As my daughter turns 2, I found out that the first two years from giving birth was all about your kids' survival. You may find the other mothers' experience and expertise handy due to unexplainable and unexpected situations. Don't worry, your instincts as a mom will kick in and your own skills will come as for an automatic response.
All mothers want the best for their child.
My husband is a Samoan and I am a Filipino. My child's genes has quite an interesting mix. She grows taller than expected and is physically strong. She loves cherry tomatoes and string beans. She prefers noodles than rice or potato at all costs. She has a great hearing capacity which helps her focus tremendously. She is a first child so everything to me was new.
For first-time expecting mothers, there are several websites that you may stumble upon giving you advice after advice after advice. But this post will lead you to a list of handful things to stash as you nest for the upcoming bundle of joy.
Every mom provides what they think suits best for their kid. Every kid is special and I believe every parent's approach on taking care of their young ones should be respected. But I would like to give a fair share of how we survived for this first two years considering costs, efficiency and benefits it gives both my baby and me, together with my husband.
1. GOOD QUALITY MILK BOTTLES
- At first, I was hesitant to buy only just 4. Initially, I bought 2 milk bottles and when my baby came, my husband had felt quite tired in washing every time.
|This was the exact set my husband got|
and I can't help but credit him for such a good pick.
He was advised by parents too.
Even this cleanser is still good up until now.
Worth of your money!!!!
Babies are expected to eat more than 3 times a day since their metabolism is high. Their stomach is small to stock a lot of milk to last them 4 hours in between meals as compared to adults. The expected digestion of the food they get from breastmilk or bottle feed gets easily used up.
At every meal, my daughter finishes up 20minutes for each breast and a little of bottle milk since she would shriek if I don't conform. By instinct, I suppose it's not enough for her. (Whoops!) Result, we have to wash and then sterilise a good 6-10 times daily.
Because of that, my husband decided to buy a bigger steriliser and had added 2 more with 2 little ones since newborns don't need an 8 ml amount just yet. We had purchased AVENT bottles and up until now (2 years later), they are still in good condition.
|Wondering why bottle milk teats are marked with numbers?|
These numbers represent their flow. Take note!!!
I had breastfed my baby for 8 months and the rest of that was bottle feed. It's important that you help them get preserved for use by choosing the right match for a steriliser.
|This matches the milk bottle set|
my husband bought.
2. GOOD BOTTLE STERILISER
- The idea in choosing the right steriliser is to follow the instruction manual that it comes with. I've used two kinds: the one you may put inside the microwave and the other one is the 3-in-1 electric steam steriliser, both from Phillips' Avent.
In purchasing a steriliser, remember its primary purpose:
1. to make it easier for you
2. to assure the sanitation of your baby's milk bottles.
If one of these are compromised, I assure you, that's not a good buy. I'd like to credit my husband with the latter one that we are still using it up until now. It was handy, space saver, light and most of all, efficient. Since it gets turned off automatically, this truly saves me time in checking on the sterilisation process thinking if it was thoroughly cleaned.
3. STROLLER - It was funny how my husband and I had talked about buying a stroller not until our daughter is at her 6th month. We thought that, by that time, our little one would be needing more sun exposure or we could take her for a walk without worrying that she might be too sensitive to allergens. I ate my words and nearly 3 months, I had to buy one already since the carrier's can't hold my baby anymore at this stage. And I have a hard time dealing with her actual weight as we spend time outdoors.
She was also gaining weight rapidly that I find it straining to carry her around with the baby carrier alone. I bought the stroller then and it served as until now. We opted for a pricey but worthy Combi.
9 factors you should take note of when buying a stroller:
1. It's got to have a stopper on the front wheels and back for ensured safety.
2. spacious enough for your growing baby
3. must have a cover to shield your baby from the harmful UV rays
4. must have a breathable harness that would ensure your baby's safety and not compromise the blood circulation to the limbs
5. the weight should be able to support it from falling back when you put stuff in the compartment
6. must not be poking the baby by additional weights from the back, the sides or most especially at the head part.
7. must be storage friendly
8. must be user friendly in terms of putting out, pushing thru a number of people in tight places
9. wheels should be easily manoeuvred; helpful if the wheels at the front could cover a wide diameter as you stir.
4. A COMPLETE SET OF NEWBORN CLOTHES
This could be a very basic list:
|a complete set for the newborns|
Photo credit by: OLX
* wrap around white cotton top (long sleeves and sleeveless)
* wrap around binder for the healing navel
* a pair of socks
* a pair of mittens
* cotton pyjamas
* cotton wiping material
* a bonnet
In the Philippines, you could get these sets at a friendly price if you hit Divisoria. The cotton ones are the best burp cloths. I'm sure it could go handy with many more purposes than being a burp cloth. It serves me very good up until now.
The wrap arounds come in long and short sleeves. This helps ease in putting clothes on the newborn without making it pass thru the head. The newborns are very delicate during the first months but this kind of tops will help you a lot.
I skipped on using the belly binder that helps to protect a newborn's delicate belly button (since it needs drying up) because my own baby's dried up quicker than expected. But this is very important most especially if the baby has toddler siblings that may get curious and bothered why their baby brother or sister has a wound. To protect the drying navel, this filters it from dust and other lint forming materials that may induce infection.
|These burp cloths can last a long time.|
After your newborn grows thru the burping stage,
this may be used as towel to wipe sweat, mucus, saliva and many more.
It is very absorbent, it can be your go-to material.
|The battery of ours lasted for 2 years.|
It is challenging for a new parent to discover the best routine in taking care of the newborn. Feeding, burping, bathing and then putting your baby to sleep could come easy one day and a struggle to the next. Don't worry, you'll get the hang of it. And as time would pass, you'll be able to understand your baby's expression when it's hungry, when it's time to play and what reaction to anticipate when poop is coming.
But there are things that your baby may have a hard time expressing specifically such as colic, headache and fever for that matter. That's why one of the basic tools you should have is a thermometer. How would you know that it's the right one:
a. It should be newborn friendly. It doesn't come invasive nor physically annoying. If it has to go under the tongue and into the rectum, it poses danger in an instant. My husband was the one who purchased a Combi thermometer. He has zero knowledge regarding the best one but it helped when he asked the parent owning a baby store he went to what else he should have at hand with our 1 week old baby at that time.
b. It should be readable. The Combi thermometer we got was digital and was set to degrees Celsius which we understand more than using Fahrenheit.
c. It should be easy to bring. Enough said if you have glass thermometer at hand. It is not battery operated which makes usage a life span but it may break anytime in your bag once its container is not sealed well. Let me tell you, with newborns, you have to develop speed and agility with your hands and fingers because you'd be surprised at how you would need to prepare the bottle, wiping saliva and swaying your baby all at the same time. So, I hope you get what I'm saying is that being able to take that temperature in a jiffy may come in handy.
6. A PILE OF DIAPERS/NAPPIES - Whether you decide on putting your baby onto disposable ones or not, make sure you got a decent number of supply at hand. Some of your friends may be new at attending baby showers or 1st birthday, advice them to buy these for a present if they are having a hard time finding or choosing the right thing to give because I assure you, there would be a time that you wouldn't be able to go out to get a pack. So it's better to stock up.
|These diapers and wet wipes lasted only for 3 months.|
7. A RATTLE - You may find this particular toy silly but it can stimulate your baby in a lot of ways. Your baby's vision, sense of hearing and touch are enhanced by this. Their hand coordination, grip, focus and object permanence may all be developed with just one toy. It's truly a good buy so get your baby a rattle when they're ready and make sure it's of good quality because cheap ones may break and may choke your baby if it contains little things to make it jiggle.
8. GOOD SET OF BOOKS - Invest on your baby's knowledge thru books. Start them young by giving them handy books like mini board books and illustrative ABC's. Establish a mini library as your baby grows because this may serve you until the next babies come.
Books that were loved by my baby was the "Gruffalo's Child", "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" and the fingerprint ABC book my mom got her from Taiwan Airport called Alphaprints.
This particular book, Alphaprints, is special because it doesn't just offer the common visual stimulation. It challenges my daughter's senses by giving her hands something to touch too as she reads every page. This way, her visual depth paves the way into developing a three dimensional perception.
Along with her sense of touch getting heightened up, the brain is able to distinguish different kind of texture since the picture is composed mainly of huge finger prints.
Apart from that, the picture is designed with different elements which makes it interesting for kids as they look closely in the picture. As a whole, these elements form a picture suggested by the letter it stands for. It's simply amazing.
|Alpha prints may be ordered online via www.priddybooks.com.|
In addition, Baby Einstein books are also superb in making their books come with tickling sounds as you read their book. My baby has one Play-a-Sound book called, "Under the Sea with Me!" written by Susan Rich Brooke.
|This was my baby at 10 months.|
We are waiting for a Frozen stage
show in Disney and she enjoyed
every minute because she was
comfortable with her GAP sandals.
9. GOOD PAIR OF SHOES - Why? Your baby will be dealing with a lot of balancing so you have to invest in a good pair that fits according to your child's weight bearing stance. Also, the baby should feel encouraged in walking with them on. If the shoes hurt, that could discourage them initially. Of course, to walk is an instinct. But the main point is to help your baby take advantage of the momentum.
My baby started standing up independently and walking little steps when she reached her 10th month. She had used a crocheted sandals from GAP, a gift from one of her aunties, and it was the best walking sandals for me. It doesn't limit the feet of my baby, it doesn't have unnecessary restraints except for a strap that is gentle enough on her skin to just follow thru every moment her feet was doing.
It's also advisable to invest on a good pair of trainers once your baby gains that balance and immediately tries to run. If it's just a slipper they have, it may lead to serious falls and injuries. Some of the best ones are Crocs and Dr. Kong.
In buying shoes, take note of the following:
* Size - Give an allowance of 1 or 2 cm for socks.
* Comfort - Make your baby walk and try asking if it's ok. Usually can be done with toddlers.
* Durability - They will be using it every time. It must be durable enough until their feet increase in size again.
* Style - Thong sandals and slip on's may not be helpful from 0-18 months unless it got a secure strap.
* Weight - This should be under comfort already however it becomes a separate entity when it greatly affects your baby's walking ability. If it's too heavy, he/she might appear to be dragging his/her feet when he/she walks. In that case, your baby might get tired easily and by the time you decided not to bring the stroller, that's also the time your baby might be asking you to carry them because they don't feel like walking AT ALL!
10. POTTY - A potty or a baby toilet seat may be needed as you anticipate bladder training coming up. When a baby starts to walk and gain balance, their pelvic muscles are getting active and their sense of control is also coming to life. Meaning, bladder control is coming soon.
This particular potty trainer is around HK$399. Before my daughter reached two, she was able to tell me when she has to go or not. The funny thing though is that even passing gas needs to be at the toilet. She's a lady in the making alright.
11. A KIDDIE DINING SET
- To facilitate your baby's weaning process, introduce safe and fun dining set. Initially, we had a tommee tippe set. One for the house that sticks on the table so that no matter if the baby tries to grasp it, it doesn't get knocked down avoiding spillage. It comes with a spoon that guides us in knowing if the food is too hot to put in a newborn's mouth.
On the other hand, we have a set that we can bring out whenever we are going for a day out or if we're going to travel.
Both comes with a lid that gives room for the spoon and its lids seal the container tightly.
Kiddie dining sets are made of plastic most of the time. So be careful in pouring very hot food into it. It's better that after cooling the food, you let it cool off for awhile before pouring it in to your baby's bowl. This is for additional precautionary measure not trusting that plastic will always be non-toxic. Of course when exposed to extreme temperature, I'm sure it's not 100% safe.
Besides the safety, eating should be introduced in
a fun and interesting way for the baby. As they graduate from milk, they express preferences that may leave out vegetables because of their bitter taste. As you shape up the carrots to a flower and decorate the rice with a smiling face, make each meal even more interesting by buying utensils that are the characters on TV that they are fond of.
My daughter when she started to eat on her own, she looked forward to her FROZEN set. She always looked giggly whenever it's meal time because then, she would be together with her favourite characters. She is also at tune with her feeding because the treat after she finishes eating would be seeing Elsa's face, the design at the bottom of the plate. All in all, it worked out. I can't be more thankful to Elsa. LOL!
|One of the most wanted character of all is Elmo.|
So, if you're to attend a baby shower and the parents aren't
sure if it's a boy or a girl, get this unisex set.
12. TEETHERS - Don't forget also that as the babies wean, they are experiencing teething at the same time. And it's quite a pain when you can't do anything to ease that troubled feeling. But inventors had come up with a magical teether where you can put frozen fruit juice or frozen fruit that can help babies big time.
|The only thing difficult with these teethers|
would be cleaning them up after because the fruit
gets stuck in between the net holes.
The actual biting and sucking reflex aids the itchy gums and helps it in letting the teeth erupt. The cold block of icy fruit juice can numb the painful gums so the baby would be concentrating on acting upon their oral instinct instead of the pain.
|These were what I used for the first 6 months.|
But the blue brush at the bottom free from the AVENT bottles
we purchased along with the AVENT steriliser,
we're using it until now (my daughter turned 2 already).
13. MILK BOTTLE BRUSH - Regardless which milk bottle cleanser agent you use, it's important to choose the best bottle cleansing brush for your set. This is to ensure that your bottles would be preserved until its maximum usage. Also, the main reason is to clean the bottles throughly avoiding rotten milk by any chance to stay and get ingested.
Understand that a newborn's stomach is sensitive still since it doesn't have the normal flora we adults have yet. So, sterilising the bottles right after cleaning them is a must. Invest on a good brush and take time in checking the bottles and the bottle nipples.
Baby bottle cleansers are very useful removing the oily casein. I just finished using NUK when I was convinced that my daughter's gut could take the foods that she eats and after I am assured that she has no allergies.
14. BLANKETS - I had written it in its plural form because you need to have two. One for a summer breezy afternoon walk and one for a chilly autumn stroll.
15. NEWBORN NAIL SCISSORS - The newborn's nails are very sharp and soft. But since the newborns are too young for a nail clipper, they have a special kind of scissors, invest in one. Because during the first year, their fingernails grow so fast. It's just out of this world!
There you go folks!!! If you have an additional item or two, let me know by commenting down below to complete my list. I'm still looking at having another baby so maybe I can learn from your own experience too!
1. BABY SHOWER TIDBITS - Check out how my friends had managed to help me out with a full DIY baby shower! It's cheap, it was fun and it was full of love!
2. 9 MONTHS PREGNANT AND STILL DANCING - They say, men are stronger than women in so many ways. But as far as carrying a baby for 9 months is concerned and then giving birth to a child, rearing and nurturing it as it grows, physical strength in favour of the male species may have found its greatest challenge!
3. 10 THINGS YOU OUGHT TO KNOW ABOUT THE WHOLE SHENANIGAN - An on-pointe post about the reality that exploded on my face in giving birth to a half Samoan.