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In this article, we would like to introduce the 9 categories that covers all you need to prepare for Baby’s Arrival.
1. Maternity & Nursing
Getting ready for baby starts from preparing mommy for some physical changes as baby advances into the months. Inner wear for expectant mums is usually not thought of, but this is an important aspect. Mom’s body will change to accommodate growing baby – so support for the breast and the tummy is important. Check out our range of tummy belt and stocking to support growing tummy and the various types of soft and moulded bras that helps to distribute the weight of the growing breast. Post-natal, we also stock abdominal binders, nursing bras and disposable maternity panties.
A big decision a new mom must make for their little one’s nutrition is breast vs formula. Health experts believe that breast milk is the best nutritional choice. For many, the decision to breastfeed or formula feed is based on their comfort level, lifestyle and any medical conditions. One can get advice from the BMSG – Breastfeeding Mothers Support Group – who holds phone counselling, seminars and other events to promote Breastfeeding.
If you have decided to breastfeed, these are items that you should prepare:
- Nursing bras
- Breastfeeding pillow
- Nursing pads
- Muslin towels
- Breast pump
- Contact of a lactation consultant
- Nipple Cream
The list goes on as you meet different stages in breastfeeding, so reading up on what to expect on breastfeeding or getting consultation from support groups would be the best way to go.
Many moms do a combination of breast and bottle feeding. Even when you breastfeed, expressing/pumping out the milk is a good way to provide the best nutrition for baby yet maintain some relief time for the mom. The expressed milk can be stored away and a caregiver can bottle feed baby when mummy needs to be away.
Why do you even need a car seat? Because a car seat saves lives. If your baby is strapped securely in a car seat, their risk of dying in a car accident goes down by at least 70% - according to many studies done. Bringing baby home from the hospital is a major milestone and you will need an approved rear-facing infant car seat. At Maxi Cosi, Europe’s Most Trusted and Popular Car Seat Brand, all car seats meet and exceed the Federal Safety Standards. Maxi Cosi offers a full range of car seats from age 0 to 12years.
A baby stroller is one of the items you have to buy in order to move around easier. But more importantly it reduces the chances of baby being hurt if you slipped and fall. It is also more comfortable for baby to have their own little space and enjoy being rocked or lulled while on the road.
Strollers can be categorised roughly into 4 types: Full-sized stroller, lightweight or umbrella stroller, jogging stroller or travel system.
If you are looking to invest in a stroller that carries baby right through the years, a full-sized stroller is bigger, sturdier and usually more durable. It usually comes with a host of better features that will make baby more comfortable and your life easier. Obviously the downside is that they will be heavier and bulkier so you need to consider your limitations in your own strength and the car and home storage space.
Lightweight or umbrella stroller
You will definitely lose features that are packed in a full-sized stroller, but most importantly, do check out carefully on the sturdiness of the stroller on a bumpy road, the structure whether it is rickety when a weight is in it, and the size of the wheels in proportion to the whole structure of the stroller (so the stroller doesn’t topple over!).
Sporty and outdoorsy parents will appreciate such strollers. Built with bigger, sturdier wheels with suspension, baby gets to enjoy ‘riding & cruising’ in the outdoors. Jogging strollers are typically wider (even compared to a full-sized stroller) so it may present tight manoeuvring through tight spaces. A bigger storage car boot and home storage is also to be carefully considered.
A stroller that pairs with an infant carrier car seat so that you can remove the car seat with baby in it and onto the stroller – with car seat adaptors attached to stroller. A safe, durable and easy-to-use stroller must be considered as it should carry the car seat in a sturdy and safe manner. When baby outgrows the infant carrier car seat, the adaptors can be removed so that you can use the stroller on its own.
3. Baby Furniture & Beddings
The safest place for baby to sleep is in your room, but not in your bed. A baby cot should be used to create a safe sleeping area for baby. Always check that the baby cot you buy has the European Standard EN716, US standard ASTM 1169 or ISO 7175 – Singapore Consumer Goods Safety Standard.
- Slats should be no more than 2 3/8inches (6 cm) apart so a child's head cannot become trapped between them. Widely spaced slats can allow an infant's legs and body to fall through but will trap the infant's head, which can result in death.
- There should be no decorative cut-outs in the headboard or footboard, as your child's head or limbs could become trapped in them.
- If the crib has corner posts, they should be flush with the end panels, or they should be very, very tall (such as posts on a canopy bed). Clothing and ribbons can catch on tall corner posts and strangle an infant.
- All screws, bolts, nuts, plastic parts, and other hardware should be present and in original condition. Never substitute original parts with something from a hardware store; replacement parts must be obtained from the manufacturer. They must be tightly in place to prevent the crib from coming apart; a child's activity can cause the crib to collapse, trapping and suffocating her.
It is highly recommended that you buy from a reputable retailer that undertakes warranty and provide installation and customer service.
Baby Mattress and Bedding
The baby cot mattress is sadly usually the last item mummy and daddy treat as important. It’s certainly not the most interesting purchase but it is the most important. The firmness of the mattress is going to determine how safe it is for baby to be spending so much time in – mattresses that are too soft and hardly offer support pose the danger of Sudden Infant Death.
There are many types of mattresses in the market – foam, latex, spring, cotton, coconut husks... the list goes on. How will a parent choose the correct mattress? Test mattresses before buying them – press down on the mattress and the indent created has to disappear within seconds. If the indent doesn’t disappear within seconds, the mattress is too soft for a new born baby. You should also buy a mattress that fits snugly in the baby cot – no more than 2 finger space between mattress and the sides of the cot. This prevents any suffocation of entrapment.
It is not advisable to use a used mattress. It could have lost its firmness, could develop some dips and bulges and these are danger due to improper support. The condition of the mattress is very important too – bacteria and fungi are not visible from the surface – and these are usually present in used mattresses due to the soiling and moist storage environment. Such dust mites cause rashes on baby skin, besides being allergy and asthma triggers.
Fortunately, the Cheeky Bon Bon baby waterproof bedsheets protect baby’s mattress by:
- Preventing leaks and spills into the mattress
- Providing an anti-bacterial surface that is friendly on baby’s skin
- Providing a Tencel material surface that absorbs more and dries up faster
The money-back guarantee on water-proofing ensures that baby’s mattress remain dry inside so that dust mites, bacteria and fungi do not have a chance to develop. These bedsheets keep baby’s mattress new and lasts twice as long!
Cheeky Bon Bon has cared for babies in Singapore since 1993. And it has become Singapore’s favourite baby bedding brand. You can select from a wide range of cute baby prints and a range of bedding co-ordinates including pillows and bolsters.
4. Nursery & Safety
Sometimes, there is just so little space, you cannot afford to cater space for a baby cot. Bassinets are smaller sleep spaces for baby and usually fitted with a wheeled or a rocking base. The exclusive sleep area for baby provides safety and comfort for baby while the smaller foot print is more doable for small rooms. However, a bassinet generally accommodates a new born till about 12 months.
The other option is a playard, which offers babies an exclusive place to sleep in, as well as a play area when baby gets older, so that the baby can sit up and play safely in the playard without being strapped down. Most playards are fitted with a changing area and a new born baby bassinet, on top of the sleep & play area.
All the above options are safe for baby to sleep in. However, when baby is about 6 months and can sit up, it is important to ensure baby is not able to push up to stand, as baby may fall over and out of the bassinet or playard.
During the first month of life, baby will learn to interact with you.
Your touch, the sound of your voice and the sight of your face is the start of interacting and bonding with baby. As baby grows, we should create a secure environment for baby to explore and discover. Placing baby in a bouncer or swing does provide a secure place where baby can explore the environment, play and bond, and the constant rocking, bouncing or vibrating motions do wonders to help put baby to sleep. The bouncer or swing definitely offers mummy and daddy a great help knowing baby is secured safely while awake!
When baby starts to crawl, a more baby-safe environment has to be created. Often times, blocking baby out of a large common area is a good measure. For example, you can use a safety gate that fits in your doorway so that baby stays in the room and not wonder off to danger spots. Even when baby is in the room, consider what baby can stand and reach for – you might have to move away table lamps, equipment with wires that baby can tug at, table cloths that can sweep everything off the table once baby pulls at them. Check out danger spots by getting down on your knees at baby’s height so you can see what baby sees, and reach for.
Even if you move baby to a single-sized bed, you might want to consider a bedrail that can keep baby from rolling in bed and falling off. Such bedrails has long arms that sit below the single-sized mattress and has a netted length about 25-35cm high to keep baby in.
5. Bath Time and Hygiene
One of the most fun and intimate bonding time is when you bathe baby. Most babies like the water but it is important that a bath tub provides a safe and controlled space. Most bath tubs are also designed with anti-slip surface and may also be fitted with a bath sling to hold a new born in while leaving hands free, to clean baby.
Getting ready to bathe baby means you should assemble all that you need during and after bath. You’ll need soft wash cloths, gentle soap and a soft brush or comb. A hooded towel also provides protection as a new born loses body heat through the top of the head faster than an adult. So, placing a hood over baby’s head while drying and diapering is essential.
You can also trim baby’s nails while in the bath as the nails will be softer. Once baby is out of the bath tub, you can apply baby oil or lotion to soothe baby’s delicate skin.
Believe it or not, not every diaper change requires the use of wipes. These days many diapers are made to quickly absorb baby’s urine and thus baby’s skin may not come into contact with the urine for long. It is important not to over-wipe baby’s skin as it may disrupt the pH balance and eventually cause diaper rash. If baby should develop diaper rash, do seek out an organic diaper rash cream that is safe for baby.
When deciding and choosing diapers for baby, do consider the material it is made of, for how long it can be used and the fit on baby. It is wise to try out various brands to seek out the best for baby.
You can start potty-training your baby when he can walk about and find his own cute potty, pull his pants down and sit sturdily on his own. Potty training is a process that can take a couple of months to a couple of years. Mommy has to work out a plan and train baby to make toileting his own business.
6. Baby Wear & Soft Goods
You will be surprised that baby needs quite a few clothing items of different styles. Stretchy materials are best for a new born so that it is easy to manage, for example, a stretchy jumpsuit with buttons or zip down the front. An envelope neckline so that it gets over baby’s head easily. As a guide, the following would be a good start:
- 6 onesies (4 short-sleeved and 2 long sleeved)
- 2 sleeveless onesies for our hot humid weather
- 4 pyjama sets (long sleeved if baby sleeps in air-conditioned room)
- 4 swaddle blankets
- 8 pairs of mittens (baby regurgitates often)
- 6 pairs of bootees
- 4 beanie hats (a new born lose body heat through top of head)
- 10 bibs (you never have enough of these)
- 6 face cloths
- 2 bathing towels/hooded towels
Of course, you will need more of these above if you don’t do baby’s laundry every other day. It is wise to carry out baby’s laundry separate from the whole family, at least for the 1st month. This is to ensure the most hygienic practice for a healthy baby.
Weaning is the stage when you start to introduce baby to solid foods – usually at about 6 months. Break the weaning into 3 stages as a guide – Stage 1 is where you introduce puree food with a single vegetable like a carrot and a fruit like apple. You can combine milk feeds with small amounts of puree food to get baby used to the idea of new texture, smell and taste. Stage 2, is usually when baby is closer to 9 months, so, you can increase the amount of puree or blended or soft boiled food. You can also start to encourage baby to feed themselves by offering them a baby biscuit. You start to reduce milk feeds and also get the little one to drink water. You should also start to have the little one join the family for meals at the dinner table. Stage 3 is when little one gets more adventurous with food and milk becomes 1 or 2 feeds daily, and the little one starts to drink out of a sipper cup and start to use his own spoon to feed himself!
There are many equipment that makes puree and blending, and even chopping a breeze. A useful equipment would be one where you can steam, chop and blend food all in one! Of course there are commercial baby puree food but when you cook for baby, you know exactly what baby is eating!
As baby develops and seem ready to sit up, a well-designed baby seat helps in supporting baby, while he gradually learns to sit upright on his own. When baby sits up, he begins to learn independence as he turns his head towards sights and sounds. Interacting with older siblings become joyful when they are all seated on the floor, with baby supported and secured in the baby seat. Feeding time becomes easier as well, leaving mummy free hands to cajole and feed. Some baby seats are designed to be used on a flat surface like on the floor, and also to be strapped securely onto a dining chair back. This allows baby to join the family at the dinner table, like a high chair.
Then there is the high chair. It offers a seat for baby at a raised level, usually with a food tray in front that also straps baby in securely. Mostly, the high chair is foldable and can be stored away when not in use.
Babies are born with a powerful instinct to grasp from birth; you can see how they can grasp your finger when you talk to them. Toys are a great incentive for baby to perfect his grabbing technique. The Bright Starts 32-hole ball – a non-toxic weightless colourful ball structure that baby could easily grasp at any of the 32-holes, is a really great first toy for baby! You will be amazed at how quickly they progress over the days!
Parents and caregivers can help baby develop his motor skills in many ways. These are some examples:
- Holding a toy 30cm away from baby to encourage their sight and sound senses
- Soft melodies or noisy toys may help to get their attention and start noticing
- Putting them on their tummy at their awake hours from as young as 2 months can strengthen their tummy and neck muscles
- A baby gym with dangling toys makes them reach out for the moving toys
- Playing a song over and over again can create a sense of comfort for your baby
Choose the kind of toy for baby that he responds most to – some like music and sound, others prefer colours. Over time, expose them to all kinds of toys and you will see how they develop amazingly over time!
An important part of your child’s development. Tummy time helps in numerous motor and developmental benefits. In fact, paediatricians are calling for tummy time to start soon after birth! This diligence that mummy should help baby with, strengthens neck muscles, advances gross motor strength and flexibility, and will help with meeting milestones like rolling over and eventually crawling. Choose a baby play gym with a padded base with a toy arch so that baby lies on his back and reaching out for toys can enhance distance perspective training and hand-eye coordination. On the mat, encourage baby to rest on tummy so that he will learn to lift his head up – this strengthens neck muscles.
As baby grows, expose him to different type of toys that incorporate sounds, texture and colour discerning as well as alphabets and words. There is a plethora of toys out there – bear in mind every child is different. Over time, you will notice which types your baby enjoys most. Mostly, toys that encourages baby stretching out for toy, catching it, throwing it, gathering and organising it… These are good developmental toys.
9. Kids Furniture
Baby outgrows clothes, shoes, equipment and even toys so quickly. Soon enough you will need to put baby or rather toddler in a bigger sleeping space – perhaps a single-sized bed or even a bunk bed! Such furniture offers a good sense of sentimentalism and comfort to your growing child but mostly, it is a good investment!
Then there are also ‘kids’ furniture – adult furniture in kids’ size, so your child can have his own set of real furniture… Check out our range of solid wood kids furniture!