Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Safety Issue

Few weeks ago, I had a scare when changing Kenan's diaper at one of the malls.

I've just placed him on the changing table and turned around to take a clean diaper from the baby bag when he rolled around almost tumbled fell off the edge. Thankfully the spouse was around and stopped him in time.

Honestly, I'm still getting used to Kenan's newfound mobility and sometimes thought that he would stay still in whatever spot I've placed him.

Since this incident, it has opened my eyes to how well or poorly designed some of the baby rooms are.

Take for example the baby room at Harboufront Centre. I used to find the design of the changing table with a barrier at the front a bit cumbersome but now I really appreciate the thoughtfulness of the designer -it's really to help prevent babies from falling off easily!

Designed for baby's safety: a barrier at the front; huge changing table and the ends are against the walls so babies can have abit of space to roll yet they can't roll and fall onto the ground easily.
A really thoughtful design - well done!

Where changing table is concerned, I think by far, the one at Harbourfront Centre is the safest. Let me know if you see other well-designed changing areas - in Singapore or even overseas. It would be interesting to see how they are like!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Great Finds at Daiso

I know that Daiso has a myriad of products including household items, stationery, snacks, drinks, cosmetics, skincare, accessories and many more. Recently I discovered that they carry some useful baby stuff too. Here's what I found:

Corner guards to prevent crawling babies from knocking against
sharp edges of furniture

Edge guards/cushion tapes that you can stick around edges of tables, door frames etc.
to prevent babies from bumping into them

Door safety locks to prevent little ones from opening cupboards
and take out things that might be hurt them

Big ,small, red, white, blue, silver, gold... there's lots to choose from.
I bought a bag of 10 multi-coloured balls to keep Kenan entertained

Was wondering where I can find a pump for Kenan's swim float and here they are!

The label shows the pump can be used for balloons, balls and floats

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

No One Ever Told Me This!

Recently when I took Kenan for a walk around my apartment, I bumped into a friend who is a first-time mom with a two-month old baby. I asked her how has mommyhood been and she talked about how she is coping. Then she blurted out why is it no one ever told her it's going to be THIS TIRING - the exact words I said to a friend months back! I even lamented about that on my Facebook account.

So how come no mommies tell us first-time moms just how tiring and busy it can be? Why wouldn't someone give us the details and prepare us mentally for the onslaught of challenges, never-ending tasks and not forgetting the emotional rollercoasters?

I pondered over it and came up with this conclusion: Because no words can ever suffice in describing all that we ever go through as a mom.

And more importantly, I believe mommyhood for each of us is about as unique as our thumb prints can get. While no doubt all mommies will share similar experiences, yet the actual journey will never be the same for each one of us, given our different combinations of psychological, physical, social and financial factors that end up determining how we cope with parenthood.

But that said, would I dish out the details to my friends who are expecting?


While I don't wanna bore them with the mundane, the truth is, I don't remember the initial days of my mommyhood with much details! It was as if everything had gone by like a whirlwind and I'm only left with somewhat of a hazy recollection. Thankfully, I've got this blog to help me remember the more significant details.

But really, I think mommyhood is a journey to be experienced rather than described. After all, how can you ever adequately describe something that is exhausting, scary, frustrating, exhilarating, wonderful, rewarding, awesome all rolled into one? And even if I could ever put all that succinctly into words, I shan't spoil the fun for the first-time moms or moms-to-be... shhhh....!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Project Nursing Rooms - Marina Square

Not sure how many nursing rooms there are in Marina Square but I have an inkling this is probably the mall with the most number of them. I have already been to three - two on the first floor and one on the second and they are all conveniently situated near to the toilets. So it seems to me there is likely to be one nursing room next to every toilet - am I right?

The nursing room comes with just the basic amenities- a sofa bench, a diaper changing area and wash basin. There is no hot water here. The room is big enough for me to push in the stroller and I found it comfortable breastfeeding the baby here as it has a nice cushy sofa rather than some plastic chair. The air can be a bit still though. In one of the rooms I went, there was a slight stench coming from the dustbin. But overall, I'm satisfied with the condition.

A cosy nursing room for breastfeeding; the amenities are minimal though.

The lively design on the ceiling - I like it!

Cleanliness: 4/5
Amenities: 3/5
Ambience: 4/5

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Review on 'Rent That Toy'

I have been renting toys for Kenan from Rent That Toy since July and I must say I'm a satisfied customer so far. Here's why:

1. User-friendly website
The website allows customers to search for toys either by age groups or brands (I wish that it also has a search function that allows me to find toys by key words). If a certain toy is currently not available, it has a 'notify me' function.

Once the toy is available, you will receive an email notice. But this means you must check your email account regularly. From experience, popular items get rented out again very quickly - it's a first-come-first-serve!

2. Large selection of toys
The rental company has a large selection of toys and there are currently 19 brands available. There are also items like the Bumbo seat and play yard available.

3. Good service
Elaine, the owner of the company, provides really prompt service. Once, I made an email enquiry with another toy rental company about certain items and it took them a few day to reply! By then, I had already rented some alternative toys from another company (too bad for them).

And when you've confirmed your rental items, Elaine will contact you (either via sms or phone call) to arrange a delivery date and time that is convenient for you.

In addition, all the toys that require batteries to work, Elaine will provide (I've previously used another toy rental company which didn't provide the battery). Once, a few days after renting a toy, the battery went flat. I asked Elaine if she could change it for me and she did. Now, that's good customer service!

One of the exersaucers I've rented

A toy car that Kenan enjoys playing with

So far, I've rented mainly bulky toys like the jumperoo and exersaucer. I don't want to spend money on these items because I foresee storage being a problem later on. Furthermore, I don't even know if my boy will enjoy the toys, which are quite expensive, so I better let him have a try first.

However, don't expect the toys to be in brand new conditions and sometimes, part of the toy may not be functioning e.g. the music function of one toy on the exersaucer may not work. In such cases, usually Elaine will inform you. 

Also, it's rental fees are not one of the lowest around but taking into consideration the minimum amount needed to get a free delivery ($35, which is lower than some other companies) and the overall service, I'm happy being a Rent That Toy customer.

Is there a toy rental company that you like? I would really love to hear about it!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Poo Ordeals - Mommy's Journey in Solving Baby's Constipation

Kenan has been having constipation since end of August. On various occasions, it was so bad that there's blood in the stools (as they were hard and pebble-like) and the poor boy would be crying in pain.

We have brought him to the pediatrician twice and was prescribed lactulose and suppository but the problem persisted. The last time we took him to see a doctor was also the worst bout of constipation the little boy had experienced.

It was on a Sunday night when my hubby was out of town. Kenan was pushing so hard but the stool was stuck at the anus - it could neither come out nor go back in. The poor boy was in so much pain and cried so terribly that I ended up crying too. Thank God for my helper, who really loves Kenan. She told me to calm down and then we rushed him to the 24-hour clinic at Thomson Medical Centre. The little boy was so exhausted from the crying that he slept all the way during the 20 minutes cab ride and only woke up when the nurse inserted the suppository, which was probably another hour from the time we arrived at the hospital.

We were told by the PD and GP that constipation in babies can be a sticky problem. But I hate to see my baby suffer so much and believe there must be a way out.

So off to my favourite forum I went to get some advice from fellow mommies.

Solutions that worked

I was told to keep bananas and apples away as they are known to cause constipation. In my boy's case, I observed that banana does seem to aggravate his condition. I was also advised to give fruits starting with 'P' - pears, prunes, plums, peaches, papaya. Oh, peas as well, though it's not a fruit.

Papaya was very effective for Kenan and I used to give him lots of it. But I began noticing that his skin seems to have taken on a yellow tinge, which is likely due to consuming too much papaya and other orange-coloured fruits and veggies like pumpkin and carrot. So I decided to limit the intake of these.

And while I used to be quite relaxed about how much water Kenan drinks, I would now make a conscious effort to give him water regularly, even if it's just two, three spoonfuls. And boy, it can be a real chore just to let him take that bit of water. Because he doesn't know how to drink from sippy cup and would choke; he can use the Pigeon magmag cup but often ends up chewing the straw rather than sucking it. In the end, what works are syringe (yes, there's no typo error here!) and spoon.

Besides water, juices can be effective too. One mommy said her PD told her to give prune juice, the Del Monte brand (no sugar added), and I did that. It worked for Kenan. My PD also mentioned apple juice, but somehow, my boy didn't quite like it.

I also made barley water, which Chinese believe is 'cooling' and can aid bowel movement ('heatiness' can cause constipation, and many believe that formula milk is 'heaty'). One mommy who is knowledgeable about TCM advised me not to boil the barley for too or it will become 'heaty'.

Food wise, by some trial and error, I found spinach, peas and avocado really helpful. I buy organic baby spinach from NTUC Xtra and use it for making porridge. I also put peas in; I buy frozen peas that come in one big pack.

Taylor organic baby spinach, $6.30 per box (5oz/142g), from NTUC Xtra

As for avocado, I either give it as fruit for breakfast, or put it in the cereal and Kenan loves its creamy texture.

In addition, I also gave lots of Gerber's prune (I suppose any other brand's fine too). I didn't puree fresh ones because I found it a hassle to remove the skin (without resorting to using a knief).

With all these efforts, Kenan's condition has certainly improved.  I don't give him lactulose on a daily basis anymore and we have not used the suppository on him for a while now. He poos about once every other day now and I'm satisfied with this.

Honestly, I wish I know what caused the constipation. He never had problems when he was on total breastfeeding. In fact, he pooed watery stools everyday. Even after he started weaning, the first month or so was fine. He was taking cereals mixed with formula milk (I'm too lazy to pump) and I latch him four times a day. The problem only started when I began introducing porridge and oat cereals. I'm not sure which of this two is the culprit, or if they might even be the culprit to begin with.

Whatever it is, throughout this journey, the moral support I received from the forum mommies and their many useful tips and advice, have really helped and encouraged me. I really can't imagine what I would have done without them. Thank you, forum mommies!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Wedding Anniversary

Hubby and I got married on 10 October. This year's wedding anniversary is a special one for us as we now have Kenan. To celebrate, we decided on a staycation at the Pan Pacific Hotel. We would love to go on a short trip overseas, but with my husband's heavy work commitments, it's a bit difficult for us to make any travel plans for now. And we are content to celebrate our special day in this simple way, as the joy Kenan brings us more than make up for not being able to go overseas.

Here are some photos of our staycation weekend.

Kenan was all smiles on the way to the hotel, seems as if he knows he's going for a staycation

Kenan playing happily with his 'gift' - Pigeon's baby toiletry travel set

Somehow, we hardly take photos as a family. Time for more!

Heading off for dinner; Kenan's mood remains high even though
he hardly napped the whole afternoon! 

Glorious sunset!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Kenan Learns a New Trick

My husband taught Kenan how to clap, so I decided to teach the little boy how to do the 'hi 5'. Amazingly, he picked it up almost instantly, and after that, adapts it a little to create his own version of it. See how he does the 'hi 5' in the video clip below.

Did you see how he would hold my hand with his left and then clap it using his right hand? We've been really amused by this. It's so fun watching him!

Monday, October 4, 2010

First Real Swim

Three weeks ago, Kenan had his first dip in the baby pool below our apartment. We hadn't got his swim suit then, so he just had on him a swimming diaper, neck float and off he went!

However, the moment daddy put him inside the pool, he started crying. We were not sure if it was because the water was too cold for him or he was simply afraid. So ended up we just let him play with water and he really enjoyed himself.

After that, we decided to get him a swim suit and found a cute one at Kiddy Palace; we paid about $46 for it.

Kenan in his very first swim suit!

Even then, Kenan cried again during his second swim - so maybe it wasn't about the water's temperature after all. Thankfully, daddy managed to calm him down quickly and help him get used to bouyancy of the water.

About 15 minutes later, the little boy finally seemed more relaxed in the water, but he didn't appear too thrilled about swimming. But we do hope he will grow to enjoy the sport. After all, it is one of the best forms of exercise available - it's low impact and works the whole body.

Coincidentally, when I was listening to radio 938Live last week, I heard an interview with a pediatrician and a former national swimmer about the benefits of swimming for babies and children. The PD mentioned that it is more advisable for babies to start going to a public pool only after they have done their major immunisations, which is by the time they are six months old. She also said that swimming is good for children with asthma (and I thought it was the opposite - I've learnt something new).

I'm looking forward to Kenan's next swim session. Meanwhile, here's sharing with you some benefits of baby swimming:
  • Enables baby to acquire a wide range of movements and physical abilities which helps promote development of higher functions of the brain
  • Improves core muscle development and coordination
  • Baby gains sense of confidence as he develops greater psychomotor skills
  • Strengthen baby's heart, lungs and respiratory system
  • Helps baby to relax, which in turn contributes to improving the appetite and sleeping patterns
  • Provides social stimulation; a good way of bonding between parents and child
  • Also provides verbal stimulus when parents or instructor teaches baby how to swim - aids their understanding and language developments
  • And one more benefit for mommies - it's a great way of getting away from the daily humdrums and be with other mommies!
Wanna come and join Kenan in his next swim?

"Daddy, I can be on my own!"
Kenan finally relaxes in the water

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Clap, Clap!

A few weeks ago, daddy taught Kenan how to clap. Since then, he has been doing it often, especially when he is happy. I don't know how he learnt that association, made me wonder if this is something universal, such as a smile.

But what amazes me even more is that he understands that the action is call 'clap'! So when we say "clap, clap", he would do exactly that! However, it also depends on his mood, there are times when he simply refuses to do it. Just goes to show that babies are smart and you can't manipulate them any way you like!

Kenan, you're such an amazing boy. Watching you grow up has been a blessing and mommy is learning just as much as you are. Thank you, my boy. Mommy loves you, always.


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