One thing I’ve noticed since becoming a mother of two is that the world often assumes second-time moms are pros. After all, it’s not our first rodeo! In reality, I had forgotten so much about the newborn stage and had to re-learn a lot when Cooper was born. Not only that, but every baby is so different, and Coop is NOTHING like his older brother was. This meant that while he was a young infant, I found myself buying some products that I didn’t own when Greyson was a baby. Here are three that I’ve been loving!
The Owlet Sock
If you caught my blog post last August, you may recall that Coop stayed in the NICU for 10 days due to oxygen de-sats. When we were discharged, we were obviously terrified of what may happen overnight. For peace of mind, we purchased the Owlet. When I asked the neonatologist his thoughts about it, he told me that there’s no evidence that it saves lives.
That said, he explained that worried parents ask him about it all the time. His theory was that it doesn’t hurt and if it allows parents to sleep, it’s worth it. Anecdotally, we know of someone who discovered her daughter was having oxygen de-sats thanks to the Owlet. Soon after, she was diagnosed with a heart condition. So IMHO, the owlet is a good investment. And yes, it’s an investment. The newest version (Generation 3) is $300. It connects to an awesome app though, in which you can not only see what your baby’s oxygen saturation level is, but their heart-rate and sleep patterns.
The Zipadee Zip
When both of my boys were newborns, we used the Love to Dream swaddle and had a lot of success with it. Greyson eventually used their transition swaddle, but Cooper didn’t seem to like it quite as much. As a Boston infant photographer, I often talk to my clients about their experiences, and that includes what products they use. So, at the recommendation of many clients and friends, I ordered the Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit and the Zipadee Zip. In standard Cooper fashion, he let his feelings be known when it came to the Merlin. Not. a. fan. But the Zipadee Zip worked well for him, and what’s great is that it can continue to be used once they’re rolling. We’ve been using it for months now and don’t plan to stop anytime soon!
As I mentioned earlier, no two babies are the same and that was CERTAINLY true when it came to my boys and breastfeeding. Greyson, my firstborn, fought nursing hard so I switched to exclusive pumping when he was 6 weeks old. When I switched, I discovered I had a slight undersupply. I worked tirelessly around the clock to increase it. Assuming there was a decent chance this would happen with baby #2, I decided to purchase the Elvie, a wearable pump which makes it possible to pump without being tethered to a wall.
As luck would have it, Cooper was a great nurser and I had no supply issues. I wondered if it was worth the $500 I had spent. Once I returned to sessions though, I realized it was worth it since I had to pump once or twice a day to make enough milk for bottles. The Elvie was my best friend for a few months there. However, I noticed that when I started using it more often to build a freezer stash for my eventual return to teaching, it seemed less responsive. Overall, I’d give it a 7 out of 10. I think it makes a great supplemental pump but likely couldn’t be used as the primary pump for a working mom.
I hope that was somewhat helpful to you if you’re expecting! What’s frustrating is that it’s impossible to predict what baby’s preferences will be, even if you’re not a first-timer. All you can do is lots of research and hope for some good return policies ;). Regardless, you’ll eventually figure out what your baby loves. Best of luck out there, mama!
Melissa Rabbitt is a Boston infant photographer who is currently booking May through August. To schedule your session, just click here!