Saturday, April 21, 2007

Month 3: The Virtues of A Low Maintenance Baby

Silas has learned to stand up, and can almost support his own weight. He is also learning to sit up on his own, and will probably be able to reach this milestone within a month. In addition to his drooling, he has also started to develop the undesirable habit of chewing or sucking on his fingers. Silas's dad occasionally entertains thoughts of sprinkling red hot chili pepper powder onto Silas's fingers, just as an experiment......

Silas celebrated his 3rd month birthday by sleeping for 8.5hours straight, from 10p to 630a. His parents are ever so grateful that he is able to sleep so long without requiring a feeding. He is also starting to nap at more regular intervals - once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and once in the evening.
He now eats approximately 5-6 oz of formula every 3.5-4hrs, starting at 630a, and skipping the 230a feeding. Silas has given his parents very little trouble. He is relatively easy to take care of.
Silas recently attended another baby's One-Month party. He was awake for much of the time, and was completely fascinated with the bright lights, noise from the chatter at the various tables, and stared at almost everyone at his table. He allowed everyone to have a chance at holding him, and not once did he complain about the noise, or all the strangers who held him. Of course, everyone at his table praised him for his good looks. He responded by showing off his new found skill - giving everyone the raspberry !!
Silas's vocabulary now includes:




Sunday, April 8, 2007

Update: Week11

Silas now weighs just over 14lbs.
Silas can now lift his head up while lying on his stomach (but his daddy forgot to take a picture of him in action - maybe in the next update).
Silas has also started to salivate - quite a bit actually, and now requires a bib.
Silas's hair stinks, and his hair now needs to be shampooed every other day.

The greatest thing is how Silas can now sleep over 6hrs through the night. He is helping his parents out tremendously by sleeping for so long.
Also, because of various issues related to Silas's Mummy, Silas is no longer nursing, and feeds exclusively on formula. His feeding has noticeably decreased. Up until about a week ago, Silas would feed up to 30oz. per 24hr period. In the past few days though, he has fed only about 20-24oz. per day. Silas would inform his parents of the reduced feeding by barfing up the extra milk. His parents are now very sensitive, and no longer tries to feed Silas too much milk.
One other strange turn of events is that Silas actually prefers to sleep on a regular bed. Prior to this discovery, Silas would act fussy when placed into his crib. His Daddy would always have to rock him to sleep, and made sure he was already asleep before placing him into the crib. Now, his daddy just places him into the bed while he is still drowsy, and he falls asleep on his own. Silas's older sister Tamara also preferred sleeping on a bed instead of in the crib.
Silas is increasingly becoming a low maintenance baby. The only time he cries are when he is sleepy and when he is hungry. His daddy is already thinking of other ways to make Silas even more low maintenance - maybe shave him bald so that he does not need to be shampooed ??

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Month 2 Update

For those interested in statistics, here's what Silas has used and consumed.....

Newborn diapers: 30
Size 1 diapers: 84
Size 1-2 diapers (Kirkland): 170
Size 3 diapers (Huggies): 30

365g Similac Step1 Formula: 1
1090g Similac Step1 Formula: 3

Curent weight: 5.89 kg (12.96 lb)

Sunday, March 18, 2007


Silas has achieved a new found celebrity status. His looks are so endearing and his smile is so cute to some that he now has developed a fan base. Two of his fans came to visit him the other day. They first lavished Silas with some gifts, and then fought for the right to cuddle him in their arms. Silas solved the dilemma by giving each fan ample time to cuddle him. Silas enjoys being cuddled, and never complains even when it is not Mummy or Daddy cuddling him.
Silas wishes to thank all those who gave him gifts.
It's not so easy being so cute, but Silas manages.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Almost 2 Months.....

Monday will be Silas's 2 Month birthday.

He's started getting some reddish skin rash. It started on his face, and now his whole front body has grown little bumps here and there. Silas's older sister, Tamara, also had this when she was a few months old, so no worries here. Silas will eventually grow out of his rashes.
One other development was that Silas seems to have the ability to intentionally smile. Most newborns do not have full control of their facial muscles, so sometimes when it looks like they are smiling, they are actually having involuntary facial muscle contractions. However, with Silas, there were two separate occasions where Mommy and Daddy made faces at Silas, and he responded by smiling ! So it is Daddy's belief that Silas can control his facial muscles now.

Yet another development is that Silas has started to learn how to stand up. He can almost support his own weight with his own two feet. Certainly his neck muscles are getting stronger now, it will be less than a month's time before he can fully support his own neck.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Two Little Monkeys

Two Little Monkeys jumping on the bed,

One fell down and bumped his head,

Went to the doctor, this is what he said:

"No more monkeys jumping on the bed" !

Update - Week7

In the past 7 weeks in addition to nursing from Mummy, Silas has consumed one of this (365g can):
And is now on his third can of this (1090 g can):
As a result, Silas has grown from this:

to this:

And as of last Wednesday, he weighs 12.76 lbs. Some recent accomplishments include being able to stand up for a few seconds at a time:

Being able to support a 4oz bottle with his own mouth:

And, Silas almost able to support his own neck without the help of his parents. He can also recognize his parents. When Silas's mother claps her hands, and walks around the room, Silas is able to turn his head to follow where his mother is walking.

Oh yeah, and Silas often honks when he is sleeping.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Week 5

Ok, so Silas went to the community clinic this past Wednesday, and got weighed. He weighed in at 10lbs 13oz.
Here are some of the tricks that Silas recently demonstrated to his parents:
- He makes strange honking noises while he is awake.
- He can stand up when he is crying.
- He can sleep for up to 4.5 hours through the night - his parents appreciate this skill the most.
- He can recognize who his Mummy and Daddy are. Usually Daddy is the one to give him the bottle, and Mummy is the one who nurses him. One time Mummy tried to give him the bottle instead of nursing, and he got so confused that he started to cry.

Silas is growing quite a bit. He is wearing size 3mo. socks, 3mo sweater, and fits the Baby Bjorn. The Baby Bjorn was used by Tamara only after she was 3mo-6mo.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The One Month Party

Red Egg and Ginger Party (滿 月 酒)

Traditionally back in olden days of ancient China, the mother would be confined to the house in the first month of post-partum. This was done in order to giver her time to rest and recover from the physical stress of labour and delivery of the baby. Also, the mortality rates of babies in China back then were the highest in the first month of the baby's life - if the baby survived the first month, then it is likely that the baby will have a long and prosperous life. It was common back then to wait for a period of time after the birth of the baby before officially welcoming the baby into the circle of family and friends.

As a result, the Chinese held a "Red Egg and Ginger" party to celebrate these two events - the mother's "re-integration" back into regular life and to welcome the baby into the family and the world. It was also common at this time to formally present the name of the baby as a part of the celebration. The egg represents fertility, red symbolizes good fortune. Ginger is important because in the yin (cold) and yang (warm) balance of Chinese food, ginger adds quicker recovery and rejuvenation to the new mother.

Ok, ok, so not every letter of the tradition has been followed, but it's still definitely a one-month celebration that was held for Silas on Feb 17, 2007. Unfortunately, due to Silas's dad being out of a steady source of income, Silas was not able to invite all the people that he wanted to see at his party. It is Silas's most sincere hope that those who had heard about this party, but wondered why they were not invited, would understand and forgive his dad for this offense.

Silas's one month party also happened to coincide with Chinese New Year's eve for this year. During Chinese New Year's Eve, it is customary and a big social event for the families to gather and have a big dinner to usher in the new year, and also as a symbolic gesture of reinforcing the family bonds (團 年 飯). So, Silas's one month party also served as the Chinese New Year's Eve family dinner. For Chinese New Year, it is customary for the younger children say "Gung Hay Fat Choi!" to their aunts and uncles, and in return they receive packets of lucky red envelopes containing sums of $$$$. But with Silas being the alpha male in the clan (seriously, Silas's dad is soooo subservient now, it's no longer funny), and with his one month coinciding with Chinese New year's eve, some of his aunts and uncles went over the top and as a result, Silas was the lucky recipient of some bling-bling.

What would a one month old know about 24-karat and jade bling-bling? Right, and that's what Silas's dad thought as well. Anyways, to prepare for this big event, Silas had a nice hot and soothing bath in the afternoon, followed by an extra long nursing from Silas's mummy, so Silas was pretty much knocked out for most of the night, and had no clue what was going on around him during the dinner, or how many times he was passed around from stranger to stranger like a basket of bread.

During this one month party, it was tradition and customary for Silas to go around to each table and have a toast with each guest. However, since it was such a small party, and since Silas's parents wanted to keep things informal, there was no ritual toasting at each table, but just going to each person and chatting, catching up, and having fun in a relaxed atmosphere. It was all good.

The First Month

Tomorrow marks the first month of existence for Silas. He has come a long way ever since he was born, even though it has been a mere 4 weeks.

What has Silas accomplished in his 4 weeks of existence? Well, he has demonstrated his adept skill at hurling, he can pooh in more than one colour, and he makes strange noises during his slumber that only a parent would find endearing.

Silas only complains if he is hungry, and is also proactive in informing his parents that his diapers need to be changed. He's even learned to stand on his feet during times when he is complaining of hunger. Silas does have an insatiable appetite, slurping up 3 ounces of formula, and up to 2 ounces of breast milk per feeding session. But once he is full, he's flexible and easy going.

Silas does not complain much. Silas does not complain when someone other than his mother or father is holding him. He does not complain when given the bottle instead of the breast. His parents are grateful that he is not a colicky baby. Sure, sometimes he has a bowel movement on daddy's hand, but that is really a small price to pay for this sort of flexibility. In return, he is given the royal treatment by his parents.

Later this week, Silas's parents will take him to the community clinic to get him weighed. It is safe to say that he weighs more than his birth weight of 8lbs 10.5 oz. Current estimates are that this piglet weighs somewhere between 10-12lbs. If you would like, make a guess as to his current weight in the comments section.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

What's in a Cry?

The ever popular Oprah Winfrey hosted a special on babies in one of her past shows, and brought in some proclaimed baby expert. Apparently the baby expert claims that you can tell what a baby wants by listening to their cries. Being a fan of Oprah Winfrey, Silas's Mom watched this particular episode intently, and even made Silas's Dad memorize the following types of cries as explained by the baby expert:

"Neh!" == I'm hungry
"Owh!" == I'm Sleepy
"Heh!" == I'm experiencing discomfort
"Eair!" == I have lower gas
"Ehh!" == I need to burp.

Every time Silas's dad is made to memorize these so called types of cries, he is reminded of all that yellow, green, and brown, mushy, oatmeal pooh that Silas is soooo good at putting out. After all, if you're going to come up with a theory of baby's cries, then you need to be more complete. What about the cry for "I need another beer ?!?", or the cry for "Please don't handle my groin with such cold hands !!!", or the cry for "Ouch! I'm going to make you pay for this in 2 years time by eating dirt, peeing on the carpet, and barfing on your favourite dress!" ?? Silas's Dad thinks most parents would be most interested in being able to identify that last type of cry.
Anyways, Silas's dad decided to carry out an experiment, to see whether Silas actually cries differently or not depending on his condition (sleepy, hungry, gassy, etc.).

Here is Silas complaining that he needs to be burped.

Here is Silas complaining that he needs to be fed.

Here is Silas complaining that he needs to sleep

Here is Silas complaining that he is experiencing discomfort.

Can you tell the difference ? Neither can Silas's dad.

Monday, February 5, 2007

This Guy Can Hurl

Do not be so easily deceived by the innocent looking face, because Silas has learned the art of hurling. We are not talking about some leftover milk dribbling down the side of his mouth. Nein, we are talking about projectiles being launched with high velocity out of his mouth.
After his double feeding, Silas usually would be held upright over his parent's shoulder and burped. However, on several distinct occasions, the burp was delayed. There was a heaving noise, and a wheezing noise. And then a big coughing noise, and before you know it, Silas's dad smells of milk barf. And rest assured, it is nothing like the curds and whey of which Little Miss Muffet is so fond.
Consequently, Silas's parents have now become more tenative and cautious when feeding his second meal. New feeding techniques and strategies have been developed to counteract this hurling as a result. It is only by great fortune that Silas has not yet learned how to use this as a weapon against his parents to demand what he wants.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

The Eating Machine

Silas has just worked through his first can of Similac Advance (Step1 Formula) with DHA and ARA. Silas's older sister, Tamara, did not have the good fortune of drinking formula with DHA and ARA, because back then, it never occurred to the makers of infant formula to include these fatty acids that are found in human breast milk. But buying Forumla with the DHA and ARA fatty acids is all the rage nowadays. It's like buying a car with A/C and power windows nowadays - if you can afford it, you almost always upsize to the model with these extra features, just because it's ***perceived*** to be better to do so. Whether the benefits from DHA and ARA are real or just a slick marketing gimmick is best left to the academics, Silas does not care, does not discriminate, and will drink (almost) anything presented to his lips.

Normally, finishing a whole 365g can of infant formula is nothing special for the typical 2 week old baby . But Silas is not your typical 2 week old baby. He is also nursing from his mother's breast for at least half an hour prior to slurping up the additional 2 to 3 ounces of formula. In other words, he's eating 2 meals during each feeding session !
Silas's parents are not quite sure what to make of this. Is this a growth spurt, or does he really have a voracious appetite? And how long will he be able to keep up this double feeding? Silas is very smart and learned the pattern of this double feeding as well. Nursing from the breast and nursing from the bottle actually requires different sucking techniques, but Silas is disdainfully ignorant of this fact. If he does not receive his second meal, he complains:
But once he receives his second meal, he is content and all is right with the world, his world.
So it is, and so it shall be.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Diaper Machine

Silas has been home for 7 days now, and he has gone through about 9-10 diapers per 24 hr period. At first, he did not pooh much (the estimate was that it was around 1 or 2 per 24 hr period), so his parents naturally had to act concerned. After a few more days, Silas performed like a real trooper, and started producing pooh in almost every other feeding session (about every 4-6 hrs), and also in every colour and texture.

Which brand of diapers is the best for a newborn? Silas has the uncommon fortune of being able to find out the answer for himself. He is currently working his way through his first package of Pampers (for newborns, 8-14lbs). After that, there is a package of Huggies and Kirkland (Costco brand) diapers waiting for him to compare with. Once he has decided on which brand of diapers he likes the best, the results will be reported back here.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Weight and Sleep

As previously mentioned, Silas was born weighing in at 3932 grams. However, on the day we were discharged from the hospital, he weighed 3770 grams. Yesterday (Wednesday), the community nurse came by to check up on him, and at the same time, to weigh him. He weighed only 3642 grams. We became a bit concerned about his lack of weight gain, because after about 2 or 3 days of birth, babies are supposed to start gaining weight again, and not continue to lose weight. The nurse suggested to supplement his breastfeeding sessions with an extra ounce of baby formula.
That seemed to have worked. This evening, we went to a drop-in clinic and had him weighed, while my wife inquired about tips for breastfeeding. Silas weighed 3724 grams, which meant that he gained almost 3oz in 24 hours ! What a trooper.

I don't think there's really any problem with his weight, it's more a matter of getting the breastfeeding administered to him properly. He is a bit of a fussy eater.

He is now eating on a strict schedule of every 3 hours, starting at 12am. I think he's been awake for only about half an hour in between each feeding, which means that he's been sleeping about 18-20hrs per day. How can you lose weight when you're sleeping that much ?

Monday, January 22, 2007

What's In a Name?

The young girl holding Silas is his older sister, Tamara (君 庭).
Silas's chinese name is (宗 庭). The literal interpretation for this name is "ancestor of this family." The intended interpretation is that Silas is the next pillar carry on the family heritage. Since he is Tamara's brother, chinese custom dictates that they share a common character in their name (庭). This character is one of the two characters used for describing "family".

The name "Silas" came from the Bible. In the Bible, Silas accompanied Paul in his missionary journeys to Antioch and Galatia. Silas was very well educated for his time, and transcribed many of Paul's teachings, the most notable of which was his transcription of Paul's 2 letters to the Thessalonians, which became a part of the Bible. Silas also acted as scribe for Peter, and his document of Peter's teaching formed the Epistle of Peter in the New Testament.

A Brand New World

Silas entered into our world at 855pm on Friday, Jan. 19, 2007. He weighed in at 8lbs 10.5 oz. He did give his mom some trouble during labour, but everything turned out fine in the end. The first night at the hospital, Silas gave his parents a bit of trouble, as he wanted to be held, and refused to sleep for too long. He seems to be very much a nocturnal person, which of course, gives his parents a bit of grief. But not to worry, his parents will come up with a plan to change this nocturnal behaviour.

This journal will document his progress and development.