• February 2017 Archive •

Baby Must-Haves: Part 2

North Carolina Wedding Planner - Orangerie EventsPhoto by: Six Foot Photography

Is everyone hungover on love today? I hope your Valentine’s Day was filled with hugs, kisses, flowers, chocolates and everything else lovey dovey you could possibly pack into one day. Coven and I had a successful first V-Day. We went to music class, delivered Duck donuts to Daddy at work and had lunch, took a two hour nap snuggled together, played with a Valentine’s balloon, watched plenty of Mickey and enjoyed bath time. We’ve been working on transitioning from the infant tub to the big boy tub and Coven finally had a splish splash time instead of sitting stone-cold frozen with a terrified facial expression. Today and every day, he’s my favorite funny Valentine.

I promised Part 2 of my baby must-haves and folks, I’m here to deliver. If you missed Part 1, click here and spend a few minutes reading about the Honorable Mentions. If you’re following along like a good boy or girl, then you’ve come to the right place to find out what I insist you invest in when tending to the wee little one.

The five following products are staples for baby care. We use them virtually daily and they have proven to be effective in multiple scenarios. Let’s rock and roll!

1. Baby Brezza Formula Pro
I’m not ashamed to admit I knew while I was pregnant that breast feeding wasn’t going to work for me. It was a personal preference and after researching, I felt completely comfortable with bottle feeding from the start. Some vendor friends recommended investing in the Baby Brezza and boy oh boy am I glad they did. We were fortunate that another close vendor friend purchased it for us off of our registry. The machine heats the water to the perfect temperature and then intends to mix the correct amount of formula for a ready-to-serve bottle. Full disclosure though because you deserve to hear the good and the bad. We had issues with the machine not dispensing the correct amount of formula powder, thus making the bottle to thick or too thin and upsetting Coven’s stomach. We exchanged the machine and still had the same issue. We eventually stopped using the powder dispenser altogether and we now use the machine solely for the perfectly tempered water. Even when using the Baby Brezza at 50% of its ability, it’s been a lifesaver. Especially for middle of the night feedings, which Lord knows Coven adores, because the bottle is ready to go in under a minute. Time is precious at 12am, 2am and 4am so don’t waste it trying to use a bottle warmer.

blog

2. Nosefrida Fridababy Windi Gas & Colic Relief
I knew the cry. And I knew the only way to provide Coven relief was by using a Windi. His stomach was tight as a clam and he was crying from the uncomfortable gas pains. I reached for the box and to my horror, discovered it was empty. In desperation, I went through Coven’s diaper trash, found a used Windi, cleaned and sanitized it so I could provide relief as quickly as possible. The Windi is a hollow tube that’s inserted into the baby’s bottom to instantly release gas. It often results in a bowel movement. Coven is chronically constipated. We rarely have to change a dirty diaper but rather find ourselves initiating one with a Windi. Even if your baby doesn’t have poopy problems like Coven, the Windi is perfect for relief of occasion gas. Here’s the key piece of information, you can’t easily find them in stores. Target doesn’t carry them. You can find them at Toys-R-Us but they are usually out of stock. You can sometimes buy them at CVS but you’ll pay significantly more. I recommend keeping them in your Amazon cart and stock up by buying multiple boxes at once. After rummaging through the incredibly smelly diaper trash, I can assure you we always have a full supply in-house.

blo 2

3. NoseFrida the SnotSucker
Another top notch NoseFrida product is the SnotSucker. Forget those old, out-dated snot bulbs. The SnotSucker is the only nasal aspirator you need. It’s a simple tube that you place against the baby’s nostril. You then use your own sucking power to draw the mucus out of the nose. Before you think I’m revoltingly disgusting, you don’t digest any of the snot. For starters, there’s no way the snot would be able to travel the distance of the tube. But most importantly, there’s a filter in place to prevent it from happening. When Coven was a month old, he caught a cold which caused an incredibly stuffy nose. Multiple times a day we would use the SnotSucker to clear his nasal passages and the results were remarkable. At the onset of any sort of congestion, we immediately break out the SnotSucker and get to work.

blog 3

4. Baltic Amber Teething Necklace
I had my doubts about the amber teething necklace despite being told by multiple new moms just how essential it was. As soon as Coven started showing signs of teething, I ordered a baltic amber teething necklace and anklet, even if it was a holistic approach that made me seem like a total hippie. I swear, the thing has magical teething powers. The succinc acid contained naturally on the amber helps to boost the immune-system, reduce drooling and inflammation and provides noticeable soothing and calming effects. I don’t have scientific proof but I can tell you I’m able to distinguish a difference in the level of Coven’s fussiness when he’s wearing it versus when he’s not. I also collect far less drool when he’s wearing his beads. One of the first things we do in the morning is put on his necklace and before bed, we put on his anklet and cover it with a sock to make sure it stays put. (Note: You don’t want to leave the necklace on when baby is sleeping due to the risk of choking.) Since Orajel and teething tablets are no longer deemed safe by pediatricians, the all-natural amber teething necklace is the perfect alternative.

blog 4

5. Baby Bum Brush Diaper Ointment Applicator
This was one of those purchases I was certain would be an impulse buy and a waste of money. I was wrong. We use this applicator for every single diaper change. The concept is so simple. Put the ointment on the rubber applicator and use the applicator to put the ointment on the bottom. Your hands stay ointment-free, you can easily wipe clean the applicator and the bottom suctions to a base. This is one of those products you never knew you needed until you did.

blog 5

There are definitely a few other products we use on a daily basis (Baby Brezza Bottle Sterilizer, Fisher Price Kick & Play Piano Gym and the Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit to name a few) but hopefully this overview will assist as you decide what to add to your registry or purchase for your little one. I’m always looking for suggestions from fellow moms so if you have products you think I need to add to our repertoire, please pass them along. Especially for the 6-12 month range.

Even if you don’t invest in a single thing I’ve suggested, the most important thing to have readily available is love. Unconditional, immeasurable and earth shattering love. That’s really the only thing your baby needs from the moment you scoop him from the crib until you kiss his forehead goodnight. Shower that precious babe with all the love you can possibly give, even when he’s pinching your arm and almost drawing blood during a diaper change, taking his shoe off for the 17th time, sneezing carrot baby food all over your white shirt or throwing a tantrum fit for a toddler. Love.

xoxo, Priscilla
Baby Must-Haves: Part 1

NC Wedding Planner - Raleigh Wedding Planner - Coven Erwin

Photo by: Live View Studios

I was there, too. Resembling a zombie and aimlessly wandering the baby section at Target. The ice in my Starbucks drink had melted and I was pushing around an empty cart and had been for two hours. I had no clue what I was looking for or what I was looking at. Bottles. Bibs. Diapers. Wipes. Formula with non-GMO. Formula with Soy. Formula for sensitivities. A cream for this. A cream for that. A cream to put on top of your cream. With each item I picked up, I felt like I was on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” and was using one of my lifelines. Should I “Ask the Audience” by googling the product to find the meaning, rating and purpose? Should I “50:50” it and just eliminate the ones in a certain color or price point? Or maybe I should just pull the old trusty “Phone-a-Friend” and bug one of my girlfriends with another I’m-clueless-about-being-a-mom question.

I scoured every mom blog, Pinterest post and forum I could find to try and figure out exactly what I needed before Coven’s arrival. What were the things that would significantly make a difference to the daily routine? What were the products I would have stored in my Amazon cart at all times for instant delivery? What was something that would actually help to soothe or ease Coven when he was in discomfort?

Maybe you feel the same way or perhaps you have a friend on the verge of motherhood. I’m certainly not an expert but I thought it might be helpful if I shared some items that are staples in the Erwin household when it comes to Coven’s care. These are tried and true and have at times been lifesavers.

For Part 1, let’s address and acknowledge the Honorable Mentions. While these aren’t products you can technically purchase, they may be more valuable than anything found on the shelves.

1. Prayers
Out of everything you think you need to prepare for a baby, nothing is more important than prayers. Not just the goodnight, sleep tight prayers. Constant ones. Ones of gratitude. Ones of guidance. Ones of comfort. Sometimes you may be praying over a sleeping baby and sometimes you’ll be praying for a sleeping baby. You’ll pray to get through another day and you’ll pray for another day. I find myself praying unlike I ever did before. Praying for wisdom and strength to be a gentle and compassionate mother. Praying for his family unit and the childhood I feel he deserves. Praying for his safety. Praying for his health. Praying for his future spouse. I pray he’ll be a sweet and kind boy who grows into an honest and forgiving man. Day in and day out, I survive by the prayers I give.

2. Sleep
You’ll find yourself mourning the loss of sleep. It will become a loving memory. And as the days and nights begin to run together, you’ll become crazier and crankier. I’ll be honest, sleep comes at a price. About $25 – $30 an hour. But I promise, you’ll never regret paying the amount of a monthly mortgage for something free you once took for granted. A few weeks after Coven was born, I knew I wasn’t going to be my best self if I didn’t get one night of uninterrupted sleep. I decided it was time to hire a night doula and it was quite frankly one of the best decisions I made for both Coven and myself. She would come just once or twice a week at 10pm. As soon as she arrived, she headed to the nursery to be with Coven and my job was to turn off the baby monitor and peacefully sleep until 6am the following morning. I would always wake up feeling refreshed and looked forward to Tuesday and Thursday each week because I knew I would be able to sleep without trying to shush, bounce or Jedi mind trick a baby to do the same. The night doula we hired was a recommendation from a friend and was the sweetest, most loving woman. If you’re interested, let me know and I’ll gladly pass along her information.

3. Mark Chestnutt
This one certainly won’t work for everyone and honestly probably won’t work for another single person but there is an underlying point. When Coven was about two months old, he became fussy with my dad while I was running an errand. Having raised me under the influence of country music, my dad decided to play some Mark Chestnutt to try and soothe Coven. To his surprise, it worked and Coven instantly stopped crying. When dad told me the story, I was a skeptic. A hardcore one. Until it worked again. And then again. And then became my go-to baby pacifier. I now know every word of every song on the “Tradition Lives” album by Mark Chestnutt. We’ve tried other artists and other genres and nothing stops Coven in his tracks or tears like “Oughta Miss Me By Now” or “I’ll Think of Something.” I highly doubt Mark Chestnutt will work for your baby, but if you do find something that comforts them, no matter how crazy or country, use it.

I assure you Part 2 of this blog will feature legitimate products that can actually be purchased. I’ll leave you with the best advice I’ve received and could possibly give. Every good mom thinks she’s screwing it up. I’m reminding myself of that very thing as we embrace Round 2 of sleep training and I have to listen to thirty minutes of bloodcurdling screams coming from a perfectly healthy baby who thinks he has to have a bottle every three hours at night. Hang in there, mama. You’re not alone.

xoxo, Priscilla