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THE NEW AGE PARENTS & NEW AGE PREGNANCY PRESENT w w w. t h e n e w a g e p a r e n t s . c o m |

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Caring for your Pregnancy and Baby

HAPPY PREGGY ME!

9 happy-inducing ways to lift your mood during pregnancy

Common Newborn Skin Issues and Care Routine BABY STEPS TOWARDS BABY TALK HAVE A STRESSED BABY?

Find out how being in the water can help them relax

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TOC

CONTENTS 22 COVERPAGE CONTEST

MY BABY 24 If babies could talk 26 Common Newborn Skin Issues and Care Routine 32 Can Babies Get Cavities? 34 My Water Baby 36 Let’s Stroll 38 Going Out With Your Baby: 11 Tips For Mummies

PREGNANCY 04 Happy Preggy Me! 06 Can I Visit The Dentist When I Am Pregnant? 08 The Road To Recovery

BREASTFEEDING 14 Breast Is Best 16 Nursing On-The-Go 18 Pumping At Work

MY TODDLER 42 Why Do They Do That? Understanding Your Toddler Better 46 Another Story Please! 48 Let’s Be Kind

PARENTING 50 Mummy Don’t’ Go! 52 Om To This: 7 Parenting Mantras To Keep You Going

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EDITOR’S NOTE

I WASN’T EXPECTING THAT What is it like to be expecting? One thing new parents can expect is change - lots of it! Not just physical changes, but also the nitty-gritty and major changes in your life; from your everyday routine to your short and long term family plans. We covered bodily changes you might face after giving birth (The Road to Recovery) and show you ways how you can remain happy and positive during your pregnancy (Happy Preggy Me!). Learn why breastmilk is best (Breast is best) and discover handy tricks when you take that first trip out with your baby (Nursing-on-the-go/Going Out With Your Baby). Watch your little one closely after they hit the one year mark because they grow real fast. Get a headstart in handling your toddler’s tantrums (Why Do They Do That? Understanding Your Toddler Better) and if you’re planning to send them to school, prep yourself to cope with possible separation anxiety (Mummy Don’t Go!). When the going gets tough, take a deep breath and recite these parenting mantras (Om To This: 7 Parenting Mantras To Keep You Going). Priorities will shift, expectaions may rise. It will take you a while to adapt to these changes but at the end of the day, one thing remains – your love for your baby and your family. P.S. We would love to have you in our online community! Learn and grow with other parents in our support groups here: Breastfeeding www.facebook.com/groups/breastfeedingwithlove Babies born in 2016 www.facebook.com/groups/2016sgbabies Parenting www.facebook.com/groups/newagemummiesdaddiessg My best,

Have parenting stories, tips or feedback? We love to hear from you! Drop us an email at mailbox@thenewageparents.com www.facebook.com/newagepregnancy www.facebook.com/newageparents www.instagram.com/newagepregnancy www.instagram.com/thenewageparents

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PREGNANCY

HAPPY PREGGY ME!

Being pregnant is an extraordinary journey where emotions abound. There are happy days, feeling the kicks and waiting in earnest anticipation for the big day. Then there are days when you just feel tired and slow. Som Yew Ya lists down nine happy-inducing ways to lift your mood during pregnancy. 1. GO OUTSIDE

Go for a stroll at the nearby park and be in touch with nature. Being outdoors keeps the mind in natural 4

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environments, and makes you happier. Several studies by John Zelenski and Elizabeth Nisbet suggest that being connected to nature W I T H

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has a distinct happiness benefit. The studies also showed a strong correlation between being in touch with nature and positive mental health.

2. WORK OUT

Exercise improves muscle and stamina. The brain releases endorphins and protein; making you feel less stressful and more at ease. On days when you exercise, the mood improves significantly and can last even on non-exercise days for some


people. The key is not to over exert yourself, focus on the regularity of exercise. Low impact exercises such as swimming and walking can keep you moving without putting too much stress on your body. This helps to keep excess weight gain at bay, improve sleep quality and circulation to your lower limbs.

perspective.

3. GET YOUR BEAUTY REST

6. FACE THE FEAR

Pregnancy makes your body tired. Sleep is a reparative process and restores the body for another day. A research done by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center found that poor sleep quality and quantity during pregnancy can disrupt normal immune processes and lead to lower birth weights and other complications. So sleep when you can, and enjoy it before your baby comes. Getting a good night’s rest is not only good for your health, but for your baby’s health as well.

4. MANAGE YOUR EXPECTATIONS

Manage expectations of yourself as to what to accept and what you are able to do. Certain tasks cannot be done as easily as before and you may not be able to complete as much things as before. Keep things in

5. A NEW YOU

Swollen limbs, chubby face, a booming waistline. Embrace this new you! You don’t have to trudge around in loose clothes or disguise your bump. There are plenty of flattering maternity clothes in the market to complement your bump. You can be pregnant and still look good.

Some women fear childbirth even though they have never gone through it, due to negative stories they have heard. Every birth is different. There is no way to predict what each birth experience is like. It may help to talk to people with positive childbirth experiences. It may be worthwhile to put down a birth plan so that you have a basic idea of what to do should something happen.

7. TAKE THINGS WITH A PINCH OF SALT There will be unsolicited advice and frequent questions from family, friends or even strangers. People will want to comment on what you should eat or do. Some advice is well-rooted, but don’t get too affected or pressured by others’ expectations. Talk with your spouse and share your thoughts. At the end of the day, you know what is best for baby and yourself. Reading up and making informed choices will serve to build your confidence as a parent.

8. SPICE THINGS UP Let the romance continue even with your bump. Dress up. Have a date night. Or take a weekend getaway. This will give you and your partner that undivided attention, a place to unwind, and re-ignite your love for each other.

9. PAMPER YOURSELF

What did you enjoy doing before you were pregnant? Was there something you have been wanting to do? Do something you like or have a pamper session. Go for a mani-pedi, a foot massage, a babymoon trip or catch up with your girlfriends over high tea. The list is endless!


PREGNANCY

Is it Safe To Visit the Dentist During Pregnancy?

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Bleeding gums? Wait after you have given birth to make an appointment. Toothache? Grit your teeth and bear with the pain. A common misconception most mothers have is they can’t visit the dentist during their pregnancy. The truth is, you can visit the dentist during any time of your pregnancy, in fact you should not miss your dental check-up just because you are pregnant. Just as your pregnancy is divided into three distinct trimesters, dental visits can also be categorised in the same manner.

Expert: Dr Chin Shou King, Director & Dental Surgeon, T32 Dental Centre

Practice Address: One Orchard Boulevard 17th Floor Camden Medical Centre Singapore 248649 Tel: (65) 6733 1388 Email: t32@t32dental.com Emergency Dental Services: (65) 6398 5578 www.t32dental.com

First Trimester

The first trimester is considered very delicate and it is when the baby’s organs are being formed. All elective and non-urgent dental treatment should be avoided within this time. However, emergency dental visits for swellings, broken fillings and toothaches, can be made anytime within the nine months period. It is important that the mum-to-be is comfortable and calm.

Second Trimester

The second trimester is when all mothers to be should have at least one check-up. Any necessary and non-invasive dental treatment can be carried out within this time. Excessively bleeding gums and sometimes swellings due to hormonal changes are not uncommon during pregnancy and a check-up and simple cleaning can actually lessen the symptoms experienced.

Third Trimester

Hopefully, all potential problems have been rectified by the third trimester. At this time, pregnant women should have as little stress as possible. It would be best to fix any dental issues during the second trimester.

Gum Disease and Premature babies

A link has been established between periodontitis (gum disease) and premature babies. Studies have shown that women with untreated gum disease are seven times more likely to have a baby which is born prematurely and born too small. It appears that periodontitis triggers the release of fluids that induce labour. It is normal and alright to visit your dentist while pregnant. It is also recommended that all expectant mothers have at least one check-up during the second trimester.

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PREGNANCY

The Road To Recovery Depending on the delivery and personal health, postpartum recovery will vary and take about six to eight weeks. Mei Yee lists down possible changes to expect after delivery. CONTRACTION OF UTERUS

Contractions, also known as after pains, occurs when the uterus contract back to pre-pregnancy size. CARE Inform your doctor of the pains. They may prescribe pain relief medication. Breast8

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feeding also helps with the contraction.

VAGINAL BLEEDING

There may be vaginal bleeding and discharge that come and go. It can be more intensive for the first two to four weeks. W I T H

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CARE Use sanitary pads for the bleeding instead of tampons as the blood flow is heavy. Tampons may increase the risk of infection when the blood flow is heavy.

VAGINAL SORENESS Mothers who had a perineal tear or episiotomy (cut), vaginal pain, soreness and numbness may be experienced. CARE Use a cool compress to relieve the pain and use


warm water for cleaning the area instead of rubbing with toilet paper. Try to lie down or sleep on the side rather than the back to relieve pressure. Let your doctor know at the first check-up after birth. Also try sitting on a padded pillow or ring to relieve the pain.

PAIN FROM C-SECTION

You may experience pain in the lower abdomen and pain medication may be required for the first two weeks. A catheter (a small tube that goes up into your bladder) may be fitted for up to 24 hours and you may also be prescribed with daily injections to prevent blood clots. CARE The incision wound

requires time to heal and apart from pain medication, avoid strenuous exercise. Holding a pillow over your incision can also support your belly and decrease your pain when you take deep breaths. Pat dry on the incision after shower.

HEMORRHOIDS (PILES)

Hemorrhoids are due to stretched or swollen veins at the anus or lower rectum from pregnancy and childbirth. You may experience extreme itching around the anus or painful bowel movement.

CARE Use a cool compress to relieve the pain and some doctors may recommend infra-red light relief or prescribe ointment to sooth the piles. Take plenty of fluids and high-fibre foods. Also ask for stool softener so that the passing of motion will not aggravate the wound.

SORE MUSCLES

Soreness can be felt in the arms, neck or jaw for the first few days after childbirth.

CARE Wear supportive nursing bra and start breastfeeding or expressing milk after birth as the first few days are critical for establishing a good breastfeeding routine.

URINARY INCONTINENCE

You may leak urine when you cough or have any sudden movements due to the stretching and damage of the connective tissues and muscles at the bladder or urethra. CARE Engage in pelvic floor

CARE Ask for help with

household chores and use a well-supported chair and breast support pillow when breastfeeding.

BREAST ENGORGEMENT

Breast engorgement is common after delivery when the breasts begin to be filled with milk.

exercise.

CONSTIPATION

It is best to ask for stool softener from your doctor. Passing hard stools will aggravate the wound and piles. CARE Ease constipation by ensuring adequate intake of fluids and high-fibre foods.

HAIR LOSS

Hair loss is temporarily put on hold during pregnancy. After pregnancy, hair loss will seem more excessive. CARE Don’t fret over the hair loss in the first six months after birth. This is perfectly normal due to a dip in your estrogen levels. Your hair should be back to normal by your baby’s first birthday.


PREGNANCY AVOID THESE AFTER CHILDBIRTH

 Intensive exercises such as cycling, weight lifting and aerobic exercise should be avoided for the first six weeks.  Sex is not advised when your vagina is healing and may cause further tear to the delicate skin.  Travel can be exhausting and a newborn’s immune system has also not fully developed. Avoid traveling for the first two months after birth.  Long haul flights increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis, especially for pregnant women or women who have given birth within six weeks.  Avoid using tampons or rinsing your vagina with fluids as these are risks for infection.

FOR A FASTER RECOVERY

 Engage in postnatal exercise class that help tone the pelvic muscles and help to increase your fitness.  Do Kegel exercise (also known as pelvic floor muscle training) at home by tightening the pelvic muscles for five seconds, four to five times in a row. Contract for ten seconds and relax for a further ten seconds. Aim for three sets of ten repetitions daily. 10

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 Rest and ask for help. It is impossible to do it all on your own when you have just given birth. Your spouse is your closest source of support, share with him your challenges and take them on as a couple.  Take plenty of fluids and high-fibre foods.

 Have a balanced and nutritious diet to replenish the depleted nutrients. Even though all mothers undergo a recovery process after childbirth, it does not mean that you are in anyway inadequate if you experience problems during recovery.

Boost up with Huiji Waist Tonic, $49.80 Have backaches and feeling tired all the time? Made of six premium natural herbs Cordyceps, Ginseng, Du Zhong, Dang Gui, Shou Wu and Da Zao, Huiji Waist Tonic helps to nourish your energy and promote blood circulation. With no alcohol content and no added sugar, it is suitable for mothers to take during their confinement, one week after birth. Available at Bee’s Brand, Cold Storage, FairPrice, FairPrice Finest, FairPrice Xtra, Giant, OG, Prime, Sheng Siong, Unity, ZTP, pharmacies and medical halls.

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KEE SONG SPECIAL

Is the chicken we eat healthy for our consumption? Antibiotics have been widely used by farmers on broiler chickens to help them grow bigger and ‘healthier’, and to prevent them from developing contagious diseases such as bird flu and E. Coli. But when we consume such meat, traces of the antibiotics left in the broiler chicken enter our body. Eating such meat on a regular basis will slowly cause our body to become immune to the antibiotics that was injected into these chickens.

Kee Song Brothers Lacto Chickens In 2007, Kee Song brought an advanced lactobacillus farming technology and introduced a new way of producing healthier chickens, Kee Song Lacto Chickens (also known as Sakura Chick12

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ens at NTUC). Kee Song Brothers also tied up with Otemchi Biotechnologies, a local firm that specialises in Lactobacillus Technology to culture their own lactobacillus feed technology. The chickens reared in Kee Song farms are fed with lactobacillus together with their feeds and are not injected with antibiotics or artificial growth hormones. These chickens were found to have lower saturated fats and lower cholesterol than normal broiler chickens.

Lactobacillus

(also known as probiotic) is a good and friendly bacteria that helps to combat harmful bacteria in a natural way. It can be found in fermented foods such as yogurt and kimchi. Lactobacillus is required in our body to give us a healthy gut.

With this new breeding technology from Kee Song Brothers, you and your family can safely consume chicken without the fear of ingesting unwanted chemicals. For more information, go to www.keesong.com Visit their online store: online.keesong.com W I T H

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BREASTFEEDING

Breast is best

No milk is wasted

There is no need to worry about preparing the bottle in public or wasting away a bottle of pre-prepared milk that’s gone sour. Each time when our babies are crying for milk, it’s ready for consumption.

Travel Light

Because you don’t have to bring any bottles, milk supplies - packing and travelling is made simpler and lighter.

Hassle-free

Why should mummies breastfeed their babies? Noreen Yek Boussetta highlights eight benefits.

likely to develop osteoporosis and have a lower risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancer.

Better immunity for babies

In Singapore, an average yearly milk expense per child varies from $500 to $800. You not only will save on formula milk, but also on the milk bottles and accessories.

Breastmilk is designed to feed, nourish and protect the baby. It contains antibodies, vitamins and nutrients to prevent early childhood infections and illness. Reports have also shown that breastfed babies resist diseases like cancer and diabetes better later on.

Mothers are less likely to develop illnesses

Research has proven that breastfeeding mothers are less 14

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Economical

Convenient and Fuss-free

Most babies get up at night. This is especially frequent among newborns. With breastfeeding, it’s convenient to feed at night, especially if you co-sleep with your baby. There’s no hassle of leaving the bedroom to prepare the bottle in the wee hours. W I T H

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Bottle-fed babies are prone to allergies. Some may have reactions to formula milk and new mothers might have to do test-and-trial methods on the different types of formula brands before finding the most suitable one for their bub. On the other hand, breastfeeding mothers and their babies don’t have to go through this hassle as majority of babies do not reject their mothers’ milk.

Deeper Bonds

Research has found that babies who are breastfed are closer to their mothers and have a special bonding with them. In an American study, scientists have found that breastfeeding mothers have a stronger sense of confidence and connection with their babies while nursing them, as compared to carrying them in her womb.


Breastfeeding WITH LOVE

An e-guide for Parents

New to breastfeeding? We’ve got you covered. From the beginning till the end, this e-guide will help you be more confident as you embark on your breastfeeding journey!

SNEAK PEEK  Breast is Best: Learn why breastfeeding is best for you and your baby Tips and Tricks: Discover how you can prepare yourself for the challenges ahead  Back to Work: Be empowered to pump at work and continue to breastfeed your baby  “I had mastitis and pumped out ‘strawberry’ milk!” Get inspired by our breastfeeding success stories from fellow nursing mamas

Breastfeeding WITH LOVE

A comprehensive e-guide for mothers

Ready, Latch, Go

Preparing for your breastfeeding journey

Breastfeeding in Public How a first time mama did it

Pumping at Work MYTHS AND MISCONCEPTIONS

Q+A

WITH OUR EXPERTS

B R E A S T F E E D I N G

Q+A with our experts

www.t he ne wag epa r en ts . co m

Scan the QR code to download www.thenewageparents.com/ breastfeeding-e-guide-for-mothers/

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BREASTFEEDING

Nursing on-the-go For the out-and-about mummies, here are five quick nursing tips. By Noreen Yek Boussetta

Kipling’s new diaper bag, Camama in Monkey Friends Print, $329

TIP #1 Bag it

Kipling’s Baby Monkey Collection comprises of practical yet stylish bags for mothers. Choose any bag from the Baby Monkey Collection and have your baby’s name and birthdate embroidered on the bag to make it your own! Available in stores at 313@Somerset, Bugis Junction, ION Orchard and VivoCity. *Personalised embroidery service is only available at Bugis Junction boutique. Baby Monkey bags purchased at other boutiques will require one to two weeks’ waiting time for embroidery services.

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Going out with babies means more things to bring! Go for totes and diaper bags and be prepared to leave home at least with two bags or put all your items in a big diaper bag. P A R E N T I N G

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Trick: The “baby” bag or diaper bag has to be large to accommodate all the necessary baby items such as diapers, bottles, accessories and extra clothing. Go for a bag that has compartments for easy storage. Sort your small items in transparent zip-lock plastic bags. This way, it is easier to search for them when the need arises.

TIP #2

Get covered

Invest in a nursing wrap, cotton poncho or cover. They are designed to help mothers feed their babies ones comfortably, with some privacy and security. These will come in handy when you need to nurse discreetly in public. Trick: Choose an elegant-looking nursing cover in your favourite color and design. Pick one that is made of soft fabric material, as it is more comfortable and promotes air flow.

TIP #3

Pump it

Breast pumps are used to express your milk and especially useful when you can’t be around to nurse your baby the whole day. Electric or manual? Which pump should you get? Trick: Electric pumps can be a little costly and heavier to carry around, but effective for babies who need frequent feedings. Breastmilk can be

expressed quickly and safely with an electrical pump. The manual one is cheaper, lighter in weight and can be slipped into the diaper bag easily. Since it is hand-operated, there’s no need to worry about the pump ‘dying’ on you.

TIP #4

Nursing Pillow

feeds. Do check the pillow’s washing instructions. Some nursing pillows can only be hand-washed, while others are machine-washable or come with a removable cover.

TIP #5 Invest in a good bottle warmer

Breastfeeding mums tend to hunch when they breastfeed their babies. Imagine if your baby demands to be fed six to seven times per day, it can really take a toll on your posture. A nursing pillow helps to lessen the stress on your shoulders and get your baby in the right position for the perfect latch-on.

Warming bottles can be a difficult task, especially when you are constantly on the move. Mothers may approach the nearest restaurant to heat up the baby bottles in their microwaves. However, there have been studies that show microwave heating of milk and food is harmful for babies. Getting a bottle warmer might be a better solution.

Trick: Look out for various and special features that come together with the nursing pillow. Some have pockets and inserts where you can store baby’s toys or accessories. Others may come with a Velcro strap that will help your baby stay put while he or she

Trick: There are various types of models in the market. Make sure to choose a bottle warmer that can heat up both baby bottles and jars in minutes. Consider a portable one which can be activated with a pushon button; it saves time, easy to use and practical.

Tollyjoy Manual Breast Pump Set, $39.90 Convenient and simple, this pump is easy to use for mums to manually pump breast milk directly into their milk bottle. Also comes with a bottle cover set and teat. Available at leading departmental stores, supermarkets, hypermarkets and baby specialty stores.


BREASTFEEDING Most working mothers are usually too shy to seek help from their employers, out of fear of being judged as too ‘demanding’ or ‘unprofessional’. Michelle Ang debunks some common myths of breastfeeding at work.

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“Can’t mothers express their milk before and after work? Why should my colleague’s or employee’s breastfeeding routine matter to me?”

A mother needs to express milk about 2 to 3 times a day in order to sustain her milk supply for her baby. Not expressing breastmilk regularly may also cause engorgement, 18

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M I S C O N C E P T I O N S

which can be very uncomfortable and painful. Engorgement can lead to a condition called Mastitis, which is an infection of the breast tissue and can cause fever and chills. For optimum nutrition, babies should be breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months, recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO). As maternity leave in Singapore is only four months, many mothers need to continue breastfeeding after W I T H

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going back to work. The WHO also recommends mothers to continue to breastfeed for up to 2 years and beyond, while introducing solid foods.

“Breastfeeding is a mother’s job. It doesn’t concern the workplace.” In a survey about breastfeeding at the workplace conducted by NTUC U Family, 51% of mothers stopped providing


breastmilk to their child because of workplace challenges such as the lack of time, flexibility, lack of space, nature of work and lack of support. 65% claimed they did not have exclusive nursing space in their office. This shows that working breastfeeding mothers feel unsupported at their workplace and employers’ support is crucial in cultivating an encouraging and family-friendly culture at work.

“Wouldn’t breastfeeding at work affect productivity?”

Breastmilk helps in a baby’s immunity. Studies in the USA have shown that breastfed babies had statistically fewer episodes of illness as compared to formula-fed infants. This means reduced absenteeism in the work place. With less absenteeism, work will not be disrupted. Breastfeeding mothers are also more likely to return to work and do so earlier if employers extend support to continue breastfeeding. This saves employers the cost of replacing and training new workers. Mothers usually take about 20 to 30 minutes to express milk. Phua Pek Lin, a working mum clarifies,

“Yes, we can multi-task while expressing. We can be replying emails or planning for some important presentations.” Joyce Yap, another working mum adds, “I can still answer calls, do tele-conferencing, I can still work on my laptop. So expressing milk doesn’t really affect my work life.”

“How can this benefit my team if there is only a small percentage of females and mothers?”

It is shown that employees are more loyal to companies with family-friendly policies. This leads to easier employee recruitment, better public image and higher shareholder value. Bosses who support their workers to continue to breastfeed find that the savings in reduced absenteeism and recruitment costs far outweigh that of providing breaks and facilities for breastfeeding.

“Okay, I’m in the breastfeeding bandwagon. But I don’t have the resources and skills to educate my people.”

To prepare workplaces to be baby friendly, NTUC U Family and The Association

for Breastfeeding Advocacy Singapore (ABAS) have jointly developed a Workplace Breastfeeding Mentor Programme to provide information and support to working mums who are new to breastfeeding. Participants will learn the basics of breastfeeding, how to make the transition to expressing milk at work after their maternity leave, and how to support other breastfeeding colleagues.

“As a mum, I think this is a great idea! But how can I inform and convince my employer about this?”

Interested mothers can seek their employers support to let them attend the course. You can forward this information to your HR department or inform your supervisor. You can also highlight the benefits of breastfeeding and share


BREASTFEEDING why you think why your supervisor’s support is invaluable. Sometimes, as the only nursing mother in the office, you may feel alone or shy to ask for space and time to express milk at work. It’s not a common topic or a conversation starter where you can openly discuss at the office, unless your workplace consists of mostly women and mothers. But you don’t and shouldn’t have to feel that way. Breastfeeding at the workplace is feasible and possible when employers and employees communicate honestly and work together towards a common goal.

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Workplace Breastfeeding Mentor Programme

Held in NTUC Centre at One Marina Boulevard, participants from the programme would be trained by accredited trainers from The Association for Breastfeeding Advocacy Singapore. The course is suitable for expectant mums who are keen to continue breastfeeding at work after their maternity leave, mums who are currently breastfeeding or have breastfeeding experience and would like to support other colleagues in their breastfeeding journey. To find out more about the Workplace Breastfeeding

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Mentor Programme, contact U Family at ufamily@ntuc. org.sg An NTUC initiative, U Family is the voice for working families. They advocate the building of strong and happy families by championing work-life harmony. Join U Family at www.ufamily. org.sg Project Liquid Gold is an initiative by U Family targeted to raise awareness of the importance of breastfeeding to advocate for more support for new mothers who are returning to work after their maternity leave. For more information, go to www.ufamily.org.sg


WORKING MUMS CAN BREASTFEED Are you a mum who would love to see more baby-friendly workplaces? Tell us how we can help you or join us as a Workplace Breastfeeding Mentor today! Drop us an email at ufamily@ntuc.org.sg and we will be in touch with you. For more details on Project Liquid Gold, please visit www.ufamily.org.sg/plg


Parenting With Love 2016 Coverpage Contest Congratulations to Sally Lam and her baby girl, Rianne Choo Zhi Wei!

PRIZES PROUDLY SPONSORED BY

Besides being featured on our coverpage, Sally won a professional make-over worth $180, a photoshoot by Yew Kwang Photography worth $168 and a Combi hamper worth $100.

To take part in our upcoming coverpage contest, go to www.thenewageparents.com/ contests/coverpage-contest/ 22

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MY BABY

IF BABIES COULD TALK

If our babies could talk and share their thoughts, what would they say to us? By Esther Lim, Founder of LEAP SchoolHouse & Curriculum Director of LEAP EDUCATION GROUP Dear Mummy, Ever since I was a part of you, I knew you had always been worried and careful. You made sure that I 24

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received all the nutrients I would need so that I could grow well. You always went the extra mile for me, so that I am able to have an edge against the world, even before I have even seen it through my own little eyes. You shared with me excerpts of music played by people like Chopin, Beethoven and someone called Bach? While I don’t know what it does to me but whenever I hear these W I T H

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similar tune and rhythm, I always feel close to you and calmer. It’s almost like how I close I feel to you when you read to me every night before you go to bed. Nearer to my birthday, I grew stronger and couldn’t wait to see how you and daddy look like. With my first cry and first blink, I saw tears on your face and a smile. I was just excited to be out in this world! Day by day, I grew quicker than I did in your


tummy. By the time I was about 6 months old, I was able to roll over, hold my neck up and sit up straight (with some support). It was fun being able to see the world in more than one way. By the time I was ready to blow my first candle (which I couldn’t somehow), I was a great crawler and trying my first few steps. I especially love it when daddy does stretching exercises and

games that require me to push with my legs. Mummy, till today, it’s amazing to know how my little arms and legs have grown every time I was measured at the doctor’s. But I love it best when we could do things that stimulate my senses (although you may have hated it). Things like playing with paint, gooey materials, tasting different food textures and flavours with my tongue, touching sand, fiddling with water; these were things I really looked forward to. Don’t panic when I place things in my mouth, because that’s how I tend to explore at 1 and a half years old. Somehow, as I went around exploring with my senses, you were ‘telling’ me things. Initially, I didn’t know what they were and they were merely sounds to me. But you kept on repeating these things. Soon, sounds became words, words became phrases and phrases turned to sentences. I realised later on that you were telling me the names of the things that I was touching. By 2 years old, I was able to communicate with you and daddy. We had so much fun playing “Guess the word”, “Animal sounds” and of course, my P A R E N T I N G

favourite “Let’s find the letter”. Daddy also got me to start playing games that required me to use my hands, like picking things with my thumb and pointer finger instead of grabbing with all five fingers. I enjoy kneading playdough with you too Mummy. Although I am now 3, there are still some things I am not so good at. Some of my preschool mates can identify numbers and letters but sometimes, these are still a blur to me. I enjoy music and singing a lot, because it helps me to remember as well. My teachers are all very helpful. Be patient with me mummy and daddy. In time, I will learn. My teachers did say I was holding the pencil in the right way. I do believe I should be able to draw you a picture very soon! Thank you for all the playtimes. It made me ready for my learning in school. Although I enjoy attending school, my best times are still with you and daddy, exploring new things and enjoy what you adults call “bonding time”. I cannot wait for my next bonding time with you both! Love always, Your little one W I T H

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Common Newborn SKIN ISSUES and Care Routine Expert: Dr Ong Eng Keow, Paediatrician, Mount Alvernia Hospital Practice Address: Mount Alvernia Hospital 820 Thomson Road Medical Centre D #08-56/57 Singapore 574623

Issue 1: Cradle Cap

Causes: Cradle cap is a dry, flaky, yellowish ‘dandruff-looking’, scaly patches over the scalp and sometimes seen over the eyebrows of a baby. It usually starts after a month old and may lasts for a few weeks or months. It is not itchy and does not disturb the baby. Doctors call this Infantile Seborrhoeic Dermatitis. How to care: Applying some olive oil or baby oil onto the affected areas for about 10 to 20 minutes (depending on how thick the accumulation is) helps in softening the plaques. After which gentle shampooing and massaging the plaques will loosen it and eventually remove the plaques. It is important not to use too

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MY BABY much force as this might leave to abrasions. The other thing to note is that the plaques may recur again but will eventually disappear. When to seek medical attention: However, if the rashes appear in other places especially over the joints, a consultation with a doctor is required. This may be eczema instead.

Issue 2: “Pimples” or bumps on baby skin

Causes: This ‘pimply’ rash usually starts on the cheeks and face of most newborns when they are about 2 to 3 weeks old. It may extend to the forehead, scalp and even around the ears. It is not itchy and does not disturb the baby. It may worsen when the baby is hot and fussy or when the skin is irritated by saliva, spit milk or even clothes rubbing over it. There is no known cause for the ‘pimples’. Some believe it is due to hormonal changes

just prior to delivery. Whatever it is, it is self-limiting and it will eventually completely resolve How to care: Do not apply any creams or use any acne wash over the skin. Just simply wash your baby’s face with cool water will reduce the rashes. In fact, you might notice that the rashes improve when the baby is in a cool environment or after a bath and worsens when he is warm. When to seek medical attention: If there are blisters over the rashes and you can see pus collection in the blisters, you must bring the baby to seek medical consultation.

Issue 3: Vernix

Causes: All babies have this whitish, creamy, waxy material covering the baby’s skin immediately after birth. The full name is vernix caseosa. It starts to be formed when the baby is

in the last trimester before the baby is born. This waxy material is thought to be protective to the baby’s skin after birth. It helps in neonatal adaption to the hostile environment. It prevents skin water loss, keeps the baby warm and even helps in protection against skin infections. How to care: Most would allow the vernix to be removed gradually eventually with time. There is no immediate necessity to remove it unless it is very messy with blood stains, etc. In order to remove it, you will have to apply some baby oil over the area and gently use cotton wool to clean it off. When to seek medical attention: No real reason that one will need to seek medical attention unless there are some other rashes appearing with the vernix.

Issue 4: Cord care

Condition: Yellow pus-like discharge around cord How to care: The umbilical cord is the baby’s lifeline when he is in the womb. Once the baby is born, the cord is cut and clamped. From a translucent whitish cord, it will gradually swivel and dry, turning hard and black, finally falling off by about 2 to 3 weeks. When the cord is drying and hardening, the base will start 28

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to get loose and there might be some yellowish or bloody discharge from the base of the stump. This is normal and it is important to clean the base with alcohol swabs or boiled clean water on a cotton wool. When to seek medical attention: If the cord stump and surrounding skin turns red, swollen and even painful, there may be an infection. As there has been a connection from the blood vessels in the umbilical cord into the baby, it is very important to bring your baby to seek medical attention as any infection will enter the baby directly. It is also important to bring your doctor to see a doctor if the umbilical cord does not fall off after 3 weeks and also if after the cord falls off, the remnant fleshy lump does not dry up completely by 3 weeks old.

Issue 5: Baby rash

Causes: There is a common skin rash in many newborns that will appear soon after birth. It is called Erythema Toxicum Neonatorum or you will hear some doctors calling it ‘ET’ rashes. It appears as red patches of various shapes and sizes with tiny white or yellow heads in the centre. It is harmless and resolve within 1 to 2 weeks. The area of the rash moves from place to place till it eventually completely resolves. No one actually know

the cause of the rashes but some think it is due to the skin reacting to a new environment; from an environment where it is covered with water to one where it is dry. How to care: There is no need to apply anything on to the skin. It is best left alone and keep the baby cool. When to seek medical attention: If the rashes have pus-filled blisters, there might be a skin infection and medical attention is needed. The rashes do not usually affect the palms and soles of the feet. It is best to bring attention to see a doctor if you see this.

Issue 6: Jaundice (yellowness in skin and around eyes)

Causes: Jaundice is the yellow discoloration of the skin and eye whites. The yellow color is due to a pigment in the blood called bilirubin. It is caused by the break down of red blood cells in the body. Jaundice in a baby usually start 48 hours after birth, stabilizes when one week old and clears by the second to third week. Most babies, 70 to 80% have some jaundice after birth. How to care: Close monitoring of your baby is important if your baby has jaundice. If the jaundice is mild, it will stabilize and eventually completely P A R E N T I N G

clear. If jaundice is high, putting baby under special photo lights will help bring down the jaundice. When to seek medical attention: If your baby appears jaundice and is not feeding well or appears very lethargic, you must bring you baby to medical attention immediately. Following up on the jaundice in the first week to 2 weeks of life is the most important part in looking after your baby.

Issue 7: Eczema (skin allergies)

Causes: Eczema is a fairly common skin condition that affect babies from as young as one month old. It is inherited from parents who may other forms of allergies like sensitive nose, lungs or skin. How to care: As these children have a “bad skin barrier” it is important to moisturizer the baby again and again. Keep the baby skin from drying and any form of irritation will help. Sometimes there will be a need to apply a mild form of steroid cream to rescue the skin from getting worse for a short period. When to seek medical attention: For eczema, all children should be followed up and treatment tailored to the degree of the skin affected. W I T H

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TOLLYJOY SPECIAL

BOTTOMS UP Diaper changing will never be the same once your baby learns how to flip, roll or crawl. In the pre-potty training days, a good diaper not only makes your baby feel comfortable and happy, it will make your life easier too. We find out what makes Tollyjoy Diaper Pull Up Pants the perfect fit.

Right to the last drop

With an extra dry Acquisition Distribution Layer (ADL) at the top layer, this fast and powerful absorption will draw away any amount of urine quickly. For those heavy-flow nights, the special side 3D leakguards gives an added leakage control. 30

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SIZE SHEET M Size: 7 - 10 kg 24 pieces bag L Size: 9 - 13kg 22 pieces per bag XL Size: 13 - 17 kg 20 pieces per bag

her 10 month old son, Wang Zihua, 32, was relieved and happy to have leakage-free nights. “The diaper was absorbent and I liked how the inside material was soft and gentle to touch. My boy had no signs of diaper rash after wearing it for two weeks.”

As snug as a butt

You don’t have to worry about the diaper inhibiting your baby’s movements because the flexible and stretchy contoured waistband is designed to fit snugly on your baby’s waist, allowing them to move around freely.

Thin, light and breathable

The thin and breathable soft material allows air to ventilate through, so that your baby’s skin is able to ‘breathe’ at night. When is the right time for a nappy change? Just look out for the wetness indicator stripe. When the stripe turns from yellow to bluish-green, it means the diaper is wet and time for a new one! When she tried the diaper on

Charlene Go, 29, a mother of two, found the diaper to be absorbent and liked how it fitted her baby snuggly. “I used it overnight (12hrs) for my 1 yearold and it did not leak nor did it cause any rashes. The stretchable waistband and leg gathers fits him nicely, without leaving any red marks on his skin. The seam is easy to tear off, and the disposable tape at the back made it easy to roll and tape the soiled diaper for disposal.”

Tollyjoy Diaper Pull Up Pants is available in M, L and XL sizes. Retailing at $9.90 per pack for all sizes. Get them at retail stores Big Box Hypermart (Jurong East) and Mustafa Centre or online stores, Sosoon, Redmart & Qoo10.

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Can Babies Get Cavities?

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Children’s teeth can decay quite easily. It’s estimated that about 40% of preschoolers in Singapore have Early Childhood Caries. Tooth decay is caused by bacteria, and this bacteria is usually transmitted from mother to baby in the first days of life.


Expert: Dr Paul Wong, Dental Surgeon, T32 Dental Centre Practice Address: One Orchard Boulevard 17th Floor Camden Medical Centre Singapore 248649 Tel: (65) 6733 1388 Email: t32@t32dental.com Emergency Dental Services: (65) 6398 5578 www.t32dental.com

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

The most severe cases of decay in children are seen in those that go to sleep with a bottle, bathing their teeth in milk for long periods of time. While the calcium in milk helps to build strong teeth when ingested, the sugars in milk are food for the bacteria that live on the teeth, which then produce acid that eats away at the tooth surface. Tooth decay in children most commonly affects the back teeth, or molars. But decay brought on by prolonged bottle feeding will usually be seen on the upper front teeth as well.

Prevention measures

REMOVE THE BOTTLE Take the bottle away after the last feed before putting your baby to sleep. The same thing applies for feeding in the middle of the night. Don’t be

tempted to leave the bottle in bed with your baby, no matter how tired you are. If you are breastfeeding, the same applies; don’t let your baby or yourself fall asleep when feeding. Using a bottle of milk as a pacifier during the day will also lead to the same effect. It doesn’t matter whether it is breastmilk, cow’s milk or formula; the key is the amount of time the milk is in contact with your baby’s teeth. Fruit juice or any liquids with sugar in it is just as harmful. Water is the only liquid that doesn’t cause tooth decay. You can also start encouraging your child to drink from a cup when they turn one.

It doesn’t matter whether it is breastmilk, cow’s milk or formula; the key is the amount of time the milk is in contact with your baby’s teeth. If you have been putting baby to sleep with a milk bottle in his mouth, I would advise to stop using the bottle as a sleep aid. Start by watering the milk down gradually over the next few weeks, until you end up with just water in the bottle. You can also book an appointment for your child to see a dentist immediately to get their teeth checked for cavities. P A R E N T I N G

BRUSH EARLY Start brushing your baby’s teeth twice a day as soon as they appear. You can use a damp washcloth wrapped around your finger at first but as soon as the molars appear, switch to a baby-sized toothbrush with a rice-sized smear of fluoride toothpaste. When your child is old enough to spit, increase the toothpaste to a pea-sized amount. Children can start brushing their own teeth at about 5, but they need supervision till at least 7 years old, depending on individual child. MAINTAINING GOOD ORAL HYGIENE If bacteria is transmitted from a mother to her baby, does it mean the mother doesn’t have healthy teeth? Will her child inherit the same fate? This isn’t set in stone. You can reduce risk by maintaining good oral hygiene - brushing and flossing daily, seeing a dentist to get your teeth cleaned and have any cavities filled (this will reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth). The same goes for anyone else that cares for your child. This could be the father, grandparent or helper. If they are unable or unwilling to get their teeth treated, they should not share eating utensils with the child. W I T H

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My Water Baby Expert: Linda Tan Head Coach, Trainer & Therapist Inspire Mum & Baby www.inspiremumbaby.com

Every baby has the potential of being a water baby; comfortable in the pool without the use of floats or being confined to the shallows. 34

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The key is early introduction. This is the first step towards learning to swim. As your baby is exposed to the water, they discover the water environment and freedom of buoyancy. Activities in the water also help to develop W I T H

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their gross motor skills, coordination, balance and confidence.

Can my baby be submerged?

From birth, babies have a natural reflex called Diving Reflex (Gag Reflex) which allows them to be submerged without swallowing any water. When your baby is submerged underwater, their epiglottitis - which is the flap at


Don’t be in a hurry to see results immediately. Baby swimming is most effective when it is relaxing and fun for you and your baby. Focusing too much on the results might take the fun away.

TIP

the base of the tongue that also keeps food from going into the windpipe closes. Early introduction to the water allows your baby to use this reflex and

progress from involuntary muscle action of holding their breath underwater. Although there is a small percentage of babies that do not have this capability, and the Diving Reflex might disappear from 2 to 6 months, some babies maintain them till much older. This varies from baby to baby. Discuss with an experienced baby swimming instructor to know if your baby still has this reflex. Babies who are exposed to swimming and being submerged before 6 months have an early start in holding their breath. When they get older, they will slowly learn how to hold their breath and not depend on the reflex. The length of each submersion can gradually increase with more practice on their breath control. However, babies should not be submerged for too long. It’s highly encouraged that you practice this with a professional coach.

Benefit babies with low muscle tone There are various reasons

for babies to have low muscle tone (muscle tension): inactive use of their muscles, babies with Down Syndrome or Hypotonia (also known as Floppy Baby Syndrome). Baby swimming is very beneficial for babies with low muscle tone as the buoyancy of the water encourages them to move their bodies.

Have a stressed baby? Being in the water will help them to feel more relaxed. The involuntary muscle movements encourage them to use their muscles and the water “cushions” their body; creating a stronger resistance of movements which strengthens the muscles surrounding their joints and spine. Inspire Mum & Baby has helped and managed many cases of such babies and the results found werefaster than land-based therapies.

Inspire Mum & Baby offers pregnancy, baby and kids swimming classes. To find out more, go to www.inspiremumbaby.com.

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Let’s Stroll Whether you see it as a want or need, strollers can take the weight off your shoulders – literally. It’s one of the first few shopping items to buy for first-time parents. How can you ensure that you pick the right stroller for yourself and your baby?

What is my lifestyle?

It’s crucial to find a stroller suited to your lifestyle. Think about your daily routine. Are you and your spouse working? If you are a stay-at-homemum, do you go out a lot with your baby alone? How often

Mega-smooth ride

(pictured)

Featuring a longer and wider seat, this heavy-duty stroller is built to last. COMBI MEGA RIDE ($559) can support your baby from infancy till he turns four, or when his weight hits 18 kg. The mega wheels are designed to cushion the shock from rougher terrains, with the front wheels engineered to tackle sharp turns. The EggShock head pillow helps to ensure your baby’s safety. Need to close the stroller? With a press on button, the stroller folds on its own, freeing one hand to carry your little one. You can even load up to 10kg of shopping weight in the basket beneath. Available at leading department stores and nursery retailers. 36

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and where do you usually go to during the weekends? Mr Tom Chang, Senior Manager of Sales and Marketing Department from Combi shared that the most important thing when it comes to buying a suitable stroller is to ensure that it matches your lifestyle and environment. “Remember that the stroller is not just for your baby, but you – the user – as well. You may choose any stroller you like, but don’t forget about the following scenarios: are you able to carry the stroller up a flight of stairs easily? Or if you take a taxi or public bus, are you able to hold your baby in one arm and fold the stroller? What if you happen to be by yourself? Will you be able to

manage the stroller alone with your baby?”

Can the stroller be open and closed easily?

Can the stroller be opened and closed with just one hand? Or do you need both hands? How compact it is after it has been folded? How heavy does it feel when you carry it after it has been compacted? These are important questions to note especially for parents traveling by public transport.

Is it safe for my baby?

How well can the stroller absorb shock and impact? How well do the brakes work? Does it have a 5-point harness system? These are things to look out for to assess the

sturdiness of the stroller. Tom advised parents to physically visit a professional baby store and try using the stroller at the store to know how it works.

Is the seat wellpadded?

How well-cushioned is the seat? Can the stroller be reclined so that your child is not always in an upright or seated position? There will be times when your baby needs to sleep or sit in the stroller for a few hours. It’s important that the stroller is comfortable for them to be in.

Travel light COMBI F2 PLUS ($399) weighs at only 4.2kg. The Ultra-lightweight design allows you to use it with ease, even with just one hand. The flexible backrest lets you adjust the seat so that it is fully reclined, making it suitable for babies. The large canopy with integrated sunshade covers the harsh sunrays from getting into your baby’s face, and the mesh seat keeps them cool and comfortable, perfect for tropical climates. Suitable for babies and toddlers from 1 month old to 36 months old, Combi F2 Plus is available at leading department stores and nursery retailers. For more info, visit www.combi.sg.

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GOING OUT WITH YOUR BABY:

11 TIPS FOR MUMMIES For any new mum, bringing your baby out can be a pretty daunting task, especially if you’re making the trip alone. Dorothea Chow lists down tips to get you going.

When traveling about…

#1 D ON’T PACK AT THE LAST MINUTE You’re bound to leave something out if you resort to last minute packing of your diaper bag. Having an earlier preparation would 38

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give you some buffer time to remember items you should bring along for the trip. And you don’t want to start your journey all harassed and hectic. Try to make a checklist of items you think are necessary for the trip, at least for the first few times you venture out. W I T H

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After a while you’ll know the list like the back of your hand! #2 A  LWAYS BRING EXTRAS Extra diaper for the baby, extra change of clothes for the baby (and yourself, if your little one has a habit of pooing, peeing or burping onto you), extra cash, etc. #3 B  E PREPARED FOR THE CROWDS Don’t over-pack either – you don’t want to be lugging


an overflowing diaper bag and your child while jostling with the crowds for a seat. #4 M  AKE A BACK-UP PLAN Although most malls, hospitals and other public venues would have a functional baby care room these days, there’s no predicting when baby will choose to pee, poo or get suddenly hungry, and sometimes the room may be occupied or under renovation when you need it the most! Have a back-up plan in the event of such potential emergencies. For example, bring along a nursing shawl in case you have to breastfeed in public. And a diaper changing mat can come in handy should you need to clean baby up on a bench. #5 AVOID BRINGING OUT BULKY STROLLERS For young babies, bringing them out in a pram or a big stroller on public transport can be a real hassle, because you’ll it away when you board a bus, then open it up again when you reach your destination. To avoid the extra hassle, invest in and get used to carrying baby about in a sling or baby carrier. But if you really need to bring one out, opt for a light weight one that you are confident in managing on your own.

THE LIGHTEST AUTO SWIVEL STROLLER Only weighing at 4.9kg, Combi Mechacal Handy 4X comes with a four automatic swivel wheels, enabling you to navigate corners with ease. Its one-touch folding and opening allows you to fold the stroller quickly, even if you are carrying your baby on the other hand. Suitable for babies from 1 - 36 months old.

When dining out…

#6 SLING IS BEST Using a sling allows you to have your hands free to eat and drink your fill while ensuring baby is safe and

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happy. Other baby carriers like the Ergo and Bjorn can work too, but would be a tad less comfy for you when seated. For one, you might have some difficulty seeing your food. Another good option for placing baby while you eat is the stroller. But this may be troublesome to bring out for reasons stated in Point #5. #7 AVOID SOUPY STUFF It’s difficult to eat anything soupy when you’re worrying about dripping hot liquid onto your little one. For a start, stick to rice, bread or salads, which are a lot easier to transfer from plate or bowl to mouth. You might also want to avoid ordering anything that is going to take a long time to prepare – unless you’re sure baby is going to be sound asleep for a while yet. #8 C  HOOSE YOUR EATING COMPANIONS WISELY Ideally, at least one of your dining party should be comfortable with carrying a baby, should you need the extra pair of hands while you remove the sling or take a quick toilet break.

When shopping… #9 K NOW YOUR BABY’S LIMITS AND YOURS Realistically speaking, most babies will begin to be W I T H

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restless after more than an hour or two in the sling or carrier and want to be taken out or need their diaper changed or be fed. So don’t plan a 3-hour shopping spree and expect it to go smoothly! Keep most trips to a maximum of 2 hours so that both baby and you are not over-tired or cranky at the end of it. Before having a baby, I would sometimes spend 40

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hours browsing in a store before actually buying something, or sometimes not buying anything at all. But if you have a mission in mind, e.g. a birthday present for a friend, plan your shopping route and keep an eye on the clock, so that the trip is a fruitful one! #10 KNOW YOUR SIZE Trying on clothes with a W I T H

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baby attached to you is often impossible, especially if you’re alone. And it is definitely not advisable to lay your baby on the floor. It helps to know your general size, which you can easily do at home by checking what fits at the moment and what doesn’t, so you can skip the use of the fitting room and make full use of instore mirrors instead.


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Why Do They Do That? Understanding Your Toddler Better Toddlers can be in a whole league of their own cognitively, emotionally, socially. Here are things to know why toddlers behave the way they do. By Dorothea Chow

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Your toddler is just beginning to understand concepts like taking turns and asking permission. He’s grappling with making sense of the flurry of emotions that well up in him when he’s happy, sad, mad and glad. He’s figuring out W I T H

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how to play with a friend, and not just alongside them.

Emotions drive them

Your toddler can be a ball of emotions. When a young child is angry, it is not a tinge of frustration or passive-aggressive teenage angst – it is


a full-blown Category 5 hurricane, even over something seemingly small like the shoe not fitting on his foot. Similarly, happiness can look like exhilaration, and fear as panic. In other words, the emotions that a young child feels can take on epidemic proportions and overwhelm them to the point that they cannot think coherently.

Easily distracted

As adults, we know how to tune in to that friend sitting opposite us who is sharing her day, and tune out to the restaurant’s background music. This ability to focus isn’t innate, it’s a learned social skill. And most toddlers aren’t quite ‘there’ yet. Imagine a world where every sound you hear and every sight you see is on a level playing stage. That’s how it’s like for many toddlers they experience a myriad of stimuli all impinging on their senses at the same time and don’t know which ones are important. Perhaps they ignore your repeated requests not out of defiance, but because they simply aren’t concentrating on your words at that point in time.

Naturally curious

All children are inquisitive, which is also how they naturally learn. Sometimes, this thirst for understanding can

lead them to do things that we adults generally label as wrong. Like the boy who accidentally drops his cup and realizes it makes a clattering sound and stays intact, who then tries it a couple more times to test out his theory that his newfound action will produce the same sounds. Or the girl who cuts her Barbie’s hair, just to see if it will grow back, like her mummy’s hair. Need help? Here are tips on the road towards better behaviour. Get his attention Don’t yell at your son across a crowded room and expect him to notice. When you want to get a message across to your toddler, whether it’s at home or outside, the best way is to get them to face you and look at you. Don’t immediately take offence if they refuse to fix their gaze on you. Once you have eye contact, that’s your opportunity to speak. Simple Touch With some kids, it helps to maintain physical contact to help them focus on you and what you are saying. Try a gentle hand over the shoulder or on their back. Your touch soothes them and helps them realise you have something to say to them. P A R E N T I N G

Fast Food Rule According to child psychologist and author Harvey Karpman, the ‘Fast Food Rule’ is one of the keys to communicating effectively to your child when they are upset. Before saying what you think, repeat what they said – with sincerity. This helps them to know that you really know what they are thinking and feeling. Once they feel understood or validated emotionally, they will be more open to listen to you. For pre-verbal toddlers, you may have to help them vocalise what they are experiencing by clarifying if they are angry or sad or scared. When speaking to your toddler, it can be helpful to remember these four points: 1. Keep your phrases short 2. Repeat several times 3. Emphasise on key words like “We don’t do that HERE” 4. Use gestures

Push the right buttons Don’t let fear be the motivation for good behaviour, i.e. if you don’t sit properly, I’m going give you a smack. Obedience that is driven by fear or shame rarely brings about a true heart or attitude change. In future, when the parent is not around to enact punishment, the child will go back to his old ways. It is much more helpful in W I T H

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the long term to help your child be self-motivated to behave. You can do this by pointing out the negative effects of their bad behaviour, offering alternatives, and reinforcing good behaviour with appropriate rewards. This is not the same as dangling the carrot in front of your child, but teaching him that good behaviour benefits not just others, but himself too. For example, instead of yelling at your child for banging loudly on the table in the restaurant, let him know that the man at the next table is trying very hard to have a talk with his wife and his drumming is making that difficult for 44

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WE NEED TO SET LIMITS, BUT WE ALSO NEED TO BE WILLING TO LET GO OF SOME IDEALS, AND LET CHILDREN BE THE INQUISITIVE, SPONTANEOUS AND EXPRESSIVE LITTLE PERSON THAT THEY ARE.

them to have a conversation. He can substitute his drumsticks’ for straws instead, or go outside for a little walk before the food W I T H

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arrives. Tell him that loud banging is okay at home, for example, but not in a restaurant. If he’s kicking up a fuss because his fries fell onto the floor, empathise with his frustration, reflect via the Fast Food Rule, then offer him alternatives for moving forward, such as asking if he would like to have some of your food. Often, your child’s seeming misbehaviour is very much a normal toddler behaviour – it’s not about telling them that the behaviour is wrong, but there is a time and place where it’s appropriate. Without shame or defeat in the equation, your child can go on to an alternate way of self-expression and feel good about themselves.

Let kids be kids

Singing at the top of his voice might be a no-no in a posh restaurant, but let him holler away at the park to experiment with his voice and fully express his immense joy. Or let him sing to his heart’s content at home, but not outside. In the end, we all could lighten up on our kids and bear down less on their misbehaviours. Don’t squash their child-like ways, because eventually, your little one will grow up, and you’ll miss these messy mayhem days.


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MY TODDLER 3. M  AKE READING FUN, FUN, FUN!

Animate, sing, play with puppets. The reading process should be inductive and amusing. It’s a great time for you to bond with your child and spend meaningful time together laughing and creating too.

4. TURN ON THE MUSIC!

Baby Steps Towards Baby Talk How do we groom our toddlers to be early readers? Esther Lim, Founder of LEAP SchoolHouse and Curriculum Director of LEAP EDUCATION GROUP shows us five ways how. “Read a lot to your children and read a lot in front of them as well,” adds Esther, a mother of three. “Once they start to see the joy derived from reading and how reading is part of their life-style, it is not difficult for them to pick up reading as a hobby. To springboard the process, make the reading process with your child interactive. Do puppetry, dramatize and role play.” The type of books to introduce to your child for the first time differs primarily by age. A good rule of thumb is to start with materials they are familiar with. For example, a 46

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photo book with familiar faces of grandparents and family members helps to introduce the basic concept of pictorial cues to print.

1. BE A READER YOURSELF

Go back to being a reader. Rekindle the love for reading yourself. If you love to read then you are on your way to producing children who will love reading too. Read in front of your children and set the example for your children to start appreciating the value of reading.

2. CREATE A PRINT-RICH ENVIRONMENT

Fill your home with books and reading materials. This can include books, newspapers, magazines, brochures. Make the reading process something that is part of recreation and day-to-day activities. W I T H

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The repetition, rhythm and rhyme in music actually helps reinforce the ideas and vocabulary that you are sharing with your child. Be silly with songs and you will be surprised that in the midst of all the giggling and singing, you are making great impact to the language development of your child.

5. PLAY GAMES TOGETHER

Make meaning in the reading process with your children. Read about butterflies then go play a game in the park and see who can spot a caterpillar or cocoon first? Or who can spot the letter ‘A’ today? Above all, do not make the process of reading a drag. It should be fun and enjoyable; something to look forward to for both parent and child. There is never too early a time to start the reading process with your child. Exposure will build familiarity and very soon, your child will come to you with a book in hand.

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MY TODDLER

Let’s be kind

Young children are not born with the skills to differentiate between what is right and what is wrong. Tan Yi Jun rounds up five storybooks on positive behaviours just for toddlers.

I Can Share! by Karen Katz, $8.64, Opentrolley.com Suitable for 6 months to 3 years old Sharing is not an easy concept for children to grasp especially for toddlers. This interactive lift-the-flap book consists of captivating illustrations. The repetitive elements in the story reinforces the concept of sharing through a fun and lively way.

Hands Are Not for Hitting by Martine Agassi, $10.68, www.bookdepository.com Suitable for 6 months and above It’s never too soon for children to learn that violence is never okay. This book teaches children appropriate ways to deal with their negative emotions rather than though physical means. Simple words, bright and colourful illustrations show children the various positive uses of hands, with specific and relatable actions.

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Should I Share My Ice Cream? by Mo Willems, $18.93, Opentrolley.com Suitable for 12 months and above A well-crafted and funny story about sharing which talks about two best friends Gerald and Piggie. Gerald has a big decision to make - should he share his ice cream with Piggie? Will he make it in time? Look out for the twist at the end of the story that will touch your heart.

It’s Mine by Leo Lionni, $8.72, www.bookdepository.com Suitable for 2 years and above This story is about three self-centred frogs who live on the same island and spend their day quarrelling over the food they have found. After an incident and with the help of a big brown toad, they realise sharing is not that difficult at all and it can be enjoyable. This book is helpful in teaching children how to share with relatable storylines to their own experiences.

Talk and Work It Out by Cheri J. Meiners, $12.57, www.bookdepository.com Suitable for 3 years and above As children get older, conflicts with friends will surface. Through illustrations and relatable scenarios, this book teaches children how to resolve conflicts peacefully. It provides advice on how to calm down and also includes skill-building games and role play ideas for parents.

Book Shopping Tips

Go for books with many repetition and rhyme. The replay of words builds familiarity and confidence for a child to learn to recognize those words, says Esther Lim, Founder of LEAP SchoolHouse and Curriculum Director of LEAP EDUCATION GROUP. Karen Katz, award-winning author and illustrator, suggests going for illustrations with big heads, with bright and bold colours. Babies love to look at other babies, and such pictures capture their attention.

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PARENTING

MUMMY DON’T GO! 50

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Practice separation

Leave your child with a caregiver for brief periods and short distances at first. Let your child understand that being away from you is part of life. What is important is to ensure that whilst you are away, quality care is given to the child.

Develop a “goodbye” ritual

Rituals are reassuring and can be as simple as a special wave through the window or a goodbye kiss.

Keep familiar surroundings when possible and make new surroundings familiar

Sending your child to school can be stressful to both parents and the child, especially when they are going through separation anxiety. Esther Lim, Founder of LEAP SchoolHouse and Curriculum Director of LEAP EDUCATION GROUP gives nine tips.

Transit your child into the new environment. One way during the first week of school is to ease the time away from parents gradually. For example, if the school hours are for a 3-hour block, parents can pick the child up in 2, then 2.5 hour blocks. When your child is away from home, let him or her bring a familiar object.

Leave without fanfare

Tell your child you are leaving and that you will return, then go—don’t stall. P A R E N T I N G

Talk to your child

Prepare them in advance on some of the things that are going to happen in class by talking to them about it.

Encourage independence

When a child is able to see that they are able to ‘take care of themselves’ whilst parents are away, they are less likely to become clingy.

Try not to give in

Reassure your child that he or she will be just fine-setting limits will help the adjustment towards separation easier.

Talk to the school teacher

Approach the teacher and gather feedback on how your child had performed for the day and focus on the positive.

Praise your child for things they have done well We must believe that our children are able to cope with being in school independently. Encourage your child to talk to you about the happenings in school. It will enrich, not only the relationship you have with you child but also empower your child to grow up confident.

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PARENTING to compare how their kids and others are doing. From clothes, strollers, furniture, toys to food, some are eager to outdo others and seek the ‘best’ brands for their newborns. However, constant desire to outshine others can lead to unnecessary stress, strained friendships, and financial burden.

OM TO THIS 7 PARENTING MANTRAS TO KEEP YOU GOING The transition to parenthood can be tricky, lonely, and overwhelming in many ways. Caroline Yeung and Michelle Ang share seven parenting mantras to cope with the challenges ahead. MANTRA #1 My priority is to raise healthy and happy children Raising healthy and happy children should always be your main priority. Any side activities and issues, your decisions should start from this main goal. In times when you feel lost as to what is ‘best’ 52

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for your child, this mantra will help you evaluate what is truly important, amidst all the other distractions. MANTRA #2 I don’t need to compete Competition is everywhere. As soon as connections are established, parents will start

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MANTRA #3 I don’t need to be perfect Every life phase has its own challenge and parenthood is no exception. Stress can ensue for those who strive for perfection. Being a parent can be chaotic and uncertain. New mothers and fathers may find themselves loaded with heavier responsibilities. Frustration can set in if parents do not acknowledge their limits and reorganise themselves. The key is to be accommodating and allow room for mistakes, and to allow others to help you. MANTRA #4 I need to connect with other new parents Connect with other like-minded mums and dads. You will find such connections to be beneficial. Such a support system will be helpful in times of need. You can also use such platforms to voice your concerns. As you share with others, you will also discover that your own concerns and not just yours alone. Such interaction


provides the possibilities for you to improve as a parent, as a person, and to forge new friendships.

ONLINE SUPPORT GROUPS YOU CAN JOIN:

Breastfeeding www.facebook.com/groups/ breastfeedingwithlove Babies born in 2016 www.facebook.com/groups/2016sgbabies Parenting www.facebook.com/ groups/newagemummiesdaddiessg MANTRA #5 I can be humble to accept help Don’t let your pride or ego get

in the way of asking for help. You can learn from those who have been there; who have valuable experiences and are open and willing to help you. MANTRA #6 I am deserving of breaks A caretaker’s role is not easy. If you are the sole caretaker of your family, look out for tell-tale signs of a burnout. To avoid burnouts, think of things that you enjoy or make you relaxed, and make time for them on a regular basis. It could a facial session, attending a one day retreat, going for a yoga class, shopping, or simply reading a novel. Renewed strength is

critical to help you deal with those unending, daily issues. As a carer, it is important to care for yourself, as the person being cared for can feel your vibes. When you take good care of yourself, you indirectly take care of others too. MANTRA #7 There is only so much I can do Do not feel obligated to overwork yourself. Know when to stop and acknowledge that we all have limits to what we can do within a day. Learning to say no is the first step to affirm your boundaries and prevent yourself from overcommitting.

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Caring for your Pregnancy and Baby EDITOR Michelle Ang

EXPERTS

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While every care is taken in the production of this booklet, the publisher, editor and editorial team assume no responsibility for any inaccuracies and omission, which might arise. Opinions by the contributors and advertisers are not necessarily those of the publisher and the editor. The articles in the booklet are for references only. While every care has been taken to ensure that information contained in the publication is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of this information. The New Age Parents gives no warranty or assurance, and makes no representation as to the accuracy or reliability of any information or advice contained, or that it is suitable for the reader’s intended use. If you have any queries on any health condition for you and your child, you should seek professional medical advice. Parenting with Love 2016


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