After the expensive lesson with C, Mr. P and I are more discerning with our acquisition of baby related paraphernalia. Here is my list of cannot do without items and wants:
A good baby carrier is essential because Hong Kong was not a stroller friendly place (compared to Singapore) and New York was worse (most subway stations have no escalators or lifts). At one point I owned the Pupsik carrier, the Moby wrap, the Baby Bjorn and the Manduca. The first 3 were complete waste of money for us.
I carried C everywhere in the Manduca from she was about a month old until she was 2.5. Unlike the Ergo, you do not need an infant insert because there was a baby sit built in. This is a lifesaver in the high humidity Asian climate. The Manduca was so useful, we received a second one as a gift from my FIL. I could even breastfeed C in it while we were touring the Colosseum in Rome.
I hardly used the stroller with C because while the Inglesina Zippy was a true one hand open / close stroller with great suspension, it was also at a whopping 12.5kg. We bought the Maclaren Quest when C was 5 months for our Italy trip and it became our primary stroller. It has served us well for the last 3 years but I was never truly happy. Both strollers were not my picks and they had double handles which I hated.
In comes the Babyzen Yoyo. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to spend stupid money for a 6m+ stoller, especially when I was ready to drop cash on the Mamas & Papas Armadillo. I then found out about the newborn kit! Unfortunately it was not released in the States and won’t be until maybe September or October. It was either shell out $ (about USD 750) for Mr. P to carry it back from London (and pay VAT) or wait it out.
We really had to thank our lucky stars; I found someone who could help and we even got a F&F discount! Hooray, pram envy quelled.
Of all the covers I tried in the market, Bebe au Lait is the best. The fabric is thick, both ends are weighted down by terry cloth pockets and it’s adjustable. Unfortunately, it looks like I’ve given away the 3 I owned when we moved last year. I am waiting to see if Baby A takes to breastfeeding before shelling out cash for this.
Short of hospital grade pump, this is an excellent pump. It’s expensive but worth it, especially if you intend to express for >6 months. Read the instructions and learn how to use the hands-free kit. (For the lack of a better word), it leaves your hands free to surf the web, fix yourself a snack or read a book!
5. Snap-front tops / onesies / jammies
Here’s a confession: I was such a lazy mum with C, she lived in Gerber snap-front tops until her belly button stump fell off because I wasn’t confident enough to deal with pulling onesies over her little head. We moved on to snap-front or zip-front onesies, footed jammies once her stump came off. It was only when she had more neck control that we started using pull over onesies with bottom closure.
6. Muslin Cloths
Plain, non-fancy ones from Mothercare are the best. While I love the softness and prints of the Aden & Anais ones, I always think it’s a bit of a waste shelling out money for something I probably launder about 10x a day.
We used these for everything – burp cloths, to clean up spit, mop up mess, cover the carseat when C was napping. I think I had about 50 of these at one point. Thankfully I kept about half of these so it’s a money saver for us.
7. Diaper Bag
Like all first time mothers, I wanted a chic diaper bag. So I ran out and bought myself a Kate Spade that came with a nice, lined changing mat. Truth is, I barely used it and ended buying a Longchamp Le Pilage instead.
Here is why: It’s nylon which makes it somewhat water proof. It’s cheap (well compared to everything else I own), so I am not concern about dirtying it (Clover spat up on my Balenciaga Tomato First once!). It’s lightweight, extremely so compared to KS, Skip Hop and everything else on the market. Plus I don’t mind the fact that it doesn’t have separate compartments; I travel light anyway so the little side pocket is enough for my cardholder and keys.
8. Wants: Stokke Steps Bouncer
How freaking amazing is this thing? It fit onto the Steps Highchair from Birth, which means baby A gets an elevated view of the world. And she could join us at the dining table every evening. This stores flat which is a major plus.
9. Wants: Stokke Steps Highchair
Combined with the Steps Bouncer, below is how the whole system works. I have always been a fan of Stokke, especially their famed grow-with-me concept. Apparently the Steps system was in development for years. Mr. P was never a fan of the Tripp Trapp so we never got around to getting that. Sleepi was prohibitively expensive when we were in Hong Kong and the Xplory was way too big / heavy / impractical in the narrow Hong Kong streets.
The Steps, however, fits our needs perfectly!
10. Wants: WeeGo Glass Bottles
Heavy, less practical and costs more ($15 a pop) but I personally prefer glass to plastic for anything. I am hoping Baby A is not going to be a bottle snob like C. Well she can’t since I am not intending to postpone going back to work, she had better wise up or starve!