We know that we suggested the Cayenne as an excellent push present, and this Porsche P’4911 would certainly make the perfect baby shower gift. Designed by Dawid Dawod, it’s every baby’s dream (or Dads or Moms but we can project, right?). Carbon fiber, aluminum, leather, and ball-bearing wheels make this vehicle one of Porsche’s best.
Every new mom has a laundry list of stuff she supposedly can’t do without or must have, courtesy of her girlfriends, doctor, mother in law, or parenting book. Some of it is great, some of it is useless. Here are some things that every new mom must have, and they’re not all gadgets or gimmicks.
1. Baby supplies. No, this isn’t a “duh.” Be prepared, as much as possible. This doesn’t mean have a perfectly color-coordinated nursery and a designer layette: practical stuff. Always try to make sure you have the bathing, diapering and feeding basics at hand. If not, you’ll get stressed out, and everyone suffers because of stressed-out moms. Other items you may have forgotten: baby nail trimmers or files, a bulb syringe (for sucking mucus out), and a baby-specific laundry detergent (sensitive skin, remember?).
2. A bassinet or co-sleeper for your bedroom. Newborns seldom want to sleep in a crib: it’s big, cold, and unfamiliar. A bassinet, or (for me), better yet, a co-sleeper attached to the bed, is much more comforting. You and the baby will usually sleep better, being close enough to soothe and feed the baby right away, rather than having to haul yourself up, traipse to the nursery, and do it there. Believe me, you can get them in the crib later, but in those first days at home, be sweet to yourself and to the baby and ease into independence. You two were together for nine months, it shouldn’t end abruptly.
3. Nursing shields/pads. If you breast feed, you’ll find your chest often becomes a sprinkler system set on automatic at the sound of a crying baby (anyone’s, not just your own), an emotional moment on TV or a sad song, or getting sexually aroused. If you have to be away from the baby during feeding time, your milk will let down on schedule, baby or not. It’s mortifying to suddenly look down and realize that the nice man at the store is staring in horror at the growing twin stains on your shirt. So, keep some of these soft, disposable pads in your purse,diaper bag, glove compartment, wherever. Keep one set in your bra at all times, it extends the time you can wear a bra (because who has time for laundry three times a day, and who wants to buy a dozen nursing bras so you can change several times a day??), and prevents embarrassment. If you choose not to breast-feed, you’ll need these for at least a couple of weeks, until your milk dries up. Sometimes it stops immediately,while other women find they take weeks or months to stop lactating spontaneously.
4. Breast pump, milk bottles, storage bag. If you’re nursing, be prepared: you won’t always be able to be around, or maybe you shouldn’t. After all, Daddy had a part in conception, shouldn’t be get some of the job of feeding you child,too? Oh, and you deserve a nap and shower, too. Eventually, many of us go back to work, sometimes far too soon for comfort. So, you need a pump, and it’s best to start early, while your milk supply is plentiful and still a bit erratic, because that way you can have extra milk on hand. Ask around for advice on what model is best. Much of it depends on how big your breasts and nipples are, and how sensitive you are. Also, battery, manually-operated or electric versions are available. Comparison shop for the best deal and features.
5. Blankets. You can never have too many blankets, seriously. I mean the kind they give you at the hospital: lint-free, soft and warm yet lightweight, and practical. A blanket can be rolled into a bolster, used as a spit-up cloth in a pinch, used to swaddle a fussy baby, used as a towel if you have none clean, and be a great toy for a baby learning about peek-a-boo.
6. Equipment. Here is where gadgets come in. A vibrating seat, swing, play enclosure, baby monitor, etc. are all very helpful but not necessary. They’re mainly for ease and comfort, and if you can afford them, get them.
7. Baby sling or other carrier. No, I’m no earth mother, but I found that carrying my babies in a sling (nothing high-tech, a simple cloth sling was all I used) was immensely helpful and freeing. Not only was the baby close to me to be able to nurse and to soothe them when necessary, my motion comforted and rocked them and made them happy and sleepy. Also, the sling freed up my hands to do other things, like laundry, take care of other kids, clean house, whatever. Just don’t cook with the baby, ok? Some people prefer a backpack or front carrier with fancy straps and buckles and frames, but go with whatever you and your baby do best with.
8. Pillows. Pillows are awesome, to prop you up while nursing, to put between your knees while sleeping, to prop baby up against on the bed while you’re not holding her, etc. Just always supervise a propped-up baby. If you can afford them, there are special baby-oriented pillows, especially for nursing support, which are great–but a regular old pillow does in a pinch, too, with some positioning.
9. Diaper Disposer. If you use disposable diapers, do yourself a favor and invest in a diaper genie or other disposal system. Sure, your newborn’s poo is innocent and relatively odor-free…but that changes, all too soon. And oh my, how horrible it is to walk into someone’s house and be assaulted by the smell of a full, open diaper pail. Gross!
10. Toys. Sure, we could be talking about baby toys here, but honestly, babies don’t care for toys until they’re a couple of months old. No, this is toys for YOU. Make sure you have an iPod, iPad, or other device well-stocked with things to do, especially things you can do with one hand. Why? Because you will be sitting still frequently, whether you’re nursing or bottle-feeding. Yes, spend time gazing adoringly at your precious child, but it’s not a mortal sin to entertain yourself with a game, music or eBook. Catch up on your correspondence and reading, as long as you don’t let it eat up all your feeding/bonding time.
There are a million other things a new mom could use or need, but nothing will ever fully prepare you for the wonder, exhaustion and joy of new motherhood. You’re not a failure if you don’t have the latest and most expensive products–the basics will do the job. Just enjoy your early days with your baby and be as prepared as possible. It’s a roller coaster ride, but worth every exhilarating and terrifying moment.
There’s something about natural fibre. My dad used to tell me that wool and silk were the best materials to wear camping, sailing and skiing. At the time, I despised itch from wool, and imagining myself camping in a Marilyn Monroe-esque silk neglige made me giggle. Who knew there was wool that is actually soft, light and funky in colour? The new Ice Breaker Touch Lab in Vancouver’s West 4th area (the mecca for both skiwear and maternity fashion) is a welcome addition for West Coast’s nature-loving families. With everything from running attire to undergarments to sporty clothes, the 100% wool clothing doesn’t allow bacteria to latch onto the fibre like synthetic counterparts do. (Read: You don’t stink at après ski, and new moms don’t need to bother changing clothes for a while. There’s no time for that anyway).
If you live vicariously through your little fashionista, these booties are a must-have. With harness rings, pull straps, velcro closure for easy on/off wear, leather lining and brass O-ring detail, you may try to squeeze your pinky toe into them yourself. www.thefreyecompany.com
If you are planning on breastfeeding, there are a few items that are essential to your success. You will need a nursing bra, nursing top, breast pump, nursing cover and lastly, patience. With these modern conveniences Breastfeeding is simpler and more stylish than ever.
One of our favourite diaper bags right now is the Mothership diaper bag from Fleurville. With its insulated bottle holder and lots of exterior pockets, this bag makes toting around all your essentials easy.
We’re all about hip and funky. And if you can save the environment and your own health in the mix, that’s a big bonus. (Kind of like getting a daily calf massage after a night in 4 inch heels). Did you know that 87% of Canadians believe that household cleaning products are safe even though only 10% of the chemicals used in the typical products have been tested? Or here’s a scary one.. apparently housewives face a 55% higher cancer risk due to their exposure to household cleaning products… Nice. Seventh Generation has come out with a super-cool app for the iphone or free download for your home computer. While you are shopping or surfing, you can search a directory of common cleaning products to see what ingredients are inside. Merci!
In my ‘20s I traveled for 6 weeks through Europe with one backpack that I carried myself. For our week-long honeymoon, my husband and I took one large suitcase between us. Just over 2 years later, my husband, 11-month-old daughter, and I had an overflowing luggage cart that held 2 large suitcases (overweight), 2 stuffed-to-the-brim carry-ons, and a car seat. In hindsight, we should have added our playpen to the pile, since the hotel-issued crib for that trip was pretty wobbly.
We are junkies. For everything French. And beyond the Bonpoint-Floriane addiction, there is one product that we can’t live without. The Jacadi sleep sack comes in two sizes, and each season there are a number of new, creative, soft designs for your precious one.