Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things

I thought I would share some of my favorite products now that I'm a mom. Some are really must-haves in my opinion, and the others just make life easier :).

Pea in the Pod Sports Wrap Nursing Sleep Bra

This bra is soooooo comfy and actually gives decent support, unlike the cheaply made Medela ones. I'm so glad I spent the extra money to buy a couple of these!

Ergo Baby Carrier

Connor asleep in the Ergo

Love, love, love the Ergo Baby Carrier. I started trying to wear Connor in a Moby Wrap and I liked it but it takes a bit to get it on and I feel like I never have it quite right. The Ergo is super quick and easy and Connor seems to like it, often falling asleep in it. I can wear him around the house when he wants to be held and get a few things done. I also wore him while shopping at Target and he did really well considering he was awake for most of it. He doesn't tolerate being stuck in his carseat very long while awake for the most part. I would highly recommend this carrier to anyone looking for one!

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

This is by far the best resource for breastfeeding moms and is definitely a must-have. I almost didn't buy it and I'm so glad I did! I started reading it in the week just before Connor was born and brought it with me to the hospital. I find that I go back to it when I have a question about something and I can usually find the answer here. I just found out that we do have a local LLLI chapter in town and will be going to my first meeting later tis month :).

Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper

The Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper is definitely on my must-have list. We have the mini one and I love the storage space underneath where we keep diapers, extra pjs, extra sheets, and pee pads since the nursery is on the other side of the house and we do diaper changes in our bathroom at night. The side pockets are nice too and I keep my breastfeeding journal in the top pocket for easy access. These of course are just the extra perks. The best thing about this item is that it's one of the safest ways to co-sleep, giving me easy access to Connor for middle of the night feedings; I only have to get out of bed if his diaper needs changed :); and it's also been a huge peace of mind to have him right next to me where I can hear him breathing and be reassured he's ok. We both get more sleep, and we all know how important sleep is! One of the best purchases we made!

Summer Infant Baby Touch Video Monitor

I'm very thankful to my SIL for recommending this monitor, it's fantastic! I admit I haven't used it a ton yet since Connor is only in his crib for maybe one nap a day, but sometimes he gets a little down time in his crib too to watch his mobile while I do something really quick. I love that I can see him without having to go in his room. It gives me much better peace of mind when he's in his crib. The first few times we used it, I couldn't take my eyes off the monitor the whole time he slept in his crib and then we went in several times to check on him too. Silly I know, but we did!

BabySense Motion Monitor

Yes, we have two kinds of monitors, but this is another of my must-haves. This monitor detects baby's movements through the crib mattress. Here's the product description:
"BabySense Infant Movement Monitor is a highly sensitive, non-touch movement monitor that constantly monitors a baby’s slightest movements or motions. The monitor can sense micromovements that cannot be seen or heard on traditional monitors. BabySense utilizes a patented motion detector technology that is incorporated into 2 sensor pads which are placed under the baby’s mattress. The monitor flashes a green light to indicate it is sensing movement. If movement stops for 20 seconds or if the monitor detects less than 10 micro-movements per minute, an alarm sounds and red light flashes from the monitor, giving parents critical time to intervene."

We haven't had any false alarms and there's no sensitivity to adjust like other monitors. It gives me an extra peace of mind when Connor is in his crib. I don't think I could leave him in there all alone without it! (Yes I may be overly paranoid, but let's think about all we went through to have Connor in our lives... just saying!)

Colic Calm

Colic Calm is a homeopathic gripe water (regulated by the FDA) and has been by far the best thing to help with gas pain. A friend of mine, who's baby is also gassy, told me about this and her pediatrician had told her to try it. It's more expensive than regular gripe water, but you use less and it actually works! Before the dairy was out of my system, I would give Connor about half a dose once a day, usually in the afternoon, and it helped rather quickly with his discomfort. I like that it's all natural and doesn't have the additives that regular gripe water has. I would highly recommend this to anyone with a gassy baby!

Temporal Artery Thermometer

So one of my biggest worries after bringing Connor home was that he was going to have a fever and I wouldn't realize it. They tell you if a baby under two months has a fever of 100.3 F to seek medical attention. Well, that's not a very high fever and I didn't know how I would know he had one since Connor tends to run warm now and then. We had a couple of thermometers in the safety kits received, one regular one to use for under the arm temperature taking, and a rectal thermometer that has a special tip to make it easier/safer to use. Well the under arm temps aren't very accurate and are hard to get, and I don't like to do rectal temps unless I need to confirm a high temp... so I was on the hunt to find an easier way. I had a coupon for a behind the ear thermometer so thought we'd give that a try. Not a good idea. They are apparently inaccurate and were giving us sporadic temps, some high that would freak us out. It had to go. So I ordered a temporal artery thermometer since that's what they use at my doctor's office when I have gone to the doctor, so I figured they must be pretty accurate. I am so thankful we got this.. it's so much easier and much more accurate than the others, except the rectal one which I don't want to do unless I need to confirm a high temp. Especially with Connor getting his shots this week and running a low fever for about 36 hours.... so glad I had this!

BabyGanics Hand Sanitizing Wipes

These wipes may not be an absolute necessity, but they sure are a great thing to have on the changing table! I can sanitize my hands without having to wash them after every diaper change and they are alcohol-free so they don't dry my hands. (And those of you who see me on a regular basis know that my hands are always dry because I wash them so much!) They also have a foaming hand sanitizer (alcohol-free) that I keep in the diaper bag. Their diaper cream, Hiney Helper, is also fantastic and cleared up a little rash Connor had shortly after coming home, in 2-3 days! Love the BabyGanics products!

The Essential Breastfeeding Log

This log/journal has been fantastic. I don't have a smart phone so using an app for tracking feedings, sleep, etc is not an option for me, plus there are still things I like to have in paper form :). When you have a new baby and you're maybe running on little sleep, it's easy to forget things if you don't write them down somewhere... so I got this journal. It was recommended to me by a friend who used it with her first and bought another and is using it for her second too. Each page gives you a chart to record everything your baby does in regards to feeding: time of feeding, time between, minutes per breast and which one s/he started on, amount supplemented, amount pumped; and then after several weeks it adds in places to record wake time, time to sleep and length of sleep. At the bottom are places to kind of mini journal with a Mom's Corner and a Baby Journal as well as a Baby Sleep Note section. So when the pediatrician asks how many times he nurses or wakes at night or how long he sleeps or how many naps he takes... I can just look in my journal to get the answer instead of giving a random answer since there's no way I would remember how many times he nurses each day if I didn't write it down. It's not like I count! I also can keep track of what I eat so I can see what upsets Connor's tummy. So for those moms who are breastfeeding and want to keep track with a paper and pen type thing, and be able to jot down notes like firsts... this is a great log book!

I'd also like to mention a few other things that I happen to have that have made life a little easier for me these last two months.... my Crock Pot... pretty much the only way I can have a non-frozen dinner right now; my MacBook... I would never be able to get online if I had to sit at the desk in my office, so glad I got a MacBook for Christmas!; and my Camelbak Water Bottle for those times in the middle of the night when I need something to drink... I can keep it in bed with me and it doesn't leak :).

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