Inspired by Mama Whale, I thought I would do a Buy this/not that post, or really my advice post, from the perspective of someone who has gone through all of the infant stages. We "even me" are still learning what works best for our little ones and what is best for our pockets since babies cost a lot of money....these little bundles of joy do wonders to our bank accounts don't they? Luckily they are cute :) These are merely suggestions that have worked for my little one who is now 2 1/2. I did not breast feed or go organic so these are very generic suggestions.
1. Bottles. If you choose to bottle feed this can be tricky for each baby. My LO was a very gassy baby and had a lot of issues with feeding because she was premature and low birth weight. I originally had AVENT bottles and got so frustrated with forgetting to put the ring in before screwing in the top. And if you have these you know what happens if you forget, formula (or perhaps even more frustrating, breast milk) everywhere!! I went with Dr. Brown bottles because of the ventilation system and the cost. Down side, it comes in a million pieces! DO NOT buy whatever the most expensive bottles are, i.e. Tommy Tippee. Unless you really love them and do not want to switch, there are much less expensive alternatives.
2. Formula. I have no advice on formula since my daughter was on Neocate which is a prescribed formula for infants with milk protein allergies. I'll have to post more about my...interesting...experience with my LO as an infant.
3. Diapers. We went expensive and chose Pampers Swaddlers for our LO. I wont be doing the same with my twins when they arrive in 4 month (excuse me while I freak out about only having 4 MONTHS TO PREPARE! AAHH!) We tried target brand diapers when 'A' was about 10 months old and I am in love. I swear by any generic diaper. During black Friday Babies r us likes to put their brand of diapers and wipes on extreme discount and we buy a ton! at $10 a BOX!! It is so worth it. They are a little flimsy but do the job. I still like target brand the most. Do NOT join one of those diaper websites like diapers.com. It makes sense if you have more than one baby in diapers at a time because they deliver to your home monthly but otherwise you can find better deals at stores. Try a wholesale club like BJs or Costco. Wipes can be generic as well. If on sale I will, still, buy pampers but babies r us are our favorite right now.
4. Diaper Cream. Apparently there are differences between creams. The clear or yellow creams are meant to prevent diaper rashes and you should apply daily. The white creams are meant to heal diaper rashes and although you can apply with every diaper change, they really do their job at curing a rash. Do NOT use baby powder. There is no need. If you have a baby girl you shouldn't be using it anyway as it can cause infection (who knew). This is according to my pediatrician.
5. Baby jar food. Making your own baby food is satisfying and nutritional. I tried and failed miserably. I always bought BeechNut baby food and did just fine. I looked for discounts most times. You DON'T need to start with rice cereal. Always follow dr recommendations, I think they say 6 months is the deal time to start baby food. If your baby hates rice cereal, try a jar food. You can even mix it into the cereal. Every baby is different so follow what works best but don't feel like there is a set regulation on what food to start your baby on. Make sure if buying jar food to start with the right stage.
6. Teething biscuits. 'A' LOVED these when she was teething. Earth's Best had the best ones that could hold up to all the chewing she did. Make sure to put them in a high chair when feeding your LO's a teething biscuit because when mixed with saliva the result can be compared to cement....it is a mess!
7. Diaper bags. When 'A' was an infant, I always had two diaper bags. Both had tons of pockets in and out so I can put bottles and sippy cups in them. I organized using ziploc bags for snacks and a formula dispenser like this one to keep servings of formula in. I always carried bottled water too. My diaper bag weighed a ton! I have to figure out a better way to organize this time around so I am looking to all of you new mommies for advice because I am out of the loop when it comes to baby stuff!
8. Sippy Cups. Every sippy cup leaks no matter what it says on the package. I have tried them ALL! when 'A' was younger, they did not leak because she didn't shake them. The worse "leakers" were the Nuby brand These are the culprits. If you don't make sure the rubber spout is completely flush against the inner rim it will leak worse than forgetting the AVENT ring...that dreaded ring. I still have nightmares....hours of pumping lost because of that stupid ring. Ok, so with this I suggest trial and error. And coupons. Always buy these with coupons because you will go through enough. And don't buy them at Babies r us because they are way overpriced there always!
I guess the best advice I can give is that more expensive doesn't always equal better quality when it comes to these every day baby items. I did the expensive thing and most either failed to work properly or did not last long at all! I always bought on sale and couponed (once I learned my lesson). That being said, every parent has their favorite products and their own standard when it comes to purchasing items for their LO's. Target has a great variety of organic baby food and typically has their "Earth's Best" brand on sale. Another favorite product I use even now that 'A' is not a baby anymore, fruit pouches like these. They make these with baby food for all stages, so easy to travel with and resealable, for those looking for easy ways to travel by airplane with babies. When your babies become toddlers, it will happen no matter how much you will them to stay babies forever, a product I highly suggest you stay away from are those easy toddler meals you stick in the microwave like these. It is way too easy to make meals that can be reheated for several days. A little broth, some star pasta, a couple of carrots and celery can do the trick for lunch or dinner fr several nights. When your LO's are ready to eat table food, that can easily be put in the food processor and puree'd to their specific texture. Stay away from those pricey meals, really I don't see the point. Hope this helps anyone reading this post. I guarantee you will forget all that you thought you knew once you have baby #2 or #3 (or in my case, 2 and 3 at the same time! I find myself reading all of the posts on this blog learning new things and keeping mental note of fantastic ideas I never thought of. Happy child rearing!