Must-Haves for the Mommy-To-Be
Now I know you are probably wondering why you are reading about having babies with my shopping list on a blog that is supposed to be about weddings. But I'm hoping that my stories would help somebody who's as overwhelmed as I was when I found out that I'm finally going to become a Mommy. See before I am a wedding Diva, I am first a mom of a feisty 2-year-old girl who literally had to fight her way to be here.
Three years ago today, we found out that we were pregnant with our first child. (That's another story for another day) Our daughter Amirah was born barely 5 lbs. at 34 weeks after and had a brief stay at the NICU. Now prior to her birth, I had issues with my pregnancy. I had pre-eclampsia and was required to stay in the hospital for 2 months. Luckily, I had an excellent team of Labor and Delivery nurses at Aurora Sinai who took great care of me and my baby during the whole ordeal. Because of how hectic things had been, my husband Amir and I barely had time to put our nursery space together let alone do much shopping. Plus because we had been waiting for the chance to have a baby for 6 years, we were very careful not to do too many physical activities so shopping around wasn't an option at all. I relied solely on online shopping and Amazon was my go-to place. At the time I was preparing for Amirah's arrival, I was just so occupied with researching the best things for her from cloth diapering, to bottle and breastfeeding and of course furniture selection. I made every effort to look everything up on YouTube to see what other moms are saying about them not to mention, the many pregnancy websites out there. Now with one baby, I cannot claim to be an expert on the whole experience. After all, I've only been a mom once and only for 2 years and a few months. I do hope you still take the time to read my recommendations and reviews on some of the things that I personally have tried or wish I had at the time of our child's birth.
Pregnancy must-haveOther than the many beautiful maxi dresses I've collected over the years, the other best purchase I made that was definitely for mommy's comfort is the U-shaped body pillow! As I have mentioned before, the long stay at the hospital really was the biggest challenge I had to go through. Many of you who have had the unfortunate chance to stay in one would probably attest to the fact that hospital beds, even with all their bells and whistles, are not comfortable to sleep in at all. So I was glad that I had purchased my U shaped body pillow from Kohls prior to my confinement. There is no other way to describe the comfort this gives a pregnant woman who's a wild sleeper like me. It's like being spooned by clouds. Now I thought that I definitely overpaid for mine at $99. It was definitely a splurge although the comfort it provided was worth every penny. I still have it in my closet I pull it out every once in a while. Especially when I have trouble sleeping because of my back problems. There are several options on Amazon and I've found the least expensive kind with the most impressive feedback. Other than the comfort it provides you during the pregnancy, this could also double as a baby feeding pillow especially if you do not have a recliner or an armchair in your room and have to do most of the feeding time in bed.
Crib vs. PlaypenWe bought our baby a nice white Dream On Me 3 in 1 Crib by Delta from Amazon. We also were gifted with a nice pack 'n' play which was really perfect for us because we needed something portable since her grandparents and aunties and uncles borrowed her every now and then too. Given a choice, the 3 in 1 crib was very nice and we are keeping it in case we have another little one since we have it already, BUT I would have probably nixed the crib and just stuck with a pack 'n' play instead. I was hoping she would use the crib in all its stages but honestly, she did not like being in the crib at all. Not even when we took the front rail down and converted it into a toddler bed.
I know they make these things very complicated these days. They have Cadillac versions that have everything from a detachable bassinet, side organizer, diaper changer as well as toys attached to them. I find all of these unnecessary. A basic Pack n Play that allows multiple height adjustments and is easy to put up and fold away will suffice. These run about $60 and up. I would have to say though, it would be best to shop around in-store instead of doing this online so you can test out how to fold and unfold these things. We did not get to test ours out prior to purchasing as this was a gift. But if you don't have time to shop in-store, just type in the product name on YouTube, they have plenty of product reviews and demos online.
Baby ChangerWe have a nice long dresser in our bedroom that looks like this.
The width of it is just a little bit wider than a standard changing pad. I had debated over whether it was necessary to have a changing table at all as I've taken care of lots of baby cousins and nieces and nephews who were changed on the bed! besides, an additional fixture in our already crowded bedroom is really the biggest problem! We thought about purchasing a crib that had a built-in changer but we opted not to. Instead, we cleared the top of our old dresser, added organizers, I did not have a changing pad at the time actually I used one of my contour pillows to change the baby on. 😁 Of course, I do not recommend this since it does not have safety restraints. But replace the pillow with an actual changing pad, and you are in business. With my back problem, it was really convenient to have everything required for changing, at waist and eye level. So a nice long dresser like this if you already have it, with a bunch of baskets and wall mounted shelves come in handy. No need to buy a separate changing table that your baby will outgrow in only a few months.
The Born Free Tru-Temp Bottle Warmer is super convenient and very easy to use. It has a setting for thawing out frozen milk and milk that's been sitting at room temperature (which could still be quite cold in the winter). If your fridge is on another floor, you could store frozen breast milk conveniently in the insulated compartment which is completely detachable by the way. You could use this compartment for travel as well. It holds 2 milk bottles. The wide profile Avent bottles fit in this warmer just fine.