Hi there everyone! This is a post about buying stuff. *sigh* As a recovering shopoholic on a baby-budget, it is with bittersweet reluctance that I offer this information. I often find that I oscillate between envisioning myself as one of two “mommy types” – the mom who has all the stuff from supercool independent baby shops and hip Sweedish brands (not IKEA) and the uber-saver green and frugal mom who makes her own baby wipes and doesn’t believe in pureed baby food. As with most aspects of my life, I find that I fall someplace in between, as I am, as it turns out, me. 🙂
Henceforth and thus and hitherto – I offer you our list of top ten favorite pregnancy and baby things. I find it necessary to append the “pregnancy through 6 months” descriptor, as I’m sure this next 6 months will bring many more great (and not-so-great) products into our lives. I hope this list helps pregnant women, new moms, and gift givers alike!
Ingrid & Isabel’s Bella Band
This thing is awesome for so many reasons. It is, as you will discover, a stretchy band that can be worn around your waist at 3 different stages of your pregnancy/post-labor experience. I will never forget my first dinner while wearing it – the joy I felt as I ate my Watawa dinner without wondering if I should attempt to discreetly unbutton my pants! Aaaahhhhhhh….it really makes you wonder why us girls don’t just wear one at all times, pregnant or not. Allow me to explain… (1) You are pregnant. You are entering that dreaded “Is she getting fat or is she pregnant?” phase. Your pants do not fit. Maternity pants are WAY too big. You do not want to buy pants at the next size – ew. Enter Bella Band. You put it on around your waist, you pull up your pants and zip up to the desired height, you fold down Bella Band over the zipper. You have now fashioned yourself elastic waist pants/customized maternity pants! I wore this “style” until I was 6 months pregnant! (2) You are big enough to warrant maternity pants, but OH NO they are still feeling huge on you! Enter trusty Bella Band. You put on your maternity pants, you pull up Bella Band on top of maternity pants waist area to help hold them on. (3) You have given birth. To your shock and dismay, baby did not weight 30 pounds and your old pants do not fit. Hark! Enter Bella Band once again. Follow instructions for phase 1. 🙂
Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream
This is great all natural stuff to use as your belly cream throughout your pregnancy. A little goes a long way, so don’t balk at the price – it lasted my whole pregnancy and beyond. Better than cocoa butter, according to many. Also works nicely on dry skin elsewhere.
Newborn > 6 months:
Fisher-Price Newborn Rock ‘n Play Sleeper
We looooooooooooooove this thing. Alas, once Marley got over being swaddled, he was too squirmy for it. This was the perfect “bassinet” for Marley until he was about 4 months old. It rocks… no, no…. literally – it ROCKS. We had it right next to my side of the bed. When Marley would fuss a bit and need to be soothed back to sleep (but was definitely changed and fed) I would just lean over a bit and rock him down. It is the absolute perfect height to do this. It folds up for easy travel, as well. Cannot be beat – thanks, Fusco mommies! 😉
Summer Infant Oragnic Swaddle Me
Oh, and speaking of being swaddled…. These are simply a MUST HAVE. We, like so many of our new parent friends, watched the famous and infamous video “The Happiest Baby on the Block” – good stuff to be sure. In said video, one learns how to complete the “swaddle” or “DUDU” (down, up, down, up) wrap on a newborn baby. Swaddling is like magic in those early months – and don’t you feel clever when you wrap your little peanut in his or her first DUDU swaddle?!?! Yeah. Try doing that in the middle of the night in the dark after a diaper change, or when you’re sleep deprived, or when your baby is fighting with all his might to get out. It sucks. Thank goodness for the Swaddle Me people. I love you. This little blankie is essentially swaddling for dummies (and exhausted people who have lost their minds) – a pocket to put baby’s legs and some serious Velcro to hold the arm wraps together make life just that much easier. PS – I recommend the organic ones in particular because (a) organic is nice, and most importantly (b) they are softer AND stretchier – important!!!
Bravado! Body Silk Seamless Nursing Soft Cup Bra
Most comfortable nursing bra ever. I’ve been to all the fancy bra shops too and had fittings, etc etc. All that does have its place if you are really not wearing something appropriate and your back is hurting and you don’t know what size you are these days and so forth. If you are sure of your size, this is a great buy. It is ugly as all get out, but who the *@#*(& cares.
Evenflo Farmyard Mega ExerSaucer
When Marley smiles in his sleep, he is dreaming of his ExerSaucer, I just know it. If he grows up to be a farmer, we’ll know why. It is adjustable, it is cute, and it is a great place to put your baby down for a few minutes when he or she has outgrown sitting in a bouncy chair (or is just really squirmy, like our Marley). I often describe it as Marley’s “command station” – as soon as he gets in there he gets right to work moving the barn to and fro or chewing on the cow… whatever he feels needs to be done. HA – it’s hysterical! A truly great toy!
ERGOBaby – Read this earlier post regarding this amazing piece of equipment. I have an update! We were able to use this carrier as a backpack while hiking in Vermont this summer. It was glorious!
The Moby Wrap – Read this recent post (with video!). This is my lifesaver.
Aden + Anais Muslin Swaddle Blankets
Lightweight, breathable, and truly multi-purpose – these blankets are adorable and very much worth the money. A great option to throw over the car seat or stroller when you want to encourage or lengthen a nap. Also great for warm weather: See my Rockaway Beach post for details!
Sophie le Giraffe Teether
I had to do it, people, I had to. I know, I know – EVERY mom on the block has this stupid giraffe. WHY!?! What’s the big deal about the stinkin giraffe?!??! I really truly do not know, but every baby I know including Marley is obsessed with it. OBSESSED! If you don’t like the giraffe and insist on being contrary, you can order the little robot blob guy by the same company, but you should know I do not guarantee success with him. Another way to distinguish one’s self from all the other Sophie-owning families is to rename your giraffe (Thanks Acacia!). Ours is named “Marcel” – we decided it was important to choose a French name, lest we destroy the toy’s famous juju somehow. Our friend Gwenael even came up with a little “Je m’appelle Marcel” song. Hooray!
Hope all of you are doing well and enjoying Autumn. Stay tuned to see what Marley and I are going as for Halloween!