Month: October 2014

This Sprout Was Made for Walkin…

IMG_3098So, Jia isn’t going to crawl. Doesn’t want to. My guess is there are two things that contribute to this: she’s not in day-care around other babies thinking “oh wow that looks cool, let me try!” and the only consistent examples of crawling on all fours are her fur siblings, Kona and Mei-Mei. I think she realizes she’s more like us than her siblings. She’s had plenty of tummy time, too. I actually don’t mind, I welcome her current lack of all-fours mobility. It helps me run to the bathroom or kitchen with the comfort of knowing she’s probably only backwards-scooted at most, a foot from where I left her 5 seconds ago. 

Many babies never crawl and instead go straight to cruising/standing then onto walking. Though crawling is a milestone, it’s not a developmental requirement. Additionally, pediatricians think that the push for “Back to Sleep,” the public health campaign that has drastically decreased the number of cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) has contributed to less children crawling these days. Since babies are spending more times on their backs than on their tummies, their back and torso muscles may not be as strong as before “Back to Sleep” began. According pediatricians (cited on, studies have not shown any negative developmental outcome associated with skipping the milestone of crawling.  Continue reading

Your Little Sprout’s K-9 (or feline) Defense Against Illness


“Get off that! That’s the baby’s!” Have you ever found yourself saying this to your pet?

My friend Staci asked me a month or so ago to write a post about household pets and their relationships with babies. Jia’s godmother Megan also commented on how good it was to have Jia exposed to our two pugs, Mei Mei and Kona, for enhancing her immune system and resistance to allergens.

Since many of my friends have fur children, I decided to write a post about it: how to prepare your fur children for their fur-less sibling’s invasion in their home, how it affects baby’s development, etc.

Back when I was pregnant, Jeff and I tried to think of ways that would improve the chances of acceptance of the baby to our doggies. This was even more of a concern since I knew Kona was given to the pug rescue in San Diego because he wreaked havoc once a new baby arrived when he was little. We really couldn’t think of many approaches except talk to them and tell them their baby sister was coming, having them sniff baby gear, playing YouTube videos of crying babies (this elicited a lot of adorable pug head tilts. We also put the pugs in Jia’s crib and baby carrier but that was purely for our entertainment!). My friend Mary and her husband had a smart idea and walked their dog Jet alongside their empty stroller before little Liam arrived, to get him used to it.  And, after Jia arrived, we had our family visitors bring the doggies Jia’s receiving blankets with her scent, where they were placed in their doggie beds. From what we were told, they both avoided the blankets. “Uh oh,” we thought…

Continue reading

Sprouting a Tooth?


Three months ago, when Jia was only about 4.5 months old, I was convinced she was teething. I couldn’t see any teeth yet, but noticed some hints of white beneath the gum and she was waking in the middle of the night (something I thought we were done with). She was letting out a high-pitched unfamiliar cry, was temporarily quieted with frozen teething rings, but still wouldn’t sleep. The only thing that would lull her back to sleep was nursing (I’d already weaned her from night feedings). Her pediatrician confirmed she was teething (Jia had a low grade temp, consistent with that of teething), but part of me suspected he only told me this to alleviate my anxiety about why she was all of a sudden not sleeping through the night.

Fast forward 2.5 months later, right before Jia’s 7 month birthday we finally saw two teeth sprout up from her bottom gums. OK, to tell you the truth, I was nursing her and felt her chomp down *OUCH* Only 2-3 weeks later, three more teeth on her upper gums started peeking through. My little Ji-A-Lantern was growing up and now I am faced with questions re: first dental appointment. Continue reading

Does Vitamin D3 do a Sprout Good?

Vitamin D MooI had all intentions on posting about Sleep Training this week. But, as I was feeding Jia her pumpkin puree and held her vitamin D dropper over her spoon to deliver her daily dose of D3 (400 International Units), I remembered a few months ago when one of my friends Natasha asked Facebook for opinions on Vitamin D supplementation for an exclusively breastfed baby. Her holdup was that her first child (non-supplemented) is perfectly healthy and that her breastmilk should be nutritionally complete. I commented back, citing the AAP (here and here) and CDC‘s recommendations supporting vitamin D supplementation. On the other hand, one of my old coworkers Katie made a very good point: her breastmilk should be complete in providing all the vitamins and minerals baby needs, without supplementation.

I continued to give Jia her daily drop of Carlson’s Baby D 400 IU of Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) plainly because it’s what our pediatrician instructed us to do, and if the CDC and AAP recommended it, that’s what I would continue to do. I guess you could say I was being a lazy nurse-mom and didn’t do my own thorough research to hear the arguments on both sides. 

However, yesterday (pumpkin day) a different feeling overcame me. As we are in the start of flu season (September through March), I started to consider the following: treating a sick baby really only consists of humidified air, fluids, rest, and sometimes Tylenol or Motrin (if baby’s fever is significant enough). Excess medications can unnecessarily do more harm than good on an underdeveloped baby’s system, causing more problems than there were to begin with.   Continue reading

My Little Non-Soy Non-Dairy Sprout


September 11, 2014 marked the day I was able to finally eat and drink dairy products again. It felt like a long time coming and I was craving a multitude of dairy-filled treats, from cheesecake, lobster rolls, Popeye’s, to Thai Tea.

Whoa, Whoa – Back up! Why Dairy?

Jia, like many infants, was unable to tolerate the dairy and soy that I ingested, that passed to her through breastmilk. In reality my non-soy and non-dairy diet hasn’t been ALL THAT long, but for the past 4 months, I had to restrict my diet of anything containing soy or milk ingredients. For Jia, her intolerance manifested in blood-streaked diapers resulting from the inflammation in her gut when I ate these foods. For other babies, it can mean a lot of spitting up, gut pain and discomfort, wretching/vomiting, and even baby developing a fear of breastfeeding. 

When she was about 1 month old (in March), Jia was a heavy spitter and even threw up (think: projectile) a couple days in a row either in the day time or even at that 3 AM feeding. I decided on my own to start cutting out dairy, advice that I found through a quick google search on reflux in new babies, and at the advice of one of my close friends Berry (who is a NICU nurse). Her baby was so scared to nurse because it was causing her so much belly pain, and poor Berry even had to cut out gluten, tree nuts, eggs, shellfish, fish, corn, and other nuts. (MAD props to Berry for going that distance for her adorable little baby!!!). She said that a (+) hemoccult (lab test) was confirmation for her baby, who didn’t have any visible blood in her stools, and that testing this sooner rather than later was beneficial to baby – they hadn’t realized Maddie’s allergy until she was 3 months old.  Continue reading

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