets!

6) Also, when you purchase the tickets, book those at the aisle, this way its easy to bring a screaming kid out of theatre easily without disturbing others.

Immersing in Playdoh Fun

Tips: Many of the items that we purchased for KD are wrapped nicely in left over wrapping papers, and kept aside until we feel it’s ready to give to KD. We can’t stop ourselves from buying, neither did we want to spoil him with too much toys at one go and not learning to appreciate his toys. Thus we came up with this ingenious method, which can at the same time makes the child really very happy to receive a surprise presents for no particular reasons. 🙂

Today, I feel it’s time to give this particular present to him as I am a little tired of the other toys already (let alone him!) and I know he will not to put the dough into his mouth and thus tadah~ I presented the present to him and watch him tear it open.
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It’s Playdoh Cookie Monster’s Letter Lunch Set!

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I particular like this because it has the moulds of all the alphabets as well as KD loves watching Sesame Street, same as his Mommy! And guess what? I didn’t had to prepare loads of activities to entice him to sit down for half an hour today! We actually spent close to an hour just playing with this Playdoh!

Cutting, rolling, pressing, flattening, moulding, identifying and feeding Cookie Monster! Definitely a lot of finger play and fun for both him and me! I am surprised he is quite focus and attentive too!

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It’s Disney Live! Mickey’s Rockin’ Show Day

It’s really a very tiring and long day but glad it all end well.

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My first attempt at bringing KD for a big show all by myself. The Disney Live show is at Marina Bay Sands and parking is atrocious! Took me one hour to find a lot inside with the massive jams internally. It also took me an hour to get out of the massive jams internally too! All because of vehicles that parked illegally and blocked the traffic! I think they do not have enough wheel cramps for the illegal parking vehicles. -_-“”

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Overall, the theatre at MBS is smaller, so I think even though if seated behind will be fine cos the stage is near. We were seated the 7th row from front and its just nice! Lucky KD had the booster seat else he can’t see! 🙂 I am glad he enjoyed! It’s worth it!

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Tips: if you spent $20 at any retail, you can redeem parking for free. So in our case, if you bought a pair of show tickets, you can also redeem parking for free. I guess that explains the jams. So, if you receive the complimentary parking, please exit at least one half hour before the parking time is up as that is how long you will take to the exit. -_-“”

The day ended with both me and KD extremely exhausted!! That’s him back at home, catching up on other Mickey’s videos!

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Family day out at Sentosa

It’s Sunday and of cos we will not let a great weekend goes to waste!

Two weeks back, we have applied for the Sentosa Islander membership at only $50 nett for annual unlimited entry into Sentosa for up to 5 immediate family members if we all walk in (or take the tram in for free!) If you drive in, all the members on board in your car will enter Sentosa for free. 🙂 You can also submit your vehicle details and IU number for a quicker auto gate entry into Sentosa. Since we had the islander card, we had been into Sentosa thrice.

As usual, since it’s always raining mainly in the noon or late afternoons, a quick check with the weather forecast, and we have arrived in Sentosa at 10+am! We went to the more family friendly Palawan Beach and unload our stuffs pretty quickly. We had a big picnic mat, 2 chairs, sandwiches, fruits, tidbits and icy cold water! We also brought along a soccer ball, bubbles launcher and KD’s sand play bag. The highlights of the day is of course KD’s favorite, playing with sand! He learnt to fill the container with sand, turning it over carefully, burying items and uncovering them! Who say that you have to spend a lot when you come to Sentosa? I feel that the beaches here are much nicer, more conducive and relaxing!

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Tips:
1) If you mainly drive in, you can also choose to apply an individual islander card at only $25 nett. With an islander card in hand, it also allows u to drive in free with your car full of people! In our case, we wanted the flexibility and thus we applied the family islander membership and include the cards for my own mom and sister! Thus if we want, we can all sit into different cars to drive friends in together!
2) Parking in Sentosa is not expensive! If you do not intend to stay in Sentosa for more than 4 hours, you can may want to park in the more accessible Beach Carpark, it costs only $5 for 1st 4 hours.

Beach & Imbiah Car Park

Parking Rates:

7AM – 11.59AM 12PM – 2PM 2.01PM – 5PM 5.01PM – 6.59AM
Weekday $3 (1st 4hrs)
$1/hr thereafter
FREE $3 (1st 4hrs)
$1/hr thereafter
$1 per entry
Weekend & Public Holiday $5 (1st 4hrs)
$2/hr thereafter
$2 per entry

But if you intend to park for longer than 4 hours, Tanjong Beach Carpark is a really good choice! It only costs $3 for 1st 8 hours of parking! Yes!! ONLY $3!!

Tanjong & Palawan Car Park
7AM – 11.59AM 12PM – 2PM 2.01PM – 5PM 5.01PM – 6.59AM
Weekday $3 (1st 8hrs)
$1/hr thereafter
FREE $3 (1st 8hrs)
$1/hr thereafter
$1 per entry
Weekend & Public Holiday $3 (1st 8hrs)
$1/hr thereafter
$1 per entry

3) There were occasions where we drive in to Sentosa after 5pm and parked at the Beach carpark at only $2 per entry so that we can have dinner in Sentosa. 🙂 Explore, you will find your favorite food there too!

Tips on bringing your child out this rainy holidays

 

Not sure if any mommies faced the same issues as me. As i had only become a SAHM officially for 3 weeks, and it happened to be year end where it’s the rainy season.. it’s impossible and not healthy for the child to really stay at home all day, so part of our SAHM days include excursions and outings too.

However, it’s really not easy to cope to bring a child out and be trapped in heavy rain with thunderstorms.. so I have become experienced in planning the days too and would like to share some tips with fellow mommies for bringing your children out, especially for this rainy holiday season. 🙂

1) Make a list of places that you would like to bring your child to and the activities that you can do there. Have a mental note on how near and far the places are from your home.

2) Install the myENV App by the National Environment Agency on your iphone or search for the app on your android phone

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3) Check the Weather forecast every morning (it’s pointless to check at night for next day’s weather or any in advance cos our weather forecast had been “showers with thunderstorm” every day for now! haha)

Click to “3hrs” for the most accurate weather prediction for all the regions in whole of Singapore for the next few hours. The app will tell you the weather by the different regions up to the certain timing as displayed on screen. You can even click on the + to zoom in to see a more detailed map and its weather forecast.

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If the weather forecast report back a good result, you may bring your child out and leaves for home at least 30 mins before the time stated on the 3 hrs page (for example in the pic below will be till 6.00pm). Usually it works for me, so in the morning for example, i will check the weather forecast at 9am and 10am to check up till 1 to 2pm if it’s gonna be raining. If the results return to be clear, i will quickly bring KD out and come back within the 1 to 2 hours. If it is going to rain within the next 3 hours, then I will plan for my indoor activities with your him. 🙂

4) If where you are located is raining now, you can also click on “Current” to check the current weather of your destination to see if it’s feasible for you to brave the weather on where you are located to a more sunny place, hopefully.

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So far, that’s how i plan my days, at least for now. 🙂 We have been to a few farms at Choa Chu Kang such as Bollywood Veggies & Qian Hu Fish Farm, Luncheons in town, Visits to Science Centre, Relatives house visiting etc.

On stay at home days, i also use this method to plan a good time to bring KD down to the playground as well. I prefer to bring him before it rains so that at least the ground is not wet. 🙂