giving water to a baby below 6 months, ok or not?

ever since i became a mom, i have been "doubly" sensitive when it comes to babies and kids. the mother-ly gut is way above normal or what but it's like a complete turnover for me. and i just had my first "shock" yesterday.

please do not judge me. yes, i overheard everything and i'm just sharing this because i cannot seem to get over it.

i commuted on my way home yesterday and one fellow passenger was a mom carrying a very cute baby (ok, all babies are cute, i swear!). the passenger seated beside him asked how old and she replied, "turning 3 months...." i smiled to myself and remembered how my S was when she was 3 months (last month, he he.)...anyway, since our transportation is airconditioned (yes, puj's bound for our area are like that), you could clearly hear snatches of conversation between the mom and her neighbor. from what i gathered, her baby is sick with asthma, and is having a bit of difficulty with breathing. she just came from the hospital and was strongly advised to have her baby for admission but did not so (as to why is that, i have not heard because i was also watching a movie in my phone). anyway, what followed was she was ranting about her husband - at this point, i was listening intently to my movie - and i hate listening to rants about life in particular. then her baby started to cry. that got my attention. she asked her friend to get a baby bottle from her bag and the friend took out a bottle with water. i thought she was going to make some milk and to my horror, she fed the water to her baby.

and i was like, WHAT THE HECK IS SHE DOING? and all the time she was feeding her baby with water, she kept saying, "water lang sa nak ha? hurot na imong milk" (translation: just drink water for the meantime baby. you have no more milk)

OMG. isn't water not allowed for babies below 6 months? i wanted to volunteer my breast to feed the baby. but that would make me appear pakialamera or a know-it all. and besides, i would probably shock the rest of the passengers. my heart was breaking while looking at the baby sucking on the water. thankfully, the baby fell asleep after 5 minutes of sucking the water. deep inside, i prayed that the baby will not wake up again not until they reach home - BECAUSE I DID NOT WANT HIM TO BE FED WITH WATER AGAIN. and what was making it more sad was that the baby was wheezing every time he coughs. i looked away the whole time because i did not want to look at the baby because it was heart-breaking. for me, i guess. i was thinking that it was a bad time for me not to bring my expressed milk - i would have given it to her. but as it was a holiday, i did not bring my insulated bag.

i'm not an expert or anything but if with baby, bring extras. Y always reprimand me for making our diaper bag heavy with all those extras i bring every time we go out with S - but, better than sorry. and this is where breastfeeding is REALLY A MUST. i am not an expert about breastfeeding (being a mixed feeder myself - for story, read here and here) but i am an exclusive breastfeeding advocate. i do not carry a lot of bottles because i breastfeed S every time we are together but i bring one or two, just in case, because i do not want to go through the dehydration thing again - just read my links.

*sigh* i know this is an over-reaction. after all, she's the mom. to each, his own, as they say. but i cannot get over with it. i shared this to my husband and his first reaction was - don't ever do that (he meant to volunteer my breast to feed other babies) because i might get the bacteria of other babies and give it to S. well, i was not really going to. i just thought of it as an over-reaction but i could have probably if the baby was not sick.

the incident made me do some research. not because i wanted to shove my opinion to all mothers but i want to educate myself - to avoid some over-reaction in the near future perhaps, ha ha. initially, i remembered 3 months ago, when one of my in-laws (actually the sister of my father-in-law) visited us, S was having some hiccups. and she suggested to give her water. of course, i said no because i was told by pedia not to give anything other than milk, and hiccups is normal for babies and my mom also advised me not to give water..they rather scoffed at my reasoning and told me that water can help stop hiccups. so i guess i really need to research. according to, generally, it is not a good idea to give a baby water until he is 6 months old, because he is completely hydrated by milk. accordingly, giving an infant below the recommended age would interfere with the baby's ability to absorb the nutrients he need. and worse, it could cause water intoxification. a good answer also from this site. but personally, a baby below 6 months should be fed with milk exclusively and be introduce to water (and slowly) once they start solids.

anyway, so what you think other moms?

Cup Feeding!

have you tried cup feeding? i did. i was browsing Chronicles of a Nursing Mom (read here and here) and i saw her post about cup feeding and i wanted to try it out with S.

i had no issues with nipple confusion with S. she latched well at my breast, and she feeds from the bottle well. it was a breeze thankfully. however, S is so hard to feed. she gets distracted easily, especially now that she's older (at 4 months) and refuses to feed my breast milk from the bottle. and my heart really breaks every time i throw unfinished expressed milk (for full story, read here and here), that is why i wanted try this cup feeding. i first tried cup feeding when S was around 1 month, then when she was around 2 months and i tried it again when she turned 4 months. i don't do it often because most of the time she drinks OK, but there are really times that she throws this "i-don't-want-to-drink-my-milk" drama.

well, i'm not going to say it's easy. i guess it's a bit different with babies. my first try with S was funny. she lapped at the milk eagerly. i don't know if it was done properly but she finished the milk. it's a bit messy though, expect for a LOT of spills. my last try with cup feeding was more fun. since she can hold her bottle, she sorts-of control my hand. takes a lot of patience, but i am glad that S is really good with cup feeding. however, spills are still expected.

what does one need in cup feeding? nothing really fancy. me, i just used her baby bottle and removed the nipple. sometimes i find it difficult to feed her if i'm using an 8oz bottle, so i used her feeding bottles cap. see the photos for some fun..i lost my photos when i cup-fed her for the first time. bummer.

look at how her hands seems to push the cup. he he he.

"saree: look, i'm cup feeding!"

"saree: see? i can do it!"

my 4-month old, bow.

S is a bubble of energy. i sometimes can't help but get teary-eyed if i look back and remember how small and tiny she was 4 months ago and now, she really has grown. she is starting to be an individual - there are specific things that make her really happy, she can now "speak" if she wants something, unlike she would only cry before. *sigh* 
a week before she turned 4 months, she can already do this, though she cries when she gets tired because she does not know how to roll back over. but this morning, she can actually roll back and forth like a pro. and prop herself in her elbows. it seems our bed is now too small for her rolling skills. ha ha. and even if she is asleep, she moves a lot. there are times that she is sleeping beside me, literally.
also, S can "talk", ha ha. i mean, she seems to be stringing words. she screams something that sounds like "gi, gi" if she wants to drink milk and she keeps saying "nenenenenen" if she wants to be put to sleep. and she seems to string something that sounds like "daddy"...and she is now "lambing"...she rolls to her side and place her hands in her daddy's arm every morning when we all wake up...and the best thing for me is, she reaches for my breast every time. ha ha. i am actually known as the "de-de ron". ha ha ha.

she can hold her bottle for a few seconds, then let go. we pretty much let her hold it every now and then..she does not seem to be taking much to a rattle.

and, she loves our mosquito net, i swear!

our morning fun! when she was smaller, S had her own mosquito net. but since i breastfeed her at night, i can't fit in it. and i am so paranoid when it comes to mosquitoes so we had to put up a mosquito net and every time we fold it in the morning, she would squeal in delight when it falls on her like this. ha ha.

this is exactly the reason why i go home early and just forget about my social life. ha ha.

it's a universe of us out there, huh.

gone were the days that i would religiously scribble my thoughts in a notebook (although even now, i write my thoughts in my pocket notebook, in case i have a flashbulb moment and would take days before i could sit down in a computer). it was known as a diary, then it became a journal. all written on it were a secret - it was like a person's own pandora box.

but now, everything has changed. the blogging sphere is a HUGE mine of information - tips, advocacies, experiences, suggested nooks and restos...just about everything!

now that i'm a mom, well, all mommy blog sites are a BIG help. it's like a big coven of moms, all over the world. i started blogging when i started working. admit it, we all have those nothing-to-do-just-surfing-the-net time once in a while. i tried it but eventually, i abandoned it after a year. for a while, i kept writing and posted it at multiply. i resumed to serious blogging last 2010. the call to blog was something that never left me..and so here i am. and the rest is history, as they say. i cannot imagine i wrote so much.

but, i am not a lone blogger. there is a universe of US. i am so glad i chanced upon ... this is my first try in joining blogger groups so i guess i'll be blogging and till my daughter can use a computer. LOL.

so come and join us at BC Bloggers and be part of the universe. i did.

scattered thoughts of a mom

just some crazy thoughts i had when i'm supposed to be thinking of stuff for work... crazy how my mind wanders to other stuff while i need to finish a specific task. he he. i am such a scatterbrain...

yeah, i admit - i am not exclusively breastfeeding my baby. in fact, there are times that i feel bad about it. i still do. heck, this regret of not exclusively breastfeeding her will probably stay with me for the rest of my life..i underwent a c-section - which really "disappointed" me (in some sense) but i've already gone past this - that's why i am determined to exclusively breastfeed my baby. but, i failed even at this aspect. i really tried. when my baby was finally released from the nursery (i wanted to room-in her, i tried insisting it to the hospital team, to my OB and to the pedia intern on duty but i was told that hospital policy requires babies born through CS must stay at the nursery...really sad and (i think) a bit pointless if the baby is OK, but i've also gotten over this..), i fed her immediately. and she latched well. i had no sore nipples, nor i complained even once of painful feeding. but, she got dehydration fever after 3 days from our discharge, despite the fact she latched non-stop. i was to give her formula. (full story here) i was advised to put off breastfeeding just to let S catch up her liquid requirement but i never followed it because i know it will not help with my low milk supply. deep inside, i know i have milk. why it comes in slow or in that quantity, and why my baby seems not to get full with me, i don't know...what i did was after feeding her formula, i make her latch and she would suck continuously.

fast forward to 4 months...

i am still breastfeeding her (though not exclusively), with God's grace. our feeding routine goes like this: she drinks formula while i'm at work, but she is exclusively breastfed during the evenings and while i'm at home and she feeds from me before i leave for work. i pump while i'm at work but my pumping output is not really enough to cover her feeding needs. i know partly it has something to do with the pump i use (a manual pump) but buying an expensive pump is something i really can't afford now. right now, i am just focused on keeping this milk supply until she's 1 year old. i am just thankful that my baby never had nipple confusion nor had a preference for a taste in milk.

there are really times that i feel bad that i'm not exclusively breastfeeding S. everytime i read those blogs of moms who are exclusively breastfeeding, i get that guilty feeling that i should be doing that and i feel like i'm not doing my best to provide breastmilk. and all those creepy articles about formula milk, it's enough for me to be scared and get really, really paranoid. it's irrational, i know! i really want to exclusively breastfeed S, i swear! but my milk supply is not cooperating, it's so frustrating. i know im not a bad mother BUT sometimes i get this nagging feeling that i'm not. crazy.

at this point, i realized i have to get back to thinking about my work. he he. i'll write more about this. soon.

Spirited Away and From Up on Poppy Hill

right now, i, or rather we (itago na natin sa pangalan na mga staff and working students of admissions office, ha ha ha), are fans of studio ghibli movies. yes, you read that right - movie cartoons for me. ha ha ha. actually, i am watching them for S. believe it or not, i am already planning and looking forward to teaching S a lot of things. anyway, i'm going offtrack again every time i talk about my baby..

studio ghibli is a japanese animation studio, with around 18 animation movies to their name. one of their movies, Spirited Away, actually won an Oscar for Best Animated Feature. i won't bore you with details regarding studio ghibli, you can always search them over the net..

so far, i have finished watching 2 movies (which means i watched completely because i have 3 movies i have watched some bits and parts), Spirited Away (2001)  and From Up on Poppy Hill (2011) and i like them.

 Spirited Away (2001) is a story about a girl (Chihiro) and her parents who accidentally entered the spirit world and she must do everything to save themselves (and her friend) from being stuck in that world forever. for an adult, it is a very good movie. it has a lot of interesting characters which is really impressive because they are really creative. and it is funny too, i must say. i know Saree will love this movie, when she is a bit older.

From Up on Poppy Hill (2011) is a simple story about family and love. i love the simplicity of the love story between two teenagers. sometimes, we are so bombarded with movies with complicated stories about love and hate, that we forget to appreciate a simple love story.

Happy 4-Months Saree!

oh my lovely girl, how fast you grow. this time, she is now involved in her usual photoshoot-with-cake. ha ha.

saree: mommy, the cake is soft. he he he.
saree: oooooh, cake!
LOL at the hands and face of Saree
my adorable "bulingit" Saree
she is now 5.7 kilos, a gain of .2 compared from last month. i'm actually confused whether to be worried about her decreasing weight gain. i was consulting the weight chart of her baby book and she is not below the normal range naman, but she is not gaining the weight according to the chart. pedia suggested to increase her milk (formula) to 4oz and we'll see next month. S does not drink formula in the evenings because she is exclusively breastfed. she prefers my milk. anyway, S is healthy and well so i have no problems with it. but as i've said, i'm not sure if i should be worried about her decreasing amount of weight gain. but S is gaining very well in the height department (she is a tall girl, thank goodness, hindi nagmana sa height ko, ha ha ha!), from 57cm to 61cm. whoa. and never cried when she had her injection. brave huh? that's my girl.

going to roll over in her messy crib. ha ha.
 saree at 4 months is so fun to take care of. she can can actually carry her head and she can actually roll and make "dapa". before, she doesn't know how to bring up her other arm being stuck but she can now pull it out and put it in her front. and if she gets tired, she just lays there on her stomach and wait for me to turn her over again. ha ha ha.

saree is also very talkative. she coos a lot and she seems to be more hyper every time i sing "baa-baa black sheep" or recite to her the book, "let's go home little bear" (one of her books that i read to her ever since she was a newborn - more on this on my next post)..

also, saree loves to eat her hands. we actually sing "my hands, my mouth, my hands in my mouth.." (sing to the tune of my hands, my feet, my shoulder, my neck..ha ha)...her hands tries to grab everything down to her blankets, our blankets, her bibs, and even my hands and try to put it in her mouth. saree even wants to put her thumb in her mouth while breastfeeding. ha ha ha.

and what i love about Saree is, she prefers and laughs the most at the simplest things: wriggling phalanges (fngers pala, sorry, trying to do a dr. brennan act..ha ha ha), curtains being blown by the wind and with the moving fan (pamaypay kung baga..) ... isn't she adorable?

i am truly in love with this little angel. thank you Lord for this very beautiful gift :)
happy four months Saree. grow up well and strong. daddy and mommy will take care of you.

- FriendS -