August 5, 2010

My Favorite Things

Being a mom is the most comfortable, natural thing for me. I won't go so far as to call it easy, because it's not but it's often the only thing I feel truly good at...pretty much everything else I just sort of stumble through.

I've wanted to do a quick post about my favorite 'Mom' things for a while now because sooooo many new moms are clueless. If it weren't for the fact that childcare was my profession long before it was my passion (I nannied professionally for 5 years before having the boy), I would have wasted tons of time and no doubt money on stuff which was essentially useless. That being said, I don't plan to do tons of mom-reviews because every family is different and what works for one often doesn't for another. But, nonetheless, here's a list of my favorite things...

*Mylicon...if you have a kid, you understand. If you don't and your pregnant, buy two bottles. It's miraculous infant gas relief. I would've paid almost any amount for this stuff if/when our son needed it.

*Tummy Sleeve...also known by a few other brand names but basically these things helped me wear my normal every day pants all the way up through my last week of pregnancy which was great because often maternity pants are just ugly and the ones that aren't are easily $50-60 a piece. The only downside is that if you gain weight in your thighs easily or get super bloated in your legs, even a tummy sleeve may not be able to help

*AngelCare's essentially like any other static monitor except that it has a second function. With the help of a motion sensor pad which easily goes under a crib or bassinet mattress, it has the ability to set off an alarm if the baby should stop breathing for 20 seconds. IT'S AWESOME!!! My biggest fear (and I know I'm not alone) was SIDS. This monitor is the ONLY thing which allowed me to sleep easy knowing that if something happened, I would know right away. The best part for us was that the static part (or traditional monitoring) was able to be turned off and we could use only the motion sensor while our son was in a bassinet in our room without the annoying static background and then as he got bigger we were able to turn off the motion sensor and use the monitor like any other (read: the little rug rat learned how to stand in the corner of his crib on his tip toes very still and purposely make the alarm go off in the middle of the night just to laugh at us as we ran in).

*Jogger strollers with a swivel wheel...they're awesome. They glide over almost any surface and are often so easy you can push with just one hand-which leaves the other hand open for talking on the phone or sipping some coffee. Swivel wheeled joggers generally still have the ability to lock forward for a more stable jogging experience but you also have the ability to just walk normally and not have to worry about tipping it up every time you want to turn. They are much heavier than an umbrella stroller and more expensive than other "normal" strollers but I will never go with another stroller that doesn't have jogger styled wheels (also sometimes called all-terrain wheels). Between nannying and our own son, I've used (on a consistent basis) SIX different strollers of all different kinds. This is the one we have now for our son. It's kept him occupied, been a comfortable place to nap, held all our baby necessities and easily maneuvered everything we've thrown at it from the beach to numerous trips to the zoo, science museum and mall to 10 days at Disney World last year.
(ours is slightly different in color)

*last but certainly not least, nipple guards...sorry if it's TMI but my child was a chomper from day 1 and it was highly unpleasant. Neither my husband nor I will forget my Day 6 meltdown. No one had told me such a wondrous invention as nipple guards even existed and so I sat in our bed crying from pain both physical and emotional as my husband offered to open the can of formula someone had given us and we had decided to keep as emergency back-up but instead (I'm extremely stubborn and was convinced SOMETHING would help) we went to Babies-R-Us and sat in the parking lot for an hour waiting for them to open. Once they did and I had the chance to talk to someone about our little problem, they knew just what to recommend and now I'm recommending it to everyone. They not only protect a very sensitive area for mom, they help teach baby how to suckle properly. I only had to use them a couple of weeks before both my son and I got the hang of things. I used them again when he began teething for a few weeks but in the end, I credit the guards with my being able to nurse our son until he was just over a year old (I quit on Independence Day weekend-it only seemed appropriate).