Tuesday, 7 August 2007


The Mrs went dinner with her friends last night and gotten some tips and valuable advices from those that are mothers already. These covered the usual how to take care of herself and also what to spend and not to spend on Baby.

Honestly besides the standard Pram, car seat, cot and safety gate (to keep my dog out), we have not looked at any other essentials to buy. From the top of my head some of the essentials that we need to look into are the baby bathtub, diapers, breast pumps, baby soap and shampoo. I know there are probably many more but I remain as you know, “clueless”. What do we look for when buying these stuffs? Where do we go for bargains? How many to buy?

As it is there are already mothers who advised against buying the cot because it seems there are babies who refuse to sleep in them when they are slightly older. This friend’s baby who is 1 now will cry non-stop when placed in the cot when she was about 6 months old and she has been sleeping with her parents ever since. My brother-in-law’s baby also refuses to sleep in the cot after about 4 months. The theory is when the baby wakes up and does not see anyone familiar he will start to cry. Now that he is sleeping on the mattress besides the maid, he has stopped crying in the middle of the night.

Any advice on how to ensure your baby will continue to sleep in the cot till older? I know of kids who are still sleeping with their parents even though they are about 5 or 6 years old. While I do not mind my children sleeping in together occasionally but I will draw the line at maybe once a week. I would like for the Mrs and me to continue to have our privacy or is this wishful thinking?

A nice friend has generously offered to give us her cot so that we can save some money especially there is a good chance Baby may want to “gate-crash” our bed.

The Mrs also heard the same girl who refuses to sleep on her own refuses to be strapped down in the car seat! She has to be carried during the entire journey so it rules out any parent bringing her out on their own. So the car seat is out the window (not literally of course) and it costs them a good $500 plus. Luckily the car seat that we are looking at now is nowhere near that price range.

I am counting on you experienced parents to point the way to what other essentials we have to look into and where to buy them. I like the baby bathtub at Toys' R Us and it costs something like $50 and so far I like the safety gate (not sure if it is called that) at Kiddy’s Palace because it is not flimsy and it is of reasonable price. I actually prefer those that do not leave a bar at the bottom when the door is opened in case Baby trips over it in the future. I like those that will open as a whole like a normal door.

The only essentials that we bought recently and we do not require any help with are clothes for the Mrs. Although her weight has maintained about the same with 1 or 2 kg variation depending what time of the day she weighs herself, her tummy is definitely growing bigger. By now most of her bottoms and some of her tops cannot be worn anymore so we went shopping over last two weekends and got her some clothes. She still refuses to buy anything from the maternity shops and I believe it is a challenge to see how long she can go without having to wear maternity clothes. I understand this is a common thinking amongst some mothers-to-be and I can’t help but to feel that by buying over-sized clothes from non-maternity shops such as Zara, BYSI, Gap and M)phosis constitute as cheating.

The Mrs actually managed to get some very nice clothes from these shops and they are actually a fraction of the price that maternity shops charge. I commented that she is lucky in the sense that baby doll dress / tops are in now so she can buy more clothes and maybe she can still wear them after the whole pregnancy. However she is conscious that these clothes will make her look pregnant so I believe they will be stashed away waiting for our next baby’s arrival.

Personally I find this “happy-to-be-pregnant-but-afraid-to-show” attitude a tad confusing. From where I stand I get a very genuine sense of excitement the more the tummy grows. I think this is because throughout the course of pregnancy it is only the mums that really feel the changes and the babies inside them. While we dads know there are changes but we don’t feel them so at times it seems a little unreal. We know the Mrs are eating more, having food cravings and at the same time vomiting but these are all from a 3rd party’s perspective. Without the tummy growing or the Gynae’s confirmation, the Mrs could very well be bulimic for all we know. It is really with the tummy’s (baby’s) growth that we can be sure that we are indeed going to be fathers. It is like a form confirmation. I told the Mrs that I want her tummy to show as soon as possible so that whenever we are out, people will know how lucky we are. Plus she can also get a seat on the train or the bus without people thinking she is trying to pass off as pregnant just to get a seat with that small tummy.


Nicole said...

Hi. During my first pregnancy, I was just as clueless as you feel now but I was told by many friends NOT TO buy anything till the wife is into 8th month. This is of course, old wives tales but it's best to follow. As for the maternity clothings, your wife is rather like me, on the thin side, not showing much yet so it's ok not to wear maternity wear as most ladies doesn't like the idea. What I did is for this time round, I bought a maternity denim capri(as I'm not working), and the rest, I'm still wearing the normal clothings. Don't worry too much, when the time is getting near, you'll know more of what to do.

endofsinglehood said...

It is good to make most purchases (esp the bulky ones) during the 2nd tri, when energy levels are at its peak. Keeping shopping to the 3rd tri is not only stressful (with the tight deadlines imposed and the possibility of an earlier-than-planned delivery) but also tiring (cos of carrying around the extra weight). Unless of course, you do all the shopping and deciding, then you can do it anytime. Best is to wait either for the GSS or the end of year promotions. You'd be able to pick up pretty decent steals during this time.

As for clothing, yes, non-maternity clothing is cheaper (and often nicer). Am soon to be due now and am still wearing Zara and Gap stuff in my original size, but cleverly cut. Hurray for such fashion, or we'd still be stuck in the age of sailor-moon-collared hideous dresses. *horrors*

Anonymous said...

Regards to the cot issue, i don't have problem with my son sleeping in it. he's been sleeping in his cot since day 1, occasionally co-sleeping with us and this is when i'm too tired to carry him back to his cot. how to ensure my son to sleep in his cot is i usually put him on our bed and let him fall asleep before transferring him back to his cot. this may not be the best way but at least i can ensures he sleeps in his cot.

do remember, if you want your baby to sleep in the cot, put the baby in the cot to sleep on the very 1st day. and slowly the baby will get used to it. same goes for carseat, strap the baby in the carseat the moment you fetch the baby home from hospital. those horror stories of bb refusing to be in the carseat are usually babies who are not train to sit in the carseat when young. start as early as infancy and i'm sure you will have a breeze driving.

Anonymous said...

Guess I am one of those who do not advocate the purchase of baby cot. As mentioned, really once baby start to turn, the cot will be too small. Now my nephew who is 5 months old has also progressed from the cot to the playpen coz he can’t turn much in the cot.

I also strongly discourage u letting your baby sleep in-between of you and Mrs. Once baby is used to it… it’s a habit that is very difficult to change. I know several people who “allow” their babies to sleep with them and even till now at age 3 still sleeping in-between of them. So don’t start… (you have been warned!)

As for the car seat, it must be “taught” at a very young age. My girl was sitting in the car seat since she was 2 months old and I have (touch wood) no problem with her sitting the car seat. (I have to drive her to my mom’s place very day alone.) BUT the bad thing is (which is partly OUR own fault) is that whenever my hubby drives, I will carry her (too lazy to put her in the car seat and because initially was breastfeeding) so now it’s a VERY bad habit of her to NOT sit the car seat when both of us are around. But if only one parent is around, she is ok with sitting.

Other essential stuff that I think should get are:
For baby:
1) diaper cream
2) face towel (for baby to clean the face)
3) nappy towel (as a blanket for day use, also good for wrapping baby up for the first few weeks)
4) wet wipes
5) cotton wool (for cleaning up baby)
6) Ruyi oil (very traditional and it works wonder!)

For mummy:
1) disposal panties (for confinement period, use n throw. They have those for maternity not so paper-y)
2) face towel (for Mrs to clean herself before breastfeeding)
3) socks
4) maternity pad
5) cotton wool (those better quality kind (erm netted kind) to clean the episiotomy wound)

Hmm these are the basic stuff that I can think of… hope it helps!

Anonymous said...

oh forgot... next week got Taka baby fair... so you can go there and get all the essential items at not too bad a deal!

Anonymous said...

I had a hand-me-down baby cot when I was expecting my 1st child. We didn't utilize it fully as I was still total BF my boy and he co-slept with my husband and I until I was ready to go back to work when he's about 5.5 months. I'm the hard-hearted parent (I guess), I used the cry-it-out method to get my boy to sleep through the night. The method can be successful when both husband and wife are in agreement to make this work. Initially, my husband couldn't take the crying, and he wanted to stop the program totally, but I argued that he stops it now, I would be the one who will always have sleepless nights for the rest of our time (way back then we were on our own and no domestic help or parents near us). It took about 1 week or so for our boy to successfully sleep on his own. He recognizes that once the moment lights were off, it's bed-time.

So from then till now (he's 19 months old), hes been sleeping in the cot since. I personally don't believe in giving too much space for him to roll around in his sleep, might cultivate bad sleeping habits. =)

Sleeping on their own and sitting in the car-seat and even sitting while having their semi-solids in a high-chair, takes some form of training and "disciplining" which should be enforced when as young as 4 months. As much as their whining, fussing and crying can get unbearable at times, it's good to have a firm hand and find innovatives way to soothe and assure them while still being strapped in the car-seat/high-chair.

Think of it as for the good of everyone, including the new bundle of joy that's coming in, coz how you inculcate certain habits now, will be in them for a long time to come =) I.e. carrying your child to and fro and walk the entire neighbourhood just to feed them milk or worse, their semi-solids, imagine doing it till when they get to be 14kg!!! Don't laugh! Till this day, there are parents who does that!


A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Ladies,

Thank you once again for your comments and suggestions.

claire lee (Nicole):
You are luck that you can still wear the "normal" clothes. I suspect that the Mrs's days of wearing them are numbered. Hee Hee

For some reason the Mrs is not keen on purchasing anything now. However we have done some homework and I do know where to get what so should the Mrs be tired later in the pregnancy at least I can run around and buy them.

There are still a lot of sailor-moon collared hideous dresses out there!! Ha Ha

I understand that the sleeping and strapping of Baby in carseat has got a lot to do with training. Hopefully we will proved to be more persistent than Baby. Otherwise will give in to Baby's crying. Fingers crossed.

The good thing is I do not have to buy the cot and I am totally against having Baby sleep between us as I have heard too many stories of the child still sleeping there after a few years.

Thanks a lot for your list of other essentials that we have to look into. Some of them did not even cross my mind.

So you other ladies, please feel free to contribute if there is anything else you feel we might need. Cheers!

I admire you for the cry-it-out method. Frankly I would like to be able to do that as well but I'm afraid our nerves may not be that strong.

I know my mum used the cry-it-out method on my sis and I and we turned out fine. Guess babies these days are a tad too pampered.

Trina said...

i agree with anonymous. dont think letting babies "have their way" is doing them a favour. they can actually be frightened at not knowing their boundaries. it's akin to swaddling them to restrict their flinging hands and legs so as to give them comfort.

from infant up to schooling age, kids need to know their boundaries. if u allow them to sleep with you on certain days, u're bound to have problems with the days they have to sleep on their own. such rules (e.g. sleep together on weekends) can only apply to kids who can differentiate each day of the week, so they will accept it as a routine.

for baby seat, my boy bawled when i first drove him home on my own, cos we got the car only when he was abt 5m. at 1 point i had to pull over and carry him to calm him down before moving on. but i found singing to him while on the move helps. he'll be comforted by familiar voices. so u can pick 1 or 2 songs and sing to ur kid fr day 1, so that u can use it in times of "emergency".

i'm also an advocate of discipline and used cry-it-out method, modified slightly to suit my boy's temperament.

i used a baby cot with no problems. by 20m my boy asked to go onto a single bed, though lengthwise he still fits the cot comfortably, just not enough space to turn as much. u may want to get the larger cots that are convertible to junior beds for more mileage.

but recently i read up on the Montessori method of teaching, which begins at infancy. it advocates letting infants sleep on a mattress that's not too high. when they're too young, they wont roll over anyway, and when they are old enough to do so, the low height of the mattress will ensure they're not hurt, and they begin learning and discovery at the same time. Can check out books on this if u are keen.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Trina,

Good point on making sure they understand the difference between weekdays and weekends before allowing them to share the bed with parents. I will certainly take note of that.

Good tips on the songs too.