Following up to my list of most useless baby stuff on the planet, I have decided to come up with the top 5 baby items I simply can’t do without. These handy little devices have saved me hours of unexplainable torment – both physically and emotionally, and they each deserve their place on that pedestal of sell-off-some-organs-to-buy kind of stuff. Trust me, motherhood will be so much easier with them.
1. Miracle Blanket
It works miracles
I only stumbled upon the miracle blanket just before Kirsten was born and boy, was that a lifesaver. This ain’t no misnomer, because it works miracles! With Tru, swaddling him was akin to overcoming a wild stallion. After 15 minutes of struggling, I’d finally have him swaddled only to have him break free within seconds. I tried all kinds of wraps and swaddles but none could hold him down.
The ingenuity of the miracle blanket lies in its use of the baby’s own body weight to hold down his arms, while providing a nice, firm hold without strangling the baby. It takes me all of 5 seconds to get Kirsten swaddled and she’s as snug as a bug in a rug baby in a miracle blankie. And there’s a point to the swaddling – it has bought me hours of uninterrupted sleep because she’s not rudely awakened by her own flailing limbs.
Just remember to get spares in case they get puked or pooped on.
2. Medela Purelan Nipple Cream
Kiss sore nipples goodbye
Expressing milk 8 times a day for 40 minutes each time has rendered my nipples as sore as a distended hernia. Sometimes, I accidentally brush against stuff (yeah, they are THAT BIG) and I feel like I’m about to pass out from the pain. Good thing there’s this amazing cream to the rescue. Now I can go on my merry way and pump away pain-free.
3. Arm’s Reach Co-sleeper (Mini)
No more getting out of bed at night
Again, this is a recently discovered gem. It was originally meant to aid my breastfeeding (direct from the breast) endeavors but since that has gone horribly south, I still use it to make myself feel better. Either way, it’s nice to have the baby literally within arm’s reach but still in her own cot. During those middle of the night cries, I can reach out and pat her without having to get out of bed. Sometimes when I can’t sleep, I just prop myself on a pillow and look at her.
I also love that the mini version is small enough to hold her comfortably without blocking up the entire walkway. If not, I have to scoot over all the way to the foot of the bed in order to get up, which would eventually give me a hernia.
4. Jujube Diaper Bag
Bring everything you need in style
Going out with 2 kids is not funny. You will not believe the amount of stuff I need to bring on every outing – milk, diapers, clothes, wipes, bottles, pump, bibs, food, snacks… It takes us 2 hours in advance to pack in order to leave the house. The question is where does one put ALL THAT STUFF and be able to find them all in an instant. I could use a large-ass tote but I’d have to spend 5 minutes scrambling to search for Baby Bites or some wipes.
That’s where baby bags come to the rescue. It’s so thoughtfully crafted, with teflon coating, insulated bottle pockets, a scrunchy key chain holder and beautiful designs to boot. Everything is neatly compartmentalized so I don’t have to dig for stuff like I’m looting some swag bag.
5. Medela Pump-in-Style (with Pumpin’ Pals)
Double breasted pump
Technically not an item that I have right now because it costs $700 a pop. I knew I should have sold off that spare kidney. I’m using the PIS’s poorer cousin, the Medela Swing, which is only half as good. For mothers who are expressing exclusively, a double pump is the way to go as it cuts down the time by half. That’s 3 hours of spare time a day, 21 hours a week, 90 hours a month, you get the drift. I could complete an entire game of Final Fantasy in that time. Heck, I could invent a new baby item, sell a million pieces and get rich in that time.
The Pumpin’ Pals also come in handy as it leaves your hands free while expressing milk so you can cook, feed or bathe the baby all at the same time.