Parenting Tip Ep 1: Facial Care

Into the third month, our baby began to suck her fingers. At first, it was just her thumb and then she upgraded to fingers. In fact, all 4 of them! 

Needless to say, we weren’t exactly excited but we saw this coming as we too were ‘warned’ by friends whose babies had been there, done that. On a scientific note, babies’ salivary glands begin to work from 2 to 3 months of age, so get ready!

Now it wasn’t just the sight of saliva that puts us on red alert. As a doctor specialising in child health, I have seen my fair share of babies with drool rashes on their small pretty faces, as a result of saliva. Babies can’t help it. They suck their fingers and smear the saliva all over their faces. In addition, once they can roll over, it gets worse as they rub their saliva-smeared faces against the mattress aggressively. Talk about adding oil to fire. 

The Problem

Our baby was no exception. From her fourth month, she began to develop rashes. One patch was on her right cheek and mini rashes also appear on her chin where saliva usually gathers. 

Baby loves to suck fingers
Fingers ‘delight’ Time

The Solution

Depending on the severity of the rashes, you may want to bring your baby to the clinic or hospital for an examination. Most likely, the doctor will suggest that it is nothing to worry about, and prescribe some cream for you to apply finely over the affected areas. 

Note: The prescription could be a steroid cream, with hydrocortisone cream being a very common choice because it does help to reduce inflammation of eczema. It is usually prescribed for a short duration of treatment, after which if it doesn’t get better, you should stop using and consult your paediatrician again. 

My recommendation is to avoid using steroid cream as much as you can. The skin rash / irritation is likely to be caused by the saliva. To recover from that state, be diligent in cleaning your baby’s face and fingers. You can use a wet cloth to do it. Alcohol wipes are not recommended. After cleaning, you can also put on pure moisturising cream for baby to prevent the rash from being irritated by dryness. Within 1-2 day, if you do this consistently, your baby’s skin condition will improve. Continue for a week, and things should resume back to normal. This is my preferred natural treatment, and you have no concern over steroid cream causing your baby’s skin to develop other side effects. 

You can also use a bib if your baby drools quite extensively onto his/her clothes. Just remember to keep a stack of those bibs ready or alternatively, get one that is waterproof

Conclusion

Don’t be too worried if your baby skin develop rashes. It is very normal for babies to go through some form of skin irritation. As parents, we can alleviate part of the problem by keeping the baby clean. This includes maintaining the cleanliness of the surroundings such as the mattress they sleep on, the play mat, their clothing etc. For cleaning, we usually use water that has been purified. This ensures water is not too hard, and free of bacteria.

When is a good time to start on solid foods and what should your baby eat?

Around the 4-5th month, your baby may be ready for solid food and as new parents, you may be wondering what to get for your baby. In this article, we will break down the steps and show you what to get for your newborn to make this transition a seamless one.

Step 1: How to know baby is ready for solid food?

While it varies from one baby to the other, somewhere between the 4th and 5th month, your baby may be exhibiting an increasing desire to suck his/her fingers. Trying to stop them sometimes only results in your little one becoming even more irritated and crying non-stop. If you are experiencing this, your baby may be in the early stage of teething. You can get a teething toy to help them ease the discomfort. Apart from that, this is also the timing for you to start them slowly on a partial solid food diet. 

The main staple is still milk (breast or formula) but getting the baby to start eating some solid foods daily helps them to transit smoothly to a full solid foods diet later. Your baby is learning how to eat from a spoon (new experience!) and to swallow.

Step 2: Baby is ready for solid foods. What should you get for them?

The first solid foods for your baby will be very fine cereals. So fine that they are just like milk powder. We recommend you start with the HealthyTimes Brown Rice Cereals for baby which are suitable for 4m+ babies. 

Healthy Times Organic Whole Grain Brown Rice Cereal for Baby
HealthyTimes Organic Whole Grain Brown Rice Cereal for Baby

The way to prepare is to mix these cereals using either water or milk. We recommend using warm milk, as it seems from many families’ recount that their babies do not like it much if water is used instead.

Step 3: How much to prepare?

The instructions on the package indicates 1 tablespoon of cereals to be mixed with 4-5 tablespoons of water/milk. For your first feeding, I suggest you do just that and monitor your baby’s reaction to it. Does he/she take it well or otherwise? Do note that using a spoon to feed is a completely new experience for the baby and the texture of the mix is also new, so don’t be discouraged if the baby is splitting out more than taking in. With more practice, they will get it which is very similar to how they adjust to bottle feeding in the first month.

BabynHome - Solid Foods Mix
The mixture of brown rice cereal and milk

Tips:

  • Try to feed solid foods at the second or third meal of the day. This gives your baby a bit more time to digest
  • Encourage your baby as he/she tries this new feeding, this will help the baby to accept it more readily instead of resisting it each time
  • Over time (weeks and months), you can reduce the quantity of water/milk versus the cereals to make the mix more solid
  • When using the spoon to feed, do not insert the spoon too deeply into the baby’s mouth. Their mouth is still small and soft, and if you put it too deeply, it may induce vommiting

Step 4: How do you feed this mix to your baby?

You need to get a bowl and spoon suitable for baby use. We recommend the Tommee Tippee Explora Cool & Mash Weaning Bowl. The whole set consists of the bowl and a spoon, made of baby safe material suitable for baby 4m+ and up.

We like it because it is easy to use and wash, very lightweight and you can also sterilise it. It has a lid that can latch on tightly to prevent the content from falling out. Tommee Tippee has also designed it in such a way that you can ‘click’ the spoon onto the lid and there is a cover over it to prevent it from getting dirty. This feature deserves a 4.5 stars out of 5. We would have given it a full 5/5 rating if they can somehow make the spoon retract completely within the diameter of the lid instead of protruding out. 

Tommee Tippee Explora Cool N Mash Weaning Bowl
The lid provides a storage for the spoon that comes with it
Tommee Tippee Explora Cool N Mash Weaning Bowl
The Weaning Bowl & Spoon

The Tommee Tippee Explora allows you to mix the cereals with milk and you can feed it directly to your baby. We find it very convenient to use and because it is lightweight, bringing it around does not take up much space nor add significant weight to your baby bag

Conclusion

Getting your baby to transit to a solid foods diet can start any time from 4m+. In our collective experiences, some babies may start as soon as they hit fourth month while others do so at the sixth month. You should not be overly concerned but as one parent shared with us. He said it is advisable to start feeding small amounts of solid food as soon as your baby shows signs of teething. Doing so allows the baby to learn how to chew and handle food inside their mouth. This takes practice and practice takes time. “Start small, but start early” he advised. 

A Safe Play Mat For Your Baby

The play mat comes into play when your baby starts to crawl. This is usually from the 6th month onwards but there are always some super babies around, so you want to stay prepared.

Our baby started to roll over exactly when she hits the 4th month, and we allowed her to practise tummy time on our king size bed. However, our bed is a good 2 feet from the ground including the mattress and you definitely want to keep an eye on your little one when they are rolling or crawling on it. We have a few scares ourselves as baby was rolling over much faster than we thought she could.

The Solution 

The play mat is the safest option for your baby to roll about and crawl in those formative months, and it is good for use even as they learn to take their first steps.

First of all, it is close to the ground and there is no risk of baby tumbling through the air. We have witnessed our friends’ baby going through that and frankly, it is nerve-wrecking even if the baby smiles back at you after crying a bit.

The Parklon Roll-up XPE Play Mat is our recommended choice. It was in fact recommended to us by our confinement lady. She had over 10 years experience caring for newborns and babies and she swore by this brand. We trust her judgement, and are using it. Here are a few things we like about it.

BabynHome - Parklon Play Mat
The Parklon Play Mat
  • Easy to clean, hygienic and no rubbery smell
  • The surface is soft and perfect for babies and children to roll, crawl or run on it
  • It is slip resistant
  • We find it quite good at reducing noise, so neighbours below won’t be affected even if children run or jump on it
  • Different sizes available to suit your home design (with thickness of 10, 12, 15 or 20 mm)
  • Colourful design on the mat captures babies’ attention
  • Easy to keep as you can roll it up and store in a corner. Despite repeated rolling up, the play mat maintains its flatness when laid out on the floor; no curved-up corners/edges
BabynHome - Parklon Roll Up XPE Play Mat
Easy to roll up and tuck away when not in use

After using the play mat, we are more at ease leaving the baby alone for a few seconds. While it is safe to use, you want to ensure there are no furniture around the play mat that your baby can potentially hurt themselves with. Sharp corners, light furniture which may tumble over if pulled hard (babies can pull very hard, especially at the point of learning to stand) should be removed and placed far away from the play mat zone. We would suggest getting a set of playpen fences to keep the baby within the safe zone. 

The entire play mat plus fence can be kept installed all the time and they are easily removed and kept if you have guests coming over and you need more space. Alternatively, it is a great playing area for all your friends’ kids while the parents chill out and take their much needed and deserved rest.

Product Safety

As parents, we really want to make sure our babies are not exposed to any materials that can cause harm. There are a lot of play mats out there claiming to be non-toxic and often times, the discussion hinges on what is truly non-toxic and the extent of testing available. 

We think technology will continue to throw up new trends and standards and we should adjust accordingly. For ourselves, we did our research online and more importantly, we consult with four other pairs of parents who use the same product.

Here are the technical details in a brief summary.

The Parklon Roll up Play Mat is made of a material known as XPE. Compared to the traditional EVA and PVC mats, this is a safer alternative. To go a step deeper, it is free of phthalates, BPA, latex and formaldehyde. These are elements that cause that toxic smell you encounter sometimes with other mats.

The XPE is also hypoallergenic which means it has a very low risk for causing allergic reactions and it has anti-microbial which is an agent that kills microorganisms or stop their growth.

We believe all these make up a good product and coupled with the recommendations of other parents and our personal user experience, we are happy to recommend it as well.

Get your Parklon Roll up Play Mat

 

Do leave us a comment if you are using a similar product, let us know your thoughts and questions (if any). 

What Type of Clothing Should I Get for my Newborn?

If you are expecting your firstborn, you may be wondering what type of clothing to get for your baby.

People will tell you different things. Some would suggest you get clothing that cover the baby from head to toe, ensuring the hands and feet are fully covered to keep them warm. That is until, another person came along and tell you that the hands must not be covered because doing so restricts movement and….development. 

In this article, we are going to go through the type of clothing you would need for your newborn and WHY you shouldn’t buy too many in advance.

Factors to Consider

#1 Climate

Where you are staying is an important factor. Are you staying in an evergreen sunny country like Singapore or are you in London where there are seasons. You know the delivery date and thus the season when your baby is due. Make sure you get clothing that fit the climate and don’t worry too much about getting very thick winter clothes unless you plan to bring your baby out frequently.

For the first one to two months, you probably will only bring the baby for check ups at the hospital. Using a blanket to swaddle the baby when you bring him/her out will keep the baby warm and comfortable.

Swaddling your baby is a safe and comfortable way to bring them out
Photo Credit: https://pixabay.com/en/users/noblegerad-2990912/

#2 Clothing Design

Baby clothing for your newborn comes in a few standard designs.

  • Slip over the head crew neck shirts (short/long sleeved)
  • Side snap shirts (short/long sleeved)
  • Monk style shirts

Let’s look at their pros and cons.

Slip over the head Crew Neck Shirts (short/long sleeved)

BabynHome - Crew Neck Baby Clothing
Photo courtesy of Uniqlo: The Slip over the head “Crew Neck” Design

The crew neck design is a favourite with many parents because it is so easy to wear. Our baby has a relatively big head (LOL) yet we can still get her into the clothing easily because the neck opening is elastic and stretches to accommodate. There is another similar design but which comes with buttons at the neck opening. It is meant to open up the neck opening so that baby’s head can fit through more easily. While not a bad design, we cautioned against this type because the buttons can brush against your baby’s face while you are trying to get their head through it, especially if the baby’s head circumference is larger. 

BabynHome - Baby Clothing with buttons near neck opening
Caution: Buttons around neck opening can entangle!

Side Snap Shirts (short/long sleeved)

The side snap shirts get their name from the design. Instead of slipping the clothing over the baby’s head, these shirts open up from the front. We recommend them for newborns until their necks are stronger before you change to the slip over the head crew neck shirts.

BabynHome - Side Snap Shirts
Side Snap Shirts are best for newborns

Monk Style Shirts

There is also a type of clothing (monk style) that are highly suitable for newborns. Similar to the side snap shirts, the monk clothing uses strings (instead of buttons) to hold the shirt together. Again, I say they are good for newborns because they are easy to put on and take off. However, once your baby becomes a bit older, he/she will tug at these strings and cause the clothing to come apart. That is when you will naturally prefer to go for clothing with buttons.

BabynHome - Monk Clothing
Monk Clothing: Instead of buttons, it uses strings to hold the shirt together

#3 Mittens

BabynHome - Baby MittensSome clothing comes with mittens. While these serve to protect your little one from scratching their tender faces accidentally, we feel they are useful for newborns and from the third month onwards, our baby starts to suck her fingers. Initially we use the mittens to cover her hands but they end up being soaked with saliva which she spreads over her small face with delight whenever we are not watching her. 

So what do you think? Mittens or not?

I have since decided not to use them and instead, I solve the problem partially by giving her the pacifier or another teething toy which I can wash and reuse immediately.

#4 Socks

It is important to keep the baby’s feet warm. Socks are used but once your baby starts getting fidgety, you can expect them to dislodge their own socks one time too many. We lost a few socks in that way. The other way is to get clothing that covers the feet fully. We have a few of these but frankly, we don’t use it that often as we are living in a humid region at the moment and it can be rather sweaty to be cooped inside for the whole day. The other concern has to do with poo emergency…

In the event of a poo, speed is everything between us having to wash an extra piece of clothing for that day or not. The head to toe clothing has dozens of buttons and on a few occasions, we found ourselves staring at the soiled clothing and thinking “If only I was a split second faster….”

Anyway, that’s just our personal rant. 

BabynHome - Clothing that covers the feet completely
Covered Clothing keeps the Feet Warm

Important Tip

Finally, there is no need to buy too many clothing for your newborn. Babies grow up really fast, especially within the first 10 weeks. Our baby grew on average 1 cm per week until she hits 65 cm. She was 50 cm at birth. 

In other words, all the clothing you bought initially would be too small for your baby by the time she hits the end of second month. You probably can still let your baby wear them but it would be a very tight fit and uncomfortable. In addition, you might also have friends who want to gift you with baby clothing or pass down their unused baby clothing if you don’t mind. As a matter of fact, we received so much clothing (used and new) and until the age of one, we doubt we need to buy any new pieces.

Our recommendation is to get a few long-sleeved side snap shirts for your newborn as their necks are fragile at birth and it is best to avoid too much movement around the neck at that early stage. Long-sleeved shirts are also good for keeping warm. Then, once they grow up and their neck muscles become stronger, you can consider adding a few crew neck shirts. 

In our case, our baby’s neck became stronger around end of second month and we started alternating between the side snap and crew neck shirts.

In summary…parents-to-be would be well served by getting 5-6 pieces of these side snap shirts. They are easy to wash and dry, stretchable, 100% cotton and highly affordable. By getting 5-6 pieces, you ensure there is always clean dry clothing for your baby. On average, you may use up to two pieces per day, if your baby soils her clothes. It happens…no matter what precaution or diaper you use.

Should I Get a Pacifier?

“My child is still sucking on his thumb and he’s eleven years old” bemoans my friend. 

When Joyce and I heard that, we decided to go out there and get a pacifier for our baby. We didn’t like the idea of our child sucking on her thumb or any other finger at the age of eleven.

We have never seen any child sucking on a pacifier at that age. Until the age of four or less, a pacifier may be the daily companion of the child, pretty much the same way adults can’t go without their mobile phones. But usually, they stop using the pacifier as they grow up. The logic is quite simple as a friend explained. Carrying a pacifier around takes effort and the child just grows out of it. However, the thumb is always around and thus if it becomes a habit, it is more difficult to stop.

On a practical note, a pacifier does have some benefits and these are some situations where it comes in really useful.

On a Flight

BabynHome - Flight Pressure Causing Ear PainThe pressure difference when the plane is taking off or descending can be uncomfortable for the baby’s ears. The pacifier solves this by aiding the baby to suck and thus alleviating the pressure build up. The alternative is to feed your baby milk during takeoff or landing but that means you have to time your feeding and it is not always easy to get it right.

At Night

Different babies may have different routines when it comes to sleeping at night. At the 3rd month onwards, our baby started to suck on her fingers and this encouraged us to use the pacifier as an alternative, especially at night just before she sleeps. It calms her down and she is able to sleep earlier.

Cons and Pros

As parents, one of our concerns is whether our baby may be addicted to the pacifier. Friends relate stories of their babies who couldn’t sleep without their favourite toy, pacifier and this created a sense of hesitation. We use the pacifier only for the situations above, and in most cases, we try to calm the baby down by holding her. 

Pacifier teeth can develop due to the prolonged use of pacifiers, which affects oral development and alignment of teeth. The suggestion is to wean off pacifier before age of two for healthy teeth development.

On the positive end, studies have shown that pacifiers can help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Recommendation: The Pacifier We Are Using is from the Pigeon Brand

What’s your experience with using a pacifier for your baby? We love to hear from you.

Review of Strollers and our Final Choice

Of all the baby products, the stroller is perhaps the most challenging to decide. In fact, I think it is tougher than buying the family car. 

I have lost count of the number of strollers I have reviewed in person at each and every department store while I was living in Hong Kong. I think the promoters know me from afar. 

Every weekend, I would diligently inspect the latest model of stroller, hoping to find one that can fit all my requirements which include:

  • Bassinet for infant that can be transferred to the car as an immediate car seat
  • Usable until 2-3 years old
  • Bi-directional Implementation: Baby can see the world or face us
  • One-hand folding
  • Tires that are sturdy and have good suspension, easy to push around
  • Not too bulky as the streets are often crowded, we want to manoeuvre it with ease
  • Has to be light for easy carrying and stowaway in car boot, flight cabin etc
  • Affordable
  • Fashionable. We like baby to look good in it

Did we miss out anything from your list? Please add on in the comments if you think there is something parents should take note. 

Anyway, with a comprehensive list of features we are looking for, it didn’t take long to figure out that there probably isn’t a stroller that meets all these requirements 100%. In short, if you are like us, you have to decide eventually what are the MUST-HAVES and Good-to-Haves. 

With that in mind, our list was condensed to the following:

  • Usable until 2-3 years old from birth as we didn’t want to keep changing strollers or to have multiple strollers in our already-crowded apartment
  • Bi-directional Implementation: Baby can see the world or face us
  • Tires that are sturdy and have good suspension, easy to push around
  • Not too bulky as the streets are often crowded, we want to manoeuvre it with ease
  • Has to be light for easy carrying and stowaway in car boot, flight cabin etc
  • Affordable

Key Highlights

Chicco Bravo Trio

A few good models stand out from among the pack. The Chicco Bravo Trio almost ticked all the boxes on our wish list but we find it to be a bit bulky and the car seat is only until 9 months to 1 year of age depending on how fast your baby grows. Once the baby’s back is strong enough, the car seat can be removed and replaced with the stroller and canopy. 

Medically speaking, it is not advisable for a baby to lie on the car seat for more than two hours at a stretch as this can affect their spinal development. Therefore, we were not too keen in strollers that use a car seat. Rather if you need, a bassinet which provides a flat lying surface will be safer for your baby’s development. However, a bassinet cannot be used on a car as a car seat and thus, it is an additional item.

The Chicco Bravo Trio is essentially a very full-featured model and if you don’t mind having to get another car seat for your baby later because the current one is for infant only, this is our recommended model. 

Babyzen Yoyo+

The next model is the Babyzen Yoyo+. No stroller review is complete without mentioning the Yoyo+. The Yoyo+ is probably the most petite yet functional and robust stroller you can find. It weighs in at only 13 pounds and because of its compact design, makes for very convenient carrying. Even in the car boot, it takes up so little space that you have plenty of room to spare. The Yoyo+ is also friendly on flights and you can hand-carry it and have it stowed away on the overhead cabin. Personally I don’t like the idea of putting a stroller in the overhead cabin but if you like to move fast and avoid the waiting time at the carousel, this is for you. 

The Yoyo+ does not have bidirectional handle, so you have to purchase the infant car seat and install it. Then your baby will be facing you. Once baby is old enough, remove the infant car seat and let your baby sit up to face the world. Due to this additional purchase, the cost of a Yoyo+ can rack up significantly. It is definitely not cheap but if you want a robust yet lightweight stroller, Yoyo+ is highly recommended. In fact, other than its relatively higher price tag, it is really the stroller for city-dwellers and globetrotters. 

Tip: It has also come to our attention that there are some similarly designed strollers in the market, which is probably a testimony to Yoyo+’s quality design. These brands include Vovo, Yoya and they look and feel almost identical to the Yoyo+. They are priced at a cheaper price point and that probably created the market. I have not used them myself but a friend who is using Yoya told us that the material used for Yoya is a bit rougher compared to Yoyo+. There are cases of parents reporting skin rash of their babies after using these strollers.

We also looked at strollers from Graco, Combi and Stokke. Here is a quick round-up of their main selling points.

GRACO Fastaction Fold Jogger

The Graco Fastaction Fold Jogger Click Connect Stroller has an interesting concept. It accepts infant car seat so that means you can use it for a newborn onwards. Its main selling point lies in its 3 wheel design which is air-filled for excellent suspension. This is because this stroller is suitable for parents who like to jog while pushing their baby stroller around. Frankly, I don’t see such parents around. Most I know do not exercise like that but….the point is well received. Parents should exercise.

STOKKE Xplory

The Stokke stroller is well known for its seat height, away from the ground. Definitely not the cheapest option, but if you are concerned about your little one being too close to ground and sucking in all the dust, the Stokke will immediately alleviate that concern. For tall parents, this can also help to reduce potential back pain of bending over too much. Stokke seems like a celebrity brand and include the following fans such as Bruce Willis, Emma Herning, Giuliana Rancic, Tina Fey, Gwen Stefani and Helen Flanagan. Yes, it is expensive but you get to step out in style. It’s a head turner for sure. Another thing to note is that Stokke strollers are not light and their latest model for 2017 the Stokke Xplory weighs in at 37.5 pounds. That’s 17+ kg! Finally, Stokke is very stable and you will have peace of mind knowing your baby is secure on it. 

COMBI Fold N Go

Last but not least, the Combi Fold N Go Stroller is a hot favourite among many parents. Somehow, I think that has to do with its design and affordable price point. It is very easy to handle and one hand folding works like a charm when I compare it to other brands. In addition, it has a lower price point but does not cut on features. Combi is a Japanese brand and though their manufacturing sites may not be in Japan, kudos to the Japanese designers who put their heart into designing this user friendly stroller. It moves along very well and with lockable front swivel wheels, it improves the manoeuvrability. It also has a large canopy that comes with a mesh ventilation window, allowing you to keep an eye on your child at all times and also for easy air flow. Now, the Combi Fold N Go is more suitable for babies 6 months and above. It doesn’t have bidirectional facing, so baby will only face the front. These are the reasons why we didn’t go with it as it is almost perfect for us in all other categories. 

Finally, The Final Stroller

We have come a long way since we set eyes on the first stroller. There are a dozen more brands out there and each comes with its pros and cons. The mentioned models in this review are those we think are noteworthy. If you want to explore further, start with these first.

Then, we are going to share the final stroller, which is also the one we eventually got for our baby.

BABYSING I-GO stroller

Perhaps relatively unknown, we came across Babysing at a baby expo in Hong Kong and I had the chance to speak to their sole distributor. Apparently, this is a French brand and they work through online and offline stores to sell their products globally. If you can’t find a sales office at your region, just hit over to Amazon and you should be able to find it. Here’s a link for the model we bought.

 

Key Features 
  • French Design
  • 100% Resin Cotton
  • Durable, light weight aluminium frame with spacious seat area
  • Tires are sturdy and cleans easily
  • Canopy made of easy to clean material (ie. resin cotton). A zipper on the canopy allows you to compress it, making it very neat
  • One hand fold design works well when opening it. To close it, frankly…two hands are needed unless you are very skilled
  • The reclining 5 point harness seat can be adjusted to 175 degree, so baby can sit and lie comfortably
  • The seat height is at a high of 76 cm from the ground. This makes it safer from vehicle exhaust and dust from the ground
  • Folded size: 54 x 50 x 28 cm

We went for the Babysing I-GO because it meets most of our requirements. It is somewhat a cross between a Stokke and a Yoyo+. It’s high off the ground (Stokke-ish) and it is small and lightweight (Yoyo+). Nevertheless, the Yoyo+ is still more compact than the Babysing I-GO. Yoyo+’s the choice if you really like to stay nimble and move quickly. The Babysing I-GO cannot fit in the flight cabin, so you have to check it in before boarding. It does not have a bi-directional handle but the canopy can be re-adjusted to face either direction, thus we can see the baby without any obstruction. When she is older, we will just keep it to face the front. Features wise, we are happy with the I-GO and the other pull factor is cost. For its full-fledged features, the Babysing I-GO is highly affordable and because we got it at a baby expo, there was an additional discount. 

As the I-GO is relatively compact compared to its peers (with the exception of Yoyo+), its basket is quite limited. You can probably put some baby items in a small to mid sized plastic bag plus groceries like a carton of milk and yoghurt but trying to fit a tote bag in there may prove to be challenging. (Update 9 Feb 2018: We managed to do it somehow but it is a tight squeeze.) It is good for ferrying your baby around with some light items but don’t expect it to double up as a shopping cart as we see with some bigger strollers.

Conclusion

Here you go. This marks the end of our review for strollers. We may not have all the specs on this page but feel free to reach out to us and discuss. We love to share our experience, and hopefully that can save you some time.

 

The Other Baby Crib I Have

I did a review and recommendation for the Evenflo Playpen in my previous post. Thought I would wrap it up by sharing about the other baby crib I have.

This one was a gift from friends whose daughter is 3 years old and no longer needed that crib. The brand is known as California Bear and is from a Hong Kong company.

If you look at the picture above, the background was a mess as we were in the midst of a relocation. Eventually, we left this baby crib in Hong Kong.

That is also the reason why we had a second baby crib here which is the Bonbijou S2 Playpen. 

First of all, it is very sturdy and comes with four wheels with two of them lockable. Thus, moving it around the apartment was a breeze and during the first two months of our baby, it was a big help to us. 

Since I am working from home, I pushed it around the apartment so that I can keep an eye on the baby.

This baby crib is able to support the baby until 1 year+. The age is just a reference. More importantly, the height of your baby as they grow is more crucial. Our baby experienced a growth spurt and by end of the second month, she was able to touch the wooden bars by wriggling her way around the crib. She also banged her head against the wooden bars a few times, making both of us paranoid.

Exactly how big is this baby crib? I have the dimensions of the mattress which fits snugly into the frame.

BabynHome - Wooden Baby Cot Mattress
970 (L) x 570 (W)
Mattress Thickness: 115 mm

As you can see, the mattress is 115 mm thick and has a total area of 970 (L) by 570 (W). The crib frame is slightly bigger to accommodate this mattress. 

The frame is extremely sturdy and even though we couldn’t bring it overseas because it is just too heavy to lug around, we had it dismantled and stowed for future use. 

The dismantling and assembly are straightforward and takes no more than 30 minutes. I did it single-handedly and there was no issue. Dismantling it is even faster, and the entire crib frame takes up very minimal space in our apartment.

BabynHome - Wooden Baby Crib Dismantled
The Baby Crib can be dismantled and stowed away easily

User Experience

First of all, if you are in a fixed location, getting a sturdy baby crib like this is highly recommended. It provides the best support for your baby and with its mobility, you can wheel it around the house. One side of the baby crib can be lowered in height so that you don’t have to bend over that much to pick up the baby. However, as the baby grows up, you have the option of raising its height to maximum so that they don’t fall out of it.

Due to the wooden bars all around, it is advisable to put cushioning mattress all around, so that your baby does not end up hitting their head against the hardwood, nor end up having their heads stuck in between them. It is highly unlikely that can happen but precautions are always good.

Finally, this baby crib is easily stowed away once you no longer need to use it. Dismantling it is easy and once stacked together, they can be propped against any wall and take up very minimal space.

Our Recommendation is the Dream On Me 2 in 1 Portable Folding Stationary Side Crib. It is made of cherry wood, foldable for easy storage and transport and yes, it comes with wheels and so mobility is not an issue. It can be converted into a playpen by lowering the crib. This is useful once the baby gets older and taller. 

Do you have a question for us, or a review you want to add on? We love to hear from you.

Getting your first Baby Cot – We Make it Simple

The Baby Cot is one of the most important items that have to be prepared in advance for your newborn. 

With so many options out there, it is no wonder that this decision sometimes takes a long time to finalize. To make matters worse, there is the constant sales promotion that sways your decision each time you thought you had it. If this is what you are going through, we are happy to share our experience and recommendation.

If you like it, this can free up your time by a few weekends…at least. 

What We Went Through

Our baby was due for Sep last year but we started looking for baby cots around Apr or was it even earlier? Anyway, we visited every baby and department store across the country. Our weekend routine was fixed. We would drive down to each newly identified mall/store and inspect every baby cot and stroller (that’s for another article review!) we laid our eyes on. 

Weeks went by, and we had our sights on a few models. However, it was hard to finalize. The perfect model hadn’t appeared. Well, it never appeared. Eventually, we went for a baby cot that was different from our initial expectation. We originally wanted something small and portable, because babies grow up fast and there was no point to invest in a heavy-duty cot. Adding to that was also our need for mobility. We tend to move around often and therefore, a baby cot that can be brought around would be ideal. 

There were a few models that are foldable but when we examine their size after being folded up, they don’t look that portable and we don’t think we can lug them around easily. This is our unique situation and if you are not moving around and has a fixed location, the choices could be simpler.

Our Criteria for choosing the Right Baby Cot

  • Made of Sturdy Material
  • At least suitable for use until 1 -2 year old
  • Can be moved around easily; comes with wheels
  • No hard edges for fear baby may bang their head against it

Given these requirements, we eventually bought the Bonbijou S2 Playpen. For some reason, we couldn’t link it to the direct item but here’s a similar product for your reference

In any case, we like theBonbijou S2 Playpen for the following reasons. 

  • Suitable from birth to max weight 20kgs
  • Exterior Dimension: 125x67x78cm
  • Include a FREE 2″ thickness of Bonbijou Anti Dust-mites Mattress
  • It’s relatively lightweight
  • Portable as you can dismantle it quite easily and assemble again
  • The material used is soft mesh and poses no danger to baby even if they rub or hit against it
  • There is a diaper changer which you can fix on top of the baby cot. It is good for babies until 6-7kg. It provides the right height for cleaning but our baby is getting heavy and almost tilting over at 7 kg, we stopped using it. Another reason is also she is now almost able to turn on her own and trying to balance a fidgety baby on that diaper changer requires an extreme level of control and undivided attention. We just didn’t want to challenge that!
  • The storage is simply the coolest feature. The entire space beneath the bed is the main storage and we pack the diapers, diaper changing pad, cotton swabs, creams, baby wipes into it
BabynHome - Graco Baby Cot Internal Storage
The Main Storage Compartment is extremely roomy
  • On the side, there are convenient side pockets for items which are often used
BabynHome - Graco Baby Cot Side Pockets
Side Pockets provide quick assess to often-used items
  • The musical toy is a nice addition. At times, our baby falls to sleep while listening to it
BabynHome - Graco Baby Cot Musical Box
The Musical Toy provides moments of fun

Any Dislikes?

Not a lot but here’s a couple of changes I would like to see to future iterations.

  • TheBonbijou S2 Playpen comes with roller wheels on only 2 legs. In other words, when you want to push it around, you have to lift up one end and push/pull it. 4 wheels with brakes on one of them would make a PERFECT design
  • As the mattress is not resting on a solid frame (it’s sturdy mesh), the mattress tends to sag down a bit in the middle. Not extreme sagging but you can tell it is not 100% flat, as what you would get from a frame made of solid wood planks.
  • The musical toy works on a spring mechanism, so it plays for a minute or so before you have to rewind it. Not a big deal but I have seen some similar toys running on batteries and they can go on ‘forever’ until you hit stop. There is even one that comes with a sound sensor so that if the baby makes noise, it turns on. I got that in Hong Kong but it was just too bulky to lug around.

Our Recommendation

The Evenflo Portable Babysuite Deluxe Playard is of similar design to the Bonbijou S2 Playpen. Both come with excellent convenient storage and are portable for couples who are on a mobile lifestyle, or who enjoy the convenience of stowing it away once baby grows out of it.

Traveling with your Baby Bath Tub

If you have a baby and you are travelling, you will have to figure a way to bath your baby daily, especially if it is in a humid country. 

Most hotels may have a bathtub but it is meant for adults. With your little one, you may want to stay on the safe side and prepare your own baby bathtub. It is cleaner.

However, bringing a baby bathtub around in your luggage can be a challenge. 

We explored several options and bought the Summer Infant Fold Away Baby Bath. There are other similar options out there but we like the Summer Infant for its lightweight, foldability which makes it a breeze to fit it into our 28-inch luggage and still with plenty of room to spare. 

Here is a photo of the Summer Infant Fold Away Bath Bath tucked inside our luggage. 

BabynHome - Summer Infant Baby Bath In A Luggage
Tucked snugly into our 28-inch luggage. Plenty of room to spare.

We brought this to Sydney recently because the serviced apartment was not able to provide a baby bath, nor do they have a bathtub. The Summer Infant ensures our baby gets her daily bath in an environment she is familiar with. 

Tip: You should call up the hotel or serviced apartment to inquire before the trip.  In our case, they provided the baby cot but not the baby bath. 

Setting Up and Maintenance

To set up the baby bath, just unfold it and pull out the four supporting legs from beneath and lock them in place. You should also ensure the outlet vent is enclosed to prevent water from escaping. 

BabynHome - Summer Infant Baby Bath - The Supports
The Leg Supports can be open and closed easily

BabynHome - Summer Infant Baby Bath - The Leg Supports

For us, we kept the outlet enclosed at all times, as we usually discharge the used water by just tilting the baby bath to its side. Using the outlet vent would be slower. 

BabynHome - Summer Infant Baby Bath - Outlet Vent
There is an outlet to discharge the water

Anyway, for a baby bath, there is no need to fill it with water to the brim. Just half of it will do and keep it at a temperature of around 37 deg C. With experience, your hand becomes the best thermometer. For newbie parents, we bought a floating thermometer and put it in the water. 

Cleaning up after each use is easy. Just pour away the water and leave it standing against the wall to dry. Once a week, you may want to wash the baby bath more thoroughly to ensure any dirt is removed. 

User Experience

We have been using this baby bath from Day 1. Our baby is now longer (around 64 cm) and we do find it a “tight” fit at times. She doesn’t have a lot of room to move around but nevertheless, it does the job nicely.

We have a separate (bigger) baby bath at home which we use on a daily basis. As for the Summer Infant, it is highly portable and we use it whenever we travel.

👉 Get your Summer Infant Fold Away Baby Bath 

👉 Get your MotherMed Baby Bath Thermometer

👉 For home use, you can consider this: The First Years Sure Comfort Deluxe Newborn To Toddler Tub