Baby Essentials (Part III): All the Rest of It
Although it’s totally possible to just use your sink, investing in a bathtub will make the bath time routine much more relaxing and comfortable for both you and your baby. You’ve heard us mention 4moms before, and we like what they have to offer in the bathtub department as well. For those that need an option that saves some space, the Puj tub is a nice alternative. The Puj is essentially a flat piece of foam that folds into your sink for bathtime but can easily be stored on the back of your door (or anywhere--it’s really flat!) when not in use.
You might buy a changing table that coordinates with the cribs we talked about in Part I, or you might opt to use a changing pad on a low dresser instead. The Keekaroo Peanut is soft, eco-friendly, and easy to clean.
We get a lot of questions from clients about what the best baby carrier is, and honestly, the best one is the one both you and the baby are comfortable in. It’s hard to figure that out before you’ve had the baby and can also change with the baby’s age, so we recommend investing in just one or two carriers to see what you like. The Moby wrap or Boba wrap are great options for newborns, but buckle carriers like the Ergo or Tula tend to work better for older, heavier babies. Ring slings are a flexible option--it’s easy to breastfeed in them and also easy for toddlers who are constantly up and down.
The Affordable Care Act requires your insurance to cover a breast pump (aside from a small number of plans that are “grandfathered.”) The easiest way to make it happen is to contact a durable medical equipment supplier like Lehan’s. Usually they’ll check your insurance, let you know which pumps you can pick from, bill your insurance, and ship the pump and parts directly to you. Overall it’s a pretty easy process. You’ll probably have a lot of pumps to choose from, but some of our client favorites include the Spectra (S1 is battery operated, S2 needs to be plugged in), Medela Freestyle, Medela Symphony, and Hygeia Enjoye.
Oh the bottles! We always get questions about which one is best, especially for our clients that are choosing to breastfeed. The truth is, there is really no “best” bottle--whatever one your baby likes is the right one. In particular for our clients that are breastfeeding, it’s best to pick one that has a “slow flow nipple” (it usually will be advertised as such on the box). Those who like to avoid plastic might check out Dr. Brown’s (also good for babies with gas as it minimizes the amount of air that the baby swallows while eating).
Dock a Tot
This little contraption gets a category all on it’s own--it’s that great! The Dock A Tot is a nice option for families interested in cosleeping but feeling leery about sharing the same wide open surface with the baby. It’s also a nice portable option for families that expect to travel a lot with the baby or will be bringing the baby elsewhere for childcare.
Aden and Anais organic muslin swaddling blankets are a favorite with our clients. Spearmint LOVE also carries a wide variety of muslin swaddles in unique, hipster-y patterns. We recommend the muslin swaddles over the flannel swaddles because they tend to be larger and, since they’re lightweight, are appropriate for both warm and cold temperatures.
If you’re looking for both cute and eco-friendly, Honest Company and Parasol are the disposable diapers of choice. Both also offer a subscription model for discounts and to guarantee you’ll never be left without diapers. Bambo provides the most environmentally friendly, biodegradable option.
For our clients looking for cloth, there’s a whole host of options, from diaper services to wash your own to prefolds & covers, all in ones, pockets, and wool. It can be overwhelming! Contact us to schedule a consultation about cloth diapering.
Just like bottles, this is something that your baby will also develop a preference for. A favorite of most babies (and orthodontic friendly) is the MAM. Our favorite eco-friendly options include Hevea and Natursutten, both of which are made of 100% natural rubber. Fun fact about Natursutten--you might be concerned that the one with the round base will cover your baby’s nose, and in fact, it’s supposed to! The pacifier mimics how the baby’s nose would gently rest on your breast if you are choosing to breastfeed.
Natural Baby Care Products
Some of our favorites include:
Nipple Butter: Earth Mama Angel Baby and Motherlove
Remember, our doulas are experts on baby care products, so we encourage you to ask us for recommendations! Happy nesting!