preggy 2

More Shopping for New Born

July 13, 2010, 0 Comments

New parents, in a bliss of expecting a newborn often runs into a frenzy of mad purchase… I have been there!  Before we proclaim ALL things too cute to die for, take a look at this chart. It would save you save you from bursting your credit card.  This chart comprises of brands that are tried and tested by others, my colleague and me.

Categories

Feeding the baby (Breastfeeding)

Breast pump

You will need this if you intend to breastfeed for long. There are manual pumps as well as electric pumps. Hospitals and many mothers who are serious about breastfeeding recommend the Medela Pump-in-style – supposed to be fantastic but expensive. If you are not sure which pump is useful, you can actually rent one from the Breastfeeding mother club in Singapore (BMSG) first. Robinsons also sells the Medela pumps at very attractive discounts if you are a Robinsons card holder, wait for the 15% discounts with 5% rebate before buying.I have used avent manual pumps for my first child and I feel that it is great for bringing it out anywhere as it is light weight. I could also able to successfully ‘pump up’ – get more milk in seasons where I need to get more milk for baby’s growth spurt. Subsequently, I invested in Ameda electric pump because I was really tired having to look after my 2-yr-old and yet breastfeeding my baby. So though it was pricey it was worth-while. Ameda electric pump is the cheaper brand compared to Medela but works like Medela. It is also less noisy compared to other electric pumps. I could pump away just beside my sleeping baby. It has a battery function so it is convenient to bring around if need be.

Nursing Tops & Bibs

Some people function well in those. I couldn’t manage with so many layers of clothes to handle. (a layer of bra, a layer of t-shirt and a layer of breastfeeding shawl is just one cloth too many for me!) I simply wear a t-shirt that opens easily and cover with nursing top.

Nursing bras

The trick to buying nursing bras is not to buy too early and too many at one go. The reason: breast size fluctuates. Cup size is the largest during the early days of breastfeeding and will shrink after a few months of breastfeeding. It is important not to wear underwired bra during pregnancy and while you are breastfeeding. Wearing underwired bras during pregnancy will affect the development of milk glands resulting in clogged ducts during breastfeeding. 100% Cotton is best as it allows air to circulate and prevents yeast infection.
There are many types of nursing bras but personally I prefer the drop-cup type especially the one hand operational type. Mothercare’s MODA brand is pretty good and inexpensive. Marks & Spencer also has good ones. Don’t buy from Women’s Secret – lousy! I got mine online

Nursing pads

An important item when breastfeeding; breast pads help prevent embarrassment and staining from leaking breasts. Disposable pads are more convenient compared to washable ones. Washable pads tend to be less expensive in the long run than disposable, but you’ll need to keep up with the washing of them so that you always have a clean, dry pad available.
I prefer disposable ones coz the washable ones do not conform to your breast properly so they make your boobs look weird! Pigeon and Gerber brands of disposable pads are quite good. I use pigeon ones and get many boxes when they are on sale in Robinsons. Pigeon brand disposable tend to conform to breast shape and can contain more leaks

Nursing pillows

I had a normal Dunlop pillow as a gift, it was heavy for me. But my LC recommends my breastfriend nursing pillow because my baby was heavy and had pulled my nipple downwards, causing soreness in the early days of breastfeeding.

Nipple cream

To sooth sore and cracked nipples during the early days of nursing, the best natural remedy is to express some of your breast milk especially hind milk, rub it on the nipple and air dry your breasts. The best brand will have to be avent. It is soft and very gentle. Medela is very hard and does not go on smoothly, so if you already have a sore nipple, it can be quite painful putting it on. I used this for a couple of times only and its only a matter of time before we get the position of our baby right. Only need to get a small tube or sample-size.

Feeding the Baby (Bottle feeding)

Sterilizer

To sterilize the bottles. I use the avent steam sterilizer. I got a pigeon sterilizer for travelling purpose or in office use. This is a small sterilizer for sterilizing 2 bottles only at a time. It also takes a longer time to sterilize. It’s worthwhile to buy the entire set from Avent/Pigeon or Nuk as they give free bottles.

Bottles

Some prefer glass bottles to plastics, which supposedly produces a weird plastic smell especially after sterilization by boiling. The only glass bottle that I found in the market now is Pigeon and Chicco brand. I bought but didn’t use. You can use NUK teats on Pigeon and Chicco milk bottles and vice versa. Avent bottles do not fit teats from other brands. Nuk bottles have very cute prints!But simple bottles and not those with difficult to clean corners.

Formula container

To bring formula milk out. Get the 3-tier ones from Pigeon or Pyo-Pyo. Any brand goes as long as it can shut tied and contain the amount of milk powder needed.

Bottle scrub brush

Comes in different shapes and materials. Mothercare has good sturdy ones. Pigeon brushes are flimsy! Test before buying. No need to buy special brushes with different sizes coz the standard ones can brush most bottles. Anything that is rubberized – you have to use hands to rub and wash and not use the brushes.

Bottle detergent

For washing bottle. Pigeon detergent is affordable and good. They have refill packs.

Teats

NUK Orthodontics teats are better for teeth development. Choose the appropriate size for your baby. Buy two initially as you need to change the teats when your baby grows. You can use NUK teats on Pigeon and Chicco milk bottles and vice versa. Avent bottles do not fit teats from different brand.Please note: Most teats must be discarded after two months of use. Check the usage instructions for your brand of teats.I got avent teats and bottles for both my sons, but my younger son rejected all teats at 6mths and I have been spoon-feeding him and then he drinks by straw from 9mths onwards.

Tongs

To remove bottles from hot water. It usually comes free when you buy a steam sterilizer.But one that has a rubber grip on both sides to help you pick up items.

Nursery

Cot

Many different types in the market. There are high end ones costing more than $1000 and mid-range ones. Just make sure that the mattress is a good one and the quality of wood is average. It should be sturdy enough to withstand a toddler shaking it when he/she is older and able to stand and pull himself/herself up.Baby Kingdom has the largest selection, model and colour and best discounts. We got a convertible crib for $288, upgrade to breathable, anti dust mite mattress for only $20. Price includes delivery & installation. Crib can be converted to junior bed, use till the kid is about 4 or 5 years old depending on how tall your kid is. I found that a bigger child may only use the crib up to 2 yrs old. There is so little space for turning and flipping and a child normally does that. At about 2yrs old, our elder son transit to sleeping on a mattress with guard to prevent him from falling onto the floor.

Chest of drawers

To place all your babies clothing.

Musical mobile

Black and white mobile are good for newborns (Tiny love has a very good black and white mobile with music). I don’t buy it cuz it causes the child to go cross-eyed, not sure if it is true, we sometimes hang little toys on the crib, but take it off now and then. Tiny Love really has very very nice stuff.

Soft bolster or black and white soft-toy

Comfort object for babies.

Layette (basic collection of clothes and accessories babies will need through his first few weeks)

1.

Tops

2.

Pants

3.

Rompers / Bodysuit

4.

Sleep Suits

Get front-button shirts instead of pull overs. Those with ribbon-tie not recommended just in case they accidentally grab the ribbons. It is sensible to get several sizes larger as kids grow at an amazing rate. Places with good infant wear are Mothercare and Robinsons. I know that people like to buy at Metro/Robinsons/John Little warehouse sales but I usually do not find anything I like! I also ordered some lovely baby clothes from Gap and Old Navy. FOS outlets usually have a lot of these too. I suggest preparing 5 tops and bottoms for day wear, 3 bodysuits (shortsleeve), 3 bodysuits (long sleeve) and 4 sleepsuits. Trust me, many people will be giving you these as gifts so don’t buy too many. I hardly spent any $$ in the beginning on clothes coz we received so many clothes hampers and all.I got all of my baby clothes as gifts from my aunt, so didn’t spend much. Babies grow so fast, so really don’t need to buy expensive clothes. Also a first-born usually get a lot of clothes as gifts.

Receiving blankets

To wrap the baby up. Some people advocate swaddling the babies: some do not advocate swaddling babies for too long. But I would say it all depends on your child. Hospitals usually provide one but you can get another two to standby, they double up as blankets as well. We have too many blankets we don’t use until the child is about 3yr old. Blankets are not used for sleeping cuz babies don’t know how to flip the blanket if it covers their face, This can be a potential hazard. Not a necessity.

Booties and scratch mittens

Motherworks and Kidsmall sell mittens small enough for premature babies. Babies should wear mittens up to two months of age to prevent long nails from scratching their face, eyes, etc. We open the mittens during breatfeeding time to allow baby to feel mummy as they lay their palms on mummy’s breat/body, this is for bonding. Also babies are trying to learn the world around them through their sense of touch. Try to get mittens and booties is stretchable. Kidsmall and Mothercare have a good range of tiny booties and mittens.

Towels and face cloth

Anakku has very soft towels. You’ll get some face cloths as part of the baby gifts that people give you so no need to buy too many in the beginning.Thomson Med has come up with very good no fancy white cloths that does not fluff, very soft, multipurpose. very suitable. Small towels can be used for bath, wipes etc. $ for 7 pcs. while the bigger ones can be use for swaddle, blanket, diaper. $12 something for 2 of these. Only need 1 small pack and 2 bigger pack.

Bathing and changing accessories

Bath Tub

Mum-in-law is helping to take care of baby so squatting is inconvenient for her. Baby Kingdom has a frill-free bath-tub stand on metal that is very practical and useful. It even has a hose to drain water out. I used this for my first and second son, only thing we need to do is to change the hose from time to time because algae grows in it. It is impossible to clean because of the fine tubing. We get the replacement from a nearby neighbourhood aquarium shop.

Bath Seat

You may want to use a bath seat when the baby is about 4 months old so that you may use the showerhead to bathe the baby. It saves water and time. I personally never used this before.

Changing table and changing mat

It is actually not necessary to buy a changing table as I find that my bed works just fine. But do get one if you have back problems and don’t want to aggravate it. Ikea has good and cheap inflatable changing mats.

Small dish container

Approx 10-12 inches diameter. To wipe baby’s eye and face. Remember to use only boiled water during the first month as newborns have very sensitive skin. Use only this container for this purpose. I simple converted one of my small unused tupperwares for this purpose.

Bath sponge

Pigeon bath sponge is gentle on the skin but cleanse efficiently. I prefer to use cloth hankies and my hands.

Cotton wool

It is actually more economical to get big rolls of cotton wool than balls of cotton and they work equally well if you soak them in water. I was too lazy and bought cotton balls…but now that I have a helper, I’m using the big rolls instead. It’s better to get your helper to use cotton to clean your baby’s bum as they may not be as gentle as you and using wet wipes too often might cause your baby to have a red bum.

Bathing gel and moisturizer

It is important not to use soap directly on the baby’s skin in the first month. Mustela has a good range of bathing gels and lotion. The scent might not be fantastic but the bathing gels are quite gentle on baby’s skin. I’m using Avent as it’s also known to be gentle and moisturizing for baby’s skin. Johnson was too drying for Daniel.Babies do not need separate shampoo and bath gel. Avent has good shampoo and shower gel that is gentle but expensive in the long run. I switch to pigeon for both my baby and toddler.

Cotton Buds

Pigeon sells these super thin cotton buds that are good for newborns. Tried other brands but they ere flimsy and lousy.Parentcraft advise against buying too thin a cotton buds as babies fidget a lot and buds can get stuck. Just use cotton wool and twist it into strips. This is more gentle & safer for baby.I also got a safety cotton buds that is fat on one end and does not slip into a baby’s nose and then on the other end, good enough to insert at the tip of his nose. However, I only use it on my 3yr old toddler who is able to keep still, just to be safe.

Tummy binder

To keep baby’s tummy warm. Place this on your baby’s tummy when he or she is sleeping to provide a sense of security. I use this for both my sons. It helps to sooth their nerves.

Sterile cotton swabs & Cord spirit

To use on umbilical cord. Hospitals usually provide this but you’ll need to buy some more sterile cotton to standby from pharmacies.

Baby Wipes

Baby wipes are convenient to use and most companies produces wipes with moisturizing properties like JoJoBa. Nuk wipes are very thick and thus you just need to use one piece on the babies bottom. I like Pigeon’s one hand operational system that allows you to pull one piece of wipe at a time. Johnson also has pretty good ones. Never buy Tollyjoy – they’re too thin!! I buy non-scented ones as some babies are slightly allergic to fragrance and I didn’t want to take the chance. Do buy travel-sized packs as well. I use all brands now because afterawhile, it really doesn’t matter as long as the baby is cleaned!

Safety pins

For use with cloth diaper but if you are using pilchers (pants worn over diaper) then this is not necessary. Never used this.

Diapering necessities

Changing table

Disposable Diaper /
Cloth diaper

Some people swear by cloth diapers as it is more economical and they claim is able to “breathe” better than disposable diapers. For cloth diapers, 24 pieces is good enough for a start. Pigeon brand cloth diapers are quite soft. Annaku brand is more affordable.For disposable diapers, many mothers find the brand Nepia from Japan to be superb and supposedly better than Pampers premium but it is expensive and only available from Seiyu and Meidiya. I used Pampers Premium for newborns in the first month. Then switched to Mamy Poko (relatively economical and very soft and absorbent) for day and Pampers Premium for night/outings. Drypers are hard but cheap, we used it for awhile as they were gifts, but switched all my sons to huggies.

Barrier cream

Popular brands are Desitin and Mustela Barrier Cream. Like their names suggest, the more barrier cream you apply, the better for the baby. I found Mustela and Desitin brand to be the best as they are very thick in texture and you don’t have to use a lot on the baby’s bottom.Note: Desitin barrier cream contains cod liver oil so the smell might not be that pleasant. There are TWO types of Desitin cream. The creamy one which is available from only hospital pharmacies is better as it is easier to be removed after applying on the babies’ bottom.. The non-creamy one is available from Guardian pharmacy, will require more effort to be removed. Both offer the same degree of protection against nappy rash.

Nappy liners

If you are using cloth diapers, Pigeon brand liners are good but expensive. Tollyjoy is cheaper.

Traveling necessities

Baby sling carrier

They are many advantages in wearing a baby sling carrier. Momsinmind.com and Kidsmall sell a modern ‘sarong’ called the BayB Sling that already comes with fastening clips and pretty colours too. I’m really not good with a lot of clothes so I went for ergo baby carrier which has a very good support for our back and hips. I can go to the washroom with my baby in the front and it is so useful for shopping, travelling, and almost anything!

Pram/Stroller

Can buy this at a later date. Do shop around and observe what other people are using for advantages and disadvantages. A McClaren Techno Classic as it’s sturdy and turns corners well but it’s heavy so I don’t think I’ll be able to manage on my own ha. Together, McClaren, Aprica and Graco form the Rolls-Royce of stroller brands.We choose an ultra light stroller from Combi as part of our wish list item and a gd friend got it for us. Combi is a Japanese brand as good as McClaren, Aprica. Peg Perego. It’s got dual handle which means you can have option of either looking at baby’s face or turning the baby towards the other way. Look for full recline, suitable for infant. This one has multiple position, a safety harness, fully washable seat, ultra light and convenient for one hand close and open. Very light at 4.2kg. Can use up to 3yrs old. Good wheels for turning corners. We are still using it for both sons at the same time, we simply took off the cover and let my 3yr old son stand behind, while my baby stay in the seat.

Car seat

A must for all Singapore drivers. Britax range is highly recommended but again, shop and ask around and do research before buying. We got our britaz as hand me downs.

Diapering pack

Disposable diapers, cream, wipes and changing mat. I am very conscious about putting my baby on the changing table in nurseries so a changing mat is a real essential for me. I had a free foldable one from the hospital and it works fine but you can buy from Mothercare or Kiddy Palace if you like.

Bottle cum warming bag

Can use it to bring your expressed breast milk.

Thermo flask /
milk bottles / powder container

For Formula fed babies.

Others

Baby monitor

Good if you are staying in a 2 story house but there is no need if you stay in a one level flat, as you can hear the cries of most babies. The newer generation monitors like the Angel monitors come with a motion detector to detect the breathing of baby and if the baby stops breathing, the alarm will go off.

Thermometer

This is very important. There are several ways to measure the temperature of a baby. You can use ear thermometer or digital thermometer.Ear thermometer :Measures the infrared heat of the eardrum, which is very close to the temperature control centre of the brain. Expensive but convenient. I bought the Braun thermometer as it’s the best in the market. It’s fast and accurate – a boon for fidgety squirming babies.Cadi is a good brand that received good feedback from many mothers/customers of Kiddy Palace.Digital thermometer : It is cheap and can be used to measure oral, rectal, auxiliary. However, oral temperature taking is not advisable for young children. Rectal measurements are slightly higher then oral measurements. An underarm measurement is impacted by room temperature, so accuracy is more difficult to achieve. Underarm measurements are lower then oral measurements.

Nail clipper

Do not use it on new born babies as the nail bed is still fused to the tip of the nail. I used a baby scissors when we removed Daniel’s mittens permanently after 2 mths and only recently switched to baby clippers. Shop around for something that you’ll be comfortable with gripping. I’m using the Safety First brand.We bought NUK brand as it has a safety feature that prevents clipping baby’s nailbed.Safety first brand is good if adults have poor eyesight, it comes with a magnifier, but I find it cumbersome.

Electric bottle warmer

Avent bottle warmer is fantastic especially useful in heating up expressed breast milk but it is more expensive that other brands. It will not overheat the breast milk. Overheating kills the antibodies in the milk. I NEVER microwave the bottle to heat up the milk as the milk might be heated up unevenly and this can scald the baby. Tollyjoy warmers are economical but they sometimes tend o overheat the milk so you need to watch it.

Black and white cards

Never used this. We prefer cuddles and lots of conversations and songs.

Rattle Mirror Baby gym

Toys for babies. Most babies won’t appreciate it until about a month old.

Pacifier

Only if you need it. For breastfed babies avoid pacifier until 6 weeks of age when milk production have stabilized to prevent nipple confusion. Never used this as we don’t want to undo another habit. My first son sucked his thumb and naturally wean off at about 2yrs old. My younger son never really start, I let him use a teether at bedtime, when I see him playing with his fingers, but

Electric flask

Quick access to hot water especially during confinement period.

Laundry washing

2 –3 Pails

Good to have a separate pail for washing only babies clothes. Have a few pails to allow soaping and rinsing of clothes. I handwash baby clothes so that they will last longer.

Laundry detergent/softener

Pigeon baby laundry detergent powder is recommended if you want to machine wash baby stuff. Otherwise, Kodomo is also pretty good and leaves a nice pleasant smell after washing.

Nappy detergent and Nappy softener

If you are using a cloth diaper, Napisan is quite a good powder detergent.

 

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