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All Things Baby!

From the moment parents-to-be realized that a little person is in the making, they face a multitude of decisions and choices every day… where do we ‘do’ confinement?, which ‘obs’ and hospital, to use or not to use cloth or disposable diapers, and so on and so forth.

The sheer number and variety of all things baby can be daunting, especially for new parents.

As a first time parents, we were baby-crazy shopping from Day 1. We ended up with a lot of poor fitting products or those which are not ‘right’ for our household. Our Boori cotbed is so pretty but it is slightly larger than the standard cotbed available in the market. This makes it difficult for us to buy standard latex mattress and fitted sheets for our very pretty bed. Eventually, I have had to resort to buying cloth and custom making the sheets to fit.

My first stroller is a Bugaboo. It is very sturdy, hardy and well-designed, but also so very heavy. Trust me, it’s not a pleasant experience having to juggle a 10kg baby, a baby bag, AND a full sized stroller. A light weight stroller suddenly seems like a sane strategy.

So, I thought to share some of my personal journey in product selection for my babies. There are certainly a wide range of very note-worthy experiences from other parents out there. The ones I noted below reflect my own pleasant encounters with certain products, which also gave me great confidence in using them for the babies and mothers I have pleasure of hosting at my First Month Confinement Centre.

Toiletries – Mustela range

It all started when my lovely sister bought me a complete set of Mustela toiletries and skincare for my newborn.

  • I find this French product clean & fresh, and it smells oh so good. Not overtly perfumed, smells natural like a baby.
  • My favourite is ‘PhysiObebe Non-rinse Cleansing Water’. I use it for cleaning newborns’ scalp and diaper area. The best thing is there’s no need to rinse. Totally convenient!
  • My husband and I were very lucky that we don’t have to deal with diaper rash, but we have to give credit to ‘Mustela’s Vitamin Barrier Cream’. It’s rich without feeling greasy.

Mothercare used to stock them, but the line was discontinued. I have to beg my friends and relatives to lug bottles and bottles of Mustela back for me all the way from Singapore & Hong Kong whenever they visit. Imagine my joy when I spotted them back in Mom’s Care & Mothercare a few years later, just before I opened First Month Confinement Center. This makes my decision a whole lot easier, as I’m determined to use the ‘best’ in my confinement center, eventhough Mustela is one of the pricier baby toiletries.

Disposable Diaper – PetPet

Choosing between cloth and disposable diaper was an easy choice for me. After comparing the ease of use and cost, I opted for the easy way out and joined the majority. Using disposable diaper is the only sane option available for me.

3 main factors I considered:

  • absorbency & comfort – highly absorbent, is moderately thick, comfortable & made of soft material
  • fit & leakage – good fit and comfortable with stretchy & durable tab. Resealing the closure after checking the baby should also not pose a problem
  • costs – competitive with other premium brands.

During my first confinement, my confinement aunty Yung noticed that the disposable diapers (Mamypoko) that I’ve prepared for my daughter was too big.

Although my Jeannie was of average size (she was weigh 2.8kg at birth), and the disposable diapers I bought was sized: Newborn, her weewee still leaks and soils her lovely Boori cotbed and mattress. So we ransacked through all the sample packs given to us when we discharged from the hospital.

My favourite is PetPet. The material is soft & comfortable, yet absorbent. It fits neatly into my babies and holds leak very well. My babies never have to deal with rash. I also love the cute & colorful design. I’m pleasantly surprised that it performs better than other pricier brands like MamyPoko and Pampers.

For night use, I absolutely love ‘Baby Love’ (now its known as PetPet Nite Guard/Tape). I’ve been guilty of not changing Jeannie in the midnight once in a while, but ‘PetPet Nite Tape’ never fails to hold her weewee until the next morning.

That is why after finishing my ‘stock’ in hand, I switched to PetPet.

Breastpump – Spectra

With Jeannie, I started pumping when she was about 3 weeks old. She wasn’t latching on well, has short tongue tie, and I was mentally & physically exhausted. I went on to continuing pumping for 6 months. My experience with Kaylie was the total opposite, she latched on very well, and we enjoyed our nursing experience, with a healthy mixture of pumping.

My Spectra 3 was on loan from my lovely sister (again! She has all things baby and forbids my itchy hands from buying any). This double electric pump is a time saver. It took me only 15 mins to pump around 4ozs of milk each breast. Even though it is less portable & heavier than other models, its pump is very powerful.

Best bit about Spectra is the price is half that of high-end brands like Medela and Philip Avent, and is of comparable quality.

One thing I want to mention… double electric breast pumps and hospital grade breast pumps run on different systems. A double electric pump is an open system pump meaning that milk can get into the motor. But more importantly it means you should not share your breast pump with anyone or purchase a used one. Because milk can get into the mechanism of the pump, so can bacteria. You do not want someone else’s milk affecting your milk for the obvious reasons. So while you can continue to use your pump for subsequent children we don’t suggest buying used ones or loaning from a family member.

Hospital grade pumps run on closed systems where the milk does not come into contact with the pump at all. My Spectra 3 (in fact all Spectra breastpumps) operates on a closed system. It has an anti-backflow filter that prevents milk entering the motoring pump, hence contaminating it.

Happy to have purchase Spectra breastpumps for my mummies.