Friday, April 17, 2015

Baby essentials in dealing with a cold...


Ha. It's the flu season again. Most everyone I know has caught the cold bug and happily spreading the love around. I'm sniffling as we speak as I write this post.

I don't mind the adults getting them because they can very well take care of themselves. It's the babies I'm more worried about. A sick infant is every mother's nightmare. And my husband, bless his heart, were infected alongside lil Carissa, both ahead of me. I supposed it's always the case for mommies ... they are usually the last to fall sick or stay fine.

In a way, I've read that it's also a blessing in disguise when a baby undergoes her first cold... she would be developing her immunity system one cold at a time. The first time she ran a cold was on her 3rd month... mommy and daddy panicked like WWIII just hit the household. But when we visited the doctor, all we got was some advice on how to keep the baby warm and happy to ease her recovery because a cold is common and nothing too serious. There were no medication given due to her very young age. The one mystery then was where she got it from because obviously both of us were fine at the time.

This is her second cold which she (and her father) evidently picked up from my nephew when we visited the extended family over the weekend. Being a little experienced on the subject, we were less panicky but still a bit worried. By worried I mean no restful nights for mommy and daddy who take turns to play nurse cum comforter. Besides, how could we even sleep when the little one is not having much? She sleeps, i.e., just not restfully. Same thing.

Doctors advised against giving meds to babies below 1 year old due to their young age because it will make them drowsy and won't want to feed, and therefore could cause other risk factors. They'll normally just allow a brief period of using a nebulizer to clear her breathing. So here's a bit of baby essentials we learned about first-hand as newbies on how to go through the common cold baby blues together:

1. Digital ear thermometer
For constant fever checking. Anything above 37 degree Celsius should be a cause for alarm. It's always tricky with an infant so it's forgiven and accepted if you refer her to a doctor every time you're not sure yourself.

Digital ear thermometer...

2. Baby nasal hygiene (nasal spray) or infant nose drop
Honestly, I didn't know this thing existed until recently. This natural isotonic water is made from pure sea water, supposed to help diffusing mucous and unblock stuffed nose. Carissa however, doesn't like it very much. Of course if someone spray inside your nose, you would be pissed too. The nose drop given by the clinic works the same way, except less practical. This brand is available in many categories (for adults, infants, toddlers and kids, sinus, congestion, spa etc)... just read the label when you buy one at your nearest pharmacy.

Sterimar nasal spray...

3. Baby cooling gel pad
Back in the olden days, our mothers would put wet cloth on our forehead when we have fevers and such, however it tends to fall off and get lukewarm fast. So thank God for the invention of cooling gel pad to work in its place. For infants, watch out for pink boxes.

Kool Fever...

4. Baby Nose Cleaner/ Suction Bulb
This comes in real handy to physically suck the mucous out from a baby's nose because at 4 months old, she does not have the ability to blow her own nose yet. *I've heard of some parents actually sucking the mucous with their mouths too... I really respect them, however I can't imagine how that works* There are many types of suction bulb so be careful when choosing one and read the instruction manual before using one. The one my hubby bought is this Japlo brand, with special built-in valve design to ensure mucous or air would not be sucked back into the nose. The nozzle is soft and gentle for babies. Carissa actually preferred this method over the nasal spray, however she just couldn't sit still so inserting the nozzle into her nose is like a game to her. Haha.

Japlo suction bulb...

5. The Mighty Pacifier! aka Pepet
Ok don't judge me. I know a lot of people (even those who aren't parents) have been giving off stern advice not to offer a pacifier to babies because it will interfere with their teeth growth. Yes true, for a prolong use without proper control. However I have learned that this tiny thing is very powerful... it helps her sleep when she gets restless and soothes her when she gets cranky. Try the flat-head ones (preferably all made in silicone), it's supposed to have less effect on the teeth than the round-head ones. I don't worry too much either because she can fall asleep on her own without the pepet these days.

Silicone pepet with cover...

6. Gripe Water
Carissa's doctor suggested we give her gripe water to ease her discomfort and crankiness (colicky related) and also to cause her to drink more plain water. The thing tasted sweet... no wonder. Gripe Water can be bought at the nearest pharmacy too.

Traditional concoction passed on for generations...

7. Try the baby cot/swing
 ... only as a last resort. Thankfully for me, my little girl prefers I cuddle and rock her to sleep most of the time. That can be tiring, which is why I should justify buying a rocking chair soon because she has grown heavier. Haha. However, the baby swing is a good alternative although I don't know why so many people are afraid of it. Don't worry what people think of how you bring up your child, as long as it helps. Mothers know best what her child needs after all, to each her own way.

The stand-alone 'uyut'...

The rest of the baby care tips are warm body wipe in favour of warm bath, warm water feeding, warm clothing, co-sleeping, and yes... a lot of tender loving care.

Do you have any other tips that perhaps could work as well from your personal experience? Please do share.

One good thing however is that she is always cheerful and playful in the daytime, and not even cranky altho she nap less too. This would of course resulted in her being easily tired at night. And then she would just cry her heart out when it's bedtime but her stuffy nose gets in the way.

All I can say is that, two colds later, she still seems to be handling everything much better than mommy. Haha.

So here's for the weekends everyone! Stay safe and take care!

Always remember: A common cold is not the same as a flu. Always check with your pediatrician first especially when you have a baby below 3 months old.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Easter Monday home-cook day ...

Note: This was supposed to be last Monday's entry... but the pictures came late.

Spending a day off resting at home with lil Carissa on Easter Monday because I had to work over the weekend and I miss the late mornings with her. This is me trying to compensate for those precious moments. Babies grow up very fast, I know, so I don't wanna miss out -- at least trying my best not to -- on her day-to-day development.

Ah. Since it's rest day, I had a bit of time and energy to visit the kitchen. So here's Easter Monday dinner! Simple dish of dad's organic ayam kampung cooked with terung asam. I'm not sure if the term 'spring chicken' is the translation for 'ayam kampung' but as a way of explanation, my dad has a small chicken farm which he tends to every day as a hobby. Ok maybe 'farm' sounds too big... chicken coop then. He bred them organically, more for the meat, so I'd say they're lean, mean and very healthy. Dad's chicken meat supply never runs out, halleluyah for the family.

Sup Ayam Kampung Terung Asam
The What:
- A quarter of a spring chicken or ayam kampung (I select the best parts)
- Half of a terung asam (because the one I had was big in size)
- a stalk of lemon grass
- onion and garlic (blend or crushed)
- dry chilli (blend or crushed)
- fresh bird's eye chilli or cili padi
- Maggie chicken stock cube
- a young turmeric leaf
- 150ml water

The How To:
- Easy lah. Throw everything in a pot, and cook over slow fire.
- Ayam kampung meat is known to be a bit tough so simmer until tender for 30 - 45 minutes
- You may taste the seasoning every now and then to see if the broth is nicely flavored and if the meat is tender enough.
- If you prefer, you can always exchange the turmeric leaf with coriander leaf, although it probably won't taste as exotic.
- No oil is used in this cooking. What you see came from the chicken... =)
- When it's done, just scoop and serve hot with a plate of steamed rice. Simple right?

There you go... Voila! A simple anybody-can-cook meal. 

Easy peasy chicken soup...

I'm a budak kampung and so I kinda like my plate of rice submerged with the glorious spicy hot broth, the more banjir (er... flooded) the better.



Monday, April 6, 2015

And it's April!

Hah. Only managed one post last March. See if I can do better this month.

As a working mom and wife, I can say I have my hands full but there's never a dull moment. Like every new mom, I look forward every day to come home to my gurgling wide-eye infant and my strong loving man. They are like the bane of my existence. When things go crazy at work, I find my thoughts go back to my little family at home. When my spirit is low, I scroll down at photos of my little miracle to get an instant boost. When I feel tired of all the routine, her big innocent eyes will remind me that I have to keep moving on... for her, for my family, for those I come home to at the end of every day.

Does it happen to anyone else I wonder?

Anyway... lately I realized my posts have been a lot about personal journey and recounts. I think I have become a boring writer that I feared to be. Even my words are becoming jumbled up and my vocabularies limited to motherhood, babies, happiness, etc. I know I like reading deep emotional writings that most people can relate to, but I guess I graduated from that along with my single life. And it isn't something I want to complain at all about because everybody deserves a happy ever after.

I don't know where I'm going with this post right now either, but I just want to state that I have changed. Or more like, my state of mind has. And I like it that way.

P/s: An excuse to explain why I write such boring empty posts these days.

Happy Easter Monday everyone!

Yesterday's quick breakie of Hot Cross Bun from Caffe Cino, Kuching Hilton...