Sunday, July 15, 2012

5 Post-Pregnancy Products

** Quick Update:  Whatever Caroline's issues were Thursday night, they seem to have been resolved... at least for now!  She's back to her normal self--we'll see how long this version of "normal" lasts! **

So...  let's talk baby stuff.  I was determined to keep things pretty simple in terms of baby gear, both when I was pregnant with Eliza and with the Deuce.  Our house is tiny and we just don't have space for that much stuff.  Babies seem to come with so many accessories, but only a few that are really necessary.

That said, there are a few things that I have found enormously useful, although not necessarily essential.  So here I am passing on my unasked for recommendations and unsolicited advice.  You are so welcome!  Here are five not-really-necessary things that are making our lives a little bit easier.

Thing 1:  The Woombie.

My mom bought this at an adorable little specialty shop in my home town called Belles & Beaus (cute name, right?).  It's essentially a straight jacket for infants that works as a swaddle blanket.  Don't get me wrong--we looove the Aden & Anais muslin swaddle blankets and use the heck out of those as well--but this never comes untucked, so no worries about her squirming out of it during the night.  It's the perfect summer weight, and works on Caroline like a baby Ambien.  We call her our little glow worm when she's wearing it.

zipped up in the Woombie
Thing 2:  The Snuza.

This literally makes her our little glow worm, because it has a small flashing light you can see through the Woombie.  If I hadn't lost a baby, I probably would have thought this was "silly," but I cannot tell you how much better it makes me feel to know she's wearing this at night.  It's a tiny baby monitor that attaches to her diaper.  It's really small (like the size of a baby's hand) and very lightweight, and the rubber tip that touches the baby's belly is soft and flexible.  It works as a motion sensor that senses the baby's breathing and beeps if it doesn't detect movement for 20 seconds.  Of course, it nearly gave me a heart attack when it slid off her diaper the other day and the alarm went off (fortunately she was grunting at the time so I knew she was ok, but STILL).  This little gadget helps us sleep peacefully at night.

Thing 3:  The Wedge.

I bought this Boppy pillow from Amazon when I was pregnant and used it to support my belly when sleeping on my side, or lying on my side on the couch doing kick counts and watching TV.  It's also come in super handy to use with the regular Boppy or by itself when it comes to nursing or just snuggling with Caroline.

the Carolines and the wedge
Thing 4:  Belly Bandit

Let me just say that I did not buy this because whatshername Kard.ashian used it.  I got it after we lost Eliza because I was horrified at the idea of looking post-pregnant without having a baby to show for it.  I wore it under big, baggy sweaters when I went back to teaching.  And I hated it.  I remember feeling like it was uncomfortable and suffocating, but actually I think that was my grief.  This time, I tried it because my core muscles seem to have completely disappeared and it was all I could do to get myself out of the recliner while holding a baby.  So I skeptically strapped on the Belly Bandit, expecting to feel confined and uncomfortable and instead...  my stomach and back felt supported.  In a good way.  And yes, it's hot outside, but all I do is sit around in the air conditioning so it hasn't bothered me to wear it.  And I have the bamboo version, which is supposed to be breathable.

mine is plain black, no fancy pattern.  image from here

Their website recommends wearing it constantly for six weeks postpartum.  I don't know that I will be a 24/7 wearer of the Belly Bandit (it does need to be washed occasionally!), but so far I have had it on a lot (and I've slept in it) and I think it's kind of awesome.  No idea if it will really make a difference in shrinking my stomach and hips, but it just feels comfortable in a kind of weird way (I guess it's sort of like a nice supportive bra for my stretched out belly--how gross is that?).

Thing 5:  Creepy Bear

We call this guy Creepy Bear because he's a bear and, well, he looks totally creepy.  When David first saw him perched in the corner of the Pack 'n Play, he said, "Um, is that thing old?"  Why, yes.  Creepy Bear IS old.  He was my brother's and my brother is now 28 years old.  Also my mom thinks that she might have bought Creepy Bear at a consignment shop, so who knows how far back he goes.  Anyway, my dad had to get Creepy Bear back in working condition and when you turn him on (rotate the dial on his belly) it sounds like an old-time radio with lots of static.

sweet baby and creepy bear
There's a magic point when the dial is just right, though, and that's when Creepy Bear makes white noise and a heartbeat sound to mimic the womb.  Caroline seems to like it and it totally puts the rest of us to sleep.  Including Little Mac.  Creepy Bear FTW!  (Here's a version that's not three decades old.)

So... what am I missing that you can't live without?  Baby-related or otherwise?


  1. She is SO CUTE!

    I have gotten so much use out of my 12-15 burp cloths. While at 8 months we no longer go through multiple ones per day, whenever I travel (which always ends up being messier than staying at home), I make sure to pack one per day.

  2. Harrison has a little elephant blankie that is about 6" x 6" and is green super soft minkie fabric. In the middle is a elephant head made of the same fabric (link: He LOOOOOOOOVES it, and when I put him in bed, I put this in the crook of his arm and he just attacks it and chews the truck and goes right to sleep. It is small enough that if/when it goes over his face, it is too small for him to suffocate. These things are all the rage these days, and all the babies here have them. I thought they were totally lame until my sister in law (also named Brooke!) gave it to Harrison. He fell in love with it instantly, and it is our sleepy time magic charm. Love it!!

    So glad Caro is back to her usual cutie pie happy self! what a relief for you!


  3. She is so cute!

    I still think I'm gonna resell my snuza before the next baby, it gave us a lot of false alarms when Luke was little (we have the purple one), including at times when he was laying on me- wtf? and it was not my favorite to have to clip on/off for diaper changes.I wish I'd known you were getting one b/c you could have had ours! (Although maybe yours is better.)

    We LOVE the angelcare monitor, it's easy to just flip it on and rarely gives a false alarm once you getting the settings right.

    Also I think a must-have for babies not as good sleepers as Caroline is the Rock N Play sleeper. It inclines them and makes them feel like they are being held so they sleep better. Plus it rocks so you can rock them to sleep in it or back to sleep if they start stirring, and it is so lightweight you can move it room to room to keep baby near you. When we went on vacation with 8-wk old Luke, we used it as his bed b/c it folds up super easily, and that was what helped him start sleeping through the night. I think that was my favorite baby thing overall.

  4. Re the belly bandit: They actually will give you a hospital verion of this in the hospital for c-section mom's (they call them abdominal binders). (Though some you have to ask.) They definitely help a ton! I brought my first one but asked for another with Luke so now I have 2 and plan to ask for another this time, it's nice to have a rotation to be easier keeping clean. I wonder if you asked for one in the hosp. if they'd give you one with a vaginal birth, my ob ordered one the first time, the second time I asked for one the first or second day, but I know not all ob's automatically order them even for c-sections.

  5. So glad Caroline is feeling better!! We ended up at the ER at 2am after being home with LB for a week because of constipation/gas pain. That "I'm in pain" scream is no fun!!

    I LOVED our ergo baby carrier!! It fit nicely on me and was a great way to bond. I was also a little paranoid about being out in public and having people want to touch and hold the baby. So when they are in the ergo then it isn't really an option. Actually, I bet you could make yourself a sling, which would be similar to the ergo or moby if you don't already have one!

  6. We used the angel care with G, it worked well with the bassinet but we had troubles with the crib.
    The thing we couldn't live without was the baby bouncer seat. I've found once they get older they like to be able to control the bounce so the ones that are more stable don't work as well. They are light weight, easy to move and good for so many things, plus it helped G to be slightly inclined with her reflux problems.
    Caroline is so adorable!

  7. I'll second Angie with the Angel Care monitor and the Rock n Play. I also used to think that video monitors alone...much less one that also detects movements were insane, but we had a scare (well, a few scares and almost a trip to Chilrens Mercy) at the hospital when Hudson would get choked and quit breathing and turn blue. Luckily my dad is just as paranoid as I am and bought it for me...thank goodness b/c it's $300! Andy thought it was silly at first (we didn't use it for the first 5 months when he was in our room) but has since agreed it's pretty much the best investment ever. Peace of mind is worth any price to me. So now I can watch him and his breathing whenever I please. ;) Oh and I'll second Angie again with the Rock N Play. This thing was amazing! The only downside has been getting him to sleep as peacefully in his crib as he did in the rock n play. It's been 4 months since we moved him out of it, and it hasn't happened since. Other baby musts for us have been a bouncer. (lifesaver with Aidan) and the jumperoo (once they were about 4 months old). Neither one of my boys cared for swings though.

  8. I too bought a belly bandit after losing Cale. I think it was a different version, and I also bought this thing for just my hips. When wearing both I could barely walk. I wasn't as "good" about wearing them after Finn. Maybe that's why my abs are totally shot and my skin all wobbly. . .. or maybe having 2 babies in 1 year will do that to you. And not working out much. . . cause let's be honest here.

  9. I have The Wedge! Could not have survived pregnancy without it. Our version of the woombie is the miracle blanket, which was totally a miracle for us. I would add to your list some kind of sling or carrier. I had Henry in the Beco Butterfly constantly when he was a baby. Bought it when he was about 8 weeks old and was in the phase where he cried every time I tried to put him down. It was a sanity saver.

  10. JJ Cole Bundle Me for infant car seats. They are the greatest invention ever!! They're very soft inside and out and they stay in the car seat. Just add baby, buckle baby, and cover when outside in the cool weather. We NEVER used coats on our twins as newborns/infants because of these.


    Thought of you and Eliza when I ordered this for my little girl today. The "Eliza" hoodie at Abercrombie Kids :)

    Just wanted you to know :)

  12. I'm another fan of the Angelcare monitors- each twin has a deluxe set (2 pads) for when they come home if they don't have hospital monitors.
    I also love the mammaroo.. they have several in the hospital and the nurses fight over them for their patients!
    And of course my cloth diapers.. this is going to be a fun collection!

  13. You know how I ADORE the Snuza--only ONE false alarm and that is when the husband barely clipped it to the diaper, so totally human error. I do find myself panicking that the battery is going to go out without warning, and I'm not going to have a back-up, so I won't be able to sleep for a few days until the new one arrives (bc I don't think they are sold locally). I am online seeing if the Woombie is made for bigger babes bc I swaddled K last night against his wishes, and he only woke up ONCE as opposed to every two hours (or more) that he has been doing recently. So his ass is getting a straight jacket whether he likes it or not.

  14. But as far as baby products you don't have, I have TONS of stuff... three gyms, two swings, two bouncers, etc (and that's just the early infant stuff--yes, it's ridiculous over here!!!), but the ONE thing we could not do without with Sloane and Kellan is the Baby Bjorn bouncer... I think it used to be called the Babysitter 1-2-3, but they have since updated the name and a few things about it. It's ridiculously expensive, as are most Bjorn products, but COMPLETELY worth it. It's one of those that they can bounce themselves by their movements, so no batteries or anything weird. It folds flat, and we take it EVERYWHERE. They can snooze in them for a quick nap or just be soothed with the bouncing--it's the only thing that has calmed my babies down when they were inconsolable. Best piece of baby equipment ever. It's the black/black and white gingham seat you see in a lot of our pics. LOVE.

  15. We love the woombie and the Snuza Go, too! Also the Angel Care video monitor for when Ginny sleeps in the co-sleeper - nothing to clip on the diaper, and I can spy on her while in the kitchen or laundry room.

    Instead of a creepy bear, we have a sleep sheep that makes white noise. The choices are ocean, stream, rain or whales (sounds like humpback songs) - all of them work great except the whales one, because it makes the dog go completely insane.

  16. Re the belly bandit
    I ordered one after Alexander. I was already almost 4 weeks out when I decided to get one... maybe I ordered the wrong size (M for 30-38 .. err, something like that) but I couldn't sit, and it would roll up my back. My waist at the time was 31... but the size chart said S size was for 26-30. And I haven't had a 28 waist for well over 6 years now!

    Really, I just wanted one for working out because I could feel my belly flab slap around while on the treadmill. Lovely I know.
    I ended up returning it, and just buying a knock off version at a local pregnancy store. I couldn't find the BB anywhere here in Canada, so I ordered online, and it was like, 120!
    I'm tempted to try it again after the next pregnancy... but I'm still not sure of the size. And is it really safe to wrap your stomach so tight after delivery? I remember wearing pants that were tight because one of my sister-in-laws told me to wear fitting clothing to faster get everything to snap back... and I remember feeling cramping, and excessive blood flow. Felt like if I had a smaller size I'd bleed to death.

    Just wondering if anyone else had a problem with it rolling up, and constantly needing to be readjusted. Was I doing something wrong?

  17. We had a womb sounds bear that we swore by and often buy as baby gifts.

    Also, you think it's too late for the belly band for me? I'm kinda not kidding.

  18. Also love the Leachco Podster. Super cheap and my Davey boy loves it.

  19. Wait - how did I forget to say that the MY BREST FRIEND is the BEST breastfeeding helper/baby platform/terribly named device EVER!? I don't know what I would do without it.