Tag Archives: Shopaholic

Books, Books, and more Books!

C and I both love reading, so one of the things we hope Noah will inherit from us is the love of books. We weren’t one of those parents who read to the baby while he was still in my womb, but we’ve been reading quite regularly to him over the past few months. I found a list of suggested titles for babies/toddlers, and selected a few of them for C to buy when he was in the US on a business trip. I also asked a few of my friends for recommendations and some very kindly passed me their kids’ pre-loved books too!

Currently, my personal favourite bedtime reading for Noah are two books by Sandra Boynton: The Going to Bed Book and Pajama Time!. In fact, I love all her books so far, as they have very colourful drawings and easy-to-remember rhymes. I’ve read the books so often to Noah that I have already memorised the text in both these books, and sometimes, when we are out and he gets cranky, I start reciting them to him and it calms him down immediately. I’m really looking forward to the day that he can read aloud along with me, though I know that won’t happen any time soon. For now, I’m just glad that he sits quietly with me when I read to him, and we sometimes go through quite a few at a time. 

Another favourite is of course, the ever popular The Very Hungry Caterpillar. We got this as a hand-me-down from a friend, and Noah seems to enjoy having it read to him too. I’ve read that children love having the same books read to them over and over again, so I try to stick to a few books at a time. For a period of time, I tried introducing him to Bear Snores On, but for some strange reason, Noah would start whining each time I started reading it to him. Initially, I thought he just wasn’t in the mood for a book, but once I picked up another book, usually a Sandra Boynton one such as Barnyard Dance!, he would quieten down again and sit through the entire book reading. Perhaps babies do understand more than what we give them credit for…

Keen to buy books for yourself or your little one, but don’t know where to look? Kinokuniya is always a nice place to start, if you enjoy browsing in a bookstore, but if you are like me and prefer shopping online, two websites that offer reasonably priced books are Book Depository and Fishpond. Both offer free international shipping, and like a typical kiasu Singaporean, I compare the price of a book on both sites before making my purchase. I’ve only ordered books from Book Depository so far, but I plan to try Fishpond next time, if I can get a good deal on it. Happy shopping! 🙂

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Product Review – Maternalove

Maternalove Logo

As a nursing mother, I’ve realized that my entire pre-pregnancy wardrobe has been rendered redundant, at least until I stop breastfeeding. I’ve been on the lookout for pretty nursing tops and dresses, and was thrilled to discover Maternalove!

To be honest, the nursing wear I’ve seen in the malls can be a tad ugly boring unimaginative and some are downright ‘auntie’ looking. I’m fully aware that I’m not one of those yummy mummies who look as though they just stepped out of a fashion magazine. The only kind of modeling I’d probably be allowed to do will most likely be for buffet advertisements. It can be rather demoralizing, trying to squeeze into a top or dress that doesn’t seem made for women who have just given birth. All I want is a top or dress that doesn’t accentuate my post-pregnancy flabby belly, allows me to breastfeed easily and discreetly, and doesn’t look like it came from the local wet market or the fifties. Is that really too much to ask for?

I admit that I had my doubts about purchasing clothes for myself online. It’s tough enough to find clothes that fit me well when I try them on in the shops, let alone without being able to try them on or even touch them to feel the material. Thus, it was with much skepticism that I placed my first order with Maternalove. I dutifully took my measurements, compared them to their size chart, ordered two tops and a dress, then crossed my fingers and waited for my purchase to arrive. There were so many interesting designs that I had a hard time deciding what to get!

When the items arrived, I followed the washing instructions closely, as I’ve had bad experiences when I washed other pieces of clothing that I purchased elsewhere. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the colours didn’t run or fade, neither did the items shrink or expand in size after a wash. I must confess that I have since worn these items numerous times and they have been through the washer and even the dryer on multiple occasions, and have come out looking exactly the same. They are even as soft as the day they arrived after so many washes!

This time round, I got the Ariel Nursing Top in Cobalt Blue as well as the Goddess Convertible Dress in Black.

Ariel Nursing Top in Cobalt Blue 

Maternalove Top 1

Ratings Guide
♥ Hmmm…     ♥♥ So-so     ♥♥♥  Not bad     ♥♥♥♥ Like it     ♥♥♥♥♥ Love it!

1. Comfort and Fit: ♥♥♥♥♥

The soft material is a definite plus and I love how comfortable the top is, even on really warm days. When I head out with my baby, he’s usually seated snuggly in his baby carrier, which I wear in front. This means that it can potentially get really warm for both of us, but the top is made of such good material that I am perfectly comfortable in it, even for long hours with the baby strapped to my chest.

Sizing was easy to figure out, as the size chart provided on the website is very accurate. This is a definite plus point as it makes shopping online much easier and I can rest assured that my items will fit me well.

2. Nursing Access: ♥♥♥♥♥

The nursing openings are very discreet and can be accessed simply by pulling aside the drape overlayer. I thought it was a very good idea to have those three buttons running vertically down the middle opening, as they prevent any accidental slips or ‘wardrobe malfunctions’. These buttons were easily opened and closed with one hand, which is important when you are holding a squirming baby with your other hand.

Close-up of nursing access 

Maternalove Top Close-up

3. Quality: ♥♥♥♥♥

The stitching and workmanship are impeccable. There are gathers that fall prettily in front, making up the stylish and elegant overlayer.

Close-up of top

Maternalove Top 2

I was surprised to find that it is made from 95% rayon and 5% spandex as it felt similar to one of my bamboo cotton tops. I also love the top’s bright cheerful shade of cobalt blue, and it adds a lovely splash of colour to my wardrobe. This top is also available in Rose, and I’m extremely tempted to get it too, as good nursing wear isn’t easy to come by.

I had no problems with washing and drying the top at all. Although the washing instructions state that it should be dried flat, I threw caution to the wind after the first wash and popped it into my dryer, without any adverse effects. I do recommend following the washing instructions, since they come from the manufacturer direct, but as we don’t have a drying area in our flat, most of our clothes go into our dryer to save time and space.

Goddess Convertible Dress in Black  

Maternalove Dress

1. Comfort and Fit: ♥♥♥♥♥

The material of this dress is nice and soft, just like the top, and I was perfectly comfortable in it.

This is a convertible dress that can be worn in TEN different ways! I really wish I had this dress when I was pregnant, as it doubles up as a maternity dress too. This is definitely worth the investment, as it can be tied up differently to create a variety of looks, and no one will even know that it’s the same dress.

I tried the Butterfly Sleeve method for the wedding dinner I attended last week, and loved that it covered my shoulders well and kept me warm in the air-conditioned ballroom. The dress was also loose enough to allow me to pig out, even though my post-pregnancy belly still makes me look as though I’m in my second trimester.

The dress is basically a tube dress, with two extremely long pieces of fabric which serve to form the sleeves, although they can be neatly tucked away if you wish to wear it as a strapless dress. Just follow the wearing instructions on the website, which can be downloaded as a PDF file for your convenience.

2. Nursing Access: ♥♥♥

I found the nursing access on the tube underlayer to be a little small, and preferred to pull down the tube on the side from which I wanted to breastfeed. This may just be the way I prefer to nurse my baby, as he is in the stage where he struggles a lot under the nursing cover, and I found it faster to pull the tube down, rather than try to position him properly at the nursing access area.

3. Quality: ♥♥♥♥♥

The material used for the dress is the same soft one as the Ariel nursing top, and the workmanship is also flawless. I really love how cleverly simple and versatile the dress is. Personally, I think that this dress is the ideal Little Black Dress for both the pregnant and nursing mother, perfect for all occasions. If you prefer something bright, the dress also comes in Fuchsia.

As with the Ariel nursing top, I popped this dress into the washing machine, with no adverse effects. However, I chose to line dry it on our tiny drying rack, as the rack happened to have some extra space on it that day. It dried quickly despite the lack of sunlight in my kitchen.

Overall Conclusion 

I love both the Ariel nursing top and the Goddess convertible dress, mainly because of how comfortable they are. Discovering the Maternalove range of nursing wear has really been a godsend as good, affordable nursing wear is hard to come by, in my opinion. My current wardrobe is less than one-tenth of what I used to have, as I am limited to nursing wear, so it makes me very happy to be able to shop online for more clothes now. My friends who have seen me in these outfits actually commented that they didn’t know they were nursing wear, which makes me confident that I can still wear them after I stop nursing.

*******

Maternalove Year-end Sale Image

Maternalove is currently having its year-end sale, with up to 50% off storewide. For purchases above $300, you can enjoy an additional 10% off by keying in the code LESS10 during checkout. Both promotions are valid till 27 December 2012.

Do take a look at their wide selection and get yourself an item or two (or more). If you need an excuse to shop, you can always think of it as a Christmas gift for yourself! Nursing, be it in public or in the privacy of a nursing room, is difficult enough without having to struggle with poorly made nursing wear, so I don’t believe in settling for ill-fitting ones. In addition, the Maternalove range is pretty enough to be worn even after you stop nursing, so you don’t have to feel guilty about expanding your wardrobe to fit your current needs.

PS. To my male readers: If your wife is currently pregnant or breastfeeding, a nursing top or dress (or both) will be a practical and thoughtful Christmas gift!

PPS. Do ‘like’ the Maternalove Facebook page for updates on new arrivals and sales.

*******

Disclosure: I received the Ariel nursing top and Goddess convertible dress for review. All opinions are my own.

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Online Shopping – Jam and Muffin Christmas Sale!

I used to love shopping for the perfect Christmas gift. I’d spend hours walking around malls, spotting several items that I thought would be good for certain family members or friends and KIV-ing them for some time before making my purchase, because I’m extremely indecisive so that I could be absolutely sure that they were the best possible gifts (within my budget of course) for the specific people.

Last year, I couldn’t do that as we had just found out that I was pregnant and required plenty of bed rest. This year. HA. I consider it a productive day, shopping wise, if I could just sit in front of my laptop for half an hour of online shopping! I’ve found some good gifts so far, and being the ‘auntie’ that I am, I love good deals and will always try to share them with everyone. So here’s one!

Jam and Muffin (no, they do not literally sell jams and muffins) has a good range of items suitable for babies/toddlers/children. I just bought a Dingaring teether for Noah, even though he hasn’t started teething yet. There are so many cute designs that I had a lot of trouble trying to decide which one to get! I was also very attracted to their Mother’s Corn utensils, since we are going to start Noah on solids soon. I’m really looking forward to reviewing these items at a later date, once we receive the items and try them out.

In the meantime, in the spirit of Christmas, I just wanted to share this website with those of you still shopping for gifts for your little ones. Almost everything is on sale, and best of all, there’s free local delivery via normal Singpost, regardless of the amount you spend. Do check Jam and Muffin out ya? 🙂

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Online Shopping – iHerb

I’ve been looking to replenish my supply of DHA and Multi-vitamins and decided to place my order on iHerb after doing some calculations and realising that it’s so much cheaper than what I’ve found in the pharmacies. This is why I love online shopping! 🙂

I bought a bottle of Nordic Naturals, Prenatal DHA (180 Soft Gels) and a bottle of Rainbow Light, Just Once, Prenatal One, Food-Based Multivitamin (150 Tablets) for myself, as well as a box of Atkins, Endulge, Caramel Nut Chew (5 bars) to try, since I had a discount. There’s also a 10% discount off all orders placed before 27 November 2012.

If you are a first-time shopper on iHerb, use the code DRM056 to get a discount of up to $10!

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Product Review – Mii Organics

Noah has rather sensitive skin and I’ve been trying for some time to find a skincare product range that will suit him. The poor boy had been sporting a really red neck, which his paediatrician attributed to our hot and humid weather. She gave us two different types of cream to try but they couldn’t get rid of the redness. I also tried calendula cream, which came highly recommended on various forums, but it didn’t help much either.

The Mii Organics Pure Baby range appealed to me because its main ingredient is Baobab oil. After doing some quick research on it, I was impressed by what I found:

Baobab oil is extracted from the seeds of the fruit that bloom on baobab trees. These extremely old trees (some species live up to a thousand years or more) are native to Africa and feature thick trunks and thin branches. Often called “upside down trees” because of their spindly branches that resemble roots, the flowers of baobab trees bloom once a year and interestingly open at night. Once pollinated by hungry bats, bees and wasps, the flowers produce fruit, or pods, which house the seeds used to create the prized baobab oil.

Most organic beauty products use unrefined baobab oil, which is extracted by cold-pressing the seeds, leaving the oil completely raw with no additives. As a fixed oil, it’s safe to use directly on the skin and won’t evaporate like essential oils.

Source: http://www.organicauthority.com/delicious-beauty/baobab-oil-what-is-this-exotic-ingredient-in-your-organic-beauty-products.html 

I also learnt that Baobab oil is highly moisturizing and soothing, and contains vitamins A, D, E and F, as well as Omega 3, 6 and 9. It not only moisturizes the skin, but also helps to improve skin elasticity while encouraging regeneration of skin cells without clogging the pores. Baobab oil is easily and quickly absorbed into the skin, ensuring no oiliness or greasiness, making it ideal for treating dry skin, cradle cap and eczema.

To create the various Mii Organics Pure Baby products, the Baobab oil is carefully hand blended with other organic ingredients of the highest quality. This is done in small batches, ensuring that the quality of the products is not compromised.

I’ve been using the Pure Baby Sensitive Wash, Pure Baby Hydrating Oil and Pure Baby Protective Balm for almost a month now, and so far, I’m quite pleased with the results. Although I’m discussing each product individually, please note that I used all three of them together, and therefore, the improvement I’ve noted is most likely the result of that combination.

Pure Baby Sensitive Wash
Prominent ingredients: Baobab oil and Aloe Vera   

As I mentioned earlier, Noah’s skin is rather sensitive and he had a pretty bad rash on his neck, armpits and back. My first impression of the Pure Baby Sensitive Wash was that it left Noah’s skin squeaky clean after his bath.

Initially, I was worried that it would cause his skin to be even drier but my fears were unfounded when I saw that the rash on his back in particular had cleared up quite a bit.  In fact, when I accidentally used a different body wash on his back one morning, I found more red blotches on it in the evening and hurriedly cleansed his back more thoroughly with the Pure Baby Sensitive Wash.

My only grouse with this product is its packaging. I would have preferred to have a pump dispenser as I still use one hand to hold Noah in the bathtub. I end up having to squeeze the soap onto Noah’s shoulder, before spreading it all over his body. However, this is quite a minor issue that will be resolved once Noah is older and able to sit properly in the tub on his own.

Pure Baby Hydrating Oil
Prominent ingredients: Baobab oil and Calendula  

I apply the Pure Baby Hydrating Oil on Noah’s head as he had cradle cap. After about a week, I thought that since the cradle cap had cleared up, I could stop using it on his head. However, I found that his scalp was too dry without any oil on it, and that on very warm days, bits of skin would start flaking off.

I also use the oil quite liberally on his neck, armpits and back. I find that the oil is absorbed quite quickly and his body doesn’t feel as greasy as it did when I used a different type of baby oil previously. The rash on his neck hasn’t cleared completely, mainly because he is so chubby that his neck can’t even be seen, much less aired. The rash on his armpits cleared up relatively soon after I began using the oil on the area. In addition, Noah wears sleeveless rompers during the day and his sweat isn’t trapped there anymore. His back rash makes occasional appearances on very warm days and when he lies on his back a lot, but his skin is better after I started using the oil and balm on him.

Pure Baby Protective Balm
Prominent ingredients: Baobab oil, Calendula, Chamomile, Castor oil, and Beeswax 

The Pure Baby Protective Balm is actually a very versatile balm and can be used on insect bites, rashes and mild burns. Initially, I used this topically on little bits of rash that appeared sporadically on his face and back. The balm is gentle enough to be used on delicate areas such as the cheeks and Noah’s facial rash would clear up very quickly, usually within a few hours of applying the balm.

Noah recently had a bad bout of diaper rash and his paediatrician prescribed a mild steroid cream to treat it. I used the cream diligently for some time but couldn’t help worrying about the side effects and decided to switch to the Pure Baby Protective Balm, which is zinc free. I just wanted to see if it would have any impact on the diaper rash and planned to go back to the steroid cream and barrier cream combination if the rash became worse. Right now, the diaper rash still hasn’t cleared completely but it looks a lot less red and the blisters look like they are healing well, so I will stick to the balm for a while more at least.

Noah’s neck before I started using the Mii Organics Pure Baby products 

Noah’s neck after about three weeks  

On cool days, Noah’s neck looks much better 

I love that the Mii Organics Pure Baby skincare products are all fragrance free and gentle enough for sensitive skin. I really hope that with prolonged usage of these products, Noah’s neck rash will clear up completely, regardless of the weather!

PS. If you are interested to see what a Baobab tree looks like, check out the smaller version of it at Gardens by the Bay.

*******

Mii Organics products can be found at:

Bebe Avenue

Moo Moo Kow 

Emokids

Boo-tiful @ Level 2, Millenia Walk

Maternity Exchange @ Marina Square

Gleneagles Hospital Parentcraft Centre (selected range)

Retail Price (L to R):

Pure Baby Sensitive Wash 236ml/8oz – S$42.90

Pure Baby Hydrating Oil 118ml/4oz – S$29.90

Pure Baby Protective Balm 89ml/3oz – S$28.90

SPECIAL PROMOTION FOR READERS OF GROWINGWITHTHETANS! 

Get 20% off ALL Mii Organics products at Bebe Avenue.

To get the discount, simply enter the code MIIORGANIC during checkout.

Promotion valid till 15 December 2012.

*******

Disclosure: I received a bottle of Pure Baby Sensitive Wash (236ml/8oz), a bottle of Pure Baby Hydrating Oil (118ml/4oz) and a jar of Pure Baby Protective Balm (89ml/3oz) for review.

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Product Review – Niz Home Breast Pads from Thelittleonesinmylife

One of the items that I find useful but relatively underrated is breast pads. Initially, I wasn’t sure if I really needed breast pads, as like most mothers-to-be, I didn’t even know if I would have enough milk to breastfeed. The idea that I would ‘leak’ and require breast pads was quite foreign to me. However, it was on the list of things to buy, so I asked around, found that the most common brand was P, and bought a few boxes of it just in case.

At that time, I didn’t know what to look out for and to be honest, I didn’t think it was all that important, so I didn’t bother to do much research. Cost was my primary concern, and although I try to be environmentally friendly in some ways, using washable breast pads wasn’t one of them, as I didn’t want to waste time washing them and waiting for them to dry.

I used the P breast pads for the first few weeks but felt that they didn’t cover enough surface area, which means that my bras, and sometimes even my tops, would still get wet. I also became quite conscious about the cost factor, as I had to change my breast pads quite regularly due to my relatively good supply. I began looking around for cheaper and hopefully better alternatives, and discovered the Niz Home Premium Breast Pads which are made in Korea. At that time, Thelittleonesinmylife was giving away free samples and being a typical Singaporean, I quickly requested for some.

In all honesty, when I received the samples, I wasn’t very impressed. They looked too thin to be able to do the trick but I figured there was no harm in trying them out, since I already had them. I’m glad I did as I prefer them a lot more to the P brand ones! Here’s why…

Ratings Guide
♥ Hmmm…     ♥♥ So-so     ♥♥♥  Not bad     ♥♥♥♥ Like it     ♥♥♥♥♥ Love it!

Niz Home Premium Breast Pads

1. Size: ♥♥♥♥♥ The Niz Home Premium Breast Pads are bigger than the P brand ones, fitting well around my breast and in my bra. After using them for about a month, I haven’t had any leakages at all, whereas previously, when I was using the P brand ones, I had a few ‘accidents’, especially at night when Noah sleeps for slightly longer stretches and my boobs become fuller. I actually woke up on a couple of occasions because my pyjama tops were wet from the milk! Perhaps the pads shifted when I moved around or slept on my side, but I don’t think it’s a good excuse, as nobody is able to sleep in one fixed position through the night, much less exhausted breastfeeding mothers!

P brand’s size

Niz Home’s size

2. Quality: ♥♥♥♥ As I mentioned earlier, the Niz Home Premium Breast Pads are thinner than those from P brand, but I feel that they are equally, if not more, absorbent. I don’t even realise that they are full until I change them and when I first used them, I was quite amazed at how heavy they were, because I didn’t feel uncomfortable at all.

I also like that the breast pads from Niz Home are sealed all round, as compared to P brand’s, which for some reason, are unsealed at the top and bottom.

P brand’s thickness

P brand’s shape and edges

Niz Home’s thickness

Niz Home’s shape and edges

3. Ease of use: ♥♥♥♥♥ Each breast pad comes individually packaged for hygiene purposes in clear plastic bags which are easy to open. This may sound like a silly point, but trust me, when you step out of the bathroom and hear your baby crying, you need to do everything quickly and wasting time struggling to open the plastic bags isn’t something you really want to do.

The same goes for sticking the breast pad to your bra. P brand has two adhesive stickers, which I thought would be useful in ensuring that the pad doesn’t move around. Nope! As I mentioned earlier, they still do move around and what’s worse is that the two halves tend to get stuck together when you fold your bra cup down. This can be quite annoying especially when you’re nursing in public and can’t really re-adjust the bra pad properly after nursing. Niz Home only has one adhesive, which saves time when you’re pasting it in your bra, and also prevents the problem of having two halves stuck together.

Niz Home’s packaging

4. Cost ♥♥♥♥ I enjoy buying things online as I can usually get better deals, and this is definitely one such instance. I save even more when I buy in bulk! Here’s the price list:

Retail Price:
30pc – $15.90
90pc – $35.90

Online Price excluding postage fee:
30pc – $10
60pc – $15
90pc – $20
1 x 90pc FREE when you buy 5 x 90pc at $100 with free courier service

Postage Fee (Absorbed for orders above $30):
30pc box – $1
60pc (2 x 30pc) – $1.50
90pc (3 x 30pc) – $2.55

SPECIAL PROMOTION FOR READERS OF GROWINGWITHTHETANS! 

Special Price with FREE postage:
30pc – $9
60pc – $14
90pc – $19
1 x 90pc FREE when you buy 5 x 90pc at $95 with free courier service 

To purchase the Niz Home Premium Breast Pads, follow these simple steps:

1. ‘Like’ Thelittleonesinmylife on Facebook.

2. Send Audrey, the very friendly and efficient owner, a Direct Message to place your order.

3. Include this discount code: GWTT to get your breast pads at the special price* listed in red.

*Valid till the end of October 2012, or while stocks last.

Happy shopping! 🙂

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Preparing for Baby (Part 5)

Since the Baby Fair 2012 starts tomorrow, I thought I should finish this shopping series, to help those of you who are trying to come up with your shopping lists.

Baby Wear
Please note that the quantity listed does not include the hand-me-downs nor gifts we received. I came up with the numbers based on how often I planned to do the laundry.

– Short-sleeved rompers x 20
I use these the most, as they are convenient. I bought a few of those with buttons down the front, as they are easier to put onto a newborn. I also prefer rompers to tops as I have this mental image of the baby’s diaper falling off and pee/poo spilling out.

– Long-sleeved rompers x 10
These are handy when we sleep with the air-conditioner on at night. However, Noah perspires quite a bit, so these days, we put him in short-sleeved ones and he does just fine.

– Sleeveless rompers x 10
Initially, I didn’t buy many of these as I thought the short-sleeved ones would suffice. The heat these days has become quite unbearable and I think it has caused Noah’s skin to break out into a heat rash. I just bought a pack of five from Mothercare and I think Noah seems quite comfy in them. His rash is also much better now after I applied the California Baby Calendula Cream on him.

– Short-sleeved tops x 5
Not my favourite item, so I didn’t buy too many of them.

– Long-sleeved tops x 5
I found some really nice ones from Joy Luck Club Parenting . I actually bought them from one of the expo fairs before realising that they can be found online too.

– Shorts x 5
I bought some from Joy Luck Club Parenting at the expo fair. They are still a little too big for Noah so he has hardly worn them.

– Pants x 5
These are still too long for him and I’m patiently waiting for him to grow into them.

– Leg warmers x 3
These can double up as arm warmers too. I bought some at the Taka Baby Fair and some online. Noah’s legs have become quite chubby and the smaller ones seem quite tight now, although the bigger ones are still too baggy. Sigh.

– Mittens x 10
Personally, I think you can never have too many mittens and booties. Choose those that don’t have too wide openings as they might fall off quite easily. I am suggesting that you get more booties than mittens though, as the mittens don’t have to be worn during the day once your baby turns a month old, according to our PD. Some may prefer keeping them on for a longer time to prevent the baby from scratching himself, so do whatever you’re comfortable with.

– Booties x 20
Get a variety of sizes if possible as I’ve noticed that his feet do grow quite quickly. Also, do remove his booties before you change his diaper, as he may decide to step in the diaper before you whisk it away. Trust me, it really does happen.

– Hats x 3
I haven’t used any of the hats yet, so I don’t consider them essential.

– Bibs x 5
These will probably only be used much later, so there’s no real need to get them until baby begins drooling a lot.

Phew! I think that’s all! Happy shopping!

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Preparing for Baby (Part 4)

I kinda forgot to continue with this series, but I’m back now because I was just chatting with my preggie friend whom I’m actually doing this series for, and I realised that I haven’t finished the list yet! Sigh. Guess the pregnancy brain doesn’t really go away even after you pop!

Playtime/Going Out Needs
– Activity gym We originally ordered this from the US and got it shipped to us via a shipping company, but it somehow got damaged along the way and after getting a full refund, we decided to save ourselves the hassle and just buy another one locally. The Fisher-Price Precious Planet Deluxe Musical Activity Gym is easily available and we got ours at the Taka Baby Fair. I’ve heard that the Lamaze ones are pretty good too.

– Play Mat Most of our friends who have recently become parents bought theirs from Small Small World, and so when we found them at one of the Expo fairs, we placed an order for this one. I think we also got it at a cheaper price than what’s offered on the website, together with free delivery, so do check out the fairs just in case you can get a better deal.

– Bouncer Again, this Fisher-Price model was a staple in many of the new parents’ households and we bought ours at the Taka Baby Fair too. Noah seems to really enjoy being in it so far! One problem I’ve had with it is that it can’t really be washed properly, due to the board sewn into the back panel. Noah’s diaper leaked one morning as he was seated in it and I had to get our part-time helper to hand-wash the bottom bit and hang it up for drying after that. It would have been great if the panel is removable so that the whole fabric piece can be machine washed. I place a waterproof sheet under his bum when he’s seated in his bouncer now, just in case his diaper leaks again.

– Books/Toys/CDs We were very blessed to have received a few books and CDs from our friends. To be honest, I haven’t been able to really work out a routine in which reading and music are incorporated as he doesn’t seem very interested in either! I do show him some black/white/red flash cards which his paediatrician gave us, but I only do it when he seems alert and happy enough. Babycenter has a list of recommended books for babies, although I followed a different list (which I can’t seem to find now). One of the first toys we bought for Noah was Sophie the Giraffe, although we haven’t given it to him yet, as it’s more of a teether.

– Diaper bag This boils down to personal preference as well as who will end up carrying the bag most of the time. Most men wouldn’t really want to be carrying a pink diaper bag around! My mummy friends told me to get a roomy bag so that I can lug more things around, so when I saw this Okiedog bag on sale at the Expo fair, I quickly grabbed it. I’m even more pleased with it because it was being sold at half price (I love a good deal!) and it’s waterproof. My mummy friend Z has done a couple of reviews on the various diaper bags she owns, so do check them out.

– Baby sling/carrier I bought a pretty one from Pupsik, although Noah doesn’t seem to enjoy being in it very much. I’ve only managed to successfully bring him downstairs for a walk ONCE in the sling! We’ve heard many good things about this shop in Square 2, so maybe we will check it out soon. Apparently, it’s best to wait till after baby is born to buy the carrier, as you can then bring him down to the shop to try out the various brands and designs.

– Infant car seat We bought the Maxi-Cosi Pebble car seat as it was one of two car seats that can be used with our stroller. The Taka Baby Fair had a good deal on selected colours for this model so we decided to save a bit of money, rather than choose a prettier colour.

– Stroller We splurged on a good stroller as we originally had plans to relocate overseas for a year due to C’s job. We’ve heard horror stories of how strollers were mishandled by airline crew, resulting in damaged strollers, so we wanted a sturdy one, made of hardier material. Okay, I confess that I was won over by the look of the Bugaboo Bee as well. So far, it has served us well, although we haven’t really taken it out much. It is relatively light, although it’s not one of those ‘one-hand-close’ models, which some may prefer. We got ours from Mothercare, as well as the Maxi-Cosi car seat adaptors ($89). Noah seems quite comfy in it and I’ve managed to bring him for two short walks downstairs in it. I like that it glides smoothly and is sturdy enough to negotiate bumpy pavements without me feeling as though it will fall apart. The underseat basket is also roomy enough for my bag (but not my Okiedog diaper bag, which is huge) and some small shopping bags.

– Stroller fan We found a cheap one at Kiddy Palace but have yet to use it, as we haven’t really gone out much with Noah. It’s a good idea to get one though, as when I picked Noah up from the car seat after our walk the other morning, the poor boy was quite sweaty!

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Discount Codes for Online Shopping

I’m a firm believer of getting the best possible deal (read: true blue ‘auntie’ mentality) and of sharing good deals with as many people as possible, so here are some of the discount codes I’ve found recently. I haven’t had time to sit down and shop online properly but these discount codes are valid till December 2012, so there’s still time!

Milky Way Family
– www.milkywayfamily.com
– $20 off with a minimum purchase of $150
– Voucher Code: MotherandBabyPromo

The Birth Shop 
– www.thebirthshop.com.sg
– 15% off with minimum purchase of $50
– Voucher code: MTBV

Maternal Love 
– www.maternalove.com
– $20 off minimum purchase of $100: BABYCARE20
– $30 off minimum purchase of $150: BABYCARE30
– $50 off minimum purchase of $200: BABYCARE50

Happy shopping, everyone! 🙂

 

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Preparing for Baby (Part 3)

Poo happens. And for newborns, it happens MANY times, more so if they are on total breast milk. Babycenter even has a poo gallery which is not recommended viewing for the faint-hearted, although you probably need to get used to the sight of all that poo. Just this morning, as the confinement lady was changing Noah’s diaper, the little boy decided to fart/poo and that was really not a pleasant sight or experience. I’m just glad I wasn’t the one standing there! 😛

Bath/Grooming/Health Needs
– Changing table We got a very basic one from Ikea which has a shelf below for storage of various items. 

– Cot top changer Initially, we wanted the universal cot top changer from Mothercare but the outlet at Forum (DO NOT GO THERE!) didn’t stock it and we were so frustrated by the poor service there that we just got a simple padded changing mat instead. 

– Rubber changing mat This comes in handy when your cot top changer is soiled and you need to change baby’s diaper on the bed/sofa instead. It happens more often than you think! I also used it recently as a waterproof sheet on our bed after Noah had a ‘diaper malfunction’ and a little pee got onto our bed. We got our Pureen mat from Kiddy Palace. 

– Diapers We got a really good deal on the Pampers Newborn diapers at one of the Expo fairs: 3 packs for $10! These diapers can be worn by babies up to 5kg and have served us well, with no leakages so far. We are also using the Huggies Newborn range of diapers although the cut is smaller and can only be used for babies up to 4kg. Noah’s ‘diaper malfunction’ also occurred when he was wearing the Huggies diaper. During my pregnancy, I went to various diaper websites to request for samples and the confinement lady is very impressed with the quality of Goo.N diapers. She loves how absorbent it is and keeps telling me that it’s completely dry to the touch, even though baby has peed quite a bit. Mamy Poko is also quite soft, as is Drypers, but she has advised against using the PetPet diapers as she says the edges are a little rough and may irritate baby’s skin. 

– Diaper storage system When we bought the cot, it came with a Munchkin diaper organiser that can be hung on the side of the cot. It can hold quite a few packs of diapers, which is handy. 

– Wet wipes x as many as you like Stock up on these because you’re going to need them. Lots of them. Just make sure that you look out for wipes without any alcohol or fragrance. If your baby has sensitive skin, J&J has a special range (light pink packaging) which is apparently pretty good and thick. We use Pureen wipes (100 sheets a pack, yellow packaging) from Kiddy Palace at the moment as they are cheap compared to the other brands out there. 

– Barrier cream (Daily use) Motherkao recommended either Earth Friendly Baby or Desitin, while another friend uses Mustela. I bought a tube each of the blue and purple (for diaper rash) Desitin creams and tried the blue one out on Noah initially. The texture is a little thick and difficult to spread on baby’s skin, especially when he’s squirming away on the changing table. TMC gave us a tube of the Pureen diaper cream which is thinner in texture and we’ve been using that for now. Whichever brand you choose, make sure you look for one with zinc oxide, which will get rid of diaper rash. UPDATE: We’ve gone back to Desitin now as Noah’s bum started turning a little red and my godsis, who saw it, told me to use Desitin instead as it provides better protection. I’ve also used the Purple Desitin on a couple of occasions when I’m being extra paranoid. However, be warned that it’s really smelly and the smell lingers on your fingers even after you wash them with soap. 

– Baby bath tub The First Years has a unique-shaped bath tub that we saw at the Taka Baby Fair and we got it because we thought it would be useful to be able to place the bath tub in the kitchen sink. Our confinement lady however, isn’t very fond of the shape as she prefers a flat-based traditional one. She’s also more comfy with bathing the baby in the toilet so that’s what we’ve been doing so far. For those of you delivering in Mt Alvernia Hospital, you don’t even need to buy your own bath tub as the hospital will give you one! 

– Baby body and hair wash The J&J Top to Toe wash (Yellow bottle) came highly recommended by the different mummies I spoke to and we’ve been using it since we got home. 

– Baby oil This can be added to the bath water if your baby, like ours, has dry skin. UPDATE: I’ve stopped putting the baby oil into the water as his skin is much better now. I apply the baby oil on his scalp because of his cradle cap, at least half an hour before I bathe him and wash it off. Some doctors recommend using olive oil instead of baby oil, but since I haven’t been able to purchase the olive oil, I figured the baby oil is the next best thing. 

– ‘Ru Yi’ oil We usually rub a few drops of this on baby’s belly after his bath. I love the smell of the oil and always associate it with babies. 

– Baby bath towels x 3 These need to be BIG and soft. I bought a few from one of the Expo fairs and got a very nice fluffy one from Thomson Medical Centre’s (TMC) antenatal class package. Make sure you can wrap the baby comfortably in it with lots of room to spare. 

– Baby wash cloths x 16 Yes I know the number is rather odd but that’s because we bought the Gerber wash cloths that come in packs of 8. Make sure you get those really small cloths made of thin material. I made the mistake of buying the normal-sized face towels initially, thinking they were small enough, but thank goodness my godmother saw them and told me to get even smaller and thinner ones. We use these wash cloths during bath time. 

– Laundry detergent for baby’s clothes Motherkao recommended the Pureen ABD Washing Powder and since she has three kids, I figured she definitely knew what she was talking about. I like the smell of it and that it can be used with our front-loading washing machine. 

– Nail scissors and clipper We got a free pair of nail scissors from one of the milk powder companies, which gave them away together with free samples of milk powder. We haven’t dared to use it nor the Tollijoy nail clipper yet, even though Noah’s nails are quite sharp, because his fingers and toes are so tiny. I’ve also heard that you can use a needle to trim the baby’s nails but I have yet to see that being done. 

– Nasal aspirator / cotton buds We found a simple one from Kiddy Palace but again, we haven’t dared to use it. For now, the confinement lady uses a cotton bud to quickly swipe his nostrils once in a while, although it’s not recommended by the doctor who guest lectured in our antenatal class. 

– Tooth wipes You can use sterile gauze dipped in cooled boiled water to wipe baby’s tongue during bath time. Our confinement lady uses the rough side of a baby wash cloth for the same purpose. It’s important to wipe baby’s tongue so that he doesn’t develop oral thrush. Later on, when his teeth begin to grow, you can get a thimble-looking gadget with small bristles on it to brush his teeth. 

– Cotton wool pads The cotton wool pads are dipped in cooled boiled water and used to wipe baby’s eyes. In the initial days when Noah was jaundiced, he had a lot of yellowish eye discharge, which sometimes made it difficult for him to even open his eyes. The doctor prescribed some saline water that we put onto the cotton wool pads to wipe his eyes. 

– Digital thermometer We decided on the Cadi T560 after seeing it at an Expo fair. However, the paediatrician recommends using a digital thermometer that can be placed under the baby’s armpit instead, as that would give you the most accurate reading, especially for newborns. 

– Cold packs for use during fevers This is easily found in major supermarkets and we got a pack of it meant for babies. I think that basically means that it’s smaller in size, for smaller foreheads. 

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