March 4, 2013

I Love... Baby Products

Despite having a eight week old baby, I love that I can walk through a baby shop and not need a thing.  Once upon a time they were a place of fascination, filled with must have essentials that without I wouldn't be able to raise my baby.  Fast forward three years and two children later, I am still fascinated by it all but realised early on that babies don't actually need very much at all, however you want the products you do purchase to actually work and make your life a little easier.  I thought I would compile a list of some of my favourite baby products in case it might help someone else who is trying to make some decisions.

Cariboo Gentle Motions Bassinet
This is one item that I wouldn't be without as it is practical on so many levels and looks lovely too.  The bassinet can be hung on its own stand so you can easily move it from room to room or hang it directly in your cot which is great for helping with the transition from bassinet to cot.  The adjustable straps are great for raising the head of the bassinet especially if your baby has a stuffy nose or suffers from reflux.  The hanging straps allow the bassinet a natural gentle swaying motion or can be rocked to soothe an unsettled baby.  And being 100% cotton it is machine washable and easy care.

Lucas Papaw Ointment
This is the most amazing product for preventing or soothing and healing nappy rash.  A thin layer of Lucas Papaw Ointment followed by a thin layer of Zinc and Castor Oil Cream guarantees a nappy rash free bottom.  Lucas Papaw Ointment is available from your local Supermarket or Chemist and you can get a huge container of Zinc and Castor Oil Cream free from your Doctor.

Lansinoh Nipple Cream
Everything I read about breast feeding said it wasn't supposed it be painful and if it was you were doing it wrong.  Well, in the beginning... it hurt... allot!  I turned to my sister, sister in-law and a close friend who are all mums of young children for support to find out if the toe curling pain was normal.  Turns out it was and if I could just get past those first few weeks that things would get allot easier.  My sister recommended I try Lansinoh Nipple Cream.  It wouldn't stop the pain but it would soothe that raw burning feeling between feeds.  I noticed a difference almost immediately after the first application and it really helped me persevere with feeding.  It is also completely safe for your baby so it doesn't need to be removed before feeding which is a major plus.  Once you no longer need it, it also makes a brilliant and really nourishing lip balm :)
Medela Nipple Shields
If your nipples become damaged or are inverted or you having difficulties feeding for any reason but you still want to persevere with it then I highly highly recommend Medela Nipple Shields.  They enable pain free breast feeding simply by slipping the thin shield on before feeding.  A very kind nurse gave me one in hospital when I had Madeline and they were brilliant.  They are very durable, reusable and easy care.
Dr Browns Bottles
These bottles are absolutely amazing!  Our first daughter was really colicky and we tried almost everything to help soothe her.  After a particularly difficult week my Mum purchased some Dr Browns Bottles for us to try and the difference was instant.  Dr Browns have an internal vent system which prevents negative internal pressure allowing a natural flow, similar to that of breast feeding, which means your baby doesn't have to fight for the milk to come out and prevents your baby from swallowing unnecessary air and bubbles.  They also have a long thin teat which mimics the mothers nipple and is fabulous for babies having difficulty in transitioning between breast and bottle.  They are a little more expensive than other brands on the market but the benefits are worth every cent.

I wouldn't be without my Boppy Pillow.  There's nothing fancy about it - it's just a basic wrap around pillow ideal to help with propping your baby up while feeding or for play time when they are small.  You can get some gorgeous covers for them on Etsy too. 
Neither of my girls could care less about being swaddled so they moved in to sleeping bags quite early on.  Sleeping bags are a fantastic cue to let your child know its bedtime and they are brilliant at keeping children warm who kick their covers off.  We tried quite a few different ones and each had their positive points but my favourite ones are the Merino Kids Go Go Bags.  The cotton is gorgeously soft and washes up beautifully again and again.  There is a dome at the arm holes to make them smaller so little arms don't get lost inside the bag.  The zip goes all the way around the bottom of the bag so for older children the bag can be opened at the bottom freeing their feet so they can walk about.  There is also a slit front and back for a car seat buckle to go through for easy transfer from car to bed.  Merino Kids Go Go Bags are available in two different sizes - newborn-2 years and 2-4 years and two different weights - summer and duvet plus they have an organic range as well.

Little Genie Nappy Bags
I used a nappy bin when Madeline was born but found the refills really expensive and although I put the soiled nappy's in the outdoor rubbish bun didn't like the idea of a bin full of nappy's in her room no matter how hygienic it was supposed to be.  This time around I prefer to use a scented nappy bag and pop them straight out in the outdoor wheelie rubbish bin.  My favourite are the Little Genie Nappy Bags which are lavender scented.  They smell gorgeous!  On a side note, I was given a sample of the Little Genie Biodegradable Disposable Nappy's to try which were great.  My favourite feature of them which I haven't seen anywhere else was a cut out around the belly button so the nappy didn't rub or irritate the belly button.  Very simple but a very thoughtful detail which I appreciated while that little stump healed up.

Tommee Tippee Roll 'n' Go Bibs
I love these as they save your beautiful fabric bibs from getting stained and helping to contain mess.  They are super easy to clean, small and light to transport and very durable - one pack of two has lasted us over two years.

These are invaluable!  I have these on hand to mop up all manner of spills associated with a baby.  I tried a few brands but I preferred the Baby First ones as they are a little thicker and much softer than some of the others.  They make great dusters too once you've finished with them too.

Plunket/Well Child Book Covers
Not exactly an essential but... I still have my Plunket book.  It's a thin booklet which I keep it with my girls Plunkets books and often look back on it to compare myself as a baby with my girls.  Hopefully my girls will do the same with their children.  To ensure they are kept in great condition I bought book covers from Yours 2 Keep.  They are really sturdy with thick hard covers and covered in a variety of fabrics.  The corners are finished with metal edges.  At just $20 they would make a fantastic baby gift.  Check out the gorgeous vintage Strawberry Shortcake one below - that's the Strawberry Shortcake that I remember from when I was little with her friend Huckleberry Pie who isn't in the new episodes.  Come to think of it, where is the Purple Pie Man of Porcupine Peak gone too?

Kimono Style Body Suits
A lot of babies don't like things going over their heads or having their arms stretched up and away from their bodies.  I was given some kimono style body suits when Madeline was born and I found them fantastic.  I also liked that in winter they had a double layer over their chests to keep them warm.  Two brands that I liked were Babu and Pumpkin Patch.

When your tired and up in the night, the last thing you want to be doing is fumbling around with domes and buttons.  I found these Pure Baby Zip Growsuits so easy to get our girls in and out of.  And I liked that there were no gaping spaces between domes and buttons.  Easy peezy!

I love this umbrella stroller!  When you're just running a few errands and need to pop in and out of a few shops quickly an umbrella stroller is ideal.  We purchased a really cheap one to take overseas with us but I quickly became frustrated with the lack of several features on it - namely that it didn't recline back at all and buckle between the legs was too far forward to Maddy was always slipping forward and slumping down.  When we came home I invested in a Maclaren Quest and I have never looked back.  I love love love it.  It is super light weight and folds down really small but is also really sturdy feeling.

I actually purchased the Cath Kidston Red and White Polka Dot one which came with a foot muff for winter and I absolutely love it.  It was a bit of a splurge but worth every cent and it has paid for itself several times over.  My husband refuses to use it if I'm not with him - I wonder why?

Cath Kidston also have this gorgeous blue floral spray one available now - swoon!

Husbands Favourite Product
It's not all about me!  Parenting is a shared job so I thought I better ask my husband what his favourite items are.  Firstly he said the Papaw Cream as I mentioned above (it is that good!).  But a close second was our Phil and Teds Dash with Capsule and Double Kit.  The pushchair is one thing that I really recommend spending a lot of time researching as it will become your best friend and an extension of yourself.

The concept is fantastic as (with accessories) it can sit up to two children from newborn to toddler/child age.  Phil and Teds no longer make the Dash model but have several other models that transition in the same way.  I'm a little undecided on this as a favourite item though.  Phil and Teds had a shipment of these arrive with faulty front wheels making them nearly impossible to steer which ours was one of.  They eventually replaced the whole pushchair for us which was fantastic but it left me a little bit iffy about it.  Now that we are using the pushchair with two children I can really appreciate the features and how user friendly it is though.

I'd love to hear you're favourite baby products, the things that made your life easier.   I am always open to hearing about and trying new and existing products.  I think word of mouth is wonderful!  There are so many things that I am undecided on - high chairs and baby carriers are two biggies.  I'd love to hear what you all think x

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