Category Archives: Kids

Bath Time

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Bathing a newborn for the first time can be quite daunting and so I have dedicated this post to providing some tips to make bath time for baby less scary. Once you get the hang of bathing a newborn it can be a really enjoyable and relaxing time for both mother and baby. Bathing your newborn helps you bond and form a loving relationship with your baby so I do encourage fathers to have a few turns bathing bubs as well.

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The first rule of thumb for bathing a newborn is to choose a standard no frill, no attachment, simple and very basic stock standard bath tub. Target and Kmart standard baby tubs are perfect and should cost about $30. Don’t bother going for an expensive tub with all these toys and other attachments on, it hinders and makes the task of bathing more difficult! Because your newborn is very fragile and you need to have a good grip on them you do not want anything hanging off the bath tub getting in the way it can get very annoying. The only accessory that I do recommend is a bath stand for those that are like me and have a bad back, having a stand allows you to bathe baby standing up.

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Next and very importantly make sure the water temp is warm but not too hot. The ideal temperature for bathing babies is 37 degrees Celsius. If you are a first time mother I strongly recommend a bath thermometer to make sure the water is not too hot. The trick is to fill the tub with cold water first then add the hot water to warm it up. Remember never leave the water running when bathing a baby as the water can get too hot really quickly.

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Choosing what soaps or bath lotion to use can be rather stressful and confusing as there are quite a lot of different good quality bath soaps, lotions and oils available. My general guide in this area is to choose a soap free one. The more natural the better for our babies as generally most babies don’t really get that dirty that you would need harsh soaps to clean them. Babies skins are still quite soft and sensitive and so exposing them to soaps can cause rashes and dries their skins. I have included above my recommendations as I have used all three brands with my children without any problems. However, any other soap free brands are just as good. Addressing cradle caps, for both my children the Dermaveen oatmeal shampoo worked in lifting and removing their cradle caps (which is the hard, flaky, scab like formation on a babies head) usually appears a few days after birth. I have heard rubbing olive oil also works on stubborn cradle cap.

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Finally, babies usually should only need one bath a day (they don’t usually get dirty except for the occasional bowel accidents)! I find bathing baby twice a day tends to dry their skin out. However, most babies seem to settle and sleep easier after a bath, my second child was like this. After bath time he settle into a good sleep quite easily so I chose to give him his daily bath just before bedtime. As baby gets older bath toys and bubbles can be introduce to make bath time fun as some may find that their child might not like or enjoy having a bath and can make bath time quite dramatic! I find if this is the case try giving them bubble baths instead, kids love anything to do with bubbles! Toys can help distract them from being afraid of being in the water and gives them something to fidget with while you clean them!

THE FIRST MONTH

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Photos courtesy of Edward Teh Photography & Lumens Photography
Photos courtesy of Edward Teh Photography & Lumens Photography

Personally the first month of a baby’s life is probably the most important but also the most difficult time for a new mother and father. So I thought for this post I will share some of my personal experience to hopefully make that first month less daunting for any new parent. I think that it is safe to say that the first month for any baby is going to be difficult as this is when they have to physically adjust to life in the outside world for the first time away from the safe compound of a mother’s womb and some adjust with relative ease while others take a significant amount if time to fully comprehend what life is like on the outside!! So the most important rule for all new parents is that your baby is different so irrespective of how other babies behave during this month it varies from child to child!! No child is the same and no behaviour is right or wrong. The only thing as a parent we can do is accommodate and adapt to our babies needs and guide it through it’s first month with love and care.

The significant of the first month in Asian culture is signified with a celebration when our precious one reaches it’s first month milestone. They believe the first month is just as important as a baby’s first year milestone. So when baby reaches the first month a party is held in celebration!! (Call it a mini birthday celebration). As a mother I now know why it is so important. The first month is when you begin to form that unique bond with your child that only exist between a mother and her baby. The first month is also the start of life as a parent to a child that now totally depends on you in every aspect of it’s life and no more than in this first month when it requires reassurance that it is safe in this big new world with you by their side.

The first month is also known in Asia as the confinement period. Most Asian mums have to undertake this period of confinement after giving birth to a child.

Personally to me the first month is the most important for both a new parent and the newborn. Therefore, I have decided to break up this post into five categories which I feel is the most significant for any new parent to have some basic knowledge about. These are – The Confinement Period, Sleep Patterns, Bath Time, Breast Feeding and Post Natal Blues. So stay tune for each Post in the not so distant future!

Prams Prams Prams

I thought today I would look at prams which is very exciting mainly because it was the one purchase I was really looking forward to. My excitement stems from the fact that I was very spoilt for choice when looking at different prams. Unfortunately, like all first time parents and I am sure I was not alone in this situation I chose the wrong pram the first time around. Not having any idea of what to look for or what pram would suit my needs we rushed our purchase of a pram and came to regret it later.

Like many first time parents when buying our first ever pram we automatically gravitated to the biggest and probably heaviest pram thinking that it was going to provide more safety for our precious newborn. We looked for prams that was basically a cot on wheels thinking it would be perfect for our little one to sleep comfortably while we were out and about. Which without much experience and knowledge in this area made perfect sense.

However, once we actually took our monster of a pram out for a spin we soon realised how cumbersome and unpractical this particular pram was! Trying to push the pram around the confined spaces of certain retail stores and restaurants made using the pram less and less enjoyable. Not to mention the first time I had to take the pram out alone without the help of Hubby’s strength I struggled literally getting the pram out of the boot (it weighed a ton) add to that the fact that it took me forever to work out how to unfold the thing all while baby was screaming in the car because I was taking too long. We’ll lets go to say that was my last and only trip taking that pram out by myself. Even my husband took it out only a handful of times after that before he gave up and went and purchased a Baby carrier.

The second time around purchasing a pram we had a lot more knowledge and knew what we needed before making our selection. So when my second son came along a friend recommended me her pram which basically was built with the exact specifications I wanted, to be able to use the pram every day. It was light so it was easy to take in and out of the car. It was a one button push to fold and a simple pull to open up the pram completely which is so easy and practical to use. It converts from both a forward and reverse facing pram easily. It also allows you to adjust the seat so baby can lie down or sit up as required and all with just a simple click (perfect)!! The pram is extremely compact and very easy to manoeuvre around small spaces as well. And my absolute favourite part about the pram is you can change the sunshade and the pram liner to different colours depending on your mood and the available colours you can choose from is mind boggling!! You can also fit the pram into a carry bag for travelling how great is that!! Something we needed as our son got older was a pram that we can fold and send on board a plane. So the pram we ended up buying for our second son was a Bugaboo Bee and although it costs a bit more than my original pram, the use I have had from it made the spend worth it.

Bugaboo Bee
Bugaboo Bee

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Now I know the Bugaboo Bee might not be for everyone so I have included a few other prams that come with glowing recommendations. Here are a lists of other brands you may consider:

THE BUDGET

Maclaren Quest Elite
Maclaren Quest Elite

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Maclaren prams are great because not only are they affordable they are lightweight and come with their revolutionary 3D fold design (one hand fold). This ensures the pram folds up both easily and compact which is good if you have a small car or limited boot space. However, Maclaren prams although lightweight is very sturdy and having been around since 1965 you can rest assure their prams are made of the highest safety and quality. They pride themselves on their above industry standards on safety features and innovative styles. Which gives me a lot of confidence when recommending this brand.

THE STYLISH

Quinny Moodd
Quinny Moodd

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I recommend the Quinny pram with confidence as I currently have the Quinny for my eldest son. I purchased the Quinny a few years back when my son was 3 and we needed a pram for his first trip overseas and the idea of lugging his monster pram around on holidays sent shivers down my spine so I made my husband do some research on a basic lightweight pram and he ended up buying the Quinny Zapp which was perfect!! It folded into a bag and was so light and easy to open and fold I just loved it! The downside is that the Zapp is not suitable for a newborn. That’s why I recommend the Quinny Moodd instead of the Zapp. The Moodd not only looks very stylish it also comes with some great features such as a one touch automatic unfolding and a
two way reclining seat from birth!! The only thing is that it is a bit more heavier than the Bugaboo Bee but still light compared to other prams on the market.

THE HIGH TECH

4Moms Origami
4Moms Origami

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Although relatively new onto the market the 4Moms Origami pram comes with some very impressive features not seen before on any other prams. It has a power folding feature that means the pram opens and closes by itself with a press of a button. Add to that some generators on the wheels so it can self charge as well as allowing you to charge your phone while you walk how great is that. Then you also get lights on the pram to make you and your baby more visible especially good for those late afternoons and nightly walks. Then the best high tech feature is an LCD screen on the pram that includes a thermometer/speedometer/trip and lifetime odometers. Truly an unbelievable pram with all the quirky technological features. This pram is perfect for those that want something just a little bit different.

So, hopefully after reading this blog post you can go ahead with purchasing the right pram with a bit more knowledge than want I had purchasing my first pram!!!

Baby Car Seats

I’m not sure what is going on today but it seems like everyone is in a rush all the time. It saddens me to witness recently a crash while dropping my son off a school because a father could not wait 5 extra minutes for a mother to pull out before he slammed into her car with children still on board. The loud bang of two cars colliding sickens me and I just can’t understand why people can’t wait that extra few minutes to ensure the safety of our children. But thus this is the world we live in today so unfortunately the one thing as a
parent-to-be we cannot skimp on is a decent baby car seats.

As we all know you can not leave a hospital with your newborn without a baby seat being installed in your car. So after the purchase of the cot this was the next item on our shopping list. Fortunately for me my husband was a strong advocate of buying the best possible safest baby car seat that was available at the time. Mainly because his wife was such a bad driver, he had to make sure his son was going to be as safe as possible given the driving ability of his wife poor thing! He did his research and there was so many out there it was quite daunting. However, luckily as an engineer research was a part of his DNA.
Also, talking to recent mothers I have been able to put together some suggestions which hopefully will help in making your decision when purchasing a car seat easier.

There are two options you need to consider when looking at buying a baby car seats. The first option is a baby car seat that can be detached from the car and attached on to a pram. This option is great for mothers who are constantly on the move. You can simply unlock the baby seat from the car and carry your baby out undisturbed. Great for babies that get upset if their sleep is disturbed. Two brands that do great baby seats that allows you to use as a baby carrier are Maxi Cosi and Chicco.

MAXI COSI

Maxi. Cosi Titan
Maxi. Cosi Titan

The Maxi Cosi is probably one of the most popular brand that allows you this option. The main advantage of buying a Maxi Cosi is that you can attached this baby carrier to a number of different prams by simply purchasing an attachment for that pram. This means you do not have to purchase a Maxi Cosi pram if you do not wish to. I find this flexibility a bonus and it is also one of the safer brands of baby car seats currently available. Having a few friends using this brand and not having any issues with it gives me confidence in recommending it.

Chicco

Sold as a carrier and pram set
Sold as a carrier and pram set

The other brand that I am recommending is Chicco only because I do love their products. I have their baby walker and I must say compared to my first walker, the Chicco one was a lot more sturdy and the toy Tray was much more high tech than my previous one which my son loved! Overall the quality of the walker was of much higher standard and so I am confident that their baby seat and pram will be along the same lines as all their other products. And afterall I am a sucker for products that not only does the job but looks good too.

Now the second option is simply purchasing a baby seat that is fitted securely into your car. This is the option I chose as I am only about 5 foot and carrying a carrier around would have been a struggle for me given my height and size. After looking at numerous brands I settled on the Safe and Sound mainly because of their high safety ratings. I just love this brand as there is quite a lot of cushioning around baby, particularly around his head area that you do not find on some other brands. Now, Safe and Sound isn’t cheap and their unique AHR (Active Head Restraint) technology is the main reason my hubby preferred this brand over many others. We found this was worth the extra dollars for to give our precious one the best protection. And we have been able to reuse the same seat for our second son without any problems.

Safe n Sound

Safe n Sound AHR  Booster
Safe n Sound AHR Booster

Infa

Infa Secure Luxi
Infa Secure Luxi

The other brands that some of my friends have chosen and recommended to me is the Infa brand. The baby seat is very similar to the Safe n Sound with quite a lot if cushioning for baby’s safety and like all Infa products the design is very fashion forward. The other bonus is it is designed in Australia and meets all the strict Australian standards which is very high as child road safety is paramount in Australian government regulations. Hey where else in the world do you get fined $600 for any child that is not properly restrained in a car!

Hope this post helps when you are deciding which baby car seat is best for you and your precious child.

The Cot

This is probably one of the first item we all purchase prior to our first born. I have included a selection of popular brands from the cheapest to the more luxury cots currently available. Bearing in mind for those who want to go for the high end cots may have to think twice if their bubs are anything like my two kids who probably ended up sleeping in their cots about 10% of the time. Thankfully I refrained from going for the high end brands which may have looked good in the nursery but probably wouldn’t have got me much value for money.

THE BUDGET

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IKEA always does good affordable furniture that is practical and looks great. The advantage with this cot is at $249 it allows you to spend a bit more on a good quality mattress for the baby which I believe is more important for the baby’s comfort. Always try to invest in a good quality mattress for your little one as this is essential for their comfortability, considering how much time they will spend sleeping on it.

THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD

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Ever the practical mother I ended up choosing the Grotime cot for my bubs. It converts to a bed later on when they get older and at around $700 comes in as the middle of the range cot. I have also included the Boori cot which is similar and I have heard good reviews with the Boori brand as well.

THE LUXO

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For those lucky enough to afford the more luxury cots these two brands come highly recommended. They look great with the curved european design and will make any nursery look posh and expensive. Personally however if I had to choose between the two although very similar I would lean more towards the Bloom as there is more air ventilation with this cot then the Leander which may help with reducing SIDS.

Hopefully this post with help in your decision in choosing the right cot for your precious one and really at the end of the day comes down to preference as all will do the job. Good luck with the purchase and next up we will look at baby car seats!

Preparing For Bub’s Arrival

You’ve been pregnant for what might seem like an eternity but the due date has almost arrived and it is time you need to start thinking about the essential items bubs will need when they are here. Usually in Asian culture we try not to buy anything for the new baby until you are well over your 6 months stage. Some may call it superstitious, while others may think its just smart planning but from a medical point of view after 6 months the risk of miscarriage drops dramatically and baby is well formed by this stage. My husband was a strict advocate of not buying anything for anyone until they have given birth because he didn’t want to jinx them. Which in a way makes sense coz I know I couldn’t face looking at these items if I had just lost a baby. So when it came to our first child he stuck to this belief and refused to let me buy anything until I was nearly 7 months pregnant. So I was stuck with 7 long months pouring over magazines and websites researching what I could buy. This gave me time to research and talk to other mothers prior to my purchases. So now I am able to share a lists of the Esstential items you will need from birth. I tried to stick to just the essentials and refrained from buying everything until you need it otherwise you will end up with bits and pieces that honestly you may never use..