Being a new mum is a daunting task and it’s always good to get as much help as possible. Getting the ‘tools of the trade’ in good working order is one way to face the challenges ahead. Whether this is in the form of nappies, shopping vouchers or baby cots, every mum has a baby gift (or two!) that they’ve cherished the most. We asked a few mums what the best baby gift they received was and why they thought it was so.
“The best baby gift that I received was a Medela freestyle electric breast pump. I wanted to breastfeed my child and this was a great help! It helped us to cut back on expenses and as a working mother, it made providing breast milk more convenient. I would also recommend shopping vouchers or a light-weight stroller as gifts. These are items that I find to be really practical.”
Samantha, 32, marketing manager, mum to a seven-month-old boy
Rock Me Baby
“It was a rocker chair that could be converted into a high chair. Most baby items have a short lifespan but I used this to rock my baby to sleep when she was tiny then used it as a high chair to feed her when she was bigger. I’d recommend this instead of a sarong (where you put the baby in a ‘net’ and rock them up and down).”
Janice Lim, 34, regional marketing manager, mum to a 13-month-old girl
Money Money Money
“We got mostly ang boas (red packets), which are helpful of course. I’d also recommend giving ang bao because newborns cost a lot! You have to buy diapers, milk powder and so on. Either that, or supermarket vouchers.”
Dorcas Leo, 37, adjunct lecturer, mum to a six-year-old son
“A standing bath tub. It was a tub attached to a stand. Since I had to have a C-section done, it made giving my baby a bath a lot easier, totally eliminating the need for me to bend and carry my baby from the tub. It was extremely useful for the first three months. It’s easy to use as all you have to do is fill it up using a shower head. To drain the tub, you just need to loosen a plastic tubing attached to the bottom and it drains out automatically. There are shelves attached to the bottom and side which I could use to store diapers, wipes and any other regularly-used baby items. I think this is a great gift for anyone having a baby, especially a mother who has to go through a C-section. Other gift ideas that would be useful are keepsake items such as personalised bibs or towels, baby genies for diaper disposal and keeping the odour at bay, baby boppy pillows to aid during pregnancy – especially at the last stages when sleeping positions seem almost impossible. They also make boppy pillows for mothers to help place baby in position during feeding, mostly for bottle feeding.”
Natasha Richardson, 39, homemaker/student, mum to two girls aged seven and two
Bounce Baby Bounce
“The best baby gift I got was an infant bouncer/rocker. I now live in the United States so I did not have the luxury of domestic help or my family, and with a husband who worked long hours I was left to cook, clean, look after baby and two dogs! I was able to put my son in the rocker (it played music and moved) while I did all my chores or just needed a break to sit down, and he would fall asleep in there too! It was a huge help for me. I think diapers and baby wipes are great gifts. They may be just basic items but it’s amazing how many diapers and wipes you go through with such a little person!”
Charlene Cheatham, 31, stay-at-home mum, one son aged 2.5 years
Diapers Are Tops
“Diapers. Instead of traditional gifts such as chicken essence (which I detest) or flowers (which won’t last after two days), diapers are the best because you use so many of it during the day. They may not be very environmentally friendly but when you have a newborn and you are still struggling with what you need to do as a new mother, you don’t want to waste time washing diapers! So this gift is not so much for the baby but for the mums. For the baby, lots of cuddles and kisses and hugs!”
Joanne Soh, 39, correspondent, mum to an eight-year-old son
Bag It Up
“They were the various nappy bags from my parents. My dad bought a Le Sport Sac bag from Japan for me to use as my firstborn’s nappy bag. I’m still using it now for my newborn baby. I also recently received a small rectangular cushion pillow from my neighbor. It’s quite a great gift, good for propping back when seated for breasfeeding, or for resting the arm when carrying baby. Other gift ideas depend on the parents’ personalities. For fashionista mums, baby accessories or outfits would be perfect. Thermos flasks in cute designs make practical gifts. Small or medium-sized pouches in sweet designs from Cath Kidston are useful for stashing necessities like baby cream, milk powder canisters and so on. I wouldn’t object to vouchers from retailers such as Isetan, Robinsons or even NTUC either!”
Joanne Lim, 34, assistant marketing manager in media, mum to two boys aged five and two months
“We were blessed with two baby cots.
We were looking for a baby cot that we could wheel in and out of the bedroom to the hall for ease and convenience. The newer models are too big for HDB door frames and too bulky for our master bedroom in a three-room flat. Our friends’ daughter outgrew hers and they were looking to pass it on. We are the seventh owners and there are plenty of teeth marks on the rails, but it’s a perfect fit for our flat. It saved us money and the hassle of searching for one. Even though he is too tall now, my son still takes afternoon naps in it, under supervision. We are definitely keeping it for number two, if one comes along.
The second cot was another hand-me-down from a colleague whose son co-sleeps with them. It was very new and made of very sturdy material. We only needed to get a new mattress and beddings. Again, that saved money and the pain of searching for one that fits his height.
I would also recommend vouchers and gift cards as they are most useful. I usually buy pajamas or customised towel and blanket sets for newborns. For kids one and above, I buy gift cards and make the parents take them shopping.”
Siew Hoon, 34, promotions manager, mum to an 18-month-old boy
“Do hand-me-down clothes and equipment (breast pump, baby monitor, etc) qualify as gifts? They’re the best because of their sheer practicality – they’re used every day. If not, my vote goes to vouchers from Mothercare or Kiddy Palace, for the same practical reasons.
I’d also recommend a Hana Baby Wrap. I started wearing my baby in it even before she could support her neck (at about two to three months old). She’s 10 months old now and I’m still using it. It’s cool enough for Singapore weather and it provides ergonomic support for both baby and mum. I also own a Pupsik sling, a ring-sling, a Cybex and an Ergo carrier but the Hana’s still the most comfortable for the baby and me.”
Angela Poh, communications manager, 34, mum to two children aged three and 10 months
“It’s the ‘What To Expect’ series of books by Heidi Murkoff. The periods covered in the books range from when you are expecting to the first year of baby’s life and the toddler years. It goes through step-by-step, what to be prepared for and answers all the questions we’d have. It’s like having a very well-informed best friend by your side 24/7! It’s certainly something that every new mum, even experienced ones, should have. The series was a gift from a girlfriend who is now a mother of three; she had two then. I guess that’s how she managed to have three!”
Marie Wee, 36, realtor, mother of a four-year-old boy