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Babies Family Fun Toddlers

Guide to Choosing a High Chair for Your Baby

At around 6 months of age, you may safely introduce solid foods to your baby and a high chair (or sometimes referred to as “baby chair”) comes in useful when your baby can sit up on his own to eat. (Read: A New Parents’ Guide to Starting Solids for Children or Guide to starting baby on solids)

High chairs are a common sights in a new family, thanks to the convenience it offers at meal times.

Highchairs are essentially tall chairs that come with child safety restraints and an attached tray for eating.  The main purpose of a high chair is for your baby to engage in feeding activities at a comfortable height. The child restrain can keep your baby safe while the height of the high chair brings your child up to the same level as other family members who are eating at the dining table.

Baby gets to work on his fine motor skills when he picks up food to self-feed and explores different foods. He also gets to socialise with others while eating hence, a high chair is recommended by many parents.

What should I look out for in a high chair?

There are many different high chairs in the market, how do you know which one to buy?

#1: Safety features

As with any products meant for your baby, safety is of paramount importance. A high chair should have the following features for safety purposes:

  1. Enough weight and stability to prevent toppling incidents when your baby becomes more active when they are sitting in it.
  2. No sharp or rough edges or parts that could accidentally hurt your child.
  3. Adjustable safety straps that can not be easily detached by your child.
  4. Lockable wheels, if you prefer high chairs on wheels.
  5. If your high chair comes with a detachable tray, make sure it is only detachable by adults.

#2: Ease of cleaning

The baby chair may be used for every meal your baby has but babies are notoriously known to be messy eaters (Read: How to Start Baby Led Weaning: Tips from a Mum of 2). In our opinion, the ease of maintaining hygiene ranks right after safety and this is why selecting a high chair that is easy to clean is next on our list.

Some high chairs come with washable covers, which you can remove for thorough cleaning.

Choose high chairs that can be wiped down easily and those with as little seams and cervices as possible, so that there are less places where food particles can be lodged in. Some high chairs have detachable eating trays that you can easily detach to clean after each meal, or a tray-within-a-tray feature where the tray on top can be detached and be washed easily.

#3: Comfort and support

Ensure that the parts of your highchair that come into contact with your baby feels comfortable to you. Padded high chairs can provide more cushion for your baby while non-cushioned higher chairs can be cooler to sit in, particularly in our tropical weather.

#4: Storage

In space-limited Singapore, our homes are smaller and so is our storage space. Hence, the storage requirements of your high chair become quite important. Look for high chairs that can be foldable without being too flimsy. If you have toddlers running around your home, you may also want to see if your desired high chair can be locked when folded, to reduce accident risks.

Extra features to look out for when buying a high chair

Look out for height adjustment features – this offers flexibility where parents or the caregiver would like to feed the child by sitting beside him. Additionally, if you prefer for baby to dine at the dining table with the rest of the family, getting a high chair of a height that aligned with the furniture would be helpful.

High chairs with footrests promote good posture for your baby when they are eating. They allow your baby to sit with their hips properly resting on the seat and ensure that their legs are not dangling in the air when they eat, especially useful for young babies who are just starting to sit up.

Is it worth buying an expensive high chair?

High chairs in Singapore cost anything from $30 to $500, more if you purchase additional accessories. So, are expensive high chairs worth the investment, if you can find cheaper alternatives that checks most of your requirements?

Since worth is subjective, the simple answer is to look at the life span of the high chair, from how it sits your child, whether it is adjustable as your child grows, the comfort level as well as its building material, for the purposes of your family’s usage.

We hope this simple guide provides practical tips in your quest for a suitable high chair. Do share with us in comments if there are any additional functions or features that you look out for when purchasing a high chair. We’d be interested to hear!

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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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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!

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Babies For Parents Toddlers Uncategorized

How to manage older siblings while breastfeeding

It’s your second baby and you’re all excited to breastfeed the way you want it to be this time round. You think you’ve got all the techniques down to a T and you’ve diligently taken your supplements and fluids and soups in a bid to boost breast milk production.

You pick up your baby to nurse and suddenly, in comes your toddler, throwing a tantrum or insisting that you carry him instead. All your grand plans seem to have gone out of the window with a crying baby and a whiny toddler at hand. But rest assured, there are ways to make breastfeeding manageable, and even an enjoyable journey, for everyone in the family.

Breastfeeding not only provides babies with the necessary nutrients, it’s also beneficial for mums!

Talk to your older child(ren) about breastfeeding the baby

If you can, speak to your older children about breastfeeding the baby before the baby is born. Let them ask whatever questions they might have and answer in a way that they can relate to and would understand.

After the baby is born, and before feeding time, speak to them again to remind them what you have discussed earlier. If they have any more questions, they can still ask them. Keeping them informed and involved would help them to cope with the anxieties and insecurities of having a new baby sibling around.

Involve your kids during nursing time

We all feel slightly more forgetful after childbirth, and sometimes we forget that extra cushion or pillow to prop ourselves up or that little hanky to wipe the dribbles off baby’s face. In come our little superheroes to save the day.

Instead of disrupting the feed, simply get the older siblings to help bring you the items. Remember to lavish them with praise, to thank them for their effort in helping to make nursing the baby go smoothly. Children love to be involved and praised, and you’ve just done both, so you’re off to a good start.

Make those breastfeeding sessions a special time for the family

When I used to nurse my baby, I’d read to my older child or sing songs with her. She’d get to pick out the book before the feed and sit right next to me during the feed. Sometimes, she would want to sing and dance to a song and we’d have a good chuckle.

If that’s too much activity for your nursing infant (not all babies are the same), you can try putting on a special cartoon or movie to watch together with the older siblings, or allowing them access to some toys which are only available to them during nursing time. You would be surprised that the older siblings might look forward to breastfeeding time!

A simple box containing some special toys reserved for nursing time can come in handy to keep older kids entertained when you need to breastfeed your newborn.

You can always ask for help from those you trust

“It takes a village to raise a child.” We are not supermoms all the time. Sometimes, even supermoms need a breather and some help. You canask for help when you need it. It is understandable that not everyone provides good or reliable help, so ask from those whom you trust your children to be with. They could take the older siblings for a walk in the park or keep them entertained while you nurse. That’s when dads could chip in too!

Dads are often neglected when it comes to the topic of breastfeeding. However, they can play a crucial role!

Mothering is a rewarding but challenging task. Not every day will be a good day and there might be more bad days than good ones at the start. But knowing what to do and having someone to help out and share the load with would make it less overwhelming. Continue to hang on in there as you supply your little one with liquid gold!

Do you have any more ideas on how to manage older siblings during breastfeeding? Tell us in the comments below!

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Babies For Parents Pregnant Uncategorized

Pregnancy Week 33 – 36 

Congratulations! You are in the eighth month of your pregnancy, which means there’s just one more month to go!   

Week 33: Pineapple

Your baby is now about the size of a pineapple! He is between 40 and 48cm long and weighs between 1.7 and 2.1kg.  

This week, your baby’s bones are hardened with the exception of the softer skull which needs to be malleable to fit through your birthing canal in a few weeks. His skin is losing its wrinkles and the immune system is being developed this week. Antibodies are being passed from you to your little one as he continues to develop his fetal immune system, which will come in handy once he’s outside the womb to fend off all sorts of germs. 

During this period of time, about 3 in 4 pregnant mums start to experience third trimester insomnia. With the hormonal changes, midnight bathroom runs, leg cramps, heartburn and your basketball-sized belly, it’s no wonder sleep becomes elusive. Try to make yourself as comfortable as you can – do something that soothes you before bedtime, such as reading a novel, listening to some soft music or drinking a cup of warm, comforting milk; or better yet, get your partner to give you a loving massage because you deserve it! 

 Week 34: Wongbok 

It’s week 34 but you may feel like you’ve been pregnant for longer. Your wongbok-sized darling is working hard on putting on the pounds this week, weighing about 1.9kg to 2.4kg, and is about 40-50cm long. Your little precious one is in a deep sleeping and waking routine now. This is a good time to start talking and singing to your baby as this helps with bonding. 

Pregnant mums, besides talking and singing to baby, you can also start reading to him.

 

This week, you might find yourself being unable to see as clearly as usual. But don’t rush off to get your prescription lenses changed yet because this blurry vision, as with the rest of the discomforts you’ve been experiencing, is another result of pregnancy hormones. While it may be slightly uncomfortable, it usually clears up after the baby is born. 

Week 35: Winter melon 

Intense brain growth is occurring for your baby this week! The neurons and early connections in their brain are developing more so that at birth, they will be able to receive stimulation. So, remember to eat foods rich in DHA and Omega 3 and continue to take in the essential nutrients for pregnancy to help support your baby’s brain growth. 

Your baby will still be gaining around 450g this week and laying down fat cells, which will help to insulate them when they are born. 

You may be a little weepy and prone to emotional meltdowns this week. With the increasing weight you have to bear and all the discomforts stacking up against you, that is perfectly understandable. Do something you enjoy before the baby arrives. Go easy on yourself and rest for a couple of days if you can. Everyone needs a little rest and tender loving care, and guess what? You deserve it now the most! 

Week 36: Celery  

One more week to a full-term baby! Your baby weighs about 2.7kg this week and is about 51cm long. With his pink skin and chubby legs, he’s looking more like an infant now. This week, your precious one’s hearing will become even sharper so don’t forget to continue talking, singing or reading to him! 

If you wake up one morning and find yourself fussing over the tiniest details in the house, and trying to clean every nook and cranny, or you become the newest Marie Kondo convert overnight, that would be the nesting instincts kicking in. Getting anxious about the arrival of a newborn is natural. To alleviate your anxiety, you can start by reading about the necessary preparation for baby’s arrival. Some mums also start buying more baby essentials at this stage or when there are baby fairs or online sales, whichever scores them a better deal. If you have family, friends or colleagues to bless you with hand-me-downs, that’d be even better!  

 Are you feeling ready for the last lap of your pregnancy? Let us know in the comments! 

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Babies Health & Nutrition Toddlers Uncategorized

Where to Buy Einmilk Formula Milk in Singapore

Whether we are supplementing breastfeeding with formula milk or formula-feeding, as parents, we would try to provide our babies with the most wholesome and nutritious milk, within our means.

Einmilk offers complete nutrition with its range of formula milk for babies and toddlers.

Key ingredients in Einmilk:

  • Taurine(found in breast milk, helps infants’ liver gain or maintain their weight)
  • DHA and AHA(helps promote the growth of cells in the eyes and brain)
  • FOS(facilitates absorption of nutrients in the intestine and digestive system)
  • Nucleotides(increases metabolism and immunity by increasing ‘good’ bacteria and decreasing ‘bad’ bacteria),

Einmilk formula provides better value to parents and the finest in paediatric nutrition to babies and toddlers at the most crucial stage of their development, helping them along as they achieve their developmental milestones.

Einmilk infant formula and formula milk powder for toddlers are scientifically designed and produced with care, to provide complete nutrition for each stage of child development. Most importantly, you can be assured of its quality as it is made in Singapore.

With Einmilk’s formula milk powder produced in Singapore, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are feeding your baby the best.

 

For those residing in Singapore, you can purchase Einmilk infant formula and formula milk powder for toddlers from retailers near you.

Where to buy Einmilk milk powder:

Developed with cutting-edge technology under the strictest quality controls, Einmilk is meticulous during every stage of product development. From where the ingredients are sourced to how the formula milk powder is produced, the highest level of hygiene and food safety are practised in every stage of the production.

This is the predominant reason why Einmilk infant formula and formula milk powder for toddlers are popular, not just in Singapore, but in Malaysia and China too. With the knowledge that Einmilk is produced by SMC Nutrition Pte Ltd, which is certified by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA), and that the company is also FSSC 22000 certified by SGS, we can be rest assured that our babies and toddlers are drinking quality milk powder manufactured under Singapore’s strict food regulations. Made with all families in Singapore and beyond in mind, Einmilk is also HALAL certified by the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS).

Overall, there is strong trust in a made-in-Singapore brand of quality formula milk that is not only good for baby or toddler, but easier on our wallets too. Amidst parents’ growing concerns of increasingly expensive formula milk powders, Einmilk is affordably-price so more parents can provide milk to their children.

For those residing in Malaysia or China, you can purchase online through Einmilk’s website(subject to delivery fees).

If you are still wondering whether to purchase Einmilk from their online store, or, from the shops in Singapore listed above, you can request for a sample first.

 

Where’s your favourite place to buy Einmilk formula milk for your kids? Share with us in the comments below!

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Babies For Parents Pregnant Uncategorized

Pregnancy Week 29 – 32: Welcome to the Third Trimester

Welcome to the third trimester! In this last lap of pregnancy, one of the symptoms that may return is fatigue. This happens when your body grows larger and makes sleeping difficult. Losing balance and feeling clumsy is something many pregnant mums in their last trimester experience as well as the centre of gravity moves forward. Maintaining good health and continuing with a nutritious diet during pregnancy is important because immunity can be passed onto your baby.

Nesting instincts commonly kick in during the third trimester of pregnancy, and mummies start preparing for the arrival of your new baby.

Week 29: Cabbage

Your little one is about the size of a cabbage, measuring about 38cm in length and 1.1kg in weight. At this point, things are getting a little cramped inside, but you should be able to feel your baby’s movement. Your gynaecologist will also teach you how to count fetal movements such as jabs, kicks or hiccups so that you can monitor your baby’s well-being. If your baby has less than 10 movements per day for two consecutive days, alert your doctor immediately.

You could possibly experience exponential weight gain as your baby fattens up before meeting the world. If you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes,managing the condition is important to prevent pregnancy complications.

Week 30: Zucchini

At 30 weeks, your baby’s brain is growing rapidly, developing wrinkles and grooves on its smooth surface. The reason for the wrinkles is to increase the amount of brain tissue to allow your baby to prepare for life outside the womb.

Red blood cells that were once produced by the spleen and tissue groups are now being produced by your baby’s bone marrow. Your baby’s eyes can now open wide too!

Though you might feel bloated and exercising may be the last thing on your mind, keeping active throughout pregnancy could help your labour process as oxygen-rich blood courses through your body during exercise. You don’t even have to go to the gym to exercise!

During the third trimester of pregnancy, it’s also a good time to start planning for baby care after baby is here, or after your maternity leave is over.

Week 31: Asparagus

Your baby’s brain can be likened to a computer, and this computer is hard at work making billions of connections between individual nerve cells. His brain is able to process information and track light from his senses. He won’t be able to smell outside scents when he is still enclosed in the womb, but once he is out, he will be able to breathe and process the scents and stenches in this world.

Babies at this age have been seen making faces, hiccuping, swallowing and sucking their thumbs in the womb via ultrasound. Thumb sucking will remain a source of comfort for infants and young children.

Some common pains and aches at this late stage of pregnancy include water retention, swelling (edema) and leg cramps. As contradicting as it sounds, drinking more water actually helps to relieve water retention and flush out toxins.

 Week 32: Butternut Squash

Your baby’s toenails are now visible, 32 weeks into your pregnancy. The lanugo, or soft hairy skin covering, will start to shed off to reveal your baby’s smooth skin. His skin is now more opaque as fat builds up beneath it. Your baby is now practising how to breathe by inhaling amniotic fluid.

As your bump expands, you may experience more itching and stretch marks that can be managed by applying moisturiser liberally to soothe the skin. If you’re feeling miserable waiting out these last few weeks, why not pamper yourself with some retail therapy? Maternity wear has evolved to become chic, versatile pieces that can be worn throughout breastfeeding and even as normal casual and workwear.

How are you coping with being heavily pregnant during your third trimester? Let us know in the comments!

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Babies Babies Family Fun For Parents Toddlers Toddlers

How to choose the right infant care centre in Singapore

In Singapore, infant care centres offer educare services to newborns from 2 months old till 18 months old. It is an option for working parents who are unable to look after their infants during the day.

Making the decision of sending your baby to an infant care centre is the first big step forward. The second decision that requires some prior research is determining which is the “best”infant care centre in Singapore.

We’ve come up with a few pointers and questions you may want to consider when deciding on the right infant care centre to send your precious little baby.

Infant care centres in Singapore are overseen by the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA).

  • Location and Accessibility
    Is the infant care centre located within convenient distance from your home or workplace? Is it located near a bus stop or train station? It may not seem like much, but 5 minutes saved on travelling each day adds up to 100 minutes in a month of 20 work days!
  • Fees and subsidies
    The fees for infant care centres vary depending on centres. You can check out the infant care centres listed under ECDA’s Partner Operator Scheme and Anchor Operator Scheme, as these centres have a fee cap for both full and half day infant care programmes. Also, parents with certain household income may apply for basic or additional subsidies to save on the monthly infant care fees.
  • Educarer:Infant Ratio
    The stipulated educarer:infant ratio by ECDA is 1:5, but some infant care centres offer a lower ratio for more individualised attention. Do take note that centres with lower ratios may charge a higher fee. 
  • Cleanliness and Hygiene
    Infants below six months old are especially vulnerable to illnesses as their immune systems are still developing. Apart from standard temperature checks and hand sanitisation at the door and throughout the day, check that the educarers practise frequent hand washing and use gloves when changing diapers. This can be observed when you visit the infant care centre.

Infant care centres do more than plain routine care for infants.

 

  • Ventilation
    Most, but not all, infant care centres are air-conditioned. If the infant care centre that you are interested in is ventilated naturally, check that they have air purifiers in place for use when the air quality is unsatisfactory.Also, for non-air conditioned infant care centres, look out for safety features such as window grilles and the type of window blinds or curtains used. The latter should ideally not have hanging cords as they are a safety risk for curious infants and toddling tots.
  • Milk feeding arrangements

For babies who are on breastmilk, find out from the educarers if they have the knowledge and equipment to warm up expressed breast milk. For babies who are drinking formula milk, check with them what parents should prepare e.g. number of milk bottles, should you leave a tin of infant formula milk labelled with your baby’s name etc.

  • Curriculum
    Infant educarers do more than just routine care. There might not be a fixed classroom schedule for younger infants as they spend most of their day sleeping. When they are awake, educarers engage infants in activities that stimulate their senses, such as music, art and craft and sensory play.
  • Parent Communication
    As your infant will be spending many hours in the infant care centre, it is important that you are comfortable with the communication tool the school uses. Certain infant care centres use a communication book, where updates are detailed in pen on paper. Other infant care centres provide updates via an application where you can be alerted to updates the moment the details are keyed in. 

While there might not be a perfect infant care centre, do take some time to discuss the top three must-haves when choosing a comfortable centre for your baby.It would help to visit the infant care on a weekday and talk to the educarers and principal to understand about their processes and beliefs too.

 

Read our guide to choose the right childcare centre or preschool when your child turns 18 months old!

What were some of your deciding factors when selecting an infant care centre? Share it with us in the comments!

Categories
Babies For Parents

Have you heard of these bottle feeding myths?

“Give your baby more formula milk so your baby can sleep better”.

You may have heard this bottle feeding myth from well-intentioned but misguided relatives, confinement nannies or friends. We collate a few bottle feeding myths from local parents and suss out the fact from fiction. Whether you’re feeding formula milk or breastmilk, watch out for the myths below.

Feed your baby the recommended stage of infant formula milk according to your paediatrician’s advice to ensure that your baby is fed adequately and appropriately.

#1:“Feed your baby some water after milk to let your baby get accustomed to the taste of water.

“My mother-in-law assisted me during my confinement period, and she insisted on feeding my newborn with water after every feed. Her reasoning was that children needed to be fed water early on to get used to the taste of water”, recounts Jaclyn, mom to son Keanan, 1 year old.

Not only is this bottle feeding myth untrue, it is dangerous. A newborn’s stomach is tiny and even a small amount of water can dilute the electrolytes in the baby’s bloodstream, leading to serious issues such as low body temperature, seizures and in worse cases, brain damage or death.

#2:“Feeding your baby while she is lying down is more comfortable for both of you.

As a first-time mother to Elysha, Yaz was unsure of the right way to feed her baby, and a relative told her that feeding her baby lying down was the most comfortable for both her baby and her.

The truth is that bottle fed babies should be fed at an incline to prevent painful middle-ear infections. These tips help you keep both you and baby comfortable during bottle feeding.

#3:“Put in more formula to make baby sleep better.

“My confinement nanny, who claimed to be highly experienced, confidently told me that she would add in a bit more formula in the bottle to keep babies fuller for longer. It wasn’t until later that my baby suffered from constipation that I realised it was a wrong practice,” says Esther, mum to daughter,Ellie.

 Formula milk is nutritionally adequate with essential vitamins, minerals and nucleotides for development but it has to be prepared in strict accordance to the manufacturer’s instructions that are found on each tin.Too much formula may cause constipation while watered down formula could create an imbalance of electrolytes in the baby’s bloodstream. Einmilk formula milk is available for babies and toddlers in shops in Singapore, and parents should pick the right stage for their children.

Babies under six months old drink infant formula milk, and do not require any water.

  1. “Formula fed babies don’t bond with their parents.

Mum-of-two Jasmine had a medical condition that prevented her from breastfeeding and used formula milk from the beginning. One of the most hurtful remarks she heard was from an ex-friend who told her that her baby wouldn’t be close to her because she was not breastfeeding.

While breastfeeding has its benefits for both mother and baby, it is not the only way parents can bond with their babies. Bonding can happen in various ways. Singing, cuddling, eye contact, gentle caresses and talking to your baby can build up a strong and unbreakable bond.

What’s the most surprising bottle feeding myth that you’ve heard and debunked? Share it in the comments for other parents to know!