Monday, October 31, 2011

Cosleeping - How Long Should Babies Sleep With Parents

How Long Should Babies Sleep With Parents? According to new research, babies should continue to sleep with their parents until they reach the age of three. I am sure there will be many who will jump at this and there will be a lot of arguments back and forth.

Sleep with baby, let baby cry it out, let baby sleep in cot, let baby sleep in the cot in another room, no soft toys and soft bedding for baby, don't let baby sleep on his back. Respond to baby, no don't respond to baby immediately.........

There is so much information and plenty of advise on what to do and what NOT to do. It can be daunting and scary for parents.

I feel how long a child should sleep with you is ultimately your personal choice. In fact, many parenting solutions and choices are up to you and your family. Whatever feels right for you and your family and your circumstances is right. You should not be pressured either way. Make your own decisions but arm yourself with knowledge before making those decisions.

Here are some latest news about cosleeping and baby sleep guidelines. However be warned, there is a lot of information out there. At the end of the day we must do what we feel is best for baby while keeping baby safe.

  1. 1. Infant Sleep Safety - What Parents Need To Know
  2. 2. Keep Babies Out Of Your Bed, Coroner Urges
  3. 3. Crib Bumper Pads Cause Suffocation, Pediatricians Warn
  4. 4. SIDS And Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Expansion of Recommendations for a Safe Sleeping Environment

Pin It

Friday, October 28, 2011

Mesothelioma - A Mother's Story

Today, I have a Guest Post by Heather which I would like all mothers to read. Heather is a courageous mother, wife and survivor of Mesothelioma Cancer. Do read her story. If you wish to know more about Mesothelioma, please visit The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog. Thank you, Heather for sharing your story with us.

The Village

Most people have heard the saying "It takes a village to raise a child." The phrase is repeated often when someone has a baby. For me, the saying came true. I not only believe it, I lived it. On August 4, 2005, after an unremarkable pregnancy, I gave birth to my daughter. I had hardly any morning sickness, and until I was ready to deliver, we had nothing to worry about. At that point, we were told she was coming backside first. After an emergency C-section, our baby girl was born, normal and healthy. Our "village" gathered around us at once. My husband's family, my parents, and our many friends came by to meet the little girl we named Lily, and to wish us well. With things going so well, we were not prepared for the storm about to break over our heads.

Up until the day Lily was born, I ran one of 3 salons in a large salon company in which I was part owner. I had more than 20 employees and also worked at a station myself. I went back to work but was not really happy about leaving my little girl. A few weeks after returning to full time work, however, I started feeling short of breath, tired and with no energy...feelings that could be normal after giving birth. Then I started to lose a lot of weight--5 to 7 pounds a week. I thought that surely was not normal. I saw my doctor in November, told him my symptoms, and after a chest X-ray and blood work, they found the answer: I had fluid around my left lung. After more tests, biopsies and scans, I was told I had malignant pleural mesothelioma--a deadly lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. The diagnosis came on November 21, 2005. As a child, I was exposed to asbestos, and now--30 years later--I had mesothelioma.

I was given 15 months to live if nothing was done, and my first thoughts were for my husband and baby. We knew then that we would do whatever we could to save my life. My parents kept Lily while we went to Boston. In February I had surgery to remove my left lung and surrounding tissue, lymph nodes, diaphragm, heart lining and one rib. Surgical Gore-Tex replaced my heart lining and diaphragm. After treatment such as chemotherapy and radiation, and nearly 3 months of recovery, I began to care for Lily again. I never did go back to work, since it would be too hard with just one lung.

The main thing to come from all of this is not our fear, nor any suffering, but the realization of the love and support from our "village." Our relatives, friends and even acquaintances rallied around us, held us up through it all, took care of Lily and surrounded us with strength until we could stand again. With the bad, comes good, and I am thankful for the good. We give back wherever we can, and are teaching Lily the same. The one constant that makes everything work for us is our Faith in God. Faith that I will live to raise our daughter, and it will all be okay.

Pin It

Monday, October 24, 2011

Breastfeeding Story - A Wonderful Journey

My Breastfeeding Story - A Wonderful Journey

My experience as a breastfeeding mom would be akin to hiking in a new country and discovering an exciting adventure that was challenging at the start but enjoyable throughout. I’ve been on this journey for 55 months now, only taking a break of about 6 months from the time I weaned my son at age 2 until I delivered my daughter. It has been a pleasant journey I would say, with hardly any problems encountered along the way. There were a few ‘blisters’ in the beginning from the use of ‘new hiking shoes’ and a few painful encounters of the engorgement kind. But, overall, a wonderful bonding journey with my babies.

I am going to share how I prepared for this journey and what has helped me to keep going.

1. Breastfeeding 101

Just like how you’d research and read up on a travel destination before embarking on a vacation, the same goes for breastfeeding. Get as much information as you can from books, parenting sites, family and friends who have experience in breastfeeding. In my first month of breastfeeding, I hit the books and reading materials again to see if my baby was latching on correctly, to know when my milk should start to turn white, how to relieve engorgements and treat cracked nipples and to be sure that my baby was getting enough milk.

2. Think Positive

The moment I found out I was pregnant with my first child, I had already psyched myself up to breastfeed him. Before you go on a trip, don’t you envision yourself enjoying the holiday? This is what I kept telling myself throughout my pregnancy:

“I am going to breastfeed my baby. He is not going to drink anything except my milk. And I am going to have enough for him.”

A major motivation factor for me was also the successful breastfeeding stories of friends which drove me to believe that if they can do it, I can definitely do it too.

3. Set Goals

Before you visit a place for the first time, you would have an idea of what you’d like to do and the sights you’d like to see. Well, just like breastfeeding, especially when it’s a first time, you’d like to set yourself some goals. Setting goals will motivate you and give you a sense of achievement once you’ve accomplished them. For me it was the breastfeeding guideline on how long you should breastfeed your baby – exclusively for the first 6 months until age 2. Well, I stuck to the guideline too rigidly and weaned my son exactly at age 2. Partly also because I was already pregnant with my daughter at that time and I thought it would be challenging to handle 2 clingy kids. On top of that, I had no idea what tandem nursing was and did not consider doing that at all. I might have gone on to tandem nurse both my children if I had to do it all over again...maybe.

4. Perseverance

Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
I know of a friend who had mastitis at least 3 times during the course of breastfeeding her first child. I don’t know how she did it but she persevered and successfully breastfed her son till he was close to 2. Now that’s what I call perseverance. I don’t know if I would have been able to handle it all if I were in her shoes but I certainly look up to her as a perfect example of endurance.

5. Nix the Naysayers

“Your baby’s not getting enough milk that’s why he’s constantly crying”

“You should probably give him a little formula milk so he’ll sleep better in the night”

“Are you sure you’ve got enough milk for your baby, how come nothing much’s coming out when you pump?”

“It’s okay to give the baby a little water, most mothers do that. Takes away the heatiness”

“Asking for milk again? See, your baby’s not getting enough. He’s hungry again”

These are just some of the things that were said to me in the first month of breastfeeding my first child. It was difficult and discouraging to hear things like these, especially when you’re a new mother trying your darned best to cope with a new baby. But, back to No.4, don’t let them get you down. I remembered checking on the books to see how I can tell if my baby was getting enough milk and that was to see how often he is wetting his diapers. So, I reassured myself and nixed the naysayers.

These 5 points have worked for me especially when I was a first-time breastfeeding mom. When I had my second child, breastfeeding was a breeze. She was a pro in latching-on and I hardly had any difficulties breastfeeding her, except for maybe 2 occasions of a slightly engorged breast. The thing about an engorged breast is that the only way I’ve found effective enough to relieve that is your own baby nursing on it. The tip is to try different positions of nursing your baby while massaging your breast. No amount of cabbage or hot compresses can beat that.

I’d like to add though, that you shouldn’t give yourself a hard time if you haven’t been able to breastfeed your baby. Circumstances are different for everyone and no two breasts are the same – not even on a single person. Take comfort in knowing that you’ve tried your best and that you’ve given it all you could. At the end of the day, all your baby needs is a lot of TLC.

I am fortunate enough to have had it easy with breastfeeding. I can’t thank God enough for that.

It has been a wonderful journey for me.

Germaine blogs at You can read more about her wonderful Motherhood experience and Breastfeeding stories at her blog. Thank you Germaine, for sharing your wonderful and inspiring breastfeeding story especially those useful tips. I like tip No 5 on how to Nix those Naysayers. 

Pin It

Monday, October 17, 2011

My blog is more than just a diary

My blog is more than just a diary. It is also my personal forum and personal web bookmark as well as my Dear Aunt agony page. When I was in my teens, me and my girl friend talked about becoming psychologists and helping people. We wanted to join the Befrienders then. The Befrienders is a non-profit organisation which offers emotional support to the depressed and suicidal through telephone calls, emails and letters. My sister in law just joined the Befrienders as a volunteer recently. She had to go through quite a lot of training and evaluation before she is allowed to take calls.

Anyway, my friend did eventually become a psychologist and I became a housewife who is a blogger who feels glad if she is able to help anyone out sitting in her chair at home writing her posts and replying to the occassional email asking for help.

Sometimes I use my blog as a personal forum. When I had a bad cough, I wrote a post to ask about home remedies for cough and I was glad to receive many ideas and suggestions. In my Parenting Times blog which really started out as my personal blog but is now more about my kids, I like to bookmark good sites for my kids  that I can easily return to by searching my personalised search box. I find it so much easier to find things this way compared to adding it to my favourites folder which is chockful of rubbish for myself and the kids. I am not really that good at organizing folders at home and that includes cyber folders. I use online social bookmarking sites like Digg, Delicious and Reddit more for submitting my own sites rather than bookmarking other sites so that doesn't work for me either.

So my blog is where I bookmark important links I want to remember. Today, I want to bookmark this link because my kids get sick quite often they have to take the antibiotic Zithromax. This information below is useful to keep and remember.

Drug Information for Parents on Zithromax

Pin It

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Breastfeeding Stories

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

I had a very hard time breastfeeding both my children. With the first, I did not have enough support and knowledge. Sure, there are a lot of breastfeeding resources on the internet. I read most of them.

However, it did not prepare me to breastfeed because I lacked support. I am fortunate to have a wonderful supportive spouse but I think it would have helped to have the support of other breastfeeding mothers.

With my two children, eventually I went on to breastfeed the first for 1 1/2 years. She lost a lot of weight initially which was extremely worrying. I refused to give her any water or formula because I had read that they would sabotage my breastfeeding efforts.

On hindsight and looking at her tiny haggard face in her newborn photos, I think I should have relaxed a little an allowed her a little formula while I continued to work on breastfeeding. My staunch refusal caused us both a lot of trouble and she lost a lot of weight. She was constantly crying from hunger. Hers was a difficult birth and it did not help that I didn't have any help. I was quite weepy at the time.

Eventually, her feedings had to be monitored by her doctor and dedicated lactation consultant. I tried really hard to express milk for her but it was not enough. I had to record her feedings and slowly increase the ratio of breastmilk. I kept an almost hourly record. It was a crazy tiring time but it was necessary.

I did manage to feed her fully at night eventually and we had mixed feedings during the day for 1 1/2 years. It was a really tough time and marred what should have been precious moments enjoying my baby.

My second time breastfeeding was not any easier despite the breastfeeding experience. My little boy did not learn to latch on for 2 whole months! The doctor said that the reason could be because he has a tongue tie. However, this time I knew how to express early and I had the opportunity to so my milk was not compromised. Unlike the first time when I could only express a miserable 1 1/2 ounces each time. This time, I could express up to 10 ounces each time.

So I expressed and fed him from a spoon at first and a cup later on. No bottles. It was very tiring since I could not breastfeed him directly. My days passed by in a blur of expressing, feeding, trying to latch baby and repeat!

He latched on at exactly two months and 1 day! The day that I almost considered giving up from weariness and frustration. It was only after that, that I began to enjoy the freedom of breastfeeding and the joys of breastfeeding. I eventually breastfed him fully for 3 years and the 2 months of difficulty was all worth it.

I digress so much. I had started this post to state my intention to start a breastfeeding stories category on this blog and open it to contributors to support other breastfeeding moms who have difficulty breastfeeding like I did and yet have no support accept the internet.

During my difficult time breastfeeding, what kept me going was reading the breastfeeding stories from other mums online.

I wish to invite all breastfeeding mums to contribute to this Breastfeeding Stories Category. Some I will personally invite but even if I don't send you an invite, just feel free to invite yourself.

Please begin your story in this manner. Here are some examples..

My Breastfeeding Story - I didn't know how to breastfeed my newborn


My Breastfeeding Story -  My experience in Tandem Nursing


My Breastfeeding Story - How I pumped and work at the same time


My Breastfeeding Story - My Problems with Weaning


My Breastfeeding Story - (__________________) Fill in the blanks with your breastfeeding experience that you would like to share and which you think will be helpful whether it is breastfeeding mulitples, the difficulty or simply the joy you experience in breastfeeding. Then write anything you like and in any length you like and email it to me at

At the end of the story, please remember to link back to your blog or the breastfeeding cateogory on your blog if you have one.

We may not be very successful in reaching out to support other mums individually but collectively, I hope that our stories will be able to help someone out there the way it helped me to perservere doggedly on and remain motivated and inspired despite the uphill battle (yes, it was almost like a battle). I wanted to give up many times but reading the many stories helped me to continue.

Breastfeeding mothers do share a special bond. Lets come together and reach out to support others in a small way. All you have to do is share your story.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to reading your inspiring Breastfeeding Stories.

Pin It

Friday, October 07, 2011

10 Things to Feel Good About

Here are 10 things I feel good about today. They are all very simple things in life but then in life it is the little things that add up so it is important to be happy about small things.

1. Today, I had a relaxing breakfast with the kids. There was no rush despite it being a school day.
2. I am on my 5th day in my New Month's Resolution and doing well so far.
3. I feel more energized after doing daily exercises instead of feeling more tired.
4. After exercise, I had a nice shower then I sit and sip a hot drink while sitting on my massage chair pad. We can't afford a massage chair but a massage chair pad feels just as good.
5. I had 3 Amazon sales last night.
6. I saw my son's teacher. I hope that reassures him that mummy and daddy will always stand up for him and be there for him.
7. I am listening to my favorite CD, Secret Garden on the Sony Walkman which I received. I love it. Music moves me and this little thing stores all my CDs in one place. Lovely! I love Secret Garden because it has many nice relaxing songs in it.
8. After doing all this, I still have time to write. I don't know why I love to write so much, I just do. Being above to do something that you love is simply wonderful.
9. Today is Friday!
10. Its only noon and already I've got 10 things to feel good about.

Happy Weekend!

Pin It

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Time Extension

I love doing everything online. It really saves time. I remember not long ago, we used to have to queue up at the post office to pay our utility bills during weekends. What a time waster that was! Sometimes it took all of my Saturday morning sitting and waiting in line for my number to be called before I was able to pay my bills.

Now, I can do it online by tapping on my keyboard and clicking on my mouse. How wonderful that is. We can do so many things online now. Buy airline tickets, movie tickets, do banking, go shopping and pay taxes etc. You can even get an e file tax extension online. That is why I love my computer so much and can't live without it.

An e file tax extension is a time saver. However, one must be careful about not spending too much time in front of the computer. In such a case, the time saver becomes a time waster! If you must spend time in front of the pc, it is better to spend it doing productive things instead of spending it playing endless games for hours.

I'm grateful for the my time saver, my computer. However, apart from an e file tax extension, one time extension that I would really like right now is more time for my kids to prepare for their end of the year examinations.

Pin It
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...