So with this being my second baby about to be due, I have learned a few things along the way. I realized the baby products I left off my list with Aubrey and what products I could have used to help me during my pregnancy and post partum. No baby comes with an instruction manual. Pregnancy and parenthood also doesn't come with a manual. Yes there are magazines and books but these aren't exhaustive and are often presenting information based on what companies pay for their ad space. Great for you, some of these products come with special codes to help you save money!
The Owlet Smart Sock monitor
So we have not yet used the owlet monitor so I cannot say whether it works or not but I will discuss why we chose to purchase one of these monitors. Well first, let's talk about what it does. The monitor is a sock that the baby wears that tracks the baby's heart rate and oxygen levels. It also has a camera so you can watch your baby as he/she sleeps. With SIDS being such a real concern for parents these days, it is a monitor that helps give parents a peace of mind and a better night's rest.
I remember when Bree was a baby and it can be very hard to actually get sleep, even when the baby is sleeping. I would have one eye closed and one eye open and looking at the monitor. I would constantly listen for every noise because just looking at her through the monitor wouldn't tell me alone if she was still breathing. The rate of SIDs continues to drop every year, and the likelihood of it occurring is less likely than not occurring, but anything that can protect your baby is worth the price. No, the monitor will not prevent something from happening but it will alert us when there is a change that needs attention. This will help us sleep better so I don't have to watch and wait to see if there is a problem. I can sleep and be alerted IF there is a problem. You can learn more about the Owlet and order one HERE.
Medela Supportive Belly Band
I did not have a belly band my first pregnancy because I didn't think it was something I would need. If you asked me during my first pregnancy if I regretted that decision I would have said no. Ask me now and I can't live without it! I completely notice a difference from wearing the band and not wearing a band. I won't say it completely took my back pain away, but the band has taken away alot of the heaviness I feel in my stomach. I wear my band everyday and only take it off in the shower and going to the gym, just because I don't want that extra sweat on the band. I throw it in the wash with the rest of my laundry when it needs to get cleaned. Alot of women will wear it under nonmaternity clothes but I wear it with both to make sure I have that extra protection. I am carrying different this time than last time (last pregnancy I gained weight everywhere and this time it has been primarily in my belly, the baby is laying much lower this time than my first). There are many different brands and kinds of belly bands. The one I have is the Medela and it worked well. You can find one on Amazon.
I realize that not everyone delivers vaginally. I can't give any tips on care for a C-section. I delivered Bree vaginally and am hoping I will be able to do the same this time, so I plan on being prepared. One thing you will need are pads, and I don't mean those lightweight pads for a light period. Invest in some big ones. You are best with the thick overnight pads or even in the bladder control section. The first week or two you will just want to be comfortable and protected.
I also found an herbal spray to help with extra relief. It is meant to help with cooling in the perineal area to help with soothing. You should also be given a perineal bottle by the hospital. If not, you will need to get one. It is basically a little squirt bottle that you use to pour water and keep your area clean after using the bathroom. You can find the perineal spray HERE.
In case you missed my previous post from this week, I also shared about some great products from Babe and Body which will be great for postpartum relief. One is a sitz bath (HERE) which you would sit in to help with relief and another is the SOS Labor Recovery (HERE) which can be used as a sitz bath or as a body scrub where the aromatherapy will help provide some relief.
I really regret not having a forehead thermometer on my shower registry. I didn't use a thermometer frequently, but when I did need to use one a regular thermometer was just not practical. Babies don't want to sit long enough with a thermometer under their arm to check their temp. I was sent one by KeaBabies which is an absolute Godsend. It works on the forehead or even in the ear. It takes the temperature quickly and lights up either green or red so you can easily tell if the temperature is normal or not. You can even use it to check the room temperature. At less than $22, it is a great price compared to other similar thermometers. You can find one HERE.
Oogiebear Ear and Nose Cleaner
I have the nasal bulb at the house for the little one's noses so I did not think I needed this tool as well. I am wrong. The nasal bulb is good for the wet nose snots but it does not work with the dry nose snots. It is important to be gentle in your little one's noses so that is why this tool works great. It will easily and effectively get those little dry boogers out without fear of injury. You can find it HERE.
Reusable Squeeze Bags
I made my own baby food for Aubrey and intend on doing the same for the new baby. I did this because it was much less expensive to make it on my own plus I can control what was going into my baby's mouth. It took some time and effort but I would typically make the food on sundays and it would last for the week. It was really helpful to have the tools to make my own food. One thing I did not have were reusable squeeze bags and it is something I wish I did have.
The squeeze pouches were used alot in our house. They were great snacks, great items to bring into the diaper bag when we were going out, and made things mess free compared to needing a spoon and bowl. They are great to make your own apple sauce, own fruit purees, or mix the fruit with some yogurt for a great snack or breakfast option.
My favorite bags are by TwistShake. They come in the prettiest patterns and you can mix and match your favorites. Great news is that you can save 20% on everything on their website with code MomGoesSouth. You can find them HERE.
I had a breast pump with Aubrey. I had the Pump in Style Medela pump. Did it work? Yes, it got the job done. I felt it had some limitations FOR ME. Many people use this pump and it works great. For my body (and breasts) I felt it did not pump hard enough. Luckily, I had very few to no problems with pumping and breastfeeding. I never had anything blocked. No infections or pain , except when I felt heavy and full between pumpings and feedings, but this was mostly at the beginning. I didn't need to use ice packs and didn't need any lanolin. This is not the case for most women and so a stronger pump may not be good for them. I felt I needed something hospital grade so I looked for my options. I ended up getting 2 pumps.
Two pumps? Yes, two. No we aren't made of money. Quite the opposite actually. We received two because one I was able to get one through my insurance (Freemie Independence) and one through our HSA account money before my husband left his previous job when we moved (Medela Sonata).
The Medela Sonata is a hospital grade pump. What that means is that it is more powerful and effective. It is a stronger pump like the baby's own sucking so that it better removes the milk. I did want to keep a Medela pump as most of the accessories I had like pumping bottles are from Medela. This way I wouldn't need to convert anything but can pump right into the storage bottles. If you are able to, I would suggest going with a hospital grade pump.
Since I work full time I wanted to have 2 pumps for convenience. I remember having to carry my pump to and from the house and there was times I forgot the pump at home. I wanted to try to prevent this by having one for home and for my car or work. I also got the Freemie Independence pump. I do alot of driving for work being a hospice social worker so I like the idea of having something discreet, portable, and lightweight and this pump is that. It will make it easier to pump in the workplace when you are in an office without alot of privacy, while driving, or in your car in as private of an area as possible. Even if you don't use this pump for work purposes, it is hands free and is a good system for busy moms.
So technically we had a bassinet with Aubrey. We have a Pack-N-Play that comes with a bassinet on top. We tried to get the most out of our products so when something had dual uses, we tried to use them that way. The problem with the Pack N Play is that it is so big. OUr bedroom at our house in Chicago was tiny and this room, although larger, does not have enough comfortable space for a big Pack N Play. I wanted something smaller, and of course prettier, for the bedroom so I purchased a bassinet. The Pack N Play bassinet will still be useful for naptimes or when travelling. I found our bassinet on Amazon HERE.
I am sure this is not an exhaustive list, but whether you are a first time parent or working on your second, third, etc, I hope this list will at least help you plan and give you some ideas. In the end, being a parent is all about trial and error anyways. Am I right?