Aisyah's Mom & Dad say, "Parenting is a process..."

Thursday, September 23, 2010

OPOL (One Parent, One Language)

Hubby and I have decided to use both English and B.Melayu at home with Ayeesha; English with Ibu and Malay with Ayah. We figure out that it is better for Ayeesha to be able to acquire and adapt to both languages at an early age since both languages are important later in life. We love to see Ayeesha being able to master both languages at the same time. And from articles that I have read, it is better for both parents to start as early as possible (most prefer since the baby still in mum's tummy).

I find OPOL is a natural approach to introduce Ayeesha to both languages. It saves more time and learning comes natural since Ayeesha will be hearing the languages since she's small. She will be used with both languages and will always associate English language with Ibu and B. Melayu with dad. As for grammar lesson, we believe Ayeesha will learn it 'unconsciously' and even if any errors arise in their communication, they will automatically learn to correct it in a very free-from-stress way.

A friend suggested for hubby and I use only one language at one time, by the time our Ayeesha has perfected her 1st language, then only we introduce her to the 2nd language. I'm not into the idea since I myself is being perfected with this approach. Thou this approach is a success in a way, BUT it took me a long time to be able to use my 2nd language confidently at home and with friends.

Will the child be confused when two languages are used at the same time? From articles that I have read, this will not happen if both parents regularly use their OPOL consistently with the child and the child has the opportunities to use and practice the languages in everyday basis. I'm not so sure about this but again, from my observation, this never happen to a family that I know. The child speaks fluent English with his mother and B.Melayu with his dad.

Most parents that I have observe using OPOL at home find success at the end of the road. Not only the children could master both languages well at home and school, they also happen to be the smart ones in school! They easily absorb lessons in school like sponge and tend to be more independent than their friends who could only master one language at a time (**no recent articles support on this finding)

Using OPOL at home is not as easy as it seems. Both parents have to be responsible with the language that they have chosen. Both must remain consistent with the language not only in helping the child’s language development but as well as any other phases of the child’s development. With these, parents have to get ready, be well prepared and try to come out with many sets of vocabularies to help the child to be able to use both languages in everyday activities.

Hmmmm.. hope our OPOL is a success.

Ibu Ayeesha

What NECESSITIES to bring?

Done with the EXTRAS, now let me focus on the REAL NECESSITIES to bring.

For baby
• Baby towels and receiving blankets ( I have prepared 3 sets each)
• A complete set of baby’s toiletries – baby shampoo, baby bath, baby oil and baby powder. Mine by Johnson & Johnson
• Getting one or two binders for the baby also advisable. People say baby love to be swaddled
• Baby mittens, booties & cap
• 2 sets of nice baby outfits
• Newborn baby diapers – Both cloth and disposable diapers. My mum told me that baby’s first ‘poo’ is dark in color, so disposable diaper is better since we can just throw it straight away. Only after the baby’s first poo & pee, it is advisable to use cloth diapers as it is more economical and healthy for the baby.
• Baby wipes
• Eucalyptus oil

For myself :
• ID cards and all important documentation needed (both bubby and I)
• Kad klinik
• A pack of maxi pads with wings or more
• Disposable underwear
• Loose t-shirts/ blouse, preferable front-buttoned – for ‘nursing’ purposes
• ‘Kain batik’
• Nursing bras
• Jacket, and sweater – To keep warm in the hospital. (Also for confinement periods purposes)
• Toiletries – Shampoo, condition, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb and etc
• Towels
• Food, snacks and mineral water – They say after delivery, most mothers tend to feel hungry and thirsty since they had used all their energy in laboring.


What EXTRAS to bring?

After reading lots of articles on labor, am still not aware of what to bring to the hospital. What I have read sounds logic but what real people do in real life is far of more sound and acceptable. I have always reminded myself to be sure to prepare ahead of time by packing both necessities and extra indulgence for the baby and I. In my view, there is no harm in bringing extras as it might give me comfort as this is my 1st experience in labor. I have already prepared the baby’s necessities since two months ago (I was 7 months pregnant then) and just recently prepared my own necessities approximately just yesterday!
I have packed and sorted out different bags for my labor. 1st bag consists of things for the labor and delivery and also things for my journey home with my new bundle of joy (these things might come into 2 bags for some people).  As for my 2nd bag is things for my stay at the maternity ward.
Here is a handy list of extra items (after consulting with some friends and family members) that I’m going to bring to help me through my childbirth as well as my hospital stay.
  • word games/ puzzles to pass the time
  • camera, to snap some memorable pictures in the ward
  • thermos; drinks
  • a pair of socks to keep my feet warm and toasty
  • lip balm to keep lips moisturized
  • a comfortable ‘kaftan’ and an XL size T-shirt with an opening at the front to make breastfeeding easier
  • lappy to update friends and relatives in FB
  • a nursing bra and lots of extra panties
  • a hot water bottle for pain relief
  • tennis balls to squeeze for pain relief or to use as a massage aid (suggested on the net)
  • favorite nourishing snacks or glucose tablets to keep me energized