Thursday, April 10, 2014

How I Send and Store My Expressed Milk (EBM) at the Daycare/Nursery

I hope this post will help mommies who is going back to work after maternal leave.  I think some of the typical questions are:

1.  How to send/store milk at the nursery
2.  How much milk you need to provide everyday 
3.  How to store the expressed milk at home - there are different way of storing ebm and their respected shelf life 
4.  Pumping at the office - storing the milk and keeping the breastpump clean
5.  Rotating ur milk supply

To name a few lah kan? Hehe

Anyway, here I will share how I send and store my expressed milk (ebm) for Imran's feeding at the nursery.  

Its important to communicate with the daycare/nursery, as u can keep it simple and just store ur ebm in their fridge.  Some daycare provide separate fridge/freezer to store ur ebm whereas some has only one fridge where they store everything. If the later is ur case and u'd like to keep ur ebm in their fridge, I suggest u insist on seeing/checking the fridge and make sure its clean and at least there's appropriate shelf to place the ebm.  I choose to provide my own storage.  My method might be a little tedious but after about a week of sending Imran to the daycare, I think I'm comfortable with it plus it has some advantages that I'll share throughtout this post.

Choosing and Buying the Right Icebox

Two essential items are needed, icebox and ice packs.  I bought mine as AEON Big Alamanda.  We were torn between 2 choices:

Both from coleman, the left one is slightly smaller.  Price different on the box alone  is about RM100.

The internal size of the left one (refer above pics).  It can fit one coleman icepax with 6 standard ebm storage bottles just nice.

The internal of icebox on the right. U can attach one icepax to the lid and fit more icepax inside. It can also fit 6 storage bottles with the icepax in the middle but u can make some space and squeeze in maybe one more bottle plus more icepax inside if needed.

I had some arguments with papa upon agreeing with which 'system'.  I prefer the first one because I think its cute (convincing right?), easier to handle (the lid is connected to the body), lightweight and cheaper.  Papa prefer the later, according to him its more sturdy and will maintain the cooling temperature longer. After a slightly heated argument (kidding) and hurting our feet walking back and forth between Parkson and AEON Big (we need to review all available options!) I agreed on his choice because he's paying. Hahahaha. No lah. The one we choose might be bulky and a bit heavy but its more sturdy and reliable.  Its proven now, so no regret.  The whole thing cost about RM300 (ice box plus 3 different icepax).

Sending EBM to The Daycare - Daily Routine

This is basically my daily routine:

1.  Its crucial to freeze the icepax every night, I usually do this right away as soon as we reach home.

2. Also at night I will divide ebm in the bottles and store in the chilled section of my fridge.  Right now I provide 6 x 3oz milk daily (will discuss about this in another post inshaAllah). 

 If needed I will also transfer 1 packet of frozen ebm to the chiller, it will melt overnight and ready to be transferred to bottle next morning.

3. Every morning I will arrange the frozen icepax in the box and then place 6 bottles of my chilled ebm.  If necessary I will also squeeze in 1-2 packet of frozen ebm as back-up depending on teachers feedback about Imran's consumption.  Teacher will transfer the frozen ebm to their freezer at school or else it will melt!

Here's how I arrange them:

4.  I will leave the whole thing at the daycare.  Teacher dont need to transfer my ebm to their fridge, just take out each bottle of milk when needed. Simple, clean, and no hassle.

The Advantages

1.  Using this method, I dont have to worry about hygiene aspect - no need to inspect the nursery fridge hehe. As we provide our own storage.

2.  The system is indeed reliable, so far the ebm stay chilled in the icebox up to 8-10 hours.

3.  If we are going to travel somewhere for vacation etc, I can continue pumping and use it as travel system to keep my ebm at the right temperature as we travel, inshaAllah.

4.  Its convenience to the teachers too. At first they did asked why I dont keep my milk in their fridge, I just smile and say its okay I prefer this way.  This way they dont have to worry about keeping my milk seperate from food etc plus I have my peace of mind at work. It really is a win win situation.

I hope this post help can contribute to mommies who are considering ur options.  InshaAllah I'll share about other aspects of ebm in a future entries.  Till then, later!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Red Team Warrior

This post is longggg overdue. Abang Awisy buat surprise! The whole February month dia sangat excited dengan sport practise, everyday datang school pakai baju sport. But he never told us that..

He was the red team mascot aka warrior! 

Bangga sungguh dia dengan his warrior outfit ke sana ke mari. We were impressed! Because being the team mascot, he kinda lead the red team marching. 

Leading away the Salahuddin Al Ayyubi team 

Awisy by nature is an outgoing child who like to make friends and not afraid of strangers. He blends in with his seniors from secondary school naturally perhaps because of my three brothers..

We are SOOOO proud of u Abang Awisy!

Obviously the novelty hasnt wear off the next day, he was wearing the warrior cape all day - even to grocery shopping ;)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Questions on My Mind

My maternal leave is ending very soon.. 4 days away to be exact. And I have a lot in my mind. Mostly questions and worriness about baby Imran.  Will he adapt well with the new environment? Will he drinks from the bottle? Will he be able to sleep and nap? Will he cries all day or be happy and cheerful with the new surrounding? Will the nursery handle him well? Can the nursery takes care of his ebm well? I on the other hand will be okay InshaAllah. Yes I think I will cry after dropping him at the nursery on the first day (probably every morning on the first week? Heh).  What can you expect? its going to be our first time apart after 9 months in my womb and 3 1/2 months on my lap ;)

These questions are keeping me awake at night, I spend a lot of time reading blogs/article/books especially on preparing/handling my expressed milk for the nursery.  Alhamdulillah, I found lots of info and they somehow build up my confidence and calmed me down.  Bless those mom who spend their time taking pictures and writing so-called manuals and sharing their experience to guide beginners like me.  May Allah grant them a lot of hasanat.  Of course I want to follow suit, InshaAllah I'll share my experienced in this space later.. Watch out for it ;)

Anyway, again back to the questions and worriness.. How do I write this eh? In my mind I am busy writing a to-do list, planning this and that, until my mind become so occupied and at the end of the day I become sensitive and cranky expecting everyone around me to understand and be sensitive towards my feeling. Shamefully Yes. Then this morning I perfomed my Subuh prayer and suddenly I was reminded my purpose of life, to bow and be the slave of Allah.  Allah tell us to face any challenge with solat and patience (sabar dan solat) - plan, work for it, the pray and leave it to Allah, tawakkaltua'lallah! As if the burden has lifted from my shoulde :') thank you Allah.. Now that I'm finally awake, I know that there is no point stressing.. I just had to prepare my best and leave the rest in the hand of Allah.  InshaAllah everything will be okay. Stay positive. Remember! InshaAllah..

Laailahaillaanta, subhanakainnikuntuminazzholimin..

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Imran and Flash Cards

Can u tell I'm excited? Of course I am, I'm writing a new entry at exactly 0:52am 😉
I have now started teaching Imran using flash card. This is new, with Awisy I was somehow not exposed to flash card methods, so I rely mostly on developmental toys such as Lamaze and later developments CDs starting with Baby Einsteins, then Pocoyo, Little Einsteins and later Thomas and Friends and such..

So why am I so excited? Let me tell u how its started. I have bought this set of Iqra' flash card when I attended Darwisy Darwisya seminar by Pn Lina. And then somehow ONLY a few days ago (i'm slapping my head as I should start sooner!) I decided to play this flash card with Imran. Simple game, I choose two cards such as اَ and بَ , I flashed repeatedly one after the other while pronouncing each card to him and then I showed him both card and asked "aa?" His eyes went to the اَ card, "baa?" and his eyes when to the بَ card. I tried with other cards and almost everytime he can recognize them easily. Only when the patterns are almost similar such as ت and ث or س and ش he will show a confused face and look at one card after the other.

So I began to search for a proper flash card (got them now) and currently digging for information so I can teach him systematically. My aim? To teach him reading AlQuran from baby, so hopefully I can speed up his Quran Memorizing (hafazan) process, inshaAllah. Blessed my effort ya Allah and make me easy please Ya Rabb! Rabbi Yassir wala Tuassir Ya Kareem.. The biggest challenge is to Istiqomah, as Im going back to work really-really soon. I hope I can schedule my time and establish a routine that I can follow daily - I'm weak at this!

The first flash card that I used is small, hard to hold plus the printings on front and back of the card is not related - perhaps more suitable for older kids

This card is larger (refer size with respect to Imran's head hehe). Hence the printed letter is bigger and clearer. Easy to hold due to size, so my hand will not accidentally block the letter from baby's view. If the front card is printed with اَ the back will be اَ اِ اُ so I know exactly which card I'm showing to my baby. The back part is useful too!

Anyway, getting back to the flash card subject, as I'm exploring the matter I stumbled a lot about Right Brain. This is very related to why baby that is trained with flash card can read at very-very young age (as early as 9 moths!). I will try to understand this topics (i am actually mid-reading an article about this and couldnt contain the excitement, hence this blogpost). InshaAllah I'll update more about later, its getting late and we have Imran Majlis Aqiqah tomorrow! Yikes..

Nitey Nite!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Feeding Ur Infant Medicine - A Useful Tip!

Imran is 3 months now. This morning he received 2 doses of vaccination, one of them is Rotareq for rotavirus that need to be given orally instead of the usual injection.  Well this is not his first time getting oral medicine, the first was actually an antibiotic prescribed to fight minor infection on his cord stump - but thats a different story! Feeding him that 1.5ml of antibiotics 3 times a day is a nightmare to us.. When he's okay with it, it might took us about 5 minutes maybe? But when he's not okay with it? One time it took us almost 1 hour to finish that 1.5ml! He screams whenever the syringe touch his lips, he refuse to swallow the medicine and keep crying until he choked, he spit out the meds.. My Oh my! Anyway, rotareq is in a form of 2ml clear syrup that need to be finish right there and then in the doctor room. This gonna be interesting! I thought..

Dr Siti is aware of his behaviour towards oral meds, as predicted the moment Imran taste the medicine inside his mouth he starts crying while trying to spit it out. So what does she do? She hold his cheek so his mouth resembles pufferfish mouth to avoid the medicine from trickling out of his mouth and.. This is important : everytime after she drop a little syrup in his mouth she would blow his face (slowly) and he would swallow the meds! She said this is a reflect, everytime we blow baby's face they will swallow.. And surely like a pro she took merely 2-3 minutes to feed him the whole 2ml! Of course after that Imran screams like no tomorrow, I believe coz he felt cheated and defeated! Hahaha!

So thats it, i'll keep this entry short and sweet.. Hope the tip is useful if u find problem feeding ur infant baby oral meds. Good luck!