Hi, everybody. This is the Mastering Motherhood Podcast, and I'm your host, Nicoll. This show is made by a mom, me, for moms. Covering pregnancy, postpartum and parenthood topics as we go through this motherhood journey together. Can you believe that 2019 is almost coming to a close? 2019 was such a big year for me, as I'm sure it was for many of you as well. This was the year that I became a mother. In May, I gave birth to my son. Magnus, and it completely changed my life. Being a parent is the most rewarding and hardest thing that I've ever had to do. And as crazy as it's been, I just can't even remember what my life was like before he was born. He has just been such a gift. Having a newborn, I have had the opportunity to try out many, many baby products, and I have put together a list of my favorite baby products from 2019. I'm gonna start out with bath time and cleaning products. The best diapers that I have found, and I've tried many of them, are definitely the Pampers Swaddlers. They definitely absorb enough that I don't have to use an overnight diaper, although Pampers does make overnight diapers for babies. But they've been super great. They fit Magnus really well, and they don't stink. That's an issue that I've had with some of the other diapers that I've tried out, even fancier diapers, is that they look cute, they might even fit well, but when he pees, I can smell it. And I don't like that. Pampers also wins again with their sensitive wipes. They are my favorite wipes, and I highly recommend getting the refill packs with the pop top because, believe it or not, breast fed babies can sometimes go weeks without pooping. So if you've already opened up a pack of wipes and your baby's on a pooping strike, the pack will dry out pretty quickly without the pop top. So I definitely recommend that. I will also add another lesson that I learned is I registered for a wipe warmer. And let me tell you, the wipe warmer was a real gift when he was first born, because since the wipes were warm, the cold didn't surprise him, so I didn't get peed on a whole lot. However, again, since he goes so long without pooping, sometimes the wipe warmer doesn't get used, and the wipes in there will dry out as well. The best diaper cream. We've been lucky enough that Gus hasn't had too many diaper rashes. In fact, he's only had one, and I would account that to having a good diaper. Again, I really like those Pampers Swaddlers. But when we have had to use diaper cream or when we wanted to use it as a preventative measure, I like A + D. It's still my favorite diaper cream. It both prevents and treats diaper rash, and the smell is tolerable. I have found that with some of the other diaper creams, I cannot stand the smell. So A + D has done really well for me. The best diaper pail. Can I take a minute to pause here and just say it's incredible how often babies poop. It's like amazing. Or pee! Either way, I can't believe how many times I have to change that baby's diaper. With that being said, no matter what diaper pail you get, I highly recommend getting the larger size. There are some smaller mini size diaper pails, and they're just not practical. Even with the larger size, I'm frequently having to switch out the bag, but I recommend getting a diaper pail because it's just kind of a way to keep the stink out of your trash can and keeping your baby's room or your kitchen, or wherever it is that you throw away your diapers from stinking up the house. I like the Munchkin Step diaper pail. It even has Arm and Hammer pucks that you can use to have your pail smell like lavender or citrus in there. A couple of options for the bags. I recommend the snap and seal refill bags. The other kind of bags are, it's like one giant plastic bag that you can keep pulling out of its reel and tying it every time you need to refill the bag, but that's not my favorite option. For bath time, the best soap that I recommend is the Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser. It has no soap in it. I know that's a little bit counterintuitive, but what I found is that I was using a couple of newborn baby soaps when Gus was first born. Gus is what I call Magnus, that's his nickname, and they were making his skin breakout. Newborn skin is so sensitive, and my doctor actually told me that even those newborn soaps, they're really not good to use on their skin until they're probably six months or older. So I use the Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser. It doesn't have any soap in it. It's been really good. And I also follow that up with the Cetaphil moisturizer as well. Just a side note here, if you are trying to treat baby acne, don't put anything on their face at all. Just use a washcloth with water on it. I'm gonna take a quick second to pause here and say, if anything in this episode resonates with you, take a screenshot posted on social media and tag me so other mamas or moms-to-be can listen in. And if you like what you're hearing, head on over to Apple Podcasts and leave a review. Alright, now back to the show. My favorite app has been the Baby Connect app. This app has been really useful for me throughout various stages of motherhood. So when Gus was first born and I was nursing him, as you know, when you're nursing, you have to switch sides. And I was just so tired and sleep deprived that I could never remember what was the last side I nursed him on. And I also wanted to just time it out so that I could see how long he was nursing and so that I could time out his feedings and make sure that he was feeding every three hours, at least. So for this, Baby Connect was really useful. It's useful for both nursing mothers and for babies who are bottle fed because if they're fed with the bottle, you can track again the time that they were eating and how many ounces they ate as well. Also, if you're pumping, I still use this. When I went back to work when I was pumping, I use it as a timer and to keep track of how much milk I was pumping each day. Baby Connect also tracks diapers. You can track everything from when you had to change their diaper to if there was a bowel movement, what color their poop was. If they peed, how much? It's amazing, and it was really helpful for me when I had to call the doctor. They would ask, "How many diapers has he gone through today?" And it was nice to be able to just look at the app and remember that, or not have to remember it, rather. It's been nice, too, when other people are taking care of my baby. They can track his sleep, or log his sleep so that I can look at it. They can upload photos of him. When he has a doctor's appointment, I'm able to go in there and put in his weight what shots he had, his height, his head circumference, all those good things. And it also shows what percentile he falls into. So it's pretty neat. My favorite thing about the app is that it syncs with Alexa devices. So if, for example, have to change his diaper, I can just say, "Alexa, log a wet diaper." And same thing with feedings and everything like that. The only issue that I've had with the app, and this isn't the app's problem, it's user error. If sometimes if he's sleeping, for example, when he wakes up, I'll forget to stop the timer, so I can never remember how long his naps were unless I go back in and correct it. But again, that's my fault, it's not the app's fault. As far as carriers, I tried out a whole bunch of different carriers, and there are a lot of moms that swear by things like slings, which I tried, and a whole bunch of other options. I do, I am an advocate for baby wearing, especially when you have a newborn, because it's good for the baby to be close to mama, or Dad, or whoever wants to carry them. But also it just allows you to get a lot more done and have your hands free. I have two favorite carriers, and they've each served different purposes. The first one is the Lilllebaby. I really like it. It's a little bit heavier duty. It has a nice back support, which feels great, and there are so many different positions. So as baby grows, you can adjust the carrier to accommodate them. It's also like an all weather carrier, so you'll notice that baby gets kind of hot when they're in the carrier and so close to you, and they'll tend to maybe sweat, even. But it has different zippers, so that you can kind of vent Baby if it gets too hot, which is really nice. My favorite carrier for baby wearing around the house is the Boppy carrier. So this one is really nice because it's the same concept as a wrap, except much less complicated. It has a buckle around the waist, so you don't have to worry about that part. But the fabric is also made of, it's almost like yoga pants material, I think, is how they advertise it. Super great, really flexible. My baby really likes it, too. He's kind of picky about his carriers, and he'll scream and cry. But that one is one that has seemed to work for him. And again, it doesn't grow with Baby as much as like, the Lillebaby does. So, for example, when he was a newborn, it didn't quite work out as well for him. But as he grew a little more and his head was more stable, it was nice because I could face him in or out, and he just seems to be really happy in it. Now I'm going to jump into my favorite feeding products because you know, baby's gotta eat. Breastfeeding comes with some unique challenges, especially in those early weeks, and I've got some essentials for you to make the experience a little bit easier. And if your baby is using a bottle, there are a couple of items in this section that you'll want as well. Best nursing pads. The Lansinoh Stay Dry nursing pads are definitely my favorite. They are pretty big and a little bit bulky. Medela has some thinner ones that are a little bit better, but I actually prefer and I need the bigger nursing pads, especially when my supply was trying to regulate or when my baby started sleeping through the night and my body hadn't quite adjusted to that yet. I find that a lot of nursing pads are pretty itchy, but the Lansinoh Stay Dry nursing pads are soft and I find them to be pretty comfortable. Sore nipples. Oh my goodness, especially in those early days or when your baby is cluster feeding. This is something I did not expect as a new mother, and the best relief that I found was getting some gel pads and keeping those gel pads, either in the freezer or keeping them refrigerated, if possible. The pads were reusable and they make a huge difference. I highly recommend them for some additional relief for nursing. Even if you don't use the gel pads, you've got to get some lanolin cream. Medela's Tender Care lanolin cream is a personal favorite of mine. It is safe for breastfeeding and also comes in useful to ease the discomfort of pumping. The best bottle I found for breastfed babies are the Mams bottles. That, teaching your baby how to drink out of a bottle is, a whole other episode that we'll have to talk about later. But one of the things I was really worried about was either nipple confusion or nipple preference. I was really worried that once my baby did get a bottle that the faster flow of the nipple would make him not want to breastfeed anymore. But I found that those Mams bottles, I didn't have any issue with them, and I kept the slow flow nipples, and he hasn't shown any kind of preference or anything like that. The best part of these bottles is that they do come apart and you can sanitize them in the microwave. Speaking of sanitizing, it can be a real a hassle to sanitize bottles and pumping parts and everything else you need to sanitize, especially if you're traveling or if you're doing anything that takes you outside of your home. I have tried everything from boiling water to microwave sanitizing systems, and I even went as far as buying like a sanitizing machine that sits on my counter. At the time that I purchased that, I think that I thought, sanitizing and cleaning where the same thing and they're not. You do actually have to wash your parts or your bottles and then sanitize them. All of those systems work, but when you're in a pinch, I like to use the Medela sanitizing spray. You just spray it on the parts and let it sit for 60 seconds and your parts are sanitized. The most important thing that I want you guys to walk away with from today's show is that these are all just things. You don't need a million things in order to be a good mom, and your baby doesn't need a million things in order to appreciate you. These are just some suggestions that I have to make your journey a little bit easier. If you have some favorite baby products that have worked well for you, I would love to hear about them. I will include a link to a blog post that has all of these products in it in the show notes, in case you want a reference any of them. Thanks for listening today. For more on pregnancy, postpartum and parenthood, visit MasteringMotherhoodPodcast.com and subscribe to this show wherever you get your podcasts. If you have a topic that you'd like to hear, shoot me an email at MasteringMotherhoodPodcast@gmail.com. Thanks.