A Multipurpose Blanket

I’d learnt swaddling in class before my baby was born as well as during our stay in the hospital. However, I never got it right. My daughter escaped from the swaddle since she was one week old. I guess she didn’t like to be swaddled. Anyhow, I bought swaddling blankets, just to be prepared. I bought the Silky Soft Swaddles from Aden + Anais. These super soft swaddling blankets were made with bamboo. Since I didn’t swaddle my daughter much, I’d used it as a nap time blanket. They were thin and breathable, which made it perfect for summer and early fall weather. Since I kept the heater on all the time, I’d used it during winter time as well. These thin swaddles will not overheat your baby. I personally prefer the silky soft ones over the classic swaddles because they are much softer. I’d also used the swaddles as a tummy time blanket and car seat cover as suggested, it was great! I’d tried using it as a nursing cover; it didn’t work for me because I need to see my baby while nursing, I would recommend the Bebe Au Lait Nursing Scarf for nursing.

Target and Toys’R’Us sell Aden by Aden + Anais Swaddles at a lower price. These are a bit smaller in size (44” instead of 47”). I personally think these are not as soft, even the Bamboo Swaddleplus. However, some of their designs are very cute.

Aden + Anais are widely available, including my favorite online retailer Amazon.com. However, look for discounts at Nordstrom or adenandanais.com. Shipping is always free at Nordstrom, however, there are less designs to choose from.

Keep Your Baby Away From Germs

I didn’t buy a travel dining chair for my daughter because there’s no more room in my trunk. Instead, I bought a high chair cover from Skip Hop. In fact, it’s a 2-in-1 Shopping Cart/ High Chair Cover. It fits better on a shopping cart. Anyhow, I think it is a great buy because it’s multi-functional, machine washable, and it folds compactly. It keeps my baby away from those high chairs and shopping carts that have never been cleaned. I think I will continue to use it until she stops licking the cart and chair. I did run into restaurants with no high chairs but boosters.. It doesn’t happen often, maybe once or twice, I would simply avoid going there again…

You can get this Skip Hop 2-in-1 Shopping Cart/ High Chair Cover from Amazon for USD $19.99. Please note that this cover does not fit on the Costco’s shopping cart.  I’m fine with it because I go to Costco no more than once per month.

Nursing Pillow- An Essential Item for Nursing Mothers

If you plan to nurse, you may want to buy a nursing pillow instead of using regular pillows. I personally find it much more comfortable using a nursing pillow than regular pillows when nursing. Though many people recommend My Brest Friend, I chose the Boppy Nursing Pillow instead, because I could use it to prop up and assist with sitting when my daughter was ready. Besides using it when nursing, my daughter now lays on the pillow when she takes a bottle on her own.

Beside a nursing pillow, I also think that it may be a good idea to invest on a glider if you plan to breastfeed full-time. You will be spending a lot of time on this task, therefore, making yourself comfortable is important. It contributes to the overall success of breastfeeding, in my opinion. I didn’t get a super expensive one, all I got was a USD $300 Babyletto Bento Glider. Though some users said the glider is too small and you cannot lay back fully because the back of the chair is too low, this glider has been working out for me. I guess I do not want to lay back fully because I don’t want to fall asleep while nursing…

High Quality Baby Teething Toy

I pay special attention to what goes into my daughter mouth. Therefore, I was really picky when I was shopping for teethers. I was looking for medical grade silicone teethers that were made in the USA. I bought her the Lifefactory Silicone Teether and SweeTooth Baby Teether. Both were made in the USA with medical grade silicone and are available at Amazon.com. You can also find Lifefactory at The Whole Foods. The Lifefactory teething rings are soft and light, so it’s easier for younger babies to hold. The SweeTooth is really cute, like an ice-cream cone. And it is scented. My daughter likes both, however, she puts anything into her mouth; toys, books, strings and straps, my clothes, her crib…just to name a few. I kind of gave up and just redirect her to chew on her teething toys.

Besides the silicone teethers, I also bought a wooden alphabet teether from Smiling Tree Toys. I picked my daughter’s first initial and personalized it with her name. Honestly, I bought this piece mainly because it is cute, and it was more of a keepsake than a teether. It was made in the USA with maple hardwood. It gives my daughter a different texture besides silicone, plastic, and fabric… LOL. I also bought their blooks. These are great teethers and building toys. My daughter loves to chew on and bang them. You can buy these from Smilingtreetoys.com or Etsy.com.

Disposable Underpads Make Your Life Easier!

Young infants like to pee while you change their diaper, at least my daughter was when she was younger. Imagine when you have to change the sheet every time when your Little One pee while getting changed, how many sheets do you need to wash and how many sheets/ liners do you need to buy?!? I use disposable underpads on top of the sheet, so I just throw the underpad away if my daughter makes a mess on the changing table. There is no need to buy disposable changing pads made especially for babies, just buy the ones for adults (size Small, 17” X 24”). These are waterproof, it works perfectly! And these are cheaper comparing to the ones made for babies. You can get it from Amazon.com at about USD $12 for 100 sheets. The ones for babies are almost tripled the price! I use these when I’m on-the-go, too. I place the disposable underpad on the changing surface and put my changing mat on top of it. This way, I don’t need to wash the changing mat every time I’ve used it in a public changing surface. I’m sorry, my husband is germaphobic, and so do I.

 

Keep your Baby Away from Diaper Rash

When I attended a caring for newborn class before my daughter was born, the instructor said there is no need to apply diaper rash cream or anything else at every diaper change. She said if the baby has diaper rash, zinc oxide would be the best cure. Therefore, I bought the Desitin Maximum Strength Diaper Rash Paste, which consists of 40% zinc oxide, just in case my daughter needs it. I’d used it one time for a very minor redness on her bottom. The smell of the paste is VERY STRONG that I couldn’t stand, so I bought the regular cream that consists of 13% zine oxide. It is much lighter than the Maximum Strength. However, I ended up purchasing the Babo Botanicals Soothing Diaper Cream at amazon.com. Ingredients contained in this cream are all safe, according to gimmethegoodstuff.org, and it smells good, just like their Oatmeal Calendula lotion. I put them on my baby’s bottom at the diaper change before bed time, when she’s expected to be in the same diaper for 8-10 hours to prevent rashes. It’s been working well so far.

Stokke Tripp Trapp On Sale!!!

Stokke Tripp Trapp is on sale at Allbeebaby.com for USD $199! Though it’s limited to 3 colors ( Walnut, White, and Aqua), it is a true deal because I’ve never seen this item going on sale, unless you get the entire bundle with the Baby Set and cushion, then you get a little bit of a price break. You can also earn bonus rewards of USD $29.95 on this item for  future purchases on Allbeebaby.com.

Shipping is free on this chair. If you live in California like I do, there’s no sales tax! Act now! This is a one-day deal and it will end at the end of today, 7/10/2017.

Storing Baby Food Safely

I’m a breastfeeding mom. Breast milk is the best food for babies, I don’t need to elaborate more on that. Nursing also saves you time, because you don’t need to wash and sterilize bottles. However, I pump as well, just in case i need to go out with friends for dinner, my daughter doesn’t need to go on formula. Therefore, I use Nuk Seal N Go Breast Milk Storage Bags. I’ve tried quite a few brands: Ameda Store N Pour Milk Storage Bags, Lansinoh Milk Storage Bags, Medela Pump And Save Bags, and Philips Avent Breast Milk Storage Bags. In my opinion, Nuk is the best because:

  • It holds up to 6 oz. of milk. I sometimes store 7 oz. and it is fine.
  • It was made in the USA, others were made in Malaysia or so.
  • It is the cheapest among other brands. I got them from Amazon.com for USD $9.99.

Though BPA-Free, plastic is not the best option when storing and warming milk. However, I have to deal with reality that there’s not enough room in my freezer for so much frozen milk. Also, I cannot buy that many jars. There is a not-so-cool thing about the Nuk milk bags, it was really hard to write directly on the bag to date the milk. So, I put some tape on the bag and write on it. It works perfectly fine.

Besides breast milk, my daughter also eats solid food. I give her homemade solid food as often as I can. I can’t really make meals daily because you have no time to do so when you have light sleeper, and it’s hard to make one meal because they eat so little. So, we make a few meals and freeze it. I first bought the Sage Spoonful 2 oz. Glass Jar. These freezer-safe jars were made in the USA with BPA free materials. The jar actually holds 4 oz., but has measurements up to 2 oz. I used these to store frozen fruits and vegetables puree; it worked well. Do not fill the jar fully if you are going to put it in the freezer. Also, do not steam food in the jar directly when you just take them out from the freezer, the jar will crack. I use these jars to serve food when I’m on the go; the lids keep the mess contained.

When my daughter began to eat more solids, including meat, I bought the Beaba Silicone Multiportions Baby Food Trays. I bought the 7 individual 2 oz. servings from Jet.com, which I think it’s been discontinued because Beabausa.com no longer sells them. These were made in France. You can get the 3 oz. and 5 oz. trays from Amazon.com. Nordstrom also sells the 3 oz. trays. Please note that the 3 oz. and 5 oz. trays were made in Italy, which is also not bad, I think. Silicone is believed to be a safer material when compared to plastic. Food pops out easily as stated, there’s no need to defrost the food before heating. It works well for me so far.

Do you really need a playpen?

Although we do not want unnecessary items to occupy our limited living space, I’d decided to buy a playpen for my daughter because we want her to sleep with us in our room, at least for the first month or so, and the mobility of a playpen makes this easy. In fact, she is almost 10 months now, and she is still sleeping in the playpen in our room.

At first, I was looking at the Nuna Sena Mini, which is a smaller version of the Nuna Sena that can accommodate children up to 18 months. I do not think a walking child will stay in a playpen, therefore, there’s no need to buy the big one. Just like most playpens in the market do, the Sena can be converted to a bassinet for newborns. It’s fairly priced at USD $199. I was going to buy it, until I saw the Guava Family Lotus Crib with the bassinet kit. It is slightly bigger, however, I like that there’s a side zipper that allows a child to crawl in and out. I’m planning to use this as a play space in the living room by putting a blanket or two on top of it to make it an enclosed area, like a teepee tent. I will post an update when I’m actually using it at such capacity. In fact, I just checked guavafamily.com and found out that they have a new accessory, Fun Shade, which provides coverage for the playpen. I”m just not going to spend another USD $36.95 when a large blanket may do the same job.

Anyhow, both the bassinet and playpen work very well so far. It’is easy to assemble. It is also small and light enough for travelling. I do want to point out that the rocking function of the bassinet didn’t work for me, because my daughter didn’t like it when she was a young infant.

The Lotus Crib with the bassinet kit costs USD $299. Their sheets are expensive (USD $20 each), and the sizes are not standard sizes, so you have to buy their sheets. I bought one sheet and asked my Mother-In-Law to make a few extras. She is a superb seamstress!

A High Chair That Will Last

We live in an 850 square foot condo. We don’t want junks to occupy our living space. Therefore, we have limited furniture. We only have two dining chairs, we use folding chairs when we have guests. When I was looking for a high chair for my daughter, I was hoping to find a piece that she can use for a couple of years. Most high chairs in the market can be converted, so that it can be used from infant through toddler years. I ended up choosing the Stokke Tripp Trapp. The chair can be used from infancy through adulthood by adjusting the seat and foot rest positions. We need to buy her a chair when she gets older anyways, so we chose the Tripp Trapp. The chair costs only USD  $249, but you will need to buy the baby set (USD $69) to secure a young baby, so, the entire thing will cost you USD $320. In my opinion, it does worth it because it will be a piece that you will use for 10+ years. The chair is well-made with good quality wood and it is available in a variety of colors. Also, the chair works very well on our wood flooring. Engraving is now available at stokke.com. It is complimentary. I wish it was available when I made my purchase.