Moving to Singapore early November 2012

(32 Posts)
vickyannsmum Mon 01-Oct-12 16:32:15

Hello,
We're moving to Singapore in the upcoming month and I was wondering if there are other newbies to Singapore who have toddlers on their hands - in my case a 2 and half year old. My husband will be working there but I've decided to wait with the job hunt as I need to see us there settled first.
I've been now however without my job for the past few months and know I'll need to meet up with some other mums in my situation to stay sane :-) and explore Singapore at the same time.
Of course I'll be more then happy to get in touch with other mums who've been in Singapore for a while as well as.
I also would be thankful for any advice re.nurseries for under 3s, any good tips for condos (rent) - location wise, child friendly etc.
For the first month or so our accommodation will be provided by my husband's employer, but I'd like to move into "our place" well before Christmas.
Many thanks.

Miltonia Wed 03-Oct-12 14:19:53

Which area do you think you'll want to live in? Think about your DH's travel to work and how you will travel around- unless you have two cars (which would cost over 3K a month) you'll need to be near an MRT or a bus stop.

No idea about nurseries or toddler stuff sorry.

vickyannsmum Wed 03-Oct-12 15:45:27

Hi, thanks for reply. DH will be working Robinson Rd, so would like for him to have an easy and short commute. We definitely want to be close to MRT as I don't want to have a car - after 9 years in London traffic, no thank you very much. We needed to have a car for three reasons only and these won't be valid in Singapore, so we're more than happy to give the car a break.
I read through many other posts but I don't really mind to live slightly away from the hustle and bustle - as long as it is a nice and leafy area with some other recreational facilities, which make it worth while the slightly longer travel. That's why I'm asking for tips on condos- to go to see and decide if it's any good for us.

Miltonia Wed 03-Oct-12 15:59:46

Robinson Road is in the middle of the CBD so there aren't condos nearby. You can live in any direction though as Raffles Place MRT (at the end of Robinson Road) is on the North-South (red) line and the East-West (green) line.

It all depends on your budget; the further from the CPD you are the cheaper it will be (with a few exceptions). For green space, East Coast and West Coast have the big park areas, Holland Road has the Botanic Gardens. There are little parks and exercise areas everywhere.

Perhaps it would be best to find a nursery you like then look near that.

HollyMadison Wed 03-Oct-12 16:01:24

Hi Vicky. I live in SG and have a toddler (19 months). I'm a SAHM right now too and moved from London earlier this year. So it looks like we have some things in common!! I live in a big condo near Harbourfront MRT which has loads of facilities for kids and lots of families live here. My DH works close to where your DH will be working and he takes the bus to work (can also take the MRT).

It would be a good idea to get a property agent when you get here (maybe you could ask your DH's work to arrange or recommend) to show you accommodation fitting your budget and requirements. Happy to meet up with you when you get here if you like smile

vickyannsmum Wed 03-Oct-12 19:26:58

Many thanks Miltonia and Holly,
Funny enough those were the areas I marked on the map. We are also thinking of Harbourfront, but have to see and decide if we want to pay those prices, but as all the prices I viewed have negotiable next to them - will need to pull the sleeves up, I guess.
Re. nursery - I'll need to see them in person - it took me here 4 months to pick one - fees unfortunately don't determine the quality... I had VA signed up to one - fantastic facilities, but as I found out the staff was a worry.
So I guess an easy commute for DH will be important. Will definitely check out condos near Harbourfront when in Sing.
Holly, will be lovely to meet up, will arrange when there.
I have another question, though. My daughter is dairy intolerant, is it easy to get dairy free products in the supermarkets? I guess this might be a silly question, but UK is quite good with writing down all allergens on the products. When we go on holidays, we always struggle and DD quite often on pasta with olive oil :-( as vegetables and fruit atm no no foods.

Miltonia Thu 04-Oct-12 01:14:13

The Jelita Cold Storage on Holland Road has a wide range of dairy free goods, plus lots of Waitrose goodies, Yorkshire tea and English chocolate. There are Health Food Shops around that stock useful bits, for example there's a good one in Tanglin Mall.

HollyMadison Thu 04-Oct-12 06:41:12

There's a good health food shop in harbourfront mall which I pass all the time so I can ask for you next time I'm passing if u like. I have noticed that the labeling of products in south east Asia is not as good as the uk and also that quite a few things have preservatives and colouring added. You can find everything in Singapore, it's just a question of finding what's closest to you.

vickyannsmum Thu 04-Oct-12 08:25:57

Thanks, very positive news. I have had a look on the Cold Storage online shop earlier and found few things, just no soy yoghurts - but hearing about all the health food shops - it shouldn't be a problem :-)
We're thinking of shipping some stuff over with anglopacific, did any of you use the company? We're not shipping furniture, as leaving our flat to be let partly furnished, so it's just bikes, guitars, mac and most of all DD's toys. Do you know by any chance how does it work with the 7% tax?
Holly, how did your little one settle? Was the heat and humidity a problem?
Thanks for your help, ladies.

If I didn't have to live within a reasonable bus journey of DDs' schools, I would definitely live near Tiong Bahru - a fab up and coming area, great play park nearby, amazing food market, subway station.... 3 or 4 stops from the central business district (CBD) ie Robinson Rd

Although I do fancy the east coast too..... Very breezy, lots of places for kids to run, great facilities nearby... about 8 or 9 subway stops from CBD

I used to live near Tiong Bahru (when it was run down, about 11 years ago) and commute to Pasir Ris near the airport - this is half the length of the island and the commute took me about 30 minutes, so East coast to Robinson Rd would be very doable.

Harbourfront is nice but I don't get a villagey feel from it, which Tiong Bahru def has and which personally I would want...

You can definitely get soy yoghurts here as Asians generally find dairy more difficult to digest than Europeans do - soy milk is huge here!!!

vickyannsmum Thu 04-Oct-12 14:56:33

Thanks butterflies, well appreciated. I'm writing all these places down and will go to check out all of them and then do the usual pros/cons list. Tiong Bahru sounds like the kind of bohemian place I would live in before DD, need to see if it will fit her - she's extremely active.
Also positive news on the dairy free produce - great.
Could you maybe give me some advice on the nurseries? (As your DD in the school now :-)
Many thanks.

Flimflammery Thu 04-Oct-12 15:10:19

Hi there. My kids are older now, but if you go for East Coast, then I know a lot of people think highly of White Lodge and Rosemount preschools. I discounted White Lodge as they were in a mall with no outside play space, but they've just moved to a big old house. My DD went to Odyssey, which has lovely spacious grounds, is very caring and has excellent teachers, but is ridiculously expensive. It is more 'progressive' and child-centred in its outlook than many Singaporean preschools but is still Singaporean (e.g. they all sing the National anthem at assembly once a week). Rosemount is more like a Western nursery, from what I've heard.

I can give you a highly recommended nursery, the blue house, but its nearer my place just off bukit timah road. Nice area but I think you'll get more for your money elsewhere if you're not tied to a specific school area.....

vickyannsmum Thu 04-Oct-12 20:52:09

This is really great - wrote all the nurseries down, sounds great. Thank you so much.
And there is no import tax when moving - my mistake.
I'm sure I'll have more questions closer to the time.

HollyMadison Fri 05-Oct-12 14:01:57

Vicky my DS settled ok. He did get some heat rash initially but this cleared up quickly and I realized that I had to live a bit more like the locals eg no walking round with the stroller in the middle of the day. He did get hand, foot and mouth not long after we arrived and quite a few of my friends' kids have had it. But then when we moved he was still at the stage of putting everything in his mouth at the soft play places.

Singaporean kids stay up late, I guess because of the climate, so now DS has quite a long afternoon nap then goes to bed between 8:30 and 9. SG kids stay up later than me!

vickyannsmum Mon 08-Oct-12 09:49:55

ohhh, thanks for the warning - DD still likes to test the texture of everything ie licks things :-) So good to be prepared. At the moment packing boxes trying to talk to her about the move - guess it will be quite hard for DD as she loves her home - but hope this last month will fly by.
Any of you have the experience with the TBC or chicken pox vaccination? I didn't see any of those on the Sing list of regular vaccines, but just wanted to double check if GB vaccination list the same as the Sing one. As far as I could see - it is ...

HollyMadison Mon 08-Oct-12 13:12:39

We weren't quite sure whether the vaccination schedules were the same or not. When we arrived we went to the International Medical Centre Camden Clinic (a lot of expats go to their pediatric practice) and decided to have hep A and B. We are going to have the chicken pox vac shortly.

Good luck with the packing!

Miltonia Mon 08-Oct-12 13:39:34

The vax schedule is slightly different here but I second going to IMC. They have the Australian and UK schedules and will talk you through all the options.

And for meeting mums try www.nmsg-Singapore.com, lots of events for mums with bumps, babies and little ones up to age 5.....

vickyannsmum Tue 09-Oct-12 16:01:09

Brilliant, will book DD for the chicken pox vaccination now and ask about the rest as well.Great to know about the ped practice and the webpage, too.
Thank you.

loobieloo74 Sun 11-Nov-12 13:25:43

Hello, I appreciate this thread is a month old but just wanted to jump in and say I have just arrived with an almost 4 year old and a 2 year old so would be happy to try and help with any questions when you first arrive, as presumably we will have just gone through a lot of the same things. Also up for meeting up with little ones, have discovered a few nice play places and still finding feet. Good luck with it all :-)

Butterflies - if you read this would you be able to PM me about bluehouse? I am struggling with finding a KG for my eldest, we are going to be living off Holland Rd (Mount Sinai area) and wondering if this is feasible - sounds fab.
Thank you :-)

Merlion Mon 12-Nov-12 04:33:40

loobieloo my ds (4) is at Blue House. Happy to help if you need to know anything.

loobieloo74 Mon 12-Nov-12 12:06:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

loobieloo74 Mon 12-Nov-12 12:06:23

Thanks Merlion, just had an invite to open day on Saturday, will PM you

vickyannsmum Fri 16-Nov-12 05:52:40

Hello! Sorry I kept quiet for so long, but had lots to do on the UK side moving our possession to Vienna/Bratislava as we have a property there and letting our flat, but ...
Arrived in Singapore yesterday, recovering from jet leg (as my DD sleeps during the day and is up in the night - joy oh joy :-)
Up for meeting up next week, am prepared to go with others' ideas, as atm not really sure what's what and where...
We' re in the process of looking for accommodation - will be thankful for any advice - on the photos most of the condos look nice - but in reality it can be different. We are flexible on the living options - can make compromises - but it's easier if someone who found something nice can let me know. We might have different priorities, but will go and see.
I will go to see the nurseries in the new year - need to settle down first :-)
So anyone for meeting up next week? What day suits you best - I haven't made any plans yet.

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