Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Ex-Pat Circuit

We bought the following things before Samara was born:
a car seat (which is NOT required to leave the hospital here in Singapore, by the way)
a stroller
a few newborn outfits
a pack of diapers
a pack of wipes (which we haven't used yet)
3 bath towels
10 wash cloths (or flannels, as they're called here)
a few swaddling blankets
a rocking chair
a tub
a thermometer
a bunch of cloth diapers (for burp/spit-up purposes, not diaper purposes)

The stroller, car seat and rocking chair all became gifts from family back home.

Before she was even born, we got one ex-pat dump which included a baby bjorn, a pump, two play mats (including one with the animals that hang down), a tonne of toys and clothes, a tub, and a bunch of maternity/nursing clothes and probably other stuff that I don't remember. This was from a friend I met through a friend who moved here last year and is done having kids (Francesca).

We got a dump of stuff to borrow which included a floating tube for the pool, a bassinet, a bouncy chair...This is from the friend who introduced me to Francesca above (Susie).

And then after she was born we got two more dumps - one from a family in the Jewish community (the Greens) who has three girls and are also done. This one included a bouncy seat, a steriliser, a bottle warmer, a TONNE of amazingly cute clothes and a bunch of toys.

Finally, Matt and I went to a used stuff sale here in Singapore (where we scored a mobile and some other random toys), and a woman behind me in line (Cindy) heard me say that I was looking for sleeping sacs (for when we stop swaddling her). She said, "I have a few of those, plus a monitor and some other stuff. If you want to come to my house, I'll give it all to you." FABU! I went out there, and scored lots more clothes and toys, a totally working baby monitor and other stuff.

We became a repository of baby stuff. Once we took what we thought we would use, I then had friends over to go through it and take what they thought they would use, and finally Belle is taking the rest to be donated to her community back in the Philippines.

Between all of the stuff that people gave us and the amazingly generous gifts we have received, we have only bought more wash cloths and a few storage things for all of her toys since Sam has been born.

Let's be clear - I am cheap. I love a good deal. But this isn't even about that - this stuff is all in fantastic condition and it SHOULD be used again. Every baby does not need new toys and play mats - and I love that these toys and things have been previously loved by so many babies.

And when we're done...on they'll go on the ex-pat circuit...


Saira said...

Dear Melanie,

I came across your profile from the INSEAD INDEVOR page. I hope you are the same person as the president of the club as listed online.

I work in non-profit and would like to speak with you about the INSEAD MBA. Is there an email address I can write to you at?

I am sorry to be posting on your personal blog with this query. I'd love to discuss a few questions with you which'd help me clarify many doubts I have.

Thank you!


Matt and Melanie Hildebrandt said...

Hi Saira - I'm happy to talk to you about INSEAD, but I can't find your email address. Feel free to use my address. Cheers.

Saira said...

Dear Melanie,

Thank you for getting back to me. I don't have your at alumni email address. My email is

It would be great to hear from you.