Photo was taken by husband after a month of giving birth.
I don’t know about you but when I was pregnant, I was overwhelmed with all the items for babies that are available in the market. Some will make your life a whole lot easier but most are unnecessary and a waste of your hard earned money. Because of this, I decided to narrow them down with what I personally find most essential, so if you’re a first time parent like me or you just simply need a refresher, I hope you’ll find this useful.
Back when Mori is still a newborn, family members who came over for a visit was surprised to see that her cabinet is our bedside table with two small drawers.
Because my husband and I were blessed with a girl, I guess they were expecting to see a bigger cabinet with lots of frilly dresses and a tutu to boot. Don’t get me wrong, those are pretty great but unfortunately, organic clothes for babies are not that popular in Manila so my choices are very limited.
Snap Tops and Onesies – Changing Mori’s outfit is a breeze when it’s this kind that we use. With tie sides, lumungad na si Mori, umiyak, umubo ubo, sinabunutan na rin niya ang sarili niya sa bwisit niya sa bagal ko lahat lahat na di pa ko tapos mag ribbon.
Footie Pajamas – I think both Mori and I feel the same when it comes to her footie pajamas. She likes it because it keeps her feet from turning blue from the cold, while I find myself reaching for it first because it saves time. No need to put on a pair of booties because her feet is already covered and secondly, no more constant checking on my part if her booties are still on or if it’s on the floor for the nth time!
Mittens – I am deeply inlove with GuavaMitts mittens. They don’t fall off like the rest of the mittens that Mori owns.
Booties & Socks – Socks works better for newborns because it stays in place.
Bonnets – There are days wherein Mori couldn’t tolerate them but it’s nice to have especially since newborns gets cold quickly. Also, baby bonnets and hats doesn’t seem to stay on the head well so choosing a hat with ties that you could ribbon under his chin would be great compared to the regular ones.
Hamper – Any storage bin that could hold worn clothes would work great. Ours is just a simple pail.
As we welcome my birth month, my husband asked me what I was most excited about. My answer was: “Seeing Mori with my own eyes and cloth diapering!” Being a first time parent, I wasn’t sure of many things that is related to motherhood but I was sure of two things even before my baby arrived…
My body is capable of breastfeeding because God designed me for it and that I have enough lampin to use as Mori’s diaper. 😛
Making your baby wear cloth diapers has a lot of benefits. Both for your baby and the environment. I’d love to enumerate them all but I have a feeling Mori would like to be held sooner than expected so I’ll just give you the only reason that made me decide to use cloth instead of disposable diapers… Are you ready? “Mori will be more comfortable in it.” Yes sissy, it’s that plain and simple.
Right after giving birth, I was given disposable adult diaper to wear and boy was I glad that I came to the hospital prepared with all the lampin that Mori needs for the coming days! Wearing adult diapers is uncomfortable, hot and itchy. Imagine ladies, we wear a napkin all the days of our lives even if we don’t have our period. Hassle right? The feeling down there wouldn’t be as comfortable as wearing freshly laundered, sun dried cotton panties! So why would we use disposable diapers when we can just use cloth?
Prefolds/Flats/Lampin – I have 24 in total because I knew Mori would wet her lampin every hour. You’ll need more if you don’t do the laundry everyday.
Snappi/Diaper Clip/Boingo- You’ll need this to close your lampin in place.
Fitteds – There are diapers that are called PUL covers. Some use them so that when the baby wets her diaper, it will not leak because a PUL cover is made of plastic. Plastic = No Leakage. This might be great for some but since I do not like using plastic and prefer natural fibers, I don’t use PUL covers and opted for a fitted diaper. Yes, it might leak a little because it’s construction is entirely made of cotton but it doesn’t bother me and I’ve discovered a method to make it leak free for a few hours! Mori’s fitted diapers are from US or Germany. The only fitted diaper that we own that’s available locally is Fluffypwets. It was given to me as a gift before Mori was born. The owner’s name is Tina and she’s very nice so if you have more questions on cloth diapering I’m sure she’ll be more than welcome to help you out. Also, I am planning to sell fitted diapers too! Everything I need to make the fitted diaper is already here in my home. It’s just impossible to sew them all by hand with a baby in tow because we don’t have a helper at home. Once I am done sewing everything, the diapers will only be 12 in total so if you want to get one for your baby, you may get a reservation by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cotton – You’ll need lots of these!
Wash Cloths – You can opt in using this instead of cotton to save more money.
Mason Jars – I have two jars for Mori. One is filled with clean water. I dip the cotton that I use to clean Mori’s bum while the other one is where the used cotton go!
Wet Bag – An essential when travelling with cloth. We use cloth diapers exclusively so it is necessary for us to have one around when we are not at home.
Baby-friendly Detergent – I personally like Messy Bessy Baby and the Regular Messy Bessy Laundry Detergent in Lavender.
P.S. Fabric softener and bleach will ruin your diapers. Here’s my laundry routine.
- Put soiled diapers in the hamper.
- The following day I handwash them (pre-wash to remove urine).
- I then put a handful of Messy Bessy Liquid detergent in the pail with an ample amount of water. I soak them for 30minutes if time permits but if not, I don’t stress and just scrub away.
- I rinse the diapers 3-4 times with the water continuously running.
- I tumble dry my newly laundered nappies then hang everything where the sun would shine to disinfect, naturally remove stain and dry some more.
Crib – If you’re going to buy one. Pick a co-sleeping crib. Arm’s Reach is a great brand.
Sleeping Bag – One of my most favorite items. I also noticed that Mori sleeps better when she’s on it. My chosen brand is Natura Pura because it’s made of organic cotton velour. The fabric used makes baby more huggable than they already are. ❤
Swaddle Blanket- I use this as Mori’s bed sheet/mattress because she sleeps with me and my husband on the bed. I was given a co-sleeping crib as a gift but since our bedroom is small, having it attached to our bed accumulates too much space.
Wool Mattress Topper – I opted for wool because the plastic ones that’s available in most baby stores contain flame retardants and I don’t like those near my baby as much as possible.
I don’t have following but they’d make a good addition to our bedroom and yours:
Bed Rail – I really like the one from Safety First. The beige one would look perfect on our room. *daydreams*
Baby Monitor – If your baby is like mine, no nanny. This will be a big help. If you have chores to do as soon as your baby is sleeping, just switch it on and go on with your cleaning. cooking etc. As soon as it signals movement or you hear baby crying, run to the room!
Play Mat – The decent ones that’s waterproof are surprisingly expensive! Some would go as high as 6,995php. If you are on a tight budget, you can just use rugs or a thin bed cushion on the floor. Alwyn and I decided to invest on one of the expensive ones though because I wanted a mat that is waterproof so that Mori could play without diapers on to make her skin breath. Cleaning up is easier too if your mat is waterproof. We bought ours at The Parenting Emporium.
Bouncer – I chose Baby Bjorn over all the other bouncers available for the sole reason of it being organic and free from flame retardants. Also, I don’t have to wash my face and brush my teeth while carrying Mori on my left because I can just snap her onto the bouncer and freshen up without worrying and trying to do all things quickly because a.) Mori might fall from the bed. b.) Thoughts like, what is Mori trying to fit inside her mouth again this time. c.) She’s crying. She’s crying! Why is she crying? Runs to my baby with soap on my face and foam in my mouth from brushing my teeth.
Stuffed Animals – Mori only owns two kinds because honestly, babies don’t need a lot! When she was still very small, we only used it as a decorative piece for safety purposes.
Rattle – Your baby will learn how to use this at around 4 months of age.
Baby’s First Bible – It’s never too early to start reading to your baby and what better book to start with but with a Bible! Jesus The Story Book Bible is recommended by our church pastors and mentors.
Activity Gym – I was supposed to buy one that’s made out of maple wood with organic toys hanging on them but my friend stopped me from doing so! Glad I listened because babies get bored with it after some time so if you have a friend who could lend you hers. The better.
Nursing Pillow – I no longer use mine because I can already breastfeed while cooking, walking and window shopping BUT every first time mothers who’s decided to breastfeed will find this really helpful. Also, I wasn’t born a ninja. Beastfeeding while doing other activities took practice. Lots of it. It was a learning process for me and my child. If you encounter difficulty in breastfeeding, message me or leave a comment with your email address and I’d refer you to a really good International-Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Her name is Nurse Joyce Zaragoza-Martinez. She is a big part of my breastfeeding journey and frankly speaking, if not for her, I wouldn’t be happily breastfeeding Mori up to now.
Breast Pump – If you’re a stay at home mom who chooses to pump only when needed, you’ll get by with just a manual pump. Mine is from Medela and if I am not mistaken, the price won’t exceed 3,000php. If you plan on going back to work soon, Medela Freestyle is truly a good investment, I got to try it once and I was really happy with it. My friends whose still breastfeeding a toddler swears by it too. Best sellers wouldn’t be best sellers for no reason! Both breast pumps are available at The Parenting Emporium.
Nipple Shield – The product that made me continue breastfeeding without tears. Now don’t run to your phone and call your husband to go buy you one like what I did. There are different kinds and sizes. If you happen to get the wrong size it will still hurt and there is a proper way of using it. Just leave a comment with your email address so I could personally help you and introduce the people behind the success of my breastfeeding journey.
Nipple Cream – One of the advice that I failed to take seriously is: “Start applying nipple cream even before giving birth to prep your nipple for battle.”
Okay I may have rephrased the advice given to me, but trust me, with my breastfeeding experience, I’d rather be in labor again than experience the excruciating pain of sore nipples and having a breast that’s as hard as sement.
So my dear reader, if you have a bun in your oven, apply nipple cream daily. Three times a day or more if you can! What I plan to do on my next preganancy (Yes, I like planning ahead) is apply nipple cream every time I go to the bathroom. Haha!
If you are currently breastfeeding with sore nipples, apply cream thinly. Instruction says you no longer need to wipe it off upon nursing but I suggest that you wipe it off anyway. I made a mistake of applying it thickly, thinking that it would effect faster that way but I was wrong and Mori had rashes on her chin because of it.
Breastmilk Storage Bag – Here’s a guide to keep your liquid gold from being spoiled.
Photo credit to Medela
I don’t know what baby bottle to recommend since Mori hasn’t tried drinking from one yet because I directly feed her from my breast. When the time comes that I have to be away from Mori… Which I’ll make sure won’t happen unless she’s older than a year old! She’ll drink from a glass cup. You can learn more about cup feeding by watching this: “Cup Feeding an Infant“.
Baby Bath Tub – Ours is called a Tummy Tub. I liked it when Mori was younger but now that she is 7 months old, I find it difficult to remove the soap on her underarms and inner thighs. You’ll know what I mean once you get to try it so my verdict, if you have extra cash to spare, buy it. If you’re on a tight budget. Don’t.
Just in case you’re wondering, I bathed Mori when she was already a week old. Most parents I know is very particular in making sure that they bath their baby only at daytime but on our part, I give a Mori a bath when it’s most convenient for the family, which is usually at night.
Recliner – Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a non plastic version of this but it made bathing and washing Mori’s bum a whole lot easier so I highly recommend that you get yourself one.
Bath Toiletries – I use a shampoo and body wash in one variant. You can get Jewel Tones for baby at Purple Cradle PH ,then for cleaning Mori’s hands and bum I use liquid castile soap.
Soft Hooded Towel – If you do the laundry everyday, you’ll get by with just two.
Bath Toys – The ones we have has holes on them. Water gets inside and when baby squeezes it, water comes out. Looks like a lot of fun for both parent and child but these kinds of toys produces molds overtime. Gross right? Here’s a photo to convince you:
Photo credit: thecheesethief.com
We don’t have one that we’ll allow Mori to play with while bathing so I’ll just update this section when we get our hands on a decent one. When I say decent, I meant a bath toy that is sealed, made of the sap of natural hevea, the rubber tree and not made in China.
Digital Thermometer – my bestfriend during Mori’s first two months of life. I get easily paranoid because the doctor gave me a stern warning to check on her temperature especially during her first month. She’d be cold most of the time so we always do skin to skin to normalize her body temperature. I also used this to check the temperature of her bath water. You don’t need to buy the fancy one’s on baby stores! We bought ours at Mercury Drugs for less than 200php.
Baby Carrier – When your baby is just a month old. Carrying her in your arms is not an issue. Because you love your baby, especially when you’re a first time parent like me, you’ll think that she is light as a feather. When your baby is still a newborn… She’ll either be asleep, nursing or crying, only when her nappy is wet. However, in the coming months when growth spurts stikes (baby gets fussy, baby wants to be held AT ALL TIMES, baby wouldn’t sleep on her bed)… When baby starts teething, husband wouldn’t be able to lend you a hand at the moment and something as simple like gas in your baby’s tummy, you’ll believe me when I say that baby carriers are Godsend. I can’t remember the number of times our carrier has saved me from going crazy. We own two kinds, a Didymos organic wrap which is perfect for newborns and a Lenny Lamb which is a soft structured carrier. I get plenty of oooohh’s and aaahhh’s from mothers who already owns a soft structured carrier but from a different brand. They’d always comment about my Lenny Lamb’s softness compared to the one that they own. A friend of mine even said my carrier was fluffy! Good news for you, this carrier is now available locally and can be bought at Little Yeoh Trading.
Car Seat – Aside from safety purposes, travels by car will no longer be as stressful once you get your baby to use her car seat. It can be a challenge to make her stay put for a few minutes but with patience, everything will be worth it.
Stroller – As much as I love using our baby carrier at home, when our family is out and about, I choose to put Mori in a stroller especially now that she is getting heavier.
Diaper Bag – ours is from Cath Kidston. It comes with a pouch, portable changing mat and a bottle insulator.
Multi-Purpose Cleaner – It’s ideal to pick a spray and wipe variant instead of the ones that you have to rinse with water. It’s more convenient and will save you time. We personally use home cleaning products from The Honest Company and Messy Bessy.
Hand Sanitzer – The smell of rubbing alcohol which is available in grocery stores makes me dizzy so when I discovered how heavenly the ones that Mommy Patch has to offer, I stuck with it. I’ve been using it for years now.
Liquid Castile Soap – exercise proper hand wasing especially now that you have a baby to kill bad bacteria and viruses that could make your family sick.
Baby Wipes – For those quick clean ups.
Himalayan Salt Lamp – I bought ours at Centura Pura but they are also available at The Parenting Emporium.
I don’ have the following but they’d make a good additon to our bedroom:
Air Purifier – There are a lot of brands out there but I heard that the cheaper ones doesn’t really do the job so I don’t know which one to get for our bedroom.
At Home Care Hair Treatment – I haven’t met a mom who didn’t have hair fall after giving birth. Mine started when Mori turned 3 months old. Downside is, it is so difficult to find a hair treatment that is not loaded with harmful chemicals! I like The French Pink Clay Hair Mask of Mommy Patch but it’s kind of hard to find. Not all Sesou branches have them in stock so if interested, try contacting Mommy Patch directly.
Menstrual Pads – You’ll be needing this for a few weeks after giving birth. Just like Mori, I am also using cloth! Yes, there is such a thing as cloth menstrual pads! Mine is from Glad Rags.
Hot & Cold Compress – Has a lot of uses but mine was mostly used for my breast. With all the problems I encountered with breastfeeding, did I mention bleeding nipples that turned purple in some areas? I would cry everyday while burying my face to a pillow so I wouldn’t wake Mori up. It’s a long story that I’ve been meaning to share ever since Mori was born but somehow I never got to write them down till now. *sigh* Anyway, use hot compress (Lansinoh Breast Therapy) to help stimulate milk flow before baby would nurse or during feeding but be careful! You don’t want the hot compress to touch your baby’s face, then always end feeding with a cold compress (Booby Tubes by EMAB) when you can during the first few weeks. Good news is, when you’ve established breastfeeding, you no longer need to do this routine over and over.
Moisturizer – Until now, I am still hooked to Yummy Mummy by Indigo Baby. They are small blocks of unrefined cocoa butter. I used it on my tummy when it was itchy but my most favorite use for it is for my face! I ditched all the creams that I was using when I got pregnant because some had chemicals that might harm Mori. It smells so heavenly, I couldn’t even sleep without it!
Bar Soap – Just like Mommy Patch’s hand sanitizer, I have been using their milk soap for years. There will be months wherein I will try something new but there is something about it that makes me want to use it again.
Breast Pads – I remember using a hand towel when the pair of breastpad that I own was in the laundry… I ended up with a soaked shirt while malling! Hahahaha! I’d die laughing about it now but you should’ve seen my face when my husband gave me his jacket to cover it up. Namutla ako girl!
Nursing Bra – You don’t need a lot. I only have two.
Nursing Cover – Because I couldn’t find an organic one from our country I resorted to ordering from US and ended up being very disappointed. Mine is from Poncho Baby. I didn’t like the fit, it can easily be too loose in front making me conscious at times, the fabric is also prone to himulmol, ugh!
So my tip for you is, if you are not that keen on organic cotton and any conventional cotton nursing cover will do, do not buy online without being able to try it for yourself. Go to the actual store and literally put it on and nurse your child.
Comfortable Clothes – Think loose shirt and leggings. Nursing Mori away from home takes patience and practice. Lots of it. There was a stage wherein Mori wouldn’t approve of being under a cover while feeding which I totally understand by the way, especially since we live in a tropical country so if you can, make some time to revamp your closet. Remove clothes that aren’t nursing friendly. Make the ones that you are most comfortable in easily accessible.
Whew! I guess that’s it.