Being pregnant to being a mom was totally different experience. The prelude to Dot’s arrival was a bliss, where everyone gave me all the attention, care and love. Only after the arrival of Dot did I really have the real taste of what it was really like being a mom.

The initial three months were the toughest for me.  I did not have enough sleep as I had to breastfeed my baby every two to three hours. On top of that, I experienced pain from my c-section wound when I moved about.

When we first brought her back home, I could feed her for more than one hour and yet she was still not satisfied. After trying for a few nights,  I was at wit’s end.  I tried pumping out my milk to see how much milk I had – only 30 ml in my first pump.

As we did not engage any confinement lady during the first month, Jay and I had to care for Dot on our own at night. I decided to do full pumping so Dot could finish the milk within 30 minutes, as compared to 45 minutes to 1 hour of direct feed.

It was real hardwork providing for Dot physically and emotionally. I pumped every two to three hours even waking up at night to keep the supply going. Then I wondered whether I could have the energy to last for even one month.

One month passed and things looked more hopeful. I continued providing her nature’s best – aiming to provide her at least six month.

After about six weeks, I tried switching from bottle to direct feed as I was advised by friends that direct feed will help to keep supply going if I want to provide her for a longer period. It was a struggle for Dot to switch from bottle to direct again and it took her about two weeks to get her to get used to direct-feeding again. Thankfully she made it.

Actually, I was aiming to stop breastfeeding when Dot was around one year old but decided to extend as Dot fell sick several times when I was trying to introduce formula milk to her. After she got well, she rejected my several attempts to feed her formula milk. I stopped trying for a few months and then try again when she was around 14 – 15 month old. She accepted a little and gradually increases her intake of formula milk up till now.

It never fail to amaze me how wonderful is God’s creation – breastmilk. Its supply will adjust based on the principle of demand and supply. There are so many benefits when we breastfeed our babies and none can compare to breastmilk for being the first baby food.

By God’s grace, Dot is 21 month old now and my “job” is almost done. I am thankful that though my breastfeeding journey is not all smooth sailing, it is a good one nevertheless for Dot and I!

Ten Things every child needs for the best start in life” is the research-based documentary that highlights the importance of seizing the golden opportunity during the first three years of a child’s life to help nurture and give them the best start in life.  They can definitely reach their full potential if we help them!

In this video, research showed that the brains of animals in the wild are usually 20-30% bigger than animals in the zoo which illustrates the importance of providing our children adequate experiences in the forms of these 10 things – interaction, touch, stable relationship, safety, self-esteem, quality childcare, conversation, play, music and reading – to help them to develop and reach their potential.

These 10 things every child needs will be shared more in depth in this video. If you are interested to watch this dvd, you can also borrow it from Singapore National Library.

At birth, an infant’s brain is only 25 percent of the size of an average adult’s brain. Amazingly, by 3 years of age, a child’s brain has grown to 90 percent of that of an adult. During the first 3 years, the types of experiences the children are exposed to impact their brain development. There is amazing opportunity to help our children reach their potential but it comes with responsibility and dedication to help shape their growth and develop healthy habits that will influence their adulthood.

15 days : Finally I managed to catch her smile on the camera.

27 days : Haiz…! Dorothy pulled her own hair and cried…;p

1 month, 8 days : Dot starts baby-talking.

2 month, 7 days : We introduce sparkling board books to her.  Her eyes sweep across the pages when we read the stories to her.

2 month, 22 days : So happy that for the first time Dot slept through the night for 8 hrs.

3 month, 11 days : Yeah! Dot can lift up her head when she is on her fours.

3 month, 22 days : Dot can reach out and hold things now and she is examining her new teething toy!

3 month, 22 days : Dot is losing hair.

4 month, 2 days : Dot did her first flip from back to tummy.

4 month, 26 days : Grandma said, “I need to go and cook. No time to play with you.” Dot replied, “O.K!”.

5 month, 9 days : Dot can now clasp both her hands together and do ‘gongxi gongxi’.

5 month, 12 days : Dot can touch her feet with her hands.

5 month, 15 days : When mom walked into the room, Dot excitedly shouted, “Yeah!”.

5 month, 27 days : Yeah! Dot can sit in a tripod position.

6 month, 5 days : Dot can now flip back and forth. Need to watch over her most of the time.

6 month, 14 days : Noticed Dot can turn both sides now.

6 month, 16 days : Dot cried,”mum mum mum mum….!”

6 month, 17 days : When Dot was in the cab carried by her daddy, she said, “papa”.

7 month, 3 days : Dot sat up on her own.

7 month, 7 days : Dot mimicks daddy and laughs heartily.

7 month, 15 days : Dot is crawling.

7 month, 20 days : Dot’s little tooth broke through her gum. No wonder she has been crying a lot lately.

8 month, 26 days : Dot is learning to stand now.

8 month, 27 days : “Mama” was the first word that rolled out of Dot’s mouth when mommy walked into the room.

8 month, 27 days : Dot claps her hands when we play P+W songs.

9 month : Dot learns to clap when mommy says,”Clap your hands, baby, clap your hands”.

9 month, 19 days : Dot can stand up on her own hands-free for a few seconds.

10 month, 25 days : Dot said,”Le-bbit, bit, bit!” when she saw rabbit at grandma’s house.

11 month, 7 days : Dot blew kisses at Midco and her mom, without any prompting from me, when we were about to leave their place.

11 month, 14 days : Dot is learning how to get off a bed.

11 month, 23 days : Dot took her first baby steps towards grandma today!! Everyone was so excited!

Dot is ONE.

1 year, 15 days : A relative injured her arm. Dot’s eyes turn watery and red when mommy said, “Pain Pain”. We were  amazed and wonder what was going through her mind when mommy spoke those words.

1 year, 1 one, 27 days : Mommy asked Dot,”Are you happy?” Dot replied,”Happy!”

1 year, 2 month : Dot is practising gymnastics (planking) on a stool.

1 year, 2 month : Dot is like super-glue. She does not let me out of her sight!!

1 year, 2 month : Dot climbs stairs today.

1 year, 2 month, 2 days : The cat meows. Dot meows.

1 year, 2 month, 5 days : Oh my goodness! Dot is calling me “Dee” instead of mommy!

1 year, 2 month, 15 days : Dot’s first artwork using markers.

1 year, 4 month, 24 days : Her aunt asked her, “What’s your name?” She replied, “Dorothy!

1 year, 4 month, 28 days : At Changi Point, Dot pointed at the aeroplane in the sky and said, “Aeroplane!”

1 year, 8 month : “Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars” is the first song Dot could finish singing.

1 year, 9 month : Dot is fully on formula milk.

1 year, 9 month : Dot can jump with both legs in the air.

1 year, 10 month : Dot knows mommy, daddy, Ah Gu, Ah Yee, Po Po and Gong Gong’s Chinese names.

1 year, 10 month : Dot did her first water colored painting.

Dot is TWO.

2 year, 1 month : Dot rode her first bicycle on her own (with two little wheels at the rear). We are all so excited.

2 year, 7 month : Finally Dot can pedal full circle on her bicycle.

2 year, 7 month : Dot is diaper-free in her waking hours.

2 year, 11 month : Dot’s first day in pre-nursery class (2 Jan 2013).

Dot is THREE.

3 year, 2 month : Dot went for her first trial ballet class and was accepted to join the class officially.