Friday, June 23, 2017

Getting Ma Babies To Sleep Early

Both my babies are sleeping while I'm writing this. They usually go to sleep around 8-8.30pm. It started before Naila was born and hubs gave me this one baby sleep book. So being the excited first time mom, I read like, 10 parenting books even before I delivered. I ate them up.

But one thing I really feel I need is my sleep. If that sounds selfish.. well you know they say that you have to take care of your self first, to become the best mom for your children. Because you gotta give and give and give. What happens if you're out of steam?

That's when you start becoming mommy monster. Not that I've never been.. but the key word here is 'trying' to take care of yourself.

So that's why I started putting my babies to sleep early.

I love my alone time.. I think I'm more of an introvert, I need my space. Even from my babies. ESPECIALLY from my babies after a looonngg day.

And I love having adult conversations at the end of the day with hubs, as opposed to baby talk the rest of the day.

Anyway according to the books that I've read.. babies are programmed to sleep early.. you just have to help them go to sleep! I've got friends who complained that their babies won't sleep way into midnight.. and I think the babies are just too overstimulated.

Naila is currently 3 years old and Ibrahim is 11 months old.. Both have NEVER slept past 9pm except during Raya or special times. We went on vacation and they slept at 8.30pm outside. So yeap we trained 'em good.

During Naila's time I was very methodical.. as in we had a sleep routine down to the minutes. When Ibrahim came along, I had to adjust for 2.. and I might skip a few things one day.. and do it another day. But it's really the same routine overall.

NUMBER 0: Last nap of the day ends at 5pm, or 3pm depending on their age. Let them play outside.. burn some energy, swim or do whatever that keeps them occupied.

NUMBER 1: Start bathing them around 6.30pm. Or sometimes they eat first.

NUMBER 2: Eat dinner. Around 7pm.

NUMBER 3: Play... puzzles, books, colouring.. sometimes things get out of hand with 2 kids because they'll end up overexcited but I always try to get them to wind down. Maybe play with torchlight in the dark.. That's Naila's favorite. Until around 8.15pm. I'll squeeze in Maghrib prayers while the kids play & hubs take over for a few mins.

NUMBER 4: Lights off. By 8.30PM. Or earlier if I'm too tired.

They will doze off within 15 mins.

Rinse and repeat for the next 10 years! HAha.

I know it sounds simple but only if you start early. And as a parent, I had to stick to schedule every single day. I'm not ashamed to admit that I really love this part because once they're asleep, I'm FREEEEE.

I started training them since they're 1 month old.. before that newborns are just too little to care about routines. And newborns are adjusting to alot of things. They don't know the difference between napping in the morning and sleeping at night.

Everybody has a circadian rhythm or 'sleep wake body cycle' and in babies, they're not developed yet. So first thing is to teach them that we sleep at night.. starting 8pm, it's lights off for the baby. If the baby doesn't want to sleep, just let them lie there in the dark... with you of course.

If they wake up at 3am cooing and you smell poo.. just change their diapers as fast as possible and get back to bed. No playing, no making faces, no talking to them. I swear the baby will get it within a month. They'll poo and cry.. but they will be asleep when you change them.

The baby will be prepped by the time he's 2 months old. Some babies start sleeping through the night.. of course mine doesn't.. I bf my babies but I still manage to get them to sleep by 8.30pm and by 9 months, they're sleeping through the night.

I know, some people will be like, why do I need to put my kids to sleep early? I like having them around!

NUMBER 1: Babies need 14 hours sleep for their development. Some babies don't even like to nap...so getting them to sleep early is one way to fill up their sleep quota.

NUMBER 2: Good habits die hard. And I believe sleeping early is a good habit to have especially when they start school. And haven't you heard? Successful people wake up very early in the morning to start their day. Sleep early=wake up early. Subuh pun senang. Ehem.

NUMBER 3: Like I said... I get some alone time.. to zone out on my phone, to talk to hubs, to read, to clean up the mess etc etc etc. It does wonders on your mental health.. I promise!

So that's it! How I get my kids to sleep early.. I don't believe in having kids 'who don't want to sleep early'. It's probably because their not helped to sleep early.. They won't just miraculously fall asleep early. I Wish!

Just have to keep trying until eventually... they tell you when they're sleepy! I'm off to drink hot choc & read. In peace and quiet. Kids Free.

'Till then, TC.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Milestones & Parenting the Danish Way


Naila is having a 2 week holiday so naturally I've got my hands full. It's a blessing that she now knows how to play independently but at the same time, she still needs my company after 1 hour playing alone.. Ibrahim naps 2-3 times a day. 

This week it seems both had a milestone jump.. Naila suddenly started looking at her Lego Duplo in a new light. If she was building 4-5 block structures before, now she's suddenly interested in building mega structures.. finishing all the lego blocks in one go! 

One day she just came to me and said "Mommy! I need to show you something!!" 

So I went to her room.. low and behold... a behemoth structure by her previous standards. I felt so proud of her for figuring it out by herself! 

We played lego soo many times together. I tried showing her many ways to assemble the lego but she couldn't care less. Then she went on to discover stuff by herself! 

Major mind shift on my part.. 

Then I found out about Danish parenting.. which means that you don't have to actively play with your kids all the time. You can just let them learn to play by themselves sometimes. 

One more thing that Naila started doing is to scribble zig zags. It might not sound like much. I was even getting worried that she doesn't seem to have any drawing skills or even remotely interested in writing.  

If forced to draw, she'd be doing circles over and over again. She'll say its Olaf or something. I'm expecting her to draw like a stick man or something by now... but nope. So I'm pretty happy that she suddenly enjoys writing zig zags in the notebook.. And they're pretty nice zig zags too. 

Ibrahim on the hand started playing imitation games last week. He'd nod and shake his head. He would move his fingers when we sing twinkle-twinkle little star. Honestly, he's at such a fun age.

Giggly and funny. He'll be 11 months soon. Ahhh time flies by! 

Friday, June 9, 2017

Full Moon

Another year has passed.. and it feels like deja-vu. Ramadan is here again, back so soon when the memories of last Ramadan are still fresh.

Today I heard a news of a blogger who passed away at 29 because of cancer. It shocked me in a way that I didn't expect. I didn't know her personally but I read her blog since forever. The news left me feeling fragile but at the same time extremely grateful for my life.

Lately I've been thinking about mortality. I even discussed it with hubs and friends. Now that I've got children, I kind of feel responsible to be healthy and live as long as I can... so I can take care of them. I just can't imagine someone else taking care of my babies. I don't drive nearly as reckless as I did during my solo days either.

The way that the blogger went.. I think is the best way to go.. with family members by her side, reading quran and giving her doas. In Ramadan, on Friday. In a way it sounds like she hit the jackpot. How will we go? Will it be in a dignified way, with a warning?


"Our lord! Grant us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and save us from the chastisement of the fire" [2:201]


Suddenly all other worries sound pesky and almost meaningless. What was I worrying about yesterday? Everything is temporary. But to pass on means that you're on your way to the permanent life.

Suddenly it seems like I was overreacting everytime I complain about being pregnant again. Or those times when I was angry at Naila for being hyperactive. Or that time I fought with hubs over something silly. What nonsense.

May Allah forgive us this Ramadan and triple fold our deeds.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Third

Just a short update since forever!

I'm ganna come out and just say it! I'm preggers again! Lolz. Alhamdulillah. There are a few things that I planned on doing this year.. and to be honest getting pregnant again is not one of it. You can say it's a surprise.. I went into shock the first few weeks of finding out. I cried at the doctor's. 
Very dramatic stuff...

Hubs? I guess we went into shock in different ways. That's what I can say. 

Right now, we're.. getting there. Ibrahim is only 9 months old so this will be like the case of the Irish twins.. only different year. 

But again, alhamdulillah we have a lot of support from our families.. my parents and in laws, from daycare and from my wonderful maid. 

I worry about how would I balance my work & being a mom of three..... with 2 under the age of 2? There's breastfeeding involved. The time and effort needed is just wow. 

Ya Allah please give me strength to become the mother you want me to be. 

It's a process everyday.. some days are tough, some days are wonderful. I always remind myself that the babies will grow bigger so I better buck up. Actually since we found out about the baby many wonderful things happened.. we went to Krabi AGAIN. I LOVE my real estate work. Many many things that I can't express how grateful I am. 

My pregnancy is easy, again. No nausea or morning sickness.. I climbed Broga with Hubs & Naila when I was 3 months along.. 




I'm already 7 months along now and at most I get hungry alot. Alhamdulillah again. 

Ibrahim is 9 months old and thriving. Eating and playing lots. We're going to start sleep training him soon. 



I hope I can keep writing regularly. There's so many things unspoken that only makes sense when written down. 

Till then. 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Labor Story (Induce)

baby

One of the things that I’m obsessed with, is gentle birth. So I waited as long as I could with this pregnancy. 41 weeks to be exact. Here I was, thinking… Is the baby coming out at all? Is everything ok in there? I even had that feeling of “maybe baby wants to come out but he can’t!”

All the while, I started walking at the park again, climbed up and down the stairs—basically making myself busy with natural inducers. On the 41 week checkup, I settled some work stuff before going for the appointment. I felt pretty defeated at that point.

So during the check up, again, doctor found my baby’s heartbeat slow. I was wheeled into the labor room and strapped to the ctg. Doc mentioned “c-sec” which gave me a mini stroke. But again, the baby was fine according to the ctg. Doc gave me a recommendation to induce that night for the safety of myself & my baby. Otherwise, I can choose to wait ONLY another 3 days at my own risk.

OK let me tell you, I was very tempted to wait another 3 days but was the anxiety & my baby’s safety worth it? I’ve waited 10 months and one week! And the doctor gave me a stern recommendation which I didn’t take lightly.

So I went home, called hubs, spoke to my parents then prayed. To tell you the truth, I cried a bit. Then I bucked up and called the hospital to set the appointment for inducement. At this point, you can pretty much throw your birth plan out the window.

THAT NIGHT

After putting Naila to sleep and kissing her goodnight, hubs sent me to the hospital around 10pm. After registration, we were brought to the room and I was hooked on ctg for I don’t know how long. They administered Prostin at around 12am. When I say ‘administer’ means they shoved the pill up my hooha ok. Not before the first of many vaginal examinations aka VE.

The whole experience up to this point is pretty bizarre to me. I was prodded, strapped to ctg and not allowed to move. Which is unlike my first labor. But then again, this is the standard procedure for being induced. Because Prostin or even pitocin drip could cause baby distress.

After an hour, I started feeling mild contractions. I tried to sleep because I knew that I was ganna need the energy later.. my 1st labor was very long, even up to the pushing stage. So I thought, maybe this one is the same?

I think I only slept for an hour because the contractions got stronger. I started walking around the room to ease the pain.. I also did squats because ya know, they can progress labor faster.

It’s funny.. time is infinity when you’re in labor. Because you’re just focusing on the contraction pain. I was walking and doing squats for about 2 hours come to think of it. The nurse came in at 6am to do ctg. Then did VE while I’m strapped to the CTG on top of handling strong contractions. Nurses, you’ve got no emotions!

Apparently I was 3cms already yay. The nurse told me to have my breakfast and freshen up. I’m entering the labor room at 8.30am for the pitocin drip and baby’s big debut! I wasn’t that hungry but forced myself to eat anyway. I took lots of dates. I woke hubs up *rolls eyes* He slept through the whole night because I was so quiet. *ROlls eyes*

Around 7am I was given an enema so you can quickly do the no. 2.

Shortly after that, the contractions pick up speed. The ctg was strapped again. The nurse could see that I was having stronger longer contractions and they got excited. When they’re excited, they do more VE. At that point I was like, go ahead!

This is where the trouble started. My baby’s heartbeat started dropping whenever I had a contraction. The nurses started scurrying around. Thing is, they never tell you anything, so I had to pull one aside and said “what’s going on?”

She said, “your baby’s heartbeat ‘tak cantik’.”

From their conversations, I knew my gynae has been informed and she’s on the way. They also mentioned c-section. I was praying and praying that my baby holds on & that my body cuts the crap and get to the pushing part already!

It all went very fast. I was 5cm when they wheeled me into the labor room. My contractions were painful and long. I was doing all this hypno visualizations of a flower blooming while taking deep breaths. But it’s really hard when the nurse keep telling me to sit still and not move.

“Belly up!”

“We need to see your baby’s heartbeat on the ctg!”

Woah the pain triples.

In the middle of that, the nurse hooked me to saline. It felt like too many things were happening at once.

Not long after that, I felt the urge to push. My water broke and I felt the gush.

The nurses started saying “serrum” to each other.

I alternate from panicking for my baby to taking deep breaths during contractions. It was 8.15am when I had the huge urge to push.

Remarkably, the nurses wanted me to breathe through the urge. “DON’T PUSH” was the instruction. Honestly I didn’t push but my freaking uterus was squeezing out the baby whether I wanted it or not.

It was very confusing at this point. The pushing urge were super intense.. every breathing technique forgotten.. the nurses didn’t want me to push but my baby’s heartbeat was dropping. They told me to lie sideways (oh NOW YOU WANT ME TO LIE SIDEWAYS), close my thighs and breathe air out with every urge to push. 

IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE. THE WORST FEELING IN MY LIFE. It’s like fighting FATE.

My hands were numb and shivering. I was hyperventilating.

At one of those urges, I felt the top of baby’s head! Still I wasn’t allowed to push.

The clock showed 8.23am. The longest 10 minutes of my life. After what felt like an eternity of torture, my gynae appeared, spread my legs and said, “when you feel the urge, push as hard as you can”.

Well no need the invitation. The baby just slipped out the moment she finished that sentence.

I heard my baby’s strangled cry. It was 8.25am. Alhamdulillah the hard part is over!

The placenta birth was straightforward, I didn’t even feel it. I still felt strong cramps and I was like, “my stomach hurts!” So the nurse handed me the laughing gas.. I inhaled so much, I was drugged good. Funny--laughing gas doesn’t make the pain go away, it just muddles your brain that you don’t know what you’re feeling anymore.

AFTERTHOUGHT

So in the end, the prostin meds were all that it took to induce my labor.. I was overdue anyway. It’s very different from a natural birth, in terms of everything. But I knew what was gonna happen and there was a high chance that my baby would get distressed and the panicking and the super fast birth. But I’m glad things turn out the way it did.

I didn’t take any epidural, and there’s no episiotomy. After the birth, I had an overwhelming feeling of tiredness & bewilderment. Things felt out of control and I just listened to the nurses and submitted. Because that’s what induction is.

The main difference between having a natural birth & an induced one is—level of control. And the feeling afterwards. With the natural birth, I remember feeling an energetic high. I had been in labor over 7 hours but I felt fresh and like I just won the first place in a marathon.

Contrary to being induced.

It was overwhelming, it was fast and furious. BUT. It definitely did the job. My stance has always been natural birth unless there’s danger to me or the baby.

So.. verdict on which is more painful? Natural birth or induce?

Hm. I would say induce pain is harder to manage, just because you’re constricted to the bed and that the pain gets strong very fast. But it’s still very very doable. It helps to google success stories and to read about mothers who birth 4 kids without pain medications and their comment? “It’s no big deal & it’s not weird, it’s just natural.”

There’s MANY reasons why you shouldn’t take epidurals.. you’ll be better off physically and spiritually. Recovery is faster. Your baby doesn’t get drugged. Many many more reasons. 

In conclusion, alhamdulillah my labor was straightforward & my baby came out healthy. Although I didn’t plan on getting induced, it’s in the best interest of myself & my baby. I’m also proud that I didn’t take epidurals both times. It’s all in the state of mind.

Okay over & out! Mommy wants to take a shower! If you’re interested to read about my first natural ‘gentle’ birth, go here –> LABOR STORY

Say ASSALAMUALAIKUM to baby TAWFIQ IBRAHIM

Born on 26th July 2016, 8.25am

2.65 KG

tawfiq

Friday, June 10, 2016

Boba Carrier Review (2 Years Usage)

This review is sooo long overdue but here goes… I bought the Boba Carrier in 2013 at a baby fair so mine’s the 3G version. Started using it when Naila was 4 months old eventhough we bought it before she was born. I joined the babywearer’s FB group shortly after.. and found out that SSCs (soft structured carriers) aren’t suitable for babies below 4 months old because the baby’s back isn’t strong enough yet.

So for the first 4 months, I used the Boba wrap, which I’ll also do a short review later.

First of all, I love the carrier because it was so easy to put on. This is super important because I use the carrier everyday by myself. Even when you switch the carrier to another person, the straps are easy to adjust. You can get it done less than 5 minutes.

When I started using the Boba Carrier I thought it’s super comfy. The carrier fits my 5’2 frame just nice and hugs the baby. Naila was so comfortable in it that whenever I put her in, she’d quickly fall asleep! Alot of people commented on how Naila is a ‘good’ baby. But believe me, she’s only like that when in the carrier.

I am a work at home mom, and I used to take Naila out everyday… So you could say that I’m a heavy user of the carrier. It’s the ONLY carrier that I used for 1 and half years and the carrier still looks good and wears well! The material is sort of like canvas, very hardy. It has a hood which was SO SO useful when baby is asleep. There’s also a small pocket on the bottom of the carrier which comes in handy sometimes.

IMG_1478

Check out the padding on this thing.. so thick! It was like lugging a bag instead of a 8kg baby.

When I’m alone, I usually prefer to use the Boba carrier. I mean, you can imagine having to carry a 7kg stroller and a 7kg baby at the same time.. Not pretty. So yeah the Boba carrier is a staple in my car.. I never took it out. Around 5 months old, Naila decided that she hates the stroller. So even hubs started carrying her in the carrier. Hubs is about 5’8, with a way bigger frame than me but the carrier can be adjusted and is also very comfortable for him.

IMG_1243

Naila was 5 months old in the pic. Although, when hubs is wearing the baby, her legs tend to be splayed out more. And she seems to sink a little in the seat. I think it’s because hubs tends to wear it a bit lower on the hips. But again, in the carrier, Naila NEVER complains or cries. She just happily looks from side to side.

I know some parents prefer the forward facing carriers, and sometimes say their babies prefer it too. I think because I exposed Naila to this position since she was a month old, so she loves it! I also think that forward facing is a bit scary for small babies. Like, they’re more protected by facing in. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just paranoid or something.

When Naila was 5 months old, we started travelling around Malaysia. We took her to Cameron Highlands. Cameron Highlands has a cool weather, so walking outside is a breeze. We walked along the morning and night markets, did sight seeing around the orchids while wearing her. Me and hubs alternate wearing her for a few hours. She simply drifted in and out of sleep. Again, no complains! And Naila is so NOT the docile baby type. That’s why I love wearing her. She just simply switches on to zen mode in the carrier. The personality change is so obvious it’s funny.

With the carrier I’ve taken her everywhere actually. To the beach, sightseeing, we did trekking once. Walked inside buildings with ac, outside under the sun. What else…

IMG_2280

7 months old Naila under the hood.

IMG_2274

Carrying her at the beach with my trusty tan Boba carrier.

IMG_0329

Baby almost falling asleep in the carrier.

Oh yeah! Did I mention you can wear the carrier on the back? When Naila was about 10 months old and VERY heavy, I started carrying her on the back. What could I say? A weight was lifted. I was carrying a normal backpack except that the content was breathing. One more thing I like about the carrier is that it has the strap to hold your handbag in place. OMG I am so thankful for this feature!

boba strap

This isn’t my photo, but I’ll just use it for demonstration purposes, just to show you where the strap is.

The strap is a lifesaver. Imagine carrying a baby and having to adjust your handbag every few minutes. It’ll get annoying pretty fast. With the strap, your handbag is held in place forevermore. Love it.

The only thing that I’ve never done in the carrier is to breastfeed. Maybe it’s just me but I don’t feel comfortable enough to breastfeed on the go. Somehow feels very exposed even though I know zillions of moms out there who successfully breastfeed while wearing the carrier without no one even noticing.

When I set out to look for a carrier, I wanted it to be convenient, ergonomic, reliable, hardy, comfortable and that baby loves it. I found all that in the Boba carrier. If this was a car, I’d equate it to be like a really reliable Toyota. No fuss, easy to find in stores and the price is reasonable considering that I’ve been using it for the past 2 years. It transits well from babies to toddlers.

All in all, 5 stars for the Boba Carrier.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...