Top 10 Mermaid Must-Haves for Any New Mom
Diapers, bottles, wipes, lullabies, playtime, naps, diapers, bottles, cleaning bottles, laundry, bathtime, more diapers, more wipes, more bottles…repeat. That’s what my typical day looks like as a new mom of a thriving two-month old…and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Every moment with my little ZiZi is in my eyes, a miracle, even the fussy ones. For I waited for my little mermaid for a long time and cherish each moment and each bottle and each diaper like I never imagined. And now that I’m into my second month and learning our routine more, understanding her needs more, and simplifying my “mommy responsibilities” down to a science, I thought I would share the items I can’t live without as a new mom. The items listed here have helped me spend more time, more energy, and more love with my little one without creating extra work for me! In no random order, this mermaid momma is gonna dive right into what will help your journey into motherhood go along swimmingly for you and for baby!
1. Best Way to Hold Baby Close and Keep her comfortable. In the first few days of being home, it’s all about cuddles, naps, kisses and more cuddling. However, while baby just wants to crawl back inside you and cuddle all day, you do have to get things done. That’s where “wearing your baby” comes in handy, and that’s where I fell in love with my Baby K’tan Organic baby wrap and my Aloha and Light Keiki Wrap. First, the Baby K’tan is best for newborns as it wraps them up in what I call the “baby mermaid in her shell” hold. Essentially this wrap lets you hold baby similarly to how she was in the womb so it feels very comforting for her, and the Baby K’tan and it’s soft stretchy fabric makes it uber-comfortable for you too. Baby mermaid can hear your heart beat and listen to you breathe, and you are hands free to get things done. I recommend the organic Baby K’Tan so you are keeping pesticide-laden exposure to a minimum for your newborn. As baby grows, and like my little seashell at age two months, you will also love the Aloha and Light Keiki Wraps which are handmade in Hawaii from a momma who truly believes in the benefits of wearing your baby close. These wraps come in a wide variety of colors and prints and make it very easy for on the go, getting baby in an out of the carseat and in and out of the wrap. As they start holding their heads on their own, these wraps let them lay there head on mom, or look around and there are many options of how to wear them. You can get your Baby K’tan at http://www.babyktan.com and you can get your Aloha and Light wrap at http://www.alohaandlight.com Tell them the Mermaid Momma sent you!
2. Best Diapers and Wipes – Honestly, the best diapers I have ever had and the softest wipes I’ve ever felt is those from The Honest Co. Rarely ever a leak, and super-absorbent. Since my little one is sleeping through the night, but still has a tiny enough little bum that she is in the newborn sizes, I’m still amazed that she can go 7 hours at night without a diaper change, without a leak, and without a diaper rash! I contribute that to these amazing diapers. Biodegradable, non-toxic, unbleached, and environmentally friendly, hypo-allergenic and great for hyper sensitive skin, not to mention the fact that they come in fun prints like mustaches, giraffes, airplanes, and my personal favorite – skull and crossbones! (Oh and I love the campers and ever-green tree ones too – very festive for fall). Plus, there customer service is amazing! I had one batch of diapers that had an issue, and they sent me a pre-paid envelope and then reimbursed me with a new package plus extras. But the best thing: when they found out we were adopting a newborn girl, they send a free pack of diapers, and a big bouquet of roses! What large world-wide company has that kind of customer service!!! Set up your free account and have the diapers shipped right to your door (because trust me, it’s no fun to have to run out just for diapers with a cranky newborn) by clicking here: http://www.honest.com/accept_invitation/320578 You can even set up a free trial and get free diapers!
3. Best Toy That To Soothe a Fussy-finned baby mermaid (or merman): Bar-none, you must buy this. My and my baby’s life would be incomplete without this toy. I even have two! And in fact, I’m pretty sure I’m gonna get a third. It’s made by Cloud B and it’s called the Sleep Sheep, however they have several different animals. I wanted something that played womb noises and heartbeats like a toy I had as a baby that my mom said I adored, but little did I know I would find a toy that plays not only womb and heartbeat sounds but also whale sounds!!! Talk about one happy mermaid! The whale sounds are ZiZi’s favorite and mine too. They even make a small Sleep Sheep to take on the go. We have the Dozy Dolphin (since Mermaids seem to resonate more with dolphins too. But it is discontinued and usually extremely hard to find. We found ours on ebay and literally it instantly became my little girl’s favorite thing. You can find the one that’s just right for you at www.cloudb.com Non-toxic, made from bamboo fabric and comes with batteries! But buyer beware: you will want more than one!
4. Best Formula For Non-Breastfed Babies or for Supplementing: No contest, breast-milk is best hands down. With all the good probiotics and essential fatty acids that breast milk contains, if you can and are willing to breastfeed your baby, you won’t regret it. As an adoptive mom, I tried for 3 months to induce lactation to feed my potential little one, but due my early menopause diagnosis, my body refused to produce. In an effort to feed my baby the very best, outside of breast milk, and due to me being unable to afford breast milk from milk banks ($5 an ounce is just not feasible, when most babies eat 20-25oz a day), I began extensively researching formulas. To my dismay, all of the US FDA approved formulas contained ingredients I was just not comfortable feeding my baby. Things like soybean oil, brown rice syrup, and even sugar! So I began looking outside the US and low and behold, I found the gold-mine of good formula…Holle Organic Infant Formula. Minimal ingredients, grass-fed whey, good oils that are non-hydrogenated and used by Europeans faithfully. Although it’s not approved by the FDA for sale in the USA you can get it from several distributors online and here’s why you should. Upon taking my little girl for her first check-up and her taking a nice sized crap during the whole procedure, my doctor asked if I was breast-feeding her. I said no and told her of the formula I was using. Her reply: “Wow that must be very good formula because her poo looks just like that of a breast fed baby and you never see that with regular formula. Whatever you have her on, keep her on it. She has no cradle cap, no baby acne, and her poo is perfect.” I believe based on my research on this formula that this is the closest related formula to breast milk. In addition to it, I add to her bottles Nordic Natural’s Baby DHA drops and Natren Life Start Bifido powder. Bifido is found naturally in breast milk and is essential to immune function and a good digestive system. If you are unable to breastfeed or choose not to, consider supplementing 1/4 tsp of bifido bacteria into one bottle a day for your baby. It will make all the difference in her poo, her moods, her immune system and her health as she grows. You can find more on the Holle brand formula here: http://www.holle.ch/en_GB/our-products/organic-baby-milk-formula I’m so thankful I found this for her, based on how well she is doing on it.
5. Best baby bottles. I have found that as a mom of a 2 month old, there are times when you want to get back into bed fast during those 2 am feedings, and therefore the best baby bottle I have found for “quick feeds” where baby will down it in no time is the Advent wide mouth bottles. My little sucker can whip this bottle in 5 minutes flat if she is hungry enough. Which makes it “back to bed” with us a few minutes faster. For when you need a bottle that cuts down on gas and colic, I recommend the Playtex drop-in Nursers. You can press all the excess air out of them (which I highly recommend doing) prior to feedings.
6. Best diaper rash cream. Easy. Coconut oil. Works as a great wetness barrier and a healing agent for any rashes or redness. Coconut oil contains anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties to kill off any germs or bad pathogens lurking on babies delicate skin and system. And there are numerous other uses for baby! Add to baby’s bath for a skin-softening moisturizing tropical-mermaid bath. Apply to the scalp if cradle cap is present, or if skin seems flaky and dry. Even small small amounts (less than an 1/8 of a tsp) in warmed baby bottles to help with constipation and nourishing baby’s delicate digestive system. Baby have a runny nose? Apply after using a cloth or a tissue to wipe away mucas to keep redness from occurring. I recommend unrefined coconut oil, but any good quality will do the trick.
7. Best app for tracking the first 2 weeks. Before we could leave the hospital, the nurses made sure our little girl was wetting at least 6 diapers, and poo-ing at least once. They also had us write down how many ounces she would eat every few hours to make sure she was eating enough. I liked keeping track of this so I could monitor her needs and since “baby brain” and forgetfulness seem to go with the territory of being a new mom, keeping track of these things allowed me one less thing to worry about. But I needed an easy way to do it. That’s when I came across the “Smallnest” app on itunes. It’s a free app that allows me to keep track of how much formula she would take and at what times, as well as track diapers, bathtime, naps and even playtime. And unlike other apps, it has a space to make notes as well, such as, “During this feeding, baby burped 3 times,” or “baby spit up after this bottle”. It’s easy to use, and can even be accessed by daddy when he’s at work to see what kind of day his little one is having, since it can be accessed by those with the app who have your password. Check it out at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/baby-by-smallnest-track-breastfeeding/id491236385?mt=8&uo=4&at=10lbb6
8. Best Bottle Warmer. This one will really resonate with those manly mountain men out there. Stanley Thermos. Yep, my dad’s old stainless steel Stanley is what I use to store hot water for up to 8 hours! I simply pre-make bottles with formula and boiled (cooled) water and store in the fridge and keep my Stanley chocked full of hot boiled water. When baby’s tummy starts to growl and she let’s me know, I simply pour hot Stanley water into a large mug and place the bottle in it and it’s ready in about 3 minutes. Just enough time for me to change her diaper before a feeding. I can take my Stanley on the go and I always have hot water, even all day! And as a side note, I also have the Stanley Travel Coffee Mug. Moms, this one is crucial too. After long nights, there is nothing better to look forward to in the morning than a piping hot cup of jo to wake you up for more baby-lovin’ fun. For those on-the-go days my Stanley Coffee Travel Mug keeps my java jammin’ hot! Check them out at: http://www.stanley-pmi.com (Oh and Stanley if you are reading this, please help a mother out and sponsor me. I’m a life-time user of all things Stanley! #shamelessinquiry #stanleyness
9. Best, Cutest, Softest Baby Clothes. This ones a tie, between Kickee Pants Organic baby wear and Two Little Kings apparel. Kickee Pants made the softest organic romper that I brought my little gal home in and she snuggled right into it. Two Little Kings makes leggings and baby clothes that feels like a hug in a pair of pants. Great prices and even better quality! Find them at: http://www.kickeepants.com/shop/pc/home.asp and http://www.two-littlekings.com
10. Best Bathtub for New Babies and New Moms. The Blooming Bath. It’s like a gigantic lotus flower (and us mermaid yogini mommas love that) which sits in your sink or even a large salad bowl and allows you to bath baby in a soft flowery cushion of warm comfort. My little mermaid instantly fell in love with bathtime and whether it had to do with the fact that she loves water or that her blooming bath was so bloomin’ comfy, either way she gave no complaints and was all smiles. It’s machine washable and has a warm soft fabric on it. I gave this a “best for NEW babies” because while older babes may not appreciate it, the new ones will because they can recline gently and have a pillow for their head as well as the rest of their body. And they are surrounded by the flower so they stay warm and toasty even in just a small amount of water. Older babies will most likely be moving and shaking too much to need it, but it would serve as a nice comfy cushion for them in the big bathtub. Find them here: http://www.bloomingbath.com/blooming-bath-baby-bath.html
Well, my first two months of motherhood has been a journey of discovery, exhaustion, trial and error, hugs and kisses, burps and farts, sweet cuddling, tears, happy and scary moments all in one, and these are the just several of the material items that have helped me keep it altogether. But when it comes to real things that help you enjoy the first two months, it really boils down to remembering to have gratitude for the miracle that you are holding and raising everyday. And also, taking time to refresh yourself with a shower, a walk, a phonecall to a friend, or a nice long cry when you need it. Fill up your cup so that you have a full mug of love to pour out onto your little one. Most important: don’t hesitate to ask for help. You will find that there are more than enough people who will want to hold that little love-bug so you can get some rest. They are eagerly awaiting your phonecall. Namaste, my momma mermaids. More to come soon. Kiss that baby for me. – Jodelle