So part 1 was all about getting help from different people so take over once in a while so you can stop and catch your breath. Taking a time out so you don’t burn out. But I realized I can’t do justice to the post without talking about all the help I get from inanimate objects, you know, stuff that mothers should not do without.
The problem with baby stuff is that we are spoilt for choice. There’s just too many to choose from and they all cost a tiny fortune so you don’t want to shell out several hundred bucks only to find out that its completely useless. (Read: Top 5 Useless Baby Stuff) Lucky for you, I’ve done that already, so you can skip that part altogether and go right to getting the good stuff (Read: Top 5 Essential Baby Items)
Of course, if the price gives you a mini cardiac arrest, here’s a tip. When I’m on a budget, I’d rather buy a good product secondhand and well kept rather than an inferior brand new one. But that’s just me.
1. A sturdy all-terrain stroller
If you only have 1 stroller, get a good one like a Bugaboo or Peg Perego or Quinny. It weighs a ton but you can fight a war with it and still keep it intact. It provides a nice smooth ride and its comfy enough to sleep in so you don’t have to deal with neck sprains and dead legs. If you’re not sure which one you like, here’s a quick guide.
A Peg Perego is like a Mercedes – smooth and sturdy but boring
A Quinny is like an Audi – stylish and curvy but a little weak on basic features
A Maclaren is like a Volvo – safe and well, just safe (in terms of design as well)
A Bugaboo is like a Bentley – plush and absolutely gorgeous
A Stoke is like a Royce – obscenely indulgent.
I’ve been toying with the idea of a double stroller like a Phil & Teds or Maclaren Twin because I can’t possible wheel out 2 individual strollers all by my lonesome. Although I’m still iffy about the bulkiness and maneuverability. I’m also not quite sure if I prefer a tandem or a side-by-side. Ask me again in a couple of months.
2. A snug baby carrier
After trying out different slings, mei tais, wraps, sscs, and thousand other baby carriers, my absolute fave is the Beco, with the Ergo a close second. The Beco fits perfectly and the weight distribution just right, plus it comes in the prettiest designs. When I’m out alone with 2 kids, I strap on Kirsten and I still have my hands free to wheel Tru in the stroller. Or I can strap Kirsten on my back and carry Tru in front. I’ve seriously done that.
3. A comfy car seat
Now that the kids spend so much time in the car with me alone, it’s all the more important that they’re strapped in comfortably. This will help to reduce fussiness in the car because the last thing you want is to be stuck in traffic with 2 screaming kids with numb asses.
4. A best friend.
It’s never too young to have a best friend. It can be a bear or a duck or a blanket but just make sure it’s small. Tru fell in love with a large ass blanket and now I have to carry that around everywhere. With Kirsten, I got smarter and got her tiny duck hanky that I can easily stuff into my back pocket. When they’re unbearably cranky, just use the blanket to stroke their face and boom, problem solved.
Never underestimate the power of a blanket. One time, I left the house without the blanket and Tru was in such a crabby mood I’ve learnt to never do it again since.
5. Play stations
Not the Sony Playstation but activity stations that can keep them entertained for a while. Like mobiles and play mats and jumperoos and bouncy chairs. When they’re bigger, just get a whole bunch of toys.
I’m sure there are a whole bunch of other cool stuff that are great for kids but these are what works for me. Maybe they’ll work for you too.