Yay! We had an awesome trip to the UK recently. After our trip to India, we have decided not to leave baby Bing behind. We already have very limited quality time with him and we would love to have him exploring new places together. And even though I can bring frozen ebm back, it's just so tedious and heavy! I flew a week later than hubby with baby Bing in tow.

What to prepare
Pack as light as possible. We had a medium luggage for check in. 4 wheels so light even Bing could push it around.

Carry on baggage is one light bag pack with the essential items- baby wipes, a set of clean clothes for mommy and baby with jacket, 2 day diapers, 2 night diapers, passports and boarding pass, baby and mommy water bottles, baby toys, baby sippy bottle, plastic bag for soiled clothes/trash. I kept my hands free to prepare to catch the cheeky money anytime.

 Front will be baby carrier because I don't have the strength to carry him throughout the journey.

On our way back, we only brought 1 night and 1 day diapers because we forgot and checked the rest in! We were planning to buy some at klia when baby Bing decided to poo. Luckily, there were diapers onboard upon request. 

Judging from the packaging, you can tell that not many people asked for that. We had to change baby Bing's diapers every 4 to 7 hours. It's easier to change at the baby change rooms in the airport than on the plane because there's more space.

We decided to fly with Emirates because their service is excellent and we thought that transits will provide baby Bing with opportunity to run around so he can sleep in the flight for as long as possible.

The transits were as followed:
Kuantan to Kuala Lumpur 1 hour
Kuala Lumpur to Dubai 6.5 hours
Dubai to London 7 hours

The best was Gatwick airport because they have an allocated kids zone for toddlers to run around and spend some energy. Those who have children will know how important it is for them to run around. All the airports also allowed us to board first so we can settle Bing down to ensure smooth boarding.

Dubai airport offers stroller for babies and also hygienic cover.

Timing wise, it's more tiring for the parents to travel on overnight flight but it's great for babies because they will sleep most of the time. Baby Bing slept for more than half of the trip on the way to UK, but only a quarter when we came back to Malaysia. 

Emirates provided row 52 or 54 on A380 for those with infants because there was additional leg room and space for bassinet (not that baby Bing could fit into one!). The extra room was very helpful though. At least I won't disturb my fellow passengers too much because Bing had some space to wriggle around. For those who want more rooms for your baby and your baby can't fit into the bassinet, you can consider buying a seat separately. They also handed out a cuddly bag to each child.

On my solo journey, I had many help. The officers at the boarding gate ushered me through the crowd when I was holding sleeping Bing alone. They even helped to take the boarding pass out and wore the fallen baby shoe back! Big kudos to KLIA Emirates and custom staff. I also had kind air stewardess and fellow passengers who stowed and retrieved my luggage in the overhead cabin. They also made sure we were fed and hydrated.

We flew overnight to the UK so luckily Bing slept through most of the flight. When he's awake, I'll let him spend some energy running around the terminal so he will be spent in the flight.

In UK, we rented a car. Bought a 123 car seat for the trip-simply because it's gbp15 to rent one per day and it's cheaper to get a new one instead! Anyways, baby Bing  outgrew his current seat. 

This seat costed gbp80 and is supposed to last him till he's 12 years of age. Very sturdy, much safer than his previous seats. Britz Romer is a pretty midrange product and popular among the locals. Got it from Amazon at 11%discount.

Baby Bing is usually his happy self but he doesn't like to be strapped onto his car seat! I mean who likes that? For the first three days, he's kinda jetlagged so he slept most of the time during the trip. Almost 2 to 3 hours in a 4 hours ride. Since hubby is driving, I'm in charge of entertaining him. 
I'll usually ask him to spot farm animals eg sheep and cows which he loves to imitate their sounds.

Other activities we do were reading and flipping tourist brochure, reading his activity books, listening to mommy sing, eating (yummy) and watching some music videos or videos of himself (when he gets really cranky). Do factor in an additional 1 to 2 hours for rest stops though. And try to reach your destination by 7pm to get your baby ready for a good night's rest.

In terms of breastfeeding during the trip, it can be tricky to find a private room.
At the airport, only klia had proper nursing rooms. So we had to nurse in public most of the time. Firstly, Bing hates having his head and nose covered. So we usually nursed in a more quiet corner at the waiting area. Most people won't even realise that we were nursing! And it shouldn't be a shame because the baby just wants to get some nutrition. During my diploma ceremony, one of the committee members was nursing on the stage. Very formidable and brave! During the roadtrip, we just nurse in the car.

We had lots of fun bringing baby Bing along.  He adapted very well to the weather and culture. We will definitely bring him on our next trip :)
Every baby will reach a stage whereby he or she will refuse to be fed. But it's actually a good thing to let them explore food themselves. It's part of the mouthing process when they touch, smell and chew food. If you imagine it's going to be a huge mess! But we do give baby Bing the leeway at home. When we are away from home, we will bring puff/rice crackers out to lessen the mess.

Got this Ostricare baby food in mail one fine day!What I immediately noticed that it's traveler friendly. Each packet contains 30 tasties pieces and are at 24g. Its also resealable. Great to entertain bored kids. Before this we have tried Nutripuff and Organic Baby Puff. Baby Bing loves them all but the packagings are quite bulky.

There are four flavors available- chocolate, strawberry+blueberry, original yogurt and mixed flavors. And they also contains probiotics-these are live bacteria good for the digestive system. Read this article to understand more about probiotics.

Ostricare is the brain child of the famous French nutrition Lactalis group and European dairy Nutribio group. They design dairy products suitable for Asians, particularly Taiwanese babies.
No matter how great the nutritional value is, it still comes down to whether baby Bing likes it or not. Afterall, we cannot expect him to just eat these because he understands that it's good for him.

Luckily, he loves it! It actually looks and tastes like chewable vitamin tablets which I didn't think he will enjoy because he rejects hard tablets. The cute cow shape definitely attracts his attention. Parents who are worried about dental caries can also be rest assured because it only contains 20% glucose. And sugar is this form is easily digested and absorbed comparing to other forms which may be turned into fat tissue instead.

To those candy lovers, now parents get to a healthier substitute!

Baby Bing is going through this clinging to mommy whenever possible stage. I don't really mind except that when I really need to get ready to work but he refuses to be put down. So we got him a baby carrier.

This is what we used when he was much younger before 6 months of age. Little hill baby carrier. It's lightweight and cheap. Easy to bring while traveling. However I find the material substandard. The color faded after wash. The back rest does not have enough paddings. And there's no waist support so after wearing baby Bing for half an hour, our shoulders and waist become sore. Got it at RM60.
See how chubby baby Bing was at three months old!

After baby Bing started to walk, we stopped using baby carrier and stroller altogether but resorted to shopping trolleys. We do wipe the trolley down with wet tissues if it's too yucky.

In preparation to the upcoming UK trip, we have decided to get another carrier given that I have to travel solo with him in a 24 hour flight including transit time.

 This SweetCherry Toredo baby carrier is just what we are looking for. Sturdy, easy to use on my own, freeing my hands to mend my luggage.

Love the waist support-not another moment of muscle strain and aches! The hipseat is really comfortable for baby Bing. Got it at RM98.

I can wear baby Bing facing me.

Facing out.

Wearing him just like a backpack.

We had so much fun exploring the various options. Highly recommended.

We bought both carriers at Lazada. You can of course choose other high-end carriers like Ergobaby and babyBjorn. But we think this sweet cherry carrier is functional with great quality despite its much lower price tag.

Having an active toddler in the house means no matter how vigilant you are, there's bound to be lumps and bumps. Very recently, baby Bing literally walked into the door frame, resulting in a huge scalp hematoma and a vertical wound. Despite of that, he managed to start playing again after crying for 5 minutes. Even before us adults stop worrying about him.

This is a guide about what to watch out for for children who has head injuries. Adapted from Royal Children Hospital Melbourne guidelines.

First thing, stay calm and assess the situation! Your baby will not benefit from a panicky parent. But it's easier said than done.

Use the AVPU scale.

Alert- crying out loud is a good sign that he's actually ok.
Verbal- if your baby responds to your call, he's most likely ok
Pain/unresponsive- send your baby to emergency immediately if your baby only responds to pain (try pressing his upper eye socket with your thumb) or has no response!
Baby Bing tends to nap after getting himself injured and after crying out loud. I do watch him very closely in his sleep to make sure he's ok.

Even if your baby is ok initially, it is still worrying. As doctors, Ryan and I still observe baby Bing very closely.

Look at this huge bump on his forehead. He walked into the door frame without paying attention while he was walking. After crying for 5 minutes, he resumed his normal self.

Pay attention to the circumstances of the fall. For example, the mechanism eg height of fall, how and where baby landed. That will help the doctor to determine whether baby can be discharged home or needs to be admitted for observation.

Other warning signs that should alert parents to immediate medical attention includes

Bruising around the eyes or behind the ear
Leaking clear fluid or blood from the nose or ears
Neck pain
Persistent headache
Vomiting more than once
Loss of consciousness or memory for more than 5 minutes
Confusion or unusual behaviors
For babies less than a year old, bruises or wound bigger than 5cm
Fall from a height
High speed motor vehicle accident

Us trying to apply ice wrapped in cloth to his huge bump.

If your baby had none of those, take ease and laugh at his clumsiness :p lumps and bumps are a part of growing up.

This is a very interesting issue. What lactational amenorrhea means is that when one is breastfeeding, you don't have your monthly period. This many sound great to those who does not like the fuss of the monthly cycle.

Firstly, many thinks that if you breastfeed, it's a natural method of contraception. Indeed, provided it's within the first 6 months and you are exclusively breastfeeding, plus your periods have not returned.

Why is it important to have good contraception after delivery? This is because poor child spacing can be detrimental to both mommy's and baby's health.

Not just physically, but it can also be emotionally draining as well. There are many contraception methods.
As for me, I did have depo provera injections every 3 months. But I didn't like it because I had spotting almost everyday which really annoys me. You can discuss with your doctor about suitable ways to prevent pregnancy until you are ready to conceive again.

How long is it normal to have no period? There's no fixed duration. A study done in Caucasians found an average duration of 6 to 14 months for period to return. Again, for me, no sign of period returning at 15 months. This is because breastfeeding stimulates a hormone named prolactin which in turn surpresses other hormonal changes that result in menstruation.

However, this does not mean that you won't become pregnant. Women can ovulate even if they do not have period. So you do not have to stop breastfeeding in order to regain fertility. It may take longer for you to get pregnant again but 2 years is an ideal spacing anyway.

Many ask when am I planning for a second child? I'm not in a hurry to end my current breastfeeding relationship. I'll just take nature to take its course.
Besides a reliable breast pump, I also rely on good quality bottles to store breastmilk, as well as to feed baby Bing breastmilk.

Firstly, get BPA and phthalate free bottles. BPA is potentially hazardous to health and may affect baby's brain development. Better be safe than sorry!

The bottles should be made from durable and safe plastics ie pp or ppsu. PPSU lasts longer and has high heat resistance. PP is also good and can be used to freeze breastmilk.

Thirdly, buy from trusted brands-avent, pigeon, Tommee tippee, spectra, nuk, mam, nuby. Quality is much more important than price in this case. The inside of the bottle should be smooth and the markings won't come off when washing and sterilization.

In terms of teats, I just use normal latex teats and change the size according to age. I started with a newborn teat, moved on when baby requests for faster flow. Claims like orthodontic teats are really no better than normal teats in terms of teeth development.

Also check out this guide as to when we should change bottle and teats.

Recently found this online store which sells good brands at cheap prices! Chubby cheeks house has all the above criteria covered but only at a fraction of the normal price. I got avent bottles and the delivery was fast (gotten it within 3 days) with very good communication with the seller. Very positive experience.

Hope this simple guide helps! Good bottles, healthy babies!

Many mommies are concerned about losing weight after delivery. I'm sure the whole process of pregnancy is exciting and daunting at the same time. This is because of the physiological and emotional changes happening.

Firstly, start conceiving when you have a healthy weight.
Me before pregnancy

Calculate your BMI as a start. Women with low BMI run the risk of having underweight babies and are less likely to be able to breastfeed successfully.

 Those who are overweight, on the other hand, are more likely to get diabetes and high blood pressure in pregnancy, as well as developing complications from these conditions. Find out what else to do to prepare yourself for a healthy pregnancy.

Secondly, watch out for the trap of excessive weight gain during pregnancy.
Me in third trimester

This is because everyone will follow what the expectant mother wants to eat. Afterall, she's growing a baby! This is a guide about a balanced diet from webMD for expecting mothers. Folate supplements should be started even 3 months prior to conception so pregnancies should be planned.

So how much weight gain is appropriate?

 We anticipate certain targets of weight gain in different stages of pregnancy because mommies to be need to have the essential nutrients for babies' growth and development in the womb. Unnecessary restriction of calories can be detrimental to both mommies and babies. Read here to find out where all these weight is needed.

Thirdly, how to go back to pre pregnancy weight or even lose weight.
This is me when baby Bing is 8 months old. 

This can be fairly tricky, especially for Asians because we believe in confinement. During this period, we are mostly sedentary. The stress of taking care a newborn can also make it difficult to have a good diet and exercise regularly. Our body do lose a good amount of weight as we will be losing lots of excessive fluids gained during pregnancy in the first month after delivery. That's why we tend to sweat a lot during that period. 

Listen to your body's hunger cues and eat a good amount of balanced diet. To me, breastfeeding enables me to enjoy food and continue to be slim. I also maintain fitness by walking a lot at work, including climbing stairs. These are some other tips how to lose weight after delivery.

Mommies, there are lots of challenges to maintain healthy weight but it's doable. I'm a good example. Welcome to parenthood and enjoy the process!

About Me

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Full time working mother of one. Specialist in internal medicine. Married to another doctor. Enjoying life while juggling between work and caring for my family. No longer the carefree single woman who aims high in career. Happy and satisfied to be the woman behind the hubby and mother behind baby Bing

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