Welcome to the family

Since her baby decided to arrive earlier than expected, Esther Teo found herself with far less time to manage than she originally planned for.
Since her baby decided to arrive earlier than expected, Esther Teo found herself with far less time to manage than she originally planned for.PHOTO: UNSPLASH.COM

Esther Teo, the SPH Content Lab writer anchoring this series, became a new parent less than a month ago - surprise! We dropped in on her to offer our well wishes, and find out what her concerns were.

Esther Teo has been functioning on a lot less sleep of late. Since her baby decided to arrive earlier than expected, she’s found herself with far less time to manage than she originally planned for. Content Lab dropped in on her with a basket of bounty and well wishes, to find out what she needs most.

Q: So Esther, since your baby arrived, how have your plans evolved?

A: My baby came a month earlier than expected, so we've had much less time to get the house in order for the new arrival! Thankfully, my parents pitched in during the first week to help get everything at home organised and packed. My mum also stayed with us the first five days after we were discharged to play the role of my confinement nanny before the actual one arrived.

Q: If the three fairies Mistresses Flora, Fauna and Merriweather dropped in, what gifts would you like them to confer on your child?

A: I would like them to give him the gift of being able to sleep like a baby and to latch and suckle like a mini milk monster.

Q: What concerns do you now have that you didn’t think you would?

A: I never knew that breastfeeding on demand would be this strenuous both mentally and physically. It's hard not to get overwhelmed as mother and baby both need to learn how to breastfeed; I’ve also had to stop myself from being overly concerned about my milk supply. Breastfeeding is a lot about trusting your body and your baby.

Q: What has been your source of strength?

A: Pure motherly love for the baby. And my husband who has been my rock through everything. He's the one settling all our financial and administrative matters while I tend to the little one.

Q: How prepared were you for the birth of your bub?

A: We researched extensively and had a checklist of items we needed to get for our newborn. By week 34 of my pregnancy, we'd already gotten most of them so we were pretty much prepared for the big day.

Q: How do you feel about the challenges ahead of you?

A: When the confinement nanny leaves, we will have to take care of baby all by ourselves again. Hello sleepless nights!


Q: What are the hopes and dreams that you and your husband are already imagining for your firstborn?

A: Right now, we are in survival mode and trying to take each day as it comes. But we are certainly looking forward to baby's first real smile and the first time he utters dada or mama.

As parents, our baby’s well-being and future is our priority.  I’m glad that my husband and I looked into financial planning long ago, because we certainly do not have time now. The POSB Smiley Child Development Account (CDA), for instance, helps to kickstart our bub’s savings thanks to the dollar-for-dollar matching from the Government.

How it works is simple. For example, if you deposit $10 into the CDA account, the Government will match $10 within two weeks after you begin saving in your child's CDA. For the first and second child, the Government will match dollar-for-dollar for up to $6,000, $12,000 for the third and fourth child, and $18,000 for fifth and subsequent child*.    

There are many other benefits and perks when one signs up for the POSB Smiley CDA too. I love the free set of four Baby’s First Words books worth S$47.60, the 2-year membership at My Greatest Child and exclusive discounts at over 40 merchants.

As new parents, a little help goes a long way. For those who are looking to embark on this beautiful journey of family planning, you might want to check out the POSB Smiley Child Development Account for more information.

 Q: What’s the most useful advice you’ve received?

A: Even the smallest babies (my son was born premature at 36 weeks) can grow up big and strong as long as we persevere in giving them all the love and milk they need.

Q: What or who has been the biggest help in the process of adjusting to your new addition?

A: Without question, our very experienced confinement nanny who has been teaching us how to take care of the baby and handling all the cooking and housework while I recuperate.

Q: What do you most need right now?

A: I need some “me time” to show myself some tender loving care. A nice relaxing facial and haircut would be a plus.

CDA Terms and Conditions apply

Deposit Insurance Scheme
Singapore dollar deposits of non-bank depositors and monies and deposits denominated in Singapore dollars under the Supplementary Retirement Scheme are insured by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation, for up to S$50,000 in aggregate per depositor per Scheme member by law.