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Friday, April 8, 2011

5 Products Every Pregnant Woman/New Parent Should Buy

IT has been a long time since my last post, and that's because I am a new mother again (for the last time. I'm not a good pregnant person.) Yippee. With the exception of having gone full term plus a few extra days and being completely uncomfortable waiting endlessly to go into labor (and, of course, having to actually give birth--owee!!) the labor and delivery process went smoothly and I delivered a healthy baby girl at the end of March. Whew.

WHILE the issues with education are absolutely still on my mind (particularly as, no, I still haven't learned my fate with regard to my blogging situation, and I've been watching in horror as bill after bill is being proposed or passed limiting teacher and other union rights--some of which will definitely cause further destruction to our already-troubled education system), I've been thrust full-force back into the world of new parent, and I have other things on my mind as well. In addition to which, my blog was always about my life overall, so I'm going to branch back out and cover all sorts of topics, including, but not limited to, education issues.

WITHOUT further ado then, I'd like to share a list of products that pregnant women and new parents should be sure to purchase. If you aren't expecting, I'm sure you know someone who is, and thus this list is for you, too, as you'll be a hero to a new parent when you give one of these gifts to them.


1. Snoogle Total Body Pillow ($59.99) While, yes, $60 is exorbitant for a pillow, this is an item I passed on during my first pregnancy. I opted for a standard $12.99 body pillow because I couldn't reconcile myself to spending $70 on a pillow (the cost has dropped a bit in the 3 years since I was last pregnant). However, this is one of those instances where you get what you pay for. The body pillow did jack squat in helping me sleep. See, I'm a stomach sleeper. However, when you're pregnant, that isn't really an option for obvious reasons. My second choice is my back, then my right side, then my left. Medical people and pregnancy books recommend that women sleep on their left sides during pregnancy, and not on their backs or right sides (something to do with pressure on main arteries and major organs). The Snoogle is a long, thin pillow that's shaped a bit like a C. It runs down the length of one's body and fits well between one's legs and/or under one's growing belly. It helped me get some sleep at a time when sleep is not easy to come by. For that reason, I love it and felt that it was worth the expense in the long run.

One thing that should be noted, though, is that the pillow doesn't come with a pillow case. That's an extra $19.99-$26.99. THAT was more than I was willing to pay for such a thing, so I didn't get one and just used the pillow itself. It worked out fine for me, though the pillow did get little beady fuzzies on it from being used so much. If that bothers you, by all means get the (ridiculously overpriced) pillowcase. I just couldn't do it.

2. Maternity Belly Band ($24.99-$29.99, depending on brand) When I was pregnant with my first daughter, I joked that I wished that I could hire someone to stand under my stomach and hoist it up so it wasn't weighing me down so much. Then I discovered this belly harness at Babies R Us. It's a thick band that velcros around one's back and serves as a harness under one's stomach, much in the style of someone standing under there holding it up! It offers both back and stomach support. It was my absolute favorite purchase during my first pregnancy. I did try to use it the second time around, but it didn't work as well for me. I have 2 theories as to why: 1. The harness was old and stretched out. Perhaps if I'd bought a new one it would have been more sturdy. 2. I carried a little lower and was HUGE much earlier, so maybe there was just too much of me to hoist upward. Regardless, though, I do swear by this product. Boppy makes one called Boppy Support in Style Maternity Band that looks pretty close to the one I had (which I can't find online but it was MOM brand).


1. Triple Paste Diaper Rash Ointment ($8.99 for 2oz tube; $28.99 for 1lb tub) One of the best diaper rash creams out there. While it's more expensive than Desitin (more than double the cost, in fact), it works a lot better. I've used it for both of my babies and any redness clears up overnight with its use. Worth every penny!

2. Diaper Genie II Elite Diaper Disposal System ($34.99-$39.99; refills $19.99/3 pack) We had the regular, non-elite Diaper Genie system for our first daughter. I actually blogged about that system in my old blogs. Basically, you would put the diaper in the pail, shut the lid, twist a few times, and voila!--diaper gone. When you empty the container, the diapers resembled a sausage roll what with the twisted, individually-wrapped diapers. The problem with this system was that it smelled like someone crapped on a powder puff--emptying the thing was pure torture and the nursery always smelled bad. When we found out we were having another baby, my husband and I both agreed that, while there were many things we were going to re-use that our first daughter outgrew, we were definitely going to 'splurge' on the updated diaper disposal system. So far--for the first 2 weeks anyway--we've found the upgraded system to be so much better. The sausage roll is gone, the sickening powder smell is gone, the smelly nursery is gone. And it's easier to empty. While I know that this is something that could change with time (perhaps, after all, it's still too new right now), I'm quite pleased with the new pail.

3. Dr. Brown's Natural Flow bottles ($12.99/2 pk glass; $54.99 BPA Free Deluxe 10-bottle Gift Set) With our first daughter, we used Playtex Ventaire bottles. They sucked. They leaked out the bottom and the neck, and had the worst nipples in town. My poor baby would suck and suck and not get any formula because the hole wasn't big enough; we ended up having to use a pin to open the hole more so she could even eat. HORRIBLE. So, again, we knew that the bottles would be another product we would replace and upgrade for the second baby. The Dr.Brown's bottles appealed to me because I wanted to try glass bottles this go-around. However, in shopping, we found that glass bottles are hard to come by and that there were no good multi-pack purchase options on them. A big part of the reason I wanted to go glass this time was because of the dangers of BPA in the plastic. However, I found that most bottles are now BPA free anyway (as are Dr.Brown's) so I was willing to compromise and try the deluxe gift set listed above.

The idea behind Dr. Brown's bottles is that there's a valve that vents any air to the bottom of the bottle in an effort to help reduce spit-up, colic, burping, and gas, and that creates a vacuum-free system that more closely resembles breastfeeding. My first daughter routinely spit up after eating. My new daughter who is using these bottles almost NEVER spits up. She burps a lot less, too. These are great bottles for what they're designed to do. The nipple is the right flow, the food doesn't come out too quickly or too slowly, etc.

My ONLY gripe with them is cleaning them. There are 6 pieces to each bottle: the bottle itself, the valve, the vent, the nipple, the cover that holds the nipple in place, and the cap. The valve and vent require a special little brush tool (included) to clean them. Therefore, it can take me up to 30 minutes a day to clean bottles and prepare formula (the bottles are actually dishwasher safe, but because I have to clean the valve and vent by hand, I just do the bottles at the same time so all of my pieces are ready at once). But the trade-off is worth it to me; these are a solid product.

Hopefully my baby product endorsements will help steer you in the right direction if you're shopping for pregnancy/baby supplies. There are tons of products on the market, so recommendations are definitely a good way to weed out the good from the bad.

Now, if you'll excuse me, it's feeding time once more!


  1. Is there a chance you could insert paragraphs? It is terribly difficult reading ONE LONG one. Thanks.

  2. Natalie,
    Congratulations on your new bundle of joy! While, I loved being pregnant, I love being a mom more. Since you are a seasoned pro, you might already know about these. However, maybe some of your readers can benefit from these suggestions. Mylicon drops ($5.00 and up). These drops saved my life when Brandon had stomach issues. He was a very gassy baby, thank goodness he outgrew that.
    Carnation Good Starts formula ($17.00 and up). Yes I know that this formula is a bit pricy, but it is so worth it. In fact, it was the only formula my son could tolerate. It has a creamy milky texture and it looked the closest to breast milk. I used it at first to supplement my own breast milk. Then I used it full time because my milk dried up.
    Those are my 2 suggestions that worked for me, and I hope they work for you or anyone who reads this and wants to try it.
    Take care,

  3. @Math- Sorry for the one long paragraph. I didn't type it in the system like that-- it DID have page breaks. But for some reason, that formatting didn't post. I went in just now to try to change it, but it still won't work. I don't know why. I added bold print every other paragraph (at least, where I'd intended paragraphs to be if it let me post my formatting) to try to make it a little easier on the eye. But I'll continue to try to fix it. Sorry to you (and all readers) for the inconvenience.

  4. Congratulations...enjoy your new little one.
    I enjoyed reading your post, as two of those five recommendations were gifts from me to my daughter during her pregnancy/birth over a year ago. I bought her the body pillow (sans case) during a maternity clothes shopping outing in August (her birthday), and the Diaper Genie (plus 6 boxes of refills) were (part of) her Christmas gifts. Great minds think alike!
    God's blessings to you and your family.

  5. Not sure in your area you can purchase this product, but we used it for our first pregnancy & now that we are expecting our 2nd in May, we'll probably use it again. It is called, Super Duper Diaper Doo. Our oldest child had a horrible case of diaper rash & we tried everything (including what you suggested). A pharmacist recommended Super Duper...) With one application, his fire-engine red bottom was healed. It was a blessing.

    My friend swears by the Dr. Brown bottles, too. We used and enjoyed the Ventaire bottles you didn't like. We plan to use those again with #2. We'll see what happens!

    Good luck in everything. I just found I lost my teaching job, too. The reason??? Had something to do with me not "thinking before I speak"...apparently I said the wrong thing to a school member or within ear shot of a school board member. So much for my $25,000 education, 8 years's all political.

    Personally decided to take a break and take advantage of our last pregnancy & stay home. Who knows what time will bring. We'll see.

  6. I hope you got paid from those companies to promote their products! If you end up not going back to teaching by choice or other reasons, you could make a few bucks doing product endorsements as your young one grows!

    Just a thought....

    Much luck to you!

  7. @ Tillmanator--
    Haha. I wish I did! Product endorsements--now THAT'S a cool gig!
    Thanks for the well wishes.

  8. I've come late to your plight as an educator, having only recently found the link (although knowing my wife, she sent it to me back when it first hit the news, and knowing me, I haven't checked my links from her like I should), and I've read your entries with interest. My wife taught secondary English for 10 years, most of that time in _very_ rural Georgia, a state known for having two "tracks" for graduation... "College Prep" and "Tech Prep." You can see where this is going, right?

    As someone who is very familiar with the day-to-day (not to mention overall) plight of the educator, I offer my firm support to your corner. Stand strong, stand firm, and by all means, use your voice. With luck, perhaps you will bring about the awareness needed to precede the change that this country's educational system is rapidly finding a dire necessity.

    I would like to ask you to take a moment in the next little bit to update us on both your professional life, and your life as a new mother. It would be a shame to have a voice that brings with it the potential for such change left to a resounding silence.

    -Eric Scalf
    Fellow blogger, and husband to a former educator.


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Thanks to all for your thoughts.