Saturday, 9 November 2013

Additional Mattress for the Mothercare Swinging Crib

In one of the previous posts, I mentioned that we bought the Mothercare Swinging Crib from the Mothercare flagship store in Harbourfront Centre, Singapore.

 Picture from

Mothercare Swinging Crib – White (SGD 228.00)

  • Birch crib
  • Soothing swinging action helps rock baby to sleep
  • Can be locked in a fixed position
  • Suitable from birth to approximately 6 months, or until your baby can pull him/herself in an upright position
  • Requires a square end crib mattress (38 x 89cm), sold separately
  • Available in natural
  • Conforms to BS EN 1130
  • Color :  White
  • Size :  L105 x W50 x H84cm

OK, see the bit where it says it requires a crib mattress sold separately? Surprise, surprise! It’s not that easy to find a mattress to fit this crib which I suppose, is not so commonly used in Singapore. Being made to UK measurements, the only place I could initially find a mattress for it was from Mothercare itself. For SGD126, we managed to buy the Mothercare Crib Square End SAFEseal Foam Mattress with Spacetec and COOLMAX freshFX.

Although it fits, the mattress was not thick or firm enough for my liking. Try as hard as I wanted, despite scouring Amazon US and Amazon UK, I couldn’t find anything which fit the crib. It was always either 1 inch out, and that wasn’t good enough. Somehow though, through extensive surfing, I managed to find a LOCAL supplier (how amazing) who had an online site (more amazement) in Singapore, who had mattresses of all sizes, and I managed to find something which almost fit the crib.



I managed to find this mattress measuring 38cm x 88cm (the crib measures 38cm x 89cm) and it is 3 inches (8cm) thick. Not only that, they offer free delivery within Singapore if your purchase is above SGD89! I know this mattress is going for SGD88, but after a quick chat with the people who called to confirm the order, they said that they’d do it for free anyway.

So, basically, if there is anyone in Singapore who bought the Mothercare crib, and wanted an additional mattress, now you know where to go!

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Mattress for the Graco Pack ‘n Play Elite with Newborn Napper

So we bought the Graco Pack ‘n Play Elite which comes with a changing station and a napper. The Pack n Plays usually comes with a mat (I wouldn’t even call it a mattress) which is foldable (as is the Pack n Play) but this mat is like something just a little thicker than a yoga mat. Not the best if you intend to use it for baby to sleep on.

Picture from

Anyway, as we bought the Pack n Play from the Takashimaya Baby Fair (supplier: Aprisin), we decided at the spur of the moment to buy the latex mattress for another SGD80 that they were offering there as well. Now this mattress is one of those with holes and is very soft, so why we even bothered to buy it, I don’t know. Actually, I do know. I hadn’t done my research at the time, and out of sheer desperation, decided that it was a good buy.

Fast forward a few months later, I’d come to the conclusion that we needed a mattress which was thicker, and provided more support than the one we’d bought. Nevermind the fact that the original mattress and Pack n Play hadn’t even been delivered to us yet.

After a very thorough and depressing search on, I concluded that there are no places selling mattresses for the Graco Pack n Play in Singapore. Nothing which was made to fit it specifically anyway. Mummies on forums said that they went to places like Kiddy Palace or Baby Kingdom and bought mattresses which kinda fit, and made do with rolled-up towels by the side. That wasn’t what I wanted, so the search continued.

Then, somehow, I stumbled upon the online Tardis and Mary Poppin’s bag that is Amazon. I’m telling you, if you can’t find something on Amazon, it probably doesn’t exist. The only limitation is whether or not that item can be delivered to where you want it to be delivered. If not, there is always VPost. If you don’t know what this is, it’s basically a service provided by SingPost (there are similar service providers out there too) whereby you can buy something from, say, USA, and get it shipped to a USA address supplied by VPost (each customer is assigned a unique ID), and you pay for the item to be shipped from that address back to Singapore. Very useful for those sites which do not ship out of their local country.

Back to the story. So I found a whole series of mattresses called the Dream On Me series, which are made specifically to fit the Graco Pack n Play. The one I finally decided to buy was the Dream On Me 3" Extra Firm Playard Mattress. Reviews said that it fit the Graco Pack n Play and that it wasn’t as “firm” as they thought it’d be, so that was good enough for me.

Picture from

The estimated delivery date was around 10 days from my purchase date, but hey, Amazon being the amazing company that they are, delivered the item to me on the Friday evening after the Monday when I’d ordered it. I don’t know how they got it here so quickly, as most local mail take longer than that, so these guys (and DHL) have got their service standards spick and span.

Review? The Dream On Me 3 inch firm mattress fits the Pack n Play Elite just right. There are other models of the Pack n Play, and from what I’ve seen, the measurements vary by half an inch here and there, but I reckon it should fit the other models OK too. It’s definitely not super firm, but it feels just right for a mattress. It’s light (around 3.5 pounds) and for around US$37, I definitely couldn’t find anything cheaper than that in Singapore. Even with the delivery fee (I’d bought the sheets for it and other stuff too), it still worked out less than the hundred and more dollars it would have cost for me to purchase a similar (non-fitting) mattress in Singapore.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Baby Implements

Do you know there are checklists on what to buy for your baby? Actual checklists. Implying the fact that there are more than, say, 10 things you’ll be needing. In fact, some of these lists we found span pages long, double sided, in small fonts.

And for those of you considering buying baby things closer to your due date, well, then, use the extra time to do a lot of research. Cos unless you wanna spend loads on buying completely impractical (but branded!) items, there are so many to choose from that I’d have completed my Masters in this field.

 Picture from

So, I thought it might be useful if I put together a list of all the stuff that we’d bought so far, along with the criteria we had to consider before getting to our final decision.

According to me, baby implements are categorised by their size (and cost, too). “Big ticket items” refer to the ones which cost a lot, need to be delivered, and will take up a lot of space in your apartment. “Everything else” refers to everything else that remains on that checklist (designed to taunt you into buying things you don’t really need).


noun /präm/  /pram/  
praams, plural; prams, plural

    1. A flat-bottomed sailboat
      • A small, flat-bottomed rowboat for fishing

    None of the above, actually. What dictionary is this anyway???
    What I’m referring to is something like this.

     Picture from

    This is the Combi Miracle Turn DX. There is a pricier version called the Miracle Turn Premier, but let’s not go there.

    When I first started my search for the pram / buggy / stroller, I was flabbergasted. Kinda flabby at the time too, so maybe I was flabbygasted. There were thousands, literally thousands of options to choose from, ranging from around $50 bucks to $2,000. You got the four-wheel drives, the interchangeable handles, the non-sweat, non-stick, breathable material, and even ones which did nothing much, but cost thousands anyway just because they were branded.

    Yes, the default option for those who have given up, and decided that because it is expensive, and because it is branded, it has to be good.

    Nope, not for us. I scoured the forums, the mummy blogs, sites for prams, Google – spending hours and days researching the best one within our price range. Things we considered important were:

    • Weight – Mainly the Hubs’ idea, this one. He didn’t fancy the thought of me lugging around a 20kg pram going up and down the stairs / MRT / elevators, and so one of the main criteria he insisted on was that the pram be light enough to be handled by one person, even while carrying Bubs. Weight range – between 5kg to 7kg.
    • Foldable – Had to be foldable for obvious reasons. We live in a small condo so needed as much space as we could have. Also, when taking the bus / MRT / any mode of public transport, the last thing you needed were dirty looks from people when your pram took up precious space.
    • Ease of use – Some prams can be folded up and opened again with one button. Some can only be folded with brute force, while some require a basic degree in Engineering before you can figure out how to use them. The one we bought had to be manual-free, for those occasions where we needed someone else to use the pram too.
    • Convertibility – Some prams cater only for newborns, some only for toddlers. As we wanted something which would last quite some time without having to have a collection of prams, it only made sense to have one which was convertible from newborn to toddler years.
    • Price – We chose what we considered to be mid-range pricing. Not too cheap (not the house wine), and not top of the range either (there isn’t an engine in this pram, is there?) So, we decided on something between the $500-700 range.

    With all this in mind, we settled upon the Combi Miracle Turn DX as shown above (in mocha). It fit all the criteria above, being (shamelessly copied from the Combi site):

    • Lightweight (6.3 kgs)
    • Easy open/fold
    • Double fold makes it super compact
    • Multiple seat recline (this means it can be converted from a flat surface for newborns to an incline for older babies)
    • Reversible handle
    • Constant front steering
    • Orthopaedic seat cushion
    • Four-wheel suspension
    • Huge sunshade
    • Seat ventilation system
    • Size (Folded):100H x 47W x 32D

    The next step was finding out where we could get it at the cheapest price. Now, after searching high and low, I found out that Combi items are price-controlled. This means that no matter where you search, you probably won’t find it cheaper than 10% of the RPP. We originally wanted to buy it from BabyKingdom (good showroom, friendly sales assistant) but when we turned up, it was under renovation. Then, one of my friends informed me of the Baby Fair at Takashimaya, and that was where we found it at the discount price of $566 (already less 10% from original price).

    Car Seat

    This is essential by Singapore law. For those who are clueless about what this is, it’s basically a small little seat which you put at the backseat, strapped on to the seat, in which your little one is then further strapped on during a car journey. Among the things which had to be considered were:

    • Size – Our car is a small-sized car so the car seat had to be proportional to the size of one of the seats. Wasn’t much point buying one of those ginormous car seats which took up the whole back seat, as not only would that leave us with no room for anything else, but it would mean that the seat wouldn’t sit properly within one actual car seat itself.
    • Convertibility – I think most car seats are convertible in that they usually come toddler-sized, and have a little insert which will fit snugly with a newborn.
    • Material – For the warm, humid weather that is Singapore, we needed something which would be comfortable for the little one, so the material had to be breathable, plus able to be washed in the washing machine.

    And so we selected the Combi Coccoro which is sold in these lovely, pastel colours. Never quite figured myself to be one for pastel colours (they remind me of medication), but since getting pregnant, I’m all for pinks and delicate shades of delicious colours.

     Picture from Combi

    The one we bought is the orange one on the top-right of the picture. Called “carrot cake” (Western version, and not the Chye Tau Kway version). Again, as this is a Combi product, prices are controlled. We got this together with the pram (and another Combi product, detailed later – we like Combi, what can I say) at the Takashimaya Baby Fair, and got the 10% discount, making it a total of $299 for this. I think it was being sold a little cheaper than what I’d seen it being sold for elsewhere because they were launching a new colour series for it, so the “carrot cake” was considered an older model.

    Note: All the Combi products we bought from Takashimaya were sold by Tai Sing, which is located on North Bridge Road. I’m not sure if you can get the 10% discount if you buy directly from them, but worth a try I guess.

    High Chair

    Before pregnancy, if you said “high chair”, I’d imagine one of those chairs you put babies in when you’re in a restaurant, or when you’re feeding the baby at home. These days, high chairs refer to these really useful chairs which convert from a newborn baby station, to an actual feeding chair. Like, how amazing is this? Why did it take so long for someone to invent something like this?

    Picture from Combi

    See how it converts from one mode to another? Plus, it’s foldable. Key word in any space-tight apartment.

    This is the Combi Rashule which is described as a day bed, high chair, rocker and booster chair.

    Again, we bought this from the Takashimaya Baby Fair at the discounted price of $296 (after 10% discount). We bought the orange version, as I’m not much a fan of pastel green, but there are many other models from Combi similar to this one with other colour choices.


    There is a difference between a “crib” and a “cot” (and I don’t mean in the MTV sense of “crib”).

    Note, however, that definitions of these in the UK and in the USA are kinda different. What you might call a crib in the US is actually a cot (full-sized) in the UK. Where as a bassinet in the US is what you’d call a crib in the UK (with varying sizes to make things even more confusing). The definition that I use is the UK standard, since we bought it from Mothercare which comes from the UK:

    • Crib – A smaller cot usually for newborns up to around 6 months old (or when they start pulling themselves up). These sometimes feature a rocking or gliding motion, and due to the size, is suitable for parents rooms which are smaller.
    • Cot – Probably what you’d imagine, and seen on TV, as being the traditional, larger variety of babies’ beds with the railings to the sides, and are convertible from being suitable for newborns to toddlers, and even to cot-beds.

    As we don’t have much space in our condo, we decided on getting a crib first, and then getting a cot later on when we know more about what we’re doing. Surprisingly enough, I couldn’t find anywhere in Singapore which did cribs online (perhaps they do them in real shops but who has the time to traipse from one shop to another), with the exception of Mothercare.

     Picture from Mothercare

    I had a good look online before going to the showroom at Harbourfront Centre, where we saw the same version, but it looked so nice all decorated with the sheets, blanket, etc. Bought it for $228, and added a FreshFX mattress for $128, plus the set of bedding for $99 (you need crib measurements as the ones sold for cots are too big for cribs).

    Play Pen

    What is a Play Pen? Usually used for toddlers when the parents want the kids to play in a confined area, these days, play pens can be used for day naps, as changing stations, and even as newborn nappers. The most well-known brand for all Play Pens (even though I don’t usually go for brands, but they literally are THE brand) is Graco.

     Picture from Walmart

    This is the Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard with Cuddle Cove Rocking Seat. From the picture above, the little comfy looking thing on the left of the Playard is the Newborn Napper (does what it says on the tin). The item on the right is the changing station which again, is used for changing nappies. There is a layer below which allows for baby to sleep on, and that can also be removed to allow for the most bottom layer to be used as the actual play pen for toddlers.

    We bought this mainly because it is foldable (that word again). Why? Because we thought it might be useful for travelling as it folds into something smaller than what a tent would look like when folded. Some of the blogs which I found helpful when making this decision was this one, and this one.

    Taking this along with us would mean that we have somewhere familiar for baby to call home, and I don’t really like the cots provided at hotels because I’ve seen how they store the mattresses when not in use, and I’m not impressed.

    Bought this from the Takashimaya Baby Fair (busy day) for $399 (supplied by Aprisin).

    As none of the items have been delivered yet, I can’t actually say how easy they are to assemble or use, but hopefully, once we’ve managed to do that, I’ll provide an update on how they fare.

    Hope this has been helpful!

    Thursday, 5 September 2013

    Another sleepless night

    Sleepless ie without sleep

    So because I spent the better part of half a day at home yesterday, just relaxing and watching TV (and not actually napping all that much despite being very tired), I thought I’d have no problem sleeping at night. Wrong.

    So we went to bed around 11.30pm, and as I tried to get comfortable (lie flat, then with enough momentum, heave myself to the left, only to then heave myself to the right again, and then end up propped at a 45 degree angle on a pillow), I began to feel like this was gonna be another one of those sleepless nights.

    True enough, an hour later, I was still wide awake, and listening to some dubious rhythmic thumping sounds from the apartment above. Then, I think I must have fallen asleep, as I woke up around 2am with a pain in my tummy. It didn’t feel like any pain I’d felt recently, which got me into a bit of a panic.

     Picture from

    Contractions? How do they even feel like? What am I feeling?

    So, clutching belly, I went to the toilet and sat there for a bit. Turns out, it was (TMI) my tummy being rebellious as I’d been kinda constipated for the last few days. About 20 minutes later, I was still sitting on the throne, to no avail. Took myself back to bed, couldn’t get back to sleep, so padded my way to the lounge where I just sat there staring into space for a bit. Not working, so took myself back to bed, and somehow, I must have fallen asleep because when the phone alarm rang at 7.45am, my sleep-shut eyes just would not open.

    Told the Hubs “I’m not going to work today” and fell back to sleep again.

    I never had any problems sleeping. In fact, Hubs used to envy me for my amazing sleep abilities. I’d literally get into bed, and before he’d even got comfortable on his pillow, I’d already be sleep-talking to him. These days, it’s the other way around. Hoping that this insomnia business goes away once baby is here? (fingers crossed)

    Press this button

    Here’s something I made earlier. Just to test out the borders.


    Food Cravings And Aversions

    I must say, I didn’t have much morning sickness so the only way I can describe it is “food aversion”. Most people suffer from morning sickness in the first trimester, but mine was very mild – something the Hubs attributed to my tummy of steel (conditioned by years of street food).

    I’ve read up on this, and some sites say that if you have prenatal vitamins, it might lead to less symptoms of morning sickness. How true that is, I don’t know, but as I’ve been hoovering up those GNC prenatal vits since even before getting pregnant, I guess it works for me?

    Anyhow, although I didn’t have the full-on run-to-the-loo-gagging thing going on, it’s not to say my appetite was the same as always. For starters (ha ha), for around 3 months, I only felt like having the foods I’d been used to having as a kid:

    • Rice porridge – That got me through the first trimester. Everywhere I went, I searched for congee. My favourite turned out to be either Xin Wang Café’s claypot pork ribs porridge, and A1’s claypot fish porridge. #carbfest Now I know why I put on so much weight.
    • Toast – The Hubs commented that my appetite turned English during the first trimester. I went for days eating just toast with jam and butter. The ultimate comfort food I used to have when I had a fever as a kid.
    • Cereal – Refer to English appetite above. Chinese appetite went on holiday to England.
    • Curry laksa – So when I didn’t have my toast, congee or cereal to hand (ie when I was at work), I needed to have curry. Not the real Indian version, but the coconuty, Chinese, soupy version. The only place which did that was the food court at my office, from the Yong Tau Foo stall, so I had that pretty much daily for lunch too.
    • Sprite and root beer – Basically, I would’ve cherished some Coke, but as that was another thing off the list, I pretty much drank only those 2 soft drinks in the first trimester. Cue weight gain.

    As for the stuff I just couldn’t eat, I remember standing in front of this famous Chinese restaurant on Balestier Road where Hubs was getting his takeaway, and I’m not sure what it was (maybe the smell or something), but at one point I felt like I was having cold sweat and literally about to gag, and he had to run in to buy me an ice-cold root beer. Till now, I can’t go back to that restaurant #pavlov

    Good thing was, this food aversion thing went away after the first trimester. I went back to eating the stuff I usually ate (everything), and no longer looked at toast with creepy fondness. I still enjoy it now, but at least I no longer feel like I just needed to have it, you know?

    Favourite TV Shows, Rainy Afternoons and Pre-Natal Classes

    So I used to love watching shows like Come Dine With Me, and Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

    These days, however, I watch show like One Born Every Minute, and am right now watching A Baby Story (Season 9, Ep 10) on Discovery.

    I'm supposed to be at work today, and in fact, I did go to work in the morning (heavy rain, everyone was late) but sometime before lunch, I felt all feverish and just not quite there. I have a feeling it's because I spent pretty much all of last night tossing and turning without the duvet, with the air-conditioning on full blast (hormones, hot hot hormones).

    So I'm guessing I caught a cold (which makes me feel ... hot?)

    Had lunch with my colleagues, after which I took a taxi back to the apartment with the intention of having a nice, long afternoon nap. However, that kinda changed when I switched on the TV and started watching said favourite programmes.

    Fingers crossed, I'm supposed to be at work for about exactly one more month. That is approximately four working weeks with the people I've spent the past 1.5 years with. Well, one of my colleagues TFL is about to leave the firm soon, and so with her gone, that pretty much makes it no Charlie's Angels left on the wall.

    With Charlie himself being moved to another team, I'm kinda glad I'm gonna be maternity around this time, as I don't think I would like to be in the current team with everyone leaving it. Although, to be honest, perhaps if I was staying, maybe TFL wouldn't have left?

    Anyhow, I noticed that the main difference between the 2 TV shows is that the British version (ie One Born Every Minute) is a lot more graphic and less "matt-effect" compared to the American version which has the usual smooth finishing touches to the programme. The British one shows you everything, and by everything, I mean I've learned so much just from watching these shows alone.

    We have been going to the pre-natal classes with Mdm Wong Boh Boi from Thomson Medical Centre, and that has taught us alot. That, coupled with the TV shows, have taught us all the stuff that they don't tell you about in books. The main source of my information so far has been Google.

    Though, with Google, you have to take everything you read with a bucket full of salt. Forums are probably the worse source of quick information if you do not back it up with plenty of other research. Some of the people who go on forums to "give advice" to people are literally dishing up hearsay and rumours, so for the longest time, I made myself go into a panic each time I went on these forums.

    Anyway, another pee break now. And besides, I never really know how to end a blog post anyway, so I won't.
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