Your brand new little human child’s about to move in with you and you’re unsure about what you need to buy in order to succeed at this parenting gig. You figure that they’ll need feeding, bathing and some sleep (way less than you need, it will often seem!), but the overwhelming choices out there are causing decision paralysis. Should you buy a cot that grows with them? A baby monitor with or without video function? And breast pumps… why are there soooo many to choose between? Few people have room in their Singapore home to hoard all that baby stuff, so you have to chose wisely. Never fear, we are here to help you navigate through the minefield of baby consumerism with our handy checklist of items, and target what you really need with less cash and in less time. Parents, we give you our guide to baby essentials: everything you need for feeding your ‘lil one…
FEEDING: The things you REALLY need
If you decide to breastfeed, this will impact your wardrobe choices each day. Tops with straps make easy access for baby to get to the good stuff for sure. There are some great singlet tops around with inbuilt bra shelves that are especially handy for this. If you’re out and about though, you may want a little more coverage or a little more support. Get a nursing bra that unclips and invest in a light-weight cover, like the ones from Pupsik Studio, so you can wear tops that unbutton or roll up, but still keep your girls covered. Unlike a simple muslin swaddle cloth, a custom designed nursing cover still allows you to see what’s going on to make latching easier. But worry not, folks: nursing bras have come a long way since the ones that look like they came from a grandmother’s undies drawer!
Try: Our guide to pretty but practical nursing bras
Secure, sturdy and easy to clean – these are the top three priorities when buying a high chair. Whether you go high-end and stylish with a Stokke or budget and easy on the eye with IKEA, we only advise that you make sure your kids can’t topple it and that there’s no fabric involved. Remember, they will be using this well into their third year. Check that you can get it right up to your dining table or that it has a detachable tray. These things matter!
Try: Stokke; IKEA and Mothercare
All new mums face a certain degree of frustration in the first few weeks or months when it comes to milk supply. Whether you have too much or not enough, a breast pump can certainly help. Look for an electric pump that simulates a baby’s sucking action: light and fast at first to stimulate flow, then slower and deeper once the let-down begins. Also, think about where you will be – work, travel, and the need to be hands-free are all factors that will affect your choice.
Try: Our guide to the tried and tested breast pumps mothers love
Whether for formula or expressed milk, the process of finding a suitable milk bottle might take a bit of trial and error. Most babies suffer some degree of wind-related discomfort so look for bottles that are designed to reduce the amount of air a baby will intake when drinking. Drinking from a bottle might be met with resistance so try different teats until you discover what mimics the breast in the best way for your baby. Beware that there are different teat hole sizes, and newborns do best on the smallest opening.
Try: Innosense from Mothercare; Dr Browns and Pigeon which you can buy through Redmart online or Cold Storage stores
Whether you decide to sterilise for six months or 12, you will need a steriliser initially to keep bottles and breastfeeding equipment thoroughly hygienic. There are many different kinds on the market so think about how much equipment needs to go in there, how many times a day you may use it and whether you’re on the move. Babies who are bottle-fed need at least six bottles a day so you may decide to sterilise everything at night or use fewer bottles and do it a couple of times a day with a digital or electric unit. Digital versions allow you to maintain sterilisation for several hours. Cold water sterilisers are handy for travel. Microwave sterilisers are quick to use and provide instant hygiene.
Try: Innosense from Mothercare; Phillips Avent
It’s no secret that babies sometimes bring up milk for a second showing. You can buy burp cloths, but why not go straight for a bib? You can use these on your shoulder, on your baby, and then you also have them ready once the weaning process begins. We particularly like the big square shaped ones at Cotton On that cover more surface area and are quite thick. Baby Bjorn make a hard-form plastic version that is great for wiping clean (no washing) and catching food with the built in scoop. Bandana bibs are the way to go to add a dash of cool to the day.
Try: Cotton On Kids; Baby Bjorn
Baby food storage and implements
You’ll discover the joy of messy meals around six months. Once weaning starts you or your helper will be pureeing regularly. The most efficient way to do this is make different food combinations in batches and freeze small portions in ice-block trays. Once frozen you can pop them out into labelled (reusable!) freezer bags and then use ice trays for another batch. We like a rubber or silicone type mould as it makes popping out the food easier. Use weaning spoons suitable for soft baby gums and non-slip bowls so you won’t have to clean quite so much food off the floor.
Try: Beaba; Pigeon (available in larger Cold Storage stores) and IKEA
Puree making equipment
Make weaning food easily with an all in one mixer and steamer. You can of course use a double saucepan steamer set-up if you don’t want to fork out, but we found the Beaba Babycook particularly good to travel with. You need only chop your vegetables, fruit and meat! For an all-out, no expenses spared, there is of course the inimitable Thermomix, only available through direct sales. Book yourself a demo for a bit of fun and serious #FOMO.
Try: Beaba Baby Cook, Thermomix
Don’t worry, we won’t include a photo for this one… but do use this to prevent dryness and sensitivity, especially if you breastfeed regularly. Products should be free from artificial additives or preservatives. Cool tip: It can double up as a moisturiser if your baby has dry skin. Kendall Hydrogel breast pads are miracle soothers and healers, and well worth having on stand-by in the fridge.
Try: cult favourite Lucas’ Paw Paw Ointment, Lansinoh miracle salve, and Four Cow Farm Calendula Remedy
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