Towards a Pro-Family Society

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

The FamilyMatters@Business grant is an initiative by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) to help businesses cater more for families. From the 1st of April (no, it's not some Fools' idea of a joke), companies with more than one establishment can claim up to 70% of what they spend, capped at S$100,000 - on family-friendly fixtures and fittings.

I'm sure that this is welcome news for both parties, as it creates a win-win situation for everyone. With enhanced features to provide a more conducive environment for families to visit, this will certainly make the task of bringing out the kids very much easier.

Strollers for rent, supermarket trolleys masquerading as kiddy cabs to keep the kids entertained, more changing tables, nursing rooms and amenities, as well as indoor playgrounds in malls and restaurants - shopping and dining out is made relatively easier.

Almost faMOOs.
I personally prefer to go to places which have family friendly features. In fact, I found that it wasn't all too difficult bringing BabyMoo out since he was one month old, because most malls and places have basic pro-family features already in place. The provision of changing and nursing rooms were made mandatory about fifteen years ago, and since then, new places which have sprouted up over the years will have these facilities. Even the older malls have taken the initiative to provide at least a changing table in the restrooms.

Since there is the additional incentive for businesses to provide more in an effort to create a more family friendly environment, what additional pro-family features would you like implemented?

Do share your thoughts!
This is just one of my suggestions. Do share if you have more!

Let him fall where he may

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Despite our numerous differences, I'm so grateful that DaddyMoo and I share the same views when it comes to the things that matter. I cannot imagine how it would be like if we were to have diversified opinions on the best way to approach parenthood, as well as the multitude of challenges that come with it.

When BabyMoo was just cruising, we didn't hover around him, ready to catch him when he so much as wobbled. We kept a watchful eye within a reasonable distance, so that we can prevent any untoward accidents from happening, but at the same time, we give him his 'space'. We felt it best to do this so that he will develop a sense of courage, and have the confidence to overcome challenges on his own. 

He barely cruised, before he started to attempt to run. And run he did, with arms outstretched, because we taught him to walk safe. He fell, but knew how to break his fall using his two arms so that he wouldn't fall flat on his face. 

We let him fall. He cried piteously the first few times. We asked him to get up (when we know that it's just an attention seeking ploy) and sometimes offer our hands to help him up. All this while telling him to always watch where he's going, and to not run when the terrain and environment is challenging.

He has had his share of bumps and bruises. Even now, although he knows now not to complain to Mummy and Daddy when he obtained those because he didn't listen, or simply did what he was told not to.

During the few times he fell while playing with his cousins at extended family gatherings, the hubs and I have been 'admonished' by the older folk in our families for our seemingly 'care-less' attitude towards BabyMoo.

Now kids, being the smart little ones that they are, figure out very quickly who they can manipulate, when to do it, and the best way to milk it for all its worth. BabyMoo lapped up the attention from all the fussing, and screamed a little louder and cried a little more. He even did the grab an arm / leg / body part dramatics while scowling and yelling 'Ow! Ow! Oooowww!!' for effect.

Whereupon, the grandaunts will all descend on him, and fuss over his (non-existent) pain.

We were told off for not carrying him up or fussing over him when it happened. We only checked to see if he's ok, brush away the dirt, and let him go on at play, while telling him to save the dramatics because he would just be wasting his energy.

Even at shopping malls and in public places, when he falls, we usually tell him to get up on his own, and this has earned us many judgemental stares from well meaning strangers, who would perhaps be thinking that we are simply not worthy parents.

It's come to a point where we, ourselves, sometimes question our actions, but thankfully, we stay firm in what we believe works for our son.

We want to let him find his own way. There are certain things which we have to guide him on, and there are others whereby it will suit him best to learn through experience. BabyMoo is very headstrong, and a simple 'No, you should not do this!' (said in various tones and octaves) will not deter him from doing it. He needs to be educated about dangers, and lest you think that the style we adopt makes looking after him a cinch, that could not be farther from the truth. Due to his curious nature, we have to actually be extra vigilant, and even though we let him fall, we have to ensure that when we let him run about, these are at places where it's relatively safe.

It's the same concept when it comes to discipline. We let him make mistakes, and make sure that he learns from his mistakes. We tell him that it's okay to not be able to do things, even as he gets increasingly frustrated when he sees us able to do it with ease. The approach we realise works for him is different. It's not enough, in his instance, to be told to stop doing something because he's only two. While he tries and tries and tries, we encourage him (and sometimes help without him realising it), to assist him toward conquering the challenge. We do so, because we want him to feel that he IS able to do a lot of things, if only he tries.

It's okay to fail the first few times, and perseverance will justify the end results.

When faced with challenges or disciplinary issues, we don't tell him that this is the 'right' way, and 'wrong' way. We don't tell him that he should not do something because it's 'wrong'. Instead, we usually tell him that he should not do it because (the resulting effect) will not be good on somebody or something.

When he started throwing toys and objects around, we don't tell him that he should not do it because it's wrong. We told him that he might injure someone while doing so, and there are toys which are not meant to be thrown about. We then brought him to the park, where Daddy played ball and paper aeroplanes with him, while we take the opportunity to explain that there are certain toys which are made to be thrown, kicked and flown. He's never thrown his regular toys at home ever again from that day on, and will always ask to go out to play when he feels like kicking a ball about.

Children are reflective of their parents. I dare say that BabyMoo's personality is made up of a mishmash of both his parents' traits. We have realised this from very early on, and thus have adopted our parenting style to mirror what works best if we were in his shoes. Both the hubs and I don't respond very well to direct authority, and I am sensitive to a point that I am very aware of how intonations in every day verbal communications can convey different things.

We hope we are not strong contenders for being the worst parents there are. We let him fall where he may, because we don't want to overprotect him. We let him fall where he may, in order that he will learn through experience.


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Dealing with drama and defiance

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

We are all too familiar with the term 'The Terrible Twos'... in fact, it would seem to many parents (like me!) that the real challenge in parenting starts right about there.

There's always a mixture of dread and fear when any parent, having been duly lavished with horror stories from friends who have been there, done that - sees two candles on the cake. It seems that this age can be the most wonderful, yet at the same time, it also marks a time when the once toddling figure who gives you gummy grins and can only cry when they aren't happy, suddenly morphs into this Chucky-like personality.

BabyMoo is no exception.

How apt that Chucky chose to make his presence felt during the 2nd birthday!
I am not being biased (well... maybe just a little!) when I say that the most wonderful thing about BabyMoo is that he is an intelligent bub.

Can't reach the toy under the bureau?
No problem, grab Mummy's / Daddy's / Grandpa's hand and make sure we get it for him.
Mummy / Daddy / Grandpa / any other adult not within sight?
Grab the toy spade, poke around, and try to get it out.

His mind is constantly working, and he never runs out of wily ideas just to get what he wants. He is a strong willed person, and has a mind of his own. Even from the time when he could make his needs and wants known by either pointing or reaching out in between bouts of screams and frustration, he will always find a way to eventually manage to do so.

The hubs and I, while thankful for this 'resourcefulness' trait in him, are left to deal with the multitude of emotional outbursts, meltdowns and mood swings. We have long come to a realisation that 'hard' methods do not work on him - in fact, it seems that they do nothing but intensify the situation.

Even as a baby, I've always thought of BabyMoo as having an 'old soul', but I used to dismiss it as the over-sensitive Mum in me talking. He looks deep into my eyes, listens, and (acts) like he understands. I don't know how best to explain it, except that when I 'negotiate' with him, he would keep his end of the bargain, as long as I keep mine. I sometimes find it hard to believe, too - when all this have taken place ever since he was still a hapless, screaming, swaddled baby... right up to now.

Deal, or no deal?

When there is conflict or when he doesn't like the way something is going, this will usually end up in a whole drama whereby he will first start weeping (yes! silently, with fat blobs of tears rolling down his cheeks). Then when that doesn't work, he will start the broken CD refrain: 'Want-uh-want-uh-want-*sob*-uh-WANT-WANT-uh...' you get the picture. Then when that doesn't work, despite all our casual reminders thrown his way - he will start a full blown meltdown. Tears, screams, drama, stomping feet. The works.

The best way to deal with a precarious situation is just before it escalates into a full blown one. BabyMoo is a very sensitive soul, and he doesn't react too well to raised voices, nor stern ones. When shouted at (even by other kids, different from when they are at play) his defence mechanisms would instantly come to the fore.  What works is to just have an 'adult conversation' with him, where his Daddy or I will explain to him the situation, using 'cause and effect'. We tell him why he isn't supposed to do something - we don't simply tell him not to (because your Daddy / Mummy says so!!). We explain the resulting effect, should he choose to go ahead with his actions.

We reason with him, and there will be a round of negotiations - with him having to keep his end of the bargain first, so that we can keep ours. We explain that he can't always have his own way all the time, and if he chooses to continue to fight us or ignore us, we will also simply - ignore him too.

At the end of the talk, we usually ask him: 'Deal?'
He will give us a Hi-5 and say: 'DEAL!' if he agrees, and this is most of the time. 

DEAL!
The other times when he turns away to sulk and lick his wounds, we just let him be. In the time taken for the conversation and negotiation, he would have had the time to also calm down sufficiently. He always, always keeps to his part of the deal... maybe because we also make an effort to honour our words. In the same vein, we do not threaten and not carry out the threats. If we tell him that he will be punished in a certain way, he will be, should he choose to defy us. He now knows sufficiently not to carry on the dramatics until the point when we have to issue a threat, because that would mean that he gets nothing in the end. No deal.

NO DEAL.
It's tiring. So emotionally draining, especially since as a Mum, I have to deal with the emotional ups and downs, moods, negotiations, defiance, and drama. All this while I have to put *my* own emotions on the back burner, disregarding the hurt I feel so that I can discipline, and educate. When the husband is around, I gratefully push this chore to him, because sometimes I'm not strong enough not to cave in.

Is 5 the magic number?

I have been told that at the 2's, we rise to the challenge with a 'can-do' spirit, determined to ride the age of revelations, discovery, and independence. When they hit the 3's, we are worn down, and when they turn 4, we are totally drained. Will 5 be an age where they become more reasonable? I'm not sure.

What I do know, however, is that every stage of life brings its own set of challenges. Even as adults, I dare say that we face problems now that we didn't use to when we were younger, and vice versa. The only difference is, perhaps, our parents can't always be there to guide us the way they used to when we were kids.

So I'd like to think that we're doing what we can to help BabyMoo find his footing in life. There will undoubtedly be more tears, drama and defiance along the way. We're just going to have to be there to guide him, and discipline him, when it's very necessary, so that he will know the difference between right and wrong.  While we still can.

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Disney on Ice: Princesses & Heroes 2013

Saturday, 16 March 2013

I've always loved fairy tales. I remember watching Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty on video (Sony Betamax, no less!) on repeat... over and over again. I dreamed of far away lands, magic and Prince Charming to sweep me off my feet.

In fairy tales you meet Prince Charming, and he's dashing, with a dazzling smile and perfect hair. The evil guys always have a permanent sneer, wears a black cape, and have an evil glint in their eyes. I've since come to the realization that in reality, the bad guys aren't that easy to spot. They are funny, smart, make you laugh, and sweep you off your feet, too.

That's life in non-glorious technicolour.

So I welcomed the chance to relive that childhood dream again, when I was presented with the opportunity of catching Disney on Ice, Princesses & Heroes. I was pretty sure BabyMoo will enjoy the foray into a magical realm, too.



The show opened with Tinkerbell weaving her magic around the ice. She leads us along the magical journey, and narrates each of the 8 stories which weave around the 8 Disney Princesses. She is helped along by Mickey, Minnie and Goofy, whose special appearances throughout the show created a flurry of excitement and delight among the crowd.



Princess Jasmine and Alladin started the show, and I was held spell bound by the breathtaking ice-skating and daring leaps and jumps. This was consistent throughout the show... and acrobatics on ice was made to look not only effortless, but utterly, dreamily, magical.



Snow White and her Seven Dwarfs entertained next... and the sound of children's voices singing 'Hi-Ho-Hi-Ho' around the whole stadium brought a smile to my face.



...and the magic continued...


Belle was there... but Beast was nowhere to be found.


I absolutely loved this cabaret style segment... danced to 'Be Our Guest'.


Under the Sea...


I think the night was even made more special for these 3 kids, who were plucked out of the audience to 'ride the waves'.


Sleeping Beauty, Tiana, Cinderella, and Rapunzel had their stories told... one after another, along with a stellar supporting cast who brought to life the production. Every story had a princess who had her dream come true, ending in a happily ever after.

The lights, bubbles and effects truly made every scene spectacular, and enhanced the amazing choreography, skills and talent of each performer.

"A dream, is a wish your heart makes."

For many many children who came to see their princesses and heroes tonight, Disney made all those dreams come true.




Disney on Ice: Princesses & Heroes 2013

Date: Runs till 17 Mar 2013
Sat & Sun - 10am, 2pm, 6pm 
Duration: 110mins (15min intermission)
Venue: Singapore Indoor Stadium

Ticket Price (not inclusive of booking fee)
Standard
Cat 1 - S$90 (Rinkside)
Cat 2 - S$60
Cat 3 - S$40
Cat 4 - S$20

Tickets available from Sistic.

***

DISCLAIMER: I was made to feel like a Princess again courtesy of Disney on Ice. All fantasies are mine. Photos are also taken with a Digicam, which is inadequate to capture magic - so please excuse the quality.

A moment in time...

Friday, 15 March 2013

I dreamed of a wedding
of elaborate elegance,
A church filled with family and friends.

I asked him what kind of a wedding he wished for,
He said one that would make me his wife.




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Confessions of a FTWM: Between choice and decision

Thursday, 14 March 2013

I've never been the most maternal of women, and when I reached that age when most women get married and searched for the happily ever-afters, the thoughts of 'settling down' and adding on to the general population did not feature on my bucket list of things to achieve in life.

I lived life, I loved life, I had fun.
I also worked hard, and played harder.

Now the thing about life is that sometimes even the best laid plans more often than not go awry, so when I finally found myself at the altar... my friends were all pretty much as surprised as I was. Furthermore, I wasn't in the family way or anything - I suppose there comes a time when you meet a person and getting hitched was simply to complete the entire experience of a union of minds.

When my Boss congratulated me on my wedding day - he asked if he would still have the privilege of working together with me (which I think spoke lengths as to how much he values his employees). Never did it occur to me that it would even be an option. I love my work, and I love my working environment.

My husband was also of the opinion that I should continue working. He understands me well, and he knows that the old adage of 'idle minds, idle thoughts' ring true for me. I thrive best in a fast paced environment and I work best under pressure. It somehow keeps me sane. Leave me alone with practically nothing to do, and I will wilt from sheer lethargy and the perceived feeling of haplessness.

Then I found myself 'with child'. Totally unexpected... even more so when we weren't planning and I conceived even through the usage of a pretty fool-proof method of contraception. I suppose I fell into that 0.01% loophole which contraceptives carry as a disclaimer.

We spoke about it. We talked about the changes in lifestyle which would come naturally with parenthood. We discussed finances, and weighed the pros and cons of me staying home to take care of baby, as opposed to continuing to be part of the work force.

Our parents, meanwhile, were ecstatic.

In Singapore, with standards of living being the way it is, making ends meet on a double income household is pretty tough, more so on a single income one. Whilst we are sure that we will be able to manage should I choose to stay home, it will be a pretty tight arrangement, and it would involve a lot of prudent decisions.

In the end, the main contributing factor as to why we opted for me to continue to work was because we had the assurance that our child will be well taken care of in my absence. Perhaps even better than I probably could manage, being totally uninitiated and clueless about all this parenting business. We decided to try it out for a few months after my 4 month maternity leave ends, and make necessary changes should the need arise.

My in-laws were more than happy to have the additional company. They are glad to have a little one to keep them busy during the day, and in the capable hands of my mother-in-law, I know that my child will not be left wanting. Well... the husband turned out pretty fine, so I have no qualms whatsoever about leaving him in what I believe is a conducive environment for his well-being.

***

What I didn't bargain upon was the 'guilt' feelings I experienced during the first few months after my Maternity Leave ended. I was assailed with thoughts of being a lousy mum, coupled with struggling daily to cope with work as opposed to staying home with my baby. I felt envious when other mums, who chose to stay at home, bear witness to developmental milestones. I felt cheated, somehow, and there were many times when I questioned my seemingly selfish decision.

I get sad when I think of all the fun things I could do with the boy. Messy mealtimes, walks in the park, swimming, reading, story telling and play (Well... yes - we all can dream, and we have perceptions).

Bottom line is, at the end of the day, it is a personal decision.

My decision to continue to work will evoke many pointed fingers, along with many sympathetic hugs along the way. I finally came to terms with my decision when I realised that as much as I would love to be home with my son, first and foremost, I know myself well enough to have chosen a path which would translate toward everyone's best interests in the long run. I will not be able to cope well with the loss of 'adult' social interaction, and I will eventually wallow in self pity at home, for the lack of feeling useful. This will perhaps be projected onto my family... which is definitely not a good thing, because I wouldn't want the boy growing up familiar with angst and frustration.
Right now I treasure all the hours in the work day which I am able to spend with him. I've placed my make up in a small bag, so that I can sit on the bed, his sleeping, warm little body touching mine as I get ready for work. I sit next to him and have one-sided conversations punctuated by his cheeky grins and grunts - on the drive to my in-laws place. He hugs me close and gives a little wave and sends me off with a smile.

My work station is adorned with pictures of him. I look at him, and miss him - but at the same time, he helps me get through the day. He makes me smile, even through the most challenging day.

***

Being a Full time working Mum is a decision I made, when I was presented with the choice of either staying home, or to continue to work. Choices are empowering because of the options which come along with it, but there are days when I question my decision. Days when I would much prefer to be there for him while he nurses a cold or is recovering from a bout of influenza. Moments when I miss him so much it hurts, and it takes all of my will power to not run home to be with him.

There are, however, external factors which influence this decision. Factors which involve grappling with the increasing costs of living in Singapore. Things like the need to be able to provide for my extended family should the need arise, although this has never been expected of me. I would like to also ease the burden on the husband, who has worked himself to the bone every single day since he found out that he would be responsible for another being which he has brought into this world.

There may be people who think that my decision to be a full time working mum is based purely on a selfish quest to fulfil my personal needs. I don't argue this fact. I know myself enough to state for a fact that I need adult interaction. I need to feel useful, and I thrive best under pressure. I need to feel a sense of achievement, satisfaction, and accomplishment. Perhaps it's that competitive streak in me.

At the same time, however, these factors, once fulfilled, creates a better person in me. It makes me a happier person, and thus, this positive energy can then be channelled onto my family - the core reason and the major influence to all the things which I do in life now.

My decision to the choice empowers me, and does not take my power away. What I selected to do is what my heart told me to do, despite knowing that it has completely surrendered itself to the kid. I will always have choices and options, and ultimately, the decision is always mine to make.

Perhaps as life goes on, throwing curveballs as it is apt to do - this decision may change. Right now, I'm a Full Time Working Mum - and I'm coping the best I can.

I love my family, and I love my son. I love work and I love my social sanity.
We made a decision based on what we think would work best for everyone.



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The Flying MOO

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

He loves his Daddy.



Because his Daddy can make him feel like that -- 



Like he can fly.


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Tuesday's Thoughts: Toddler Talk

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Children nowadays never cease to amaze me. They are astute beyond their years, and are able to understand a lot of things - even more than perhaps we give them due credit for. I'm not sure if it is only parenting styles that have moved on and evolved with the times, but I do realise that parents now respect their kids as individuals, and not merely an extension of themselves.

I have never understood the concept of 'baby talk'. Cooing is one thing, but an adult attempting to speak in baby language (think condescending tone, and replacing r's with l's - you get the drift) just makes me cringe inwardly. Soothing tones aside, I have been very fortunate that the elders in the family are not partial to talking to the kids in a language which makes them strong candidates for speech therapy.

We have always talked to BabyMoo using the English Language as we know it. His Oma speaks to him in Indonesian, as does her helper. My in laws speak to him in English, with a smattering of Teochew and the needful Mandarin. He has been exposed to these languages since he was born, and I often attribute him starting to speak at a pretty late stage (he only started his 'one-word's when he turned two last January) to his attempting to process the multiple speech patterns.

Once he started, however, there seems no stopping him. As soon as he discovered that he was able to get things faster and therefore minimise his frustrations by telling us exactly what he wanted - every day is a startling revelation for us. From one word, it became two, and then he started stringing words together. All this in a space of a mere two weeks.

He started full day childcare last Monday. I was told that school and exposure to other kids will encourage him to speak up more, and true enough... it sure did! Within these six days he was in school, apart from the adjustments which he (and I!) had to go through - the experience, it seems, has been wonderful in all other aspects. Heart wrenching times aside, I come home to a happy boy who's genuinely pleased to see me, runs to the door and hugs me tight no matter how preoccupied he is with toys or TV at that moment. I've also noticed a remarkable change in him. He is so much more independent, responsive and chatters non-stop! He now knows that speaking up will ensure that things get done, and he is able to get a corresponding response from others just by telling us exactly what he wants.

"Mama... Haaalp meee! / Take me! / Wait meeeee!"  
BabyMoo: "I want, pish? Mama, pish?"
Me: "No... it's 'MUMMY'!"
BabyMoo: "Mymmeh... pish? I want. Take me?" 
(when I give whatever it was that strikes his fancy then): "Mymmeh Tank Yooo!"
*** 
Me: Do you love Mummy?
BabyMoo: Naw!! Wuv Daddih! (grins)
Me: "You only love Daddy? You don't love Mummy?"
BabyMoo: "Naw! Mama!! Oma!" (mock serious face)
Me: "Ok... you don't love Mummy. Mummy is very sad!" 
...and then he hugs me tight, and plants a slobbery kiss on my lips.  
Tell me again why I'm such a sucker when it comes to that boy?

As parents trying to bring our kids up in such a fast paced society, there will no doubt be pressure to have our kids perform, excel, and prepare him as much as we can for life ahead. There will always be nagging doubts in our head, especially when they aren't moving along developmentally with kids of their age range.

I was worried (the way Mums are apt to do) when he used to prefer to use sign language and gestures instead of attempting to speak back then, when other children of his age are already making themselves heard. The hubs will always say that I worry unnecessarily, first when he was still giving us gummy grins at 10 months (he started sprouting teeth at 11 months, cutting two or more at one time successively from then on), then, when he only cruised at 12 months (he started to run after the cruising, without even bothering to take first steps unaided at 14 months) and now, I can't seem to get him to stop chattering... especially when we're in the small confines of the car, and non-stop chatter reverberate!

Ah well. That kid has me hooked on him, and never, ever lets me forget why I love him so.

When I reached the office this morning, I opened my bag... and this is the sight which greeted me.
He always knows how to make me smile.


MummyMOO


Sleeping away from home.

Friday, 8 March 2013

BabyMoo started full day childcare and playgroup last Monday.
It wasn't an easy time for him, but I think I felt the pain more than he did.

When I am at work, he has so far been taken care of by his paternal grandparents. My mum-in-law and I are his primary caregivers - so when it comes to sleeping, he naturally looks for a familiar face.

He now has to settle himself, because we aren't there.
It was hard to see him crying himself to sleep, but I comfort myself that hopefully, the arrangement will do him good in the long run.

First steps to independence.

Milk before naptime

This scene hurt me more than his tears did.

I walk away... my heart's breaking and I feel that I am leaving myself behind as the little voices fade in the distance. I just want to go back and get him and bring him home.


My love, my pride, my soul.
Excuse me now... while I bawl my eyes out.



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Philips Avent: For the 'breast' start in life!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Philips Avent has recently updated their range of products, and I was privileged to have been invited to their media launch to find out more.

Conceptualised by Edward and Celia Atkin, the 'Avent' brand name has become synonymous with quality baby products since its inception in 1936.

I have used Avent products exclusively since BabyMoo was born, from the breast pumps (both electric and manual), baby bottles, sterilizer and other accessories, so I was excited to discover more about the first redesign of their bottles and breast pumps in 29 years!



It was a pleasure to be able to meet other Mums who use Avent products as well at the event, some of whom I have communicated with online but have never met in person!

Being the purveyor of quality baby products and accessories, the organisers have thoughtfully made the event and venue as comfortable as possible for the mums and their children. It was indeed heart warming to see a number of Dads present as well, and are adept at being alternative care givers so that the mums are able to chat and find out more about the products.

There was a short but engaging presentation, which felt more like an informal discussion to me. It lasted barely 20 minutes, and I'm sure a lot of the mums who had young children to entertain as well - were thankful for that! I'm sure this was also part of the organisers efforts to be thoroughly accommodating to everyone. They also made an effort to involve both the kids and husbands present, and so everyone had a great time while learning more about the product.

How the Avent bottles have evolved throughout the years - and how its current design is derived.
The new range of Philips Avent products - I love its ergonomic shape!
Their latest range of breast pump, bottles and accessories are designed to help mothers provide breast milk for as long as possible, with relative ease and comfort.

Philips AVENT Natural range of plastic and glass bottles

The new bottle design is made in such a way that should bottle feeding be an alternative option apart from breast feeding, the exchange is practically seamless. This is because the new designs feature a wider teat which promotes a natural latch on which is similar to the breast. This prevents nipple and teat confusion when baby is switched between being breast fed and bottle fed.

Image courtesy of Philips Avent 

The Philips Avent Natural Bottle comes in two sizes (9 oz and 4 oz), available either in singles, or in double packs. There is also a glass version for those who prefer them. The plastic bottles are 100% BPA Free, have an ergonomic grip and a twin vent (to reduce colic). In addition, they are easier to clean and store as compared to the earlier designs (I didn't like the extra stopper piece in the old bottles - more on that soon).

Philips AVENT Comfort range of manual and electric breast pumps

One of the main thing which struck me about the new designs of the breast pumps is the fact that the 'cup' is tilted more at an angle as compared to previously. This would allow mothers to use the pump in a reclined position instead of having to keep the back straight and 'push' the body forward, as in the previous model. This would allow mums to be comfortable, and hence, encourage milk flow.

Electric Breast Pump
Apart from that - the opening from which milk flows from breast to bottle has been made 'wider', and we ALL know that this is a blessed relief for sore, cracked and engorged nipples!
Manual Breast Pump
I also discovered their new range of sterilizers... and fell in love with its aesthetic design, form and function! The old one (which we still use!) is bulky and takes up too much space. On top of that - there are too many separate pieces within the sterilizer itself, and this limits the number of items which can be sterilized at one time.
Look at that! Just dump the bottles inside without having to place them in the 'bottle ring', present in the old version!
We were well fed after that - with suitable fare for both kids and adults! Of course... true to their product, the kids used the Avent feeding range.
Avent Feeding Range
Plenty of good food!
And in a rare blogger moment - since we're always the ones capturing the photos!

Standing (l-r): Adora Tan (Gingerbread Mum), Sandra Tan (Sanses), Me, Madeline Heng (MadpsychMum) Dominique Goh (Dominique's Desk).
Seated (l-r): Evelyn Tan-Rogers (The Bottomsup Blog), Rachel Teo (Right Klick Communications / Catch Forty Winks), Summer Goh (A Happy Mum)

Singapore Mom Bloggers (SMB)
Here are all the Mum bloggers present at the event, each of whom will be sharing their personal Avent bottles and breast pumps experiences on their respective blogs. Do look out for our upcoming reviews!

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DISCLAIMER: This advertorial post is part of a series of conversations between Philips Avent Singapore and MummyMOO. All opinions are 100% my own.
 

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