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Health & Wellness

Health & Wellness
Health & Wellness



Decoding baby's cry

I took this quiz - Cry Decoder: What's your baby trying to tell you? and scored 6 out of 6 points.

1. Your baby's cry is repetitive, loud, and just gets louder. It eventually sounds frantic. 

Your baby is trying to tell you:
a. I'm gassy.
b. I'm hungry. (Correct!)
c. I'm ready for a nap.
d. I need some cuddling.

"Your baby's hunger cries are repetitive and don't let up until he gets what he wants – the breast or a bottle. Then they'll stop completely," says Seattle pediatrician Wendy Sue Swanson. "Parents get to know what this cry sounds like pretty quick."

Sometimes babies get so worked up in their cries of hunger that when they begin to nurse or take a bottle, they take in too much air. This can lead to gas and even more crying. As you learn to recognize your baby's "hungry" cry, you can start your feedings before your baby gets too agitated.

Other clues your baby may be giving you: Smacking his lips, rooting (a newborn reflex that causes babies to turn their head toward your hand when you stroke their cheek), and putting his hands to his mouth. 

2. Shortly after eating, your baby lets out piercing, intense cries. 

Your baby is trying to tell you:
a. I'm ready for my post-meal nap.
b. I'm still hungry.
c. I need to be burped. (Correct!)
d. I need a new diaper.

Loud fussing right after feeding is often tied to tummy pain, which can make your baby miserable until she works it out. Try burping your baby – giving small repeated pats on her back – to bring some relief. Just remember to keep a cloth handy for spit-up. Some parents prefer holding their baby against their chest or shoulder; others prefer sitting their baby upright and cradling their baby's chin with one hand and burping with the other.

Many parents also swear by over-the-counter anti-gas drops for babies. "There isn't much data to support their use, but there's no harm in using them as directed," says Swanson. Still it's a good idea to get your doctor's okay before using anti-gas drops for your baby.

Other clues your baby may be giving you: She's bringing her knees up to her chest. Try helping her eliminate the gas by laying her on her back, holding her feet, and moving her legs in a gentle bicycling motion. 

3. Your baby's cry is inconsistent and may alternate between laughter and fussing. Eventually it intensifies. 

Your baby is trying to tell you:
a. I'm starting to get hungry.
b. I need to be burped.
c. I need a new diaper.
d. I'm overstimulated. (Correct!)

Your baby is taking in the world around him – the lights, the noise, being passed from person to person. He may enjoy the stimulation, but it can start to be too much to process, which is why he sometimes alternates between laughing and crying. This behavior, followed by intensified crying, can be your baby's way of saying, "I've had enough."

Other clues your baby may be giving you: He turns his head away from stimulating sights and sounds. Many newborns enjoy the security of being swaddled when the world gets overwhelming. If your baby's too old for swaddling or doesn't like it, try retreating to a serene spot and letting your baby calm down for a while. 

4. Your baby's crying is fairly soft, and it starts and stops. You may be able to soothe your baby, but eventually the crying builds up to a steady jag. 

Your baby is trying to tell you:
a. I'm really tired and need to go to sleep. (Correct!)
b. I'm bored. Let's do something else.
c. I'm colicky.
d. I'm having tummy trouble.

Parents often overlook the sleepy cry when it comes at a time they don't expect their baby to be tired. "Some babies have sleepy days," says Swanson. "They may be growing or just extra tired." Even if your baby just had a nap an hour ago, if her cries aren't the piercing kind and she can be comforted for a little while, she may be telling you she's ready for a rest.

Other clues your baby may be giving you: She's rubbing her eyes, crying while her eyes start to close, and yawning.

5. Your baby's cry sounds unusual, different from any of the regular crying you're used to hearing.

Your baby's trying to tell you:
a. I'm starting to teethe.
b. I'm more tired than usual.
c. I don't feel well. (Correct!)
d. I need extra cuddles.

The cry of a sick baby tends to be distinct from one caused by hunger or frustration. If your baby's crying "just doesn't sound right," or if he is inconsolable and has been crying for several hours, trust your instincts and call your baby's doctor.

Other clues your baby may be giving you: He has a fever; he isn't hungry; he's difficult to wake up or put to sleep; he isn't going through his usual amount of diapers; or he just isn't behaving like his usual self.

6. You've tried every trick in the mommy book and you still can't stop your baby's strong, steady cries. And this is nothing new. The crying can happen every day and last for hours.

Your baby is trying to tell you:
a. I have colic. (Correct!)
b. I need more stimulation.
c. I'm hungry.
d. I'm overly tired.

Colic is a term used to describe excessive crying in an otherwise healthy baby. If your baby is younger than 5 months old and cries for more than three hours in a row on three or more days a week for at least three weeks, chances are he's colicky. Colic isn't a disease and won't cause your baby any long-term harm, but it's a tough thing for both you and your baby to go through.

Other clues your baby may be giving you: A baby with colic cries inconsolably and excessively, often at the same time of day, frequently in the late afternoon or evening. If your baby has colic, his belly may also look enlarged and he may alternately extend or pull up his legs and pass gas as he cries.

"These cries can be intense for babies as well as parents," says Swanson. "Remember that when you get tired or frustrated from your baby's cries, it's perfectly okay to put your baby down in a safe place and walk away for a few minutes to get a break."

The good news? It doesn't last forever. Colic tends to peak around 6 weeks, then improves significantly between 3 and 4 months. By 5 months, your baby should be past it.


Pampering baby Luke with Anakku Signature products

Have you seen Anakku baby products in pastel blue, green, pink, and orange packaging? These are their latest products from the Anakku Signature range, a new range of baby toiletries for newborn until 3 years old.

What I have are Milk Head to Toe (bath), Milk Lotion, Milk Talcum, and three types of Baby Wipes.

Anakku Signature Milk Head to Toe
Baby Luke loves his daily morning bath. I'm looking for a foam-based head-to-toe baby cleanser because 1) I don't like to use liquid or gel-based cleansers; 2) baby Luke doesn't have much hair, so he doesn't need a separate bottle of shampoo. :)
Good thing that the Milk Head to Toe bath product suits my preference. It directly pumps out foam, which can be applied onto my baby's hair and body without lathering. I like! It's also tear-free and contains nourishing milk proteins and moisturising properties such as Vitamin A and E, and aloe vera.
Most importantly, I love how goooood my baby smells after his bath! :D
Anakku Signature Baby Wipes
Another must-have product is the baby wipes. I can't live without baby wipes. It's a god-sent product when I need to do quick, hygienic wipe-downs for my baby instead of preparing water and washcloth. However, I'm very picky when it comes to which baby wipes to buy. I don't buy non-branded wipes.
There are three variants of the Anakku Signature Baby Wipes, i.e. Fragrance Free (green packaging), Sensitive (pink packaging), and Extra Moisture (blue packaging).

After trying out a few pieces from each variant, I like the fragrance free wipes the most because that's how I like my baby wipes - no overpowering frangrance.

See how fresh my baby looks after his diaper change. :)

Anakku Signature Milk Lotion and Milk Talcum
Well, I don't use any lotion or talcum for my baby, so I guess I will use them for myself.

Where to Buy?
You can buy Anakku Signature range products at departmental stores, mini markets, pharmacies, and baby shops.



Before I begin, let me explain the abbreviations.
SAHM: Stay At Home Mom
WAHM: Work At Home Mom
FTWM: Full-time Working Mom
PTWM: Part-time Working Mom
There are soooo many articles on the Internet about which type of mom is better or best yada yada yada. So I'm not gonna jump into that bandwagon. Just wanna imagine how life would be if I experience every type.
If I'm a SAHM...
I'd be the happiest person on earth! (I think.) I was a SAHM for the first three months after giving birth. It wasn't easy. As a first-time mom, surviving the first few months is the trickiest but I treasure those moments very much. One more thing, I always look forward to long stretches of public holidays. E.g. during the recent lunar new year holidays, I re-lived my SAHM dreams for six full days! :D
If I'm a WAHM...
I'd be somewhat happy too. Currently, sometimes I can work at (from) home upon my boss' approval and under certain circumstances, e.g. baby isn't feeling well. Working at home while taking care of a 6-month old can be tricky but it's undeniably rewarding too. It's like having the best of both worlds. I feel proud being able to fulfill work requirements while breastfeeding my little one.
If I'm a FTWM...
I'd be, ummm, not that happy. Full-time work means 9 hours away from my baby plus another 2 hours of driving (to and from work). It's heartbreaking. I'm not prepared to get back to work for so many hours yet. Sobs.
If I'm a PTWM...
Well, I'm one now. I work on Tuesdays to Fridays, 10am-5pm. But I only earn 60% salary. This working arrangement is very good. I hope I can continue this mode for a longer period of time. Gotta discuss more about this.
So, I'm currently a PTWM on Tuesdays to Fridays, a SAHM on Saturdays to Mondays and public holidays, and a WAHM if need arises.
The image below describes my sentiments perfectly.
True, I don't miss a thing! I love being a mom! :)


Baby's sweet potato puree

I'm using Little Bean's Multi-function food processor (B606) to make sweet potato puree for my baby.
Put a handful of cubed sweet potatoes into the plastic steamer. Before that, remember to pour 75-80ml of water into the compartment that holds the plastic steamer.

Put on the steamer cover/lid and press the steamer's button until you see the green light is turned on beside the orange light. The green light will turn off on its own to indicate that steaming is done. It takes about 10 minutes. Then, wait for another 3-5 minutes before opening the lid.

Next, transfer the steamed sweet potatoes to the blender and add water (boiled) to get the puree consistency you want, i.e. less water for thicker consistency. Press down the blender container and button (not shown) simultaneously for about 30 seconds.

Sweet potato puree is ready to be served to baby or freezed for next feeding.
To serve, I scoop about 3-4 teaspoons of puree into a clean small container and add in some freshly squeezed breastmilk. I've also tried adding half a teaspoon of virgin coconut oil (VCO) into 2-3 teaspoons of puree.

I have bought some plastic cube containers (can keep up to max 40ml puree in each cube) to keep frozen purees.


Happy 1/2 year, Luke!

Luke turned 0.5 year old three days ago. Happy 1/2 year, Luke boy!
What can baby Luke do nowadays?

Gross motor
  • Lifts head and chest off the ground when lying on tummy by pushing up on extended arms
  • Rolls over side to side (back to tummy and tummy to back) easily
  • Rocks and kicks a lot
  • Rolls around in delight
  • Sits with support and a straight back briefly, using hands on floor for balance and support
  • Bears weight on legs, bounces when held erect
  • Likes seeing the world when standing

Fine motor
  • Uses one-handed purposeful grasp to shake, bang, put object in mouth, then finally drop it
  • Enjoys dropping objects repeatedly to learn the noises they make
  • Uses whole hand to rake in and pick up small object
  • Regularly reaches for objects out of reach

Talking and understanding
  • Makes four or more distinct sounds (vowels and consonants)
  • Laughs in response to something
  • Searches for sound by turning his head
  • Changes behaviour when listening to sound and human conversation
  • Babbles and "talks" to toys and to himself in mirror
  • Understands speech by the tone of people's voice
  • Recognizes names, basic words, familiar household sounds
  • Enjoys manipulating other people's faces by poking, pulling and studying them to understand his separateness from them

  • Enjoys and responds to play
  • Anticipates touch or being lifted
  • Turns head to people
  • Very sociable - smiles, laughs hilariously, and enjoys being with people
  • May be more selective about with whom he socializes
  • When he can't do something, may become frustrated and whines
  • Smiles at himself in the mirror
  • Very curious to explore the world around him
  • Appears to make decisions when choosing to play with toys
[Source] [Source]


Little Bean baby products that I bought

Sterilizer & Bottle Warmer

  • Safest and easier way to sterilize baby feeding bottles / accessories, feeding containers, and nursery products
  • Easy-to-clean removable structures
  • Comes with a plastic tong
  • Suitable for baby feeding bottles of any sizes
  • Sterilizing cycle time is approximately 8 minutes (with 90ml of water)
  • LCD display and sound indication
  • Content remains sterile in the sterilizer up to 3 hours if the lid is not removed
Bottle Warmer
  • Efficient PTC heating technology from Japan
  • Suitable for different milk bottles and baby bottled food
  • Energy saving
  • Comes with a feeding bowl and juicer
  • Constant temperature for liquid food: 40°C
  • Heating liquid food: 70°C

We have two sterilizers - one at home and one at the babysitter's. The bottle warmer is also at the babysitter's. It has been six months and we are quite happy with the products.

Multi-function Food Processor (B606)
  • Ideal kitchen operator for preparing baby's food in a safe, fast, and healthy way
  • Create own food recipe to meet baby's appetite
  • Easy to use
  • Safe and odorless
  • 2-in-1 steam and blend functions
  • Heats and defrosts
  • Comes with measuring cups and storage lids

We bought this must-have gadget when baby turns six months old. Stay tuned for blog posts about homemade baby food soon. :)

Infrared Non-Contact Talking Thermometer 
  • Scan baby's body temperature via infrared scan without touching him
  • Fast and accurate results

For babies, fever is not a small matter. So, we don't mind spending on getting a good thermometer.

If I'm not mistaken, low grade fever is below 37.5°C and sponging is good to make baby feel comfortable. If the temperature exceeds 37.5 but below 38.5, keep monitoring and give paracetamol if necessary (please follow paediatrician's prescription).

Anything above 38.5, please visit the paediatrician without delay. If fever spikes up during midnight, go to the emergency room of any hospital. Don't wait.

Anti Mosquito Sticker 12'S
  • Made of natural essences
  • Releases highly effective fragrances to repel mosquitoes
  • Each patch is effective up to  12 hours

We bought this because of the following information:

There is now a new variant of dengue - very dangerous and deadly. Previously when you have high fever, you see a GP and if the doctor suspects it's dengue, they will ask you to wait 3 days and then only do a blood test to determine the platlet count.

The new variant however, doesn't wait 3 days. There were a few cases where the patients died within 3 days of high fever.

Dengue should be suspected when a high fever (40°C/104°F) is accompanied by two of the following symptoms: severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pains, nausea, vomiting, swollen glands or rash. Symptoms usually last for 2–7 days, after an incubation period of 4–10 days after the bite from an infected mosquito.

Severe dengue is a potentially deadly complication due to plasma leaking, fluid accumulation, respiratory distress, severe bleeding, or organ impairment.

Warning signs occur 3–7 days after the first symptoms in conjunction with a decrease in temperature (below 38°C/> 100°F) and include: severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, rapid breathing, bleeding gums, fatigue, restlessness, blood in vomit. The next 24–48 hours of the critical stage can be lethal; proper medical care is needed to avoid complications and risk of death.

Once you have high fever, DO NOT WAIT. Go straight to a hospital and ask for a blood test specifically to check your platelet count immediately. Don't wait for 3 days because you might not have the luxury.



All you Moto X owners who are eagerly awaiting your Android 4.4.2 updates (from 4.4), here's something for you!
One of the main changes that come with the 4.4.2 update is a new Camera apk. If you are like me… you probably also found that the Moto X takes rather terrible photos. Most of the time it has somewhat bad colour reproduction and just as often it has trouble in anything beyond pure outdoor daylight.
Well. Here's some good news for you! With the 4.4.2 update the camera is upgraded from version to This doesn't update over Google Play, it updates along with your Android System update and let me tell you it’s quite the improvement.
Or better yet, check out the below photo comparisons and see for yourself. As a note, all these shots happens in-doors (where the Moto X generally does poorly).
Before 4.4.2 Update photo IMG_20140211_114702581_zps242e6f9e.jpg
After 4.4.2 Update photo IMG_20140211_144046541_zpse5061968.jpg
BEFORE 4.4.2 UPDATE: (looks bright but actually over exposed)
Before 4.4.2 Update photo IMG_20140211_114600721_zps58874a0f.jpg
After 4.4.2 Update photo IMG_20140211_143945967_zps2b5b39c7.jpg
Before 4.4.2 Update photo IMG_20140211_114503294_zps767a0d9e.jpg
After 4.4.2 Update photo IMG_20140211_143732975_HDR_zps6273a934.jpg
- Guest post by David Bates


My MIL's Chinese New Year Lap-Lap & Bubur Chacha

Lap-Lap means biji-biji, literally. It means all ingredients in this dish are chopped / cubed / diced. I love this dish so much that I'm looking forward to it every Chinese New Year eve.
Ingredients: Long beans (chopped into small cubes), chicken liver (cut into small pieces), water chestnut (peeled and cubed), green peas (drained).

Stir fry everything together starting with long beans, followed by chicken liver, water chestnut, and finally green peas. Add salt to taste.

Before eating, add groundnuts. Then, scoop a spoonful of lap-lap onto fresh lettuce leaves, wrap and eat! Blogged about lap-lap in 2011.

Bubur Chacha, my latest milk booster.
Ingredients: Sago (cooked till transparent), sweet potatoes (both orange and purple variants, skinned, cubed, and steamed), yam (skinned, cubed, and steamed), tapioca blobs (green and red, cooked till transparent), coconut milk.
The sweet potatoes and yam are steamed so that they don't disintegrate from boiling. The hardest part is cooking the sago until all tiny balls turn transparent. Use a non-stick pan and keep stirring to avoid clumping. Same goes to the tapioca blobs.
Boil water, then add sugar. Then, add in sweet potatoes, yam, sago, and tapioca blobs. Coconut milk goes in last. Turn off fire when boiling has started. This is to prevent pecah minyak (forming of oil layer from coconut milk).