Friday, November 30, 2007

Babywearing Newborns

Every now and then, I come across the question of the safety of a sling compared to a carrier. There have been just so many articles and newsfeed that I read that I could share...

This is a link to an excellent article at that shows techniques for carrying a newborn in a sling and important safety advice.

Will post more when I come across them again...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Your Questions Answered...

It's really funny how these questions keep coming up to me.. so, yes, I'd like to share them with you...

Personal issues:
Q: How old are you? Are you sure that the baby is yours? You look like you just came out of school...
I am definitely old enough to be a Mom. If you must know... I am 28 (I don't think this is any secret).
Anyway, somehow, it runs in the family to look younger than we really are (all except for my younger brother.. hehe.. and he seems to be the one that really care about looks LOL). Before you conclude that this is good, let me tell you that this is not necessary the case.
In my experience, social and leisure wise... looking youger than you really are might have its benefits. However, when it comes to serious business, looking young means that they lack confidence in you to carry out the important tasks. Really, would you buy a sling from someone who's just came out of school? Think about it.

Q: So... you have a Kakak to look after your baby while you sew, right?
I really don't know why this comes popping up... more than I'd ever imagined. Perhaps, having a Kakak to care for our children is the norm in our society today. No offence but, having grown up with a few 'Kakak'... I don't and won't want a maid/helper/assistant in my family. My family shall only consist of .. well, my family.

The Kakak issue can take a weeks' blog to explain. Briefly, I'm sure those of you who have them at home will agree with me that it is indeed not easy at all.. it's not like they arrive at your doorstep knowing exactly what to do... after all, we ourselves do have our preferences and differences, even between husband and wives... how do you expect some stranger walking into our house to know exactly what each and everyone of us want?

Anyway, assuming you have the perfect helper... obedient and can just seem to read your mind, meeting, if not exceeding your expectations... there is this issue of needing to take care of her, too. I still remember clearly how we need to make sure the Kakak will have her meals before we go on a trip... While on the trip... if we do not bring her along... we will be worried... if we bring her along.. well, let's just say we've got pictures of family trips with someone who does not really belong to the family...

To those who have worked all those out and have a wonderful maid/helper/Kakak in their house,Congratulations!

So, yes... I don't and won't want one... not even weekly helper.... let someone try to change that...

Q: When are you planning to have your second baby?
Despite all the pressure to have a second child soooon, I have decided to follow the Doctor's advise to wait until Arthur reaches 2 before I conceive again. I read somewhere too that it is only then that one's body is fully recovered and ready for another pregnancy. Most important though, is that Arthur would not get enough attention if we get a second baby before then... after all, he's only starting to take in the world now.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Little Penang Street Market Nov 07

Yes! Peekaroobaby has finally made itself known to the public for the first time! Before this, it was all just reserved for friends and family. The products on sale were mainly four; the pouch sling, doll sling, taggies and baby wipes... I am just proud and happy to say that each item did sell.

Our humble stall was represented by the family team ; DH, DS and I... and, before you think of anything for my little Arthur... let me assure you he really enjoyed himself there... you'll see why as you read on...

Slings on display...

Demonstrating on how the pocket can be reversed to contain the sling...

Father and son... my supportive team members
(No.. that's not pee... nor sweat... it's the work of my precious one spitting out water fed to him)

Taggies on display
(this caught the most attention)

Doll sling
(the bear also acted as dummy baby to help me show the customers how the baby can be worn)

My QC partner testing out the doll sling
(no.. he wasn't forced to do it.. he just loves to mimick Momma... that's what the doll sling is for, after all =))

The flannel wipes on display

And now... to ensure you that my QC partner indeed had fun....

Busy showing off his creativity...

Busy entertaining...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Peek-a-pouch slings

Little Penang Street Market
25 November 2007
10.00 am to 6.00 pm
Upper Penang Road
SeE yOu ThEre!

As promised... this is the selection of slings that will be available on market day. Where it is shown on the printed choices, the lighter is to give you a better indication on the size of the prints. It is a standard size lighter. (, I don't smoke... it's just an indication... will probably think of something else to replace the lighter in due course as I realised it might be sending out a wrong message... )

The features...

1. Can be used from birth up to 15 kgs
2. Has no rings, snaps or buckles to adjust - easy in, easy out
3. Helps sooth a fussy or colicky baby
4. Is a hands free alternative to carry your baby
5. Folds compactly enough to fit into a diaper bag
6. Enables nursing on the go
7. Doubles as a baby blanket, baby pillow or changing pad liner
8. Constructed with care and tested for quality before shipping out
9. Carefully designed, keeping your comfort and baby’s safety in mind
10. The main seam is triple stitched all the way for safety and peace of mind
11. Light leg padding for additional comfort to minimize cutting into tender knees

Each Peekaroobaby pouch comes with an in-seam pocket large enough to hold a diaper and wipes. This pocket is no ordinary pocket, though… when folded and flipped inside out, this pocket contains the sling to protect it when not in use. Just roll up and tuck it in.
Also, Peekaroobaby slings are fully reversible and made with love out of 100% soft cotton fabric

The size...

XS - 22"
S - 23"
M - 24"
L - 25"
XL - 26"

To measure yourself, take a tape measure and measure from outer top edge of your shoulder, down across your body to the top of your opposite hip bone.

The prints... RM99.00

Colours of the night

Polka Pinky

Red & Black

Simply stripes

Simply Stripes is a tricky combination to imagine. The photos does not do it justice. Thus, I have included the photo of the sling while my hubby is wearing it.. if you look at it properly, the stripes are like a trim.. it is only obvious on one side. So, really, with this sling, you are like getting 3 slings in one... the stripes... the trendy blue on the reverse and also just plain white

The Batik

The solids... RM89.00

Sheer lime green & almost black dark green

Slate & Khaki

Sheer Pink & Trendy Blue

As previously mentioned, as there will be really limited stock (not all sizes are available for each combination), please leave a comment if you are looking forward to get a particular one, along with your size, and, I shall see that I sew that up, too..

To all who have sent their well wishes for market day...

**Thank you so much**

Not coming for market day but want one of the above?

Unsure of how to measure and the sizing involved?

Any other questions??

No worries! Just email me at and we shall work it out from there =)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

It's confirmed!

I have put in an application some time ago to set up stall at the monthly Little Penang Street Market. And, yes! Just today, it's been confirmed that Peekaroobaby will be going public for the first time this Sunday!

For those of you who wish to see what Peekaroobaby has to offer... this will be the best place for we will be there every last Sunday of the month. If you are not in Penang, no worries... keep checking for other possibilities of meeting up.

Mark your calendar... Tell your friends... I will be posting photos of the available items soon... as they will really be limited (due to the short timeframe I am given to sew things up).. if you see anything you might like, please email me or leave a comment so as I will ensure those will be available on market day =)

25 November 2007 . 10.00 am to 6.00 pm . Upper Penang Road .

SeE yOu ThEre!

A little on what's on:

"There to entertain you will be choirs singing christmas songs, noontime jazz from a nine-piece jazz ensemble, the Northern Jazz Ensemble (part of the build-up to the Fourth Penang Island Jazz festival), the fabulous bluesy guitar and voice of Sam Ponnodurai, and the talented jazz and popular singing duo, Freddy and Vivian. Christmas songs from the IWA choir at 2.00.
There is nowhere else like it: The Space at Little Penang Street Market, bringing you extraordinary entertainment to accompany the extraordinary shopping opportunities that the stalls at the Market offer you. Indeed, the best place to get unique and personalised gifts for friends and family this season.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The team

Hey! It's been quite some time now since Peekaroobaby is conceived... It's time for me to introduce you to the team at Peekaroobaby...

My partner in sewing...
My QC Partner =)
Permanent and ever supportive testers...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

New to Babywearing?

Since my last post, Brenda from recommended that I advise new babywearers to try and practice using the sling with a dummy. I believe this is a good idea though with Arthur, he was like a slinging pro from the start.

So, depending on your baby and your confidence level, it might be a really good idea to practice positioning with a dummy. Once you get comfortable enough with the dummy, then you can have a go with a well fed and happy baby.

Some other useful tips towards a happy and safe babywearing journey:

  • While you are getting used to wearing your baby, support him with your hands.
  • As you go through the learning phase of moving and reacting, the urge to support your baby with your hands is instinctive.
  • After you become a babywearing veteran, you can safely carry your baby in the sling with one or both hands free.
  • Try when baby is well fed and contented, not when baby is fussy and crying.
  • Always check the seams before each babywearing session
  • Always support baby when bending down

Friday, November 9, 2007

Busy Busy Busy... measurement for sling

... sewing, sewing, sewing... yes, that's what I've been doing lately... there's so much I wanted to put in blog but just didn't have time enough to sit down and put it all in.. waiting for the train of thoughts...

Anyway, aside from Arthur, sewing occupies most of my time now. Still trying out and improvising the sling... still fishing for feedback.. fishing for comments... fishing for photos...

Of the last sling I sent out, though it is custom-made, there seems to be a little problem with the sizing... a little too large?? That is the first feedback. After having a look at the photo I've received from the new babywearer (don't think I shall publish it here before I get her consent)... it could looks like the positioning could have been the problem. Anyway, she's advised to try a few more times to get comfortable and to wash it (the fabric usually shrinks a little after the first wash) before deciding if it's too large. If it is, then, she can send it back for resizing.

Next thing I know, I'm calling my testers (who'd had experience with the pouch slings beforehand)... MUST find out if it's the problem with MY SIZING... As it seems... it fitted well.. one of them suggests that the problem could be due to incorrect measurement.. hmmm...

The light bulb lighted!!

Because she has used a pouch sling before, she knew exactly how to measure herself. The general rule is to measure from the shoulder to the opposite hip bone.
However, as we discussed further, the hip bone is quite a big piece of bone... while some will measure to just the top part of it... others might have the measuring tape going all to the bottom part of the hip bone... the difference can be 1-2 inches.. which could make a whole lot of comfort difference with the pouch sling.

That's something I shall bear in my mind and keep it in the page of FAQs for my website later..

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Why use cloth Baby wipes?

Cloth baby wipes are the perfect partner to cloth baby diapers
You'll love using cloth baby wipes for all the reasons you love your cloth baby diapers! They're both soft and cushy, will save you money, and are adorable, making changing time more fun for you and your little one! Keep reading for more reasons to use cloth baby wipes with your cloth diapers.

Cloth baby wipes are comfortable
Cloth wipes are the ultimate in comfort for your child and efficiency for you! Our cloth baby wipes pamper your child's tender skin with two layers of comfy fabric serged together for stability. Our wipes are available in 8" x 8" full-size. Not only are cloth baby wipes perfect for diaper changes, they're also perfect for wiping sticky fingers and messy faces. Keep a few in the diaper bag with a small bottle of cloth wipe solution for comfy cleaning up on-the-go!

Cloth baby wipes are easier to use with cloth diapers than disposable wipes are. Simply wet your cloth wipe with plain water or cloth wipe solution for a comfortable, effective way to clean up. After using your cloth baby wipes you can just toss them into the diaper pail with the dirty diaper, no need to sort out the messy disposable wipes to throw in the garbage. Launder your cloth wipes with your cloth diapers and keep them next to the diapers for easy diaper changes. Peekaroobaby's cloth baby wipes will fit in your recycled disposable wipe container (Huggies brand), or place them in a decorated box or pretty basket for a visual treat.

Not only are cloth baby wipes easy to use, you'll save money by switching from disposable to cloth. When you throw disposable wipes away you're throwing your money away. Many disposable wipes are so thin that poo leaks through unless you use two or three at a time, which means more money being thrown in the garbage. Cloth wipes are a sensible alternative because they can be reused to save money, and they're thicker than disposable wipes so you use less wipes at each change. Our cloth baby wipes are thick enough to handle the messiest diaper changes, and will stand up to years of use.

Cloth baby wipes are better for your child's delicate skin than disposable wipes. Have you ever used a disposable wipe when you had a cut on your finger? We have, and it hurts! We can't imagine how that feels on a child's sensitive bottom. Disposable wipes contain chemical ingredients like Sodium Acrylates/Vinyl Isodecanoate Crosspolymer, Polysorbate 20, Phenylcarbinol, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Hydroxy-Methylglycinate Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, and artificial Fragrance. And who knows what the "cloth-like" fibers of the wipes are made of? We think it's ironic that disposable wipes advertise themselves as being "like cloth", they know what's better for children too! Unlike thin disposable wipes, cloth baby wipes are very cushy and soft on your child's skin. Go back to the basics - cloth, soap, and water, for your child's sake.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Babywearing SAFETY Considerations

While babywearing offers a lot of convenience, it is VERY IMPORTANT to take safety precautions AT ALL TIMES no matter what type of sling or carrier you are using. This goes without saying that it applies to when you use a Peekaroobaby pouch sling. Quoted direct from Wikipedia... (I can't find a much better way to put it... the link can be found on the side)... some important points...

"Parents who babywear must be aware of external hazards in the environment, mostly relating to floor or ground conditions such as curbs, debris, icy sidewalks, etc. As the baby has more freedom of movement and is closer to the adult point of view in a sling, compared to the knee's eye view of a stroller, parents must also watch to prevent the baby from grabbing hot drinks or other dangerous items.

Proper position in the sling/carrier is important for the infant's hip, pelvis and spine growth. Several sources express concern that carriers which put all of a baby's weight on a narrow band of fabric at the crotch may cause problems with spinal growth, and advocate carriers which disperse most of the infant's weight between the hips and thighs. There is much debate on this in the babywearing community since there has not been sufficient research to show that this could be an issue for babies who do not already have a hip or spine condition which would require special consideration.

In general, when wearing a baby it is important to stay attentive to the baby's interaction with the environment. Parents need a little more space to turn around to avoid bumping the baby into counters and doorways. Babies on the back may be able to reach things that the wearer cannot see. Carriers must be fit snugly and properly to avoid an active baby wiggling out, and it is generally recommended with most carriers to avoid wearing an uncooperative child on the back. Babywearing can improve safety, especially in crowded areas such as airports, by keeping a child who might otherwise be able to run into a crowd safely attached to the parent. I cannot agree more with this especially now that Arthur wants to "walk, walk" everywhere we go... usually, I'd let him walk for a while (I cannot just keep him in the sling all day.. gotta let him practice walking)... keeping close guard all the time.. then, pop him back into the sling when the place starts to get crowded. Indeed, the best and most useful time of the pouch sling is during toddlerhood.. just when they 'discovered' they've got legs and wouldn't want to sit still in the stroller. Instead of dragging the stroller along and chasing after a baby who keeps wiggling out of their stoller.. just wear your sling and pop the toddler in and out when need arises.

A parent who trips and falls while wearing a baby is often better able to "catch" themself and is less likely to injure themself, avoiding dropping the child and less likely to drop the child at all.

Where young infants and newborns are being worn in "cradle" or other horizontal positions, it is important to be alert to the baby's head position to avoid the baby's head being pushed chin-to-chest and constricting airway. In pouches and other carriers intended for use with the "cradle hold", a towel or small pillow may be placed under the baby's back to improve positioning. One must make sure that all worn babies have good color and are able to breathe easily, and avoid overdressing worn babies, who will stay warm just from being in contact with the parent in most cases. Parents must avoid putting blankets or other fabric in the vicinity of a child's face in or out of a carrier.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The strength of fabric

After months of searching for the appropriate fabrics and after about 30 slings sewn.. I am ready to sew and sell!

Just some interesting things I discovered with fabrics... they can all be 100% cotton but depending on how they are woven and/or dyed, the strength and ability to hold is quite different. Just think of 100% cotton t-shirt and 100% cotton bedsheet...

Of those I've tried.. stretch cotton (97% cotton and 3% lycra)... this is what Littlepods sell. It is actually quite good, giving just enough stretch to be comfy and at the same time giving the breathability of cotton fabric... it's not easy to find, though and of those I've managed to find.. they are only available in solid colours... which are not very attractive to me...

I've also tried the t-shirt material... did not think of trying it initially as I'd imagine that it will be too stretchy.. which turned out to be true. DH was shopping with me at the textile shop and he was attracted to the pattern and the softness of it... thus, encouraging me to try it out... it was really good initially... but, after about 10 minutes... Arthur is literally weighing me down... too much stretch

Polyester... Cooling option but too slippery.

Cotton satin... quite ok.. but, still not better than 100% cotton in terms of comfort.

Mixed cotton (also called TC cotton).. this is the one which is easiest and cheapest to source in Malaysia. I was even told that a lot of sling vendors uses this type of fabric for their slings... I must admit that I am definitely tempted to use this, too as there are many choices and easy to source.. but, in the end, I've decided, no... not breathable enough.

Why try so many different ones out? Well, again... what I am trying to do is to encourage babywearing.. how can that be so if people are not comfortable using the sling?

The point of the title..., if you find a strong enough fabric, the sling need not be two sided... shown here is one of the first slings that I tried out.. great fabric.. 100% cotton from Ikea.. (was also tempted to sew and sell out of these fabrics but on many advises from friends... people just won't like walking into Ikea with that sling... point taken)... it was one of the first I tried to sew... obviously, you can see that I screwed up at the seams... I decided to use it anyway.. was thinking it will not last... but, cos it is the first one I tried out.. pity to take it off... surprisingly, it holds just as well and because it is only one layer... it's superb in terms of breathability.. so comfy for those pasar malam trips with Arthur... have now been using it for almost 6 months.. and it's still working fine after more than 20 washes... still pity to take it off... probably use some more... but, will make sure to be extra careful with it... might just buy more fabric from Ikea to sew for myself...

mid Autumn Festival 2007

You shouldn't keep using your sling if it is already frayed like this, though... will have a post soon on safe babywearing...

The importance of customer service & QC

This could be just one of those reasons why I'll never get someone else to sew Peekaroobaby's slings... also a reason why I will check my emails everyday...

Aug 18,2007 - Visited the Parenthood Expo in Mid Valley, KL. Looking at what's in the market of pouch slings. Gotta know... Found one I thought of trying out... too bad, none left in my size... placed pre-order

early Sept - Still no news on the availability. Contacted vendor. Reply received about a week later confirming item is available

Sept 20, 2007 - After payment submitted, received reply that item will be sent by courier and shall arrive in 2 days

Sept 22, 2007 - anxiously waiting...

Sept 25, 2007 - ...STILL waiting...

Sept 26, 2007 - finally, it arrives at my home in KL. It so happens I was back for a week. So, yes, can't wait to get it... got them to deliver to address in KL. Oh no... the most important part - the main seam - is defective

Sept 26, 2007 - emailed straightaway to inform of defects - with picture

Sept 27, 2007 - got reply that a replacement will be put in the mail and shall receive within 2 days... ok.. I'll still be in KL until Oct 1st.. should be ok..

Sept 28, 2007 - Hopefully waiting...

Sept 29, 2007 - STILL waiting... It's Saturday.. better tell them to redirect to Penang address (or, advise on alternative) since we'll be leaving KL on Monday (Oct 1)... emailed to inform early in the morning...

Oct 1 - STILL no reply

early Oct - emailed several times.. STILL NO REPLIES... item arrived at Mom's house.. asked her to reject as it would be a hassle for her to send to me... since no replies from vendor... then, emailed vendor about it... no respond... no respond... emailed to ask for refund... no respond.. emailed to inform that will return and assume refund will happen.. no respond...

mid Oct - got hold of owner's email and emailed direct to owner... reply 2 days later... will resend replacement...

Oct 25, 2007 - FINALLY.... Replacement received... going for weekend trip... excited and wanted to return defective with Express envelope provided before we leave for weekend trip.. WAIT... Oh no... replacement has also got a defective seam.. even worse defect... huh.... this has got to wait.. no energy already....

Now - after much hassle, just want to get over with it. So, instead of getting yet ANOTHER replacement of the same... exchanged for a ring sling instead.. not really what I wanted but really, can't stand to see another defective one anymore.. it's been too long... tiring process...

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Benefits of Babywearing

All these while, I've only been talking and talking based on my experience and what I've read before. To those who prefer more professional explanations and advise, this is directly extracted from

1. Sling babies cry less. Parents in my practice commonly report, "As long as I wear her, she's content!" Parents of fussy babies who try babywearing relate that their babies seem to forget to fuss. This is more than just my own impression. In 1986, a team of pediatricians in Montreal reported on a study of ninety-nine mother-infant pairs. The first group of parents were provided with a baby carrier and assigned to carry their babies for at least three extra hours a day. They were encouraged to carry their infants throughout the day, regardless of the state of the infant, not just in response to crying or fussing. In the control, or noncarried group, parents were not given any specific instructions about carrying. After six weeks, the infants who received supplemental carrying cried and fussed 43 percent less than the noncarried group.
Anthropologists who travel throughout the world studying infant-care practices in other cultures agree that infants in babywearing cultures cry much less. In Western culture we measure a baby's crying in hours, but in other cultures, crying is measured in minutes. We have been led to believe that it is "normal" for babies to cry a lot, but in other cultures this is not accepted as the norm. In these cultures, babies are normally "up" in arms and are put down only to sleep – next to the mother. When the parent must attend to her own needs, the baby is in someone else's arms.
2. Sling babies learn more. If infants spend less time crying and fussing, what do they do with the free time? They learn! Sling babies spend more time in the state of quiet alertness . This is the behavioral state in which an infant is most content and best able to interact with his environment. It may be called the optimal state of learning for a baby. Researchers have also reported that carried babies show enhanced visual and auditory alertness.
The behavioral state of quiet alertness also gives parents a better opportunity to interact with their baby. Notice how mother and baby position their faces in order to achieve this optimal visually interactive plane. The human face, especially in this position, is a potent stimulator for interpersonal bonding. In the kangaroo carry, baby has a 180-degree view of her environment and is able to scan her world. She learns to choose, picking out what she wishes to look at and shutting out what she doesn't. This ability to make choices enhances learning. A sling baby learns a lot in the arms of a busy caregiver.
3. Sling babies are more organized. It's easier to understand babywearing when you think of a baby's gestation as lasting eighteen months – nine months inside the womb and at least nine more months outside. The womb environment automatically regulates baby's systems. Birth temporarily disrupts this organization. The more quickly, however, baby gets outside help with organizing these systems, the more easily he adapts to the puzzle of life outside the womb. By extending the womb experience, the babywearing mother (and father) provides an external regulating system that balances the irregular and disorganized tendencies of the baby. Picture how these regulating systems work. Mother's rhythmic walk, for example, (which baby has been feeling for nine months) reminds baby of the womb experience. This familiar rhythm, imprinted on baby's mind in the womb, now reappears in the "outside womb" and calms baby. As baby places her ear against her mother's chest, mother's heartbeat, beautifully regular and familiar, reminds baby of the sounds of the womb. As another biological regulator, baby senses mother's rhythmic breathing while worn tummy- to-tummy, chest-to-chest. Simply stated, regular parental rhythms have a balancing effect on the infant's irregular rhythms. Babywearing "reminds" the baby of and continues the motion and balance he enjoyed in the womb.
SLING TIP:The womb lasts eighteen months: Nine months inside mother, and nine months outside.
What may happen if the baby spends most of his time lying horizontally in a crib, attended to only for feeding and comforting, and then again separated from mother? A newborn has an inherent urge to become organized, to fit into his or her new environment. If left to his own resources, without the regulating presence of the mother, the infant may develop disorganized patterns of behavior: colicky cries, jerky movements, disorganized self-rocking behaviors, anxious thumb sucking, irregular breathing, and disturbed sleep. The infant, who is forced to self-calm, wastes valuable energy he could have used to grow and develop.
While there is a variety of child-rearing theories, attachment researchers all agree on one thing: In order for a baby's emotional, intellectual, and physiological systems to function optimally, the continued presence of the mother, as during babywearing, is a necessary regulatory influence.
4. Sling babies get "humanized" earlier. Another reason that babywearing enhances learning is that baby is intimately involved in the caregiver's world. Baby sees what mother or father sees, hears what they hear, and in some ways feels what they feel. Carried babies become more aware of their parents' faces, walking rhythms, and scents. Baby becomes aware of, and learns from, all the subtle facial expressions, body language, voice inflections and tones, breathing patterns, and emotions of the caregiver. A parent will relate to the baby a lot more often, because baby is sitting right under her nose. Proximity increases interaction, and baby can constantly be learning how to be human. Carried babies are intimately involved in their parents' world because they participate in what mother and father are doing. A baby worn while a parent washes dishes, for example, hears, smells, sees, and experiences in depth the adult world. He is more exposed to and involved in what is going on around him. Baby learns much in the arms of a busy person.
5. Sling babies are smarter. Environmental experiences stimulate nerves to branch out and connect with other nerves, which helps the brain grow and develop. Babywearing helps the infant's developing brain make the right connections. Because baby is intimately involved in the mother and father's world, she is exposed to, and participates in, the environmental stimuli that mother selects and is protected from those stimuli that bombard or overload her developing nervous system. She so intimately participates in what mother is doing that her developing brain stores a myriad of experiences, called patterns of behavior. These experiences can be thought of as thousands of tiny short-run movies that are filed in the infant's neurological library to be rerun when baby is exposed to a similar situation that reminds her of the making of the original "movie." For example, mothers often tell me, "As soon as I pick up the sling and put it on, my baby lights up and raises his arms as if in anticipation that he will soon be in my arms and in my world."
I have noticed that sling babies seem more attentive, clicking into adult conversations as if they were part of it. Babywearing enhances speech development. Because baby is up at voice and eye level, he is more involved in conversations. He learns a valuable speech lesson – the ability to listen.
Normal ambient sounds, such as the noises of daily activities, may either have learning value for the infant or disturb him. If baby is alone, sounds may frighten him. If baby is worn, these sounds have learning value. The mother filters out what she perceives as unsuitable for the baby and gives the infant an "It's okay" feeling when he is exposed to unfamiliar sounds and experiences.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Business issues... your comments, pls

My recent meet up with friends has proven the very fact that I am never going to be a real business person. Well, yes, I am thinking of starting an online store selling slings but the main thing of that is really, to share the joy of babywearing... and, as I gather more information and get to know more Mothers who are thinking of working from home.. well, maybe, I'll think of a way to bring them along my journey...

Just as I have imagined... to be a business person.. of course, you think business and you think profit. Most people I know, friends and family inclusive, when they heard that I am starting an online store... they simply pour out their business ideas on what else I can sell and how I can make a bigger profit. When I tell them that I am just going to focus on slings.. most of the reactions are like "Hmm... yeah... why not sell something else, too... since you already have the 'shop'... get more profit".

Anyway, I hope that the birth of Peekaroobaby will make a difference in the babywearing ratio and along the way, it shall also support other work at home communities (hey! Dads can work at home, too).

"We did not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrowed it from our children"... native American proverb

For this very reason, Peekaroobaby shall use little in packaging.. (probably another reason why my business will not stand out)
  • they shall be reusable or recyclable
  • I am also thinking of not including any printed instructions but to direct customers to look it up on the site. This is in line with reducing waste

I'm not too sure about it yet, though... would clients prefer the packaging? Can they do without them? Will the product look better with extensive packaging? Really, these thoughts have been circling in my head... pls help!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

It's starting to show...

Between Breasfeeding, Babywearing and Cloth Diapering... I'd say that Breastfeeding is the best gift one can ever give to their babies... really, it's priceless.

It's starting to show in Arthur that he's different from toddlers of his age.

I enrolled Arthur into Musikgarten (music classes for newborns up to 6 years old) with the main intention for him to mix around with other babies (he loves company and we don't have that many relatives his age to play with in Penang). He's only been to two classes and he remembers what's being done while he was there that he does the excercises at home, when I least expect it... the teacher was equally amazed at his progress when he was attending the class for the fourth time. She mentioned that some take months to understand what's happening... there's another boy, who is older by a month (who was there before Arthur), who is still quite unsure of himself and how he shall react.

Although Arthur only started walking at about 14 months... he's literally running now... at 16 months. At 16 months, he can do many things that babies his age doesn't do.... the thing that amazes me most is how he is potty ready for his bowel movements even when I have not train him. He will point to the potty and say "poo poo" or "bet bet" when he senses a bowel movement. He started doing that when about 2 months ago.

In the case of learning to talk... many commented that he learns fast. He can now say 'fish' and understand what a 'yes' means. If there's something we want him to pronounce more accurately, all we have to do is to point him to look at our mouths as we pronouce the word. magic.

Benefits of Breasfeeding

Just put it this way, a whole forest of trees won't make enough papers to contain all the benefits of breastfeeding. Here, I'm just trying to highlight some of the main benefits (more like those I experienced with Arthur) to give you an idea on where breastfeeding could bring you to... .

1. It's natural - what can be better? The bonding you have with your baby is priceless.. and, don't worry, breastfeeding will not make them clingy. When they come of age, like Arthur, they will only 'cling' to you when they need to be nursed. Otherwise, they are just more happy and contented. If you check on the labels on the milk powder container, you will see that there is a message in bold prints that breastmilk is the best for infants.

2. Fewer Allergies. Exclusively breastfed (meaning not even a drop of water in the first six months of life, as recommended by WHO) babies are less likely to have food related allergies and related problems such as diarrhea, vomiting, eczema, gastro infections... just to name a few... Arthur did have breasmilk jaundice, though.. but, it is nothing to worry about and it did not stop my determination to continue to breastfeed him.

3. Baby grow at just the right size. Unlike bottle-fed babies, breastfed babies are usually just the right size (meaning, they are not too fat and not too thin). As such, you will not need to worry about childhood obesity etc.

4. Higher IQ. I read somewhere (couldn''t think of the source) that breastmilk contains the natural DHA (what you see highlighted in milk powder containers claiming it helps brain development) that is lacking from cow's milk (that's why manufacturers need to add them on in the production). Simply put, cow's milk are meant for, well, calfs... and, cows does not need to be brainy... Really, it's starting to show in Arthur that he is progressing at a quicker pace than his peers.

5. Less problems with stool. Stools from breastfed babies are usually soft and just right. As breastmilk is 80% water (that's why you don't need to feed baby even a drop of water), your baby will rarely be dehydrated. While some breastfed babies might have 5-6 bowel movements in a day, passing watery stools, Arthur was different- got me worried for a while- he only passes motion once in every 4-5 days... so, if that happens to your breastfed baby, DO NOT WORRY. It's normal. As long as the stools are not hard and the baby is not crying while he does his business... DO NOT WORRY. This is important as some doctors- not expert in breastfeeding enough, at this stage, will ask you to give the baby water while some even gave medication to help 'loosen' the stools.

6. Saves money. Do the calculation... According to my sister who bottle fed her children, the average cost of a tin of milk powder is around RM55. It will last for about a week... that makes about RM220 a month that you are saving... breastfeed your baby until they are 2 (as recommended, you shall breastfeed your baby for as long as they want it- no kidding... I know someone who breastfed her baby til he was 4!)

7. Mom loses weight fast. This is the best for Moms who is worried about being able to get back to their pre-pregnancy weight. Those who know me well enough would agree that I did lose that weight, fast. Indeed, 2 months into Motherhood and I already have so many comments that I don't look like I jsut had a baby. Realistically, though, I went back to pre-pregnancy weight when Arthur was about 5 months old- saves all those money on diet programmes, if you are planning on them.

8. Less work. Really, think of all the work related to bottle feeding.. making the milk.. washing up... sterilising... etc. etc. I enjoy the freedom and extra time for not needing to do this... I did it for some time,though- Arthur had to be fed breastmilk from the bottle before I quit my job to take care of him full time- so, I had to express the milk... store it.. pass them to the nanny... not too bad when I focus on the benefits breastmilk can give my son.

9. You'll be more relaxed... You don't have to worry if baby doesn't finish the bottle... You don't have to worry about wasting the milk... you might worry if he's taking enough milk since you cannot see how much he's taking... believe me... the little one knows! And, NO, expressing it to check if you have enough milk doesn't work... the little one can suck much, much better than the pump. Some Mothers I know was misled by this and they gave up breastfeeding just because the expressed milk is so little - they think they do not have enough milk for their babies. WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! Sometimes, it could be due to the way you express or even the pump you use... the milk will not flow. If the baby is latching on correctly, the baby will get milk! If baby really does not get enough milk... during what is called the growth spurt.. he/she will keep sucking and sucking.. and your milk supply will increase... simply, THE MORE THE BABY SUCKS, THE MORE MILK MOTHER WILL PRODUCE.

10. Reduces the risk of breast cancer. Need I say more?

11. Natural contraception. Women who breasfeed exclusively will not resume their menses so soon. In fact, I only resumed my menses when Arthur is 16 months old. Again, save on the pads. It is also important as you'll not want a baby again so soon... I know people who got pregnant again when their newborn is only 5 months old!

Those are just some of the common ones that I experienced... there are so many more worth a mention. You'll see what I mean when you start searching through the sites I'd linked to.