Thursday, May 20, 2010

Our Top 10 Favorite Baby Stuff

With Dade now 9 months old, I could say that the worst part of taking care of an infant is over.  Gone are the sleepless nights, the stressful pumping of milk (and the worrying over milk supply), the trial and error ways of pacifying, and the fear of SIDS.  Everything now looks brighter and happier for all three of us. The Daddy and I are more relaxed and confident at taking care of our little one.  Meanwhile, the soon-to-be toddler is now a more contented baby boy who recently found delight in cruising around the coffee table, and often times bravely crosses the distance between it and the sofa by grabbing on to the foot stool for support. It’s less tedious for us to care for him because it’s much, much easier to feed and entertain him.

In the past 9 months, we had help from friends and family in taking care of Dade.  But we admit we never would’ve done so without special lifesavers and important baby stuff that we invested on.  So let me share here with you our favorite baby stuff that we’re super thankful for.  Suffice to say that without these items, we never would’ve survived the first three quarters of parenting:

1.) Swaddling blankets - My fellow blogger pal, Berns shared in her blog “The Happiest Baby on The Block” sometime when her baby was still in her early months, if I remember it correctly. It was a very, very useful reference especially for us first time parents and we learned so much from it. One of the S’s taught in the video (based on its book) is swaddling, which we took seriously, by the way.  Dade was swaddled until the end of his 3rd month so all his swaddling blankets were pretty much put to good use. Thank you, Berns for sharing this wonderful find to us!

2.) Graco swing - Best.investment.ever! We’ve set our eyes on one after watching the “Happiest Baby On The Block” video.  Luckily, I won some vouchers so we were able to purchase it without hurting our pockets.  Dade used the swing until he’s about 7 ½ months old.  We wouldn’t know what we would’ve done without it in our lives.  Truly a lifesaver!

3.) Medela Pump In Style Advanced breastpump – I wouldn’t have survived breastfeeding without my trusty PISA.  It even travelled all the way to Manila when we went on holiday. Next to the stroller, the breastpump is the next most expensive baby item we bought.  But no regrets!  It was very useful especially when I went back to work because I used it like 3-4 times a day to save milk for Dade’s consumption while I’m at the office.  Without it, I never would’ve been able to stretch my breastfeeding career.

4.) Dr. Brown’s feeding bottles – I did a lot of research in finding the right bottle for Dade, And I am so glad i found Dr. Brown’s.  I had three requirements for my baby’s feeding bottle. First, it must be bpa-free. I don’t exactly consider myself an advocate of bpa-free products but I prefer to purchase bpa-free items for Dade.  I mean the US and Canada markets will not pull out the polycarbonate products off their shelves for nothing, right?  Anything where milk, both breastmilk and formula, would pass through, I made sure the stuff I use are all bpa-free.  Dr. Brown’s passed this with flying colors because when I started buying baby stuff, they’ve already released their bpa-free line.  My second requirement was that the bottle should prevent colic.  With Dr. Brown’s patented vent and vent reservoir, they covered that aspect quite well.  I am sooo happy Dade was never a colicky baby!  I really believe that Dr. Brown’s had something to do with this.  Third, the nipples should be silicone and naturally shaped as possible. I liked Dr. Brown’s teats because they didn’t give Dade any nipple confusion plus they’re durable and easy to clean.

5.) Braun Thermoscan – A household should always have a thermometer handy, especially when you have kids. That’s why during my last trimester, hubby and I invested on a Braun Thermoscan and dumped our traditional thermometer.  And we’re so happy we did because we were able to use it on Dade when he had fever twice due to vaccinations and when he caught a cold last January.  It’s very easy to use for infants – just one press of a button and you get the temp in 2 seconds.

6.) VMV Boo Boo Balm & Coddling Lotion – These two products are heaven-sent.  I am super glad VMV came up with baby products, which are great on baby’s skin.  The Boo Boo Balm is a wonderful antiseptic for cuts, scratches & bites, and it really helps speed up the healing.  Meanwhile, the Coddling Lotion is a terrific skin moisturizer.  You see, Dade had atopic dermatitis so at a certain point during his 4th – 5th month, he had terrible, terrible rashes on his face and trunk.  He was prescribed lots of ointments and creams – some with steroids even – but I refused to let him depend on those for maintenance.  Good thing I remembered VMV.  So I bought a bottle of Coddling Lotion in Manila and tried it on my baby’s skin.  And whad’ya know – it actually worked!  Goodbye atopic dermatitis!

7.) Boppy pillow – We got the barenaked miracle middle pillow and bought a couple of covers in the neutral shade of green. I used it during the first few weeks to nurse Dade but I found it more useful in propping him up after burping to prevent acid reflux.  As Dade grew older, he used it in different ways: to support his neck when he was sitting on his Bumbo seat at 3 months old, to prop him up and help him practice sitting up by holding on to our fingers, and to support his body when he was still getting the hang of sitting  down among other things. This pillow doesn’t come cheap but with all the help we got from it, every dirham spent was worth it.

8.) Nosefrida Nasal Aspirator – This is another great bpa-free find from The Soft Landing. When Dade got clogged nose early this year (he caught my virus when I got the sickies), I had to use this nasal aspirator to remove mucus from his airways.  And it worked like how a snotsucker should work – take out unwanted mucus to alleviate the discomfort of my poor, sick baby. I didn’t have to try the usual syringe bulbs ever because the reviews say Nosefrida works better than those. Thank God I found this amazing product! Those Swiss people can really be inventive, too, you know! (Ikea much? haha!)

9.) Island Basics clear bottle cleanser – I am super glad my friend who owns the Island Basics line of products came up with this product. I love it to the max!  I’ve tried using Pigeon and Cuddles to clean Dade’s bottles and utensils but nothing comes close the cleaning power of Island Basics. Apart from its ability to take out the oiliness of the bottles, it is also safe for babies ‘cos it’s made of all-natural ingredients. It’s also concentrated and lathers quite well so you don’t need to use too much.  Just a drop and you’re able to wash at least 4 bottles with accessories. Super economical at Php200 per bottle. What a find!

10.) The First Years Sure Comfort Infant to Toddler Tub with sling – I don’t know what we’d do without this bath tub.  Among the baby bath tubs in the market, this is one of those that has the higher ratings among consumers. I’m so thrilled we found one here in Dubai because I couldn’t picture ourselves buying another to use for Dade. It’s super dandy to use for a newborn up until the baby is sitting up. It’s very sturdy, doesn’t tip over when baby is placed at either three positions possible (through sling for newborns, the reclined position & the sitting position), has its built-in plug to drain water, and can be used atop a double sink, too. One end has a small basin where you can put soap & water for the washcloth, as well. It’s not as bulky as those we’ve seen in other baby shops, which is another reason why I personally like it.  This will definitely be kept for the next baby.

So yup, there you have it – all our personal favorites among Dade’s stuff.  I know that when you’re having a baby, you plan to buy as much stuff as you think you need.  But in the long run, you’ll realize that the essential ones are the ones that actually make all your lives easier.


Jessica said...

I can’t imagine using the type you have to suction with your mouth, and I can’t stand the bulb that has who knows how much old mucous still inside, and no way to clean it out.
After fighting with the bulb my then 4 month old daughter, I went on a hunt to find something better. I stumbled onto the CLEANOZ ( ) and it works wonders. My fear with the bulb was that it went too far up into the nasal cavity, the CLEANOZ product comes with disposable nose tips that fit perfectly my baby's nostril. I can quickly suction her nose. Since my daughter is in daycare, she is either always congested or has a runny/stuffy nose; this aspirator gets the job done quickly and harmlessly. Cleanoz works best when you also use Cleanoz saline preservative free nasal spray/drops to loosen up the mucus. It sucks all that yucky stuff out

Gracie said...

hi Jessica,
thanks for sharing this, but i'm happy with what i'm using for Dade right now since it serves the purpose, and it's super easy to use. if i see this in the market here, maybe i'd give it a try.

Chat said...

Dear Gracy

Your blog was helpful to collect the essentials for my baby which is due in December.Thanks a ton!! Please let me know a place to buy ''The First Years Sure Comfort Infant to Toddler Tub with sling'' and ''•Nasal Aspirator''


Hi Gracie.....

I'm expecting my kid in in the process of gollecting stuff for the new journey. pls let me know from where did you buy '' The First Years Sure Comfort Infant to Toddler Tub with sling?'' thanks a ton!!

Gracie said...

hi chat,
i bought the tub at Toys 'R Us (Babies 'R Us section). they had it in Times Square Mall and in Deira. i'm not sure though if they still have it. and for the Nasal Aspirator, i bought it from the website of the soft landing ( & had it shipped here.