Sunday, January 25, 2009

Diapers, Nappy Rash & Sensitive Skin

Neither me or my husband have problem skin, either now or when we were growing up, so I was surprised when my baby girl developed a really mild eczema. "Atopic dermatitis" they call it because it's hereditary. It seems that if one or both parents have asthma, their child may develop eczema. So that's where she got it then, because I'm asthmatic.

I first noticed Salma had sensitive skin when she was just a couple of weeks old. Straight out of the hospital, we had her using Drypers brand of diapers, and either Anakku Wet Wipes or Bebe (which was the cheapest selling brand at the store). She started to develop nappy rash, and I quickly went online to my trusty babycenter site to find out what may be the reasons for diaper rash. Chafing from wet diaper, detergent and/or fragrances from wet wipes were the causes most relevant to Salma. When we switched to Mamy Poko diapers and stopped using the Bebe wet wipes (which has strawberry-like scent), her nappy rash stopped immediately and I didn't even need to use a nappy cream. I tried several brands of wet wipes, and the ones I found that were most suited to her skin were Anakku, Guardian's brand of wet wipes that are surprisingly very gentle and cloth-like, and Johnson & Johnson, the blue pack. We got free Huggies samples once, and when I tried them, the nappy rash returned, so the answer to a nappy-rash-free tushie for Salma is Mamy Poko. Kinda tough though, cos it's the most expensive brand of diaper out there! Haven't tried Pampers yet, and will try to find a small pack to see if she can take them. But I love Mamy Poko diapers though, they are soft and cloth-like.

At about 3 months old, Salma started to develop an acute facial rash, which most likely was a result of her constant drooling. Now at almost 4 months, there are patches of rough reddish skin developing around her elbows, neck and around the eyes and forehead. And also behind the ears, which she scratches all the time. Our pediatrician advised us to stop using soap (we use Johnson & Johnson's Top to Toe Wash and Baby Milk Bath) and opt for a non-soap cleanser. She recommended Cetaphil, which is gentle enough for babies to use and are soap-free. For a stronger moisturizer, she recommended Cetaphil Moisturising Cream, which she prescribed in a small round jar. And wow is it amazing! It gets absorbed by skin really fast and wipes on really smoothly and is non-greasy. It's almost like water. And after 2-3 applications, the rough skin around her elbows have disappeared. Now just to continue using it everyday. I really want to minimize her eczema asap.

So where to buy Cetaphil in Malaysia? Well I tried looking at Guardian and Watson's, and they only stock the Cetaphil cleanser, which I bought, quite expensive, one bottle of 470 ml (need to check) is about RM44. I also bought the Cetaphil bar soap, which is cheaper, at about RM24. Found the Cetaphil Moisturising Cream online at where I bought it for around RM44 also. is convenient too because you can pay using maybank2u.

Cetaphil is also great as a make-up remover and facial cleanser cos its super gentle. So for those mommies out there with sensitive skin, you should try it. If you can't find it at your local pharmacy, then you can buy it on, they stock it there.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Update: designer diaper bags!

Hi, for those of you who still want to own that gorgeous Isoki diaper bag, I found an online store based in Singapore who stocks it: The price is also quite reasonable S$195.00 for the Hobo Bag, and S$165.00 for the Original Reversible Baby Bag.

Bebelove also sells nursing bras! But unfortunately not in my size... boy those Singaporean ladies sure are small! ;) Or maybe I'm just big... I found that after delivery I went up 2 cup sizes! Was it the same for the rest of you?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Designer Diaper Bags!

I finally bought myself a designer diaper bag after looking and wishing for one for so long!! (I am hysterically happy) Ever since the day Salma was born, I've been searching online for a diaper bag that I can sport around like a normal handbag. Being a working mom, I really hate those "cutesy" diaper bags with little teddy bears plastered all over. Understanding my need to stay "hip" (haha), my husband graciously bought me a reddish-maroon diaper bag that he found at Manjaku (Manjaku Baby Centre, Section 9 Bangi), that was essentially just a rectangular cooler bag, with an exterior zippered pocket for bottles.

For the first two months of my baby's young life, I would tote around the diaper bag and my handbag together, and that was so tough! It was just too much to carry even if we stowed the diaper bag in the stroller's basket. Then last month, I just did away with my handbag when we brought the baby out, and stuffed my wallet and handphone into the diaper bag. I came to realise that this is not the way to go and made an honest effort to search for a suitable diaper bag handbag... aka the Designer Diaper Bag.

Yeah, you've seen them on Oprah, E! Entertainment Channel... Angelina Jolie, Jessica Alba carry them around... Kate Spade makes designer diaper bags. I googled my way into so many online handbag/baby online stores, but most of the US-based ones did not ship to Malaysia, and for the ones that did, the cost of the bag plus the shipping and handling would have cost me a bomb!

So far the one I thought was the best of the best was Isoki, ( Australian designer diaper bag maker. They have the most gorgeous diaper bags, styled in contemporary fashion - Hobo, Saddle Bag. And the best thing about them is that they are reversible! I was all set to purchase one online just a few days ago when almost nearing check-out I was stunned to find out that I would be paying somewhere between MYR600-800 for one hobo diaper bag! (Prices are in AUD & USD) So I didn't end up buying it, but I still visit their site to look at how pretty their bags are! Do check them out! Isoki's site does not have an online store, but they offer a list of online sites that do sell them, and a few of them are willing to ship to Malaysia.

Then yesterday, after my husband's company bowling tournament, we went down to Isetan KLCC for their CNY sale, and I came across a stylish diaper bag by a local specialty bags designer, Gin & Jacqie! Check them out at their website,, which also doubles as an online store! Prices are quoted in RM, USD and AUD. I bought myself a "Stripy Alison" in Beige. It was 30% off its original price of RM219, so I purchased it at about RM153, which was a steal compared to the price I was about to pay for the Isoki one! I immediately bought it.

The bag is spacious, has 3 compartments inside for baby bottles, a large zippered pocket in the middle to store baby blankets and clothes, another section for diapers. The bag comes with its own matching changing mat. It has two exterior pockets for bottles on either side, and it has a zipped pocket at the front exterior for mommy's personal stuff. Inside the bag, it also has pockets for your mobile phone and keys. The downside of the bag is that I wished the inside was waterproof or at least wipable (to cater for spills and wet clothing), but it's cotton. Another shortfall of the Gin & Jacqie "Stripy Alison" diaper bag is that it doesn't come with it's own insulated bottle warmer/cooler bag, which I had to buy separately from Baby Kiko. The Isoki diaper bags, however, come with bottle warmer, changing mat and a double sided storage satchel, all removable. I'm posting pics of the "Stripy Alison" bag (which I got from their website) in color Orange, but I bought Beige. But do do do visit Gin & Jacqie's website for more info and to view more bag styles!


As an update to blog entry "Drooler" posted on January 12, I found the bibs I wanted: jersey on the front, terry cloth on the back at Isetan KLCC's children section under brand "Mellow Baby". They are the most adorable little bibs, comes in an assortment of colors and designs for both boys and girls, and are selling for the price of 2 bibs for RM9.00! Quick, have a look at them before the CNY sale ends at Isetan! (CNY Sale from Jan 16 - Feb 11, 2009)

Monday, January 12, 2009


When Baby Salma drools a lot, we call her "Drooler". Sometimes the drool is not so much, and I just dab it with a face towel now and again, but other times it gets way too much and I have to put a bib on her so she doesn't get drool all over her clothes! I tell myself I have got to buy more bibs cos I find it such a hassle to keep washing 2-3 bibs each week. Then waiting for them to dry in this rainy weather is another thing...

However, I want to find those bibs that are smooth on the front but have terry cloth texture on the back. You know the ones I'm talking about? I don't want the entire thing to have a terry cloth texture, cos my baby seems to hate her face being wiped with that. There are some bibs which are just jersey t-shirt material and are lousy. Got them as a present from someone. Not absorbent at all. Is there also such a thing as a bib that compliments my baby's outfit? As a mom, am I asking too much with that last part right there?

Sometimes the bib is so big that it covers half of her outfit, which I don't like. Cos she might be wearing a nice dress, and I have to put a bib on her so she doesn't mess it up, but then the bib covers almost half of her front part. I have about 3 bibs that are just the right size (not too big) that it allows for the top part of her dress to be seen. I am looking for more of these type of bibs. So where can I find these cute bibs??

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Spare time

In my spare time, like when she's sleeping, I like to vote on Baby Name Polls on I don't know why, but I find it relaxing. And sort of fun. It's interesting to see the mix and match of names that other parents put together! Some of them are really creative, and some of them are not. Some of them are really nice names, and some of them are really stupid. I never vote on the really stupid names that I think are really boring.

It took us awhile to come up with Salma Yelena. I've always liked the name Yelena, and I actually had it paired with something else. I've always had it in my mind to have 'Yelena' as the middle name of my first daughter since I was don't know how old. And I distinctly remember a page from my old notebook/filofax with the list of names I liked with 'Yelena' in the mix. My ultimate favorite name is 'Natalia', which is too close to my own name, so I don't think I'll ever name my child that. I also liked the name 'Teresa', which in my own imaginings, I would end up calling 'Reesa'. For those that really remember my writing from waaaay back when I was a svelte 45kg, I always named my main character 'Reesa'. I thought of naming my daughter the arabic "Raisa", but didn't like it too much.

I actually get annoyed by people who misspell or mispronounce my baby's middle name, but I don't tell them, or I don't let it show because the first person that did it was my own family. The first time was on first day of Raya when one of my aunts or cousins commented that it was like my cousin, Ilaine's name but ending with an A. Which is totally wrong. It's not meant to be Elena. It's YElena. But nevermind. Hard Y, silent Y... both are still better than "Alina" or "Iliyana". For the first 2 weeks my mother-in-law actually thought it was "Iliyana". And then during her cukur jambul, the ladies were all singing "Selma Alina" which I was actually appalled at. But then my husband soothed me and said, "It's not like these old ladies would know how to pronounce Salma Yelena... so let it be, it's better than nothing..." But I think he was pissed off, too, at first.

I actually thought of spelling it 'Selma' or 'Thalma'. But that's too weird. 'Salma' is just right, and I really liked the meaning of it: "Safe". I hope she stays safe and sound her whole life. Like never in danger. I don't even mind if she's not a risk taker. In the dreams I had, it's her little sister that's the bold one. But that is an entirely different story, still unwritten...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


During a stressful day the one thing I enjoy and look forward to is visiting Salma at her playschool. It's so soothing to sit in the peace and quiet and breastfeed your baby during lunch. Even if I only get 15 mins to eat lunch or if I only get to eat lunch at 2pm, I still enjoy the quick moments with her. Although sometimes I do wish I can just fall asleep with her at the playschool! Her 'baby nap' room is so cosy...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sleep problems?

Hmm... instead of Baby Salma having sleep problems, I am! Not sure why exactly. But I had a sinus headache the whole of today and went to visit the doctor. She gave me a muscle relaxant that's supposed to be drowsy, but I am wide awake now at 2 am!

I'm really worried about whether or not Salma has inherited our sinus problems. My husband has it and so do I. Salma occassionally has a blocked or runny nose, but I don't know yet if this is due to sinus problems (like on a chilly morning) or because she has a cold. I really don't want her to have bad sinus probs like my husband. He's allergic to dust and will sneeze at the slightest. I'm not that bad. Salma's just 3 months old and it's not like I can make her blow her nose when she's got it bad. She hates it when I try to clean her nose with a tissue.

I just hate it when she has a runny nose. I read an article that it's better for parents not to give their child cold medicines when they are younger than 2 years old, and to just hug them and make them feel loved. It doesn't make it go away faster though! I wish there was such a thing as infant anti-histamines!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Teething problems

Whew! For the past two days Salma has been refusing to drink milk from the bottle at school, and they've had to call me several times to come and feed her. At first none of her teachers could figure out what was wrong with her. She would cry incessantly, even when held and being walked around. At home with me and her dad, she would be a little cranky, but fine. As long as we lie her down on our bed, she's happy. I'd brought her to the clinic on the afternoon of the first day, and the doctor said that she was wheezing and had slight fever, so she could have a chest infection, and prescribed her paracetemol, ventolin and anti-biotics. I, myself am asthmatic so I thought this made sense after our trip to Bukit Tinggi. But then yesterday, she got really bad. She even refused to drink from my breast at home. We couldn't figure out what was bothering her. Her teachers thought that maybe "something" had followed her home from the jungles of Bukit Tinggi, cos babies are able to see all those things that we can't see, especially near forest areas. That's what they say. My husband was worried about this too, and has been reciting ayat Quran in her ear every night since the very first day at Bukit Tinggi. But still her crankiness did not stop.

Then by chance last night, I had clicked on the link for "developmental milestones for 3 month olds" on and my husband read out the symptoms for teething, and Salma had the first 4 out of the 6 symptoms:

  • Drooling (which can lead to a facial rash)
  • Irritability or fussiness
  • Biting behavior
  • Refusing food
  • Gum swelling and sensitivity
  • Sleep problems

  • I'm not sure how to check for gum swelling, and she doesn't quite have sleep problems, although it's harder for us to put her to sleep these past few days. But she drools a lot, and has facial rash, she's totally irritable, refuses food, and bites like crazy! She sucks her fingers non-stop, and if I give her my finger, she'd be biting it, sometimes going at it really hard. If she gets her hands on her face towel or blanket, she'd bite it.

    So my little 3 month old has started teething! I consider it quite early... she's developing pretty fast. I don't remember my little brother or sister starting to teethe this early. But some babies are faster than others. Plus all those calcium tablets I took during pregnancy must have taken their effect by now. Another thing she's fast at is rolling over! Yesterday she rolled from her back to her tummy 5 times. She practiced so hard that after the 5th time she fell right asleep! I was on the phone to my husband at the time, and thought she had just stopped to take a break from rolling to listen to my conversation, which she sometimes does, but then i found out she was fast asleep! The funny thing is, I read on that babies should start rolling over from tummy to back first, but she's rolling over from back to tummy. Hmmm... I guess she's just different! But so cute...