Our baby boy is now over 2 months old, and in that time we’ve learned a bunch about ourselves/each other and the joyful adventure that is parenthood. In tandem with those learnings, we have also come to know what products work for us and don’t. So both for the sake of continuity (in the wake of my previous product posts: 7 New Mama Essentials, and 5 Things I’m Loving This Pregnancy), and in hopes that this might be useful to some of you fellow Mamas out there, here is a list of our current Must-Haves and why!
#1: Cetaphil Restoraderm (Body Wash and Lotion)
Lots of babies have naturally dry skin – especially at the start, supposedly because they are shedding that vernix, and the fine baby hairs, and whatnot, and also because they’re just getting used to their new environment. But our little one ended up having it even longer than most do – mainly on his joints (he’s still got the smoothest little bum, and softest little cheeks in the universe). Not to mention our water supply at home is very, very hard – which in turn exacerbates that dryness when he bathes. In response to that, we were prescribed with using Cetaphil’s Restoraderm line, and I swear it works like a charm! His little knees have been smooth since Day 1 on the stuff, and he’s experienced absolutely no irritation or any other adverse effects to the products, and no, Cetaphil didn’t pay me to say this. Haha. If your baby’s a little on the dry side too (or prone to skin asthma), I definitely suggest this product.
#2 Summer Easystore Infant Tub (Though this has pros and cons…)
My husband grew up mostly in Germany and is one of those types of people who hates clutter, and hates unnecessary “stuff” just lying around or taking up space. As such, we always try to buy things for a purpose, and usually opt to have things in our possession that are generally: light, durable, and modular or multi-functional. That’s why this particular tub is amazing. We live in a two bedroom apartment with just enough space for our little family, and so the more space-saving things we find to replace traditionally bulky items the better. This tub folds clean in half, is extremely easy to store, is fun and colorful, has a soft inflated bottom for our son to sit on/lie back on, and dries nice and quick. Definitely worth having. Some sites online will insist it is an “infant” tub, but this is not really the case. The hammock on it can be unsnapped and so the inflated bottom can easily rest flat on the ground much in the same configuration as a traditional baby tub would, and any baby up ’til a year old even can easily sit in it while being bathed. That said, once our little one can stand comfortably, we intend to stop using a baby bath tub anyway, so I’m sure that this will more than outlast our need for it.
#3: First Bible Stories
Somebody recently told me that the optimal number of stories to read to babies/toddlers a day is 5. Now I don’t know about how scientific that is, but either way I do attempt to read at least 2-3 stories a day to our boy. As such, being able to read Bible Stories to him has been a real treat. I like this one in particular because it’s not too large or heavy, the illustrations are cute, and the stories are kept nice and simple and abridged. Unlike some other children’s Bibles I’ve seen, each story also specifies the Book Chapter: Verse the stories come from, so that it’s easy to reference the real scripture, and/or when the time comes that the kids are old enough to read on their own, they can find these stories directly in the “grown up” Bibles themselves. (Special shout-out to one of my best friends, Katrina, who gave us this book as an advanced-Dedication-Day present for Lucas.)
#4: Wheels On the Bus (and other similar baby/children’s books featuring nursery rhymes)
Related to #3, I’ve found that Lucas is already responsive to pictures and music. Thus, I’ve found these double-board nursery rhyme books to be particularly useful. When he’s having playtime in his crib, I like to sing them to him, and they keep him stimulated and entertained.
#5: Lamaze Discovering Shapes Activity Puzzle
We were given this as a gift and I’ve found it to be a great “toy” to play with Lucas with. Each little shape can be pulled out of its compartment but remains attached to the main accordion-style-folded “activity book”. As a bonus, each shape has its own different sound (1 squeaks, another rattles, another crunches like rustling plastic), and best yet, not only does it have bright primary colors, it also has one entire side of black and white patterns to stimulate eyesight and pattern recognition. It’s soft and not too big so is easy to bring around, and it comes with ties to anchor it to your crib. Suffice to say it’s a very practical, useful toy, and we’ve spent many a colicky afternoon distracting Lucas with it.
#6: Elin Billie Wrap/Nursing Cover
As we spend more and more time out of the house, different nursing covers have become my best friends. In an earlier post I wrote of the Bebe Au Lait cover, but lately I’ve really been loving the Elin Billie Nursing Cover. It can function as both a nursing cover and an infinity scarf, and is made of such soft cloth that I’ve found is best as Lucas becomes pickier and more vocal about the things and sensations and people (haha yes, even people) he likes. I can use this cover on him and he doesn’t complain even after he’s finished eating (which he normally does with other covers).
#7: Pampers Premium Care
In November of last year we were introduced to Pampers’ “new(ish?)” Premium Care line at Chiqui Brosas’ Birth Times classes (some Pampers people came over and gave us free samples and a demo of how absorbent the diapers are). We were admittedly taken by the demo (it was impressive, okay!), so we decided to give these a shot and have been incredibly happy with them so far. They are great. We always change after every poop because Lucas is exclusively breast fed and bf babies have very sticky stool, but when it comes to pees and such we can leave the diapers on for up to 4 hours with no issues or spills at all. I would recommend them to all parents after a reliable diaper. I must caution everyone though that my love for Pampers extends only to this line and no further as we have also tried their regular diapers (Pampers Baby-Dry) and have found that, while they are a few pesos cheaper per diaper, they also need to be changed twice as much (LITERALLY, and sometimes even worse than that). On those diapers, we’ve had more than one spill, and I would not recommend them to anybody. (Dear Pampers, if you see this, I would encourage you to do something about those Baby-Dry’s! Because they don’t keep my Baby-Dry! But do keep up the good work with the Premium Care’s. We love those.)
#8: MY CAMERA! (Nikon D7000 with a 55mm f1.8 lens)
And the last item on the list (a bit of a token entry): a good camera. Mine is a Nikon D7000, and I most often use my 55mm f1.8 lens these days (it’s a great portrait lens), but I would say to any parent to just find any good one that works for you. I’ve always loved photography but now I am really enjoying documenting not only Lucas’ changes and growth (because he changes and grows everyday!!! — as many babies do, I suppose), but also his other developments. My D7000 has a great video feature, and I am able to shoot him as he becomes more and more adept at cooing and “conversing” with us – which is only my latest favorite in a long list of things I find unbearably adorable about our little one. Haha. Whatever it is, they don’t stay this small forever, and if you’re even slightly sentimental, you’ll want to be able to look back on the old days and smile. So get yourself a decent camera, and document away. 🙂