Monday, December 31, 2007

December 2007 Market Day

It was the last Sunday of the month again and this time, it's for December 2007. This is the second time we set up stall at the Little Penang Street Market.

As the first time, we have to arrive and set up stall before the visitors start coming in. We arrived at 9.30 am and this time round, Peek-a-Wipes Cases are added to the list.

In addition, as opposed to home-printed business cards, these arrived just the day before (just in time)...

The guys I hired to develop might have failed to deliver a satisfactory shopping cart system but these business cards are sure very impressive and to me, 'out of the box'. You cannot see it from the pictures but the top is nicely laminated in a way that the stars and rainbow have special effects to them. ;) Very satisfied with these, indeed. The flyers looks great on the PC, too but waiting for budget to actually print them out.

Again, December 2007's market was a family event. The management makes it a point to have activities for children on the day... once again, Arthur enjoyed himself very much.

As I was busy setting up stall...

Judging from the picture, can you guess what happened??

Not really? Take a look at the next pic...

Yes... My Little Arthur 'stole' the doll sling on display again...

Of many performances and songs and dances... the one that caught Arthur's attention most....
Chinese, or rather, Hokkien glove puppet performance... impressive. It was performed by a Living Penang Heritage recipient. Let's just say that it's not easy to get a chance at this...

Then, of course... nap time...

Ok, this next one made my day!

This customer was carrying her DD in a Baby Bjorn when she stopped by my stall. My initial thought was that she won't be getting the sling from me. Probably the taggies...
You guessed it right! I was soooo soooo happy that after my demonstration, she decided to try it on. God knows my feeling when she voiced out her preference of a Peekaroobaby pouch to a Baby Bjorn! Indescribable feeling!

And, oh... keepsakes from the day...

Probably in line with the Clog Painting activity that was going on, there were these mini clogs (as big as my index finger) for keepsake... The thingy next to it is a puzzle piece where one is suppose to seperate the string from the green wrought steel... (no, you don't need tools... just a little intelligence.. which, I still lack hahah...)

There was also a mini windmill (not sure if this is the right term but it's the thing with a flower that moves like a windmill...) made from wrought steel but Arthur just couldn't keep poking at the flower. In the end, it's wrecked.

Market go-ers, see you in 2008!

Babywearers, come join in the fun! Who knows? Market day could one day be our get-together day of the month ;)

Happy New Year!!

Wow! Can you believe the year is really coming to an end??

This particular year that I am talking about saw a lot of changes in me... in my surroundings.

For one, I am now a WAHM. **woohoo..** I started the year off as a trainer for an insurance company. Sadly (cos I had to leave it), it was my best jobs ever (in Malaysia) since I returned from Sydney. Was really very heavy hearted to leave... especially with those colleagues of mine planning a surprise farewell party (I was indeed surprised!!) It was like family and I sure would love to stay on longer. A boss that values my work... friendly and willing to help inter department colleagues... don't know what else I could ask for.

Still, from a FTWM, I chose to quit (due to many reasons) and become a SAHM. I have always wanted to be a SAHM (even before I got married!) if we could afford it as I believe the moments spent with your children as you watch them grow up is simply priceless. How true.. I am still enjoying it..

If you asked me then... even if you ask me now... it has never occured to me that I will be in business someday. Even now, 'business' is not so much a business to me as all I ever wanted to do is to spread the joy of babywearing... breastfeeding... cloth diapering... Even now that I have started selling the slings, I would still say that I much prefer blogging about it and sewing them to actually selling them. Then again, of course, when I bumped into someone using my sling... WOW! Just can't find a proper word to describe that feeling!

Perhaps it is from my degree in Business and having a businessman father and a businessman father in law.. people around me has always suggested that I go into this business or that.. but, no... let's just say that I am the kind of person who'd just prefer to get a fixed salary.

So, really, it never occurred to me that someday, I would be selling stuff (made by myself, too!) and I would be setting up stalls in a market!

A toast to the changes and HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all. May all the good things start happening your way come 2008!

Most Common Mistake **Updated**

Out of the many slings that I have sold, I noticed that the most common mistake encountered is that users tend to bunch up the fabric, putting strain on their neck... Like so...

As much as I'd like to share more photos os such mistake with you, not many are willing to have their photos being used for this purpose... So, a really big THANK YOU for this good friend of mine who is wiling to share :)

Really, shall I say, 9 out of 10 of my customers end up doing this. That is why I try my best to make it a point to either meet up with my customers again or contact them via email from time to time to ensure they are getting the most out of the sling and ENJOYING babywearing.

To me, the most important here is not the sales but that they actually uses it. Imagine... you were walking along the street when you turn a corner and bumped into someone carrying a baby with a sling you'd sewn... instant gratitude! After all, that is why and how Peekaroobaby is conceived... out of love of babywearing. ;) ;)

To ensure that the baby's weight is EVENLY distributed, the fabric has to be opened up and shall lay flat across the back.. otherwise, one might get a backache after minutes of wearing a baby.
Instead of bunching up the fabric... ensure that it is laid flat and spread out wide...

Friday, December 28, 2007

Cartoon Character Test

Got tagged by Brenda. Very interesting tag indeed.

Everyone has a personality of a cartoon character. Have you ever asked yourself what cartoon character do you most resemble? A group of investigators got together and analyzed the personalities of well known and modern cartoon characters. The information that was gathered was made into this test.

Here's the tag:
Answer all the questions (only 10) with what describes you best, add up all your Points (which are next to the answer that you choose) at the end and look for your results. Do not cheat by looking at the end before you are done. Then ask your Friends to answer it. (Make sure to Highlight your answers)
1. Which one of the following describes the perfect date?
a) Candlelight dinner (4 pts.)
b) Fun/Theme Park (2 pts.)
c) Painting in the park (5 pts.)
d) Rock concert (1 pt.)
e) Going to the movies (3 pts.)
2. What is your favorite type of music?
a) Rock and Roll (2 pts.)
b) Alternative (1 pt.)
c) Soft Rock (4 pts.)
d) Country (5 pts.)
e) Pop (3 pts.)
3. What type of movies do you prefer?
a) Comedy (2 pts.)
b) Horror (1 pt.)
c) Musical (3 pts.)
d) Romance (4 pts.)
e) Documentary (5 pts.)
4.Which one of these occupations would you choose if you only could choose one of these?
a) Waiter (4 pts.)
b) Professional Sports Player (5 pts.)
c) Teacher (3 pts.)
d) Police (2 pts.)
e) Cashier (1 pt)
5. What do you do with your spare time?
a) Exercise (5 pts.)
b) Read (4 pts.)
c) Watch television (2 pts.)
d) Listen to music (1pt.)
e) Sleep (3 pts.)
6. Which one of the following colors do you like best?
a) Yellow (1 pt.)
b) White (5 pts.)
c) Sky Blue (3 pts.)
d) Dark Blue (2 pts.)
e) Red (4 pts.)
7. What do you prefer to eat?
a) Snow (3 pts.)
b) Pizza (2 pts.)
c) Sushi (1 pt.)
d) Pasta (4 pts.)
e) Salad (5 pts.)
8. What is your favorite holiday?
a) Halloween (1 pt.)
b) Christmas (3 pts.)
c) New Year (2 pts.)
d) Valentine's Day (4 pts.)
e) Thanksgiving (5 pts.)
9. If you could go to one of these places which one would it be?
a) Paris (4 pts)
b) Spain (5 pts)
c) Las Vegas (1 pt)
d) Hawaii (4 pts)
e) Hollywood (3pts.)
10. With which of the following would you prefer to spend time with?
a) Someone Smart (5 pts.)
b) Someone attractive (2 pts.)
c) Someone who likes to Party (1 pt.)d) Someone who always has fun (3 pts.)
e) Someone very sentimental (4 pts.)
Now add up your points and find out the answer you have been waiting for!Put your character in the subject line and forward to your friends and back to the person that sent this to you. Very interesting to see 'who' your friends are!
* (10-16 points) You are Garfield :You are very comfortable, easy going, and you definitely know how tohave fun but sometimes you take it to an extreme. You always know whatyou are doing and you are always in control of your life. Others maynot see things as you do, but that doesn't mean that you always have to do what is right. Try to remember, your happy spirit may hurt you or others.
* (17-23 points) You are Snoopy:You are fun, you are very cool and popular. You always know what's i nand you are never are out of style You are good at knowing how tosatisfy everyone else. You have probably disappeared for a few daysmore than once but you always come home with the family values that you learned Being married and having children are important to you, butonly after you have had your share of fun times
* (24-28 points) You are Elmo:You have lots of friends and you are also popular, always willing togive advice and help out a person in need. You are very optimistic andyou always see the bright side of things. Some good advice: try not tobe too much of a dreamer. Dreaming too big could cause many conflicts inyour life.
* (29-35 points) You are Sponge Bob Square Pants: You are the classic person that everyone loves. You are the best friend that anyone could ever have and never wants to lose. You never cause harm to anyone and they would never not understand your feelings. Life is a journey, it's funny and calm for the most part. Stay away from traitors and jealous people, and you will be stress free.
* (36-43 points) You are Charlie Brown: You are tender, you fall in love quickly but you are also very serious about all relationships. You are a family person. You call your Mom every Sunday. You have many friends and may occasionally forget a fewBirthdays. Don't let your passion confuse you with reality.
* (44-50 points) You are Dexter:You are smart and definitely a thinker... Every situation is fronted with a plan. You have a brilliant mind. You demonstrate very strong family principles. You maintain a stable routine but never ignore a bad situation when it comes.
* Try to do less over thinking every once in a while to spice things up a bit with spontaneity. Now don't spoil it! Have some Fun!!

Results: I scored 40.. I am Charlie Brown! Sounds true... sounds not... you have to know me to know if it's true ;)

Wanna pass it on to Denna, Soo Ming

Ready, Set, Go!

Ok... Now that I am done building up a stash for Arthur, it's about time I try cloth for myself. I have indeed tried it before but for only a day or two towards the end of the cycle or before the cycle starts... as a precaution. That was with the pad I'd sewn...

These are made from 100% cotton flannel fabric and I'd sewn some for a friend of mine to test them out before my menses resumed (delayed due to breastfeeding).

I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable they felt compared to disposables. No scratch... no odour... no pulling out the hair *ouch**.. yes, you know what I mean... sorry, guys, this is not for you (but you can read up for your other half ;). My hubby would ;))

The pads I'd sewn myself are stuffable and their absorbency are adjustable. I thought that would be THE system for me until my friend informed me that some would prefer AIO... This friend of mine also introduced me to another system.. the Sckoon system...

Just like my DS's CDs, I'd decided to try them out...

With a few purchases here and there, I now have the following to try out during my next menses. Will update you with a review once I have actually used them and am satisfied (or not... though I'm sure anything would be better than disposables) with them.

Sckoon GIZA pads.. interesting system where you can actually just change the liners, provided that the covers are not soiled. The organic Egyptian cotton is just soooo soft you'd want to hold it next to your face! Got this from though I later found out from Sharine's blog that you can actually get them in Malaysia from FemChoices. Upon checking, I'd found that FemChoices actually sells cloth pads at a competitive price, too. Thanks, Sharine, for putting up the link.

Homemade Mama pads... AIO... from Believe it or not, I have been eyeing these pads for quite some time before I know that Miabambina is offering them. Stumbled upon them while doing my research on cloth pads. The materials are so soft. I was a bit reluctant to try out AIOs as I was afraid they will take ages to dry... well, will let you know about that...

Ok. This Moon Sister pad is from Justlife organic shop. I have seen them on sale more than a year ago but just didn't give it much thought then. Then, Arthur was not on CDs. Then, I had the same idea as most that the idea seems gross... Now, all's in my mind is what could be worst than a landfill of disposables?? So, the last time I returned to KL, I headed to a Justlife shop and got one... was wanting to get more than one as it was only RM22 each for a double inner pad but thought I'd just buy one and open it to check it out first... unlike my other purchases, I was disappointed as the inner pads simply turned out to be...

... a double layer of hanky? Yes, those hankies that sells for less than RM1. Not even sure if they are 100% cotton, too. The snaps are just simply metal snaps that's usually require hand sewing (I know I missed a photo! I'll make it up in my review). The cover seems a bit coarse to my liking.
Then again, who knows... it might work well.

Something interesting that I'd found from the packaging from the Moon Sister pad, though is that the water used to soak the pads are good for your plants. Sounds logical, doesn't it? Not many have highlighted that, though.

So, yes, I am all set and ready to go full on cloth for my next menses.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

My Frus...

It was September 2007 when I finally decided to give it a go to start an online business selling baby pouch slings... something I am passionate about. After all, I am not a businessperson and for me to sell anything would mean that I have to believe in them. Otherwise, I knos for sure I will not succeed.

Just recently, I have read of my Chinese astro sign "GOAT- Elegant, charming and artistic. Need to feel loved and protected. Goat people are dreamers. Business is definitely not the strength in a goat, they will make good craftsman, artist or writers."... How true, I must say. Especially the part where "...Business is definitely not the strength in a goat".

Anyway, with my passion of the pouch sling and with a mission to spread to the world the benefits of babywearing, I have decided to start an online business selling the pouch sling I love so much. Indeed, I have been sewing them for some time before I decide to take the plunge.

So, I asked around for recommendations on website development.. not many, considering most of those around me are not online shoppers... indeed, they don't go online much. Anyway, got recommended to a company that supports the disabled... Yes, I am a sucker for things that are linked to doing a good cause. So, without much thought, I decided to engage their services... Sadly, 'doing a good cause' in this case came with a huge price to pay. Til now, my site is still not ready. Til now, it is a mess and I am selling my stuff through a blog. *Frus**Frus*

It is so bad that my customers are starting to provide recommendations to other web developers... huh... so, I asked them one last time about when will it possibly be ready and wow! I got a quick reply saying that it is ready.. just need to do beta testing.

Yes, you guessed it right. It is SO NOT READY. There are a bunch of functions that I do not require. There are a bunch of information that are foreign to me.. even to them... There are so much mistakes with the English language... I am no language expert but really, broken English is what I would not deem professional and might turn me off a site... can you believe it??! Anyway, after letting out my dissatisfaction, they are now suggesting that I do not continue with their service... "no point to keep you unsatisfied"?? What??!!

So, here I am... looking around for web developers... will be calling some of those who were recommended to me (Yes, more than one person recommended, looking at how long it's taking. It was only after 2 months did I realise that a site could really be up and running in a month!).. yet, struggling with a budget. Don't know if I have enough to start from scratch again... Did make partial payment to them, you know...

Anyway, for those of you looking at starting an online store, please, please consider these before engaging their services:

  1. Ask for sample sites (it never occured to me to ask as I have seen a site they have came up with... however, the one I saw was an informational site and believe me, it is really very different. When I finally asked for a sample site using the shopping cart... well, only then did they tell me I am their first customer of such... It is VERY VERY IMPORTANT to have a look at their commercial sites as I'd later learnt that most developers has a set template to it. All they do is to modify the graphics and tailor make a bit here and there... in my case, the main problem is the template... I kept asking them about it and they kept telling me to wait... that things can be modified. Naive of me but I'd always thought that anything can be modified to my liking... in my case, not true at all...)
  2. Check on the time required to have it up and running (Yes.. 3 months for me and it's still hanging there with a big pile of mess. Perhaps they thought it's be easy with the template. Poor guys (or, poor me?) ... they met with a customer who knows how a site should work or at least how a site should look like...)
  3. Ask for details (I am still not sure if I am asking all the right things now but I'd probably just go with an experienced developer this time... and make sure I ask for more than one sample site, to be sure)

Now, I am hoping they don't charge me anything more... Now, I am hoping they will let me keep the design I love...

Now, with my limited resources, and with the charges of website development costing quite a fair bit, I am not sure if I shall really get another developer.. perhaps, I should just sell off the blog for the meantime??

Thank you so much for 'listening' and would appreciate your comments.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Cloth Diapers Review - Part 1

Ok... so, here it is. The long awaited cloth nappy review. Sorry it took so long.. I was hoping to get nice pictures to display ;).

Beforehand, please note that this review is solely based on my personal experience with them on my little Arthur. It might or might not work out to be the same for you or your baby though I do hope this helps out in your decision-making process as in which one to buy.

"Wash & Care" is simplified. If you know CDs, you'd know there are many, many ways to care for them. Mine is not the detailed version simply because by the time I started using them, my little one seldom poo in the nappy already...

I do not get paid for these reviews and even if I do get paid, they will be the same honest reviews. "Get it from" simply provides references on where I got them from. There could be others in Malaysia selling them... at any time, you can just google them up ;)

The ratings (e.g. *****) are from * (1) to ***** (5), where ***** (5) is the highest possible rating for any particular product. ;)

So, here goes...

The Lampin/ Muslin wrap/ Traditional cloth diaper

Description : This is the one I started with. I didn't know enough about modern CDs then but I read that disposables are simply bad for health especially to boys. Also, just trying to do my bit for the environment, I tried hard to use this most of the time. As long as we are home or even in someone's house (i.e. not out and about), Arthur was in these... until I discovered modern CDs!
Material : Cotton Muslin
Absorbency : Only good for one wetting
Fit : As most of you would know, this is just a big piece of cloth that you fold into a nappy. Depending on how you fold it, it could provide a good fit that will prevent the messes from falling out. Check out how I fold it here.
Wash & Care : Simply just toss mess-free nappies into the Washing Machine (WM).
Drying time : Super fast. That's main reason why I still continue using them most of the time when we are at home eventhough we've pretty much built a CD stash now
Prints : Shop around. Though I prefer the simple whites, there are lots of prints available in the market
Overall Rating : *** (love the fact that it dries very fast)
Get it from : Available in most places (brick and mortar stores) that carry baby products. Brands like Anakku, Johnson's, Pureen etc..

Drybees Pocket

Description : The One that started it all... for the CD craze in me. What amazed me most was how dry it kept my baby's bottom even after the insert is soaking wet. This is something I've never experienced with the lampin.
Material : PUL outer (waterproof barrier) and suedecloth inner (absorbs the dampness away from baby's bottom
Absorbency : As with most pocket diapers, this depends a lot on the kind of inserts used (will be reviewing inserts in due time). That is the main beauty of pocket diapers, anyway - you control the level of absorbency you want.

Drying time : Very fast! Most pocket diapers dries very fast... that's another beauty of them
Fit : Not bad... though I am still trying to get over how the inner fabric is meant to roll out. Generous fit.
Wash & Care : Not difficult at all especially with the suedecloth inner. Messes can easily be rinsed off. Definitely much easier care compared to the lampin
Prints : All I can see is there are so many choices available that it is not easy to choose at all.
Overall Rating : *** (great but not my favourite due to the inner fabric rolling out. Also, a bit bulky to go underneath pants on outings)

Get it from :

Drybees Pocket - Trial version

Description : This is the same as Drybees Pocket, with a leg casing sewn wrongly for this style of diaper. Available at a bargain price and know what? I love this sewing much better than if it was sewn correctly.

Material : PUL outer (waterproof barrier) and suedecloth inner (absorbs the dampness away from baby's bottom
Absorbency : As with most pocket diapers, this depends a lot on the kind of inserts used (will be reviewing inserts in due time). That is the main beauty of pocket diapers, anyway - you control the level of absorbency you want.
Fit : The inner fabric does not roll out, giving a better overall fit
Wash & Care : Not difficult at all especially with the suedecloth inner. Messes can easily be rinsed off.
Prints : Sadly, only one colour left at the time this review is written. And, know what? There won't be anymore like this as it was sewn wrongly to begin with. Grab it while you can!
Overall Rating : **** (additional * for this as I prefer how the casing is sewn here ;))

Get it from :

Blueberry Minky One Size Pocket

Description : The diaper has two rows of snaps for adjusting the size as your baby grows. An outer layer of laminated minky keeps wetness in, and an inner layer of high quality microfleece keeps baby’s bottom dry. An absolute favourite due to it's print and feel of minky on the bottom. Honestly, made some friends of mine wish they own it, too ;)
Material : An outer layer of laminated minky keeps wetness in, and an inner layer of high quality microfleece keeps baby’s bottom dry.
Absorbency : Again, this very much depends on the inserts. Must just add here that the Microfibre/Hemp combo insert from Blueberry that came with it is my favourite by far.
Fit : Very good fit. Just nice for my little one. Though at 18 months and almost 12 kg, he is about to outgrow it
Wash & Care : Microfleece is just as easy to care for as suedecloth inner. No, the minky outer does not make it more difficult to dry.
Prints : Look it up and drool over the prints available (that's what happened to me, anyway hahah...)
Overall Rating : **** (minky is soft and plush but this could just be the cause to it having a thicker laminate compared to others. This thicker PUL sometimes make Arthur's bum sweaty. As a result, as much as I'd like to show Arhur off in this nappy, I'd need to check where we are going to, first... air-conditioned places - ok. Market - no. Also, while it's good to have a One Size, the big strap of velcro in front does look a bit off)

Get it from :

Blueberry Minky Side Snaps

Description : Similar to the Minky One Size only this one comes in sizes. While I wanted to save a bit with a One Size (hoping that it will last for longer for No.2), I just have to get one of these to check them out, too. It does look much better with snaps than with velcro!
Material : An outer layer of laminated minky keeps wetness in, and an inner layer of high quality microfleece keeps baby’s bottom dry.
Absorbency : Again, this very much depends on the inserts.
Fit : Very good fit. Fit is according to the sizing chart. More generous fit compared to it's One Size counterpart
Wash & Care : Microfleece is just as easy to care for as suedecloth inner. No, the minky outer does not make it more difficult to dry.
Prints : Just the thought of it is luring me to buy more... lucky Arthur is already a size L when I discovered it ;)
Overall Rating : **** (again, a bit put off by the thick PUL)

Get it from :

Freshbots Easi Fitted

Description : While it claims that it is an all-in-one diaper, it is not. It is just a fitted and it requires a cover. Made in Malaysia, too!

Material : The outer layer is made from cotton jersey with inner terry fabric. A hidden soaker and waterproof layer are sewn inside the diaper
Absorbency : Very good absorbency. Very thirsty
Fit : Good fit
Wash & Care : Just the same as most modern CD. Just rinse off messes and put into WM
Prints : Just a couple to choose from
Overall Rating : *** (my favourite daytime CD with Arthur when we are at home as I'd just put it on him without the cover. Love the material. Love that it breathes better than pockets but it's just sooo hard to dry)

Get it from : As I did not get satisfactory customer service from the vendor, I am not recommending them here. Please look this up yourself and hopefully, you do not get it from where I got it from.

Bella Bottoms One Size Fitted

Description : Cute, very stretchy and very comfy fitted. Please note that this is the improved version on what you'd find from Bella's Bottom site.

Material : constructed with a cream color microfleece layer to give you dry feeling on baby bottoms on top of a thisty layer of 100% cotton knit terry and additional 3 layer soaker inside with super-absorption. The fitted cloth diapers outside layers are made from adorable 100% cotton flannel solids or prints.
Absorbency : Not as absorbent as other fitter that I have tried.
Fit : Claims to fit babies from about 8-35+ pounds. Must add that I believe it will as the elastic is just so flexible and comfy. Looking at it, it's rather small but there sure is more strecth left to go further than where Arthur is at now (12kg).
Wash & Care : Just as others but this particular inner layer of microfleece is super soft and just super easy to wash off messes. Usually, with the rset that I have, I'd need to spray a bit harder or handwash a bit to clear them of messes. With Bella Bottoms, just spraying normally works well
Prints : Cute prints available
Overall Rating : *** (just love how soft and stretchy it is. Would be a great replacement to the lampin as it is just a breathable and just as comfy)

Get it from :

Baby Beehinds Bamboo fitted One Size

Description : Just love it! Love it's system - a fitted nappy that dries fast! Love the colour - bright yet not an eyesore

Material : Bamboo fibres, blended with pure organic cotton, and a smidge of polyester to provide a luxuriously soft and ultra absorbent nappy

Absorbency : Claims to be super absorbent! How true! This is what gets Arthur through the night (with the help of wool longies)

Fit : Very good fit

Wash & Care : By now, you should know that I pretty much care for all my CDs the same way... so far so good, though some swears that different fabric requires different care

Prints : No prints but the colours are just to die for

Overall rating : ***** (Yes! This one deserves the full rating for a fitted though it is a tad pricey than the rest)

Get it from :

How Daring Am I?

Came across Blogthings today. Interesting tests. The one that appealed to me, however, is the one as titled. After reading the comments that came after the test.. well, it just couldn't be more true ;)

You Are Placid and Peaceful
It's not that you're scared of most thrillsIt's just that you don't need them to be happyYou're content with life as is... no need to change itJust make sure to let loose a little every now and then!
How Daring Are You?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

My CD Journey

Of the three of my new found passions with regards to parenting, Cloth Diapering turns out to be the most expensive. Please don't let this scare you... it need not be that way. It's just me and my hunger for experiments. Otherwise, it will prove to be much more economical than the use of disposables and much more environmental friendly. In my case, it is the latter that gave me the motivation to try out and am now addicted to modern cloth diapers.

Wherever I can, I try to do my bit for the environment. See the person saving up the pieces of cardboards or Tetrapacks from the rubbish? That's me... See the person trying to reach for things in the dark just to save switching on the lights for a moment? That's me... See the person turning off the flowing tap while she's brushing her teeth? That's me...

Anyway, my journey into CD started late. I was held back due to the price of it and lack of information on how well they could replace the disposables. Simply put, it never occured to me that there could be a way to completely take disposable diapers out!

Unlike my hard won battle with breastfeeding and babywearing, cloth diapering was seen more as a place for me to spend lots of money... though, in this case, no one was saying anything against it other than its price... I'll just say that they are simply comparing a CD to a pack of disposables... though, if you really think of it.. how many packs of disposables would you need in a month?

Initially, in trying to do my bit for the environment and for the good health of my DS, I try to have him in the lampin as much as I can. I cannot bring him out in a lampin, can I? As we are a fairly 'outgoing' family... it resulted in... Arthur being in a disposable more than the lampin... Arthur getting very bad nappy rash where we often need to leave his bottom naked to air it and dry it properly (even the most expensive rash cream in the market wasn't working for him)... I being reluctant to go out as often as I'd like to in fear to return home to find a bottom filled with rashes...

So, the start of the CD journey was mainly to take care of the rashes! Initially, calculative as I am, I thought I'd just get a few to replace the dispos when 1) he's taking his nap 2) we're going out... then, it never occured to me that it will also work for the nights...

My first purchase was a couple of pocket diapers (Drybees) and a couple of fitted diapers (Freshbots). Know what? I simply fell in love with them and how dry Drybees can be! Then on, you can say I never looked back... then on, there's a new CD addict on the block who just cannot stop trying out the different brands with the different features - dry, absorbant, soft, trim...

As with anything, there are some that I like more than others etc... To date, Arthur's CD stash includes:

  1. Drybees pocket

  2. Freshbots fitted

  3. Blueberry Minky side snaps

  4. Blueberry Minky one size

  5. BumGenius one size

  6. Baby Beehinds bamboo fitted one size

  7. Bumwear pocket one size

  8. Bella's Bottom fitted one size

  9. Ella's House fitted one size

  10. Lampin, lampin and more lampin!

Well, I don't have many of each.. mostly just one of each... look out for my CD review on each of them. ;)

I've been tagged!

I've been tagged by Sharine. This is indeed a first on this blog of mine ;)

1. Do the following without complains.
2. Choose 5 people to do this quiz after you've done yours.
3. Tag the chosen one.
4. Start your post with "I've been tagged"

Colour: White
Food: Chocolate
Movie: Life is Beautiful
Sport: Cycling
Day: Sunday
Season: Autumn
Ice cream: Chocolate

Best friend: Vivian (we've known each other since primary 1 and are still in touch ;))
Crush: Forgot
Movie: Some HK comedy by Stephen Chau
Music: Not sure

Drink: Plain water
Car ride: Back from the morning market this morning
Crush: Hmmm...
Phone call: Sis
CD played: Carpenters
Gone out with good friends: Just now over dinner
Broken a law: Don't remember
Been arrested: Never, I'm a good citizen

I'm going to pass this tag to:




really... I'm still quite new on the blog scene.. no idea who else to pass it to..

Friday, December 21, 2007

Trying out the woolies

Just wanted to 'show off' my new purchases that I'll be trying out with Arthur.. Arthur has always been a heavy wette during the night. Many a times, we have the leaking problem and half the time, it is not due to overflow but more of it was 'aimed to leak'... if you know what I mean.. half the nappy is still dry... Before you think it is the fault of CDs... No... we have this problem even when he uses disposables (we still use disposables every now and then when the CDs do not dry in time)... But, really, I am aiming to go dispo-less ASAP simply because every time he's on disposables, his rashes are back.

Anyway, got these from Etsy. If you do not mind having recycled wool for your woolies/longies/shorties, you can shop on Etsy for them... they are even better than Ebay in terms that the pricing is fixed. With Ebay, one might just get too excited to bid for the low price, forgetting that they might need to pay a high shipping charge. On Etsy, however, the shipping is also listed.

Got these from Lambypants. All I can say for now (as I have just started on them, it's not fair at this moment to review them) is that it is value for money simply because 100% wool yarn is so so expensive in Malaysia! Don't forget to add in the time and energy required to knit it, too. Also, the fit is very good and it is pretty close to how it was described.

Front Snap Cover

Securing the 'Lampin'

Ok... many have asked me this question.. "How do you secure the lampin?" Especially those who saw Arthur in it... they tried hard but they just couldn't find the Snappi or any sort of pins at all...

I have wanted to post this long time ago... initially, I got pictures with Arthur... just when I wanted to upload them... I decided.. No... Not my baby's photos...

Anyway... here's it, step by step:

Assuming you know how to fold the lampin. Lie it down...
Lie baby on the lampin, ensuring that it falls below the waistline
Fold front part up. Note that the front part, when folded, shall be higher than the back...
Tie first knot tightly... leaving a flap... just not to the point where baby is not comfy...
Fold down the flap and tie the second knot.. this knot shall be tighter than the first
Voila! Trendy yet secure low waisted lampin

Breastmilk Jaundice

In my fight to breastfeed Arthur in a non-breastfeeding community that I grew up in, determination is very, very important. Most of the time, it seems like a never ending obstacle race. Of the many obstacles, one that almost had me give up was breastmilk jaundice though when I look back at it now, it is more like a blessing in disguise.. Breastmilk jaundice brought me to Dr Amy of Pusat Primer HUKM who, with her rich experience in breastfeeding, encouraged me to continue breastfeeding.... even after returning to work...

Yes, Dr, it is worthwhile overcoming all those hurdles... I can proudly say that Arthur is healthier and smarter than most his age ** contented ** Had I been well informed, Arthur would have had the benefits to be breastfed exclusively for the first six months... no problem... I'll just make sure no.2 gets that.

So, what is breastmilk jaundice and why is it so scary? (really, this is the least scary and nothing-to-worry about kind of jaundice among all)

"Jaundice refers to the yellow coloring of the infant's skin that is associated with elevated bilirubin levels in the blood. All babies have slight elevations in bilirubin after birth. This is related to the normal breakdown of extra red blood cells that occurs as the infant adjusts to life outside the womb. High levels of bilirubin are a concern because it can lead to brain damage, but there have been no reports of a baby with breastmilk jaundice developing this dangerous complication. Preemies, more vulnerable to brain damage from high bilirubin, rarely develop serious complications. (Mohrbacher, N. & J. Stock, 1997)

True breastmilk jaundice, also referred to as late onset jaundice, is relatively rare, in the range of 0.5 to 4 percent of births. (Riordan & Auerbach 1999) (Lawrence 1994)

Breastmilk jaundice is defined as serum bilirubin greater than 10 mg/dl in the third week of life, when other organic and functional causes have been ruled out. It is sometimes diagnosed by feeding the baby other milk in addition to, or in place of, breastfeeding to see if the bilirubin level drops. This method of diagnosis is controversial and may not be necessary. (Riordan & Auerbach 1999) Dr. Jack Newman feels that an interruption of breastfeeding to diagnose breastmilk jaundice is "completely unjustified." (Newman & Pitman 2000)

Physiologic or normal jaundice occurs in about one-half of all newborns. Physiologic jaundice causes a peak in bilirubin levels at about three to five days of age. It can be caused by, or aggravated by, an inadequate intake of breastmilk, which is why it is sometimes confused with breastmilk jaundice. A better name for it may be "lack of breastmilk jaundice."
Once reasons for the infant's inadequate intake of breastmilk are corrected, physiologic jaundice is often easily resolved with improved nutrition and other interventions that do not interrupt breastfeeding. Because this type of jaundice is often associated with a less than adequate intake of milk, it is not possible to diagnose breastmilk jaundice until it is established that the baby is feeding well. (Newman & Pitman 2000)

Breastmilk jaundice usually peaks at seven to ten days. This often follows the earlier elevated bilirubin levels associated with physiologic jaundice. According to Dr Lawrence, it is only necessary to discontinue breastfeeding if the bilirubin level rises above 16 mg/dl for more than 24 hours.
According to research as many as 36 percent of babies may have some elevation in bilirubin levels into the third week, yet these babies suffer no ill effects. Some are theorizing that elevated bilirubin may be normal or even have a protective factor that is not yet understood. Typically babies with late onset jaundice are thriving and no interruptions of breastfeeding are necessary in most cases. (Riordan & Auerbach 1999) (Lawrence 1994) (Newman & Pitman 2000)

It is true that breastmilk jaundice tends to repeat in siblings. It is also more common in non-Caucasians. Be sure to discuss your concern with your pediatrician before your baby is born.. Ask how they usually treat jaundice in the breastfed baby and express your desire to avoid formula if at all possible because of the associated risks. You are off to a wonderful start by addressing your concerns and becoming informed early.

Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Professional, Lawrence, R. ,Mosby, New York, 1994, 152-4.
The Breastfeeding Answer Book, Mohrbacher, N. & J. Stock, La Leche League International, Schaumburg, Illinois 226-7, 1997.
Dr. Jack Newman's Guide to Breastfeeding, Newman, J. and T. Pitman, HarperCollins, 130-35, 2000.
Breastfeeding and Human Lactation, Riordan, J. & K. Auerbach, Jones and Bartlett, Boston, 382-89, 1999."

The scariest part is probably the part where they have to take blood samples from your tiny baby... you see them poke your baby almost everyday... because breastmilk jaundice is usually prolonged, it simply means more samples.

As with jaundice, many have given advises such as... "bring him out to the sun"... "bath him in this yellow substance"..."eat this or eat that"... "no need to bring him to the hospital anymore. Pity the little fellow"

Anything that does not go into the mouth, I gave a go. But really, I do not know how one of their babies survived 1 hour under the sun, naked. Really, the lady advised me to just pull out the sofa and put baby there for 1 hour!!

Whatever it is... they didn't work. Why they could have worked with normal jaundice could be due to the fact that the normal ones receed in about a week or so, anyway... so, by the time they try anything out, it's about to receed.

At 1 month, during his fullmoon party, Arthur was still showing signs of jaundice... knowing that it is not dangerous in any way... we just kept going... kept breastfeeding...

Breastfeeding must knows

This newsletter from Pregnancy Without Pounds came at just the right time.. I was wanting to find all these information to post here on breastfeeding. Hope you get some use out of it.

My pregnant friends, do you feel like you have all the information you need to successfully breastfeed?
Breastfeeding might be a natural process, but many new moms are surprised that they actually need to get the hang of it.
Read these 10 Breastfeeding Must-Knows below and spend your first moments enjoying your new baby instead of worrying about breastfeeding :) I must say that all of them are true (which is why I am posting it here) and I have added my own comments next to the tips ;)

Just as each pregnancy is a personal experience, so too is breastfeeding. In fact, I find there are typically 3 groups of moms:
1. Those who love it from the very first latch, never have a minute's pain and were practically born to nurse;
2. Those who have a hard time with sore nipples/milk supply/latching and find it hard to imagine that they'll ever love it; and
3. Those who decide that they are just NOT going to do it at all - it's not for them.

I DEFINITELY believe that breast is best (me, too!!) , but I know that it doesn't work for everyone. So as with all decisions that us moms have to make, get educated and do what YOU think is BEST for BOTH you and your baby.
If you do decide to give it a try (which I hope you do!), be sure to give yourself a chance to settle in. Although breastfeeding is a NATURAL process, it may take longer than you think to get used to it. This is so right. In fact, with Arthur, it took us about 2 weeks to get it right... but, we just weren't giving up.

That's right, as natural as nursing is, I know that I had TONS of questions. I must say I just couldn't stop researching and reading up on breastfeeding while I was pregnant. And, true enough, these were the recurring questions... and, no matter how much research, I was still in doubt... For example, I wanted to know if I had to prepare my nipples. I also wanted to know WHAT it would feel like and if it would hurt? And most importantly, I wanted to know HOW to actually feed.

So, here's my list of 10 Breastfeeding MUST-KNOWs (not only for mom, but also for baby!):
1. When your breasts get engorged for the first time (hello milk supply!!), apply a cool compress, like frozen peas. You can also try washed cold cabbage leaves (but don't leave them on too long they can drain your milk).
2. Drink lots of fluid. I know you've heard this before, but your hydration level REALLY affects your milk output. So aim for at least 8-10 glasses of water a day. Try to have a glass of water next to you whenever you're nursing. This is a really important tip especially to those who begin to wonder if they have enough milk. The thing is, milk is rarely not enough... it all depends on how you feed.. whether the baby latched on properly.. whether you are taking in enough fluid... I was about to give up but we were lucky enough to have met a doctor, Dr Amy, who'd gave us this advise... it REALLY made a big difference!

3. Keep away from spicy or garlicky foods, especially at the beginning. I slowly started introducing more foods at around 4 months and found it worked well. I did try this one out more than once. For me, I only dared introduce the curry and tom yam after Arthur is one. How? Well, I purposedly ate curry and then look out for abnormalities in behaviour while nursing and sure enough... he is very unsettled and indeed, was sucking and 'scolding' while he nursed.. yes, everytime I took curry... After a few times, I simply stayed away from curry. If you are thinking this is too much for you, curry lover... think again.. the result is a healthy baby with a great immune system!

4. DON'T wash your nipples with soap - warm water is good enough.
This is also very important as you do not want your little one to be sucking on all that soap... and, you do not need to wash it every time you feed, too. (maybe, laze moms would like this). Don't get me wrong.. I am not trying to discriminate here but some breastfeeding Moms I know actually told me they breastfed because they are lazy to wash and sterilise those bottles.

5. If your nipples get irritated and sore, squeeze some breast milk on to them and rub it in. Really, this works! You don't need any special gel or cream... though, if you have been feeding right and the baby did latch on, you will hardly get sore nipples.

6. RELAX! Stressing out WILL affect your milk supply, so do your best to "go with the flow". 7. Make sure your baby is latching on correctly from the VERY BEGINNING - this will ensure good eating and prevent sore nipples. Just in case you don't already know, a good latch means a wide-open mouth like a yawn over your areola. This is indeed the MOST IMPORTANT to note. If you have read my breastfeeding journey, you'd understand better. Anyway, as a new Mom, I lacked confidence in doing it right. As such, I nursed with some experienced Mothers around me.. MIL, Mom, Sis, Aunties... great, great No! Especially when all of them did not really breastfeed their own children. Did not really means... they simply gave up when people around them started to say things like "there's not enough milk"... "not enough nutrition".. etc... Really, determination is the key here especially when you do not belong to a family where breastfeeding is the norm. Have I told you that at intervals of time up til when Arthur is 12 months, my MIL was still trying to persuade me to stop breastfeeding? I know enough to bother with statements like these, now... So, get your own space, filled with pillows or however you see it comfy and let that be your breastfeeding space in the first few weeks... once you have established a good flow and gained enough confidence to be sure, you can almost breastfeed anywhere, even on the go! (with the help of the sling). Really, think of nursing while you walk around.. ;)

8. Expect to nurse often in the beginning. New babies eat at least 8 times in a 24-hour period. And don't worry if your feeds feel like they're REALLY long in the beginning, they DO get a lot shorter as your baby becomes more efficient at feeding! For Arthur, I must admit it was a tiring routine to begin with... he nursed almost every 1 1/2 hours!

9. When your baby is born his/her stomach is the size of a walnut, so don't panic if you feel he/she is not drinking a lot. Aim for small, frequent feeds (this info REALLY helped me out!). If you're at all concerned, don't be shy to ask your doctor. This is so, so true and this is where people around you will keep saying that your baby is not drinking enough.. especially when they don't see you nurse for a long time... even with bigger babies, once they get the hang of it, they can empty your breasts full of milk in less than 5 minutes! If your doctor doesn't understand, get a lactation consultant. I tried getting many advises from doctors but really, not all of them can provide useful enough information on this topic... even those who call themselves 'children specialist"... you'll know more if you read my Breastfeeding Journey I won't say I am an expert but really, with some of those doctors I met... I'll say it's better off seeking advises from people who did breastfeed successfully than with those doctors.

10. Make sure your baby has LOTS of wet diapers to keep hydrated. A baby should wet at least 6 diapers per day. Breastfeeding is a wonderful gift for both you and your baby - don't be scared. Also remember, though, that if breastfeeding doesn’t work for you, don’t beat yourself up over it - there are many more ways to look out for your little one’s well-being! This is also important! I must admit that I forgot to look out for this and Arthur was almost dehydrated! In the beginning, he only wet one nappy a day and Mom was wondering why... You see, Arthur was a bit different... as long as I gave him the breast when he cried, he is contented. We only knew later that he actually did not get enough milk in the very first few days... Don't worry too much about this.. just look out for those nappies!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Poetic Babywearer

Came across this in The Baby Wearer's Forum... simply must share it with you...

Ode to Healthy Babywearing

Use your sling wisely & use it well.
Are you doing it right?
Here's how you tell: Smile for your little one, holding her close and near
Check that her breathing is soft and clear.
Is there a round seat for her rump?
Legs below and her head above?
Carry your baby with comfort & love.

A Mei Tai or a Pod?

So, I was going to sew a Mei Tai, right? No... now, I am not sure which I'll be sewing.. a mei tai or a podaegi (pod) or both??! Maybe, you can give some comments on shich I shall try out with first.. considering I am to carry a 12kg toddler.
A little on each...
Mei Tai
(photo taken from

Traditionally, the Chinese mei tai was a square or nearly square piece of cloth with parallel unpadded straps emerging from the sides of each corner. It was traditionally secured by bringing all the straps together in a twist with the ends tucked. The mei tai did not become well-known in the United States until 2003, when several designs that added padding, a longer body, longer top straps and a more "wrap like" tying method were created and made popular.


A podaegi (sometimes translated as podegi or podeagi) is a traditional baby carrier design from Korea. It is a piece of fabric that wraps around the mother and baby and is secured with two long sashes holding the baby in place on a mother`s back.

There are four (that we know of!) hands-free ways to carry the child, from infancy through toddler-hood, including one method that does not use the shoulders to carry baby's weight. This makes the podaegi particularly well-suited to a variety of body types and physical conditions. All of these characteristics come together in a versatile and practical baby carrier for anyone who needs to get things done.

If you've read Distribution of Baby's Weight, you'll know that the carriers used in babywearing your little one can generally be grouped into three - one shoulder, two shoulders and the torso carries.
While the Mei Tai is more like a wrap and shall be able to do most carries and distribute the weight all over the body, the Pod is more a torso carrier... then again, from the instructions, the pod looks much simpler to sew but it has a little extra blanket that will hang out, unlike the Mei Tai, which is all tucked... which looks better to you? Which one are you more interested in to see a blog on?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

"We don't go out often"

That's probably the most I've heard from the last market day in my attempt to promote the sling to those who are carrying their babies. It simply means that they view the sling as something one would use to carry their babies when they are out and about... in other words, replacing the stroller.

Well, I have been thinking of it ever since. I am not a very good seller. At such comments, I'd usually just give them a smile and accept the comment. Just as those who'd told me that they are pregnant... those who'd prefer their maids/caregivers to carry their babies... how much do you think I should tell them without them feeling that "You are just trying hard to sell your slings!". How far can I go on to truly share with these people the joy behind having their babies close to them, out or at home?

I am sure that there are moments when we are at home that babies cry for attention. Whether they are fussy, parents/caregivers will know that they are those times... whether they are a tiny newborn or a toddler two.. they are those times... Believe me... there are those times. This is when babywearing helps.. A LOT.

Sharing with you my occassions with babywearing at home... I've worn Arthur while I was doing the laundry, while using the computer, at times when we just want to stand by the windowsill to enjoy the scenes... of course, for play, too. I'm sure there are more than these but I just can't get it out right now.

Perhaps, it is because I am a Stay At Home Mom without a helper/maid/assistant or whatever you may call them. So, really, it's just Arthur and I at home most of the time and sometimes he can really be very clingy.

The Malaysian culture has it in such a way that most homes (at least those I know of) have a helper... where both parents need to work to bring in the bread. So, if the parents are tired.. the duty is simply passed on to the carer or kakak (Indonesian maid). I heard on the radio one day.. sad but true... the first ones Malaysian babies learn to greet these days is "Kakak". I didn't want that for sure... My baby, at six months, started showing his preference towards his then caregiver over me... that's why I decided to quit.

But then again, aren't there moments when you got home from work.. eventhough you are tired, that you wish to have your baby close to you?? Well, at moments like this.. just wear them... effortlessly... ;)

The next comment that came up most?? "Ohh... isn't that similar to what Kakak is using to carry baby?"... think about it.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Distribution of baby's weight

If you have been researching on baby slings, you would have come across many different styles of slings available. Ring sling, pouch sling, wraps, mei tai, podeagi.. just to name a few. Yes, there are more available and the differences is in how they are constructed.

If you have been following this blog, you would know by now that I strongly recommend the pouch sling as it has given me the confidence and convenience I needed. Simply the best, for me.

However, in my mission to promote babywearing, I am aware that you may be aware and curios of other slings that are available (or not available) in the market, too. So, this is to share with you my research, comparing the different types of carrier.

Basically, the slings can be grouped into three: whether it uses your torso, one shoulder or two shoulders in supporting your baby's weight.

Torso : Torso carries are excellent because they distribute your child's weight to your lower body and do not put any stress on your neck, shoulders or upper back at all. However, they are not as secure for heavier babies as with small babies. Here, we are talking about the wraps, podeagi or even our very own sarong.

One shoulder : Usually easy to learn and versatile to use, this is known to be good for small to medium sized babies. However, if used to carry a heavy toddler for long hours, this may just not be the best. Depending on the length of time that it is being used for at one go, it might also work well with heavier babies. The most common one shoulder slings that you can see available are the ring slings and the pouch slings. However, a wrap or the sarong can also be your one shoulder sling!

Two shoulders : Though more complicated and not very user-friendly, the two shoulders type slings are known to be the most comfortable slings around as they are able to distribute the weight to be where you want it to be! Anything you wish to do with any baby carrier, you can do with a wrap! Takes time to learn, though.. I am trying this out at the moment. Try it out, too! You can make yourself a no sew sling in no time! Mei tais belong to this category, too.

Arthur is a growing baby. At almost 12 kgs now, I must admit that he is pretty heavy to be worn for long hours in a pouch sling. I used to wear him for 4-5 hours when I was on a shopping spree without much strain. However, about a week ago, I had him in the pouch for about 2 hours and I can feel that my legs (thighs) are getting tired... maybe it's from all the walking around... maybe it's Arthur (cos my legs are meant to carry myself?)... no back pain or sore arms, though.

Then again, it was 2 hours! What do you expect? There are occassions that I had to carry Arthur with my bare arms (like when getting off the car and into the house)... my arms feel tired and aching only after 10 minutes or so!

Anyway, as Arthur is growing and I read that the two shoulders types slings are better with heavier babies, I might just try to sew a mei tai... not sure if anyone else would be interested in this, though...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Attachment Parenting - Are we afraid of our babies?

Well, there I was, a new mother, confused.. very confused indeed on which advises to follow and which not to follow... I'm not sure if this is just the Malaysian culture or if it's just people around me or even if it happens around the globe but people just cannot hold their comments/advises back when they see you with a baby.. it's alright for them to advise but it's a totally different issue when they expect you to follow them.

One of the biggest issue that keeps coming up as the best-way-to-bring-up-your-child seems to be training the little one, from newborn, to be 'detached' (as opposed to attach) from me. WHAT??! Well, they say that only then will they be independent sooner... only then I'll get my life back... only then will they be well behaved... etc. etc... Some even advised against breastfeeding as they said it will result in a 'sticky' (i.e. attached) baby.

Huh?? My thought then was like "So fast??" I am just going through the reality of losing the bump and they are saying my baby shall be trained to be away from me??

Really, even up til now, I cannot bear the thought of Arthur choosing someone over me (though, I'm sure that will happen someday). So, I am the 'sticky' one here, not my little one.

I just wasn't sure... will it really mean he will be more independent? Will it really give him more confidence?... NO!!!

Luckily (or not.. I know I should have read up more on attachment parenting and research more on CDs), I have brushed up a lot on breastfeeding while I was pregnant and I just wasn't going to give up on it at all. I know and believe nothing could be better for my baby. It was my determination in my breastfeeding journey that kept me going and later, as I returned to work and was fit to start browsing the Internet and reading again did I read up more and more on attachment parenting and what it really means.

Initially, I would, upon being advised, try my best to get Arthur to sleep by his own in the cot... imagining it now, how cold and lonely that must have felt... Now, he gets a choice on where he wants to sleep... with us, or not...

Initially, I would worry about my little one not being comfortable in a sling.. too hot... too crushed.. (again, family's advise agaisnt what I briefly read...)... Now, I don't go anywhere with Arthur without the sling... even my DH, who once believed in getting a hi-tech carrier (expensive, too)... realises that inside the sling is where our baby will feel the safest.. just like he was in me... close to me... hearing my heartbeat... feeling my warmth...

Initially, family and relatives and friends... they have advised in training our baby from young... from birth, to be exact... that we should not respond to his cries so often... NO... how could you leave him crying and not bother? I don't know... it was really hard and hubby and I just didn't believe in them (those around us) anymore... we just read and kept reading.. even til today, our parenting values are mostly based on our own research rather than advises... Tiny babies just try to communicate... you won't spoil them by responding to their needs... maybe around 6 months you can try to train them.. then again, every baby is different and believe me, you'll know when the baby tries to manipulate you... it is only then shall you try to start 'training' them that crying is not a means of getting anything their heart desire.

In a way, I am glad that we are living far from both our families (my hubby's and mine) not as only then can we have everything 'our way'... according to our many reads and researched, rather than differing advises from everyone around us. Then again, we do still get confirmation on certain issues with our parents/grandparents as they have their rich experiences to share.

All I can say is, when they are far away.. they can only share and it's up to us to follow.. if we are near them... we are somehow forced to follow... get me? Not trying to discriminate or anything but that's just the way we prefer things to be at the moment... much less confusing, in a way, as we go on the route of getting our own experience as parents.

In more than one way, throughout my journey into parenthood, I am glad that my hubby has been supportive... not only encouraging me to try out what I research and read about but join me in reading up and researching on parenting issues, too.

Read more on attachment parenting from Dr Sears here.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Roving Eyes + Itchy Hands = New CDs!

No, not Compact Discs but Cloth Diapers, my friends... Have I told you they could be addictive?

Yes, yes... just cannot stop roving around and looking at CDs. With more than 15 CDs for Arthur now, I am not sure I qualify to be a CD addict. Anyway, still looking around for more... as though am trying hard to trigger DH's big, rolling eyes..
Here's the latest addition to Arthur's stash from Brenda

Ella's House in paw prints... the prints actually belong inside! Anyway, it is really soft...
Bella bottoms.. Been wanting to get these for Arthur ever since Brenda first had them.. then, there were only prints for 'Bellas' (girls)... glad to try it out.. feels thin.. wonder if it will hold as much as other.

So, yes... beware of roving eyes... maybe I shouldn't be 'roving' so much now... then again.. those rainy days forced me to use disposables on Arthur sometimes.. I still but those trial packs (2 in each) for the just-in-case they CDs did not dry though I hate having to take them out... Now, isn't that a good reason to be roving around for more diapers?? And, I just read a blog about trimmer versions available... Yes, I have been wanting so much to get trimmer versions... never ending search begins... hahaha

For all you CD lovers... I am working on a review of the CDs I have :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Infant carriers and spinal stress

Came across this very interesting and meaningful article on the effect of baby carriers as I was researching for information on baby carriers (before Peekaroobaby is conceived)... tried hard to find it again to be posted here... Hope this helps in choosing the right carrier for your child =)

"As we are finally realizing the benefits of "wearing" our infants while we perform our daily activities, we must be careful not to compromise the integrity of our child's spine through the use of improper carriers. Spondylolisthesis (specifically, Type II/isthmic) is a condition that can result from excessive stress in the low back, such as a baby's spine might experience in certain carriers on the market today. It is relatively uncommon, but when aggravated is extremely painful. This article explains which styles of baby carriers promote healthy spine development in an infant and describes the unnecessary stress and resulting spinal condition that can result from using certain carriers.

A healthy adult spine has four curves when viewed from the side, located in the neck (cervical spine), mid-back (thoracic), low back (lumbar) and base of the spine (sacrum). Upon entering the world, a newborn has only two curves in her spine: the mid-back and the base of the spine. These two curves are called the primary or kyphotic curves. They have an apex or "hump" at the back of the body. The curves in the neck and low back develop later and are termed secondary or lordotic curves. The curve in the cervical spine develops as the child begins to lift his head and the neck muscles are strengthened. The curve in the lumbar spine results as the child starts to crawl. The lordotic curves have an apex at the front of the body. These four curves — two primary and two secondary — are extremely important in the spine (both adult and child), for this is how the body handles the stress of gravity. If these curves do not exist, the body's center of balance is shifted, causing undue stress on the spinal column and spinal cord.

A baby's spine is placed in a compromising position in many of today's popular carriers. If the carrier positions the infant upright, with the legs hanging down and the bodyweight supported at the base of the baby's spine (i.e. at the crotch), it puts undue stress on the spine which can adversely affect the development of the spinal curves and, in some cases, cause spondylolisthesis.

Spondylolisthesis is defined as the forward slipping of a vertebra on the one below it. The degrees of severity are determined using the Meyerding grading scale, with grade 1 being the least amount of slippage and grade 5 being complete slippage off the vertebra below. This condition may have a related stress fracture at the pars interarticularis, a structure at the back of the vertebra that takes most of the stress inflicted on the spine when it is arched backwards. When present, a spondylolisthesis occurs at the fifth lumbar vertebra 90% of the time and at the fourth lumbar vertebra 9% of the time.

Spondylolisthesis is documented in approximately 5% of white males, but is prevalent in native Eskimos (as high as 60% of the population is affected). There has been much discussion on the high percentage of affected Eskimos as to whether it is a genetic predisposition or related to environmental factors (i.e., papoose carriers). Knowing how dynamic and vital the biomechanics of the spine are, I believe that environmental factors are the cause. If the trend continues in the U.S. to carry infants in carriers (or place them in walkers, jumpers, etc.) that place their spines in a weight bearing position before the spine is developmentally ready to do so, I believe we will see an increase in the incidence of spondylolisthesis.
Spondylolisthesis has been referred to as congenital anomalies of the spine, but there is no supporting embryological evidence for this assumption.1 There are factors that predispose a person to this condition, such as weakness in the posterior structures of the vertebra, failure of muscles and ligaments to absorb forces, anomalies of the lubosacral spine, and activities that place high stress on the posterior structures of the spine. Little is known about spondylolisthesis. More research needs to be done specifically addressing the weight bearing position of some carriers. In the meantime, we can take preventative steps by choosing alternate carriers, both for ourselves and as gifts for others.

What I have found to be the ideal carrier is the sling. There are many variations of the sling, but one should look for the following in any type of carrier:
  1. Before an infant can hold her head on her own, the carrier should support the neck. A sling cradles the infant just like your arms would, unlike vertical carriers which can actually allow a whiplash type injury.
  2. The carrier should not place the infant's spine in a weight bearing position too early. (The young baby should be horizontal or inclined, with the spine supported along its length.)
  3. When a baby wants to be more upright to see the world around him (usually around age 4 to 5 months), the carrier should allow him to sit cross-legged, so his weight is dissipated through his legs and hips, as opposed to the style that has the legs hanging down, where the young spine has to bear the entire weight.

When considering the purchase of a baby carrier, you can often just ask yourself if you would be comfortable in it. Would you feel like you were in a hammock (a sling), or in a parachute harness, with your legs hanging down? Laying in a hammock is better for all of us.

Other benefits of sling type carriers include easy accessibility to breastfeeding, ability to wear baby facing toward or away from wearer, ability to wear sling on back, front or side.

You may be wondering, "What about backpacks? Are they bad? At what age or stage of development is it okay to carry a child in a backpack? What should you look for when buying one?" Wait until your child can sit alone well before carrying him in a backpack. The seat of the backpack should support the child's entire bottom — not just between the legs, leaving the legs to dangle. One that has a foot rest is preferred.

The choice of infant carriers is a small thing when compared to all the other concerns that face parents, but it is a decision that can have lifelong effects. By choosing a sling type carrier for your baby, you may be preventing a lifetime of backaches and other spinal stresses.

Rochelle and Scott Casses own a chiropractic clinic in Carslisle, Pennsylvania, USA. Their 11-month-old son Palmer has accompanied them to work since he was born. Rochelle and Scott schedule their appointments so that while one of them is with a patient, the other handles reception duties and cares for Palmer. Rochelle says, "The patients really enjoy seeing Palmer, and he enjoys the interaction each day." A section of their office serves as a playroom for Palmer as he becomes more mobile. (1996)

Hensinger, R. N.; Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis in Children and Adolescents;
Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, August 1989 71A: 1098-1107
Shahriaae, H.; A Family with Spondylolisthesis; Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, December 1979 61A: 1256-1258
Tower S. S. and Pratt W.; Spondylolysis and Associated Spondylolisthesis in Eskimo and Athabascan Populations; Clinical Orthopedics, January 1990
Wiltse, Leon; Fatigue Fracture: The Basic Lesion in Isthmic Spondylolisthesis; Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, January 1975 57A: 17-22
This article was originally written for The Continuum Concept Letter (now defunct)..."