Sunday, March 24, 2013

Some amazing pre-baby & baby products!

Many, many months have passed since my last post.  We celebrated his first birthday amidst moving boxes as we packed our house and prepared for a new adventure.  Nugster is now walking (sometimes running), eating solids consistently (even grown-up foods like chicken satay, pancakes, quiche and the occasional Freddy's burger) and doing backwards rolls in gymnastics.

Keeping up with a Nugget while packing, hosting family and friends, and living everyday life has redirected my focus from blogging.  Moms and Dads out there know that some days there's barely time for a shower.  It's true.  I went to the outlets the other day and was so thrilled to reinvent my mommy wardrobe...with 4 new pair of sweatpants.  I also found myself saying to new parents, "Enjoy the time, it goes by so fast!"  I used to hate when people said that to me. But now I get it. I do.  My baby is now a toddler.

And one of my best friends in the world is expecting.  After happily remenissing about my own pregancy, and Nugster's newborn days, I thought I'd make a list of some items and ideas that have been most helpful for us.  Both Steve and I are type A planners, and we did a lot of research into everything.  No, not everything.  Some of Nugget's favorite toys we happened upon at consignment sales.

I've included Amazon links to make it easy for you to add these products to your registry, wishlist, or shopping cart.  (You're welcome.)  If you have your own experiences with these items, I'd love to hear your feedback!
Barleans Coconut Oil 

Amazing for your skin & hair, baby's skin, protects from diaper rash, doesn't stain cloth diapers, safe for nursing, healing properties for those times when Nugster scratches himself with his unruly fingernails.  Coconut oil is a key ingredient in many of the high end natural baby products.  Delicious on toast, works great in place of butter in baking/cooking, especially if you're keeping your baby dairy free in that first year!

Adan + Anais Muslin Swaddle Wraps

More than just swaddles, we LOVE these soft HUGE cloths for everything from an emergency sheet to nursing cover, to picnic blanket to stroller blanket.  The fabric is breathable, durable (we wash them with the rest of Nugster's laundry), and so soft to the touch.  They seem "pricy" but are well worth the cost.  Oh, and they are a favorite of many celebs (Tori Spelling, Jessica Alba, Jennifer Garner), if you're into that sort of thing.

Booginhead Pacigrip Pacifier Holders

We don't use pacifiers.  We have our reasons.  But we LOVE these clips.  They can hold a sippy cup, toy, mittens, your keys, etc. The loop is far better than velcro-style pacifier holders.  And if your baby IS a pacifier kid, I'm sure this will work for that as well!

Earth Mama Angel Baby Natural Nipple Butter
 Not just for soothing cracked and chapped nipples (although it does a wonderful job at that!) this stuff is great for lips, baby's cheeks (they get dry when they root for the nipple) diaper rash-we use a dedicated jar just for that purpose, as well as cuts, scapes and other rashes.  And it tastes really good!
Planet Wise Wet/Dry Diaper Bag

We use the wet/dry bag for our out of the house day trips.  It has 2 compartments-one that is leak-proof to hold soiled diapers (we do cloth) and/or clothes, and a second smaller front pocket to carry clean diapers/inserts/change of clothes. This is a small bag, so it's very convenient to stick in your larger diaper bag, or under a stroller.

Rumparooz Kanga Care Wet Bags

We use the large Kanga Care bags as our go-to bags for holding soiled diapers. They would also make excellent laundry bags and swim/beach bags.  The seams are leak-proof, the designs are cute (we have it in Robot and Whale Tale), and they contain moisture and odor well.  We typically do a load of diapers every 2 days, which is just about as much as one large bag will hold.

Rainbow Light Just Once Prenatal Multi-Vitamin

These are big, once-a-day, all natural prenatals, with tons of good stuff in them.  These pills are large and they have that healthy smell (yep, they smell nasty, but take them with water, you'll be fine). Safe to take into your breastfeeding months if you go that route.  Oh, and if you're prone to headaches, try taking them at night. 

Nature's Way Red Raspberry Capsules

So with the add-on program, one bottle is than $5 on amazon!  I think I paid almost $10, and I took a lot of this stuff as well as the tea (see below).  Do your research (a great post on RLT and EPO can be found here), make the choice that's right for you, and if you decide to add RLT to your pregnancy regiment, I highly suggest this brand.

Alvita Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

In my 2nd and 3rd trimester, made an "infusion" of this tea and drank it 2-3 times daily. (My infusion was simply half a mug of hot water over a tea bag with some agave for sweetness.)  Again, do your research and make the choice that works for you!  From my own personal experience, I can say that I believe that RLT played a huge part in the quickness of my labor and ease of recovery.  I was in active labor for less than 4 hours.  Had fatigue not set in, Nugster would have been born less than 2 hours after we arrived at the hospital.  

Prenatal Mini-Cradle

I wore this until I couldn't fit it around me any longer. (My belly expanded exponentially during my pregnancy with Nugster.) It made me less uncomfortable, gave the right amount of support, and was more supportive than other "belly bands" I've tried.It runs small, and don't forget to accommodate for the weight you will be putting on throughout the pregnancy.

Boppy Prenatal Wedge Pillow
Not long into my pregnancy with the Nugget, my belly expanded to the point that I couldn't sleep.  My stomach hurt SO much, and there was no position that allowed any sleep.  It literally felt like someone was pulling by stomach off my body.  Hello round ligament pain.  Laying on my left side with this pillow propped under my stomach gave me some relief when resting, watching tv, or sleeping.  That is, until I had to get up to pee.  This pillow comes with a removable, machine-washable cover. 

Vitamin D drops

Your pediatrician will probably suggest picking up some D-Vi-Sol which is pretty much the only option for vitamin D drops at your local pharmacy/supermarket.  Do yourself and your baby a favor and try these drops instead.  It's ONLY vitamin D and coconut oil. Same dosage-400 IU- as Carlson's Baby-D drops (but lower price point), free of artificial color and flavor, you only need to give baby one drop (on nipple-bottle, paci, actual breast, finger, etc) rather than 1 mL.  This bottle lasts a YEAR and this stuff has no taste. (You'd need 7 bottles of D-Vi-Sol over the course of a year and that stuff tastes horrible. And that stuff is a disgusting brown color.  You'll be seeing enough yucky brown color over the next few years.)

PIYOPIYO baby nail scissors

Cutting Nugget's nails has never been easy, but this is as good as it gets.  These are very precise, easy to use, and safe.  (To make it even esier, try to cut the nails when your baby is asleep.)

Summer Infant Swaddleme Swaddle

This is basically a baby cocoon.  I know, it looks crazy.  You slip the baby into the bottom, fasten the velcro, and your baby is as snug as a bug in a rug.  We called it the baby straight jacket.  Or the glow worm.  And Nugget still managed to escape this one too.  The product website claims it will last up to 12 months.  It will last you a few months, which is most likely as long as your baby needs to be swaddled, with gentle wash cycles.  It won't last longer than that.  The velcro just isn't up to the task.  But this is a GREAT product, especially if you can find it on sale or get it as a gift.

Deluxe Rock N Play Newborn Sleeper Bassinet

Nugster slept in this bassinet for the first few months of his life, and could have slept in it longer, except that he decided he wanted to get out and explore.  It is tall enough to set up next to your bed, allowing you to see and rock your baby to sleep without getting out of bed.  It's soft, incredibly light, easy to move around the room/house, and rocks gently.  It folds easily for storage, and is easy to clean.  Yes, there was a "recall" of this product-not a product recall, but a notice sent to owners with detailed instructions for how to clean it.  Apparently some parents were not aware that when you put wet cloth on top of a waterproof surface, you may develop mold.  Well, the easy solution is to make sure the washable top layer is DRY before attaching it back to the base.  We would tumble dry in the dryer, and we didn't have any issues with shrinkage or wear.  Variations of this product exist in bunny, kitty, monkey, polka dot, bear, lamb, butterfly, flower, pink and dog.  I suggest the deluxe model, which includes a supersoft insert that cradles your newborn's head.

Maxi-Cosi Mico Infant Carseat (great deals on the whole system can be found at albeebaby)
The Mico in Choco Mint.  We LOVED this seat!
New model-different color options & restyled infant head support

Being a petite mama, I LOVE the slim profile of this car seat, and the fact that it weighs 8 lbs.  It works with the Maxi-Cosi Foray/ForayLX stroller system, or you could just use a snap-n-go stroller for quick errands.  Nugster easily slept and sat happily in this car seat both in the car, in the house, and on the go.  It's so easy to use this car seat, which snaps into a car seat base, allowing you to quickly and quietly move your sleeping baby without waking him.  (The seat can also be used without a base, but it takes a little longer to attach.)  The fabric is incredibly plush and washable, the infant insert supports a newborn head, and it's one of the safest on the market-tested at European standards, which are much stricter than US standards.  Yes it's priced higher than the more common car seats (such as those that rhyme with Draco) but it is of noticeably higher quality.  Nug used this seat until he was just shy of 1 year old.  Rated for 5-22 lbs, 19-29" in height.  We switched into the Recaro ProRide in Envy when Nug was no longer comfortable in the Mico, even though he was under the weight and height limits.

Breastpump: If you're planning to breastfeed/pump, you can read my post on breastmilk pumping and storage here!

Choose your own...
We recieved some great gifts, scored some good deals, and scaveged some fun toys for Nugster.  I've included a list of them, with the note that these products did exactly what they promised to do. We have no complaints about them, and found them incredibly useful.  However, we aren't raving about the particulars of any of these items, mostly because bouncers/playyards/bathtubs are pretty much the same.  Find what you like, read the reviews (here is where amazon is your friend) and have fun choosing something that fits your style!

Doorway-mounted bouncer
Bath tub
Universal Stroller
Tummytime Mat
High Chair
Super Seat/Booster
Changing pad/table
Baby monitor (I suggest a digital video monitor. )