Granted we have only been doing this parent thing for a few months, so experts we are NOT. But, we do happen to have a little expert living among us. That’s right, our little mister is quite the expert on what works for him. Here’s how things tend to go around here: I do hours and hours of research when I think we need something. For example, swaddling blankets. I read everyone’s advice and opinions and decide on our best option, then purchase. In the case of the blankets I decided on the famous aden + anais Muslin Swaddle Blankets.
So little man comes home, and we swaddle him up. Within moments he had pulled a little Houdini and busted out of the tightest swaddle any man has ever made, hit himself directly in the face, and woken up screaming. Product research fail. So we have started listening to the expert, even when he disagrees with my research. The only problem is, every baby is different. So I’m going to give you all my big fat non-expert opinions, and you can take them or not. But maybe your little expert will agree with my little expert and we can all be happy, because you’ve got to start somewhere right? Ok, so let’s get to it.
Miracle Blanket Since we are on the subject of swaddling, let me profess my love for the appropriately named, Miracle Blanket. We would literally spend ten minutes wrapping the man like a burrito, so tight it was questionable if his breathing was affected and in two minutes flat a tiny hand would emerge from said swaddle. No bueno. Enter Miracle Blanket. Even Houdini is stuck in this little baby straight jacket, comfy, cozy, and fast asleep for hours. Baby loves swaddling, Mama loves sleeping. Its a win-win.
Nosefrida Or as we call it in my mommy group, THE NOSE SUCKER. Yes, in all caps. Those stupid bulbs they give you in the hospital don't hold a candle to this thing. Sure, the idea of sucking snot out of your kids nose isn't a fantastic one, but it can't get in your mouth. And unlike those bulbs, you can CLEAN this thing. If I don't want the snot in my kid’s nose, I don't want it hanging around my house later. Yuck. Plus its super satisfying to see something coming out. Ah, motherhood and the joys of snot. Bonus, A doesn't scream bloody murder when I use this. Hell, he barely notices.
Cooshee Changing Pad I hear that some kids are good with their pee. They go in their diaper, and after their Mama changes it, they go in the next one. Aiden, however, did not get the memo on how this all works. He thinks it is better to not only fill every single diaper to the brim, but also pee while one diaper is being removed and the other is being put on. While we are working to get this operation down to a 2 second switch, things happen and every so often their is pee all over the changing table. And the wall. Sometimes the floor. The kid has range. If I had a "regular" changing pad with a cute little cloth cover, it would spend its entire life in the washing machine. Instead I keep Clorox wipes on hand, all I have to do is wipe this pad off and in minutes we are cleaned and ready for the next attempt at containing the urine. They say babies this young don't know better, but I am pretty sure he is laughing at me. Especially that one time it almost hit the ceiling.
Hygeia EnJoye Breast Pump Breastfeeding didn't work out for us for a number of reasons (reasons which we will save for another post, on another day) but none of those reasons included a lack of milk production. So I made the decision to join the club of mamas known as "exclusive pumpers". Luckily I had bought this pump before I delivered from a pal who didn't end up needing it anymore. That is one of the bonuses, Hygeia is the only brand of pumps that are FDA approved to be used by more than one user. So I got a deal, and can resell it later. Since I am cheep, this makes me happy. I also think it is pretty close to being as effective as the hospital grade monster I was using before we came home. And since I was definitely too cheep to spring for the rental, it all worked out!
Dr. Brown's Bottles We started with the cheapest bottles we could find with the same nipples A was willing to use in the hospital (my cheapness is becoming a theme here, no?). All was well for a while, until we realized the large amount of screaming our little man was doing had a lot to do with the large amount of gas he was holding in. Poor little gassy boy. Lesson learned, the expensive bottles are worth every freakin’ penny. Less baby gas = less baby screaming. Yes, they have a million parts to wash, that’s why we now own a ton of them. And I took my Mom’s smart advice and went ahead and bought the large 8oz size off the bat. That way I didn’t waste money buying the 4oz size he would grow out of. Cheep again. Damn.
Aden + Anais Muslin Swaddle Blankets Wait, didn’t I just say these didn’t work for us? They didn’t, not for swaddling. BUT they are pretty fantastic for damn near everything else. Covering the car seat, warming him up, propping him up for his newborn pictures (yeah, we did it). I carry one in the diaper bag because they roll up pretty small and don’t take up space, but then are HUGE to lay down anywhere and everywhere. It doesn’t hurt that they are super soft and come in the cutest prints. The stars from the “Oh Boy!” set is my personal fav.
BumGenuis One Size 4.0 Cloth Diapers (Snap) I could (and will) write an entire book about my cloth diaper love. But let’s sum it up for you here, we have yet to have a blow out. Or a leak. Of any kind. Yes, I did just knock on wood. Everyone thought I was crazy for getting on the cloth train, even B was pretty skeptical. Now he writes Facebook statuses about which color Aiden has on that day. B’s favorite part? No rashes or irritation on little man’s behind like we had from the disposables in the hospital. I figure keeping his but clean and comfy is the least we can do for him. Bonus points that the snaps make fitting them really easy and the colors are way cuter than any disposable diaper any day.
JJ Cole Car Seat Cover Most people have heard of JJ Cole’s Bundle Me, which goes under the baby and keeps them nice and cozy. But when I was having my car seat installed the guy doing the check warned me that those aren’t as safe for the baby in the car(something about the material being between the safety of the seat and the baby’s body) and since I was almost 40 weeks pregnant at the time and convinced I might just kill this kid on accident by using the wrong thing, I returned it. Well it took one trip out of the house with A and a stupid blanket that blew off of him every time we got out of the car for me to start exploring other options. I picked up this car seat cover and it hasn’t come off his seat since. He’s warm, it doesn’t blow off, and I feel better about the safety thing. I have also recently become paranoid that he is going to over heat or freeze at any moment so the fact that it opens and closes with a quick zip help keeps my crazies at bay.
Moby Wrap The rubik’s cube of baby carriers. The first time you put it on you will feel like you have just conquered the world. Always a good feeling for an overwhelmed new mama. Aiden loves this thing, he gets nice and cozy in there and almost always falls asleep. And I get two free hands to fold laundry, or write blog posts. Priorities people, priorities.
Baby Connect for Android When you are in the hospital with your newborn, or when you go to your first few pediatrician appointments, if you are like me you are a frazzled mess. And everyone keeps asking you ridiculous questions like how many times has your baby pooped three days ago, or how many ounces he ate at 4pm last Friday. They might as well be asking you to solve the hardest math problem on the planet because you can’t even remember if you brushed your teeth that morning. Just me? Whatever. Luckily I downloaded this app (and had hubs do it too) right before Aiden arrived and we started using it on day one. Now, B stalks us from work to see what we are up to with it, and since it works on the computer and iPhones/iPads also, when Aiden stays at his Gemma’s house she can put his info in from her iPad. Unfortunately I still have trouble remembering if I brushed my teeth.
Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper As a Mama who values her sleep this thing was a lifesaver in the beginning. I know, every parent values an extra five minutes, but I am talking about the extra 30 seconds that it would have taken me to walk to Aiden’s room in the middle of the night when all he needed was to have his paci put back in his mouth. I was not about to give those precious seconds up. It was so nice to just roll over and there he was. The Co-Sleeper is similar to a pack and play, except the top sleeper part is a solid bed surface with a side that comes down to be at the same level as the parent’s bed. And since after having a C-section it was nearly impossible for me to lift him from certain angles, it was really nice to have him literally within arm’s reach (get it- ha!). Roll over, check baby, roll back over and Mama is back to sleep. (As a side note, they sell a mini version of this item as well. We opted for the full size since it will convert to a regular pack and play later.)
What products can you not live without? Anything you thought you would love and ended up hating? Ok, better yet, suggestions for us on items we HAVE TO HAVE for the coming months..?
*I was not paid or perked to review or try any of the above products, these are just my own personal opinions.