Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Avoiding Constipation in Babies

I think every new mother gains a whopping amount of knowledge about baby poop as the months... or even years lol.. pass. But at the start of this motherhood journey, I knew practically nothing about it. So here's what I've learnt and found useful so far with regards to constipation in babies. Hope new mums who are Googling worriedly right now because their baby hasn't pooped in days, will find this post useful :)

Firstly, frequency is not a reliable indicator of constipation. Infrequent stools are not necessarily a cause for concern as long they are soft and the baby does not have pain passing the stool. Especially before starting solids, Myla Rae would go days without pooping. If I remember correctly, the longest she had ever gone without a poop was 5 days. And it's normal for some young babies and newborns who are breastfed to go up to 8 days without poop. So don't worry!

You'll know if your baby is constipated because constipated babies will experience pain and discomfort during bowel movements. They will look like they are having a tough time straining to poop. Some might even cry. The poop itself will look harder and drier than normal, often like small dry pellets or round marbles.

When she was younger and I was less experienced about managing constipation, Myla Rae has had some horrifically hard poops to pass... the kind that scared me. Thankfully, we have never had a bleed or tear! Though... I've heard that is not uncommon as quite a few of my friend's have had their young babies passing such hard, dry stools that you see a little blood or even slight tears (fissures) in the delicate skin near the opening of the baby's anus (OMG so heartpain!). If that happens to your baby, you can apply some aloe vera lotion to the area to help it heal. And keep the area as clean and dry as possible.

If constipation gets too bad and your baby isn't eating, loses weight, or has blood in his stool, please see a doctor. They can recommend a stool softner or an enema.

Here are my tips for avoiding constipation in babies using natural ways, so hopefully you can help your baby avoid the discomfort and pain that comes with constipation.

1. WATER
There are 2 things that a good soft poop needs. Fiber AND water. Lots of people make the mistake of increasing the fiber in a baby's diet thinking it will help them poop. But additional fiber will only make the stools even harder and drier if water intake is inadequate! Offer your baby water regularly, especially on a hot day.

If your baby is under 6months old or hasn't started solids yet, the usual advice is that they cannot have water on its own. (Although, on a few occasions, I did give my baby sips of warm water when she was under 6 months old).

2. Don't dilute milk!!!
A lot of parents think it's okay to dilute the milk formula in order to prevent constipation. It's not ok!!! Especially not for a young baby. Milk formulas have a specific recommended dilution ratio to ensure your child gets the maximum nutrients from it. It is better to feed your child extra water in between feeding times instead. You can read more about the roles and functions of your child's digestive system and also how Friso's LockNutri preserves nutrients in natural form making it easy for your child to absorb. I picked up a lot of good tips on baby's digestive health from that site.

3. P vs. B
Certain types of solid food are more likely to trigger constipation. These are usually B foods like bananas and bread. Other foods can help prevent infant constipation, these are usually P foods like prunes, peaches and pears.

My baby loves bananas and wholemeal bread. She will chomp down really fast. While these are great foods for active toddlers, I don't let her have them everyday. Moderation is key.

4. Exercise

Myla is wondering why I'm bicycling her legs (for this demo shot), I only used to do this (A LOTTTTT) when she was a young infant. lol

Now that's she's an active toddler, we face a lot less constipation. But before she was crawling, I found that low activity levels can lead to constipation. Infants often need assistance if you think they are not getting enough exercise. 

Grasp the baby's lower feet and gently move the baby's legs in a bicycling motion if the infant is not yet crawling. Bringing the infant’s legs up and down can help the intestines work.

5. Massage
A gentle belly massage can help ease constipation. Out of habit, I still do this till today. After her bath, before I put on her diaper. I place 3 fingers across her stomach, and massage in a clockwise direction, with gentle pressure. When she was constipated, I would do this massage while she was lying on her changing mat trying to poop, I swear it helped her to push her poop out. And so does lifting her legs to her chest.

I also use Telon Plus oil for this massage, it is slightly warming and comforting and keeps mosquitos away. I tried Ru Yi oil when she was younger but it burnt her belly skin Eeek!

6. FRUIT!


This has so far been one foolproof method to avoid constipation (apart from bananas and durians... too much of those make her constipated). She eats quite a lot of fruit now, and loves it... and thus is seldom constipated. But when she was younger, whenever she hasn't pooped the whole day, I would increase her fruit intake (and also pray lol)... and to my delight, I am greeted with a very wet poop filled diaper that evening or early the next day. Watery fruits like watermelon, kiwi, dragon fruit... works the best for her.

Hope that these easy tips to add to your baby's daily routine will help ease constipation or avoid it completely! Do share with us (in the comments) if you have any other tips on maintaining a healthy digestive system. Thanks in advance! :)

#frisosg #frisostronginside #frisoexperience

Friday, February 17, 2017

EZPZ Review & Giveaway!

Finally got down to using an EZPZ mat for Myla Rae's meals. Before I used to just put her food directly on her feeding tray that's attached to her chair. While it worked fine for us, it does becomes a chore to keep wiping and washing the mess after meals. And also I get paranoid that the tray top is actually not clean enough to eat off, even though I do wipe the surface with a wet wipe before I put any food on it. We can't use regular bowls because she will flip them. 
Here's her new EZPZ Mini Mat from Mumspick. It's Blush from the Nordic Collection.You can get 15% discount on any EZPZ mat in the new Nordic Collection when you shop online at MumsPick.com, just use discount code HOLLYJEAN. This offer is valid for 2 weeks (until 2nd March 2017).
I chose the mini version because fits perfectly onto my high chair tray top. This is the regular IKEA chair she's using. There are larger versions (either the EZPZ Happy Bowl or EZPZ Happy Mat) which you can place directly on your dining table top.
 Our mini mat works great on the table top too!
EZPZ Happy Bowl in Blue


EZPZ Happy Mat in Lime


Here's what we love about the EZPZ Mini Mat so far-
1. CLEAN (this is mainly my issue lol, cos Myla Rae isn't concerned with hygiene and will eat stuff off the floor if I let her lol). I can wash the whole mat with hot water and dish soap in the sink, before and after her meals. Clean up after meals is a lot easier now, just lift the whole mat and wash in the sink!

2. Less Mess. She cant flip this mat because once it's flat on a tabletop or tray top, there's good suction. Most spillovers are contained within the mat, and she can also pick and eat stuff which she dropped on the mat surface as well.
3. Fun looking. She loves the happy face, and that each compartment has a yummy surprise for her.  Today it is pasta with French beans and chicken, quails egg and kiwi with yoghurt.

4. Portable. I can slip it into the front pocket of my bag when we are eating out. I lay it on the highchairs at cafes/restaurants/coffeeshop or lay it directly on the table. When she's done, I use a wet wipe to clean it and wash it when we get home. If it's a real messy wet meal she's having outside, then I just zip into the toilet to give it a quick rinse.



5. Large variety of colour choices. Our mini mat is Blush from the new Nordic range of colours. I find this range so chic and trendy. They also have the regular range of bright and cheery colours.





Giveaway Time!

I want you to enjoy an EZPZ experience every meal time too! Would you like to win an EZPZ Mini Mat in Lime from Mumspick ? It's such a vibrant colour that's suitable for both boys and girls, infants / toddlers 4+ months.

Like all of ezpz's products, the Mini Mat is an all-in- one placemat + plate that suctions to
the table. The mat is made from 100% food-grade silicone that is BPA, BPS, PVC, latex
and phthalate free. The quality materials make this mat very lasting (silicone is bendable and flexible and doesn't fade, corrode or deteriorate). Completely non toxic and safe for baby. This is especially important (please don't get cheap knock offs!) because it's in contact with the food your child will consume.

The dimensions of the EZPZ Mini Mat are  8.5 x 7.7 x 1 inches. Portion sizes (i.e., the eyes and smile) are 2oz, 2oz and 4oz. Mat fits most highchair trays, including space saver models.

This is a great tool to have especially if you're doing Baby Led Weaning because it promotes self-feeding and develops fine motor skills. Even if you're doing traditional weaning (meaning you spoonfeed your baby), you can still use this mat once they are keen to explore food textures and learn to self feed.

It is compact and lightweight, so it is perfect for dinners out and travel. It is also easy to store, as it's packaged in a reusable bag that is ezpz to pop in your diaper bag. The mat is dishwasher, microwave and oven safe (up to 350 degrees).
Oh, if you have more that one kid, serving is easy because the EZPZ mats are stackable!

To Win yourself the EZPZ Mini Mat in Lime.
 
Follow these 2 simple steps:
1. LIKE Mumspick Facebook page
2. Head to my giveaway post on Facebook (Click here), Share that post and leave a comment to secure your spot in the draw. There are 80 slots available. Once all 80 slots are taken, I will conduct a facebook live draw (you can watch it live too) where one winner will be picked via randomizer. Only one slot allowed per person.

(This giveaway is open to those residing in Singapore only.)

That's all, it's EZPZ!
*This Giveaway is sponsored by MUMSPICK PTE.LTD.


P/S
Free Surprise Gift for you :)

Are you headed to the BabyLand Fair at Suntec on 24- 26 feb? MumsPick will be at Booth A09. Just present a screenshot of this page and you will receive a surprise gift from them!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Valentine's Day? What's THAT?

It just occurred to me that I have not celebrated Valentines' day in YEARS. About half a decade.

Think the last one was 6 years ago with that HK bf I had, I booked a suite with dinner at the Fullerton as a Valentine's treat for him. What a waste of my money and honestly, looking back, the food was good, the room was splendid and the company, well... was wrong. (click here to read how deluded I was bahahahah). Thinking back, I am such an idiot, I could have used that money for a nice holiday for myself instead! Lol..

I used to buy in too much to expectations of romance and the magic of Valentine's day. I remember, if I had no boyfriend for Valentine's Day, I would purposely set up a random date with someone... anyone... just to go out and have a 'romantic' Valentine's day. What a dumb fool I was. If I could go back in time, I would kick my younger naïve butt.

It's just one day. If you're single or are not dating anyone that special (or even worthy of your commitment), just get on with life and let the day pass. And also... if you are with someone special, I think you'll come to find, there's so much going on in your lives together that Valentines' Day is quite insignificant.

If you're thinking of just something simple like a home cooked dinner for tomorrow... read my latest article on MyfatPocket on Valentine's Menu to Boost his Sex Drive (yes, there's a science to it!). There are also lots of new articles I wrote this year which may tickle your fancy. Click here to see.
 
Me? Well, tomorrow I'm going to my mum's house so Myla Rae can see her grandparents. Then when we come home in the evening, David, our dog Lola, Myla Rae and I will have a simple dinner at home. Probably mince and tatties.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Estée Lauder Resilience Lift Review

I've been trying this product out for the past week and it's time to share my verdict. It's the Estée Lauder Resilience Lift Firming/Sculpting Face and Neck Creme SPF 15 (Dry Skin) 50ml (which I got for $154, with free delivery, from Sephora Online).
There are two versions- one for normal/combination skin type, and the other one which I am using is for dry skin.

Resilience Lift is not just hydrating but it is also supposed to sculpt your face and neck skin. Upon application, I was glad to find that there's no sharp or stinging feeling (which I was expecting a sculpting cream to have). I would say that the immediate tightening and lifting sensations are quite subtle. So do not expect to feel any sudden tautness to your skin. But what I do see and feel in an obvious way is that my skin tone evens out a lot, there is a dewy soft glow to my skin, and my skin looks plumper.
It is a thick cream... and I'm usually not keen on thick creams because my dry skin doesn't absorb thick creams as well as it does a lighter lotion texture. But I'm pleased to say that it does absorbs easily, and while there is still a lingering moistness to the skin after application, it's not a gunky thick residual type feeling.
Just a little dab amount to form a thin coat will do. This will create a very smooth base under make up. Use too much and I find that my foundation won't sit well. So this is definitely one of those products with a lot of mileage in a small tub.

 
I find that this product makes my skin look good enough even without putting on foundation. So I'm often out and about sans make up. It's almost like it has a pearls in it which glide onto the skin and give it a glow, at the same time hiding minor imperfections in skin tone. The immediate result is plumper and more youthful looking skin, without any tight or uncomfortable sensations.  I like it! :)
 
 Shop your favourite Estée Lauder products here!

Friday, February 03, 2017

Pros & Cons of Late Teething

Myla Rae's very first tooth started cutting through her gums recently, at 13 months old. Although I know there are babies who only started teething at like 14 or 16months, etc. I would consider Myla Rae a late teether. Afterall, at this point where she has one tooth, most similar aged babies have between 4 to 10 teeth in their mouth.
 
Me being an extreme worrier, haha, did ask her neonatal PD at KKH about it (yes she still sees the neonatal one which saw her at birth, she will only be discharged from their care once she's 2yrs old, no health issues it's just standard procedure for those born early). And the doctor wasn't concerned, she just said, it could take up to 15 months for some babies. If she doesn't have teeth by 16 to 18 months then we will run tests and xrays to see if there are teeth (under the gums).

16 months??!!! OMG I have to worry for so many months more (this was when she was 10 months old). What if she didn't develop any teeth under her gums?!!! Then What?! They don't want to Xray babies unnecessarily, and almost all of the time, there's actually nothing wrong and the teeth are there under the gums. Just waiting to cut through.

There's no explanation for why some babies' teeth cut through the gums later, and some much earlier. It actually has no link to anything. In my preemie group of mummies, most of their babies cut teeth at the regular time (between 6-12months), and in my December group of mummies on Facebook I did ask if those babies still with no teeth were born prematurely? And there were about 5 babies (including Myla) there still no teeth at 1year old (all the rest of the hundreds of babies already had teeth by this point). 2 were regular full term babies (37 to 40weeks), 1 was a micro preemie (micro is when they are born VERY prematurely, like before 30 weeks I think), 1 is Myla a 35 weeker and 1 is a late term baby born at 41 weeks who is many kilos heavier than Myla Rae now and was already walking.

So it was quite obvious that the baby's gestational age when born, milestones reached and the baby's current size also had no relation to late teething. Actually, all babies are born with the teeth formed under their gums already. (But some babies are born with the teeth already poking out of their gums). But I can tell you one thing, if your baby has no teeth by the first birthday, you will feel quite lonely... because by then, the majority of babies would have started teething.

However, now that we are past that, and Myla Rae finally started teething at 13months... I want to tell you mums with toothless babies... NOT TO WORRY. A baby's teething timeline is determined by it's own genetic biological clock. Only very rarely, late teething is caused by a medical issue. Bahahaa yes hindsight is 20/20.

Here are the Pros and Cons to having teeth later rather than earlier. I'll do the Cons first, because there are actually many more Pros to this.

Cons
1. You start to worry. I think this is the biggest con of having a late teether (for first time mothers at least. The second time round, you actually know there's no need to worry, and the later the better!). Plus uninformed people might look at your baby's gummy smile and suggest that the baby is behind in development, or that the baby is not getting enough nutrition.  -_-

2. People with babies with teeth think they are better than yours. lol. I'm serious! Not sure why, but I feel that other mums with babies who teeth early flaunt and phrase it in a way like their babies are more advanced than yours. Maybe it's just my perception. But I do get that feeling.... like recently (before myla teethed) a grandmother told me in a very smug and boastful manner than her 5 week old grandchild is already teething and she even added in the phrase "no word of lie". Huh... why would I even bother to think that you are lying about a baby teething. Bizarre.

3. It does limit food options. Not by a lot... but I do imagine that Myla Rae would be able to chew and bite off tougher and bigger pieces of food if she had teeth earlier. She does find with her gums though, and enjoys meal times. But She cannot for instance, take a bite off an apple using her gums only. Can u imagine trying to bite into an apple with only your gums and no teeth? We also tried recently- corn on the cob- since she had one partially erupted tooth I thought maybe she can, but she could only suck it and gum it, not really bite the kernels off. Oh well, will try again when she has some top teeth to help form a bite. For now, I am back to pulling off the kernels for her and she will pick up one by one.

Pros
1. They handle teething better when they are older. That is what I have found. Never used a teething gel or pacifier or cold chew. The tooth just cut through one day. She wasn't cranky, there were no signs. I just saw the tooth almost surfacing one day when she was eating and I happened to glimpse into her mouth. And the next day, it had pierced through the gum. She has had like pimple looking rash on her chin around her mouth for a couple of weeks before the tooth appeared. I think that it's her sign of teething. Though she's not drooling... no idea why the rash.

2. Less chance of decay. I can brush her tooth easily, and she is keen on trying to maneuver the toothbrush herself too. When she was a young infant and I tried to clean her gums, OMG, impossibiru! Hard to get my finger (which had a wet cotton gauze) into her mouth, let alone move it around. Also because at this age, babies are more likely to be able to sleep through the night and not have milk feeds. I just clean her tooth before bed time, and that's it. Nursing a baby through the night when they already have teeth is the main cause of milk rot and bad teeth. There are mummies in my mummies FB group already asking for recommendations for pediatric dentists because their 1 year olds have decay, or worn off and blackish/brownish front teeth.

3. It is likely she will get her permanent adult teeth late too. (I got my first adult tooth late, was embarrassed being in primary 5 and missing my 2 front teeth, when my classmates lost theirs at primary 3!) Again, the later the better because less chance for decay, and more chance of having the adult teeth longer. It's the first in first out logic.

4. Gummy smiles are awfully cute... and they do give your baby that BABY look for longer. (Though that mum with the large 41weeker baby, said that her baby looked strange without any teeth, because he was so big sized)

5. Late teething is supposed to give healthier and stronger teeth, as it's had more time for the calcium to build up etc. I don't know about this though... because the teeth are already made and formed under the gum when the baby is born... so I don't see how it erupting later is going to make its composition any different from a teeth which erupted earlier.. since they were all formed while the baby is developing in the womb? Who knows. if it's true, then great! :)

6. Less risky knocks. Now that Myla Rae has her first tooth, I find myself thinking aiyahhhh wish it were later by a couple more months (cos like I'm no longer worried that she doesn't have teeth lol). She's learning to walk now, which means she falls a lot. Scary when there's teeth. But I suppose it would be even riskier if she already had 2 full rows of top and bottom teeth. So I count our blessings. My friend's baby who is an early teether, (well, actually, not ridiculously early, 6 months old is pretty normal range I think), when he started to learn how to crawl at 8-9months, he smacked his face down on the floor (tiled), and the impact knocked his top front tooth out. OMG, I feel his pain. And now she's worried that missing that front tooth, he will have problems with speech development, and also get teased in school when older. I think the only consolation here is, he will probably get his adult teeth early too, is that around 7years old for early ones? But still... OMG, poor child.

So yes, if you have a late teether... don't worry! Don't be like me, everything also I find a reason to fret. Just enjoy your baby, and the innocent little gummy smile. Once they have teeth, yeah still cute-in their own way, but 2 rows of teeth and that "baby-ness" is no longer there  :(   . If at 16-18 months there's still no teeth, then consult a pediatric dentist. They can check the Thyroid, cos apparently it can cause the teeth not to erupt. Once that is fixed, the child will start teething as per normal ( I tink, this is based on what Dr Google told me). If nothing wrong with the blood tests, they will Xray, maybe some bone or the teeth arrangement under the gums is causing obstruction (in which case, minor surgery to clear the path)... absolute worst case, is the Xray shows that no teeth were formed under the gums. I'm not sure what happens if that's the case, when I Googled to read up (before myla started teething, told you I'm a worrier), there was not much said on this... because it's VERY VERY VERY rare.

Late teething doesn't signal a problem with a child's overall development. It has no bearing whether your child will get into Harvard or what. And actually, there are many upsides to being a later bloomer in this aspect. So don't need to be gan cheong spider like me.

 

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

How to Boost Baby's Immunity

 Immunity

Don’t take it for granted.

I think I’ve been quite fortunate, probably only needing the doctor for ailments perhaps a couple times in the last 5 years. Even though my husband comes home with some sort of bug or the flu every few weeks… I’ve been pretty immune. If I feel myself getting ill, I just boost my vitamin C consumption (usually in the form of a huge thirst quenching drink) and my body fixes itself. No pain or problem.

But recently, I can feel that my immunity is no longer as good, maybe my new lifestyle with baby in tow, has run me down more than I realise. But just before our holiday in Phuket in January this year, I came down with a full blown bad sore throat and cough. It took me a whole week to get rid of it. Baby Myla Rae also caught it. She started coughing too. And I thought for sure she would be worse off than me, because she’s just a baby, plus we’re travelling in a few days time... But surprisingly, before I could take her to the Pediatrician the next day, she had gotten over her cough. Phew! Can you imagine the worry and trouble if we had to travel with a sick baby?!


And then... On our way back from Phuket, the man seated behind us in the airplane, started vomiting violently. I’m talking SPLATTERING kind of vomit. It reached all the way to my armrest!!! OMG YUCK. And immediately, I started to worry that my baby would catch some virus from him. My husband said, No lah, the poor guy probably had food poisoning, nothing contagious.

The next day, my husband started vomiting. Two days later, I vomited through the whole night and felt very run down and weak the next day. Thankfully, it was just like a 24hr stomach bug. We were both ok the day after vomiting. I was not worried about myself, I was worried about the baby. But she was totally unaffected. Phew again!!

Protecting a child against illnesses has to be one of the top concerns of parents. I constantly worry about it, maybe it’s a first time mom thing lol. But I’ve found that I can be less worried now after those episodes because my baby’s immunity is actually not bad. Better than mine it seems.

Here’s what I’ve been doing for her so far:


1. A large serving of fruit a day. She takes about a whole bowl of fruit a day, more than is required for a 1 year old, but I feel it’s a good habit to have, and she enjoys it, so why not. Try to get your child to eat five servings of fruits and veggies a day. One serving is about two tablespoons for toddlers, 1 cup for older kids. Instead of snacks like puffs and rusks which she doesn’t like that much anyway, I give Myla fruit for her afternoon snack. I usually make it a very watery type fruit like watermelon, kiwi, dragon fruit… because it helps put extra hydration in her (she doesn’t drink a lot of water from her straw water bottle, argh!).

2. A multivitamin once a day. I just got one off the pharmacy shelf, It’s called WellBaby and has 14 vitamins and minerals. When this finishes, I’ll try another brand. Sometimes I do forget to give her a daily dose.... Cos I’m quite forgetful. But when she’s been exposed to germs and viruses… like with the splattering vomit man… I will suddenly remember to keep up with her multivitamin lol. Hey, it works.

3. Probiotics. In our digestive tracts, certain illnesses can knock the balance between the good and bad bacteria off, and probiotics can help to restore that balance. Probiotics can also help reduce the chances of baby developing eczema and allergies, according to research carried out at the Swansea Baby Trial. You can give your baby a probiotic supplement. Or like me, you can give them foods that are rich in probiotics such as yoghurt, cheese and milk that is fortified with probiotics. Myla Rae drinks Friso Gold 2, which has both probiotics and prebiotics. Friso Gold 2 is a follow-on formula that gives Myla Rae well-balanced nutrition and supports her gut health.

4. She eats lots of fish. Tucking into oily fish such as salmon isn’t just good for boosting brain development, the high levels of essential fatty acids have also been found to help improve immunity in children. Essential fatty acids are also needed to help white blood cells – which fight off infection – to function.


Check out more information on nutrition and immunity here (
http://www.friso.com.sg/health-and-digestion/good-nutrition/listing.html
) .
#frisosg #frisostronginside #frisoexperience