Monday, 27 October 2014

Newborn gadgets - Feeding essentials

There are an overwhelming array of products out there for first time parents. A great deal of them tap into the fact that, I for one, certainly didn't have a clue what I was doing.  Apparently you simply MUST wipe baby's bottom with a heated wet wipe... who knew! Luckily we moved house only a few weeks before Baby Bear was born so with little time and space to buy and store such paraphernalia our main focus was to simply have somewhere for her to sleep and to paint her room.... given she didn't actually sleep in there for the first 6 months I really don't understand why this was a priority. I blame the call to nest!

I was recently asked to compile a list of what not to buy; highlighting the often too common pitfalls that first time parents encounter. As most purchases were made after Lena was born they came out of necessity and then, because it's me, an outrageous level of research. So, here is my list of things I wish I had bought in preparation, apart from the obvious huge numbers of sleep suits, burp cloths, crib and of course Ewan the sheep which was gifted to me by my wondrous mother.

The first of three posts tackles feeding essentials. 

The Medela Swing breast pump is by far the tool to have at your side if you choose to breastfeed your baby. Believe you me, although at the moment your thrifty self will be tempted by the far cheaper handheld versions on the market, unless you have spent years training your wrist with a stress ball, you will soon realise that you have neither the strength, time, or patience to hand pump. This little wonder takes the stress out of what can already be a challenging time for many. It will also come in extremely handy if you feel the first pains of mastitis hitting. Speaking of breastfeeding Lanolin may seem pricey but jeez those nipples will need some TLC by day two at least, so I beg of you to have a tube of this to hand.

Now, I want to highlight that this is not a breast vs bottle post by any means. I'm just writing from my own experience in which I feel it has taken me nearly two years to get over the trauma of my disastrous attempt to breast feed Lena. So I am listing Hipp Organic Milk here because I so desperately wish I had some in the house when my little girl wasn't able to latch and was screaming the house down. Giving her a feed of this to sate the ravenous hunger prior to attempting a latch would have made the whole process far less stressful, I'm sure. After trying several other brands we found this to be the kindest on her tummy and the one that aggravated her reflux the least.

We found the best bottles were the Avent Natural, as the airflow teat helped to reduce colic. However, those of my friends who were able to breastfeed for longer had better success with the NUK teat being accepted by their often picky little ones.

Lastly, Woodward's Gripe Water and Mam silk teat glow in the dark dummies were our saviours! As Lena's little digestive system adjusted to milk you could often hear the tremendous rumbles deep inside her tummy. A quick spoon of Gripe Water and a giant burp later and she was often back to her contented self. Regarding the dummy, again I am not starting a debate against the evils of using one, I am simply saying that on those dark evenings when your little one is reaching fever pitch with her screams or your nipples just feel like they're about to be chewed off there is no shame in popping one of these, orthodontic approved, soothers in her mouth. I always felt that as long as it wasn't popped in whenever she made a peep and was reserved for times of distress or when she just couldn't sleep I could cease to panic that I was a bad mother.... until the next thing came along to make me question my competency, that is.

Next up.... cleaning essentials!

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