Keeping Baby Clean – Simple Steps & Tips for New Parents

Bathing a baby may be one of those many things that new parents worry about before their baby arrives. Throwback to 6 years ago, when I was carrying my first born, Ayra, I googled for guides on bathing a newborn, searched for baby bathing videos on YouTube and also attended pre-natal classes. And guess what?

When it was time to bath my baby (the real one not the doll from pre-natal class) for the first time, my mind went blank! Before that day, I was able to instruct and guide my grandma and mum who were helping bath Ayra the first week. I was able to clearly remember what to do and the 101 things needed to be setup etc. But once you actually get down to it, you forget all books and videos and just focus on the amazing bonding experience with you and your newborn.

If you’ve never bathed a baby before, here are the list of things you need to prepare. (I’ve previously shared a comprehensive shopping list for new parents.)

Diaper napkins/ Cloth diapers/ Disposable diapers – depending on your preference.
Changing mat – so you don’t get your bed sheets wet each time you change your baby.
Cotton balls – to clean baby’s eyes, baby cord before it drops off, and baby bottom.
Baby wipes for the poo/pee clean-up before shower.
• Soap free/ Gentle baby shampoo – we’ve used and trusted Cetaphil for many years up till today.
Baby moisturizer – baby’s skin needs to be moisturized so pick one that’s gentle to baby’s skin.

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Baby bath tub – recommend getting one with stand so you don’t have to squat down to bathe the baby.
Baby bath towels – we invested in nano fiber towels for our girls since birth because they are soft and fluffy, and its lint free. We are still using the same batch of towels from 5 years ago.
Baby wash towels  – which are also the same nano fiber towels, they come in many sizes.
A basket to hold all the bottles and wipes etc so it’s easier to carry and store them. Most of the time you’ll be operating with one hand since the other will be cradling your baby.

Now that you have the necessary stuff ready, we move on to the what and how to clean your baby. And thanks to the Cetaphil Baby Experience, a recent workshop on childcare, I am able to share the following how-to guides with you.

NEVER LEAVE YOUR BABY UNATTENDED

NEVER LET THE WATER CONTINUE RUNNING WHEN BABY IS IN THE TUB

  1. Ensure the windows are closed and the fan turned off before removing any clothes from the baby. I even had my door closed too so the baby won’t get any chill drafts during shower.
  2. I also prefer to use a room with a connecting toilet to bath the baby, so everything is nearby and to minimise moving around with a naked baby.
  3. Before bringing the baby to the bath room, clean the baby’s eyes, ears and face with cooled boiled water and cotton balls. Do the same for baby’s belly button.
  4. Clean the baby’s bottom with the remaining water ensuring all residues of pee and poo are cleared, this is to ensure the bath tub water does not get contaminated.
  5. Fill the bath tub to about 1/4 with lukewarm water, which is not hot to touch with the inside of your wrist.
  6. I use 2-in-1 shampoo and shower wash because it is easier to manage when bathing a baby. I will drop some of it into the water and use a wash cloth to clean the baby’s hair and body.
  7. I will talk and sing to my baby in the shower to distract her and keep as much eye contact as possible. This also gives assurance to the baby, letting her know that you are there and she’s in good hands.
  8. When the baby is washed and cleaned, wrap the baby with a soft big towel immediately
  9. Place the baby on the changing mat (on the bed) and towel dry quickly but gently.
  10. The first thing I do is to ensure the bottom is cleaned, moisturized and put on the diaper immediately. You never know when the baby decides to pee or poo! Accidents do happen, so be prepared.
  11. Apply moisturizer over the face, neck, arms, body and legs.
  12. Put on clean clothes and you’re done!

Since, the first few times a baby is bathed by different pair of hands, the baby and the bathing process may not be as comfortable or familiar. But don’t give up if your little one isn’t enjoying bath time yet, it takes time for both of you to truly enjoy the bathing experience.

For those of you who missed the Cetaphil Baby event, there was a live baby bathing demo. Lead by Ms Kang Phaik Gaik, senior lactation consultant at Alvernia Parentcraft Centre, Mount Alvernia Hospital, the demo shared helpful tips on how to bathe newborns. You can learn more about the correct and safe way of bathing newborn babies and massaging them with the video.

Hope this sharing is useful for new parents and parents to be!

Hope this sharing is useful for new parents and parents to be!

If you would like to find out more baby caring tips and be kept in the loop for future events, join Cetaphil Singapore on Facebook and sign-up for their newsletter.

This post is brought to you in collaboration with Cetaphil.

Let’s Bloom & Grow in 2016 Plus Giveaway

I’d promised a big giveaway if I hit 1,000 fans on The Loving Mum Facebook page, though we are still 89 short to the 1K mark, but I think its still time to reward our supporters and friends! So let’s kick off with our very first #TLMGiveaway for 2016. Read on to find out what we have for you and instructions to take part is somewhere at end of post.

From pregnancy to birth of your baby, and seeing the baby grow up to become an active toddler than to a pre-schooler, there are 1001 things we as parents need to prepare and do to meet the child’s need and wants. One of the many baby product distributors in Asia hopes to be there with you right from the start. Their aim is to bring the best for you and your baby.

Bloom and Grow provides a one-stop direct access to their products online from Maternity, Baby Bed time, Meal time, Bath time, Gifts, toys and essentials for you to go out and about with your little ones. I only knew about them way past the need to shop for such stuff. If I was a first time mum, I would have double the excitement when I was at the latest launch in Singapore where they showcased all of their latest products.

There were so many colourful and interesting products on display at the launch, even Zara was curious to find out more about them.

One of our favourite brand had a whole range of new and brightly coloured products that will surely attracts both parents and little ones. Here’s what we saw and liked from SKIP HOP.

New toys for babies from SKIP HOP
More SKIP HOP bags and this time round these are suitable for pre-schoolers too! Love the matching lunch boxes and carriers. And YES we’ve got one set to giveaway too!
Baby essentials from Nuby.

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GIVEAWAY TIME!

Aren’t all the products so cute and bright? Thanks to the good people from Bloom and Grow, we’ve got a big goodie bag filled with more than S$150 worth of products, including the pretty SKIP HOP bag and lunch box set. Here’s how you can win this big bag of goodies.

  1. Comment on this post on Facebook and tell us which are your favourite brands sold by Bloom and Grow, tag 3 mummy/daddy friends too to share the love.
  2. Share the Facebook post with your friends.
  3. This giveaway is only open to fans of The Loving Mum on Facebook and/or followers of @Claudia10 on Instagram. You must be residing in Singapore and be a parent.
  4. Giveaway ends 15 January 2016 at 2359 hour.

May the lucky parent win this big goodie bag from Bloom and Grow![/box]

And now, here’s one of the highlight that day for our little ones… the many new designs from Trunkie! We’ve got one old and plain one at home, so when the girls saw the many new and cute designs on display, they couldn’t wait to get themselves onto them. The girls were wheeling and going crazy on their trunkies that day. And we can’t wait to use ours at our upcoming family vacation this week!

Some of the latest trunki designs on display at the launch.

Check out Bloom and Grow on Facebook at their website http://www.bloomandgrowasia.com/.

7 Essential Gifts For Newborn Babies in 2015

As we marched into Singapore’s 50th birthday, all newborns in 2015 will receive a special Golden Jubilee Baby gift set from Singapore. There were much noises generated on these gifts but when I got to see the gifts in person at their reveal last Sunday, I must say, these gifts are more essentials and special than what I’d expected. In fact, these gifts will help save new parents quite a sum of money too.

Ayra and Zara were both there with me and the littlest one attracted quite a few attention with her super friendly character, going around doing High-5s with other guests and showing her cute dance moves.

The 7 Essential Gifts for all Golden Jubilee Babies

Gift 1 – Practical Diaper Bag

This diaper bag (if I remember correctly) is by Skip Hop and if you were to buy this in store, it’ll cost about $90+. The bag resembles the Skip Hop Duo diaper bag.

Gift 2 – Red Baby Sling

This resembles the one I have and if its the same model, then its one cool baby sling! I used it on both Ayra and Zara and found the baby sling very practical and easy to use. I paid $199 for a similar baby sling and now all 2015 babies get to have one for free!

Gift 3 – Six Piece Baby Clothes Set

This set comprising of 2 rompers, 1 shirt and 1 shorts, a pair of mittens and socks. These I have to say are super cute and I can already imagine all the newborns wearing these cute rompers appearing on my Facebook and Instagram Timeline come 2015. Definitely something worth keeping inside Baby’s memory box.

Gift 4 – A baby shawl

Not sure if all the shawls will be the same design, but the one I saw has got cute lion print on it.

Gift 5 – A set of 5 Children’s Books

These books inspired by local iconic and fun places is good for Level 1 and 2 readers. Great for bedtime stories with your newborn; never too early to start them on reading you know.

Gift 6 – A scrapbook album

Being a scrapbooker myself, I think this is a great baby welcome gift for all new parents. I spent quite a lot of money and time putting my own scrapbooks together for my girls, if you want some design inspirations, you can take a look at some of mine here.

Gift 7 – A nice photo frame

Great for showing off your baby’s best photos at their first month or first year celebration or display the happy memories in the baby’s room.

There’s also a 8th gift in the set of gifts for all Golden Jubilee Babies in 2015 – a commemorative medallion. Another great keepsake in baby’s memory box. This will be revealed come 2015, probably to the first newborn come 1 Jan 2015. Wonder who will be this lucky Golden Jubilee Baby No. 1?

Personally I feel that these are great and practical gifts for newborns, and would save all parents more than $300 from buying of diaper bag, baby sling and the other essentials. I would be looking forward to receiving this gift set if I am popping a baby next year. (For the record, no we are not trying for the 3rd one please!)

All these 8 essential and keepsake-worthy gifts will come in a very pretty gift box which I love love love! This box can be used as the baby’s memory keepsake box to store all the precious things which can be gifted back to the baby when he/she grows up. You know, you can keep things like the tag worn at the hospital, the health booklet, first photo, deflated balloons from relatives/friends etc. And yes I keep these things inside my girls’ memory box! If only I had such a big box then I would have kept more things in there!

If any parents having more than 1 baby in 2015, and would like to give away one of the boxes, please please get in touch with me ok!

With free flow of candy floss, popcorns, airbrush tattoo service, crafting corner and fun photo spots, guests and their children had fun at the reveal. Kudos to the SG50 Golden Jubilee Baby Gift team for putting a nice HeyBaby families get together for this reveal.

The SG50 Baby Jubilee Gift is a community initiative led by the National Population and Talent Division, supported by REACH, the Ministry of Social and Family Development, Families for Life, NTUC U Family, and I Love Children. In conjunction with the SG50 celebrations to commemorate Singapore’s Golden Jubilee, the Gift consists of a small set of meaningful items from all Singaporeans to welcome every Singaporean baby born in 2015. Find out more at SG50baby page on Heybaby.sg.

Feeding bottle woes over with new Philips Avent Natural Bottles

Ayra with Philips AVENT Feeding BottleI have been searching for the right milk bottles for baby since before she arrived. It was confusing at first, with so many types, brands and sizes to choose from. I started off with the Philips Avent Classic bottles as they came together with the breast pump I bought. When time came to use them, I realized it leaks pretty badly then read online that its due to the bad positioning of the ring adapter that’s to be placed before the teat cover. It took us quite a while to learn the right way to use these bottles. Still it wasn’t perfect. So I bought other brands to try, ended up having too many bottles sitting in the kitchen and still none was the right one for Ayra.

Eventually we used a mixture of milk bottle brands and make sure a handkerchief is used to prevent any staining on Baby’s clothes while feeding. But using different bottle wasn’t good cause I noticed Ayra drinking pattern changed when different bottle was used.

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The nightly gig even up till today, but now with bigger milk bottles.

Sometime earlier this year, when it was time to change new bottles for Ayra (I change them every 6 months). I saw the new range of bottles by Philips Avent at Robinsons. When I saw that they have improved the design and removed the ring adapter from the bottle, I immediately bought 2 sets of the bottles and 6m+ teats and used them the same day. And then, it was a never-look-back experience. Baby and I love the new Philips Avent Natural PP bottles! (I’m not paid to say this ok! Really love the new design.)

Here are the reasons why…

Continue reading “Feeding bottle woes over with new Philips Avent Natural Bottles”

Going out with baby – The Must-Have List

Going out with a baby or toddler is a muscle training activity for me. With her growing bigger and heavier, it is impossible to carry her without the help of my trusty 3G Boba carrier, but going out for a day trip or anywhere for more than 3 hours, I will usually bring along a list of essentials with me.

This is my list of essentials for going out with a baby or toddler:

  1. 3G Boba carrier – This is where baby likes to be when we are out. She enjoys shopping with me in this carrier. I tried two other carriers before but they can’t make her stay quiet and comfort as long as the Boba. I don’t know what I’ll do if I’ve not chanced upon this carrier.
  2. Combi Well Comfort stroller – This usually acts as the stroller for the bags and shopping cause Ayra prefers to be carried. But lately I try to let her stay seated in the stroller for as long as I can so that she will get used to it. This Combi stroller is the lightest with one-hand open/close system I found when I’m shopping for one. My fist one was by Capella and it was too heavy for me to bring out alone when I’m taking the public transport.
  3. Big bag filled with essentials for baby and me
    • 2-3 pieces of diapers, pack of wet wipes and a changing mat
    • 2 clean hankies
    • 1 set of clean clothes – in case of any unforeseen situation
    • 1 pair of socks and leggings – due to our humid and hot weather, I usually dress Ayra in shorts or dress, leggings come in useful when we are inside the shopping mall
    • Wet wipes for the mouth, hands, food and anything that needs to go into her mouth
    • Milk powder container
    • My wallet and stuff
  4. Feeding bag – If it can’t fit into the big bag, I’ll have it in a smaller bag where I can hang on the stroller. This content milk bottles, drinking cup and hot water flask.

Picture this image – me carrying all the above and a almost 10kg baby boarding the bus, going up/down stairs, shopping with bags of stuff from the shopping spree and sometimes even continue to shop for grocery in the supermarket (with additional basket for grocery).

Don’t I look like an octopus with 8 arms?

Safe place to play for baby below 12 months

Now that my baby is able to crawl (super fast) and learning to stand and take small steps on her own, I find it a challenge trying to keep her out of the no-go zones at home and with the limited space at my mum’s place, its even tougher to have all her toys surrounding her for her to explore.

My temporary solution is to bring her to Hokey Pokey. First encounter at Hokey Pokey is on the day of shoot for Baby Essentials. She wasn’t able to crawl yet and I had to carry her from around to play. She had enjoyed it still and had a great night sleep that night. Brought her back again with my mum on a Saturday and she was all over the place. Grabbing toys from the shelves, crawling from one corner to another, pulling herself up to stand and reach for toys on high shelves or table and so much more activities! She kept herself occupied and had fun for an hour, till she realized her energy was running out.

Steady only! Standing like that.
Took baby steps while holding on to the shelves

So far, base on my online research, Hokey Pokey seems like the only place friendly and spacious enough for baby below 12 months. All other play houses were for older kids who can climb high and low and move around without parents supervision. They do have corner for young babies, but its not as fun and spacious.

Zooming down the hill!
Press press... got sound!

NTUC card member is having 10% discount off their membership now at Hokey Pokey, so I’ve gotten Ayra her first membership. Now each day out at Hokey Pokey will be $15 instead of the usual $25.

If you’re interested, the annual membership is at $50, including 1 free play on day of sign-up and 1 free play on the child’s birthday month. Special rate for party package booking and also get 6 free drinks (one for each visit). Not too bad a deal don’t you think?

Will be bringing baby girl to Hokey Pokey at least once a month. Anyone wants to go together? More fun to have play dates for the little ones!

Listen and learn your baby’s language, Yes they are talking to you!

For three months, I’ve been learning my baby’s cry and mumbling on my own. Knowing when she’s hungry, when she wants to be burped and when she’s tired and wants to sleep. It was tough and I wished I had someone to interpret the cries for me. Understanding baby’s language is important as it’ll help reduce frustration from the little one and the big ones (Parents) need not end up becoming frantic and even frustrated cause the baby refuses to stop crying and screaming.

Three months later, today, I saw this video circulating on YouTube and I wished I’d known about this earlier! The Dunstan System was first introduced on Oprah few years back and the recently shared video on YouTube is spreading.

If you’re expecting, has a baby who’s trying to communicate with you or just simply curious, check out this video.