Not one but eight gifts for the Jubilee baby

SINGAPORE - Singaporean babies born next year will receive not one but eight presents in a gift set that marks the country’s Golden Jubilee.

These are: a special medallion; a multi-functional shawl; a baby sling; a set of baby clothes including a T-shirt and a pair of shorts, rompers, mittens and socks; a diaper bag; a scrapbook for memories; a family photo frame; and a book parents can read to their children.

The keepsakes, announced yesterday by the the National Population and Talent Division, topped the list in a month-long poll that ended in May.

During the period, people picked the items they most wanted in the gift set. Their choices were whittled down from more than 6,500 suggestions.

“We felt that Singaporeans are ever practical and so there are very practical items in the set,” Ms Anita Fam, chairman of the Jubilee Baby Gift advisory panel, told The Straits Times.

“But we also wanted to add a softer side and touch of sentimentality, so that’s why we have the medallion, baby book and photo frame, which will remind them of their child being born in the jubilee year,” she added.

Said the mother of two teenagers: “I’d have loved to have received these gifts (when I had my children). When we were looking at them, we had so much fun – they were beautiful.”

When asked if the number of items was deliberately chosen because eight is an auspicious number among the Chinese, she laughed and said it was purely a coincidence.

The gift set is part of a series of plans celebrating Singapore’s 50th year of independence.

Others in the works include a new heritage walking trail and a New Year’s Eve countdown party at Marina Bay.

The final designs of the keepsakes will be made public when they are ready.

More details on how parents will receive the Jubilee Baby Gift will be announced later this year.

Ms S. F. Yip, who has three children under the age of 12, said the items, especially the sling, would be useful.

“The gifts are not like the baby bonus which helps the family monetarily, but are more like something to bring added joy to the family,” added the 44-year-old.

Mr Tan Yong Bin, 28, whose wife is expecting their second child later this year, said the gifts were thoughtful but similar to the ones hospitals give to new parents when they are discharged.

The consultant, who has a 20-month-old daughter, suggested that the book could have “nice kiddy illustrations of Singapore’s history”.

As Ms Fam noted: “The gifts are not a good reason in themselves for having a baby, but it’s definitely icing on the cake.”

This article was first published on June 28, 2014.
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