My Second Bump
By Gretta Monahan
Years ago, when I gave birth to my first baby, my wonderful boy Kai, I did what almost every mother-to-be does to prepare: I scoured the “must-buy” lists and stocked up on all the furniture, gear, gadgets and other things experts insist you must have.
But you learn from the first time around — many of us had too many clothes, toys and items that still had tags on them long after the baby’s first birthday. That’s why the second time around I wanted to be more minimal about preparing for our new baby and feel more inclined to be selective about the brands and products that I purchase.
I’m choosing environmentally responsible, female-founded brands, and mom-crafted and -created, such as these baby basics from 12/12 that are not just 100 percent pure pima cotton, but they also give an item to baby2baby, which furnishes families in need with baby and children’s essentials.
A portable bottle warmer that actually works. The hassle of heating up a bottle of formula or breast milk on the go has been a plague for moms for years. (Where the heck am I going to find a stove? Will I get the timing right, so it warms quickly enough so he doesn’t get hungry and lose it?) The company Innobaby has solved the problem with the Aquaheat system. It uses stainless steel bottles (which also means no BPAs, phthalates or PVC) and biodegradable heat packs that warm up in under two minutes when you add water to them. It’s genius. ($45 on amazon.com.)
A baby carrier that doubles as a baby seat. Imagine an extra-lightweight Baby Bjorn that also morphs into a seat that holds your little one safely in an adult seat (for when you get tired of walking and need to take a load off in a nearby cafe), and you’ve got the Outback by Onya Baby. ($139 at onyababy.com.)
A stroller cover that protects my precious cargo from the sun. Maybe you’re on a flight and the guy next to you keeps opening and closing the window shade. Maybe it’s just a sunny summer day and you’re out for a walk. The light, breathable sun cover (it’s UVP 50+) is a cinch to pull over a stroller or a bassinet. Bonus: It keeps out most movement and lessens noise, too, so you’re young ’un remains asleep longer. ($99 at cozigo.com.)
An ingenious play mat that turns into a bag. Since it has a sturdy rim around its edges, the adorably patterned Play Mat Bag by 3 Sprouts holds toys inside on the mat, so there’s no chasing them as they fall out and get scattered around the floor. After playtime’s done, fold it up and it becomes a bag. ($24.99 at 3sprouts.)
An always-clean pacifier. Nope, it’s not too good to be true; there finally is such things as a binky that wards off germs. Doddle & Co. has designed a silicone one that pops inside itself when dropped, so the mouthpiece never touches the floor or any other surfaces. And it comes in four bright, yummy colors to boot. ($9.99 at doddleandco.com.)
Next column I’ll share a few classic products I can’t live without — including a few things for me!