Bringing up Bebe.

TLDR: interesting book for parents.

So, I’ve been reading the fairly humorously, light-hearted book Bringing up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting. And if i were to summarise the main difference she highlights between American parenting and French parenting, it would be the emphasis or lack thereof of structure and the over-babying (does this word make sense) of the baby.

What struck me as interesting was the fact that before buying the book, I was reading through quite a bit of criticism of the author’s take on parenting, how the French rigidity could be the reason why the French aren’t famous for entrepreneurs and how her take was a bourgeois take on French parenting, the lower-middle and lower income don’t live like this.

I found this interesting because I feel like in Singapore, back in my day (late 80s early 90s), we were all brought up with similar structure and discipline. There was (and still isn’t) any interrupting of parents, no throwing of tantrums, sitting at the dinner, eating what you were given. All this was a given. Behave or you would be scolded, worse, you could be smacked (I refuse to delve into the whole debate surrounding smacking. We were smacked as kids, and till this day, I don’t see it as child abuse, I greatly love my parents and I understand that they love me to. Thats all I will say). To say that this stifles creativity or self-expression, I don’t know if its true, given that creativity and self-expression is also limited by cultural and national norms. But to say that it limits entrepreneurship? Probably not. Singapore is filled to the brim with entrepreneurs or people with business plans.

Interestingly though, I find that Singaporeans appear to be moving toward a more “helicopter” type of parenting where parents are constantly hovering, or anxious about their child, what he or she is doing etc. I’m not sure how I feel about this. Perhaps it’s simply because we are having less children and therefore each child is more precious. What does this mean for such children? I guess only time will tell.

Semi-Pro #4

Feeding baby medicine.

I had a friend recently ask me how I give my (almost 10 month old) very hyper baby medicine. And I realized that was a really good question. Baby J hates medicine. He hates being force-fed medicines, and it makes life just a little more difficult especially when him being sick is already making things tough.

So how do we do it? Well obviously we force him. If someone else is free to help me hold him, they have to cradle him and make sure both hands are secured so that he cannot whack the medicine away. And I will hold his cheeks so that he will open his mouth and make sure he swallows not spit out the medicines. Sounds evil. Sounds bad. But you know what. Him getting fed the medicines makes him feel better in the long run. It’s for his own good. 

So whats the tip? Don’t feel too bad about it. Remember it’s what’s good for him. And. Good luck. 

Semi-Pro Tip #3

So. We got an additional baby carrier as a spare. We sold off the Chimparoo Trek Air-O. It was a great carrier. But what I realized is that with baby carrier is that you really have to try it. With a baby. For a while. Before you can tell if it’s the right one for you.

I say this largely cos we are all so different in size, it’s very hard to say what is comfortable on someone else will be comfortable on you. 

We ended up getting a (more cost effective) spare carrier from Aprica. The Aprica Belt Colan. And we now use the Lillebaby Complete Airflow.

The Aprica is small (fits me, and I’m pretty much am average sized Asian) and extremely light. It’s even lighter than the fully cotton carriers like Tula that I’ve tried.

The Lillebaby isn’t as light. But it isn’t too big for me. 

What I’m trying to say is. Don’t buy a carrier purely based on what you read online. What might work for someone else might not work for you. See if you can borrow one to try, or rent a carrier (there are several places to do that in Singapore) and make your decision from there. 

Once you find the right one, happy carrying. But, regardless of how well it fits, if you’re anything like me. Say hello to shoulder aches.