Thursday, November 17, 2011

Products I Love

One of the more common questions I've had from moms-to-be is which products do I always use and which ones are useless. Rather than be mean and post "I can't believe someone told us we needed this crap", I'm going to focus on the positive and talk about how in love I am with some of the amazing gifts we've received.

  • Infant Rocker (We use Fisher Price's Infant Rocker) [Retail can vary greatly; we bought ours from a re-sale children's shop for $20]
    • This is one of the most valuable pieces of furniture we own in terms of how we value our sleep. Joanna doesn't quite like laying flat on her back yet so this rocker has been perfect for her for naps and sleep. It folds up so we can bring it with us to Grandma's house(s). 
    • It's also great for impromptu photo shoots :)
  • Moses Basket (Ours is similar to this one.)
    • We were blessed to inherit our Moses Basket from a friend at church. It came pre-loved and is a wonderful addition to Joanna's collection :) When she outgrows it, it's easily re-usable as a blanket or toy storage option.
  • Breast Pump (We use Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breast Pump from Medela) [Pumps can retail: from $50 - $350; we bought ours for $200 with a 20% and 10% off coupon at Babies R Us]
    • Nursing is not only great for the baby but it is fantastic for the mommy, too! Research shows that mothers who breastfeed have a lower  likelihood of breast cancer and other diseases. It also helps your uterus contract and shrink faster so you can get back to your pre-prego weight faster! (I lost 30lbs in 2 weeks from nursing.) 
    • The amount of money you'll save by nursing will astound you. Formula ranges from $15 to $30, depending on whether your child needs special ingredients, etc. Mama's milk is free and already specially formulated for your child's needs. Although our pump can cost up to $300, that's just 3 months worth of formula. The investment pays off. 
    • Also, moms will benefit from investing in washable nursing pads rather than buying disposable. For the price of 15 disposable pairs, you can buy 3 pairs of washable ones that you throw in with your clothes. It even comes with a little drawstring bag so they don't get lost like all of your left socks. 
  • Boppy Nursing Pillow [Retail: with slipcover from $25 to $30; we bought ours at a yard sale for $5 and received covers at our showers.]
    • At this stage in her infancy, I am only using it to help support her body while I'm nursing. It also helps her sit up (more like lean up) to get some independency and help her observe what's going on around her. As she grows, I know I'll use this pillow more and more. 
  • Bumbo Seat [Retail: up to $40. BUY THIS USED! We bought ours with a tray for $11 at the children's re-sale store. They are easy to clean and are very durable.]
    • Joanna hasn't used her Bumbo yet, but having worked as a nanny for 3 boys, I know she will. We also don't have a high chair for her; we don't even have a kitchen table! Rather than have a high chair sitting in our living room when she's eating solid foods, we'll be using the Bumbo instead. 
  • Cloth Diapers [We use bumGenius which retail for $17-$20 per diaper. We've received nearly every diaper as a gift because we were able to put them on our Target and Babies R Us registries.]
    • I am so excited we are doing cloth diapers! I've written several posts so far about our cloth diaper journey. We LOVE them! We have 14 diapers so far and are hoping to buy more during Christmas sales. With 14 diapers, I'm washing them every other day. 
    • There are a ton of accessories that accompany cloth diapers including diaper pale liners, wet/dry bags, dye and fragrance free detergents, etc. 
    • Dryer Balls- They are great to use with any laundry, not just cloth diapers.
  • Baby Wrap/Carrier(s) [prices can vary because of the selection available.] We were given a Moby [$45] and a Girasol wrap [$95] and a Bjorn carrier
    • Wraps are the best thing for an infant in their first weeks. They're used to being contained in a sac anyway. As soon as you put them in, they melt right into your chest and fall asleep in moments. 
    • Here is my review of the Moby and Girasol wraps that we own.
    • Don't use a Bjorn for infants! Stick with wraps until they're older.
  • Proper Pacifiers [prices can vary]
    • Don't stock up on pacifiers until your behbeh is born and using them. Some kids don't even need them because they find their thumb.
    • If you're planning to nurse, only buy pacifiers that actually resemble nipples. There are some strange shapes out there. 


  • Keep the Tags
    • If you end up with a giant baby like we did, you'll be returning every Newborn and half of your 0-3 month items in exchange for bigger things. Even if you don't end up birthing a toddler, you don't need as many newborn and 0-3 month outfits as you'll receive. Most of the people in my life shop at Target for baby items and their return policy is pretty good without a receipt. But be sure to take them all back in one trip. 


You'll also need:
  • Coffee
    • Remember in college when you could pull an all-nighter then take your final exam and go out again no problem? Well, that was then and this is now. You'll still be pulling all-nighters but you won't be able to stay awake the next day without your new best friend: Mr. Caffeinated-Nectar-From-The-Gods. Brew a batch as a preemptive strike. You'll need it.
  • Hand Sanitizer
    • It's not for you - it's for them. As soon as the behbeh is born, people will want to hold behbeh, kiss behbeh, and rub their faces all over behbeh. Be sure they sanitize themselves first. 
    • God made the dirt and the dirt don't hurt, but staying up with a sick baby sucks. 
  • Sense of Humor
    • Your baby will make the funniest faces as an infant - take many photos and laugh at them. 
  • Community of Parents
    • If you're the only parent among your friends, you'll quickly become the odd one(s) out. You'll stop getting invitations, phone calls, etc. Don't ditch your non-parental pals, but do try to befriend other parents. You'll be able to talk about how amazing/annoying/smelly your baby is with them - they'll likely agree and share their own stories of their fantastic/frustrating/stinky child. Laughing with others about parenthood is almost as important as coffee. 
  • Patience
    • Your baby isn't out to get you; your baby just doesn't know how to do anything for themselves. Don't take it personally if they don't follow directions. They're a baby. 
Other things we love that you don't really "need":
  • Baby Bath Robe - much faster than using a towel. 
  • Novelty onesies, pacifiers, and baby accessories. Hilarious.


I hope this helps some of you mommies (and daddies) out there! 

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