Getting Through the First Three Months Soon, we’ll be on our way to the US! I keep in touch regularly with my mother with Skype and FaceTime, but actually being able physically introduce baby to her- it’s exciting! Here’s a look back at the first three months with baby. This post is mainly for myself, to let me know how far I’ve come, because there were times when I just wanted to run away. I’m not exaggerating, either.
Month 3 with Baby – Finally I Can Smile After all I’ve experienced with baby, I really felt a return to normalcy in April. My mother-in-law even during a phone call commented on how cheery my voice was. I didn’t take her comment lightly. I appreciated that she recognized my struggle and helped me in my first month by coming to Tokyo. Of course, everything isn’t perfect, but I am definitely starting to feel like myself, more than before.
O-kuizome – An Elaborate Feast for Baby We recently celebrated o-kuizome (お食い初め), baby’s first meal. It is done in hopes that a baby will have no difficulty in procuring food in his/her lifetime. Back in the day, extended relatives and family friends were invited to attend a baby’s o-kuizome. In recent days, it’s done just with parents and grandparents. Some modern families now even conduct o-kuizome as an event just for parents and baby.
This master post features all major ceremonial milestones for pregnant women and babies in Japan. A majority of these milestones have Shinto roots and are an important part of Japanese culture. The most recent event is listed first.
Month 2 with Baby – I Think I Know What I’m Doing Baby now weighs 5.2kg and is 55.9cm! It’s surreal that all she drinks is breast milk and still she’s grown so much! Two months in, our daily routine has become stabilized, so much that I don’t need to rely on a clock at times. I always know when it’s 9:30am or 4:30pm because that’s when we go for our walks, and that’s exactly when she becomes fussy.
O-miya mairi (お宮参り) is a performed at a shrine to give thanks for a baby’s first month of life. Depending on the region, a baby will have his or her first shrine visit at around 31 days old (31 days old for boys, 32 days old for girls). However, it is perfectly fine to delay or even celebrate this milestone a few days earlier. After all, you have to consider mom’s condition, the baby’s health, and the weather.
O-Shichiya & Meimei-shiki – Japanese Baby Naming Tradition Japanese law mandates that parents submmit a Register of Birth (出生届, shussei todoke) by the time a baby is 14 days old. Parents are busy trying to decide a name as well as its kanji (Chinese characters), Before the Register of Birth is submitted and a baby’s name formally registered at a municipal office, it is tradition in Japan to have a naming ceremony, meimei-shiki, (命名式) during o-shichiya (お七夜), a baby’s 7th night of life.
Month 1 with Baby – This is Only the Beginning Baby is finally one month old! I (somehow) survived the first month with her! Though I survived, it was a truthfully stressful February. I know there’s this mother/daughter-in-law don’t get along thing (嫁姑問題 yome-shutome mondai), but I get along fine with mine. She even came to Tokyo for one month to help with chores and to do cooking. But even then, with the extra hands, I was always irritated. Like, I’d go into the cabinet for a cup or something, and everything would be in a different place. Anything my husband said or did just put me over the edge. “Did I […]
Winter Walk With Baby – Slowly Regaining My Sanity My mother-in-law came down to Tokyo a week before my due date to help around the house. She’s not a big fan of dogs, and my husband has an irregular work schedule, so I knew I was still going to have continue to walk Kokuto. But what to do about baby?