Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Why Organic Cotton? What's So Bad About Conventional Cotton?

4 months old Baby Nathan in his 100% organic cotton bodysuit from Little Suite

Okay, let's be honest here, do you know the difference between conventional cotton and organic cotton? :/

Well, if you don't, you're not alone. Even as a mummy of 2 young boys, I don't know the difference too, until I was introduced to Little Suite. When it comes to outfitting our little ones, cotton sounds like a safe and natural option, right? WRONG!

Did you know that cotton is one of the most heavily chemically treated crops in the world?
Conventional cotton fabric is processed with chlorine bleach. Hydrogen Peroxide and formaldehyde are also applied in the processing of the fabrics. Eeeeks! Therefore, this is very unsafe for a little newborn's skin. Furthermore, the use of chemicals in processing weakens the fibers and hence, conventional cotton products wear out faster than organic cotton ones.

Why choose organic cotton?
1) Unlike cotton, organic cotton clothing are produced without chemicals throughout the entire production process. This helps to prevent harmful chemicals from finding their way into your baby's bloodstream! Organic cotton does not use any of the myriad synthetic fertilizers or pesticides on offer today from chemical companies.

2) Furthermore, organic cotton is incredibly soft and comfortable to wear next to the skin. The pure fibers allow your baby's skin to breathe naturally. It does not irritate sensitive skin or cause allergies, which is especially important for babies' skin and respiratory system.

3) Organic cotton is also stronger because its fibers have not been damaged by harsh chemicals. Therefore, organic cotton clothes are able to last longer too! And this helps to save more money in the long run. Which is a big plus for mothers out there! ;)

Choosing organic cotton clothing cuts down the exposure children have to toxins. As such, I'm happy to introduce to all mummies and mummies-to-be on the beautiful line called Little Suite! Little Suite provides a collection of soft and comfortable organic cotton clothing, soft toys and accessories for kids and babies that are free from harmful chemicals! 



Wearing "El Perro Short Sleeve Bodysuit and Dove Grey Pants" from Little Suite. How cute is the heart-shape?! :D
The adorable pugs from his bodysuit :)
Little Suite constantly strives to source for beautiful designer labels all around the world for organic cotton clothing. Their focus is on ensuring exceptional quality with wash and wear durability. All of their garments and trimmings are made of 100% certified organic cotton. They have been printed with organic vegetable dyes that are free from harmful chemicals and heavy metals. Choosing organic cotton is important for our precious little ones, as it is a softer and safer choice for our child's sensitive skin. It allows their skin to breathe naturally. :)


Always check for certifications such as GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) and Oeko-Tex Standard 100 when you're buying organic cotton clothes. GOTS is an international certification that demands strict environment criteria on the entire manufacturing process. You can be rest assured that Little Suite collection are all GOTS certified, so you can be assured of putting it close to your baby's skin!


Moreover, Little Suite is the exclusive retailer and distributor for Sapling Australia. Sapling baby pieces are beautiful, eco-friendly, non-toxic clothing and essentials that every parent should be able to have for their little ones. Sapling is also a featured brand as seen on the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton as well as many other Hollywood celebrities. There will also be a new Sapling collection by Jaime King next February! ;)

Psss: Read about Hollywood actress, Jaime King, on her take on Sapling!
Jaime King and baby James in the Captain Ahab onesie from Sapling Child organic baby wear

We are happy to announce that Little Suite is happy to offer a 10% discount to all of our readers! Simply enter "smittenbyangels" at checkout to enjoy the discount. The offer is valid for baby collection, till 31st Dec 2014. This will be the perfect Christmas gift for all mummies and mummies-to-be!

When choosing organic cotton, you are choosing one of the safest and most natural clothing options available for your baby. Visit Little Suite today to check out their beautiful 100% organic cotton baby collection. :)


Have a happy week with your loved ones! <3

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Letter to My Husband {on his 29th Birthday}



Dear Husband,

HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!!! When I first met you at age 17, I never could have imagined how happy you would still make me all these years later. Not only are you handsome (hehee), but you have a beautiful heart. You love us so much and would do anything for our children. I really couldn't ask for a better person to share my life with, and I'm extremely thankful to have you as the father of our two beautiful young kids. You're such a hands-on father and you love to spend time with our kids, which I adore. :) You are my soul mate, my best friend, my partner-in-crime, my business partner, my pillar of support, my financial advisor, my handyman, my cheerleader when times get rough, my massage therapist (especially when I was heavily pregnant with baby Nathan!) and most of all, you're my better half.

Thank you for being all that and more. Even when I'm a grumpy and grouchy, you somehow find a way to make me smile and laugh. :D I hope you'll never forget how much greatness you have inside of you, never forget how much I love you, never forget that we are a team and we can do anything if we do it together.

We have so many fun adventures to look back on and I know we have so many more amazing adventures ahead of us. Happy 29th birthday, I am so thankful to be by your side! :)

Love,
Your one and only.


Cheers to the best daddy and partner in the whole wide world! :)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

HAPPY 4 MONTHS, BABY NATHAN! (and a few silly photos...)

HAPPY 4 MONTHS OLD, BABY NATHAN!!

Things you love to do at 4 months:

1) You love to observe your big brother's actions and when all of us are in a room, your eyes are only fixated on him and no one else. I guess it's because your brother is such a funny, silly and loud character at home who is hard to go unnoticed. Your Papa and I can't wait for the day when both of you can talk and play together! :)

2) You're so interested in fooood. Whenever we're eating, you'll start to salivate and put your entire fist in your mouth! Haha. We think that you're going to be a big-eater when the time comes for you to eat. ;)

3) You're crying much lesser now, and would shout instead! You'll shout whenever you want someone to pick you up, or when you're feeling uncomfortable. And boy, can you shout. It's really loud for a 4 month old baby. Haha.

4) You're getting so active nowadays. You're able to roll over, support yourself with your two arms and then lift your head up to see us. Needless to say, you love tummy time. We can't wait for you to start crawling!


5) You love to laugh out loud whenever we tickle your tummy or cheeks. And your laughter is the sweetest and cutest. You're still our calm and relaxed baby, and we can't imagine life without you. Your Papa, Mama and brother love you very very much!

Happy 4 months, Nathan. We love you to the moon and back.


Papa placed your pants over your head last night and called you the "Prince of Eygpt". Haha!
Our serious Nathan aka the baby Prince with the drool and chubby tummy. LOL

And it's time to fetch Shayne from his enrichment class. Have a good weekend! :)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Top 3 Questions To Ask Before Starting A Family



Some of my family members and friends have asked me this question "What made you ready to have another child?" or "Why did you decide to have another child?" So I figured that I'll write a post on this important topic. Here are the top 3 factors we considered before expanding our family of three with another bundle of joy!

1)  Is it just an instinct? Or do we really want another baby?
It has been scientifically proven that couples, especially those in their late twenties, have a stronger sense of maternal/paternal instinct and their hormones are at an all-time-high on wanting to have a baby. Even a photo of a stranger's baby can trigger that instinct and hormone to conceive and reproduce! Scientifically, it is termed as the "biological clock". Or you may refer to it as the "baby fever".

However, we've come to realise that the decision to have another baby takes much more than just basing it on an instinct or hormone. From our own personal experience of raising our first son, Shayne, we've realised that it takes an enormous amount of effort, work and money to raise a child. Raising a child is never easy, it is a challenge. Hence, we discussed the pros and cons of expanding our family before concluding that we're ready to have another little one. So to couples who are thinking of starting a family, it is crucial to have a serious talk with your partner. Most importantly, do not let parental or peer pressure affect your decision. It is perfectly okay and normal to be a childless married couple, or to have only one child. Do not let the opinions and thoughts of others prejudice your decision. At the end of the day, you and your spouse are the ones raising your children, not them.


2) Can we afford another child?
It takes approximately $350,000 to raise a child from 0 to 21 years old. Unfortunately, the truth is that the baby bonus, CDA and other government incentives can help for only a short period of time. Our pre-delivery, delivery and post-delivery consultations cost us about $7k+ and as such, our baby bonus of $6k was seen as a form of "reimbursement" for us. Hence, we did not get extra money from our baby bonus and in fact, it wasn't enough to cover all of the bills. Moreover, the CDA can only be used for government-approved institutions and it is capped at $6k. Hence, to play safe, do not take into consideration the monetary incentives which the government will give you once you're pregnant.

Children are expensive. They are never cheap. If you really want to have a or another child, you have to either reduce your expenses or increase your income. The cost of raising a child or children only increases over time. There are ongoing expenses for medical care, clothing, toys, vacations, and most importantly, education. By understanding and discussing the complex financial cost of raising a family with 2 kids, it really helped us to decide if we're financially ready (and not just emotionally ready!) to have another little one.


3) Are we ready to give up "me" time? Is life just too good to change?

For us, having another baby meant that we will definitely have much lesser "me" time and "one-on-one" time with each other. Honestly, right now, we can't even hold hands when we're out as a family! Our hands are always occupied with either Shayne or baby Nathan. However, we're okay with that and would rather be occupied with our 2 kids than with ourselves. But if you're just not yet ready to give up hours with your friends, your own favourite activities (eg: gym, yoja, dancing, cooking, clubbing/pubbing, or even book-reading sessions etc) and one-on-one time with your spouse, then it might be worth seriously considering if you're ready for a child or children right now.

Nonetheless, as the saying goes, "you can't know what it’s going to feel like until you do it". You can never exactly plan every single factor in detail, so no matter how much you plan and talk to your spouse, it truly is impossible to know exactly what becoming a parent will be like. Hopefully these factors will serve as a rough guide towards you and your spouse's dream of having a baby!

Parenthood is the most selfless and challenging job that you and your spouse will ever have. But the reward is pure love, and that's the best reward one can ever have. :)



Monday, November 10, 2014

THE BEST PERSONALISED GIFT FOR BABIES AND MUMMIES!

We were recently gifted a very beautiful personalised baby package for our babyboy, and I can't wait to share it with all of you!

Mybabygift is an online gift boutique for mummies and babies. It sells personalised, luxurious, practical and surprising gifts! The online boutique is founded and managed by an Israeli expat mummy of four who has been living in Singapore for the past 7 years. (I really salute all mum-trepreneurs out there, it really isn't easy handling motherhood + one's own business!) Mybabygift is first of it's kind in Singapore and Hongkong, and it's an absolutely unique gift concept. It specialises in personalised branded baby gifts of newborns, baby showers, first month celebrations, and more. Their products are imported from international baby designers such as Jellycat, Sophie the giraffe, Anen+anais etc.

The best part about Mybabygift is that they deliver your chosen gift package to the hospital or home- even on the same day that you've placed your order! How awesome is that?! ;)

Here are some photos of the beautiful personalised items found in our baby package:

Excited Nathan :D

This photo was taken from their website, hence the name "Liam". For ours, the items were embroided with "Nathan". :) We were gifted the "My Baby Welcome Hamper" and it consists of
  • Blue/pink Star printed bodysuit for 3-6 months
  • Personalized Blanket with baby's name
  • Personalized hooded towel with baby's name
  • Sophie the giraffe
  • Cute baby socks
  • MyBabyGift gift card with your personal greeting
  • MyBabyGift signature gift box beautifully tied up 


His personalised blanket, neatly tied up with a blue ribbon
Personalised baby pillow
Wearing his personalised baby bib! And there's also a personalised soft white baby towel beside him which was still folded when I snapped this photo.
Squishy chubby cheeks! :)



MyBabyGift is a luxurious baby gift boutique offering personalized Premium Baby Hampers & unique babies gifts , both for babies and mummies. All gifts are elegantly presented in their signature gift box. Not only are their products beautiful, they are also highly practical and durable! All products are 100% super soft cotton. And the best thing is that your baby's name is delicately embroidered on selected products and your baby gift is beautifully wrapped in our special signature box with a classic satin ribbon.

Their local online website can be found here, and their Hongkong website can be found here.

We are also pleased to offer our readers $10 off  using the coupon code " SBA " and it is valid until 1/4/1/2015! Happy shopping! ;) 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

MONTESSORI FOR BABIES: How to raise an emotionally balanced baby.



“The baby’s fundamental need – precisely because he is a human being – is to be loved. But it takes a mature person to love a baby, because love takes time, love takes patience, love takes fortitude, love even requires a certain kind of humility: to love another better than one’s self. The baby needs time to be understood: he needs time in everything he does.”

-by Dr. Herbert Ratner, editor of Child and Family, to the American Montessori Society in 1963.

Dr. Ratner urged his listeners, who are mostly parents, not to misunderstand Montessori as
being a faddish status symbol, with the vague goal of speeding up a child’s intellectual development. Though academic development is an important part of the Montessori method, it is the baby’s emotional development that should be the most important to all parents.

Maria Montessori identified four areas of infant development referred to as the ‘sensitive periods’. By preparing an environment in which babies can begin to safely explore these four needs to grow, the parent is acting with great love and wisdom and hence, is fostering a strong sense of emotional well-being in their child.

1) Sensitive Period for Movement
Babies are constantly testing out their limbs, their reflexes and gross motor skills. From birth to 12 months, this joyous exploration of the body’s power progresses from control of the hands and feet, self-support of the head, hand-eye coordination and the miracle of crawling (and even walking for some babies!) all come into play in the first year of life.

 Holding his Papa's shirt tightly // Sucking his own little thumb (which he does 24/7 :D)

Montessori teaches that the parents’ main responsibility in all this activity is to make sure that babies are not being restrained either by their clothing or by furnishings like cots or playpens. Soft, cotton clothing that enables free range of the limbs is best. Moreover, parents need to baby-proof the environment so that the baby is able to move about in certain areas of the house.

2) Sensitive Period for Sensory Perception
An infant’s perception of sound, sight, touch, taste and smell is extremely acute. Keeping the environment calm and quiet, keeping manufactured/commercial colourful toys to a minimum, and giving priority to a newborns’ most important connection to their parents is the key.

As babies begin to take interest in a wider range of things, less is still more. In the house, a few chosen toys, a few picture-books and/or a comfortable soft blanket will be plenty for small babies to explore. Outside, a single flowering plant is akin to a whole garden to a baby. According to Montessori, parents are to follow their babies’ expressions of interest in new sensory experiences and to go at their pace. Getting to observe and share in a baby’s gradual discovery of the physical world is one of the joys of the first year of parenting.


Papa and baby Nathan <3
3) Sensitive Period for Language
Babies find themselves in a world of sounds and often, their greatest interest is in the sounds of speech coming from their parents. :) Infants intently watch the mouths of the people around them and begin moving their own lips in imitation. Soon, they'll begin to explore their own ability to create different kinds of sounds and develop syllables that they will repeat over and over, trying to perfect the control of their throat, tongue and lips.

Telling us all about his day...or sort of. Haha.
According to Montessori, it’s crucial that parents spend plenty of time talking to baby, one-on-one. Being part of the conversation helps infants feel that they are part of the family – valued members of the household.

4) Sensitive Period for Order
To explain this concept simply, newborns start to gain a feeling of security by making sense of all of the things they perceive in their surroundings, be this people or furnishings. Their own place in the scheme of things feels safe when they wake up from a nap and discover that everything is in its rightful location. Even adding a new picture to an infant’s wall can cause him to feel unsettled and scared– the world is in disorder! Obviously, some changes are necessary, but most changes in the environment should be made with thoughtful care.

If an infant becomes suddenly discontented or fussy and no explanation is obvious, it’s a good idea to look around to see if something has changed in the room that could be causing distress. As the baby starts to crawl, it’s time to start teaching the idea of everything having a dedicated place in the household.

In Conclusion
Dr. Montessori believed that these four special sensitive periods were the most important from birth to five years of age. An extraordinary amount of development takes place in the first year of life, both for the growing baby and the parents who are striving to fulfill their baby’s needs. By implementing and taking into consideration these four sensitive periods, our babies emotional development will be more balanced and well-taken care of. :)

Have a good weekend! :)
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