Baby Outings

So recently I realised that there seems to be a parental fad. And that is baby-wearing or rather, the use of baby carriers to bring baby/toddle out (or in some cases even around the house). More specifically though, it seems this fad revolves largely around the Tula. I won’t go too much into the Tula, largely because I don’t have one and I’m entirely sold by the whole nice design/limited-edition design logic. When people ask if I have a Tula? Well yes, I have a baby carrier, it is not a Tula, but it fits my husband and I perfectly fine and the baby enjoys going out in it. But more on the carrier another time.

Today I thought I’d compare the use of a carrier to the use of a stroller for outings with the baby. Quick overview, for the carrier, we use the Chimparoo Trek Air-O which is well ventilated with the mesh backing so that baby doesn’t feel THAT warm. We got this at a babyfair for slightly less than the retail of $229.

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As for the stroller, we use the Aprica Optia. We got the Apica Optia direct from the wholesalers – Aprisin – although I believe this can also be bought at major retailers like Robinsons and Takashimaya for $999 as well. This is what the Aprica Optia looks like:

There are several colour options, but I like the colour blue. (Sidenote, there is a flower design on the inside of the canopy, which for some reason, the baby really loves staring at, I think it intrigues him. So much for the need for  a toy.)

So, what do we use when we go out? Well, it largely depends on whether or not I’m alone while bringing the baby out, or if we (meaning the husband and I) are going out together, usually with the car. Why is this so? Honestly, it’s probaby because the two of us are too lazy to bring the stroller out of the car and up to the house most of the time, and we just leave it in the car. Also, going out alone, without the car usually means I’m travelling either by taxi or by bus, and it’s just not that convenient to carry the stroller up and down while also carrying the baby. The baby carrier is very useful when i’m travelling alone because it means that I can wear the baby on me, leaving my hands free to do apparently simple things like lock the door or wear my shoes. And while it is NOT true that it is safe to travel with a baby in a baby carrier while in the car, it does provide slightly more peace of mind when I don’t have a choice in the taxi.

However, when we have the ability to, we usually prefer to use the stroller (particularly the husband, he loves the stroller). I think this is largely due to the ease that it provides when we are shopping or having a meal. The stroller is large and comfortable enough that the baby is quite happy lying down in it whilst we shop/eat. The Aprica Optia has a lie flat option, which means we’ve had baby in it since he was born with no problems what-so-ever. But now that he’s getting bigger and more curious about his surroundings, we’ve taken to raising it when he’s awake and he’s quite happy being able to take in his surroundings. The stroller gives us the ability to either face the parent or face out (by changing the direction of the handle bars) and this is useful just for us to be able to decide if we want to be able to see the baby or when he is awake and wants to look around more. *Pro-tip, in some situations I’ve found myself unable to reverse out of a place because there might be people around or something. I’ve resorted to simple changing the direction of the handlebars and pushing it straight out HAHAH.

I think what is truly useful about the stroller is that it has a huge basket at the bottom that we can just throw our shopping into which means we don’t have to lug everything around, and when it comes to outings with a baby, it can sometimes be A LOT of things to lug. Also, the husband really likes that the Aprica Optia has an impressive suspension system which means that going over bumps and humps (and it’s actually quite surprising how bumping walking around Singapore can be) doesn’t jar the baby too much. In fact, it is usually comfortable enough that he’ll fall asleep in it while we walk around. Throw in the fact that the canopy is HUGE and can cover the entire top of the stroller makes walking around sunny Singapore a breeze (not literally cos… HOT). We usually attach a small portable fan to the stroller just to keep baby cool on hot days, but the stroller doesn’t get too warm anyways. Its got some sort of mesh like material that forms the base that allows air to flow.

Which brings me to a very interesting observation/question I’ve been wondering about for a while. Notice how both the baby carrier we have and the stroller have mesh like materials so that the baby doesn’t get warm. This is Singapore after all. So, HOW IN THE WORLD DO PARENTS AND BABIES SURVIVE THIS THING CALLED AN INFANT INSERT?! Some strollers (like the Stokke) and most baby-carriers require the use of an infant insert till the baby is strong enough to hold up his/her neck which I guess is usually around 4 months. And while this might not be a problem when the temperature is a nice 15-25 degrees. How do people survive in Singapore? Most infant inserts I’ve seen are basically a thick additional layer of material (cotton I assume). Doesn’t this act like a comforter or quilt and retain heat? I don’t know. I don’t think I’ll be able to survive much less the baby.

Back to the topic. In summary, I like both the carrier and stroller for outings. I like outings period (so does baby). Given the option? We’d probably choose the stroller over the baby carrier BUT it depends on the occasion. As for our stroller, would I recommend for people to get the same one? Well. Yes and no. I think it comes down to several considerations: cost, functionality and comfort. It is a bit on the expensive side although you can probably get it for less the retail at baby fairs and such. It can go from birth till about 3 years so it can last for quite a while, and is cheaper than popular European models like the Stokke and Bugaboo (no need to buy a base and various components as the kid grows). So it really comes down to how much you want to spend on a stroller I guess? As for comfort, well I can only guess, but I think the baby enjoys it. Haha. and functionality; it moves very well and isn’t a heavy stroller, at about 7kg . Which means I can lug it around when needed, but it also does not fold down to be THAT small ie. it takes up a fair amount of boot space in our regular sedan. That being said as with all baby items, it comes down to preference which means please go try everything before you buy it. Don’t buy into the hype of designer strollers or carriers simply because well celebrities use it or bloggers “love” it. Its about your lifestyle (which usually varies very greatly from celebrities sadly) and budget.

Okay I’m finally done with this super long post. Kthanksbye.

 

Milk bottles

Who knew that there can be so many different kinds of milk bottles out there, so many different teats to go with it. So. Yes I bottle feed the baby. Largely because it  is so much more efficient. I know people go on and on about how you should try and delay the use of a bottle for the baby in case the baby suffers from nipple confusion. Well, I’m not sure if its simply because we have a greedy baby who simply does not care where his feed is coming from, or truly babies are usually more adaptable than we give them credit for because although we bottle feed the baby majority of the time, he still has no problem latching when offered. Furthermore, we have not stuck to one particular brand of bottle, rather we’ve used close to 4 brands? With vastly different shapes and teats and he has not had a problem feeding from anyone. The bottles that we are currently using are the Phillips Avent bottles that you get free with the purchase of the bottle steriliser, Umee Baby Bottle, sometimes the Spectra bottle that comes with the Spectra S9+ pump, and lastly, my favourite, a glass Aprica bottle.

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I’m pretty certain almost no one has ever come across, much less used the Aprica bottle before. The primary reason why I like the bottle? It’s glass. And although I’m pretty certain its a psychological thing, glass just looks and feels so much cleaner than plastic. And cleaning the glass bottles in the electric steam steriliser that I have works perfectly. The bottle does not turn yellow, unlike some plastic bottles might, and honestly they just look so clean (although they are probably equally clean). Also, the bottle comes with those cute grips that I can’t wait to let baby try once he’s big enough to start grabbing things. Oh and functionality wise, he never seems to have any problems sucking from the bottle and he doesn’t have any problems with taking in too much air.

To be fair he doesn’t have a problem with the other bottles that we use either. But.. well… its just a case of personal preference I guess. Which is what I’ve generally come to realise is the case with most baby items. There is definitely no one size fits all solution to anything. Don’t feel pressured into buying any particular brand just because it’s widely recommended or because people say its the best etc. Try a few brands out and see what works.

okaybye.

 

Diapers

So, I thought today I’d talk a bit about the all important baby item. DIAPERS. So before baby was born, I put some serious thought into what kind of diapers to get. Honestly, I was kinda intrigued by the idea of cloth diapers. I know that for many, the idea of cloth diapers is still the old wrap sheet held together with like safety pins. After all, thats what we used as babies. But cloth diapering has come so far since those days. There are so many companies producing so many different kinds of cloth diapers. Most involve a waterproof outer shell and a washable inner lining that you replace with every change.

Many people who cloth diaper state reasons like how its better for the baby’s bottom (no chemicals = less likely to get diaper rash) and reducing the amount of waste they generate. For me though, the main motivating factor was really cost. A pack of disposable diapers can cost as much as $20 a pack and can last… maybe a week (if you big the big pack) as opposed to cloth diapers that cost maybe $400 (for a basic set) for a full set and can last… till your baby potty trains I guess? The cost savings do add up after a while.

However, we decided that we would use the disposable diapers at birth because we’re new parents and we didn’t want to unnecessarily overwhelm ourselves with having to learn how to use the cloth diapers and having to wash everything. I think we made a good decision because changing diapers has been a huge learning curve, especially for the husband and I don’t think having to wash diaper linings would have helped anything. Baby currently does not shit a lot, about once a day, which means the amount of shit is fairly astonishing and almost always too much for his diaper to contain (and I know people might say that his diaper could be too small etc. but we’ve just sized up AND tried two different brands just to test it out) he does however pee a lot. With his current diaper,  we can do one change a night and thats just about right. I’m not sure we would have that luxury with cloth diapers which cannot contain the same amount of pee.

Another thing we went through before baby was born was wondering how many packets of diapers we should get for him. If you head down to baby fairs or even buy diapers online, many of the best deals involve buying 3/4 packets of diapers together, often at the same size. Well. DON’T DO IT. haha. Essentially when baby was born (and not very big might I add, he was only 3.1kg, which you would think would mean that he would be using new born diapers for longer) we got 2 packs of diapers from the hospital, one Mami Poko and one Huggies. We had also bought a large pack of Goon (90 pcs) from a baby fair, just to try it out. And on a whim I had bought 3 packs of Pampers (40 pcs each) online during a q0010 sale. Well guess what. I still have 2 packs of Pampers that he has since outgrown and will never get to wear and will sit in the store room taking up space. (sidenote. speaking of shits, baby just took one that did not leak, thank god) Anyways, as mentioned, we’ve recently sized up and we’re now using size S diapers of which i have both Huggies Platinum and Drypers Touch (which we’re primarily using now because it runs a bit shorter, and we have more packs of this). I don’t have much issue with either. Baby doesn’t seem to get rash with either so far…

Ok baby is starting to fuss. Time to go. Bye.

Nuna Leaf Curv

So, as mentioned before, we really did not buy that many things for the baby before he arrived. In particular, we only purchased a stroller and a playpen (as far as large items go) and we received the Nuna Leaf Curv  as a gift for the baby from one of his godmas. For those who have not seen it before, this is what it looks like.

The colour is actually a lot lighter in real life, and it looks really nice sitting in our living room, and honestly, it doesn’t look like a out of place kid item in the living room. And given how many baby things we’ve received in this past month, i’m really glad its something that i can just leave out and not be worried about it cluttering the house.

The leaf is also fairly special because you can sit in it from birth till 60kg. 60 freaking kg. That means I can sit in it as well! Not that I’ve tried. But still… Its nice to know that the option is there. Hahaha.

But anyways. About the Leaf itself.. it has this side-to-side swaying movement, there is no motor (although you can buy an add-on Nuna Leaf Wind that allows the Leaf to sway on its own) so each push lasts about… I would say about slightly more than a minute. The swaying really does calm the baby if he is fussing. But basically the Leaf has been a life saver in the sense that I can strap the baby in and either let him sleep in it whilst I settle some of my own stuff or even if he is not sleeping, he can sit in it and just look around and entertain himself. Surprisingly, he’s fairly willing to look to just sit in it and look around or at the play bar that we attached to the Leaf. It certainly frees us up and gives us time to get other things done when we’re in the living room. I can’t really speak for the baby because.. you know.. he doesn’t really talk. But the fact that he does not fuss when he is strapped into it and can actually fall asleep in it could let us make the assumption that he quite enjoys it? I hope so.

It retails for between $339 – $399 in Singapore although I’m sure you can get it for cheaper at baby fairs and such. Do i think it’s worth the fairly high price? I do actually. Largely because the baby can use it till he is a toddler and beyond. And the fact that i can strap him in, let him sway a bit and get some time for myself… That is priceless. Can I add that there is no annoying motor noise unlike some of his other toys and the motor noise really annoys me after a while. Its different from the regular bouncer/rocker that you’ll commonly find. And well. I like it. Hahaha.

K time to have lunch while the baby sleeps on in his Leaf. THANKS GODMA.

Where do I begin…

So many things I can potentially start with. So what shall we start with? Maybe the most important thing when it comes to a baby… SLEEP. So as I had mentioned before, we purchased a Joie Illusion playpen for the baby. What I had not mentioned before was that I had seen some fairly good reviews of the Cocoonababy and on a whim decided to see if i could get one.

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The downside was that the Cocoonababy cost about $300.00 in Singapore. And you can only use the Cocoona till the baby can flip or turn himself over. Which is about 3 months on average. $300 for 3 months seems kinda steep, even if you think you might keep it for a subsequent child, it’s still kinda expensive.

Thankfully, a friend suggested I check on Carousell and look for a secondhand one. After scrolling through several, I managed to find one that looked to be in really good condition (no stains and all that) for $150. I didn’t feel it was necessary to negotiate for a cheaper price considering the other ones on sale were also going for about the same price (cheapest was around $80) but some had stains or were thirdhand (second hand I can deal with, third hand just feels like too much). The seller was really nice and actually brought the Cocoona to our place for us to take a look and eventually buy. Also, back story, turns out the seller stays at my parent’s condo and knows the area really well. But the Cocoona was in truly good condition and we were quite pleased.

We’ve been using the Cocoona since baby’s come home and he seems to sleep quite well in it. He seems to really enjoy being curled up in it. I won’t know if it has actually improved his quality of life considering he has never slept without it, but he sleeps well in it so… no complaints from me. We bought an addition cover for the Cocoona (the cover was actually $50 on sale at Mothercare, which is insanely expensive but oh well) and that has worked well for us so far. We just place an additional sheet on top of the cover for when he sleeps and that works because he’s such a sweaty baby. We wash the sheet everyday and the cover once a week.

Hopefully the baby will take the transition from the Cocoonababy to a mattress well. He’s starting to fuss before being put to sleep, ie wants to be carried before actually going to sleep. But sleep has not REALLY been that much of an issue for the baby. Hopefully it stays that way FOREVER. HAHA.

Alright, time to put the baby to sleep. Till the next time.

We’re Alive!

Sooo…. It’s been 3 weeks and a day since the baby arrived. And indeed, it has been a crazy adventure. Where shall we start? Shall we start with the magical (or not so) arrival of the baby? Maybe we’ll save that for another day (since thats a story I’ll never forget) and just deal with how life has been so far.

Honestly? It’s been a mix of okay (when the baby is sleeping) and slightly mad (when the baby decides to fuss and you’re busy trying to do something else, like pump or go to the loo). So thankfully we have a confinement nanny who has been doing the night feeds and changes and everything. On the downside, I haven’t really been allowed out of the house in like forever (3 weeks) and we haven’t been alone since.. well 3 weeks ago. And for someone who needs a lot of space, it can get slightly chafing. But I’m not complaining because I don’t think we would have been able to do things like bath and change the baby and change a diaper from the onset. Oh the other downside? The food. Honestly, our confinement nanny is great when it comes to cooking. She tries to make things exciting and makes like pasta and stuff. But the fact of the matter is… the “medicinal” soups (honestly, I question their necessity) suck. Also, I don’t understand this red date drink thing. Yes i can drink some. But to tell me that it should replace water, and that I shouldn’t be drinking so much water is insane. I’m attempting to breastfeed. Water is hydration, hydration is good. Don’t be crazy. Okay rant over.

Breastfeeding. HAHAHA. What I’ve learnt over the course of three weeks is… THIS IS DIFFICULT YO. All the pictures and stories you see online of mothers who seem to do it so easily, they are either lying or SUPER lucky. And by SUPER lucky I mean they probably struck the genetic lottery. Honestly, I was never hung up about having to breastfeed. It was more of a if possible lets do it kinda thing. Well. In the hospital, we tried to breastfeed. Clearly the baby wasn’t getting nourishment. By the end of the first night we told the nurses to please supplement his food. He was much more content. The lactation consultation that the hospital provided (free for a one time visit) did help, but if my supply had not come in yet, there really isn’t anything that she can do about. Essentially it took like 4 days before I had any real supply to feed the baby with. Even then, I can barely keep up with the baby. Right now, I’m pumping just enough milk to make up one feed each time. If he decides to fuss extra (which he does all the time) we have to top up with formula. I know there are a thousand and two things people will suggest to improve your supply. Honestly, the solutions aren’t magic. AND BREASTFEEDING HURTS.

The other thing that hurts? Blocked ducts. I had a blocked duct about a week in. AND IT HURT LIKE HELL. Particularly because the only way to get rid of a blocked duct is to make sure you pump and try and empty the breast. AND TO MASSAGE IT. OMG. Holy shit, guys, please massage BEFORE you get a blocked duct. Don’t let it develop. If it does, massage in the shower, might hurt less. MIGHT.

TL:DR: Breastfeeding is difficult, and most of it comes down to whether or not you are biologically predisposed to having enormous amounts of milk. Don’t stress about it. It hurts, deal with it.

Okay, time to go pump. Till next time. Kthanksbye.

Online shopping

So, I just had to post this today, because I just spent MORE money shopping online. This whole online shopping thing is both awful, terrible and amazing. Just some background, the husband and I both don’t shop online a lot. Maybe just black friday for good clothing deals, and really thats about it. The online app/site we frequent are probably Redmart and KnocKnock laundry (we launder our bedsheets cos it just makes life a bit easier). We get just about all our household needs (laundry detergent, cleaning detergent etc) through Redmart because they usually have stuff on sale AND it just easier then having to carry the stuff home. That was such a long sidetrack. What I really wanted to talk about was the fact that everyone keeps telling me that buying stuff online can potentially be much cheaper.

We really didn’t get into this online shopping thing until… 3 weeks ago. I really didn’t want to be buying too many things that might end up unnecessary or worse yet downright useless. BUT when my dear sister (who is very kind and almost always buys my stuff online for me) asked if we needed anything from Qoo10 because there was lots of baby stuff on sale. They had wipes on sale…So…. We got wipes. I mean we figured that the baby will need a large amount of wipes right? So we got a whole carton full of Jeju water wipes. I think it all went downhill from there.

Last weekend, I was just scrolling through her Qoo10 to see if there was anything of interest, and of cos there was. What kinda stupid question is that. I ended up asking her to help me get 4 packs of 40 Newborn diapers (Pampers) for like 38 bucks. Which really seems like quite a steal to me. BUT I ACTUALLY DON’T KNOW IF IT IS. And therein lies the problem with online shopping. EVERYTHING SEEMS LIKE SUCH A STEAL.

It jus so happens that Lazada is having some birthday sale this week. And I chanced upon it. WHICH MEANT THAT OF COS I HAD TO TAKE A LOOK. oh dear. I ended up purchasing YET MORE DIAPERS. This time, Size S Drypers touch, 280 pieces for like 58 bucks. With an additional 10% of the discount price.. so about 53 bucks? Which again seems like a steal to me… BUT I DON’T REALLY KNOW.

If you can’t already deduce, the hubs and I aren’t exactly the most kiasu parents out there. And by that I mean that we haven’t really done the whole price comparison, where to buy what kinda thing. In fact we’re kinda the opposite. We have ended up buying stuff like in the spur of the moment when it seems like its on sale, without really knowing. And I really don’t like clutter at home which has meant that we have not really bought stuff in bulk.

Which is why ONLINE SHOPPING IS DANGEROUS. You don’t see the amount of money you spend or the amount of stuff you’ve bought. BUT WHAT IF ITS TRULY CHEAPER. Such a dilemma. Okay enough ranting. More shopping??

What’s going on?

As I’m writing this, I’m hooked up to the CTG machine at the Doc’s for the 4th time today. Why? Cos they just can’t understand the readings it’s giving out. And why is that so? Cos the baby’s heartbeat keeps dipping every once in a while. The doctor has said that it could be a loss in connection (my suspicions because… Well… I can’t sit still hahah) or something else that might require more monitoring. The doctor has already done her ultrasound scan. And everything looks alright. Soo…. I’ll just sit here. And wait some more.

Anyways the CTG machine also monitors uterine contractions right. So. Much like before. The doctor goes. Oh you’re having contractions like every 3-4 mins or so (but still fairly mild ones) can you feel it.. well. I don’t know!? Sometimes i think its the baby moving. Sometimes i think i feel it. But really. No i dont feel anything too out of the norm hahaha. The doctor checked and there’s no dilation almost (0.5 cm) so… According to her the contractions ain’t working.. soooo.. we’ll wait some more. It seems like this last bit just involves a lot of waiting eh?

[Edit] So the second CTG proved… nothing. The baby’s heartbeat was fine.. nothing out of ordinary it seemed… so they let us go.. Because the baby’s EDD is on saturday (as my father put it D-3 days) we’ll have to come back again on friday if nothing happens between now and then. Here’s hoping that everything happens before saturday is over.. I don’t think people want to wait much longer than that AND one of baby’s godma is flying on Sunday. I do not think she will be pleased to not be around when the baby is born.

So the major question really is… WHEN DOES BABY WANNA COME AROUND !?

Who actually knows what contractions feel like!?

So… we’re in our 38 almost 39 week now. We just had our now weekly checkup with the doc yesterday, where she expectedly asked if I am having any contractions or anything. My answer was no. Because i thought… no. Hahaha. Well they hooked me up to some machine that monitors your contractions and baby’s heartbeat, just to monitor it for like 20 mins.

Lo and behold, the nurse comes back after the doc has seen the readings just to let us know “oh the doctor says that you’re having some mild contractions now, if they become more severe can admit already”. Wow. Like okay so here’s the thing right. What are mild contractions as opposed to like a general stomachache (that I actually did have like 2 days ago, that resulted in.. well.. typical stomachache results in the loo) and like the baby just making things really uncomfortable. I have no idea. I know understand how people can like randomly give birth in the toilet and stuff.

Anyway, this really is just me rambling because I’m working from home and being alone at home makes me bored. And goodness knows when this baby actually wants to come out. Oh wells.

Sidenote, so based on H’s last post, I  realised he actually write really well (and is much more interesting than I am) therefore shall get him to update this more. kthanksbye.

H’s First Post

Sup world, the aforementioned H here and my darling wife has permitted me to share in this blog post with her. Frankly, I think she just wants to see what my thoughts are as well considering I may not always be the most sharing of husbands (Gotta act confident like a man Hoo-rah!)

So I’m going to backtrack a little since it is my first ever post. As y’all are aware, we got married in October 2015 and have been happily married since.

So…The big news is that I’m gonna be a father!! I must admit my reaction was not the most excited/teary/celebratory compared to what you usually see on youtube (partially due to her telling me when I was half asleep). But I was actually ecstatic to hear it as I always wanted to be a dad before I was 30 as I do want to keep up with my kids when they’re in their most active years. Which is also partially why I am intent on keeping fit as well.

Then came the worries that I had. Namely if I was going to be a good husband to my pregnant wife and good father to my child (whom we have taken to calling Munchkin in the interim). I wanted to make sure that she was happy, well fed and stress-free which is no mean feat considering she lives on just chocolate. How does one eat that much chocolate and stay clear of sore throats I will never know.

In all fairness, the ease of dealing with the pregnancy has been helped by her not having the nightmarish symptoms I read online like loss of appetite (urgh), fatigue (urgh) and puking (super urghhhhhh). For that I am very very thankful. She has also been really really strong and maintained her active lifestyle. With a baby. In her belly. Growing bigger by the day.

Fast forward to today. We have all our things ready today with the car seat and stroller. As a kid, I would never have considered these things cool but now, our choices seem like the bomb diggity man. Our stroller has suspension on its wheels and our car seat is looks like its part of a Autobot from Transformers. The inner nerd in me was going Naiseeeeee whilst my wife was rolling her eyes at me. I don’t really care btw haha.

Now on to the eventual wait for Munchkin and the next phase of our life.

I suspect my next post would start with “Arghhhhhh why is there so much poop!” so we’ll see. Kthanks……..