The six-month milestone

It’s amazing how time flies; baby Alex has reached his 6-month milestone, and come a really long way. When I was in the midst of waking up numerous times in the night to feed him at around 6 weeks old, it seemed like it would go on forever. Even though I was told things would get better, it was hard to believe when I was under serious sleep deprivation. A reader, Audrey, posted a comment some months ago that her baby, who was almost 6 months then, was growing too fast. I can now understand how she felt. Though I’m glad Alex can last through 7 hours in the night without a feed, I still hope to wean him off the early morning feed if possible. I’ve not settled my sleep debit, which I’m not even sure if I’m able to because Alex cries in the middle of the night when he drops his paci or when he finds himself at the foot of the cot.

Alex had his baptism last month, which was supposed to be special but my husband and I felt the ritual was a little matter of fact. The priest, whom we like for his good sermons, was rather business-like in that he didn’t make small talks with the parents or play with the babies. The whole process was a little too mechanical. My husband also griped that the organizing sucks. Should we have lowered our expectations since it was all done by volunteers? We don’t like the photographs taken either. Yes they’re free, but the photographers didn’t try to avoid taking pictures of Alex’s left cheek which had an infection patch. I had initially thought we could use the family photo taken in church, but it doesn’t turn out good. Too bad we don’t have a camera where my husband can take a good family portrait for us. So I’ve suggested going to a photo studio for that.

Alex has settled down quite well in the infant care center now, so much so that he doesn’t appear very enthusiastic when we pick him up. Since putting him there, he has become more interactive as he is around other babies, toddlers and adults. We find that he’s not as fearful of strangers and seems to have develop a sense of confidence. He also gets a lot of tummy time, which helps to strengthen his arm muscles. He’s able to move around slowly, though not really crawling yet. He also gets to nap more in the center and sleeps better at night. So you can say that infant care turns out to be a good place for his development, which we may not be able to replicate in a home environment.

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At 9kg now, Alex is in the 97th percentile for his age group, and his length of 68.5cm puts him in the 90th percentile. Dr OK told us to give him solids when he was 5 months old so that he can get low-cal food to fill his stomach. He has organic brown rice cereals mixed into the formula milk to satiate him so that he’s less hungry. This is also a way to help him sleep longer in the night. After a week, I progressed to giving him vegetable and fruit purée like butternut squash, pumpkin and pear, and he likes them. I think Alex likes the taste sensation of the new food. He looks at us when we’re having our meals and tries to grab our food. (He’s at the stage when he grabs at objects he can reach out to.) His weight gain has since slowed down a lot though he’s still big for his age. But at least other babies are catching up. Actually Alex lost a bit of weight during the past few days because he was sick, which my husband attributed to water loss.

Last Saturday when Alex turned 6 months, he suddenly vomited after a feed. We wondered if it was the cold that affected him. He had runny nose for about a week already. When we were in a restaurant for lunch later, he vomited again and we decided that he needed to see a doctor. He didn’t have a fever and so we thought a GP (General Practitioner) would do since the pediatric clinics are not opened on Saturday afternoons. He was given a vomiting medicine to be used as necessary.

For the rest of the day, Alex seemed ok. But in the middle of the night at around 3.30am he had diarrhea, and then vomited after a feed. We gave him the prescribed medication, and he puked everything out. My husband took his temperature and it was 37 degree, and it rose to 37.5 degree at a later taking. In fact he had diarrhea a couple more times. We realized we had to take him to the children’s emergency room at KK hospital.

Despite the recent major screw up over baby mix-up, KK hospital is still the place to go for children’s emergency cases. Though it can be a bit of a wait, even on an early Sunday morning. Many parents, even foreigners, bring their kids in since very few clinics are opened at this hour, and pediatric clinics are not even opened on Sundays. So while waiting, Alex got hungry and we fed him 120ml of milk and about 50ml of water. But soon after he threw up much of it. When we finally got to see a doctor, she diagnosed Alex to have infected with the stomach flu virus. Because his stomach was upset, too much liquid irritates it and so he threw up the last feed. She gave us a glucose solution with electrolytes for him to take every 15 minutes within an hour, basically to rehydrate him. If he was able to hold the liquid in his tummy without puking, we could feed him milk. But if he threw up, he would have to be hospitalized.

Luckily for us, Alex could take the glucose water and milk without vomiting. We were given more glucose water pack which should be used if he vomits again, paracetamol (stronger dosage than what we got from over the counter), probiotics and anti-colic medication. Throughout the day, Alex was fine though somewhat pensive, but still wanted to be push around.

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Over the next few days, Alex’s condition improved gradually. He was ok in the day, gaining back his active self. But at night due to some reason or another, he vomited out the milk feed, and we had to put him on the glucose water and medication. Initially he gobbled down the medicine with enthusiasm, but over time as he gets better he refused to take it. I’m not sure if he associates the medicine with his illness. His appetite is also slowly gaining back, though still below what he was feeding previously. But it was a relief he stopped vomiting after a couple of nights. It can be a nightmare changing his clothes and bed sheet continually. We laid absorbent sheets underneath the bed sheet to protect the mattress in the cot. We tried laying the sheets on top of the bed sheet but he doesn’t like lying on it.

To be honest, we didn’t expect him to fall sick because he had been well for so many months. Since he was hospitalized for low grade fever and blocked nose when he was a few weeks old, he hasn’t been sick until this episode. It was all thanks to breast milk that he had remained healthy for so long. Dr Ok told us that it’s normal that he starts falling ill now that he has weaned off breast milk and relying on his immune system. He will develop the immunity as he gets in contact with the various viruses.

Anyway Alex is almost back to his old self now except for the appetite. My husband told me he’s active like an energizer bunny. Thank God for his baby fat which will tide him over emergency situation like this. Once he has slimmed down, he’ll be able to crawl. Already he’s trying his darnedest to do so but ends up crying with frustration. Still, when that day comes, we’ll have to get a gate to cage him because he’ll end up everywhere. He’s a very curious boy. Anyway Alex has been sporting the Kim Jong-Un’s crazy hairstyle. (That’s the young leader of North Korea.) We decided that it was time to ditch the crazy hair and took him for his first hair cut. Unfortunately he didn’t enjoy it and tried resisting. My husband and the hairdresser had to restrain him.

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The before picture of Alex.

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The after picture, which he barely smiled for the photo. But my husband is very pleased baby Alex is sporting the same hairstyle as him.

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2 thoughts on “The six-month milestone

  1. Alex is such a cute and chubby baby! ^^ do let him keep this chubby please…. he is sooo cute…. and i think these fats are necessary as once they got sick, they lose weight like a balloon loose air… so fast~ to me lah… these fats are their ‘foundation!’…definitely necessary! hahahaha. 😛 my baby is hitting 11 mths soon…. and his weight is slowing down… now only 10.4kg…. how i wish he can be more vhubby like Alex bb! 🙂 Jia you Alex bb! ^^

    • Thank you. 🙂

      I thought he has lost some fat since the recent illness, so he’s not as chubby as before. But to many friends and colleagues, he still is. Probably the benchmark standard is rather low, hahahah! And I do agree with you that it’s a good thing he has the fat to buffer the loss in appetite when he was sick. But the downside is he is a little too heavy to crawl. Still he has developed strong muscles which allow him to flip on his tummy. So I guess it won’t be long before he can crawl.

      I think you may have to go on a ‘Operation Fatten Baby’ to put more weight on your son. From what I understand, it’s ok for a baby to have fat on him or her until 2 years old.

      Sent from my iPhone

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