When pondering over this post and its headline I was thinking along the lines of ‘tips for getting through the baby years’ or ‘helpful hints’ but I didn’t want to mislead you, I don’t have some amazing secret to make your baby sleep, to make you feel like you or how to grow 8 arms so can to do everything. If I did, I’d bottle it and sell it! Then swiftly retire on my massive yacht. When it comes to parenting I am very much ‘an each to their own’ kind of mum..whatever gets you through the day and all that. So, instead, I can offer you a little list of material goods that helped ease the baby whirlwind that came ripping through our once quiet lives.
1. Medal swing pump, or the milk maid as it became known to us. Breast or bottle, your choice but if you opt for breast and are in the market for a breast pump then I couldn’t recommend this more. I had such a hard job trying to feed both my children so we invested in this. It wasn’t cheap at £130 but had I not used it I would have spent the money on formula. I found it as good as the hospital grade pumps but it is smaller and lightweight so easy to take away with you should you brave an outing or week away. It has different strengths and two different settings designed to replicate feeding. The only slight drawback is the noise. Not only do you feel like a cow being milked you sound like one too.
2. Sudocrem care and protect. I don’t know what is in sudocrem but it is bloody is marvellous stuff. Whatever the skin related ailment sudocrem is your man, so to speak. Once (and I hate to share this story because it makes me feel like a crap mum) but once I failed to dry my daughter properly under her arm after a bath and when I changed her later she had a really horrible, red, angry looking sore. We plastered her in the thick white stuff and left her arm exposed to breath. Within hours it was practically healed. The downside to sudocrem, it gets everywhere! The amount of times I have sponged it off my sofa or been out and looked down to find white finger marks on my leggings (because you will be wearing leggings for a good few months post birth), chances are you will also bump into someone you know – just so look like you got the mothering thing down. But fear not people the clever peeps at sudocrem HQ have developed Care and Protect. It has the same amazing quality and has a protective barrier against external irritants. But equally as important it is a finer consistency that won’t ingrain itself on every piece of clothing you have!
3. Paco pod, the camel bag. I must confess the yummy mummy wannabe part of me dictated this purchase. I wouldn’t usually purchase such an expensive place to store nappies and poo bags but I am so glad I did. It was money so well spent. It comes complete with two ‘pods’ inside the bag or, if you’re like me, strapped on to the pram! Having a tandem pram doesn’t leave a great deal of buggy space to fit your change bag, so I can generally fit all of what I need in my pods and still have some space spare under my pram. I generally look like a working camel with bags strapped to my pram, especially if I’ve got a a shopping bag or two in toe but hey ho. The actual change bag itself is stylish, spacious and complete with lots of handy compartment for your keys, phone, purse, lippy whatever you need.
4. Milton, the bottle bath. When I stopped breastfeeding and switched to the bottle with my first we had a steam steriliser, it was such a pain. You either had to be super organised (I wasn’t, surprise surprise) and sterilise enough in advance that wouldn’t have to wait the 8 minutes it took in the microwave and so as not to burn your fingers when putting your bottle together from all the steam with a screaming baby to boot. It used to get all yellow and gross looking when it needed descaling and it made your bottles go a weird cloudy colour. However I was enlightened and showed the error of my ways and introduced to cold water sterilising in a Milton tank. Admittedly I though this was steriling from the 60s but it’s so much easier, especially for the unorganised. Wash all your bottles and just chuck them in the tank with some sterilising solution and your good to go. Just have to change the water every 24 hours.
5. The pièce de résistanc, Ashton and Parsons, crack for babies. I will be forever in debated to Mr Ashton and Mr Parson. Teething is horrible. Your poor baba is hurting, as are mum and dad. It keeps everyone up, pushes everyone’s patience in the day and more often than not you will have one poorly babe. We tried everything. But the only thing that came close to calpol was Ashton and Parsons.
A dear friend of mine once called it crack for babies. She’s not wrong. It always sorts out my little ones disconten and makes them happier, but the similarities don’t end there! It is a fine white powder you are supposed to put on their tongue but will inevitably end up all round there nose and mouth, and they will always look at you for more and thus the affectionately named crack for babies. By they way I used it when teething (wisdom teeth) and it actually helped. These guys should be millionaires.
6. Wine. If all the above fails to improve your days and sometimes it might just, then pour yourself a nice cold glass of wine and think back to a calmer time.
Have you got any products that got you through the baby years? I’d love to hear from you.