Monthly Archives: February 2008

Bottle feeding

Another thing to add to the table of contents for baby manual.

Fundamentals of bottle-feeding a baby

As all parents know, baby-feeding requires not just making sure the teat is filled with milk (ie, baby not sucking in air) but also that baby needs to be burped occasionally.

Caleb falls asleep halfway being burped. For me, this is the most frustrating part of handling a baby- when baby isn’t “cooperating”. Because he is already very sleepy, waking him only gets him in a grouchy mood, leading to more crying; where the crying before was due to hunger. The milk also gets cold, requiring dunking the bottle in hot water to keep warm- all this with infant in one hand / arm. When he is awake, the neighbours know it too. Caitlin stirs in her bed, sometimes grunts due to the noise-frustration also.

The discomfort of “air” (thus needing to burp) also gets him going. This double-reason to be grouchy does not actually mean double the decibel of cry-noise-level– it is actually exponential. In adult speak, I’d probably be able to see the vein on his temple given the intensity of his screaming.

And when he does finally belch, your satisfaction is usually shortlived, because- you guessed it- it’s back to snoozing time.

The whole feeding session therefore takes forever to finish. We are talking over an hour just to complete some 5 ounces of stickiness.

Which then brings us to the next item.

How to keep a sleepy baby awake TO BLOODY FINISH THE MILK

My method of waking him is by tickling his ribs. I think it is quite effective because if it were me I’d be awake too, but probably just as grouchy.

I can’t say all this is new to me. Caitlin was just as grouchy when I already started using this method over 3 years ago now (but this time; I checked, I didn’t leave red marks on her ribs like I did with my first offspring).

And all this, of course, is not only during the day. Mummee and Daddee are just as grouchy due to the lack of sleep from the night before, and to be woken during sleep, and the frustration not immediately getting back to sleep after being woken (at least for me; Mummee seems to be able to just-sleep, as if it were actually a verb) especially when it’s the limbo hours- 5:30 to 6:30am when I should be up at 7:15am– like, is there any point trying to go back to sleep when it takes me a while to get back to sleep…..

From memory, Caitlin wasn’t this difficult. But then again as with human psyche, we only remember the good stuff, less of the bad stuff… or is this psycho-babble only applicable to women and their reduced recollection of the pain during delivery? I am confused myself now I am not sure if I am right or confused gotta stay awake…

I am reminded of The Simpson’s episode where Homer’s half brother Herb, after being bankrupted by Homer, got a second wind by stumbling upon a venture idea: Invent / design a gadget that translates baby blabber into English. His test subject, of course, was Maggie. He went on the (re)become a millionaire with this gadget.

I think anyone in real life would, too. Either that or to develop the elixir to replace / regrow torn-out hair.

Toddler and bad dreams, again.

For some reason, Caitlin seems to be having bad dreams again lately.

I would have thought given we are all back home now for a few weeks already, and also with the Chinese New Year festivities since then being a positive distraction, that she shouldn’t have anymore real reasons to be in any sort of negative frame of mind.

But at nights, she does still make some exclamations of “I don’t want I don’t want“. It’s nothing serious- she doesn’t wake up screaming or anything like that, just that I would prefer she sleeps right through, or at least a sleep with not-negative dreams.

And she remembers these episodes too. Cos at nights when I am putting her to bed, recalling these episodes actually drives her to tears. This is a kid who doesn’t cry much (sans serious hurt, like when Daddee wasn’t paying attention while trying out new bicycle helmets at the store, and pinched her neck-skin with the fastener! OUCH)

And apparently for her there is an elixir to solve this dilemma. A few times already when already in bed waiting for sleep (largely the waiting is on my part), to mitigate this she has requested for some fresh milk. As to how fresh milk, to her, is a bad-dream chase-away-er I don’t know. So, if she’s recently just had her milk-formula feed, I’d refuse her. But at other times I have relented and poured her half a cup just to hopefully psychologically appease her. After all, aren’t dreams a psychological after-effect?

Perhaps she has found her comfort food?

I gotta watch this, ‘cos too much comfort food is only going put her in higher risk of (possibly) being overweight later in her life. I for one know this too well; I was a rather chubby adolescent and have been carrying this “burden” even until now. I don’t call myself overweight, but I have always been on the “meaty” side all my life. Like a typical parent’s expectations for their kids, this isn’t something I wish for my kids.

Toddler and the top 40 chart

..Suicidal, suicidal…

Good lord what is she singing??

I would much rather she sing the earlier few verses, You’re way too beeeaaaaauuuutiful girl…

I thought she should know what she was singing, but of course at age 3 she may still be struggling with the concept of death, much less the idea of it being self-inflicted.

So all I said to her was, “Caitlin, Daddee wants you to know that suicidal means to die” in the most basic comprehension I could think of; “but it’s ok if you wanna sing it. I just want you to know what you are singing about…”

I think she got it- she had that solemn “oh…” look in her face.

If she knew the gesture of ah-well/shrug she didn’t show it, but she may as well have, cos she was singing it again, over and over all the way during the car ride home.

Still, it is kinda interesting to see them starting to pick up popular music. I will continue watching what stations and songs my car radio is playing. Lucky my Nine Inch Nails CD is not on my playlist!