The Tome of Ethereal Knowledge

When we buy a new gadget, we were given a User Manual. Nobody really reads it. And when you can’t do some of its function, you refer to it. That’s provided you haven’t lost that book yet. Most of the time you have lost it before you even read it.

When Evangeline was born, we were given a health booklet from KK Hospital. It contains many useful information like schedule of immunisation (many many many abbreviations there BCG HepB DTaP IPV PCV MMR ASL PLS LOL ROFL WTFBBQ). It also contains the charts where we can foresee the growth of our baby in term of weight and height. And to compare the baby among its peers based on local statistics and get rough estimate at which percentile the baby is. Competition since early days, being Asian at its finest.

So every now and then we will refer to this sacred Tome of Ethereal Knowledge. Either for the immunisation schedule, or to check whether the weight and height of our daughter is considered “normal”. Her height is usually in 50th percentile and weight is generally in 95th percentile. She’s not fat. She’s chubby. She’s not shortie, she’s normal but she grows horizontally faster than she is vertically. Takes after her father.

But the one thing that I always find in the Tome is the developmental checklist. So they have this several checklists containing few statements in each list. Every list came with the age of the baby in the title. So let’s say for example in the checklist for 6 months old, they will have a statement like “Your child is able to roll over from stomach to back or
back to stomach”. If your baby can do it, you tick the box next to it. If your baby can’t do it, pfffftttt my baby can. I win you lose.

The book is given for free by Health Promotion Board to the parents of the kids born in Singapore. So everyone here has it. But for the benefit of readers who does not reside here, this is the link to the softcopy.

I would say the Singapore government does a fine job in providing this to the clueless first time parent. The questions that always linger like “Is this normal?” can be easily answered by reading it. On top of the checklist for you to keep track of your baby’s development, the Tome gave you an indication on how many months 90% of the babies can tick off that statement. Using the same example above, the Tome said 90% of the babies can tick off the rolling stomach-back-stomach at the age of 5 months old.


So in case your baby malfunctions, please refer to the manual. Or bring to the nearest pediatrician or clinics or hospital if you think it’s serious and urgent. They might be able to repair your baby. Strictly no return policy. No one to one replacement, too.


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