Friday, March 1, 2019

Month #3 - Eat, Play, Sleep?

The third month is not without its challenges. There’s one thing we learnt and that is, you never stop learning when it comes to raising up a child. There’s an endless list of things to learn and explore about your child, and some times, they are paired with glass-shattering screams and wall-shaking cries. And when the baby cries and not handled appropriately, it becomes a stressor to the marriage. Trust me, we are still learning how to cope. You don’t need a eureka moment to know that parenting is real tough commitment. Here’s a salute to all parents once again.
CNY Day 1, huat ah!

Eat-Play-Sleep?
New-age parents love this term, even doctors and professionals are huge advocates of this usually 3-hour cycle: baby wakes up, you feed the baby, you play with her, and put the baby back to sleep. The point of this is to establish a schedule so life is easier for baby and you get more time and rest for yourself. Well, we heard of this and after trying for a few weeks, the 3-hour cycle ain’t working for us. This caused us, especially my wife, to have unwarranted stress, making her felt like she did not try her best at times, which beats the point of this. A few days ago, we adjusted this rigid schedule and looked for cues instead. Cues for sleepiness, like rubbing eyes and yawning. What we found out was that if we captured the right window (usually after her first yawn), making her sleep would be a breeze. On the contrary, if we missed it, we would end up with a fussy, overtired baby. Of course, this may work now, but who knows what may work tomorrow.
Look ma, I can lift up my head!

Huh?! Why you guys don’t have yaolan?
That’s what our cell leaders asked when they visited us a few weeks back. According to them and many other parents, a cradle, or sarong as the old folks like to call it, is essential as it imitates the snuggly feeling of the womb. To be fair, I knew its existence, I even slept in it during my first weeks, but I thought they can only sleep in it till they are a month old. Apparently, that’s not the case, as babies could sleep in it till they are 1 year old, given that you got a good, steady cradle. Our cell group leaders, like all good parents, drove down to the nearest Kiddy Palace and got us an electronic cradle, which easily costs $200+, so that both the baby and us can get more rest. Thank God for beautiful souls. We got the OTO Baby Cradle, and I’m gonna do a short product review here:

Our baby love to snuggle in it when she’s not angsty. When we manually swing it from left to right and gently rock the cradle, she tends to fall asleep quicker. However, being an electronic cradle, we found that the rocking motion was too fast, even at the lowest speed. I can’t imagine if we use the maximum speed, the baby would either vomit her breakfast from 3 days ago or fly out of the cradle. It helps a little if we limit the movement of the springs and by draping a towel on top of the cradle.

Verdict: We still use it daily for her day naps (we insist that she sleeps in her cot at night), but we limit the use of the electronic rocking function. Recommend to get the cradle. Without the electronic function is fine.

Problems with a helper
There’s no doubt a great helper would lessen a heck load of housework and stress off your shoulders. Except carrying the baby to sleep, which is at least the case for us. Please don’t get us wrong, we love our helper and it’s like she’s got the magic hands or Pinoy shake that babies love to fall asleep in. My wife read that the baby is starting to recognize people at this growth period, and if the baby recognizes that the helper can help her doze off, chances are that she would want the helper to carry her to sleep subsequently. Not sure what research has been conducted to test the accuracy of this, but if the wife says it’s a problem, then it’s a problem. Yup, so as you can imagine, sometimes my wife and I spent moments passing the fussy, screaming baby around. Rocking. Shushing. Singing. Praying. So long as she can sleep soundly.
Time out like this.

The third month has its challenges, but it’s another month that has passed. As they say, the first three months are the most draining, we just pray that it will get easier from now on. And what’s not to celebrate, Olivia is three months now!