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By Mummies For Mummies (and Daddies too)

Author

shanlitay

Mother of a beautiful strong-willed 8 year old. An ex-investment banker turned entrepreneur, I believe in making parents' lives easier by being able to deliver everything their babies need straight to their doors.

7 Most Important Sleep Tips

Precious Sleep Talk | Samantha Yong Photography
Precious Sleep Talk | Samantha Yong Photography

This is Ho Wing Yan, a certified Sleep Sense Consultant. Last Saturday, Wing Yan met up with a small group of our customers who were all struggling with getting a good night’s sleep. She shared her story about how she went in search of help when her own little girl was waking up through the night.

We found it inspiring that not only did Wing Yan find help in the Sleep Sense methodology, but in addition to her full-time management consultancy job (and did we mention she is 8 months pregnant!), she helps others who face the same problems. Today, her 2 year old daughter sleeps well and through the night and I am sure the next baby will too!

Here are some of the tips we learnt :

  • Babies need to learn to fall asleep on their own without any external props

    An external prop can be anything from “rocking” or “singing” or “patting” – anything which your child needs someone else to do for them. So your child needs to learn the strategies to journey to sleep on their own.

  • Keep an early bedtime

This is all about making sure your baby sleeps before he/she gets over tired. The best time for them to go to sleep is between 7pm -8pm.

  • Start a good bedtime routine

This helps to cue the baby’s body and mind and tell them to prepare for sleep. Length should be around 20-30 min and parents should take turns so that either one can put baby to sleep.

  • Set a good naptime routine

Just like bedtime, even during the day…there needs to be a routine to cue the baby so he/she knows that it’s time to prepare for sleep.

  • Do not skip naps or push bedtime too late

Nap is a priority when trying to establish a good sleep habit. It is also untrue that if you put your baby to sleep during the day, your baby will sleep better at night. It will just end up making the child overtired!

  • Keep your child awake during night feeds

Prevent your child from falling asleep during night feeds. Keep a close watch and tickle his toes, talk to him…leave a dim light on. Make sure your baby does not start to fall asleep while nursing or they will always need to nurse to sleep. Put him back to bed awake once you know he’s satisfied from the feed. He should then be able to fall asleep himself.

  • Be consistent

Stay consistent while implementing all the tips above. Kids thrive on consistency and predictability. Bonus tip: put your child to bed/nap in the same place every time! Having a familiar sleeping place reduces anxiety.

The best part of the session was when parents could just ask Wing Yan what to do in their own situation. Many had not had more than 2 hours stretch of sleep in months!! It was good to see that Wing Yan approaches each situation as unique and understands what the key problems are first. She then helps the family work through a very structured plan to help them achieve their sleep goals!

If you are having trouble putting your little ones to sleep, contact Wing Yan for a FREE 15 minutes consultation today! It can be done over Skype or Facetime and this could really help you to a better and less stressful life!

She can be reached on +6012-3542010 or wingyan@precioussleep.my

Oh and if you need a good blanket, massage oil, tummy rub balm, sleeping bag or night light to cue the bed/nap time, check out our sleep related products on http://www.babydash.com.my!

Precious Sleep Talk | Samantha Yong Photography
Precious Sleep Talk | Samantha Yong Photography

And last but not least…a big thank you to EspressoLab for providing the venue and some excellent coffee as usual!

Precious Sleep Talk | Samantha Yong Photography
Precious Sleep Talk | Samantha Yong Photography

All photos were by Samantha Yong who also does family and baby photography so do check out her work at: (www.facebook.com/samanthayongphotography)

Breastfeeding and pumping: What you should know

We recently attended Medela’s Conference with the theme “Overcoming Breastfeeding Difficulties”. The invited speaker was Mrs Christa B. Muller-Aregger, a certified IBCLC Lactation Consultant with over 20 years of international experience. She’s currently an International Education Manager at Medela.

medela-conferencechrista

We would like to share some gold nuggets about breastfeeding and pumping with you. We hope – as an expecting mom, a breastfeeding mom, an exclusive pumping mom – you will be empowered with the knowledge about benefits, challenges, and strategies to be successful in your breastfeeding journey. Same principal applies to all supportive husbands, colleagues, bosses, and companies. Let’s make breastfeeding an empowering journey for all mothers!

We will make this article short, sweet, and packed with necessary information:

 

BREASTMILK IS BEST

  • Human milk is for human babies.
  • It’s readily available at the right temperature and with the right amount of nutrients.
  • It contains immunoglobulin and other live immunity factors that are essential to protect your baby against childhood diseases.
  • It meets your baby’s needs throughout the day and as they grow.
  • Breastfeeding is essential for the mother’s health and wellbeing.

 

COMMON CHALLENGES IN BREASTFEEDING

Now that you know that breastfeeding is beneficial and natural, but there’s also a learning curve between the mother and the baby. When this learning process is in progress, there will be challenges. Here are the common ones:

  • Breast engorgement (common scenario when milk kicks in within 3-5 days after giving birth)
  • Blocked ducts
  • Mastitis (inflammation of the breasts, the mother will have flu-like symptoms and high fever)
  • Inverted / Flat nipples
  • Cracked / Sore nipples (nipple pain)
  • Blisters
  • Thrush

If these challenges are not overcame, it can lead to a decline in milk production, a fussy and frustrated baby who wants to feed more often or who refuses to suckle, and finally, early weaning.

 

TIPS TO OVERCOME DIFFICULTIES

See a lactation consultant/professional if you face challenges and issues in breastfeeding, especially during the first two weeks after giving birth. Don’t be shy and don’t delay!

Remember this golden rule when you are building up and maintaining your milk supply: Less stress = More oxytocin = More milk ejection reflex = More milk!

 

CHOOSING THE RIGHT BREAST PUMP

Use a pump only when necessary. A statement from Medela: Breast pumps are meant to complement breastfeeding, not replace it. Choosing the right breast pump when needed, can make a big difference, both in initiating and sustaining breastfeeding.

Guide chart

Reason to use the pump Recommended Medela breast pump
A missed feeding Swing
Away from baby for a few hours Swing
Working part-time Swing, Swing Maxi, Freestyle
Working full-time Swing Maxi, Freestyle
Breast infection Swing, Swing Maxi, Freestyle
Sore nipples/breast engorgement Swing, Swing Maxi, Freestyle

 

Swing = for single pumping

Swing Maxi & Freestyle = for double pumping

 

WHY DOUBLE PUMPING?

  • Saves time
  • Drains 18% more milk compared to single pumping
  • Milk has 1% higher fat content
  • Mothers have an extra milk rejection reflex

 

When pumping:

  • Relax
  • Watch your nipples/breasts
  • Switch from stimulation to expression mode (or vice versa if necessary)
  • Adjust the vacuum/suction strength (you shouldn’t feel any pain when pumping)

These lead to better drainage of the breasts and an increased milk production over time (varies among individuals), so don’t compare the amount of breastmilk from one mother to another mother!

The main difference between Swing Maxi and Freestyle:

Freestyle comes with hands-free option, rechargeable battery, and memory button settings. You can alternate between stimulation and expression modes as and when needed.

 

Founding Women Get Together And Tea Party

It was truly lovely to be able to spend our Saturday afternoon with a bunch of driven and talented women who all owned and ran their own businesses. On 9 April, I attended tea organised by Moms4Projects (www.moms4projects.com) to meet and share experiences with other women entrepreneurs.

We heard stories from women who left the corporate world after over 15 years to start something on their own…others who were stay at home mums who lost the confidence to go back out and do something for themselves, but who persevered, tried anyway and came out successful because of it.

Here are some pictures and a few stories to share with all of you. FullSizeRender (10)

This is Angie who owns and runs Moms4projects. A community dedicated to helping women (and especially mothers) succeed in business.

FullSizeRender (15)Meet Emily who decided to turn her passion in arts and crafts into a business of her own. She runs Emuniqueletters which you can follow on Instagram to check out her unique and beautiful designs. Very useful as gifts and for those who want to decorate their kids rooms!FullSizeRender (9)FullSizeRender (8)We also met the girls who run Kunyit Grocer who run out of a Facebook account. They deliver fresh organic produce straight to your doorstep! Very interesting and healthy alternative to all the chemical and preservative infused food of today!FullSizeRender (14)This is Joyce of http://www.joycescapade.com who blogs about healthy eating tips for kids! Check out her blog for some very interesting recipes to try out for your little one.

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Can’t remember what I was sharing but someone must’ve said something funny 🙂IMG_4845

Missed out on the group picture as I left just before! But it’s ok because will be catching up with all these lovely ladies again at the fair on 7-8 May at The School, Jaya One. Do join us if any of you are free as there will be lots to buy and fun filled activities to entertain the kids!

 

IMG_5021

Babydash Coffee Morning

Lavinie and I have been talking a lot lately about how we do not want to just end up another faceless e-commerce site. We wanted to meet our customers and listen to them, find out what they think we could do better or more of.

That’s why we decided to have our first ever Coffee Morning last week at the Aether Cafe (Taman Tun).

We want our customers to know that we are mummies too and that we know what they are going through. We also want our customers to know we don’t just add stuff to sell on our site, we do lots of research, read reviews and really understand the products before we decide to add them to our site.

We’d like to thank our sponsors, Mustela Malaysia for sponsoring some lovely goody bags for the event! We also gave out Goo.N diapers for our customers to try and see if they liked.

YW_0028_20160219 Baby Dash event

We met lots of other mummy entrepreneurs as well! Like Joyce who runs a food blog http://www.joycescapade.com; Angie who runs http://www.moms4projects.com, Liyana who owns MananaCovers, Sangeeta from Mama Preloved Books KL…and many more.

We shared a bit about Babydash…how we started and where we’d like to get to. Listened to great feedback and suggestions on what we could do more of! Thank you everyone for your valuable feedback and ideas!

YW_0118_20160219 Baby Dash event.JPG

There was great food…hmmm…didn’t get a photo of the nutella and salted caramel mille crepes (they were yum!)

Adorable bubs…

Books and products on display…

And excellent conversations!

Thank you all for joining us! We hope to have many more of these to come. It was so nice to have a day out, meet our customers who have now become friends…and to share experiences with like-minded mummies!

 

YW_0135_20160219 Baby Dash event.JPG

Which breast pump?!?!

best-breast-pump

I just wanted to put a simple post up to help give mummies a view in terms of which breast pump they should use. A quick google search got me completely confused….there were so many review sites filled with technical jargon and intricate details about the differences in valves, tubing and electric parts it was like discussions about car motors as opposed to just breast pump motors.

This post is meant to keep it simple. It’s based on what most mums tells us about the pumps they’ve bought from us.

When we ask mums which brand they trust for breast pumps – the answer is usually Medela or Spectra. More recently we have been hearing the other brands like Lacte and Unimom being asked for.

To break it down. We think you mummies should ask yourselves 2 questions:

  • Manual or electric?
  • If electric, do I want effectiveness or portability?

 

  • Manual or electric

To figure out whether you want a manual pump or an electric one is simple, it’s a question of how much you want to manually pump versus have an electric motor do it for you. Mums who are used to manual pumps say that it’s easier as after a couple of pumps, the milk pretty much flows on its own. Those who are used to electric ones will swear by those instead though so it’s really a personal preference. If you don’t mind trying manual, you could get this Medela Harmony (http://www.babydash.com.my/products/nursing-feeding/nursing-category/breast-pumps-accessories/medela-harmonytm-breastpump-with-calma-teat.html) to try it out and see if you like it. It’s not too expensive so worth giving it a go to see if you might prefer manual pumps to electric ones.

  • If you’ve decided on electric pump

Then you need to decide whether you value effectiveness of the pump versus portability. Most breast pump brands will have the lower end range which tends to be less effective but smaller and much more portable, and the higher end, double pumps which are generally more bulky and difficult to lug around. If you plan to do most of your pumping at home, then go for the higher end models which have stronger motors.

All our pumps can be found at this link: http://www.babydash.com.my/products/nursing-feeding/nursing-category/breast-pumps-accessories.html?limit=all

If you want portable but not as effective: Spectra Dew300 (RM371), Spectra S1 (RM769.56), Medela Swing (RM699), Unimom Allegro (RM274.54)

If you want to top-end bulky but effective ones: Spectra M1 (RM430.36), Medela Freestyle (RM1999), Medela Swing Maxi (RM1499), Spectra 9 (RM689), Unimom Forte (RM338.14), Lacte Duet (RM417.89)

If you ask us which brand to go for, we really have to say it’s a personal preference at the end of the day. We have heard different things from different mums about the same breast pump. For example some love Medela and swear by them….whereas other mums love Spectra and say that’s the best by far. We’ve also heard lots of good things about Unimom and Lacte Duet.

Feel free to call us on 016-6761101 if you want a more in depth discussion about the different types of pumps we have.

We hope this post has been able to help some of you.

Why is the expiry date so close?

We hear this question a lot! This is one of the most common questions we get about organic and natural baby food. The question you should really be asking is not why is the expiry date so close….but rather, why is the expiry date so far away.

If you think about it, food can be made to last longer by using chemicals and preservatives. So our advice is, do take a good look at the list of ingredients included in any products which you will be giving your babies.

One of the baby food brands we tell our customers about is Organix (www.organix.com) because of their No Junk Promise. Their promise is that there is nothing in their food which cannot be found in any normal kitchen – absolutely no preservatives, no chemicals, always organic and nothing unnecessary.

Take a closer look at the list of ingredients they include in their products. Here’s an example: http://www.babydash.com.my/products/formula-food/food/organix/organix-finger-foods-organic-carrot-sticks-stage-2-from-7-months-20g.html

For a full list of products by Organix, head to:

http://www.babydash.com.my/products/formula-food/food/organix.html?limit=all

http://www.babydash.com.my/products/formula-food/food/organix-goodies.html

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Which is the cheapest diaper brand in the market today?

I’m sure lots of you have thought about this. It isn’t always just cost that’s the issue though…we as parents also need to be concerned about the quality of the diapers and whether or not our child has sensitive skin. Some diapers may cost less per piece but because they do not hold as much liquid, and you have to change your baby more often, you may just end up spending just as much as if you had spent on a higher quality diaper brand with better absorbency features.

Putting all that aside…in Malaysia….what if we just wanted to know, which is the cheapest diapers on a per piece basis. Below is a list of diaper brands available on Babydash and the cost on a per piece basis of L size diapers (just to standardise it).

Untitled-1From this table, you can see that the cheapest tape diapers are Pet Pet and Diapex which on a per piece bases, cost the same, RM0.51. As for diaper pants, the most cost efficient pants to get are by Goo.N which works out to RM0.50 per piece at the moment. Having said that….we hear from lots of parents about quality of diapers, and they would usually name Merries, Pampers, Mamy Poko and Goo.N as diapers with higher quality, so don’t choose your diapers just based on cost alone…check out the other features. For more information about the different diaper brands available on Babydash, check out our site at http://www.babydash.com.my.

Cow’s milk? Goat’s milk, Soy milk or Organic milk?

What’s the difference and which should you choose? This is one of the most common questions we get asked. Firstly, we’d like to say breastmilk is obviously the best choice for your baby. But for whatever reason you have had to stop breast-feeding, then it’s time to consider which formula your baby will take to best.

We always tell our customers, each child is different and has their own sensitivities and preferences when it comes to taste.

Baby_food_section_at_Best_Price_smallA common problem found when introducing any milk other than breastmilk to a baby is lactose intolerance, where the baby could experience anything from mild to extreme discomfort (usually flatulence or diarrhea…we’ve even heard about green poo). Lactose intolerance is a common digestive problem where the body is unable to digest lactose, a type of sugar mainly found in milk and dairy products.

Breast milk, cow’s milk and goat’s milk, all contain lactose. The reason why people always say goat’s milk is closer to mother’s milk is because it contains less lactose than cow’s milk and has a similar chemical structure to breastmilk, which may make it a better option for those with mild lactose sensitivities.

Once you have consulted your doctor and are sure that your child is lactose intolerant, some parents have given soy milk formulas to their babies. For those considering soy milk as an option…please note that soy milk is not recommended as substitute milk for babies under six months due to phytoestrogens and its high sugar content.

Another thing to consider is whether your baby is sensitive to cow’s milk protein. We have heard from some parents whose babies are allergic to cow’s milk protein itself but not allergic to lactose. In this case, then goat’s milk would be ok for their babies. Note, babies who are cow’s milk protein allergic are likely to be allergic to soya protein as well.

This brings us to the final type of milk we thought we’d give you a bit of information on. Organic Milk. Organic milk refers to milk from livestock raised according to organic farming methods. So you could have organic cow’s milk or organic goat’s milk but again, in both cases, it would also contain lactose.

The most important thing we can tell you is that, if you have any health concerns, and are concerned about lactose tolerance or any other sensitivities your baby might have, the best thing to do is consult with your health care practitioner.

All the different types of milk and the different milk brands have varied chemical structures and ingredients which may or may not suit your baby.

At Babydash, we have lots of different brands available…call us anytime if you would like to find out more about a particular type/brand of milk.

Babydash: Diapers, milk and now a blog..?

For those of you who may have stumbled across this blog and do not know what Babydash is, let us first and foremost tell you a little bit about our business. Babydash is an online store (www.babydash.com.my) founded by us, two mothers (with 4 kids between us)…back in 2011.

As childhood friends, we have always wanted to start a business together and talked through several different business ideas over the years but when we started talking about babies and kids, we realized that there really weren’t many options for busy parents (like ourselves) to be able to get what they needed online. We wanted to help make parents’ lives easier and make things like babies’ daily necessities (diapers, milk, wipes, skincare etc) available online so parents can have them delivered straight to their offices or homes – saving on time and the hassle of having to go from one shop to another to get everything their baby needs.

Today, we have over 2,000 products available online for parents’ convenience and are constantly looking to add to our range of products so do let us know if there is anything you’ve been trying to get but can’t seem to find at a shop near you.

Now that you know we sell baby products online, why a blog? Well, we speak to customers every day and we realized that we have learnt so much from them (about everything from what kind of milk helps with the different feeding problems their babies may have…to which creams and lotions seem to have worked for different babies…and even tips and tricks to help with caring for a baby) but all this hasn’t been passed back or shared with our entire community of parents. That’s exactly what this blog space sets out to do….we want to pass back all the feedback we’ve gotten and stuff we’ve learnt to all of you and hope that some of what we share will be able to help you guys out as well.

We’d like for all of you parents to treat this as a sounding board (or blog) so feel free to add to discussions, ask for more information or if you have articles or thoughts or views you would like us to share, we’d be happy to do so.

Happy reading and hope you enjoy the rest of this blog!

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