I want to tell everyone about the tools that have been lifesavers to me over the past 14 months. There are some things on this list that I’m not sure I would have survived without! I’d love to get your thoughts on all of your “lifesavers” and recommendations you may have going into toddlerhood.
1. Yes, I’m going to say it: THE NOSE FRIDA. When a good friend of mine got this for me for my baby shower all I could think of was no way uh uh. Let me do a little reenactment: Hmm, thanks, what is this? Huh? Wha? Gag…oh….gag…wait, I use this to siphon SNOT out of my son’s nose? Gag. I avoided this number one lifesaver for about 4 months. I bought bulb aspirators, expensive battery operated aspirators, you name it, if it was on the market, I bought it. Then the nasty cooties of daycare hit and nothing was working to clear my poor little baby’s nose. So I broke down. I got out that gag inducing hose thing and used all the capacity of my lungs to clear his nose. And what do you know! It worked like a charm! I became a mommy obsessed. I’d do it at home, at the beach, wherever the need arises. You can’t blame me really, me and baby were sick for months straight and as a mommy, you do anything to bring your baby some relief. So mommies and daddies of the world: EMBRACE THE NOSE FRIDA!
2. The Binky. This one is a little controversial. I know not all parents believe in these. Whatever you call them, pacifier, Nuk, num, etc sometimes you make some concessions to soothe baby. My little man began to suck his fingers and my thoughts were, I can take a way a binky eventually, but I can’t take away his fingers. It’s really been helpful in high stress situations like long car rides, airplane rides, etc. I’m lucky and my son only uses it during naps and bedtime for the most part. But thank you Inventor of the Binky, you have eased my mommy experience. And not to neglect the inventor of the binky clip, you too have made a difference in my world!
3. The Woombie. Never heard of this little secret? It’s a swaddler that no baby can escape from! No velcro, no flaps, just a zipper and tight little cocoon. I didn’t discover the woombie until my son was almost growing out of swaddlers. Additional benefits of the woombie over a standard swaddler or a swaddle blanket (gasp! who besides nurses knows how to use these?!), they come in different weights for summer or winter, they have options with legs so that you can use it in swings or wherever you baby might prefer to have legs free, convertible options for when baby is ready to let the arms go free, and great fabric designs. They are a little more expensive, but definitely worth it.
4. Organic baby food pouches. I wish I invented these. This is an amazing idea. My favorites are Plum Baby and Happy Baby. Gerber makes some good ones too, but their selections are more limited. The combinations of flavors taste good, so your little one can get their veggies while not feeling like they are eating veggies. It seems to have really opened my my son’s palate to a variety of tastes. They are low mess and easy to throw in a diaper bag. No spoon required! But if you desire a spoon, they even make a little attachment spoon to add to the end of the pouch. Again, wish I invented this.
5. Amazon Mom. Another one I didn’t discover until late in infanthood. You can get diapers, wipes, food, whatever supplies you need for baby all at a discount, sent directly to your home at a frequency you set, and shipping is free! How fantastic is this?! You greatly reduce the hassle of carrying a million things from your car when you go to the grocery store. If you could cut in half what you have to haul into the house (especially as a single mom when you have a baby to carry at the same time!), wouldn’t that be worth its weight in gold? Another perk: you are automatically an Amazon Prime member. So you get free shipping on nearly everything and you get free videos too. There is a small yearly cost associated with it (the first 3 months are free) and the discounts you receive far exceed the yearly cost.
6. Target Red Card. Another great discount. If you shop at Target for baby food, supplies, clothes, or whatever you need for yourself, you can’t beat this. It’s not a credit card. It links directly to your debit/checking account and you save 5% everytime you shop and get free shipping if you shop online. For someone who spends about $200/week at Target, this is an easy way to save a lot over the course of the year.
7. Cool mist humidifier. This started out as a tool to help easy the sicknesses we experienced that I described in number one. Now it has become a white nose staple. Not only does it help in winter to make the room comfortable, but it is a soothing noise and keeps out all unwanted noises to help sleeping through the night.
8. This one might be TMI, so daddy’s be warned. The industrial breast pump! The same friend that opened me up to the Nose Frida recommended that I rent a breast pump from the hospital. They are powerful and high quality. Instead of spending a ton on a pump only to find out you can’t breastfeed or don’t want to breastfeed, you can rent and try it out to see how it goes first. This ended up being very very important for me. My son refused to nurse so I strictly pumped for 7 months. Luckily with my super high powered pump, I was able to pump 8-10 oz in 8-10 minutes. You can buy similar quality ones as well, which is what I used for work. Super helpful when you don’t have much time to spend at work hiding in a private office, or when the office cleaning personnel (luckily a woman) walked in and chatted you up during your pumping sessions!
So those are really the lifesavers that come to mind that I couldn’t have survived without. Of course there are the things everyone needs, diapers, wipes, diaper genies, swings, and the multitude of other Baby GSE (ground support equipment for any non-NASA geeks) items that you need. My top 8 are listed here and I hope they help new or soon to be mommies. Please share your top lifesavers! I’d love to hear the things you couldn’t do without when your baby grew into toddlerhood. That’s where I am at now and would appreciate any suggestions!
Have a great week mommies and daddies!