Having a baby is tough, especially if this is your first child, and you’re unfamiliar with Bangkok. Here are 10 tips for new or expecting parents, including things we wished we knew back then!
1. Need extra support before, during and after the birth of your child? Contact Bangkok Doulas to find a qualified and experience practitioner. In this network, you’ll find birth and postpartum doulas, midwives, childbirth educators, breastfeeding counsellors, an array of healers, including acupuncturists, naturopaths, massage therapists, and a woman’s therapist.
2. For new mums, rest assured – breastfeeding in public is fine. Most likely, no one will bat an eye, especially if you use a nursing cover. Large department stores or malls like Central Chidlom, Siam Paragon and Emporium have good nursing rooms. To build confidence, meet up with other breastfeeding moms at the Bangkok Breastfeeding Café, where members get together in a relaxed café and breastfeed. An experienced mother or a support person will be on hand for one-on-one support.
3. You can get washable diapers in Bangkok. Palm and Pond produces cloth diapers, diaper liner inserts and adjustable waterproof covers. Orders can be made from their website (it’s all in Thai, however). Palm and Pond usually runs a booth at the major trade shows, including Baby Best Buy. Also, if you’re looking for disposable swim diapers, some supermarkets will stock them.
4. You can do without a pram in Bangkok. It’s easier to travel around the city wearing your baby. For baby wearing tips and options, join a meeting of the Bangkok Babywearing Club.
5. Car seats are not required in Thailand, and most public taxis will not have seat belts to secure them. Opt for a car booking service, such as GrabCar (same app as GrabTaxi) or Uber, which will have cars with seat belts.
6. Source locally-made organic baby products as an alternative to expensive imports. Lamoon makes personal care and home products for babies and children using natural ingredients, such as organic fruit enzymes. Their offerings include baby dishwashing soap, laundry liquid, wet wipes, body lotion, and body and hair shampoo. Also, Just Gentle: Organic Skin Care features a complete line of organic skincare products for babies and children, such as hair and body wash, hair conditioner, herbal mosquito repellent, face and body lotions and SPF 50 sunblock. Such products are available at major department stores such as Central, Paragon and Emporium.
7. Domestic help, including housekeepers and nannies, is readily available. However, make sure that non-Thai helpers have the proper paperwork. Also, besides a face-to-face interview, it is common to ask a candidate to have a basic health check-up before you hire them. Browse our listings of agencies that specialize in such help here.
8. Babies and young kids, especially blond children, get loads of attention and it is common for locals to stare, touch or take pictures of your child. If this makes you uncomfortable, it is fine to tell them no.
9. If your baby is born in Thailand, you’ll have to register the birth. Read more about the procedures here.
10. For a range of baby and kids’ products and supplies, there is a huge trade fair called Baby Best Buy held at the Queen Sirikit Convention Centre several times a year. Here, you’ll find everything you need (and more).
BONUS Tip: Join The Mummy Club! If you’re an expat mum in Bangkok, we strongly recommend that you join this facebook group. It is an amazing resource and source of support for expat mums. All posts are child/mother related and strictly in English. If you would like details to join the group, please click on this link and read the ‘About Tab’ for full details.