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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 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!

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Babies For Parents Pregnant

Pregnancy week 17 – 20: the start of second trimester

Congratulations and welcome to the second trimester -you’re almost at the halfway mark!

Many pregnant mums call this the “honeymoon period” as their energy levels seem to bounce back during this time. Also, your dresses from pre-pregnancy days might start to feel tighter, so you might want to swap them out for dresses with an elastic waistband or opt for maternity wearto accommodate your growing bump. Many maternity dresses double up as nursing dresses for convenient access when breastfeeding or pumping.

Your baby’s growth will be measured during gynae visits to ensure that your baby’s size is healthy during the second trimester.

Week 17: Pear

Your baby is now the size of a pear! His heart is now beating at a regulated pace of 140 to 150 beats per minute, twice the speed of an adult’s. What’s your week 17 baby doing in the womb? Certainly not slacking off, for sure. Your baby is practising essential movements to prepare for life outside the womb, such as sucking and swallowing.

Their identity will start to be more prominent as swirls and creases start to form on their fingers and toes – yes, those are fingerprints and toe prints!

 As your baby grows bigger and heavier, you’ll feel hungrier and hungrier, like you could really eat a cow! To prevent massive weight gain, try this instead of binging – have more frequent snacks of healthy food in smaller quantities. When planning your meals, make sure that your meals contain the essential nutrients for pregnancy and take note of the foods to avoid. You might also feel your back achingas the second trimester of pregnancy also marks more obvious weight gain. Get a cushion to support your back if your job is deskbound.

During the second trimester, pregnant mums should continue staying active, and consider prenatal exercises when given the green light by their doctors.

 Week 18: Sweet Potato

Your little one at week 18 is now big enough for you to feel most movements he makes. All those twists, rolls, kicks and punches could be strong enough to take you by surprise. You may even feel your baby’s hiccups. Other mummies have described baby hiccups as “bubbles” or a fluttering feeling.

Inside, your baby’s reproductive system is forming and the fallopian tubes and uterus are in proper position for girls and for boys, his genitals will be visible from the next visit.

Some pregnant mums’ feet and ankles start to swell during the second trimester. This is a sign of water retention as your body needs more fluid to support you and your growing baby. To alleviate the effects, keep your legs elevated and avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time.

Lines that start appearing on your belly are stretchmarks and while they are mostly genetic, you can use stretch mark creams to keep the skin moisturised as much as possible to minimise the effects.

 Week 19: Mango

Vernix caseosa, a protective covering that prevents your baby from coming out wrinkly at birth, starts to form. A mix of dead skin cells, lanugo and oil, it is your baby’s first anti-wrinkle cream. Your baby’s lungs are developing and the main airways are forming this week.

You could be suffering from constipation due to the pregnancy hormones and iron supplements. Increasing your intake of fluids and fibre may help your condition. Feeling dizzy at times? That’s due to the growing pressure on your blood vessels from your uterus that reduces blood flow and causes you to feel faint. Once you experience such symptoms, sit or lie down immediately to prevent yourself from getting hurt.

Week 20: Banana

Welcome to Month 5! One of the cute things your baby can now do in-utero is sucking her thumb. This sucking reflex is useful for her to self-soothe when she enters the world.

You may be feeling out of breath at times due to your uterus pushing up against your lungs. However, you can still attempt simple exercises at home to keep fit and stay healthy.

Is your husband feeling left out? He doesn’t have to be, as there are many ways that he can help you with the pregnancy.

Are you enjoying your second trimester too, mummies? Do share how different it was from your first trimester!

Categories
Babies Family Fun Toddlers

6 tips for preparing for your newborn’s first photoshoot

Newborn photography aims to capture the innocent image of newborn babies, that’s why most newborn photo shoots are done when the infant is between 5 to 14 days of age. Within the first 14 days, the baby can be easily positioned for various poses, such in a cocoon or with their hands propped underneath their heads.

 

In Singapore, there are many professional photography studios and photographers providing this service. You can either bring your newborn to the studio, or opt for the photographer to come over to your house for the photoshoot session. Before that, here are some tips which may help you when preparing for your baby’s very first photoshoot!

 

  1. Search for interesting concepts

Whether you’re intending to have the photoshoot done by a professional photographer at home or at a studio, if there is a concept or style that you prefer, you can communicate your thoughts to your photographer to see how to achieve that effect.

  1. Prepare photoshoot outfits and props
    Items that are meaningful to you can be used in the photoshoot. For example, a couple who struggled with IVF treatments posed their baby in the middle of all 1,616 needles that were used in the conception journey.

Popular photoshoot items include ultrasound scan photos, pregnancy test sticks, baby’s first outfit and name boards.

 


A professional photography studio will have props and backdrops to create beautiful newborn photographs.

  1. Prioritise safety
    Mimicking an Anne Geddes shot? If you’re doing your photoshoot yourself, its best not to manipulate your baby into fancy contortions seen online. Professional newborn photographers have the know-how on how to pose babies in a safe manner. Some photographers use a box or pillow below the babies for support that is cleverly edited away post-photography.
  2. Hands and feet
    A little hand gripping on tightly onto dad’s or mom’s finger shows how tiny infants are and this pose captures the stark contrast in size, making for a beautiful photo. Closed-up photographs of your newborn’s little toes, feet, pouty lips make beautifully memorable shots too.
  3. Be mindful of baby’s schedule
    Though newborns below two weeks old sleep most of their day away, their stomachs have to feed at an interval of two to three hours. Scheduling your baby’s photoshoot to be right after a feed provides ample time for the photoshoot to proceed with little disruption.

 

Bottle-feeding parents can use this handy checklist to pack their diaper bags, and mums who are breastfeeding may find this list useful.

 

  1. Enjoy!

Ultimately, the purpose of this photoshoot is to document your baby’s first stage of life as a newborn. Don’t fret too much over the small details, and leave it to the professionals if it gets too overwhelming. Relax, smile and capture those beautiful memories!

 


Baby sleeping? No problem! The beauty of newborn photography makes is both memorable and challenging when snapping photos of an infant.

 

Did you have a newborn photo shoot for your little one? What was the most eventful moment? Share it with us in the comments!

Categories
Babies For Parents Toddlers

A ‘Thank you’ Letter to My Child’s Father

To the father of my children,

Mothers are often put in the spotlight as the ones who sacrifice their all for the family. While that’s not untrue, fathers are given a lot less credit for what they do. Fathers provide more than financial support but also emotionally. I want you to know that you’re an awesome dad to the children and that I appreciate you.

From the start when we discovered our pregnancy, you have put in effort to be involved in every step of the way. From taking time off work to be there with me during gynaecologist visits, attending prenatal classes together and massaging my aching feet. Oh, and that time when I was pregnant and requested for “pizza, sushi or McDonalds, I don’t know”, and you came back with pizza, sushi AND McDonalds? Perhaps you were satisfying the little baby’s cravings?

As we counted down the days where we would become a small family of three, we were nervous yet eager. Pregnancy hormones gave me mood swings that saw me burst out crying at the smallest things. You would hold me and tell the baby to behave. Prodding my belly made the baby move and you would spend minutes playing with the baby this way. You helped to massage my aching feet that were bloating up from water retention and even helped me to cut my toenails when my tummy was too large for me to reach my toes.

From being there from the start, thank you my dear husband.

In the delivery suite, from the moment we heard our baby cry, our lives changed entirely. I wanted to breastfeed from the start, and you were supportive of it, often bringing me water when I latched so that there would be enough milk for the baby.

You never once shied away from fatherly duties. You handle poopy diapers like a pro, and burp the baby after latching. Sometimes you get puked on, but you laugh it away. I haven’t told you this, but mealtimes are much easier because you take the effort to feed our child instead of being hands-off. Diapers, feeding, bathing, changing clothes, there’s nothing you can’t help with the kids.

Although you’re tired when you return home from work, your face lights up when you see our child running to greet you. You’re the light of her life, and it shows. It is your effort – you invested the time to sit down, play with her and understand her needs. There’s no one else who would be able to play with them the way you do. The kids love it when you carry them on your shoulders. That’s something I wouldn’t be able to do. In a way, carrying them on your shoulders is a symbol of how they can rely on you in their growing-up journey.

Sure, there have been arguments and disagreements on the way we parent our child but overall, I’m glad that we are in this life journey together.

For doing the best that you can, thank you my child’s father.

For loving the family, thank you.

For choosing to end work on time to be at home with the family, thank you.

For giving the children your best, thank you.

Thank you, my dear husband, my child’s father.

Loving you through the tiring days and more,

Your wife and child’s mother

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Babies For Parents Health & Nutrition

5 Ways Fathers Can Support Breastfeeding Mums on Their Journey

Breastfeeding mums face huge challenges – from latching issues, engorgement, breastfeeding illnesses such as mastitis and difficulties expressing milk comfortably at work. Breastmilk has been shown to be beneficial to babies’ development and the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends to breastfeed exclusively for at least the first six months of a child’s life.

 

A breastfeeding mum requires loads of support. If you’re a new father, here’s how you can play a part to give your wife a morale boost to ensure that your baby receives the best form of nutrition.

 

  1. Lend a helping hand

 

Whether mum direct latches or exclusive pumps, dads can support mums in different ways. When mum is latching baby, you can place a cushion behind your wife’s back to make it more comfortable, or bring her a drink to help her stay hydrated.

If the baby is on the bottle, offer to take over the feeds. Not only does it give your wife some time for a power nap, you also get to bond with your baby! That’s a win-win situation! After your wife finishes expressing breastmilk, help her to wash her pump equipment, bottles and pop them into the steriliser.

 

Bottle feeding lets father and baby enjoy some close moments together.

 

  1. Read up more about breastfeeding

A mother new to breastfeeding may encounter sore or cracked nipples which may bleed. By reading up on the causes of painful nipples and correct latching methods, you can help to soothe your wife’s misery and make the breastfeeding journey a more pleasant one. Otherwise, search for recommended International Board Certified Lactation Consultants available in Singapore.

Breastfeeding Mothers’ Support Group and hospitals such as National University Hospital and Mount Alvernia have certified lactation consultants who will be able to ease engorgement, correct latching methods and assist in the use of breast pumps.

Lactation tea contains ingredients which are known to boost breastmilk supply.

 

  1. Feed her well

Did you know that breastfeeding mothers require an additional 500 calories daily? Stock up the refrigerator with wholesome, fresh foods such as vegetables, fruit, wholegrain, fish, poultry, seafood, beans and legumes to make sure that the calories taken in are nutritious as well.

There are certain ingredients which may help with the production of breast milk, such as oat, salmon, flaxseed, millet and barley. Take note that the milk-boosting effects may not be apparent for every woman and an ingredient which increases breastmilk production for one woman may cause a decrease in supply for another.

 

In addition, 88% of breastmilk is water. To prevent dehydration, it is essential that a minimum of 2L to 3L of fluids a day is consumed. Besides water, breastfeeding mums can consume soups, juices, water, lactation tea or even milk to make up the daily fluids needs.

A satisfied baby with a full tummy sleeps better!
  1. Support your wife against naysayers

During the breastfeeding journey, your wife may encounter unpleasant remarks from relatives, friends or strangers. Some may downplay your wife’s breastfeeding efforts and make her feel lousy by commenting on the amount of milk produced or the size of your baby.

Support your wife’s decision to breastfeed by fending off these remarks politely but firmly.

 

  1. Pack breastfeeding essentials for outings

With a constant lack of sleep, your wife may be too tired to pack baby’s diaper bag when your family goes out. Other than packing items that baby needs, remember to throw in a nursing cover and/or pump equipment with milk bottles so that your wife can breastfeed comfortably even when she’s outside.

 

Congratulations on this brand new journey together as parents! The above tips should help daddies to make your wife’s breastfeeding journey more bearable and less stressful. Have more tips to add on for new dads? Add a comment to let us know!

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Health & Nutrition Toddlers

A Handy List of Healthy Snacks to Pack in Your Diaper Bag

Your active little tot is full of energy, and that means he or she may need some snacks in between milk feeds and meals to keep up. Snacks are small, light bites for little tummies and, are handy to have around to divert meltdowns and tantrums. Snacks seem to have a bad rep for being loaded with sugar – did you know that there are healthy snack options that are packed with nutrition? This handy list will give you some ideas on healthy snacks to pack along when your little one is out and about with you!

 

  1. Fruit

 

Fruit make easy snacks which require minimal preparation. Berries are great because cutting is not required and are bite-sized, perfect for kids! Put some berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries) or grapes into a container and inside a cooler bag to maintain freshness. Berries are juicy, seedless, low in calories and packed with phytochemicals which protect cells from damage.

 

For larger fruit like apples and pears, your child can munch on them as it is, or simply slice them into wedges. Apples tend to oxidise when cut up, so you may like to squeeze some lemon juice over to keep them turning brown and drying up quickly. Include a variety of two to three types of fruit if possible.

 

Include a variety of berries as they are loaded with vitamins and minerals for your growing child!

 

  1. Rice Biscuits

 

Rice biscuits for children are oblong and flavoured. Choose brands which do not add artificial flavouring and colouring. Rice biscuits double up as teething biscuits to relieve itchy gums and make good snacks as they don’t crumble into pieces but melt only in the mouth.

 

Rice is made up of 90% carbohydrate, 8% protein and 2% fat, which makes it a source of energy for active young children as they expend more energy.

 

  1. Sandwiches

 

Sandwiches can be filled with anything your child likes, from peanut butter to jam or ham and cheese. You can sneak in vegetables in between too! It may get a bit messy, so cut them into bite-sized pieces for easy handling. Toast them or leave it soft and fluffy. You can also use sandwich cutters to create cute shapes to appeal to children.

 

Homemade sandwiches make healthy snacks and are easy to prepare too.

 

  1. Cucumber slices or carrot sticks

 

Inculcating a healthy diet from young reduces the risk of childhood obesity. Cucumber slices are refreshing and contain many important nutrients and vitamins. Made of 96% water, cucumbers have a high water content which promotes hydration.

 

Carrots are particularly high in beta-carotene, fibre, Vitamin K and potassium and can be eaten chilled or warm. They are naturally sweet, and hold them shape well, which makes it great for Baby Led Weaning too!

 

Cucumber and carrot sticks may be served with a dipping sauce. Try blending yoghurt with avocado and lime juice and chill it to make a yummy, creamy dip.

 

Cucumbers make a cool snack – simply slice, wedge or dice them up for your kids!

 

  1. Banana Pancakes

 

Only two ingredients are needed for this super easy, kid-friendly recipe – Banana and Eggs. Mash up a ripe banana into chunks and beat an egg in. Use a tablespoon pour the batter over a heated oiled pan and make bite sized pancakes!

 

No sugar is needed as bananas contain natural sugars.

 

  1. String cheese

 

String cheese can be bought off the shelf in supermarkets and require no preparation. High in calcium and protein yet low in calories. Chewy, stringy and firm, it is a popular snack amongst toddlers.

 

There are certain brands which cater to children and contain less sodium and saturated fat than usual. However, a string cheese is ultimately a processed food, do exercise moderation when feeding it to your children.

 

What is your go-to snack for children which is healthy yet easy to prepare? Let us know in the comments!

Categories
Babies For Parents

New Parents Guide to Preparing for a New Baby

Having a new baby is a huge milestone and it can cause jitters for many couples who have no idea what to do. If you’re one of them, don’t fret as we have compiled a short guide which you can refer to for help.

Have fun preparing for your new bundle of joy!

 

Baby Essentials
Should you get a cot, playpen or a co-sleeper bassinet? Which stroller should you get? When considering big-ticket purchases, it may be wise to brave the crowds at a baby fair where you can see the items in person and decide better. If you’re not particular, you can consider purchasing second-hand options to save money. Do check to ensure that they are in good working condition.

Some parents purchase only items that are absolutely necessary and buy the rest after the baby is born. Items that are necessary include newborn rompers, washcloths, toiletries, swaddle cloths, socks and diapers.

A baby bassinet can be placed right next to the bed for easy access to your baby in the first few months.

 

Feeding

Contrary to popular belief, babies should be fed on demand rather than according to schedule. A newborn generally drinks about 60ml to 90ml of milk every 3 or 4 hours if formula fed, and more frequently if breastfed. Rather than sticking strictly to a schedule and recording down all the details, it is better to look out for your baby’s hunger cues instead.

Hungry infants start off by licking their lips and making smacking sounds before rooting, fidgeting and squirming. If they are still not fed, this progresses into frantic crying.

If your baby is fully breastfed, nurse your baby the moment he or she exhibits hunger signs. It is rare for exclusively breastfed babies to be overfed so there is no danger in latching frequently. Breastfeeding also provides comfort and security to your newborn.


Umbilical Cord Care

The umbilical cord stump will take about a week to dry up and fall off. It is important to maintain the hygiene around the umbilical cord by keeping the cord stump clean and dry. Use a cotton bud dipped in warm water to gently clean around the base of dried blood and wipe the cord dry with a clean cloth. Keep the area airy to let the cord dry up faster.

 

Bathing a Newborn

Newborns can be given sponge baths until the umbilical cord has fallen off. Use a clean, warm towel to wipe your newborn’s face and body. When it has fallen off, you can use a bathtub with infant bath support to free up your hands to bathe your baby thoroughly.

Do ask the nurse at the nursery or an antenatal professional to demonstrate to you how to bathe a newborn if you are unsure. Both new daddy and mummy can learn and try – a little practice will help with growing your confidence!

Newborns require a lot of security from their parents since they’re new to this large and scary world.

 

Cuddling

It is perfectly alright to pick up and cuddle your newborn when he or she cries instead of letting him or her cry it out. Studies have shown that cuddling is not only perfectly safe, but it has long term effects on their health and development. Frequent skin-to-skin contact leads to improved neurodevelopment and lower rates of aggression.

Some experts believe it is impossible to spoil a newborn by carrying them “too much” as their needs are very much basic at this age – to be fed, cleaned, burped and comforted.

We hope this simple guide will be useful for you as you make preparations to welcome your very first baby. Feel free to share what you’re most anxious about when handling newborns!

Categories
Babies Family Fun Toddlers

6 Fun Ways to Prepare Your Elder Child for a New Sibling

Are you expecting a new bundle of joy, yet worried about how your elder one will react to his or her new sibling? Fret not as we have some fun ways to prepare your elder child for his or her new role!

1. Bring him or her with you to gynaecologist checkups
Bring your child along to visits to the gynaecologist where he or she can see the new sibling move during ultrasound scans. Use this time to explain to your child that the baby is still growing in your tummy. This way, your child can see how his or her sibling develops from a small foetus into a baby with each scan.

If you’re feeling artsy, create a scrapbook, let your child decorate it and add in new scan photos along the way!

2. Read books on new siblings
Take your child on a trip to the nearest library and borrow some books focused on introducing new siblings to the family. There are some websites which sell personalised sibling books that you can customise with your elder child’s name. Having themselves as the main character of the book helps them to relate better to the story.


Read up on how to cope with the new baby.

3. Sibling bonding
Encourage your child to talk, kiss or hug the new sibling through your tummy. Foetuses can hear sounds from inside the womb and this will build familiarity between the siblings even before birth. Try singing together with your toddler to your belly.

4. Involve your child in baby preparation
It is natural for elder children to feel mixed emotions about the impending arrival and change in status and not want to help. Gauge their interest level and ask casually if they would like to help you pick a colour for the nursery or choose clothes for the new sibling.


Your elder child can be given the honour of choosing colours for the nursery.

If you have yet to decide on a name for the new baby, you can even let your child have the honour of choosing his or her new sibling’s name from a shortlist?

5. Reminisce about your elder child’s baby moments
Perhaps it is time to cuddle with your child and tell him or her all about how you discovered you were pregnant and show how he or she grew from an embryo into a foetus and then a baby. What did you first notice about your baby? Was it his cute button nose, or her deep dimple? How did you feel when you first carried him or her? Was it on a rainy night or hot afternoon?

Birth stories help your elder child understand that they are just as important as the new addition.


In your third trimester, your elder child will be able to feel distinct movements from your belly!

6. Let your child be the first visitor
It can be confusing for younger children when they see their new sibling who used to be in Mom’s big, round belly. Allowing your elder child to be the very first visitor makes them feel important and there will not be external disruptions by other visitors who will crowd around the infant.

Try the above tips out and let us know if they worked for you! Do you know of other ways to help your elder child prepare for a new sibling? Leave us a comment!