gymboree
Baby

Gymboree for Toddlers

I am really a fan of Gymboree, so much of a fan that I decided to enroll my son, Inigo for a 3 time a week class as soon as he was 18 months. We took 3 different classes per week and let me give you an insight of what types of classes you can enroll your child too.

We chose three classes named, Learning Lab 1, Play and Learn 4/5 and Global Kids. These are the available classes in our chosen Gymboree branch which is Robinson Magnolia. Each of it’s class usually has 2 – 3 schedule per week and I chose all that was 11am. Good news is, before you can really choose the best time for your child, you can have a trial and if the time slot doesn’t really go along well with your child, you are free to change it as you may.

Every Wednesday, we have our Global Kids. This is my favorite and I guess Inigo also because it’s more on classroom setting with arts, music, singing, language and short introduction of parts of the world. It usually has a country theme of the day and the class revolves around and immerse on the culture of the said country. The kids enjoy it because it is full of dancing, play pretend to ride a train or boat depending on the destination. Then they are introduced to the language by teaching how to say hello on that particular country, example in Hawaii they say Aloha! Then they sing a song about that certain place with matching actions. They also incorporated playdoh time and usually gives the child an idea what that country eats and a great way to practice motor and listening skills. It is very fast paced that they can still squeeze in an art project at the end of the class. Overall, this is really my favorite because it’s a taste of everything that my little one enjoys.

Every Thursday, we have our Play and Learn Class. This class is held outside, in the play area of the school. It’s all about listening to directions, using their creativity to incorporate real life happenings to play, interacting with their classmates, execute agility and still have fun at the same time. We usually start by singing a song, pretending to ride a train and briefing the class what topic we will be discussing and showing pictures of the said topic. It’s a learning moment for the kids because the pictures they show are really familiar and relevant. After that, we usually start with the activities. For example, if we discuss about the firetruck, the monkey bars will be a play pretend of the firetruck. The ropes will be imagining that it’s a hose. The simple slide would be a ramp that they need to run to when the song starts and a lot more. I do enjoy this class because it’s more of a progressive way of learning that stimulates the imagination of the kids.

Lastly, we have our Learning Lab every Friday. This is like a taste of early preschool to our young little ones. The classroom set-up is so much comparable to the tradtional preschool where a chair and a table is inside. The only difference is, that the child is more encouraged to be socially active because the chairs are closely to each other and they only have one table for everyone including teachers. Here, they teach early introduction of letters by showing the letter, letting the child feel the letter by tracing the letter that was cut out from the sandpaper, writing the letter by finger on sand to promote the senses, and by teaching them the proper pronunciation of the said letter. After those, the teacher shows the children 5 different pictures that starts with the letter of the day. My favorite part is when the teacher gives out the playdough, instructs the kids to make little snakes out of it and gives them a card where they should follow the outline of the letter by putting and pressing the little snakes along. I love how creative that is and how engaged it makes the child. Inigo likes it so much that he doesn’t want my help! Everytime he successfully does it, he wears this proud smile and shows his teacher that he did it! Such joy to see a little boy at an early age so independent and proud of what he achieves. What follows is, the favorite part of every kid, washing of the hands and getting of the snacks from the teacher aide. They know the drill so much that they just wait for the teacher to open a book and read to them while they are munching some snacks. The book usually is correlated to the letters that we have learned that day. Then comes the last part, another art session that cultivates everything that they have learned that day. At first, I did not like this class because Inigo had a hard time adjusting with a constricted way of learning but after 3-4 sessions, he finally came in and now looks forward to this class!

I am really happy with the school that I am in right now because their priority is really making learning fun! They do not forfeit your classes as long as you inform them even without a valid reason. A simple, “we cannot attend the class tomorrow” is okay for them. Perfect for little toddlers and first-time mothers that is still figuring things out!

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Kids Toys
Baby

Why Age Appropriate Toys are Important

I grew up with lots of memories that I have overflowing toys so when Inigo came, I became a hoarder of toys but lately did I learn that you need to buy age appropriate toys for them, you know why?

First

it is important to buy age-appropriate toys for kids throughout their lifespan since children learn new skills and show different interests during different stages of development. Finding an age-appropriate toy means finding a toy that is a good match for their age, interest and the skills they are learning.

Second

exposing your kid to a toy that is too advanced in his age will frustrate him and will make him lose his confidence. It happed to Inigo and I, I gave him the lacing beads too early, his fine motor skills that time is not yet fully developed and he ended up getting frustrated and throwing tantrums. So start with the easiest and ease your way up.

Third

giving age appropriate toys means that they are more able to finish the toys and feel an accomplishment doing it. For example, I started giving Inigo stackable blocks around 12 months and he feels so good after doing it, so it’s win win situation for us, to be able to make our baby feel good and bond without tantrums! Hahaha.

 

TIP: If you want to buy a toy for your baby, checkout the MILESTONE/AGE APPROPRIATE  chart for your baby, so you would be sure that your money spent for toys will be worth it.

I followed this all throughout and it’s safe to say, that our toys are well used. “Age Appropriate Toys

           

Do not think that the money we would spent on toys, especially the educational ones are expensive nowadays will just go to waste. Remember, children learn through playing!

 

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Dental check up
Baby

Inigo’s First Dental Check up

 

 

I posted a picture of my baby’s first tooth in Facebook about how come it had a stain. Then a high school friend of mine who is a dentist sent a message saying that I should get his teeth checked. I was shocked knowing that the baby can have their first dental visit at a young age, as early as the first tooth erupted!!
I took his advice and went to his clinic in Makati to have my baby’s first dental check-up.
 
IMG_8211.JPG
Taken at the Dentist August 27, 2017 with Dr. Bryan Anduiza 🙂
 
Inigo was 10 months that time and didn’t really understand what is happening. As we arrived, my friend and I had some chitchat about our lives and examined my baby’s teeth. After the assessment, advised me to hold Inigo tight while we apply the fluoride on his teeth and gums. It was not a pleasurable 5 minutes for my baby love.
He was screaming while the dentist took advantage of the opening of the mouth and gently applied the fluoride all over my baby’s teeth and gums.
Here are the things he told me that I should do to ensure maximal health of his teeth.

 

  1. Always brush his teeth – even if it’s just 2, it doesn’t matter. It needs to be brushed. Brushing is a habit that needs repetition in order for our baby to enjoy.

  2. Have a Dental Appointment every 6 months – this is to teach us and the baby good oral hygiene from an early age. Also, if there is oral health problems such as cavities, it can be treated quickly.

  3. Use Fluoride Toothpaste – it’s better than using the ones who claims fluoride free since fluoride is proven to prevent cavities.

 

       I am actually selling a FLOURIDE and SUGARFREE Toothpaste, please check this out!   
    Colgate Sugar Free Toothpaste
I believe that, that dental visit was more helpful for me than for my son. Talking to a dentist and having a broad idea of how the teeth of the baby operates made me more dedicated in taking care of Inigo’s teeth.
I am so happy that I went to see a dentist as early as possible even though the elders around me told that it’s not necessary because I learned a lot! So don’t every shy away from the things that don’t really makes sense to you. Instead, exert effort in knowing more. Learning is always beneficial to everyone!

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Baby teeth
Baby

How to Take Care of Your Baby’s Teeth

Even before going to the dentist, as soon as the first tooth arrives, we should start taking care of the precious baby teeth. My mother advised me to clean the teeth with wet lampin and to include the tongue as well. I did that but I was not very consistent until I saw stains on his lower teeth that I started really taking oral hygiene seriously. Some say that the teeth stain is because of the vitamins that we made them drink. I am guilty because I made him drink Ferlin, an iron supplement, since breastfeeding moms lack Iron. Some say that it is because of fluoride deficiency!

Here comes my Fairy Tita Teresa who really aced motherhood so much that every time she tells me something about, I believe it instantly! We went to Rockwell for dinner that day. When she arrived, she gave me Inigo’s first Fluoride Toothpaste, Aqua Fresh! I asked her where to buy it so I could buy more, as you all know I like to hoard. HAHA. She told me that I do not need it and this one tube will last me forever, as I said, she know what she is talking about! We have the same tube of toothpaste until now.

So here comes the exciting part, the brushing of the teeth. It was really hard at first! I would hear screaming, crying, and tantrums all time but I always tell myself, I am stronger than my baby and it’s for him.

Luckily, by the age of 20 months, Inigo started liking this routine called brushing teeth. These are the tips that might help you along the way.

  1. Choose the Toothbrush with your Baby

If he is still young, make sure that it’s really colorful, but with toddlers, bring them to the mall! Inigo really likes Minions and when he saw the Minions Colgate Toothbrush, we knew we should take it home! They often enjoy the routine more if they see something they like.

  1. Use fluoride toothpaste

It’s really hard to get fluoride in our baby’s body except drinking Dr. Edwards Fluoride water or clean tap water. So the next best and cheapest way to get fluoride is to use toothpaste that has it! Do not worry, it is safe to consume 500ppm of Fluoride according to my dentist. Just wipe it with damp gauze pad after.

I have two kinds of toothpaste available in my shop right now, one is SUGARFREE and the other one is the perfect minty flavor!

Colgate Junior Sugarfree Toothpaste

Macleans Milk Teeth Toothpaste 0-3 years old

  1. Have gauze pad with you

This is the most convenient way to clean baby’s teeth even if outside or when the baby falls asleep without brushing his teeth. Just damp it with purified/ distilled water, wipe the teeth vertically, from up to down and you are good to go!

  1. Have regular dental appointments

It may sound redundant but we really need to have regular checkups so the dentist can guide us on how to properly care for the pearly whites. Though these baby teeth can be gone by the age of 7, it would still be nice to have their teeth presentable.

  1. Establish a Routine

This really helped Inigo to start liking brushing teeth! He looks forward to it every night. Babies thrive better with routines, so continue brushing/cleaning his teeth even if he starts crying.

  1. Brush Together

Amazing trick that I learned now that Inigo can use his hand properly.

Trust me mommies, all those crying while they are held down and being brushed are gonna be worth it! It will also save you more money in the future! Healthy teeth = procedure/surgery prevention =NO MONEY WASTED!

One day, you will just be proud of yourself when your baby starts getting his toothbrush and brushes his teeth alone!

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Introducing Solid food
Baby

Tips on Introducing Solid Food

            After the baby kept on doing the same tricks for the last 6 months, we got so excited in making them do another milestone—EATING THEIR FIRST SOLID FOOD!  A lot of debate had gone on the perfect time to introduce solid food. Some say it can be introduced as early as 4 months, and some say it is best introduced on their 6th month. I believe that it’s best to introduce solid food when the baby is so ready.

                  What are the signs that a baby is ready for solid food?

  1. Baby can sit up well without support.

In my case, at least 5 minutes without him bobbling down his head and looks comfortable.

  1. Baby has lost tongue thrust reflex and does not automatically push solids out of his mouth with his tongue.

Try this with spoon and water or milk to see if he has lost his tongue thrust reflex.

  1. Baby is ready and willing to chew.

Sometimes a baby, even when given puree food, doesn’t seem to want to ingest. This was tried with Inigo and I observed that he was not willing to take food until he was about 7 months.

  1. Baby is developing a pincer grasp where he picks up good or other objects between thumb and forefinger.

Try putting small objects in front of him while sitting to encourage him to practice, but make sure you are there so he won’t choke.

  1. Baby is eager to participate in mealtime and may try to grab food and put in his mouth.

Inigo was interested with food but never grabbed it from me. So this is a good point.

  1. Baby watches you eat with interest.

The cutest part! I still remember Inigo’s glances whenever he sees me chow down food. Sometimes he even gives me a start that will send everyone in laughter.

I was really excited to feed my baby so when Inigo turned 6 months, I started right there but got frustrated because Inigo was not responding the way I wanted him too. He had all the signs of being ready for solid food. I did follow the Tamang Kain and made sure to prepare freshly pureed food for him. I made sure that he was in a good mood, entertained and willing to participate every meal, but after 1 to 2 spoons, he would not open his mouth anymore. I was really frustrated and kept asking myself where I went wrong. The old people around me told me that I should’ve started with Cerelac so that my baby would enjoy his first taste and would continue to have a good appetite. My partner kept telling me that I should just enjoy the moment. Don’t sweat the small stuff and soon our baby boy will eat that this is just a practice time for him. I kept on asking around why this is happening and someone told me that it’s still okay since Food Under One is Just for Fun, it made me realize that milk is still the primary source of nutrition for the little one.

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Kidzoona
Baby

Tips on bringing your kid to Kidzoona

Kidzoona is always a dream of mine. Yes! You heard it right, my dream! The child in me always wanted to test that big ball pit, that never ending role playing kiosks and their inflatable slides!

I was browsing Metrodeal, which I regularly visit during the wee hours of the night when the little one is sleeping to score for interesting deals, and I stumbled upon this promo of Kidzoona wherein you can have 3 hours of play for only Php280. You save Php120 pesos! The downsides are: first, when you chose the place, you cannot undo it (For example, if you choose Shangrila, you cannot use that voucher in Robinson). Second, you can only use it during weekdays, so if you are a working mom, probably it’s not the best deal for you.

The day has come. My little one woke up around 11am and I assumed that it’s the best day for him since when he wakes up late, he doesn’t take his nap and just sleep around 8pm. We had brunch and I brought baon. I always try my best to bring baon since we can’t tell how traffic it will be. We arrived at Kidzoona Shangrila around 12:30. The line was a bit long, when it was my turn, I had to go and get a form, (For Entrance Application). THIS IS A MUST that I did not know as a first timer. So Mommies,

TIP #1

Get that form first before falling in line and fill it up while in the line to make things faster (I like to be efficient always).

So I showed my E-voucher using my phone, they took it for line 1 minute just to copy the Voucher code, handed me the bottom part of the form that I filled out, written there is the time you went it, the time your time is done and gave me the assigned locker for our shoes, for the bags, they can rent out a locker with a padlock for Php 100.

TIP #2

You can kindly ask them to keep your bag in the counter with no additional fee. So we went in, there’s a bench where you can sit and take off your shoes. Beside it is the assigned place where to park your strollers. Here are the pictures and some videos of their respective areas as we went inside:

  1. Ball Pit

inside are inflatable slides, slide and some cubes where your kid can safely jump from one cube to another cube. Good thing is, there is an assigned Kidzoona Staff to tell you whether its age appropriate or not and another thing is, they really see to it that your baby is safe where there’s a dangerous place.  TIP #3 Be vigilant. I saw some kids that have coughs and colds, and every time I see them, I quickly take Inigo out of that place to avoid catching their virus.

  1. Toys Station

This is where the train table, doll house, xylophone, peg puzzle and different toys that can be manipulated by hands are placed. TIP #4 Bring out your alcohol spray and spray the things that your kid will touch. There’s no harm in being paranoid, especially knowing that kids touch everything.

  1. Excavator Station

Have this ride on excavator where the kid can operate, catch some balls and feel like real. TIP #5 Don’t bring your 2 year old kid here, they’re too small for this area and it’s dangerous since the handles are metal and accidents might happen while other kids go and play too.

  1. Role Playing Area

My favorite! But also, don’t forget to spray some alcohol before using it! My kid spent half of our time here. Inigo enjoyed shopping for vegetables and slicing it!

  1. Jumping Bed

Very sturdy thus safe for toddlers, even you can jump alongside! Just be careful of some kids that might bump and fall on your kid.

  1. Kinetic Sand Station

This is not for toddlers below 2 years old. I feel that the small particles can be inhaled accidentally, or am I just paranoid? Inigo just spent 2 minutes and never went back.

  1. Guardians Lounge

There are sofas and comfortable seats located in the middle so if some adults need to rest, they can stay there.

  1. Diaper Changing Area

I think this is perfect! They made the diaper-changing area in one side of the Kidzoona, beside the Toy Station and open. Why do I think it’s perfect? You know these toddlers, once they enjoy playing, they don’t want to go out right? This is perfect because you can change them without the drama or crying since their curious minds are observing the other kids!

Overall, our experience was very enjoyable one! But here are some considerations in mind;

  1. If you have a toddler aged 2 years old below, DO NOT GET THE 3 Hours. After 1:30 hours, Inigo already is tired and throwing tantrums. So just get 1 Hour. The 3 hours also, if you want to go out, the time is running, they won’t hold it for you. For instance, your time will end at 3;30 pm, if you go out around 2:30 and come back around 3:00 you will only have 30 minutes left and the time won’t be paused.
  2. Bring BAON. My baby was hungry after 1 hour. I gave him spoonfuls of rice with corned beef inside the Kidzoona. I don’t know if they allow it, but no one gave me a warning and I made sure that I leave no trace.
  3. Bring one set of baby’s clothes for changing as soon as you leave. Why? To avoid getting any virus.
  4. Spray alcohol, wipe face, and sanitize as soon as you get your kid out from the area.
  5. Leave as soon as the toddler shows some fuzziness to avoid overstimulation and pagod.

I did all these precautionary measures because I was afraid of my baby getting sick, and it worked! It’d been 3 days and he was clear!

Usually when I bring him to the play areas, he easily gets contaminated and I feel bad. So this time, I made sure he won’t get any sickness by being extra vigilant. No matter how sterilized/clean is the place, there are still a lot of carriers of virus.

Go ahead. Go to the nearest play area of your choice but don’t forget my advice so that your baby will not catch any virus afterwarsds!

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Tantrums
Baby

Toddler’s Tantrums and Aggressiveness: What to do?

I know all of us wonder: Why? Why us? Why now? What’s wrong? What did I do? And most of us mothers love to think is “Why her/his child never threw tantrums?” We really can’t help but compare, right? I really had all of those questions in my mind running, I started questioning the way I had raised Inigo. I started questioning myself as a mother.

When Inigo reached that certain time, around 18 months, my happy baby started throwing tantrums here and everywhere. At first, I blamed it to the teething. Most often times, I thought that Inigo was just over/under-stimulated, hungry, tired, lacking sleep and uncomfortable. I started keeping track of the things that made him tick—dirty highchair, uneven alignment of his toy cars, children holding anything his’, children staying near me, and obviously, not getting what he wants.

Until we came to playschool regularly, his tantrums became violent. He was hitting, grabbing and pushing kids. I really did not know what triggered him though now he is easier to handle but sometimes, in a split second, with no visible reason, he would be violent against his classmate. Those times, I wanted to melt with embarrassment because I know I was judged. I could see their looks, their actions and those things got a little bit messy in my monkey brain. I never laid my hands on him nor had he watched violent cartoons, but why was he like that? I kept researching on reasons, triggers and solutions for tantrums.

I kept trying new things until my partner told me that I should not be ashamed of my son since it is part of his developmental growth. He kept asking me to have more patience since Inigo was not yet able to express himself fully and that’s where all the frustrations trigger tantrums and emotional meltdown. I followed his lead and changed the way I look at the tantrums and embraced all the experiences these came with. These are the things that I have tried and worked for Inigo:

 
  1. Make sure he is well fed and well rested

I really make sure that before we leave the house, he gets some sleep and is fed well. We also bring baon for emergencies. TIP: Always bring crackers. It’s so easy to give and it never gets old.

  1. Talk to your baby

Though they can’t speak yet, they can understand more that we expect. Babies learn through repetition since they can’t fully understand everything in one try. Every time there is a new playmate/classmate, I always make sure to let Inigo say Hi and whisper to him “Be kind/Play nice/Lovelove lang ang classmate.” It doesn’t really work 100% but ever since I started it, his attacks lessened. Whisper sweet words calmly. Believe me!

  1. Have an Emergency Comfort Food/Toy

We never leave the house without a lollipop or Jagabee French Fries, (those are Inigo’s favorite food). Sometimes we can’t really figure out what those tantrums are for and sometimes we need a solution ASAP. Bring out a lollipop and for sure, his tantrums will be cut short.

  1. Study your child

I was really keen on checking what makes Inigo throw a fit at his classmates. I am aware that some of his classmate are his favorites while others are his constant adversary. Knowing who frequently picks a fight with him made me prevent it even before it would start.

  1. Stay Calm

Inigo is not afraid of anything but when someone shouts in a not joyous way, he can feel it and starts to feel embarrassed and starts crying. So whenever he is having a fight with a classmate, I make sure that I never shout, I just run towards him as fast as I can, take his hands off, direct him to a place where we can talk and calmly tell him that what he is doing is wrong. I don’t know if he fully understand it but I am hoping that by doing this, I would not magnify his wrong doing and he just forgets the whole thing and never repeat it.

  1. Never Leave Him Alone

 that was my mistake. One time, I was so confident that he was not hitting anymore based from yesterday’s class. Apparently, he had a run in with a new classmate whose the mother shouted which then made Inigo cry. I know it’s my fault and I asked myself as to why I put my son in a situation where he would doubt himself and feel alone. After that incident, while the mother was still catering to her crying baby, I talked to Inigo and told him that it was wrong and he should say sorry. He said sorry with vindication, though not loud enough to be heard by the other party, which for me is a milestone in our journey. His sincerity was heartfelt since his eyes were directed to the girl and his voice was so low and sweet. I also made sure to say sorry twice to the mother who was shocked.

  1. Don’t Take It Personally

I always take everything personally so I normally end up emotionally drained. Our little human needs us to be stronger. When they throw tantrums, it is because they cannot understand what’s happening with them or they feel unsure of the world and they see us trembling down/getting angry at them. How should we expect them to react? As mothers, we are their constants and everything, we are their world. We should always make them feel that everything’s going to be alright. How? Don’t take their tantrums personally. When we take things personally this is where we worry about what other people will think of us rather than focusing on what our son/daughter needs right now, which is our stable devotion to them anytime of the day.

 

I really felt that I needed to blog about it for all the moms out there who is in the same boat as I am.

I want you to know that you don’t need to feel embarrassed and ashamed.

Almost every child goes through this. Some just don’t because they have a different personality and others are gifted with early talking too. I believe that constant reminders to our little one that it’s okay to feel this way but it’s never okay to hit someone will go a long way. Although it can’t be seen in the next 2-3 months, in my case, the incidents lessened as the time went by.

No mother is perfectly born with the right instincts.

We often stumble and succumb to our negative thoughts, but it is also our choice to let go of our inhibitions and let this up and down motherhood journey get the best of us!

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teething baby
Baby

Teething Babies – Signs and Proven Remedies

Inigo was always a happy baby, he never cried for little things, but I saw that everytime there’s a new teeth coming out, he will really cry uncontrollably and throw himself at the floor.

Signs that Your Baby is Teething

  1. Drooling – though Inigo was a drooler from the start, his drool becomes more excessive 1 week before the teeth comes out.
  2. Excessive Sucking/Biting – our child’s gums become itchy when the new teeth decides to come out and the only way to feel relief is from biting or sucking ANYTHING.
  3. Rashes on The Chin – this is my ultimate sign of teething for Inigo, suddenly rashes will form around his mouth.
  4. Irritability – can’t seem to satirsfy your baby and keeps on crying? Yup. Teething is painful for them. Imagine your gums being cut into two just for the teeth to come up.
  5. No appetite – I usually take sudden refusal of food personally until around the third time of new teeth coming it. The pain from their teeth makes it uncomfortable to put anything inside their mouth and even eat it.
  6. Fever – I know everyone will disagree since it’s just a superstitious belief in our country. This did not happen quite oftenly with Inigo but last Christmas evening, He had a temperature of 38.1 and the following morning it was gone! Two days later, his incisors teeth came out. Want a reasonable explanation? The inflammation of the gums might be the culprit for the low grade fever.
  7. Runny Poop – This is not really coming up when you research in the google, but based from my experience and other mommy friends that I have, they swear that sometimes runny poop is caused by teething. A logical explanation for it is the excessive saliva that is produced, ends up in his gut and loosens his stool. Another one theory is that, the baby is prone to ingesting bacteria since they want everything to be inside their mouth

Remedies for Your Teething Baby

  1. Chilled Teether – I have lots of teether, I usually alternate them for Inigo not to get bored. Before giving it to him, I make sure I clean it, put it inside a ziplock, place it inside the refrigerator and give it to him chilled. He will enjoy biting It because the cooling effect numbs the gums.
  2. Breastmilk Popsicle – What’s the healthiest way to snack, add some calories and relieve from swollen gums? Breastmilk Popsicle is perfect for early tether’s out there since they can enjoy munching into these. If your baby is already 6 months and beyond, you can try pureeing fruits and make popsicles.
  3. Cold Damp Washcloth – Some babies like different textures put inside their mouth, some teethers cant access the smallest and narrowest parts of their mouth, this will come handy. Wash the cloth with distilled water until damp, seal inside a ziplock and give when it’s chilled. Your baby will love it!
  4. Camilla Drops – This is proven effective in my case. This is homeopathic medicine which means a natural way approach of treating pain. This is quite expensive but I give my baby these atleast 3 times a day and never heard him crying unlike before.
  5. Bonjela Teething Gel Fast Acting – this is safe for 4 months and above. Sugarfree, colourfree and fast acting! It contains Choline Salicylate 87mg/g and it acts as an inflammatory pain reliever agent next to aspirin, it is used to decrease swelling and to treat mild to moderate pain. If you want to give it a try, click here.

Bonjela Teething Gel Sugar Free 15g

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Travelling With a Toddler
Baby

Tips for Travelling with a Toddler YAYA-LESS

I was born and raised in Manila but when time came that I am going to be a mother, my partner and I decided that it’s best to give birth in Cotabato where his family resides. My first travel with Inigo at 7 months going back to Manila to see our relatives, I was lucky enough to travel with our Angel-helper. It was no fuss since I had another set of hands helping me and Inigo was still happy in his carrier.

Second time I needed to go back to Manila, I was a yaya-less and Inigo was around 17 months and I was a little nervous with our 2 hour flight to Manila. Surprisingly, I did not have a hard time flying with my little boy, here’s what I did that made our flight as smooth as silk.

1.Book your ticket at least 2 weeks in advance for you not to feel pressured packing things. There’s a lot to consider in booking such as if baby is well, if you are mentally prepared but if you got time, you can maximize everything. If you can choose a Sunday Flight. No traffic.

2. If you are flying local, choose Philippine Airlines and make sure choose a seat in the front row to have bigger leg room and choose the window seat. Though PAL might be, 1,000-2,000 pesos pricier than Cebu Pacific, their services are way better! Plus their infant fee is only Php 450 compared to Cebu Pacific, they charge Php 870.

3. Pack all your things and divide it, ones you need the most in the luggage and ones you don’t need the most put it in a box and choose a courier that can deliver door to door and estimate the time of arrival. I sent my package last Friday so I’m sure it will be delivered Monday. (my flight is Sunday by the way) Why choose courier instead of bringing it with you? Well. It’s a hassle to bring a lot of baggages with a toddler in tow. Imagine, you have an active toddler who wants to run around everywhere and you are busy waiting at the baggage carousell? Not to mention the effort to carry it at your push cart!

4. Wear comfortable clothes! If you’re breastfeeding, make sure you wear nursing wear so you can discreetly breastfeed. For your baby, T-shirt (dont wear onesies so you can change the clothes easily without taking the pants off) jogging pants (not constricting so he can move comfortably) socks (so the coldness of the cabin won’t get to him) and rubbershoes so you won’t need to check regularly if the shoes is still there.

5. Check in early! Avoid the long lines so the baby will not have to wait, they’re not very good in waiting, they often get bored and throw tantrums.

DON”T HESITATE TO ASK FOR HELP

I really asked for someone in the airline who can help me bring my handcarry and backpack inside the airplane so that I can fully enjoy my son’s first reaction to seeing an airplane.

6. Prepare 2 wallets. One is for the bigger bills with all your ATMS and Big denomination of money, put it inside and deep in your bag so even if you are busy attending to your baby’s needs, your belongings are safe.

Second wallet you put around 500 pesos but in a very accessible area, better if it can fit in your pocket so if you need to hand cash to some porter, buy some drinks, buy a lot of junk foods that your toddler keeps on insisting buying and terminal fee.

7. Board first. If you have an active toddler, boarding first means he will not fall in line, can be settled right away. While you can fix your things, get your things ready for him and you don’t feel rushed nor be aggravated by the people who wants to sit too.

8. Prepare an entertainment showcase starts as soon as you sit in your assigned seat. I had a lot of puffy stickers with me, i kept on giving him and he kept on sticking it to the window!! Gave me 20mins of chill time until we started moving. Takeoff time, i carried him and took a video of it and kept on talking to him for him not to fear anything. Airplane fasten belt light is off, took the table, let him watch youtube and timing is, our free food arrived! We had chiffon slice with water. He ate everything by himself while I try to rest. He got bored and I took my entertainment showcase number 3, my Melissa and Doug magic pen! He got entertained for another 20mins, got bored and last showcase is my unlimited set of puffy stickers with sticker book! Got him happy fro around 10mins. When I felt my ears in pain because of the change of altitude, i tried to breastfeed him and he fell asleep.

9. Board last. Since your baggage will take a while to unload and be placed in the carousel. Just sit, relax and wait for the stewardess to endorse you to special assistance! (NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE) I asked for a wheelchair for my baby since he just woke up! He was so happy with the situation.

10. Bring extra food if you are travelling with a toddler! I am very lucky that we packed his favorite meal before we go, was stuck on traffic and he happily ate it. I made sure I brought rice and egg with ketchup! I am always ready with food because I know how unpredictable the traffic is in Manila. Better be safe than sorry is a good motto to live by if you have a toddler with you.

11. Ask a friend beforehand to get you in the airport. I am really shy when it comes to asking favor/help from other people. When I became a mother, I became more assertive when I needed help because I do not want my baby to be in a place where he would feel stressed or inconvenienced.

12. Bring bribery food like lollipop or chocolate! Any new things or environment that we expose our child in, usually makes them uneasy and their initial reaction would be crying or uneasiness. It’s always nice to have something that can alleviate the stress easily or distract the child from a tantrum.

I know that we are all different and different folks, different strokes. I am posting this hopefully to help first time mothers out there that doesn’t really have an idea how to make the flight more comfortable.

What are your other tips in travelling with a toddler?

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Health Center Vaccines
Baby

The Truth About Health Center Vaccines

  I had 3 friends who messaged me and asked me personally what I thought about health center vaccines and all of them after talking to me, decided to get their vaccines in the health center too? You want to know why? Let’s discuss things that we usually consider before heading out to get the vaccines from the health center.

 

We worry about the professionalism of the midwife:

 

All my friends told me that “how can I trust the midwife”? If we compare it to the doctor, of course I believe that the doctor will be better compared to a midwife, but thinking of the experience and frequency of injections administered by the midwife, I am confident to say that perhaps, they are also good! Inigo’s administering midwife was so fast, efficient and as we Filipinos’ call it, “magaan ang kamay”.

 

I never had a problem with a swollen/bruised leg. They are also trained to how to handle patients properly, like making sure that the injection is sterile, the bottle is shaken before getting it, wiping the area with cotton and alcohol, pressing the legs before injection and so on.

 

We worry about the quality of vaccine administered

 

We always think that if we pay the higher price, we get better quality right? Is it applicable in vaccines too? Personally, I believe that if the generic name/the composition/the strands that the vaccine says, it’s the same regardless of the brand. But there is a deal breaker my mommies. Did you know that the private pediatrician offers 6 in 1 injection while the Health Center offers only the 5 in 1 DPT-Hib-Hep B Vaccine plus Oral Polio Drops (OPV).

 

I remember I was warned by my Pediatrician that it’s not the same as they offer and the Health Center has a big bottle of 5 in 1 and they only measure it via syringe. THIS IS NOT TRUE. Don’t be fooled, Inigo was given a FRESH from the Cooler, not expired, and not tampered single vial of 5 in 1 shot. He was also given Oral Polio Drops. Another example that made me believe that it’s really okay to get the vaccines from the health center is their PCV13 vaccine. I saw that it was Pfizer PCV 13, Not for Sale only DOH something. I asked my friend who had her baby vaccinated at private clinic if it’s the same, she said same number of strands, same 13 strands present in the vaccine. So what’s the difference really?

If you will ask me, with my next baby, will I go to health centers again and get the free vaccines? Certainly.

 

We worry that not all the vaccines are offered free at Health Center

 

That is true. Depending on the budget of each barangay are their available vaccines. We were lucky enough because we were friends with the midwife. We got everything except RotaVirus, Measles, Hepatitis A and booster shot of PCV since we are already here in Manila and had an extra money to pay more. I discussed this with my partner, and we both agreed to give way to the people who needs it more than us since the stocks are limited per barangay.

 

These were the usual questions that my friend asked me while we were talking and I answered them with facts. If you are still doubtful about getting your vaccines at the health center, let’s talk about finances and how much you can save. Here’s a list of what I got from the Health Center:

 

Vaccine Number of Times Administered Pedia Price Total Saved
6 in 1 3 Php 4,500 Php 13,500
PCV 3 Php 5,000 Php 15,000
H. Influenza B 3 Php 1,500 Php   4,500
Hepatitis B 3 Php 1,000 Php 3,000
GRAND TOTAL     Php 36,000

 

 

When I came back in Manila, all the Pediatricians commended me when they saw that I got all that I can get from the centers, they even jokingly said “ang laki ng nasave mo”. Showing this chart to you, it’s really big money right? It was a great help for us when we were starting out as parents. This allowed us to relax more and enjoy Inigo’s baby life without the worry of needing to work hard as soon as possible since we can get these for free!

So what are you waiting for? Let’s get what we can from the government, after all, we are all tax payers!

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