- Diaper Wetness Indicators: Sure, diapers can be foul, stinky, messy business. That said, so is peeling shrimp, forgetting to take out the trash after deboning a chicken, and getting stuck driving behind a truck carrying hot tar… and those things don’t smile and say “Mommy,” or sweetly kiss us goodnight! I don’t imagine any of us would rank diaper changing as our favorite part of motherhood, but I’d like to think we take it all in stride. It’s a small price to pay in the larger picture, right? That said, we run into our share of grimy stuff on a daily basis, so why make dirty diapers more dramatic than they have to be? (Otherwise known as: why wind up with poop on your pants in the middle of a church service, if you don’t have to?) In the first couple weeks of being a mom, I was thoroughly impressed to discover there are now moisture meters on several brands of diapers. Genius! I love being able to see that Gray needs changing well before her diaper is so full that urine is running down my favorite silk blouse, or that immediately identifiable and malodorous scent hits my nostrils, or the dogs start sniffing around her bloomers for the source of the funk. Loving the lack of leakage!
**PS. I thought I’d skip a photo on this one… sometimes a picture is not worth a thousand words.
2. The Original Ba: Though Gray has graduated to a sippy cup these days, I spent a few months of her infancy trying to encourage her to drink water (or breast milk, every now and then) from a bottle. Being a strictly breastfed baby, she wasn’t terribly enthused about that notion. I certainly didn’t want to force her into it, and I absolutely did not want to wean her from the breastaurant. However, I knew there would be several benefits to the introduction. For example, I wanted to have the option of allowing my husband some father-daughter bonding time, by pumping and letting him feed her. I also wanted to make sure there was an alternative if I had to go to work… you know, since I can’t really leave a breast behind for the sitter. Ultimately, since I have been blessed with the opportunity to stay at home with Gray, she was (and still is) never far from the booby buffet. This means I didn’t have the need for an overabundance of bottles or the accompanying equipment. Nevertheless, when Gray finally took to the bottle, there was one thing that really helped her along… a fancy contraption called The Original Ba. If M.C. Escher had created baby products, the Ba might be it. In actuality, the progressive design was invented by four guys who possess creative imaginations and slightly contradictory career paths: a single dad, a lawyer, a designer, and a rock & roller. It sounds like the start of a really wacky joke, right? But they’ve come up with something neat; a holder that makes it simple for babies to hold their own beverage. Way to think outside of the bottle, gentlemen!
3. Smart Teething Toys: Let’s be honest, when your kid is in the throes of the teething woes, you’ll try just about anything to ease their pain… and their screaming. I’m no exception. I’ve experimented with everything from a common household washcloth that I dampened and then froze for a few hours, which is cheap and effective, to the relatively trendy amber necklace. In all honesty, I’m not entirely convinced the latter isn’t someone’s attempt to make millions off of pulling the wool over our eyes. I tried it anyway. I’ve administered homeopathic chamomile powder, and offered Gray every rubbery toy she owns. The good news is that some of them have worked for a few minutes here and there, which I’m grateful for. Here are the two soothers she loves most… by a landslide.
~Sophie the Giraffe: So far, Sophie the Giraffe still reigns as Gray’s favorite. Vive la Sophie! Trust me when I say it’s like catnip for babies.
~Toofeze: This product was gifted to Gray by the generous folks at Toofeze. They even went so far as to engrave her name and birthdate on it, which was incredibly thoughtful. Gray is hooked! I definitely think they’re onto something, as you can also stick the Toofeze in the refrigerator (though the freezer is off-limits) for a colder teether.
4. The Wubbanub Pacifier: You’ve heard me say it before, and I’ll say it again… Wubbanub has been our saving grace. In terms of calming and consoling Gray, this pacifier is unparalleled. I’m grateful for every plane ride, shower, photo shoot and dinner it has gotten us through. If your child is willing to take a pacifier at all, this is the one. With a stuffed animal at one end, even infants can manage to hold onto it. The ONLY downfall? My dogs find the stuffed animal equally fascinating. Recently, when I failed to keep a close eye on its whereabouts, the Wubbanub monkey met a tragic end. Gray has buried Mr. Monkey, and moved on to the giraffe.
5. The Backseat Baby Mirror: I don’t know what I would do without this thing. My sister in law gave us one for our baby shower, and I am indebted. Truthfully, I initially chalked the product up to some sort of car company gimmick. You know, just one more thing they can trick you into thinking your baby needs, during your five thousandth pre-birth Target run. Boy, was I wrong on this one! Though the mirror certainly has its merits in terms of baby distraction, it turns out I’m the one who reaps the biggest benefits. Do you recall bringing your child home from the hospital? It’s terrifying to be out in the big world with your baby for the first time! If you are anything like my husband and I, we drove at snails pace, out of fear we would damage the tiny blessing in our backseat. In fact, a ninety-year old man in bifocals drives like Mario Andretti relative to how we drove that day. While my husband navigated, I sat in the back and stared at our daughter all the way home. I’m not sure I blinked. But in the weeks that followed, I had no choice but to bundle up our newborn and run errands on my own. This meant I was stuck driving, while Gray rode in her safety seat behind the passenger side. I desperately wanted to check on her every five minutes, and I remember being alarmed by the silence. Despite the fact that no mother enjoys hearing her child cry, there were moments I would have given anything for it… just for a sign that Gray was still breathing. Cue the backseat mirror. As soon as that thing was mounted, I became the only gleeful person stuck in traffic. As long as I can glance back and see that my kid is asleep, or looking out the window, or smiling contentedly while listening to The Little Mermaid, I’m golden.
Until next time… Peace, Love, and Dirty Diapers,
Jenna von Oy
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PPS. I wasn’t paid to promote any of these items, and I feel it’s important to put that out there. Though some of these products were gifted to us, my comments are based on our tried and true experiences with using them. Hope you have an opportunity to try them out as well…