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Babies For Parents Toddlers

How to Wash and Care for Milk Bottles Effectively and Efficiently?

The fundamental basics are to wash milk bottles immediately after use, rinse thoroughly and dry as both infant formula milk powder and breast milk leave an oily residue.

Did you know that there is more to caring for your baby’s milk bottles?

If your baby is below six months old, their immune system is still developing and extra attention is needed when washing and caring for your baby’s bottles.

Washing

Bottles should be fully disassembled for easier and more thorough cleaning.

Wash your baby’s bottles with a baby bottle detergent that has no toxic ingredients.Use a clean bottle brush and teat brush to ensure that all nooks and crannies of the bottle can be reached. In addition, remember to wash your hands before and after handling bottles. It’s tedious but necessary as our hands carry many germs from the surfaces that we touch regularly and not washing your hands thoroughly may lead to viruses that cause diarrhoea.

If washing by hand instead of in a dishwasher, it is recommended to place the bottles into a large container and pour hot soapy water into it while scrubbing the interior with a bottle brush. Before putting the bottles and equipment away, ensure that they are entirely dry before keeping them aside to prevent the proliferation of bacteria.

Sterilising

Sterilising is recommended especially for premature babies and newborns to kill off harmful viruses that may remain in the bottles after washing. The most traditional method of sterilising baby bottles is to boil them in water.

However, this method can result in burns and scalds if you are not careful. There are steam sterilisers and more recently, UV sterilisers. UV sterilisers are considerably pricier than steam sterilisers but there is little effort required as the baby bottles can be left in the steriliser until the next use without needing to dry them on a drying rack.

Types of bottles and recommended usage period

Most baby bottles currently sold in the market are made from polypropylene (PP) plastic. These bottles lose their transparency and change colour with time. This indicates a chemical breakdown in the plastic and thus, should be changed when it happens or every 6 months, whichever happens earlier.

Polyethersulphone (PES) is tougher and safer than PP bottles. It can withstand a higher temperature than PP without breaking down chemically. If exposed to boiling water, PES will start disintegrating. PES bottles look cloudy or have a honey-coloured tint. It is advised that PES bottles be changed every 6 months.

Polyphenylsulfone (PPSU) bottles are the sturdiest of the three plastics with the highest durability and heat tolerance. It does not absorb odour or change colour and is suitable for repeat sterilisation. Despite this, you should get new PPSU bottles every year.

Glass bottles are likely the most durable of the lot. However, it may be too heavy for a baby to hold on its own and require special silicone holders for a better grip.

These bottles can be purchased from stores that sell baby products such as Lazada Redmart.

How to look out for wear and tear

Scrutinise your baby’s bottles daily for cracks or chips that could break and cause milk to leak. Scratched plastic bottles should be tossed as bacteria could breed inside the scratch lines. Replace teat nipples when they become cracked or gummy or every 3 months.

A speedy way to check is to observe how the formula flows from the teat. If it is in even drops, then it is good to use. If it is in a steady stream, it means that the milk is flowing too fast and could lead to choking. If the milk flows too slowly, consider using a nipple with more holes or switch to the next stage for a more comfortable flow.

How do you care for your baby’s bottles? Let us know in the comments!

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Family Fun For Parents Pregnant

Pregnancy Week 1-5: Preparing to Conceive

Are you and your partner planning for a baby?

If so, it is vital that ladies start on folic acid supplement ideally two months before conceiving to reduce baby’s risk of neural tube defects, congenital heart defects, cleft palate and cleft lip. The recommended dosage is 400mcg daily.

Prior to conceiving, here are some of the things which you can do to increase your rate of conception:

  • Schedule a visit to the gynaecologist
    A gynaecologist will review your medical history as well as any medications that may affect fertility.
  • Avoid smoking, drinking and excessive amounts of caffeine
    Cigarettes and alcohol have been shown to reduce fertility rates and it is wise to cut down on those as well as cut down on caffeine. Limit your daily intake of coffee to not more than two cups.
  • Aim for a healthy weight
    If you are overweight or underweight, it makes conception a little bit harder and could cause complications. Try to aim for a healthy weight range to increase your chances.

Folic acid can be found in green leafy vegetables and is an essential nutrient which supports a healthy pregnancy.

WEEKS 1 & 2:

At weeks 1 and 2, you’re not actually pregnant yet! That’s because the estimated due date (EDD) is calculated from the beginning of your last menstrual period. This means that the period before conception is also taken into consideration.

In order to get pregnant, you need to understand when you are ovulating. If your period generally lasts about 28 days, ovulation is about 14 days from the first day of your period. This is thus the best time to try conceiving, as an egg only lives about 12 to 24 hours after leaving the ovary. Each cycle sees about 20 eggs being released from the ovary.

WEEK 3:
If fertilisation is successful, the egg will move from the ovary into the uterus, where it will attach to the uterine lining. At this stage, it doesn’t resemble anything like a baby as it is a group of 100 rapidly multiplying cells and is about the size of a strawberry seed.

You won’t even notice that you’re pregnant at this stage as there are no noticeable signs and you wouldn’t have missed your period yet. This is because most early pregnancy symptoms are caused by pregnancy hormones and the level in your body is not high enough to cause a reaction yet.

Smoking greatly reduces the chances of conception – women who smoke are 30% less likely to conceive than non-smokers

WEEK 4:
The outer layer of the ball of cells is now splitting into the placenta and the inner layer, into the embryo. Your baby’s neural tube which is the building block of the brain and spine, is already formed. This is when you will start to notice that you have missed your period and suspect that you might be pregnant. Over the counter pregnancy test kits should be able to detect pregnancy, though sometimes the pregnancy hormone (hCG) levels are not high enough to be detected. If so, try again after a few days.

WEEK 5:
Congratulations! You’re pregnant! Your baby is now the size of an apple seed, or about 3.3mm. You should have noticed some visible early pregnancy symptoms by now, such as nausea, vomiting, sore breasts and fatigue. This is termed as morning sickness, except that the symptoms last throughout the day for weeks.

Continue taking folic acid supplements and be aware of the foods to avoid during pregnancyand the necessary nutrients required for pregnant mumsto help your foetus develop healthily.

How did you discover your pregnancy? Let us know in the comments!

Categories
Babies Babies For Parents Health & Nutrition

Mum’s Checklist: 5 Essentials Breastfeeding Mums Need

Breastfeeding is a wonderful way of bonding with your baby as it provides closeness in addition to your baby’s nutritional requirements.

Mums who breastfeed may do it in different manners: Some breastfeeding mums latch their babies directly, other nursing mothers practice exclusive pumping, while some mums offer mixed feeds to their babies with both breast milk and infant formula milk powder.

Many mums who return to work after their maternity leave struggle to keep up with maintaining their supply especially when their work schedule makes it inconvenient for them to pump.

Thus, we have compiled a handy checklist of breastfeeding essentials for you to power on in providing the best nutrition for your baby! Also, always remember to practice good hygiene by washing your hands before and after pumping.

  1. Breast pump with proper flanges

A breast pump helps to express milk efficiently into storage bottles for feeding your child. Hand expressing and manual breast pumps are cheaper than electric breast pumps but can lead to sore fingers and cramped arms.

There are a number of decently priced electric breast pump models in the market which serve the same function. Certain models have a separate message mode that sends vibrations to relieve engorgement and stimulate the breast for letdown before expressing milk. Be sure to get flanges of the right size, as flanges that are too small can result in nipple abrasion and flanges that are too large take in too much areola. Improper flange sizes result in a poor fit which in turn lead to less milk expressed from the breasts.

Using a compatible breast milk storage bottle with your breast pump reduces the risk of contamination.

  1. Breast milk storage bottles or breastmilk storage bags
    If you’re expressing milk, you’ll need a hygienic receptacle to store it in. Breast milk storage bags are widely used as they are disposable and can freeze flat, but they are not eco-friendly as the bags cannot be recycled or reused.

Choose breast milk storage bottles that are compatible with your breast pump so that you can express directly into the bottle for storage. This reduces the chance of contamination as there is no need to transfer the breast milk from a bottle into a breast milk bag. For most breast milk storage bottles, there is an accompanying bottle adaptor that allows you to fit a feeding teat over the bottle to feed your baby directly and saves time from transferring the breastmilk and risk spillage.

  1. Nursing bra and handsfree accessories

Nursing bras provide easy access when latching or pumping. Supportive nursing bras can be purchased from Lazada or Qoo10 online or from stores that retail maternity wear. Pumping bras come with slits to hold your breast flanges in place for hands-free pumping. Keeping your hands-free allows busy mums to multi-task, and this luxury can come in the form of hands-free flanges or breastmilk collection cups. Do ensure that the flanges and collection cups hold well in place as the movement may lead to leakage of liquid gold during pumping.

  1. Nursing cover
    A nursing cover comes in handy when you find yourself in a situation where there are no available cubicles or nursing rooms. A nursing cover lets you pump at your desk, or simply to cover up when latching your baby while protecting your modesty.

A nursing cover doubles up as a scarf in cold spaces!

  1. Contacts of lactation consultants or massage ladies
    New mums may find themselves engorged easily due to the overwhelming hormones and unregulated milk supply. Having a lactation consultant or reliable massage lady that can relieve blockages will be a godsend for times when you encounter problems with breastfeeding.

If your baby is above six months old, you may consider supplementing with infant formula milk powder if you find your supply dipping or if you wish to wean your baby. Though breast milk is the golden standard, infant formula that is enhanced with nucleotides can assist in helping your child develop healthily.

Do you pack other essentials for your breastfeeding journey too, mums? Share with us in the comments below.

Categories
Family Fun

6 baby-friendly places you can bring your child to

Bringing your child out can often be a headache as there are multiple needs to attend to. Your child may burst into tears while shopping, refuse to leave his favourite toy shop or throw a tantrum abruptly. Hence, we have compiled a list of baby-friendly places that you can bring your child to while dining and shopping. You can now focus on yourself while not compromising on your child’s needs!

Shopping malls with indoor playground

 

  • Petite Park at Kallang Wave Mall

The Petite Park in Kallang Wave Mall is dedicated to early childhood learning and development. Pamper yourself by going on a coffee break, while letting your child explore the bouncy castle, F1 track and pretending to be a chef using the kitchen set.

Source: LittleDayOut
Source:Littledayout

Venue: Petite Park, Kallang Wave Mall, 1 Stadium Place, #01-06/07, Singapore 397628

  • Joy of Toys at Clarke Quay Central

If you find your child bored of shopping, bring him to the Joy of Toys. Unlike Petite Park, Joy of Toys does not offer bouncy castle or big slides. Instead, there is a huge range of wooden toys to stimulate your child’s brain development and family toys to foster closer family ties.

Source: Honeykids Asia

 

Venue: Joy of Toys, 6 Eu Tong Sen Street, #03-51 Clarke Quay Central (Yellow Zone), Singapore 059817

Baby-Friendly Restaurant

Eating out can be another headache. They may not like the food served or simply prefer to watch their iPad than to eat.  So here are some good places that you can consider bringing your child to.

 

  • Eat Play Love Cafe

Named after the movie, this cafe is dedicated for Eat, Play and Love. Located at Aliwal Street, this cafe doubles up as a daycare. It believes in serving good food, while getting your child engaged. The café serves Thai-Western Fusion Food, while carving out a space for babies to play. For just $5 an hour, your child gets to enjoy a wide range of craft materials.

 

Source:Timeout

Venue: 28 Aliwal Street, #01-07, Singapore 199918

 

  • Café Melba @ GoodMan Arts Centre

 

Café Melba is a good place to chill at if you are at the east side of Singapore. Not only is it famous for its pancakes, the expansive space also makes it possible for your ever-adventurous child to explore. Most importantly, Café Melba hosts The Kids Club every first Saturday of the month, for its Create art and craft event. Your child gets to enjoy an entire day of activities while you get to savour your all day breakfast menu and weekend roast.

Venue: 90 Goodman Road, Goodman Arts Centre, Blk N #01-56 Singapore, 439053

Baby-friendly exhibitions

  • Wild Rumpus, The Artground 

Get your child to learn about the world through exhibitions. Bring your child to Wild Rumpus, an exhibition curated by a local artist, Adeline Loo. Adeline has created an imaginary world filled with creatures of all shapes and sizes for your child to explore

 

Source:HoneykidsAsia

Venue: The Artground, Goodman Arts Centre, 90 Goodman Road, Block J #01-40, Singapore 439053

Exhibition until 5 May 2019

  • Going Play-ces: A Wanderful Exploration of New Lands!, Playeum, Children’s Centre for Creativity

Unlike other normal exhibitions, Going Play-ces is designed for a hands-on experience.  Your child will get to explore with sand, soil, light and even bricks that make up our buildings. Your child gets to enjoy these activities while developing their psychomotor skills, making it a perfect place to be on a weekend.

Source: HoneykidsAsia. Gadgets exhibition for children to explore the mechanics behind our electronic devices.

 

 

Source: HoneykidsAsia. Arrive in Homeland : The place where parents would be brief on the purpose of the exhibition

 

 

Source: HoneyKidsAsia. Jungaloo: Indoor jungle created with recycled fabric

Venue: Playeum, 47 Malan Road, #01-21/22/23, Singapore 10944

Exhibition until 29 April 2019

 

 

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Uncategorized

Baby Vision Development: From Birth to 12 months old

Newborn babies enter the world with extremely limited vision, which explains their quizzical look. Over the next few weeks and months, their vision will gradually improve until they have an almost complete vision at about six months old.

 

Newborns start focusing their eyes on their parents or people close to them by eight weeks old.

Birth to 3 Months Old
Even though a baby’s visual development begins in the womb, newborns are born with only the ability to see in black and white, as well as shades of grey. At this stage, there is much more to be learnt – how to focus their eyes and move them accurately.

 

Parents can help by displaying black and white visual aids with patterns and shapes near your baby’s cot. Their vision steadily improves in months two and three, when their eyes start moving together. Hand-eye coordination starts developing when they focus on an object of interest and try to reach out for it.


Tips:

Support your baby’s visual development by placing him on his tummy for a few minutes so he can have a better view of what’s around him, as opposed to staring at his cot and the ceiling. This activity has the added bonus of strengthening his neck muscles!

 

Exclusive breastfeeding from birth till at least six months old aids in your baby’s development as it provides all the necessary nutrients, minerals and vitamins.

Black and white images have high contrast and are easy for your baby’s eyes to detect.

Four to Seven Months Old

A few months in this world, along with sufficient brain development, your child is able to see more distinctly and even track moving objects. His hand-eye coordination has improved to the point that he is able to locate objects, pick them up and place them in his mouth.

 

Around five months old, your baby develops depth perception. Both his eyes can now work together for a 3-dimensional view of the world. At this point, his colour vision will be similar to that of an adult, enabling him to take in all the colours of the rainbow.

 

Tips:
Babies from six months old can be fed solid food to supplement their main diet of breast milk or formula milk with iron. The nutrients will aid in their brain and visual development. At about six months old, your baby should have his first visual examination to ensure that his vision is developing normally.

 

Eight to Twelve Months Old

Babies of this age are crawling and learning how to stand. They are more aware of their body and their improved vision comes in handy when coordinating body movements. Encouraging your baby to crawl for longer aids in the development of his neural pathways. They can judge distances and throw objects at a distance. His hand-eye coordination should have developed to a point where he can pick up small objects with his thumb and forefinger (pincer grasp) and would be able to feed himself with bite-sized fruit such as blueberries.

 

Tips:

An active and mobile baby is prone to bumps and falls. Invest in basic baby-proofing like table guards and door stoppers to prevent accidents. If you are intending to transit your baby from breastmilk to formula milk, opt for a formula milk brand that is packed with beneficial nutrients for your baby’s overall growth and development.

 

Do you have any concerns about our child’s vision development? If so, do speak to a paediatrician for medical advice soon.

Categories
For Parents Health & Nutrition Toddlers Toddlers

Child Vision Development: 1 to 3 years old

Your child’s vision is constantly developing.

From blurred vision as a newborn, your toddler at 12 months old now has a relatively clear vision and will spend the next few years of his life working on his hand-eye coordination skills.

Milestone and development guides are approximate guidelines and do not reflect every child. Consult a pediatric ophthalmologist if you suspect that your child has vision problems.

Ensure that your child does not spend too much time in front of electronic devices as it may affect their vision and concentration.

1 Year Old

12-month-olds are starting to develop an interest in pictures and can recognise familiar objects and pictures in books. When asked, they are able to point out the objects. As they are unable to fully verbalise their needs, they rely on pointing and gesturing to convey their intentions.

They are beginning to enjoy social interactions and are curious about reflections in the mirror. It isn’t until about 18 months old that they realise that the little person staring back at them is their own image. To provide more opportunities for self-recognition, you can display child-safe mirrors around the house.

Another milestone is placing shapes into proper holes. This activity builds up their logic and problem-solving skills and a shape sorter toy is useful in doing this. Shape sorter toys can be easily purchased from Lazada, Qoo10 or large supermarkets such as Fairprice Xtra.

2 Years Old

At two years old, they are now able to focus on objects both near and far. Most two-year-olds have 20/60 vision, which means that in order to see the same things an adult with 20/20 vision sees, they have to stand 60 feet away instead of 20 feet away.

They are able to scribble with crayons or pencils and may imitate drawing straight lines, circles or shapes. This activity may appear simple but is an excellent way to develop their hand-eye coordination.

They can point to body parts when asked, which encourages them to communicate with parents.

3 Years Old

Their vision is nearing 20/20 acuity but will not fully reach 20/20 until they are about 7 to 9 years old. Preschools are eager to draw shapes and name colours.

As their fine motor skills get more developed, you can let them handle child scissors to practice cutting and pasting too.

Pay attention to these signs

Take note of these warning signs that could indicate eye conditions requiring medical attention.

  • Redness, swelling, crusting, or discharge in his eyes or eyelids that lasts for more than 24 hours
  • Excessive tearing
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Eyes that look crooked or crossed
  • Eyes that don’t move together
  • Holding the head in a tilted or other abnormal position
  • Frequent squinting
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Frequent eye-rubbing

How to help your child develop a healthy vision

A varied diet of colourful fruits and vegetables can support your preschooler’s vision development. Supplementing this with nucleotide-fortified formula milk like Einmilk will ensure that your child gets all the necessary nutrients required for healthy overall development.

A varied diet of colourful fruits and vegetables plays an important part in keeping your child’s eyes and body healthy.

Other than diet, pay attention to eye care and limit the amount of screen time that your preschooler gets, and keeping a safe distance from screens when they are watching videos.

What other activities have you tried to improve your preschooler’s vision? Share with us in the comments!