Tag Archives: Babies

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s Off to Work We Go!

HAPPY NEW YEAR DEAR FAMILY AND FRIENDS!!!! It’s been a while since my last entry mainly because I started a full time job in November.  So far, it’s been very exciting and interesting, and I don’t regret the transition at all.  Having said that, I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to take up consulting work for six months.  It gave me wide exposure and flexibility with my time that I would not have had with a full time job.  It also allowed me to pursue interests and classes that I could not have were I desk bound.  For that I am truly thankful.

The past two months have indeed been very interesting.  When I shared my news with some family and friends that I went back into full time employment, the top two questions I received were, “So?  Do you have better hours than your previous job?  Do you get to spend more time with your baby?”  And then I have to explain that no, I was under no misconception that I would have better hours.  In fact, I started the role knowing that the hours would be long.  But I believe that in any situation in life, if you are in the position to do so, in order to find meaning in Work, there should be a delicate equilibrium of not only toiling but also learning.  I am also of course very grateful that I was offered this opportunity to pursue my passion in marketing & communications.

Working full time has actually made me a better manager of my time.  Every minute, every hour is precious.  From the half an hour I spend with E-Man in the morning to the few precious hours (if any) I get to spend with him in the evening.  In fact, I feel that now that I work full time, I actually spend more quality time with him than before.

So how have I been managing my EXTREMELY active toddler during the time that I have with him during a busy work week? Honestly, it has been a walk in the park.

Really?  Yes.  Literally.  We try to go to a nearby park a few times a week for an hour each time.  One thing I want to say is that I feel so blessed to live in Singapore – where walking in a public park at 9:30 pm feels no less safer than walking in the park at 9:30 am.  We mainly go to Bishan Park weekday evenings and then maybe the Botanic Gardens on the weekends.  During this time we play catching, throw balls and talk to other park-users.  There are joggers, dog-walkers, dancers, sword-fighters and many, many other children.  I’m going to write a separate post about our time in the park because it truly is a quintessentially Singaporean experience and one that I would like to document and share.  After all, it is an experience not many other people in other parts of the world can understand.

Apart from walks in the park, we visit the various shopping malls after dinner, read books together, play hide and seek and, another personal favourite, throw baby dance parties!  Baby dance parties are a lot of fun.  It’s when we blast pop music and dance our hearts out in the living room.  E-Man goes nuts, he loves it and I must admit, so do I!

E-Man and me at Marina Square
We decided to visit Marina Square one evening after work! Thank goodness shopping malls close late in Singapore.

Figuratively speaking, it is not a walk in the park balancing work and baby.  It takes discipline and hard work and more energy than you know you have.  There are other times I work late and miss his bedtime, go out with friends or hole myself up in my room watching YouTube videos.  But we try to spend time with him – and as the great philosopher PINK once said:

You gotta get up and try, try, try
You gotta get up and try, try, try
You gotta get up and try, try, try”

And that’s what matters, right? 🙂

I would love to hear from other working mothers.  How do you manage your time between work and family?


A Year Ago Today

A year ago today, at exactly this time (time check: 11:15 pm), I was lying in my hospital room in Mt Alvernia‘s Our Lady wing recovering from an emergency c-section.  I remember just lying there, physically and emotionally exhausted, hooked up to painkillers delivered by IV drip and unable to move the lower part of my body.  The baby was by himself in the nursery and my husband was just walking around the room really not sure what to do.

I haven’t blogged in a while but I thought to celebrate E-Man’s 1st birthday today, I would share his birth story.  If you know me, I love hearing birth stories — they remind me of how strong women really are!  Really, we created a human being, we are capable of anything.  I would like to preface this entry by saying the choices I made were personal and strictly based on my own preferences.  No two births are the same – just like no two women are the same.  That is what makes this world so beautifully unique.  I would love to hear your birth story, but please do not criticise mine.

So it all started on 14 September 2014 when I went in to my doctor’s office for a check-up.  I was literally 40 weeks and there was no sign of a baby at all.  He recommended an induction before I hit 41 weeks because apparently the possibility of foetal death raises after 41 weeks (albeit marginally).  I then decided (well, I had spent a week thinking about it), that I would induce him on his estimated due date (EDD) which was 16 September since it was also Lee Kuan Yew’s birthday and that it would be kind of cool for E-Man to share the same birthday as Singapore’s first Prime Minister.

My doctor agreed and everything was set for a 16 September delivery.  I went in at 2 am on 16 September where the labour ward nurses inserted a pill up my cervix and I was hooked up to a monitor the whole night.  Surprisingly, I managed to get some shut eye.  Nat on the other hand was too cold to sleep.  Even with a spare blanket and a jacket he was freezing.  I think the temperature is specially set for perpetually hot pregnant women.  At about 6 am I was woken up, placed on a wheelchair (I don’t know why – because I could walk) and wheeled into Labour & Delivery.  There, I was orientated into my own private birthing room and started to get comfortable – I had my fully charged mobile phone, my iPad and my books next to me.  At about 7:30 am, the Nurse Manager did a quick check of my cervix and I was 3 cm dilated (you can start pushing at 10 cm – so at least I was a little dilated!).  FANTASTIC.  Everything was moving as planned.

Oh and by the way, it was only during my last few weeks of pregnancy did I realise how painful cervix checking is.  I am not a biology student so I never realised how far UP your cervix is.  Ok, too much detail, but let’s just say it’s not anywhere easily accessible.  And I do NOT know why this LITTLE detail of the cervix check is omitted in other people’s birth stories.  I shall leave it in mine because it was quite a relevant re-occurance, obviously.

At about 8:30 am (can’t really remember), the Anaesthetist came in to deliver the epidural.  I agreed with my OB that I would have epidural early because literally, the only thing in my birth plan is PAIN FREE.  So she came in, put the epidural in – which didn’t hurt at all – and went on her way.  I was very lucky in that the epidural had no side effects on me.  I was having a merry time watching my Hollywood and Bollywood movies.  Haha.  

At 9:30, the OB came in and broke my water.  I think at about 11:30 or 12 he came back again and checked me and lo and behold I was 5 cm dilated.  He commented that he thought the baby will be out before dinner.  It was fantastic.  The nurses started bringing in all the equipment to deliver the baby.  I felt very successful!  The contractions were coming strong but I felt nothing and used the time to Whatsapp friends and family with hourly updates.  I was so excited.  I remember hearing the screams from other women in other rooms.  Some were terrifying as though they were getting stabbed.  After each scream, I would turn to make sure I had plenty of epidural left.

Lunchtime came and went.  I hadn’t eaten the whole day and was suitably famished.  I couldn’t even drink water, I could just have tiny sips.  But luckily my movies kept me distracted.  After lunchtime, the Nurse Manager checked me again and commented that I had not progressed past 5 cm.  She rang the doctor and he said to just let me progress naturally. I started to get impatient.  I was looking forward to having the baby out before dinner so that I could eat dinner and watch this current affairs show on Channel NewsAsia which was going to feature North Korea (one of my favourite topics) at 8:30 pm.  I remember this very clearly because I really wanted to watch it.

3 pm came and went.  4 pm and then at 5 pm the Nurse Manager said she received a call from the OB asking about my progress.  I was still 5 cm.  So he recommended pitocin.  I knew what it was from watching countless birth videos on YouTube and agreed to using it if it was going to speed up this labour.  I’m such a typical Singaporean – everything must be fast, fast, fast!


I was put on pitocin and still nothing.  At 7 pm I was checked again – this time the nurses shift had changed and I was becoming very very impatient.  I had progressed to 6 cm.  Small whoop!  But then the whoop quickly changed to panic when the nurses noticed that the baby’s heart beat had slowed down at 8 pm.

I told myself, ok, it’s already 8 pm.  I guess I could watch the North Korea documentary at 8:30 pm here and then deliver after.

Really, why I was so fixated on this documentary, I don’t know.

When the baby’s heart beat dropped, the nurses started to panic.  They quickly put an oxygen mask on me and made a call to the OB to come quickly.  At one point I commented, “I don’t need this oxygen mask.  I can breathe fine.”  To which the nurse replied, “It’s not for you, it’s for your baby.”  Oops, and I panicked even more.

The doctor came at 8:45 pm.  Again, I remember this time because I was in the midst of my North Korean documentary and had to decide whether to focus on him or the TV.  HAHAHA.

I started to focus on him when five other nurses came in PLUS a new Anaesthetist.  I really never had a c-section in mind at all and started to panic yet again.  He said that, as we had discussed, the moment there was a valley in the heart beat chart (meaning the baby’s heart beat drops) it’s time for a c-section because our end goal is to get a healthy baby.  I really wasn’t mentally prepared for the c-section. I started to tear up and cry uncontrollably.  Nat tried to comfort me but the nurses told him that he needed to move our bags out of the room to the recovery room and get changed into surgery scrubs.

I remember so many things happening around me.  There was a flurry of activity.  I felt as though I was in the eye of the storm.  The nurses sprung into action, preparing me for surgery.  The Anaesthetist kept reassuring me everything would be fine.  She was amazing.  Seriously.  I was quickly wheeled into the operating theatre.  I remember crying all the way to the operating theatre.

In the operating theatre I cried even harder.  I was just SO freaked out about getting cut up.  Being a person that thrives on achieving milestones and goals, I was disappointed I was unable to achieve my goal of a pain-free natural delivery.  Anyway, the baby had to come out one way or another and he obviously wasn’t coming out naturally.

The operation wasn’t painful but it was quite scary.  The force that the OB had to use was terrifyingly strong.  Nat and I like to describe it as it felt as though the doctor was a mechanic working on a car.  Seriously.  And just before the baby came out, the Anaesthetist and Nurse gave a big mighty push from the back (a push so strong they had to ensure their feet had support). I must say one comforting thing was how calm and relaxed the doctor was throughout the entire procedure – which made me panic a little less.

9:50 pm Baby E-Man came out.  At first he was silent and the whole room seemed to be waiting in anticipation.  And then we heard it.  The strangest sound ever.  Over the course of the day I had heard many babies cry.  They all sounded nice.  Except mine went, “oohh-wehh oohh-wehhh oooh–weehhh!!!” He only did that for a while and once he was bundled into a burrito he was placed on my chest and kept silent, you could see that he was absorbing his new environment.  I felt at that moment I had delivered an old soul.

I stopped crying when they gave me the baby and the lovely Anaesthetist took a picture of us.


Very quickly though Nat and E-Man left the operating theatre for the nursery where he was weighed and measured.  One of the nurses wheeled him in his little trolley with Nat following along.  When they got to the nursery, Nat remembers the nurse counting his fingers and toes for him.  According to him, she went, “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 – 10 fingers and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 – 10 toes. Ok?”


Nat went back to the recovery suite to wait for me.  And I just lay there in the operating theatre thinking about how insane the entire day was and how incredibly helpless I was feeling.  Oh, if only I knew at that time that unexpected situations and feelings of incredible helplessness are common themes that would re-occur in the year to come and I expect for the rest of my life as a parent.

Now, if you would ask me, if I had to do it all over again, knowing the things I know now, what would I do?

1) I would probably wait a few days more before getting induced.
2) I would probably wait until I was about 4-5 cm dilated before I get the epidural.  Nah, I’m not a hero.
3) I would probably put more exciting movies in my iPad – I remember getting a bit bored.
4) Nat would probably bring an extra jacket and blanket.

I would not really change much else.  Mt Alvernia is really such a wonderful hospital.  The rooms are new and very luxurious, the staff are unbelievably caring and professional and the location is perfect.

I know it took a long time to get here.  Sorry, when I was typing this entry out I really felt like I was re-living the entire experience.  I would be very interested to hear your birth story.  Again, as I shared, I’m not here to criticise anyone’s birth plan and I also hope that no one will criticise mine.  The end goal is to get a healthy baby out and that’s what I did!
2014-08-09 10.42.57-1

To my fellow Mothers of Boys: We need to take back our boys

Fellow Mothers of Boys.  It is time we stood up for our sons, and with our sons, so that we can create a different tomorrow.

I am tired of hearing people say Be a Man and Big Boys Don’t Cry.  I am sick of it.  When we tell our boys this, they internalise their frustration and their emotions which can, at the very worst, result in abusive, controlling a**holes.  We confuse our boys.  We tell them not to cry, then we call aloof.  We tell them to be good to their mothers, then we call them mama boys.  We tell them to be gentle, then we call them a wuss.  It’s wrong.  It’s insulting.  It’s hurtful.  And it should stop NOW.


To be honest, when I found out I was having a boy, I felt like all my dreams of princess dresses and dainty tea parties went out the window.  I don’t have brothers and most of my cousins are girls.  So I’ve never grown up with a boy (except for my cousin Matt who is much younger and we just made him do whatever we did).  I don’t know how little boys play.  I’m not a sporty person and the idea of driving around in a car filled with dirty rugby jerseys and socks is not something I ever envisioned as a mother.

Of course, Baby E could grow up to love tea parties and that’s fine too.  He might like to be part of his school’s dance troope or like cooking.  It would be pretty cool if he did — imagine all the dinner parties I could throw with my son as chef!

So here I am with my son.  My extremely energetic son.  With him, it’s NON-STOP.  He needs to move, to stand, to explore, to touch, to taste, to break.  He cannot sit quietly for a second.  He cannot stand being still.  He is charged with testosterone that’s for sure.  After speaking with other mothers and on forums, I realise that yes, boys are ALOT more active and curious than girls.  There are ALWAYS exceptions to the rule, but in general, boys have way more energy to spend.  It’s evolutionary – they were the hunters, girls were the gatherers.  Hunters need to constantly be looking for prey, they need energy to run after animals, to run away from animals to FIND animals.  

2014-05-13 13.03.35

So as a mother of a testosterone-charged boy, I need to ensure that this energy is harnessed positively, not negatively.

I have a lot to be thankful to my feminist predecessors for.  They have been responsible for giving me suffrage, giving me the right to earn a living outside the home and for giving me the confidence that I have to speak my mind.  To them, I am forever grateful.

But now, I feel we need to take back our boys. 

Our men have all this energy and strength and yet we emasculate them.  Mothers of Boys, we have our work cut out for us.  Hear my battle cry!!  We need to teach them that there are times to be gentle and times to be tough.  We need to teach them that it is ok to cry.  We need to teach them that women are both the weaker AND the stronger sex.  We need to teach them when to stand their ground and when to give in.

Men who have unharnessed energy and strength sometimes end up with bad company.  According to Google, there are 14 times more men in prison than women and men are nine times more likely than women to join a gang.  These statistics are startling.  The recent incident of Elliot Rodgers who killed six people last Friday night did so because he was frustrated he was still a virgin at 22.  Then just today, I read that a 24-year-old man attacked members of a J-Pop band with a saw during a concert.  From Columbine to Newtown to Anders Behring Breivik to Elliot Rodgers – all these mass shootings have been carried out by psychotic men.

Big boys don’t cry, big boys don’t whinge, big boys don’t show weakness.  Boys play with guns, not dolls.  Boys play fight, not play house.  All the games that are marketed to boys are about shooting, killing and fighting, and you wonder why our boys are violent.  We made them that way and now, we have the future in our hands.  We can change it.

We can teach them to love music and dance to the rhythm of the strumming guitar.  We can teach them to create works of art that we can hang on our walls.  We can teach them to play in the rain.  We can teach them to explore the world around them.  We can teach them to cook by stirring a pot filled with flowers.  We can teach them how to enter a world of make believe.  We can teach them how to keep a good and tidy house.  We can teach them to read and write poetry.  We can teach them how to help others who are in need.  There is SO MUCH we can teach them!  The options are endless and the potential is limitless.

Imagine a world filled with men who are kind, gentle, grateful and loving, but with the energy and strength of an army.  Imagine the good that can happen.  It starts with me, and it starts with you.  

Mothers of Boys.  It begins with us.  Let’s take back our boys!

Our Quinny Zapp Xtra with Folding Seat

Quinny Zapp Xtra with Folding Seat
Quinny Zapp Xtra with Folding Seat

I thought today I would review my Quinny Zapp Xtra with Folding Seat.  As I had previously shared, I had done zero preparation prior to Baby E’s arrival.  This included buying a pram.  I don’t know what was going on in my pregnant mind, but obviously I didn’t think buying a pram was very important.

So when the baby was born, I realised that a pram was one of the more important items to have, especially when we went out.  For a while we used to carry around a little moses basket which we would then balance on two chairs at restaurants.  It worked well especially when he was a newborn but it wasn’t a sustainable solution.

So after about two weeks of research, we decided to get the Quinny Zapp Xtra with Folding Seat.  Now, I know I placed it on one of my top six must haves for babies zero to six months, but I thought I would share a more in-depth review.

By the way, please note there are different variations of Quinny Zapp Xtras.  Mine is the one with the folding seat.  I specifically looked out for it because I didn’t want to dismantle the seat each time I put it in the boot!

Baby E in a Quinny Zapp Xtra with Folding Seat
Baby E in his Quinny Zapp Xtra with Folding Seat



1) It is one of the more “affordable” designer prams out there.  In Singapore it retails from around S$500-700.  It is not a cheap and cheerful pram, but neither is it an expensive $1,000-2,000 pram.  It’s averagely priced but looks sharp and smart.

2) It folds up small and compact.  It can easily be placed in your car boot without taking up too much space.  That means you can place other things in your boot as well.  I will definitely take it travelling with me because it can fit in an airplane overhead locker.

3) It is relatively light, compared to other designer prams.

4) It is reversible.  This feature was one of the main reasons I chose it.  When Baby E was one to six months old, the pram seat was always facing me so that I could see him when we were out.  I would find it very stressful to have a newborn facing away from me since they are so quiet all the time you don’t know what is happening.

5) The buckle is a puzzle buckle which makes it harder for toddlers to get out of.


1) The diaper bag storage space is SOOOO small.  Seriously, this is one of my pet peeves about this pram.  I have quite a large bag and I have managed to squeeze it in a few times, but that often means that I do not have ready access to the items inside.  Anyway, the bottom of the storage space has recently torn (maybe because I squeezed my bag in) and I can’t put anything inside anymore. SO ANNOYED.

2) The frame itself is VERY light.  Which means you can’t really hang your diaper bag from the handles either.  So basically you end up just slinging your bag around your shoulder and pushing the pram.  Definitely not a hands-free pram.

3) You can’t open or close the pram with a baby on your hip.  It’s not like the Baby Jogger City Mini where it is a one snap close.  I think it’s at least three tedious steps that require both hands.

4) The handles are not adjustable and are made for parents who are less than 6 ft.  The handles are fine for my husband and I (less than 6 ft) but I think that if you are any taller you are going to have problems.

5) The parent-facing setting of the chair is fantastic, I love it.  But the chair doesn’t go upright.  Basically there is only slightly reclined and fully reclined settings available when the chair is facing the parent.  But there is no fully upright setting available.

6) This is an urban stroller through and through.  The wheels are not meant for jogging, trekking or any sort of off-roading.  Works for me because I don’t do any of that sort of physical activity but if you want something a bit more rugged, then you are better off choosing a jogging stroller.

7) The wheels don’t have suspension.  But seriously, do you really need wheels with suspension?


So is it a pram I would recommend to my friends?  Well, I would say, get a Bugaboo Bee or a Stokke Scoot if you want an urban stroller and can afford it because, quite frankly, they are so awesome and sexy.  But if price is a consideration, I think the Quinny Zapp Xtra with Folding Seat gives you pretty good bang for your buck.

FYI: There are also two different kinds of Quinny Zapp Xtras, the American model and the European model.  Don’t ask me why.  Mine is the American model so it has a small slash non-existent foot rest.  The European ones have a small space for the toddler’s feet.

Let me know what your favourite pram is and why!  Also, if you do have the Bugaboo Bee or Stokke Scoot or even the Quinny Zapp Xtra with Folding Seat, I’d be interested to hear your opinion!

Totally Floored – An Activity for An Active Baby and Mummy!

One of my earliest memories is sitting on my grandmother’s red tiled kitchen floor.  I am not sure what I was doing on the floor, probably chewing a toy or clanging on a stainless steel pot with a wooden spoon.

It has come full circle since I am now on the floor once again with this new activity that I have been playing with Baby E.   He is now 7.5 months but it can be played the moment they start crawling or even during tummy time when they are in their early infant stage.  It is “Follow the Leader”, or our variation of it.  What I do is get down on my hands and knees and crawl in front of him.  When he sees me crawling around like him his face just brightens up.  It’s so beautiful to see!  He then laughs as he tries to follow where I go.  So I crawl in front and then urge him to come follow me.

crawling baby copy

Whilst crawling on the floor, I have actually discovered a whole new world — from his point of view!  I feel like Baby E is not the only adventurer in the household now!


It also encourages him to crawl more and practice his motor skills.  Previously, all he wanted was to be carried because I guess that was where the grown-ups were at.  We talked down to him and I guess from his perception, all the fun was happening up on top and if you know his character he does not want to miss out on the action.


Now that I have been crawling around the floor with him, he is more willing and even excited to crawl!

By the way, don’t you just love his hot pink Charlie Banana cloth diapers?  #Realmenwearpink!!! 😀

Cloth Diapers: Frequently asked questions

I am really so encouraged by how many people read my post on cloth diapering!  😀 Thank you!

Cloth diapering can seem very daunting at first.  Although I had bought six modern cloth diapers prior to Baby E’s arrival, I hadn’t done much research.  So I fumbled through cloth diapering for a few weeks using the traditional flat sheets and mis-using the six modern cloth diapers I bought.  I gave up for three weeks because there were leaks everywhere as I had not been using them correctly.

After I had to make an urgent trip to the supermarket when we ran out of diapers and realised just how much money I was spending on disposables, I decided to throw myself into cloth diapering research.

So in a bid to do my part for the environment and your pockets, here goes:

How on earth do you wash and dry cloth diapers?  How do you get them so clean??
Probably the most asked question regarding cloth diapers.  You really need to do your own research and planning as well because what may work best for me may not work for you.

1) Once the baby has done a poop, I wash the poop off the diaper into the toilet bowl using a toilet spray (those sprays that are next to your toilet bowl).  Your hands won’t be smeared with poop, I promise.   I can’t promise if the odd poop splatter doesn’t touch you, though.  Anyway, every parent will tell you that touching poop comes hand in hand with having a baby!  If the baby has just wet the diaper, you can just throw it straight into the diaper pail without rinsing it.


2) I separate the insert and the diaper cover and place them both in a wet pail half filled with water and some vinegar.  I can’t imagine the smell of the dry pail after two days!  If you choose to use a wet pail, make sure your wet pail is kept FAR FAR away from the baby’s reach and covered.  Otherwise, just use a dry pail.  I think it’s safer, but smellier!


3) After two or three days (depends on how many diapers you have), empty your wet or dry pail into the washing machine and set it on HOT.  We do a first rinse with just hot water.  Then we start the full wash with soap and hot water.  Some people choose to do a full wash first and then a final rinse with water after.  It’s really what you find works best for you.

4) Once the diapers are washed, hang up all the diapers on your clothes line to dry in the sun.  This is also called sun bleaching.  It’s amazing, I never knew that the sun had super powers and was able to actually kill bacteria and germs AND bleach diapers.  All my diapers are sparkling white after they are sun bleached.  Amazing right?


Do cloth diapers get stained with poo and pee?
Nope.  As mentioned above when you wash them properly and sun-bleach them they turn sparkling white.  They also do not stink — it’s almost like magic!

What if baby is a big wetter especially overnight???
You can actually stuff two inserts into the diaper instead of one.  In fact, Charlie Banana recommends that you use two inserts after the baby is four months.

So here’s my dirty little secret (no pun intended), I use disposables at night because I hope that they help him to sleep better, since the nasty chemicals keep his bum dry.  But I know of many people who cloth diaper over night using two inserts.

There are “One Size” diapers and then there are “Sized” diapers.  What’s the difference?
“One Size” diapers or “OS” are diapers you can use from birth till baby is potty trained.  They either have adjustable snaps or adjustable elastic bands (like bra straps) around the legs.

“Sized” diapers are diapers that come in different sizes and you have to buy bigger ones when baby gets bigger.

I see some really cheap diapers online, can I buy those instead?
I know you can get dirt cheap diapers online.  Frankly, just like everything else in life, always question why they are so cheap.  I choose to use cloth diapers from reputable companies such as Charlie Banana and Bumkins just because I know their quality can be trusted.  Always read reviews prior to buying your diapers.

How many diapers should you buy to start off with?
I have about 26 diapers.  This lasts me about 2.5 days without washing, so I wash every two days.  I think a comfortable number is anywhere from 18-20 so that you don’t have to wash daily.  Don’t forget, you have to factor in your water and electricity bills.

Does your electricity and water bill increase dramatically?
It’s hard for me to say because we are already doing an extra load every other day for baby’s regular clothes.  I once washed the diapers once a day for a month.  My bill went up noticeably.  So now that I wash every other day, it has stabilised.  Gone are the days when it was just two of us and our laundry was literally done once a week.


Hope this short little Q&A helps you decide whether you think cloth diaper is really for you.  It’s really up to you to decide and determine what cloth diapering system works for you.


Cloth Diapering: Why I choose to cloth diaper

I remember the first time I heard about modern cloth diapering from Mama Natural, I was so amazed!  Was there really an alternative to the dowdy, hard-to-use flat white sheets that our grandparents used??


Yes!  Modern cloth diapers are funky, cute, waterproof and very easy to use.  Look how many colourful patterns there are!


I strongly recommend you watch Mama Natural’s 6 Reasons Why Cloth Diapers Are Better Than Disposables (+1 Way They Ain’t) because she elaborates clearly on the pros and con of cloth diapering. Then, once you have watched Mama Natural, watch Obbs and Lala Cloth Diapering Vlogs – she explains everything there is to know about cloth diapers.  There’s so much to learn, from the different cloth diapering systems to how to wash them etc…

It’s difficult to be succinct about something you feel passionate about.  So let’s try. I ❤ Cloth Diapers because:

1) It feels good to do something for the environment.  My husband is a huge recycler.  If I threw something into the normal waste paper bin, he would extract it, gross as it may be, and place it into the recycling bin.  He would also rather have an empty plastic shampoo bottle sitting in the bathroom for months on end rather than have me throw it in the normal bin.  I, on the other hand, am a lazy recycler.  I recycle only when it’s convenient.

Cloth diapering gives me my shining opportunity to do something for the earth.  As you all know, dirty diapers are one of the most common items found in landfills.  In fact, according to the oracle of all wisdom,  Google search, disposable diapers make up one third of all landfill waste. That’s disgusting but not surprising.  A typical baby goes through six to eight diapers a day!  And this waste is just sitting there waiting to decompose in the next 500 years.  And I don’t need to remind you how vile dirty diapers smell!

2) I’m lazy and I do not want to go out to buy diapers in the middle of the night.  Everyone thinks that cloth diapers are extra work.  They are far from it.  You only do one extra load every two days and then hang them out to dry.

A lot less energy is spent compared to getting into the car / bus / train walking to the supermarket, walking down the aisle, carrying the big bag of diapers to the check-out counter, carrying the bag of diapers to the car / bus / train and carrying into the house.  All the while, you have a (possibly) crying infant in tow.  And don’t forget the time it takes to leave the house with the infant!  I’m tired just thinking about it.

3) I  saving money. A box of six Charlie Banana diapers  costs about S$150 at Mothercare Singapore.  You can also use your 10% membership discount.  On Singsale,  cloth diapers are frequently on sale and are sold anywhere from S$10-20 depending on the brand.  I bought Bumkins diapers I bought were S$10 each!!!  In total, I have spent about S$500 on diapers – but most of it was paid using vouchers I received when Baby E was born.

This is compared to about S$20 for a bag of 70-80 diapers.   Based on my basic calculations, since a baby probably soils about six to eight diapers a day, you would need three to four bags a month.  That’s about S$60-80 a month!  Then factor in how much you have to spend on milk powder if you are formula feeding or combination feeding.  OMG…  Seriously.

Using cloth diapers will allow you to break even at 10 months!

4) I  the patterns. Have you seen how cute the patterns and colours on cloth diapers are??  So darn adorable!  I LOVE Bumkins diapers for their cutesy prints.  They are also the only diaper manufacturer that has the rights to use Dr Seuss prints on their diapers.  How cool is that?




5) I  how luxurious they feel!  The minky ones are nice and fluffy and the PUL and satin-finish ones just feel so luxurious!  They are also nice and cushy on my baby’s butt.  This is probably silly but I also don’t think it hurts him as much when he falls on his butt!

6) Better for babies with sensitive skin!  Baby E has eczema and sensitive skin and I’m sure if he wore disposable diapers for a prolonged period will develop diaper rash.  Disposable diapers are scratchy and you don’t know what sort of chemicals go inside them.  These chemicals are obviously very strong because they are able to keep the baby’s butt dry for extended periods of time.  I don’t want these chemicals to touch his skin!  I’m already dealing with his eczema and rashes and I’m thankful I don’t have to deal with any additional rashes!

Cloth diapers are fast gaining popularity in Western countries such as America and Australia but they are not so popular in Singapore.  Maybe because people don’t seem to understand them and still associate cloth diapers to those large white flat sheets that are not very practical.

While not many people cloth diaper here in Singapore, or at least not many that I know of, it may be worth noting that Singapore does have its very own cloth diaper brand Moo Moo Kow!

I think I will put together a list of frequently asked questions on Saturday.  Do you cloth diaper??  Why did you choose to cloth diaper?  Do you love cloth diapering as much as I do?

My Water Baby – Swimming with Baby

One of the weekend activities that my whole family looks forward to is bringing Baby E swimming.  It is really a family affair because it takes us at least an hour to get out of the door and then another half an hour to drive to the pool.

We first started him when he was just four months old.  At that age, he wasn’t quite sure what to make of the water.  He kept staring at it and kept his fists clenched — probably due to stress!

babe e swim

Now, at nearly seven months, he seems to have really taken to the pool.  Granted, I have also let him play in his bathtub which helps him get used to the water.  Last Sunday when we went to the pool, he got used to it quite quickly (it had been quite about a month since his last swim) and very quickly started to kick and splash around.  We also dunked his whole head underneath the water a couple of times.

Some people mentioned to me that they put arm floats on their babies.  I personally don’t think it is a good idea because it breeds complacency.  When the baby is in the water, you need to be fully alert.  The baby can drown in a matter of seconds.  That is why constant exposure to water is important because it helps the baby to instinctively keep calm and not panic.

swimming with kungs

I also read that it is important for babies to learn to float on their back – just as a survival skill.  So that was what I was trying to teach Baby E on Sunday!  He really did so well and even started kicking on his back as well!

When we first started swimming, we used to use Charlie Banana cloth swimming diapers in S as they were a very thoughtful baby shower gift, however he has since out-grown them and now we use absolutelybaby diapers.  I’m not quite sure about them because they don’t have the nice padding that the Charlie Bananas have but they seem to do the trick.  He also wears a pair of Osh kosh b’gosh  swimming trunks over them.


I know some people use disposable swimming diapers.  I’m not sure how those work, seems strange and I’m not too sure about all the chemicals that go into the diapers!

We also use MILK BABY suncreen for babies to protect his delicate skin from the harsh sun!  So many things to worry about now with a baby.  Haha.  I put it on his body AND his bald head.

Would love to hear from you.  How old were your kids when they went swimming for the first time?  Did you use cloth or disposable swimming diapers?

Bilateral Fetal Pyelectasis – An abnormal finding during pregnancy

After watching bubzvlog on an abnormal finding during pregnancy (thank goodness all is good now following further tests), memories of my own pregnancy scare came flooding back.  Pregnancy is scary enough with so many unknown variables.  Throw an abnormal or unusual finding into the mix and you get one big bag of stress and confusion.

So when I was 21 weeks pregnant with Baby E, he was diagnosed with bilateral fetal pyelectasis as both his kidneys measured at 7 mm (the normal range is less than 3 mm).  What the heck is that?  It means both his kidneys were swollen and a lot bigger than they should be.

Being the ignoramus that I was / am, I decided to Google it to find out more information.  Basically, having bilateral fetal pyelactasis means:

1) The kidneys are just under-developed compared to the rest of the body and will sort themselves out when the baby is born

2) It is a soft marker for down’s syndrome — but soft markers are only ever relevant when they come together with other soft markers and cannot just standalone and he had no other markers

3) His kidneys will be problematic at birth and cause him urinary tract infection (and symptoms related to UTI) or kidney problems and may require medication

Obviously I worried about it and prayed that Baby E would be ok and really annoyed my friends, and anyone who would ask about the baby, by talking about it at length.  At his 30 week scan, it seemed like one kidney had gone down but the other was just mildly inflamed.  This was a good sign because it meant that his kidneys were developing.  My mother was super calm about it and just said, “Why are you worried? It just means that his kidneys are developing slower than other parts of his body. But they will be fine!”  Yes, I guess she can add antenatal medicine to her mantel of other degrees. (Inside joke, she only has one degree – a degree in Law).

But having an abnormal finding during pregnancy is never easy because nobody can see the baby in your womb – except God.  This is an extract of an entry I wrote in my paper diary when I was 26 weeks pregnant,

One of the things I realize about being pregnant is that you are completely living in faith.  You have to trust the Lord that He is in control and you have to trust the doctors when they give you advice.  It really is a step of faith everyday because you can’t see into your womb, you don’t know what is happening inside.  God only knows – literally!

I have to have faith that E will be all right and likewise he has to have faith and trust that I’ll take care of him when he’s born!  [And we both have to have faith that God will take care of us!]

Just as a quick aside, I think birth is rather like death.  The baby in the womb cannot comprehend what life is like on the outside.  He cannot comprehend what a rose smells like, what fresh buttered popcorn tastes like and what a field full of flowers looks like.  We can describe it to him, but until he is here, he will never understand.  To him, his understanding of the world is just the water and the placenta.  Likewise, the Lord can describe heaven to us in His word, but until the time comes and when we are finally there – only then will we be able to truly grasp hold of what it is like.

When Baby E was born, he was born perfectly healthy and the next day when the hospital did an ultrasound on his kidneys they found they were only slightly swollen and were perfectly fine.  The pediatrician, Dr Terence Tan, said that his kidneys were completely normal (albeit still slightly swollen) and scheduled a six month ultrasound so that we will be able to “close this chapter” once and for all.

On the day Baby E and I were discharged, on the very cover of MIND YOUR BODY (the health supplement of The Straits Times, Singapore’s main broadsheet), was an article of fetal pyelectasis.  Seriously, God has a sense of humour.


So now that Baby E is six months, I will soon be bringing him for his ultrasound.  So far, he hasn’t had any unexplained fever (only once, but I’m not sure because it’s due to UTI) and It seems like a lifetime ago that we had this scare but I know for some expectant mothers the fear and stress is real and profound.  I guess there really is not advice that I can give but to say, I know what you are going through sister. 


How to Increase Your Milk Supply

When I first came home from the hospital with Baby E, my parents, who are avid believers in breastfeeding, said, “There’s no such thing as low milk supply.  Supply always meets demand.”  My very limited research at the time seemed to suggest that as well.

I believed them.  But it came to a point when it really did seem as though my supply was lower than demand and I couldn’t keep up.  As I had shared in my earlier post on exclusive pumping, I cut out the middle of the night feeds – giving him expressed breast milk instead of direct latching.  Which caused two problems that lactation consultants warned would happened: 1) Nipple confusion 2) A drop in milk supply due to lack of stimulation.

But seriously, I just had a major abdominal operation and I had to wake up a few times a night to feed the little bugger?  Yes.  Who said motherhood was easy?

At the first month check-up, Baby E was at 3% on the growth chart.  It was highly embarrassing.  I dubbed him my little refugee.  Then after I started my crazy rigorous regiment he was more than 50% on the growth chart!  Incidentally, the same nurse weighed him and she was so surprised that he went from 95% breastfed to 100% breastfed AND gained so much weight!

I mentioned briefly in my previous post on exclusive pumping how I increased my milk supply.  Seriously, I am not an expert.  But I did a lot of research, spoke to a lot of people and made myself a guinea pig and trust me, my supply increased.  But this is really not for the faint-hearted and you really must believe in the benefits and goodness of breastmilk to want to do this.

I was first able to pump only about 50 ml per breast but after I made it my mission to increase my supply, I was able to do about 100 – 150 per breast.  When I woke up in the morning, I could get up to 250 ml on one side and about 150 ml on the other.   I have since decided to wean slowly and have voluntarily cut my supply dramatically. 

2013-11-14 18.19.05

So here it is… How to Increase Your Milk Supply:

1) Feed on demand all the time, every time.  I failed at this because I was just too exhausted mentally and physically.  But if you can, don’t express or cut out a feed and replace it with formula.  Feed him yourself through the night.  Demand will stimulate supply.

2) Ask your doctor for a prescription of domperidone or buy fenugreek from the pharmacy.  It has proven to work for countless women.

Domperidone is not actually a medication for lactation, it is used for gut problems, but its indirect side effect is that it stimulates lactation.  Ironically, when I went to the GP for food poisoning he prescribed domperidone and I told him that I had way too many packets at home and  I was trying to reduce my supply and so rejected domperidone for its original purpose.

3) Breast massages and hot compresses before feeding / pumping – so important to stimulate milk supply

4) Pump after each feed until the milk stops flowing.  But don’t pump more than 20-30 minutes because it will damage your nipples and breast.

5) If you are exclusively pumping, you MUST MUST MUST pump every two to three hours.  If you are out in the shopping centre, you should still bring your pump with you.  I have found out that so many friends pump all over the place (at shopping centres, hotels, convention centers, offices, toilets, swimming pools etc…)  just like me! 🙂

6) Easy to say,  but nap when your newborn baby naps.  A good rest also stimulates supply.

Lactation Food — Fact or Fiction??:
Honestly, I have heard from so many people that the traditional Chinese confinement food of papaya soup is good for stimulating supply.  I think this is quite unsubstantiated and doesn’t make much sense to me.  I have also heard that oatmeal and leafy greens stimulate supply too.  I think these are just stories that people tell nursing mothers when they want them to eat healthily.   There’s also lactation cookies and tea in the market for nursing mothers… REALLY?  I don’t believe it.

I am curious if anyone really ate all these items and if they really stimulated their supply.  Please do let me know if it did!