Monday, 9 April 2012

Review: Nipple Creams

Do I really need nipple cream or is breast milk alone sufficient?

Relief is definitely needed on sore, cracked or blistered nipples, be it via breast milk or commercially available creams. Trust me!...when the baby latches on incorrectly (which, by the way, happens very frequently to first time breastfeeding mums), nipples can end up cracked and blistered. If relief is not available, this might result in some mummies feeling depressed and giving up on breastfeeding eventually when the pain or soreness does not go away.

Breast milk has healing properties and natural antibodies that will help with pain and can be used by a mother to help relieve soreness. And the major advantage is that it is free! All you have to do is just to express a little bit of milk , apply it onto your nipples and areola and let them air dry.

Some mummies swear by this method and they are a lucky lot as they would not need to purchase any lanolin creams. However, breast milk might not provide enough relief for other mummies who would then need to turn to products available in the market to help relieve the soreness.
For me, the use of breast milk did not really work and I had to 'seek help' from one of the nipple cream during breastfeeding.   

When do I start using nipple cream?
Nipple creams work just like lip gloss except that they are for your boobs, lol. So anytime you experience dry or cracked nipples, you can start using them. For me, I started using my Lansinoh nipple cream before breastfeeding started as I experienced dry, cracked and on top of that, itchy nipples during pregnancy. I didn’t have any breast milk then to make it heal naturally. :)
I had originally planned to get them only after delivery so it was kinda of a last minute purchase. I chose to purchase Lansinoh after almost 90% of my USA colleagues who are mummies 'promoted' it and true enough, it did provide almost instant relief the first night and the nipples felt much smoother the following day.

Brands of nipple cream  

There are generally 2 more popular brands of nipple cream with mummies in Singapore: Lansinoh and Medela.
Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Nipple Cream

- Only nipple cream endorsed in the US by La Leche League International *
- 100% natural – world’s purest lanolin
*La Leche League International is a non-profit mother-to-mother breastfeeding support organisation.  

Medela Tender Care TM Lanolin

- Contains all natural ingredients: lanolin, caprylic/capric triglyceride and PEG-3 sorbitan stearate
- Glides on smoothly

What do I look out for in nipple creams?

Chemicals / ingredients used

The most important factor to me is the ingredients used since the cream will be applied on your nipples that go into direct contact with your baby during breastfeeding. I took steps to ensure that the cream is 100% pure lanolin as this means any impurities are reduced to the lowest and is safe for the baby.

Nipple creams made of pure lanolin do not require washing off prior to breastfeeding. Having said that, I only applied the cream after breastfeeding as it takes time for the skin to absorb and they are meant for my nipples, not to feed my baby!


Another factor that I used to differentiate between nipple creams is the texture of the cream. I personally prefer Lansinoh to other brands in the market as the cream is thick enough to allow it to stay on the nipples and be absorbed. No doubt it feels sticky at first touch but the nipples do turn smooth once the cream has been absorbed. To me, the texture feels similar to Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1, another product that I swear by. 
The texture of Medela’s cream, on the other hand, seemed a little too thin to me and doesn’t stay on too well. Of course, the other side of the coin is that it really does glide on easily but it makes me wonder if the cream is indeed absorbed by the skin or actually gets stained off the nursing bra.

I suspect that the thin texture could be due to the caprylic/capric triglyceride ingredient (Read: caprylic/capric triglyceride is a mixed triester, a specific fraction of fatty acids drawn from coconut oil and glycerin and comes in the form of an oily liquid) and some mummies reportedly are put off by the smell.

Of course, I have also known mummies who took issues with the thick Lansinoh cream which feels like putting some peanut butter or honey syrup on the nipples! So the texture factor is really up to your preference.  

Regardless of the method that is suitable for you, always remember to keep your nipples clean (do not wash it with alcohol or soap – clean water will do) and let your nipples be open to air as much as possible. Also, if the nipples show no signs of healing, it could signal infection so please approach your doctor and seek professional advice!  

Sunday, 8 April 2012

MISS A’s SPREE EXPERIENCE (PART 2): So, Are Sprees For You?

I am no founder of sprees but I suppose sprees existed because groups of friends could share shipping costs or take advantage of bulk buying discounts from merchants. However, now that it has evolved to a profit taking level, it is no longer as innocent as 1+1. (Note: I labelled some spree organisers profit taking individuals because they do make gains from cash rebates and exchange rate fluctuations, no matter how small the gain per spree-ist might be.)
So are sprees for you? Well, it depends on individual and the type of spree.

Generally, you should think twice if the spree involves high value items and you are required to pay a huge deposit or full payment for it. The rationale for this is the higher the value of items, the more attractive it is to spree organisers to just disappear…
Secondly, sprees are probably not for you if you do not like waiting for too long for your items to reach you. A typical spree might take a couple of weeks to close and another couple of weeks for the spree organiser to purchase your items and get it shipped domestically within the country of purchase i.e. USA/UK/Europe. After that, it will take another couple of weeks for the items to be shipped to Singapore. All in all, from my experience, I would say, be prepared for a good 1.5 to 2 months wait.

Thirdly, sprees would not be your cup of tea if you are the type who expects good customer service for money spent. After all, spree organisers do not treat you, the spree-ist as their customer. In fact, some spree organisers see themselves as doing a big favour to the spree-ist by helping them reduce shipping costs. That is why almost all their terms and conditions shout “Enter at your own risk”.

Homework, homework!

Nonetheless, I feel that sprees are here to stay, for they still fulfil the needs of certain online shoppers especially if you are just buying a very small, light-weight and low priced item. In such cases, it would be illogical for you to do your own shipping – the base shipping charge itself is probably more expensive than your item. And in these cases, customer experience probably does not matter that much.

In all cases, shoppers should always do their homework before participating in any sprees. As most of the sprees are repeated, you should be able to get some good indicative shipping charges by looking at the total shipping costs paid by past spree-ists. This gives you a basis to question the organiser should actual shipping costs charged to you exceeded by too much. However, this could only reduce but still not eliminate the chances of the spree organisers passing additional costs to you from other sprees they are organising at the same time. After all, the items are with them before you paid up so they are still the kings.

Do some research on the spree organisers. If they are so arrogant when dealing with spree-ists who complained in the forums, the chances are higher that they will use your items to hold you hostage or even disappear from this virtual world totally since they don’t look like they intend to do this for long.

In addition, do not get lost in the world of sprees. It is easy to forget the initial objective of why you are joining a spree i.e. to save costs. Sometimes, after paying for exchange rates determined by the spree organisers, topping up for international shipping charges, paying for registered local courier such that you receive your items in good conditions, and paying for additional GST because the spree organiser could not keep the value of items to be below S$400, the total price you have paid for the item is almost close to or just slightly cheaper than what you would get buying elsewhere from physical retail shops or online blogshops.

At times, a better alternative might be to round up a few friends and ship your items yourselves. There are a few more commonly used freight forwarding companies in Singapore (Vpost, Comgateway, Priority Tag or Borderlinx , just to name a few) which might have promotions from time to time. Bear in mind, you won’t have to pay extra for domestic courier within Singapore as their charges include delivery to your doorstep!    

So, are sprees for you? You decide for yourself.       


Was sharing my blogspot with a couple of colleagues during TGIF lunch last week until it slowly turned into a debate of whether sprees are a boon or bane to online shopping these days.
While most of us were neutral, one colleague was totally against it as she was badly traumatised by her spree experience. Her experience, to me, is worth sharing and thus I got her permission today to reproduce a short summary of what she has shared here:

“Miss A (her fave Korean pop group :P) participated in a spree at a popular forum and ordered some baby products from whom she claimed to be an established spree organiser (Miss T). After making the 1st payment and waiting for a day, there was no confirmation reply from Miss T. So, she emailed Miss T to check on the status of her order.
She got snapped at by Miss T for spamming her mailbox and was told that she will get her confirmation once she is free to reply and Miss T started complaining how busy she will get if everyone sends her an email to follow up.
In Miss A’s exact words, this is like I ordered a bowl of noodles at a hawker centre and after an hour it was still not delivered to me. I walked back to the stall to enquire about my bowl of noodles politely but got snapped by the stall auntie: you cannot see I’m very busy meh?!!!
This probably got the both of them to a bad start so when the final shipping charges were more than what was suggested and Miss A was asked to top up, it was the final straw:” How do I know if she charged some additional shipping charges to me just because I have offended her?”

Nonetheless, because she has paid for the item in full and the item was with Miss T who was quite adamant of not sending the item until a top up is done, Miss A had no choice but to pay up.”  

After hearing her experience, I am not sure if she is just being unlucky or this is happening to most people participating in forum sprees. But she did point out a valid concern very close to my heart although I have had far more satisfying experiences, compared to her. (The couple of sprees that I have participated in had been relatively smooth.) The issue she pointed out – the lack of transparency in shipping costs – is exactly the reason that prompted me to do my own shipping. 

Breast Milk Storage: Bottles or Bags??? Glass or Plastic???

Some mummies have emailed me regarding milk storage so I thought it might be helpful to share some of my knowledge here.

Generally, the best methods to store breast milk would be plastic baby bottles (4 oz.) or specialized and disposable storage bags especially if you are storing your milk for less than 24 hours.

Why not glass?

Some research has indicated that within 24 hours of storage, some of the white blood cells in your breast milk could cling on to the bottle if it is made of glass material and thus, might not get passed on to your baby.

Furthermore, plastic bottles don’t break when you drop them so the chances of wastage would be lower.   

So, plastic bottles or bags?

In my opinion, storage bottles are generally more cost effective as they allow repeat use. Unless there are stubborn milk stains inside the bottles that could not be washed off or scratches where bacteria might grow in them, you shouldn’t have to replace them. Thus, a bottle that cost around $8 will probably go a longer way than 50 pieces of disposable storage bags at $18.   

Storage bottles are also better containers for mummies with butter fingers like me! Bags do require more careful handling to avoid spillage or tearing. It is also easier to pump direct into the storage bottles instead of bags (although some of the bags have adaptors that allow direct pumping).  

On the other hand, storage bags help to save space as you can lay them flat and stack them up.

For working mums, storage bags are also more convenient since you don't have to wash and sterilise the storage bottles after use. Milk in storage bags also thaw faster than those in storage bottles generally. What’s more, new improvements such as double zipper and double-bagging now allows more sturdy milk bags that minimize leakages and puncture.

So, should I use bottles or bags? I suppose it boils down to a matter of preference as each method has its pros and cons.

What’s in store?

For mummies interested in using storage bottles, do check out the highly rated Ameda storage bottles in our great deals page! A locking ring ensures that it is leak-proof and not only that, the bottles fit most standard nipples like Dr Brown’s and NUK, and popular brands of pumps like Ameda and Medela PIS.
For mummies who prefer storage bags, the Honeysuckle milk bags might be a brand to consider. A relatively new brand into the market, they are more cost effective than the very popular Lansinoh and Medela milk bags, while offering similar if not, better quality.

Many users experienced fewer leakages with Honeysuckle as the sides and bottom of the bags seem thicker and thus hold up well in the fridge even when laid flat. For mummies who are environmentally friendly, you might want to know their bags are biodegradable too!

Note: We have ordered a batch directly from US as I couldn’t seem to find this brand in Singapore. Email us at if you are interested in trying them out!

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Welcome to Baby S'wonderful aka Babyswonderful 's blog

 Congratulations to all papas and mamas !

I guess you are just as excited as me as a parent and you must be thinking about all the swonderful baby things you can buy for your baby just to bring on your baby's wonderful smile!

Having a baby is a lifelong journey, not to mention an expensive one! While shopping for baby products myself, I am often caught in the dilemma of spending more to buy a brand new item for my little darling vs. saving the money and buy a pre-loved item instead.

To be honest, if budget allows, I guess everyone would prefer to buy brand new and unused items for their babies, in particular, items that require personal hygiene like milk bottles and breast pumps.

It was with this objective that I started sourcing around for great deals, visiting all fairs, turning up for all departmental sales and surfing all available websites. And came to realise that by doing mass ordering, distributors/dealers are willing to give more discounts and all of us can save a little more, just to buy more sweet stuffs for our babies!

It is also with this objective that I started this website, hoping that parents like you have the opportunity of buying brand new items at prices lower than retail prices here but slightly higher than pre-loved items.

All items displayed on this website are BRAND NEW, original and imported from USA from authorised dealers, so do check out them out. Prices shown are negotiable but do check out our promotions for further savings from time to time! All the products are readily available, on a first come first serve basis and mostly cash on delivery/collection.

Take your time to look through and feel free to email us or leave us a comment if you have any enquiries on these products.

Thank you and happy surfing.

Baby S'wonderful