I’m so sorry I haven’t been blogging more. I actually look forward to blogging because I love writing and typing is faster than actual writing. LOL. No but seriously, when blogging was all the rage like 18 years ago I had multiple blogs and diaries going on and my major was in English Lit. So really what I’m saying is that the best part of running this business, for me, aside from the fashion buying, is this blog. Because I’m sort of rekindling an old flame of mine. And instead of focusing on me (because teenage blogging is usually just self-centred, obnoxious ranting), I get to use this as an avenue to help first time mamas like me figure out motherhood (though nobody really figures it out – we just wing it most days).
So where did we leave off? I blogged a few weeks ago on self-care methods and products for the mama prior to and after delivery. Today I want to share with you my favourite baby products and hopefully you’ll find this helpful. I’m sorry if you encounter lots of typos and errors but I can’t proof read this because after I write this I’m going to go take a nap. Baby G was screaming for a few hours last night =(
I don’t have a favorite. I just like the ones with the pee indicator that turns blue when the baby pees so you don’t have to undo their diaper just to check if they’ve wet themselves.
Let’s talk diaper pails. I mean it really boils down to the diaper genie and the ubbi pail and I have both! In my opinion the ubbi pail wins for two reasons: 1) you can use any garbage bag and you don’t need to buy those special pull down garbage bags which costs a lot more in the long run; 2) the ubbi pail holds way more diapers so you don’t have to constantly throw out the trash.
Diaper Change Pad
I use the Keekaroo peanut change pad. It’s sturdy, firm and provides lots of support and padding for your little sprout. The material that it’s made out of negates the use of any covers or additional padding which is such a time-saver because when it gets soiled, you simply spray, wipe and clean. No change covers means less laundry. And do you really want to wash poo-stained change covers a thousand times a day? Just buy a natural organic spray to clean the change pad when it gets dirty. I use the natural Puracy spray cleaner but I hear the Honest Company spray cleaner is great too and safe for babies.
There are so many out there, many of them expensive! At the end of the day, if you’re the type of person who is very organized and really cares about a bag having all the different pockets and compartments imaginable then go for the Skip Hop Forma Pack & Go Diaper bag or the Ju Ju Be BFF Diaper Bag. I don’t really care about those and my #1 priority was to get something big enough to carry everything and the price. Also, Josh wanted something gender neutral that he could carry too without looking like he’s carrying his wife’s purse so we got the Herschel Supply Strand Sprout Diaper Bag. It’s a lot cheaper than the rest of the brands and does the job for us.
Diaper Rash Cream
For prevention of diaper rash, I use Vaseline during the day (as recommended to me by two different night nurses) and Burt’s Bees Baby Natural Diaper Rash Ointment during the night. I’ve heard Sudocrem is great too and you can get it at Walmart or on amazon.
I got suckered into getting baby towels at the beginning so I have the Puj Hug Infant Towel that has a cute little hoodie where you tuck their little heads in when drying them off. But honestly I’d say skip baby towels. Just buy normal towels that are ultra soft and use them when you’re giving your baby a bath. But what I do find useful are wash cloths that I dampen and use to wipe down my drool and vomit covered child before bed time because I don’t like bathing her every day and drying out her skin. Just get any ultra soft wash cloth (any terry washcloth will do).
Baby Shampoo and Baby Oil
I use Burt’s Bees Nourishing Baby Bee Baby Oil and Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Original Shampoo & Wash. It’s apparently free of parabens, phthalates, SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) and petrolatum and all that nasty stuff that’s bad for babies. Mind you, I’m not an expert on what nasty ingredients should be exterminated from the universe to protect our babies I just have a general 101 knowledge and I read the ingredients to make sure those bad ingredients aren’t present. But realistically in today’s marketing world, so many products are marketed as baby-safe but aren’t necessarily 100% so. Take the scandal with The Honest Company a few years ago as an example. My point is, do your research, and based on the information that you have, make the best decision you can and don’t beat yourself up over it.
I have two. I have the Fisher Price Whale of a Tub (what a freaking cute name) and the Angelcare Bath Support. The Angelcare Bath Support is really cool because you basically fill up your own tub and you put the support in the tub and your baby just sits there with the water all around her. The Fisher Price Whale of a Tub is its own tub so it’s great in the sense that it’s portable and you can give her a bath anywhere whereas the Angelcare Bath Support requires an actual bathtub. Also, if Georgia is in my actual tub, I actually climb into the tub with her because God knows I’m too old to be kneeling by the side of my bath tub awkwardly twisting my body at a 90 degree angle.
SLEEP TIME AND FEEDING
I haven’t gotten a crib yet and when I do I’ll share it. I got the Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper. It’s been rated the best bassinet by lots of baby and mom focussed websites and here’s why: 1) it’s super sturdy; 2) it has an adjustable base to fit all bed heights; 3) it has a nightlight, sleep sounds, soothing vibrations; 4) it rotates and swivels to bring you closer to your baby, 5) has mesh ventilating sides (I’m so relieved I got this to be honest because Georgia always presses her nose to the side when she sleeps). I didn’t have a C-section but I can definitely see why this would be a winner with moms who delivered via C-section. You can just lie down on the couch or bed and this bassinet will adjust to accommodate your position perfectly, so that you don’t even need to get out of bed to feed your baby.
Swaddles and Bibs
For first time mamas: yes you need swaddles. Their limbs flail during their sleep and they jerk themselves awake and then don’t know how to go back to sleep so they start crying and can’t have a good sleep. Who knew? Certainly not me. It’s called the Moro reflex. Swaddling keeps their arms and legs tucked in snugly so that they don’t wake themselves up with their own startle reflex. Also I’ve been told by doctors and nurses alike that babies like being swaddled snugly. It makes sense because they’ve been snug and cozy in your belly for 9 months and when they come out into the world they want to be cuddled tight in your arms to feel safe and secure.
I have two kinds of swaddles: the sleepsack swaddles (the ones with velcro) and the cloth swaddles by Aden Anais. I like the Aden Anais ones because they’re muslin swaddles and so light and breathable and there’s no loud scratchy noise when you’re unswaddling them unlike those with the velcro and you end up waking your baby. And they’re so versatile you can use them for anything! A light blanket, a car seat/stroller cover, a burping towel, a breastfeeding cover, a play mat. I love them I have 10 of them and I’m constantly out of them because I use them for so many things! The only downside to these swaddles is that if your baby is a sleep wriggler and somehow always manages to get his/her arms out of the swaddle then the sleepsack swaddles are better because they are closed by velcro and it’s harder for your baby to wriggle out of it.
When Georgia was a newborn I’d swaddle her in the muslin swaddles all the time and they’re great for hot summer nights and she didn’t really move much while sleeping so that was fine. Now, she’s mustered some movement and is such a squirmer I have to use the sleepsack velcro swaddles otherwise she won’t get a good sleep going.
The only bibs I use for Baby G are the ginormous bibs from Aden Anais. Anyone who’s ever seen her in these bibs always burst out laughing because she looks ridiculous, like she’s wearing a huge tent. I love these bibs because she drools and vomits at every angle and these bibs cover almost 360 degrees and literally collects all her drool and vomit and keeps her clothes underneath dry.
I don’t own a nest or any sort of baby videocam. I just own an audio monitor and it’s the Vtech Communications Safe and Sound Digital Audio Monitor. I admit to being very paranoid in the beginning about her turning over and smothering herself in her sleep (SIDs is a real thing) so I would check in on her pretty frequently but I also lived in a condo at the time so it was really easy to do that. I can see how if you lived in a two storey house that it would be very annoying to have to go up and down all the time so if so, get a videocam.
Bottles and Pacifiers
My advice is don’t load up on these right away, which was a huge and costly mistake I made, because you have no idea whether your baby will like the nipples of these bottles/pacifiers. Georgia hated every bottle and I made the mistake of bulk buying the Medela bottle only to find out she hated the Medela nipple. Le sigh! Anyways, because of her pickiness I had to buy and try so many different brands until finally she took a liking to the Nuk Simply Natural bottle. The pacifier is different in that it’s flattened on one side and is designed to mimic a mother’s nipple when it’s being sucked on. If that one failed I was going to splurge on the Nanobebe bottle but luckily she took to the Nuk bottle so it’s all good!
She also hates pacifiers with a passion. She spits everything out but will sometimes deign to suck on a Mam Pacifier for a solid 10 seconds. Anyways, once you figure out which ones your baby likes then by all means load up on those because you don’t want to be washing the one bottle/pacifier all the time.
And I got the Dr. Brown’s universal drying rack. I know everyone gets that Boon Grass drying rack. I don’t really care to have fake grass on my kitchen counter so there!
For a cloth carrier, I use the Baby K’Tan Wrap Baby Carrier. I just can’t be bothered to learn the ones that require lots of tying and looping and this one requires the least amount of effort in my opinion. Georgia loves it and will sleep in it all day if she could. Mind you it’s very snug and each carrier is made for your specific size so the downside is that you can’t share it with your partner if you’re different sizes.
For a more sturdy carrier, I still haven’t found one that I like. When I do I’ll keep you posted!
I got the rockaRoo bouncer for Georgia but she hates it! =( She’ll stay in there for about 5-10 minutes tops. I will say it did rock her to sleep when she was a newborn but that’s not the case now. But I do think it works because literally every other baby I know loves it. I guess it’s because Georgia is one distracted child. She can’t sit still for 5 minutes anymore.
What I do love is the Jolly Jumper (which is only for 3/4months and up)! Georgia loves it and bounces around in there and does her little Irish Riverdance Jig in it it’s hilarious!
Stroller and car seat
We got the Uppababy Vista Stroller and the Uppababy Mesa Car Seat. I can’t attest to other strollers because I’ve never used any other but the Uppababy basically has it all. It accommodates a bassinet, a toddler seat, or both, facing front or back, in any combination. In fact, we got this stroller because we know we want a second kid and how cute would they be riding together in the same stroller hah! It’s sturdy, the big wheels and suspension shock absorber make for great walks around the city (screw you potholes!) and it has a HUGE basket at the bottom to hold your groceries/purse/diaper bag etc. I’ve gone grocery shopping with this stroller and let me tell you I’ve stuffed so much food and ice cream tubs in that basket it’s incredible! It includes the bassinet AND the toddler seat, a bug net and a rain shield with your purchase. I also like that everything is so user-friendly and intuitive. Things just snap into place with a click of a button. We also got the Uppababy Mesa Car Seat because you can literally snap the car seat into the stroller and voila! You don’t have to move the baby in and out of the car seat. This is especially helpful if baby is sleeping and the last thing you want to do is wake her/him up. The only cons are: 1) price; and 2) bulkiness.
And there you have it folks! Hope you found this useful. Please email me or message me if you have any further tips to share with the rest of the Sprout Mama community! =)
p.s. we’ll be going on our first vacation with Georgia very soon and I have NO IDEA what to pack and what to do with an infant on vacay. So if you have any travel tips please share them with me but in any case I will come back armed with some knowledge and share this harrowing experience with you when I get back!!
Oh and remember, we’re running a 20% off special on your first maternity clothing subscription box if you sign up with us today! Just because you’re pregnant or have just given birth doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look and feel great. Rent with Sprout and elevate your mood, empower yourself and enhance your wardrobe. Thanks for reading Sprout Mamas. Until next time.