Friday, May 30, 2008

The First Year

A big milestone approaches. On July 5th, Little A will turn one. The first year is nearly past, where did the time go?

My sister gave birth to a baby boy two months ago. I've seen my new nephew a handful of times and barely remember Little A being that tiny. Thank goodness for photos. Maybe it's Caesarean section amnesia or overuse of my mobile phone, but my memories of the past 11 months are somewhat blurry.

For the first 2 months after giving birth, I was still working from home, winding up the last of my responsibilities before bidding farewell to my paycheck and simultaneously sorting out the details for Little A's christening. Funny how most women take 2-3 months off work after delivering a baby and then go back to their jobs, and I did the complete opposite. Anyway, most of what I remember of this time is Little A's rapid weight gain (2.9 to 5.3 kilos in 6 weeks), the dreaded colic stage (evening wailing from 2weeks-2months of age) and his rolling over early. Also being truly dependent on my breast pump. I had so much milk that at one point was feeding Little A and two preemies in the NICU.

3-6months - we made 2 trips to HongKong when Little A was 4 and 6 months old, respectively, so vivid memories of this stage are his first fall (rolling off the daybed at the Hong Kong Mandarin Oriental), his sitting up unassisted at 5months (the pediatrician didn't believe it) and crawling and standing at 6months.

This year he was mobile from the start. At 9 months he started walking and now, a week before his 11th month mark, is walking steadily all over the place, although he still needs more practice walking with shoes on.

Food-wise, he started eating at 6months, and is still being breast-fed. I've been trying to figure out what he should be eating at this stage, and in what quantities. Little A's pediatrician insists that milk is still the main source of food for the first year, and that anything additional should comprise no more than 25% of their daily intake. Still, at age 1, food seems to play a bigger role, and I wonder how best to prepare him for this change.

I recently read a list of 10 things not to feed babies before they turn 1: honey, peanuts, cow's milk, shellfish, egg whites, excessive sodium and a few others. This makes me wonder, what magical thing happens on a baby's first birthday that suddenly renders his or her digestive system mature enough to handle things he couldn't eat just days previously? After 12 months of being so careful to avoid certain foods, suddenly the 12 month mark means all table food is okay? Must read more.

Meanwhile, I'll take more photos as the days pass, because he does seem to be growing up very quickly. It's true when people say don't blink or you'll miss something. Every minute with your baby counts.

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