Just like most Singaporeans, we live in a flat that does not give us a lot of space to play around with. Also, erm, between the two of us, we seem to have accumulated quite a bit of junk in the house and there simply isn’t enough storage space.
When A came along, we were determined to keep everything as streamlined as possible, and to ensure that the house doesn’t look like it has eaten and regurgitated a toy store. While the latter has only been mildly successful (somebody’s toy kitchen is sitting next to the sofa now), I daresay we have been quite good at minimising the footprint of the kid’s things.
Here are five of our favourite buys.
1. Puj tub
This has been, without a doubt, the best buy. And to think that I lugged it all the way back from Hong Kong, by hand!
For the first three months of his life, A took his baths in our bathroom sink. Sigh, that just reminds me of how much he has grown now. Nostalgia aside, the Puj tub is a piece of flexible foam that snaps into place in your sink, allowing baby to nestle safely in it without needing an adult’s support. The drainage holes in the foam enable water to flow out so that the kid gets fresh water from the tap and prevents drowning.
This was marvellous for us new parents because it took away the SCARY factor from bathing this tiny, seeming fragile baby. He was only 2.5kg when he was born and we would have been terrified of handling him in the bath had it not been for the Puj tub. What’s more, we could simply hang it up behind the bathroom door once we are done.
I didn’t want to have a typical baby’s bath tub in the house because frankly, it takes up too much space in my already tiny bathroom. When I saw the FlexiBath, I was hooked. The tub is foldable and it lies neatly against the wall or behind the door when we are not using it. I grabbed it at the annual Mothercare sale for a neat $20 discount and we have been using it ever since A outgrew the Puj tub. It even came with a set of the FlexiBath toys, which are A’s favourite bathing companions these days.
PS: It’s on sale now at Mothercare!
3. Ikea Gullunge babycare mat
Due to the lack of space, I decided to do away with a changing table. I really wasn’t keen on having an additional piece of furniture that would become a white elephant. So we made do with purchasing just the Gullunge babycare mat, with two additional covers.
That worked out well in the early months when A slept in a little cot in our room (he is still co-sleeping with us ON OUR BED but that is another story for another day) and was pooping day and night. The mat was placed on our bay window ledge and after every middle of the night poop, Mr Thick would simply haul him to mat and change his diaper in our room. Convenient!
(Also, we had an input/output arrangement that might interest you. I fed the kid so he had to clean up the ensuing output. Fair arrangement, I’d say.)
Since then, we have changed him on top of a bookshelf, in his cot and on the floor.
4. Trend Lab Diaper caddy
For our mobile changing station to work, we needed a diaper caddy. The Trend Lab one that we had ordered from Amazon was fantastic, with enough compartments and pockets to hold diapers, wet wipes and other necessities. Plus, the fabric was cute and matched his room.
But if this one spoils before the second kid comes along, I might plump some money for the Boon Loop, just because it looks so stylish!
(You can get similar caddies from Mothercare in Singapore.)
5. Ikea Expedit shelf
Instead of a changing table, we decided to purchase the Expedit shelf. I figured that if we don’t ever use it in Aidan’s room, we could always place it somewhere else in the house.
In the early days, the shelf held all of Aidan’s necessities, such as diapers, wipes and washcloths. It was also a mobile changing station, and we bathed him there. Yes, back in the day, we’d haul the FlexiBath into his room and bathed him right on top of the shelf, to mimimise backaches. That promptly ended when he discovered SPLASHING! SPLASHING!
These days, the shelf has a more sedentary lifestyle, playing home to Aidan’s books and toys. And rather than hold bathtubs, the top of the shelf now holds the baby monitors. Yes, it isn’t a typo. We have two baby cameras. Another story for another day.
If you are planning the nursery of a little one, I hope this list is useful to you in some ways.