1

To Baby Bullet or Not?

As a rookie mom, I learned not to get everything “baby” for my baby because not all of these baby products work the best. I was fortunate enough to receive a Baby Bullet from my baby shower and started using it as soon as baby started solids. It comes with little containers with smiley faces to store the food and a little silicon freezer ice cube tray. They worked really well in the beginning. I was making food, storing it, marking the dates by twisting the date ring and freezing leftovers. As time goes by, it turns out the containers which are plastic cannot be sanitized by boiling, the plastic cover will get warped after that. If the lids get dropped or thrown by baby after they discovered that skill, they may crack too. They are good for storing little snacks like cheerios but the 6 containers are not sufficient when baby increases appetite to eat more. Also, I don’t use the freezer tray after baby eats more as it’s not enough to store a week’s worth of food. Now, I only use the processor and not the accessories that come with it.

So for a longer term solution, a regular (small size) food processor would work just as fine and some of these processors have a blade which can be taken out to be washed separately.  The Baby Bullet blade is attached to the lid and a bit hard to clean if food gets trapped underneath. The motor of the bullet is also made of plastic, I am getting a feeling that it may break one day after pressing on to it too hard.

For the containers, any BPA-free ones would just work as fine – just no smiley faces on them… 🙂

Have you ever bought any “baby products” that may have worked better with regular “adult versions”?

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2

Baby Bath Time

Have you ever imagined your baby to be covered with bubbles and playing with rubber duckies during bath time? While it is very cute to see a baby covered in bubbles, in reality babies are very clean and only need a (few) pea-sized drops of soap for bath time if any (OK, you may need a little bit more for those diaper explosion days…).

Bath Body Wash / Treatments

From my experience, I find Aveeno’s Baby Soothing Relief Creamy Wash to be quite moisturizing for baby’s skin versus the Johnson’s baby head-to-toe wash. In general, any transparent soap tend dry the skin unless they claim to have added moisturizing ingredients to it. If baby has stubborn eczema that doesn’t seem to go away and leaves dry patches on the body, Aveeno also has a Soothing Baby Bath Powder which works pretty well to moisturize the skin and helps with ezcema recovery. However, each box only comes with 5 pouches so they get used up pretty fast.

 

Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Bath Treatment

 

A more economical and yet moisturizing bath treatment for baby with dry skin is Eucerin Calming Daily Body Wash Bath Oil. This was recommended by my pediatrician. It leaves the skin feeling a bit slippery due to the oil content in this product so be careful when you take the slippery baby out of the bathtub.

Eucerin Skin Calming Dry Skin Body Wash

 

Oils

Instead of using these soaps to wash baby, some moms drop a bit of (olive/coconut/your favourite oil) in the bathtub to bathe their kids. This is also good idea since the oils are edible (in case they do swallow some bath water sometimes). Oil can be used as a cleanser as I discovered recently from this site which talks about Oil Cleansing Method for skin. Some cosmetic lines like Shu Uemura also uses oil as a main ingredient for their face cleanser. However, it does leave the bathtub greasy so may not be too hygienic in the long run or if you are planning to use it for more than one kid.

Baby Oil ?

 

Contrary to a common belief that baby oil is an oil for baby, I think a lot of moms actually don’t use it for baby daily use. Baby oil is actually mineral oil + fragrance. Mineral oil is not food grade and they are mainly advertised to “provide moisture barrier” for the skin. I have used it to rub off cradle cap from my baby and found it to be a bit clogging for this condition and the moisture barrier formed by it seemed to not allow the skin to breath. As for fragrance, our skin naturally does not require fragrance so probably not a good thing for babies to use it. For adults, we may like scented lotions to sniff on but babies can probably wait until later :P.

Bathtubs

Nowadays, baby bathtubs have a wedge in the middle so that babies don’t slide under the water while they sit in the bathtub. There are two sides for when they are infant (0-6 months) and baby/toddler (6 months+ or when they are able to sit). These designs are great for 0-6 months. However, as they are older and get bigger, their shoulders and chest don’t get covered with water in these bathtubs as they have to sit up in them. A portable, small size ceramic heater would be good to use during bath time.

 

For newborns, there is a product calledTummy Tub where the baby can sit upright in it. It is around $40 USD – I am not sure if this justifies for a mop bucket + some anti skid thing at the bottom. Again, babies will grow out of this small tub sooner than you think.

 

Tummy Tub

 

Munchkin has an inflatable bathtub which is great for travel purpose. This was recommended by a friend before I went on my first trip with baby. It comes packed in a small box which you can pack in your luggage. It is available at well.ca, Walmart and some baby specialty stores. This can also be used as a toy were you put balls in for baby to play with.

Munchkin White Hot® Inflatable Safety Duck Tub

 

Does your baby love bath time? Does he or she have a favourite bath toy? Which bath tub / soap do you use?

6

What to buy and what not to buy before baby arrives

When I was pregnant for more than 20 weeks, I started to think about what to buy in preparation for my newborn baby. I searched online and the baby info sites would usually suggest a big “checklist” like 2 hats, 5 pairs of socks, 6 sleepers etc. While those lists are a good starting point to buy for your baby, I would recommend getting only the absolute essentials for your baby as a start. As well, if you are having a baby shower prior to giving birth, it is also a good idea to separate that list from what you will buy for your baby. With the list below, I am highlighting what is essential to have before baby arrives and some tips associated with each item. There are some self-explanatory ones like bibs and sleeping bags that are not listed here but feel free to post a comment if you have comments relating to things not listed here 🙂

The essentials:

1. Crib  – A comfy place for baby to sleep. There are guidelines for cribs which the government safety will post. Search for the one which applies to your country.

2. Diaper changing pad

3. Diapers (1 box of size 0 to bring to hospital) and wipes

Tip: Certain department stores like Walmart may have sales throughout the year for diapers. This is something you may want to stock up before baby arrives as it is heavy to carry all these boxes home (even if online shipping is available).

4. Vitamin D drops – ideally baby should start taking it the first week it is born. Some moms forget to give their baby vitamin D until they are told by the pediatrician. I think it helps with their skin complexion as they are usually born a little yellow with their liver still establishing its function in the beginning.

5. Onesies and sleepers – In the beginning, it is best to keep baby in a sleeper to keep their little toes warm. You don’t need to stock up too many of newborn size sleepers (0-3 months) as they grow very fast during the first month. If they are born small or grow slowly, you can always buy more later.

Tip: Better to get sleepers with zipper instead of buttons to quickly get them in and out (especially during winter or if they don’t like diaper change)

6. Hat – newborns are still new to regulating their body temperature so they keep to their little bodies warm by wearing a hat. It is better to get one which is stretchable because their heads grow very quickly.

Tip: Don’t buy too many hats in advance. With the their heads growing quickly and season changing as they grow, they may not be able to fit into the bigger winter hat by the time summer comes.

7. Bathing needs – bath towel, bathtub and bath powder

Tips:

Bath towel – it is a good idea to get a bigger one again for the reason that they will grow quickly. Don’t bother with the baby size one if you can find a bigger one between a baby and adult size.

Bathtub(s) – a good item to put in the baby registry and to have an extra one to put at the grandparents’ home

Bath soap – before I gave birth, I always thought baby soap = Johnson and Johnson shampoo (in the yellow bottle). I find with most transparent liquid soaps, they tend to cause the skin to be dry after washing. A more moisturizing product would be Aveeno soothing creamy bath wash. I will post more about bathing later.

8. If you are breastfeeding, you will need a …:

  • Nursing pillow: Newborns feed every 2 or 3 hours and for new moms, it may quite heavy to carry a 6-8 lb baby in their arm for half an hour to an hour for a feed. A good nursing pillow really saves the day!
  • Nursing pads: Although a baby feeds from only one breast at a time, strangely enough the reflex which releases breastmilk works at the same time and will release milk from both breasts so you will need something to absorb milk from the let-down.
  • Nursing bra: As a new mom, you will find that you are often lifting up your shirt a lot to feed the baby. It is important to get a nursing bra which fits you comfortably and can conveniently allow baby to access your boob. I find Warner Baby & Me Nursing Bra are quite convenient.

If you are bottle feeding, you will need … :

  • Bottles – Before baby is born, you may not really need to buy any bottle if you first decide to give breastfeeding a try. I say this because babies tend to have different preference for bottle. Some like certain brand over another so it is best to hold off in buying that until they are born to try them out 🙂 Dr. Brown seems to be a brand that moms find their babies drinking comfortably from what I have seen.
  • Formula – this is also something no need to get in advance as some babies tend to have preference on different brands of formula. Tip: Sign up with brands like Similac, Nestle, Enfamil to get samples before baby is born and they may send samples to you (usually around a month before the due date).

So there you go, a newborn baby really just needs milk, diapers, some warm clothing and a comfortable place to sleep. The above is what a baby really needs in the beginning.

The good to haves:

9. Humidifier – If you live in a dry climate or if baby is born in winter time, it is a good idea to have a humidifier to prevent baby from getting a stuffy nose during their sleep.

10. Swaddle blankets – For newborn babies, they may prefer to be swaddled for security and comfort. There are some products like Swaddleme blankets which are especially designed for this purpose. They may be good for the first two weeks but I find that babies tend to outgrow them really fast or breakout of the blanket once they become more active. I think a regular blanket does just as good a job as these specialty blankets. Youtube has tutorials on how to swaddle a baby.

For emergency, you will need…

1. Thermometer: In the first month or two, babies rarely get sick if they are born healthy. You can get a thermometer after they are born if you do forget to get one beforehand. It is when they get their first immunization shot that you need to pay attention to whether they get a fever from it.

Tip: My pediatrician recommends a regular thermometer (digital or not) and just place it between baby’s underarm. Ear thermometers are expensive and not accurate according to my pediatrician.

2. Infant Tylenol: If your baby do get a fever, having infant tylenol around the house is a good idea. I don’t think babies under age 1 can take any over the counter medicine other than Tylenol. Forget about those homeopathic stuff that people try to sell you. I remember getting a lot of samples from a baby show and they are still sitting at my home doing nothing.

What you don’t really need:

1. Wipe warmer – I have seen several friends put wipe warmer in their baby registry and probably end up not getting it in the end. Your baby will get used to the wipe temperature during diaper change.

2. Bottle warmer – If you are able to breastfeed your baby, a bottle warmer is certainly not a need. If you are bottle feeding, a better idea is to get an electronic kettle that can quickly boil water to make formula for your baby.

3. Crib bedding set – Baby bedding sets look really nice and can cost several hundred dollars but they also pose risk for SIDS. I use BreathableBaby Breathable Crib Bumper after my baby started to roll around during his sleep.

4. Shoes – Until babies starts to know how to stand (maybe around 7 months+), babies don’t really need shoes and even when they start walking, many baby sites recommend them to walk in bare feet :).

Tip: Good idea to have 6 pairs of 0-6 months and 6-12 months socks… not too many as they outgrow them quickly too.

I hope you find this list useful!

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Baby talk

I am starting to write some posts about my experiences of motherhood after from knowing nothing to now being a little bit more experienced in taking care of my 1 year old baby. I hope this will also act as a platform for moms to exchange ideas about their motherhood journey. 🙂