Update: I’m already on my 23rd week and entering my sixth month. Whereas my jeans and shorts still fit me two weeks ago, they now don’t. I officially start looking pregnant and from what I’ve heard, I will look even more pregnant for months to come.
For now, I am taking it easy. No pressure, no hassle.
I refuse to succumb to the pressure of many would-be moms who would research motherhood and read gazillions of websites. My sister-in-law was well-prepared for her daughter when she came. I simply don’t have time.
Thankfully, my sister-in-law sent me a helpful list of things to buy and NOT buy. Happy to share:
Stuff I swear by and can’t live without
- Out and about
a.) A Baby carrier !!!!!
– For example: Mamaway ring sling, Baby K-tran are great for newborns; ring sling good until at least 3-4
– Structured carriers like Baby Bjorn and Ergo baby are ok, but I find all the bits and pieces a little annoying
b.) Diaper bag
c) Stroller – I don’t really use stroller since I love the sling, but if you get one, make sure it’s lightweight and easy to fold and maneuver; you may also want to get a model that has built-in car seat since you guys have a car
- Keeping clean
a.) Newborn/toddler 2 in 1 bathtub
c.) Baby towel with hood – I gave you 2 already
d.) Baby lotion
e.) Baby grooming kit
f.) Rubber changing mat
g.) Baby wipes – for wiping off most of the poo
h.) Cotton balls – dip in warm water and clean up the leftover poo
i.) Butt cream – I still use Mustela
j.) Diapers – I have a whole stack of newborn size diapers someone gave me and Jess never used bec she was too big, it’s still in 14A den, should fit pea
a.) Breastfeeding-friendly tops and bras!!!! – I have no issues nursing in public but feeding friendly tops and bras make a huge difference!
b.) Good feeding cover – not available in Manila at all! Allows you to see baby while baby feeding. Great for feeding in public. Word of warning – the cover is easy to use for small babies but as they grow they play with the cover and try to yank it off. I’ve given up using mine because creates more problems for me now that daughter is a toddler – I can pass this on to you
c.) Bottle warmer
d.) Baby bottles – for breastfed babies the advice is generally to buy wide-neck bottles since it’s supposed to make them feed more similar to breastfeeding, but Jess used standard bottles and is fine
e.) Bottle cleaner
f.) Bottle brush
g.) Sterilizer – I like the 2 in 1 sterilizer and dryer units, HATE the steam sterilizer only since it takes forever for the parts to dry. Since I only use a few bottles a day I got a small unit that fits 5 bottles.
Michelle bought a giant kitchen model in SM appliances. Depends on how much stuff you have to sterilize at the end of the day
h.) Breast pump – I would go for the Medela Pump in Style, it’s the best unit for getting the most milk out; Freestyle is portable but not ideal for serious working moms, it’s intended for use by moms who only occasionally need to bottle their baby
g.) Extra breast pump parts and bottles – I can give you 2 extra pump/bottle sets (I have 4); when baby is small you could be pumping 2-3 times during working hours 9-5, you will go nuts washing the parts after every use if you don’t have extras; I use the extras and wash everything together at night when I get home, saves time
i.) Breast milk storage bags – I get mine on Taobao for 25 RMB for 30 bags. The branded ones for sale in Manila (Lanisoh, Medela) are super expensive it’s not funny!
j.) insulated carrier bag and/or freezer blocks for transporting breastmilk
k.) Hands-free pumping bra – I use this so I can pump and work at the same time, allows me to pump, hold concall, and type on laptop all at the same time
Also I told brother that I don’t like the bulb syringe nasal aspirator to suck snot out of baby’s nose, it’s really hard to use. So I got an electric snot sucker that does the job a lot faster. I don’t think you’ll need it while pea is a newborn, but once she’s more mobile 6+months and above this one is also a sanity saver.
- Keep baby quiet
a.) Pacifier – not to be introduced until at least 6-8 weeks but may not work – daughter didn’t like pacifier and never used one
b.) Swaddle wraps – never used this either since daughter didn’t like it but most babies like being swaddled
a.) Sleep sacks – I sent you 2 already, babies wiggle a lot and can dislodge blankets
b.) Bedsheets ONLY
c.) Crib/cosleeper – depends on what you want to do with pea and yaya. It’s much easier to breastfeed if pea is right next to you at night so my personal choice is a cosleeper. Babies love to sleep next to adults so most hate cribs (can’t blame them).
Don’t waste your money
- Changing table – any flat surface and rubber mat will do
- Baby closet – useless furniture
- Crib decor – anything aside from a mattress and bedsheet is useless, just looks cute, plus suffocation risk
- Nursery decor – waste of money, just looks cute
- Anything “organizer” – diaper organizer, bottle organizer, bottle rack
- Sealed diaper bin – useless piece of equipment, just take the diaper out to the trash
- Baby mitts – just trim the nails and baby will be fine, mitts are hot
- “Special” crib pillows – anti colic, cosleeper pillow, all useless
- Moses basket – easier to carry baby in arms or sling than lugging heavy basket
- Portable bottle carrier/warmer – I personally don’t see the point in bringing milk and bottle out if pea is also coming with you, but that’s because I have no problems nursing in public. But some moms may not feel comfortable and would rather have yaya feed baby using the bottle while they go off to pump. But mind you pea may have her own opinion and refuse the bottle if she knows mommy and the boob is readily available (Jess does this).
- Modern cloth diapers (peapod, etc) – I tried this, didn’t work for us. Much easier to use disposables even though we contribute to environmental disaster
- White noise machine, blackout curtains, any “sleeping aid” product – US websites are just so full of this sleep training stuff. None of this worked for daughter and can even backfire. One mom wrote that her kids were so well trained to sleep well because of white noise machine (to block out other noise) and blackout curtains (no light in the room) that she had to bring the machine, scotch tape, and curtain material to every single trip and hotel they stayed in for years! Baby will sleep when baby will sleep.