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Babies For Parents Toddlers

A ‘Thank you’ Letter to My Child’s Father

To the father of my children,

Mothers are often put in the spotlight as the ones who sacrifice their all for the family. While that’s not untrue, fathers are given a lot less credit for what they do. Fathers provide more than financial support but also emotionally. I want you to know that you’re an awesome dad to the children and that I appreciate you.

From the start when we discovered our pregnancy, you have put in effort to be involved in every step of the way. From taking time off work to be there with me during gynaecologist visits, attending prenatal classes together and massaging my aching feet. Oh, and that time when I was pregnant and requested for “pizza, sushi or McDonalds, I don’t know”, and you came back with pizza, sushi AND McDonalds? Perhaps you were satisfying the little baby’s cravings?

As we counted down the days where we would become a small family of three, we were nervous yet eager. Pregnancy hormones gave me mood swings that saw me burst out crying at the smallest things. You would hold me and tell the baby to behave. Prodding my belly made the baby move and you would spend minutes playing with the baby this way. You helped to massage my aching feet that were bloating up from water retention and even helped me to cut my toenails when my tummy was too large for me to reach my toes.

From being there from the start, thank you my dear husband.

In the delivery suite, from the moment we heard our baby cry, our lives changed entirely. I wanted to breastfeed from the start, and you were supportive of it, often bringing me water when I latched so that there would be enough milk for the baby.

You never once shied away from fatherly duties. You handle poopy diapers like a pro, and burp the baby after latching. Sometimes you get puked on, but you laugh it away. I haven’t told you this, but mealtimes are much easier because you take the effort to feed our child instead of being hands-off. Diapers, feeding, bathing, changing clothes, there’s nothing you can’t help with the kids.

Although you’re tired when you return home from work, your face lights up when you see our child running to greet you. You’re the light of her life, and it shows. It is your effort – you invested the time to sit down, play with her and understand her needs. There’s no one else who would be able to play with them the way you do. The kids love it when you carry them on your shoulders. That’s something I wouldn’t be able to do. In a way, carrying them on your shoulders is a symbol of how they can rely on you in their growing-up journey.

Sure, there have been arguments and disagreements on the way we parent our child but overall, I’m glad that we are in this life journey together.

For doing the best that you can, thank you my child’s father.

For loving the family, thank you.

For choosing to end work on time to be at home with the family, thank you.

For giving the children your best, thank you.

Thank you, my dear husband, my child’s father.

Loving you through the tiring days and more,

Your wife and child’s mother

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Babies For Parents Toddlers

Safe & Natural Ways to Clean Baby’s Milk Bottles

Baby’s milk bottles need to be cleaned thoroughly after each milk feed to prevent the growth of nasty bacteria that may lead to severe tummy upsets. They in turn can lead to serious consequences for infants who have yet to build up their immune system.

While regular dishwashing detergent gets the job done, improper washing could lead to your baby ingesting traces of detergent. There are bottle cleansers specifically formulated with natural ingredients for washing baby bottles too.

Are there any other ways to clean the bottles in a natural way that’s safe and effective? The answer is yes! Instead of the regular bottle cleanser, you can opt for any of these methods listed below!

Do note that after cleaning the items, they should be sterilised by boiling, steam or UV for babies below 12 months of age.

What are the safe ways to clean your baby’s milk bottles?

  1. Baking Soda

Baking soda is affordable, inexpensive and can be used for many purposes. It is an effective natural cleaning agent which can be used to cleanse your baby bottles. To do so, boil a big pot of water and add two tablespoons of baking soda. After mixing the solution thoroughly, place the bottles in and let them soak for the night. Scrub and rinse the bottles the next morning to ensure that the baking soda is completely removed. Then, lay the bottles out to dry and sterilise.

  1. Eco Enzymes
    Eco enzymes are not only incredibly versatile, they cost close to nothing to make and uses readily available ingredients. Making eco enzymes require a bit of time as the enzymes need to ferment. However, the result is an all-purpose solution that can be used for the skin, as fertiliser, to clear drain chokage and a whole lot more!

Another advantage is that it helps to reduce the amount of fruit scraps in your home that would otherwise be incinerated.

Here is the recipe to create eco enzymes:

INGREDIENTS

  1. Fruit waste, including peels, seeds and flesh. Do not use hard parts such as durian husks and mango seeds.
  2. Sugar (white or brown)
  3. Water (can be recycled water from washing rice, fruits or vegetables)
  4. An airtight plastic container. Store the container in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight.

METHOD

  1. Make 16 equal folds on a piece of paper. Unfold the paper and put it against the container. Use a marker to mark 16 lines on the container that correspond to the folds. Then add one part sugar, three parts fruit peel or juiced fruit residue and 10 parts water.
  2. Give the mixture a good shake and tighten the lid.
  3. In the first month, stir every day or every other day to release fermented carbon gas. In the second month, stir once a week and, in the third month, once in two weeks. If your container has a small opening, try to release the gas daily in the first month or tie a plastic bag at the opening with rubber band to allow gas to enter it.
  4. The mixture should be ready in three months. Use a sieve or pillow case to filter the residue.

To use as a bottle cleaner, mix one part eco enzymes with one part natural base soap.

  1. Natural Soaps

Natural soaps are environmentally friendly and do not contain harsh chemicals. Most natural soaps are in bar form. Simply scrape bits of the soap bar into the bottles and mix with water to clean. The ingredient list should be easily understandable with natural ingredients instead of strange sounding chemicals that are tongue-twisters to pronounce. A safe bet is to use castile soaps. Castile soap is made from vegetable oil and can be used to clean bottles safely.

 

Bottle teats are susceptible to developing mold if not properly cleaned. How do you clean bottle teats?

Which of the above natural methods have you tried? Let us know in the comments!

Categories
Babies Babies For Parents Health & Nutrition

4 Reasons Why Breast Milk Supply Decreases

Breast milk is termed as the perfect food for infants and babies as it contains all the necessary nutrients required for development and is customised from mother to her baby. It provides antioxidants, strengthens immunity and promotes gut health.

Fathers can do their part to support their partners on the breastfeeding journey, which can do wonders in terms of father-and-child bonding, and letting mums know they are not alone.

Some mothers may feel frustrated when their breastmilk supply dips, and here are some reasons why.

Mothers who direct latch exclusively may experience a temporary dip in supply if they miss a feed and do not express out the milk.

  1. Issues with Latching

Improper latching techniques could result in your baby being unable to efficiently extract out the milk from your breasts. When milk is not emptied frequently, supply decreases.

There are various breastfeeding positions which you can try out, such as the football hold or side-lying position. Ensure that your baby’s mouth is wide open and fully covers the areola instead of only on the nipple.

Some mothers may have inverted or flat nipples which could possibly impede their baby’s ability to suckle. For this, there are nipple pullers that can be used to gently ease the nipple outwards.

Sometimes, the infant may have issues with nursing too. Tongue or lip ties affect the way infants suckle and could prevent them from nursing efficiently. As a result, they may get tired before they are full.

Stress is a big factor that leads to decreased milk supply

  1. Stress

After giving birth, your body struggles to regulate and you may suffer from postnatal blues. Combined with all that well meaning advice from relatives and friends that tend to be contradicting to your own beliefs, you could find yourself under a lot of stress.

Stress – physical, emotional and psychological, can cause your breast milk supply to dip. Stress can come from various sources, such as work, family, financial difficulties, physical health and lack of sleep.

If you feel worried about breastfeeding in front of others, use a nursing cover or bring your baby into a locked room for privacy. If you’re feeling stressed, take deep breaths to clear your mind and most importantly, find someone you can talk to about your feelings.

However, the interesting thing is that breastfeeding has actually been shown to reduce negative moods and stress!

  1. Not feeding frequently enough

Rather than sticking to a fixed schedule for feeds, if you are breastfeeding, it is more important to observe your baby’s hunger cues and feed accordingly. Although you will not be able to know the exact amount that your baby drinks, you can take note of the amount of wet diapers that they produce.

Breast milk works on a supply and demand basis. The more demand there is, there will be more supply. When milk is not emptied frequently, new milk cannot be produced as there is not enough space. This can also cause other problems such as engorgement, blocked ducts and so on.

If you do experience some of these common breastfeeding issues, do consult a lactation consultant to advise with massage techniques to get engorgement and blocked ducts out of the way. Else, it may lead to mastitis which comes with fever and body aches.

  1. Not drinking enough water

Breast milk is made of 90% water, thus is it important to ensure that you take in enough liquids to supplement your supply. As caffeine is a diuretic, aim to drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of non-caffeinated drinks a day, or more if you can manage it.

Galactagogues are foods which have a positive effect on breast milk supply. If you are facing problems with supply, you may want to try these foods which can help increase milk supply in lactating mothers.

While there are a host of benefits to both mother and baby, your mental and emotional health should take precedence above breastfeeding. Take sufficient rests to boost your mood as well.

As long as your baby is fed, happy and healthy, that’s all that matters. Formula milk for infants and children are readily available for sale at supermarkets if you really have to get away for some fresh air and are unable to express breast milk for your baby.

What are some of the problems you have experienced when breastfeeding? Share your stories in the comments!

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For Parents Pregnant

Pregnancy week 10 – 13: The First Trimester is almost over

You’re at the last lap of the first trimester, pregnant mummies! At this stage, you might notice that your baby bump is showing. If this is your first pregnancy, your bump may take longer to show as the abdominal skin is still taut.

It might be a little early to buy maternity dresses, but you can start window shopping for designs that you fancy as there are some versatile designs that double up as nursing clothes!

Prunes are dried plums. Both prunes and plums can ease discomfort from constipation, a symptom that many pregnant women suffer from.

Pregnancy week 10: Prune

At Week 10, your ligaments and muscles are beginning to stretch inside your belly. One thing that you’ll likely notice are fuller breasts as they prepare to take on the role of breastfeeding. Morning sickness symptoms will likely last until early in the second trimester, when your body gradually adapts. You may experience vivid dreams as a result of increased hormones.

 As for the little one, your baby now has arm joints that work, cartilage and bones that are slowly developing. Nails have even started to grow on those tiny fingers and toes!

Pregnancy week 11: Lime

You may find it difficult to handle the fatigue and keep up pace at work. Having adequate sleep the night before, regular exercise and having a stash of healthy energy boosts like nuts and fruit may help to keep your energy levels up.

The hormonal changes in pregnancy can lead to bland taste buds and poor appetite. With the ever-so-frequent vomiting episodes, you may find that there will be little to no weight gain during the first trimester. However, this is entirely normal in most pregnancies.

 At Week 11, the risk of miscarriage is down to just 3% as the embryo has secured itself to the uterine wall.

Your little one’s webbed feet and hands have separated and they are now tiny fingers and toes! Baby’s skin will also become more opaque as the weeks progress.

You’ll be able to see your baby much more clearly between week 10 and 13 of your pregnancy.

 Pregnancy week 12: Plum

With the morning sickness and poor appetite, you may have to get your nutrients from other sources, such as pregnancy supplements. This is because pregnant women require essential nutrients for healthy foetal development.

One of the symptoms you may notice is spotting. As the cervix is more sensitive during pregnancy, light bleeding may occur after sexual intercourse. Contact your gynaecologist if the bleeding is heavy or if the bleeding is accompanied by cramps.

Your baby is starting to develop reflexes and will now move if you prod him or her on your belly during an ultrasound. At this stage, ultrasound scans will not yet be able to provide a definite answer on the gender of your baby, but there are certain chromosomal tests like the Harmony Test that will be able to tell if you’re having a little prince or princess.

Pregnancy week 13: Peach

Congratulations on passing the first trimester! This is the best time to go on a babymoon before your bump gets in the way and energy levels start to drop. Get your husband involved in the pregnancy so you won’t feel like it is a lonely journey.

 After crossing the first trimester, this is also the time most people start to reveal their pregnancy to their close ones. There are many creative ways of announcing pregnancies on social media if you’re the type to share your joy with everyone.  

 How did your first trimester go? Was it different with each pregnancy? Share with us in the comments below!

Categories
Family Fun

5 overseas destinations to bring your kids to this June Holidays

The long awaited June holidays is finally here.  Thinking hard on where to bring your child? Fret not, as we have come up with a list of family-friendly overseas destinations for you to enjoy precious family time.

1. Genting Highlands, Malaysia

Source: Crazytourist

If you are looking for a short and cheap getaway, yet wanting to experience cold and crisp air, Genting Highlands may be one of your choices. Located just 45 minutes away from Kuala Lumpur, Genting Highlands is a popular destination amongst families. The outdoor theme park is not to be missed and your kids will definitely enjoy their time there. There are tamer rides for families with younger kids or Space Shot and the Flying Coaster for families with more adventurous kids.

2. Melbourne, Australia

Source: Tripzilla

Australia has always been a popular destination for families wishing to enjoy winter season during the June Holidays. Known for its coffee and sceneries, Melbourne is also suitable for families with kids. Children interested in marine animals can explore the SEA Life Melbourne Aquarium. For kids fascinated by dinosaurs, the Melbourne Museum features a Dinosaur Walk where they can see 17 prehistoric animals. For babies to toddlers of 5 years old, there is also the Children’s Gallery whereby they can explore and discover using hands-on and open-ended play-based learning. This holiday, bring your children to Melbourne for them to dig into fossils and travel through the discovery garden!

3. New Zealand, South Island

Source: Backpacker

Families with a larger budget can consider visiting this beautiful island of New Zealand.  Known for its scenic mountains and breathtaking views, we’re sure that this New Zealand trip would leave precious memories for your family.  For families who love wild life, be sure to visit Kaikoura where you can embark on a whale watch. Get on a boat and have a close encounter with the world’s largest toothed predator and observe the Giant Sperm Whale in their natural environment. Alternatively, take a road trip down Lake Tekapo and be dazzled by the night skies.

4. Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei 101 Tower

For families who love Taiwanese food – braised pork rice, Taiwanese sausage and fried chicken cutlet, Taiwan is a must go this June Holidays. Visit Taipei 101 building at night to enjoy the city landscape, and eat till your heart’s content at the famous Shilin Night Market. Families who are more interested in culture can consider visiting Dihua Street, an old town turned hipster place,  showcasing artisanal products. For families with more time to spare, we would recommend you to go to their old streets – Jiufen and Shifen. Write your wishes on the paper lantern and release it for your dreams to come true, or visit the A Mei Tea House to enjoy a slow tea drinking session while overlooking the beautiful landscape. Remember to bring an umbrella or raincoat, for it’ll be the rainy season in June.

 

5. Shanghai, China

Source: TopChinaTravel

With the latest Disneyland opening in Shanghai, parents can consider bringing your kids to Shanghai this upcoming holiday. Take them to the world’s happiest place to see their favorite cartoon characters in person and enjoy the fireworks at night. You can also take the cruise on Huangpu River to enjoy the romantic night scene. For families interested in Chinese culture, take a walk down the Yu Garden that is built in 1559.  Look at the historic Chinese architecture and appreciate the decorative stones, and if you are tired, you can take a short rest in one of the many little pavilions.