Categories
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!

Categories
For Parents Health & Nutrition Pregnant Pregnant

5 tips for post-delivery mums to maintain a balanced diet

Congratulations on your bundle of joy! You may have gained a few kilos from the pregnancy, and the post pregnancy body may not look pretty. Unless you have your doctor’s recommendation to do so, don’t be in a hurry to shed the weight gain just yet!

Fat gained in pregnancy on various parts of your body are actually stores of energy to help you through childbirth and the energy-sapping months that follow.

Although you were not exactly “eating for two” during pregnancy, you and your baby thrived on nutrients from your body and you need to maintain a healthy diet to restore important nutrients, so that you can be healthy and well to care for your newborn. Furthermore, if you choose to breastfeed, your body needs additional calories and nutrients everyday in order to produce quality milk.

Tips on eating healthy after having a baby

Don’t be surprised, good eating habits and a balanced diet can actually help you lose some of the weight you gained. Here’s a list of our tips for eating well to help you maintain a balanced diet after childbirth:

#1: Drink enough quality fluids

Soups are one of the most nutritious fluids that post-delivery mums can enjoy.

Your body needs a lot of fluids daily, particularly if you are breastfeeding your baby. We all have a preference in the type of fluids we enjoy having, but if you choose quality fluids like water or nutritious soups over bubble tea or sugary drinks, you would already be winning on fueling your body with the necessary nutrients.

#2: Nutrition over quantity

New mothers have high nutritional needs but are often exhausted – you may even find yourself opting to sleep instead of eat. It is good strategy to choose quality food that covers good carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fibre, vitamins and trace minerals each time you eat, regardless of the frequency or quantity you eat. (Read: Essential nutrients for pregnant mums are also good for postpartum mothers)

This strategy ensures that you are packing in your needs at every meal. (Read: This recipe for Wholesome Baked Eggs in Avocado packs wholesome good and healthy fats that are good for mothers too.)

#3: Choose natural instead of processed

When you consciously make the decision to pick natural foods over processed food, half the battle is won. For example, rice is a carbohydrate and so is bread, but rice is a much better source of carbohydrate as compared to bread, because it is a natural, whole food that contributes to nutrition instead of empty calories. (Read: Vegetarian mothers can eat natural whole foods too!)

#4: Limit instead of omitting

Post-delivery mums, setting boundaries allows you to truly enjoy your snacks and cravings!

Snacking can be stress relieving for new mothers and it’s entirely normal for us to have cravings from time to time. Emotional or irrational eating is not encouraged, but it is okay to indulge once in a while as a little treat. In fact, telling yourself that “I can’t snack” could backfire and trigger episodes of binge eating. To overcome this, you can decide that “I don’t” eat beyond a certain quantity rather than “I can’t” eat this junk food. Making and honoring your personal decisions on snacking sets helpful boundaries, which empowers you to relax and truly enjoy your treat without guilt or affecting your commitment to a nourishing diet.

#5: Choose quality snacks

A snack of nuts and chocolates makes a satisfying treat of energy boost for new mummies too.

Choose nutritious snacks like nuts, fruits or even good quality dark chocolates when you are not particularly craving for something. These are good opportunities to pack in beneficial nutrients while enjoying a nibble. Breastfeeding mums need an additional 500 calories so making smart food choices help fuel the body too.

We hope you enjoyed these practical tips and that they truly help you in working towards a sustainable, balanced diet. Don’t be surprised; you may also lose some of the pregnancy weight by adopting these tips. Do you have any personal tips that worked for you? We’d love to hear, please share them with us in the comments!

Categories
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!

Categories
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.

Categories
Babies For Parents Uncategorized

Mums share: Breastfeeding concerns that we struggled with!

Breastfeeding has many benefits for babies and mummies. However, it is a skill that needs to be picked up by both mother and baby. Some may learn it faster than others, but contrary to what most mums think, this learning process may not be instinctive nor is it one that naturally falls in place for some of us. In fact, many variables make breastfeeding challenging for a majority of mothers, even those who are not first-time breastfeeding mums.

Often, breastfeeding is an emotional process. It is the next immediate emotional rollercoaster you ride on after birthing your baby. Do not be surprised if you feel intense feelings from time to time and there is nothing to be ashamed of if you decide it is necessary to prioritise your family’s well being and opting for infant formula instead.

To provide solidarity for mums who may be struggling during their breastfeeding journey, we ask our friends to share about their own breastfeeding woes and how they eventually handled them.

Some breastfeeding mum don’t have enough support

One of the most common encounters amongst our friends is a lack of support for their breastfeeding journeys, largely from extended families, particularly those with whom they live with. Husbands, who may or may not be supportive themselves, may feel trapped between his wife and his other family members.

When members of the household are not equipped with breastfeeding knowledge or unwilling to respect a breastfeeding mother’s decision, it gives rise to tremendous pressure for the breastfeeding mother to “perform” and/or persist in breastfeeding. There may be a domino effect from these pressures which add additional stress onto the new mother.

Some of our friends mitigated the situation by attending breastfeeding courses with their husbands during their pregnancy, and, share nuggets of breastfeeding knowledge with extended family gradually over the course of their pregnancy.

Equipped with breastfeeding knowledge, you can also take the chance to gradually and gently set expectations with household members on how it might be like during breastfeeding, so that they would be mentally aware of what it entails. Adjustments and compromises can be made as you go along, to reach a balance that works for everyone in the family.

Breastfeeding mums believe that they do not have enough breast milk

It can be devastating and stressful for breastfeeding mothers if they experience a delay in milk coming in, are not aware of how little baby actually needs initially or, have to endure opinions of this nature.

One of our friends broke down in tears after trying to express breast milk for the first time, because all she managed was a tiny ring of milk that covered the base of a milk bottle, in addition to having to endure comments that her baby was inconsolable from being hungry due to her insistence to breastfeed.  Unknown to her at that time, the amount of breast that she managed to express is actually just about the amount her newborn baby can stomach.

Newborns only require a very small amount of breastmilk. 

Knowledge gives rise to confidence that we are progressing in our breastfeeding journey. With the necessary breastfeeding knowledge, you are less likely to panic, feel out of control when you encounter situations that may not seem to be in your favour.

Breastfeeding mums endure sore and cracked nipples

Almost every breastfeeding mother has experienced sore / cracked nipples at least once, usually in the beginning of their breastfeeding journey. This commonly happens because baby may not yet have a correct latch, or, when mums have sensitive nipples that suffer abrasion from having to repeatedly

Cracked and bleeding nipples during the start of your breastfeeding journey can be nerve-wrecking for new mums.
Photo credits: Estella Goh

The breastfeeding mother can bleed from her nipples due to repeated latching after abrasion and the baby may even swallow blood from her mother’s nipple. The pain and sight can be scary for a first-time mum, as she struggles with getting her baby fed while riding through her physical pain.

Breastfeeding mothers can apply lanolin cream, nipple relief cream or breastmilk to relieve themselves of sore and cracked nipples.

Breastfeeding woes with mastitis

Mastitis is an infection that occurs from plugged milk ducts in your breasts. Usually, this can be encountered at any point in your breastfeeding journey, especially when mums do not empty your breasts of breast milk efficiently enough.

Symptoms include fever and flu-like symptoms as well as a pair of painful, rock hard breasts. Mastitis may need to be treated with an antibiotic treatment, during which you may have to pump and throw away breast milk within 2 hours each time you consume the antibiotics. Wasting breast milk is a huge source of distress or breastfeeding mothers, who may already find it difficult to provide enough milk for their baby.

Cold cabbage leaves work to reduce milk supply quickly and are very effective in reducing engorgement. They could be used in initial treatment of mastitis, by leaving these cold cabbage leaves on for about 5-10 minutes. As this method is also used by breastfeeding mums who wish to reduce their milk supply, remember not to leave them longer for 10 minutes as some may experience a reduction in breastmilk thereafter.

Having to express breast milk in unsuitable environments

Not all workplaces are breastfeeding-friendly and breastfeeding mothers who need to return to the workforce may not have a suitable place to express and collect their breast milk hygienically.

Several mothers reported that they were required to express their breast milk in the toilets or storerooms. To manage the situation, they suggest procuring a suitable container, which you can sanitize daily, to hold your breast pump, parts and bottle during expressing. At the very least, the surfaces that are in contact with your pump equipment are clean!

Travelling for work while breastfeeding

Many working mothers have to travel on work assignments. In order to continue giving their babies breast milk, they need to ensure that their milk supply does not drop or prevent themselves from suffering infections such as mastitis, breastfeeding mothers have to work around their pump times and/or figure out how to transport expressed breast milk from one country to another.

Our friend, Florinda Tay, felt compelled to share her knowledge on preserving and transporting expressed breastmilk on a work trip in her photo album here: https://www.facebook.com/florinda.tay/media_set?set=a.10156206580292794&type=3

Photo credits: Florinda Tay

We hope that these true stories of breastfeeding struggles can give you some insights on how every breastfeeding mother may experience their own challenges. Hopefully these stories can help support and encourage you on the tough journey of breastfeeding.

We’d love to hear your breastfeeding stories too, share with us in the comments below!

Categories
Babies For Parents Pregnant

Pregnancy week 41 – 42: Going past baby’s due date

At week 41, if your expected delivery date has come and gone and your bun is still nestling comfortably in your oven, don’t worry just yet!

Pregnancy Week 41 – 42: Large watermelon

Your baby is now the size of a large watermelon! He may be 55cmto 70cm long and may weigh about 3.5kg to 3.9kg.

As your body gears up for labour, your baby’s endocrine system, which is responsible for hormone production, gears upas well for him to send the necessary chemical signals to trigger the labor process.

During this time, your baby will produce more stress hormones than any other time in his life, but rest assure that this is good stress for your baby. These fetal stress hormones are the same ones our body produces in flight or fight response to a life-threatening situation or a stressful event. They help your baby to transition and adapt to their life outside of your uterus in the following ways by helping him breathe, increasing blood flow to your baby’s brain and kidneys, increasing your baby’s immunity and supplying energy to the baby after birth.

There may be changes in your baby’s movements in utero at this stage, because the space your uterus has become much smaller for your baby since he is at his full size and weight now. You should still feel his movements and do consult a doctor if there are any significant decreases in fetal activity.

Going past your estimated delivery date (EDD) – pregnant mum’s emotions

You can’t wait to have your baby and it can feel like the longest weeks of the pregnancy, although it seems like you have just entered the third trimester! On one hand, you may feel tense, restless, frustrated, apprehensive or anxious in one moment due to the uncertainty of labor, or the fear of impending labors pains. On the other hand, you may feel anxious, excitement and happiness on the impending arrival of your baby.

It’s normal to feel anxious when you’re baby is staying longer in your womb than it’s expected due date.

There are a whole lot of feelings going on inside you and you might find yourself having intense, realistic dreams about baby. Feeling tired even if you have had a lot of sleep, and, imagining all kinds of situations about the birth of your baby and your life afterwards is to be expected too.

During this time, telling yourself to relax and stop feeling or thinking is likely to be counterproductive. You are entitled to allow yourself to experience all of these feelings, so take time for it and give yourself the necessary space to do so. Often, acknowledging our own feelings leads to acceptance and even relaxation and better rest, after you’ve been taken care of emotionally.

Changes in your overdue pregnancy body

 From this week onwards, you may be asked to note down baby’s moments and any bodily discomforts or changes you notice. You could also be asked to check in with your gynae more often for assessments on how the baby and yourself are doing.

From week 41 to week 42, mums may be experiencing physical discomfort such as backache, strong pelvic pressure, cramps, frequent urination and the inability to rest well due to these discomforts.

The estimated delivery date, or EDD, given to you by your gynae is a working due date that has a five-day margin of error and is not necessarily the time nature decides to takes its course. In fact, fewer than 5 percent of babies arrive on their due date, and you are actually not considered overdue until 42 weeks gestation.

There are several signs that help you know when you are going into labor. One sign of impending labor is a bloody show, which is a pink or brown tinged mucus discharge from the rupturing of blood vessels in your cervix in preparation for labor. You may have hemorrhoids, more commonly known as piles, because there is increased blood flow to your pelvic area and the pressure rests on your rectum. You could experience diarrhea too because the internal muscles are loosening in preparation for childbirth. One of the most obvious signs is, when you experience a constant fluid leak that is probably your water bag breaking.

Tips to induce labour when baby is past his due date or over 40 weeks

There are several ways to help “quicken” your baby’s arrival, the most common one of which is a “Stretch and Sweep”, where medical practitioner will separate membranes attached to the amniotic sac with a finger or two during internal examinations. This method will feel uncomfortable, but it is an effective method that can trigger the hormone that stimulates your uterus to begin contractions.

Other ways to speed up labour include eating spicy food, getting an induction massage from a credible therapist, going for walks, squats and having sexual intercourse.

Kudos on the pregnancy journey, and now it’s time to welcome your new baby into the family.

 

Waiting for the arrival of your baby in the final stages is an experience in itself. Now that your hospital bag is packed, your birth plan is ready and you have read our guide to preparing for a new baby, do try to indulge in enjoying the couple and me time available now. You’ll be glad you did!

Did your baby arrive past his or her due date too? Let us know in the comments below!

Categories
Babies For Parents Uncategorized

Breastfeeding mums – Tips for Pumping at work

Transiting from maternity leave to return to work can be stressful for moms, especially when it comes to the logistics of pumping breast milk at work.

Getting your breastfed baby comfortable with bottle-feeding

One of the most stressful concerns for a working mother returning to work is whether your baby will take to being fed by his caretaker. This is often a key concern for mums who exclusively latch their babies, and babies who have refused bottles or hardly drink from milk bottles.

If mum needs to be away from your baby, let a trusted caregiver feed your child with expressed breastmilk in a bottle.

To counter this, after your milk supply has been established and baby does not have nipple confusion, it is a good idea for other caretakers (for example, baby’s father and other family members) to start bottle-feeding (here are things to prepare for bottle feeding for reference!). There are babies who may not take to bottle-feeding (have you heard of these bottle feeding myths?) and it is best to find solutions or alternatives before heading back to work.

Communicate your breastfeeding needs to colleagues

Before you return to work, it is a good idea to inform your Human Resource colleague or team mates about your need to express breastmilk during working hours. This would give them a heads-up that you will need to take some time during the day to pump, and most people would generally be understanding of a new mother’s needs.

To ease your transition back to work, have a casual chat with your boss and/or colleagues about the need for you to express breastmilk during working hours.

You may want to fill your colleagues in on the duration, or even general logistics of your pumping sessions so that they have some understanding before you commence on your pump sessions at work.

Scheduling pump sessions during the work day

Before you return to work, it is important to be aware of how long you can go without a pump session, while maintaining sufficient breast milk for your baby. With this knowledge, you will be able to estimate how often you will need to express breast milk when you return to work. However, having said that, you may have to pump within a limited time at your work place and may need to lengthen the interval between each pumping session.

Examine a regular workday and first find pockets of time that you could possibly fit in a pump session. For example, you can choose to express milk before you leave for work, during lunchtime and after work. If that already works for you, great, if not, you can make adjustments depending on the nature of your job.

Prepare yourself mentally for the pumping sessions at work

It is not uncommon for breastfeeding mothers to experience a dip in breast milk due to the stress of transitioning back to work and maintaining your breast milk supply. (Here are other reasons why breast milk may dip as well)

In such situations, breastfeeding mums may try out breast milk inducing foods (here are 5 of them!) or even have a few favorite photos of baby on hand to help you stimulate letdown during your pump sessions.

Wearing breastfeeding-friendly clothing that enables pump sessions

We often have to maintain a professional image at work and the usual nursing wear or breastfeeding friendly clothing may or may not work in this setting. To counter this, you can get the following types of clothing that may be both work and pumping appropriate, the best part is that you may already have these in your wardrobe:

  • Button down tops or dresses
  • Zip front tops or dresses
  • Flared tops
  • Wraps / Tie front tops or dresses

Wear work-appropriate outfits that allow you to pump milk easily without fuss.

Tips for working mum who needs to pump

  • Breast pump

Some breast pumps need to run with power from an electrical socket while others can operate just as well on battery.  You may want to pick a portable, powerful breast pump that allows you to pump even on the go as this will come in useful if you need to schedule pumping sessions in the car or while travelling for work.

Some breast pumps allow you to be hands-free while you are pumping and you will be able to still work while having your breast milk expressed.  If you can, keep a set of breast pump accessories at work to eliminate the situation where you forget to pack them to bring to the office.

Tip:Did you know that if you leave your pump parts in an airtight container in the fridge, you will be able to use the equipment to pump throughout the day without having to wash them? This is because breast milk can stay fresh in the fridge for up to 4 days, hence a few hours interval will not cause the breast milk on your equipment to turn bad or affect the quality of the milk collected

  • Milk bags

Pick milk bags that are BPA-free and lock securely. Once you are done pumping into a milk bottle attached to your pump, you can very carefully transfer your breast milk into the bags and lay them flat in the freezer or refrigerator in your office pantry. Freezing milk bags flat allow you to easily store more milk within a limited amount of space.

Tip:Keep spare milk bags in the office for times when you might have forgotten your milk bottle, or even your breast pump. At the very least, you will be able to hand express some of your breast milk.

  • Cooler bags / Ice packs

Transporting your precious milk does not have to be stressful.  You can either transport them by placing them in between ice packs alternately within an insulated bag, or, buy one of the freezer bags that comes with build-in ice packs. Both types of bags are available at baby care stores in Singapore.

With these tips on hand, we hope that you are now more well prepared to transition back to work while continuing your breastfeeding journey.

Breastfeeding working mums, how did you manage transit back to work while providing breast milk for your babies? Share some tips in the comments!

Categories
Babies For Parents Toddlers

Baby’s Brain Development & Milestones: 0 to 1 year old

Did you know that babies grow tremendously in the first year of their life? From helpless newborns to learning how to sit, crawl, walk and talk, the first 12 months is full of milestones for your baby.

This list of developmental milestones will help you see if your child is on track or if there could be possible developmental delays. If your baby is premature, use their corrected age instead.

Birth to 3 months old
In these first three months, your baby will spend most of their day sleeping, drinking and crying. At birth, their eyesight is poor and the world seems like a big, noisy and scary place. Your voice will be the one that is most recognisable to them as they have been listening to your conversations from inside the womb.

At about two months old, your baby will be able to figure out that they have some control over their body and start to kick their legs, grasp your finger tightly and even smile when you smile at them.

 Milestones:

  • Smile in response
  • Track objects with eyes
  • Moves fists from closed to open
  • Brings hands to mouth

Activities to stimulate brain development:

  • Cuddle and sing
    Babies thrive on touch and keeping your baby close to you fosters a stronger parent-child bond.
  • Massage your baby after baths
    Gentle touch has been linked to improved growth and better motor development, especially for premature babies.
  • Hang a colourful mobile above their cot
    Babies thrive on sensory stimulation, and a cot mobile aids in their visual development.

Infants and young children love bopping to the beat of music, and music has been known to stimulate brain development too!

4 to 6 months old

No longer a newborn, your infant is now alert and active. Curious about the world, babies love learning about the world through simple activities. You will notice that your baby is learning how to flip and can raise their head when lying on their tummy. With clearer vision, your baby can enjoy toys with complex patterns and colours.

 Milestones:

  • Flips from back to tummy and tummy to back
  • Reaches for nearby objects while on tummy
  • Able to lift head up
  • Turns head towards sounds
  • Babbles to get attention

Activities to stimulate brain development:

  • Play simple games
    Simple games like peek-a-boo or hiding a toy under a blanket encourages your infant to interact with you in a fun manner.
  • Read to your baby
    It can never be too early to introduce your child to the beauty of books. Reading promotes speech and thought development. Start by reading basic picture board books featuring large, bright pictures and be as descriptive as possible.
  • Offer simple toys
    Building a sensory boxcost very little, and you don’t have to specially buy things intentionally for this purpose. Look around your house for items that you can use to stimulate your baby’s sense of smell, touch, sound, sight and taste.

Reading is a good habit that can be cultivated from young

 

7 to 9 months old
Your infant is becoming more mobile and if he hasn’t started crawling yet, he will soon. One of the most exciting moments of this stage is that your baby can have his first taste of solid food. His gums may begin to ache and your baby may be drooling more often than usual.

Milestones:

  • Says first word
  • Stands with support
  • Sits upright
  • Grasps objects between thumb and forefinger

Activities to stimulate brain development:

  • Introduce stacking toys
    Among the fun activities that a 7 to 9 month old baby can do is stacking. It doesn’t have to be limited to blocks. Books, cups, containers – anything can be stacked up.
  • Offer finger food
    Whether you’re doing traditional weaning or baby-led weaning, finger foods such as steamed broccoli, avocado or teething rusks encourages your baby to self-feed and explore various textures and colours.

10 to 12 months old
Before your baby turns one-year-old, you can expect greater cognitive skills, evolving language skills and a distinctive personality unique to your toddler. Infant development is rapid at this age.

Milestones:

  • Pulls to stand or cruises
  • Stands without support
  • Claps hands
  • Shakes head
  • Waves goodbye

Activities to stimulate brain development:

  • Converse with your child
    Your toddler may be babbling, but did you know that babbling is how toddlers develop communication skills? By responding to your child’s babbling in proper sentences, your child will feel respected and engaged.
  • Outdoor play
    The benefits of outdoor play are immense, and the world is your toddler’s playground. A walk at the park or even to the Zoo can be an exciting trip for him.
  • Teach action songs

Action songs like “Head, shoulders, knees and toes” or “Hokey Pokey” not only teach your toddler about her body parts, but gets her bopping to music. Dancing is a way for toddlers to express themselves, much like singing.

As your baby enters toddlerhood, their reliance on milk decreases. Some mums may wish to transit their baby from breastmilk to formula milk, or supplement their diet with formula milk powder. Ensuring that your toddler eats well and right helps them to meet their growing needs.

What was your most memorable baby milestone? Share it with us in the comments!

Categories
For Parents Pregnant Uncategorized

Pregnancy week 25 – 28: Baby Bump

It’s the last stage of the second trimester! If you are a pregnant mum in Singapore, and are between 24 to 28 week-long, you will be offered an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test to determine if you have gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a condition where the body is unable to tolerate glucose during pregnancy. If the results show that you have gestational diabetes, you will need to modify your diet according to the dietician’s advice and make changes to your lifestyle. Otherwise, read on to see what you can expect during this pregnancy phase!

Week 25: Cauliflower

At Week 25, your baby is the size of a cauliflower. Most of your baby’s vital organs have been formed and your baby’s skin is becoming less translucent. Your baby is active, vigorous and responds to touch and sound. At this stage, you will be able to feel it when your baby is startled.

You may be experiencing a hardening or tightening of the uterus. This is known as Braxton Hicks contractions, and it usually does not cause any pain. It lasts between 30 seconds to 2 minutes and it serves its purpose as “practice contractions”.

Week 26: Kale

Baby is starting to take breaths of amniotic fluid in preparation for life outside the womb. Your baby has already begun to grow eyelashes and his or her pretty eyes will start to open soon. Isn’t that amazing?

Your baby will be going through a major growth spurt, so you have to ensure that you take in enough nutrients to keep your little one growing healthily. Staying hydrated is key in Singapore’s warm and humid climate too. One of the common issues expectant mothers experience at this stage is swelling in feet, legs and hands, which is normal. However, as severe or sudden swelling is a sign of preeclampsia, inform your gynaecologist if this happens to you.

During pregnancy, dads can talk to your baby too!

 Week 27: Lettuce

 Week 27 of the pregnancy is often defined as the last week of the second trimester! Your baby’s lungs have developed but are still immature. Premature babies at this stage have a great chance of survival with modern clinical healthcare advancements, but not to worry, as most mothers will be able to carry their babies to full term. If your baby takes in amniotic fluid and hiccups, you will be able to feel this too! Some mothers have described this feeling as “bubbly”.

At Week 27, your baby bump could be too big for your normal clothes to accommodate. You can consider choosing maternity clothes that flatters your bump and also doubles up as nursing wear!

Along with comfortable maternity wear, consider switching your shoes to a pair of support shoes to prevent accidental ankle sprains, which can be inconvenient during pregnancy. Leg or feet cramps and swollen ankles are common too, so having comfortable support for your new body weight during pregnancy helps make it a more enjoyable journey for you, mummy.

Baby is the size of an eggplant at around week 28 of your pregnancy – wow!

Week 28: Eggplant

In this week, expect your baby to open his or her eyes for the first time in utero! You won’t be able to see it, but you can ask for a 4D ultrasound scan, if your obstetrician provides one. Now the size of an eggplant, your baby continues piling on the kilos to smooth out wrinkles on his or her body.

You may experience shortness of breath as your baby grows bigger and seems to push your lungs and diaphragm. Be sure to take frequent rests if you experience discomfort or any pain. Staying active throughout the pregnancy by doing simple prenatal exercises can help you cope better with the labour process. Try out these simple exercises that you can attempt even at home!

What was the most uncomfortable pregnancy symptom you’ve experienced? Let us know in the comments!

Categories
Babies Family Fun Toddlers

Kids Eat for FREE at these Cafes & Restaurants in Singapore

Can kids enjoy free meals in Singapore?

 

With cafes and restaurants promotions that offer free food for kids, it helps families save some dollars when taking their children out to dine at these family-friendly places too. WIN-WIN!

 

At such food establishments in Singapore, parents can request for hot water for your baby’s formula milk,or, for warming up expressed breast milk too, as they are usually more understanding of family needs.

 

Check our handy guide for bottle feeding essentials you may have missed out when packing your diaper bag too!If you have an infant who needs to nurse during the meal, remember to pack a nursing cover in your diaper bag along with other necessary baby items.

 

Caption: Enjoy free meals when you dine with your child at these cafes and restaurants in Singapore!

 

  1. Morganfield’s

Morganfield’s is where you can have your fill of ribs, steaks, burgers. Redeem a kid’s meal for up to two children per table with every paying adult on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays. This promotion is only applicable to children below 8 years old or under 120cm.

Website

 

  1. Ippudo (Tanjong Pagar Centre)

Craving for authentic ramen? To redeem a Kid’s Delight Meal for your child aged 12 and below, simply order a regular bowl of ramen noodles on weekends! The ramen meal is garnished with corn, spring onions, bamboo shoots and has two side dishes!

 

Website

 

  1. Pizza Hut

If your child is under 10 years old, simply order any ala carte main and your child gets to choose a free kids meal! Pickfrom the baked pasta, tasty lasagna, mini pizza or yummy spaghetti meal! Each meal comes with a choice of chilled Milo, Mango Peach or Apple Juice. The promotion runs daily except on Public Holidays, Public Holiday eves and special occasions.

 

Website

 

  1. Swensen’s

 An extra reason to wake up early? Claim your free kid’s breakfast when you order an Adult Breakfast on weekends and public holidays between 8am to 11am. Only valid if your child is between 4 and 12 years old.

 

Website

 


Caption: Restaurants that provide free food for children are likely to be family-friendly establishments as well!

 

  1. Little Saigon

 If you fancy Vietnamese food, this restaurant bar offers a complimentary kid’s meal for children below 7 years old every Sunday. To redeem, order two adult main courses from the Noodles and Soup and Sandwiches section.

Website

 

  1. Shin Minori

 Serving ala carte Japanese buffet, children below 5 years old dine for free with every paying adult! Stuff yourself silly with sashimi, sushi, temakis, agemono and other dishes in their eat-all-you-can buffet.

 

Website

 

  1. Putien

This family-friendly Chinese restaurant serves free meals to children upon request when you dine there. There are no stated terms and conditions nor is it stated on the website, but it has been tried and tested.


Website

 

  1. Cafe Melba (Goodman Arts Centre)

 Kids eat for free every Monday, all-day, at Cafe Melba with purchase of a main meal. This kid-friendly cafe has a large lawn right outside for your kids to go wild. A bouncy castle goes up from 3pm and between 5pm to 8pm, there’s a little arts and craft corner for them to do art! Valid on all Mondays except on eves of Public Holidays and Public Holidays.

 

Website

 

 

Apart from drinking formula milk or breastmilk, has your child started solids yet? Do share with us your favourite family-friendly dining places in Singapore too!