We don’t always have a agreeable, easy going baby. Unfortunately :P It’s not like Hunter is smiling merrily all day long and taking long naps so we can bum around for hours. He’s just like any other baby – he’s happy sometimes, he fusses sometimes. In general, we are fortunate that he’s pretty easy to look after… but like every other family, it took us awhile to have everything fall into place. I do think he takes after Chris though, as Chris is infinitely patient, fuss free and easy-going! Me? Not so much :P
Anyway, since a lot of my friends who are either pregnant or have young babies have been asking me, I thought I’d do a post on our baby aids. By this I mean stuff that I’ve found super useful for Hunter, stuff that has made my life helluva lot easier and (I believe) help us be fuss-free. Of course, every baby and family is different, so what works for one person may or may not work for another. But here you go :)
OMG how pretty is this?! The animals on it are absolutely freakin’ adorable.. and it’s so functional too. Hunter can amuse himself on it during play time, which is brilliant because he doesn’t always need us there playing with him. He can bat at the hanging animals and coo/talk to them.. not to mention look at himself in the hanging mirror which amuses him to no end. The mat itself is really smooth and fantastic quality, and is detachable so we can bring it to friends’ places etc and make a clean/familiar spot for him to play on.
I made a dedicated post about this already (see link above pic) but we’re still loving the play mobile. Or rather, Hunter is! It’s (still) a source of endless fascination for him and if he starts to fuss, we turn the music on or move the animals and he immediately stops fussing and happily watches the animals. Who ever knew babies could so easily be calmed with just a few toys?! Remember, very young infants prefer black & white objects to colour, so try and get black & white toys if you can – it captures their attention waaay better.
Back when I was expressing into bottles (and for future when Hunter uses bottles), these babies are a God-send! If you use bottles, you’ll know how much of a freakin’ hassle it is to wash everything and sanitize, and even more so if you pump. These are AMAZING. You pump straight into the disposable drop-ins, you stick the drop-ins into the fridge to store, and you pop the drop-ins into the bottle to feed! That means you cut down on a lot (about 2/3) of stuff and parts to wash/sterilize, a big deal when you have your hands full and have little free time to spare. Even better yet, the drop-ins are designed to have minimal air in there (they collapse down as baby drinks, and you can squeeze out the air prior to drinking), so it heavily reduces gas/colic. Fab.
I can’t believe this actually works! See, for weeks on end, Hunter was a super gassy baby specifically around 4-7AM every day (and at no other time, strangely). He does these super-loud trucker grunts, as loud as a big adult male. Argh. We suspect it’s gas build-up, and the doctor said it’s normal as their metabolism slows down overnight, plus they’re flat on their backs and not moving. He doesn’t want to give any medicine as he reckons it’s perfectly normal, so it’s necessary to. It drove me insane ‘cos it’s SO loud I can’t sleep, so at one point I was reduced to getting up every hour (!) to peer at him in the cot and pump his legs and rub his belly to try and get him to fart.. The weird thing? The entire time he’s grunting, he’s fast asleep. I guess the gas bothers me more than him?
Anyway, so I heard about this Gripe Water and got a bottle. It’s herbal with ginger/fennel so I like how we’re not actually giving him medicine. I don’t think it’s fool proof, but I do think it really helps expel his gas. He is way way WAY less grunty at night now – hurray!!
This is where you’ll often find Hunter during the day time. This rocker is fantastic! It has the perfect incline to help him burp/fart his gas out, so he has zero gas issues during the day. It has this vibrating option that lulls him, and we stuff a fleece cocoon in it so that he feels snug in there. When we put him there for his naps, he sleeps well and if he stirs, often self-settles himself back to sleep. This means I’m almost always ‘hands free’ during the day, apart from when I’m nursing him of course. The rocker also grows with him and converts into a rocking chair for toddlers.
Man, this thing is ~magical~, it’s quite bizzare. Basically, Hunter zonks straight off once he’s popped in the Ergo and we walk around with him in it. Takes maybe 5 mins tops? If we place him down to sleep he can sometimes stir and wake himself up, but in the Ergo, he falls into a solid sleep even if we’re walking around outside where it’s noisy and bumpy! Madness. If I were to recommend ONE thing that made the biggest difference for us, it’ll be this. It’s also a lot better than the Baby Bjorn (so I’m told) as it’s not a ‘crotch dangler’ and better for the parents’ back.
Maaaan this is such a lifesaver!! When babies sleep, they startle and throw out their arms, and in doing so wake themselves up fussing. We were using cloth blankets to swaddle Hunter, but it only lasted a few weeks because he broke out of them easily, and then he outgrew all the blankets and there weren’t any large enough to swaddle him properly with. This SwaddleMe works a charm because it’s soft and thin, and bounds him in well (though I do use an extra strap around his arms to keep them down ‘cos he’s a mini Houdini). Since we’ve swaddled him with this, he sleeps much better :)
This is cute and useful. It’s a stuffed toy that produces 4 soothing sounds. And it is really amazing in settling Hunter to sleep at night. What I do is, after we bathe him, I nurse him once he’s in his fresh clothes and swaddled. As he’s nursing, I turn on Sleep Sheep so he hears the soothing sounds as he nurses. After he’s done, I pop him drowsy into his cot and he falls right asleep without a peep. I think the Sleep Sheep works because it provides background noise that’s consistent and soothing, so it’s not as frightening as dead silence for a baby, and random noises don’t startle him. I also figure it will be very useful if we travel, as I can bring Sleep Sheep along and at least he has something familiar to listen to as he falls asleep at night in a foreign place.
And the result of all these are….. a happy laughing baby!
Well, 90% of the time anyway, LOL