2017-08-06

What to Teach Young Kids about Money

[This article was originally published in the June 2017 issue of BAMBI News.]


We all know that we should teach our kids about money...but how and when do we start? 


I seldom handled money as a child, and I think that’s why I still don’t feel confident handling financial matters. By the age of 3, kids can already understand the concept of saving and spending, and one study found that ‘children are developmentally capable of saving by age five or six’1. Now that our kids were 8 and 6 years old, my husband and I figured it was high time to start. Here are some concepts and methods researchers and experts suggest parents teach:

Preschoolers to kindergartners (3-5 years old)2, 3

‘Where does money come from?’
Kids might think money just comes magically from parents’ wallets or ATMs. Let them know that money isn’t infinite, but that it comes in exchange for doing work. Describe examples of work, like your own job or others that children might grasp easily, e.g., what your housekeeper does.


‘You may have to wait to buy something you want’
Going to the store doesn’t always mean that you have to buy something, and sometimes one needs to wait. The concept of waiting for something good could be taught even in a non-monetary situation: waiting in line - to ride the swings, for example - is an opportunity to discuss how important it is to wait for something valuable.


‘There is a difference between what you need vs. what you want’
Knowing that some things are necessities while others are optional can help children understand how they or their parents decide to use money. When you are out shopping, you could invite your child to determine whether an item in your shopping cart is a ‘need’ or a ‘want’, and to explain their reasoning.


For an activity at home, have your child cut out pictures from magazines etc. of various things that they may need or want. Draw a line down a big sheet of paper and label one side ‘NEED’ and the other ‘WANT’. Have your child decide which side each object should go and have her/him glue or tape it on the paper. Ask her/him the reasons.


‘There are different ways to use money: saving, spending, and sharing (donating)’
A popular method for teaching kids to allocate their money for different uses is the ‘three jars method’, explained by Elmo on Sesame Street4. The child is provided a jar (preferably transparent so they can see their progress) each for: spending, saving (can be used for a bigger purchase later on), and sharing (donating for others in need). Encourage your child to divide their income into the different jars, and help them decide what they want to do with the money in each jar.


Early elementary school (6-10 years old)5, 3

At this age, your children can be engaged in more adult financial decision-making.


‘You need to make choices about how to spend money’
Money is finite, so we want to make the best use of it. Let kids practice making that decision by involving them in small household decisions - e.g., when shopping, talk through your decision-making process (‘Do we really need this now?’ ‘Would it cost less somewhere else?’), and ask your child their views; give your child a budget and ask them to choose which cereal or fruit to buy.


‘Compare prices before buying’
Show and involve your child in comparing prices for a particular item, online and in-store, before buying. Involve them in clipping coupons, and calculating savings when using discount cards.


‘Remember online safety’
With so much online shopping nowadays, don’t forget to teach about online safety, especially about not sharing sensitive information. Don't allow your kids to buy anything online without your permission.


Encourage them with their math
This is about older kids, but one study found that additional mathematics training at the high school level led to better financial decision-making6. So perhaps it’s not a bad idea to encourage our kids with their math from early on!


Finally - a note on allowances. Some parents believe a child should work to ‘earn’ their pocket money, just as in the real world. Others believe that it’s better not to tie payment to chores, to prevent kids from expecting payment for everything, and also to let them regularly practice their financial skills. While most experts currently lean towards the latter approach, what actually teaches children financial skills is not just the giving of an allowance, but the providing of guidance on saving and budgeting, and talking to your kids about their decisions7.

Further Reading

‘10 rules for teaching children about money’ by Claudia Hammond (28 May 2016), The Guardian. www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/may/28/10-rules-teaching-children-money-claudia-hammond


‘Teach Kids about Want vs Need Now to Avoid Debt Later’, by Shannon Ryan (14 May 2014).



References

1 Terri Friedline (2015). ‘A Developmental Perspective on Children's Economic Agency’, The Journal of Consumer Affairs.


2 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. ‘What should children know about money by the time they are five years old, and what can I do to help them learn?’ (webpage)


3 ‘The 5 Most Important Money Lessons To Teach Your Kids’ by Laura Shin (15 October 2013). Forbes. (webpage)


4 Sesame Street's For Me, For You, For Later: Three Jars. youtu.be/ZrsWh7Bo97A


5 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, ‘My children are 6 and 8 years old. What should they know about money at that age, and what I can I do to help?’ (webpage)


6 Shawn Cole, A Paulson and GK Shastry (2016). ‘High School Curriculum and Financial Outcomes: The Impact of Mandated Personal Finance and Mathematics Courses’, Journal of Human Resources.

7 AI Drever, E Odders-White, CW Kalish, NM Else-quest, EM Hoagland, EN Nelms (2015). ‘Foundations of Financial Well-Being: Insights into the Role of Executive Function, Financial Socialization, and Experience-Based Learning in Childhood and Youth’, The Journal of Consumer Affairs.

2016-08-17

Book review: "Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds" (2009 revised edition, by David C. Pollock and Ruth E. Van Reken)

**I originally wrote this for BAMBI News (April 2016)**

Wondering how to help your children with a transition to a new country? Want to find out why your expat children are behaving the way they are? Looking for tools to manage different issues arising from a global nomad lifestyle? This book is an essential read to all expat parents.

It’s been a few years since I first heard of “Third Culture Kids” (TCK). Having grown up shuttling between two countries, it was eye-opening as an adult to finally understand that my identity of being neither here nor there had a name, and that here was a tribe that I actually belonged to.

Even if you’re not a TCK yourself, Pollock and Van Reken’s Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds, regarded as one of the definitive texts on TCKs, is a must-read for BAMBI members who are parents to TCKs; it gives us clues and advice on understanding and supporting our TCK children as they develop their sense of self in this wide world.

The term “TCK” was originally coined by researchers John and Ruth Useem in the 1950s, and is now typically used to define:

[A] person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents' culture. The TCK builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. (Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds. David C. Pollock and Ruth E. Van Reken. 1999, 2001, 2009.)

Pollock and Van Reken describe the characteristics commonly seen in TCKs, such as an expanded worldview, adaptability, language and cross-cultural skills, as well as the not-so-positive restlessness and rootlessness, confused loyalties, and a lack of a true cultural balance that TCKs struggle through.

Living in an environment where mobility is a given, what I found most interesting was the authors' guidance on how to help our TCKs get through the inevitable grief of parting, as they or their friends move away from their latest post. While moving away is never easy, Pollock and Van Reken reassure us that we can help manage the transition by first allowing ourselves and our children to go through proper closure. The authors summarize this stage as “building a RAFT”:

Reconciliation
Don’t leave a place without resolving interpersonal conflicts. Without doing so, it will be very hard to have real closure from moving away. “Bitterness is never healthy for anyone; the old discontentment can interfere with starting new relationships; and if we ever move back to this same place and have to face these people again, it will be much harder to resolve the issues then.”

Affirmation
Acknowledge our relationships with the people in the location we’re about to leave. It’s an important part of closure to let them know that we respect and appreciate them. This could include things like giving drawings or notes or little gifts to those people who mattered to you and your family.

Farewells
“Saying goodbye to people, places, pets, and possessions in culturally and age-appropriate ways is important if we don’t want to have deep regrets later.” Make sure you schedule enough time to say these farewells--these are rites of passage that give “us markers for remembering meaningful places and people and directly addressing the fact that we are saying farewell.”

In the case of possessions, of course we can’t take everything that is important to us, but if we can help our children identify what are the sacred objects “that help connect one part of a global nomad’s life to the next”, that can not only aid in their closure but also help give them a sense of security once the move to the new place takes place.

Think destination
As we say our farewells, we should also think realistically about our destinations, and to review all available resources that may help us deal with potential issues. For children, it can help to look at maps, pictures of the next house or school, etc., to mentally prepare for the move. The key is not to idealize or expect too much from the move, and also not expect too little--gauging what resources are available so that we can make use of them can help with the adjustment process.

The book goes on to discuss further stages of the moving process. Other subjects covered in the book include how to help our children develop a solid sense of self as a TCK, and things to be aware of as parents of TCKs, such as delayed adolescence.

All in all, I found Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds to be chock-full of detailed, on-the-dot descriptions of the TCK experience, and of practical advice on how to help TCKs make full use of the advantages their experiences bring and not letting those become a source of trauma. It’s a must-read for all TCKs and their parents, not to mention educators and anyone else who come into daily contact with TCKs!


Book details
Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds
2009 revised edition
by David C. Pollock and Ruth E. Van Reken


2016-02-12

Loy Krathong: Thailand’s Festival of Lights! (from BAMBI News magazine, Nov 2015)

An article I wrote for BAMBI News (Nov 2015), with inputs on the myths from my friend, SC.
(Photos are different from those published in the magazine.)

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Loy Krathong is a well-loved Thai festival that takes place on the evening of the full moon in the 12th month of the traditional Thai lunar calendar. This year it falls on the 25th of November. The festival is marked by the floating (‘loy’) of ‘krathongs’ down a river or khlong, or nowadays, on lakes and ponds. Up in the northern and northeastern regions, fire lanterns are released up into the night skies as well, making for a peaceful-yet-spectacular festival for the eyes and spirit. The ceremony marks a way for people to show respect and gratitude to the Goddess of Water, to symbolically let go of sins, negative thoughts and misfortune, and to pray for good luck.

Various legends and beliefs surround the festival’s origins, which comes during rice-harvesting time and the end of the rainy season. A popular story attributes the custom to a court lady of the Sukhothai kingdom, Nang Noppamas, from over 700 years ago. She is said to have created the krathong and presented it to the king to float--which explains the proliferation of Nang Noppamas beauty pageants as part of the community celebrations. Other theories link Loy Krathong to Brahman and Buddhist faiths, but regardless of its origins, the custom is generally accepted as an ancient one.

The krathongs are traditionally made of banana leaves, the bark of a banana tree or spider lily plants; modern-day krathongs can also be made of bread or styrofoam. Inside are placed offerings of food, betel nuts, flowers, candles, three sticks of incense, and coins. People light the candles and incense, lift the krathong up to the forehead or, if sharing it with someone else, just hold onto it together, fill it with their prayers, and then gently release the krathong into the water. On a river, one can watch until one’s krathong fades out of sight--if the candle stays alight until the krathong disappears, it means a year of good luck(1).

In the past when it was more common for people to place coins in the krathongs, enterprising swimmers would hide patiently in the water to collect those coins. Nowadays fewer people put in coins, so these swimmers adapted themselves and switched to collecting pretty krathongs from the river instead, polishing/re-dressing them a bit to give them a new fresh look, and reselling them.

Sadly, the impact of the festival isn’t all good: in 2014, Bangkok city hall counted 982,064 krathongs in the morning-after cleanup, up 120,000 from 2013.(2) Not only is the sheer volume of trash clogging the rivers in the aftermath an environmental concern, but this was compounded by the rise of styrofoam’s popularity in decades past as a cheap and easy-to-manipulate material. In 2002, the then-governor of Bangkok sparked an argument on whether styrofoam or biodegradable materials were preferred, arguing that styrofoam was easier to collect afterwards and that biodegradable materials would sink and dirty the water!(3) Luckily, there is better awareness now of choosing biodegradable materials over styrofoam, which is more in keeping with the spirit of the krathongs as an apology to the Water Goddess for polluting her waters.

With the warm lights in the soft darkness of night, Loy Krathong is understandably one of the most romantic festivals in Thailand. In the old days, such community festivities provided young men and women opportunities to meet and find love. Even today, myths about krathongs and love are still going strong: in Bangkok, for example, it’s said that if any dating couple go to float krathong together at Chulalongkorn University’s main pond, they would break up, but singles who go there alone will find someone soon. (Admittedly, this urban myth is already a bit dated and is treated more like a joke nowadays.) In the old days, a couple would float his/her own individual krathong, and if the two krathongs floated downstream together, it was interpreted as a sign that their love would be a happy one. If the krathong float apart from each other, it was a sign that the couple would break up. The modern-day solution is ‘one couple, one krathong’ -- the couple floats one krathong to ensure that no separation would be incurred in any circumstances!

These days, the ‘festive’ aspect of the holiday tends to take center-stage, with fireworks and flying fire lanterns (by the way, in 2014, the flying of fire lanterns in 13 districts around the two Bangkok airports was banned for air traffic safety reasons, and it’s expected that this ban will continue for 2015), loud beauty pageants, as well as non-stop playing of the ‘loy-loy-loy krathong’ song over loudspeakers (plus my kids singing it for a good month afterwards until they replace it with Christmas songs...). If one can remember to take a step back from all the noise, Loy Krathong is a peaceful, meditative celebration. It’s a perfect time to reflect upon one’s life, and to quietly appreciate one’s blessings.



Where to Celebrate:
  • Anywhere with a body of water is game! If you have small children, your pool (if you have one) might be a safe choice. Main parks such as Lumpini, Chatuchak, Santichaiprakarn and Benjakiti are expected to host official celebrations, and the main pool at Chulalongkorn University is always a popular site. You can also go to boat piers and other sites along the Chaophraya River, but do be careful: the piers can get overcrowded, and it can be hair-raising to watch people--including kids--leaning over the edge in order to place their krathong gently on the water. 
  • Outside of Bangkok, Sukhothai is a popular destination to enjoy the event, as well as Chiang Mai, where Loy Krathong coincides with the northern Lanna festival of Yi Peng. 
  • If you really want to go environmentally-friendly, you can float your virtual krathong! Look for the ‘Loy Krathong’ app (iTunes) or try the online site, http://loykratong.kapook.com/


References
  1. This last myth is from: http://www.bangkok.com/whats-on-events/loy-krathong.htm
  2. 7 November 2014. “The morning after: 1 million krathong end up Bangkok garbage”, Coconuts Bangkok. Available online: http://bangkok.coconuts.co/2014/11/07/one-million-krathong-floated-and-ended-bangkok-garbage (accessed 30 September 2015). 
  3. 9 November 2014. “From 2002: Foam is better than biodegradable for Loy Krathong”, 2bangkok.com. Available online: http://2bangkok.com/from-2002-foam-is-better-than-biodegradable-for-loy-krathong.html (accessed 30 September 2015). 

2016-02-07

Favourite crafts & stationery supplies stores in BKK

One of my favourite Facebook groups is called "Creative Play in BKK". The member moms are absolutely amazing in their creativity and resourcefulness, and the best part of this group is that the members share tips and advice on where the materials can be sourced locally.

A couple of shops keep getting recommended/mentioned by the resourceful and inspirational moms in this group, so I put together a list for easy (?) reference. (Hence, quotation marks here indicate what moms have said in the group.)

(Oh, I didn't put in B2S, as I can't imagine anyone having difficulties finding that in Bangkok, but that's also a popular source.)


Disclaimer: Please note that I haven't personally been to all these places and claim no accuracy to the content, although I present them here in good faith. Where possible, I've checked with the store websites; the operating hours are culled from online sources, but may not be 100% correct. Also, what may have been available in one shop one day may be gone the next...so do keep that in mind!



** Suksapan Panit, a.k.a., “The Pink Store”**
One of the best-supplied and inexpensive stationary and school supplies store in Bangkok. They have anything from the regular stationery goods and art supplies, to educational toys for younger school children, educational posters and foam shapes, sporting goods, some sewing and crafting goods, and ‘science’ supplies including borax and water beads.
Locations: There are multiple locations around town, including near National Stadium (close to BTS), Ratchadamnoen Klang (in front of Democracy Monument), and Ladphrao. Sadly, the popular Ekkamai store has been closed since a fire in 2015. The store is generally well-known among Thais too, if you need to ask for directions/take a taxi, although probably not as “Pink Store” :)
Hours: Mon-Sat, 9am-5pm (check each branch; some may close earlier)


** Somjai **
Another popular arts supply store. Items bought here by members include tissue paper and other types of paper, and general arts supplies like paints.
Location: Multiple locations. I confess I can’t read the maps on their website (click on the tab with the heart picture for the maps), but there’s one store in Chamjuree Square (connected to MRT Samyan), on the 3rd floor. There seems to be another in Wannasorn Tower (near BTS Phayathai, on the corner of Phayathai and Sri Ayutthaya roads), and on Tri Phet Rd. (near the Old Siam Plaza & Pahurat), and according to a FB page, there may be one in Siam Square (in the Siamkit Building, between Siam Square Sois 5, 6, & 7)--would be great if anyone can confirm!
Hours: Varies by branch; according to Somjai’s website, Chamjuree Square: Mon-Sun, 10am-8pm; Siam Square & Wannasorn Tower branches: Mon-Fri, 11am-7pm; Sat-Sun, 8am-6pm.


** Daiso **
Recently they started selling felt! Good inexpensive source for many things, including glitter glue, origami, pipe cleaners, magnets, etc.
Locations: Multiple branches.


For contact paper: B2S, Suksapan Panit, and other stationery stores have it in sheets of ‘sticker paper’. Look for the stacks of large paper; the sticker paper comes in many colors and has a backing that comes off.


For tissue paper: Somjai, “a little shop opposite villa market Sukhumvit 33”, and JJ Mall (basement, across from Swensen’s) have been mentioned.


** Tang Hua Sen **
Huge shop of all things a crafty mother may need or want: “Felt, pipe cleaners, sequins, all the sewing and quilting materials you could imagine, all sorts of material by the meter, hundredfold ribbons by the meter, knitting supplies, ropes and chains, elastic cord, waxed cord for beading, googly eyes of every shape and size, millions of buttons.”
Locations: One branch on the Thonburi side of town, and another in Banglumpoo (tip from a mom: “For the Bang Lam Phoo branch, you can park at the ChanaSongKram Temple on the opposite. The parking fee is B20/hr”).



FABRICS & SEWING MATERIALS - OTHER STORES
Fabric shop, corner of Asok intersection (southwest corner, same side as the Sheraton Grande). Moms have mentioned buying tulle and felt there.


Haberdashery shop, near Asok BTS (along the road from the fabric shop).


Rani, 1st floor, The Old Siam Plaza (near Pahurat). They had tulle. ‘Some of the employees speak English and were very helpful.’


Talat Pahurat (Little India), 2nd floor. Go up a defunct escalator, turn right and go to the end of the corridor, for yards and yards of felt at around B65/meter (denser felt for B90/m).


Sampeng Lane: Many many shops, for fabrics, buttons, ribbons, googly eyes, etc. etc. etc. See Jill’s Quilt Site (https://bkkquilt.com/sampeng/) for a map of some shops there.


Two shops opposite Big C, BTS Saphan Kwai: recommended for a ‘huge selection of ribbons, buttons,fabric, wool and all things sewing’.


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p.s. Oh wow, how timely :) BKK Kids also just posted a list of Where to Get Craft Supplies in Bangkok! (12 Feb 2016)

2015-10-14

breastfeeding gear essentials (from BAMBI News, May 2015)

I wrote this article for BAMBI News (May 2015), and am re-posting here in case it helps anyone else!

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Breastfeeding is as ancient as human existence, but the modern nursing mom has access to many useful things to help her and her baby master this art-form. Aside from a baby and boobs, here are some breastfeeding essentials!


Nursing bra
A good nursing bra can provide you with necessary support and help ensure that the baby can get access to them, fast! Make sure you get a good, comfortable fit--a tight bra can make it easier for you to get clogged ducts or mastitis--and try to stick to breathable materials. You might also consider having a nighttime bra.


Some tips in choosing a nursing bra:


  • Flaps should be easily opened with one hand. If you can refasten them with one hand, that’s even better. Remember, your other arm will be holding a hungry baby. For discreet nursing in public, choose a bra with fasteners that you can open without looking at them.
  • The bra should support the breast from beneath even when the cup is open. This makes feeding more comfortable and reclosing the bra less of a struggle.
  • Avoid bras that open completely at the front for a feeding. You will have a hard time wrestling your breasts back into place when you are done nursing. (Source: Ask Dr. Sears)


My friends have recommended this one (and I now own one and can attest to its wonderful support and comfort!), despite the hefty price tag. There is a matching nursing tank too. Available at Naturally BeBe (฿2,800 for the The Essential Embrace Nursing Bra).


Nursing pads
With nursing pads, you can walk around confidently without worries of wet patches suddenly appearing on your shirt, especially during those first few months. There are disposable and washable/reusable types, although the reusable ones may not provide as much absorbency. Many brands are available in supermarkets, department stores, and online (e.g., Tesco Lotus, Lazada, Best Buy in Thailand). (Confession: around the house, I just used cloth diapers stuffed into my bra. If you are a super-heavy wetter and the commercial pads are not sufficient, I have read about some moms using maxi pads instead!)


Lanolin
Lanolin is derived from sheep’s wool and using a little bit of medical-grade purified lanolin on your nipples is considered safe for nursing babies. It has helped many a mom heal from chafed and cracked nipples, and I use it as a moisture shield to help prevent eczema on the nips.


Medela Purelan 100 (1.3 oz.) available for ฿590 in department stores and online.


Nursing pillow
Being able to nurse in a strain-free position is essential--you are going to have to keep the position for a while, multiple times a day--and a good nursing pillow can go a long way to help keep that baby placed just-so. Look for a pillow that is firm enough (soft ones will sag, thus defeating the purpose of the pillow), and will stay put around your body.


The popular Boppy and My Brest Friend were both the top choices in the 2015 Baby Center Moms’ Picks.



A popular choice among moms, it provides just the right amount of support, and can also be used to prop up the baby in semi-reclined or sitting position. Original style is around US$40. The Boppy Two-Sided Nursing Pillow, a newer design, is half-moon shaped and comes with a waist strap (US$45).


I swear by this pillow; it has saved me so much neck, shoulder, back, and arm pain! It is ugly as heck but super-functional, with lumbar support (US$44).


You also want to make sure you have a comfortable place to sit to nurse: some mamas love having a rocking chair/glider. Whatever the chair, make sure the seat is not so deep or soft that you cannot get out of it with a (sleeping) baby in your arms! A footrest is also a good idea, to help ease any strain on your back.


Thermogel pads
There will be times when it will be a huge comfort to warm or cool your breasts, whether to encourage production and let-down, or to deal with engorgement or clogged ducts. Using heating/chill gel pads makes this easy. A DIY alternative to heating pads: put some uncooked rice into two layers of socks tied shut, heat it in the microwave and use.


Breastfeeding app
For those of us who love our smartphones, a breastfeeding app can help the sleep-deprived mamas remember when and which side she last nursed.


As recommended by BAMBI’s Technology Mama (see BAMBI News, February 2015 issue for the low-down).


It has a clean interface, simple widgets, ability to export/import data, and will chart the data into handy graphs. Free on Google Play for tracking breastfeeding; add-ons can be purchased to track sleeping, supplementary feeding, pumping, and custom events.


For nursing in public:
Nursing cover
No matter where you are, a nursing cover can help you feed your baby discreetly. Alternatives to the popular apron-shaped covers include poncho types, and scarves (you can search for DIY instructions online to make a simple scarf-like cover).


A local brand, Double Monkeys has cotton nursing covers in both apron- (฿890) and poncho-styles (฿1,090), available at Paragon and various Central branches, Kiddy Seasons, O’Leaf, B9, and Tiny Tots. Also in organic cotton (original: ฿1,090; poncho: ฿1,290).


Actually, I never had a use for my cover (not Double Monkeys, to be clear), maybe because it was too soft and I could not see my baby at all and he lashed around so much that the cover never stayed in place. But dressing to nurse was important. Hence:


Nursing tops/dresses
You want to balance accessibility to the boobs with discreet-nursing-ability when out and about, and nursing tops/dresses can help. Alternatively, my preferred style was to wear a nursing bra and tank under a regular shirt. When I pulled my shirt up to nurse, the tank would keep my lower body covered. When travelling to cold climates, nursing PJs were great in keeping one nice and warm while only the essential bits were out in the cold!


Some suggested shops to check out in Bangkok for nursing wear include: H&M, Mothercare, Belli Belly, My Bebespa, and Lady Bila.


Boob Beanie
OK, this probably does not qualify as a nursing ‘essential’, but I had to include it here for a good laugh: the Boob Beanie was ‘developed in Australia by a breastfeeding mum who was sick of being judged for feeding her son in public’ (www.boobbeanie.com). Available from the official site for AUS$17.95 (around ฿460), or you can crochet one yourself!




If you are intending to pump:
Pump
If you are planning to occasionally pump, a manual hand-pump should do the trick. On the other hand, if you will be pumping regularly, the electric pump will come in full use. I had the good luck to inherit an electric pump for my third child--and I cannot believe how much easier it is!


US$250 on Amazon /  ฿15,890 on NomMae online shop (www.nommaeshop.com)




Breastmilk storage bags
Do not forget these if you are going to pump! There are many brands you can choose from, including Pigeon and Medela, available at department stores and online shops.




...And the most important thing for those of you in Bangkok: go to the Breastfeeding Cafe on Thursday mornings 10am-12pm! See www.bambiweb.org for details; there is a lactation consultant on site and you can commiserate with other breastfeeding moms.

Happy nursing, Supermoms!