Whether you’re a working mom or a SAHM, we all have one thing in common–preparing and storing food for our bubs. Every mom has their own time saving methods; be it using ice cube trays to freeze purees into food cubes OR storing purees into food pots. For this post let’s focus on food pots! [Read more...]
Zack is growing up real quick. What I mean by growing up quick is that he’s refusing to lie down all the time, wants to be carried so he can see the world go by, wants to sit on my lap and play with his toys, and wants to grab and hold anything he can lay his little hands on.
It wasn’t long before we knew we needed help in the form of sitting assistants.
We got the Bumbo seat as a gift from our dear friends Niz and Victor (thank you, muaks!!). I know a few moms who have this, some love it, and some hate it. I won’t say it’s the best soft baby seat in the market, but it surely is very useful around our house. Now that Zack is on solids, we put him in the Bumbo to feed him. One of the best features the Bumbo seat has is that it’s not hard like plastic and, most importantly–easy to clean!
Zack is somewhat of a logistical nightmare (story of our recent Singapore trip with him will be reserved for another blogpost later!). As we move between the grandparents’ everyday, we also needed high chairs for Zack at both grandparents’ houses. We’d feed him when he’s seated, in a way conditioning him to relate sitting at the dining table equals mealtime. The kid has gotten so accustomed to it that once he’s done eating, he’ll demand to get out of the chair by grunting and smacking the table!!
Sigh, no hope of having him sit in his chair for playtime.
So where do you begin? With so many baby seats and high chairs in the market, how do you know which to buy? I hope the following criteria can help you when deciding on what type of chair suits you and your bub:
- Storage space – do you have storage space for the chair you’re buying?
- Safety – is it hardy or topple proof? What kind of safety mechanism does it have?
- Portability – do you want to carry it around? Is it light and travel-friendly?
- Purpose – what purpose will it serve? Mainly for mealtime or playtime too?
- Comfort – would you like some padding or cushioning for the bub?
In our situation, we had sort of decided on portable ones at the grandparents’ which you attach and strap to dining chairs – we needed it to be easily stored/kept, relatively safe to use (no matter how safe you think the chairs are, you should always supervise your child in his/her seat) and mainly it was just for mealtimes. We got 2 booster seats from The First Years; they are portable and light, easy to keep, quite hardy and can safely strap in the kiddo. The only thing is, it’s plasticky—although we don’t think it bothers Zack considering he’s always just strapped in for a maximum time of 15 minutes for his meals.
Recently our friend Fiona gave us a Totseat, which we must say is TOTALLY AWESOME (Thanks Fifi we love Purple!). It’s useful especially when we’re out and about—particularly when we’re at restaurants that don’t have baby chairs, or if their baby chair is still too big for Zack. The Totseat is so awesome, you can strap it onto any chair of different shapes and sizes.
I don’t think we can live without our baby chairs. Check out these popular sitting assistants and high chairs and pick one that fits your requirements and suits your budget:
Priced between RM 50 – RM 150
Priced between RM 150 – RM 300
Priced from RM 300 and up
Some other interesting finds
Kaboost Portable Chair Booster – add instant height to your regular dining chair
Kiddopotamus Chair Cover and Cart Cover – for the hygiene freak mom
LIMA Travel High Chair – luxury high chair on the go
As Zachary continues to grow in size (and weight), it’s getting quite challenging to carry him and keep him still. Poor David had an achey shoulder a couple of weeks ago from carrying the boy, and I’m also getting my fair share of sore arms too. This is where a baby sling / baby carrier comes in handy!
There are SO MANY choices to choose from in the market, you’ll be spoilt! From the ones that look like a backpack with shoulder straps, to huge X-shaped carriers to simple ring slings and cloth pouches—they all serve the same purpose—to help you ease the burden of carrying your little one around.
I was given a baby ring sling from my friend & make up artist extraordinaire (thanks Lee Kuen!) but I haven’t really figured out how to use it. It looked kinda big for Zack’s current size, so to start off my “baby wearing” journey I bought over Grace’s Pupsik pouch (thanks Grace!) which looked more fitted and to my surprise t’was really easy to use! *Hmm…I should also kick my butt and learn how to use the ring sling*
All baby carriers have their own unique features, so try them on (with your baby of course!) and see which one fits best! The baby sling was a great buy and is truly my arm’s lifesaver!
Some of the more popular baby slings and baby carriers are:
Baby Bjorn – A Swedish outfit producing baby carriers with lotsa designs and functionality. It’s available at most baby and mom specialty boutiques. I see a lot of manly men carrying this and it doesn’t make them look gay at all! LOL
Pupsik Studio – They make lovely pouches for the modern mom. Available in most Mothercare outlets in the Klang Valley
HANAMUGURI – This is the “X” shaped one. Available online from Ellymamashop & Mamayayazone. I’ve also seen it in Brands Outlet in Ikano Power Centre. Kinda too over-the-top in terms of design but it is one of the cheapest carriers in town. Not suitable for dads cos it’s kinda girly, IMHO.
SNUGGBaby – Proudly made in Ipoh, Malaysia, this baby carrier is super colourful and stylish. They make cloth pouches and ring slings too!
JumpSac – Awesome and funky ring slings, not for the faint hearted. I love the designs!
Zachary “protected” from all nasty insects!
Mosquitoes. Inevitably we have to live with them as much as we hate them. Even if you take all the precautions to put up mesh screens at all your windows/doors, they somehow find a way to get into your house. Regardless if you live in an apartment or a bungalow, these annoying insects just love to be around us.
When we brought Zachary home from the hospital, I didn’t think a mosquito net was necessary, hence I didn’t have one. My confinement nanny immediately asked us to get one—it sounded like an emergency to be honest! Thing is, it never came to mind that although us adults can swing and bat any insect in close proximity (cockroaches included!), helpless 2 day old babies just lie on the bed with an open invitation for them bloodsuckers to come have a feast.
My oh my these food cover (or tudung saji) inspired mosquito nets were a life saver! Even though there is only an occasional 2 or 3 mosquitoes hanging out in our house, it’s never too much to take precautions. These nets are so versatile; I even use it when Zachary’s sleeping in his cot. The metal frame is flexible and bends to the size of our crib.
Possibly the most utilized item in our household, you can buy these mosquito nets from hypermarkets, departmental stores and specialty baby boutiques. The price ranges from RM 20 and up and available from popular brands such as Babylove and Pureen. Truly a lifesaver!
P/S: Now that Zachary has started to roll over, I’m not too sure about the safety of using these during nap time. He has mischievously rolled over as soon as he wakes up, and loves grabbing anything in sight. Considering the net to be relatively light and easily picked up even with his small hands, I would recommend this to be used only for newborn – 4 months.
Double P/S: I may also have to start considering kid-safe mosquito repellents. Moms, any recommended product to use?
I hope this isn’t the beginning of me becoming a mom-zilla but I thought this would be a great series to help new moms prepare for their first child. As I move along my journey as a new mother, I would like to document and share some best buys on what new parents could consider including in their shopping list before the stork arrives. This guide is by no means to be taken as a “must-buy” check list; rather use the information here (be it reviews & experience sharing) on why these items made my essentials list (and potentially yours!)
First on my list is something that I never considered buying until the very last minute before I delivered my baby. In fact, it was another new mom who hadn’t thought of buying it and decided during confinement that she needed it, stat! When she told me about why I would need a changing table, I was sold just on that one reason – backache!
Instead of buying a brand new one, I looked up my favourite bargain blogshop to see if they had some in stock. I was in luck and I purchased a used MyDear changing table for only RM 120! Great value considering a brand new one is selling at RM 299.90! It was missing a bathtub (which I didn’t need, anyway) but everything else was in good condition. Just needed a good wipe down with wet wipes and my trusty Dettol.
Indeed this was a good buy because when I tried changing him on our bed, wahlau-eh, serious backache after! Even David was feeling achey, it wasn’t just me! A real lifesaver!
I first heard about cloth diapers from eco-loving-mom Leona who has been cloth diapering her son Josiah as soon as he could fit in them diapers. I was keen on trying these cloth diapers out too, hoping for an alternative to the traditional cotton lampin and the much loved disposable diapers. Finally, Zack has grown big enough to fit into the cloth diapers I bought him in the final weeks of my pregnancy.
After using it for about a week, I began to understand the obsession some moms have with these diapers:
- They are easy to use, just like fastening a disposable diaper
- They are easy to wash and quick to dry
- They come in many cute designs and endless colour choices
For the baby:
- It remains dry even after a few wettings (I kept them on for up to 3 hours)
- Comparatively more comfortable than lampin and requires less changing between wettings
- It is kind on the skin
- It’s a fashion statement
Once I started doing research on cloth diapers, little did I know that there are so many brands and makers of cloth diapers! Priced between RM 25 to over RM 100, I decided to try out the more affordable range of cloth diapers. I got 12 sets (with soakers) to begin with, and technically I could go 2 whole days with these (however, we’re still using disposables at night).
The Kasihku Sayangku diapers were the most expensive of the lot, priced at RM 55/each. Sunny Baby cost me RM 30/each and the cheapest in the market so far is Coolababy (selling at RM 25/each). I got 3 from Kasihku Sayangku, 3 from Sunny Baby and the rest from Coolababy to start my cloth-diapering journey. Price difference aside, all 3 brands have similar quality in the material, and performance. Oh, I did notice that the Kasihku Sayangku diapers had a larger cutting compared to Sunny Baby and Coolababy; so I’m keeping them until he can fit them more perfectly.
Although the initial investment may seem like a lot (RM405 in total for my 12 sets) but the long term savings makes great ROI sense. I’m still sticking to Mamy Poko for outings and night time (cos I’m practical like that) but the spending on disposables will definitely be at its minimum with our combination (disposable + reusable) diapering practice.
What about nappy rash you might ask? Zack has never experienced any form of nappy rash with disposables, lampin or cloth diapers…yet. Maybe its the amazing Bepanthen ointment or maybe it’s just a great combination of mixed diapering. I try to alternate lampin with the cloth diapers during the day so his skin isn’t subject to hours of being wrapped up in the warm enclosure of the cloth diaper. As much as the fleece material remains dry at all times, inevitably we live in a hot and humid country so it makes good sense to alternate between the two to allow his skin to breathe a little.
If you’re keen on cloth diapering for your baby, you can buy the cloth diapers I mentioned above from the following e-shops!
Making a baby doesn’t cost much. It may involve a romantic dinner for two, a bottle of bubbly, a hotel room (for those who don’t want to clean up after a night of messing with chocolate sauce *ahem*) and perhaps even a smokin’ lacey piece of babydoll lingerie. The woman’s egg and the man’s sperm is God-given, so no need to take out your credit card for that purchase; and timing the conception is probably 10% luck, 20% math and 70% God’s work. Still, not much moolah involved in making a baby.
Then, the creepy sounds of the “ka-ching!” begins. First you purchase that cutting edge digital pregnancy test kit (correction, you purchase TWO of those to be double sure). After that, the first consultation with the obgyn commences. I reviewed my receipts from all my check-ups & shopping for baby and boy oh boy–the cost of having a baby begins as soon as that pregnancy test kit says “pregnant”.
Here’s a summary:
- 10 consultations with the obgyn – RM 1,409.05
- Vitamins and supplements – RM 400.00
- Ante-natal class – RM 350.00
- Shopping for baby’s bare necessities – RM 3,670.42
Ka-ching! RM 5,829.47 spent before baby’s arrival.
Then, there’s the cost of delivering baby:
- Cost of delivery with epidural – RM 4,420.75
- Nursery fees – RM 672.75
Ka-ching! RM 5,093.50 spent on baby’s arrival
Now that baby is here, the investments that’s to come would include:
- Insurance & medical plans
- Vaccinations & doctor’s visits
- Diapering, feeding, toiletries, clothing, toys and the list goes on and on and on and on (insert ∞ here)
Simple math shows that having a baby is going to burn a hole in your pocket, but that said, having our lil’ boy brings so much joy to us–it’s something that any sum of money can’t buy. So honey, we’ll just have to be smarter with our spending and savings!