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hotel stays worth over $1,000


Sibling Love Prepare your firstborn for life with a new brother or sister


Digital Natives ensure your child stays safe online


october 2016

Germs, germs, go away!

health aid

Does your child really need vitamin supplements?

are you feeding your child a bacteria-infested meal?

w w w . s i n g a p o r e s c h i l d . c o m . s g

NEW! Cetaphil Baby Skincare



WHAT’S THE SCOOP? Hey, babysitter! There’s no shame in asking for help when you need it, but sometimes, finding the right kind of help can be difficult. Fortunately for us in Singapore, we can often rely on extended family members, infant or childcare options, domestic helpers, or even babysitters. Find out more about babysitters, and how you can engage one.

Speech delay? Some kids don’t fall into the predicted speech development schedule and that can be very worrying. Should you start making an appointment to the doctor’s, or should you just wait it out? We guide you through this trying period.

Is your child ready for a new sibling?

For many children, the arrival of a new sibling into the home can be a difficult time, and they might act out to display feelings of displeasure or anxiety by being disruptive, or showing baby-like attention-grabbing behaviour. To reduce the stress on everyone, there are some things you can do to prepare your older child for the arrival of a new baby brother or sister. Find out more on pages 12-13.






Must-have baby essentials in your parenting journey

No high-tech toys, just free play

Starting a family? It’s all about the planning

Rashes, acne, hyperpigmentation – thanks, hormones!

All about your postpartum mental health






baby / play

Imaginations at Play Want proof that you don’t need all the latest and greatest toys for your child? Here are some surprising ways kids play when left to their own devices.


lay is work when you're a little kid. It might seem like all giggles and tea parties to you, but each moment your child spends pretending to be a pirate or feeding a doll is a moment spent building physical skills and developing complex thinking. These leaps don't occur only during "big" games like putting together train tracks or building a city with blocks. Your child may be absorbed in little activities that don't make much sense (or seem like much fun) to you – so, don't be deceived! Here are six surprising ways that little kids play (and learn) and how you can join in on the fun.

6 october 2016

Doing it again

Getting dirty


Repetition is another characteristic of functional play. When your child does something over and over again, they may be doing it for a reason. Maybe they like the sound of that cup hitting the floor. Beyond that, your future scientist is having their first encounter with cause and effect. The fact that they have the power to make this thing happen again (and again and again and again…) may provide them with a feeling of security.

Sometimes, games can get dirty. Other times, getting dirty is the game. They squish mud between their bare toes, dump sand over their head, or stick their face in mashed potatoes. The thrill is creating a richer sensory experience. They don’t want to just look at mud, but they want to feel it. Just like they want to watch sand fall and smell potatoes close to their nose. They might not mean to make a mess; it just happens in the course of play.

It’s natural for children to love music. Your musical maven may not be able to say all (or most) of the words in a song, but even toddlers can hum along to a tune. Singing becomes a game, especially when you teach songs that have specific movements, such as finger plays. While the song itself might be the game, it can provide comfort or help them concentrate. Memorising songs is also great for building cognitive skills.

What you can do: Your little one may also enjoy the unexpected. The next time they drop that cup, secretly catch it, and sneak it back onto the high-chair tray. They may be confused at first, and then delighted once again.

What you can do: Messy play can be very good for kids, so give them space where making a mess is okay sometimes. But do reinforce safety, like not putting non-food items in their mouth.

What you can do: Music can be a great motivator. Try singing a playful tune when it’s time to clean up, brush teeth, or get ready for bed.

Talking to themselves

Lining up toys

Sneak a peek and you may hear some very detailed storytelling going on. Even toddlers who seem to be emitting a jumble of sounds will sometimes “talk” to themselves while playing. This is called ego-centric speech. Your little linguist isn’t looking for someone to interact with. In addition to being adorable, this activity lets your child practise saying words out loud (even if they’re made up). It also builds confidence so that they’ll eventually be more comfortable talking in public.

Some parents worry that carefully organising blocks or other play things may be a sign of autism. In most cases, however, this is a normal stage of development and a beloved game for many young ones. As early as 18 months, your tiny tot may start lining up toys in “order” – for example, all the red trains on the chair, all of the action figures with hats under the table, or all the ponies next to each other on the shelf. By doing this, they’re starting to make connections and identify common traits.

What you can do:   Feel free to let them examine non-toy items. It’s a good way for them to learn about their environment, but be sure they’re safe, check boxes for staples, and stay close by to monitor them play.

What you can do:   It’s important to encourage your tot to play independently. Practising their verbal skills will also help them learn to entertain themselves. So, sit out this one, Mum – just watch and melt!

What you can do: Young children, especially toddlers, don’t have the verbal skills to explain how they classify and sort objects. Help them by articulating the obvious: “All these blocks are blue.”

7 october 2016

Climbing in a box

It’s a universal phenomenon. Give a child a toy and they’ll play with the wrapping. While older kids may turn a box into a spaceship, very young children don’t have the ability to think symbolically about cardboard. Your three-year-old loves the box simply because it is a box. They can drag it along the floor, sit inside it, open the flaps, and close them. Among toddlers, this is known as functional play. It helps them learn about the physical nature of objects and simple concepts such as opening and closing.

pregnancy / plan

preparing Your Child For A New Sibling preparing for a new baby? You’ll also have to prepare your firstborn for life with a newborn sibling. Here’s how to get your child ready for (and even looking forward to) the new baby’s debut, and his debut as an older sibling.

12 october 2016


o, you’ve spilled the baby beans to your older child, but you can’t help wondering – does he understand what being an older sibling means? The reaction of your child to the arrival of a new brother or sister might be as unique as they are, and will largely depend on their temperament and personality. Some children will be completely accepting and will embrace a new baby into the family, while others will be

utterly indifferent. But for many children, the arrival of a new sibling can be a difficult time. Many child psychologists agree that the arrival of a new sibling can be as shocking to children as it would be to you if, say, your partner suddenly brought another person home. It’s more than likely that your child will feel the same way when you bring a new baby home. Unlike an adult, a young child cannot verbalise how they are feeling, and will often ‘act out’ their emotions

with disruptive or baby-like attentionseeking behaviour. Rest assured that these feelings are usually fleeting and many children quickly adjust to their new sibling. However, there are things that you can do as a parent to make the transition easier. Help your child prepare for the arrival of a sibling by helping your child to understand that a baby brother or sister will be joining the family, by ensuring that your child knows they are as important and loved as they were before, by reassuring your child that life for them will remain the same, and by handling any disruptive behaviour with a firm but fair response. All any child needs to know when a new baby arrives is that they are not going to be replaced and that they are still loved. Helping your child to understand this will go a long way in their acceptance of a new brother or sister. Being Involved The best way to help your little one from feeling left out is to make him feel included. If your child is curious about the growth in your belly (How big is the baby? How does he eat?), answer his questions. Invite him along on a doctor’s visit and tell him it’s a check up for the baby, so that he can listen to his little sibling’s heartbeat. If he’s eager to practice his older sibling skills, have him sing to, talk to, and kiss your belly. Hitting the stores for some newborn items? Let your child help to choose baby clothes or any other baby supplies.

Begin with What Won’t Change A new baby means new sights (seeing you breastfeeding), sounds (hearing the baby crying) and smells (soiled diapers). And before you realise it, change is in the air long before a new baby arrives. What helps though? It is to know that some very important things will stay the same. Therefore, make time for those predictable routines that make your child feel secure. That morning cuddle, that bedtime bath and story, and not forgetting, lots of kisses! Another way to keep your child from stressing about the changes a baby will bring is not to push progress on milestones. If your child hasn’t totally accomplished potty training or sleeping in a big boy bed by midway through your third trimester, put off the transitions until he has settled into his new role as an older sibling. Yes, Keep Reassuring Yourself and Your Child Is your child totally bummed out about being an older sibling, or feeling a tad apprehensive? Either way, don’t plant any seeds of doubt or anxiety when there isn’t any. Saying “I’ll still love you” when he hasn’t questioned whether you will, or “Don’t worry about the new baby” when he isn’t even worried to begin with, will give your child the idea that there’s good reason to be baby-phobic. Reassure him on specific concerns only if they come up, but don’t bring them up yourself. The truth is, whatever the age, stage, and personality of your older child happens to be, a new sibling rocks their world. No doubt that it’s going to be an uncertain, exhausting experience for everyone. Take the time to set expectations, make memories, maintain some structure, and integrate in little ways – and be certain to reassure, reassure, reassure. If you’re lucky, you may even wonder what you were so worried about. Get more tips on our website.

Tell your child about your pregnancy – they need to hear about it from you, and not from someone else.

Explain to your child the expected changes in the daily routine before the arrival of a new sibling. Explain how the first days may be a little confused and busy while feeding schedules get established and family members stop by to visit.

Let them participate in preparations for the new baby in any way possible.

Have your child practice holding a doll and supporting the head. Teach them how to touch and hold a baby very gently.

Avoid using emotional blackmail on your children, such as “If you’re naughty, I will love baby more than you.”

13 october 2016

Accepting the Real Deal It’s tempting to paint the rosiest picture possible of life with a new baby sibling. And younger siblings can be lots of fun… well, eventually. But if you talk about your newborn so much that your firstborn expects the perfect playmate to pop out, he’ll be pretty disappointed when a bundle that can’t do much is lying there instead. Explain to your child that newborns don’t do a lot. To make that notion more concrete, show photos or videos of him as a newborn. Point out how far he’s come since those boring baby days, and reassure him that his younger sibling will as well. Another way to prepare

your child is by reading him books about babies, or bringing him along to visit friends who have babies.

Dealing with Feelings

$18K* How much your baby would cost you

Food & Nutrition

Medical bills

Read the full article at

There's no denying that your little bundle of joy will be worth every dollar that you spend but understanding the underlying costs of raising a child will give you a better head start in your parenting journey.

Pre- & PostNatal Care

Singapore's Child Digital provides on-thego access to our comprehensive parenting resource that will put you in the best position to provide for your child.


*An estimated amount based on recent facts and figures find these informative reads on our website

3 Complicating Factors

10 newborn baby essentials every expecting mum needs to have

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Ways to Avoid Overspending on Baby Essentials

Foods To Eat When breastfeeding


postpartum woes & fixes

what to expect during your first prenatal checkup

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pregnancy / care Postpartum Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (PPOCD) New mothers are more likely to develop PPOCD as they are overwhelmed withe the new responsibilities of looking after a newborn baby. Some experienced mothers may also develop PPOCD if they had previously experienced trouble, such as terminal illness or death, with a previous child. PPOCD affects approximately 3-5 percent of new mothers but is often misdiagnosed with PPD, as some symptoms are similar and especially if mothers are unwilling to truthfully share their feelings for fear of judgement. Sufferers of PPOCD are likely to have intrusive thoughts of harming their newborn child intentionally or accidentally. A common thought among mothers with PPOCD is that they are not ready or unfit to be mothers. These thoughts usually develop into compulsions, such as throwing out sharp objects, avoiding chemicals, excessively checking in on baby, or even avoiding interaction with baby for fear of hurting the child.

20 october 2016

Treatment: Mothers should not worry that their child will be taken away from them if they remain truthful and share these anxiety problems with their doctors. This will definitely aid in refining treatment therapies early on. Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is a specific type of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) that has proven to be successful in treating OCD. Under trained psychologists, ERP allows mothers to face fears in a controlled environment and they are carefully guided in managing their escape response till it becomes a habit.

Postpartum Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PP-PTSD) Most would associate PTSD as something war veterans or victims of harassment might face and not mothers but PP-PTSD affects about 9 percent of new mothers. There are two key elements that trigger PTSD: firstly, experiencing or witnessing an event involving actual or threatened danger to self or others, and secondly, a response to the event with intense fear, helplessness or horror. For new mothers, these key elements are often the result of difficult births, including an unplanned c-section, and having to send baby to NICU, or experiencing a complicated pregnancy that may put baby in danger, such as severe preeclampsia. Women who have previously experienced trauma, such as sexual abuse, are also at a higher risk of PP-PTSD. Women who suffer from PP-PTSD are likely to have recurring flashbacks and nightmares of the event that may even paralyse them with fear. They would also avoid stimuli associated with the event. In the case of PP-PTSD, this could mean skipping follow up appointments with doctors, or refusing to have anything to do with baby. PP-PTSD sufferers are also likely to experience anxiety and panic attacks frequently.

Treatment: PP-PTSD is temporary and treatable. There are various methods of treating PP-PTSD that are similar to the treatments of PTSD. This includes therapy, such as psychotherapy, CBT or group therapy, where psychologists will help to reframe the experience to be less intimidating. Patients can also try medication, such as anti-anxiety and antidepressants but caution should be exercised if breastfeeding.

Postpartum Psychosis (PPP) The medical term may sound scary but it only occurs in 0.1-0.2 percent of births. The onset of PPP is usually sudden and occurs within the first two weeks of delivery. PPP is also more likely to develop if the mother has a personal or family history of bipolar disorder, or has experienced a previous psychotic episode. Some mothers with PPP may wrongfully diagnose themselves as normal as they would feel extremely energetic, especially for someone who has just had a baby. However, this energy is often coupled with irritability, rapid mood swings and insomnia. Then there are the more serious symptoms of PPP, such as delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia. PPP sufferers will have difficulty communicating at times, especially when discussing their delusions, as these will often only make sense to her only. Her delusions will not necessarily be violent but the mood swings and hyperactivity may nudge her to act irrationally.

Treatment: If a mother begins to show signs of PPP, it is imperative that she seeks treatment immediately. PPP is temporary and treatable with professional help and requires a psychologist or psychiatrist familiar with this disorder to be properly diagnosed. Typically, various medications, such as antidepressants, antipsychotics (neuroleptic) and mood stabilising drugs (lithium) are prescribed to balance neurotransmitters. Follow up with therapies are encouraged so that mothers are able to get back to looking after their child with confidence. Read more about postpartum mental health on our website.

from the team

join us on a new journey! How time flies! We’re well into the last quarter of the year and we hope you’ve had a great year so far. In this issue, read all about family planning, your child’s development and getting additional help in the form of babysitters. We also bring you tips on parenting your older kids, and how to tackle issues such as jealousy and building a family culture rooted in the love and curiosity for knowledge. Plus, if you’re already planning the year-end holidays, we have some tips and giveaways for you! The beginning of the year saw the launch of our digital platforms. An extension of the print magazine, Singapore’s Child Digital provides on-the-go access to our comprehensive parenting resource with daily articles categorised into different categories. We’d like to take this opportunity to announce our decision to focus fully on our digital platforms.

With enhanced accessibility and interactivity, our website, Facebook and Instagram pages provide an immersive experience for you to enjoy exclusive content on the go and exciting promotions. It also provides you the opportunity to reach out to fellow parents and readers, and allow us to bring information to you at a faster rate as we support you in your entire parenting journey. We will miss the comforting presence of our print copies, but we’re ready to focus all our efforts and energies into our second child, our digital platforms. Join us on this journey, and grow with us!



parenting pregnancy education

infant SingaporesChild


kids / trending

contents o











28 / kids 25


Style your kids with the hottest finds in town!



Dress your little princess in fall florals


/ learn 34


Support your child’s cognitive development with these simple tips

/ health 42


Does your child truly need them?



What is autism and how does it affect your child and your family?




Should you be worried that your child is showing signs of jealousy?



Breanna Yde, star of Nickelodeon’s new series, School of Rock, tells us why she loves acting! Check out KIDZone page 10 for more details.

Find out how to teach your child proper ways to stay safe online



How can you get your kids to be excited about current affairs?

stockists 2 JUNe 2015

• Allies of Skin • The Best Brew 382 Havelock Rd, Sheraton Singapore Singapore 169629 • Bobo Choses 1 St Andrew’s Rd, National Gallery, Singapore 178957 • The Body Shop 2 Orchard Turn #B2-39 ION Orchard Singapore Singapore 238801 • Bosch 228 Orchard Rd, Courts - Orchard, 238853 Singapore • Clarks 2 Orchard Turn, #B2-22 ION Orchard Singapore 238801 • Dr Brown’s • Dreams and Confetti Block 13 Dempsey Road, #01-04 Singapore 249674 • Goodmans 310 Orchard Road, Lvl 3, Ante@Tangs Plaza Singapore 238864 • Estelle & Thild • The Garden 2 Bukit Manis Road Sentosa, Sofitel Resort & Spa Singapore 099891 • IKEA 317 Alexandra Rd, Singapore 159965 • Kiehl’s 68 Orchard Road, #01-66 Plaza Singapura Singapore 238839 • LG


/ you 46



Trends and essentials for your family

/ Learn 50


Read our tips and suggestions before planning your next holiday!



Find our how Love 97.2FM radio personality, Violet Fenying maintains a fun and loving family culture

/ health 54


Get tips to minimise kitchen contamination



Find out the locations of common hotbed for germs in your home



Here’s how to keep fit with your busy schedule




Do you have irritable bowel syndrome?

/ win

We’ve got holiday giveaways worth more than $1,000 to Hotel Jen Tanglin, Hotel Jen orchardgateway and Resorts World Genting up for grabs! Refer to page 53 for details.


/ in every issue 21 24 66 68

From the Team Our Experts Events inspire


3 JUNe 2015

• Melissa • MiLi • MOSCLEAN • Mothercare 6 Raffles Boulevard, #03161/162 Marina Square Singapore 039594 • Natural Power Green Products Pte Ltd 9012 Tampines St.93, #03-189, Singapore 528845 • New Balance 200 Victoria Street, #02-10 Bugis Junction Singapore 188021 • Paradigm Electronics • Phillips • Privi Kids 3 Temasek Blvd, #02-712 Suntec City, 038983 • Salvatore Ferragamo 2 Bayfront Avenue, #B1-18 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands Singapore 018972 • Seed Heritage 1 Harbourfront Walk, #02-87 VivoCity Singapore 098585 • Souper Tang 176A Orchard Road, #02-52 The Centrepoint Singapore 238844

Fall Florals A dash of sweet and a whole lot of whimsy, with bright pastels and pretty frills. Photography Julia Aurora Krylova Florist Yana Pappazova Makeup and Hairstyling Nadezhda Tsvetkova Models Milana, Eva, Ulyana, Ilona, Anna and Misha (Macaronis Kids)

On Milana and Eva: Beba Kids

get the look Zara Embroidered Romantic Dress $59.90

Zara Floral Shirt $35.90

Seed Heritage Multi Flower Headband $16.95

Seed Heritage Flower Clips From $7.95

kids / learn

brainbuilding fun Studies have shown that specific regions of the brain are shaped by unique experiences and learning. Let’s start opening the windows of learning through brain-building activities, and find out why they are important for your child.


child’s developing mind is nurtured by loving interactions, a secure and predictable environment and handson experiences that invite exploration and learning. Parents, as children’s first teachers, should unlock doors that allow children to learn and grow. Think of a young brain as a computer – it has incredibly sophisticated hardwiring, but no software. A child has to develop their own software in order to utilise the power of their brain, hardwiring itself with every action and experience. Here’s how you can stimulate your child’s brain development.

Provide an interesting variety of brain-building activities and experiences on a regular basis Children need simple, hands-on experiences for their brains to develop, such as rolling a ball on the floor, touching a cat or a dog, flipping the page of a book, or reaching out to grasp a spoon. All of these varied activities build young children’s brains.

34 october 2016

Here’s what you can do: Limit the time that your child spend on television, and encourage them to explore. For example, a bucket of water, a basin of sand, and a few cups and scoops can keep your child mesmerised for hours – and all along, they’re

text Raja Jumira

As young children are primed to learn from birth, the key is to provide a variety of interesting experiences over time. Exposing your child to new things helps the brain strengthen old connections and form new ones. Think of one new activity or experience that you can introduce to your child every couple of days.

learning about volume and texture, liquids and solids. Plus, it’s engaging, so they’ll develop persistence as they deal calmly with the fact that the water they’re pouring into the carefully dug hole keeps disappearing.

Practise and encourage repetition of songs, stories and other experiences There are few things that build a child’s brain and open opportunities for learning more than consistent repetition of healthy activities or experiences. Telling the same stories and singing the same songs over and over again may bore you, but it is not boring to children. Repetition of an experience also tends to set natural connections. For example, the pathways in the brain dealing with emotions are built and strengthened when parents respond day after day to a child’s smiles by smiling back or hugging the child. Have you ever noticed that young children like to repeat certain routines? For example, a child may prefer a certain bedtime routine each night, or a toddler may ask you to read a particular book over and over and over again. This is because a young child’s brain is wired to encourage repetition of sounds, patterns or experiences that provide security, and therefore, developing strong neural pathways in the brain that become the highways of learning. Such repetition is good for your children, and is a practical, easy approach to helping your child’s growth and learning. Here’s what you can do: Read stories or show pictures to your child over and over again. Children whose parents have read to them for 10 minutes a day, from age six months, have a brain that has received more than 300 hours of this type of stimulation by kindergarten.

Talk, laugh, sing, and play peek-a-boo – children need to hear language The key to language development in a child’s brain is hearing language – lots of it! Toddlers whose mother talked with them when they were infants have bigger vocabularies and a solid basis for later communication. You can expose your children to language by playing rhyming games, reading aloud, speaking directly to your child, asking open-ended questions, and playing a variety of music from different types of instruments, cultures or genres. Music and language not only introduce children to words, but help them learn rhythm, sequences, spatial and math skills. Here’s what you can do: Make up stories with your child, listen to classical or other music, read books and ask them questions about the story as you go.

Provide opportunities that challenge and stretch a child’s abilities Young children learn most efficiently when they are provided with some opportunities to work slightly above their current ability – with the assistance of an adult, of course. You may help your child learn to catch a ball, by first tossing a soft plastic ball to him lightly, and then slowly moving a little farther away over time as you toss the ball. Here’s what you can do: Provide a bicycle for your child, and get them to learn how to cycle. Place their feet on the pedals, and push down one of the pedals with your hand to show the child how the bicycle propels forward. You can also give them a small push from behind while their feet are on the pedals. As the pedals move, let go slightly and your child’s legs will start to learn the pedalling motion through muscle memory.

Are you raising a whole brain child?

35 october 2016

A whole brain child is one who is able to use both the right and the left hemispheres of the brain effectively, applying both the logic-structure and emotion-intuition parts of the brain in problem-solving. Children require experiences that can nurture all parts of their brain, but that can be challenging for parents who have had no exposure to such a parenting or training method. Fortunately, specialised classes can provide support for your child’s development. Heguru Singapore @ City Square Mall provides early childhood education that focuses on fostering critical and creative thinking abilities among children in a fun-filled and child-friendly learning environment. Starting with right-brain development in its infant and toddler classes, your child will be exposed to left-brain training in the preschool classes, and then a whole-brain approach in the primary classes.

Kids / health

a journey of love It’s never easy to learn that your child is different from others, but with love, acceptance and lots of persistence, the journey will be much smoother.


t was five years after the birth of their first daughter, that Josephine Teo, 49, and her husband welcomed a second addition to their family, their son Wei Lun. Other than a case of jaundice, everything seemed well with Wei Lun showing good development, and the family was happy to have another child in the family. However when Wei Lun turned 18-monthsold, there was a visible slowdown in his development, especially in the area of his speech. “We initially thought that it was normal for boys to show slightly slower development as opposed to girls who usually mature earlier, and we didn’t think too much of it.”

An early diagnosis

44 october 2016

Find out more about autism on our website.

text seow kai lun

It was when Wei Lun turned three that Josephine brought him for a diagnosis under the advice of the principal of the childcare centre that Wei Lun was then attending, as he would not play with other children in the centre. The doctor confirmed that Wei Lun was autistic and recommended that he go for therapy as soon as possible. When Josephine first heard the news, she was stunned and saddened, her mind full of worries about her son’s future, particularly about how society would view him.

Using all means to help

Not without setbacks

Josephine immediately did all the research she could about autism and eventually signed him up for private therapy as she recognised the value of early intervention.

Through the therapy sessions as well as school, Wei Lun started to show progress. However, when he was eight, he started to experience a change in character. “He would start screaming and shouting out of the blue, attempting to dash and dart about, not allowing you to hold him.”

Wei Lun first started with speech therapy. It was there that Josephine was recommended to start Wei Lun on occupational therapy. There, she learnt that because of his condition, Wei Lun was not appropriately developed, physically. Josephine also learnt how she could help Wei Lun develop his skills at home. “I was taught to make simple visuals and use repetitive actions to teach him about concepts such as colours and directions. So after work, I would go through the exercises and track his progress. However, it was challenging as after just a few minutes, he would not be able to concentrate.” Disciplining Wei Lun was also difficult. “He had no fear and would climb up on chairs and tables. I learnt that I had to learn to control and teach him when he was younger. This is because it would be harder to do so when he got older. It was most important to be firm, not angry.” Josephine also requested that his child psychologists and therapists drop by Wei Lun’s childcare centre to help the teachers there to better understand his condition.

This was Josephine’s worst fear – regression after all the progress that had been made. What made it all the more bewildering was that the change came out of the blue and there were no known triggers. “It was very disheartening as it felt like I had gone back to square one.” The family worked together to try to find ways to help Wei Lun during this period of time. “We would hold his hands and try to calm him down. We also created a naughty corner where we would literally have to corner him in the area so that he would realise that his behaviour was wrong.” After about six months, he reverted to being calmer, more like his previous self, similarly with no obvious catalyst for the change. The next hurdle was puberty, as many parents would see huge changes in their child which could swing either way, much improvement with better behaviour, more eye contact and compliance, or regression in all that he has achieved. For Wei Lun, he made the change for the better, something that the family was grateful for.

Getting an education Wei Lun was eventually transferred to Rainbow Centre, a special education school, to cater for his educational needs. Josephine also stop working as Wei Lun would need more attention and help, especially as his sessions at Rainbow Centre only lasted two hours each time. While Wei Lun would attend sessions, Josephine would meet with other parents whose children were also in Rainbow Centre and they would share and encourage one another, forming an informal support system that Josephine was very grateful for.

Autism is often detected only in early childhood when parents seek help for delayed speech and language development in their child. Typical age of presentation is around two to three years old, and definitive diagnosis is usually made around the age of three years. Autism is four times more likely to affect boys than girls. If your child has the symptoms described above and you suspect he has autism or ASD, you may make an appointment for your child to see a developmental paediatrician at the Department of Child Development (DCD) at KK Hospital. You can also find out more from the Autism Association (Singapore),

45 october 2016

As Josephine wanted the best possible for Wei Lun, it was also during this period of time that she learnt to be more vocal in order to protect her son and do what’s best for him. “I kept pestering them to move Wei Lun to the four-hour long class as it would be better for him. I soon became well-known in the entire school.”

Does My Child Have Autism?

You / health

butterflies in the stomach text Magdalene Lee

60 october 2016

Did you know that your gut has 100 million neurons linking to your brain? This is why the gut is also referred to as the second brain.


aybe it’s your first-ever public speaking engagement or for a crucial business proposal. You may have experienced the butterflies-in-thestomach feeling at least once in a lifetime. And this is not just your emotions acting up due to stress or anxiety.

Specialist in Gastroenterology & Consultant of Raffles Internal Medicine Centre, Dr Amitabh Monga suggested that you should seek medical help if you experience these symptoms regularly and without due cause. • Nagging, vague abdominal pain • Nausea • Bloated feeling • Irregular consistency of stool • Flatulence

According to Dr Chua Siew Eng, Specialist in Psychiatry & Consultant, Raffles Counselling Centre, “When you are under stress, your body goes into this fight or flight mode whereby your body is in high alert as your hormones and all parts of the body reacts to face up to the threat.” This affects your stomach and gut as well, resulting in the proverbial butterflies in the stomach and sweaty palms as nervousness sets in.

You should always be aware of alarming symptoms such as difficulty in swallowing, severe abdominal pain, or weight loss or black tarry stools. Investigations ranging from ultrasound and CT scans to gastroscopy would be required to rule out possible medical conditions such as peptic ulcers or cancer, added Dr Monga.

These are perfectly fine and a normal reaction to stress or nervousness. When they occur infrequently, your body recovers from the physiological, psychological, and emotional changes, and return to its normal function quickly. On the other hand, when you experience repeated or dramatic stress responses, your body may have greater difficulty recovering. Due to stress hormones, your body may be in a semi hyper-stimulated state, leading to digestive problems and stomach problems.

If the problem has been assessed to be psychological in nature, “treatment can then range from finding the cause, jotting down when you have the pain and what causes it, reducing pressures from work or life, speaking to friends or a counsellor about your worries exercising and taking part in relaxing activities,” said Dr Chua.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic disease of the intestines that affects 10 to 15 percent of the population. According to Dr Monga, IBS does not lead to obstruction, bleeding or cancer of the colon, but individuals with severe symptoms may experience impaired quality of life with major disability.



• Food • Stress • Hormones • Other illnesses

• Abdominal pain or cramps • Bloated feeling • Gas • Diarrhoea or constipation • Mucus in stool

When to see doctor

Risk factors

• Rectal bleeding • Abdominal pain at night • Weight loss

• Young • Female • Family history • Mental health problem

Diagnostic Criteria

Reprinted from Raffles Healthnews publication, Issue 02/2016, “Butterflies in the Stomach”, pp 16 & 17. Copyright 2016, with permission from Raffles Medical Group

61 october 2016

IBS is diagnosed when a patient experiences recurrent abdominal pain or discomfort for at least three days in a month consecutively for the past three months, and in association with two or more of the following: • Improvement with defecation • Onset associated with a change in frequency of stool • Onset associated with a change in form (appearance) of stool Although these are the usual symptoms of IBS, your doctor could make a definitive diagnosis after hearing you out and a thorough examination.

You / learn

family fun Violet Fenying, love 97.2FM radio personality, shares how her family functions as a fun and loving unit.

62 october 2016

Violet Fenying, a Love 97.2FM radio personality and mother of two, shares that her family is so close knitted that they sleep in the master bedroom together. It has also helped to cultivate a culture of openness and sharing. She says, “The kids know what we think and we know what they are up to. Everything we do, we do as one family. Wherever we go, we go together. Leave no family members behind – that’s our motto.”

Sibling rivalry? Her children, Pacific (10) and Radiance (6) share such a close relationship with each other that she hardly has to deal with sibling rivalry. “My son will bring his sister around, holding her hand when they go out. He will take good care of her. In turn, Radiance will always accompany Pacific to the toilet as he is scared of the dark!” When they do fight over petty issues such as toys, she has found the perfect way to manage it – take away the toys in question so that no one can play with them! Most of the time, the siblings give in to each other so that it doesn’t become a full-blown tantrum that requires the parents to step in.

Study hard and play hard Violet Fenying shared that the family will be going to Spain and Portugal for a 12-day tour, in which she will be leading it. As a treat to the family, she booked tickets for everyone else as well. “I think

it will be a great experience for the kids. After working hard for the whole year, we need to take a break to see the world and enjoy ourselves. Of course, I will tell my son to study hard, or else he will not be able to go!” It seems like the family has this whole reward system down to a T. If the kids manage to complete a project or performed well in something, they will be rewarded for their effort. For instance, Radiance hosted during her school event in nursery, then went on to win third prize at a National English speech competition last year in K1, and second prize for another National Mandarin speech competition this year in K2, and she was rewarded handsomely each time! Find out more about Violet Fenying’s family life on our website.

text Hairin Rahman


ome is where most find a serene sanctuary, especially when you’re a young couple and don’t have kids. When young couples start having kids, the home sanctuary might not be as peaceful as it used to be, but the vibrance of children in the home helps create a new family culture in the way members of the family communicate and interact with each other, the activities family members do together and the way a family eats.




From Scandinavian to luxury themes, we show you how you can achieve your dream home.

Available at all major newsstands!



School's stressing you and your child out? Let us help you!



Help Your Preschooler to Make Friends




Common Myths About Dyslexia

P1 Registration:


Important Factors to Consider

Things to Consider when Choosing a Preschool

find these informative reads at Sign up for our mailing list to get content delivered to your mailbox With our practical tips, Singapore’s Child Digital is your go-to guide for a stress-free education journey.


How to Get Your Child Ready for Primary 1

Questions to Ask at ParentTeacher Meetings


Changes to PSLE Scoring and Sec 1 Posting

Ways to Beat Exam Stress



STAY CONNECTED with singapore's child wherever you are! SingaporesChild


There is no such thing as a

perfect parent.

So just be a

real one. Sue Atkins

Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their

own hands.

“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”

What it’s like to be a parent:

It's one of the hardest things you'll ever do but in exchange it teaches you the meaning of

unconditional love.” Nicholas Sparks

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the


things. Robert Brault

“Before I got married I had six theories about raising children; now, I have six children and no theories.” John Wilmot

Anne Frank

I don't remember who said this, but there really are places in the heart you don't even know exist

until you love a child. Anne Lamott

Let's Learn

Brain Teaser

Animal Planet

©2016 Viacom. ©2016 Spin Master. All Rights Reserved.

october 2016 ISSUE 179

Best Toys

Hubelino 200PC Building Kit Get your brains into the groove as you create your own marble run! This 200-piece set will give you hours of fun as you exercise your creativity and imagination to build dynamic marble runs that will wow your friends. There are tunnels, crossings, short and speedy acceleration curves and more to allow you to construct a visual masterpiece.

Trolls Poppy’s Stylin’ Pod Poppy loves to pamper herself like a princess, so you can brush her hair and try on different hairstyles in her styling pod. The little Troll doll has everything you need, including hair brush, mirror, wigs and other accessories for fun and crazy hairdo! You can open and close the pod, so when you’re done with styling, keep all the knick-knacks inside the purple husk and keep it until the next play time. Retails at $39.99 and available at Toys ‘R’ Us


Retails at $249.90 and available at The Better Toy Store

LEGO Minecraft The Fortress Set The popular PC game comes to life, thanks to your favourite bricks. The Minecraft set by LEGO allows you to load the cannon to defend the fortress and your farm animals from the army of skeletons. The set includes a Steve mini figurine, a horse, a sheep and three skeletons with five swords and three bows. Retails at $199.90 and available at The Brick Shop

Furby Connect

PlanToys Portable Tabletop Kitchen Made for aspiring chefs, this nifty wooden stove allows you to play cooking at home or when travelling. This portable tabletop also has a secret compartment to stow away the included pan and spatula, so you can easily carry it everywhere. What’s more, the toy stove has realistic rings and fire adjustment icon, making it look like the real deal!

Furby is back, and it’s smarter than ever! The latest Furby Connect allows you to play with the robotic plushie in a more fun and interactive way. All you need to do is download the Furby Connect World app and connect both toy and device with Bluetooth. See the magic in Furby’s eyes when it eats, sings, or poops on the digital toilet. When it’s bedtime, put on the inclusive eye mask and the squishy furball will go to sleep until you wake it up. Retails at $249.99 and available at Toys ‘R’ Us

Retails at $49.90 and available at The Better Toy Store

Star Wars Rogue One Stormtrooper Voice Changer Helmet Good news for all Star Wars fans! You can talk like a Stormtrooper with this voice-changing electronic helmet. Not only it will immediately disguise your speech to match the sound of a First Order squad, but it also has realistic details that accurately depict the movie’s Imperial soldier. The bad news is, you still have to go to the galaxy far, far away to protect the Galactic Empire. Retails at $139.99 and available at Toys ‘R’ Us


Let's Learn



Take some chalks, and lay out your own streets on a driveway or seldom-used parking lots for bicycles. Don’t forget the Stop’ signs! 2

Figure it out

Choose a very difficult word or Math problem, and allow yourself the entire holiday period to solve it. We bet you can!

Ways To Exercise Your Brain Muscles always benefit from exercising, and the same is true of that three kilograms mass of matter that lies between your ears, commonly known as your brain. Here are nine simple ways to keep your brain sharp.



Juggle it

It’s easy enough to learn, as there are lots of online and written resources. Once you figure it out, your brain is running in high gear. And hey, it’s fun!

Go somewhere Ask around, see if anyone you know is taking a day trip to some place that you've never been, and tag along – even if it's a short distance away. Just try to make it somewhere new and different.




Feed it

Foods known to improve your cranial capacity include walnuts, blueberries, avocados, almonds, pumpkin seeds and broccoli. Yucks, we know! But, maybe you can find a better way to prepare it – that is by using your brain, of course! 6


It sounds simple. But, just the act of getting up and hopping on one foot causes a lot of blood to flow through your brain, making it much stronger.

Do something, anything, differently


Try reading a book upside-down, or brushing your teeth with your nondominant hand, or walking backwards even. Any activity that you don’t normally engage in is using a new part of your brain.


Ask your parents for a used book to doodle in, or even a used or broken appliance to doodle on. Have fun with it!


Pick up a book, find a comfortable place, and let it take you somewhere. It’s what books are all about.

d Flas or




cranial: relating to the skull, especially the part enclosing the brain dominant: having power (and influence) over others engage: participate or become involved in doodle: scribble absent-mindedly


Brain Teaser


Complete the puzzle so that all the fruits in each single row are not repeated.





STARTS with the letter 1 2 3

I am equal to 60 seconds

M You wear me to cover your face

M You use me to eat


4 5 6

The hair of a lion


M A day in the week

M Not yours but

M Answer: 1.Minute 2.Mask 3.Mouth 4.Mane 5.Monday 6.Mine

Spot the difference

Can you spot the eight differences between picture A & B ?

B Answer: Cherry, Cone, Straw, Orange, Bun, Tomato, Fries, Juice Box.



Animal Planet


One of the longest There were many species of plant-eating dinosaurs that evolved during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. The Diplodocus, which was about 27-metre long, was one of the longest dinosaurs. Like most plant-eaters, it had a long neck. The tail of the Diplodocus was about 14-metre long – that is equal to about half of the creature's length! When these dinosaurs moved, their neck and tail were more or less at the same level, and they must have looked like walking suspension bridges. The name Diplodocus, which means 'double beam', owes its origin to this dinosaur's long and flexible tail that had an extra length of bone beneath the tailbones. When attacked, this creature lashed its tail to scare the attacker away.


High or low? Until recently, many scientists believed that the Diplodocus, like the Brachiosaurus, raised its long neck to pluck leaves from the tops of tall trees. But recent studies of its fossil suggest that the Diplodocus could not raise its neck much higher than the shoulder. This means that, unlike most other plant eaters, this creature was incapable of reaching leaves on treetops. So the Diplodocus must have lived on a diet of ferns and low-growing plants. This meant that it did not have to compete with the Brachiosaurus for food, which is probably how both giants managed to survive.

Tapering tail

The Titanosaurus appeared in the late Cretaceous period. It was about 20-metre long. Like the Diplodocus, it had a whiplike, tapering tail. When attacked, it used its tail as a weapon, flicking it wildly to scare the attacker away. If that didn't work, then it used its giant, strong legs to kick the attacker. Titanosaurus belonged to the group Titanosaurs or 'gigantic lizards'. Some Titanosaurs were 30-metre long! Titanosaurs had bony armour on their body and their skin was studded with small armoured plates for protection.


Dino Facts


d Flas r o


ou Did y ?


Bones of the Titanosaurus were first discovered near the town of Jabalpur in India in 1871. They could not be matched with the bones of other dinosaurs found up until that point, so scientists concluded that they must belong to a new dinosaur. The new dinosaur was named Titanosaurus Indicus, or the ‘giant lizard from India’, in 1877 by Richard Lydekker, an English geologist.

thrived - grew or developed well palaeontologist - a person who studies fossil animals and plants herbivores - animals that feed on plants

The Diplodocus was actually of a lighter build than other dinos its size. It weighed between 10 and 20 tonnes.

inflict - cause something unpleasant or painful to be suffered by someone or something fronds - large, finely divided leaves lashed - moved suddenly and swiftly tapering - become smaller or thinner towards one end


Singapore's Child October 2016 [PREVIEW]  

In this issue, read all about family planning, your child’s development and getting additional help in the form of babysitters. We also brin...

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