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Yassy’s note: Liam’s first year: Day 61- Day 63

In the previous entry titled “Yassy’s note: Liam in NICU;day 8- day 14“, I wrote Liam came to our family about 3 weeks early (36 weeks and 2 days) and he has spent next 3 weeks in NICU.

He was tiny little baby; 18″ tall, weighing 5 lb 6 oz…

Already 2 month have passed since the day he came to the world to say “Hi” to us.

Day 61..

Me and my parents tend to do skype more often than before after Liam was born although for about 2 months or so last year, we did not do skype just because Liam got jet lug after visiting them and he kept waking up at strange hours and, until he gets back to his old schedule and being able to sleep through the night, I did not want to mess his schedule.

Since they cannot come as often as my sister could (they live 1 hour drive away from my parent’s house), I like to compensate that with skype chat.

Plus,when we do skype they can give me parenting advice here and there and they can tell us what parents can in Japan on the specific topic and it is good chance for me to learn more about parenting as well.

I know there is no textbook on parenting nor there should not be cookie-cutter style of parenting.However, getting a bit of parenting tips/suggestions always enrich my view on my own parenting knowledge and I am grateful for that.

I am more of type that study all kinds of method in book or other media sources and pick the good stuff from those and make up my own method and put it into practice.

They always asks for Liam and when I show them, they look so happy:-) And my mother tries to entertain Liam through screen.

I know they would come visit us once in a while, but I know my grandmother would not be able to come here even if she says she wants to come because of health.

And, now I got health worry for my father so, I do not know if he could visit us again or not.

naturally,since we are younger than them and got more energy than them, we should go back to Japan as much as we can.

On the same day, Liam had poop blow out in the early morning and, while he was crying from top of his lung,I had to change his clothe,cleaning him and everything.

It is my very first time experience raising the baby, but babies sure makes mothers keep up on toe and make us mothers busy with laundry and surely needed lots of clothes to change into/much more frequent laundry than usual.

That day, I tried to do laundry later, and it stopped working…in the middle of the washing cycle…

Therefore, when my husband came home from work, he spent hours on it and he thought he could fix it.

We did test run without clothe inside and it finished ok .

Even though washer seemed to be fixed when test run,and worked ok for more years, but we ended up buying a new one;the one with front load as opposed to top loading style.

I cannot decide if I like front load style or not yet. Definitely I do not have to worry about clothes or towel etc gets caught in the middle spinner thing or uneven weight though.

What style of washer do you like better and why?

Day 62…..

We worked with Liam for tummy time while I can keep an eye on him.

He could raise his head a touch bit higher than before, and he also was doing his own exercise everyday; arms up, arms down, leg up, leg down..

He seemed to enjoy all the movement he made then.

Liam Day 62 working on raising his head higher…

Liam Day 62.. Liam style exercise making him tired…. Y.A.W.N…

Day 63…

Comparing with picture of him to younger picture of his, he looked like he got chubbier in this picture.

Before, he looked so small,frail, tiny and weak and he could not drink milk as much as he could.

Since pediatrician said he could take milk up to 3.5 oz per feeding, that was what we were doing.

He got bigger and stronger each day.

Mar 21, 2017 | 0 | parenting

Yassy’s Note: Liam’s first year; Day 55 – Day 61

In the previous entry titled “Yassy’s note: Liam in NICU;day 8- day 14“, I wrote Liam came to our family about 3 weeks early (36 weeks and 2 days) and he has spent next 3 weeks in NICU.

He was tiny little baby; 18″ tall, weighing 5 lb 6 oz…

Already 1 month plus have passed, almost 2 month since the day he got discharged from the hospital.

Day 55..

My personal choice of clothe was creeper style clothe then, but on the day 55,  I changed him into bodysuit with short sleeve.

I thought maybe he will be cold for the bottom a bit,and I let him wear the short pants. The pants looked a bit too long for him but it made him look cuter anyway so, I did not mind.

When he was hold in my husband’s arms, he made ultra man pause:-)

Liam 55 days old…

He says “I want to be looked cool like my daddy!”,lol.

On the day 53, Liam had surgery, and he had to stay at the hospital over night. During the stay, hospital provided diapers to us.

That hospital has provided Pumpers diaper. It was soft in texture and somewhat thinner than the Huggies diaper that we were familiar with but, it leaked and I did not care for them.

We use Huggies for tape style diaper because it is not as soft as Pumpers material but it holds urine/poo in place and looks like absorbing better and, rarely had leaking accident.

When it comes to pull up diaper which our son is now wearing, I prefer pumpers’ Easy Up.

Material is soft, and sides on the waist is not rough material and looks much more comfortable than Huggies Pull up diapers.

My sister got 4 kids and youngest one is on diaper.All of her kids grew up with Pumpers.

The pumpers brand is very respected brand in Japan, and many people like them there.

Day 59; Liam practice lifting his head up…

We out him on tummy now and then so he can practice lifting up his head.

When he lift his heads up, I found myself cheering up so much.

Liam 59 day old.. practicing lifting his head up…

He had many stuff on his plate for surgeries and stuff, but I trusted him;he can overcome all the difficulty that comes to him with his strong will.

His middle name “TSUBASA” means that if he set the goal,he will make an effort and achieve that goal.

Basically, wish he has strong will to overcome the all the hard stuff in his life.

The name also means that with that effort,he can achieve the bigger thing and success in his life.

As a side note,I heard it also got the meaning of being independent. Japanese middle name sure seems to have good effect on him.

Day 59; Skyping with my parents..

My parents always are looking forward to meeting Liam every week over the skype and enjoy how much he grows.They smile whole time we talk over the skype.

When I was talking on the day 59, and was showing Liam, he was doing his Monkey toe;curling up his toes just like I do.

Looking how he was doing with his toe, mom said “Just like you and your father:-)”

I kind of inherited that thing from my father and I think it was passed to Liam:-) It is funny to see that something you do is what your son/daughter does.

When my grandmother is on skype, she always asks when we will be visiting them with him. She always claps her hands saying “cute,cute” looking at Liam but then a bit later, she starts crying because she misses me a lot.

With her, talking is a bit emotional, but I would like to go see my family back home with Liam in the near future again.

WE visited them last October and my grandmother was so happy. Time passed so fast and,I felt it was a short trip to Japan.

At day 59-60, personally, I did not plan to travel anywhere at least for a year,that include visiting my family in Japan or visiting my mother in law (12 hrs drive away/1.5 hrs fight away) considering Liam being premature baby, and I wanted to be extra cautious as to where we take him to,when to take him to.

He would have been easy to catch something and I thought it would be better away from the general public a while.

Even at the hospital, at ER we went the other day, Liam was lead to the area where no other person was waiting because nurse thought it will be better for him to be away from the general public.

Also,when Liam was at NICU, every time we talk to NICU staff or nurse at hospital they reminded us to wash hands thoroughly before touching Liam because premature baby’s immune system is lower and that, if you were sick,then, it is better off not being around him. They seemed to be extra careful with him because of he being born early.

Looking back at his old pictures and videos, I feel Liam has grown up so much. He overcame a lot of things.

Time really seems to pass so fast with baby..

Stay tuned for more Liam’s story.

Feb 08, 2017 | 0 | parenting

Yassy’s note: Liam’s first year ; Day 52- Day 54

In the previous entry titled “Yassy’s note: Liam in NICU;day 8- day 14“, I wrote Liam came to our family about 3 weeks early (36 weeks and 2 days) and he has spent next 3 weeks in NICU.

He was tiny little baby; 18″ tall, weighing 5 lb 6 oz…

Already 1 month plus have passed, almost 2 month since the day he got discharged from the hospital.

Day 52..

I had a sleepless night because of the pain in my breast.

With the family’s suggestion (they thought it might be clogged milk duct) , I tried warm compress and Epsom salt water solution before pumping the milk and it got better, but I spent so much time dealing with this on the day 52.

It was swollen,tender to touch and hard lump and, I thought of engorged breast because it felt like it, although I did not have long stretch between the pumping until I felt the pain early that morning.

Because of that,I was simply thinking, more pumping and I will get better at first but no.I did not get as much milk out from the breast as I normally would have, and the side I had pain with was almost twice the size of the other side and it was very painful.

I thought it funny that the side that I had problem was the side Liam spent longer time to feed on the other day when I tried to feed him directly.

I did not know if it was the case of not drained milk enough by pump after his feeding time.

I was miserable. Simply sitting still made me feel painful and I had to be careful of Liam’s flapping hands because if it touched my breast,it  also made me feel hurt…

Day 53 was Liam’s surgery day. I remember I worried but hoped  everything goes well with him.

I knew he was in the good hands but,whenever he goes under the knife, it made me nervous..

<Plugged milk duct and its natural treatment>

I ended up getting clogged duct here and there throughout the breastfeeding journey.

One this that helped me was warm compress ( I used compress that works hot or cold and inner material was with clay. I microwaved a bit and then, put it over my breast for 10-15 minutes).

Another thing that helped me was Epsom salt water solution; 2 tsp Epsom salt in 1 cup warm water.

Epsom-salt soaking before breastfeeding helped to open the milk duct opening and also aids in healing.

What I did was to put the epsom salt in the bowl and then, add small amount of really hot water to dissolve.

Then add warm water to cool it down.

I wet the washcloth in the solution and loosely squeeze out the solution and lean back a bit and put the cloth over my breast for 15 minutes or so.

I did it before nursing, before pumping

This epsom salt solution really worked good for my issue.

Since the day I have experienced plugged milk ducts, I pumped religiously and more frequent,and started massaging inward as mayo clinic book suggests right after expressing milk first before pumping.

As a result, the hard lump area went away.

Day 53

Day 53 was Liam’s surgery date.

At the hospital, nurse first weighed him and with his clothe on, diaper on, he weighed a little over 8 lb and he was 53 cm (21″).

He was growing good.

Liam’s hernia surgery went smoothly and success, taking about 1-2 hours long.

No hernia in that area anymore. He was at the hospital overnight just to make sure everything was good. And then, we got discharged from the hospital around noon next day.

Doctor said that the hernia was rather bigger than he previously thought so it was good that we did surgery sooner.

Now the tube is closed and I think we do not have to worry about hernia popping out in that lower abdomen area anymore.

Previously, he was planning to explore the other side of groin area to make sure that the other side of tube is closed as it should but since he already did challenging part on the hernia side, he decided not to do more stuff on him,which I think it was a good idea.

All in all, I think he made such a quick recovery (came out from anesthesia rather faster) and after the surgery, he was already drinking the same amount of yummy milk to pre-surgery time although he had a few occasions where he cried loud for pain when anesthesia worn out.

He was doing good and alert and responsive and doing his hand flapping things, kicking legs etc..

One thing that bothered me was that, after the surgery,he was at the recovery room and he was naked top. The nurse lead us to our room to stay but they did not give us any clothes for him to put on nor mention that we can let him wear clothes we brought.

He was top naked good amount of time under the towel but, at one point, I decided he would be able to wear the top or he might get cold.So, I let him wear the side snap top, thinking it would not rub against the incision and he will be comfortable..

That day, we also had one scary moment; the elevator we went in with a nurse to go to waiting room did not move although it did closed.

Nurse kept pushing all sorts of buttons and it finally went up but then,came down and stop,making weird noise..

I imagined if we got trapped inside the elevator but luckily, nurse banged the elevator door to talk to her fellow co-workers and they helped the elevator opened and we got out ok and went upstairs with the different elevator then. I hate to be trapped in narrow, closed space and I was terrified…

At the hospital, he was such a head turner. Many people came to look at him well and commented “cutie”, and nurse said ” want to bring him home with me”, and other young intern(?) walked passed by saying “Here comes a cute one!” with a smile.

The whole hospital was like his runaway, showing off his cutiness:)

Day 54..

At home,he was relaxing, sleeping on his own bed.

Since my parents were not at the hospital because they live 14 hours flight away (Japan), we did skype at night and reported how Liam’s surgery went.

Hearing all the good news on recovery, they looked happy.

He has not cleared all the hurdles that came into his path just yet, and this was his beginning.

Thinking back now, he had many issues and had many surgeries but he was a strong boy and bounced back fast.

He has not done all and he cannot leave all the medical stuff behind yet but I hope the day will come soon so he can be just being a kid and we parents are worry free when it comes to medical issues.

More Liam’s story continue.

Stay tuned.


Dec 14, 2016 | 0 | parenting

Yassy’s note; Liam’s first year Day 44 – Day 51

In the previous entry titled “Yassy’s note: Liam in NICU;day 8- day 14“, I wrote Liam came to our family about 3 weeks early (36 weeks and 2 days) and he has spent next 3 weeks in NICU.

Already 1 month plus have passed since the day he got discharged from the hospital.

Day 44..

Liam had been doing great with burping, by day 44 and I did not see much straining-like movement in him.

By the day 44, he  could drink 90ml milk:-)

When he was days old,at NICU, we were telling nurse there that “Liam drank 10ml, 15ml” often.

We were struggling to let him drink more milk NICU wanted him to drink.

Now after 6 weeks later, he could drink much much more and growing great and I was very happy about that.

On the day 43, at the pediatric surgeon office scale, he was 7 lb 9 oz weight. Looked like he was gaining 1 oz per day.

We were told that he looked like babies born in the 34 pregnancy week. I know he was still tiny compared to the full term babies. However, he was strong and growing well.

I was hoping that the hernia surgery goes well without any complication..

We knew he was in good hands but, he being so tiny and us being first time parents, no matter what, I got nervous for the surgeries.

Day 51..

On the day 51, we saw great,great, and great improvement in Liam’s feeding.

I do not know what clicked with him but since Day 50, he latched on my breast good and he could suck well:-)

He usually cried when I tried to offer my breast first before bottle to practice his sucking skill from which I think was frustration and hunger combined.

Therefore, I was being very careful to not to let him cry loud with whatever I do due to hernia.

On the day 50, I was a little worried about his hernia getting popped up from crying, but I tried offering my breast before the bottle feeding since he looked super eager (enough to nibble on my knuckle) to eat.

Well, he had hesitation a bit but once he could latch on properly and well, he started sucking for about 1 minute or two and break and one minute or two and break..

I was very happy.

Then, on day 51, when he was quite awake and eager looking to eat,I tried offering my breast again and this time, he kept sucking and did not let it go for.. at least 5 minutes or so.

No crying. Wide open mouth when he trying to latches on. He looked like he finally figured it out on how to suck to eat.

It took almost 50 days to master the skill of sucking but, I was happy.

I was very surprised with his improvement..

Since I was not sure how much exactly he got, I offered milk by the bottle as well.

He took only about 70 ml out of regular 90 ml,and fell asleep.


Liam 51 days old..

When he was this little, I used to enjoy watching him falling asleep with his milk running on his cheek a bit. It was cute!

He just looked so satisfied with his meal.

More Liam’s story continue.

Stay tuned.

Oct 04, 2016 | 0 | parenting

Yassy’s note: Liam’s first year Day 40- Day 43

In the previous entry titled “Yassy’s note: Liam in NICU;day 8- day 14“, I wrote Liam came to our family about 3 weeks early (36 weeks and 2 days) and he has spent next 3 weeks in NICU.

Liam gets vaccination; Hepatitis B

When Liam passed 1 month old, he received his second Hepatitis B shot on Day 38.

On that day, his temperature went up a bit (normally 98.1F and he was 99.1F or so after the shot. And he was not that as active as he was normally would be.

One feeding time, he did not drink milk as much (He happily drink 75ml milk but that particular one time feeding time, he only took 60ml.

Not bad but it was unusual for him.

However, he was back to himself after a couple of days.

Talking of vaccination, I find that US doctors give kids more shots than kids in Japan gets.

In Japan, there are type of shots your kids/babies must get it but there are also shots decision is up to their parents.

Number of shots Japanese kids/babies receives less than American kids/babies.

I am not sure if it is because country size is different and, Japan is not like America where many people from all over the world are coming in and living in here.

I wonder that is why the disease doctors feel like they need to protect kids from are more than Japan in here in USA.

In case of Hepatitis B, in USA, babies gets at birth as first shot and then booster in between first and second months.

In Japan, it is called B gata kanen, and it was a shot that parents  could decide if they want it for their babies or not, but starting from October 2016, the Hepatitis B shot will become the shot that they must give to the babies;it will become non optional shot for kids.

The optional shots would not be covered by insurance or government (city) would not pay for it and parents must pay about $30 to up to $120 depending on the kind of shots they would give to the babies.

When the parents have their kids non optional shots, government (city) would pay for it.

On Day 38, I measured him and, he weigh 7lb 4 oz.

He was getting big!

Liam Day 41

Early morning (2:30am),Liam spitted out the milk big time..and ended up body wiping with wet washcloth, changing outfit,and for me,it meant that changing jacket and washing breastfeeding pillow cover..

Liam did not like it at all and I got so worried because I could tell that he was still interested in milk but he just could not have it because more drinking caused his tongue sticking out to spit out..

I had prepared 75ml milk and he took most of it ,but he ended up spitting up probably half of it or 3rd of it.

He calmed down so, I prepared 75 ml of milk at 5:30 milk time but again, he could not take as much as he wanted and stopped at 50 ml point.

His tummy was a bit balloon-like and I tried to encourage him to burp but he cried loud (maybe hurts when he sits up to burp?) and I could not make him burp to sit up.

We were careful of burping him but apparently it was not enough for him.

Therefore, my husband gave him belly massage on him after that and let him fart and sleep,no more milk at that time.

After that, he was looking better and drink well and when my mother in law was giving him milk,I heard him burp.

Since doctor wanted him to drink as much milk as he can to grow; up the amount of milk more than 60ml which we were doing before, we up the amount to 75ml.

With that amount of milk he needed,I could not pump that much at one time so, we ended up getting a jag of liquid formula (good for 48 hours after opening) and while he was on formula,I store my pumped breast milk to give him breast milk full day.

With that method, it seemed like 2 days formula, 2 days breast milk pattern.

I generally do not like to give formula to Liam but I had to depend on it because my breast did not produce enough milk he needed..

That big early morning spit up was with formula, and one last time he spit out was also formula.

I wondered if it might not be easy for him to digest it compared to breast milk.He has never spit out the breast milk like this. Also, I wonder if formula makes him gassier as I read in the book before??

Giving him the formula was not my preferred choice. I wished I could give him that much of milk via pumped milk so he would not be on formula…

Plus formula milk has distinct odor that I did not care for much…

One even after another…. Liam Day 42

It was about 9 pm.We had dinner and we were happy but then,when my husband opened up Liam’s diaper, because Liam suddenly started crying like no other, the groin area /lower abdomen area (only one side) was bulged and hard and we went to emergency center to have him look at it.

Turned out it was “hernia”,and intestine got popped out making the area bulged..They said it was common in preemie.

The discharge paper said crying,struggling often makes the area popped out and we had been trying to minimize crying and stuff ,which was a little difficult but was trying.. after coming back from the hospital).

After coming back home, next feeding time came and, the area got popped up again and since we were told to be back there if it lasted longer than 60 minutes, and it did not back down on its own,we drove to the hospital once again..

We ended up being recommended to call pediatric surgeon to have him look at and schedule the possible surgery…

Since we have switched jag of formula and let him drink till gone and then switch to breast milk till supply lasts, he might had more gas in his tummy than the time we used to feed;base is breast milk and when we did not have enough breast milk, then we used formula to cover.

So, trying to fart/poop might not have been helping this hernia thing..

After the discharge from hospital second time, he was on breast milk all time.

My heart was broken because I knew he has got plenty on his plate to deal with already, and another hurdle was added.

I hoped he would overcome all the difficulties coming to his way and be better..

After the incident, every time I changed his diaper, he started crying, I tried to calm him down but made me very nervous…

We all were stressed out and we were all sleep deprived.

Liam Day 43;Visiting pediatric Surgeon..

Next day,we went to pediatric surgeon clinic and have Liam look at.

The doctor decided to operate surgery next week. Since he was so small, we were told that he would be staying at the hospital for a day for them to monitor the recovery and we will be there with him too.

He was tiny and I worry about general anesthesia for the surgery but under the skillful surgeon, it would be ok.

After the doctor appointment, he was so hungry and we fed him at the office waiting room.

He drank milk so fast and he looked very satisfied.

It was good that he had a good appetite.

More Liam’s story continue.

Stay tuned.

Sep 05, 2016 | 0 | parenting

Yassy’s note:Liam’s first year; Day 37-Day 40

In the previous entry titled “Yassy’s note: Liam in NICU;day 8- day 14“, I wrote Liam came to our family about 3 weeks early and he has spent next 3 weeks in NICU.

As you know by now, he passed the feeding and car seat test both, and he could finally came home on the day 22.

Since then, our parenting journey has been filled with  a lot of new experiences with him and, even though being a mom/parent is difficult job, I am enjoying the each day with Liam.

Now I cannot imagine the life without him. He is the love of my life.

Liam Day 38…

It was such a hectic day. On the day 38, we had 2 doctor appointments.

One was with Liam (wellness visit) and myself (6 week follow up appointment with regular OBGYN).

Liam was undressed to weigh-in at the pediatrician office.

At day 38, he was 7 lb 4 oz. He was gaining weight fine and he was following the growth chart curve even though he was still a small kid to our pediatrician’s eyes.

Doctor said he was in 2 percentile; meaning 98 % of babies at the same age to him is bigger than him.

But considering me being Japanese and in average, we Japanese are not tall people,and I wondered if the chart doctor has really apply to Liam’s growth pattern.

I was wondering if growth chart in USA and growth chart in Japan are exactly the same one.

At the office, doctor noticed shortened neck muscle;I guess it becomes that way when kids sleep on preferable side of the head all the time since womb time to the infant time.

I was always thought it funny when he migrate to right side all the time when we put him right in the center and I also thought it was simply he just liking that side and did not think that it was something serious stuff.

Doctor described that if he kept sleeping on the same side all time, the side of the head flatten more and more and it is not good so, he needs physical therapy for that..

Since the day 38, I needed to make sure he could not roll/sleep on his preferred side by making custom bump next to him.

I somewhat remember that my mother had bunny shaped, center dipped pillow like thing for babies/toddlers when I was a kid.

It is called donuts pillow in Japan and you can see the pictures at amazon Japan here.

Now I think about it, I could have asked for the pillow to my mother but the idea was not in my head.

Liam goes to physical therapy?

When I first heard we would need physical therapist for shortened neck muscle & flattened head side,I thought she was overreacting, and I thought we could simply let him sleep the way he cannot favor his preferred side like.. any other home remedy thing,things you could do at home.

One one side, I was under the impression that yes, babies spend lots of time in a day sleeping and it might make them sleep on their preferred side but once they could grow to sit up age, they would not spend time so much with sleeping so, maybe it might be fixed naturally without any intervention.

However, if the shortened neck muscle on one side gets involved,I wondered specialist needs to work on him so one shortened side on his neck gets developed as it should and he would not be staring at you with tilted head.

Either way, how doctor order things here is much more larger scale than I have been experienced as a kid back home in Japan.

Liam is waking up 1 Aug 23 2014

Liam 40 days old..

Annoying hiccups…

On the day 40, Liam got hiccups.

It seemed like hiccups was happening after milk time here and there. I do not know what triggered the hiccups.

He tended to have hiccups often.

How does hiccups happen?

According to healthline website, a contraction of the diaphragm and the quick closing of your vocal cords cause hiccups. The rapid closing of the vocal cords is what creates the sound of hiccups.

What causes newborn hiccups?

Healthline website article says that hiccups are caused by the diaphragm muscle being either irritated or stimulated. This happens most often from feeding. Other times, hiccups just happen.

It also says that there is not always an obvious cause to hiccups in infants. One researcher proposes that hiccups in infants may also serve as an aid to burping.

Hiccups are common in infants and they typically don’t bother the baby.

Hiccups and burping are so,ething to do each other was interesting to read.

As a remedy you can do to get rid of infants’ hiccups issue, they suggest several ways to try.

One that they suggest is to take a break from a feeding to burp your baby.

The article says that the burping can get rid of excess gas that may be causing the hiccups. This will also help because it will move your baby into an upright position.

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests burping your bottle-fed baby after every 2 to 3 ounces.

I remember we were trying to burp Liam every once in a while too.

Second suggestion they write is to rub or gently pat your baby’s back when they have hiccups.

Third, they suggest to try allowing the babies to suck on a pacifier. This will help relax the diaphragm and may help stop the bout of hiccups.

Now he is 2 years old, he still gets hiccups sometimes. When he gets it, he giggles. I think hiccups is funny for him.

To read the full article at healthline website, please click here.

To read the related article at babycenter website,please click here.

What did you do when your little ones or yourself had bout of hiccups?

Any method that worked for your little ones or for yourself?

Aug 08, 2016 | 0 | parenting

Yassy’s note:Liam’s first year; day 34- day 36

In the previous entry titled “Yassy’s note: Liam in NICU;day 8- day 14“, I wrote Liam came to our family about 3 weeks early and he has spent next 3 weeks in NICU.

As you know by now, he passed the feeding and car seat test both, and he could finally came home on the day 22.

Since then, our parenting journey has been filled with  a lot of new experiences with him and, even though being a mom/parent is difficult job, I am enjoying the each day with Liam.

Now I cannot imagine the life without him. He is the love of my life.

On the day 31, he turned 1 months old.

Already 1 month! Felt like it passed by so fast!

Liam was born with weight 5lb 6 oz . During the labor, his heartbeat dropped to 90 bpm which made us all worried and even made us worried more when we did not hear his crying when he was out from me. You always see babies starts crying in a few seconds from the time out from their mother on TV dramas.

When we finally heard his weak crying (the cord was wrapped around his neck and he needed TLC from NICU staff in the delivery room) after a bit later, me, my husband, my mother in law as well as nurse who helped our delivery all cried for joy.

I never forget the precious moment.

Liam growing nicely …

After 1 month passed, he was gaining weight nicely and he weighed just a bit over 6lb (6 lb 9 oz). As the day passes by, he was gaining weight more and getting bigger and bigger.

He had been told he was small,small in the past, but he was growing along the growth chart and, our pediatrician was happy on that note.

On the day 34,Liam could finished his milk about 65 ml of breast milk and zoned out:-)

Until about a couple of days ago,he was drinking 50 ml to 60 ml,and suddenly since the day 34, he could drink at least 60ml. It was such a good improvement considering he had feeding issue back at NICU when he was born.

Previous feeding time, after the milk time, I gave him infant massage on his face,legs/arms/hands and he fell asleep.

Liam always migrating 2 Aug 16 2014

Liam 32 days old…

I think he liked it and when he yawned, I remember it made me sleepy and I took a nap with him too.

While babies need lots of feeding time, taking a nap while babies are closing eyes were crucial for me to function well for a day. Otherwise, I was zombie tired..

One thing that I was amazed about him after taking care of Liam for 1 month is that he could move/flap his hands around so fast.

I still remember that my mother in law commented Liam was like having 6 hands,lol (just like hindu god;vishnu?).

My breastfeeding practice continued. I was thinking it would be something that would come naturally to me and Liam, but I was wrong.

We both needed to learn the technique of breastfeeding.

As the saying goes “Practice makes perfect”, his skill got better each day and mine too.

One thing that I tried while practicing the skill of breast feeding was that when Liam’s milk time came, I offered breast first before offering the bottle (the bottle of breast milk to keep track of how much of breast milk he has drunk).

I worked especially when Liam started grabbing my hand and started sucking my knuckle:-)

He seemed a little hesitated a bit at first, but he did suck 5-10 times. A little progress is made. It was such a small progress but I was happy.

After the milk time, he was still up, and flapping his hands in his bassinet.

I was not mastering breastfeeding technique fully and had difficult times but, I told myself I will keep trying because that is what I want and I strongly believe that good diet is the base of the good health and in infant case, good mother’s milk is the most important thing they could have rather than factory made formula.

If he could suck even a few times, he has potential to be able to be nursed exclusively. I wanted to believe so.

What to do when grocery shopping..

At about day 34, day 35, one thing that I kept wondering about was how to do the grocery shopping with babies.

Around that time, my mother in law was still at our house so, if she decided not to come with us for grocery shopping, we asked her to care for him while we went grocery shopping and it worked.

However, the life style would not be permanent and, she goes back to her house soon, and I was wondering how we could do the grocery shopping.

Therefore, when we went to grocery shopping, I tried looking around and see how other moms were doing.

I found some moms brings baby in a stroller;One person push cart, the other push stroller.

Some moms wear ergo carrier (sling) and shopping.

Some moms keep their baby in the car seat and put the car seat in where kids would have been sitting in the shopping cart,which made me nervous thinking if the car seat would not fall from there. It did not look stable enough for me to feel 100% comfortable with that method.

We ended up trying the shopping cart for one person, stroller for one person and tried getting items we wanted together.

It took double time to finish the shopping.

Then, we decided to try one person with stroller and cart and the other person is cart only so we can separate in the store and do the shopping done in shorter time.

It was fine but, it was awkward to go through aisles like train game, and navigate the both although time spent on the shopping was much shorter and we liked the method.

We tried carrying in sling and walk through aisle with cart and we separated in the store so I can shop at half the store area and my husband for the other half area.

It was easier for me to navigate the cart but Liam’s weight on me was tough and in the end, we picked the shopping cart and stroller pushing method.

Question to other moms out there, how did you grocery shopping with little babies? Any tips and tricks?

Jul 12, 2016 | 0 | parenting

Yassy’s note: Liam’s first year; 1 month old baby development

In the previous entry titled “Yassy’s note: Liam in NICU;day 8- day 14“, I wrote Liam came to our family about 3 weeks early and he has spent next 3 weeks in NICU.

He could finally came home on the day 22.

Now that Liam came home, our real parenting journey has begun. I find that being a parent is such a hard job but, it is very rewarding job as well.

Anyway. on the day 31, he turned 1 months old. This entry is summary of 1 month old baby development.

<Growth development; 1 month>

According to Mayo clinic’s “Guide to your baby’s first year”, babies loose weight from the birth weight during the first few days of life and gain the weight back and continue gaining weight and, height will lengthen by 1.5″ to 2″.

It also says that growth spurt is at 7-10 days and 3-6 week of age.

Liam lost weight during the first few days since birth and gained the weight back at NICU, and continued to grow.

At his first month, he was 6 lb 9 oz. He was born 5 lb 6 oz

<body development>

Babies have lots of reflex

Baby reflex; when you stroke baby’s cheek or corner of his mouth, he will turn toward your hand and move his tongue in the direction

grasp reflex; placing your finger into his palm would cause him to grasp your finger and when you try to remove your finger, he will grasp it even tighter

startle reflex; when babies hear loud noise, he will react by throwing out his arms and legs

tonic neck reflex; when baby turn s his head to the side, same side of his arms and legs will extend out

stepping reflex: if you hold baby upright, and let his feet touches the surface, he will pick up 1 feet and then the other as if walking.


Japanese e-magazine says babies at this age can hear well and they can tell which direction sound came from.

Eye sight is about 0.02 and, it is about they can see the thing placed 30 cm ahead of them at best.

However, they can see clearly if the item had clear color contrast.

As for taste, they have more taste buds than adults


According to Mayo clinic’s “Guide to your baby’s first year”, babies eats every 2-3 hours a day,8-12 feedings

Liam had milk time every 3 hours, but I learned that at this age, you can let the babies have milk as much as they want.

Goal for the feeding is more than 8 feeding times a day.

My Japanese e-magazine says that by the 1 month old, amount of milk babies drink per time would increase and, breast feeding time gets shorten and lessen.

It also says that average amount babies drink is as following. This is based upon formula amount.

0-1 week: 60 ml-80 ml per time x 8 times

2 weeks beyond: 80 ml – 120  ml per time x 7-8 times

1-3 month: 120 ml – 160 ml per time x 6-7 times and average amount of milk babies drink would be about 700 ml – 1,000 ml. Some babies drink with long interval between the feeding time.

If you feed breast milk and formula, let the babies drink breast milk first and then  let them drink formula about 30 ml – 40 ml if they looked still wanting to drink after breast feeding time.

The feeding number is still same to formula feeding and 8 times a day is the goal.

If you let the babies drink breast milk only, let them drink as much as they want and 8 feeding a day is average feeding time and mord than 5 minutes on each breast.

When the babies looked satisfied with one breast then, let them drink from other side first on the next feeding session.

In the case of Liam, since he was naturally did not drink as much as other babies would from the beginning, at 1 month old he was drinking roughly 450 ml – 480 ml (50 ml – 60 ml per feeding) a day plus direct breast milk from breast feeding practice time.

<Food journal for babies>

I am not sure if other moms had done this /do this, but right from the day one he came back to our home, I started keeping food journal for Liam.

It logs date, time of feeding, milk/food he gets, amount of milk, and diaper contents (pee/poo) and if there were any different things going on in his diaper contents,I wrote that too

Since people are not capable of remembering detail of something happened a few days ago etc.., it is good to keep track of baby’s growth with food journal like me.

When questions of concerns arise, I made sure I write down on the note so I can ask our pediatrician without forgetting to ask them.

This personal system worked out great for me.

<Sleeping/ daily schedule for babies>

According to Mayo clinic book titled “Guide to your baby’s first year”, babies sleep 16 hours a day with 1-3 hours spurts. More than 70% of the day, babies spend time sleeping.

The babies cannot differentiate between day and night yet and they will wake up middle of the night and asking for milk.

My Japanese e-magazine says that babies pee about 15-20 times a day and they poop about 2-8 times a day.

<Mental/Brain development>

Japanese e-magazine says at 1 month, no expression on babies still. Sometimes, you look at babies and think they are smiling but this is social smile and not expression of the babies.

However, they can tell you clearly when they had discomfort by crying such as being hungry, too hot etc..

They can also tell mother’s voice or smell from others and when they get being picked up and feeling “mother” via smell or sound, they feel secure.

By learning about babies through magazines and books,I think I could gain a bit of confidence in raising Liam without either of our parents at our house or close by.

Being a parent also made myself grow up as well.

Knowing what to expect at next step is a plus and, I cherish the moment with our precious son every day.

He makes me smile and I enjoy every moment with him.

Kids really grow up fast right in front of your eyes!

Make sure to take a lot of pictures of their first whatever moment (milestone development such as being able to lift his/her head up or roll over or cruising and more.)

I tend to take a lot f picture of Liam’s first whatever moment.

Jun 13, 2016 | 0 | parenting

Yassy’s note; Liam’s first year;day 31 to day 33

In the previous entry titled “Yassy’s note: Liam in NICU;day 8- day 14“, I wrote Liam came to our family about 3 weeks early and he has spent next 3 weeks in NICU.

As you know by now, he passed the feeding and car seat test both, and he could finally came home on the day 22.

Now that Liam came home, our real parenting journey has begun.

Day 31, he turned 1 months old.

Babies cry at exact same time like alarm clock going off..

I told my parents about his alarm clock-like crying schedule; he cries about the same time.

They said that in Japanese, it is called “Ta-so-ga-re na-ki” and babies starts crying at the certain times and it lasts for a few weeks or so.

It might be that is what it was with Liam’s crying.However, he seemed to be too young to fit into the phase. I am not still sure if it was what it was but, there were days nothing that I did worked.

He kept me up until 4 am on the day 31. He had to change clothe too.  I was busy caring him during the night as well.

For me, 11 pm-4 am was evil time.

Because of that strange sleeping cycle of Liam’s, I slept in a bit later and took a nap while he was napping

When cry starts, I tried twinkle twinkle star song etc.. with sleep sheep toy, but I did not think it was helping him to sleep.

Why babies cry at the same time? When does it start?

While I was dealing with Liam’s crying, I wondered why babies cry at about the same time.

I have searched ta-so-ga-re-na-ki, and these are what came up with.

It sounds like it is called colic here in the states and many parents go through these phase.

In general, it says that ta-so-ga-re-na-ki is often seen from 6 weeks old through about 4 months old, and most often found in sound sensitive babies.

Then, usually, evening is the likely time you see this ta-so-ga-re-na-ki.

How loud, how long, how they cry is depend on each baby,it says.

That being said, babies have only “crying” to communicate with us to tell us parents when something they were not happy about.

Therefore, we need to check the following points to see if any of these would help them calm down.

  1. Diaper check; need to change diaper?
  2. Hungry; enough milk is given?
  3. Burping issue;babies cannot burp well and need our help.
  4. Gas in the tummy causing discomfort; baby massage on the tummy does the trick
  5. Too hot/too cold; babies cannot adjust body temperature as well as adults. If sweating, take off one shirt to see if it helps
  6. pain; any spot causing discomfort for pain?
  7. Fever; not feeling well and crying?
  8. Sleepy; babies sometime cannot go to sleep well

When any of the above did not calm down your baby’s cry, it is Ta-so-ga-re-na-ki. I read that medically, cause is not known yet while there are several theories.

Theory #1; baby cannot switch a sympathetic nerve with  parasympathetic nerve system well and the timing of the switch falls on the evening time.That is why causing ta-so-ga-re-na-ki.

Theory #2; tired from daytime activity

Theory #3; starts feeling sad when evening comes

Theory #4; stress;babies cannot deal with stress well

When babies cry…

I have tried many things when Liam started crying.

These are some tricks that worked for me when it worked to calm him down.

1. Pick him up and pat his back gently,talking to him gently

2.Hold vinyl grocery bag with both hands and starts rubbing against the hands together and make sound

I learned this trick from my parents and it is supposedly make the similar sound that babies were listening inside the belly

3. change the scenery;pick him up and,get out from the house like at the porch or change his posture; if laying down crying on his back,then, change his posture to tummy on the floor etc..

Liam the migrator…

Liam always migrating blog 1 Aug 16

Liam 32 days old..

Why is it that I place Liam right in the center of the bed but he always migrate to the side (right side all the time)?

He was also an escape artist from swaddle now and then; I wrap him nicely, and next time I uncover the quilt blanket, sometimes his swaddle was under his foot perfectly as I wrapped him..

I do not know how he manage to do so..

A little progress on breastfeeding…

On the day 33, when he had feeding time at early morning/middle of the night and during the particular feeding time, he did not want to sit up to burp and he kept arching back and I never got to burp him.

When I felt his tummy, I felt round-ish feeling and I thought he had gas inside.Therefore, I tried a couple of times trying to let him sit, but he cried..arched back..

So, I decided to call it ok with bit of tummy massage, and decided to try burping him next time.

When I was about to take him to bed, I noticed he was opening his mouth very wide and facing toward my body moving his face as if he was looking for something even though he was just fed then.

I tried breastfeed him as “extra” milk, and this time, he did latched on nicely. I was happy about that.

He had more to learn on breastfeeding sucking technique,but he was getting better at it.

While he was still learning the technique of breastfeeding, I was bottle-feeding him more; I pump the breast milk and give that to him via bottle and also liquid formula for just in case when the breast milk supply is low.

However, I did not intend to feed him this way forever, and my goal was to migrate to exclusive breastfeeding.

When Pediatrician asked us how we were feeding, I told her that and she encouraged me to keep trying for the direct breastfeeding as “extra” and wean him over as he gets used to the real thing.

At that time, we needed to make sure he got what he needed to have; at least 50ml of milk (although we gave him around 55-58 ml breast milk, 60 ml liquid formula) so he can grow as he should.

I then used in between feeding time to practice direct breastfeeding when he wants “extra” milk.That way, he won’t tired out enough not being able to take enough milk he needs to drink. On top of that,by doing so,  we knew he got what he needed to get at least.

I personally feel that breast milk is better from nutritional/health benefit point of view. That is why, I wanted to feed more breast milk than formula.Plus Liam liked breast milk better anyway.

Whenever there was enough breast milk available, I chose to feed him the breast milk,not liquid formula.

Liquid formula was more of supplemental feeding supply in my mind or of travel emergency until we could establish the exclusive breastfeeding with Liam.

Liquid formula is costly ; 2.5 dollars per bottle plus I hear it sits in the stomach longer and, it is hard on digestive system on babies. I also heard that the breast milk is much more nutritious and has great health benefit and easy on tummy to digest.

My sister breastfeed/feed fresh solid/mashed food to her kids and breast feeding/feeding fresh solid/mashed food to me was natural also.

Liam is our very first/last kid we are blessed with (one last embryo,one last chance to conceive and it took!! We were blessed with Liam.) .

When it comes to food/diet, whether it was for our dog Palette or for our family including feeding for our little prince Liam, I am very passionate about feeding/cooking healthy food that include snacks.

Therefore, I maybe come across like too sensitive on the feeding issue for Liam but, when helper tended to grab liquid formula when breast milk in the fridge is enough to feed, I did not feel good about it even though I was very appreciated that one helped us.

If I saw no milk was warmed up yet when the helper was in charge of feeding Liam, I measured the breast milk and warm it up for the feeding.

That way,I could make sure he gets better stuff. Plus Liam likes breast milk better than formula anyway.

Liam is now 22 months old, he is a very good eater and, so far, we have not found his dislikes just yet. I don’t anticipate for that to happen and, I am planning to support his willingness to try new stuff and let him involve in the cooking like asking him to sprinkle salt or stirring the pot etc..

He loves pretending cooking,and he got a lot of stuff for him to play with from my old skillet to measuring cup to scale… He spends lots of time walking around with pots and pans with spoon/spatula in other hand.

He let us parents taste testing the imaginary dishes he made and when we say “Hmm…tastes good!”, he smiles big. Sometimes, he wipes my mouth with washcloth or paper towel and sometimes he pretend to wipe the kitchen table:-)

You think kids are not watching you closely but I think kids are really good observer and learn things quite fast.

We joke and say “Future chef is in the making at our house” 🙂

May 25, 2016 | 2 | parenting

Yassy’s note; Liam’s first year; day 29-day 30

In the previous entry titled “Yassy’s note: Liam in NICU;day 8- day 14“, I wrote Liam came to our family about 3 weeks early and he has spent next 3 weeks in NICU.

As you know by now, he passed the feeding and car seat test both, and he could finally came home on the day 22.

Now that Liam came home, our real parenting journey has begun.

Liam first picture Aug 12 2014 1

Liam’s first portrait picture.. 29 day old…

Liam, the migrator…

When he was younger, we swaddled him with his arms tucked in, as we learned from NICU nurse every time he goes nap/sleep.

However, occasionally, he manages to get his arms out and flapping his arms on the bed.

For some reasons, he was a migrator while he is sleeping;no matter how many times I re-position him in the center on his bed, he migrate to his right and sleeps smashing his face against the bassinet side,which is luckily not made with cloth but see-through breathable material even if his face was mashed against.

Before Liam was born, I was wondering bed bumper is needed or not but I am happy we did not get it.

We really liked our co-sleeper we got for him. We got “Arms reach Mini Co sleeper“. It is not that heavy bed. I like the size and big storage space on the bottom and side pocket is big enough to hold some necessary things for your children. And, it got roller so we can move the co-sleeper in and out the room at day time, night time. I really liked that feature.

Not only that, since it is at bed height, I could easily peek him from me on the bed.

Because side is not made with cloth, Palette could sniff Liam here and there as well.

Only thing that we did not care for was that, we tried to bump up the height with leg extension and when we did that, when Liam gets moving legs a lot,it shook unstably, and I did not like the fact it was not as stable as we hoped it would. Therefore, we ended up not using it even though we got them.

Bed time battle; swing, stuffed music toy..

I wrote that Liam was fussy on the night of day 26th;last feeding time 11:30pm, he had his share of milk and he drank it all and he was perfectly happy.

However, when I carried him to bed and put him on the bed, after a while, he started crying. Therefore, I gave him pacifier since it seems his favorite soothing item so far for him.

He did suck,suck,suck and he was happy but he yanked it out from his mouth and started crying mad making his face red..

I tried holding him, changed diaper, re-swaddle him, tried pacifier, breastfeed him directly but none of those seemed to calmed him down and I was doing light on/off constantly.

Before you know it, it was already 2:30am feeding time. After that, he still cried a bit but he fell asleep since.

One thing we thought it was a good idea and tried to do was help of swing.

We got swing for him.BUT, Liam seemed to be a little too small for that to work.. We had to wait a bit for him to be able to use it comfortably.

Other thing we thought it would work and tried to use for him to go to bed was cloud sleep sheep; a sheep toy that makes 4 kinds of sound from heartbeat, whale sound, natural water sound etc..

We tried hanging it on side of the bed and set the music on for set time. I was hoping it would work for him to go to sleep when he turned up to be a fussy bed time. However, it did not work for him at all.

This thing did not work for him to make him sleepy when he was almost 1 month old,but it still had the use for it later in the future.

We took the music machine from the sheep, and tried putting the music on while trimming his nail and he is being very cooperative with me trimming his nail. Then, he likes to push button and explore all sorts of tool at this age (he is currently 21 months old), it became one of the toy he likes to play with:-)

It did not work for sleep purpose before and it has been a great toy for him now.

After all, one thing it worked for him was to warm up the bed by putting the heating pad on his bed and cover the bed and then put away the pad and put Liam on the bed and he did not wake up and start crying as if he had a switch on his back to cry.

For him, it was cold bed that was causing him crying and after we found out about that, his sleep cycle was better.

While I was a pregnant with him, I had sty like thing on my eye lid from hormone issue and I had to use the compress plus I had hard painful breast from clogged duct on and off and I need to use the heating pad.Therefore, investing on the cool/hot pad was great not just for Liam’s sleep help.

Because the pad is with clay material, it retained heat longer and well. I liked it a lot.

What we got was called “Clay-Based Therapeutic Hot & Cold Pad” and it is available from CVS store.It is about $15.It was not a bad price.

Sleep when babies are closing their eyes…

It had been only 1 week past since Liam came home from NICU but, every 3 hours or so feeding time through out the day was tiring for me, and I was feeling zombie-like from lack of sleep.

Because of me feeling so tiring from lack of sleep and I did not feel like I could function well at day time, I decided to sync my sleeping cycle a bit closer to Liam’s;not that I sleep hours and hours at daytime though:-)

He kept me up bit longer on the day 30; 2am,5am.. and I barely could sleep. I might have slept 2 hours total.

Finally after 8am feeding time, he let me sleep about 1 hour sleep, and 1.5 hour after 11am feeding..

Syncing the nap cycle wit him was a big help.

When I was breastfeeding Liam, I made sure to pump the breast milk afterwords. This was to make sure no milk is left behind on my breast to cause engorged breast,which was really painful.

Before taking  the each nap, I was pumping the milk but I was almost falling asleep during the pumping time.

I was that tired.

I definitely needed to nap at day time or I would not have been able to function well for the day.

I loved feeding breast milk more than formula because it sounded more natural to me, and felt like giving him more health benefit.

I read formulas are hard to digest and it sits in the tummy longer (This is probably why formula fed babies have to stop being fed earlier for the surgery ;a day before the surgery date, if he/she were fed formula.) than breast milk and sometimes, babies who are fed breast milk does not go poop for a day or two and that is normal.

I kept Liam’s feeding journal from the day 1 he came home from NICU.

I noted feeding time, feeding amount if formula, feeding time for each breast if breast feeding and I also noted his bowel movement so I can count the diaper a day plus I can see the frequency of  pee and poop diaper easier and notice his bowel movement pattern and so I would notice any change sooner.

I was a big help.

I actually did the similar thing for Palette when I switched her diet to raw diet and kept feeding journal while I was still learning to feed raw diet to her.

I think Palette trained me to learn something for parenting time some. I noticed later that I used the same method of Palette’s food storage method as Liam’s solid food storage method.

Before you know it, Liam turned 1 month old next day.

People say kids grow up so fast right in front of your eyes but I find it very true.

He is currently 21 months old and he was born 5 lb 6 oz but now he is around 24 lb and about 82cm tall. He is getting so big..

May 03, 2016 | 1 | parenting