(A)typical gadgets, which help you to be a happy mummy (or daddy)

Today I’m going to write 100% baby note. I want to share with you opinion about some baby products, which helped me stay alive ;) Some of them are more popular and used more often than others, some of them are new for me, some of them I knew before. Well. let’s start!

First of all I want to mark, that it’s not sponsored post, I decided to write about it, because maybe one day you’ll need them. I just want to share some good ideas with you ;)

Shawl for breast-feeding
This is only for breast-feeding women. But I decided for breast-feeding, so it was a must to have it in my bag. I didn’t go outside without my shawl, which I used to cover myself when my daughter was eating.
I met a lot of people - some of them were supporters of natural feeding, some of them were furious about it. Black or white - nothing between.
I see no problem to feed baby in public places, I don’t care about it. If someone doesn’t want to cover herself - it’s not my business. But for me it was intimate sphere between me and my daughter so I tried to sit somewhere in the corner to be invisible and I covered myself.
Unfortunately lots of public places are still missing rooms to feed babies. Even in shopping malls there sometimes wasn’t any special room.
I chose this shawl made by Mama Bear. It’s made of high quality cotton fabric, it has regulated stripe and additionally it has filament on the top, so I could arrange it any way - Maja liked to see me when she was eating, so I made a small “window” on the top for her. It also provides airflow under the shawl.
There is a large selection of these products, my shawl costed 59 PLN, but if you want to save money you can sew similar one or even use tetra diaper or airy wrap :)

Baby swing
It was a great idea to buy a baby swing. It was the only way to have some silence :) Maja used it for 4-5 months. She could sit there even for 2-3 hours, sometimes she had a nap in it. That time we rented a small flat, so we decided to buy a 2 in 1 product - high chair + baby swing Lionelo Milan (it costs around 370 PLN).
It’s stable, so you don’t have to be afraid, that it’ll fall over. There are 2 inserts - cotton to swing and waterproof and easy to clean to eating. There are 2 exchangeable trays (smaller and bigger). The only one disadvantage was uncomfortable and hard to open 3-point fastening belt. I changed it with a different one which I bought in haberdashery :)

I get it in the neck few times because of this idea, a lot of people think about a playpen like about a little jail. Anyway I decided to buy it and I don’t regret it. Maja isn’t playing inside whole day, I use it when I have to go to the toilet, make a dinner etc. Therefore I don’t need to worry about her, I know that she won’t hurt herself.
We bought (secondhand playpen which costed us 150 PLN) made by Baby Design. We like the dimensions (it’s square) and unzippable side. So in future Maja will use it as a cubby to play in. Actually - our cats also love a playpen, it seems to be a big box for them ;)

Teething toy with the ice
It was our hit! Actually Maja passes gently teething (for now), but there were some moments, when she needed something what bring relief. During this time we used silicone teething toy with a space for ice cubes or frozen juice cubes. This one which we bought was a Fisher Price strawberry shape, but there is a lot of teething toy in each color and shape to put ice inside (in different prices). We paid something around 30 PLN for ours.

White noise
We used white noise until 7-8 months. Now we use it very rarely, because Maja doesn’t need it every night (only when is thunder storm outside or someone makes a loud party). We use iPad to turn on the sound, we recorded our sound of rain, but you can use something in Google.
We were thinking about buying white noise teddy bear, but we resigned, because I realised, that it’s not worth to spend so much money for a toy, which she’ll use for a very short time. But it is only my decision, a lot of parents praise this product, so don’t suggest only in my opinion. We didn’t like these teddy bears, but maybe you’ll like them.

Plastic circles to hang the toys
One day we found a genius product - plastic circles (which Maja could use as a toy in itself - she put one to another), but they function as well as a hanger for toys. You can use it everywhere - in the baby bed, stroller, playpen etc. And again - there is a huge selection of this kind of product; we bought Playgro zebra - it costs less than 20 PLN.

Bicycle trailer
Return to pre-pregnancy form isn’t neither fast nor easy, but it can be a little bit pleasure ;) I’m quite active person, I love biking; I can’t imagine to give up this. We bought bicycle trailer at spring (when the bike season just started) and we used it until the September/October.

You’ll probably ask me why I didn’t buy just a bike child seat. These are advantages of trailer:

  • it’s more comfortable for kid to seat in the trailer - there is more space to seat, 
  • better protection for rain/sun/wind, 
  • it has mosquito net, which is invaluable during mosquito-tick season. 

It’s very easy to ride a bike with a trailer, although it weighs around 10kg (plus a kid). We decided to buy Thule Chariot Cougar which was used before (the new one was too expensive for us - around 4000 PLN). But I have to admit, that it’s high quality product and we can use it until Maja will be 34kg. When you count how long it’ll be useful the price isn’t so scary like at the first glance.
There is a lot of bicycle trailers which you can buy, a lot of them are really cheap. What can I recommend you? Just try it before you buy. You should look at this product, check if the quality is good for you, because not always a cheap product has to be bad. If you choose a bicycle occasionally, you can try to rent a trailer - there are a companies, which offer this service :)

Cup holder
It’s great for parents! Many times I have to go somewhere very quickly, very often I don’t have enough time to drink a coffee at home, so I have to buy it somewhere in a coffee shop. Can you imagine how uncomfortable is to push the stroller with one hand and hold a coffee in the other? There is also a large selection of those holders. I bought Inovi holder (cost around 50 PLN), because it was the only one which I could buy in stationary shop (I needed it ‘for right now’). Quality is ok :)

Sling/ergonomic carrier
I tested both of them. Sling (costs between 100 - 300 PLN) is great for baby to 4-5 month, after this time it was almost unable to put her into a sling. She didn’t like tieing, because it took a long time. But I know some parents, who use a sling longer - it's just my daughter who stopped liking it so soon. Then we read about baby carrier and thought, that’s a good idea. It’s important to pick ergonomic one (kid is sitting there in “frog position” - it’s the only way to protect a spine and hip joints). Good rating encourage us to choose Tula carrier (new one costs around 450 PLN), but you can buy different one - there is a lot of cheaper, sometimes handmade also good quality carriers.

Sling or a baby carrier is the best when:

  • have to go somewhere very quickly and I don’t want to take a stroller, 
  • place where I go has no facilities for the disabled and parents, 
  • I’m going to walk somewhere for long time (shopping, long trip, visiting some interesting places etc) and I’m sure that my daughter won’t be able to sit for all this time in stroller. 

Kids usually like to be carried, but if you’re going to buy carrier or sling you should (in my opinion) try it before you buy ;) By the way - Misio also likes to be carried in Tula ;)

Blouse with a hole
It’s the item closely related to this one which I wrote about above. It’s a blouse, which protect mum and a baby carried in sling or baby carrier. Our cloth (Greyse, cost around 200 PLN) is soft but quite thin. When there are cool days it’s great, but when the temperature is low, we both need to wear additionally some cardigan.
This blouse is really comfortable for baby, it’s warmer when we’re hugging than we’re separate. And you know - the closer of mum, the better for kid ;) It’s worth to search a bit, but I think the best bet is to choose handmade products - they’re usually better quality than others.

The pillow which corrects head shape
When I born Maja she had flat head. We were visiting a lot of doctors - neurologists, orthopaedists and even surgeons… They threatened us with the orthopedic helmet and surgeons.
Little baby has soft bones, so it’s possible to correct these defects, but Maja didn’t want to cooperate ;)
Our last resort was a HeadCare pillow (cost around 190 PLN). It works very simply - it uses basic laws of physics - it transfers the center of pressure and after few weeks head is returning to appropriate shape. The pillow is safe and you can use it also as a prevention. When I’ll have second baby I’ll definitely use it again.
When I bought a pillow I got one extra pillowcase. There are more pillowcases available in the shop, but I decided to sew it myself, cause it was cheaper for me ;)

I’m curious your opinions about these products (if you used it). Or maybe you had yours “must have” maternal products? ;)

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