It's been a while since I want to make this post, I've keep delaying it due to numerous endless things to do around the house, yes! Having a baby can be overwhelming, especially for new moms, so I'm making this post hopefully in some ways or another, help moms to be or new moms in their up and coming life.
Please do take note that, I'm NOT an expert, this is purely a post made by a mom of two and based on experiences.
Let's start with CONGRATULATIONS!!!
The first thing that started it all is you're married (well, hopefully) and like most people in our so-called eastern society is those endless questions of, now you're married, when are you going to have a baby?
The thing is it could be as easy as the first night or years after the first night. In my case, my first born is 9 months after the wedding reception and the second one is 9 years later, after miscarriage and an ectopic surgery. So, the variables of having a baby is endless, so please let me say it for the second time, CONGRATULATION on being knocked off! Seriously, congrats!
Now, for skincare during pregnancy, I've made that post before, so I'm not going to go there again, this is more to the things related to babies. You may already know about the do's and don'ts from your gynae, like no sex for the first 3 months (yes, you've pregnant already, so probably the doctors think that there's no need in confirming...............JOKING, it's related to the health issue). Don't eat raw food, especially meats and eggs.
Don't go through procedure that will harm the baby inside you, like a die hard roller coaster, bungee jumping, or chemically die your hair during certain trimester, always check your gynae for that.
Now, you've done all that and your in the bridge of the third trimester (7 months) everything is well and you're excited, good! You need those energy in preparing all the things for the baby and you. Let's go shopping!!! Here are the things that helps me and the baby heaps:
Buy all baby proof products, like latex bed, latex pillow, and make your house as dust free as possible. I know it's hard, but newborns can be sensitive, you really don't want to go back and forth to the hospital complaining about sniffles while the problems actually lies in the house itself. I'm getting my self an air purifier from Sharp for the whole house.
As troublesome as a meticulous can be, once you get used to it, it would be pretty much a habit and your new standard of life. However, you might not get the same ideas as your spouse or other kid or even your parents do. Like when you put a strict policy in washing the hands with soap before touching the baby, imagine having to say those words to your not-so-approachable in laws. Yikes! So prepare sanitizers, alcohol, or anti bacterial wipes for those whose not really a friend of water and soaps (I seriously don't know why, but some people are just like that, like their afraid of water or soap @__@').
Hygiene is very important, and most of all the cleanliness for everything that goes into the baby's mouth. Like bottles, get those steamer, sterilizer or liquids that are made for them. Get a high quality one, the ones that BPA free and completely safe going through so many heats in a day, same goes with the bottles, nipples and other accessories. I'm not planning in bottle fed my baby since the first born in 100% breastmilk only, but somehow the second one need bottle fed with formula. It is much troublesome than breastmilk, I need to get the right bottle, right nipple, and the right formula. The combination is endless, so for all of you who can breast fed their babies without formula, again, congratulations!
I just found out that my baby hates the nipple from medela. It is pricey and my baby prefer pigeon more. And do you know we need to get the right nipple? S may not be suitable for baby who prefer size SS. Yes, there's SS for newborn. The choice of bottles also varied, from the current trend Dr. Browns (which I own a set) to Chicco. My tips on this is don't buy them in bulk, try several bottles and nipples first as your baby may be picky or have different needs.
The formula, aside from baby's personal taste, there are lactose intolerant and allergies too. Some babies may be sensitive to dairy, some need soy based, and some need lactose free formula. The result, I mean feces also differs, the best feces is golden yellow, some baby that drinks certain formula has green colored feces, these condition appeared to be normal. The yellow pale or white ones are the ones that need urgent intervention by the doctors, remember to consult with them for ANY inquiries, no question is dumb enough, when you feel worried, google up when you can't contact your doctor. I found it helpful during wee hours.
Now, for the moms, regarding breastfeeding, we need proper bra to do so. I'm still breastfeeding my baby too, so even thou the baby needs extra from the formula, don't just give in, still encourage the baby to drink the breastmilk directly from the breast, and a good bra helps. No. 1 is a cheaper bra I bought from a market and No.2 is a pricey one from a Dept. Store, guess what the No.1 is a clear winner. The thickness of the cup protects the sensitive nipples from after breastfeeding, the bra also equipped with a clip for a one hand operation, imagine you have to hold your baby and you need to open or close the bra, this is a great help for moms on a go too.
No.2 is a pricey one that cost twice the first one, it was terrible. The hook need to be operated with both hands and the thinness of the cup is a cruelty for sensitive nipples. Try before buying them okay and yes, nursing bra is a great help and I do recommend nursing mom to get at least a couple pair. Don't forget a nursing apron too if you're going out. Running to the nearest restroom or a place for babies in the mall can be troublesome, don't expect those places to be always clean, unoccupied, and ready to be used. Sometime I found them too crowded, even with dads too, not hygienic and locked by the cleaner. So it is better to be prepared to breastfeed the baby with the help of a nursing apron, or a big scarf, overall, and well, just keep the option open by using anything that wide and covering enough.
Mom on the go or having more supply than demand, congratulations again!!! Heehee, I've tried using my hands, manual pump and my favorite and most effective than any of other method, the electric pump. However, this is a personal choice, it is better to try whichever suitable for you. A tips from me and a consultant breast surgeon in Royal Taruma hospital (dr. Alfiah A) is never massage the breast too hard, always gently massage them and when pumping too. When you do it correctly you shouldn't feel pain at all.............however that doesn't apply to the nipples, brace yourself, it is very painful at first. You may even see blood. I've been there, done that and still doing it. I've tried many methods, many nipple cream and products, only this works.
Lansinoh nipple cream that doesn't need washing. Anytime I need the soothing comfort and protecting shield on the nipple, I just a apply it a bit. When the baby needs me, I don't have to wash it off, but it doesn't mean I'm not cleaning the nipples or showering ya. I still maintain general hygiene. Almost other creams and methods need to be washed off before the baby can drink on the milk. Based on experience and what I can find, only Lansinoh and Dr. Brown's Nipple Cream that doesn't need to be washed off. Why is not washing off important? Imagine a very sensitive and even wounded nipples need to be washed several times in a day, it is so painful and you still need to let your baby sucked your nipples too. Lansinoh provided a protection to your wounded nipples, heals them and gives the comfort you need without harming the baby.
*Lansinoh contains lanolin, not suitable for babies whose allergic to lanolin.
Will the pain be forever? Nope, only the first month and when the baby is teething.
Now, these are the things I found useful, but not as must have. The Momby feeding seat (above), is a great help for me during bottle feeding. It helps me making sure that the back bone is supported well and getting the right angle (45 degree). It can be used during breastfeeding too but I prefer using those nursing pillow instead.
Downside, for newborns that are under 60 cm, the length might be too long, tips? Used a dense pillow on the baby's bottom.
Same goes with bathe time, newborns can not use their bath tub yet, this item above is sold everywhere now and suits the needs perfectly. We can use both hands to clean the baby without worrying of being too slippery or not holding them right. Trust me, soap + wet babies equals very very slippery.
In the market now there's also many clothe and sponges sold for babies now, there are actually quite a lot, for me I'm always stick to the baby, buy the soft and skin friendly one so their delicate skin wont be irritated.
Same goes with the products used, avoid paraben at all cost and sls too. A lot of products on the market right now still contain both or one of the ingredients mentioned. Chicco baby toiletries are free from both paraben and sls. I dislike the scent but so far that's the only brand I found to be free from both paraben & sls and not so expensive. Yes, there are many organics formula that cost 10x as Chicco does.
Mom also need skincare, for me, it is best to use baby-proof products, don't kiss the baby while using an anti acne product that contain that nasty acid, or hugging them after applying a firming lotion that are super effective, to keep it save, I'm using a skincare that are mild and only provide moisture with ingredients that are well known to be safe during pregnancy, and body lotion? Baby lotion is better.
During breastfeeding period, I also sweats a lot, like I'm a furnace making milk for baby all the time, so I do take showers like 3-4 times a day, hence, a gentle cleanser is needed for me, so my skin doesn't get overly dry. I really like keeping myself clean because of the baby. This goes for everyone in the house, after going out, it is best to take a shower before holding/touching the baby to wash away everything from germs to air borne viruses and don't forget to change to clean clothes too.
If anyone is sick in the house a mask would be helpfull but a safe distance is always better. For me, I prefer everyone is healthy and avoid going out when it is not important, that's why I'm not going to any events anytime soon.
Clothing wise for the baby? Don't buy too much as they grow so fast. A good quality clothing is soft and durable, making them long wear and suitable for the growing babies, don't buy anything that feels rough and not stretchable, a good weaving methods helps the clothe to be a bit stretchy, so baby's hand or legs can easily slip on the sleeves and holes.
Diapers, oh well, I've tried those natural non disposable ones, and it s super duper troublesome. I know it is greener but if it takes hours away from my deprived sleeping time, I rather choose the biodegradable disposable diapers if possible.
Yes, sleeping is definitely a privilege. In fact, anything is a privileged to be able to take a long shower, a bath, toilet break or even a proper meal. It is normal to feel exhausted, my suggestion is to take it easy, eat and sleep whenever you can, say good bye to TV, surfing the net, and even malls for a while. This job can be so demanding but the rewards may be beyond expectation.
Now, you're still pregnant? Buy everything you can, even everything that the baby may need for the first 12 months because you might never know when you can go shopping again heehee.