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Babies For Parents Toddlers

Sleep training for babies: Is it too early to start

Right after birth, your new baby is immediately dependent on you for all his needs, including the need to rest when he is tired. Very often, mothers of very young children look forward to the day when their babies are developmentally advanced enough to soothe themselves to sleep, because how well-rested your baby is, affects his wellbeing and that of your family’s as well.

As sleep is so important, sleep training is getting very popular these days.

Would you consider sleep training your baby?

What is sleep training?

Sleep training is the process of helping your child learn to fall asleep independently in the first instance and to soothe himself back to sleep during the arousal portion of his sleep cycle.

Generally, sleep training experts recommend sleep training anytime from 3 months old to 6 months old. Sleep training newborns are generally not encouraged as they have tiny stomachs and it is natural for them to wake frequently to feed.

To sleep train or not to sleep train?

There are two camps to the idea of sleep training.

Generally, parents who are against sleep training believe in allowing nature to take its course. In contrast, parents who are for sleep training believe in equipping their babies with the ability to thrive through ample rest by their intervention.

If you’re in the process of making that decision for your family, you may want to understand the various reasons for and against sleep training.

Reasons against sleep training

  1. My baby is smart! He has the ability to develop naturally and learn how to soothe himself to sleep when he is developmentally ready. I feel like what works best for my family is following my baby’s lead. (Read: Tips and tricks on Getting Babies to Sleep.)
  2. My baby has the need to be comforted at bedtime. At this stage in his life, I want to choose to provide it to him. Sleep training feels like I’m trying to compromise my baby’s needs for the sake of my modern lifestyle.
  3. I’m not a fan of some sleep training methods, like the Cry It Out method. I don’t want my baby to give up hope that I will respond to his needs.

Reasons for sleep training

  1. I want to stop feeling helpless when my baby is frustrated at being over tired.
  2. With intervention, my baby can learn when and how to sleep independently. This enables critical brain developments that are dependent on adequate rest.
  3. Sleep training can improve the sleep for all members of the household. It is the best decision for my family.
  4. As long as I select sleep-training methods that are suitable for the personalities and circumstances of my family, I believe that my baby will not be emotionally affected by sleep training.

Some parents feel that it is too early to start sleep training their babies, and wait till their kids are one-year-old, or toddlers.

Pros and Cons of Sleep Training

Whichever camp you are on, here are the pros and cons of sleep training to help you further with your considerations:

Successful sleep-training can end the days of sleep deprivation for good.

Advantages of sleep training your child

  1. If successful, sleep training allows everyone in the family to get sufficient rest on a daily basis. This supports the family’s wellbeing.
  2. Your baby gets to benefit from developmental growth that is dependent on adequate sleep.
  3. Parents are less likely to experience stress in the marriage that comes with having to cope with a cranky baby and flared tempers from sleep deprivation.

Disadvantages of sleep training your child

  1. The process of sleep training may cause some levels of stress to your baby.
  2. Skeptics of sleep training believe that some sleep training methods, like the Cry It Out method, could have long-lasting negative effects on emotional development.

Whether parents decide to sleep train their child ultimately lies in the parents’ beliefs and your family’s needs. There are gentle sleep training methods too, so you may wish to consult a sleep training expert that you are comfortable with.

Have you embarked on sleep training for your child? Do share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Babies Babies Family Fun For Parents

Postnatal Care: Why is it important for mums

Congratulations on your new baby! As a new mother, you may experience many changes, both physically and mentally. It is therefore important for you to practice good postnatal care and receive necessary support to recover from childbirth as you take on parenthood. Good postnatal care can also help to identify medical and physiological conditions that may occur after pregnancy and childbirth.

Particularly in Asian culture, new mothers traditionally undergo confinement for 30 days, or, up to an extended period of 3 months immediately after childbirth. During this period of post-partum recovery, depending on the culture you belong to, there may be many confinement rules to observe (Read: Confinement Myths), but generally, you can expect to gradually fall into a routine and adjust to your new normal. In the meantime, here are tips on getting the postnatal care in check as you get in the groove with the new addition:

Schedule rest

A family that gets enough rest stays together.

Getting sufficient rest is one of the most challenging things to achieve postnatal. The lack of rest can leave one feeling tired, more susceptible to emotional changes and slower recuperating for your childbirth wounds. Hormones are often out of whack during this period too, so it is important to rest. While you will need to make time for daily activities like eating, bathing (if preferred) and toilet breaks, you can aim for maximum rest by taking short naps throughout the day. As the saying goes “Sleep when your baby sleeps”, many mothers find it helpful to plan rest time around the baby’s sleep schedule.

Eat nourishing foods

Load up on greens to nourish your postpartum body.

Foods that are considered nourishing during confinement varies across cultures and traditions. In generally, maintaining a healthy diet of whole grains, proteins, fruits and vegetables as well as good amounts of fluid intake will give your body the necessary resources towards a speedy recovery from childbirth. Eating well is essential during the postnatal period to allow your body to heal and replenish lost blood and energy. If you are breastfeeding, it is necessary to ensure that you take in at least 2 litres of fluids daily, to stay hydrated.

Take a breather and focus on your wellbeing, new mummy!

Even a 5-min break can do wonders for you, new mum!

In the process of adjusting to motherhood, new mothers sometimes neglect caring about your own wellbeing. It is important to ensure that your postnatal period is a comfortable, happy and healthy one. This may be an overwhelming and stressful time; new mothers will benefit from being patient with yourself and to take breaks during the day to do what you enjoy doing. It can be as simple as reading the news, or, watching your favourite show – dedicating time to yourself can do wonders to your mind, body and soul!

Seek help whenever you need

Grandparents are often very willing helpers – consider roping them in as part of your postnatal care plans!

In order to prioritise rest and your well-being for postnatal recovery, do not hesitate to raise your hands to seek help or accept help from family and friends.  (Read: How dads can help with breastfeeding.) Other than direct latching to breastfeed, others will be able to help you with things like preparing meals, run errands, care for other children at home, or even hold the fort for a few hours for you to have some me time or couple time. Remember, receiving help is less about the inability to cope on your own. It is more about prioritising your family’s needs during this recovery period with a vision on adjusting to the family’s new normal in the long run.

Motherhood takes time to adjust to and sharing feelings and the burden of problems with your family helps tackle them together, and brings you closer together as a family unit.

We hope this simple guide can help you transition into motherhood with more ease. Please feel free to share what you worked for you as part of your postnatal care plans.

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Family Fun Toddlers Uncategorized

Enjoy FREE Entry for Kids at these Indoor Playgrounds in Singapore

Are there indoor playgrounds in Singapore that allow our kids to play for free? Yes, there are, and here’s a list you don’t want to miss! Start planning your day out with your kids now!

Playing lets children be creative, develop dexterity and physical cognitive while growing stronger in the process and develop their imagination. Playing also enables children to build social skills and spend their energy store for better rest and growth.

There are many activities that promote play. It can be a visual game of Match and Sort Color, some right brain activities like these but one of the most engaging play activities is physical play.

 

List of indoor playgrounds in Singapore which offers free entry for kids

It can get expensive to bring the whole family out for a fun outing. Thankfully, free entry at these indoor playgrounds in Singapore can help save some dollars!

 

IKEA Småland

IKEA Småland is a play area for jumping, climbing, running and bouncing where your kids will be watched by IKEA staff while you shop. There are also quiet activities like colouring and drawing provided, or, your kids can choose to watch a kid-friendly movie.

 

Indoor Playground:IKEA Småland (Alexandra and Tampines)

Height Requirement:Between 90cm to 120cm

Duration:1 hour

Opening hours:Store opening hours. Last admission one hour before closing.

Good to know: The guardian(s) indicated on the indemnity form must remain in the IKEA store and be contactable as long as your child is in the playroom.

 

 

PIP’s PLAYbox

PIP’s PLAYbox has a children’s art space that includes a loft, an arts and craft area, a reading corner filled with books by Singapore writers and illustrators, as well as an outdoor play area. In conjunction with Esplanade’s festivals and series, they host a range of free activities for kids in this space, from storytelling sessions to self-guided craft activities.

 

Indoor Playground:PIP’s PLAYbox, Level 4, Esplanade

Age:No limitations

Height:No limitations

Opening hours:Opening hours: 11am – 6pm daily

Good to know:Closed for cleaning: 2pm – 3pm daily*

 

 

The Artground

 

The Artground is a charity organization that has a dedicated indoor play space for children. They organise free activities for kids based on seasonal arts themes to stimulate and provide arts-oriented activities for kids.

 

Indoor Playground:The Artground, Goodman Arts Centre

Age:No limitation

Height:No limitation

Opening hours:Wednesday – Thursday: 9.30am – 5pm

Friday – Sunday & selected Public Holidays*: 9.30am – 6pm

Open on Selected Public Holidays

Good to know:  Entry is free, donations are encouraged

 

 

Train Terrace at Causeway Point in Singapore

 

The Train Terrace is a 1,700 sq ft trained-themed indoor playground located at Causeway Point. If you play tag team with your partner, you can take turns to shop and at the same time give your children some serious, free fun.

 

Indoor Playground:Train Terrace, Causeway Point, Level 2

Age: No limitation

Height:Under 120cm

Opening hours:10:30am to 10:30pm

Good to know:More suitable for older children within the height limitation.

 

Jungle Terrace at Causeway Point

 

Located in the same mall as the Train Terrace, the Jungle Terrace is a larger indoor playground at Causeway Point that spans across a space of 2,400 sq ft. It is a safari-themed indoor playground with many animal features for endless creative playtime.

 

Indoor Playground:Jungle Terrace, Causeway Point, Level 2

Age: No limitation

Height:Under 120cm

Opening hours:10:30am to 10:30pm

Good to know:More suitable for younger children within the height limitation.

 

 

Kidz @ Dry Play, located at Northpoint

 

Kidz @ Dry Play Areas is an animal farm themed indoor playground that has features such as a tree house, a chicken coop, a caterpillar and other farm animals.

 

Indoor Playground:Kidz @ Dry Play Areas, Northpoint, Level 4

Age: For kids below 12 years old

Height:Below 110cm

Opening hours:10:30am to 9pm

Good to know:More suitable for younger children within the height limitation.

 

Free play areas at the Singapore Changi Airport

 

Changi Airport has several free play areas as well located both at the public areas of the airport and within the transit areas of Terminals 1 and 3. These play areas provide entertainment for your children with no minimum spend at the airport.

 

Indoor Playground:    Terminal 1, Public Area, Level 3 (next to Viewing Mall)

Terminal 1, Transit Area, Level 2, Departure Transit Hall East (next to Discovery Garden)

Terminal 3, Basement 2 (next to Etoz)

Terminal 3, Transit, Level 2, Departure Transit Hall Central (next to Louis Vuitton Duplex  Store)

Opening hours:24 hours

 

Photo credits: Estella Goh

 

This play area at Jewel Changi Airport is a turfed area with little wooden structures for little ones to explore. It is a rather small area, that welcomes younger children to play for free when families visit Jewel.

 

Indoor Playground: Jewel, Level 2

Age: –

Height: –

Opening hours:24 hours

Good to know:More suitable for younger children although we have seen older children playing as well.

 

Credits: Estella Goh

 

Kid’s Wonderland at Waterway Point is a fully padded indoor playground that adopts the “Alice in Wonderland” theme and has a mad-hatter, bunny, butterfly and a caterpillar features, in addition to a mini slide. Head to the Family Zone at this mall in Punggol for some free play!

Indoor Playground:Wonderland, Waterway Point, Level 2

Age:Under 12 years old

Height:Below 110cm

Opening hours: 10am to 10pm

Good to know:No shoes in the indoor playground, more suitable for toddlers and younger children.

 

Looking to dine for free with your kids? Check out our list of cafes and restaurants in Singapore that allow you to eat for free!

 

If you’re looking to take your kids for some outdoor fun, these outdoor playgrounds in Singaporeoffer a good time with sand and Mother Nature!

 

Isn’t it nice to know that there are free play options for families in Singapore? Do you know of any other indoor playground that are absolutely free? Share it with us in the comments!

Categories
Babies For Parents Toddlers

Guide to Preparing Infant Formula Milk for Babies

As milk is an infant’s source of diet, it is necessary to be equipped with the knowledge on how to prepare, store and use infant formula to feed our baby.

Storing infant formula

To avoid contamination and rapid deterioration, one of the first things to do is to focus on proper storage. Avoid subjecting infant to extreme temperature or temperature changes – they should be kept at room temperature away from direct sunlight.Make sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions on storage of your chosen infant formula, but here are general guidelines on storage for your reference:

Powdered Formula – Once opened, powder formula should be stored in an airtight contain with a secure lid in a cool, dry place. Do not store powered formula in the refrigerator because the humidity can cause your infant formula to clump up.

Liquid Concentrate Formula – Once opened, liquid concentrate formula milk should be stored in a clean container and refrigerated immediately. Unused portions should be discarded after 24hours of preparation.

Ready-to-feed Liquid FormulaReady-to-feed liquid formula should be stored in a sealed container and discarded if opened for more than 48 hours.

Selecting and handling milk bottles

Do you know what to prepare besides buying a tin of infant formula milk powder?

It is necessary to sterilise bottle-feeding equipment until your baby is up to 12 months old to reduce his risk of getting sick. This is because his immune system may not be strong enough to fight off some infections on its own.

Wondering which baby milk bottle to buy? Find out what other parents in Singapore look out for when shopping for milk bottles.

Making infant formula

It is important to follow the specific manufacturer’s instructions on the packaging of your chosen infant formula to prepare your baby’s formula feed. Make sure to check the expiry date of your powdered formula and refrain from using any opened tins of formula after one month, or, if the formula milk powder has changed in colour or smell.

Generally, the basic steps for making infant formula are as follows:

  1. Wash your hand through before preparing infant formula
  2. Pour the required amount of boiled water that has been cooled, into a milk bottle that has been sterilized. Making formula milk powder with boiling water can cause clumping and reduce its nutritional value.
  3. Add the exact number of scopes of infant formula into the milk bottle. “Scoop” usually refers to leveled scoop and you can do this with a sterilized knife or similar tool.
  4. Seal the milk bottle well with its cap and rubber ring.
  5. Tap the bottle gently to help powdered infant formula fall into the water. Mix through by gently shaking or swirling the bottle.
  6. Check the temperature by dripping a few drops onto the inside of your wrist. It should feel lukewarm.
  7. Throw away any unconsumed feed that is leftover in the bottle because the mixture of infant formula and your baby’s saliva can cause bacteria to grow.

Pre-prepared infant formula

Storing pre-prepared formula feed can save you some time to appease a crying, hungry baby.

Infant formula, which has not been consumed within two hours of preparation, must be discarded unless it has been refrigerated immediately after preparation. If stored in the fridge right after preparation, infant formula can be used within 24 hours. However, always the details stated on the brand of formula milk you have purchased, or, check with the manufacturer prior.

Using infant formula when you’re out and about

To prepare infant formula milk powder when you’re not at home, carry boiled water that has been cooled and the powdered formula with you in separate containers, rather than have them pre-mixed.

If you must be out with pre-prepared powered formula, ensure that they are taken out from the refrigerator just before you step out, and transport them in a cooler bag with ice packs or a thermal bag meant for baby bottles.

Any pre-prepared bottled formula that has been transported properly and not used within 2 hours of you stepping out may still be returned to the fridge. However, they must still be used within 24 hours from the time of preparation.

Warming up infant formula

Infant formula does not need to be warmed up, but if you prefer to give your baby warmed formula or you are using pre-pared bottles of formula feed that has been refrigerated, you may do so.

You can warm up formula milk by setting a milk bottle with pre-prepared infant formula into a bowl of warm water, use a bottle warmer, or, hold the bottle under warm running water. Remember not to microwave pre-prepared infant formula or use boiling water, as it can cause “hot spots” that could burn your baby.

Preparing formula feed safely for our babies relieves us from worries.

Besides buying a tin of infant formula milk powder from the supermarkets in Singapore and getting milk bottles, refer to our checklist on what to prepare for bottle-feeding.

Now that you know what to do after buying a tin of infant formula, you can use them for your baby safely and without worries. Do you have other tips for using infant formula for your baby? Do share it with us in the comments!